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Palestine or the Holy Land by Michael Russell

Part 6 out of 6

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applicable to the gazelle, or antelope, which is a quadruped well known
and gregarious, than to the roe, which was either not known at all, or at
least was very rare in those countries.

The _fallow-deer_, or yachmur of the Bible, is received among
commentators as the _wild beeve_,--an animal equal in size to the stag,
or red deer, to which it bears some resemblance. It frequents the
solitary parts of Judea and the surrounding countries, and, like the
antelope, is everywhere gregarious. Its flesh is also very sweet and
nourishing, and was frequently seen at the tables of kings.

The _wild goat_, or akko, mentioned in Deuteronomy, is not held
sufficiently specific by naturalists, who imagine that it must be
identified with another animal called by the Seventy _tragelaphus_,
literally the goat-deer. The horns of this species, which are furrowed
and wrinkled as in the goat kind, are a foot or fifteen inches long, and
bend over the back; though they are shorter and more crooked than those
of the ibex or steinbuck. It is not unfrequently known by the more
familiar name of _lerwee_.

Considerable obscurity hangs over the natural history of the _pygarg_,
the characteristics of which have not hitherto been well determined. The
word itself, it has been remarked, seems to denote a creature whose
hinder parts are of a white colour. Such, says Dr. Shaw, is the _lidmee_
which is shaped exactly like the common antelope, with which it agrees in
colour and in the shape of its horns, only that in the lidmee they are of
twice the length, as the animal itself is of twice the size.

The sixth species is the _wild ox_, or thau of the Mosaical catalogue,
which has generally been rendered the _oryx_. Now this animal is
described to be of the goat-kind, with the hair growing forward, or
towards the head. It is further described to be of the size of a beeve,
and to be likewise a fierce creature, contrary to what is observed of the
goat or deer kind, which, unless they are irritated and highly provoked,
are all of them of a shy and timorous nature. The only quadruped that we
are acquainted with to which these marks will apply is the buffalo, well
known in Egypt and in various parts of Western Asia. It may be so far
reckoned of the goat kind, as the horns are not smooth and even as in the
beeve, but rough and wrinkled as in the goat. It is, besides, nearly the
same as the common beeve, and therefore agrees so far with the
description of Herodotus. It is also a sullen, spiteful animal, being
often know to pursue the unwary, especially if clad in scarlet. For these
reasons, the buffalo may not improperly be taken for the thau or oryx,
whereof we have had hitherto little account.[194]

The _chamois_, or zomer of the ancient Jews, has by different authors
been described as the camelopard or giraffe. The Syriac version renders
the original term into one which signifies the mountain-goat, and so far
coincides with our common translation of the Scriptures, though it is
extremely doubtful whether the chamois or the ibex was to be found in any
district of Palestine. Dr. Shaw holds the opinion that the zomer must
have been the giraffe; for though it was a rare animal, and not known in
Europe before the dictatorship of Julius Caesar, it might, he thinks,
have been common enough in Egypt, as it was a native of Ethiopia, the
adjoining country. It may therefore be presumed, says he, that the
Israelites, during their long residence in the land of the Pharaohs, were
not only well acquainted with it, but might at different times have
tasted its flesh.

This inference is rejected with some show of reason by the editor of
Calmet's Dictionary, who remarks, it is very unlikely that the giraffe,
being a native of the torrid zone and attached to hot countries, should
be so abundant in Judea as to be made an article of food. The same
argument applies to the chamois, which, as it inhabits the highest
mountains, and seeks the most elevated spots, where snow and ice prevail,
to shelter it from the heat of summer, was probably unknown to the people
of Israel. Hence, it still remains doubtful to what class of animals the
zomer of Moses should be attached, though, in our opinion, the balance of
authorities seem to incline in favour of a small species of goat which
browsed in the hill-country of Syria.

The _unicorn_, or reem, mentioned in the book of Job, has given similar
occasion to a variety of opinion. Parkhurst imagines that by this term is
meant the wild bull, for it is evidently an animal of great strength and
possessed of horns. Mr. Scott, in his Commentary on the Bible, adopts the
same view, and reminds his reader, that the bulls of Bashan described by
the Psalmist are by the same inspired writer denominated reems. Other
expounders of Sacred Writ maintain that the creature alluded to by the
patriarch of Uz can have been no other than the double-horned

The wild _ass_, or para, celebrated by the same ancient author, is
generally understood to be the onager, an animal, which is to this day
highly prized in Persia and the deserts of Tartary, as being fitter for
the saddle than the finest breed of horses. It has nothing of the dulness
or stupidity of the common ass; is extremely beautiful; and, when
properly trained, is docile and tractable in no common degree. It was
this more valuable kind of ass that Saul was in search of when he was
chosen by the prophet to discharge the duties of royalty. "Who hath sent
out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?
whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his
dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he
the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, and
he searcheth after every green thing."[196]

The "wild goats of the rock," described in the chapter just quoted, are
supposed to be the same as the ibex or bouquetin. This animal is larger
than the tame goat, but resembles it much in form. The head is small is
proportion to the body, with the muzzle thick and compressed, and a
little arced. The eyes are large and round, and have much fire and
brilliancy. The horns are so majestic, that when fully grown they
occasionally weigh sixteen or eighteen pounds. He feeds during the night
in the highest woods; but the sun no sooner begins to gild the summits,
than he quits the woody region, and mounts, feeding in his progress, till
he has reached the most considerable heights. The female shows much
attachment to her young, and even defends it against eagles, wolves, and
other enemies. She takes refuge in some cavern, and, presenting her head
at the entrance of the hole, resolutely opposes the assailants. Hence the
allusion to this affectionate creature in the book of Proverbs, "Let thy
wife be as the loving hind and the peasant roe."

The saphan of the Bible is usually translated _cony_. "The high hills are
a refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for the conies." But it is now
believed that the ashkoko, an animal mentioned by Bruce, presents
properties which accord much better with the description of the saphan
given in different parts of the Old Testament, than the cony, hare, or
rabbit. This curious creature, we are told by that traveller, is found in
Ethiopia, in the caverns of the rocks, or under great stones. It does not
burrow or make holes like the rat or rabbit, nature having interdicted
this practice by furnishing it with feet, the toes of which are perfectly
round, and of a soft, pulpy, tender substance: the fleshy part of them
projects beyond the nails, which are rather sharp, very similar to a
man's nails ill-grown, and appear given to it rather for the defence of
its soft toes, than for any active use in digging, to which they are by
no means adapted.[197]

A living writer, who has considered this subject with great attention,
gives as the result of his inquiry, that the saphan of the ancient
Hebrews, rendered "cony" in the English Bible, is a very different
animal; that it has a nearer resemblance to the hedgehog, the bear, the
mouse, the jerboa, or the marmot, though it is not any of these. It is
the webro of the Arabians, the daman-Israel of Shaw, the ashkoko of
Bruce, and clipdass of the Dutch.[198]

The prophet Isaiah, in recording the idolatrous and profane habits of his
countrymen, mentions the "eating of swine's flesh, and the abomination,
and the _mouse_." This is supposed to be the jerboa, an animal common in
the East, about the size of a rat, and which only uses its hindlegs.
There can be little doubt that this is the creature alluded to by the
Hebrew legislator when he said, "Whatsoever goeth upon its _paws_, among
all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you."
Hasselquist tells us that the jerboa, or leaping-rat, as he calls it,
moves only by leaps and jumps. When he stops he brings his feet close
under his belly, and rests on the juncture of his leg. He uses, when
eating, his fore-paws, like other animals of his kind. He sleeps by day,
and is in motion during the night. He eats corn, and grains of sesamum.
Though he does not fear man, he is not easily tamed; for which reason he
must be kept in a cage.

The porcupine, or _kephad_, is spoken of in the writings of Isaiah under
the denomination of the bittern. "I will make Babylon a possession for
the bittern and pools of water." In another chapter, the inspired author
associates the kephad with the pelican, with the yanshaph or ardea ibis,
and with oreb, or the raven kind; and hence a considerable difficulty has
arisen in regard to the class of animals in which it ought to be ranked.
Bochart had no doubt that the porcupine was in the mind of the prophet
when he wrote the description of the Assyrian capital wasted and
abandoned. This creature is a native of the hottest climates of Africa
and India, and yet can live and multiply in milder latitudes. It is now
found in Spain, and in the Apennines near Rome. Pliny asserts that the
porcupine, like the bear, hides itself in winter. In a Memoir on Babylon,
by the late Mr. Rich, it is stated that great quantities of
porcupine-quills were found on the spot; and that in most of the cavities
are numbers of bats and owls.

The mole and the bat are reckoned among the unclean animals forbidden to
the Jews by their Divine lawgiver. The latter is distinctly included
under the following description: "Every creeping thing that flieth shall
be unclean to you; they shall not be eaten." The legs of the bat appear
to be absolutely different from those of all other animals, and indeed
they are directed, and even formed in a very particular manner. In order
to advance, he raises both his front-legs at once, and places them at a
small distance forward; at the same time the thumb of each foot points
outward, and the creature catches with the claw at any thing which it can
lay hold of; then he stretches behind him his two hind-legs, so that the
five toes of each foot are also directed backward; he supports himself on
the sole of this foot, and secures himself by means of the claws on his
toes; then he raises his body on the front-legs, and throws himself
forward by folding the upper arm on the fore-arm, which motion is
assisted by the extension of the hind-legs, which also push the body
forward This gait, though heavy, because the body falls to the ground at
every step, is yet sometimes pretty quick, when the feet can readily meet
with good holding-places; but when the claw of the front foot meets with
any thing loose, the exertion is inefficient.[199]


In the writings of Moses, the winged tribes are divided into three
classes, according as they occupy the air, the land, or the water.


English Translation. Probable Species.
Eagle Eagle.
Ossifrage Vulture.
Ospray Black Eagle.
Vulture Hawk.
Kite Kite.
Raven Raven.


Owl Ostrich.
Night-hawk Night-owl.
Cuckoo Suf-saf.
Hawk Ancient Ibis.


Little Owl Sea-gull.
Cormorant Cormorant.
Great Owl Ibis Ardea.
Swan Wild Goose.
Pelican Pelican.
Gier Eagle Alcyone.
Stork Stork.
Heron Long-neck.
Lapwing Hoopoe.

These are the unclean birds, according to the Mosaical arrangement and
the views of the English translators. But it must not be concealed, that
the attainments of the latter in ornithology were not particularly
accurate; and, as a proof of this; we may mention a fact obvious to the
youngest student of Oriental languages, that the same Hebrew words in
Leviticus and Deuteronomy are not always rendered by the same term in our
tongue. For example, the vulture of the former book is in the latter
called the glede; and there are many similar variations, in different
parts of the Old Testament, in regard to the others.

The _swan_, or tinshemet of the Hebrews, is a very doubtful bird. The
Seventy render it by _porphyrion_, which signifies a purple hen, a
water-fowl well known in the East. Dr. Geddes observes that the root or
etymon of the term _tinshemet_ denotes _breathing_ or _respiring_,--a
description which is supposed to point to a well-known quality in the
swan, that of being able to respire a long time with its bill and neck
under water, and even plunged in mud. Parkhurst thinks the conjecture of
Michaelis not improbable, namely, "that it is the goose, which every one
knows is remarkable for its manner of breathing out or hissing when
provoked." The latter writer observes, "what makes me conjecture this is,
that the Chaldee interpreters who in Leviticus render it _obija_, do not
use this word in Deuteronomy, but substitute the 'white kak,' which,
according to Buxtorf, denotes the goose." Norden mentions a goose of the
Nile whose plumage is extremely beautiful. It is of an exquisite aromatic
taste, smells of ginger, and has a great deal of flavour. Can this be the
Hebrew _tinshemet_, and the _porphyrion_ of the Seventy?

Again, it is conjectured by modern naturalists that the heron should be
included among storks. Commentators, it is true, are quite at a loss in
regard to the precise import of the original term _anapha_, and some of
them accordingly leave it altogether untranslated. It is not improbable
that the Long-neck mentioned by Dr. Shaw may be the animal alluded to by
the sacred lawgiver. This bird, we are told, is of the bittern kind,
somewhat less than the lapwing. The neck, the breast, and the belly are
of a light yellow colour, while the back and upper part of the wings are
jet-black. The tail is short; the feathers of the neck are long, and
streaked with white or a pale yellow. The bill, which is three inches
long, is green, and in form like that of the stork; and the legs, which
are short and slender, are of the same colour. In walking and searching
for food, it throws out its neck seven or eight inches; whence the Arabs
call it Boo-onk, or Long-neck.[200]

The _hoopoe_ is thought to be pretty well ascertained; yet we might
suppose that a bird which frequents water more than the European variety
does, would not have been misplaced at the close of the list given above.
The accuracy of the inspired writer, however, in treating this part of
the subject, has been generally extolled,--an accuracy which, there is no
doubt, will hereafter lead to the most satisfactory conclusions in
determining the several species he enumerates. All these birds being
fish-eaters, no distinction is afforded arising from diversity of food;
but the Hebrew naturalist begins with those which inhabit the sea and its
rocky cliffs, the gannet and the cormorant; then he proceeds to the marsh
birds, the bitterns; then to the river and lake birds, the pelican, the
kingfisher, or the shagarag; then the stork, which is a bird of passage,
lives on land as well as on water, and feeds on frogs and insects no less
than on fish; then to another, which probably is a bird of passage also,
because it is mentioned the last in the catalogue. The hoopoe is
certainly a migratory bird, feeds less on fish than any of the former
kinds, and has, in fact, no great relation to the water.

It was objected by Michaelis that the _chasidah_ of the Hebrews could not
be the stork, because the latter bird does not usually roost on trees;
and yet it is asserted in the hundred-and-fourth Psalm, that the
fir-trees are a dwelling for the stork. But Doubdan, who had no
hypothesis to maintain, relates that he saw storks resting on trees
between Cana and Nazareth; and Dr. Shaw says expressly, the storks breed
plentifully in Barbary; and that the fir-trees, and other trees when
these are wanting, are a "dwelling for the stork." It is therefore
probable that this bird conforms its manners to circumstances; that
wherever it obtains rest, security, and accommodation, there it resides,
whether in a ruin or a forest. So that on the whole we need not hesitate,
merely because the European stork seldom inhabits trees, to admit that it
is the chasidah of the Sacred Scriptures.

We purposely abstain from the description of such birds as are common to
Palestine and to the climates of Europe. The ostrich, no doubt, is
peculiar to the deserts of Syria and of Arabia, and might therefore
demand a more minute delineation than is consistent with our limits.
Suffice it to mention, that it is one of the largest and most remarkable
of the feathered tribes, and has been celebrated from the most remote
antiquity by many fabulous writers, who ascribe to it qualities more
wonderful than even those which it actually possesses. Its height is
estimated at seven or eight feet, and in swiftness it surpasses every
other animal.

That it is gregarious no naturalist any longer doubts, being generally
seen in large troops at a great distance from the habitations of man. The
egg is about three pounds in weight, and in the warmer countries of the
East is usually hatched by the rays of the sun alone; though in less
heated regions the bird is observed to practise incubation.

The same remarks might be applied to the pelican, whose solitary life as
an inhabitant of the desert is occasionally referred to in the Sacred
Writings. It appears, however, that this bird is migratory, whence we may
conclude that it is also gregarious, and does not always remain alone. In
their motion through the air, the pelicans imitate the procedure of the
wild-goose, and form their van into an acute angle. When of full age, the
male is superior in size to the swan, weighs twenty-five pounds, and from
wing to wing extends not less than fifteen feet. The upper mandible is
flat and broad, and hooked at the end; the lower mandible has appended to
it a very dilatable bag, reaching eight or nine inches down the neck, and
large enough to contain several quarts of water. Its food is fish; in
diving for which it sometimes descends from a great height. When it has
filled its pouch, it flies to some convenient point of a rock, where it
swallows its prey at leisure. The vulgar notion that the female pelican
feeds her young with blood from her breast, has arisen from the use of
the bag just described, which she opens from time to time to discharge a
supply of fish or water for their nourishment.


In the book of Deuteronomy there is an allusion made to a destructive
creature in the following terms:--"Their wine is the poison of _dragons_
and the cruel venom of asps." It is thought that the gecko is the animal
contemplated in this description, it being acknowledged by all
naturalists to contain a mortal poison. Nature, in this instance, says
Buffon, appears to act against herself: in a lizard, whose species is but
too prolific, she exalts a corrosive liquid to such a degree as to carry
death and dissolution into all living substances which it may happen to
penetrate. This deadly reptile has some resemblance to the chameleon; his
head, almost triangular, is big in proportion to his body; the eyes are
very large, the tongue is flat, covered with small scales, and the end is
rounded; the teeth are sharp, and so strong that, according to Bontius,
they are able to make an impression even on steel. The gecko is almost
entirely covered with large warts, more or less rising; the under part of
the thigh is furnished with a row of tubercles raised and grooved. The
feet are remarkable for oval scales, more or less hollowed in the middle,
as large as the under surface of the toes themselves, and regularly
disposed over one another, like slates on a roof. The usual colour of
this animal is a clear green, spotted with brilliant red. It inhabits the
crevices of half-rotten trees as well as humid places; it is sometimes
met with in houses, where it occasions great alarm, and where every
exertion is made to destroy it speedily. Bontius writes, that the bite is
so venomous that, if the part bitten be not cut away or burned, death
ensues in a few hours.

Calmet enumerates eleven kinds of serpents as known to the Hebrews, the
names of which are as follow:--

1. Ephe, the viper.
2. Chephir, a sort of aspic.
3. Acshub, the aspic.
4. Pethen, a similar reptile.
5. Tzeboa, speckled serpent.
6. Tzimmaon.
7. Tzepho, or Tzephoni, a basilisk.
8. Kippos, the acontias.
9. Shephiphon, the cerastes.
10. Shachal, the black serpent.
11. Saraph, a flying-serpent.

The first of these is remarkable for its quick and penetrating poison; it
is about two feet long, and as thick as a man's arm, beautifully spotted
with yellow and brown, and sprinkled over with blackish specks, similar
to those of the horn-nosed snake. It has a wide mouth, by which it
inhales a great quantity of air, and, when fully inflated, ejects it with
such violence as to be heard at a considerable distance.

The _shachal_, or black serpent, is described by Forskall as being wholly
of that colour, a cubit in length, and as thick as a finger. Its bite is
not incurable, but the wound swells severely; the application of a
ligature prevents the venom from spreading; or certain plants, as the
caper, may be employed to relieve it. Mr. Jackson describes a black
serpent of much more terrific powers. It is about seven or eight feet
long, with a small head, which, when about to assail any object, it
frequently expands to four times its ordinary size. It is the only one
that will attack travellers; in doing which it coils itself up, and darts
to a great distance by the elasticity of its body and tail. The wound
inflicted by the bite is small, but the surrounding part immediately
turns black, which colour soon pervades the whole body, and the sufferer

But, viewed in connexion with Scripture, the most interesting in the list
given in the preceding page is that which stands the seventh in order.
Speaking of the happy time revealed by the prophetical spirit, Isaiah
remarks that "the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and
the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den." The editor
of Calmet's Dictionary imagines that the naja, or cobra di capello, is
the serpent here alluded to by the holy penman, and which is known to
possess the most energetic poison. We cannot indeed discover positively,
whether it lays eggs; but the evidence for that fact is presumptive,
because all serpents issue from eggs; and the only difference between the
oviparous and viviparous is, that in the former the eggs are laid before
the foetus is mature, in the latter the foetus bursts the egg while yet
in the womb of its mother.

If the egg be broken, the little serpent is found rolled up in a spiral
form. It appears motionless during some time; but if the term of its
exclusion be near, it opens its jaws, inhales at several respirations the
air of the atmosphere, its lungs fill, it stretches itself, and moved by
this impetus it begins to crawl.

The eggs of this reptile have probably given occasion to a fable, which
says that cocks can lay eggs, but that these always produce serpents; and
that though the cock does not hatch them, the warmth of the sand and
atmosphere answers the purposes of incubation. The eggs of the tzepho, of
which she lays eighteen or twenty, are equal to those of a pigeon, while
those of the great boa are not more than two or three inches in length.
As an instance, that the eggs of poisonous serpents do not always burst
in the body of the female, we may mention the cerastes, which, we are
assured, lays in the sand at least four or five, resembling in size those
of a dove.

On the grounds now explained, we may understand the language of the
prophet Isaiah, who says of the wicked that "they hatch cockatrice' eggs;
he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh
forth into a viper." The reptile here alluded to under the name of
cockatrice, is the tzepho or tzephoni; which, we find, lays eggs so
similar to those of poultry, as to be mistaken and eaten for them. Labat
farther relates that he crushed some eggs of a large serpent, and found
several young in each egg; which were no sooner freed from the shell than
they coiled themselves into the attitude of attack, and were ready to
spring on whatever came in their way.

In the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis we find the remarkable prediction
uttered by Jacob in reference to Dan, that he "shall be a serpent in the
way, an adder in the path, which biteth the horse's heels." The original
term here is shephiphon, and is understood by several authors to denote
the cerastes, a very poisonous kind of viper, distinguished by having
horns. This animal, we are informed by Mr. Bruce, moves with great
rapidity, and in all directions, forward, backward, and sideways. When he
wishes to surprise any one who is too far from him, he creeps with his
side towards the person, and his head averted, till, judging his
distance, he turns round and springs upon him. "I saw one of them at
Cairo crawl up the side of a box in which there were many, and there lie
still as if hiding himself, till one of the people who brought him to us
came near him; and though in a very disadvantageous posture, sticking as
it were perpendicularly to the side of the box, he leaped nearly the
distance of three feet, and fastened between the man's forefinger and
thumb, so as to bring the blood. The fellow showed no signs of either
pain or fear; and we kept him with us full four hours, without applying
any sort of remedy, or his seeming inclined to do so."

The Arabs name this serpent siff, siphon, or suphon, which seems not very
far distant from the root of the Hebrew word siffifon or shephiphon. It
is called by the Orientals the _lier in wait_,--an appellation which
agrees with the manners of the cerastes. Pliny says, that it hides its
whole body in the sand, leaving only its horns exposed, which, being like
grains of barley in appearance, attract birds within its reach, so as to
become an easy prey. From these circumstances we see, more distinctly,
the propriety of the allusion made by the patriarch to the insidious
policy which was to characterize the descendants of Dan in the remoter
periods of their history.

There is mention made in Holy Scripture of the fiery flying-serpent, a
creature about whose existence and qualities naturalists have entertained
a considerable difference of opinion. It is now generally admitted, that,
in Guinea, Java, and other countries, where there is at once great heat
and a marshy soil, there exists a species of these animals, which have
the power of moving in the air, or at least of passing from tree to tree.
Niebuhr relates, that at Bazra, also, "there is a sort of serpents,
called _heie sursurie_. They commonly live on dates; and as it would be
troublesome to them to come down one high tree and creep up another, they
hang by the tail to the branch of one, and, by swinging that about, take
advantage of its motion to leap to that of a second. These the modern
Arabs call flying-serpents--_heie thiare_. I do not know whether the
ancient Arabs were acquainted with any other kind of flying-serpent."[201]

Near Batavia there are certain flying-snakes, or dragons, as they are
sometimes called. They have four legs, a long tail, and their skin
speckled with many spots; their wings are not unlike those of a bat,
which they move in flying, but otherwise keep them almost unperceived,
close to the body. They fly nimbly, but cannot hold out long; so that
they only shift from tree to tree at about twenty or thirty yards'
distance. On the outside of the throat are two bladders, which, being
extended when they fly, serve them instead of a sail.[202]

The _scorpion_, or okrab of the Hebrews, has also been invested by
Oriental naturalists with the power of flying. Lucian tells us that there
are two kinds of scorpions, one residing on the ground, large, having
claws, and many articulations at the tail; the other flies in the air,
and has inferior wings like locusts, beetles, and bats. In tropical
climates the scorpion is a foot in length. No animal in the creation
seems endowed with such an irascible nature. When caught, they exert
their utmost rage against the glass which contains them; will attempt to
sting a stick when put near them; will, without provocation, wound other
animals confined with them; and are the cruellest enemies to each other.
Maupertuis put a hundred of them together in the same glass; instantly
they vented their rage in mutual destruction, universal carnage! In a few
days only fourteen remained, which had killed and devoured all the
others. It is even asserted, that when in extremity or despair the
scorpion will destroy itself. Well might Moses mention this animal as one
of the dangers of the howling wilderness! They are still very numerous in
the desert between Syria and Egypt. Dr. Clarke tells us that one of the
privates of the British army, who had received a wound from one of them,
lost the upper joint of his forefinger before it could be healed. The
author of the Revelation considers them as emblematic of the evils which
issue from the bottomless pit. "And there came out of the smoke locusts
upon the earth; and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the
earth have power. And they had tails like unto scorpions; and there were
stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months."[203]

We ought not to be surprised that the translators of the English Bible
were occasionally at a loss to distinguish the genera and species of the
several animals mentioned in the Sacred Writings; for even at the present
day, when we possess infinitely higher advantages in point of natural
knowledge, we cannot precisely determine even the class or order to which
some of them belong. We have an example of this obscurity in the fourth
chapter of the book of Lamentations, where it is said that "even the
sea-monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones."
The original expression, tannin, appears applicable to those amphibious
animals that haunt the banks of rivers and the shores of the sea, and was
probably used by the prophet with a reference to the seal species, which
suckle their young in the manner described in his pathetic elegy.

It is true, that it is used in Genesis in connection with the epithet
large, and is therefore not improperly rendered "great whales." Hence it
has been concluded, that the word tannin may comprehend the class of
lizards from the eft to the crocodile, provided they be amphibious; also
the seal, the manati, the morse, and even the whale, if he came ashore;
but as whales remain constantly in the deep, they seem to be more
correctly ascribed to the class of fishes. Moreover, whether the people
of Syria had any knowledge of the whale kinds, strictly so called, is a
point which deserves inquiry before it be admitted as certain. At all
events, it is manifest that the tannin of the Scripture must have
indicated an animal which has many properties common to the seal, for it
not only applies the breast to its young, but has the power of exerting
its voice in a mournful tone. The prophet Micah says, "I will make a
wailing like the tanninim," a phrase which, in our translation, is
unhappily rendered "dragons." It has also the faculty of suspending
respiration, or of drawing in a quantity of breath and of emitting it
with violence. "The wild asses," says Jeremiah, "stand upon the high
places; they puff out the breath like the tanninim (here again translated
dragons); their eyes fail because there is no grass." On the whole,
remarks the editor of Calmet, we may consider the Hebrew _tahash_ as
being decidedly a seal; but tannin as including creatures resident both
on land and in water, or, in other words, the amphibia.[204]


It has been remarked that, if the advantages of nature were duly seconded
by the efforts of human skill, we might in the space of twenty leagues
bring together in Syria the vegetable riches of the most distant
countries. Besides wheat, rye, barley, beans, and the cotton-plant, which
are cultivated everywhere, there are several objects of utility or
pleasure, peculiar to different localities. Palestine, for example,
abounds in sesamum, which affords oil; and in dhoura, similar to that of
Egypt. Maize thrives in the light soil of Balbec, and rice is cultivated
with success along the marsh of Haoul_. Within these twenty-five years
sugar-canes have been introduced into the gardens of Saida and Beirout,
which are not inferior to those of the Delta. Indigo grows without
culture on the banks of the Jordan, and only requires a little care to
secure a good quality. The hills of Latakie produce tobacco, which
creates a commercial intercourse with Damietta and Cairo. This crop is at
present cultivated in all the mountains. The white mulberry forms the
riches of the Druses, by the beautiful silks which are obtained from it;
and the vine, raised on poles or creeping along the ground, furnishes red
and white wines equal to those of Bordeaux. Jaffa boasts of her lemons
and watermelons; Gaza possesses both the dates of Mecca and the
pomegranates of Algiers. Tripoli has oranges which might vie with those
of Malta; Beirout has figs like Marseilles, and bananas like St. Domingo.
Aleppo is unequalled for pistachio-nuts; and Damascus possesses all the
fruits of Europe; inasmuch as apples, plums, and peaches, grow with equal
facility on her rocky soil. Niebuhr is of opinion that the Arabian
coffee-shrub might be cultivated in Palestine.[205]

The _fig-tree_, the _palm_, and the _olive_, are characteristic of the
Holy Land, and therefore deserve our more particular attention. In regard
to the first, the earliest fruit produced, which is usually ripe in June,
is called the boccore; the later, or proper fig, being rarely fit to be
gathered before the month of August. The name of these last is the
kermez, or kermouse. They constitute the article which passes through the
hands of the merchant, after being either preserved in the common way or
made up into cakes. They continue a long time on the tree before they
fall off; whereas the boccore drop as soon as they are ripe, and
according to the beautiful allusion of the prophet Nahum, "fall into the
mouth of the eater upon being shaken."

The _palm_ must at one time have been common in Palestine, though at
present it fails to attract attention either on account of number or of
beauty. In several coins of Vespasian, as well as of his son Titus, the
land of Judea is typified by a disconsolate woman sitting under one of
these trees. Jericho, which was formerly distinguished as the "city of
palms," can still boast a few of them, because, besides the advantage of
a sandy soil and a warm climate, it commands a plentiful supply of water,
an element absolutely indispensable to their growth. At Jerusalem,
Shechem, and other places to the northward of the capital, not more than
two or three of them are ever seen together; and even these, as their
fruit rarely comes to maturity, are of no farther service than, like the
palm-tree of Deborah, to shade the council of the sheiks, or to supply
the branches, which, as in ancient days, may still be required for
religious processions.[206]

The _olive_ no longer holds the place which it once occupied in the
estimation of the inhabitants of Palestine. The wretched government under
which they exist has rooted out all the seeds of industry, by rendering
the absence of wealth the only security against oppression. But in those
places where it continues to be cultivated, it affords ample proof to
establish the accuracy of the inspired writer, who denominated Palestine
a land of oil-olive and honey.

The _cedars of Libanus_ still maintain their ancient reputation for
beauty and stature; while they are diversified by a thousand elegant
plants, which dispute with them the possession of the lofty summits of
the mountain. Here the astragalus tragacanthoides displays its clusters
of purple flowers; and the primrose, the amaryllis, the white and the
orange lily, mingle their brilliant hues with the verdure of the
birch-leaved cherry. Even the snow of the highest peaks is skirted by
shrubs possessing the most splendid colours. The coolness, humidity, and
good quality of the soil support an uninterrupted vegetation; and the
bounties of nature in those elevated regions are still protected by the
spirit of liberty.

Hasselquist is of opinion that the _wild-grapes_ mentioned by the prophet
Isaiah must be the hoary night-shade, or solanum incanum, because it is
common in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. The Arabs call it wolf-grapes, as,
from its shrubby stalk, it has some resemblance to a vine. But the sacred
writer could not have found a weed more opposite to the vine than this,
or more suitable to the purpose which he had in view, for it is extremely
pernicious to that plant, and is rooted out whenever it appears.
"Wherefore," exclaims the holy seer, "when I looked that my vineyard
should bring forth grapes, brought it forth poisonous night-shade?"[207]

The author just named, describes the "balsam of Aaron" as a very fine
oil, which emits no scent or smell, and is very proper for preparing
odoriferous ointments. It is obtained from a tree called behen, which
grows in Mount Sinai and Upper Egypt, and, it is presumed, in certain
parts of the Holy Land. Travellers assert that it is the very perfume
with which the ancient high-priest of the Jews, with whose name it is
connected, was wont to anoint his beard, and which the Psalmist extols so
much on account of its rich odour and mollifying qualities,--the emblem
of domestic harmony and brotherly love.

There still exists a thorn in Palestine known among botanists by the name
of the "spina Christi," or thorn of Christ, and supposed to be the shrub
which afforded the crown worn by our Saviour before his crucifixion. It
must have been very fit for the purpose, for it has many small sharp
prickles, well adapted to give pain; and as the leaves greatly resemble
those of ivy, it is not improbable that the enemies of the Messiah chose
it from its similarity to the plant with which emperors and generals were
accustomed to be crowned; and hence that there might be calumny, insult,
and derision, meditated in the very act of punishment.[208]


[1] No. XXIII. of this Family Library.

[2] See Dialogues on Natural and Revealed Religion. By the Rev. Robert
Morehead, D.D., p. 241,--an able and interesting work.

[3] Shakspeare, Henry IV. Part I. Act I.

[4] Chateaubriand Itineraire, tome i. p. 48, &c. Sozom. lib. iii. c. i.
Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. vi. S. Cyril, Cat. xvi.

[5] Deuteronomy viii. 7, 8, 9.

[6] Terra finesque, qua ad Orientem vergunt, Arabia terminantur; a meridie
Aegyptus objacet; ab occasu Phoenices et mare; septemtrionem a latere
Syriae longe prospectant. Corpora hominum salubria et ferentia laborom:
rari imbres, uber solum: fruges nostrum ad morem; preterque eas balsamum
et palmae. Hist. lib. v. c. 6.

[7] Belon. Observations de Singularites, p. 140. Hasselquist's Travels,
p.56. Korte's Travels in Palestine. Chateaubriand, les Martyrs, vol. iii.
p. 99. Schultze's Travels, vol. ii p. 85.

[8] Seetzen, in Annales des Voyages, i. 398; and Correspondance de M.
Zach. 425.

[9] Maundrell, p. 60.

[10] Chateaubriand Itinerarie, ii. 123. Malte Brun, vol. ii. 150-160.
Edin. Edition.

[11] Judges i. 3.

[12] Joseph. contra Apion. cap. 1. 2 Kings xvii. 24.

[13] Reland, Palestina Illustrata, lib. ii. c. 5. Spanheim, Charta terris
Israelis. Lowman on the Civil Government of the Hebrews.

[14] Lev. xxv. 23.

[15] Lev. xxv. 24-28.

[16] Judges xxi. 8-13.

[17] Numbers xxvi. 02.

[18] Joshua vii. 16, 17, 18.

[19] I Chron. ii. 10, 11.

[20] Deut. iv. 1, 2; xii. 32. "Hoc igitur argumento maximo est; juris
illius majestatis quod in legibus ferendis est positum, nihil quicquam
penes hominem fuisse."--_Conringius de Repub. Heb_.

[21] Livii. Hist. lib. xxviii. 37; lib. xxx. 7. Bochart, Geog. Sacra, part
ii. lib. ii. 24.

[22] Complete History of the Canon, book 1. c. 3.

[23] Deut. xvi. 18, 19. Josephus's Antiquities, book iv. 8.

[24] Reland. Antiq. Sac. Pars, ii. c. 7.

[25] Fleury, Moeurs des Israelites, xxv.

[26] Lewis, Orig. Heb. lib. i. 6.

[27] Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, art. 44; and Joshua
xviii. 3.

[28] 1 Samuel xxv. 4-14.

[29] Judges vi. 12. 2 Samuel xiii. 23, 24.

[30] Numbers xxxv. 2, 5, 7.

[31] Joshua xx. 7, 8. Numbers xxxv. 6, 15. Deut. xix. 4, 10.

[32] Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. i. art. 52.
Jablonsky Panth. AEgypt. Prolegomena, 21, 41, 43.

[33] Isaiah xl. 13.

[34] 1 Samuel viii. 4, 21.

[35] Deut. xvii. 14-20.

[36] 2 Samuel viii. 1, 2. 1 Chron. xviii. 1, 2; xix. 1-20.

[37] 1 Chron. xxii. 8.

[38] 2 Chron. ii. and ix. throughout.

[39] 1 Kings xi. 1-8.

[40] Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem in 1697.

[41] 2 Kings xvii. 1-7.

[42] 2 Kings xxv. 4-13.

[43] Lamentations i. 1-4.

[44] Heber's Palestine.

[45] History of the Jews (Nos. 1, 2, 3, Family Library), vol. ii. p. 39.

[46] History of the Jews, vol. ii. p. 40.

[47] The effects produced upon the mind of the king by the murder of
Mariamne are powerfully described by two poetical writers, the author
of the History of the Jews, and the unfortunate Lord Byron. "All the
passions," says the former, "which filled the stormy soul of Herod were
alike without bound: from violent love and violent resentment he sank into
as violent remorse and despair. Everywhere by day he was haunted by the
image of the murdered Mariamne; he called upon her name; he perpetually
burst into passionate tears. In vain he tried every diversion,--banquets,
revels, the excitements of society. A sudden pestilence broke out, to
which many of the noblest of his court, and of his own personal friends,
fell a sacrifice; he recognized and trembled beneath the hand of the
avenging Deity. On pretence of hunting, he sought out the most melancholy
solitude, till the disorder of his mind brought on disorder of body, and
he was seized with violent inflammation and pains in the back of his head,
which led to temporary derangement."--vol. ii. p. 90.


"Oh, Mariamne! now for thee
The heart for which thou bled'st is bleeding;
Revenge is lost in agony,
And wild remorse to rage succeeding.
Oh, Mariamne! where art thou?
Thou canst not hear my bitter pleading:
Ah, couldst thou--thou wouldst pardon now,
Though heaven were to my prayer unheeding.


"And is she dead?--and did they dare
Obey my phrensy's jealous raving?
My wrath but doomed my own despair:
The sword that smote her's o'er me waving.
But thou art cold, my murder'd love!
And this dark heart is vainly craving
For her who soars alone above,
And leaves my soul unworthy saving.


"She's gone, who shared my diadem;
She sunk, with her my joys entombing;
I swept that flower from Judah's stem
Whose leaves for me alone were blooming;
And mine's the guilt, and mine the hell,
This bosom's desolation dooming;
And I have earned those tortures well,
Which unconsumed are still consuming."

_Hebrew Melodies_.

[48] History of the Jews, vol. ii. p. 96.

[49] Matth. ii. 22, 23. "Among the atrocities which disgraced the later
days of Herod, what we called the Massacre of the Innocents (which took
place late in the year before, or early in the same year with the death of
Herod) passed away unnoticed. The murder of a few children in a village
near Jerusalem would excite little sensation among such a succession of
dreadful events, except among the immediate sufferers. The jealousy of
Herod against any one who should be Born as a _king in Judea_,--the dread
that the high religious spirit of the people might be re-excited by the
hope of a real Messiah,--as well as the summary manner in which he
endeavoured to rid himself of the object of his fears, are strictly
in accordance with the relentlessness and decision of his character."
_History of the Jews_, vol. ii. p. 106.

[50] Acts xii. 21, 22, 23.

[51] 1 Samuel, ix. 5 11.

[52] 1 Kings xxii. 8, 13.

[53] Jer. xxvi. 8, 16.

[54] Deut. xviii. 21, 22.

[55] Deut. xxxi. 9-14.

[56] 2 Chronicles xii. 9.

[57] 2 Kings xxii. 8.

[58] 2 Samuel xi. 18, 22. Commentaries on Laws of Moses, vol. i. p. 257.

[59] Nisan was sometimes called Abib, as descriptive of the state of
vegetation in that month,--the earing of the corn and the blooming of the

[60] 1 Kings iii. 2.

[61] Acts xv. 21.

[62] Deut. xvi. 9-12.

[63] History of the Jews vol. 1. p. 99.

[64] Lev. xiii. 24, 25.

[65] Numbers xxxvi. 1-10.

[66] John x. 22.

[67] Maccab. iv. 30, &c. 2 Macceb. i. 18, 19.

[68] Croxall's Scripture Politics, p. 60, 85. Histoire des Hebreux, par
Rabelleau, tom. i. p. 405. Esprit de l'Histoire, tom. i. p. 28.

[69] The sentiment contained in the text is beautifully expressed in the
following ode by Lord Byron:


"The harp the monarch minstrel swept,
The king of men, the loved of Heaven,
Which music hallowed while she wept,
O'er tones her heart of hearts had given,
Redoubled be her tears, its chords are riven!

"It softened men of iron mould,
It gave them virtues not their own;
No ear so dull, no soul so cold,
That felt not, fired not to the tone,
Till David's lyre grew mightier than his throne."


"It told the triumphs of our king,
It wafted glory to our God;
It made our gladden'd valleys ring,
The cedars bow, the mountains nod;
Its sound aspired to heaven and there abode!
Since then, though heard on earth no more,
Devotion and her daughter Love
Still bid the bursting spirit soar
To sounds that seem as from above,
In dreams that day's broad light cannot remove."

[70] Murray's Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in Asia, vol.
iii. p. 130.

[71] Chateaubriand, Itineraire, tom. i. p. 380. Volney's Travels, vol. ii.
p. 335.

[72] Itineraire, tom. ii. p. 385.

[73] Travels, vol. iv. p. 289.

[74] The original presents one of the most animated and musical passages
in the Gerusalemme Liberata:--

"Ma quando il sol gli aridi campi fiede Con raggi assai fervente, a in
alto sorge, Ecco apparir Gerusalem si vede! Ecco additar Gerusalem si
scorge! Ecco da mille voci unitamente, Gerusalemme salutar si
sente!"--_Canto_ iii. stan. v. 2.

[75] Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. ii. p. 303.

[76] Notes on Egypt, &c. p. 274.

[77] Travels along the Mediterranean and parts adjacent, vol. ii. p. 285.

[78] Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 301.

[79] Travels of Ali Bey, vol. ii, p. 214.

[80] Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 321.

[81] Travels, vol. ii. p. 325.

[82] Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 71.

[83] Journey, p. 74.

[84] Journey, p. 76.

[85] Maundrell's Journey, p. 94.

[86] Journey, p. 96.

[87] "Je ne decrirai pas la suite des ceremonies religieuses qui occupent
le reste de la semaine sainte; c'est un recit qui peut bien edifier des
ames devotes, mais non pas plaire a quelqu'un qui lit un voyage pour
s'instruire et s'amuser.

"Il n'en est pas de meme d'une pratique superstitieuse des Grecs
schismatiques, dont la bizarrerie ne laissera pas de divertir un moment.

"Cette secte, abusee par ses pretres, croit de bonne foi que Dieu fait
annuellement un miracle pour lui envoyer le feu sacre.

"A en croire les pretres Grecs, cette faveur divine, dont on ne peut pas
douter, est un preuve insigne de l'excellence de leur communion. Mais ne
pourrait-on pas objecter aux Grecs, que les Armeniens et les Cofes, qu'ils
traitent d'heretiques, participent a cette meme grace. Ennemis acharnes
les uns des autres, les ministres de ces trois sectes se reunissent en
apparence pour la ceremonie du feu sacre. Cette reconciliation momentanee
n'est due qu'a l'interet de tous; separement ils seraient obliges de payer
au gouverneur, pour la permission de faire la miracle, une somme aussi
forte que cette qu'ils donnent ensemble.

"Ces pretres portent la fourberie jusqu'a vouloir persuader au peuple que
le feu sacre ne brule pas ceux qui sont en etat de grace. Ils se frottent
les mains d'une certaine eau, qui les garantit de la brulure a la premiere
approche, et par ce moyen ne se font aucun mal en touchant leurs cierges.
Leur proselytes sont jaloux de les imiter; mais comme ils n'ont pas leur
recette, bien souvent ils se brulent les doigts et le visage: il arrive
de la que les pretres, paraissant jouir exclusivement de la grace de Dieu,
en sont plus respectes et mieux prayes."--_Mariti, Voyages_, &c., tom. ii.
p. 340.

[88] Richardson, vol. ii. p. 333.

[89] Journey, p. 69.

[90] Travels, vol. iv. p. 315.

[91] Vol. ii. p. 21.

[92] Buckingham's Travels, vol i. p. 384.

[93] Travels in Greece, Palestine, Egypt, &c. vol. ii. p. 22.

[94] The invocation alluded to must be familiar to the youngest reader:

"Sing, heavenly muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb or of Sinai didst inspire
That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning, how the heavens and earth
Rose out of chaos; or, if Zion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous song."

_Paradise Lost_, book i.

[95] Travels by Rae Wilson, vol. i. p. 220.

[96] Travels in Palestine, vol. i. p. 297.

[97] 2 Samuel xviii. 18. Travels in Palestine, vol. i. p. 302.

[98] See Tour of the Holy Land, by the Rev. Robert Morehead, D.D.; in the
Appendix to which are extracts from this anonymous manuscript.

[99] "Having so often mentioned Clarke, I must say, that although an
animated and interesting writer, and not incorrect in his descriptions, he
is more deficient in judgment than any traveller I am acquainted with; and
I do not recollect an instance, either here or in Egypt, where he has
attempted to speculate, without falling into some very decided error. I
mention this the more, as his enthusiasm and conviction of the truth of
his own theories led me formerly to place great faith in his
authority."--_Anonymous Journal_.

[100] Buckingham, vol. i. p. 316.--The following words, put into the mouth
of Titus by the eloquent author of the "Fall of Jerusalem," will be read
with interest in connexion with the view just given. The son of Vespasian
stands on the Mount of Olives:--

"It must be--
And yet it moves me, Romans! it confounds
The counsels of my firm philosophy,
That Ruin's merciless ploughshare must pass o'er
And barren salt be sown on yon proud city.
As on our olive-crowned hill we stand,
Where Kedron at our feet its scanty waters
Distils from stone to stone with gentle motion,
As through a valley sacred to sweet Peace,
How boldly doth it front us! how majestically!
Like a luxurious vineyard, the hill-side
Is hung with marble fabrics, line on line,
Terrace o'er terrace, nearer still, and nearer
To the blue heavens. Here bright and sumptuous palaces,
With cool and verdant gardens interspersed;
Here towers of war that frown in massy strength.
While over all hangs the rich purple eve,
As conscious of its being her last farewell
Of light and glory to that fated city.
And as our clouds of battle, dust, and smoke
Are melted into air, behold the Temple,
In undisturbed and lone serenity,
Finding itself a solemn sanctuary
In the profound of heaven! It stands before us
A mount of snow fretted with golden pinnacles!
The very sun, as though he worshipped there,
Lingers upon the gilded cedar roofs;
And down the long and branching porticoes,
On every flowery sculptured capital
Glitters the homage of his parting beams.
By Hercules! the sight might almost win
The offended majesty of Rome to mercy."

Old Sandys, a simple and amusing writer, describes Jerusalem as
follows:--"This chic, once sacred and glorious, elected by God for his
seate, and seated in the midst of nations,--like a diadem crowning the
head of the mountaines,--the theatre of mysteries and miracles,--was
founded by Melchisedek (who is said to be the son of Noah, and that
not unprobably) about the year of the world 2023, and called Salem
(by the Gentiles Solyma), which signifyeth Peace: who reigned here
fifty years.--This citie is seated on a rockie mountaine; every way
to be ascended (except a little on the north) with steep ascents and
deep valleys naturally fortified; for the most part environed with
other not far removed mountaines, as if placed in the midst of an
amphitheatre."--Lib. iii. p. 154.

[101] "Bethlehem soon after came in sight,--a fine village, surrounded
with gardens of fig-trees and olives. There is a deep valley below, and
half-way down on the top of a hill is a green plain, the only one we have
seen in Judea:--I could fancy Boaz's field forming part of it. The convent
is a very remarkable building, and well worth seeing. Without, it is a
perfect fortress, with heavy buttresses and small grated windows, on
entering, we immediately came to a magnificent church, with a double row
of ten Corinthian pillars of marble on each side,--forty pillars to all.
On the arched roof are the remains of Mosaic, of the Empress Helena's
time. One part was very distinct: it represented a city with temples, &c.,
and over it was written in Greek characters, _Laodicea_."--_Anonymous

[102] Richardson, Buckingham, Maundrell.

[103] Bethleem nunc nostram, et augustissimum urbis locum de quo Psalmista
canit (Ps. lxxxiv. 12). _Veritas de terra orta est_, lucus inumbrabat
Thamus, id est, Adonidis; et in specu ubi quondam Christus parvulus
vagiit, Veneris Amasius plangebatur.--_Epis. ad Paul_.

[104] Pour ce qui est des ornemens de ce saint Temple, il n'en reste que
fort peu en comparaison de ce qui y estoit. Car tous les murs estoient
autrefois magnifiquement reuestus et couvertes de belles tables de marbre
gris onde, comme on en voit encore en quelques endroits que les infidelles
n'ont poe avoir. Comme ils ont emporte tout le reste pour en orner leurs
Mosquees, et est une chose pitoyable de voir que tous les murs sont
remplis de gros clous et crampons de fer qui les tenoient attachez.
Au-dessus des colomnes de la nef est un mur tout couvert, et peint de la
plus belle et fine Mosaique qu'il est possible de voir, n'estant composee
que de petites pierres fines et transparentes comme cristal de toutes les
couleurs, qui representent grandes figures et histoires de la Vie,
Miracles Mort, et Passion de Nostre Seigneur, si narument faites des
couleurs si vives et eclatantes, et le fonds d'un or si luysant, qu'il
semble qu'elles sont faites depuis peu, encore qu'il y ait plus de treize
cens ans. Entre ces figures sont treize fenestres de chacun coste, qui
rendent un grand jour par toute l'eglise: derriere la troisieme et
quatrieme colomne de la main droite est un tres-beau et riche base de
marbre blanc de forme ronde a six pans de quelques trois pieds de
diametre, qui sert de fonds baptismaux.--_Doubdan_, p. 133.

[105] Maundrell, p. 90.

[106] Relation of a Journey, p. 183.

[107] O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the
midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of
fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great
destruction.--Jer. vi. 1.

[108] Modern Traveller, vol. i. p. 183. Joseph. Antiq. lib. xiv e. 13.

[109] Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, Pref, vi. Modern Traveller, vol. i.
p. 203. Doubdun, Voyage, p. 322, 326.

[110] Chateaubriand, tom. i. p. 408.

[111] "Haud procul inde campi, quos ferunt olim uberes, magnisque urbibus
habitatos, fulminum jactu, arsisse; et manere vestigia, terramque ipsam,
specie torridam, vim frugiferam perdidisse."--_Tacit. Hist._ lib. v.
cap. 7.

[112] The Abbe Mariti, who saw little himself, is not willing to allow to
others the advantage of having been more fortunate. "Quelques voyageurs
ont avance qu'on distinguoit encore les debris de ces villes infortunees,
lorsque les eaux de la mer etoient basses et lympides. Il en est meme que
disent avoir appercu des restes de colonnes avec leurs chapitaux. Mais, il
faut que l'imagination les ait trompes, ou que depuis leur retour, cette
mer ait eprouve de nouvelles secousses, car je n'y peux rien voir de
semblable, malgre toute ma bonne volonte. Un pere capucin crut aussi
reconnoitre sur ces bords les effets frappans de la malediction celeste.
Ici, ce sont des traces de feu, la, une surface de cendres, partout des
champs arides et maudits. Il croit meme respirer encore un odeur de
soufre. Pour moi je suis affecte en sens contraire: rien dans ce lieu ne
me rappelle la desolation dont parle la bible. L'air y est pure, le gazon
d'un beau vert; en plus d'un endroit mon oeil se refraichit aux eaux
argentines qui jaillissant en gerbes du sommet des monts; la sterilite
dont une partie de ces campagnes fut frappee des la naissance du monde,
rend plus douce par le contraste l'apparence de fertilite que je remarquai
dans le sol d'Alvona. Mais d'ou vient donc que deux voyageurs peuvent etre
si opposes? C'est que un capucin porte partout les cinq sens de la foi, et
que moi je ne suis doue que de deux de la nature."--Tom. ii. p. 334.

[113] "On plutot doit on admettre l'opinion des physiciens Arabes, qui
etablissent, non sans quelque fondement, qu'elles se dissipent en
evaporation?".--Tom. ii. p. 334.

[114] Mr. Gordon, however, maintains, that persons who have never learned
to swim will float on its surface.--Chateaubriand, tom. i. p. 412.

[115] "Le Cardinal de Vitry la nomme la Mer du Diable, et Marinas
Sanutus dit qu'elle est tousjours couverte d'une fumee epaisse et de
vapeurs noires, comme quelque soupirail ou cheminee d'Enfer. D'autres
disent que son eau est noire, gluante, epaisse, grasse, fanguese, et de
tres mauvaise odeur; et toutefois j'ay parle a des Religieux qui m'ont
asseure y avoir ete, et que cette eau est claire; nette, et liquide:
mais tres-amere et salee. Et comme j'ay dit, je n'y ay veu, ny fumee
ny brouillards."--_Doubdan, Voyage de la Terre Sainte_, p. 317.

[116] "As for the apples of Sodom, so much talked of, I neither saw nor
heard of any hereabouts; nor was there any tree to be seen near the lake
from which one might expect such a fruit. Which induces me to believe that
there may be a greater deceit in this fruit than that which is usually
reported of it, and that its very being, as well as its beauty, is a
fiction, only kept up, as my Lord Bacon observes other false notions are,
because it serves for a good allusion and helps the poet to a similitude."
_Maundrell_, p. 85.

[117] The reading in Hasselquist must be _eighteen_ instead of eight, or
eight fathoms, instead of feet, for Mr. Maundrell remarks that the breadth
of the river "might be about twenty yards over, and in depth it far
exceeded my height."--_Journey_, p. 83.

[118] Deut. xxxiv. 1-7.

[119] 2 Kings ii. 19-23.

[120] Paradise Regained, Book I. v. 295, &c.

[121] Among these he found, with great delight, a very curious new cimex
or _bug_, p. 129.

[122] Journey, p. 80.

[123] Paradise Regained, Book II. v. 281.

[124] A Visit to Egypt, &c. p. 285.

[125] Travels of Ali Bey, vol. ii. p. 251.

[126] The Mussulmans say prayers in all the holy places consecrated to the
memory of Jesus Christ and the Virgin except the Tomb of the Holy
Sepulchre, which they do not acknowledge. They believe that Jesus Christ
did not die, but that he ascended alive into heaven, leaving the likeness
of his face to Judas, who was condemned to die for him; and that, in
consequence, Judas having been crucified, his body might have been
contained in this sepulchre, but not that of Jesus Christ. It is for this
reason that the Mussulmans do not perform any acts of devotion at this
monument, and that they ridicule the Christians who go to revere it--_Ali
Bey_, vol. ii. p. 237.

[127] Chateaubriand. Itineraire, tom. ii. p. 169.

[128] Journey, p. 76.

[129] Pausanius, describing the Sepulchre of Helena at Jerusalem, mentions
this device: "It was so contrived that the door of the sepulchre, which
was of stone, and similar in all respects to the sepulchre itself, could
never be opened except upon the return of the same day and hour in each
succeeding year. It then opened of itself by means of the mechanism alone,
and after a short interval closed again. Such was the case at the time
stated; had you tried to open it at any other time, you would not have
succeeded, but broken it first in the attempt." Paus. in Arcad. cap.
xvi.--_Clarke's Travels_, vol. iv. p. 383.

[130] Journey, p. 63.

[131] Deut. xi. 29, 30.

[132] "Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near
to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's
Well was there."--John iv. 5, 6.

[133] Travels, vol. iv. p. 264.

[134] Clarke, vol. iv. p. 275.

[135] Clarke, vol. iv. p. 280.

[136] Richardson, vol. ii. p. 415.

[137] Travels in Palestine, &c. by J.S. Buckingham, vol. ii. p. 144.

[138] Travels in Palestine, vol. ii. p. 104.

[139] Num. xxi. 24. Deut. ii.

[140] Buckingham, vol. ii. p. 244.

[141] Travels in Palestine, p. 259.

[142] Buckingham, vol. ii. p. 261.

[143] Travels in Palestine, vol. ii. p. 261.

[144] Joseph, lib. iii. De Bell. Jud. Hasselquist, p.157. Clarke, iv.

[145] Travels in Palestine, vol. ii. p. 359.--"Quae urbes, quod ipse
servator ils praedixerat, hodie in ruinis jacent."--Cluverius, lib. v.
cap. 20. "Capernaum was visited in the sixth century by Antoninus the
Martyr, an extract from whose Itinerary is preserved by Reland, who speaks
of a church erected upon the spot where St. Peter's dwelling once
stood."--_Clarke's Travels_, vol. iv. p. 211.

[146] Buckingham, vol. ii. p. 366.

[147] "Within two hours and a half of Tiberias, we looked down on a fine
cultivated plain, quite bare of trees; beyond which, at a much lower
level, lay the narrow Valley of the Jordan. This plain was pastured over
by horses from the town, for the keepers of which white tents were
scattered about in all directions. We now came in sight of the Sea of
Galilee: we only saw the northern half, and its size disappointed us; but
the dark blue still water, the green hills around covered with bushes, and
the high snowy ridge of Djibbel el Sheik made a very delightful landscape.
Tiberias, with its high-feudal citadel, its walls and towers, now forms a
remarkable feature in the view; and the steep hills, which descend at once
to the lake on the east, attract attention from their strangely-channelled
sides diversified with dark green bushes and white chalky soil. The lake
at the town may be six or eight miles broad. We could see no stream formed
by the Jordan through it. Before it was dark we had a very fine view of
the lake; at the southero part it is narrow, and the sides bold. The sun
threw a deep shade on this side and on the water, while it marked the
hills and valleys on the opposite side with strong light and shade. The
northern part is much wider and tamer; but the hills are still high and
green, and the lofty snowy mountain of Djibbel el Sheik rising over them
gives great dignity to the landscape. This mountain was very striking late
in the evening, as retaining the sun's rays after every thing around us
was in darkness. In all respects it is the greatest ornament of the lake,
and I am surprised that travellers have not mentioned it
more."--_Anonymous Journal_.

[148] Buckingham, vol. ii. p. 368.

[149] Dr. Clarke relates, that "the French, during the time their army
remained under Bonaparte in the Holy Land, constructed two very large
ovens in the earth at Tiberias. Two years had elapsed at the time of our
arrival since they had set fire to their granary; and it was considered as
a miracle by the inhabitants that the combustion was not yet extinguished.
We visited the place, and perceived, that whenever the ashes of the burnt
corn were stirred, by thrusting a stick among them, sparks were even seen
glowing throughout the heap; and a piece of wood left there became

[150] The following extract from the unpublished journal already so often
referred to will amuse the reader:--"We arrived at the foot of Mount
Tabor. It is, in its general outline, a round, regular-shaped hill, but is
rocky and rough enough when it is to be ascended. It has many trees,
mostly Valonia oaks. It stands on the east of the great Plain of
Esdraelon, up a recess formed by Mount Hermon on the one side, and the
hills towards Nazareth on the other. Its height from the plain I should
guess at 1000 feet. We ascended the greater part of the way on mules. On
the top of the hill is one of those large cisterns, or granaries, so often
alluded to before. There was one also near Jennin, which we observed in
coming in. I have since seen them in numerous other places, which puts an
end to Dr. Clarke's pagan remains. The whole of the Great Plain is fully
cultivated, yet we could hardly see a single village, which adds to the
peculiarity of its appearance,--one sheet of cultivation without a rock or

[151] Clarke, vol. iv. p. 260. Doubdan, Voyage de la Terre Sainte, p. 507.
Paris, 1661.--It is remarkable that all the descriptions of the view from
Mount Tabor appear to be borrowed from this sedulous Frenchman, whose
work, in point of topography, is still unequalled.

[152] Journey, p. 112.

[153] Clarke, vol. iv. p. 170.

[154] Vol. iv. p. 174. "Up stairs, above the Chapel of the Incarnation,"
says Dr. Richardson, "we were shown another grotto, which was called the
Virgin Mary's Kitchen, and a black smoked place in the corner which was
called the Virgin Mary's Chimney. I believe none of the cinders,
fire-irons, or culinary instruments have been preserved; these probably
fled with the Santa Casa, or Holy House, to Loretto; and our only
astonishment is, that the house should have taken flight and left the
chimney and kitchen behind."--vol. ii. p. 440.

[155] Luke iv. 28, 29, 30.

[156] Travels in Palestine, vol. ii. p. 315.

[157] "Traditio continua est, et nunquam interrupta, apud omnes nationes
Orientales, hanc petram, dictam Mensa Christi, iliam ipsam esse supra quam
Dominus noster Jesus Christus cum suis comedit discipulis ante et post
suam resurrectionem a mortuis.

"Et sancta Romana ecclesia INDULGENTIAM concessit septem annorum et
totidem quadragenarum, omnibus Christi fldelibus hunc sanctum locum
visitantibus, recitando saltem ibi unum Pater, et Ave, dummodo sint in
statu gratiae."

"It is a continued and uninterrupted tradition among all the Eastern
churches, that this stone, called the Table of Christ, is that very one
upon which our Lord Jesus Christ ate with his disciples both before and
after his resurrection from the dead.

"And the holy Roman church hath granted an INDULGENCE of seven years, and
as many lents, to all the faithful in Christ visiting this sacred place,
upon reciting at least one Pater Noster and an Ave, provided they be in a
state of grace."

[158] Clarke, vol. iv. p. 167.

[159] "De la nous retournasmes sur nos pas, a l'entree du village par ou
nous avions passe, pour aller voir la Fontaine ou on alla puiser l'eau qui
servit a ce miracle; mais en allant ces femmes et enfans nous penserent
accabler de pierres et d'injures, tant ils sont inhumains et enemies des
Chrestiens."--_Le Voyage_, &c. p. 512.

[160] Clarke, iv. p. 187. "We were afterward conducted into the chapel, in
order to see the relics and sacred vestments there preserved. When the
poor priest exhibited these, he wept over them with so much sincerity, and
lamented the indignities to which the holy places were exposed in forms so
affecting, that all our pilgrims wept also. Such were the tears which
formerly excited the sympathy and roused the valour of the Crusaders. The
sailors of our party caught the kindling zeal, and nothing more was
necessary to incite in them a hostile disposition towards every Saracen
they might afterward encounter."

[161] Travels, vol. iv. p. 141.

[162] Travels vol. iv. p. 148.

[163] Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 35.

[164] Buckingham, vol. i. p. 181.

[165] History of the Jews, vol. iii.

[166] Decline and Fall, vol. ii. p. 385.

[167] The reader who wishes to examine the evidence for the miraculous
nature of the interruption sustained by the agents of Julian will find an
ample discussion in the pages of Basnage, Lardner, Warburton, Gibbon, and
of the Author of the History of the Jews.

[168] History of the Jews, vol. iii.

[169] "When the first light brought news of a morning, they on afresh;
because they had intercepted a letter tied to the leg of a dove, wherein
the Persian emperor promised present succours to the besieged. The Turks
cased the outside of their walls with bags of chaff, straw, and such like
pliable matter, which conquered the engines of the Christians by yielding
unto them. As for one sturdy engine, whose force would not be tamed, they
brought two old witches on the walls to enchant it; but the spirit thereof
was too strong for their spells, so that both of them were miserably slain
in the place.

"We must not think that the world was at a loss for war-tools before the
brood of guns was hatched: it had the battering-ramme, first found out by
Epeus at the taking of Troy; the balista to discharge great stones,
invented by the Phenicians; the catapulta, being a sling of mighty
strength, whereof the Syrians were authors; and perchance King Uzziah
first made it, for we find him very dexterous and happy in devising such
things. And although these bear-whelps were but rude and unshaped at the
first, yet art did lick them afterward, and they got more teeth and
sharper nails by degrees; so that every age set them forth in a new
edition, corrected and amended. But these and many more voluminous engines
are now virtually epitomized in the cannon. And though some say that the
finding of guns hath been the losing of many men's lives, yet it will
appear that battles now are fought with more expedition, and Victory
standeth not so long a neuter, before she express herself on one side or
other."--_Fuller's Holy Warre_, p. 41.

[170] Fuller remarks, that "this second massacre was no slip of an
extemporary passion, but a studied and premeditated act. Besides, the
execution was merciless upon sucking children whose not speaking spake for
them; and on women whose weakness is a shield to defend them against a
valiant man. To conclude, severity, hot in the fourth degree, is little
better than poison, and becometh cruelty itself; and this act seemeth to
be of the same nature."--_Fuller's Holy Warre_, p. 41.

[171] On this interesting subject we refer to the "Itineraire" of
Chateaubriand, and his "Genie du Christianisme;" the History of England by
Sir James Mackintosh, volume first; and to Mills's History of the
Crusades, volume first, chapter sixth. We may add Dr. Robertson's
"Historical Disquisition concerning the Knowledge which the Ancients had
of India."

[172] Mill's History of the Crusades, vol. ii. p. 48.

[173] Mills's History of the Crusades, vol. ii. p. 129. Michaud, Histoire
des Croisades, tom. iii. p. 187.

[174] A cure at Paris, instead of reading the bull from the pulpit in the
usual form, said to his parishioners, "You know, my friends, that I am
ordered to fulminate an excommunication against Frederick. I know not the
motive. All that I know is, that there has been a quarrel between that
prince and the pope. God alone knows who is right. I excommunicate him who
has injured the other, and I absolve the sufferer." The emperor sent a
present to the preacher, but the pope and the king blamed this sally: _le
mauvais plaisant_--the unhappy wit--was obliged to expiate his fault by a
canonical penance.--_Mills's History_, vol. ii. p. 253.

[175] The address of the Pope to the Fourth Council of Lateran, as
translated by Michaud, is not a little striking:--"O vous qui passez dans
les chemins, disait Jerusalem par la bouche du Pontife, regardez et voyez
si jamais il y eut une douleur semblable a la mienne! Accourez donc tous,
vous qui me cherissez, pour me delivrer de l'exces de mes miseres! Moi,
qui etais la recue de toutes les nations, je suis maintenant asservie au
tribut; moi, qui etais remplie de peuple, je suis restee presque seule.
Les chemins de Sion sont en deuil, parceque personne ne vient a mes
solemnites. Mes ennemis ont ecrase ma tete; tous les lieux saints sont
profanes: le saint sepulchre, si rempli d'eclat, est couvert d'opprobre;
on adore le fils de la perdition et de l'enfer, la ou nagueres on adorait
le fils de Dieu. Les enfants de l'etranger m'accablent d'outrages, et
montrant la croix de Jesus, ils me disent:--'_Tu as mise toute la
confiance dans un bois vil; nous verrons si ce bois te sauvera au jour de
danger_.'"--_Histoire des Croisades_, tom. iii. p. 394.

[176] "On se rappelait alors les vertus dont il avait donne l'exemple, et
surtout sa bonte, envers les habitants de la Palestine, qu'il avait
traites comme ses propres sujets. Les uns exprimaient leur reconnaissance
par de vives acclamations, les autres par une morne silence; tout le
peuple qu'affligeait son depart, les proclamait _le pere des Chretiens_,
et conjurait le ciel de repandre ses benedictions sur la famille du
vertueux monarque et sur la royaume de France. Louis montrait sur son
visage, qu'il partageait les regrets des Chretiens de la Terra-Sainte; il
leur addressait des paroles consolantes, leur donnait d'utiles conseils,
se reprochait de s'avoir fait assez pour leur cause, et temoignait le vif
desir qu'un jour Dieu le jugeat digne d'achever l'ouvrage de leur
delivrance."--_Michaud, Histoire des Croisades_, tom. iv. p. 299.

[177] Ibid. p. 302.

[178] It was during the siege of Tunis that Louis died. "Our Edward would
needs have had the town beaten down, and all put to the sword; thinking
the foulest quarter too fair for them. Their goods (because got by
robbery) he would have sacrificed as an anathema to God, and burnt to
ashes; his own share he execrated, and caused it to be burnt, forbidding
the English to save any thing of it; because that coals stolen out of that
fire would sooner burn their houses than warm their hands. It troubled not
the consciences of other princes to enrich themselves herewith, but they
glutted themselves with the stolen honie which they found in this hive of
drones: and, which was worse, now their bellies were full, they would goe
to bed, return home, and goe no farther. Yea, the young King of France,
called Philip the Bold, was fearful to prosecute his journey to Palestine;
whereas Prince Edward struck his breast, and swore, that though all his
friends forsook him, yet he would enter Ptolemais though but only with
Fowin his horsekeeper. By which speech he incensed the English to go on
with him."--_Fuller's Holy Warre_, p. 217.

[179] "It is storied how Eleanor, his lady, sucked all the poison out of
his wounds, without doing any harm to herself. So sovereign a remedy is a
woman's tongue anointed with the virtue of loving affection! Pity it is
that so pretty a story should not be true (with all the miracles in love's
legends), and sure he shall get himself no credit who undertaketh to
confute a passage so sounding to the honour of the sex. Yet can it not
stand with what others have written."--_Fuller's Holy Warre_, p. 220.

[180] The motives for the massacre of Jaffa are given by Bourrienne in so
impartial a manner, that we are inclined to believe he has given a true
transcript of his master's mind. "Bonaparte sent his aids-de-camp,
Beauharnais and Crosier, to appease as far as possible the fury of the
soldiery, to examine what passed, and to report. They learned that a
numerous detachment of the garrison had retired into a strong position,
where large buildings surrounded a courtyard. This court they entered,
displaying the scarfs which marked their rank. The Albanians and Arnauts,
composing nearly the entire of these refugees, cried out from the windows
that they wished to surrender, on condition their lives were spared; if
not, threatening to fire upon the officers, and to defend themselves to
the last extremity. The young men conceived they ought, and had power, to
accede to the demand, in opposition to the sentence of death pronounced
against the garrison of every place taken by assault. I was walking with
General Bonaparte before his tent when these prisoners, in two columns,
amounting to about four thousand men, were marched into the camp. When he
beheld the mass of men arrive, and before seeing the aids-de-camp, he
turned to me with an expression of consternation, 'What would they have me
to do with these? Have I provisions to feed them; ships to transport them
either to Egypt or France? How the devil could they play me this trick!'
The two aids-de-camp, on their arrival and explanations, received the
strongest reprimands. To their defence, namely, that they were alone amid
numerous enemies, and that he had recommended to them to appease the
slaughter, he replied, in the sternest tone, 'Yes, without doubt, the
slaughter of women, children, old men, the peaceable inhabitants, but not
of armed soldiers; you ought to have braved death, and not brought these
to me. What would you have me do with them?' But the evil was done. Four
thousand men were there--their fate must be determined. The prisoners were
made to sit down, huddled together before the tents, their hands being
bound behind them. A gloomy rage was depicted to every lineament. A
council was held in the general's tent," &c.

On the third day an order was issued that the prisoners should be
shot,--an order which was literally executed on four thousand men. "The
atrocious crime," says M. Bourrienne, "makes me yet shudder when I think
of it, as when it passed before me. All that can be imagined of fearful on
this day of blood would fall short of the reality!"--_Memoirs_, vol i. p.

[181] Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, vol. i. p. 163.

[182] Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, vol. i. p. 165.

[183] Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, vol. i. p. 168.

[184] Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria and the Holy Land, p. 315.

[185] Weimar, Geographical Ephemerides; and History of the Jews, vol. iii.
p. 332.

[186] History of the Jews, vol. iii. p. 338.

[187] See Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. p. 191.

[188] Hasselquist's Voyages and Travels, p. 284.

[189] Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. p. 223 and 307.

[190] Travels or Observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the
Levent, vol. ii. p. 153.

[191] Travels or Observations, vol. ii. p. 135.

[192] Travels through Syria and Egypt, vol. i. p. 313.

[193] 1 Kings, iv. 23.

[194] Shaw's Travels, vol. ii. p. 280.

[195] Job xxxix. ver. 9, 10, 11, 12.

[196] Job xxxix. 5, 6, 7, 8.

[197] Appendix to Bruce's Travels, p. 139.

[198] See an article in the sixth volume of the Wernerian Memoirs, by Dr.
Scott, of Corstorphine, "On the Animal called Saphan in the Hebrew

[199] Daubenton, Calmet, vol. iv. p. 645. See also Shaw, Hasselquist and

[200] Calmet's Dictionary, vol. iv. p. 659.

[201] See Calmet, vol. iv. p. 688.

[202] Churchill's Voyages, vol. ii, p. 296.

[203] Revelation ix. 3, 10.

[204] Calmet's Dictionary, vol. iv. p. 696.

[205] Malte Brun, vol. ii p. 130.

[206] Shaw's Travels, vol. ii p. 152.

[207] Isaiah, v. 4.

[208] Voyages and Travels in the Levant, p. 288.

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