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mosque of Medina, will be surely delivered from hell and its torments in a future life.
The government of Medina has shifted according to circumstances. Nominally under the sway of a Turkish aga from Constantinople, and the Sheikh el Haram, or chief of the mosque, practically a sort of oligarchical rule, by the different sheikhs of the quarters, has prevailed, except when some strong hand held the reins of power. The command had been vested in a Scotsman some short time before Burckhardt's visit-one Thomas Keith, who went under the denomination of Ibrahim Aga, and filled 'the post of treasurer to Tousoun Pasha. Like all other parts of the Hedjaz, Medina remains under the yoke of Mohammed Ali since his defeat of the Wahabys, with the semblance of fealty to the Porte. The climate is very insalubrious, owing to the saline nature of the soil and water, and the exhalations which arise from numerous stagnant pools around the town." Poor Burckhardt fell a victim to it, being attacked with fever, and stretched on his rug for upwards of two months. Nothing can be conceived more deplorable than his situation under this affliction, for he had nobody to attend upon him but a miserable black boy, fitted only for his occupation of a camel-driver, and was unable to procure the necessary medicines for his complaint. He rallied, nevertheless, under the genial influence of some fine weather in April; and, afraid of a relapse, hastened to depart from so noxious an atmosphere. It had been his desire to proceed from Medina to Akaba, on the northern extremity of the Red Sea, across a country as yet unexplored by any modern traveller ; but in his debility of body and purse, he found the scheme impracticable, and he accordingly joined a caravan to Yembo, the seaport of Medina, and a five days' journey distant, where he arrived on the 27th of April. Yembo is a small town situated on the north side of a deep bay, and is divided by a creek into two parts. Its harbour is one of the best on the Red Sea; but the trade carried on is very trifling, and consists principally in provisions. The intercourse with Medina is kept up by means of caravans, which proceed to and fro every fortnight when all is peaceable on the route. Contrary to what is found at Mecca and Medina, Yembo is almost entirely inhabited by Arabs; a few Syrians, Egyptians, and Indians being the only foreign settlers, and they but temporary sojourners. At the period of Burckhardt's visit it was ravaged by the plague, and a terrible mortality was the consequence. This scourge is almost unknown in Arabia, particularly in the Hedjaz, which the Mohammedans believed to be inviolable to its visitation, from the holy character it possesses. However, it had broken out in the present instance beyond doubt, and the calamity was rendered more grievous by the fact, that all the ships in the harbour were engaged to carry invalid soldiers to Egypt. It was consequently with great difficulty Burckhardt secured a passage in a small open vessel, bound to Cosseir, and crowded
with passengers, in which he embarked on the 15th of May. The voyage was exceedingly tedious, and, tired of the wretched accommodation on board the vessel, Burckhardt bribed the reys, or captain, to put into the harbour of Sherm, on the western shore of the Gulf of Akaba, where he was accordingly landed on the 5th of June. After a stay of a fortnight at a healthy village called El Wady, on the sea-coast, to recruit
his wasted strength, he thence made the best of his way to Cairo through Suez, and arrived at that metropolis on the morning of the 24th of June. after an absence of more than eighteen months.
The joy which Burckhardt experienced at his safe return was damped by the miserable state of health into which he had fallen. He was still full of ardour, nevertheless, for the great enterprise to which all his previous labours had been merely preliminary. But no tidings were heard of any caravan from Fezzan, by the return of which he might have proceeded on his journey; and after a residence of nine months in Cairo and Alexandria, he made another excursion across the Desert of Suez, and advanced to the extreme point of the peninsula of Sinai, in the hope of tracing the route supposed to be taken by Moses and the Israelites after their withdrawal from Egypt. In this
pursuit he was not at all successful, and he returned to Cairo in June 1816; and, pending the arrival of the so-much-desired caravan, set himself to work in preparing various papers for his employers of the African Association. He devoted himself with intense application to Arabic literature, and the study of Arabian history, particularly the genealogy, manners, and customs of the different tribes of Arabia; and the valuable result of his labours has been given to the world in a publication issued by the Association, which also contains an account of Mohammed Ali's war with the Wahabys. He also applied himself to fill up and complete the journals of his travels in Nubia and Arabia, which were necessarily in a very rough state, as he very rarely durst venture to commit any notes to writing in those countries, since nothing so soon excites the angry suspicions of the untutored Orientals as seeing a person recording observations. Even Mohammed Ali himself was not favourable to the practice; and, when at Tayf, he caused Burckhardt to be asked whether he intended to take notes—an inquiry which he adroitly parried by replying, there was little inducement for so doing, since there were no antiquities in Arabia as in Egypt. Thus he had sufficient occupation for his ardent mind; but he still panted with impatience for the opportunity to penetrate into the interior of the continent; and his letters to Mr Hamilton, the secretary of the Association, vividly portray his chagrin as he saw month after month elapse, and his fond hopes remain ungratified. At length a favourable prospect opened. A party of Moggrebyns, or western Africans, passed
through Cairo in 1817 on their way to Mecca, and they were expected to return as usual by way of Fezzan. To accompany them, Burckhardt made all the necessary preparations, eager to enter on the adventurous path he had so long contemplated, and transmitted all his papers to the Association in London, whither they were happily conveyed in safety. But, alas for the vanity of human expectations! When the moment seemed about to arrive when he might realise the achievement on which he had set his heart, he was struck with a mortal malady, and after a short illness, expired at Cairo a few minutes before midnight on the 15th of October 1817. It is a source of melancholy satisfaction to know that he was attended in his illness by an excellent English physician, Dr Richardson, who happened to be at Cairo in the suite of an Irish nobleman, and that his last hours were soothed by the attentions of Mr Salt, the British consul in Egypt, so celebrated for his zealous pursuit of Egyptian antiquities, and to whom he confided his dying requests. He was calm and sensible, fully conscious of his approaching end, and dictated to Mr Salt his wishes as to the disposition of the books, manuscripts, and other little property he possessed, with perfect distinctness. He was fondly attached to his mother. He had already surrendered in her favour the share he inherited of his father's fortune. With troubled emotion he said to Mr Salt, six hours before he expired, “ Let Mr Hamilton acquaint my mother with my death, and tell her that my last thoughts were with her.:' This intrepid traveller was only thirty-two when he died.
It must ever be a subject of regret that Burckhardt was not spared to undertake the task of penetrating into the interior of Africa. No man could be better fitted by nature, character, and education to succeed in such an enterprise. The qualities of his mind were truly noble; his courage was undaunted, his industry untiring, his zeal most persevering. That he was a man of great capacity, quick intelligence, and profound observation, is sufficiently apparent from his journals; and even the language in which he wrote them evinces an aptitude of attainment which is so rare as almost to be a phenomenon.
phenomenon. English composition is insuperably difficult to a foreigner, even under the most propitious circumstances; but Burckhardt learnt the language only after he was twenty-five years old, and enjoyed scarcely any opportunity of cultivating an acquaintance with English literature; yet he writes in a very agreeable style, and his works might pass for those of a native, if his origin were unknown. On the whole, his untimely fate is much to be deplored; for although he gave to the world the only authentic accounts of the cities of Mecca and Medina, and of the Mohammedan usages there, he would doubtless have added greatly to the sum of general geographical knowledge had he survived. By his lamented death, another victim was added to the number of enterprising men who have fallen a sacrifice to Oriental investigation.
MORE simple and_kind-hearted being than Bob Parsons little Bob Parsons, as he was called, on account of his somewhat diminutive size - was not
known within the sound of Bow Bells. Bob had for years been a slave to the counting-house; and, while other clerks were occasionally indulged with a holiday, he was quite contented to toil on as usual, without any idea that
he deserved or required a similar relaxation. At length the little man's time came. Bob, unasked, got a week's holiday at Christmas; and having such a monstrous allowance of time, he resolved to spend it in the country. In the country!-Christmas spent in the country!—that sounds like going to visit at some castle, or manor, or old farmhouse at the very least; where roaring fires are kept up all day and all night, where casks of ale are as plentiful as blackberries in autumn, and where roast beef and plumpudding are by no means dainties, but quite ordinary every-day occurrences.
But it was to no place so grand as a farmhouse even that Bob thought of going on this particular Christmas. Bob's relations, he believed, were few—and those few, as far as he knew, were all poor; but it was a very long time since he had seen any of them. - He had been a clerk in the firm of Linsey, Woolsey, and Co., Aldermanbury, for the last twenty years, and he was now hard upon five-and-forty. During these years he had maintained little intercourse with the place of his nativity—a remote village in Lincolnshire, called Littlethorpe, which I defy you to find on
the map. Bob's father and mother were dead long ago, and so were Bob's sisters and brothers : that he knew well enough; but he did not know what number of aunts, uncles, and cousins he might have living still just on the other side of Grantham. As he felt a strange yearning to see or hear something about his kindred on this occasion--a yearning which he could not very easily account for, as he was not much given to the romanticBob made up his mind to go down into Lincolnshire, and announced his intention accordingly.
This announcement astonished his friends in the countinghouse; and Jack Hooper was so incredulous on the subject, that he was heard to declare" he believed it was all a joke-that Little Bob Parsons was not going into the country at all. He had known Bob thirty years, as long as he (Jack Hooper) could remember, and he had never heard of Bob's knowing any one out of London. As to Bob's relations, he believed they were all merely ideal.” As Jack was the wag of the counting-house, every one joined him in laughing at the idea of Little Bob Parsons' journey into the country; and they were quite sure nothing would ever come of it. Now we shall see that they were never more mistaken in their lives. It was in the days of long stages - before these panting, screeching, flying railway days-that Bob and his portmanteau were hoisted to the top of the Grantham coach on a fine 23d of December morning. It was a sharp frost to be sure; but Bob's greatcoat was a very great one indeed for so little a man, and it wrapped him well from head to foot, so that he did not mind the cold; beside his portmanteau, on the roof of the coach, Bob placed a small basket, which his landlady had stored with provender for the inward man; including a small bottle of brandy-a sacred deposit, made by Bob himself with a view to spiritual comfort on the road.
By the time the coach stopped at Barnet, Bob felt ten years younger than he had seemed the day before, when his mates in the counting-house had wished him “ a very merry Christmas with nobody, at now here, in Lincolnshire.” Bob ate some sandwiches at Barnet, and felt as strong as a giant afterwards. When the coach' started once more, he gave himself up to thoughts something like these :
“Well, it is a pleasing thing to live in such improving times ! I scarcely remember this road at all. To be sure it is thirty years ago since I travelled it. How strange! it seems but yesterday since I left the old place down there. I wonder whether that's altered. Ah, it is long ago! How well I remember poor mother's kissing and hugging me, and crying like anything all the time when I was coming away to London. * Robert, says she to my father, as he sat ready in the carte * Robert, something tells me I shall never see him again. He's going all the way to London, and he's sure to die, or make his fortune there; and either way, I'm afraid he'll never come here