In order to travel from Baghdad to Mosul safely, and without great expense, it is necessary to join a caravan. I requested Herr Swoboda to direct me to a trustworthy caravan guide. I was indeed advised not to trust myself alone among the Arabs, at least to take a servant with me; but with my limited resources this would have been too expensive. Moreover, I was already pretty well acquainted with the people, and knew from experience that they might be trusted.

A caravan was to have left on the 14th of June, but the caravan guides, like the ship captains, always delay some days, and so we did not start until the 17th instead of the 14th.

The distance from Baghdad to Mosul is 300 miles, which occupy in travelling from twelve to fourteen days. Travellers ride either horses or mules, and in the hot months travel during the night.

I had hired a mule for myself and my little baggage, for which I paid the low price of fifteen krans (12s. 6d.), and had neither fodder nor anything else to provide.

Every one who intends proceeding with the caravan is obliged to assemble before the city gate about 5 o'clock in the evening. Herr Swoboda accompanied me there, and particularly recommended me to the care of the caravan guide, and promised him in my name a good bachshish if he saved me all the trouble he could during the journey.

In this way I entered upon a fourteen days' journey through deserts and steppes, a journey full of difficulties and dangers, without any convenience, shelter, or protection. I travelled like the poorest Arab, and was obliged, like him, to be content to bear the most burning sun, with no food but bread and water, or, at the most, a handful of dates, or some cucumbers, and with the hot ground for a bed.

I had, while in Baghdad, written out a small list of Arabian words, so that I might procure what was most necessary. Signs were easier to me than words, and by the aid of both, I managed to get on very well. I became in time so used to the signs that, in places where I could make use of the language, I was obliged to take some pains to prevent myself from using my hands at the same time.

While I was taking leave of Herr Swoboda, my little portmanteau, and a basket with bread and other trifles, had already been put into two sacks, which were hung over the back of the mule. My mantle and cushion formed a comfortable soft seat, and everything was in readiness - only the mounting was rather difficult, as there was no stirrup.

Our caravan was small. It counted only twenty-six animals, most of which carried merchandise, and twelve Arabs, of whom five went on foot. A horse or mule carries from two to three and a half hundredweight, according to the state of the road.

About 6 we started. Some miles outside the town several other travellers joined us, chiefly pedlars with loaded animals, so that presently our party increased in numbers to sixty. But our numbers changed every evening, as some always remained behind, or others joined us. We often had with us some shocking vagabonds, of whom I was more afraid than robbers. It is, moreover, said not to be uncommon for thieves to join the caravan, for the purpose of carrying on their depredations, if there should be an opportunity of doing so.

I should, on the whole, have no great faith in the protection which such a caravan is capable of affording, as the people who travel in this way are principally pedlars, pilgrims, and such like, who probably have never in their lives used a sword or fired a gun. A few dozen well-armed robbers would certainly get the better of a caravan of even a hundred persons.

On the first night we rode ten hours, until we reached Jengitsche. The country around was flat and barren, uncultivated and uninhabited. Some few miles outside Baghdad cultivation appeared to be suddenly cut off, and it was not until we came to Jengitsche that we saw again palms and stubble fields, showing that human industry is capable of producing something everywhere.

Travelling with caravans is very fatiguing: although a walking pace is never exceeded, they are on the road from nine to twelve hours without halting. When travelling at night the proper rest is lost, and in the day it is scarcely possible to get any sleep, exposed in the open air to the excessive heat, and the annoyances of flies and mosquitoes.

18th June. In Jengitsche we met with a chan, but it was by no means equal in appearance and cleanliness to that on the road to Babylon; its chief advantage was being situated near the Tigris.

The chan was surrounded by a small village, to which I proceeded for the purpose of satisfying my hunger. I went from hut to hut, and at last fortunately succeeded in obtaining some milk and three eggs. I laid the eggs in the hot ashes and covered them over, filled my leathern flask from the Tigris, and thus loaded returned proudly to the chan. The eggs I ate directly, but saved the milk for the evening. After this meal, procured with such difficulty, I certainly felt happier, and more contented than many who had dined in the most sumptuous manner.

During my search through the village, I noticed, from the number of ruined houses and huts, that it seemed to have been of some extent formerly. Here, also, the last plague had carried off the greater part of the inhabitants; for, at the present time, there were only a few very poor families.

I here saw a very peculiar mode of making butter. The cream was put into a leathern bottle, and shaken about on the ground until the butter had formed. When made, it was put into another bottle filled with water. It was as white as snow, and I should have taken it for lard if I had not seen it made.

We did not start this evening before 10 o'clock, and then rode eleven hours without halting, to Uesi. The country here was less barren than that between Baghdad and Jengitsche. We did not, indeed, see any villages on the road; but small groups of palms, and the barking of dogs, led us to conclude that there were some very near. At sun-rise we were gratified by the sight of a low range of mountains, and the monotony of the plain was here and there broken at intervals, by small rows of hills.

19th June. Yesterday I was not quite satisfied with the chan at Jengitsche; but I should have been very thankful for a far worse one today, that we might have found any degree of shelter from the pitiless heat of the sun; instead, we were obliged to make our resting place in a field of stubble, far removed from human habitations. The caravan guide endeavoured to give me some little shade by laying a small cover over a couple of poles stuck into the ground; but the place was so small, and the artificial tent so weak, that I was compelled to sit quietly in one position, as the slightest movement would have upset it. How I envied the missionaries and scientific men, who undertake their laborious journeys furnished with horses, tents, provisions, and servants. When I wished, shortly afterwards, to take some refreshments, I had nothing but lukewarm water, bread so hard that I was obliged to sop it in water to be able to eat it, and a cucumber without salt or vinegar! However, I did not lose my courage and endurance, or regret, even for a moment, that I had exposed myself to these hardships.

We set out again about 8 o'clock in the evening, and halted about 4 in the morning at Deli-Abas. The low range of mountains still remained at our side. From Deli-Abas we crossed the river Hassei by a bridge built over it.

20th June. We found a chan here; but it was so decayed that we were obliged to encamp outside, as there is danger of snakes and scorpions in such ruins. A number of dirty Arab tents lay near the chan. The desire for something more than bread and cucumber, or old, half-rotten dates, overcame my disgust, and I crept into several of these dwellings. The people offered me buttermilk and bread. I noticed several hens running about the tents with their young, and eagerly looking for food. I would gladly have bought one, but as I was not disposed to kill and prepare it myself, I was obliged to be contented with the bread and buttermilk.

Some plants grow in this neighbourhood which put me in mind of my native country - the wild fennel. At home I scarcely thought them worth a glance, while here they were a source of extreme gratification. I am not ashamed to say, that at the sight of these flowers the tears came into my eyes, and I leant over them and kissed them as I would a dear friend.

We started again today, as early as 5 in the evening, as we had now the most dangerous stage of the journey before us, and were desirous of passing it before nightfall. The uniformly flat sandy desert in some degree altered in character. Hard gravel rattled under the hoofs of the animals; mounds, and strata of rock alternated with rising ground. Many of the former were projecting from the ground in their natural position, others had been carried down by floods, or piled over each other. If this strip had not amounted to more than 500 or 600 feet, I should have taken it to be the former bed of a river; but as it was, it more resembled the ground left by the returning of the sea. In many places saline substances were deposited, whose delicate crystals reflected the light in all directions.

This strip of ground, which is about five miles long, is dangerous, because the hills and rocks serve as a favourable ambush for robbers. Our drivers constantly urged the poor animals on. They were obliged to travel here over hills and rocks quicker than across the most convenient plains. We passed through in safety before darkness came on, and then proceeded more leisurely on our journey.

21st June. Towards 1 in the morning, we came up with the town Karatappa, of which, however, we saw only the walls. A mile beyond this we halted in some stubble fields. The extensive deserts and plains end here, and we entered upon a more cultivated and hilly country.

On the 22nd of June, we halted in the neighbourhood of the town Kuferi.

Nothing favourable can be said of any of the Turkish towns, as they so much resemble each other in wretchedness, that it is a pleasure not to be compelled to enter them. The streets are dirty, the houses built of mud or unburnt bricks, the places of worship unimportant, miserable stalls and coarse goods constitute the bazaars, and the people, dirty and disgusting, are of a rather brown complexion. The women increase their natural ugliness, by dyeing their hair and nails reddish brown with henna, and by tattooing their hands and arms. Even at twenty-five years old, they appear quite faded.

On the 23rd of June, we halted not far from the town of Dus, and took up our resting-place for the day.

In this place, I was struck by the low entrances of the houses; they were scarcely three feet high, so that the people were obliged to crawl rather than walk into them.

On the 25th of June, we came to Daug, where I saw a monument which resembled that of Queen Zobiede in Baghdad. I could not learn what great or holy man was buried under it.

25th June. At 4 this morning we came to the place where our caravan guide lived, a village about a mile from Kerku. His house was situated, with several others, in a large dirty court-yard, which was surrounded by a wall with only one entrance. This court-yard resembled a regular encampment: all the inhabitants slept there; and, besides these, there was no want of mules, horses, and asses. Our animals immediately went to their stalls, and trod so near to the sleepers, that I was quite anxious for their safety; but the animals are cautious, and the people know that, and remain perfectly quiet.

My Arab had been absent three weeks, and now returned only for a very short time; and yet none of his family came out to greet him except an old woman. Even with her, whom I supposed to be his mother, he exchanged no kind of welcome. She merely hobbled about here and there, but gave no help, and might as well have remained where she was lying, as the others.

The houses of the Arabs consist of a single, lofty, spacious apartment, separated into three parts by two partition walls, which do not extend quite across to the front wall. Each of these compartments is about thirty feet in length by nine in breadth, and serves as a dwelling for a family. The light fell through the common door-way and two holes, which were made in the upper part of the front wall. A place was set apart for me in one of these compartments, where I could pass the day.

My attention was first directed to the nature of the relationships between the several members of the family. At first this was very difficult, as it was only towards the very young children that any kind of attachment or love was shown. They appeared to be a common property. At last, however, I succeeded in ascertaining that three related families lived in the house - the patriarch, a married son, and a married daughter.

The patriarch was a handsome, powerful old man, sixty years of age, and the father of my guide, which I had learnt before, as he was one of our travelling party; he was a terrible scold, and wrangled about every trifle; the son seldom contradicted him, and gave way to all that his father wished. The caravan animals belonged, in common, to both, and were driven by themselves, and by a grandson fifteen years old, and some servants. When we had reached the house, the old man did not attend to the animals much, but took his ease and gave his orders. It was easy to see that he was the head of the family.

The first impression of the Arab character is that it is cold and reserved; I never saw either husband and wife, or father and daughter, exchange a friendly word; they said nothing more than was positively necessary. They show far more feeling towards children. They allow them to shout and make as much noise as they like, no one vexes or contradicts them, and every misconduct is overlooked. But as soon as a child is grown up, it becomes his duty to put up with the infirmities of his parents, which he does with respect and patience.

To my great astonishment, I heard the children call their mothers mama or nana, their fathers baba, and their grandmothers ete or eti.

The women lie lazily about during the whole day, and only in the evening exert themselves to make bread. I thought their dress particularly awkward and inconvenient. The sleeves of their shirts were so wide that they stuck out half a yard from the arms; the sleeves of the kaftan were still larger. Whenever they do any work, they are obliged to wind them round their arms, or tie them in a knot behind. Of course they are always coming undone, and causing delay and stoppage of their work. In addition to this, the good folks are not much addicted to cleanliness, and make use of their sleeves for blowing their noses on, as well as for wiping their spoons and plates. Their head coverings are not less inconvenient: they use first a large cloth, twice folded; over this two others are wound, and a fourth is thrown over the whole.

Unfortunately, we stayed here two days. I had a great deal to undergo the first day: all the women of the place flocked round me to stare at the stranger. They first commenced examining my clothes, then wanted to take the turban off my head, and were at last so troublesome, that it was only by force that I could get any rest. I seized one of them sharply by the arm, and turned her out of the door so quickly, that she was overcome before she knew what I was going to do. I signified to the others that I would serve them the same. Perhaps they thought me stronger than I was, for they retired immediately.

I then drew a circle round my place and forbade them to cross it, an injunction they scrupulously attended to.

I had now only to deal with the wife of my guide. She laid siege to me the whole day, coming as near to me as possible, and teasing me to give her some of my things. I gave her a few trifles, for I had not much with me, and she then wanted everything. Fortunately her husband came out of the house just then; I called him and complained of his wife, and at the same time threatened to leave his house, and seek shelter somewhere else, well knowing that the Arabs consider this a great disgrace. He immediately ordered her harshly out, and I at last had peace. I always succeeded in carrying out my own will. I found that energy and boldness have a weight with all people, whether Arabs, Persians, Bedouins, or others.

Towards evening I saw, to my great delight, a cauldron of mutton set on the fire. For eight days I had eaten nothing but bread, cucumber, and some dates; and, therefore, had a great desire for a hot and more nutritious meal. But my appetite was greatly diminished when I saw their style of cookery. The old woman (my guide's mother) threw several handsful of small grain, and a large quantity of onions, into a pan full of water to soften. In about half an hour she put her dirty hands into the water, and mixed the whole together, now and then taking a mouthful, and, after chewing it, spitting it back again into the pan. She then took a dirty rag, and strained off the juice, which she poured over the flesh in the pot.

I had firmly made up my mind not to touch this food; but when it was ready it gave out such an agreeable odour, and my hunger was so great, that I broke my resolution, and remembered how many times I had eaten of food the preparation of which was not a whit cleaner. What was so bad in the present instance was that I had seen the whole process.

The broth was of a bluish black in colour, and with a rather strongly acid taste - both the result of the berries. But it agreed with me very well, and I felt as strong and well as if I had undergone no hardships during my journey from Baghdad.

I hoped soon to have had a similar dainty meal, but the Arab does not live so extravagantly; I was obliged to remain satisfied with bread and some cucumbers, without salt, oil, or vinegar.

26th June. We left the village and passed Kerku. At sunrise, we ascended a small hill, from the summit of which I was astonished by a beautiful prospect: a majestic lofty chain of mountains extended along an enormous valley, and formed the boundary between Kurdistan and Mesopotamia.

In this valley there were the most beautiful flowers, mallows, chrysanthemums, and thistly plants. Among the latter, there was one which frequently occurs in Germany, but not in such richness and magnificence. In many places these thistles cover large spaces of ground. The country people cut them down, and burn them instead of wood, which is here a great luxury, as there are no trees. We saw, today, some herds of gazelles, which ran leaping past us.

On the 27th of June we made our encampment near the miserable little town Attum-Kobri. Before reaching it, we crossed the river Sab (called by the natives Altum-Su, golden water), by two old Roman bridges. I saw several similar bridges in Syria. In both instances they were in good preservation, and will apparently long remain as evidences of the Roman power. Their wide and lofty arches rested upon massive pillars, and the whole was constructed of large square blocks of stone; the ascent of bridges of this kind is so steep that the animals are obliged to scramble up like cats.

On the 28th of June we reached the town of Erbil (formerly Arbela), where, to my great chagrin, we remained until the evening of the following day. This little town, which is fortified, is situated upon an isolated hill in the centre of a valley. We encamped, fortunately, near some houses outside the town, at the foot of the hill. I found a hut, which was tenanted by some men, two donkeys, and a number of fowls. The mistress, for a small acknowledgment, provided me a little place, which at least sheltered me from the burning heat of the sun. Beyond that, I had not the slightest convenience. As this hut, in comparison with the others, was a complete palace, the whole of the neighbours were constantly collected here. From early in the morning till late in the evening, when it is the custom to recline upon the terraces, or before the huts, there was always a large party; one came to gossip, others brought meal with them, and kneaded their bread meanwhile, so as not to miss the conversation. In the background, the children were being washed and freed from vermin, the asses were braying, and the fowls covering everything with dirt. These, altogether, made the stay in this place more unbearable than even hunger and thirst. Still, I must say, to the credit of these people, that they behaved with the greatest propriety towards me, although not only women, but a great number of men of the poorest and lowest class, were coming backwards and forwards continually; even the women here left me in quiet.

In the evening, some mutton was cooked in a vessel which just before was full of dirty linen steeped in water. This was emptied out, and, without cleaning the pot, it was used to prepare the food in the same manner as at the house of my guide.

On the 30th of June we halted at the village of Sab. We here crossed the great river Sab by means of rafts, the mode of constructing which is certainly very ancient. They consist of leathern bottles, filled with air, fastened together with poles, and covered with planks, reeds, and rushes. Our raft had twenty-eight wind-bags, was seven feet broad, nearly as long, and carried two horse-loads and six men. As our caravan numbered thirty-two loaded animals, the crossing of the river occupied half a day. Four or five of the animals were tied together and drawn over by a man seated across an air-bag. The weaker animals, such as the donkeys, had a bag half filled with air tied on their backs.

The night of the 30th of June, the last of our journey, was one of the most wearisome: we travelled eleven hours. About half-way, we came to the river Hasar, called Gaumil by the Greeks, and made remarkable by the passage of Alexander the Great. It was broad, but not deep, and we therefore rode through. The chain of mountains still continued at the side at some considerable distance, and here and there rose low, sterile hills, or head-lands. The total absence of trees in this part of Mesopotamia is striking: during the last five days I did not see a single one. It is, therefore, easy to imagine that there are many people here who have never seen such a thing. There were spaces of twenty miles in extent, upon which not a single branch was to be seen. However, it is fortunate that there is no scarcity of water; every day we came once or twice to rivers of various sizes.

The town of Mosul did not become visible until we were within about five miles. It is situated upon a slight elevation in a very extensive valley, on the west bank of the Tigris, which is already much narrower here than near Baghdad. We arrived about 7 o'clock in the morning.

I was fresh and active, although during these fifteen days I had only twice had a hot meal - the ink-coloured lamb soup at Kerku and Ervil; although I had been obliged to remain day and night in the same clothes, and had not even an opportunity of once changing my linen, not to say anything of the terrific heat, the continual riding, and other fatigues.

I first dismounted at the caravansary, and then procured a guide to the English Vice-consul, Mr. Rassam, who had already prepared a room for me, as he had been previously informed of my coming by a letter from Major Rawlinson, at Baghdad.

I first visited the town, which, however, does not present any very remarkable features. It is surrounded by fortified works, and contains 25,000 inhabitants, among which there are scarcely twelve Europeans. The bazaars are extensive, but not in the least degree handsome; between them lie several coffee-stalls and some chans. I found the entrances to all the houses narrow, low, and furnished with strong gates. These gates are relics of former times, when the people were always in danger from the attacks of enemies. In the interiors, there are very beautiful court-yards, and lofty, airy rooms, with handsome entrances and bow-windows. The doors and window-frames, the stairs and walls of the ground-floor rooms, are generally made of marble; though the marble which is used for these purposes is not very fine, yet it still looks better than brick walls. The quarry lies close to the town.

Here also the hot part of the day is passed in the sardabs. The heat is most terrible in the month of July, when the burning simoom not unfrequently sweeps over the town. During my short stay at Mosul, several people died very suddenly; these deaths were ascribed to the heat. Even the sardabs do not shelter people from continual perspiration, as the temperature rises as high as 97 degrees 25' Fah.

The birds also suffer much from the heat: they open their beaks wide, and stretch their wings out far from their bodies.

The inhabitants suffer severely in their eyes; but the Aleppo boils are not so common as in Baghdad, and strangers are not subject to them.

I found the heat very oppressive, but in other respects was very well, especially as regards my appetite: I believe that I could have eaten every hour of the day. Probably this was in consequence of the hard diet which I had been obliged to endure on my journey.

The principal thing worth seeing at Mosul is the palace, about half a mile from the town. It consists of several buildings and gardens, surrounded with walls which it is possible to see over, as they lie lower than the town. It presents a very good appearance from a distance, but loses on nearer approach. In the gardens stand beautiful groups of trees, which are the more valuable as they are the only ones in the whole neighbourhood.

During my stay at Mosul, a large number of Turkish troops marched through. The Pasha rode out a short distance to receive them, and then returned to the town at the head of the foot regiments. The cavalry remained behind, and encamped in tents along the banks of the Tigris. I found these troops incomparably better clothed and equipped than those which I had seen, in 1842, at Constantinople. Their uniform consisted of white trousers, blue cloth spencers, with red facings, good shoes, and fez.

As soon as I was in some degree recovered from the fatigue of my late journey, I requested my amiable host to furnish me with a servant who should conduct me to the ruins of Nineveh; but instead of a servant, the sister of Mrs. Rassam and a Mr. Ross accompanied me. One morning we visited the nearest ruins on the other side of the Tigris, at the village Nebbi Yunus opposite the town; and, on another day, those called Tel-Nimroud, which are situated at a greater distance, about eighteen miles down the river.

According to Strabo, Nineveh was still larger than Babylon. He represents it as having been the largest city in the world. The journey round it occupied three days. The walls were a hundred feet high, broad enough for three chariots abreast, and defended by fifteen hundred towers. The same authority states that the Assyrian king Ninus was the founder, about 2,200 years before the birth of Christ.

The whole is now covered with earth, and it is only when the peasants are ploughing, that fragments of brick or marble are here and there turned up. Long ranges of mounds, more or less high, extending over the immeasurable plain on the left bank of the Tigris, are known to cover the remains of this town.

In the year 1846, the Trustees of the British Museum sent the erudite antiquarian, Mr. Layard, to undertake the excavations. It was the first attempt that had ever been made, and was very successful. {268}

Several excavations were made in the hills near Nebbi Yunus, and apartments were soon reached whose walls were covered with marble slabs wrought in relief. These represented kings with crowns and jewels, deities with large wings, warriors with arms and shields, the storming of fortifications, triumphal processions, and hunting parties, etc. They were unfortunately deficient in correct drawing, proportions, or perspective; the mounds and fortifications were scarcely three times as high as the besiegers; the fields reached to the clouds; the trees and lotus flowers could scarcely be distinguished from each other; and the heads of men and animals were all alike, and only in profile. On many of the walls were found those wedge-shaped characters, or letters, which constitute what are called cuneiform inscriptions, and are found only on Persian and Babylonian monuments.

Among all the rooms and apartments which were brought to light, there was only one in which the walls were covered with fine cement and painted; but, notwithstanding the greatest care, it was not possible to preserve this wall. When it came in contact with the air, the cement cracked and fell off. The marble also is partially converted into lime, or otherwise injured, in consequence of the terrible conflagration which laid the city in ruins. The bricks fall to pieces when they are dug out.

From the number of handsome apartments, the abundance of marble, and the paintings and inscriptions upon it, the inference is drawn that this spot contains the ruins of a royal palace.

A considerable quantity of marble slabs, with reliefs and cuneiform inscriptions, were carefully detached from the walls and sent to England. When I was at Bassora, a whole cargo of similar remains lay near the Tigris, and among others a sphynx.

On our return we visited the village Nebbi Yunus, which is situated on a slight eminence near the ruins. It is remarkable only on account of a small mosque, which contains the ashes of the prophet Jonas, and to which thousands of devotees make annual pilgrimages.

During this excursion we passed a number of fields, in which the people were engaged in separating the corn from the straw in a very peculiar manner. For this purpose, a machine was employed, consisting of two wooden tubs, between which was fastened a roller, with from eight to twelve long, broad, and blunt knives or hatchets. This was drawn by two horses or oxen over the bundles of corn laid on the ground, until the whole of the corn was separated from the straw. It was then thrown up into the air by means of shovels, so that the chaff might be separated from the grain by the wind.

We finally visited the sulphur springs, which lie close to the walls of Mosul. They are not warm, but appear to contain a large quantity of sulphur, as the smell is apparent at a considerable distance. These springs rise in natural basins, which are surrounded by walls eight feet in height. Every one is allowed to bathe there without any charge, for people are not so niggardly and sparing of nature's gifts as in Europe. Certain hours are set apart for women, and others for the men.

On the following day we rode to the Mosque Elkosch, near the town. Noah's son Shem has found a resting-place here. We were not allowed to enter this mosque, but certainly did not lose much by that, as all these monuments are alike, and are not remarkable either for architecture or ornament.

The Nineveh excavations are carried on most extensively at Tel-Timroud, a district where the mounds of earth are the most numerous. Tel-Nimroud is situated about eighteen miles from Mosul down the Tigris.

We took our seats one moonlight evening upon a raft, and glided down between the dull banks of the Tigris. After seven hours, we landed, about 1 o'clock in the morning, at a poor village, bearing the high sounding name Nimroud. Some of the inhabitants, who were sleeping before their huts, made us a fire and some coffee, and we then laid down till daybreak upon some rugs we had brought with us.

At daybreak we took horses (of which there are plenty in every village), and rode to the excavations, about a mile from Nimroud. We found here a great number of places which had been dug up, or rather, uncovered mounds of earth, but not, as at Herculaneum, whole houses, streets, squares, indeed, half a town. Nothing beyond separate rooms has been brought to light here, or at the utmost, three or four adjoining ones, the exterior walls of which are not, in any case, separated from the earth, and have neither windows nor doors visible.

The objects which have been discovered exactly resemble those in the neighbourhood of Mosul, but occur in greater numbers. Besides these, I saw several idols and sphynxes in stone. The former represented animals with human heads; their size was gigantic - about that of an elephant. Four of these statues have been found, two of which were, however, considerably damaged. The others were not indeed in very good preservation, although sufficiently so to show that the sculptors did not particularly excel in their profession. The sphynxes were small, and had unfortunately suffered more damage than the bulls.

Shortly before my arrival, an obelisk of inconsiderable height, a small and uninjured sphynx, together with other remains, had been sent to England.

The excavations near Tel-Nimroud have been discontinued about a year, and Mr. Layard has been recalled to London. An order was afterwards given to cover in the places which had been dug open, as the wandering Arabs had begun to do a great deal of injury. When I visited the spot, some places were already covered in, but the greater part remained open.

The excavations near Nebbi Yunus are still being carried on. An annual grant is made by the British government for this purpose.

The English resident at Baghdad, Major Rawlinson, had made himself perfectly master of the cuneiform character. He reads the inscriptions with ease, and many of the translations are the results of his labours.

We returned to Mosul on horseback in five hours and a half. The power of endurance of the Arabian horses is almost incredible. They were allowed only a quarter of an hour's rest in Mosul, where they had nothing but water, and then travelled the eighteen miles back again during the hottest part of the day. Mr. Ross told me that even this was not equal to the work done by the post horses: the stations for these are from forty-eight to seventy-two miles distant from each other. It is possible to travel from Mosul by Tokat to Constantinople in this way. The best Arabian horses are found round Baghdad and Mosul.

An agent of the Queen of Spain had just purchased a stud of twelve magnificent horses (eight mares and four stallions), the dearest of which had cost on the spot 150 pounds sterling. They stood in Mr. Rassam's stable. Their handsome, long, slender heads, their sparkling eyes, slight bodies, and their small delicately formed feet, would have filled any admirer of horses with delight.

I could now venture, not, indeed, without considerable risk, although with the possibility of some insult, upon the desired journey into Persia. I sought a caravan to Tebris. Unfortunately, I could not find one which went direct there, and I was, therefore, compelled to make this journey in separate stages, a circumstance which was so much the worse for me, as I was told that I should not find any Europeans on the way.

Nevertheless I took the chance. Mr. Rassam arranged for me the journey as far as Ravandus, and furnished me with a letter of recommendation to one of the natives there. I wrote out a small lexicon of Arabian and Persian words, and took leave of this hospitable family at sunset, on the 8th of July. I started on this journey with some feelings of anxiety, and scarcely dared to hope for a fortunate termination. On that account I sent my papers and manuscripts from here to Europe, so that in case I was robbed or murdered my diary would at least come into the hands of my sons. {270}