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College of Liberal Arts 








In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 177 h 177*, and 1773. 



M-eaUi JS- 

VOL. I. 

Opus aggred'wr oplmum cqfibus, atrox praliis, difcors fediiionibtts, 
Ipfd ettam pace favum. Tacit. Lib. iv. Ann. 








S I R, 



TH E ftudy and knowledge of the Globe, for 
very natural and obvious reafons, feem, in 
all ages, to have been the principal and fa- 
vourite purfuit of great Princes ; perhaps they were, 
vol. i. a at 


at certain periods, the very fources of that great- 

But as Pride, Ambition, and an immoderate 
*hirft of Conqueft, were the motives of thefe re- 
fearches, no real advantage could poflibly accrue to 
mankind in general, from inquiries proceeding upon 
fuch deformed and noxious principles. 

In later times, which have been accounted more 
enlightened, ftill a worfe motive fuceeeded to that of 
ambition; Avarice led the way in all expeditions, cru- 
elty and opprefhon followed : to difcover and to de~ 
ftroy feemed to mean the fame thing ; and, what was 
ftill more extraordinary, the innocent fufferer was 
ftiled the Barbarian ; while the bloody, lawlefs inva- 
der, flattered himfelf with the name of Chriftian. 

With Your Majesty's reign, which, on many 
accounts, will for ever be a glorious aera in the an- 
nals of Britain, began the emancipation of difcovery 
from the imputation of cruelty and crimes. 

I T 


I t was a golden age, which united humanity and 
fcience, exempted men of liberal minds and educa- 
tion, employed in the nobleft of all occupations, that 
of exploring the diftant parts of the Globe, from be- 
ing any longer degraded, and rated as little better 
than the Buccaneer, or pirate, becaufe they had, till- 
then, in manners been nearly hmilar. 

I t is well known, that an uncertainty had ftill 
remained concerning the form, quantity, and confift- 
ence of the earth ; and this, in fpite of all their abili- 
ties and improvement, met philofophers in many ma- 
terial inveftigations and delicate calculations. Uni- 
verfal benevolence, a diftinguilning quality of Your 
Majesty, led You to take upon Yourfelf the direc- 
tion of the mode, and furnifhing the means of remo- 
ving thefe doubts and difficulties for the common be- 
nefit of mankind, who were ail alike interefled in 

By Your Majesty's command, for thefe great pur- 
pofes, Your fleets penetrated into unknown feas, 



fraught with fubjecls, equal, if not fuperior, in courage, 
fcience, and preparation, to any that ever before had 
navigated the ocean. 

But they pollened other advantages, in which, 
beyond all comparifon, they excelled former difcover- 
ers. In place of hearts confirfed with fantallic no- 
tions of honour and emulation, which conftantly led 
to bloodfhed, theirs were filled with the moll bene- 
ficent principles., with that noble perfuafion, the foun- 
dation of all charity, not that all men are equal, but 
that they are all brethren ; and that being fuperior 
to the favage in every acquirement, it was for that 
very reafon their duty to fet the example of mildnefs, 
companion, and long-fuffering to a fellow -creature, 
becaufe the weakeft, and, by no fault of his own, the 
ieaft inftruded, and always perfectly in their power. 

Thus, without the ufual, and moft unwarrantable 
exceftes, the overturning ancient, hereditary king- 
doms, without bloodlhed, or trampling under foot 
the laws of fociety and hofpitality, Your Majesty's 



fubje&s, braver, more powerful and mfifni&ed than 
thofe deftroyers of old, but far more juft, generous, 
and humane, erected in the hearts of an unknown 
people, while making thefe difcoveries, an- empire 
founded on peace and love of the fubjecl:, perfe&Iy 
confiftent with thofe principles by which Your Ma- 
jesty has always profefled to govern ; more firm and 
durable than thofe eitablifhed by bolts and chains, and 
all thofe black devices of tyrants not even known 
by name, in Your happy and united, powerful and 
flourifhing kingdoms. 

While thefe great objeds were fteadily conduct- 
ing to the end which the capacity of thofe employed, 
the juftnefs of the meafures on which they were plan- 
ned, and the conftant care and fupport of the Public 
promifed, there ftill remained an expedition to be 
undertaken which had been long called for, by philo- 
sophers of all nations, in vain. 

Fleets and armies were ufelefs ; even the power 
of Britain, with the utmoft exertion, could afford no 
V0L ' x - b protedion 


protection there, the place was fo unhappily cut off 
from the reft of mankind, that even Your Majesty's 
name and virtues had never yet been known or heard 
of there. 

The fituation of the country was barely known, 
no more : placed under the moft inclement fkies, in 
part furrounded by impenetrable forefts, where, from 
the beginning, the beafts had eftablifhed a fovereign- 
ty uninterrupted by man, in part by vaft deferts of 
moving fands, where nothing was to be found that 
had the breath of life, thefe terrible barriers inclofed 
men more bloody and ferocious than the beafts them- 
felves, and more fatal to travellers than the fands 
that encompafled them ; and thus fhut up, they had 
been long growing every day more barbarous, and 
defied, by rendering it dangerous, the curiofity of 
travellers of every nation. 

Although the leaft conliderable of your Maje- 
sty's fubjecls, yet not the leaft defirous of proving 
my duty by promoting your Majesty's declared 



plan of difcovery as much as the weak endeavours of 
a fingle perfon could, unprotected, forlorn, and alone, 
or at times aifociated to beggars and banditti, as they 
offered, I undertook this defperate journey, and did 
not turn an ell out of my propofcd way till I had 
completed it : It was the firft difcovery attempted in 
Your Majesty's reign. From Egypt I penetrated 
into this country, through Arabia on one fide, paff- 
ing through melancholy and dreary deferts, ventila- 
ted with poifonous winds, and glowing with eternal 
fun-beams, whofe names are as unknown in geogra- 
phy as are thofe of the antediluvian world. In the 
fix years employed in this furvey I defcribed a circum- 
ference whofe greater axis comprehended twenty- 
two degrees of the meridian, in which dreadful circle 
was contained all that is terrible to the feelings, pre- 
judicial to the health, or fatal to the life of man. 


In laying the account of thefe Travels at Your 
Majesty's feet, I humbly hope I have (hewn to 
the world of what value the efforts of every indivi- 
dual of Your Majesty's fubjects may be ; that num- 


bers are not always neceflary to the performance of 
great and brilliant actions, and that no difficulties or 
dangers are unfurmountable to a heart warm with 
affection and duty to his Sovereign, jealous of the 
honour of his mailer, and devoted to the glory of his 
country, now, under Your Majesty's wife, merci- 
ful, and juft reign, defervedly looked up to as Queen 
of Nations- I am, 



Moll faithful Subject,. 

And mofl dutiful Servant, 





OWEVER little the reader may be converfant with an- 
cient hiftories, in all probability he will know, or have 
heard this much in general, that the attempt to reach the 
Source of the Nile, the principal fubje6t of this publication, 
from very early ages interefted all fcientific nations : Nor 
was this great object feeb/y profecuted, as men, the firft for 
wifdom, for learning, and fpirit (a mod neceffary qualifica- 
tion in this undertaking) very earneftly interefted themfelves 
about the difcovery of the fources of this famous river, till 
difappointment followed difappointment fo faft, and confe- 
quences produced otherconfequencesfo fatal, that the defign 
was entirely given over, as having, upon the faired trials, ap- 
peared impracticable. Even* conquerors at the head of im- 
menfe armies, whohad firfldifcovered and then fubdued great 
part of the world, were forced to lower their tone here, and 
dared fcarcely to extend their advances toward this difcovery, 
beyond the limits of bare wifhes. At length, if it was not 
forgot, it was however totally abandoned from the caufes 
above mentioned, and with it all further topographical in- 
quiries in that quarter. 

Upon the revival of learning and of the arts, the curiofity 

of mankind had returned with unabated vigour towards 

Vol. I. a this 

n introduction; 

this object, but all attempts had met with the fame difficul- 
ties as before, till, in the beginning of his Majefty's reign,. 
the unconquerable fpirit raifed in this nation by a long and . 
glorious war, did very naturally refolve itfclf into a fpiric 
of adventure and inquiry at the return of peace, one of the. 
firft- fruits of which was the di (cover y of thefe coy foun- 
tains *, till now concealed from the world in general. 

The great danger and difficulties of this journey were 
well known, but it was likewife known that it had been 
completely performed without difappointment or misfoiv 
tune, that it had been attended with an, apparatus of books 
and inftruments, which feldom accompanies the travels of 
an individual ; yet fixteen years had elapfed without any ac* 
count appearing, which feemed to mark an unufual felf- 
denial,.or an abfolute indifference towards the of the 

Men, according; to their different genius and difpofitions, 
attempted by different ways to penetrate the caufe of this 
filence. The candid, the learned, that fpecies of men, in 


* This epithet given to the fprings from which the Nile rifes, was borrowed from a vaj 
elegant English poem that appeared in Dr Mary's Review for May 1786. It was fent 
to me by my. friend Mr Barrington, to.whom it was attributed, although from modefty he 
difclaims it. From whatever hand it comes, the poet is defired to . accept of my humbde 
thanks. It was received with univerfal applaufe wherever it was circulated, and a conGdera- 
ble number of copies was printed at the defire of the public. Accident feemed to have 
placed it in Dr Maty's book with peculiar propriety, by having joined it to a fragment of 
Anofto, then firft published, in the fame Review. It has fince been attributed to Mr Mafoo. 


fine, for whom only it is worth while to travel or to write, fup- 
poling (perhaps with fome degree of truth) that an undefcr- 
ved and unexpected neglect and want of patronage had 
been at leaft part of the caufe, adopted a manner, which, 
being the moll liberal, they thought likely to fucceed : They 
endeavoured to entice me by holding out a profpect of a 
more generous difpofition in the minds of future miniflers, 
when I fhould mew the .claim I had upon them by having 
promoted the glory of the nation. Others, whom I mention 
only for the fake of comparifon, below all notke on any 
other ground, attempted to fucceed in this by anonymous 
letters and paragraphs in the newfpapers ; and thereby ab- 
furdly endeavoured to oblige me to publifh an account of 
thofe travels, which they affected at the fame time to believe 
I had never performed. 

But it is with very great pleafure and readinefs I do now 
declare, that no fantaftical or deformed motive, no peevilh 
difregard, much lefs contempt of the judgment of the 
world, had any part in the delay which has happened to this 
publication. 1 look upon their impatience to fee this work 
as an earneit of their approbation of it, and a very great 
honour done tome; and if I had Mill any motive to defer 
fubmitting thefe obfervations to their judgment, it could 
only be that I might employ that interval in poliihing and 
making them more worthy of their perufal. The candid 
and inftructcd public, the impartial and unprejudiced 
foreigner, are tribunals merit mould naturally appeal to ; it 
is there it always has found fure protection againfl the in- 
fluence of cabals, and the virulent fh-okes of malice, envy, 
•and ignorance. 

a 2 l x 


It is with a view to give every poffible information to 
my reader, that in this introduction I lay before him the 
motives upon which thefe travels were undertaken, the order 
and manner in which they were executed, and fome account 
of the work itfelf, as well of the matter as the dillribution 
of it. 

Every one will remember that period, fo glorious to 
Britain, the latter end of the miniftry of the late Earl of 
Chatham. I was then returned from a tour through thegreat- 
eft part of Europe, particularly through the whole of Spain 
and Portugal, between whom there then was an appearance 
of approaching war. I was about to retire to a fmall pa- 
trimony I had received from my anceilors, in order to em- 
brace a life of fludy and reflection, nothing more active 
appearing then within my power, when chance threw me 
unexpectedly into a very fhort and very defultory converfa- 
tion with Lord Chatham. 

It was a few days after this that Mr Wood, then under- 
fecretary of ftate, my very zealous and fincere friend, in- 
formed me that Lord Chatham intended to employ me upon 
a particular fervice ; that, however, I might go down for a 
few weeks to my own country to fettle my affairs, but by 
all means to be ready upon a call. Nothing could be more 
flattering to me than fuch an offer; when fo young, to be 
thought worthy by Lord Chatham of any employment, was 
doubly a preferment. No time was loft on my fide ; but, 
juft after my receiving orders to return to London, his 
Lordfhip had gone to Bath, and refigned his office. 



This difappointmcnt, which was the more fenfible to 
me, that it was the firft I had met in public life, was pro- 
mifed to be made up to me by Lord Egremont and Mr 
George Grenville. The tormer had been long my friend, 
but unhappily he was then far gone in a lethargic indiipo- 
fition, which threatened, and did very foon put a period to 
his exiflence. With Lord Egremont's death my expectations 
vanifhed. Further particulars are unneceflary, but I hope 
that at leaft, in part, they remain in that breaft where they 
naturally ought to be, and where I mall ever think, not 
to be forgotten, is to be rewarded. 

Seven or eight months were pafl in an expenfive and 
fruitlefs attendance in London, when Lord Halifax was 
pleafed, not only to propofe, but to plan for me a journey 
of coniiderable importance, and which was to take up feve- 
ral years. His Lordfhip faid, that nothing could be more 
ignoble, than that, at iuch a time of life, at the height of 
my reading, health, and activity, I mould, as it were, turn 
peafant, and voluntarily bury myfelf in obfeurity and idle- 
nefs ; that though war was now drawing fail to an end, 
full as honourable a competition remained among men of 
fpirit, which mould acquit themfelves bell in the danger- 
ous line of ufeful adventure and difcovery. " He obferved, 
that the coaft of Barbary, which might be faid to be juit at 
our door, was as yet but partially explored by Dr Shaw, who 
had only illuftrated (very judicioufly indeed) the geogra- 
phical labours of Sanfon * ; that neither Dr Shaw nor San- 



* He was long a (lave to the Bey of Conltamina, and appears to have been a man of capa- 


fon had been, or had pretended to be, capable of giving the 
public any detail of the large and magnificent remains 
of ruined architecture which they both vouch to have 
feen in great quantities, and of exquifite elegance and per- 
fection, all over the country. Such had not been their 
ihidy, yet fuch was really the tafte that was required in the 
prefent times. He wilhed therefore that I mould be the 
firft, in the reign juft now beginning, to fet an example of 
making large additions to the royal collection, and he pled- 
ged himfclf to be my fupporter and patron, and to make 
good to me, upon this additional merit, the promifes which 
had been held forth to me by former minifters for other 
ibr vices. 

The difcovery of the Source of the Nile was alfo a fub- 
ject of thefe converlations, but it was always mentioned to 
me with a kind of diffidence, as if to be expected from a 
more experienced traveller. Whether-this was but another 
way of exciting me to the attempt I mall not fay ; but my 
heart in that inftant did me juftice to fuggeft, that this, too, 
was either to be atchicved by me, or to remain, as it had 
done for thefe lad two thoufand years, a defiance to all 
travellers, and an opprobrium to geography. 

Fortune feemed to enter into this fcheme. At the very 
inftant, Mr Afpinwall, very cruelly and ignominioufly treated 
by the Dey of Algiers., had refigned his confulfhip, and Mr 
Ford, a merchant, formerly the Dey's acquaintance, was na- 
med in his place. Mr Ford was appointed, and dying a few 
days after, the confullhip became vacant. Lord Halifax 
preffed me to accept of this, as containing all fort of conve- 
niencies for making the propoied expedition. 

3. This 


Tins favourable event finally determined mc. I had alk 
my life applied unweariedly, perhaps with more love than 
talent, to drawing, the practice of mathematics, and efpe- 
pially that part neceilary to aftronomy. The tranftt of Ve- 
nus was at hand. It was certainly known that it would be 
vifible once at Algiers, and there was great reafon to expect 
it might be twice. I had furnifhed myfelf with a large ap- 
paratus of inftruments, the completed of their kind for the 
obfervation. In the choice of thefe I had been -amited by 
my friend Admiral Campbell, and Mr RufFel .fecretary to the 
Turkey Company; every other neceffary had been provided 
in proportion. Ir was a pleafure now to know that it was 
not from a rock or a wood, but from- my own houfe at Afr 
giers, I could deliberately take meafures to place myfelf in 
the lift of men of fcience of all nations, who were then pre- 
paring for the. fame fcientific purppfe, - 

Thus prepared, I fet cut for Italy, through France ; an'd ' 
though it was in time of war, and fome ftrong .objections 
had been made to particular paiFports folicited by our go- 
vernment from the French fecretary of ftate, Monfieur de 
Choifeul mod obligingly waved all fuch exceptions with re- 
gard to me, and moft politely aftured me, in a letter ac- 
companying my paffport, that thofe difficulties did not in 
any mape regard me, but that I was perfectly at liberty to 
pafs through, or remain in France, with thofe that accom- 
panied me, without limiting their number, as fhort or as 
long a time as mould be agreeable tome,. 

On my arrival at Rome I received orders to proceed to 
Naples, there to await his Majefty's further commands. Sir 
Charles Saunders, then with a fleet before Cadiz, had orders 



to vifit Malta before he returned to England. It was faid, 
that the grand-mailer of that Order had behaved fo im- 
properly to Mr Hervey (afterwards Lord Briilol) in the be- 
ginning of the war, and fo partially and unjuilly between 
the two nations during the courfe of it, that an explanation 
on our part was become necefTary. The grand-mailer no 
fooner heard of my arrival at Naples, than gueffing the 
errand, he fent off Cavalier Mazzini to London, where he 
at once made his peace and his compliments to his Majefty 
upon his acceflion to the throne. 

Nothing remained now but to take poffemon of my con- 
fulfliip. I returned without lofs of time to Rome, and 
thence to Leghorn, where, having embarked on board the 
Montreal man of war, I proceeded to Algiers. 

While at Naples, I received from flaves, redeemed from 
the province of Conflantina, accounts of magnificent ruins 
they had feen while traverfing that country in the camp 
with their mailer the Bey. I faw the abfolute neceffity there 
was for affiilance, without which it was impoilible for any 
one man, however diligent and qualified, to do any thing 
but bewilder himfelr. All my endeavours, however, had 
hitherto been uni'uccefsful to perfuade any Italian to put 
himfelf wilfully into the hands of a people conilantly look- 
ed upon by them in no better light than pirates. 

While I was providing myfelf with inilruments at Lon- 
don, I thought of one, which, though in a very fmall form 
and imperfect ilate, had been of great entertainment and 
ufe to me in former travels ; this is called a Camera Ub- 
fcura, the idea of which I had firft taken from the Spectacle 

3 de 


<ie la Nature of the Abbe Vertot. But the prefent one was 
condructed upon my own principles ; 1 intruded the execu- 
tion of the glades toMeiTrs Nairne and Blunt, Mathematical 
indrument-makers oppofite to the Exchange, whom I had 
ufually employed upon fuch occafions, and with whofe ca- 
pacity and fidelity I had, after frequent trials, the greateft 
reafon to be fatisfied. 

This, when finifhcd, became a large and expenfive indru- 
ment; but being feparated into twopieces, the top and bottom, 
and folding compactly with hinges, was neither heavy, cum- 
berfome, nor inconvenient, and the charge incurred by the ad- 
ditions and alterations was confiderably more than compen- 
fated by the advantages which accrued from them. Its body 
was an hexagon of fix-feet diameter, with a conical top ; in 
this, as in a fummer-houfe, the draughtsman fat unfeen, and 
performed his drawing. There is now, I fee, one carried as 
a mow about the llreets, of nearly the fame dimenfions, 
called a Delineator, made on the fame principles, and feems 
to be an exact imitation of mine. 

By means of this indrument, a perfon of but a moderate 
{kill in drawing, but habituated to the effect of it, could do 
more work, and in a better tade, whiht executing views of 
ruined architecture, in one hour, than the readied draughtf- 
man, fo unaflifted, could do in feven ; for, with proper care, 
patience, and attention, not only the elevation, and every 
part of it, is taken with the utmod truih and juded propor- 
tion, but the light and made, the actual breaches as they 
ftand, vignettes, or little ornamental fnrubs, which generally 
hang fr >m and adorn the projections and edges of the feveral 
members, are finely exprefled, and beautiful leffons given, 

Vol. I. b how 


how to tran fport them with effect to any part where they 
appear to be wanting. 

Anot her greater and ineftimable advantage is, that all land- 
fcapes, and views of the country, which conftitute the back- 
ground of the picture, are real, and in the reality fhew, very 
ftrikingly indeed, in fuch a country as Africa, abounding in 
picturefque fcenes, how much nature is fuperior to the crea- 
tion of the warmeft genius or imagination. Momentary 
mafTes of clouds, efpecially the heavier ones, of flormy Ikies, 
will be fixed by two or three unftudied flrokes of a pencil ; 
and figures and dreis, in the moll agreeable attitudes and 
folds, leave traces that a very ordinary hand might fpeedily 
make his own/or, what is Hill better, enable him with thefe 
elements to ufe the afliftance of the bell artift he can find in 
every line of painting, and, by the help of thefe, give to 
each the utmoft poflible perfection ; a practice which I 
have constantly preferred and followed with fuccefs. 

It is true, this inftrument has a fundamental defect in 
the laws of optics ; but this is obvious, and known una- 
voidably to exift ; and he muft be a very ordinary genius 
indeed, and very lame, both in theory and practice, that can- 
not apply the necefTary correction, with little trouble, and 
in a very fhort time. 

I was fo well pleafed with the flrft trial of this inftrument 
at Julia Caifarea, now Sherfhell, about 60 miles from Al- 
giers, that I commifTioned a fmaller one from Italy, which* 
though negligently and ignorantly made, did me this good 
fervice, that it enabled me to fave my larger and more 



perfect one, in my unfortunate fhipwreck at Bengazi *, the 
ancient Berenice, on the fhore of Cyrenaicum ; and this was 
of infinite fervice to me in my journey to Palmyra. 

Thus far a great part of my wants were well fupplied, at 
leaflfuch ascould be forefeen, but Iflilllabouredunderrnany. 
Befides that lingle province of ruined architecture, there 
remained feveral others of equal importance to the public. 
The natural hiftory of the country, the manners and lan- 
guages of the inhabitants, the hiftory of the heavens, by a 
conftant obfervation of, and attention to which, a ufeful 
and intelligible map of the country could be obtained, weiv 
objects of the utmofl confequence. 

Packing and repacking, mounting and rectifying thefe 
inflruments alone, befides the attention and time necefTary 
in ufing them, required what would have occupied one man, 
if they had been continual, which they luckily were not, 
and he fufficiently inftructed. I therefore endeavoured to 
procure fuch a number of afliitants, that mould each bear 
his fliare in thefe feveral departments ; not one only, but 
three or four if poflible. I was now engaged, and part of 
my pride was to iliew, how eafy a thing it was to difappoint 
the idle prophecies of the ignorant, that this expedition would 
be fpent in pleafure, without any profit to the public. I wrote 
to feveral correfpondents,MrLumifden,Mr Strange,Mr Byers, 
and others in different parts of Italy, acquainting them of my 
fituation, and begging their affiftance. Thefe gentlemen 
kindly ufed their utmofl endeavours, but in vain. 

b 2 It 

This will be explained afterwards. 


It is true, Mr Chalgrin, a young French ftudentin archil* 
tecture, accepted thepropofal, andfentaneat fpecimen of rec- 
tilineal architecture. Even this gentleman might have 
been of fome ufe, but his heart failed him ; he would have 
wifhed the credit of the undertaking, without the fatigues 
of the journey. At lad Mr Lumifden, by accident, heard of a 
young man who was then ftudying architecture at Rome, a 
native of Bologna, whofe name was Luigi Balugani. I can 
appeal to Mr Lumifden, now in England, as to the extent of 
this perfon's practice and knowledge, and that he knew 
very little when firil fent to me. In the twenty months 
which he ftaid with me at Algiers, by affiduous application 
to proper fubjects under my inftruction, he became a very 
confiderable help to me, and was the only one that ever I 
made ufe of, or that attended me for a moment, or ever 
touched one-reprefentation of architecture in any part of my 
journey. He contracted an incurable diilemper in Palestine,, 
and died after a long (icknefs, foon after I entered Ethiopia, 
after having fuffered conftanr. ill-health from the time he 
left Sidon. 

While travelling in Spain, it was a thought which fre- 
quently fuggefled itfelf to me, how little informed the 
world yet was in the hiftory of that kingdom and mo- 
narchy. The Moorifli part in particular, when it was moll 
celebrated for riches and for feience, was fcarccly known 
but from fome romances or novels. It feemed an under- 
taking worthy of a man of letters to refcue this period, 
from the oblivion or neglect under which it laboured. 
Materials were not wanting for this, as a confiderable num- 
ber of books remained in a neglected and almoll unknown 
language, the Arabic. I endeavoured to find accefs to fome 



of thofe Arabian manufcripts, an immcnfc collection of 
which were every day perifhing in the dull of the efcurial, , 
and was indulged with feveral convcrfations of Mr Wall, 
then minuter, every one of which convinced me, that the 
objections to what I wifhed were founded fo flrongly 
in prejudice, that it was not even in his power to remove 

All my fuccefs in 'Europe terminated in the acquisition 
of thofe few printed Arabic books that I had found in Hol- 
land, and thefe were rather biographers than general hifto- 
rians, and contained little in point of general information. 
The fhidy of thefe, however, and of Maracci's Koran, had 
made me a very tolerable Arab ; a great field was opening • 
before me in Africa to complete a collection of manufcripts, 
an opportunity which 1 did not neglect. 

ArTER a year fpent at Algiers, conflant converfation with 
the natives whilft abroad, and with my manufcripts within 
doors, had qualified me to appear in any part of the conti- 
nent without the help of an interpreter. Ludolf* had af- 
fured his readers, that the knowledge of any oriental lan- 
guage would foon enable them to acquire the Ethiopic, and 
I needed only the fame number of book;s to have made my 
knowledge of that language go hand in hand with my at- 
tainments in the Arabic. My immediate profpeet of fetting 
out on my journey to the inland parts of Africa, had made 
me double my diligence ; night and day there was no re- 
laxation from thefe Studies, although the acquiring any 


* Ludolf, lib. i. cup. 15. 


fingle language had never been with me either an object of 
time or difficulty. 

At this inflant, inftead of obtaining the liberty I had fo- 
liated to depart, orders arrived from the king to expect his 
further commands at Algiers, and not to think of ftirring 
from thence, till a difpute about pafTports was fettled, in 
which I certainly had no concern, further than as it regard- 
ed me as his Majefly's actual fervant, for it had originated 
entirely from the neglect of the former conful's letters di- 
rected to the fecretary of flate at home, before my coming to 

The ifland of Minorca had been taken by the French; and 
when the fort of St Philip furrendered by an article common 
to all capitulations, it was ftipulated, that all papers found 
in the fort were to be delivered to the captors. It happened 
that among thefe was a number of blank Mediterranean 
paiTes, which fell therefore into the hands of the French, 
and the blanks were filled up by the French governor and 
fecretary, who very naturally wifhed to embroil us with the 
Barbary Hates, it being then the time of war with France. 
They were fold to Spaniards, Neapolitans, and other ene- 
mies of the Barbary regencies. The check* (the only proof 
that thefe pirates have of the veffels being a friend) agreed 
perfectly with the paffport filled up by the French gover- 
nor, but the captor feeing that the crew of thefe veffels 
were dark-coloured, wore muflachoes, and fpoke no Englifh, 
carried the veflel to Algiers, where the Britifli conful detect- 

* This is a running figure cut through the middle like the check of a bank note. 


ed the fraud, and was under the difagrceable neccffity of 
furrendering fo many Chriftians into flavery in the hands 
of their enemies. 

One or two fuccefsful difcoveries of this kind made the 
hungry pirates believe that the paflport of every veflel they 
met with, even thofe of Gibraltar, were falfe imthemfelves, 
and iflued to protect their enemies.. Violent commotions 
were excited amongft the foldiery, abetted under hand 
by feveral of the neutral confuls there. By every occa- 
fion I had wrote home, but in vain, and the Dcy could ne- 
ver be perfuaded of this, as no anfwer arrived. Govern- 
ment was occupied with winding up matters at the end 
of a war, and this neglect of my letters often brought me 
into great danger. At laft a temporary remedy was found, 
whether it originated from home, or whether it was in- 
vented by the governor of Mahon and Gibraltar, was ne- 
ver communicated to me, but a furer and more effectual 
way of having all the nation at Algiers maffacred could 
certainly not have been hit upon. 

Square pieces of common paper, about the fize of a 
quarter-meet, were fealed with the arms of the governor 
of Mahon, fometimes with red, fometimes with black wax, 
as the family circumftances of that officer required. Thefe 
were figned by his fignature, counterfigned by that of his fe- 
cretary,and contained nothing more than a bare and fimple 
declaration, that the veflel, the bearer of it, wasBritifh proper- 
ty. Thefe papers were called Pafavants. The cruifer, uninftruc- 
ted in this when he boarded a veflel, afked for his Mediter- 
ranean pafs. The mailer anfwered, He had none, he had 
only a paffavant, and fliewed the paper, which having no 
4 check, 


check, the cruifer brought him and his veiTel as a good 
prize into Algiers. Upon my claiming them, as was my 
duty, 1 was immediately called before the Dey and divan, and 
had it not been from perfonal regard the Turks always 
fhewed me, I mould not have efcaped the infults of the 
foldiery in my way to the palace. The Dey afked me, up- 
on my word as a Chriflian and an Englifhman, whether 
thefe written paries were according to treaty, or whether 
the word paffuvant was to be found in any of our treaties 
with the Moorifli regencies .? All equivocation was ufelefs. 
I anfwered, That thefe pafTes were not according to treaty ; 
that the word pajfavant was not in any treaty I knew of 
with any of the Barbary Hates ; that it was a meafure ne- 
ceffity had created, by Minorca's falling into the hands of 
the French, which had never before been the cafe, but that 
the remedy would be found as foon as the greater bufinefs of 
fettling the general peace gave the Britifh miniftry time to 
breathe. Upon this the Dey, holding {qnzt2\ pajfavants in his 
hand, anfwered, with great emotion, in thefe memorable 
terms, " The Britifh government know that we can neither 
read nor write, no not even our own language ; we are igno- 
rant foldiers and failors, robbers if you will, though we do 
not with to rob you ; but war is our trade, and we live by that 
only. Tell me how my cruifers are to know that all thefe 
different wri-ings and feals are Governor Moftyn's, or Go- 
vernor Johnfton's, and not the Duke of Medina Sidonia's, or 
Barcelot's, captain of the king of Spain's cruifers ?" It was 
impoffible to anlwer a queilion fo fimple and fo direct. I 
I ached then the intrant of being cut to pieces by the fol- 
diery, or of having the whole Britifh Mediterranean trade 
carried into the Barbary ports. The candid and open man- 
ner in which I had fpoken, the regard and efteem the Dey 
i always 


always had (hewed me, and fome other common methods 
•with the members of the regency, ftaved off the dangerous 
moment, and were the means of procuring time. Admi- 
ralty partes at lad came out, and the matter was happily ad- 
juiled ; but it was an affair the lean pleafing and the leafl 
profitable, and one of the moll dangerous in which I was 
ever engaged. 

All this difagreeable interval I had given to fludy, and 
making myfelf familiar with every thing that could be ne- 
cellary to me in my intended journey. The king's furgeon 
at Algiers, Mr Ball, a man of confiderable merit in his pro- 
feffion, and who lived in my family, had obtained leave to 
return home. Before I was deprived of this affiftance, I 
had made a point of drawing from it all the advantages pof- 
fible for my future travels. Mr Ball did not grudge his 
time or pains in the inftruction he gave me. I had made 
myfelf mauer of the art of bleeding, which I found confid- 
ed only in a little attention, and in overcoming that diffi- 
dence which the ignorance how the parts lie occafions. Mr 
Ball had fliewn me the manner of applying feveral forts of 
bandages, and gave me an idea of drefling fome kinds of 
fores and wounds, frequent and very ufeful leflbns, which 
I alfo received from my friend Doctor RuiTel at Aleppo, 
contributed greatly to improve me afterwards in the know- 
ledge of phyfic and furgery. I had afmall cheft of the mofl 
efficacious medicines, a difpenfary to teach me to com- 
pound others that were needful, and fome fhort treatifes up- 
on the acute difeafes of feveral countries within the tro- 
pics. Thus inftructed, I flatter myfelf, no offence I hope, 
I did not occafion a greater mortality among the Maho- 
metans and Pagans abroad, than may be attributed to 
Vol. I. c fome 


ibme of my brother phyficians among their fellow- Chriilk 
ans at home. . 

The rev. -Mr Tonyn, the king's chaplain at Algiers, was 
ab'fent upon leave before I arrived in that regency. The 
Proteftant fhipmafters who came into the port, and had 
need of fpirifual afliftance, found here a blank that was not 
eafily filled up; I mould therefore have been obliged to 
take upon myfelf % the disagreeable office of burying the 
dead, and the more chearful, though more troublefome one, 
of marrying and baptizing the living. ; matters that were 
entirely out of my way, but to which the Roman Catholic 
clergy would contribute no afliftance. 

There was a Greek prieft, a native of Cyprus, a very ve- 
nerable man, part leventy years of age, who had attached 
himfelf to me from my firfl arrival in Algiers. This man 
was of a very focial and chearful temper, and had, befides, 
a more than ordinary knowledge of his own language. I 
had taken him to my houfe. as- my chaplain, read Greek 
with him daily, and fpoke it at times when I could receive 
his correction and inftmclion. It was not that I, at this 
time of day, needed to learn Greek,. I had long un- 
derflood that language perfectly ; what I wanted was the 
pronunciation, and reading by accent, of which the gener- 
ality of Itnglifh fcholars are perfectly ignorant, and to which 
it is owing that they apprehend the Greek fpoken and 
written in the Archipelago is materially different from 
that language which we read in books, and which a few 
weeks converfation in the iflands will teach them it is not, 
I had in this, at that time, no other view than mere con- 
veaience during^my paflage through the Archipelago 



which I intended to vifit, without any defign of continuing 
or ftudying there : But the reader will afterwards fee of 
what very material fervice this acquaintance was to me, fo 
very elTential, indeed, that it contributed more to the fuccefs 
of my views in Abyilinia than any other help that I obtain- 
ed throughout the whole of it. This man's name was Pa- 
dre Chriftophoro, or Father Chriftophcr. At my leaving Al- 
giers, finding himfelf lefs conveniently fituated, he went to 
Egypt, to Cairo, where he was promoted to be fecond in 
rank under Mark, patriarch of Alexandria, where I after- 
wards found him. 

Business of a private nature had at this time obliged -me 
to prefent myfelf at Mahon, a gentleman having promifed 
to meet me there ; I therefore failed from Algiers, having 
taken leave oftheDey, who furnifhed me with every letter 
that I afked, with ftrong and peremptory orders to all the 
officers of his own dominions, preffing recommendatory 
ones to the Bey of Tunis and Tripoli, ftates indepen- 
dent, indeed, of the Dey of Algiers, but over which the 
circumftances of the times had given him a confiderable in- 

The violent difputes about the paffports had rather raif- 
ed than lowered me in his efteem. The letters were given 
with the bell grace poilible, and the orders contained in 
them were executed mod exactly in all points during my 
whole flay in Barbary. Being difappointed in the meeting 
I looked for at Mahon, I remained three days in Quarantine 
Ifland, though General Townfend, then deputy- governor, by 
every civility and attention in his power, ftrove to induce 

c 2 me 


me to come on {hore, that he might have an opportunity of 
(hewing me dill more attention and politenefs. 

My mind being now full of more agreeable ideas than 
what had for fome time pad occupied it, I failed in a fmall 
veflel from Port Mahon, and, having a fair wind, in a fhort 
time made the coaft of Africa, at a cape, or headland, called 
Ras el Hamra *, and landed at Bona, a confiderable town, the 
ancient Aphrodifmm f, built from the ruins of Hippo Re- 
gius J, from which it is only two miles diftant. It Hands on 
a large plain, part of which feems to have been once over- 
flowed by the fea. Its trade confifts now in the exporta- 
tion of wheat, when, in plentiful years, that trade is per- 
mitted by the government of Algiers. I had a delightful 
voyage clofe down the coaft, and palled the fmall ifland 
Tabarca §, lately a fortification of the Genoefe, now in the 
hands of the regency of Tunis, who took it by furprife, and 
made all the inhabitants flaves. The ifland is famous for 
a coral fifhery, and along the coaft are immenfe forefts of 
large beautiful oaks, more than fufRcient to fupply the ne- 
cefnties of all the maritime powers in the Levant, if the qua- 
lity of the wood be but equal to the fize and beauty of the 

From Tabarca I failed and anchored at Biferta, the Hippo- 
zaritus || of antiquity, and thence went to pay a vifit to 
Utica, out of refpecl: to the memory of Cato, without having 
fanguine expectations of meeting any thing remarkable 


* Hippo. Reg. from Ptol. Geog. lib. iv. p. 109. f Hippo. Reg. id. ib. 

$ AphrodLCum. id. ib. f Tbabarca, id- ib. || Plin. Ep. xxxiii. 1, 9.. 


there, and accordingly I found nothing memorable but the 
name. It may be faid nothing remains of Utica but a 
heap of rubbifh and of fmall Hones ; without the city 
the trenches and approaches of the ancient befiegers are 
ftill very perfect. 

After doubling Cape Carthage I anchored before the 
fortrefs of the Goletta, a place now of no flrength, notwith- 
ftanding the figure it made at the time of the expedition of 
Charles V. Rowing along the bay, between the Cape and 
this anchorage, I faw feveral buildings and columns ftill 
Handing under water, by which it appeared that old Car- 
thage had owed part of its dcflruction to the fea, and hence 
likewife may be inferred the abfurdity of any attempt to 
reprefent the fite of ancient Carthage upon paper. It has 
been, befides, at leaft ten times deftroyed, fo that the ftations, 
where its firft citizens fell fighting for their liberty, are 
covered deep in rubbifh, far from being trodden upon by 
thofe unworthy flaves who now are its mailers. 

Tunis * is twelve miles diftant from this : It is a large and. 
flourifliing city. The people are more civilized than in 
Algiers, and the government milder, but the climate is very 
far from being fo good. Tunis is low, hot, and damp, and 
deftitute of good water, with which Algiers is fupplied from, 
a thoufand fprings. 

I delivered my letters from the Bey, and obtained per- 
miflion to vifit the country in whatever direction I mould 


LLv. Epit. xxx. 1. 9. 


plcafe. I took with me a French renegado, of the name of 
Ofman, recommended to me by Moniicur Bartheleny de 
Saizieux, conful of France to that ftate ; a gentleman 
whole converfation and frjendfliip furnifh .me ilill with 
feme of the moll agreeable reflections that from 
my travels. With Ofman I took ten fpahi, or horfe- 
foldiers, well armed with firelocks ,and piftols, excellent 
horiemen, and, as far as Icould ever difcern upon the few 
occakons that prefented, as eminent for cowardice, at leaft, 
as they were for horfemanfhip. This -was not the cafe 
with Ofman, who was very brave, but he needed a fharp 
look-out, that he did not often embroil us where there was 
accefs to women or to wine. 

-One of the moft agreeable favours I received was from a 
lady of the Bey, who furnimed me with a two-wheeled 
covered cart, exactly like thofe of the bakers in England. 
In this I fecured my quadrant and telefcope from the wea- 
ther, and at .times put likewife fome,of the feebleft of my 
attendants. Befides thefe I had ten fervants, two of whom 
were Irim, who having deferted from the Spanifh regi- 
ments in Oran, and being Britilh born, though flaves, as 
being Spanifh foldiers, were given to me at parting by the 
Dey of Algiers. 

The coaft along which I had failed was part of Numidia 
and Africa Proper, and there I met with no ruins. I refol- 
ved now to difcribute my inland journey through the king- 
dom of Algiers and Tunis. In order to comprehend the 
whole.,, I firft fet out along the river Majerda, through a 
country perfectly cultivated and inhabited by people under 
2 the 


the controul of government, this river was the ancient Bag* 

AFTERpaffing a 'triumphal arch of bad tafte at BafU-bab, 
I came the next day to Thuggaf, perhaps more properly 
called Tucca, and by the inhabitants Dugga. The reader in 
this part mould have Doctor Shaw's Work before him, my 
map of the journey not being yet published ; and, indeed, 
after Shaw's, it is fcarcely necefTary to thofe who need only 
an itinerary, as, befides his ownobfervations, he had for ba» 
lis thofe of Sanfon. 

I found at Dugga a large fcene of ruins, among which 
one building was eafily diftinguifhable. It was a large 
temple of the Corinthian order, all of Parian marble, the co- 
lumns fluted, the cornice highly ornamented in the very 
belt ftyle of fculpture. In the tympanum is an eagle flying 
to heaven, with a •human figure upon his back,, which, by 
the many inferiptions that are Hill remaining,- feems to be 
intended for that of Trajan, and the apotheoils of that em- 
peror to be the fubjecT:, the temple having been erected by 
Adrian to that prince, his benefactor and predeceflbr, I 
fpent fifteen days upon the architecture of this temple with- 
out feeling the fmalleft difguft, or forming a wifh to finim it; 
it is,with all its parts, flill unpublished in my collection, Thefe 
beautiful and magnificent remains of ancient tafte and 
greatnefs, fo eafily reached in perfect fafety, by a ride along 
the Bagrada,full as pleafant and as fafe as along the Thames 


* Strabo lib xvii. p. 1 189. It fignifies the tiver of Cows, or Kine. P. Mela lib. ;. 
cap, .7. Sft. It. lib, vi. 1, 140, -f Pro!. Geog, lib* iy, Procop, lib. vi. c:p. 5. de MdiS. 


between London and Oxford, were at Tunis totally urv 
known. Doctor Shaw has given the ihuation of the place, 
without faying one word about any thing curious it con- 

From Dugga I continued the upper road to KefF*, for- 
merly called Sicca Venerea, or Venerea ad Siccam, through 
the pleafant plains inhabited by the Welled Yagoube. I 
then proceeded to Hydra, the Thunodrunum f of the an- 
cients. This is a frontier place between the two kingdoms 
of Algiers and Tunis, as KefFis alfo. It is inhabited by a tribe 
of Arabs, whofe chief is a marabout, or faint ; they are 
called Welled Sidi Boogannim, the " fons of the father of 

These Arabs are immenfely rich, paying no tribute ei- 
ther to Tunis or Algiers. The pretence for this exemption 
is a very fingular one. By the inftitution of their founder, 
they are obliged to live upon lions flefh for their daily 
food, as far as they can procure it ; with this they flrictly 
comply, and, in confideration of the utility pf this their vow, 
they are not taxed, like the other Arabs, with payments to 
the (late. The confequence of this life is, that they are ex- 
cellent and well-armed horfemen, exceedingly bold and 
undaunted hunters. It is generally imagined, indeed, that 
thefe confiderations, and that of their fituation on the fron- 
tier, have as much influence in procuring them exemption 
from taxes, as the utility of their vow. 

2 There 

* Val. Max. lib. ii. cap. 6. § ij. f P to1 - Geog. lib. iv. 


There is at Thunodrunum a triumphal arch, which Di 
Shaw thinks is more remarkable for its fize than for its 
taile or execution ; but the fize is not extraordinary ; on the 
other hand, both taile and execution are admirable. It is, 
with all its parts, in the King's collection, and, taking the 
whole together, is one of the moil beautiful landfcapes in 
black and white now exiiling. The diflance, as well as the 
fore-ground, are both from nature, and exceedingly well 
calculated for fuch reprefentation. 

Before Dr Shaw's travels firft acquired the celebrity they 
have maintained ever fince, there was a circumitance that 
very nearly ruined their credit. He had ventured to fay in 
converfation, that thefe Welled Sidi Boogannim were eaters 
of lions, and this was confidered at Oxford, the univerfity 
where he had fludicd, as a traveller's licenfe on the part of 
the Doctor. They took it as a fubverfion of the natural or- 
der of things, that a man mould eat a lion, when it had 
long patted as almoil the peculiar province of the lion to 
cat man. The Doctor flinched under the fagacity and fe- 
verity of this criticifm ; he could not deny that the Welled 
Sidi Boogannim did eat lions, as he had repeatedly faid ; 
but he had not yet publifhed his travels, and therefore left 
it out of his narrative, and only hinted at it after in his ap- 

With all fubmiffion to that learned univerfity, I will not 
difpute the lion's title to eating men ; but, fince it is not 
founded upon patent, no confideration will make me ilifle 
fae merit of Welled. Sidi Boogannim, who have turned the 
chace upon the enemy. It is an hiilorical fact ; and I will 
not fuffer the public to be milled by a mifreprefentation 

Vol. I. d of 


of it ; on the contrary, I do aver, in the face of thefe fantaf- 
tic prejudices, that I have ate the flefh of lions, that is, part 
of three lions, in the tents of Welled Sidi Boogannim. The 
firfl was a he-lion, lean, tough, fmelling violently of raufk, 
and had the tafte which, I imagine, old horfe-flefh would 
have. The fecond was a lionefs, which they faid had that 
year been barren. She had a conliderable quantity of fat 
within her ; and, had it not been for the mufky fmell that 
the flefh had, though in a lefTer degree than the former, 
and for our foolifh prejudices againfl it, the meat, when 
broiled, would not have been very bad. The third was a 
a lion's whelp, fix or feven months old ; it tailed, upon the 
whole, the worfl of the three. I confefs I have no defire 
of being again ferved with fuch a morfel ; but the Arabs s 
a brutifh and ignorant folk, will, I fear, notwithftanding 
the difbelief of the univerfity of Oxford, continue to eat lions 
as long as they exift.. 

From Hydra I pafled to the ancient Tipafa*, another 
Roman colony, going by the fame name to this day. Here 
is a mofl extenfive fcene of ruins. There is a large tem- 
ple, and a four-faced triumphal arch of the Corinthian or- 
der, in the very befl tafle ; both of which are now in the 
collection of the King. . 

I here crofTed the river Myfkianah, which falls into the 
Bagrada, and continuing through one of the mofl beautiful 
and befl-cultivated countries in the world, I entered the 
«aflern province of Algiers, now called Conflantina, ancient- 

Pjol. Geog. Ilk. iv. p. 1 06. 


ly the Mauritania Csefarienfis, whofc capital, Conflantina, is 
the ancient metropolis of Syphax. It was called Cirta *j 
and, after Julius Cafar's conqueft, Cirta Sittianorum, from 
Caius Sittius who mil took it. It is fituated upon a high, 
gloomy, tremendous precipice. Part only of its aqueduct 
remains : the water, which once was carried into the town, 
now fpills itfelf from the top of the cliff into a chafm, or 
narrow valley, above four hundred feet below. The view 
of it is in the King's collection ; a band of robbers, the 
figures which adorn it, is a compofition from imagination ; 
all the reft is perfectly real. 

The Bey was at this time in his camp, as he was making 
war with the Hanneifhah, the mofl powerful tribe of Arabs 
in that province. After having refreflied myfelf in the 
Bey's palace I fet out to Seteef, the Sitifif of antiquity, the 
capital of Mauritania Sitifenfis, at fome diftance from which 
I joined the Bey's army, confifting of about 1 2,000 men, with 
four pieces of cannon. After flaying a few days with the 
Bey, and obtaining his letters of recommendation, I proceed- 
ed to Taggou-zainah, anciently Diana VeteranorumJ, as we 
learn by an infeription on a triumphal arch of the Corin- 
thian order which I found there. 

Trom Taggou-zainah I continued my journey neaiiy 
flraight S. E. and arrived at Medrafhem, a fuperb pile of 
building, the fepulchre of Syphax, and the other kings of 
•Numidia, and where, as the Arabs believe, were alio depo- 

d 2 fited 

* Ptol. Geog. lib. iy. p. 1 1 i. f Ptol. Geog. lib. i 7 . p. ioS- 

4 Vide Itin. Anton. 


fited the tr'eafures of thofe kings. A drawing of this monu- 
ment is Hill unpubliflied in my collection. Advancing ilill 
to the S. E. through broken ground and fome very barren 
valleys, which produced nothing but game, 1 came to Jib* 
bel Aurez, the Aurafius Mons of the middle age. This is 
not one mountain, but an ailemblage of many of the moil 
craggy flceps in Africa. 

Here I met, to my great aftonifhment, a tribe, who, if I 
cannot fay they were fair like Englifh, were of a made 
lighter than that of the inhabitants of any country to the 
fouthward of Britain. Their hair alfo was red, and their 
eyes blue. They are a favage and independent people ; it 
required addrefs to approach them with fafety, which, how- 
ever, I accompliihed, (the particulars would take too much 
room for this place), was well received, and at perfect li- 
berty to do whatever I pleafed. This tribe is called Neardie; 
Each of the tribe, in the middle between their eyes, has a 
Greek crofs marked with antimony. They are Kabyles. 
Though living in tribes, they have among the mountains 
huts, built with mud and flraw, which they call Dafhkras y , 
whereas the Arabs live in tents on the plains. I imagine 
thefe to be a remnant of Vandals, Procopius* mentions a 
defeat of an army of this nation here, after a defperatc re- 
fiftance, a remnant of which may be luppofed to have main- 
tained themfelves in thefe mountains. They with great 
pleafurc confefled their anceflors had been Chriflians, and 
feemed to rejoice much more in that relation than in any 
connection with the Moors, with whom they live in perpe- 

* Pi-iiccg. Bell. Vanii. lib. ii. cap. 13. 


tual war : they pay no taxes to the Bey, but live in conflant 
defiance of him. 

As this is the Mons Audus of Ptolemy, here too muft be 
fixed his Lambefa* or Lambefentium Colonia, which, by a 
hundred Latin inferiptions remaining on the fpot, it is atteft- 
ed to have been. It is now called Tezzoute : the ruins of 
the city are very extenfive. There are feven of the gates 
Hill Handing, and great pieces of the walls folidly built 
with fquare mafonry without lime. The buildings remain- 
ing are of very different ages, from Adrian to Aurelian, nay 
even to Maximin. One building only, fupported by columns 
of the Corinthian order, was in good taite; what its ufe was 
I know not. The drawing of this is in the King's collec- 
tion. It was certainly defigned for fome military purpofe, 
by the fize of the gates ; I mould fufpect a liable, for ele- 
phants, or a repofitory for catapulta, or other large military 
machines, though there are no traces left upon the walls in- 
dicating either. Upon the key-ftone of the arch of the 
principal gate there is a baflb-relievo of the Standard of a 
legion, and upon it an infeription, Legio tertia Augufta, 
which legion, we know from hiflory, was quartered here. 
Dr Shawf fays, that there is here a neat, round, Corinthian 
temple, called Cubb el Arroufah, the Cupola or Dome of the 
Bride or Spoufe. Suoh a building does exift, but it is by no 
means of a good taile, nor of the Corinthian order ; but of 
a long difproportioned Doric, of the time of Aurelian, and 
does not merit the attention of any arehitccl. Dr Shaw 


1 Ptol Gicg. lib. iv. p. 1 1 1. | Shaw's Travel?, chap. viii. p. 57. 


■never was. fo far fouth. as Jibbel Aurez, {o could only fay 
this from report. 

From Jibbel Aurcz nothing occurred in the flyle of ar- 
chitecture that was material. Hydra remained on the left 
hand. I came to Caflareen, the ancient Colonia Scillitana% 
where I fuffercd fome thing both from hunger and from fear. 
The country was more rugged and broken than any we 
had yet feen, and withal lei's fruitful and inhabited. The 
Moors of thefe parts are a rebellious tribe, called Nemem- 
mah, who had fled from their ordinary obligation of attend- 
ing the Bey, and had declared themfelves on the part of 
the rebel-moors, the Hcnncifhah. 

'My intentions now were to reach Feriana, the Thalaf 
of the ancients, where I expected confiderable fubjects for 
iludy ; but in this I was difappointed, and being on the 
frontier, and in dangerous times, when feveral armies were 
in the field, I thought it better to fleer my courfe eaft- 
ward, and avoid the theatre of war. 

"Journeying eaft, I came to Spaitla J, and again got into 
■the kingdom of Tunis. Spaitla is a corruption of SufTetula ||, 
which was probably its ancient name before it became a 
Roman colony; fo called from SufTetes, a magiftrature in 
all the countries dependent upon Carthage. Spaitla has ma- 
ny inicriptions, and very extenfive and elegant remains. 
There are three temples, two of them Corinthian, and one of 


'* Shaw's Travels, cap. v. p. 119* 
t Sal. Eel. Jug. § 94. L. Fior. lib. iii. cap. 1. % Shaft's Travels, chap. v. p. 118. 

f| Inn. Anton. p< 3* 

introduction: X xxi 

the Com pofite order; a great part of them is entire. A beautiful 
and perfect, capital of the Compofite order, the only perfect 
one that now exiits, is defigned, in all its parts, in a very 
large fize ; and, with the detail of the reft of the ruin, is a 
precious monument of what that order was, now in the col- 
lection of the King. 

Doctor Shaw, ftruck with the magnificence of Spaitla, 
lias attempted fomething like the three temples, in a ftile* 
much like what one would expect from an ordinary carpen- 
ter, or mafon. I hope I have done them more juilice, and 
I recommend the ftudy of the Compofite capital, as of the 
Corinthian capital at Dugga, to thofe who really wifh to 
know the tafte with which thefe two orders were executed 
in the time of the Antonines. - 

The Welled Omran, a lawlefs, plundering tribe, inquieted 
me much in the eight days I ftaid at Spaitla.. It was a fair 
match between coward and coward. With my company, I 
was inclofed in a fquare in which the three temples flood, 
where there yet remained aprecindt of high walls. Thefe 
plunderers would have come in to me , but were afraid of 
my fire-arms ; and I would have run away from them, had 
I not been afraid of meeting their horfe in the plain. I was 
almoft flarved to death, when I was relieved by the arrival 
of Welled Harlan, and a friendly tribe of Dreeda, that came 
to my affiftance, and brought me, at once, both fafety and 
provifion. . 

From Spaitla I went to Gilma, or Oppidum Chilma- 
nenfe. There is here a large extent of rubbifh and Hones, 
but no diftinct trace of any building whatever. 

4 FrO?4 :. 


From Gilma I palled to Muchtar, corruptly now fo call" 
ed. Its ancient name is Tucca Terebinthina *. Dr Shaw f 
fays its modern name is Sbeeba, but no fuch name is known 
here. I might have pafTed more directly from Spaitla fouth- 
ward, but a large chain of mountains, to whofe inhabitants 
I had no recommendation, made me prefer the fafer and 
plainer road by Gilma. At Tucca Terebinthina are two tri- 
umphal arches, the largeft of which I fuppofe equal in tafte, 
execution, and mafs, to anything now exifting in the world. 
The leflcr is more fimple, but very elegant. They are both, 
with all the particulars of their parts, not yet engraved, but 
Hill in my collection. 

From Muchtar, or Tucca Terebinthina, we came to KifTer$, 
which Dr Shaw conjectures to have been the Colonia Afiuras 
of the ancients, by this it fhould feem he had not been 
there ; for there is an inscription upon a triumphal arch 
of very good tafte, now ftanding, and many others to be 
met with up and down, which confirms beyond doubt his 
conjecture to be a juft one. There is, befides this, a iroall 
fquare temple, upon which are carved feveral inllruments 
of facrifice, which are very curious, but the execution of 
thefe is much inferior to the delign. It ftands on the de- 
clivity of a hill, above a large fertile plain, (till called the 
Plain of Surfe, which is probably a corruption of its ancient 
name Afiuras, 

From Kiffer I came to Mufti, where there is a trium- 
phal arch of very good ^tafte, but perfectly in ruins ; the 
j meri t 

* Itin. Anton, p. 3. t Shaw's Travels, cap. v. p. 115. 

X CeJ. Gsog. Antique, lib. iy. cap. 4. and cap. 5. p. 11S. 


merit of its fcveral parts only could be collcvftcd from the 
fragments which lie flrewed upon the ground. 

From Mufli * I proceeded north- ea-ft ward to Tuberfokc, 
thence again to Dugga, and down the Bagrada to Tu- 

My third, or, which may be called my middle journey 
through Tunis, was by Zowan, a high mountain, where is 
a large aqueducl: which formerly carried its water to Car- 
thage. Thence I came to Jelloula, a village lying below 
high mountains on the weft ; thefe are the Montes VafFaleti 
of Ptolemy $, as the town itfelf is the Oppidum Ufalitanum 
of Pliny. I fell here again into the ancient road at Gilma ; 
and, not fatisfied with what 1 had feen of the beauties of 
Spaitla, I pafled there five days more, correcting and revi- 
fing what I had already committed to paper. Independent 
of the treafure I found in the elegance of its buildings, the 
town itfelf is fituated in the mofl beautiful fpot in Barbary, 
furrounded thick with juniper-trees, and watered by a plea- 
fan t dream that finks there under the earth, and appears 
no more. 

Here I left my former road at CafTareen, and proceeding 
directly S. h. came to i eriana, the road that 1 had abandon- 
ed before from prudential motives, b eriana, as has been 
before obferved, is the ancient 1 hala, taken and deilroyed 
by Metellus in his purfuit of Jugurtha. I had formed, I 
know not from what rcafon, fanguine expectations of ele- 
Vol. I. e gant 

* Itin. Anton, p. 2. .t Ptol. Geog. lib. iy. p. in 


gant remains here, but in this I was difappointed ; I found' 
nothing remarkable but the baths of very warm water * 
without the town ; in thefe there was a number of fifli,. 
above four inches in length, not unlike gudgeons. Upon 
trying the heat by the thermometer, I remember to have 
been much furprifed that they could have exifled, or even not 
been boiled, by continuing long in the heat of this medium. 
As I marked the degrees with a pencil while I was myielf 
naked in the water, the leaf was wetted accidentally, fo that I 
mined the precife degree I meant to have recorded, and do 
not pretend to fupply it from memory. The bath is at the 
head of the fountain, and the dream runs off to a confider- 
able diftance. I think there were about five or fix dozen of 
thefe fifli in the pool. I was told likewife, that they went 
down into the dream to a certain diitance in the day, and 
returned to the pooL or warmed and deeped water, at. 

From Feriana I proceeded S. EAo Gafsa, the ancient Capfaf, 
and thence to Tozer, formerly Tifurus ||. I then turned 
nearly N. E. and entered a large lake of water called the 
Lake of Marks, becaufe in the paflage of it there is a row 
of large trunks of palm-trees let up to guide travellers in 
the road which erodes it. Docftor Shaw has fettled very 
diitinctly the geography of this place, and thofe about 
it. It is the Palus Tritonidis £ as he jultly obferves ; this 
was the mod barren and unpleafant part of my journey 


* This fountain is called El Tarmid. Nub. Geog. p. 86. 
* Sal. Bell. § 94. It Itin. Anton, p. 4. t Shaw ' 3 Travels, cap. v. p. 12& 


in Africa ; barren not only from the nature of its foil, but 
by its having no remains of antiquity in the whole courfe 
of it. 

From this I came to Gabs, or Tacape * after paffing El 
Hammah, the baths which were the Aquas Tacapitanas of 
antiquity, where the fmall river Triton, by, the moifture 
which it furniflies, moil agreeably and fuddenly changes 
the defert fcene, and covers the adjacent fields with all 
kinds of flowers and verdure. 

I was now arrived upon the leiTer Syrtis, and continued 
along the fea-coafl northward to Infhilla, without having 
made any addition to my obfervations. I turned again to 
the N. W. and came to El Gemme $, where there is a very 
large and fpacious amphitheatre, perfect as to the defola- 
tion of time, had not Mahomet Bey blown up four arches 
of it from the foundation, that it might not ferve as a for- 
trefs to the rebel Arabs. The fections, elevations, and plans, 
with the whole detail of its parts, are in the King's collec- 

I have ftill remaining, but not finiflied, the lower or fub- 
terraneous plan of the building, an entrance to which I 
forced open in my journey along the coaft to Tripoli. This 
was made fo as to be fdled with water by means of a fluke 
and aqueduct, which are ftill entire. The water rofe up in 
the arena, through a large fquare-hole faced with hewn- 
ftone in the middle, when there was occafion for water- 
games or naumachia. Doctor Shaw f imagines this was 

e 2 intended 

* Itin. Anton, p. 4. J Id. Ibid. f Shaw's Travels, p. 117. cap. 5. 


intended to contain the pillar that fupported the velum, 
which covered the fpe&ators from the influence of the fun. 
It might have ferved for both purpofes, but it feems to be 
too large for the latter, though I confefs the more I have 
confidered the fize and conitruftion of thefe amphitheatres, 
the lefs I have been able to form an idea concerning this 
velum, or the manner in which it ferved the people, how it 
wasfecured, and how it was removed. This was the lafc 
ancient building I vifited in the kingdom of Tunis, and I 
believe I may confidently fay, there is not, either in the ter- 
ritories of Algiers or Tunis, a fragment of good tafte of 
which I have not brought a drawing to Britain. 

I continued along the coaft to Sufa, through a fine coun- 
try planted with olive trees, and came again to Tunis, not 
only without difagreeable accident, but without any inter- 
ruption from ficknefs or other caufe. I then took leave of 
the Bey, and, with the acknowledgments ufual on fuch 
occafions, again fet out from Tunis, on a very ferious 
journey indeed, over the defert to Tripoli, the firft part of 
which to Gabs was the fame road by which I had fo 
lately returned. From Gabs 1 proceeded to the ifland of 
Geiba, the Meninx * Infula, or Ifland of the Lotophagi. 

Doctor Shaw fays, the fruit he calls the Lotus is very 
frequent all over that coaft. I wifh he had faid what was 
this Lotus. To fay it is the fruit the moft common on that 
coaft is no defcription, for there is there no fort of fruit 

whatever ; 

* Boch. Chan. lib. i. cap. 2 J. Shaw's Travels, cap. iv. p. 115. 


whatever; no bufh, no tree, nor verdure of any kind, ex- 
cepting the fliort grafs that borders thefe countries before 
you enter the moving fands of the defert. Doftor Shaw 
never was at Gerba, and has taken this particular from 
fome unfaithful ftory-teller. The Wargumma and Nolle,, 
two great tribes of Arabs, are mailers of thefe defcrts. Sid! 
Ifmain, whofe grandfather, the Bey of Tunis, had been de- 
throned and ftrangled by the Algerines, and who was him- 
felf then prifoner at Algiers, in great repute for valour, and 
in great intimacy with me, did often ule to fay, that he ac- 
counted his having pafled that defert on horfeback as the 
hardieit of all his undertakings. 

About four days journey from Tripoli I met the Emir 
Hadje conduding the caravan of pilgrims from Fez and 
Sus in Morocco, all acrofs Africa to Mecca, that is, from the 
Weftern Ocean, to the wefcern banks of the Red Sea in the 
kingdom of Sennaar. He was a middle-aged man, uncle 
to the prefent emperor, of a very uncomely, rtupid kind of 
countenance. His caravan confifted of about 3000 men, 
and, as his people faid, from 12,000 to 14,000 camels, part 
loaded with merchandife, part with fkins of water, flour, 
and other kinds of food, for the maintenance of the hadjees ; 
they were a fcurvy, diforderly, unarmed pack, and when my 
horfemen, tho' but fifteen in number, came up with them 
in the grey of the morning, they mewed great figns of tre- 
pidation, and were already flying in confufion. When 
informed who they were, their fears ceafcd, and, after 
the ufual manner of cowards, they became extremely info- 



At Tripoli I met the Hon. Mr Frazer of Lovat, his Majefty's 
oonfu'l in that ftation, from whom I received every fort of 
kindnefs, comfort, and affiftance, which I very much need- 
ed after fo rude a journey, made with fuch diligence that 
two of my horfes died fome days after. 

I had hopes of finding fomething at Lebeda, formerly 
Leptis Magna *, three days journey from Tripoli, where are 
indeed a great number of buildings, many of which are 
covered by the fands ; but they are of a bad tafle, moflly 
ill-proportioned Dorics of the time of Aurelian. Seven 
large columns of granite were ihipped from this for France, 
in the reign of Louis XIV. deflined for one of the palaces 
he was then building. The eighth was broken on the way, 
and lies now upon the fhore. Though I was difappointed 
at Lebeda, ample amends were made me at Tripoli on my 

From Tripoli I fent. an Englifh fervant to Smyrna with 
my books, drawings, and fupernumerary inftruments, re- 
taining only extracts from fuch authors as might be necef- 
fary for me in the Pentapolis, or other parts of the Cyrenai- 
cum. I then croffed the Gulf of Sidra, formerly known 
by the name of the Syrtis Major, and arrived at Bengazi, the 
ancient Berenice §, built by Ptolemy Philadelphus. 

The brother of the Bey of Tripoli commanded here, a 

young man, as weak in undcrflanding as he was in health. 

2 All 

* Itin.. Anton, p. 104. § Ptol. Geog. p. 4. 


All the province was in extreme confufion. Two tribe 
Arabs, occupying the territory to the weft of the town, who 
in ordinary years, and in time of peace, were the fources of 
its wealth and plenty, had, by the mifmanagement of the 
Bey, entered into deadly quarrel. The tribe that lived moil 
ro the wcihvard, and which was reputed the weakeit, had 
beat the moll numerous that was nearefc the town, called 
Welled Abid, and driven them within its walls. The in- 
habitants of Bengazi had for a year before been la- 
bouring under a fevere famine, and by this accident a- 
bout four thoufand perfons, of all ages and fexes, were 
forced in upon them, when perfectly deftitute of eve- 
ry neceffary. Ten or twelve people were found dead 
every night in the ltreets, and life was faid in many to be 
fupported by food that human nature fliudders at the 
thoughts of. Impatient to fly from thefe Thyeftean feafts, 
I prevailed upon the Bey to fend me out fome diftance to 
the fouthward, among, the Arabs where famine had been, 
lefs felt. 

I encompassed a great part of the Pentapolis, vifited the 
ruins of Arfinoe, and.though I was much more feebly recom- 
mended than ufual, I happily received neither infult nor in- 
jury. Finding nothing at Arfinoe nor Barca, I continued 
my journey to Ras Sem, the petrified city, concerning 
which fo many monftrous lies were told by the Tripoline 
ambanador, Caffem Aga, at the beginning of this century, 
and all believed in England, though they carried falfehood 
upon the very face of them*. It was not then the age of" 


* Show's Travels, feft. TJ.p. ij<5. 


incredulity, We were faft advancing to the celebrated epoch 
of the man in the pint-bottle, and from that time to be as 
.abfurdly incredulous as we were then the revcrfe, and with 
the fame degree of reafon. 

Ras Sem is five long days journey fouth from Bengazi; it 
has no water, except a fpring very difagreeable to the tafle, 
that appears to be impregnated with alum, and this has 
given it the name it bears of Ras Sem, or the Fountain of 
Poifon, from its bitternefs. The whole remains here con- 
fift in the ruins of a tower or fortification, that feems to be 
a work full as late as the time of the Vandals. How or 
what ufe they made of this water I cannot pofiibly guefs ; 
they had no other at the diftance of two days journey. I 
was not fortunate enough to difcover the petrified men and 
horfes, the women at the churn, the little children, the cats, 
the dogs, and the mice, which his Barbarian excellency af- 
fured Sir Hans Sloane exifted there : Yet, in vindication of 
his Excellency, I muft fay, that though he propagated, yet he 
did not invent this falfehood ; the Arabs who conducted me 
maintained the fame ftories to be true, till I was within two 
hours of the place, where I found them to be falfe. I 
faw indeed mice *, as they are called, of a very extraordi- 
nary kind, having nothing of petrifaction about them, 
but agile and active, fo to partake as much of the bird as 
the beaft. 

Approaching now the fea-coaft I came to Ptolometa, the 
ancient Ptolemais J, the work of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the 


* Jerboa, fee a figure of it in the Appendix. J Itin. Anion, p. 4. 


walls and gates of which city arc ftill entire. There is a 
prodigious number of Greek inferiptions, but there remain 
only a few columns of the portico, and an Ionic temple, in 
the firft manner of executing that order ; and therefore, 
flight as the remains are, they are trcafures in the hiftory 
of architecture which are worthy to be preferved. Thefc 
are in the King's collection, with all the parts that could be 

Here I met a fmall Greek junk belonging to Lampedo- 
fa, a little ifland near Crete, which had been unloading 
corn, and was now ready to fail. At the fame time the 
Arabs of Ptolometa told me, that the Welled Ali, a powerful 
tribe that occupy the whole country between that place 
and Alexandria, were at war among themfelves, and had 
plundered the caravan of Morocco, of which I have already 
fpoken, and that the pilgrims compofing it had moftly pe- 
rifhed, having been Scattered in the defert without water ; 
that a great famine had been at Derna, the neighbouring 
town, to which I intended to go ; that a plague had follow- 
ed, and the town, which is divided into upper and lower, 
was engaged in a civil war. This torrent of ill news was 
irrefiftiblc, and was of a kind I did not propofc to wreftle 
with ; befides, there was nothing, as far as I knew, that me- 
rited the rifk. I refolved, therefore, to fly from this inhof- 
pitable coafl, and fave to the public, at leaft, that knowledge 
and entertainment I had acquired for them. 

I embarked on board the Greek vefTel, very ill accoutred, 
as we afterwards found, and, though it had plenty of fail, 
it had not an ounce of ballad. A number of people, men, 
women, and children, flying from the calamities which at- 

VOL. I. * tCIld 


tend famine, crowded in unknown to me ; but the paflage 
was fhort, the vefTel light, and the mailer, as we fuppofed, 
well accuftomed to thefe feas. The contrary of this, how- 
ever, was the truth, as we learned afterwards, when too 
late, for he was an abfolute landfman ; proprietor indeed 
of the vefTel, but this had been his firft voyage. We failed at 
dawn of day in as favourable and pleafant weather as ever 
I faw at fea. It was the beginning of September, and a 
light and deady breeze, though not properly fair, promifed 
a fhort and agreeable voyage ; but it was not long before 
it turned frefh and cold ; we then had a violent mower of 
hail, and the clouds were gathering as if for thunder. I 
obferved that we gained no offing, and hoped, if the wea- 
ther turned bad, to perfuade the Captain to put into Benga- 
zi, for one inconvenience he prefently difcovered, that they 
had not provi'fion on board for one day. 

HowrvER, the wind became contrary, and blew a violent 
ftorm, feeming to menace both thunder and rain. The vef- 
fel being in her trim with large latine fails, fell violently to 
leeward, and they fcarce would have' weathered the Cape 
that makes the entrance into the harbour of Eengazi. which 
is a very bad one, when all at once it (truck upon a funken 
rock, and feemed to be fet down upon it. The wind at that 
inftant feemed providentially to calm ; but I no fooner ob- 
ferved the fhip had ftruck than I began to think of my own 
fituation. We were not far from fhore, but there was an 
exceeding great fwell at fea. Two boats were Mill towed 
aftern of them, and had not been hoifted in. Roger M'Cor- 
mack, my Irifli fervant, had been a failor on board the Mo- 
narch before he deferted to the Spanifh fervice. He and 
the ether, who had likewiie been a failor, prefently untam- 


ed the largeft boat, and all three got down into her, follow- 
ed by a multitude of people whom we could not hinder, 
and there was, indeed, fomething that bordered on cruelty, 
in preventing poor people from uiing the fame means that 
we had done for preferving their lives ; yet, unlefs we had 
killed them, the prevention was impofiible, and, had we 
been inclined to that meafure, we dared not, as we were 
upon a Mooriih coaft. The moft that could be done was, 
to get loofe from the fhip as foon as poilible, and two oars 
were prepared to row the boat afliorc. I had ftript myfelf 
to a fhort under- waiftcoat and linen drawers ; a filk fafh, 
or girdle, was wrapt round me ; a pencil, fmall pocket-book, 
and watch, were in the breafl-pocket of my waiftcoat; two 
Moorifh and two Englifli fervants followed me ; the reft, 
more wife, remained on board. 

We were not twice the length of the boat from the vef- 
fel before a wave very nearly filled the boat. A howl of 
defpair from thofe that were in her mewed their helplefs 
flate, and that they were confeious of a danger they could 
not fhun. I lav/ the fate of all was to be decided by the 
very next wave that was rolling in ; and apprehenfive that 
£bme woman, child, or helplefs man would lay hold of me, 
and entangle my arms or legs and weigh me down, I cried 
to my fervants, both in Arabic and hngliGi, We are all loft; 
if you can fwim, follow me ; I then let myfelf down in 
the face of the wave. Whether that, or the next, filled the 
boat, I know not, as I went to leeward to make my dillance 
as great as poilible. I was a good, ftrong, and praclifed fwim- 
mer, in the flower cf life, full of health, trained to excrcife 
and fatigue of every kind, All this, however, which might 

F 2 have 


have availed much in deep water, was not fufficient when 
I came to the furf. I received a violent blow upon my 
bread from the eddy wave and reflux, which feemed as 
given me by a large branch of a tree, thick cord, or fome 
elaftic weapon. It threw me upon my back, made me fwal- 
low a confiderable quantity of water, and had then almoft 
fuffbcated me. 

I avoided the next wave, by dipping my head and letting 
it pafs over, but found myfelf breathlefs, exceedingly 
weary and exhaufled. The land, however, was before me, 
and clofe at hand. A large wave floated me up. I had the 
profpect of efcape flill nearer, and endeavoured to prevent 
myfelf from going back into the furf. My heart was flrong, 
but ftrength was apparently failing, by being involuntarily 
twilled about, and ftruck on the face and breafl by the vio- 
lence of the ebbing wave : it now feemed as if nothing re- 
mained but to give up the ftruggle, and refign to my def- 
tiny. Before I did this I funk to found if I could touch the 
ground, and found that I reached the fand with my feet, 
though the water was flill rather deeper than my mouth. 
The fuccefs of this experiment infufedinto me the ftrength 
of ten men, and I ftrove manfully, taking advantage of 
floating only with the influx of the wave, and preserving my 
ftrength for the ftruggle againft the ebb, which, by finking 
and touching the ground, I now made more eafy. At laft, 
finding my hands and knees upon the fands, I fixed my 
nails into it, and obftinately refilled being carried back at 
all, crawling a few feet when the fea had retired. I had 
perfectly loft my recollection and underftanding, and after 
creeping fo far as to be out of the reach of the fea, I fup- 



pofe I fainted, for from that time I was totally infenftble of 
any thing that palTed around me. 

In the mean time the Arabs, who live two fliort miles 
from the more, came down in crowds to plunder the veflel. 
One of the boats was thrown afliore, and they had belonging 
to them fome others ; there was one yet with the wreck 
which fcarcely appeared with its gunnel above water. All 
the people were now taken on more, and thofe only loft 
who perimed in the boat. What firft wakened me from 
this femblance of death was a blow with the butt-end of a 
lance, mod with iron, upon the juncture of the neck with 
the back- bone. This produced a violent fenfation of pain ; 
but it was a mere accident the blow was not with the point, 
for the fmall, fhort waiftcoat, which had been made at Al- 
giers, the fafli and drawers, all in the Turkifh fafhion, made 
the Arabs believe that I was a Turk ; and after many blows, 
kicks, and curfes, they ftript me of the little cloathing I had, 
and left me naked. They ufed the reft in the fame manner, .. 
then went to their boats to look for the bodies of thofe that 
were drowned. 

After the difcipline I had received, I had walked, or 
crawled up among fome white, fandy hillocks, where I fat 
down and concealed myfelf as much as poffible. The wea- 
ther was then warm, but the evening promifed to be cooler^ 
and it was fail drawing on; there was great danger to be ap- 
prehended if I approached the tents where the women were 
while I was naked, for in this cafe it was very probable I 
would receive another baftinado fomething worfe than the 
firft. Still I was fo confufed that I had not recollected I 
could fpeak to them in their own language, and it now on- 


ly came into my mind, that by the gibbcrifh, in imi- 
tation of Turkifh, which the Arab had uttered to me 
while he was beating and {tripping me, he took me for 
a Turk, and to this in. all probability the ill-ufage was 

An old man and a number of young Arabs came up to 
me where I was fitting. I gave them the falute Salam Jfi- 
cum ! which was only returned by one young man, in a 
tone as if he wondered at my impudence. The old man 
then afked me, Whether I was a Turk, and what I had to 
do there? I replied, I was no Turk, but a poor Chriftian phy- 
fician, a Dervifh that went about the world feeking to do 
good for God's fake, was then flying from famine, and going 
to Greece to get bread. He then afked me if I was a Cre- 
tan ? I laid, I had never been in Crete, but came from Tu- 
nis, and was returning to that town, having loft every thing 
I had in the fhipwreck of that veflcl. I faid this in fo del- 
pairing a tone, that there was no doubt left with the Arab 
that the fad was true. A ragged, dirty baracan was imme- 
diately thrown over me, and I was ordered up to a tent, in 
the end of which flood a long fpear thrufl through it, a 
mark of fovereignty. 

I there faw the Shekh of the tribe, who being in peace 
with the Bey of Bengazi, and alfo with the bhekh of Ptolo- 
meta, alter many queflions ordered me a plentiful fupper, 
of which all my fervants partook, none of them having pe- 
rif! ed. \ multitude of consultations followed on their com- 
}• tints, of which I freed myfelf in the beft manner I could, 
aii dging the lofs of all my medicines, in order to induce 
iomeof them to fcek for the fcxtant at leaft, but all to no 
i purpofe, 


purpofe, fo that, after flaying two days among them, the 
Shekh reitored to us all that had been taken from us, and 
mounting us upon camels, and giving us a conductor, he 
forwarded us to Bengazi, where we arrived the fecond day 
in the evening. Thence I fent a compliment to the Shekh, 
and with it a man from the Bey, intreating that he would 
ufe all pofiible means to fiih up fome of my cafes, for 
which I allured him he mould not mifs a handfome re- 
ward. Promifes and thanks were returned, but I never 
heard further of my inftruments ; all I recovered was a 
filver watch of Mlicot, the work of which had been taken 
out and broken,fome pencils, and a fmall port- folio, in which 
were fketches of Ptolemeta; my pocket-book too was found, 
but my pencil was loft, being in a common fiiyer cafe, and' 
with them all the aftronomical observations which I had 
made in Barbary. I there loft a fextant, a parallactic in- 
flrument, a time- piece, a reflecting telefcope, an achromatic 
one, with many drawings, a copy of M. de la Caille's ephe- 
merides down to the year 1775, much to be regretted, as be- 
ing full of manufcript marginal notes ; a fmall camera ob- 
fcura, fome guns, piftols, a blunderbuf*, and feveral other 

I found at Bengazi a fmall French floop, the matter of 
which had been often at Algiers when I was conful there. 
I had even, as the rnafter remembered, done him fome lit- 
tle fervice, for which, contrary to the cullom of that fort of 
people, he was very grateful. He had come there laden 
with corn, and was going 110 the Archipelago, or towards 
the Morea, for more. The cargo he had brought was but a 
mite compared to the neceffities of the place ; it only re- 


lievcd the foldiers for a time, and many people of all ages 
and fexes were Hill dying every day. 

The harbour of Bengazi is full of nfh, and my company 
caught a great quantity with a fmall net ; we likewife pro- 
cured a multitude with the line, enough to have maintain- 
ed a larger number of perfons than the family confifled of; 
we got vinegar, pepper, and fome {lore of onions ; we had 
little bread it is true, but Hill our induftry kept us very far 
from ftarving. We endeavoured to inftrucl thefe wratches, 
gave them pack-thread, and fome coarfc hooks, by which 
they might have fubfifted with the fmalleft attention and 
trouble ; but they would rather flarve in multitudes, flriving 
to pick up fmgle grains of corn, that were fcattered upon the 
beach by the burfling of the facks, or the inattention of the 
mariners, than take the pains to watch one hour at the flow- 
ing of the tide for excellent fifli, where, after taking one, 
they were fure of being mailers of multitudes till it was 
high water. 

The Captain of the fmall vefTel loll no time. He had 
done his bufmefs well, and though he was returning for 
another cargo, yet he offered me what part of his funds I 
mould need with great franknefs. We now failed with a 
fair wind, and in four or live days cafv weather landed at 
Canea, a confiderable fortified place at the well end of the 
iiland of Crete. Here I was taken dangeroufly ill, occafion- 
ed by the bathing and extraordinary exertions in the fea 
of Prolometa, nor was I in the leall the better from the beat- 
ing I had received, figns of which I bore very long after- 




From Canea I failed for Rhodes, and there met my books ■; 
I then proceeded to CaftelroiFo, on the coaft of Caramania, 
and was there credibly informed that there were very mag- 
nificent remains of ancient buildings a fliort way from the 
more, on the oppofite continent. Caramania is a part of 
Afia Minor yet unexplored. But my illnefs increasing, it 
was impoflible to execute, or take any meafures to fecure 
protection, or do the bufinefs fafely, and I was forced to 
relinquilh this difcovery to fome more fortunate traveller. 

Mr Peyssonel, French conful at Smyrna, a man not more 
diftinguifhed for his amiable manners than for his polite 
tafle in literature, of which he has given feveral elegant 
fpecimens, furniihed me with letters for that part of Cara- 
mania, or Alia Minor, and there is no doubt but they would 
have been very efficacious. What increafed the obligation 
for this kind attention fhewn, was, that I had never feen 
Mr PeyfTonel ; and I am truly mortified, that, fince my arri- 
val in England, 1 have had no opportunity to return my 
grateful thanks for this kindnefs, which I therefore beg 
that he will now accept, together with a copy of thefe tra- 
vels, which I have ordered my French bookfeller to forward 
to him. 

From CaftelrofTo I continued, without any thing remark- 
able, till I came to Cyprus ; 1 ftaid there but half a day, and 
arrived at Sidon, where I was moft kindly received by Mr 
€lerambaut, brother-in-law to Mr Peyilbnel, and French 
conful at this place ; a man in politenefs, humanity, and 
every focial quality of the mind, inferior to none I have ever 
known. With him, and a very flouriming, well-informed, 
and induftrious nation, I continued for fome time, then 

Vol. L g in 


in a weak ftate of health, but ftill making partial excur- 
fions from time to time into the continent of Syria, through 
Libanus, and Anti Libanus ; but as I made thefe without 
inftruments, and pafled pretty much in the way of the tra- 
vellers who have defcribed thefe countries before, I leave the 
hiftory to thofe gentlemen, without fwelling, by entering 
into particular narratives, this Introduction, already too 

While at Canea I wrote by way of France, and again 
while at Rhodes by way of Smyrna, to particular friends 
both in London and trance, informing them of my difaftrous 
fituation, and defiring them to fend me a moveable qua- 
drant or fextant, as near as pofnble to two feet radius, more 
or lefs, a time-keeper, Hop- watch, a reflecting tele fcope, and 
one of Dolland's achromatic ones, as near as pofhble to 
three-feet reflectors, with feveral other articles which I then, 

I received from Paris and London much about the fame 
time, and as if it had been dictated by the fame perfon, 
nearly the fame anfwer, which was this, That everybody 
was employed in making inftruments for Danilh, Swedifh, 
and other foreign aftronomers ; that all thofe which were 
completed had been bought up, and without waiting a 
confiderable, indefinite time, nothing could be had that could 
be depended upon. At the fame time I was told, to my 
great mortification, that no accounts of me had arriveditom 
Africa, unlefs from feveral idle letters, which had been in- 
duflrioufly wrote by a gentleman whofe name 1 abftain 
from mentioning, firft, becaufe he is dead, and next, out o£ 
Eefpect to his truly great and worthy relations, 

3 lN 


In thefe letters it was announced, that I was gone with 
a Ruffian caravan through the Curdiflan, where I was to 
obferve the tranfit of Venus in a place where it was not vi- 
fible, and that I was to proceed to China, and return by the 
way of the Eaft Indies : — a ftory which fome of his correfpon- 
dents, as profligate as himfelf, induflrioufly circulated at 
the time, and which others, perhaps weaker than wicked, 
though wicked enough, have affedled to believe to this 

I conceived a violent indignation at this, and finding 
myfelf fo treated in return for fo complete a journey as I 
had then actually terminated, thought it below me to fa- 
crifice the belt years of my life to daily pain and danger, 
when the impreilion it made in the breafts of my country- 
men feemed to be fo weak, fo infinitely unworthy of them 
or me. One thing only detained me from returning home • 
it was my defire of fulfilling my promife to my Sovereign, 
and of adding the ruins of Palmyra to thofe of Africa, al- 
ready fecured and out of danger. 

In my anger I renounced all thoughts of the attempt to 
difcover the i'ources of the Nile, and I repeated my orders 
no more for either quadrant, telefcope, or time-keeper. I 
had pencils and paper ; and luckily my large camera obfcu- 
ra, which had efcaped the cataflrophe of Ptolometa, was ar- 
rived from Smyrna, and then Handing before me. I there- 
fore began to caft about, with my ufual care and anxiety, 
for the means of obtaining feafible and fafe methods of re- 
pc iting the famous journey to Palmyra. I found it was 
necefiary to advance nearer the fcene of aclion. Mr Abbot, 
Britiih conful for Tripoli in Syria, kindly invited me, and' 

G 2 after 


after him Mr Vernon, his fucceffor, a very excellent man, 
to take up my refidence there From Tripoli there is a 
trade in kelp carried on to the fait marfhes near Palmyra. 
The .shekh of Canateen, a town juft upon the edge of the 
defert, had a contract with the bafha of Tripoli for a quan- 
tity of this herb for the ufe of the foap- works. I loll no 
time in making a friendfhip with this man, but his return 
amounted to no more than to endeavour to lead me rafhly 
into real danger, where he knew he had not confequence 
enough to give me a moment's protection. 

There are two tribes almofl equally powerful who inha- 
bit the deferts round Palmyra ; the one is the Annecy, re- 
markable for the fineft breed of horfes in the world ; the 
other is the Mowalli, much better foldiers, but fewer in 
number, and very little inferior in the excellence of their 
horfes. The Annecy pofTefs the country towards the S. W. 
at the back of Libanus, about Bozra down the Hawran, and 
fouthward towards the borders of Arabia Petrea and Mount 
Horeb. The Mowalli inhabit the plains eaft of Damafcus 
to the Euphrates, and north to near Aleppo. 

These two tribes were not at war, nor were they at peace ; 
they were upon what is called ill-terms with each other, 
which is the moll dangerous time for Grangers to have any 
dealings with either. I learned this as a certainty from a 
friend at Hailia, where a Shekh lives, to whom I was re- 
commended by a letter, as a friend of the bafha of Damaf- 
cus. This man maintains his influence, not by a number 
of forces, but by conltantly marrying a relation of one or 
both of thele tribes of Arabs, who for that reaibn aflift him 
in maintaining the fecurity of his road, and he has the care 

3 ° f 


of that part of it by which, the couriers pafs from Conftan- 
tinople into Egypt, belonging to both thefe tribes, who 
were then at a diilance from each other, and roved in flying 
fquadrons all round Palmyra, by way of maintaining their 
right of pafture in places that neither of them chofe at that 
time to occupy. Thefe, I fuppofe, are what the Englifli 
writers call Wild Arabs, for orherwife, though they are all 
wild enough, 1 do not know one wilder than another. This 
is very certain, thefe young men, compofing the flying par- 
ties I fpeak of, are truly wild while at a diftance from their 
campand government; andtheftranger that falls in unawares 
with them, and efcapes with his life, may fet himfelf down 
as a fortunate traveller. 

Returning from Haflia I would have gone fouthward to 
Baalbec, but it was then belieged by hmir Youfef prince of 
the Drufes, a Pagan nation, living upon mount Libanus. 
Upon that I returned to Tripoli, in Syria, and after fome time 
fet out for Aleppo, travelling northward along the plain of 
Jeune betwixt mount Lebanon and the fea. 

I visited the ancient Byblus, and bathed with pleafure 
in the river Adonis. All here is claflic ground. I faw feve- 
ral confiderable ruins of Grecian architecture all very much 
defaced. Thefe are already publifhed by Mr Drummond, 
and therefore I left them, being never defirous of interfer- 
ing with the works of others. 

I passed Latikea, formerly Laodicea ad Mare, and then 
came to Antioch, and afterwards to Aleppo. The fever and 
ague, which I had firfl caught in my cold bath at Bengazi, 
had returned upon me with great violence, after pafling 



one night encamped in the mulberry gardens behind Si- 
don. It had returned in very flight paroxyfms feveral 
times, but laid hold of me with more than ordinary violence 
on my arrival at Aleppo, where I came juft in time to the 
houfe of Mr Belville, a French merchant, to wnom I was 
addreffed for my credit. Never was a more lucky addrefs, 
never was there a foul fo congenial to my own as was that 
of Mr Belville : to fay more after this would be praifmg my- 
felf. To him was immediately added Doctor Patrick Ruffe], 
phyfician to the Britifh factory there. Without the atten- 
tion and friendfliip of the one, and the fkill and anxiety of 
the other of thefe gentlemen, it is probable my travels 
would have ended at Aleppo. I recovered flowly. By the 
report of thefe two gentlemen, though I had yet feen no- 
body, I became a public care, nor did I everpafs more agree- 
able hours than with Mr Thomas the French conful, his fa- 
mily, and the merchants eftablifhed there. From Doclor Ruf- 
fel I was fupplied with what I wanted, fome books, and 
much inftruetion. Noboby knew the difeafes of the Eaft 
fo well ; and perhaps my efcaping the fever at Aleppo 
was not the only time in which I owed him my life. 

Being now reftored to health, my firfl object was the 
journey to Palmyra. The Mowalli were encamped at no 
great diftancefrom Aleppo. It was without difficulty I found 
a fure way to explain my wiffies, and to fecure the afliftance 
of Mahomet Kerfan, the Shekh, but from him I learned, in 
a manner that I could not doubt, that the way I intended 
to go down to Palmyra from the north was tedious, trouble- 
fome, uncertain, and expenfive, and that he did not wifh me 
to undertake it at that time. It is quite fuperfluous in thefe 



cafes toprefs for particular information; an Arab conductor., 
who proceeds with caution, furely means you well. He 
told me that he would leave a friend in the houfe of a cer- 
tain Arab at Hamath * about half-way to Palmyra, and if 
in fomething more than a month 1 came there, and found 
that Arab, I might rely upon him without fear, and he 
would conduct me in fafety to Palmyra. 

I returned to Tripoli, and at the time appointed fet out 
for Hamath, found my conductor, and proceeded to HaiTia. 
Coming from Aleppo, I had not palled the lower way again, 
by Antioch. The river which panes through the plains 
where they cultivate their beft tobacco, is the Orontes ; it was 
fo fwollen with rain, which had fallen in the mountains,, 
that the ford was no longer viable. Stopping at two mifer- 
able huts inhabited by a bafe fet called Turcomans, I alked 
the mafter of one of them to fhew me the ford, which he 
very readily undertook to do, and I went, for the length of 
fome yards, on rough, but very hard and folid ground. The 
current before me was, however, fo violent, that 1 had more 
than once a defire to turn back, but, not fufpecting any 
thing, I continued, when on a fudden man and horfe fell, 
out of their depth into the river. 

I had a rifled gun flung acrofs my moulder, with a buff 
belt and fwivel. As long as that held, it fo embarraffed ray 
hands and legs that I could not fwim, and muft have funk ; 
but luckily the fwivel gave way, the gun fell to the bottom 
of the river, and was pickt up in dry weather by order of 


The north boundary of the Holy Land. 


the bafha, at the defire of the French merchants, who kept it 
for a relict. I and my horfe fwam feparately afhore ; at a 
fmall diftance from thence was a caphar*, or turnpike, to 
which, when I came to dry myfelf, the man told me, that 
the place where I had crofled was the remains of a Hone 
bridge now entirely carried away ; where I had firft enter- 
ed was one of the wings of the bridge, from which I had 
fallen into the fpace the firft arch occupied, one of the 
deepeft parts of the river ; that the people who had mif- 
guided me were an infamous fet of banditti, and that I 
might be thankful on many accounts that I had made fuch 
an efcape from them, and was now on the oppofite fide. I 
then prevailed on the caphar-man to fhew my fervants the 
right ford. 

From HafTia we proceeded with our conductor to Caria- 
teen, where there is an immenfe fpring of fine water, which 
overflows into a large pool. Here, to our great furprife, we 
found about two thoufand of the Annecy encamped, who 
were quarrelling with Haffan our old friend, the kelp-mer- 
chant. This was nothing to us ; the quarrel between the 
Mowalli and Annecy had it feems been made up ; for an 
old man from each tribe on horfeback accompanied us to 
Palmyra : the tribes gave us camels for more commodious 
travelling, and we paffed the deiert between Cariateen and 
Palmyra in a day and two nights, going conilantly without 


* It is a poll where a party of men are kept to receive a contribution, for maintaining the 
fecurity of the roads, from all paffengers. 


Just before we came in fight of the ruins, we afcended 
a hill of white gritty ftone, in a very narrow- winding road, 
fuch as we call a pafs, and, when arrived at the top, there 
opened before us the raoft aftonifhing, flupendous fight that 
perhaps ever appeared to mortal eyes. The whole plain 
below, which was very extenfive, was covered fo thick with 
magnificent buildings as that the one feemed to touch the 
other, all of fine proportions, all of agreeable forms, all com- 
pofed of white ftones, which at that diitance appeared like 
marble. At the end of it flood the palace of the fun, a 
building worthy to clofe fo magnificent a fcene. 

It was impofhble for two perfons to think of dcfigning 
ornaments, or taking meafures, and there feemed the lefs 
occafion for this as Mr Wood had done this part already. I 
had no intention to publiih any thing concerning Palmyra ; 
belides, it would have been a violation of my firit principle 
not to interfere with the labours of others ; and if this was 
a rule I inviolably obferved as to ftrangers, every fentiment 
of reafon and gratitude obliged me to pay the fame refpect 
to the labours of Mr Wood my friend. 

I divided Palmyra into fix angular views, always bring- 
ing forward to the firft ground an edifice, or principal group 
of columns, that deferved it. The flate of the buildings are 
particularly favourable for this purpofe. The columns are 
all uncovered to the very bafes, the foil upon which the 
town is built being hard and fixed ground. Thefe views 
are all upon large paper ; the columns in fome of them are 
a root long ; the figures in the fore-ground of the temple of 
the fu 1 are fome of them near four inches. 

Vol. I. « Before 


Before our departure from Palmyra I obferved its lati- 
tude with a Hadley's quadrant from reflection. The in- 
ftrument had probably warped in carriage, as the index 
went unpleafantly, and as it were by ftarts, fo that I will not 
pretend to give this for an exacl: obfervation ; yet, after all 
the care I could take, I only apprehended that 33° 58' for the 
latitude of Palmyra, would be nearer the truth than any other. 
Again, that the diftance from the coaft in a ftraight line 
being 1 60 miles, and that remarkable mountainous cape on 
the coaft of Syria, between Byblus and Tripoli, known by the 
name of Theoprofopon, being nearly due weft, or under the 
fame parallel with Palmyra, I conceive the longitude of 
that city to be nearly 37 9' from the obfervatory of Green- 

From Palmyra I proceeded to Baalbec, diftant about 130 
miles, and arrived the fame day that Emir Youfef had 
reduced the town and fettled the government, and was de- 
camping from it on his return home. This was the 
luckieft moment poffible for me, as I was the Emir's friend, 
and I obtained liberty to do there what I pleafed, and to 
this indulgence was added the great convenience of the 
Emir's ab fence, fo that I was not troubled by the obfervance 
of any court- ceremony or attendance, or teazed with im- 
pertinent queftions. 

Baalbec is plcafantly fituated in a plain on the weft of 
And Libanus, is finely watered, and abounds in gar- 
dens. It is about fifty miles from HaiTia, and about thirty 
from the neareft fea-coaft, which is the fituation of the an- 
cient Byblus. The interior of the great temple of Baalbec, 
fuppofed to be that of the fun, furpafles any thing at Pal- 

myra fc 


myra, indeed any fculpture I ever remember to have feen 
in ftone. All thefe views of Palmyra and Baalbec are now 
in the King's collection. They are the moil magnificent 
offering in their line that ever was made by one fubject to 
his fovereign. 

Passing by Tyre, from curiofity only, I came to be a 
mournful witnefs of the truth of that prophecy, That Tyre, 
the queen of nations, mould be a rock for fifkers to dry 
their nets on*. Two wretched fifhermen, with miferable 
nets, having j uft given over their occupation with very little 
fuccefs, I engaged them, at the expence of their nets, to 
drag in thofe places where they faid ihell-fifli might be 
caught, in hopes to have brought out one of the famous 
purple-fiih, I did not fucceed, but in this I was, I believe, as 
lucky as the old feflaers had ever been. The purple fifh at 
Tyre feems to have been only a concealment of their know- 
ledge of cochineal, as, had they depended upon the fifh for 
their dye, if the whole city of Tyre applied to nothing elfe 
but fifhing, they would not have coloured twenty yards of 
cloth in a year. Much fatigued, but fatisfied beyond mea- 
fu-re with what I had feen, I arrived in perfed health, and 
in the gayeft humour poiliblc, at the hofpitable manfion of 
M. Clerambaut at Sidon. 

I found there letters from Europe, which were in a very 
different flyle from the laft. From London, my friend Mr 
Ruflel acquainted me, that he had fent me an excellent 
reflecting telefcope of two feet focal length, moved by 

h 2 rack- 

* Ezek. chap. xxvi. ver. 5. 


rack- work, and the laft Mr Short ever made, which proved 
a very excellent inftrument ; alfo an achromatic telefcope 
by Dolland, nearly equal to a three-feet reflector, with a 
foot, or itand, very artificially compofed of rulers fixed to- 
gether by fcrews. I think this inftrument might be im- 
proved byfhortening the three principal legs of it. If the 
legs of its ftand were about fix inches fhorter, this, without 
inconvenience, would take away the little make it has when 
ufed in the outer air. Perhaps this defect is not in all te- 
lefcopes of this conftruction. It is a pleafant inftrument, 
and for its fize takes very little packing, and is very ma- 

I have brought home both thefe inftrumems after per- 
forming the whole journey, and they are now (landing in 
my library, in the moft perfect order ; which is rather to be 
wondered at from the accounts in which moft travellers 
feem to agree, that metal fpeculums, within the tropics, fpot 
and ruft fo much as to be ufelefs after a few observations 
made at or near the zenith. The fear of this, and the fra- 
gility of glafs of achromatic telefcopes, were the occafion 
of a conftderable expence to me; but from experience I found,, 
that, if a little care be taken, one reflector would be Sufficient 
for a very long voyage* 

From Paris I received a time-piece and a (top- watch made 
by M. Lepeaute, dearer than Ellicot's, and refembling his in 
nothing elfe but the price. The clock was a very neat, 
portable inftrument, made upon very ingenious, flmple prin- 
ciples, but fome of the parts were fo grofsly neglected in 
the execution, and fo unequally finifhed,. that it was not 
difficult for the meaneft novice in the trade to point out the 



caufe of its irregularity. It remains with me in flam quo. 
It has been of very little ule to me, and never will be of 
much more to any perfon elfe. The price is, I am fure, ten 
times more than it ought to be in any light I can confider 

All thefe letters dill left me in abfolute defpair about 
obtaining a quadrant, and consequently gave me very little 
fa refaction, but in fome meafure confirmed me in my refo- 
lution already taken, to go from Sidon to Egypt; as I had 
then fecn the greater! part of the good architecture in the 
world, in all its degrees of perfection down to its decline, I 
wilhed now only to fee it in its origin, and for this it was 
necefTaiy to go to Egypt. 

Norden, Pococke, and many others, had given very in- 
genious accounrs of Egyptian architecture in general, of the 
difpofition and fize of their temples, magnificence of their 
materials, their hieroglyphics, and the various kinds of 
them, of their gilding, of their painting, and their prefent 
ftateof prefervation. I thought Something more might be 
learnt as to the firft proportions of their columns, and 
the conftruction of their plans. Dendera, the ancient 
Tentyra, feemed by their accounts to offer a fair field for 

I had already collected together a great many obfervations 
on the progrefs of Greek and Roman architecture in differ- 
ent ages, drawn not from books or connected with fyftem, 
but from the models themfelves, which I myfelf had mea- 
fured, I had been long of the opinion, in which I am full 
further confirmed, that tafle for ancient architecture, found- 


cd upon the examples that Italy alone can furnifh, was net 
giving ancient architects fair play. AVhat was to be 
learned from the firft proportions of their plans and eleva- 
tions feemed to have remained untouched in Egypt ; after 
having confidered thefe, I propofed to live in retirement on 
my native patrimony, with a fair Hock of unexceptionable 
materials upon this fubject, to ferve for a pleafant and ufe- 
ful amufement in my old age. I hope ftill thefe will not be 
loft to the public, unlefs the encouragement be in propor- 
tion to what my labours have already had. 


I now received, however, a letter very unexpectedly by 

way of Alexandria, which, if it did not overturn, at leaft 

fhook thefe refolutions. The Comte de Buffon, Monf. Guys 

of Marfeilles, and feveral others well known in the literary 

world, had ventured to ftate to the minifter, and through 

him to the king of France, Louis XV. how very much it was 

to be lamented, that after a man had been found who was 

likely to fucceed in removing that opprobrium of travellers 

and geographers, by discovering the fources of the Nile, one 

moil unlucky accident, at a moil unlucky time, mould fruf- 

trate the moft promifing endeavours. That prince, diftin- 

guifhed for every good quality of the heart, for benevolence, 

beneficence, and a defire of promoting and protecting 

learning, ordered a moveable quadrant of his own military 

academy at Marfeilles, as the neareft and moft convenient 

port of embarkation, to be taken down and fen? to me at 


With this I received a letter from Mr Ruffel, which in- 
formed me that cuironcmcrs had begun to cOol in the {'an- 
guine expectations of difcevcring the precife quantity of 



the fun's parallax by obfervation of the tranfit of Venus, 
from fome apprehenlion that errors of the obfervers would 
probably be more than the quantity of the equation fought, 
and that they now ardently wifhed for a journey into A- 
byflinia, rather than an attempt to fettle a nicety for which 
the learned had now begun to think the accuracy of our 
inftruments was not fufficient. A letter from my correfpon- 
dent at Alexandria alfo acquainted me, that the quadrant, 
and all other inftruments, were in that city. 

What followed is the voyage itfelf, the fubjecl: of the 
prefent publication. I am happy, by communicating every 
previous circumftance that occurred to me, to have done all 
in my power to remove the greateft part of the reafonable 
doubts and difficulties which might have perplexed the rea- 
der's mind, or biafted his judgment in the perufal of the 
narrative of the journey, and in this I hope I have fucceed- 

I have now one remaining part of my promife to fulfil, 
to account for the delay in the publication. It will not be 
thought furprifmg to any that mall reflect on the diftant, 
dreary, and defert ways by which all letters were necefla- 
rily to pafs, or the civil wars then raging in Abyflinia, the 
robberies and violences infeparable from a total difiblution 
of government, fuch as happened in my time, that no ac- 
counts for many years, one excepted, ever arrived in Eu- 
rope. One letter, accompanied by a bill for a fum borrow- 
ed from a Greek at Gondar, found its way to Cairo ; all 
the reft had mii'earried : my friends at home gave me up 
for dead ; and, as my death muft have happened in circum- 
fiances difficult to have been proved, my property became 



as it were an hereditas jacens, without an owner, abandoned 
in common to thofe whofe original title extended no fur- 
ther than temporary pofTeflion. 

A number of law-fuits were the inevitable confequence 
of this upon my return. Une carried on with a very expen- 
iive obftinacy for the fpace of ten years, by a very opulent 
and active company, was determined finally in the Houfe 
of Peers, in the compafs of a very few hours, by the weiL> 
known fagacity and penetration of a noble Lord, who, hap- 
pily for the fubjecls of both countries, holds the firlt office 
in the law; and lb judicious was the fentence, that har- 
mony, mutual confidence, and good neighbourhood has 
ever fince been the confequence of that determination, 

Other fuits ftill remained, which unfortunately were 
not arrived to the degree of maturity to be fo cut off; 
they are yet depending ; patience and attention, it is hoped, 
may bring them to an ifiue at fome future rime No impu- 
tarion of rafhnefs can potlibly fall upon the decree, fince 
the action has depended above thirty years. 

To thefe diftgreeable avocarions, which took up much 
time, were added others ftill more unformnate. The re- 
leivlefs ague caught at Bengazi maintained its groiinc- at 
times for a ipace of more than fixteen years, though every 
remedy had been ufed, but in vain; and, what was wuiii 
of all, a lingering difteinper had ferioufly threatened the 
life of a nioft near relation, which, after nine years conftant 
alarm, where every duty bound me to attention and atcend- 
i ance.3 


ance, concluded her at laft, in very early life, to her 
grave *. 

The love of folitude is the conflant follower of affliction ; 
this again naturally turns an inftrueted mind to ftudy. My 
friends unanimoufly afTailed me in the part mofl acceffible 
when the fpirits are weak, which is vanity. They repre- 
fented to me how ignoble it was, after all my dangers and 
difficulties were over, to be conquered by a misfortune inci- 
dent to all men, the indulging of which was unreafonable 
in itfelf, fruitlefs in its confequences,and fo unlike the ex- 
pectation I had given my country, by the firmnefs and in- 
trepidity of my former character and behaviour. Among 
thefe, the principal and moil urgent was a gentleman well 
known to the literary world, in which he holds a rank near- 
ly as diftinguiflied as that to which his virtues entitle him 
in civil life ; this v/as the H on. Daines Barrington, whofe 
friendfhip, valuable on every account, had this additional 
merit, that it had exifted uninterrupted fince the days we 
were at fchool. It is to this gentleman's perfuafions, affifl- 
ance, protection, and friendfhip, that the world owes this 
publication, if indeed there is any merit in it ; at leaft, 
they are certainly indebted to him for the opportunity of 
judging whether there is any merit in it or not. 

No great time has paned fince the work was in hand. 

The materials collected upon the fpot were very full, and 

feldom deferred to be fet down beyond the day wherein 

the events defcribed happened, but oftner, when fpeeches 

Vol. I. i and 

* Mrs Bruce died in 1784. 


and arguments were to be mentioned, they were noted the 
inftant afterwards ; for, contrary I believe to what is often 
the cafe, I can allure the reader thefe ipeeches and conver- 
fations are abfolutely real, and not the fabrication of after- 

It will perhaps be faid, this work hath faults; nay, per- 
haps, great ones too, and this I readily confefs. But I mud 
likewife beg leave to fay, that I know no books of the kind 
that have not nearly as many, and as great, though perhaps 
not of the fame kind with mine. To fee diltinctly and ac- 
curately, to defcribe plainly, difpaffionarely and truly, is all 
that ought to be expected from one in my fituation, con- 
ilantly furrounded with every fort of difficulty and dan- 

It may be faid, too, there are faults in the language %. 
more pains mould have been taken. Perhaps it may 
be fo ; yet there has not been wanting a confiderable de- 
gree of attention even to this. 1 have not indeed confined 
myfeif to a painful and ilaviui nicety that would have pro- 
duced nothing but a difageeable Uiilnefs in the narrative. 
It will be remembered likewife, that one of the motives of 
my writing is my own amufement, and I would much ra- 
ther renounce the fubjecl altogether than walk in fetters 
of my own forging. The language is, like the fubject, rude 
and manly.. My paths have not been flowery ones, nor 
would it have added any credit to the work, or entertain- 
ment to the reader, to employ in it a fiile proper only to 
works of imagination and pleafure. Thefe trifling faults 
I willingly leave as food to the malice of critics, who per- 



feaps, were it not for thefe blemifhes, would find no other en- 
joyment in the perufal or" the work. 

It has been faid that parties have been formed againfl 
this work. Whether this is really the cafe 1 cannot fay, nor 
have I ever been very anxious in the inquiry. They have 
been harmlefs adverfaries at leaft, for no bad effects, as far 
as I know, have ever as yet been the consequences ; neither 
is it a difquifition that I ihall ever enter into, whether this is 
owing to the want of will or of power. I rather believe it is 
to the former, the want of will, for no one is fo perfectly 
inconfiderable, as to want the power of doing mifchief. 

Having now fulfilled my promife to the reader, in giv- 
ing him the motive and order of my travels, and the reafon 
why the publication has been delayed, I fhall proceed to the 
laft article promifed, the giving fnme account of the work 
itfelf. The book is a large one, and expenfive by the num- 
ber of engravings ; this was not at firil intended, but the 
journey has proved a long one, and matter has inc.reafed as it 
were inienfibly under my hands. It is now come to fill a 
great chafm in the hiftory of the univerfe. It is not intend- 
ed to referable the generility of modern travels, the agree- 
able and rational amufement of one vacant day, it is calcu- 
lated to employ a greater fpace of time. 

Those that are the beft acquainted with Diodorus, Hero- 
dotus, and fome other Greek hiftorians, wtii find f me very 
confiderable difficulties removed ; and they thai are unac- 
quainted with thefe authors, and receive from this work the 
firfl. information of the geography, climate, and manners of 
thefe countries, which are little altered, will have no great 

1 2 occafion 


occafion to regret they have not fearched for information irr 
more ancient fources. 

The work begins with my voyage from Sidon to Alex- 
andria, and up the Nile to the firft cataract. The reader 
will not expect that I fhould dwell long upon the particular 
hiftory of Egypt ; every other year has furnilhed us with 
fome account of it, good or bad ; and the two laft publica- 
tions of M. Savary and Volney feem to have left the fub- 
ject thread-bare. This, however, is not the only reafon. 

After Mr Wood and Mr Dawkins had published their 
Ruins of Palmyra, the late king of Denmark, at his own ex- 
pence, fent out a number of men, eminent in their feveral 
profeflions, to make difcoveries in the eaft, of every kind, 
with thefe very flattering inft ructions, that though they 
might, and ought, to vifit both Baalbec and Palmyra for 
their own ftudies and improvement, yet he prohibited them 
to fo far interfere with what the Englifh travellers had done, 
as to form any plan of another work fimilar to theirs. This 
compliment was gratefully received; and, as I was directly 
to follow this million, Mr Wood defiredme to return it, and 
to abflain as much as poffible from writing on the fame 
fubjeits chofen by M. Niebuhr, at leaft to abflain either 
from criticifing or differing from him on fuch fubjeits. I 
have therefore palled flightly over Egypt and Arabia ; per- 
haps, indeed, i have faid enough of both : if any fhall be of 
another opinion, they may have recourfe to M. Niebuhr's 
more copious work ; he was the only perfon of fix who 
lived to come home, the reft having died in different parts 
of Arabia, without having been able to enter Abyflinia,one 
of the objects of their miflion. 



My leaving Egypt is followed by my furvey of the Ara- 
bian gulf as far as the Indian Ocean — Arrival at Mafuah 
— Some account of the firft peopling of Atbara and Abyflinia 
—Conjectures concerning language — Firft ages of the In- 
dian trade — Foundation of the Abyffinian monarchy, and 
various revolutions till the Jewifh ufurpation about the year 
900. fhefe compofe the firft volume. 

The fecond begins with the reftoration of the line of So- 
lomon, compiled from their own annals, now firft tranflated 
from the Ethiopic ; the original of which has been lod- 
ged in the Britifh Mufeum, to fatisfy the curiofity of the 

The third comprehends my journey from Mafuah to 
Gondar, and the manners and cuftoms of the Abyffinians, 
alfo two attempts to arrive at the fountains of the Nile— 
Defcription of thefe fources, and of every thing relating to 
that river and its inundation. 

The fourth contains my return from the fource of the 
Nile to Gondar — The campaign of Serbraxos, and revolution 
that followed — My return through Sennaar and Beja, or 
the Nubian defert, and my arrival at Marfeilles. 

In overlooking the work I have found one circumftance, 
and 1 think no more, which is not fufficiently clear, and 
may create a momentary doubt in the reader's mind, al- 
though to thole who have been fufficiently attentive to the 
narrative, I can fcarce think it will do this. The diffi- 
culty is, How did you procure funds to fupport yourfelf, 



and ten men, fo long, and fo eafily, as to enable you to un- 
dervalue the uieful character of a phyiician, and feek nei- 
ther to draw money nor protection from it ? And how came 
it, that, contrary to the ufage of other travellers, at Gondar 
you maintained a character of independence and equality, 
efpecially at court ; inftead of crouching, living out of fight 
as much as pofiible, in continual fear of prieft--, under the 
patronage, or rather as fervant to fome men of power. 

To this fenfible and well-founded doubt F anfwer 
with great pleafure and readinefs, as I would d<£> to all o- 
thers of the fame kind, if I could poifibly di\ \j ) :— It 

is not at all extraordinary that aftranger like me, and a parcel 
of vagabonds like thofe that were with me, mould get them- 
felves maintained, and find at Gondar a p<ecarious liveli- 
hood for a limited time. A mind ever fo little pulifheu and 
inftructed has infinite fuperiority over Barbarians, and it is 
in circumftances like thefe that a man fees the great ad- 
vantages of education. All the Greeks in Gondar were o- 
riginally criminals and vagabonds ; they neither had, nor 
pretended to any profeffion, except Petros the king's cham- 
berlain, who had been a fhoemaker at Rhodes, which pro- 
feffion at his arrival he carefully concealed. Yet thefe 
were not only maintained, but by degrees, and without 
pretending to be phyficians, obtained property, commands, 
and placer.. 

Hospitality is the virtue of Barbarians, who are hofpi- 

table in the ratio that they arc barbarous, and for obvious 

reafons this virtue fubfides among polifhed nations in the 

fame proportion. If on my arrival in Abyfiinia I afiumed 

2 a fpirit 


a fpirit of independence, it was from policy and reflection. 
I had often thought that the misfortunes which had befallen 
other travellers in Abyflinia arofe from the bafe eftimation 
the people in general entertained of their rank, and the va- 
lue of their perfons. From this idea I refolved to adopt a 
contrary behaviour. I was going to a court where there 
was a khig of kings, whofe throne was furrounded by a num- 
ber of high-minded, proud, hereditary, punctilious nobili- 
ty. It was impoffible, therefore, too much lowlinefs and. 
humility could pleafe there. 

Mr Murray, the ambaflador at Conftantinople, in the fir- 
man obtained from the grand fignior, had qualified me 
with the diftinftion of Bey-Adze, which means, not an Em 
hfli nobleman (a peer) but a noble Englifhman, and he 
had added hkewife, that I was a fervant of the king of 
Great Britain. All the letters of recommendation, very 
many and powerful, from Cairo and Jidda, had conftantly 
echoed this to every part to which they were addrefTed 
They announced that I was not a man, fuch as ordinarily 
came to them, to live upon their charity, but had ample 
means of my own, and each profefTed himfelf guarantee 
of that fact, and that they themfelves on all occafions were 
ready to provide for me, by anfwering my demands. 

The only requefl of thefe letters was fafety and protection 
to my perfon. It was mentioned that I was a phyfician to 
introduce a conciliatory cirumftance, that I was above prac- 
tifing for gain. That all I did was from the fear of God 
from chanty and the love of mankind. I was a phyfician 
m the city, a folder in the field, a courtier every where 
demeaning myfelf, as confeious that I was not unworthy 



of being a companion to the firft of their nobility, and the 
king's ftranger and gueft, which is there a character, as it 
was with eaftern nations of old, to which a certain fort of 
confideration is due. It was in vain to compare myfelf 
with them in any kind of learning, as they have none ; 
mufic they have as little ; in eating and drinking they were 
indeed infinitely my fuperiors ; but in one accomplifhment 
that came naturally into comparifon, which was horfeman- 
fhip, I ftudioufly eftablifhed my fuperiority. 

My long refidence among the Arabs had given me more 
than ordinary facility in managing the horfe ; I had brought 
my own faddle and bridle with me, and, as the reader will 
find, bought my horfe of the Baharnagafh. in the firft days 
of my journey, fuch a one as was neceffary to carry me, 
and him I trained carefully, and ftudied from the begin- 
ning. The Abyffinians, as the reader will hereafter fee, are 
the worft horfemen in the world. Their horfes are bad, 
not equal to our Welfh or our Scotch galloways. Their 
furniture is worfe. They know not the ufe of fire-arms on 
horfeback ; they had never feen a double-barrelled gun, nor 
did they know that its effect was limited to two discharges, 
but that it might have been fired on to infinity. All this 
gave me an evident fuperiority. 

To this I may add, that, being in the prime of life, of no 
ungracious figure, having an accidental knack, which is 
not a trifle, of putting on the drefs, and fpeaking the lan- 
guage eafily and gracefully, 1 cultivated with the utmoft 
affiduity the friendfhip of the fair fex, by the moft modeft, 
refpectful diftant attendance, and obiequioufnefs in public, 
3 abating 


abating j ufl as much of that iri private as fuited their 
humour and inclinations. I foon acquired a great f up- 
port from theft at court ; jealoufy is not a paffion of the 
AbyfTmians, who are in the contrary extreme, even to in- 

Besides the money I had with me, I had a credit of L.400 
upon Youfef Cabil, governor of Jidda. I had another upon 
a Turkifli merchant there. I had ftrong and general re- 
commendations, if I mould want fupplies, upon Metical A^a, 
firft miniller to the merriffe of Mecca. This, well managed, 
was enough; but when I met my countrymen, the captains 
of the Englifh mips from India, they added additional 
ftrength to my finances ; they would have poured gold 
upon me to facilitate a journey they fo much defired upon 
feveral accounts. Captain Thornhill of the Bengal Mer- 
chant, and Captain Thomas Price of the Lion, took the con- 
duct of my money-affairs under their direction. Their Sa- 
raf, or broker, had in his hands all the commerce that pro- 
duced the revenues of Abyffinia, together with great part 
of the correfpondence of the eaft ; and, by a lucky accident 
for me, Captain Price ftaid all winter with the Lion at Jid- 
da ; nay, fo kind and anxious was he as to fend over a fer- 
vant from Jidda on purpofe, upon a report having been 
raifed that I was flain by the ufurper Socinios, though it 
was only one of my fervants, and the fervant of Poetical 
Aga, who were murdered by that monfter, as is faid, with 
his own hand. Twice he fetit over filver to me when I had 
plenty of gold, and wanted that metal only to apply it in 
furniture and workmanfhip. I do not pretend to fay but 
fometimes thefe fupplies failed me, often by my negligence 
Vol. I. K in 


in not applying in proper time, fometimes by the abfenceof 
merchants, who were all Mahometans, conftantly engaged 
in bufinefs and in journies, and more efpecially on the king's 
retiring to Tigre, after the battle of Limjour, when I was 
abandoned during the ufurpation of the unworthy Socinios. 
It was then I had recourie to Petros and the Greeks, but 
more for their convenience than my own, and very feldom 
from necefiity. This opulence enabled me to treat upoa 
equal footing, to do favours as well as to receive them. 

Every mountebank-trick was a great accomplishment 
there, fuch as making fqmbs, crackers, and rockets. There 
was no nation in the country to which by thefe accompani- 
ments I might not have pretended, had I been mad enough 
to have ever directed my thoughts that way ; a m cer- 

tain, that in vain I might have folkited leave to return, 
had' not a melancholy defpondency, the amor patria, fe: zd 
me, and my health fo far declined as apparently to 
threaten death ; but I was not even then permitted to 
leave Abyilinia till under a very falemnoath 1 promifed to 

This manner of conducting myfelf had likewife its dis- 
advantages. The reader will fee the times, without their 
being pointed out to him, in the courfe of the narrative. Is 
had very near occafioned me to be murdered at Mafuah-, 
but it was the means of preferving me at Gondar, by putting 
Bie above being in fulted or quettioned by priefts, the fatal 
rock upon which all other European travellers had fplit : It 
would have occafioned my death at Sennaar, had I not been 
fa prudent as to dilguife and lay afide the independent car- 
jt ria £ e 


riage in time. Why Should I not now fpeak as I really 
think, or why be guilty of ingratitude which my heart dis- 
claims. 1 efcaped by the providence and protection of hea- 
ven ; and lb little Store do 1 let upon the advantage of my 
own experience, that I am Satisfied, were I to attempt the 
fame journey again, it would not avail me a Itraw, or 
hinder me from perifhing miferably, as others have done, 
though perhaps a different way. 

I have only to add, that were it probable, as in my de- 
cayed ftate of health it is not, that I Ihould live to fee a fe- 
cond edition of this work, all well-founded, judicious re- 
marks Suggefted fhould be gratefully and carefully attend- 
ed to ; but I do Solemnly declare to the public in general, 
that I never will refute or anfwer any cavils, captious, 
or idle objections, Such as every new publication Seems 
unavoidably to give birth to, nor ever reply to thuSe witti- 
cifms and criticisms that appear in newSpapers and periodi- 
c I writings. What I have written I have written. My readers 
have before them, in the prefent volumes, all that I Shall ever 
fay, directly or indirectly, upon the Subject ; and I do, with- 
out one moment's anxiety, trull my defence to an impartial, 
well-iuformed, and judicious public. 


rwr mw w 





Page i 





efHE Author fails from Sidon— Touches at Cyprus— Arrives at 
Alexandria— Sets out for Rofetto— Embarks on the Nile, and 

arrives at Cairo. r> 

' 1 age i 




Authors Reception at Cairo — Procures Letters from the Bey and 
the Greek Patriarch — Vifits the Pyramids — Observations on their 
Conjiruclioiiy P* ^ 


Leaves Cairo — Embarks on the Nile for Upper Egypt — Vi/itr Metra- 
henny and Mohannan — Reafons for fuppofmg this the Situation of 
Memphis ) 43 


leaves Metrahenny — Comes- to the Ifland Halouan — Falfe Pyra- 
mid — Tbcfe Buildings end — Sugar Canes — Ruins of Antinvpolis — 
Reception there t 6$ 


Forage to Upper Egypt continued— A/hmpunein, Ruins there — Gawe 
kibeer Ruins — Mr Nordcn miftaken-— Achmim — Convent of Ca- 
thodn — Delia era — Magnificent Ruins- -Adventure with a Saint 
tl'cre^ 9 * 




Arrives at Tur/hout — Adventure of Friar Chrtflopher — Vlfits Thebes 
— Luxor and Carnac — Large Ruins at Edfu and E/ue — Proceeds 
on his Voyage , P. 1 14 


Arrives at Syene — Goes to fee the Cataract— Remarkable Tombs — 
The Situation of Syene — The Aga propofes a vift to Delr and 
Ibrim — The Author returns to Kenne y 1 r 


The Author fits out from Kenne — Croffes the Bcfirt of the Thcbaid 
— Vlfits the Marble Mountains — Arrives at Co/feir on the Red 
Sea — Traufacllons there, x (5q 


Voyage to Jlbbel Zumrud— Returns to CoJJUr— Sails from Coffelr 

Ja fate en I/lands — Arrives at Tor, 20 » 


Sails from Tor—Pafifes the Elanltlc Gulf— Sees Raddua— Arrives 
ct Tambo— Incidents there— Arrives at Jidda, 239 




Occurrences at Jidda — Vifit of the Vizir — Alarm of the Factory — - 
Great Civility of the Fnglif) trading from India — Polygamy — 
Opinion of Dr Arbuthnot ill-founded — Contrary to Reafon and 
Experience — Leaves Jidda t P. .26$ 


Sails from Jidda — Konfodah — Ras Heli, Boundary of Arabia Felix 
— Arrives at Loheia — Proceeds to the Straits of the Indian Ocean 
< — Arrives there — Returns by Azab to Lohcia i 294 


.Sails for Mafuab—Paffes a Volcano— Comes to \T>ahalac — Troubled 
•with a Gho/l — Arrives at Mafuah } 327 








Of the Indian Trade in its earliejl Ages—Settlement of Ethiopia 

Troglodytes— Building of thefrjl Cities, P. $6$ 


Saba and the South of Africa peopled — Shepherds, their particular 
Employment and Circumjlances—Abyffinia occupied by feven Strait- 
ger Nations — Specimens of their fever al Languages— Conjectures 
concerning them, -,gi 


Origin ofCharaclers or Letters— Ethiopic the frfl Language— How 
and why the Hebrew Letter was formed. 41 1 

VoL ' r - l CHAP. 

l xxx ii CONTENTS. 


Some Account of the Trade-Winds and Monfoons— Application of Mr 
to the Voyage to Ophir and Tarfji/h, P. 427 


Flucluating State of the India Trade — Hurt by military Expeditions 
of the Perftans — Revives under the Ptolemies — Falls to Decay 
under the Romans^ 447 


tyeen of Saba vifits Jerufalem—Abyffmian Tradition concerning Her 
—Suppofed Founder 0} that Monarchy— Abyjinia embraces the 
Jcwijh Religion— Jewi/Jj Hierarchy flill retained by the Fal ilha 
—Some Conjeclures concerning their Copy of the Old Te/lament, 47 1 

chap. vn. 

Books in.ufe in Abyjinia— Enoch--Abjfinia not converted by the A- 
po/lles—Converfton from Judaifm to Chrifiianity by Frumcntius, 493 


CONTENTS. Ixxxiii 


War of the Elephant — Firjl appearance of the Small-Pox — Jews 
perjecute the Chrijliansin Arabia — Defeated by the Abyjfinians— 
Mahomet pretends a Divine MiJJion — Opinion concerning the Ko- 
ran — Revolution under Judiih-^Re/loration of the Line of Solomon 
fromShoa, P- 5"> 









"*Tbe Author fails from Sidon- — Touches at Cyprus — Arrives at Alexan- 
dria — Sets out for Rofetto — Embarks an the Nile — and arrives al 

IT was on tSaturday the 15th of June, 1768, I failed in a 
French veffel from Sidon, once the richelt and moll power- 
ful city in the world, though now there is not remaining a 
fliadow of its ancient grandeur. We were bound for the 
ifland of Cyprus ; the weather clear and exceedingly hot, the 
wind favourable. 
Vol. I. A This 


This ifland is not in our courfe for Alexandria, but lies to 
the northward of it ; nor had I, for my own part, any curi- 
ofity to fee it. My mind was intent upon more uncommon, 
more diftant, and more painful voyages. But the mailer 
of the veflel had bufmefs of his own which led him thither ; 
with this I the more readily complied, as we had not yet got 
certain advice that the plague had ceafed in Egypt, and it 
Hill wanted fome days to the Feflival of St John, which is 
fuppofed to put a period to that cruel diftemper *. 

We obferved a number of thin, white clouds, moving with 
great rapidity from fouth to north, in direct oppofition 
to the courfe of the Etefian winds ; thefe were immenfely 
high. It was evident they came from the mountains of A- 
byilinia, where, having difcharged their weight of rain, and 
being prefled by the lower current of heavier air from the 
northward, they had mounted to poffefs the vacuum, and re- 
turned to reftore the equilibrium to the northward, whence 
they were to come back, loaded with vapour from Mount 
Taurus, to occafion the overflowing of the Nile, by breaking 
againft the high and rugged mountains of the fouth. 

Nothing could be more agreeable to me than that fight, 
and the reafoning upon it. I already, with pleafure, antici- 
pated the time in which I mould be a fpectator firft, after- 
wards hiflorian, of this phenomenon, hitherto a myftery 
through all ages. I exulted in the meafures I had taken, 
which I flattered myfelf, from having been digefted with 
greater confideration than thofe adopted by others, would 


* The nufla, or dew, that falls on St John's night, is fuppofed to have the virtue to flop the. 
plague. I have confidered this in the fequeL . 


fecure me from the melancholy cataftrophes that had ter- 
minated thefe hitherto-unfuccefsful attempts. 

„ On the 1 6th, at dawn of day, I faw a high hill, which,from 
its particular form, defcribed by Strabo * I took for Mount 
Olympus f. Soon after, the reft of the ifland, which feemcd 
low, appeared in view. We fcarce faw Lernica till we an- 
chored before it. It is built of white clay, of the fame co- 
lour as the ground, precifely as is the cafe with Damafcus, 
fo that you cannot, till clofe to it, diftinguiih the houfes from 
the earth they Hand upon. 

It is very remarkable that Cyprus was fo long undifco- 
veredj; mips had been ufed in the Mediterranean 1700 years 
before Chrift ; yet, though only a day's failing from the con- 
tinent of Afia on the north and eaft, and little more from that 
of Africa on the fouth, it was not known at the building of 
Tyre, a little before the Trojan war, that is 500 years after 
mips had been paffing to and fro in the feas around it. 

It was,at its difcoyery, thick covered with wood ; and what 
leads me to believe it was not well known, even fo late as the 
building of Solomon's Temple, is, that we do not find that 
Hiram king of Tyre, juft in its neighbourhood, ever had re- 
course to it for wood, though furely the carriage would 
have been eafier than to have brought it down from the 
top of Mount Libanus. 

A 2 That 

• Strabo, ft. xiv, p. 78* f 'It i s called Mamilhc, t Newton's Chronol. p. , Bj. 


That there was great abundance in it, we know from 
Eratofthenes*, who tells us it was fo overgrown that it could 
not be tilled ; fo that they firft cut down the timber to be 
ufed in the furnaces for melting filver and copper ;. that af- 
ter this they built fleets with it, and when they could not 
even deftroy it this way, they gave liberty to all ftrangers to 
cut it down for whatever ufe they pleafed; and not only fo, 
but they gave them the property of the ground they cleared. 

Things are fadly changed now. Wood is one of the wants 
of moil parts of the ifland, which' has not become more 
healthy by being cleared, as is ordinarily the cafe. 

At f Cacamo (Acamas) on the weft fide of the ifland, the 
wood remains thick and impervious as at the firft difcovery. 
Large flags, and wild boars of a monftrous fizc, fhelter them- 
felves unmolefted in thefe their native woods ; and it de- 
pended only upon the portion of credulity that I was en- 
dowed with,, that I did not believe that an elephant had, not 
many years ago, been feen alive there. Several families of 
Greeks declared it to me upon oath ; nor were there wanting 
perfons of that nation at Alexandria, who laboured to con- 
firm the afTertion. Had fkeletons of that animal been there, 
I fhould have thought them antediluvian ones. I know 
none could have been at Cyprus, unlefs in the time of Dari- 
us Ochus, and I do not remember that there were elephants, 
even with him. 


Strabo, lib. xiv. p. 684, ■f Strabo, lib. .\iv. p. 780. 


Tn parting, I would fain have gone afhore to fee if there 
were any remains of the celebrated temple of Paphos ; but 
a voyage, fuch as I was then embarked on, flood in need of 
vows to Hercules rather than to Venus, and the mailer, fear- 
ing to lofe his paflage, determined to proceed. 

Many medals (fcarce any of them good) are dug up in 
Cyprus; filvcr ones, of very excellent workmanfliip, are found 
near Paphos, of little value in the eyes of antiquarians, being 
chiefly of towns of the fize of thofe found at Crete and 
Rhodes, and all the iflands of the Archipelago. Intaglios there 
are fomc few, part in very excellent Greek ftyle, and gene- 
rally upon better ftones than ufual in the iflands. I have lcen 
fome heads of Jupiter, remarkable for bufhy hair and beard, 
that were of the moft exquifite workmanfhip, worthy of any 
price. All the inhabitants of the ifland are fubjecT: to fevers, 
but more efpecially thofe in the neighbourhood of Paphos. 

We leftLernica the 17th of June, about four o'clock in 
the afternoon. The day had been very cloudy, with a wind 
at N. E. which frefhened as we got under weigh. Our mailer, 
a feaman of experience upon that coaft, ran before it to the 
weflward with all the fails he could fet. Trotting to a fign 
that he faw, which he called a. bank, refembling a dark 
cloud in the horizon, he guefled the wind was to be from 
that quarter the next day- 

Accordingly, on the 18th, a little before twelve o'clock, 
a very frefh and favourable breeze came from the N. \V. 
and we pointed our prow directly, as we thought, upon, 

i Thjj 


The coaft of Egypt is exceedingly low, and, if the wea- 
ther is not clear, you often are clofe in with the land before 
you difcover it. 

A strong current fets conftantly to the eaftward; and the 
way the mailers of veffels pretend to know their approach 
to the coaft is by a black mud, which they find upon the 
plummet* at the end of their founding-line, about feven 
leagues diftant from land. 

Our mafter pretended at midnight he had found that 
black fand, and therefore, although the wind was very fair, 
he chofe to lie to, till morning, as thinking himfelf near the 
coaft; although his reckoning, as he faid, did not agree with 
what he inferred from his foundings. 

As I was exceedingly vexed at being fo difappointed of 
making the beft of our favourable wind, 1 rectified my qua- 
drant, and found by the paffages of two ftars over the meri- 
dian, that we were in lat. 32 i' 45", or feventeen leagues 
diftant from Alexandria, inftead of feven, and that by dif- 
ference of our latitude only. 

From this I inferred that part of the affertion, that it is 
the mud of the Nile which is fuppofed to fhew feamen their 
approach to Egypt, is mere imagination ; feeing that the 
point where we then were was really part of the fea oppo- 
fite to the defert of Barca, and had no communication what- 
ever with the Nile. 

a On 

This is an old jrejuJice. See Herodotus, lib. ii. p. 90. fett. 5. 


On the contrary, the Etefian winds blowing all Summer 
\ipon that coaft, from the weflward of north, and a current 
fetting conftantly to the eaftward, it is impofliblc that any 
part of the mud of the Nile can go fo high to the windward 
of any of the mouths of that river. 

It is well known, that the action of thefe winds, and the 
conftancy of that current, has thrown a great quantity of mud, 
gravel, and fand, into all the ports on the coaft of Syria. 

All veftiges of old Tyre are defaced ; the ports of Sidon, 
*Berout, Tripoli, and fLatikea, are all filled up by the accre- 
tion of fand ; and, not many days before my leaving Sidon, 
Mr de Clerambaut, conful of France, fhewed me the pave- 
ments of the old city of Sidon, y\ feet lower than the ground 
upon which the prefent city Hands, and confiderably farther 
back in the gardens nearer to Mount Libanus. 

This every one in the country knows is the effect of that 
eafterly current fetting upon the coaft, which, as it acts per- 
pendicularly to the courfe of the Nile when difcharging it- 
felf, at all or any of its mouths, into the Mediterranean, mult 
hurry what it is charged with on towards the coaft of Syria, 
and hinder it from fettling oppofite to, or making thofe 
additions to the land of Egypt, which J Herodotus has vain- 
ly fuppofed 

The 20th of June, early in the morning, we had a diftant 
profpeet of Alexandria rifing from the fea. Was not the Hate 


Berj tus. f Laodicea ad mare. £ Herod, lib. ii. p. 90. 


of that city perfectly known, a traveller in fearch of anti- 
quities in architecture would think here was a field for 
long lludy and employment. 

It is in this point of view the town appears moft to the 
advantage. The mixture of old monuments, fuch as the 
Column of Pompey, with the high moorifh towers and 
fleeples, raife our expectations of the confequence of the- 
ruins we are to find. 

But the moment we are in the port the iliufion ends, and 
we diflinguifh the immenfe Herculean works of ancient 
times, now few in number, from the ill-imagined, ill-con- 
ftructed, and imperfect buildings, of the feveral barbarous 
matters of Alexandria in later ages. 

There are two ports, the Old and the New. The entrance 
into the latter is both difficult and dangerous, having a bar 
before it ; it is the leaft of the two,. though, it is what is call- 
ed the Great Port, by *Strabo. 

Here only the European mips can lie ; and, even when 
here, they are not in fafety; as numbers of veffels are con- 
stantly loft, though at anchor. 

Above forty were call a-fhore and darned to pieces in 
March 1773, when I was on my return home, moftly belong- 
ing to Ragufa, and the fmall ports in Provence, while little 
harm was done to mips of any nation accuflomed to the 

StrabOj lib. xvii. j> 922. 


It was curious to obfcrvc the different procedure of thefe 
different nations upon the fame accident. As foon as the 
fquall began to become violent, the mailers of the Ragufan 
veffels, and the French caravaneurs, or veffels trading in the 
Mediterranean, after having put out every anchor and cable 
they had, took to their boats and fled to the nearefl fhore, 
leaving the veffels to their chance in the florm. They knew 
the furniture of their fliips to be too fiimfy to trufl their lives 
to it. 

Many of their cables being made of a kind of grafs call- 
ed Spartum, could not bear the flrefs of the veffels or agita- 
tion of the waves, but parted with the anchors, and the fliips 

On the other hand, the Britifh, Danifli, Swedifh, and Dutch 
navigators of the ocean, no fooner faw the florm beginning, 
than they left their houfes, took to their boats, and went all 
hands on board. Thefe knew the fumciency of their tackle, 
and provided they were prefent, to obviate unforefeen acci- 
dents, they had no apprehenfion from the weather. They 
knew that their cables were made of good hemp, that their 
anchors were heavy and flrong. Some pointed their yards 
to the wind, and others lowered them upon deck. After- 
wards they walked to and fro on their quarter-deck with 
perfect compofure, and bade defiance to the florm. Not one 
man of thefe flirred from the fhips, till calm weather, on the 
morrow, called upon them to affifl their feeble and more 
unfortunate brethren, whofe fhips were wrecked and lay 
fcattered on the fhore. 

Vol. I. B The 


Tire other port is the * Eunodus of the ancients, and is to 
the weiiward of the Pharos, It was called alfo the Port of 
Africa ; is much larger than the former, and lies immedi- 
ately under part of the town of Alexandria. It has much 
deeper water, though a multitude of mips have every day, 
for ages, been throwing a quantity of ballaft into it ; and 
there is no doubt, but in time it will be filled up, and join- 
ed to the continent by this means. And poflerity may, pro- 
bably, following the fyftem of Herodotus (if it mould be Itili 
fafhionable) call this as they have done the reil of Egypt, 
the Gift of the Nile. 

Christian veiTels* are not fuffered to enter this port ; the 
only reafon is, lealt the Moori/b 'women mould be feen taking 
the air in the evening at open windows ; and this has been 
thought to be of weight enough for Chrillian powers to 
fubmit to it,, and to over-balance the conilant lofs of ihips a 
property, and men, 

f Alexander, returning to Egypt from the Libyan fide, 
was ftruck with the beauty and fituation of thefe two ports, 
% Dinochares, an architect who accompanied, him, traced- 
out the plan, and Ptolemy I. built the city, . 

The healthy, though defolate and bare country round it, 
part of the Defert of Libya,. was another inducement to pre- 
fer this fituation to the unwholefome black mud of Egypt; 
but it had no water j this Ptolemy was obliged to bring far 


* Strabo, lib. xvii. p. 922. f Strabo, lib. xvii. p. 920. CLCurt. lib. iv. cap. 8. 

^PUn.lib. v. cap. 10. p. 273. 


above from the Nile, by a califh, or canal, vulgarly called 
the Canal of Cleopatra, though it was certainly coeval with 
the foundation of the city ; it has no other name at this day. 

This circumftance, however, remedied in the beginning, 
was fatal to the city's magnificence ever after, and the caufe 
of its being in the Hate it is at this day. 

The importance of its fituation to trade and commerce, 
made it a principal object of attention to each party in 
every war. It was eafily taken, becaufe it had no water ; 
and, as it coald not be kept, it was deflroyed by the con- 
queror, that the temporary poileilion of it might not turn 
to be a fource of advantage to an enemy. 

We are not, however, to fuppofe, that the country all 
around it was as bare in the days of profperity as it is now. 
Population, we fee, produces a fwerd of grafs round ancient 
cities in the mod defert parts of Africa, which keeps the 
fand immoveable till the place is no longer inhabited. 

I apprehend the numerous lakes in Egypt were all 
contrived as refervoirs to lay up a (lore of water for fup- 
piying gardens and plantations in the months of the Nile's 
decreife. The great effects of a very little water are feen 
along the califh, or canal, in a number of bufhes that it 
produces, and thick plantations of date-trees, all in a very 
1 ; riant flate ; and this, no doubt, in the days of the 
Ptolemies, was extended further, more attended to, and bet- 
ter underftood. 

v. i. B 2 Pompey's 



Pompey's pillar, the obelhks, and Subterraneous citterns, 
are all the antiquities we find now in Alexandria; thefe 
have been defcribed frequently, ably, and minutely. 

,The foliage and capital of the pillar are what feem ge- 
nerally to difpleafe ; the fuft is thought to have merited 
more attention than has been bellowed upon the capital. 

The whole of the pillar is granite, but the capital is of 
another flone; and I fhould fufpect thofe rudiments of 
leaves were only intended to fupport firmly leaves of me- 
tal* of better workmanfhip ; for the capital itfelf is near 
nine feet high, and the work, in proportionable leaves of 
flone, would be not only very large, but, after being finifh- 
ed, liable to injuries. 

This magnificent monument appears, in tafle, to be the 
work of that period, between Hadrian and Severus ; but, 
though the former erefred feveral large buildings in the eafl, 
it is obferved of him he never put infcriptions upon them. 

This has had a Greek inscription, and I think may very 
probably be attributed to the time of the latter, as a monu- 
ment of the gratitude of the city of Alexandria for the be- 
nefits he conferred on them, efpecially fince no ancient 
hiflory mentions its exiilence at an earlier period. 

I apprehend it to have been brought in a block from the 
Thebais in Upper Egypt, by the Nile ; though fome have 


*We fee many examples of fuch leaves both at Palmyra and Baalhec. 



imagined it was an old obelifk, hewn to that round form. 
It is nine feet diameter ; and were it but 80 feet high, it 
would require a prodigious obelifk indeed, that could ad- 
mit to be hewn to this circumference for fuch a length, fo 
as perfectly to efface the hieroglyphics that muft have been 
very deeply cut in the four faces of it. 

The tomb of Alexander has been talked of as one of the 
antiquities of this city. Marmol * fays he faw it in the year 
1546. It was, according to him, a fmall houfe, in form of 
a chapel, in the middle of the city, near the church of St 
Mark, and was called Efcander. 

The thing itfelf is not probable, for all thofe that made' 
themielves mailers of Alexandria, in the earlieft times, had! 
too much refpecft for Alexander, to have reduced his tomb 
to fo obfeure a Hate. It would have been fpared even by 
the Saracens ; for Mahomet fpeaks of Alexander with great 
refpect, both as a king and a prophet. The body was pre- 
fcrved in a glafs coffin, in f Strabo's time, having been rob- 
bed of the golden one in which it was firffc depofited. 

The Greeks, for the moft part, are better initruelied in the 
hiftory of tfcefe places than the Cophts, Turks, or Chrifti- 
ans ; and, after the Greeks, the Jews. 

As I was perfectly difguifed, having for many years worn> 
the drefs of the Arabs, I was under no conftraint, but walked. 
dirough the town in all directions, accompanied by any of 


* Marmol, lib. xi. cap. 14. p. 276. torn. 3. f Strabo, lib. xvii. p. 922. 



thofe diiferent nations I could induce to walk with me ; and, 
as I constantly fpoke Arabic, was taken for a * Bedowe by 
all forts of people ; "but, notwithstanding the advantage this 
freedom gave me, and of which I daily availed myfelf, I 
never could hear a word of this monument from either 
Greek, Jew, Moor, or Christian. 

Alexandria has been often taken fince the time of Ca> 
far. It was at laSt destroyed by the Venetians and Cypriots, 
upon, or rather after the releafe of St Lewis, and we may 
fay of it as of Carthage, Pericre minis, its very ruins appear 
no longer. 

The building of the prefent gates and walls, which fome 
have thought to be antique, does not feem earlier than the 
laft reftoration in the 1 3th century. Some parts of the gate 
and walls may be of older date ; (and probably were thole of 
the laft Caliphs before Salidan) but, except thefe, and the 
pieces of columns which lie horizontally in different parts 
of the wall, every thing elfe is apparently of very late times, 
and the work has been huddled together in great hafte. 

It is in vain then to expect a plan of the city, or try to 
trace here the Macedonian mantle of Dinofhares ; the 
very veStiges of ancient ruins are covered, many yards deep, 
by rubbifh, the remnant of the devastations of later times. 
Cleopatra, were She to return to life again, would fcarcely 
know where her palace was Situated, in this her own ca- 


* A peafant Arab. 


There is nothing beautiful or pleafant in the prcfent Alex- 
andria, but a handibme ftreet of modern houfes, where a 
very active and intelligent number of merchants live upon 
the miierable remnants of that trade, which made its glory 
in the firft times. 

It is thinly inhabited, and there is a tradition among the 
natives, that, more than once, it has been in agitation to a- 
6andon,it all together, and retire to Rofetto, or Cairo, but 
that they have been withheld by the opinion of divers faints- 
from Arabia, who have allured them, that Mecca beinr de- 
frayed, (as it mull be as they think by the Rullians) Alex- 
andria is then to become the holy place \ and that Mahomet's 
body is to be traniported thither; when that city is de- 
stroyed, the fan&ified reliques are to be traniported to Cai- 
rouan, in the kingdom of Tunis : laft!y,from Cairouan they 
are to come to Rofetto, and there to remain till the con- 
lamination of all things, which is not then to be at a great 

Ptolemy. places his Alexandria in lat, 30 3 1 ' and m round ' 
numbers in his almageft, lat. 31 ° north* 

Our Profeilbr/ 'Mr Greaves, one of whofe errands into 
Egypt was to afcertain the latitude of this place, feems yet, 
from fome caufe or other, to have failed in it, for though 
he had a brafs fextant of five feet radius, he makes the la- 
titude of Alexandria, from a mean of many obfervations, to 
be lat 3 i° 4'N. whereas the French aftronomers from the 
Academy of Sciences have fettled it at 31° -1 i'2 Q ",fo between 
Mr Greaves and the French there is a difference of y' 20", 
which is too much. There is not any thing, in point of 

fituation, . 


iituation, that can account for this variance, as in the cafe of 
Ptolemy ; for the new town of Alexandria is built from eaft 
to weft ; and as all chriftian travellers neceffarily make their 
obfervations now on the fame line, .there cannot poffibly 
be any difference from iituation. 

Mr Niebuhr, whether from one or more obfervations he 
does not fay, makes the latitude to be 31 12'. From a 
mean of thirty-three obfervations, taken by the three-feet 
quadrant I have fpoken of, I found it to be 31° 1 1 ' 16"; So 
that, taking a medium of thefe three refults, you will have 
the latitude of Alexandria 31 11' 32", or, in round num- 
ber, 31 ii' 30", nor do I think there poffibly can be 5" dif- 

By an eclipfe, moreover, of the iirft fatellite of Jupiter, 
obferved on the 23d day of June 1769, I found its longi- 
tude to be 30 ij' 30" ea.i\ t from the meridian of Green- 

We arrived at Alexandria the 20th of June, and found 
that the plague had raged in that city and neighbourhood 
from the beginning of March, and that two days only be- 
fore our arrival people had begun to open their houfes 
and communicate with each other ; but it was no matter, 
St John's day was paf, the miraculous nucta, or dew, had 
fallen, and every body went about their ordinary buiinefs in 
iafety, and without fear. 

With very great pleafure I had received my inftruments 
at Alexandria. I examined them, and, by the perfect ftate 
In which they arrived, knew the obligations I was under 



to my correfpondents and friends. Prepared now for any 
enterprife, I left with eagernefs the thread-bare inquiries 
into the meagre remains, of this once-famous capital of 

The journey to Rofetto is always performed by land, as 
the mouth of the branch of the Nile leading to Rofetto, call- 
ed the Bogaz*, is very fhallow and dangerous to pafs, and 
often tedious ; befides, nobody wifhes to be a partner for 
any time in a voyage with Egyptian failors, if he can pof- 
libly avoid it. 

The journey by land is alfo reputed dangerous, and 
people travel burdened with arms, which they are deter- 
mined never to ufe. 

For my part, I placed my fafety, in my difguife, and my 
behaviour. We had all of us piftols at our girdles, againft 
an extremity ; but our lire-arms of a larger fort, of which 
we had great flore, were fent with our baggage, and other 
inftruments, by the Bogaz to Rofetto. I had a fmall lance, 
called a Jerid, in my hand, my fervants were without any 
vifible arms. 

We left Alexandria in the afternoon, and about three 
miles before arriving at Aboukeer, we met a man, in ap- 
pearance of fome confequence, going to Alexandria. 

Vol. I. C As 

* Means a narrow cr (hallow entrance of a river from the ocean. 


As we had no fear of him or his party, we neither court- 
ed nor avoided them. We palTed near enough, however, to 
give them the ufual falute, Salam Alkum; to which the 
leader of the troop gave no anfwcr, but faid to one of his 
fervants, as in contempt, Bcdowe! they are peafants, or coun- 
try Arabs. I was much better pleafed with this token that 
we had deceived them, than if they had returned the falute 
twenty times. 

Some inconfiderable ruins are at Aboukcer, and fecm to 
denote, that it was the former lltuation of an ancient city. 
There is here alfo an inlet of the fea ; and the diftance, fome- 
thing lefs than four leagues from Alexandria, warrants us 
to fay that it is Canopus,. one of die moil ancient cities in 
the world ; its ruins, notwithftanding the neighbourhood 
of the branch of the Nile, which goes by that name, have 
not yet been covered by die increafe of the land of Egypt. 

At Medea, which we fuppofe, by its diftance of near 
feven leagues, to be the ancient Heraclium, is the paflage or 
ferry which terminates the fear of dar.ger from the Arabs 
of Libya ; and it is here *fuppofed die Delta, or Egypt, be- 

Dr Shawj is obliged to confefs,. that between Alexandria 
and the Canopic branch of the Nile, few or no veftiges are 
feen of the increafe of the land by the inundation of the 
river ; indeed it would have been a wonder if there had. 


* Herod, p. 108. flaw's Travels p. 293. 


Alexandria, and its environs, are part of the defert of 
Barca, too high to have ever been overflowed by the Nile, 
front any part of its lower branches ; or elfe there would 
have been no necefiity for going fo high up as above Ro- 
ietto, to get level enough, to bring water down to Alexan- 
dria by the canal. 

Dr Shaw adds, that the ground hereabout may have been 
an illand ; and fo it may, and fo may aimoil any other 
place in the world ; but there is no fort of indication that it 
was fo, nor viiible means by which it was formed. 

We faw no vegetable from Alexandria to Medea, excepting 
fome fcattered roots of Abfmthium ; nor were thefe luxu- 
riant, or promifmg to thrive, but though they had not a 
very ftrong fmell, they were abundantly bitter; and their 
leaves feemed to have imbibed a quantity of faline particles, 
with which the foil of the whole defert of Barca is ftrongly 

We faw two or three gazels, or antelopes, walking one by 
onc, at feveral times, in nothing differing from the fpecies 
of that animal, in the defert of Barca and Cyrenaicum ; 
and the * jerboa, another inhabitant of thefe deferts ; but 
from the multitude of holes in the ground, which we faw 
at the root of aimoil every plant of Abfinthium, we were 
very certain its companion, the f Ceraftes, or horned viper, 
was an inhabitant of that country alfo. 

C 2 f rom 

* See a figure of this animal in the Appendix. f See Appendix. 


From Medea, or the Paffage, our road lay through very dry 
fand ; to avoid which, and feek firmer footing, we were 
obliged to ride up to the bellies of our horfes in the fea. 
If the wind blows this quantity of dull or fand into the Me- 
diterranean, it is no wonder the mouths of the branches of 
the Nile are choked up. 

All Egypt is like to this part of it, full of deep duft and 
fand, from the beginning of March till the firit of the in- 
undation. It is this fine powder and fand, railed and loofen- 
ed by the heat of the fun, and want of dew, and not being 
tied fait, as it were, by any root or vegetation, which the 
Nile carries off with it, and buries in the fea, and which 
many ignorantly fuppofe comes from AbylTmia, where every 
river runs in a bed of rock. 

When you leave the fea, you flrike off nearly at right 
angles, and purfue your journey to the eaftward of north. 
Here heaps of flone and trunks of pillars, are fet up to 
guide you in your road, through moving lands, which 
Hand in hillocks in proper direit ions, and which conduct 
you fafely to Rofetto, 1 unrounded on one lide by thefe hills 
of fand, which feem ready to cover it. 

Rosetto is upon that branch of the Nile which was call- 
ed the Bolbuttic Branch, and is about four miles from the 
fea. It probably obtained its prefent name from the Vene- 
tians, or Gcnoefe, who monopolized the trade of this coun- 
try, before the Cape of Good Hope was difcovered; for it 
is known to the natives by the name of Rafhid, by which 
is meant the Orthodox. 



The reafon of this I have already explained, it is fome 
time or other to be a fubflitute to Mecca, and to be blcfled 
with all that holinefs, that the pollemon of the reliqucs, of 
their prophet can give it. 

Dr Shaw* having always in his mind the flrengthening 
of Hcrodotus's hypothecs, that Egypt is created by the Nile, fays,. 
that perhaps this was once a Cape, becaufe Rafhid has 
that meaning. But as Dr Shaw underftood Arabic perfectly 
well, he mult therefore have known, that Rafhid has no 
fuch Signification in any of the Oriental Languages. Ras, 
indeed, is a head land, or cape ; but Raifit has no fuch fig- 
nification, and Rafhid a very different one, as I have al- 
ready mentioned. 

Rashid then, or Rofetto, is a large, clean, neat town, or 
village, upon the eaftern fide of the Nile. It is about three 
miles long, much frequented by fbudious and religious 
Mahometans ; among thefe too are a confiderable number of 
merchants, it being the entrepot between Cairo and Alex- 
andria, and vice <ver[a; here too the merchants have their 
faclors, who fuperintend and watch over the merchandife 
which pafTes the Bogaz to and from Cairo. 

There are many gardens, and much verdure, about Ro- 
fetto ; the ground is low, and retains long the moifture it 
imbibes from the overflowing of the Nile.. Here alfo are 
many curious plants and flowers, brought from different 
countries, by Fakirs, and merchants, Without this, Egypt, 


'Shaw's Travels, p. 294.- 


fubjeft to fuch long inundation, however it may abound 
in neceffaries, could not boaft of many beautiful produc- 
tions of its own gardens, though flowers, trees, and plants, 
were very much in vogue in this neighbourhood, two hun- 
dred years ago, as we find by the obfervations of Profper 

The ftudy and fearch after every thing ufeful or beau- 
tiful, which for fome time had been declining gradually, 
fell at laft into total contempt and oblivion, under the 
brutal reign of thefe laft Haves*, the moil infamous re- 
proach to the name of Sovereign. 

Rosetto is a favourite halting-place of the Chriftian tra- 
vellers entering Egypt, and merchants eftablifhed there. 
There they draw their breaths, in an imaginary increafe of 
freedom, between the two great finks of tyranny, opprei- 
iion, and injuitice, Alexandria and Cairo. 

Rosetto has this good reputation, that the people are 
milder, more tractable, and lefs avaricious, than thofe of 
the two laft-mentioned capitals ; but I mult fay, that, in my 
time, I could not difcern much difference. 

The merchants, who trade at all hours of the day with 
Chriftians, are indeed more civilized, and lefs infolent, than 
the foldiery and the reft of the common people, which is 
the cafe every where, as it is for their own intereft ; but 


* The Mr.maluke Bevs. 


their priefls, and moullahs, their foldiers, and people living 
in the country, are, in point of manners, juit as bad as the 

Rosetto is in lat. 31* 24' 15" N. ; it is the place where 
we embark, for Cairo, which we accordingly did on June 
the 30th. 

There is a wonderful deal of talk at Alexandria of the 
danger of palling over the defert to Rofetto. The fame 
conversation is held here. After you embark on the Nile 
in your way to Cairo, you hear of pilots, and mafters oT 
TefTcls, who land you among robbers to fhare your plunder, 
and twenty fuch like {lories, all of them of old dare, and 
which perhaps happened long ago, or never happened at 

But provided the government of Cairo is fettlrd, and you 
do not land at villages in ftrife with each other, (in which 
circumftances no perfon of any nation is fafe) you mult be 
very unfortunate indeed, if any great accident befal you be- 
tween Alexandria and Cairo. 

For, from the conflant intercourfe between thefe two ci- 
ties, and the valuable charge confided to thefe mafters of 
veflels, they are all as well known, and at the leail as much" 
under authority, as the boatmen on the river Thames ; and, 
-if they mould have either killed, or robbed any perfon, it 
mult be with a view to leave the country immediately ; elfe 
either at Cairo, Rofetto, Fue, or Alexandria, wherever they 
were firft caught, they would infallibly be hanged. 

■v. i. c C H A P. 


gc; fi < ' sag 


Author 's Reception at Cairo — Procures Letters from the Bey and the Greek 
Patriarch — Vifits the Pyramids — Obfervations on their ConJlruEtion* 

IT was in the beginning of July we arrived at Cairo, re- 
commended to the very hofpitable houfe of Julian and 
Bertran, to whom I imparted my refolution of purfuing 
my journey into AbyHinia. 

The wildnefs of the intention feemed to ftrike them great- 
ly, on which account they endeavoured all they could to 
perfuade me againft it, but, upon feeing me refolved, offer- 
ed kindly their moil effectual fervices.. 

As the government of Cairo hath always been jealous of 
this enterprife I had undertaken, and a regular prohibition 
had been often made by the Porte, among indifferent people, 
I pretended that my deftination was to India, and no one 
conceived any thing wrong in that. 

This intention was not long kept fecret, (nothing can be 
concealed at Cairo:) All nations, Jews, Turks, Moors, Cophts, 
and Franks, are conftantly upon the inquiry, as much after 
things that concern other people's bufinefs as their own. 

The plan I adopted was to appear in public as feldom as 
poffible, unlefs difguifed ; and I foon was confidered as a 



Takir, or Dervlcb, moderately nulled in magic, and who cared 
for nothing but ftudy and books. 

This reputation opened me, privately, a channel for pur- 
chafing many Arabic manufcripts, which the knowledge of 
the language enabled me to chufe, free from the load of 
trafh that is generally impofed upon Chriflian purchafers. 

The part of Cairo where the French are fettled is exceed- 
ingly commodious, and fit for retirement. It confiils of one 
long ftreet, where all the merchants of that nation live to- 
gether. It is fliut at one end, by large gates, where there 
is a guard, and thefe are kept conflantly clofe in the time of 
the plague. 

At the other end is a large garden tolerably kept, in which 
there are feveral pleafant walks, and feats ; all the enjoy- 
ment that Chriftians can hope fof, among this vile people, 
reduces itfelf to peace, and quiet ; nobody feeks for more. 
There are, however, wicked emifTaries who are conflantly em- 
ployed, by threats, lies, and extravagant demands, to tor- 
ment them, and keep them from enjoying that repofe, 
which would content them inflead of freedom, and more 
folid happinefs, in their own country, 

I have always confidered the French at Cairo, as a num- 
ber of honeft, polifhed, and induftrious men, by fome fa- 
tality condemned to the gallies ; and I muft own, never did 
a fet of people bear their continual vexations with more 
fortitude and manlinefs. 

Vol. I. D Thei-r. 


Their own affairs they keep to themfelves, and, notwith- 
ftanding the bad profpeft always before them, they never 
fail to pnt on a chearfulface to a ftranger, and protect and 
help him to the utmoil of their power ; as if his little con- 
cerns, often ridiculous, always very troublefome ones, were 
the only charge they had in hand. 

But a more brutal, unjuft, tyrannical, oppreflive, avari- 
cious fet of infernal mifcreants, there is not on earth, than 
are the members of the government of Cairo. 

There is alfo at Cairo a Venetian conful, and a houfe of 
that nation called Pirn, all excellent people. 

The government of Cairo is much praifed by fome. It 
may perhaps have merit when explained, but I never could 
underfland it, and therefore cannot explain it. 

It is faid to confift of twenty-four Beys ; yet its admirers 
could never fix upon one year in which there was that 
number. There were but feven when I was at Cairo, and 
one who commanded the whole. 

The Beys are underftood to be vefted with the fovereign 
power of' the country ; yet foraetimes a Kaya commands 
absolutely, and, though of an inferior rank, he makes his 
fervants, Beys or Sovereigns. 

At a time of peace, when Beys are contented to be on an 
equality, and no ambitious one attempts to govern the 
whole, there is a number of inferior officers depending up- 
on .each of the Beys, fuch as Kayas, Schourbatchies, and 



die like, who are but fubjeds in refpect to the Beys yet ex- 
ercife unlimited jurifdi&ion over the people in the city, and 
appoint others to do the fame over villages in the country. 

There are perhaps four hundred inhabitants in Cairo, who 
have abfolute power, and adminifter what they call juftic'e, 
in their own way, and according to their own views. 

Fortunately m my time this many-headed monfter was 
no more, there was but one Ali Bey, and there was neither 
inferior nor fuperior jurifdiction exercifed, but by his offi- 
cers only. This happy ftate did not lad long. In order to 
be a Bey, the perfon muft have been a Have, and bought for 
money, at a market. Every Bey has a great number of fer- 
vants, Haves to him, as he was to others before ; thefe are 
his guards, and thefe he promotes to places in his houfe- 
hold, according as they are qualified, 

The .firft of thefe domeflic charges is that of hafnadar, 
or treasurer, who governs his whole hcufthold; and when- 
ever his mailer the Bey dies, whatever number of children 
he may have, they never fucceed him ; but this man mar- 
ries his wife, and inherits his dignity and fortune. 

The Bey is old, the wife is young, fo is the hafnadar, upon 
whom fhe depends for every thing, and whom me muft 
look upon as the preemptive hufband ; and thofe people 
who conceal, or confine their women, and are jealous, up- 
on the moll remote occafion, never feel, any jealoufy for the 
probable confequences of this pafilon, from the exiiience of 
Inch , connection, 

n 2 -fr- 


It is very extraordinary, to find a race of men in power, 
all agree to leave their fucceffion to Grangers, in preference 
to their own children, for a number of ages ; and that no 
one mould ever have attempted to make his fon fucceedhim, 
either in dignity or eflate, in preference to a flave, whom 
he has bought for money like a beafl. 

The Beys themfelvcs have feldom children, and thofe 
they have, feldom live. I have heard it as a common obfer- 
vation, that Cairo is very unwholefome for young children 
in general ; the proflitution of the Beys from early youth 
probably give their progeny a worfe chance than thofe of 

The inflant that I arrived at Cairo was perhaps the only 
one in which I ever could have been allowed, fingle and un- 
protected as I was, to have made my intended journey, 

Ali Bey, lately known in Europe by various narratives 
of the laft tranfaftions of his life, after having undergone 
many changes of fortune, and been banifhed by his rivals 
from his capital, at laft had enjoyed the fatisfadion of a re- 
turn, and of making himfelf abfolute in Cairo. 

The Port had conflantly been adverfe to him, and he 
cherifhed the ftrongeft refentment in his heart. He wifhed 
nothing fo much as to contribute his part to rend the Ot- 
toman empire to pieces. 

A favourable opportunity prefented itfelf in the Ruffian 
war, and Ali Bey was prepared to go all lengths in fup- 
port of that power. But never was there an expedition fo 



fucccfsful and fo diflant, where the officers were lefs in- 
flrucl:ed from the cabinet, more ignorant of the countries, 
more given to ufclefs parade, or more intoxicated with plea- 
sure, than the Ruffians on the Mediterranean then were. 

After the defeat, and burning of the Turkifh fquadron, 
upon the coaft of Afia Minor, there was not a fail appeared 
that did not do them homage. They were prope ly and 
advantagcoufly fituated at Paros, or rather, I mean, a fqua- 
dron of fliips of one half their number, would have been 
properly placed there. 

The number of Baflias and Governors in Caramania, 
very feldom in their allegiance to the Port, were then in ac- 
tual rebellion ; great part of Syria was in the fame fituation, 
down to Tripoli and Sidon ; and thence Shekh Daher, from 
Acre to the plains of Efdraelon, and to the very frontiers of 

With circumftances fo favourable, and a force fo tri- 
umphant, Egypt and Syria would probably have fallen 
difmembered from the Ottoman empire. But it was very 
plain, that die Ruffian commanders were not provided 
with inftructions, and had no idea how far their victory 
might have carried them, or how to manage thofe they 
had conquered. 

They had no confidential correfpondence with Ali Bey, 
though they might have fafely trufled him as he would 
have trufled them ; but neither of them were provided with 
proper negotiators, nor did they ever underftand one ano- 
ther till it was too late, and till their enemies, taking ad- 


vantage of their tardinefs, had rendered the firft and gre^ 
fcheme impofFiblc. 

Carlo Rozetti, a Venetian merchant, a young man of 
capacity and intrigue, had for fome years governed the Bey 
abfolutely. Had fuch a man been on board the fleet with 
a commiflion, after receiving initruc'tions from Peter(burgh a . 
the Ottoman empire in Egypt was at an end.' 

The Bey, with all his good fenfe and understanding, was 
flill a mamaluke, and had the principles of a Have. . Three 
men of different religions pofTefTed his confidence and go- 
verned his councils all at a time. The one was a Greek, 
the other a Jew, and the third an Egyptian Copht, his fecre- 
tary. It would have required a great deal of difcernment 
and penetration to have determined which of thefe was the 
moil worthlefs, or rnoft likely to betray him, 

The fecretary, whofe name was Rifk, had tiie addrefs to 
fupplant the other two at the time they thought themfelves 
at the pinnacle of their glory; over-awing every Turk, and 
robbing every Chri-ilian, the Greek was banifhed from Egypt, 
and the Jew baftinadoed to death. Such is the tenure of 
Egyptian miniflers. 

Risk profeiTed aftrology, and the Bey, like all other Turks, . 
believed in it implicit ely,. and to this folly he facrificed his- 
own goodunderftanding ; and Rifk, probably in pay to Con- 
ftantinople, led him from one wild fcheme to another, till 
he undid him — by the fears. 



The apparatus of inftruments that were opened at the 
cuftom-houfe of Alexandria, prepoflcffed Rifk in favour of 
my fuperior knowledge in aflrology. 

The Jew, who was matter of the cuftom-houfe, was not 
only ordered to refrain from touching or taking them out 
of their places (a great mortification to a Turkiih cuftom- 
houfe, where every thing is handed about and fliewn) but 
an order from the Bey alfo arrived that they fhould be fent 
to me without duty or fees, becaufe they were not merchan- 

I was very thankful for that favour, not for the fake of 
faving the dues at the cuftom-houfe, but becaufe I was ex- 
cufed from having them taken out of their cafes by rough 
and violent hands, which certainly would have broken fome- 

Risk waited upon me next day, and let me know from 
whom the favour came ; on which we all thought this was 
a hint for a prefent ; and accordingly, as I had other bufi- 
nefs with the Bey, I had prepared a very handfome one. 

But I was exceedingly aftonifhed when defiring to know 
the time when it was to be offered ; it not only was refufed, 
but fome few trifles were fent as a prefent from the fecre- 
tary with this menage : " That, when I had repofed, he 
" would vifit me, defire to fee me make ufe of thefe inftruv 
" ments ; and, in the mean time, that I might reft confident, 
" that nobody durft any way moleft me while in Cairo, for 
" I was under the immediate protection of the Bey." 



He added alfo, " That if I wanted any thing I mould fend 
** my Armenian fervant, Arab Keer, to him, without trou- 
" bling myfelf to communicate my neceffities to the French, 
" or trull my concerns to their Dragomen." 

Although I had lived for many years in friendfhip and 
in conftant good undcrftanding with both Turks and Moors, 
there was fomething more polite and coniiderate in this 
than I could account for. 

I had not feen the Bey, it was not therefore any particu- 
lar addrefs, or any prepoffeffion in my favour, with which 
thefe people are very apt to be taken at firfl fight, that could 
account for this ; I was an abfolute ftranger ; I therefore 
opened myfelf entirely to my landlord, Mr Bertram 

I told him my apprehenlion of too much fair weather 
in the beginning, which, in thefe climates, generally leads 
to a ilorm in the end; on which account, I fufpected fome 
defign ; Mr Bertran kindly promifed to found Rifk for me. 

At the fame time, he cautioned me equally againfl offend- 
ing him, or trailing myfelf in his hands, as being a man 
capable of the blacker! deiigns, and mercilefs in the execu- 
tion of them. 

It was not long before Rifk's curiofity gave him a fair 
opportunity. He inquired of Bertran as to my knowledge 
of the ftars ; and my friend, who then faw perfectly the 
drift of all his conduct, fo prepofTeiTed him in favour of my 
fuperior fcience, that he communicated to him in the in- 
ftant the great expectations he had formed, to be enabled 



fey me, to forefee the defliny of the Bey ; the fuccefs of the 
war; and, in particular, whether or not he fhould make 
himfelf mailer of Mecca ; to conquer which place, he was 
about to difpatch his Have and fon-in-law, Mahomet Bey A- 
bouDahab, at the head of an army conducting the pilgrims. 

Bertran communicated this to me with great tokens of 
joy : for my own part, I did not greatly like the profeflion 
of fortune-telling, where baflinado or impaling might be the 
reward of being millaken. 

But I was told I had moil credulous people to deal with, 
and that there was nothing for it but efcaping as long as 
poffible, before the ifiue of any of my prophecies arrived, 
and as foon as I had done my own bufinefs. 

This was my own idea likewife; I never faw a place 
I liked worfe, or which afforded lefs pleafure or inftruction 
*han Cairo, or antiquities which lefs anfwered their dcfcrip- 

In a few days I received a letter from Rifle, defiring me 
to go out to the Convent of St George, about three miles 
from Cairo, where the Greek patriarch had ordered an 
apartment for me; that I mould pretend to the French mer- 
chants that it was for the fake of health, and that there 
I fhould receive the Bey's orders. 

Providence feemed to teach me the way I was to go. 
I went accordingly to St George, a very folitary maniion, 
but large and quiet, very proper for nudy, and Hill more for 

vol. I. E executing 


executing a plan which I thought moll neceffary for my 

During my flay at Algiers, the Rev. Mr Tonyn, the king's 
chaplain to that factory, was abfent upon leave. The bigot- 
ted catholic priefts there neither marry, baptize, nor bury 
the dead of thofe that are Proteftants. 

There was a Greek priefl, * Father Chriftopher, who con- 
ftantly had offered gratuitouily to perform thefe functions. 
The civility, humanity, and good character of the man, led 
me to take him to refide at my country houfe, where I lived 
the greateft part of the year ; befides that he was of a chear- 
ful difpofition, I had practifed much with him both in 
fpeaking and reading Greek with the accent, not in ufe in . 
our fchools, but without which that language, in the mouth i 
of a ftranger, is perfectly unintelligible all over the Archi-.- 

Upon my leaving Algiers to go on my voyage to BaT~ 
bary, being tired of the place, he embarked on board a vef- 
fel, and landed at Alexandria, from which foon after he was 
called to Cairo by the Greek patriarch Mark, and made 
Archimandrites, which is the fecond dignity in the Greek 
church under the patriarch. He too was well acquainted 
in the houfe of Ali Bey, where all were Georgian and Greek 
flaves; and it was at his folicitation that Rifk had 'defired 
the patriarch to furnilh me with an apartment in the Con- 
vent of St George, 


* Vid, Introdu&ioiu 


The next day after my arrival I was furprifed by the vifit 
of my old friend Father Chriftopher ; and, not to detain the 
reader with ufelefs circumftances, the intelligence of many 
vifits, which I fhall comprehend in one, was, that there were 
many Greeks then in Abyffinia, all of them in great power, 
andfome of them in the firft places of the empire; that they 
correfponded with the patriarch when occafion offered, and, 
at all times, held him in fuch refpe<5t, that his will, when 
fignified to them, was of the greateft authority, and that 
obedience was paid to it as to holy writ. 

Father Christopher took upon him, with the greateft 
readinefs, to manage the letters, and we digefted the plan 
of them ; three copies were made to fend feparate ways, 
and an admonitory letter to the whole of the Greeks then 
in Abyffinia, in form of a bull. 

By this the patriarch enjoined them as a penance, upon 
which a kind of jubileewas to follow, that, laying afide their 
pride and vanity, great fins with which he knew them much 
infeEled, and, inftead of pretending to put themfelves on a foot- 
ing with me when I fhould arrive at the court of Abyffinia, 
they mould concur, heart and hand, in ferving me ; and 
that, before it could be fuppofed they had received inftruc- 
tions from ?ne y they fhould make a declaration before the 
king, that they were not in condition equal to me, that I was 
a tree citizen of a. powerful nation, and fervant of a great king; 
that they were born flaves of the Turk, and, at befl, ranked 
hut as would my fervants; and that, in fact, one Of their 
countrymen was in that ftation then with me, 

E 2 After 


After having made that declaration publicly, and bona 
jrde, in prefence of their prieft,he thereupon declared to them,, 
that all their pall fins were forgiven, 

All this the patriarch moft willingly and chearfully per- 
formed. I faw him frequently when I was in Cairo ; and 
we had already commenced a .great friendfhip and intimacy. 

In the mean while, Rifk fent to me, one night about nine 
o'clock, to come to the Bey. I faw him then for the firft 
time. He was a much younger man than I conceived him 
to be; he was fitting upon a large fofa, covered with crim- 
fon-cloth of gold ; his turban, his girdle, and the head of 
his dagger, all thick covered with fine brilliants; one in hi3- 
turban, that ferved to fupport a fprig of brilliants alio, was 
among the largeft I had ever feen. 

Hs entered abruptly into difcourfe upon the- war 'between. 
Ruflia and the Turk,. and alked me if I had calculated what 
would be the coniequenee of that war? I faid, the Turks 
would be beaten by lea and land wherever they prefented 

AGAiN,Whether Conllantinople would be burned or taken J 
— I ia : d, Neither ; but peace would be made, after much 
blocdfhed, with little advantage to either party. 

He clapped his- hands together, and fwore an oath in 
Turkifh, then turned to Rilk, who ilood before him, and 
faid, That will be fad indeed ! but truth is truth, and God 
is merciful. 



He offered me coffee and fweatmeats, promifed me his 
protection, bade me fear nothing, but, if any body wronged 
me, to acquaint him by Riik. 

Two or three nights afterwards the Bey fent for me 
again. It was near eleven o'clock before I got admittance 
to him. 

I met the janiflary Aga going out from him, and a num- 
ber of foldiers at the door.. As I did not know him, I paf- 
fed him without ceremony, which is not ufual for any per- 
fcn to do. Whenever he mounts on horfeback, as he was 
then juft going to do, he has abfolute power of life and 
death, without appeal, all over Cairo and its neighbour- 

He ftopt me juft at the threfhold, and afked one of the 
Bey's people who I was ? and was anfwered, « It is Hakim 
Englefe," the Englifh philofopher, or phyfician. 

He afked me in Turkiih, in a very polite manner, if I 
would come and fee him, for he was not well ? I anfwered 
him in Arabic, « Yes, whenever he pleafed, but could not 
then flay, as I had received a meffage that the Bey was wait- 
mg." He replied in Arabic, « No, no ; go, for God's fake go - 
any time will do for me." 

The Bey was fitting, leaning forward, with a wax taper 
in one hand, and reading a final* flip of paper, which he 
held clofe to his face. He feemed to have little light or 
weak eyes ; nobody was near him : his people had been' all 
diimifled, or were following the janiflary Aga out. 



He did not feem to obferve me till I was clofe upon him, 
and ftarted when I faid, " Solay?!." I told him I came upon 
his meflage. He faid, I thank you, did I fend for you ? and 
without giving me leave to reply, went on, " O true, I did 
fo," and fell to reading his paper again. 

After this was over, he complained that he had been ilL 
that he vomited immediately after dinner, though he eat 
moderately ; that his ftomach was not yet fettled, and was 
afraid fomething had been given him to do him mifchief. 

I felt his pulfe, which was low, a d weak ; but very little 
feverifh. I defired he would order his people to look if his 
meat was drefled in copper properly tinned; I allured him he 
was in no danger, and infinuated that I thought he had been 
guilty of fome excefs before dinner; at which he fmiled, and 
faid to Rilk, who was Handing by, " Afrite ! Afrite" ! he is a 
devil ! he is a devil ! I faid, If your ftomach is really uneafy 
from what you may have ate, warm fome water, and, if 
you pleafe, put a little green tea into it, and drink it till it 
makes you vomit gently, and that will give you eafe ; after 
which you may take a difh of ftrong coffee, and go to bed, 
or a glafs of fpirits, if you have any that are good. 

He looked furprifed at this propofal, and faid very calm- 
ly, " Spirits ! do you know I am a MuiTulman ?" But I, Sir, 
faid I, am none. I tell you what is good for your body, and 
have nothing to do with your religion, or your foul. He 
feemed vaftly diverted, and pleafed with my franknefs, and 
.only faid, " He fpeaks like a man." There was no word of 
.the war, nor of the Ruilians that night. I went home def- 




perately tired, and peevifli at being dragged out, on fo fooi- 
i£h an errand. 

Next morning, his fecretary Rifk came to me to the con- 
vent. The Bey was not yet well ; and the idea ftill remain- 
ed that he had been poifoned. Rifk told me the Bey had 
great confidence in me. I afked him how the water had 
operated ? He faid he had not yet taken any of it, that he 
did not know how to make it, therefore he was come at 
the defire of the Bey, to fee how it was made. 

I immediately fhewed him this, by infufing fome green 
tea in fome warm water. But this was not all, he modeft- 
Ij infimiated that I was to drink it, and fo vomit myfelf, in i 
order to mew him how to do with the Bey. 

I excused myfelf from being patient and phyfician af 
the fame time, and told him, I would vomit bim, which 
would anfwer the fame purpofeof initruftion; neither was 
this propofal accepted. 

The old Greek prieft, Father Chriflopher, the 
fame time, we both agreed to vomit the Father, wh6 would 
not confent, but produced a Caloyeros, or young monk, and : 
we -forced him to take the water whether he would or not. 

As my favour with the Bey was now eftabliihed by my 
midnight interviews, I thought of leaving my folitary 
manfion at the convent.-- I defired Mr Rifk to procure me 
peremptory letters of recommendation to Shekh Haman, 
to the governor of Syene, Ibrim, and Deir, in Upper Egypt,' 
I procured alio the fame from the janiffaries, to thefe three 



lafl places, as their garrifons are from that body at Cairo, 
which they call their Port. I had alfo letters from Ali Bey, 
to the Bey of Suez, to the SherriiTe of Mecca, to the Naybe 
(fo they call the Sovereign) of Maftiah, and to the king of 
Sennaar, and his miniiler for .the time being, 

Having obtained all my letters and difpatches, as well 
from the patriarch as from the Bey, I fet about preparing 
fjr my journey. 

Cairo is fuppofed to be the ancient Babylon*, at leaf! part 
of it. It is in lat. 30 ° 2' 30" north, and in long. 31 iG' eaft, 
from Greenwich. I cannot aflent to what is laid of it, that 
it is built in form of a crefcent. You ride round it, gar- 
dens and all, in «:hrpe hours and a quarter, upon an afs, at 
an ordinary pace, which will be above three miles an hour. 

The Califh f, or Amnis Trajanus, pafTes through the 
length of it, and fills the lake called Birket el Hadje, the 
firlt fupply of water the pilgrims get in their tirefome jour- 
ney to Mecca. 

On the other fide of the Nile, from Cairo, is Geeza, fo call- 
ed, as fome Arabian authors lay, from there having been 
a bridge there ; Geeza ilgnities the Paflage. 

- About eleven miles beyond this are the Pyramids, call- 
ed the Pyramids of Geeza, the defcription of which is in 


*Ptol. Geograph. lib. 4 Cap. C- t Shaw's travels p. 294. 


every body's hands. Engravings of them had been publifh- 
ed in England, with plans of them upon a large fcale, two 
years before I came into Egypt, and were fhewn me by Mr 
Davidlbn conful of Nice, whofe drawings they were. 

He it was too that difcovered the fmall chamber above 
the landing-place, after you afcend through the long gal- 
lery of the great Pyramid on your left hand, and he left 
the ladder by which he attended, for the fatisfadion Gf 
other travellers. But there is nothing in the chamber fur- 
ther worthy of notice, than its having efcaped difcovery fo 
many ages. 

I think it more extraordinary flill, that, for fuch a time 
as thefe Pyramids have been known, travellers were con- 
tent rather to follow the report of the ancients, than to 
make ufe of their own eyes. 

Yet it has been a conftant belief, that the ftones compo- 
ling thefe Pyramids have been brought from the * Libyan 
mountains, though any one who will take the pains to re- 
move the fand on the fouth fide, will find the folid rock 
there hewn into Heps. 

And in the roof of the large chamber, where the Sar- 
cophagus Hands, as alfo in the top of the roof of the gallery, 
as you go up into that chamber, you fee large fragments 

Vol. I. F f 

* Herod, lib. 2. cap. 8„ 



of the rock, affording an unanfwerable proof, that thofe 
Pyramids were once huge rocks, Handing where they now 
are ; that fome of them, the moll proper from their form, 
were chofen for the body of the Pyramid, and the others 
hewn into fteps, to ferve for the fuperftructure, and the ex- 
terior parts of them. 


. ' 



f////f/ ///// 

/sv^Au/ . 

London /'u/i/i/JiJ />,■• '/ "';<■•'•/ 6yffHobenson& G> 



CHAP. in. 

Leaves Cairo — Embarks on the Nile for Upper Egypt — Vifits Metrahenny 
andMohannan — Reafons for fuppofing this the filiation of Memphis. 

HAVING now provided every thing neceffary, and taken a 
rather melancholy leave of our very indulgent friends, 
"who had great apprehenuons that we fhould never return ; 
and fearing that our Hay till the very exceffive heats were 
paft, might involve us in another difficulty, that of mif- 
fing the Etefian winds, we fecured a boat to carry us to Fur- 
ihout, therefidence ofHamam,the Shekh of Upper Egypt. 

This fort of veffel is called a Canja, and is one of the 
moft commodious ufed on any river, being fafe, and expedi- 
tious at the fame time, though at firft fight it has a ftrong 
appearance of danger. 

That on which we embarked was about ioo feet from 
ftern to ftem, with two mails, main and foremaft, and two 
monftrous Latine fails ; the main-fail yard being about 200 
feet in length. 

The ftructure of this veffel is eafily conceived, from the 
draught, plan, and lection. It is about 30 feet in the beam, 
and about 90 feet in keel. 

The keel is not ftraight, but a portion of a parabola whofe 
curve is almoft infenfible to the eye. But it has this good 

F 2 effect 


effed in failing, that whereas the bed of the Nile, when the- 
water grows low, is full of fand banks under water, the keel 
under the item, where the curve is greateft, firft ftrikes up- 
on thefe banks, and is faft, but the reft of the Ihip is afloat ; 
fo that by the help of oars, and affiftance of the ftream, 
furling the fails, you get eafily off; whereas, was the keel 
ftraight, and the veiTel going with the preflure of that im- 
menfe main-fail, you would be fo faft upon the bank as to 
lie there like a wreck for ever. 

This yard and fail is never lowered. The failors climb and 
furl it as it Hands. When they fliift the fail,, they do it with 
a thick ftick like a quarter ftaff, which they call a npbeot, put 
between the laming of the yard and the fail ; they then twill 
this ftick round till the fail and yard turn over to the fide re- 

When I fay the yard and fail are never lowered, I mean 
while we are getting up the ftream, before the wind ; for, 
otherwife, when the vefTel returns, they take out the maft, 
lay down the yards, and put by their fails, fo that the 
boat defcends like a wreck broadlide forwards ; otherwife,. 
being fo heavy a-loft, were me to touch with her ftem gc+ 
ing down the ftream, fhe could not fail to carry away her 
malls, and perhaps be ftaved to pieces. 

The cabin has a. very decent and agreeable dining-room* 
about twenty feet fquare, with windows that have clofe 
and latticed mutters, fo that you may open them at will 
in the day-time, and enjoy the freflmefs of the air ; but 
great care muft be taken to keep thefe flmt at night. 



•////// of/ne ( ft///?/ 

A -.F/a/i/cs saved foaflftt ■!////,>, 

Ztwdor? Tuhh/fciDti V'/vy./yv h . %$c£o 


A certain kind of robber, peculiar to the Nile, is con- 
stantly on the watch to rob boats, in which they fuppofe 
the crew are off their guard. They generally approach the 
boat when it is calm, either fwimming under water, or when 
it is dark, upon goats fkins ; after which, they mount with 
the utmoft filence, and take away whatever they can lay 
their hands on. 

They are not very fond, I am told, of meddling with vef- 
fels whereon they fee Franks, or Europeans, becaufe by 
them fome have been wounded with fire-arms. 

The attempts are generally made when you are at anchor, 
or under weigh, at night, in very moderate weather ; but 
ofteneft when you are falling down the ftream without 
malls ; for it requires, Strength, vigour, and fkill, to get 
aboard a vefTel going before a brifk wind ; though indeed 
they are abundantly provided with all thefe requilites. 

Behind the dining-room (that is, nearer the ftern,) you 
have a bed-chamber ten feet long, and a place for putting 
your books and arms. With the latter we were plentiful- 
ly fupplied, both with thofe of the ufcful kind, and thofe 
(fuch as large blunderbufles,) meant to ftrike terror. We had 
great abundance of ammunition, likewife, both for our de- 
fence and fport. 

With books we were Iefs furnifhed, yet our library was 
chofen, and a very dear one ; for, finding how much my bag- 
gage was increafed by the acceffion of the large quadrant 
and its foot, and Dolland's large achromatic telefcope, I be- 
gan to think it folly to load myfelf more with tilings to be 



carried on mens fhoulders through a country full of moun- 
tains, which it was very doubtful whether I fhould get li- 
berty to enter, much more be able to induce favages to car- 
ry thefe incumbrances for me. 

To reduce the bulk as much as poffible, after confider- 
ing in my mind what were likeliefl to be of fervice to me 
in the countries through which I was palling, and the feve- 
ral inquiries I was to make, I fell, with fome remorfe, upon 
garbling my library, tore out all the leaves which I had 
marked for my purpofe, deftroyed fome editions of very 
rare books, rolling up the needful, and tying them by them- 
felves. I thus reduced my library to a more compact form. 

It was December 12th when I embarked on the Nile at 
Bulac, on board the Canja already mentioned, the remain- 
ing part of which needs no defcription, but will be under- 
ilood immediately upon infpection. 

At firft we "had the precaution to apply to our friend Rifk 
concerning our captain Hagi Haffan Abou Cufli, and we ob- 
liged him to give his fon Mahomet in fecurity for his be- 
haviour towards us. Our hire to Furfhout was twenty-feven 
patakas, or about L. 6 : 15:0 Sterling. 

There was nothing fo much we defired as to be at fome 
diitance from Cairo on our voyage. Bad affairs and extor- 
tions always overtake you in this deteilable country, at the 
very time when you are about to leave it. 
The wind was contrary, fo we were obliged to advance 
againil the Itream, by having the boat drawn with a rope. 



We were furprifed to fee the alacrity with which two 
young Moors beilirred themfelves in the boat, they fupplied 
the place of mailers, companions, pilots, and feamen to us.. 

Our Rais had not appeared, and I did not augur much 
good, from the alacrity of thefe Moors, fo willing to proceed 
without him. 

However, as it was conformable to our own willies, we 
encouraged and cajoled them all we could. We advanced 
a few miles to two convents of Cophts, called Deircteen*. 

Here we flopped to pafs the night, having had a fine 
view of the Pyramids of Geeza andSaccara, and being then 
in fight of a prodigious number of others built of white 
clay, and ftretching far into the defert to the fouth-weft. 

Two of thefe feemed full as large as thofe that are call- 
ed the Pyramids of Geeza. One of them was of a very ex- 
traordinary form, it feemed as if it had been intended at 
firft to be a very large one, but that the builder's heart or. 
means had failed him,, and that he had brought it to a very 
mif-fhapen difproportioned head at laft 

We were not a little difpleafed to findy that, in the firft 
promife of punctuality our Rais had made, he had difap- - 
pointed us by abfenting himfelf from the boat. The fear 
of a complaint, if we remained near the town, was the rea- 
fon why his fervants had hurried us away ; but being now 


*This has been thought to mean the Convent of Figs, but it only fignifies the TwoConvents 


out of reach, as they thought, their behaviour was entirely- 
changed ; they fcarce deigned to fpeak to us, but fmoked 
their pipes, and kept up a converfation bordering upon ri- 
dicule and infolence. 

On the fide of the Nile, oppofite to our boat, a little far- 
ther to the fouth, was a tribe of Arabs encamped. 

These are fubjedt to Cairo, or were then at peace with its 
government. They are called Howadat, being a part of the 
Atouni, a large tribe that poflefTes the Ifthmus of Suez, and 
from that go up between the Red Sea and the mountains 
that bound the eaft part of the Valley of Egypt. They reach 
to the length of Coffeir, where they border upon another 
large tribe called Ababde, which extends from thence up 
into Nubia. 

Both thefe are what were anciently called Shepherds, and 
are now conflantly at war with each other. 

The Howadat are the fame that fell in with Mr Irvine* 
in thefe very mountains, and condu&ed him fo generoufly 
and fafely to Cairo. Though little acquainted with the man- 
ners, and totally ignorant of the language of his conduc- 
tors, he imagined them to be, and calls them by no other 
name, than "the Thieves" 

One or two of thefe ilraggled down to my boat to feek 
tobacco and coffee, when I told them, if a few decent men 


* See Mr Irvine's Letters, 



among them would come on board, I fliould make them 
partakers of the coffee and tobacco I had. Two of them 
accepted the invitation, and we prefently became great 

I remembered, when in Barbary, living with the tribes 
of Noile and Wargumma (two numerous and powerful clans 
of Arabs in the kingdom of Tunis) that the Howadat, or 
Atouni, the Arabs of the Iflhmus of Suez, were of the fame 
family and race with one of them. 

I even had marked this down in my memorandum-book, 
but it happened not to be at hand ; and I did not really re- 
member whether it was to the Noile or Wargumma they 
were friends, for thefe two are rivals, and enemies, fo in 
a miflake there was danger. I, however, call about a little 
to difcover this if poflible ; and foon, from difcourfe and 
circumflances that came into my mind, I found it was the 
Noile to whom thefe people belonged ; fo we foon were fa- 
miliar, and as our converfation tallied fo that we found we 
were true incn^ they got up and infilled on fetching one of 
their Shekhs. 

I told them they might do fo if .they plcafed; but they 
were firfl bound to perform me a piece of fervice, to which 
they willingly and readily offered themfelves. I defired, that, 
early next morning, they would have a boy and horfe ready 
to carry a letter to Rilk, Ali Bey's fecretary, and I would give 
him a piafler upon bringing back the anfwer. 

This they inflantly engaged to perform, but no fooner 

were they gone a-lhore, than, after a fhort council held to- 

Vol. I. G gether, 


gether, one of our laughing boat-companions flole off on 
foot, and, before day, I was awakened by the arrival of our 
Rais Abou Cuffi, and his fon Mahomet.. 

Abou Cuffi was drunk^ though a Sberriffe, a :Hugi, and half 
a Saint befides, who never tailed fermented liquor, as he told 
me when I hired him. — The fon was terrified out of his wits. 
He faid he mould have been impaled, had the meffenger 
arrived ; and, feeing that I fell upon means to keep open, 
a correfpondence with Cairo, he told me he would not run 
the rifk of being furety, and of going back to Cairo to an- 
fwer for his father's faults, leafl, one day or another, upon 
fome complaint of that kind, he might be taken out of his 
bed and baflinadoed to death, without knowing what his 
offence was. 

An altercation enfued ; the father declined Haying upon 
pretty much the fame reafons, and I was very happy to find 
that Rifk had dealt roundly with them, and that I was ma- 
iler of the firing upon which I could touch their fears. 

They then both agreed to go the voyage, for none of 
them thought it very fafe to flay ; and I was glad to get 
men of fome fubflance along with me, rather than trufl 
to hired vagabond fervants, which I efleemed-the two Moors 
to be. 

As the Shekh of the Howadat and I had vowed friend- 
ship, he offered to carry me to Coffeir by land, without any 
expence, and in perfect fafety, thinking me diffident of my 
boatmen, from what had gaffed. 



I thanked him for this friendly offer, which I am per- 
fuaded I might have accepted very fafely, but I contented 
myfelf with defiring, that one of the Moor fervants in the 
boat mould go to Cairo to fetch Mahomet Abou Cuffi's fon's 
cloaths, and agreed that I mould give live patakas additional 
hire for the boat, on condition that Mahomet mould go with 
us in place of the Moor fervant, and that Abou Cuffi, the 
father and faint (that never drank fermented liquors) mould 
be allowed to fleep himfelf fober, till his fervant the Moor 
returned from Cairo with his fon's cloaths. 

In the mean time, I bargained with the Shekh of the. 
"Howadat to furnifh me with horfes to go to Metrahenny or 
Mohannan, where once he faid Mimf had Hood, a large city* 
the capital of all Egypt. 

All this was executed with great fuccefs. Early in the 
morning the Shekh of the Howadat had paffed at Miniel, 
where there is a ferry, the Nile being very deep, and attend- 
ed me with five horfemen and a fpare horfe for myfelf, at 
Metrahenny, fouth of Miniel, where there is a great planta- 
tion of palm-trees. 

The 13th, in the morning about eight o'clock, we let out 
our vaft fails, and paned a very confiderable village called 
Turra, on the eaft fide of the river, and Shekh Atman, a fmall 
village, confiding of about thirty houfes, on the well. 

The mountains which run from the cafile to the eaft ward 
of fouth-eaft, till they are about five miles diftant from the 
Nile eaft and by north of this nation, approach again the 
banks of the river, running in a direeiion fouth and by 

G 2 weft, 


weft, till they end clofe on the banks of the Nile about 

The Nile here is about a quarter of a mile broad ; and 
there cannot be the fmalleft doubt, in any perfon diipofed 
to be convinced, that this is by very far * the narroweft part 
of Egypt yet feen. For it certainly wants of half-a-mile be- 
tween the foot of the mountain and the Libyan more, which 
cannot be faid of any ether part of Egypt we had yet corns 
to ; and it cannot be better defcribed than it is by f Hero- 
dotus ; and " again, oppo/ite to the Arabian fide, is another 
" ftony mountain of Egypt towards Libya, covered with 
" fand, where are the Pyramids." 

As this, and many other circumftances to be repeated 
in the fequel, muil naturally awaken the attention of the 
traveller to -look for the ancient city of- Memphis here, Heft 
our boat at Shekh Atman, accompanied by the Arabs, point-- 
mg nearly fouth. We entered a large and thick wood of 
palm-trees, whofe greateft extenfion feemed to be fouth by 
eaft. We continued in this courfe till we came to one, and 
then to feveral large villages, all built among the plantation 
of date-trees, fo as fcarce to be feen from the more. 

These villages are called Metrahenny, a word from the 
etymology of which I can derive no information, and leav- 
ing the river, we continued due weft to the plantation tha/t 
is called Mohannan, which, as far as I know, has no figni- 

fication either. 


* Herod, lib. ii. p. 99. f Herod, lib. ii. cap. 8. 


All to the fouth, in this defert, are vaft numbers of Py- 
ramids ; as far as I could difcern, all of clay, fome fo dif- 
tant as to appear juft in the horizon. 

Having gained the weftern edge of the palm-trees at Mo- 
hannan, we have a fair view of the Pyramids at Geeza, which 
lie in a direction nearly S. W. As far as I can compute the 
diflance, I think about nine miles, and as near as it was 
poflible to judge by fight, Metrahenny, Geeza, and the cen- 
ter of the three Pyramids, made an Ifofceles triangle, or 
nearly fo. 

I asked the Arab what he thought of the diftance ? whe- 
ther it was fartheft to Geeza, or the Pyramids ? He faid, 
they were fowab, fowab, juft alike, he believed; from Me- 
trahenny to the Pyramids perhaps might be fartheft, but he 
would much fooner go it, than along the coaft to Geeza, be- 
caufe he mould be interrupted by meeting with water. 

All to the weft and fouth of Mohannan, we faw great 
mounds and heaps of rubbifh, and califhes that were not of 
any length, but were lined with ftone, covered and choked 
up in many places with earth. 

We faw three large granite pillars S. \V. of Mohannan, 
and a piece of a broken cheft or ciftern of granite ; but no 
obelifks, or ftones with hieroglyphics, and we thought the 
greateft part of the ruins feemed to point that way, or 
more foutherly. 

These, our conductor faid, were the ruins of Mimf, the an- 
cient feat of the Pharaohs kings of Egypt, that there was 
v ; o. another 


another Mimf, far down in the Delta, by which he meant 
Menouf, below Terrane and Batn el Baccara*. 

Perceiving now that I could get no further intelligence,, 
I returned with my kind guide, whom I gratified for his 
pains, and we parted content with each other. 

In the fands I faw a number of hares. He faid, if I 
would go with him to a place near Faioumc, I mould kill 
half a boat-load of them in a day, and antelopes likewife, 
for he knew where to get dogs ; mean- while he invited 
me to fhoot at them there, which I did not choofe ; for,, 
palling very quietly among the date- trees, I wifhed not 
to invite further curiofity. 

All the people in the date villages feemed to be of a. 
yellower and more fick-like colour, than any I had ever feenr; 
befides, they had an inanimate, dejected, grave countenance, 
and feemed rather to avoid, than wifh any converfatiom 

It was near four o'clock in the afternoon when we re- 
turned to our boatmen. By the way we met one of our 
Moors, who told us they had drawn up the boat oppofite 
to the northern point of the palm-trees of Metrahenny. 

My Arab infifted to attend me thither, and, upon his arrival,, 
I made him fome trifling prefents, and then took my leave. 

In the evening I received a prefentof dry dates, and fome 
fugar cane, which does not grow here, but had been brought 


* See the Chart of the Nile.- 


to the Shckh by fome of his friends, from fome of the vil- 
lages up the river. 

The learned Dr Pococke, as far as I know, is the firft 
European traveller that ventured to go out of the beaten 
path, and look for Memphis, at Metrahenny andMohannam 

Dr Shaw, who in judgment, learning, and candour, is 
equal to Dr Pococke, or any of thofe that have travelled into 
Egypt, contends warmly for placing it at Geeza. 

Mr Niebuhr, the Danifh traveller, agrees with Dr Pococke 
I believe neither Shaw nor Niebuhr were ever at Metra- 
henny, which Dr Pococke and myfelf vifited ; though all 
of us have been often enough at Geeza, and I muft con- 
fefs, ftrongly as Dr Shaw has urged his arguments, I can- 
not confider any of the reafons for placing Memphis at 
Geeza as convincing, and very few of them that do not go 
to prove juft the contrary in favour of Metrahenny. 

Bfeore I enter into the argument, I muft premife, that 
Ptolemy, if he is good for any thing, if he merits the hun- 
dredth part of the pains that have been taken with him by 
his commentators, muft furely be received as a competent 
authority in this cafe. 

The inquiry is into the pofition of the old capital of E- 
gypt, not fourfcore miles from the place where he was 
writing, and immediately in dependence upon it. And 
therefore, in dubious cafes, I fhall have no doubt to refer to 

him. as deferving the great? redit 



Dr Pococke * fays, that the fituation of Memphis was at 
TNlohannan, or Metrahenny, becaufe Pliny fays the f- Pyra- 
mids were between Memphis and the Delta, as they certain- 
ly are, if Dr Pococke is right as to the fituation of Memphis. 

Dr Shaw does not undertake to anfwer this direct evi- 
dence, but thinks to avoid its force by alledging a contrary 
fentiment of the fame Pliny, " that the Pyramids % lay be- 
tween Memphis and the Arfmoite nome, and confequently, 
as Dr Shaw thinks, they mult be to the weftward of Mem*, 

Memphis, if fituated at Metrahenny, was in the middle of 
the Pyramids, three of them to the N. W. and above three- 
fcore of them to the fouth. 

When Pliny faid that the Pyramids were between Mem- 
phis and the Delta, he meant the three large Pyramids, com- 
monly called the Pyramids of Geeza. 

But in the lad inftance, when he fpoke of the Pyramids 
of Saccara, or that great multitude of Pyramids fouthward, 
he laid they were between Memphis and the Arfmoite nome^ 
and lb they are, placing Memphis at Metrahenny. 

For Ptolemy gives Memphis 29 50' in latitude, and the 
Arfmoite nome 29 30' and there is 8' of longitude betwixt 
them. There fore, the Arfmoite nome cannot be to the well, 
either of Geeza or Metrahenny ; the Memphitic nome ex- 

* pococke, vol. I. c?.p. v. p. 39. j Pun. lib, 5, cap. 9, t p l» n - lib - 3 6 ' ca P- I2 < 


tends to the wefhvard, to that part of Libya called the Scy- 
thian Region ; and fouth of the Memphitic nome is the Ar- 
finoite nome, which is bounded on the wefhvard by the fame 
part of Libya. 

To prove that the latter opinion of Pliny mould outweigh 
the former one, Dr Shaw cites *Diodorus Siculus, who fays 
Memphis was moil commodioufly fituated in the very key, 
or inlet of the country, where the river begins to divide itfelf 
into feveral branches, and forms the Delta. 

I cannot conceive a greater proof of a man being blind- 
ed by attachment to his own opinion, than this quotation. 
For Memphis was in lat. 29 50', and the point of the Delta 
was in 30 , and this being the latitude of Geeza, it cannot be 
that of Memphis. That city mufl be fought for ten or eleven 
miles farther fouth. 

If, as Dr Shaw fuppofes, it was nineteen miles round, 
and that it was five or fix miles in breadth, its greateft breadth 
would probably be to the river. Then 10 and 6 make i5, 
which will be the latitude of Metrahenny, according to f Dr 
Shaw's method of computation. 

But then it cannot be faid that Geeza is either in the key 
or inlet of the country ; all to the weflward of Geeza is plain, 
and defert, and no mountain nearer it on the other fide than 
the caftle of Cairo, 

Vol. L H D r 

Diod..Sk.-p. 45. j 50. f.Suaw's T.avels, p. 2;6. in the latitude quoted. 


Dr Shaw* thinks that this is further confirmed by Pliny's 
faying that Memphis was within fifteen miles of the Delta. 
Now if this was really the cafe, he fuggefts a plain reafon, if 
he relies on ancient meafures, why Geeza, that is only ten 
miles, cannot be Memphis. 

If a perfon, arguing from meafures, thinks he is intitled 
to throw away or add, the third part of the quantity that he 
is contending for, he will not be at a great ftrefs to place 
thcfe ancient cities in what fituation he pleafes. 

Nor is it fair for Dr Shaw to fuppofe quantities that never 
did exiit ; for Metrahenny, inftead of f forty, is not quite 
twenty-feven miles from the Delta ; fuch liberties would 
confound any queflion. 

The Doctor proceeds by faying, that heaps of ruins J alone 
are not proof of any particular place ; but the agreeing of the 
diftances between Memphis and the Delta, which is a fixed 
and Handing boundary, lying at a determinate diftance 
from Memphis, muft be a proof beyond all exception ||. 

If I could have attempted to advife Dr Shaw, or have had 
an opportunity of doing it, I would have fuggefted to him, as 
one who has maintained that all Egypt is the gift of the Nile, 
not to fay that the point of the Delta is a Handing and deter- 
mined boundary that cannot alter. The inconfiftency is 
apparent, and I am of a very contrary opinion. 


Sliaw's Travels, cap. 4. p. 298. if Id. ilid. 299. 4. Id ibid. || Id. ibid c 


Babylon, or Cairo, as it is now called, is fixed by the Ca~ 
Efh or Amnis Trajanus palling through it. Ptolemy * fays 
fo, and Dr Shaw fays that Geeza was oppollte to Cairo, or in? 
a line eait and welt from it, and is the ancient Memphis. 

Now, if Babylon is lat. 30 , and fo is Geeza, they may be 
oppofite to one another in a line of ealt and weft. But if 
the latitude of Memphis is 29 50', it cannot be at Geeza, 
which is oppofite to Babylon, but ten miles farther fouth, 
m which cafe it cannot be oppofite to Babylon or Cairo. 
Again, if the point of the Delta be in lat. 30 , Babylon, or 
Cairo, 30 , and Ceeza be 30 , then the point of the Delta 
cannot be ten miles from Cairo or Babylon, or ten miles, 
from Geeza.. 

It is ten miles from Geeza, and ten miles fronxBabylon,. 
or Cairo, and therefore the diltances do not agree as Dr 
Shaw fays they do ; nor can the point of the Delta, as he 
fays, be a permanent boundary confidently with his own 
figures and thofe of Ptolemy, but it inufl have been wafhed 
away, or gone io' northward ; for Babylon, as he fays, is 
a certain boundary fixed by the Amnis Trajanus, and, fuppo- 
fmg the Delta had been a fixed boundary, and in lat. 30 , 
then the diitance of fifteen miles would juit have made up 
the fpace that Pliny fays was between that point and Mem- 
phis, if we fuppofe that great city was at Mctrahenny. 

I shall fay nothing as to his next argument in relation 
to the diitance of Geeza from the Pyramids ; becaufe, ma- 

H 2 kin 



: Ptol. Geogrnph. lib. iv. cap. c. 


king the fame fuppofitions, it is juft as much in favour of 
one as of the other. 

His next argument is from * Herodotus, who fays, that 
Memphis lay under the fandy mountain of Libya, and that 
this mountain is a ftony mountain covered with fand, and 
is oppoiite to the Arabian mountain. 

Now this furely cannot be called Geeza ; for Geeza is 
under no mountain, and the Arabian mountain fpoken of 
here is that which comes clofe to the more at Turra. 

Piodorus fays, it was placed in the ftraits or narrow- 
ell part of Egypt ; and this Geeza cannot be fo placed, for, 
by Dr Shaw's own confellion, it is at leaft twelve miles from 
Geeza to the fandy mountain where the Pyramids Hand on 
the Libyan fide ; and, on the Arabian fide, there is no moun- 
tain but that on which the caftle of Cairo ftands, which 
chain begins there, and runs a confiderable way into the 
defert, afterwards pointing fouth-weft, till they come fo near 
to the eaflern fhore as to leave no room but for the river at 
Turra ; fo that, if the caufe is to be tried by this point only, 
I am very confident that Dr Shaw's candour and love of 
truth would have made him give up his opinion if he had 
vifited Turra. 

The laft authority I mall examine as quoted by Dr Shaw, 
is to me fo decilive of the point in queftion, that, were I wri- 
ting to thofe only who are acquainted with Egypt, and the 
navigation of the Nile, I would not rely upon another. 


"Herod, lib. ii. p. 141. 16S. Ibid. p. 105. Ibid. p. 103. Edit. Steph. 


Herodotus* fays, "At the time of the inundation, the 
x ' Egyptians do not fail from Naucratis to Memphis by the 
" common channel of the river, that is Cercafora, and the 
" point of the Delta, but over the plain country, along the 
" very fide of the Pyramids." 


Naucratis was on the weft fide of the Nile, about lat. 
3o 30'. let us fay about Terrane in my map. They then 
failed along the plain, out of the courfe of the river, upon 
the inundation, clofe by the Pyramids, whatever fide they 
pleafed, till they came to Metrahenny, the ancient Mem- 

The Etefian wind, fair as it could blow, forwarded their 
•courfe whilft in this line. They went directly before the 
wind, and, if we may fuppofe, accomplifhed the navigation 
in .a very few hours ; having been provided with thofe barks, 
or canjas, with their powerful fails, which I have already 
defcribed, and, by means of which, they fhortened their 
paflage greatly, as well as added pleafure to it. 

But very different was the cafe if the canja was going 
to Geeza. 

They had nothing to do with the Pyramids, nor to come 
within three leagues of the Pyramids; and nothing can be 
more contrary, both to fact, and experience, than that they 
would ihorten their voyage by failing along the fide of 
them ; for the wind being at north and north-weft as fair 
as poffible for Geeza, they had nothing to do but to keep 


*Herod. lib. ii. § 97- p- 123 


as direct upon it as they could lie. But if, as Dr Sliaw thinks,, 
they made the Pyramids iirll, I would with to know in what 
manner they conducted their navigation to come down up- 
on Geeza. 

Their veffels go only before the wind, and they had a 
flrong Heady gale almoll directly in their teeth. 

They had no current to help them ; for they were in ftiil 
water ; and if they did not take down their large yards and 
fails, they were fo top-heavy, the wind had fo muchpurchafe 
upon them above, that there was no alternative, but, either 
with fails or without, they muft make for Upper Egypt ; 
and there, entering into the firft practicable caliih that was- 
full, get into the main ftream. 

But their dangers were not ftill over, for, going down 
with a violent current, and with their Handing rigging up, 
the moment they touched the banks, their malls and yards 
would go overboard, and, perhaps, the veffel Have to pieces. 

Nothing would then remain, but for fafety's fake to flrike 
their mails and yards, as they always do when they go down 
the river ; they muft lie broadfide foremoft, the flrong wind 
blowing perpendicular on one fide of the veffel, and the vio- 
lent current pufhing it in a contrary direction on the other; 
while a man, with a long oar, balances the advantage the wind 
has of the ftream, by the hold it has of the cabin and upper 

This would moll infallibly be the cafe of the voyage from 
Naucratis, unlefs in ftriving to fail by tacking, (a manoeuvre 




of which their veffel is not capable) their canja mould over- 
fet, and then they mufl all perifh. 

If Memphis was Metrahcnny, I believe moil people who 
had leifure would have tried the voyage from Naucratis by 
the plain. They would have been carried ftraight from north 
to fouth. But Dr Shaw is exceedingly miftaken, if he thinks 
there is any way fo expeditious as going up the current of 
the river. As far as I can guefs, from ten to four o'clock* 
we feldom went lefs than eight miles in the hour, againft 
a current that furely ran more than fix. This current 
kept our veffel ftiff, whilft the monftrous fail forced us 
through with a facility not to be imagined. 

Dr Shaw, to put Geeza and Memphis perfectly upon a 
footing, fays*, that there were no traces of the city now to 
be found, from which he imagines it began to decay foon 
after the building of Alexandria, that the mounds and ram- 
parts which kept the river from it were in procefs of time 
neglected, and that Memphis, which he fuppofes was in the. 
old bed of the river about the time of the Ptolemies, was 
fo far abandoned, that the Nile at laft got in upon it, and 
overflowing its old ruins, great part of the bed of which had 
been carried firft to build the city of Alexandria, that the 
mud covered the reft, fo that no body knew what was its 
true fituation. This is the opinion of Dr Pococke, and 
1'kewife of M. de Maillet. 

The opinion of thefe two lafl-ftientionctl authors, that 
die ruins and fituation of Memphis arc now become obfeure, 


Shaw's Travels, cap. 4. 


is certainly true ; the foregoing difpute is a fufficient evi* 
dence of this. 

But I will not fuffer it to be faid, that, foon after the 
building of Alexandria, or in the time of the Ptolemies, this 
was the cafe, becaufe Strabo * fays, that when he was in 
Egypt, Memphis, next to Alexandria,, was the molt magnifi* 
cent city in Egypt. 

It was called the Capital f of Egypt, and there was entire 
a temple of Ofiris ; the Apis (or facred ox) was kept and 
worfhipped there. There was likewife an apartment for 
the mother of that ox Hill landing, a temple of Vulcan of 
great magnificence, a large $ circus, or fpace for fighting 
bulls ; and a great coloffus in the front of the city thrown 
down : there was alfo a temple of Venus, and a ferapium, 
in a very fandy place, where the wind heaps up hills of 
moving fand very dangerous to travellers, and a number 
of § fphinxes, (of fome only their heads being vifible) the 
others covered up to the middle of their body. 

In the || front of the city were a number of palaces then 

in ruins, and likewife lakes. Thefe buildings, he fays, flood 

formerly upon an eminence ; they lay along the fide of the 

hill, firetching down to the lakes and the groves, and forty 

ftadia from the city ; there was a mountainous height, that 

had many Pyramids Handing upon it, the fepulchres of the 

kings, among which there are three remarkable, and two- 

die wonders of the world. 


* Strabo. lib. vii. . 914-. fid. ibid. t Id. ibid, § Strabo, ibid. 

Id. ibid. 


This is the account of an eye-witncfs, an hiflorian 
of the firft credit, who mentions Memphis, and this Hate of 
it, fo late as the reign of Nero ; and therefore I mall con- 
clude this argument with three obfervations, which, I am 
very forry to lay, could never have efcaped a man of Dr 
Shaw's learning and penetration. 

ij, That by this defcription of Strabo, who was in it, it 
is plain that the city was not deferted in the time of the 

2^, That no time, between the building of Alexandria 
and the time of the Ptolemies, could it be fwallowed up by 
the river, or its fituation unknown. 

3^/j', That great part of it having been built upon an 
eminence on the fide of a hill, efpecially the large and mag- 
nificent edifices I have fpoken of, it could not be fituated, 
as he fays, low in the bed of the river ; for, upon the giving 
way of the Memphitic rampart, it would be fwallowed up 
•by it. 

If it was fwallowed up by the river, it was not Gceza ; 
and this accident mud have been fmcc Strabo's time, which 
DrShaw will not aver; and it is by much too loofe arguing 
to fay, firft, that the place was deflroyed by the violent over- 
flowing of the river, and then pretend its fituation to be 
Gecza, where a river never came. 

The defcent of the hill to where the Pyramids were, and 
the number of Pyramids that were there around it, of which 
three are remarkable ; the very fandy fituation,. and the 

v ol. L I quantity 


quantity of loofe flying hillocks that were there (dangerous 
in windy weather to travellers) are very flrong pictures of 
the Saccara, the neighbourhood of Metrahenny and Mohan- 
nan, but they have not the fmallell or molt diltant refem- 
blance to any part in the neighbourhood of Geeza. 

It will be afked, Where arc all thofe temples, the Serapi- 
um, the Temple of Vulcan, the Circus, and Temple of Venus? 
Are they found near Metrahenny ? 

To this I anfwer, Are they found at Geeza? No, but had. 
they been at Geeza, they would have ftill been viiible, as they 
are at Thebes, Diofpolis, and Syene, becaufe they are fur- 
rounded with black earth not moveable by the wind. Vail 
quantities of thefe ruins, however, are in every ftreet of 
Cairo: every wail, every Bey's ftable, every cittern for horfes 
to drink at, preferve part of the magnificent remains that 
have been brought from Memphis or Metrahenny. — The 
reft arc covered with the moving fands of the Saccara ; as 
the fphinxes and buildings that had been defertcd were in. 
Strabo's time for want of grafs and roots, which always, 
fpread and keep the foil firm in populous inhabited places,, 
the fands of the deferts are let loofe upon them, and have ■ 
covered them probably for ever, 

A man's heart fails him in looking to the fouth andfouth- 
weft of Metrahenny. He is loft in the immenfe expaafe of 
defert, which he fees full of Pyramids before him. Struck. 
with terror from the unufual fcenc of vaftnefs opened alt 
at once upon leaving the palm-trees, he becomes difpiritcd ; 
from the effects of fultry climates. 



From habits of idlcncfs contracted at Cairo, from the 
itories he has heard of the bad government and ferocity of 
the people, from want of language and want of plan, he 
fhrinks from the attempting any difcovcry in the moving 
fands of the Saccara, embraces in fafety and in quiet the 
reports of others, whom he thinks have been more inquifi- 
live and more adventurous than himfelf. 

Thus, although he has created no new error of his own, 
he is acceffary to the having corroborated and confirmed the 
ancient errors of others; and, though people travel in the 
fame numbers as ever, phyfics and geography continue at 
a Hand. 

In the morning of the 14th of December, after having 
made our peace with Abou Cuffi, and received a multitude 
of apologies and vows of amendment and fidelity for the 
future, we were drinking coffee preparatory to our leaving 
Metrahenny, and beginning our voyage in earner!, when an 
Arab arrived from my friend the Howadat, with a letter,, 
and a few dates, not amounting to a hundred. 

Th6 Arab was one of his people that had been fick, and 
wanted to go to Kenne in Upper Egypt. The Shekh exprcl- 
fed his defire that I would take him with me this trifle of 
ahout two hundred and fifty miles, that I would give him 
medicines, cure his difeafe, and maintain him all the way. 

On thefe occafions there is nothing like ready compli- 
ance. He had offered to carry me the lame journey with 
■all my people and baggage without hire ; he conducted 
me with fafety and great politenefs to the Saccara ; I there- 

I 2 fore 



fore anfwered inftantly, " You fliall be very welcome,, 
upon my head be it." Upon this the miferable wretch, 
half naked, laid down a dirty clout containing about ten 
dates, and the Shekh's fervant that had attended him re- 
turned in triumph, 

I mention this trifling circumftance, to fhew how efTen- 
tial to humane and civil intercourfe prefents are confidered 
to be in the eaft ; whether it be dates, or whether it be dia- 
monds, they are fo much a part of their manners, that, 
without them an inferior will never be at peace in his own. 
mind, or think that he has a hold of his fuperior for his 
favour or protection. 






leave Metrahenny—Come to the JJland Halouan—Falft Pyramid— 
theft buildings end—Sugar Canes— Ruins of Antinopolis— Recep- 
tion there. 


UR wind was fair and frefh, rather a little on our 
J beam ; when, in great fpirits, we hoifted our main and 
fore-fails, leaving the point of Metrahenny, where our rea- 
der may think we have too long detained him. We faw 
the Pyramids of Saccara ftill S. W. of us ; feveral villages 
on both fides of the river, but very poor and miferable ; 
part of the ground on the eaft fide had been overflowed, 
yet was not fown ; a proof of the oppreffion and diflrefs the 
hufbandman fuffers in the neighbourhood of Cairo, by the 
avarice and difagreement of the different officers of that 
motely incomprehenfible government. 

After failing about two miles, we law three men fifh- 
ing in a very extraordinary manner and fituation. They 
were on a raft of palm branches, fupported on a float of 
clay jars, made fail together. The form was like an Ifofceles 
triangle, or face of a Pyramid; two men, each provided 
with* calling net, flood at the two corners, and threw their 
net into the flream together ; the third flood at the apex 
of the triangle, or third corner, which was foremofl, and 
rhrew his net the moment the other two drew theirs out 

4. o£ 


of the water. And this they repeated, in perfect time, and 
with furprifmg regularity. Our Rais thought we wanted 
to buy fifh ; and letting go his main-fail, ordered them on 
board with a great tone of fuperiority. 

They were in a moment alongfide of us ; and one of 
them came on board, lafhing his mifcrablc raft to a rope at 
our Hern. In recompence for their trouble, we gave them 
fome large pieces of tobacco, and this tranfported them fo 
much, that they brought us a bafket, of feveral different 
kinds of fifh, all fmall ; excepting one laid on the top of 
the bafket, which was a clear falmon-coloured Mi, filvered 
upon its fides, with a made of blue upon its back*. It 
weighed about 10 lib. and was moil excellent, being per- 
fectly firm and white like a perch. There are fome of this 
kind 70 lib. weight. I examined their nets, they were ra- 
ther of a fmaller circumference than our calling nets in 
England ; the weight, as far as I could guefs, rather heavier 
in proportion than ours, the thread that compofed them be- 
ing fmaller. I could not fufhciently admire their fuccefs, 
in a violent ftream of deep water, fuch as the Nile ; for the 
river was at leaft twelve feet deep where they were iiihing, 
and the current very ftrong. 

These fifhers offered willingly to take me upon the raft 
to teach me ; but I cannot fay my curiofity went fo far. 
They faid their fifhing was merely accidental, and in courfe 
of their trade, which was felling thefe potter earthen jars, 
which they got near Afhmounein ; and after having carried 


* Named Bimy. Sec Appendix. 


the raft with them to Cairo, they untie, fell them at the mar- 
ket, and carry the produce home in money, or in neceffaries 
upon their hack. A very poor (Economical trade, hut fuf- 
ficent, as they faid, from the carriage of crude materials, the 
moulding, making, and fending them to market, to Cairo 
and to different places in the Delta, to afford occupation to 
two thoufand men ; this is nearly four times the number 
of people employed in the largeit iron foundery in Eng- 
land. But the reader will not underftand, that I warrant 
this fact from any authority but what I have given him. 

About two o'clock, in the afternoon, we came to the point 
of an iiland ; there were feveral villages with date trees on 
both fides of us ; the ground is overflowed by the Nile, and 
cultivated. The current is very flrong here. We paffed a 
village called Regnagie, and another named Zaragara, on 
the eaft fide of the Nile. We then came to Caphar el Hay.- 
at, or the Toll of the Tailor; a village with great plantations 
of dates, and the largeft we had yet feen. 

We paffed the night on the S. W... point, of the ifland be- 
tween Caphar el Hayat, and Gizier Azali, the. wind failing 
as about four o'clock, This place is the beginning of. the 
Ker?.cleotic nome, and its fituation a fullicient evidence that 
Metrahenny was Memphis ; its name is Halouan, 

This ifland is now divided into a number, of fmall ones, 
by calilhes being cut through and through it, and, under 
different Arabic names, they ftill reach very far up the ilream. 
f landed .to fee. if there werexemains of the olive tree which 



Strabo* fays "grew here, but without fuccefs. We may im- 
agine, however, that there was fome fuch like thing ; be- 
caufe oppofite to one of the divifions into which this large 
ifland is broken, there is a village called Zeitoon, or the 
Olive Tree. 

On the 15th of December, the weather being nearly calm, 
we left the north end of the ifland, or Heracleotic nome ; 
our courfe was due fouth, the line of the river ; and three 
miles farther we pafled Woodan, and a collection of vil- 
lages, all going by that name, upon the eaft : to the weft, 
or right, were fmall iflands, part of the ancient nome of 
which I have already fpoken. 

The ground is all cultivated about this village, to the foot 
of the mountains, which is not above four miles ; but it is 
full eight on the weft, all overflowed and fown. The Nile 
is here but fhallow, and narrow, not exceeding a quarter 
of a mile broad, and three feet deep ; owing, I fuppofe, to 
the refiftance made by the ifland in the middle of the cur- 
rent, and by a bend it makes, thus intercepting the fand 
brought down by the ftream. 

The mountains here come down till within two miles of 
Suf el Woodan, for fo the village is called. We were told 
there were fome ruins to the weft ward of this, but only rub- 
bifh, neither arch nor column {landing. I fuppofe it is the 
Aphroditopolis, or the city of Venus, which we are to look 


* Strabo, lib. xvii. p- pj6. 



for here, and the nome of that name, all to the eafhvard 
of it. 

The wind ftill frefhening, we palled by feveral villages 
on each fide, all furrounded with palm-trees, verdant and 
pleafant, but conveying an idea of famenefs and want of 
variety, fuch as every traveller mull have felt who has fail- 
ed in the placid, muddy, green-banked rivers in Holland. 

The Nile, however, is here fully a mile broad, the water 
deep, and the current ftrong. The wind feemed to be exaf- 
perated by the refinance of the ftream, and blew freih and 
fteadily, as indeed it generally does where the current is 

"We palled Nizelet Embarak, which means the Blcfled 
Landing-place. Mr Norden * calls it Giefiret Barrakaed, 
which he fays is the -watering-place if the crofs. Was this even 
the proper name here given it, it mould be tranflated the 
BleiTed Bland; but, without underftanding the language, it 
is in vain -to keep a regifter of names. 

The boatmen, living cither in the Delta, Cairo, or one of 
the great towns in Upper Egypt, and coming conftamly load- 
ed with merchandife, or ilrangers from thefe great places, 
make fwift paffages by the villages, either down the river 
with a rapid current, or up with a ftrong, fair, and flcacly 
wind : And, when -die feafon of the Nile's inundation is over, 
and the wind turns fouthward, they repair all to the Delta, 
Vol. I. K the 

■Norderi's travels, vol. ii. p. 19, 


the river being no longer navigable above, and there they* 
are employed till the next feafon. 

They know little, therefore, and carelefs about the name?, 
or inhabitants of thefe villages, who have each of them 
barks of their own to carry on their own trade. There arc 
fome indeed employed by the Coptic andTurkiih. merchants, 
who are better verted in the names of villages than others ; 
but, if they are not, and find you do not underftand the 
language, they will never confefs ignorance ; they will tell 
vou the lirll name that comes uppermoft, fometimes very- 
ridiculous, often very indecent, which we fee afterwards 
pafs into books, and wonder that luch names were ever 
given to towns. 

The reader will obferve this m comparing Mr Norden's 
voyage and mine, where he will feldom fee the fame vil- 
lage pafs by the fame name. My Rais, Abou Cuffi, when 
he did not know a village, fometimes tried this with mc> 
But when he law me going to write, he ufed then to tell 
me the truth, that he did not know the village ; but that 
fuch was the -cuibm of him, and his brethren, to people that 
did not underftand the language, efpecially if they were 
prielis, meaning Catholic Monks. 

We paffed with great velocity Nizelet Embarak, Cubabac; 
Nizelet Omar, Racca Kibeer, then Racca Seguicr, and came 
in light of Atria, a large village at fome diitance from the 
Nile ; all the valley here is green, the palm-groves beautiful,, 
and the Nile deep. 



Stij.l it is not the profpccT: that pleafcs, for the whole 
ground that is fown to the fandy afcent of the mountains, 
is but a narrow flripe of three quarters of a mile broad, and 
the mountains them felvcs, which here begin to have a mo- 
derate degree of elevation, and which bound this narrow 
valley, are white, gritty, fandy, and uneven, and perfectly 
dcliitute of all manner of verdure. 

At the fmall village of Racca Seguier there was tins 
remarkable, that it was thick, furrounded with trees of a 
different nature and figure from palms ; what they were 
I know not, I believe they were pomegranate-trees ; I thought, 
that with my glafs I difcerned fomc " rcddiih fruit upon 
them ; and we had paffed a village called Rhoda, a name 
they give in Egypt to pomegranates ; Saleah is on the op- 
polite, or eaft-fule of the river. The Nile divides above the 
village ; it fell very calm, and here we paffed the night of 
the fifteenth. 

Our Rais Abou Ouffi begged leave to go to Comadreedy, 
a fmall village on the weft of the Nile, with a few palm- 
trees about it ; he laid that his wife was there. As I never 
heard any thing of this till now, I fancied he was going 
to divert himlelf in the manner he had done the night be- 
fore he left Cairo ; for he had put on his black furtout, or 
great coat, his icarlct turban, and a new fearlet ihaul, both 
of which he laid he had brought, to do me honour in my 


I thanked him much for his conlidcration, but alked 
him why, as he was a Sherriffe, he did not wear xhegreen 
turban of Mahomet ? He anfwered, Poh ! that was a trick 

K 2 put 


, Lt upon ftrangers ; there were many men who wore greens 
rurbaus, he laid, that were very grea-t rafcals ; but he was i 
Sti'nt, which was better tfrail a SherruTe, and was known as 
ftich all over the world, whatever colour of a turban he 
wore, or whether a turban at all, and he only dreffed for 
mv honour ; would be back early in the morning., and 
bring me a fair wind. 

" Hassan, faid I, I fancy it is much more likely that- you 
" bring me fome aquavits, if you do not drink it all." He 
promifed that he would fee and procure fome, for mine 
was now at an end. He faid, the Prophet never forbade 
aquavits, only the drinking of wine ; and the prohibition 
could not be intended for Egypt, for there was no wine in 
it. ButBouza, fays he, Bouza I will drink, as long as I can 
walk from Item to item of a veiled, and away he went. I 
had indeed no doubt he would keep his refolution of drink- 
ing whether he returned or not. 

We kept, as ufuah a very good watch all night, which 
palled without disturbance. Next day, the 17th/ was ex- 
ceedingly hazy *in the morning, though it cleared about 
ten o'clock. It: was, however, iufficient. to mew the falfity 
of the obfervation of the author, who fays that the Nile* 
emits no fogs, and in courfe of the voyage we often faw 
other examples. of the fallacy of this affertion. 

In the afternoon, the people went afhore to fhoot pigeon*; 
they were very bad, and black, as it was not the feafon of 


Hero.!, lib, ii. cap. 19. 


-rain. I remained arranging my journal, when, with fome 
i'urprize, ,1 faw the Howadat Arab- come in, and lit down 
cloie to* me; however, I was not afraid of any evil inten- 
tion, having a crooked knife at my girdle, and two piftok 
Lying by me. 

What's this? How now, friend? faid I; Who lent for 
vou ? He v/ould have killed my hand, faying Fiarduc, I am 
under your protection; he then pulled out a rag from with- 
in his girdle, and laid he was going to Mecca, and had taken 
that with him ; that he was afraid my boatmen would rob 
hirn, and throw him into the Nile, or get fomebody to rob 
and murder him by the way; and that one of the Moors, 
Haffan's fervant, had been feeling for his money the nigh* 
before, when he .thought him afiecp. 

I made him count his mm, which amounted to 7^ fequiirs, 
and a piece of filver, value about half-a-crown, which in 
Syria they call Abou Keib, Father Dog. It is the Dutch 
Lion rampant, which the Arabs, who never call a thing by 
its right name, term a dog. — in fhort, this trcaiure amounted 
to fomething more than three guineas ; and this he denred 
me to keep till we feparated. Do not yon tell them, faid lie, 
and I will throw off my cloaths and girdle, and leave them 
on board,, while I go to fwim, and when they find I have 
nothing upon me they will not hurt me\. 

But what fecurky, faid I, have you that I do not rob 5 
of this, and get you thrown into the Nile fome night ? No, 
no, fays he, that I know is impoffiblc, I have never been 
able to fleep till I fpoke to you ; do with me what you 
pleafe, and my money too, only keep me out of the hands 

2.. '"■- 


of thofe murderers. " Well, well, faid I, now you have got 
rid of your money, you are fafc, and you (hall be my fer- 
vant; lye before the door of my dining-room all night, 
they dare not hurt a hair of your head while I am alive." 

The Pyramids, which had been on our right hand at dif- 
ferent diiiances fince we paffed the Saccara, terminated 
here in one of a very lingular construction. About two 
miles from the Nile, between Suf and Woodan, there is a 
Pyramid, which at firft fight appears all of a piece ; it is of 
unbaked bricks, and perfectly entire ; the inhabitants call 
it the * Falfe Pyramid, The lower part is a hill exactly 
ihaped like a Pyramid for a confiderable height. Upon 
this is continued the luperftructure in proportion till it ter- 
minates like a Pyramid above ; and, at a diltance, it would 
require a good eye to difcern the difference, for the face of 
the flone has a great refemblance to clay, of which the 
Pyramids of the Saccara are compofed. 

Hassan Abou Cuffi was as good as his word in one re- 
fpecl ; he came in the night, and had not drunk much fer- 
mented liquors ; but he could find no fpirits, he faid, and 
that, to be lure, was one of the reafons of his return ; I had 
fat up a great part of the night waiting a feafon for obfer- 
vation, but it was very cloud}', as all the nights had been 
(ince wo left Cairo. 

The f Stb, about eight o'clock in the morning, we pre- 
pared to get on our way ; the wind was calm, and fouth. 

I afked 

D gjour, 



I afkcd our Rais where his fair wind was which lie promi- 
sed to bring ? He laid, his wife had quarrelled with him all 
night, and would not give him time to pray; and therefore, 
fays he with a very droll face, you fhall fee me do all that 
a Saint can do for you on this occafion. I afked him what 
that was ? He made another droll face, "Why, it is to draw 
" the boat by the rope till the wind turns fair." I commend- 
ed very much this wife alternative, and immediately the 
veiled began to move, but very flowly, the wind being ftill 

On looking into Mr Nordcn's voyage, I was ftruck at firft 
fight with this paragraph* : "We faw this day abundance of 
" camels, but they did not come near enough for us to fhoot 
" them." — I thought with myfelf, to Jhoot camels in Egypt 
would be very little better than to Jhoot men, and that it was 
very lucky for him the camels did not come near, if that 
was the only thing that prevented him. Upon looking at 
the note, I fee it is a fmall miftake of the tranflator +, who 
fays, " that in the original it is Chameaux d'eau, water- 
" came/s;bm whether they are a particular fpecies of camels, 
* or a different kind of animal, he does not know. 


* Norden's Travels, vol. ii. p. 17. 

fl cannot here omit to reftify another fmall miftake of the tranflator, which involves- 
him in a difference with this Author which he did not mean. — 

Mr Norden, in the French, fays, that the mafter of his veflel being much frightened, 
" avoit perdu la tramontane •" the true meaning of which is, That he had Toft his judgment, 
not loll the north wind, as it is tranilated, which is really nonfenfe. 

Month's Travel, vol. ii. r>. re. 


But this is no fpecies of camel, it is a bird called a Peli- 
can, and the proper name in Arabic, is Jimmel el Bahar, the 
Camel of the River. The other bird like a partridge, which 
Mr Norden's people fhot, and did not know its name, and 
which was better than a pigeon, is called Gooto, very com- 
mon in all the defert parts of Africa. I have drawn them 
of many different colours. That of the Deferts of Tripoli, 
and Cyrenaicum, is very beautiful ; that of Egypt is fpotted 
white like the Guinea-fowl, but upon a brown ground, not 
a blue one, as that latter bird is. However, they are all very 
bad to cat, but they are not of the fame kind with the par- 
tridge. Its legs and feet are ail covered with feathers, and 
it has but two toes before. The. Arabs imagine it feeds on 
{tones, but its food is infects. 

After Comadreedy, the Nile is again divided by another 
fragment of the ifland, and inclines a little to the welhvard. 
On the eaft is the village Sidi Ali el Courani. It has only 
two palm-trees belonging to it, and on that account hath 
a deferted appearance ; but the wheat upon the banks was 
five inches high, and more advanced than any we had feen. 
The mountains on the eaft-iide come down to the banks of 
the Nile, are bare, white, and fandyyand there is on this fide 
no appearance of villages. 

The river here is abont a quarter of a mile broad, or 
fomething more. It mould feem it was the Angyrorimi 
Qj vitas of Ptolemy, but neither night nor day could I get 
an inflant for obfervation, on account of thin white clouds, 
which confuted (for they fcarce can be laid to" cover) the 
heavens continually. 



We patted now a convent of cophts, with a fmall planta- 
tion of palms. It is a miferable building, with a dome like 
to a faint's or marabout's, and Hands quite alone. 

About four miles from this is the village of Nizelet el 
Arab, confiiling of miferable huts. Here begin large planta- 
tions of fugar canes, the firft we had yet feen ; they were then 
loading boats with thel'e to carry them to Cairo. I procured 
from them as many as I defired. The canes are about an 
inch and a quarter in diameter, they are cut in round pieces 
about three inches long, and, after having been flit, they 
are fteeped in a wooden bowl of water. They give a very a- 
greeable tafte and flavour to it, and make it the moil re- 
frefhing drink in the world, whilft by imbibing the water, 
the canes become more juicy, and lofe a part of their heavy 
clammy fweetnefs, which would occalion third. I was fur- 
prized at finding this plant in fuch a Hate of perfection fo 
far to the northward. We were now fcarcely arrived in 
lat. 29 , and nothing could be more beautiful and perfect 
than the canes were. 

I apprehend they were originally a plant of the old con- 
tinent, and tranfported to the new, upon its firft difcovery, 
becaufe here in Egypt they grow from feed. I do not 
know if they do fo in Brazil, but they have been in all times 
the produce of Egypt. Whether they have been found eife- 
where, I have not had an opportunity of being informed, 
but it is time that fome fkilful perfon, verfed in the hiftory of 
plants, mould feparate fome of the capital productions of the 
old, and new continent, from the adventitious, before, from 
length of time, that which we now know of their hiftory 
be loft. 

Vol. I. I- Sugar, 


Sugar, tobacco, red podded or Cayenne pepper, cotton, 
fomc fpecies of Solanum, Indigo, and a multitude of others, 
have not as yet their origin well afcertained. 

Prince Henry of Portugal put his difcoveries to immedi- 
ate profit, and communicated what he found new in each 
part in Europe, Afia, Africa, and America,, to where it was 
wanting. It will be foon difficult to afcertain to each quar- 
ter of the world the articles that belong to it, and fix up- 
on tho-fe few that are common to all. 

Even wheat, the early produce of Egypt, is not a native 
of it. It grows under the Line, within the Tropics, and as 
far north and fouth as we know. Severe northern win- 
ters ieem to be necefiary to it, and it vegetates vigoroufly 
in froft and fnow. But whence it came, and in what fliape, 
is yet left to conjecture. 

Though the ftripe of green wheat was continued all 
along the Nile, it was interrupted for about half a mile on. 
each fide of the coptifh convent. Thefe poor wretches 
know, that though they may fow, yet, from the violence of 
the Arabs, they ihall never reap, and therefore leave the 
ground defolate. 

On the fide oppofite toSment, the ftripe begins again, and 
continues from Sment to Mey-Moom,. about two miles, and 
from Mey-Moom to Shenuiah, one mile further. In this- 
final! ftripe, not above a quarter of a mile broad, befides 
wheat, clover is fown, which they call Berfine. I don't think 
it equals what I have feen in England, but it is fown and 

cultivated in the fame manner, 



Immediately behind this narrow ftripe, the white moun- 
tains appear again, fquare and flat on the top like tables. 
They feem to be laid upon the furface of the earth, not in- 
ferted into it, for the feveral ftrata that are divided lye as 
level as it is poflible to place them with a rule ; they are of 
no confiderable height. 

We next paflcd Boufh, a village on the weft-fide of the 
Nile, two miles fouth of Shenuiah ; and, a little further, 
Beni Ali, where we fee for a minute the mountains on the 
right or weft-fide of the Nile, running in a line nearly fouth, 
and very high. About five miles from Boufh is the village 
of Maniareifh on the eafl-fide of the river, and here the 
mountains on that fide end. 

Boush is about two miles and a quarter from the river. 
Eeni Ali is a large village, and its neighbour, Zeytoom, ftill 
larger, both on the weftem fhore. I fuppofe this lafl was part 
of the Heraclcotic nome, where * Strabo fays the olive-tree 
grew, and no where elfe in Egypt, but we faw no appear- 
ance of the great works once faid to have been in that nome. 
A little farther fouth is Baiad, where was an engagement 
between Huflein Bey, and Ali Bey then in exile, in which the 
former was defeated, and the latter reflored to the govern- 
ment of Cairo. 

From Maniareifh to Beni Suef is two miles and a half, 
and oppofite to this the mountains appear again of confider- 
able height, about twelve miles diflant. Although Beni Suef 

L 2 is 

Strabo, lib. xvii. p. g$6. 


is no better built than any other town or village that we Had 
panned, yet it intereib by its extent; it is the moil conuderable 
place we had yet feen fmce our leaving Cairo. It has a cacheff 
and a mofque, with three large iteeples, and is a market- 

The country all around is well cultivated, and Teems to 
be of the utmoft fertility; the inhabitants are better cloathed, 
and feemingly lefs miferable, and oppreffed, than thole we» 
had left behind in the places nearer Cairo. 

The Nile is very mallow at Beni Suef, and the current: 
ftrong. We touched feveral times in the middle of the; 
ftream, and came to an anchor at Baha, about a quarter of; 
a mile above Beni Suef, where we palled the night. 

We were told to keep good watch here all night, that 
there were troops of robbers on the eaft-fide cf the water, 
who had lately plundered fome boats, and that the cacheff 
either dared not, or would not give them any affiftance. We 
did indeed keep ftri6t watch, but faw no robbers, and were, 
no other way molefted. 

The i 8th we had fine weather and a fair wind. Still 
I thought the villages were beggarly, and the conftant groves, 
of palm-trees fo perfectly verdant, did not compenfate for 
the penury of fown land, the narrownefs of the valley, and 
barrennefs of the mountains. 

We paffed Manmra,Gadami, Magaga, Malatiah, and other 
fmall villages, fome of them not coniifting of fifteen houfes, 
Then follow Gundiah and Kerm on the weft-fide of the 




river, with a large plantation of dates, and four miles fur- 
ther Sharuni. All the way from Boufh there appeared no 
mountains on the weft fide,, but large, plantations of dates, 
which extended from Gundiah four miles. 

From this to Abou Azeeze, frequent plantations of fugar 
canes were, now cutting. All about Kafoor is fandy and 
barren on both fides of the river. Etfa is on the weft lidc of 
the Nile, which here again makes an ifland. All the houfes 
have now receptacles for pigeons on their tops, from which 
is derived a confiderable profit. They are made of earthen 
pots one above the other, occupying the upper ftory, and 
giving the walls of the turrets a lighter and. more orna- 
mented appearance. 

We: arrived in the evening at Zohora, about a mile fouth 
of Etfa. It confifts of three plantations of dates, and is five 
miles, from Miniet, and there we pafted the night of the . 
1 8th of December. 

There was nothing remarkable till we came to Barkaras-, 
a village on the fide of a hill, planted with thick groves of. 

The wind was fo high we fcarccly could carry our fails ; 
the current was ftrong at Shekh Temine, and the violence 
with which we went through the v/ater was terrible. My 
Rais told me we fliould have flackened our fails, if it had 
net been, that, feeing me curious about the conftruclion of 
the veflel and her parts, and as we were in no danger of link- 
ing, though the water was low, he wanted to fhew me what 
fiie could tio. 



I thanked him for his kindnefs. We had all along pre- 
ferred Uriel: friendfhip. Never fear the banks, laid I ; for 
1 know if there is one in the way, you have nothing to do 
but to bid him begone, and he will hurry to one fide direct- 
ly. " I have had paffengers, fays he, who would believe 
" that, and more than that, when I told them ; but there is 
" no occalion I fee to wafte much time with you in fpeak- 
" ing of miracles." 

" You are miftaken, Rais, I replied, very much miftaken; 
" I love to hear modern miracles vaftly, there is always fome 
" amufement in them." — " Aboard your Chriilian fhips, fays 
" he, you always have a prayer at twelve o'clock, and drink 
" a glafs of brandy ; fince you won't be a Turk like me, I 
" wifh at leail you would be a Chriilian." — Very fairly put, 
laid I, Haflan, let your veffel keep her wind if there is no 
danger, and I lliall take care to lay in a ftock for the whole 
voyage at the firlt town in which we can purchafe it. 

We paffed by a number of villages on the weftern 
more, the eaftern fecming to be perfectly unpeopled : Firlt, 
Fefhne, a eonfiderable place ; then * Miniet, or the ancient 
Phyla?, a large town which had been fortified towards the 
water, at leaft there were fome guns there. A rebel Bey 
had taken poffeilion of it, and it was ufual to ftop here, the 
river being both narrow and rapid ; but the Rais was in great 
fpirits, and refolved to hold his wind, as I had defired him, 
and nobody made us any fignal from fhore. 


Signifies the Narrow PafTage, and is meant what Plyl* is in Latin. 


We came to a village called Rhoda, whence we faw the 
magnificent ruins of the ancient city of Antinous, built by- 
Adrian. Unluckily I knew nothing of thefe ruins when I 
left Cairo, and had taken no pains to provide myfelf with 
letters of recommendation as I could eafily have done. Per- 
haps I might have found it difficult to avail myfelf of them, 
and it was, upon the whole, better as it was. 

I asked the Rais what fort of people they were ? He faid 
that the town was compofed of very bad Turks, very bad 
Moors, and very bad Chriftians; thatfeveral devils had been 
feen among them lately, who had been difcovered by being 
better and quieter than any of the reft The Nubian geo- 
grapher informs us, that it was from this town Pharaoh 
brought his magicians, to compare their powers with thofe 
of Mofes ; an anecdote worthy that great hiftorian. 

I told the Rais, that I mult, of neceffi ty, go afliore, and 
afked him, if the people of this place had no regard for 
faints ? that I imagined, if he would put on his red turban 
as he did at Comadreedy for my honour, it would then ap- 
pear that he was a faint, as he before faid he was known to be 
all the world over. He did not feem to be fond of the ex- 
pedition ; but hauling in his main-fail, and with his fore- 
fail full, ftood S. SL E. directly under the Ruins.. In a fhort 
time we arrived at the landing-place ; the banks are low, 
and we 1 brought up in a kind of bight or fmail bay, where 
there was a ftake, fo our veJTel touched very little, or rather 
fwung clear. 

Abou Cuffi's fon Mahomet, and the Arab, went on more,, 
under pretence of buying fome nroviiion, and to fee how 



the land lay, but after the character we had of the inha"bl« 
tants, all our fire-arms were brought to the door of the ca- 
bin. In the mean time, partly with my naked eye and 
partly with my glafs, I obferved the ruins fo attentively as 
to be perfectly in love with them. 

These columns of the angle of the portico were Handing 
fronting to the north, part of the tympanum, cornice, 
frize, and architrave, all entire, and very much ornamented; 
thick trees hid what was behind. The columns were of 
the largeft fize and fluted ; the capitals Corinthian, and in 
all appearance entire. They were of white Parian marble 
probably, but had loft the extreme whitenefs, or polifh, of 
the Antinous at Rome, and were changed to the colour of 
the fighting gladiator, or rather to a brighter yellow. I 
faw indiftinctly, alfo, a triumphal arch, or gate of the town, 
in the very fame ftyle ; and fome blocks of very white min- 
ing ftone, which feemed to be alabafter, but for what em- 
ployed I do not know. 

No perfon had yet ftirred, when all on a fudden we heard 
the noife of Mahomet and the Moor in ftrong difpute. Up- 
on this the Rais ftripping off his coat, leaped afhore, and 
flipped off the rope from the flake, and another of the 
Moors ftuck a ftrong perch or pole into the river, and twill- 
ed the rope round it. We were in a bight, or calm place, 
fo that the ftream did not move the boat. 

Mahomet and the Moor came prefently in fight ; the 
people had taken Mahomet's turban from him, and they 
were apparently on the very worft terms. Mahomet cried 
±o us, that the whole town was coming, and getting near 

2 the 


the boat, he and the Moor jumped in with great agility. 
A number of people was affembled, and three mots were 
fired at us, very quickly, the one after the other. 

I cried out in Arabic, "Infidels, thieves, and robbers ! come 
:t on, or we mall prefently attack you :" upon which I im- 
mediately fired a fhip-blunderbufs with piflol fmall bullets, 
but with little elevation, among the bufhes, fo as not to 
touch them. The three or four men that were neareft fell 
fiat upon their faces, and Hid away among the bumes on 
their bellies, like eels, and we faw no more of them. 

We now put our vefTel into the ftream, filled our fore* 
fail, and flood off, Mahomet crying, Be upon your guard, if 
you are men, we are the Sanjack's foldiers, and will come 
for the turban to-night. More we neither heard nor faw. 

We were no fooner out of their reach, than our Rais, 
filling his pipe, and looking very grave, told me to thank 
God that I was in the vefTel with fuch a man as he was, as 
it was owing to that only I efcaped from being niurdered 
a-fhore. " Certainly, faid I, Haffan, under God, the way of 
' efcaping from being murdered on land, is never to go 
" out of the boat, but don't you think that my blunderbufs 
' was as effectual a mean as your holinefs ? Tell me,Mahc- 
£ met, What did they do to you ?" He faid,They had not fcen 
us come in, but had heard of us ever fince we were at Mctra- 
henny, and had waited to rob or murder us ; that upon 
now hearing we were come, they had all ran to their 
houfes for their arms, and were coming down, immediate- 
ly, to plunder the boat ; upon which he and the Moor ran 
off, and being met by thefe three people, and the bov, on 
Vol. I. M ' thc 


the road, who had nothing in their hands, one of them 
matched the turban off. He likewife added, that there were 
two parties in the town ; one in favour of Ah Bey, the other 
friends to a rebel Bey who had taken Miniet ; that they 
had fought, two or three days ago, among themfelves, and 
were going to fight again, each of them having called A- 
rabs to their afliftance. " Mahomet Bey, fays my Howadat 
" Arab, will come one of thefe days with the foldicrs, 
" and bring our Shekh and people with him, who will 
" burn their houfes, and deftroy their corn, that they will. 
M be allflarved to death next year." 

Hassan and his fon Mahomet were violently exafperated, 
and nothing would ferve them but to go in again near the 
fhore, and lire all the guns and blunderbufles among the 
people. But, befides that I had no inclination of that kind, 
I was very loth to fruflrate the attempts of fome future 
traveller, who may add this to the great remains of archi- 
tecture we have preferved already. 

It would be a fine outfet for fome engraver; the elegance 
and importance of the work are certain. From Cairo the 
diftance is but four dayspleafant and fafe navigation, and 
in quiet times, protection might, by proper means, be ealily 
enough obtained at little expence. 





Voyage to Upper Egypt continued — Afhmouncin ', Rnins there — Gaiva Jvi- 
becr Ruins — Mr Norden mtjlaken — Achmiin — Convent of Catholics 
— Dcndcra — Magnificent Ruins — Adventure "with a Saint there. 

THE Rais's curiofity made him attempt to prevail with 
me to land at Reremont, three miles and a half off, juft 
a-head of us ; this I underftood was a Coptic Chriftian town, 
and many of Shekh Abade's people were Chriftians alfo. I 
thought them too near to have any thing to do with either 
of them. At Reremont there are a great number of Perfian 
wheels, to draw the Avater for the fugar canes, which be- 
long to Chriftians. The water thus brought up from the 
river runs down to the plantations, below or behind the 
town, after being emptied on the banks above ; a proof that 
here the defcent from the mountains is not an optic fallacy, 
as Dr Shaw fays. 

We paired Afhmounein, probably the ancient Latopolis, a 
large town, which gives the name to the province, where 
there are magnificent ruins of Egyptian architecture ; and 
after that we came to Melawe, larger, better built, and bet- 
ter inhabited than Afhmounein, the reiidence of the Ca- 
chefT. Mahomet Aga was there at that time with troops' 
from Cairo, he had taken Miniet, and, by the friendihip 

M 2 of 


of Shekh Hamara, the great Arab, governor of Upper Egypt,, 
he kept all the people on that fide of the river in their alle- 
giance to Ali Bey. 

I had feen him at Cairo, and Rifk had fpoken to him to- 
do me fervice if he met with me, which he promifed. I 
called at Melawe to complain of our treatment at Shekh 
Abade, and fee if I could engage him, as he had nothing elfe 
to employ him, to pay a vifit to my friends at that inhofpiv 
table place. This I was told he would do upon the flight- 
eft intimation. He, unfortunately, however, happened, to 
be out upon fome party ; but I was lucky in getting an old 
Greek, a fcrvant of his, who knew I was a friend, both t3 
the Bey and to Iris Patriarch. 

He brought me about a gallon of brandy, and a jar of lc* 
mons and oranges, preferved in honey ; both very agreea^- 
blc. He brought likewife a lamb, and fome garden-fluffs. 
Among the fweetmeats was fome horfe - raddifh preferved 
like ginger, which certainly, though it might be whole- 
fome, was the very word fluff ever I tailed. I gave a good 
fquare piece of it, well wrapt in honey, to the Rais, who 
coughed and fpit half an hour after, crying he was poi- 

I saw he did not wifh me to flay at Melawe, as he was 
afraid of the Bey's troops, that they might engage him in 
their fervice to carry them down, fo went away with great 
good will, happy in the acquifition of the brandy, declaring 
he would carry fail as long as the wind held. 




We palled Molle, a fmall village with a great number of 
acacia trees intermixed with the plantations of palms. Thefe 
occafion a pleafing variety, not only from the difference of 
the fhape of the tree, but alfo from the colour and diverfity 
of the green. 

As the fycamore in Lower Egypt, fo this tree feems to be 
fhe only indigenous one in the Thebaid. It is the Acacia 
Vera, or the Spina Egyptiaca, with a round yellow flower. 
The male is called the Saiel ; from it proceeds the gum ara- 
bic, upon incifion with an ax. This gum chiefly comes from 
Arabia Petrea, where thefe trees are moll numerous. But it 
is the tree of all deferts, from the northmoft part of Arabia, 
to the extremity of Ethiopia, and its leaves the only food 
for camels travelling in thofe defert parts. This gum is 
called Sumach in the weft of Africa, and is a principal arti- 
cle of trade on the Senega among the Ialofes. 

A large plantation of Dates reaches all along the weft 
fide,, and ends in a village called Mafara. Here the river, 
though broad, happened to be very fhallow ; and by the 
violence with which we went, we ftuck upon a fand bank 
£o faft, that it was after fun-fet before we could get off; 
we came to an anchor oppofite to Mafara the night of the 
19th of December- 

On the 20th, early in the morning, we again fet fail and 
paffed two villages, the firft called Welled Behi, the next 
Salem, about a mile and 1 a half diftant from each other on 
the weft fide of the Nile. The mountains on the weft fide 
of the valley are about fixtecn miles off, in a high even 
ridge, running in a diredion fouth-caft ; while the moun- 


tains on the eaft run in a parcllel direction with the river, 
and are not three miles diflant. 

We patted on the eaft fide, and another called Zo- 
hor,in the fame quarter, furrounded with palms; then Shade 
on the eaft fide alfo, where is a wood of the Acacia, which 
feems very luxuriant ; and, though it was now December, 
and the mornings efpecially very cold, the trees were in 
full flower. We palled Monfalout, a large town on the 
weftern more. It was once an old Egyptian town, and place 
of great trade ; it was ruined by the Romans, but re-cfta- 
bliihed by the Arabs. 

An Arabian * author fays, that, digging under the foun- 
dation of an old Egyptian temple here, they found a croco- 
dile made of lead, with hieroglyphics upon it, which they 
imagine to be a talifman, to prevent crocodiles from palling 
further. Indeed, as yet, we had not feen any ; that animal 
delights in heat, and, as the mornings were very cold, he 
keeps himfelf to the fouthward. The valley of Egypt here 
is about eight miles from mountain to mountain. 

We paffed Siout, another large town built with the re- 
mains of the ancient city fffi& It is fome miles in land, 
upon the fide of a large califh, over which there is an an- 
cient bridge. This was formerly the ftation of the caravan 
for Sennaar. They aflembled at Monfalout and Siout, un- 
der the protection of a Bey reiiding there. They then pafs- 
ed nearly fouth-weft, into the fandy defert of Libya, to El 


* Mcffoudi. t It"*' Anton, p. 14. 


Wah, the Oafis Magna of antiquity, and fo into the great 
Defert of Selima. 

Three miles beyond Siout, the wind turned directly 
fouth, fo we were obl : \. :i to May at Tima the reft of the 20th. 
I was wearied with continuing in the boat, and went on 
more at Tima. It is a fmall town, furrounded like the reft 
with groves of palm-trees. Below Tima is Eandini, three 
miles on the eaft fide, The Nile is here full of fandy iflands. 
Thofe that th . .nidation has firil left are all fown, thefe 
are chiefly pijj the eaft. The others on the weft were barren 
and uncultivated ; all of them moflly compofed of fand. 

I walked into the defert behind the village, and fhot 
a confidcrable number of the bird called Gooto, and feveral 
hares likewife, fo that I lent one of my fervants loaded to 
the boat. I then walked down paft a fmall village called 
Nizelet el Himma, and returned by a itill fmaller one call- 
ed Shuka, about a quarter of a mile from Tima. I was ex- 
ceedingly fatigued with the heat by the fouth wind * blow- 
ing, and the deep fand on the fide of the mountain. I was 
then beginning my apprenticefhip, which I fully compleatcd. 

The people in thefe villages were in appearance little 
lefs miferable than thofe of the villages we had paiTed. 
They fcemed fhy and furly at firft, but, upon converfation, 
became placid enough. I bought fome medals from them 
of no value, and my fervants telling them I was a phyfician, 
I- gave my advice to feveral of the fick. This reconciled 


It is called Hamfeen, becaufe it is expected to blow all PenteccS. • 


them perfectly, they brought me frefh water and fome fu- 
gar-canes, which they fplit and fleeped in it. If they were 
fatisfied, I was very much fo. They told me of a large fcene 
of ruins that was about four miles diftant, and offered to 
fend a perfon to conduct me, but I did not accept their of- 
fer, as I was to pafs there next day. 

The 21ft, in the morning, we came to Gawa, where is 
the fecond fcene of ruins of Egyptian architecture, after 
leaving Cairo. I immediately went on lhore, and found 
a fmall temple of three columns in front, with the capitals 
entire, and the columns in feveral feparate pieces. They 
feemed by that, and their flight proportions, to be of the 
mofl modern of that fpeoies of building; but the whole 
were covered with hieroglyphics, the old ftory over again, 
the hawk and the ferpent, the man fitting with the dog's 
head, with the perch, or meafuring-rod ; in one hand, the he- 
rnifphere and globes with wings, and leaves of the banana- 
tree, as is fuppofed, in his other. The temple is filled with 
rubbifh and dung of cattle, which the Arabs bring in here 
to fhelter them from the heat, 

Mr Norden fays, that thefe are the remains of the ancient 
Diofpolis Parva, but, though very loth to differ from him, 
and without the leaft defire of criticifmg, I cannot here be 
of his opinion. For Ptolemy, I think, makes Diofpolis Parva 
about lat. 26 40', and Gawa is 27 20', which is by much 
too great a difference. Beiides, Diofpolis and its nome were 
far to the fouthward of Panopolis ; but we fliall fhew, by 
undoubted evidence, that Gawa is to the northward. 


the Source of the nile. 97 

There are two villages of this name oppofite to each 
other ; the one Gawa Shergieh, which means the Eaitern 
Gawa, and this is by much the largeft ; the other Gawa 
Garbieh. Several authors, not knowing the meaning of thefe 
terms, call it Gawa Gebery ; a word that has no fignifica- 
tion whatever, but Garbieh means the Weftern. 

I was very well pleafed to fee here, for the firft time, two 
ihepherd dogs lapping up the water from the ftream, then 
lying down in it with great feeming leifure and fatisfac- 
tion. It refuted the old fable, that the dogs living on the 
banks of the Nile run as they drink, for fear of the croco- 

All around the villages of Gawa Garbieh, and the plan- 
tations belonging to them, Meflita and Raany, with theirs 
alfo joining them (that is, all the weft fide of the river) are 
cultivated and fown from the very foot of the mountains to 
the water's edge, the grain being thrown upon the mud as 
foon as ever the water has left it. The wheat was at this 
time about four inches in length. 

We pafled three villages, Shaftour, Commawhaia, and 
Zinedi; we anchored off Shaftour, and within fight of Taahta. 
Taahta is a large village, and in it are feveral mofques. On 
the call is a mountain called Jibbel Heredy, from a Turkifh 
faint, who was turned into a fnake, has lived feveral hun- 
dred years, and is to live for ever. As Chriftians, Moors, 
and Turks, all faithfully believe in this, the confcquence is, 
that abundance of nonfenfe is daily writ and told concern- 
ing it. Mr Norden difcuffes it at large, and afterwards 
gravely tells us, he does not believe it ; in which I certainly 
Vol. I. N mull 


muft heartily join him, and recommend to my readers to do i 
the fame, without reading any thing about it, 

On the 2 2d, at night, we arrived at Achmim. I landed 
my quadrant and inftruments, with a view of obferving an 
eclipie of the moon; but, immediately after her rifing,. 
clouds and milt fo effectually covered the whole heavens, 
that it was not even poilible to catch a liar of any fize paf- 
fmg the meridian. 

Achmim is a very confiderable place. It belonged once 
to an Arab prince of that name, who poffefled it by a grant 
from the Grand Signior, for a certain revenue to be paid 
yearly. That family is now extinct ; and another Arab prince, 
Hamam Shck.h of Furfhout, now rents it for his life-time, 
from the Grand Signior, with all the country (except Girge) ■ 
from Siout to Luxor. 

The. inhabitants of Achmim are of a very yellow, un- 
healthy appearance, probably owinp; to the bad air, occafion- 
ed by a very dirty caliili that panes through the town, 
There are, likewile, a great many trees, bullies, and gar- 
dens, about the ftagnated water, all which increafe the bad 
quality of the air. 

There is here what is called a Hofpice, or Convent of re- 
ligious Francifcans, for the entertainment of the converts,, 
or perfecuted Chriftians in Nubia, when they can find them.., 
This inftitution I fpeak of at large in the fequel. One of 
the laft princes of the lioufe of Medicis, all patrons of learn- 
ing, propofed to furnifh them with a compleat obfervatory,, 
with the mofl perf eel: and expenlive inftruments ; but they 



refufcd them, from a fcruple leaft it would give umbrage 
to the natives. The fear that it mould expofe their own ig- 
norance and idlenefs, I mull think, entered a little into the 

They received us civilly, and that was juft all. I think 
I never knew a number of priefts met together, who differ- 
ed fo little in capacity and knowledge, having barely a ro- 
tine of fcholaftic difputation, on every other fubject in- 
conceivably ignorant. But I underftood afterwards, that 
they were low men, all Italians ; fome of them had been 
barbers, and fome of them tailors at Milan ; they affected 
to be all Anti-Copernicans, upon fcripture principles, for 
they knew no other aflronomy. 

These priefts lived in great eafe and fafety, were much, 
protected and favoured by this Arab prince Hamam ; and 
their acting as phyficians reconciled them to the people. 
They told me there were about eight hundred catholics in 
the town, but I believe the fifth part of that number would 
never have been found, even fuch catholics as they are. 
The reft of them were Cophts, and Moors, but a very few 
of the latter, fo that the miiuonaries live perfectly unmo- 

There was a manufactory of coarfe cotton cloth in the town, 
to confiderable extent; and great quantity of poultry, efteemed 
the bell in Egypt, was bred here, and fent down to Cairo. The 
reafon is plain, the great export from Achmim is wheat ; all 
the country about it is fown with that grain, and the crops 
arc fuperior to any in Egypt. Thirty-two grains pulled from 
the ear was equal to forty-nine of the beft Barbary wheat 

N 2 gathered 


gathered in the fame feafon ; a prodigious difproportion, if it 
holds throughout. The wheat, however, was not much 
more forward in Upper Egypt, than that lower down the 
country, or farther northward. It was little more than 
four inches high, and fown down to the very edge of the 

The people here wifely purfuing agriculture, fo as to pro- 
duce wheat in the greatefl quantity, have dates only about 
their houfes, and a few plantations of fugar cane near 
their gardens. As foon as they have reaped their wheat, 
they fow for another crop, before the fun has drained the 
moiflure from the ground. Great plenty of excellent fifli 
is caught here at Achmim, particularly a large one called 
the Binny, a figure of which I have given in the Appendix. 
I have feen them about four feet long, and one foot and a 
half broad. 

The people feemed to be very peaceable, and well dil- 
pofed, but of little curiolity. They exprefled not the leaft 
furprife at feeing my large quadrant and telelcopes mount- 
ed. We palled the night in our tent upon the river fide, 
without any fort of moleilation, though the men are re- 
proached with being very great thieves. But feeing, I fup- 
poi'e, by our lights, that we were awake, they were afraid. 

The women feldom marry after fixteen ; we faw feveral 
with child, who they faid were not eleven years old. Yet 
I did not obferve that the men were lefs in fize, lefs vigor- 
ous and active in body, than in other places. This, one 
would not imagine from the appearance thefe young wives 
make,. They are little better coloured than a corpfe, and 



look older at fixteen, than many Englifli women at fixty, fo 
that you are to look for beauty here in childhood only. 

Achmim appears to be the Panopolis of the ancients, not 
only by its latitude, but alio by an infeription of a very large 
triumphal arch, a few hundred yards fouth of the convent. 
It is built with marble by the Emperor Nero, and is dedi- 
cated in a Greek infeription, itani ©eg. The columns that 
were in its front are broken and thrown away; the arch it- 
felf is either funk into the ground, or overturned on the 
fide, with little feparation of the feveral pieces. 

The 24th of December we left Achmim, and came to the 
village Shekh Ali on the weft, two miles and a quarter dis- 
tant. We then palled Hamdi, about the fame diftance far- 
ther fouth ; Aboudarac and Salladi on the eafl ; thenSalladi 
Garbieh, and Salladi Shergieh on the eafl and weft, as the 
names import ; and a number of villages, almoft oppofite, 
on each fide of the river. 

At three o'clock in the afternoon we arrived at Girge, 
the largeft town we had feen fince we left Cairo ; which, 
by the latitude Ptolemy has very rightly placed it in, mould 
be the Diofpolis Parva, and not Gawa, as Mr Norden makes 
it. For this we know is the beginning of the Diofpolitan 
nome, and is near a remarkable crook of the Nile, as it 
mould be. It is alfo on the weftern fide of the river, as 
Diofpolis was, and at a proper diftance from Dendera, the 
ancient Tentyra, a mark which cannot be miftaken. 

The Nile makes a kind of loop here ; is very broad, and 
the current ftrong. We paffed it with a wind at north; but 



the waves ran high as in the ocean. All the country, on 
both fides of the Nile, to Girge, is but one continued grove 
of palm-trees, in which are feveral villages a fmall diftance 
from each other, Doulani, Confaed, Dcirout, and Berdis, on 
the weft lide ; Welled Hallifi, and Beni Haled, on the eaft. 

The villages have all a very pieturefque appearance 
among the trees, from the many pigeon-houfes that are on 
•the tops of them. The mountains on the eaft begin to de- 
part from the river, and thofe on the weft to approach near- 
er it. It feems to me, that, loon, the greateft part of Egypt 
on the eaft fide of the Nile, between Achmim and Cairo, will 
be defert; not from the rifing of the ground by the mud, 
as is fuppofed, but from the quantity of fand from the 
mountains, which covers the mould or earth feveral feet 
deep. This 24th of December, at night, we anchored be- 
tween two villages, Beliani and Mobanniny. 

Next morning, the 25th, impatient to vifit the greateft, 
and moft magnilicent fcene of ruins that are in Upper Egypt, 
we fet out from Beliani, and, about ten o'clock in the fore- 
noon, arrived at Dendera. Although we had heard that the 
people of this place were the very worft in Egypt, we were 
not very apprehenfive. We had two letters from the Bey, 
to the two principal men there, commanding them, as they 
would anfwer with their lives and fortunes, to have a fpe- 
cial care that no mifchief befel us; and likewife a very 
premng letter to Shekh Hamam at Furlhout, in whofe ter- 
ritory we were. 

I pitched my tent by the river fide, juft above our bark, 
and lent a menage to the two principal people, firft to the 



one, then to the other, defiring them to fend a proper 
perfon, for I had to deliver to them the commands of the 
Bey. I did not choofe to trufl thefe letters with our boat- 
man; and Dendera is near half a mile from, the river. The 
two men came after fome delay, and brought each of them 
a fheep ; received the letters, went back with great fpeed, 
and, foon after, returned with a horfe and three afTes, to 
carry me to the ruins.. 

Dendera is a confiderable town at this day, all covered 
with thick groves of palm-trees, the fame that Juvenal de- 
fcribes it to have been in his time. Juvenal himfelf mult 
have feen it, at leaft once, in paffing, as he himfelf died in 
a kind of honourable exile at Syene, whilft in command 

Tcrga fug<z ce/eri, praflmitibits omnibus tnjlant^ 
S>ul vidua colunt umbrofce Tetitjra palmce. 

Juv. Sat. 15. v. 75, 

This place is governed by a cachefF appointed by Shekh 
Hamam. A mile fouth of the town, are the ruins of two 
temples, one of which is lb much buried under ground, 
that little of it is to be feen ; but the other, which is by far 
the molt magnificent, is entire, and accefiible on every fide. 
It is alio covered with hieroglyphics, both within and with- 
out, all in relief ; and of every figure, fimple and compound, 
that ever has been publifhed, or called an hieroglyphic. 

The form of the building is an oblong fquare, the ends 
of which are occupied by two large apartments, or vefti- 
bules, fupportcd by monitions columns, all covered with 

a- hieroglyphics , 


hieroglyphics likewife. Some are in form of men and 
beafts ; fome feem to be the figures of inftruments of facri- 
fice, while others, in a fmaller fize, and lefs diflinel: form, 
feem to be infcriptions in the current hand of hieroglyphics, 
of which I fhall fpeak at large afterwards. They are all 
finifhed with great care. 

The capitals are of one piece, and confift of four huge 
human heads, placed back to back againft one another, with 
bat's ears, and an ill-imagined, and worfe-executed, fold of 
drapery between them. 

Above thefc is a large oblong fquare block, flill larger 
than the capitals, with four flat fronts, difpofed like pannels, 
that is, with a kind of fquare border round the edges, while 
the faces and fronts are filled with hieroglyphics ; as are 
the walls and cielings of every part of the temple. Between 
thefe two apartments in the extremities, there are three 
other apartments, refembling the firft, in every refpecl, only 
that they are fmaller. 

The whole building is of common white ftone, from 
the neighbouring mountains, only thofe two in which have 
been funk the pirns for hanging the outer doors, (for it 
fcems they had doors even in thofe days) are of granite, or 
black and blue porphyry. 

The top of the temple is flat, the fpouts to carry off the 
water are monflrous heads of fphinxes ; the globes with 
wings, and the two ferpents, with a kind of fliield or breafl- 
plate between them, are here frequently repeated, fuch as 
we fee them on the Carthaginian medals. 

4 The 


The hieroglyphics have been painted over, and great 
part of the colouring yet remains upon the Hones, red, in all 
its ihades,efpeciaily that dark dufky colour called TyrianPur- 
ple ; yellow, very frefh ; fky-blue (that is, near the blue of an 
eaftern fky, feveral fhades lighter than ours ; green of dif- 
ferent fhades ; thefe are all the colours preferved. 

I could difcover no vefliges of common houfes in Den- 
dera more than in any other of the great towns in Egypt. 
I fuppofe the common houfes of the ancients, in thefe warm 
countries, were conftructed of very flight materials, after they 
left their caves in the mountains. There was indeed no 
need for any other. Not knowing the regularity of the Nile's 
inundation, they never could be perfectly fecure in their 
own minds againft the deluge ; and this flight flructure 
of private buildings feems to be the reafon fo few ruins 
are found in the many cities once built in Egypt. If there 
ever were any other buildings, they mull be now covered 
with the white fand from the mountains, for the whole 
plain to the foot of thefe is o erflowed, and in culti- 
vation. It was no part, either of my plan or inclination, to 
enter into the detail of this extraordinary architecture. 
Quantity, and folidity, are two principal circumftances that 
are feen there, with a vengeance. 

It flrikes and impofes on you, at firft fight, but the im- 
preflions are like thofe made by the flze of mountains, 
'which the mind does not retain for any confiderablc time 
after feeing them ; I think, a very ready hand might fpend 
fix months, from morning to night, before he could copy 
the hieroglyphics in the infide of the temple. They arc, 
however, in feveral combinations, which have not appeared 

Vol. I. O in 


in the collection of hieroglyphics, I wonder that, being- 
in the neighbourhood, as we are, of Lycopolis, we never fee a 
wolf as an hieroglyphic ; and nothing, indeed, but what, 
has fome affinity to water ; yet the wolf is upon all the med- 
als, from which I apprehend that the worfhip of the wolf, 
was but a modern fuperftition, 

Dendera ftands on the edge of a fmall, but fruitful plain; 
the wheat was thirteen inches high, now at Chriflmas ; 
their harveft is in the end of March. The valley is not above 
five miles wide, from mountain to mountain. Here we 
firft faw the Doom-tree in great profufion growing among 
the palms, from which itfcarcely is diftinguifhable at a dif- 
tance. It is the * Talma Thebaica Cuciofera. Its Hone is 
like that of a peach covered with a black bitter pulp, which: 
refembles a walnut over ripe. 

A little before we came to Dendera we faw the firft 
crocodile, and afterwards hundreds, lying upon every ifland,. 
like large flocks of cattle, yet the inhabitants of Dendera 
drive their beafls of every kind into the river, and they, 
ftand there for hours. The girls and women too, that come 
to fetch water in jars, ftand up to their knees in the water 
for a confiderable time ; and if we guefs by what happens, 
their danger is full as little as their fear, for none of thenv 
that ever I heard of, had been bit by a crocodile. However, 
if the Denderitcs were as keen and expert hunters of Cro- 
codiles, as fome f hiitorians tell us they were formerly, 
there is furely no part in the Nile where they would have 
better fport than here, immediately before their own city. 


*Tbeophraft. Hift. Plan. lib. iii. cap. S — lib. iv. cap^2.. fStrabo lib. vii. p. 941.. 


Having made fome little acknowledgment to thofe who 
had conducted me through the ruins in great fafety, I re- 
turned to the Canja, or rather to my tent, which I placed in 
the firlt firm ground. I faw, at fome diftance, a well-drefTed. 
man, with a white turban, and yellow ihawl covering it, 
and a number of ill-looking people about him. As I 
thought this was fome quarrel among the natives, I took 
no notice of it, but went to my tent, in order to rectify my 
quadrant for obfervation. 

As foon as our Rais faw me enter my tent, he came with 
expremons of very great indignation. " What fignifies it, 
faid he, that you are a friend to the Bey, have letters to 
every body, and are at the door of Furfhout, if yet here is 
a man that will take your boat away from you?" 

" Softly, foftly, I anfwered, Hatfan, he may be in the 
right. If Ali Bey, Shekh Hamam, or any body want a boat 
for public fervice, I muft yield mine. Let us hear." 

Shekh Hamam and Ali Bey! fays he; why it is a fool, an 
idiot, and an afs ; a fellow that goes begging about, and fays 
lie is a faint,; but he is a natural fool, full as much knave 
as fool however ; he is a thief, I know him to be a thief." 

If he is a faint, faid I, Hagi Haffan, as you are another, 
known to be fo all the world over, I don't fee why I ihould 
interfere ; faint againft faint is a fair battle." — " It is the 
Cadi, replies he, and no one elfe." 

u Come away with me, faid I, Haffan, and let us fee this 
cadi ; if it is the cadi, it is not the fool, it may be the knave." 

O 2 We 


He was fitting upon the ground on a carpet, moving his 
head backwards and forwards, and faying prayers with 
beads in his hand. I had no good opinion of him from his 
firft appearance, but faid, Salam aliaim, boldy ; this feemed to 
offend him, as he looked at me with great contempt, and 
gave me no anfwer, though he appeared a little difconcert- 
ed by my confidence. 


"'Are you the Cafr, faid he, to whom that boat belongs r 

" No, Sir, faid I, it belongs to Hagi Haffan." 

"Do you think, fays he, I call Hagi Haffan, who is a Slier-- 

" That depends upon the meafure of your prudence, faid* 
" I, of which as yet I have no proof that can enable me to> 
"judge or decide." 

"Are you the Cbri/I'um thatAvas at the ruins in the morn-- 
" ing ? fays he." 

" I was at the ruins in the morning, replied I, and / am 
" a Chrifum. Ah Bey calls that denomination of people 
** Nazaraaii that is the Arabic of Gairo and Conftantinople, 
" and I undcrftand no other." 

" Lam, faid he,. going to Girge, and this holy faint is with 
" me, and there is no boat but your's bound that way, for 
a which reafon I have promifed to take him with me." 



By this time the faint had got into the boat, and fat for- 
ward ; he was an ill-favoured, low, fick-like man, and feem- 
ed to be almoft blind. 

You mould not make rafh prcmifes, faid I to the cadi, 
for this one you made you never can perform ; I am not go- 
ing to Girge. Ali Bey, whofejlave you are, gave me this boat, 
but told me, I was not to fhip either faints or cadies. There 
is my boat, go a-board if you dare ; and you, Hagi Harlan, 
let me fee you lift an oar, or loofe a fail, either for the cadi 
or the faint, if I am not with them. 

I went to my tent, and the Rais followed me. " Hagi 
u Harlan, faid I, there is a proverb in my country, It is bet- 
" ter to flatter fools than to fight them : Cannot you go to 
" the fool, and give him half-a-crown ? will he take it, do 
" you think, and abandon his journey to Girge? after- 
** wards leave me to fettle with the cadi for his voyage thi- 
" ther." 

" He will take it with all his heart, he willkifs your hand 
" for half-a-crown, fays Haffan." 

"Let him have half-a-crown from me, faid I, and deiire 
" him to go about his bufmefs, and intimate that I give him 
M it in 'charity; at fame time expect compliance with the 
" condition." 

In the interim, a Cliriflian Copht came into the tent: 
" Sir, faid he, you don't know what you are doing ; the cadi 
" is a great man, give him his prefent, and have done with 
« him."" 


" When he behaves better, it will be time enough for that, 
" faid I? — If you are a friend of his, advife him to be quiet, 
" before an order comes from Cairo by a Serach, and car- 
" ries him thither. Your countryman Rifle would not give 
" me the advice you do ?" 

Risk! fays he; Do you know Rifk? Is not that Rifle's wri- 
ting, faid I, fhewing him a letter from the Bey ? Wallah ! 
(by God) it is, fays he, and away he went without fpeaking 
a word farther. 

The faint had taken his half-crown, and had gone away 
finging, it being now near dark. — The cadi went away, and 
the mob difperfed, and we directed a Moor to cry, That all 
people fliould, in the night-time, keep away from the tent, 
or they would be fired at ; a Hone or two were afterwards 
thrown, but did not reach us. 

I finished my obfervation, and afcertained the latitude 
of Dendera, then packed up my inftruments, and fent them 
•on board. 

Mr Norden feems greatly to have miftaken the pofition 
of this town, which, confpicuous and celebrated as it is by 
ancient authors, and juftly a principal point of attention to 
modern travellers, he does not fo much as defcribe ; and, in 
his map, he places Dendera twenty or thirty miles to the 
fouthward of Badjoura ; whereas it is about nine miles to 
the northward. For Badjoura is in lat. 26° 3', and Dendera 
is in 26 ioi 



It is a great pity, that he who had a tafte for this very 
remarkable kind of architecture, ihould have paired it, both 
in going up and coming down ; as it is r beyond comparifon, 
a place that would have given more fatisfaclion. than all 
Upper Egypt. 

While we were linking our tent, a great mob came down, 
but without the cadi. As I ordered all my people to take their 
arms in their hands, they kept at a very confiderable dif- 
tance ; but the fool, or faint, got into the boat with a yellow 
flag in his hand, and fat down at the foot of the main-mall, 
laying, with an idiot fmile, That we mould lire, for he was 
out of the reach of the Ihot ; fome Hones were thrown, but 
did not reach us. 

I ordered two of my fervants with large brafs Ihip-blun- 
derbufles, very bright and glittering, to get upon the top of 
the cabbin. I then pointed a wide-mouthed Swedilh blun- 
derbufs from one of the windows, and cried out, Have 
a care ;_^the next Hone that is thrown I fire my cannon 
amongft you, which will fweep away 300 of you inilantly 
from the face of the earth ; though I believe there were not. 
above two, hundred then prelent.. 

I ordered Hagi HalTan to call off his: cord immediately 
and, as foon as the blunderbufs appeared, away ran every 
one of them, and, before they could collect themfelves to 
return, our veffel was in the middle of the llream. The ' 
wind was fair, though not very frelh, on which we- let both 
cur fails, and made great way. 



The faint, who had been finging all the time we were 
difputing, began now to lliew fome apprehenfions for his 
own fafety : He alked Hagi Haflan, if this was the way to 
Girge ? and had for anfwer, " Yes, it is the fool's way to. 
« Girge." 

We carried him about a mile, or more, up the river ; then 
^a convenient landing-place offering, I afked him whether 
he got my money, or not, lall night ? He laid, he had for 
yefterday, but he had got none for to-day. — " Now, the next 
thing I have to afk you, faid I, is, Will you go afhore of your 
own accord, or will you be thrown into the Nile ? He an- 
fwered with great confidence, Do you know, that, at my 
word, I can fix your boat to the bottom of the Nile, and 
make it grow a tree there for ever ?" " Aye, fays Hagi Haf- 
fan, and make oranges and lemons grow on it likewife, 
can't you ? You are a cheat." "Come, Sirs, faid I, lofe no time, 
put him out." I thought he had been blind and weak ; 
and the boat was not within three feet of the fhore, when 
placing one foot upon the gunnel, he leaped clean upon land. 

We flacked our veflel <lown the ftream a few yards, fill- 
ing our fails, and ftretching away. Upon feeing this, our 
faint fell into a defperate paflion, curling, blafpheming, and 
ftamping with his feet, at every word crying " Shar Ullah !" 
i.e. may God fend, and do juflice. Our people began to 
taunt and gibe him, afking him if he would have a pipe of 
tobacco to warm him, as the morning was very cold ; but I 
bade them be content. It was curious to fee him, as far as 
we could difcern, fometimes fitting down, fometimes jump- 
ing and flapping about, and waving his flag, then running 




about a hundred yards, as if it Were after us ; but always 
returning, though at a flower pace. 

None of the reft followed. He was indeed apparently the 
tool of that rafcal the cadi, and, after his dcfigns were frus- 
trated, nobody cared what became of him. He was left in 
the lurch, as thofe of his charai5tei\generally are, after Serv- 
ing the purpofe of knaves. 


Vol. I. p CHAP. 



Arrive at FurJJjout — Adventure of Friar Chrifiopher — Vifit Thebes — - 
Luxor and Camac — Large Ruins at Edfu and Efhe Proceed on our 


WE arrived happily at Furfliout that fame forenoon, and 
went to the convent of Italian Friars, who, like thofe 
of Achmim, are of the order of the reformed Francifcans, 
of whofe minion I fliall fpeak at large in the fequel. 

We were received more kindly here than at Achmim ; 
but Padre Antonio, fuperior of that laft convent, upon which 
this of Furfliout alfo depends, following us, our good recep- 
tion fuffered a fmall abatement. In fhort, the good Friars 
would not let us buy meat, becaufc they faid it would be a 
Jhame and reproach to them; and they would not give us any, 
for fear that mould be a reproach to them Iikewife, if it was 
told in Europe they lived welL 

After fome time I took the liberty of providing for my- 
felf, to which they fubmitted with chriftian patience. Yet 
thefe convents were founded exprefsly with a view, and 
from a ncceffity of providing for travellers between Egypt 
and Ethiopia, and we were flric"lly intitled to that enter- 


tainment. Indeed there is very little ufe for this inftitu- 
tion in Upper Egypt, as long as rich Arabs are there, much 
more charitable and humane to ftranger Chriftians than 
the Monks. 

Furshout is in a large and cultivated plain. It is nine 
miles over to the foot of the mountains, all fawn with 
wheat. There are, likewife, plantions of fugar canes. The 
town, as they faid, contains above 1 0,000 people, but I have 
no doubt this computation is rather exaggerated. 

We waited upon the Shekh Hamam ; who was a big, 
tall, handfome man ; I apprehend not far from fixty. He 
was dreffed in a large fox-fkin peliffe over the reft of his 
cloaths, and had a yellow India fhawl wrapt about his head, 
like a turban. He received me with great politenefs and 
condefenfion, made me fit down by him, and afked me more 
about Cairo than about Europe. 

The Rais had told him our adventure with the faint, at 
which he laughed very heartily, faying, I was a wife man. 
and a man of conduct. To me he only faid, " they arc 
bad people at Dendera ;" to which I anfwered, " there were 
very few places in the world in which there were not fome 
bad." He replied, " Your obfervation is true, but there they 
are all bad ; reft yourfelves however here, it is a quiet place ; 
though there are ftill fome even in this place not quite i'o 
good as they ought to be." 

The Shekh was a man of immenfe riches, and, little by 
little, had united in his own perfon, all the feparate diflric~ts 

P: of 


of Upper Egypt, each of which formerly had its particular- 
prince. But his interelt was great at Constantinople, where 
he applied directly for what he wanted, infomuch as to give 
a jealoufy to the Beys of Cairo. He had in farm from the 
Grand Signior almoil the whole country, between Siout and 
Syenc, or AiTouan. I believe this is the Shekh of Upper Egypt, 
whom Mr Irvine fpeaks of fo gratefully. He was betrayed, 
and murdered Tome time after, by one of the Beys whom he. 
had protected in his own country. 

While we were at Furfhout, there happened a very ex- 
traordinary phenomenon. It rained the whole night, and 
till about nine o'clock next morning ; and the people be- 
gan to be very apprehenfive leaft the whole town fhould be 
deftroyed. It is a perfect prodigy to fee rain here ; and 
the prophets laid it portended a difiblution of government, 
which was juftly verified foon afterwards, and at that time 
indeed was extremely probable. 

Furshqut is in lat 26 3' 30" ; above that, to the fouth- 
ward, on the fame plain, is another large village, belonging 
to Shekh Ifmael, a nephew of Shekh Hamam. It is a large 
town, built with clay like Furfhout, and furrounded with 
groves of palm trees, and very large plantations of fugar. 
canes. Here they make fugar. 

Shekh Ismael was a very pleafant and agreeable man, 
but in bad health, having a violent afthma, and fometimes 
pleuretic complaints, to be removed by bleeding only. He 
had given thefe friars a houfe for a convent in Badjoura ; 
but as they had not yet taken poffelTion of it, he defired me 

to come and Hay there, 



Friar Christopher, whom I underftood to have been a 
Milanefe barber, was his phyfician, but he had not the fci- 
ence of an Engliih barber in furgery. He could not bleed, 
but with a fort of inflrumcnt refcmbling that which is ufed 
in cupping, only that it had but a fmgle lancet ; with this 
he had been lucky enough as yet to efcape laming his 
patients.. This bleeding inftrument they call the Tabange, or 
the Piftol, as they do the cupping inftrument iikewife. I never 
could help fhuddering at feeing the coniidence with which 
this man placed a fmall brafs box upon all forts of arms, and 
drew the trigger for the point to go where fortune pleafed„ 

Shekh Ismael was very fond of this furgeon, and the 
furgeon of his patron ; all would have gone well, had not- 
friar Chriftopher aimed Iikewife at being an Aftronomer. A- 
bove all he gloried in being a violent enemy to the Coperni- 
can fyftem, which unluckily he had miftaken for a herefy in 
the church ; and partly from his own flight ideas and flock 
of knowledge, partly from fome Milanefe almanacs he had 
got, he attempted, the weather being cloudy, to foretel the 
time when the moon was to change, it being that of the 
month Ramadan, when the Mahometans' lent, or failing, , 
was to begin. 

It happened that the Badjoura people, and their Shekh 
Ifmael, were upon indifferent terms with Hamam, and his 
men of Furfhout, and being defirous to get a triumph over 
their neighbours by the help of their friar Chriftopher, they 
continued to eat, drink, and fmoke, two days after the con- 
junction. . 



The moon had been feen the fecond night, by a Fakir*', 
in the defert, who had fent word to Shekh Hamam, and he 
had begun his fail. But Ifmael, affured by friar Chriilophcr 
that it was impomble, had continued eating. 

The people of Furihout, meeting their neighbours fing- 
ing and dancing, and with pipes of tobacco in their mouths, 
all cried out with ailoniiliment, and afked, " Whether they had 
" abjured their religion or not?" — From words they came 
to blows ; feven or eight were wounded on each iide, luckily 
none of them mortally. — Hamam next day came to inquire 
at his nephew Shekh Ifmael, what had been the occafion of 
all this, and to confult what was to be done, for the two 
villages had declared one another infidels. 

I was then with my fervants in Badjoura, in great quiet 
and tranquillity, under the protection, and very much in the 
confidence of Ifmael; but hearing the hooping, and noife 
in the ilreets, I had barricadoed my outer-doors. A high wall 
furrounded the houfe and court-yard, and there I kept quiet, 
fatisfied with being in perfect fafety. 

In the interim, I heard it was a quarrel about the keep- 
ing of Ramadan, and, as I had provifions,water, and employ- 
ment enough in the houfe, I refolved to ilay at home till 
they fought it out ; being very little interefted which of 
them Ihould be victorious. — About noon, I was fent for to 
Ifmael's houfe, and found his uncle Hamam with him. 


A poor faint. 


He told me, there were feveral wounded in a quarrel a- 
bout the Ramadan, and recommended them to my care. 
" About Ramadan, faid I ! what, your principal fall ! have 
" you not fettled that yet ?"— Without anfwering me as to 
this, he afked, " When does the moon change ?" As I knew 
nothing of friar Chriftophcr's operations, I anfwered, in 
hours, minutes, and feconds, as I found them in the ephe- 

"Look you there, fays Hamam, this is fine work!" and, 
directing his difcourfe to me, "When fhall we fee it?" Sir, 
faid I, that is impoflible for me to tell, as it depends on the 
ftate of the heavens ; but, if the fky is clear, you mull fee 
her to-night ; if you had looked for her, probably you would 
have feen her lafl night low in the horizon, thin like a 
thread; fhe is now three days old.— He ftarted at this, then 
told me friar Chrillopher's operation, and the confequenccs 
of it. 

Ismael was afhamed, curfedhim, and threatned revenue. 
It was too late to retract, the moon appeared, and fpoke for 
herfelf; and the unfortunate friar was difgraced, and 
banifhed from Badjoura. Luckily the pleuretic Hitch came 
again, and I was called to bleed him, which 1 did with a lan- 
cet ; but he was fo terrified at its brightnefs, at the ceremonv 
of the towel and the bafon, and at my preparation, that it 
did not pleafe him, and therefore he was obliged to be 
reconciled to Chriflopher and his tabange.— Badjoura is in 
lat. 26 3' 1 6"; and is fituated on the weftern more of the 
Nile, as Furfhout is likewife* 



We left Furfhout the 7th of January 1769, early in the 
morning. We had not hired our boat farther than Fur- 
fhout ; but the good terms which fubfifted between me and 
the faint, my Rais, made an accommodation very eafy to 
Carry us farther. He now agreed for L. 4 to carry us to 
Syene and down again ; but, if he behaved well, he expect- 
ed a trifling premium. " And, if you behave ill, Harlan, 
u faid I, what do you think you deferve ?" — " To be hanged, 
" faid he, I deferve, and defire no better." 

Our wind at firft was but fcant. The Rais faid, that he 
thought his boat did not go as it ufed to do, and that it was 
growing into a tree. The wind, however, frefhened up to- 
wards noon, and cafed him of his fears. We palled a large 
town called How, on the weft fide of the Nile. About four 
o'clock in the afternoon we arrived at El Gourni, a fmall 
village, a quarter of a mile diftant from the Nile. It has in 
it a temple of old Egyptian architecture. I think that this, 
and the two adjoining heaps of ruins, which are at the fame 
diftance from the Nile, probably might have been part of 
ihe ancient Thebes. 

Shaamy andTaamy are two colofTal flatues in a fitting 
poflure covered with hieroglyphics. The fouthmofl is of 
one flone, and perfectly entire. The northmoft is a good 
deal more mutilated. It was probably broken by Camby fes ; 
and they have fmce endeavoured to repair it. The other 
has a very remarkable head-drefs, which can be compared 
to nothing but a tye-wig, fuch as worn in the prefent day. 
Thefe two, fituated in a very fertile fpot belonging to The- 
bes, we] : apparently the Nilornetcrs of that town, as the 
marks which the water has left upon the bales fufficiently 

2 fhew. 


fhew. The bafes of both of them are bare, and uncovered, 
to the bottom of the plinth, or lowefl member of their pe- 
deital ; fo that there is not the eighth of an inch of the 
loweft part of them covered with mud, though they ftand 
in the middle of a plain, and have flood there certainly a- 
bwe 3000 years ; fince which time, if the fanciful rife of 
the land of Egypt by the Nile had been true, the earth fhould 
have been raifed fo as fully to conceal half of them both. 

These ftatues are covered with infcriptions of Greek and 
Latin ; the import of which feems to be, that there were 
certain travellers, or particular people, who heard Memnon's 
ftatue utter the found it was faid to do, upon being ftruck 
with the rays of the fun. 

It may be very reafonably expected, that I mould here 
fay fomething of the building and fall of the firft Thebes ; 
but as this would carry me to very early ages, and inter- 
rupt for a long time my voyage upon the Nile ; as this is, be- 
fides, connected with the hiilory of feveral nations which I 
am about to defcribe, and more proper for the work of an 
hiftorian, than the curfory defcriptions of a traveller, I fhall 
defer faying any thing upon the fubject, till I come to treat 
of it in the firft of theie characters, and more elpecially till 
I fhall fpeak of the origin of the Jljcpherds, and the calami- 
ties brought upon Egypt by that powerful nation, a people 
often mentioned by different writers, but whofe hiuory 
hitherto has been but imperfectly known. 

Nothing remains of the ancient Thebes but four pro- 
digious temples, all of them in appearance more ancient, 
but neither fo entire, nor fo magnificent, as thofe of Dendera. 
Vol, I, G^ The 


The temples at Medinet Tabu are the moft elegant of thefe, 
The hieroglyphics are cut to the depth of half-a-foot, in; 
fome places, but we have Hill the fame figures, or rather a 
lefs variety, than at Dendera. 

The hieroglyphics are of four forts; firft, fuch as have 
only the contour marked, and, as it were, fcratched only 
in the flone. The fecond are hollowed;, and in the 
middle of that fpace rifes the figure in relief, fo that the 
prominent part of the figure is equal to the flat, unwrought 
furface of the Hone, and feems to have a frame round it, 
defigned to defend the hieroglyphic from mutilation. The 
third fort is in relief, or baffb relievo, as it is called, where 
the figure is left bare and expofed, without being funk in, 
or defended, by any compartment cut round it in the flone. 
The fourth are thofe mentioned in the beginning of this 
description, the outlines of the figure being cut very deep 
in the flone. 

All the hieroglyphics, but the laft mentioned, which do 
not admit it, are painted red, blue, and green, as at Dendera, 
and with no other colours. 

Notwithstanding all this variety in the manner of ex- 
ecuting the hieroglyphical figures, and the prodigious mul- 
titude which I have feen in the feveral buildings, I never 
could make the number of different hieroglyphics amount 
to more than five hundred and fourteen, and of thefe there 
were certainly many, which were not really different, but 
from the ill execution of the fculpture only appeared fo. 
From this I conclude, certainly, that it can be no entire lan- 
guage which hieroglyphics are meant to contain, lor ao 



language could be comprehended in five hundred words, 
and it is probable that thefe hieroglyphics are not alphabetical 
ov Jingle letters only ; for five hundred letters would make 
t'jo large an alphabet. The Chinefe indeed have many more 
letters in ufe, but have no alphabet, but who is it that under- 
Jlands the Chinefe ? 

There are three different characters which, I obferve, 
have been in ufe at the fame time in Egypt, Hieroglyphics, 
the Mummy character, and the Ethiopia Thefe are all 
three found, as I have feen, on the fame mummy, and there- 
fore were certainly ufed at the fame time. The lail only I 
believe was a language. 

The mountains immediately above or behind Thebes, are 
hollowed out into numberlefs caverns, the firfl habitations of 
the Ethiopian colony which built the city. I imagine they 
continued long in thefe habitations, for I do not think the 
temples were ever intended but for public and folemnuits, and 
in none of thefe ancient cities did I ever fee a wall or foun- 
dation, or any thing like a private houfe ; all are temples and 
tombs, if temples and tombshi thofe times were not the fame 
thing. But veftiges of houfes there are none, whatever * Diodo- 
rus Siculus may fay, building with flone was too expenfive for 
individuals ; the houfes probably were all of clay, thatched 
with palm branches, as they afe at this da)-. This is one rea- 
fon why fo few ruins of the inimenfe number of cities we 
hear of remain. 



'Died. Sic. lib, i. 


Thebes, according to Homer, had a hundred gates. We can* 
not, however, difcover yet the foundation of any wall that 
it had ; and as for the horfemen and chariots it is faid to 
have fent out, all the Thebaid lbwn with wheat would not, 
have maintained one~half 'of them. 

Thebes, at leaft the ruins of the temples, called Mediner 
Tabu, are built in a long ftretch of about a mile broad, moll 
parfimonioufly chofen at the fandy foot of the mountains. 
The Horti* Pennies, or hanging gardens, were furely formed 
upon the fides of thefe hills, then fupplied with water by 
mechanical devices. The utmofl is done to fpare the plain, 
and with great reafon ; for all the fpace of ground this 
ancient city has had to maintain its myriads of horfes and 
men, is a plain of three quarters of a mile broad, between 
the town and the river, upon which plain the water rifes to 
the height of four, and five feet, as we may judge by the 
marks on the ftatues Shaamy and Taamy. All this pretend* 
ed populouihefs of ancient Thebes I therefore believe fabu-^- 

It is a circumftance very remarkable, in building the firit 
temples, that, where the fide-walls are folid, that is, not fup- 
ported by pillars, fome of thefe have their angles and faces 
perpendicular, others inclined in a very confiderable angle 
to the horizon. Thofe temples, whofe walls are inclined, 
you may judge by the many hieroglyphics and ornaments, 
are of the firft ages, or the greater! antiquity. From which, 
I am diipofed to think, that lingular conftruction was a rem- 

* Pliu. lib. 26. cap. 14. 


nant of the partiality of the builders for their firfl domi- 
ciles ; an imitation of the flope*, or inclination of the fides 
of mountains, and that this inclination of flat furfaces to 
each other in building, gave afterwards the firfl idea of Py- 
ramids fo 

A number of robbers, who much refemble our gypfies, 
live in the holes of the mountains above Thebes. They are 
all out-laws, punifhed with death if elfewhere found. Of- 
jnan Bey, an ancient governor of Girge, unable to fuffer 
any longer the dilbrders committed by thefe people, order- 
ed a quantity of dried faggots to be brought together, and, 
with his foldiers^ took, pofleflion of the face of the moun- 
tain, where the greatefl number of thefe wretches were : 
He then ordered all their caves to be filled with this dry 
brafhwood, to which he fet fire, fo that mofl of them were 
deflroyed ; but they have fmce recruited their numbers, with- 
out changing their manners. 

About half a mile north of El Gourni, are the magnifi- 
cent, flupendous fepulchres, of Thebes. The mountains 
of the Thebaid come clofe behind the town ; they are not 
run in upon one another like ridges, but ftand infulated 
upon their bafes ;. fo that you can get round each of them. 
A hundred of thefe, it is faid, are excavated into fepulchral, 
and a variety of other apartments. I went through feven of 
them with a great deal of fatigue. It is a folitary place ; 


*"See Norden's views of the i ernples at Efne and Edfu. Vol. ii. plate 6. p. 80. 

■j-This inclined figure of the fides, is frequently found in the fmall boxes within the,, 
saummy-i k 


and my guides, cither from a natural impatience and diftafte 
that thefe people have at fuch employments, or, that their 
fears of the banditti that live in the caverns of the moun- 
tains were real, importuned me to return to the boat, even 
before I had begun my fearch, or got into the mountains 
where are the many large apartments of which I was in 

In the firft one of thefe I entered is the prodigious far- 
cophagus, fome fay of Menes, others of Ofimandyas ; pof- 
fibly of neither. It is fixteen feet high, ten long, and fix 
broad, of one piece of red-granite ; and, as fuch, is, I fuppofe, 
the fmeft vafe in the world. Its cover is ftill upon it, (bro- 
ken on one fide,) and it has a figure in relief on the outlide. 
It is not probably the tomb of Ofimandyas, becaufe, Diodo- 
rus * fays, that it was ten ftadia from the tomb of the kings ; 
whereas this is one among them. 

There have been fome ornaments at the outer-pillars, or 
outer-entry, which have been broken and thrown down. 
Thence you dcfcend through an inclined paffage, I fuppofe, 
about twenty feet broad ; I fpeak only by guefs, for I did 
not meafure. The fide-walls, as well as the roof of this paf- 
fage, are covered with a coat of ftucco, of a finer and more 
equal grain, or furfacc, than any I ever faw in Europe. I 
found my black-lead pencil little more worn by it than by 
writing upon paper. 


* Diod, Sic. lib. I, 


Upon the left-hand fide is the crocodile feizing upon the 
apis, and plunging him into the water. On the right-hand 
is the * fcarabxus thebaicus, or the thebaic beetle, the firft 
animal that is feen alive after the Nile retires from the land ; 
and therefore thought to be an emblem of the refurreclion. 
My own conjecture is, that the apis was the emblem of the 
arable land of Egypt ; the crocodile, the typhon, or cacoda> 
mon, the type of an over-abundant Nile ; that the fcarabams 
was the land which had been overflowed, and from which 
the water had foon retired, and has nothing to do with the 
refurreclion or immortality, neither of which at that time 
were in contemplation. 

Farther forward on the right-hand of the entry, the 
pannels, or compartments, were ftill formed in flucco, but, 
in place of figures in relief, they were painted in frefco. 
I dare fay this was the cafe on the left-hand of the paflage, 
as well as the right. But the firft difcovery was fo unex- 
pected, and I had flattered myfelf that I mould be fo far 
mafter of my own time, as to fee the whole at my leifure, 
that I was rivetted, as it were, to the fpot by the firft fight of 
thefe paintings, and I could proceed no further. 

In one pannel were feveral mufical inftruments ftrowed 
upon the ground, chiefly of the hautboy kind, with a mouth- 
piece of reed. There were alfo fome fimple pipes or flutes. 
With them were feveral jars apparently of potter - ware, 
which, having their mouths covered with parchment or 


See the figure of this Infect in Pad Lucas-, 


fkin, and being braced on their fides like a drum, were prd- 
foably the inftrument called the tabor, or * tabret, beat upon 
by the hands, coupled in earlieft ages with the harp, and 
preferred ftill in Abyilinia, though its companion, the lait- 
mentioned inftrument, is no longer known there. 

In three following pannels were painted, in frefco, three 
harps, which merited the utmoft attention, whether we con- 
fider the elegance of thefe inftruments in their form, and 
the detail of their parts as they are here clearly expreffed, 
or confine ourfelves to the reflection that neceflarily follows, 
to how great perfection mufic muft have arrived, before an 
artift could have produced fo complete an inftrument as 
either of thefe. 

As the firft harp feemed to be the moft perfect, and leafl 
fpoiled, I immediately attached myfelf to this, and defired 
my clerk to take upon him the charge of the fecond. In 
this way, by fketching exactly, and loofely, I hoped to have 
made myfelf mafter of all the paintings in that cave, per- 
haps to have extended my refearches to others, though, in 
the fequel, I found myfelf miferably deceived. 

My firft drawing was that of a man playing upon a harp; 
he was Handing, and the inftrument being broad, and flat 
at the bafe, probably for that purpofe, fupported itfelf eafdy 
with a very little inclination upon his arm ; his head is 
clofe fhaved, his eye-brows black, without beard or muf- 

tach )cs. 

* Gen. xxxi, 27. Ifa. chap. xxx. ver. 32. 

_ ////// ////// e<n , /';v;)rf>, /// ///r - ./// 

^y//r/v:/ . 

Zo/iden PuMi/h.Uh;!i j! i;tiy .fit, t;jt,rim.<,»: & G> 


tachoes. He has on him a loofe fhirt, like what they wear at 
this day in Nubia (only it is not blue) with loofe fleeves, 
and arms and neck bare. It feemed to be thick mullin, or 
cotton cloth, and long-ways through it is a crimfon flripe 
about one-eighth of an inch broad ; a proof, if this is Egyp- 
tian manufacture, that they underflood at that time how to 
dye cotton, crimfon, an art found out in Britain only a very 
few years ago. If this is the fabric of India, flill it proves 
the antiquity of the commerce between the two countries, 
and the introduction of Indian manufactures into Egypt. 

It reached down to his ancle; his feet are without fan- 
dais ; he feems to be a corpulent man, of about fixty years of 
age, and of a complexion rather dark for an Egyptian. To 
guefs by the detail of the figure, the painter feems to have 
liad the fame degree of merit with a good fign-painter in 
Europe, at this day. — If we allow this harper's flature to be 
live feet ten inches, then we may compute the harp, in its 
■extreme length, to be fomething lefs than fix feet and a 

This inflrument is of a much more advantageous form 
•than the triangular Grecian harp. It has thirteen firings, 
but wants the forepiece of the frame oppofite to the longeft 
firing. * The back part is the founding-board, compofed of 
four thin pieces of wood, joined together in form of a cone, 
"that is, growing wider towards the bottom ; fo that, as the 
length of the firing increafes, the fquare of the corrcfpond- 
ing fpace in the founding-board, in which the found was to 
undulate, always increafes in proportion. The whole prin- 
ciples, on which this harp is conflructed, are rational and 
Vol. I. R ingenious, 


ingenious, and the ornamented parts are executed in the 
very belt manner. 

The bottom and fides of the frame feem to be fineered, and 
inlaid, probably with ivory, tortoife-ihell, and mother-of- 
pearl, the ordinary produce of the neighbouring feas and 
deferts. It would be even now impoilible, either to con- 
flruet or to finifh a harp of any form with more tafle and 
elegance, Befides the proportions of its outward form, we 
mull obferve likewife how near it approached to a perfect 
inilrument, for it wanted only two firings of having two 
complete octaves ; that thefe were purpofely omitted, not 
from defect of tafle or fcience, mufl appear beyond contra- 
diction, when we confider the harp that follows. 

I had no fooner finifhed the harp which I had taken in 
hand, than I went to my alliflant, to fee what progrefs he had 
made in the drawing in which he was engaged. I found, 
to my very great furprife, that this harp differed effentially,, 
in form and diflribution of its parts, from the one I had 
drawn, without having lofl any of its elegance; on the con- 
trary, that it was fmifhed with full more attention than 
the other. It fecmed to be fineered with the fame materials, 
ivory and tortoife-ihcll, but the firings were differently dif- 
pofed, the ends of the three longefl, where they joined to 
the founding-board below, were defaced by a hole dug in 
the wall. Several of the firings in different parts had been 
fcraped as with a knife, for the refl> it was very perfect. It 
had eighteen firings. A man, who feemed to be flill older 
than the former, but in habit perfectly the fame, bare-footed, 
clofc flhaved, and of the fame complexion with him, flood 


> / 1 

c ' 

/(•/////<■ '// rr. / 0r~( '///< t't ■ > 

/'nlMi'J /J,:,\'r"i~.s\i /■:/ 1' A'.Vwi.t,'// k Co. 


playing with botli his hands near the middle of the harp, 
in a manner feemingly lefs agitated than in the other. 

I went back to my firfl harp, verified, and examined my 
■drawing in all its parts ; it is with great pleafurc I now give 
a figure of this fecond harp to the reader, it was miilaid 
among a multitude of other papers, at the time when I was 
folicited to communicate the former drawing to a gentle- 
man then writing the Hiflory of Mulic, which he has already 
fubmitted to the public ; it is very lately and unexpectedly 
this lafl harp has been found ; I am only forry this accident 
has deprived the public of Dr Burney's remarks upon it. I 
hope he will yet favour us with them, and therefore abftain 
from anticipating his reflections, as I confider this as his pro- 
vince ; I never knew any one fo capable of affording the pub- 
lic, new, and at the fame time jufl lights on this fubject. 

There flill remained a third harp of ten firings, its precife 
form I do not well remember, for I had feen it but once 
when I firfl entered the cave, and was now preparing to 
copy that likewife. I do not recollect, that there was any 
man playing upon this one, I think it was rather refting 
upon a wall, with fome kind of drapery upon one end of it, 
and was the fmallefl of the three. But I am not at all fo 
certain of particulars concerning this, as to venture any 
description of it ; what I have faid of the other two may be 
abfolutely depended upon. 

I look upon thefe harps then as the Theban harps in 
life in the time of Scfoflris, who did not rebuild, but deco- 
rate ancient Thebes ; I confider them as affording an in- 

R 2 conteflible 


conteilible proof, were they the only monuments remaining,- 
that every art necefiary to the conflruclion, ornament, and 
ufe of this inflrument, was in the higheft perfection, and 
if- fo, all the others mufl have probably attained to the fame 

We fee in particular the ancients then poffeffed an art 
relative to architecture, that of hewing the hardefl flones 
with the greateft eafe, of which we are at this day utterly- 
ignorant and incapable. We have no inflrument that could 
do it, no compofition that could make tools of temper fuf- 
ficient to cut bafs reliefs in granite or porphyry fo readily ; 
and our ignorance in this is the more completely fhewn, in 
that we have all the reafons to believe, the cutting inflru- 
ment with which they did thefe furprifmg feats was com-* 
pofed of brafs ; a metal of which, after a thoufand expert 
ments, no tool has ever been made that could ferve the 
purpofe of a common knife, though we are at the fame 
time certain, it was of brafs the ancients made their razors. 

These harps, in my opinion, overturn all the accounts 
hitherto given of the earlieft Hate of mufic and mufical 
inftruments in the eail ; and are altogether in their form, 
ornaments, and compafs^ an inconteflible proof, ftronger than 
a thoufand Greek quotations, that geometry, drawing, me^ 
chanics, and mulic, were at the greateft perfection when this 
inflrument was made, and that the period from which we 
date the invention of thefe arts, was only the beginning of. 
the asra of their refloration. This was the fentiment of Solo- 
mon^ writer who lived at the time when this harp waspainted: 
" Is there (fays Solomon) any thing whereof it may- be faid, 

" See, 


" See, this is new ! it hath been already of old time which 
" was before us*." 

We find, in thefe very countries, how a later calamity, of 
the fame public nature, the conqueft of the Saracens, occa- 
sioned a limilar downfal of literature, by the burning the 
Alexandrian library under the fanatical caliph Omar. We 
fee how foon after, they flourifhed, planted by the fame hands 
that before had rooted them out. . 

The effects of a revolution occafioned, at the period I am 
now fpeaking of, by the univerfal inundation of the Shepherd^ 
were the deftruction of Thebes, the ruin of architecture, 
and the downfal of aftronomy in Egypt. Still a remnant 
was left in the colonies and correfpondents of Thebes, 
though fallen. Ezekielt celebrates Tyre as being, from her 
beginning, famous for the tabret and harp, and it is pro- 
bably to Tyre the tafte for mulic fie d from the contempt and 
perfecution of the barbarous Shepherds; who, though a 
numerous nation, to this day never have yet poffeffed any 
fpecies of mufic,or any kind of mufical inftruments capable 
of improvement. , 

Although it is a curious fubject for reflection, it mould 
not furprife us to find here the harp, in fuch variety of form. 
Old Thebes, as we prefently mall fee, had been deftroyed, 
and was foon after decorated and adorned, but not rebuilt 
by Sefoftris. It was fome time between the reign of Menes, 
the firfl: king of the Thebaid, and the firil general war of 


' Eccles. chap. i. ver. 10. f Ezek, chap, xxviii. ver. 13. 


the Shepherds, that thefe decorations and paintings were 
made. This gives it a prodigious antiquity ; but fuppofing 
it was a favourite innrument, confequently well underftood 
at the building of Tyre * in the year 1320 before Chrift, and 
Sefoflris had lived in the time of Solomon, as Sir Ifaac New- 
toni magines ; Hill there were 320 years fince that inftru- 
ment had already attained to great perfection, a fufficient 
time to have varied it into every form. 

Upon feeing the preparations I was making to proceed 
farther in my refearches, my conductors loll all fort of fub- 
ordination. They were afraid my intention was to fit in 
this cave all night, (as it really was,) and to vint the others 
next morning. With great clamour and marks of difcon- 
tent, they dafhed their torches againft the largefl harp, and 
made the bell of their way out of the cave, leaving me and 
ray people in the dark ; and all the way as they went, they 
made dreadful denunciations of tragical events that were 
immediately to follow, upon their departure from the cave. 

There was no pombility of doing more. I offered them 
money, much beyond the utmoft of their expectations ; 
but the fear of the Troglodytes, above Medinet Tabu, had 
fallen upon them ; and feeing at laft this was real, I was not 
myfelf without apprehenfions, for they were banditti, and 
outlaws, and no reparation was to be expected, whatever 
they ihould do to hurt us. 


* Nay, prior to this, the harp is mentioned as a common inftrument in Abraham's time 1 3 70 
years before Chrift, Gen. chap, xxxii. ver. 27. 


Very much vexed, I mounted my horfe to return to the 
boat. The road lay through a very narrow valley, the 
fides of which were covered with bare loofe ftones. I had 
no fooner got down to the bottom, than I heard a greal deal 
of loud fpeaking on both fides of the valley ; and, in an in- 
ftant, a number of large ftones were rolled down upon 
me, which, though I heard in motion, I could not fee, on 
account of the darknefs ; this increafed my terror. 

Finding, by the impatience of the horfe, that feveral of 
thefe ftones had come near him, and that it probably was 
the noife of his feet which guided thofe that threw them, I 
difmounted, and ordered the Moor to get on horfeback • 
which he did, and in a moment galloped out of danger. 
This, if I had been wife, I certainly might have done before 
him, but my mind was occupied by the paintings. Never- 
thelefs, I was refolved upon revenge before leaving thefe 
banditti, and liftened till I heard voices, on the right fide of 
the hill. I accordingly levelled my gun as near as pomble, 
by the ear, and fired one barrel among them. A moment's 
filence enfued, and then a loud howl, which feemed to have 
come from thirty or forty perfons. I took my fervant's 
blunderbufs, and difcharged it where I heard the howl, 
and a violent confufion of tongues followed, but no more' 
ftones. As I found this was the time to efcape, I kept along 
the dark fide of the hill, as expeditioufly as poflible, till I 
came to the mouth of the plain, when we reloaded our 
firelocks, expecting fome interruption before we reached 
the boat ; and then we made the beft of our way to the 



We found our Rais full of fears for us. He had been 
told, that, as foon as day light fhould appear, the whole 
Troglodytes were to come down to the river, in order to 
plunder and dellroy our boat. 

This night expedition at the mountains was but partial, 
the general attack was referved for next day. Upon hold- 
ing council, we were unanimous in opinion, as indeed we 
had been during the whole courfe of this voyage. We 
thought, fmce our enemy had left us to-night, it would be 
our fault if they found us in the morning. Therefore, 
without noife, we call off our rope that fattened us, and let 
ourfelves over to the other fide. About twelve at night a 
gentle breeze began to blow, which wafted us up to Luxor, 
where there was a governor, for whom I had letters. 

From being convinced by the fight of Thebes, which had 
not the appearance of ever having had walls, that the fable 
of the hundred gates, mentioned by Homer, was mere in- 
vention,! was led to conjecture what could be the origin of 
that fable. 

That the old inhabitants of Thebes lived in caves in 

the mountains, is, I think, without doubt, and that the 

hundred mountains I have fpoken of, excavated, and adorn- 

-ed, were the greateit wonders at that time, ieems equally 

probable. Nov/, the name of thefe to this day is Beeban el 

Meluke, the ports or gates of the kings, and hence, perhaps, 

come the hundred gates of Thebes upon which the Greeks 

have dwelt fo much. Homer never faw Thebes, it was -de- 

molifhed before the days of any profane writer, either in 

profe or verfe. What he added to its hiftory mull have been 

from imagination. 

2 All 


All that is faid of Thebes, by poets or hiflorians, after 
the days of Homer, is meant of Diofpolis ; which was built 
by the Greeks long after Thebes was deftroyed, as its name 
teitifies ; though Diodorus * fays it was built by Bufiris. It 
was on the eail fide of the Nile, whereas ancient Thebes was 
on the weft, though both are confidered as one city ; and 
fStrabo fays, that the river J runs through the middle of 
Thebes, by which he means between old Thebes and Diof- 
polis, or Luxor and Medinet Tabu. 

While in the boat, I could not help regretting the time 
I had fpent in the morning, in looking for the place in the 
narrow valley where the mark of the famous golden circle 
was vifible, which Norden fays he faw, but I could difcern 
no traces of it any where, and indeed it does not follow 
that the mark left was that of a circle. This magnificent 
inflrument was probably fixed perpendicular to the horizon 
•in the plane of the meridian ; fo that the appearance of the 
place where it flood, would very probably not partake of 
the circular form at all, or any precife fhape whereby to 
know it. Befides, as I have before faid, it was not among 
thefe tombs or excavated mountains, but ten flades from 
them, fo the veftiges of this famous inflrument § could not 
be found here. Indeed, being omitted in the lateft edition 
of Norden, it would feem that traveller himfelf was not 
perfectly well affured of its exiflence. 

Vol. I. S . We 

* Diod. Sic. Bib. lib. i. p. 42. § d. f Strabo, lib. 1 7. p. 943. J Nah. ch. 3. ver. 8, & 9. 

§ A fimilar inflrument, erected by Eratofthenes at Alexandria, cut of copper, ivas ufed by 
Hipparchus and Ptclemy. — Aim. lib. 1. cap. 11. 3. cap. 2. Vide his remarks on Mr 
Creave's PyramiJographia, p. 134. 


We were well received by the governor of Luxor, who-* 
was alfo a believer in judicial ailrology. Having made him 
a fmall prefent, he furnifhed us with provisions,- and, among 
feveral other articles, fome brown fugar ; and as we had 
i'een limes and lemons in great perfection at Thebes, we 
were refolved to refrefh ourfelves with fome punch, in re- 
membrance of Old England. But, after what had happen- 
ed the night before, none of our people chofe to run the rifk- 
of meeting the Troglodytes. We therefore procured a fer- 
vant of the governor's of the town, to mount upon his goat- 
fkin filled with wind, and float down the ftream from Luxor' 
to El Gournie, to bring us a fupply of thefe, which he foon 
after did. 

He informed us, that the people in the caves had, early 
in the morning, made a defcent upon the townfmen, with 
a view to plunder our boat; that feveral of them had been 
wounded the night before, and they threatened to purfue 
us to Syene. The fervant did all he could to frighten them,, 
by faying that his mailer's intention was to pafs over with- 
troops, and exterminate them, as Ofman Bey of Girge had" 
before done, and we were to affifl him with our fire-arms. — - 
After this we heard no more of them.. 

Luxor, and Carnac, which is a mile and a quarter below- 
it, are by far the largefl and moil magnificent fcenes of ruins 
in Egypt, much more extenfive and ftupendous than thofer 
of Thebes and Dendera put together. 

There are two obelifks here of great beauty, and in good* 
prefervation, they are lefs than thofe at Rome, but not at' 
all mutilated. The pavement,, which is made to receive 




the fliadow, is to this day fo horizontal, that it might (till 
be ufed in obfervation. The top of the obelifk is femicircu- 
lar, an experiment, I fuppofe, made at the inftance of the 
obferver, by varying the fhape of the point of the obelifk, 
to get rid of the penumbra. 

At Carnac we faw the remains of two vail rows of 
fphinxes, one on the right-hand, the other on the left, (their 
heads were moflly broken) and, a little lower, a number of 
termini as it mould feem. They were compofed of bafaltes, 
with a dog or lion's head, of Egyptian fculpture. They 
flood in lines likewife, as if to conduit or ferve as an avenue 
to fome principal building. 

They had been covered with earth, till very lately a Ve- 
netian phyfician and antiquary bought one of them at a 
very confiderable price, as he faid, for the king of Sardinia. 
This has caufed feveral others to be uncovered, though no 
purchafer hath yet offered. 

Upon the outfide of the walls at Carnac and Luxor there 
feems to be an hiftorical engraving inftead of hieroglyphics ; 
this we had not met with before. It is a reprefentation of 
men, horfes, chariots, and battles ; fome of the attitudes are 
freely and well drawn, they are rudely Scratched upon the 
furface of the ftone, as fome of the hieroglyphics at Thebes 
are. The weapons the men make ufe of are fhort javelins, 
fuch as are common at this day among the inhabitants of 

S 2 Egypt, 

*-Signior Donati, 


Egypt, only they have feathered wings like arrows. Tlieic 
is alfo diftinguifhed among the reft, the figure of a man on 
horfeback, with a lion fighting furioufly by him, and Dio- 
dorus * fays, Ofimandyas was fo reprefented at Thebes. This 
whole compofition merits great attention.. 

I have faid, that Luxor is Diofpolis, and fliould think, that/ 
that place, and Carnac together, made thejovis Civitas Magna 
of Ptolemy, though there is g' difference of the latitude by 
my obfervation compared with his. But as mine was made 
on the fouth of Luxor, if his was made on the north of Cai- 
nac, the difference will be greatly diminifhecL 

The 17th we took leave of our friendly Shekh of Luxor,, 
and failed with a very fair wind, and in great fpirits. The 
liberality of the Shekh of Luxor had extended as far as even 
to my Rais, whom he engaged to land me here upon my 
return. — I had procured him confiderable eafein fome com- 
plaints he had ; and he faw our departure with as much 
regret as in other places they commonly did our arrival. 

On the eaftern more are Hambde, Mafchergarona, Tor, 
Senimi, and Gibeg. Mr Norden feems to have very much 
confufed the places in this neighbourhood, as he puts Er- 
ment oppolitc to Carnac, and Thebes farther fouth than 
Erment, and on the eaft fide of the Nile, whilft he places 
Luxor farther fouth than Erment. But Erment is fourteen 
miles farther fouth than Thebes, and Luxor about a quar- 

* Diod.Sic. Bib. lib. 1. p. 45. § c 


rer of a mile (as I have already faid) farther fouth on the Eafl 
fide of the river, whereas Thebes is on the Weft. 

He has fixed a village (which he calls * Demcgeit) in the 
fituation where Thebes ftands, and he calls it Crocodilopolis, 
from what authority I know not; but the whole geography 
is here exceedingly confufed, and out of its proper poiition. 

In the evening we came to an anchor on the eaftern more 
nearly oppofite to Efne. Some of our people had landed to 
moot, trufting to a turn of die river that is here, which 
would enable them to keep up with us ; but they did not 
arrive till the fun was fctting, loaded with hares, pigeons, 
gootos, all very bad game. I had, on my part, ftaid on 
board, and had fhot two gcefe, as bad eating as the others, 
but very beautiful in their plumage, 

We panned over to Efne next morning. It is the ancient 
Latopolis, and has very great remains, particularly a large 
temple, which, though the whole of it is of the remoteft 
antiquity, feems to have been built at different times ; or 
rather out of the ruins of different ancient buildings. The 
hieroglyphics upon this are very ill executed, and are not 
painted The town is the refidence of an Arab Shekh, and 
the inhabitants are a very greedy, bad fort of people ; but 
as I was dreffed like an Arab, they did not molefl, becaufa 
they did not know me, . 

The i 8th, we left Efne, and palled the town of Edfu, 
where there is likewife confiderable remains of Egyptian 
architecture. It is the Appollinis Civitas Magna. 


* Vide Norden's map of the Nile. 


The wind failing, we were obliged to flop in a very poor, 
defolate, and dangerous part of the Nile, called Jibbel el Sil- 
felly, where a boom, or chain, was drawn acrofs the river, 
to hinder, as is fuppofed, the Nubian boats from committing 
piratical practices in Egypt lower down the flream. The 
flones on both fides, to which the chain was fixed, are very 
vifible ; but I imagine that it was for fifcal rather than for 
warlike purpofes, for Syene being garrifoned, there is no 
poffibility of boats paffing from Nubia by that city into 
Egypt. There is indeed another purpofe to which it might 
be defigned ; to prevent war upon the Nile between any 
two ftates. 

We know from Juvenal*, who lived fome time at Syene, 
that there was a tribe in that neighbourhood called Ombi, 
who had violent contentions with the people of Dendera 
about the crocodile ; it is remarkable thefe two parties were 
Anthropophagi fo late as Juvenal's time, yet no hiflorian 
fpeaks of this extraordinary fad, which cannot be called 
in quefhion, as he was an eye-witnefs and refided at Syene. 

Now thefe two nations who were at war had a- 
bove a hundred miles of neutral territory between 
them, and therefore they could never meet except on the 
Nile. But either one or the other poffenlng this chain, 
could hinder his adverfary from coming nearer him. As 
the chain is in the hermonthic nome, as well as the capital 
.of the Ombi, I fuppofe this chain to be the barrier of this 


* Juven. Sat. 15. ver. 76, 


Jafl ftate, to hinder thofe of Dendera from coming up the 
river to eat them. 

About noon we pafTed Coom Ombo, a round building 
like a caftle,where is fuppofed to have been the metropolis of 
Ombi, the people laft fpoken of. We then arrived at Daroo*, 
a miferable manfion, unconfcious that, fome years after 
we were to be indebted to that paltry village for the man 
who was to guide us through the defert, and reftore us to 
our native country and our friends.. 

We next came to Shekh Ammer, the encampment of the 
Arabs f Ababde, I fuppofe the fame that Mr Norden calls 
Ababuda, who reach from near CoiTeir far into the defert. 
As I had been acquainted with one of them at Badjoura, 
who defired medicines for his father, I promifed to call up- 
on him, and fee their effect, when I mould pafs Shekh Am- 
mer, which I now accordingly did ; and by the reception I 
met with, I found they did nor expect I would ever have 
been as good as my word. Indeed they would probably 
have been in the right, but as I was about to engage myfelf 
in extenfive deferts, and this was a very confiderable nation 
in thefe tracts, I thought it was worth my while to put my- 
felf under their protection. 

Shekh Ammer is not one, but a collection of villages,, 
compofed of miferable huts, containing, at this time, about 
a thoufand effective men : they poffefs few horfe, and are 


* taris Welled Hamran, our guide through thegreat defert, dwelt in this village, 

f The ancient Adei»- 


moftly mounted on camels. Thefe were friends to Shekh 
Hamam, governor of Upper Egypt for the time, and confe- 
quently to the Turkilh government at Syene, as alfo to the 
janiffaries there at Deir and Ibrim. They were the barrier, or 
bulwark, againft the prodigious number of Arabs, the Bifha- 
reen, and others, depending upon the kingdom of Sennaar. 

Ibrahim, the fon, who had feen me at Furfhout and Bad- 
joura, knew me as foon as I arrived, and, after acquainting 
his father, came with about a dozen of naked attendants, 
with lances in their hands to efcort me. I was fcarce got 
•into the door of the tent, before a great dinner was brought 
after their cuftom ; and, that being difpatched, it was a thou- 
fand times repeated, how little they expected that I would 
.have thought or inquired about them. 

We were introduced to their Shekh, who was lick, in a 
corner of a hut, where he lay upon a carpet, with a enfhion 
under his head. This chief of the Ababde, called Nimmer, 
i. e. the Tiger (though his furious qualities were at this time 
in great meafure allayed by ficknefs) afked me much about 
the flate of Lower Egypt. I fatisfied him as far as poflible, 
but recommended to him to confine his thoughts nearer 
home, and not to be over anxious about thefe diilant coun- 
tries, as he himfelf feemed, at that time, to be in a declining 
flate of health. 

Nimmer was a man about fixty years of age, exceedingly 
tormented with the gravel, which was more extraordinary 
as he dwelt near the Nile ; for it is, univerfally, the difeafe 

2 with 

*The Bifliareen are the Arabs who live in the frontier between the two nations. They are 
.the nominal lubjeds of Sennaar, but, in fact, indifcreet banditti, at lealt as to (hangers. 


with thofe who ufe water from draw-wells, as in the defert. 
But he told me, that, for the firft twenty-feven years of his 
life, he never had feen the Nile, unlefs upon fome plunder- 
ing party; that he had beenconftantly at war with the people 
of the cultivated part of Egypt, and reduced them often to 
the Hate of ftarving ; but now that he was old, a friend to 
Shekh Hamam, and was refident near the Nile, he drank of 
its water, and was little better, for he was already a martyr 
to the difeafe. I had fent him foap pills from Badjoura, 
which had done him a great deal of good, and now gave 
him lime-water, and promifed him, on my return, to mew 
his people how to make it. 

A very friendly converfation enfued, in which was repeat- 
ed often, how little they expected I would have vifited them ! 
As this implied two things ; the firft, that I paid no regard 
to my promife when given ; the other, that I did not efleem 
them of confequence enough to give myfelf the trouble, 
I thought it right to clear myfelf from thefe fufpicions. 

" Shekh Nimmer, faid I, this frequent repetition that you 
" thought I would not keep my word is grievous to me. I am 
" a Chriftian, and have lived now many years among you 
" Arabs. Why did you imagine that I would not keep my 
" word, fmce it is a principle among all the Arabs I have 
" lived with, inviolably to keep theirs ? When your fon Ibra- 
" him came to me at Badjoura, and told me the pain that 
" you was in, night and day, fear of God, and defire to do 
" good, even to them I had never feen, made me give you 
" thofe medicines that have eafed you. After this proof of 
" my humanity, what was there extraordinary in my com- 
" ing to fee you in the way ? I knew you not before ; but 

Vol. I. T " m y 


" my religion teaches me to do good to all men, even to- 
" enemies, without reward, or without confidering whether 
" I ever mould fee them again." 

" Now, after the drugs I fent you by Ibrahim, tell me, 
" and tell me truly, upon the faith of an Arab, would your 
*' people, if they met me in the defert, do me any wrong, 
" more than now, as I have eat and drank with you to-day ?" 

The old man Nimmer, on this rofe from his carpet, and 
fat upright, a more ghaflly and more horrid figure I ne- 
ver faw. " No, faid he, Shekh, curfed be thofe men of my 
people, or others, that ever fliall lift up their hand againfl 
you, either in the Defert or the Tel/, i. e. the part of Egypt which 
is cultivated. As long as you are in this country, or between; 
this and CofTeir, my fbn mail ferve you with heart and hand;; 
one night of pain that your medicines freed me from, would; 
not be repaid, if I was to follow you on foot to Mcflir, that 
is Cairo." 

I then thought it a proper time to enter into conver- 
fation about penetrating into Abymnia that way, and they 
difcufTed it among themfelves in a very friendly, and at : 
the fame time in a very fagacious and fenfible manner. 

" We could carry you to El Haimer, (which I underflood 
to be a well in the defert, and which I afterwards was 
much better acquainted with to my forrow.) We could 
conduct you fo far, fays old Nimmer, under God, without 
fear of harm, all that country was Chriflian once, and we- 



Chriftians like yourfelf % The Saracens having nothing in 
their power there, we could carry you fafely to Suakem, but 
the Bifhary are men not to be trufted, and we could go no 
farther than to land you among them, and they would put 
you to death, and laugh at you all the time they were tor- 
menting you f. Now, if you want to viiit Abyfiinia, go 
by Cofleir and Jidda, there you Chriftians command the coun- 

* I told him, I apprehended, the Kennoufs, about the fecond 
cataract, above Ibrim, were bad people. He laid the Ken- 
noufs were, he believed, bad enough in their hearts, but 
they were wretched flaves, and fervants, had no power in 
their hands, would not wrong any body that was with his 
people ; if they did, he would extirpate them in a day." 

" I told him, I was fatisfied of the truth of what was laid, 
and afked him the bell way to ColTeir. He faid, the bell 
way for me to go, was from Kenne, or Cuft, and that he 
was carrying a quantity of wheat from Upper Egypt, while 
Shekh Hamam was fending another cargo from his country, 
both which would be delivered at ColTeir, and loaded there 
for Jidda." 

" All that is right, Shekh, faid I, but fuppofe your people 
meet us in the defert, in going to Cofleir, or otherwiie, how 
mould we fare in that cafe? Should we fight?" "I have 

T 2 told 

* They were Shepherds Indigent, not Arabs. 
f Qui Ludit in HofpttefixQ—W&s a chata£er long ago given to the Moors. 

Horace Ode. 


told you Shekh already, fays he, Curfed be the man who 
lifts his hand againft you, or even does not defend and be- 
friend you, to his own lofs, were it Ibrahim my own fon." 

I then told him I was bound to Coffeir, and that if I 
found myfelf in any difficulty, I hoped, upon applying to 
his people, they would proted me, and that he would give 
them the word, that I was yagoube, a phyfician, feeking no 
harm, but doing good ; bound by a vow, for a certain time, 
to wander through deferts, from fear of God, and that they 
mould not have it in their power to do me harm. 

The old man muttered fomething to his fons in a dialect 
I did not then underftand ; it was that of the Shepherds of 
Suakem. As that was the firft word he fpoke, which I did 
not comprehend, I took no notice, but mixed fome lime- 
water in a large Venetian bottle that was given me when 
at Cairo full of liqueur, and which would hold about four 
quarts ; and a little after I had done this the whole hut was 
filled with people. 

There were priefis and monks of their religion, and the 
heads of families, fo that the houfe could not contain 
hair of them. The great people among them came, 
and, after joining hands, repeated a kind of * prayer, 
of about two minutes long, by which they declared 
themfclves, and their children, accurfed, if ever they 
lifted their hands againit me in the Tell, or Field in the 
defeet, or on the river; or,, in cafe that I, or mine mould fly 


* This kir.d of oath was la ufe among the Arabs, or Slepherds, as the time of AbnJus^ 
(Ken. xxi. 2 2, 23. xxvi. 25,. 



to them for refuge, if they did not protect us at the rifle of 
their lives, their families, and their fortunes, or, as they 
emphatically exprefled it, to the death of the laft male child 
among them. 

Medicines and advice being given on my part, faith 
and protection pledged on theirs, two bufhels of wheat 
and feven fheep were carried down to the boat, nor could 
we decline their kindnefs, as refufinga prefentin that coun- 
try (however it is underftood in ours,) is juft as great an af- 
front, as coming into the prefence of a fuperior without a 
prefent at all. 

I told them, however, that I was going up among Turks 
who were obliged to maintain me, the confequence there- 
fore will be, to fave their own, that they will take your 
fheep, and make my dinner of them ; you and I are Arabs % 
and know what Turks arc. They all muttered curfes between 
their teeth at the name of Turk, and we agreed they mould 
keep the fheep .till I came back, provided they mould be 
then at liberty to add as many more. 

Tins was all underftood between us, and we parted 
perfectly content with one another. But our Rais was very 
far from being fatisfied, having heard fomething of the 
feven fheep ; and as we were to be next day at Syene, where 
he knew we were to get meat enough, he reckoned that 
they would have been his property. To flifle all caufe of 
difcontent, however, I told him he was to take no notice of 
my vilit to Shckh Ammer, and that I would make him a- 
mends when I returned, 





Arrives at Sycne — Goes to fee the Cataracl — Remarkable Tombs — the 
Jit nation of Syene — The Aga propofcs a Vi/lt to Delr olid Vorim — The 
Author returns to Kcnne. 

WE failed on the 20th, with the wind favouring us, till 
about an hour before fun-rife, and about nine o'clock 
came to an anchor on the fouth end of the palm groves, 
and north end of the town of Syene, nearly oppolite to an 
ifland in which there is a fmall handfome Egyptian temple, 
pretty entire. It is the temple of * Cnupbis, where formerly 
was the Nilometer. 

Adjoining to the palm trees was a very good comfort- 
able houfe, belonging to Huflein Schourbatchie, the man 
that ufed to be fent from that place to Cairo, to receive the 
pay of the janiiTaries in garrifon at Syene, upon whom too I 
had credit for a very fmall lum. 

The reafons of a credit in fuch a place are three : Firft, 
in cafe of ficknefs, or purchafe of any antiquities : Secondly, 
that you give the people an idea (a very ufeful one) that 
you carry no money about with you : Thirdly, that your 


* Strabo, lib. xvii. p. 944= 


money changes its value, and is not even current beyond 

Hussein was not at home, but was gone fomewhere up- 
on bufinefs, but I had hopes to find him in the courfe of the 
day. Hofpitality is never refufed, in thefe countries, upon 
the flighteft pretence. Having therefore letters to him, and 
hearing his houfe was empty, we fent our people and bag- 
gage to it. 

I was not well arrived before a janifiary came, in long Tur- 
kilh cloaths, without arms, and a white wand in his hand, to 
tell me that Syene was a garrifon town, and that the Aga 
was at the caftle ready to give me audience. 

I returned him for anfwer, that I was very fenfible it was 
my firft duty, as a ftranger, to wait upon the Aga in x.garrifi?ied 
town of which he had the command, but, being bearer of 
the Grand Signior's Firman, having letters from the Bey of 
Cairo, and from the Port of Janiflaries to him in particular, and, 
at prefent being indifpofed and fatigued, I hoped he would 
indulge me till the arrival of my landlord ; in which in- 
terim I mould take a little reft, change my cloaths, and be 
more in the fituation in which I would wilh to pay mv re- 
fpects to him.. 

I received immediately an anfwer by two janiflaries, who 
infilled to fee me, and were accordingly introduced while 
I was lying down to reft. They faid that Mahomet Aga had 
received my menage, that the reafon of lending to me was 



not either to hurry or diflurb me ; but the earlier to know 
in what he could be of fervice to me ; that he had a particular 
letter from the Bey of Cairo, in confequence of which, he had 
difpatched orders to receive me at Efne, but as I had not 
waited on the Cacheff there, he had not been apprifed. 

After giving coffee to thefe very civil mefTengers, and 
taking two hours reft, our landlord the Schourbatchie ar- 
rived ; and, about four o'clock in the afternoon, we went to 
the Aga. 

The fort is built of clay, with fome fmall guns mounted 
on it ; it is of ftrength fufficient to keep people of the coun- 
try in awe. 

I found the Aga fitting in a fmall kioofk, or clofet, upon 
a ftone-bench covered with carpets. As I was in no fear of 
him, I was refolved to walk according to my privileges ; 
and, as the meaneft Turk would do before the greateft man 
in England, I fat down upon a cufhion below him, after 
laying my hand on my breaft, and faying in an audible voice, 
with great marks of refpecl:, however, Salam alicum ■' to which 
he anfwered, without any of the ulual difficulty, Alicum fal am! 
Peace be between us is the ialutation ; There is peace between us is 
the return. 

After fitting down about two minutes, I again got up, and 
flood in the middle of the room before him, faying, I am bear- 
er of a hateiTierriffe, or royal mandate, to you, Mahomet Aga ! 
and took the firman out of my bofom, and prefented it to 
him. Upon this he flood upright, and all the reft of the 
people, before fitting with him likewife ; he bowed his head 

4 upon 


upon the carpet, then put the firman to his forehead, open- 
ed it, and pretended to read it ; but he knew well the con- 
tents, and I believe, befides, he could neither read nor write 
any language. I then gave him the other letters from Cairo, 
which he ordered his fecretary to read in his ear. 

All this ceremony being finimed, he called for a pipe, 
and coffee. I refufed the firit, as never ufmg it ; but I drank 
a difh of coffee, and told him, that I was bearer of a confiden- 
tial mejfagt from Ali Bey of Cairo, and wiflied to deliver it to 
him without witneffes, whenever he pleafed. The room 
was accordingly cleared without delay, excepting his fecre- 
tary, who was alfo going away, when I pulled him back by 
the cloaths, faying, " Stay, if you pleafe, we mall need you 
" to write the anfwer." We were no fooner left alone, than 
I told the Aga, that, being a flranger, and not knowing the 
difpofition of his people, or what footing they were on to- 
gether, and being deiired to addrefs myfelf only to him by 
the Bey, and our mutual friends at Cairo, I wiflied to put it 
in his power (as he pleafed or not) to have witneffes of de- 
livering the fmall prefent I had brought him from Cairo. 
The Aga feemed veryfenfible of this delicacy; and particu- 
larly defired me to take no notice to my landlord, the Schour- 
batchie, of any thing I had brought him. 

All this being over, and a confidence eflablifhed with govern- 
ment, I lent his prefent by his own fervant that night, under 
pretence of defiring horfes to go to the cataract next day. 
The meffage was returned, that the horfes were to be ready 
by fix o'clock next morning. On the 21ft, the Aga fent me 
his own horfe, with mules and afTcs for my fcrvants, 10 go 
to the cataract. 
Vol. I. U We 


We pafied out at the fouth gate of the town, into the firft 
fmall fandy plain, A very little to our left, there are a num- 
ber of tcmb-ftones with inferiptions in the Culic character, 
which travellers erroneoufiy have called unknown language, 
and letters, although it was' the only letter and language 
known to Mahomet, and the moil learned of his feel: in the 
firft ages. 

The Cufic characters feem to be all written in capitals, 
which one might learn to read much more eaflly than the 
modern Arabic, and they more reiemble the Samaritan. 
We read there — Abdullah el Hejazi el Anfari — Mahomet Ab- 
del Shems el Taiefy el Anfari. The firfl of thefe, Abdullah 
el Hejazi, is Abdullah born in Arabia Petrea. The other is, 
Mahomet the flave of the fun, born in Taief. Now, both of 
thefe are called Anfafii which many writers, upon Arabian 
hiilory, think, means, bom in Medina; becaufe, when Maho- 
met fled from Mecca, the night of the hegira, the people of 
Medina received him willingly, and thenceforward got the 
name of * Anfari, or Helpers. But this honourable name 
was extended afterwards to all thofe who fought under Ma- 
homet in his wars, and after, even to thofe who had been 
born in his lifetime. 

These of whofe tombs we are now fpeaking, were of the 
army of Haled Ibn el Waalid, whom Mahomet named, Saif 
Ullah, the ' Sword of God,' and who, in the califat of Omar, 
took and deftroyed Syene, after lofmg great part of his army 


* This word, improperly ufed and fpelled by M. de Volney, has nothing to do with, .. 
theft Anfaris. 


before it. It was afterwards rebuilt by the Shepherds of Bcja, 
then Chriftians, and again taken in the time of Salidan, and, 
with the reft of Egypt, ever fince hath belonged to Cairo. It 
was conquered by, or rather furrendered to, Selim Emperor 
of the Turks, in 15 16, who planted two advanced polls (Deir 
and Ibrim) beyond the cataract in Nubia, with imall garri- 
fons of janhTaries like wife, where they continue to this day. 

Their pay is ifTued from Cairo ; fometimes they marry 
each others daughters, rarely marry the women of the coun- 
try, and the fon, or nephew, or nearer! relation of each de- 
ceafed, fucceeds as janifTary in room of his father. They 
have loft their native language, and have indeed nothing of 
the Turk in them, but a propenfity to violence, rapine, and 
injuftice ; to which they have joined the perfidy of the Arab, 
which, as I have faid, they fometimes inherit from their 
mother. An Aga commands thefe troops in the caftle. They 
have about two hundred horfemen armed with firelocks ; 
with which, by the help of the Ababde, encamped at Shekh 
Ammer, they keep the Bifliareen, and all thefe numerous 
tribes of Arabs, that inhabit the Defert of Senna ar, in toler- 
able order. 

The inhabitants, merchants, and common people of the 
town, are commanded by a cacheff. There is neither but- 
ter nor milk at Syene (the latter comes from Lower Egypt) 
the fame may be faid of fowls. Dates do not ripen at Syene, 
thofe that are fold at Cairo come from Ibrim and Dontrola. 
There are good fiih in the Nile, and they are eailly caught, 
efpecially at the cataract, or in broken water ; there are only 
two kinds of large ones which \ have happened to fee, the 

U 2 binny 


binny and the boulti. The binny I have defcribed in its pro- 
per place. 

After palling the tomb-flones without the gate, we come 
to a plain about five miles long, bordered on the left by 
a hill of no confiderable height, and fandy like the plain, 
upon which are feen fome ruins, more modern than thofe 
Egyptian buildings we have defcribed, They feem indeed, 
to be a mixture of all kinds and ages- 

The diftance from the gate of the town to Termiffi, of 
Marada, the fmall villages on the cataract, is exactly fix 
Englifh miles. After the defcription already given of this 
cataract in fome authors, a traveller has reafon to be fur- 
prifed, when arrived on its banks, to find that veffels fail 
up the cataract, and confequently the fall cannot be fo vio- 
lent as to deprive people of their hearing *. 

The bed of the river, occupied by the water, was not 
then half a mile broad. It is divided into a number of fmall 
channels, by large blocks ef granite, from thirty to forty 
feet high. The current, confined for a long courfe between 
the rocky mountains of Nubia, tries to expand itfelf with 
great violence. Finding, in every part before it, oppofition 
from the rocks of granite, and forced back by thefe, it meets 
the oppofite currents. The chafing of the water againft 
thefe huge obftacles, the meeting of the contrary currents 
one with another, creates fuch a violent ebullition, and 


* Cicero de Somnio Scipronis. 


makes fuch a noife and difturbed appearance, that it fills: 
the mind with confufion rather than with terror. 

We faw the miferable Kennoufs (who inhabit the 

banks of the river up into Nubia, to above the fecond 

cataract) to procure their daily food, lying behind rocks, 

with lines in their hands, and catching fifh ; they did not 

feem to be either dexterous or fuccefsful in the {'port. 

They are not black, but of the darker! brown ; are not 

woolly-headed, but have hair. They are fmall, light, agile 

people, and feem to be more than half-ftarved. . I made a 

fign that I wanted to fpeak with one of them ; but feeing 

me furrounded with a number of horfe and fire-arms, they 

did not choofe to truft themfelves. I left my people behind 

with my firelock, and went alone to fee if I could engage 

them in a converfation. At firft they walked off; finding 

I.perfifted in following them, they ran at full fpeed, and 

hid themfelves among the rocks, 

Pliny* fays, that, in his time, the city of Syene was fitu- 
ated fo directly under the tropic of Cancer, that there was 
a well, into which the fun fhone fo perpendicular, that it 
was enlightened by its rays down to the bottom. Strabo f 
had faid the fame. The ignorance, or negligence, in the 
Geodefique meafure in this obfervation, is extraordinary ; 
Egypt had been meafured yearly, from early ages, and the 
diftance between Syene and Alexandria mould have been 
known to an ell. From this inaccuracy, I do very much 
fufpect the other meafure Eratofthenes is faid to have made, 
by which he fixed the fun's parallax at 10 feconds and a 
v - L u haif, 

* Pli °y> Kb. ''• cap. 73. -)• Strabo, lib. XTJi. p. 944, . 


half, was not really made by him, but was fome old Chal- 
daic, or Egyptian obfervation, made by more inftructed aftro- 
nom'ers which he had fallen upon. 

The Arabs call it AfTouan, which they fay fignifies enlight- 
ened; in allufion,I fuppofe, to the circumflance of the well, 
enlightened within by the fun's being ftationary over it in 
June; in the language of Beja its name fignifies a circle, or 
portion of a circle. 

Syene, among other things, is famous for the firfl attempt 
made by Greek aftronomers to afcertain the meafure of the 
circumference of the earth. Eratofthenes, born at Cyrene a- 
bout 276 years before Chrift, was invited from Athens to A- 
lexandria by Ptolemy Evergetes, who made him keeper of 
the Royal Library in that city. In this experiment two po- 
fitions were aflumed, that Alexandria and Syene were ex- 
actly 5000 ftades diftantfrom each other, and that they were 
prccifely under the fi^me meridian. Again, it was verified by 
the experiment of the well, that, in the fummer folftice at 
mid-day, when the fun was in the tropic of Cancer, in its 
greateft northern declination, the well* at that inftant was 
totally and equally illuminated ; and that no ftyle, or gno- 
mon, erected on a perfed plane, did call, or project, any 
manner of fhadow for 150 ftades round, from which it was 
juftly concluded, that the fun, on that day, was fo exactly 
vertical to Syene, that the center of its difk immediately cor- 
responded to the center of the bottom of the well. Thefe 
preliminaries being fixed, Eratofthenes fet about his obfer- 
vation thus : — 


* Strabo, lib. ii. p. 133. 


On the day of the furamer folfticc, at the moment the 
fun was ftationary in the meridian of Syene, he placed a ityle 
perpendicularly in the bottom of a half- concave fphcre, 
which he expofed in open air to the fun at Alexandria. Now, 
if that ityle had call no fhade at Alexandria, it would have 
been precifely in the fame circumilance with a ityle in the 
well in Syene ; and the reafon of its not calling the made 
would have been, that the fun was directly vertical to it. 
But he found, on the contrary, this ityle at Alexandria did 
call: afliadow ; and by meafuring the diftance of the top of 
this fhadow from the foot of the ftyle, he found, that, when 
the fun call: no fhadow at Syene, by being in the zenith, at'. 
Alexandria he projected a fhadow ; which fhewed he was 
diflant from the vertical point, or zenith, j±o = j° I2 ^ which 
was y^th of the circumference of the whole heavens, or of. 
a great circle. 

This being fettled, the conclufion was, that Alexandria 
and Syene muft be diftantfrom each other by the 50th part'-. 
of the circumference of the whole earth. 

Now 5000 ftades was the diftance already affumed be- 
tween Alexandria and the well of Syene ; and all that was 
to be done was to repeat 5000 ftades fifty times, or multiply 
5,000 Hades by 50, and the anfwer was 250,000 ftades, which 
was the total of the earth's circumference. This, admitting 
the French contents of the Egyptian ftadium to be juft, will 
amount to 1 1,403 leagues for the circumference of the earth 
fought ; and as our prefent account fixes it to be 9000, 
the error will be 2403 leagues in excefs, or more than one- 
fourth of the whole fum required. 



This obfervation furely therefore is not worth record- 
ing, unlefs to lliew the infufficiency or imperfection of the 
method ; it cannot dcferve the encomiums * that have been 
bellowed upon it, if juftice has been done to Eratoflhenes' 
geodefique meamres, which I do not, by any manner of 
means, warrant to be the cafe, becaufe the meafure of 
his arch of the meridian feems to have been conducted 
with a much greater degree of fuccefs and precifion than 
that of his bafe. 

On the 2 2d, 23d, and 24th of January, being at Syene, in a 
houfe immediately eaft of the fmall ifland in the Nile (where 
the temple of Cnuphis is Hill Handing, very little injured, and 
which fStrabo, who was himfelf there, fays was in the an- 
cient town, and near the well built for the obfervation of 
the folftice) with a three-foot brafs quadrant, made by Lang- 
lois, and defcribed by % Monfieur de la Lande, by a mean of 
three obfervations of the fun in the meridian, I concluded 
the latitude of Syene to be 24 o' 45" north. 

And, as the latitude of Alexandria, by a medium of many 
obfervations made by the French academicians, and more 
recently by Mr Niebuhr and myfelf, is beyond poffibility 
of contradiction 31 n ; 33", the arch of the meridian con- 
tained between Syene and Alexandria, muft be 7 io^S", or 
1 ' 12" lcfs than Eratoilhenes made it. And this is a wonder- 
ful precifion, if we confider the imperfeclion of his inftru- 
ment, in the probable fhortnefs of his radius, and difficulty 


* Spe&acle de la Nature, 
f Strabo, lib. 1 7. p. 944. t L'hifloire d'aftronomie, de M. de la Lande, vol. i. lib, 2. 


(almoft infurmountable) in diftinguilliing the diviilon of 
the penumbra. 

There certainly is one error very apparent, in meafuring 
the bafe betwixt Syene and Alexandria ; that is, they were 
not (as fuppofed) under the fame meridian ; for though, to 
my very great concern afterwards, I had no opportunity of 
fixing the longitude at this firft vifit to Syene, as 1 had done 
the latitude, yet on my return, in the year 1772, from an 
cclipfe of the firft fatellite of Jupiter, I found its longitude to 
be 33 30'; and the longitude of Alexandria, being 30 iG' y'\ 
there is 3 14' that Syene is to the eaftward of the meridian 
of Alexandria, or fo far from their being under the fame 
meridian as fuppofed. 

It is impomble to fix the time of the building of Syene ; 
upon the mofl critical examination of its hieroglyphics and 
proportions, I fhould imagine it to have been founded fome 
time after Thebes, but before Dendera, Luxor, or Carnac. 

It would be no lefs curious to know, whether the well, 
which Eratolthenes made ufe of for one of the terms of the 
geodcfique bafe, and his arch of the meridian, between 
Alexandria and Syene, was coeval with the building of that 
city, or whether it was made for the experiment. I fhould 
be inclined to think the former was the cafe ; and the pla- 
cing this city firft, then the well under the tropic, were with 
a view of afcertaining the length of the folar year. In fliort, 
this point, fo material to be fettled, was the conftant objec> 
of attention of the firft aftronomers, and this was the ufe of 
the dial of Ofimandyas ; this inquiry was the occafion of the 
number of obelifks raifed in every ancient city in Egypt. 

Vol. I. X We 


Wc cannot miitake this, if we obferve liow anxioufly thcy- 
liave varied the figure of the top, or point of each obeliik; 
fometimes it is a very iharp one ; fometimes a portion of 
a circle, to try to get rid of the great impediment that per- 
plexed them, the penumbra. 

The projection of* the pavements, conftantly to the norths 
ward, fo diligently levelled, and made into exact planes by 
large ilabs of granite, mod artificially joined, have been fo 
Substantially fecured, that they might ferve for the observa- 
tion to this day ; and it is probable, the pofition of this city 
and the well were coeval, the remit of intention, and both 
the works of thefe firfb aftronomers, immediately after the 
building of Thebes. If this was the cafe, we may conclude, 
that the fact of the fun illuminating the bottom of the well 
in Eratoilhenes's time was a fuppofed one, from the uniform 
tradition, that once it had been fo, the periodical change 
of the quantity of the angle, made by the equator and 
ecliptic, not being then known, and therefore that the 
quantity of the celeftial arch, comprehended between Alex- 
andria and Syene, might be as erroneous from another 
caufe, as the bafe had been by affirming a wrong diftance 
on the earth, in place of one exactly meafured. 

There is at Axum an obelifk erected by Ptolemy Everge- 
tes, the very prince who was patron to Eratofthencs, with- 
out hieroglyphics, directly facing the fouth, with its top 
firft cut into a narrow neck, then fpread out like a fan in 
a femicircular form, with a pavement curioufly levelled to 
receive the fhade, and make the Separation of the true fha-- 
dow from the penumbra as dillinct as poSiible. 



This was probably intended for verifying the experi- 
ment of Eratofthenes with a larger radius, for, by this 
obelifk, we mull not imagine Ptolemy intended to obferve 
the obliquity of the ecliptic at Axum. Though it was 
true, that Axum, by its fituation, was a very proper place, the 
fun palling over that city and obeliflc twice a-year, yet it 
was equally true, that, from another circumllance, which 
he might have been acquainted with, at lefs expence of time 
than building the obelifk would have cod him, that he 
himfelf could not make any ufe of the fun's being twice 
vertical to Axum ; for the fun is vertical at Axum about the 
25th of April, and again about the 20th of Augufl ; and, at 
both thefe feafons, the heaven is fo overcaf! with clouds, 
and the rain fo continual, efpecially at mid-day, that it 
would be a wonder indeed, if Ptolemy had once fcen the fun 
during the months he ftaid there. 

Though Syene, by its fituation mould be healthy, the 
general complaint is a weaknefs and forenefs in the eyes ; 
and this not a temporary one only, but generally ending in 
blindnefs of one, or both eyes ; you fcarce ever fee a perfon 
in the ltreet that fees with both eyes. They fay it is owing 
to the hot wind from the defert ; and this I apprehend to 
be true, by the violent forenefs and inflammation we were 
troubled with in our return home, through the great Defert, 
to Syene. 

We had now fmifhed every thing we had to do at Syene, 
and prepared to defcend the Kile. After having been quiet' 
and well ufed fo long, we did not expect any altercation at 
parting ; we thought we had contented every body, and we 
were perfectly content with them. But, unluckily for us, 

X 2 our 


our landlord, the Schourbatchie, upon whom I had my cre- 
dit, and who had diflinguifhed himfelf by being very fer- 
viceable and obliging to us, happened to be the proprietor of 
a boat, for which, at that time, he had little employment ; 
nothing would fatisfy him but my hiring that boat, in- 
stead of returning in that which brought us up. 

This could by no means be done, without breaking faith 
with our Rais, Abou Cuffi, which I was refolved not to do 
on any account whatever, as the man had behaved honeftly 
and well in every refpect. The janhTaries took the part of 
their brother againft the ftranger, and threatened to cut 
Abou Cuffi to pieces, and throw him to the crocodiles. 

On the other part, he was very far from being terrified. 
He told them roundly, that lie was a fervant of Ali Bey, 
that, if they attempted to take his fare from him, their pay 
ihould be flopped at Cairo, till they furrendered the guilty 
perfon to do him juftice. He laughed moll unafledtedly at 
the notion of cutting him to pieces ; and declared, that, if he 
was to complain of the ufage he met when he went down to 
Lower Egypt, there would not be a janiflary from Syenc 
who would not be in much greater danger of crocodiles* 
than he. 

I went in the evening to the Aga,and complained of my 
landlord's behaviour. I told him pofitively, but with great 
mew of refpecl, I would rather go down the Nile upon a 
raft, than fet my foot in any other boat but the one that 
brought me up. I begged him to be cautious how he pro- 
ceeded, as it would be my Jlorj, and not bis, that would go 



to the Bey. This grave and refolute appearance had the 
effect. The Schourbatchie was fent for, and reprimanded, 
as were all thofe that Tided with him ; while privately, to 
calm all animofities againfl my Rais, I promifed him a piece 
of green cloth, which was his wifh ; and fo heartily were 
we reconciled, that, the next day, he made his fervants help 
Abou Cuffi to put our baggage on board the boat. 

The Aga hinted to me, in converfation, that he wondered 
at my departure, as he heard my intention was to go to Ibrim 
and Deir. I told him, thofe garrifons had a bad name; that 
aDanifli gentleman, fome years ago, going up thither, with 
orders from the government of Cairo, was plundered, and 
very nearly affamnated, by Ibrahim, Cacheff of Deir. He 
looked furprifed, fliook his head, and feemed not to give me 
credit ; but I perfifted, in the terms of Mr Norden's * Narra- 
tive ; and told him, the brother of the Aga of Syenc was 
along with him at the time. " Will any perfon, faid he, tell 
me, that a man who is in my hands once a month, who has 
not an ounce of bread but what I furniih him from this 
garrifon, and whole pay would be flopt (as your Rais truly 
faid) on the firfl complaint transmitted to Cairo, could af- 
fafiinatc a man with Al-i Bey's orders, and my brother along 
with him ? Why, what do you think he is ? I fhall fend a fer- 
vant to the Cacheff of Deir to-morrow, who mall bring him 
down by the beard, if he refufes to come willingly." I faid, 
" Then times were very much changed for the better ; it was 
not always fo, there was not always at Cairo a fovereign 

' like 

* Vide MrNcrder/s Voyage up the Nile, 


like Ali Bey, nor at Syene a man of his prudence, and capa- 
city in commanding; but having no bufmefs at Deir 
and Ibrim, I mould not rifk finding them in another hu- 
mour, exerciiing other powers than thole he allowed them 

to have." 

The 26th we embarked at the north end of the town, in 
the very fpot where I again took boat above three years 
afterwards. We now no longer enjoyed the advantage of 
our prodigious main-fail ; not only our yards were lowered, 
but our malts were taken out ; and we floated down the 
current, making the figure of a wreck. The current, pufli- 
ine againft one of our fides, the wind directly contrary, 
prefling us on the other, we went down broad fide foremojl ; 
but fo fteadily, as fcarce to be fenfible the veiTel was in mo- 

In the evening I ftopt at Shekh Ammer, and faw my pa- 
tient Nimmer, Shekh of the Ababde. I found him greatly 
better, and as thankful as ever ; I renewed my prefcripuons, 
and he his offers of fervice. 

I was vifited, however, with a pretty fmart degree of 
fever by hunting crocodiles on the Nile as I went down, 
without any poffibility of getting near them. 

On the 31ft of January we arrived at Negade, the 
fourth fettlcmentof the Francifcan friars in Upper Egypt,for 
the pretended million of Ethiopia. I found it to be in lat. 

25° 55' 3°" k is a fma11 nCilt villa K e > covered with P alm ~ 
trees,and moftly inhabited by Cophts, none of whom the 

friars have yet converted, nor ever will, unlefs by fmall 



penfions, which they give to the pooreil of them, to he de- 
coy-ducks to the reft. 

Opposite to Negade, on the other fide of the river about 
three miles, is Cus, a large town, the Appollonis Civitas Par- 
va of the ancients. There are no antiquities at this place ; 
but the caravan, which was to carry the corn for Mecca, 
acrofs the defert to Cofleir, was to aflemble there. I found 
they were not near ready ; and that the Arabs Atouni had 
threatened they would be in their way, and would not fuf- 
fer them to pals, at any rate, and that the guard command- 
ed to efcort them acrofs the defert, would come from Fur- 
fhout, and therefore I mould have early warning, 

It was the 2d of February I returned to Badjoura, and 
took up my quarters in the houfe formerly alhgned me, 
greatly to the joy of Shekh Ifmael, who, though he was 
in the main reconciled to his friend, friar Chriftopher, 
had not yet forgot the wounding of the live men by his 
miscalculating ramadan ; and was not without fears that 
the fame inadvertence might, fome day or other, be fatal to 
him, in his pleurify and afthma, or, what is ftiil more like- 
ly, by the operation of the tabangc. 

As I was now about to launch into that part of my ex- 
pedition, in which I was to have no further intercoufe with 
Europe J fet myfelf to work to examine all my obfervations, 
and put my journal in fuch forwardnefs by explanations, 
where needful, that the labours and pains I had hitherto 
been at, might not be totally loft to the public, if I mould 
pcriih in the journey I had undertaken, which, every day, 

22 from 


from all information I could procure, appeared to be more 
and more defperate. 

Having finifhed thefe, at leaft fo far as to make them 
intelligible to. others, I conveyed them to my friends Meffrs 
Julian and Rofa at Cairo, to remain in their cuftody till I 
fhould return, or news come that I was otherwife difpofed 

c a;. ' ' ■ ^^3 






The Author fets out from Kenne — Croffes the Defer t of the TJjebaid — Ph 
fits the Marble Mountains — Arrives at Coffeir^ on the Red Sea-— 
Tranfaclions there. 

IT was Thurfday, the 16th of February 17^9, we heard the 
caravan was ready to fet out from Kenne, the Ccene Empo- 
rium of antiquity. From Kenne our road was firft Eaft, for 
half an hour, to the foot of the hills, which here bound the 
cultivated land ; then S. E. when, at 1 1 o'clock in the fore- 
noon, we paired a very dirty fmall village called Sheraffa. 
All the way from Kenne, clofe on our left, were defert hills, 
on which not the leafl verdure grew, but a few plants of a 
large fpecies of Solanum, called Burrumbuc. 

At half part two we came to a well, called Bir Ambar, the 
well of fpices, and a dirty village of the fame name, belong- 
ing to the Azaizy, a poor inconfiderable tribe of Arabs. 
They live by letting out their cattle for hire to the caravans 
that go to Gofleir,.and attending themfelves, when neccflary. 
It got its name, I fuppofe, from its having formerly been a 
nation of the caravans from the Red Sea, loaded with this 
kind of merchandife from India. The houfes of the Azaizy 
are of a very particular conferudtion, if they can be called 

Vol- L Y houfes. 


houfes. They are all made of potter-clay, in one piece, 
in fhape of a bee-hive ; the largeft is not above ten feet high, 
and the greateft diameter fix. 

There are no vefliges here of any canal, mentioned to 
have been cut between the Nile and the Red Sea. The 
cultivated land here is not above half a mile in extent from 
the river, but the inundation of the Nile reaches much 
higher, nor has it left behind it any appearance of foil. 
After paffing Bir Ambar, we pitched our tent about four 
o'clock at Gabba*, a fhort mile from Cuft, on the borders of 
the defert — here we paffed the night. 

On the 17th, at eight o'clock in the morning, having 
mounted my fervants all on horfeback, and taken the charge 
of our own camels, (for there was a confufion in our cara- 
van not to be defcribed, and our guards we knew were but 
a fet of thieves) we advanced flowly into the defert. There 
were about two hundred men on horfeback, armed with 
firelocks ; all of them lions, if you believed their word or 
appearance ; but we were credibly informed, that fifty of 
the Arabs, at firft fight, would have made thefe heroes fly 
without any blooclflied. 

I had not gone two miles before I was joined by the 

Howadat Arab, whom I had brought with me in the boat 

om Cairo. He offered me his fervice with great profef- 

fions of gratitude, and told me, that he hoped I would again 

take charge of his money, as I had before done from Cairo. 


*It is art town, but fome fand and a few bullies, fo calUd. 


It was now for the firfl time he told me his name, which 
was Mahomet Abdel Gin, " the Slave of the Devil, or the 
" Spirit." There is a large tribe of that name, many of which 
come to Cairo from the kingdom of Sennaar ; but he had 
been born among the Howadat, oppofite to iSletrahenny, 
where I found him. 

Ouu road was all the way in an open plain, bounded by 
hillocks of fand, and fine gravel, perfectly hard, and not 
perceptibly above the level of the plain country of Egypt. 
About twelve miles d.iflant there is a ridgo of mountains of 
no confiderable height, perhaps the moft barren in the world. 
Between thefe our road lay through plains, never three miles 
broad, but without trees, fhrubs, or herbs. There are not 
even the traces of any living creature, neither ferpent nor 
lizard, antelope nor oflrich, the ufual inhabitants of the 
moll dreary deferts. There is no fort of water on the fur- 
face, brackifh or fweet. Even the birds feem to avoid the 
place as peflilential, not having feen one of any kind fo 
much as flying over. The fun was burning hot, and, upon 
rubbing two flicks together, in half a minute they both took 
fire, and flamed ; a mark how near the country was redu- 
ced to a general conflagration ! 

At half pafl three, we pitched our tent near fome draw- 
wells, which, upon tailing, we found bitterer than foot. 
We had, indeed, other water carried by the camels in fkins. 
This well-water had only one needful quality, it was cold, 
and therefore very comfortable for ref re filing us outwardly. 
This unpleafant flation is called Legeta ; here we were ob_ 
liged to pafs the night, and all next day, to wait the arrival 

Y 2 of 


of the caravans of Cus, Efne, and part of thofe of Kcnne.. 
and Ebanout. . 

While at the wells of Legeta, my Arab, Abdel Gin, came 
to me with his money, which had increafed now to nine- 
teen fequins and a half. "What! laid I, Mahomet, are 
you never fafe among your countrymen, neither. by fea 
nor land ?" " Oh, no, replied Mahomet ; the difference, 
when we were on board the boat, was, we had three thieves 
only ; but, when ajfembled here, we fhall have above three 
thoufand. — But I have an advice to give you." — " And my 
ears," faid I, " Mahomet, are always open to advice, efpe- 
daily in ftrange countries." — " Thefe people," continued 
Mahomet, " are all afraid of the Atouni Arabs ; and, when 
attacked, they will run away, and leave you in the hands 
of thefe Atouni, who will carry off your baggage. There- 
fore, as you have nothing to do with their corn, do not kill 
any of the Atouni if they come, for that will be a bad affair, 
but go afide, and let me manage. I will anfwer with my 
life, though all the caravan mould be flripped ftark-naked, , 
and you loaded with gold, not one article belonging to you 
mall ■ be touched." I queftioned him very particularly a- 
bout this intimation, as it was an affair of much confe-- 
quence, and I was fo well fatisfied, that I refolved to con-, 
form flricftly to it. 

In the evening came twenty Turks from Caramania, 
which is that part of Afia Minor immediately on the fide of 
the Mediterranean oppofite to the coaft of Egypt ; all of them 
neatly and cleanly dreffed like Turks, all on camels, armed 
with fwoi ds, a pair of piftols at their girdle, and a fhort neat 
gun ; their arms were in very good order, with their flints 



and ammunition flowed in cartridge-boxes, in a very foldier- 
like manner. A few of thefe fpoke Arabic, and my Greek 
fervant, Michael, interpreted for the reft. Having been in- 
formed, that the large tent belonged to an Englifliman, they 
came into it without ceremony. They told me, that they 
were a number of neighbours and companions, who had fet 
out together to go to Mecca, to the Hadje ; and not knowing 
the language, or cuftoms of the people, they had been but 
indifferently ufed fince they landed at Alexandria, particu- 
larly fomewhere (as I guefled) about Achmim ; that one of 
the Owam, or fwimming thieves, had been on board of them 
in the night, and had carried off a fmall portmanteau with 
about 200 fequins in gold ; that, though a complaint had 
been made to the Bey of Girge, yet no fatis faction had been 
obtained; and that now they had heard an Englifliman was 
here, whom they reckoned their countryman^ they had come 
to propofe, that we fhould make a common caufe to defend 
each other againft all enemies. — What they meaned by coun- 
tryman was this : — 1 

There is in Afia Minor, fomewhere between Anatolia 
and Caramania, a diftrict. which they call Caz Dagli, cor- 
ruptly Caz Dangli, and this the Turks believe was the 
country from which the Englifli firft drew their origin ; 
and on this account they never fail to claim kindred with 
the Englifh wherever they meet, efpecially if they Hand in 
need of their afliflance. 

I told them the arrangement I had taken with the A- 

rab. At firft, they thought it was too much confidence to 

place in him, but I convinced them, that it was greatly di- 

minifhing our rifle, and, let the worft come to the worfc, 

v„ I j I was-, 


I was well fatisfied that, armed as we were, on foot, we were 
more than fufficient to beat the Atouni, after they had de- 
feated the clownifh caravan of Egypt, from whole courage 
we certainly had nothing to expect. 

I cannot conceal the fecret pleafure I had in finding the 
character of my country fo firmly eltablilhed among na- 
tions fo dillant, enemies to our religion, and iirangers to 
our government. Turks from Mount Taurus, and Arabs 
from the defert of Libya, thought themfelves unfafe among 
their own countrymen, but truftcd their lives and their lit- 
tle fortunes implicitly to the direction and word of an Eng- 
lifhman whom they had never before feen. 

These Turks feemed to be above the middling rank of 
people; each of them had his little cloak bag very neatly 
packed up; and they gave me to underftand that there 
was money in it. Thefe they placed in my icrvants tent, 
and chained them all together, round the middle pillar of 
it ; for it was eafy to lee the Arabs of the caravan had 
thofe packages in view, from the fiilt moment of the Turk's 

We (laid all the iSth at Legeta, waiting for the junction 
of the caravans, and departed the 19th at fix o'clock in the 
morning. Our journey, all that day, was through a plain, 
never lefs than a mile broad, and never broader than three ; 
the hills, on our right and left, were higher than the for- 
mer, and of a brownifh calcined colour, like the Hones on 
the fides of Mount Vefuvius, but without any herb or tree 

upon them. 

2 At 


At half pall ten, we palled a mountain of green and red 
marble, and at twelve we entered a plain called Hamra, 
where we firft obferved the fand red, with a purple caft, of 
the colour of porphyry, and this is the fignification of Ham- 
ra, the name of the valley. Idifmounted here, to examine of 
what the rocks were compofed ; and found, with the great- 
ell pleafure, that here began the quarries of porphyry, with- 
out the mixture of any other ftone ; but it was imperfecl;, 
brittle, and foft. I had not been engaged in this purfuit an 
hour, before we were alarmed with a report that the A- 
touni had attacked the rear of the caravan ; we were at the 
head of it. The Turks and my fervants were all drawn 
together, at the foot of the mountain, and polled as advan- 
tageoufly as poffible. But it foon appeared that they 
were fome thieves only, who had attempted to Heal fome 
loads of corn from camels that were weak, or fallen lame, 
perhaps in intelligence with thofe of our own caravans. 

All the reft of the afternoon, we faw mountains of a 
perfectly purple colour, all of them porphyry ; nor has 
Ptolemy f much erred in the pofition of them. About four 
o'clock, we pitched our tent at a place called Main el Mafa- 
rek. The colour of the valley El Hamra continued to this 
llation ; and it was very Angular to obferve, that the ants, or 
pifmires, the only living creatures I had yet obferved, were 
all of a beautiful red colour like the fand. 

The 20th, at fix oclock in the morning, we left Main el 


f Ptol. Almag. lib. 4. Geograph. pag. 104, 


Mafarek, and, at ten, came to the mouth of the defiles. At 
eleven we began to defcend, having had a very impercep- 
tible aicent from Kenne all the way. 

We were now indemnified for the famenefs of our na- 
tural productions yeilerday ; for, on each fide of the plain, 
we found different forts of marble, twelve kinds of which 
I felccted, and took with me. 

At noon, we came to a plain planted with acacia-trees, 
at equal diftances ; fmgle trees, fpreading broader than uiual, 
as if on purpofe to proportion the refrefhment they gave to 
the number of travellers who flood in need of it. This is 
a {ration of the Atouni Arabs after rain. From our leaving 
Legeta, we had no water that, nor the following day. 

On the right-hand fide of this plain we found porphyry 
and granite, of very beautiful kinds. All the way, on both 
fides of the valley, this day, the mountains were of porphyry, 
and a very few of itone. 

At a quarter pail four, we encamped at Koraim, a final! 
-plain, perfectly barren, coniifting of line gravel, fand, and 
Hones, with a few acacia-trees, interfperfed throughout. 

The 2 i ft, we departed early in the morning from Ko- 
raim, and, at ten o'clock, we palled feveral defiles,^perpetually 
alarmed by a report, that the Arabs were approaching; 
none of whom we ever law. We then proceeded through 
jl-veral defies, into a long plain that turns to the eait, then 
north-eaft, and north, fo as to make a portion of a circle. 
At die end of tins plain we came to a mountain, the great- 


eft part of which was of the marble, verde antico, as it is 
called in Rome, but by far the moll beautiful of the kind 
I had ever feen. 

Having patted this, we had mountains on both fides of 
us, but particularly on our right. The only ones that I my- 
felf examined were of a kind of granite, with reddifh veins 
throughout, with triangular and fquare black fpots. Thefe 
mountains continued to Mefag el Terfowcy, where we en- 
camped at twelve o'clock ; we were obliged to bring our 
water from about five miles to the fouth-eafl. This water 
does not appear to be from fprings, it lies in cavities and 
grottos in the rock, of which there are twelve in number, 
whether hollowed by nature or art, or partly by both, is 
more- than I can folve. Great and abundant rains fall here 
in February. The clouds, breaking on the tops of thefe 
mountains, in their way to Abyffinia, fill thefe citterns with 
large fupplies, which the impending rocks fe cure from eva- 

It was the firfl frefli water we tailed fince we left the Nile; 
and the only water of any kind fince we left Legeta. But 
fuch had been the forefight of our caravan, that very few 
reforted thither, having all laid in abundant {lore from the 
Nile ; and fome of them a quantity fufficient to ferve them 
till their return. This was not our cafe. We had water, it 
is true, from the Nile ; but we never thought we could have 
too much, as long as there was room in onr water-fkins to 
hold more ; I therefore went early with my camel-drivers, 
expecting to have feen fome antelopes, which every night 
come to drink from the well, having no opportunity to do 
it throughout the day. 

Vol. I. Z I HA3 


I had not concealed myfelf half an hour, above a nar- 
row path leading to the principal cave, before I faw, firft one 
antelope walking very {lately alone ; then four others, clofe- 
ly following him. Although I was wholly hid as long as 
I lay ftill, he feemed to have difcerned me from the inftant 
that I faw him. I mould have thought it had been the 
fmell that had difcovcred me, had not I ufed the precaution 
of carrying a piece of burnt turf along with me, and left 
one with my horfe likewife ; perhaps it was this unufuai 
fmell that terrified him. Whatever was the caufe, he ad- 
vanced apparently in fear, and feemed to be trailed with 
the care of the flock, as the others teftified no apprehen- 
sion, but were rather fporting or fighting with each other. 
Still he advanced flower, and with greater caution ; but, be- 
ing perfectly within reach, I did not think proper any long- 
er to rifk the whole from a defire to acquire a greater num- 
ber. I fhot him fo juilly, that, giving one leap five or fix 
feet high, he fell dead upon his head. I' fired at the others,, 
retiring all in a croud; killed one likewife, and lamed ano- 
ther, who fled among the mountains, where darknefs pro- 
tected him. We were perfectly content with our acquifi- 
tion, and the nature of the place did not prompt us to look 
after the wounded. We continued at the well to afTift our 
companions who came in want of water, a duty with which: 
neceffity binds us all to comply. . 

We returned near midnight with our game and our wa- 
ter. We found our tents all lighted, which, at that time of 
night, was unufuai. I thought, however, it was on account 
of my abfence, and to guide me the hirer home. We were 
however furprifed, when, coming within a moderate diftahce 
of our tent, we heard the word called for; I anfwercd imme- 


diately, Charlotte; and, upon our arrival, we perceived the 
Turks were parading round the tents in arms, and foon 
after our Howadat Arab came to us, and with him a mef- 
fenger from Sidi Haifan, defiring me to come inftantly to 
his tent, while my fervants advifed me firft to hear what 
they had to fay to me in mine. 

I soon, therefore, perceived that all was not well, and I 
returned my compliments to Harlan, adding, that, if he had 
any thing to fay to me fo late, he would do well to come, or 
fend, as it was pail my hour of vifiting in the defert, efpe- 
cially as I had not eat, and was tired with having the charge 
of the water. I gave orders to my fervants to put out all 
the extraordinary lights, as that feemed to be a mark of 
fear ; but forbade any one to fleep, excepting thofe who 
had the charge of our beails, and had been fetching the 

1 found that, while our people had been aflecp, two per- 
sons had got into the tent and attempted to fteal one of the 
portmanteaus ; but, as they were chained together, and the 
tent-pole in the middle, the noife had awakened my fer- 
vants, who had feized one of the men ; and that the Turks 
had intended inftantly to have difpatchcd him with their 
knives, and with great difficulty had been prevented by my 
fervants, according to my conftant orders, for I wifhed to 
avoid all extremities, upon iuch occafions, when poffible. 
They had indeed leave to deal with their flicks as freely 
as their prudence fuggefted to them ; and they had gone, 
in this cafe, fully beyond the ordinary limits of difcrcthit, 
efpecially Abdel Gin, who was the firft to feize the robber. 
In fhort, they had dealt fo liberally with their flicks, that 

Z 2 the 


the thief was only known to be living by his groans, and 
they had thrown him at a fmall diflance, for any perfon to 
own him that pleafed. It appeared, that he was a fervant 
of Sidi Haflan, an Egyptian Have, or fervant to Shckh Ha- 
mam, who conducted or commanded the caravan, if there 
was any condntl or command in it. 

There were with me ten fervants, all completely armed, 
twenty-five Turks, who feemed worthy to be depended up- 
on, and four janiflarics, who had joined us from Cairo, fo 
that there were of us forty men perfectly armed, befides 
attendants on the cattle. As we had people with us who 
knew the wells, and alfo a friend who was acquainted with 
the Atouni, nothing, even in a defert, could reafonably a- 
larm us. 

With great difficulty we pulled down an old acacia-tree, 
and procured fome old-dried camels dung, with which we 
roafled our two antelopes : very ill-roafted they were ; and 
execrable meat, though they had been ever fo well drefled, 
and had had the belt fauce of Chriflendom. However, we 
were in the defert, and every thing was acceptable. We 
had fome fpirits, which nnifhed our repaft that night : it 
was exceedingly cold, and we fat thick about the fire. 

Five men with firelocks, and a number of Arabs with 
lances, having come towards us, and being challenged by 
the centinel for not giving the word, were then cleared to 
Hand, or they would be fired upon. They all cried out, 
Sdlam Alkum I and I intimated that any three of them might 
come forward, but defired them to keep away the Arabs. 
Three of them accordingly came, and then two more. They 

3 ; delivered , 


delivered a meilage from Sidi Hafjan, that my people had 
killed a man; they defired that themurderermightbe deliver- 
ed to them, and that I ihould come to his tent, and fee juftice 
done. " I told them, that none of my people, however pro- 
" voked, would put a man to death in my abfence, unlefs 
" in defence of their own lives ; that, if I had been there, I 
" mould certainly have ordered them to fire upon a thief 
" catched in the act of ftealing within my tent ; but, fince 
" he was dead, I was fatisfied as to him, only expected that 
" Sidi Haflan would give me up his companion, who had 
" fled ; that, as it was near morning, I mould meet him 
" when the caravan decamped, and hear what he had to fay 
" in his defence. In the mean time I forbade any perfon 
" to come near my tent, or quarters, on any pretence whatr 
ever, till-day light." Away they went murmuring, but 
what they laid I did not underftand. We heard no more 
of them, and none of us flept. All of us, however, repeated 
our vows of Handing by each other ; and we fince found, 
that we had flood in the way of a common practice, of {trip- 
ping thefe poor flrangers,. the Turks, who come every year 
this road to Mecca. 

At dawn of day, the caravan was all in motion. They 
had got intelligence, that two days before, about 300 Atouni 
had watered at Terfowey ; and, indeed, there were marks 
of great refort at the well, where we filled the water. We 
had agreed not to load one of our camels, but let the cara- 
van go on before us, and meet the Atouni firfl ; that I only 
ihould go on horfeback, about two hundred yards into the 
plain from the tent, and all the reft follow me on foot with 
arms in their hands, . 



Hassan, too, was mounted on horfeback, with about a 
hundred of his myrmidons, and a number of Arabs on foot. 
He fent me word that I was to advance, with only two fer- 
vants ; but I returned for anfwer, that I had no intention to 
advance at all ; that if he had any bufmefs, he mould fay 
fo, and that I would meet him one to one, or three to fix, 
juft as he pleafed. He fent me again word, that he wanted 
to communicate the intelligence he had of the Atouni, to 
put me on my guard. I returned for anfwer, that I was al- 
ready upon my guard, againft all thieves, and did not make 
any diftindtion, if people were thieves themfelves, or en- 
couraged others to be fo, or whether they were Atouni or 
Ababde. He then fent me a mcflage, that it was a cold 
morning, and wiflied I would give hirn a dim of coffee, 
and keep thofe ftrangers away. I therefore defired one of 
my fervants to bring the coffee-pot, and directing my people 
to fit down, I rode up to him, and difmounted, as he did ah'o, 
when twenty or thirty of his vagabonds came, and fat 
down likewife. He faid he was exceedingly furprifed, after 
fending to me laft night, that I did not come to him ; that 
the whole camp was in murmur at beating the man, and 
that it was all that he could do to hinder his foldiers from 
falling upon us, and extirpating us all at once ; that I did 
wrong to protect thofe Turks, who carried always money 
to Mecca for merchandife, and defrauded them of their dues. 

My fervant having juft poured out a dim of coffee to give 
him, I laid, Stay, Sir, till we know whether we are in peace. 
Sidi Haffan, if that is the way of levying dues upon the 
Turks, to fend thieves to rob them in my tent, you fhould 
advife me firft of it, and then we mould have fettled the 
bufinefs. With regard to your preventing people from 



murdering me, it is a boaft fo ridiculous that I laugh at it, 
Thofe pale-faced fellows who are about you muffled up in 
burnoofes for fear of cold in the morning, are they capable 
to look janiffaries in the face like mine ? Speak lowly, and 
in Arabic, when you talk at this rate, or perhaps it will not 
be in my power to return you the compliment you did me 
lafl night, or hinder them from killing you on the fpot. Were 
ever fuch words fpoken ! faid a man behind ; tell me, ma- 
iler, are you a king ? If Sidi Haffan, anfwered I, is your ma- 
iler, and you fpeak to me on this occafion, you are a wretch ; 
get out of my fight ; I fwear I will not drink a difli of coffee 
while you are here, and will mount my horfe directly. 

I then rofe, and the fervant took back the coffee-pot; 
upon which Haffan ordered his fervant out of his pre- 
sence, faying, " No, no ; give me the coffee if we are in peace j" 
and he drank it accordingly. Now, fays he, pail is pail ; the 
Atouni are to meet us at the * mouth of Beder ; your people 
are better armed than mine, are Turks, and ufed to fighting. 
I would wifh you to go foremoll, and we will take charge 
of your camels, though my people have 4000 of their own, 
and they have enough to do to take charge of the corns 
" And I," faid I, " if I wanted water or provifion, would go 
to meet the Atouni, who would ufe me well. Why, you don't 
know to whom you are fpeaking, nor that the Atouni are 
Arabs of Ali Bey, and that lam his man of confidence, go- 
ing to the Sherriffe of Mecca ? The Atouni will not hurt us • 
but, as you fay, you are commander of the caravan, we have 


* The Arabs call thefe narrow pafTes in the mountains Fum, as the Hebrews did Pi, the- 
mouth. Fum el Beder, is the mouth of Beder; Fum el Teifowey, the mouth or paffage of Ter-- 
fow£y ; Piha Hhiioth, the mouth of the va'ley cut through with ravines. 


all fworn we will not fire a mot, till we fee you heartily en- 
gaged ; and then we will do our belt to hinder the Arabs 
from Healing the Sherriffe of Mecca's corn, for bis fake only?' 
They all cried out El Fedtah ! El Fedtah ! fo I faid the prayer 
of peace as a proxy ; for none of the Turks would come near 

Opposite to where we were encamped is Terfowey, a 
large mountain, partly green-marble, partly granite, with 
a red blufh upon a grey ground, with fquare oblong fpots. 
About forty yards within the narrow valley, which fepa- 
rates this mountain from its neighbour, we law a part of 
the fuft or fhaft of a monftrous obelifk of marble, very near- 
ly fquare, broken at the end, and towards the top. It was 
nearly thirty feet long, and nineteen feet in the face ; about 
two feet of the bottom were perfectly infulated, and one 
whole fide feparatcd from the mountain. The gully had 
been widened and levelled, and the road made quite up to 
underneath the block. 

We faw likewife, throughout the plain, fmall pieces of 
jafper, having green, white, and red fpots, called in Italy, 
" Diafpo Sanguineo." All the mountains on both fides of 
the plain feemed to be of the fame fort, whether they really 
were fo or not, I will not fay, having had no time to exa- 
mine them. 

The 2 2d, at half pall one in the morning, we fet out full 
of terror about the Atouni. We continued in a direction 
nearly eail, till at three we came to the defiles ; but it was 
fo dark, that it was imporlible to difcern of what the coun- 
try on each fide coniiited. At day-break, we found our- 



fclvcs .at the bottom of a mountain of granite, bare like the 

We faw quantities of fmall pieces of various forts of 
granite, and porphyry fcattered over the plain, which had 
been carried down by a torrent, probably from quarries of 
ancient ages ; thefe were white, mixed with black fpots ; red, 
with green veins, and black fpots. After this, all the moun- 
tains on the right hand were of red marble in prodigious 
abundance, but of no great beauty. They continued, as the 
granite did, for feveral miles along the road, while the oppo- 
fite fide was all of dead-green, fuppofed ferpentine marble. 

It was one of the moft extraordinary fights I ever faw. 
The former mountains were of confidcrable height, with- 
out a tree, or fhrub, or blade of grafs upon them ; but thefe 
now before us had all the appearance, the one of having been 
fprinkled over with Havannah, the other with Brazil fnufF. 
I wondered, that, as the red is neareft the fea, and the mips 
going down the Abyllinian coaft obferve this appearance 
within lat. 26 , writers have not imagined this was called 
the Red Sea upon that account, rather than for the many 
weak reafons they have relied upon. 

About eight o'clock we began to defeend fmartlv, and, half 
an hour after, entered into another defile like thofc before 
defcribed, having mountains of green marble on every fide 
of us. At nine, on our left, we faw the higheft mountain 
we had yet paffed. We found it, upon examination, to be com- 
pofed of ferpentine marble ; and, thro' about one-third of the 
thicknefs, ran a large vein of jafper, green, fpotted with red 
Its exceeding hardnefs was fuch as not to vield to the blows 

Vc,L - r - A a of 


of a hammer; but the works of old times were more ap- 
parent in it, than in any mountain we had feen. Duels, or 
channels, for carrying water tranfverfely, were obierved evi- 
dently to terminate in this quarry of jafper: a proof that 
water was one of the means ufed in cutting thefc hard 

About ten o'clock, defcending very rapidly, with green 
marble and jafper on each fide of us, but no other green 
thing whatever, we had the firft profpect. of the Red Sea, 
and, at a quarter pad eleven, we arrived at Coffeir. It has 
been a wonder with all travellers, and with myfelf among 
the reft, where the ancients procured that prodigious quan- 
tity of fine marble, with which all their buildings abound. 
That wonder, however, among mam/ others, now ceafes, 
after having paffed, in four days, more granite, porphyry, 
marble, and jafper, than would build Rome, Athens, Corinth, 
Syracufe, Memphis, Alexandria, and half a dozen fuch ci- 
ties. It feemed to be very viiible, that thofe openings in the 
hills, which I call Defiles, were not natural, but artificial ; and 
that whole mountains had been cut out at thefe places, to 
preferve a Hope towards the Nile as gentle as poffible: this, 
I fuppofe, might be a defcent of about one foot in fifty at 
moft ; fo that, from the mountains to the Nile, thofe heavy 
carriages muft have moved with as little draught as pof- 
fible, and, at the fame time, been fufhciently impeded by 
friction, fo as not to run amain, or acquire an increafed ve- 
locity, againft which, alfo, there mud have been other pro- 
vifions contrived. As I made another excurfion to thefe 
marble mountains from Cofieir, I will, once for all, here fet 
down what I obferved concerning their natural appear- 



The porphyry fliews itfelf by a line purple fand, without 
any glofs or glitter on it, and is exceedingly agreeable to the 
eye. It is mixed with the native white land, and fixed gra- 
vel of the plains. Green unvariegated marble, is generally 
feen in the fame mountain with the porphyry. Where the 
two veins meet, the marble is for fome inches brittle, but 
the porphyry of the fame hardnefs as in other places. 

The granite is covered with fand, and looks like flone of a 
dirty, brown colour. But this is only the change and impref- 
fion the fun and weather have made upon it; for, upon break- 
ing it, you fee it is grey granite, with black fpots, with a red- 
difh caft, or blufh over it. This red feems to fade and fuf- 
fer from the outward air, but, upon working or polifhing 
the furface, this colour again appears. It is in greater 
quantity than the porphyry, and nearer the Red Sea. Pom- 
pey's pillar feems to have been from this quarry. 

Next to the granite, but never, as I obferved, joined with 
it in the fame mountain, is the red marble. It is covered 
'with fand of the fame colour, and looks as if the whole 
mountain were fpread over with brick dull:. There is alfo 
a red marble with white veins, which I have often i'cen at 
Rome, but not in principal fubjedts, I have alfo i'e?n it in 
Britain. The common green (called Serpentine) looks as if 
covered over with Brazil muff. Joined with this green, I 
faw two famples of that beautiful marble they call Ifabella; 
one of them with a yellowifh caft, which we call Quaker* 
colour ; the other with a blucifli, which is commonly termed 
Dove-colour. Thefe two fecm to divide the refpective 
mountains with the terpentine. In this green, likewife, it 
Was we faw the vein of jafper ; but whether it was ahiblutc- 

A a 2 Xy 


ly the fame with this which is the hloody jafper, or blood- 
ftone, is what we had not time to fettle. 

I should firil have made mention of the verde antico, the 
dark green with white irregular fpots, becaufe it is of the 
greatell value, and nearcft the Nile. This is produced in the 
mountains of the plain green, or ferpentine, as is the jafper, 
and is not difcoverable by the dull, or any particular colour 
upon it. lirfl, there is a blue fleaky llone, exceedingly even 
and fmooth in the grain, folid, and without fparks or co- 
lour. When broken, it is fomething lighter than a flat®, 
and more beautiful than moil marble ; it is like the lava of 
volcanoes, when polifhed. After lifting this, we come to the 
beds of verde antico ; and here the quarrying is very obvi- 
ous, for it has been uncovered in patches, not above twenty 
feet fquare.. Then, in another part, the green llone has 
been removed, and another pit of it wrought. 

I saw, in feveral places in the plain, fmall pieces of A- 
frican marble fcattered. about, but no rocks or mountains 
of it. I fuppofe it is found in the heart of fome other co- 
1-oured marble, and in ftrata, like the jafper and verde anti- 
co, and, I fufpecl,in the mountains of Ifabella marble, efpe- 
cially of the yelloweft fort of it,, but this is mere conjecture. 
This prodigious flore of marble is placed upon a ridge, 
whence there is a defcent to the eall or weft, either to the 
Nile or Red Sea. The level ground and hard-fixed gravel 
are proper for the heavieil carriages, and will eafily and 
fmoothly convey any weight whatever to its place of em- 
barkation on the Nile ; fo that another wonder ceafed, how 
the ancients tranfported thofe vail blocks to Thebes, Mem- 
phis, and Alexandria. 



Cosseir is a fmall mud-walled village, built upon the 
fhore, among hillocks of floating fand. It is defended by a 
fquare fort of hewn ftone, with fquare towers in the angles, 
which have in them three fmall cannon of iron, and one of 
brafs, all in very bad condition ; of no other ufe but to 
terrify the Arabs, and hinder them from plundering the 
town when full of corn, going to Mecca in time of famine. 
The walls are not high ; nor was it neceffary, if the great 
guns were in order. But as this is not the cafe, the ram- 
parts are heightened by clay, or by mud-walls, to fereen 
the foldiers from the lire-arms of the Arabs, that might 
otherwife command them from the fandy hills in the neigh- 

There are feveral wells of brackifh water on the N. W. 
of the caftle, which, for experiment's fake, I made drinkable, 
by filtering it through fand ; but the water in ufe is brought 
from Terfowey, a good day's journey off. 

The port, if we may call it fo, is on the fouth-eaft of the 
town. It is nothing but a rock which runs out about four 
hundred yards into the fea, and defends the veffels, which 
ride to the weft of it, from the north and north-eaft winds, 
as the houfes of the town cover them from the north-weft, 

There is a large inclofure with a high mud-wall, and, 
within, every merchant has a fhop or magazine for his 
corn and merchandife : little of this laft is imported, unlefs 
coarfe India goods, for the confumption of Upper Egypt 
itfelf, fince the trade to Dongola and Sennaar has been in- 



I had orders from Shckh Hamam to lodge in the caftle. 
But a few hours before my arrival, Hufiein Bey Abou Kerfh 
landed from Mecca, and Jidda, and he had taken up the 
apartments which were deftined for me. He was one of 
thofe Beys whom Ali Bey had defeated, and driven from 
Cairo. He was called Abou Ksr/h, i. e. Father Belly, from be- 
ing immoderately fat ; his adverfity had brought him a lit- 
tle into fhapes. My fervants, who had gone before, think- 
ing that a friend of the Bey in power was better than an 
enemy outlawed, and banifhed by him, had inadvertently 
put fome of my baggage into the caftle j nil when this po- 
tentate was taking poilefiion. Swords were immediately 
drawn, death and deftruction threatened to my poor fer- 
vants, who fled and hid themfelves till I arrived. 

Upon their complaint, I told them they had acted im- 
properly; that a fovereign was afevereign all the world over; 
and it was not my bufinefs to make a difference, whether 
he was in power or not. I eafily procured a houfe, and 
fent a janifTary-of the four that had joined us from Cairo,, 
with my compliments to the Bey, deiiring reftitution of my 
baggage, and that he would excufe the ignorance of my 
fervants, who did not know that he was at Cofleir ; but 
only, having the firman of the Grand Signior, and letters 
from the Bey and Pert of janifTavies of Cairo, they pre- 
sumed that I had a right to lodge there, if he had not taken 
xip the quarters. 

It happened, that an intimate friend of mine, Mahomet 
Toral, captain of one of the large Cairo mips, trading to 
Arabia, was a companion of this Mullein Bey, and had car- 
ried him to fee Captain Thornhill, and fome cf our Englifh 

2 captains 


captains at Jidda, who, as their very laudable cuflom is, al- 
ways fhew fuch people fome civilities. He qucftioncd the 
janiffary about me, who told him I was Englifh; that I had 
the protection I Jiad mentioned, and that, from kindnefs 
and charity, I had furnifhed the ftranger Turks with water, 
and provifion at my own expencc, when croffing the defert. 
He profeffed himfelf exceedingly afhamed at the beha- 
viour of his fervants, who had drawn their fabres upon 
mine, and had cut my carpet and fome cords. After which, 
of his own accord, he ordered his kaya, or next in com- 
mand, to remove from the lodging he occupied, and inflead 
of fending back my baggage by my fervant, he directed it 
to be carried into the apartment from which the kaya had 
removed. This I abfolutely refufed, and fent word, I un- 
derftood he was to be there for a few days onlv; and as 
I might ftay for a longer time, I mould only defire to fuc- 
ceed him after his departure, in order to put my baggage 
in fafety from the Arabs ; but for the prefent: they were in 
no danger, as long as be was in the toman. I told him, I would 
pay my refpecls to him in the evening, when the weather 
cooled. I did fo, and, contrary to his expectations, brought 
him a fmall prefent. . Great intercourfe of civility paired; 
my fellow-travellers, the Turks, were all feared there, and 
lie gave me, repeatedly, very honourable teftimonials of my 
charity, generofity, and kindnefs to them. . 

These Turks, finding themfcives in a fimation to be 
heard, had not omitted the opportunity of complaining to 
Huffein Bey of the attempt of the Arab to rob them in the 
defert. The Bey afked me, If it happened in my tent; I 
faid, -It was in that of my fervants. "What is the reafon, 

favs • 



fays he, that, when you Englifh people know fo well what 
p-ood government is, you did not order his head to be 
flruck off, when you had him in your hands, before the 
door of the tent?"— M Sir," faid I, " I know well what good 
government is ; but being a ftranger, and a Chriftian, I 
have no fort of title to exercife the power of life and death 
in this country ; only in this one cafe, when a man at- 
tempts my life, then I think I am warranted to defend 
myfelf, whatever may be the confequence to him. My 
men took him in the fac% and they had my orders, in fuch 
cafes, to beat the offenders fo that they mould not ileal 
thefe two months again : They did fo ; that was punifh- 
ment enough in cold blood."—" But my blocd," fays he, 
" never cools with regard to fuch rafcals as thefe : Go (and 
he called one of his attendants) tell Haffan, the head of the 
caravan, from me, that unlcfs he hangs that Arab before 
fun-rife to-morrow, I will carry him in irons to Furfhout." 

Upon this meffage I took my leave ; faying only, " Huf- 
fcin Bev, take my advice ; procure a veffel and fend thefe 
Turks over to Mecca before you leave this town, or, be af- 
fured they will all be made refponfible for the death of 
this Arab ; will be ftripped naked, and perhaps murdered, 
as foon as your back is turned." It was all I could do to 
get them protected thus far. This meafure was already 
provided for, and the poor Turks joyfully embarked next 
morning. The thief was not at all moleiled : he was fent 
out of the way, under pretence that he had fled. 

Cosseir has been miflaken by different authors. Mr 
Iluet, Bifliop of Avranches, fays, It is the Myos Hormos 
of antiquity; others, the Thilotcras Tortus of Ptolemy. 



The fact is, that neither one nor other is the port, both, be- 
ing confiderably farther to the northward. Nay, more, the 
prefent town of Cofleir was no ancient port at all ; old Cof- 
feir was five or fix miles to the northward. There can be 
no fort of doubt, that it was the Portus Albus, or the White 
Harbour ; for we find the fteep defcent from Terfowey, and 
the marble mountains, called, to this day, the Accaba, 
which, in Arabic, fignifies a fteep afcent or defcent, is pla- 
ced here by Ptolemy with the fame name, though in Greek 
that name has no fignification. Again, Ptolemy places *Aias 
Mons, or the mountain Aias, juft over Cofleir, and this moun- 
tain, by the fame name, is found there at this day. And, 
upon this mountain, and the one next it, (both over the 
port) are two very remarkable chalky cliffs ; which, being 
confpicuous and feen far at fea, have given the name of the 
White Port, which Cofleir bore in all antiquity. 

I found, by many meridian altitudes of the fun, taken 
at the caftle, that CofTeir is in lat. 26 f 51" north ; and, by 
three obfervations of Jupiter's fatellites, I found its longi- 
tude to be 34 4/ 15" ea ft °f tne meridian of Greenwich. 

The caravan from Syene arrived at this time, efcorted by 
four hundred Ababde, all upon camels, each armed with two 
fhort javelins. The manner of their riding was very whim- 
fical ; they had two fmall faddles on each camel, and fat 
back to back, which might be, in their practice, convenient 
enough ; but I am fure, that, if they had been to fight with 
us, every ball would have killed two of them, what their ad- 
vantage would have been, I know not. 

Vol. I. B b The 

Ptokm. Geograph. lib. 4. p. 103, 


The whole town was in terror at the influx of fo many 
barbarians, who knew no law whatever. They brought a 
thoufand camels loaded with wheat to tranfport to Mecca. 
Every body fliut their doors, and I among the reft, whilfl the 
Bey fent to me to remove into the caftlc. But I had no 
fear, and refolved to make an experiment, after hearing 
thefe were people of Nimmer, whether I could trull them in 
the defert or not. However, I fent all my inftruments, my 
money, and the beft of my baggage, my medicines and 
memorandums, into a chamber in the caftle : after the door 
was locked, and the key brought to me, the Bey ordered to 
nail up pieces of wood acrofs it, and fet a centinel to watch 
it all day, and two in the night. 

I was next morning down at the port looking for {hells 
in the fea, when a fervant of mine came to me in apparent 
fright and hurry. He told me the Ababde had found out 
that Abdel Gin, my Arab, was an Atoimi, their enemy, and that 
they had either cut his throat, or were about to do it ; but, 
by the fury with which they feized him, in his fight, he 
could not believe they would fpare him a minute. 

He very providently brought me a horfe, upon which I 
mounted immediately, feeing there was no time to be loft; 
and in the fhhing-drefs, in which I was, with a red turban a- 
bout my head, I galloped as hard as the horfe could carry 
me through the town. If I was alarmed myfelf, I did 
not fail to alarm many others. They all thought it was 
fomething behind, not any thing before me, that occafion- 
ed this fpeed. I only told my fervant at palling, to fend 
two of my people on horfeback after me, and that the Bey 
would lend them horfes. 



I was not got above a mile into the fands, when I began 
to reflect on the folly of the undertaking. I was going in- 
to the defert among a band of favages, whofe only trade 
was robbery and murder, where, in all probability, I fhould 
be as ill treated as the man I was attempting to fave. But, 
feeing a crowd of people about half a mile before me, 
and thinking they might be at that time murdering that 
poor, honefl, and fimple fellow, all confideration of my own, 
fafety for the time vanifhed. 

Upon my coming near them, fix or eight of them fur- 
rounded me on horfeback, and began to gabble in their 
own language, I was not very fond of my fituationl; It 
would have coil them nothing to have thruft a lance 
through my back, and taken the horfe away; and, after {trip- 
ping me, to have buried me in a hillock of fand, if they 
were fo kind as give themfelves that laft trouble. How- 
ever, I picked up courage, and putting on the befl appear- 
ance I could, faid to them.fteadily,without trepidation," What 
men are thefe before r" The anfwer, after fome paufe, was, 
they are men- and they looked very queerly, as if they meant 
to alk each other, What fort of a fpark is this? " Are thofc be- 
fore us Ababde, faid I ; are they from Shekh Ammer ?" One 
of them nodded, and grunted fullenly, rather than faid 
" Aye, Ababde from Shekh Ammer." " Then Salam Alicum! 
faid I, we are brethren. How does the Nimmer? W r ho com- 
mands you here ? Where is Ibrahim ? 

At the mention of Nimmer, and Ibrahim, their counten- 
ance changed, not to any thing fweeter or gentler than be- 
fore, but to a look of great furprife: They had not return- 
ed my falutation,/<?tf« be between us; but one of them afked 

B b 2. ma. 


me who I was ? — " Tell me firft, faid I, who that is you have 
before ?" — " It is an Arab, our enemy, fays he, guilty of our 
blood." — " He is, replied I, my fervant. He is a Howadat 
Arab, his tribe lives in peace at the gates of Cairo, in the 
fame manner your's at Shekh Ammer does at thofe of Af- 
fouan." " I afk you, Where is Ibrahim your Shekh's fon ?" — 
" Ibrahim, fays he, is at our head, he commands us here. 
But who are you ?" — " Come with me, and mew me Ibrahim, 
faid I, and I will fliew you who I am." 

I passed by thefe, and by another party of them. They 
had thrown a hair rope about the neck of Abdel Gin, who 
was almofl ftranglcd already, and cried out moll miferably, 
for me not to leave him. I went directly to the black tent 
which I faw had a long fpear thrufl up in the end of it, 
and met at the door Ibrahim and his brother, and feven or 
eight Ababde. He did not recollect me, but I difmounted 
clofe to the tent-door, and had fcarce taken hold of the pil- 
lar of the tent, and faid Fiarduc *, when Ibrahim, and his 
brother both knew me. " What ! faid they, are you Tagoube 
our phyfician, and our friend ?" — " Let me afk you, replied 
I, if you are the Ababde of Shekh Ammer, that curfed your- 
felves, and your children, if you ever lifted a hand againft 
me, or mine, in the defert, or in the plowed field : If you. 
have repented of that oath, or fworn falfely on purpofc to 
deceive me, here I am come to you in the defert" " What is 
the matter, fays Ibrahim, we are the Ababde of Shekh Am- 
mer, there are no other, and we flill fay, Curfed be he, whe- 

* That is, I am under your protection. 


"ther our father, or children, that lifts his hand againfl you, 
in the defert, or in the plowed field." " Then, faid I, you 
are all accurfed in the defert, and in the field, for a num- 
ber of your people are going, to murder my fervant. They 
took him indeed from my houfe in the town, perhaps that is 
not included in your curfe, as it is neither in the deftrt nor 
the plowed field" — I was very angry. "Whew! fays Ibrahim 
with a kind of whittle, that is downright nonfenfe. Who 
are thofe of my people that have authority to murder, and 
take prifoners while I am here ? Here one of you, get up- 
on Yagoube's horfe, and bring that man to me." Then 
turning to me, he dellred I would go into the tent and fit 
down : " For God renounce me and mine, (fays he), if it is 
"as you fay, and one of them hath touched the hair of his 
" head, if ever be drinks of the Nile again." 

A number of people who had feen me at Shekh Ammer, 
now came all around me ; fome with complaints of fick- 
nefs, fome with compliments; more with impertinent ques- 
tions, that had no relation to either. At laft came in the 
culprit Abdel Gin, with forty or fifty of the Ababde who 
had gathered round him, but no rope about his neck. There 
began a violent altercation between Ibrahim, and his men, 
in their own language. All that I could guefs was, that 
the men had the woril of it ; for every one prefent faid 
fomething harm to them., as difapproving the action. 

I heard the name of HafTan Sidi HafTan often in the dis- 
pute. I began to fufpeft fomething, and delired in Arabic 
to know what that Sidi Hailiin was, fo often mentioned in 
difcourfc, and then the whole lecret came out. 



The reader will remember, that this Arab, Abdel Gin s . 
was the perfon that feized the fervant of Haffan, the Captain 
of the Caravan, when he was attempting to ileal the Turk's 
portmanteau out of my tent ; that my people had beat him 
till he lay upon the ground like dead, and that Huffein Bey, . 
at the complaint of the Caramaniots, had ordered him to be 
hanged. Now, in order to revenge this, Haffan had told the 
Ababde that Abdel Gin was an Atouni fpy, that he had de- 
tected him in the Caravan, and that he was come to learn 
the number of the Ababde, in order to bring his compa- 
nions to furprife them. He did not fay one word that he 
was my fervant, nor that I was at Coffeir ; fo the people 
thought they had a very meritorious facrifice to make, in 
the perfon of poor Abdel Gin. 

All paffed now in kindnefs, frefh medicines were afked 
for the Nimmer, great thankfulnefs, and profeffions, for 
what they had received, and a prodigious quantity of meat 
on wooden platters very excellently dreffed, and moft agree- 
ably diluted with frefh water, from the colder! rock of Tcr- 
fowey, was fet before me. 

In the mean time, two of my fervants, attended by three 
of Huffein Bey, came in great anxiety to know what was 
the matter; and, as neither they nor the Arabs chofe much 
each others company, I fent them with a fhort account of 
the whole to the Bey ; and foon after took my leave, car- 
rying Abdel Gin along with me, who had been clothed by 
Ibrahim from head to foot. We were accompanied by two 
Ababde, in cafe of accident. 




I cannot help here accufing myfelf of what, doubtlefs, 
may be well reputed a very great fin. I was fo enraged at 
the traitorous part which Haffan had acted, that, at parting, 
I could not help faying to Ibrahim, " Now, Shekh, I have 
done every thing you have defired, without ever expecting 
fee, or reward; the only thing I now aik you, and it is pro- 
bably the laft, is, that you revenge me upon this Haffan, 
who is every day in your power." Upon this, he gave me 
his hand, faying, " He fhall not die in his bed, or I fhall 
never fee old age," 

We now returned all in great fpirits to Coffeir, and I ob- 
served that my unexpected connection with the Ababde had 
given me an influence in that place, that put me above all 
fear of perfonal danger, efpecially as they had feen in the 
defert, that the Atouni were my friends alfo, as reclaiming 
this Arab fhewed they really were. 

The Bey infilled on my flipping with him. At his defire I 
told him the whole ftory, at which he feemed to be much fur- 
prifed, faying, feveral times, "Menullah! Menullah! Muck- 
toub !" It is God's doing, it is God's doing, it was written fo. 
And, when I had fmifhed, he faid to me, " I will not leave 
this traitor with you to trouble you further ; I will oblige 
him, as it is his duty, to attend me to Furfhout." This he 
accordingly did ; and, to my very great furprife, though he 
might be affured I had complained of him to Shekh Ham- 
am, meeting me the next day, when they were all ready to 
<lepart, and were drinking coffee with the Bey, he gave me 
a flip of paper, and defired me, by that direction, to buy him 
a fabre, which might be procured in Mecca. It feems it is 
the manufacture of Perfia, and, though I do not omderftand 

3 ia 


iia the leaft, the import of the terms, I give it to the reader 
that he may know by what defcription he is to buy an ex- 
cellent fabre. It is called Suggaro Tabanne Harefanne A- 
gemmi, Jbr Sidi Hajfan ofFurJloout. 

Although pretty much ufed to flifle my refentmenr 
upon impertinences of this kind, I could not, after the trick 
he had played me with the Ababde, carry it indifferently ; 
I threw the billet before the Bey, faying to Haffan, " A fword 
of that value would be ufelefs and mifemployed in the hand 
of a coward and a traitor, fuch as furely you mull be fen- 
fible I know you to be." He looked to the Bey as if appeal- 
ing to him, from the incivility of the obfervation ; ,but the 
Bey, without fcruple, anfwered, " It is true, it is true what 
he fays, HafTan ; if I was in Ali Bey's place, when you dared 
ufe a ftranger of mine, or any flranger, as you have done 
him, I would plant you upon a fharp ftake in the market- 
place, till the boys in the town floned you to death ; but 
he has complained of you in a letter, and I will be awitnefs 
againft you before Hamam, for your conduct is not that of 
a Mujfulman*' 

While I was engaged with the Ababde, a veflTel was 
feen in diflrefs in the offing, and all the boats went out 
and towed her in. It was the veflel in which the twenty- 
five Turks had embarked, which had been heavily loaded. 
Nothing is fo dreadful as the embarkation in that fea ; for 
the boats have no decks ; the whole, from ftern to Item, be- 
ing filled choak-full of wheat, the wafte, that is the fiope of 
oneplankon each fide, which is all that is above the furface 
of the waves. Sacks, tarpaulins, or mats, are flrowed along 

i the 


the furface of the wheat upon which all the pafTengers lye* 
On the leafl agitation of the waves, the fea getting in upon 
the wheat, increafes its weight fo prodigioufly, that, fall- 
ing below the level of the gunnel, the water rulhes in 
between the plank and that part of the veflel, and down 
it goes to the bottom. 

Though every day produces an accident of this kind 
from the fame caufe, yet fuch is the defire of gaining 
money in that feafon, which offers but once a-year, that 
every fhip fails, loaded in the fame manner as the lafl 
which perifhed. This was jufl the cafe with the veflel 
that had carried the Turks. Anxious to go away, they 
would not wait the figns of the weather being rightly 
fettled. Ullah Kerim ! they cry, ' God is great and is merci- 
ful' ; and upon that they embark in a navigation, where 
it needs indeed a miracle to fave them. 

The Turks all came afhore but one ; the youngeft, and, 
according to all appearance, the befl, had fallen over board,, 
and perifhed. The Bey received them, and with great cha- 
rity entertained them all at his own expence, but they were 
fo terrified with the fea, as almofl to refolve never to make 
another attempt. 

The Bey had brought with him from Jidda, a fmall, but 

tight veflel belonging to * Sheher ; which came from that 

country loaded with frankincenfe, the commodity of that 

Vol. I. c c port. 

On the eaft coaft of Arabia Felix, Syagrum Promontoriura. 


port. The Rais had bufmefs down the Gulf at Tor, and 
he had fpoken to the Bey, to recommend him to me. I had 
no bufmefs at Tor, but as we had grown into a kind of 
friendfhip, from frequent converfation, and as he was, ac- 
cording to his own word, a great faint, like my laft boat- 
man, a character that I thought I could perfectly manage, 
I propofed to the Bey, that he and I fhould contribute fome- 
thing to make it worth this Captain's pains, to take our 
friends the Turks on board, and carry them to Yambo, that 
they might not be deprived of that blefling which would 
remit from their viflt to the Prophet's tomb, and which they 
had toiled fo much to earn. I promifed, in that cafe, to 
hire his vefTel at fo much a month upon its return from 
Yambo ; and, as I had then formed a refolution of making a 
furvey of the Red Sea to the Straits of Babelmandeb, the 
Rais was to take his directions from me, till I pleaied 
to difmifs him. 

Nothing was more agreeable to the views of all parties 
than this. The Bey promifed to flay till they failed, and I 
engaged to take him after he returned ; and as the captain, 
in quality of a faint, allured us, that any rock that flood in 
our way in the voyage, would either jump afide, or become 
foft like a fpunge, as it had often happened before, both 
the Turks and we were now allured of a voyage without 

All was fettled to our mutual fat is faction, when, unluc- 
kily, the Turks going down to their boat, met Sidi HafTan, 
whom, with reafon, they thought the author of all their 
misfortunes. The whole twenty-four drew their fwords, 
and, without feeking iabrcs from Perfia, as he had done, 

2 they 


they would have cut Sidi HafTan in pieces, but, fortunately 
for him, the Turks had great cloth trowfers, like Dutch- 
men, and they could not run, whilfl he ran very nimbly in 
his. Several piftols, however, were fired, one of which fhot 
him in the back part of the ear ; on which he fled for re- 
fuge to the Bey, and we never faw him more. 

g ^-" 1 ■ ■ ■ i , 1 ■. ■■■ ■ 1. fiagggE 

C c 2 CHAP, 




Voyage to Jibbel Zumrud — Return to Cojfeir — Sails fram Cojfeir — jfajl* 
fateen IJlands — Arrive at Tor, 

1 H E Turks and the Bey departed, and with the Turks 
I difpatched my Arab, Abdel Gin, not only giving him 
fomething myfelf, but recommending him to my beneficent 
countrymen at Jidda, if he mould go there. 

I now took up my quarters in the caftle, and as the Ab- 
abde had told flrangc {lories about the Mountain of Eme- 
ralds, I determined, till my captain mould return, to make a 
voyage thither. There was no pollibility of knowing the 
diftance by report; fometimes it was twenty-five miles, fome- 
times it was fifty, fometimes it was a hundred, and God 
knows how much more, 

I chose a man who had been twice at thefe mountains 
of emeralds ; with the beft boat then in the harbour, and 
on Tuefday the 14th of March, we failed, with the wind at 
North Eaft, from the harbour of Coffeir, about an hour be- 
fore the dawn of day. We kept coafting along, with a very 
moderate wind, much diverted with the red and green ap- 


pearances of the marble mountains upon the coafl. Our 
vefTel had one fail, like a ftraw mattrefs, made of the leaves 
of a kind of palm-tree, which they call Doom. It was fixed 
above, and drew up like a curtain, but did not lower with a 
yard like a fail ; fo that upon flrefs of weather, if the fail 
was furled, it was fo top-heavy, that the mip mufl founder, 
or the mail be carried away. But, by way of indemnifica- 
tion, the planks of the vefiel were fewed together, and there 
was not a nail, nor a piece of iron, in the whole fliip ; fo 
that, when you flruck upon a rock, feldom any damage en- 
fued. For my own part, from an abfolute deteflation of her 
whole conflruction, I infilled upon keeping clofe along fhore, 
at an eafy liaiL 

The Continent, to the leeward of us, belonged to our 
friends the Ababde. There was great plenty of mell-fim to 
be picked up on every fhoal. I had loaded the veilel with 
four fkins of frefh water, equal to four hogfheads, with 
cords, and buoys fixed to the end of each of them, fo that, 
if we had been fhipwrecked near land, as rubbing two 
flicks together made us fire, I was not afraid of receiving 
fuccour, before we were driven to the lafl extremity, provi- 
ded we did not perifh in the lea, of which I was not very 

On the 15th, about nine o'clock, I faw a large high 
rock, like a pillar, riling out of the fea. At firft/l took it 
for a part of the Continent ; but, as we advanced nearer it, 
the fun being very clear, and the fea calm, I took an obfer- 
vation, and as our fituation was lat. 25° 6', and the ifland a- 
bout a league diftant, to the S. S. W. of us, I concluded its 
latitude to be pretty exactly 25 ° 3' North. This ifland is 

4 about 


about three miles from the ihore, of. an oval form, riling 
in the middle. It feems to mt to be of granite ; and is cal- 
led, in the language of the country, jibbel Siberget, which 
has been traniiated the Mountain of Emeralds. . Siberget, how- 
ever, is a word in the language of the Shepherds, who, I 
doubt, never in their lives faw an emerald ; and though the 
Arabic translation is Jilbd Zumrud, and that word has been 
transferred to the emerald, a very fine ftone, oftener feen 
iince the difcovery of the new world, yet I very much 
doubt, that either Siberget or Zumrud ever meant Emerald in 
old times. My reafon is this, that we. found, both here and: 
in the Continent, fplinters, and pieces of green pellucid 
chryilaline fubftance ; yet, though green, they were veiny, 
clouded, and not at all fo hard as rock-cryftal ; a mineral 
production certainly, but a little harder than glafs, and this, 
I apprehend, was what the Shepherds, or people of Beja, cal- 
led Siberget, the Latins Smaragdus, and the Moors Zummd. 

The i 6th, at day-break in the morning, I took the Arab 
of Coffeir with me, who knew the place. We landed on a 
point perfectly defert ; at firft, fandy like Coffeir, afterwards, 
where the foil was fixed, producing forne few plants of rue 
or abfinthium. . We advanced above three miles farther in 
a perfectly defert country, with only a few acacia-trees Scat- 
tered here and there, and came to the foot of the mountains. 
I afked my guide the name of that place ; he laid it was 
Saiel. They are never at a lofs for a name, and thofe who 
do not underfland the language, always believe them. This 
would have been the cafe in the prefent conjuncture. He 
knew not the name of the place, and perhaps it had no 
name, but he called it Saiel, which fignifies a male acacia- 
trce ; merely becaufe he faw an acacia growing there ; and, . 



with equal reafon, he might have called every mile Saiel^ 
from the Gulf of Suez to the line. 

We fee this abufe in the old Itineraries, efpecially in the 
*Antonine, from fuch a town to fuch a town, fo many miles ; 
and what is the next Itation ? (el feggera) ten miles. This 
el feggera f, the Latin readers take to be the name of a 
town, as Harduin, and all commentators on the claflics, have 
done. But fo far from Seggera fignifying a town, it imports 
juft the contrary, that there is no town there, but the travel- 
ler muft be obliged to take up his quarters under a tree that 
night, for fuch is the meaning of Seggera as a llation, and 
fo likewife of SaieL 

At the foot of the mountain, or about feven yards up 
from the bafe of it, are five pits or fliafts, none of them 
four feet in diameter, called the Zumrud Wells, from which 
the ancients are faid to have drawn the emeralds. We were 
not provided with materials, and little endowed with incli- 
nation, to defcend into any one of them, where the air was 
probably bad. I picked up the nozzels, and fome frag- 
ments of lamps, like thofe of which we find millions in 
Italy : and fome worn fragments, but very fmall ones, of 
that brittle green chryftal, which is the fibergct and bilur 
of Ethiopia, perhaps the zumrud, the fmaragdus defcribed 
by Pliny, but by no means the emerald, known fince the 
difcovery of the new world, whofe firft character abfolute- 


*Itin. Anton, a^avth. p. 4. 
•;- So the next ftage from Syene is called Hiera Sycamines, a fy camore-tree, Ptol. lib. 4. p. 108- 


ly defeats its pretention, the true Peruvian emerald being 
equal in hardnefs to the ruby. 

Pliny* reckons up twelve kind of emeralds, and names 
them all by the country where they are found. Many have 
thought the fmaragdus to be but a finer kind of jafper. Pomet 
aiTures us it is a mineral, formed in iron, and fays he had 
one to which iron-ore was flicking. If this was the cafe, 
the fineft emeralds fhould not come from Peru, where, as 
far as ever has been yet difcovered, there is no iron. 

With regard to the Oriental emeralds, which they fay 
come from the Eaft Indies, they are now fufficiently known, 
and the value of each ftone pretty well afcertained ; but all 
our induftry and avarice have not yet difcovered a mine of 
emeralds there, as far as I have heard. That there were 
emeralds in the Eaft Indies, upon the firft difcovery of it by 
the Cape, there is no fort of doubt ; that there came emeralds 
from that quarter in the time of the Romans, feems to ad- 
mit of as little ; but few antique emeralds have ever been 
feen ; and fo greatly in efteem, and rare were they in thofe 
times, that it was made a crime for any artift to engrave up- 
on an emerald f. 

It is very natural to fuppofe, that fome people of the Eaft 
had a communication and trade with the new world, before 
we attempted to fhare it with them ; and that the emeralds, 
they had brought from that quarter, were thofe which came 


* Plift. lib. xxxvii. cap. 5. f TittO, 


afterwards into Europe, and were called the Oriental, till 
they were confounded with the * Peruvian, by the quantity 
of that kind brought into the Eaft Indies, by the Jews and 
Moors, after the difcovery of the new Continent. 

But what invincibly proves, that the ancients and we are 
not agreed as to the fame Hone, is, that f Theophraflus 
fays, that in the Egyptian commentaries he faw mention 
made of an emerald four cubits, (fix feet long,) which was 
fent as a prefent to one of their kings ; and in one of the 
temples of Jupiter in Egypt he faw an obelifk 60 feet high, 
made of four emeralds : and Roderick of Toledo informs 
us, that, when the Saracens took that city, Tarik, their 
chief, had a table of an emerald 365 cubits, or 547^ feet 
long. The Moorifh hiftories of the invafion of Spain are 
full of fuch emeralds. 

Having fatisfied my curiofity as to thefe mountains, 
without having feen a living creature, I returned to my boat, 
where I found all well, and an excellent dinner of nlli pre- 
pared. Thefe were of three kinds, called Biffer, Surrum- 
bac, and Nhoude el Benaat. The firfl of thefe fecms to be 
of the Oyfler-kind, but the fhells are both equally curved 
and hollow, and open with a hinge on the fide like a muf- 
fel. It has a large beard, like an oyfter, which is not eata- 
ble, but which fhould be ltript off. We found fome of thefe 
two feet long, but the largeft I believe ever feen compofes 
the baptifmal font in the church of Notre Dame in Paris J. 
The fecond is the Concha Veneris, with large projecting 

Vol. I. D d points 

* Taveniier vol. II. Voyag. f Theophraflus iJi^Xttut. $ Clamps. 


points like fingers. The third, called the Breafls of the Vir- 
gin, is a beautiful Ihell, perfectly pyramidal, generally a- 
bout four inches in height, and beautifully variegated with 
mother-of-pearl, and green. All thefe fifties have a pep- 
pery tafte, but are not therefore reckoned the lefs whole- 
fome, and they are fo much the more convenient, that they 
carry that ingredient of fpice along with them for fauce, with 
which travellers, like me, very feldom burden themfelves. 

Besides a number of very fine fhells, we picked up fe- 
veral branches of coral, coralines, yufTer*, and many other 
articles of natural hiftory. We were abundantly provided 
with every thing ; the weather was fair ; and we never 
doubted it was to continue, fo we were in great fpirits, and. 
only regreted that we had not, once for all, taken leave of 
CofTeir, and flood over for Jidda. 

In this difpofition we failed about three o'clock in the 
afternoon, and the wind flattered us fo much, that next 
day, the 17th, about eleven o'clock, we found ourfelves a- 
bout two leagues a-flern of a fmall ifland, known to the 
Pilot by the name of Jibbel Macouar. This ifland is at 
lead four miles from the fhore, and is a high land, fo that 
it may be feen, I fuppofe, eight leagues at fea, but is gene- 
rally confounded with the Continent. I computed myfelf to 
be about 4' of the meridian diftant when I made the obler- 
vation, and take its latitude to be about 24 2' on the centre 
of the ifland. 


* It is a Keratophyte, growing at the bottom of the fca 


The land here, after running from Jibbel Sibcrgct to 
Macouar, in a direction nearly N. W. and S. E. turns round 
in fhape of a large promontory, and changes its direction to 
N. E. and S. W. and ends in a fmall bay or inlet ; fo that, 
by fanciful people, it has been thought to refemble the nofe 
of a man, and is called by the Arabs, Ras el Anf, the Cape of 
the Nofe. The mountains, within land, are of a dufky 
burnt colour ; broken into points, as if interfered by tor- 

The coafting vefTels from Mafuah and Suakem which are 
bound to Jidda, in the ftrength of the Summer monfoon, 
ftand clofe in more down the coaft of Abyflinia, where they 
find a gentle fleady eaft wind blowing all night, and a weft 
wind very often during the day, if they are near enough 
the more, for which purpofe their vefTels are built. 

Besides this, the violent North-Eafl monfoon raking in 
the direction of the Gulf, blows the water out of the Straits 
of Babelmandeb into the Indian Ocean, where, being accu- 
mulated, it prefles itfelf backwards ; and, unable to find 
way in the middle of the Channel, creeps up among the 
mallows on each coaft of the Red Sea. However long the 
voyage from Mafuah to Jibbel Macouar may feem, yet thefe 
gentle winds and favourable currents, if I may fo call thofe 
in the fea, foon ran us down the length of that mountain. 

A large veflel, however, does not dare to try this, whilft 
conftantly among fhoals, and clofe on a lee-more; but thofe 
fewed together, and yielding without damage to the ftrefs, 
Hide over the banks of white coral, and even fometimes the 
rocks. Arrived at this ifland, they fet their prow towards 

D d 2 the 


the oppofite more, and crofs the Channel in one night, ta 
the coaft of Arabia, being nearly before the wind. The 
track of this extraordinary navigation is marked upon* the 
map, and it is fo well verified, that no ihip-mafter need 
doubt it. 

About three o'clock in the afternoon, with a favourable 
wind and fine weather, we continued along the coaft, with 
an eafy fail. We faw no appearance of any inhabitants ; 
the mountains were broken and pointed, as before taking 
the direction of the coaft ; advancing and receding as the 
more itfelf did. This coaflis a very bold one, nor was there 
in any of the iflands we had feen, fhoals or anchoring places, 
unlefs upon the rock itfelf; fo that, when we landed, we 
could run our boltfprit home over the land. 

This ifland, Jibbel Macouar, has breakers running off 
from it at all points ; but, though we hauled clofe to thefe,. 
we had no foundings. We then went betwixt it and the 
fmall ifland, that lies S. S. E, from it about three miles, and 
tried for foundings to the leeward, but we had none, al- 
though almoft touching the land. About fun-fet, I faw a 
fmall fandy ifland, which we left about a league to the Aveft- 
ward of us. It had no flirubs, nor trees, nor height, that 
could diftinguifh it. My defign was to pulh on to the river 
Frat, which is represented in the charts as very large and 
deep, coming from the Continent ; though, coniidering by 
its latitude that it is above the tropical rains, (for it is laid 


Vide the track of this Navigation laid down on the Charts 



down about lat. 21 25'), I never did believe that any fuch 
river exifted. 

In facT:, we know no river, north of the fources of the 
Nile, that does not fall into the Nile. Nay, I may fay, that 
not one river, in all Abymnia, empties itfelf into the Red 
Sea. The tropical rains are bounded, and finifli,in lat. 16 , 
and there is no river, from the mountains, that falls into 
the defert of Nubia ; nor do we know of any river which 
is tributary to the Nile, but what has its rife under the tro- 
pical rains. It would be a very fingular circumflance, then, 
that the Frat fhould rife in one of the dryeft places in the 
globe, that it fhould be a river at leaft equal to the Nile ; 
and fhould maintain itfelf full in all feafons, which the Nile 
does not ; laft of all, in a country where water is fo fcarce 
and precious, that it mould not have a town or fettlement 
upon it, either ancient or modern, nor that it fhould be re- 
torted to by any encampment of Arabs, who might crofs 
over and traffic with Jidda, which place is immediately op- 

On the 1 8th, at day-break, I was alarmed at feeing no 
land, as I had no fort of confidence in the fkill of my pilot, 
however fure I was of my latitude. About an hour after 
fun-fet, I obferved a high rugged rock, which the pilot told 
me, upon inquiry, was Jibbel, (viz. a Rock), and this was all 
the fatisfadion I could get. We bore down upon it with a. 
wind, fcant enough ; and, about four, we came to an an- 
chor. As we had no name for that ifland, and I did not 
know that any traveller had been there before me, I ufed 
the privilege by giving it my own, in memory of haying 
been there. The fouth of this ifland feems to be high and 



rocky, the north is low and ends in a tail, or Hoping bank, 
but is exceedingly fteep to, and at the length of your 
bark any way from it, you have no foundings. 

All this morning fince before day, our pilot had begged 
us to go no farther. He faid the wind had changed ; that, 
by infallible figns he had feen to the fouthward, he was 
confident (without any chance of being miftaken) that in 
twenty-four hours we mould have a florm, which would 
put us in danger of fhipwreck ; that Frat, which I wanted 
to fee, was immediately oppofite to Jidda, fo that either a 
country, or Englifh boat would run me over in a night and 
a day, when I might procure people who had connections 
in the country, fo as to be under no apprehenfion of any 
accident ; but that, in the prefent track I was going, every 
man that I mould meet was my enemy. Although not 
very fufceptible of fear, my ears were never ihut againft 
reafon, and to what the pilot ftated, I added in my own 
breaft, that we might be blown out to fea, and Want both 
water and provifion. We, therefore, dined as quickly as 
poffible, and encouraged one another all we could. A little 
pafter fix the wind came eafterly, and changeable, with a 
thick haze over the land. This cleared about nine in the 
evening, and one of the fined and fteadieit gales that ever 
blew, carried us fwiftly on, direcTly for Cofleir. The iky 
was full of dappled clouds, fo that, though I, feveral times, 
tried to catch a liar in the meridian, I was always fruftrated. 
The wind became frefher, but Hill very fair. 

The 19th, at day-break, we law the land ftretching all 
the wav northward, and, foon after, diftinctly difcerned 



21 5 

Jibbel Siberget upon our lee-bow. We had feen it indeed 
before, but had taken it for the main-land. 

After patting fuch an agreeable night, we could not be 
quiet, and laughed at our pilot about his perfect knowledge 
of the weather. The fellow mook his head, and faid, he 
had been miflaken before now, and was always glad when 
it happened fo ; but ftill we were not arrived at CofTeir, 
though he hoped and believed we mould get there in fafety. 
In a very little time the vane on the mail-head began to 
turn, fii-ft north, then eaft, then fouth, and back again to all 
the points in the compafs ; the fky was quite dark, Math 
thick rain to the fouthward of us ; then followed a moll 
violent clap of thunder, but no lightning ; and back again 
came the wind fair at fouth-eafl. We all looked rather down- 
call at each other, and a general filence followed. This, how- 
ever, I faw availed us nothing, we were in the fcrape, and 
were to endeavour to get out of it the bell way we could. 
The veiTel went at a prodigious rate. The fail that was 
made of mat happened to be new, and, filled with a ilrong 
wind, weighed prodigioufly. What made this worfe, was, 
the malls were placed a little forward. The firll thinp- I 
aiked, was, if the pilot could not lower his main-fail ? But 
that we found impoffible, the yard being fixed to the mall- 
head. The next Hep was to reef it, by hauling it in part up 
like a curtain : this our pilot defired us not to attempt ; for 
it would endanger our foundering. Notwithilanding which, 
I defired my fervant to help me with the haulyards ; and to 
hold them in his hand, only giving them a turn round the 
bench. This increafmg the veflel's weight above and be- 
fore, as me already had too much preffure, made her give 

3 two 


two pitches, the one after the other, fo that I thought flic 
was buried under the waves, and a confiderable deal of wa- 
ter came in upon us. I am fully fatisfied, had fhe not been 
in good order, very buoyant, and in her trim, ilie would 
have gone to the bottom, as the wind continued to blow 
a hurricane. 

I began now to throw off my upper coat and trowfers, 
that I might endeavour to make more, if the veffel fhould 
founder, whilft the fervants feemed to have given themfelves 
up, and made no preparation. The pilot kept in clofe by 
the land, to fee if no bight, or inlet, offered to bring up in ; 
but we were going with fuch violence, that I was fatif- 
fied we fhould overfet if we attempted this. Every ten mi- 
nutes we ran over the white coral banks, which we broke 
in pieces with the grating of a file, upon iron, and, what 
was the moil terrible of all, a large wave followed higher 
than our ilern, curling over it, and feemed to be the inflru- 
ment deflincd by Providence to bury us in the abyfs. 

Our pilot began apparently to lofe his underflanding 
with fright. I begged him to be fteady, perfuading him to 
take a glafs of fpirits, and defired him not to difpute or 
doubt any thing that I fhould do or order, for that I had 
feen much more terrible nights in the ocean ; I allured him, 
that all harm done to his veffel mould be repaired when 
we fhould get to CofTeir, or even a new one bought for him, 
if his own was much damaged. He anfwered me nothing, 
but that Mahomet was the prophet of God. — Let him prophecy, 
faid I, as long as he pleafes, but what I order you is to keep 
Ready to the helm ; mind the vane on the top of the mail, 
and fleer flraight before the wind, for I am refolved to cut 

i that 


that main-fail to pieces, and prevent the maft from going a, 
way, and your veffel from finking to the bottom. I got no an- 
fwer to this which I could hear, the wind was fo high, ex- 
cept fomething about the mercy and the merit of Sidi AH 
el Genowi. I now became violently angry. '* D — n Sidi 
Ali el Genowi, faid I, you beaft, cannot you give me a ra- 
tional anfwer ? Stand to your helm, look at the vane ; keep 
the vefTel ftraight before the wind, or, by the great G — d 
who fits in heaven, (another kind of oath than by Sidi AH el 
Genowi), I will moot you dead the firfl yaw the fliip gives, or 
the firfl time that you leave the fteerage where you are 
{landing." He anfwered only, Maloom, i. e. very well. — All 
this was fooner done than faid ; I got the main-fail in my 
arms, and, with a large knife, cut it all to fhreds, which 
eafed the veffel greatly, though we were flill going at a pro- 
digious rate. 

About two o'clock the wind feemed to fail, but, half an 
hour after, was more violent than ever. At three, it fell 
calm. I then encouraged my pilot, who had been very at- 
tentive, and, 1 believe, had pretty well got through the 
whole lift of faints in his calendar, and I allured him that 
he mould receive ample reparation for thelofs of his main- 
fail. We now faw diftinctly the white cliffs of the two 
mountains above Old Coffeir, and on the 19th, a little before 
fun fet, we arrived fafely at the New. 

We, afterwards, heard how much more fortunate we had 
been than fome of our fellow- failors that fame night ; three 
of flie veffels belonging to Coffeir, loaded with wheat for 
Yambo, periflied, with all on board of them, in the gale ; a- 
mong thefe was the veffel that firfl had the Turks on board. 

Vol. I, Eg This 


.This account was brought by Sidi Ali el Meyrrioum el 
Shehrie, which fignifies ' Ali, the ape or monkey, from 
Sheher.' For though he was a faint, yet being in figure liker 
to a monkey, they thought it proper to diftinguiih him by 
that to which he bore the greater! refemblance. 

We were all heartily fick of Coffeir embarkations, but the 
veflel of Sidi Ali el Mey mourn, tho' fmall, was tight and well- 
rigged ; had fails of canvas, and had navigated in the In- 
dian Ocean ; the Rais had four flout men on board, appa- 
rently good failors ; he himfelf, though near fixty, was a 
very active, vigorous little man, and to the full as good a 
failor as he was a faint. It was on the 5th of April, after ha- 
ving made my laft obfervation of longitude at Coffeir, that 
I embarked on board this veffel, and failed from that port, 
It was neceffary to conceal from fome of my fervants our 
intention of proceeding to the bottom of the Gulf, leaft, 
finding themfelves among Chrifcians fo near Cairo, they 
might defert a voyage of which they were fick, before it 
was well begun. 

For the firfl two days we had hazy weather, with little 
wind. In the evening, the wind fell calm. We faw a high 
land to the foufh-weft of us, very rugged and broken, which 
feemed parallel to the coafc, and higher in the middle than 
at either end. This, we conceived, was the mountain that 
divides the coaft of the Red Sea from the cafiern part of the 
Valley of Fgypt, correfponding to Monfalout and Siour. 
We brought to, in the night, behind a fmall low Cape, tho' 
the wind was fair, our Rais being afraid of the Jaffatecn 
Jilands, which we knew were not far a-head. 



We caught a great quantity of fine fifh this night with 
a line, fome of them weighing 14 pounds. The befl were 
blue in the back, like a falmon, but their belly red, and 
marked with blue round fpots. They refembled a falmon 
in fhape, but the fifh was white, and not fo firm. 

Jn the morning of the 6th we made the JafFateen Iflands. 
They are four in number, joined by {hoals and iunken rocks. 
They are crooked, or bent, like half a bow, and are danger- 
ous for mips failing in the night, becaufe there feems to 
t>e a paffage between them, to which, when pilots are at- 
tending, they neglecF two fmall dangerous funk rocks, that 
lie almofl in the middle of the entrance, in deep water. 

I understood, afterwards, from the Rais, that, had it not 
been from fome marks he faw of blowing weather, he 
would not have come in to the JafFateen Iflands, but flood 
clireftly for Tor, running between the ifland Sheduan, and 
a rock which is in the middle of the channel, after you pafs 
Ras Mahomet. But we lay fo perfectly quiet, the whole 
night, that we could not but be grateful to the Rais for his 
care, although we had fe-en no apparent reafon for it. 

Next morning, the 7th, we left our very quiet birth in 
the bay, and flood clofe, nearly fouth-eafl, along-ikle of the 
two fouthernaoft JafFateen Iflands our head upon the center 
of Sheduan, till we had cleared the eafccrrnofl of thofe 
iflands about three miles. We then paiTed Sheduan, leaving 
it to the callward about three leagues, and keeping nearly 
a N. N. W. courfe, to range the weft fide of jibbel Zcit. This 
is a large defert ifland, or rock, that is about four miles 
from the main. 

E c 2 The 


The pafTage between them is practicable by fmall craft 
only, whole planks are fewed together, and are not affec- 
ted by a ftroke upon hard ground ; for it is not for want 
of water that this navigation is dangerous. All the weft 
coaft is very bold, and has more depth of water than the 
eaft ; but on this fide there is no anchoring ground, nor 
fhoals. It is a rocky more, and there is depth of water eve- 
ry where, yet that part is full of funken rocks ; which, 
though not vifible, are near enough the furface to take up 
a large fhip, whofe deftruction thereupon becomes inevi- 
table. This I prefume arifes from one caufe. The moun- 
tains on the fide of Egypt and Abyffinia are all (as we have 
Hated) hard (tone, Porphyry, Granite, Alabaiter, Bafaltes, and 
many forts of Marble. Thefe are all therefore fixed, and 
even to the northward of lat i6°, where there is no rain, 
very fmall quantities of duft or fand can ever be blown from 
them into the fea. On the oppofite, or Arabian fide, the fea- 
coaft of the Hejaz, and that of the Tehama, are all moving 
lands ; and the dry winter- monfoon from the fouth-eaft 
blows a large quantity from the deferts, which is lodged a- 
mong the rocks on the Arabian fide of the Gulf, and con- 
lined there by the north-eaft or fummer- monfoon, which is 
in a contrary direction, and hinders them from coming, 
over, or circulating towards the Egyptian fide.. 

From this it happens, that the weft, or Abyflinian fide, 5s 
full of deep water, interfperfed with funken rocks, unmafk- 
ed, or uncovered with fand, with which they would other- 
wife become iflands. Thefe are naked and bare all round, 
and fharp like points of fpears ; while on the eaft-fide there 
arc rocks, indeed, as in the other, btit being between the fauth- 
caft monfoon, which drives the fand into its coaft, and the 
i north- weft 


north-weft monfoon which repels it, and keeps it in there, 
every rock on the Arabian fliore becomes an Jlaud, and e^e- 
ry two or three iflands become a harbour. 

Upon the ends of the principal of thefe harbours large 
heaps of ftones have been piled up, to ferve as fignals, or 
marks, how to enter ; and it is in thefe that the large vef- 
fels from Cairo to Jidda, equal in fize to our 74 gun mips, 
(but from the cifterns of mafon-work built within for hold- 
ing water, I fuppofe double their weight) after navigating 
their portion of the channel in the day, come fafely and 
quietly to, at four o'clock in the afternoon, and in thefe 
little harbours pafs the night, to fail into the channel again, 
next morning at fun-rife. 

Therefore, though in the track of my voyage to Tor, I 
am feen running from the weft fide of Jibbel Zcit a W. N. 
W. courfe (for I had no place for a compafs) into the har- 
bour of Tor, I do not mean to do fo bad a fervice to huma- 
nity as to perfuade large mips to follow my track. There 
are two ways of inftrufting men ufefully, in things abfo- 
lutely unknown to them. The firft is, to teach them what 
they can do fafely. The next is, to teach them what they 
cannot do at all, or, warranted by a preffing occafion, attempt 
with more or lefs danger, which ftiould be explained and 
placed before their eyes, for without this laft no man knows 
the extent of his own powers. With this view, I will venture, 
without fear of contradiction, to fay, that my courfe from 
CofTeir, or even from Jibbel Sibergct, to Tor, is impoffible to 
a great fhip. My voyage, painful, full of care, and danger- 
ous as it was, is not to be accounted a furety for the lives of 
thoufands. It may be regarded as a foundation for furveys 
hereafter to be made by perfons more capable, and better 

protected ; 


protected; and w this cafe \\ ill, I hope, be found a valuable 
fragment, becaufe, whatever have been; my coufcientious 
fears of running fervants, who work for pay, into danger of 
lofing their lives by peril of the fea, yet I can fafely fay, that 
never did. the face of man, or fear of danger to myfelf, deter 
me from verifying with my eyes, what my own hands have 
put upon paper. 

In the days of the Ptolemies, and, as I mall mew,- long 
before, the weft coaftof the Red Sea, where the deepeft wa- 
ter, and moft dangerous rocks are, was the track which the 
Indian and African fhips chofe, when loaded with the richefl . 
merchandise that ever veffels fince carried. The Ptolemies , 
built a number of large cities on this coaft ; nor do we hear 
that fhips were obliged to abandon that track, from the dif- 
afters that befel them in the navigation. On the contrary, 
they avoided the coaft of Arabia ; and one reafon, among 
others, is plain why they mould ; — they were loaded with 
the moft valuable commodities, gold, ivory, gums, and pre- 
cious ftones ; room for ftowage on board therefore was very - 

Part of this trade, when at its greateft perfection, was 
carried on in veflels with oars. We know from the prophet 
Ezekiel*, 700 years before Chrift, or 300 after Solomon had . 
finifhed his trade with Africa and India, that they did not , 
always make ufe of fails in the track of the monfoons ; and i 
confequently a great number of men muft have been necef- 


• Ezek. chap, xxvii. 6th and 29th verfes. 


fary for fo tedious a voyage. A number of men being ne- 
cefiary, a quantity of water was equally fo ; and this mull 
have taken up a great deal of ftowage. Now, no where on 
the coaft of Abyffinia could they want water two days ; and 
fcarce any where, on the coaft of Arabia, could they be fure 
of it once in fifteen, and from this the weftern coaft was 
called Ber el Aja?n*, corruptly Azamia, the country of water, in 
oppofition to the eaftern more, called Ber el Arab, where 
there was none. 

Adeliberate furvey became abfolutely neceffary, and 
as in proportion to the danger of the coaft pilots became 
more fkilful, when once they had obtained more com- 
plete knowledge of the rocks and dangers, they preferred 
the boldeft more, becaufe they could Hand on all night, and 
provide themfelves with water every day. Whereas, on 
the Arabian fide, they could not fail but half the day, would 
be obliged to lie to all night, and to load themfelves with 
water, equal to half their cargo. 

I now mall undertake to point out to large mips, the way 
by which they can fafely enter the Gulf of Suez, fo as that 
they may be competent judges of their own courfe, in cafe 
of accident, wichout implicitly furrendering themfelves, and 
property, into the hands of pilots. 

In the firft place, then, I am very confident, that, taking 
their departure from Jibbelel-Ouree, fhips may fafely Hand 


Ajan, in the language of Shepherds, fignifies raiwwater. 


on all night mid-channel, until they are in the latitude of 

The Red Sea maybe divided into four parts, of which the 
Channel occupies two, till about lat. 26 , or nearly that of 
Cofleir. On the weft fide it is deep water, with many rocks, 
as I have already faid. On the eaft fide, that quarter is 
occupied by iflands, that is, fand gathered about the rocks, 
the caufes whereof I have before mentioned ; between 
which there are channels of very deep water, and harbours, 
that protect the largeft mips in any winds. But among thefe, 
from Mocha down to Suez, you muft fail with a pilot, and 
during part of the day only.. 

To a perfon ufed to more civilized countries, it appears 
no great hardfhip to fail with a pilot, if you can get one, 
and in the Red Sea there are plenty; but thefe are creatures 
without any fort of fcience, who decide upon a manoeuvre 
in a moment, without forethought, or any warning given. 
Such pilots often, in a large fhip deeply loaded, with 
every fail out which me can carry, in a very inftant cry out 
to let go your anchors, and bring you to, all Handing* in the 
face of a rock, or fand. Were not our feamen's vigour, and 
celerity in execution, infinitely beyond the fkill and forefight 
of thofe pilots, I believe ,very few mips, coming the inward 
paflage among the illands, would ever reach the port in 

If you are, however, going to Suez, without the confent 
of the Sherriffe of Mecca, that is, not intending to fell your 
cargo at Jidda, or pay your cuftom there, then you mould 



take in your water at Mocha; or, if any reafon fliould hin- 
der you from touching that more, a few hours will carry 
you to Azab, or Saba, on the Abymnian coaft, whofe latitude 
I found to be 13 5' north. It is not a port, but a very to- 
lerable road, where you have very fafe riding, under the 
Ihelter of a low defert ifland called Crab Ifland, with a few 
rocks at the end of it. But it mud be remembered, the 
people are Galla, the moll treacherous and villanous wretch- 
es upon the earth. They are Shepherds, who fometimes are 
on the coaft in great numbers, or in the back of the hills 
that run clofe along the fhore, or in miferable villages 
compofed of huts, that run nearly in an eaft and weft direc- 
tion from Azab to Raheeta, the largeft of all their villages. 
You will there, at Azab, get plenty of water, fheep, and goats, 
as alfo fome myrrh and incenfe, if you are in the proper 
feafon, or will Hay for it. 

I again repeat it, that no confidence is to be had in the 
people. Thofe of Mocha, who even are abfolutely neceffary 
to them in their commercial tranfaclions, cannot truft them 
without furety or hoftages. And it was but a few years be- 
fore I was there, the furgeon and mate of the Elgin Earl-In- 
dia man, with feveral other failors, were cut off, going on 
fhore with a letter of fafe conduct from their Shekh to pur- 
chafe myrrh. Thofe that were in the boat efcaped, but moft 
of them were wounded. A fhip, on its guard, docs not fear 
banditti like thefe, and you will get plenty of water and 
provifion, though I am only fpeaking of it as a nation of 

If you are not afraid of being known, there is a low 

black ifland on the Arabian coaft called Camaran, it is in 

Vol. I. F f l at 


Iat..i5° 39', and is diftinguifhed by a white houfe, or fortrefs", 
on the weft end of it, where you will procure excellent wa- 
ter, in greater plenty than at Azab ; but no provifions, or 
only (uch as are very bad. If you fliould not wifh to be feen, 
however, on the coaft at all, among the chain of iflands that 
reaches almoft acrofs the Gulf from Loheia to Mafuah, 
there is one called Foofht, where there is good anchorage ; 
it is laid down in my map in lat. 15° 59' 43" N. and long- 
42 ° 27' E. from actual obfervation taken upon the illand. 
There is here a quantity of excellent water, with a faint or 
monk to take care of it, and keep the wells clean. This 
poor creature was fo terrified at feeing us come afhore with 
fire-arms, that he lay down upon his face on the land ; nor 
would he rife, or lift up his head, till the Rais had explain- 
ed to me the caufe of his fear, and till, knowing I was not 
in any danger of furprife, I had lent my guns on board. 

From this to Yambo there is no fafe watering place. In- 
deed if the river Frat were to be found, there is no need of any 
other watering place in the Gulf; but it is abfolutely necef- 
fary to have a pilot on board before you make Ras Mahomet; 
becaufe, over the mountains of Auche, the Elanitic Gulf, and 
the Cape itfclf, there is often a. great haze, which lafts for 
many days together, and many mips are conftantly loft, by 
miftaking the Eaflern Bay, or Elanitic Gulf, for the entrance 
of the Gulf of Suez ; the former has a reef of rocks nearly 
acrofs it. 

Aftejr you have made Sheduan, a large ifland three 
leagues farther, in a direction nearly north and by weft, is a 
bare rock, which, according to their ufual carelefsnefs and 
indifference, they are. not at the pains to call by any other 



name but Jibbcl, the rock, ifland, or mountain, in general. 
You lhould not come within three full leagues of that rock, 
but leave it at a diftance to the weftward. You will then 
fee fhoals, which form a pretty broad channel, where you 
have foundings from fifteen to thirty fathoms. And again, 
{landing on directly upon Tor, you have two other oval 
fands with funken rocks, in the channel, between which 
you are to fleer. All your danger is here in fight, for you 
might go in the infide, or to the eaftward, of the many 
fmall iilands you fee toward the more ; and there are the 
anchoring places of the Cairo veflels, which are marked 
with the black anchor in the draught. This is the courfe 
beft known and practifed by pilots for fhips of all fizes. But 
by a draught of Mr Niebuhr, who went frOm Suez with 
Mahomet Rais Tobal, his track with that large fhip was 
through the channels, till he arrived at the point, where 
Tor bore a little to the northward of eaft of him. 

Tor may be known at a diftance by two hills that ftand 
near the water fide, which, in clear weather, may be feen 
fix leagues off. Juft to the fotuh-eaft of thefe is the town 
and harbour, where there are ibme palm-trees about the 
houfes,the more remarkable, that they are the firft you fee on 
the coaii There is no danger in going into Tor harbour, 
the foundings in the way are clean and regular ; and by 
giving the beacon a fmall birth on the larboard hand, you 
may haul in a little to the northward, and anchor in live 
-or fix fathom. The bottom of the bay is not a mile from the 
beacon, and about the fame diftance from the oppofite fliore. 
There is no fenfible tide in the middle of the Gulf, but, by 
the fides, it runs full two knots an hour. At fprings, it is 
liigh water at Tor nearly at twelve o'clock. 

E f 2 On 


On the 9th we arrived at Tor, a fmall draggling village,, 
with a convent of Greek Monks, belonging to Mount Sinai. 
Don John de Caftro * took this town when it was walled, 
and fortified, foon after the difcovery of the Indies by the 
Portuguefe ; it has never fmce been of any confideration. It 
ferves now, only as a watering-place for fhips going to, and 
from Suez. From this we have a diftinet view of the points 
of the mountains Horeb and Sinai, which appear behind 
a* d above the others, their tops being often covered with 
fnow in winter. 

There are three things, (now I am at the north end of 
the Arabian Gulf,) of which the reader will expect fome ac- 
count, and I am heartily forry to fay, that I fear I fhall be 
obliged to difappoint him in all, by the unfatisfactory rela^ 
tion I am forced to give, 

The firft is, Whether the Red Sea is not higher than the 
Mediterranean, by feveral feet or inches ? To this I anfwer, 
That the fact has been fuppofed to be fo by antiquity, and 
alledged as a reafon why Ptolemy's canal was made from 
the bottom of the Heroopolitic Gulf, rather than brought 
due north acrofs the Ifthmus of Suez ; in which laft cafe, 
it was feared it would- fubmerge a great part of Afia Mir- 
nor. But who has ever attempted to verify this by experi- 
Ti ent ? or who is capable of fettling the difference of levels, 
amounting, as fuppofed, to fome feet and inches, between 
two points 120 miles diftant from each other, over a delert 
that has no fettled furface, but is changing its height every 


^ ■ ^ ■ ■ II II Ml M " - "" ' ' "" ■ ■ ■ ■■■■■■ 1 . ■ ■ I ■■ 

* Vide bis Journal published by Abbe Venct. 


day ? Befides, fince all feas are, in fact, but one, what is it 
that hinders the Indian Ocean to flow to its level ? What is 
it that keeps the Indian Ocean up ? 

Till this laft branch of the queftion is refolved, I fhall 
take it for granted that no fuch difference of level exifts, 
whatever Ptolemy's engineers might have pretended to him; 
becaufe, to fuppofe it fact, is to fuppofe the violation of one 
very material law of nature. 

The next thing I have to take notice of, for the Satisfac- 
tion of my reader, is, the way by which the children of If- 
rad paffed the Red Sea at the time of their deliverance from, 
the land of Egypt. 

As fcripture teaches us, that this paffage, wherever it might 
be, was under the influence of a miraculous power, no parti- 
cular circumftance of breadth, or depth, makes one place 
likelier than another. It is a matter of mere curiofity, and 
can only promote an illuftration of the fcripture, for which 
reafon, I do not decline the consideration of it, 

I shall fuppofe, that my reader has been Sufficiently con- 
vinced, by other authors, that the land of Gofhen, where 
the Israelites dwelt in Egypt, was that country lying eaftof 
the Nile, and not overflowed by it, bounded by the moun- 
tains of the Thebaid on the fouth, by the Nile and Medi- 
terranean on the weft and north, and the Red Sea and de- 
fert of Arabia on the eaft. It was the Heliopolitan nome, 
its capital was On ; from predilection of the letter O, com- 
mon to the Hebrews, they called it Gofhen ; but its proper 
name was Cejben^ the country of Grafs, or Pafturage ; or of 



the Shepherds; in oppofition to the reft of the land which 
\va^ fown, after having been overflowed by the Nile. 

There were three ways by which the children of Ifrael, 
flying from Pharaoh, could have entered Paleftine. The 
fnil was by the fea-coafl by Gaza, Alkelon, and Joppa. This 
was the plaineft and neareft way; and, therefore, fitteft for 
people incumbered with kneading troughs, dough, cattle, 
and children. The fea-coaft was full of rich commercial 
cities, the mid-land was cultivated and fown with grain. 
The eaftern part, neareit the mountains, was full of cattle 
and fhepherds, as rich a country, and more powerful than 
the cities themfelves. 

This narrow valley, between the mountains and the fea, 
ran all along the eaflern fhore of the Mediterranean, from 
Gaza northward, comprehending the low part of Paleitine 
and Syria. Now, here a fmall number of men might have 
paffed, under the laws of hofpitality ; nay, they did con- 
stantly pafs, it being the high road between Egypt, and 
Tyre, and Sidon. But the cafe was different with a multi- 
tude, fuch as fix hundred thoufand men having their cattle 
along with them. Thefe muft have occupied the whole 
land of the Philiftines, deftroyed all private property, a: d 
undoubtedly have occafioned fome revolution; and as they 
were not now intended to be put in pofTeffion of the land 
of promife, the meafure of the iniquity of the nations be- 
ing not yet full, God turned them afkle from going that 
way, though the neareft, leaft they "mould fee war*/' that 

2 is a 

* Gen. chap, xiii.ver. 17th. 


is, leaft the people mould rife againfl them, and deftroy 

There was another way which led fouth-weft, upon Becr- 
lheba and Hebron, in the middle, between the Dead Sea and 
the Mediterranean. This was the direetiqn in which Abra- 
ham, Lot, and Jacob, are fuppofed to have reached Egypt. But 
there was neither food nor water there to fuftain the Ifrael- 
ites. When Abraham and Lot returned out of Egypt, they 
were obliged to feparate by confent, becaufe Abraham faid 
to his brother, "The land will not bear us both*." 

The third way was ftraight eail into Arabia, pretty much 
the road by which the Pilgrims go at this day to Mecca, 
and the caravans from Suez to Cairo. In this track they 
would have gone round by the mountains of Moab, eail of 
the Dead Sea, and patted Jordan in the plain oppofite to Jeri- 
cho, as they did forty years afterwards. But it is plain from 
fcripture, that God's counfels were to make Pharaoh and 
his Egyptians an example of his vengeance ; and, as none 
of thefe roads led to the fea, they did not aniwer the Divine 

About twelve leagues from the fea, there was a narrow 
road which turned to the right, between the mountains, 
through a valley called Badeab, where their courfe was near- 
ly fouth-eaft ; this valley ended in a pafs, between two con- 
fiderable mountains, called Geivoube on the fouth; andjibbel 
Attakah on the north, and opened into the low ftripe of 


* Gen. chap. xiiLvor. 6ch, Exod. chap. xiii. ver. 1 7th, 



country which runs all along the Red Sea ; and the IfraeliteS 
were ordered to encamp at Pihahiroth, oppofite to Baal-zeph- 
on, between Migdol and that fea. 

It will be necefiary to explain thefe names. Badeab, Dr 
Shaw interprets,^ Valley of the Miracle, but this is forcing an 
etymology, for there was yet no miracle wrought, nor was 
there ever any in the valley. But Badeab, means barren, barc t 
and uninhabited ; fuch as we may imagine a valley between 
ftony mountains, a defert valley. Jibbel Attakab,\\o. tranflates 
alfo, the Mountain of Deliverance. But fo far were the Israelites 
from being delivered on their arrival at this mountain, that 
they were then in the greateft diflrefs and danger. Attakah, 
means, however, to arrive or come up -with, either becaufe there 
they arrived within fight of the Red Sea; or, as I am rather 
inclined to think, this place took its name from the arrival 
of Pharaoh, or his coming in light of the Ifraelites, when 
encamped between Migdol and the Red Sea, 

Pihahiroth is the mouth of the valley, opening to the 
flat country and the fea, as I have already laid, fuch are 
called Mouths; in the Arabic, Fum; as I have obferved in my 
journey to Coffeir, where the opening of the valley is called 
Fum el Beder, the mouth of Beder; Fum el Terfowey, the mouth 
of "Terfowey. Hhoreth, the flat country along the Red Sea, 
is fo called from Hhor, a narrow valley where torrents run, 
occafioned by fudden irregular fhowers. Such we have al- 
ready defcribed on the eail fide of the mountains, border- 
ing upon that narrow flat country along the Red Sea, where 
temporary fhowers fall in great abundance, while none of 
them touch the welt fide of the mountains or valley of 



Egypt Pihahiroth then is the mouth of the valley Badcah; 
which opens to Hhoreth, the narrow fcripe of land where 
mowers fall. 

Baal-Zephon, the God of the watch-tower, was, paroba* 
bly, fome idol's temple, which ferved for. a fjgoal-houfe up- 
on the Cape which forms the north entrance of the bay op* 
pofite to Jibbel Attakah, where there is Hill a mofque, or 
faint's tomb. It was probably a light-houfe, for the direc- 
tion of mips going to the bottom of the Gulf, to prevent 
miftaking it for another foul bay, under the high land$ 
where there is alio a tomb of a faint called Abou Derage. 

The laft rebuke God gave to Pharaoh, by flaying ail the 
firit-born, feems to have made a ilrong impreffion upon the 
Egyptians. Scripture fays, that the people were now urgent 
with the Ifraelites to be gone, for they faid, " We be all 
dead men *." And we need not doubt; it was in order to 
keep up in their hearts a motive of refentment, Itrong e- 
nough to make them purfue the Ifraelites, that God caufed 
the Ifraelites to borrow, and take away the jewels of the 
Egyptians ; without fome new caufe of anger, the late ter- 
rible challifement might have deterred them. While, there- 
fore, they journeyed eastward towards the defert, the Egyp- 
tians had no motive to attack thenij becaufe they went with 
permiifion there to facriiice, and were on their return to 
reftore them their moveables. But when the Ifraelites were 
obferved turning to the fouth, among the mountains, they 
Vol. I. G g were 

Exod. ch. xii. 33, 


were then fuppofed to flee without a view of returning, be- 
caufe they had left the way of the defert ; and therefore 
Pharaoh, that he might induce the Egyptians to follow 
them, tells them that the Ifraelites were now entangled a- 
mong the mountains, and the wildernefs behind them, 
which was really the cafe, when they encamped at Pihahi- 
roth, before, or fouth of Baal-Zephon, between Migdol and 
the fea. Here, then, before Migdol, the fea was divided, 
and they paffed over dry fhod to the wildernefs of Shur, 
which was immediately oppofite to them; a fpace fome- 
thing lefs than four leagues, and fo eaiily accomplifhed in 
one night, without any miraculous interpofition. 

Three days they were without water, which would bring 
them to Korondel, where is a fpring of brackifh, or bitter 
water, to this day, which probably were the waters ofMarah *. 

The natives ftill call this part of the fea Bahar Kolzum, 
or the Sea of Deftru&ion ; and juft oppofite to Pihahiroth is 
a bay, where the North Cape is called Ras Mufa, or the Cape 
ofMofes, even now. Thefe arc the reafons why I believe 
the paffage of the Ifraelites to have been in this direction. 
There is about fourteen fathom of water in the channel, 
and about nine in the fides, and good anchorage every 
where ; the fartheft fide is a low fandy coaft, and a very 
eafy landing-place. The draught of the bottom of the Gulf 
given by Doctor Pococke is very erroneous, in every part of 

It was propofed to Mr Niebuhr, when in Egypt, to in- 
quire, upon the fpot, Whether there were not fome ridges 


* Such is the tradition among the Natives. 


of rocks, where the water was fhallow, fo that an army at 
particular times might pafs over? Secondly, Whether the 
Etefian winds, which blow ftrongly all Summer from the 
north weft, could not blow fo violently againft the fea, as to 
keep it back on a heap,fo that the Ifraelites might havepaffed 
without a miracle ? And a copy of thefe queries was left for 
me, to join my inquiries like wife. 

But I mull confefs, however learned the gentlemen 
were who propofed thefe doubts, I did not think they me- 
rited any attention to folve them. This paffage is told us, 
by fcripture, to be a miraculous one; and, if fo, we have no- 
thing to do with natural caufes. If we do not believe 
Mofes, we need not believe the tranfa&ion at all, feeing 
that it is from his authority alone we derive it. If we be- 
lieve in God that he made the fea, we mull believe he could 
divide it when he fees proper reafon, and of that he muft be 
the only judge. It is no greater miracle to divide the Red. 
Sea, than to divide the river of Jordan, 

If the Etefian wind blowing from the north-well in fum— 
mer, could heap up the fea as a wall, on the right, or to 
the fouth, of fifty feet high, ftill the difficulty would remain, 
of building the wall on the left hand, or to the north. Be- 
fides, water Handing in that pofition for a day, muft have 
loft the nature of fluid. Whence came that cohefion of 
particles, that hindered that wall to efcape at the fides ? This 
is as great a miracle as that of Mofes. If the Etefian winds 
had done this once, they muft have repeated it many a 
time before and fince, from the fame caufes. Yet, * Dio- 

G g 2 dorus 

* Died. Sic. Lib, 3. p. izz. . 


-dorus Siculus fays, the Troglodytes, the indigenous inhabi- 
tants of that very fpot, had a tradition from father to Ion, 
•from their very earlieft and remoteft ages, that once this 
.divifion of the fea did happen there, and that after leaving 
its bottom fometimes dry, the fea again came back, and co- 
hered it with great fury. The words of this author are of 
the mod remarkable kind. We cannot think this heathen 
is writing in favour of revelation. He knew not Moles, 
nor fays a word about Pharaoh, and his hoft ; but records 
the miracle of the diviiion of the fea, in words nearly as 
ftrong as thole of Mofes, from the mouths of unbiafTed, un- 
deligning Pagans. 

Were all thefe difficulties furmounted, what could we 
.do with the pillar of lire ? The anfwer is, We mould not 
believe it. Why then believe the pallage at all? We have no 
authority for the one, but what is for the other; it is alto- 
gether contrary to the ordinary nature of things, and if not 
a miracle, it mull be .a fable. 

The caufe of the feveral names of the Red Sea, is a fub- 
je£t of more liberal inquiry. I am of opinion, that it cer- 
tainly derived its name from Edom, long and early its 
powerful mailer, that word Signifying Red in Hebrew. It 
formerly went by the name of Sea of Edom, or Idumca; 
fmcc, by that of the Red Sea. 

It has been obferved, indeed, that not only the Arabian 
Gulf, but part of the Indian Ocean *, went by this name, 


* Dionyfii PeriegqSs, v. " : . et Comment. Euftathii in eundem. Strabo, lib. xvL 
jj. 765. Agatheuisri Geographic, lib. ii. cap. u. 


•though far diftant from Idumea. This is true, but when 
we confider, as we fhall do in the courfe of this hiftory, that 
the matters of that fea were ftill the Edomites, who went 
from the one fea directly in the fame voyage to the other, 
we fhall not difpute the propriety of extending the name to 
.part of the Indian Ocean alfo. As for what fanciful people* 
have faid of any rednefs in the fea itfelf, or colour in the 
bottom, the reader may allure himfelf all this is fiction, the 
Red Sea being in colour nothing different from the Indian, 
or any other Ocean. 

There -is greater difficulty in affigning a reafon for the 
Hebrew name, Yam Suph ; properly fo called, fay learned 
authors, from the quantity of weeds in it. But I muft con- 
fefs, in contradiction to this, that I never in my life, (and I 
have feen the whole extent of it) faw a weed of any fort in 
it ; and, indeed, upon the flighted consideration, it will oc- 
cur to any one, that a narrow gulf, under the immediate 
influence of monfoons, blowing from contrary points fix 
months each year, would have too much agitation to pro- 
duce fuch vegetables, feldom found, but in ftagnant waters, 
and feldomer, if ever, found in fait ones. My opinion then 
is, that it is from the f large trees, or plants of white coral, 
fpread every where over the bottom of the Red Sea, per- 
fectly in imitation of plants on land, that the fea has ob- 
tained this name. If not, I fairly conrefs I have not any 
-other conjecture to make. 


* Jerome Lofo, the 5 reateft liar of the Jefuits, ch. iv. p. 46. Englifh tranflation. 
t I fav one of thefe, which, from a root nearly central, threw out ramifications in a 
'nearly circular form, meafuring twenty-fix feet diameter cvtry way. 


No fea, or fhores, I believe, in the world, abound more in 
fubjects of Natural Hiftory than the Red Sea. I fuppofe I 
have drawings and fubjects of this kind, equal in bulk to 
the journal of the whole voyage itfelf. But the vaft ex- 
pence in engraving, as well as other confiderations, will 
probably hinder for ever the perfection of this work in 
this particular. 

g§s^ . ^^sS 





Sail from Tor—Pafs the Elanitic Gulf- — See Raddna— -Arrive at Tambo 
^-Incidents there — Arrive at jfidda. 

OUR Rais, having difpatched his bufinefs, was eager to 
depart ; and, accordingly, on the 1 ith of April, at day- 
break, we Hood out of the harbour of Tor. At firft, we 
were becalmed in, at the point of the Bay fouth of Tor 
town, but the wind frefhening about eight o'clock, we Hood 
through the channels of the firft four fhoals, and then be- 
tween a fmaller one. We made the mouth of a fmall Bay, 
formed by Cape Mahomet, and a low fandy point to the eaft- 
ward of it. Our vefTel feemed to be a capital one for fail- 
ing, and I did every thing in my power to keep our Rais in 
good humour. 

About half a mile from the fandy point, we ftruck upon 
a coral bank, which, though it was not of any great con- 
fidence or folidity, did not fail to make our mart nod. As 
I was looking out forward when the vefTel touched, and 
the Rais by me, I cried out in Arabic, " Get out of the way 
you dog !" the Rais, thinking my difcourfe directed to him, 
-feemed very much furprifed, and afked, " what I meant ?" 

£ " Why 


" Why did you not tell me, faid I, when I hired you, .that -ail 
the rocks in the fea would get out of the way or" your vef- 
fel ? This ill-mannered fellow here did not know bis duly, 
he was fleeping I fuppofe, and has given us a hearty jolt, 
and I was abufing him for it, till you mould chaftife him 
fome other way." He fhook his head, and faid, " Well ! 
you do not believe, but God knows the truth ; well now 
where is the rock ? Why he is gone." However, very pru- 
dently, he anchored foon afterwards, though we had recei- 
ved no damage. 

At night, by an obfervation of two fears in the meridian, 
I concluded the latitude of Cape Mahomet to be if 54', N. 
It muft be underftood of the mountain, or high land, which 
forms the Cape, not the low point. The ridge of rocks 
that run along behind Tor, bound that low fandy country, 
called the Defert of Sin, to the eaftward, and end in this 
Cape, which is the high land obferved at fea ; but the 
lower part, or fouthermoft extreme of the Cape, runs a-i 
bout three leagues off from the high land, and is fo low, 
that it cannot be feen from deck above three leagues. It. 
was called, by the ancients, Pharan Promontorium ; not be- 
caufe there was a light-houfe * upon the end of it, (though: 
this may have perhaps been the cafe, and a very neceffary and. 
proper fituation it is) but from the Egyptian and Arabic word 
Farek t, which fignifies to divide, as heingthe point, or high 
land that divides the Gulf of Suez from the Eianitic Gulf. 


* Anciently called Pharos. 

■j-The Koran is, therefore, called El F.idan, or die Divider,, or DHtinguifli a truO 

faith and herefy. 


I went afhore here to gather fhells, and fhot a fmall ani- 
mal among the rocks, called Daman Ifrael, or Ifrael's Lamb; 
I do not know why, for it has no refemblance to the flieep 
kind. I take it to be the faphan of the Hebrew Scripture, 
which we tranflate by the coney. I have given a drawing, 
and defcription of it, in its proper place *. I fhot, likewife, 
feveral dozens of gooto, the leall beautiful of the kind I had 
feen, being very fmall, and coloured like the back of a part- 
ridge, but very indifferent food. 

The i 2th, we failed from Cape Mahomet, juft as the fun 
appeared. We palled the ifland of Tyrone, in the mouth of 
the Elanitic Gulf, which divides it near equally into two ; 
or, rather the north-weft fide is narroweft. The direction 
of the Gulf is nearly north and fouth. I judge it to be 
about fix leagues over. Many of the Cairo fhips are loft 
in miftaking the entry of the Elanitic for that of the Heroo- 
politic Gulf, or Gulf of Suez ; for, from the ifland of Tyrone, 
which is not above two leagues from the Main, there runs 
a firing of iflands, which feem to make a femicircular bar 
acrofs the entry from the point, where a fhip, going with 
a fouth wind, would take its departure ; and this range of 
iflands ends in a fhoal with funken rocks, which reaches 
near five leagues from the Main. It is probable, that, upon 
thefe iflands, the fleet of Rehoboam perifhed, when failing 
for the expedition of Ophir f. 

Vol. I. Hh I take 

See the article Aflikoko in the Appendix. f 2 Ghron. chap. xx. ver. 37th, 


I take Tyrone to be the ifland of Safpirene of Ptolemy, 
though this geographer has erred a little, both in its lati- 
tude and longitude. 

We paned the fecond of thefe iflands, called Senaffer, 
about three leagues to the northward, fleering with a 
frefh gale at fouth-eaft, upon a triangular ifland that has 
three pointed eminences upon its fouth-flde. We palled 
another fmall ifland which has no name, about the fame 
diftance as the former ; and ranged along three black rocks, 
the fouth-weft of the ifland, called Sufange el Babar, or the Sea- 
Spimge. As our veffel made fome water, and the wind had been 
very ftrong all the afternoon, the Rais wanted to bring up 
to the leeward of this ifland, or between this, and a cape of 
land called RasSelab; but, not being able to find foundings 
here, he fet fail again, doubled the point, and came to an- 
chor under the fouth cape of a fine bay, which is a ftation 
of the Emir Hadje, called Kalaat el Moilab, the Caftle, or Sta- 
tion of Water. 

We had failed this day about twenty-one leagues ; and, 
as we had very fair and fine weather, and were under no 
lort of concern whatever, I could not neglect attending to 
rhe difpofition of thefe iflands, in a very fplendid map late- 
ly publiflied. They are carried too far into the Gulf. 

The 13th, the Rais having, in the night, remedied what 
was faulty in his veffel, fet fail about feven o'clock in the 
morning. We paffed a conical hill on the land, called 
Abou Jubbe, where is the fepulchre of a faint of that name. 
The mountains here are at a confiderable diflance ; and no- 
thing can be more defolate and bare than the coaft. In 



the afternoon, we came to an anchor at a place called Kel- 
la Clarega, after having patted an ifland called Jibbel Nu- 
man, about a league from the more. By the fide of this 
flioal we caught a quantity of good fifh, and a great num- 
ber alfo very beautiful, and perfectly unknown, but which, 
when roafted, fhrank away to nothing except fkin, and 
when boiled, dillblved into a kind of blueifh glue. 

On the 14th, the wind was variable till near ten o'clock, 
after which it became a little fair. At twelve it was as fa- 
vourable as we could wifli ; it blew however but faintly. 
We patted firil by one ifland furrounded by breakers, and 
then by three more, and anchored clofe to the more, at a 
place called Jibbel Shekh, or the Mountain of the Saint. 
Here I refolved to take a walk onfhore to ftretch my limbs, 
and fee if I could procure any game, to afford us fome va- 
riety of food. I had my gun loaded with ball, when a vaft 
flock of gooto got up before me, not live hundred yards 
from the fhore. As they lighted very near me, I lay down 
among the bent grafs, to draw the charge, and load with 
fmall jfliot. While I was doing this, I faw two antelopes, 
which, by their manner of walking and feeding, did not 
feem to be frightened. I returned mv balls into the gun, 
and refolved to be clofe among the bent, till they fhould 
appear before me. 

T had been quiet for fome minutes, when I heard behind 
me fomething like a perfon breathing, on which I turned 
about, and, not without great furprife, and fome little fear, 
faw a man, {landing jufl over me. I ftarted up, while the 
man, who had a little {tick only in his hand, ran two or 
three tteps backwards, and then flood. He was almoft per- 

H h 2 fectly 


fectly naked: he had half a yard of coarfe rag only wrapt 
round his middle, and a crooked knife ftuck in it, I afked 
him who he was ? He faid he was an Arab, belonging ta 
Shekh Abd el Macaber. I then defired to know where his- 
mafter was ? He replied, he was at the hill a little above, 
with camels that were going to Yambo. He then, in his 
turn, afked who I was ? I told him I was an Abyflinian Have 
of the Sherriffe of Mecca, was going to Cairo by fea, but wifh- 
ed much to fpea-k to his mailer, if he would go and bring 
him. The favage went away with great willingnefs, and 
he no fooner difappeared, than I fet out as quickly as poffi- 
ble to the boat, and we got her hauled out beyond the 
fhoals, where we palled the night. We faw afterwards dif- 
tin&ly about fifty men, and three or four camels ; the men 
made feveral figns to us, but we were perfectly content with 
the diilance that was between us, and fought no more to. 
kill antelopes in the neighbourhood of Sidi Abd el Maca- 

I would not have it imagined, that my cafe was abfo-- 
lutelydefpcrate, even if I had been known as a Chriftian, and 
fallen into the hands of thefe Arabs, of Arabia Deferta, or 
Arabia Petrea, fuppofed to be the moll barbarous people in 
the world, as indeed they probably are. Hofpitality, and. 
attention to one's word, feem in thefe countries to be in pro- 
portion to the degree in which the people are favage. A very- 
eafy method is known, and followed with conflant fucccfs, 
by all the Chriftians trading to the Red. Sea from Suez to 
jidda, to fave themfelves if thrown on the coaft of Arabia. 
Any man of consideration from any tribe among the Arabs, 
comes to Cairo, gives his name and delignation to the Chrif- 
tian failor, and receives a very fmall prefent, which is re- 


peated annually if he performs fo often the voyage. And 
for this the Arab promifes the Chriftian his protection,, 
fhould he ever be fo unfortunate as to be fhipwrecked on 
their coaft. 

The Turks are very bad feamen, and lofe many mips,- 
the greateil part of the crew are therefore Chriftians ; when 
a veffel ftrikes, or is afhore, the Turks a,re all maflacred if 
they cannot make their way good by force ; but the Chrif- 
tians prefent themfelves to the Arab, crying Fiwduc, which 
means, ' we are under immediate protection.' If they are afk~ 
ed, who is their Gaffeer, or Arab, with whom they are in 
friendfhip ? They anfwer, Mahomet Abdelcader is our Gaf- 
feer, or any other. If he is not there, you are told he is 
abfent fo many days journey off, or any diftance. This ac- 
quaintance or neighbour, then helps you, to fave what you 
have from the wreck, and one of them with his lance 
draws a circle, large enough to hold you and yours. He 
then flicks his lance in the fand, bids you abide within that 
circle, and goes and brings your Gaffeer, with what camels 
you want, and this Gaffeer is obliged, by rules known only 
to themfelves, to carry you for nothing, or very little, where- 
ever you go, and to furnifli you with provifions all the way. 
Within that circle you are as fafe on the defert coaft of Ara- 
bia, as in a citadel ; there is no example or exception to the 
contrary that has ever yet been known. There are many 
Arabs, who, from fituation, near dangerous fhoals or places, 
where mips often perifh (as between Ras Mahemet and Ras 
Selah, *Dar el Hamra, and fome others) have perhaps fifty 


* See- the Map, 


or a hundred Christians, who have been fo protected: So 
that when this Arab marries a daughter, he gives perhaps 
his revenue from four or five protected Chriflians, as part 
of his daughter's portion. I had, at that very time, a Gaf- 
eer, called Ibn Talil, an Arab of Harb tribe, and I fhould 
have been detained perhaps three days till he came from 
near Medina, and carried me (had I been fb.ipwreck.ed) to 
Yambo, where I was going. 

On the 15th we came to an anchor at El Har*, where 
we faw high, craggy, and broken mountains, called the 
Mountains of Ruddua. Thefe abound with fprings of wa- 
ter ; all fort of Arabian and African fruits grow here in per- 
fection, and every kind of vegetable that they will take 
the pains to cultivate. It is the paradife of the people of 
Yambo ; thofe of any fubftance have country houfes there ; 
but, ftrange to tell, they Hay there but for a fhort time, and 
prefer the bare, dry, and burning fands about Yambo, to one 
of the fineft climates, and nioft verdant pleafant countries, 
that exifts in the world. The people of the place have told 
me, that water freezes there in winter, and that there are 
fome of the inhabitants who have red hair, and blue eyes, 
a thing fcarcely ever fecn but in the coldcit mountains in 
the Eall. 

The 1 6th, about ten o'clock, we pafTed a mofque, or 
Shekh's tomb on the main land, on our left hand, called 
Kubbet Yambo, and before eleven we anchored in the mouth 


* El Har fignifks extreme heat. 


of the port in deep water. Yambo, corruptly called Imbo, 
is an ancient city, now dwindled to a paultry village. Ptolemy 
calls it Iambia Vicus, or the village Yambia; a proof it was 
of no great importance in his time. But after the conqueft 
of Egypt under Sultan Selim, it became a valuable nation, 
for fupplying their conquefls in Arabia, with warlike ftores, 
from Suez, and for the importation of wheat from Egypt to 
their garrifons, and the holy places of Mecca and Medina. 
On this account, a large caftle was built there by Sinan Ba- 
fha ; for the ancient Yambo of Ptolemy is not that which is 
called fo at this day. It is fix miles farther fouth ; and is 
called Yambo el Nachel, or, Yambo among the palm-trees,' 
a great quantity of ground being there covered with this 
fort of plantation. 

Yambo, in the language of the country, fignifies a foun- 
tain or fpring, a very copious one of excellent water being 
found there among the date trees, and it is one of the na- 
tions of the Emir Hadje in going to, and coming from Mec- 
ca. The advantage of the port, however, which the other 
has not, and the prote&ion of the caftle, have carried tra- 
ding veflels to the modern Yambo, where there is no water, 
but what is brought from pools dug on purpofe to receive 
the rain when it falls. 

There are two hundred janiflaries in the caftle, the def- 
cendents of thofe brought thither by Sinan Bafha ; who 
have fucceeded their fathers, in the way I have obferved they 
did at Syene, and, indeed, in all the conquefls in Arabia, 
and Egypt, The inhabitants of Yambo are defervedly reck- 

4 oned 


oned * the mod barbarous of any upon the Red Sea, and 
the janiiTaries keep pace with them, in every kind of malice 
and violence. We did not go afhore all that day, becaufe 
we had heard a number of ihots, and had received intelli- 
gence from fhore, that the janiflaries and town's people, 
for a week, had been fighting together ; I was very unwil- 
ling to interfere, wifhing that they might have all leifure 
to extirpate one another, if poflible ; and my Rais feemed 
moll heartily to join .me in my wifhes. 

In the evening, the captain of the port came on board, 
and brought two janiflaries with him, whom, with lbme dif- 
ficulty, I fuffered to enter the vefTel. Their nrft demand 
was gun-powder, which I pofitively refufed. I then afked 
them how many were killed in the eight days they had 
been engaged ? They anfwered, with fome indifference, not 
many, about a hundred every day, or a few lefs or more, 
chiefly Arabs. We heard afterwards, when we came on 
fhore, one only had been wounded, and that a foldier, by a 
fall from his horfe. They infilled upon bringing the vef- 
fel into the port ; but I told them, on the contrary, that ha- 
ving no bufinefs at Yambo, and being by no means under 
the guns of their caflle, I was at liberty to put to fea with- 
out coming afhore at all ; therefore, if they did not leave us, 
as the wind was favourable, I would fail, and, by force, carry 
them to Jidda. The janiflaries began to talk, as their cuflom is, 
in a very blufiering and warlike tone; but I, who knew my 
interefl at Jidda, and the force in my own hand ; that my 


* Vide Irvine's letters. 


vefTel was afloat, and could be under weigh in an inftant, 
never was lei's difpofed to be bullied, than at that moment. 
They alked me a thoufand queftions, whether I was a Ma- 
maluke, whether I was a Turk, or whether I was an Arab, 
and why I did not give them fpirits and tobacco ? To all 
which I anfwered, only, that they mould know to-morrow 
who I was ; then I ordered the Emir Bahar, the captain of 
the port, to carry them afhore at his peril, or I would take 
their arms from them, and confine them on board all night. 

The Rais gave the captain of the port a private hint, to 
-take care what they did, for they might lofc their lives ; 
and that private caution, underftood in a different way per- 
haps than was meant, had effect upon the foldiers, to make 
them withdraw immediately. When they went away, I 
begged the Emir Bahar to make my compliments to his 
mailers, Haifan and Huffein, Agas, to know what time I 
fhould wait upon them to-morrow ; and dcfired him, in 
the mean time, to keep his foldiers afhore, as I was not dif- 
pofed to be troubled with their infolence. 

Soon after they went, we heard a great firing, and faw 
lights all over the town ; and the Rais propofed to me ro 
flip immediately, and fet fail, from which meafure I was not 
at all averfe. But, as he laid, we had a better anchoring 
place under the mofque of the Shekh, and, befides, tint 
there we would be in a place of fxfety, by reafon of the ho- 
linefs of' the faint, and that at our own choice might even 
put to fea in a moment, or flay till to-morrow, as we were 
in no fort of doubt of being able to repel, force by force, if 
attacked, we got under weigh for a few hundred yards, 
Vol. I. I i and 


and dropt our anchor under the flirine of one of the great- 
eft faints in the world. 

At night the firing had abated, the lights diminifhed, 
and the captain of the port again came on board. He was 
furprifed at miffing us at our former anchoring place, and 
flill more fo, when, on our hearing the noife of his oars, we 
hailed, and forbade him to advance any nearer, till he 
fhould tell us how many he had on board, or whether he 
had foldiers or not, otherwife we mould fire upon them : to 
this he anfwered, that there were only himfelf, his boy, and 
three officers, fervants to the Aga. I replied, that three 
flrangers were too many at that time of the night, but, 
fince they were come from the Aga, they might advance. 

All our people were fitting together armed on the fore- 
part of the vefTel ; I foon divined they intended us no 
harm, for they gave us the falute Salam Alicum ! before they 
were within ten yards of us. I anfwered with great com- 
placency ; we handed them on board, and fet them down 
upon deck. The three officers were genteel young men, 
of a fickly appearance, drefTed in the fafhion of the count- 
ry, in long burnoofes loofely hanging about them, ftrip- 
ed with red and white ; they wore a turban of red, green, 
and white, with ten thoufand taffels and fringes hang- 
ing down to the fmall of their backs. They had in their 
hand, each, a fhort javelin, the fhaft not above four feet and 
a half long, with an iron head about nine inches, and two 
>r three iron hooks below the fhaft, which was bound 
round with brafs-wire, in feveral places, and fhod with iron 
at the farther end* 



They afked me where I came from ? I faid, from Conftan- 
tinople, lafl from Cairo ; but begged they would put no 
more queftions to me, as I was not at liberty to anfwer them. 
They faid they had orders from their mailers to bid me wel- 
come, if I was the perfon that had been recommended to 
them by the Sherriffe, and was Ali Bey's phyfician at Cairo. 
I faid, if Metical Aga had advifed them of that, then I was 
the man. They replied he had, and were come to bid me 
welcome, and attend me on fhore to their mafters, when- 
ever I pleafed. I begged them to carry my humble refpects 
to their mafters ; and told them, though I did not doubt of 
their protection in any fhape, yet I could not think it confid- 
ent with ordinary prudence, to rifk myfelf at ten o'clock at 
night, in a town fo full of diforder as Yambo appeared to have 
been for fome time, and where fo little regard was paid to 
difcipline or command, as to fight with one another. They 
faid that was true, and I might do as I pleafed ; but the firing 
that I had heard did not proceed from fighting, but from 
their rejoicing upon making peace. 

In fhort, we found, that, upon fome difcuffion, the gar- 
rifon and townfmen had been fighting for feveral days, in 
which diforders the greateft part of the ammunition in the 
town had been expended, but it-had fince been agreed on 
by the old men of both parties, that no body had been to 
blame on either fide, but the whole wrong was the work of 
a Camel. A camel, therefore, was feized, and brought with- 
out the town, and there a number on both fides having met, 
they upbraided the camel with every thing that had been 
either faid or done. The camel had killed men, be had 
threatened to fet the town on fire ; the camel had threatened 
to burn the Aga's houfe, and the caftle ; he had curfed the 

I i s Grand 


Grand Siguior, and the SherrifTe of Mecca, the fovereigns 
of the two parties ; and, the only thing the poor animal 
was interefled in, he had threatened to deftroy the wheat 
that was going to Mecca. After having fpent great part of 
the afternoon in upbraiding the camel, whofe meafure of in- 
iquity, it feems, was near full, each man thruft him through 
with a lance, devoting him Diis manibus^ Diris, by a kind of 
prayer, and with a thoufand curfes upon his head. After 
which, every man retired, fully fatisned as to the wrongs. 
he hadreceived from the cameL 

The reader will eafily obferve in this, fome traces of the 
*azazel, or fcape-goat of the Jews, which was turned out 
into the wildernefs, loaded with the fins of the people. 

Next morning I went to the palace, as we call it, in which 
were fome very handfome apartments. There was a guard 
of janifTaries at the door, who, being warriors, lately come 
from the bloody battle with the camel, did not fail to fhew 
marks of infolence, which they wilhed to be miflaken for 

The two Agas were fitting on a high bench upon Periiarj 
carpets; and about forty well-dreffedand well-looking men, 
(many of them old) fitting on carpets upon the floor, in a 
femi-circle round them. They behaved with great polite* 
nefs and attention, and afked no queftions but general ones ; 
as, How the fea agreed with me ? If there was plenty at Cairo? 


* Levit. chap, xvi, vcr. 5, 


till I was going away, when the youngeft of the Agas in- 
quired, with a feeming degree of diffidence, Whether Ma- 
homet Bey Abou Dahab, was ready to march? As I knew 
well what this queftion meant, I anfwered, I know not if 
he is ready, he has made great preparations. The other Aga 
faid, I hope you will be a meffenger of peace ? I anfwered, 
I intreat you to afk me no queftions ; I hope, by the grace of 
God, all will go well. Every perfon prefent applauded the 
fpeech ; agreed to refpeet my fecret, as they fuppofed I had 
one, and they all were inclined to believe, that I was a man 
in the confidence of Ali Bey, and that his hoftile defigns 
againft Mecca were laid afide: this was juft what I wifhed 
them to fuppofe ; for it fecured me againft ill-ufage all the 
time I chofe to ftay there ; and of this I had a proof in the 
inftant, for a very good houfe was provided for me by the 
Aga, and a man of his fent to fhew me to it. 

I wondered the Rais had not come home with me; who, 
in about half an hour after I had got into my houfe, came 
and told me, that, when the captain of the boat came on 
board the firft time with the two foldiers, he had put a note, 
which they call tijkcra, into his hand, preffing him into the 
Sherriffe's fervice, to carry wheat to Jidda, and, with the 
wheat, a number of poor pilgrims that were going to Mecca 
at the Sherriffe's expence. Finding us, however, out of the 
harbour, and, fufpecfting from our manners and carriage 
towards the janiflaries, that we were people who knew what 
we had to truft to, he had taken the two foldiers a-fhore 
with him, who were by no means fond of their reception, 
or inclined to ftay in fuch company ; and, indeed, our drefTes 
and appearances in the boat were fully as likely to make 
ftrangers believe we mould rob them, as theirs were to im- 

2. prefs 


prefs us with an apprehenfion that they would rob us. The 
Rais faid alfo, that, after my audience, the Aga had called 
upon him, and taken away the tifkera^ telling him he was 
free, and to obey nobody but me ; and fent me one of his 
fervants to fit at the door, with orders to admit nobody but 
whom I pleafed, and that I might not be troubled with the 
people of Yambo. 

Hitherto all was well; but it had been with me an ob- 
fervation, which had constantly held good, that too profper- 
ous beginnings in thefe countries always ended in ill at the 
laft. I was therefore refolved to ufe my profperity with 
great temperance and caution, make myfelf as ftrong, and 
ufe my flrength as little, as it was poffible for me to do. 

There was a man of confiderable weight in Aleppo, 
named *Sidi Ali Taraboloufli, who was a great friend of Dr 
Ruilel, our phyfician, through whom I became acquainted 
with him. He was an intimate friend and acquaintance of 
the cadi of Medina, and had given me a letter to him, 
recommending me, in a very particular manner, to his pro- 
tection and fervices. I inquired about this perfon, and was 
told he was in town, directing the diftribution of the corn 
to be fent to his capital. Upon my inquiry, the news were 
carried to him as foon almofl as his name was uttered ; on 
which, being defirous of knowing what fort of man I was, 
about eight o'clock in the evening he fent me a menage, 
and, immediately after, I received a vifit from him. 


* Native of Tripoli ; it is Turkifli. 


I was putting my telefcopes and time-keeper in order, 
and had forbid admittance to any one ; but this was fo holy 
and fo dignified a perfon, that all doors were open to him. 
He obferved me working about the great telefcope and 
quadrant in my fhirt, for it was hot beyond conception upon 
the fmalleft exertion. Without making any apology for the 
intrufion at all, he broke out into exclamation, how lucky 
he was ! and, without regarding me, he went from telefcope 
to clock, from clock to quadrant, and from that to die ther- 
mometer, crying, Ah tibe, ah tlbe ! This is fine, this is fine ! 
He fcarcely looked upon me, or feemed to think I was worth 
his attention, but touched every thing fo carefully, and 
handled fo properly the brafs cover of the alidade, which 
inclofed the horfe-hair with the plummet, that he feemed 
to be a man more than ordinarily verfed in the ufe of aftro- 
nomical inftruments. In fhort, not to repeat ufelefs matter 
to the reader, I found he had ftudied at Conftantinople, un- 
derftood the principles of geometry very tolerably, was ma- 
iler of Euclid fo far as it regarded plain trigonometry ; the 
demonftrations of which he rattled off fo rapidly, that it 
was impoffible to follow, or to underftand him. He knew 
nothing of fpherics, and all his aftronomy refolved itfelf at 
laft into maxims of judicial aftrology, firft and fecond houfes 
of the planets and afcendancies, very much in the ftvle of 
common almanacks. 

He defired that my door might be open to him at all 
times, efpecially when I made obfervations ; he alio knew 
perfectly the diviiion of our clocks, and begged he might 
count time for me. All this was eafily granted, and I had 
from him, what was mod ufeful, a hiftory of the fituation 
©£ the government of the place, by which I learned, 

3 that. 


that the two young men (the governors) were Haves of the 
SherrifFe of Mecca ; that it was inipofiible for any one, the 
rnoft intimate with them, to tell which of the two was 
moll bafe or profligate; that they would have robbed us 
all of the lafl farthing, if they had not been reflrained by 
fear; and that there was a foreigner, or a frank, very lately 
going to India, who had -disappeared, but, as he believed, had 
been privately put to death in prifon, for he had never 
after been heard of. 

Though I cannot fay I relifhed this account, yet I put on 
the very bed face poiliblc, " Here, in a garrifon town, laid 
I, with very worthlefs foldiers, they might do what they 
pleafed with fix or feven ftrangers, but I do not fear them ; 
I now tell them, and the people of Yambo, all and each of 
them, they had better be in their bed lick of the plague, than 
touch a hair of my dog, if I had one." " And fo, fays he 
they know, therefore reil and rejoice, and flay as long with 
us as you can." " As Short time as poffible, faid I, Sidi Ma- 
homet ; although I do not fear wicked people, I don't love 
them fo much as to flay long with them." 

He then afkcd me a favour, that I would allow my Rais 
to carry a quantity of wheat for him to Jidda ; which I wil- 
lingly permitted, upon condition, that he would order but 
one man to go along with it ; on which he declared Solemn- 
ly, that none but one fliould go, and that I might throw 
him even into the 'fea, if he behaved improperly. How- 
ever, afterwards he fent three ; and one who deferved of- 
ten to be thrown into the fai, as he had permitted. " Now 
friend, faid I, I have done every thing that you have deli- 
red, though favours Should have begun with you upon 



your own principle, as I am the ftranger. Now, what I have 
to afk you is this,— Do you know the Shekh of Beder Hu- 
nein ? Know him ! fays he, I am married to his filler, a 
daughter of Harb ; he is of the tribe of Harb." " Harb be 
it then (faid I) your trouble will be the lefs; then you are to 
fend a camel to your brother-in-law, who will procure me 
the largefl, and mofl perfect plant poflible of the Balfam of 
Mecca. He is not to break the Item, nor even the branches, 
but to pack it entire, with fruit and flower, if poflible, and 
wrap it in a mat." He looked cunning, flirugged up his 
moulders, drew up his mouth, and putting his finger to his 
nofe, faid, " Enough, I know all about this, you fhall find 
what fort of a man I am, I am no fool, as you fhall fee." 

I received this the third day at dinner, but the flower 
(if there had been any) was rubbed off. The fruit was in 
feveral flages, and in great perfection. The drawing, and 
dcfcription from this *plant, will, I hope, for ever obviate 
all difficulty about its hiflory. He fent me, likewife, a quart 
bottle of the pure balfam, as it had flowed that year from 
the tree, with which I have verified what the old botanifts in 
their writings have faid of it, in its feveral flages. He told 
me alfo the circumflances I have related in my defcription of 
the balfam, as to the gathering and preparing of the feveral 
kinds of it, and a curious anecdote as to its origin. He faid 
the plant was no part of the creation of God in the fix days, 
but that, in the lafl of three very bloody battles, which Ma- 
homet fought Avith the noble Arabs of Harb, and his kinf- 

Vol. I. Kk men 

See the article BaleiTan in the Appendix. 


men the Beni Koreifh, then Pagans at Beder Hunein, thai 
Mahomet prayed to God, and a grove of balfam-trees grew 
up from the blood of the flain upon the field of battle ; and, 
that with the balfam that flowed from them he touched 
the wounds even of thofe that were dead, and all thofe pre- 
deftined to be good Mujfulmen afterwards, immediately came 
to life. " I hope, faid I, friend, that the other things you 
told me of it, are fully as true as this, for they will other- 
wife laugh at me in England." " No, no, fays he, not half 
lb true, nor a quarter fo true, there is nothing in the world 
lb certain as this." But his looks, and his laughing very 
heartily, fhewed me plainly he knew better, as indeed moft 
of them do.. 

In the evening, before we departed, about nine o'clock,, 
I had an unexpected vifit from the youngeft of the two 
Agas ; who, after many pretended complaints of ficknefs, 
and injunctions of lecrecy, at laft modejlly requefled me to 
give him i<mvzJlow poifon, that might kill bis brother, without 
fufpicion, and after lbme time mould elapfe. I told him, 
fuch propofals were not to be made to a man like me ; that 
all the gold, and all the filver in the world, would not en- 
gage me to poifon the pooreft vagrant in the ftreet, fuppo- 
iing it never was to be fufpected, or known but to my own 
heart. All he faid, was, " Then your manners are not the 
fame as ours."— I anfwered, dryly, " Mine, I thank God, are 
not," and fo we parted. 

Yam bo, or at lead the prefent town of that name, I found, 
by many obfervations of the fun and ftars, to be in latitude 
24 3' 35" north, and in long. 3 8° 16' 30'' eaft from the meri- 
dian of Greenwich, The barometer, at its highefl, on the 23d- 



of April, was 27 8', and, the loweft on the 27th, was 26° n'. 
The thermometer, on the 24th of April, at two o'clock in 
the afternoon, flood at 91°, and the loweft was 6(5° in the 
morning of the 26th of fame month. Yambo is reputed 
very unwholefome, but there were no epidemical difeafes 
when I was there. 

The many delays of loading the wheat, the defire of 
doubling the quantity I had permitted, in which both the Rais 
and my friend the cadi confpired for their mutual intereft, 
detained me at Yambo all the 27th of April, very much a- 
gainft my inclination. For I was not a little uneafy at 
thinking among what banditti I lived, whofe daily wifh was 
to rob and murder me, from which they were reftrained 
by fear only ; and this, a fit of drunkenncfs, or a piece of 
bad news, fuch as a report of Ali Bey's death, might remove 
in a moment. Indeed we were allowed to want nothing. 
A fheep, fome bad beer, and fome very good wheat-bread 
were delivered to us every day from the Aga, which, with 
dates and honey, and a variety of prefents from thofe that 
I attended as a phyfician, made us pafs our time comfort- 
ably enough; we went frequently in the boats to fifh at 
fea, and, as I had brought with me three fizgigs of differ- 
ent fizes, with the proper lines, I feldom returned without 
killing four or five dolphins. The fport with the line was 
likewife excellent. We caught a number of beautiful fifh 
from the very houfe where we lodged, and fome few o-ood 
ones. We had vinegar in plenty at Yambo; onions, arid 
feveral other greens, from Raddua ; and, being all cooks, we 
lived well. 

K k 2 On 


On the 28th of April, in the morning, I failed with a car- 
go of wheat that did not belong to me, and three pafTengers,, 
inftead of one, for whom only I had undertaken. The wind 
was fair, and I faw one advantage of allowing the Rais to 
load, was, that he was determined to carry fail to make a- 
mends for the delay. There was a tumbling, difagreeable 
fwell, and the wind feemed dying away. One of our paf- 
fengers was very fick. At his requeft^ wc anchored at 
Djar, a round fmall port, whofe entrance is at the north-eafl. 
It is about three fathoms deep throughout, unlefs juft upon 
the fouth fide, and perfectly fheltered from every wind. We 
faw here, for the firfl time, feveral plants of rack tree, grow- 
ing confiderably within the fea-mark, in fome places with 
two feet of water upon the trunk. I found the latitude of 
Djar to be 23 36' 9" north. The mountains of Beder Hu- 
nein were S. S. W. of us. 

The 29th, at five o'clock in the morning, we failed from 
Djar. At eight, we palled a fmall cape called * Ras el Him- 
ma ; and the wind turning flill more frefh, we paiTed a kind 
©f harbour called Maibeed, where there is an anchoring 
place named El Horma. The fun was in the meridian when 
we paffed this ; and I found, by obfervation, El Horma was 
in lat. 23 o* 30" north. At ten we patted a mountain on 
land called Soub ; at two, the fmall port of Muftura, under 
a mountain whofe name is Hajoub; at half paft four we 
came to an anchor at a place called Harar. The wind had 
been contrary all the night, being fouth-eafl, and rather 

frefh ; 

* Cape Fever*. 


frcfh; we thought, too, we perceived a current fetting ftrong- 
ly to the we ft ward. 

On the 30th we failed at eight in the morning, but the 
wind was unfavourable, and we made little way. We were 
furrounded with a great many fharks, fome of which feem- 
ed to be large. Though I had no line but upon the fmall 
fizgigs for dolphins, I could not refrain from attempting 
one of the largeft, for they were fo bold, that fome of them, 
we thought, intended to leap on board. I ftruck one of the 
moft forward of them, juft at the joining of the neck ; but 
as we were not practifed enough in laying our line, fo as to 
run out without hitching, he leaped above two feet out of 
the water, then plunged down with prodigious violence, 
and our line taking hold of fome thing Handing in the way, 
the cord mapped afunder, and away went the mark. All 
the others difappeared in an inftant ; but the Rais faid, as 
foon as they fmelled the blood, they would not leave the 
wounded one, till they had torn him to pieces. I was truly 
forry for the lofs of my tackle, as the two others were real- 
ly liker harpoons, and not io manageable. But the Rais, 
whom I had ftudied to keep in very good humour, and had 
befriended in every thing, was an old harpooner in the 
Indian Ocean, and he pulled out from his hold a compleat 
apparatus. He not only had a fmall harpoon like my firft, 
but better conftructed. He had, likewife, feveral hooks 
with long chains and lines, and a wheel with a long hair 
line to it, like a fmall windlafs, to which he equally fixed 
the line of the harpoon, and thofe of the hooks. This was 
a compliment he faw I took very kindly, and did not 
doubt it would be rewarded in the proper time. 



The wind frefhening and turning fairer, at noon we 
brought to, within fight of Rabac, and at one o'clock an- 
chored there. Rabac is a fmall port in lat. 22 35' 30" north. 
The entry is E. N. E. and is about a quarter of a mile broad. 
The port extends itfelf to the eaft, and is about two miles 
long. The mountains are about three leagues to the north, 
and the town of Rabac about four miles north by eaft from 
the entrance to the harbour. We remained all day, the firft 
of May, in the port, making a drawing of the harbour. The 
night of our anchoring there, the Emir Hadje of the pilgrims 
from Mecca encamped about three miles off. We heard 
his evening gun. 

The paffengers that had been fick, now infilled upon go- 
ing to fee the Hadje ; but as I knew the confequence would 
be, that a number of fanatic wild people would be down 
upon us, I told him plainly, if he went from the boat, he 
mould not again be received ; and that we would haul out 
of the port, and anchor in the offing ; this kept him with 
us. But all next day he was in very bad humour, repeat- 
ing frequently, to himfelf, that he deferved all this for em- 
barking with infidels. 

The people came down to us from Rabac with water 
melons, and fkins full of water. All mips may be fup- 
plied here plentifully from wells near the town ; the wa- 
ter is not bad. 

The country is level, and feemingly uncultivated, but 
has not fo defert a look as about Yambo. I fhould fufpeel: 
by its appearance, and the fremnefs of its water, that it 



rained at times in the mountains here, for we were now 
confiderably within the tropic, which paffes very rear Ras 
el Himma, whereas Rabac is half a degree to the fouth- 

On the 2d, at five o'clock in the morning, we failed from 
Rabac, with a very little wind, fcarcely making two knots 
an hour. 

At half paft nine, Deneb bore eaft and by fouth from us. 
This place is known by a few palm-trees. The port is 
fmall, and very indifferent, at leaft for fix months of the 
year, becaufe it lies open to the fouth, and there is a pro- 
digious fwell here. 

At one o'clock we paffed an ifland called Hammel, a- 
bout a mile off ; at the fame time, another ifland, El Me- 
mifk, bore eaft of us, about three miles, where there is good 

At three and three quarters, we paffed an ifland called 
Gawad, a mile and a quarter fouth-eaft of us. The main 
bore likewife fouth-eaft, diftant fomething more than a 
league. We here changed our courfe from fouth to W. S. W.. 
and at four o'clock came to an anchor at the fmall ifland of 

The 3d, we failed at half paft four in the morning, our 
courfe W. S. W. but it fell calm ; after having made about a 
league, we found ourfelves off Ras Hateba, or the Woody 
Cape, which bore due eaft of us. After doubling the cape, 

4- the 


the wind frefhening, at four o'clock in the afternoon we 
anchored in the port of Jidda, clofe upon the key, where 
the officers of the cuftomJioufe immediately took poffeflion 
of our baggage. 

3B£ j*-t i ' ■ . ^"O fe 


J,amii"i J'uiii'til,:.' Di . ' > ■''/;■*'■/ iy './,, ■/■<.:••. m x 6> 





Occurrences at Jidda — V'tfit of the Vizir — Alarm of the Factory — -Gredt 
Civility of the Englifh trading from India — Polygamy — Opinion of 
Dr Arbuthnot ill-founded — Contrary to Reafon and Experience—— 
Leave Jidda. 

TH E port of Jidda is a very extenfive one, confuting of 
numberlefs flioals, fmall iilands, and funken rocks, 
with channels, however, between them, and deep water. 
You are very fafe in Jidda harbour, whatever wind blows, 
as there are numberlefs flioals which prevent the water 
from ever being put into any general motion; and you may 
moor head and ftern, with twenty anchors out if you pltaie. 
But the danger of being loft, I conceive, lies in the going in 
and coming out of the harbour. Indeed the obfervation 
is here verified, the more dangerous the port, the abler the pi- 
lots, and no accidents ever happen. 

There is a draught of the harbour of Jidda handed about 
among the Engli'ui for many years, very inaccurately, and 
very ill laid down, from what authority I know not, often 
condemned, but never corrected ; as alfo a pretended chart 
of the upper part of the Gulf, from Jidda to Mocha, full of 
foundings. As I was fome months at Jidda, kindly enter- 

VoL - L L 1 tamed, 


tained, and had abundance of time, Captain Thornhill, and' 
fomc other of the gentlemen trading thither, wifhed me 
to make a furvey of the harbour, and promifed me the 
afliilance of their officers, boats, and crews. I very wil- 
lingly undertook it to oblige them. Finding afterwards, 
however, that one of their number, Captain Newland, had, 
undertaken it, and that he would be hurt by my interfering,, 
as he was in fome manner advanced in the work, I gave 
up all further thoughts of the plan. He was a man of real 
ingenuity and capacity, as well as very humane, well beha- 
haved, and one to whom I had been indebted for every fort 
of attention. 

God forgive thofe who have taken upon them, very 
lately, to ingraft a number of new foundings upon that 
miferable bundle of errors, that Chart of the upper parr 
of the Gulf from Jidda to Mocha, which has been toffed 
about the Red Sea thefe twenty years and upwards. One 
of thefe, fince my return to Europe, has been fent to 
me new dreffed like a bride, with all its original and mor- 
tal fins upon its head. I would beg leave to be under- 
ftood, that there is not in the world a man more averfe than 
I am to give offence even to a child. It is not in the fpirit 
of criticifm I fpeak this. In any other cafe, I would not 
have made any observations at all. But, where the lives 
and properties of fo many are at flake yearly, it is a fpecies 
of treafon to conceal one's fentiments, if the publishing of 
them can any way contribute to fafety, whatever offence it 
may give to unreafonable individuals. 

Of all the veffels in Jidda, two only had their log 1 
properly divided, and yet all were fo fond of their fuppofe 



accuracy, as to aver they had kept their courfe within five 
leagues, between India and Babelmandeb. Yet they had 
made no eftimation of the currents without the * Babs, nor 
the different very ftrong ones foon after palling Socotra ; 
their half-minute glaffes upon a medium ran 57"; they had 
made no obfervation on the tides or currents in the Red 
Sea, either in the channel or in the inward pafTage ; yet 
there is delineated in this map a courfe of Captain Newland's, 
which he kept in the middle of the channel, full of iharp 
angles and fhort ftretches ; you would think every yard 
was meafured and founded. 

To the fpurious catalogue of foundings found in the old 
chart above mentioned, there is added a double proportion 
of new, from what authority is not known; fo that from 
Mocha, to la*. 17 you have as it were foundings every 
mile, or even lefs. No one can caft his eyes on the upper 
part of the map, but mull think the Red Sea one of the mod 
frequented places in the world. Yet I will aver, without fear 
of being contradicted, that it is a charadteriftic of the Red 
Sea, fcarcc to have foundings in any part of the channel, 
and often on both fides, whilft alhore foundings are hardly 
found a boat-length from the main. To this I will add, that 
there is fcarce one ifland upon which I ever was, where the 
boltfprit was not over the land, while there were no found- 
ings by a line heaved over the Hern. I muft then proteft 
againft making thefe old molt erroneous maps a founda- 
tion for new ones, as they can be of no ufe, but mull be of 

LI2 detriment. 

*.Tijis is a common failor's phrifs for the Straits of Babelmandetj. 


detriment. Many good feanien of knowledge and enter- 
prife have been in that fea, within tliei'e few years. Let them 
fay, candidly, what were their inltruments, what their dif- 
ficulties were, where they had doubts, where they fucceed- 
cd, and where they were difappointed ? Were thefe acknow- 
ledged by one, they would be fpeedily taken up by others, 
and reclined by the help of mathematicians and good ob- 
fcrvers on more. 

Mr Niebuhr has contributed much, but we mould reform 
the map on both fides ; though there is a great deal done, 
yet much remains ftill to do. I hope that my friend Mr 
Dalrymple, when he can afford time, will give usafounda-- 
tion more proper to build upon, than that old rotten one, 
however changed in form, and fuppofed to have been im- 
proved, if he really has a number of obfervations by him 
that can be relied on, otherwife it is but continuing the 
delufion and the danger. 

If fhips of war afterwards, that keep the channel, mail 
come, manned with flout and able feamen, and expert young 
officers, provided with lines, glafles, good compafles, and a 
number of boats, then we fhall know thefe foundings, at 
leaft in part. And then alfo we fh all know the truth of 
what I now advance, viz. that mips like thole employed 
hitherto in trading from India (planned and provided as 
the befl of them are) were incapable, aniidfl unknown tides 
and currents, and going before a monfoon, whether fouth- 
ern or northern, of knowing within three leagues where 
any. one of them had ever dropt his founding line, unlefs he 
was clofe on board fome ifland, fhoal, remarkable point, or 
in a harbour. 

2 Till. 


Till that time, I would advifc every man failing in the 
Red Sea, especially in the channel, where the pilots know 
no more than he, to trull to his own hands for fafety in the 
minute of danger, to heave the lead at leait every hour, 
keep a good look-out, and Ihorten fail in a frefh wind, or in 
the night-time, and to confider all maps of the channel of 
the Arabian Gulf, yet made, as matters of mere curioiity, 
and not fit to trull a man's life to. Any captain in the India 
fervice, who had run over from Jidda into the mouth of 
the river Frat, and the neighbouring port Rillit, which 
might every year be done for L. 10 Sterling extra expences, 
would do more meritorious fervice to the navigation of that 
fea, than all the foundings that were ever yet made from Jib*- 
bel Zekir to the illand of Shcduan. 

From Yambo to Jidda I had flcpt little, making my me- 
moranda as full upon the fpot as poflible. I had, beiides, 
an aguifh diforder, which very much troubled me, and in 
drefs and cleanlinefs was fo like a Galiongy (or Turkifh fea- 
man) that the * Emir Bahar was aftonifhed at hearing my 
fervants fay I was an Englifhman, at the time they carried 
away all my baggage and initruments to the cuftom-houfe. 
He fent his fervant, however, with me to the Bengal-houfe, 
who promifed me, in broken Englilli, all the way, a very 
magnificent reception from ,my countrymen. Upon his 
naming all the captains for my choice, I deiired to be car- 
ried to a Scotchman, a relation of my own, who was then acci- 
dentally leaning over the rail of the flair-cafe, leading up 


Captain of the- port. 


to his apartment. I faluted him by his name ; he fell into 
a violent rage, calling me villain, thief, cheat, an&renegado rofcal; 
and declared, if I offered to proceed a tlep further, he would 
throw me over flairs. I went away without reply, his cur- 
fes and abufe followed me long afterwards. The fervant, 
my conductor, fcrewed his mouth, and fhrugged up his 
moulders. " Never fear, fays he, I will carry you to the left 
of them all." We went up an oppofite flair-cafe, whilfl I thought 
within myfelf, if thofe are their India manners, I fhall keep 
my name and fituation to myfelf while 1 am at Jidda. I 
flood in no need of them, as I had credit for iooo fequins and 
more, if I fhould want it, upon Youfef Cabil, Vizir or Gover- 
nor of Jidda. 

I was conducted into a large room, where Captain Thorn- 
hill was fitting, in a white callico waiflcoat, a very high- 
pointed white cotton night-cap, with a large tumbler of 
water before him, feemingly very deep in thought. The 
Emir Bahar's fervant brought me forward by the hand, a 
little within the door; but I was not defirous of advam ng 
much farther, for fear of the falutation of being thrown 
down flairs again. He looked very fleadily, but not flern- 
ly, at me ; and defired the fervant to go away and fLut the 
door. " Sir, fays he, are you an Englifhman ?" — I bowed. — 
*' You furely are fick, you fhould be in your bed, have you 
been long fickr" — I faid, " long Sir," and bowed. — " Are you 
wanting a paflage to India?" — I again bowed. — " Well, fays 
he, you look to be a man in diflrefs ; if you have a fecret, 
I fhall refpecl: it till you pleafe to tell it me, but if you want 
apafTage to India, apply to no one butThornhill of the Bengal 
merchant. Perhaps you are afraid of fomebody, if fo, afk for 
Mr Greig, my lieutenant, he will carry you on board my fl ip 



directly, where you will be fafe." — " Sir, faid I, I hope you 
will find me an honefl man, I have no enemy that I know, 
either in Jidda or elfewhere, nor do I owe any man any 
thing." — " I am fure, fays he, I am doing wrong, in keeping 
a poor man Handing, who ought to be in his bed. Here! 
Philip! Philip!" — Philip appeared. " Boy," fays he, in Portu- 
guefe, which, as I imagine, he fuppofed I did not under- 
Hand, " here is a poor Englifhman, that mould be either in 
his bed or his grave ; carry him to the cook, tell him to give 
him as much broth and mutton as he can eat ; the fellow 
feems to have been flarved, but I would rather have the 
feeding of ten to India, than the burying of one at Jidda." 

Philip de la Cruz was the fon of a Portuguefe lady, whom 
Captain Thornhill had married ; a boy of great talents, and 
excellent difpofition, who carried me with great willingnefs 
to the cook. I made as aukward a bow as I could to Capt. 
Thornhill, and faid, " God will return this to your honour 
fome day." Philip carried me into a court-yard, where they 
ufed to expofe the famples of their India goods in large 
bales. It had a portico along the left-hand fide of it, which 
feemed deligned for a liable. To this place I was introduced^ 
and thither the cook brought me my dinner. Several of 
the Englifli from the veffels, lafcars, and others, came in to 
look at me ; and I heard it, in general, agreed among them, 
that I was a very thief-like fellow, and certainly a Turk, 
and d n them if they mould like to fall into my hands. 

I fell fall afleep upon the mat, while Philip was order- 
ing me another apartment. In the mean time, fome of 
my people had followed the baggage to the Cuflom-houfe,, 
and fome of them flaid on board the boat, to prevent the 

. 3 Bitfemtg; 


pilfering of what was left. The keys had remained with 
me, and the Vizir had gone to fleep, as is ufual, about mid- 
day. As foon as he awaked, being greedy of his prey, he 
fell immediately to my baggage, wondering that fuch a 
quantity of it, and that boxes in fuch a curious form, fhould 
belong to a mean man like me ; he was therefore full of 
hopes, that a fine opportunity for pillage was now at hand. 
He afked for the keysof the trunks, my fervant faid, they 
were with me, but he would go inilantly and bring them. 
That, however, was too long to ftay ; no delay could poffi- 
bly be granted. Accuftomed to pilfer, they did not force 
the locks, but, very artiil like, took off the hinges at the 
back, and in that manner opened the lids, without opening 
the -locks. 

The firft thing that prefented itfelf to the Vizir's fight, 
was the firman of the Grand Signior, magnificently written 
and titled, and the inscription powdered with gold duft, and 
wrapped in green taffeta. After this was a white fattin bag, 
addreffed to the Khan of Tartary, with which Mr Peyffonel, 
French conful of Smyrna, had favoured me, and which I had 
not delivered, as the Khan was then prifoner at Rhodes. The 
next was a green and gold iilk bag, with letters directed to 
the Sherriffe of Mecca ; and then came a plain crimfon-fattin 
bag, with letters addreffed to Metical Aga, f word bearer (or 
Scholar, as it is called) of the Sherriffe, or his great minifter 
and favourite. He then found a letter from Ali Bey to him- 
felf, written with all the fuperiority of a Prince to a Have. 

In this letter the Bey told him plainlv, that he heard the 
governments of Jidda, Mecca, and other States of the Sher- 
liffe, were difoxderly, ami that merchants., coming about 



2 73 

their lawful bufinefs, were plundered, terrified, and detain- 
ed. He therefore intimated to him, that if any fuch thing 
happened to me, he fhould not write or complain, but he 
would fend and punifh the affront at the very gates of Mec- 
ca. This was very unpleafant language to the Vizir, be- 
caufe it was now publicly known, that Mahomet Bey Abou 
Dahab was preparing next year to march againft Mecca, 
for fome offence the Bey had taken at the Sherriffe. There 
was alfo another letter to him from Ibrahim Sikakeen, 
chief of the merchants at Cairo, ordering him to furnifh me 
with a thoufand fequins for my prefent ufe, and, if more 
were needed, to take my bill. 

These contents of the trunk were fo unexpected, that Ca- 
bil the Vizir thought he had gone too far, and called my 
fervant in a violent hurry, upbraiding him, for not telling 
who I was. The fervant defended himfelf, by faying, that 
neither he, nor his people about him, would fo much as re- 
gard a word that he fpoke ; and the cadi of Medina's prin- 
cipal fervant, who had come with the wheat, told the Vizir 
plainly to his face, that he had given him warning enough, 
if his pride would have fuffered him to hear it. 

All was now wrong, my fervant was ordered to nail up 
the hinges, but he declared it would be the laft action of 
his life ; that nobody opened baggage that way, but with 
Intention of ftealing, when the keys could be got ; and, 
as there were many rich things in the trunk, intended as 
prefents to the Sherriffe, and Metical Aga, which might 
have been taken out, by the hinges being forced off before 
he came, he warned his hands of the whole procedure, but 
Vol. I. Mm knew 


knew his mailer would complain, and loudly too, and would 
be heard both at Cairo and Jidda. The Vizir took his refo- 
lution in a moment like a man. He nailed up the baggage, 
ordered his horfe to be brought, and attended by a num- 
ber of naked blackguards (whom they call foldiers) he came 
down to the Bengal houfe, on which the whole fadory took 

About twenty-fix years before, the Englifli traders from 
India to Jidda, fourteen in number, were all murdered, fit- 
ting at dinner, by a mutiny of thefe wild people. The houfe 
has, ever fince, lain in ruins, having been pulled down and 
forbidden to be rebuilt. 

Great inquiry was made after the Englifli noblemany 
whom nobody had feen; but it was faid that one of his 
fervants was there in the Bengal houfe ; I was fitting drink- 
ing coffee on the mat, when the Vizir's horfe came, and 
the whole court was filled. One of the clerks of the cuf- 
tom-houfe afked me where my matter was ? I faid, " In. 
heaven." The Emir Bahar's fervant new brought forward 
the Vizir to me, who had not difmounted himfclf. He re- 
peated the lame queflion^ where my mailer was ? — I told 
him, I did not know the purport of his queflion, that I was 
the perfon to whom the baggage belonged, which he had. 
taken to the cuftom-houfe, and that it was in my favour the 
Grand Signior and Bey. had written. He feemed very much 
furprifed, and afked me how I could appear in fuch a drefs? 
-*-" You cannot aik that ferioufly, faid I ; I believe no pru- 
dent man would drefs better, confide ring the voyage I 
iUve made.. But, befides, you did not leave it in my power, 



as every article, but what I have on me, has been thefe four 
hours at the cuftom-houfe, waiting your pleafure." 

We then went all up to our kind landlord, Captain 
Thornhill, to whom I made my excufe, on acount of the ill 
ufage I had firft met with from my own relation. He laugh- 
ed very heartily at the narrative, and from that time we 
lived in the greateft friendfhip and confidence. All was 
made up, even with Youfef Cabil ; and all heads were em- 
ployed to get the ftrongeft letters poflible to the Naybe of 
Mafuah, the king of Abymnia, Michael Suhul the minifter, 
and the king of Sennaar. 

Metical Aga, great friend and protector of the Englifh 
at Jidda, and in effect, we may fay, fold to them, for the great 
prefents and profits he received, was himfelf originally 
an Abyffinian flave, was the man of confidence, and directed 
the fale of the king's, and Michael's gold, ivory, civet, and 
fuch precious commodities, that are paid to them in kind; 
he furnifhed Michael, likewife, with returns in fire-arms ; 
and this had enabled Michael to fubdue Abyflinia, murder 
the king his mafter, and feat another on his throne. 

On the other hand, the Naybe of Mafuah, whofe iiland 
belonged to the Grand Signior, and was an appendage 
of the government of the Baiha of Jidda, had endea- 
voured to withdraw himfelf from his allegiance, and fet 
up for independency. He paid no tribute, nor could the 
Bafha,who had no troops, force him, as he was on the Abyf- 
finian fide of the Red Sea. Metical Aga, however, and the 
Bafha, at laft agreed ; the latter ceded to the former the 
iiland and territory of Mafuah, for a fixed fum annually; 

M m 2 and 


and Metical Aga appointed Michael, governor of Tigre, re- 
ceiver of his rents. The Naybe no fooner found that 
he was to account to Michael, than he was glad to pav 
his tribute, and give prefents to the bargain ; for Tigre was 
the province from which he drew his fuftcnance, and Mi- 
chael could have over-run his whole territory in eight days, 
which once, as we fhall fee hereafter, belonged to Abyfli- 
nia. Mctical's power being then univerfally acknowledg- 
ed and known, the next thing was to get him to make ufe; 
of it in my favour. 

We knew of how little avail the ordinary futile recom- 
mendations of letters were. We were veteran travellers,, 
and knew the ftyle of the Eaft too well, to be duped by let- 
ters of mere civility. There is no people on the earth more 
perfectly polite in their correspondence with one another, 
than are thofe of the Eaft ; but their civility means little • 
more than the fame fort of expreffions do in Europe, to 
ihew you that the writer is a well-bred man. But this 
would by no means do in a journey fo long, fo dangerous^ 
and fo ferious as mine. 

We, therefore, fet about procuring effective letters, 
letters of bufmefs and engagement, between man and 
man ; and we all endeavoured to make Metical Aga a very 
good man, but no great head-piece, comprehend this per- 
fectly. My letters from Ali Bey opened the affair to him, 
and firft commanded his attention. A very handfome pre- 
sent of piftols, which I brought him, inclined him in my 
favour, becaufe, as I was bearer of letters from his fuperior, 
I might have declined bellowing any prefent upon him. 

3 The, 


The Englifh gentlemen joined their influence, powerful 
enough, to have accomplifhed a much greater end, as every 
one of thefe have feparate friends for their own affairs, and 
all of them were delirous to befriend me. Added to thefe 
was a friend of mine, whom I had known at Aleppo, Ali 
Zimzimiah, /. e. ' keeper of the holy well at Mecca,' a poll of 
great dignity and honour. This man was a mathematician, 
and an aftronomer, according to their degree of knowledge 
in that fcience. 

All the letters were written in a ftyle fuch as I could 
have defired, but this did not fuffice in the mind of a very 
friendly and worthy man, who had taken an attachment 
to me fmce my firft arrival. This was Captain Thomas 
Price, of the Lion of Bombay. He firft propofed to Metical 
Aga, to fend a man of his own with me, together with the 
letters, and I do firmly believe, under Providence, it was to 
this laft meafure I owed my life. With this Captain Thorn- 
hill heartily concurred, and an Abyflinian, called Mahomet 
Gibberti, was appointed to go with particular letters be- 
fides thofe I carried myfelf, and to be an eye-witnefs of my 
reception there. 

There was fome time neceffary for this man to make 
ready, and a coniiderable part of the Arabian Gulf ftill re- 
mained for me to explore. I prepared, therefore, to fet out 
from Jidda, after having made a confiderable flay in it. 

Of all the new things I yet had feen, what mofl afbonifh- 
ed me was the manner in which trade was carried on at 
this place. Nine fhips were there from India; fome of them 
worth, I fuppofe, L. 200,000. One merchant, a Turk, living 



at Mecca, thirty hours journey off, where no Chriflian dares 
go, whilil the whole Continent is open to the Turk for 
cfcape, offers to purchafe the cargoes of four out of nine of 
theie fliips himfelf ; another, of the fame caft, comes and 
fays, he will buy none, unlefs he has them all. The fam- 
ples are fhewn, and the cargoes of the whole nine (hips are 
carried into the wildeft part of Arabia, by men with whom 
one would not wifli to truft himfelf alone in the field. This 
is not all, two India brokers come into the room to fettle the 
price. One on the part of the India captain, the other on 
that of the buyer the Turk. They are neither Mahometans 
nor Chriftians, but have credit with both. They fit down on 
the carpet, and take an India Ihawl, which they carry on 
their moulder, like a napkin, and fpread it over their hands. 
They talk, in the mean time, indifferent converfation, of the 
arrival of fhips from India, or of the news of the day, as if 
they were employed in no ferious bufinefs whatever. After 
about twenty minutes fpent in handling each others fingers 
below the fliawl, the bargain is concluded, fay for nine fhips, 
without one word ever having been fpoken on the fubjecl, 
or pen or ink ufed in any fhape whatever. There never was 
one inftance of a difpute happening in thefefaks. 

But this is not yet all, the money is to be paid. A pri- 
vate Moor, who has nothing to fupport him but his cha- 
racter, becomes refponfible for the payment of thefe car- 
goes ; his name was Ibrahim Saraf when I was there, u e. 
Ibrahim the Broker. This man delivers a number of coarfe 
hempen bags, full of what is fuppofed to be money. He 
marks the contents upon the bag, and puts his feal upon 
the firing that ties the mouth of it. This is received for 
what is marked upon it, without any one ever having open- 


ed one of the bags, and, in India, it is current for the value 
marked upon it, as long as the bag lafls. 

Jidda is very unwholefome, as is, indeed, all the eaft 
coaft of the Red Sea. Immediately without the gate of that 
town, to the eaftward, is a defert plain filled with the huts 
of the Bedoweens, or country Arabs, built of long bundles 
of fpartum, or bent grafs, put together like fafcines. Thefe 
Bedoweens fupply Jidda with milk and butter. There is 
no ftirring out of town, even for a walk, unlefs for about 
half a mile, in the fouth fide by the fea, where there is a 
number of ftinking pools of ftagnant water, which contri- 
butes to make the town very unwholefome. 

Jidda, befides being in the moil unwholefome part of 
Arabia, is, at the fame time, in the mofl barren and defert 
lituation. This, and many other inconveniencies, under 
which it labours, would, probably, have occafioned its being 
abandoned altogether, were it not for its vicinity to Mecca, 
and the great and fudden influx of wealth from the India 
trade, which, once a-year, arrives in this part, but does not 
continue, paffing on, as through a turnpike, to Mecca; 
whence it is difperfed all over the eaft. Very little advan- 
tage however accrues to Jidda. The cuftoms are all-imme-- 
diately fent to a needy fovereign, and a hungry fet of re- 
lations, dependents and miniflers at Mecca. The gold is re- 
turned in bags and boxes, and pafTes on as rapidly to the 
fhips as the goods do to the market, and leaves as little 
profit behind. In the mean time, provifions rife to a prodi- 
gious price, and this falls upon the townfmen, while all 
the profit of the traffic is in the hands of ftrangers ; mofl of 
whom, after the market is over, (which does not lafl fix 



weeks) retire to Yemen, and other neighbouring countries, 
which abound in every fort of provifion. 

Upon this is founded the obfervation, that of all Maho- 
metan countries none are fo monogam as thofe of Jidda, 
and no where are there fo many unmarried women, altho' 
this is the country of their prophet, and the permimon of 
marrying four wives was allowed in this diftrict. in the firft 
inflance, and afterwards communicated to all the tribes. 

But Mahomet, in his permimon of plurality of wives, 
feems conflantly to have been on his guard, againft fuffer- 
ing that, which was intended for the welfare of his people, 
from operating in a different manner. He did not permit 
a man to marry two, three, or four wives, unlefs he could 
maintain them. He was interested for the rights and rank 
of thefe women ; and the man fo marrying was obliged 
to fhew before the Cadi, or fome equivalent officer, or 
judge, that it was in his power to fupport them, according 
to their birth. It was not fo with concubines, with women 
who were purchafed, or who were taken in war. Every 
man enjoyed thefe at his pleafure, and their peril, that is, 
whether he was able to maintain them or not. 

From this great fcarcity of provifions, which is the re- 
mit of an extraordinary concourfe to a place almoft desti- 
tute of the necefTaries of life, few inhabitants of Jidda can 
avail themfclves of the privilege granted him by Mahomet. 
He therefore cannot marry more than one wife, becaufe he 
cannot maintain more, and from this caufe arifes the want 
of people, and the large number of unmarried women. 



When in Arabia Felix, where every fort of provifion is ex- 
ceedingly cheap, where the fruits of the ground, the gener- 
al food for man, are produced fpontaneoufly, the fupport- 
ing of a number of wives colls no more than fo many 
flaves or fervants ; their food is the fame, and a blue cotton 
fhirt, a habit common to them all, is |not more chargeable 
for the one than the other. The confequence is, that celi- 
bacy in women is prevented, and the number of people is 
increafed in a fourfold ratio by polygamy, to what it is in 
thofe that are monogamous. 

I know there are authors fond of fyflem, enemies to 
free inquiry, and blinded by prejudice, who contend that 
polygamy, without diftinction of circumftances, is detri- 
mental to the population of a country. The learned Dr 
Arbuthnot, in a paper addrefled to the Royal Society*, has 
maintained this flrange doctrine, in a flill ftranger manner. 
He lays it down, as his firft pofition, that in ferrane mafculino 
of our firfl parent Adam, there was imprefied an original 
neceflity of procreating, ever after, an equal number of 
males and females. The manner he proves this, has received 
great incenfe from the vulgar, as containing un unanfwer- 
able argument. He fliews, by the calling of three dice, 
that the chances are almoft infinite, that an equal number 
of males and females mould not be born in any year ; and 
he pretends to prove, that every year in twenty, as taken 
from the bills of mortality, the fame number of males and 
females have conflantly been produced, or at leafl a greater 
proportion of men than of women, to make up for the ha- 
Vol. I. N n vock 

Philofoph. Tranfatt. Vol. 27. p. 186. 


vock occafioned by war, murder, drunkennefs, and all fpc- 
cies of violence to which women are not fiibjecl:. 

I need not fay, that this, at leaft, fufficiently fhcws the 
weaknefs of the argument. . For, if the equal proportion had 
been in femine mafculino of our firfl parent, the confequence 
mull have been, that male and female would have been in- 
variably born, from the creation to the end of all things. 
And it is a fuppolition very unworthy of the wifdom of God, 
that, at the creation of man, he could make an allowance 
for any deviation that was to happen, from crimes, againfl 
the commiflion of which his pofitive precepts ran. Weak 
as this is, it is not the weakcll part of this artificial argu- 
ment, which, like the web of a fpider too finely woven, 
whatever part you touch it on, the whole falls to pieces. . 

After taking it for granted, that he has proved the equa- 
lity of the two fexes in number, from the bills of mortality 
in London, he next fuppofes, as a confequence, that all the 
world is in the fame predicament ;. that is, that an equal 
number of males and females is produced every where. 
Why Dr Arbuthnot, an eminent phyfician (which furcly 
implies an informed naturalill) fliould imagine that this 
inference would hold, is what I am not able to account for. 
He mould know, let us fay, in the countries of the eafl, that 
fruits, flowers, trees, birds, fifh, every blade of grafs, is com- 
monly different, and that man, in his appearance, diet, ex- 
ercife, pleafure, government, and religion, is as widely dif- 
ferent ; why he mould found the ifTue of an Afiatic, how- 
ever, upon the bills of mortality in London, is to the full as 
abfurd as to affert, that they do not wear either beard or 
whifkers in Syria, becaufe that is not the cafe in London. 



I am well aware, that it maybe urged by thofe who per- 
mit themfelves to fay every thing, bccaufe they are not at 
pains to confider any thing, that the courfe of my argument 
will lead to a defence of polygamy in general, the fuppofed 
doctrine of the Thelypthora * Such reflections as thefe, 
unlefs introduced for merriment, are below my animadver- 
fion ; all I fhall fay on that topic is, that they who find en* 
couragcment to polygamy in MrMadan's book, the Thelyp- 
thora, have read it with a much more acute perception than 
perhaps I have done ; and I ihall be very much miflaken, 
if polygamy increafes in England upon the principles laid 
down in the Thelypthora. 

England, fays Dr Arbuthnot, enjoys an equality of both 
fexes, and, if it is not fo, the inequality is fo imperceptible, 
that no inconvenience has yet followed. What we have 
now to inquire is, Whether other nations, or the majority 
of them, are in the fame fituation ? For, if we arc to decide 
by this, and if we mould happen to find, that, in other 
countries, there are invariably born three women to one 
man, the conclufion, in regard to that country, mult be, that 
three women to one man was the proportion of one fex to 
the other, impreiled at the creation infemne of our firft parent. 

I confess I am not fond of meddling with the globe 
before the deluge. But as learned men feem inclined to think 
that Ararat and Euphrates are the mountain and river of 
antediluvian times, and that Mefopotamia, or Diarbekir, is 
the ancient fituation of the terreuriai paradife, I cannot give 

N n 2 D r 

: A late publication of-Dr Madati's, little ur.derflood, as it would fe«m. 


Dr Arbuthnot's argument fairer play*, than to tranfport my- 
felf thither ; and, in the fame fpot where the neceflity was 
impofed of male and female being produced in equal num- 
bers, inquire how that cafe Hands now. The pretence that 
climates and times may have changed, the proportion can- 
not be admitted, fince it has been taken for granted, that it 
exifts in the bills of mortality in London, and governs them to 
this day ; and, fince it was founded on neceflity, which muft 
be eternal. 

Now, from a diligent inquiry into the fouth, and fcrip- 
ture-part of Mefopotamia, Armenia, and Syria, from Mouful 
(or Nineveh) to Aleppo and Antioch, I find the proportion to 
be fully two women born to one man. There is indeed a 
fraction over, but not a confiderable one. From Latikea, 
Laodicea ad mare, down the coaft of Syria to Sidon, the num- 
ber is very nearly three, or two and three-fourths to one man. 
Through the Holy Land, the country called Horan, in the 
Ifthmus of Suez, and the parts of the Delta, unfrequented 
by flrangers, it is fomething lefs than three. But, from 
Suez to the ftraits of Babelmandeb, which contains the three 
Arabias, the portion is fully four women to one man, which, 
I have reafon to believe, holds as far as the Line, and 30 
beyond it. 

The Imam of Sana* was not an old man when I was in 
Arabia Felix in 1769; but he had 88 children then alive, of 
whom 14 only were fons.— The prieil of the Nile had 70 and 


' Sovereign of Arabia Felix, whofe capital is Sana, 


odd children ; of whom, as I remember, above 50 were 

It may be objected, that Dr Arbuthnot, in quoting the 
bills of mortality for twenty years, gave moll unexception- 
able grounds for his opinion, and that my fmgle afTertion 
of what happens in a foreign country, without further foun- 
dation, cannot be admitted as equivalent teftimony ; and I 
am ready to admit this objection, as bills of mortality there 
are none in any of thefe countries. I mail therefore fay in 
what manner I attained the knowledge which I have jufl 
mentioned. Whenever I went into a town, village, or in- 
habited place, dwelt long in a mountain, or travelled jour- 
nies with any fet of people, I always' made it my bufinefs 
to inquire how many children they had, or their fathers, 
their next neighbours, or acquaintance. This not being a 
captious queftion, or what any one would fcruple to an- 
fwer, there was no intereft to deceive ; and if it had been 
poflible, that two or three had been fo wrong-headed among 
the whole, it would have been of little confequence. 

I then afked my landlord at Sidon, (fuppofe him a wea- 
ver,) how many children he has had ? He tells me how 
many fons, and how many daughters. The next I afk is a 
fmith, a tailor, a filk-gatherer, the Cadi of the place, a cow- 
herd, a hunter, a fifher, in lhort every man that is not a 
ftranger, from whom I can get proper information. I fay, 
therefore, that a medium of both fexes ariling from three 
or four hundred families indiscriminately taken, mall be 
the proportion in which one differs from the other ; and 
this, I am confident, will give the remit to be three women 



to one man in 50 out of the 90 under every meridian of 
the globe. 

Without giving Mahomet all the credit for abilities 
that fome have done, we may furely fuppofe him to know 
what happened in his own family, where he mull have 
feen this great difproportion of four women born to one 
man ; and from the obvious confequences, we are not to 
wonder that one of his firft cares, when a legiflator, was 
to rectify it, as it flruck at the very root of his empire, 
power, and religion. With this view, he enacted, or rather 
revived, the law which gave liberty to every individual to 
marry four wives, each of whom was to be equal in rank 
and honour, without -my preference but what the predilec- 
tion of the hulband gave her. By this he fecured civil 
rights to each woman, and procured a means of doing a- 
way that reproach, of dying -without ijlie, to which the minds 
of the whole fex have always been fenfible, whatever their 
religion was, or from whatever part of the world they 

Many, who are not converfant with Arabian hiflory, have 
imagined, that this permimon of a plurality of wives was 
given in favour of men, and have taxed one of the moll 
political, neceffary meafures, of that legiflator, arifing from mo- 
tives merely civil, with a tendency to encourage lewdnefs, 
from which it was very far diflant. But, if they had con- 
fidered that the Mahometan law allows divorce without 
any caufi affigned, and that, every day at the pleaiure of the 
man ; befides, that it permits him as many concubines as he 
can maintain, buy with money, take in war, or gain by the 
ordinary means of addrefs and l'olicitations, — they will think 



ftich a man was before fufficiently provided, and that there 
was not the leafl reafon for allowing him to marry four 
wives at a time, when he was already at liberty to marry a 
new one every day. 

DrArbuthnot lays it down as a felf-evident pofuion, 
that four women will have more children by four men, 
than the fame four women would have by one. This aflTer- 
tion may very well be difputed, but ftill it is not in point. 
For the queftion with regard to Arabia, and to a great part 
of the world befides, is, Whether or not four women and 
one man, married, or cohabiting at difcretion, mall produce 
more children, than four women and one man who is de- 
barred from cohabiting with any but one of the four, the 
others dying unmarried without the knowledge of man ? 
or, in other words, Which fhall have moft children, one man 
and one woman, or one man and four women ? This 
queftion I think needs no difcuilion. 

Let us now confider, if there is any further reafon why 
England mould not be brought as an example, which Ara^ 
bia, or the Ealt in general, are to follow. 

Women in England are commonly capable of child-bear- 
ing at fourteen, let the other term be forty-eight, when they 
bear no more ; thirty-four years, therefore, an Englifh wo- 
man bears children. At the age of fourteen or fifteen they 
are objects of our love; they are endeared by-bearing us - 
children after that time, and none I hope will pretend, that, 
at forty-eight and fifty, an Englifh woman is not an agree- 
able companion. Perhaps the Iaft years, to thinking minds, . 
are fully more agreeable than the firft. We grow old toge- - 



ther, we have a near profpect of dying together; nothing can 
prefent a more agreeable picture of focial life, than mono- 
gamy in England. 

The Arab, on the other hand, if flie begins to bear chil- 
dren at eleven, feldom or never has a child after twenty. 
The time then of her child-bearing is nine years, and four 
women, taken altogether •, have then the term of thirty-fix. So 
that the Englifh woman that bears children for thirty-four 
years, has only two years lefs than the term enjoyed by the 
four wives whom Mahomet has allowed; and if it be grant- 
ed an Englifh wife may bear at fifty, the terms are equal. 

But there are other grievous differences. An Arabian 
girl, at eleven years old, by her youth and beauty, is the ob- 
ject of man's defire ; being an infant, however, in under- 
Handing, fhe is not a rational companion for him. A man 
marries there, fay at twenty, and before he is thirty, his wife, 
improved as a companion, ceafes to be an object of his de- 
fires, and a mother of children ; fo that all the beft, and 
moll vigorous of his days, are fpent with a woman he can- 
not love, and with her he would be deflined to live forty, 
or forty-five years, without comfort to himfelf by increafe of 
family, or utility to the public. 

The reafons, then, againft polygamy, which fubfift in 
England, do not by any means fubfift in Arabia ; and that 
being the cafe, it would be unworthy of the wifdom of God, 
and an unevennefs in his ways, which we fhall never fee, 
to fubject two nations, under fuch different circumftances, 
abfolutcly to the fame obfervances. 



I consider the prophecy concerning Ifhmael, and his def- 
cendants the Arabs, as one of the moll extraordinary that 
we meet with in the Old Teftament. It was alfo one of the 
earlieft made, and proceeded upon grounds of private repa- 
ration. Hagar had not finned, though flie had fled from 
Sarah with Ifhmael her fon into the wildernefs. In that 
defert there were then no inhabitants, and though Ifh- 
mael's * fucceinon was incompatible with God's promife to 
Abraham and his fon Ifaac, yet neither Hagar nor he ha- 
ving finned, juftice required a reparation for the heritage 
which he had loft. God gave him that very wildernefs 
which before was the property of no man, in which Ifh- 
mael was to ere<5t a kingdom under the moll improbable 
circumftances poffible to be imagined. His f hand was to 
be againft every man, and every man's hand againft him. 
By his fword he was to live, and pitch his tent in the face of 
his brethren. 

Never has prophecy been fo completely fulfilled. It fub- 
fifted from the earlieft ages ; it was verified before the time 
of Mofes ; in the time of David and Solomon ; it fubfifted in 
the time of Alexander and that of Auguftus Csefar ; it fubfifl- 
ed in the time of Juftinian,— all very diftant, unconnecled 
periods ; and I appeal to the evidence of mankind, if, with- 
out apparent fupport or neceffity, but what it has derived 
from God's promife only, it is not in full vigour at this very 
day. This prophecy alone, in the truth of which all forts of 
Vol. I. o o religions 

* Gen. xv. 1 8. J Gen. xvi. 12. 



religions agree, is therefore of itfelf a fufficient proof, with- 
out other, of the Divine authority of the fcripture. 

Mahomet prohibited all pork, and wine ; two articles 
which rauft have been, before, very little ufed in Arabia. 
Grapes, here, grow in the mountains of Yemen, but never 
arrive at maturity enough for wine. They bring them 
down for this purpofe to Loheia, and there the heat of the 
climate turns the wine fourbefore they can clear it of its faeces 
fo as to make it drinkable ; and we know that, before the 
appearance of Mahomet, Arabia was never a wine country. 
As for fwine, I never heard of them in the peninfula, of 
Arabia, (unlefs perhaps wild in the woods about Sana,) and 
it was from early times inhabited by Jews before the com- 
ing of Mahomet. The only people therefore that ate fwine's 
flefh mull have been Chriftians, and they were a feci: of lit- 
tle account. Many of thefe, however, do not eat pork yet, 
but all of them were, opprefled and defpifed every- where, 
and there was no inducement for any other people to imi- 
tate them. 

Mahomet then prohibiting only what was merely neu- 
tral, or indifferent to the Arabs, indulged them in that to 
which he knew they were prone. 

At the feveral conversations I had with the Englifh mer- 
chants at Jidda, they complained grievoufly of the manner 
in \.-hich they were opprefled by the iherrifFe of Mecca and 
his officers. The duties and fees were increafed every voyage; 
their privileges all taken away, and a moft deflruclive mea- 
fure introduced of forcing them to give prefents, which was 
only an inducement to opprefs, that the gift might be the 



greater. I afked them if I mould obtain from the Bey of 
Cairo permiflion for their mips to come down to Suez, whi- 
ther there were merchants in India who would venture 
to undertake that voyage ? Captain Thornhill promifed, 
for his part, that the very feafon after fuch permiffion 
mould arrive in India, he would difpatch his fhip the Ben- 
gal Merchant, under command of his mate Captain Greig, 
to whofe capacity and worth all his countrymen bore very 
ready teftimony, and of which I myfelf had formed a very 
good opinion, from the feveral converfations we had to- 
gether. This fcheme was concerted between me and Cap- 
tain Thornhill only ; and tho' it mull be confeffed it had 
the appearance of an airy one, (fince it was not to be at- 
tempted, till I had returned through Abyffinia and Nubia, 
againft which there were many thoufand chances,) it was 
executed, notwithstanding, in the very manner in which it 
had been planned, as will be after ftated. 

The kindnefs and attention of my ^countrymen did not 
leave me as long as I was on more. They all did me the 
honour to attend me to the water edge. If others have ex- 
perienced pride and premmption, from gentlemen of the 
Eaft-Indies, I was moll happily exempted from even the ap- 
pearance of it at Jidda. Happy it would have been for me,, 
if I had been more neglected. 

All the quay of Jidda was lined with people to fee the 
Englifh falute, and along with my veffel there parted, at the 
fame time, one bound to Mafuah, which carried Mahomet 
Abd el cader, Governor of Dahalac, over to his government, 

O o 2 Dahalac 



Dahalac * is a large ifland, depending upon Mafuah, but 
which has a feparate firman, or commiffion, renewed every 
two years. This man was a Moor, a fervant of the Naybe 
of Mafuah, and he had been at Jidda to procure his firman 
from Metical Aga, while Mahomet Gibberti was to come 
with me, and was to bring it to the JSfaybe. This Abd el ca- 
der no fooner was arrived at Mafuah, than, following the turn 
of his country for lying, he fpread a report, that a great man, 
or prince, whom he left at Jidda, was coming fpeedily to 
Mafuah ; that he had brought great prefents to the Sherriffe 
and Metical Aga ; that, in return, he had received a large 
fum in gold from the Sherriffe's Vizir, Youfef Cabil; befides 
as much as he pleafed from the Englifh, who had done 
nothing but feafl and regale him for the feveral months he 
had been at Jidda; and that, when he departed, as this great 
man was now going to vint the Imam in Arabia Felix, all 
the Englifh fhips hoifled their colours, and fired their can- 
non from morning to night, for three days fucceflively, 
which was two days after he had failed, and therefore what 
lie could not poflibly have feen. The confequence of all 
this was, the Naybe of Mafuah expected that a man with 
immenfe treafures was coming to put himfelf into his bands. 
I look therefore upon the danger I efcaped there as fuperior 
to all thofe put together, that I have ever been expofed to : 
of fuch material and bad confequence is the moll contemp- 
tible of all weapons, the tongue of a liar and a fool ! 


* The ifland of .the Shepherds. 


Jidda is in lat. 2S o' 1" north, and in long. 39 e 16' 45" 
eaft of the meridian of Greenwich. Our weather there had 
few changes. The general wind was north-weft, or more 
northerly. This blowing along the direction of the Gulf 
-brought a great deal of damp along with it ; and this damp 
increafes as the feafon advances. Once in twelve or four- 
teen days, perhaps, we had a fouth wind, which was always 
dry. The higheft degree of the barometer at Jidda, on the 
5 th of June, wind north, was 26° 6', and the loweft on the 
1 8th of fame month, wind north-weft, was 25 7'. The 
higheft degree of the thermometer was 97 on the 12th of 
July, wind north, the loweft was 78 wind north. 





Sails from Jidda — Konfodah — Ras Hel'i. boundary of Arabia Felix — • 
Arrives at Loheia — Proceeds to the Straits of the Indian Ocean — Ar- 
rives there Returns by Azab to Loheia. 

IT was on the 8th of July 1769 I failed from the harbour 
of Jidda on board the fame veffel as before, and I fuffer- 
ed the Rais to take a fmall loading for his own account, up- 
on condition that he was to carry no paflengers. The wind 
was fair, and we failed through the Englifh fleet at their 
anchors. As they had all honoured me with their regret at 
parting, and accompanied me to the fhore, the Rais was fur- 
prifed to fee the refped paid to his little veffel as it pafTed 
under their huge Herns, every one hoifting his colours, and 
faluting it with eleven guns, except the fliip belonging to 
my Scotch friend, who mewed his colours, indeed, but did 
not fire a gun, only Handing upon deck, cried with the 

trumpet, " Captain wifhes Mr Bruce a good voyage." 

I Hood upon deck, took my trumpet, and anfwered, " Mi- 
Bruce wifhes I aptain a fpeedy and perfed return of 

his underflanding ;" a wifh, poor man, that has not yet 
been accomplifhed, and very much to my regret, it does not 
appear probable that ever it will, That night having pafT- 


ed a clutter of fhoals, called the Shoals of Sana, we anchor- 
ed in a fmall bay, Merfa Gedan, about twelve leagues from 
the harbour of Jidda. 

The 9th of July, we palTed another fmall road called 
Goofs, and at a quarter paft nine, Raghwan, eaft north-eafl 
two miles, and, at a quarter pall ten, the fmall Port of Sodi, 
bearing eaft north-eaft, at the fame diftance. At one and 
three quarters we palTed Markat, two miles diftant north- 
eaft by eaft; and a rock called Numan, two miles diftant to the 
fouth-weft. After this the mountain of Somma, and, at a 
quarter paft fix, we anchored in a fmall unfafe harbour, 
called Merfa Brahim, of which we had feen a very rough and 
incorrect defign in the hands of the gentlemen at Jidda. 
I have endeavoured, with that \ draught before me, to cor- 
rect it fo far that it may now be depended upon. 

The 10th, we failed, at five o'clock in the morning, with 
little wind, our courfe fouth and by weft ; I fuppofe we were 
then going fomething lefs than two knots an hour. At 
half after feven we palled the ifland Abeled, and two other 
fmall mountains that bore about a league fouth-weft and 
by weft of us. The wind frefhened as it approached mid- 
day, fo that at one o'clock we went full three knots an hour, 
being obliged to change our courfe according to the lying 
of the iflands. It came to be about fouth fouth-eaft in the 
end of the day. 

At a quarter after one, we palTed Ras el Afkar, meaning 
the Cape of the Soldiers, or of the Army. Here we faw fome 
. trees, and, at a confiderable diftance within the Main, moun- 
tains to the north-eaft of us. At two o'clock we palTed in 

3 the 


the middle channel, between five fandy iflands, all covered 
with kelp, three on the eaft or right hand, and two on the 
weft. They are called Ghman el Abiad, or the White Gardens, 
I fuppofe from the green herb growing upon the white 
fand. At half after two, with the fame wind, we paffed an 
illand bearing eaft from us, the Main about a league dis- 
tant. At three we paffed clofe to an illand bearing fouth- 
weft of us, about a mile off. It is of a moderate height, 
and is called Jibbel Surreine. At half paft four our courfe was 
fouth-eaft and by fouth; we paffed two iflands to the fouth- 
eaft of us, at two miles^. and a fmaller, weft fouth-weft a 
quarter of a mile diftant. From' this to the Main will be 
about five miles, or fomething more. At fifty minutes after, 
four, came up to an ifland which reached to Konfodah. We 
faw to the weft, and weft fouth-weft of us, different fmall 
iflands, not more than half a mile diftant. We heaved the 
line, and had no foundings at thirty-two fathom, yet, if 
any where, I thought there we were to find fhoal water.. At 
five o'clock, our courfe being fouth-eaft and by fouth, we 
paffed an ifland a quarter of a mile to the weft of us, and 
afterwards a number of others in a row ; and, at half paft 
eight, we arrived at an anchoring-place, but which cannot, 
be called a harbour, named Merfa Hadotu 

The nth, we left Merfa Hadou at four o'clock in the 
morning. Being calm, we made little way; our courfe 
was fouth fouth-eaft, which changed to a little more eaft- 
erly. At fix, we tacked to ftand in for Konfodah harbour, 
which is very remarkable for a high mountain behind it, 
whofe top is terminated by a pyramid or cone of very regu- 
lar proportion. There was no wind to carry us in ; we 
hoifted out the boat which I had bought at Jidda for my 

2 pleafure 


pleafure and fafety, intending it to be a prefent to my Rais 
at parting, as he very well knew. At a quarter pall eight, 
wc were towed to our anchorage in the harbour of Kon- 

Konfodah means the town of the hedge-hog* It is afmall 
village, confifting of about two hundred miferable houfes, 
built with green wood, and covered with mats, made of the 
doom, or palm-tree ; lying on a bay, or rather a mallow bafon, 
in a defert wafte or plain. Behind the town are fmall hil- 
locks of white fand. Nothing grows on more excepting 
kelp, but it is exceedingly beautiful, and very luxuriant ; 
farther in, there are gardens. Fifli is in perfect plenty; but- 
ter and milk in great abundance; even the defert looks 
frefhcr than other deferts, which made me imagine that 
rain fell fometimes here, and this the Emir told me was the 

Although I made a draught of the port, it is not worth 
the publifhing. For though in all probability it was once 
deep, fafe, and convenient, yet there is nothing now but a 
kind of road, under fhelter of a point, or ridge of land, which 
rounds out into the fea, and ends in a Cape, called Ras Mo- 
xeffa. Behind the town there is another fmall Cape, upon 
which there are three guns mounted, but with what h> 
tention it was not pofhble to guefs. 

The Emir Ferhan, governor of the town, was an Abyfli- 

nian flave, who invited me on fliore, and we dined together 

Vol. I. P p on 

Or Porcupine. 


on very excellent provifion, dreffed according to their cuf- 
tom. He faid the country near the fhore was defert, but 
a little within land, or where the roots and gravel had fix- 
ed the fan d, the foil produced every thing, efpecially if they 
had any fhowers of rain. It was fo long fince I had heard 
mention of a fhower of rain, that I could not help laughing, 
and lie feemedto think that he had faidibmething wrong, 
and begged fo politely to know what I laughed at, that I 
was obliged to confefs. " The reafon, faid I, Sir, is an ab- 
furd one. What paffed in my mind at that time was, that 
J had travelled about two thoufand miles, and above twelve 
months, and had neither feen nor heard of a.J7jower of ram. 
till now, and though you will perceive by my converfation 
that I underfland your language well, for a ftranger, yet I 
declare to you, the moment you fpoke it, had you afked, 
what was the Arabic for a mower of rain, I could not have 
told you. I declare to you, upon my word, it was that 
which I laughed at, and upon no other account what- 
ever." " You are going, fays he, to countries where you 
will have rain and wind, fumciently cold, and where the 
water in the mountains is harder than the dry land, and 
people fland upon it *. We have only the remnant of 
their fhowers, and it is to that we owe our greateft happi- 

I was very much pleafed with his converfation. He 
feemed to be near fifty years of age, was exceedingly well 
drefied, had neither gun nor piftol about him, not even a 


* Yemen, or the high land of Arabia Felix, where water freezes, 


knife, nor an Arab fervant armed, though they were all 
well dreffed ; but he had in his court-yard about threefcore 
of the fined horfes I had for a long time feen. We dined, 
juft oppofite to them, in a fmall faloon ftrowed with India 
carpets ; the walls were covered with white tiles, which I 
fuppofe he had got from India ; yet his houfe, without, was 
a very common one, diftinguifhed only from the reft in the 
village by its fize. 

He feemed to have a more rational knowledge of things, 
and fpoke more elegantly than any man I had converfed 
with in Arabia. He faid he had loft the only feven fons he 
had, in one month, by the fmall-pox : And when I at- 
tempted to go away, he wifhed I would ftay with him fome 
time, and faid, that I had better take up my lodgings in 
his houfe, than go on board the boat that night, where I 
was not perfectly in fafety. On my feeming furprifed at 
this, he told me, that laft year, a veffel from Mafcatte, on the 
Indian Ocean, had quarrelled with his people ; that they 
had fought on the fhore, and feveral of the crew had been 
killed ; that they had obftinately cruized in the neighbour- 
hood, in hopes of reprifals, till, by the change of the mon- 
foon, they had loft their paffage home, and fo were necef- 
farily confined to the Red Sea for fix months afterwards ; he 
added, they had four guns, which they called patareroes, 
and that they would certainly cut us off, as they could not 
mifs to fall in with us. This was the very worft news that 
I had ever heard, as to what might happen at fea. Before 
this, we thought all llrangers were our friends, and only 
feared the natives of the coaft for enemies ; now, upon a 
bare defencelefs fhore, we found ourfelves likely to be a 
prey to both natives and ftrangers. 

P p 2 Our 


Our Rais, above all, was feized with a panic ; his country- 
was juft adjoining to Mafcatte upon the Indian Ocean, and 
they were generally at war. He faid he knew well who 
thev were, that there was no country kept in better order 
than Mafcatte ; but that thefe were a fet of pirates, belong- 
ing to the Bahareen ; that their veffels were ftout, full of 
men, who carried incenfe to Jidda, and up as far as Mada- 
gafcar ; that they feared no man, and loved no man, only 
were true to their employers for the time. He imagined (I 
fuppofe it was but imagination,) that he had feen a veffel in 
the morning, (a lug-fail veffel, as the pirate was defcribed to 
be,) and it was with difficulty we could prevail on the Rais not 
to fail back to Jidda. I took my leave of the Emir to return 
to my tent, to hold a confutation what was to be done. 

Konfodah is in the lat. 19 7' North. It is one of the 
moft unwholefome parts on the Red Sea,provifion is very dear 
and bad, and the water, (contrary to what the Emir had 
told me) execrable. Goats neiTi is the only meat, and that 
very dear and lean. The anchorage, from the caftle, bears 
north-weft a quarter of a mile diftant, from ten to feven 
fathoms, in fand and mud. 

On the 14th, our Rais, more afraid of dying by a fever 
than by the hands of the pirates, confented willingly to put 
to fea. The Emir's good dinners had not extended to the 
boat's crew, and they had been upon fhort commons. The 
Rais's fever had returned fince he left Jidda, and I gave him 
fome dofes of bark, after which he foon recovered. But he- 
was always complaining of hunger, which the black flefli 
of an old goat, the Emir had given us, did not fatisfy. 



We failed at fix o'clock in the morning, having firft, by- 
way of precaution, thrown all our ballaft over-board, that 
we might run into fhoal water upon the appearance of the 
enemy. We kept a good look-out toward the horizon all 
around us, efpecially when we failed in the morning. I ob- 
ferved we became all fearlefs, and bold, about noon; but to- 
wards night the panic again feized us, like children that 
are afraid of ghofts ; though at that time we might have 
been fure that all ftranger veffels were at anchor. 

We had little wind, and paffed between various rocks to 
the weftward, continuing our co.urfe S. S. E. nearly, fome- 
what more eafterly, and about three miles diftant from the 
fhore. At four o'clock, noon, we paffed Jibbel Sabeia, a 
fandy ifland, larger than the others, but no higher. To 
this ifland the Arabs of Ras Heli fend their wives and chil- 
dren in time of war; none of the reft are inhabited. At five 
we paffed Ras Heli, which is the boundary between Yemen, 
or Arabia Felix, and the * Hejaz, or province of Mecca, the 
firft belonging to the Imam, or king of Sana, the other to- 
the Sherriffe lately fpoken of. 

I desired my Rais to anchor this night clofe under the 
Cape, as it was perfectly calm and clear, and, by taking a 
mean of five obfervations of the paffage of fo many ftars, the 
moft proper for die purpofe, over the meridian,. I determined 
the latitude of Ras Heli, and confequently the boundary of 


* Arabia Dsferta, 




the two ftates, Hejaz and Yemen, or Arabia Felix and Arabia 
Deferta, to be i8° 36' north. 

The mountains reach here nearer to the fea. We an- 
chored a mile from the more in 15 fathoms, the banks were 
fand and coral ; from this the coaft is better inhabited. 
The principal Arabs to which the country belongs are Co- 
trufhi, Sebahi, Helali, Mauchlota, and Menjahi. Thefe are 
not Arabs by origin, but came from the oppofite coaft near 
Azab, and were Shepherds, who were ftubborn enemies to 
Mahomet, but at laft converted ; they are black, and woolly- 
headed. The mountains and fmall iflands on the coaft, far- 
ther inland to the eaftward, are in poffeflion of the Habib. 
Thefe are white in colour, rebellious, or independent Arabs, 
who pay no fort of obedience to the Imam, or the Sherriffe 
of Mecca, but occafionally plunder the towns on the coaft. 

All the fandy defert at the foot of the mountains is call- 
ed Tehama, which extends to Mocha. But in the maps it is 
marked as a feparate country from Arabia Felix, whereas it 
is but the low part, or fea-coaft of it, and is not a feparate 
jurifdidion. It is called Tema in fcripture, and derives its 
name from Taami in Arabic, which fignifies the fea-coaft. 
There is little water here, as it never rains ; there is alfo no 
animal but the gazel or antelope, and but a few of them. 
There are few birds, and thole which may be found are ge- 
nerally mute. 

The 15th, we failed with little wind, coafting along the 
fhore, fometimes at two miles diftance, and often lefs. The 
mountains now feemed high. I founded feveral times, and 
found no ground at thirty fathoms, within a mile of the 

» fhore. 


more. We pafTed fevcral ports or harbours ; firft Mcrfa Amec, 
where there is good anchorage in eleven fathom of water, 
a mile and a half from the fhore ; at eight o'clock, No- 
houde, with an ifland of the fame name; at ten, a harbour 
and village called Dahaban. As the fky was quite overcaft, 
I could get no obfervation, though I watched very attentive- 
ly. Dahaban is a large village, where there is both water 
and proviiion, but I did not fee its harbour. It bore E. N. E. 
of us about three miles diitant. At three quarters paft 
eleven we came up to a high rock, called Koti/mbal, and I 
lay to, for obfervation. It is of a dark-brown, approaching 
to red ; is about two miles from the Arabian more, and 
produces nothing. I found its latitude to be 17° 57' north. 
A fmall rock ftands up at one end of the bafe of the moun- 

We came to an anchor in the port of Sibt, where I went 
afhore under pretence of feeking provifions, but in reality 
to fee the country, and obferve what fort of people the in- 
habitants were. The mountains from Kotumbal ran in 
an even chain along the coaft, at no great diftance, but of 
iiich a height, that as yet we had feen nothing like them. 
Sibt is too mean, and too fmall to be called a village, even 
in Arabia. It confilts of about fifteen or twenty mifcrablc 
huts, built of ftraw; around it there is a plantation of doom- 
trees, of the leaves of which they make mats and fails, 
which is the whole manufacture of the place. 

Our Rais made many purchafes here. The Cotrufoi, the 
inhabitants of this village, feem to be as brutifh a people 
as any in the world. They are perfectly lean, but mufcu- 
lar, and apparently ftrong; they wear all their own hair, 

\ which 


which they divide upon the crown of their head. It is 
black and bufhy, and, although fufficiently long, feems to 
partake of the woolly quality of the Negro. Their head 
is bound round with a cord or fillet of the doom leaf, like 
the ancient diadem. The women are generally ill-favour- 
ed, and go naked like the men. Thole that are married 
have, for the moft part, a rag about their middle, fome of 
them not that. Girls of all ages go quite naked, but 
feem not to be confcious of any impropriety in their ap- 
pearance. Their lips, eye-brows, and foreheads above the 
eye-brow, are all marked with ftibium, or antimony, the 
common ornament of favages throughout the world. They 
feemed to be perfectly on an equality with the men, walk- 
ed, fat, and fmoked with them, contrary to the pra&ice of 
all women among the Turks and Arabs. 

We found no provifions at Sibt, and the water very bad. 

We returned on board our veffel at fun-fet, and anchored 

in eleven fathom, little lefs than a mile from the more. 

About eight o'clock, two girls, not fifteen, fwam off from 

the fhorc, and came on board. They wanted ftibium for 

their eye-brows. As they had laboured fo hard for it, I gave 

them a fmall quantity, which they tied in a rag about their 

neck. I had killed three marks this day ; one of them, very 

large, was lying on deck. I aiked them if they were not 

afraid of that lifli ? They faid, they knew it, but it would 

not hurt them, and dclired us to eat it, for it was good, 

and made men ftrong. There appeared no fymptoms of 

jealoufy among them. The harbour of Sibt is of a femi- 

circular form, fcreened between N. N. F.. and S. S. W. but 

to the foutli, and fouth weft, it is exoofed, and therefore is 

good only in fummei\ 

4 The 


The 1 6th, at five in the morning, we failed from the port 
of Sibt, but, the wind being contrary, were obliged to fteer 
to the W. S. W. and it was not till nine o'clock we could 
re fume our true courfc, which was fouth-eaft. At half 
pall four in the afternoon the main bore feven miles eaft, 
when we paffed an ifland a quarter of a mile in length, 
called Jibbd Foran, the Mountain of Mice. It is of a rocky 
quality, with fome trees on the fouth end, thence it rifes 
infenlibly, and ends in a precipice on the north. At fix, 
we paffed the ifland * Derege, low and covered with grafs, 
but round like a fhield, which is the reafon of its name. 
At half paft fix Ras Tarfa bore E. S. E. of us, diftant about 
two miles ; and at three quarters after fix we paffed feve- 
ral other iflands, the largeft of which is called Saraffer. It is 
covered with grafs, has fmall trees upon it, and, probably, 
therefore water, but is uninhabited. At nine in the even- 
ing we anchored before Djezan. 

Djezan is in lat. 16 45' north, fituated on a cape, 
which forms one fide of a large bay. It is built, as are all 
the towns on the coafl, with ftraw and mud. It was once 
a very confiderable place for trade, but fince coffee hath 
been fo much in demand, of which they have none, that 
commerce is moved to Loheia and Hodeida. It is an ufur- 
pation from the territory of the Imam, by a Sherriffe of the 
family of Beni Haffan, called BooariJJj. The inhabitants are 
all Sherriffes, in other terms, troublefome, ignorant fanatics. 
Djezan is one of the towns mod fubjecT: to fevers. The 
Vol. I. Q^q Faren- 

/, *, from that worj -in Hebrew. 


Farenteit *, or worm, is very frequent here. They have 
great abundance of excellent fifh, and fruit in plenty, which 
is brought from the mountains, whence alfo they are fup- 
plied with very good water, 

The 17th, in the evening, we failed from Djezan; in the 
night we paffed feveral fmall villages called Dueime, which 
I found to be in lat. 16 12' 5" north. In the morning, be- 
ing three miles diflant from the more, we palled Cape Cof- 
ferah, which forms the north fide of a large Gulf. The- 
mountains here are at no great diftance, but they are not . 
high. The whole country feems perfectly bare and defert, 
without inhabitants. It is reported to be the moft unwhole- 
fome part of Arabia Felix. 

On the iSth, at feven in the morning, we firft difcovered 
the mountains, under which lies the town of Loheia. Thefe 
mountains bore north north-ealt of us, when anchored in 
three- fathom water, about five miles from the more. The 
bay is fo fhallow, and the tide being at ebb, we could get 
no nearer ; the town bore eaft north-eaft of us. Loheia is 
built upon the fouth-weft fide of a peninfula, furrounded 
every where, but on the eaft, by the fea. In the middle of 
this neck there is a fmall mountain which ferves for a for- 
trefs, and there are towers with cannon, which reach acrofs 
on each fide of the hill to the more. Beyond this is a plain, 
where the Arabs intending to attack the town, generally 
affemble. The ground upon which Loheia Hands is black 


* It figiu&s Pharaoh's worm. 


■earth, and fecms to have been formed by the retiring of the 
fea. At Loheia we had a very uneafy fenfation, a kind of 
prickling came into our legs, which were bare, occafion- 
cd by the fait effluvia, or fleams, from the earth, which all 
about the town, and further to the fouth, is flrongiy impreg- 
nated with that mineral. 

Fish, and butcher meat, and indeed all forts of provi- 
fion, are plentiful and reafonable at Loheia, but the water 
is bad. It is found in the fand at the foot of the mountains, 
down the fides of which it has fallen in the time of the rain, 
and is brought to the town in fkins upon camels. There is 
alfo plenty of fruit brought from the mountains by the 
Bedowe, who live in the fkirts of the town, and fupply it 
with milk, firewood, and fruit, chiefly grapes and bananas, 

The government of the Imam is much more gentle 
than any Moorifh government in Arabia or Africa; the 
people too are of gentler manners,, the men, from early 
ages, being accuftomed to trade. The women at Loheia are 
as folicitous to pleafe as thofe of the moll polifhed nations 
in Europe ; and, though very retired, whether married or 
unmarried, they are not lefs careful of their drefs and 
perfons. At home they wear nothing but a long fliift of 
line cotton-cloth, fuitable to their quality. They dye their 
feet and hands with * henna, not only for ornament, but 
as an aftringent, to keep them dry from fweat : they 
wear their own hair, which is plaited, and falls in long tails 

Qji 2 The 

' * Lvguftrum ^Egyptiacum Lstifolium. 


The Arabians confider long and flraight hair as beauth. - 
'full The Abymnians prefer the fhort and curled. The 
Arabians perfume themfelves and their fhifts with a com*- 
pofition of mufk, ambergreafe, incenfe, and benjoin, which 
they, mix with the marp horny nails that are at the extre- 
mity of the fifh furrumbac ; but why.this ingredient is added 
I know not, as the fmell of it, when burnt, does not at all 
differ from that of horn. They put all thefe ingredients into 
a kind of cenfer on charcoal, and ftand over the fmoke of 
it. The fmell is very agreeable ; but, in Europe, it would 
be a very expenfive article of luxury. , 

The Arab women are not black, there are even fome ex- - 
ceedingly fair. They are more corpulent than the men, 
but are not much efteemed.--The Abyflinian girls : , who 
are bought for money, are greatly preferred ; among other 
reafons, becaufe their time of bearing children is longer; 
few Arabian women have children after ,the age of twenty. 

At Loheia we received a- letter from Mahomet Gibberti, 
telling us, that it would yet be ten days before he could 
join us, and defiring us to be ready by that time. This hur- 
ried us extremely, for we were much afraid we mould not 
have time to fee the remaining part of the Arabian Gulf, to 
where, it joins, with the Indian Ocean. 

On the 2 7th,. in the .evening, we parted from Loheia, but 
were obliged to tow the boat out. About nine, we anchor- 
ed between an ifland called Ormook, and the land ; about 
eleven we fet fail with a wind.' at north-eait, and palled a 
.duller of iflands on our left. 



•Ar , V )r/// • '/o/'f/.j// '. 

Zand "i /'uitt//i</ /Av'/.''/7/.y ,bp 6 'Jtotauon. ,v to . 


The 28th, at five o'clock in the morning, we faw the 
fmall illand of Rafab ; at a quarter after fix \vc palled be- 
tween it and a: large illand called Camanan, where there is 
a Turkiih garrifon and town, and plenty of good water. 
At twelve we palled a low round illand, which feemed to 
confilt of white fand. The weather being cloudy, I could 
get no obfervation. At one o'clock-we were off Cape Ifrael. 

As the weather was fair, and the wind due north and 
Heady, though little. of it, my Rais laid that w^e had better 
ftretch over to Azab, than run along the coaft in the direc- 
tion we were now? going, becaufe, fomewhere between Ho- 
deida and Cape Nummel, there was foul ground, with which 
he mould not like to engage in the night. Nothing could 
be more agreeable to me. For, though I knew the people 
of Azab were not to be fruited, yet there were two things 
I thought I might accomplifh, by being on my guard. The 
one was, to learn what thofe ruins were thatT had heard 
fo much fpoken of in Egypt and at Jidda, and which are 
fuppofed to have been works of the Queen of Shcba,whofe 
country this was. The other was, to obtain the myrrh and 
frankincenfe-tree, which grow upon that coaft only, but 
neither of which had as yet been defcribed by any author. - 

At four o'clock we pane d a dangerous fh'oal, which is 
the one I fuppofe our Rais was afraid of If fo,he could not 
have adopted a worfe meafure, than by ftretching over from 
Cape Ifrael to Azab in the night; for, had the wind come 
weiterly, as it foon after did, we mould have probably been 
on the bank ; as it was, we palled it fomething lefs than a 
mile, the wind was north, and we were going at a great 
rate. At fun^fet we faw Jibbel Zekir, with three fmr.M 



illands, on the north fide of it. At twelve at night the 
wind failing, we found ourfelves about a league from the 
weft end of Jibbel Zekir, but it then began to blow frefh 
from the weft; fo that the Rais begged liberty to abandon 
the voyage to Azab, and to keep our firft intended one to 
Mocha. For my part, I had no defire at all to land at Mocha. 
Mr Niebuhr had already been there before us ; and I was 
fure every ufeful observation had been made as to the coun- 
try, for he had ftaid there a very considerable time, and was 
ill ufed. We kept our courfe, however, upon Mocha town. 

The 29th, about two o'clock in the morning, we paned 
fix illands, called Jibbel el Ouree ; and having but indiffer- 
ent wind, we anchored about nine off the point of the Ihoal, 
which lies immediately eaft of the north fort of Mocha. 

The town of Mocha makes an agreeable appearance 
from the fea. Behind it there is a grove of palm-trees, that 
-do not feem to have the beauty of thofe in Egypt, probably 
owing to their being expofed to the violent fouth-wefters 
that blow here, and make it very uneafy riding for veftels ; 
there is, however, very feldom any damage done. The port 
is formed by two points of land, which make a femi-circle. 
Upon each of the points is a fmall fort ; the town is in the 
middle, and if attacked by an enemy, thefe two forts are fo 
detached that they might be made of more ufe to annoy the 
town, than they could ever be to defend the harbour. The 
ground for anchorage is of the very belt kind, fand without 
coral, which laft chafes the cables all over the Red Sea. 

On the 30th, at feven o'clock in the morning, with a gen- 
tle but Heady wind at weft, we failed for the mouth of the 



Indian Ocean. Our Rais became more lively and bolder as 
he approached his own coaft, and offered to carry me for 
nothing, if I would go home with him to Sheher, but I had 
already enough upon my hand. It is, however, a voyage 
fome man of knowledge and enterprife mould attempt, as the 
country and the manners of the people are very little known. 
But this far is certain, that there all the precious gums 
grow ; all the drugs of the galenical fchool, the frankincenfe, 
myrrh, benjoin, dragons-blood, and a multitude of others, 
the natural hiftory of which no one has yet given us. 

The coaft of Arabia, all along from Mocha to the Straits, 
is a bold coaft, clofe to which you may run without danger 
night or day. We continued our courfe within a mile of 
the more, where in fome places there appeared to be fmall 
woods, in others a flat bare country, bounded with moun- 
tains at a confiderable diftance. Our wind frefhened as we 
advanced. About four in the afternoon we faw the moun- 
tain which forms one of the Capes of the Straits of Babcl- 
mandcb, in fhape refembling a gunner's quoin. About fix 
o'clock, for what reafon I did not know, our Rais infill- 
ed upon anchoring for the night behind a fmall point. I . 
thought, at firft, it had been for pilots, .. 

The 31ft, at nine in the morning, wexame to-an anchor r 
above Jibbel Raban, or Pilots Ifland, jufl under the Cape 
which, on the Arabian fide, forms the north entrance of the 
Straits. We now faw a fmall veilel enter a round harbour, 
divided from us by the Cape. The Rais faid he had a de- 
iign to have anchored there laft night; but as it was trouble- 
ibme to get out in the morning by the wefterly wind, 
he intended to run over to Perim ifland to pafs the night, 

% and 


and give us an opportunity to make what obfervations we 
pleafed in quiet. 

"We caught here a prodigious quantity of the finefl fifh 
that I had ever before feen, but the filly Rais greatly trou- 
bled our enjoyment, by telling us, that many of the fifh in 
that part were poifonous. Several of our people took the 
alarm, and abftained ; the rule I made ufe of in choofing 
mine, was to take ail thofe that were likefl the fifh of our 
own northern feas, nor had' I ever any reafon to complain. 

At noon, I made an obfervation of the fun, juft under 
the Cape of the Arabian more, with a Hadley's quadrant, 
and found it to be in lat. 12 38' 30", but by many paflages 
of the flars, obferved by my large aflronomical quadrant 
in the ifland of Perim, all dedu&ions made, I found the 
vrue latitude of the Cape mould be rather 1 2 39' 20" north. 

Peium is a low ifland, its harbour good, fronting the 

Abyffinian more. It is a barren, bare rock, producing, 011 

fome parts of it, plants of abfynthium, or rue, in others kelp, 

that did not feem to thrive ; it was at this time perfectly 

{torched by the heat of the fun, and had only a very faint 

appearance of having ever vegetated. The ifland itfelf 

is about five miles in length, perhaps more, and about 

•two miles in breadth. It becomes narrower at both 

ends. Ever fmce we anchored at the Cape, it had begun to 

blow ftrongly from the weft, which gave our Rais great 

apprehenfion, as, he laid, the wind fumetimes continued in 

that point for fifteen days together. This alarmed me not 

a little, leaft, by miffing Mahomet Gibberti, we mould lofe 

£>ur vovare. We had rice and butter, honey and flour, 

2 The 


The fea afforded us plenty of fifli, and I had no doubt but 
hunger would get the better of our fears of being poilbn- 
ed : with water we were likewife pretty well fupplied, but 
all this was rendered ufelefs by our being deprived of lire. 
In Ihort, though we could have killed twenty turtles a-day, 
all we could get to make lire of, were the rotten dry roots of 
the rue that we pulled from the clefts of the rock, which, 
with much ado, ierved to make fire for boiling our coffee. 

The 1 ft of Auguft we ate drammock, made with cold 
water and raw flour, mixed with butter and honey, but we 
foon found this would not do, though I never was hungry, 
in my life, with To much good provifion about me ; for, 
befides the articles already fpoken of, we had two fkins of 
wine from Loheia, and a fmall jar of brandy, which I had 
kept exprefsly for a feaft, to drink the King's health on ar- 
riving in his dominions, the Indian Ocean. I therefore pro- 
pofed, that, leaving the Rais on board, myfelf and two men 
mould crofs over to the fouth fide, to try if we could get 
any wood in the kingdom of Adel. This, however, did not 
pleafe my companions. We were much nearer the Arabian 
ihore, and the Rais had obferved fevcral people on land, 
who feemed to be fifliers. 

If the AbyfTmian more was bad by its being defert, the 
danger of the Arabian fide was, that we fhould fall into the 
hands of thieves. But the fear of wanting, even coffee, 
was fo prevalent, and the repetition of the drammock dofe 
{o difgufling, that we refolved to take a boat in the even- 
ing, with two men armed, and fpeak to the people we had 
feen. Here again the Rais's heart failed him. He faid 
the inhabitants on that coaft had fire-arms as well as we, 

Vol, I. R r and 


and they could bring a million together, if they wanted 
them, in a moment ; therefore we fhould forfake Perim 
ifland for the time, and, without hoifting in the boat, till 
we faw further, run with the veflel clofe to the Arabian 
more. There, it was conceived, armed as we were, with 
ammunition in plenty, we mould be able to defend our- 
felves, if thofe we had feen were pirates, of which I had not 
any fufpicion, as they had been eight hours in our fight,, 
without having made one movement nearer us ; but I was 
the only perfon on board that was of that opinion. 

Upon attempting to get our veffel out, we found the 
wind ftrong againft us ; fo that we were obliged, with great 
difficulty and danger, to tow her round the weft point, at 
the expence of many hard knocks, which fhe got by the 
way. During this operation, the wind had calmed confi- 
derably; my quadrant, and every thing was on board; all our 
arms, new charged and primed, were laid, covered with 
a cloth, in the cabbin, when we found happily that 'the wind 
became due eaft, and with the wind our refolution chan- 
ged. We were but twenty leagues to Mocha, and not a- 
bove twenty-fix from Azab, and we thought it better, 
rather to get on our return to Loheia, than to ftay and 
live upon drammock, or fight with the pirates for firewood. 
About fix o'clock, we were under weigh. The wind be- 
ing perfectly fair, we carried as much fail as our veffel 
would bear, indeed, till her mafls nodded again. But be- 
fore we begin the account of our return, it will be neceflary 
to fay fomething of thefe famous Straits, the commu- 
nication between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. 

a. This 


This entrance begins to fhew itfelf, or take a fhape be- 
tween two capes ; the one on the continent of Africa, the 
other on the peninfula of Arabia. That on the African fide 
is a high land, or cape, formed by a chain of mountains, 
which run out in a point far into the fea. The Portuguefe, 
or Venetians, the firft Chriftian traders in thofe parts, have 
called it Gardefui, which has no fignification in any language. 
But, in that of the country where it is fituated, it is called 
Gardefa/i, and means the Straits of Burial, the reafon of which 
will be feen afterwards. The oppofite cape is Fartack, on 
the eait coaft of Arabia Felix, and the diilance between them, 
in a line drawn acrofs from one to another, not above fifty 
leagues. The breadth between thefe two lands diminifhes 
gradually for about 150 leagues, till at laft it ends in the 
Straits, whofe breadth does not feem to me to be above fix 

After getting within the Straits, the channel is divided 
into two, by the iiland of Perim, otherwife called Mehun. The 
inmoft and northern channel, or that towards the Arabian 
ihore, is two leagues broad at moll, and from twelve to 
feventeen fathom of water. The other entry is three leagues 
broad, with deep water, from twenty to thirty fathom. From 
this, the coait oh both fides runs nearly in a north-weft di- 
rection, widening as it advances, and the Indian Ocean grows 
ftraiter. The coaft upon the left hand is part of the king- 
dom of Adel, and, on the right, that of Arabia Felix. The. 
paffage on the Arabian fhore, though the narrowed and fhal- 
loweft of the two, is that moil frequently failed through, 
and efpecially in the night ; becaufe, if you do not round 
the fouth-point of the iiland, as near as poilible, in attempt- 
ing to enter the broad one, but are going large with the 

R r 2 wind 



wind favourable, you fall in with a great number of low - 
imail iilands, where there is danger. At ten o'clock, with 
the wind fair, our -comic altnoft north-eaft, we palled three 
rocky iilands about a mile on our left. 

On the 2d, at fun-rife, we faw land a-head, which we 
took to be the Main, but, upon nearer approach, and the day 
becoming clearer, we found two low iilands to the leeward ; 
one of which we fetched with great difficulty. We found- 
there the ftock of an old acacia-tree, and two or three bundles 
of wreck, or rotten fticks, which we gathered with great 
care ; and all of us agreed, we would eat breakfaft, dinner, 
and fupper hot, inftead of the cold repafl we had made up- 
on the drammock in the Straits. We now made fevcral 
large fires ; one took the charge of the coffee, another boil- 
ed the rice; we killed four turtles, made ready a dolphin ; 
got beer, wine, and brandy, and drank the King's health in 
earneft, which our regimen would not allow us to do in 
the Straits of Babelmandeb. While this good chear was 
preparing, I faw with my glafs, firft one man running along 
the coaft weftward, who did not ftop ; about a. quarter of an 
hour after, another upon a camel, walking at the ordinary 
pace, who difmounted juft oppofite to us, and, as I thought, 
kneeled down to fay his prayers upon the fand. We had 
launched our boat immediately upon feeing the trunk of 
the tree on the ifland; fo we were ready, and I ordered two 
of the men to row me on fhore, which they did. 

It is a bay of but ordinary depth, with ftraggling trees, 
and fome flat ground along the coaft. Immediately behind 
is a row of mountains of a brownifh or black colour. The 
man remained modonlefs, fitting on the ground, till the 



fo'oat was amore, when I jumped out upon the fan J, being 
armed with a fhort double-barrelled gun, a pair of piilols, 
and a crooked knife. As foon as the lavage law me amore, 
he made the bell; of his way to his camel, and got upon his- 
back, but did not offer to go away. 

I sat down on the ground, after taking the white tur- 
ban off my head, and waving it fevcral times in token of 
peace, and feeing that he did not ftir,T advanced to him a- 
bout a hundred yards. Still he flood, and after again wav- 
ing to him with my hands, as inviting him to approach, 1 
made a iign as if 1 was returning to the more. Upon fee- 
ing this, he advanced feveral paces, and flopt. I then laid 
my gun down upon the land, thinking that had frightened 
him, and walked up as near him as he would fufFer me ; 
that is, till I law he was preparing to go away. I then wav- 
ed my turban, and cried, Salam, Salam: He Haiti till I was 
within ten yards of him. He was quite naked, was black, 
and had a fillet upon his head, either of a black or blue rag, 
and bracelets of white beads upon both his arms. He ap- 
peared as undetermined what to do. I fpoke as diitinctly 
to him as I could, Salam, Allcum. — He anfwered fome thing 
like Salam, but what it was I know not. I am, faid I, a 
flranger from India, who came laft from Tajoura in the bay 
of Zeyla, in the kingdom of Adel. He nodded his head, and . 
faid fomething in an unknown language, in which I heard 
the repetition of Tajoura and Adel. I told him I wanted 
water, and made a fign of drinking. He pointed up the 
coaft to the eaftward, and faid, Rahecda, then made a iign of 
drinking, and faid Tybe. I now found that be underftood me, 
and afked him. where Azab was ? he pointed to a mountain 




jufl before him, and faid, Eh owah Azab Tybe, flill with a 
reprefcntation of drinking. 

I debated with myfelf, whether I mould not take this 
favage prifoner. He had three fliort javelins in his hand, 
and was mounted upon a camel. I was on foot, and above 
the ancles in fand, with only two piflols, which, whether 
they would terrify him to furrender or not, I did not know ; 
I mould, otherwife, have been obliged to have fliot him, 
and this" I did not intend. After having invited him as cour- 
teoufly as I could, to the boat, I walked towards it my- 
felf, and, in the way, took up my firelock, which was ly- 
ing hid among the fand. I faw he did not follow me a flep, 
but when I had taken the gun from the ground, he fet off 
at a trot as fafl as he could, to the weftward, and we prefent- 
ly loft him among the trees. 

I returned to the boat, and then to dinner on the ifland, 
which we named Traitor's Ifland, from the fufpicious beha- 
viour of that only man we had feen near it. This excurfion 
loll me the time of making my obfervation ; all the ufe I 
made of it was to gather fome flicks and camel's dung, 
which I heaped up, and made the men carry to the boat, to 
ferve us for firing, if we mould be detained. The wind was 
very fair, and we got under weigh by two o'clock. 

About four we paffed a rocky ifland with breakers on its 
fouth end, we left it about a mile to the windward of us. 
The Rais called it Crab-ifland. About five o'clock we came 
to an anchor clofe to a cape of no height, in a finall bay, 
in three fathom of water, and leaving a fmall ifland jufl on 
pur flern. We had not anchored here above ten minutes, 



before an old man and a boy came down to us. As they 
had no arms, I went afhore, and bought a fkin of water. 
The old man had a very thievifh appearance, was quite na- 
ked, and laughed or fmiled at every word he faid. He fpoke 
Arabic, but very badly ; told me there was great plenty of 
every thing in the country whither he would carry me. He 
faid, moreover, that there was a king there, and a people that, 
loved ftrangers. 

The murder of the boat's crew of the Elgin Eaft-India- 
man, in that very fpot where he was then fitting and praif- 
ing his countrymen, came prefently into my mind. I 
found my hand involuntarily take hold of my piftol, and I 
was, for the only time in my life, ftrongly tempted to com- 
mit murder. I thought I faw in the looks of that old vag- 
rant, one of thofe who had butchered fo many Englifhmen 
in cold blood.. 

From his readinefs to come down, and being fo near 
the place, it was next to impoflible that he was not one of 
the party. A little reflection, however, faved his life; 
and I afked him if he could fell us a fheep, when he faid 
they were coming. Thefe words put me on my guard, 
as I did not know how many people might accompany 
them. I therefore delired him to bring me the water to the 
boat, which the boy accordingly did, and we paid him, in 
cohol, or flibium, to his wifhes. 

Immediately upon this I ordered them to put the boat 
afloat, demanding, all the time, where were the fheep ? A 
few minutes afterwards, four ftout young men came down, 
dragging after them two lean goa.ts, which the old man 



maintained to me were fheep. Each man had three light 
javelins in his hand, and they began to wrangle exceeding- 
ly about the animals, whether they were Iheep or goats, 
though they did not feem to underftand one word of our 
language, but the words peep and goat in Arabic. In five 
minutes after, their number increafed toeleven, and I thought 
it was then full time for me to go on board, for every one of 
them feemed, by his difcourfe and geftures, to be violently 
agitated, but what they faid I could not comprehend. I drew 
to the fhore, and then put myfelf on board as foon as poffi- 
ble. They feemed to keep at a certain diflance, crying out 
Belled, helled I and pointing to the land, invited me to come 
aihore ; the old hypocrite alone feemed to have no fear, but 
followed me clofe to the boat. I then refolved to have a free 
difcourfe with him. " There is no need, faid I to the old 
man, to fend for thirteen men to bring two goats. Wc 
bought the water from people that had no lances, and we 
can do without the fheep, though we could not want the 
water, therefore, every man that has a lance in his hand 
let him go away from me, or I will fire upon him." 

They feemed to take no fort of notice of this, and came 
rather nearer. " You old-grey headed traitor, faid I, do 
you think I don't know what you want, by inviting me on 
fhore ; let all thofe about you with arms go home about 
their bufmefs, or I will in a minute blow them all off the 
face of the earth. He then jumped up, with rather more 
agility than his age feemed to promifc, and went to where 
the others were fitting in a clutter, and after a little con- 
verfation the whole of them retired. 



The old fellow and the boy now came down without 
fear to the boat, when I gave them tobacco, fome beads, and 
antimony, and did every thing to gain the father's confidence. 
But he ftill fmiled and laughed, and I faw clearly he had taken 
his refolution. The whole burden of his fong was, to per- 
fuade me to come on more, and he mentioned every induce- 
ment, and all the kindnefs that he would mew me. " It 
is fit, you old rogue, faid I, that, now your life is in my 
hands, you fhould know how much better men there are 
in the world than you. They were my countrymen, eleven 
or twelve of whom you murdered about three years ago, 
in the very place where you are now fitting, and though I 
could have killed the fame number to-day, without any 
danger to myfelf, I have not only let them go away, but 
have bought and fold with you, and given youprefents, when, 
according to your own law, I mould have killed both you 
and your fon. Now do not imagine, knowing what I know, 
that ever you fhall decoy me afhore ; but if you will bring 
me a branch of the myrrh tree, and of the incenfe tree to- 
morrow, I will give you two fonduclis for each of them." 
He faid, he would do it that night. " The fooner the bet- 
ter, faid I, for it is now becoming dark." Upon this he fent 
away his boy, who in lefs than a quarter of an hour came 
back with a branch in his hand. 

Icould not contain my joy, I ordered the boat to be drawn 
upon the fliore, and went out to receive it ; but, to my great 
difappointment, I found that it was a branch of Acacia, 
or Sunt, which we had every where met with in Egypt, Sy- 
ria, and Arabia. I told him, this was of no ufe, repeating 
the word Gerar, Saiel, Sunt. He anfwered Eh owah Saiel; but 
being afked for the myrrh (mour), he faid it was far up 

Vol. I S f in 



in the mountains, but would bring it to me if I would go 
to the town. Providence, however, had dealt more kindly 
with us in the moment than we expected. For, upon go- 
ing afhore out of eagernefs to get the myrrh, I faw, not a 
quarter of a mile from us, fitting among the trees, at leafl 
thirty men, armed with javelins, who all got up the mo- 
ment they faw me landed. I called to the boatmen to fet 
the boat afloat, which they immediately did, and I got 
quickly on board, near up to the middle in water ; but as 
I went by the old man, I gave him fo violent a blow upon 
the face with the thorny branch in my hand, that it felled 
him to the ground. The boy fled, and we rowed off; but 
before we took leave of thefe traitors, we gave them a dif- 
charge of three blunderbufles loaded with piflol-fhot, in 
the direction where, in all probability, they were lying to 
fee the boat go off. 

I directed the Rais to Hand out towards Crab-ifland, 
and there being a gentle breeze from the fhore, carrying 
an eafv fail, we flood over upon Mocha town, to avoid fomc 
rocks or iilands, which he faid were to the wcflward. 
While lying at Crab-ifland, I obferved two flars pafs the 
meridian, and by them I concluded the latitude of that 
ifland to be if 2 '45" North. 

The wind continuing moderate, but more to the fouth- 
ward, at three o'clock in the morning of the $d, we paffed 
Jibbel el Ouree, then Jibbel Zekir; and having a fleady 
gale, with fair and moderate weather, pafling to the wefl- 
ward of the ifland Rafab, between that and fomc other 
iilands to the north-eaft, where the wind turned contrary, 
1 .' arrived at Lolieia, the 6th, in the morning, being the 



third day from the time we quitted Azab. We found every 
thing well on our arrival at Loheia ; but no word of Ma- 
homet Gibberti, and I began now to be uneafy. The rains 
in Abyflinia were to ceafe the 6th of next month, Septem- 
ber, and then was the proper time for our journey to Gon- 

The only money in the country of the * Imam, is a fmall 
piece lefs than a iixpence, and by this the value of all the 
different denominations of foreign coin is afcertained. It 
has four names, Commefh, Loubia, Muchfota, and Harf, but 
the fh-ft two of thefe are molt commonly ufed. 

This money is very bafe adulterated fdver, if indeed 
there is any in it. It has the appearance of pewter ; on the 
one fide is written Olmafs, the name of the Imam ; on the o- 
ther, Emir el Moumcneen, Prince of the Faithful, or True Be- 
lievers ; a title, firfl taken by Omar after the death of Abou 
Beer ; and fince, borne by all the legitimate Caliphs. There 
are likewife Half-commeflies, and thefe are the fmallcft 
fpecie current in Yemen. 


I FONDUCLI, -------- Jjo 

I BARBARY SEQUIN, ----- go | 


When the Indian merchants or vefTels are here, the fon- 
dueli is raifed three eommemes more, though all fpecie is 

S f 2 fcarce 

Arabia Felix, or Yemen. 

3 2 4 


fcarce in the Imam's country, notwithflanding the quantity 
continually brought hither for coffee, in filver patakas, that 
is, dollars, which is the coin in which purchafes of any 
amount are paid. When they are to be changed into com- 
meflies, the changer or broker gives you but 39 inftead of 
40, fo he gains %L per cent, for all money he changes, that is, 
by giving bad coin for good. 

The long meafure in Yemen is the peek of Stamboul, as 
they call it ; but, upon meafuring it with a flandard of a 
Stamboul peek, upon a brafs rod made on purpofe, I found 
it 26! inches, which is neither the Stambouline peek, the 
Hendaizy peek, nor the el Belledy peek. The peek of Stam- 
boul is 23} inches, fo this of Loheia is a diftinc~t peek, which 
may be called *Yemani. 

The weights of Loheia are the rotolo, which are of two 
forts, one of 140 drachms, and ufed in felling fine, the other 
160 drachms, for ordinary and coarfer goods. This laft is 
divided into 16 ounces, each ounce into 10 drachms ; 100 of 
thefe rotolos are a kantar, or quintal. The quintal of Yemen, 
carried to Cairo or Jidda, is 1 1 3 rotolo, becaufe the rotolo of 
thefe places is 144 drachms. Their weights appear to be of 
Italian origin, and were probably brought hither when the 
Venetians carried on this trade. There is another weight, 
called furanzala, which I take to be the native one of the 
country. It is equal to 20 rotolo, of 160 drachms each. 


* That is, the Peek of Arabia Felix, or Yemen. 


The cuftoras, which at Mocha are three per cent, upon In- 
dia goods, are five here, when brought directly from India ; 
but all goods whatever, brought from Jidda by merchants, 
whether Turks or natives, pay feven per cent, at Loheia. 

Loheia is in lat. i5°4o' 52" north, and in long. 42 58-' 15" 
eaft of the meridian of Greenwich. — The barometer, at its 
higheft on the 7th day of Augud, was 26 9', and its lowed 
26° 1', on the 30th of July. — The thermometer, when at its 
higheft, was 99 on the 30th of the fame month, wind nonh- 
ead ; and its lowed was 8 1° on the 9th of Augud, wind fouth 
by ead. 

On the 3 id of Augud, at four o'clock in the morning, 
I faw a comet for the fird time. The head of it was fcarce- 
ly vifible in the telefcope, that is, its precife form, which 
was a pale indidincl: luminous body, whofe edges were not 
at all defined. Its tail extended full 20 . It feemed to be 
a very thin vapour, for through it I didinguifhed feveral 
dars of the fifth magnitude, which feemed to be increafed 
in fize. The end of its tail had lod all its fiery colour, and 
was very thin and white. I could didinguifh no nucleus, 
nor any part that feemed redder or deeper than the red ; 
for all was a dim-ill-defined fpot. At 4 hrs ' 1/ 24", on the 
morning of the 3 id, it was didant 20 40.' from Rigel ; its 
tail extended to three dars in Eridanus. 

The id of September Mahomet Gibberti arrived, bring- 
ing with him the firman for the Naybe of Mafuah, and let- 
ters from Metical Aga to *Ras Michael. He alfo brought 

a letter 

* Governor of the Province of Tigre in Abyjlinia., 


a letter to me, and another to Achmet, the Naybe's nephew, 
and future fucceflbr, from Sidi Ali Zimzimia, that is, ' the 
keeper of IfhmaeFs well at Mecca, called Zim-zim? In this 
letter, Sidi Ali defires me to put little truft in the Naybe, but 
to keep no fecret from Achmet his nephew, who would cer- 
tainly be my friend. 

5 ^ = - ^ffig 





Sails for Mafuah — Paffes a Volcano — Comes to Dahalac— Troubled with 
a Chojl — Arrives at Mafuah. 

AL L being prepared for our departure, we failed from 
Loheia on the 3d of September 1 769, but the wind 
failing, we were obliged to warp the veflel out upon her an- 
chors. The harbour of Loheia, which is by much the largeft. 
in the Red Sea, is now fo mallow, and choked up, that, 
unlefs by a narrow canal through which we enter and go 
out, there is no where three fathom of Avater, and in many 
places not half that depth. This is the cafe with all the 
harbours on the eaft-coaft of the Red Sea, while thofe on 
the weft are deep, without any banks or bars before them, 
which is probably owing, as I have already faid, to the vio- 
lence of the north-weft winds, the only conftant ftrong winds 
to be met with in this Gulf. Thefe occafion ftrong cur- 
rents to fet in upon the caft-coaft, and heap up the land and. 
gravel which is blown in from Arabia. 

All next day, the 4th, we were employed at warping out 
our veiiel againft a contrary wind. The jih, at three quar- 
ters pail live in the morning, we got under fail with little 



wind. At half pall nine, Loheia bore eall north-eaft about 
four leagues diftant ; and here we came in light of feveral 
fmall, barren, and uninhabited hlands. Booarilh bore fouth- 
well two miles off; Zebid one mile and a half diftant, eaft 
and by north ; Amar, the fmalleft of all, one mile fouth ; 
and Ormook, fouth-eaft by eall two miles. 

The Arabs of the mountain, who had attempted to furprife 
Loheia in the fpring, now prepared for another attack againll 
it, and had advanced within three days journey. This obli- 
ged the Emir to draw together all his troops from the neigh- 
bourhood ; all the camels were employed to lay in an ex- 
traordinary Hock of water. 

Our Rais, who was a Granger, and without connections 
in this place, found himfelf under great difficulties to pro- 
vide water enough for the voyage, for we had but a fcanty 
provifton left, and though our boat was no more than fixty 
feet long, we had about forty people on board of her. I had 
indeed hired the veffel for myfelf, but gave the Rais leave 
to take fome known people paffengers on board, as it was 
very dangerous to make enemies in the place to which I 
was going, by fruftrating any perfon of his voyage home, 
even though I paid for the boat, and Hill as dangerous to 
take a perfon unknown, whofe end in the voyage might be 
to defeat my defigns. We were refolved, therefore, to bear 
away for an illand to the northward, where they faid the 
water was both good, and in plenty. 

In the courfe of this day, we paned feveral fmall hlands, 
and, in the evening, anchored in feven fathom and a half of 
water, near a fhoal diftant four leagues from Loheia. We 

o there 


there obferved the bearings and diftances of feveral iflands, 
with which we were engaged; Foofht, W.b.N.^ north, four 
leagues ; Baccalan N.W.b.W. three leagues ; Baida, a large 
high rock above the water, with white fteep cliffs, and a 
great quantity of fea-fowl ; Djund, and Mufracken, two 
large rocks off the weft point off Baccalan, W.N.W.^ weft, 
eleven miles ; they appear, at a diftance, like a large heap 
of ruins : Umfegger, a very fmall ifland, nearly level with 
the water, W.N.W.i weft four miles diftant ; Nachel, S.E.|E. 
one league off; Ajerb S.E.b.E.i fouth, two leagues ; Sur- 
bat, an ifland S.E.b.E.| fouth, diftant ten miles ; it has a 
marabout or Shekh's tomb upon it : Dahu and Dee, two 
fmall iflands, clofe together, N.W-i weft, about eleven 
miles diftant ; Djua S.E.i fouth; it is a fmall white ifland 
four leagues and a half off: Sahar, W-i north, nine miles off. 

On the 6th, we got under fail at five o'clock in the morn- 
ing. Our water had failed us as we forefaw, but in the 
evening we anchored at Foofht, in two fathoms water eaft 
of the town, and here ftaid the following day, our failors 
being employed in filling our Ikins with water, for they 
make no ufe of calks in this fea. 

Foosht is an ifland of irregular form. It is about live 
miles from fouth to north, and about nine in circumference. 
It abounds in good fifh. We did not ufe our net, as our 
lines more than fupplied us. There were many kinds, paint- 
ed with the moft beautiful colours in the world, but I al- 
ways obferved, the more beautiful they were, the worfe for 
eating. There were indeed none good but thofe that re- 
fembled the fiih of the north in their form, and plainnefs 
of their colours. Foofht is low and fandy on the fouth, and 
Vol. I. T t on 


on the north is a black hill or cape of. no confiderable 
height, that may be feen at four leagues off. It has two 
watering-places; one on the eafb of . the ifland, where we 
now were, the other on. the well. The water there is bitter,,, 
but it had been troubled by a. number of little barks, that 
had been taking in water juft before us.. The manner of 
filling their goat fkins being a very llovenly one, they take 
up much of the mud along with it, but we found the water 
excellent, after it had fettled two or three days ; when it 
came on board, it was as black as ink... It was incompara- 
bly the belt water we had drank fmce that of the Nile. 

This ifland is covered with a kind of bent grafs, which 
want of rain, and the conftant feeding of the few goats that 
are kept here, prevent from growing to any height. The 
end of the ifland, near the north cape, founds very hollow, 
underneath, like Solfaterra, near Naples ; and as quantities of 
pumice ftones are found here, there is great appearance that 
the black hill was once a volcano. Several large fhclis 
from the fiih called Biflcr, fome of them twenty inches 
long, are feen turned upon their faces, on the furface of 
large flones, of ten or twelve ton weight. Thefe fhells are 
funk into the ftones, as if they were into paftc, and the 
ftone raifed round about, fo as to conceal the edge of the 
Ihell ; a proof that this ftone has, fome time lately, been foft 
or liquified. For, had it been long ago, the weather and 
fun would have worn the furface of the ihell, but it feems 
perfectly entire, and is fet in that hard brown rock, as the 
ftone of a ring is in a golden chafing. 

The inhabitants of Foofht are poor fifhermen, of the fame 
degree of blac-knefs as thofe between Heli and Djezan ; like 



them too, they were naked, or had only a rag about their 
waift. Their faces are neither ftaincd nor painted. They 
catch a quantity of fifh called Seajan, which they carry to 
Loheia, and exchange for Dora and Indian corn, for they 
have no bread, but what is procured this way. They alfo 
have a flat fifh, with a long tail to it, whofe fkin is a fpecies 
of fhagreen, with which the handles of knives and fwords 
are made. Pearls too are found here, but neither large nor 
of a good water, on the other hand, they are not dear ; they 
are the produce of various fpecies of fhells, all Bivalves * 

The town confifts of about thirty huts, built with fag- 
gots of bent grafs or fpartum, and thei e are f iipported with- 
in with a few flicks, and thatched with the grafs, of which 
they are built. The inhabitants fecmed to be much terri- 
fied at feeing us come a-fhore all armed ; this was not done 
out of fear of them, but, as we intended -to flay on fhorc all 
night, we wifhed to be in a fituation to defend ourfelves 
againfl boats of flrollers from the main. The faint, or Ma- 
rabout, upon feeing me pafs near him, fell flat upon his 
face, where he lay for a quarter of an hour ; nor would he 
get up till the guns, which I was told had occafioned his 
fears, were ordered by me to be immediately fent on board. 

On the 7th, hy an obfervation of the meridian altitude 
of the fun, I found the latitude of Foofht to be 15 59' 43" 
north. There are here many beautiful fhell-fifh; the con- 
cha veneris, of ieveral fizes and colours, as alfo fea urchins, 

T t 2 or 

Sec the article Pearl in the Appendix. 


or fea-eggs. I found, particularly, one of the pentaphylloid 
kind, of a very particular form. Spunges of the common 
fort are likewife found all along this coaft. The bearings 
and distances of the principal iflands from Foofht are : 

Baccalan, and the two rocks Djund 7 m ^ es 

and Mufracken, E. N. E. J 

Baida rock, E. by N. 4 miles. 
Sahar, - - S. E. 3 do. 
Ardaina, - W.N.W. 8 do, 
Aideen, - - N.^E. 9 do. 

Baccalan is an ifland, low, long, and as broad as Foofht, 
inhabited by fifhermen ; without water in fummer, which 
is then brought from Foofht, but in winter they preferve the 
rain-water in ciflerns. Thefe were built in ancient timeSj 
when this was a place of importance for the fifhing of pearls, 
and they are in perfect repair to this day ; neither the ce- 
ment of the' work, nor the llucco within, having at all fuf- 
fered. Very violent fhowers fall here from the end of Oc- 
tober to the beginning of March, but at certain intervals. 

All the iflands on this eaft-fide of the channel' belong 
to the SherrifFe Djezan Booarifh, but none are inhabited ex- 
cept Baccalan and Foofht. This lad ifland is the raoft con- 
venient watering-place for mips, bound up the channel from' 
Jibbel Teir, from which it bears N. E. by E. f E. by the com- 
pafs, nineteen leagues diftant. It fhould be remembered, 
however, that the weftern watering-place is mofl eligible,, 
becaufe, in that cafe, navigators need not engage themfelves 
among the iflands to the eaflward, where they will have 
uneven foundings two leagues from the land ; but, though 



they fhould fall to the eaftward of this illand, they will 
have good anchorage, from nine to eighteen fathoms wa- 
ter ; the bottom being good fand, between the town and 
the white rock Baida. 

Having fupplied our great and material want of water, 
we all repaired on board in the evening of the 7th ; we 
then found ourfelves unprovided with another neceflary, 
namely fire ; and my people began to remember how cold 
our ftomachs were from the drammock at Babelmandeb. 
Firewood is a very fcarce article in the Red Sea. It is, never- 
thelefs, to be found in fmall quantities, and in fuch only it 
is ufed. .Zimmer, an ifland to the northward, was known 
to afford fome ; but, from the time I had landed at Foofht, 
on the 6th, a trouble of a very particular kind had fallen 
upon our veffel, of which I had no account till I had return- 
ed on board. 

An Abymnian, who had died on board, and who had 
been buried upon our coming out from Loheia bay, had 
been feen upon the boltfprit for two nights, and had ter- 
rified the failors very much ; even the Rais had been 
not a little alarmed ; and, though he could not direclly 
fay that he had feen him, yet, after I was in bed on the 7th, 
he complained ferioufly to me of the bad confequences it 
would produce if a gale of wind was to rile, and the ghoft 
was to keep his place there, and defired me to come forward 
and fpeak to him. " My good "Rais," laid I, " I am exceedingly 
tired, and my head achs much with the fun, which hath 
been violent to-day. You know the Abyflinian paid for his 
paffage, and, if he does not overload the fhip, (and I appre- 
hend he fhould be lighter than when we took him on board) 

4 I do 


i do not think, that in juflice or equity, either you or I can 
hinder the ghofl from continuing his voyage Jo Abyffinia, 
as we cannot judge what ferious bufinefs he may have 
there." The Rais began to blefs himfelf that he did not 
know any thing of his affairs. — " Then, faid I," " if you do 
not find he makes the veffel too heavy before, do not molefl 
him ; becaufe, certainly if he was to come into any other 
part of the fhip, or if he was to infill to fit in the middle of 
you (in the difpolition that you all are) he would be a great- 
er inconvenience to you than in his prefent poll." The 
Rais began again to blefs himfelf, repeating a verfe of the 
Koran; " bifmil'la fheitan rejem," in the name of God keep 
the devil far from me. " Now, Rais," faid I, " if he does us 
no harm, you will let him ride upon the boltfprit till he is 
tired, or till he comes to Mafuah, for I fwear to you, unlefs 
he hurts or troubles us, I do not think I have any obliga- 
tion to get out of my bed to moleft him, only fee that he 
carries nothing off with him. 

The Rais now feeined to be exceedingly offended, and 
faid, for his part he did not care for his life more than any 
other man on board ; if it was not from fear of a gale of 

wind, he might ride on the boltfprit and be d n'd ; but 

that he had always heard learned people could fpeak to 
ghoils. Will you be fo good, Rais, faid I, to flep forward, 
and tell him, that I am going to drink coffee, and fhould 
be glad if he would walk into the cabbin, and fay any thing 
lie has to communicate to me, if he is a Chriftian, and 
if not, to Mahomet Gibberti. The Rais went out, but, as 
my fervant told me, he would neither go himfelf, nor could 
get any perfon to go to the ghofl for him. He came back, 
however, to drink coffee with me. I was very ill, and ap- 

2 prchenllve 


prclicnfive of what the French call a Coup defiled. " Go, 
laid I to the Rais, to Mahomet Gibberti, who was lying juft 
before us, tell him that I am a Chriflian, and have no jurif, 
diclion over ghofls in thefe feas." 

A moor called Yafinc, well known to me afterwards, now 
came forward, and told me, that Mahomet Gibberti had 
been very bad ever fmce we failed, with fea-fickncfs, and 
begged that I would not laugh at the fpirit,,or fpeakfo fa- 
miliarly of him, becaufe it might very poffibly be the devil, 
who often appeared in thefe parts. The Moor alio defired 
I would fend Gibberti fome coffee, and order my fervant to 
boil him fome rice with frefh water from Foolht ; for hi- 
therto our fifli and our rice had been boiled in fea water, 
which I conftantly preferred. This bad news of my friend 
Mahomet banifhed all merriment, J gave therefore the ne- 
ceffary orders to my fervant to wait upon him, and at the 
fame time recommended to Yafme to go forward with the 
Koran in his hand, and read all night, or till we mould get. 
to Zimmer, and then, or in the morning, bring me an ac- 
count of what he had feen. . 

The 8th, early in- the morning, we failed fromFoomr; 
but the wind being contrary, we did not arrive at our del 
tination till near mid-day, when we anchored in an open 
road about half a mile from the ifland, for there is no har- 
bour in Baccalan, Foofht, nor Zimmer. I then took my 
quadrant, and went with the boat afhore, to gather wood. 
Zimmer is a much fmaller iffand than Foofht, without in- 
habitants, and without water; though, by the citterns which 
ftill remain, and are fixty yards fquare, hewed out of the folid 
rock, we may imagine this was once a place of confe- 

quence; : 


quence : rain in abundance, at certain feafons, ftill falls 
there. It is covered with young plants of rack tree, whofe 
property it is, as I have already faid, to vegetate in fait wa- 
ter. The old trees had been cut down, but there was a 
confiderable number of Saiel, or Acacia trees, and of thefe 
we were in want. 

Although Zimmer is laid to be without water, yet there 
are antelopes upon it, as alfo hyaenas in number, and it is 
therefore probable that there is water in fome fubterrane- 
ous caves or clefts of the rocks, unknown to the Arabs or 
fimermen, without which thefe animals could not fubfift. 
It is probable the antelopes were brought over from Arabia 
for the Sherriffe's pleafure, or thofe of his friends, if they 
did not fwim from the main, and an enemy afterwards 
brought the hyaena to difappoint that amufement.. Be that 
as it will, though I did not myfelf fee the animals, yet I 
obferved the dung of each of them upon the fand, and in 
the citterns ; fo the facl does not reft wholly upon the ve- 
racity of the boatman. We found at Zimmer plenty of the 
large fhell fifh called Bitter and Surrumbac, but no other. 
I found Zimmer, by an obfervation of the fun at noon, to 
be in lat. i6° f North, and from it we obferved the follow- 
ing bearings and diftances. 

Sahaanah, - - 




- - S. by W. 

Foolht, - - - 



do. - 

- N.W.byN.i'W. 

Aideen, - - - 




- E. 

Ardaina, - 



do. - 

- E. by S. 




do. - 

- N. W.i N. 





- W. N. W4 W. 



We failed in the night from Zimmer. When we came 
nearer the channel, the iflands were fewer, and we had ne- 
ver lefs than twenty-five fathom water. The wind was 
conftantly to the north and weft, and, during all the heat 
of the day, N. N. W. At the fame time we had vifibly a 
flrong current to the northward. 


The 9th, at fix o'clock in the morning, the ifland Rapha 
bore N. E. by eaft, diftant about two leagues, and' in the 
fame direction we faw the tops of very high mountains in 
Arabia Felix, which we imagined to be thofe above Djezan; 
and though thefe could not be lefs than twenty-fix leagues 
diftance, yet I diftinguifhed their tops plainly, fome mi- 
nutes before fun-rife. At noon I obferved our latitude to 
be 1 6° 10' 3" north, fo we had made very little way this day, 
it being for the moll part calm. Rapha then bore E.| north, 
diftant thirteen miles, and Doohaarab N. N. W. five miles 
off. We continued under fail all the evening, but made 
little way, and ftill lefs during the night. 

On the 10th, at feven in the morning, I firft faw Jibbel 
Teir, till then it had been covered with a mift. I ordered 
the pilot to bear down directly upon it. All this forenoon 
our veflcl had been furrounded with a prodigious number 
of marks. They were of the hammer-headed kind, and 
two large ones feemed to vie with each other which 
mould come neareft our venel. The Rais had fitted a large, 
harpoon with a long line for the large fifli in the channel, 
and I went to the boltfprit to wait for one of the marks, 
after having begged the Rais, firft to examine if all was tight 
there, and if the ghoft had done it no harm by fitting fo 
many nights upon it. He ihook his head, laughing, and 
Vol. I, U u faid, 


faid, " The marks feek fomething more fubftantial'tnan 
ghofts." " If I am not miftaken, Rais, faicl I, this ghoft feeks 
fomething more fubftantial too, and you fliall fee the end 
of it." 

I struck the largeff fhark about a foot from the head 
with fuch force, that the whole iron was buried in his bo- 
dy. He fhuddered, as a perfon does when cold, and fhook 
the fhaft of the harpoon out of the focket, the weapon 
being made fo on purpofe ; the fhaft fell acrofs, kept fixt to 
the line, and ferved as a float to bring him up when he di- 
ved, and impeded him when he fwam. No falmon fifher 
ever faw finer fport with a lilh and a rod. He had thirty 
fathom of line out, and we had thirty fathom more ready to 
give him. He never dived, but failed round the vefiel like 
a fliip, always keeping part of his back above water. The 
Rais, who directed us, begged we would not pull him, but 
give him as much more line as he wanted; and indeed we 
faw it was the weight of the line that galled him, for he 
went round the veffcl without feeking to go farther from 
us. At laft he came nearer, upon our gathering up the 
line, and upon gently pulling it after, we brought him along- 
fide, till we fattened a ftrong boat-hook in his throat : a. 
man fwung upon a cord was now let down to cut his tail, 
while hanging on the fliip's fide, but he was, if not abfolute- 
ly dead, without the power of doing harm. He was eleven 
feet feven inches from his fnout to his tail, and nearly four 
feet round in the thickeft part of him. He had in him a 
dolphin very lately fwallowcd, and about half a yard of 
blue cloth. He was the largeft, the Rais faid, he had ever, 
feen, either in the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean. 

3. About 


About twenty minutes before twelve o'clock we were 
about four leagues diftant from the ifland, as near as I 
.could judge upon a parallel. Having there taken my ob- 
fervation, and all deductions made, I concluded the latitude 
of the north end of Jibbel Teir to be 15° 38' north ; thirty- 
two leagues weft longitude from Loheia, fifty-three eaft 
longitude fro£i; Mafuah, and forty-fix leagues eaft of the 
meridian of Jidda. Jibbel Teir, or the Mountain of the Bird, 
is called by others, Jibbel Douhan, or the Mountain of 
Smoke. I imagine that the fame was the origin of our 
name of * Gibraltar, rather than from Tarik, who iirft landed 
in Spain ; and one of my reafons is, that fo confpicuous 
a mountain, near, and immediately in the face of the moors 
of Barbary, muft have been known by fome name, long be- 
fore Tarik with his Arabs made his defcent into Spain. 

The reafon of its being called Jibbel Douhan, the 
Mountain of Smoke, is, that though, in the middle of 
the fea, it is a volcano, which throws out fire, and though 
nearly cxtinguifhed, (mokes to this day. It probably 
has been the occalion of the creation of great part of 
the neighbouring iflands. Did it burn now, it would be of 
great ufe to fhipping in the night, but in the earlieft hif- 
tory of the trade of that fea, no mention is made of it, as in 
a ftate of conflagration. It was called Qrrieon in Ptolemy, 
the Bird-Ifland, the fame as Jibbel Teir. It is likewife call- 
ed Sheban, from the white fpot at the top of it, which fe#ms 
to be fulphur, and a part feems to have fallen in, and to 

U u 2 have 

' Jibbel Teir, the Mountain of the Bird ; corruptly, Gibraltar. 


have enlarged the crater on this fide. The ifland is four 
miles from fouth to north, has a peek in form of a pyramid 
in the middle of it, and is about a quarter of a mile high. 
It defcends, equally, on both fides, to the fea; has four open- 
ings at the top, which vent fmoke, and fometimes,in ftrong 
foutherly winds it is faid to throw out fire. There was no 
fuch appearance when we pafled it. The -^and is perfect- 
ly defert, being covered with fulphur and pumice ftones. 

Some journals that I have {een are full of indraughts, 
whirlpools, and unfathomable depths, all around this ifland; 
I muft however take the liberty of faying to thefe gentle- 
men, who are otherwife fo very fond of foundings as to 
diftribute them all over the channel, that they have been 
unfortunate in placing their unfathomable depths here, 
and even foundings. It is probable thefe are occafioned 
by the convulfions in the earth made by this volcano ; but 
the only indraught we faw was a ftrong current fetting 
northward, and there are foundings as far as three leagues 
eaft of it, in $$ fathom water, with a fandy bottom. Between 
this and the ifland Rafab you have foundings from 20 to $5 
fathom, with fand and rocks ; and on the north-eaft fide you 
have good anchoring, from a league's diftance, till within 
a cable's length of the more, and there is anchorage five 
leagues S. \V. by. \V. in twenty-five fathoms, and I believe 
alfo, in the line from Loheia to Dahalac, the effects of the 
convulfions of this vulcano. Such, at leaft, is the informa- 
tion I procured at Mafuah from the pilots ufed to this na- 
vigation in fearch of fulphur; fuch was the information al- 
fo of my Rais, who went twice loaded with that comma* 
dity to his own country at Mafcatte ; no other people go 
there. Both Abyflinians and Arabians believe that this is- 



the entry or paflage by which the devil comes up to this 

Six leagues E. by S. of this ifland there is a dangerous 
flioal with great overfalls, on which a French Ihip ftruck in 
the year 1 75 1 , and was faved with very great difficulty. Jibbel 
Teir is the point from which all our lhips, going to Jidda, 
take their departure, after failing from Mocha, and palling 
the iflands to the fouthward. 

We left Jibbel Teir on the i ith with little wind at weft, but 
towards mid-day it frefhened as ufual, and turned northward 
to N.N. eaft. We were now in mid-channel, fo that we flood 
on ftraight for Dahalac till half pall four, when a boy, 
who went aloft, faw four iflands in a direction N. W. by 
W.^r weft. We were flanding on with a frefh breeze, and 
all our fails full, when I faw, a little before fun-fet, a white- 
fringed wave of the well-known figure of a breaker. I 
cried to the Rais for God's fake to fhorten fail, for I faw a 
breaker a-head, ftraight in our way. He faid there was no. 
fuch thing ; that I had miftaken it, for it was a fea-gull. A- 
bout feven in the evening we ftruck upon a reef of coral 
rocks. Arabs arc cowards in all fudden dangers, which 
they confider as particular directions or mandates of pro- 
vidence, and therefore not to be avoided. Few uncultiva- 
ted minds indeed have any calmnefs, or immediate refource 
in themfclves when in unexpected danger. The Arab fai- 
lors were immediately for taking the boat, and failing to 
the iflands the boy had feen. The Abyflinians were for cut- 
ting up the planks and wood of the infide of the vefTel, and 
making her a. raft., 



A violent difpute enfued, and after that a battle, when 
night overtook us, ftill faft upon the rock. The Rais and 
Yafme, however, calmed the riot, when I begged the paf- 
feno-ers would hear me. I told them, "You all know, or 
ihould know, that the boat is mine, as I bought it with my 
money, for the fafety and accommodation of myfelf and fer- 
vants ; you know, likewife, that I and my men are all well 
armed, while you are naked ; therefore do not imagine that 
we will fuffer any of you to enter that boat, and fave your 
lives at the expence of ours. On this veffel of 'the Rais is 
your dependence, in it you are to be faved or to perifh; 
therefore all hands to work, and get the veffel off, while it 
is calm ; if me had been materially damaged, flie had been 
funk before now." They all feemed on this to take cou- 
rage, and faid, they hoped I would not leave them. I told 
them, if they would be men, I would not leave them while 
there was a bit of the veffel together. 

The boat was immediately launched, and one of my 
fervants, the Rais, and two failors, were put on board. They 
were foon upon the bank, where the two failors got out, 
who cut their feet at firft upon the white coral, but after- 
wards got firmer footing. They attempted to pufh the fhip 
backwards, but Ihe would not move. Poles and handfpikes 
were tried in order to ftir her, but thefe were not long 
enough. In a word, there was no appearance of getting 
her off before morning, when we knew the wind would 
rife, and it was to be feared me would then be dallied to 
pieces.. Mahomet Gibberti, and Yafme, had been reading 
the Koran aloud ever fmce the veffel ftruck. I faid to them 
in pafiing, "Sirs, would it not be as wife for you to leave 
your books till you get a-ihore, and lend a hand to the 

people f 


people ?" Mahomet anfwered, " that he was fo weak and 
ficfc, that he could not ftand." But Yafine did not flight the 
rebuke, he flrippcd himfelf naked, went forward on the 
veffel, and then threw himfelf into the fea. He, firft , very 
judicioufly, felt what room there was for Handing, and 
found the bank was of confidcrable breadth, and that we 
were fluck upon the point of it ; that it rounded, flaming 
away afterwards, and feemed very deep at the fides, fo the 
people, flanding on the right of it, could not reach the vef- 
fel to pufh it, only thofe upon the point. The Rais and 
Yafine now cried for poles and handfpikes, which were 
given them ; two more men let thcmfelvcs down by the fide, 
and flood upon the bank. I then defired the Rais to get 
out a line, come a-ftern with the boat, and draw her in the 
fame direction that they puflied. 

As foon as the boat could be towed a-ftern, a great cry- 
was fet up, that me began to move. A little after, a gentle 
wind juit made itfelf felt from the eaft, and the cry from 
the Rais was,Hoift the fore-fail and put it a-back. This being 
immediately done, and a gentle breeze filling the fore-fail 
at the time, they all primed, and the vcffel flid gently off, 
free from the fhoal. I cannot fay I partook of the joy fo 
fuddenly as the others did. I had always fome fears a plank 
might have been ftarted ; but we faw the advantage of a 
veffel being fewed, rather than nailed together, as ihe not 
only was unhurt, but made very little water, The people 
were all exceedingly tired, and nobody thought they could 
enough praife the courage and readinefs of Yafine. From, 
that day he grew into confideration with me, which increar. 
fed ever after, till my departure from Abyffinia,- 



The latitude of our place, at noon, had been 15 32' 12", 
I reclined my quadrant, and hung it up. Seeing the clear 
of the Lyre not far from the meridian, I was willing to be 
certain of that dangerous place we had fallen upon. By- 
two observations of Lucida Lyra, and Lucida Aquila, and by a 
mean of both, I found the bank to be in lat. 15 28' 15" 

There was a circumitance, during the hurry of this 
transaction, that gave us all reafon to be furprifed. The 
ghoft was fuppoled to be again feen on the boltfprit, as if 
pufhing the veflel afhore ; and as this was breaking cove- 
nant with me, as a paffenger, I thought it was time fome 
nonce fliould be taken of him, fmce the Rais had referred 
it entirely to me. I inquired who the perfons were that 
had feen him. Two moors of Hamazen were the firft that 
perceived him, and afterwards a great part of the crew 
had been brought to believe the reality of this vifion. I 
called them forward to examine them before the Rais, and 
Mahomet Gibberti, and they declared that, during the night, 
they had feen him go and come feveral times ; once, he was 
pufhing againfl the boltfprit, another time he was pulling 
upon the rope, as if he had an anchor afhore ; after this 
he had a very long pole, or flick, in his hand, but it fcemed 
heavy and ftiflT, as if it had been made of iron, and when 
the vefTel began to move, he turned into a fmall blue flame, 
ran along the gunnel on the larboard fide of the fhip, and, 
upon the veflel going off, he disappeared. " Now, faid I, " it 
is plain by this change of fhape, that he has left us for 
ever, let us therefore fee whether he has done us any 
harm or not. Hath any of you any baggage flawed for- 
wards ?" The flrangers anfwered, " Yes, it is all there. Then 



faid I, go forward, and fee if every man has gothis own. They 
all did this without lofs of time, when a great noife and con- 
fufion enfucd ; every one was plundered of fomething, ftibi- 
um, nails, brafs wire, incenfe and beads ; in fhort, all the 
precious part of their little flores was flolen. 

All the paflengers were now in the utmoft defpair, and 
began to charge the failors. " I appeal to you, Yafme and 
Mahomet GibbertL faid I, whether thefe two moors who 
faw him ofteneft, and were moll intimate with him, have 
not a chance of knowing where the things are hid ; 
for in my country, where ghofls are very frequent, they are 
always affifted in the thefts they are guilty of, by thofc 
that fee and converfe with them. I fuppofe therefore it is 
the lame with Mahometan ghofls." " The very fame, faid 
Mahomet Gibbcrti and Yafme, as far as ever we heard," 
" Then go, Yafme, with the Rais, and examine that part of 
the fhip where the moors flept, while I keep them here ; 
and take two failors with you, that know the fecret places." 
Before the fearch began, however, one of them told Yafme 
where every thing was, and accordingly all was found and 
reflored. I would not have the reader imagine, that I here 
mean to value myfelf, either upon any fupernatural know- 
ledge, or extreme fagacity, in fuppofing that it was a piece 
of roguery from the beginning, of which I never doubted- 
But while Yafme and the failors were bufy pufhing off the 
vefTcL and I a-flcrn at an obfervation, Mahomet Gibberti's 
fervant, fitting by his matter, faw one of the moors go to 
the repoiitory of the baggage, and, after flaying a little, 
come out with a box and package in his hand. This he 
told his mailer, who informed me, and the ghofl finding 
his aflbciates difcovered, never was feen any more. 

Vol. L X x The 


The i 2th, in the morning, we found that this fhoal was a 
fand bank, with a ridge of coral rocks upon it, which 
ilretches hither from Selma, and ends a little farther to the 
northward in deep water. At fun-rife the iflands bore as 
follow : — 

Wowcan, - diflant 5 miles - - S. S. E. ^ E. 

. - S. 

- - S. W.|S. 

- W. by S-i S.. 

. - N. N. W. 

■ - N.W.byN.;N.- 

These iflands lie in a femi-circle round this fhoal. 
There were no breakers upon it, the fea being fo perfectly 
calm. I fuppofe if there had been wind, it would have bro- 
ken upon it, as I certainly faw it do before we flruck ; be- 
tween Megaida and Zober is a fmall fharp rock above the 
furface of the fea. 

We got under fail at fix in the morning, but the wind 
was very fafb decaying, and foon after fell dead-calm. To- 
wards eleven, as ufual, it frefhened, and almofl at due north. 
At noon I found our lat. to be 15 29' 33" north, from which 
we had the following bearings :■- — 

Selma - 


- 3 


Megaida - - 

do. - 

■ 4 


Zober - - - 

do. - 

■ 4 



do. - 

• 5 



do, • 

■ 4 


Selma, - diflant 

- 5 miles, 

- S.E.VS, 

Megaida, - do. - - 

4 do. - - 

- S. S. E. 

Zober, - do. 

- 2 do. 


Dubia, - - do. - - 

5 do * - - 

- W.byS.^S, 

Racka, - do. 

1 do. 

- N. W. 

Beyoume, - do. 

- 5 do. - - 

- N.W.byN. 



Cigala, - diftant - 6 miles, - - N. 
Furfh, - do. - - 3 do. - - - N.E.byN.iN. 

— and the rocks upon which we flruck, E. by S.|S. fome- 
thing lefs than five miles off. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon we faw land, which our 
pilot told us was the fouth end of Dahalac. It bore well by 
ibuth, and was diftant about nine leagues. As our courfe 
was then well by north, I found that we were going whi- 
ther I had no intention to land, as my agreement was to 
touch at Dahalac el Kibeer, which is the principal port, and 
on the fouth end of the ifland, where the India mips for- 
merly ufed to refort, as there is deep water, and plenty of 
fea-room between that and the main. But the freight of 
four facks of dora, which did not amount to ten millings, 
was fufficient to make the Rais break his word, and run 
a rifk of cancelling all the meritorious fervices he had fo 
long performed for me. So certain is it, that none of thefe 
people can ever do what is right, where the fmalleft trifle is 
thrown into the fcale to bias them from their duty. 

At fix in the evening we anchored near a fmall ifland 
called Racka Garbia, or Weft Racka, in four fathom of ftony- 
ground. By a meridian altitude of Lucida Aquila:, I concluded 
the lat. to be 1 5° 3 T 30" north, and our bearings as follow: — 

Dallacken, - diftant - 3 miles, - - N.E.|E. 
Dalgroufht, - do. - 5 do. - - S.E.byE.{S. 
Dellefheb, - - do. - 6 do. - - E.N.E.|E. 
Dubia, - - do. - 11 do, - - E.byS.VS. 
Racka Garbia, - do. - 2 do. - - S.W.byW.^S. 

Xx2 On 


On the 13th, a little after fun-rife, we continued our courfe 
weft, and a very little foutherly, with little wind. At eight 
o'clock we palTed Dalgroufht, north by eaft about a league 
diftance^and a new ifland, Germ Malco^ weft by north. At 
noon, I obferved our latitude to be 15° $$' 13" north; and 
our bearings as follow :-— 

Dallacken, - 

- diftan 

t - 6 


s, - - KbyS; 



- 6 


Germ Malco, 


- 6. 


- - S.S.W. 

Dalgroufht, - 

- do. 

- 4 


- - E.N. E. 



- 7 


- - N.N.W. 

Seide el Arabi, 

- do. 

- 4 


- - W.byS. 

Dahal Coufs, - 

- do* 

- 9 



The fouth cape of the ifland of Dahalac is called Ras 
Sboufo, which, in Arabic, means the Cape of Thorns, becaufe 
upon it are a quantity of funt, or acacia, the thorny-tree 
which bears the gum-arabic. We continued our courfe 
along the eaft fide of Dahalac, and, at four o'clock in the 
afternoon, faw Irwee, which is faid to anfvver to the centre 
of the ifland. It bore then fouth-weft of us four miles. We 
alfo faw two fmali iflands, Tarza and Siah el Sezan ; the firft, 
north bv weft three miles ; the fecond, north-eaft by eaft, 
but fomething farther. After having again violently ftruck 
on the coral rocks in the entry, at fun-let. we anchored in 
the harbour of Dobelew. 

This harbour is in form circular, and- fufneiently defend- 
ed from all winds, but its entrance is too narrow, and with- 
in, it is full of rocks. The bottom of the whole port is co- 
vered with large ramifications of white coral, with huge 



black ftones ; and I could no where obferve there were above 
three fathom water, when it was full fea. The pilot in- 
deed faid there were feven, or twelve at the mouth ; but fo 
violent a tide ruflied in through the entrance, that no veffel 
could efcape being driven upon the rocks, therefore I made 
no draught of it. 

Dobelew is a village three miles fouth-weft of the har- 
bour. It confifts of about eighty houfes, built of Hone 
drawn from the fea ; thefe calcine like fhells, and make good 
enough morter, as well as materials for building before 
burning. All the houfes are covered with bent-grafs, like 
thofe of Arabia. The 17th, I got my large quadrant a-lhore, 
and obferved the fun in the meridian in that village, and 
determined the lat.-ef its fouth-weft extremity, to be 1 j° 42- 2 z" 

Irwee is a village flill fmallcr than Dobelew, about four 
miles diftant. From this obfervation, compared with our 
account, we computed the fouthern cape of Dahalac, called 
Ras Sbouke, to be in lat. 15 27' 30" ; and Ras Antalou, or the 
north cape, to be in lat. 15 54' 50'' north. 

The whole length of the ifland, whofe direction is from 
north-weft to fouth-eaft, is thirty-feven miles, and its great- 
eft breadth eighteen, which did within a very little agree 
with the account the inhabitants gave us, who made its 
length indeed fomething more. 

Dahalac is by far the largeft ifland in the Red Sea, as 
none, that we had hitherto feen, exceeded five miles in 
length, It is low and even, the foil fixed gravel and white 



fand, mixed with fliells and other marine productions. It 
is deflitute of all forts of herbage, at leafl in fummer, unlefs 
a fmall quantity of bent grafs, jufl fufficient to feed the few 
antelopes and goats that are on the ifland. There is a very 
beautiful fpecies of this laft animal found here, fmall, fhort- 
haired, with thin black fharp horns, having rings upon them, 
and they are very fwift of foot. 

This ifland is, in many places, covered with large plan- 
tations of Acacia trees, which grow to no height, feldom a- 
bove eight feet, but fpread wide, and turn flat at top, pro- 
bably by the influence of the wind from the fea. Though 
in the neighbourhood of Abyffinia, Dahalac does not par- 
take of its feafons : no rain falls here, from the end of 
March to the beginning of October ; but, in the intermedi- 
ate months, efpecially December, January, and February, 
there are violent mowers for twelve hours at a time, which 
deluge the ifland, and fill the cifterns fo as to ferve all next 
fummer ; for there are no hills nor mountains in Dahalac, 
and eonfequently no fprings.. Thefe cifterns alone preferve 
the water, and of them there yet remain three hundred and 
feventy, all hewn out of the folid rock. They fay thefe 
were the works of the Perfians ; it is more probable they 
were thofe of the firil rtolemies. But whoever were the 
conftruetors of thefe magnificent refervoirs, they were a 
very different people from thofe that now poflefs them, 
who have not induflry enough to keep one of the three 
hundred and feventy clear for the ufe of man. All of them 
are open to every fort of animal, and half full of the filth 
they leave there, after drinking and waffling in them. The 
water of Dobelew, and Irwee, tafled flrong of mufk, from 
the dung of the goats and antelopes, and the fmell before 

4 you 


you drink it is more naufeous than the tafle ; yet one of 
thefe cifterns, cleaned and fliut up with a door, might afford 
them wholefome fweet water all the year over. 

After the rains fall, a prodigious quantity of grafs im- 
mediately fprings up ; and the goats give the inhabitants 
milk, which in winter is the principal part of their fubfifl- 
ence, for they neither plow nor low. All their employ- 
ment is to work the veffels which trade to the different 
parts of the coaft. One half of the inhabitants is conftantly 
on the Arabian fide, and by their labour is enabled to fur- 
nilh with* dora, and other provifions, the other half who 
(lay at home ; and when their time is expired, they are re- 
lieved by the other half, and fupplied with neceffaries in 
their turn. But the fuflenance of the poorer fort is en- 
tirely fhell and other fifh. Their wives and daughters are 
very bold, and expert fiiher-women. Several of them, en- 
tirely naked, fwam off to our veffel before we came to an 
anchor, begging handfuls of wheat, 'rice, or dora. They 
are very importunate and llurdy beggars, and not cafily put 
off with denials. Thefe miferable people, who live in the 
villages not frequented by barks from Arabia, arc fome- 
times a whole year without tailing bread. Yet fuch is the 
attachment to the place of their nativity, they prefer living 
in this bare, barren, parched fpot, almofl in want of neceffa- 
ries of every kind, efpecially of thefe effential ones, bread 
and water, to thofe pleafant and plentiful countries on both 
fides of them. This preference we mull not call llrange, 
for it is univerfal: A flrong attachment to our native 


* Millet, or Indian corn. 


country, whatever is its condition, has been impreffed by 
Providence, for wife ends, in the breafts of all nations ; from 
Lapland to the Line, you find it written precifely in the 
fame character. 

There are twelve villages, or towns, in Dahalac, little dif- 
ferent in fize from Dobelew ; each has a plantation of doom- 
trees round it, which furnifh the only manufacture in the 
ifland. The leaves of this tree, when dried, are of a gloffy 
white, which might very eafily be miftaken for fattin; of 
thefe they make bafkets of furprifmg beauty and neatnefs, 
ftaining part of the leaves with red or black, and working 
them into figures very artificially. I have known fome of 
thefe, refembling ftraw-balkets, continue full of water for 
twenty-four hours, without one drop coming through. They 
fell thefe at Loheia and Jidda, the largeft of them for four 
commefh, or fixpence. This is the employment, or rather 
amufement of the men who ftay at home ; for they work 
but very moderately at it, and all of them indeed take fpe- 
cial care, not to prejudice their health by any kind of fatigue 
from induftry. 

People of the better fort, fu-ch as the Shekh and his rela- 
tions, men privileged to be idle, and never expofed to the 
fun, are of a brown complexion, not darker than the inha- 
bitants of Loheia. but the common fort employed in fifh- 
ing, and thofe who go conftantly to lea, are not indeed 
black, but red, and little darker than the colour of new 
mohogany. There are, befides, blacks among them, who 
come from Arkeeko and the Main, but even thefe, upon 
marrying, grow lefs black in a generation. 

i The 


The inhabitants of Dahalac feemed to be a fimple, fear- 
ful, and inoffenfive people. It is the only part of Africa, or 
Arabia, (call it which you pleafc) where you fee no one 
carry arms of any kind; neither gun, knife, nor fword, is 
to be feen in the hands of any one. Whereas, at Loheia, 
and on all the coaft of Arabia, and more particularly at 
Yambo, every perfon goes armed ; even the porters, naked, 
and groaning under the weight of their burden, and heat 
of the day, have yet a leather belt, in which they carry a 
crooked knife, fo monftrouily long, that it needs a particu- 
lar motion and addrefs in walking, not to lame the bearer. 
This was not always the cafe at Dahalac ; feveral of the Por- 
tuguefe, on their firft arrival here, were murdered, and the 
ifland often treated ill, in revenge, by the armaments of that 
nation. The men leem healthy. They told me they had 
no difeafes among them, unlefs fometimes in Spring, when 
the boats of Yemen and Jidda bring the fmall-pox among 
them, and very few efcape with life that are infected. I could 
not obferve a man among them that feemed to be fixty 
years old, from which I infer, they are not long livers, 
though the air mould be healthy, as being near the chan- 
nel, and as they have the north wind all fummer, which 
moderates the heat. 

Of all the iflands we had paffed on this fide the channel, 
Dahalac alone is inhabited. It depends, as do all the reft, 
upon Mafuah, and is conferred by a firman from the Grand 
Signior, on the Baflia of Jidda; and, from him, on Metical 
Aga, then on the Naybe and his fervants. The prefent go- 
vernor's name was Hagi Mahomet Abd el cader, of whom 
I have before fpoken, as having failed from Jidda to Mafuah 
before me, where he did me all the dif-fervice in his power, 

Vox.. I. Y y and 


and nearly procured my affaffmation. The revenue of this 
governor confifts in a goat brought to him monthly by each 
of the twelve villages. Every veflel, that puts in there for 
Mafuah, pays him alio a pound of coffee, and every one 
from Arabia, a dollar or pataka. No fort of fmall money is 
current at Dahalac, excepting Venetian glafs-beads, old and 
new, of all fizes and colours, broken and whole. 

Although this is the miferable Hate of Dahalac at pre- 
fent, matters were widely different in former times. The 
pearl fifhery flourifhed greatly here, under the Ptolemies ; 
and even long after, in the time of the Caliphs, it produced a 
great revenue, and, till the fovereigns of Cairo, of the prefent 
miferable race of flaves, began to withdraw themfelves 
from their dependency on the port (for even after the reign 
of Selim, and the conquefts of Arabia, under Sinan Bafha, 
the Turkifh gallics were ftill kept up at Suez, whilft Ma- 
fuah and Suakem had Bafhas) Dahalac was the principal 
ifland that furnifhed the pearl fifhers, or divers. It was, 
indeed, the chief port for the fifhery on the fouthern part 
of the Red Sea, as Suakem was on the north ; and the 
Bafha of Mafuah paffed part of every fummer here, to avoid 
the heat at his place of refidence on the Continent. 

The fifhery extended from Dahalac and its iflands nearly 
to lat. 2o°. The inhabited iilands furnifhed each a bark, 
and lb many divers, and they were paid in wheat, flour, &c. 
fuch a portion to each bark, for their ufe, and lb much to 
leave with their family, for their fubliftence ; fo that a 
few months employment furnifhed them with every thing 
necellary for the reft of the year. The fifhery was rented, 
in lattertimes, to the Baft a of Suakem, but there was a place 



between Suakem, and the fuppofed river Frat, in lat. 21" 28' 
north, called Gungunnah, which was referved to the Grand 
Signior in particular, and a fpecial officer was appointed to 
receive the pearls on the fpot, and fend them to Conflanti- 
nople. The pearls found there were of the largeft fize, and 
inferior to none in water, or roundnefs. Tradition fays, 
that this was, exclufively, the property of the Pharaohs, by 
which is meant, in Arabian manufcrip's, the old kings of 
Egypt before Mahomet. 

In the fame extent, between Dahalac and Suakem, was 
another very valuable nfhery, that of * tortoifes, from 
which the fineft fhells of that kind were produced, and a 
great trade was carried on with the Eaft Indies, (China ef- 
pecially) at little expence, and with very confiderable pro- 
fits. The animal itfelf (the turtle) was in great plenty, be- 
tween lat. 1 8° and 20 , in the neighbourhood of thofe low 
fandy iflands, laid down in my chart. 

The India trade nourifhed exceedingly at Suakem and 
Mafuah, as it had done in the profperous time of the Ca- 
liphs. The Banians, (then the only traders from the Eaft 
Indies) being prohibited by the Mahometans to enter the 
Holy Land of the Hejaz, carried all their veflels to Konfo- 
dah in Yemen, and from thefe two ports had, in return, at 
the firft hand, pearls, tortoife-fhell, which fold for its weight 
of gold, in China ; Tibbar, or pure gold of Sennaar, (that 
from Abyffinia being lefs fo) elephant's teeth, rhinoceros 

Y y 2 horns 

See the article Tortoife in the Appendix, 


horns for turning, plenty of gum Arabic, caflia, myrrh, 
frankincenfe, and many other precious articles ; thefe were 
all bartered, at Mafuah and Suakem, for India goods. But 
nothing which violence and injuftice can ruin, ever can 
fubfift under Turkifh government. The Bafhas paying dear- 
ly for their confirmation at Conltantinople, and uncertain 
if they mould hold this office Long enough to make reim- 
burfements for the money they had already advanced, had 
not patience toilay till the courfe of trade gradually indem- 
nified them, but proceeding from extortion to extortion, 
they at laft became downright robbers, feizing the cargo 
of the mips wherever they could find them, and exercifing 
the moft mocking cruelties on the perfon they belonged to, 
flaying the fa&ors alive, and impaling thofe that remained: 
in their hands, to obtain, by terror, remittances from India. 
The trade was thus abandoned, and the revenue ceafed. 
There were no bidders at Conltantinople for the farm, no- 
body had trade in their heads when their lives were every 
hour in danger. Dahalac became therefore dependent on 
the Ballia of Jidda, and he appointed an * Aga, who paid 
him a moderate ium, and appropriated to himielf the pro- 
vifions and falary allowed for the pearl filliery, or the great- 
eft part of them. 

The Aga at Suakem endeavoured, in vain, to make the 
Arabs and people near him work without falary, fo they 
abandoned an employment which produced nothing but 
punifhment; and, in time, they grew ignorant of the nihery 


■* A Subaltern Governor. 


m which they once were fo well fkilled and had been edu- 
cated. This great nurfery of feamen therefore was loft, and 
the gallics, being no longer properly manned, were either 
given up to rot, or turned into merchant-fhips for carrying 
the coffee between Yemen and Suez, thefe veffels were un- 
armed, and indeed incapable of armament, and unfervice- 
able by their conftruction ; befides, they were ill-manned, 
and fo carelefsly and ignorantly navigated, that there was 
not a year, that one or more did not founder, not from ftrefs 
of weather, (for they were failing in a pond) or from any 
thing, but ignorance, or inattention. 

Trade took again its ancient courfe towards Jidda. The 
Sherriffe of Mecca, and all the Arabs, were interefted to get 
it back to Arabia, and with it the government of their own 
countries. That the pearl fifhing might, moreover, no 
longer be an allurement for the Turkiih power to main- 
tain itfelf here, and opprefs them, they difcouraged the 
practice of diving, till it grew intodefuetude; this brought 
infenfibly all the people of the illands to the continent, 
where they were employed in coafting veflels, which con- 
tinues their only occupation to this day. This policy fuc- 
ceeded ; the princes of Arabia became again free from the 
Turkifli power, now but a fhadow, and Dahalac, Mafuah, 
and Suakem, returned to their ancient matters, to which 
they are fubjecl at this inftant, governed indeed by Shekhs 
of their own country, and preferving only the name of 
Turkifli government, each being under the command of a 
robber and affaffin.. 

The immenfe treafurcs in the bottom of the Red Sea 3 , 
have thus been abandoned for near two hundred years, 

2- though; 


though they never were richer in all probability than at pre- 
fent. No nation can now turn them to any profit, but the 
Englifh Eaft India Company, more intent on multiplying the 
number of their enemies, and weakening themfelves by 
fpreading their inconfiderable force over new conquefls,than 
creating additional profit by engaging in new articles of 
commerce. A fettlement upon the river Frat, which never yet 
has belonged to any one but wandering Arabs, would open 
them a market both for coarfe and fine goods from the 
fouthern frontiers of Morocco, to Congo and Angola, and fet 
the commerce of pearls and tortoife ihell on foot again. All 
this fection of the Gulf from Suez, as I am told, is in their 
charter, and twenty fhips might be employed on the Red 
Sea, without any violation of territorial claims. The myrrh, 
the frankincenfe, fome cinnamon, and variety of drugs, are 
all in the poffeffion of the weak king of Adel, an ufurper, 
tyrant, and Pagan, without protection, and willing to trade 
with any fuperior power, that only would fecure him a 
miferable livelihood. 

If this does not take place, I am perfuaded the time is 
not far off, when thefe countries mall, in fome fhape or 
other, be fubjects of a new mailer. Were another Peter, a- 
nother Elizabeth, or, better than either, another Catharine 
to fucceed the prefent, in an empire already extended to 
China; — were filch a fovereign, unfettered by European poli- 
tics, to profecute that eafy tafk of puihing thofe mounte- 
banks of fovereigns and ftatefmen, thefe itage-players of 
government, the Turks, into Afia, the inhabitants of the 
whole country, who in their hearts look upon her already 
as their fovereign, becaufe fhe is the head of their religion, 
would, I am perfuaded, fubmit without a blow that in- 



ftant the Turks were removed on the other fide of the Hel- 

There are neither horfes, dogs, fheep, cows, nor any fort 
of quadruped, but goats, affes, a few half-flarved camels 
and antelopes at Dahalac, which laft are very numerous. 
The inhabitants have no knowledge of fire-arms, and there 
are no dogs, nor beads of prey in the ifland to kill them ;. 
they catch indeed fome few of them in traps. 

On our arrival at Dahalac, on the 14th, we faw fwallows 
there, and, on the 16th, they were all gone. On our land- 
ing at Mafuah, on the 19th, we faw a few; the 21ft and 2 2d 
they were in great flocks ; on the 2d of October they were 
all gone. It was the blue long-tailed fwallow, with the flat 
head ; but there was, likewifc, the Englifh martin, black, 
and darkifh grey in the body, with a white breaft. 

The language at Dahalac is that of the Shepherds; Arabic 
too is fpoken by moil: of them. From this ifland we fee 
the high mountains of HubeJJj, running in an even ridge like 
a wall, parallel to the coafl, and down to Suakem. 

Before I leave Dahalac, I mufl obferve, that, in a wretch- 
ed chart, in the hands of fome of the Englifh gentlemen at 
Jidda, there were foundings marked all along the eafl- 
coafl of Dahalac, from thirteen to thirty fathoms, within 
two leagues of the more. Now, the iflands I have men- 
tioned occupy a much larger fpace than that ; yet none of 
them are fet down in the chart ; and, where the foundings 
are marked thirty, forty, and even ninety fathom, all is full 
of fhoals under water, with iflands and funken coral rocks, 

3 fome 


fome of them near the furface, though the breakers do not 
appear upon them, partly owing to the waves being flea- 
died by the violence of the current, and fomewhat kept off 
by the ifland. This dangerous error is, probably, owing to 
the draughts being compofed from different journals, where 
the pilot has had different ways of meafuring his diflance ; 
fome ufmg forty-two feet to a thirty-fecond glafs, and fome 
twenty-eight, both of them being confidered as one com- 
petent divifion of a degree ; the diflances are all too fliort, 
and the foundings, and every thing elfe, confequently out 
of their places. 

Whoever has to navigate in the Abyffinian fide of the 
channel, will do well to pafs the ifland Dahalac on the eafl 
fide, or, at lcail, not approach the outmott iiland, Wowcan, 
nearer than ten leagues ; but, keeping about twelve leagues 
meridian diftancc weft of Jibbel Teir, or near mid-channel 
between that and the ifland, they will then be out of dan- 
ger ; being between lat. 15 20' and 15 40', which lafl is the 
latitude, as I obferved, of Saicl Noora, and which is the 
northern ifland, we faw, three leagues off Ras Antalou, the 
northmofl cape of Dahalac. 

Both at our entering into the port of Dobelew on the 
14th, and our going out of it on the 17th, we found a tide 
running like a fluke, which we apprehended, in fpite of 
our fails being full, would force us out of our courfe upon 
the rocks. I imagine it was then at its greateft ftrength, it 
now being near the equinoctial full moon. The channel be- 
tweenTerra rirma and the ifland being very narrow, and the 
influence of the fun and moon then nearly in the equator, 



had occafioned this unufual violence of the tide, by forcing 
a large column of water through fo narrow a fpace. 

On the 17th, after we had examined our veffel, and found 
fhehad received no damage, andprovidedwater (bad as it was) 
for the remainder of our voyage, we failed from Dobelew, 
but, the wind being contrary, we were obliged to come to 
an anchor, at three quarters paft four o'clock, in ten fathom 
water, about three leagues from that port, which was to the 
fouth-weil of us; the bearings and diftances are as follow:— 

Derghiman Kibeer, 


10 miles, 

- - W.S.W. 

Deleda, - 


7 do. 

- W.byN. 

Saiel Sezan, - - - 


4 do. 

- S. E. 

Zeteban, - - - 


5 do - - 

- N.E. 

Dahalac, - - - 


1 2 do. - 

- s.s.w. 



1 2 do. 


On the 18th, we failed, (landing off and on, wi-th a con- 
trary wind at north-weft, and a ftrong current in the fame 
direction. At half paft four in the morning we were forced 
to come to an anchor. There is here a very mallow and 
narrow paflage, which I founded myfelf in the boat, barely 
one and a half fathom, or nine feet of water, and we were 
obliged to wait the filling of the tide. This is called the 
Bogaz, which fignifies, as I have before obferved, the narrow 
and fhallow pailage. It is between the iiland Dahalac and 
the fouth point of the iiland of Noora, about forty fathom 
broad, and, on each fide, full of dangerous rocks. The 
iflands then bore, 

Vol, I. Z z Derghiman 


3 miles, - 

- s. w: 


5 do - - 

- s. 


4 do. - 

- E.N.E. 


2 do. . - 

- 1ft E UN, 


Derghiman Scguier, • 
Derghiman Kibecr, ' ■ 
Dahalhalem, - - 
Noora, - -• - 

The tide now entered with an unufual force, and ran 
more like the Nile, or a torrent, or ltream conducted to turn 
a mill, than the fea, or the effects of a tide. At half pail 
one o'clock, there. was water enough to pals, and we foon 
were hurried through it by the violence, of the current* , 
driving us in a manner truly tremendous. . 

At half after three, .we-pafled between Ras Antalou, the 
North Cape of Dahalac, and the • fmall ifland Bahalottom, 
which has fome trees upon it. . On this ifland is the tomb 
of Shekh * Abou Gafar, mentioned by. Poncet, in his voy- 
age, who miflakes the name of the faint for that of the ifland. 
The ftrait between the Cape and the ifland is a mile and a 
half broad. At four in the afternoon, .we anchored near a 
a fmall ifland called Sural. All between this and Dahalac,- 
there is no water exceeding feven fathom, till you are near 
Dahalac Kibeer, whole port has water for large veffcls, 
but is open to every point, from fouth-wefl to north-weft,; , 
and has a great fwell. 

All mips coming to the weftward of Dahalac had better, 
keep within the ifland Drugerut, between that and the 
main, where there is plenty of water, and room enough to 


* Joncet's Voyage, tranflated into Englifh, printed for W. Lewis in 1 709, in 1 zmo, page 



work, tho\ even here, there are iilands a-head; and clear wea- 
ther, as well as a good look-out, will always be necefTary. 

On the 19th of September, at three quarters paft fix in 
the morning, we failed from our anchorage near Surat. 
At a quarter paft nine, Dargeli, an ifland with trees upon 
it, bore N. W. by W. two miles and a half diftant ; and 
Drugerut three leagues and a half north and by eaft, when 
it fell calm. 

At eleven o'clock, we pafied the ifland of "Dergai- 
ham, bearing N. by Eaft, three miles diftant, and at five 
in the afternoon we came to an anchor in the harbour of 
Mafuah, having been * feventeen days on our paflage, in- 
cluding the day we firft went on board, though this voy- 
age, with a favourable wind, is generally made in three 
days ; it often has, indeed, been failed in lefs. 

The reader will obferve, that many of the iflands begin 
with Dahal, and fome with Del, which laft is only an ab- 
breviation of the former, and both of them fignify ijland, 
in the language of Beja, othcrwife called Geez y or the lan- 
guage of the fhepherds. MafTbwa, too, though generally 
ipclled in the manner I have here expreired it, mould pro- 
perly be written Mafuah, which is the harbour or water of 
the Shepherds, Of this nation, fo often mentioned already in 
this work, as well as the many other people lefs powerful 
and numerous than they that inhabit the countries be- 
tween the tropics, or frontiers of Egypt and the Line, it will 

Z 2 2 he 

* This muft not be attributed wholly to the weather. We fpent much time in furveving 
the iflands, and in obfervation. 


be necefiary now to fpeak in fome detail, although the con- 
nexion they all have with the trade of the Red Sea, and 
with each other, will oblige me to go back to very early 
times, to the invention of letters, and all the ufeful arts, 
which had their beginning here, were carefully nourifhed, 
and came probably to as great a perfe&ion as they did ever 
fince arrive at any other period, 


iuj— iwc.m 









Of the India trade in its earliejl ages — Settlement of Ethiopia — Trogk- 
dytes — Building of the frft Cities. 

TH E farther back we go into the hi (lory of Eaftern na- 
tions, the more reafon we have to be furprifed at the 
accounts of their immenfe riches and magnificence. One 
who reads the hiftory of Egypt is like a traveller walking- 
through its ancient, ruined, and deferted towns, where all 
are palaces and temples, without any trace of private or 
ordinary habitation. So in the earlieft, though now mutila- 


ted, accounts which we have of them, all is power, fplen- 
dour, and riches, attended hy the luxury which was the 
neceflary confequence, without any clue or thread left us 
by which we can remount, or be conducted, to the fource 
or fountain whence this variety of wealth had flowed ; 
without ever being able to arrive at a period, when thefe 
people were poor and mean, or even in a ftate of mediocri- 
ty, or upon a footing with European nations. 

The facred fcriptures, the moll ancient, as well as the 
moil credible of all hiilories, reprefent Palefline, of which 
they particularly treat, in the earliefl ages, as not only full of 
polifhed, powerful, and orderly Hates, but abounding alfo 
in filver and gold *, in a greater proportion than is to be 
found this day in any flate in Europe, though immenfely 
rich dominions in a new world have been added to the 
pofTeffion of that territory, which furnifhed the greatefl 
quantity of gold and filver to the old. Palefline, however, 
is a poor country, left to its own refourCes and produce 
merely. It mull have been always a poor country, with- 
out fome extraordinary connection with foreign nations. 
It never contained either mines of gold or filver, and though, 
at mofl periods of its hiftory, it appears to have been but 
thinly inhabited, it never of itlelf produced wherewithal 
to fupport and maintain the few that dwelt in it. 

Mr de Montesquieu f, fpcaking of the wealth of Semi- 
ramis, imagines that the great riches of the Affyrian 


* Exod. xxxviii 39. f Lib. 21. cap. 6. 


empire in her reign, arofe from this queen's having plun- 
dered fome more ancient and richer nation, as they, in 
their turn, fell afterwards a prey to a poorer, hut more 
warlike enemy. But however true this fact may be with 
regard to Semiramis, it does not folvc the general difficulty, 
as full the lame queftion recurs, concerning the wealth of 
that prior nation, which the Afl'yrians plundered, and 
from which they received their treafure. I believe the ex- 
ample is rare, that a large kingdom has been enriched by 
war. Alexander conquered all Alia, part of Africa, and a 
confiderable portion of Europe; he plundered Semiramis's 
kingdom, and all thofe that were tributary to her ; he went 
farther into the Indies than ever fixe did, though her terri- 
tories bordered upon the river Indus itfelf ; yet neither Ma- 
cedon, nor any of the neighbouring provinces of Greece, 
could ever compare with the fmall.diilricts of Tyre and Si-» 
don for riches. 

War difperfes- wealth in the very intlant it acquires it ; 
but commerce, well regulated, conitantly and honeftly fup- 
ported, carried on with ceconomy and punctuality, is the 
only thing that ever did enrich: exteniive kingdoms ; and' 
one hundred hands employed at the loom will bring to a* 
country more riches and abundance, than ten thoufand* 
bearing fpears and fhields. We need not go far to pro- 
duce an example that will confirm this. The fubjects 
and neighbours of Semiramis had brought fpices by land' 
into AiTyria. The Ifhmaelites and IViidianites, the mer- 
chants and carriers of gold from Ethiopia, and more imme- 
diately from Paledine, met in her dominions •; and there 
was, for a time, the mart of the Eaft India trade. But, by 
an abfurd expedition with an army into India, in hopes to 



enrich herfelf all at once, fhe effectually ruined that com- 
merce, and her kingdom fell immediately afterwards. 

Whoever reads thehillory of the moll ancient nations, will 
find the origin of wealth and power to have rifen in the 
eaft ; then to have gradually advanced weftward, fpreading 
itfelf at the fame time north and fouth. They will find the 
riches and population of thofe nations decay in proportion 
as this trade forfakes them ; which cannot but fugged to 
a good underftanding, this truth conftantly to be found in 
the difpoiition of all things in this univerfe, that God makes 
ufe of the fmalleft means and caufes to operate the greateft 
and moll powerful effects- In his hand a pepper-corn is the 
foundation of the power, glory, and riches of India ; he 
makes an acorn, and by it communicates power and rich- 
es to nations divided from India by thoufands of leagues 
of fea. 

Let us purfue our confideration of Egypt. Sefoflris, be- 
fore the time we have been juft fpeaking of, paffed with a 
fleet of large mips from the Arabian Gulf into the Indian 
Ocean ; he conquered part of India, and opened to Egypt 
the commerce of that country by fea. I enter not into the 
credibility of the number of his fleet, as there is fcarce any 
thing credible left us about the (hipping and navigation of 
the ancients, or, at lcaft, that is not full of difficulties and 
contradictions ; my bufmefs is with the expedition, not with 
the number of the mips. It would appear he revived, ra- 
ther than firft difcovered, this way of carrying on the trade 
to the Eaft Indies, which, though it was at times intermit- 
ted, (perhaps forgot by the Princes who were contending 
for the fovereignty of the continent of Alia), was, neverthe- 



lefs, perpetually kept up by the trading nations themfelves, 
from the ports of India and Africa, and on the Red Sea from 

The pilots from thefe ports alone, of all the world, had 
a fecret confined to their own knowledge, upon which the 
fuccefs of thefe voyages depended. This was the pheno- 
mena of the trade-winds* and monfoons, which the pilots 
of Sefoftris knew; and which thofe of Nearchus feem to 
have taught him only in part, in his voyage afterwards, 
and of which we are to fpeak in the fequel. Hiflory fays 
further of Sefoftris, that the Egyptians confidered him as 
their greateft benefactor, for having laid open to them the 
trade both of India and Arabia, for having overturned the 
dominion of the Shepherd kings ; and, laftly, for having re- 
flored to the Egyptian individuals each their own lands, 
which had been wrefted from them by the violent hands of 
the Ethiopian Shepherds, during the firft ufurpation of thefe 

In memory of his having happily accomplifhed thefe 
events, Sefoftris is faid to have built a ihip of cedar of a 
hundred and twenty yards in length, the outfide of which 
he covered with plates of gold, and the infide with plates 
of filver, and this he dedicated in the temple of His. I will 
not enter into the defence of the probability of his reafons 
for having built a fhip of this fize, and for fuch a purpofe, 
as one of ten yards would have fufficiently anfwered. The 

Vol. I. 3 A ufe 

* Thefe are far from being fynonymous terms, as we fliall fee afterwards. 


ufe it was made for, was apparently to ferve for a hiero- 
glyphic, of what he had accomplished, viz. that he had laid 
open the gold and filver trade from the mines in Ethiopia, 
and had navigated the ocean in iriips made of wood, which 
were die only ones, he thereby infinuated, that could be 
employed in that trade. The Egyptian mips, at that time, 
were all made of the reed papyrus *, covered with fkins or 
leather, a conftruction which no people could venture to 
prefent to the ocean. 

There is much to be learned from a proper underftand- 
ing of thefe lait benefits conferred by Seibftris upon his 
Egyptian fubjects. When we underftand thefe, which is 
very eafy to any that have travelled in the countries we are 
fpeaking of, (for nations and caufes have changed very lit- 
tle in thefe countries to this day), it will not be difficult to 
find afolution of this problem, What was the commerce that, 
progreffively, laid the foundation of all that immenfe gran- 
deur of the eaft ; what polifhed them, and cloathed them 
with filk, fcarlet, and gold ; and what carried the arts and 
fciences among thern> to a pitch, perhaps,, never yet furpaf- 
fed, and this fome thoufands of years before the nations in 
Europe had any other habitation than their native woods, or 
eloathing than the nuns of beafts, wild and domeftic, or 
government, but that flrft, innate one, which nature had 
given to the flrongeit? 

Let us inquire what was the connection Seloftris brought 
about between Egypt and India ; what was that commerce 

3 of 

'See'cle papyrus in the Appendix- 


of Ethiopia and Arabia, by which he enriched Egypt, and 
what was their connection with the peninfula of India ; who 
were thofc kings who bore fo oppofite an office, as to be at 
the fame time Shepherds ; and who were thofe Shepherds, near, 
and powerful enough to wreft the property of their lands 
from four million of inhabitants. 

To explain this, k will beneceffary to enter into fome de- 
tail, without which no perfon dipping into the ancient or 
modern hiftory of this part of Africa, can have any precife 
idea of it, nor of the different nations inhabiting the penin- 
fula, the fource of whofe wealth confifted entirely in the 
early, but well-eftablifhed commerce between Africa and 
India. What will make this fubject of more eafy explana- 
tion is, that the ancient employment and occupations of 
thefe people in the firft ages, were Hill the fame that fubiift 
at this day. The people have altered a little by colonies of 
ftrangers being introduced among them, but their man- 
ners and employments are the fame as they originally were. 
What does not relate to the ancient hiftory of thefe people, 
I fhall only mention in the courfe of my travels when pafs- 
ing through, or rejourning amongfl them. 

Providence had created the inhabitants of the penin- 
fula of India under many difadvantages in point of climate. 
The high and wholefome part of the country was covered 
with barren and rugged mountains ; and, at different times 
of the year, violent rains fell in large currents down the 
fides of thefe, which overflowed all the fertile land below ; 
and thefe rains were no fooner over, than they were fuc- 
ceeded by a fcorching fun, the effect of which upon the hu- 
man body, was to render it feeble, enervated, and incapable 

3A2 of 


of the efforts neceffary for agriculture. In this flat coun- 
try, large rivers, that fcarce had declivity enough to run, 
crept flowly along, through meadows of fat black earth, 
Itagnating in many places as they went, rolling an abun- 
dance of decayed vegetables, and filling the whole air with 
exhalations of the moll corrupt and putrid kind. Even 
rice, the general food of man, the fafefl and mofl friendly 
to the inhabitants of that country, could not grow but by 
laying under water the places where it was fown, and there- 
by rendering them, for feveral months, abfolutely improper 
for man's dwelling. Providence had done this, but, never 
failing in its wifdom, had made to the natives a great 
deal more than a fufficient amends. 

Their bodies were unfit for the fatigues of agriculture, 
nor was the land proper for common cultivation. But this 
country produced fpices of great variety, efpecially a 
fmall berry called Pepper, fuppofed, of all others, and with 
reafon, to be the greateft friend to the health of man. This 
o-rew fpontaneoufly, and was gathered without toil. It was, 
at once, a perfect remedy for the inclemencies and difeafes 
of the country, as well as the fource of its riches, from the 
demand of foreigners. This fpecies of fpice is no where 
known but in India, though equally ufeful in every putrid 
region, where, unhappily, thefe difeafes reign. Pro- 
vidence has not, as in India, placed remedies fo near them, 
thus wifely providing for the welfare of mankind in gene- 
ral, by the dependency it has forced one man to have upon 
another. In India, and fimilar climates, this fpice is not 
tiled in fmall quantities, but in fuch, as to'be nearly equal 

to that of brc ad. 

a In 



In cloathing, Providence had not been lefs kind to India. 
The filk worm, with little fatigue and trouble to man, al- 
moft without his interference, provided for him a ftuft, at 
once the fofteft, the moft light and brilliant, and confe- 
quently the belt adapted to warm countries ; and cotton, 
a vegetable production, growing every where in great abun- 
dance, without care, which may be confidered as almoft e- 
qual to filk, in many of its qualities, and fuperior to it in 
fome, afforded a variety Hill cheaper for more general ufe. 
Every tree without culture produced them fruit of the moil 
excellent kind; every tree afforded them made, under 
which, with a very light and portable loom of cane, they 
could pafs their lives delightfully in a calm and rational en- 
joyment, by the gentle exercife of weaving, at once provid- 
ing for the health of their bodies, the neceflities of their fa- 
milies, and the riches of their country. 

But however plentifully their fpices grew, in whatever 
quantity the Indians confumed them, and however gene- 
rally they wore their own manufactures, the fuperabun- 
dance of both was fuch, as naturally led them to look out 
for articles againil which they might barter their fuperflui- 
tics. This became ncceflary to fupply the wants of thofc 
things that had been with-held from them, for wife ends, 
or which, from wantonnefs, luxury, or ilcnder necemty, 
they had created in their own imaginations. 

Far to the weilward of them, but part of the fame con- 
tinent, connected by a long defert, and dangerous coaft, 
was the peninfula of Arabia, which produced no fpices, tho' 
the neceflities of its climate fubjected its inhabitants to the 
fame difcafcs as thofc in India. In fact, the country and 



climate were exactly fimilar, and, confequently, the plenti- 
ful ufe of thefe warm productions was as neccflary there, 
as in India, the country where they grew. 

It is true, Arabia was not abandoned wholly to the incle- 
mency of its climate, as it produced myrrh and frankin- 
cenfe, which, when ufed as perfumes or fumigations, were 
powerful antifeptics of their kind, but adminiilered rather 
as preventatives, than to remove the diforder when it once 
prevailed. Thefe were kept up at a price, of which, at this 
day, we have no conception, but which never diminifhed 
from any circumftance, under which the country where 
they grew, laboured. 

The filk and cotton of India were white and colourlefs, 
liable to foil, and without any variety ; but Arabia produced 
gum and dyes of various colours, which were highly agree- 
able to the tafte of the Afiatics. We find the facred fcrip- 
tures fpeak of the party-coloured garment as the mark of 
the greateft honour *. Solomon, in his proverbs, too, fays, 
•that he decked his bed with coverings of tapeftry of Egypt t- 
But Egypt had neither filk nor cotton manufactory, no, 
nor even wool. Solomons coverings, though he had 
them from Egypt, were therefore an article of barter with 

Balm, or Balfam J, was a commodity produced in Arabia, 
fold at a very high price, which it kept up till within thefe 


* Gen. xxxvii. 3 and 2 Sam. xiii. 18. + Prov. vii. 16. 

% Vide Appendix, where this tree is defcribed. 


few centuries in the eaft ; when the Venetians carried on 
the India trade by Alexandria, this Balfam then fold for its 
weight in gold ; it grows in the fame place, and, I believe, 
nearly in the fame quantity as ever, but, for very obvious 
reafons*, it is now of little value. 

The bafis of trade, or a connection between thefe two 
countries, was laid, then, from the beginning, by the hand 
of Providence. The wants and neceflities of the one found 
a fupply, or balance from the other. Heaven had placed, 
them not far diilant, could the paffage be made by fea ; but 
violent, fleady, and unconquerable winds prefented them- 
felves to make that pafTage of the ocean impoffible, and we 
are not to doubt, but, for a very confiderable time, this was 
the reafon why the commerce of India was diffufed through 
the continent, by land only, and from this arofe the riches 
of Semiramis. 

But, however precious the merchandife of Arabia was, it. 
was neither in quantity, nor quality, capable of balancing 
the imports from India. Perhaps they might have paid for 
as much as was ufed in the peninfula of Arabia itfelf, bur, 
beyond this there was a vaft continent called Africa, capa- 
ble of confirming many hundred fold more than Arabia ; 
which lying under the fame parallel with India, part of it 
Hill farther fouth, the difeafes of the climate, and the wants 
of its numerous inhabitants, were, in many parts of it, the 
fame as thofe of Arabia and India ; befides which there was 


*" The quantity of fimilar drug 1 ; brought from the New World.. 


the Red Sea, and divers communications to the north- 

Neither their luxuries nor neceffaries were the fame 
as thofe of Europe. And indeed Europe, at this time, was 
probably inhabited by ihepherds, hunters, and fifhers, who 
had no luxury at all, or fuch as could not be fupplied from 
India ; they lived in woods and marfhes, with the animals 
which made their fport, food, and cloathing. 

The inhabitants of Africa then, this vaft Continent, were to 
be fupplied with the neceffaries, as well as the luxuries of 
life, but they had neither the articles Arabia wanted, nor 
thofe required in India, at leaft, for a time they thought 
fo ; and fo long they were not a trading people. 

It is a tradition among the AbyiTinians, which they fay 
they have had from time immemorial, and which is equally 
received among the Jews and Chriftians, that almoft imme- 
diately after the flood, Cufh, grandfon of Noah, with his 
family, pairing through Atbara from the low country of 
Egypt, then without inhabitants, came to the ridge of 
mountains which ftill feparates the flat country of Atbara 
from the more mountainous high-land of Abyiiinia. 

By calling his eye upon the map, the reader will fee a 
chain of mountains, beginning at the Ifhhmus of Suez, that 
runs all along like a wall, about forty miles from the Red 
Sea, till it divides in lat. 1 3 , into two branches. The one 
goes along the northern frontiers of Abyflinia, crofTes the 
Nile, and then proceeds weftward, through Africa towards 
the Atlantic Ocean. The other branch goes fouthward, and 



then eafl, taking the form of the Arabian Gulf; after 
which, it continues fouthward all along the Indian Ocean, 
in the fame manner as it did in the beginning all along, 
the Red Sea, that is parallel to the coafl. 

Their tradition fays, that, terrified with the late dread- 
ful event the flood, flill recent in their minds, and appre- 
henfive of being again involved in a fimilar calamity, they 
chofe for their habitation caves in the fides of thefe moun- 
tains, rather than trull themfelves again on the plain. It 
is more than probable, that, loon after their arrival, meet- 
ing here with the tropical rains, which, for duration, flill 
exceed the days that occafioned the flood, and obferving, 
that going through Atbara, that part of Nubia between the 
Nile and Aflaboras, afterwards called Meroe, from a dry cli- 
mate at firft, they had after fallen in with rains, and as thofe 
rains increafed in proportion to their advancing fouthward, 
they chofe to flop at the firfl mountains, where the country 
was fertile and pleafant, rather than proceed farther at the 
rifk of involving themfelves, perhaps in a land of floods, 
that might prove as fatal to their poflerity as -that of Noah 
had been to their anceflors. 

This is a conjecture from probability, only mentioned 
for illuilration, for the motives that guided them cannot 
certainly be known ; but it is an undoubted facl, that here the 
Cufhkes, with unparalleled induflry, and with inflruments 
utterly unknown to us, formed for themfelves commodi- 
ous, yet wonderful habitations in the heart of mountains 
of granite and marble, which remain entire in great num- 
bers to this day, and promife to do fo till the confummation 
of all things. This original kind of dwellings foon ex- 

Vol. I. 3 B tended 


tended themfelves through the neighbouring mountains. 
As the Cufhites grew populous, they occupied thofe that were 
next them, fpreading the induftry and arts which they cul- 
tivated, as well to the eaftern as to the weftern ocean, but, 
content with their firft choice, they never defcended from 
their caves, nor chofe to refide at a diftance on the plain. 

It is very lingular that St Jerome does not know where 
to look for this family, or dependents of Cum ; though 
they are as plainly pointed out, and as often alluded to by 
fcripture, as any nation in the Old Teflamcnt. They are 
defcribed, moreover, by the particular circumflances of 
their country, which have never varied, to be in the very 
place where I now fix them, and where, ever fince, they 
have remained, and ftill do to this prefent hour, in the fame 
mont aires, and the fame houfes of ftone they formed for 
themfelves in the beginning. And yet Bochart *, profef- 
iedly treating this fubjecl:, as it were induftrioufly, involves 
it in more than- Egyptian darknefs. I rather refer the 
reader to his work, to judge for himfelf, than, quoting it 
by extracts, communicate the confuiion of his ideas to my 

The Abyffmian tradition further fays, they built the city 
of Axum fome time early in the days of Abraham. Scon 
after this, they pufhed their colony down to Atbara, where 
we know from Herodotus * they early and fuccefsfully 
purmed their ftudies, from which, Jofephus fays J, they were 
called Meroetes, ox inhabitants of the iiland o^ Meroe. 


J3och. lib. 4. cap. 3. t Hevod. lib/2, cap. 29. t lok S h. antiquit. Jud. 


The prodigious fragments of coloflal flames of the dog 
flar, Hill to be feen at Axum, fumciently iliew what a ma 
terial object of their attention they confidered him to be ; 
and Seir, which in the language of the Troglodytes, 
in that of the low country of Meroe, exactly correfpo- 
to it, fignifies a dog, inftructs us in the reafon why 
province was called Sire, and the large river which bo^ 
it, Siris. 

I apprehend the reafon why, without forfakin 
ancient domiciles in the mountains, they chofe this 
tion for another city, Meroe, was owing to an imperfection 
they had difcovered (both in Sire and in their caves below 
it) to refult from their climate. They were within the 
tropical rains ; and, confequently, were impeded and inter- 
rupted in the neceffary obfervations of the heavenly bodies, 
and the progrefs of aftronomy which they fo warmly culti- 
vated. They mull have feen, likewife, a neceffity of building 
Meroe' farther from them than perhaps they wiihed, for the 
fame reafon they built Axum in the high country of Abyf- 
firiia in order to avoid the fly (a phenomenon of which I 
mall afterwards fpeak) which purfued them everywhere 
within the limits of the rains, and which mufl have given 
an abfolute law in thofc iiiTc times to the regulations of 
the Cufhitc fettlements. They therefore went the length 
of lat. 1 6°, where I faw the ruins mppofed to be thofe of 
Meroe*, and caves in the mountains immediately above that 
fituation, which I cannot doubt were the temporary habita- 
tion of the builders of that firft feminary of learning. 

i B 2 It 

* At Gerri in my return through the defert. 



It is probable that, immediately upon their fuccefs at 
Meroe, they loft no time in flrctching on to Thebes. We 
know that it was a colony. of Ethiopians, and probably from 
Meroe, but whether directly, or not, we are not certain. A 
very fliort time might have paffed between the two eftablifh- 
ments, for we find above Thebes, as there are above Meroe, a 
vaft number of caves,which the colony made provifionally, 
upon its firft arrival, and which are very near the top of the 
mountain, all inhabited to this day. 

Hence we may infer, that their ancient apprehenfions 
of a deluge had not left them whilft, they faw the whole 
land of Egypt could be overflowed every year without rain 
falling upon it ; that they did not abfolutely, as yet, trufl to 
the flability of towns like thofe of Sire and Meroe, placed up- 
on columns or ftones, one laid upon the other, or otherwife, 
that they found their excavations in the mountains were 
finifhed with lefs trouble, and more comfortable when com- 
plete, than the houfes that were built. It was not long 
before they aflumed a greater degree of courage. 

Sjtfr ea ' i ' 1 =***%£ 





Saba and the South of Africa peopled — Shepherds, their particular Em- 
ployment and Circumjlances — Abyffmia occupied by fevcn fir anger Na- 
tions — Specimens of their fever al Languages Cotijeclures concerning 


WHILE thefe improvements were going on fo profper- 
oufly in the central and northern territory of the 
defcendents of Cufh, their brethren to the fouth were not 
idle, they had extended themfelves along the mountains 
that run parallel to the Arabian Gulf ; which was in all 
times called Saba, or Azabo, both which fignify South, not 
becaufe Saba was fouth of Jerufalem, but becaufc it was 
on the fouth coaft of the Arabian Gulf, and, from Arabia 
and Egypt, was the firft land to the fouthward which 
bounded the African Continent, then richer, more import- 
ant, and better known, than the reft of the world. By that ac- 
quifition, they enjoyed all the perfumes and aromatics in 
the eaft, myrrh, and frankincenfe, and caflia \ all which 
grow fpontaneouily in that ftripe of ground, from the Bay 
of Bilur weft of Azab, to Cape Gardefan, and then fouth- 
ward up in the Indian Ocean, to near the coaft of Melinda, 
where there is cinnamon, but of an inferior kind. 

3 Arabia. 


Arabia probably had not then fet itfclf up as a rival to 
this fide of the Red Sea, nor had it introduced from Abyfli- 
nia the myrrh and frankincenfe, as it did afterwards, for 
there is no doubt that the principal mart, and growth of 
thefe gums, were always near Saba. Upon the confumption 
increasing, they, however, were tranfplanted thence into 
Arabia, where the myrrh has not fucceeded. 

The Troglodyte extended himfelf ilill farther fouth. As 
an aftronomer, he was to difengage himfelf from the tro- 
pical rains and cloudy ikies that hindered his correfpon- 
dent obfervations with his countrymen at Meroe and Thebes. 
As he advanced within the fouthern tropic, he, however, 
flill found rains, and made his houfes fuch as the fears of 
a deluge had inftruclcd him to do. He found there folid and 
high mountains, in a fine climate ; but, luckier than his 
countrymen to the northward, he found gold and filver in 
large quantities, which determined his occupation, and made 
the riches and confequence of his country. In thefe moun- 
tains, called the Mountains of So/via, large quantities of both 
metals were difcovered in their pure unmixed ftate, lying 
in globules without alloy, or any neceflity of preparation or 

The balance of trade, fo long againft the Arabian and 
African continents, turned now in their favour from the 
immenfe influx of thefe precious metals, found in the 
mountains of Sofala, jufl on the verge of the fouthern tro- 
pical rains. 

Gold and fiver had been fixed upon in India as proper 
returns for their manufactures and produce. It is impoifi- 

' ble 


blc to fay whether it was from their hardnefs or beauty, or 
what other reafon governed the mind of man in making 
this ftandard of barter. The hiftory of the particular tran- 
factions of thofe times is loft, if, indeed, there ever was 
fuch hiftory, and, therefore, all further inquiries are in 
vain. The choice, it feems, was a proper one, fince it has 
continued unaltered fo many ages in India, and has been 
univerfally adopted by all nations pretty much in the pro- 
portion or value as in India, into which continent gold and 
filver, from this very early period, began to flow, have con- 
tinued fo to do to this day, and in all probability will do to 
the end of time. What has become of that immenfe quan- 
tity of bullion, how it is con fumed, or where it is depoiited, 
and which way, if ever it returns, are doubts which I never 
yet found aperfon that could fatisf actor ily folve. 

The Cufhite then inhabited the mountains, whilft the 
northern colonies advanced from Meroe to Thebes, bufy 
and intent upon the improvement of architecture, and build- 
ing of towns, which they began to fubilitute for their caves; 
they thus became traders, farmers, artificers of all kinds, 
and even practical aftronomers, from having a meridian 
night and day free from clouds, for fuch was that of the 
Thebaid. As this was impomble to their brethren, and fix 
months continual rain confined them to theie caves, we 
.cannot doubt but that their fedentary life made them ufe- 
ful in reducing the many obfervations daily made by thofe- 
ef their countrymen who lived under a purer iky. Letters 
too, at leaft one fort of them, and arithmetical characters, we 
are told, were invented by this middle part of the Ctnliites, 
while trade and afcronomy, the natural hiftory of the winds 

1 and.: 


and feafons, were what necefTarily employed the part of the 
colony eftablifhed at Sofala moft to the fouthward. 

The very nature of the Cufhites commerce, the collect- 
ing of gold, the gathering and preparing his fpices, necef- 
farily fixed him perpetually at home ; but his profit lay in 
the difperfing of thcfe fpices through the continent, other- 
wife his mines, and the trade produced by the pofTeffion of 
them, were to him of little avail. 

A carrier was abfolutely neceflary to the Cufhitc, and 
Providence had provided him one in a nation which were 
his neighbours. Thefe were in molt refpects different, as 
they had long hair, European features, very dufky and dark 
complexion, but nothing like the black-moor or negro ; they 
lived in plains, having moveable huts or habitations, attend- 
ed their numerous cattle, and wandered from the neccf- 
fities and particular circumftances of their country. Thefe 
people were in the Hebrew called Phut, and, in all other 
languages, Shepherds; they are fo ftill, for they frill, exift; 
they fubiift by the fame occupation, never had another, 
and therefore cannot be miftaken ; they are called Balous, 
Bagla, Belowee, Berberi, Barabra, Zilla and Habab * which 
all fignify but one thing, namely that of Shepherd. From 
their place of habitation, the territory has been called Bar- 
baria by the Greeks and Romans, from Berber, in the origi- 
al fignifying Jhcpherd. The authors that fpeak of the Shep- 
herds fecm to know little of thofc of the Tbebaid, and ftill 


* It is very probable, fome of thefe words fignified different degrees among them, as we 
{hall fee in the fequel. 


lefs of thofe of Ethiopia, whilft they fall immediately upon 
the fhepherds of the Delta, that they may get the fooner rid 
of them, and thruft them into Aflyria, Paleiline, and Arabia. 
They never fay what their origin was ; how they came to 
be fo powerful ; what was their occupation ; or, properly, 
the land they inhabited ; or what is become of them now, 
though they feem inclined to think the race extinct. 

The whole employment of the fhepherds had been the 
difperfmg of the Arabian and African goods all over the 
continent; they had, by that employment, rifen to be a 
great people : as that trade increafed, their quantity of cat- 
tle increafed alfo, and confequently their numbers, and the 
extent of their territory. 

Upon looking at the map, the reader will fee a chain of 
mountains which I have defcribed, and which run in a 
high ridge nearly ftraight north, along the Indian Ocean, 
in a direction parallel to the coaft, where they end at Cape 
Gardefan. They then take the direction of the coail, and 
run weft from Cape Gardefan to the Straits of Babelma'ndeb, 
inclofing the frankincenfe and myrrh country, which ex- 
tends confiderably to the weft of Azab. From Babelman- 
dCo they run northward, parallel to the Red Sea, till they 
end in the fandy plain at the Ifthmus of Suez, a name pro- 
bably derived from Suah, Shepherds, 

Although this ftripe of land along the Indian Ocean, 
and afterwards along the Red Sea, was neceftary to the fhep- 
herds, becaufe the)- carried their merehandife'to the ports 
there, and thence to Thebes and Memphis upon the Nile, 
yet the principal feat of their refidence and power was that 
VoL " L 3 G flat 


flat part of Africa between the northern tropic and the 
mountains of Abyffinia. This is divided into various dif- 
tricts; it reaches from Mafuah along the fea-coaft to Suakem, 
then turns weftward, and continues in that direction, having 
the Nile on the fouth, the tropic on the north, to the deferts 
of Selima, and the confines of Libya on the weft. This 
large extent of country is called Beja. The next is that 
diftrict * in form of a fhield, as Meroe is faid to have been ; 
this name was given it by Cambyfes. It is between the 
Nile and Aflaboras, and is now called Atbara. Between the 
river Mareb, the ancient Aftufafpes on the e aft, and Atbara 
on the weft, is the fmall plain territory of Derkin, another 
diftrivfl of the fhepherds. All that range of mountains 
running eaft and weft, inclofing Derkin and Atbara on the 
fouth, and which begins the mountainous country of Abyf- 
finia, is inhabited by the negro woolly-headed Cufhite, or 
Shangalla, living as formerly in caves, who, from having 
been the moll cultivated and inftructed people in the 
world, have, by a ftrange reverfe of fortune, relapfed into 
brutal ignorance, and are hunted by their neighbours 
like wild beafts in thofe forefts, where they ufed to reign in 
the utmoft luxury, liberty, and fplendour. But the nobleft, 
and moil warlike of all the ihepherds,were thofe that inhabi- 
ted the mountains of the Habab, a confiderable ridge reach- 
ing from the neighbourhood of Mafuah to Suakem, and who, 
dill dwell there, 

In the ancient language of this country, So, or Sua/j,{ignlhcd 
fhepherd, or fhepherds; though we do notknow any particu- 
lar rank or degrees among them, yet we may fuppofe theie 
called, {imply Jltfljen/s were the common fort that attended 


D'od.Sic. lib. i. caj>. 


the flocks, Another denomination, part of them bore, was 
Hycfos, founded by us Agfos, which fignifies armed Jhcpberds, 
or fuch as wore harnefs, which may be fuppofed the fol- 
diers, or armed force of that nation. The third we fee men- 
tioned is Ag-ag, which is thought to be the nobles or 
chiefs of thofe armed fhepherds, whence came their title 
King of Kings *. The plural of this is Agagi, or, as it is writ- 
ten in the Ethiopic, Agaazi. 

This term has very much puzzled both Scaliger and Lu- 
dolf ; for, finding in the Abyffinian books that they are call- 
ed Agaazi, they torment themfelves about finding the ety- 
mology of that word. They imagine them to be Arabs 
from near the Red Sea, and Mr Ludolf f thinks the term fig- 
nifies banijhed men. Scaliger, too, has various gucffes about 
them nearly to the fame import. All this, however, is with- 
out foundation ; the people affert themfelves at this day to 
be Agaazi, that is, a race of Shepherds inhabiting the moun- 
tains of the Habab, and have by degrees extended them- 
felves through the whole province of Tigre, whofe capital 
is called Axum, from Ag and Suah, the metropolis, or princi- 
pal eity of the fhepherds that wore arms. 

Nothing was more oppofite than the manners and life 
of the Cufhite, and his carrier the fhepherd. The firft, 
though he had forfaken his caves, and now lived in cities 
which he had built, was neceffarily confined at home by his 
commerce, amaffing gold, arranging the invoices of his 

3 C 2 fpices, 

* This was the name of the king of Amalek; he was an Arab fhepherd, flain by Sa- 
muel, 1 Sara. xv. 33. 

f Ludolf lib. 1 cap. 4, 


fpices, hunting in the feafon to provide himfelf with ivory ; 
and food throughout the winter. His mountains, and the 
cities he built afterwards, were fituated uponaloomy, black 
earth, fo that as foon as the tropical rains began to fall, a 
wonderful phenomenon deprived him of his cattle. Large 
fwarms of flies appeared wherever that loomy earth was, 
which made him abfolutely dependent in this refpect upon 
the fhepherd, but this affected the fhepherd alfo. 

This infect is called Zimb ; it has not been defcribed by 
any naturalifl. It is in lize very little larger than a bee, of 
a thicker proportion, and his wings, which are broader than 
thofe of a bee, placed feparatc like thofe of a fly ; they are 
of pure gauze, without colour or fpot upon them ; the 
head is large, the upper jaw or lip is fliarp, and has at the 
end of it a ftrong-pointed hair of about a quarter of an 
inch long ; the lower jaw has two of thefe pointed hairs v , 
and this pencil of hairs, when joined together, makes a re- 
fillence to the finger nearly equal to that of a flrong hog's 
brittle. Its legs are ferratcd in the infide, and the whole 
covered with brown hair or down. As foon as this plague 
appears, and their buzzing is heard, ail the cattle for- 
fakc their food, and run wildly about the plain, till they 
{lie, worn out with fatigue, fright, and hunger. No remedy 
remains, but to leave the black earth, and haften down to 
the lands of Atbara, and there they remain while the rains 
laft, this cruel enemy never daring to purine thcrn farther.. 

What enables the fhepherd to perform the long and 
toillbmc journies acrofs Africa is the camel, emphatically 
called by the Arabs, the Jlolp of the defert. He feems to have 
been created for this very trade, endued with parts and 



qualities adapted to the office he is employed to difcharge. 
The drieft thiftle, and the bareft thorn, is all the food this 
ufeful quadruped requires, and even theic, to fave time; 
he eats while advancing on his journey, without (lopping, 
or occafioning a moment of delay. As it is his lot to crofs 
immenfe deferts, where no water is found, and countries 
not even moiftencd by the dew of heaven, he is endued with, 
the power at one watering-place to lay in a ftorc, with 
which he fupplies himfelf for thirty days to come. To 
contain this enormous quantity of fluid, Nature has form- 
ed large cifterns within him, from which, once filled, he 
draws at pleafure the quantity he wants, and pours it into 
his ftomach with the fame effccl: as if he then drew it from 
a fpring, and with this he travels, patiently and vigoroufly, 
all day long, carrying a prodigious load upon him, through 
countries infected with poiibnous winds, and glowing with 
parching and never-cooling fands. Though his fize is im- 
menfe, as is his ftrength, and his body covered with a thick 
fkin, defended with ftrong hair, yet ftill he is not capable 
to fuftain the violent punctures the fly makes with his 
pointed probofcis. He mult lofc no time in removing to the 
fands of Atbara ; for, when once attacked by this fly, his 
body, head, and legs break out into large boffes, which fwell, 
break, and putrify, to the certain deilruction of the creature. 

Even the elephant and rhinoceros, who, by reafen of 
their enormous bulk, and the vail quantity of food and 
water they daily need, cannot fliift to defert and dry places 
as the feafon may require, are obliged to roll themi'eives in 
mud and mire, which, when dry, coats them over like ar- 
mour, and enables them to ftand their ground agamic this 
winged affafiin; yet I have found feme of thefe tubcrculcs 

21 upon: 


upon almoil every elephant and rhinoceros that I have feen, 
and attribute them to this caufe. 

All the inhabitants of the fea-coaft of Melinda, down to 
Cape Gardefan, to Saba, and the fouth coaft of the Red Sea, 
are obliged to put themfelves in motion, and remove to the 
next fand in the beginning of the rainy feafon, to prevent all 
theirftockof cattle from beingdeftroyed. This is notapartial e- 
migration ; the inhabitants of all the countries from the 
mountains of Abyffinia northward, to the confluence of the 
Nile and Aftaboras, are oncea-year obliged to change their a- 
bode, and feek protection inthe fands of Beja ; nor is there any 
alternative, or means of avoiding this, though a hoftile band 
Was in their way, capable of fpoiving them of half their 
fubftance ; and this is now actually the cafe, as we mail fee 
when we come to fpeak of Sennaar. 

Of all thofe that have written upon thefe countries, the 
prophet Ifaiah alone has given an account of this animal, 
and the manner of its operation. Ifa. vii. ch. 18. and 19. ver. 
" And it fhall come to pafs, in that day, that the Lord mall 
" hlfs for the fly that is in the uttermofl part of the rivers of 
" Egypt," — " And they fhall come, and fhall reft all of them 
" in the defolate vallies *, and in the holes of the rocks, and 
" upon all thorns, and upon all buflies." 

The mountains that I have already fpoken of, as running 
through the country of the Shepherds, divide the feafons 


* That is, they fhall cut off from the cattle their ufual retreat to the defert, by taking poffeffion 
•f thofe places, and meeting them there where ordinarily they never come, and which therefore 
re the refuge of the cattle. 


fey a line drawn along their fummit, fo exactly, that, while 
the eaftern fide, towards the Red Sea, is deluged with rain 
for the fix months that conftitute our winter in Europe, the 
weftern fide towards Atbara enjoys a perpetual fun, and ac- 
tive vegetation. Again, the fix months, when it is (Mir fum> 
mer in Europe, Atbara, or the weftern fide of thefe mountains, 
is conftantly covered with clouds and rain, while, for the 
fame time, the fhepherd on the eaftern fide, towards the 
Red Sea, feeds his flocks in the moil exuberant foliage and 
luxuriant verdure, enjoying the fair weather, free from the 
fly or any other moleftation. Thefe great advantages have 
very naturally occafioned thefe countries of Atbara and 
Beja to be the principal refidence of the fhepherd and his 
cattle, and have entailed upon him the necemty of a per- 
petual change of places. Yet fo little is this inconvenience, 
fo fliort the peregrination, that, from the rain on the weft 
fide, a man, in the fpace of four hours, will change to the 
oppofite feafon, and find, himfelf in fun-fhine to the caft> 

When Carthage was built, the carriage of this commei> 
cial city fell into the hands of Lehabim, or Lubim, the Li- 
byan peafants, and became a great acceffion to the trade, 
power, and number of the fhepherds. In countries to which 
there was no accefs by fhipping, the end of navigation was 
nearly anfwered by the immenfe increafe of camels-; and 
this trade, we find, was carried on in the very earlieft ages 
on the Arabian fide, by the Ifhmaelite merchants trading to 
Palcftine and Syria, from the fouth end of the peninfula, 
with camels. This we learn particularly from Genefis, they 
brought myrrh and ibices, or pepper, and fold them for 

4^ filver; 


filver; they had alfo balm, or balfam, but this it feems, in 
thofe days, they brought from Gilead. 

We are forry, in reading this curious anecdote preferred 
to us in fcripturc, to iind, in thofe early ages of the India 
trade, that another fpecies of commerce was clofely con- 
nected with it, which modern philanthropy has branded as 
the difgrace of human nature. It is plain, from the pafTage, 
the commerce of felling men was then univerfally eftabliih- 
cd. Jofeph* is bought as readily, and fold as currently im- 
mediately after, as any ox or camel could be at this day. 
Three nations, Javan, Tubal, and Mefhechf, are mentioned 
as having their principal trade at Tyre in the felling of men; 
and, as late as St John's time f, this is mentioned as a prin- 
cipal part of the trade of Babylon ; notwithflanding which, 
no prohibition from God, or cenfure from the prophets, 
have ever ftigmatized it either as irreligious or immoral ; 
on the contrary, it is always fpoken of as favourably as any 
fpecies of commerce whatever. For this, and many other 
reafons which I could mention, I cannot think, that pur- 
chafmg Haves is, in iti'elf, either cruel or unnatural. To 
purchafe any living creature to abufe it afterwards, is cer- 
tainly both bafe and criminal ; and the crime becomes full 
of a deeper dye, when our fellow-creatures come to be the 
fufferers. But, although this is an abufe which accidentally 
follow the trade, it is no neceflary part of the trade itfelf ; 
and, it is againft this abufe the wifdom of the legiflature 
mould be directed, not againft the trade itfelf. 


* Gen. chap, xxxvii. vcr. 25. 28. + Ezek. chap, xxvii. vcr- 13. 

+. Rev. chap, xviii.vcr. 13. 


On the eaftern fide of the peninfula of Africa, many thou- 
fand flaves are fold to Afia, perfeftly in the fame manner 
as thofe on the weft fide are fent to the Weft Indies; but no 
one, that ever I heard, has as yet opened his mouth againft 
the fale of Africans to the Eaft Indies ; and yet there is an 
aggravation in this laft fale of flaves that mould touch us 
much more than the other, where no fuch additional grie- 
vance can be pretended. The flaves fold into Afia are mod 
of them Chriftians; they are fold to Mahometans, and, with 
their liberty, they are certainly deprived of their religion like- 
wife. But the treatment of the Afiatics being much 
more humane than what the Africans, fold to the Weft 
Indies, meet with, no clamour has yet been raifed againft 
this commerce in Afia, becaufe its only bad confequence is 
apoftacy; a proof to me that religion has no part in the pre- 
fent difpute, or, as I have faid, it is the abufe that accident- 
ally follows the purchafing of flaves, not the trade itfelf, that- 
mould be confidered as the grievance. 

It is plain from all hiftory, that two abominable prac- 
tices, the one the eating of men, the other of facrificing 
them to the devil, prevailed all over Africa. The India 
trade, as we have feen in very early ages, firft eftablilhed 
the buying and felling of flaves; fince that time, the eating 
of men, or facrificing them, has fo greatly decreafed on the 
eaftern fide of the peninfula, that now we fcarcely hear of 
an inftance of either of thefe that can be properly vouched. 
On the weftern part, towards the Atlantic Ocean, where the 
fale of flaves began a confiderable time later, after the 
difcovery of America and the Weft Indies, both of thefe hor- 
rid practices are, as it were, general, though, I am told, lefs 
fo to the northward fince that event. 

Vol. I. 3 D There 


There is ftill alive a man of the name of Matthews, who 
was prefent at one of thofe bloody banquets on the weft 
of Africa, to the northward of Senega. It is probable the con- 
tinuation of the flave-trade would have aboliihed thefe, in 
time, on the weft fide alfo. Many other reafons could be 
alledged,did my plan permit it. But I mall content myfelf 
at prefent, with faying, that I very much fear that a relaxa- 
tion and effeminacy of manners, rather than genuine ten- 
dernefs of heart, has been the caufe of this violent paroxyfm 
of philanthropy, and of fome other meafures adopted of late 
to the difcouragementof discipline, which I do not doubt will 
foon be felt to contribute their mite to the decay both of trade 
and navigation that will neceffarily follow. 

The Ethiopian fhepherds at firft carried on the trade on 
their own fide of the Red Sea ; they carried their India com- 
modities to Thebes, likewife to the different black nations to 
the fouth-weft ; in return, they brought back gold, probably 
at a cheaper rate, becaufe certainly by a fhorter carriage than 
by- that from Ophir. 

Thebes became exceedingly rich and proud, though, by 
the moft extenfive area that ever was affigned to it, it never 
could be either large or populous. Thebes is not mention- 
ed in fcripture by that name ; it was deftroyed before the 
days of Mofes by Salatis prince of the Agaazi, or Ethiopian 
fhepherds ; at this day it has affumed a name very like the 
ancient one. The firft fignification of its name, Medinet 
Tabu, I thought was the Town of our Father. This, hiftory 
fays, was given it by Sefoftris in honour of his father ; in 
the ancient language, its name was Ammon No. The next 
that prefented itfelf was Theba, which was the Hebrew 



jiame for the Ark when Noah was ordered to build it — 
Thouihalt " make thee an Ark (Theba) of gopher- wood*." 

The figure of the temples in Thebes do not feem to be 
far removed from the idea given us of the Ark. The third 
conjecture is, that being the firft city built and fupported 
on pillars, and, on different and feparate pieces of ftone, it 
got its name from the architects firft expreffion of appro- 
bation or furprife, Tabu, that it flood infulated and alone, 
and this feems to me to be the moll conformable both to 
the Hebrew and Ethiopic. 

The fhepherds, for the moft part, friends and allies of the 
Egyptians, or Cufhite, at times were enemies to them. We 
need not, at this time of day, feek the caufe ; there are many 
very apparent, from oppofite manners, and, above all, the 
difference in the dietetique regimen. The Egyptians wor- 
th ipped the cow, the Shepherds killed and ate her. The 
Shepherds were Sabeans, worfhipping the hod of heaven — 
the fun, moon, and liars. Immediately upon the building 
of Thebes and the perfection of fculpture, idolatry and the 
grofTeft material ifm greatly corrupted the more pure and 
ipeculativc religion of the Sabeans. Soon after the build- 
ing of Thebes, we fee that Rachel, Abraham's wife, had 
idols f ; we need feek no other probable caufe of the devas- 
tation that followed, than difference of religion. 

Thebes was deftroyed by Salatis, who overturned the 
firft Dynafty of Cufhite, or Egyptian kings, begun by Me- 
nes, in what is called the fecond age of the world, and 

3D2 founded 

* Gen. ti. 14. f Gen. xxxv. 4. 


founded the firft Dynafty of the Shepherds, who behaved 
very cruelly, and wrefted the lands from their firft owners; 
and it was this Dynafty that Sefoftris deftroyed, after calling 
Thebes by his father's name, Ammon No, making thofe de- 
corations that we have feen of the harp in the fepulchres on 
the weft, and building Diofpolis on the oppofite fide of the 
river. The fecond conqueft of Egypt by the Shepherds 
was that under Sabaco, by whom it has been imagined 
Thebes was deftroyed, in the reign of Hezekiah king of 
Judah, who is faid to have made peace with So * king of 
Egypt, as the tranflator has called him, miftaking So for 
the name of the king, whereas it only denoted his quality 
of fhepherd. 

From this it is plain, all that the fcripture mentions a- 
bout Ammon No, applies to Diofpolis on the other fide of 
the river. Ammon No and Diofpolis, though they were on 
different fides of the river, were confidered as one city, 
thro' which the Nile flowed, dividing it into two parts. This 
is plain from profane hiftory, as well as from the prophet 
Nahum f, who defcribes it very exa&ly, if in place of the 
wordy^z was fubftituted river> as it ought to be. 

There was a third invafion of the Shepherds after the 
building of Memphis, where a % king of Egypt § is faid to 
have inclofed two hundred and forty thoufand of them in 
a city called Abaris ; they furrendered upon capitulation, 
and were banifhed the country into the land of Canaan. 
That two hundred and forty thoufand men fhould be 


* 2 Kings, xvii. 4. f Nahum, chap. iii. 8. % Mifphragmuthofis. § Manethon, 

Apud. Jofephum Apion. lib. i.p. 460. 


inclofed in one city, fo as to bear a fiege, feeras to me ex- 
tremely improbable; but be it fo, all that it can mean 
is, that Memphis, built in Lower Egypt near the Delta, had 
war with the Shepherds of the Ifthmus of Suez, or the dif- 
tri&s near them, as thofe of Thebes had before with the 
Shepherds of the Thebaid. But, however much has been 
written upon the fubject, the total expulfion of the Shep- 
herds at any one time by any King of Egypt, or at any one 
place, muft be fabulous, as they have remained in their an- 
cient feats, and do remain to this day ; perhaps in not fo 
great a number as when the India trade was carried on 
by the Arabian Gulf, yet ftill in greater numbers than any 
other nation of the Continent.. 

The mountains which the Agaazi inhabit, are called Habab^ 
from which it comes, that they themfelves have got that 
name. Habab, in their language, and in Arabic like- 
wife, iignifies a ferpent, and this I fuppofe explains that his- 
torical fable in the book of Axum, which fays, a ferpent 
conquered the province of Tigre, and reigned there. 

It may be afked, Is there no other people that inhabit 
Abyffinia, but thefe two nations, the Cufhites and the Shep- 
herds ? Are there no other nations, whiter or fairer than 
them, living to the fouthward of the Agaazi ? Whence did 
thefe come ? At what time, and by what name are they cal- 
led ? To this I anfwer, That there are various nations which 
agree with this defcription, who have each a particular 
name, and who are all known by that of HabeJ/j, in Latin 
Convene, Signifying a number of diftinel: people meeting acci- 
dentally in one place. The word has been greatly mifun- 
derftood, and mifapplied, both by Scaliger and Ludolf, and 

3 a num.- 


a number of others ; but nothing is more confonant to the 
hiftory of the country than the tranilation I have given it, 
nor will the word itfelf bear any other. 

The Chronicle of Axum, the moll ancient repofitory of 
the antiquities of that country, a book efteemed, I fhall not 
fay how properly, as the firll in authority after the holy 
fcriptures, fays, that between the creation of the world and 
the birth of our Saviour there were 5500 years *; that A- 
byflinia had never been inhabited till 1808 years before 
Chrift * ; and 200 years after that, which was in the 1600, it 
was laid wafte by a flood, the face of the country much 
changed and deformed, fo that it was denominated at that 
time Oure Midre, or, the country laid wafte, or, as it is called 
in fcripturc itfelf, a land which the waters or floods had 
fpoiled f ; that about the 1400 year before Chrift it was 
taken poneflion of by a variety of people fpeaking different 
languages, who, as they were in friendfhip with the Agaazi, 
or Shepherds, poflefling the high country of Tigre, came 
and fat down befide them in a peaceable manner, each occu- 
pying the lands that were before him. This fettlement is 
what the Chronicle of Axum calls Angaba, the entry and e- 
ftablifhment of thefe nations, which finifhed the peopling 
of Aby lli nia . 

Tradition further fays, that they came from Paleftine, 
All this feems to me to wear the face of truth. Some time 
.after the year 1500, we know there happened a flood which 


* Eight years lefs than the Greeks and other followers of the Septuagint, 
+ Ifaiah, chap, .-yviii. vtr. 2. 



occafioned great devaluation. Paufanius fays, that this flood 
happened in Ethiopia in the reign of Cecrops ; and, about 
the 1490 before Chrift, the Ifraelites entered the landofpro- 
mife, under Caleb and Jofliua. We are not to wonder at 
the great imprefllon that invafion made upon the minds of 
the inhabitants of Paleftine. We fee by the hiitory of the 
harlot, that the different nations had been long informed 
by prophecies, current and credited among themfclves, that 
they were to be extirpated before the face of the Ifraelites 
who for fome time had been hovering about their frontiers. 
But now when Jofliua had paflTed the Jordan, after having mi- 
raculoufly dried up the - river* before his army had inva- 
ded Canaan, and had taken and deftroyed Jericho, a panic 
feized the whole people of Syria and Paleiline. 

These petty ftates, many in number, and who had all 
different languages, feeing a conqueror with an immenfe 
army already in pofleflion of part of their country, and 
who did not conduct himfelf according to the laws of o- 
ther conquerors, but put the vanquished under faws and 
harrows of iron, and deftroyed the men, women, and child- 
ren; and fometimes even the cattle, by the fword, no long- 
er could think of waiting the arrival of fuch an enemy, 
but fought for fafety by fpeedy flight or emigration. The 
Shepherds in Abyflinia and Atbara were the moil: natural re- 
fuge thefe fugitives could feek ; commerce mud have long 
made them acquainted with each others manners, and they 

v. i. 3d mud 

jofliua, iii. 16. 


muft have been already entitled to the rights of hofpitality 
by having often pafTed through each other's country. 

Procopius*" mentions that two pillars were {landing in his 
time on the coaft of Mauritania, oppofite to Gibraltar, upon 
which were infcriptions in the Phoenician tongue : " We are 
" Canaanites, flying from the face of Jofhua, the fon of Nun, 
" the robber .•" A character they naturally gave him from 
the ferocity and violence of his manners. Now, if what 
thefe infcriptions contain is true, it is much more credible, 
that the different nations, emigrating at that time, mould 
feek their fafety near hand among their friends, rather than 
go to an immenfe diftance to Mauritania, to rifk a precari- 
ous reception among ftrangers, and perhaps that country 
not yet inhabited. 

Upon viewing the feveral countries in which thefe 
nations have their fettlements, it feems evident they were 
made by mutual confent, and in peace ; they are not fepa- 
rated from each other by chains of mountains, or large 
and rapid rivers, but generally by fmall brooks, dry the 
greateft part of the year ; by hillocks, or fmall mounds of 
earth, or imaginary lines traced to the top of fome moun- 
tain at a diftance ; thefe boundaries have never been dis- 
puted or altered, but remain upon the old tradition to this 
day. Thefe have all different languages, as we fee from 
fcripture all the petty ftates of Paleftine had, but they have 
no letters, or written character, but the Geez, the character 


* Piocop. de bello vind. lib. 2. cap. 10. 
* A Mooiifh author, Ibn el Raquique, fays, this infciiption was on a ftone on a mountain at 
Caithage. Marmol. lib. I. cap. 25. 


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of the Cufhite fhepherd by whom they were firft invented 
and ufed, as we mall fee hereafter. I may add in further 
proof of their origin, that the curfe* of Canaan feems to 
have followed them, they have obtained no principality, but 
ferved the kings of the Agaazi or Shepherds, have been 
hewers of wood and drawers of water, and £0 they flill 

The firft and mofl confiderable of thefc nations fettled in 
a province called Amhara ; it was, at firft coming, as little 
known as the others ; but, upon a revolution in the country, 
the king fled to that province, and there the court ftaid 
many years, fo that the Geez, or language of the Shepherds, 
was dropt, and retained only in writing, and as a dead lan- 
guage ; the facrcd fcriptures being in that language only, 
faved the Geez from going totally into difufe. The fecond 
were the Agows of Damot, one of the fouthern provinces of 
Abyffinia, where they are fettled immediately upon the 
fources of the Nile. The third are the Agows of Lafla, or 
Tcheratz Agow, from Tchera, their principal habitation ; 
theirs too is a feparate language ; they are Troglodytes that 
live in caverns, and feem to pay nearly the fame worfhip to 
the Siris, or Tacazze, that thofe of Damot pay to the Nile. 

1 take the old names of thefe two lafl-mentioned na- 
tions, to be funk in the circumftances of this their new fet- 
tlement, and to be a compound of two words Ag-oha, the 
•Shepherds of the River, and I alfo imagine, that the idolatry 

Vol. I. 3 E they 

*-Gen. ix, 2$, 26, and 27. verfes, 


they introduced in the worfliip of the Nile, is a further 
proof that they came from Canaan, where they imbibed 
materialifm in place of the pure Sabcan worfliip of the 
Shepherds, then the only religion of this part of Africa. 

The fourth is a nation bordering upon the . fouthcrn. 
banks of the Nile near Damot. It calls itfelf Gafat, which 
fignifies opprefled by violence,- torn, expelled, or chaccd a- 
way by force. If we were to follow the idea ariiing mere- 
ly from this name, we might be led to imagine, that thefe 
were part of the tribes torn from Solomon's fon and fuccef- 
for, Rehoboam. This, however, we cannot do confluent 
with the faith to be kept by a hiflorian with his reader. 
The evidence of the people themfelves, and the tradition of 
the country, deny they ever were Jews, or ever concerned 
with that colony, brought with Menilek and the queen of 
Saba, which eilablifhed the Jewifh hierarchy. They declare, 
that they are now Pagans, and ever were fo; that they are 
partakers with their neighbours the Agows in the worfliip 
of the river Nile, the extent or particulars of which I can- 
not pretend to explain. — The fifth is a tribe, which, if we 
were to pay any attention to fimilarity of names, we fliould 
be apt to imagine we had. found here in Africa a part 
of that great Gaulifli nation fo widely extended in Europe 
and Afia. A comparifon of their languages, with what we 
know exifls of , the former, cannot but be very curious. — 
Thefe are the Galla, the moil confiderable of thefe nations, 
fpecimens of whole language I have cited. This word, in.< 
their own language, fignifies Shepherd*; they fay that for- 

* Thefe people likewife call themfelves Agaazi, or Agagi, they have over-run the kingdom of 
Congo fouth of the Line, and on the Atlantic Ocean, as the Galla have done that part of the king- 
dom of Add and Abyflinia, on the Eaftan, or Indian Ocean. Purch. lib..ii. chap. 4. Seel. 8. 


merly they lived on the borders of the fouthern rains, with- 
in the fouthern tropic ; and that, like thefe in Atbara, they 
were carriers between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and 
fupplied the interior part of the peninfula with Indian com- 

The hiflory of this trade is unknown ; it muft have been 
little lefs ancient, and nearly as extenfive, as the trade to 
Egypt and Arabia. It probably fuffered diminution, when 
the mines of Sofala were given up, foon after the difcovery 
of the new world. The Portuguefe found it ftill flourifhing, 
when they made their firft conquefts upon that coaft ; and 
they carry it on ftill in an obfcure manner, but in the fame 
tract to their fettlements near Cape Negro on the weftern 
ocean. From thefe fettlements would be the proper place 
to begin to explore the interior parts of the peninfula, on 
both fides of the fouthern tropic, as protection and affiftance 
could probably be got through the whole courfe of it, and 
very little fkili in language would be neceflary. 

When no employment was found for this multitude of 
men and cattle, they left their homes, and proceeding north- 
ward, they found themfelves involved near the Line, in 
rainy, cold, and cloudy weather, where they fcarcely ever 
faw the fun. Impatient of fuch a climate, they advanced 
ftill farther, till about the year 1537, they appeared in great 
numbers in the province of Bali, abandoning the care of 
camels for the breeding of horfes. At prefent they are all 
cavalry. I avoid to fay more of them in this place, as I mall 
be obliged to make frequent mention of them in the courfe 
of my narrative. 

3 E 2 The 


The Falafha, too, are a people of Abyflinia, having a par- 
ticular language of their own ; a fpecimen of which I have 
alfo publifhed, as the hiftory of the people feems to be curi- 
ous. I do not, however, mean to fay of them, more than 
of the Galla, that this was any part of thofe nations who 
fled from Paleftine on the invafwn of Jofhua. For they are 
now, and ever were, Jews, and have traditions of their own 
as to their origin, and what reduced them to the prefent 
ftate of feparation, as we fhall fee hereafter, when I come to 
fpeak of the tranflation of the holy fcripture. 

In order to gratify fuch as are curious in the fludy and 
hiftory of language, I, with great pains and difficulty, got 
the whole book of the Canticles tranflated into each of thefe 
languages, by priefts efteemed the moft verfant in the Ian* 
guage of each nation. As this barbarous polyglot is of too 
large a fize to print, I have contented myfelf with copying 
fix verfes of the firft chapter in each language; but the 
whole book is at the fervice of any perfon of learning that 
will bellow his time in ftudying it, and, for this purpofe, 
I left it in the Britiih Mufeum, under the direction of Sir 
Jofeph Banks, and the Bifhop of Carlille. 

These Convena; as we have obferved, were called Habejh, 
a number of diftincl: nations meeting in one place. Scrip- 
ture has given them a name, which, though it has been ill 
tranflated, is precifely Cb»w«^, both in the Ethiopic and He r 
brew. Our Englifh tranflation calls them the mingled people *, 
whereas it fhould be \h.c feparate nations, who, though met and 
fettled together, did not mingle, which is ftrictly Convene 


Jerera. chap, xiii. ver. 23.— id. xxv. 24.— Ezek. chap. x.\x. ver. 5. 


The inhabitants then who poffeffed Abyfiinia, from its 
fouthern boundary to the tropic of Cancer, or frontiers of 
Egypt, were the Cufhites, or polifhed people, living in. 
towns, firft Troglodytes, having their habitations in caves. 
The next were the Shepherds ; after thefe were the na- 
tions who, as we apprehend, came from Paleftine — Amhara, 
Agow of Damot, Agow of Tchera, and Gafat. 

Interpreters, much lefs acquainted with the hiftorical 
circumftances of thefe countries than the prophets, have, 
either from ignorance or inattention, occalioned an obfeu- 
rity which otherwife did not arife from the text. All thefe 
people are alluded to in fcripture by defcriptions that can- 
not be miftaken. If they have occafioned doubts or dif- 
ficulties, they are all to be laid at thedoor of the tranflators^ 
chiefly the Septuagint. When Mofes returned with his wife 
Zipporah, daughter of the fovereign of the Shepherds of 
Midian, carriers of the India trade from Saba into Paleftine, 
and eftablifhed near their principal mart Edom, in Idumea 
or Arabia, Aaron, and Miriam his filler, quarrelled with Mo- 
fes, becaufe he had married one who was, as the tranflator 
fays, an Ethiopian*. There is no fenfe in this caufe ; Mo- 
fes was a fugitive when he married Zipporah ; fhe was a 
noble-woman, daughter of the prieft of Midian, head of a 
people. She likewife, as it would feem, was a Jewefs f , and 
more attentive, at that time, to the prefervation of the pre- 
cepts of the law, than Mofes was himfelf ; no exception, 
then, could lie againft Zipporah, as fhe was furely, in every 
view, Mofes's fuperior. But if the tranflator had rendered 


* Numb, chap. xii. yer. i. f Exod. chap. iv. vcr» 2J> 


it, that Aaron and Miriam had quarrelled with Mofes, be- 
caufe he had married a negro, or black-moor, the reproach was 
evident ; whatever intrinlic merit Zipporah might have been 
found to have polleiled afterwards, fire mult have appear- 
ed before the people, at firft light, as a Jlrange woman, or 
Gentile, whom it was prohibited tomarry. Befides, the in- 
nate deformity of the complexion, negroes were, at all times, 
rather coveted for companions of men of luxury or pleamre, 
than fought after for wives of fober legillators, and gover- 
nors of a people. 

The next inftance I mall give is, Zerah of Gerar*, who 
came out to fight Afa king of Ilrael with an army of a 
million of men, and three hundred chariots, whilft both 
the quarrel and the decifion are reprefented as immedi- 

Gerar was a fmall diflricl, producing only the Acacia or 
gum-arabic trees, from which it had its name; it had no 
water but what came from a few wells, part of which had 
been dug by Abraham f, after much ftriie with the people 
of the country, who fought to deprive him of them, as of 
a treamre. 

Abraham and his brother Lot returning from Egypt, 
though poor fhepherds, could not fubiift there for want of 
fooct, and water, and they feparatcd accordingly, by confent J. 


* 1 Chron. chap. xiv. ver. 9. f Gen chap. 21. ver. 30. 
j^Gen. chap. 1 \ ver. 6. and 9. 


Now it rauft be confefTed, as it is not pretended there 
was any miracle here, that there is not a more un- 
likely tale in all Herodotus, than this mufl be allowed to 
be upon the footing of the tranllation. The tranflator calls 
Zcrah an Ethiopian, which mould cither mean he dwelt in 
Arabia, as he really did, and this gave him no advantage, 
or elfe that he was a uranger, who originally camq from 
the country above Egypt ; and, cither way, it would have 
been impollible, during his whole life-time, to have collect- 
ed a million of men, one of the greater! armies that ever 
flood upon the face of the earth, nor could he have fed 
them though they had ate the whole trees that grew in his 
country, nor could he have given every hundredth man 
one drink of water in a day from all the wells he had in 
his country. . 

Here, then, is an obvious triumph for infidelity, becaufe, 
a*. I have faid, no fupernatural means are pretended. But 
had it been tranflated, that Zerah was a black-moor, a Cujhitc- 
wgro, and prince of the Cuihites, that were carriers in the 
Ifthmus, an Ethiopian ihepherd, then the wonder cealed. 
Twenty camels, employed to carry couriers upon them, . 
might have procured that number of men to meet in a 
fhort fpace of time, and, as Zerah was the aggreflbr, he 
had time to choole when he fhould attack his enemy ; every 
one of thefe ihepherds carrying with them their provifion 
of flour and water, as is their invariable cuftom, might have 
fought with Afa at Gerar, without eating a.loaf of Zerah's 
bread, or drinking a pint of his water. - 

The next paffagc I 'mall mention is the following: "The 
"-'labour of Egypt, and merchandife of Ethiopia, and of the 

2- "SabeanSj, 


" Sabeans, men of flature, mall come over unto thee, and 
" they fliall be thine*." Here the fcveral nations are diflinct- 
ly and feparately mentioned in their places, but the whole 
meaning of the pafTage would have been loft, had not the 
iituation of thefe nations been perfectly known ; or, had 
not the Sabeans been mentioned feparately, for both the 
Sabeans and the Cufhite were certainly Ethiopians. Now, 
the meaning of the verfe is, that the fruit of the agricul- 
ture of Egypt, which is wheat, the commodities of the ne- 
gro, gold, filver, ivory, and perfumes, would be brought by 
the Sabean fhepherds, their carriers, a nation of great power, 
which mould join themfelves with you. 

Again, Ezekiel fays,f "And they fliall know that I am 
" the Lord, when I have fet a fire in Egypt, and when all 
" her helpers fhall be deftroyed." — " In that day fhall mef- 
<* fengers go forth from me in mips, to make the carelefs 
* Ethiopians afraid." Now, Nebuchadnezzar was to deftrcy 
Egypt |, from the frontiers of Paleftine, to the mountains 
above Atbara, where the Cufhite dwelt. Between this and 
Egypt is a great defert ; the country beyond it, and on both 
fides, was poflefled by half a million of men. The Cufhite, or 
neoro merchant, was fecure under thefe circumftances from 
any infult by land, but they were open to the fea, and had no 
defender, and meffengers, therefore, in fhips or a fleet had 
eafy accefs to them, to alarm and keep them at home, that 
they did not fall into danger by marching into Egypt againft 
Nebuchadnezzar, or interrupting the fervice upon which 
God had fent him. But this does not appear from tranfla- 

4 tin S 

Ifa. chap. }dv. yer. 14. f Ezek - cha P- xx& - ver * 8l and 9- t Ezek - clia P- xxix - ver - ' ° 


ting Cufh, Ethiopian; the neareft Ethiopian to Nebuchadnez- 
zar, the 1110ft powerful and capable of oppofing him, were 
the Ethiopian fliepherds of the Thebaid, and thefe were not 
acceffible to mips ; and the fliepherds, fo polled near to the 
fcene of deftruelion to be committed by Nebuchadnezzar, 
were enemies to the Cufliites living in towns, and they had 
repeatedly themfelves deflroyed them, and therefore had no 
temptation to be other than fpectators. 

In feveral other places, the fame prophet fpeaks of Cufh 
as the commercial nation, fympathifing with their country- 
men dwelling in the towns in Egypt, independent of the 
fliepherds, who were really their enemies, both in civil and 
religious matters. " And the fword fhall come upon Egypt, 
" and great pain fhall be in Ethiopia, when the flain fhall 
" fall in Egypt*." Now Ethiopia, as I have before faid, that 
is, the low country of the fliepherds, neareft Egypt, had no 
common caufe with the Cufliites that lived in towns there ; 
it was their countrymen, the Cufliites in Ethiopia, who 
mourned for thofe that fell in Egypt, who were merchants, 
traders, and dwelt in cities like themfelves. 

I shall mention but one inftance more : " Can the Ethi- 
* opian change his fkin, or the leopard his fpots ?f" Here 
■Cufh is rendered Ethiopian, and many Ethiopians being 
white, it does not appear why they fhould be fixed upon, or 
chofen for the queftion more than other people. But had 
-Cufh been tranilated Negro, or Black-moor, the queftion 
Vol. I. 3 F would 

Eze'i. chap. xxx. ver. 4. f jerem. chap. siii. vcr. 2 3. 


would have been very eafily underftood, Can the negro 
change his /kin, or the leopard his fpots ? 

Jeremiah * fpeaks of the chiefs - of the mingled people 
that dwell in the deferts. And Ezekielf alfo mentions them 
independent of all the others, whether Shepherds, or Cu- 
fhites, or Libyans their neighbours, by the name of the 
Mingled People. Ifaiah X calls them " a nation Scattered 
" and peeled; apeople terrible from their beginninghitherto; 
" a nation meted out and trodden down, whofe land the ri- 
" vers have fpoiled :" which is a fufficicnt description of 
them, as having been expelled their own country, and fet- 
tled in one that had fuffered greatly by a deluge a fhort 
time before. 

t Jerem. chap. xxv. ver. 24^ f Ezek. chap. xsx. ver. 5. J . Ifa. chap, sviii. ver. 2., 






Origin of Characters or Letters — Etbiopic tbefrft Language— How and 
ivhy the Hebrew Letter was formed. 

TH E reader will obferve what I have already faid con- 
cerning the language of Habefh, or the Mingled Na- 
tions, that they have not characters of their own ; but when 
written, which is very feldom, it mull be by ufing the 
Geez alphabet. Kircher, however, fays, there are two cha- 
racters to be found in Abyffinia ; one he calls the Sacred 
Old Syrian, the other the Vulgar, or Common Geez charac- 
ter, of which we are now fpeaking. But this is certainly a 
miftake ; there never was, that I know, but two original 
characters which obtained in Egypt. The firft was the 
Geez, the fecond the Saitic, and both thefc were the oldeft 
characters in the world, and both derived from hieroirlv- 

Although it is impoffible to avoid faying fomething 
here of the origin of languages, the reader muft not expedt 
that I mould go very deep into the fafhionable opinions 
concerning them, or believe that all the old deities of the 

3 F 2 Pagan 


Pagan nations were the patriarchs of the Old Teftamentv 
With all refpeet to Sanchoniatho and his followers, I can • 
no more believe that Ofiris, the firft king of Egypt, was a 
real perfonage, and that Tot was his fecretary, than I can 
believe Saturn to be the patriarch Abraham, and Rachel and 
Leah, Venus and Minerva. I will not fatigue the. reader 
with a detail of ufeleis reafons ; if Ofiris is a real perfonage, 
if he was king of Egypt, and Tot his fecretary, they furely 
travelled to very good purpofe, a* all the people of Europe 
and Afia feem to be agreed, that in pcrfon they firft com- 
municated letters and .the art of writing to them, but ax: 
very different, and very diftant periods. 

Thebes was built by a colony of Ethiopians from Sire, 
the city of Seir, or the Dog Star. Diodorus Siculus fays, 
that the Greeks, by putting O before Siris, had made the 
word unintelligible to the Egyptians : Siris, then, was Ofiris ; 
but he was not the Sun, no more than he was Abraham, nor 
was he a real perfonage. He. was Syrius, or the dog-ftar, 
defigned under the figure of a dog, becaufe of the warning 
he gave to Atbara, where the firft obfervations were made 
at his heliacal rifing, or his difengaging himfelf from the 
rays of the fun, fo as to be vifible to the naked eye. Lie 
was the Latrator Anubis, and his firft appearance was figu- 
ratively compared to the barking of a dog, by the warning 
it gave to prepare for the approaching inundation. I be- 
lieve, therefore, this was the firft hieroglyphic; and that 
liis, Ofiris, and Tot, were all after inventions relating to it ; 
and, in faying this, I am fo far warranted, becaufe there is 
not in Axum (once a large city) any other hieroglyphic but 
of the dog-ftar, as far as I can judge from the huge frag- 
ments of figures of this animal, remains of which, in differ- 


rent poftures, are ftill diflinctly to be feen upon the pedef- 
tals everywhere among the ruins. 

It is not to be doubted, that hieroglyphics then, but not 
aftronomy, were invented at Thebes, where the theory of 
the dog-ftar was particularly inveftigated, becaufe connect- 
ed with their rural year. Ptolemy* has preserved us an 
obfervation of an helaical rifing of Sirius on the 4th day 
after the fummer folflice, which anfwers to the 2250 year 
before Chrift ; and there are great reafons to believe the 
Thebans were good practical aftroilomers long before that 
period f; early, as it may be thought, this gives to Thebes 
a much greater antiquity than does the chronicle of Axum 
jufl cited. 

As fuch obfervations were to be of fcrvice for ever, they 
became more valuable and ui'eful in proportion to their 
priority.' The moil ancient of them would be of ufe to the 
aftronomers of this day, for Sir Ifaac Newton appeals to thefe 
of Chiron the Centaur. Equations may indeed be difcover- 
ed in a number of centuries, which, by reafon of the 
fmallnefs of their quantities, may very probably have e- 
fcaped the moil attentive and fcrupulous care of two or 
three generations; and many alterations in the flarry fir- 
mament, old ftars being nearly extinguilhed, and new e- 
merging, would appear from a comparative ftate of the 

Y' 1 ' 3 r heavens 

* UranolotMon. P. Perau. 
f Banbridge, Ann. canicuL 


heavens made for a feries of ages'. And a Theban Herfcbcl* 
would have given us the hiftory of planets he then obferved, 
which, after appearing for ages, are now vifible no more, 
or have taken a different form. 

The dial, or gold circle of Ofimandyas, mews what an 
Immenfe progreis they had made in aftronomy in fo little 
time. This, too, is a proof of an early fall and revival of 
the arts in Egypt, for the knowledge and ufe of Armilla; 
had been loft with the deftruction of Thebes, and were not 
again discovered, that is, revived, till the reign of Ptolemy 
Soter, 300 years before the Chriftian xra. I confider that 
immenfe quantity of hieroglyphics, with which the walls 
of the temples, and faces of the obelifks, are covered, as 
containing fo many aitronomical obfervations. 

I look upon thefe as the ephemerides of fome thoufand 
years, and that fufficiently accounts for their number. Their 
date and accuracy were indifputable; they were exhibited in 
the mofl public places, to be confulted as occafion required; 
and, by the deepnefs of the engraving, and hardnefs of the 
materials, and the thicknefs and folidity of the block itfelf 
upon which they were carved, they bade defiance at once 
to violence and time. 

I know that moll of the learned writers are of fentiments 

very different from mine in thefe refpects. They look for 

4 myfteries 

* An aflronoraei' greatly above my praife. 


myfteries and hidden meanings, moral and philofophical 
treatifes, as the fubjefts of thefe hieroglyphics. A fceptre, 
they fay, is the hieroglyphic of a king. But where do we' 
meet a fceptre upon an antique Egyptian monument ? or 
who told us this was an emblem of royalty among the E- 
gyptians at the time of the firft invention of this figurative 
writing ? Again, the ferpent with the tail in its mouth de- 
notes the eternity of God, that he is without beginning and 
without end. This is a Chriilian truth, and a Chriflian be- 
lief, but no where to be found in the polytheifm of the in- 
ventors of hieroglyphics. Was Cronos or Ouranus without 
beginning and without end ? Was this the cafe with Ofiris 
and Tot, whofe fathers and mothers births and marriages- 
are known ? If this was a truth, independent of revelation, 
and imprinted from the beginning in the minds of men ; 
if it was defined to be an eternal truth, which rnuft have 
appeared by every man finding it in his own breaft, from 
the beginning, how unneceflary muft the trouble have been 
to write a common known truth like this, at the expence 
©f fix weeks labour, upon a table of porphyry or granite. 

It is not with philofophy as with ailronomy ; the older 
the obiervations, the more ufe they are of to pofterity. A 
lecture of an Egyptian prieil upon divinity, morality, or 
natural hiflory, would not pay the trouble, at this day, of 
engraving it upon ftone ^and one of the reaibns that I think 
no fuch fubjects were ever treated in hieroglyphics is, that 
in all thofe I ever had an opportunity of feeing, and very 
few people have feen more, I have conftantly found t:ie lame 
figures repeated, which obvioufly,and without difpute, allude, 
to the hiflory of the Nile, and its different periods of increafe; 
the mode of meaiuring t, ifhe-Etefkan winds ; in fhort,. iiich 

i obiiervuuans. 


obfervations as we every day fee in an almanack, in which 
we cannot fuppofe, that forfaking the obvious import, where 
the good they did was evident, they mould afcribe dif- 
ferent meanings to the hieroglyphic, to which no key has 
been left, and therefore their future inutility mull have 
been forefeen. 

I shall content myfelf in this wide field, to fix upon one 
famous hieroglyphical perfonage, which is 'Tot, the fecretary 
of Ofiris, whole function I fhall endeavour to explain ; if I 
fail, I am in good' company ; I give it only as my opinion, 
and fubmit it chearfully to the correction of others. The 
word Tot is Ethiopic, and there can be little doubt it means 
the dog-ftar. It was the name given to the firft month of 
the Egyptian year. The meaning of the name, in the lan- 
guage of the province of Sire, is an idol, compofed of differ- 
ent heterogeneous pieces ; it is found having this fignifica- 
tion in many of their books. Thus a naked man is not 
a Tot, but the body of a naked man, with a dog's head, 
an afs's head, or a fcrpent inftcad of a head, is a Tot. 
According to the import of that word, it is, I fuppofe, 
an almanack, or fection of the phenomena in the heavens 
which are to happen in the limited time it is made to com- 
prehend,whenexpofcdfor the information of thepublic ; and 
the more extenfive its ufe is intended to be, the greater num- 
ber of emblems, or figns of obfervation, it is charged with. 

Besides many other emblems or figures, the common 
Tot, I think, has in his hand a crofs with a handle, as it is 
called Crux Anfata, which has occasioned great fpeculation 
among the decypherers. This crofs, fixed to a circle, is fup- denote the Jour, elements, and to be the fymbol of the 

2 influence 

Zontfori PuMv7udDeam6trifijBq Ay 6J&bmfm tc ca 


influence the fun has over them. Jamblichus * records, 
that this crofs, in the hand of Tot, is the name of the divine 
Being that travels through the world. Sozomen t thinks it 
means the life to come, the fame with the ineffable image 
of eternity, Others, ftrange difference ! fay it is the phal- 
lus, or human genitals, while a later \ writer maintains 
it to be the mariner's compafs. My opinion, on the con- 
trary is, that, as this figure was expofed to the public 
for the reafon I have mentioned, the Crux Anfata in his 

hand was nothing elfe but a monogram of his own name 

TO, and TT lignifying TOT, or as we write Almanack upon 

a collection published for the fame purpofe. 

The changing of thefe emblems, and the multitude of 
them, produced the necefhty of contracting their fize, and this 
again a confequential alteration in the original forms ; and 
a ftile, or imall portable inftrument, became all that was 
neceffary for finifhing thefe fmall 7'ots i initead of a large 
graver or carving tool, employed in making the large ones. 
But men, at laft, were fo much ufed to the alteration, as to 
know it better than under its primitive form, and the en- 
graving became what we may call the iirft elements, or 
root, in preference to the original. 

The reader will fee, that, in my hiftory of the civil wars 
in Abyffinia, the king, forced by rebellion to retire to the 
province of Tigre, and being at Axum, found a flone cover- 
ed with hieroglyphics, which, by the many inquiries I made 

Vol. I. 3 G after 

* Jamblich. de Myfl. fed*. 8. cap. 5. f Sozomen, Eccles. Hift. lib. 7. cap. 15. 
% Herw. theolog. Ethnica, p. 1 u 


after infcriptions, and fome converfations I had had with 
him, he guefTed was of the kind which I wanted. Full of 
that princely goodnefs and condefcenfion that he ever ho- 
noured me with, throughout my whole flay, he brought it 
with him when he returned from Tigre, and was reflored 
to his throne at Gondar. 

It feems to me to be one of thofe private Tots, or porta- 
ble almanacks, of the moil curious kind. The length of the 
whole flone is fourteen inches, and fix inches broad, upon 
a bafe three inches high, projecting from the block itfelf, 
and covered with hieroglyphics. A naked figure of a man, 
near fix inches, Hands upon two crocodiles, their heads turn- 
ed different ways. In each of his hands he holds two fer- 
pents, and a fcorpion, all by the tail, and in the right hand 
hangs a noofe, in which is fufpended a ram or goat. On 
the left hand he holds a lion by the tail. The figure is in 
great relief ; and the head of it with that kind of cap or 
ornament which is generally painted upon the head of the 
figure called Ifis, but this figure is that of a man. On each 
fide of the whole-length figure, and above it, upon the face 
of the flone where it projects, are marked a number of hie- 
roglyphics of all kinds. Over this is a very remarkable 
repre fen ration ; it is an old head, with very flrong features, 
and a large bufhy beard, and upon it a high cap ribbed or 
ilriped. This I take to be the Cnuph, or Animus Mundi, 
though Apuleus, with very little probability, fays this was 
made in the likenefs of no creature whatever. The back 
of the Hone is divided into eight compartments*, from the 


* I apprehend' this is owing to the circumftances of the climate, in the' four months, the time- 
sf -he, inundation, the heavens were fj covered as to afford no obfervations to be recorded.. 


Jsriiivi/h/'/i'/ti/A-i .'/ ijfyby '■'/<'■ 'Iri/uon a - /<■ 


top to the bottom, and thefe are filled with hieroglyphics 
in the lafl ftage, before they took the entire refemblance 
of letters. Many are perfectly formed ; the Crux Anfata 
appears in one of the compartments, and Tot in another. 
Upon the edge, juft above where it is broken, is 1 1 19, fo fair 
and perfect in form, that it might ferve as an example of 
caligraphy, even in the prefent times ; 45 and 19, and iome 
other arithmetical figures, are found up and down among 
the hieroglyphics. 

This I fuppofe was what formerly the Egyptians called 
a book, or almanack ; a collection of thefe was probably 
hung up in fome confpicuous place, to inform the public of 
the flate of the heavens, and feafons, and difcafes, to be ex- 
pected'in the courfe of them, as is the cafe in the Englilli al- 
manacks at this day. Hermes is faid to have compofed 
36,535 books, probably of this fort, or they might contain 
the correfpondent aftronomical obfervations made in a cer- 
tain time at Meroe, Ophir, Axum, or Thebes, communicated 
to be hung up for the ufe of the neighbouring cities. Por- 
phyry * gives a particular account of the Egyptian alma- 
nacks. " What is comprifed in the Egyptian almanacks, fays 
he, contains but a fmail part of the Hermaic inftitutions ; all 
that relates to the rifmg and fetting of the moon and pla- 
nets, and of the ftars and their influence, and alfo fome ad- 
vice upon difeafes." 

It is very remarkable, that, bolides my Tot here defcrib- 
ed, there are five or fix, precifely the fame in all refpects, al- 

3 G 2 ready 

— .... ■ ■■ . -■■■-,. ■ —, — «. — .. _ 1 :___— — . - . - ■ -—- \ 

* Porpyhry Epifh ad Aneboncm, 


ready in the Britifh Mufeum ; one of them, the largefl of the 
whole, is made of fycamore, the others are of metal. There 
is another, I am told, in Lord Shelburn's collection ; this I 
never had an opportunity of feeing ; but a very principal 
attention feems to have been paid to make all of them 
light and portable, and it would feem that by thefe having 
been formed fo exactly fimilar, they were the Tots intends 
ed to be expofed in different cities or places, and were neither 
more nor lefs than Egyptian almanacks. 

Whether letters were known to Noah before the flood, 
is no where faid from any authority, and the inquiry into 
it is therefore ufelefs. It is difficult, in my opinion, to ima- 
gine, that any fociety, engaged in different occupations, could 
fublifl long without them. There feems to be lefs doubt, 
that they were invented, foon after the difperfion, long be- 
fore Mofes, and in common ufe among the Gentiles of his 

It feems alfo probable, that the firfl alphabet was Ethic*- 
pic, firfl founded on hieroglyphics, and afterwards model- 
led into more current, and lefs laborious figures, for the 
fake of applying them to the expedition of bufmefs. Mr 
Fourmont is fo much of this opinion, that he fays it is evi- 
dent the three firfl letters of the Ethiopic alphabet are hiero- 
glyphics yet, and that the Beta refembles the door of a 
houfe or temple. But, with great fubmimon, the doors of 
houfes and temples, when firfl built, were fquare at the top, . 
for arches were not known. The Beta was taken from the 
doors of the firfl Troglodytes in the mountains, which were 
rounded, and gave the hint for turning the arch, when 
architecture advanced nearer to perfection, 



Others are for giving to letters a divine original : they 
fay they were taught to Abraham by God himfelf ; but 
this is no where vouched; though it cannot be denied, thar 
it appears from fcripture there were two forts of characters' 
known to Moles, when God fpoke to him on Mount Sinai. 
The firft two tables, we are told, were wrote by the finger of 
God, in what character is not faid, but Mofes received them 
to read to the people, fo he furely understood them. But, 
when he had broken thefe two tables, and had another meet- 
ing with God on the mount on the fubject of the law, God 
directs him fpecially not to write in the Egyptian character 
or hieroglyphics, but in the current hand ufed by the Ethi- 
opian merchants, like the letters upon a fignet ; that is, he 
mould not write in hieroglyphics by a fiiclure, reprefenting 
the thing, for that the law forbids ; and the bad confequences 
of this were evident ; but he mould write the law in the 
current hand, by characters reprefenting founds, (though 
nothing elfe in heaven or on earth,) or by the letters that 
the Ifhmaelites, Cufhites, and India trading nations had long 
ufed in bufinefs for iigning their invoices, engagements, &a 
and this was the meaning of being like the letters of a fignet. 

Hence, it is very clear, God did not invent letters, nor 
did Moles, who underftood both characters before the pro- 
mulgation of the law upon Mount Sinai, having learned 
them in Egypt, and during his long flay among the Lu- 
fhites, and Shepherds in Arabia Petrea. Hence it fhould 
appear alfo, that the facred character of the Egyptian 
was confidered as profane, and forbid to the Hebrews, 
and that the common Ethiopic was the Hebrew fa'e-red 
character, in which the copy of the law was firft wrote. 
The text is very clear and explicit: " And the flones mail 

" DC 


" be with the names of the children of Ifrael, twelve, 
" according to their names, like the engravings of ^.fignet; every 
" one with his name, fliall they be according to the twelve 
" tribes *." Which is plainly, You fhall not write in the way 
ufed till this day, for it leads the people into idolatry ; you 
fhall not type Judah by a lion, Zebulun by a.Jbij>, lffachar by 
an afs couching between two burdens ; but, inftead of wri- 
ting by pictures, you fhall take the other known hand, the 
merchants writing, which fignifies founds, not things; write 
the names Judah, Zebulun, lffachar, in the letters, fuch as the 
merchants ufe upon their fignets. And, on Aaron's breaft- 
plate of pure gold, was to be written, in the fame alphabet, 
like the engravings of a fignet, holiness to the lord'\. 

These fignets, of the remoteft antiquity in the Eaft, are worn 
ftill upon every man's hand to this day, having the name of 
the pcrfon that wears them, or fome fentence upon it always 
religious. The Greeks, after the Egyptians, continued the 
other method, and defcribed figures upon their fignet ; the 
ufe of both has been always common in Britain. 

We find afterwards, that, in place of flone or gold, for 
greater convenience Mofes wrote in a book, " And it came 
" to pafs, when Mofes had made an end of writing the 
" words of this law in a book, until they were fim£hed;.$" — 

Although, then, Mofes certainly did not invent either, 
or any character, it is probable that he made two, perhaps 
more, alterations in the Ethiopic alphabet as it then flood, 

4 with 

* Eso4. chap, xsviii. vcr. 21. f Exod. chap, xxviii. ver. 36. J Dent, chap, xxxi. ver. 24- 


with a view to incrcafc the difference flill more between 
the writing then in ufc among the nations, and what he 
intended to be peculiar to the Jews. The firft was altering 
the direction, and writing from right to left, whereas, the 
Ethiopian was, and is to this day, written from left to right, 
as was the hieroglyphical alphabet *. The fecond was ta- 
king away the points, which, from all times, mufl have ex- 
illed and been, as it were, a part of the Ethiopic letters in- 
vented with them, and I do not fee how it is poffibie it ever 
could have been read without them ; fo that, which way 
foever the difpute may turn concerning the antiquity of 
the application of the Maforetic points, the invention was 
no new one, but did exiit as early as language was written. 
And I apprehend, that thefe alterations were very rapidly 
adopted after the writing of the law, and applied to the 
new character as it then flood; becaufe, not long after, 
Mofes was ordered to fubmit the law itfelf to the people, 
which would have been perfectly ufelefs, had not reading 
and the character been familiar to them at that time. 

It appears to me alfo, that the Ethiopic words were al- 
ways feparated, and could not run together, or be joined 
as the Hebrew, and that the running the words together in- 
to one muft have been matter of choice in the Hebrew, to 
increafe the difference in writing the two languages, as 
the contrary had been practifed in the Ethiopian language. 
Though there is really little refemblance between the Ethio- 
pic and the Hebrew letters, and not much more between 


' Vide the hieroglyphics on the drawing of the ftair. 


that and the Samaritan, yet I have a very great fufpicion 
die languages were once much nearer a-kin than this ■disa- 
greement of their alphabet promifes, and, for this reafon, 
that a very great number of words are found throughout 
the Old Teftament that have really no root, nor can be de- 
rived from any Hebrew origin, and yet all have, in the Ethio- 
pic, a plain, clear, unequivocal origin, to and from which 
they can be traced without force or difficulty. 

I shall now finifh what I have to fay upon this fubjecl, 
by obferving, that the Ethiopic alphabet confifts of twenty- 
fix letters, each of thefe, by a virgula, or point annexed, 
varying in found, fo as to become, in effect, forty-two di- 
ftincl: letters. But I mull further add, that at firft they had 
but twenty-five of thefe original letters, the Latin P being 
wanting, fo that they were obliged tofubflitute another letter 
in the place of it. Paulus, for example, they called Taulus, 
Cuius, or Caulus. Petros they pronounced Ketros. At laft 
they fubftituted T, and added this to the end of their alpha- 
bet, giving it the force of P, though it was really a repeti- 
tion of a character, rather than invention. Befides thefe 
there are twenty others of the nature of dipththongs, but I 
mould fuppofe fome of thefe are not of the fame antiquity 
with the letters of the alphabet, but have been invented in 
later times by the fcribcs for convenience. 

The reader will undcrftand, that, fpeaking of the Ethio- 
pic at prefent, I mean only the Geez language, the language 
of the Shepherds, and of the books. None of the other 
many languages fpoken in Abyflinia have characters for 
writing. But when the Amharic became fubftituted, in 
common ufe and converfation, to the Geez, after the refto- 

3 ration 


ration of the Royal family, from their long banifhment in 
Shoa, feven new characters were neceflarily added to anfwer 
the pronunciation of this new language, but no book was 
ever yet written in any other language except Geez. On the 
contrary, there is an old law in this country, handed down by 
tradition only, that whoever mould attempt to tranflate 
the holy fcripture into Amharic, or any other language, 
his throat mould be cut after the manner in which they 
kill fheep, his family fold to ilavery, and his houfe razed to 
the ground ; and, whether the fear of this law was true 
or feigned, it was a great obitacle to me in getting thofe 
tranflations of the Song of Solomon made which I intend 
for fpecimens of the different languages of thofe diftincl: 

The Geez is exceedingly harfh. and unharmonious. It is 
full of thefe two letters, D and T, on which an accent is put 
that nearly refembles Hammering. Confidering the fmall 
extent of fea that divides this country from Arabia, we are 
not to wonder that it has great affinity to the Arabic. It is 
not difficult to be acquired by thofe who underftand any o- 
ther of the oriental languages ; and, for a reafon I have gi- 
ven fome time ago, that the roots of many Hebrew words 
are only to be found here, I think it abfolutely ncccfTary 
to all thofe that would obtain a critical fkill in that lan- 

We m-mers, a Carmelite, has wrote a fmall Ethiopic dic- 
tionary in thin quarto, which, as far as it goes, has confider- 
able merit; and I am told there are others of the fame kind 
extant, written chieflybyCatholic priefls. But by far the mofl 
.copious, diftincl:, and beft-digefted work, is that of Job Lu- 

Vol. I. 3 H dolf, 


dolf, a German of great learning in the F.aftem languages, 
and who has published .a grammar and dictionary of the 
Geez in folio. This read with attention is more than fuf- 
ficient to make any perfon of very moderate genius a great 
proficient in the Ethiopic language. He has likewife written 
a fhort efTay towards a dictionary and grammar of the Ani- 
haric, which, confidering the very fmall help he had, fhews 
his furprifmg talents and capacity. Much, however, re- 
mains ftill to do ; and it is indeed fcarcely pofiible to bring 
this to any tolerable degree of forwardnefs for want of 
books, unlefs a man of genius, while in the country itfelf, 
were to give his time and application to it : It is not 
much more difficult than the former, and lefs connected 
with the Hebrew- or Arabic, but has a more harmonious 

^ gi«^^g gj=g!g==i!!^; 



C H A P. IV. 

Some Account of the Trade Winds and Monfoons — Application of this 
to the Voyage to Ophir and TarJ!?iJh. 

IT is a matter of real affliction, which fhews the vanity of 
all human attainments, that the preceding pages have 
been employed in describing, and, as it were, drawing from 
oblivion, the hiftory of thole very nations that firfl convey- 
ed to the world, not the elements of literature only, but all 
forts of learning, arts, and fciences in their full detail and 
perfection. We fee that thefe had taken deep root, and 
were not eafily extirpated. The firil great and fatal blow 
they received was from the destruction of Thebes, and its 
monarchy, by the firfl invafion of the Shepherds under Sa- 
lads, which fhook them to the very foundation. The next 
was in the conquer! of the Thebaid under Sabaco and his 
Shepherds. The third was when the empire of Lower Egypt 
(I do not think of the Thebaid) was transferred to Mem- 
phis, and that city taken, as writers fay, by the Shepherds 
of Abaris only, or of the Delta, though it is Scarcely proba- 
ble, that, in fo favourite a caufe as the deftruction of cities, 
the whole Shepherds did not lend their afliflancc. 

% II 2 These 


These were the calamities, we may fuppofe, under which 
the arts in Egypt fell ; for, as to the foreign conquefts of Ne- 
buchadnezzar and his Babylonians, they affected cities and 
the perfons of individuals only. They were temporary, ne- 
ver intended to have lafting confequences ; their beginning 
and end were prophefied at the fame time. That of the 
Affyrians was a plundering expedition only, as we are told 
by fcripture itfelf, intended to lafl but forty years *, half the 
life of man, given, for a particular purpofe,for the indemnifi- 
cation of the king Nebuchadnezzar, for the hardfhips he 
fuflained at the fiege of Tyre, where the obflinacy of the 
inhabitants, in deftroying their wealth, deprived the coi> 
quCror of his expected booty. The Babylonians were a 
people the mod polifhed after the Egyptians. Egypt under 
them fullered by rapacity, but not by ignorance, as it did in 
all the conquefts of the Shepherds. 

After Thebes was deftroyed by the firff Shepherds, com- 
merce, and it is probable the arts with it, fled for a time 
from Egypt, and centered in Edom, a city and territory, tho' 
we know, little of its hiflory, at that period the richeft in the 
world. David, in the very neighbourhood of Tyre and Sidon, 
calls Edom the ftrong citv ; " Who will bring me into the 
"ftrong city? Who will lead me into Edom f ?" David, 
from an old quarrel, and probably from the recent in*- 
fligations of the Tyrians his friends, invaded Edom |, 
deftroyed the city, and difperfed the people. He was 
the great military power then upon the continent ; Tyre 
and Edom were rivals ; and his conqueft of that lafl. 


*" Ezck. chap. xxix. ver. n. + Pfklm. chap. Ix. ver. 9. and Pfal. cviii. ver. 10.. 

t,2 Sam, chap. .viii. ver. 14. 1 Kings chap. x\ ver* 15. 16. 


great and trading ftate, which he united to his empire; 
would yet have loft him the trade he fought to cultivate, by 
the very means he ufcd to obtain it, had not Tyre been in 
a capacity to fucceed to Edom, and to colled its mariners 
and artificers, fcattcred abroad by the conqucft. 

David took poflemon of two ports, Eloth and Ezion-ga- 
ber *, from which he carried on the trade to Ophir and Tar- 
ihifh, to a very great extent, to the day of his death. We are 
ftruck with aftonifhment when we rcnecl upon the fum 
that Prince received in fo fhort a time from theie mines of 
Ophir. For what is faid to be given by King David f and his 
Princes for the building of the Temple of Jcrufalem, ex- 
ceeds in value eight hundred millions of our money, if the 
talent there fpoken of is a Hebrew talent fc and not a weight 
of the fame denomination, the value of which was lefs, and 
peculiarly referved for and ufed in the traffic of thefc pre- 
cious metals, gold and filver. It was, probably, an African 
or Indian weight, proper to the fame mines, whence was 
gotten the gold appropriated to fine commodities only, as is 
The cafe with our ounce Troy different from the Averdu* 

Solomon, who fucceeded David in his kingdom, was his 
fucceffor likewife in the friendfhip of Hiram king of Tyre 

Solomon ' 

* 1 Kings, chap. ix. ver. 26. 2 Chron. chap. viii. ver. 17. f l Chron. chap. xxii. ver, 1 ;, 

3", 16. Chap; xxix. ver. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Three thoufand 'Hebrew talents of gold, reduced to 

our money, amount to twenty-one millions and fix hundred thoufand pounds Sterling. 

t The value of a Hebrew talent appears from Exodus, chap. xrexviii. ver. 25, 26. For 
603,550 perfons being taxed at half a mekel each, they muft have paid in the whole 301,77; '■ 
now that fum is faid to amount to 100 talents, 1775 fhekels only ; deduct the two latter funis 
and there will remain 300,000, which, divided by icS, wiiMeave 3000 mekels for each of- 
ibefe talents. 


Solomon vifited Eloth and Ezion-gaber* in perfon, and for- 
tified them. He collected a number of pilots, fhipwrights, 
and mariners, difperfed by his father's conquefl of Edom, 
molt of whom had taken refuge in Tyre and Sidon, the 
commercial dates in the Mediterranean. Hiram fupplied 
him with failors in abundance ; but the failors fo furnilhcd 
from Tyre were not capable of performing the fervice 
which Solomon required, without the direction of pilots and 
mariners ufed to the navigation of the Arabian Gulf and 
Indian Ocean. Such were thofe mariners who formerly li- 
ved in Edom, whom Solomon had now collected in Eloth 
and Ezion-gaber. 

This laft-mentioned navigation was very different in all 
refpeets from that of the Mediterranean, which, in relpeft 
to the former, might be compared to a pond, every fide be- 
in o- confined with mores little diuant the one from the o- 
ther ; even that fmall extent of fea was fo full of iflands, 
that there was much greater art required in the pilot to a- 
void land than to reach it. It was, befides, fubjecl to vari- 
able winds, being to the northward of 30 of latitude, the 
limits to which Providence hath confined thofe winds all o- 
ver the globe ; whereas the navigation of the Indian Ocean 
was governed by laws more convenient and regular, though 
altogether different from thofe that obtained in the Medi- 
terranean. Before I proceed, it will be neceffary to explain 
this phenomenon. 

It is known to all thofe who are ever fo little verfant in 
the hiilory of Egypt, that the wind from the north prevails 


* 2 Chron. chap, viii. ver .17. 


in that valley all the iiimmcr months, and i.s called the E- 
tefuw winds ; it fweeps the valley from north to 1'outh, that 
being the direction of Egypt, and of the Nile, which runs 
through the midft of it. The two chains of mountains, 
which confine Egypt on the eafl and on the weft, conftrain 
the wind to take this precife direction. 

It is natural to fuppofe the fame would be the cafe in the 
Arabian Gulf, had that narrow lea been in a direction pa- 
rallel to the land of Egypt, or due north and fouth. The 
Arabian Gulf, however, or what we call the Red Sea, lies 
from nearly north-weft to fouth-eaft, from Suez to Mocha. 
It then turns nearly eafl and well till it joins the Indian O- 
ccan at the Straits of Babelmandeb, as we -have already laid, 
and may be further feen by confulting the map. Now, the 
Etelian winds, which are due north in Egypt, here take the 
direction of the Gulf, and blow in that direction ileadily all 
the feafon, Avhile it continues north in the valley of Egypt ; 
that is, from April to October the wind blows north-well 
up the Arabian Gulf towards the Straits ; and, from No- 
vember till March, directly contrary, down the Arabian 
Gulf, from the Straits of Babelmandeb to Suez and the Iflli— 

These winds are by fome corruptly called' the- t^ade^ieindsp. 
but this name given to them is a very erroneous one, and 
apt to confound narratives, and make them unintelligible. 
A trade-wind is a wind which, all the year through, blows, 
and has ever blown, from the fame point of the horizon; 
fucli is the fouth- weft, fouth of the Line, in the Indian and 
Paciiic Ocean. On the contrary, thefe winds, of which we 
have now fpoken, are called monfoons;. .each year they blow 

2 fix. 


fix months from the northward, and the other fix months- 
from the fouthward, in the Arabian Gulf : While in the 
Indian Ocean, without the Straits of Babelmandeb, they 
blow juft the contrary at the fame feafons ; that is, in fummer 
from the fouthward, and in winter from the northward, 
fubject to a fmall inflexion to the eafl and to the weft. 

The reader will obferve, then, that, a veffel failing from 
Suez or the Elanitic Gulf, in any of the fummer months, 
will find a fteady wind at north-weft, which will carry it in 
the direction of the Gulf to Mocha. At Mocha, the coaft is 
call and weft to the Straits of Babelmandeb, fo that the vef- 
fel from Mocha will have variable winds for a fhort fpace, 
but moftly wefterly, and thefe will carry her on to the 
Straits. She is then done with the monfoon in the Gulf, 
which was from the north, and, being in the Indian Ocean, 
is taken up by the monfoon which blows in the fummer 
months there, and is directly contrary to what obtains in 
the Gulf. This is a fouth-wefter, which carries the velTel 
with a flowing .fail to any part in India, without delay or 

The fame happens upon her return home. She fails in 
the winter months by the monfoon proper to that lea, that 
is, with a north-eaft, which carries her through the Straits 
of Babelmandeb. She finds, within the Gulf, a wind at 
fouth-caft, directly contrary to what was in the ocean ; but 
then her courfe is contrary likewife, fo that a fouth-eafter, 
anfwering to the direction of the Gulf, carries her directly 
to Suez, or the Elanitic Gulf, to whichever way fhe pro- 
pofes going. Hitherto all is plain, (imple, and eafy to be 

4 undcrilood; 


underflood; and this was the reafon why, in the earlieft 
ages, the India trade was carried on without difficulty. 

Many doubts, however, have arifen about a port called 
Ophir, whence the immenfe quantities of gold and fdver 
came, which were neceffary at this time, when provifion 
was making for building the Temple of Jerufalem. In what 
part of the world this Ophir was has not been yet agreed. 
Connected with this voyage, too, was one to Tarfhifh, which 
fuffers the fame difficulties ; one and the fame fleet perform- 
ed them both in the fame feafon. 

In order to come to a certainty where this Ophir was, it 
will be neceffary to examine what fcripture fays of it, and 
to keep precifely to every thing like defcription which we 
can find there, without indulging our fancy farther. Firft, 
then, the trade to Ophir was carried on from the Elanitic 
Gulf through the Indian Ocean. Secondly, The returns were 
gold, fdver, and ivory, but efpecially filver*. Tbirdly^The. 
time of the going and coming of the fleet was precifely 
three years f, at no period more nor lefs, 

Now, if Solomon's fleet failed from the Elanitic Gulf to 
the Indian Ocean, this voyage of neceffity muft have been 
made by monfoons, for no other winds reign in that ocean. 
And, what certainly fhews this was the cafe, is the precife 
term of three years, in which the fleet went and came be- 
tween Ophir and Ezion-gaber. For it is plain, fo as to fu- 
perfede the neceffity of proof or argument, that, had this 

Vol. I. 3 I voyage 

* 1 Kings, chap, x, ver. zz. f i Kings, chap. x. ver. 22. 2 Chron. chap. ix. ver. 21. 


voyage been made with variable winds, no limited term of 
years ever could have been obferved in its going and re- 
turning. The fleet might have returned from Ophir in 
two years, in three, four, pi five years ; but, with variable 
winds, the return precifely in three years was not poffible, 
wnatever part of the globe Ophir might be lituated in. 

Neither Spain nor Peru could be Ophir ; part of thefe- 
voyages mud have been made by variable winds, and the 
return confequently uncertain. The ifland of Ceylon, in the 
Eaft Indies, could not be Ophir ; the voyage thither is indeed 
made by monfoons, but we have mewed that a year is all 
that can be fpent in a voyage to the Eaft Indies ; befides,. 
Ceylon has neither gold nor lilver, though it has ivory. St. 
Domingo has neither gold, nor filvcr, nor ivory. When the 
Tyrians difcovered Spain, they found a profuiion of filver 
in huge mailes, but this they brought to Tyre by the Me- 
diterranean, and then fent it to the Red Sea over land to an- 
fwer the returns from India. Tarfhifh, too, is not found 
to be a port in any of thefe voyages, fo that part of the ■ 
dcfcription fails, nor were there ever elephants^ bred in. 

These mines- of Ophir were probably what furniilied die 
Eaft with gold in the carlieil times ; great traces of exca- 
vation muft, therefore, have appeared; yet in none of the 
places juft mentioned are there great remains of any mines 
that have been wrought. The ancient traces of filver-mines 
in Spain are not to be found, and there never were any of 
gold. John Dos Santos*, a Dominican friar, fays, that on 


Tff- I WW^ I W II H«» ^l " ! ■■■■ ■■ » ■■ ■■«■■ . — ■ .■■■II — - ■ -ll.»l. [■- .— *-i .»wn-w* 

* Vld. Voyage of Dos Santos, publifhcd by Le Grande* 


ihc coaft of Africa, in the kingdom of Sofala, the main- 
land oppofite to Madagascar, there are mines of gold and 
filver, than which none can be more abundant, efpecially 
in fdver. They bear the traces of having been wrought 
from the earlieft ages. They were actually open and work- 
ing when the Portuguefe conquered that part of the pe- 
ninfula, and were probably given up fince the difcovery 
of the new world, rather from political than any other rea- 

John Dos Santos fays, that he landed at Sofala in the 
year 1586 ; that he failed up the great river Cuama as far as 
Tete, where, always defirous to be in the neighbourhood of 
gold, his Order had placed their convent. Thence he pene- 
trated for above two hundred leagues into the country, and 
faw the gold mines then working, at a mountain called A- 
fura *". At a confiderable diftance from thefe are the fdver 
mines of Chicoua; at both places there is great appearance of 
ancient excavations; and at both places the houfes of the 
kings are built with mud and ftraw, whilft there are large 
remains of many buildings of Hone and lime. 

It is a tradition which generally obtains in that country, 
that thefe works belonged to the Queen of Saba, and were 
luiilt at the time, and for the purpofe of the trade on the 
Red Sea : this tradition is common to all the Cafrs in 
that country. Eupolemus, an ancient author quoted by 
Eufebius f, fpeaking of David, fays, that he built fhips at 
Eloth, a city in Arabia, and thence lent miners, or, as he 

3 I 2 calls 

* S:e the map of this voyage. f Apud Eufeb. Proep. Evang. lib. 9. 


calls them, metal-men, to Orphi, or Ophir, an illand in the Red 
Sea. Now, by the Red Sea, he underftands the Indian- 
Ocean*; and by Orphi, he probably meant the illand of 
Madagafcar ; or Orphi (or Ophir) might have been the 
name of the Continent,in{lead of Sofala, that is, Sofala where 
the mines are might have been the main-land of Orphi. 

The kings of the ifles are often mentioned in this voy- 
age ; Socotra, Madagafcar, the Commorras, and many other 
fmall iflands thereabout, are probably thofe the fcripture 
calls the JJles. All, then, at laft reduces itfelf to the finding 
a place, either Sofala, or any other place adjoining to it, 
which avowedly can furnifh gold, filver, and ivory in quan- 
tity, has large tokens of ancient excavations, and is at 
the fame time under fuch reflri&ions from monfoons, that 
three years are absolutely neceflary to perform the voyage, 
that it needs no more, and cannot be done in lefs, and this 
is Ophir. 

Let us now try thefe mines of Dos Santos by the laws of 
the monfoons, which we have already laid down in defcri- 
bing the voyage to India. The fleet, or mip, for Sofala, part- 
ing in June from Ezion-gaber, would run down before the 
northern monfoon to Mocha. Here, not the monfoon, but 
the direction of the Gulf changes, and the violence of the 
fouth-weflers, which then reign in the Indian Ocean, make 
themfelves at times felt even in Mocha Roads. The veflel 
therefore comes to an anchor in the harbour of Mocha, 
and here fhe waits for moderate weather and a fair wind, 


Dionyfii Periegefis, ver. 38. and Comment. Euftathii in eundem. Strabo, lib. 16. p. 765. 
Agathemeri Geographia, lib. 2. cap. II. 


which carries her out of the Straits of Babclmandcb, through 
the few leagues where the wind is variable. If her courfe 
was now to the Eafl Indies, that is eaft-north-eaft, or north- 
eaft and by north, flie would find a ftrong fouth-weft wind 
that would carry her to any part of India, as foon as fhe 
cleared Cape Gardefan, to which fhe was bound. 

But matters are widely different if fhe is bound for So- 
fala ; her courfe is nearly fouth-weft, and fhe meets at Cape 
Gardefan a ftrong fouth-wefter that blows directly in her 
teeth. Being obliged to return into the gulf, fhe miftakes 
this for a trade-wind, becaufe fhe is not able to make her 
voyage to Mocha but by the fummer monfoon, which car- 
ries her no farther than the Straits of Babelmandeb, and 
then leaves her in the face of a contrary wind, a ftrong cur- 
rent to the northward, and violent fwell. 

The attempting this voyage with fails, in thefe circum- 
ftances, was abfolutely impoffible, as their veffels went only 
before the wind : if it was performed at all, it muft have been 
by oars*, and great havock and lofs of men muft have been 
the confequence of the feveral trials. This is not conjec- 
ture only ; the prophet Ezekiel defcribes the very fact. • 
Speaking of the Tyrian voyages probably of this very one 
he fays, " Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters 
" (the ocean) : the eaft wind hath broken thee in the 
midft of the fcasf." In fhort, the eaft, that is the north-eaft 
wind, was the very monfoon that was to carry them to So- 
fala, yet having no fails, being upon a lee-fhore, a very bold' 

3 coaft, 

* Ezek. chap, xxvii. ver. C. + Ezek. chap, xxvii. ver. 26. 


coaft, and great fvvell, it was abfolutcly impoffible with oars 
to fave themfelves from deftruction. 

At laft philofophy and obfervation, together with, the 
unwearied perfeverance of man bent upon his own views 
and intereft, removed thefe difficulties, and fhewed the ma- 
riners of the ArabianGulf, that thefe periodical winds, which, 
in the beginning, they looked upon as invincible barriers to 
the trading to Sofala, when once underftood, were the very 
means of performing this voyage fafely and expeditioufly. 

The veffel trading to Sofala failed, as I have faid, from the 
bottom of the Arabian Gulf in fummer, with the monfoon 
at north, which carried her to Mocha. There the monfoon 
failed her by the change of the direction of the Gulf. The 
fouth-weft winds, which blow without Cape Gardefan in 
the Indian Ocean, forced themfelves round the Cape fo as to 
be felt in the road of Mocha, and make it uneafy riding 
there. But thefe foon changed, the weather became mo- 
derate, and the veffel, I fuppofe in the month of Auguft, was 
fafe at anchor under Cape Gardefan, where was the port 
which, many years afterwards, was called Promontorium 
Aromatum. Here the fhip was obliged to ftay all No- 
vember, becaufe all thefe fummer months the wind fouth 
of the Cape was a ftrong fouth-wefter, as hath been before 
faid, directly in the teeth of the voyage to Sofala. But this 
time was not loft ; part of the goods bought to be ready for 
the return was ivory, frankincenfe, and myrrh ; and the fhip 
was then at the principal mart for thefe. 

I suppose in November the veffel failed with the wind at 
north-eaft , with which fhe would foon have made her voy- 

i age- 


age : But off the coaft of Melinda, in the beginning of De- 
cember, fhe there met an anomalous monfoon at fouth-weft, 
in our days firft obferved by Dr Halley, which cut off her 
voyage to Sofala, and obliged her to put in to the fmall har- 
bour of Mocha, near Melinda, but nearer ftill to Tarfhifh, 
which we find here by accident, and which we think a 
ftrong corroboration that we are right as to the reft of the 
voyage. In the Annals of Abyflinia, we fee that Arada Sion, 
making war upon that coaft in the 14th century, in a lift 
of the rebellious Moorifh vaffals, mentions the Chief of Tar- 
fhifh as one of them, in the very fkuation where we have 
now placed him. 

Solomon's vefTel, then, was obliged to ftay at Tarfhifh till 
the month of April of the fccond year. In May, the wind 
fet in at north-eaft, and probably carried her that fame month 
to Sofala. All the time fhe fpent at Tarfhifh. was not loft, 
ft>r part of her cargo was to be brought from that place, and 
fne probably bought, befpoke, or left it there. From May 
of the fecond year, to the end of that monfoon in October, 
the vefTel could not ftir; the wind was north-eaft. But this 
time, far from being loft, was neceflary to the traders for 
getting in their cargo, which we lhall fuppofe was ready 
for them.. 

The fhip fails, on her return, in the month of November 
of the fecond year, with the monfoon fouth-weft, which in 
a very few weeks would have carried her into the Arabian 
Gulf. But off Mocha, near Melinda and Tarfhifh, fhe met 
the north-eaft monfoon, and was obliged to go into that 
port and ftay there till the end of that monfoon ; after which 
a f'outh-weiter came to her relief in May of the third year.. 



With the May monfoon fhe ran to Mocha within the Straits, 
and was there confined by the fummer monfoon blowing 
up the Arabian Gulf from Suez, and meeting her. Here fhe 
lay till that monfoon, which in fummer blows northerly 
from Suez, changed to a fouth-eaft one in October or No- 
vember, and that very eafily brought her up into the Ela- 
nitic Gulf, the middle or end of December of the third year. 
She had no need of more time to complete her voyage, and 
it was not poffible fhe could do it in lefs. In fhort, fhe 
changed the monfoon fix times, which is thirty-fix months, 
or three years exactly ; and there is not another combination 
. of monfoons over the globe, as far as I know, capable to 
effect the fame. The reader will pleafe to confult the map, 
and keep it before him, which will remove any difficulties 
he may have. It is for his inftruction this map has been 
made, not for that of the learned prelate * to whom it is 
infcribed, much more capable of giving additional lights, 
than in need of receiving any information I can give, even 
on this fubject. 

The celebrated Montefquieu conjectures, thatOphir was 
really on the coail of Africa ; and the conjecture of that great 
man merits more attention than the affertions of ordinary 
people. He is too fagacious, and too enlightened, either to 
doubt of the reality of the voyage itfelf,, or to feek for Ophir 
and Tarfhifh in China. Uninformed, however, of the par- 
ticular direction of the monfoons upon the coaft, firfl very 
flightly fpoken of by Eudoxus, and lately obferved and de- 


* Dr Douglas, Bifliop of Carlifle. 


lineated by Dr Halley, he was daggered upon confidcring 
that the whole diftance, which employed a veffel in Solo- 
mon's time for three years, was a thoufand leagues, fcarce- 
ly more than the work of a month. He, therefore, fuppofes, 
that the reafon of delay was owing to the imperfection of 
the veflels, and goes into very ingenious calculations, rea- 
fonings, and conclufions thereupon. He conjectures, there- 
fore, that the mips employed by Solomon were what he 
calls junks* of the Red Sea, made of papyrus, and covered 
with hides or leather. 

Pliny f had faid, that one of thefe junks of the Red Sea 
was twenty days on a voyage, which a Greek or Roman 
veffel would have performed in feven ; and Strabo % had 
faid the fame thing before him. 

This relative ilownefs, or fwiftnefs, will not folve the dif- 
ficulty. For, if thefe junks || were the veffels employed to 
Ophir, the long voyage, much more they would have been 
employed on the fhort one, to and from India j now they 
performed this within a year, which was all a Roman or 
Greek veflel could do, therefore this was not the caufc. 
Thofe employed by Solomon were Tyrian and Idumean vef- 
fels, the beft mips and failers of their age. Whoever has 
feen the prodigious fwell, the violent currents, and flrong 
fouth-weftcrs beyond the Straits of Babelmandeb, will not 
need any argument to permade him, that no veflel made of 
papyrus, or leather, could live an hour upon that fea. The 

Vol. I. 3 K junks,, 

: ' Vide L'Efprit des Loix, liv. xxi. cap. 6. p. 476. + Plin. lib. vi. cap. 22. % Strabo, lib. xv 
j[I ksow there are contrary opinions, and the junks might have been yanous. \ ide Salm.. 


junks, indeed, were light and convenient boats, made to 
crofs the narrow gulf between the Sabeans and Homerites, 
or Cufhites, at Azab upon the Red Sea, and carry provifions 
from Arabia Felix to the more defert coaft of Azab. I have 
hinted, that the names of places fufficiently demonflrate 
the great lofs of men that happened to the traders to Sofala 
before the knowledge of the monfoons, and the introduc- 
tion of the ufc of fails. 

I shall now confider how far the thing is confirmed by 
the names of places in the language of the country, fuch 
as they have retained among them to the prefent day. 

There are three Mochas mentioned in this voyage, fitu- 
ated in countries very diflimilar to, and diilant from, each 
other. The firft is in Arabia Deferta, in lat. 30 nearly, not 
far from the bottom of the Gulf of Suez. The fecond is in 
lat. 13% a fmall dillance from the Straits of Babelmandeb. 
The third Mocha is in lat. 3" lbuth, nearTarfhiih, on the coaft 
of Melinda. Nov/, the meaning of Mocha, in the Ethiopic, 
is prifoa ; and is particularly given to thefe three places, be- 
caufe, in any of them, a £hip is forced to flay or be detain- 
ed for months, till the changing of the monfoon lets her 
at liberty to purfue her voyage. At Mocha, near the bottom 
of the Gulf of Suez, a vcflcl, wanting to proceed fouthward 
to Babelmandeb, is kept here in prilbn all winter, till the 
fommer monfoon fets her at liberty. At Mocha, in Arabia 
Felix, the fame happens to any vcfiel wanting to proceed 
10 Suez in the fummer months ; (he may come up from 
the Straits -of Babelmandeb to Mocha Road by the acciden- 
tal direction of the head of the Gulf; but, in the month of 
May, the north- we ft wind obliges her to put into Mocha, 

2, and 


and there to flay till the fouth-eafter relieves her in Novem- 
ber. After you double Gardefan, the fummer monibon, 
at north-caft, is carrying your veffel full fail to Sofala, when 
the anomalous monfoon takes her off the coaft of Melinda, 
and forces her into Tarfhifh, where fhe is imprifoncd for fix 
months in the Mocha there. So that this word is very em- 
phatically applied to thofe places where mips are neceflarily 
detained by the change of monfoons, and proves the truth 
of what I have faid. . 

The laft Cape on the Abyffinian more, before you run 
into the Straits, is Cape Defan, called by the Portuguefe, 
Cape Dafui. This has no meaning in any language ; the 
Abyflinians, on whofe fide it is, call it Cape Dcfo.ti, the Cape 
of Burial. It was probably there where the carl wind drove 
afhore the bodies of fuch as had been fhipwrecked in the 
voyage. The point of the fame coaft, which. ftretches out 
into the Gulf, before you arrive at Ba-belmandeb, was, by 
the Romans, c&Ued'Promoriterium^lr&natum, and -mice, by the 
Portuguefe, Cape Gardeful. But the name given it by the 
Abyflinians and failors on the Gulf is, Cape Gardefan, the 
Straits of Burial. . 

Still nearer the Straits is a fmall port in the kingdom 
of Adel, called Mete, /. c. Death, or, he or they are dead. And 
more to the weft ward, in the fame kingdom, is Mount Felix, 
corruptly fo called by the Portuguefe. The Latins call it 
Elephas Mons, the Mountain of the Elephant; and the na- 
tives, jibbel Feel, which has the fame fignification. The Por- 
tuguefe, who did not. know that Jibbel Feel was Elephas 
Mons, being milled by the found, have called it Jibbel Felix., 
1 ippy Mountain, a name to which it has no fort of title. 

3K2. The- 


The Straits by which we enter the Arabian Gulf are by 
the Portuguefe called Babelmandeb, which is nonfenfe. 
The name by which it goes among the natives is Babel- 
mandeb, the Gate or Port of Affliction. And near it Ptolemy * 
places a town he calls, in the Greek, Mandaeth, which ap- 
pears to me to be only a corruption of Mandeb. The Pro- 
montory that makes the fouth fide of the Straits, and the city 
thereupon, is Dira, which means the Hades, or Hell, by Ptole- 
my f called A»pw. This, too, is a tranflation of the ancient 
name,becaufc A»p» (orDirae) has no lignification in the Greek. 
A clufter of illands you meet in the canal, after palling Mo- 
cha, is called Jibbel Zekir, or, the Illands of Prayer for the 
remembrance of the dead. And ftill, in the fame courfe up 
the Gulf, others are called Sebaat Gzier, Praife or Glory be 
to God, as we may fuppofe, for the return from this danger- 
ous navigation. 

All the coaft to the eaftward, to where Gardefan ftretches 
out into the ocean, is the territory of Saba, which imrac- 
morially has been the mart of frankincenfe, myrrh, and 
balfam. Behind Saba, upon the Indian Ocean, is the Regio 
Qnnamontfera, where a conliderable quantity of that wild cin- 
namon grows, which the Italian druggifes call candh. 

Inland near to Azab, as I have before obferved, are large 
ruins, fome of them of imall ftones and lime adhering ftrong- 
ly together. There is efpecially an aqueduct, which brought 
formerly a large quantity of water from a fountain in the 
mountains, which mult have greatly contributed to the 


Pto'. Geog. lib. \. cap. 7. f id. ibid. 


beauty, health, and pleafure of Saba. This is built with 
large maffy blocks of marble, brought from the neighbour- 
ing mountains, placed upon one another without lime or 
cement, but joined with thick cramps, or bars of brafs. 
There are likewife a number of wells, not fix feet wide, cora- 
pofed of pieces of marble hewn to parts of a circle, and 
joined with the fame bars of brafs alfo. This is exceedingly 
furpriiing, for Agatharcides * tells us, that the Alileans and 
CafTandrins, in the fouthern parts of Arabia, (juftoppofite to 
Azab), had among them gold in fuch plenty, that they would 
give double the weight of gold for iron, triple its weight 
for brafs, and ten times its weight for filver ; that, in dig- 
ging the earth, they found pieces of gold as big as olive- 
Itones, but others much larger. 

This feems to me extraordinary, if brafs was at fuch a 
price in Arabia, that it could be here employed in the mean- 
eil and moll common ufcs. However this be, the inhabitants 
of the Continent, and of the peninfula of Arabia oppofite to it» 
of all denominations agree, that this was the royal feat of the 
Queen of Saba, famous in ecclefiaftical hiftory for her journey 
to Jerufalem ; that thefe works belonged to her, and were 
erected at the place of her refidence ; that all the gold, filver, 
and perfumes came from her kingdom of Sofala, which was 
Ophir, and which reached from thence to Azab, upon the 
borders of the Red Sea, along the coafl of the Indian Ocean. 

It will very poffibly be thought, that this is the pl;ice in 
which I fhould mention the journey that the Queen of Saba 
made into Paleiline ; but as the dignity of the expedition it- 

4 felf, 

* Agath. p, Co. 



felf, and the place it holds in Jewifh antiquities, merits chat 
it mould be treated in a place by itfelf, fo the connection 
that it is luppcicd to have with the foundation of the mo- 
narchy of Abyffmia, the country whofe hiilory I am going 
to write, makes this particularly proper for the fake of con- 
nection ; and I fhall, therefore, continue the hiilory of the 
trade of the Arabian Gulf to a period in which I can re- 
fume the narrative of this expedition without occafioning 
•my interruption to either, 

* »'■* ■*■ ■ ^ ^ 





Flucluating State of the India Trade — Hurt by Military Expeditions of the 
Per/ians — Revives under the Ptolemies — Falls to Decay under the 

PTPHE profperous days of the commerce with the Elanitic 
JL Gulf feemed to be at this time nearly pail ; yet, after 1 
the revolt of the ten tribes, Edom remaining to the houfe 
of David, they Hill carried on a fort of trade from the Ela- 
nitic Gulf, though attended with many difficulties. This 
continued till the reign of Jehofaphat * ; but, on jehoram's 
fucceeding that prince, the Edomites j- revolted and chofc 
a king of their own, and were never after fubjecT: to the 
kings of Judah till the reign of Uzziah J, who conquered 
Eloth, fortified it, and having peopled it with a colony of 
his own, revived the old traffic. This fubiiitcd till the reign 
ofAhaz, when Rczin king of Damafcus took Eloth ||, and 
expelled the Jews,_planting in their ftead a colony of Syri- 

* 1 Kings, chap. xxii. ver. 48. 2 C'.iron. chap. xx. ver. 36. f 2 Kings, chap. viii. ver. 22. 
2 Chron. chap. xxi. ver. 10. J 2 Kings, chap. xiv. ver. 22. z Chron. chap. 26. ver. ii. 

2 King?, chap. xvi. ver. C. 


ans. But he did not long enjoy this good fortune, for the 
year after, Rezin * was conquered by Tilgath-pilefer ; and 
one of the fruits of this victory was the taking of Eloth, 
which never after returned to the Jews, or was of any pro- 
fit to Jerufalem. 

The repeated wars and conqueft to which the cities on 
the Elanitic Gulf had been fubiecl, the extirpation of the 
Edomites, ail the great events that immediately followed 
one another, of courfe difturbed the ufual channel of trade 
by the Red Sea, whofe ports were now confequently become 
unfafe by being in pofTeflion of ftrangers,, robbers, and fol- 
diers ; it changed, therefore, to a place nearer the center of 
police and good government, than fortified and frontier 
towns could be fuppofed to be. The Indian and African 
merchants, by convention,, met in AfTyria, as they had done 
in Semiramis's time ; the one by the Perfian Gulf and Eu- 
phrates, the other through Arabia. AfTyria, therefore, be- 
came the mart of the India trade in the EafL 

The conquefts of Nabopollafer, and his fon Nebuchadnez- 
zar, had brought a prodigious quantity of bullion, both 
lilver and gold, to Babylon his capital. For he had plun- 
ured Tyre f, and robbed Solomon's Temple X of all the gold 
that had been brought from Ophir; and he had, befides, con- 
quered Egypt and laid it wafte, and cut off the communica- 
tion of trade in all thefe places, by almofl extirpating the 


* 2 Kings, chap. xvi. ver. 6. 
f Ezek. chap, xxvi. ver. 7. % 1 Kings, chap. x\iv ver. 13. and : Chron. chap, xxxvi. 

vsr. 7. 


people. Immenfe riches flowed to him, therefore, on all 
fides, and it was a circumftance particularly favourable to 
merchants in that country, that it was governed by written 
laws that fcreened their properties from any remarkable 
violence or inj uftice. 

I suppose the phrafe in fcripture, " The law of the Medes 
and Perfians, which altereth not*," mull mean only written 
laws, by which thofe countries were governed, without be- 
ing left to the difcretion of the judge, as all the Eaft was, 
and as it actually now is. 

In this fituation the country was at the birth of Cyrus, 
who, having taken Babylon f and flain BelfliazzerJ, became 
mafter of the whole trade and riches of the Eaft. Whatever 
character writers give of this great Prince, his conduct, with 
regard to the commerce of the country, mews him to have 
been a weak one: For, not content with the prodigious 
profperity to which his dominions had arrived, by the mif- 
fortune of other nations, and perhaps by the good faith 
kept by his fubjeets to merchants, enforced by thofe written 
laws, he undertook the moil abfurd and difaftrous project 
of molefting the traders themfelves, and invading India, 
that all at once he might render himfelf mailer of their 
riches. He executed this fcheme jufl as abfurdly as he 
formed it ; for, knowing that large caravans of merchants 
came into Perfta and Ailyria from India, through the Aria- 
na, (the defert coafl that runs all along the Indian Ocean to 
Vol. I. 3 L the 

* Dan chap. vi. ver. 8. and Efther, chap. i. ver. 19. + Ezra, chap, v.ver. 14 
and chap. vi. ver. 5. X Dan. chap. v. ver. 30. 


the PeiTian Gulf, almoft entirely dellitute of water, and very 
nearly as much fo of provifions, both which caravans al- 
ways carry with them), he attempted to enter India by the 
very fame road with a large army, the very fame way his 
predeceflbr Semiramis had projected 1300 years before; and 
as her army had perifhed, fo did his to a man, without ha- 
ing ever had it in his power to take one pepper-corn by 
force from any part of India. 

The fame fortune attended his fon and fucceUbr Cam- 
byfes, who, obferving the quantity of gold brought from E- 
thiopia into Egypt, refolved to march to the fource, and 
at once make himfelf mailer of thofe treafures by rapine r 
which he thought came too flowly through the medium 
of commerce. 

Cambyses's expedition into Africa is too well' known for 
me to dwell upon it in this place. It hath obtained a cele- 
brity by the abfurdity of the project, by the enormous cruelty 
and havock that attended the courfe of it, and by the great 
and very juft punifliment that clofed it in the end. It was 
one of thofe many monflrous extravagancies which made up 
the life of the greater! madman that ever difgraccd the annals 
of antiquity. The bafeil mind is perhaps the moil capable 
of avarice ; and when this paffion has taken poffeilion of the 
human heart, it is ftrong enough to excite us to underta- 
kings as great as any of thofe dictated by the nobleltof our 

Cambyses, amidil the commimon of the molt horrid ex- 
cefTes during the conqueft of Egypt, was informed that, 
from the fouth of that country, there wasconflantly brought 

a quantity 


a quantity of pure gold, independent of what came from 
the top of the Arabic Gulf, which was now carried into 
AfTyria, and circulated in the trade of his country. This 
fupply of gold belonged properly and cxclufively to Egypt; 
and a very lucrative, though not very extenfive commerce, 
was, by its means, carried on with India. He found out. 
that the people, pofleffing thefe treafures, were called Mac- 
robii, which fignifics long livers; and that they pofTefTed a coun- 
try divided from him by lakes, mountains, and deferts. But 
what flill affected him moll was, that in his way were a mul- 
titude of warlike Shepherds, with whom the reader is al- 
ready fufheiently acquainted. 

Cambyses, to flatter, and make peace with them, fell fu- 
rioufly upon all the gods and temples in Egypt ; he mur- 
dered the facred ox, the apis, deflroyed Memphis, and all 
the public buildings wherever he went. This was a grati- 
fication to the Shepherds, being equally enemies to thofe 
that worlhipped beails, or lived in cities. After this intro- 
duction, he concluded peace with them in the moft folemn 
manner, each nation vowing eternal amity with the other. 
Notwithftanding which, no fooner was he arrived at Thebes 
(in Egypt) than he detached a large army to plunder the 
Temple of Jupiter Amnion, the grcatcft object of the worfliip 
of thefe Jhcpherds ; which army utterly perifhed without a 
man remaining, covered, as I fuppofe, by the moving fands. 
He then began his march again!! the Macrobii, keeping clofc 
to the Nile. The country there being too high to receive 
any benefit from the inundation of the river, produced no 
corn, fo that part of his army died for want of provifion. 

3 L 2 Another 


Another detachment of his army proceeded to the coun- 
try of the Shepherds, who, indeed, furnifhed him with 
food ; but, exafperated at the facrilege he had committed 
againfl their god, they conducted his troops through places 
where they could procure no water. After fufFering all 
this lofs, he was not yet arrived beyond 24% the parallel of 
Syene. From hence he difpatched ambafladors, or fpies, to 
difcover the country before him, finding he could no longes 
rely upon the Shepherds. Thefe found it full of black war- 
like people, of great fize, and prodigious flrength of body; 
active, and continually exercifed in hunting the lion, the 
elephant, and other monflrous beads which live in thefe 

The inhabitants fo abounded with gold, that the moff 
common utenfds and inflruments were made of that metal, 
whilft, at the fame time, they were utter ftrangers to bread 
of any kind whatever ; and, not only fo, but their country 
was, by its nature, incapable of producing any fort of grain 
from which bread could be made. They fubfifted upon 
raw flefli alone, dried in the fun, efpecially that of the 
rhinoceros, the elephant, and giraffa, which they had flain 
in limiting. On fuch food they have ever fince lived, and 
live to this day, and on fuch food I myfelf have lived with 
them ; yet Hill it appears flrange, that people confined to 
this diet, without variety or change, mould have it for their 
characteriflic that they were long livers. 

They were not at all alarmed at the arrival of Cambyfcs's 
ambaffadors. On the contrary, they treated them as an in- 
ferior fpecies of men, Upon afking them about their diet, 




and hearing it was upon bread, they called it dung, I fup- 
pofe as having the appearance of that bread which I have 
feen the miferable Agows, their neighbours, make from 
feeds of baflard rye, which they collect in their fields un- 
der the burning rays of the fun. They laughed at Cam- 
by fes's requifition of fubmitting to him, and did not con- 
ceal their contempt of his idea of bringing an army thi- 

They treated ironically his hopes of conqueft, even fuppo- 
fing all difficulties of the defert overcome, and his army 
ready to enter their country, and counfeled him to return 
while he was well, at leaft for a time, till he mould pro- 
duce a man of his army that could bend the bow that they 
then fent him ; in which cafe, he might continue to ad- 
vance, and have hope of conqueft. — The reafon of their re- 
ference to the bow will be feen afterwards. I mention thefe 
circumftances of the quantity of gold, the hunting of ele- 
phants, their living upon the raw nefh, and, above all, the 
circumftances of the bow, as things which I myfelf can 
teftify to have met with among this very people. It is, in- 
deed, highly fatisfactory in travelling, to be able to explain 
truths which, from a want of knowledge of the country 
alone, have been treated as falsehoods, and placed to the 
difcredit of hiftorians. 

The Perfians were all famous archers. The mortifica- 
tion, therefore, they experienced, by receiving the bow they 
could not bend, was a very fenfible one, though the narra- 
tive of the quantity of gold the meftengers had feen made 
a much greater impreffion upon Cambyfes. To procure 



this trcafnrc was, however, impracticable, as he had no 
provifion, nor was there any in the way of his march. His 
army, therefore, wafted daily by death and difperfion ; and 
he had the mortification to be obliged to retreat into Egypt, 
after part of his troops had been reduced to the neceffity of 
eating each other *; 

Darius, king of Perfia, attempted to open this trade in 
a much more worthy and liberal manner, as he fent (hips 
down the river Indus into the ocean, whence they entered 
the Red Sea. It is probable, in this voyage, he acquired all 
the knowledge neceffary for eftablilhing this trade in Per- 
fia; for he muft have palled through the Perfian Gulf, and 
along the whole eaftern coalt of Arabia ; he muft have 
feen the marts of perfumes and fpices that were at the 
mouth of the Red Sea, and the manner of bartering for 
gold and filver, as he was neceffarily in thofe trading 
places which were upon the very fame coaft from which 
thQ bullion was brought. I do not know, then, why M. de 
Montefquieu f has treated this expedition of Darius fo con- 
temptuoully, as it appears to have been executed without 
great trouble or cxpence, and terminated without lofs or 
hardfhip ; the ftrongeft proof that it was at firft wifely plan- 
ed. The prince. himfelf was famous for his love of learn- 
ing, which we find by his anxiety to be admitted among the 
Ma^i, and the fenfe he had of that honour, in caufing it to 
be engraved upon his tomb. 


Lucan iib. x. ver. 280. f vide Montefq. liv. si. chap 8- 



The expedition of Alexander into India was, of all events, 
that which moil threatened the deftruction of the commerce 
of the Continent, or the difperfing it into different channels 
throughout the Eall : Firft, by the deflruelion of Tyre, which 
znuft have, for a time, annihilated the trade by the Arabian 
Gulf; then by his march through Egypt into the country of 
the Shepherds, and his intended further progrefs into Ethio 
pia to the head of the Nile. If we may judge of what we hear 
of him in that part of his expedition, we mould be apt not to 
believe, as others are fond of doing, that he had fchemes of 
commerce mingled with thofe of conquefts. His anxiety 
about his own birth at the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, this 
firft queftion that he afked of the prieft, " Where the Nile 
had its fource," feemed to denote a mind bufied about other 
objects ; for elfe he was then in the very place for informa- 
tion, being in the temple of that horned god *, the deity of 
the Shepherds, the African carriers of the Indian produce ; 
a temple which, though in the midft of fand, and deftitute 
of gold or filver, poffeffed more and better information con- 
cerning the trade of India and Africa, than could be found 
in any other place on the Continent. Yet we do not hear 
of one queftion being made, or one arrangement taken, re- 
lative to opening the India trade with Thebes, or with Alex- 
andria, which he built afterwards. 

After having viewed the main ocean to the fouth, he 
ordered Nearchus with his fleet to coaft along the Perfian 
Gulf, accompanied by part of the army on land for their 
mutual aififtance, as there were a great many liardfhips 

i which. 

* Lucan, lib. 9. vrr. 515, 



which followed the march of the army by land, and much 
difficulty and danger attended the Shipping as they were fail- 
ing in unknown feas againft the monfoons. Nearchus himfelf 
informed the king at Babylon of his fuccefsful voyage, who 
gave him orders to continue it into the Red Sea, which he 
happily accomplifhed to the bottom of the Arabian Gulf. 

We are told it was his intention to carry on the India 
trade by the Gulf of Perfia, for which reafon he broke 
down all the cataracts and dams which the Perfians had 
built over the rivers communicating with the Euphrates. 
No ufe, however, feems to have been made of his knowledge 
of Arabia and Ethiopia, which makes me imagine this ex- 
pedition of Alexander's fleet was not an idea of his own. It 
is, indeed, faid, that when Alexander came into India, the 
fouthern or Indian Ocean was perfectly unknown ; but I 
am rather inclined to believe from this circumftance, that 
this voyage was made from fome memorials remaining 
concerning the voyage of Darius. The fact and circum- 
ftances of Darius's voyage are come down to us, and, by 
thefe very fame means, it mull be probable they reached 
Alexander, who I do not believe ever intended to carry on 
the India trade at Babylon. 

To render it impoflible, indeed, he could not have done 
three things more effectual than he did, when he deftroyed 
Tyre, and difperfed its inhabitants, perfecuted the Orites, or 
land-carriers, in the Ariana, and built Alexandria upon the 
Mediterranean ; which laft ftep fixed the Indian trade in that 
city, and would have kept it there eternally, had the Cape 
of Good Hope never been difcovered. 



The Ptolemies, the wifeft princes that ever fat upon the 
throne of Egypt, applied with the utraoft care and attention 
to cultivate the trade of India, to keep up perfect and friend- 
ly underftanding with every country that fupplied any 
branch of it, and, inftead of difturbing it either in Afia, Ara- 
bia, or Ethiopia, as their predeceflbrs had done, they ufed 
their utraoft efforts to encourage it in all quarters. 

Ptolemy I. was then reigning in Alexandria, the foun- 
dation of whofe greatnefs he not only laid, but lived to fee 
it arrive at the greateft perfection. It was his conftant fay- 
ing, that the true glory of a king was not in being rich 
himfelf, but making his fubjects fo. He, therefore, opened 
his ports to all trading nations, encouraged ftrangers of 
every language, protected caravans, and a free navigation 
by fea, by which, in a few years, he made Alexandria the 
great ftore-houfe of merchandize, from India, Arabia, and 
Ethiopia. He did ftill further to infure the duration of his 
kingdom, at the fame time that he fhewed the utmoft dif- 
intereftednefs for the future happinefs of his people. He 
educated his fon, Ptolemy Philadelphus, with the utmoft 
care, and the happy genius of that prince had anfwered 
his father's utmoft expectations ; and, when he arrived at the 
age of governing, the father, worn out by the fatigue of 
long wars, furrendered the kingdom to his fon. 


Ptolemy had been a foldier from his infancy, and con- 
fequently kept up a proper military force, that made him 
every where refpected in thefe warlike and unfettled times. 
He had a fleet of two hundred mips of war conftantly ready 
in the port of Alexandria, the only part for which he had 
apprehenfions. All behind him was wifely governed, whilft 
Vol. I. 3 M it 


it enjoyed a moft flourishing trade, to the profpcrity of: r 
which peace is necefTary. He died in peace and old age 
after having merited the glorious name -of Soter, or Saviour 
of the kingdom, which he hirhfelf had founded, the greateft 
part of which differed from him in language, colour, habit, 
and religion. 

It is with aftonimment we fee how thoroughly he had 
eftablifhed the trade of India, Ethiopia, and Arabia, and what 
progrefs he had already made towards uniting it with that of 
Europe, by a paffage in Athenseus*, who mentions a feflival 
and entertainment given by his fon, Ptolemy Philadelphia 
to the people of Alexandria at his acceflion, while his father. 
was alive, but had jufl given up his crown. 

There was in this procenlon a great number of Indian 
women, befides of other countries ; and by Indians we may 
underftand, not only the Afiatic Indians, but the Abyllini- 
ans, and the inhabitants of the higher part of Africa, as all 
thefe countries were comprehended under the common ap- 
pellation of India. Thefe were in the habit of Haves, and 
each led, or was followed by, a camel loaded with incenfe 
ofSheher, and cinnamon, befides other aromatics. After 
thefe came a number of Ethiopian blacks carrying the teeth 
of 600 elephants. Another troop had a prodigious quanti- 
ty of ebony ; and again others loaded with that fmeft gold, 
which is not dug from the mine, but waihed from the 
mountains by the tropical rains in fmall pieces, or pellets, 


* Athcn, lib. 5. 


which the natives and traders at this day call Tibbar. Next 
came a pack of 24,000 Indian dogs, all Afiatics, from the 
peninmla of India, followed by a prodigious number of fo- 
reign animals, both beafts and birds, paroquets, and other 
"birds of Ethiopia, carried in cages ; 130 Ethiopian iheep, 300 
Arabian, and 20 from the Me Nubia* ; 26 Indian buffaloes, 
white as fnow, and eight from Ethiopia ; three brown bears, 
and a white one, which laft mufl have been from the north 
of Europe ; 14 leopards, 16 panthers, four lynxes, one giraf- 
fa, and a rhinoceros of Ethiopia. 

When we reflecl: upon this prodigious mixture of ani- 
mals, all fo eafdy procured at one time, without preparation, 
we may imagine, that the quantity of merchandifes, for 
common demand, which accompanied them, mufl have been 
in the proper proportion. 

The current of trade ran towards Alexandria with the 
greatefl impetuofity, all the articles of luxury of the Eafl 
were to be found there. Gold and filver, which were fent 
formerly to Tyre, came now down to the Iflhmus (for Tyre 
was no more) by a much lhorter carnage, thence to Mem- 
phis, whence it was fent down the Nile to Alexandria. The 
gold from the weft and fouth parts of the Continent reached 
the fame port with much lefs time and riik, as there was 
now no Red Sea to pafs ; and here was found the merchan- 
dife of Arabia and India in the greatefl prof ufion, 

3M2 To 

•This is probably from Atbara, or the old name of the ifland of Meroe, which had received 
that lafl name only as late as Cambyfes. 


To facilitate the communication with Arabia, Ptolemy 
built a town on the coaft of the Red Sea, in the country of 
the Shepherds, and called it Berenice*, after his mother. This 
was intended as a place of neceflary refrefhment for all the 
traders up and down the Gulf, whether of India or Ethio- 
pia ; hence the cargoes of merchants, who were afraid of 
lofing the monfoons, or had loll them, were carried by the 
inhabitants of the country, in three days, to the Nile, and 
there embarked for Alexandria. To make the communi- 
cation between the Nile and the Red Sea Hill more commodi- 
ous, this prince tried an attempt (which had twice before 
mifcarried with very great lofs) to bring a canal f from the 
Red Sea to the Nile, which he actually accomplifhed, join- 
ing it to the Pelufiac, or Eaflern branch of the Nile. Locks 
and flukes moreover are mentioned as having been em- 
ployed even in thofe early days by Ptolemy, but very trifling 
ones could be needed, for the difference of level is there 
but very fmall. 

This noble canal, one hundred yards broad, was not of 
that ufc to trade which was expected ; merchants were weary 
of the length of time confumed in going to the very bot- 
tom of the Gulf, and afterwards with this inland naviga- 
tion of the canalj and that of the Nile, to Alexandria. It was 
therefore much more expeditious to unload at Berenice, 
and, after three days journey, fend their merchandife direct- 
ly down to Alexandria. Thus the canal was difufed, the 
goods paffed from Berenice to the Nile by land, and that 
road continues open for the fame purpofc to this day. 


* Blin. lib. 6. cap. J3, f Strabo, lib. 17. p. 932. 


It mould appear, that Ptolemy had employed the veffels 
of India and the Red Sea, to carry on his commerce with 
the peninfula, and that the manner of trading directly to 
India with his own fhips, was either not known or forgot- 
ten. He therefore fent two ambaffadors, or meffengers, 
Megafthenes and Denis, to obferve and report what was 
the flate of India fince the death of Alexander. Thefe two 
performed their voyage fafely and fpeedily. The account 
they gave of India, if it was ftrictly a true one, was, in all 
refpects, perfectly calculated to animate people to the fur- 
ther profecution of that trade. In the mean time, in order 
to procure more convenience for veffels trading on the Red 
Sea, he refolved to attempt the penetrating into that part of 
Ethiopia which lies on that fea, and, as hiftorians imagine, 
with an intention to plunder the inhabitants of their riches. 

It mull not, however, be fuppofed, that Ptolemy was not 
enough acquainted with the productions of a country fo near 
to Egypt, as to know this part of it had neither gold norfilver, 
whilft it was full of forefls likewife ; for it was that part of 
Ethiopia called Barbaria, at this day Barabra, inhabited by 
fhepherds wandering with their cattle about the neighbour- 
ing mountains according as the rains fall. Another more pro- 
bable conjecture was, that he wanted, by bringing about a 
change of manners in thefe people, to make them ufeful to 
him in a matter that was of the highefl importance. 

Ptolemy, like his father, had a very powerful fleet and 
army, he but was inferior to many of the princes, his rivals, 
in elephants, of which great ufe was then made in war. 
Thefe Ethiopians were hunters, and killed them for" their 
fubfiftence. Ptolemy, however, wifhed to have them taken 

4 alive,. 


alive, being numerous, and hoped both to furnifh. himfelf, 
and difpofe of them as an article of trade, to his neighbours. 

There is fomcthing indeed ridiculous in the manner in 
which he executed this expedition. Aware of the difficulty 
of fubfifting in that country, he chofeonly a hundred Greek 
horfemen, whom he covered with coats of monftrous 
appearance and frze, which left nothing vifible but the 
eyes of the rider. Their horfes too were difguifcd by huge 
trappings, which took from them all proportion andfhape. 
In this manner they entered this part of Ethiopia, fpreading 
terror every where by their appearance, to which their 
ftrength and courage bore a ftrict proportion whenever 
they came to action. But neither force nor intreaty 
could gain any thing upon thefe Shepherds, or ever make 
them change or forfake the food they had been fo long 
accuftomed to ; and all the fruit Ptolemy reaped from this 
expedition, was to build a city, by the fea-fide, in the fouth- 
eaft corner of 'this country, which he called Ptolemais The- 
ron, or Ptolemais in the country of wild beails. 

I have already obferved, but fhall again repeat it, that 
the reafon why fhips, in going up and down the Red Sea, 
kept always upon the Ethiopian fliore, and why the great- 
eft number of cities were always built upon that fide is, 
that water is much more abundant on the Ethiopian lide 
than the Arabian, and it was therefore of the greateft con- 
ference to trade to have that coaft fully difcovered and 
civilized. Indeed it is more than probable, that nothing fur- 
ther was intended by the expedition of the hundred Greeks, 
juft now mentioned, than to frain fufiicient intelligence how 
-this might be done moil perfectly. 

2 Pto- 


Ptolemy Evergetes, fon and fuccefibr of Ptolemy Phila- 
delphus, availed himfelf of this 'difcovery. Having provid- 
ed himfclf amply with ncceffarics for his army, and order- 
ed a fleet to coaft along befide him, up the R.ed Sea, he pe- 
netrated quite through the country of the Shepherds into 
that of the Ethiopian Troglodytes, who are black and wool- 
ly-headed, and inhabit the low country quite to the moun- 
tains of Abyffinia. Nay *, he even afcended thofe moun- 
tains, forced the inhabitants to fubmiflion, built a large 
temple at Axum, the capital of Sire, and railed a great many 
obelifks, feveral of which are Handing to this day. After- 
wards proceeding to the fouth-eaft, he defcended into the 
cinnamon and myrrh country, behind Cape Gardefan, (the 
Cape that terminates the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean) 
from this,' croffed over to Arabia, to the Homerites, being; 
the fame people with the Abyffinians, only on the Arabian 
more. He then conquered feveral of the Arabian princes, 
who firft refilled him, and had it in his power to have put 
an end to the trade of India there, had he not been as great 
a politician as he was a warrior. He ufed his victory, there- 
fore, in no other manner, than to exhort and oblige thefe 
princes to protect trade, encourage ftrangers, and, by every 
means, provide for the furety of neutral intercourfe, by ma- 
king rigorous examples of robbers by fea and land.. 

The reigns of the latter Ptolemies were calculated to 
bring this commerce to a decline, had it not been for two 
great events, the fall of Carthage, deftroyed by Scipio, and 
that of Corinth, by the cenful Mummius. The importance of 


* Men. Aduli. 


thefe events to Alexandria feems to have fuftained the pro- 
fperity of Egypt, even againfl the ravages committed in the 
war between Ptolemy the VI. and VII. Alexandria was 
then befieged, and not only deprived of its riches, but re- 
duced to the utmofl want of necefTaries, and the horrid be- 
haviour of Ptolemy VII. (had it continued) would have foon 
rendered that city defolate. The confequence of fuch a 
conduct, however, made a flrong impreflion on the prince 
himfelf, who, at once recalling his unjufl edicts, by which 
he had banifhed all foreign merchants from Alexandria, 
became on a fudden wholly addicted to commerce, the encou- 
rager of arts and fciences, and the protector of ftrangers. 

The impolitic conduct in the beginning of his reign, 
however, had affected trade even in India. For the ftory 
preferved by Pofidonius, and very improperly criticifed by 
Strabo, feems to import little lefs. One day, the troops 
polled on the Arabian Gulf found a fhip abandoned to the 
waves, on board of which was one Indian only, half dead 
with hunger and third, whom they brought to the king. 
This Indian declared he failed from his own country, and, ha- 
ving loft his courfe and fpent all his proviiions, he was carried 
to the place where he was found, without knowing where he 
was, and after having furvived the reft of his companions : 
he concluded an imperfect narrative, by offering to be a guide 
to any perfon his majefty would fend to India. His propofals 
were accordingly accepted, and Eudoxus was named by 
the king to accompany him. Strabo * indeed laughs at 


Strabo, lib. ij. p. 98. 


this flory. However, we mufl fay, he has not feized the 
mofl ridiculous parts of it. 

We are told that the king ordered the Indian to be 
taught Greek, and waited with patience till he had learn- 
ed that language, Surely, before any perfon could thus 
inuruCt him, the mafter mufl have had fome language in 
common with his fcholar, or he had better have taught Eu- 
doxus the Indian language, as it would have been as ea- 
fy, and of much more life in the voyage he was to under- 
take. Befides, is it poffible to believe, after the many years 
the Egyptians traded backwards and forwards to India, 
that there was not a man in Alexandria who could interpret 
for him to the king, when fuch a number of Egyptians went 
every year to India to trade, and flayed there for months 
each time? Could Ptolemy Philadelphia, at his father's fefli- 
val, find 600 Indian female Haves, all at once, in Alexandria; 
and, after the trade had lafled fo much longer, were the 
people from India decreafed, or would their language be lefs 
underflood ? The king's wifdom, moreover, did not fhew 
itfelf greatly, when he was going to trufl a fhip with his 
fnbjects to fo fkilful a pilot as this Indian, who, in the firft 
voyage, had loll himfelf and all his companions. 

India, however, and the Indian feas, were as well known 
in Egypt as they are now ; and the magnificence and fhew 
which attended Eudoxus's embafly feems to prove, that 
whatever truth there is in the Indian being found, Eudoxus' 
errand mufl have been to remove the bad effects that the 
king's extortions and robberies, committed upon all flrangers 
in the beginning of his reign, had made upon the trading 
nations. Eudoxus returned, but after the death of Ptole- 

Vol. I. 3 N my. 


my. The neceffity, however, of this voyage appeared flill 
great enough to make Cleopatra his widow project a fe- 
cond to the fame place, and greater preparations were made 
than for the former one. 

But Eudoxus,, trying experiments probably about the 
courfes of the trade-winds, loft his paffage, and was thrown 
upon the coaft of Ethiopia ; where, having landed, and made 
himfelf agreeable to the natives, he brought home to Egypt 
a particular description of that country and its produce, 
which furnifhed all the difcovery neccffary to inftrucl: the 
Ptolemies in every thing that related to the ancient trade of 
Arabia. In the courfe of the voyage, Eudoxus difcovered 
the part of the prow of a veffel which had been broken off 
by a ftorm. The figure of a horfe made it an object of in- 
quiry ; and fome of the failors on board, who had been em- 
ployed in European voyages, immediately knew this wreck 
to be part of one of thofe veilels ufed to trade on the weftcrn 
ocean. Eudoxus * inllantly perceived all the importance of 
the difcovery, which amounted to nothing lefs, than that 
there was a paffage round Africa from the Indian to the At- 
lantic Ocean. Full of this thought, he returned to Egypt, 
and,, having fhewn the prow of his veffel to European fhip- 
mafters, they all declared that this had been part of a vef- 
fel which had belonged to Cadiz, in Spain. 

This difcovery, great as it was, was to none of more im 
portance than to Eudoxus ; for, fome time after, falling 
under the diipleafure of Ptolemy Lathyrus, VUIth of that 


* Plin. NauHift. lib. 2. cap. 67, 


name, and being in danger of his life, he fled and embark- 
ed on the Red Sea, failed round the peninfula of Africa, 
croiTed the Atlantic Ocean, and came fafely to Cadiz. 

The fpirit of inquiry, and dcfire of travelling, fpread it- 
felf inilantly through Egypt, upon this voyage of Eudoxus ; 
and different travellers pufhed their difcoveries into the 
heart of the country, where fome of the nations arc report- 
ed to have been fo ignorant as not to know the ufe of fire : 
ignorance almoft incredible, had we not an inflance of it in 
our own times. It was in the reign of Ptolemy IX. that A- 
gatharcides * drew up his defcription of the Red Sea. 

The reigns of the other Ptolemies ending in the Xlllthof 
that name, though full of great events, have nothing ma- 
terial to our prefent fubjec~t. Their conftant expence and 
profufion mull have occafioned a great confumption of 
trading articles, and very little elfe was wanting; or, if there 
had, it muft have arrived at its height in the reign of the 
celebrated Cleopatra; whofe magnificence, beauty, and great 
talents, made her a wonder, greater than any in her capital. 
In her time, all nations flocked, as well for curiofity as 
trade, to Alexandria ; Arabs, Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Jews, 
and Medes ; and all were received and protected by this 
princefs, who fpokc to each of them in his own languagef. 

The difcovery of Spain, and the pofTeilion of the mines 
of Attica from which they drew their filver, and the revo- 

-; N 2 lution 

* Dodwcll'b Diflertat. vol. I. Scrip. Grcec. Min. Id. Ox. 1698. 8vo. 
4- Plut. Vita. Ant. p. 913. torn, 1. part 2. Lubec. 1*124. fol. 


lution that happened in Egypt itfelf, feemed to have fuper- 
feded the communication with the coaft of Africa ; for, in> 
Strabo's time, few of the ports of the Indian Ocean, even 
thofe neareft the Red Sea, were known. I mould, indeed, 
fuppofe, that the trade to India by Egypt decreafed from the 
very time of the conqueft by Csefar. The mines the Romans 
hadat|the fource of the river Betis*, in Spain, did not produce 
them above L. 15,000 a-year; this was not a fufficient capital 
for carrying on the trade to India, and therefore the immenfe 
riches of the Romans feem to have been derived from the 
greatnefs of the prices, not from the extent of the trade, 
In fact f, we are told that 100 per cent, was a profit in com- 
mon trade upon the Indian commodities. Egypt now, and 
all its neighbourhood, began to wear a face of war, to 
which it had been a ftranger for fo many ages. The north- 
of Africa was in conftant troubles, after the firft ruin of 
Carthage ; fo that we may imagine the trade to India began 
again, on that fide, to be carried on pretty much in the 
fame manner it had been before the days of Alexander, 
But it had enlarged itfelf very much on the Perfian fide, 
and found an eafy, fhort inlet, into the north of Europe, 
which then furnifhed them a market and confumption of 

I must confefs, notwithflanding, if it is true what 
Strabofays he heard himfelf in Egypt, that the Romans em- 
ployed one hundred and twenty veffels in the Indian trade J, 
it muft at that time have loll very little of its vigour. Wo 
muft, however, imagine, that great part of this was for the 


* Strabo, lib. 3. 7 Plin. i!b. \i. cop, 23.. ± Strabo, lib. r*. p. 81. 


account, and with the funds of foreign merchants. The 
Jews in Alexandria, until the reign of Ptolemy Phifcon, had 
carried on a very extenfive part of the India trade. All 
Syria was mercantile ; and lead, iron, and copper, fupplied, 
in fome manner, the deficiency of gold and lilver, which 
never again was in fuch abundance till after the difcovery 
of America. 

But the ancient trade to India, by the Arabian Gulf and 
Africa, carried on by the medium of thefe two metab, 
remained at home undiminifhed with the Ethiopians, de- 
fended by large extenfive deferts, and happy with the en- 
joyment of riches and fecurity, till a frelh difcovery again 
introduced to them both partners and mailers in their 

One of the reafons that makes me imagine the Indian, 
trade was not flourifhing, or in great efteem, immediately 
upon the Roman conqueft of Egypt, is, that Auguftus, very 
foon after, attempted to conquer Arabia. He lent Elius 
Gallus, with an army from Egypt into Arabia, who found 
there a number of effeminate, timid people, fcarcely to be 
driven to felf-defence by violence, and ignorant of every 
thing that related to war. Elius, however, found that they 
overmatched him in cunning, and the perfect knowledge 
of the country, which their conitant employment as carriers 
had taught them. His guides led him round from hard- 
ihip to hardfhip, till his army almoft perifned with hunger 
and thirft, without feeing any of thofe riches his maiterhad. 
lent him to take poUeffion of. 



Thus was the Arabian expedition of Auguftus conceived 
with the fame views as thofeof Semiramis, Cyrus, and Cam- 
byfes, defervedly as unhappy in its hTue as thefe firfl had 

That the African trade, moreover, was loft, appears from 
Strabo*, and his reafoning upon the voyage of Eudoxus, 
which he treats as a fable. But his reafoning proves jufl the 
contrary, and this voyage was one foundation for opening 
this trade again, and making this coaft more perfectly 
known. This likewife appears clear from Ptolemy f, who, 
fpeaking of a promontory or cape oppofite to Madagafcar, 
on the coaft of Africa, fays it was inhabited by anthropo- 
phagi, or man-eaters, and that all beyond 8° fouth was un- 
known, and that this cape extended to and joined the con- 
tinent of India i. 

* Strabo, lib. ii. p. 98. f Ptol. lib. iv. cap. 9. p. 1 15. J Ptol. lib. vii. cap. 5. 

(gfr*fa— »><<%£ 



— *533&- 


%ueen of Saba viftsjerufalem — Abyfinian Tradition concerning Her— 
Suppofed Founder of that Monarchy — Abyffinia embraces the Jeivif 
Religion — Jeivif 3 Hierarchy fill retained by the Falafa — Some Con- 
jectures concerning their Copy of the OldTefament. 


IT is now that I am to fulfil my promife to the reader, of 
giving him fome account of the vifit made by the Queen 
of Sheba*, as we erroneoufly call her, and the confequences 
of that viiit ; the foundation of an Ethiopian monarchy, and. 
the continuation of the fceptre in the tribe of Judah, clown 
to this day. If I am obliged to go back in point of time, it 
is, that I may preferve both the account of the trade of the 
Arabian Gulf, and of this Jewilh kingdom, diitinet and un- 

We are not to wonder, if the prodigious hurry and flow- 
€f bufmefs, and the immenfely valuable tran factions they 
had with each other, had greatly familiarifcd the Tyrians, 


*lt fhould progerly be Saba, Azab, orAzaba, all fignifying Seufb. 


and Jews, with their correfpondents the Cuihifes and Shep-* 
herds on the coafl of Africa. This had gone fo far, as very 
naturally to have created a defire in the queen of Azab, the 
fovereign of that country, to go herfelf and fee the applica- 
tion of fuch immenfe treafures that had been exported from 
her country for a ferics of years, and the prince who fo 
magnificently employed them. There can be no doubt of 
this expedition, as Pagan, Arab, Moor, Abyflinian, and all 
the countries round, vouch it pretty much in the terms of 

Many* have thought this queen was an Arab. But Saba 
was a feparate ftate, and the Sabeans a diflineT: people from 
the Ethiopians and the Arabs, and have continued fo till 
very lately. We know, from hiftory, that it was a cuftom 
among thefe Sabeans, to have women for their fovereigns 
in preference to men, a cuftom which ftill fubfifts among 
their defcendcnts. 

Medis levibufqne Sabals, 

Ih/j erat i. osfexus Reginaritmquejiibannis^ 

Barbaria\, pars magna jacet. CLAtJDlAN 1 . 

Her name, the Arabs fay, was Belkis ; the Abyffmians, 
Maqueda. Our Saviour calls her Queen of the South, without 
mentioning any other name, but gives his fandtion to the 
truth of the voyage. " The Queen of the South (or Saba, 

" or 

* Such as Juftin, Cyprian, Epiphanius, Cyril. 

f By this is meant the country between the tropic and mountains of Abyflinfa, the 
cotmtry of Shepherds, from Berber, Shepherd. 


d or Azab) lhall rife up in the judgment with this genera- 
" tion, and lhall condemn it ; for Hie came from the uttcr- 
" moll parts of the earth to hear the wifdom of Solomon ; 
*' and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here *." No other 
particulars, however, are mentioned about her in fcripture ; 
and it is not probable our Saviour would fay fhe came from 
the uttermoft parts of the earth, if fhe had been an Arab, 
and had near 50 of the Continent behind her. The gold, 
the myrrh, cafTia, and frankincenfe, were all the produce 
of her own country ; and the many reafons Pineda f gives 
to fliew fhe was an Arab, more than convince me that fhe 
was an Ethiopian or Cufhite fhepherd. 

A strong objection to her being an Arab, is, that the 
Sabean Arabs, or Homerites, the people that lived oppolite 
to Azab on the Arabian fhore, had kings inflead of queens, 
which latter the Shepherds had, and flill have. Moreover, 
the kings of the Homerites were never feen abroad, and 
were Honed to death if they appeared in public ; fubje6ts of 
this {lamp would not very readily fufFer their queen to go 
to Jerufalem, even fuppoilng they had a queen, which they 
had not. 

Whether fhe was a Jewefs or a Pagan is uncertain ; Sa- 
baifm was the religion of all the Eail. It was the conflant 
attendant and flumbling-block of the Jews ; but confidering 
the multitude of that people then trading from Jerufalem, 
and the long time it continued, it is not improbable fhe was 

Vol. I. 3 O a Jewefs. 

* Matth. chap. xii. ver. 42. Luke xi. 31. 

f Pin. de reb. Solomon, lib. iv. cap. 14th. — Jofephus thinks ftie was an Ethiopian, fo do On'geri, 
Anguftin, and St Anfelmo. 


a Jewcfs. " And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame 
" of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, fhe came 
" to prove him with hard queflions*." Our Saviour, more- 
over, fpeaks of her with praife, pointing her out as an ex- 
ample to the Jews f . And, in her thankfgiving before So- 
lomon, fire alludes to God's bkjfmg on the/Wof Ifrael for ever:}:, 
which is by no means the language of a Pagan, but of a. 
perfon fkilled in the ancient hiflory of the Jews. 

She likewife appears to have been a perfon of learning, 
and that fort of learning which was then almoft peculiar to 
Paleftine, not to Ethiopia. For we fee that one of the rea- 
fons of her coming, was to examine whether Solomon was 
really the learned man he was faid to be. She came to try 
him in allegories, or parables, in which Nathan had in- 
ftructed Solomon. 

The learning of the Eaft, and of the neighbouring kings 
that correfponded with each other, efpecially in Paleftine 
and Syria, confifted chiefly in thefe: " And Joafh king of 
" Ifrael fent to Amaziah king of Judah, faying, The thiftle 
" that was in Lebanon fent to the Cedar that was in Leba- 
" non, faying, Give thy daughter to my fon to wife : and 
" there palled by a wild beaft that was in Lebanon, and 
" trode down the thiftle." — " Thou fayeft, Lo, thou haft 

" fmitten 

* I Kings, chap. x. ver i. and 2 Chron. chap. ix. ver. I. 
f Matt. chap. xh. ver. 43. and Luke, chap xi. ver. 31. 
% 1 Kings, chap. x. ver. 9. and 2 Chron. chap. ix. ver 8. 


M fmitten the Edomitcs, and thine heart lifteth thee up to 
" boaft : abide now at home, why moulded thou meddle 
" to thine hurt, that thou lliouldeil fall, even thou, and Ju- 
" dah with thee*?" 

The annals of Abyffinia, being very full upon this 
point, have taken a middle opinion, and by no means an 
improbable one. They fay flie was a Pagan when fhe left 
Azab, but being full of adhiiration at the fight of Solo- 
mon's works, fhe was converted to Judaifm in Jerufalem, 
and bore him a fon, whom fhe called Menilek, and who was 
their firft king. However ftrongly they affert this, and how- 
ever dangerous it would be to doubt it in Abyffinia, I will not 
here aver k for truth, nor much lefs flill will I pofitively con- 
tradict it, as fcripture has faid nothing about it. I fuppofe, 
whether true or not, in the circumflances fhe was, whilil 
Solomon alfo, fo far from being very nice in his choice, was 
particularly addicted to Idumeans f, and other flrange wo- 
men, he could not more naturally engage himfelf in any 
amour than in one with the queen of Saba, with whom 
he had fo long entertained the moll lucrative connections, 
and molt perfect friendfhip, and who, on her part, by fo 
long a journey, had furcly made fuflicient advances. 

The Abyffinians, both Jews and Chriftians, believe the 
xlvth pfalm to be a prophecy of this queen's voyage to Jeru- 
falem ; that flic was attended by a daughter of Hiram's from 
Tyre to Jerufalem, and that the laft part contains a decla- 

3 O 2 ration 

t €hron. chap. xxv. ver. 18. 19. -j- 1 Kings, chap. xi. ver. 1. 


ration of her having a fon by Solomon, who was to be king 
over a nation of Gentiles. 

To Saba, or Azab, then, me returned with her fon 
Menilek, whom, after keeping him fome years, fhe fent 
back to his father to be inftructed. Solomon did not 
neglect his charge, and he was anointed and crowned 
king of Ethiopia, in the temple of Jerufalem, and at his in- 
auguration took the name of David. After this he return- 
ed to Azab, and brought with him a colony of Jews, among 
whom were many doctors of the law of Mofes, particularly 
one of each tribe, to make judges in his kingdom, from whom 
the prefent Umbares (or Supreme Judges, three of whom 
always attend the king) are faid and believed to be 
defcended. With thefe came alfo Azarias, the fon of 
Zadok the prieft, and brought with him a Hebrew tranf- 
cript of the law, which was delivered into his cuftody, as 
he bore the title of Nebrit, or High Prieft ; and this charge, 
though the book itfelf was burnt with the church of Axum 
in the Moorifh war of Adel, is ftill continued, as it is faid, 
in the lineage of Azarias, who are Nebrits, or keepers of 
the church of Axum, at this day. All Abyffinia was there- 
upon converted, and the government of the church and 
ilate modelled according to what was then in ufe at Jerufa- 

By the laft act of the queen of Saba's reign, flie fet- 
tled the mode of fucceffion in her country for the future, 
lirft, fhe enacted, that the crown mould be hereditary 
in the family of Solomon for ever. Secondly, that, af- 
ter her, no woman mould be capable of wearing that 
crown or being queen, but that it mould defcend to the 



heir male, however diflant, in exclufion of all heirs female 
whatever, however near ; and that thefe two articles mould 
be confidered as the fundamental laws of the kingdom, ne- 
ver to be altered or abolifhed. And, laftly, That the heirs 
male of the royal houfe, mould always be fent prifoners to a 
high mountain, where they were to continue till their death, 
or till the fucceffion mould open to them. 

What was the reafon of this laft regulation is not known, 
it being peculiar to Abyflinia, but the cuftom of having wo- 
men for fovereigns, which was a very old one, prevailed 
among the neighbouring fhepherds in the laft century, as 
we fhall fee in the courfe of this hiftory, and, for what we 
know, prevails to this day. It obtained in Nubia till Augus- 
tus's time, when Petreius, his lieutenant in Egypt, fubdued 
her country, and took the queen Candace prifoner. It en- 
dured alio after Tiberius, as we learn from St Philip's bap- 
tifing the eunuch*fervant of queen Candace, who muft have 
been fucceflbr to the former; for fhe, when taken prifoner 
by Petreius, is reprefented as an infirm woman, having but 
one eye j\ Candace indeed was the name of all the fove- 
reigns, in the fame manner Csefar was of the Roman emper- 
ors. As for the laft fevere part, the punifhment of the princes, 
it was probably intended to prevent fome diforders among 
the princes of her houfe, that flic had obferved frequently 
to happen in the houfe of David X at Jerufalem. 


* Acls, chap. viii. ver. 27 and 38. f This (hews the falfehoodof the remark 

Strabo makes, that it was a cuftom in Meroe, if their fovereign was any way mutilated, for tht 

fubjefts to imitate the imperfection. In this cafe, Candace's fubjetf s would have all loft an eye. 

Stiabo, lib. 17. p. 777, 778. 

% 2 Sam, chap, xvi, ver. 22. 1 Kings, chap. ii. ver. n. 


The queen of Saba having made thefelaws irrevocable to 
all her pofterity, died, after a long reign of forty years, in 
986 before Chrift, placing her fonMenilek upon the throne, 
who'fe pofterity, the annals of Abyflinia would teach us to 
believe, have ever fincc reigned. So far we muft indeed 
bear witnefs to them, that this is no new doctrine, but has 
been ftedfaftly and uniformly maintained from their earli- 
eft account of time; firft,when Jews, then in later days after 
they had embraced chriftianity. We may further add, that 
the teftimony of all the neighbouring nations is with them 
upon this fubjecl, whether they be friends or enemies. They 
only differ in name of the queen, or in giving her two 

This difference, at fuch a diftance of time, mould not 
break fcores, efpecially as we mall fee that the queens in 
the prefent day have fometimes three or four names, and 
all the kings three, whence has arifen a very great con- 
fufion in their hiftory. And as for her being an Arab, the 
obje&ion is ftill eafier got over. For all the inhabitants of 
Arabia Felix, efpecially thofe of the coaft oppofite to Saba, 
were reputed Abyffms, and their country part of Abyflinia, 
from the earlieft ages, to the Mahometan conqueft and after. 
They were her fubjects ; firft, Sabean Pagans like herfelf, 
then converted (as the tradition fays) to Judaifm, during the 
time of the building of the temple, and continuing Jews 
from that time to the year 622 after Chrift, when they 
became Mahometans. 

I shall therefore now give a lift of their kings of the 
race of Solomon, defcended from the queen of Saba, whofe 
device is a lion paffant, proper upon a field gules, and their 

1 motto, 



motto, " Mo Anbafa am Nizilet Solomon am Negade Jude ;" which 
fignifies, * the lion of the race of Solomon and tribe of Judah 
hath overcome.' The Portuguefc miflionaries, in place of 
a lion paflant, which is really the king's bearing, have given 
him, in fome of their publications, a lion rampant, purpofe- 
ly, as is fuppofed, to put a crofs into the paw of this Jewifh 
lion ; but he is now returned to the lion paflant, that he 
was in the time of Solomon, without any fymbol either of 
religion or peace in his paws. 

£»** , ■ 11 3 









Menilek, or David I. reigned 4 

Katzina reigned, - 

- 9 

Hendedya, or Zagdur, - 1 



Awida, - - 1 1 

Hazer, • - 

- 2 

Aufyi, - 3 



Sawe, - - - 31 



Gefaya, - - 15 


- 26 

Katar, - - - -15 



Mouta, 20 



Bahas, - 9 



Kawida, 2 



Kanaza, - - - 10 

Bazen, - 

- 16 

Menilek fucceeded to the throne in the 986th year before 
Chrift ; and this number of years muft be exhausted in the 
reign of thefe twenty-two kings, when each reign, in that 
cafe, will amount to more than forty-four years, which is 
impoffible. The reign of the twenty-one kings of Ifrael, at 
a medium, is a little more than twenty-two years at an aver- 
age, and that is thought abundantly high. And, even up- 
on that footing of comparifon, there will be wanting a great 
deal more than half the number of years between Menilek 
and Bazen, fo that this account is apparently falfe. But 
I have another very material objection to it, as well as the 

4 preceding 


preceding one, which is, that there is not one name in the 
whole lift that has an Ethiopic root or derivation. 

^ The reader will give what credit he pleafes to this very 
ancient lift. For my part, I content myfelf with difproving 
nothing but what is impoffible, or contrary to the authority 
of fcripture, or my own private knowledge. There are 
other lifts ftill, which I have feen, all of no better authority 
than this. I mail only obferve, upon this laft, that there is 
a king in it, about nine years before our Saviour's nativity, 
that did me the honour of ufing my name two thoufand 
years before it came into Britain, fpelled in the fame man- 
ner that name anciently was, before folly, and the love of 
novelty, wantonly corrupted it. 

The Greeks, to divert the king, had told him this circum- 
ftance, and he was exceedingly entertained at it. Some- 
times, when he had feen either Michael, or Fafil * or any of 
rhe great ones do me any favour, or fpeak handfomely of 
me, he would fay gravely, that he was to fummon the coun- 
cil to inquire into my pedigree, whether I was defcended of 
the heirs-male of that Brus who was king nine years before 
the nativity; that I was likely to be a dangerous perfon, 
and it was time I mould be font to Wechne, unlefs I chofe 
to loi'e my leg or arm, if I was found, by the judges, related to 
him by the heirs-male. To which I anfwered, that how- 
ever he made a jeft of this, one of my predeceflbrs was cer- 
tainly a king, though not of Abyffinia, not nine years be- 
fore, but 1 200 after our redemption ; that the arms of my 
VoL ' L 3 P family 

! What immediately follows will be hereafter explained in the Narrative. 


family were a lion like his ; but, however creditable his ma- 
jefty's apprehenfions as to Abyflinia might be to me, I could 
venture to affure him, the only connections I had the honour 
ever to have had with him, were by the heirs-female. 

At other times, when I was exceedingly low-fpirited, 
and defpairing of ever again feeing Britain, he, who well 
knew the caufe, ufed to fay to the Serach MafTery, " Prepare 
" the Sendick and Nagareet ; let the judges be called, and 
** the houfehold troops appear under arms, for Brus is to be 
" buried : he is an Ozoro of the line of Solomon, and, for 
" any thing I know, may be heir to the crown. Bring like- 
" wife plenty of brandy, for they all get drunk at burials in 
" his country." Thefe were days of fun-fhine, when fuch 
jefts palTed ; there were cloudy ones enough that followed, 
which much more than compenfated the very tranfitory 
enjoyment of thefe. 

Although the years laid down in the book of Axum do 
not precifely agree with our account, yet they are fo near, 
that we cannot doubt that the revolt of the ten tribes, and 
deftruction of Rehoboam's fleet which followed, occafioned 
the removal of Menilek's capital to Tigre*. But, whatever 
was the caufe, Menilek did remove his court from Azab to 
a place near Axum, at this day called Adega Daid, the Houfe 
of David ; and, at no great diftance, is another called Azabo, 
from his ancient metropolis, where there are old remains 


* The temple which the Queen of Saba had feen built, and fo richly ornamented, was plun- 
dered the 5th year of Rehoboam, by Sefac, which is 13 years before Menilek died. So thk 
Qould not but have difgufted him with the trade of his ancient habitation at Sab2. 


of building of ftone and lime, a certain proof that Axum 
was then fallen, elfe he would have naturally gone thither 
immediately upon forfaking his mother's capital of Azab. 

That country, round by Cape Gardefan, and fouth to- 
wards Sofala, along the Indian Ocean, was long governed by 
an officer called Baharnagajh, the meaning of which is, King 
of the Sea, or Sea Coaft. Another officer of the fame title 
was governor of Yemen, or Arabia Felix, which, from the 
earlieft times, belonged to Abyffinia, down to the Mahome- 
tan conqueft. The king himfelf was called Nagajb, or Na- 
jaflii, fo were the governors of feveral provinces, efpecially 
Gojam; and great confufion has rifen from the multitude 
of thefe kings. We find, for example, fometimes three up- 
on the throne at one time, which is exceedingly improbable 
in any country. We are, therefore, to fuppofe, that one of 
thefe only is king, and two of them are the Najaflii, or Na- 
gafli, we have juft defcribed ; for, as the regulation of the 
queen of Saba banifhed the heirs-male to the mountain, 
we cannot conceive how three brothers could be upon the 
throne at the fame time, as this law fubfifts to the prefent 
day. This, although it is one, is not the only reafon of the 
confufion, as I fhall mention another in the fequel. 

As we are about to take out leave of the Jewifh religion 
and government in the line of Solomon, it is here the pro- 
per place that I mould add what we have to fay of the Fa- 
lafha, of whom we have already had occafion to fpeak, 
when we gave a fpecimen of their language, among thofe 
of the nranger nations, whom we imagine to have come 
originally from Paleftine, I did not fpare my utmoft pains 
in inquiring into the hiftory of this curious people, and li- 

3 p 2 ved 


ved in friendfhip with feveral cfteemed the mofl knowing- 
and learned among them, and I am perfuaded, as far as they 
knew, they told me the truth. 

The account they give of themfelves, which is fupported 
only by tradition among them, is, that they came with Me^ 
nilek from Jerufalem, fo that they agree perfectly with the 
Abyffinians in the ftory of the queen of Saba, who, they fay,- 
was a Jewefs, and her nation Jews before the time of Solo-^ 
mon ; that fhe lived at Saba, or Azaba, the myrrh and frank- 
incenfe country upon the Arabian Gulf. They fay further, 
that fhe went to Jerufalem, under protection of Hiram king 
of Tyre, whofe daughter is laid in the xlvth Pfalm to 
have attended her thither; that fhe went not in fhips, nor 
through Arabia, for fear of the Ilhmaelites, but from Azab 
round by Mafuah and Suakem, and was efcorted by the 
Shepherds, her own fubjects, to Jerufalem, and back again* . 
making ufe of her own country vehicle, the camel, and that 
her's was a white one, of prodigious frze andexquifite beau-*- 

They agree alfo, in every particular, with the Abyffinians^ 
about the remaining part of the ftory, the birth and inaugura- 
tion of Menilek, who was their firft king; alfo the coming, 
of Azarias, and twelve elders from the twelve tribes, and o- 
ther doctors of the law, whofe pofterity they deny to have erer 
apoftatifed to Chriftianity, as the Abyffinians pretend they 
did at the conversion. They fay, that, when the trade of 
the Red Sea fell into the hands of-ftrangers^and all com- 
munication was fhut up between ther ( Jerufalem, the 
cities were abandoned, and the inhabitants relinquifhed the 
cbaft; that they weie the inhabitants- of thefe cities, 1 



trade moftly brick and tile-makers, potters, thatchers of 
houfes, and fuch like mechanics, employed in them; arid! 
finding the low country of Dembea afforded materials for. 
exercifing thefe trades, they carried the article of pottery 
in that province to a degree of perfection fcaicely to be 

Being very induftrious, thefe people multiplied exceed- 
ingly, and were very powerful at the time of the converfion' 
to Chriftianity, or, as they term it, the Apoitacy under Abre- 
ha and Atzbeha. At this time they declared a prince of the 
tribe of Judah, and of the race of Solomon and' Menilek, to 
be their fovereign. The name of this prince was Phineas* 
who refufed to abandon the religion of his forefathers, and 
from him their fovereigns are lineally defcended ; fo they 
have flill a prince of the houfe of Judah, although the A- 
byffmians, by way of reproach, have called this family Bet 1 
Ifrael, intimating that they were rebels, and revolted from 
the family of Solomon and tribe of Judah, and there is lit- 
tle doubt, but that fome of the fucceffors of Azarias adhe-" 
red to their ancient faith alfo. Although there was no 
bloodihed upon difference of religion, yet, each having a 
diftinct king with the fame pretentions, many battles were 
fought from motives of ambition, and rivalfhip of fovereigm 

About the year 960, an attempt was made by this family 
to mount the throne of Abyffmia, as we lliall lee hereafter; 
when the princes of the houfe of Solomon were nearly ex- 
tirpated upon the rock Damo. This, it is probable, proc- 
eed more animoiity and bloodfhed. At lad the power of the 
Falafha was fo much weakened, that they were obli^'-d-to • 



leave the flat country of Dembea, having no cavalry to 
maintain themfelves there, and to take pofleffion of the rug- 
ged, and almofl inacceflible rocks, in that high ridge called 
the Mountains of Samen. One of thefe, which nature feems 
to have formed for a fortrefs, they chofe for their metropo- 
lis, and it was ever after called the Jews Rock. 

A great overthrow, which they received in the year 1600, 
brought them to the very brink of ruin. In that battle Gi- 
deon and Judith, their king and queen, were flain. They 
have fince adopted a more peaceable and dutiful behaviour, 
pay taxes, and are fuffered to enjoy their own govern- 
ment. Their king and queen's name was again Gideon 
and Judith, when I was in AbyfTinia, and thefe names feem 
to be preferred for thofe of the Royal family. At that time 
they were fuppofed to amount to 100,000 effective men. 
Something like this, the fober and moll knowing Abyf- 
finians are obliged to allow to be truth; but the circum- 
ftances of the converfion from Judaifm are probably not all 
before us. 

The only copy of the Old Teflament, which they have, 
is in Geez, the fame made ufe of by the Abyflinian Chrif- 
tians, who are the only fcribes, and fell thefe copies to 
the Jews ; and, it is very lingular that no controverfy, or dif- 
pute about the text, has ever yet arifen between the profef- 
fors of the two religions. They have no keriketib, or vari- 
ous readings; they never heard of talmud, targum, or cabala: 
Neither have they any fringes* or ribband upon their garments,, 
nor is there, as far as I could learn, one fcribe among them. 


*»■»■««- ■ ■■■<■ - 1 1 1 ■ ■ — .. . --._._. , . . --» 

* Numb, chap. xv. ver. 38, 39, Deut. chap. 22. ver. 12, 


I asked them, being from Judea, whence they got that 
language which they fpoke, whether it was one of the lan- 
guages of the nations which they had learned on the coaft 
of the Red Sea. They apprehended, but it was mere con- 
jecture, that the language which they fpoke was that of 
thofe nations they had found on the Red Sea, after their 
leaving Judea and fettling there ; and the reafon they gave 
was certainly a pertinent one; that they came intoAbyf- 
finia, fpeaking Hebrew, with the advantage of having books 
in that language; but they had now forgot their Hebrew*, 
and it was therefore not probable they fhould retain any 
other language in which they had no books, and which 
they never had learned to exprefs by letters. 

I asked them, fmce they came from Jerufalem, how it 
happened they had not Hebrew, or Samaritan copies of the 
law, at leafl the Pentateuch orOclateuch. Theyfaid they were 
in poffeffion of both When they came from Jerufalem ; but 
their fleet being deftroyed, in the reign of Rehoboam, and 
communicationbecoming very uncertainby the Syrian wars, 
they were, from neceffity, obliged to have the fcriptures 
tranflated, or make ufe of the copies in the hands of the 
Shepherds, who, according to them, before Solomon's time, 
were all Jews. 

I asked them where the Shepherds got their copy, be-- 
caufe, notwithftanding the invanon of Egypt by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, who was the foreign obftacle the longeft in their 


* We fee this happened to them in a much fhorter time during the captivity, when they 
?bigot their Hebrew, and fpoke Chaldaec ever after. 


way, the Ifhmaelite Arabs had accefs through Arabia td 
Jerufaleni and Syria, and carried on a great trade thither 
by land. They profeffed very candidly they could not give 
a fatisfactory anfwer to that, as the time was very diftant, 
and war had deftroyed all the memorials of thefe tranfac- 
tions. I afked if they really ever had any memorials of 
their own country, or hiftory of any other. They anfwer- 
ed, with fome hefitation, they had no reafon to fay they e- 
ver had any ; if they had, they were all deftroyed in the 
war with Gragne. This is all that I could ever learn from 
this people, and it required great patience and prudence in 
making the interrogations, and feparating truth from falie- 
hood ; for many of them, (as is invariably the cafe with 
barbarians) if they once divine the reafon of your inquiry, 
will fay whatever they think will pleafe you. 

They deny the fceptre has ever departed from Judah, as 
they have a prince of that houfe reigning, and underftand 
the prophecy of the gathering of the Gentiles at the coming 
of Shiloh, is to be fulfilled on the appearance of the Meftiah, 
who is not yet come, when all the inhabitants of the world 
are to be Jews. But I muft confefs they did not give an ex- 
planation of this either clearly or readily, or feem to have 
ever confidered it before. They were not at all heated by 
the fubjecT:, nor interefted, as far as I could difcern, in the 
difference between us, nor fond of talking upon their reli- 
gion at all, though very ready at all quotations, when a 
•perfon was prefent who fpoke Amharic, with the barbarous 
accent that they do; and this makes me conceive that their 
anceftors were not in PaleflJne, or prefent in thofe difputes 
or tranfactions that attended the death of our Saviour, and 
have fubfifted ever after. They pretend that the book of 

2 Enoch 


Enoch was the firft book of fcripturc they ever received. 
They knew nothing of that of Seth, but place Job immedi- 
ately after Enoch, io that they have no idea of the time in 
which Job lived, but faid they believed it to be foon after 
the flood ; and they look upon the book bearing his name 
to be the performance of that prophet. 

Many difficulties occur from this account of the Falafha ; 
for, though they fay they came from Jerufalem in the time 
of Solomon, and from different tribes, yet there is but one 
language amongft them all, and that is not Hebrew or Sa- 
maritan, neither of which they read or understand ; nor is 
their anfwer to this obje&ioirfatisfaftory, for very obvious 

Ludolf, the moft learned man that has writ upon the 
fubject, fays, that it is apparent the Ethiopic Old Teftament, 
at leaft the Pentateuch, was copied from the Septuagint, 
becaufe of the many Grecians to be found in it ; and the 
names of birds and precious ftones, and fome other paffa- 
ges that appear literally to be tranflated from the Greek. 
He imagines alio, that the prefent Abyfiinian verfion is the 
work of Frumentius their firft bifliop, when Abyffinia was 
converted to Chriftianity under Abreha and Atzbeha, about 
the year 333 after Chrilt, or a few years later. 

Although I brought with me all the Abyfiinian books of 
the Old Teftament, (if it is a tranflation) I have not yet had 
time to make the comparifon here alluded to, but have left 
them, for the curiofity of the public, depofited in the Britifh 
Mufeum, hoping that fome man of learning or curiofity 
would do this for me. In the mean time I muft obferve, 

Vol. I. 3 Q^ that 


that it is much more natural to fuppofe that the Greeks, 
comparing the copies together, expunged the words or 
palTages they found differing from the Septuagint, and re- 
placed them from thence, as this would not offend the 
Jews, who very well knew that thofe who tranflated the 
Septuagint verfion were all Jews themfelves. 

Now, as the Abyffinian copy of the Holy Scriptures, in 
Mr Ludolf's opinion, was tranflated by Frumentius above 
330 after Ghrift, and the Septuagint verfion, in the days of 
Philadelphus, or Ptolemy II. above 160 years before Chrift, 
it will follow, that, if the prefent Jews ufe the copy tranfla- 
ted by Frumentius, and, if that was taken from the Septua- 
gint, the Jews mull have been above 400 years without any 
books what foe ver at the time of the converfion by Frumen- 
tius : So they mult have had all the Jewifli law, which is 
in perfect vigour and force among them, ail their Levitical 
obfervances, their purifications, atonements, abflinences, 
and Sacrifices, all depending upon their memory, without 
writing, at leal! for that long fpace of 400 years. 

This, though not absolutely impoflible, is furely very 
nearly fo. We know, that, at Jerufaiem itfelf, the feat of 
Jewiih law and learning, idolatry happening to prevail, du- 
ring the fhort reigns of only four kings, the law, in that in- 
terval, became fo perfectly forgotten and unknown, that a 
copy of it being accidentally found and read by Joiiah, 
that prince, upon his firff learning its contents, was fo a- 
floniilied at the deviations from it, that he apprehended 
the immediate defcruclion of the whole city and people. To 
this I fhall only add, that whoever considers the flill-necked- 
nefs, itubbornnefs, and obilinacy, which were ever the cha- 

i_ racters 



racters of this Jewifh nation, they will not eafily believe that 
they did ever -willingly " receive the Old Teftament from a 
" people who were the avowed champions of the New." 

The*' have, indeed, no knowledge of the New Teftament 
but from converfation ; and do not curfe it, but treat it as 
a folly where it fuppofes the Melliah come, who, they feem 
to think, is to be a temporal prince, prophet, prieit, and con- 

Still, it is not probable that a Jew would receive the 
law and the prophets from a Chriftian, without abfolute ne- 
ceflity, though they might very well, receive fuch a copy from 
a brother Jew, which all the Abyffinians were, when this 
tranflation was made. Nor would this, as I fay, hinder them 
from following a copy really made by Jews from the text 
itfelf, fuch as the Suptuagint actually was. But, I confefs, 
great difficulties occur on every fide, and I defpair of having 
them folvcd, unlefs by an able, deliberate analyfts of the 
fpecimen of the Falaflia language which I have preferved, 
in which I earneftly requefl the concurrence of the learned. 
A book of the length of the Canticles contains words 
enough to judge upon the queftion, Whence the Falafha 
'Came, and what is the probable caufe they had not a tranfla- 
tion in their own tongue, lince a verfion became necefiary ? 

T have lefs doubt that Frumentms tranflated the New 
Teftament, as he mull have had afliftance from thofeofhis 
own communion in Egypt ; and this is a further reafon 
why I believe that, at his coming, he found the Old Tefta- 
ment already tranflated into the Ethiopic language and cha- 
racter, becaufe Bagla, or Geez, was an unknown letter, and 

3 Qjz the 


the language unknown, not only to him, but likewife to 
every province in Abyflinia, except Tigre ; fo that it would 
have coft him no more pains to teach the nation the Greek 
character and Greek language, than to have tranflated the 
New Teftament into Ethiopic, ufmg the Geez character, 
which was equally unknown, unlcfs in Tigre. The faving 
of time and labour would have been very material to him ; 
he would have uied the whole fcriptures, as received in his 
own church, and the Greek letter and language would have 
been jufl as eafily attained in Amhara as the Geez ; and 
thofe people, even of the province of Tigre, that had not 
yet learned to read, would have written the Greek charac- 
ter as eafdy as their own. I do not know that fo early there 
was any Arabic tranflation of the Old Teftament ; if there 
was, the fame reafons would have militated for his preferring 
this ; and ftill he had but the New Teftament to undertake. 
But having found the books of the Old Teftament already 
tranflated into Geez, this altered the cafe ; and he, very pro- 
perly, continued the gofpel in that language and letter al- 
fo, that it might be a teftimony for the Chriftians, and againft 
the Jews, as it was intended. 

G K"'" **££ 





Books in Ufe in Abyffinia — Enoch — Abyffinia not converted by the Apo- 
Jlles — Converfion from Judaifm to Chriftianity by Frumentius. 

THE Abyffmians have the whole fcriptures entire as we 
have, and count the fame number of books ; but 
they divide them in another manner, at leafl in private 
hands, few of them, from extreme poverty, being able to pur- 
chafe the whole, either of the hiftorical or prophetical books 
of the Old Teftament. The fame may be faid of the New, 
for copies containing the whole of it are very fcarce. In- 
deed no where, unlefs in churches, do you fee more than 
the Gofpels, or the Acts of the Apoftles, in one perfon's pof- 
feffion, and it mull not be an ordinary man that poffeffes 
even thefe. 

Many books of the Old Teftament are forgot, fo that it is 
the fame trouble to procure them, even in churches, for the 
purpofe of copying, as to confult old records long covered 
with dull and rubbifh. The Revelation of St John is a piece of 
favourite reading among them. Its title is, the Vijion of John A- 
bou Kalamfs, which feems to me to be a corruption of Apoca- 




iypfis. At the fame time, we can hardly imagine that 
Frumentius, a Creek and a man of letters, fiiould make fo 
fbrange a miftakc. There is no fuch thing as diflinctions 
between canonical and apocryphal books. Bell and the 
Dragon, and the Acts of the Apoftles, are read with equal 
devotion, and, for the moll part, I am afraid, with equal 
edification ; and it is in the fpirit of truth, and not of ridi- 
cule, that I fay St George and his Dragon, from idle legends 
only, are objects of veneration, nearly as great as any of 
the heroes in the Old Teftament, or faints in the New. The 
Song of Solomon is a favourite piece of reading among the 
old priefts, but forbidden to the young ones, to the deacons, 
laymen, and women. The Abyffinians believe, that this fong 
was made by Solomon in praife of Pharaoh's daughter; and 
do not think, as fomc of our divines are difpofed to do, that 
there is in it any myftery or allegory refpecting Chrift and 
the church. It may be afked, Why did I choofe to have this 
book tranflated, feeing that it was to be attended with this 
particular difficulty? To this I anfwer, The choice was not 
mine, nor did I at once know all the difficulty. The firft 
I pitched upon was the book of Ruth, as being the fhortefl; 
but the fubject did not pleafe the fcribes and priefts who 
were to copy for me, and I found it would not do. They 
then chofe the Song of Solomon, and engaged to go through 
with it ; and I recommended it to two or three young fcribes, 
who completed the copy by themfelves and their friends. 
I was obliged to procure licence for thefc fcribes whom I 
.employed in tranilating it into the different languages ; but 
it was a permillion of courfc, and met with no real, though 
,fome pretended difficulty. 



A nephew of Abba Salama*, the Acab Saat, a young man 
of no common genius, afked leave from his uncle before he 
began the tranflation ; to which Salama anfwered, alluding 
to an old law, That, if he attempted Rich a thing, he mould 
be killed as they do flieep ; but, if I would give him the mo- 
ney, he would permit it. I mould not have taken any no- 
tice of this ; but fome of the young men having told it to 
Ras Michael f, who perfectly guefled the matter, he called 
upon the fcribe, and afked what his uncle had faid to him, 
who toid him very plainly, that, if he began the tranflation, 
his throat mould be cut like that of a fheep. One day Mi- 
chael aflced Abba Salama, whether that was true ; he anfwer- 
ed in the affirmative, and feemed diipofed to be talkative. 
" Then," faid the Ras to the young man, " your uncle de- 
" clares, if you write the book for Yagoube, he mall cut 
" your throat like a flieep ; and I fay to you, I fwear by St. 
" Michael, I will put you to death like an afs if you don't 
" write it ; confider with yourfelf which of the rifks you'll 
" run, and come to me in eight days, and make your choice." 
But, before the eighth day, he brought me the book, very 
well pleafed at having an excufe for receiving the price of the 
copy. Abba Salama complained of this at another time when 
I was prefent, and the name of frank was invidioufly men- 
tioned ; but he only got a flcrn look and word from the Ras : 
" Hold your tongue, Sir, you don't know what you fay ; you 
" don't know that you are a fool, Sir, but I do ; if you talk 
" much you will publifh. it to all the world." 


* I (hall have occafion to fpeak much of this prieft in the fequel. He was a raoft inveterate 
and dangerous enemy to all Europeans, the principal ecclefiaftical officer in the king's ho- f.-. 

f Then Prime Minifter, concerning whom much is to be faid hereafter.. 


After the New Teftament they place the conftitutions 
of the Apoflles, which they call Synnodos, which, as far as 
the cafes or doctrines apply, we may fay is the written law 
of the country. Thefe were translated out of the Arabic. 
They have next a general liturgy, or book of common pray- 
er, belides feveral others peculiar to certain feftivals, under 
whofe names they go. The next is a very large volumi- 
nous book, called Halmanout Abou, chiefly a collection from 
the works of different Greek fathers, treating of, or explain- 
ing feveral herefies, or difputed points of faith, in the an- 
cient Greek Church. Translations of the works of St Atha- 
nafius, St Bazil, St John Chryfoltomc, and St Cyril, are 
likewife current among them. The two laft I never faw ; 
and only fragments of St Athanafius ; but they are certain- 
ly extant. 

The next is the Synaxar, or the Flos Sanctorum, in which 
the miracles and lives, or lies of their faints, are at large re- 
corded, in four monflrous volumes in folio, fluffed full of 
fables of the mofl incredible kind. They have a faint that 
wreftled with the devil in fhape of a ferpent nine miles long, 
threw him from a mountain, and killed him. Another 
faint who converted the devil, who turned monk, and lived 
in great holinefs for forty years after his converfion, doing 
penance for having tempted our Saviour upon the moun- 
tain : what became of him after they do not fay. Again, 
another faint, that never ate nor drank from his mother's 
womb, went to Jerufalem, and faid mafs every day at the 
holy fepulchre, and came home at night in the fliape of a 
ftork. The lafl I fhall mention was a faint, who, being ve- 
ry fick, and his flomach in diforder, took a longing for par- 
tridges ; he called upon a brace of them to come to him, 

V and 


and immediately two roafted partridges came/j^, and rett- 
ed upon his plate, to be devoured. Thefe ftories arc cir- 
cumftantially told and vouched by unexceptionable people, 
and were a grievous (tumbling-block to the Jefuits, who 
could not pretend their own miracles were either better e- 
ilablifhed, or more worthy of belief. 

There are other books of lefs fize and confequence, par- 
ticularly the Organon Denghel, or the Virgin Mary's Mufi- 
cal Inurnment, compofed by Abba George about the year 
j 440, much valued for the purity of its language, though 
he himfelf was an Armenian. The lad of this Ethiopic li- 
brary is the book of Enoch *. Upon hearing this book firft 
mentioned, many literati in Europe had a wonderful defire 
to fee it, thinking that, no doubt, many fecrets and un- 
known hiftories might be drawn from it. Upon this fome 
impoltor, getting an Ethiopic book into his hands, wrote 
for the title, The Prophecies of Enoch, upon the front page of it. 
M. Pierifc fno fooner heard of it than he purchafed it of 
the impoftor for a confiderable mm of money : being 
placed afterwards in Cardinal Mazarine's library, where Mr 
Ludolf had accefs to it, he found it was a Gnoftic book up- 
on myfteries in heaven and earth, but which mentioned 
not a word of Enoch, or his prophecy, from beginning to 
end ; and, from this difappointment, he takes upon him to 
deny the exiftence of any fuch book any where elfe. This, 
however, is a miflake ; for, as a public return for the ma- 
ny obligations I had received from every rank of that moft 

Vol. I. 3 R humane, 

* Vid. Origen contra Celfum, lib. 5. Idolol. c. 4. .Drus in fuo Enoch. 
Bangius in Ccelo Orientis Exercit; I. quxft. J. and 6. 
f Gaffend in vita Pierifc, lib. 5. 


humane, polite, and feientific nation, and more efpecially 
from the fovereign Louis XV. I gave to his cabinet a pan 
of every thing curious I had collected abroad ; which was 
received with that degree of conflderation and attention 
that cannot fail to determine every traveller of a liberal, 
mind to follow my example. 

Amongst the articles I configned to the library at Paris,, 
was a very beautiful and magnificent copy of the prophe- 
cies of Enoch, in large quarto; another is amongil the books 
of fcripture which I brought home, (landing immediately 
before the book of Job, which is its proper place in the A- 
byffinian canon ; and a third copy I have prefented to the Bod- 
leian library at Oxford, by the hands of Dr Douglas the Bi- 
(hop of Carlifle. The more ancient hiftory of that book is 
well known. The church at firft looked upon it as apocry- 
phal ; and as it v/as quoted in the book of Judc, the fame 
fufpicion fell upon that book alfo. For this reafon, the 
council of Nice threw the epiftle of Jude out of the canon v 
but the council of Trent arguing better, replaced the apo- 
ftle in the canon as before. 

Here we may obferve by the way, that Jude's appealing 
to the apocryphal books did by no means import, that either 
he believed or warranted the truth of them. But it was an ar- 
gument, a fortiori, which our Saviour himfelf often makes 
ufe of, and amounts to no more than this, You, fays he to 
the Jews, deny certain facts, which muft be from prejudice, 
becaufe you have them allowed in your own books, and be- 
lieve them there. And a very flrong and fair way of argu- 
ing it is, but this is by no means any allowance that they 
are true. In the fame manner, You, fays Jude, do not be- 

2 lieve 


lieve the coming of Chrift and a latter judgment ; yet your 
ancient Enoch, whom you fuppofe was the feventh from A- 
dam, tells you this plainly, and in fo many words, long ago. 
And indeed the quotation is, word for word the fame, in 
the fecond chapter of the book. 

All that is material to fay further concerning the book 
of Enoch is, that it is a Gnoftic book, containing the age 
of the Emims, Anakims, and Egregores, fuppofed depen- 
dents of the fons of God, when they fell in love with the 
daughters of men, and had fons who were giants. Thefe 
giants do not feem to have been fo charitable to the fons 
and daughters of men, as their fathers had been. For, firft, 
they began to eat all the beafts of the earth, they then fell 
upon the birds and iifhes, and ate them alfo ; their hunger 
being not yet fatisfied, they ate all the corn, all men's la- 
bour, all the trees and buflies, and, not content yet, they fell 
to eating the men themfelves. The men (like our modern 
failors with the favages) were not afraid of dying, but very 
much fo of being eaten after death. At length they cry to God 
againft the wrongs the giants had done them, and God fends 
a flood which drowns both them and the giants. 

Such is the reparation which this ingenious author has 
thought proper -to attribute to Providence, in anfwer to the 
firft, and the heft-founded complaints that were made to 
him by man. I think this exhaufts about four or five of 
the firft chapters. It is not the fourth part of the book ; but 
my curiofity led me no further. The cataftrophe of the 
giants, and the juftice of the cataftrophe, had fully farisfied 




I cannot but recollect, that when it was known in Eng- 
land that I had prefented this book to the library of the King 
of France, without flaying a few days, to give me time to reach 
London, when our learned countrymen might have had an 
opportunity of penning at leifure another copy of this book, 
Doctor Woide fet out for Paris, with letters from the Secre- 
tary of State to Lord Stormont, Ambaffador at that court, defi- 
ring him to affift the doctor in procuring accefs to my pre- 
fent, by permiffion from his Mod Chriftian Majefty. This 
he accordingly obtained, and a tranflation of the work was 
brought over ; but, I know not why, it has no where ap- 
peared. I fancy Dr Woide was not much more pleafed with 
the conduct of the giants than I was. 

I shall conclude with one particular, which is a curious 
one : The Synaxar (what the Catholics call their Flos Sanc- 
torum, or the lives and miracles of their faints), giving the 
hiftory of the Abyffinian converfion to Chriftianity in the 
year 333, fays, that when Frumentius and (Edefius were in- 
troduced to the king, who was a minor, they found him 
reading the Pfalms of David. 

This book, or that of Enoch, does by no means prove 
that they were at that time Jews. For thefe two were in as 
great authority among the Pagans, who profefled Sabaifm, 
the firft religion of the Eaft, and efpecially of the Shepherds, 
as among the Jews. Thefe being continued alfo in the 
fame letter and character among the Abyfiinians from the 
beginning, convinces me that there has not been any other 
writing in this country, or the fouth of Arabia, fmce that 
which rofe from the Hieroglyphics. 

4 Th* 


The Abyffinian hiftory begins now to rid itfelf of part of 
that confufion which is almoft a conftant attendant upon 
the very few annals yet preferved of barbarous nations in 
very ancient times. It is certain, from their hiftory, that 
Bazen was contemporary with Auguftus, that he reigned 
fixteen years, and that the birth of our Saviour fell on the 
8th year of that prince, fo that the Sth year of Bazen was 
the firft of Chrift. 

Am ha Yasous, prince of Shoa, a province to which the 
fmall remains of the line of Solomon fled upon a cata- 
ftrophe, I fhall have occafion to mention, gave me the fol- 
lowing lift of the kings of Abyffinia fmce the time of which 
we are now fpeaking. From him I procured all the books 
of the Annals of Abyffinia, which have ferved me to com- 
pofe this hiftory, excepting two, one given me by the King, 
the other the Chronicle of Axum, by Ras Michael Gover- 
nor of Tigre. 






Tzenaf Segued, 

Garima Asferi, 





Jan Segued, 

Tzion Heges, 

Moal Genha, 

Saif Araad, 


Abreha and Atzbeha, 333, 


Arphad and Amzi, 

Del Naad, 

Caleb, 522, 
Guebra Mafcal, 
Jan Asfeha, 
Jan Segued, 
Fere Sanai, 

This lift is kept in the monaftery of DebraLibanos in Shoa; 
the Abyflinians receive it without any fort of doubt, though 
to me it feems very exceptionable : If it were genuine, it 
would put this monarchy in a very refpectable light in 
point of antiquity. 

Great confufion has arifen in thefe old lifts, from their 
kings having always two, and fometimes three names. 


* The length of thefe princes reigns are fo great as to become incredible-, but, as we have 
nothing further of their hiftory but their names, we have no data upon which to reform them. 


The firft is their chriftened name, their fecond a nick, or bye- 
name, and the third they take upon their inauguration. 
There is, like wife, another caufe of miftake, which is, 
when two names occur, one of a king, the other the 
quality of a king only, thefe are fet down as two brothers. 
For example, Atzbeha is the blejfed, or the faint ; and I very 
much fufpecl, therefore, that Atzbeha and Abreha, faid 
to be two brothers, only mean Abraham the b!effed y or the 
faint ; becaufe, in that prince's time, the coimtry was con- 
verted to Chriftianity ; Caleb * and Elefbaas, were long 
thought to be contemporary princes, till it was found out, by 
infpecting the ancient authors of thofe times, that this was 
only the name or quality of bfefed, or faint, given to Caleb, in 
confequence of his expedition into Arabia againfl Phineas 
king of the Jews, and perfecutor of the Chriftians. 

There are four very interefting events, in the courfe of 
the reign of thefe princes. The firft and greatefl we have 
already mentioned, the birth of Chriit in the 8th year of Ba- 
zen. The fecond is the converfion of Abyffinia to Chrifli- 
anity, in the reign of Abreha and Atzbeha, in the year of 
Chriit 3$$, according to our account. The third the war 
with the Jews under Caleb. The fourth, the maffacre of the 
princes on the mountain of Damo. The time and circumitan- 
ces of all thefe are well known, and I mall relate them in 
their turn with the brevity becoming a hiilorian. 

Some ecclefiaftical* writers, rather from attachment to par- 
ticular fyftems, than from any conviction that the opinion 


* Caleb el Atfbeha, which has been made Elefbaas throwing, away the t. 

t Surius Tom. J, d. 24. Oft. Card. Baronius. Tom. 7, Annal. A. C. 522. N; 23. 


they efpoufe is truth, would perfuade us, that the conversion 
of AbylTmia to Chriftianity happened at the beginning of 
this period, that is, foon after the reign of Bazen ; others, that 
Saint Matthias, or Saint Bartholomew, or fome others of the 
Apoftles, after their mifiion to teach the nations, firft preach- 
ed here the faith of Chrift, and converted this people to it. 
It is alfo faid, that the eunuch baptized by Philip, upon his 
return to Candace, became the Apoftle of that nation, which, 
from his preaching, believed in Chrift and his gofpel. All 
thefe might pafs for dreams not worthy of examination, if 
they were not invented for particular purpofes. 

Till the death of Chrift, who lived feveral years after 
Bazen, very few Jews had been converted even in Judea. We 
have no account in fcripture that induces us to believe, 
that the Apoftles went to any great diftance from each other 
immediately after the crucifixion. Nay, we know pofi- 
tively, they did not, but lived in community together for a 
coniiderable time. Befides, it is not probable, if the Abyf- 
frnians were converted by any of the Apoftles, that, for the 
fpace of 300 years, they mould remain without biihops, and 
without church-government, in the neighbourhood of many 
flates, where churches were already formed, without calling 
to their affiftance fome members of thefe churches, who 
might, at leaft, inform them of the purport of the coun- 
cils held, and canons made by them, during that fpace of 
300 years ; for this was abfolutely neceffary to preferve or- 
thodoxy, and the communion between this, and the church- 
es of that time. And it mould be obferved, that if, in 
Philip's time, the Chriftian religion had not penetrated (as 
we fee in effect it had not) into the court of Candace, fo 
much nearer Egypt, it did not furely reach fo early into the 



more diftant mountainous country of Abyfiinia; and if the 
Ethiopia, where Candace reigned, was the fame as Abyfiinia, 
the ftory of the queen of Saba muft be given up as a falfe- 
hood ; for, in that cafe, there would be a woman fitting up- 
on the throne of that country 500 years after flic was ex- 
cluded by a folemn deliberate fundamental law of the land. 

But it is known, from credible writers, engaged in no 
controversy, that this Candace reigned upon the Nile in 
Atbara, much nearer Egypt. Her capital alio was taken in 
the time of Auguftus, a few years before the Converfion, by 
Philip; and we fhall have occafion often to mention her fuo- 
ceffors and her kingdom, as cxifting in the reign of the Abyf- 
finian kings, long after the Mahometan conqueft ; they ex- 
ifted when I palled through Atbara, and do undoubtedly exift 
there to this day. What puts an end to all this argument 
is a matter of fact, which is, that the Abyfiinians continued 
|ews and Pagans, and were found to be fo above 300 ye s 
after the time of the Apoftles. Inftead, therefore, of taking 
the firft of this lift (Bazen) for the prince under whom Abyf- 
iinia was converted from Judaifm, as authors have advanced, 
in conformity to the Abymnian annals, we fhall fix upon 
the 1 3th (Abrcha and Atzbeha, whom we believe to be but 
one prince) and, before we enter into the narrative of that 
remarkable event, we fhall obierve, that, from Bazen to 
Abrcha, being 341 years inclufive, the eighth of Bazen be- 
in ^ the lirft of Chrift, bv this account of the converfion, 
which happened under Abrcha and Atzbeha, it muft have 
been about t,^^ years after Chriit, or 341 after Bazen. 

But wc certainly know, that the fir ft bifhop, ordained 

for the converfion of Abyfiinia, was fent from Alexandria by 

Vol. I. 3 S St 


St Athanafms, who was himfelf ordained to that See about 
the year 326. Therefore, any account, prior to this ordina- 
tion and converfion, mufl be falfe, and this converiion and 
ordination muft have therefore happened about the year 330, 
or poflibly fome few years later ; for Socrates * fays, that 
St Athanafms himfelf was then but newly elected to the Sec 
of Alexandria. 

In order to clear our way of difficulties, before we begin 
the narrative of the converfion, we fliall obferve, in this 
place, the reafon I juft hinted at, why fome ecclefiaftical 
writers had attributed the converfion of Abyflinia to the 
Apoftles. There was found, or pretended to be found in 
Alexandria, a canon, of a council faid to be that of Nice, and 
this canon had never before been known, nor ever feen in 
any other place, or in any language, except the Arabic ; and, 
from inflection, I may add, that it is fuch Arabic that fcarce 
will convey the meaning it was intended. Indeed, if it be 
conftrued according to the ftricT. rule of grammar, it will 
not convey any fenfe at all. This canon regulated the pre- 
cedency of the Abuna of Ethiopia in all after councils, and 
it places him immediately after the prelate of Seleucia. 
This moft honourable antiquity was looked upon and boaft- 
ed of for their own purpofes by the Jefuits, as a difcovery of 
infinite value to the church of Ethiopia. 

I shall only make one other obfervation to obviate a dif- 
ficulty which will occur in reading what is to follow. The 
Abyffmian hiftory plainly and pofitively fays, that when 


■'* L'jdolf, vol. ; lib, iiL caj\ :"., 


Frumentius (the apoftle of the AbyfQnians) came firft into 
that country, a queen reigned, which is an abfolute contra- 
diction to what we have already ftated, and would feem to 
favour the ftory of queen Candace. To this I anfwer, 
That though it be true that all women are excluded from 
the Abyffinian throne, yet it is as true that there is a law, 
or cuftom, as flri6tly obferved as the other, that the queen 
upon whofe head the king mail have put the crown in his 
life-time, it matters not whether it be her hufband or fon, 
or any other relation, that woman is regent of the king- 
dom, and guardian of every minor king, as long as me 
fhall live. Suppofmg, therefore, a queen to be crowned by 
her hufband, which hufband mould die and leave a fon, 
all the brothers and uncles of that fon would be banifhed, 
and confined prifoners to the mountain, and the queen 
would have the care of the kingdom, and of the king, du- 
ring his minority. If her fon, moreover, was to die, and a 
minor fucceed who was a collateral, or no relation to her, 
brought, perhaps, from the mountain, flie would (till be re- 
gent ; nor does her office ceafe but by the king's coming of 
age, whofe education, cloathing, and maintenance, fhe, in 
the mean time, abfolutely directs, according to her own 
will ; nor can there be another regent during her life-time. 
This regent, for life, is called Itegbe ; and this was probably 
the fituation of the kingdom at the time we mention, as hi- 
ftory informs us the king was then a minor, and conse- 
quently his education, as well as the government of his 
kingdom and houfehold, were, as they appear to have been, 
in the queen, or Itegbe' s hands ; of this office I fhall fpeak 
more in its proper place. 

: 3 2 Meropiu? 


MerophpSj a< philolbphcr at Tyre, a Greek by nation and 
by religion, had taken a paiiagc in a lhip on the Red Sea da 
India, and had with him two young men, Frumentius and 
CEdefms, whom lie intended to bring up to trade, after ha- 
< ine given them a very liberal education. It happened' 
tln-ir veflel was call away on a rock upon the eoall of A- 
bvliinia. Meropius, defending himfelf, was 11a In by. the 
natives, and the two boys carried. to-Axum, the capital of 
Abvlllnia, where the Court then relidcd. Though young, 
they foon began to Ihcw the advantages attending a liberal 
education. They acquired the language very i'peedily ; 
and, as that country is naturally inclined to admire ftran- 
2ers, thel'e were- foon looked upon as two prodigies. (Ede- 
fms, probably the dulled of the two, was let over the king's 
houfehold and wardrobe, a place that has been filled con- 
flan tly by a flranger of that nation to this very day. Fru- 
mentius was judged worthy by the queen to have the care 
of the young prince's education, to which, he dedicated, 
himfelf entirely.. 

After having mflructed his pupil in all forts of leaxnblgj 
he ilrongly imprelTed him with a love and veneration for 
the Chriftian religion ; after which he himfelf fet out for 
Alexandria, where, as has been already, faid, he found St. 
Athanafius* newly elected to that See. 

He related to him briefly what had palled in Ethiopia* 
and the great hopes of the converfion of that nation, if pro- 
per pallors were fent to initruct them. Athanafius embraced 
that opportunity with all the earneftnefs that became his 

11 at ion 

* Yid. Baion, torn. 4. p. 331. et alibi paflim. 


flation and profellion. He ordained Frumentius bifhop of 
that country, who inftantly returned and. found the young 
king liis pupil in the fame good difpofition as formerly ; 
he embraced. Chriiiianity ; the greatefl part of Abyflinia fol- 
lowed liis example, and the church of Ethiopia continued 
with this biihop in perfect unity and friendship till his 
death; and though great troubles arofe from herelics being 
propagated in the Eaft, that church, and the fountain whence 
it derived its faith (Alexandria,) remained 
any falfe doctrine.. 

But it was not long after this, that Arianifm broke out 
under Conftantius the Emperor, and was ftrongly favoured 
by him. We have indeed a letter of St Athanafius to that 
Emperor, who had applied to him to depofe Frumentius from, 
his See for ref ufmg to embrace that herefy, or admit it im 
to his diocefe. . 

It mould feem, that this converfion of Abyflinia was> 
quietly conducted, and without blood; and this is the more, 
remarkable, that it was the fecond radical change of reli- 
gion, effected in the fame manner, and with the fame faci- 
lity and moderation. No fanatic preachers, no warm faints, 
or madmen, ambitious to make or to be made martyrs, dU 
fturbed either of thefe happy events, in this wife, though 
barbarous nation, fo as to involve them in bloodfhed : no 
persecution was the confequence of this difference of te- 
nets, and if wars did follow, it was from matters merely 

z, CHAR 




War of the Elephant — Fir/} Appearance of the Small-Pox — Jews perfe- 
cutc the Chrijlians in Arabia — Defeated by the Abyfinians — Mahomet 
pretends a divine MiJJion — Opinion concerning the Koran — Revolu- 
tion under Judith— Ref oration of the Line of Solomon from Shoa. 

IN the reigns of the princes Abreha and Atzbeha, the A- 
byflinian annals mention an expedition to have happen- 
ed into the fartheft part of Arabia Felix, which the Arabian 
authors, and indeed Mahomet himfelf in the Koran calls by 
the name of the War of the Elephant, and the caufe ' of it 
was this. There was a temple nearly in the middle of the 
peninmla of Arabia, that had been held in the greateft ve- 
neration for about 1400 years. The Arabs fay, that Adam, 
when fliut out of paradife, pitched his tent on this fpot ; 
while Eve, from fome accident or other I am not acquaint- 
ed with, died and was buried on the fliore of the Red Sea, 
at Jidda. Two days journey eaft from this place, her grave, 
"of green fods about fifty yards in length, is fhewn to this 
day. In this temple alfo was a black ftone, upon which 
Jacob faw the vifion mentioned in fcripture, of the angels 
defcending, and afcending into Heaven. It is like wife laid, 
with more appearance of probability, that this temple was 

* built 


built by Sefoftris, in his voyage to Arabia Felix, and that 
he was worfhipped there under the name of Ofiris, as he 
then was in every part of Egypt. 

The great veneration the neighbouring nations paid to 
this tower, and idol, fuggefled the very natural thought of 
making the temple the market for the trade from Africa 
and India ; the liberty of which, we may fuppofe, had been 
in fome meafure reftrained, by the fettlements which fo- 
reign nations had made on both coafts of the Red Sea. To 
remedy which, they chofe this town in the heart of the 
country, acceffible on all fides,, and commanded on none, 
calling it Becca, which fignifies the Houfe ; though Maho- 
met, after breaking the idol and dedicating the temple to 
the true God, named it Mecca, under which name it has 
continued, the centre or great mart of the India trade to 
this day. 

In order to divert this trade into a channel more conve- 
nient for his prefent dominions, Abreha built a very large, 
church or temple, in the country of the Homerites, and 
nearer the Indian Ocean. To encourage alfo the refort to 
this place, he extended to it all the privileges, protection, 
and emoluments, that belonged to the Pagan temple of 

One particular tribe of Arabs, called Beni Koreifh, had 
the care of the Caba, for fo the round tower of Mecca was 
called. Thefe people were exceedingly alarmed at the prof- 
peel of their temple being at once deferted, both by its vo- 
taries and merchants, to prevent which, a party of them, 
in the night, entered Abrcha's temple, and having fir A: 



burned what part of it could be con fumed, they polluted 
the part that remained, by bcfmearing it over with human 


This violent facrilege and affront was foon reported to 
Abreha, who, mounted upon a white elephant at the head of 
a confiderable army, refolved, in return, to dellroy the temple 
of Mecca. With this intent, he marched -through that ilripe 
of low country along the lea, callexl Tehama, where he met 
with no oppoiition, nor fuffcred any diitrefs but from want of 
.water ; after which, at the head of his army, he fat down 
before Mecca, as he fuppofed. 

Abou Thaleb (Mahomet's grandfather, as it is thought) 
was then keeper of the Caba, who had interetl: with his 
countrymen the Bcni Koreifh to prevail upon them to make 
no refiftancc, nor mew any figns of wifhing to make a de- 
fence. He had prefented himfelf early to Abreha upon his 
march. There was a temple of Ofiris at Taief, which, as a 
rival to that of Mecca, was looked upon by the Bcni Koreifh 
with a jealous eye. Abreha was fo far milled by the intel- 
ligence given him by Abou Thaleb, that he millook the 
Temple of Taief for that of Mecca, .and razed it to the 
foundation, after which he prepared to return home. 

He was foon after informed of his miftake, and not re- 
penting of what he had already done, refolved to dcftroy 
Mecca alfo. Abou Thaleb, however, had never left his fide ; 
by his great hofpitality, and the plenty he procured to ihe 
Emperor's army, lie fo gained Abreha, that hearing, on in- 
quiry, he was no mean man, but a prince of the tribe of 
Bcni Koreifh, noble Arabs, he obliged him to lit in his pre- 



fence, and kept, him conflantly with him as a companion. 
At laft, not knowing how to reward him fufficiently, Abre- 
ha defired him to aik any thing in his power to grant, and 
he would fatisfy him. Abou Thaleb, taking him at his 
word, wifhed to be provided with a man, that fhould bring 
back forty oxen, the foldiers had flolen from him. 

Abreha, who expected that the favour he was to afk, was 
to fpare the Temple, which he had in that cafe refolved in 
his mind to do, could not conceal his aftonifhment at fo filly 
a* requeft, and he could not help teflifying this to Abou Tha- 
leb, in a manner that fhewed it had lowered him in his ef- 
teem. Abou Thaleb, fmiling, replied very calmly, If that 
before you is the Temple of God, as I believe it is, you fhall 
never deflroy it, if it is his will that it mould Hand : If it is 
not the Temple of God, or (which is the fame thing) if he 
has ordained that you mould deftroy it, I fhall not only affile 
you in demolifliing it, but fhall help you in carrying away 
the laft flone of it upon my moulders : But as for me, I am 
a fhepherd, and the care of cattle is my profeffion ; twenty 
of the oxen which are ftolen are not my own, and I fhall 
be put in prifon for them to-morrow ; for neither you nor I 
can believe that this is an affair God will interfere in ; and 
therefore I apply to you for a foldier who will feek the 
thief, and bring back my oxen, that my liberty be not ta- 
ken from me. 

Abreha had now refrefhed his army, and, from regard 
to his gueft, had not touched the Temple ; when, fays the 
Arabian author, there appeared, coming from the fea, a 
flock of birds called Ababil, having faces like lions, and 
each of them in his claws, holding a fmall flone like a pea, 

Vol, I. 3 T which 


which he let fall upon Abreha's army, fo that they all were 
deftroyed. The author of the manufcript * from which I 
have taken this fable, and which is alfo related by feveral 
other hiftorians, and mentioned by Mahomet in the Koran, 
does not feem to fwallow the ftory implicitly. For he fays, 
that there is no bird that has a face like a lion, that Abou 
Thaleb was a Pagan, Mahomet being not then come, and 
that the Chriftians were wormippers of the true God, the God 
of Mahomet ; and, therefore, if any miracle was wrought 
here, it was a miracle of the devil, a victory in favour of 
Paganifm, and deftruftive of the belief of the true God. In i 
conclufion, he lays, that it was at this time that the fmall-pox 
and mealies firft broke out in Arabia, and almoft totally def- 
troyed the army of Abreha. But if the ftone, as big as a 
pea, thrown by the Ababil, had killed Abreha's army to the 
laft man, it does not appear how any of them could die af- 
terwards, either by the fmall-pox or meafles.. 

All that is material, however, to us, in this fact, is, that 
the time of the fiege of Mecca will be the sera of the firft 
appearance of that terrible difeafe, the fmall-pox, which we 
mall fet down about the year 356; and it is highly probable, 
from other circumftances, that the Abyflinian army was the- 
firft victim,to it. 

As for the church Abreha built near the Indian Ocean, it: 
continued free from any further infult till the Mahometan 
conqueft of Arabia Felix, when it was finally deftroyed in 
the Khalifat j- of Omar. This is the Abyflinian account, and 


WPt— *■ —"> ■ " ■'■ " ' " ' ' ** " *"' ' " "" "' ' ' ■-■■■■■ 

* El Hameely's Siege of Mecca. f Fetaat el Yemen. 


this the Arabian hiftory of the War of the Elephant, which 
I have ftated as found in the books of the moll credible wri- 
ters of thofe times. 

But it is my duty to put the reader upon his guard, 
againfl adopting literally what is here fet down, without 
being fatisfied of the validity of the objection that may be 
made againfl the narrative in general. Abreha reigned 27 
years ; he was converted to Chriftianity in 333, and died in 
360 ; now, it is fcarcely poflible, in the fliort fpace of 27 years, 
that all Abyflinia and Arabia could be converted to Chrifti- 
anity. The converfion of the Abyflinians- is reprefented to 
be a work of little time, but the Arab author, Hameefy, fays, 
that even Arabia Felix was full of churches when this expe- 
dition took place, which is very improbable. And, what 
adds Hill more to the improbability, is, that part of the ftory 
which dates that Abreha converfed with Mahomet's father, 
or grandfather. For, fuppoiing the expedition in 356, Ma- 
homet's birth was in 558, fo there will remain 202 years, 
by much too long a period for two lives. I do believe we 
mud bring this expedition down much lower than the reign 
>of Abreha and Atzbeha, the reafon of which we lliall fee 

As early as the commencement of the African trade with 
Paleftine, the Jewifh religion had fprcad itfelf far into Ara- 
bia, but, after the deflruclion of the temple by Titus, a great 
increafe both of number and wealth had made that people 
abfolute matters in many parts of that peninfula. In the 
Neged, and as far up as Medina, petty princes, calling them- 
felves kings, were eftablifhed ; who, being trained in the 
wars of Paleftine, became very formidable among the pa- 

3 T 2 cine 


cific commercial nations of Arabia, deeply funk into Greek 

Phineas, a prince of that nation from Medina, having 
beat St Aretas, the Governor of Najiran, began to perfecute 
the Chriftians by a new fpecies of cruelty, by ordering cer- 
tain furnaces, or pits full of fire, to be prepared, into which 
he threw as many of the inhabitants of Najiran as refufed 
to renounce Chriftianity. Among thefe was Aretas, fo call- 
ed by the Greeks, Aryat by the Arabs, and Hawaryat, which 
lignifies the evangelical, by the Abyffinians, together with 
ninety of his companions. Mahomet, in his Koran, men- 
tions, this tyrant by the name of the Mafter of xhzjiery pits, 
without either condemning or praifmg the execution ; only 
faying, « the fufferers mall be witnefs againfl him at the 
lafl day.' 

Justin, the Greek Emperor, was then employed in. an 
unfuccefsful war with the Pernans, fo that he could not 
give any affiftance to the afnkfted Chriftians in Arabia, but 
in the year 522 he fent an embaffy to Caleb, or Elefbaas, 
king of Abyilinia, intreating him to interfere in favour of 
the Chriftians of Najiran, as he too was of the Greek church; 
On the Emperor's firft requeft, Caleb fent orders to Abreha, 
Governor of Yemen, to march to the affiftance of Aretas, the 
fon of him who was burnt, and who was then collecting 
troops. Strengthened by this reinforcement, the young fol- 
dier did not think proper to delay the revenging his father's 
death, till the arrival of the Emperor ; but having come 
up with Phineas, who was ferrying his troops over an arm 
of the fea, he entirely routed them, and obliged their prince, 
for fear of being taken, to fwim with his horfe to the near- 


eft fhore. It was not long before the Emperor had croiTed 
the Red Sea with his army ; nor had Phineas loft any time in 
collecting his fcattered forces to oppofe him. A battle was the 
confequcnce, in which the fortune of Caleb again prevailed. 

It would appear that the part of Arabia, near Najiran, 
which was the fcene of Caleb's victory, belonged to the 
Grecian Emperor Juftin,becaufe Aretas applied directly to him 
at Conftantinople for fuccour ; and it was at Juftin's requeft 
only, that Caleb marched to the affiftance of Aretas, as a 
friend, but not as a fovereign ; and as fuch alfo, Abreha, 
Governor of Yemen, marched to aflift Aretas, with the A- 
byfiinian troops, from the fouth of Arabia, againft the 
ftranger Jews, who were invaders from Paleftine, and who 
had no connection with the Abymnian Jewifh Homerites, 
natives of the fouth coaft of Arabia, oppofite to Saba. 

But neither of the Jewifh kingdoms were deftroyed by 
the victories of Caleb, or Abreha,nor thefubfequent conqueft 
of the Perfians. In the Neged, or north rat of Arabia, 
they continued not only after the appearance of Mahomet, 
but till after the Hegira. For it was in the 8th year of that 
azra that Hybar, the Jew, was befieged in his own caftle in 
Neged, and flain by Ali, Mahomet's fon-in-law, from that 
time called Hydar Ali, or Ali the Lion.. 

Now the Arabian manufcripts fays pofitively that this 
Abreha, who affifted Aretas, was Governor of Arabia Felix, 
or Yemen ; for, by this laft name, I fhall hereafter call the 
part of the peninfula of Arabia belonging to the Abyf- 
fmians ; fo that he might very well have been the prince 
who converled with Mahomet's father, and loft his a my 



before Mecca, which will bring down the introduction of 
*he fmall-pox to the year 522, jufl 100 years before the He- 
gira, &nd both Arabian and Abyffinian accounts might be 
then true. 

The two officers who governed Yemen, and the oppofite 
coaft Azab, which, as we have above mentioned, belonged 
to Abyflinia, were filled Naja/bi, as was the king alfo, and 
both of them were crowned with gold. I am, therefore, 
perfuaded, this is the reafon of the confufion of names we 
meet in Arabian manufcripts, that treat of the fovereigns of 
Yemen. This, moreover, is the foundation of the ftory 
found in Arabic manufcripts, that Jaffar, Mahomet's brother, 
iled to the Najafhi, who was governor of Yemen, and was 
kindly treated by him, and kept there till he joined his bro- 
ther at the campaign of Hybarea. Soon after his great vic- 
tory over the Beni Koreifh, at the lafl battle of Beder Hu- 
nein, Mahomet is faid to have written to the fame Najafhi 
a letter of thanks, for his kind entertainment of his brother, 
inviting him (as a reward) to embrace his religion, which 
the Najafhi is fuppofed to have immediately complied with. 
Now, all this is in the Arabic books, and all this is true, as 
far as we can .conjecture from the accounts of thofe times, 
very partially writ by a fet of warm-headed bigotted zea- 
lots ; fuch as all Arabic authors (hiflorians of the time) un- 
doubtedly are. The error only lies in the application of 
this (lory to the Najafhi, or king of Abyflinia, fituated far 
from the fcene of thefe actions, on high cold mountains, 
very unfavourable to thofe rites, which, in low flat and 
warm countries, have been temptations to flothful and in- 
active men to embrace the Mahometan religion. 



A most fhameful proftitution of manners prevailed in 
the Greek church, as alio innumerable herefies, which were 
firfl: received as true tenets of their religion, but were foon 
after perfecuted in a moft uncharitable manner, as being 
erroneous. Their lies, their legends, their faints and mi- 
racles, and, above all, the abandoned behaviour of the 
prieflhood, had brought their characters in Arabia almoft 
as low as that of the detefled Jew, and, had they been confi- 
dered in their true light, they had been ftill lower, 

The dictates of nature in the heart of the honefl Pagan, 
constantly employed in long, lonely, and dangerous voyages, 
awakened him often to reflect who that Providence was 
that invifibly governed him, fupplied his wants, and often 
mercifully faved him from the deftruction into which his 
own ignorance or rafhnefs were leading him. Poifoned by 
no fyflem, perverted by no prejudice, he wifhed to know 
and adore his Benefactor, w T ith purity and fimplicity of heart, 
free from thefe fopperies and follies with which ignorant 
priefts and monks had difguifed his worfhip. PofTelled of 
charity, Heady in his duty to his parents, full of veneration 
for his fuperiors, attentive and merciful even to his beafls ; 
in a word, containing in his heart the principles of the firfl 
religion, which God had inculcated in the heart of Noah, 
«he Arab was already prepared to embrace a much more per- 
fect one than what Chriflianity, at that time, disfigured by 
foily and fuperftition r appeared to him to be. 

Mahomet, of the tribe of Beni Koreifh (at whofe infli- 
gation is uncertain) took upon himfelf to be the apoftle of 
a new religion, pretending to have, for his only object, the 
worfhip of the true God. Oflenfibly full of the morality of 

1 1 the 


the Arab, of patience and felf-dcnial, fuperior even to what 
is made necefifary to falvation by the gofpel, his religion, 
at the bottom, was but a fyftem of blafphemy and falfe- 
hood, corruption and injuftice. Mahomet and his tribe 
were moll: profoundly ignorant. There was not among 
them but one man that could write, and it was not doubt- 
ed he was to be Mahomet's fecretary, but unfortunately Ma- 
homet could not read his writing. The ftory of the angel 
who brought him leaves of the Koran is well known, and 
fo is all the reft of the fable. The wifer part of his own re- 
lations, indeed, laughed at the impudence of his pretending 
to have a communication with angels. Having, however, 
gained, as his apoftles, fome of the bell foldiers of the tribe 
of Beni Koreifli, and perfifting with great uniformity in 
all his meafures, he eftablifhed a new religion upon the 
ruins of idolatry and Sabaifm, in the very temple of Mecca. 

Nothing fevere was injoined by Mahomet, and the fre- 
quent prayers and warnings with water which he directed, 
were gratifications to a fedentary people in a very hot 
country. The lightnefs of this yoke, therefore, recommend- 
ed it rapidly to thofe who were difgufted with long fall- 
ing, penances, and pilgrimages. The poifon of this falfe, 
yet not fevere religion, fpread itfelf from that fountain to 
all the trading nations : India, Ethiopia, Africa, all Afia, 
fuddenly embraced it ; and every caravan carried into the 
bofom of its country people not more attached to trade, 
than zealous to preach and propagate their new faith. The 
Temple of Mecca (the old rendezvous of the Indian trade) 
perhaps was never more frequented than it is at this day, 
and the motives of the journey are equally trade and reli- 
gion, as they were formerly. 



I shall here mention, that the Arabs begun very foon to 
ftudy letters, and came to be very partial to their own lan- 
guage ; Mahomet himfelf fo much fo, that he held out his 
Koran, for its elegance alone, as a greater miracle than that 
of raifmg the dead. This was not univerfally allowed at 
that time ; as there were even then compofitions fuppofed 
to equal, if not to furpafs it. In my time, I have feen in Bri- 
tain a fpirit of enthufiafm for this book in preference to 
all others, not inferior to that which polIeHed Mahomet's 
followers. Modern unbelievers (Sale and his difciples) have 
gone every length, but to fay directly that it was dictated 
by the Spirit of God. Excepting the command in Genefis 
chap. L ver. 3. " And God laid, Let there be light ; and there 
was light ;" they defy us to mew in fcripture a paffage 
equal in fublimity to many in the Koran. Following, with- 
out inquiring, what has been handed down, from one to 
the other, they would cram us with abfurdities, which no 
man of lenfe can fwallow. They fay the Koran is compo- 
fed in a ftyle the moft pure, and chafte, and that the tribe 
of Beni Koreifh was the mod poliee, learned, and noble of 
all the Arabs. 

But to this I anfwer — The Beni Koreifh were from the 
earliefl days, according to their own * account, part cila- 
blifhed at Mecca, and part as robbers on the fea-coaft, and 
they were all children of Ifhmael. Whence then came 
their learning, or their iuperior nobility ? Was it found in 
the defert, in the temple, or did the robbers bring it from 
the fea? Soiouthy, one of thofe moil famous then for 

Vol. I. 3 U knowledge 

EJ Haraeefy. 


knowledge in the Arabic, has quoted from the Koran many 
hundred words, either Abyffinian, Indian, Perfian, Ethiopic, 
Syrian, Hebrew, or Chaldaic, which he brings back to the 
root, and afcribes them to the nation they came from. In- 
deed it could not be otherwife ; thefe caravans, continually 
crowding with their trade to Mecca, mull have vitiated the 
original tongue by an introduction of new terms and new 
idioms, into a language labouring under a penury of vocabu- 
les. But fliall any one for this perfuade me, that a book is a 
model of pure, elegant, chafle Englifh, in which there mall 
be a thoufand words of Welfh, Irifh, Gaelic, French, 
Spanifh, Malabar Mexican, and Laponian ? What would be 
thought of fuch a medley ? or, at leaft, could it be recom- 
mended as a pattern for writing pure Englifh ?. 

What I fay of the Koran may be applied to the lan- 
guage of Arabia in general : when it is called a copious 
language, and profeffors wifely tell you, that there are fix 
hundred words for a fword, two hundred for honey, and 
three hundred that fignify a lion, flill I mull obferve, that 
this is not a copious language, but a confufion of languages: 
thefe, inftead of diitinct names, are only different epithets. 
For example, a lion in Englifh may be called a young lion, a 
white lion, a frnall lion, a big lion : I flyle him moreover the 
fiercG, the cruel, the enemy to man, the bead of the-defert,, 
the king of beads, the lover of blood. Thus it is in Ara- 
bic ; and yet it is faid that all thefe are words for a lion. 
Take another example in a fword ; the cutter, the divider, 
the friend of man, the mailer of towns, the maker of widows > 
the fliarp, the flraight, the crooked ; which may be faid in 
Hnglifh as well as in Arabic, 


The Arabs were a people who lived in a country, for the 
moll part, defert ; their dwellings were tents, and their prin- 
cipal occupation feeding and breeding cattle, and they mar- 
ried with their own family. The language therefore of fuch 
a people fliould be very poor ; there is no variety of imarrcs 
in their whole country. They were always bad poet.;, as 
their works will teftify; and if, contrary to the general rule, 
the language of Arabia Deferta became a copious one, it 
muft have been by the mixture of fo many nations meet- 
ing and trading at Mecca. It muft, at the fame time, have 
been the moll corrupt, where there was the greatcii cuii- 
courfe of llrangers, and this was certainly among the Beni 
Koreilh at the Caba. When, therefore, I hear people prai£ 
ing the Koran for the purity of its flyle, it puts me in mind 
of the old man in the comedy, whole reafon for loving his 
nephew was, that he could read Greek ; and being alked 
if he underllood the Greek fo read, he anfwered, Not a word 
of it, but the rumbling of the found pleafed him. 

The war that had dillraeted all Arabia, firft between the 
Greeks and Perfians, then between Mahomet and the Arabs,in 
fupport of his divine million, had very much hurt the trade 
carried on by univerlal confent at the Temple of Mecca. 
Caravans, when they dared venture out, were furprifed up- 
on every road, by the partizans of one fide or the other. Both 
merchants and trade had taken their departure to the fouth- 
ward, and ellablilhed themfelves fouth of the Arabian Gulf, 
in places which (in ancient times) had been the markets 
for commerce, and the rendezvous of merchants. Azab, or 
Saba, was rebuilt ; alfo Raheeta, Zcyla, Tajoura, Soomaal, in 
the Arabian Gulf, and a number of other towns on the In- 
dian Ocean. The conquell of the Abyilinian territories in 

- U 2 Arabia 


Arabia forced all thofe that yet remained to take refuge on 
the African fide, in the little diftricts which now grew into 
confideration. Adel, Mara, Hadea, AufTa, Wypo, Tarfhiih, 
and a number of other ftates, now aflumed the name of 
kingdoms, and foon obtained power and wealth fuperior to 
many older ones. 

The Governor of Yemen (or Najami) converted now to 
the faith of Mahomet, retired to the African fide of the 
Gulf. His government, long ago, having been fhaken to 
the very foundation by the Arabian war, was at laft totally 
deflroyed. But the Indian trade at Adel wore a face of 
profperity, that had the features of ancient times. 

Without taking notice of every objection, and anfwer- 
ing it, which has too polemical an appearance for a work 
of this kind, I hope I have removed the greateft part of the 
reader's difficulties, which have, for a long time, lain in the 
way, towards his underltanding this part of the hiitory. 
There is one, however, remains, which the Arabian hiflori- 
ans have mentioned, viz. that this Najalhi, who embraced 
the faith of Mahomet, was avowedly of the royal family of 
Abyffinia. To this I anfwer, he certainly was a perfon of 
that rank, and was undoubtedly a nobleman, as there is no 
nobility in that country but from relationlhip to the king, 
and no perfon can be related to the king by the male line. 
But the females, even the daughters of thofe princes *vho 
are banifhed to the mountain, marry whom they pleafe ; 
and all the ■ defcenden-ts of that marriage become noble, be- 
caufe they mull be allied to the king. So far then they may 
truly affert, that the Mahometan Governor of Yemen, and 
$us noilcrity, were this way related to the king of Abyifiniai 



But the fuppofition that any heirs male of this family be- 
came mufTulmen, is, beyond any fort of doubt, without foun- 
dation or probability. 

Omar, after fubduing Egypt, deftroyed the valuable libra- 
ry at Alexandria, but his fuccefTors thought very differently 
from him in the article of profane learning. Greek books 
of all kinds (efpecially thofe of Geometry, Aftroflomy, and 
Medicine,) were fearched for every where and tranflated. 
Sciences flourifhed and were encouraged. Trade at the 
fame time kept pace, and increafed with knowledge. Geo- 
graphy and aftronomy were every where diligently fludied 
and folidly applied to make the voyages of men from place 
to place fafe and expeditious. The Jews (conflant fervants 
of the Arabs) imbibed a confiderable fhare of their tafte for 

They had, at this time, increafed very much in number, 
By the violence of the Mahometan conquefb in Arabia and 
Egypt, where their feci: did principally prevail, they became 
very powerful in Abyffinia. Arianifm, and all the various 
herefies that diftraeled the Greek church, were received 
there in their turn from Egypt ; the bonds of Chriflianity 
were diiTblved, and people in general were much more wil- 
ling to favour a new religion, than to agree with, or coun- 
tenance any particular one of their own, if it differed from 
that which they adopted in the merefl trifle. This had def- 
troyed their metropolis in Egypt, juft now delivered up to 
the Saracens ; and the difpofition of the Abyflinians fcemed 
fo very much to referable their brethren the Cophts, that 
a revolution in favour of Judaifm was thought full as 
feafible in the country, as it had been in Egypt in favour- 

J o£'' 


of the newly-preached, but unequivocal religion of Maho- 


An independent fovereignty, in one family of Jews, had 
always been preferved on the mountain of Samen, and the 
royal refidence was upon a high-pointed rock, called the 
Jews Rock : Several other inacceflible mountains ferved as 
natural fortrefles for this people, now grown very confider- 
able by frequent acceffions of flrength from Paleftine and 
Arabia, whence the Jews had been expelled. Gideon and Ju- 
dith were then king and queen of the Jews, and their daugh- 
ter Judith (whom in Amhara they call Eftber, and fometimes 
Saat, i. e.fre *J was a woman of great beauty, and talents for 
intrigue ; had been married to the governor of a fmall diftrict 
called Bugna, in the neighbourhood of Lafta, both which 
countries were likewife much infected with Judaifm. 

Judith had made fo urong a party, that flie refolved to 
attempt the fubverfion of the Chriftian religion, and, with 
it, the fuccenion in the line of Solomon. The children of 
the royal family were at this time, in virtue of the old law, 
confined on the almoft inacceliible mountain of Damo in 
Tigre. The fhort reign, fudden and unexpected death of 
the late king Aizor, and the defolation and contagion which 
an epidemical difeafc had fpread both in court and capital, 
the weak Mate of Del Naad who was to fucceed Aizor and 
was an infant ; all thefe circumftances together, imprclled 
Judith with an idea that now was the time to place her fa- 
mily upon the throne, and eftabliih her religion by the 


She is alfe called by Victor, TrcdJa Gakz. 


extirpation of the race of Solomon. Accordingly (he fur- 
prifed the rock Damo, and flew the whole princes there, to 
the number, it is faid, of about 400. 

Some nobles of Amhara, upon the firfl news of the cataf- 
trophe at Damo, conveyed the infant king Del Naad, now 
the only remaining prince of his race, into the powerful 
and loyal province of Shoa, and by this means the royal 
family was preferved to be again reftored. Judith took 
pofTeffion of the throne in defiance of the law of the queen 
of Saba, by this the firfl interruption of the fucceflion in the 
line of Solomon, and, contrary to what might have been ex- 
pected from the violent means flie had ufed to acquire the 
crown, fhe not only enjoyed it herfelf during a long reign of 
40 years, but tranfmitted it alfo to five of her poflerity, all of 
them barbarous names, originating probably in Lafta: Thefe 
are faid to be, 


Jan Shum, 

Garima Shum, 



Authors, as well Abyflinian as European, have differed 
widely about the duration of thefe reigns. All that the 
Abyflinians are agreed upon is, that this whole period was 
one fcene of murder, violence, and oppreflion. 

Judith and her dependents were fucceeded by relations 
of their own, a noble family of Lafta. The hiftory of this 
revolution, or caufe of it, are loft and unknown in the conn-- 
try, and therefore vainly fought after elfewhere. What we 

4, know 


know is, that with them the court returned to the Chriftian 
religion, and that they were ftill as different from their pre- 
deceffors in manners as in religion. Though ufurpers, as 
were the others, their names are preferved with every mark 
of refpect and veneration. They are, 

Tecla Haimanout, 

Kedus Harbe, 



Imeranha Chriflos, 

Naacueto Laab. 

Not being kings of the line of Solomon, no part of their 
hiftory is recorded in the annals, unlefs that of Lalibala, who 
lived in the end of the twelfth, or beginning of the thir- 
teenth century, and was a faint. The whole period of the 
ufurpation, comprehending the long reign of Judith, will by 
this account be a little more than 300 years, in which time 
eleven princes are faid to have fat upon the throne of So- 
lomon, fo that, fuppofing her death to have been in the 
year 1000, each of thefe princes, at an average, will have 
been a little more than twenty-four years, and this is too 
much. But all this period is involved in darknefs. We 
mieht £uefs, but fmcc we are not able to do more, it anfwers 
no good purpofe to do fo much. I have followed the hii- 
tories and traditions which arc thought "the moll authen- 
tic in the country, the fubject of which they treat, and where 
I found them; and though they may differ' from other ac- 
counts given by European authors, this docs not influence me, 
as I know that none of thefe authors could have any othcr 
authoritics than thofe I have fecn, and the difference only 

mni 1 


mufl be the fruit of idle imagination, and ill-founded con. 
jecturcs of their own. 

In the reign of Lalibala, near about the 1200, there was 
a great perfecution in Egypt againfl the Chriftians, after 
the Saracen conqueft, and efpecially againfl the mafons, 
builders, and hewers of flone, who were looked upon by 
the Arabs as the greatefl of abominations; this prince open- 
ed an aiylum in his dominions to all fugitives of that kind, 
of whom he collected a prodigious number. Having be- 
fore him as fpecimens the ancient works of the Troglo- 
dytes, he directed a number of churches to be hewn out of 
the folid rock in his native country of Lafta, where they 
remain untouched to this day, and where they will proba- 
bly continue till the lateft poflerity. Large columns with, 
in are formed out of the folid rock, and every fpecies of or- 
nament preferved, that would have been executed in build- 
ings of feparate and detached flones, above ground. 

This prince undertook to realize the favourite preten- 
fions of the Abyffinians, to the power of turning the Nile 
out of its courfe, fo that it mould no longer be the caufe of 
the fertility of Egypt, now in pofleffion of the enemies of 
Ins religion. We may imagine, if it was in the power of 
man to accomplish this undertaking, it could have fallen in- 
to no better hands than thofe to whom Lalibala gave the ex- 
ecution of it ; people driven from their native country by 
thofe Saracens who now were reaping the benefits of the 
river, m the places of thofe they had forced to feek habi- 
tations far from the benefit and pleafure afforded by its 
itream. J 

Vou '• 3 x Tms 


This prince did not adopt the wild idea of turning the 
courfe of the Nile out of its prefent channel ; upon the pof- 
iibility or impoilibiiity of which, the argument (fo warmly 
and ib ioug agitated) always moil improperly turns. His 
idea was to famim Egypt :. and, as the fertility of that coun- 
try depends not upon the ordinary liream, but the extraor- 
dinary increaie of it by the tropical rains, he is laid to 
have found, by an exact furvey and calculation, that there 
ran on the fummit, or higheft part of the country, ieveral 
rivers which could be intercepted by mines, and their ftream 
directed into the low country fouthward, inftead of joining 
the Nile, augmenting it and running northward. By this 
he found he fhould be able fo to difappoint its increafe, that 
it never would rife to a height proper to fit Egypt for culti- 
vation. And thus far he was warranted in his ideas of fuc- 
ceeding (as I have been informed by the people of that 
country), that he did interfeet and carry into the Indian O- 
eean, two very large rivers, which have ever iince flowed 
that way, and he was carrying a level to the lake Zawaia, 
where many rivers empty themfelves in the beginning of 
the rains, which would have effectually diverted the courfe 
of them all, and could not but in fome degree diminiih the 
current below. 

Death, the ordinary enemy of all thefe fhipendous Her- 
culean undertakings, interpofed too here, and put a flop to 
this enterprize of Lalibala. But Amha Yafous, prince of 
Shoa (in whofe country part of thefe immenfe works were) 
a young man of great underftanding, and with whom 1 li- 
ved feveral months in the moft intimate friendfhip at Gon- 
dar, allured me that they were vifible to this day ; and that 
they were of a kind whole ufe could not be miftakeni that 



he himfelf had often vifkecl them, and was convinced the un- 
dertaking was very poflible with fuch hands, and in the cir- 
cumftanccs things then were. He told me likewife, that, in a 
written account which he had feen in Shoa, it was faid that 
this prince was not interrupted by death in his underta- 
king, but perfuaded by the monks, that if a greater quan* 
tity of water was let down into the dry kingdoms of Hadea, 
Mara, and Adel, increafing in population every day, and, 
even now, almoft equal in power to Abyffinia itfelf, thefe 
barren kingdoms would become the garden of the world ; 
and fuch a number of Saracens, diflodged from Egypt by 
the firfl appearance of the Nile's failing, would fly thither ": 
that they would not only withdraw thofe countries from 
their obedience, but be flrong enough to over-run the whole 
kingdom of Abyffinia. Upon this, as Amha Yafous informed 
me, Lalibala gave over his firft fcheme, which was the fa- 
miihing of Egypt ; and that his next was employing the 
men in fubterraneous churches ; a ufelefs expence, but more 
level to the understanding of common men than the for- 

Don Roderigo de Lima, ambaffador from the king of 
Portugal, in 1522 faw the remains of thefe vail works, and 
travelled in them feveral days, as we learn from Alvarez, 
the chaplain and hiftorian of that embafly*, which we mail 
take notice of in its proper place. 

Lalibala was dininguifhed both as a poet and an ora- 
tor, The old fable, of a fwarm of bees hanging to his lips 

3X2 in 

'See Alvarez, his relation of this EmbaiTy, 


in the cradle, is revived and applied to him. as foretelling 
the fweetnefs of his elocution. 

To Lalibala fucceeded ImeranhaChriflos, remarkable for 
nothing but being fon of fuch a father as Lalibala, and fa- 
ther to fuch a fon as Naacueto Laab ; both of them diflin* 
guifhed for works very extraordinary, though very differ- 
ent in their kind. The firft, that is thofe of the father we 
have already hinted at, confuting in great mechanical un- 
dertakings. The other was an operation of the mind, of 
flill more difficult nature, a victory over ambition, the vol- 
untary abdication of a crown to which he fucceeded with- 
out imputation of any crime. 

TeclaHaimanout, a monk and native of Abyflmia, had 
been ordained Abuna, and had founded the famous monaf- 
tery of Debra Libanos in Shoa. He was a man at once cele- 
brated for the fanctity of his life, the goodnefs of his undei- 
flanding, and love to his country; and, by an extraordinary 
influence, obtained over the reigning king Naacueto Laab,' 
he perfuaded him, for confeience fake, to refign a crown, 
which (however it might be faid with truth, that he re- 
ceived it from his father) could never be purged from the 
(lain and crime of ufurpation. 

In all this time, the line, of Solomon had been continued 
from Del Naad, who, we have feen, had efcaped from the 
mafTacre of Damo, under Judith. Content with poilefling 
the loyal province of Shoa, they continued their royal refi- 
Icnce there, without having made one attempt, as far as 
hiftory tells us, towards recovering their ancient kingdom. 



RACE of SOLOMON banished, but reigning in SHOA. 

Del Naad, 
Mahaber Wedem, 
Igba Sion, 
Tzenaf Araad, 
Nagaili Zare, 

Bahar Segued, 
Adamas Segued, 
Icon Amlac 

Naacueto Laab, of the houfe of Zague, was, it fecms,. 
a juft and peaceable prince. 

Under the mediation of Abuna Tecla Haimanout, a 
treaty was made between him and Icon Amlac confifling 
of four articles, all very extraordinary in. their kind. 

The firft was, that Naacueto Laab, prince of the houfe of 
Zague, fhould forthwith reiign the kingdom of Abyffmia 
to Icon Amlac, reigning prince of the line of Solomon then 
in Shoa. 

The fecond, that a portion of lands in Laila mould be 
given to Naacueto Laab and his heirs in abfolute property, 
irrevocably and irredeemably ; that