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River Webbe--Wadi Nogal.
Habr't el Jahleh, which three tribes extend from Mette to Jibel Elmiss in the present day. To the eastward of Mette we find the warlike tribe of the “Wursúngeli,” which name means “has brought good news ” (it is spelled in the chart Oor Singali, which is incorrect), and thence to the eastward round Cape Jered Hafoon, and down to Ras el Khyle, the country belongs to the numerous clans of the Mijjertheyn. These are the tribes on the coast. To the southward we find the country of Murreyhán, and next in succession to the westward the tribes of Dulbahanti, Burtirrhi, Abbaskool, Ghirri, Gidr Beersi, and Eesa, whilst the Bheer Whallea tribe inhabits the banks of the Webbe, and the province of Ogáhden fills up the space between them and the Haweea, who reside on the bend of the river and on the coast of Mukdeeshah. This river Webbe, which takes its rise in Gurague, pursues, as far as my accounts go, a different course to that usually laid down for it. After leaving the country of the Bheer Whallea, it flows more to the E.N.E., and approaching near the sea some two days' journey to the N.W.of Mukdeeshah, takes a sudden bend to the s.W., and passing that town at 6 hours' distance, is finally absorbed in a marsh a little below the latitude of Brava, and about 6 days from the sea. Annual expeditions are made by the Mijjertheyn and Wursúngeli to the river, where they purchase ivory and myrrh with cowries, which they bring with them from Zanzibar.
From Ras el Khyle to Berbera, the Wadi Nogal extends in almost a straight line between two ranges of mountains. The “happy valley” is spoken of in the most glowing terms by the natives, and apparently forms their great road for trade. "The people of Ogáhden, Murreyhan, &c., bring all their gums, ivory, and ghee along this valley, as being the safest and least fatiguing route, and the people are described as a peaceful race, who subsist chiefly by the chace, and by their sale of ostrich feathers, myrrh, and ghee.
This valley would form an advantageous starting-point for a traveller, nor do I apprehend any particular danger. In a commercial point of view the Mijjertheyn and Wursúngeli territories are the most valuable, and I consider that a small vessel of 300 or 400 tons might with ease procure a cargo of gum arabic, luban, and myrrh, at any of the bunders belonging to these tribes. The fact of upwards of 800 tons having been exported during my stay of 7 months on that coast, from three ports alone, sufficiently attests the abundance of the article, and in some measure may account for the rapid fortunes accumulated by the Banians, in whose hands alone does this trade lie. Arrangements should be made with the mer
chants on the Somali coast before the commencement of the foul weather, say the month of April, to have a cargo ready for the vessel by the 1st of the Now-Rúz, or about the 28th of August. The coast is then approachable, and the gums could be shipped off at Bunder Murayah, Bunder Khor, and Bunder Zeaada, or Bunder Ghasin, with but little delay. It is to be earnestly hoped that English enterprise will open this trade before long. The name of an Englishman is much respected by the natives, and they make a marked difference between them and any other nation. Promises of all kinds were made to me, that they would give every facility to the English merchant who would bring his wares himself amongst them, and who could thus afford to sell them cheaper, and one or two offered to guarantee a certain supply annually if arrangements were made in time. It would be useless, however, sending out a vessel without some person who understood the character of the people, and who could converse in Arabic with them without the aid of an interpreter.
To the westward of the Mijjertheyn hill, the Wursúngeli range, 4000 feet high, affords an inexhaustible supply of frankincense, though but little gum-arabic, and no myrrh. The climate on these mountains is described as most invigorating, and the country abounds in large game, the lion being very common in these parts.
Westward of the Wursúngeli the gum-trees become scarce, and though there are some parts having considerable trade throughout the year, all their gums are brought from the Dulbahanti and Ogahden tribes. Sheep form the chief article of export from Kurrum westwards, and the countless flocks that are driven down almost daily and shipped off for the Arabian coast exceeds belief. Berbera is of course the greatest mart at one season of the year, as all the tribes collect there, but an English vessel would do but little when placed in competition with the Banians, whose cargoes are, generally speaking, engaged the season before. I may here mention as a proof of the peaceful nature of the country, that frequently the Banians go for 20 days' journey inland, for change of air, and are allowed to live unmolested. I would not, therefore, advise a vessel to go to Berbera to trade, but endeavour to be off the sea ports to the eastward as soon as ever the season opens. The gums are then all packed in readiness for shipment, and but very trifling delay would occur.
To the westward of Berbera there are no trading ports until we come to Zeylah, where doubtless a vessel would get a valuable cargo of coffee and mules; but I fcar much time would be lost. But a small quantity of gum is brought into
ting aged the seasure of the cound, for change herefor
Zeylah -- coffee, dye, and ghee, with ivory in small quantities, and ostrich feathers, form the articles of export; and though probably the present ruler, Sheikh Sherwarkhi Ali Saleh, will by his wise form of government eventually open the trade to Hurrur, it is a thing to be looked forward to, and does not exist at present. I should average the quantity of gums exported from the Somali coast at 1500 tons, though occasionally, after a good season, I believe that the Mijjertheyn tribe alone export nearly that quantity.
XIII.- Remarkable Localities on the Coast of Epirus. By JAMES HENRY SKENE, Zante. (Communicated by Mr. Greenough.)
[Read 12th June, 1848.]
Chimerium. AFTER the defeat of the Corinthian naval force by that of Corcyra in the year 435 B.C., we read that the fleet of the former lay in the harbour of Chimerium, on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Acheron and Thyamis, and that the fleet of the latter was anchored at Sybota. The hostile forces are stated to have thus remained during a whole summer without meeting in battle ;* and that three years afterwards also these respective fleets again occupied the same stations. Ť Chimerium is here described by Thucydides as being in the Elaiatis, and dependent on the town of Ephyra. The best work on the topography of this part of Greece † attempts to prove that Chimerium was Arpitza, although its learned author admits that there exist objections to this conclusion. He is obliged, for instance, to give a forced meaning to the word ÚTÈR, which is used by Thucydides to convey the relative positions of the town of Ephyra and the harbour of Chimerium ; because Cape Varlam, which he supposes to be the Chimerian promontory, is, by his own avowal, 12 or 14 miles from the probable site of Ephyra. The bay also, which he considers to be the harbour, is described by himself as being “a retirement of the coast with a sandy beach :” now this would be but a poor station for a fleet during many months, as the place happens to be exceedingly exposed to violent winds and heavy seas from the north and west, without any kind of shelter whatever. Moreover, such a beach would hardly be called a
* Thucyd., 1, 1, c. 29 et seq.
† Ibid. 1. 1, c. 46. I Colonel Leake's Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 5 et seq.