صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


markable by the life and actions of Jesus Christ. We left Acre,* by the southern gate of the city, at four o'clock P. M.f It would be curious to ascertain when this place obtained a vame so near to its ancient appellation, after bearing that of Ptolemais

, pot only down to the time of Strabo, but to that of Pliuy, who also calls it Colonia Claudia. It is nioreover named Plolemais in the history of the actions of the holy apostles, wherein mention is made of the visit to it by St. Paul and his companions, during their voyage from Tyre to Cæsarea. The edi. tor of the Oxford edition of Strabo affirms that it regained its ancient pame under the Mahometans.** Ammianus Marcellinus, it as cited by Maundrell,ff best explains the cause ; by say, ing, that. " the Greek and Roman names of places never took amongst the natives of this country.” It is therefore most probable that it always retained its original oriental appellation among the natives of Syria; and that the word “ Ptolemais," used by Greek and Roman writers, and found upon medals of the city, struck after it was a Roman colony, was never adopted by the indigeuous inhabitants of the country.

In the light sandy soil, containing a mixture of black vegetable earth, which lies near the town, we observed plantations of water melons, pumpkins, and a little corn ; also abundance of cattle. We continued along the sea shore until we arrived at the camp of Djezzar's cavalry. The pacha had fixed upon this place, as a point of rendezvous for mustering our party. We found our whole force to consist of twenty-three armed persons on horseback, with two camels laden; a cavalcade which the turbulent state of the country at this time reudered absolutely necessary for our security. The individuals composing it were, Captain Culverhouse, of the Romulus frigate; Mr. Loudon, purser of the same ship; Mr. Catasago, the im


* Brocardus affirms, that Acre was never included among the places properly be-
longing to the Holy Land. (Vid. Loc. Terr. Sanct. Desc.) “ Nunquam fuit terrae
Sarciae connumerata, nec a filiis Israël unquam possessa: tametsi tribui Aser in sortem-
ceciderit.” It may therefore be considered with regard to Phænicia, which he de-
seriles as a part of the Holy Land, what Gibraltar now is with reference to Spaip.
He makes it the centre of his olservations concerning Terra Sancta; “ taking his
departure always from that city." It was moreover the rallying place of the Chris-
tians, in every period of the Crusades.
1 About the same hour, 63 years before, Pococke set out upon the same journey.

Strab. Geogr. lib. xvi. p. 1077. ed. Oxon.
Hist. Nat. lib. v. c. 19. p. 264. ed. L. Bat. 1635.
Acts, xxi. 7,8.-" And when we had finished our course from Tyre we came to

... And the next day, we that were of Paul's company departed, apo Game unto Caesarea."

**** Sub Mahommedanis nomen vetus revixit.” Vid. Annot. in Strab. Geogr. ed Oxon. p. 1077.

ti Lib. xiv. Aist non longè ab initio.
11 Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 64. Oxf. 1721.


perial consul; Signor Bertocino, interpreter to the pacha; the Captain of Djezzar's body guard; ten Arab soldiers of his cavalry; the cockswain of the captain's barge; two servants; two Arab grooms belonging to Djezzar's stables ; Antonio Maburaki, our own faithful interpreter; Mr. Cripps; and the author of these travels. This number was soon augmented by pilgrims from the different places we passed through, desirous of an escort to Jerusalem; so that at last we formed a redoubtable caravau. In viewing the camps of the country, we were struck by the resemblance between the ordinary tents of European armies, and those used by Arabs io this part of Asia.Perhaps there is no art of map more ancient than that of constructing these temporary habitations; but although simplicity may be supposed their universal characteristic, they are by uo means uniformly fashioned among different nations. A variety of climate necessarily modifies the mode of their construction. The conic dwelling of the Laplander is not shaped after a model borrowed from the wandering hordes of Tartary; nor does the lodging place of a Calmuck resemble the wide-spreading airy pavilions of Syria. To what then can be owing the sșinilitude which exists in this respect, between a tribe of Arabs and the inhabitants of Europe; unless the latter derived the luxury and the elegance of their tents, as they did so many other of their refinemeuts, from the inhabitants of this coupiry, iu the time of the crusades ? Where customs are beheld as they ex. isted during the first ages of the world, there is little reason to believe the mavner of building this kind of dwelliog has undergoue any material alteration. The tent of an Arab chies, in all probability, exhibits, at this day, an accurate representation of the Hebrew Shapheer, * or regal pavilion of the Land of Canaan: its Asiatic form, and the nature of its materials, render it peculiarly adapted to the temperature of a Syriao climate : but viewivg it in northern countries, where it appears rather as an article of elegance and of luxury, than of comfort or of utility, we can perhaps only explain the history of its introduction by reference to events, which, for more than two centuries, enabled the inhabitants of such distant countries to maintain an intercourse with each other.

In the beginning of our journey, several of the escort amused us by an exhibition of the favourite exercise called djirit : * See Harmer's Observations on Pass. of Scrip. vol. I, p. 129. ed. Lond. 1808. See c. vii

. of this volume. It is generally written Djerid, I have written its it is pronounced. According to the Chevalier d'Arvieux (Voy. dans la Palestine p. 62. Par. 1717 ) it takes its name froin the weapon used, which is a Djerid. This

also by an equestrian sport, resembling a game called "prisoner's base” in England. In the plain near Acre we passed a small conical hill, whereon ve observed a ruin and several ca. verns: this answers to the situation assigned by Josephus for the sepulchre of Memnon.* We crossed the sandy bed of the rirer Belus, near its mouth, where the stream is shallow enough to allow of its being forded on horseback; liere, it is said, Hercules found the plant colocasia, which effected the cure of his Founds. According to Pliny, the discovery of the art of making glass was made by some mariners who were boiling a kettle upon the sand of this river;} it continued for ages to supply not only the manufactories of Sidon, but all other places, with materials for that purpose. Vessels from Italy continued to remove it, for the glass houses of Vepice and Genoa, so late as the middle of the seventeenth century:ll It seemed to us to be muddy, and mised with various impurities: we afterward regretted that we did not collect a portion, in order to examine whether it naturally contains an alkali. There is an air of something strained in the addition made to the story, concerning the Phænician mariners, of the blocks of nitre used as props for their caldron. Pliny may have added this himself, by way of accounting for the accident thai followed. Farther toward the south, in the east cor. ner of the bay of Acre, fows“ that ancient river, the river Kish. on, a more considerab'e stream than this of Beius. Nothing else was observed in this afternoon's journey, excepting a well, where the Arabs insisted upon halting, to prepare their coffee. Shepherds appeared in the plain, with numerous droves of cattle; consisting of oxen, sheep and goals. As evening drew on, we reached the foot of a hill, where the village of Shef hamertt is situated. It is visible iu the prospect from Acre, and stands upon the western declivity of a ridge of eminences, rising one above another, in a continuous series, from Libanus


[ocr errors]

Arahic word signifies the branch of a palm tree stripped of ils leaves. Sometimes canes or reeds, or common sticks, are employed for the same purpose. A representation of this sport is given in Niebuhr's description of Arabia, tom. i. tab xv. Copenh. 1773. * Joseph De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 9. # Hist. Nat. lib. xxxvi. c. 26.

Strabo says, it was carried to Sidon, to be made ready for fusion. Strab. Geogr. lib. xvi. p. 1077. ed. Oxon.

" Idque tantum multa per secula gigbendo fuit vitro." Ibid. L. Bat. 1635. || Doubdan relates, that even iu his time vessels from Italy came to be freighted with that sand. "Quelques fois, quoy que fort raremenl, quelques vaisseaux d'Italie 02 ont chargé pour cel effect" Voy. de la Terre Sainte, p. 599.

** See the sublime song of Deborah, (Judges, v. 20, 21.) “ They fought from heaven; the stars in their course fought against Sisera. The river Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon."

ft Written Shafa Amre by d'Anville, in his Carte de la Phænicie, published at Paris, iņ 1780 In Egmont and Heyman's Travels (vol. ii. p. 15.) the same village is called Chofamota; and in the journal of one of the party who was with the author, he finds,


[ocr errors]


to Carmel. The land, uincultivated as it almost every where appeared in Djezzar's dominions, was redundantly fertile, and much covered with a plant exhibiting large blossoms of aggregated white flowers, resembling those of the wild parsley : I believe it to have been the cachrys libanotis. Of all the plants ve noticed during our journey, this is the only one we neglect. ed to add to our herbarium, from the absurd notion that what appeared so common might be had any where, and at any time. It disappeared when our distance from the sea was much in. creased. The variety and beauty of the different species of carduus, or thistle, in this country, are well worth notice; a never failing indication of rich soil in any land, but here mani. festing the truth of Jacob's prophecy, who foretold the “ fatness of the bread of Asher," and the “royal dainties” of his terri.

We observed one in particular, whose purple head covered all the inland parts of Palestine with its gorgeous hue. After we had quitted the valley, and ascended the hill, we arrived about eight P. M. at the agha's mansion, the chief of the village. Being conducted up a rude Oight of steps, to the top of the house, we found, upon the flat roof, the agha of Shef hamer seaied upon a carpet; mats being spread before him, for our reception. Djezzar had despatched couriers to the aghas and sheiks in all places where we were instructed to halt, that provisions might be ready, as for bimself, when we arrived. Without this precaution, a large party would be in danger of starving. The peasants of the country are wofully oppressed; and what little they have, would be carefully concealed, unless extorted from them by the iron rod of such a ty. rant as Djezzar. Judging by the appearance our supper presented, a stranger migbt have fancied himself in a land of abundance. They brought boiled chickens, eggs, boiled rice, and bread; this last article, being made into thin cakes, is either dried in the sun, or baked upon hot stopes.t They prepare it it written Chefthambre. Thus is there no end to the discordance caused by writing the names of places merely as they seem to be pronounced; particularly among travellers of different countries, when each individual adapts an orthography suited to his own language.

[ocr errors]

* Genesis, xlix. 20. + The account given by the Chevalier d'Arvieux (in the narrative of his very interesting travels, as they were published by De La Roque) concerning one mode of making bread among the Arabs, seems to illustrate a passage in the Psalms, “ Or ever your poto be made hot with thorns.” (Ps. Iviii. 8.) According to d'Arvieux, the Arabs heat stone pitchers by kindling fires in them, and then dab the outside with dough, They kindle," says he a

fire in a large stone pitcher : and then it is hot, they mix the meal in water, as we do to make paste, and dab it with the hollor of their hands upon the outside of the pitcher, and this soft pappy dough spreads and is baked in an instant: the heat of the pitcher having dried up all its moisture, the bread comes off in small thin slices, like one of our wafers.” Voyage fait par ordre du Roy. Louis XIV. c. xiv. p. 233. Par. 1717. See also the English edition, Lond 1723. 4. ziy. p. 201.

which is thus baked."

fresh for every meal. Wine, as a forbidden beverage, was not offered to us.

We supped upon the roof, as we sat; and were somewhat surprized in beiog told we were to sleep there also. This the agha said would be necessary, in order to avoid the fieas; but they swarmed in sufficient mimber to keep the whole party sleepless, and quite in torment, during the few hours we allotted to a vain expectation of repose. The lapse of a century has not effected the smallest change in the manners of the inbabitants of this country, as appears by the accounts earlier travellers have given of the accommodations they obtained. Bishop Pococke's description of his lodging at Tiberias exactly corresponds with that of our reception here.* A wicker shed, or lovel, upon one side of the roof, iras found capable of containing six of us; the rest extended themselves, in the open air, upon the stuccoed roof, and perhaps, on that account, were somewhat further removed from the centre of the swarm of vermio; our situation being, literally, a focus, or point of concourse.

At three o'clock we roused all the party, and were on horseback a little before four. We could discern the town of Acre, and the Romulus frigate at anchor, very distinctly from this place. In a cemetery hard by, we noticed a grave, so con structed as to resemble an Egyptian mummy: it was plastered over, and afterward a face and feet had been painted upon the heap, like those picturerl upon the cases wherein mummies are deposited. After leaving Shef hamer, the mountainous territory begins, and the road winds anjong valleys covered with beautifal trees. Passing these hills, we entered that part of Galilee which belonged to the tribe of Zabulon; whence, according to the triumphal song of Deborah and Barak, issued to the battle against Sisera, they that han lled the pen of the writer.” The scenery is, to tlie full, as delightful as in the rich vales upon the south of the Crimea; it remineded us of the finest parts of Kent and Surrey. The soil, although stony, is exceedingly rich, but now entirely neglected. Tiat a man so avaricious as Djezzar could not discern the bad policy of his mode of goverument, was somewhat extraordinary. His territories were uncultivated, because he annihilated all the hopes of industry; but had it pleased him to encourage the labours of the husbaudman, he might have been in possession of more wealth

* “ We supped on the top of the house, for coolness, accordiug to their custom, mand lodged there likewise, in a sort of closet, about eight feet square, of wicker work, plastered round toward the bottom, but without any doors ..... The place abounds with vermin." Pococke's Tray. vol. ii. p. 69. Lond. 1745.

« السابقةمتابعة »