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The Lands of the Saracen by Bayard Taylor

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or, Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain.


Bayard Taylor.

Twentieth Edition.


To Washington Irving,

This book--the chronicle of my travels through lands once occupied by the
Saracens--naturally dedicates itself to you, who, more than any other
American author, have revived the traditions, restored the history, and
illustrated the character of that brilliant and heroic people. Your
cordial encouragement confirmed me in my design of visiting the East, and
making myself familiar with Oriental life; and though I bring you now but
imperfect returns, I can at least unite with you in admiration of a field
so rich in romantic interest, and indulge the hope that I may one day
pluck from it fruit instead of blossoms. In Spain, I came upon your track,
and I should hesitate to exhibit my own gleanings where you have
harvested, were it not for the belief that the rapid sketches I have given
will but enhance, by the contrast, the charm of your finished picture.

Bayard Taylor.


This volume comprises the second portion of a series of travels, of which
the "Journey to Central Africa," already published, is the first part. I
left home, intending to spend a winter in Africa, and to return during the
following summer; but circumstances afterwards occurred, which prolonged
my wanderings to nearly two years and a half, and led me to visit many
remote and unexplored portions of the globe. To describe this journey in a
single work, would embrace too many incongruous elements, to say nothing
of its great length, and as it falls naturally into three parts, or
episodes, of very distinct character, I have judged it best to group my
experiences under three separate heads, merely indicating the links which
connect them. This work includes my travels in Palestine, Syria, Asia
Minor, Sicily and Spain, and will be followed by a third and concluding
volume, containing my adventures in India, China, the Loo-Choo Islands,
and Japan. Although many of the letters, contained in this volume,
describe beaten tracks of travel, I have always given my own individual
impressions, and may claim for them the merit of entire sincerity. The
journey from Aleppo to Constantinople, through the heart of Asia Minor,
illustrates regions rarely traversed by tourists, and will, no doubt, be
new to most of my readers. My aim, throughout the work, has been to give
correct pictures of Oriental life and scenery, leaving antiquarian
research and speculation to abler hands. The scholar, or the man of
science, may complain with reason that I have neglected valuable
opportunities for adding something to the stock of human knowledge: but if
a few of the many thousands, who can only travel by their firesides,
should find my pages answer the purpose of a series of cosmoramic
views--should in them behold with a clearer inward eye the hills of
Palestine, the sun-gilded minarets of Damascus, or the lonely pine-forests
of Phrygia--should feel, by turns, something of the inspiration and the
indolence of the Orient--I shall have achieved all I designed, and more
than I can justly hope.

New York, _October_, 1854.


Chapter I.

Life in a Syrian Quarantine.

Voyage from Alexandria to Beyrout--Landing at Quarantine--The
Guardians--Our Quarters--Our Companions--Famine and Feasting--The
Morning--The Holy Man of Timbuctoo--Sunday in Quarantine--Islamism--We
are Registered--Love through a Grating--Trumpets--The Mystery
Explained--Delights of Quarantine--Oriental _vs._ American
Exaggeration--A Discussion of Politics--Our
Release--Beyrout--Preparations for the Pilgrimage

Chapter II.

The Coast of Palestine.

The Pilgrimage Commences--The Muleteers--The Mules--The Donkey--Journey
to Sidon--The Foot of Lebanon--Pictures--The Ruins of Tyre--A Wild
Morning--The Tyrian Surges--Climbing the Ladder of Tyre--Panorama of the
Bay of Acre--The Plain of Esdraelon--Camp in a Garden--Acre--the Shore
of the Bay--Haifa--Mount Carmel and its Monastery--A Deserted Coast--The
Ruins of Caesarea--The Scenery of Palestine--We become Robbers--El
Haram--Wrecks--the Harbor and Town of Jaffa.

Chapter III.

From Jaffa to Jerusalem.

The Garden of Jaffa--Breakfast at a Fountain--The Plain of Sharon--The
Ruined Mosque of Ramleh--A Judean Landscape--The Streets Ramleh--Am I in
Palestine?--A Heavenly Morning--The Land of Milk and Honey--Entering
the Hill Country--The Pilgrim's Breakfast--The Father of Lies--A Church
of the Crusaders--The Agriculture of the Hills--The Valley of
Elah--Day-Dreams--The Wilderness--The Approach--We See the Holy City

Chapter IV.

The Dead Sea and the River Jordan.

Bargaining for a Guard---Departure from Jerusalem--The Hill of
Offence--Bethany--The Grotto of Lazarus--The Valley of Fire--Scenery of
the Wilderness--The Hills of Engaddi--The shore of the Dead Sea--A
Bituminous Bath--Gallop to the Jordan--A watch for Robbers--The
Jordan--Baptism--The Plains of Jericho--The Fountain of Elisha--The
Mount of Temptation--Return to Jerusalem

Chapter V.

The City of Christ.

Modern Jerusalem--The Site of the City--Mount Zion--Mount Moriah--The
Temple--The Valley of Jehosaphat--The Olives of Gethsemane--The Mount
of Olives--Moslem Tradition--Panorama from the Summit--The Interior of
the City--The Population--Missions and Missionaries--Christianity in
Jerusalem--Intolerance--The Jews of Jerusalem--The Face of Christ--The
Church of the Holy Sepulchre--The Holy of Holies--The Sacred
Localities--Visions of Christ--The Mosque of Omar--The Holy Man of
Timbuctoo--Preparations for Departure.

Chapter VI.

The Hill-Country of Palestine.

Leaving Jerusalem--The Tombs of the Kings--El Bireh--The
Hill-Country--First View of Mount Hermon--The Tomb of Joseph--Ebal and
Gerizim--The Gardens of Nablous--The Samaritans--The Sacred Book--A
Scene in the Synagogue--Mentor and Telemachus--Ride to Samaria--The
Ruins of Sebaste--Scriptural Landscapes--Halt at Genin--The Plain of
Esdraelon--Palestine and California--The Hills of
Nazareth--Accident--Fra Joachim--The Church of the Virgin--The Shrine of
the Annunciation--The Holy Places.

Chapter VII.

The Country of Galilee.

Departure from Nazareth--A Christian Guide--Ascent of Mount
Tabor--Wallachian Hermits--The Panorama of Tabor--Ride to Tiberias--A
Bath in Genesareth--The Flowers of Galilee--The Mount of
Beatitude--Magdala--Joseph's Well--Meeting with a Turk--The Fountain of
the Salt-Works--The Upper Valley of the Jordan--Summer Scenery--The
Rivers of Lebanon--Tell el-Kadi--An Arcadian Region--The Fountains of

Chapter VIII.

Crossing the Anti-Lebanon.

The Harmless Guard--Caesarea Philippi--The Valley of the Druses--The
Sides of Mount Hermon--An Alarm--Threading a Defile--Distant view of
Djebel Hauaran--Another Alarm--Camp at Katana--We Ride into Damascus

Chapter IX.

Pictures of Damascus.

Damascus from the Anti-Lebanon--Entering the City--A Diorama of
Bazaars--An Oriental Hotel--Our Chamber--The Bazaars--Pipes and
Coffee--The Rivers of Damascus--Palaces of the Jews--Jewish Ladies--A
Christian Gentleman--The Sacred Localities--Damascus Blades--The Sword
of Haroun Al-Raschid--An Arrival from Palmyra

Chapter X.

The Visions of Hasheesh.

Chapter XI.

A Dissertation on Bathing and Bodies.

Chapter XII.

Baalbec and Lebanon.

Departure from Damascus--The Fountains of the Pharpar--Pass of the
Anti-Lebanon--Adventure with the Druses--The Range of Lebanon--The
Demon of Hasheesh departs--Impressions of Baalbec--The Temple of the
Sun--Titanic Masonry--The Ruined Mosque--Camp on Lebanon--Rascality of
the Guide--The Summit of Lebanon--The Sacred Cedars--The Christians of
Lebanon--An Afternoon in Eden--Rugged Travel--We Reach the Coast--Return
to Beyrout

Chapter XIII.

Pipes and Coffee

Chapter XIV.

Journey to Antioch and Aleppo.

Change of Plans--Routes to Baghdad--Asia Minor--We sail from
Beyrout--Yachting on the Syrian Coast--Tartus and Latakiyeh--The Coasts
of Syria--The Bay of Suediah--The Mouth of the Orontes--Landing--The
Garden of Syria--Ride to Antioch--The Modern City--The Plains of the
Orontes--Remains of the Greek Empire--The Ancient Road--The Plain of
Keftin--Approach to Aleppo.

Chapter XV.

Life in Aleppo.

Our Entry into Aleppo--We are conducted to a House--Our Unexpected
Welcome--The Mystery Explained--Aleppo--Its Name--Its Situation--The
Trade of Aleppo--The Christians--The Revolt of 1850--Present Appearance
of the City--Visit to Osman Pasha--The Citadel--View from the
Battlements--Society in Aleppo--Etiquette and Costume--Jewish Marriage
Festivities--A Christian Marriage Procession--Ride around the
Town--Nightingales--The Aleppo Button--A Hospital for Cats--Ferhat.

Chapter XVI.

Through the Syrian Gates.

An Inauspicious Departure--The Ruined Church of St. Simon--The Plain of
Antioch--A Turcoman Encampment--Climbing Akma Dagh--The Syrian
Gates--Scanderoon--An American Captain--Revolt of the Koords--We take a
Guard--The Field of Issus--The Robber-Chief, Kutchuk Ali--A Deserted
Town--A Land of Gardens.

Chapter XVII.

Adana and Tarsus.

The Black Gate--The Plain of Cilicia--A Koord Village--Missis--Cilician
Scenery--Arrival at Adana--Three days in Quarantine--We receive
Pratique--A Landscape--The Plain of Tarsus--The River Cydnus--A Vision
of Cleopatra--Tarsus and its Environs--The _Duniktash_--The Moon of

Chapter XVIII.

The Pass of Mount Taurus.

We enter the Taurus--Turcomans--Forest Scenery--the Palace of Pan--Khan
Mezarluk--Morning among the Mountains--The Gorge of the Cydnus--The
Crag of the Fortress--The Cilician Grate--Deserted Forts--A Sublime
Landscape--The Gorge of the Sihoon--The Second Gate--Camp in the
Defile--Sunrise--Journey up the Sihoon--A Change of Scenery--A Pastoral
Valley--Kolue Kushla--A Deserted Khan--A Guest in Ramazan--Flowers--The
Plain of Karamania--Barren Hills--The Town of Eregli--The Hadji again

Chapter XIX.

The Plains of Karamania.

The Plains of Karamania--Afternoon Heat--A Well--Volcanic
Phenomena--Karamania--A Grand Ruined Khan--Moonlight Picture--A
Landscape of the Plains--Mirages--A Short Interview--The Village of
Ismil--Third Day on the Plains--Approach to Konia

Chapter XX.

Scenes in Konia.

Approach to Konia--Tomb of Hazret Mevlana--Lodgings in a Khan--An
American Luxury--A Night-Scene in Ramazan--Prayers in the
Mosque--Remains of the Ancient City--View from the Mosque--The
Interior--A Leaning Minaret--The Diverting History of the Muleteers

Chapter XXI.

The Heart of Asia Minor.

Scenery of the Hills--Ladik, the Ancient Laodicea--The Plague of
Gad-Flies--Camp at Ilguen--A Natural Warm Bath--The Gad-Flies Again--A
Summer Landscape--Ak-Sheher--The Base of Sultan Dagh--The Fountain of
Midas--A Drowsy Journey--The Town of Bolawaduen

Chapter XXII.

The Forests of Phrygia.

The Frontier of Phrygia--Ancient Quarries and Tombs--We Enter the Pine
Forests--A Guard-House--Encampments of the Turcomans--Pastoral
Scenery--A Summer Village--The Valley of the Tombs--Rock Sepulchres of
the Phrygian Kings--The Titan's Camp--The Valley of Kuembeh--A Land of
Flowers--Turcoman Hospitality--The Exiled Effendis--The Old Turcoman--A
Glimpse of Arcadia--A Landscape--Interested Friendship--The Valley of
the Pursek--Arrival at Kiutahya

Chapter XXIII.

Kiutahya, and the Ruins of OEzani.

Entrance into Kiutahya--The New Khan--An Unpleasant
Discovery--Kiutahya--The Citadel--Panorama from the Walls--The Gorge of
the Mountains--Camp in a Meadow--The Valley of the
Rhyndacus--Chavduer--The Ruins of OEzani--The Acropolis and
Temple--The Theatre and Stadium--Ride down the Valley--Camp at Daghjkoei

Chapter XXIV.

The Mysian Olympus.

Journey Down the Valley--The Plague of Grasshoppers--A Defile--The Town
of Taushanlue--The Camp of Famine--We leave the Rhyndacus--The Base of
Olympus--Primeval Forests--The Guard-House--Scenery of the
Summit--Forests of Beech--Saw-Mills--Descent of the Mountain--The View
of Olympus--Morning--The Land of Harvest--Aineghioel--A Showery Ride--The
Plain of Brousa--The Structure of Olympus--We reach Brousa--The Tent is

Chapter XXV.

Brousa and the Sea of Marmora.

The City of Brousa--Return to Civilization--Storm--The Kalputcha
Hammam--A Hot Bath--A Foretaste of Paradise--The Streets and Bazaars of
Brousa--The Mosque--The Tombs of the Ottoman Sultans--Disappearance of
the Katurgees--We start for Moudania--The Sea of
Marmora--Moudania--Passport Difficulties--A Greek Caique--Breakfast with
the Fishermen--A Torrid Voyage--The Princes' Islands--Prinkipo--Distant
View of Constantinople--We enter the Golden Horn

Chapter XXVI.

The Night of Predestination.

Constantinople in Ramazan--The Origin of the Fast--Nightly
Illuminations--The Night of Predestination--The Golden Horn at
Night--Illumination of the Shores---The Cannon of Constantinople--A
Fiery Panorama--The Sultan's Caique--Close of the Celebration--A Turkish
Mob--The Dancing Dervishes

Chapter XXVII.

The Solemnities of Bairam.

The Appearance of the New Moon--The Festival of Bairam--The Interior of
the Seraglio--The Pomp of the Sultan's Court--Reschid Pasha--The
Sultan's Dwarf--Arabian Stallions--The Imperial Guard--Appearance of the
Sultan--The Inner Court--Return of the Procession--The Sultan on his
Throne--The Homage of the Pashas--An Oriental Picture--Kissing the
Scarf--The Shekh el-Islam--The Descendant of the Caliphs--Bairam

Chapter XXVIII.

The Mosques of Constantinople.

Sojourn at Constantinople--Semi-European Character of the City--The
Mosque--Procuring a Firman--The Seraglio--The Library--The Ancient
Throne-Room--Admittance to St. Sophia--Magnificence of the Interior--The
Marvellous Dome--The Mosque of Sultan Achmed--The Sulemanye--Great
Conflagrations--Political Meaning of the Fires--Turkish Progress--Decay
of the Ottoman Power

Chapter XXIX.

Farewell to the Orient--Malta.

Embarcation--Farewell to the Orient--Leaving Constantinople--A
Wreck--The Dardanelles--Homeric Scenery--Smyrna Revisited--The Grecian
Isles--Voyage to Malta--Detention--La Valetta--The Maltese--The
Climate--A Boat for Sicily

Chapter XXX.

The Festival of St. Agatha.

Departure from Malta--The Speronara--Our Fellow-Passengers--The First
Night on Board--Sicily--Scarcity of Provisions--Beating in the Calabrian
Channel--The Fourth Morning--The Gulf of Catania--A Sicilian
Landscape--The Anchorage--The Suspected List--The Streets of
Catania--Biography of St. Agatha--The Illuminations--The Procession of
the Veil--The Biscari Palace--The Antiquities of Catania--The Convent of
St. Nicola

Chapter XXXI.

The Eruption of Mount Etna.

The Mountain Threatens--The Signs Increase--We Leave Catania--Gardens
Among the Lava--Etna Labors--Aci Reale--The Groans of Etna--The
Eruption--Gigantic Tree of Smoke--Formation of the New Crater--We Lose
Sight of the Mountain--Arrival at Messina--Etna is Obscured--Departure

Chapter XXXII.


Unwritten Links of Travel--Departure from Southampton--The Bay of
Biscay--Cintra--Trafalgar--Gibraltar at Midnight--Landing--Search for a
Palm-Tree--A Brilliant Morning--The Convexity of the
Earth--Sun-Worship--The Rock

Chapter XXXIII.

Cadiz and Seville.

Voyage to Cadiz--Landing--The City--Its Streets--The Women of
Cadiz--Embarkation for Seville--Scenery of the Guadalquivir--Custom
House Examination--The Guide--The Streets of Seville--The Giralda--The
Cathedral of Seville--The Alcazar--Moorish Architecture--Pilate's
House--Morning View from the Giralda--Old Wine--Murillos--My Last
Evening in Seville

Chapter XXXIV.

Journey in a Spanish Diligence.

Spanish Diligence Lines--Leaving Seville--An Unlucky Start--Alcala of
the Bakers--Dinner at Carmona--A Dehesa--The Mayoral and his
Team--Ecija--Night Journey--Cordova--The Cathedral-Mosque--Moorish
Architecture--The Sierra Morena--A Rainy Journey--A Chapter of
Accidents--Baylen--The Fascination of Spain--Jaen--The Vega of Granada

Chapter XXXV.

Granada and the Alhambra.

Mateo Ximenez, the Younger--The Cathedral of Granada--A Monkish
Miracle--Catholic Shrines--Military Cherubs--The Royal Chapel--The Tombs
of Ferdinand and Isabella--Chapel of San Juan de Dios--The
Albaycin--View of the Vega--The Generalife--The Alhambra--Torra de la
Vela--The Walls and Towers--A Visit to Old Mateo--The Court of the
Fishpond--The Halls of the Alhambra--Character of the Architecture--
Hall of the Abencerrages--Hall of the Two Sisters--The Moorish Dynasty
in Spain

Chapter XXXVI.

The Bridle-Roads of Andalusia.

Change of Weather--Napoleon and his Horses--Departure from Granada--My
Guide, Jose Garcia--His Domestic Troubles--The Tragedy of the
Umbrella--The Vow against Aguardiente--Crossing the Vega--The Sierra
Nevada--The Baths of Alhama--"Woe is Me, Alhama!"--The Valley of the
River Velez--Velez Malaga--The Coast Road--The Fisherman and his
Donkey--Malaga--Summer Scenery--The Story of Don Pedro, without Fear and
without Care--The Field of Monda--A Lonely Venta

Chapter XXXVII.

The Mountains of Fonda.

Orange Valleys--Climbing the Mountains--Jose's Hospitality--El
Burgo--The Gate of the Wind--The Cliff and Cascades of Ronda--The
Mountain Region--Traces of the Moors--Haunts of Robbers--A Stormy
Ride--The Inn at Gaucin--Bad News--A Boyish Auxiliary--Descent from the
Mountains--The Ford of the Guadiaro--Our Fears Relieved--The Cork
Woods--Ride from San Roque to Gibraltar--Parting with Jose--Travelling
in Spain--Conclusion

The Lands of the Saracen

Chapter I.

Life in a Syrian Quarantine.

Voyage from Alexandria to Beyrout--Landing at Quarantine--The
Guardiano--Our Quarters--Our Companions--Famine and Feasting--The
Morning--The Holy Man of Timbuctoo--Sunday in Quarantine--Islamism--We
are Registered--Love through a Grating--Trumpets--The Mystery
Explained--Delights of Quarantine--Oriental _vs_. American
Exaggeration--A Discussion of Politics--Our
Release--Beyrout--Preparations for the Pilgrimage.

"The mountains look on Quarantine,
And Quarantine looks on the sea."

Quarantine MS.

In Quarantine, Beyrout, _Saturday, April_ 17, 1852.

Everybody has heard of Quarantine, but in our favored country there are
many untravelled persons who do not precisely know what it is, and who no
doubt wonder why it should be such a bugbear to travellers in the Orient.
I confess I am still somewhat in the same predicament myself, although I
have already been twenty-four hours in Quarantine. But, as a peculiarity
of the place is, that one can do nothing, however good a will he has, I
propose to set down my experiences each day, hoping that I and my readers
may obtain some insight into the nature of Quarantine, before the term of
my probation is over.

I left Alexandria on the afternoon of the 14th inst., in company with Mr.
Carter Harrison, a fellow-countryman, who had joined me in Cairo, for the
tour through Palestine. We had a head wind, and rough sea, and I remained
in a torpid state during most of the voyage. There was rain the second
night; but, when the clouds cleared away yesterday morning, we were
gladdened by the sight of Lebanon, whose summits glittered with streaks of
snow. The lower slopes of the mountains were green with fields and
forests, and Beyrout, when we ran up to it, seemed buried almost out of
sight, in the foliage of its mulberry groves. The town is built along the
northern side of a peninsula, which projects about two miles from the main
line of the coast, forming a road for vessels. In half an hour after our
arrival, several large boats came alongside, and we were told to get our
baggage in order and embark for Quarantine. The time necessary to purify a
traveller arriving from Egypt from suspicion of the plague, is five days,
but the days of arrival and departure are counted, so that the durance
amounts to but three full days. The captain of the Osiris mustered the
passengers together, and informed them that each one would be obliged to
pay six piastres for the transportation of himself and his baggage. Two
heavy lighters are now drawn up to the foot of the gangway, but as soon as
the first box tumbles into them, the men tumble out. They attach the craft
by cables to two smaller boats, in which they sit, to tow the infected
loads. We are all sent down together, Jews, Turks, and Christians--a
confused pile of men, women, children, and goods. A little boat from the
city, in which there are representatives from the two hotels, hovers
around us, and cards are thrown to us. The zealous agents wish to supply
us immediately with tables, beds, and all other household appliances; but
we decline their help until we arrive at the mysterious spot. At last we
float off--two lighters full of infected, though respectable, material,
towed by oarsmen of most scurvy appearance, but free from every suspicion
of taint.

The sea is still rough, the sun is hot, and a fat Jewess becomes sea-sick.
An Italian Jew rails at the boatmen ahead, in the Neapolitan patois, for
the distance is long, the Quarantine being on the land-side of Beyrout. We
see the rows of little yellow houses on the cliff, and with great apparent
risk of being swept upon the breakers, are tugged into a small cove, where
there is a landing-place. Nobody is there to receive us; the boatmen jump
into the water and push the lighters against the stone stairs, while we
unload our own baggage. A tin cup filled with sea-water is placed before
us, and we each drop six piastres into it--for money, strange as it may
seem, is infectious. By this time, the _guardianos_ have had notice of our
arrival, and we go up with them to choose our habitations. There are
several rows of one-story houses overlooking the sea, each containing two
empty rooms, to be had for a hundred piastres; but a square two-story
dwelling stands apart from them, and the whole of it may be had for thrice
that sum. There are seven Frank prisoners, and we take it for ourselves.
But the rooms are bare, the kitchen empty, and we learn the important
fact, that Quarantine is durance vile, without even the bread and water.
The guardiano says the agents of the hotel are at the gate, and we can
order from them whatever we want. Certainly; but at their own price, for
we are wholly at their mercy. However, we go down stairs, and the chief
officer, who accompanies us, gets into a corner as we pass, and holds a
stick before him to keep us off. He is now clean, but if his garments
brush against ours, he is lost. The people we meet in the grounds step
aside with great respect to let us pass, but if we offer them our hands,
no one would dare to touch a finger's tip.

Here is the gate: a double screen of wire, with an interval between, so
that contact is impossible. There is a crowd of individuals outside, all
anxious to execute commissions. Among them is the agent of the hotel, who
proposes to fill our bare rooms with furniture, send us a servant and
cook, and charge us the same as if we lodged with him. The bargain is
closed at once, and he hurries off to make the arrangements. It is now
four o'clock, and the bracing air of the headland gives a terrible
appetite to those of us who, like me, have been sea-sick and fasting for
forty-eight hours. But there is no food within the Quarantine except a
patch of green wheat, and a well in the limestone rock. We two Americans
join company with our room-mate, an Alexandrian of Italian parentage, who
has come to Beyrout to be married, and make the tour of our territory.
There is a path along the cliffs overhanging the sea, with glorious views
of Lebanon, up to his snowy top, the pine-forests at his base, and the
long cape whereon the city lies at full length, reposing beside the waves.
The Mahommedans and Jews, in companies of ten (to save expense), are
lodged in the smaller dwellings, where they have already aroused millions
of fleas from their state of torpid expectancy. We return, and take a
survey of our companions in the pavilion: a French woman, with two ugly
and peevish children (one at the breast), in the next room, and three
French gentlemen in the other--a merchant, a young man with hair of
extraordinary length, and a _filateur_, or silk-manufacturer, middle-aged
and cynical. The first is a gentleman in every sense of the word, the
latter endurable, but the young Absalom is my aversion, I am subject to
involuntary likings and dislikings, for which I can give no reason, and
though the man may be in every way amiable, his presence is very
distasteful to me.

We take a pipe of consolation, but it only whets our appetites. We give up
our promenade, for exercise is still worse; and at last the sun goes down,
and yet no sign of dinner. Our pavilion becomes a Tower of Famine, and the
Italian recites Dante. Finally a strange face appears at the door. By
Apicius! it is a servant from the hotel, with iron bedsteads, camp-tables,
and some large chests, which breathe an odor of the Commissary Department.
We go stealthily down to the kitchen, and watch the unpacking. Our dinner
is there, sure enough, but alas! it is not yet cooked. Patience is no
more; my companion manages to filch a raw onion and a crust of bread,
which we share, and roll under our tongues as a sweet morsel, and it gives
us strength for another hour. The Greek dragoman and cook, who are sent
into Quarantine for our sakes, take compassion on us; the fires are
kindled in the cold furnaces; savory steams creep up the stairs; the
preparations increase, and finally climax in the rapturous announcement:
"Messieurs, dinner is ready." The soup is liquified bliss; the _cotelettes
d'agneau_ are _cotelettes de bonheur_; and as for that broad dish of
Syrian larks--Heaven forgive us the regret, that more songs had not been
silenced for our sake! The meal is all nectar and ambrosia, and now,
filled and contented, we subside into sleep on comfortable couches. So
closes the first day of our incarceration.

This morning dawned clear and beautiful. Lebanon, except his snowy crest,
was wrapped in the early shadows, but the Mediterranean gleamed like a
shield of sapphire, and Beyrout, sculptured against the background of its
mulberry groves, was glorified beyond all other cities. The turf around
our pavilion fairly blazed with the splendor of the yellow daisies and
crimson poppies that stud it. I was satisfied with what I saw, and felt no
wish to leave Quarantine to-day. Our Italian friend, however, is more
impatient. His betrothed came early to see him, and we were edified by the
great alacrity with which he hastened to the grate, to renew his vows at
two yards' distance from her. In the meantime, I went down to the Turkish
houses, to cultivate the acquaintance of a singular character I met on
board the steamer. He is a negro of six feet four, dressed in a long
scarlet robe. His name is Mahommed Senoosee, and he is a _fakeer_, or holy
man, from Timbuctoo. He has been two years absent from home, on a
pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, and is now on his way to Jerusalem and
Damascus. He has travelled extensively in all parts of Central Africa,
from Dar-Fur to Ashantee, and professes to be on good terms with the
Sultans of Houssa and Bornou. He has even been in the great kingdom of
Waday, which has never been explored by Europeans, and as far south as
Iola, the capital of Adamowa. Of the correctness of his narrations I have
not the least doubt, as they correspond geographically with all that we
know of the interior of Africa. In answer to my question whether a
European might safely make the same tour, he replied that there would be
no difficulty, provided he was accompanied by a native, and he offered to
take me even to Timbuctoo, if I would return with him. He was very curious
to obtain information about America, and made notes of all that I told
him, in the quaint character used by the Mughrebbins, or Arabs of the
West, which has considerable resemblance to the ancient Cufic. He wishes
to join company with me for the journey to Jerusalem, and perhaps I shall
accept him.

_Sunday, April_ 18.

As Quarantine is a sort of limbo, without the pale of civilized society,
we have no church service to-day. We have done the best we could, however,
in sending one of the outside dragomen to purchase a Bible, in which we
succeeded. He brought us a very handsome copy, printed by the American
Bible Society in New York. I tried vainly in Cairo and Alexandria to find
a missionary who would supply my heathenish destitution of the Sacred
Writings; for I had reached the East through Austria, where they are
prohibited, and to travel through Palestine without them, would be like
sailing without pilot or compass. It gives a most impressive reality to
Solomon's "house of the forest of Lebanon," when you can look up from the
page to those very forests and those grand mountains, "excellent with the
cedars." Seeing the holy man of Timbuctoo praying with his face towards
Mecca, I went down to him, and we conversed for a long time on religious
matters. He is tolerably well informed, having read the Books of Moses and
the Psalms of David, but, like all Mahommedans, his ideas of religion
consist mainly of forms, and its reward is a sensual paradise. The more
intelligent of the Moslems give a spiritual interpretation to the nature
of the Heaven promised by the Prophet, and I have heard several openly
confess their disbelief in the seventy houries and the palaces of pearl
and emerald. Shekh Mahommed Senoosee scarcely ever utters a sentence in
which is not the word "Allah," and "La illah il' Allah" is repeated at
least every five minutes. Those of his class consider that there is a
peculiar merit in the repetition of the names and attributes of God. They
utterly reject the doctrine of the Trinity, which they believe implies a
sort of partnership, or God-firm (to use their own words), and declare
that all who accept it are hopelessly damned. To deny Mahomet's
prophetship would excite a violent antagonism, and I content myself with
making them acknowledge that God is greater than all Prophets or Apostles,
and that there is but one God for all the human race. I have never yet
encountered that bitter spirit of bigotry which is so frequently ascribed
to them; but on the contrary, fully as great a tolerance as they would
find exhibited towards them by most of the Christian sects.

This morning a paper was sent to us, on which we were requested to write
our names, ages, professions, and places of nativity. We conjectured that
we were subjected to the suspicion of political as well as physical taint,
but happily this was not the case. I registered myself as a _voyageur_,
the French as _negocians_ and when it came to the woman's turn, Absalom,
who is a partisan of female progress, wished to give her the same
profession as her husband--a machinist. But she declared that her only
profession was that of a "married woman," and she was so inscribed. Her
peevish boy rejoiced in the title of "_pleuricheur_," or "weeper," and the
infant as "_titeuse_," or "sucker." While this was going on, the
guardiano of our room came in very mysteriously, and beckoned to my
companion, saying that "Mademoiselle was at the gate." But it was the
Italian who was wanted, and again, from the little window of our pavilion,
we watched his hurried progress over the lawn. No sooner had she departed,
than he took his pocket telescope, slowly sweeping the circuit of the bay
as she drew nearer and nearer Beyrout. He has succeeded in distinguishing,
among the mass of buildings, the top of the house in which she lives, but
alas! it is one story too low, and his patient espial has only been
rewarded by the sight of some cats promenading on the roof.

I have succeeded in obtaining some further particulars in relation to
Quarantine. On the night of our arrival, as we were about getting into our
beds, a sudden and horrible gush of brimstone vapor came up stairs, and we
all fell to coughing like patients in a pulmonary hospital. The odor
increased till we were obliged to open the windows and sit beside them in
order to breathe comfortably. This was the preparatory fumigation, in
order to remove the ranker seeds of plague, after which the milder
symptoms will of themselves vanish in the pure air of the place. Several
times a day we are stunned and overwhelmed with the cracked brays of three
discordant trumpets, as grating and doleful as the last gasps of a dying
donkey. At first I supposed the object of this was to give a greater
agitation to the air, and separate and shake down the noxious exhalations
we emit; but since I was informed that the soldiers outside would shoot us
in case we attempted to escape, I have concluded that the sound is meant
to alarm us, and prevent our approaching too near the walls. On inquiring
of our guardiano whether the wheat growing within the grounds was subject
to Quarantine, he informed me that it did not ecovey infection, and that
three old geese, who walked out past the guard with impunity, were free to
go and come, as they had never been known to have the plague. Yesterday
evening the medical attendant, a Polish physician, came in to inspect us,
but he made a very hasty review, looking down on us from the top of a high

_Monday, April_ 19.

Eureka! the whole thing is explained. Talking to day with the guardiano,
he happened to mention that he had been three years in Quarantine, keeping
watch over infected travellers. "What!" said I, "you have been sick three
years." "Oh no," he replied; "I have never been sick at all." "But are not
people sick in Quarantine?" "_Stafferillah!_" he exclaimed; "they are
always in better health than the people outside." "What is Quarantine for,
then?" I persisted. "What is it for?" he repeated, with a pause of blank
amazement at my ignorance, "why, to get money from the travellers!"
Indiscreet guardiano! It were better to suppose ourselves under suspicion
of the plague, than to have such an explanation of the mystery. Yet, in
spite of the unpalatable knowledge, I almost regret that this is our last
day in the establishment. The air is so pure and bracing, the views from
our windows so magnificent, the colonized branch of the Beyrout Hotel so
comfortable, that I am content to enjoy this pleasant idleness--the more
pleasant since, being involuntary, it is no weight on the conscience. I
look up to the Maronite villages, perched on the slopes of Lebanon, with
scarce a wish to climb to them, or turning to the sparkling Mediterranean,

"The speronara's sail of snowy hue
Whitening and brightening on that field of blue,"

and have none of that unrest which the sight of a vessel in motion

To-day my friend from Timbuctoo came up to have another talk. He was
curious to know the object of my travels, and as he would not have
comprehended the exact truth, I was obliged to convey it to him through
the medium of fiction. I informed him that I had been dispatched by the
Sultan of my country to obtain information of the countries of Africa;
that I wrote in a book accounts of everything I saw, and on my return,
would present this book to the Sultan, who would reward me with a high
rank--perhaps even that of Grand Vizier. The Orientals deal largely in
hyperbole, and scatter numbers and values with the most reckless
profusion. The Arabic, like the Hebrew, its sister tongue, and other old
original tongues of Man, is a language of roots, and abounds with the
boldest metaphors. Now, exaggeration is but the imperfect form of
metaphor. The expression is always a splendid amplification of the simple
fact. Like skilful archers, in order to hit the mark, they aim above it.
When you have once learned his standard of truth, you can readily gauge an
Arab's expressions, and regulate your own accordingly. But whenever I have
attempted to strike the key-note myself, I generally found that it was
below, rather than above, the Oriental pitch.

The Shekh had already informed me that the King of Ashantee, whom he had
visited, possessed twenty-four houses full of gold, and that the Sultan of
Houssa had seventy thousand horses always standing saddled before his
palace, in order that he might take his choice, when he wished to ride
out. By this he did not mean that the facts were precisely so, but only
that the King was very rich, and the Sultan had a great many horses. In
order to give the Shekh an idea of the great wealth and power of the
American Nation, I was obliged to adopt the same plan. I told him,
therefore, that our country was two years' journey in extent, that the
Treasury consisted of four thousand houses filled to the roof with gold,
and that two hundred thousand soldiers on horseback kept continual guard
around Sultan Fillmore's palace. He received these tremendous statements
with the utmost serenity and satisfaction, carefully writing them in his
book, together with the name of Sultan Fillmore, whose fame has ere this
reached the remote regions of Timbuctoo. The Shekh, moreover, had the
desire of visiting England, and wished me to give him a letter to the
English Sultan. This rather exceeded my powers, but I wrote a simple
certificate explaining who he was, and whence he came, which I sealed with
an immense display of wax, and gave him. In return, he wrote his name in
my book, in the Mughrebbin character, adding the sentence: "There is no
God but God."

This evening the forbidden subject of politics crept into our quiet
community, and the result was an explosive contention which drowned even
the braying of the agonizing trumpets outside. The gentlemanly Frenchman
is a sensible and consistent republican, the old _filateur_ a violent
monarchist, while Absalom, as I might have foreseen, is a Red, of the
schools of Proudhon and Considerant. The first predicted a Republic in
France, the second a Monarchy in America, and the last was in favor of a
general and total demolition of all existing systems. Of course, with such
elements, anything like a serious discussion was impossible; and, as in
most French debates, it ended in a bewildering confusion of cries and
gesticulations. In the midst of it, I was struck by the cordiality with
which the Monarchist and the Socialist united in their denunciations of
England and the English laws. As they sat side by side, pouring out
anathemas against "perfide Albion," I could not help exclaiming: "_Voila,
comme les extremes se rencontrent_!" This turned the whole current of
their wrath against me, and I was glad to make a hasty retreat.

The physician again visited us to-night, to promise a release to-morrow
morning. He looked us all in the faces, to be certain that there were no
signs of pestilence, and politely regretted that he could not offer us his
hand. The husband of the "married woman" also came, and relieved the other
gentlemen from the charge of the "weeper." He was a stout, ruddy
Provencal, in a white blouse, and I commiserated him sincerely for having
such a disagreeable wife.

To-day, being the last of our imprisonment, we have received many tokens
of attention from dragomen, who have sent their papers through the grate
to us, to be returned to-morrow after our liberation. They are not very
prepossessing specimens of their class, with the exception of Yusef Badra,
who brings a recommendation from my friend, Ross Browne. Yusef is a
handsome, dashing fellow, with something of the dandy in his dress and
air, but he has a fine, clear, sparkling eye, with just enough of the
devil in it to make him attractive. I think, however, that, the Greek
dragoman, who has been our companion in Quarantine, will carry the day. He
is by birth a Boeotian, but now a citizen of Athens, and calls himself
Francois Vitalis. He speaks French, German, and Italian, besides Arabic
and Turkish, and as he has been for twelve or fifteen years vibrating
between Europe and the East, he must by this time have amassed sufficient
experience to answer the needs of rough-and-tumble travellers like
ourselves. He has not asked us for the place, which displays so much
penetration on his part, that we shall end by offering it to him. Perhaps
he is content to rest his claims upon the memory of our first Quarantine
dinner. If so, the odors of the cutlets and larks--even of the raw onion,
which we remember with tears--shall not plead his cause in vain.

Beyrout (out of Quarantine), _Wednesday, May_ 21.

The handsome Greek, Diamanti, one of the proprietors of the "Hotel de
Belle Vue," was on hand bright and early yesterday morning, to welcome us
out of Quarantine. The gates were thrown wide, and forth we issued between
two files of soldiers, rejoicing in our purification. We walked through
mulberry orchards to the town, and through its steep and crooked streets
to the hotel, which stands beyond, near the extremity of the Cape, or Ras
Beyrout. The town is small, but has an active population, and a larger
commerce than any other port in Syria. The anchorage, however, is an open
road, and in stormy weather it is impossible for a boat to land. There are
two picturesque old castles on some rocks near the shore, but they were
almost destroyed by the English bombardment in 1841. I noticed two or
three granite columns, now used as the lintels of some of the arched ways
in the streets, and other fragments of old masonry, the only remains of
the ancient Berytus.

Our time, since our release, has been occupied by preparations for the
journey to Jerusalem. We have taken Francois as dragoman, and our
_mukkairee_, or muleteers, are engaged to be in readiness to-morrow
morning. I learn that the Druses are in revolt in Djebel Hauaran and parts
of the Anti-Lebanon, which will prevent my forming any settled plan for
the tour through Palestine and Syria. Up to this time, the country has
been considered quite safe, the only robbery this winter having been that
of the party of Mr. Degen, of New York, which was plundered near Tiberias.
Dr. Robinson left here two weeks ago for Jerusalem, in company with Dr.
Eli Smith, of the American Mission at this place.

Chapter II.

The Coast of Palestine.

The Pilgrimage Commences--The Muleteers--The Mules--The Donkey--Journey
to Sidon--The Foot of Lebanon--Pictures--The Ruins of Tyre--A Wild
Morning--The Tyrian Surges--Climbing the Ladder of Tyre--Panorama of the
Bay of Acre--The Plain of Esdraelon--Camp in a Garden--Acre--the Shore
of the Bay--Haifa--Mount Carmel and its Monastery--A Deserted Coast--The
Ruins of Caesarea--The Scenery of Palestine--We become Robbers--El
Haram--Wrecks--the Harbor and Town of Jaffa.

"Along the line of foam, the jewelled chain,
The largesse of the ever-giving main."

R. H. Stoddard.

Ramleh, _April_ 27, 1852.

We left Beyrout on the morning of the 22d. Our caravan consisted of three
horses, three mules, and a donkey, in charge of two men--Dervish, an
erect, black-bearded, and most impassive Mussulman, and Mustapha, who is
the very picture of patience and good-nature. He was born with a smile on
his face, and has never been able to change the expression. They are both
masters of their art, and can load a mule with a speed and skill which I
would defy any Santa Fe trader to excel. The animals are not less
interesting than their masters. Our horses, to be sure, are slow, plodding
beasts, with considerable endurance, but little spirit; but the two
baggage mules deserve gold medals from the Society for the Promotion of
Industry. I can overlook any amount of waywardness in the creatures, in
consideration of the steady, persevering energy, the cheerfulness and even
enthusiasm with which they perform their duties. They seem to be conscious
that they are doing well, and to take a delight in the consciousness. One
of them has a band of white shells around his neck, fastened with a tassel
and two large blue beads; and you need but look at him to see that he is
aware how becoming it is. He thinks it was given to him for good conduct,
and is doing his best to merit another. The little donkey is a still more
original animal. He is a practical humorist, full of perverse tricks, but
all intended for effect, and without a particle of malice. He generally
walks behind, running off to one side or the other to crop a mouthful of
grass, but no sooner does Dervish attempt to mount him, than he sets off
at full gallop, and takes the lead of the caravan. After having performed
one of his feats, he turns around with a droll glance at us, as much as to
say: "Did you see that?" If we had not been present, most assuredly he
would never have done it. I can imagine him, after his return to Beyrout,
relating his adventures to a company of fellow-donkeys, who every now and
then burst into tremendous brays at some of his irresistible dry sayings.

I persuaded Mr. Harrison to adopt the Oriental costume, which, from five
months' wear in Africa, I greatly preferred to the Frank. We therefore
rode out of Beyrout as a pair of Syrian Beys, while Francois, with his
belt, sabre, and pistols had much the aspect of a Greek brigand. The road
crosses the hill behind the city, between the Forest of Pines and a long
tract of red sand-hills next the sea. It was a lovely morning, not too
bright and hot, for light, fleecy vapors hung along the sides of Lebanon.
Beyond the mulberry orchards, we entered on wild, half-cultivated tracts,
covered with a bewildering maze of blossoms. The hill-side and stony
shelves of soil overhanging the sea fairly blazed with the brilliant dots
of color which were rained upon them. The pink, the broom, the poppy, the
speedwell, the lupin, that beautiful variety of the cyclamen, called by
the Syrians "_deek e-djebel_" (cock o' the mountain), and a number of
unknown plants dazzled the eye with their profusion, and loaded the air
with fragrance as rare as it was unfailing. Here and there, clear, swift
rivulets came down from Lebanon, coursing their way between thickets of
blooming oleanders. Just before crossing the little river Damoor, Francois
pointed out, on one of the distant heights, the residence of the late Lady
Hester Stanhope. During the afternoon we crossed several offshoots of the
Lebanon, by paths incredibly steep and stony, and towards evening reached
Saida, the ancient Sidon, where we obtained permission to pitch our tent
in a garden. The town is built on a narrow point of land, jutting out from
the centre of a bay, or curve in the coast, and contains about five
thousand inhabitants. It is a quiet, sleepy sort of a place, and contains
nothing of the old Sidon except a few stones and the fragments of a mole,
extending into the sea. The fortress in the water, and the Citadel, are
remnants of Venitian sway. The clouds gathered after nightfall, and
occasionally there was a dash of rain on our tent. But I heard it with the
same quiet happiness, as when, in boyhood, sleeping beneath the rafters, I
have heard the rain beating all night upon the roof. I breathed the sweet
breath of the grasses whereon my carpet was spread, and old Mother Earth,
welcoming me back to her bosom, cradled me into calm and refreshing
sleep. There is no rest more grateful than that which we take on the turf
or the sand, except the rest below it.

We rose in a dark and cloudy morning, and continued our way between fields
of barley, completely stained with the bloody hue of the poppy, and
meadows turned into golden mosaic by a brilliant yellow daisy. Until noon
our road was over a region of alternate meadow land and gentle though
stony elevations, making out from Lebanon. We met continually with
indications of ancient power and prosperity. The ground was strewn with
hewn blocks, and the foundations of buildings remain in many places.
Broken sarcophagi lie half-buried in grass, and the gray rocks of the
hills are pierced with tombs. The soil, though stony, appeared to be
naturally fertile, and the crops of wheat, barley, and lentils were very
flourishing. After rounding the promontory which forms the southern
boundary of the Gulf of Sidon, we rode for an hour or two over a plain
near the sea, and then came down to a valley which ran up among the hills,
terminating in a natural amphitheatre. An ancient barrow, or tumulus,
nobody knows of whom, stands near the sea. During the day I noticed two
charming little pictures. One, a fountain gushing into a broad square
basin of masonry, shaded by three branching cypresses. Two Turks sat on
its edge, eating their bread and curdled milk, while their horses drank
out of the stone trough below. The other, an old Mahommedan, with a green
turban and white robe, seated at the foot of a majestic sycamore, over the
high bank of a stream that tumbled down its bed of white marble rock to
the sea.

The plain back of the narrow, sandy promontory on which the modern Soor
is built, is a rich black loam, which a little proper culture would turn
into a very garden. It helped me to account for the wealth of ancient
Tyre. The approach to the town, along a beach on which the surf broke with
a continuous roar, with the wreck of a Greek vessel in the foreground, and
a stormy sky behind, was very striking. It was a wild, bleak picture, the
white minarets of the town standing out spectrally against the clouds. We
rode up the sand-hills, back of the town, and selected a good
camping-place among the ruins of Tyre. Near us there was an ancient square
building, now used as a cistern, and filled with excellent fresh water.
The surf roared tremendously on the rocks, on either hand, and the boom of
the more distant breakers came to my ear like the wind in a pine forest.
The remains of the ancient sea-wall are still to be traced for the entire
circuit of the city, and the heavy surf breaks upon piles of shattered
granite columns. Along a sort of mole, protecting an inner harbor on the
north side, are great numbers of these columns. I counted fifteen in one
group, some of them fine red granite, and some of the marble of Lebanon.
The remains of the pharos and the fortresses strengthening the sea-wall,
were pointed out by the Syrian who accompanied us as a guide, but his
faith was a little stronger than mine. He even showed us the ruins of the
jetty built by Alexander, by means of which the ancient city, then
insulated by the sea, was taken. The remains of the causeway gradually
formed the promontory by which the place is now connected with the main
land. These are the principal indications of Tyre above ground, but the
guide informed us that the Arabs, in digging among the sand-hills for the
stones of the old buildings, which they quarry out and ship to Beyrout,
come upon chambers, pillars, arches, and other objects. The Tyrian purple
is still furnished by a muscle found upon the coast, but Tyre is now only
noted for its tobacco and mill-stones. I saw many of the latter lying in
the streets of the town, and an Arab was selling a quantity at auction in
the square, as we passed. They are cut out from a species of dark volcanic
rock, by the Bedouins of the mountains. There were half a dozen small
coasting vessels lying in the road, but the old harbors are entirely
destroyed. Isaiah's prophecy is literally fulfilled: "Howl, ye ships of
Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering

On returning from our ramble we passed the house of the Governor, Daood
Agha, who was dispensing justice in regard to a lawsuit then before him.
He asked us to stop and take coffee, and received us with much grace and
dignity. As we rose to leave, a slave brought me a large bunch of choice
flowers from his garden.

We set out from Tyre at an early hour, and rode along the beach around the
head of the bay to the Ras-el-Abiad, the ancient Promontorium Album. The
morning was wild and cloudy, with gleams of sunshine that flashed out over
the dark violet gloom of the sea. The surf was magnificent, rolling up in
grand billows, which broke and formed again, till the last of the long,
falling fringes of snow slid seething up the sand. Something of ancient
power was in their shock and roar, and every great wave that plunged and
drew back again, called in its solemn bass: "Where are the ships of Tyre?
where are the ships of Tyre?" I looked back on the city, which stood
advanced far into the sea, her feet bathed in thunderous spray. By and by
the clouds cleared away, the sun came out bold and bright, and our road
left the beach for a meadowy plain, crossed by fresh streams, and sown
with an inexhaustible wealth of flowers. Through thickets of myrtle and
mastic, around which the rue and lavender grew in dense clusters, we
reached the foot of the mountain, and began ascending the celebrated
Ladder of Tyre. The road is so steep as to resemble a staircase, and
climbs along the side of the promontory, hanging over precipices of naked
white rock, in some places three hundred feet in height. The mountain is a
mass of magnesian limestone, with occasional beds of marble. The surf has
worn its foot into hollow caverns, into which the sea rushes with a dull,
heavy boom, like distant thunder. The sides are covered with thickets of
broom, myrtle, arbutus, ilex, mastic and laurel, overgrown with woodbine,
and interspersed with patches of sage, lavender, hyssop, wild thyme, and
rue. The whole mountain is a heap of balm; a bundle of sweet spices.

Our horses' hoofs clattered up and down the rounds of the ladder, and we
looked our last on Tyre, fading away behind the white hem of the breakers,
as we turned the point of the promontory. Another cove of the
mountain-coast followed, terminated by the Cape of Nakhura, the northern
point of the Bay of Acre. We rode along a stony way between fields of
wheat and barley, blotted almost out of sight by showers of scarlet
poppies and yellow chrysanthemums. There were frequent ruins: fragments of
sarcophagi, foundations of houses, and about half way between the two
capes, the mounds of Alexandro-Schoenae. We stopped at a khan, and
breakfasted under a magnificent olive tree, while two boys tended our
horses to see that they ate only the edges of the wheat field. Below the
house were two large cypresses, and on a little tongue of land the ruins
of one of those square towers of the corsairs, which line all this coast.
The intense blue of the sea, seen close at hand over a broad field of
goldening wheat, formed a dazzling and superb contrast of color. Early in
the afternoon we climbed the Ras Nakhura, not so bold and grand, though
quite as flowery a steep as the Promontorium Album. We had been jogging
half an hour over its uneven summit, when the side suddenly fell away
below us, and we saw the whole of the great gulf and plain of Acre, backed
by the long ridge of Mount Carmel. Behind the sea, which makes a deep
indentation in the line of the coast, extended the plain, bounded on the
east, at two leagues' distance, by a range of hills covered with luxuriant
olive groves, and still higher, by the distant mountains of Galilee. The
fortifications of Acre were visible on a slight promontory near the middle
of the Gulf. From our feet the line of foamy surf extended for miles along
the red sand-beach, till it finally became like a chalk-mark on the edge
of the field of blue.

We rode down the mountain and continued our journey over the plain of
Esdraelon--a picture of summer luxuriance and bloom. The waves of wheat
and barley rolled away from our path to the distant olive orchards; here
the water gushed from a stone fountain and flowed into a turf-girdled
pool, around which the Syrian women were washing their garments; there, a
garden of orange, lemon, fig, and pomegranate trees in blossom, was a
spring of sweet odors, which overflowed the whole land. We rode into some
of these forests, for they were no less, and finally pitched our tent in
one of them, belonging to the palace of the former Abdallah Pasha, within
a mile of Acre. The old Saracen aqueduct, which still conveys water to
the town, overhung our tent. For an hour before reaching our destination,
we had seen it on the left, crossing the hollows on light stone arches. In
one place I counted fifty-eight, and in another one hundred and three of
these arches, some of which were fifty feet high. Our camp was a charming
place: a nest of deep herbage, under two enormous fig-trees, and
surrounded by a balmy grove of orange and citron. It was doubly beautiful
when the long line of the aqueduct was lit up by the moon, and the orange
trees became mounds of ambrosial darkness.

In the morning we rode to Acre, the fortifications of which have been
restored on the land-side. A ponderous double gateway of stone admitted us
into the city, through what was once, apparently, the court-yard of a
fortress. The streets of the town are narrow, terribly rough, and very
dirty, but the bazaars are extensive and well stocked. The principal
mosque, whose heavy dome is visible at some distance from the city, is
surrounded with a garden, enclosed by a pillared corridor, paved with
marble. All the houses of the city are built in the most massive style, of
hard gray limestone or marble, and this circumstance alone prevented their
complete destruction during the English bombardment in 1841. The marks of
the shells are everywhere seen, and the upper parts of the lofty buildings
are completely riddled with cannon-balls, some of which remain embedded in
the stone. We made a rapid tour of the town on horseback, followed by the
curious glances of the people, who were in doubt whether to consider us
Turks or Franks. There were a dozen vessels in the harbor, which is
considered the best in Syria.

The baggage-mules had gone on, so we galloped after them along the hard
beach, around the head of the bay. It was a brilliant morning; a
delicious south-eastern breeze came to us over the flowery plain of
Esdraelon; the sea on our right shone blue, and purple, and violet-green,
and black, as the shadows or sunshine crossed it, and only the long lines
of roaring foam, for ever changing in form, did not vary in hue. A
fisherman stood on the beach in a statuesque attitude, his handsome bare
legs bathed in the frothy swells, a bag of fish hanging from his shoulder,
and the large square net, with its sinkers of lead in his right hand,
ready for a cast. He had good luck, for the waves brought up plenty of
large fish, and cast them at our feet, leaving them to struggle back into
the treacherous brine. Between Acre and Haifa we passed six or eight
wrecks, mostly of small trading vessels. Some were half buried in sand,
some so old and mossy that they were fast rotting away, while a few had
been recently hurled there. As we rounded the deep curve of the bay, and
approached the line of palm-trees girding the foot of Mount Carmel, Haifa,
with its wall and Saracenic town in ruin on the hill above, grew more
clear and bright in the sun, while Acre dipped into the blue of the
Mediterranean. The town of Haifa, the ancient Caiapha, is small, dirty,
and beggarly looking; but it has some commerce, sharing the trade of Acre
in the productions of Syria. It was Sunday, and all the Consular flags
were flying. It was an unexpected delight to find the American colors in
this little Syrian town, flying from one of the tallest poles. The people
stared at us as we passed, and I noticed among them many bright Frankish
faces, with eyes too clear and gray for Syria. O ye kind brothers of the
monastery of Carmel! forgive me if I look to you for an explanation of
this phenomenon.

We ascended to Mount Carmel. The path led through a grove of carob trees,
from which the beans, known in Germany as St. John's bread, are produced.
After this we came into an olive grove at the foot of the mountain, from
which long fields of wheat, giving forth a ripe summer smell, flowed down
to the shore of the bay. The olive trees were of immense size, and I can
well believe, as Fra Carlo informed us, that they were probably planted by
the Roman colonists, established there by Titus. The gnarled, veteran
boles still send forth vigorous and blossoming boughs. There were all
manner of lovely lights and shades chequered over the turf and the winding
path we rode. At last we reached the foot of an ascent, steeper than the
Ladder of Tyre. As our horses slowly climbed to the Convent of St. Elijah,
whence we already saw the French flag floating over the shoulder of the
mountain, the view opened grandly to the north and east, revealing the bay
and plain of Acre, and the coast as far as Ras Nakhura, from which we
first saw Mount Carmel the day previous. The two views are very similar in
character, one being the obverse of the other. We reached the
Convent--Dayr Mar Elias, as the Arabs call it--at noon, just in time to
partake of a bountiful dinner, to which the monks had treated themselves.
Fra Carlo, the good Franciscan who receives strangers, showed us the
building, and the Grotto of Elijah, which is under the altar of the
Convent Church, a small but very handsome structure of Italian marble. The
sanctity of the Grotto depends on tradition entirely, as there is no
mention in the Bible of Elijah having resided on Carmel, though it was
from this mountain that he saw the cloud, "like a man's hand," rising from
the sea. The Convent, which is quite new--not yet completed, in fact--is a
large, massive building, and has the aspect of a fortress.

As we were to sleep at Tantura, five hours distant, we were obliged to
make a short visit, in spite of the invitation of the hospitable Fra Carlo
to spend the night there. In the afternoon we passed the ruins of Athlit,
a town of the Middle Ages, and the Castel Pellegrino of the Crusaders. Our
road now followed the beach, nearly the whole distance to Jaffa, and was
in many places, for leagues in extent, a solid layer of white, brown,
purple and rosy shells, which cracked and rattled under our horses' feet.
Tantura is a poor Arab village, and we had some difficulty in procuring
provisions. The people lived in small huts of mud and stones, near the
sea. The place had a thievish look, and we deemed it best to be careful in
the disposal of our baggage for the night.

In the morning we took the coast again, riding over millions of shells. A
line of sandy hills, covered with thickets of myrtle and mastic, shut off
the view of the plain and meadows between the sea and the hills of
Samaria. After three hours' ride we saw the ruins of ancient Caesarea, near
a small promontory. The road turned away from the sea, and took the wild
plain behind, which is completely overgrown with camomile, chrysanthemum
and wild shrubs. The ruins of the town are visible at a considerable
distance along the coast. The principal remains consist of a massive wall,
flanked with pyramidal bastions at regular intervals, and with the traces
of gateways, draw-bridges and towers. It was formerly surrounded by a deep
moat. Within this space, which may be a quarter of a mile square, are a
few fragments of buildings, and toward the sea, some high arches and
masses of masonry. The plain around abounds with traces of houses,
streets, and court-yards. Caesarea was one of the Roman colonies, but owed
its prosperity principally to Herod. St. Paul passed through it on his
way from Macedon to Jerusalem, by the very road we were travelling.

During the day the path struck inland over a vast rolling plain, covered
with sage, lavender and other sweet-smelling shrubs, and tenanted by herds
of gazelles and flocks of large storks. As we advanced further, the
landscape became singularly beautiful. It was a broad, shallow valley,
swelling away towards the east into low, rolling hills, far back of which
rose the blue line of the mountains--the hill-country of Judea. The soil,
where it was ploughed, was the richest vegetable loam. Where it lay fallow
it was entirely hidden by a bed of grass and camomile. Here and there
great herds of sheep and goats browsed on the herbage. There was a quiet
pastoral air about the landscape, a soft serenity in its forms and colors,
as if the Hebrew patriarchs still made it their abode. The district is
famous for robbers, and we kept our arms in readiness, never suffering the
baggage to be out of our sight.

Towards evening, as Mr. H. and myself, with Francois, were riding in
advance of the baggage mules, the former with his gun in his hand, I with
a pair of pistols thrust through the folds of my shawl, and Francois with
his long Turkish sabre, we came suddenly upon a lonely Englishman, whose
companions were somewhere in the rear. He appeared to be struck with
terror on seeing us making towards him, and, turning his horse's head,
made an attempt to fly. The animal, however, was restive, and, after a few
plunges, refused to move. The traveller gave himself up for lost; his arms
dropped by his side; he stared wildly at us, with pale face and eyes
opened wide with a look of helpless fright. Restraining with difficulty a
shout of laughter, I said to him: "Did you leave Jaffa to-day?" but so
completely was his ear the fool of his imagination, that he thought I was
speaking Arabic, and made a faint attempt to get out the only word or two
of that language which he knew. I then repeated, with as much distinctness
as I could command: "Did--you--leave--Jaffa--to-day?" He stammered
mechanically, through his chattering teeth, "Y-y-yes!" and we immediately
dashed off at a gallop through the bushes. When we last saw him, he was
standing as we left him, apparently not yet recovered from the shock.

At the little village of El Haram, where we spent the night, I visited the
tomb of Sultan Ali ebn-Aleym, who is now revered as a saint. It is
enclosed in a mosque, crowning the top of a hill. I was admitted into the
court-yard without hesitation, though, from the porter styling me
"Effendi," he probably took me for a Turk. At the entrance to the inner
court, I took off my slippers and walked to the tomb of the Sultan--a
square heap of white marble, in a small marble enclosure. In one of the
niches in the wall, near the tomb, there is a very old iron box, with a
slit in the top. The porter informed me that it contained a charm,
belonging to Sultan Ali, which was of great use in producing rain in times
of drouth.

In the morning we sent our baggage by a short road across the country to
this place, and then rode down the beach towards Jaffa. The sun came out
bright and hot as we paced along the line of spray, our horses' feet
sinking above the fetlocks in pink and purple shells, while the droll
sea-crabs scampered away from our path, and the blue gelatinous
sea-nettles were tossed before us by the surge. Our view was confined to
the sand-hills--sometimes covered with a flood of scarlet poppies--on one
hand; and to the blue, surf-fringed sea on the other. The terrible coast
was still lined with wrecks, and just before reaching the town, we passed
a vessel of some two hundred tons, recently cast ashore, with her strong
hull still unbroken. We forded the rapid stream of El Anjeh, which comes
down from the Plain of Sharon, the water rising to our saddles. The low
promontory in front now broke into towers and white domes, and great
masses of heavy walls. The aspect of Jaffa is exceedingly picturesque. It
is built on a hill, and the land for many miles around it being low and
flat, its topmost houses overlook all the fields of Sharon. The old
harbor, protected by a reef of rocks, is on the north side of the town,
but is now so sanded up that large vessels cannot enter. A number of small
craft were lying close to the shore. The port presented a different scene
when the ships of Hiram, King of Tyre, came in with the materials for the
Temple of Solomon. There is but one gate on the land side, which is rather
strongly fortified. Outside of this there is an open space, which we found
filled with venders of oranges and vegetables, camel-men and the like,
some vociferating in loud dispute, some given up to silence and smoke,
under the shade of the sycamores.

We rode under the heavily arched and towered gateway, and entered the
bazaar. The street was crowded, and there was such a confusion of camels,
donkeys, and men, that we made our way with difficulty along the only
practicable street in the city, to the sea-side, where Francois pointed
out a hole in the wall as the veritable spot where Jonah was cast ashore
by the whale. This part of the harbor is the receptacle of all the offal
of the town; and I do not wonder that the whale's stomach should have
turned on approaching it. The sea-street was filled with merchants and
traders, and we were obliged to pick our way between bars of iron, skins
of oil, heaps of oranges, and piles of building timber. At last we reached
the end, and, as there was no other thoroughfare, returned the same way we
went, passed out the gate, and took the road to Ramleh and Jerusalem.

But I hear the voice of Francois, announcing, "_Messieurs, le diner est
pret._" We are encamped just beside the pool of Ramleh, and the mongrel
children of the town are making a great noise in the meadow below it. Our
horses are enjoying their barley; and Mustapha stands at the tent-door
tying up his sacks. Dogs are barking and donkeys braying all along the
borders of the town, whose filth and dilapidation are happily concealed by
the fig and olive gardens which surround it. I have not curiosity enough
to visit the Greek and Latin Convents embedded in its foul purlieus, but
content myself with gazing from my door upon the blue hills of Palestine,
which we must cross to-morrow, on our way to Jerusalem.

Chapter III.

From Jaffa to Jerusalem.

The Garden of Jaffa--Breakfast at a Fountain--The Plain of Sharon--The
Ruined Mosque of Ramleh--A Judean Landscape--The Streets of Ramleh--Am I
in Palestine?--A Heavenly Morning--The Land of Milk and Honey--Entering
the Hill-Country--The Pilgrim's Breakfast--The Father of Lies--A Church
of the Crusaders--The Agriculture of the Hills--The Valley of
Elah--Day-Dreams--The Wilderness--The Approach--We see the Holy City.

--"Through the air sublime,
Over the wilderness and o'er the plain;
Till underneath them fair Jerusalem,
The Holy City, lifted high her towers."

Paradise Regained.

Jerusalem, _Thursday, April_ 29, 1852.

Leaving the gate of Jaffa, we rode eastward between delightful gardens of
fig, citron, orange, pomegranate and palm. The country for several miles
around the city is a complete level--part of the great plain of
Sharon--and the gray mass of building crowning the little promontory, is
the only landmark seen above the green garden-land, on looking towards the
sea. The road was lined with hedges of giant cactus, now in blossom, and
shaded occasionally with broad-armed sycamores. The orange trees were in
bloom, and at the same time laden down with ripe fruit. The oranges of
Jaffa are the finest in Syria, and great numbers of them are sent to
Beyrout and other ports further north. The dark foliage of the
pomegranate fairly blazed with its heavy scarlet blossoms, and here and
there a cluster of roses made good the Scriptural renown of those of
Sharon. The road was filled with people, passing to and fro, and several
families of Jaffa Jews were having a sort of pic-nic in the choice shady

Ere long we came to a fountain, at a point where two roads met. It was a
large square structure of limestone and marble, with a stone trough in
front, and a delightful open chamber at the side. The space in front was
shaded with immense sycamore trees, to which we tied our horses, and then
took our seats in the window above the fountain, where the Greek brought
us our breakfast. The water was cool and delicious, as were our Jaffa
oranges. It was a charming spot, for as we sat we could look under the
boughs of the great trees, and down between the gardens to Jaffa and the
Mediterranean. After leaving the gardens, we came upon the great plain of
Sharon, on which we could see the husbandmen at work far and near,
ploughing and sowing their grain. In some instances, the two operations
were made simultaneously, by having a sort of funnel attached to the
plough-handle, running into a tube which entered the earth just behind the
share. The man held the plough with one hand, while with the other he
dropped the requisite quantity of seed through the tube into the furrow.
The people are ploughing now for their summer crops, and the wheat and
barley which they sowed last winter are already in full head. On other
parts of the plain, there were large flocks of sheep and goats, with their
attendant shepherds. So ran the rich landscape, broken only by belts of
olive trees, to the far hills of Judea.

Riding on over the long, low swells, fragrant with wild thyme and
camomile, we saw at last the tower of Ramleh, and down the valley, an
hour's ride to the north-east, the minaret of Ludd, the ancient Lydda.
Still further, I could see the houses of the village of Sharon, embowered
in olives. Ramleh is built along the crest and on the eastern slope of a
low hill, and at a distance appears like a stately place, but this
impression is immediately dissipated on entering it. West of the town is a
large square tower, between eighty and ninety feet in height. We rode up
to it through an orchard of ancient olive trees, and over a field of
beans. The tower is evidently a minaret, as it is built in the purest
Saracenic style, and is surrounded by the ruins of a mosque. I have rarely
seen anything more graceful than the ornamental arches of the upper
portions. Over the door is a lintel of white marble, with an Arabic
inscription. The mosque to which the tower is attached is almost entirely
destroyed, and only part of the arches of a corridor around three sides of
a court-yard, with the fountain in the centre, still remain. The
subterranean cisterns, under the court-yard, amazed me with their extent
and magnitude. They are no less than twenty-four feet deep, and covered by
twenty-four vaulted ceilings, each twelve feet square, and resting on
massive pillars. The mosque, when entire, must have been one of the finest
in Syria.

We clambered over the broken stones cumbering the entrance, and mounted
the steps to the very summit. The view reached from Jaffa and the sea to
the mountains near Jerusalem, and southward to the plain of Ascalon--a
great expanse of grain and grazing land, all blossoming as the rose, and
dotted, especially near the mountains, with dark, luxuriant olive-groves.
The landscape had something of the green, pastoral beauty of England,
except the mountains, which were wholly of Palestine. The shadows of
fleecy clouds, drifting slowly from east to west, moved across the
landscape, which became every moment softer and fairer in the light of the
declining sun.

I did not tarry in Ramleh. The streets are narrow, crooked, and filthy as
only an Oriental town can be. The houses have either flat roofs or domes,
out of the crevices in which springs a plentiful crop of weeds. Some
yellow dogs barked at us as we passed, children in tattered garments
stared, and old turbaned heads were raised from the pipe, to guess who the
two brown individuals might be, and why they were attended by such a
fierce _cawass_. Passing through the eastern gate, we were gladdened by
the sight of our tents, already pitched in the meadow beside the cistern.
Dervish had arrived an hour before us, and had everything ready for the
sweet lounge of an hour, to which we treat ourselves after a day's ride. I
watched the evening fade away over the blue hills before us, and tried to
convince myself that I should reach Jerusalem on the morrow. Reason said:
"You certainly will!"---but to Faith the Holy City was as far off as ever.
Was it possible that I was in Judea? Was this the Holy Land of the
Crusades, the soil hallowed by the feet of Christ and his Apostles? I must
believe it. Yet it seemed once that if I ever trod that earth, then
beneath my feet, there would be thenceforth a consecration in my life, a
holy essence, a purer inspiration on the lips, a surer faith in the heart.
And because I was not other than I had been, I half doubted whether it was
the Palestine of my dreams.

A number of Arab cameleers, who had come with travellers across the
Desert from Egypt, were encamped near us. Francois was suspicious of some
of them, and therefore divided the night into three watches, which were
kept by himself and our two men. Mustapha was the last, and kept not only
himself, but myself, wide awake by his dolorous chants of love and
religion. I fell sound asleep at dawn, but was roused before sunrise by
Francois, who wished to start betimes, on account of the rugged road we
had to travel. The morning was mild, clear, and balmy, and we were soon
packed and in motion. Leaving the baggage to follow, we rode ahead over
the fertile fields. The wheat and poppies were glistening with dew, birds
sang among the fig-trees, a cool breeze came down from the hollows of the
hills, and my blood leaped as nimbly and joyously as a young hart on the
mountains of Bether.

Between Ramleh and the hill-country, a distance of about eight miles, is
the rolling plain of Arimathea, and this, as well as the greater part of
the plain of Sharon, is one of the richest districts in the world. The
soil is a dark-brown loam, and, without manure, produces annually superb
crops of wheat and barley. We rode for miles through a sea of wheat,
waving far and wide over the swells of land. The tobacco in the fields
about Ramleh was the most luxuriant I ever saw, and the olive and fig
attain a size and lusty strength wholly unknown in Italy. Judea cursed of
God! what a misconception, not only of God's mercy and beneficence, but of
the actual fact! Give Palestine into Christian hands, and it will again
flow with milk and honey. Except some parts of Asia Minor, no portion of
the Levant is capable of yielding such a harvest of grain, silk, wool,
fruits, oil, and wine. The great disadvantage under which the country
labors, is its frequent drouths, but were the soil more generally
cultivated, and the old orchards replanted, these would neither be so
frequent nor so severe.

We gradually ascended the hills, passing one or two villages, imbedded in
groves of olives. In the little valleys, slanting down to the plains, the
Arabs were still ploughing and sowing, singing the while an old love-song,
with its chorus of "_ya, ghazalee! ya, ghazalee!_" (oh, gazelle! oh,
gazelle!) The valley narrowed, the lowlands behind us spread out broader,
and in half an hour more we were threading a narrow pass, between stony
hills, overgrown with ilex, myrtle, and dwarf oak. The wild purple rose of
Palestine blossomed on all sides, and a fragrant white honeysuckle in some
places hung from the rocks. The path was terribly rough, and barely wide
enough for two persons on horseback to pass each other. We met a few
pilgrims returning from Jerusalem, and a straggling company of armed
Turks, who had such a piratical air, that without the solemn asseveration
of Francois that the road was quite safe, I should have felt uneasy about
our baggage. Most of the persons we passed were Mussulmen, few of whom
gave the customary "Peace be with you!" but once a Syrian Christian
saluted me with, "God go with you, O Pilgrim!" For two hours after
entering the mountains, there was scarcely a sign of cultivation. The rock
was limestone, or marble, lying in horizontal strata, the broken edges of
which rose like terraces to the summits. These shelves were so covered
with wild shrubs--in some places even with rows of olive trees---that to
me they had not the least appearance of that desolation so generally
ascribed to them.

In a little dell among the hills there is a small ruined mosque, or
chapel (I could not decide which), shaded by a group of magnificent
terebinth trees. Several Arabs were resting in its shade, and we hoped to
find there the water we were looking for, in order to make breakfast. But
it was not to be found, and we climbed nearly to the summit of the first
chain of hills, where in a small olive orchard, there was a cistern,
filled by the late rains. It belonged to two ragged boys, who brought us
an earthen vessel of the water, and then asked, "Shall we bring you milk,
O Pilgrims!" I assented, and received a small jug of thick buttermilk, not
remarkably clean, but very refreshing. My companion, who had not recovered
from his horror at finding that the inhabitants of Ramleh washed
themselves in the pool which supplied us and them, refused to touch it. We
made but a short rest, for it was now nearly noon, and there were yet many
rough miles between us and Jerusalem. We crossed the first chain of
mountains, rode a short distance over a stony upland, and then descended
into a long cultivated valley, running to the eastward. At the end nearest
us appeared the village of Aboo 'l Ghosh (the Father of Lies), which takes
its name from a noted Bedouin shekh, who distinguished himself a few years
ago by levying contributions on travellers. He obtained a large sum of
money in this way, but as he added murder to robbery, and fell upon Turks
as well as Christians, he was finally captured, and is now expiating his
offences in some mine on the coast of the Black Sea.

Near the bottom of the village there is a large ruined building, now used
as a stable by the inhabitants. The interior is divided into a nave and
two side-aisles by rows of square pillars, from which spring pointed
arches. The door-way is at the side, and is Gothic, with a dash of
Saracenic in the ornamental mouldings above it. The large window at the
extremity of the nave is remarkable for having round arches, which
circumstance, together with the traces of arabesque painted ornaments on
the columns, led me to think it might have been a mosque; but Dr.
Robinson, who is now here, considers it a Christian church, of the time of
the Crusaders. The village of Aboo 'l Ghosh is said to be the site of the
birth-place of the Prophet Jeremiah, and I can well imagine it to have
been the case. The aspect of the mountain-country to the east and
north-east would explain the savage dreariness of his lamentations. The
whole valley in which the village stands, as well as another which joins
it on the east, is most assiduously cultivated. The stony mountain sides
are wrought into terraces, where, in spite of soil which resembles an
American turnpike, patches of wheat are growing luxuriantly, and olive
trees, centuries old, hold on to the rocks with a clutch as hard and bony
as the hand of Death. In the bed of the valley the fig tree thrives, and
sometimes the vine and fig grow together, forming the patriarchal arbor of
shade familiar to us all. The shoots of the tree are still young and
green, but the blossoms of the grape do not yet give forth their goodly
savor. I did not hear the voice of the turtle, but a nightingale sang in
the briery thickets by the brook side, as we passed along.

Climbing out of this valley, we descended by a stony staircase, as rugged
as the Ladder of Tyre, into the Wady Beit-Hanineh. Here were gardens of
oranges in blossom, with orchards of quince and apple, overgrown with
vines, and the fragrant hawthorn tree, snowy with its bloom. A stone
bridge, the only one on the road, crosses the dry bed of a winter stream,
and, looking up the glen, I saw the Arab village of Kulonieh, at the
entrance of the valley of Elah, glorious with the memories of the
shepherd-boy, David. Our road turned off to the right, and commenced
ascending a long, dry glen between mountains which grew more sterile the
further we went. It was nearly two hours past noon, the sun fiercely hot,
and our horses were nigh jaded out with the rough road and our impatient
spurring. I began to fancy we could see Jerusalem from the top of the
pass, and tried to think of the ancient days of Judea. But it was in vain.
A newer picture shut them out, and banished even the diviner images of Our
Saviour and His Disciples. Heathen that I was, I could only think of
Godfrey and the Crusaders, toiling up the same path, and the ringing lines
of Tasso vibrated constantly in my ear:

"Ecco apparir Gierusalemm' si vede;
Ecco additar Gierusalemm' si scorge;
Ecco da mille voci unitamente,
Gierusalemme salutar si sente!"

The Palestine of the Bible--the Land of Promise to the Israelites, the
land of Miracle and Sacrifice to the Apostles and their followers--still
slept in the unattainable distance, under a sky of bluer and more tranquil
loveliness than that to whose cloudless vault I looked up. It lay as far
and beautiful as it once seemed to the eye of childhood, and the swords of
Seraphim kept profane feet from its sacred hills. But these rough rocks
around me, these dry, fiery hollows, these thickets of ancient oak and
ilex, had heard the trumpets of the Middle Ages, and the clang and
clatter of European armor--I could feel and believe that. I entered the
ranks; I followed the trumpets and the holy hymns, and waited breathlessly
for the moment when every mailed knee should drop in the dust, and every
bearded and sunburned cheek be wet with devotional tears.

But when I climbed the last ridge, and looked ahead with a sort of painful
suspense, Jerusalem did not appear. We were two thousand feet above the
Mediterranean, whose blue we could dimly see far to the west, through
notches in the chain of hills. To the north, the mountains were gray,
desolate, and awful. Not a shrub or a tree relieved their frightful
barrenness. An upland tract, covered with white volcanic rock, lay before
us. We met peasants with asses, who looked (to my eyes) as if they had
just left Jerusalem. Still forward we urged our horses, and reached a
ruined garden, surrounded with hedges of cactus, over which I saw domes
and walls in the distance. I drew a long breath and looked at Francois. He
was jogging along without turning his head; he could not have been so
indifferent if that was really the city. Presently, we reached another
slight rise in the rocky plain. He began to urge his panting horse, and at
the same instant we both lashed the spirit into ours, dashed on at a
break-neck gallop, round the corner of an old wall on the top of the hill,
and lo! the Holy City! Our Greek jerked both pistols from his holsters,
and fired them into the air, as we reined up on the steep.

From the descriptions of travellers, I had expected to see in Jerusalem an
ordinary modern Turkish town; but that before me, with its walls,
fortresses, and domes, was it not still the City of David? I saw the
Jerusalem of the New Testament, as I had imagined it. Long lines of walls
crowned with a notched parapet and strengthened by towers; a few domes and
spires above them; clusters of cypress here and there; this was all that
was visible of the city. On either side the hill sloped down to the two
deep valleys over which it hangs. On the east, the Mount of Olives,
crowned with a chapel and mosque, rose high and steep, but in front, the
eye passed directly over the city, to rest far away upon the lofty
mountains of Moab, beyond the Dead Sea. The scene was grand in its
simplicity. The prominent colors were the purple of those distant
mountains, and the hoary gray of the nearer hills. The walls were of the
dull yellow of weather-stained marble, and the only trees, the dark
cypress and moonlit olive. Now, indeed, for one brief moment, I knew that
I was in Palestine; that I saw Mount Olivet and Mount Zion; and--I know
not how it was--my sight grew weak, and all objects trembled and wavered
in a watery film. Since we arrived, I have looked down upon the city from
the Mount of Olives, and up to it from the Valley of Jehosaphat; but I
cannot restore the illusion of that first view.

We allowed our horses to walk slowly down the remaining half-mile to the
Jaffa gate. An Englishman, with a red silk shawl over his head, was
sketching the city, while an Arab held an umbrella over him. Inside the
gate we stumbled upon an Italian shop with an Italian sign, and after
threading a number of intricate passages under dark archways, and being
turned off from one hotel, which was full of travellers, reached another,
kept by a converted German Jew, where we found Dr. Robinson and Dr. Ely
Smith, who both arrived yesterday. It sounds strange to talk of a hotel
in Jerusalem, but the world is progressing, and there are already three. I
leave to-morrow for Jericho, the Jordan, and the Dead Sea, and shall have
more to say of Jerusalem on my return.

Chapter IV.

The Dead Sea and the Jordan River.

Bargaining for a Guard--Departure from Jerusalem--The Hill of
Offence--Bethany--The Grotto of Lazarus--The Valley of Fire--Scenery of
the Wilderness--The Hills of Engaddi--The shore of the Dead Sea--A
Bituminous Bath--Gallop to the Jordan--A watch for Robbers--The
Jordan--Baptism--The Plains of Jericho--The Fountain of Elisha--The
Mount of Temptation--Return to Jerusalem.

"And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape;
the valley also shall perish and the plain shall be destroyed, as the
Lord hath spoken."

--Jeremiah, xlviii. 8.

Jerusalem, _May_ 1, 1852.

I returned this after noon from an excursion to the Dead Sea, the River
Jordan, and the site of Jericho. Owing to the approaching heats, an early
visit was deemed desirable, and the shekhs, who have charge of the road,
were summoned to meet us on the day after we arrived. There are two of
these gentlemen, the Shekh el-Arab (of the Bedouins), and the Shekh
el-Fellaheen (of the peasants, or husbandmen), to whom each traveller is
obliged to pay one hundred piastres for an escort. It is, in fact, a sort
of compromise, by which the shekhs agree not to rob the traveller, and to
protect him against other shekhs. If the road is not actually safe, the
Turkish garrison here is a mere farce, but the arrangement is winked at by
the Pasha, who, of course, gets his share of the 100,000 piastres which
the two scamps yearly levy upon travellers. The shekhs came to our rooms,
and after trying to postpone our departure, in order to attach other
tourists to the same escort, and thus save a little expense, took half the
pay and agreed to be ready the next morning. Unfortunately for my original
plan, the Convent of San Saba has been closed within two or three weeks,
and no stranger is now admitted. This unusual step was caused by the
disorderly conduct of some Frenchmen who visited San Saba. We sent to the
Bishop of the Greek Church, asking a simple permission to view the
interior of the Convent; but without effect.

We left the city yesterday morning by St. Stephen's Gate, descended to the
Valley of Jehosaphat, rode under the stone wall which encloses the
supposed Gethsemane, and took a path leading along the Mount of Olives,
towards the Hill of Offence, which stands over against the southern end of
the city, opposite the mouth of the Vale of Hinnon. Neither of the shekhs
made his appearance, but sent in their stead three Arabs, two of whom were
mounted and armed with sabres and long guns. Our man, Mustapha, had charge
of the baggage-mule, carrying our tent and the provisions for the trip. It
was a dull, sultry morning; a dark, leaden haze hung over Jerusalem, and
the _khamseen_, or sirocco-wind, came from the south-west, out of the
Arabian Desert. We had again resumed the Oriental costume, but in spite of
an ample turban, my face soon began to scorch in the dry heat. From the
crest of the Hill of Offence there is a wide view over the heights on both
sides of the valley of the Brook Kedron. Their sides are worked into
terraces, now green with springing grain, and near the bottom planted with
olive and fig trees. The upland ridge or watershed of Palestine is
cultivated for a considerable distance around Jerusalem. The soil is light
and stony, yet appears to yield a good return for the little labor
bestowed upon it.

Crossing the southern flank of Mount Olivet, in half an hour we reached
the village of Bethany, hanging on the side of the hill. It is a miserable
cluster of Arab huts, with not a building which appears to be more than a
century old. The Grotto of Lazarus is here shown, and, of course, we
stopped to see it. It belongs to an old Mussulman, who came out of his
house with a piece of waxed rope, to light us down. An aperture opens from
the roadside into the hill, and there is barely room enough for a person
to enter. Descending about twenty steps at a sharp angle, we landed in a
small, damp vault, with an opening in the floor, communicating with a
short passage below. The vault was undoubtedly excavated for sepulchral
purposes, and the bodies were probably deposited (as in many Egyptian
tombs) in the pit under it. Our guide, however, pointed to a square mass
of masonry in one corner as the tomb of Lazarus, whose body, he informed
us, was still walled up there. There was an arch in the side of the vault,
once leading to other chambers, but now closed up, and the guide stated
that seventy-four Prophets were interred therein. There seems to be no
doubt that the present Arab village occupies the site of Bethany; and if
it could be proved that this pit existed at the beginning of the Christian
Era, and there never had been any other, we might accept it as the tomb of
Lazarus. On the crest of a high hill, over against Bethany, is an Arab
village on the site of Bethpage.

We descended into the valley of a winter stream, now filled with patches
of sparse wheat, just beginning to ripen. The mountains grew more bleak
and desolate as we advanced, and as there is a regular descent in the
several ranges over which one must pass, the distant hills of the lands of
Moab and Ammon were always in sight, rising like a high, blue wall against
the sky. The Dead Sea is 4,000 feet below Jerusalem, but the general slope
of the intervening district is so regular that from the spires of the
city, and the Mount of Olives, one can look down directly upon its waters.
This deceived me as to the actual distance, and I could scarcely credit
the assertion of our Arab escort, that it would require six hours to reach
it. After we had ridden nearly two hours, we left the Jericho road,
sending Mustapha and a staunch old Arab direct to our resting-place for
the night, in the Valley of the Jordan. The two mounted Bedouins
accompanied us across the rugged mountains lying between us and the Dead

At first, we took the way to the Convent of Mar Saba, following the course
of the Brook Kedron down the Wady en-Nar (Valley of Fire). In half an hour
more we reached two large tanks, hewn out under the base of a limestone
cliff, and nearly filled with rain. The surface was covered with a
greenish vegetable scum, and three wild and dirty Arabs of the hills were
washing themselves in the principal one. Our Bedouins immediately
dismounted and followed their example, and after we had taken some
refreshment, we had the satisfaction of filling our water-jug from the
same sweet pool. After this, we left the San Saba road, and mounted the
height east of the valley. From that point, all signs of cultivation and
habitation disappeared. The mountains were grim, bare, and frightfully
rugged. The scanty grass, coaxed into life by the winter rains, was
already scorched out of all greenness; some bunches of wild sage,
gnaphalium, and other hardy aromatic herbs spotted the yellow soil, and in
sheltered places the scarlet poppies burned like coals of fire among the
rifts of the gray limestone rock. Our track kept along the higher ridges
and crests of the hills, between the glens and gorges which sank on either
hand to a dizzy depth below, and were so steep as to be almost
inaccessible. The region is so scarred, gashed and torn, that no work of
man's hand can save it from perpetual desolation. It is a wilderness more
hopeless than the Desert. If I were left alone in the midst of it, I
should lie down and await death, without thought or hope of rescue.

The character of the day was peculiarly suited to enhance the impression
of such scenery. Though there were no clouds, the sun was invisible: as
far as we could see, beyond the Jordan, and away southward to the
mountains of Moab and the cliffs of Engaddi, the whole country was covered
as with the smoke of a furnace; and the furious sirocco, that threatened
to topple us down the gulfs yawning on either hand, had no coolness on its
wings. The horses were sure-footed, but now and then a gust would come
that made them and us strain against it, to avoid being dashed against the
rock on one side, or hurled off the brink on the other. The atmosphere was
painfully oppressive, and by and by a dogged silence took possession of
our party. After passing a lofty peak which Francois called Djebel Nuttar,
the Mountain of Rain, we came to a large Moslem building, situated on a
bleak eminence, overlooking part of the valley of the Jordan. This is the
tomb called Nebbee Moussa by the Arabs, and believed by them to stand
upon the spot where Moses died. We halted at the gate, but no one came to
admit us, though my companion thought he saw a man's head at one of the
apertures in the wall. Arab tradition here is as much at fault as
Christian tradition in many other places. The true Nebo is somewhere in
the chain of Pisgah; and though, probably, I saw it, and all see it who go
down to the Jordan, yet "no man knoweth its place unto this day."

Beyond Nebbee Moussa, we came out upon the last heights overlooking the
Dead Sea, though several miles of low hills remained to be passed. The
head of the sea was visible as far as the Ras-el-Feshka on the west; and
the hot fountains of Callirhoe on the eastern shore. Farther than this,
all was vapor and darkness. The water was a soft, deep purple hue,
brightening into blue. Our road led down what seemed a vast sloping
causeway from the mountains, between two ravines, walled by cliffs several
hundred feet in height. It gradually flattened into a plain, covered with
a white, saline incrustation, and grown with clumps of sour willow,
tamarisk, and other shrubs, among which I looked in vain for the osher, or
Dead Sea apple. The plants appeared as if smitten with leprosy; but there
were some flowers growing almost to the margin of the sea. We reached the
shore about 2 P.M. The heat by this time was most severe, and the air so
dense as to occasion pains in my ears. The Dead Sea is 1,300 feet below
the Mediterranean, and without doubt the lowest part of the earth's
surface. I attribute the oppression I felt to this fact and to the
sultriness of the day, rather than to any exhalation from the sea itself.
Francois remarked, however, that had the wind--which by this time was
veering round to the north-east--blown from the south, we could scarcely
have endured it. The sea resembles a great cauldron, sunk between
mountains from three to four thousand feet in height; and probably we did
not experience more than a tithe of the summer heat.

I proposed a bath, for the sake of experiment, but Francois endeavored to
dissuade us. He had tried it, and nothing could be more disagreeable; we
risked getting a fever, and, besides, there were four hours of dangerous
travel yet before us. But by this time we were half undressed, and soon
were floating on the clear bituminous waves. The beach was fine gravel and
shelved gradually down. I kept my turban on my head, and was careful to
avoid touching the water with my face. The sea was moderately warm and
gratefully soft and soothing to the skin. It was impossible to sink; and
even while swimming, the body rose half out of the water. I should think
it possible to dive for a short distance, but prefer that some one else
would try the experiment. With a log of wood for a pillow, one might sleep
as on one of the patent mattresses. The taste of the water is salty and
pungent, and stings the tongue like saltpetre. We were obliged to dress in
all haste, without even wiping off the detestable liquid; yet I
experienced very little of that discomfort which most travellers have
remarked. Where the skin had been previously bruised, there was a slight
smarting sensation, and my body felt clammy and glutinous, but the bath
was rather refreshing than otherwise.

We turned our horses' heads towards the Jordan, and rode on over a dry,
barren plain. The two Bedouins at first dashed ahead at full gallop,
uttering cries, and whirling their long guns in the air. The dust they
raised was blown in our faces, and contained so much salt that my eyes
began to smart painfully. Thereupon I followed them at an equal rate of
speed, and we left a long cloud of the accursed soil whirling behind us.
Presently, however, they fell to the rear, and continued to keep at some
distance from us. The reason of this was soon explained. The path turned
eastward, and we already saw a line of dusky green winding through the
wilderness. This was the Jordan, and the mountains beyond, the home of
robber Arabs, were close at hand. Those robbers frequently cross the river
and conceal themselves behind the sand-hills on this side. Our brave
escort was, therefore, inclined to put us forward as a forlorn-hope, and
secure their own retreat in case of an attack. But as we were all well
armed, and had never considered their attendance as anything more than a
genteel way of buying them off from robbing us, we allowed them to lag as
much as they chose. Finally, as we approached the Pilgrims' Ford, one of
them took his station at some distance from the river, on the top of a
mound, while the other got behind some trees near at hand; in order, as
they said, to watch the opposite hills, and alarm us whenever they should
see any of the Beni Sukrs, or the Beni Adwams, or the Tyakh, coming down
upon us.

The Jordan at this point will not average more than ten yards in breadth.
It flows at the bottom of a gully about fifteen feet deep, which traverses
the broad valley in a most tortuous course. The water has a white, clayey
hue, and is very swift. The changes of the current have formed islands and
beds of soil here and there, which are covered with a dense growth of ash,
poplar, willow, and tamarisk trees. The banks of the river are bordered
with thickets, now overgrown with wild vines, and fragrant with flowering
plants. Birds sing continually in the cool, dark coverts of the trees. I
found a singular charm in the wild, lonely, luxuriant banks, the tangled
undergrowth, and the rapid, brawling course of the sacred stream, as it
slipped in sight and out of sight among the trees. It is almost impossible
to reach the water at any other point than the Ford of the Pilgrims, the
supposed locality of the passage of the Israelites and the baptism of
Christ. The plain near it is still blackened by the camp-fires of the ten
thousand pilgrims who went down from Jerusalem three weeks ago, to bathe.
We tied our horses to the trees, and prepared to follow their example,
which was necessary, if only to wash off the iniquitous slime of the Dead
Sea. Francois, in the meantime, filled two tin flasks from the stream and
stowed them in the saddle-bags. The current was so swift, that one could
not venture far without the risk of being carried away; but I succeeded in
obtaining a complete and most refreshing immersion. The taint of Gomorrah
was not entirely washed away, but I rode off with as great a sense of
relief as if the baptism had been a moral one, as well, and had purified
me from sin.

We rode for nearly two hours, in a north-west direction, to the Bedouin
village of Rihah, near the site of ancient Jericho. Before reaching it,
the gray salt waste vanishes, and the soil is covered with grass and
herbs. The barren character of the first region is evidently owing to
deposits from the vapors of the Dead Sea, as they are blown over the plain
by the south wind. The channels of streams around Jericho are filled with
nebbuk trees, the fruit of which is just ripening. It is apparently
indigenous, and grows more luxuriantly than on the White Nile. It is a
variety of the _rhamnus_, and is set down by botanists as the Spina
Christi, of which the Saviour's mock crown of thorns was made. I see no
reason to doubt this, as the twigs are long and pliant, and armed with
small, though most cruel, thorns. I had to pay for gathering some of the
fruit, with a torn dress and bleeding fingers. The little apples which it
bears are slightly acid and excellent for alleviating thirst. I also
noticed on the plain a variety of the nightshade with large berries of a
golden color. The spring flowers, so plentiful now in all other parts of
Palestine, have already disappeared from the Valley of the Jordan.

Rihah is a vile little village of tents and mud-huts, and the only relic
of antiquity near it is a square tower, which may possibly be of the time
of Herod. There are a few gardens in the place, and a grove of superb
fig-trees. We found our tent already pitched beside a rill which issues
from the Fountain of Elisha. The evening was very sultry, and the
musquitoes gave us no rest. We purchased some milk from an old man who
came to the tent, but such was his mistrust of us that he refused to let
us keep the earthen vessel containing it until morning. As we had already
paid the money to his son, we would not let him take the milk away until
he had brought the money back. He then took a dagger from his waist and
threw it before us as security, while he carried off the vessel and
returned the price. I have frequently seen the same mistrustful spirit
exhibited in Egypt. Our two Bedouins, to whom I gave some tobacco in the
evening, manifested their gratitude by stealing the remainder of our stock
during the night.

This morning we followed the stream to its source, the Fountain of
Elisha, so called as being probably that healed by the Prophet. If so, the
healing was scarcely complete. The water, which gushes up strong and free
at the foot of a rocky mound, is warm and slightly brackish. It spreads
into a shallow pool, shaded by a fine sycamore tree. Just below, there are
some remains of old walls on both sides, and the stream goes roaring away
through a rank jungle of canes fifteen feet in height. The precise site of
Jericho, I believe, has not been fixed, but "the city of the palm trees,"
as it was called, was probably on the plain, near some mounds which rise
behind the Fountain. Here there are occasional traces of foundation walls,
but so ruined as to give no clue to the date of their erection. Further
towards the mountain there are some arches, which appear to be Saracenic.
As we ascended again into the hill-country, I observed several traces of
cisterns in the bottoms of ravines, which collect the rains. Herod, as is
well known, built many such cisterns near Jericho, where he had a palace.
On the first crest, to which we climbed, there is part of a Roman tower
yet standing. The view, looking back over the valley of Jordan, is
magnificent, extending from the Dead Sea to the mountains of Gilead,
beyond the country of Ammon. I thought I could trace the point where the
River Yabbok comes down from Mizpeh of Gilead to join the Jordan.

The wilderness we now entered was fully as barren, but less rugged than
that through which we passed yesterday. The path ascended along the brink
of a deep gorge, at the bottom of which a little stream foamed over the
rocks. The high, bleak summits towards which we were climbing, are
considered by some Biblical geographers to be Mount Quarantana, the scene
of Christ's fasting and temptation. After two hours we reached the ruins
of a large khan or hostlery, under one of the peaks, which Francois stated
to be the veritable "high mountain" whence the Devil pointed out all the
kingdoms of the earth. There is a cave in the rock beside the road, which
the superstitious look upon as the orifice out of which his Satanic
Majesty issued. We met large numbers of Arab families, with their flocks,
descending from the mountains to take up their summer residence near the
Jordan. They were all on foot, except the young children and goats, which
were stowed together on the backs of donkeys. The men were armed, and
appeared to be of the same tribe as our escort, with whom they had a good

The morning was cold and cloudy, and we hurried on over the hills to a
fountain in the valley of the Brook Kedron, where we breakfasted. Before
we had reached Bethany a rain came down, and the sky hung dark and
lowering over Jerusalem, as we passed the crest of Mount Olivet. It still
rains, and the filthy condition of the city exceeds anything I have seen,
even in the Orient.

Chapter V.

The City of Christ.

Modern Jerusalem--The Site of the City--Mount Zion--Mount Moriah--The
Temple--the Valley of Jehosaphat--The Olives of Gethsemane--The Mount of
Olives--Moslem Tradition--Panorama from the Summit--The Interior of the
City--The Population--Missions and Missionaries--Christianity in
Jerusalem--Intolerance--The Jews of Jerusalem--The Face of Christ--The
Church of the Holy Sepulchre--The Holy of Holies--The Sacred
Localities--Visions of Christ--The Mosque of Omar--The Holy Man of
Timbuctoo--Preparations for Departure.

"Cut off thy hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a
lamentation in high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the
generation of his wrath."--Jeremiah vii. 29.

"Here pilgrims roam, that strayed so far to seek
In Golgotha him dead, who lives in Heaven."


Jerusalem, _Monday, May_ 3, 1852.

Since travel is becoming a necessary part of education, and a journey
through the East is no longer attended with personal risk, Jerusalem will
soon be as familiar a station on the grand tour as Paris or Naples. The
task of describing it is already next to superfluous, so thoroughly has
the topography of the city been laid down by the surveys of Robinson and
the drawings of Roberts. There is little more left for Biblical research.
The few places which can be authenticated are now generally accepted, and
the many doubtful ones must always be the subjects of speculation and
conjecture. There is no new light which can remove the cloud of
uncertainties wherein one continually wanders. Yet, even rejecting all
these with the most skeptical spirit, there still remains enough to make
the place sacred in the eyes of every follower of Christ. The city stands
on the ancient site; the Mount of Olives looks down upon it; the
foundations of the Temple of Solomon are on Mount Moriah; the Pool of
Siloam has still a cup of water for those who at noontide go down to the

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