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6 The * A Visit to Egypt, &c. p. 285.
where once stood a small town belonging to the tribe of Judah, and where the good Samaritan is imagined to have succoured the wounded traveller who had fallen into the hands of thieves. That sombre dell is still entitled to its horrible distinction; it is still the place of blood, of robbery, and of murder; the most dangerous pass for him who undertakes to go down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
As a proof of this, we may shortly mention an assault which was made upon Sir F. Henniker, who a few years ago resolved to accomplish that perilous journey. route is over hills, rocky, barren, and uninteresting. We arrived at a fountain, and here my two attendants paused to refresh themselves ; the day was so hot that I was anxious to finish the journey, and hasten forwards. A ruined building, situated on the summit of a hill, was now within sight, and I urged my horse towards it; the janizary galloped by me, and making signs for me not to precede him, he himself rode into and round the building, and then motioned me to advance. We next came to a hill, through the very apex of which has been cut a passage, the rocks overhanging it on either side. I was in the act of passing through this ditch when a bullet whizzed by close to my head. I saw no one, and had scarcely time to think when another was fired, some short distance in advance. I could yet see no one; the janizary was beneath the brow of the hill in his descent. I looked back, but my servant was not yet within sight. I looked up, and within a few inches of my head were three muskets, and three men taking aim at me. Escape or resistance was alike impossible. I got off my horse. Eight men jumped down from the rocks, and commenced a scramble for me.-As he (the janizary) passed, I caught at a rope hanging from his saddle; I had hoped to leap upon his horse, but found myself unable ; my feet were dreadfully lacerated by the honeycombed rocks ; nature would support me no longer; I fell, but still clung to the rope ; in this manner I was drawn some few yards, till, bleeding from my ankle to my shoulder, I resigned myself to my fate. As soon as I stood up one of my pursuers took aim at me; but the other, casually advancing between us, prevented his firing. He then ran up, and with his sword aimed such a blow as would not have required a second : his companion prevented its full effect, so that it
merely cut my ear in halves, and laid open one side of my face: they then stripped me naked.”*
It is impossible not to suspect that the depraved government at Jerusalem connives at such instances of violence in order to give some value to the protection which they sell at a very dear rate to Christian travellers. The administration of Mohammed Ali would be a blessing to Palestine, inasmuch as it would soon render the intercourse between the capital and the Dead Sea as safe as that between Alexandria and Grand Cairo.
Refreshing himself at the fountain where our Lord and his apostles, according to a venerable tradition, were wont to rest on their journey to the holy city, the tourist sets his heart on revisiting the sacred remains of that decayed metropolis. When at the summit of the Mount of Olives, he is again struck with the mixture of magnificence and ruin which marks the queen of nations in her widowed estate. Owing to the clear atmosphere and the absence of smoke, the view is so distinct that one might count the separate houses. The streets are tolerably regular, straight, and well paved; but they are narrow and dull, and almost all on a declivity. The fronts of the houses, which are generally two or three stories high, are quite plain, simply constructed of stone, without the least ornament; so that in walking past them a stranger might fancy himself in the galleries of a vast prison. The windows are very few and extremely small; and, by a singular whim, the doors are so low that it is commonly requisite to bend the body nearly double in order to enter them. Some families have gardens of moderate dimensions ;- but, upon the whole, the ground within the walls is fully occupied with buildings, if we ex, cept the vast enclosures in which are placed the mosques and churches.
There is not observed at Jerusalem any square, properly so called ; the shops and markets are universally opened in the public streets. Provisions are said to be abundant and cheap, including excellent meat, vegetables, and fruit. Water is supplied by the atmosphere, and preserved in capacious cisterns; nor is it necessary, except when a long drought has exhausted the usual stock, that the inhabitants should have recourse to the spring near the brook Kedron.
Rice is much used for food ; but as the country is quite un. suited to the production of that aquatic grain, it is imported from Egypt in return for oil, the staple of Palestine.
There is a great diversity of costume, everybody adopting that which he likes best, whether Arab, Syrian, or Turk ; but the lower order of people generally wear a shirt fastened round the waist with a girdle, after the example of their neighbours in the desert. Ali Bey remarks, that he saw very few handsome females in the metropolis ; on the contrary, they had in general that bilious appearance so common in the East,a pale citron colour, or a dead yellow, like paper or plaster, and, wearing a white fillet round the circumference of their faces, they have not unfrequently the appearance of walking corpses. The children, however, are much healthier and prettier than those of Arabia and Egypt.
The Christians and Jews wear, as a mark of distinction, a blue turban. The villagers and shepherds use white ones, or striped like those of the Moslem. The Christian women appear in public with their faces uncovered, as they do in Europe.
The arts are cultivated to a certain extent, but the sciences have entirely disappeared. There existed formerly large schools belonging to the haram; but there are hardly any traces of them left, if their place be not supplied by a few small seminaries where children of every form of worship learn to read and write the code of their respective religion. The grossest ignorance prevails even among persons of high rank, who, on the first interview, appear to have received a liberal education.*
The Arabic language is generally spoken at Jerusalem, though the Turkish is much used among the better class. The inhabitants are composed of people of different nations and different religions, who inwardly despise one another on account of their varying opinions ; but as the Christians are very numerous, there reigns among the whole no small degree of complaisance, as well as an unrestrained intercourse in matters of business, amusement, and even of religion.t
* Travels of Ali Bey, vol. ii. p. 251.
| The Mussulmans say prayers in all the holy places consecrated to the memory of Jesus Christ and the Virgin except the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre, which they do not acknowledge. They believe that Jesus Christ did not die, but that he ascended alive into heaven, leaving the likeness of his face to Judas, who was condemned to die for him; and that, in consequence, Judas having been crucified, his body might have been contained in this sepulchre, but not that of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that the Mussulmans do not perform any act of devotion at this monument, and that they ridicule the Christians who go to revere it. --- Ali Bey, vol. ii. p. 237. * Chateaubriand. 'llinéraire, tom ii. p. 169.
It is well remarked by Chateaubriand, who had travelled among the native tribes of North America as extensively as among the Arabs of the Syrian wilderness, that amid the rudeness of the latter you still perceive a certain degree of delicacy in their manners; you see that they are natives of that East which is the cradle of all the arts, all the sciences, all the religions. Buried at the extremity of the West, the Canadian inhabits valleys shaded by eternal forests and watered by immense rivers; the Arab, cast, as it were, upon the high road of the world between Africa and Asia, roves in the brilliant regions of Aurora over a soil without trees and without water.
The Jews the children of the kingdom-have been cast out, and many have come from the east and the west to occupy their place in the desolate land promised to their fathers. They usually take up their abode in the narrow space between the Temple and the foot of Mount Zion, defended from the tyranny of their Turkish masters by their indigence and misery. Here they appear covered with rags, and sitting in the dust, with their eyes fixed on the ruins of their ancient sanctuary. It has been observed that those descend. ants of Abraham who come from foreign countries to fix their residence at Jerusalem live but a short time; while such as are natives of Palestine are so wretchedly poor as to be obliged to send every year to raise contributions among their brethren of Egypt and Barbary.*
The picture given by Dr. Richardson is much more flattering. He assures his readers that many of the Jews are rich and in comfortable circumstances; but that they are careful to conceal their wealth, and even their comfort, from the jealous eye of their rulers, lest, by awakening their cupidity, some plot of robbery or murder should be devised. The whole population has been estimated by different travellers as amounting to from fifteen to thirty thousand, consisting of Mohammedans, Jews, and the various sects of Christians.
Description of the Country Northward of Jerusalem. Grotto of Jeremiah--Sepulchres of the Kings--Singular Doors–Village
of Leban-Jacob's Well-Valley of Shechem-Nablous-Samaritans --Sebaste - Jennin- Gilead -- Geraza, or Djerash-Description of Ruins--Gergasha of the Hebrews--Rich Scenery of Gilead-River Jabbok--Souf-Ruins of Gamala- Magnificent Theatre-GadaraCapernaum, or Talhewm--- Sea of Galilee-Bethsaida and ChorazinTarachea-Sumuk-Tiberias-Description of modern Town-House of Peter-Baths-University-Mount Tor, or Tabor--Description by Pococke, Maundrell, Burckhardt, and Doubdan-View from the Top -Great Plain-Nazareth-Church of Annunciation-Workshop of Joseph-Mount of Precipitation-Table of Christ --Cana, or_Kefer Kenna-Waterpots of Stone-Saphet, or Szaffad-University-French -Sidney Smith-Dan-Sepphoris-Church of St. Anne-Description by Dr. Clarke-Vale of Zabulon-Vicinity of Acre.
Upon leaving the northern gate of Jerusalem, on the road which leads to Damascus, there is seen a large grotto much venerated by Christians, Turks, and Jews, said to have been for some time the residence, or rather the prison, of the prophet Jeremiah. The bed of the holy man is shown, in the form of a rocky shelf, about eight feet from the ground; and the spot is likewise pointed out on which he is understood to have written his book of Lamentations. In the days of Maundrell, this excavation was occupied by a college of dervises.
We have already alluded to the Sepulchres of the Kings, as very singular remains of ancient architecture, and standing at a little distance from the city. There still prevails some obscurity in regard to the origin and intention of these places of burial, occasioned chiefly by the fact recorded in Holy Scripture, that the tombs of the kings of Judah were on Mount Zion. Pococke held the opinion, that they derived their name from Helena, the queen of Adiabene, whose body was deposited in a cave outside the northern wall of Jerusalem ; a conclusion which derives some countenance from the language of Josephus, and has been