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´╗┐Title: A Narrative of the Expedition to Dongola and Sennaar - Under the Command of His Excellence Ismael Pasha, undertaken - by Order of His Highness Mehemmed Ali Pasha, Viceroy of - Egypt, By An American In The Service Of The Viceroy
Author: English, George Bethune, 1787-1828
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Narrative of the Expedition to Dongola and Sennaar - Under the Command of His Excellence Ismael Pasha, undertaken - by Order of His Highness Mehemmed Ali Pasha, Viceroy of - Egypt, By An American In The Service Of The Viceroy" ***














London: Printed by C. Roworth, Bell Yard Temple Bar











By George Bethune English, General of Artillery in the U.S. Service


MEHEMMED ALI PASHA, the victorious pacificator of Egypt and Arabia, is
already renowned in the civilized world. Egypt, once the home of discord
and the headquarters of anarchy, under his administration has long
enjoyed peace and prosperity; is permeable in all directions, and
in perfect safety to the merchant and the traveler, and is yearly
progressing in wealth and improvement.[1]

The Viceroy has been particularly attentive to revive and extend those
commercial relations of Egypt with the surrounding countries, which once
rendered it the richest and most flourishing territory in the ancient

A well chosen library of the best European books on the art military,
geography, astronomy, medicine, history, belles-lettres and the fine
arts has been purchased from Europe by the Viceroy and placed in
the palace of Ismael Pasha, where is also a school, at the Viceroy's
expense, for the instruction of the Mussulman youth in the Italian
language and the sciences of the Franks. To which establishments has
been lately added a printing press, for printing books in the Turkish,
Arabic and Persian languages, and a weekly newspaper in Arabic and
Italian. The library and the press are under the superintendence of
Osman Noureddin Effendi, a young Turk of great good sense, and who
is well versed in the literature of Europe, where he has resided for
several years, by order of the Viceroy, for his education: he is at
present engaged in translating into Turkish some works on tactics, for
the use of his countrymen.

For several years past the inland commerce of this favored land had
suffered great interruptions from the confusion and discord to which the
countries on the Upper Nile have been a prey. The chiefs of Shageia had
formed themselves into a singular aristocracy of brigands, and pillaged
all the provinces and caravans within their reach, without mercy and
without restraint; while the civil wars, which have distracted the
once powerful kingdom of Sennaar for these last eighteen years, had
occasioned an almost entire cessation of a commerce, from which Egypt
had derived great advantages.

His Highness the Viceroy, in consequence, determined, as the most
effectual means of putting an end to these disorders, to subject those
countries to his dominion.

Four thousand troops were accordingly put under the command of Ismael
Pasha, the youngest son of the Viceroy, with orders to conquer all the
provinces on the Nile, from the Second Cataract to Sennaar inclusive.

Through the influence of the recommendation of Henry Salt, Esq., His
Britannic Majesty's Consul General in Egypt, I was ordered by the
Viceroy to accompany this expedition, with the rank of Topgi Bashi,
i.e. a chief of artillery, and with directions to propose such plans of
operation to the Pasha Ismael as I should deem expedient, but which the
Pasha might adopt or reject as he should think proper.

This expedition has been perfectly successful; and the conquest of
the extensive and fertile countries, which, in the reign of Candace,
repulsed the formidable legions of Rome, has been effected at an expense
not greater than the blood of about two hundred soldiers.

The principal cause of a success so extraordinary, at such a price,
has been the humanity and good faith of the Pasha Ismael towards those
provinces that submitted without fighting. Perfect security of person
and property was assured to the peaceable, and severe examples were made
of those few of the soldiery, who, in a very few instances, presumed to
violate it. The good consequences of this deportment toward the people
of these countries have been evident. All have seen that those who have
preferred peace before war have had peace without war, and that those
who preferred war before peace have not had peace but at the price of

The destruction or disarmament of the brigands, who have heretofore
pillaged those countries with impunity--the establishment of order
and tranquility--the security now assured to the peasants and the
caravans--and the annexment of so many fine provinces and kingdoms to
the sway of the Viceroy of Egypt,[2] are not the only consequences of this
expedition that will give him glory.

This expedition has laid open to the researches of the geographer and
the antiquarian a river and a country highly interesting, and hitherto
imperfectly known to the civilized world. The Nile, on whose banks we
have marched for so many hundred miles, is the most famous river in
the world, for the uncertainty of its source and the obscurity of its
course. At present this obscurity ceases to exist, and before the return
of the Pasha Ismael this uncertainty will probably be no more. The
countries we have traversed are renowned in history and poetry as
the land of ancient and famous nations, which have established and
overthrown mighty empires, and have originated the religions, the
learning, the arts, and the civilization of nations long since extinct;
and who have been preceded by their instructors in the common road which
every thing human must travel.

This famous land of Cush and Saba, at present overawed by the camps
of the Osmanii, has presented to our observation many memorials of the
power and splendor of its ancient masters. The remains of cities once
populous--ruined temples once magnificent--colossal statues of
idols once adored, but now prostrated by the strong arms of time and
truth--and more than a hundred pyramids, which entomb the bodies of
kings and conquerors once mighty, but whose memory has perished, have
suspended for awhile the march of our troops--have attracted the
notice of the Franks, who voyage with the army with the favor and the
protection of the Pasha,[3] and which doubtless ere long, by engaging the
attention and researches of men of learning, will unite the names of
Mehemmed Ali and Ismael his son with the history and monuments of this
once famous and long secluded land, in a manner that will make the
memory of both renowned and inseparable.

That the further progress of the Pasha Ismael southward of his present
position will be successful, there is every reason to believe; and I
derive great pleasure from the reflection, that his success will still
further augment the glory of the man whom the Sultan delights to honor,
and who has done so much for the honor of the Mussulmans.

The Reader will find that I have sometimes, in the course of this
Journal, included the events of several days in the form of narrative,
particularly in my account of the Second Cataract. Wherever I have so
done, it has been occasioned by paroxysms of a severe ophthalmia, which
afflicted me for fifteen months, and rendered me at times incapable of


&c. &c. &c.

I arrived at the camp at Wady Haifa on the Second Cataract, on the 16th
of the moon Zilhadge, in the year of the Hegira 3255,[4] where I found
about four thousand troops,[5] consisting of Turkish cavalry, infantry and
artillery, and a considerable proportion of Bedouin cavalry and Mogrebin
foot soldiers, besides about one hundred and twenty large boats loaded
with provisions and ammunition, and destined to follow the march of the
army to the upper countries of the Nile.

17th of Zilhadge. Presented myself to his Excellency the Pasha Ismael,
by whom I was received in a very nattering manner, and presented with a
suit of his own habiliments.

On my asking his Excellency if he had any orders for me, he replied,
that he was at present solely occupied in expediting the loading and
forwarding the boats carrying the provisions of the army, but that when
that was finished he would send for me to receive his commands.

I employed this interval in noticing the assemblage that composed the
army. The chiefs and soldiers I found well disposed to do their duty,
through attachment to their young commander and through fear of Mehemmed
Ali. They were alert to execute what orders they received, and very busy
in smoking their pipes when they had nothing else to do.

On the 19th I was sent for by the Pasha, with whom I remained in private
audience for an hour.

On the 21st of the moon Zilhadge was attacked by that distressing malady
the ophthalmia. In two days the progress of the disorder was such
that my eyes were closed up and incapable of supporting the light, and
occasioned me such acute anguish that I could get no sleep but by
the effect of laudanum. This misfortune at this crisis was peculiarly
vexatious and mortifying for me, as it put it out of my power to
accompany the Pasha, who departed with the army for Dongola on the 26th,
taking his route on the west bank of the river, and leaving the Divan
Effendi and a small party of soldiers to expedite the loading and
forwarding the boats that had not as yet got ready to proceed up the

On the 3d of Mofiarram, A. H. 1236, I embarked on board the boat of the
Frank surgeons attached to the army, and left the lower or north end
of the Second Cataract as it is commonly styled in the maps, in company
with fifteen boats to follow and rejoin the army.

I would here observe that what is called the Second Cataract is properly
a succession of partial falls and swift rapids for more than a hundred
miles before we arrived at Succoot. I counted nine; some of them,
particularly the second,[6] fifth,[7] seventh,[8] and ninth,[9] very
dangerous to pass, though at this time the Nile had fallen but a few
feet. Before we arrived at the fifth, two boats were wrecked against the
rocks which crowd the rapids, and one filled and sunk; and before we had
passed the ninth several similar accidents had taken place. To pass the
fifth and ninth rapids, it was necessary to employ about a hundred men
to drag the boats one after another against the current. At the fifth
pass, several of the boats were damaged, and two soldiers and two
boatmen drowned. At this pass, the river is interrupted by a ledge of
rocks reaching nearly across, and over which the Nile falls. Between
this ledge of rocks and the western shore of the river is a practicable
passage, wide enough to admit a boat to be hauled up the current, which
here runs furiously. Overlooking this passage are two hills, one on the
east and one on the west side of the river: on these hills are the ruins
of ancient fortifications. They are also surmounted by two small temples
in the Egyptian style: that on the west side is almost perfect. It is
sculptured exteriorly and interiorly with figures and hieroglyphics, and
the ceiling is painted azure.[10]

The appearance of the country on each side of the falls is similar to
that of the country south of Assuan--a sandy desert studded with rocky
hills and mountains, The only appearance of vegetation observable was
in some of the islands and on the immediate banks of the river, where
we met at every mile or two with small spots of fertile ground, some
of them cultivated and inhabited. The rocky hills consist frequently
of beautiful black granite, of the color and brilliancy of the best
sea-coal. Here and there, at different points on the Cataract, I
observed some forts built by the natives of the country. They are
constructed of unhewn stones cemented with mud, and flanked by towers
and angular projections something resembling bastions, and are pierced
with loopholes for musquetry. Their interior presents the following
appearance:--against the interior side of the walls all round are built
low chambers, communicating by small doors with the area and frequently
with each other. I could observe nothing in these chambers except the
bottom part of the small handmills used by the Orientals to grind meal,
which could not be hastily removed as they were fixed in the ground;
every thing else the inhabitants had carried off on the approach of the
army. The great area in the centre of these forts appeared to have been
occupied by the camels and flocks of the inhabitants; some of these
forts are to be seen surmounting the high rocky islands with which the
Second Cataract abounds, and make a picturesque appearance.

On the 2d of the moon Safa, we passed what our Rais erroneously told us
was the last rapid between us and Succoot. We have been thirty days in
getting thus far,[11] the causes of our having been so long in getting up
the Falls were several. The crews of the boats which had passed unhurt
a dangerous passage were frequently detained to unload and repair
those which had been wrecked or damaged.--We have been detained at the
entrances of these rapids frequently for several days, for want of a
sufficient wind, it being absolutely necessary that the wind should be
very strong to enable the boats to force themselves through currents
running between the rocks with dreadful rapidity; and more than once the
boatmen have hesitated to attempt a dangerous pass till obliged by the
presence and menaces of the Divan Effendi who accompanied the boats.

On the 3d of Safa, about an hour after we had passed what our Rais told
us was the last rapid of consequence we should have to encounter, we saw
the wreck of a boat lying against a rock in the middle of the river, her
masts alone appearing out of the water. The river here is interrupted
by several high insulated rocks. We had been assured that we should
now find the river open and without difficulty, till we should come
to Succoot; the appearance of this boat seemed to contradict this
representation, and in about an hour after we had abundant reason to be
satisfied that it was false. I was congratulating myself that we had got
into smooth water, and indulging myself with a tranquil pipe of tobacco,
when suddenly the wind slackened just as we were passing between two
ledges of rocks where the river was running at the rate of about six
knots an hour. The current overpowered the effort of the sails, and
carried the boat directly among the reefs, near the west bank of
the river. After remaining for about ten minutes in a very perilous
position, the skill of our Rais happily got the boat to shore without

3d of Safa. We remained all night at the place where we landed; in
the morning got under sail to pass the strong current we had attempted
yesterday without success. After buffeting about for an hour we were
forced to return to the bank of the river, and await a stronger wind. In
about an hour after the wind freshened and we got under way with better
fortune, and after passing the current before mentioned found ourselves
in smooth water. After sailing for an hour we stopped for ten minutes
at a place where we saw sheep, in order to purchase some, having for
the last twenty days been obliged to live on bread, rice, and lentils.
Succeeded in purchasing two lambs. The banks of the river hereabouts
present some fertile spots, a few of them cultivated. About noon the
wind fell and the Rais put to shore; we immediately set our domestics
about preparing the purchased meat, and shortly after we sat down to
this regale, which appeared to me the most delicious meal I had eaten
for many years.[12] Remained here for the remainder of the day.

4th of Safa. Continued in the same place, there not being sufficient
wind to ascend the river. About two hours after noon arrived an Arab
from above; he was on his way to the Divan Effendi, who was a few miles
below us, to inform him that a boat, of which he had been one of the
crew, had been dashed to pieces against the rocks in attempting to pass
a rapid. I demanded of him "how many rapids there were yet ahead;" he
replied "that there were several; how many he did not exactly know."
This intelligence made me apprehensive that we might be another month in
getting through these obstacles, and determined me to renew my efforts
to obtain camels and proceed to the Pasha by land. I had made several
attempts to hire some for this purpose, during the last fifteen days,
without success. The man above mentioned informed me that I could
probably obtain some at a village about six hours off. I determined to
send my servants on the morrow to inquire.

5th of Safa. Passed the night at the same place; early in, the morning
a favorable breeze sprung up and the Rais got the boat under sail. Was
obliged, in consequence, to proceed in the boat as long as the wind
held. Observed as we proceeded a number of fertile spots, some of them
cultivated, and a few small villages. I was informed that these will
become more frequent as we proceed. During this day, with a favorable
wind, made only about twelve miles against the current.

6th of Safa. Got under way about two hours after sunrise, with a strong
breeze from the northward. About half an hour after quitting the land,
passed a dangerous rapid, occasioned by a. reef of rocks reaching nearly
across the river. In passing this rapid the wind slackened for half a
minute, and the current carried the boat astern to within six or seven
feet of the rocks; at this critical instant the wind happily freshened,
and forced the boat up the current, to the great relief of all on board.
An hour after, passed a picturesque spot, where the river is divided by
a high rocky island, supporting on its summit some ruined fortifications
made by the natives; on the right bank of the river, just opposite, is
a fertile spot of ground and a village, surrounded by date trees and

Our Rais put to land about noon, the wind falling, and rocks and rapids
of formidable appearance being right ahead.[13] We have made about eight
miles to-day. Saw about two miles above us a number of boats lying to
the shore, apparently obstructed by the rapid just mentioned. About the
middle of the afternoon, in walking along the shore, saw a crocodile;
it was small, about three feet in length. When I came upon him, he was
sunning himself on the shore; on seeing me, he ran with great rapidity
and plunged into the river.

7th of Safa. Got under way about two hours after sunrise, to pass the
rocks and rapids already mentioned. The passage was dangerous, and the
boat thrice in imminent peril. We struck once on rocks under water,
where the current was running probably at the rate of six knots an hour.

The current, after about ten minutes, swept the boat off without having
received a hole in her bottom, otherwise we must probably have perished.
Shortly after we were jammed between a great shallow whirlpool and a
large boat on our starboard beam. This boat was dashed by the current
against ours, and menaced to shove her into the whirlpool. The long
lateen yards of the two boats got entangled, and I was prepared to leap
into the other boat, in anticipation of the destruction of ours, when
the wind freshened, and the large boat was enabled to get clear of ours.
Not long after, the same boat fell aboard of us the second time, in
a place where, if our boat had drifted twice her length to leeward or
astern, she must have run upon rocks. All these accidents befell us,
having under our eyes, at no great distance from us, the wreck of a boat
lost in this passage three or four days ago.[14] After being for about two
hours in danger, the boat arrived at the west bank of the river, where
we found many more waiting a sufficient wind to be enabled to clear the
remainder of the rapid, which runs very strong here.

Stayed for a wind at this place two days. On the 10th of Safa, the boat
happily passed the remainder of the rapid, when the wind calmed, and
the Rais put to shore, there being yet a strong current to surmount.
Opposite to the place where we were, at about half a mile from the
shore, a boat had stuck fast upon some rocks this morning, all attempts
to get her off had proved unsuccessful, and she remained in that
position, with all her company on board, till next morning.

11th of Safa. Quitted the shore about an hour after sunrise, with a fine
northerly wind. Passed the boat just mentioned, whose people looked
very forlorn. Some small boats were then on the way to unload this boat,
should it be found impossible to disengage her. Proceeded on our way,
and passed a number of small but pretty islands, lying near the west
bank of the river. They are cultivated and inhabited by a considerable
population. The country on the borders of the river begins to assume a
better appearance--the territory of Succoot, which we were now entering,
containing many villages. Beyond the green banks of the river, all
is yellow desert, spotted with brown rocky mountains, which, however,
appeared to decrease in number and height as we advanced up the river,
till the country subsided into a plain, with a few isolated mountains of
singular forms and picturesque appearance here and there in view.
About two hours after mid-day we arrived at a place where the river
is embarrassed by small rocks and shoals, except a narrow pass on the
western side. We found the current here too strong to be surmounted by
the aid of what wind we had, and therefore put to shore on a very
fine island on our left. We passed the remainder of the day here
with satisfaction. This island is about a mile and a half in length,
naturally beautiful, and well cultivated by about fifty or sixty
inhabitants, who seemed to be well contented with their situation.[15]
We saw here three men of about twenty-five years of age, who had been
circumcised but five days past, a thing I had never before known to have
occurred to the children of Mussulmans.

12th of Safa. At an early hour, quitted the shore with a strong
northerly wind, to pass the current which had stopped us yesterday. This
day's sail was the most agreeable of any we had enjoyed since we left
Egypt, the river, since we had passed the rapids of Dall, (where the
second cataract of the Nile properly commences,) having become as
broad as in Egypt, and now flowing tranquilly through a country equally
fertile, and much more picturesque than the finest parts of Said.
The eastern bank of the river, particularly, presented a continual
succession of villages, and fine soil crowded with trees, and all
cultivated. Passed, during the day, some fine and large islands, also
occupied by numerous villages. We stopped at night at one of these
islands, by whose beautiful borders we had been sailing with great
pleasure for more than four hours, with a stiff breeze. We were in
formed by the inhabitants, that this island was a day's walk in breadth.
They said, that, as we advanced, we should find others as large and
larger. Their island, they told us, was called Syee. They appeared to be
well satisfied with their condition, having an abundance of every thing
absolutely needful for a comfortable subsistence, and decent clothing of
their own manufacture. What surprised me not a little, was to find the
people as white as the Arabs of Lower Egypt, whereas the inhabitants of
Nubia are quite black, though their features are not those of the Negro.

I have observed, that the country through which we passed to-day, was
as fertile and much more picturesque than the Said. The reason for the
latter part of this assertion is, that in the Said the view is limited
by the ridges of barren and calcined mountains that bound it on both
sides, whereas here the view ranges over plains bounded only by the
horizon, and interspersed here and there with isolated mountains of most
singular forms. Some of them might be mistaken for pyramids, they are
so regular and well defined; some resembled lofty cones, and others
resembled lofty square or pentagonal redoubts. One of the latter
description lies upon the eastern bank of the river, and could easily
be made an impregnable fortress, which could command all water
communication between Egypt and Dongola. The scenes of verdure and
cultivation through which we had passed today, removed all suspicions
from my mind as to what had been reported to me of the great difference
between Nubia and the country beyond it.

All the villages we have passed to-day, have in their centre a fort or
castle, fortified with towers at the corners, and, judging from those
we visited, resembling in their interior those on the cataract already
described. The village, consisting of low huts, built of mud, is built
round the walls of the fort, which is intended to serve as a place of
retreat and defense for the inhabitants and their flocks, in case of
alarm or attack. They are governed in the manner of the families of the
patriarchs, the Sheck of the village being both judge and captain.
Saw at this island a small skiff, the first boat belonging to the
inhabitants of the country that I have seen since quitting Wady Halfa.

12th of Safa, Parted from the land about an hour after sunrise and
proceeded on our voyage, which was, if possible, still more agreeable
than that of yesterday. On the east bank of the river, the eye rests
on a continued succession of villages, occupying land of the finest
quality, and lying under a continued forest of palm trees, larger and
taller, in my opinion, than those growing in Egypt. On the right we
saw, as we passed, a chain of beautiful islands, some of them large
and presenting the same spectacle as the east bank. It is certainly a
beautiful country. The river from Assuan has only about half the breadth
that it has in Egypt. In this country it is as broad, and in many
places, on account of the large islands it here contains, very much
broader than it is in Egypt. We stopped at night at one of these fine
islands, whose breadth being but about two miles, enabled us to have a
view of the west bank of the river, which presented the same succession
of villages and cultivation as on the oriental side. I have already
observed, that the date trees of this country were larger and taller
than those in Egypt. We found a similar difference in the animals of
this country; I purchased a sucking lamb, which was certainly as big as
an Egyptian sheep of a year's growth. The cattle of this country differ
from those of Egypt, in bearing, as to form, a resemblance to the
buffalo. They have a rising on the shoulder, and a similar form of the
hips. They are also larger than the cows of Egypt.

14th of Safa. The wind did not spring up this morning till a late hour,
and after continuing for about an hour and a half, fell calm. We put to
shore on the western bank of the river, where we passed the remainder
of the day and the night. The country continued fine and crowded with
villages. At this place, some of the boat's company attempted to shoot
a hippopotamus, who had shown himself several times during the day. They
succeeded only in slightly wounding him, after which he disappeared. The
people of the country say that there are twelve that frequent this place
in the river, which contains here some low islands, well adapted to
afford them food and concealment.

16th of Safa. Parted from the land about two hours after sunrise, with
a strong breeze. After continuing an hour and a half the wind subsided
into a calm, which obliged us to make for the shore. We landed on a
large island resembling those already mentioned, where we passed the
remainder of the day and the night. The country we had passed resembled
that below, beautiful, and as fertile as land can be.

16th of Safa. Left the land about an hour after sunrise, and in half an
hour passed the southern boundary of the beautiful territory of Succoot,
and entered the province of Machass. The country we were now passing is
naturally fertile, but has not such a continued succession of villages
as Succoot. About three hours after sunrise came in view of the ruins
of an ancient temple on the west bank. With some difficulty engaged the
Rais to put to shore for a few minutes, to give me an opportunity of
visiting it. This temple is manifestly of Egyptian architecture; it is
about two hundred feet long from east to west; ten of the columns only
are standing; they are composed of separate blocks of a brown stone
resembling that employed in the construction of the temples in the isle
of Philoe. The walls of this temple are in ruins, except a part of the
front which is in a very dilapidated state. The front faces the
East; the pillars and the ruins of the walls are sculptured with
hieroglyphics. It stands on the west bank of the river about two miles
beyond the territory of Succoot. About an hour after leaving this place,
the wind falling, our Rais was obliged to put to shore. We soon arrived
at the western bank of the river, the Nile being in this place not a
mile broad. The remainder of the day being calm, we staid here till next
morning. Several of the Pasha's Cavalry passed along the west bank of
the river yesterday and to-day, bearing repeated orders from Dongola to
the commanders of the boats to hasten their progress.

17th of Safa. At an early hour started with a favorable wind, but in
about two hours were obliged to put to shore. The river hereabouts makes
several turns almost at right angles with each other. This circumstance
brought the wind directly ahead in one of the bends and obliged us to
remain there till next morning. The country we saw to-day is not equal
to the territory of Succoot; the date trees, the villages, and the
cultivation are not so continued; and the view from the river is bounded
at a little distance from its banks by low rocky hills. Saw to-day
a singular mode of navigating the river; a man, who apparently was
traveling down the river with his whole family, had placed his youngest
wife and her two young children on a small raft made of bundles of
corn-stalks lashed together, he himself swam by its side to guide it,
while he kept his old wife a swimming and pushing it by the stern, and
in this way they proceeded down the river.

I have seen in this country small rafts made to carry one person, which
are very well contrived. Three or four large empty gourds are fastened
firmly to a small oblong frame made out of the branches of the date
tree, the whole not weighing two pounds. A man may go safely down or
across the river on this, either by fastening it to his breast and
swimming supported by it, or by riding on it astride; and when on shore
he can carry it with ease either in his hand or on his shoulder.

18th of Safa, In the morning found that the wind had changed a little
in our favor, got under way, but after sailing for about two hours the
winding of the river again brought it ahead. Put to shore and staid
there till the middle of the afternoon, when the wind again hauled a
little in our favor, and with some difficulty we got to windward of the
shore and proceeded up the river. The river here is about half a mile
broad, and makes several turns which somewhat retarded our progress.
We observed some rocks and shoals, and on arriving at a place where the
river is divided by a large rocky island, observed a boat aground, which
had taken the right hand passage which was the broadest, and two others
turning back to take the passage on the other side of this island. We
followed their example, and found the passage safe enough. A little
beyond the upper end of this island the river makes an acute angle to
the right hand. We proceeded onwards till sunset, when we put to shore
in company with two other boats. The country we have passed through
to-day resembled that we saw yesterday, inferior to the fine territory
of Succoot.

19th of Safa, Left the land an hour and a half after sunrise, with a
fine breeze from the north. Sailed for about an hour through a country
where the rocky hills come down here and there close to the river
banks and narrowed the usual breadth of the Nile considerably. Observed
however in this tract of country a few fine and cultivated islands.
Shortly after the river widened, the rocky hills retired at a distance,
and the eye rested with pleasure on a beautiful country cultivated by
the inhabitants of a continued succession of villages and castles which
occupied both banks of the river. The country resembled the province of
Succoot, except that the date trees were not so numerous nor so tall and
large. Passed the ruins of a considerable fortified town situated on a
high hill on the west bank. A little beyond this place saw the ruins of
a temple; four of the columns are yet standing; could not go ashore to
examine it, as the wind was fair and strong, and the Rais under positive
orders to proceed with all expedition. Observed that several of the
castles we had passed yesterday and to-day appeared newer and better
constructed for defense than those we had seen along the Cataract.
I suspect that they were erected under the direction of the exiled
Mamalukes, as this tract forms a part of the territory subject to them
before the arrival of the Pasha Ismael. Continued to advance, through
a country very beautiful, the river here embosoming several large and
delightful islands, capable of being made, by the hands of enlightened
industry, every thing that the art of man operating upon a fine soil
under a soft climate could effect. We sailed pleasantly by these
charming shores and islands till an hour and a half before sunset,
when we came in view of a rapid ahead, and the wreck of a boat lost in
passing it. The Rais put to shore, and after taking on board a native
of the country to show him the passage through the rocks and shallows,
attempted to pass immediately; the effort was unsuccessful. After
remaining in the foaming passage for three quarters of an hour, we
found that the wind was not strong enough to force the boat through the
current, and as the sun was about setting and the wind falling, the Rais
was obliged to let the boat drift back to the shore from whence we had

18th of Safa. At about two hours after sunrise, the Rais thought the
wind sufficiently favorable and strong to carry the boat through the
rapid. We quitted the shore, and again faced the current. The Rais this
time was not mistaken; our boat forced her way slowly but victoriously
through the torrent, and in about three quarters of an hour carried us
safely into smooth water, where we could draw every advantage from a
fine wind, which swept us rapidly up the river between shores fertile
and cultivated by the inhabitants of a continued succession of villages
shaded by palm trees. About an hour after we had passed the rapid, we
stopped to receive on board three of our company who had left the boat
yesterday in search of fresh provisions on the western bank of the
river. They reported that they had seen a large pond of fresh water
inland, and had found the country for seven miles from the river crowded
with villages, and as fertile as possible. They represented that this
country was watered by two ranges of water-wheels; one range on the
bank of the river, which threw the water of the Nile into small canals
leading to reservoirs inland, from whence the other range took it up and
distributed it to this fine territory. About noon we passed, on the
east bank, two very high, large and isolated rocks of irregular and
picturesque forms. On the side of the southernmost were the remains of
a considerable fortified town. The country hereabouts is very beautiful.
About three o'clock we passed another rapid, which was not however very
difficult. Found the river beyond this place much narrowed and impeded
by rocks. Passed two more rapids, the first of little consequence, but
the latter somewhat dangerous. In this last rapid saw two boys sitting
on a raft made of cornstalks lashed together, and driving down the
current. They appeared to be much at their ease, and not at all alarmed
at the rapid, though the current frequently whirled their fragile raft
round and round as it rushed past us. Soon after passing this rapid the
sun set, and we put to shore to pass the night.

19th of Safa. About two hours after sunrise we left the shore with a
fair and fresh breeze. The river here is broad, and the country on both
banks fertile and peopled. After about an hour's sail we came up with
some beautiful islands, one of them very large and among the finest we
had seen. The islands above the Second Cataract are probably the most
beautiful spots watered by the Nile, which rarely over flows them. They
are the most populous and best cultivated parts of this country. Half
an hour after we came up with the large island, the wind became squally,
and the boat could not make safe progress. Our rais therefore put
to shore, as did those of five other boats in company with ours. We
remained here for the rest of the day.

20th of Safa. In the morning, left the laud with the wind almost ahead.
After sailing about three miles, the rais found it necessary to put to
shore, as the wind was strong and too much ahead. Stayed by the land
till nearly noon, when the wind appearing to me and others on board,
more favorable, we, after some hard words with the rais, persuaded him
to get under way, the wind being about the same as in the morning, and
very strong. In about an hour we arrived at a bend in the river, which
enabled us to bring the wind aft.

We proceeded with great rapidity, threading the rocks and shoals with
which the river here abounds, till we came in view of a rapid ahead.
We had been informed, two days ago, that there was a dangerous rapid
between us and Dongola, and we congratulated ourselves that the wind was
fair and strong to push us through it; we passed it happily, though
not without peril. We felicitated ourselves on having cleared the only
obstacle, as we supposed, between us and the place of our destination,
when we came in view of another, of a more formidable appearance than
any we had yet seen. The passage lay where the river rolled furiously
over rocks under water, and between shores there was no approaching, on
account of the shoals and rocks above and under water which lined them.
The strong wind forced our boat alongside of another that was struggling
and reeling in the passage, to the imminent danger of both. To clear
this boat, our rais ventured to pass ours over a place where the
foam and fury of the water indicated latent rocks. We hardly dared to
breathe, but we did not strike here, but half a minute after we were
fast upon a sand bank. We stayed in this condition for about a quarter
of an hour, having in view close by us the wreck of a boat lost here.
With considerable difficulty our boat was disengaged, when we put her
before the wind and again faced this truly infernal pass. By the force
of the current, the boat neared a large and furious whirlpool, formed by
an eddy on the side of the passage. The steersman endeavored, in vain,
to counteract this drift of the boat by the aid of the rudder. The side
of the boat approached to within a yard of the white foam which covered
this dreadful spot. Our rais tore his turban from his head, and lifted
his clasped hands to Heaven, exclaiming, "We are lost!" The rest of the
boatmen were screaming to God and the prophet for aid, when, I know not
how, but by the good Providence that watched over us, the boat cleared
this peril, and others that beset us in passing yet two more rapids
almost as dangerous. On passing the last, we found the river divided
lengthways, by a ridge of rocks and low islands covered with verdure.
On the right or west side of this ridge, where we were, the view ahead
presented our side of the river crowded with rocks, which we could not
pass. The singular ridge already mentioned, presented, however, some
gaps, which afforded passages into that part of the river that was on
the other side of this ridge. We passed through what appeared to us
the safest of these gaps, and soon after found ourselves in smooth but
shallow water: the river hereabouts being not less than five or six
miles broad, and spotted with rocks and little green islands and ridges.
Soon after, a boat ahead grounded, and stuck fast for some time: about
five minutes after, our boat received a violent shock from a rock under
water. The rais put the boat under her foresail only, in order that in
case she struck, it might be with as little force as possible. Shortly
after, it being about an hour before sunset, the rais put to shore to
inquire of the people of the country as to the condition of the river

The country we saw this day, on both sides of the river, is a level
plain; only one hill was visible. The shores, and many of the islands
we passed to-day, were such as we should have contemplated with greater
pleasure, if we could have employed our eyes and thoughts upon any thing
beside the perils by which we were environed. They are fertile, verdant,
and in many places truly picturesque.

We put to shore this day, as said before, about an hour before sunset.
When we disembarked, we found ourselves upon a large and beautiful
island, almost covered with trees of various kinds. The view from this
island ranges over an immense green plain, bounded only by the horizon,
and presents a great river winding in several branches through islands
and shores composed of as fine a soil as any in the world, and covered
with trees, among which the date tree bore a small proportion. Dongola,
we were told, was but a few hours distant from this place.

21st of Safa. At sunrise, quitted the land and proceeded up the river,
which we found very wide and shallow. Its middle was occupied by an
almost continual range of islands, in my opinion without superior in any
river whatever.[16] The country bounding the river is a beautiful plain,
as far as the eye can reach, as fertile as land can be, and covered with
a great variety of trees, plants, and fields of corn. We sailed on with
a fair wind till within half an hour of sunset, without coming in sight
of Dongola. This, after the information we had received yesterday,
somewhat disappointed us, but we consoled ourselves by observing the
islands and shores we were passing, comparable to which, in point of
luxuriant fertility, Egypt itself cannot show. The whole country is
absolutely overwhelmed with the products of the very rich soil of which
it consists.

22d of Safa. Quitted the land at an early hour and proceeded up the
river, in hourly expectation of coming in view of Dongola, which we had
been given to understand was a considerable town. After sailing with a
good wind till the middle of the afternoon, without seeing any thing but
a very fertile country, resembling that we passed yesterday, the people
on shore, on our landing and demanding whereabouts Dongola was, informed
us that we were in Dongola, meaning the country so called. On our asking
where was the city or town of Dongola, they pointed to a large village
in the distance on the west bank of the river, and told us that village
was called "New Dongola," and that Old Dongola was farther up the river.
They informed us that the Pasha had left a guard of twenty-four soldiers
here, and had proceeded with the army three days' march farther up
the river, where we should find him. We determined to proceed to his
encampment. We saw to-day, for the first time, a small sail boat,
constructed by the people of the country; it was very clumsy, resembling
a log canoe. The river, in some places which we passed to-day, appeared
to be about three miles from bank to bank, but shallow; the islands and
shores presenting the same spectacle of luxuriant vegetation that we saw

We bought a lamb of three weeks old, this evening, whose mother was as
tall as a calf of two months old. This species of sheep is hairy, and
has no wool. The kidneys of this lamb were large enough to cover the
palm of my hand, though the animal was undoubtedly undiseased.

23d of Safa. Got under way shortly after sunrise, and proceeded up the
river with a fine wind, which lasted during the day, and carried us
probably thirty miles on our way. The country through which we passed
to-day is not so good as that we saw yesterday; the desert comes down to
the banks of the river in several places. We saw many villages, but for
the last two days have observed none of those castles so frequent in
the lower country. About an hour and a half after we quitted the land,
passed a fortified town on the west bank of the river, which appeared to
be mostly in ruins. On our landing, at night, we endeavored to purchase
some provisions, but the people of the country could only spare us some
milk and vegetables, for which they would not take money, but demanded
flour. On our consenting to this proposition, they brought us an
abundance of the articles above mentioned. They informed us that there
was a town called Dongola, containing about three hundred houses, at
the distance of two days' sail from this place, and that the Pasha was
encamped three days' march in advance of Dongola.

24th of Safa. Left the shore this morning shortly after sunrise, and
proceeded on our voyage. The country we passed through this day was, on
the west bank of the river, fine, but on the east bank the desert was
visible at a little distance from the river almost all the day. Passed
two considerable fortified towns, situated on the left bank of the
river; they were almost in ruins. An hour before sunset we put to shore
on the west bank, where we found a fertile and cultivated country. The
people who occupied it, said that they had settled here a year ago; the
island they had occupied before having been overflowed by the river, and
their plantations destroyed.

25th of Safa. This day made but little progress, there having been a
calm for more than half the day; what country we saw resembled that
passed yesterday.

26th of Safa. Remained fast by the shore for the whole of this day, the
wind being ahead. The country on the west bank of the river, where we
stopped, is fine, but deserted by the inhabitants. Some of the boat's
company, who went up the country in search of provisions, reported that
they had seen the ruins of a temple, containing fragments of columns
of black granite. I determined, in case the wind on the morrow should
continue unfavorable, to visit this place. They also had met a party of
fifteen armed men, who informed them that they belonged to this country,
but had been compelled to quit it, and fly, by the brigands of Shageia,
who had infested and ravaged the country, but had returned on hearing
that the Pasha Ismael had defeated and expelled these robbers, and had
invited every fugitive peasant to return home, giving them assurance of
future safety and protection. We were alarmed this evening by the report
of several musket shot, which appeared to come from the other side of
the river, where, we had been told, still lurked some of the brigands.
Prepared our arms to be ready in case of attack, but passed the night

27th of Safa. Early in the morning, quitted the shore with a fair wind,
and proceeded on our voyage; Dongola being, we were told, but half a
day's distance from us. The appearance of the country still the same.

28th of Safa. Made but little way today, the wind being light. About the
middle of the afternoon, put to shore on the east bank of the river,
as there appeared to be no villages in sight on the other shore, and we
were in want of provisions. The country we saw to-day is very good, and
covered with trees, but sparely inhabited.

The country where we landed was, however, tolerably well cultivated by
the inhabitants of several villages hereabouts. The soil, where it was
not cultivated, was completely covered with trees, generally of no great
height, and with bushes and long rank grass. The habitations of many
of the inhabitants could with difficulty be found; they are frequently
nothing but a rough arbor formed in the thickets. We had continual
reason to be surprised, that a country naturally so rich should be so
thinly populated and so carelessly cultivated. The people, however,
appeared to be content with raising enough for their subsistence, and
to desire nothing beyond this. Our money they did not value; they would
give us nothing for money, but the flour of Egypt readily obtained what
they could spare.

29th of Safa. At sunrise left the land with a fair and strong wind, and
proceeded up the river with rapidity. In about two hours passed what
appeared to be the ruins of a large fortified city, situated on a
commanding eminence on the east bank of the river. Shortly after, put
to shore on the west bank of the river, the wind having increased to
a gale, and the east side towards the city, just mentioned, being
inaccessible on account of the shoals that lined it. The violence of the
wind forced the boat aground upon a shallow, at the entrance of a canal
here, the only one I had seen for a month. After toiling for an hour,
the boatmen at length succeeded in getting the boat water-borne. About
an hour after noon the wind abated and the boat proceeded on her way
under her foresail only. We went at a great rate till an hour before
sunset, when we put to shore on the east bank of the river. The people
informed us that we had passed Dongola, and, from their description of
that place, we were convinced that the city we had seen this morning,
upon the eminence on the east bank of the river, must have been the
place we were bound to. The people said that all the boats that preceded
us had followed the march of the army of the Pasha, who was encamped,
they reported, at two days' distance from this place. We therefore
determined to proceed to join him, and not to return to Dongola, where
it was probable we should only receive directions to proceed to the
Pasha. The country we saw to-day was not so uniformly fertile as that we
have passed for several days past. Sand was in some places visible.

1st of Rebi. Made great way to-day, the wind being very strong till
sunset. We landed at evening on a large and fertile island which was
well cultivated. I observed here, at a considerable distance from the
place where we landed, a large and lofty column, situated, as I then
supposed, on the main land, on the eastern bank of the river.[17] The
country we passed to-day, for about ten miles on the eastern bank of the
river, is mostly covered by sand; that on the western bank is beautiful.
During the whole of the afternoon, however, the country we passed, on
both banks, can be surpassed by none in the world for fertility; the
appearance of numerous water-wheels and large plantations of durra
and cotton, showed us that this fine territory was improved by a
considerable population. The face of the country continues still
the same, an immense and fertile plain, bounded by the horizon
and intersected by the windings of the river Nile. We have seen no
considerable eminence for many days, except that on which stands the
old city of Dongola, which we passed yesterday; it is a fine military

2d of Rebi. The wind to-day was right ahead, owing to the curious fact
that the river here makes an eccentric bend to the left, toward the
north-east, and presents itself as coming from that quarter instead of
from the south or south-west, as usual hitherto.[18] The Rais attempted
to advance by cordelling the boat; but the force of the wind and current
prevented the boatmen from gaining more than two or three miles along
the coast of the island, where we landed yesterday. We were therefore
obliged to pass a great part of this day and all night by the shore. The
island is about twenty miles long and very beautiful; it is called, as I
have been repeatedly informed, "Argo."

3d of Rebi. We were obliged still to continue fast by the shore till
noon, when the wind abating, the boat advanced about two miles by the
help of the cordel, so far as to arrive at a small bend in the river,
which brought the wind a little in our favor, so as to pass by its aid
to the other side, in the hope, if the wind continued the same on the
morrow, to profit by it and proceed. We arrived a little before sun set,
and remained there for the night. We saw this day, while the boat
was warping slowly along the left bank of the river, the ruins of a
considerable fortified town, built of stone and encompassed by large
cemeteries. Some large columns, of a beautiful stone, white intermixed
red, are to be seen among the ruins. One of the cemeteries is evidently
ancient, as the tombs are covered with hieroglyphics, intermixed with
inscriptions. In one of the tombs one of our party found the remains of
a mummy.

4th of Rebi. Made but little progress to-day, on account of the
irregularity in the river already mentioned, which makes its course
hereabouts almost the direct contrary to its natural direction, and
brings, in consequence, the prevalent winds ahead. Passed some small,
but fine islands, and saw, for the first time for several days, stone
mountains in the distance: the shores of the river hereabouts are
fertile, but thinly inhabited. Saw several large villages in ruins.

5th of Rebi. The wind and the untoward direction of the river obliged us
again to employ the cordel to forward the boat a few miles more on her
way. By the middle of the afternoon we had arrived at a place on the
left [19] bank of the river that had been, a few days ago, the scene of a
battle between the Pasha and the brigands of Shageia. We found there a
strong and well built castle at the farther extremity of a high and
long mountain, running nearly at right angles with the river, and which
approached to within a few hundred yards of its bank; thus furnishing
a fine position to the enemy. The castle was taken by the aid of the
Pasha's artillery, and his cavalry rode through and dispersed all who
fought outside of it.[20] This castle was astonishingly welt arranged in
its interior, and was thereby rendered very comfortable quarters for
a considerable garrison. The country, in the vicinity, contains many
villages, and was covered with plantations of durra beans and fields of
cotton. These villages had been ransacked, and in part destroyed, by
the victorious troops, as the inhabitants, instead of coming in to the
Pasha, as did the people of the lower countries, had taken up arms and
sided with the brigands who lorded it over the country. We learned,
however, that they did this much against their will, being compelled
thereto by their marauding masters. I was informed today that some
English travelers were in one of the boats ahead. I determined, in case
the wind should continue unfavorable tomorrow, to walk up the river and
pay them a visit.

6th of Rebi. Set out very early in the morning, it being dead calm, and
the boat in consequence unable to proceed, except by the cordel, to see
the strangers, and to be informed of their accommodations, as I feared
that they too were obliged to participate in the privations to which we
were all exposed. After about two hours walk at length came up with the
boat, on board of which these gentlemen were. They informed me that they
had set out from Cairo a few days after we had quitted Bulac. They were
suffering privations, as were all in the boats, and I regretted that
my being in similar circumstances put it out of my power to ameliorate
their situation. As, however, we had now learned to a certainty, that
the camp of the Pasha was not far distant, it was in my power to assure
them that they would be better off in a day or two.[21] All the way to
their boat, and on my return to ours, I observed some hundreds of bodies
of men and animals that had perished in the late engagement and during
the pursuit, and the stench which filled the air was almost intolerable.
The country, covered with an abundance of grain almost matured,
was abandoned; the water-wheels stood still, and the cisterns were
frequently infected by a bloody and putrefying carcass.

7th of Rebi. Passed the last night on board the boat, near the mountain
already mentioned in the day before yesterday's journal. Two Greeks on
board of our boat reported last evening, that they had heard menacing
cries from the mountain. The people on board of the boat supposed that
some of the brigands had returned to their haunt and meditated an attack
on our boat by night. We were accordingly on the watch till morning,
without, however, being molested. This morning, about two hours after
sunrise, these same Greeks reported that they had seen fifteen or
sixteen of the robbers in a body, and armed. They also told the Mogrebin
soldiers in the other boats, which had now come up with ours, that these
men had probably massacred one of the soldiers attached to me and two of
my servants, as they had not been seen since morning. I accordingly
set out, in company with twenty soldiers, in pursuit of the supposed
assassins. We had not proceeded far when we met the persons supposed
killed, on their way to our boat, safe and sound. They had seen no
armed men, though they came from the direction that the Greeks said the
robbers had taken. I therefore returned to the boat, reflecting upon
the old proverb, "A Greek and a liar." The Mogrebin soldiers were not,
however, convinced of the falsehood of the report, and pursued their way
to the mountain; they found no robbers there, but repaid themselves for
the trouble they had taken, by taking possession of a young and
pretty girl, which they carried to their boat as a lawful prize. After
proceeding a few miles by the aid of the cordel, we put to land at
sunset, near a village on the left bank of the river. We found here
the ruins of a Christian church, built in the style of the lower Greek
empire, of which one column, of red granite, of no great height, was
standing, (it bore on its chapiter a cross and a star,) and was all that
stood on its base; others, fallen and broken, were lying near it. The
soldiers found in the villages near us several hundred women and about
two hundred men; they were peasants who had taken refuge here during the
battle between the brigands and the troops of the Pasha. The soldiers
were disposed to treat them as enemies, but they were saved from their
fury by showing a paper given them by the Pasha, assuring them of
protection. It is the rule to give these papers to every village not
hostile, to protect them from the soldiers. We remained here all
night. The country of Shageia, possessed by the brigands, was the best
cultivated we had seen this side of Assuan; the water-wheels, so far
as we have passed their country, being frequently within half a stone's
throw of each other. They obliged the peasants to work hard to raise
food and forage to ml the magazines of their castles, which are seen
here and there all over this country.

8th of Rebi. The wind and the direction of the river continuing the
same, we were obliged to advance by the cordel. The country continued
fine and well cultivated, and we passed several large and beautiful
islands. In walking along the shore, saw at a distance a large castle,
lately occupied by the brigands; on visiting it, found it capable of
accommodating at least a thousand men. The walls and towers very thick
and pierced with loopholes: it had been taken by the aid of the Pasha's
artillery, and almost every thing combustible in it had been burned by
the troops. A few miles beyond this the boat stopped for the night.

9th of Rebi. Heard this morning at day-light, with great pleasure, the
report of three cannon, which indicated the proximity of the camp. We
proceeded slowly by the cordel, the river obstinate in maintaining the
same untoward direction, and the wind consequently adverse. The country
we saw to-day, like that we have passed for the last two days, gave us
continual occasion of surprise. It was better cultivated than any part
of the countries south of Egypt that we had seen. It was crowded with
villages and covered with grain, deserted by its proprietors. In the
afternoon, however, the disagreeable impression produced by seeing
so fine a country without inhabitants was almost obliterated by
the pleasure I felt on being informed that a large number of its
cultivators, with their wives and children, were on their return to
their fields and houses, provided with an escort from the camp, and a
firman from the Pasha Ismael, securing them from outrage, and
assuring them of protection. I am sorry to be obliged to say, that the
inhabitants of this unfortunate district had great occasion for this
protection. The soldiers in the boats were disposed to take liberties
with the inhabitants, on the plea of their being the allies of
the brigands. This morning, two men belonging to a village in this
neighborhood, were severely beaten, and their wives or sisters violated
by some soldiers belonging to the boats. This afternoon, a soldier
belonging to our boat, accompanied by one of the Greeks already
mentioned, and the Frank cook of the Proto Medico went to the same
village, without my knowledge, to participate in this licentious
amusement. They were somewhat surprised and terribly frightened on their
arrival at this village, on finding themselves suddenly surrounded by
about two hundred peasants armed with clubs, who fiercely demanded what
they wanted, asking them if they had come, as others had before them
to-day, to cudgel the men and violate the women, and ordered them to be
off immediately to the boats. The luckless fornicators, confounded by
this unexpected reception, were heartily glad to be allowed to sneak
back to the boat in confusion and terror. On their arrival, and this
affair becoming known to me, I abused them with all the eloquence I
could muster, first, for their villainy, and then for their cowardice,
as they were well armed, and had fled before the face of cudgels.
When we stopped at night, we were told that we were about three hours
distance from the camp.

10th of Rebi. The river and the wind still obliged us to proceed slowly
by the cordel. The country we passed to-day was fine, and had been
cultivated with great care, but deserted. The face of the fields was
almost covered with the household furniture of the villagers. Straw
mats, equal to any sold at Cairo, were abandoned by hundreds on the
spots where they had been employed for the night by the troops, when on
the pursuit after the brigands who had fled from the last battle. Many
of the largest of these mats the soldiers had formed into square huts
for the different guards. The abandoned harvests waved solitary in
the wind, and the numerous water-wheels were all motionless. We
passed several large castles, not many days back garrisoned by fierce
marauders, who claimed all around them, or within the reach of their
horses' feet, as theirs; and many well built villages, whose inhabitants
were the slaves of their will. In one of these deserted castles, we
found fragments of vessels of porcelain, basins of marble, chests of
polished Indian wood, the pillage probably of some caravan, and a small
brass cannon. The walls of the apartments were hung with large and
colored straw mats, of fine workmanship, and showed many indications of
the pains taken to make them comfortable and convenient. An hour after
noon, we met great numbers of men, women, and children, accompanied by
their herds and flocks, who were returning to this abandoned country,
by the encouragement and under the protection of the Pasha. It was
an affecting sight to see almost every one of these unfortunate women
carrying her naked and forlorn children either upon her shoulders or
in her arms, or leading them by the hand. The pleasure I felt at seeing
these proofs of the humanity of the Pasha Ismael was diminished by
seeing his safe-conduct disregarded by some of the Mogrebin soldiers,
and particularly by the Greek and Frank domestics of the Proto Medico
Bosari, who seized from the hands of these miserable creatures as many
sheep and goats as they thought they had occasion for. About an hour
before sunset, we passed the encampment of Abdin Cacheff, on the right
or opposite bank of the river; and at night-fall came in view of that of
the Pasha about three miles farther up on the same side. We stopped to
pass the night, as the boatmen were too much fatigued to draw the boat
any farther to-day.

11th of Rebi. The direction of the river and the wind still the same.
Proceeded slowly by the cordel till about two hours after noon, when we
arrived at the camp of the Hasnardar on the left bank of the river;
that of the Pasha was on the opposite side. Not far from the camp of the
Hasnardar, some ruins and several small pyramids attracted my attention.
As I could not go to the Pasha before to-morrow, I determined to employ
the remainder of the day in a visit to these antiquities, which lay near
a large high and isolated rock, about a mile distant from the river. I
found before this rock the ruins of a very large temple, which covered
a great space of ground. Some columns, almost consumed by time, were
standing nearly buried in the rubbish. The bases of others were visible,
which, from their position, evidently once supported an avenue of
pillars leading to an excavation in the great rock aforementioned,
against and joining on to the side of which, that fronted towards the
river, this temple appeared to have been constructed. Among the ruins
saw two large lions of red granite, one broken, and the other little
injured, and a small headless statue, about two feet high, in a sitting
posture. On approaching the front of the rock, found it excavated into
a small temple, whose interior was sculptured with the usual figures and
symbols seen in the temples of ancient Egypt. Its roof, and that of the
porch before it, exhibited several traces of the azure with which it had
been painted. The porch before this excavation was supported by Caryatid
figures, representing huge lions standing nearly erect upon their hinder
legs. The ruins before the rock seemed to me to have originally composed
a large temple, of which this excavation was the inner sanctuary. The
pyramids were close by these ruins. I counted seventeen, some of them in
ruins, and others perfect. Those which were uninjured were small, of a
height greater than the breadth of the base, which was generally about
twenty feet square; the sides resembled steep stairs. They were however
compactly and very handsomely constructed of hewn stones, similar to the
rock before mentioned, and probably taken from it. Before some of these
pyramids, and attached to one of their sides, we found low buildings,
resembling small temples, and, judging from the interior of one we found
open, intended as such, as the inside of this one was covered with the
usual hieroglyphics and figures. It would be a work of little difficulty
to open the pyramid to which was attached the little temple I entered,
as the figure of a door of stone in the pyramid is to be seen, when
inside of the temple, attached to its side. In view from this place,
many other pyramids were in view higher up the river, on the opposite
bank, one of them large. The people of the country called the place I
visited, "Meroe" as likewise the whole territory where these ruins
are found. The ruins I have mentioned do not appear ever to have been
disturbed. I doubt not that several remains worth research lie concealed
under the rubbish, which here covers a great space of ground. No other
remains of antiquity are visible in this place besides those I have
mentioned. The immediate spot where they stand, and its vicinity
backward from the river, is covered by the sand of the Desert,
underneath which probably many more lie concealed.

The river Nile has been represented, and I think with justice, as one
of the wonders of the world. I do not consider it as meriting this
appellation so much on account of its periodical and regular floods, in
which respect it is resembled by several other rivers, as on account
of another circumstance, in which, so far as I know, it is without a

The Nile resembles the path of a good man in a wicked and worthless
world. It runs through a desert--a dry, barren, hideous desert; on the
parts of which adjoining its course it has deposited the richest soil in
the world, which it continually waters and nourishes. This soil has
been the source of subsistence to several powerful nations who have
established and overthrown mighty kingdoms, and have originated the
arts, the religion, the learning and the civilization of the greater
part of the ancient world. These nations, instructors and pupils, have
perished; but the remains of their stupendous labors, the pyramids and
the temples of Egypt, Nubia, and in the countries now visited for the
first time, at least for many ages, by minds capable of appreciating
the peoples who erected them, are more than sufficient to excite
astonishment and respect for the nations who founded them. The few in
stances that I have mentioned are such as have presented themselves to
my notice in sailing up the river, without my having the opportunity to
scrutinize them particularly, or time or means to pursue any researches
in the vicinity of those I have seen, by which doubtless many more would
be discovered. Some future traveler in these interesting and remote
regions, who may have the power and the means to traverse at his leisure
the banks and islands I have seen and admired, will, I believe, find
his labors rewarded by discoveries which will interest the learned, and
gratify the curious.

A voyage up the Nile may be considered as presenting an epitome of the
moral history of man. We meet at almost every stage with the monuments
of his superstition, his tyranny, or his luxury; but with few memorials
of his ingenuity directed with a view to real utility. We also every
where behold the traces of the vengeance of Almighty Justice upon his
crimes. Everywhere on the banks of the ancient river we behold
cities, once famous for power and luxury, a desolation, and dry like a
wilderness; and temples once famous, and colossal idols once feared, now
prostrate and confounded with the dust of their worshippers. "The flocks
lie down in the midst thereof: the cormorant and bittern lodge in the
temples and palaces. Their voice sings in the windows, and desolation is
in the thresholds."

The peoples who now occupy the territories of nations extinct or
exterminated have profited neither by their history nor their fate. What
was once a land occupied by nations superstitious and sensual is now
inhabited by robbers and slaves. The robbers have been expelled or
slain, and the oppressed peasant is emancipated by the arms of the
nation who avenged the cause of Heaven upon the degenerate Greeks, but
who nevertheless have derived neither instruction nor warning from their
downfall and subjugation. The Nile meantime, which has seen so many
nations and generations rise and disappear, still flows and overflows,
to distribute its fertilizing waters to the countries on its borders:
like the Good Providence, which seems unwearied in trying to overcome
the ingratitude of Man by the favors of Heaven.

On my arrival at the camp, I was informed of the particulars of the
progress of the victorious son of the distinguished Meheromet Ali from
Wady Haifa to Meroe. Before his march every thing had submitted or
fallen. All attempts to arrest his progress had proved as unavailing as
the obstacles opposed by the savage rocks of the Cataracts of the Nile
to the powerful course of that beneficent and fertilizing river.

His Excellence, as said before, set out from Wady Haifa on the 26th of
Zilhadge last. In ten days of forced march he arrived at New Dongola. A
little beyond this village, the Selictar, at the head of a detachment of
about four hundred men, surprised and dispersed about fifteen hundred
of the enemy, taking many of their horses and camels. Four days' march
beyond New Dongola, the Pasha, at the head of the advance guard of
the army, came up with the main body of the Shageias and their allies,
strongly posted on the side of a mountain near a village called Courty,
on the westerly bank of the river. The Pasha at this juncture had
with him but six hundred cavalry and some of the Abbadies mounted on
dromedaries, of whom we had about five hundred with the army, but none
of his cannon. The enemy advanced to the combat with loud screams and
cries, and with great fury. The Abbadies could not withstand their
charge, and were driven rearward. At this critical instant, his
Excellence gave the order, and the cavalry of the Pasha charged and
poured in the fire of their carabines and pistols. After a conflict of
no long duration, the cavalry of the enemy fled in dismay, while those
who fought on foot fell on their faces, throwing their shields over
their heads to secure them from the tramp of the cavalry, and implored

In consequence of the result of this affair, all the country between the
place of combat and Shageia, i.e. the country occupied by the castles
and immediate subjects of the Maleks of Shageia, submitted and were
pardoned. The Pasha pursued his march to the province of Shageia, where
Malek Shouus, the principal among the Shageia chiefs, had collected the
whole force of the republic of the brigands with a determination to risk
another battle. The Pasha found, on his arrival, a part of their force
posted on an island near the long mountain I have mentioned in my
journal as having been the scene of a combat a few day? before I reached
it. Those of the enemy who were in the island were forthwith attacked by
troops sent over in the boats which accompanied the army, and were cut
to pieces or driven into the river. The army then advanced to attack the
great mass of the enemy in their position on the mountain. It was a
very advantageous one. The mountain runs nearly at right angles with the
river, which it nearly reaches, leaving between itself and the river a
tract of ground about a quarter of a mile in width, which at the time
was covered with plantations of durra. The enemy were posted on the
side of this mountain and among the durra in the open ground between the
mountain and the river; so that their rear was secured by the mountain,
and their right covered by a strong castle at the foot of its extremity
lying off from the river. Malek Shouus, Malek Zibarra, and the other
chiefs of Shageia, and their immediate followers, composed the cavalry
of the enemy. They had assembled, either by force or persuasion, all
the peasantry subject to their dominion, the whole forming a mass
which blackened the whole side of the mountain. Their arms consisted
of lances, shields and long broad swords double-edged. These wretched
peasants, who were all on foot, their masters posted in front in order
to receive and exhaust the fire of the Pasha's troops; while Shouus and
the cavalry occupied the rear in order to keep the peasants to their
posts, and to have the start of the Pasha's cavalry in case they
should find it necessary to take to flight. The Pasha posted his troops
parallel to the enemy, placing the greater part of the cavalry opposite
the open ground between the mountain and the river, and pushing the
artillery a little in advance. The enemy with loud cries and uplifted
lances rushed forward. Some of the peasants in advance of the others,
with no other arms than lances and shields, threw themselves upon the
cannon and were blown to pieces.[22] The castle on the right of the
enemy was stormed. After feeling the effects of a few rounds from the
artillery, which dashed horse and man to pieces, the cavalry of the
enemy fled in dismay, leaving their infantry to be rode over and shot
down [23] by our cavalry, who destroyed many hundreds of them in the
battle and during the pursuit. Malek Shouus and his cavalry did not
discontinue their flight till they reached the territory of Shendi,
leaving their numerous and strong castles, their dependant villages, and
a rich and beautiful country, in the hands of the conqueror.[24]

On the 12th of Rebi, I passed over to the camp of the Pasha. I did not
however obtain an audience of his Excellence till two days after, when,
being alone, he sent for me, and received me in the most nattering
manner, ordering me as usual to sit in his presence. After the usual
compliments, I informed his Excellence that I had been much mortified
and distressed, that the act of God, in depriving me of the use of my
eyes a few days before his Excellence left Wady Halfa, had prevented
me from accompanying his victorious march, and participating in the
exploits of his troops; so that I had not arrived till there was nothing
left to do. His Excellence replied that a "great deal more remained to
be done, in which I should have a share." I replied with a compliment,
and then demanded horses and camels for myself, and the soldiers I
had brought with me; he replied "that I should have them." After some
further conversation, of a confidential nature, I retired. During the
nine days following, I had reason to applaud the humanity and good
policy of the Pasha, in offering amnesty and peace to all the brigands
who should come in and surrender themselves. Several of their chiefs,
whom they call "Maleks" accompanied by their followers, came in while
the camp remained near Meroe. The chiefs were presented with costly
habiliments, and the written protection of his Excellence, recognizing
them as under his safeguard; and returned with their followers to
their homes, tranquillized and contented. The most rigid discipline
was observed in the camp, to prevent the people of the country from
suffering by the presence of the army. Some soldiers and domestics were
severely beaten for taking sheep and goats without paying for them,
and five of the Abbadies (or auxiliaries mounted on dromedaries) were
impaled for having seized some camels from the peasants. It was truly
honorable to the army and its commander to see villages embosomed in a
camp, whose inhabitants, men, women and children, pursued their usual
occupations, without molestation and without fear. In the country below,
which had been the scene of combat, the fields were deserted, and for
several days I had not seen a peasant at work upon the ground. In
the vicinity of the camp of the Pasha, where the people had submitted
themselves, the discordant creak of the water-wheels frequently
attracted the ear, and the peasants cultivated their fields within
musket shot of the camp of a conqueror.

On the 21st of Rebi, a detachment, consisting of three hundred cavalry,
departed from the camp for the country of the Berbers, to secure its
submission and to obtain horses and camels for the army. Learning that
it was the intention of the Pasha to march in a few days, to pitch his
camp about eight hours march farther up the river, I wished to ascertain
whether I could have the horses and camels I needed before the Pasha
marched. His reply to my demand was, that he had no camels, at present,
that were not appropriated to some service or other, but that, as soon
as he had them, I should receive what I needed. I was consequently
obliged to embark in a boat to accompany the march of the camp as,
without camels to carry my tent and baggage, I could not accompany it by
land. On the 25th, all the boats followed the departure of the
troops; the wind was ahead, and the direction of the river the same as
repeatedly before mentioned. We proceeded slowly by the cordel. This
circumstance gave me an opportunity of visiting the Pyramids which I
have mentioned as in view from Meroe. They stand about half a mile from
the right hand bank of the river. I counted twenty-seven, none of them
perfect, and most of them in ruins; the greater part of them are built
of stone, and are evidently much more ancient than those of Meroe.

The largest is probably more than a hundred feet square, and something
more in height. It presents a singularity in its construction worthy
of notice. It is a pyramid within a pyramid; i.e. the inner pyramid has
been cased over by a larger one; one of its sides being in ruins makes
this peculiarity visible. By climbing up the ruined side, it is easy
to reach its summit. No remains of a city or any traces of temples are
visible in the immediate vicinity of this place, which is called by the
natives "Turboot."

On the 23d we came in view of the lower end of the rapids of the Third
Cataract; those hereabouts are called "the rapids of Oula" We were
obliged to consume thirty-nine days in getting as far as the island of
Kendi, (which is not above fifty miles from Meroe.) As the direction of
the river continued almost the same, coming from about the north-east,
and the wind being almost invariably ahead, the difficulties attending
advancing the boats by the cordel were very great, as the river here
is spotted by an infinity of islands and rocks. In some of the passages
where the water was deep, the current was as swift as a mill-sluice,
which made it necessary to employ the crews of perhaps twenty boats
to drag up one at a time. In other passages, where the water was very
shallow, it was sometimes necessary to drag the boats by main force over
the stones at the bottom. The camp of the Pasha remained during all
this time about eight hours march above Meroe, on the right bank of the
river, waiting till the boats should have passed the rapids. No military
movements took place, except detaching the Divan Effendi with four
hundred cavalry, to join the detachment already in Berber, where all was
quiet and friendly. The country on the rapids of the Third Cataract is
sterile, being composed, for the most part, of black granite and sand,
excepting some of the islands, which contained good ground, and a few
spots on the shores, where the floods of the river had deposited some
fertile soil. The rocks by the shore presented indications which proved
that the river had risen in some of its floods about twenty feet above
its present level. Ostriches are not unfrequently seen hereabouts. We
have met with no ruins of any ancient building of consequence on these
rapids, except the ruins of a strong fort on the right bank of the
river, and those of what was probably a Christian Monastery on the bank
right opposite. This place, I was told, is called "Kennis;" it is
about thirty miles above Meroe.[25] We passed one small island, which the
natives said was called also Meroe, as well as the site where we found
the pyramids and temple below. No indications of a considerable city are
however to be found on this island, which is beside too small to have
served for the emplacement of a city of consequence. Khalil Aga, who
swam over to this island, reported that he had seen there the ruins of
brick houses, and many fragments of porcelain; of the latter there
are immense quantities among all the ruined edifices found in this
country.[26] The island of "Kendi" is large, and in some parts cultivated;
it contains evident traces of brick buildings, among which we found
fragments of ancient pottery and porcelain, but no ruins of any
considerable building.

We stayed for three days as high up as the middle of the island of
Kendi. On the 6th of Jamisalawal the boats received orders to descend to
the lower end of the island, in order to take the passage on its right
hand side, that on the left being so shallow as not to be passed but
with great difficulty. We descended accordingly, and remained at
its lower extremity till the thirteenth of the moon, which delay was
occasioned by the absence of the Rais Bashi, who had gone up to examine
and sound the passages through the remainder of the Third Cataract. On
the thirteenth, our boat and many others passed over to the right bank
of the river, in order to be on the same side as was the camp of the
Pasha,[27] and to have free communication with it.

The same day I received an order from the Pasha to come to the camp with
my baggage. I went accordingly and presented myself to his Excellency,
and demanded to know his pleasure. He replied, that it was his will that
I should stay in the camp, and that he would immediately furnish me with
the means of accompanying him in his intended march to Berber over the
Desert. Five days after, his Excellency broke up his camp, and proceeded
about four leagues higher up the rapids, where the boats were found
stopped by the impossibility of proceeding any farther, as the water
was found to be too low to admit their passing. I arrived at this place
(opposite the upper end of the island of Kendi) on the same day with his
Excellency, having left orders to my domestics to follow with my camels
and baggage. The next morning, finding that they had not arrived, and
learning that it was the intention of the Pasha to commence his march to
Berber that day, I mounted my horse to go and ascertain the reason why
my camels had not arrived. I learned, as I proceeded, that one of them
had fallen under his load, and that it would be necessary to send back
the first that should arrive and be unloaded, to take the burden of the
other. All my effects, inconsequence, did not arrive before evening.
During my absence to see after this vexatious affair, the Pasha had
departed with the camp, as I learned the same evening on my return.
After leaving the most bulky part of my baggage in one of the boats, I
proceeded on the 21st to the place where the Pasha's last camp had been,
to join some party who should have been delayed by circumstances similar
to my misadventure. On my arrival I found the Hasna Katib, and about
three hundred soldiers, waiting till camels should come from Berber
to carry them to join the Pasha. There were, besides, seven hundred
Mogrebin infantry in the boats, awaiting the means of transporting their
tents and baggage across the Desert. On my representing to the Hasna
Katib the circumstance that had delayed me, he informed me that the
Selictar was expected from below in a few days, who, on the day after
his arrival, would proceed after the Pasha, and that I had better
accompany him. I accepted the advice, and pitched my tent to await the
arrival of the Selictar. The same day I was informed that all the large
boats had received orders to abandon the attempt to pass the remainder
of the third cataract of the Nile. They had already, with great
difficulty, got through about fifty difficult passages, and it was
reported that there were nearly one hundred more ahead before the third
cataract could be got clear of. When the river is full, and the
flood, of course, strong, this cataract must, in my opinion, be almost
impassable upwards, as, on account of the strange direction of the
river, little or no aid can be derived from the wind, and the current in
some places, from the straitness of the passages between the rocks and
islands, must, in the time of the inundation, be very furious, while
the cordel, from the natural obstacles which cover the shore of this
cataract, could hardly overcome the difficulties which every mile or two
would present.[28]

On the first day of the moon Jamisalachar, the Selictar arrived from
below, where he had been to collect durra for the army. Two days after
I set forward in company with him to pass the Desert. The road for two
days lay near the bank of the river. By the middle of the afternoon of
the first day we arrived at a pleasant spot on the border of the Nile,
where we encamped to pass the night. On the morning following we mounted
our horses at sunrise, and by mid-day arrived at a fine pond of water at
the foot of a high rock, at no great distance from the river, where we
refreshed ourselves and filled the water-skins, as at this place the
roads turns into the Desert. We marched from the middle of the afternoon
till an hour after midnight, when we halted to sleep. The road for this
day was evidently the dry bed of an arm of the Nile, which, during the
inundation, is full of water. Even at this season the doum tree and the
acacia, which grew on its borders, were green, and coarse long grass was
abundant. At sunrise of the sixth day of the moon we again mounted,
and set forward in a direction nearly East. Our way lay over low
rocky hills, gravelly or sandy plains, and sometimes through valleys
containing plenty of coarse grass and acacia trees; but no water is
to be found above ground at this season, though it probably might be
obtained by sinking wells in some of these valleys. We halted at noon,
and in two hours after again mounted, and marched till midnight. Our
road lay through a country resembling that we had passed the day before.
On the morrow morning, a little after day-light, we proceeded on our
journey, and at noon halted at the only well of water we found on our
route. It lies near two high hills of black granite. The water was
yellow and dirty, and was almost rejected by the thirsty camels. By the
middle of the afternoon we were again on horseback, and marched till
midnight, when some of the camels dropping and dying, and others giving
out, the Selictar found himself obliged to order a halt for the rest of
the night. It was his intention to have marched till morning, by which
time our guides told us that we should arrive at the river. We threw
ourselves on the ground to sleep a few hours, but by sunrise we were
called to mount and away. We proceeded till about noon, when we came
in view of the beneficent river, whose beauty and value cannot be duly
appreciated by any who have not voyaged in the deserts through which it
holds its course. It was on the eighth of the moon when we arrived on
its borders. I had expected that our toilsome forced march would end
here, and had promised myself some repose, which I greatly needed, as
I had suffered much from the heat of the sun, which had burned the skin
off my face;--from fatigue and want of sleep;--from hunger, as we had
barely time to prepare a little rice and bread once in twenty-four
hours;--and from the exasperation of my ophthalmia, which had never
entirely quitted me since I was attacked by it at Wady Halfa, on the
second cataract. The Selictar, however, did not indulge us with more
than half a day's and one night's repose on the bank of the river, which
we found well cultivated by the inhabitants of numerous villages in
sight. On the morning of the ninth day of the moon, we were again called
to proceed. For this day our march lay near the bank of the river, and
through and by fine fields of barley, cotton, and wheat. The day after,
our route lay over a narrow space of rocky land, lying between the river
and the hills of the desert. We saw this day but a few cultivated spots.
On the 11th we commenced our march before sunrise, animated by the
information that we should be at the Pasha's camp by noon or the middle
of the afternoon. Our road lay this day on the edge of the Desert, just
where it touches the cultivable soil deposited by the Nile, which is
indicative of the point to which the inundations of the river extend
in this country. On both sides of tills road was an almost continued
succession of villages, which are built here in order to be out of the
reach of the overflowing of the river, which almost every year here
overspreads the country for one or two miles from its banks. The land
liable to this inundation is in part cultivated as well as any portion
of Egypt, and in part devoted to feeding great numbers of fine horses,
camels, dromedaries, kine, sheep, and goats, with which the country of
the Berbers is abundantly stocked.

We marched on till nearly set of sun, without halting, when we arrived
at the encampment of the Pasha; it was on our side [i.e. the west side]
of the Nile, which here runs in its natural direction from south to
north. At five or six days march below it, it turns to the left, and
describes, from above its turning point and Dongola, a track something
resembling the following figure--which is the reason why, in coming up
the river from Dongola, we found it running from the north-east. The
length of this curious bend in the river Nile, never known to the
civilized world before the expedition of Ismael Pasha, may be about
two hundred and fifty miles long, the greater part of it all rocks and

The journey from our last encampment on the third cataract to the
country of the Berbers, following the direction of the river, takes
eight days of forced marches, but that by the desert, i.e. across the
peninsula formed by the course of the river between the country of the
Berbers and our last encampment, takes four days forced march.

The road from the place where we arrived at the river (in coming from
the desert) up the country of Berber, lies generally on the edge of the
desert, and outside of the fertile land lying between the river and
the desert; of consequence we were rarely led to its banks so as to
ascertain its course and appearance. But from several points where the
road approaches the river, I observed that it winded continually and
contained many beautiful islands, some of them, particularly that named
"Sibne," cultivated like gardens. I also observed that the river, at the
lower extremity of the country of the Berbers, is much interrupted by
rocks, and I have learned, since my arrival, that between the third
cataract and the camp, the water is so low at this season that the
Canja of the Pasha (probably the first boat that ever passed the third
cataract of the Nile) was obliged to be lifted three times over shallow

The natives of this country had never seen a sail boat before the
arrival of this Canja. They called it "a water mare" comparing it, by
this appellation, to the swiftest animal with which they are acquainted.
They ran in, crowds to the river's edge to see it mount the current
without the aid of oars.

On the 13th, I had a private audience of the Pasha in the evening.
His Excellence received me as usual, and on my informing him of the
circumstance which had prevented my accompanying his march from the
cataract, he assured me that he would give orders, that, for the future,
I should be furnished from the best of his own camels. I preferred to
his Excellence some requests, which he granted immediately, and on my
retiring, requested me to present myself to him frequently.

Previous to his march from the third cataract, there had arrived at
the camp ambassadors from Shendi, from Malek Shouus, the chief of the
fugitive Shageians, demanding terms of peace. The Pasha replied, that
"the only terms on which they could obtain peace with him, would be by
the surrender of their horses and arms, and returning to their country
to live tranquilly, and without disturbing their neighbors." The
ambassadors replied, that "they would not give up their horses and
arms." The Pasha then answered, that "then he would come to Shendi and
take them." To which it is said they answered, "Come."[29] On hearing,
however, of the rapid march of the Pasha, and of his arrival in Berber,
the chief of Shendi, on whose support it seems Shouus had calculated,
was frightened, and sent his son, bearing some valuable presents, to the
Pasha, to notify his submission, and to receive his orders. The terror
and confusion this step, on the part of one of the most powerful allies
of Sennaar, will occasion to the latter, will probably prevent the
necessity of a battle to ensure its submission. A part of the remnant of
the once powerful Mamalukes of Egypt, who had fled before the Pasha to
Shendi,[30] on his arrival in Berber have surrendered themselves to the
protection of the Pasha Ismael. They have been treated by him with great
kindness, and were presented with a thousand piasters each, to bear
their expenses to Cairo, to which place they have departed, with the
assurance of passing the remainder of their lives in tranquility in
Egypt, under the protection and favor of Mehemmed Ali. They had gone
from the camp before my arrival. I was informed that these Mamalukes
were in possession of many slaves and fine horses, which will turn to
good account in Egypt. A small remnant of the Mamalukes at Shendi, under
the direction of a refractory Bey, have fled to the countries on the
Bahar el Abiud, where they will probably perish miserably. The Divan
Effendi, who has been sent to Shendi to arrange the terms of peace
with the Malek of that country, had orders to assure this Bey and his
followers there, of the same favor and protection already accorded to
their comrades, who had already departed for Egypt, but without success.
It is not to be doubted, however, that the remnant of the once powerful
Mamalukes, who have surrendered themselves to the compassion and
protection of the Viceroy, will receive both from him; whose humanity
has been interested in their behalf since their power is gone, and their
number reduced to a few individuals, who, doubtless, will be happy to
live tranquilly in the country these unfortunate fugitives continually
sigh after, and whose sovereignty they have lost by their own

17th. I passed over in the canja of the Pasha, to the east side of the
river, to visit the capital of Berber, which is nearly opposite to our
camp. On reaching the bank, it is a walk of half an hour through immense
fields of durra, to come to the road that leads to the residence of the

After quitting the plantations, I came to a collection of villages,
extending about three miles down the river. Among these villages is one
called "Goos" which is marked in the maps as the capital of Berber; but
the residence of the Malek,[32] or chief of the eastern shore, is not at
Goos, but at another of the collection, much larger, called Nousreddin,
as I was informed, after the name of the present Malek, who resides
there. The houses of these villages, like the rest in the country of
Berber, are built of clay, and roofed with unhewn timber, covered with
trusses of straw; that of the Malek is like those of his people, only
larger. The western shore is governed by another Malek, whose village
lies higher up the river than the emplacement of our camp. The
population of Nousreddin, and the villages adjoining, is considerable.
The country is fertile and well cultivated, and abounds in durra,
cotton, barley, fine horses, camels, dromedaries, kine, sheep, goats and
fowls, as does all the country of Berber. I found in these villages some
caravan merchants, who at present had nothing to sell but coarse cotton
cloths. These cotton cloths form the only clothing of the inhabitants;
both men and women wear them, wrapped round their middle, with one end
thrown over the shoulder or head.[33] The Berber, though resembling the
fellah of Upper Egypt in complexion, is generally not so well formed
in figure and feature. Many of them have defective teeth, probably
occasioned by the habit of chewing bad tobacco, (of which they have
plenty,) which is common here.

The greater part of their household and field work is done by slaves
they purchase from the caravans, coming either from Abyssinia or
Darfour. Some of the owners of female slaves would, for a dollar,
without scruple, permit the soldiers of our camp to sleep with them.
The women of Berber, contrary to the custom in Egypt, go with the face
unveiled, without embarrassment. Both men and women never consider
themselves in full dress, unless the hair of the head has been combed
sleek, then braided and platted together, and afterwards plentifully
anointed with butter. They never cut the hair, I believe; it
consequently forms an immense bunch behind the head, similar to that
observable in some of the ancient statues of Egypt.[34] The barbarous
practice of excision is universally performed upon all their females,
whether free or slaves; as is the case also among all the tribes
inhabiting the banks of the Nile above Assuan.

The people of Berber are, in their exterior deportment, mild and polite.
Every man we meet, uniformly gives us the greeting of peace, "Salaam
aleikoum," and uniformly shows a disposition to accommodate us in every
thing reasonable. This is probably owing to their being, in a very
considerable degree, a commercial people; Berber being every year
visited and traversed by numerous caravans from Abyssinia, Sennaar,
Darfour, and Kordofan.

23d of Jamisalachar. This day arrived the Divan Effendi, from Shendi,
accompanied by the Malek of that province, and the son of Malek Shouus,
the chief of the fugitive Shageias. The Malek of Shendi was accompanied
by a considerable suite, and two most beautiful horses, intended as a
present to the Pasha.[35] On being introduced to his Excellence, he kissed
his hand, and pressed it to his forehead, and told him that he had come
to surrender himself and his country to his favor and protection.
His Excellence received him graciously, presented him with splendid
habiliments, and a horse richly caparisoned. After his presentation
was finished, he was conducted to the tent of the Hasnardar, who was
directed by the Pasha to treat him with due hospitality. The son of
Malek Shouus came in behalf of his father, and other distinguished
chiefs of the Shageias, to implore the mercy of the Pasha for these
chiefs and the fugitive remnant of their followers, who were opposite
Shendi, awaiting the decision of the Pasha, as to what was to be their
fate. I was told that the determination of the Pasha continued in their
regard the same, making the surrender of their arms and horses the sine
qua non of peace between him and them. Three days after, the chief of
Shendi returned home the friend of the Pasha.

On the 25th of the moon, I passed over to the eastern side of the river,
to purchase camels; as there were many buyers at this time from our
camp, I did not find any good enough for the exorbitant price demanded.
I passed the greater part of the day, and the night following, at the
town of Nousreddin, in the house of one of the principal chiefs of the
Berbers. He bears the title of Malek, as do all the distinguished chiefs
of Berber, Shageia, and Dongola. Their dignity is hereditary, generally
passing from father to son. I have noticed that the families of the
Maleks exceed the common people in respect of stature and stoutness. The
Malek, in whose house I lodged, a man about 60 years of age, was near
seven feet high, and very stout. His eldest son, a young man about
22 years of age, was about 6 feet 4 inches in stature, stout and well
proportioned. I imagine, that this superiority in size is owing to the
circumstance that they eat well and heartily, and have no work to
do beside seeing that others work for them. The family of this Malek
carried their hospitality towards me to a very extraordinary length for
people professing Islam. I was offered, by the mother and mistress of
the house, my choice of two of her daughters for a bedfellow. They were
both young, and the handsomest women I have seen in Berber, but married
to husbands whose houses were at the other end of the town. When
I understood this circumstance, I told the mother, that a genuine
Mussulman ought to regard lying with his neighbor's wife as a crime
almost as bad as murdering him in his bed.[36] I am sorry to be obliged
to say, that though the Berbers are a quiet and industrious people, very
civil and disposed to oblige all for whom they have any regard, yet,
with respect to their women, they appear to be unconscious that their
conduct is quite irreconcilable with the precepts of the Koran, and the
customs of their co-religionists. They suffer them to go about with the
face exposed--to converse with the other sex in the roads, the streets,
and the fields; and if the women are accustomed to grant their favors
to their countrymen, as liberally and as frequently as they did to our
soldiers, I should imagine that it must be more than commonly difficult,
in this country, for a man to know his own father.[37]

On my return to camp, I was amused on the way by a dispute in connection
with this subject, between the Malek I have mentioned and a soldier; it
happened in the boat that brought me back to camp. The boat was heavily
laden, and this gigantic Malek was stepping into it, when the soldier I
have mentioned intimated a determination to exclude him, calling him by
several opprobrious names, and among other terms, "a pimp." Upon this,
I checked the soldier, telling him that this man was a considerable
personage in his country, and extremely hospitable to the Osmanlis. This
mollified the soldier, and the Malek took a place as well as he could.
The Malek then addressed the soldier in a mild manner, and asked him why
he had bestowed such appellations upon one who was a Mussulman, as well
as himself. The soldier positively refused to allow the Malek's claims
to this honorable appellation. The chief demanded upon what grounds
the soldier denied it: "Because," said the soldier, "the women of your
country are all whores, and the men all get drunk with bouza, araky,
and other forbidden liquors, which you make out of durra and dates;" and
turning to me, he demanded "whether he was not right?" The poor
chief appeared to be much vexed that he was unable to reply to this
accusation, and remained silent. The soldier, not content with humbling
the unlucky Malek, pursued his advantage without mercy. "Come," said
he to the chief, "I do not believe that you know any thing about your
religion, and I will soon make you sensible of it" He then asked the
chief how many prophets had preceded Mohammed? If he knew any thing
about the history of Dhulkamein and Gog and Magog? and many others of a
similar tenor: how to answer which the unfortunate Malek was obliged to
own his ignorance. The soldier then told him that "the Commander of the
Faithful,"[38] the chief of the Mussulmans, had authorized his Vizier, the
Pasha Mehemmed Ali, to set the people on the upper parts of the Nile
to rights, and that now the Osmanlis were come among them they would
probably learn how to behave themselves. The Malek might, however, have
had his revenge upon the edifying soldier, had he known as well as I
did that he had gone over to the town of Nousreddin expressly to amuse
himself with the women of the country, and had doubtless paid as much
attention to the bouza as the most sturdy toper in Berber.

The country of the Berbers, after the best in formation I have been
able to obtain, is small, not extending, from the upper end of the third
cataract, more than eight days march in length on both sides of the
Nile. The Bahar el Uswood, or Black river, bounds it (i.e. on the
eastern bank) on the south, and separates it from the territory of
Shendi. The cultivable land reaches generally to the distance of one or
two miles from the river. It is overflowed generally at the inundation,
and its produce is very abundant, consisting in durra, wheat, barley,
beans, cotton, a small grain called "duchan," tobacco, and some garden
vegetables similar to those of Egypt. Berber also raises great numbers
of horned cattle, sheep, goats, camels, asses, and very fine horses.
It is very populous, the succession of villages being almost continued
along the road on both sides of the river. The houses are built of clay,
covered with a flat roof of beams overlaid generally with straw; but the
houses of the Maleks have generally terraced roofs of beaten clay, This
manner of building is sufficient in a country where no great quantity of
rain falls throughout the year. Some of the houses of the peasants
are formed of trusses of cornstalks, and placed side by side in a
perpendicular position, and lashed together, with roofs of the same
materials. All the people sleep upon bedsteads, as they do also in
Dongola and Shageia: these bedsteads are composed of an oblong frame of
wood, standing on four short legs, the sides of the frame supporting
a close network of leathern thongs, on which the person sleeps; it is
elastic and comfortable.

Berber contains plenty of salt, which the natives find in some
calcareous mountains between the desert and the fertile land. In its
natural state, it is found mingled with a brown earth, with which the
stone of those mountains is intermixed. This earth the natives dilute
with water, which absorbs the salt and leaves the earth at the bottom;
they then pour off the water into another vessel, and, by exposing it to
the sun or fire, the water is evaporated and the salt remains.

The assemblage of villages which compose the capital of Nousreddin,
contains houses enough for a population of five or six thousand souls,
but I do not believe that the actual population of those villages is so

The language is Arabic, perfectly intelligible to the natives of Egypt,
but containing some ancient words at present disused on the lower Nile;
for instance, the Berber calls a sheep "Kebesh."[39'

As to the climate, the difference between the heat at two hours
afternoon in the month of the vernal equinox, and at an hour before
sunrise, has been as great as ten degrees of the thermometer of Reaumur,
as I have been informed by one of the medical staff attached to the
army, who was in possession of that instrument. It is at present the
commencement of spring, and the heat at two hours after mid-day, at
least to the sense, is as great as in the month of the summer solstice,
in Cairo. I have seen no ferocious animals, either in Berber or the
country below, and believe that they are rare.

5th of Regeb. The camp continues in Berber, awaiting the arrival of the
remainder of the cannon, ammunition, provisions and troops, from the
boats at the cataract. The reason why these have not been transported
hither before this time, is the want of camels, a large part of the
camels attached to the army having perished, by reason of having been
over fatigued by the Pasha's forced march over the desert, and up the
country of Berber. A considerable number of camels have been obtained
from Berber and sent to the cataract, and more are expected to arrive
from Shendi, to which place the Divan Effendi has accompanied the chief
of that country when he left our camp, in order to receive them. Abdin
Cacheff departed two days past for Dongola, with his division. He is
charged, by Mehemmed Ali, with the government of the country between the
second and third cataracts.[40] Twelve hundred men, under the command of
Ibrihim Cacheff, are said to be on the way to replace the vacancy left
in our camp by the departure of Abdin Cacheff. They are expected to
arrive in a few days, if not delayed by the sickness of Ibrihim Cacheff,
who, it is said in the camp, is dangerously ill on the road.

7th of Regeb. This day Nousreddin, the Malek of Berber, came to kiss the
hand of the Pasha. He had been prevented from paying his homage to the
conqueror heretofore by sickness. He brought with him, as a present to
the Pasha, fifty fine horses, and fifty dromedaries of prime breed. He
was well received by his Excellence, and his presents were returned by
the Pasha, by others of great value. Nousreddin is a very tall and very
large man, about sixty years of age. Two days after, having occasion to
go to the other side of the river, I found Nousreddin upon the shore,
awaiting the arrival of a boat to carry him and some of his chiefs
over. I paid him some compliments relative to the handsome horses he had
presented to the Pasha, which pleased him considerably; he invited me
to come to his house and partake of his hospitality. I told him, if
circumstances would admit it, I would visit him in a few days.

From the 10th of Regeb to the end of the moon, nothing worth notice took
place, except the successive and gradual arrival of the remainder of
the cannon,[41] ammunition, stores and troops from the cataract, which
had been left there when the Pasha quitted it, for want of camels to
transport them. On the last day of the month, arrived the cavalry
of Ibrihim Cacheff from Egypt, consisting of four hundred excellent
horsemen; one thousand infantry were yet far distant, but on their way
to join us. Ibrihim Cacheff is at Wady Halfa, severely sick.

On the 2d of the moon Shaban, shortly after the hour of afternoon
prayer, the signal was fired and the tents fell. We mounted our snorting
horses, now lusty from long repose, and commenced our march to traverse
the famous country of the Ethiopian shepherds, at present subject to the
Malek of Shendi. We arrived opposite Shendi, by easy marches, in eight
days, and encamped on the west side of the river, near a very large
village called "Shendi el Garb," i.e. Shendi on the west bank.

Our route from Berber led us through a country consisting of immense
plains of fertile soil, extending many miles from the river, and mostly
covered with herbage; mountains or hills were rarely visible.[42]

We passed many large villages, most of which stood far off from the
river, to be out of the reach of the inundation. The houses of these
villages, particularly as we approached Shendi, were generally built
with sloping roofs of thatched straw, which indicated that this is a
country visited by the rains. We hardly ever, during our march, came in
view of the river, except to encamp. We found it at this season narrow
and shallow, though its bed was frequently a mile and a half broad. At
every halt we made, the chiefs of the country came to salute the Pasha,
and seemed to be well disposed towards the army, whose conduct was very

On the 9th of the moon, I visited the town of Shendi el Garb, in the
rear of our camp. It is large and well built, in comparison with the
other villages I have seen on the Upper Nile. It contains about six
thousand inhabitants, and has three market places, where the people of
the country exchange dollars and durra for what they have need of. Our
piasters they disliked, being ignorant of their value, but sometimes
received them for fowls, vegetables, butter, and meat, and for durra,
but for wheat they demanded dollars.

On the 10th of the moon, I went to Shendi on the east bank, which is
the capital of the country. I traversed the town with some surprise; the
houses are low, but well built of clay. Large areas, walled in for the
reception of the merchandize brought by the caravans, are to be seen in
various parts of the town, which is large, containing probably five or
six thousand inhabitants; the streets are wide and airy, regular
market places are found there, where, beside meat, butter,[43] grain and
vegetables are also to be purchased, spices brought from Jidda, gum
arabic, beads, and other ornaments for the women. The people of Shendi
have a bad character, being both ferocious and fraudulent. Great numbers
of slaves of both sexes, from Abyssinia and Darfour, are to be found
here, at a moderate price, a handsome Abyssinian girl selling for about
forty or fifty dollars. The chief of Shendi, the same who had come to
our camp in Berber, has done his uttermost to promote a good disposition
in his people towards the Osmanlis, and has made the Pasha a present
of several hundreds of very fine camels, within the last two days. His
house is not built of better materials than those of his people, and
differs from them only in being larger. Shendi stands about half a mile
from the easterly bank of the river. Its immediate environs are sandy;
it derives its importance solely from being the rendezvous of the
caravans of Sennaar and the neighboring countries going to Mecca or
Egypt. The territory belonging to the chief of Shendi is said to be very
large,[44] but by no means peopled in proportion to its extent. He can,
however, in conjunction with the Malek of Halfya, bring into the field
thirty thousand horsemen, mounted on steeds probably as beautiful as any
found in any country in the world.

On the 14th of the moon, some soldiers, who went to a village in
the neighborhood of the camp, to get their rations of durra from the
magazine in this village, which had been formed there by its chief,
for the service of the army, were insulted, maltreated, and two of
them killed outright with lances, and others severely wounded by the
inhabitants. On the news of this outrage reaching the camp, the soldiers
took arms, and mounted, to proceed to this village, with the full
determination to revenge the death of their comrades in the severest
manner. In five minutes nearly all the camp was upon the march for this
village, when the Pasha sent orders to stop them and leave the affair to
him. It was however impossible to prevent the greater part of them
from proceeding to the village, which they pillaged and destroyed,
sacrificing to their fury many of its inhabitants. The plunder which
they brought back was however seized by the Selictar, and by the Pasha's
orders restored to its owners.

The conduct of his Excellence on this occasion was highly laudable,
while it must be confessed that that of the soldiers was not much to
be blamed. Durra--a miserable pittance of durra, scarcely sufficient
to support nature, was all that was required from the people of these
countries, money free; and this, in the instance mentioned, was refused
by a people whose chief had already granted it--a people absolutely
within our power, and who extorted from the starving soldiery enormous
prices for every thing they sold us, and who frequently refused to sell
us any thing at all with great ferocity and insolence.

On the 15th of the moon, at two hours before sunset, the signal was
fired, and the camp of the Pasha rose to commence its march for Sennaar.
We marched till midnight, and reposed, as usual, on the bank of the
river till about the same hour of the afternoon of the 16th of the moon,
when we pursued our march for five hours, and halted by the river. We
stayed here till the 18th, in the afternoon, in order to obtain three
days rations for the horses from the villages in the neighborhood, which
are numerous and large, as the country through which our route would lie
for that time, is destitute of inhabitants and cultivation.

It was on the 16th that Malek Shouus, the chief of the fugitive
Shageias, who had fled as the army approached up the country, came at
length to the camp to surrender himself to the discretion of the Pasha.
He addressed the Pasha, as I have been informed, as follows: "I have
fought against you to the utmost of my means and power, and am now
ready, if you will, to fight under the orders of my conqueror." The
courage this man had shown in battle, and his firmness in adversity, had
engaged the respect of the Osmanlis, and he is as graciously received by
the Pasha, who created him a Bimbashi, and received him, his companions,
and followers, into his service. Malek Shouus is a large stout man, of a
pleasing physiognomy though black, of about forty years of age, and was
considered as the greatest warrior among the people of the Upper Nile,
who all stood in awe of him.[45]

The 19th, 20th, and 21st of the moon, were employed in traversing the
naked country before-mentioned, which is barren, rocky, and without
cultivation. We marched for three days, from the middle of the afternoon
till midnight. It was not till the second hour after midnight, however,
of the third day, that we arrived at a country on the border of the
Nile, containing several villages, where we remained till the middle
of the afternoon of the 21st. On our arrival at these villages, the
darkness and severe hunger engaged several of the soldiers to take, by
force, sheep and goats from the inhabitants. The officers of the Pasha
vigorously interposed to prevent this infraction of the orders of his
Excellence, and several of the guilty were severely punished for taking
forbidden means to gratify the demands of nature.

At the hour of afternoon prayer the signal was fired, and the camp
proceeded onwards. We left the villages afore-mentioned, and passed
through a sandy tract covered with bushes and the thorny acacia, which
embarrassed our march, and, by occasioning several detours, caused the
army to lose its way. After wandering about till midnight, the camp at
length arrived on the bank of the Nile.

On the 22d, at the rising of the moon, the camp proceeded, and halted
in the forenoon on the beach of the river, opposite Halfya, a very large
village on the easterly bank. We stayed here till the twenty-sixth to
obtain durra from this territory, whose chief brought, as a present to
the Pasha, some fine horses and many camels, and received, in return,
some valuable presents. Our side of the river is desert, and covered
with trees and bushes. During our stay opposite Halfya, the Nile, on the
night of the 23d, rose suddenly about two feet, and inundated some parts
of the sandy flats where we were encamped; the water entering the
tents of several, my own among others, and wetting my bed, arms, and
baggage.[46] It had risen a little shortly after the equinox, while the
army was in Berber, and afterwards subsided more than it had risen.
We find the sky every day more and more overcast; distant thunder and
lightning, accompanied with violent squalls, (which have overset my tent
twice,) are, within a few days, frequent, and drops of rain have fallen
in our camp.

On the 26th, at one hour after noon, we proceeded to the Bahar el Abiud,
about five hours march above our present position, where the Pasha
intends to cross into the territory of Sennaar. The camp arrived at
sunset at a position a little above where the Nile falls into the Bahar
el Abiud, and stopped. Immediately on my arrival, I drank of this river,
being, probably, the first man of Frank origin that ever tasted its

The Nile is not half as broad as the Bahar el Abiud, which is, from bank
to bank, one mile higher than where the Nile joins it, about a mile
and a quarter in breadth. It comes, as far as we can see it, from the
west-south-west. The Nile of Bruce must, therefore, after the expedition
of Ismael Pasha, be considered as a branch of a great and unexplored
river, which may possibly be found to be connected with the Niger.

On the 27th, early in the morning, the Pasha commenced transporting the
army over the Bahar el Abiud, by means of nine small boats, which had
been able to pass the third Cataract, and follow the army. The country
on our side of the Bahar el Abiud, is uncultivated, and apparently
without inhabitants. The army is encamped by the side of the river, on
a beautiful plain of good soil, extending a considerable distance back
towards the desert. During the inundation, this plain becomes evidently
an island, as there is a channel worn by water, in the rear of it, at
this season dry. The tracks of the hippopotamus are found throughout
this plain.

By the 29th, in the afternoon, i.e. in two days and a half, the Pasha
had finished transporting into Sennaar the whole of his camp, consisting
of about six thousand persons, with the artillery, ammunition, tents,
baggage, horses, camels, and asses, by the aid of nine boats, none of
them large, an expedition, I believe, unparalleled in the annals of
Turkish warfare.[47]

During our stay on the other side of the Bahar el Abiud, it was reported
in the camp that some of the Mogrebin soldiers, gone out to shoot
gazelles, had killed in the desert which lies off from the river, an
animal, resembling a bull, except that its feet were like those of a
camel. I did not see this animal, but the story was affirmed to me by

The army, on its crossing the Bahar el Abiud, encamped on the point of
land just below which the Bahar el Abiud and the Nile join each other.
The water of the Bahar el Abiud is troubled and whitish, and has a
peculiar sweetish taste. The soldiers said that "the water of the Bahar
el Abiud would not quench thirst." This notion probably arose from the
circumstance that they were never tired of drinking it, it is so light
and sweet. The water of the Nile is at present perfectly pure and
transparent, but by no means so agreeable to the palate as that of the
Bahar el Abiud, as I experimented myself, drinking first of the Bahar
el Abiud, and then walking about two hundred yards across the point,
and drinking of the Nile, the water of which appeared to me hard and
tasteless in comparison.

Nothing of the kind could be easier than to ascend the Bahar el Abiud
from the place where we are. A canja, well manned and armed, and
accompanied by another boat containing provisions for four or six
months, and both furnished with grapnels to enable them at night to
anchor in the river, might, in my opinion, ascend and return securely:
as the tribes on its borders have great dread of fire-arms, and will
hardly dare to meddle with those who carry them.

We stayed on the Sennaar side of the Bahar el Abiud till the 1st of
Ramadan, when the army commenced its march for Sennaar, the capital,
proceeding by the bank of the Nile.[48]

The army reached Sennaar in thirteen days. The signal for striking the
tents and loading the camels was generally fired about two hours after
midnight. One hour was allowed for loading the baggage, when a second
cannon was fired, and the march of the army commenced, and was continued
each day till about two or three hours before noon, when the camp
reposed till about two hours after midnight of the same day. The army
suffered severely during this march; nothing was given to the troops for
subsistence but durra, unground, which the soldiers were frequently in
great distress to obtain the means of making into meal, in order to bake
a little miserable bread, which was all they had to eat.[49] For myself,
I was reduced to great extremity. The camel, carrying my provisions
and culinary utensils, and several other articles, was lost by the
carelessness of a domestic. I was consequently left without any thing to
eat, or the means of preparing what I might obtain. I threw myself under
the hospitable shade of the tent of Mr. Caillaud, (then only occupied
by Mr. Constant, his companion,) the gentleman I have mentioned in the
Preface with so much well merited esteem, where I stayed till my arrival
at Sennaar.

The country we traversed is that part of the kingdom of Sennaar which
lies between the Nile and the Bahar el Abiud. It is an immense and
fertile plain, occupied by numerous villages, some of them very large;
that of "Wahat Medinet," for instance, containing, probably, four or
five thousand inhabitants. What country we saw was, at this season,
perfectly naked of grass, consisting generally of immense fields which,
in the season past, had been planted with durra. Acacia trees, and
bushes in the country far back from the river, (which is sandy,) were
abundant, but no herbage was visible; I did not see throughout our route
a single waterwheel;[50] and I believe that the country is only cultivated
when the inundation has retired.

The houses of the villages are built in the following manner. A circle
of stakes is planted in the ground, a conical frame of poles attached
to these stakes below, and meeting and fastened at the top of the cone,
forms the roof. This roof, and the sides of the house, are then covered
with thatched straw, which suffices to exclude the rains.

Some of the houses, however, belonging to the chiefs are of a stronger
fabric, being composed of thick walls made of bricks dried in the sun,
and having terraced roofs. In the thatched cottages I have mentioned,
the air and light come in by the doorway and four small holes pierced in
the walls of the house. This scanty ventilation renders these cottages
very hot and close: the difference between the temperature of an
inhabited house and that of the air outside being, in my judgment,
almost as great as that of the undressing room of a bath at Cairo, and
that of the passage just outside of the bath itself. This circumstance
alone is almost sufficient to account for the great mortality in
Sennaar, during the rainy season, when whole families are shut up in
these close cottages; and every one who goes abroad must necessarily go
with his pores in a condition expressly adapted to make him catch a cold
or a fever.

Six days before the army reached Sennaar, the Pasha was met by an
ambassador from the Sultan; he had an audience of his Excellence,
and returned the next day to Sennaar. He was a handsome young man,
accompanied by a numerous suite mounted on dromedaries. The army pursued
its route, steadily marching in order of battle, the infantry in the
centre, the cavalry on the wings; the artillery in advance of the centre
and the baggage in the rear, with Shouus' cavalry and the dromedary
corps of Abbadies scouring our front and flanks to a great distance. Two
days after it was reported in the camp that the Sultan of Sennaar was on
his way to meet us with a strong force, preceded by numerous elephants
and great herds of cattle, collected in order to receive and exhaust
the fire of our troops. The Pasha proceeded however steadily on with the
army in order of battle, and equally prepared for peace or war. Two
days before the arrival of the army in Sennaar, as I was riding near the
Topgi Bashi, who was in front of the army with the artillery, I saw
a great number of armed men approaching, mounted on horses and
dromedaries. Presently the Malek of Shendi (who had accompanied the
Pasha)[51], rode up to the Pasha and informed him that the strangers
approaching were the principal officers of the Sultan of Sennaar, and
their suite, who had come to demand terms of peace.

I saw these personages when they arrived. They were two, one a tall thin
elderly man of a mulatto complexion, dressed in green and yellow silks
of costly fabric, with a cap of a singular form, something resembling a
crown, made of the same materials, upon his head. The other was the
same young man who had come a few days past to the Pasha. He was
dressed to-day in silks like the other, except that his head was bare of
ornament. They were accompanied by a fine lad about sixteen, who was,
it is said, the son of the predecessor of the present Sultan. All three
were mounted on tall and beautiful horses, and accompanied by about two
hundred soldiers of the Sultan, mounted on dromedaries, and armed with
broadswords, lances and shields.

When the Pasha was informed of their approach by the Malek of Shendi, he
ordered a halt. The tent of the Pasha was pitched, and the ambassadors
were introduced. They were treated with great attention and liberality
by the Pasha, who, during the day and the course of the evening
following, gave them opportunities enough to be convinced of the immense
superiority of our arms to theirs. During the evening, some star rockets
and bombs were thrown for their amusement and edification. No language
can do justice to their astonishment at the spectacle, which undoubtedly
produced the effect intended by the Pasha--humility and a sense of
inferiority. The next morning at an early hour the army pursued its
march, accompanied by the ambassadors from Sennaar.

About the hour of noon, the outscouts announced to the Pasha that the
Sultan of Sennaar himself was approaching to salute his Excellence. On
his approach, the army received him with the honors due to his rank. He
was conducted to the tent of the Pasha, by the ambassadors he had sent,
where he remained in audience with his Excellence a long time. When the
audience was finished, he and the personages he had before sent to the
Pasha were splendidly habited in the Turkish fashion, and presented with
horses, furnished with saddles and bridles embroidered with gold.[52]

It was on the morning following that the army reached the capital. We
marched in order of battle. The Pasha, accompanied by the Sultan of
Sennaar and his chief servants, in front. On approaching the city, the
army saluted this long wished for town, where they imagined that their
toils and privations would cease, at least for a time, with repeated and
continued volleys of cannon and musquetry, accompanied with shouts of
exultation. But these shouts subsided on a nearer approach, on finding
this once powerful city of Sennaar to be almost nothing but heaps of
ruins, containing in some of its quarters some few hundreds of habitable
but almost deserted houses. After the camp was pitched, and I had
refreshed myself with a little food, I took a walk about the town. At
almost every step I trod upon fragments of burnt bricks, among which are
frequently to be found fragments of porcelain, and sometimes marble. The
most conspicuous buildings in Sennaar are a mosque, and a large
brick palace adjoining it. The mosque, which is of brick, is in good
preservation; its windows are covered with well wrought bronze gratings,
and the doors are handsomely and curiously carved. The interior was
desecrated by uncouth figures of animals, portrayed upon the walls
with charcoal. This profanation had been perpetrated by the Pagan
mountaineers who inhabit the mountains thirteen days march south of
Sennaar, and who, at some period, not very long past, had taken
the town, and had left upon the walls of the mosque these tokens of

The palace is large, but in ruins, except the centre building, which is
six stories high, having five rows of windows.[53] By mounting upon its
roof you have the best possible view of the city, the river, and the
environs, that the place can afford. I judged that Sennaar was about
three miles in circumference. The greater part of this space is now
covered with the ruins of houses, built of bricks either burnt or dried
in the sun. I do not believe that there are more than four hundred
houses standing in Sennaar and of these one-third or more are round
cottages, like those of the villages. Of those built of bricks, the
largest is the house of the Sultan. It is a large enclosure, containing
ranges of low but well built habitations of sun-dried bricks, with
terraced roofs, and the interior stuccoed with fine clay. What struck me
the most, was the workmanship of the doors of the old houses of Sennaar,
which are composed of planed and jointed planks, adorned frequently with
carved work, and strengthened and studded with very broad headed nails;
the whole inimitable by the present population of Sennaar. These houses
are very rarely of more than one story in height, the roofs terraced
with fine and well beaten clay spread over mats laid upon rafters, which
form the roof.

The city of Sennaar is of an oblong form, its longest side opposite the
river. It stands not at any distance from the river, but directly upon
its west bank, which consists hereabouts of hard clay.

The river is now rising,[54] but exhibits itself at present to the view
as narrow and winding, as far as the eye can reach, between sand flats,
which will shortly be covered by its augmenting waters. The bed of the
Nile opposite Sennaar may be reckoned at about half a mile broad.

The environs of Sennaar are wide plains, containing large and populous
villages. A long ragged mountain, the only one visible, stands about
fifteen miles to the west of the town. Below the town is a small but
pretty island, whose inhabitants thrive by raising vegetables for the
market of Sennaar; and the opposite bank of the river, presents several
verdant patches of ground devoted to the same object.[55] Beyond these
spots, the country on the other bank appeared to be mostly covered with
trees and bushes, among which I saw four elephants feeding.

I could not find any remains of any very ancient building in Sennaar
during my stay, and I believe that none exists there. Such is the
present appearance of a town which has evidently been once rich,
comfortable and nourishing, but which, for eighteen years past, as I
have been informed, has been the lacerated prey of War and Confusion.

On the day after our arrival the conditions of the accord between the
Pasha and the Sultan of Sennaar were arranged and sealed; by which the
latter recognized himself as subject and feudatory of the Grand Seignor,
and surrendered his dominions to the supremacy and sway of the Vizier of
the Padischah, Mehemmed Ali Pasha. The next day the Tchocadar Aga of his
Highness the Viceroy of Egypt, who had arrived in our camp two months
past, embarked in the canja of the Pasha Ismael to carry the documents
of this important transaction to Cairo.

For several days after our arrival at Sennaar, our camp was incommoded
by furious squalls of wind, accompanied with thunder, lightning, and
torrents of rain. The Pasha therefore determined to caserne the troops
in the houses of the town, and to stay there during the rainy season. In
ten days after our arrival, the army was distributed throughout the town
and in the villages on the opposite bank of the river. The Pasha himself
took up his quarters in a large house of the Sultan of Sennaar, which
had been prepared for his accommodation.

A few days after our arrival, a slave informed the Pasha that the Sultan
of Sennaar, before our arrival, had thrown into the river some cannon.
The Pasha ordered search to be made; four iron guns were discovered by
divers, and were dragged on shore. They appeared to me to be ordinary
ship guns; no mark or inscription was found on them to enable me to
judge where they were fabricated. I believe them however to have been
originally obtained of the Portuguese by the Abyssinians, from whom the
people said the Sultan of Sennaar had taken them in some ancient war
between the two kingdoms.

On the 19th of Ramadan, a party of Bedouins were ordered by the Pasha to
go in pursuit of some hundred black slaves of the Sultan of Sennaar, who
some time before our arrival had run away, taking with them some of his
best horses. On the 23d they returned, bringing with them between five
and six hundred negroes of both sexes. But on Malek Shouus going to the
Pasha and representing to him that these people were not the fugitives
in question, the Pasha ordered them to be immediately released and to
return to their respective villages.

About the same time the Pasha detached Cogia Achmet with thirteen
hundred cavalry and three pieces of artillery to the upper country
of Sennaar between the Bahar el Abiud and the Nile to secure its
submission.[56] And on the 26th of the moon the Divan Effendi was sent
with three hundred men across the Nile, to secure that part of the
kingdom of Sennaar which lies on the east side of the Nile.[57]

Seven days after our arrival in Sennaar I put in execution a resolution
the state of my health obliged me to determine on, and demanded of the
Pasha permission to return to Cairo. I represented to him, that all
the critical operations of the campaign were now happily concluded, and
crowned with the fullest success; and that, therefore, he could have no
particular need of me any longer. I stated to him that repeated sickness
during the campaign had rendered my health very infirm, and that a
residence of four months at Sennaar, during the rainy season, would
probably destroy me; and as my presence for that time at least could
be no ways necessary, I requested him to grant the permission demanded,
telling him that if, after the rainy season was finished, he should
think proper to recall me to camp that I would obey the summons. The
Pasha hesitated, and for several days declined granting my request;
but on its being represented to him that the reasons I had stated were
really just and sufficient causes for my return, his Excellence finally
told me, that on the return of Cogia Achmet he should dispatch a courier
to Cairo, and that I should accompany him.

On the third day of the Feast of Bairam I saw the Sultan of Sennaar
parade the town in great ceremony. He was mounted on a superb horse, and
clothed in green and yellow silks, but his head was bare of every thing
but its natural wool. Over his head an officer carried a large umbrella
of green and yellow silks in alternate stripes. He was accompanied by
the officers of his palace, and his guard, beautifully mounted, and
followed by the native population of Sennaar, both men and women, who
uttered shrill cries, which were now and then interrupted by the sound
of a most lugubrious trumpet which preceded the Sultan, and which was
blown by a musician who, judging from the tones he produced, seemed to
be afflicted with a bad cough.

On the 7th of the moon Shawal, the Divan Effendi returned to Sennaar,
having crushed all attempts to oppose the establishment of the Pasha's
authority in the eastern part of the kingdom of Sennaar, and bringing
with him three of the chiefs of the refractory, and three hundred and
fifty prisoners, as slaves. The events of this expedition were related
to me as follows: "We marched without resistance for eight days, in
the direction of the rising sun, through a country fine, fertile, and
crowded with villages, till we came to some larger villages near a
mountain called 'Catta,' where we found four or five hundred men posted
in front of them to resist our march They were armed with lances,
and presented themselves to the combat with great resolution. But on
experiencing the effects of our fire-arms, they took to flight toward
the mountain; two hundred of them were hemmed in, and cut to pieces,
and three of their chiefs were taken prisoners, as well as all the
inhabitants we could find in their villages; after which we returned."

On my demanding if water was plentiful at a distance from the river,
my informant replied, that "there were wells in abundance in all the
numerous villages, with which the country abounds; and also numerous
rivulets and streams, which at this season descend from the mountains.
The troops, he said, had forded two small rivers (probably the Ratt and
the Dandar); he added, that the country abounded in beautiful birds
and insects, one of the latter he brought with him; it was a small
scarabeus, covered with a fine close crimson down, exactly resembling
scarlet velvet. The people of the country he described as very harmless,
and exceedingly anxious to know what had brought us to Sennaar to
trouble them."

Two of these Chiefs taken prisoners the Pasha ordered to be impaled in
the market-place of Sennaar. They suffered this horrid death with great
firmness. One of them said nothing but "there is no God but God,
and Mohammed is his Apostle," which he frequently repeated before
impalement; while the other, named Abdallah, insulted, defied, and
cursed his executioners, calling them "robbers and murderers," till too
weak to speak, when he expressed his feelings by spitting at them.[58] The
third Chief was detained prisoner, in order to be sent to Cairo.

During my stay in Sennaar, I endeavored to get information of the
people of the country, and of the few caravan merchants found in the
market-place of Sennaar, relative to the Bahar el Abiud and the Nile.
The information I received was as follows: "The source of the Adit (so
the people of Sennaar call the river that runs by their city) is in
the Gibel el Gumara, (i.e. that great range of mountains called the
Mountains of the Moon,) about sixty days march of a camel from Sennaar.
in a direction nearly south. It receives, at various distances above
Sennaar, several smaller rivers which come from Abyssinia and from the
mountains south of Sennaar. The general course of the Bahar el Abiud
(they said) was nearly parallel with that of the Adit, but its source
was much farther off, among the Gibel el Gumara, than that of the Adit.
The Bahar el Abiud, they said, appears very large at the place where the
Pasha's army crossed it, because it is augmented from the junction of
three other rivers, one from the south-west, and two others from the
east, running from the mountains south of Sennaar."[59] On my asking them,
"whether the Bahar el Abiud was open and free of shellals or rapids?"
they said, "that at a place called Sulluk, about fifteen days march
above its junction with the Adit, (i.e. above the place where we crossed
the Bahar el Abiud,) there was a shellal, which they believed that boats
could not pass.[60] On my asking whether, by following the banks of the
Bahar el Abiud and the river that empties into it from the west, it was
not possible to reach a city called Tombut or Tombuctoo?" They said,
that "they knew nothing of the city I mentioned, having never been
farther west than Kordofan and Darfour."

This was all I could learn: but I am disposed to believe, that the main
stream of the Bahar el Abiud cannot have its source in the same latitude
with that of the Adit, because it commenced its rise, at least, this
year, about twenty days sooner than did the Adit, and the different
color of its waters proves that it flows through a tract differing in
quality of soil from that through which passes the Adit. The interesting
question, "whether the Niger communicates with the Bahar el Abiud?"
will, however, very probably be determined before the close of another
year, as the Pasha will probably send an expedition up that river.

Secondly, I am further disposed to believe that the main stream of the
Adit, or Nile of Bruce, does not take its rise in Abyssinia, but in the
mountains assigned as the place of its origin by the people of Sennaar.
For on viewing the mass of water that runs by Sennaar even now, when
the river has not attained two-thirds of the usual magnitude it acquires
during the rainy season, I can by no means believe that the main source
of such a river is only about three hundred miles distant from Sennaar.

The tract of country included between the Adit and the Bahar el Abiud is
called El Gezira, i.e. the island: because, in the season of the rains,
many rivers running from the mountains in the south into the Bahar el
Abiud and the Adit, occasion this tract to be included by rivers.

I am disposed to believe, that the representations made of the climate
of this country are much exaggerated; as, except during the rainy
season, and immediately after it, the country is a high and dry plain,[61]
by no means excessively hot, because the level of the countries on the
Nile being constantly ascending from Egypt, occasions Sennaar to be
many hundred feet higher than the level of Egypt, which is proved by the
rapid descent of the waters of the Nile toward the latter country. The
east and south winds also are, in Sennaar, cool breezes; because they
come either from the mountains of Abyssinia, or the huge and high ranges
which compose the Gibel el Gumara. I was in Sennaar at Midsummer, and
at no time found the heat very uncomfortable, provided I was in the open
air, and under a shade. In the cottages and houses, indeed, on account
of their want of ventilation, the heat was excessive.

I made during my stay in Sennaar frequent inquiries about the fly
mentioned by Bruce; the people of Sennaar said they knew nothing of
it;[62] but, in reply to my inquiries, referred to a worm, which they
say comes out of the earth during the rainy season, and whose bite is

The reptile species in Sennaar are numerous. The houses are full of
lizards, which, if you lie on the floor, you may feel crawling or
running over you all night. I saw at Sennaar a serpent of a species, I
believe, never before mentioned. It was a snake of about two feet
long, and not thicker than my thumb, striped on the back, with a copper
colored belly, and a flat head. This serpent had four legs, which did
not appear to be of any use to him, as they were short and hanging from
the sides of his belly. All his motions, which were quick and rapid,
were made in the usual manner of serpents, i.e. upon its belly.[63]

I do not feel authorized to give an opinion as to the national character
of the people inhabiting the kingdom of Sennaar; but I am obliged to
consider the inhabitants of the capital as a very detestable people.
They are exceedingly avaricious, extortionate, faithless, filthy and
cruel.[64] The men are generally tall and well shaped, but the females
are, almost universally, the ugliest I ever beheld; this is probably
owing to their being obliged to do all sorts of drudgery.

The children of these people, and indeed of all the tribes on the Upper
Nile, go quite naked till near the age of puberty. A girl unmarried
is distinguished by a sort of short leather apron, composed of a great
number of leather thongs hanging like tassels from a leather belt
fastened round the waist: and this is all her clothing, being no longer
than that of our mother Eve after her fall. The married women, however,
are generally habited in long coarse cotton clothes, which they wrap
round them so as to cover their whole person, except when they are at
work, when they wrap the whole round the waist.

As to the manufactures of the people of the Upper Nile, they are
limited, I believe, to the following articles, Earthenware for domestic
uses and bowls for pipes; cotton cloths for clothing; knives, mattocks,
hoes and ploughs, for agriculture, water-wheels for the same; horse
furniture, such as the best formed saddles I ever rode on, very neatly
fabricated; stirrups in the European form, made of silver for the
chiefs, and not like those of the Turks; large iron spurs, bits with
small chains for reins, to prevent them from being severed by the stroke
of an enemy's broadsword; long and double edged broadswords, with the
guard frequently made of silver; iron heads for lances, and shields
made of the hide of the elephant; to which may be added, that the women
fabricate very beautiful straw mats.

There is a general resemblance, in domestic customs, among all the
peoples who inhabit the borders of the Nile from Assuan to Sennaar. They
differ, however, somewhat in complexion and character. The people of
the province of Succoot are generally not so black as the Nubian or the
Dongolese. They are also frank and prepossessing in their deportment.
The Dongolese is dirty, idle, and ferocious. The character of the
Shageian is the same, except that he is not idle, being either an
industrious peasant or a daring freebooter. The people on the third
cataract are not very industrious, but have the character of being
honest and obliging. The people of Berber are by far the most civilized
of all the people of the Upper Nile. The inhabitants of the provinces of
Shendi and Halfya are a sullen, scowling, crafty, and ferocious people;
while the peasants of Sennaar inhabiting the villages we found on our
route, are a respectable people in comparison with those of the
capital. Throughout the whole of these countries there is one general
characteristic, in which they resemble the Indians of America, namely,
courage and self-respect. The chiefs, after coming to salute the Pasha,
would make no scruple of sitting down facing him, and converse with him
without embarrassment, in the same manner as they are accustomed to
do with their own Maleks, with whom they are very familiar. With the
greatest apparent simplicity they would frequently propose troublesome
questions to the Pasha, such as, "O great Sheck, or O great Malek; (for
so they called the Pasha) what have we done to you, or your country,
that you should come so far to make war upon us? Is it for want of food
in your country that you come to get it in ours?" and others similar.

On the 14th of the moon Shawal, Cogia Achmet returned to Sennaar,
bringing with him about two thousand prisoners as slaves, consisting
almost entirely of women and children. The events of his expedition were
related to me as follows: He marched rapidly for ten days in a direction
about south-west of Sennaar, (the capital) without resistance, through
a well-peopled country, without meeting with any opposition till he came
to the mountains of Bokki, inhabited by Pagans, the followers of
the chief who had rejected the Pasha's letter. They were posted on a
mountain of difficult access; but their post was stormed, and after a
desperate struggle, they found that spears and swords, though wielded by
stout hearts and able hands, were not a match for fire-arms. They fled
to another mountain, rearward of their first position. They were again
attacked by cannon and musketry, and obliged to fly toward a third
position: in their flight, they were in part hemmed in by the cavalry
of Cogia Achmet, and about fifteen hundred of them put to the sword.
Those who escaped took refuge in a craggy mountain, inaccessible to
cavalry. Cogia Achmet, believing he had made a sufficient proof to them
that resistance on their part was unavailing, and the troops having
suffered great distress by reason of the almost continual rains, after
sweeping the villages of these people of all the population they could
find in them, resumed his march for Sennaar. On their return, they had
to ford several deep streams, at this season running from the mountains,
and both horse and man were almost worn out before they reached Sennaar.

The people of Bokki are a hardy race of mountaineers--tall, stout, and
handsome. They are Pagans, worshippers of the sun, which planet they
consider it as profane to look at. The prisoners brought in by Cogia
Achmet resembled in their dress the savages of America; they were almost
covered with beads, bracelets, and trinkets, made out of pebbles, bones,
and ivory. Their complexion is almost black, and their manners and
deportment prepossessing. The arms of these people gave me great
surprise: they consisted of well-formed and handsome helmets of iron,
coats of mail, made of leather and overlaid with plates of iron, long
and well fashioned lances, and a hand-weapon exactly resembling the
ancient bills formerly used in England by the yeomanry. They were
represented to me by the Turks as dangerous in personal combat. They had
never seen fire-arms before, and they nevertheless withstood them
with great intrepidity. They said, I was informed, that a fusee was "a
coward's weapon, who stands at a safe distance from his enemy, and kills
him by an invisible stroke."[65]

On the 17th, the courier carrying the information to Cairo of this
expedition and its results, embarked in a canja to descend the river
as far as Berber, from whence he would proceed by the desert to Egypt.
Agreeably to the promise of the Pasha, I accompanied him. We arrived at
Nousreddin in Berber in five days and nights. Having the favor of the
current, and sixteen oarsmen on board, we descended with great rapidity.
The view of the country from the river is not pleasing, as the villages
lie almost invariably far off from the river; the country, therefore,
has the appearance of being almost uninhabited. We saw great numbers of
hippopotami, who, in the night, would lift their heads out of the water
at no great distance from the canja. They were sometimes fired at, but
without apparent effect. We stopped, during the night, for an hour at
Shendi, to leave orders from the Pasha to a small garrison of Turkish
troops stationed there.[66] The river Nile, below the point of junction
with the great Bahar el Abiud, presents a truly magnificent spectacle.[67]
Between Halfya and Shendi, the river is straitened and traverses a deep
and gloomy defile formed by high rocky hills, between which the Nile
runs dark, deep, and rapidly for about twelve or fifteen miles. On
emerging from this defile, the river again spreads itself majestically,
and flows between immense plains of herbage, bounded only by the
horizon: its banks nearly full, but not yet overflowed. About thirty
miles above Nousreddin, we passed the mouth of the Bahar el Iswood (on
the eastern shore); it is the last river that empties into the Nile. I
estimated it at about two-thirds of a mile broad at its embouchure.
The Nile, below the point of junction with this river, is more than two
miles from bank to bank, at this season. During the two first days of
our voyage, we had some severe squalls and very heavy rains; but after
passing the territory of Sennaar, we had a sky almost without a cloud.

On our arrival at Nousreddin, no more dromedaries could be immediately
obtained than were sufficient to mount the courier and his two guides. I
was, therefore, obliged to tarry five days in Nousreddin before I could
find a caravan journeying to Egypt.

On the 28th of Shawal, I quitted Nousreddin, along with a caravan on
its way to Egypt from Sennaar, conducted by a soldier attached to the
Cadilaskier of the army of Ismael Pasha, who was conducting to Egypt
twenty-two dromedaries and camels, and some slaves, belonging to the
Cadilaskier, and four fine horses belonging to the Pasha.

We started at about three hours before noon, and after marching for
three hours, stopped at a village named Sheraffey, to obtain rations for
the horses and camels to subsist them through the desert. Our route lay
on the outside of the villages, and on the border of the desert. The
villages are numerous and well built of sun-dried bricks, and the face
of the country, on our side of the river, perfectly level.

We stayed at Sheraffey until the next morning: the conductor of the
caravan not being able to obtain at this place the durra he wanted for
his cattle, we proceeded to a village called Hassah, which is about an
hour's march from Sheraffey. We stayed there till next morning.

On the 30th of the Moon, at day-light, we mounted our camels, and
proceeded on our road, which lay on the skirts of the desert. We passed
a continual succession of large, well-built and populous villages, lying
about a mile distant from the river; the weather serene and cool, as it
has been since our arrival in Berber. We halted at about the middle of
the forenoon, by a village called Abdea, until an hour and a half before
sunset, when we again set forward, and after marching for three hours
and a half, halted for the remainder of the night in a small village,
half in ruins. The reason of our short marches and frequent stoppages
was, to give the conductor of the caravan opportunities to make
provision for passing the desert. He might have done it at any of the
villages, had he been content to pay the price demanded; but as he was
a man who seemed to hold hard bargains in horror, and to love money
with great affection, he did not give the latter for durra till he was
absolutely obliged to make the afflictive exchange.

On the 1st of Zilkade we started at daylight, and marched till about two
hours after sunrise, when we stopped at some villages called Gannettee.
The country we passed since yesterday is the desert, which comes down
close to the river's bank, presenting but few spots fit for cultivation.
We were informed last night, that the camp of Mehemmet Bey, who is on
his way from Egypt with five thousand men, to take possession of Darfour
and Kordofan, is on the other side of the river.[68] The weather continues
serene and not very hot. Stayed at Gannettee till about the middle of
the afternoon, when we proceeded on our journey through a a desert and
dreary country, without either habitations or cultivation, as the desert
comes here down to the river. The rocks and stones of the desert are
generally of black granite. No verdure was to be seen, except on the
margin of the river. The river hereabouts is much impeded by rocks and
rapids, but contains many beautiful islands, some of them very large,
fertile, populous, and well cultivated. Malek Mohammed el Hadgin
commands this country. His province, called "El Raba Tab," contains
eighty-eight large and fertile islands, and the shores of the river
adjacent. He has a very high character for courage, morals, and
generosity; he resides on the great island of Mograt, which is said to
be about sixty miles long.[69]

We halted at about three hours before midnight on the bank of the river,
within hearing of a Shellal, where the river forms a regular cataract,
except a small pass on the easterly shore. After reposing the camels an
hour and a half, and refreshing ourselves with bread and the muddy
water of the Nile, we recommenced our march, which was continued without
cessation till an hour before noon next morning, always through the
desert, in order to cut a point of land formed by an angle in the river,
when we stopped under the shade of some fine date trees on the bank
of the river, and in view of one of its large and ever verdant isles,
called Kandessee, in a small island adjoining which Khalil Aga, my
companion, says he saw, when he ascended the third cataract,[70] a pyramid
more modern and fresh than any he had seen in these countries. Possibly
the island of Kandessee takes its name from the celebrated Candace, who,
in the reign of Nero, repulsed and defeated the Roman legions, and this
pyramid may be her tomb. Under the date trees, on the bank of the river
opposite to this island, we refreshed ourselves with our usual repast,
bread and water, as the people of a village close by would give us meat
neither for love, money, nor soap,[71] of which latter article they stand
in great but unconscious need.

3d of Zilkade quitted our station about two hours after midnight, and
went on our way. Our route continued to lie through the desert, but not
far from the bank of the river; about three hours before noon in the
morning came to a small village, named Haphasheem, lying on the margin
of the river, opposite a verdant island it was delightful to look
at. The river on the third cataract, Khalil Aga tells me, contains a
continual chain of such.[72] I could not get any thing to relish our usual
repast of bread and water, except some dates.

My eyes to-day were much inflamed by the reflection of the sun's rays
from the sand, and at night were very painful and running with matter.
Stayed here till about the same hour after midnight as yesterday, when
we again set forward. The country the same as yesterday, except that
we saw several stony mountains in the desert, some of them at no great
distance from the river. Some of these mountains must contain ruins, as
at the village where we halted to-day, which we did at about noon, we
found a very large and well-fashioned burnt brick, which the peasants
said was brought from one of these mountains. The whole of the country
through which we have passed for four days contains no cultivable land
on this side of the river, except on its margin; but in compensation
for this sterility, the islands in this part of the river, which are
numerous, very large, and very beautiful, are without a superior for
luxuriance of vegetation. Every day when we have come to the river to
halt and refresh ourselves, we found one or more in view. At this last
station I was lucky enough to purchase a small kid at the enormous price
of twelve piasters, the first meat we had eaten for four days. Applied
at night a poultice of dates to my eyes, which were much inflamed by
today's march, and found some relief from the remedy. At about three
hours after midnight we again resumed our travel, and marched till an
hour before noon of to-day, the 5th of Zilkade expecting to arrive at
the place where the road quits the river, and plunges into the great
eastern desert of Africa; but the weather becoming close and very hot,
and the camels fatigued, we halted to repose them and ourselves on the
bank of the river. Shortly after our arrival two of the camels of the
caravan died. Our route still lay through plains and over hills of rock
and sand, which come down to the river's edge, but the river, as usual,
presented a continual succession of beautiful islands.

The death of the two camels having alarmed the conductor of the caravan
for the others, we stayed in this place till the middle of the second
day after to repose and refresh them previous to entering the desert.
During our stay here I engaged a man to swim over to the island
opposite, to purchase some durra flour and dates. He could, however,
obtain only some dates. I was obliged, in consequence, to reconcile
myself to entering the desert short of provisions. I had made provision
in Berber for fifteen days, being assured that in twelve days we should
have passed the desert, and arrive at the villages on the bank of the
Nile four days march above Assuan. The unexpected retardments of our
march from Berber had, however, made us nine days in arriving at the
place where the road turns into the desert. On the 7th of the moon, at
about two hours before sunset, we quitted our halting-place, and after
only one hour's march by the border of the river came to a place where
the Nile suddenly turns off toward the south-west.[73] At this place the
guide told us we were to fill our waterskins, and to quit the river for
the desert.

We stayed here till the afternoon of the 8th of the moon.

The two last nights we have kept watch, and only slept with our hands
upon our arms, robbers being, we were told, in this neighborhood, who
had lately pillaged some caravans. We were not, however, molested. The
desert, on the border of the river hereabouts, abounds with doum trees,
which are inhabited by great numbers of monkeys. Its fruit furnishes
their food. This fruit consists in a large nut, on the outside covered
with a brown substance almost exactly resembling burned gingerbread.
It is, however, so hard that no other teeth and jaws, except those of a
monkey or an Arab, are well capable of biting it. About one hour's march
below our present position is an encampment of Bedouins and the tomb
of a Marabout. The people of the country and the caravans had piled his
grave with camels' and asses saddles, probably intended as offerings to
interest his good offices in the other world.

At about four hours after the noon of the 8th, we quitted the banks of
the Nile, and turned into the desert, carrying as much water as we well
could, myself taking four water-skins for myself, Khalil Aga, and a
black slave of mine. We marched till about an hour before midnight,
when we halted for an hour to breathe the camels and to eat a morsel of
bread, after which we continued our way till nearly day-break, when
one of the Pasha's horses falling down and refusing to rise, it was
necessary to wait till the animal had taken a little rest. We threw
ourselves upon the sand, and slept profoundly for two hours, when we
were roused to continue our journey. We proceeded till about two hours
before noon, when we halted in a low sandy plain, sprinkled here and
there with thorny bushes. These bushes afforded food for the camels, and
a miserable shelter from the sun for ourselves. We shoved embodies under
them as closely to their roots as the thorns would admit, to sleep as
well sheltered as possible from the burning rays of the vertical sun.
But sound sleep in this condition was impossible, as every half-hour
the sun advancing in his course contracted or changed the shadow of the
bush, and obliged us to change our position; as to sleep in his rays
in this climate is not only almost impossible but dangerous, it almost
infallibly producing a fever of the brain.

The country we traversed this first day's journey is a level plain of
sand and gravel, with scattered mountains of black granite here and
there in view, where no sound is heard but the rush of the wind. The
weather was cool enough during the day, and coldish in the night.[74] In
the afternoon we again set forward, proceeding and halting as yesterday,
viz. once for an hour about two hours before midnight, and once again a
little before day-break for an hour and a half. The desert continued to
exhibit the same aspect as before till about midnight, when we quitted
the plains to enter among gloomy defiles, winding between mountains of
black granite. We passed one chain, and at a little beyond the entrance
of another, lying about two leagues to the north of the first, the guide
told us that we were near the well Apseach; soon after we arrived at a
place containing bushes. Here the caravan halted, and those who wanted
fresh water filled their water-skins from the well which lies in the
mountains, about an hour's march from the place where we halted. This
well is at the bottom of an oblique passage leading into one of the
mountains, at the termination of which is found no great quantity of
sweet water deposited by the rains which fall in this country about the
time of the summer solstice.[75] During the last two days I traveled in
great pain; the reflection of the sun from the sand, and the strong wind
from the north (prevalent at this season in the desert), which blew its
finer particles into my eyes, in spite of all my precautions to shelter
them, exasperated and inflamed their malady to a great degree, which
the want of sufficient shelter from the sun, during the time of repose,
contributed to aggravate.

We stayed near the well till about sunset, when we resumed our travel,
and at about three hours after sunrise on the morning of the 10th, came
to a rock in a sandy plain, where the conductor of the caravan ordered
a halt. We distributed ourselves round this rock as well as we could, in
order to repose;[76] Khalil Aga and myself making a covering from the
sun by means of my carpet, propped up by our fusees and fastened by the
corners to stones we placed upon the rock, by means of our shawls and
sashes. We stayed here till the middle of the afternoon, when we mounted
our camels in order to reach the well Morat as soon as possible, in
order to water those patient and indispensable voyagers of the desert.[77]
We traversed a tolerably level but rocky tract till about two hours
after midnight, when we reached the well. It lies in a valley between
two high chains of mountains of black granite. Its water is somewhat
bitter, as its name imports, and is not drank by travelers except when
their water-skins are exhausted. It serves, however, for the camels
of the caravans, and for the inhabitants of two Arab villages in the
vicinity, named "Abu Hammak" and "Dohap" who brought their camels to
water here the morning after our arrival. These poor but contented
people are obliged to subsist, for the most part, upon their camels'
milk, their situation affording little other means of nourishment. They
are, however, independent, and remote from the tyranny and oppression
which afflicts the people of most of the countries of the east.[78]

On the rocks near the well we saw some rude hieroglyphics, representing
bulls, horses, and camels, cut in the granite, in the manner of those
found in the rocks near Assuan, on the south side of the cataract. Our
guide tells us that such cuttings in the rocks are found in many of the
mountains of the desert.

During our stay at Morat a violent dispute had arisen among the Arabs of
our caravan about some money which had been stolen from one of them. The
man suspected of the theft endeavored to justify himself by much hard
swearing, but circumstances being strong against him, I told the man
who had been robbed, that if the money was not restored previous to our
arrival at Assuan, I would speak to the Cacheff about the affair,
who would take the proper measures to detect and punish the thief.
In consequence of this menace, the man robbed, next morning had the
satisfaction to find unexpectedly that his money had been secretly
restored and deposited among the baggage, from whence it had been

On the 13th, at sunset, we quitted Morat; and after a winding march
among the hills for five hours, we arrived at a broad valley, surrounded
by high mountains and abounding in doum trees, the first we had seen
since we quitted the river. This place is called "El Medina." It
contains an Arab village, whose inhabitants gain something by supplying
the caravans with goats, of which they have many, and by furnishing
them with water, of which they possess several reservoirs filled by the
rains. We reposed for the rest of the night under the doum trees, and
in the morning regaled ourselves with the pure and wholesome water of
El Medina, which was to me particularly grateful after being obliged to
drink, for several days, either the muddy water we had brought from
the river, or that of Apseach, which had become heated by the sun, and
impregnated with a disgusting smell, derived from the new leather of the
water-bags which contained it. I bought here a fat goat and some milk,
which made us a feast, which hunger and several days fasting on bad
bread made delicious.

We stayed here to water and repose the camels till the afternoon of
the second day after our arrival, when we recommenced our march for the
river, whose distance we were told was three days march from El Medina.
During our stay at El Medina, Khalil Aga my companion was taken very ill
with vomiting and purging, occasioned by having drank of the water of
Morat, against which I had remonstrated without effect. He did not get
quit of the consequences of his imprudence for several days.

On the 15th, in the afternoon, we commenced our march for the river. The
desert hereabouts resembles that we passed the two first days after our
quitting the river, being a sandy plain studded with hills and mountains
of granite. We proceeded till about three hours after midnight, when we
lay down to repose till day-break, when we again mounted and continued
our journey till two hours before noon, when we stopped at a rock which
had some holes in it, where we sheltered ourselves from the sun, and
dined with appetite on some coarse durra bread baked upon camel's dung.

By the middle of the afternoon we were again on our way, which led
through the deep and winding valleys of three mountains of calcareous
stone, which indicated the proximity of the river, and over hills of
deep sand, with which the eddies of the wind had in many places filled
those valleys. Since we left Morat till we came to these mountains the
granite hills had become rarer, others of calcareous stone here and
there presented themselves, and the level of the desert was constantly
ascending[79] I have no doubt that the level of the interior of the
desert is lower than the bed of the river.

During the passage over these hills several of the camels gave out, that
of my black slave among the rest.[80] Four hours after sunrise we came to
a valley, where there was here and there some herbs of the desert, where
we stopped to let the camels eat, they having fasted since we left El

We were obliged to look among the rocks for shelter from the sun, each
one arranging himself as well as he could to eat durra bread and drink
warm water, and sleep as soundly as possible. During the course of last
night we fell in with a caravan coming from Assuan; we pressed round
them to buy something to eat; we asked for dates and flour to make
bread, but they had nothing of the kind that they could afford to part

We stayed at the rock before mentioned till the middle of the afternoon.
On awaking from sleep, I observed two of the Arabs of our caravan busily
employed about our guide. They were a long time engaged in frizzing
and plaiting his hair, and finished the operation by pouring over it a
bowlful of melted mutton suet, which made his head quite white. I asked
for the meaning of this operation at this time; they told me that
we should be at the river to-morrow morning, and that our guide was
adorning himself to see and salute his friends there. He appeared to be
highly satisfied with the efforts of his hair-dressers to make him look
decent, and it must be confessed that he made a very buckish appearance.

As soon as our guide had finished his toilette, he mounted his dromedary
and took his post in front, and we set forward. We marched all night
without stopping, which was necessary, as our water was nearly spent,[81]
but which distressed greatly that part of our caravan who had no beast
to ride.[82] These wretched men had hitherto accompanied us all the way on
foot, with little to eat and less to drink. At present they were almost
exhausted with fatigue, hunger and thirst. Every now and then, one or
more of them would throw himself on the sand in despair. The repeated
assurance that the river was near, hour after hour, became less and less
capable of rousing them to exertion, and the whip was at length applied
to make them get up and go on.[83] They demanded water immediately, which
we were too short of ourselves to give them, as we feared every minute
that our camels would drop, which would render every drop of water we
had as precious as life.

One unfortunate lad, who had joined the caravan before it entered the
desert, I suspect a domestic who had fled from the distresses that had
found us in the upper countries, made pathetic applications to me for
water; I twice divided with him a bowlful I was drinking, "in the name
of God, the protector of the traveler."

This young man, in the course of this toilsome night, had disappeared,
having doubtless laid himself down in despair. We unfortunately did not
miss him till it was too late.[84] About two hours before day-break we
reached the entrance of a deep ravine, between ridges and hills of
rocks. We marched in it for six hours. It zigzagged perpetually, and
its bottom was covered with fragments of the rocks that enclosed it, and
which had apparently been displaced by strong currents of water. This
phenomenon surprised me, as the entrance into this ravine being from
the plain, it was evident that the currents which had produced these
displacements could not at any era have come from thence. But at the
termination of this ravine, which ended nearly at the river, the cause
became evident. An ancient canal, now nearly filled up, leads from the
river into this ravine, and the rush of the current during the seasons
of inundation, has loosened and displaced fragments of the bordering

It was about two hours before noon on the 18th of Zilkade, when,
emerging from this ravine, we came upon the bank of the beautiful
and blessed river, which is the very heart and life's blood of all
north-eastern Africa. It was with the most grateful feelings toward "the
Lord of the universe," that I laid myself down under the date trees
by its brink to cool and to wash my swollen and inflamed eyes, whose
disorder was greatly increased by fatigue, a dazzling sun, and want of

Immediately after our arrival at the little village of Seboo,[85] which
stands on the canal leading to the ravine before mentioned, myself and
Khalil Aga addressed ourselves to the people of the village to engage
some one to go and bring to the river the unfortunate lad who had been
missed. I told them that, in two hours, a man mounted on a dromedary
could reach the place where he had disappeared, and save his life: I
appealed to their humanity, to their sense of duty towards God and man,
to engage them to go and save him. Finding them deaf to my entreaties,
I offered them money, and Khalil Aga his musket, to bring him safe and
sound to the river. I appealed to their humanity in vain, and to their
avarice without effect.[86] We told them that the Christians, in a case
of this kind, would send not one but forty men, if necessary, to go and
save a fellow creature from the horrible death of desert famine; and
that heaven would surely require at their hands the life of this young
man, if they neglected to save him At length the Sheck of the village
promised me to send a dromedary to the place to-morrow morning. He made
the promise probably to appease my reproaches, for he did not fulfill

On the second day after my arrival, I dipped my feet and slippers into
the Nile, and bequeathing the village of Seboo my most hearty curse,
(which God fulfill!) embarked on board a boat on its way from Dongola to
Egypt, and in three days reached Assuan.[87]


London Printed by C. Roworth Bell Yard, Temple Bar


[Footnote 1: For instance, a navigable passage has been cut through the
rocks of the First Cataract, and a canal is at present constructing,
by order of the Pasha, round some of the most difficult passes of
the Second. He has completed a broad and deep canal from the Nile to
Alexandria, by which commerce is liberated from the risk attending the
passage of the Boghaz of Rosetta. Large establishments for the fabric
of saltpeter, gunpowder, cannon and small arms, others for the fabric
of silks, cotton and sugar, have been erected by the Viceroy, and are in
operation under the superintendence of Europeans.]

[Footnote 2: Their names are as follows:--Succoot, Machass, Dongola,
Shageia, Monasier, Isyout, Rab-a-Tab, Berber, Shendi, Halfya, the
kingdoms of Sennaar, Darfour, and Kordofan; at present, all subject to
the conqueror of Egypt and Arabia.]

[Footnote 3: Mr. Frediani, an Italian*, and Messrs. Caillaud and
Constant, the latter sent out by His Most Christian Majesty, have
accompanied our camp to Sennaar, where I left them in good health. To
Messrs. Caillaud and Constant, particularly, I am indebted for much
cordiality and friendship, which it is a pleasure to me to acknowledge.
The geographical positions of the most important places on the Upper
Nile have been ascertained by Mr. Constant, who is provided with an
excellent set of instruments, with great care and the most indefatigable
pains, of which I myself have been a witness. His observations will
doubtless be a most valuable acquisition to geography.]

* Since dead in Sennaar, This unfortunate man died a chained maniac, in
consequence of violent fever.]

[Footnote 4: Corresponding to the end of September, or the former part
of October, A.C. 1820.]

[Footnote 5: This force may be thus enumerated: ten pieces of field
artillery, one mortar 8 inch caliber, and two small howitzers, attached
to which were one hundred and twenty cannoneers; three hundred Turkish
infantry and seven hundred Mogrebin ditto; the remainder of the army
Turkish and Bedouin cavalry, together with a corps of Abbadies mounted
on dromedaries.]

[Footnote 6: Called the Shellal of Semne.]

[Footnote 7: Called the Shellal of Ambigool.]

[Footnote 8: Called the Shellal of Tongaroo.]

[Footnote 9: Called the Shellal of Dal.]

[Footnote 10: I have been informed that about two miles northward of
this place, on the west side of the river, is to be seen a curious
vaulted edifice, having the interior of its walls in many places covered
with paintings. My informants believed that it was anciently a Christian
monastery. This is possible, as the ruins of several are to be seen on
the Third Cataract, and, as I have been told, on the Second also.]

[Footnote 11: About seventy miles above Wady Haifa.]

[Footnote 12: I cannot help smiling in copying off this part of my
journal, at the little account I made of "bread rice and lentils," at
the commencement of the campaign. Before I left Sennaar, I have been
more than once obliged to take a part of my horse's rations of durra to
support nature. He ate his portion raw and I boiled mine. The causes
of such distress were that the natives of the Upper country would
frequently refuse to sell us any thing for our dirty colored piastres of
Egypt, and the Pasha would allow nobody to steal but himself. "Steal" a
fico for the phrase. The wise "convey it call," says ancient Pistol, an
old soldier who had seen hard times in the wars.]

[Footnote 13: These were the rapids of Dall.]

[Footnote 14: In every dangerous pass, we invariably saw one or more of
our boats wrecked.]

[Footnote 15: It is called Gamatee.]

[Footnote 16: The middle of the Upper Nile is generally occupied by an
almost continued range of islands.]

[Footnote 17: I learned afterwards from Khalil Aga, the American, who
accompanied me to Sennaar and back again to Egypt, and who visited tins
spot, that this column made a part of the ruins of an ancient temple,
where are to be seen two colossal statues. I set out the next day with
him to visit this place, but being then only convalescent from a bloody
flux which had reduced my strength, I found myself too weak to reach the
place, and returned to the boat.]

[Footnote 18: The river continues in the same general direction as high
up as the island of Mograt, on the Third Cataract, when it resumes a
course more south and north. The length of this bend is probably not
less than two hundred and fifty miles.]

[Footnote 19: i.e. The bank on our left-hand ascending the river.]

[Footnote 20: A more particular account of this battle will be given
hereafter, in the course of the narrative.]

[Footnote 21: These gentlemen were Messrs. Waddington and Hanbury,
who, after staying a short time in our camp, returned to Egypt. Mr.
Waddington, on his return to England, published an account of his
travels on the upper Nile, in which, having been misled by the tongue
of some mischievous enemy of mine, he gave an account of me not a little
fabulous. On my arrival in London, I wrote to Mr. Waddington what he
was pleased to call a "manly and temperate letter," informing him of
his error, representing to him the serious injury it might do me, and
calling upon him for a justification or an apology. Mr. Waddington, in
the manner best becoming an English gentleman, frankly gave me both,
concluding with the following expressions--"I feel the most sincere and
profound sorrow for the unintentional injustice into which I have been
betrayed by too hasty a belief of false information. For this I am as
anxious to make you reparation, as I am incapable of doing any person a
willful injury. I will therefore cause the note in question to be erased
in the following editions of my book; and in the remaining copies of the
present, I will instantly insert a new page or sheet, if necessary;
or should that be impossible, I will immediately destroy the whole
impression." It was impossible for me, after this, to retain any of
the angry feelings excited by this affair, excepting towards "the false
tongue" that occasioned it, on which I cordially imprecate a plentiful
portion of the "sharp arrows of the mighty and coals of juniper."]

[Footnote 22: The desperate courage of these wretched peasants was
astonishing; they advanced more than once to the muzzles of the cannon,
and wounded some of the cannoneers in the act of re-loading their guns.
Notwithstanding their efforts, such was the disparity of their arms
against cannon and fire-arms, that only one of the Pasha's soldiers was
killed, and they are said to have lost seven hundred in the battle and
during the pursuit.]

[Footnote 23: I say "shot down," for the saber was found an unavailing
weapon, as these people are so adroit in the management of their shields
that they parried every stroke. I have seen upon the field where this
battle was fought several shields that had not less than ten or fifteen
saber cuts, each lying upon the dead body of the man who carried it, who
had evidently died by three or four balls shot into him. The soldiers
have told me that they had frequently to empty their carabine and
pistols upon one man before he would fall.]

[Footnote 24: When our troops approached the castle of Malek Zibarra,
his daughter, a girl of about fifteen, fled in such haste that she
dropped one of her sandals, which I have seen. It was a piece of
workmanship as well wrought as any thing of the kind could be even
in Europe. The girl was taken prisoner and brought to the Pasha, who
clothed her magnificently in the Turkish fashion and sent her to her
father, desiring her to tell him to "come and surrender himself, as he
preferred to have brave men for his friends than for his enemies." When
the girl arrived at the camp of Zibarra, the first question her father
asked her was, "My child, in approaching your father, do you bring your
honor with you?" "Yes," replied the girl, "otherwise I should not dare
to look upon you. The Pasha has treated me as his child, has clothed
me as you see, and desires that you would leave war to make peace with
him." Zibarra was greatly affected, and did make several efforts to
effect a peace with the Pasha, which were traversed and frustrated by
the other chiefs of the Shageias.]

[Footnote 25: Khalil Aga, who has passed the whole of the third
Cataract, found in several of the islands there ruins which were
probably those of monasteries, as he found there many of the stones
covered with Greek inscriptions, one of which he brought to me; I was
obliged to abandon it on the route, on the dying of the camel that
carried it.]

[Footnote 26: On my return to Egypt, I presented Mr. Salt with several
specimens, which are now in his possession.]

[Footnote 27: To which all the troops had been concentrated.]

[Footnote 28: It has been found, however, possible to pass the whole of
the third cataract, in boats not drawing more than three feet of water,
by the aid of all the male population on its shores, who, by the aid of
ropes, dragged up nine boats, which arrived in Berber before the Pasha
commenced his march for Sennaar. They were fifty-seven days in getting
from the island of Kendi to Berber. Every one of them was repeatedly
damaged in getting through the passages.]

[Footnote 29: I have been informed that, previous to the advance of
the Pasha Ismael from Wady Halfa, deputies from the chiefs of Shageia
arrived in the camp to demand of the Pasha, "for what reason he menaced
them with war?" The Pasha replied, "because you are robbers, who live
by disturbing and pillaging all the countries around your own." They
replied, "that they had no other means to live." The Pasha answered,
"cultivate your land, and live honestly." They replied with great
naivete, "we have been bred up to live and prosper by what you call
robbery; we will not work, and cannot change our manner of living," The
Pasha replied, "I will make you change it."]

[Footnote 30: The number of the old Mamalukes of Egypt was reduced, at
the time of our arrival in Berber, to less than one hundred persons.
They had, however, some hundreds of blacks, whom they had trained up in
their discipline.]

[Footnote 31: I am happy to add that these relics of the renowned
cavalry of Egypt are now residing there in ease and in honor; the
promises of the Pasha Ismael having been fulfilled by his father to the

[Footnote 32: It is a singular circumstance, that the chiefs of Dongola,
Shageia, Berber, Shendi, and Halfya; should bear the same title as used
in the Hebrew bible, to designate the petty sovereigns of Canaan.]

[Footnote 33: The Shageia cavalry, however, wore these cloths cut and
made into long shirts, in order, probably, to have the freer management
of their lances, shields, and broad swords. It should also be stated,
that the Maleks or chiefs of the Upper Nile, were generally habited in
fine blue or white shirts, brought from Egypt.]

[Footnote 34: The same circumstance of dress is common also among
the peasants of both sexes of Dongola, Shageia, and along the third
cataract, with this addition, that they not only anoint the head, but
also the whole body with butter, they say it protects them from the
heat; that employed by the personages of consideration is perfumed.
Every Malek has a servant charged with the particular care of a box of
this ointment. On our march to Sennaar, whither we were accompanied by
the Malek of Shendy, I could wind this servant of his a mile off.]

[Footnote 35: I never in my life saw such noble and beautiful specimens
of the species as were these two horses; they were stallions, eighteen
hands high, beautifully formed, of high courage and superb gait. When
mounted, they tossed their flowing manes aloft higher than the heads
of their turbaned riders, and a man might place his two fists in their
expanded nostrils; they were worthy to have carried Ali and Khaled to
"the war of God."]

[Footnote 36: I feel myself, however, bound in conscience to tell the
whole truth of this affair. In perambulating about the town, in the
course of the day, which was very hot, I got affected by a coup de
soleil, which gave me a violent fever and head-ache. I have strong
suspicions that this circumstance acted as a powerful "preventer stay"
to my virtue, and enabled me to put the devil to flight on this trying
occasion. The mother of these damsels appeared to be edified by the
discourse I made to her upon the subject of her proposal, but the young
women plainly told me, that I was "rajil batal," i.e. a man good for
nothing. If they could have understood Latin, I should have told them,

"Quodcunque ostendes mihi sic-k Invalidus odi."]

[Footnote 37: The ordinary price of a virgin wife in Berber, is a horse,
which the bridegroom is obliged to present to the father of the girl he
demands in marriage. I remember asking a young peasant, of whom I bought
some provisions one day in Berber, "why he did not marry?" He pointed to
a colt in the yard, and told me that "when the colt became big enough,
he should take a wife."]

[Footnote 38: This learned soldier somewhat surprised me, on my
demanding "why he did not give the title of Caliph to the Padischah?"
by answering that there had been no Caliph since Ali, and that the
Padischah was only "Emir el Moumenim," i.e. "commander of the true

[Footnote 39: This word is Hebrew, and signifies "a lamb."]

[Footnote 40: Abdin Cacheff is a very brave and respectable man, of
about fifty years of age. He treated me with great politeness and
consideration. He distinguished himself greatly at the battle near
Courty, fighting Ills way into the mass of the enemy and out again,
twice or thrice on that day.]

[Footnote 41: In order to save the artillery horses for the exigencies
of battle, the cannon were drawn by camels from the third cataract to
Sennaar, and the horses were led harnessed by their respective guns,
ready to be clapped on if necessary. I venture to recommend the same
procedure in all marches of artillery in the east.]

[Footnote 42: The other side of the river, at least as often and as far
as we could see it, presented the same appearance. The only mountains we
saw on the other side of the river, were those of "Attar Baal," at the
foot of which (they lie near the river, about three days march north of
Shendi) are, as I have learned, to be seen the ruins of a city, temples,
and fifty-four pyramids. This, I am inclined to believe, was the site of
the famous Meroe, the capital of the island of that name. The territory
in which these ruins are found is in fact nearly surrounded by rivers,
being bounded on the west by the Nile, on the south by the rivers Ratt
and Dander, and on the north by the Bahar el Uswood. All these three
rivers empty into the Nile.]

[Footnote 43: The butter of the countries on the Upper Nile is liquid,
like that of Egypt. That, however, which they use to anoint themselves
is of the color and consistence of European butter. We used the latter
in preference, in our cookery.]

[Footnote 44: It includes a great part of the ancient Isle of Meroe.]

[Footnote 45: Malek Shouus, on learning that the Malek of Shendi had
made his peace with the Pasha, threatened to attack him. On this it
is said the Malek of Shendi called out twenty thousand men to line the
easterly bank of the Nile, to prevent the approach of Shouus. Shouus,
however, had the whole country of Shendi on the western side entirely
under his control before our arrival, he and his cavalry devouring their
provisions and drinking their bouza at a most unmerciful rate. On our
approach, he went up opposite Halfya, where the country, on the western
shore, is desert. He demanded of the chief of Halfya, to supply him with
provisions: on his refusal, Shouus, in the night, swam the river with
his cavalry, fell upon the town of Halfya by surprise, and ransacked it
from end to end, and then repassed the river before the chief of Halfya
could collect a force to take his revenge. The cavalry of Shouus, in the
course of the campaign, have swam over the Nile five times: both horse
and man are trained to do this thing, inimitable, I believe, by any
other cavalry in the world. Shouus, since his joining us, has rendered
very important services to the Pasha, as he is thoroughly acquainted
with the strength, resources, and riches of all the tribes of the Nile,
from the second Cataract to Sennaar and Darfour: his horses' feet are
familiar with the sod and sand of all these countries, which he and
his freebooters have repeatedly traversed. On our march from Berber
to Shendi, I ran some risk of falling into his hands, as Shouus was
continually prowling about in our neighborhood, from the time of our
quitting Berber. Two nights before we reached Shendi, I stopped on the
route, at a village, to take some refreshment, letting the army go by
me. About an hour and a half after, I mounted my horse to follow the
troops, but, owing to the state of my eyes, I missed my way, after
wandering back-wards and forwards to find the track of the troops, about
two hours after midnight, I descried the rockets always thrown aloft
during our night marches, to direct all stragglers to the place where
the Pasha had encamped. I put my horse to his speed, and arrived there a
little before dawn.]

[Footnote 46: During the night of the 22d, I received an order from
the Pasha to precede the march of the troops, and pick out a spot near
Halfya to encamp his army on, in the European manner. Mr. Caillaud was
requested to accompany me in this duty. Mr. Caillaud candidly told me
that he was not a military man, and left the affair entirely to me. I
chose a fine position on the river, about two miles above Halfya, in the
rear of which was plenty of grass for the horses and camels. The Pasha,
however, did not choose to come so far, but pitched his camp on the low
sand flats before Halfya, near which there was no grass for the camels,
who, during the five days following, perished in great numbers. He had
undoubtedly his reasons for this, among which not the least important
was, to be near enough to Halfya to have the town within reach of his
cannon, as the Malek of Halfya had not as yet submitted. The Pasha,
however, had like to have had serious cause to repent of having taken
this position, when the river rose, and threatened to inundate his camp.
Luckily it did not reach the ammunition, otherwise we should probably
have been left without the means of defending ourselves.

This overflowing of the Nile was occasioned by the rise of the Bahar
el Abiud, which, this year at least, commenced its annual augmentation
nearly a month sooner than the Nile.]

[Footnote 47: The troops of Shouus and the Abbadies swam their horses
and dromedaries over the river. Cogia Achmet, one of the chiefs of the
army, in endeavoring to imitate the cavalry of Shageia, lost seventy
horses and some soldiers. The rest of the horses and camels of the army
were taken over by arranging them by the sides of the boats, with their
halters held in hand by the people in the boats. Another large portion
of our horses and camels was taken over by the Shageias and the
Abbadies, who fastened at the breast of each horse, and over the neck of
each camel of ours, so carried over, an empty water-skin blown up with
air, which prevented the animal from sinking, while their guides swam by
their sides, and so conducted them over.]

[Footnote 48: The same day that the camp marched from the Bahar el
Abiud, Mr. Caillaud and Mr. Frediani embarked in the boats to go to
Sennaar, by the river, in order to have an opportunity of visiting the
ruins of "Soba," which lie on the east side of the Nile, not far above
from its junction with the Bahar el Abiud. When these gentlemen rejoined
us at Sennaar, they informed me that almost the very ruins of this city
have perished; they found, however, there some fragments of a temple,
and of some granite, statues of lions: the city itself, they said, had
been built of brick. This city of "Soba" probably takes its name from
"Saba," the son of Cush, who first colonized this country, which is
called, in the Hebrew Bible, "the land of Cush and Saba."--See Gen. x.
7. See the references in a Concordance to the Hebrew Bible, under the
heads of "Cush," and "Saba."

If there were any pyramids near Saba, I should believe it to be the
ancient Meroe, because Josephus represents that the ancient name of
Meroe was "Saba." "Nam Saba urbs eadem fuisse perhibetur quae a Cambyse
Meroe in uxoris honorem dicta est:" quoted from Eichom's ed. of Sim.
Heb. Lex. artic. Sameh Bet Alef

It was impossible for me to ask of the Pasha liberty to accompany the
gentlemen abovementioned, as a battle was expected in a few days between
us and the king of Sennaar, from which I would not have been absent on
any consideration.]

[Footnote 49: The people of Dongola, Shageia, Berber, Shendi, and
Sennaar, do not use mills to make meal. They reduce grain to meal by
rubbing it a handful at a time between two stones--one fixed in the
ground, and one held by the hands. By long and tedious friction, the
grain is reduced to powder. This labor is performed by the women, as is
almost all the drudgery of the people of the Upper Nile.]

[Footnote 50: On my return from Sennaar, I descended by the river as far
as Berber. On the way I did see some few water-wheels, which, however,
were employed merely to water the patches of ground devoted to raising

[Footnote 51: The Pasha had invited the Malek of Shendi and the Malek of
Halfya to accompany him to Sennaar. The Malek of Halfya excused himself
on account of his age and infirmities, but sent his eldest son along
with the Pasha. By this stroke of policy the Pasha made the tranquility
of the powerful provinces of Shendi and Halfya certain; and the advance
of his army without risk from an insurrection in his rear; as the people
of those provinces would hardly dare to make any hostile movement while
the chief of one province and the heir of the Malek of the other were in
our camp. Nymmer, the Malek of Shendi, is a grave and venerable man
of about 65 years of age, very dignified in his deportment, and highly
respectable for his morals. The Malek of Halfya I have not seen.]

[Footnote 52: The present Sultan of Sennaar is a young man of about 26
years of age; he is black, his mother having been a Egress. He was taken
out of prison, where he had been confined for eighteen years by his
predecessor, who was massacred by the party who placed him upon the
throne. This revolution had taken place not very long before our march
to Sennaar. His name is Bady.]

[Footnote 53: The natives told me that this palace had been built
eighteen years ago, by the late good Sultan that they had had, who
had planted before it rows of trees, which had been destroyed when
the palace was ruined, as I understood them, in the wars between the
different competitors for the throne during the last eighteen years.]

[Footnote 54: The river Nile lost its transparency four days before the
army reached Sennaar. The day that presents the river troubled, marks
the commencement of its augmentation. The day before we observed this
change in the Nile, its waters were very clear and transparent. The day
after, they were brown with mud.]

[Footnote 55: Sennaar has three market-places. On our arrival we found
them deserted, but on assurances from the Pasha that all sellers should
receive a fair price for their commodities, the principal one in a few
days began to be filled. The articles I saw there during my stay in
Sennaar, were as follows: Meat of camels, kine, sheep, and goats; a few
cat-fish from the river, plenty of a vegetable called meholakea; some
limes, a few melons, cucumbers, dried barmea, a vegetable common in
Egypt; beans, durra, duchan, tobacco of the country, plenty of gum
arable, with which, by the way, Sennaar abounds, (the natives use it
in their cookery;) drugs and spices brought from Gidda, among which
I observed ginger, pepper, and cloves; and great quantities of dried
odoriferous herbs found in Sennaar, with which the natives season their
dishes; to which must be added, aplenty of the long cotton cloths used
for dress in Sennaar. Such were the articles offered for sale by the
people of the country. In addition to which, the suttlers of our army
offered for sale, tobacco, coffee, rice, sugar, shirts, drawers, shoes,
gun flints, &c. &c. all at a price three or four times greater than
they could be bought for at Cairo. In some parts of the market-place
the Turks established coffee-houses, and the Greeks who accompanied
the army, cook-shops. These places became the resort of every body who
wanted to buy something to eat, or to hear the news of the day. There
might be seen soldiers in their shirts and drawers, hawking about their
breeches for sale in order to be able to buy a joint of meat to relish
their rations of durra withal, and cursing bitterly their luck in that
they had not received any pay for eight months; while the solemn Turk of
rank perambulated the area, involved, like pious Eneas at Carthage, in
a veil of clouds exhaling from a long amber headed pipe. All around you
you might hear much hard swearing in favor of the most palpable lies;
the seller in favor of his goods, and the buyer in favor of his Egyptian
piasters. In one place a crowd collects around somebody or other lying
on the ground without his head on, on account of some misdemeanor; a
little farther on, thirty or forty soldiers are engaged in driving, with
repeated strokes of heavy mallets, sharp pointed pieces of timber, six
or eight inches square, up the posteriors of some luckless insurgents
who had had the audacity to endeavor to defend their country and their
liberty; the women of the country meantime standing at a distance, and
exclaiming, "that it was scandalous to make men die in so indecent a
manner, and protesting that such a death was only fit for a Christian,"
(a character they hold in great abhorrence, probably from never having
seen one). Such was the singular scene presented to the view by the
market-place of Sennaar.]

[Footnote 56: The occasion of this expedition was as follows:--On our
arrival at Sennaar, and after the accord made between the Pasha and the
Sultan of Sennaar, by which the latter surrendered his kingdom to the
disposal of the Vizier of the Grand Seignor, the Pasha sent circulars
throughout all the districts of the kingdom notifying the chiefs of this
act, and summoning them to come in to him and render their homage. The
Chief of the Mountaineers, inhabiting the mountains south and south-west
of Sennaar (the capital), not only refused to acknowledge the Pasha, but
even to receive his letter. On this, the Pasha sent Cogia Achmet, one
of the roughest of his chiefs, with thirteen hundred cavalry, escorting
three, brazen-faced lawyers, out of the ten the Pasha had brought with
him in order to talk with the people of the upper country, to bring this
man and his followers to reason.]

[Footnote 57: Several of the chiefs of Eastern Sennaar had refused to
recognize the act of the Sultan, calling him "a coward" and "a traitor,"
for surrendering their country to a stranger. Some of them took up arms,
which occasioned the expedition commanded by the Divan Effendi.]

[Footnote 58: I must confess that I was much shocked and disgusted by
this act on the part of the Pasha, especially as he had shown so many
traits of humanity in the lower country, which was undoubtedly one
of the principal causes of its prompt submission. This execution was
excused in the camp, by saying, that it would strike such terror as
would repress all attempts at insurrection, and would consequently
prevent the effusion of much blood. It may have been consistent with the
principles of military policy, but I feel an insurmountable reluctance
to believe it.]

[Footnote 59: They told me the names of these rivers, which I put down
upon a sheet of paper devoted to preserving the names of some of the
principal Maleks of the country. In my journey back this paper has
disappeared from among my notes and papers, which has been a subject of
great vexation to me.]

[Footnote 60: The people of Sennaar also believed that our boats could
not pass the third cataract; and, therefore, their opinion with regard
to the shellal at Sulluk is not to be relied on.]

[Footnote 61: The rainy season in Sennaar, at least the commencement of
it, such as I found it, may be thus described: Furious squalls of
wind in the course of one or two hours, coming from all points of
the compass, bringing and heaping together black clouds charged with
electric matter; for twelve or fifteen hours an almost continual roar of
thunder, and, at intervals, torrents of rain; after which, the sky would
be clear for two, three, or four days at a time.]

[Footnote 62: It is nevertheless possible that this fly may be found in
that part of the kingdom of Sennaar which lies on the other side of the

[Footnote 63: It was in the house where I quartered, at Sennaar, that
I saw this singular animal. I jogged Khalil Aga, my countryman and
companion, to look at it. He burst cut into an exclamation, "by God,
that snake has got legs." He jumped up and seized a stick in order to
kill and keep it as a curiosity, but it dodged his blow, and darted away
among the baggage, which was overhauled without finding it, as it had
undoubtedly escaped into some hole in the clay wall of the house. Mr.
Constant, the gentleman, who accompanies Mr. Caillaud, was present
at the time, so that I am convinced that what I saw was not an ocular
delusion. I have been informed, since my return to Egypt, that the
figure of this animal is to be seen sculptured upon the ancient
monuments of Egypt.]

[Footnote 64: The people of Sennaar catch, cook and eat, without
scruple, cats, rats and mice; and those who are rich enough to buy a
wild hog, fatten it up and make a feast of it. I had heard in the lower
country that the people of Sennaar made no scruple to eat swine's flesh,
but I absolutely refused to believe that a people calling themselves
Mussulmans could do this from choice. But after my arrival in Sennaar I
was obliged to own that I had been mistaken. The species of hog found in
the kingdom of Sennaar is small and black; it is not found in that part
of the kingdom called "El Gezira," i.e. the island, but is caught in the
woody mountains of the country near Abyssinia. In the house of one Malek
in Sennaar was found about a dozen of these animals fattening for his

[Footnote 65: The mountains of Bokki border upon the kingdom of
Fezoueli, which lies south of Sennaar twenty days march. The mountains
of Fezoueli are supposed to contain gold mines; pieces of gold are
frequently found in the torrents that flow from those mountains in the
rainy season. A native of that country told the Pasha Ismael, that he
had seen a piece of gold, found in those mountains, as big as the bottom
part of the silver narguil of his Excellence, i.e. about six inches in
diameter. That there is gold in that country, is certain, as the female
prisoners, taken at Bokki, had many gold rings and bracelets, of which
they were quickly disencumbered by our soldiers. The Pasha intends to
visit Fezoueli after the rainy season is over, to find the veins
from whence this gold is washed down by the torrents, and, in case of
success, to work the mines.]

[Footnote 66: We passed Attar Baal the same night. The reader is
aware that a boat carrying a courier, could not be detained to give a
passenger an opportunity to see ruins.]

[Footnote 67: The "Adit," or Nile of Bruce, enters the Bahar el Abiud
nearly at right angles, but such is the mass of the latter river, that
the Nile cannot mingle its waters with those of the Bahar el Abiud for
many miles below their junction. The waters of the Adit are almost black
during the season of its augmentation; those of the Bahar el Abiud, on
the contrary, are white: so that for several miles below their junction,
the eastern part of the river is black, and the western is white. This
white color of the Bahar el Abiud is occasioned by a very fine white
clay with which its waters are impregnated. At the point of junction
between the Bahar el Abiud and the Adit, the Bahar el Abiud is almost
barred across by an island and a reef of rocks; this barrier checks its
current, otherwise it would probably almost arrest the current of the
Adit. It is, nevertheless, sufficiently strong to prevent the Adit from
mingling with it immediately, although the current of the Adit is very
strong, and enters the Bahar el Abiud nearly at right angles.]

[Footnote 68: Since my return to Egypt, we have learned that this army,
after some bloody battles, had succeeded in taking possession of Darfour
and Kordofan.]

[Footnote 69: The provinces lying on the third Cataract, between Shageia
and Berber, are called, 1st, Monasier; 2d, Isyout, 3d, El Raba Tab.]

[Footnote 70: He came up in one of the nine boats that were able to
pass, as mentioned before.]

[Footnote 71: As the people of these countries dislike the piasters
of Egypt, I bought a quantity of soap at Sennaar from the Greeks who
accompanied the army as sutlers, in order to serve as a medium of
exchange; for in most of the provinces on the Upper Nile, they prefer
soap to any thing you can offer, except dollars, or the gold coin of

[Footnote 72: Khalil Aga, a native of New York, took the turban a few
weeks before the departure of Ismael Pasha from Cairo. Learning that I
was to accompany his Excellence, he requested me to obtain of the Pasha
that he might be attached to me during the expedition. He is probably
the first individual that ever traversed the whole of the river Nile
from Rosetti to Sennaar. I have done the same, except about two hundred
miles of the third cataract.]

[Footnote 73: This I suppose to be the point where terminates the
singular bend in the river noticed in the former part of my journal.]

[Footnote 74: The wind, during the day, was constantly from the north,
which was the general direction of our march from the time we quitted
the river till we reached it again, so that we had the breezes always in
our faces. The air of the desert is so very dry that no part of my
body was moistened by perspiration except the top of my head, which
was sheltered from the influence of the sun and air by the folds of my
turban. I did not feel incommoded by heat in the desert when out of the
sun's rays, but on arriving at Assuan I found it almost intolerable.]

[Footnote 75: The names of the wells in the desert of Omgourann, between
Berber and Seboo, are as follows:--1st, Apseach. 2d, Morat. 3d, El
Medina. 4th, Amrashee, 5th, Mogareen. In the two latter, water is only
found after heavy rains.]

[Footnote 76: Close by this rock was the skull of some wretched man
who had perished on this spot. All along our route we saw hundreds of
skeletons of camels. The skull that we saw probably belonged to one of
two Mogrebin soldiers who deserted at Berber, in order to return to.
Egypt, and who both perished with thirst in the desert.]

[Footnote 77: Our guide, an Abadie, would not permit the camels of our
caravan to be watered at the well of Apseach, saying, that if he did,
all the water then in the well would be consumed, and the consequence
would be, that the nest traveler that came might perish with thirst.]

[Footnote 78: The ground near the well of Morat is full of scorpion
holes. On my arrival at midnight I spread my carpet on the ground and
slept soundly. In the morning when it was taken up, we found under it a
scorpion, I am sure four inches in length, its color green and yellow.
I was told that they abound near all the wells of the desert, and I have
seen very many at different places on the borders of the river.]

[Footnote 79: Which we found to be the case till we came within fifteen
hours march of the Nile.]

[Footnote 80: Out of the twenty-two camels that we had commenced our
march with from Berber, only twelve reached the river.]

[Footnote 81: This was occasioned by the heat of the sun and the dryness
of the air of the desert, which made nearly two fifths of our water to

[Footnote 82: Before we entered the desert our caravan had been joined
by several runaway domestics, who had fled from the army to return to

[Footnote 83: The soldier of the Cadilaskier before mentioned, who was
the conductor, i.e. the chief of the caravan, had recourse to a singular
expedient to rouse one of them whom the whip could not stir. He seized
his purse of money, which this man carried in his bosom, swearing that
if he chose to stop and die there he might, and that he would be his
heir and inherit his purse. This testamentary disposition on the part
of the soldier had a wonderful effect. The man got up from the sand and
walked forward very briskly, calling upon the soldier to restore the
purse, as he was determined not to lie down any more till he reached
the river. The soldier, however, observing the effect of his proceeding,
retained the purse till we arrived at the river, when he restored it.]

[Footnote 84: The last time I saw him was when I gave him part of the
last bowl; he kissed my slipper, shedding abundance of tears, and saying
that I was the only one of the caravan that had shown him mercy. I
bade him keep up a good heart, for that on the morrow morning, by the
blessing of God, we should be at the river.]

[Footnote 85: Directly opposite Seboo, on the other bank of the river,
stands an ancient Egyptian temple. Seboo is four days march of a camel
above Assuan.]

[Footnote 86: The reason for their refusal I afterwards learned, was,
that they believed that the lad was already dead, and that therefore
they should miss the reward promised.]

[Footnote 87: Three days after my arrival at Assuan I had news of the
fate of this lad, from a Nubian voyager of the desert, on his way to
Assuan, who had found him, thirty-six hours after our arrival at Seboo,
lying in the ravine leading to the river, but almost dead. He had
stopped, it seems, to sleep a few hours, believing that sleep would
refresh him, and that he could do it without danger, as the river was
not many hours off. On his awaking, he found himself so weak that it
was with great difficulty that he reached the ravine, where he fell. The
traveler gave him water, and placed him on his dromedary, and brought
him to the river, but he was too far gone; he died in a half an hour
after he reached it. The last words he spoke, this man told me, related
to his God, his prophet, and his mother: this traveler dug his grave
and buried him. I told this man that I had offered a reward at Seboo to
whoever would bring this unfortunate young man to the river, and that I
would give the money to him as a recompense for having done all he could
do in such a case. The man, to my astonishment, replied, "that it was
not money that he would take as a reward for what he had done; that he
would receive no reward for it but from the hands of God, who would pay
more for it than I could." I told him that I was happy to have found a
Mussulman mindful of the precepts of the Koran, which inculcate charity
and benevolence to all those who are in distress, and that the record
of such deeds would occupy a great space on the almost blank page of our
good actions.]

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Narrative of the Expedition to Dongola and Sennaar - Under the Command of His Excellence Ismael Pasha, undertaken - by Order of His Highness Mehemmed Ali Pasha, Viceroy of - Egypt, By An American In The Service Of The Viceroy" ***

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