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horses of the strangers were tied by their halters to the tentpins. From the carpets and cushions, which were spread for me, stretched on both sides a long line of men of the most motley appearance, seated on the bare ground. The Sheikh placed himself at the furthest end, as is the custom in some of the tribes, to show his respect for his guest ; and could only be prevailed upon, after many excuses and protestations, to share the carpet with me. In the centre of the group, near a small fire of camel's dung, crouched a half-naked Arab, engaged alternately in blowing up the expiring embers, and in pounding the roasted coffee in a copper mortar, ready to replenish the huge pots which stood near him.
After the customary compliments had been exchanged with all around, one of my attendants beckoned to the Sheikh, who left the tent to receive the presents I had brought to him, — a silk gown and a supply of coffee and sugar. He dressed himself in his new attire and returned to the assembly. “Inshallah," said I, “ we are now friends, although scarcely a month ago you came over the Zab on purpose to appropriate the little property I am accustomed to carry about me.” “Wallah, Bey," he replied, “you say true, we are friends; but listen : the Arabs either sit down and serve his Majesty the Sultan, or they eat from others, as others would eat from them. Now my tribe are of the Zobeide, and were brought here many years ago by the Pashas of the Abd-el-Jelleel.* These lands were given us in return for the services we rendered the Turks in keeping back the Tai and the Shammar, who crossed the rivers to plunder the villages. All the great men of the Abou-Salman perished in encounters with the Bedouin t, and Injeh Bairakdar, Mohammed Pasha, upon whom God has had mercy, acknowledged our fidelity and treated us with honor. When that blind dog, the son of the Cretan, may curses fall upon him! came to Mosul, I waited upon him, as it is usual for the Sheikh ; what did ** The former hereditary governors of Mosul.
+ The father, uncles, and two or three brothers of Abd-ur-rahman, besides many of his other relations, had been slain as he described.
he do ? Did he give me the cloak of honor ? No; he put me, an Arab of the tribe of Zobeide, a tribe which had fought with the Prophet, into the public stocks. For forty days my heart melted away in a damp cell, and I was exposed to every variety of torture. Look at these hairs,” continued he, lifting up his turban, “they turned white in that time, and I must now shave my beard, a shame amongst the Arabs. I was released at last; but how did I return to the tribe ? - a beggar, unable to kill a sheep for my guests. He took my mares, my flocks, and my camels, as the price of my liberty. Now tell me, O Bey, in the name of God, if the Osmanlis have eaten from me and my guests, shall I not eat from them and theirs ?”
The fate of Abd-ur-rahman had been such as he described it; and so had fared several chiefs of the desert and of the mountains. It was not surprising that these men, proud of their origin and accustomed to the independence of a wandering life, had revenged themselves upon the unfortunate inhabitants of the villages, who had no less cause to complain than themselves. However, the Sheikh promised to abstain from plunder for the future, and to present himself to Ismail Pasha, of whose conciliatory conduct he had already heard.
It was nearly the middle of February before I thought it prudent to make fresh experiments among the ruins. To avoid notice I employed only a few men, and confined myself to the examination of such parts of the mound as appeared to contain buildings. My first attempt was in the S.W. corner, where a new wall was speedily discovered, all the slabs of which were sculptured, and uninjured by fire, though they had, unfortunately, been half destroyed by long exposure to the atmosphere. * On three consecutive slabs was one bas-relief; on others were only parts of a subject. It was evident from the costume, the ornaments, and the general treatment, that these sculptures did not belong either to the same building, or to the same period as those previously discovered. I recognised in them the style of Khorsabad, and in the inscriptions certain characters, which
* Wall q, plan 1.
were peculiar to monuments of that age. The slabs, like those in other parts of the edifice, had been brought from elsewhere.
The most perfect of the bas-reliefs was, in many respects, interesting. It represented a king, distinguished by his high conical tiara, raising his extended right hand and resting his left upon a bow. At his feet crouched a warrior, probably a captive enemy or rebel, but more likely the latter as he wore the pointed helmet peculiar to the Assyrians. An eunuch held a fly-flapper or fan over the head of the king, who appeared to be conversing or performing some ceremony with an officer standing in front of him,-probably his vizir or minister. * Behind this personage, who differed from the king by his headdress,—a simple fillet confining the hair,—were two attendants, the first an eunuch, the second a bearded figure. This basrelief was separated from a second above, by an inscription; the upper sculpture had been almost totally destroyed, and I could with difficulty trace a wounded figure, wearing a helmet with a curved crest, resembling the Greek, and horsemen engaged in battle. Both subjects were continued on the adjoining slabs, but they were broken off near the bottom, and the feet of a row of figures, probably other attendants, standing behind the king and his minister, could alone be distinguished.
On the same wall, which had completely disappeared in some places, could be traced a group resembling that just described, and several colossal winged figures in low relief.
Several deep trenches led me to two new wallst, the sculptures on which were not better preserved than those previously discovered in this part of the mound. Of the lower parts of several colossal figures, some had been purposely defaced by a sharp instrument, others, from long exposure, had been worn almost smooth.
* I shall in future designate this person, who is continually represented in the Assyrian bas-reliefs, the King's Vizir or Minister. It has been conjectured that he is a friendly or tributary monarch, but as he often occurs amongst the attendants, aiding the king in his battles, or waiting upon him at the celebration of religious ceremonies, with his hands crossed in front, as is still the fashion in the East with dependents, it appears more probable that he was his adviser or some high officer of the court.
ť s and t, plan 1.
These experiments were sufficient to prove that the building I was exploring had not been entirely destroyed by fire, but had been partly exposed to gradual decay. No sculptures had hitherto been discovered in a perfect state of preservation, and only one or two could bear removal. I determined, therefore, to abandon this corner, and to resume excavations in the northwest ruins near the chamber first opened, where the slabs were uninjured. The workmen were directed to dig behind the remains of the small lions, which appeared to have formed an entrance; and after removing much earth, they discovered a few unsculptured slabs, fallen from their places, and broken in many pieces. The walls of the room of which they had originally formed part could not be traced.
As this part of the building stood on the very edge of the mound, it had probably been more exposed, and had consequently sustained more injury, than any other. I determined, therefore, to open a trench more in the centre of the edifice, and chose for the purpose a deep ravine, which, apparently worn by the winter rains, extended far into the ruins. In two days the workmen reached the top of an entire slab, standing in its original position.* On one face of it I discovered, to my great satisfaction, two human figures, considerably above the natural size, in low relief, and in admirable preservation. In a few hours the earth and rubbish were completely removed from the sculpture. The ornaments delicately graven on the robes, the tassels and fringes, the bracelets and armlets, the elaborate curls of the hair and beard, were all entire. The figures were back to back, and from the shoulders of each sprang two wings. They appeared to represent divinities, presiding over the seasons, or over particular religious ceremonies. The one, whose face was turned to the East, carried a fallow deer on his right arm, and in his left hand a branch bearing five flowers. Around his temples was a fillet, adorned in front with a rosette. The other held a square vessel, or basket, in the left hand, and an object
* No. 30, chamber B, plan 2.