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without the fish of their gulf the inhab- | by far the most conspicuous building itants would inevitably starve. They in the town. eat it fresh, of course ; they make Bushire is a truly horrible place, stock-fish, which renders their bazaars built at the edge of a spit of sand runalunost insufferable ; they collect sea- ning out into the Gulf; its population weeds for food ; they niix fish-bones is very mongrel, Arabs, Persians, Hinwith bruised date-stones, and boil them doos all hopelessly down for their cattle ; the floors of thereiv. It has an English bank. their bamboo huts are covered with What with its Euglish Residency, Entiny helix shells, and the favorite game glish bank, English telegraph, English of men and boys is to spin a whelk- steamers' agents, and English men-ofshell like our top, and I really believe war, Bushire is as English as it could that this must have been the original be wished. Lawn tennis may be seen pattern from which our domestic toy upon its quays, ladies may play and was made, a pattern brought home by ladies may ride without incurring more those wonderful Portuguese of old. than an ordinary amount of staring Who knows ? They cover their dag- from the Moslems. It is confidently gers and swords with shagreen; the asserted that if the Karoún route is doorposts of their huts are often made opened out into the heart of Persia, with whales' teeth ; in fact, without Bushire will cease to be the seat of our the fish of their gulf these modern resident, and the capital of our Persian icthyopbagi would soon perish. Some- Gulf Protectorate will be removed to where about here is the gulf which Fao or some other spot which has not Ptolemy in his map puts down as the yet got a name. If that time ever “Ichthyophagorum Sinus," and I comes, and Bushire ceases to be the think, from the above facts, it would chief outlet for the Persian caravan not be considered a misnomer even in trade, the place will not long survive, these latter days.
for it has no pretensions whatsoever to Linga is somewhat of an important call itself a harbor ; big steamers have place, being very like Bunder Abbas to anchor at least two miles off land when seen from the sea, but, as it is outside a sand bar, and if the sea is only an open roadstead, it is not likely very rough landing is next to imposever to be a place of any great impor-sible. Bushire chances to be the outtapce. This was until quite lately the let for the roads across the Kotals, and capital of an independent Arab sheikh- if it ceases to be that its reason for exdom, but now it is under the immediate istence will cease also. control of Persia. A little before reach- Let us now visit another point of ing Bushire the Mund River falls into interest in the Persian Gulf, where the sea ; it has been identified as the another petty monarch rules under Sittakos mentioned by Nearchus in his British protection, a spot which, if old voyage, a river which rises near Shi- Portuguese traditions go for anything, raz, and fertilizes several valleys in the is destined to become once more a place Persian Kotals. Bushire is, of course, of importance. This is the Bahrein the capital of the English protectorate Islands off the northern coast of Arain the Persian Gulf. Here our resi- bia, concerning which Albuquerque dent lives, who may be styled King of wrote to his sovereign, “ with Ormuz the Gulf, and before whom all the and the Bahrein Islands in Portuguese petty potentates along its shores, be hands, the trade of the Persian Gulf they on the Arabian or Persian side, will be practically ours." In a conbow down. He has his steam yacht sular report written a few years ago, and his steam launch provided for him, Major Durand says pretty much the a British man-of-war is appointed to be same thing, and the commercial value always in readiness to do his bidding, of these islands is further attested by and the British Residency, with its the Phænician remains found thereon. flagstaff and extensive compounds, is This group is now governed by a
LIVING AGE. VOL. LXXXIV. 4328
sheikh of the Kaleefah family, a family thousand heads of families make their of the Uttuli tribe of Bedouins which livelihood by pearl-fishing during four once held sway over a large portion of months of the year, and now that north-eastern Arabia, known as El piracy has been abolished under a BritHasa, before the Turks turned them ish Protectorate, they cannot continue out of it and established their own their old courses of plunder and piracy, feeble government there. Turkey, too, and cases of dispute between the tribes aspired to the lordship of the Bahrein who own the pearl-banks are usually Islands not so many years ago, but referred to the British resident, whose H.M.S. Osprey appeared on the scene decision is final. and drove the Turks away and sent The question of the English Protecinto exile in India such members of the torate in the Gulf will greatly affect El Kaleefah family as objected to our the pearl-fishery, and the banks ought protectorate. Sheikh Esau bin Ali El to be a source of considerable wealth to Kaleefah now occupies the throne of merchants, if systematically worked. the Bahrein Islands under British pro- The pearl-oyster is found in all the tection.
waters from Rao Mussendom to the The two low-lying islands, which are head of the Gulf, but on the Persian the principal ones of the little group, side there are no known banks of look like moss floating on the waters as value. They vary in distance from one you approach, with their feathery palm to ninety miles from the low-lying groves relieving the arid line of desert shore of “ Araby the Blest,” but the of which these islands are chiefly com- deep-sea banks are not so much fished posed. The shallow seas around the till the “Shemal” or nor'-westers of group are the happy hunting-ground of June have spent their force. The the pearl-fishers and the wealth of three seasons for fishing are known as Bahrein. These fisheries are as old as, “the spring fishing” in the shallow and probably older than, the “Peri- water, “the summer fishing” in the plus” of Nearchus. A pearl-fishery in deep waters, and “ the winter fishing," the Persian Gulf is thus mentioned by conducted principally by wading in the Isidorus of Charas, who probably lived shoals. under the Roman emperors.
66 In the Manameh is the commercial capital Persian Sea is a certain island where of the sheikhdom of Bahrien. It is, abundance of the pearl-oyster is to be like most of these places on the Gulf, found. Wherefore rafts of reeds are just a streak of low white houses and stationed around the island, from off bamboo huts, about two miles along the which the divers jump into the sea." shore. It is most unhealthy, and out of Reed skiffs are still in use for the same the spongy, sandy soil oozes brackisla purpose.
water with dangerous miasmatic effects Albuquerque frequently mentions in the summer heats. these fisheries in his letters, and they Sheikh Esau usually resides at a palare acknowledged to produce pearls ace he has on the Island of Moharrek, superior even to those of Ceylon. The and in the winter time this may be said inhabitants are exc
xceedingly jealous of to be the seat of government. As we any European interference with their came well armed with introductions monopoly. One merchant, who came from the British resident at Bushire, with a diving apparatus and talked of a we naturally received a very hearty company, they promptly assassinated. welcome from Sheikh Esau and his The nigger slaves who do the diving courtiers. Nothing could exceed their naturally resent the use of a machine, kindness during our fortnight's stay on which would decrease the value of their the islands. They brought us presents labor; the rope-loop, the stone, and of food, of their quaint, long-beaked the horn for the nose, are all the para- coffee - pots, of their silver - studded phernalia they require, It has been bowls, of their old-world weapons, of intimated that in the Gulf thirty-five the camel's skin bucklers, and other
queer things still in use among them, islands have had a value peculiarly the only stipulation being that we their own. A vast sea of tumuli tells should speak a good word for them to of the existence here of a pre-historic the British resident at Bushire, and race. These we ascertained, by excatell him how kind they had been to us, vation and from the things we found in and would continue to be to any En- them, to be Phænician, confirming the glishman who might chance to put his story of the father of history and other foot on their islands.
classical writers, who asserted that the Bahrein proper is an island twenty- Phænicians originally hailed from here. nine miles in length by twelve at its Next we have the Arab. occupation,.. widest point. Moharrek is only five and the traces of many rich and decomiles long, like a narrow horseshoe. rated buildings of the date of the SelThere are a few other insiguificant jukian power. Then we come to later islets with villages thereon. Alto-days, and find the Portuguese here, gether there are about fifty villages with a fort as strong as any in the Perscattered over all of them. Those re- sian Gulf, and Albuquerque's appreciamote from the coast are chiefly of the tion of the value of the islands. Now Persian sect of Mohammedans, namely, we have the English Protectorate, and Shiites, or followers of Ali, pointing several suggestions are afloat concernto Persian occupation in earlier days. ing the future commercial value of the At the coast they are mostly Sonni and islands. One would appear to be in Wababi ; this latter virulent sect of abeyance for a period, namely, that the Puritans having had great influence Bahrein should be the Cyprus of the here. On the Bahrein there are, how- Persian Gulf, the island fortress with ever, far more signs of art than we saw which to protect the eastern terminus at Muscat. Ogival arches with fret- of the Euphrates Valley Railway. Anwork patterns, balconies, terraces, and other is for the development of the latticed windows relieve the eye some- pearl-fisheries in English hands, which what, and the mosques have minarets, appears to be more likely to reach a though very small ones, dwarfed as it successful issue. were by the bigoted influence of the If the Persian Gulf should ever again Wahabi. I take it that El Hasa infu- rise to commercial importance and be, ence is decorative, whilst that of the as it once was, the highroad between Wahabi of Nejd is rigidly against any- the East and West, these islands must thing of the kind. Both these influ- become important, for the reason that ences have met on Bahrein with the the sea between them and the mainland above-inentioned results. Everything is too shallow for biy vessels to apof merit iu Bahrein comes, they say, proach, and consequently goods would from El Hasa. Thiese manufactures have to be unshipped to smaller craft are as yet an undeveloped source of at the islands, just as it was in ancient joy for the collector, such as their cof-days, when Gerrha, now Kateef, was fee-pots, their inlaid bowls, and their the starting point for the great caravan old-world saddles and weapons.
road across Arabia. It is as well, takThe big island is as flat as a pancake, ing these points into consideration, except in the centre, where are rising that the islands should remain under rocky hills, rejoicing in the high-sound- British protection. ing name of the Mountains of Mist,
J. THEODORE BENT. but not exceeding four hundred feet in altitude. Altogether a
Altogether a more dreary, uninteresting spot could not be imagined than Bahrein looked at from the
From The New Review. top of the elevation. Just a patch of A VISIT TO THE MONASTERIES OF CRETE. desert, relieved by palm groves where THERE are few more picturesque there is irrigation and water, set in the spots than the quay of the little port of midst of the sea.
Yet in all ages these Canea, the seat of the government of
Crete. Only small craft can get inside stick, and tile, and refuse heap accumu.
sea-wall, and when the north wind lating at the bottom. is strong large vessels do not even ven- Soon after sunrise, one beautiful Deture to lie in the roadstead outside, butcember morning, mild as a Northern make the safer ancliorage of Suda Bay, April day, I started from Canea for the On the quay there is always a busy monasteries of the Akrotiri, between scene; Mussulmans and Christians, two wild- looking but good - natured clad alike in the loose blue knicker- zaptiehs, whom the governor had inbockers of the islander and the dis- sisted on providing as escort. The tiuctive Cretan yellow boots, with road, bordered with aloes and those bright red sash and rush hat or fez, are juicy cactus plants which manage to busy loading and unloading the small thrive in a meagre soil, followed the boats which fetch and carry from the windiugs of the shore, skirting the steamer lying outside the mole ; stal hive-shaped mud and wattle huts of a wart negroes, like figures of bronze, colony of fellaheen established here by dressed in gaudy rags, stoop under Mehemet Ali during his tenancy of the heavy sacks and bales ; the Turkish island, and after about a mile we customs officials look on, fingering reached the village of Chalepa (protheir strings of beads, or rolling ciga- nounced Halepa) the residence of the rettes. All round the semi-circle in the consuls, and of all the Europeans of dazzling. sunlight rise pink and white Canea. From here there is a fine view and yellow houses, with peeling plaster, of the town, with its minarets gleaming and the trellised windows of the against the purple of the western mounwomen's rooms, and here and there a tain ranges, and its golden linės of palm-tree overtops the courtyard en-rampart built out into the blue water. closure. Inside the sea-wall lie two or The name of the village, which dethree English brigs that have put in for pends for water exclusively on what a cargo of olive oil, and the graceful can be saved in cisterns during the caïques are buoyed in a line near the rainy season, is due to the barren naold Venetian arches, where once they ture of the soil, for here begins the docked the Adrian galleys ; behind the stony desert which, stretching eastward l'oofs : rise the glittering white mina- for several miles, terminates in the rets ; on either side yellow fortress Akrotiri, a craggy, mountainous peni'amparts close in the little bay, and insula which forms an arm of Suda beyond, overtopping all, are the lofty Bay. But it must not be imagined that peaks of the White Mountains, now this waste land, where the flat rock is deep in snow, and doubly justifying forever showing through the thin surthieir name. Every little ee shop face layer of arid yellow soil, is in any. round the port is filled with a noisy way characteristic of Crete, the northcompany ; groups are chatting and dis- ern shore of which, gifted with a perputing ; a fish stall at the water's edge fect climate and sheltered from the is heaped up high with small red mul- torrid south winds of summer by its let and cuttle-fish, and buyers are central mountain spine, was intended cheapening the ware with a torrent by nature for a paradise, which the of passionate eloquence — picturesque passions of men have striven, alas, not dirt and decadence, and a seething hum altogether vainly, to unmake. There of life, for within the confining for- are no finer olive groves than those tress walls a large population, chiefly that border the slopes of the White composed of Mussulmans, is closely Mountains and of Ida, there are garcrowded together, and they do not dens where unrivalled oranges sweeten, willingly spread outside the limits of rich lands to cultivate, veins of ore in the Rastro, while beneath into the the hills, and scenes of beauty unsurmipiature port, in spite of all that pol- passed in all these Southern seas. lutes it, the waters of the Ægean roll After several hours' riding up and pellucid and clear, revealing every down over the undulating rock path,
with the jagged peaks of the Akrotiri | rior, is absent visiting an outlying rising before us like a stony giant's metokhos or farm, but will be back jucrown sheer from the opalescent sea, a the evening; he himself was the last green and fertile patch becomes visible hegoumenos, for this office is filled by in the hollow at the inland foot of the election among the monks for a term of mountain ; and almost suddenly we four years. My Greek is too classie enter a green and pleasant tract, pass- and his too Cretan for conversation to ing under a magnificent olive grove. flow with ease; however, we manage It is a solitary oasis in the wilderness, to understand one another in essentials, and in the midst of the silver-waving and his offer of hospitality for the olives, whose beauty grows upon one night is accepted ; so I am allowed to with a sort of spiritual charm as one defer an inspection of the building until dwells longer in the midst of them, after my return from exploring the rise the white walls of the Monastery Akrotiri itself, and after a brief halt of Hagia Triadha (Holy Trinity). A we set off once more, leaving the green few more hundred yards, and we turn oasis, and ascending a steep, roughi into a magnificent cypress avenue, and path, which winds up between the bare my pony, anticipating his journey's rocks that form the peninsula. Goats end, develops a capacity I had hitlerto and mountain sheep spring from ledge been unable to discover, by dashing to ledge in search of such scanty vegeinto a gallop, to stop almost dead be- tation as clings to crannies shelterel fore the high steps which lead up to from the north wind; a little thyme the walled quadrangle. For the Cretan grows here, and squills, low, lentisk monasteries, some forty in number, are bushes and holly oak, but one wonders, all calculated to serve as strongholds what pasture they can in disturbed times, and are constructed these barren crags ; however, - the with lofty walls surrounding an oblong young kids bleat and skip merrily court, capable of holding all the shep-round the serious-faced goats, which herds and locks of the surrounding stare at our unwonted iutrusion, ani yillages, Beneath, outside, are vaults the shepherd boys in their harmonious for the olive presses, for oil is the mon. rags sit contentedly in the sun, Folastery's chief wealth, and all around lowing the ascent of a winding hollie sepia-colored heaps of acrid-scented low for about an hour through the olive refuse. As I mount the steps the rocky cliffs, we arrive at the small moupicturesque figure of a monk descends astery of St. John, standing in full to welcome me, in long dark brown sight of the sea, a humbler and less caftan, with a blue sash round his prosperous building, but constructed in waist and his thick, uncut black hair the same form, with a view, to defence, gathered up into the brimless stove-pipe as Hagia Triadha. A working brother hat worn by the Greek priesthood. He in long blue tunic, with thick black leads the way into the court yellowed hair hanging down, his back in two unez by time to a rich golden hue, with inviting twists surmounted by a greasy fruit-laden orange-trees and rosemary skull-cap, comes out to meet me, smilbushes, with terraces and cloistered ing through his beard from ear to ear galleries surmounting the walls. In and crossing his hands on his breast as the centre stands the church, bearing he bows. Within, the little courtyarıl an inscription recording its foundation is picturesque enough, and the church
a Venetian, Zolcaroni, in old Cath- in its midst displays evidence of more olic days, and in front of the church ambitious architectural pretensions, the well. Without delay the usual begun but never completed, for in Eastern hospitality is set before me front, to the height of some eight or sweetmeats and water, the small cup ten feet, rise the beginnings of a porch, of coffee, and glass of raki or wine- or pronaos, with ornamented columns spirit of the country. My entertainer of yellowish stone and carved screen tells me that the hegoumenos or supe-l work, evidently of Venetian origin,