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I would prolong the limits eastward as far as the DamascusMedínah road of Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent. This would be politically and ethnologically correct. With the exception of the Ma'ázah country, the whole region belongs to Egypt; and all the tribes, formerly Nabathæan and now more or less EgyptoArab, never question the rights of His Highness the Viceroy, who garrisons the seaboard forts. Of the other points, historical and geographical, I am not so sure. My learned friend, Aloys Sprenger, remarks: "Let me observe that your extending the nameMidian' over the whole country, as far south as the dominions of the Porte, appears to me an innovation, by which the identity of the race along the shore of the Gulf of 'Ákabah, and of the coast down to Wajh and Hawrá, is prejudged. Would it not be better to leave Midian where it always has been, and to consider Badá* the centre of Thamuditis, as it was in the time of Pliny and Ptolemy, and as it continued to be until the Balee (Baliyy), and other Qodhâ'a (Kudá'a) tribes, came from Southern Arabia, and exterminated the Thamudites?"

This is, doubtless, a valid objection; its only weak point is that it goes too far back. We cannot be Conservatives in geography, nor attach much importance, in the nineteenth century, to a race, the Beni Tamúd, which had wholly disappeared before the seventh. On the whole, it still appears to me that by adopting my innovation we gain more than we lose; but the question must be left to a higher tribunal, the geographical world.

In our days two great Sultánís (" highways") bound Madyan the less and Midian the greater. The western, followed by the Hajj el-Misri (Egyptian caravan), dates from the age of Sultan Selim Khán (ob. A.D. 1520), El-Fatih, or the Conqueror, who, before making over the province to the later Mamlúk Beys, levelled the rocks, cut through ridges, laid out the track, dug wells, and defended the line by forts. Before that time the road lay, for convenience of water, to the east or inland; it was, in fact, the old Nabathæan highway which, according to Strabo, connected the southernmost port, Leukè Kóme, with the western capital, Petra. Farther east, and far beyond the double chain of maritime mountains, runs the highway followed by the Hajj el-Shámi (Syrian or Damascus caravan), which sets out from Constantinople, musters at Damascus, and represents the puissance of the Porte. According to the Akhbár el-Duwal (Notices of Kingdoms' †) by Ahmed el-Dimishkí

*See chap. xv. of the 'Land of Midian (Revisited);' and Part III. sect. 3 of this paper.

Not "tidings of changes of fortunes," as interpreted in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society,' vol. xx. p. 319.


(finished A.H. 1008 A.D. 1599), the successor of Sultan Selim I., Sultan Sulyman Khan (ob. 1566) laid out this road, built the castle of Tabúk, and placed there a guard of twenty janissaries to protect the spring from the Bedawin. On both these main lines water is procurable at almost every station, and to them military expeditions are perforce limited. The parallelogram between the two, varying in breadth, according to Wallin, from 90 to 120 miles (direct and geographical), is irregularly supplied with fountains, wells and rain-pits, which can always be filled up and rendered useless by the Bedawin.

I now proceed without further preamble to our march.

I. Departure of the Expedition.-On Wednesday, December 19, 1877, the second Khedivial Expedition to the mines of Midian landed from His Highness's gunboat the Mukhbir (Capt. Mohammed Síráj), at a gap, called a port, in the reef of El-Muwaylah (N. lat. 27° 39′, and E. long. 35° 28′). This fort and station of the Egytian Hajj ("Pilgrim caravan ") was described some 31 years ago by that excellent Arabist, the late Dr. George Aug. Wallin; he travelled in 1847-48, and he published in the 'Journal' of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. XX., 1850. As will be seen, he is in error when " finding no mention made of Muweileh (El-Muwaylah) in Arabic manuscripts, nor any traces or traditions among the existing generation in the land, pointing to a high antiquity," he professes himself" inclined to consider it a town of modern origin" (loc. cit. p. 300). Equally mistaken, I believe, was the learned Vincent (Periplus, &c.), who attempts to identify it with the great naval and commercial station of Leukè Kóme, a term applicable to almost any settlement on this coralline coast. The "White Village," however, lies, as will be seen, much farther south.

Before leaving the coast I must briefly introduce the second Khedivial Expedition to the reader. The personnel, not including the Commander, was composed of eight Europeans: M. George Marie (engineer); Mr. Charles Clarke, Telegraph Engineer (commissariat officer); M. Lacaze (artist and photographer); Mr. David Duguid (chief engineer of the gunboat), temporarily attached to us; and Mr. Philipin (smith), with three Greeks at least two too many :-Anton (dragoman), Giorgi (cook), and Petros (waiter). There were five Egyptian officers Ahmed Kaptán Musallam, Commander Egyptian navy (astronomical observer); and two on the staff (ArkánHarb); Lieutenant Amir, who had accompanied the first Khedivial Expedition, and Lieutenant Yusuf Taufik (mappers and surveyors); Darwaysh Effendi, Lieutenant in the Piyadah (line), commanded the escort; and sub-Lieut. Mohammed

Farahát, the Ma'adanjíyah and Haggárah (sappers, miners and quarrymen).

The men were three privates of the staff, including Ali 'Brahim, a hard-working and valuable servant; and Yusef elFázi, his mate, a quartermaster, lent by the gunboat; the latter was generally useful as an English sailor. The escort, under an Egyptian sergeant and four corporals, was composed mostly of emancipated negroes, with a few Súdánis collected from every tribe in the basin of the Upper Nile. These men were armed with Remingtons, except the trumpeter, who carried a navy Colt; and they numbered twenty-five, not including the pistoleer or the Buluk-amin (writer). I also engaged five Básh-Buzuks from the little garrison of El-Muwaylah, because the irregulars are familiar with the country, and friendly with the Bedawin. The sappers, miners and quarrymen, who were unarmed, amounted to thirty-three, without reckoning the sergeant, the corporal and the carpenter. Thus the total was sixty-five men, or seventy, including officers.

The Ras el-Káfilah, or commander of the caravan, was the Sayyid 'Abd el-Rahím, who escorted us during the first journey; and he generally had with him, besides my old friend, Haji Wali of Zagázig, three Bedawi Shayks; for escort and service the latter received each an honorarium of one dollar per diem. The camp-followers were few: a Sais or groom, who superintended the care of our ten mules; Ali Mullah, a Barbari, servant to Haji Wali; Husayn Genínah, a boy who waited upon Lieutenant Yusuf; and "Hamad," an itinerant coffeevendor, who attached himself to us at El-Muwaylah. I hardly need notice the cameleers and their varlets, who were always being changed.

The transport difficulties were increased by the rivalry of the two tribes that contended for the honour and profit of fleecing us. The first were the Beni 'Ukbah, or "Sons of the Heel," who claim, after Arab fashion, the land on which the fort El-Muwaylah is built. Their Shaykh, Hasan ibn Salím el-'Ukbi, who had been honoured with an order from the Government of the Viceroy, declared himself willing to supply any number of camels at the rate of 1 dollar a-head for the four very short marches between El-Muwaylah and the Jebel el-Abyaz, my present objective. But a former employé, 'Abd el-Nabi of the Tagaygát clan of the great Huwaytát tribe, refused to march with the Beni 'Ukbah; demanded a third more pay; and, professing readiness to carry me and mine gratis, would not move under 1 dollar 25 cents. In April 1877 he had proved himself a manner of noble savage, a good man and true. But my kindness had spoilt him; and the

only remedy was to send him about his business as soon as possible.

It is usual in Arabia to engage camels by the stage, not by the day. For instance, the pilgrims pay according to tariff 1 dollar per long march of 12 hours, and the same is the hire for a dromedary post. But this would have been hardly fair to the Arabs, when we intended to make weekly and even longer halts. At last I agreed to hire each camel for 5 piastres on idle and ten on working days: the piastre being assumed at 97.20 1 sovereign.

II. Itinerary from El-Muwaylah to Magháir Shuayb.—December 20th, 1877.-The day was spent in starting a dromedarypost, in housing and ticketing our stores entrusted to a magazine-man at the Fort of El-Muwaylah, and in settling various disputes.

Dec. 21st. The large, straggling and most disorderly caravan, carrying 20 tents and 50 large boxes, required about 80 animals, without counting a certain number of dromedaries (Hijn) for riding purposes. The half-loads brought up the total to 106; and the greedy drivers demanded pay for 120. It would irk the reader to recount the normal troubles of such marches. Suffice it to say that the men were as wild and unmanageable as their beasts; that the latter were half-starved; that nothing could be worse than their gear, and that the caravan for the first four days was the most disorderly mob that I have yet seen. Of course it gradually improved, and at last we could load in fifteen minutes; this day the process had wasted five hours.

The trumpet sounded the "General" at 3 A.M., and the start took place sometime about 8 A.M. We marched past the old tomb of Shaykh Abdullah by the way of the Egyptian pilgrimage along the shore. After 2 hours the road forks; I wanted to take the left, but was led to the right: despite my express orders to encamp for the night near the seashore ruins of Tiryam, we were guided to its nakhil or palmetum, distant 1 hour 30 minutes walk up the valley, and described during my first expedition.* There is nothing Arabs and Egyptians will not do in order to pitch tent as near water as they safely can. The broad dusty track, laid out by camels' feet, subtended the long projection Ras Wady Tiryam (head of the Tiryam Valley), shown in the Ad. Chart: it rests upon a base of knobby hills and hillocks from 50 to 150 feet high, dirtyyellow grit of modern formation, scattered with sand and metalled with rusty ironstone, which here and there appears

*The Gold Mines of Midian,' p. 272.

in blotches. Despite the heavy rains of December 9-10, 1877, the land was utterly dried up: we saw a single troop of gazelles, a few sea-fowl, and a little long-eared hare like a leporide, now in the British Museum. The hardy thorns, acacias and mimosas; the juicy salsolacea and suædæ, salicornia (perfoliata), and scelanthus (quadragonus); the centaurea and the Statice pruinosa, or sea-lavender, were the only vegetation which had resisted the long drought. Beyond the point we turned abruptly towards the sea, thus taking 5 to do the work of 3 hours. The distance by the Ad. Chart is 11 direct geographical miles: we estimated our détour at 15 stat.; and the odometer, an Austrian messrad or wheel (Willmann, Wien), which lost no time in breaking down, showed 22 kilom. 700 metres. Most of the instruments, I must here explain, were bought at Cairo, which appears to be the general receptacle of European rubbish, all sold at double the Paris prices. Consequently they were as useless as they were costly. The mercurial barometer (Elliott Bros. 24) lent to us by General Stone (Pasha), Chief of the Staff, Cairo, when opened contained amalgam, not mercury; the baromètre anéroïde was found in its box with the chain-hook broken; the maxima and minima thermometers were absolute trash, and the two watches, "Dents" made at Geneva, presently refused to go. Fortunately I had my little travelling set by Casella; and even his maxima and minima were too delicate to resist camel-jolting. General Purdy Pasha of the Egyptian Staff, who remained upwards of two years surveying Dar For, found, after many a trial, that chronometers in those countries travelled best in panniers on donkey-backs. In India we sling them, Banghyfashion, over men's shoulders; but here and in Africa, the patient coolie's place is taken by a rough and reckless article, utterly unworthy to be trusted with anything more delicate than a cooking-pot.

Dec. 22nd.-Of the three first marches I have little to say: they are already described in 'The Gold Mines of Midian." We spent the early morning in digging at the small square fort which occupies rising ground on the left jaw of the Wady Tiryam, and which protected the townlet to the north. These ruins, like most others in Midian, are denoted by pottery, coarse and fine, which may be of any age, and by scatters of bluegreen glass, thick and thin: the latter is comparatively modern, and very different from the almost decomposed fragments, iridescent with damp, which are found below ground. The

* For the future I shall call it vol. i., and my second work vols. ii, and iii.

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