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and in all the open situations, place The storks come here about the awnings before their houses, to allure middle of March in great abundance, customers to a cool retreat in summer, and return again sometime, in July whilst those which are on the banks with their
which are hatched of the river, and many others, have here. They make their nests on the either large yards or gardens, in which tops of the highest buildings, such as there are arbors and trees for shade. the columns of the
mosques, notwithIt is not uncommon to see from two standing they are covered with glazed to three hundred people at a time at tiles; yet, as every column has a ball these coffee-houses, some playing at and a crescent on the top, it facilitates chess, others smoking and drinking their fastening their nests by long coffee, and others engaged in conver- twigs and other materials placed on sation. I am told that on the Meso- the crescent, and so let down, and sepotamian side there are not three cured with some glutinous substance hundred coffee-houses, nor did they to make them secure. ever amount to four hundred, before About the middle of June they bethe commencement of the plague. gin to teach their young to fly, the
Besides the Meydan, there are se- parents always attending; and about veral large void spaces which we should the end of the month they begin to call squares, although all are not real- lengthen their flights, and are seen to ly so, in two of which there is an im- go away in the morning early, and mensely high building of stone, the not return until evening ; this they only structure of that material, except always perform in three or four squathe great mosque, in the town. The drons or divisions, in a very regular Jew rabbies relate a tradition, that manner. They continue afterwards they were temples in the time of the to fly to places near the city, and are Persians, long before this place was seen to alight and feed daily on the. conquered by the caliphs; the gates, banks of the river. which are folding, are more than About the middle of July they all twenty feet high and six inches thick, combine about two hours before sunplated with brass on both sides, which set, in three or four divisions; they is so very strong as to be still entire; then soar higher than usual, and make the inside is one immense room with several circuits about the city and adout any division, and the largest I e- jacent country ; this they repeat daily,
I went into both of them with such regularity and seeming of through a wicket in the gate, and ob- bedience to their chief (who always is served that they are now used as de- single and foremost) that it delights positaries for grain. The roofs are and surprizes every beholder. arched, having no other support but At length the 25th day of July arthe two walls on which they rest.- rived, the day on which they took The buildings are forty-eight paces their final departure for this year.long and seventeen broad, and are Early in the morning they all collecthe only two structures of any antiqui- ted and formed themselves into four ty in the city. This city has not any divisions, and flew, or rather sailed, suburb, nor are there any houses to round the city very leisurely, and not be seen in the neighbourhood nearer very high, then continued some time than a mile, and those are small coun- hovering near together, as if in contry residences. 'On the Mesopota-sultation, and about eight in the mian side there are not any farms, as morning they flew straight away very the hordes of Arabs supply all the swiftly to the north-west. · provisions, excepting grain, which all During the time of the plague, magrows on this side the river.
ny families were entirely destroyed, in
consequence of several villains, either ced by the firing a cannon at the arseparately or in partnership, taking senal, if a private man; but if an ofadvantage to enter and despoil such ficer, two cannon are fired at his death. houses as were left defenceless, which People are not at all surprised when caused the ruin of many of those sur- such things happen, it being so comviving relations, whose whole depen- mon; nor do any trouble themselves dence was on the deceased. Hence so far as to enquire the cause of their it was common to see many men death. and women (who heretofore had been The pasha of Bagdad's dominions in good circumstances) walking the reach westward in Mesopotamia upstreets with dejected appearances, wards of three hundred miles from the seeking alms; they never begged, city, and are confined by the eastern but would accost those whom they part of the province of Diarbeker, thought capable of affording them ré- which is under the government of the lief, with a down-cast look, and an pasha of Urfa, the capital of Diarbeair that pleaded more strongly than 'ker, who is appointed by the Porte. words; and at the same time present- About midway between Bagdad and ing them with an orange, a lemon, or Diarbeker, is the city of Mosul, situan apple, or something equivalent ; ate on the banks of the Tigris, and which, if excepted, alms were given; supposed to be the ancient Nineveh ; if not, it was civilly returned. that is, the ruins of Nineveh are near
Another sort of distressed and piti- it; from which ruins Mosul is said to ful objects were frequently met with, have been built. This place supplies some of which were merry, and others Bagdad (and most of the dominions melancholy mad, occasioned by the dependant on it, as well as the Hither loss of parents or children, their dear- Persia) with tobacco, which is carried est friends, or their fortune, during the down the Tigris on floats to Bagdad,
, plague. I have many times seen well- and there resold. These floats are disposed people bring one or two into composed of bundles of reeds dextea coffee-house, give them victuals, and rously fastened together, over which afterwards sherbet and coffee. The is laid straw; they are buoyed up by merry would eat and drink, look round many hundreds of goat-skins filled with and laugh at every body the whole air and fastened underneath. Some time, and go away laughing without of them are so large as to carry one speaking a word to any one. On the hundred tons of tobacco, that is, four contrary, the melancholy, although hundred bates of five hundred pounds pressed to sit down, would receive eve- each, and upwards. I have seen such ry thing with indifference, and whe- a float arrive at the banks near the ther they ate or drank, or refused, custom-house, and in one hour after they never spoke, although often in- not the least appearance of it remaintreated; but would, after seeing every ing. The bales are rolled on shore, thing around with a silent indifference, the reeds are cut loose and tossed on rise and walk slowly away.
the banks, then the skins are untied During the months of June, July, to let out the air, and all is removed and August, there have been four of- so expeditiously, that not the least reficers, and twenty-seven privates of mains are to be seen in one hour after the corps of janisaries put to death, arrival. The skins are an article of which is done by decapitation at the trade here, and bought up immediarsenal, and always at two hours after ately by the sakars, or those who sun-setting. The public know no
and sell water. thing about it until the moment their The pasha's dominions, eastward in heads are struck off, which is announ- Mesopotamią reach to the extreme point, or corner, full five hundred tating the grand signior,) appoints miles by land from Bagdad, and near pashas of the second rank, or of two six hundred down the Tigris. The tails, who, in their respective goverdominions on the Persian side of the ments, support the dignity of a pasha; Tigris reach northwards one hundred but when they come to Bagdad, must and twenty miles and upwards, to the leave their train without the city, and west upwards of two hundred; in which appear in it as private persons. It is included Hamadan, a province of the is the same in Turkey, since no paLower Armenia, but conquered by the sha can enter the city of ConstantinoPersians, and which fell into the hands ple (except privately,) if he is appointof the Turks when Bagdad was taken ed to the rank of visier, reis essendi, by Amurath the Fourth,
tufturdar, or any other high office at His dominions in Persia, eastward the Porte, without first resigning the from Bagdad, extend along the banks badge of his office as pasha, that is, of the Tigris, and inland to the north the horses' tails, when he loses the about one hundred and forty miles: name of pasha. The grand signior, this account I had from the collector as a proof of his being sovereign lord of the customs, who appoints sub-col- over Bagdad and its dependencies, aplectors in all the towns of Mesopota- points one principal officer, the aga of mia, as well as in that part of Persia the janisaries, who is sent from the above mentioned. The pasha's do- Porte, and received at Bagdad, and minion on the banks of the Euphrates acknowledged as such : he is allowed (besides Mesopotamia) reaches west his usual salary, and is a member of about fifty miles beyond Annah, and the pasha's privy council, after which, and from thence eastward to about no more notice is taken of him, but he thirty miles below Helah. In every becomes a mere cypher, by virtue town between Annah and Helah there of his office, he ought to be governor is a custom-house dependent on that of of the arsenal ; but, to prevent that, Bagdad, as well as in those towns thir- care is taken that he shall not see the ty miles below Helah, which, from inside of it. The pasha of Bagdad, west to cast, is above four hundred in imitation of the grand signior, has miles in extent. His dominious reach every subordinate great officer (the likewise fifty miles to the east of Bus- grand visier excepted, that the grand sora, a distance (along the banks of signior has, who are promoted or disthe river) of more than seven hundred placed at his will and pleasure. The miles below Helah, but not twenty in- person who may be said to be grand land from the river, as the Arab chiefs visier, (in power, though not by title) are there independent. Indeed the is his kyah, or lieutenant-general. chiefs bordering on the river (quite to It happened, during my residence Bussora) may properly be called feu- 'at Bagdad, that one of the great offidatory princes, as they pay a tribute to cers, upon some disgust, omitted his
, the pasha of Bagdad for his protection, usual attendance at the seraglio, under but have neither Turkish garrisons nor pretence of indisposition, (he being custoin-houses in their districts. The then ninety-five years old, although a duties which are paid by vessels and very strong, robust, and handsome man. goods going up or down the river This man, through his largess and belong to the Arab chiefs, both in bounty to those in want; had always Chaldea and Arabia.
been, and still continued to be the The dominions dependent on Bagdad darling of the people ; and so great (both in Persia and Mesopotamia) are was his popularity, that upon the death divided into provinces ; viz. three in of the late pasha'he was, by universal Pers a, and four in Mesopotamia; over consent, desired to accept the dignity, cach of which provinces the pasha (imi- which he nodestly declined, on ac
count of his advanced time of life, (as of September I hired ten armed Arabs, he was then upwards of eighty.) He and a guide, and rode there in comwas then told that they would invest pany with Major Knudson, in the East liis son with the dignity, if he would India company's service, Mr Marcad
, give his consent; he deciined that ho- Awed, the Armenian merchant, and nour also, judging him not to be a fit a Mr Utrey, a French physician. person.
I took my tent, provisions, and serThe present pasha, named Hamet, vants, and arrived about noon, when had been left an orphan under the I pitched my tent near the ruins, care of this good old man, and was where we staid until the 20th, during bred up by him with the tenderness of which time I employed myself in a father: he chose to embrace a mili- drawing four designs of them, and the tary life, and arrived in that profes- oiher gentlemen in shooting wild pision to the first honours in the state, geons; which are so very plenty, that unenvied. Him, the old inan recom- they shot more than a hundred: they mended (in the national assembly con
build their nests in many large holes vened for the purpose of chusing a pa- in the building, which I suppose to sha ;) and such was the respect paid have been designed to receive the timto his recommendation, that he was ap- bers of the scaffolding. pointed about fifteen years since. The The materials of the little remains pasha was always good and humane, of this once-famed tower are unburnt but latterly neglected coming to his bricks, (now as hard as stone,) which council, shutting himself up in the la- in diniersions are fourteen inches by dies'apartments, where few (except the ten, and nearly five inches thick: favourite cunuchs) could get access to there is not any cement between them, him : of consequence, things not going either of bitumen or mortar. About on so well as forinerly, the old man the distance of every four feet, from' became disgusted. The paslia, finding the bottom to the top, are layers himself abandoned by his father, (for of reeds, four inches thick: by digging so he always called him,) complained about ten or twelves inches into one to his favourite courtiers, who had of these, I pulled out, by degrees, a long wished the old man dead, from handful of them, which are as firm and his possessing more than all of them u- sound (excepting their being pressed nited. Tliese wretched sycophants Alat,) as they were when first inserted; tald the pasha, that they wondered he which the Jew rabbies at Bagdad tell çould not see things in the same light me, according to a tradition of theirs, with themselves; but since he did not, is very near four thousand and two hunit was their duty to acquaint him with dred years. They all call it Nimrod's what they had hitherto been afraid to Tower, asserting, that in the memory mention, which was, that his father in- of the oldest Jew now in Bagdad, it tended to dethrone him, and place a- does not seem to have diminished. nother in his stead ; and that if he One of the rabbies who told me this, had any regard for his own life, he says, that he is a descendant from a must dispatch the old gentleman and family that was brought to Babylon
The pasha, through fear, frem. Jerusalem at the time of the consented, and invited them to court: captivity. I preserved, and brought they came, and were stabbed by those away those reeds, as likewise a piece courtiers, on Sept. the 17th 1774. of one of the bricks, lying about
At about six hours distance from the plain for two or three miles tothe city, on the other side, are the re- getber, all of the same dimensions, mains of the tower of Babel, or Nim- and many of them are frequently car
rod's Tower, situated in a vast plain, ried to Bagdad, to build or repair old which is a mere desert. On the 18th buildings.
Account of the Glasgow Public Lib. remedy the evil, they held several rary, with an Abstract of its Regu- meetings with their acquaintances, but
on discussing the subject of a new in
stitution on broad principles, they To the Editor.
found so many difficulties constantly SIR,
started, that they almost despaired af HAVING observed, with pleasure, being able to accomplish their purthat the Scots Magazine is al- pose.
At this period, (20 July,) a ways ready to insert intelligence res
lucky thought occurred, which was, pecting useful institutions which may to establish a library. They could
that two members were quite sufficient be formed in our native land, I pre
draw sume it will be agreeable to commu
up regulations, pay their entrynicate to the public, through its me- money, and purchase books. If any dium, an account of the Glasgow Pub- others joined then it was well; if not, lic Library
the institution would be useful as far In perusing the literary notices in as it went. This was inmediately several periodical publications, I have operated upon.
. Regulations were
drawn observed, that those who wished to
up, and the entry was fixed at form similar institutions have been 12 s., which being paid, they purchafrequently at a loss how to make a be- sed Paley's natural theology, and the ginning, and how to frame their re
Earl of Lauderdale's essay on public gulations. The following history of wealth; and ordered the Scots Magathe rise and progress of this institu- zine, monthly Magazine, and monthtion is curious, and will serve to shewly Review. One of them became lihow very easy it is for two or three brarian, and the other held all the reactive people to establish a library: difficulties had been started when the
maining offices. Although so many and as the regulations have at least the merit of being on public princi- subject was merely talked over, they ples, and have been found to answer
found very little difficulty in obtain
a the purpose remarkably well in prac- ing subscribers to a plan already matice, I should like to see them insert- tured, and they were obtained the ed in our valuable national Miscellany more readily, that they could be ac
commodated with books as soon as verbatim, and I have sent you a copy they put down their names. The en
This library was established in tries received from new subscribers 1804. In the summer of that year, chase of books, and this still continu?
were immediately applied in the purtwo gentlemen, when conversing on
ed to increase the value of the infant subjects of this nature, were frequent
institution. jy led to regret the want, in this large commercial city, of a library on pub- ber of subscribers was thirty-four,
By the 10th of December the numhic, liberal principles *, and which
*, might be easy of access to all ranks
and there were forty volumes in the of the community.
library, exclusive of periodical publiThat measures might be taken to subscribers was then held, and the
cations. A general meeting of the
library was instituted in form. Ano* The only libraries then in the city
ther meeting was held on the third were a few circulating libraries, the day of January 1805, when officenature of which is well known; and
bearers were appointed, and the libStorlivg's library, where the price of ad. rary has since flourished in a very puission was L.5. 55.
eminent degree. The following ab
for that purpose.