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wards, and at the end of a day's journey joined the main body of the caravan, at its first station. On the 28th of May the station was broken
at sunrise, and advanced on its route across. The caravan consisted of about four hundred camels, which is thought a small one; the asses and mules might amount to another hundred, and the number of persons three hundred at least. The course lay now to the north-east: the first village they arrived at was Oktereen. All the villages hitherto had the air of being ruined ones. The style of building in Oktoreen is singular, each separate dwelling having a high pointed dome of unburnt bricks, raised on a square fabric of stone; so that at a little distance they resembled a cluster of bee-hives on square pedestals. The vessels here used for carrying water from the wells are curious ; they are not of earthenware, but all of copper, tinned without and within, are broad at bottom, narrow at top, and about two feet high, with a thick handle on each side. In an hour they arrived at another village called Oktereen, where the mode of churning was observed: the milk is first put into a goat's skin, which is suspended on pegs in the walls, or on poles inclining together and forming a conical rest, like a gypsey's spit or pot-holder; it is then pushed to and fro, until the butter is separated from the watery part, which is then thrown off. The tents were pitched about noon on a wide plain, on which were encamped a horde of Turcomans. The range of Taurus was visible to the west-north-west, distant abont fifty miles; its highest part covered with snow. A lamb was killed for supper, and a fine fat sheep, bought for a gold roobeah, about half-a
The tents were struck at night, to be ready to depart at sunrise, and all slept in “the open air, beneath a starry canopy of unusual brilliance; and the purity of the atmosphere, with the sweet odour of the fresh young grass, was such as to make even perfumed halls and downy couches, inferior by the contrast.”
May 29th.—They depart at sunrise, and proceed nearly east over the plain. At nine, the caravan reached Shahaboor.
The men at this place were dressed nearly as in those through which we had already passed. The women wore on their heads the large red Syrian tarbooh, the loose part overhanging before, while the men permit it to fall behind. These Turcoman females were much better dressed than the Arab women ever are, some of them having red, and others white trowsers ; striped silk upper robes, gold ornaments about their heads, their hair hanging in long tresses as in the towns; and their whole appearance neat and interesting. The language used here was Turkish ; and, indeed, scarcely any other was heard in the caravan, as the Arabs speak Turkish much more frequently than the Turks do Arabic, from the superior ranks of the military and the government being filled by Turks, who are tov proud and too indolent to learn ; while the necessities of the others compel them to acquire the language of their masters.
About an hour after leaving Shahaboor, the caravan was attacked by about fifty Turcomans, all well mounted, and armed with a short lance, musket, pistols, and sabre. They were frightened away, rather than repelled, by the noisy travellers of the caravan.
We had scarcely left Shahaboor an hour behind us, before we were alarmed by a troop of horsemen making towards the caravan, in full speed from the south ward. The camels were widely scattered, so much so, that there seemed to be a distance of nearly two miles between tbeir extremes. The design of the enemy being to attack and cut off the rear, all who were mounted rushed towards that quarter, leaving only the men on foot, who were armed, to protect the other parts. The enemy checked their horses, advanced, retreated, wheeled, and maincuvred on the plain, with great skill; and, as APRIL, 1827.
they were all mounted on very beautiful animals, ir formed as fine a display of horsemanship as I bad ever witnessed.
On the other hand, nothing could exceed the confusion and disorder which prevailed in our train. As there was no acknowledged leader, a hundred voices were heard at once, all angry at not being attended to ; the women and children shrieked, the asses brayed at the noise of other animals, and the men set up the wildest shouts of defiance. When our enemies, however, betrayed fear, it was the moment chosen by those attacked, to affect courage ; and accordingly, all who were dismounted, young and old, came out from among the camels, behind which they had before taken shelter ; and those who had muskets without powder, of wbich there were sereral, borrowed a charge or two of their neighbours, and idly wasted it in the air. There were at least two hundred balls discharged in this way, in the course of the hour that the Turcomans harrassed us by changing their apparent point of attack, and flying round us with the velocity of the wind.
The caravan proceeded—when it halted for a moment to water, and to collect the animals in close order; on the opposite side of the stream most of the people gave loose to their joy, and triumphed in their
In the expression of these feelings, some danced with their naked swords and klandjars, or dirks, in their hands, sioging the wildest songs at the time, like the guards of the dolas, or chiefs of the Arab towns in the Yemen, when they precede their governors in their march ; and others discharged their pieces in the air. This display of warlike disposition at length terminated in occasioning two or three frays in lhe caravans, by exciting disputes, as to who had been the foremost and the bravest among them in repelling the late attack; the consequences were serious, for not less than five persons were more or less hurt or wounded in this affair among friends, though not one had received any injury in the attack of the enemy.
May 30th.—The travellers still proceeding across the extensive and fertile plain, halt at a village of huts and houses, and visit the sheikh.
The tent occupied a space of about thirty feet square, and was formed by oue large awning, supported by twenty-four small poles, in four rows, of six each, the ends of the awning being drawn out by cords, fastened to pegs in the ground. Each of these poles giving a promoted form to the part of the awning which it supported, the outside looked like a number of umbrella tops, or small Chinese spires. The balf of this square was open in front and at the sides, having two rows of poles clear, and the third was closed by a reeded partition, behind which was the apartments for the females, surrounded entirely by the same kind of matting.
It thus gare a perfect outline of the most ancient temples; apd as these tents were certainly still more ancient as dwellings of men, if not as places of worship to gods, than any buildings of stone, it struck me forcibly on the spot, as a probable model from which the first architectural works of these countries were taken. We had here an open portico of an oblong form, with two rows of columns, of six cach, in front, and the third engaged in the wall that enclosed the body of the tent all around ; the first corresponding to the porticos uf temples; and the last as well in its design as in the sacredness of its appropriations, to the sanctuaries of the most remote antiquity.*
The sheikh, whose name was Ramastan, was an old man of eighty, of fine features, combining the characteristics of the Turkish and Arabic race, with large expressive eyes. His complexion was darker than that of the people of Yemen, though somewhat less so than that of the common order of Abyssinians, and this was strongly con trasted by a long beard of silvery white. His divan was spread out with mats and cushions, covered with silk; his dress and arms were plain, yet of the best qualities of their kind; before his tent were two fine mares, well caparisoned, and everything about his establishment wore an appearance of wealth and comfort.
Some of the customs and prejudices of the Turcomans who inhabit this plain, are curious.
Their horror of a certain indiscretion is said to be so great, that the most violent pains, occasioned by a suppression of it, will not induce them to commit so heinous an
* See the representations of the primitive huis in Vetruvius.
offence. Mr. Maseyk, formerly the Dutch consul of Aleppo, related to me, that being once on a journey with another Frank of the same city, they halted at a Turcoman's
The latter, from fatigue, a hearty meal, and a cramped attitude, had the misfor tune to be unable to prevent the sudden escape of a noise loud enough to be heard. Every one looked with astonishment on each other, and from that moment shunned communication with the ottender. About four years after this event, one of the men who were of this party coming to Aleppo on business, called on Mr. Maseyk, when, by accident, his friend was with him. The Turcoman blushed on recognising this disgraced individual, when Mr. Maseyk, asking him if he had known him before, he teplied, with indignation, “ Yes; is it not the wretch who defiled our tent ?”
Of the jealousy of their honour, the most remarkable stories are told. Mr. Buckingham relates an anecdote of these people which is a complete Eastern romance. These Turcomans appear to be on the borders of Turkey what the Bedonin Arabs are on the borders of Syria. They dwell chiefly in the plains south of the range of Mount Taurus, and extend from the sea coast near Antioch, to the borders of the Euphrates.
Chapter Il. Passage of the river Euphrates at Beer.—The travellers continuing their route over a fertile plain, came in full view of the Euphrates, winding in its course to the southward. Ascending the stream about half an hour, on the west bank of the river, they came opposite Beer. The transport of the caravan from one side of the Euphrates to the other, was long and tedious. The stream is rapid, and whirling the boats four or five times in their passage over, occasioned them to fall at leąst a quarter of a mile below the point immediately opposite to that at which they started. The Euphrates here is at least as broad as the Thames at Blaek friars, but in its greatest depth secmed to be not more than ten or twelve feet. The current in the centre is about three miles an hour, and on the east bank considerably more. The waters are turbid, and of dark yellowish colour. Just below the town of Beer the stream divides itself into twenty smaller channels, ranning betwcen low grassy inlets. The banks on both sides, where steep, are of a chalky nature, and where flat, they are fertile, and covered with trees and verdure. The town of Beer-the Birtha of antiquity, contains from three to four thousand inhabitants. It stands on the side of a very steep hill, and there are perpendicular cliffs within and around it, in different directions. It is under the dominion of the pacha of Orfah, and is governed by an aga.
Chapter III. From Beer across the plains of the Tureomans to Orfah.—On the caravan's breaking up to quit Beer, Mr. Buckingham was seized by a party sent from the aga, under the pretence of his being a janissary making his escape from Aleppo. Mr. Buckingham represented himself as a Mugrebbin trader. He thinks his story was believed ; but as the purpose of his arrest was extortion, it made no difference. It was decided, at length, that the most prudent way was to confess the truth of the charge, and administer a bribe.
I accordingly returned, agreeably to his advice, and no longer denied the charge of being really a janissary, who had lately entered the service, and had come from Cairo, where Turkish is but little spoken. As they had concluded that, for some mutinous conduct there, I had been obliged to seek my safety in flight, I now threw myself upon the clemency of the governor, as a brother soldier-pleaded poverty from my being obliged to escape in haste, but thrust twenty-five gold roobeahs, or about sixty shillings sterling, into his hand at the time of my kneeling to kiss it, and this in so
secret a manner, that no one could see the gift, or claim a share. I was then ordered to be set at liberty immediately, and distributing a few piastres among the servants, was quickly mounted, and soon rejoined the caravan.
The aspect of the plains of Mesopotamia is dull and uninteresting; the traveller bears testimony to the accuracy of Xenophon's description.
The country was a plain throughout, as even as the sea, and full of wormwood ; if any other kind of shrubs or weeds grew there, they have all an aromatic smell ; but no trees appeared. Of wild creatures, the most numerous were wild asses, and not a few ostriches, besides bustards, and roe-deer, (antelopes,) which our horsemen sometimes chased.
At this period the caravan was reduced to depend upon itself for supplies. Mr. Buckingham gives this account of their fare.
Our supper consisted of boiled wheat, warm bread, baked on a fire of camel's dung, and steeped in clean melted butter, and some wild herbs, gathered from among the grass around us. This was followed by a pipe and a cup of coffee, and afterwards about an ounce of brown sugar, made into a round hard cake, was served to us out of a little tin case. This was the travelling fare of one of the richest merchants of Monsul, who had property to the amount of ten or fifteen thousand pounds sterling, in money and goods, embarked in the present caravan, and who every night fed, from his own table, not less than twenty poor pilgrims, besides his own immediate dependants.
The caravan arrives (June 2d) at a Turcoman tent. This race is well contrasted with the Arab, in the following passage :
The men of this camp, as I had noted elsewhere, were fairer, cleaner, better dressed, and more at their ease, than Arabs of the same elass; and all of them wore turbans, which were generally of white cloth in broad folds. In most of the countenances that I had yet seen, there seemed to me to exist traces of resemblance to the Tartar physi. ognomy. The face is short, broad, and flat, with high cheek bones, small sunken eyes, fat nose, broad mouth, and short neck, with a full black bushy beard. The Malay and the Chinese face are but exaggerated examples of the same cast of countenances seen here, and form perhaps the extreme, of which this is the first marked commencement. In the Arab race, the face is long, narrow, and sharp; the cheek bones flat and low ; and all bave large expressive eyes, a prominent and aquiline nose, sınall but full-lipped mouth, long graceful neck, and generally a scanty beard. As a race or caste, the Turcomans are therefore widely different from the Arabs; though the same habits of life have brought them, from the north and the south, to border upon each other.
The women of this tribe were quite as well dressed as those we had seen before. We noticed one, said to be newly married, who was driving goats to her tent, dressed with red sballoon trowsers and yellow boots, a clean white upper garment, a red tarboosh on her head, overhanging in front, and three rows of gold Venetian sequins, bound round her brow. She was fair, ruddy, and her skin was not disfigured by stains; but, above all, she was remarkably clean, and perfectly unveiled, two marks of more distinctive difference from the Bedouin women than even those which are noted as separating the male race.
June 3d.—Mr. Buckingham begins to feel the irksomeness of caravan travelling. The rate of going scarcely exceeded twelve miles a day, and the time consumed in performing this was from four to six hours.
In walking my horse a gentle pace, if I mounted the last in the caravan, I could gain the head of it in two hours, though our line extended nearly two miles iu length ; when, as was the practice of most of the other horsemen of the party, we dismounted on the grass, suffered our horses to feed there, and either laid down or smoked a pipe for nearly an hour, until the caravan had all passed us again. This was repeated at every similar interval ; so that, in an uninteresting tract of country, where there was no picturesque landscape to charm the sigbt, not a tree to relieve the monotonous outline of the hills, nor sufficient verdure to clothe their rocky sides, -where either we were lighted only by the stars, or scorched by the sun an hour after its rising, --its tediousness may be easily conceived.
The only counterbalancing advantage is, comparative security. The greater number, however, makes it more difficult to procure supplies. It is the practice of the richer members to cook an ample supper at night, so that sufficient may be left for their poorer companions. Mr. Buckingham's friend and patron, the Hadjee, fed every night about twenty such, besides fifteen or twenty more immediate dependants, who sat down to table with him.
The heat had been gradually increasing: at this time at noon the thermometer stood at 102° in the sun, and 96° in the shade of the tent. The fresh winds from the lofty snow-clad ridge of Taurus preserve the air both agreeable and healthy.
Part of the caravan had pushed on to Orfah, and left the heavier baggage behind them. They sent out the Hadjee, who remained with the merchandize, a sumptuous supper composed of at least fifty dishes, besides two mules laden with ice for making iced sherbet, with white mulberries, quinces, and other fruits.
We continued up late, in the enjoyment of as much festivity as our means would afford, by hearing the rude music and songs of some, and clapping our hands to the dances of others of our camel drivers around a blazing fire. We surrounded this circle, formed by the animals themselves, who, on being driven in from the hills where they feed, are made to kneel down, and generally arranged in a circular form round the horses, the merchandize, and the people of the caravan, as an outer barrier for general security. Here, though our guards were set on the outposts of the camp, and we had each to relieve the watch in our turn, we sang and danced away our cares, and were as happy as the most sumptuous banquets or gorgeous palaces could have made
Chapter IV.–Entry of the caravan into the city of Orfah.—On the 4th of Jane, the rear of the caravan took up their station in the suburbs of the ancient city of Orfah. The Hadjee had numerous friends in the town, who flocked out to see him, and congratulate him on his returu from the hadj, or pilgrimage. He and his company received such numerous invitations to take up their residence in different houses, that it became necessary to accept none. They were accordingly lodged in a large building, called the custom-house khan.
Here, indeed, we were quite as well accommodated, and as much at liberty, as we could possibly have been in any private dwelling, having each of us a chamber apart, and a small one besides, in which to meet our friends, though the congratulations were so many, that it was necessary to receive them on the outside.
This khan consisted of an open court, which was at least a hundred feet square, and was paved throughout. On two of its sides were doors of outlet into covered bazars; on the third was a range of stables and cloaca; and all around, on the ground floor, the intervals were filled up by small rooms; flights of steps there led to an upper story, in front of which were open galleries all around, and chambers in which were carried on manufactories of cotton, as well as the process of printing them. Through the court below ran a fine broad stream of transparent water, crossing it diagonally from corner to corner; and as it was descended to by long steps, it served for watering the horses, for the ablutions of the pious, and for the washing of the manufactures above, as they came from the workman's hands, before they were laid out on the flat terrace of the roof to bleach.
In the evening the Hadjee and his friends joined a supper-party, given in honour of them. As our readers may be curious to know the manners of an evening-party in Orfah, the Ur of the Chaldees, we shall extract the description of it. It appears to have been a very rational and agreeable affair.
It was before sun-set that we assembled at the house of a green-turbaned descendant of the Prophet, to the number of about thirty persous. We were received into a