we hear of a projected railroad from that port to Meccah, the shareholders being all Moslems. And the example of Jerusalem encourages us to hope that long before the end of the century a visit to Meccah will not be more difficult than a trip to Hebron.
RICHARD F. BURTON.
London, 31st March, 1879.
[p.xxv]PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The interest just now felt in everything that relates to the East would alone be sufficient to ensure to the author of "El Medinah and Meccah" the favourable consideration of the Reading Public. But when it is borne in mind that since the days of William Pitts of Exeter (A.D. 1678-1688) no European travellers, with the exception of Burckhardt[FN#3] and Lieut. Burton,[FN#4] have been able to send us back an account of their travels there, it cannot be doubted but that the present work will be hailed as a welcome addition to our knowledge of these hitherto mysterious penetralia of Mohammedan superstition. In fact, El Madinah may