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their framework elaborately carved, or painted with brilliant colours. In front hang blinds made of slight reeds, which exclude flies and gnats while they admit fresh air. The doors are generally approached by a few steps, and have small seats on each side.

The city is open on every side; though in former times its extremities were protected by three walls, ruins of which are still visible. Except four or five large palaces belonging to the sheriff, two colleges, and the great mosque, it cannot boast of any public edifices; and in this respect it is perhaps more deficient than any other Oriental town of the same size. Nearly all the common houses are divided into small apartments, for the accommodation of lodgers during the pilgrimage. The terraces on the roof are concealed from view by slight parapetwalls; for, throughout the East, it is reckoned discreditable for a man to appear where he might be accused of looking at the women, who pass the greater part of their time on the terraces, employed in hanging up linen, drying corn, and various domestic occupations. The streets being sandy and unpaved are disagreeable in summer, and equally so from mud in the rainy season, during which they are scarcely passable; and the lower parts of the town, where the water does not run off, are converted into pools, and allowed to remain till they dry.

The police of the city is badly regulated: as there are no lamps, the streets are totally dark, and encumbered with the rubbish and sweepings cast from the houses. The inhabitants are but poorly supplied with water; the best is conveyed from the vicinity of Arafat, six or seven hours distant, by an aqueduct of vast labour and magnitude,

first erected, according to the Arabian historians, by Zobeide, the wife of Haroun al Raschid, and frequently repaired at great expense by the Turkish sultans. In some quarters of the town there are handsome shops, for the sale of all sorts of provisions. The baths, three in number, are of an inferior order, and chiefly frequented by foreigners.

The only public edifice worthy of note is the Great Mosque or Temple, which the Moslem call Beitullah (the House of God), or El Haram (the Temple of Excellence). This celebrated structure has been so often ruined and repaired, that no traces of remote antiquity are to be found about it. From the days of Omar, who laid its first foundations, to the present century, various caliphs, emperors, sultans, and imams, have signalized their piety by renewing, altering, or adding to its buildings. Almansor enlarged the north and south side to twice its former extent; Mahadi, Motassem, Motaded, and others of the Abbassides, expended immense sums in the erection of columns, new gates, and marble pavements. After its restoration from the disasters it experienced at the hands of the heretical Karmathians, no changes or additions were made for several centuries. The Sultan Solyman caused all the domes to be raised which cover the roof of the colonnades, and laid the pavement that is now round the Kaaba. From the year 1627, when it was rebuilt, after being partly destroyed by a torrent from the hills, no other material alterations or improvements took place till the eighteenth century; so that the building, as it now appears, may be almost wholly ascribed to the munificence of the last sultans of Egypt and the Turkish em

perors. In the autumn of 1816, several artists and workmen sent from Constantinople were employed in repairing the damage done by the Wahabees.

The Temple stands near the middle of the city: it is a quadrilateral building, much resembling in form, according to Pitts, that of the Royal Exchange in London, but nearly ten times larger. It has properly no external front, the walls being connected on the outside with the adjoining houses, some of which have windows that look into the interior. These tenements belonged originally to the mosque, but the greater part of them are now the property of individuals, who let out the different apartments to the richer hajjis at very high prices.


Joseph Pitts of Exeter was the first Englishman we know of that visited either of the holy cities. The ship in which he sailed being captured in 1678 by a Moorish pirate, he was carried to Algiers, where he remained in slavery fifteen years. By cruel treatment he was compelled to become a Mussulman ;-in that capacity he accompanied his master, an old Turkish bachelor, on his pilgrimage to Mecca, who gave him his liberty on their return. His narrative is homely, but surprisingly accurate. It is curious that Gibbon seems not to have seen or known of it. A much earlier traveller, and the first Christian in modern times that gave a tolerable account of Arabia, was Ludovico Barthema of Bologna, who, in 1503, &c. visited Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Persia, and India. Át Damascus he contrived, in the guise of a Mamlouk soldier, to accompany one of the pilgrim-caravans to Mecca and Medina, where he paid his devoirs at the tomb of Mohammed, and went through the whole ceremonies of the haj; after which he escaped to Jidda, and thence by way of Aden to Persia. The caravan he says consisted of 35,000 persons, and 40,000 camels. (See his travels in Ramusio's Raccolta delle Navigat. et Viaggi, tome i.) The Sheik Ibn Batuta, whose travels have been recently translated by Professor Lee of Cambridge, performed the pilgrimage in 1332; but they contain few facts concerning Arabia. His whole account of Mecca is " May God ennoble it!" He observes the same brevity regarding Sanaa, Aden, Muscat, and other towns which he visited. Seetzen was also at Mecca during the time of the pilgrimage, under the protection of a Moorish merchant; but his stay was short, and his description differs little from those of Ali Bey and Burckhardt. He went to Sanaa, which he represents as superior to most cities that he had seen in Palestine, Syria, or Arabia.

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