was Othmân, with his wife Rockeya, the Prophet's daughter.

A few months after this emigration a strange episode occurred, in which Mahomet sought' a compromise with his people, by admitting their gods into his system, as intercessors with the supreme Divinity. While the Coreish sat beneath the Káaba, he began to recite before them the LIII. Sura, in which, after referring to his vision of the angel, he proceeds:—

"And see ye not Lât and Ozza,
And Manât the third besides?
These are the exalted Females,
And verily their intercession is to be hoped for."

All were reconciled by the concession, and bowed themselves before the God of Mahomet. But his heart smote him within; and, not long after, the obnoxious lines (the two in italics) were recalled by Gabriel as suggested by the Evil One; and there was substituted the uncompromising denunciation of idolatry, from which he never after swerved:

"What! shall there be unto you male progeny, and female unto Him?
That were, indeed, an unjust partition!
They are naught but names which ye and your fathers have invented," &c.

Upon this, persecution was resumed by the Coreish more hotly than ever. The emigrants had returned on the report of the compromise; they now again fled to Abyssinia, where they were gradually increased by fresh arrivals from Mecca to the number of above


one hundred souls. The cause of Islam was about this time unexpectedly strengthened by the conversion of two brave and influential citizens, Hamza, the Prophet's uncle, and Omar. Alarmed at the bold front which Mahomet and his adherents in consequence assumed, the Coreish formed a hostile confederacy, by which all intercourse with the Moslems and their supporters was suspended. Abu Tâlib, with the Hâshimites, though himself and many of the clan unbelievers in the mission of Mahomet, stood faithfully by their kinsman, and they all retired into the "Quarter of Abu Tâlib," where, for two or three years,

A.D. 617-619.

they remained cut off from communication with the outer world. It was only at the time of pilgrimage that the Prophet was able now to prosecute his ministry; but, cast off by his own people, he found little response from the other tribes to which his preaching was addressed.

The Corân, as at this period delivered, was fast assuming a different character. The Suras are longer; and although we still meet with frequent traces of the early fire, the style becomes tamer and more prosaic. The phenomena of nature, and its adaptations to the wants of man, are adduced to prove the existence of a Supreme Being and an over-ruling Providence. There are lengthened descriptions of a grossly material hell and paradise, and of the resurrection. Steadfastness and patience are inculcated on the Prophet, who is encouraged to persevere by the example of the messengers that preceded him, both Arabian and Jewish, and in one place by the fortitude of the Christian martyrs of Najrân. A new feature also