Billeder på siden

await thee; but if thou fallest, thou shalt be translated to the joys of Paradise.”

Abdelazeez was assassinated in 1803, and succeeded immediately by his son Sehood, who, in his turn, swore to take speedy vengeance for the murder of his father.

Sehood fulfilled his engagement to the letter. Bassora and Irak felt the prowess of his arms. The Scheriff of Mecca, Ghaleb, imagined the present moment very fitting to strike a blow against the Wahabite power.

His Turkish followers, however, were like puny reeds before the fury of the fanatics. He was worsted in every engagement, and forced to entreat for peace. This was granted, and Sehood, at the head of forty thousand men, marched to Medina, placing which under a governor of his own nomination, he proceeded to Mecca. Here, he ordered the opening of the Prophet's tomb, whence he abstracted the many long-treasured jewels, consisting of diamonds and pearls, and rubies and emeralds, all which were publicly sold, and the proceeds, together with the bars of gold, formed from the melted vessels, chandeliers, and vases, were distributed amongst his soldiers. This last act, in the eyes of the Mussulmans, filled to the brim the cup of Sehood's abominations. All the Mahomedan world were indignant at the outrageous conduct of the Scheik of Derayeh ; and Mahomed Ali, at the command of the Sublime Porte, fitted out an expedition to

[blocks in formation]

hunt down and to the death this atrocious enemy of God and man. Yet this atrocious enemy had gained his ascendancy under the firm persuasion that he was thus working in the vineyard of the earth for the salvation of man, and the manifestation of the glory of God. Such motives have ever been most cogent with men; or, in the words of an old poet

There is no danger to a man that knows
What life and death is: there's not any law
Exceeds his knowledge: neither is it lawful
That he should stoop to any other law.”



Ghaleb, Scheriff of Mecca–Toussoun, Pacha in Arabia-His first

Successes Medina re-captured, and the Keys of the City sent to the Divan at Constantinople— The Porte's Gratitude Successes against Sehood-Mahomed Ali in Arabia-His Conduct towards Ghaleb-The Sheik banished to Salonica-His Death-the Death of Sehood-Abdallah, his eldest Son and Successor-Mahomed's return to Egypt_Toussoun follows—Ibrahim Pacha in Arabia, Final Subjugation of the Wahabees-Death of Abdallah.

For the purposes of the Wahabite war, a small fleet was made ready at Suez, and messengers despatched into Arabia, to report to the Viceroy the state of public feeling. The army consisted of eight thousand horse and foot, and Mahomed himself went to Suez, in order to see that proper attention was paid to the expediting all necessaries for the war.

The Scheriff of Mecca, who, only a short time previously, had declared for the Wahab Scheik, sent secret information to the Pacha, that immediately on the disembarkation of the Turks, he would declare against the Puritans of Mahomedanism.

Toussoun Pacha captured Jedda and Yambo, but failed woefully before Safra, where half of his army perished. The young chief fortified his position at Yambo, and informed his father of the miserable issue of his first measures. Mahomed had recourse to every expedient to collect money. He taxed, heavily, all religious establishments, and laid heavy contributions on all towns, villages, and agricultural produce. Toussoun's army being thus reinforced, again took the offensive, regained Safra, and, marching on, after a siege of seventyfive days, gained Medina, where he appointed his own governor, and marched back to Jedda. The country between the two holy cities of pilgrimage was, by these last successes of the young general, completely cleared of the enemy. The keys of Mecca were sent to the Viceroy, and by him transmitted to Constantinople, while public rejoicings testified the feelings of the inhabitants of Cairo. The Wahabite governor of Medina too was arrested, sent to be adjudged by his Sublimity's self, and beheaded. Fresh reinforcements were ordered into Arabia, and Mahomed's bribes spread treachery amongst the Arab clans, and undermined imperceptibly the power of the Wahabees.

The Porte was so gratified at the offering of the keys of Medina, that he despatched one of his household, the Cawedjy, or coffee bearer, with rich presents for the Viceroy's acceptance. Nor was Ghaleb, the Scheriff, forgotten by his delighted master. Toussoun seized Taif, and Sehood, the Wahab, sent one of his sons to repel the invaders. The opposing forces met near Tarabeh, in the circumjacent plains, thickly covered with date trees, and intersected with ditches. The Turks were under a subordinate leader, Mustapha Bey, the Wahabees under Ghalyeh, the Scheik’s wife, of the tribe of Sobeyeh. The former were entirely routed, leaving with their adversaries their artillery and their baggage.

But the victory gained against Sehood in person more than compensated for the late defeat. Sehood had laid siege to Medina, and had been eminently successful against the Turkish forces in that quarter. Salah Aga was ordered by Toussoun against him, and he vanquished the main body of Sehood's army, under the conduct of that chief himself.

But still the Arabs, like a swarm of angry wasps, surrounded and harassed the Turkish army. While Sehood was discomfited and obliged to retreat on one side, tribes of hungry Bedouins on the other, emerged, at the instigation of the Wahabees, from the depths of Yemen, and spread their numbers in every direction, even to the very walls of Mecca and Jedda. All communication was destroyed; convoys were arrested; caravans plundered. Mahomed's soldiers could not contend

« ForrigeFortsæt »