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ward, that high peak, upon which is the reputed tomb of Aaron, (the Arabs call it Nebi Aaroon, Prophet Aaron) rearing itself above all the rest in the middle of the picture. This craggy ridge does not, however, terminate the landscape, the mountain from which we viewed it being considerably higher, and commanding an almost boundless view beyond it, over an expanse of country of a whitish hue, which is varied here and there with other coloured ridges rising like islands upon it, or jutting forward into it like promontories. The violent rains of the night of the 21st and 22d supplied the feature of water to this varied landscape, forming a glittering line in the distant plain. S.W. by S., as far as the eye could reach, is a range of mountains, in which the natives pointed out Mount Sinai. We were told it was at the distance of four days. They also reported " Agaba," an inhabited place on the Red Sea, as distant a day and a half from us; and Mahn on the hadj road one day off. A place which the Arabs call Gereye was likewise mentioned as being four days to the eastward, or S.E., where are very extensive ruins. In front of our tent there was an ancient road. No remains can be traced of pavement, but merely two parallel lines of low, dry wall, set at the distance of about 25 ft. apart.
pledged to completely opposite courses in regard to us. To the honour of Abou Raschid it should be said, that as yet he had not received, or even stipulated for any pecuniary or other reward whatever. As we advanced down the ravine, a wild and romantic view opened to us, terminated by the peaks of the black and rugged ridge of Mount Hor, the same that is alluded to in Scripture, and by a boundless extent of desert, which we have hardly ever seen equalled for singularity and grandeur. We turned up out of this valley to the eastward, and remarked as we quitted it, that there were two small masses of ruins upon the two opposite points which command it: they were, probably, forts. Our road through a circular plain, covered with corn, and bushes of whitethorn just coming into blossom, conducted us to a valley with the sides prettily studded with turpentine trees, so clustered and grouped together as to give it a very park-like appearance. Here we perceived traces of a paved way, constructed similarly to that we had quitted when we were descending into Shobek. We supposed it to be a continuation of the same. At sun-set we alighted at a camp of sixty-eight tents, pitched in three adjoining circles, on the highest point of a pass. Our whole journey this day was S.W. The pass just mentioned was not between two mountains, but over the highest summit of one of them, great part of these heights being so steep as to be almost inaccessible, except by the beaten tracks. One of these precipices was close to our camp to the westward: it commands a most magnificent view, in which the foreground is a circular, but uneven hollow, in part cultivated, with several circular camps pitched in different parts of it; and the little village of Dibdeba, with a grove of fig-trees about it, bearing S. W. The dark ridge of An eminence, nearly S. W. of this Mount Hor, which appears to be alto- last camp, commanded a view over gether composed of a sort of sparry Wady Mousa, bearing south; it seemed flint, broken into masses and seamed an inconsiderable village, in a low situa with wide crevices, with scarcely any tion, with a few fig-trees about it. Nebi verdure to vary its deep purple colour, Aaroon, and Dibdebar, were also visible forms the boundary of this hollow to from this point, but we were admothe southward, and also, to the west-nished to go to the brow of the preci
May 20.-We followed the road in its passage downwards to the S.W. for half an hour, when we reached another camp, subject, in some measure, to our chief. We had passed over the sites of two others abandoned by the adverse party during the night. These sites are always distinguishable by the fires and bed-places of the Arabs; the former are marked by little holes filled up with ashes, the latter by stones laid in oblong circles, with dried heath and dead boughs laid on them.
pice, only one at a time, and were afterwards prohibited to do so at all. There were some very strange looking people in this camp, some of the men having long hair of a tawny colour, plaited in small plaits, very much in the Nubian manner, but without grease, and a handkerchief of a brown colour, instead of the usual gaudy stripes, confined, in lieu of the plain cord, by a brown, flat band, worked in with patches of coloured woollen, and standing up above the head. Their sandals, which, however, are not peculiar to them, as we had observed them in many other instances, are simple, having a thong coming up on each side of the foot from the sole, and another between the toes; a single tie fastens them on. The women had a singular way of plaiting their braided hair across the forehead, which had the air of a formal wig. The female children had the same leathern aprons, ornamented with shells, &c., which are common in Nubia.
From the break of day we had been apprised that the adverse party were fully prepared to stand to their word in opposing us; that they had removed several of their camps, and that a large party of them had abandoned their village of Wady Mousa to occupy a height which commanded it. We could see the tents which they had pitched there, as the distance from our advanced camp was very moderate: they had also moved their cattle with them. Messages, sometimes of persuasion, but oftener of defiance, were continually passing. A small detachment of the hostile party passed our tents, but refused to eat in them. They were suffered to go on unmolested. In the afternoon a large deputation arrived, sufficient to fill the whole tent. A conference immediately commenced. The deputies never personally appealed to us; but carried on the conversation with Abou Raschid only. It was in vain that the authority of the sultan, or of the pashas, was dwelt upon in our favour. They got rid of the firmans, by insisting that they did not understand Turkish; and when a boyourdi of Sali, pasha of Damascus, was placed
in their hands, they said it was a fabrication of the Jews, who are the pasha's ministers. Not argument only, but even artifice and falsehood were employed in our favour; our friend Abou Raschid asserting that we had with us a person on the part of Soliman, pasha of Acre, (our servant was the person whom he pointed out as such,) and a letter from the governor of Yaffa; which, although we might easily have procured it, we were not provided with. The adverse party, in some of their conferences, insisted much on seeing something under the hand of the lastmentioned governor, whose recommendation, we have reason to think, would have gone farther in this country than that of any other person. It was, however, in this instance only captiously asked for, on the presumption that we had it not to produce.
Abou Raschid urged repeatedly, that in the event of their not complying, we could use our influence with the several pashas to cut off their communication entirely, with Mahn, Gaza, and Egypt; and he insisted upon our taking down the names of the refractory chiefs, which were, Abou Zatoun (Father of the Olives), Sheikh of Wady Mousa, and commanding the Howetatt Arabs; Kali Phee, of the same place; Lehaddineh Hinde, and the adherents of Ebn Jarzee, although he, himself, was rather disposed to our side. Our champion advised us, in the presence of these people, to instigate Mahomed Ali to lay hands on some of them whenever they should come to trade at Cairo. These people said on their first coming, "that we were very lucky in the protection of the chief who accompanied us, for otherwise we should never have returned." They pretended to believe that we had a design of poisoning the water.
In the evening there was a very violent thunder-storm; and as all that could be said or threatened seemed to have no effect upon our opponents, and as there was neither food for us, nor forage for the horses in the tents, we returned, and slept at the same camp as on the preceding night. It was the full of the moon, a dismal cold
rain came on, which, for the space of mid-day, when the weather was sometwo or three hours, penetrated the co-what clearer, we perceived a number of vering of our tent, and until a trench armed men, some mounted, coming up was dug along the inside of the back the valley from the north-eastward. The curtain, it flowed in upon us from the horsemen were Sheikhs Yousouf and high ground; the goats and sheep were Sahlem, with their own attendants, and continually encroaching, and at last some few others with lances. The ineven a cow walked in. fantry followed, with their matchlocks and muskets, to the amount of upwards of sixty. They drew up into something like a line near the camp, and approached it shouting, the women answering with their usual screams of exultation from the tents, lee, lee, lee,
May 21.-A thick fog prevailed, so that the opposite side of our camp was not visible. We heard very noisy councils in the adjoining tents, and it was soon after announced to us, that "war was positively determined on," as the only alternative of our not being per-lee, &c., for they were not suffered to mitted to see what we had desired, and to drink of the water. Messengers were dispatched to the camps, under Abou Raschid's influence, and to Shobek, to apprise them of the circumstance, and to request immediate reinforcements. The presence of Sheikh Yousouf and Sahlem was also required. A poor woman, in the other half of our tent, was looking over the partition with her child in her arms, shedding tears occasionally, and throwing in arguments of dissuasion. It was in vain that we agreed to give up Wady Mousa altogether, and declared that we had no desire to taste of the water. The antiquities, which are distant from the village, being the only object of our curiosity; but our chief stood always to his point, and declared that we should not only see the place, but even bathe in the waters; and, that if fair means could not compass this, he had sworn to accomplish it by force.
The messages which arrived in the course of the morning from the opposite party, were only a renewal of protestations and oaths against our entering their territory; and they even threw out menaces of cutting off our return from the place where we then were. Thus situated, we could not but compare our case to that of the Israelites under Moses, when Edom refused to give them a passage through her country.* The circumstance must likewise have occurred nearly in the same place, as the tomb of Aaron on Mount Hort was now before us. About
*Numbers, xx. 14--22.
stand exposed in the way, and such as had come out were rudely warned back into their tents by the men. The Sheikhs of Kerek and Djebal were conducted, each by separate openings, into the camp, to the tents allotted to them. We found them dispirited and discomposed at what had happened, and at the consequences which were likely to ensue. They reminded us of their having dissuaded us from pressing the matter any further at the camp where we had last parted; and in their conferences with Abou Raschid, gave him such advice as might be expected from persons of their years. Yousouf, particularly, like Nestor in the Iliad, dwelt much upon what had passed in his youth, and upon the wars in which he had engaged and had found reason, when too late, to repent of. He spoke with a great deal of grave action; but his counsels had more effect upon the rest of his audience, than on the spirited young Arab to whom they were addressed, who continued stanch in his determination of waging war, and could not be induced even to shift his ground so far as to confine his demands in our favour to the sight of the antiquities only; strenuously persisting that, as we had put ourselves under his protection, we should go wherever he was pleased to carry us.
A deputation arrived from the enemy, and the old sheikhs tried every argument that experience could suggest to induce them to permit us to go forward. They were denounced as rebels in the case of non-compliance,
and the consequences were painted in communication was also made by the strongest colours. No effect was letter, but in whose name we did not produced by these conferences. Our learn. The answer was expected, but party was continually gaining strength did not arrive this night. Towards by armed persons dropping in from dark there went a rumour throughvarious directions until night. The re- out the camp, that our opponents had inforcements were distributed amongst given in, and that we should be at the different tents, and rations were liberty on the morrow to go where we refused to such as had not brought pleased. We laid down with this immuskets or spears. The camp now pression on our minds, and it was began to assume a very warlike ap- pretty general throughout the camp. pearance. The spears stuck in the Our chief seemed proud of matters sand, the saddled horses before the having been brought to a favourable tents, with the arms hanging up within, end so soon, and said exultingly, "that altogether had an imposing effect.* there were some who had the talent of Perceiving that such a concourse of carrying their point with saying very strangers must impoverish the camp, little, while others who made a great we begged to be permitted to pay for noise were obliged to give way, and our food and that of our horses, but behave like cattle." Abou Raschid would not hear of it. All was freely given to us, and our animals had abundance.
One circumstance seemed to turn in our favour. Hindi, an Arab chief of very poor and ordinary appearance, and almost blind, was represented to us as a man of great power and influence, who could command two thousand muskets and though this was probably an exaggeration, yet from the effect which his interference appears to have had in the sequel, it seems probable that he was a chieftain of considerable power. He had been upon il terms with Abou Raschid; yet from the time of our first conference with him at the advanced camp, he had seemed disposed to favour our views, and to dissuade the hostile party from their obstinate opposition. He professed great respect for the written orders of the Turkish government. On the other hand, it was said that there was a strong party among his adherents inclined to prevent his cooperation. However, towards the evening of this day, he made a solemn peace with our chief, and passed into the enemy's quarters, with the intention of bringing all his men to act in concert with Mahommed Abou Raschid, in open war against them, in case of their persisting to oppose us. Some
"And behold Saul lay sleeping within
The same dismal weather continued. About midnight there was a cry of thieves in the camp, and it was found that they were very quietly sitting at our fire; but as there were some of our people not yet asleep, we lost nothing. In the morning we heard that two spies had also been detected in the camp, but it did not appear that any further measures had been pursued against them than their dismissal.
May 22.-The fog was thicker than ever. We were surprised to find that this weather was not deemed unusual or out of season. It was now announced to us that the men of Wady Mousa did not adhere to their agreement, but in the plainest terms had declared, "that they would oppose us by main force, and that we should pay with our lives for any attempt that we should make to advance within their limits." It appeared that they had even thrown up some sort of fortification about the well. Upon our declaring that we did not wish matters to be pushed to extremities, and would willingly confine our desires to the sight of the antiquities only, Abou Raschid would hardly listen to the bearer of the message, and scarcely came to see us during the whole day. Armed reinforcements in small numbers were continually dropping in.
the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground." selves on the morning of the 23rd. The In this predicament we found our
1 Samuel, xviii. 6.
result of Hindi's declaration was ex-gave it a very picturesque appearance. pected with impatience, and almost By following the brow of the mountain, every one seemed to think that it must we gained a sight also of the theatre have great weight with the enemy. cut out of the rock, and of several of We, however, heard that their party the tombs. Though they were at a had also had an accession of two considerable distance, we could make neighbouring tribes of Arabs who had them out pretty well with the help of declared against us. To-day old You- a spy-glass. This sight was a great souf was unusually eloquent in our encouragement to us, as it appeared favour, giving out that we were believ- possible to reach the spot without ers in Mahommed, and that our only passing at all near the enemy's quarmotive in wishing to advance was to ters; and we began to concert among pay our devotions at Aaron's tomb; ourselves some means of getting there thus giving a very plausible turn to the secretly in the night, should all other motive of our journey. When asked if expedients fail. we were of the true faith, he always replied "they are English." He recapitulated the list of the documents with which we were furnished; roundly asserting that we had recommenda, tions from Yaffa and Egypt, though he knew that we had them not, and he attached much importance to the presence of our soldier and Tartar from Constantinople. He mentioned all the places we had visited in the country, particularly Palmyra and Szalt; adding that this was the first time we had been stopped. True to the character of an old chieftain, he dwelt again on the events of wars that had happened in his early days. His object was to carry matters by fair means, if possible, and to restrain the impetuosity of Abou Raschid, whom he warned of the usual effects of hasty measures, and, for the first time, alluded to an old grudge which the people of Wady Mousa bore towards him, on account of the fate of three or four of their fellow townsmen whom he had beheaded at Kerek. The tone, however, of old Yousouf was considerably changed, and he seemed not altogether so adverse to hostilities as he had hitherto been. He said, "I, too, could bring out the men of Kerek;" and he spoke of their numbers and courage, but he did not pledge himself to bring them out.
In the course of this morning it had been discovered that one of the ruins which we were in quest of was in sight from our mountain. It proved to be that which we called the palace; it was discernible through a narrow strait formed by two craggy cliffs, which
While we were deliberating on this subject, we saw a great cavalcade entering our camp from the southward. There were many mounted Arabs with lances, and we observed that there were some amongst the horsemen who wore richer turbans, and of more gaudy colours, than is usual amongst Bedouins or peasants. As the procession advanced, several of Abou Raschid's Arabs went out, and led the horses of the chiefs by the bridles into the camp. The whole procession alighted at the tent of our chief, and kissed his turban; this was the signal of pacification. Peace was immediately proclaimed throughout the camp, and notice was given that the men bearing arms who had come from a distance, many of whom had joined us that very morning, were to return to their respective homes.
Our late opponents were now willing to consent to our setting out that afternoon, but by the general wish it was deferred until the next day. We heard music and singing in several of the tents. One of the chiefs of the party who had been adverse to us, came very shortly to pay us a visit; amongst other things, he said in his excuse that he had misconceived the object of our journey, having supposed us Frenchmen who came with a design of poisoning the water. They dissembled the real motive of their change of conduct, which there can be little doubt was fear, and imputed their concessions entirely to their respect for the sultan and the pashas. To make the matter more formal, there came with them a