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or brick, and the bazaars consisted of shops made of reeds, which could easily be transported from one place to another. There were twenty-eight mosques in it and thirty colleges, but no baths, khans, or public inns. The inhabitants, proverbial for their hospitality, were estimated at 13,000.

Five months were consumed in the siege of this important capital; both parties maintaining the contest with undaunted resolution, and with alternate advantages. Abdallah did his utmost by word and action to animate his troops; money and presents were lavishly distributed; and the women braved the fire of the besiegers to fetch water to the wounded. Ibrahim meanwhile made little progress, and the accidental explosion of a magazine threatened to defeat entirely the object of the expedition. More than 200 barrels of gunpowder and as many loaded shells blew up in the midst of his camp; thus leaving him almost destitute of ammunition, and surrounded with enemies in the heart of a desert 500 leagues from Egypt. No resource remained for the Turks but their courage and their sabres until fresh supplies were obtained from Medina and the neighbouring garrisons. The governors of Bagdad and Bussora sent large caravans with provisions, while recruits with ammunition and artillery-stores arrived in successive detachments from Cairo. The combat was renewed; and to inspirit the languid soldier fifty piastres were promised for every head or pair of ears he should bring to his commander.

Abdallah now found that his capital could no longer be defended. All his sorties had been attended with loss; two of his sons were taken prisoners, and one of them put to death. The fortresses on the

adjoining heights, in the gardens, and on the banks of the dry bed of the river, had fallen into the hands of the assailants. Three of the five quarters of the city made a conditional surrender, and the rest were cut off from communicating with the villages that supplied them with provisions. In this forlorn position, Abdallah, with his guard of 400 black slaves, still maintained a brave resistance in his palace, determined to sacrifice his life on the ruins of his expiring country; but he was at length compelled by the impatient clamours of the citizens to hoist a flag of truce and demand a conference, which was immediately granted. With a retinue of 200 men he repaired to the tent of Ibrahim and offered terms of surrender, which the pasha consented to accept; at the same time acquainting him, that in compliance with the order of his father the Wahabee chief must immediately take his departure for Egypt. The condition was alarming; but it seemed to be the only means of averting a more tragical catastrophe, and the generous Abdallah accepted it.

Trusting to the hopes of security expressed by the conqueror, and that his family and capital would be saved from destruction, in token of which he had received a white handkerchief, the emblem of peace, he quitted his palace amidst the tears and regrets of his friends, crossed the desert with a small train of attendants, and was received at Cairo by the viceroy with every outward demonstration of respect. After a short conference he was despatched to Constantinople under an escort of Tartars. The partisans of Ali give him the credit of interposing with the sultan to pardon the obnoxious captive; for such was now the situation of the too credulous Ab


Abdallah ibn Saoud, Chief of the Wahabees.

dallah. But the Ottoman divan were implacable. Mercy is no attribute either of the religion or the policy of the Turks; and, after being paraded over the city for three days, the unhappy chief, with his two companions in misfortune, his secretary and treasurer, were beheaded (December 19, 1818) in the public square of St Sophia. The pasha and his son

were complimented on their victories by the Sublime Porte, and honoured with several costly presents.

The fall of the Wahabee capital may be said to have completed the conquest of Nejed. The province of Haryk was reduced after a slight resistance. Other districts sent deputies offering voluntary submission. The want of sufficient provisions, rendered more severe by the destructive operations of the siege, occasioned a very general mutiny in the Turkish army. The soldiers committed all sorts of excess, plundering the houses and pillaging the country. Ibrahim himself narrowly escaped assassination; but his welltimed intrepidity, and the decapitation of some of the insurgent chiefs, had the effect of restoring order. One of the Arab sheiks was punished by having his teeth drawn, and another was blown from the mouth of a cannon.

The news of Abdallah's death spread universal grief among the inhabitants of Deraiah; and their consternation was increased when the orders of Ali were communicated, that the place must be rased to the ground, and the whole family of their chief sent captives to Egypt. A group of 500 exiles, including several of the brothers, uncles, and sons of Abdallah, were transported to Cairo, where small pensions were assigned them. As it became desirable to evacuate the place, an epidemic, the consequence of fatigues and privations of all kinds, having begun to commit the most frightful ravages, the work of demolition was enjoined without delay. The date-trees in the gardens and suburbs were cut down; and the soldiers set fire to the houses the moment the inmates had made their escape, many of whom clung affectionately to their homes until they were nearly buried in the ruins.

As the season of the year was at the hottest, and disease and devastation doing their work at the same time, the spectacle was truly afflicting. In the space of twenty days Deraiah was completely unpeopled, and not one stone left upon another.

Before quitting the scene of devastation, Ibrahim traversed the country to ascertain that the exterminatory decree had been executed against all the fortresses that might serve as future strongholds or rallying-points for the heretics. This done, he repaired to Medina, having already despatched the artillery and part of the troops to that place. Here and at Mecca he returned thanks to the Prophet for this signal triumph over his enemies; after which he departed with the sickly and exhausted remains of his army for Egypt.

The disturbances which had broken out in the south of Hejaz were suppressed by Halil Pasha, who had been sent with a reinforcement to Deraiah; but on finding that the place had surrendered he directed his march on Abu-Arish, of which he took possession; and in reward for his services was made governor of Mecca. It was at this time that the British authorities in India, in consequence of the depredations committed by the Wahabees on the commerce of the Persian Gulf, made proposals to Ibrahim, through Captain Sadlier, to co-operate with the Egyptian army by sending an expedition against El Katif, which might produce a diversion in favour of the Turks; but, as the campaign had already been brought to a favourable conclusion, the aid of an English fleet was declined as unnecessary.

It may appear surprising that a power so widely extended, and so firmly established as that of the Wahabees, should have been so rapidly overthrown.

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