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vered, and he came to lay the despatches at the feet of Abdelazis. This, however, did not save his life: Abdelazis ordered his head to be cut off, and the despatches stained with his blood, to be sent to the British consul. Seoud undertook various expeditions against Bussorah and Zeber, but without success. The bashaw of Bagdad then employed considerable forces against the Wahabites; the king of Persia, and the grand seignior, at that time friends, furnishing him with considerable supplies. The Emaun of Mascat was to attack them from the south, while the bashaw did from the north; but fortune fought for the Wahabites. The two chiefs did not act in concert. The Emaun fell into the hands of the pirates, and was slain in battle about the end of 1804. Ali Bashaw set out from Bagbad with seventy thousand men, and a numerous train of artillery; but in traversing the desert the very number was more conducive to defeat than to victory. The want of water was fatal to him: and his army was attacked and beaten by piecemeal. Two other bashaws succeeded him without better success, and the vanquished army returned to Bagdad. The sole ..". derived from this expedition was, that sixteen thousand Wahabite families, who had suffered themselves to be surprised, and whom Seoud threatened with exemplary punishment for their negligence, quitted his party, and repaired to Bagdad. At the close of 1804, the city of Medina, which had long been in want of provisions, submitted to the arms of Seoud, who conducted himself with moderation. The caravan of pilgrims came the following year, and was allowed to enter the city, on paying a heavy contribution. At Mecca it was pillaged still more. A hundred purses were paid for the entrance of the caravan, beside ten piastres for each pilgrim, and as many for his beast: a hundred purses were then paid for leave to ascend mount Arafath, and as much for coming down: and lastly, six hundred purses for crossing a brook, the passage of which the Wahabites purposely obstructed. Seoud afterwards declared, that for the future he would not allow any escort from the grand seignior, the use of musical instruments, or the conveyance of the sacred tapestry and ornaments. At the end of 1805, Seoud became master of Mascat, through the influence of the new Emaun, who had embraced Wahabitism. Thus growing daily more powerful and wealthy, he renounced the plain and frugal life of his father, and exhibited in his palace at Dreyeh, all the luxury of Asia. He appointed his eldest son Abdallah his successor, and sent him on several expeditions; but the new general met with a check at Zeber, which the Wahabites then attacked for the third time. These defeats did not
discourage Seoud, who immediately planned and prepared other enterprizes. Such is the character of these Arabs: if defeated, they do not give way to that panic, which commonly completes the overthrow of an army, particularly among their enemies, the Ottomans: they only change their scheme, relinquishing the old, to carry a new one into execution and unexpectedly. Thus Seoud turned his eyes towards Jidda, the only city in Arabia that had uniformly resisted him; a place important for its maritime situation, and for the barter there carried on, of the coffee of Arabia, against the corn of Egypt. The Porte now resolved to make a fresh effort against the Wahabites. A bashaw was sent to Damascus to assemble an army; another was ordered to march to Jidda; and the bashaw of Bagdad was to assault Seoud on that quarter. The Wahabites seemed to be threatened with approaching ruin: but fortune, still favourable to Seoud, excited the flames of war between the bashaws of Bagdad and Persia; and Ameer Hadgy, the bashaw of Damascus, found nothing but dissention and civil war in Syria, instead of the resources he expected. The taking of Jidda by Seoud, completed the consternation of Damascus. At this time, in 1806, Seoud issued a proclamation; which, while it gave permission to the pilgrims to visit Mecca, prohibited all kind of escort from the grand seignior. The bashaw, however, urged by orders from Constantinople, set out at the head of the caravan, with the usual escort and ornaments. Seoud, indignant at this want of respect to his orders, sent word to him to return, when he had reached the midst of the Great Desert. He ventured, notwithstanding, to continue his journey toward Medina; but when he arrived there, he found the gates shut, and the Wahabites threatening to cut him and his caravan to pieces. The inhabitants, even the very women, animated with incredible fanaticism, issued out of the city, and pursued the Mussulmen with stones, calling them idolators. They retreated in the utmost confusion, and the greater part of the pilgrims perished miserably in the desert. It is incomprehensible why Seoud did not at this juncture follow the bashaw to Damascus, and make himself master of the city, panic struck with this disaster. But the Wahabites, content with their dominion over the whole peninsula, and the subjection of all the Arabian tribes, apparently disdained te extend their sway into the neighbouring provinces out of the desert, whether on the banks .#the Euphrates, or toward Syria. In the latter province every city, a prey to intestine warfare, or assailed by enemies of all kinds from without, expected every instant to see them within its wall. What defence indeed, could they have made against such a powerful army for at the end of 1807, Seoud had under his command a hundred and eighty thousand fighting men, belonging to the wandering tribes alone. As to his wealth, it increased daily, particularly by the prizes his allies made in the Persian gulf, half of the value of which came into his coffers. These Arabs had assembled a considerable number of dows, carrying each four or five hundred men, and from twelve to sixteen guns. With all these forces the Wahabites did nothing of importance in 1808, except pillaging the last caravan, and putting a total end to the pilgrimage to Mecca. They likewise made some attempts against Syria and Egypt. Seoud had sent letters to Damascus, Aleppo, and other cities of Syria, threatening them with destruction, if they did not embrace his doctrines. Despair gave to the Ottomans some energy; serious preparations were made on all sides; and the threats of Seoud ended in the occupation of a few fortresses to the south of Damascus. The most striking event of the year, was the march of Seoud himself, at the head of fortyfive thousand men, against Bagdad; but he was defeated in several skirmishes, and compelled to retire. In 1809, Seoud attempted nothing of consequence; but the war between the Wahabites on the coast of the Persian gulf, and the inhabitants of Mascat, assisted by the English, exhibits an event of no small importance. Lieutenant-colonel Smith, in a small squadron of frigates under the command of captain Mainwright, landed at Ras al Kraim, or al Khyma, the principal rendezvous of the pirates, and burned and destroyed the town, with all the vessels in the harbour, amounting to upwards of fifty, more than half of which were very large dows, and a large quantity of naval stores, They then proceeded to the port of Linga, where they burned nine large dows; and afterwards to Luft, which surrendered after some resistance. Here three very large dows were destroyed, beside other vessels. Thus a naval power was annihilated; which, had there been no maritime force but that of the natives of Asia to oppose it, would soon have rendered the Wahabites the sovereigns of all the seas in that part of the globe. It is difficult, perhaps, to conjecture what effects may ultimately be wrought by a power, that has grown up in so rapid and extraordinary a manner. The loss of Arabia, and perhaps of Syria, and the country bordering on the Euphrates, may prove a mortal blow to the Ottoman empire, threatened by so many cnemies from without, and divided by the quarrels of so many independent chiefs within. The abolition too, or at least the reform of Mohammedanism, in the spot that give it birth, must have some influence on the condition of Christians in those countries; and the relations between the Oriental and Occidental nations can scarcely fail to experience some change. Neither
can the suppression of the pilgrimages to Mecca, a remarkable custom that has prevailed for twelve centuries, and formed a bond of commercial and religious union between the extremities of Asia and Africa, be an event of trifling import in modern history. A reform in the religion of Mohammed, however, was to be expected. All who have resided any time among the Arabs, must have remarked their proneness to . with religious ceremonies. This fact was particularly evident in Egypt: in an Arabian camp none of the religious practices observed by the inhabitants of cities, were to be seen, the people excusing themselves by the want of temples, and their wandering life.
FROM THE UN 1 v ERSAL MAGAZINE.
[From Semple’s “Sketch of the present State of the Caracas.”]
AFTER ten days residence at Puerto Cabello, I prepared to return to Caracas, leaving my companion, who waited for a vessel bound to Curacoa. On the 6th of February, 1811, I set off, attended by my trusty Mulatto, and soon lost sight of the unhealthy flat of Puerto Cabello. In two hours I was amongst woods, and water-falls, and mountains, and clouds; and looked down with undiminished pleasure on the dark romantic glen which had so much delighted me in my descent. From the summit of the mountains I once more enjoyed a view of the extensive plain of Valencia, and descended to that ill-fated town. I saw again the pass of El Morro and the village of Mariara, where civil bloodshed was first to take place. Once more, I traversed the banks of the lake, and enjoyed from the top of La Cabrera a view which, as the sun disappeared, acquired new charms beneath the mild light of the moon. I again admired the thriving appearance of Maracai, and on the eminence which divides La Victoria from the plains of Valencia took a distant and farewell view of the lake.
From La Victoria, through El Consejo, I descended into the valley and bed of the Tuy, which I again traversed upwards of five and twenty times before reaching Las Coucuisas, at the foot of the mountains which separate the vallies of Aragoa from that of Caracas. On the summits of these mountains I once more felt the grateful influence of cold, once more saw valleys dark and deep without rivers or lakes, and viewed Caracas at the distance of twenty miles, presenting an appearance the most beauti
VOL. VII Le 2 R
ful and interesting. I descended towards this charming valley with a mind full of all the wonders I had seen; and, finally, having left a brother in Caracas, I entered my residence there with feelings somewhat similar to those which a traveller experiences when after a long absence he visits his native home. Thus have we traversed a small but interesting portion of the continent of America. Every where we have found a fertile soil, and, except in particular spots upon the coast, a pure and healthy air. Even the unwholsomeness of these situations is compensated by their exuberant fertility, and by the gradual adaptation of the inhabitants to the atmosphere in which they live. With little labour man here earns an easy subsistence, and the industrious European has never failed to acquire in time a certain portion of opulence and ease. Let us recapitulate some of the more obvious particulars, and add others as they may occur to our remembrance. We will then examine what has retarded, and long will retard, the progress of this country towards that perfection which some of its admirers so ardently contemplate. We land at La Guayra. A heavy surf breaks along the shore, and we are obliged to watch the swelling of the waves to leap upon the wharf. Flocks of gray pelicans float upon the waves, from which they rise at intervals, and then plunge down upon their prey. We notice the fins of sharks above the water, whilst people are carelessly swimming near the wharf, and are told, that, by a sacred charm, these voracious fish have no power to do hurt between the two small capes that shelter the road of La Guayra. When we are farther credibly informed, that accidents never do occur; being heretics, we attribute it to the constant noise of the breakers, and agitation of the water. From La Guayra to Puerto Cabello, high mountains border all the coast: rising generally, immediately from the sea. At intervals, rich valleys open, and the sides of the mountains are covered with the finest trees, whilst their opposite slopes towards the interior are bare, or covered only with inferior timber. The average height of this chain of mountains is about four thousand five hundred feet above the level of the sea, although the peak, which rises to the eastward and behind La Guayra, is upwards of eight thousand feet high. In this town, closely confined by steep hills, we do not stop longer than is necessary to taste the tropical fruits; or perhaps to visit a wild glen which bounds it to the eastward, and to bathe in the cool stream, which there pours down from the hills. We pass the pleasantvillage of Macuta, a mile from La Guayra, and soon look down upon it, from the height of a thousand feet. We ascend, and, on the mountain tops, the European breathes with delight, the cool air of his native country between the tropics. We go on foot, and smile at the idea of a bad road form