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yards, or, as the roofs of houses in the Eaft are flat, upon the houfe-tops, expofed to the open air, from the end of May, to the middle of September, without fuffering any inconvenience from it. The feverity of winter lafts but forty days, from the 12th of December to the 20th of January, during which time the air is exceffively piercing.
As February advances, the fields, which were partly green before, now, by the fpringing up of the later grain, become entirely covered with an agreeable verdure; and tho' the trees continue in their leaflefs wintry ftate, till the end of this month, or the beginning of March, yet the almond, ⚫ when lateft, being in bloffom before the middle of February, ⚫ and quickly fucceeded by the apricot, peach, &c. gives the gardens an agreeable appearance. The fpring now becomes • extremely pleasant, and has no defect but its short duration; for as March brings it on with rapidity, fo April advances with like hafte towards fummer, and the gay livery that the fields wore in those two months, and indeed most of the winter, fades before the middle of May; and before the end of this month the whole country puts on fo parched and barren an aspect, that one would scarce think it was capable ⚫ of producing any thing but the very few robuft plants which • ftill have vigour enough to refift the extreme heats. From this time not fo much as one refreshing shower falls, and fcarce a friendly cloud appears to fhelter us from the exceffive heat of the fun, till about the middle of September, ⚫ when generally a little rain falling, either in Aleppo, or in the neighbourhood, refreshes the air greatly.
• From these first rains till the fecond, an interval of at • least between twenty and thirty days, the weather is temperate, ferene, and extremely delightful; and if the rains ⚫ have been at all plentiful, tho' but of a few hours duration, ⚫ the country foon affumes a new face; after the fecond rains the weather becomes variable, and winter approaches by degrees, not with fo fwift a pace as the fummer, for the greater part of the trees retain their leaves till the middle of November; the most delicate never make fires till about the end of this month, and some pass the whole winter • without them.'
From the 16th to the 48th page, our Author is employed in giving his readers an account of the vegetable productions near Aleppo. Some of the most curious plants are engraved from the drawings of the ingenious Mr. Ehret: feveral forts of Qnobrychis, Thlapfi, an Allium fylveftre, with large white
flowers; Lotus Græca maritima folio glaucio et velut argenteo tragacantha; a particular species of the ilex; two forts of phlomis.
There are no metals found near Aleppo, nor, as far as our Author knows, in all Syria. They have no clay fit for the potter's ufe, but what is brought from Damafcus and Sidon. Within a journey of fix hours from Aleppo, is found a fort of fuller's earth, which the inhabitants ufe in bathing inftead of foap, and for cleanfing women's hair; for which reason it is prepared with rofe-leaves, and kept in balls. The natives call it babyloon. They have a white gritty ftone in great plenty about the town, which being eafily cut, and growing hard afterwards, ferves them for common buildings. For pillars and pavements to their best edifices, they make use of a yellow marble, the produce of their country, and which admits of a pretty good polifh. By rubbing this marble with oil, and putting it into an oven, moderately heated, for fome hours, it becomes red. The partition walls they build of a coarse chalk, of which they have great plenty to the northward of the city, as they have of limeftone: and not far from Aleppo is found, but in fmall quantities, the gypfum, of which is made plaifter of Paris, for cementing water-pipes, and other purposes, in their best buildings. About eighteen miles from the city is a large plain, called by the English, the Valley of Salt, forming a natural bafon, which keeps the rains as they defcend from low rocky hills, that inclose it. The water foon evaporates, and leaves a cake of falt about half an inch thick. In Auguft it is gathered, and is good in quality, and for quantity fufficient to fupply all that part of the country.
After this follows an account of animals, of beafts, birds, and fishes, with fome copper-plates of such as are more curious and uncommon.
Page 77, Dr. Ruffel difcourfes of the inhabitants of Aleppo, whofe number he computes to be about 235,000, of whom 200,000 are Turks, 30,000 Chriftians, 5000 Jews.
The people in general are of a middle ftature, rather lean. than fat, indifferently well made, but not either vigorous or active. Thofe of the city are of a fair complection; but the peasants, and fuch as are obliged to be much abroad in the fun, are fwarthy. Their hair is commonly black, or of a dark chefnut colour; and it is very rare to fee any other than black eyes amongst them. Both fexes are tolerably handfome, when young; but the beard foon disfigures the men; ' and
and the women, as they come early to maturity *, fade • also as foon, and in general look old by the time they reach thirty. The greater part of the women are married from the age of fourteen to eighteen, and often fooner. The • tender paffion of love can have very little fhare in pró⚫moting matrimony among them, for the young folks never fee one another till the ceremony is performed. A flender • waist, far from being admired, is, on the contrary, rather • looked on as a deformity in the ladies of this country; fo ⚫ that they do all they can to make themselves plump and lufty.
The men are girt very tight round the middle with a fath: The womens girdles are not only very flight and narrow, ⚫ but loosely put on; which, with the warmth of the climate, and frequent use of the bagnio, is probably one principal reason why their labours are much eafier than thofe in Britain; the most delicate being seldom confined above ten or twelve days, and thofe of the villages are rarely hindered from going about their ufual employments the next day. • Women of all conditions fuckle their own children, and sel<dom wean them, till either the mother is again with child, ❝ or they arrive at the age of three, or fometimes four years.
The people of distinction in Aleppo may justly be esteem⚫ed courteous and polite, if allowance is made for that fuperiority which the Mohammedan religion teaches those who • profefs it to affume over all who are of another faith. And this prejudice is obferved to increase among the people, in proportion to their vicinity to Mecha, the natives of Aleppo have ftill a much greater proportion than those of Conftantinople, Smyrna, and other parts, at a greater dif< tance; tho' even here it has greatly declined within these few years, infomuch that feveral bafhaws have conferred many public honours and civilities on the Europeans, that • formerly would have caufed great popular difcontent. As to the common people, an affected gravity, with some share of diffimulation, is too much their characteristic. And tho' <few in the world are more given to harsh language and quarrelling, yet none are lefs guilty of fighting. One can feldom pass a few yards in the street, without being witness to fome noify broil; yet in many years you may perhaps never fee one blow ftruck, except the perfon who gives it is very ⚫ well affured that it will not be returned. But tho' they are fo
*Their M- begin from the age of twelve to fourteen, and continue till forty, fometimes forty-five. In most they retura once in four weeks, and continue from three to feven days.
prone to anger upon the most trifling occafions, yet no peo< ple in the universe can be more calm, when it is their intereft fo to be. This, I am forry to fay it, is but too generally a true representation: but it would be very ungrateful, as well as unjust in me, not to acknowlege, that there are many amongst them, of all fects, who deferve a much better character, and whom I know, from repeated experience, to be ⚫ perfons of the utmost honour and integrity.'
Their ufual bread is of wheat flour, not well fermented, made into flat thin cakes, and eat foon after it is baked. Coffee, without milk or fugar, and made very ftrong, is in great efteem. This, and conferve of red-rofes, acidulated with lemon-juice, and a pipe of tobacco, is their ufual entertainment at a vifit. Opium is not so much used here as at Conftantinople and other places. The practice is not fo general in Turky as is commonly apprehended. There are a great many public bagnios in Aleppo, frequented by people of all fects and conditions. Some few are only for the men, as others are appropriated only to the women; but in general they admit both fexes at different times; men in the forenoon, women in the afternoon.
They have no notion of the benefit of exercise, and if they ride or walk to the gardens once or twice a week, at the proper feafons, it is as much exercise as they chufe to take for diverfion. However many of the people of distinction, and their dependents, are very active on horfeback, and dexterous in darting the jareed, or javelin. Having no coaches, they ride on horseback, with a number of servants walking before them. The ladies, of whatever condition, walk on foot, except when they go long journies, and then they are carried on mules, in a litter clofely covered. The natives go to bed in time and rife early. They fleep in drawers and one or two waistcoats, on a matrafs covered with a sheet, and in winter with a carpet. They fmoak their pipe on this matrafs, and if of rank and fashion, are lulled to fleep by mufic and Arabian tales. In their coffee-houfes, frequented only by the vulgar, is a concert of mufic, a ftory-teller, and in time of Ramadan, a puppet-show. And these are all their public diverfions. Within doors they play at chefs and draughts, and divert themselves with gueffing under which of many coffee-cups a ring is hid. The parties that win, black the faces of their antagonists, and puts fools caps on their heads.
The military mufic of this country confifts of a zumr, ór hautboy, fhorter and fhriller than ours; large drums, trum-' pets, and cymbals. A Vizir Bafhaw has nine of these large
drums, which are beat with a heavy drumftick on the upper end, and with a small switch on the bottom. A Bafhaw of two tails has but eight. Their chamber-mufic consists of a dulcimer, guittar, flute, Arab fiddle, a couple of fmall drums, and the diff, the true tympanum of the antients. It is a hoop with pieces of brafs fixed in it, to make a jingling, over which a piece of parchment is diftended. It is beat with the fingers, and accompanies the voice, which, Dr. Ruffel fays, is the worft of all their mufic, for they bellow fo hideously, that it fpoils what without it would be, in fome degree, har
Page 95, is a representation of a Turkish concert, drawn from the life.
Whatever figure the inhabitants of this country made for merly in literature, at prefent they are very ignorant. There are a great number of colleges, but little taught in them. No branch of phyfic is learned there. There are many practitioners, and well efteemed, but they are chiefly Chriftians, and a few Jews.
P. 100, are two prints, exhibiting the drefs of the men and women of Aleppo. The women black the infide of their eyelids, with a preparation of lead and oil of almonds, called ifmed, and tinge their feet and hands with alhenna, which makes them look of a dirty yellow. Many of them wear a large filver or gold ring, through the external cartilage of their right noftril. The mothers find out wives for their fons. When they think they have found one that will be agreeable, the price to be paid for her is agreed on, and a licence procured from the Kadè. Proxies appointed by the young people attended by feveral of the male relations, meet the Imaum, and he asks the one if he is willing to buy the bride for the fum agreed on, and the other proxy if fatisfied with that sum ? Having answered in the affirmative, the Imaum joins their hands, and the money being paid, the bargain is concluded with a prayer out of the Koran. The money paid for the bride is laid out in furniture for a room, and in cloaths, and jewels, and ornaments for her; whofe father makes fome addition, according to his circumftances, which are fent to the bridegroom's house three days before the wedding. The bride, on the day appointed, is conducted to the bridegroom's house, by her mother and female relations, and each sex make merry in separate apartments, till night, when the bride is brought half way down ftairs, veiled with a piece of red gaufe; and if young, her forhead and cheeks covered with leaf-gold, cut into various forms: the bridegroom meets her, conducts REVIEW, Aug. 1756.