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Bagdad. The mouth of the Diala, or the point of its discharge into the Tigris, appeared to be nearer to Bagdad than to Ctesiphon, in the proportion observed in the bearings of these respective objects from the passage of that stream. We reached the British Residency in time to join Mr. Rich and family at breakfast, and met from them the same kind reception and warm interest in the events of the excursion, which had been so cordially evinced before.

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THE short journey of trial which I had just performed, trifling as it was, proved to me that my strength was not yet perfectly reestablished. I was, however, impatient to prosecute the remainder of my way, and began to make such preparations and inquiries as were necessary.

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The evening of the 23d of August ushered in the Turkish feast of the Bairām, by a discharge of cannon and fire-works, from all parts of the city, though it was absolutely impossible that could have yet seen the new moon, which is the necessary prelude to the commencement of this feast, and until which, indeed, the fast of Ramazan is not at an end. Two witnesses had solemnly deposed, however, at the seat of justice, before the Cadi, that they had seen the

new crescent, and this was enough to absolve the faithful at large from their fast on the following day, the sun-set being sufficient authority for their breaking it at evening. Many of the more scrupulous Mohammedans require, however, the sight of the new orb with their own eyes, before they feel justified in ending their fast; but these, like the "over-righteous" in most countries, are generally in a minority.

On the morning of the 24th, the Pasha, attended by all his officers, went in public state, going part of the way under canopies, and attended with a large retinue of horse and foot guards, music, and a crowd of dependants, to and from the mosque. The whole procession resembled very nearly that described by Benjamin of Tudela, (quoted in a former page,) when he gives an account of the Caliph going publicly to the mosque, on the feast of Bairām, nearly seven hundred years ago, so little do the manners of these people change in the course of many centuries.

The 25th of August was the fête of St. Louis, on which occasion Mr. Rich and Dr. Hine paid their formal visit of ceremony to the Pasha, on the return of the Turkish feast of Bairām, going to the palace at an early hour in the morning; and I accompanied the secretary, Mr. Bellino, to the Catholic church here, where a mass was to be said for the repose of the soul of Louis the Sixteenth, and "Te Deum" sung for the restoration of the Bourbon family to the French throne. The room was small and crowded; and the service as noisy, as ceremonious, and as irreverently performed, as any thing I had ever witnessed among the Christians of the East, calculated, indeed, to excite far different feelings than those of devotion.

On our return to the Residency, we heard of a rebellion at Kerkook, in which the Pasha's representative at that place, the Janissary Aga, and sixty of his adherents, were killed, and a large body of mules forcibly seized by the insurgents. The information was brought to the Pasha while Mr. Rich sat with him in his divan, and he received it with apparent indifference, not following it up even by a single question; it being the fashion of the Turks to affect

great apathy, as they think it undignified to permit their tranquillity to be disturbed by any human event.

The Pashalic of Bagdad has never been so unproductive in revenue, or so unprotected against internal commotion, or external attack, as since it has been under the government of its present Pasha. Scarcely any thing is sent from the treasury of the city to Constantinople; so that this frontier town is of little value to the Turks; and the Pasha himself is so poor that he borrows even now the smallest sums. It is thought, therefore, that the Shah Zadé, the eldest son of the King of Persia, who resides at Kermanshah, commands an extensive territory, and is an ambitious young man, may be one day tempted to add Bagdad to his dominions, or perhaps make it his capital; and it is believed, by most persons residing here, that it would fall an easy prey to his arms.

We saw to-day a very singular and curious intaglio, on a dull agate, which was brought for our inspection, and said to have been found at Samara,* on the Tigris, where Jovian arrived after the death of Julian, a little way only up the river, and erroneously called Old Bagdad. On one side was a military trophy, represented in the Roman style, by a body of armour, two shields, a helmet, &c. On the reverse was a figure with a human body and a hawk's, or eagle's, head. In his right hand he held a scourge, or whip; on his left arm was a shield; his body was clothed with armour ; beneath his feet, as if forming a continuation of them, were two wavy serpents, with their heads turned outward, to the right and left; and beneath the whole was an upright tortoise. Around each of these were some Greek letters, badly cut, which were unintelligible to us, and the whole, though singularly curious in its device, was of bad execution.

A Persian ambassador, who had recently arrived here from the king at Tabriz, to treat on some affairs with the Pasha of Bagdad, had just gone off on pilgrimage to the celebrated Tomb of Ali, to

*See a note on Samara, at p. 243 of the present volume.

the south-west of Hillah, and as he was shortly expected back to set out on his return to his sovereign, it was thought that it would be a favourable occasion for me to go under the protection of the same party through Persia to Tehraun, and from thence down to Bushire. These pilgrimages of the Persians are performed with great risk to themselves, and scarcely ever fail to draw forth the hostility of the Arabs on the road, when the parties are not sufficiently protected for self-defence. Small bodies are constantly interrupted and plundered by the Bedouins west of the Euphrates; and it is not long since that the town of Kerbela was entered by the Wahabees, all its male population that could be seized put to the sword, only women and children spared, and the mosque of the Imam Hossein, so highly reverenced by the Shiahs, stripped of all its treasures.*

When the Persians go from hence through the country of Nedjed, on their pilgrimage to Mecca, the protection or permission of the Wahābees is necessary to be purchased before they set out. As this is always an affair of personal treaty, skilful and influential individuals are generally employed for that purpose. It happened, during the last year, that on an application being made to the chief, from the pilgrims waiting here, for a free passage, the answer returned to them by the hands of the Wahābee messenger was, that they would be suffered to go through the country in safety on the usual terms, on the condition that they were to come through Derya, where the chief of the Wahābees then resided. Either from conceiving this demand to be too humiliating to be complied with, or from some other motive, the Wahabee messenger who brought it was beaten and sent back by the Persians to his tent. They soon afterwards set out with the determination to go straight through the country, without turning to the right or left. They were met, however, by a large body of the Wahābees, whose messenger they had so ill-treated; many were killed, still more wounded, and the rest obliged to go down to Derya, where some in despair gave up their pilgrimage

* See an account of this massacre and plunder at p. 137 of the present volume.

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