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character, and much better known among the people | upon the earth; and the deev, or giants, who freof Christendom. Neither the author of these tales quently make war upon the peris, take them captive, nor the date of their composition can be determined and shut them in cages, which they hang upon with any certainty. Some ascribe this work to a Syr- high trees, where, however, they are soon discovered ian, others to an Egyptian, and others are of opin- by other peris, who come daily to feed them with ion that it is the performance of various authors of the most grateful odors, which are their common various ages. But whatever may be their date and food. The jins, both good and bad, have the_power origin, it is agreed by all who are acquainted with the of making themselves invisible at pleasure. Besides subject, that those tales accurately represent the habits, the mountain of Kaf, which is their chief place of feelings, and superstitions of the East. They are uni- resort, the jins abide in ruined cities, uninhabited versally read and admired throughout Asia, by all houses, at the bottom of wells, in woods, pools of ranks of men, both old and young. The Arabs of the water, and among the rocks and sand-hills of the desert will sit round their fires in the evening, and desert. Shooting stars are still believed by the people listen to these stories with such attention and delight as of the East to be arrows shot, by the angels, against totally to forget the fatigue and hardship of their day's the jins who transgress their limits, and approach journey. too near the forbidden regions of bliss. The jins are said to carry off beautiful women, whom they detain as their wives and companions. Many of the evil jins delight in mischief for its own sake. They injure and mislead travellers, raise whirlwinds, and dry up springs in the desert. The ghoul, which is a subordinate sort of evil jin, lives on the flesh of men and women, whom he decoys to his haunts, in wild and barren places, in order to kill and devour them. When it is difficult thus to obtain food, he approaches nearer to the habitations of man, and enters the graveyards, to feed upon the carcasses of the dead. The afrite is a powerful jin of the evil and rebellious kind.

Connected with our subject is that of the Arab superstitions The supernatural part of the Arabian Nights is founded on matters firmly fixed in the belief of the Mahometans, both ancient and modern. It is a portion of the faith inculcated in the Koran, that both angels and demons exist, having pure and subtile bodies, created of fire, and being free from all carnal appetites and desires. The four principal angels are Gabriel, the angel of revelation; Michael, the friend and protector of the Jews; Azrael, the angel of death, and Israfel, whose office it will be to sound the trumpet at the last day. Every man, according to the Mahometan belief, has two guardian angels to attend Among a people devoutly believing these traditions him, and record his actions, good and evil. This doc- concerning jins and demons, a respect for magic and trine concerning angels is adopted from the Jews, who the power of enchantments would naturally prevail. confess that they learned it from the Magians of Per- When it could be credited that the throne and sia. The creed relating to demons and jins, or army of Solomon were transported through the air genii, is also in its origin derived from the Hebrews, at a word, by virtue of the possession of a ring, there some of whom assert that the jins were begotten could not be a doubt as to the possibility of the story before the flood. This is assumed on the authority of of the wonderful lamp, or the magical palace of the Scripture account, that "the sons of God saw the Aladdin, the city of the statues visited by Zobeide, daughters of men, that they were fair, and they took Ali Baba's cavern, and the transformation of the subthem wives of all which they chose," &c. The Jew-jects of the king of the Black Isles into fishes. ish jins, or shedim, have wings to fly from one end of the world to the other, like the ministering angels, but they eat, drink, have descendants, and die.

The demons of the Mahometan belief are fallen angels. The name of their prince is Eblis, who was at first one of the angels nearest to God's presence, and was called Azazel. He was cast out of heaven, according to the Koran, for refusing, at the command of God, to pay homage to Adam, at the time of the creation. The jins are intermediate creatures, neither wholly spiritual nor wholly earthly. They were created of fire, like the angels, but of grosser fabric, requiring meat and drink for their sustenance, and being subject to passions and death like common mortals. Some were good, believing in the Koran and the divine mission of Mahomet, and therefore capable of salvation. Others were infidels, and devoted to eternal torture. The jins existed long before the creation of Adam. At first they were adorned with virtue and goodness; but falling, at length, into almost universal corruption and wickedness, Eblis was sent to drive them to a remote and desolate corner of the earth, there to be confined. But some of this generation still remaining, an ancient Persian king made war upon them, and compelled them to retreat to the mountains of Kaf.

Among the jins are several ranks and degrees, as the peris, or fairies- beautiful female spirits, who believe in God and his prophet, and seek to do good

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powers ascribed to magicians were equal, if not superior, to those of the jins. They could transport themselves and others through the air, and could transform men and animals into whatever shape they pleased, if no counter influence was exercised against them. Magicians, like the jins, were good and bad: the good magician of to-day might be an evil one to-morrow. The history of the Arabs, ancient and modern, is full of instances of enchantment, believed by the best informed among their sheiks and philosophers, as well as by the most ignorant of the common people. Mahomet himself was a believer in the agency of magicians, and has inserted many passages in the Koran to enable the faithful to counteract their spells.

The most distinguished men among the Saracens have already been mentioned in the course of the preceding history. Excepting Mahomet, and a few of the Saracen conquerors and sovereigns, there is hardly any individual of this nation whose name has been made familiar to the people of Christendom. In literature and science, however, many subjects of the khalifate were highly distinguished among their own countrymen. Lebid Alamary was a poet of true genius. Asmai, the author of the romance of Antar, may be regarded as the originator of tales of chivalry. Masudi, Ebn Hankal, Abulfeda, and Edrisi contributed largely, by their writings, to the science of geography. Averrhoes distinguished himself by a commentary on Aristotle, and Avicenna was a learned writer on medicine.



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THE WAHABEES. Condition of Arabia after the Establishment of the Khalifate - Preaching of Abd ul Wahab- Success of his Doctrine Capture of Mecca and Medina-Wars of the Turks and Egyptians against the Wahabees-Capture of Derayeh - Overthrow of the Wahabees.

The worship of Mahomet was therefore denounced by him as impious. Still more reprehensible did he esteem the sanctity ascribed to imams, doctors, and expounders of the law. Pilgrimages performed to peculiar tombs, and virtue attributed to peculiar relics, were treated by him as rank idolatry.

The Arab reformer soon gained proselytes, and the first pious performance which he enjoined upon them, when they became sufficiently strong in numbers, was The dust of the pretended saints was, like that of the the destruction of the chapels of Mecca and Medina.

death, which took place about 1750.

desert, to be scattered to the winds; and the treasures WHEN the Saracen empire rose to splendor and which adorned their monuments were to reward the dominion, the barren rocks and rude deserts of Arabia piety of their despoilers. These doctrines were minceased to be regarded as a fit residence for the com- gled with violent attacks on Turkish tyranny and vice, ¦ mander of the faithful. The court of the khalifs was which drew persecution on the head of the new reformer, transferred to Damascus, and from thence to Bagdad, and compelled him for some time to lead a wandering within the old favorite territory and seat of empire on life. At length, he settled at Derayeh, the residence the rich plain of Mesopotamia. Thus left to herself, of the sheik Ebn Saood. This intelligent chief lisArabia seems to have resumed her natural and origi- tened to the words of Abd ul Wahab, became his discinal character, even long before the pomp and magnif-ple, married his daughter, and protected him till his icence of Bagdad had been swept away by the torrent of Tartar invasion. The country of Mahomet, and the cradle of that religion which had revolutionized half the civilized world, became detached from the rest of the Mussulman empire, and was restored to its primitive state of rude and roving freedom. For many centuries Arabia gave birth to no event which calls for notice from the pen of the historian. In the sixteenth century, her coast upon the Red Sea felt the encroachments of the Turks, who took possession of the seaports as far south as Mocha, and established, in the strip of maritime territory which they occupied, a system of exclusion which destroyed the commercial prosperity formerly enjoyed by this region. But the decline of the Ottoman empire, first felt in its extremities, enabled the Arabian sheiks along the Red Sea | to regain their independence.

Mohammed, the son of Abd ul Wahab, succeeded him as a preacher of the new doctrine. He had been blind from his youth, and this obstacle hindered him from leading forth his proselytes in person for the defence and propagation of the new creed; but this deficiency was supplied by Ebn Saood, who became the temporal chief of the Wahabees, while Moham med remained their spiritual leader. From the moment that the new faith was adopted by princes of ¦ rank and ancient standing, it was able to add the force of arms to that of argument, and made rapid and extensive progress. It soon approached the province of Hedjaz, in which Mecca is situated, and the sherif or prince of this city, the guardian of the holy place, began to tremble for his power and domin ion. He stirred up against the Wahabees the mighty tribe of Beni Haled, who occupied the province of Hedjaz. Turkish fortifications abounded in this region, and Turkish families formed a princpal part of its population. The chief men were violently hostile to the Wahabees from the beginning, and they obeyed the summons of the sherif of Mecca with alacrity. They took up arms, and marched against Derayeh.

During the eighteenth century, a religious fermentation similar to that caused by Mahomet, again agitated the people of Arabia. This was the rise of the Wahabees-a sect of religious reformers, who took their name from Abdul Wahab, a native of the province of Nejd. He was born about the year 1700. The prodigies related as attending the birth of Mahomet are repeated in the case of the Mussulman reformer. The Wahabees had already begun to quarrel among It is believed by the Arabs that a great earthquake themselves, and perhaps would have been speedily shook every mosque in the Mahometan dominion to ruined by internal dissensions, had not this attack from its foundation, and that, during many successive nights, strangers compelled them to stifle their domestic feuds the cities, villages, castles, and fields of Arabia, and for self-defence. Their chief, who had been constantly the neighboring territories, shone with a brilliant and perplexed with murmurings and mutinies, now found supernatural light; the lamps which burned in the his followers full of obedience and zeal. The Hedja. sepulchral chapels of Mahomet, and the other Mussul-zites, after several years war, were compelled to yield man saints, went out preternaturally, &c., &c.

Abd ul Wahab, in his youth, was sent to study law at Damascus, where he learned from the orthodox Mahometans themselves to attack the corruptions which had been introduced into their creed, On his return to Arabia, he began to preach the necessity of a thorough reformation, and took upon himself the character of a Mahometan Martin Luther. His first aim seems to have been to remove the traditions which had been grafted upon the pure and primitive Mussulman doctrine, and to prevent divine honors from being paid to any human being, even to Mahomet. Though he believed the Koran as a direct revelation from the Deity, he regarded the Arabian prophet as a mere mortal, acting as the organ of the Most High.

to their enemies, and at length the Wahabees had strengthened themselves so far as to be able to turn their arms against Mecca. Their fame had now reached Constantinople, and the Ottoman Porte, which had hitherto despised these obscure sectaries, began to feel alarmed at their progress. The pacha of Bagdad received orders to prepare for the defence of the holy city, and this officer instructed his subordinates, the Arab sheiks of Montefih and Beni Haled, agreea bly to the mandates of the Porte. These proceedings miscarried; the sheik of Montefih was assassinated in his own tent by a disguised Wahabee, and the sheik of Beni Haled, after an unsuccessful campaign, was compelled to fly before his enemies, and leave his capital, El Hassa, to be sacked by the Wahabee army.




in the following year. A peace was concluded in 1815; but, the power of the Wahabees appearing still formidable, a fresh expedition was sent against them in 1816, under the command of Ibrahim Pacha, the eldest son of Mohammed. Derayeh, the Wahabee capital and stronghold, was besieged, and, after an obstinate defence, surrendered in 1818. The chief of the sect, with several of his family, was sent to Constantinople, where they were carried through the streets in triumph for several days, after which they were beheaded, and their bodies exposed to the outrages of the populace.

Bagdad was now in great consternation, for the | becoming masters of Medina in 1812, and of Mecca principles of Wahabism had penetrated into every part of Arabia north of Yemen, and had gained the tribe of Montefih itself, hitherto regarded as the chief bulwark of the Turkish power against the new sectaries. The Wahabees were little more than an undisciplined multitude, armed only with matchlocks; but they seemed to possess bodies of steel and souls of fire their abode was the inaccessible heart of the desert; their power of enduring fatigue, hardship, and privation was almost beyond belief, and the rapidity of their movements baffled all calculation. Their obedience to their chiefs, in whatever concerned their new creed, knew no bounds; their bravery in battle and contempt of death were fed by a fanaticism far exceeding the worn-out zeal of the Turks; and, in all their expeditions, they were equally animated by the interests of religion and the hope of plunder. The advantage, therefore, was altogether on the side of the Wahabees. In 1797, Solyman, the pacha of Bagdad, attacked them in the province of El Hassa; but his troops were routed and compelled to retreat. The victorious Arabs overran the district of Basra, and captured the holy town of Imam Hosein, where they destroyed the famous temple, and robbed it of the immense treasures which had been deposited there by the pious generosity of the Turkish sultans and the shahs of Persia.

The Wahabees now raised an army of above one hundred thousand men, which, under their chief, Abd el Aziz, the grandson of Ebn Saood, marched against Mecca, in 1801. After an obstinate siege, the city was taken in 1803, and the conquerors plundered the rich tombs of the Mahometan saints. In their zeal for the work of destruction, they did not spare the famous mosque, but stripped it of the immense treasures and costly furniture, to which each Mussulman prince in Europe, Asia, and Africa had contributed his share. Medina fell into their hands in 1804, and the tomb of Mahomet was plundered and destroyed. Nothing could surpass the consternation and horror of all the devout Mussulmans throughout the East, when it became known that the holy city was in the hands of the heretics, and the tomb of the prophet despoiled. The pilgrimages to Arabia were stopped, and, from 1803 to 1807, no great caravan entered that country. From the shores of the Atlantic to the banks of the Ganges and the frontiers of China, every pious Mahometan was absorbed in grief at the thought of being cut off from the performance of his most sacred duty-that of going on pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Wahabees pursued their victorious career, and gained over to their cause the pacha of Bagdad, who rebelled against the Porte. Their armies invaded Syria, and threatened to strike a serious blow at the supremacy of the Ottoman power in the East. At length, Mohammed Ali, the pacha of Egypt, was induced, by the solicitations of the sultan, to turn his arms against them. In 1809, he built a squadron of ships of war on the Red Sea, and sent a large military and naval force to invade the Wahabee territories, under the command of his second son, a youth eighteen years of age. This general-in-chief was placed under the guidance of Ahmed Aga, an officer whose military skill had gained him the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. The expedition landed in Arabia in 1811. The Wahabees fought desperately in their own defence; but they could not prevent the Egyptian troops from

The Wahabees, as a ruling power, were overthrown by this catastrophe; but, as a sect, they were by no means exterminated. They still wander over the desert in great numbers, and have, at various times, given serious alarm to the government of Constantinople. It is believed by many that they will recover their power, overrun Arabia, and establish in that country a stronger dominion than they have ever yet possessed. Their remote situation, surrounded with a wide expanse of desert, renders it impossible for their enemies to extirpate them; and they are now probably watching for a favorable moment to invade the neighboring territories, and establish a new empire in the East.

At the present day, the greater part of Arabia remains under the same species of patriarchal government which prevailed in ancient times. Each sovereign, or sheik, intrenched in his rocky castle, or roaming, with his camels and flocks, over the desert, holds himself independent of every other human power. Individual followers, however, are always ready to flock in considerable numbers to the standard of some successful warrior, who promises either daring adventures or rich booty. Hence it is no difficult matter to collect some thousands of freebooters, sufficient to lay under contribution all who pass through their neighborhood. On the route between Egypt and Palestine, the borders of Syria, and the tract along the Euphrates, large moving encampments of Arabs continually pass to and fro, observing the progress of the travellers and the caravans, and ready to avail themselves of any favorable chance for an attack. In the interior, among the Bedouin camps, this warlike temper vents itself in almost perpetual petty conflicts with each other. the coast of the Red Sea, the pacha of Egypt holds a part of the territory conquered from the Wahabees.


Yemen forms an exception to this proud and aristocratic independence of the Arabian tribes. The imam of Sana, who succeeded to the government upon the expulsion of the Turks in 1630, has established here a government formed strictly upon the model of the despotic kingdoms of Asia. He claims an authority both spiritual and temporal, demands from his subjects the most unqualified submission, and the extreme abuse of his power can only be checked by rebellion. He governs the districts and towns by subordinates, raised usually from the lowest ranks, and the passive instruments of his will. Some traces yet remain here of Arabian independence in the cadis and the college of justice, without whose concurrence no sentence of death can be pronounced. Though these functionaries are appointed and may be removed by the sovereign, this latter prerogative is one which he seldom ventures to exercise; and their decisions are said to be often distinguished by a high degree of independence and

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IN the course of our historical sketch, we have had occasion to notice the ancient Arabians. Their modern descendants resemble them; but, as they are a remarkable people, spread over all Western Asia and a large part of Africa, they deserve a particular description.

The Arab is not robust, but he is rather tall, well formed, and active, fearless of danger, and insensible to fatigue; his mind is quick, and his character marked by the extremes of credulity and enthusiasm. His head is oval, his brow high and arched, his nose aquiline, and his eyes are large. His dark complexion is rendered still deeper by exposure to the sun; but he has a gentle look. The women are taller, in proportion, than the men, and have a dignified deportment; but their elegant forms are degraded by their ragged clothing and squalid looks; and the regularity of their features loses its attraction by the influence of their copper tint. To be admired, they must be seen at a distance, and the beholder must confine himself to general appearance.

The costume of the settled Arabs is various; but, among the wandering tribes, it is very scanty. The rich inhabitants of Yemen dress very much after the manner of the Turks or Persians, with large trousers, and a girdle of embroidered leather about the waist, in which is stuck a knife or dagger. The head dress consists of a number of caps, sometimes as many as fifteen, of different sorts, linen, cotton, and woollen, worn one upon the other: the outer cap is richly ornamented, and has some passages from the Koran embroidered upon it. The lower classes wear only two caps. Some of them have drawers and a coarse shirt; but the greater number wear nothing more than a piece of linen about their loins, and a strip of cloth over the shoulders. In the more elevated parts of the country, where the climate is colder, sheep-skins supply


the place of cloth. People of the middle rank wear sandals, of wood or leather, bound on the feet with thongs. The rich, of both sexes, use slippers. In some parts of the country, the hair is generally worn long; in some, it is cut short; and in others, the head is completely shaved; but in all, the beard is worn of its natural length, and is an object of high regard. The scanty clothing of the Arab serves also for his bedding the linen from his waist forms his mattress, and the cloth from his shoulder is his coverlet. In some places, the people sleep in sacks, to protect them from insects.


The women always wear shirts and drawers; they have rings on their arms and fingers, and in their ears and noses. They stain their nails red, and their hands and feet brown, and paint their eyebrows and lashes black. Like the females of Egypt, they usually con ceal the lower part of the face with folds of linen, leaving only the eyes uncovered; in some parts, they wear veils.

The Bedouins, or wanderers, differ in many respects from the other Arabs. By hard living and constant exposure, their persons are lank and thin, and their complexion is rendered very dark. Their black and penetrating eyes, added to their general appearance, indicate the demi-savage and untutored sons of nature. Their dress consists of a skull-cap and slippers, with a white woollen garment, which, covering the whole body, reaches to the calf of the leg, and has a hood for the head, and holes for the arms to pass through. They stain their arms, their lips, and the most conspicuous part of their body, of a deep blue color, by puncturing with a needle, so that it can never be effaced. Some have a small flower upon the cheek, the forehead, or the chin, colored with the smoke of galls and saffron, which make a fine black color; they likewise blacken their eyebrows. Most of the women wear rings of gold and silver, about three inches in diameter, in their noses. They are born fair; but their complexions are spoiled by

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Some of the principal people, in the more fertile parts, eat nothing but boiled rice, served up in a large wooden plate; but, in other parts, the produce of the flocks and herds constitutes almost their only subsistence. The milk and flesh of camels, as well as of sheep, are in common use; various kinds of wild animals, with lizards and locusts, also afford the Arabs a supply of food. They drink little while at table; but, as they rise, after washing, they take some cold water and a cup of coffee. Wine is prohibited by the laws of Mahomet; but several kinds of liquor are made from honey, sugar, raisins, and other fruits, some of which are spirituous, and sometimes indulged in to excess. The Arabs are more fond of smoking than the inhabitants of the north of Asia; and a peculiar custom prevails among persons of wealth and fashion, of carrying about them a box, filled with odoriferous wood, of which they put a small piece into any person's pipe, whom they wish to treat with respect.

The Bedouins have neither bread nor wine, neither do they cultivate the ground. Instead of bread, they make cakes of a species of wild millet, mixed with camel's milk, and slightly baked. They have flocks. of camels, sheep, and goats, which they conduct from place to place, till they find sufficient herbage: here they erect their goat-hair tents, and live till the grass is consumed, when they go in quest of another fertile spot. In Arabia, many of them are quiet and peaceable; but, in most countries, Bedouin Arab is synonymous with robber.

Marriage is reckoned so honorable among the Arabs, that a woman will rather marry a poor man, or become a second wife to one already married, than incur the obloquy attached to the single life; and the men are equally disposed to take them, because their wives, instead of being expensive, are rather profit

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