When the wind blows from the north-east, the sand rises, and is driven against a certain mountain, which is a branch from Mount Sinai; and in that place we found certain pillars artificially wrought, which are called Januan. On the left hand side of that mountain, and near the highest summit, there is a cave or den, to which you enter by an iron gate, and into which cave Mahomet is said to have retired for meditation. While passing that mountain, we heard certain horrible cries and loud noises, which put us in great fear. Departing therefore from the fountain of St Mark, we continued our journey for ten days, and twice in that time we had to fight against fifty thousand Arabians. At length, however, we arrived at Mecca, where we found every thing in confusion, in consequence of a civil war between two brothers who contended for the kingdom of Mecca.
Observations of the Author during his residence at Mecca.
The famous city of Mecha or Mecca is populous and well built, in a round form, having six thousand houses as well built as those in Rome, some of which have cost three or four thousand pieces of gold. It has no walls, being protected or fortified as it were on all sides by mountains, over one of which, about two furlongs from the city, the road is cut by which we descended into the plain below; but there are three other entries through the mountains. It is under the dominion of a sultan, one of four brethren of the progeny of Mahomet, who is subject to the Soldan of Egypt, but his other three brothers are continually at war with him. On the 18th day of May, descending from the before-mentioned road obliquely into the plain, we came to Mecca by the north side. On