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“ Now you will be satisfied!" “ What,” said I, “is he going to do?" “ To put to death that poor man,” added he: and scarcely were the words uttered, than I, more terrified than any of the party, caught hold of Djezzar's arm; the midshipman adding his entreaties to mine; and every one of us earnestly supplicating pardon for the poor victim. All we could obtain, was permission from the pacha to have the punishment suspended until captain Culverhouse was informed of the circumstance, who coming on shore, saved the man's life; but nothing could prevail upon Djezzar to grant him a free pardon. He was degraded from his rank as an officer, and we heard of him no more.
The next morning, an Albanian general was ordered into the mountains, with a party of cavalry, to act against the Druses. Djezzar, who sent for us to inform us of this circumstance, further told us, that he entertained some apprehensions on account of our journey to Jerusalem ; but, said he, “I have already sent messengers into the country, that every precaution may be used among the chiefs in the villages.” He spoke also of the news he had received from Egypt, whereby he understood that the vizier had retreated from before Cairo, on account of the plague. “ This conduct" said he, “ might be justifiable in a Christian general, but it is disgraceful in a Turk.” During this conversation, which lasted near an hour, interlarded, on the part of Djezzar, with a more than ordinary allowance of aphorisms, truisms, and childish stories, he was occupied, as usual, in cutting paper into various shapes ; such as those of coffee-pots, pipes, cannons, birds, and flowers. At last, his engineer coming to consult him concerning the improvements he imagined himself making in the fortifications of Acre, we took that opportunity to retire. Some notion may be formed of his talents in fortification, by simply relating the manner in which those works were carried on. He not only repaired the memorable breach caused by the French, and so ably defended by sir Sidney Smith, but directed his engineers to attend solely to the place where the breach was effected, regardless of all that might be wanted elsewhere.
“Some persons,” said he, putting his finger to
his forehead, “have a head for these matters, and some have
Let us see whether or not Bonaparte will make a breach there again. A breach is a breach, and a wall is a wall !"
* The bath of Acre is the finest and best built of any that we saw in the Turkish empire. We all bathed here, during our stay. Every kind of antique marble, together with large pillars of Egyptian granite, might be observed among the materials of its construction. A great quantity of cotton is exported from this place. The country abounds in cattle, corn, olives, and linseed. In almost every town of Syria there is a fabric for the manufacture of soap; but every thing depends upon the will of the pacha: the produce of the land was exported, or not, as it pleased Djezzar, who cared very kittle for consequences. His avarice, it is true, prompted him to increase the income of his custom-houses, but his ignorance, as it was observed of him by baron de Tott, prevented his discovering, that “speculations of revenue, when they strike at industry, cannot for that reason, ever be calculated on any principles of commerce.”
“Upon the third of July, we began our journey to Jerusalem; intending first to visit all those places in Galilee rendered remarkable by the life and actions of Jesus Christ, We left Acre, by the southern gate of the city, at four o'clock P. M.
• 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 twentythree armed persons on horseback, with two camels laden,-a cavalcade which the turbulent state of the country at this time rendered absolutely necessary for our security. The individuals composing it were, captain Culverhouse, of the Romulus frigate; Mr Loudon, purser of the same ship; Mr. Catafago, the imperial consul; signior 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 ; VOL. IV.
two Arab grooms belonging to Djezzar's stables; Antonio Manurâki, 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 caravan. 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 in this part of Asia.
'In the beginning of our journey, several of the escort amused us by an exhibition of the favourite exercise called Djirit: 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 we observed a ruin and several caverns: this answers to the situation assigned by Josephus for the sepulchre of Memnon. We crossed the sandy bed of the river Belus, near its mouth, where the stream is shallow enough to allow of its being forded on horseback: here, it is said, Hercules found the plant Colocasia, which effected the cure of his wounds. 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.
• The variety and beauty of the different species of carduus, or thistle, in this country, are well worth notice; a neverfailing indication of rich soil in any land, but here manifesting the truth of Jacob's prophecy, who foretold the “fatness of the bread of Asher, and the “royal dainties” of his territory. 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 flight of steps to the top of the house, we found, upon the flat roof, the agha of Shef hamer seated upon a carpet; mats being spread before him, for our reception. Djezzar had dispatched couriers to the aghas and sheiks in all places where we were instructed to halt, that
provisions might be ready, as for himself, when we arrived. Without this precaution, a large party would be in danger of starving. The peasants of the country are woefully oppressed; and what little they have, would be carefully concealed, unless extorted from them by the iron rod of such a tyrant as Djezzar. Judging by the appearance our supper presented, a stranger might 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 stones. They prepare it 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 surprised in being told we were to sleep there also. This the agha said would be necessary, in order to avoid the fleas; but they swarmed in sufficient number 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 inhabitants of this country, as appears by the accounts earlier travellers have given of the accommodations they obtained.
* 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. After leaving Shef hamer, the mountainous territory begins, and the road winds among valleys covered with beautiful 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 handled the pen of the writer." The scenery is, to the full, as delightful as in the rich vales upon the south of the Crimea; it reminded us of the finest parts of Kent and Surrey. The soil, although stony, is exceedingly rich, but now entirely neglected. As we proceeded across this plain, a castle, once the acropolis of the city of Sapphura, appeared upon a hill, distant from Shefhamer about seven miles. Its name is still preserved, in the appellation of a miserable 'village, called Sephoury. An ancient aqueduct, which conveyed water to the city, now serves
to supply several small mills. We were told, that the French had been quartered in all these villages; that their conduct had rendered the name of a Frenchman, once odious, very popular among the Arabs; that they paid punctually for every thing they required; and left behind them notions, concerning the despotic tyranny of the Turks, which the government of that country will not find it easy to eradicate. We ascended the hill to the village ; and found the sun's rays even at this early hour of the morning, almost insupportable. If we had not adopted the precaution of carrying umbrellas, it would have been impossible to continue the journey. The cactus ficus-indicus, or prickly pear, which grows to a prodigious size in the Holy Land, as in Egypt, where it is used as a fence for the hedges of inclosures, sprouted luxuriantly among the rocks, displaying its gaudy yellow blossoms, amidst thorns, defying all human approach. We afterwards saw this plant, with a stem, or trunk, as large as the main-mast of a frigate. It produces a delicious cooling fruit, which becomes ripe towards the end of July, and is then sold in all the markets of the country.
“ Sapphura, or Sepphoris, now Sephoury, was once the chief city and bulwark of Galilee. The remains of its fortifications exbibited to us an existing work of Herod, who, after its destruction by Varus, not only rebuilt and fortified it, but made it the chief city of his tetrarchy. Here was held one of the five Sanhedrims of Judea. Its inhabitants often revolted against the Romans. It was so advantageously situated for defence, that it was deemed impregnable. In later ages, it bore the name of Diocæsarea. Josephus relates, that the inhabitants of Sepphoris amicably entreated Vespasian, when he arrived in Ptolemais. Harduin commemorates medals of the city, coined afterwards, under the Romans, in the reigns of Domitian and of Trajan. We were not fortunate in our search for medals, either here or in any other part of the Holy Land; and, speaking generally of the country, these antiquities are so exceedingly rare, that the peasants seemed unacquainted with the objects of our inquiry. This was not the case among the Arabs in Egypt, nor in any part of Greece.