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•frightful marks of the disease on their arms and faces. Inoculation is known, but not much practised; little benefit being supposed to arise from it. The incision is usually made in the leg. Their only cure for the small-pox is to rub the whole body with butter three or four times a-day, and to keep themselves closely shut up. The plague is unknown, and from what I heard during my former journey in Nubia, I have reason to believe that it never passes farther south than the cataract of Assouan.
"The houses in the towns are generally divided from each other by large courtyards, thus forming nowhere any regular streets. They are tolerably well-built, either of mud or of sun-baked bricks, and their appearance is at least as good as those of Upper Egypt. Each habitation consists of a large yard, divided into an inner and outer court. Round this court are the rooms for the family, which are all on the ground floor; I have never seen in any of these countries a second storey or staircase. To form the roof, beams are laid across the walls; these are covered with mats, upon which reeds are placed, and a layer of mud is spread over the whole. The roof has a slope to let the rain-water run off, which, in most houses, is conducted by a canal to the courtyard, thus rendering the latter, in time of rain, a dirty pond. Two of the apartments are generally inhabited by the family, a third serves as a store-room, a fourth for the reception of strangers, and a fifth is often occupied by public women. I have seldom seen any furniture in the rooms excepting a sofa or bedstead— an oblong wooden frame with four legs, having a seat made either of reeds, or of thin strips of ox-leather drawn across each other."
The people of the various towns and villages are engaged as husbandmen, shepherds, and traders. At Shendy, a very extensive slave trade is carried on, and it is likewise the entrepot for other considerable traffic between Egypt, Arabia, and the interior of Africa. Burckhardt estimates that five thousand slaves are annually sold at Shendy, the greater part of whom are purchased for the Egyptian and Arabian markets, and are brought from the idolatrous countries to the south and south-west of Darfour. Few are imported above the age of fifteen, those between eleven and that age being in most request; males commanding fifteen or sixteen dollars, if bearing marks of having had the small-pox, without which a boy was not worth twothirds of that price, and females from twenty to twenty-five dollars. Burckhardt himself, having disposed of his merchandise, bought a slave, fourteen yenrs old, for sixteen dollars, and also a camel, intending to proceed no farther south, but to cross the country stretching from Shendy to the shore of the Bed Sea. This he preferred to penetrating into Abyssinia—which he might, perhaps, have easily accomplished, as the roads were considered safe in times of peace—for two reasons: first, because the country between Shendy and the Red Sea had been unexplored, and was extremely difficult and dangerous to traverse; secondly, because he wished to reach Mecca by the month of November, at the time of the annual pilgrimage, being convinced that the title of hadji, or pilgrim, would be a powerful protection and recommendation to him in any future journey through the interior of Africa. It was his first idea to have pushed on as far as Massouah, a port lying far to the south, on the Abyssinian coast of the lied Sea, and thence crossed to Mokha, or Mocha, in Arabia; and with this view he took his departure from Shendy with a caravan proceeding to Souakin on the Red Sea, which he proposed to accompany as far as Taka, whence he hoped to find means of reaching Massouah. It is a striking proof of his persevering and ardent courage, that when starting on this most adventurous enterprise, he had only four dollars in his pocket, and that, after selling his camel, he relied upon being able to beg his way, if necessary, to Djidda, on which town he had a letter of credit.
This more extended scheme, however, he was not fated to carry out. The caravan, which left Shendy on the 17th of May, divided on the banks of the Atbara, or Astoboras, a tributary of the Nile, into two parties, one of which struck straight across the Desert to Souakin, and the other turned south to Taka. The latter, according to his original design, Burckhardt accompanied; but when arrived at Taka, which is a chief emporium for dhourra, the grain in principal request, and the almost universal medium of exchange throughout Nubia, he found there was no commercial intercourse between that place and Massouah, as he had been led to believe, and that, from the inhospitable and treacherous character of the intervening tribes, any attempt to penetrate through them alpne was quite hopeless. He had no other alternative, therefore, but to relinquish the project, and proceed to Souakin, the road to which was comparatively safe and pleasant, and which he reached on the 26th of June. Here he was exposed to the danger even of losing his life, through the rapacity and violence of the Arab governor of the town, and the aga of Mohammed Ali, who then held a partial sovereignty over that and the other ports on the Red Sea, and averted it only bv producing old firmans of the pasha, and of Ibrahim his son, which he had hitherto studiously concealed, through fear of being taken for a spy of those princes by the Nubians, who already foreboded the yoke that has since been imposed on them. In the latter of these documents he was described as "Our man, Ibrahim the Syrian," which had such an effect upon the aga, that though his clothes were literally in rags, that functionary forth- with tendered him marks of great, respect, invited him to reside in his house, and ultimately procured him a free passage to Djidda on board a small ship, overloaded with dhourra and passengers, chiefly black pilgrims on their way to Mecca. In this vessel, which was little more than an open boat, he embarked on
the 6th of July; and after the usual creeping voyage of Arab navigators, who cast anchor in some bay on the coast every night, arrived at Djidda on the 18th of July 1814.
JOURNEY TO MECCA.
It is now we enter upon the most interesting portion of Burckhardt's travels, because, from the perfect success with which he maintained his disguise of a Mohammedan, he was enabled not only to visit the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina, into which none but true believers are permitted to enter, but also to witness and participate in all the ceremonies of the hadj, or pilgrimage, to those places of Moslem superstition—mysteries never before beheld by any but a true disciple of the prophet. The province of Arabia in which Mecca and Medina stand is distinguished by the name of the Hedjaz, or Holy Land, and it stretches from the 20th to the 26th degree of northern latitude. Besides these two cities, which are sanctified—the one as the birthplace, and the other as the burial-place of Mohammed—it contains the towns of Djidda, Yembo, Tayf, and others of lesser note. The two first are the ports of Mecca and Medina respectively. At the period of Burckhardt's visit, Mohammed Ali held military possession of the country, and was himself at Tayf. He had just repulsed the Wahabys, a powerful and fanatical tribe of the Nedjed in Eastern Arabia, who had previously conquered the whole Hedjaz, and, in the quality of reformers, destroyed many of the monuments in the temples of Mecca and Medina, which they viewed as savouring of idolatry. They had even interdicted the hadj, or pilgrimage, for the six years of their sway, although expressly enjoined upon his disciples by Mohammed in his Koran as necessary to salvation, and were consequently held in great detestation by the whole Moslem world, and by none more so than by the inhabitants of Mecca and Medina, who were principally dependent upon the sums spent by the pilgrims in their annual visit. These came from the most distant parts where Islamism prevailed: from European and Asiatic Turkey; from Morocco, Barbary, Egypt, and the countries in the south and east of Africa; and. from Bagdad, Muscat, and India. They generally numbered from fifty to a hundred thousand, and arrived in five or six great caravans, of which the Syrian and Egyptian were the principal, they often comprising thirty thousand persons each. But from the interruption given by the Wahabys, and the increasing indifference to the precepts of their religion among the Mohammedans in general, the number has of late years considerably diminished, and will, in all probability, continue to dwindle, until the practice becomes as obsolete as the pilgrimage to Jerusalem among the Christians. Its prolonged observance may be in a great measure ascribed to the commercial character with which it is invested, few of the pilgrims arriving without bringing some productions of their respective countries for sale, and taking back others in return—for Mohammed was too astute to prohibit trading during the pilgrimage—and thus, at the cost of much personal fatigue, the pursuit of sanctity and profit is cunningly combined.*
In ordaining this pilgrimage, Mohammed did but perpetuate a custom already hallowed by its antiquity amongst his countrymen. The temple of Mecca had been for ages an object of veneration to the Pagan Arabs, who, at stated periods, resorted to worship at its shrine; and as it would have been difficult to eradicate this sentiment, Mohammed sagely incorporated it in his religion. The chief attraction of this temple was, and is. tie Kaaba, which is believed to have been constructed in heaven two thousand years before the creation of the world, and there adored by the angels. Adam, who was the first true believer, erected the Kaaba upon earth on its present site, which is directly below the spot it occupied in heaven. He collected the stones from fire holy mountains, and ten thousand angels were appointed to guard the structure from accident. The sons of Adam repaired the Kaaba, and after the deluge Abraham was ordered by the Almighty to reconstruct it. His son Ishmael, who, from his infancy, had resided with his mother Hagar, near the site or" Mecca, assisted his father, and, on digging, they found the foundations which had been laid by Adam. Being in want of a stone to fix into the building, as a mark from which the towaf, or hoy walk, round it was to commence, Ishmael went in search of one. and on his way met the angel Gabriel, holding in his hand a stone, ever since an object of adoration, and famous under the name of the " black stone/' although originally white. Such is the legend handed down by tradition, and to which the Moslems yet give credence.
This Kaaba, notwithstanding its fabulous host of guardian angels, has been repeatedly destroyed both by fire*and water, and was entirely rebuilt as it now stands in 1627. It is an oblong flat-roofed building, eighteen paces in length, fourteen in breadth, and from thirty-five to forty feet in height-t It stands upon an elevated base of two feet, and has but one door, about seven feet from the ground, which is only opened on solemn occasions, and then entered by wooden steps. On its north-east corner, in the angle of the wall, is the "black stone,' of an irregular oval shape, and about seven inches in diameter. It has at present the appearance of several smaller stones cemented
* tt Make provision for yoor journey, bat the best proT:sjon is piety; and fear me. oh ye of understanding. It shall be no crime in Too if To seek an increase from the Lord by trading daring the pilgrimage."'—AVitf, Sale* Tol L. p. 3&. Sale says—•- The pilgrimage to Mecca is so necessary a point of practice, that, according to a tradition of Mohammed, he *S» dies without perforating it may as well die a Jew or a Christian-
+ The dimensions giren bT*Sale are—Lenath, 24 cubits ; breadth, 23 cubits : and height, 27 cnbitsl—Vol L sect. It. r». 152.