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destitute of smell. The fruit or nut is somewhat larger than a cherry; pearshaped, roundish body. Internally it is divided like the walnut, but into six parts, covered with a coriaceous shell, a green bark adhering thereto : both are aromatic, but the kernel is almost caustic to the taste. The natives gather it unripe, and use it as spice. The acridity leaves it in time; it is then thrown into boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes, and dried in the sun. The essential oil it yields is more esteemed than oil of cloves.
COMORO ISLANDS consist of Comoro, Mohilla, Mayotta, and Johanna, all very high, inhabited by Mahometans, generally courteous.
COMORO, the largest, in latitude 11° 32′ S., longitude 43° 25′ E., is about 12 leagues long, and 6 broad. The anchorage is inconvenient, at the N. W., in latitude 11° 18' S. It is not advisable to anchor under 30 or 35 fathoms water, on account of the vicinity of the breakers. The town is large, with a smooth sandy beach before it, the only place where a boat can land. Shoal water runs off three-quarters of a mile. When the town is seen, send boats ahead, for the bank is steep. Ships may be sheltered from the S. monsoon. This island is seldom visited by Europeans.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Excellent bullocks, sheep, goats, and tropical fruits are procurable; but no water. A present to the King or Chief is necessary.
MOHILLA, the smallest, is 12 leagues from Comoro, in latitude 12. 20 S., and longitude 43° 50′ E. There are said to be several anchorages coral reefs; the best is that to the S., behind some isles. The town is on a bluff hillock close to the sea. The King resides about 4 leagues from this place; the coast is very dangerous, and there is a large surf two miles from his residence.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS may be obtained here: small bullocks, rice, paddy, and fruit. The sea abounds with fish. Mohilla was once considered the best island for refreshments, but that of Johanna is now preferred for its safety. The watering-place is about 200 yards from the beach of Mohilla; the water is in a ravine, so that the casks are filled with an engine, where they are easily rolled from the soft sandy beach.
MAYOTTA, being surrounded with reefs, is least frequented. It is known by a conical mountain on its S. part, in latitude 12° 54′ S., longitude 45° 14′ E. The N. W. part, where is the best anchorage, is in latitude 12° 42′ S. An opening in the reef at the N. part leads to another anchorage, formerly frequented by English ships, or when the island has been mistaken for Johanna, on account of the Saddle Island at its N. W. end.
REFRESHMENTS and water can be procured, but it is attended with
JOHANNA, or Anzuan, now much frequented by European outwardbound ships, is triangular; the bay and anchorage between its two N. points, in latitude 12° 7′ S., longitude 44° 30' E. Its peak is in latitude 12° 15' S., longitude 44° 34′ E. The best anchorage is W. of the town, abreast of a range of coco-nut trees, near the sea, having a large black rock to the E., between them and the town, with the rivulet, where water is procured, at their W. extremity: the bearing at anchor is the Rivulet S. by W., and the Mosque E., rather above a quarter of a mile from shore. There are two other watering places. Coral rocks extend in several directions. Care should be taken not to make too free with the shore after luffing round Saddle Island. The town is near three-quarters of a mile long, close to the sea-shore, containing about 200 houses; the streets, or alleys, intricate. The King resides about 9 miles' distance; he generally visits a ship arriving in the roads, and must be saluted at arrival and departure with five guns, and gratified with presents.
TRADE is considerable, in trankeys of 70 to 100 tons, with Arabia, in coco-nuts, cowries, &c. Hence the natives have learned the use of money in purchasing piece-goods, &c. Looking-glasses, beads, cutlery, cloth and apparel, fire-arms, and other European articles, are in demand for refreshments. Surat vessels bring piece-goods, and receive cowries, red betel-nut, dammer, wax, coco-nuts, and corn. The natives are attached to the British.
PORT CHARGES.-Under this head are presents to the King of a barrel of gunpowder, some scarlet cloth, and muskets. His attendants, who assume English titles, expect as follow:-Prince of Wales, 15 dollars; Governor, 2; King's Purser, 20; Abdallah, 5. Independently of these, the Prince of Wales expects a barrel of gunpowder.. A charge of 5 dollars is made for keeping the watering-place in order, and a dollar for watching casks at night. Visiters to the island are also asked to subscribe to the improvement of the navigation to the Continent of Africa.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-The bullocks are excellent, but not large; goats and poultry may be procured, but are dear; yams and sweet potatoes in abundance; coco-nuts, large and delicious; pine-apples, and other tropical fruits, are brought off in canoes, and exchanged for knives, old clothes, bottles, &c. Water is excellent, and expeditiously obtained by laying down a small anchor midway between the shore (extremity of Brown's Garden), for the boats to haul off when loaded. Wood is scarce. This island is admirably adapted to afford refreshment, and restore a sick crew, if they are debarred from much fruit, and sleeping on shore.
SOCOTRA, an island about 40 leagues E. of Cape Gardafui, is 27 leagues long, and 7 broad, extending nearly E. and W., high and mountainous. To the E. is a dangerous reef of rocks. There are two anchoring places, used at either monsoon: that on the S. W. of the island is called Delisa, and seldom visited. The Bay of Tamarida, on the N. E., where the King resides, is the most eligible. The anchorage, latitude 12° 40′ N., longitude 54° 23′ E., is in 10 to 12 fathoms, the body of the town bearing S., about half a mile from shore. The houses are of stone and lime, and make, with the mosques, a handsome appearance. The natives are poor, but in general hospitable.
TRADE.-Aloes constitute the staple of its traffic, for which article it was formerly much resorted to. Dragon's blood is met with in small
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Bullocks, goats, fish, and dates are reasonable. The water is good, from a sandy valley, a quarter of a mile from the town. Fire-wood is very scarce. Rice is an essential article to barter for refreshments.
ALOES (Elwa, Hind. Musebber, Arab.) are prepared from several plants, chiefly the A. Spicata and A. Perfoliata (Ghi-cumar, Hind. Ghritacumari and Taruni, San.), growing in various parts of the world, of which there are four sorts. Socotrine, from Socotra, wrapt in skins, of a bright surface, somewhat transparent, yellowish red, with a purplish cast; of a golden colour when reduced to powder; hard and friable in winter; somewhat pliable in summer. Its taste is bitter and disagreeable, accompanied with an aromatic flavour; smell not very unpleasant, somewhat like myrrh. Boil four ounces in a quart of water; if pure, it will dissolve, and the liquor be dark-coloured; if adulterated, the impurities will remain undissolved. If mixed with rubbish, it should be cleaned before it is brought to England. The packages should weigh only 150 to 200 lbs. The purchaser should expect a considerable loss on the skins, and the packages should be greased, to prevent the drug from sticking-Hepatic, produced in other parts besides the East. The Barbadoes is generally darker coloured and less clear than the former, but more compact and dry, though soft and clammy: its taste is intensely bitter and nauseous, without aromatic flavour; smell much stronger, and more disagreeable. Care should be taken that this sort from India should not be liquid, which deteriorates it. Horse Aloes sometimes passes for Hepatic, and nearly resembles it, except in its rank smell. It is sometimes so pure and bright, as to render it difficult for the eye to distinguish it from Socotrine. Cape Aloes is, when powdered, yellow; but the thin pieces, when broken off the mass, and even the edges of the larger pieces, are transparent, appearing as if made of yellowish brown
glass; consequently it has not the dark opaque appearance of the other aloes. Cape Aloes should be chosen pure, bright, and free from impurities; when broken, of a yellowish brown colour, and the less rank, the better. About 50 miles from the Cape of Good Hope is a mountainous tract, almost entirely covered with the aloe-plant; large quantities of this sort are brought to England, chiefly for home consumption.
RED SEA, OR GULPH OF ARABIA.
THE Straits of Babelmandel, the entrance, is formed to the N. by the Cape so named in Arabia, in latitude 12° 40′ N., and the coast of Abyssinia to the S., having at the entrance the Island of Perim, in latitude 12° 38′ N., longitude 43° 29′ E., which is about 5 miles long. There is a passage on both sides of the island: that to the N., between it and Cape Babelmandel, is called the Little Strait; that to the S. is called the Large Strait; the former is most frequented.
The S. or Abyssinian coast is little known to Europeans, and is shunned on entering the Gulph, on account of the shoals. The principal places between the entrance and Suez are Dahalac, Massuah, Souakin, and Cosseir.
DAHALAC, an island about 7 leagues N. N. W. and S. S. E., the S. end in latitude 15° 32′ N., longitude 40° 15′ E., is almost surrounded by groups of isles. About 4 miles off its W. shore is a dry sand-bank; and 2 leagues further to the N. W. a rocky bank, with 2 fathoms, distant 4 miles to the W. of a group. On the S. side of the southernmost of this group, a vessel may anchor in 12 fathoms. It was formerly a place of considerable trade, and the port exhibits vestiges of its ancient consequence. The town is half a mile from the sea, a sloping beach of sand between. To the S. of the town are large tanks for water.
TRADE.-Vessels from Massuah and other places occasionally visit
MASSUAH.-The bay is in latitude 15° 34' N., longitude 39° 37' E., on the N. side of the high land of Gedam, having a town called Arkeko in the S. part of it, where vessels anchor in 10 or 12 fathoms, sheltered from
most winds, within the S. E. isle and its adjoining shoals. Massuah is on a small island close to the Abyssinian shore. The inhabitants are civil, but beggars, and sometimes thieves. It is the principal seaport in Abyssinia. The Chief resides at Arkeko. The landing-place is near the town, to which boats can come with ease.
TRADE is considerable with Judda and Mocha, estimated at 400,000 dollars annually, besides cotton-wool, purchased by the Abyssinians, of which three ships' cargoes may be sold in a year. The merchants want capital, but they are honourable, and may be trusted. The Banians are comfortable, and some wealthy. The imports are benjamin, cotton, copper, camphire, cloves, china, cardamoms, cinnamon, gunpowder, ginger, iron in bars, lead, musk, pepper, piece-goods, rice, red-wood, steel, sandal-wood, tobacco, tin, tutenague, turmeric, vermilion, and many European articles, as glass, cutlery, &c. The exports are gold, civet, rhinoceros' horns, ivory, honey, rice, ghee, wax, &c. A caravan arrives at Massuah in February. A considerable quantity of gold could be brought by these caravans, to pay for suitable goods.
DUTIES. The Nayib receives 10 per cent. on all imports and exports, and one dollar for each individual who comes to trade; but this is not settled. The following is a list of articles upon which he demands a duty; and the sum demanded is generally moderate, though graduated by no regular principle of trade:
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Though the country may be considered plentiful, the necessaries of life are dear. The Nayib monopolizes the supplies, charging a dollar for 12 fowls, or 2 goats, or 2 sheep; 5 dollars for a cow; 1 dollar for 23 skins of water; 360 beads for a man's load of wood.
COINS.-Spanish dollars pass at Massuah, and Venetian sequins, as well as Austrian dollars, called patakas, circulate throughout other parts of the kingdom. Large payments are made in ingots of gold, weighed by the wakea, or Abyssinian ounce; and bricks of salt dug out of the mines, about 80 of which are valued at a wakea of gold, are used for smaller payments, as well as glass beads, called borjookes.