by order of Alexander the Great after the battle of Issus, and was about a mile and a half to the south of the present town, close to the hills; or rather, part of the city was on the hills, which, for some space, are of easy ascent, and covered with a fertile soil. The foundations to a great extent are visible in many places; some stone walls, 8 feet thick, are yet breast high; and near the centre of those remains is the celebrated well called Jacob’s Well, or Fountain, which gushes out from under a rocky hill into a channel almost level with the plain, seemingly made by art in the solid rock, 11 feet leng, 14 inches broad, and 30 inches deep. The current of water fills up 25 inches of the depth; it runs with great velocity, and the inhabitants say its stream has always been the same. A French gentleman (well versed in hydraulicks) some time since computed that six tons of water ran off in every minute of time.”—“The Jews have a tradition, that at this fountain, Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, watered his flocks, and pitched his tents in the plain for a great length of time, which is the reason it has always been called after, and still retains his name.”—“The Turkish and Greek ships which come to Scanderoon, always take their water for the voyage from this well, nor will any person at Scanderoon drink any other.”—“The present town consists of about 170 houses occupied by Greeks, and about 15 more by Turks; the whole number of inhabitants scarcely amounts to 800. The houses are all built of stone, with only a ground-floor. The roofs are flat, on which the natives sleep in hot weather. There is a small yard or garden to each house. When caravans with goods come from Aleppo, the place exhibits the appearance of a fair until their departure; there have been in these last four years 68 caravans from that city, consisting of from 250 to 2000 camels in a caravan, besides mules and horses.”—“As this place is the only thoroughfare from Asia Minor into Syria, large bodies of soldiers often pass this way, who halt on the plain near the town, always one night, sometimes more; and if not restrained by their officers, commit many violences on the poor Greeks, who must bear all with seeming patience, or be well drubbed.”

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“There are four passes. The first and third are artificial, the second and fourth natural. The greatest part of the road, after the ascent begins, is steep and rugged, which continues for about half an hour's ride, then you arrive at a level spot of about 400 yards extent, which leads to the descent of a very steep stony hill; at the bottom of which is a very fine shady grove, and a small plain about 100 yards over, the trees of which are so lofty, and so close to each other, that no sunbeams can penetrate them; with a constant stream of excellent water, to which the birds in summer flock in such numbers, that it is difficult to determine whether their singing or the murmuring of the water is most delightful; nothing can excel their union.” “After passing this shady grove, the ascent is gradual for about half an hour, and then very steep for a quarter of an hour more, which leads to a path of about 20 yards, where only one camel or horse can pass at a time. This is called the first and least difficult pass into Syria. Soon afterward, the road is rugged and very steep, which continues full half an hour, when the second pass commences, which is formed by a steep, rocky mountain on the left, and a precipice on the right; this path is not more than 7 feet in the broadest part, or more than 100 yards in length. I plumbed the precipice, and found it to be 27 yards deep, with a rugged, rocky bottom, and of so terrible an aspect, that it is believed that none but the horses and camels of the country would have courage to pass, and yet they have no other road.” —“After passing this precipice is a winding and rugged hill, very steep, of about 400 yards ascent; on the summit is a small plain, at the end of which commences the third pass, which is cut through a very high and rocky mountain, so very steep, that to ascend or descend it, the horses, camels, &c. are obliged to make a zig-zag track. The pass itself is crooked, about 20 feet wide, and from the top to the bottom 207 yards.” “Passing still on to the south, after leaving the town of Bylan, commences the fourth and last pass into Syria, which, by way of distinction, is called the grand pass. Here the road is not more than 10 feet wide in some places, or than 15 in any part, with the mountain to the left, and a parapet wall of about four feet high to the right, from which is seen the most horrible precipice that can be imagined; this chasm, between two high mountains, is from 40 to 50 fathoms deep. This road, with its wall, continues more than a milé

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in length before it expands, the steep mountain and deep chasm accompanying it all the way.”

Dr. Pococke’s description of the ruins of Seleucia induced Mr. Parsons to visit them, and to bestow considerable pains on a comparison of the doctor’s statement with their present condition; but he found that either things must have altered greatly since 1739, or the doctor must have trusted too much to report, since Mr. P. was unable to discover many of the objects noticed by the former. Our limits do not permit us to discuss this point, and we must content ourselves with Mr. Parsons’s account of the modern condition of Seleucia and Laodicea:

“The situation of Seleucia is most delightful. The greatest part lies on a hill of easy ascent, with a beautiful plain, and as beautiful a river beneath, with an extensive land and sea prospect, it is defended by hills from the bleak winds in the northeastern quarter, and has a fine port, only four miles distant, at the extremity of the plain. It has much the advantage of Antioch, whose port was more than 20 miles distant, nor has Antioch any sea prospect; but in lieu of this, a lake in front, of many miles extent, which, in summer, is now almost as noxious as the stagnated waters in the plain of Scanderoon.” “In every part of Turkey in Europe, in the islands of the Archipelago, in Asia Minor, in the towns of Byass, Scanderoon, Bylan, and all the other towns and villages on the Bylan mountains, in the plains of Antioch and Seleucia, and their neighbourhood, quite to the Orontes, the language of the country is either Turkish or Greek. There are few Greeks of any consequence on the continent who do not speak the Turkish language, and most Turkish gentlemen understand Arabick; but very few, if any, speak or understand Greek.” “Latachia (the ancient Laodicea) is said to have been built by Seleucus, and so called in honour of his mother, Laodicea. It is at present a large, well-built, and populous city; but by the vestiges remaining, it seems to have been formerly more than three times its present size. The town is most pleasantly situated on a hill, with the port and marine town beneath it. The haven formerly was deep, and could con

tain, securely, more than 100 ships of burthen; but it has been so shamefully neglected by the Turks, that at present none but barks and small ships can get so far into it as to lie secure from hard gales of wind; as it is nearly choaked up with sand. Ships of any burthen must lie at the mouth of the port in about 15 feet water, with their heads to the sea. The road is much exposed to all winds from the western quarter; but the ground is good. This place is famous for producing the best tobacco in Turkey.”

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“The streets, which are broader than any in Turkey, are kept clean, as people from the gardens come every morning, with mules or asses furnished with panniers, in which, after sweeping the streets, they carry off the dung or dirt to manure their gardens. They are likewise well paved and streight; the channels in the middle are broad and shallow. The bazars, or markets, are streets near the centre of the city, strongly arched over, with apertures on the sides of the arches, so situated as to give sufficient light, and, at the same time, exclude the sun and rain. Each bazar is occupied by one sort of trade only, as they do not mix with each other in the same bazar. For example; the boot and slipper makers occupy three streets; boxmakers (including trunk-makers) two; coppersmiths, one, &c.” “In all there are to be seen immense quantities of the richest goods from India, Constantinople, Smyrna, Damascus, and other places, besides the various manufactures of Aleppo; all of which constitute immense value.” “The bazars have very strong iron gates, which are not only placed at each end, but on the sides of such of them as have avenues into others, or into any street adjoining; so that in some of the longest of the bazars may be seen six iron gates; in others fewer

As an additional security, over every gate is placed a massy and strong portcullis. One comfort they have, there is no fear of fire, their houses being of stone, and the floors arched. The handicrafts and shopkeepers repair to the bazars at sun rise, or a little after, then open their shops, send for their coffee, and smoke a pipe, and every one follows his occupation. About eleven they breakfast in their shops, which is either sent from their own houses or from the cooks’-shops; after which they remain, in summer, till about five in the evening (some not so long) and in the winter until about four; then locking up their shops, they go home to dinner, and indulge themselves with a pipe and coffee; at which time the keepers of the bazars lock the gates, and remain themselves on the inside.” “The roofs of all the houses at Aleppo are flat, and terrassed over, and have high parapet walls to separate them from the adjoining ones. On these roofs it is customary for the inhabitants to walk, and enjoy the cool of the evening, in the summer months. Most of the natives, and many of the Frank merchants sleep all the summer on the roofs without receiving any injury to their health. I speak from experience.” “The French, English, Italians, and Dutch, live here as comfortably as in any foreign factory whatever, as there is always a good harmony subsisting between them, and even if their countries are at war at home, they not only live peaceably, but amicably here; with this difference only, that the consuls of the belligerent powers cannot visit each other publickly.”

Journey from Alefisho to Bagdad.— In March, 1774, Mr. Parsons set out on a mercantile expedition from Aleppo to Bagdad, in company with a number of Turkish merchants, forming altogether a caravan of nearly 800 camels, richly laden. Their escort consisted of a sheik and 105 subaltern officers and soldiers, comprising some from every tribe in the desert. These as well as the merchants, were completely armed, each having a musket, a pair of pistols, and a sabre; while the men in attendance on the camels, amounting to the number of 150, had each a sa

bre and a brace of pistols. This force was altogether rather formidable; and, though they performed their journey without encountering any open hostility, they saw reason to be convinced that their safety was owing to their power of repelling violence. Above a fourth part of their camels were required for the conveyance of the provisions, water, and camp equipage; the others carried the merchandise. Owing to several causes, the caravan occupied five weeks in reaching the ferry of An

nah on the Euphrates, a journey which is generally performed in three weeks. After having crossed this great river, the travellers were on the territory of the pacha of Bagdad, and were enabled to dismiss a part of their escort. We are informed, under the date of 22d April, that

“Yesterday our sheik paid off 42 of his soldiers, who, after a feast given them, crossed over the ferry, and went to their several homes. These men hire themselves as soldiers to guard the caravans which go to and from Aleppo to Bagdad, but approach no nearer Bagdad than this ferry.” “For this they are paid thirty piastres [three pounds fifteen shillings, English] each man on the caravan's arrival at Aleppo, and the same sum on its arrival on this side of the ferry. These poor fellows march on foot the whole way, as well as the cameliers. The sheik finds them provisions the whole time, which are pillaw, made of boiled rice and butter, once a day, or wheat boiled and butter; besides which, once a day they are served with brown biscuit and onions, which they put in their pockets, and eat as they march. The caravans which go to and from Damascus to Bagdad are accompanied in the same manner, but each man is paid 40 piastres. A caravan cannot pass the desert in safety without hiring Arabs of each of the tribes which inhabit the borders; so that when any horde of Arabs meets a caravan, they are sure to find some of their own tribe as guards. All then is safe; otherwise it is sure to be robbed, if not entirely carried off; for if the first horde which came was not strong enough, they would send an express to procure assistance, and in the mean time hover about in such a manner as to prevent an escape. It is the custom with such Arabs as rob on the desert, not to kill any person who does not make resistance; but to those who do, if they overcome, they give no quarter. From those who quietly suffer themselves to be robbed they never take their all, but leave them sufficient to pursue their jour. ney, and often times much more.”

At the distance of six hours’ travelling from Bagdad, on this side of that city, are the remains of the Tower of Babel. They stand in a vast plain, which is a mere desert, and are still about two hundred and twenty feet in height:

“The materials of the little remains of this once famed tower, are unburnt bricks" (now as hard as stone) which in dimensions are 14 inches by 10, and nearly 5 inches thick. There is not any cement be. tween them, either of bitumen or mortar. About the distance of every four feet, from the bottom to the top, are layers of reeds, four inches thick. By digging about 10 or 12 inches into one of these, I pulled out by degrees a handful of them, which are as firm and sound (except their being pressed flat) as they were when first inserted; which the Jew rabbies at Bagdad tell me, according to a tradition of their’s, is very near four thousand and two hundred years. They call it Nimrod's Tower.”

Mr. Parsons computes the distance from Aleppo to Bagdad at 900 miles. He arrived in the latter city on the 7th of May, a season in which the waters of the Tigris are nearly at their height; and he was greatly surprised at their rapidity, which brought to his recollection the ebb through London bridge in a spring tide, the rate of the current seeming to be seven miles in an hour. His attention was much occupied, during the season which he passed at Bagdad, by the rise and fall of this celebrated river. It continued on the increase till the middle of June, having risen between two and three feet in this interval; but, after that period, it decreased, and had fallen 44 inches by the end of the month. In July, its decrease was rapid, the fall of the water being 17 feet, and the diminution of the current two miles in an hour, leaving it at a rate

* Strabo says that the tower was constructed of baked brick, orth ranoor. [..M. Rew

of four miles. In August the water fell nine, and in September two feet, the current on the 30th of September being only a mile and a half in an hour. This was the lowest; so that the two extremes, in regard to velocity, were seven miles and one mile and a half. With respect to depth of water, under the centre of the bridge, the extremes were 14 feet and 46 feet; making a difference between June and September of 32 feet. In October, the river begins again to rise, and continues progressively on the increase till the succeeding June, when the rains among the hills towards the north are generally suspended. The prevalence. of westerly winds, and the rapidity of the current, prevent the navigation of the Tigris from the sea to Bagdad during half of the year. At this time, it is customary to bring goods up the less rapid current of the Euphrates as far as the town of Helah, and thence across Mesopotamia by camels to Bagdad. Above Bagdad, the principal place of traffick on the Tigris is Mosul, built near the ruins of the ancient Nineveh. The width of the Tigris at Bagdad is similar to that of the Thames at London bridge. The bridge at Bagdad is formed of boats which are sharp in the bows, like a London wherry, on account of the velocity of the stream. At each end of the chain of boats, two immense walls of brick are projected into the river, and serve as jetty heads. Two massy iron chains are extended from one side of the river to the other; the links of which are as thick as a man’s wrist, and are fastened to the bows of the boats, so as to prevent them from being driven down by the stream. The removal of boats, either for the passage of rafts, or for the purpose of repair, is managed with considerable dexterity. Bagdad is the grand depository for the produce of India, Persia, and Turkey, and has a continual intercourse, by caravans, with each of these

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countries. It is consequently a very large and populous city, containing three or four hundred thousand inhabitants.

“The streets” says Mr. Parsons, “are all built in a streightline and paved, excepting the bazars. The houses make no appearance on the outside, as nothing is to be seen except brick walls and lattice windows; yet the principal ones are very commodious, and have all subterraneous apartments arched, and ornamented with handsome stucco-work, to which the families retire about ten in the morning, where they dine, and remain until an hour before sun set. In the months of June, July, and August, to avoid the excessive hot weather, every one sleeps at night on the terrace, on the tops of the houses, as the subterranean apartments are at that time very hot, although they are cool in the heat of the day. The air at Bagdad is so hot in these three months, that the mutton and fowls which are killed early in the morning, if not eaten by noon, become putrid. The butchers and poulterers kill their meat twice a day, so that it has hardly time to cool before it is dressed: yet, notwithstanding, this hot wind is not sickly, but the reverse, as there is not a more healthy place in any part of the world.”— “The water of the Tigris is most excellent, so much superiour to spring or wellwater, that the poorest person in the city will not deign to taste of either, although there are wells in the yards of most houses.” “Coffee houses are so numerous, that it excited my curiosity to inquire if there was any method of knowing the real number. I was told nothing was more easy as they were all registered, paying an annual sum for their license. A friend was so kind as to go with me to the office, when I found the number then occupied to be 955, and of those untenanted 400, which the officer hoped to see all opened within a year.”

.Navigation of the Eufthrates and Persian Gulf—From Bagdad, Mr. Parsons determined to proceed to the Persian gulf, and accordingly crossed Mesopotamia in a southwest direction, till he reached the town of Helah on the Euphrates. This place, distant only three miles from the ruins of Babylon, contains thirty thousand inhabitants, and is an entrefiót of considerable traffick, chiefly with the great city of Bus

sora, which is situated two hundred leagues farther down the river. The navigation of the Euphrates, though less dangerous than in the great and impetuous stream of the Tigris, is attended with much labour. The most striking circumstances in the course of it are the narrowness of the channel, within which the Euphrates is confined for a considerable part of the distance; and the beautiful situation of Korna, the town at which the junction of the Tigris and the Euphrates takes place, and forms what is afterward called the great river of Arabia. This navigation occupied the trayeller eight days, and is related by him in the form of a journal. we select detached passages.

“On the 3d of November we hired a vessel of sixty tons, which they call a tecknar, for which we gave two hundred piastres, to carry us to Bussora, and we permitted about seventy Turks, who were well armed, to accompany us gratis, as we were glad of their company, from the frequent examples of vessels being plundered by Arabian banditti, who hover about the banks of the river.” “We were disturbed with the cries and howling of the jackals, which are very numerous, and many of them would come within a stone's throw of the boat; on firing a few muskets they went away. They look like our fox dogs in England, and are of a reddish colour, while those which I have seen in Syria and Asia Minor are of a mouse colour, and not more than half as large.” “November 5. The river now became very narrow and crooked, and consequently the current so rapid that our vessel was quite ungovernable, and we were often set with violence, sometimes against one promontory, and in less than two minutes against another on the opposite shore, and so, alternately, with such violence, as shattered the upper parts of our vessel very much. The water, however, close to the banks on each side, which were of earth and soft, being deep, our vessel weathered the danger. Our sailors, who were 24 in number, rowed with their utmost exertion to get clear of each cape, but to no purpose, from the rapidity of the current, and the narrowness and frequent curves of the river, which seemed hourly to increase. Its breadth was not above 70 yards.” “On the

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