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sea, broken only in two or three places by little mounds, arising like rocks or islets out of the water. Soon afterwards two horsemen were seen riding to the caravan across the plain ; they were Arabs of the Beni-Meilan, under Abn-Aioohe-Ibin-Temer Pasha, who were on the look-out on behalf of their tribe, with orders to let no caravans pass without payment of the regular demand of tribute.
These men were mounted on fine mares, though very wretchedly caparisoned ; and their dress was rather like that of the Fellahs or cultivators of the country, than like the Bedouins I had been accustomed to see. They wore the large overhanging tarboosh, and white muslin turbans, with a serge cloak, resembling in colour, form, and substance, the white Muggrebin burnoosh, used in the west of Africa ; except that this had large sleeves, and, instead of being woven like the former without seam, it was joined in the middle, like the Syrian Arab cloak, by a red cord, going horizontally across the baek.
Their arms were, a sword, a brace of pistols, and a long light lance, of twelve or thirteen feet in length. Both of these men were shaved, wearing only mustachios, and one of them had light blue eyes, a fair complexion, with yellow hair and eyebrows; but neither of them had a single feature at all resembling those I had been accustomed to see in the pure Arab race, from the southern extremity of the Yemen to tbis the most northern limit of Arabia.
To these persons actual homage was done by the caravan travellers, who surrendered themselves to their guidance, and were led to the encampment of El Mazar. The scenes at the camp of the robber chief are very curious, and though long, they are worth extracting.
The first tent was scareely raised, before we were visited by three of the chief's dependants, mounted on beautiful horses, richly caparisoned, and drest in the best manner of Turkish military officers, with their cloth garments highly embroidered, and their swords, pistols, and khandjars, such as Pashas themselves might be proud to wear. Every one arose at their entry, and the carpets and cushious of the Hadjee, which had been laid out with more care than usual, were offered to the chief visitor, wbile the rest seated themselves beside him. All those of the caravan who were present, not excepting the Hadjee liimself, assumed the humiliating position of kneeling and sitting backward on their heels, which is done only to great and acknowledged superiors.
This is one of the most painful of the Mohammedan attitudes, and exceedingly difficult to be acquired, as it is performed by first kneeling on both knees, then turning the soles of the feet upward, and lastly, sitting baek on these in such a manner, as that they receive the whole weight of the body, while the knees still remain pressed to the ground. I at first assumed this attitude with the rest, but an incapacity to continue it for any great length of time, obliged me to rise and go out of the tent, on pretence of drinking ; which simple incident, though I returned in a very few minutes afterwards to resume my seat, from its being thought a disrespecful liberty to rise at all in the presence of so great a man, without a general movement of the whole party, gave rise to very earnest inquiries regarding a person of manners so untutored.
The answers to these inquiries were highly contradictory. Some asserted that I was an Egyptian of Georgian parents, and of the race of the Mamlouks of Cairo, from their knowing me to be really from Egypt, and from my speaking the Arabic with the accent of that country, where I had first acquired it, wbile they attributed my fairer complexion than that of the natives to the same cause. Others said that I was a doetor from Damascus, and suggested that I bad probably been in the service of the Pasha there, as I had given some medicines to a liolle slave-boy of my protector, by which he had recovered from an attack of fever ; coupled with which, they had heard me talk much of Damascus as a beautiful and delightful city, and therefore concluded this to be the attachment of a native. Some again insisted that I was a Muggrebin, or Arab of Moroeco, acquainted with all sorts of magical charms and arts, and added, that I was certainly going to India to explore hidden treasures, to open mines of diamonds, rubies, an emeralds ; to fathom seas of pearls, and hew down forests of aloeswood and cinnamon, since I was the most inquisitive being they had ever met with, and had been several times observed to write much in a small book, and in an unknown tongue; so that, as it was even avowed by myself that I was going to India, and had neither merchandize nor baggage with me of any kind, it could be for no other purposes than these that I could have undertaken so long a journey. Lastly, some gave out that I was a man of whom nobody knew the real religion ; for, although I was protected under the tent of Hadjee Abd-el- Rakhman, and treated as an equal with himself, I was certainly not a Moslem of the true kind; because, at the hours of prayer, I had always been observed to retire to some other spot, as if to perform my devotions in secret, and never had yet prayed publicly with my companions. A Christian they were sure I was not, because I ate meat, and milk, and butter, on Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as on other days; and a Jew I could not be, because I wore no side locks, and trimnied the upper edge of my beard, after the manner of the Turks, which the Israelites or Yaboudis are forbidden to do. As I had been seen, however, at every place of our halt, to retire to a secluded spot and wash my whole body with water, to change my inner garments frequently, to have an aversion to vermin which was quite unnatural, and a feeling of disgust towards certain kinds of them, amounting to something like horror, as well as carefully to avoid being touched or lain upon by dirty people, and at night to sleep always aloof from, and on the outskirts of the caravan, they concluded, that I was a priest of some of those idolatrous nations of whom they had heard there were many in India, the country to which I was going, and who, they had also understood, had many of these singular aversions, so constantly exhibited by myself.
All this being openly declared, hy one mouth or another, from individuals of the caravan, who had crowded around our tent, and in the hearing of the Hadjee himself, he found it necessary to clear me from all these imputations, by declaring me at once to be an Englishman, whom he had taken under his protection. These Arabs had never heard of such a people ; but when it was said a Franjee, (or a Frank,)“ Oh!" said one of them," they are the people who come from Ajam, and I know how to prove or try them.” A cup of water was then at this man's request brought to me, and I was requested to drink out of it, being first told that the cup belonged to a Jew of the caravan. I drank, as requested, and then the man declared, with a loud voice, that I was an impostor, since the Franjee were all Ajami, and the Ajami would rather die than drink out of the cup of a Yahoodi, or Jew.
I know not how so strange an assemblage of ideas had been formed in this man's brain, but it was such as to produce on the minds of all who heard him, the firmest conviction of my haring deceived even my companions. I was then questioned about the country of the English, and that of India, and my answer to these questions only made the matter still worse. As they believe the world to be a perfect plain, surrounded by a great sea, so as to be like a square mass floating in water, the Mohammedans generally inquire how the countries lie in succession, one within another, in the different quarters, taking their own for nearly the centre of all. My replies to such questions were directed by truth, for the sake of avoiding self-contradiction, to which I should have been very liable if I had been cruss-examined, and had endeavoured to shape my answers to their absurd theory. I admitted, however, in conformity to their own notions, that the eastern world ended at the Great Sea beyond China, the western world in the Pacific Ocean, the southern in the Sea of Yemen, and the nortbera in the Frozen Ocean. The details of dog-headed nations, of women growing on trees and falling off when ripe for marriage, of men forty yards high, and other equally absurd inatters of Eastern fable and belief, were then all inquired about, and my answers to these being less satisfactory than even those to preceding questions, the opinion of my being an impostor was confirmed, more particularly as some one had mischievously mentioned my having been already detained at Beer, as a chief of Janissaries, who had committed some crime, and was therefore flying from Aleppo.
While all this was going on beneath the tent, a scene of a different description was passing without. The two horsemen whom we bad first met were employed in arranging all the goods and baggage, according to their respective owners, in separating the Christians from the Moslems, and in making the necessary preparations for the levy of their tribute from the caravan. A paper was then brought, containing a written statement, drawn up by one of our party, at the command of their surveyors, and by liim read to the chief; for neither himself, nor any of his attendants, appeared to be able to read or write. While all the rest humbly knelt around him, this chief stretched himself, with an affectation of contempt, along the carpet on the ground, and threw his legs occasionally in the air. It was neither the attitude of weariness, nor the rude carelessness of unpolished life ; but a barbarian or savage notion of dignity, which consisted only in showing to those around him how much he despised them.
It was just at this moment that the Hauljee contrived to lay before this chief, with
bis own hands, and with an attitude of the greatest humility, a box of presents, containing a rich Cashmeer shawl, some female ornaments, an amber mouth-piece for a Turkish pipe, and other articles, amounting in value to at least fifteen hundred piastres, or fifty pounds sterlicg. These the brutal despot turned over, with a look of as much indifference as he had assumed from the beginning, and neither deigned to praise them, nor to seem even pleased with the gift. The list of our goods being then read to him, a certain sum was commanded to be affixed to each name, and, to judge from his manner of naming it, the amount of this was entirely arbitrary. The owners of the mer. chandize were then ordered to pay twenty piastres for each camel-load, fifteen for each hoise or mule, and ten for every ass. The leader of the caravan was to pay a thousand piastres, to be levied by him in any way he thought proper on the persons composing it; the merchants were to give a thousand Spanish dollars for the members of their class ; the Mokhodessy, or pilgrims from Jerusalem, were to raise fifteen hundred piastres among themselves, which was a still harder condition than the preceding ; and I was condemned to pay one thousand piastres, instead of five thousand, which it was contended would have been demanded of me, if I bad not been under the protection of Hadjee Abd-el-Rakhman, who had smoothed his way by his presents to the chief.
The sums damed for the merchandize were instantly agreed to be paid ; but the other assessments were not so easily to be obtained; as their amount was not only exorbitant, but the persons named were really unable to raise it. The leader of the caravan reduced his tribute to five hundred piastres, of which he paid the half himself, and raised the other half by subscription. The merchants compromised for two thousand, which was furnished by about ten of the principal ones; and the pil. grims could not raise altogether five hundred piastres, though they formed, in number, nearly two-thirds of the caravan.
The two men who exercised the duty of collectors, and who, being on the look-out on that day, were perhaps interested by a specific share of the prize-money, behaved with the greatest insolence and cruelty. They ransacked the private baggage of such as they suspected to have any thing worth taking, and selected from amongst it what. ever they pleased. When they came to mine, I trembled for the result, as, though consisting only of a pair of small khoordj or saddle-bags, and a portmanteau, these contained all that was necessary, not merely for my journey, but for the success of my views in the East. In them were the money with which Mr. Barker had furnished me for my journey, a gold watch, all my Indian letters and papers, which if seen would have made them tbink me a greater man than they had yet imagined me to be, and induced them to augment their demand; a thermometer, compass, and other instruments, all now crowded, by the advice of the Hadjee, into this small space, to escape observation, from the fear that if seen they would occasion my being taken for a magician, and this idea would be confirmed by their finding among the rest of the things some few medicines, and broken specimens of mineralogy, of which no one would have known or even imagined the use.
I made all the efforts in my power to prevent the portmanteau from being opened, but, whenever I advanced to interfere, I was driven back by blows and insults, until seeing them proceed to loosen the straps, I entreated the Haljee to intercede for me, saying, that it had cost me much trouble to get the things there into a small space, and begging that they might not be ransacked. The motive was suspected, and occasion was taken of it to say, that if I chose to pay the thousand piastres demanded of me, nothing should be disturbed. I had before declared, that I had no more money with me than the few piastres shown to them in my purse, and said that, as I was poor, I hoped to get along by the help of the faithful, and by such sum as should be produced by the sale of my horse at the journey's end. All the money that I bad, indeed, except these few piastres, which were necessary for the current wants of the road, was really within the khoordj, the greater amount being in a bill on a merchant of Bagdad, and the remainder in gold coin, carefully secured, and I could not pay it, if disposed to do so, without opening this package. I was allowed a moment to consult with the Hadjee, to whom I stated my wish rather to accede to these terms, hard as they were, than to have my baggage opened, which might perhaps lead to still worse consequences, as in it money would be found, which would betray my having deceived them, and other articles of still greater value, which would be, perhaps, taken from me altogether. He then, after fruitless efforts to reduce it lower, agreed to pay the sum required, on condition that my effects should not be disturbed ; and it was of course understood, that I was to return this sam to himn either on the road, or on our arrival at Mardin.
After the duty of exacting and paying the tribute, the travellers were commanded to go up to the camp to supper.
We found in this tent two persons, superior even to the chief who had visited us below. These were seated on fine divans, tolling on rich cushions; and one of them, a corpulent man, with a long white beard, was dressed in silk cloths and furs, with a high cap, of a kird between that of a Delhi and a Tatar. We knelt humbly around on the earth, and were barked at by large dogs, stared at by dirty aud il-dressed children, and eyed by the women from the openings in the partitions of the tent; the whole presenting a greater mixture of the rudeness of Arab mamers with the luxurious indolence of the Turkish, than I had ever before seen.
Supper was served almost instantly after the first cup of coffee had been taken. This consisted of a whole sheep, two lambs, and two kids; the former set before us with its limbs unsevered, the four latter in separate dishes of a large size, cut into pieces, and boiled with wheat in the husk. We had warm bread, and an abundance of lebben or sour milk, for which last only spoons were used, the boiled wheat being eaten by handfuls. The whole was despatched with the haste of beasts devooring their prey, and fearing to lose it by delay; and as every one, after washing his hands and mouth, poured out the water on the ground before him, without using a towel or a basin, the whole space within the tent was speedily inundated. The earth at length, however, absorbed it; but so rudely was every thing done amidst this abundance, and even luxnry, that hands and faces were wiped in the sleeves of shirts, or skirts of cloaks, or else left to dry in the air. Coffee was again served, and as the sun was declining we prepared to return.
We were detained, however, by an affray that was likely to have proved fatal to many, and did indeed end in the wounding a considerable number on each side, of the combatants. During the supposed moment of security, while we sat beneath the tent of the chief, we observed a party of Turcoman horse, belonging, it was afterwards said, to another tribe, passing through the camp, leading with them several camels and their lading, taken from our caravan. Inimediately, the whole camp became a scene of warfare. Our legitimate pillagers, roused with indignation at the interference of other intruders on their sacred ground, rushed to horse and to arms. All the members of the caravan who had come up here by command, some mounted, and some on foot, rushed out to join them. A battle ensued : the horsemen, with their spears and sword, the men on foot with their muskets, pistols, and daggers, were previously en. gaged, hand to hand. Many were run through and through, with the long lances of the cavaliers, and afterwards trampled under their horses' hoofs; several others were wounded with sabre cuts, and still more had severe contusions and bruises. All were hotly engaged, at close quarters, for half an hour at least, and it fell to my lot to come into grappling contact with three individuals in succession, neither of whom escaped unhurt from the struggle. It ended, however, in victory declaring on our side, in tbe recovery of the plundered property, and the chasing the intruders from the camp.
It was faint twilight when this contest ended, and as it was desirable to get to our tents before it became dark, those who had ridden up to the camp, muanted the same horses to go back ; but as I was on foot, a saddled mare was presented to me. I declined to ride, and begged to be permitted to walk. It was answered, that it would be a great breach of politeness to suffer one like me to depart from the tent of the chief on foot, and, in short, my riding was insisted on. I was obliged to yield; and, when mounting, my sword, which after the affray I had still continued to conceal, as before, was, as I expected, discovered. As the people of the country never see arms of any kind without examining them, it was in vain to resist their inspection of this. I was accordingly taken in to the sheikh, who expressed himself pleased with it. He asked how diuch it had cost me : I was afraid to say any sum; because, if I told him justly, he would have concluded that I was rich; if I stated its value at a low estimate, he would have excused himself for taking it from me as a thing of little value. I therefore said it had been given to me by a friend whom I respected ; and added, that I valued it so highly on that account, that I would suffer my life to be taken from me rather than part with it. This was uttered in a very determined tone, as the only niethod which presented itself to my mind, of escaping from extortion. It had, in part, the desired effect; but to compensate to the sheikh for his relinquishing all further claim to it, on account of the motive of my estimating it so highly, I was obliged to give him another sword, belonging to the nephew of my host, for which I engaged to pay this young man two hundred and fifty piastres, or return him one of equat value at Mardin.
After being thus literally fleeced, we returned to our camp, fatigued as moch by the vexations of the day, as by the privation of our usual noon-sleep, and the bustle we had undergone in the mid-day san.
Chapter VIII. From the Arab camp at El Mazar to Mardin.In this route they arrive among the Koords, a peculiar people, boasting of no very high character in the East. This is Mr. Buckingham's sketch of a Koord.
In our way we had seen some of these koords from the northern hills, or those called generally Jebel Mardin, and the dress of these was nearly that of the Bedouin Arabs, the chief garments being a long and ample shirt, and an outer goombaz or caftan, of coarse white cotton cloth. The girdle of the waist was of thick leather, tightly buckled on.
On the head, instead of the kaffeal, was worn a small red tarbooshi, bound round by a thin blue cotton hardkerchief. They wore also a white cloak of coarse and open serge, which, being thrown over their head and shoulders, sheltered them from the sun in the heat of the day, and served for a sufficient covering at night, in a climate where we had yet found no dews, and where the atmosphere after sunset was mild and agreeable in the extreme. Their arms were merely a sword and shield. The sword was slung by a belt, depending from the broad zennar, or girdle, with its edge downwards, in the European fashion, and not with the curve of the blade tumed upwards, after the manner of the Arabs and Turks. The shield was formed of a semi-globular piece of brass, with carved devices in the centre; and this surrounded by a broad fringe of black silk, which waved in the air, the outer part being made of a close basket-work of coloured reeds, and the whole forming a handsome appendage to the wearer.
As these koords walked beside our caravan, singing and driving their cattle before them, with their shields slung over their shoulders, their loose robes and light cloaks blown out by the storm, and thus trudging along, with their naked and brawny legs covered about the ancle only with sandals of thongs, they formed an interesting group, and in the hands of a skilful artist would have furnished an admirable subject for a picture of costume.
Chapter IX. Contains the entry into, and stay at Mardin.--Mr. Buckingham does not enter Mardin immediately, but turns aside to the east of the town to visit the Syrian patriarch, at his convent.
On our arrival at the convent, my letter procured me a favourable reception from the patriarch, who was a handsome and polite young man, and had been advanced unusually early to the dignity he enjoyed, as he was but little beyond thirty years of age. Our evening was passed in a large party, consisting cliefly of pilgrims belonging to Mardin, who had returned from Jerusalem, and bad come from Aleppo in their own caravan. The supper served to them consisted of the choicest dishes ; and not less than twenty jars of arrack were drank by about as many persons,--all of them, too, before the meal, as a stimulant, and not a single cup after it. The party was cons tinued until a late hour, and our enjoyment was then terminated by the delicious luxury of clean linen and a clean bed,
These convents appear to be very singular institutions—the priests, who inhabit this one, which is called Deer Zafferany, consist of three orders—the patriarch, six matrans, and twelve catzees; the catzees are permitted to marry, and they and their wives and children all live in the convent together.
The population of Mardin is about twenty thousand · two-thirds are Mahommedans, and the remainder Jews and Christians Mardin is built chiefly on the side of a lofty hill, and the houses rise in ranges above each other, like the seats of a Roman theatre.
Near Mardin the caravan remains so long, that Mr. Buckingham, disgusted with the delay, determines upon leaving it; and on going to Diarbekr to find, if he could, Tartars or government messengers, under whose protection he might proceed at a more rapid rate. Diarbekr