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consequence totally neglected. The astronomer of the mosque learns to know the exact time of the sun's passing the meridian, to regulate the hours of prayer; and the few druggists, or venders of medicine, deal in nothing but miraculous balsams and infallible elixirs; their potions are all sweet and agreeable, while the musk or aloes-wood which they burn in their shops diffuses a delicious odour that tends to establish their reputation.

As for the number of inhabitants in Mecca, travellers have found it very difficult to calculate with any degree of certainty; registers are never kept, and even the amount of houses is not ascertained. In former times it is said to have contained more than 100,000 souls; and when sacked by the Karmathian chief in 936, his ferocious soldiers are supposed to have put more than 30,000 to the sword. Ali Bey reckoned that it did not shelter more than from 16,000 to 18,000; Burckhardt, a later authority, gives as the result of his inquiries, for the population of the city and suburbs between 25,000 and 30,000 stationary inhabitants, besides from 2000 to 4000 Abyssinians and black slaves. The dwellings, however, are capable of containing three times that number, some quarters of the suburbs being entirely deserted and in ruins; so that, unless the zeal of the hajjis revive, the capital of Islam must gradually sink into decay.


The Mohammedan Pilgrimage.

The Pilgrim-caravans—Their different Routes-Description and Number of Pilgrims-The Mahmal-The Ihram-Duties of the Pilgrims on arriving at Mecca-Walk to Safra and Omra-Journey to Arafat-Sermon of the Cadi-Curious Appearance of the Scene-Stoning of the Devil-The Feast of Sacrifice-Return of the Procession to Mecca-Visit to the Interior of the Kaaba -Departure of the Caravans-Altered Appearance of the City -Holy Places round Mecca-Pilgrimage to Medina-Description of the City-Its Inhabitants-Their Character and Occupation-The Mosque of the Prophet-The famous Tomb of Mohammed-Ceremonies required of the Hajjis-Servants and Revenues of the Mosque-Sacred Places near Medina-Return of the Pilgrims-Bedr-Suez-Convent of St Catherine-Regulations and Hospitality of the Monks-Places of superstitious Resort about Mount Sinai The Cave of Elijah-The Rock of Meribah-Gebel Mokkateb or the Written Mountains-The Convent near Tor-Gebel Narkous or Mountain of the Bell.

THE law of the Koran, as is well known, enjoins on every Mussulman, who has the means, to perform a pilgrimage to Mecca once at least in his life. Dulhajja, as the name imports, is the month peculiarly set apart for the performance of this solemnity. To those whom indispensable occupations confine at home the law permits a substitution of prayers; but even this is often evaded, and the duty executed by commission at the expense of a few dollars. Formerly, when devotional zeal was more ardent, the difficulties of the journey were

held to increase the merit of the act; but at present many, instead of encountering the perils of deserts and robbers by land, adopt the more cheap and easy mode of travelling by sea. The regular hajcaravans are six or seven in number, though they do not always make their appearance together, nor even perform the visit annually. That from Syria, which used to be accompanied by the caliphs in person, sets out from Constantinople, and collects the pilgrims from Northern Asia until it reaches Damascus. During the whole route, for the sake of safety and convenience, it is attended from town to town by the armed force of the district. From Damascus to Medina it moves with great pomp across the desert, a journey of thirty days; and here a change of camels, for which the Bedouins contract, is necessary; the Anatolian breed being unable to bear the fatigues of such an expedition. The Pasha of Damascus or one of his principal officers always attends it, and gives the signal for encamping and departing by firing a musket. The different classes of hajjis know their exact stations, and always place their tents according to their town or province. At every stage is a castle or storehouse for provisions, with a small garrison, and a large tank at which the camels water. These stations are seldom farther distant from each other than a march of eleven or twelve hours. The usual time of travelling is from three o'clock in the afternoon to an hour or two after sunrise next day, torches being lighted during the night. The Egyptian caravan, which starts from Cairo, is under the same regulations as the Syrian. Its route is more dangerous and fatiguing, lying by Suez and Akaba,

along the shore of the Red Sea, through the territories of wild and warlike tribes, who frequently attack it by open force. The Persian haj departs from Bagdad, and traverses Nejed by Deraiah. As the Persians are reckoned notorious heretics, and are generally persons of property, they are subjected to severe impositions, and have occasionally been prohibited from entering the Holy City. The Moggrebin caravan brings the pilgrims from Barbary and Morocco. It is usually accompanied by a relative of the king, and proceeds from his capital by slow marches towards Tunis and Tripoli, thence along the Mediterranean shores to Alexandria or Cairo, collecting the hajjis in every district through which it passes. Yemen sent two caravans; one from Saade, which took its course along the mountains to Taïf, and the other travelled by the coast, taking up such of the Persians and Indians as had arrived in the harbours of the country. A caravan of Indian pilgrims is said to have started from Muscat and travelled through Nejed; but this route, it appears, has been long discontinued. Of late the greater portion of the hajjis do not travel with the regular caravans, but arrive by sea at Jidda. Those from the north, including Turks, Tartars, Syrians, Moors, and Africans, embark at Suez or Cosseir; but the wretched and crowded state of the vessels renders the passage disagreeable and often dangerous. Crowds of devotees arrive in the opposite direction from Yemen, the borders of Persia, Java, Sumatra, and the distant realms watered by the Indus: these comprise Hindoos and Malays,-people from Cashmere and Guzerat,-Arabs from Bussora, Oman, and Hadramaut,-natives of Nubia and Upper

Egypt, and those from the coasts of Melinda and Mombaza. All Moslems dwelling near the ocean are certain of finding, towards the period of the haj, ships departing from some neighbouring harbour to the Red Sea; but the greater number come with the regular Indian fleet. From all these regions swarms of beggars flock to Mecca,-they get a free passage from charitable individuals among their own countrymen, or their expense is defrayed by those who employ them as proxies in performing the indispensable duties of the pilgrimage. But on landing they are thrown entirely on the benevolence of the hajjis, and the alms they collect must serve to carry them back to their homes. All the poorer class of Indians turn mendicants; and their wretched appearance would make them worthy objects of commiseration, were it not known that they assume a tone and character of outward misery, because it ensures them a subsistence without labour.

None of these paupers bear a more respectable character for industry than the Negroes or Tekrouris, as they are called, who employ themselves as porters for carrying goods, cleaning the court-yards, or fetching firewood from the neighbouring mountains. Some of them manufacture small baskets and mats of date-leaves, or little hearths of clay painted yellow and red, which they sell to the hajjis, who boil their coffeepots upon them. Others serve as water-carriers, or prepare bouza, or occupy themselves in any species of manual labour.

Among the pilgrims are to be found dervises of every sect and order in the Turkish empire: many of them are madmen, or at least assuming the appearance of insanity; and as the Mohammedans re

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