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where blacks are, and sometimes leaving their own there, and taking blacks in the room of them. The King of Arabia is always encamped in the fields, and never cometh into a place that is shut up or enclosed and this the lefs now, after the mischance of losing his fon that retired into one, happened ; so he goeth from place to place like unto the Tartars, so that often it is not known where he is. In the summer-tiine he goeth farther to the north, and in winter to the south, to avoid both the heat and cold, and to have better subsistance and provision for himself, his men, and cattle. So it hath happened several times, that the Arabians in their march have come too near the Turks dominions, and the Turks again to his, from whence arose between these two great Princes such differences, that they are come to great and bloody wars. And yet for all this, as I am credibly informed, they have now both made a peculiar league and contract between them, wherein it is agreed that if the Grand Turk should go to a war with his neighbours, then the Arabian King will assist and defend him, wherefore the Grand Signior writes to him as his cousin and good friend, and is to pay him the sum of 60000 ducats yearly as his certain falary or retaining fee. And besides all this, the Sultan sends to the new King of Arabia after the decease of the old one, a standard with his coat of arms in it, which together with other presents he sends him with usual ceremonies, to congratulate him on his happy coming to the throne, and to renew and confirm their alliances. Their religion doth contribute not a small matter to this, which (together with all their ceremonics, and all other points) is the same almost they profefs in both nations : And they take as many wives as the Turks do, neither do they extol or magnify one before the other, because they come from better parents, being they buy them all from them. And therefore none of them are excused, because she cometh from a greater extraction, from doing the family-business, nor hath a poor one more put upon her because she came from mean extraction. So one of the King of Arabia's wives is a daughter of a man that keeps a fawing. mill at Racka, which by him (although of mean extraction) is as much respected as any of the rest. Her father and brothers are very good people; they came very often to us, and shewed great compassion, for that we were so abused by the Publican. . His mill is not drawn by horses as ours are, nor by water (for they know nothing of that) but two of them cut the wood with great hand-labour. During our staying there a young Arabian gentleman, nearly related to the King of Arabia, came very often to us to the water-side, who was always accompanied with twenty servants with bows and darts; he had a delicate white turbant on, and a long violet coloured caban made of wool, but his fervants went pretty bare, for some of them wore black caps and long indico coloured shirts with wide sleeves, which they girt up with broad leathern girdles, wherein stuck bended daggers or bayonets, as it is their usual custom. It once happened, that some of us being upon the high town-walls together, from whence we had a pleasant prospect down into the valley to the great river Euphrates, this same gentleman came to us again, and seated himself with his retinue overagainst us, and presented us with some dried Cicer Pease (whereof I have made mention before) and some Cibebs mixed together, which we thankfully received ; and to Thew our thankfulness, we presented him again with some Almonds, Figs, Nuts, and fome very good sweat-meats we had brought with us from Aleppo, which he also received very kindly. So we all began to eat each of us part of his present, and drunk with it some water of the Euphrates. After we had eat them all, and we thought the time to be long, he beckon’d to one of his Musicians, and bid him to divert us with his instrument, which he pulled out presently (which about the neck looked
very like unto a cittern) and we expected to hear some rarity, but when I looked upon it, and saw it had but one string that was as big as a cord of their bows, he began to play some of their tunes, but with what art and dexterity you may easily fancy. He did this for almost two hours, and according to his opinion very harmoniously, but we thought the time to long, that we were very glad when he had done.
About the river I found that sort of Acacia that beareth roundish and brown-coloured pods, called Schock
and Scamuth by the Arabians : Some thorns called Algul, whereon the Manna falleth, chiefly in the county of Corascen, as Avicenna tells us. Chamesyces, some strange kinds of mofles, which are very much differing in bigness: Among the rest I saw the low prickly herb, by some esteemed to be the Tragun of Dioscorides. Below, close to the river, I found the Herba Sacra of Diofcorides, which the learned Carolus Clufius hath accurately described in his History of Outlandish Plants, book is. chap. 45. and just by these, more strange ones, chiefly a delicate one growing plentifully there in the fand, which had from five to eight tender stalks, which spread themselves into others that were very full of joints, so that it crept rather on the ground than grew up; by each of them stood three or four roundish Marjoram or Origanum leaves together, and above between them fome star like white flowers, with six pointed leaves like unto our Ornithogalum, each of them on a peculiar foot-stalk, the seeds thereof I have not seen, but the roots are small and fibrous, which together with their small bitterness have a pretty exsiccating quality, and so in this respect are very like unto the Polycemon of Diofcorides, but whether it be the same or no, I leave the learned to decide. Besides those before as we came down the river, I saw a great many large Tamarisk trees, and abundance of a certain kind of Agnus Caftus, almost like unto the other, only a great deal less, and it had no more but three strong Claver leaves; but above all the Galega, called Goats-rue in our language, which in these parts groweth very high, and in so great plenty, that on the river-side I could see nothing but this for léveral miles together,
CH A P. CHAP IV.
Of the Inbabitants of the mountains, and the great
wilderness we came through to Deer : Of their ancient origination, and miserable and laborious liveli
PON this good and severe command of the Bashaw, son of Mahomet Bashaw, we were acquitted of
our long arrest, and went away about noon on the 27th of September ; we went again from thence through such great desarts, that for some days we saw nothing worth relating, but here and there little huts made of some erected boughs, and covered with some bulhes, wherein the Moors with their families live, to secure themselves from the great heat, rain and dews that are in these parts most violent, so that I admired how these miserable people could maintain themselves and so many children in these dry and fandy places where nothing was to be had. Wherefore these poor people are very naked, and so hungry that many of them if they faw us afar off, would Aing themselves into the great river, and swim to us to fetch a piece of bread. And when we Aung at them whole handfulls, they would snap at it just like hungry fish or ducks, and eat it: Others did gather it and put it into the crown which they make neatly of their sheets on the top of their herds, and so swim away with it.
with it. After these fandy desarts had continued a great while, we came at length out of them between high, rough and bare hills, which were so barren that there was to be seen neither plough-lands nor meadows, neither house nor stick, neither high-way nor footh-path, wherefore those people that live there, have no houses, but caves and tents, as they have in the great desarts, where because of the great heat and dryness, the I 3
foil is so barron, that they cannot subsist in a place for any considerable time, nor have villages or certain habitations : Wherefore they wander up and down, fall upon the caravans and plunder them, and make what shift they can to get a livelihood. These mountains, as I am informed, reach to the river Jordan, the Dead and the Red-Seas, &c. wherein are situated mount Sinai, Horeb, &c. and the town Petra, which by the prophet Isaiah is called Petra of the Defarts. The Arabians that live in these desarts, and round about them, are extraordinary marks-men for bows and
arrows, and to Aing darts which are made of canes : They are a very numerous people, and go out in great parties every where almoft: They are a very ancient nation, and come froin the sons of Ishmael, but chiefly from his eldest son Nebajoth, and were anciently called the war-like Naba, thees, and their country, the land or province of the Nabathees, which yosephus testifieth in Book i. Chap. 21. where he says, that the twelve fons of Ishmael, which he had by an Egyptian wife, (his mother Agar, from whom they were called Agarens, as you may see in the first of the Chronicles and the fixth verse, being also of the fame country,) were pofleffed of all the country between the Euphrates and the Red-Seas, and called it the province of the Nabathees. The Midianites that bought 7ofeph of his brethren, and carried him into Egypt, may also be reckoned among these. This fame country is also chiefly by Pliny (because thereabout are no other habitations, but tents, wherein the inhabitants, live) called Scenitis. From this we may conclude that the prophet Isaiah in his 6oth Chapter, and David in the 120th Psalm did speak of them, when chiefly the latter maketh mention of the tents ot Kedar, whereby he underftands a country that is inhabited by such a nation, as liveth in tents, and is derived from Kedar the son of Ishmael, whom his father Abraham, as a strange child born by his maid Agar, did thrust out together with his mother into the desarts ; his words are these, Wo is me, that I sojourn in Mesheck, that I dwell in the tents, of Kedar. In our times these and other nations are called the Saracens, which have very much encreased under Mahomet (who by his Mother was an Ishmaelite) and