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Saoud had not only laid the foundation, but organized the political system of a great empire. He would have made himself master of all Arabia had not death arrested him in the midst of his conquests. Bagdad and Bussora would have opened their gates to him; Syria and Egypt, torn by jarring factions and weakened by revolution, might again have fallen an easy prey to the hordes of the desert.

Such was the splendid legacy which he bequeathed to his successor; and never, perhaps, had any prince greater facilities for securing the independence of his nation than Abdallah. But, unfor tunately, he inherited not the qualities necessary for following up the brilliant career which his father had pointed out to him. He was brave; but courage is not the only virtue essential to a sovereign. His inflexible severity alienated the affections of his people; and his want of military tact I was evinced in the numerous errors he committed in the progress of the war. Had he known to profit by his advantages, he might have annihilated the Ottoman army, exhausted with disease and fatigue in the midst of burning sands, instead of being compelled to sue for a dishonourable and fatal peace. The desertion of the Bedouins no doubt weakened his power, which may be said to have yielded to the gold of Ali rather than to the valour of his troops. But the influence of a popular chief could have prevented or counteracted these seductions; and had the hardy tribes of the desert found such a prince in Abdallah, the carcasses of the Turks might have fed the eagles, and the fate of Arabia been entirely changed.

Some writers lament the suppression of the Wahabees, from a belief that the downfal of Islam was

to follow the propagation of their doctrines, and that a purer religion would be established in its stead. These regrets appear to be inspired by erroneous conceptions of the principles of this sect, which are nothing else than the gross and primitive superstitions of the Koran enforced with greater rigour. Their creed was even more sanguinary and intolerant than that which the first followers of Mohammed offered to the nations on the points of their swords. Their reform extended only to a few absurd or scandalous practices, and the more strict injunction of certain moral precepts; but they left untouched all the impious and heretical dogmas of the Moslem faith. Their chief merit consisted not in their teaching their countrymen a more refined and rational theology, but in suppressing their infidel indifference to all religion; in improving their political condition; and in subjecting their wild passions to the restraint of law and justice.*

*It was the opinion of Burckhardt, that the suppression of the Wahabees and the conquest of Nejed are merely temporary; and that these warlike fanatics, who are dispersed rather than subdued, will take the earliest opportunity to effect the restoration of their empire. This of course must greatly depend on the character of the future pashas of Egypt; but it is not likely to happen in the reign of Mohammed Ali or his son, to whom the Porte has ceded by a recent treaty (May 1833) the whole of Syria, including Tripoli, Aleppo, Damascus, and Jerusalem; besides the command of the harbours in the Red Sea, and the sacred privilege of conducting the pilgrim-caravans. Ibrahim, by pushing his victories in the late Syrian campaigns almost to the gates of Constantinople, has acquired fresh laurels as a conqueror, and a new title to be Sheik el Haram of Mecca. Under these circumstances the Bedouins, of whom not fewer than 5370 are now serving in the armies of the pasha, can have no immediate prospects of reasserting their independence. The successes of Ibrahim led to a serious conflict, in the month of June 1832, between the Turkish and Arab regiments stationed at Mecca. Of the former 1400 were sabred in the streets. The battery that overlooks the city was made to play upon the mosque, where the mutinous Turks had taken refuge, and with such effect, that the walls were pierced, one of the pillars broken down, and several persons killed.


Social State of the Arabs.

National Character of the Arabs-Their Family-pride-Orders of Nobility-Their Domestic Life Their Tents-FurnitureMode of Encamping-Dress-Personal Appearance-Acuteness of their Senses-Sagacity in tracing Footsteps-Their Arms -Food and Cookery-Manner of Eating Diseases-Wealth and Industry-Marriage-Divorce-Education of their ChildrenFunerals-Modes of Salutation_Hospitality-Warfare-Robbery and Theft-The Blood-revenge-Amusements-Poetry and Music-Learning-Medicine-Superstitions-Language Arts -Commerce-Proposed Steam Routes by the Euphrates and the Red Sea Population-Concluding Reflections.

CLIMATE, government, and education, are in every country the great agents that form and modify the character of nations. Nowhere are their effects more strikingly exemplified than in Arabia. To the first of these causes may be ascribed many of the social virtues for which the natives have been always distinguished; while most of the crimes, vices, and prejudices, by which they are degraded, are the natural fruits of the two latter. On the seacoasts and in the towns, their manners have been corrupted by commerce and a free intercourse with foreigners. Travellers, who have formed their opinions from mixing exclusively with those classes, have drawn a very unfavourable picture of the inhabitants in general, as a nation of tyrants, hypocrites, and deceivers, plunged in a lower state of ignorance and debauchery than the most barbarous islanders of the South Seas. These representations are no doubt partially true, but they are far from

being universally just. A longer residence among them and better opportunities of judging have contributed to remove many erroneous impressions as to their social and domestic habits.

No people are more remarkable than the Arabs for their spirit of nationality and family-pride. The poorest of them glory in their birth, and look with disdain on the natives of other countries. They boast of the accuracy with which they have preserved their genealogies; yet the lower, and most even of the middle classes, keep no register of their parentage, and would often be at a loss to know their fathers or grandfathers, were it not regulated by custom that the son frequently joins their names to his own. The sheiks and sheriffs are the true aristocracy of Arabia; and these have reason to be vain of their ancestry, which some of them can trace in regular descent from the days of Mohammed or Moses. The oldest nobility in Europe are but of yesterday compared to these petty princes of the desert.

Though the title of sheik is the most ancient and most common in use among the Arabian grandees, the sheriffs, being the descendants of Mohammed, hold the first rank in point of dignity. This has arisen doubtless from the singular veneration in which the family of the Prophet is held, and it has entailed on his posterity the double honour that always attaches to splendid descent and superior sanctity. The sheriffs are very numerous, and multiplied over all Mohammedan countries. Whole villages are peopled with them; and they are frequently found in the lowest state of misery. Still their presence commands universal respect; in a fray no arm would violate their person,-their character is held sacred, and furnishes a better protection for their pro

perty against thieves than bolts or bars. The reason why these families are so numerous is, that the honour is hereditary both by male and female descent. The son of a Turk or Syrian is ennobled if his mother can reckon kindred with Fatima. To this class belong the seyeds and mollahs; but between these and the sheriffs there is this distinction, that the latter are constantly devoted to a military life, while the former engage in the pursuits of trade and science. There are, besides these, other noble families at Mecca, such as the Koreish and muftis of certain sects, who have hereditary employment about the mosque, and for the retention of which they are obliged to prove the genuineness of their pedigree.

In the domestic life of the Arabs there is little to attract the admiration of strangers. Their best houses display little exterior magnificence, and are still more deficient in point of internal accommodation. The tent forms the cherished home of the larger proportion of the inhabitants, and when they remove they transport their dwellings with them. The height of this dwelling is generally seven feet, its length from twenty-five to thirty, and its breadth about ten. It is divided into two apartments, one for the men and the other for the women; and these are separated by a white woollen carpet of Damascus manufacture drawn across, and fastened to the three middle posts.

The furniture comprises pack-saddles, as well as those for riding, large water-bags made of tanned camel-skins, goat-skins for milk and butter, the little bag into which the hair or wool is put that falls from the sheep and camels on the road, the leather bucket for drawing up water from deep wells, a copper pan, coffee-pot, mortar, hand-mill,

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