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The mean duration of the passage of vessels navigating by night and by day was 18 hours 15 minutes, and of those which navigated by day only 26 hours 36 minutes; the total mean duration for all vessels was 18 hours 35 minutes.
The following figures will illustrate the development of traffic on the Suez Canal :Year. No. of Vessels. Gross Tonnage. Receipts.
1,264 2,423,672 24,859,383 1875 1,494 2,940,708
28,886,302 1876 1,457
3,072, 107 29,974,998 1877
1,663 3,418,949 32,774,344 1878 1,593
3,291,535 31,098,229 1879 1,477
3,236,942 29,686,060 1880
2,026 4,344,519 39,840,487 1881 2,737
5,794,491 51,274,352 1882 3,198
7,122,125 60,545,882 1883 3, 307
8,051,307 65,847,813 1884 3,284
8,319,967 62,378,115 1885 3,624
8,985:411 62,207,439 1886 3,100
8,183,313 56,527,390 1887 3,137
8,430,043 57,862,370 1888 3,440
9,437,957 64,832,273 1889 3,425
9,605,745 66, 167,579 1890 3,389 9,749,129
66,984,000 1891 4,207 :2,217,986
83,422,101 1892 3,559 10,866,401
3,341 10,753,798 70,667, 361 1894
3,352 11,283,854 73,776,827 1895
3,434 11,833,637 78,103,717 1896
3,409 12,039,858 79,569,994 1897 2,986
11,123,403 72,830,545 1898
3,503 12,962,631 85,294,769 1899 3,607
13,815,991 91,318,772 1900
5,441 13,699,237 90,623,608 1901 3,699 15,163,233 100,386,397
Year. No. of Vessels. Gross Tonnage.
18,310,442 113,866,796 The state of the capital account was as follows, on December 31, 1898:
Revenue applied to improvement
of canal ...
615, 275,134 There were, in addition, 100,000 founders' shares, with the right to participate in the surplus profits under certain conditions. In 1898 the net profits amounted to 48,789,818 francs, and the total amount distributed among the shareholders was 46,618,028 francs. In 1875 Ismå 'îl Pâshâ sold 176,602 Suez Canal Shares to the British Government for £3,976,582 sterling; these shares are now worth £25,000,000 sterling. The Suez Canal Company's Steam Tramway, which ran from Port Sa'id to Isma'iliya, was 80 kilomètres long; stations were passed at Ras al-'Êsh (well wi,, kilomètre 15), at kilomètre 24, at kilomètre 3+, at Al-Kanțarah, (3,211, kilomètre 45, with 579 inhabitants), at kilomètre 55, and at Al-Ferdân (usel, kilomètre 65). This steam tramway has been converted into a railway.
THE PENINSULA OF SINAI:
The Peninsula of Sinai is "a desert of rock, gravel, and boulder, of gaunt peaks, dreary ridges, and arid valleys and plateaux, the whole forming a scene of stern desolation which fully merits its description as the 'great and terrible desert. »»
The Peninsula is bounded on the east by the Gulf of Akabah, on the west by the Gulf of Suez, and on the north by the desert which extends to the Mediterranean Sea. It is a triangular tableland; from its apex, Râs Muhammad, in the south to the Mediterranean Sea is a distance of 260 miles, and from Suez to Akabah is a distance of 150 miles. The Gulf of Akabah is the continuation of the great depression in which lie the Jordan and the Dead Sea. The head of the Gulf forms a circular bay, with lofty mountains on each side of it. The village of Akabah stands on the eastern shore at the head of the Gulf. Ships can anchor in ii fathoms close in shore and only two cables from the Turkish fort, with good protection in northerly winds. The whole Peninsula is mountainous. The valleys fall away to the cast and west towards the coasts from a range of mountains which practically divides the main portion of the Peninsula into two parts; the highest points are Gebel Sinai and Gebel Katarina, which are 7,450 feet and 8,550 feet above the sea respectively. The area of the Peninsula is about 11,500 square miles.
Population.—The number of the inhabitants is vnknown; no regular census has ever been taken, but it is believed that there are 30,000 inhabitants in the Peninsula. The greater number of the people are Irabs descended from families who settled at Tor (Tûr), hence their name “Tawwarah"; the remainder are the “Gabaliya" or “ Mountaineers," who are said to be the descendants of the suldiers who were employed by Justinian in the Vlth century
to protect the Church of Saint Mary, which he built on Gebel Mūsa. Trade in the ordinary sense of the word they have none, but they formerly made charcoal for sale, and they take to the sea-coast a certain kind of gum-arabic which exudes from the tarfah or tamarisk tree.
The native name for this gum is “munn," and this is undoubtedly the manna mentioned in the Old Testament. The Sinaites are a fine, tall
, hardy race, and they are ruled by shêkhs who administer old tribal laws with considerable success. Vengeance is taken upon a murderer, or a member of his family to the fifth generation, but atonement may be made by the payment of Al-Madda, or blood money, which is fixed at 41 camels. Adultery may be atoned for by the payment of money or camels. The Sinai Arabs pray twice daily, and believe in a general resurrection, and they offer up sacrifices at the tombs of their Saints, especially to Nebi Şâliḥ and Nebi Mûsa (Moses). Accused persons are tried by fire, by water, and by dreams.
Of the early history of Sinai little is known, but it seems that the predynastic Egyptians had dealings with the Sinaites, and obtained copper and turquoises from the Peninsula. The oldest site worked for copper was Wâdî Maghara, and in the Dynastic Period the oldest names found there are those of Smerkhā and Tcheser. Later we find those of Seneferu, Khufu (Cheops), Saḥu-Rī, Menkau-Heru, Tet-ka-Rā, Pepi I and Pepi II, all before the end of the VIth dynasty. Under the XIIth dynasty the site of Saràbit al-Khadim was worked, and we find monuments of Amen-em-ḥāt III, Amen-em-hāt IV, etc. Under the XVIIIth dynasty the mines were reopened, and the names of several of its kings are found on the rocks. Ne inscriptions later than the time of the XXth Dynasty are found there. In the early centuries of the Christian era monks and anchorites settled near Mount Sinai, and the natives drove a good trade in supplying their wants Most