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PILLAGE OF JERUSALEM.
strangers will be able to travel with that safety which in general, every where attends them in Egypt.
Having proceeded a whole hour, sometimes along easy roads, bordered by lands, more or less cultivated ; at others, having to climb tracks cut in the rocks, where you was unfortunately too late; I was obliged to stay. No sooner had the pacha set out for Jaffa, than the revolution broke out. The garrisons of Herek and Solth were cut in pieces, and the Arabs of Samaria and Hebron marched to Jerusalem. The pacha had left but six hundred men in that city, and the assailants fell upon it to the number of forty thousand. A few pieces of cannon, placed upon the walls, would have been sufficient to keep off these hostile hordes, which had no other arms than lances and muskets; but the Arabs had discovered a subterranean passage which was not guarded; they made their entry at midnight, and the soldiers, after a vigorous resistance, were obliged to retire to the citadel. All the Christians fled to the different convents, where they found safety.
“For five or six days, the city was given up to pillage. It was an awful sight. The Jews were the chief sufferers : their houses were sacked, their women insulted, violated. The heart heaves at the recital of such horrible atrocities. The hope, no doubt, of obtaining great ransoms caused the convents to be spared. To crown all these misfortunes, a violent earthquake overthrew several houses and destroyed part of the wall adjoining to the mosque. At Bethlehem, the convent fell almost in ruins, and nearly all the inhabitants were buried beneath them. The shocks continued for ten days, but none of the shocks was so violent as the first. The pacha, on being apprized of this event. marched off in the utmost haste with five thousand men from Jaffa.
"It is but twelve hours' march from Jaffa to Jerusalem, and the pacha was three days and a half before he could come to our relief. More than thirty thousand Arab peasants had assembled on the heights, and, when the troops had entered the narrow ravines and defiles, the Arabs, availing themselves of the elevated position which they occupied, rolled down upon their heads prodigious masses of rock, and the passage was rendered impracticable for cavalry and artillery. The activity and courage of Ibrahim, nevertheless, triumphed over all obstacles, and he entered Jerusalem victorious. The sanguinary war which the pacha continues to wage with the Arabs does not admit of leaving the city. But, the first occasion that offers, mounting my dromedary, I will aly, swift as the wind, across the desert to Cairo or Alexandria, and proceed to Europe."
WELL OF NEHEMIAH.
meet with a few sepulchral caverns; we arrived at the extremity of the valley which we had been skirting since we entered the Aceldama, and which adjoins that of Jehoshaphat. Thence proceeding to the right, we arrived at the well of Nehemiah. This well is so called, because Nehemiah, on his return from Babylon, there found the sacred fire which the priests had concealed in it by command of Jeremiah. It is very deep, and surrounded by the ruins of buildings which resemble the ruins of a mosque, and in which are reservoirs, whither the cattle repair to slake their thirst. Notwithstanding its great depth, sometimes, especially in rainy winters, it is so full as to run over; and this, according to the general notion, is a sign that the year will be productive. In such circumstances, the Bedouins never fail to come and demand donations from the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who are themselves eager to go and see the water running through the valley. They wash their carpets and their garments in it. It is a sort of public festival, to which almost all repair, and which gives them the more pleasure because it very rarely occurs. It is the only time at which you perceive any joy amid these regions of death. And what is the object of this joy ? — why, a paltry stream, which in a few days will be dry, and which is frequently but a deceitful token of fertility — a striking image of all the vain and transient joys of this world.
After my visit to the well of Nehemiah, I turned back to see the fountain of Siloa. By the way, my dragoman pointed out to me a very aged mulberry-tree, which marks the spot where the prophet Isaiah was sawn asunder. At the distance of two hundred paces is the fountain of
Siloa, to which Jesus sent the blind man, whom he had cured with a little clay.
“ As Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth .... He spat upon the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay ; and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, which is, by interpretation, sent. He went his way, therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” (John, ix. 1, 6, 7.)
This pool is lined with stone in front and at the entrance; you descend into it by about twenty steps, rudely cut in the rock. It is said to have formerly been highly decorated. The spring issues from a rock, and exhibits this peculiarity that its water has periodically an ebb and flow, the effect of which is alternately to accelerate and slacken the velocity with which it runs. All the Christians by whom it is visited wash their eyes in it, in memory of the miracle wrought by our Saviour.
Opposite is the village of Siloa, inhabited by Arabs notorious for ferocity. The women of the place go habitually to the fountain for their supply of water. Several of them were there at the moment when I went down to it. As soon as they saw my white dress, which was quite strange to them, they set up loud cries : seeing that it was impossible to get away without passing me, they screamed like maniacs. To no purpose my dragoman told them not to be afraid, that I was only a white pilgrim—they shrieked the louder. I was obliged to go up again, and to retire to some distance, to allow them to pass. Away they scampered as fast as they could, and I went down again to the fountain.
TOMB OF ABSALOM.
Jacob had taken care to bring a bottle : I filled it, carried it home to my cell, and, at night, seated at a crazy table, upon which figured nothing save a small loaf of wheat grown in the Holy Land, and a bottle of water from Siloa, I made a more delicious meal than any of which I ever partook in gilded apartments, or at the table of kings.
On leaving the fountain of Siloa, I again passed through the valley of Jehoshaphat, leaving behind me Mount Moriah and the site of Solomon's temple, and I soon found myself at the foot of the Mount of Offence, before the tomb of Absalom. It is a quadrangular monument, formed of a single block of stone, about eight or ten feet square. It is adorned with twenty-four columns of the Doric order, equally distributed on each side. Above rises a sort of pyramid, which appeared to me not to belong to the same block, and the height of which is not in proportion with the tomb.
On one side is seen a kind of sepulchre, where, according to a very ancient tradition, the Christians of the East believe that the apostle James secreted himself when Jesus was apprehended, protesting that he would not leave it till he had witnessed the accomplishment of the prophecies and the resurrection of our Saviour. Some conjecture that it is the tomb of Barachias, who was killed between the porch and the altar. This monument, raised above twenty feet above the road, is adorned with four pillars of very good effect.
The tomb of Zachariah, which is seen close at hand, is of one single block, like that of Absalom. A little farther on is a sort of square room, hewn out of the rock, and
TOMB OF JEHOSHAPHAT.
the doorway of which is in a remarkable style. This is the tomb of Jehoshaphat. Almost buried already under the mould and rubbish which are daily rolling down upon it, this tomb will soon be entirely lost. The labour of a few workmen for some hours would be sufficient to clear it; but such is the stupidity of the government, that, if I had solicited permission to remove the earth at my own expence, I could not have obtained it.
What treasures must be buried beneath rubbish, under a soil which you dare neither dig into nor stir, for fear of exposing yourself to persecutions, to oppressions, to enormous extortions ! No part of the world has perhaps so many valuable objects buried under its ruins as Jerusalem and its environs. Every shower that washes down a little mould in general lays bare medals or rare coins, almost all of which fall into the hands of the Arabs. When the rain is over, they are seen hastening from Siloa to Mount Moriah, and skirting the sides of the hill, to pick them up. They carry them to the Jews, who buy them for a trifle, and afterwards make the pilgrims pay dearly for them.
The medals of Constantine, and particularly of St. Helena, are in great request with the Greeks; I have myself found several of them. One day, I met a Turk, who had in his hand a small bronze statue, about six inches high, representing a warrior clothed in mail, brandishing a club over his head. This figure, which, no doubt, he had just found, seemed to me to come from a tomb. I signified a desire to have it, and he disposed of it at a very cheap rate,
Soon afterwards, having learned that the braziers