Switzerland in the early summer present sometimes something of the same appearance as one
nears their glaciers. Dean Stanley reminds us that these wadies were the only conception of
rivers in the mind of the Arab conquerors of Spain. The consequence is that we find the
name as introduced by them still attached (i) to the water-courses of Southern Spain, which,
like the valleys of Arabia, are dried-up confused hollows of stones and boulders, until the snow
melts or the sudden fierce showers descend ; and also (2) to mighty rivers, to which the streams
of the desert, even when forced into life by the winter storms, could at best furnish only a
general parallel. " Guad-al-quiver," grand and imposing river, pride of the Spaniard—who knows,
or troubles himself to knows that this name breathes of the far-off desert air of Arabia, and that
it is, with little variation in the spelling, the " Guad-al-Khebir," i.e. the "Great Wady!" The
process of reasoning by which this similarity would be established is by no means far-fetched.
Wady Feiran, which we strike at right angles, certainly does resemble a mighty river; and one
almost expects to hear the roar of its rush, or even to see the light play on the dull tawny-
coloured waters. There is a further point of resemblance between the river and the wady.
The wady is the highway of the desert. From the fact that the watersheds are frequently
low and narrow one might thread one's way through the peninsula by merely following the
courses of these valleys, when once one had mastered the general direction of the main arteries.
The great Wady es Sheikh, for instance, which Stanley calls " the queen of the Sinaitic rivers/'
is not really separated from Wady Feiran ; and by means of the two valleys you may bring a
road of easy communication from the sea to Jebel Musa, however lengthened out by the
numerous windings. Suppose the Thames to be drained dry and its sides bordered by great
mountains, we should have something very like a Sinaitic wady, and put it to the same use.
Water and verdure, in any great extent, are wanting; and* so the distinguishing names for the
wadies, as for the mountains, are taken from the noticeable presence of that which is so scarce.
The second highest mountain in the peninsula is called Umm Shomer, i.e. the "Mother of
Fennel; " Ras Sufsafeh is the " Head or Peak of the Willows," from the group of two or three
scant willows growing in the hollow beneath the last ascent; Sinai may have taken its name
from the tree " seneh " (Hebrew), which the Arabs call "seyal; " Wady Taiyebeh means the
" Wady of Goodly Water," with its consequent vegetation ; Wady el 'Ain, the " Wady of the
Fountain," or "Well;" Wady Tarfah, the "Valley of the Tamarisks;" Wady Sidreh is
named from the bushes of " sidr ;" Wady Saal, from the splendid " seyal " trees it contains, &c,
&c. A spring of water, a tree, a few shrubs, these are the points of greatest interest to the
poor Arab, and these form his distinguishing landmarks in these intricate valleys.
Soon after descending into Wady Feiran, the course bearing east or a very little south of
east, at the entrance of Wady Nisrin, are some fourteen or fifteen stone circles and cairns.
These circles are from ten to twenty feet in diameter, and in the centre of each is a cist about
four feet long by two and a half broad, and of the same depth, composed of four stones
and a covering slab. Inside some of these have been found human bones, teeth, &c, and in
one a small copper bracelet, lance and arrow heads, and a necklace of marine shells. The