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fair. Several houses at the entrance of the great open space in front of the mosque were illuminated, and at the doors of some of them was collected a circle of old bearded Turks, some with the never-failing pipe. The principal feature in the scene we now witnessed, (for my friend, though reluctant, had kept by my side,) was an irregular lane of booths and stables, running along the side of a slope, covered with gravestones, to one of the entrances of the mosque. A great number of oil lights, swinging from cross sticks, or supported by rude wooden candelabra, with long painted lanterns, and tapers protected by paper, in the style patronised by the marketwomen of Tottenham Court Road, gave a light which, however, might almost have been dispensed with, so brilliant were the rays of the moon. All the space on either side of the lane or pathway I have mentioned, which swarmed with people, was covered with tombs, and a great number of women and children were sitting among them, some taking this opportunity to visit the last restingplace of their departed friends, some merely resting, some laughing and talking, some, evidently from what we saw and heard, in the fulfilment of appointments. When we arrived, a great space beyond the tombs was almost unoccupied with people, though one or two groups were scattered here and there; and now and then a figure might be seen moving across and gliding through a halfopen doorway in a long wall that stretched from the mosque to the extremity of the square. Another mosque, and several houses with gardens, from which rose a few tall and gracefully bending poplar trees, occupied the remaining three sides. As I have said, the moonlight was very brilliant, and seemed to steep in silver the white walls of the houses that reared their irregular forms in every direction, some with lofty tower-like summits, some with a succession of terraces, some low and humble, but all of true Eastern architecture, with small jealously closed windows, some flat and of minutely carved wood-work, others projecting like cages, which they were, though for human prisoners. Here and there, near at hand or in the distance, a minaret of exquisite form, as they all are in Egypt, rose against the heavens, that beamed with the united lustre of moon and stars. The few trees that, as I have said, diversified the scene, drooped over terraces, on which might be indistinctly perceived the forms of veiled women, leaning over to enjoy the animated sight below. The crowd that was collected generally circulated in a direction to and from the door of the mosque, so that the pathway was extremely crowded. However, in spite of the remonstrance of my prudent friend, I managed to squeeze between turbans and tarbooshes, and reached the door of the mosque, beyond which it is not permitted for infidels to go. The stalls and sheds on either hand were chiefly occupied by vendors of eatables and drinkables —of boiled lupins and beans, toasted melon-pips, a kind of ground nut, unripe dates, cakes of various forms, with numerous kinds of sherbet, among which, liquorice water was most common. Here and there, too, were coffee-stalls, round each of which a circle of moustachios was collected. It must be remembered that we were in Ramazan time, so that it was according to custom to spend the greater part of the night in eating and drinking, to repair the exhaustion of the day, and prepare for the privations of the morrow. Most of the lower orders keep the fast pretty strictly, and the evil consequences are apparent in the regularly increasing mortality from the beginning to the end of the month. A few stalls were filled with toys, among which whistles, as presents for children, held a conspicuous place. The bustle and noise that prevailed was very great; a constant murmur of friendly salutations is kept up, every Muslim on such occasions deeming it his duty to ask his friend how his health goes each time he passes him, even if it be every five minutes. Sometimes they stop and seize first hold of their victim's thumb, inquiring how he does, then hold of his forefingers, with another question, then again hold of his thumb, and once more hold of his hand, often for a dozen times in succession. Occasionally they are seized with extraordinary accession of friendship, and embrace and hug a person, whom they may have saluted with formal indifference an instant before, as if about to part with him for ever. “Are you well?” “Well; praise be to God!” This interrogatory, with the answer, is frequently repeated at least fifty times in the course of an hour's conversation, seeming to fill up every pause, and sometimes being introduced in the midst of an animated dialogue. Suppose the conversation to turn on the rent of a house: it would run nearly thus. Laying his hand gracefully on his breast, the first speaker says:– “Taïbeen 2 Are you well ?” “Hamd-il-ullah! Ala satami. Praise be to God: on you be peace | What is the rent of this house?” “Taïbeen 3 " “Hamd-il-ullah! ” “A hundred talaris a year.” “Mashallah! that is much. Taïbeen : " “Hamd-il-ullah! Do you think I would cheat you?” “Are you well?” “Praise be to God! On you be peace : I am afraid you are trying to impose on me.” “Taïbeen 2 ” &c. To return to the fair. Having hustled and been hustled, to my heart's content, by Arabs and Turks, dirty and clean, the former in great majority, I left the neighbourhood of the booths and proceeded to wander up and down the great open space I have mentioned, and watch from a distance the movements of the increasing crowd, and the effect of the long line of glancing lights upon their various costumes. Beyond them, on a slight rise, among a number of tombs, beneath the shadow of a large mansion, a great many little groups could be dimly perceived; and on every side numerous small conclaves or tète-a-têtes were going on. I noticed that every now and then a man or woman would proceed towards the half-open door I have mentioned, and I became rather curious to see what was inside, but was informed that the entrance was forbidden to all but Muslims, as it was an old cemetery, containing the tombs of several saints, among others, of him in whose honour the fair was held. This spot was marked out by a large black flag on a lofty pole. I obtained just a glimpse of the interior of the enclosure. It seemed full of tombs; and a number of women wrapped in black or white cloaks, like shrouds, were gliding to and fro among them. We were now joined by several Levantines of our acquaintance, who took us round to the principal entrance of the mosque, where another collection of booths and stalls offered every possible temptation to Arab eyes and stomachs. Among other things , I noticed huge flat pieces of cake something like brown oil-cloth speckled with white, but more pliable. They were brought from Damascus, and were made of pounded mishmish, or apricots, stuck over with almonds. The interior of the mosque was brilliantly lighted up with candles, brought as offerings by the Faithful. I met in the crowd my one-eyed servant, Ali, with a taper in his hand, edging his way through, to go and present his gift in person. It is curious that the practice of burning candles in honour of the saints should be common to both the Mahomedans and Roman Catholics. After having seen all that could be seen in the neighbourhood of the Mosque, we made a tour through the adjoining coffeehouse, listening to the singing, or beholding the performances of Karakoz, the Eastern Punch. The latter consists in a kind of phantasmagorical representation, in which the shadows of two or three grotesque figures are thrown on a piece of cloth, behind which are a light and the man who directs the whole and holds the conversation. The characters are Turks and Persians. Karakoz is generally a Turk, and performs actions something similar to those of the long-nosed hero of London streets, but far inferior in wit and variety. Sometimes the whole affair is nothing but a series of tedious conversations, (in a language understood by no one of the spectators, except when a phrase of Arabic is now and then introduced), ending in the expulsion of one of the interlocutors, whom Karakoz generally kicks out. Formerly, it was the custom to introduce an European consul, in all kinds of undignified positions; but this has been forbidden by the government. At many coffee-houses singing alone forms the attraction. The songs, as might be expected, are, for the most part, about black eyes and tresses; and are chaunted by young men or boys, generally handsome and well dressed. Their profession is by no means a sinecure; and they are often driven, in order to acquire the necessary degree of excitement, to resort to the use of the intoxicating hasheesh, either by smoking it, chewing it, or taking it in those carefully compounded bonbons for which Cairo is celebrated. The use of this drug soon spoils their voices, and gives them a dissipated and vacant expression of countenance. In some of the coffee-houses two or three hundred people collect to listen to these performances; and it is the custom, at the end of nearly every verse, for the spectators to cry out in chorus “Ullah "prolonging the exclamation to its utmost possible length. A man, with a tray or tambourine, goes round occasionally to collect the fivefuddah pieces which the generosity of the spectators induces them to bestow. Meanwhile a great consumption of shishehs, and chibooks goes on, as well as of coffee and of water, the latter being generally supplied gratis. Some coffee-house keepers put an aromatic herb into the water-jar, and passers by often go in, take out a pitcher full, drink, and depart, without being expected to pay, or even to say “thank you.” They are, however, deemed bound, if possible, not to touch the brim of the pitcher with their lips; but to turn back their heads and pour the water literally down their throats. Many coffee-houses are too small to hold the crowd which collects on these occasions. The lovers of harmony, accordingly, No. XXIV.-WOL. IV. K. R.
sit in front of the door, on benches or small crates or cages, made of the branches of the palm tree. The singer occupies, with the music, a conspicuous position, which arrangement, to my taste, might be dispensed with, as most of them, however handsome they may be, contort their faces in a most hideous manner. The Arabs enjoy these performances exceedingly; and with them, when the accompaniment of fife and coffee is not forgotten, there is no surer way of producing the much-longed-for oblivion of all the cares of life, as well as a soothing consciousness of present enjoyment, without any violent excitement, which they call by the short and expressive name of “ Keys.” The quarter of Abon-el-Abbas is situated at the commencement of that long tongue of land which terminates in the site of the ancient Pharos. It therefore touches on both sides on the sea. During our stroll we came to a coffee-house situated on the shore, near an old fort; and entering, called for shishehs, or waterpipcs, and coffee. In order to enjoy the beauty of the night scene, we took our station on a little terrace overhanging the water, which, as usual, was restless, and rolled in with an ineessant murmur, and splashing against the feet of the houses that line the shore. The moon was just at that time hanging over the hill of Kom-el-Dyk, on the opposite side of the bay or harbour, so that it silvered the tops of the rushing waters, and allowed us to extend our gaze far out across the dim sea, on the one hand, and to trace the bleak outline of the houses, and forts, and batteries, that swept round the other, from the Pharillon and Pharos to our fect. Unfortunately there were no rising grounds worthy of the name to diversify the scene; so that with the exception of the jagged profile of the half-finished fort on the hill I have already mentioned, all was flat and low. At such a time, however, the irregular outline of the city, with its slender mosques, its turreted houses, its palm trees rising here and there, with their drooping clusters of leaves at the top-like so many hearse-plumes, its twinkling light reflected in the tremulous wave; and the longsweeping line of the sea-horizon, with difficulty distinguished above the white breakers that guard the entrance of the port, beheld between a huge old deserted fortress on the one hand, and a vast pile of buildings, celebrated as the scene of a horrid murder, on the other : all these things, I say, seen through the graceful arches of wood-work of the terrace of an eastern coffee-house, and combined with a clear blue sky, clustering with stars that vied in