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PREFACE. Averse to writing, as well as to reading, diffuse Prolegomena, the author finds himself compelled to relate, at some length, the circumstances which led to the subject of these pages. In May 1849, the late Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Malcolm, formerly Superintendent of the Indian Navy, in conjunction with Mr. William John Hamilton, then President of the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain, solicited the permission of the Court of... more...

AL-MADINAH contains but few families descended from the Prophet’s Auxiliaries. I heard only of four whose genealogy is undoubted. These were,— 1. The Bayt al-Ansari, or descendants of Abu Ayyub, a most noble race whose tree ramifies through a space of fifteen hundred years. They keep the keys of the Kuba Mosque, and are Imams in the Harim, but the family is no longer wealthy or powerful. 2. The Bayt Abu Jud: they supply the Harim... more...

Dear Mr. Smithers, By every right I ought to choose you to edit and bring out Sir Richard Burton's translation of Catullus, because you collaborated with him on this work by a correspondence of many months before he died. If I have hesitated so long as to its production, it was because his notes, which are mostly like pencilled cobwebs, strewn all over his Latin edition, were headed, "NEVER SHEW HALF-FINISHED WORK TO WOMEN OR FOOLS." The reason... more...

CHAPTER XII. THE SÁ LEONITE AT HOME AND ABROAD. In treating this part of the subject I shall do my best to avoid bitterness and harsh judging as far as the duty of a traveller—that of telling the whole truth—permits me. It is better for both writer and reader to praise than to dispraise. Most Englishmen know negroes of pure blood as well as 'coloured persons' who, at Oxford and elsewhere, have shown themselves fully equal in... more...

THE KASÎDAH I The hour is nigh; the waning Queen   walks forth to rule the later night;Crownd with the sparkle of a Star,   and throned on orb of ashen light: The Wolf-tail* sweeps the paling East   to leave a deeper gloom behind,And Dawn uprears her shining head,   sighing with semblance of a wind: * The false dawn. The highlands catch yon Orient gleam,   while... more...


A few pages by way of "Forespeache." The plain unvarnished tale of the travel in Midian, undertaken by the second Expedition, which, like the first, owes all to the liberality and the foresight of his Highness Ismail I., Khediv of Egypt, forms the subject of these volumes. During the four months between December 19, 1877, and April 20, 1878, the officers employed covered some 2500 miles by sea and land, of which 600, not including by-paths, were... more...

We have now left the region explored by Europeans; and our line to the south and the south-east will lie over ground wholly new. In front of us the land is no longer Arz Madyan: we are entering South Midian, which will extend to El-Hejáz. As the march might last longer than had been expected, I ordered fresh supplies from El-Muwaylah to meet us in the interior viâ Zibá. A very small boy acted dromedary-man; and on the next day... more...

CHAPTER I. PRELIMINARY: TRIESTE TO LISBON. The glory of an explorer, I need hardly say, results not so much from the extent, or the marvels of his explorations, as from the consequences to which they lead. Judged by this test, my little list of discoveries has not been unfavoured of fortune. Where two purblind fever-stricken men plodded painfully through fetid swamp and fiery thorn-bush over the Zanzibar-Tanganyika track, mission-houses and... more...