Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah: by Richard Burton

By Richard Burton

This Elibron Classics e-book is a facsimile reprint of a 1898 version through George Bell & Sons, London.** [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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Xix]PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION. AFTER a lapse of twenty-five years, a third edition of my Pilgrimage has been called for by the public, to whom I take this opportunity of returning thanks. Messrs. Mullan have chosen the very best opportunity. My two publications concerning the Khedival Expeditions to Midian ("The Gold Mines of Midian," and "The Land of Midian Revisited"), are, as I have stated in the Preface, sequels and continuations of this Pilgrimage from which the adventures forming their subject may be said to date.

I then turned away slowly and fiercely, for the next thing might have been a cut with the Kurbaj,[FN#7] and, by the hammer of Thor! British flesh and blood could never have stood that. After which satisfactory scene,-for satisfactory it was in one sense, proving the complete fitness of the Darwaysh's costume,-I tried a dozen other promiscuous sources of information,-policemen, grooms, scribes, donkey-boys, and idlers in general. At length, wearied of patience, I offered a soldier some pinches of tobacco, and promised him an Oriental sixpence if he would manage the business for me.

This gentleman persuaded the Badawin camel men who were accompanying him to Taif to introduce him in disguise: he naïvely owns that his terror of discovery prevented his making any observations. Dr. George A. Wallin, of Finland, performed the Hajj in 1845; but his "somewhat perilous position, and the filthy company of Persians," were effectual obstacles to his taking notes. [FN#6] No one felt the want of this "silent friend," more than myself; for though Eastern Arabia would not have been strange to me, the Western regions were a terra incognita.

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