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when assembled, astonished and confounded the slowly moving Ottoman.(2) At this time, therefore, all the minor towns along the line of the western banks of the Euphrates, were in a constant state of alarm and apprehension ; many of them were plundered, and the pasturages in the neighbourhood of the others were not safe for the flocks of the inhabitants, so that some of the weakest of these towns were said to have purchased their security by secret submission and tribute to Saoud, which the government of Bagdad found it more convenient to wink at than to resist.

In consequence of the paçha's ill behaviour to the British factory at Bassora, the establishment was, early in the year 1792, removed from Bassora to the town of Grain, in the hope that the effects produced by this measure on the trade of that city might bring the pacha to an eligible arrangement of a tedious dispute; a dispute which intrigue on the part of the Jews on the one hand, and the bad faith of the Turks on the other, had carried to a point far beyond its real consequence.(3) To this town, as a member of that factory, I accompanied the persons composing it; and there arose no small addition to the other inconveniences which we suffered at that place, in the almost daily alarm which the town experienced from the appearance or reported appearance of detachments of Saoud's troops. It is true that our personal danger was but small, for we had the sea open to us, and craft

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at hand on which we might embark; but it was provoking, after the exhaustion of a night sleepless from the intense heat, to be disturbed from the doze which naturally came on, as the breeze towards the morning became cool, by the absence of the sun, and by the slight dews which fell in the night. But this was not the worst; the supply of water which we obtained was infamously bad in quality, being at once salt, sweet, and bitter; besides even this, it was often stinted and often precarious, from the water-carriers either seeing or imagining that they saw a Wahauby detachment approach the wells from which it was drawn.

These wells lie about a mile distant from Grain, and at that time no well within the city afforded water which could be applied to culinary purposes without inconvenience, nor to ablution without sufferance, and the thermometer of Farenheit ranged between 98 and 110.

To compensate for these grievances, we had to amuse us, the strange, and to us, comical scenes that passed when these alarms took place. The shaik of Grain was a most venerable old man, of commanding figure, and almost adored by the inhabitants of the town, for he was more to them as a father than a governor. He was respected by the Turks, and much esteemed even by those Arabs who had submitted to Saoud: but, as Grain at that time was nearly the only port on the western side of the Gulph of Persia, which had not

submitted to Saoud, he became anxious either to bring its shaik to terms, or to conquer him. The walls of Grain, which were only of mud, and which, in the rainy season, to the great terror of the inhabitants, frequently crumbled down in large breaches, were, nevertheless, beheld and accounted by the Wahaubys as impregnable ramparts; and Saoud's most rational hope of success wasinterrupting the supply of one of the most necessary

articles to sustain human life-i.e.water. The most common periods of alarm were either a little before the break of day, or a little before the setting of the sun; then those who were placed in advance towards the wells fell back, and came running into town with the direful account of the appearance of the enemy. The women immediately appeared in their veils on the house tops, and sent forth the well known Arab and eastern cry of “ Leily-Leily!” used both on occasions of rejoicing and alarm ; on which the whole town assembled under their venerable shaik to meet their foe. Sometimes no foe appeared, and sometimes, with our glasses, we could perceive from ten to twenty persons about the wells; when this was the case, each party advancing within a certain distance of the other, two or three valiant men on each side sat down, very, very far apart from each other, and exchanged shots with their long matchlocks; and when, as it always seemed to me, they had rather amused than annoyed one

another with this exercise, either the morning broke or the evening closed, and to us the fun ceased; and if this happened in the morning, a supply of water was afterwards obtained. But upon one glorious day, things wore a different and a new aspect. About five hundred of the enemy really appeared on the horizon of the desert, and bearing towards the town. The old shaik and the inhabitants were soon at their post; and what was better, they bore with them a piece of ordnance, taken from one of the shaik’s vessels. In this formidable machine every one most confidently put his trust and hopes of safety; nor did it desert us at our utmost need. The appearance of the foe, armed with terrible long spears, and mounted on spirited horses, put the courage of many to a severe test, for if their ally, the gun, failed to do his part, the Grainers might be charged and cut to pieces before they could again bring it to act ; nor, considering the condition of the instrument, did it seem very improbable that when discharged, it might, by bursting, shower more mischief on its friends than its enemies. Our excellent shaik, however, like a skilful commander, determined to make use of his ally as soon as possible; so when the combatants approached within about half a mile of each other, off went the cannon, and away went the shot, knocking up the dust on the desert to within a few yards of the foe; who, instead of charging, seemed to remain some minutes either

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in astonishment or in council, and then moved off. The troops on their return to the town were greeted by the fair inhabitants with acclamations and songs of victory, and I have no doubt that the brilliant success of that day lives still in the memory and the songs of the women and children of Grain.

The factory was accompanied to Grain, by a small guard of sepoys, which was sometimes exercised by their native officer, just without the walls of the town, and the shaik having formed an idea that such a body of men must be invincible, earnestly pressed that they might be led into the field whenever danger occurred, but we had no wish to cover ourselves with glory on such an occasion. Indeed, it was absolutely necessary, for the safety of our public dispatches, which were then, transmitted across the desert, to and from Aleppo, that the factory should be on good terms with Saoud.4 Mr. Latouche, when resident at Bassora, had, from time to time, sent Saoud small presents, which he expressed satisfaction in receiving; and Mr. Manesty and myself continued this custom ; so that our packets were seldom interfered with: and if the bearers were now and then detained, the packets always ultimately reached us with unbroken seals ; and thus a good understanding had hitherto been preserved between the sectary and the factory. I had afterwards good reason to know, that Saoud was anxious that this

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