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In the evening, the caravan which I accompanied from Aleppo made its entry into Mousul, and so great was the consideration enjoyed here by the Hadjee Abd-el-Rakhman, that a crowd of his friends and dependants went out beyond the walls of the city to greet his arrival, and to bring him into his own house, amid their
l'ouest, et peut estre comparée à Pise, ou à Angers; il y a un beau pont de bateaux pour passer du costé de la Perse. La pluspart des habitans de Moussol sont Chrétiens, de la secte des Jahoabites; il y a un Pacha, avec peu de milice Ottomane. Cette ville est renommée par toute l'Asie pour les toiles teintes en rouge, qui ne perdent jamais leur couleur, et pour les noix de galles, que l'on en transporte en Europe, et autres parties du monde, des montagnes circonvoisines, avec quoy l'on accommode le Maroquin du Levant. Il y a aussi aux environs de cette ville le long du Tigre de très-bon reglisse, que les Arabes appellent Rgls; la feuille de cette plante mise dans la bouche a le mesme goust que les carnes molles; la racine est ce que l'on nous apporte en Europe, laquelle ne vient jamais droitte, n'y plus grosse que le bras, comme j'ay observé; les naturels s'en servent dans les bains, et nous autres pour les ptisanes."-Voyages et Observations du Sieur de la Boullaye-le-Gouz, 4to. Paris, 1657.
The following observations of Otter apply to a period of about eighty years later, (in 1736,) and only seven years before the bombardment of Nadir Shah, spoken of in the text.
"Mosul, capitale du pays de Dgezirè, est située sur la bord occidentale du Tigre, dans un pays uni à six journées de Miafarikin, si l'on prend le chemin du fort de Kifa, et à huit si l'on passe par Mardin. Ebul-Feda dit qu'elle avoit deux enceintes de murailles plus grandes que celles de Damas, mais qu'elles étoient en partie ruinées de son tems, de même que le fort: elle a aujourd'hui un mur, des fossés, et un rempart du côté de la rivière. Les kiervanserais, les palais, et les autres édifices, bâtis de pierres dures, sont assez beaux. L'air y est bon dans le printems, qui est pour ce pays la meilleure saison. Le chaleur y est grande en été, le froid rude en hiver, et les fièvres y regnent pendant l'automne. La ville est riche, et les habitans sont braves. Ils parlent communement quatre langues, savoir, l'Arabe, le Turc, le Persan, et le Kiurd. On y fait un grand commerce, surtout de toiles de coton blanches et noires, qui s'y fabriquent. On y vend aussi des marchandises des Indes qu'on apporte de Basra; et on tire par la voie de Haleb les draps et autres marchandises de l'Europe."-Otter, tome i. pp. 136, 137.
"Vis-à-vis de Mosul, de l'autre côté de la rivière, est une source de Nafte, et plus loin encore à l'est il y a une autre source appellée Rees-ul-Naoura, de laquelle on tire un limon qui sert à teindre en bleu, comme l'indigo. Au sud, en tirant du côté de Bagdad, il sort de la terre quantité de résine dont on fait de la poix pour enduire les barques et les bains; et à une journée de Mosul du même côté, on trouve près du Tigre dans le désert de l'eau naturellement chaude. On y a pratiqué un bassin pour
acclamations of welcome.
As we met these on our return from an excursion round the town, I dispensed with the further attendance of the Pasha's cawasses, and joined the party who were going to the Hadjee's house.
On our reaching this, we were all received with great respect by the servants and slaves in waiting; but the Hadjee and his nephew were almost worshipped by them; having their knees embraced, and the hems of their garments kissed by the crowds who pressed around them as they entered the court of their dwelling.
The house itself, which was now quite new, was esteemed to be inferior to none in the city, excepting the residence of the Pasha, and, indeed, its interior decorations were as costly as those of any private abode that I had seen in the East, excepting only those of the rich Jews at Damascus. This house had been begun by the Hadjee just before his setting out on his pilgrimage, and, during the two years of his absence, it had been completed by the confidential slave or chief steward of his household. While the host and his nephew retired to receive the welcome of the females of the family, all the strangers were shewn over the dwelling, and every thing was found to be in the most perfect order for the lord's reception. The Hadjee and his nephew soon returned to us, both dressed in garments of white, all perfectly new, and prepared during their absence, to clothe them on the day of their return.
le bain. Il en sort une espèce de mastic d'un fort bon goût, et dont l'odeur est agréable." -Otter, tome i. p. 140.
"Environ à deux heures de chemin de Kierkiouk est une colline appellée KiourkiourBaba, où, au rapport des gens du pays, on trouve, en creusant sur le sommet à peu de profondeur, une matière qui s'enflamme à l'air jusqu'à faire bouiller l'eau: mais la flamme disparoît des qu'on la couvre de terre. A une petite distance de là, vers l'occidente, on rencontre trois sources de Nafte, qui forment un ruisseau. Si l'on jette dans ces sources du coton, ou des morceaux de toile allumés, on entend un bruit effroyable. Il sort d'abord de la flamme qui s'elève fort haut. La source reste après couvert de fumée jusqu'à ce que la matière soit entièrement consumée; alors la feu s'étient. On trouve aussi tout auprès une source d'où il sort de la resine qui s'écoule dans la plaine. Si quelqu'un par mégarde passe dessus, il y est tellement empôtré qu'il ne peut s'en retirer."-Otter, tome i. p. 153.
A sumptuous feast was now ready to close the scene, and while the Hadjee Abd-el-Rakhmān was seated on one carpet, surrounded by all the strangers who journeyed in his train, the nephew entertained, on another carpet, all those of the town who came to greet them jointly on their safe return. Even here, however, amidst all the parade of wealth and hospitality, the hoary pilgrim did not disdain to bargain with me in whispers for the purchase of my horse, as he understood that I should be obliged to sell it and go to Bagdad with post-horses in the company of the Tartars, (no single animal being able to keep up with their rapid pace;) and in this transaction he sufficiently verified the proverb, on the influence of a journey to Mecca,* by persuading me into the sale of this excellent animal, for about half the price it would have brought in the public bazar, though I was in some degree disposed to yield to his terms, from a conviction that the horse, to whom I had now become strongly attached, would be better treated, and more happy under his care, than in the hands of an entire stranger.
See this proverb at the end of chap. vi. p. 129.
THE RIVER LYCUS.
JULY 7th.-All things being arranged for my journey with the Turkish Tartars, from Mousul to Bagdad, I received intimation from the Tartar-Aga, or chief of these couriers, that our horses would be ready at nine o'clock this morning, and that, on no consideration, would any delay beyond that hour be permitted.
As I was up, however, before the sun, I procured the use of a horse and a guide from my Christian entertainer, and set out on a visit to the ruins of Nineveh, which are scattered along the eastern bank of the Tigris.
Descending through the town to the river, we crossed it, over a bridge of boats, which was just one hundred and fifty horse-paces in length. The boats were badly constructed, and not being fastened
together in the most secure manner, the whole bridge was set in motion by the least agitation of the water. They were moored head and stern by iron chains, and were sharp at each end. The rate of the current in mid-channel seemed at present not to exceed two miles an hour; but it was said by all, that this was the slowest rate at which it ran, and that it sometimes possessed three times its present rapidity. The water was nowhere deeper than from three to four fathoms, and it was of a yellow muddy colour throughout; though it soon became clear by being suffered to rest, and was at all seasons fine and sweet to the taste.
We went from hence towards the north-east, and passing over a stone bridge of Mohammedan work, thrown across a small stream, which discharges itself into the Tigris, came in about an hour to the principal mounds which are thought to mark the site of the ancient Nineveh.
There are four of these mounds, disposed in the form of a square; and these, as they shew neither bricks, stones, nor other materials of building, but are in many places overgrown with grass, resemble the mounds left by entrenchments and fortifications of ancient Roman camps.
The longest of these mounds runs nearly north and south, and consists of several ridges of unequal height, the whole appearing to extend for four or five miles in length. There are three other distinct mounds, which are all near to the river, and lie in the direction of east and west. The first of these, counting from the southward, is the one called "Nebbé Yunus," having a tomb on it, which is thought to contain the ashes of the prophet Jonas, and a small village collected round it; the next to the northward is called Tal Hermoosh, which is not marked by any striking peculiarity; and the third is the one we first ascended, and which, by way of distinction, from its regularity and height, is called Tal Ninoa, or the Hill of Nineveh.*
* This might probably be the mound spoken of by Diodorus in the following passage; at least, there was no other in sight, to which his description would so well