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Peeps at Many Lands

written by "Goble, Warwick, 1862-1943"
... These they hunt with greyhounds or with trained hawks. The latter, when they see their quarry, swoop upon it, and pick at its eyes until the hunter arrives. The Bedouins live also on bread, which they bake in thin flat cakes, and on milk, specially in its fermented condition, which they call leben. Their butter they have to keep in summer in jars, as, owing to the heat, it is then as liquid as oil. The great province of Mesopotamia, where formerly stood Babylon and Nineveh, forms the south-eastern limit of the Turkish Empire. Watered by the Euphrates and the Tigris, it was once a magnificent agricultural district, but the incompetency of its rulers has allowed the network of canals, which distributed the waters of these rivers, to dry up, and the country is now largely a wilderness. Its population, the remnant of the Chaldeans, has also decreased, and is poor. The houses are made with sun-dried bricks, cemented with bitumen. The roofs are flat, and the lower rooms are underground, and are used during the summer months as bedrooms, owing to the excessive heat. The navigation of the upper reaches of the Euphrates is by means of rafts, underneath which are inflated skins of oxen. On this raft the traveller's tent is pitched, and he drifts leisurely down the river, while the boatmen help it along with long poles. CHAPTER IX TURKS Having summarized the customs of some of the people under Ottoman rule, I must say something of the Turks themselves. When a Turkish baby comes to this world no dainty embroidered linen and warm bath await it, but it is dressed in a plain cotton shirt and a cotton, quilted dressing-gown. Its limbs are then tightly wrapped in a long shroud, so that it cannot move them. Frequently a cushion is put between its legs before shrouding, and this probably accounts for so many children being bandy-legged. The child is then rolled into a quilted blanket, which is strapped up into a shapeless bundl...

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