Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

SOUTH AND EAST OF

D EAST OF JERUSALEM.

265

There is a great diversity adopting that which he like

Syrian, or Turk'; but the lower and 7 nerally wear a shirt, fastene halo a girdle, after the example of 1 is the Desert. Ali Bey remar di ko handsome females in the 101 trary, they had in general

common in the East, a pale citry

yellow like paper or ml fillet round the circ

have not unfreque

[ocr errors]

great diversity of costume, every body

nich he likes best, whether Arab, k'; but the lower order of people geshirt, fastened round the waist with

e example of their neighbours in Ali Bey remarks that he saw very few

males in the metropolis ; on the cony had in general that bilious appearance

in the East, a pale citron colour, or a dead se paper or plaster, and, wearing a white pund the circumference of their faces, they 200 unfrequently the appearance of walking

The children, however, are much healthier and prettier than

prettier than those of Arabia and Egypt. The

he Christians and Jews wear as a mark of disAction a blue turban. The villagers and shep

s use white ones, or striped like those of the oslem. The Christian women appear in public with their faces uncovered as they do in Europe.

The arts are cultivated to a certain extent; but the sciences have entirely disappeared. There exIsted formerly large schools belonging to the Haram; but there are hardly any traces of them left, If their place be not supplied by a few small seminaries, where children of every form of worship learn to read and write the code of their respective religion. The grossest ignorance prevails even among persons of high rank, who, on the first interview, appear to have received a liberal education.*

The Arabic language is generally spoken at Jerusalem, though the Turkish is much used among the better class. The inhabitants are composed of

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

• Travels of Ali Bey, vol ü. p. 251.

people of different nations and different religions, who inwardly despise one another on account of their varying opinions ; but, as the Christians are very numerous, there reigns among the whole no small degree of complaisance, as well as an unrestrained intercourse in matters of business, amusement, and even of religion.*

It is well remarked by Chateaubriand, who had travelled among the native tribes of North America as extensively as among the Arabs of the Syrian wilderness, that amidst the rudeness of the latter you still perceive a certain degree of delicacy in their manners ; you see that they are natives of that East, which is the cradle of all the arts, all the sciences, all the religions. Buried at the extremity of the West, the Canadian inhabits valleys shaded by eternal forests and watered by immense rivers; the Arab, cast as it were upon the high-road of the world between Africa and Asia, roves in the bril. liant regions of Aurora over a soil without trees and without water.

The Jews, the children of the kingdom,—have been cast out; and many have come from the east and the west to occupy their place in the desolate land promised to their fathers. They usually take up their abode in the narrow space between the

The Mussulmans say prayers in all the holy places consecrated to the memory of Jesus Christ and the Virgin, except the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre, which they do not acknowledge. They believe that Jesus Christ did not die, but that he ascended alive into heaven, leaving the likeness of his face to Judas, who was condemned to die for him; and that, in consequence, Judas having been crucified, his body might have been contained in this sepulchre, but not that of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that the Mussulmans do not perform any act of devotion at this monument, and that they ridicule the Christians who go to revere it.-Ali Bey, vol. ïis p. 237.

Temple and to their Turk they appe

Temple and the foot of Mount Zion, defended from the tyranny of their Turkish masters by their indigence and misery. Here they appear covered with rags, and sitting in the dust with their eyes fixed on the ruins of their ancient sanctuary. It has been observed that those descendants of Abraham, who come from foreign countries to fix their residence at Jerusalem, live but a short time; while such as are natives of Palestine are so wretchedly poor, as to be obliged to send every year to raise contributions among their brethren of Egypt and Barbary. *

The picture given by Dr Richardson is much more flattering. He assures his readers that many of the Jews are rich and in comfortable circumstances; but that they are careful to conceal their wealth, and even their comfort, from the jealous eye of their rulers, lest, by awakening their cupidity, some plot of robbery or murder should be devised. The whole population has been estimated by different travellers as amounting from fifteen to thirty thousand, consisting of Mohammedans, Jews, and the various sects of Christians.

* Chateaubriand. Itinéraire, tom. ii. p. 169.

CHAPTER VII.

Description of the Country Northward of Jerusalem.

Grotto of Jeremiah-Sepulchres of the Kings—Singular Doors

Village of Leban-Jacob's Well-Valley of Shechem-Nablous -Samaritans-Sebaste-Jennin—Gilead_Geraza or DjerashDescription of Ruins Gergasha of the Hebrews-Rich Scenery of Gilead—River Jabbok_Souf—Ruins of Gamala—Magnificent Theatre_Gadara_Capernaum or Talhewm-Sea of GalileeBethsaida and Chorazin — Tarachea ---Sumuk — Tiberias-Description of modern Town-House of Peter-Baths—University -Mount Tor or Tabor-Description by Pococke, Maundrell, Burckhardt, and Doubdan_View from the Top Great PlainNazareth_Church of Annunciation-Workshop of JosephMount of Precipitation Table of Christ_Cana or Kefer Kenda -Water-pots of Stone—Saphet or Szaffad_University-French -Sidney Smith-Dan-Sepphoris-Church of St Anne-Description by Dr Clarke-Vale of Zabulon—Vicinity of Acre

Upon leaving the northern gate of Jerusalem, on the road which leads to Damascus, there is seen a large grotto much venerated by Christians, Turks, and Jews, said to have been for some time the resi. dence, or rather the prison, of the prophet Jeremiah. The bed of the holy man is shown, in the form of a rocky shelve about eight feet from the ground; and the spot is likewise pointed out, on which he is un. derstood to have written his book of Lamentations. In the days of Maundrell this excavation was oecupied by a college of dervises.

We have already alluded to the Sepulchres of the Kings, as very singular remains of ancient architecture, and standing at a little distance from the city. There still prevails some obscurity in regard to the origin and intention of these places of burial, occasioned chiefly by the fact recorded in holy Scripture, that the tombs of the kings of Judah were on Mount Zion. Pococke held the opinion, that they derived their name from Helena, the queen of Adiabene, whose body was deposited in a cave outside the northern wall of Jerusalem ; a conclusion which derives some countenance from the language of Josephus, and has been adopted by Dr Clarke. M. de Chateaubriand, on the contrary, supposes these grottos to have been appropriated to the family of Herod; and in support of his views quotes a passage from the Jewish historian, who, speaking of the wall which Titus erected to press Jerusalem still more closely than before, says, that “ this wall, returning towards the north, enclosed the Sepulchre of Herod.” Now this, adds the Frenchman, is the situation of the royal caverns.

But whoever was buried here, this is certain, to use the words of the accurate Maundrell, that the place itself discovers so great an expense both of labour and treasure, that we may well suppose it to have been the work of kings. You approach it on the east side through an entrance cut out of the rock, which admits you into an open court of about forty paces square. On the south side is a portico nine paces long and four broad, likewise hewn out of the natural rock, and having an architrave running along its front adorned with sculpture of fruits and flowers. The passage into the sepulchre is now so

« AnteriorContinuar »