18 DECEMBER 1909, Page 26

Christians at Mecca. By Augustus Belli. (W. Heinemaim. 58. net.)—Mr.

Ralli introduces his subject by giving us an account of the circumstances which have brought about the. sanctity of Mecca, and of the incidents of the pilgrimages. The list of intruders, as we may call them in distinction from pilgrims, begins with Ludovico Bartema, who made his way to Mecca in 1503. Some of the details of this story are not a little curious. Vincent le Blanc, who followed about sixty years later, is a dubious personage. In 1607 Johann Wild, who had been sold as a slave by the Hungarians, went with his master to both Mecca and Medina. The case of Joseph Peter (1680) was much the same. Early in the nineteenth century we come to the famous name of Burckhardt To his narrative there has been rightly allotted the largest amount of apace. "To this day he remains the Gibbon of Hejaz and the holy cities." Richard Burton is the most con- spicuous name among those that succeed. The whole is a very interesting episode of Eastern travel, and we are thankful to Mr. Belli for having put it in so convenient a form.