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yard of the convent, waiting a miraculous recovery. The sight of these persons so near to us rather checked our curio sity; but it was too late to render ourselves more secure by retreating. We had been told, that, if we chose to venture into the church, the doors of the convent would be opened ; and therefore had determined to risk a little danger, rather than be disappointed; particularly as it was said the sick were kept apart, in a place expressly allotted to them. We now began to be sensible we had acted without sufficient caution; and it is well we had no reason afterwards to repent of our imprudence.
· Having entered the church, the friars put lighted wax tapers into our hands, and, charging us on no account to touch any thing, led the way, muttering their prayers. We descended, by a flight of steps, into the cave before mentioned; entering it by means of a small door, behind an altar laden with pictures, wax candles, and all sorts of superstitious trumpery. They pointed out to us what they called the kitchen and fire-place of the Virgin Mary. As all these sanctified places, in the Holy Land, have some supposed miracle to exhibit, the monks of Nazareth have taken care not to be without their share in supernatural rarities; accordingly, the first things they shew to strangers descending into this cave, are two stone pillars in front of it; one whereof, separated from its base, is said to sustain its capital and part of its shaft miraculously in the air. The fact is, that the capital and a piece of the shaft of a pillar of grey granite has been fastened on to the roof of the cave; and so clumsily is the rest of the hocus pocus contrived, that what is shewn for the lower fragment of the same pillar resting upon the earth, is not of the same substance, but of Cipolino marble. About this pillar a different story has boen related to almost every traveller since the trick was first devised. We were assured that it separated in this manner when the angel announced to the Virgin the tidings of her conception. The monks had placed a rail, to prevent persons infected with the plague from coming to rub against these pillars: this had been, for a great number of years, their constant practice, whenever afflicted with any
sickness. The reputation of the broken pillar, 'for healing every kind of disease, "prevails all over Galilee.
• The other objects of veneration in Nazareth, at every one of which indulgences are sold to travellers, are, I. The workshop of Joseph, which is near the convent, and was formerly included within its walls; this is now a small chapel, perfectly modern, and lately whitewashed. II. The synagogue, where Christ is said to have read the scriptures to the Jews, at present a church. III. A precipice without the town, where they say the Messiah leaped down, to escape the rage of the Jews, after the offence his speech in the synagoglie had occasioned. Here they shew the impression of his hand, made as he sprang from the rock. From the description given by St. Luke, the monks affirm, that, anciently, Nazareth stood eastward of its present situation, upon a more elevated spot. The words of the evangelist are, however, remarkably explicit, and prove the situation of the ancient city to have been precisely that which is now occupied by the modern town. Induced, by the words of the gospel, to examine the place more attentively than we should otherwise have done, we went, as it is written, “out of the city, unto the brow of the hill rchereon the city is built," and came to a precipice corresponding with the words of the evangelist. It is above the Maronite church, and probably the precise spot alluded to by the text of St. Luke's gospel.
· But because the monks and friars, who are most interested in such discoveries, have not found within the gospels a sufficient number of references to Nazareth, whereupon they might erect shops for the sale of their indulgences, they have actually taken the liberty to add to the writings of the evangelists, by making them vouch for a number of absurdities, concerning which not a syllable occurs within their records. It were an endless task to enumerate all these. One celebrated relique may however be mentioned; because there is not the slightest notice of any such thing in the New Testament; and because his holiness the pope has not scrupled to vouch for its authenticity, as well as to grant very plenary indulgence to those pilgrims who visit the place where it is exhibited. This is nothing more than a large stone, on which they affirm that
Christ did eat with his disciples, both before and after his resurrection. They have built a chapel over it; and upon the walls of this building, several copies of a printed certificate, asserting its title to reverence, are affixed.
• As we passed through the streets, loud screams, as of a person frantic with rage and grief, drew our attention towards a miserable hovel, whence we perceived a woman issuing hastily, with a cradle, containing an infant. Having placed the child upon the area before her dwelling, she as quickly ran baek again; we then perceived her beating something violently, all the while filling the air with the most piercing shrieks. Ruñning to see what was the cause of her cries, we observed an enormous serpent, which she had found near her infant, and had completely dispatched before our arrival. Never were maternal feelings more strikingly pourtrayed than in the coun: tenance of this woman. Not satisfied with having killed the animal, she continued her blows until she had reduced it to atoms, unheeding any thing that was said to her, and only abstracting her attention from its mangled body to cast occasionally, a wild and momentary glance towards her child.
* In the evening we visited the environs, and, walking to the brow of a hill above the town, were gratified by an interesting prospect of the long valley of Nazareth, and some bills between which a road leads to the neighbouring plain of Esdraelon, and to Jerusalem. Some of the Arabs came to converse with us. We were surprised to hear them speaking Italian ; they said they had been early instructed in this language, by the friars of the convent. Their conversation was full of complaints against the rapacious tyramy of their governors. One of them said, “Beggars in England are happier and better than we poor Arabs.” “Why better ?? said one of our party.
Happier,” replied the Arab who had made the observation, “in a good government: better, because they will not endure a bad one.”
• The second night after our arrival, as soon as it dark, we all stretched ourselves upon the foor of our ruļ, ment, not without serious alarm of catching the plague, but tempted by the hope of obtaining a little repose. This we
had found impracticable the night before, in consequence of the vermin. The hope was, however, vain; not one of our party could close his eyes. Every instant it was necessary to rise, and endeavour to shake off the noxious animals with which our bodies were covered. In addition to this penance, we were serenaded, until four o'clock in the morning, the hour we had fixed for our departure, by the constant ringing of a chapel bell, as a charm against the plague; by the barking of dogs; braying of asses; howling of jackals; and by the squalling of children.
After a sleepless night, rising more fatigued than when we retired to rest, and deeming a toilsome journey preferable to the suffering state we had all endured, we left Nazareth at five o'clock on Sunday morning, July the sixth, our intention being to complete the tour of Galilee, and to visit the lake of Gennesareth.
• We entered Cana, and halted at a small Greek chapel, in the court of which we all rested, while our breakfast was spread upon the ground. This grateful meal consisted of about a bushel of cucumbers, some white mulberries, a very insipid fruit, gathered from the trees reared to feed silk-worms; hot cakes of unleavened bread, fried in honey and butter; and, as usual, plenty of fowls. We had no reason to complain of our fare, and all of us ate hcartily. We were afterwards conducted into the chapel, in order to see the reliques and sacred vestments there preserved. When the poor priest exhibited these, he wept over them with so much sincerity, and lamented the indignities to which the holy places were exposed in terms so affecting, that all our pilgrims wept also. Such were the tears which formerly excited the sympathy, and roused the valour of the crusaders. The sailors of our party caught the kindling zeal; and little more was necessary to incite in tbem a hostile disposition towards every Saracen they might afterwards encousi
his l.. it three miles beyond Cana we passed the village of arritu. bear this place they pretend to shew the field where the disciples of Jesus Christ plucked the ears of corn upon the sabbath-day. The Italian catholics have named it the field
“degli Setti Spini," and gather the bearded wheat, which is annually growing there, as a part of the collection of reliques wherewith they return burthened to their own country. The heat of this day was greater than any to which we had yet been exposed in the Levant; nor did we afterwards experience any thing so powerful. Captain Culverhouse had the misfortune to break his umbrella ;---a frivolous event in milder latitudes, but here of so much importance, that all hopes of continuing our journey depended upon its being repaired. Fortunately, beneath some rocks, over which we were then passing, there were caverns, excavated by primeval shepherds, as a shelter from scorching beams, capable of baking bread, and actually of dressing meat : into these caves we crept, not only for the purpose of restoring the umbrella, but also to profit by the opportunity thus offered of unpacking our thermometers, and ascertaining the temperature of the atmosphere. It was now twelve o'clock. The mercury, in a gloomy recess under ground, perfectly shaded, while the scale was placed so as not to touch the rock, remained at one hundred degrees of Fahrenheit. As to making any observation in the sun's rays, it was impossible; no one of the party had courage to wait with the thermometer a single minute in such a situation.
• After we had passed Turan, a small plantation of olives afforded us a temporary shelter; and without this, the heat was greater than we could have endured. Having rested an hour, taking coffee and smoking as usual with the Arabs of our party, we continued our journey. The earth was covered with such a variety of thistles, that a complete collection of them would be a valuable acquisition in botany. As we advanced, our journey led through an open campaign country, until, upon our right, the guides shewed us the mount where it is believed that Christ preached to his disciples that memorable sermon, concentrating the sum and substance of every Christian virtue. We left our route to visit this elevated spot; and having attained the highest point of it, a view was presented, which, for its grandeur, independently of the interest excited by the different objects contained in it, has no parallel in the Holy Land.