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their place, where their cities and monuments once stood. There was more than enough to excite the astonishment of Abd-ur-rahman, and I seized this opportunity to give him a short lecture upon the advantages of civilisation and of knowledge. I will not pledge myself, however, that my endeavours were attended with as much success as those of some may be who boast of their missions to the East. All I could accomplish was, to give the Arab Sheikh an exalted idea of the wisdom and power of the Franks; which was so far useful to me, that through his means the impression was spread about the country, and was not one of the least effective guarantees for the safety of my property and person.
This night was, of course, looked upon as one of rejoicing. Abd-ur-rahman and his brother dined with me; although, had it not been for the honor and distinction conferred by the privilege of using knives and forks, they would rather have exercised their fingers with the crowds gathered round the wooden platters in the court-yard. Sheep were as usual killed, and boiled or roasted whole; — they formed the essence of all entertainments and public festivities. They had scarcely been devoured before dancing was commenced. There were fortunately relays of musicians; for no human lungs could have furnished the requisite amount of breath. When some were nearly falling from exhaustion, the ranks were recruited by others. And so the Arabs went on until dawn. It was useless to preach moderation, or to entreat for quiet. Advice and remonstrances were received with deafening shouts of the war-cry, and outrageous antics as proofs of gratitude for the entertainment and of ability to resist fatigue.
After passing the night in this fashion, these extraordinary beings, still singing and capering, started for the mound. Everything had been prepared on the previous day for moving the bull, and the men had now only to haul on the ropes. As the sculpture advanced, the rollers left behind were removed to the front, and thus in a short time it reached the end of the trench. There was little difficulty in dragging it down the precipitous side of the mound. When it was within three or four feet of the bottom, sufficient earth was removed from beneath it to admit the cart, upon which the bull itself was then lowered by still further digging away the soil. It was soon ready to be dragged to the river. Buffaloes were first harnessed to the yoke; but, although the men pulled with ropes fastened to the rings attached to the wheels, and to other parts of the cart, the animals, feeling the weight behind them, refused to move. We were compelled, therefore, to take them out; and the Tiyari, in parties of eight, lifted the pole by turns, whilst the Arabs, assisted by the people of Naifa and Nimroud, dragged the cart. The procession was thus formed. I rode first, with the Bairakdar, to point out the road. Then came the musicians, with their drums and fifes, drumming and fifing with might and main. The cart followed, dragged by about three hundred men, all screeching at the top of their voices, and urged on by the Cawasses and superintendents. The procession was closed by the women, who kept up the enthusiasm of the Arabs by their shrill cries. Abd-ur-rahman's horsemen performed divers feats round the group, dashing backwards and forwards, and charging with their spears.
We advanced well enough, although the ground was very heavy, until we reached the ruins of the former village of Nimroud.* The villagers of Assyria dig deep pits to store their corn, barley, and straw for the autumn and winter. These pits generally surround the villages. Being only covered by a light framework of boughs and stakes, plastered over with mud, they become, particularly when half empty, a snare, and a trap to the horseman, who, unless guided by some one acquainted with the localities, is pretty certain to find the hind legs of his horse on a level with its ears, and himself suddenly sprawling in front. The corn-pits around Nimroud had long since been emptied of their stores, and had been concealed by the light
* The village was moved to its present site after the river had gradually receded to the westward, as the inhabitants had been left at a very inconvenient distance from water.
PROCESSION OF THE BULL BENEATH THE MOUND OF NIMROUD sand and dust, which, blown over the plain during summer, soon fill up every hole and crevice. Although I had carefully examined the ground before starting, one of these holes had escaped my notice, and into it two wheels of the cart completely sank. The Arabs pulled and yelled in vain. The ropes broke, but the wheels refused to move. We tried every means to release them, but unsuccessfully. After working until dusk, we were obliged to give up the attempt. I left a party of Arabs to guard the cart and its contents, suspecting that some adventurous Bedouins, attracted by the ropes, and by the mats and felts, with which the sculpture was enveloped, might turn their steps towards the spot during the night. My suspicions did not prove unfounded ; for I had scarcely got into bed before the whole village was thrown into commotion by the reports of fire-arms and the war-cry of the Jebours. Hastening to the scene of action, I found that a party of Arabs had fallen upon my workmen. They were beaten off, leaving behind them, however, their mark; for a ball struck and indented the side of the bull. I was anxious to learn who the authors of this wanton attack were, and had organised a scheme for taking summary vengeance. But they were discovered too late ; for, anticipating punishment, they had struck their tents, and had moved off into the desert.
Next morning we succeeded in clearing away the earth, and in placing thick planks beneath the buried wheels. After a few efforts the cart moved forwards amidst the shouts of the Arabs; who, as was invariably their custom on such occasions, indulged, whilst pulling at the ropes, in the most outrageous antics. The procession was formed as on the previous day, and we dragged the bull triumphantly down to within a few hundred yards of the river. Here the wheels buried themselves in the sand, and it was night before we contrived, with the aid of planks and by increased exertions, to place the sculpture on the platform prepared to receive it, and from which it was to slide down on the raft. The tents of the Arabs, who encamped near the river, were pitched round the bull, until its com