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Iland of Rhodes is very healthful, and the Country exceeding
The Wines of this Isand are much admir'd at Rome. Here
Jews, and Christians, frequently go in Procession,
· beft Mastich in the World. Among their Fruits we must not
forget their Figs, of which they make Brandy, and export great Quantities to their Neighbours. The Partridges of this Ifland are much taken notice of by Travellers ; every Village has a Servant who leads a great many hundred Brace of them into the Fields in a Morning; and, upon his Call, they come together again in the Evening, and return to their respective Masters. The Island of Meteline not only produces good
Corn, but is still remarkable for its excellent Meteline. Wine; the Soil also produces very good Oil, and
Figs, and Pine-trees which produce black Pitch.
Of A R A B I A. CLIMATE.]T HE Air, in the Northern Parts of Arabia,
i is very hot during the Summer, the Heavens being seldom overcaft; but it is more temperate towards the Southern Parts, being qualified by refreshing Dews, which frequently fall there. In the Northern Parts are found neither Men nor Beasts, Birds or Trees, Grass or Pastures, and nothing to be seen but rolling Sands, or craggy Mountains; the Rivers are but few in Number, and those shallow and small, and Rain is seldom seen there. But the Sea Coafts, and Banks of Rivers, in the Southern Parts, or Arabia Felix, afford a better Soil : There the Ground yields Aromatic Plants, and delicious Fruits, Aloes, Caffia, Spikenard, Cardamum, Cinnamon, Pepper, Dates, Oranges, Lemons, &c. Frankincense, Myrrh, and other valuable Gums.
GOVERNMENT.] The Inland Country is under the Government of abundance of petty Arabian Princes, who march from Place to Place, and encamp according as they find Water, and Pasture for their Cattle. As to the Form of Government and Laws, what I can learn of them is, that the Princes of the Kingdoms lying upon the Coasts are absolute, both in Spirituals and Temporals, and the Succession hereditary ; that they have no other Laws than what are to be found in the Alcoran, and the Comments upon it. The Princes lying near Turky are tributary to the Turk; but it is certain they receive large Gratuities from this Monarch, for protecting the Pilgrims that pass thro' their Country: And the
Grand Seignior is always glad to have a good Understanding with them; for it is in their power to do his Subjects a great deal of Mischief, by their Excursions and Robberies, and very difficult to punish them for it: For tho' the Arabians are not a Match for the Turk in open Field, yet it would destroy the best Armies to pursue them thro' their Deserts, where there are no Towns, no Provisions, and where there is scarce any Water to be met with, and the Heat insupportable to any but the Natives; and this is the true Reason, that the greatest Part of Arabia was never conquer'd.
REVENUES. ] As to the Revenues, 'tis faid, the Kings command the Purses of their Subjects as the Necessity of AFfairs requires. .
CHARACTER.] The Arabians are said to be brave, of a civil and honest Deportment to all sorts of People; but this is meant of those near Muscat. For the Natives in general of the other Parts of Arabia are not more taken notice of for their Rambling from Place to Place, than they are for their Thieving, which is both by Sea and Land; and that not in small Parties only, but by public Authority, in a manner, with their Princes at the Head of them.
Religion.] The fober Part of the Arabians profess the Doctrine of Mahomet.
CUSTOMs. There are no Roads laid out in this Country, but the Caravans travel over fandy Deserts, where there is no manner of Track, guiding themselves Travelling. by a Compass, as at Sea, or else by the Stars ; for they travel chiefly in the Night, on account of the Heats. People choose to travel with the Caravans, in which are frequently two or three hundred Men, and, perhaps, a thousand Beasts of all Kinds, in order to secure themselves from the thievish Arabs. There are no Wheel Carriages in this Country; all their Merchandizes are loaden upon Camels or Dromedaries; both which will kneel down to take up their Burden, and will, upon Occasion, travel five or six Days without drinking. Here are no Inns to bait at, but those who travel with the Caravans carry their Provisions and Tents with them. They also carry Water with them; for sometimes they do not meet with any in several Days travelling. It is an Observation among the Arabs, that wherever there are Trees, the Water is not far off ; and when they draw near a Pool, their Camels will smell it at a Distance, and set up their great Trot till they come to it.
CURIOSITIES.] At Mecca is a Turkish Mosque, so glorious, that it is reckon'd the stateliest of any in the World ; to
which which every Mussulman is obliged, by the Mahometan Re: ligion, to come once in his Life-time, or send a Deputy. At Medina is also a stately Mosque, supported by two Pillars, and furnished with 300 Silver Lamps, and call’d by the Turks Most Holy, because in it is the Coffin of their Prophet Mahomet, cover'd over with Cloth of Gold, under a Canopy of Cloth of Silver, curiously embroider'd.
. Of Þ ERS I A. CLIMATE.]DERSIA extending from the 25th to the
1 45th Deg. of Latitude, it is very reasonable to suppose, that the Air and Seasons are very different. In the Middle of the Kingdom their Wintér begins in November, and continues till March, with severe Frosts, and Snow, which falls in great Abundance on their Mountains, but not so much in the Champain Country; from the Month of March till May, the Wind is usually high; and from thence to September they have a calm serene Heaven, without so much as a Cloud; and tho' it be pretty hot in the Day time, the refreshing Breezes, which blow constantly Morning and Evening, as well as in the Night, make the Summer very tolerable, especially since the Nights are ten Hours long. The Air is so pure, and the Stars shine with that Lustre, that People travel much more in the Night, than in the Day. In this part of Persia there are very seldom any Hurricanes or Tempest, and very little Thunder and Lightning ; nor is it subject to Earthquakes; and the Air is so extremely dry in the fair Season, that there is not the least Dew, or Moisture, on any thing that is laid abroad all Night, or even on the Grass; and it very seldom rains in the Winter. No Country is more healthful than the Heart of Persia, as appears by the hale Complexion of the Natives. The Air in the Southern Part of Persia, particularly about Gombron, is very unhealthful in the Spring and Fall :' The European Factors scarce ever pass a Year without a dangerous Fit of Illness, which frequently carries them off. The Months of June, July, and Auguft, are healthful enough, but so very hot, that both Natives and Foreigners get up into the Mountains at that Time.
GOVERNMENT.) The King of Persia is an absolute Monarch, and has the Lives and Estates of his Subjects entirely at his Disposal: There is no Prince in the World more inplicity obey’d, let his Orders be never so unjuft; nothing can save the greatest Subject, if he determines to deprive him of his Life, or Estate. The Crown of Persia is hereditary, but the
les of all the Royal Family the King pitsbe
Females are excluded : However, the Son of a Daughter may inherit, tho’his Mother could not. What seems most particular in the Laws of Succession in Persia is, that a blind Man shall not inherit; and as those Males who proceed from the Female Branches, are as capable of succeeding as those who derive themselves from the Males, that cruel Policy of putting out the Eyes of all that are allied to the Crown, is executed upon every Male of the Royal Family, whether they proceed from Sons or Daughters. The Person the King pitches upon to execute this cruel Order, is not allowed to do it by holding a hot Iron to the unhappy Childrens Eyes, but the very Eyeballs are scopeď clean out with the Point of a Knife, by which the poor Children are put to inexpressible Torture, and sometimes lose their Lives under the Hand of these Butchers. The Perfrans pretend to excuse this barbarous Practice of putting out the Eyes of the Royal Children, by telling us, that it prevents all Disputes about the Succession, and a great deal of Bloodshed; and that they are much more merciful than their Neighbours the Turks, who destroy every Branch of the Royal Family.
TRADE.] The Staple Commodity of Persia is Silk, raw and wrought, of which great Quantities are exported to India, Turky, and Moscowy; and formerly the English and Dutch took a great deal off their Hands, but little or none at this Day.
REVENU FS.) What the Revenue of the Crown may amount to in the Whole, is very uncertain, it depending so much upon Casualties. Those who have attempted to calculate it say, that, one Year with another, the Revenues amount to 4,000,000 Pounds Sterl. which, considering that their Troops are most of them paid by other Means, is a very considerable Sum; but then, as the Splendor and Magnificence of the Perfian Court is much beyond any thing we have in Europe, possibly very little of it may remain in the Treasury at the Year's End.
FORCES.] The Army of Persia was never large, confidering the Extent of the Kingdom. Abbas the Great, who made such considerable Conquests, had never more than 120,000 Men in his Service at once, in all the Provinces of his Kingdom.
Religion.) The Inhabitants in general are strict Followers of Mahomei's Doctrine, as explain'd and interpreted by Haly, the Nephew and Son-in-law of Mahomet, and one of his Successors in the Empire. But the Persians and Turks differ as much about the Interpretation of the Alcoran, as they do about the Successors of Mahomet. There are many