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tracts which are covered with loose sand, whirlwinds often blow with great violence, and raise large quantities of sand to a considerable height, carrying it to some distance. Sandpillars have buried many caraThe inhabitants, too, of the desert are always ready to attack a stranger, to rob him of his goods, and to make a slave of him. Notwithstanding all these dangers, the Sahara is every year crossed by several caravans, which carry on the commerce between the interior and the countries on the shores of the Mediterranean.

In one direction, however, there is a route through the Sahara in which these dangers are comparatively small.


owes its advantages partly to its climate, and partly to its soil, and also to the smaller extent of the sandy districts, and the continuous broken ridges of rocks. In a few places on this road the mimosa tree is found. The town of Bilma, which is on this route, is noted for its salt-pits, and in its vicinity there are some spots covered with vegetation. South of Bilma, the road is over loose hills of sand, in which the camels sink knee-deep. The hills sometimes disappear in a

single night by the drifting of the sand, and all traces of the passage of a caravan vanish in a few hours. Wells are rare. After four days' travelling from Bilma, wells are met with, and after four days more, some others, situated in a wooded valley, though not inhabited. After three days more, the country is reached to which the tropical rains extend, the soil improves, and vegetation is more frequent. At last trees appear, and then increase in number, until the desert ceases, and nature resumes its usual aspect.

The eastern part of the Sahara is called the Libyan desert. In this are a considerable number of oases, or fertile tracts, which support a moderate population. Nearly all of them contain extensive groves of date-trees.

The Sahel, or western division, is by far the worst part of the Sahara. It does not appear that in this vast extent of territory a single oasis occurs, the soil of which is fit for agriculture, or for the growth of date-trees. It seems, however, that there must be numerous spots, though probably of small extent, which are suitable for pasture; for the number of

individuals who find a subsist- by the wind. We suffered

ence in this region is far from small, and their only resources are their herds. It is stated that the caravan road is purposely formed through the worst part of the desolate waste. This is because the merchants are less afraid of the dangers of the country, than of the inhabitants through whose territory they would otherwise pass. Each roving tribe is eager to enrich itself by plundering the caravans, or by imposing a heavy tax for their passage.

One of the few European travellers who have traversed the Sahara, says that a large pillar of sand, agitated by a whirlwind, crossed the camp in which he was. "It overset all the tents, and whirling us about like straws, threw one of us on the other in the utmost confusion. We knew not where we were, and could not distinguish anything at the distance of a foot. The sand wrapped us in darkness like a fog, and heaven and earth seemed confounded and blended in one. Whilst this frightful tempest lasted, we remained stretched on the ground, motionless, dying of thirst, burned by the heat of the soil, and buffeted

nothing, however, from the sun, which, almost concealed by the cloud of sand, appeared dim and deprived of its rays."

The most useful domestic animal found in the Sahara is the camel, without which these boundless plains of sand and gravel and rock could not be passed over. Next to the camel is the goat, which is very abundant in the Sahel, as its dry pastures are better suited for it than for sheep. But sheep are also common. There are black cattle, of a small kind, in places where the pasture is good. Horses are rare in the western part of the Sahara, but are more numerous farther east. There are lions, and panthers, and some other, smaller, wild animals. Gazelles are frequent where shrubs and bushes are found, and in a few places antelopes are met with. Vultures and ravens are the only birds that inhabit the rocky deserts.

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EN-ACHMET, the Dervise, was a very pious and liberal man, who lived a life of hardship and devotion in a lonely desert. In seasons of drought he supplied the traveller with water from his little well; in times of pestilence he left his solitary abode to attend the sick, and comfort the dying, in the villages that were scattered around; and often did

he stanch the blood of the wounded Arab, and heal him of his wounds.

Akaba was an Arabian robber. He had a band of lawless men under his command ready to do his bidding, large numbers of slaves, and a treasure-house well stored with his ill-gotten wealth. The sanctity of BenAchmet arrested his attention; his conscience smote him on account of his guilt, and he longed to be as famed for his devotion as he had been for his crimes. He sought the abode

of the dervise, and told him his last stone; and, no sooner had desires.

"Ben-Achmet," said he, "I have five hundred men ready to obey me; hundreds of slaves at my command, and a goodly treasure-house filled with riches; tell me how to add to these the hope of a happy immortality."



Ben-Achmet led him to a neighbouring cliff that steep, rugged, and high. reaching its foot, he pointed to three large stones, and told him to take them up, and follow him up the cliff. Akaba, laden with the stones, could scarcely move: to ascend the cliff with them was impossible.

"I cannot follow thee, BenAchmet," said he, "with these burdens."

he done this, than he mounted with ease, and quickly stood with his conductor on the top of the cliff.

"Son," said Ben-Achmet, "thou hast three burdens which hinder thee in thy way to a better world. Disband thy troop of lawless robbers; set thy captive slaves free; and restore thy wealth to its owners."

If the words of a Dervise can command our admiration, how much more ought we to estimate and obey the words of Christ: "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our

"Then cast down one of faith." (Heb. xii. 1, 2.) them,” replied the Dervise.

Akaba dropped a stone; but still found himself too heavily encumbered to proceed. "I tell thee it is impossible," cried the robber-chieftain.

"Let go another stone, then," Isaid Achmet. Akaba readily dropped another stone, and, with great difficulty, climbed the cliff for a little while; but, exhausted with the effort, he soon cried out again that he could come no farther. The Dervise told him to drop the

H. H.



T happened on a cloudy morn
A self-conceited clock, in


A dial thus bespoke:
My learned friend! if in thy


Tell me exactly what's the hour;
I am upon the stroke."
The modest dial thus replied:-
"That point I cannot now decide,
The sun is in the shade:

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OUR men had occasion to go from Leeds, to attend the assizes at York, respecting some trials in which they were nearly interested. Of these four, one overslept himself, lost his train, and did not get into court till after his case was disposed of. The second got into what he supposed, from want of inquiry, was the York train, and was some way on the road to London before he found out his mistake. The third reached York in time, but found he had carelessly left behind him papers which were as essential as his personal presence. The fourth was both diligent and careful, and assisted to win the cause he went to support. The first three began wrong, and all their efforts to right themselves were vain.

Begin well, and you are far on your way to success.

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