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citly the footsteps of their fathers, and no one troubled himself about the faith of his neighbour, being content with believing that there was an irreconcilable difference between it and his own, and never attempting to accommodate or unite them.
The population of Mousul is thought, by the people of the place, to exceed a hundred thousand; but I should think, from the loose estimate I was enabled to make, by comparison of different data, that it was even less than half that number.
The principal portion of this is Mohammedan, in about equal proportions of Arabs, Turks, and Koords. There are also about three hundred Jewish families, who have a synagogue for their worship. The Christians are thus, estimated in relative numbers: of the Chaldeans of both descriptions, one of which differs but little from the Catholics, there are thought to be a thousand families; of the Syrians, five hundred; and of the Jacobites, or Yakoubi, as they are here called, about three hundred.
The government of Mousul is in the hands of a Pasha of two tails, who has a territory extending a few miles only from the town; but as he receives his investiture of office immediately from the Sultan, at Constantinople, he is thus independent of the Pashas of Aleppo, Orfah, and Bagdad. The present Pasha, whose name is Hamed, is highly popular, esteemed by all classes, and thought, even by those over whom he governs, to be a very indulgent master.
The military force maintained for the defence of the town and its neighbourhood does not exceed a thousand men, and these are chiefly cavalry. There are frequently half that number in attendance at the palace, or residence, of the Pasha, which is a meanly-built but extensive pile, being almost as spacious, including its courts and offices, as some small villages. The gay parade, which is sometimes seen here, of beautiful Arabian horses, richly caparisoned in velvet and gold, mounted by Turkish riders, habited in flowing robes of coloured shalloons, with costly arms, Indian shawls, and other marks of pomp and wealth, offers a striking contrast to the poverty of the
buildings in general, and the rude and mean exterior of the imperial palace in particular.
The fortifications toward the land-side consist only of an enclosing wall, without cannon; and toward the river the city is defended by a castle. This is a small and now ruined building, seated on an artificial island, formed by letting in the waters of the Tigris, on the banks of which it stands, to fill a deep ditch by which it is surrounded. It lies near the bridge of boats by which the river itself is crossed. The building is of triangular form, and constructed of bricks, having only a few small dwellings for the soldiers who garrison it. Near the castle there are several brass cannon lying scattered about, dismounted and unserviceable. On one of these I noticed two European coats of arms, one of which was a cross, occupying all the shield; the other was quartered, with a cross in the upper sinister and lower dexter compartment, and in the two corresponding ones an arm extended, with the hand open, and a scarf, or broad band, filled with crosses, hanging over the wrist. The date on it was 1526, but through what channel it had reached this place I could not learn.
The trade of Mousul, which was once so considerable, is now reduced to a very low state. There are still some merchants, who go from hence to Aleppo, with the galls of Koordistan, and the few Indian commodities which reach them from Bussorah, to exchange in Syria for European manufactures. The Indian goods are also forwarded to Tocat, and the higher parts of Asia Minor, from whence copper is received in return, and sent down to Bagdad. The only manufacture now carried on to any extent within the town is that of coarse cotton cloths, which are dyed blue, and used for the clothing of the lower classes.
In the people of Mousul I thought I could observe a cast of countenance, sufficiently peculiar to mark them as a race nearly allied to, and long settled and intermixed with each other. The shape of the face is rounder than that of either Arabs or Turks, and the hair is universally black, and the eyes small, sharp, and pene
trating, while the complexions are like those of the south of Spain. The young boys generally wear one ear-ring of gold, and the girls an ornament like a button, with a small turquoise stone set in it, pierced through one nostril. The men dress mostly after the Turkish mode, except that they wear turbans and overhanging tarbooshes, like the people of Syria, instead of the Turkish kaook; and fine Angora shalloon instead of cloth, for benishes. The women wear the blue checkered envelope common to Egypt and Syria, and have a stiff veil of horse-hair cloth, which is black, and covers the whole face, so that they look as uninteresting as can be conceived. The straw-mat fans, like little square flags on handles, which are used on the Abyssinian and Arabian shores of the Red Sea, are seen in the hands of all classes; but the more gay use a triangular fan of feathers, which has a small looking-glass in the centre of its inner face, and is suspended from the arm by a ribbon.
The Arabic spoken at Mousul, differs considerably from that of Cairo, and even from that of Aleppo. There is a mixture of Turkish, Persian, and Indian words in it; and both the manners of the people, and many other appearances that I noticed, already apprized me of my approach toward the latter country.
Of the history of Mousul but few particulars are known. It is unquestionably, however, a place of some antiquity, and has once enjoyed a much higher degree of splendour than it at present posIt is thought, by Gibbon, to have been the western suburb of Ninus, the city which succeeded Nineveh; and the erudition and critical discernment of that historian, on all points of ancient geography, are such as to make his authority almost conclusive. It was known, however, by its present name of Mousul, under the Khalifs, and as such is mentioned in the Bibliothèque Orientale of D'Herbelot.
The celebrated Rabbi, Benjamin of Tudela, who commenced his travels in the East in the year 1173 of the Christian era, visited this place in his way to India. He calls it "Mutsul,” and places it
at two days' distance from the town of Gezireh, and, like it, on the western bank of the Tigris. He says, that it was anciently called "the Great Assar," which was no doubt the tradition prevalent among the people there.* There were then, at this place, seven thousand Jews, who were governed by two chiefs, one of whom was Zacchee, a prince of the blood of David, the King of Israel; and the other was Joseph the astrologer, who, like his ancestor Daniel, was counsellor to the king. This king was then Zain-el-Deen, the brother of Nour-el-Deen, the reigning King of Damascus.
Mousul then commanded the kingdom of Persia, and preserved all its ancient grandeur. Nineveh is spoken of, by the Rabbi, as seated on the opposite bank of the river, and then completely in ruins.
Mousul was sufficiently strong to withstand a siege from the famous Salah-el-Deen, (Saladin,) in the year of the Hejira 578. This warrior was himself a native of the neighbouring hills of Koordistan, being the nephew of a celebrated Koordish chief, called AssudeenSheer-koh, or Lion of the Mountain, who was obliged to fly his country for having killed a man of high family, who had insulted an unprotected female.†
This city suffered again when Bagdad was taken by the Tartars under Jenghiz Khan, in the year of the Hejira 654, or A. D. 1256,‡
* Asher was the name of him who went out of the land of Shinar, and built Nineveh, and Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen.-Genesis, c. x. v. 11.
+ "Sallah-u-deen, so famous in the crusades, was nephew of a Koord chief, called Assudeen Sheerkoh, or, Lion of the Mountain, who was obliged to fly his country, for having killed a man of high family, who had insulted an unprotected female. His uncle and his brothers, who accompanied him, found refuge at the court of Nour-a-deen Mahmood, the ruler of Baalbeck, and was afterwards sent by him in command of a force, to aid the Waly, or Governor of Egypt, against the Infidels of the West. The young Sallah-u-deen accompanied his uncle, and succeeded him in the office of Vizier, or Waly, and, on the death of the chief himself, he assumed the government of Egypt, which, with all Syria, soon submitted to his command, and he thenceforward became the successful champion of religion, in the celebrated Frank crusades."-Malcolm's History of Persia, vol. ii. p. 380.
+ Ibid, p. 422.
when it is said that between seven and eight hundred thousand persons were put to death, and that the stream of the Tigris was swollen with waves of blood. It was again nearly ruined by Timur, or Tamerlane, in his invasion of the country, in the year of the Hejira 796; so that, after such successive devastations, the wonder is, that it still retains so much of its former importance as it really does.
The celebrated Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, passed through Mousul, and reports that, in his time, they made their precious stuffs of gold and silk. At that period, he remarked that in the mountains dependent on this kingdom were certain men, called Cardis, or Curds, of whom some were Nestorians, others Jacobins, and others Mohammedans, who were great robbers.* It is from this traveller's report, that fine cottons are supposed to derive the name of muslins, from Mousul, a name which they had in common with gold tissue and silk, because those articles were either made or to be purchased there.†
The last notice of Mousul, in an historical point of view, is its having, in 1743, sustained a bombardment, during forty days, from the celebrated Persian conqueror, Nadir Shah, who was obliged to abandon the siege, in order to return into Persia to quell a rebellion there. Since that period it has received no great shock, though it may be said to have been progressively, and still continues to be, on the decline.‡
* See Bergeron's Collection of Early Voyages and Travels, in French, printed at the Hague, by Jeane Neaulme, in 1735, 4to. p. 13, 14.
+ "Tutti le pani d'oro e di seta chi si chiamana Mossoulini, si lavorano in Moxul." -Marco Paolo, lib. i. cap. 6, as quoted by Dr. Vincent, in his Periplus of the Erythræan Sea, vol. ii. p. 273. 4to.
The following descriptions of Mousul, from two travellers, between the age of Benjamin of Tudela, and that of Nadir Shah, may be given here:
Le Sieur Boullaye-le-Gouz, a gentleman of Angers, who had travelled over the greater part of the world in the beginning of the seventeenth century, speaks thus of Mousul, which he takes to be the same with Nineveh.
"Elle est assise à trente-six degrez de la latitude sur le bord du Tigre du costé de