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النشر الإلكتروني

well ;

rowled very thin, and laid together like unto a letter, so that they are about four inchcs broad, fix long, and two thick ; they are of an afhen colour. The inhabitants call it still at this day by it’s ancient Arabian name Dora, whereof Rhafis maketh mention. He that will may read more of it in authors. Our voyage went on very

wherefore the Merchants began several pastimes, some did play at a play called the Eighteenth, and others played at Chefs, in which two games they were very well versed ; others spent their time in reading and singing. Among the rest there was a Merchant from Baljara, that sung out of his Kuran (which was put into rhymes in the common Arabick) several times with a loud and delicate voice; so that I took great delight in hearing him. Yet they were not so hot in their gaming or jesting, that they should therefore forget the hour of their prayers, chiefly their divines that were in orders, which used to call them out with a loud voice, at the usual hour, either in the ship, or without in the defarts, if they could have covenient time and opportunity. But among the Persians I found a greater zcal and earneftness, than among the Ti.rks or Moors, all which nations have notwithstanding the same ceremonies in their prayers. For as they have chiefly five hours of praying, whereof three are in the day-time; viz. the first about noon, the second about three, and the third when the sun begins to set; the two others in the night, one in the morning an hour and half before the sun riseth, and the second after sun set when the firnament begins to look white and the stars to appear : So the Persians would not be hindered, by the darkness of the night, danger of the place, inconveniency of the time, to go out, when the others were afleep, on the ground in the island where we were landed, and say their prayers with such an earnestness and devotion, as I have often seen it, that the tears run out of their cyes : I must also needs say that they keep closer anci stricter to their laws than almost any other nation, which forbid them to drink wine, and command them to live in poverty, and to watch and pray continually:

The eighteer th day of October we came early to Hadidt, a pretty large, yet anciently built, town, belonging to

the

the King of Arabia, which is also divided into two towns by the river Euphrates, like unto Ana, whereof the greater part lieth on this side of the river. Here the master payed for his Lhip two Sayet (one whereof is about three pence in our country) to the customers, and so fet fail again, to try whether he could reach that night to y uppe And he did oftner than ever before, speak to his men to pull on (chiefly where the river in it's breadth and depth was almost like unto the sea) so that at night pretty late we arrived at y uppe, a pleasant and well built town belonging to the Turks, and it is also divided into two parts, whereof one lieth in the middle of the river in a high ground, at the top whereof is a fortress, so that the town is pretty well defended : The other (which is rather bigger) lieth on the left in Mesopotamia, wherein are many fine orchards belonging to the houses, full of high date-trees, &c. wherefore the Merchants spent half a day there to buy dates, almonds, and figs to carry with them into the inns ; the same they did at Idt another great town of the Turks, on the right-hand of the Euphrates situate on a high ground, where we arrived on the 20th of October at night in very good time, and gave them instead thereof loap-balls, knives, and paper, &c. After which goods they have often enquired of us; and we have given them sometimes scme sheets of white paper, which they received with great joy, and returned

thanks for them. After our Merchants had sufficiently stored themselves with these goods, and our master had pay'd the duty for his two hips, he put off about noon on the 21st of October and went away.

About the evening we faw at this fide of the river a mill, and also the next day another, whereby were several old walls doors and arches, &c. whereby I conjecture that formerly there stood a town. These two mills, as I was informed, were two powdermills that make gun-powder for the Turkish Emperor, and send it to him in caravans, together with other merchandizes through the dominions of the King of Arabia, wherefore he must as well as other Merchants, pay duty (for that liberty) and toll or custom. The gun-powder is not made from falt.peter, as our is, but out of another juice, which they take from a tree that is reckond

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to be a kind of willow ; known to the Persians by the name of Fer, and to the Arabians by Garb, as I have mentioned above. Besides this they take the small twigs of these trees together with the leaves, and burn them to powder, which they put into water to separate the falt from it, and so make gun-powder thereof, yet this is nothing near so strong as ours. Pliny chiefly testifieth this in his 31st book and 10th chapter, where he faith that in former days they have made Niter of oak-trees, (which certainly he hath taken these to be, for they are pretty like oaks) but that it hath been given over long before now. Which is very probable, chiefly because the consumption thereof was not so great, before they found out guns, as it is now since they have been found out.

Further on the water-fide, on the high banks, I saw an innumerable many coloquints grow and hang down, which at a distance I could not well know, until they called them by their ancient Arabick name Handbel, whereby they still to this day are known to the inhabitants. After we had navigated a great way several days one after another, through even grounds, and in a good road, we arrived at length on the 24th day of Oktober, at night, near to Felugo or Elugo, a little village called so, and with it the whole province.

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CHA P VII.

Of cld Babylon the metropolis ef Chaldee, and it's

situation, and how it is still to this day, after it's terriblé desolation to be seen, with the tower or turret, and the old ruined walls, lying in the dust.

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HE village Elugo lyeth on the place where formerly old Babylon, the metropolis of Chaldee, did

stand; the harbour lyeth a quarter of a league off, whereinto those use to go, that intend to travel by land, to the famous trading city of Bagdet, (which is situated farther to the east on the river Tygris, at a day and a half's distance). At this harbour is the place where the old town of Babylon did stand, but at this time there is not a house to be seen, whereinto we could go

with our goods and stay till our departure. We were also forced to unload our merchandises into an open place, as if we had been in the midst of the defarts, and to pay toll under the open sky, which belongeth to the Turks. This country is so dry and barren, that it cannot be tilled, and so bare, that I should have doubted very much, whether this potent and powerful city (which once was the most stately and famous one of the world, situated in the pleasant and fruitful country of Sinar) did stand there if I should not have known it by it's situation, and feveral ancient and delicate antiquities that still are standing hereabouts in great desolation. First by the old bridge, which was laid over the Euphrates (which also is called Sud by the prophet Baruch in his first chapter) whereof there are some pieces and arches still remaining, and to be seen at this very day a little above where we landed. These arches are built of burnt brick, and so strong, that it is admirable ; and that so much the more, because all along the river as we came from Bir, where the river is a great deal smaller, we faw never a bridge, wherefore I say it is admirable which way they could build a bridge here, where the river is at least half a league broad, and very deep besides. Near the bridge are several heaps of Babylonian pitch, to pitch fhips withal, which is in some places grown so hard, that you may walk over it, but in others that which hath been lately brought thither is fo foft, that you may fee every step you

make in it. Something farther ; just before the village Elug?, is the hill whereon the castle did stand in a plain, whereon you may still fee tome ruins of the fortification, which is quite demolished and uninhabited : Behind it pretty near to it,did stand the tower of Babylon, which the children of Noah (who first inhabited these countries after the deluge) began to build up unto heaven ; this we see stiil, and it is half a league in diameter, but it is so mightily ruined, and low, and so full of vermin that hath bored holes throught it, that one may not come near it within half a mile, but only in two months in the winter, when they come not out of their holes. Among thefe Insects, there are chiefly fome, in the Persian language called Eglo by the inhabitants, that are very poisonous ; they are (as others told me) bigger than our lizards, and have * three heads, and on their back feveral spots of several colours, which have not only taken poffeffion of the tower, but also of the castle (which is not very high) and the spring-well, that is just underneath it, fo that they cannot live upon the hill, nor dare not drink of the water (which is whole, come for the lambs.) This is Romance.

From this tower, at two leagues distance eastward, lieth the ítrong town Traxt, which was formerly call'd famia, mentior'd by Pliny in book VI. chap. 26, 27, between the Tigris and Euphrates, thofe two great rivers of Paradise, whereof is inade mention inthe second chapter of Genesis ; wirich two rivers not far below it meet together, and are there united. The town Traxt is fur

rounded

Rauwolf was here too credulous and facil to suffer himself to be abused and imposed upon by these relaters; for that there neither are nor ever were any animals with more heads than one naturally, I do confidently affirm.

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