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channel filled with reeds growing to the height of zo feet, served as a line of road, which was agreeably shaded by the reeds.-Niebuhr. My brethreu have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away. Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: What time they wax warm they vanish; when it is hot they are consumed out of their place. The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.—Job., vi, 15.
Note 12, page lot, col. 2.
The simplicity, or, perhaps, more properly, the poverty, of the lower class of the Bedouins, is proportionate to that of their chiefs. All the wealth of a family consists of moveables, of which the following is a pretty exact inventory. A few male and female camels, some goats and poultry, a mare and her bridle and saddle, a tent, a lance sixteen feet long, a crooked sabre, a rusty musket, with a flint or matchlock; a pipe, a portable mill, a pot for cooking, a leathern bucket, a small coffee roaster; a mat, some clothes, a mantle of black woollen, and a few glass or silver rings, which the women wear upon their legs and arms; if none of these are wanting, their furniture is complete. But what the poor man stands most in need of, and what be takes most pleasure in, is his mare; for this animal is his principal support. With his mare the Bedouin makes his excursions against hostile tribes, or seeks plunder in the country, and on the highways. The mare is preferred to the horse, because she does not neigh, is more docile, and yields milk, which, on occasion, satisfies the thirst and cwen the hunger of her master.—Polney.
The Sheik, says Volney, with whom I resided in the country of Gaza, about the end of 1784, passed for one of the most powerful of those districts: yet it did not appear to me that his expenditure was greater than that of an opulent farmer. His personal effects, consisting in a few pelisses, carpets, arms, horses, and camels, could not be estimated at more than fifty thousand livres (a little above two thousand pounds); and it must be ohserved, that in this calculation, four mares of the breed of racers are valued at six thousand livres, (two hundred and fifty pounds), and each camel at ten poundssterling. We must not therefore, when we speak of the Bedouins, affix to the words Prince and Lord, the ideas they usually convey; we should come nearer the truth, by comparing them to substantial farmers, in mountainous countries, whose simplicity they resemble in their dress, as well as in their domestic life and manners. A Sheik, who has
the command of five hundred horse, does not disdain to
saddle and bridle his own, nor to give him his barley and chopped straw. In his tent, his wife makes the coffee, kneads the dough, and superintends the dressing of the victuals. His daughters and kinswomen wash the linen, and go with pitchers on their heads, and veils over their faces, to draw water from the fountain. These manners agree precisely with the descriptions in Homer, and the history of Abraham, in Genesis. But it must be owned, that it is difficult to form a just idea of them without having ourselves been eye-witnesses.—Polney. Note 13, page io 1, col. 2. No hoarded gold, etc. Thus confined to the most absolute necessaries of life,
the Arabs have as little industry as their wants are few; ali their arts consist in weaving their clumsy tents, and in making mats and butter. Their whole commerce only extends to the exchanging camels, kids, stallions, and milk; for arms, clothing, a little rice or corn, and money which they bury.—Polney.
Note 14, page 101, col. 2.
The chief manufacture among the Arabs is the making of Hykes, as they call woollen blankets, and webs of goats, hair for their tents. The women alone are employed in this work, as Andromache and Penelope were of old; who make no use of a shuttle, but conduct every thread of the woof with their fingers.-Shaw.
Note 15, page 1 on, col. 1. Or at the hand-mill, etc.
If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door,
Then let my wife grind unto another.—Job xxxi. 9, 1 o.
Note 16, page 1 on, col. 1.
I was much amused by observing the dexterity of the Arab women in baking their bread. They have a small place built with clay. between two and three feet high, having a hole at the bottom, for the convenience of drawing out the ashes, something similar to that of a sime-kiln. The oven (which I think is the most proper name for this place) is usually about fifteen inches wide at the top, and gradually grows wider to the bottom. It is heated with wood, and when sufficiently hot, and perfectly clear from smoke, having nothing but clear embers at bottom, (which continue to reflect great heat), they prepare the dough in a large bowl, and mould the cakes to the desired size on a board or stone placed near the oven. After they have kneaded the cake to a proper consistence, they pat it a little, then toss it about with great dexterity in one hand, till it is as thin as they choose to make it. They then wet one side of it with water, at the same time wetting the land and arm, with which they put it into the oven. The wet side of the cake adheres fast to the side of the oven till it is sufficiently baked, when, if not paid sufficient attention to, it would fall down among the embers. If they were not exceedingly quick at this work, the heat of the oven would burn the skin from off their hands and arms; but with such amazing dexterity do they perform it, that one woman will continue keeping three or four cakes at a time in the oven till she has done baking. This mode. let me add, does not require half the fuel that is made use of in Europe.—Jackson.
Note 17, page 1 oz, col. 1.
Tamarinds grow on great trees, full of branches: whereof the leaves are not bigger than, nor unlike to. the leaves of pimpernel, only something longer. The slower at first is like the peaches, but at last turns white, and puts forth its fruit at the end of certain strings; as soon as the sun is set, the leaves close up the fruit, to preserve it from the dew, and open as soon as that luminary appears again. The fruit at first is green, but ripening it becomes of a dark grey, drawing
towards a red, inclosed in husks, brown or tawny, of taste a little bitter, like our prunelloes. The tree is as bi; as a walnut-tree, full of leaves, bearing its fruit at the branches, like the sheath of a knife, but not so straight, rather bent like a bow.—Mandelslo.
Note 18, page 102, col. 1.
I have often, says Niebuhr, heard the Sheiks sing passages from the Koran. They never strain the voice by attempting to raise it too high, and this natural music pleased me very much.
The airs of the Orientals are all grave and simple. They chuse their singers to sing so distinctly, that every word may be comprehended. When several instruments are played at once, and accompanied by the voice, you hear them all render the same melody, unless some one mingies a running base, cither singing or playing, always in the same key. If this music is not greatly to our taste, ours is as little to the taste of the Orientals.
Note 19, page 1 oz., col. 1. Its marble walls. etc.
The Mosques, which they pronounce Meso-jid, are built exactly in the fashion of our churches, where, instead of such seats and benches as we make use of, they only strew the floor with mats, upon which they perform the several sittings and prostrations that are enjoined in their religion. Near the middle, particularly, of the principal Mosque of each city, there is a large pulpit erected, which is ballustraded round, with about half-a-dozen steps leading up to it. Upon these (for I am told none are permitted to enter the pulpit), the Mufty, or one of the Im-ams, placeth himself every Fri. day, the day of the congregation, as they call it, and from thence either explaineth some part or other of the Koran, or else exhorteth the people to piety and tood works. That end of these Mosques which regards Mccca, whither they direct themselves throughout the whole course of their devotions, is called the Kiblah, in which there is commonly a niche, representing, as a judicious writer conjectures, the presence, and at the same time the invisibility of the Deity. There is usually a square tower erected at the other end, with a flag-staff upon the top of it. Hither the crier ascends at the appointed times, and, displaying a small flag, advertiseth the people, with a loud voice, from each side of the battlements, of the hour of prayer. These places of the Mahometan worship, together with the Musty, Im-ams, and other Persons belonging to them, are maintained out of certain revenues arising from 11he rents of lands and houses, either lest by will, or set apart by the public for that use.—Sha wi
All the Mosques are built nearly in the same style. They are of an oblong square form, and covered in the
joining to the body of the Mosque. They are sometimes square, but more commonly round, and taper. The gallery for the maazeen, or criers, projecting a little from the column near the top, has some resemblance to a rude capital; and from this the spire, tapering more in proportion than before, soon terminates in a point crowned with a crescent.—Russel's Aleppo.
Note 20, page 1 oz., col. 1. The Stars of Heaven their point of prayer. The Keabé is the point of direction, and the centre of union for the prayers of the whole human race, as the Beith-Mamour' is for those of all the celestial beings; the Kursy " for those of the four Arch-angels, and the Arsch for those of the cherubims and seraphims who guard the throne of the Almighty. The inhabitants of Mecca, who enjoy the happiness of contemplating the
Keabé, are obliged, when they pray, to fix their eyes
upon the sanctuary; but they who are at a distance from this valuable privilege, are required only, during prayer, to direct their attention towards that hallowed edifice. The believer who is ignorant of the position of the Keabe must use every endeavour to gain a knowledge of it; and after he has shown great solicitude, whatever be his success, his prayer is valid.—D'Ohsson.
Note 21, page 1 oz, col. 1. Rest on the pillar of the Tent.
The Bedoweens live in tents, called Hymas, from the shade they afford the inhabitants, and Bret el Shar, Houses of Hair, from the matter they are made of. They are the same with what the antients called Mapalia, which being then, as they are to this day, secured from the heat and inclemency of the weather, by a covering only of such hair-cloth as our coal sacks are made of, might very justly be described by Virgil to have thin roofs. When we find any number of them together (and I have seen from three to three hundred), then they are usually placed in a circle, and constitute a Douwar. The fashion of each tent is the same, being of an oblong figure, not unlike the botton of a ship turned upside down, as Sallust hath long ago described them. However, they differ in bigness, according to the number of people who live in them : and are accordingly supported, some with one pillar, others with two or three : whilst a curtain or carpet placed, upon occasion, at each of these divisions, separateth the whole into so many apartments. The pillar, which I have mentioned. is a straight pole, 8 or , o fect high, and 3 or 4 inches in thickness, serving not only to support the tent, but be. ing full of hooks fixed there for the purpose, the Arabs hang upon it their clothes, baskets, saddles, and accoutrements of war. Holofernes, as we read in Juditii, 13. 16. made the like use of the pillar of his tent, by hanging his fauchin upon it: it is there called the pillar of the bed, from the custom, perhaps, that hath always prevailed, of having the upper end of the carpet, mattrass, or whatever else they lie upon, turned from the skirts of the tent that way. But the Kooyoostzy, Canopy, as we render it, (ver, 9.) should, I presume, be
'Beith-mămour, which means the house of prosperity and felicity. is the ancient Keabe of Mecca; which, according to tradition, was taken up into leaven by the Angels at the deluge, where it was placed serpendicularly over the present sanctuary.
* Kursy, which signifies a seat, is the eighth firmament.
* Arsch is the throne of the Almighty, which is thought to be placed on the ninth, which is the highest of the firmaments.
"ather called the gnat or muskeeta net, which is a close curtain of gauze or fine linen, used all over the Levant, by people of better fashion, to keep out the flies. The Arabs have nothing of this kind; who, in taking their rest, lie horizontally upon the ground, without bed, mattrass, or pillow, wrapping themselves up only in their Hykes, and lying, as they find room, upon a mat or carpet, in the middle or corner of the tent. Those who are married, have each of them a corner of the tent, cantoned off with a curtain.—Shaw.
The tents of the Moors are somewhat of a conic form, are seldom more than 8 or 10 feet high in the centre, and from 20 to 25 in length. Like those of the remotest antiquity, their figure is that of a ship overset, the keel of which is only seen. These tents are made of twine, composed of goat's hair, camel's wool, and the leaves of the wild palm, so that they keep out water; but, being black, they produce a disagreeable effect at a distant view.—Chenier.
Note 22, page 102, col. 1.
Knitting light palm-leaves for her brother's brow. In the kingdom of Imam, the men of all ranks shave their heads. In some other countries of Yemen, all the Arabs, even the Sheiks themselves, let their hair grow, and wear neither bonnet nor Sasch, but a handkerchief instead, in which they tie their hair behind. Some let it fall upon their shoulders, and bind a small chord round their heads instead of a turban. The Bedouins, upon the frontiers of Hedsjas and of Yemen, wear a
bonnet of palm leaves, neatly platted.—Niebuhr.
Note 23, page 1 oz, col. 1. So listen they the reed, etc.
The music of the Bedoweens rarely consists of more than one strain, suitable to their homely instruments, and to their simple invention. The Arabebbah, as they call the bladder and string, is in the highest vogue, and doubtless of great antiquity; as is also the Gasaph, which is only a common reed, open at each end, having the side of it bored, with three or more holes, according to the ability of the person who is to touch it: though the compass of their tunes rarely or never exceeds an octave. Yet sometimes, even in this simplicity of harmony, they observe something of method and ceremony; for in their historical cantatas especially, they have their preludes and symphonies; each stanza being introduced with a flourish from the Arabebbah, while the narration itself is accompanied with the softest touches they are able to make, upon the Gasaph. The Tarr, another of their instruments, is made like a Sive, consisting (as Isidore describeth the Tympanum) of a thin rim, or hoop of wood, with a skin of parchment stretched over the top of it. This serves for the bass in all their concerts, which they accordingly touch very artfully with their fingers, and the knuckles or palms of their hands, as the time and measure require, or as force and softness are to be communicated to the several parts of the performance. The Tarr is undoubtedly the Tympanum of the Antients, which appears as well from the general use of it all over Barbary, Egypt, and the Levant, as from the method of playing upon it, and the figure of the instrument itself, being exactly of the same fashion with what we find in the hands of Cybele and the Bacchanals among the Basso Relievos and Sta. tues of the Antients — Shau.
The Arabs have the Cussuba, or cane, which is only a piece of large cane, or recd, with stops, or holes, like a flute, and somewhat longer, which they adorn with tossels of black silk, and play upon like the German flute.—Morgan's Hist. of Algiers.
The young fellows, in several towns, play prettily enough on pipes made, and sounding very much like our flagelet, of the thigh-bones of cranes, storks, or such large fowl.-Morgan's Hist, of Algiers.
liow great soever may have been the reputation the Libyans once had, of being famous musicians, and of having invented the pipe or flute, called by Greek authors Hippophorbos, I fancy few of them would be now much liked at our Opera. As for this tibicen, flute, or pipe, it is certainly lost, except it be the gayta, somewhat like the hautbois, called surna in Turkish, a martial instrument. Julius Pollux, in a chapter entitled De tibiarum specie, says, Hippophorbos quam quidem Libyes Scenetes invenerunt; and again, shewing the use and quality thereof, harc ver, apud cquorum pascua utuntwrejus. que materia decorticata laurus est, corenim ligni extractum acutissimam dat son um. The sound of the gayta agrees well with this description, though not the make. Scveral poets mention the tibicen Libycusand Arabicus: and Athenaeus quotes Duris, and says, Libycas tibia Poetae appellant, ut inquit Duris, libro secundo de rebus gestis Agathoclis, quod scirites, primus, ut credunt, tibicinum artis inventor, e gente Nomadum Libycorum fuerit, primusque tibia Cerealium hymnorum cantor.
Morgan's Hist. of Algiers.
Note 24, page 102, col. 1.
Or if he strung the pearls of Poesy. Perse a pulcherrima usi translatione, pro versis facere dicunt margaritas nectere; que inadmodum in i ij o Ferdusii versiculo Siquidem calami acumine adaniantido margaritas nexi, in scientiar mare penitus me intmersi.on—Poeseos Asiaticae Commentarii. This is a favourite Oriental figure. “After a little time, lifting his head from the collar of reflection, he removed the talisman of silence from the treasure of speech, and scattered skirts-full of brilliant gems and princely pearls before the company in his inirth-exciting deliveries.”—Bahar Danush. Again, in the same work—w he began to weigh Iris stored pearls in the scales of delivery.” Abu Temam, who was a celebrated poet himself, used to say, that a fine sentiments, delivered in prose, were like gems scattered at random; but that when they were confined in a poetical measure, they resembled bracelets and strings of pearls. 0-Sir H'. Jones, Essay on the Poetry of the Eastern Nations. In Mr Carlyle's translations from the Arabic, a Poet says of his friends and himself,
They are a row of Pearls, and I The silken thread on which they lie. I quote from memory, and recollect not the Author's name. It is somewhat remarkable, that the same metaphor is among the quaintnesses of Fuller. “ Benevolenceis the silken thread, that should run through the pear-a chain of our virtues.”—Holy State. It seems the Arabs are still great rhymers, and their verses are sometimes rewarded; but I should not venturto say, that there are great Pocts among them. Yet I was assured in Yemens that it is not uncommon to firm - i. them among the wandering Arabs in the country of Dsjåf. It is some few years since a Sheik of these Arabs was in prison at Sana: seeing by chance a bird upon a roof opposite to him, he recollected that the devout Mahommedans believe they perform an action agreeable to God in giving liberty to a bird encaged. He thought therefore he had as much right to liberty as a bird, and made a poem upon the subject, which was first learnt by his guards, and then became so popular, that at last it reached the Imam. He was so pleased with it, that he liberated the Sheik, whom he had arrested for his robberies.—Niebuhr, Desc. de l'Arabie.
Note 25, page 1 oz, col. 1. A tale of love and woe. They are fond of singing with a forced voice in the high tones, and one must have lungs like theirs to support the effort for a quarter of an hour. Their airs, in point of character and execution, resemble nothing we have heard in Europe, except the Seguidillas of the Spaniards. They have divisions more laboured even than those of the Italians, and cadences and inflections of tone impossible to be imitated by European throats. Their performance is accompanied with sighs and gestures, which paint the passions in a more lively manner than we should venture to allow. They may be said to excel most in the melancholy strain. To behold an Arab with his head inclined, his hand applied to his ear, his eye-brows knit, his eyes languishing; to hear his plaintive toues, his lengthened notes, his sighs and sobs, it is almost impossible to refrain from tears, which, as their expression is, are far from bitter: and indeed they must certainly find a pleasure in shedding them, since among all their songs they constantly prefer that which excites them most, as among all accomplishments singing is that they most admire.—Polney. All their literature consists in reciting tales and histories in the manner of the Arabian Nights Entertainments. They have a peculiar passion for such storics; and employ in them almost all their leisure, of which they have a great deal. In the evening they seat themselves on the ground at the door of their tents, or under cover if it be cold, and there, ranged in a circle, round a little fire of dung, their pipes in their mouths, and their legs crossed, they sit awhile in silent meditation, till, on a sudden, one of them breaks forth with, Once upon a
time.—and continues to recite the adventures of some
young Shaik and female Bedouin: he relates in what manner the youth first got a secret glimpse of his mistress,
and how he became desperately enamoured of lucr: he minutely describes the lovely fair, extols her black eyes, as large and soft as those of the gazelle; her languid and | impassioned looks; her arched eye-brows, resembling two bows of ebony; her waist, straight and supple as a lance; he forgets not her steps, light as those of the young filly, nor her eye-lashes blackened with kohl, nor her lips painted blue, nor her nails tinged with the toldencoloured henna, nor her breasts, resembling two pomegranates, nor her words, sweet as honey. He recounts the sufferings of the young lover, so wasted with desire and passion, that his body no longer yields any shadow. At length, after detailing his various attempts to see his mistress, the obstacles on the part of the parents, the invasions of the enemy, the captivity of the two lovers, etc., he terminates, to the satisfaction of the audience, by restoring them, united and happy, to the paternal tent, and by receiving the tribute paid to his eloquence,
in the masha allali" he has merited. The Bedouins have likewise their love-songs, which have more sentiment and nature in them than those of the Turks, and inhabitants of the towns; doubtless because the former, whose manners are chaste, know what love is; while the latter, abandoned to debauchery, are acquainted only with enjoyment.—Polney.
Note 26, page 102, col. 1.
We read in an Old Arabian Manuscript, that when the Ostrich would hatch her eggs, she does not cover them as other fowls do, but both the male and female contribute to hatch them by the efficacy of their looks only; and therefore when one has occasion to go to look for food, it advertises its companion by its cry, and the other never stirs during its absence, but remains with its eyes fixed upon the eggs, till the return of its mate, and then goes in its turn to look for food; and this care of theirs is so necessary, that it cannot be suspended for a moment; for, if it should, their eggs would immediately become addle.—Panslebe. Harris's Collection.
This is said to emblem the perpetual attention of the Creator to the Universe.
Note 27, page 102, col. 1. Round her smooth ankles, and her tawny arms.
* She had laid aside the rings which used to grace her ankles, lest the sound of them should expose her to calamity.”—Asiatic Researches.
Most of the Indian women have on each arm, and also above the ankle, ten or twelve rings of gold, silver, ivory, or coral. They spring on the leg, and, when they walk, make a noise, with which they are much pleased. Their hands and toes are generally adorned with large rings. —Sonnerat.
• In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon.”
«The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs,” etc.— Isaiah, iii, 18.
Note 28, page lo2, col. 1. Were her long fingers tinged. His fingers, in beauty and slenderness appearing as the Fed Bieża,” or the rays of the sun, being tinged with Ilinna, seemed branches of transparent red coral.— Bahar Danush. She dispenses gifts with small delicate fingers, sweetly glowing at their tips, like the white and crimson worm of Dabia, or dentifrices made of Esel wood.—Moallakat. Poem of Amriolkais. The Ilinna, says the translator of the Bahar-Danush, is esteemed not merely ornamental, but medicinal; and I have myself often experienced in India a most refreshing coolness through the whole habit, from an embrocation, or rather plaster of Hinna, applied to the soles of my feet, by prescription of a native physician. The effect lasted for some days. Bruce says it is used not only for ornament, but as an astringent to keep the hands and feet dry. This unnatural fashion is extended to animals. Departing from the town of Anna, we met, about five
• An exclamation of praise, cquivalent to admirably well! * The miraculously shining band of Moses.
hundred paces from the gate, a young man of good family, followed by two servants, and mounted, in the fashion of the country, upon an ass, whose rump was painted red.—Tavernier. In Persia, a they dye the tails of those horses which are of a light colour with red or orange.”—Han way. Ali, the Moor, to whose capricious cruelty Mungo Park was so long exposed, “always rode upon a milkwhite horse, with its tail dyed red.» When Pietro della Valle went to Jerusalem, all his camels were made orange-colour with henna. He says he had seen in Rome the manes and tails of certain horses which came from Poland and Hungary, coloured in like manner. He conceived it to be the same plant, which was sold in a dry or pulverized state, at Naples, to old women, to dye their gray hairs flaxen. Alfenado, a word derived from Alfena, the Portuguese or Moorish name of this plant, is still used in Portugal as a phrase of contempt for a fop.
Note 29, page to2, col. 1. The light shone rosy " that the darkened lids, etc. The blackened eye-lids and the reddened fingers were Eastern customs, in use among the Greeks. They are still among the tricks of the Grecian toilette. The females of the rest of Europe have never added them to their list of ornaments.
Note 3o, page 1 oz, col. 2. Wreath'd the red flower-crown round, etc. The Mimosa Selam produces splendid flowers of a beautiful red colour, with which the Arabians crown their heads on their days of festival.–Niebuhr.
Note 31, page 1 oz., col. 2. Their work was done, their path of ruin past.
The large locusts, which are near three inches long, are not the most destructive; as they fly, they yield to the current of the wind, which hurries them into the sea, or into sandy deserts, where they perish with hunger or fatigue. The young locusts, that cannot fly, are the most ruinous; they are about fifteen lines in length, and the thickness of a goose quill. They creep over the country in such multitudes, that they leave not a blade of §rass behind; and the noise of their feeding announces their appro ch at some distance. The devastations of locusts increase the price of provisions, and often occasion famines, but the Moors find a kind of compensation in making food of these insects; prodigious quantities are brought to market salted and dried like red herrings. They have an oily and rancid taste, which habit only can render agreeable; they are eat here, however, with pleasure.—Chenier.
In 1778, the empire of Morocco was ravaged by these insects. In the summer of that year, such clouds of locusts came from the south, that they darkened the air, and devoured a part of the harvest. Their offspring, which they left on the ground, committed still much greater mischief. Locusts appeared, and bred anew in the following year, so that in the sprint; the country was wholly covered, and they crawled one over the other in search of their subsistence.
It lias been remarkcd, in speaking of the climate of Morocco, that the young locusts are those which are the most inischievous; and that it seems almost impossible to rid the land of these insects and their ravages, when
the country once becomes thus afflicted. In order to preserve the houses and gardens in the neighbourhood of cities, they dig a ditch two feet in depth, and as much in width. This they pallisade with reeds close to each other, and inclined inward toward the ditch; so that the insects, unable to climb up the slippery recd, fall back into the ditch, where they devour one another. This was the means by which the gardens and vineyards of Rabat, and the city itself, were delivered from this scourge, in 1770, The intrenchment, which was, at least, a league in extent, formed a semicircle from the sea to the river, which separates Itabat from Sallee. The quantity of young locusts here assembled was so prodigious, that, on the third day, the ditch could not be approached because of the stench. The whole country was eaten up, the very bark of the sig, pomegranate, and orange tree, bitter, hard, and corrosive as it was, could not escape the voracity of these insects. The lands, ravaged throughout all the western provinces, produced no harvest; and the Moors being obliged to live on their stores, which the exportation of corn (permitted till 1774) had drained, began to feel a dearth. Their cattle, for which they make no provision, and which, in these climates, have no other subsistence than that of daily grazing, died with hunger; nor could any be preserved but those which were in the neighbourhood of mountains, or in marshy grounds, where the re-growth of pasturage is more rapid. In 1780, the distress was still further increased. The dry winter had checked the products of the earth, and given birth to a new generation of locusts, who devoured whatever had escaped from the inclemency of the ser son. The husbandman did not reap even what he had sowed, and found himself destitute of food, cattle, or seed corn. In this time of extreme wretchedness, the poor felt all the horrors of famine. They were seen wandering over the country to devour roots, aud, perhaps, abridged their days, by digging into the entrails of the earth in search of the crude means by which they might be preserved. Vast numbers perished of indigestible food and want. I have beheld country people in the roads, and in the streets, who had died of hunger, and who were thrown across asses to be taken and buried. Fathers sold their children. The husband, with the consent of his wife, would take her into another province, there to bestow her in marriage, as if she were his sister, and afterwards come and reclaim her when his wants were no longer so great. I have seen women and children run after camels and rake in their dung, to seek for some indigested train of barley, which, if they found, they devoured with avidity.—Chenier.
Note 32, page loo, col. 1.
From far Khorassant
The Ahmelec, or eater of locusts, or grasshoppers, is a bird which better deserves to be described, perhaps, than most others of which travellers have given us an account because the facts relating to it are not only strange in themselves, but so well and distinctly attested, that however surprising they may seem, we cannot but afford them our belief. The food of this creature is the locus, or the grasshopper; it is of the size of an ordinary her, its feathers black, its wings large, and its flesh of a greyish colour. They fly generally in great flocks, as the starlings are wont to do with us. But the thing which