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square leagues. He was a tall man, about sixty years of age, thin and swarthy, as all the Bedouins are, and covered with a sheep-skin, the woolly part inside, and stained with a reddish colour that distinguished him from his followers: he walked with gravity, his harsh features exhibiting, when he smiled, a mild expression, but, in general, melancholy, and indicating some secret sorrows. He spoke very little, and never with emotion. Our arrangements were soon made; but the condition which stopped us for some time, and to which we were wrong in acceding, was, that we should not carry our arms with us: without that, he could not, he said, answer for our safety, and the least imprudence might ruin us. It was with this one man, and three people of his tribe on foot, that we entered the Desert. There were six of us on horseback, with three camels to carry water and provisions. The first day we went as far as the camp of the Benikali Arabs, a part of the tribe of the Embaraka, that extend all along the borders of the Desert from Damascus to Aleppo. During the night, we were roused by the appearance of some robbers. The whole camp immediately was on the stir; and we began to feel the inconvenience of being deprived of our fire-arms. The two following days were not remarkable for any particular circumstance. The men on foot generally went before, to be on the look-out and sometimes placed themselves upon the backs of the camels, in order to see a greater distance. Uneasy at the least noise, attentive to the least motion, man, a stranger to man in these vast solitudes, is always in fear of meeting an enemy in his fellow-creature. Individuals perceive and avoid each other at enormous distances, and where an entire army would be lost, a man alone cannot hide himself. The Sheik Nahar marched silently before us, halting at different hours to say prayers. One day that he appeared to have lost his road, when he was only seeking for water, which he knew was to be found in a certain rock, we expressed our uneasiness: he answered, without evincing any emotion, ' I have promised the Sheik Thala to conduct you to Tadmor, and to bring you back to Homs; I will keep my word; do not make yourselves uneasy at any thing you may observe; God is great!' He found the water he was in search of. The fourth day, after spending the night in the open air, the cold being piercing, and having no fire, we were marching slowly on, when, turning round a mound, we saw fifteen or twenty Arabs galloping towards us, and attacking our camels, that had remained behind, with their lances. We came back to defend them, and a regular fight with fists and sticks then took place between us; for they were, like ourselves, unprovided with fire-arms. The remainder of the tribe arriving, we saw ourselves on the point of being robbed and left in the Desert, twenty leagues from any spring of water or habitation. Whilst we were tearing each other's clothes to pieces, all our horses were attacking the mares belonging to the Arabs, and the greatest confusion prevailed. Mr. Hall and Mr. Becker were fighting on foot with
two Bedouins. My son, who had concealed a pistol under his waistcoat, kept two Arabs, who had torn off his turban, at a respectful distance. In this disorder I was seeking for our guide, whose lance had been broken on the first onset, when suddenly one of our people cried out, We are saved!' and, at the same moment, we saw the Arabs fighting among themselves, and their chief had fallen upon his knees before our old man, and was excusing himself for what had happened. Nahar, with the greatest coolness, arranged his apparel, got on horseback, and only testified his anger by shedding tears, and bitterly reproaching the young chief, who escorted us nearly a league. This young man, half naked, rode upon a mare worth 15,000 piasters; and the only thing he asked for the service he had rendered, in preventing his tribe from robbing us, was a little barley for his mare: we, moreover, gave him a robe, which he immediately put upon his back.
Palmyra is built upon the plan of most of the ancient towns of Syria, and in general of the Roman colonies. A long street, ornamented with porticos and columns, and intersected by another similar one, extends on one side to the Temple of Neptune, and, on the other, to that of Jupiter. The great number of temples, of tombs, and columns, present, undoubtedly, an imposing spectacle; but it is far from being as much so as one would suppose. The plain, which extends around as far as the eye can reach, without the slightest undulation, makes the monuments contrasted with the blue sky, appear small, and gives them the appearance of white staffs fixed upon an arid surface; the quality of the marble, which has not that warm colouring of the monuments of Italy, injures still more the effect. A nearer inspection does not cause a more favourable impression, with the exception of the Temple of Jupiter, which exhibits a vast pile and fine details; the others are replete with faults. The jutting out of little knobs from the columns, the niches, and numerous cavities, the profusion, rather than the magnificence, of the ornaments, shows a departure from the style of the Antonines. The ensemble, however, of this singular town, and its situation, in the desert, will always make it one of the most curious places that a traveller can visit. During the two days we spent there, we were continually teazed by the importunities of the inhabitants, who were desirous of exacting a ransom from us, as they had done a short time before from an English gentleman, Mr. Bankes. We continually resisted; when, on the evening of the second day, a great number of them, armed with muskets, entered into our room, swearing they would keep us prisoners, unless each of us paid them a thousand piastres. To all these demands, our Sheik, without showing any emotion, repeated his formula: I have promised the Sheik: I have to conduct these travellers to Tadmor, and lead them back to Homs they shall depart to-morrow: God is great!' The inhabitants were, the next morning, more tractable, and, having
received a small present, they allowed us to proceed on our journey. After three days' marching, and enduring excessive fatigues, we arrived among the tribe of our chief, at a place he called his house. Here we spent two days, travelling with his tribe, reposing under their tents, and observing the manners of these children of nature; who, although a prey to the greatest wants, and struggling against all sorts of privations, only receive consolation from the charms of an adventurous and independent life.
From Palmyra we proceeded towards Latakie, to visit the coast of Syria, the interior of Lebanon, the beautiful valleys with which it is intersected, places celebrated in Scripture, and embellished, moreover, with monuments of every age. At the distance only of two days' journey, one passes from the cedars of Solomon to the gigantic monument of Balbec, and to the wonderful palace of the Prince of the Druses. Balbec is superior to Palmyra in size and in the perfection of the style of the edifices. Columns, sixty feet in height, cut out of a single block, rest upon bases even greater, and the palace of the Emir Bechir is probably one of the most superb in Arabian architecture. The prince who caused it to be erected, has under his command fifty thousand Christians in arms, and forty thousand Druses; and, although, to external appearance, he professes the Mohammedan religion, he is a Christian, and his adventurous and singular existence recals to mind the times of Saladin and of Malec-Adel.
From Balbec we proceeded to Damascus, which, after Constantinople is the largest and handsomest town in the east. We took up our abode in the convent of the Lazarists. These good monks are a providence for travellers, and undergo, the whole of the year, great privations, in order to be able to receive them more comfortably. The reception we met with from the Pasha of Damascus, and the chief inhabitants of the city, preserved us from the received custom of taking off our white turbans, and descending from horseback in the streets, a humiliation to which we would not have submitted, and from which we expect that we have freed any future traveller. From Damascus we set out for the Hauran, the ancient Decapolis, the most important part of our travels, which Seetzen and Burckhardt have described, but have neglected to draw or study its monuments. When we were leaving Damascus, a Christian from Lebanon, a handsome man, well dressed, and bearing splendid arms, but greatly fatigued, came out to meet us; he had journeyed for six leagues, without taking any food, on account of Lent. He presented me a letter, written in English, and in the following terms:
'You are about to undertake a perilous journey. The man I send to you is one of the bravest of the mountain; he has orders not to leave you a moment, until you reach the place where you are to embark, and to bring me news from you. ESTHER STANHOPE.'
This noble and amiable lady, a niece of the celebrated Pitt, had permitted me to pass a few days with her in her solitude: she related to me her adventures, but she did not tell me, what would have been much longer, all the good she had done in the country; the unfortunate alone had let us into the secret.
The province of the Hauran is a large fertile plain, formerly covered with considerable cities, of which a great many monuments still remain. We have brought with us eighty designs or plans of the principal ones, and particularly of the cities of Salghud, Bozra, Canouhat, and, further on in the desert of the Dead Sea, Geraza and Amaun. From the Hauran we proceeded to Jerusalem, by Tiberias, Nazareth, and Naplouse.
We had spent the holy week in Rome, the year before: our arrangements had been so made, that we found ourselves at a similar period in Jerusalem; and it is most interesting to observe the contrast that exists, on these solemn days, between the two great cities of the Christian world: it is all to the advantage of the Eternal City. At Rome, the men and monuments surpass, or equal, at least, the recollections; whilst, at Jerusalem, they are considerably inferior; they weaken and destroy them; one would wish to drive them away. The Sovereign Pontiff, surrounded by his clergy and the faithful, who have flocked from all corners of the globe, giving his blessing to the city and to the world, urbi et orbi, from the top of the greatest monument raised by the genius of man, to an immense crowd prostrated in the most profound silence; all this bears a character of grandeur, of solemnity, which is not to be found in Jerusalem. The holy places are guarded by poor monks, of every sect, belonging to the lowest classes of society; worthy people no doubt, but the greater number unenlightened and undignified, occupying themselves and travellers with their private quarrels, daily accusing each other to the Turkish authorities, who make a traffic of their animosities, and are continually disturbing, with blows and insults, the most solemn moments of their ceremonies. These places are, moreover, disfigured by shabby ornaments, and buildings in bad taste. The traveller should see Rome in all its pomp, and Jerusalem in all its solitude; he should wander in the vicinity of his city alone, with his thoughts fixed on the events it recals; then if he observed these palaces as they are, he would contemplate in the naked rock, the manger, the cradle of Christ, and of civilisation, and in the stone of the holy sepulchre, a lesson of every sacrifice, an example to support every evil, in the hope of every good.
Nothing exceeds the astonishment of the traveller who arrives in Egypt, after traversing the whole of the Ottoman Empire. There he finds sugar and cotton cultivated in the same manner as in India; twenty manufactories, more spacious, and as well managed, as those of Manchester; troops exercised as those of France; in fine, a
Pasha reading the Constitutionnel.' Nothing was necessary but the genius of one man to create, as by enchantment, such wonders; to change, in the space of ten years, the cultivation, industry, manners, and government of a country;-but is this country happy? That is what one should examine. Mohammed Ali, uneasy about the future, wishing to operate these changes in a rapid manner, has thought it necessary to make a monopoly of thought and labour, and hasten the moment, to arrive at a result. He has said to himself: What I shall have done, will perhaps be preserved; what I shall have neglected to do, will never be carried into effect.' Hence this violent activity, this over-exclusive avidity of gain, and the continual misery of the country. But let him relax in the too great share which he has taken in the labour; let him, above all, give up that deplorable expedition which he is now pursuing, and his country will be as happy as he has rendered it skilful. And already he has despatched commissaries into the provinces, to establish taxes in lieu of monopoly. Schools have been formed in various parts; forty young persons, belonging to the most distinguished families, are being educated in France; a hundred others are following their studies at Cairo, in a school conducted by a distinguished French officer, M. Plana; one hundred and fifty are studying medicine, and are preparing successors to the Avicennas and Averoës, after a lapse of ten centuries. On all sides prejudices disappear, as well as ignorance. At an anatomical lecture, at which I assisted, the distinguished Professor, M. Cloté, interrogated, as if by chance, a pupil, and inquired for what reason he was studying anatomy? Because it is impossible to exercise medicine without an acquaintance with the human body,' was the reply. But this study is forbidden in the Koran. The young man, looking proudly at him, answered, 'Nothing which is useful to man can be forbidden in the Koran.' The man, who thus enlightens his country, cannot wish to oppress it; but, alas! how many fears these infant institutions, this civilisation depending upon one life, cause on the mind: the axe is suspended over these ingenious looms, the lighted torch is burning near the arsenals, the mills, and the schools. The Arab of the Desert is only waiting for the moment to take possession of his ancient dominions, and lead his camels to pasture in the gardens of Shoubra.
I will not mention the antiquities of Egypt; every thing has been said upon this subject; but the language of these curious monuments has just been discovered: a dragoman of Sesostris and the Ptolemies has received birth among us, and Egypt is expecting him to unravel her mysteries.
It was in Greece that we terminated, as we had begun, our travels : we had left her in distress; we found her filled with hope and confidence. After conquering oppression, she has disarmed indifference. Thanks to the kindness of M. de Rigny, the conqueror of Navarin, we visited these fine countries in vessels belonging to the Govern