Skip to main content

Full text of "The Rob Roy on the Jordan, Nile, Red Sea & Gennesareth, &c. : a canoe cruise in Palestine and Egypt, and the waters of Damascus"

See other formats

iwiumw A muni o»* 




Dd lu7 

iJariington jVl.emorial i_/ibrary 


crc. crc. 









1 869. 

The right 0/ Translation is rescr-jcd. 





|s gcbicitteb 








SI:EZ canal— port said — lake MENZALEH — THE START — ROGUES 














viii Contents. 








KO-AX" 127 





Contents. ix 




BED ROOM Page 185 











— DUTY — CHEAP 263 





on hooleh — cutting a cape — canoe chase — hooleh lake — 
Jacob's bridge — who crossed it — templars' keep — grand 
view — jew's lament — ten miles of torrent — -hard times — 
a set of ruffians — the worst — at last — all right ! — note 











Contents. xi 









The Temple, . 
London, K'oz'Ctiibcr 5, ll 

( xii ) 



I. The Delta and the Suez Canal 

II. The Morass of Ateibeh, near Damascus 

III. The Abana and Pharpar 

IV. The Take of Hijaneh 

V. The Three Streams of Jordan 

VI. The Waters of Merom 

VII. The Lake of Gennesareth . . . 
VIII. Palestine (outline and route) 





Capture of the Rob Roy on Jordan (frontispiece). 

Start on Lake Menzaleh in Eg}'pt 

Prison Fare in the '\\'aters of Merom 

" Country of the Gergesenes," Sea of Galilee 




The Shallows of Lake Menzaleh 
Night Visitor on Crocodile Lake 
Dinner in the " Sweet Canal" 

Camel in the Red Sea 

Slave Children at Cairo 

The Barrage of the Nile 

Fisherman's Raft of Gourds 

Common Compass Card and Compass Card of the Rob Roy 

The Land of Goshen from the Banks of the Zrier River 

The " Field of Zoan " 

Flamingoes taking Wing 

Night on Lake Menzaleh 

Blind reading to the Lame 

The Rob Roy in the Snow of Lebanon . . . 

New Schoolhouse at Zahleli 

Fiji Source of the Abana 

Gorge of the Abana near Damascus 
Pole Frame for the Canoe on Horseback 

A Plunge in Ateibeh Marsh 

Christmas Night on a Mouth of the Abana 




56, 57 




Illusti^atioiis. xiii 


Bird's-eye View of the Lake of Hijaneh (outline) 157 

The Rob Roy in the Wild Boar's Haunt 163 

Hermon and Plain of the rharpar 167 

Stone Door and Shutter in Bashan 174,175 

Half a Mile of the Pharpar (outline) 181 

" Ain Rob Roy," under Mount Hermon 191 

Wady et Teim (outline) 196 

Jordan Source near Hasbeya (plan) 197 

General View of the Hasbeya Source of Jordan 199 

The Vale of Jordan 204 

A Fish from the Hasbany 209 

Jordan Source at Dan (plan) 215 

Jordan Source at Banias (plan) 227 

Hooleh Morass, from the Castle of Subeibeh 235 

Heads of Three Hooleh Arabs 241 

Strange Rock in Jordan (plan) 247 

" Waltzing " (plan) 250 

Capture by the Arabs of Hooleh 255 

Huts and Bull of Bashan 265 

Raft of Bulrushes 281 

Tlie New-found iSIouth of Jordan 289 

Papyrus Stems and Roots 29S, 301 

Ten Miles of " the Descender " (outline) 311 

Jordan Mouth, Sea of Galilee 321 

Lagoon and Port, Butaia Plain 325 

Semakh River, near Gergesa 329 

Submerged Ruins near Tell Room (plan) 336 

Stonn on the Sea of Galilee 338 

Coast at Tell Hoom, and Curious Stone in the Water 340 

Fish-traps near Bethsaida 351 

Galilee Fishing-boat 359 

The " Scorpion Rock " (plans) 363,364 

Structure in the Water and Covered Passage, near Bareideh (plan) ... 396 

Submerged Ruins along the Shore South of Tiberias 407 

E.xit of the Jordan, and Kerak (plan) 413 

Last View of the Lake of Gennesareth 429 

The New Protestant Church at Nazareth 431 

The Crocodile on the Kishon 445 

* Ariadne's ' Farewell 455 


The Rob Roy Cabin 460 

Bed— Bag— Bottle 462 

Canoe Wheels 463 


QfC. iJfC. 





AT Alexandria we took oft" the carpet that had 
covered the ' Rob Roy' during her long voyage 
from England in the good ship * Tanjore.' 

Her polished cedar deck glittered in the African sun, 
and the waves of a new sea played on her smooth 
oak sides. 

I stepped in lighthearted, for a six months' cruise, and 
the first half-hour round the crowded harbour showed 
that the Moslems would be as kind in their welcome of 
the little craft as the Norsemen had been, and the Swiss, 
and the Indians of Ottawa in my other journeys. 

The dockyard workmen ran to see the canoe, shouting 
in their scant attire. The sailors of a hundred vessels 
peered over their bulwarks to gaze at her dark blue sails 
and gilded silken flag ; even the lone sentry on the 
walls was aroused from his stare into nothing by 
the sight of the little English " Merkeb " that skimmed 
over the sea so near to the breakers. 

A few days more, and the Rob Roy came to Port 
Said, the bustling town of wooden shanties, new sprung 
from the sand at the mouth of the Suez Canal. No 


2 S^icz Canal. [Chap. I. 

place so small as this has so large a variety of in- 
habitants. It is like a slice of great Nijni fair. 

When the canoe touched the beach, the red man and 
the white ran to see her, and gabbled loud ; then she 
was borne on two negroes' shoulders to the " Grand 
Hotel de France." Great interest was shown in the 
arrival of the smallest boat that ever journeyed in 
the East, and it will be entirely the fault of the narrator 
if her delightful voyage does not fulfil the expectations 
of what has to be told. But the first part of our journey 
being in Egypt, it has few of the dangers, the adventures, 
and the disco\'eries which will be found in her cruise 
over Syria. It was novel, indeed, to paddle an English 
canoe upon the Red Sea and the Nile, but what was 
seen there could be met with in other modes of travel. 
When, however, the Rob Roy essayed the Syrian lakes 
and the rivers and seas of Palestine, she entered on 
scenes never opened before to the traveller's gaze, and 
which were entirely inaccessible except in a canoe. 
These we are to meet farther on. Meanwhile the Rob 
Roy will be content to start at a slower pace and in 
easier navigation. 

The quick-witted officials of the Suez Canal Company 
are all day busy here about dredges and barges, and 
steamers, and dusty coal brigs, and no wonder they 
hailed with joy our new and dainty craft. They over- 
whelmed me with hospitality, explaining in voluble 
accents the wonders of the place, and barely concealing 
a suspicion that their guest was at least half crazy. A 
thorough examination of the Suez Canal was the first 
part of my long programme for this Eastern voyage, and 
the results of ten days' careful observation were given in 
a letter to the * Times,' which soon revived the question 
whether it is most difficult to cut a canal, to keep it 

Chap. I.] Port Said. 3 

open, or to make it pay. Two subsequent visits to this 
gigantic undertaking enabled me to gauge its progress 
after months of interval ; but it would be tedious to 
refer to what is passe, now that the canal is opened, and 
bishops can come through it to settle the new creed at 

A hole in the sand is an excellent place for sinking- 
capital. You can always dig it deep if people will pay 
the diggers. You can even keep it clear if you pay 
dredges rather than dividends. When Europe or Asia 
or Africa is at war, of course the canal is closed, and the 
expenses go on, and the earnings stop ; but so far as 
concerns England, we have always got, at Aden, the 
cork of the other end of the bottle. 

The Suez Canal is open, and everybody is pleased. 
President Lesseps has made Africa an island. For 
him and his shareholders our wishes are much better 
than our expectations. 

Whatever is to come, at any rate there has been brain 
and muscle hard worked here, and an iron will has 
ruled, and untiring energy has won great victory. Six 
years ago there was nothing at Port Said but sand, and 
even now the streets arc nothing else. Men fire at sea- 
gulls among the shops ; pelicans toss upon the waves, 
and flamingoes fly above, and porpoises tumble in the 
harbour. Among these new friends the Rob Roy sailed 
over the water, and at the table cfhOtc all the visitors 
talked the whole time about her intended voyage from 
the sea of Europe to that of Asia and Africa. One 
gentleman was very positive in his description of her 
build and of her crew, for he had " actually seen the 
canoe and the man inside it ; " yet he did not recognise 
me sitting opposite to him all the time. Another, a 
Belgian, was earnest in his praise of England, and said 

S?tc.z Canal. [Chap. I. 

how hospitably he had been received, with other Belgian 
riflemen, at the Wimbledon shooting ; and the argument 
was closed by a general confession that " Les Anglais 
sont plus chic que nous." A Frenchman came to thank 
me for a little paper, ' The British Workman ' (in French), 
which I had given' to him at Havre last summer, just 
before leaving that port in my yawl for a voyage alone 
over the broad Channel to Portsmouth. 

Out of the cafe to pace the sand, and to ruminate 
on the rise of nations, we are challenged even here by 
little ink-faced urchins, who rush at the new traveller 
with " Black shoes, sare ! " 

From Map I., at page 86, it will be seen that the 
canal at first goes through Lake Menzaleh, a vast ex- 
panse of shallow water, the accumulation of what trickles 
through the soft dykes along the Damietta branch 
of the Nile. The lake, being now full (in October), had 
advanced its margin close to the town of Port Said. 
About six weeks afterwards, it was at nearly the same 
level, when I walked to see the "Gemileh mouth" of the 
Nile, some six miles west of the town, and where a fitful 
stream only sometimes overflows seawards. At my visit 
to Menzaleh a third time (in March) the lake had receded 
half a mile from the swampy flats, and at that dry season 
the fulfilment of the prophecy seemed most complete 
which tells us that the seven streams of the Nile shall 

Later in the cruioC we shall spend a pleasant week 
upon Menzaleh. 

Meanwhile, in search of adventure, we soon dragged 

' (Jood and harm may be done ia lliis, as in other ^^ ays : i^ood by 
t;iving as a present ; harm by giving as a rebuke. C'rilics were rather liard 
once upon this ready way of addressing strangers ; now their own elever 
thoughts are daily prolTered to each of us, everywhere. 

Chap. I.] 

Lake Menzalek. 

the Rob Roy over the sand-bank which separates the 
lake from the sea, and launched her upon the calm wide 
water that reaches away to a far-off horizon. 

The sun was hot, the water unruffled by the lightest 

'I'lic sliallrws rf I.ak- Menzaleh. 

air or any current, and there was nothing to betray the 
shallows round us even to a practised eye. Very soon, 
therefore, the canoe got entangled in mud-banks, and the 
sharp little ragamuffins of an Arab village gladly per- 
ceived there was a new victim come for them to teaze. 

They scampered out to me, naked and black, and a 
score of them were splashing and tumbling round the 
canoe, now helpless to run away. 

"Backshish!" was the first cry I heard in the h^ast, 
and the last I heard there, after wandering long, was 

Suez Canal. [Chap. I. 

"Backshish!" Their Hthe Hmbs revelled in the tepid 
water, and their feet in the oozy mud. Their heads were 
like little cocoa-nuts, with only one hair-lock left at the 
top, for Mahomet to hold them by at last. Their frolics 
were very forward, to say the least, but boys, black or 
white, must be humoured to be ruled ; so I appointed the 
noisiest of them a "policeman," and paid him a month's 
salary in advance — one penny — for which he made the 
rest drag the canoe, with me in it, a long way cheer- 
fully. At last I got out of the boat, and, wading in the 
soft mud, spoiled for ever a pair of chamois shoes twenty 
years old, but never meant for use in water work like this. 
Trudging through the black slush, I dragged the Rob 
Roy over a wall into deep water, but with a sad loss of 
dignity, and then launched once more upon the old salt 
sea. It was charming to be danced on the swell of real 
ocean waves, and to shoot at the pelicans lifted on the 
foam, and to scud back under sail with a reef in my lug, 
and to race with the swarthy Nubians tugging at their 

But, after a day or two here of this amphibious life, 
the sights of Port Said had all been seen, the workshops 
inspected, and the huge machines of the canal. The last 
news from England had been read at the " cercle," and 
a farewell dinner finished with my new French friends. 
Then my heavy baggage was sent on by water, and my 
" sea-stores " were embarked by the Rob Roy for our 
lonely cruise. The exulting delight of freedom possessed 
me once more with an access of joy which had always 
come soon in my voyages, and never ceased to the end. 

And yet I cannot say that it would be wise to begin 
one's canoeing in the h2ast, or to begin in the East by 

Over and over I felt the tjreat advantage of having 

Chap. I.] The Start. 7 

made already three tours in these hot latitudes ; aud 
often there was full need for the shifts and plans for 
safety, speed, or comfort, which had been shaped by the 
experience of three former journeys afloat entirely alone.- 
The wind to-day is from the north, and thus right in 
my favour. The French officers crowd around as the 
canoe is launched, now heavy with provisions for four 
days. Her topsail swells with the breeze as we glide 
from the shore, and the Egyptian sailors shout, " All 
right !" in English, nodding their shaven polls. Nothing 
could be a happier start, and we were soon skimming 
swiftly on the smooth canal, which here runs perfectly 
straight for nearly thirty miles, while its banks vanish on 
the horizon in dim and trembling perspective. It is 
but a short voyage to-day, and begun in the evening, 
with no work to do but to steer and to look at the 
high banks on both sides, like two railway viaducts, five 
hundred feet apart, at the steam dredges rattling their 
wheels and chains, and the coal-boats lazily towed in a 

^ The first of these Eastern tours was in 1849, through Palestine, Greece, 
and Egypt, &c., of which some account was published in ' Three Days in 
tlie East ' (second edition), and in ' Eastern Music.' The solitary cruises 
were described in 'A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Cantje' (fifth 
edition), through Central Europe ; ' The Rob Roy in the Baltic ' (second 
edition), through Northern Europe ; and ' The Voyage Alone in the Yawl 
Rob Roy ' (2nd edition), to Paris, and in the English Channel. The last 
three books are published by Low and Marston, of Fleet Street (price ^s. 
each). The two others are now out of print. When a man has to tell by 
the pencil and pen what he has done with the paddle, it is impossible to be 
otherwise than individual and personal in the narration, or even egotistical 
in style. It would be affectation not to avow that one is sensible of this ; 
but it would be pedantic to try an escape from the inevitable by using the 
word " we " instead of " I " in the story. Those who write anonymously, 
and can abide by tlie good custom of using the impersonal " we," will be 
best aware of the double protection they enjoy from any such tendency to 
become naive in their expression, and they can understand how it may be 
better for an author to be open to the charge of simplicity than to that of 
unnatural reserve. 

Rogues. [Chap. 

line, and the pretty fleet of small craft all pressing on 
with me, crowding white-bosomed sails, and laden with 
merry songs. 

The sky glows softly as the sun sets in red, and the 
white moon rises full. By its bright shining on the 
waters of cold Lake Menzaleh, we draw up the Rob Roy 
ashore on the bank, in the loneliest spot to be found, 
near Ras el Esh, and soon my " Canoe Cuisine " is boiling 
Liebig's soup, and bread and wine fill up the carte of 

The fish are leaping in the moonbeams now. They 
often jump into the little steamers on the canal, and a 
fish had leaped right across my boat as she started ; but 
there is no other noise. Wrapped in my great brown 
cloak for the night, I now take a last look about me to 
see that nobody is near. For sleeping quietly, the main 
thing is to be quite alone, and on this Suez Canal all 
strangers may safely be distrusted as rogues, for the 
number of murders in its neighbourhood is altogether 

Under the moon, then, we could see only long rows of 
water-fowl on the silent lake in regiments gleaming white, 
so I wrapped my thick cloak around me and turned in, 
then lighted a beautiful little oil lamp ^ (presented by 
Colonel Staunton, the Consul-General at Alexandria), 
and opened a page of the * Times.' 

With all these comforts about me I passed a miserable 
night. The place I had chosen so carcfulh' turned out 
to be only a heap of refuse, and it swarmed with angry 

^ With much troulilc I liad devised a "canoe candle-lamp,"' weighing 
only five ounces; hut ihe oil lamp mentioned above answered far hetter 
for many reasons, at least in countries where oil can always be had. This 
lamp had been obtained at the Paris Exhibition, and its extremely clever 
construction made it useful on a hundred occasions afterwards in the 

Chap. I.] Sand Sfonii. 

flies, so very minute and so inquisitive, or hungry, that 
the musquito curtains of my cabin were no bar whatever 
to their entrance. 

The moon is, indeed, very pretty to look at, and proper 
to sing to in rhyme or blank verse ; but its pale light 
shows no colour in objects, and so, for selecting night 
quarters, give me in future the truth-telling rays of honest 
Father Sol. 

Next morning at four it was not cheerful to breakfast 
only on a cigar, until I could catch a boat and buy bread 
from a funny little Greek. But a Frenchman hailed me, 
and his wife brought out some excellent coffee, and both 
w^ere intensely polite and conversational as they handed 
the sugar-tongs into the canoe. 

At Kantara the canal cuts through the old Arab 
track over the desert, and by which I had travelled 
years ago on camel's back, and the name of the place 
— meaning " bridge " — reminds us that here was once 
some wet lagoon simmering its tepid fever in the 
reeking sand.'' 

There I stopped Sunday, and slept in a little wooden 
shed. A furious storm whirled up the arid plain, and 
dishevelled the face of nature and dimmed the sun in 
heaven. The landscape, to look upon, was now one vast 
yellow sand-cloud, with men and camels faintly floating 
in a fog of dust, without any horizon. To paddle against 
this hurricane next day was impossible, but I towed the 
canoe by a long cord girt round my waist. Even the 
mosquito-net, double-folded over my face, quite failed to 

'' When our Saviour, as a child, was taken- into Egypt, the road 
would, no doubt, pass this place. From Josej^hus we learn how numerous 
were the Jews in Egypt then, and that their worship was more pure in 
Egypt than in Palestine ('Antiquities of the Jews,' book xiv. chap. vii. 
sec, ii.). 

lO Bears. [Chap. I. 

keep out the drifting sand ; and the few wayworn tra- 
vellers who passed when the Rob Roy was made up for 
the night under the sheltering bank might well look 
amazed. A wholesome fear of the strange creature they 
saw was all in my favour, and often in this journey I 
traded on the belief that the coward and the superstitious 
are not seldom the same person. 

Wild dogs, not exactly jackals, for their tails were 
erect, generally chose the night hours to call upon me, 
and sometimes travellers belated did the same. The 
white-robed Rob Roy, whiter under the moonlight, must 
have puzzled them greatly, and so long as they argued 
in whispers outside I let them alone, but there was a 
pistol ready all the time in my bedroom, and I always 
had the (unfortunate) capacity of instantly waking at the 
slightest noise. 

For several days a curious group of beings had exactly 
kept pace with the Rob Roy — three brown men leading 
three brown bears. One bear was old, another was 
blind, the third was very frisky, but the men insisted upon 
all of them bathing in the water exactly at noon, about 
the very last thing a bear would like to do, and it was 
great amusement to watch their struggles, remembering 
the gross indignities offered by the bathing-woman to 
every one of us when he was a British baby. 

One pitch-dark night, when I ought to have reached 
El Gisr,"' the sand-hills were high, and I could not find 
the place. At length, after ])addling back and forward a 
mile or two, I went to a barge, where loud singing told of 
inmates. When my paddle tapped on the window a man 
came out, and offered to find me lodging, but, after some 

* "The bridge." Another Ijiklyc must have been here to give it this 

Chap, I,] Pace. 1 1 

parley, he seemed so drunk, and evidently such a villain 
when sober, that it would never do to leave my canoe 
with him ; so I paddled on, and slept in my cabin as 
usual, but with no dinner or supper, and frequent visits 
at midnight from very strange folks. This place is noted 
for ruffianism.*^ 

There was ample variety in the scenery or circum- 
stances of each day to make it extremely interesting to 
voyage thus here once, and it was an excellent prepara- 
tion in many ways for the more difficult times and places 
that were to come. Among other things, I was able to 
make numerous experiments with my boat, and all her 
multifarious fittings, of which a full list and description 
will be found in the Appendix. Her pace I tried repeat- 
edly in calm water, without current, and where all the 
kilometres were marked by posts on the bank ; and this 
trial was extremely useful afterwards when we (the Rob 
Roy and I) had to measure the lakes and rivers where no 
man had been before. 

Thus it was found that the canoe, being in heavy sea- 
trim, and going at the pace one can easily keep up for 
eight hours a day, would paddle 542 yards, with 100 
double strokes (right and left), in five minutes. This 
pace, it will be seen, is not four miles an hour, but then it 
can be kept up for months, carrying both food and lodging 
and comforts all the way. Current and wind are to be 
so used as to add to the speed and diminish the work."^ 

In the midday hours the heat was excessive, and I 

^ The Greeks had the worst cliaracter by universal consent — including 
their own. The best men in the canal I found were Austrians. 

7 This is, of course, for a travelling canoe, which bears the same relation 
to a fast canoe as a hunter does to a racehorse. Our fast canoes can go a 
good pace, also for a long journey. The last "twelve-mile race" of the 
Canoe Club was accomplished with the tide in eiglity-five minutes. No 
man in a row-boat could keep up with a canoe in strange rivers for a week. 

12 Isiiiailia. [Chap. I. 

rested then in some shady nook under a mud barge, or, 
hauling the canoe ashore, I recHned by its side on the 
sand, with the sun behind the blue sail. The cooler 
hours Avere soent in progress or in visits aboard the 
numerous steam dredges which kept dragging, scraping, 
and shovelling the mud of the desert on each side over 
the new bank, and this by such very ingenious contri- 
vances, and on so gigantic a scale, that there was enough 
every hour to study and to admire. 

The Rob Roy was next housed at Ismailia, the half- 
way town of the Suez Canal. All the men here, and 
animals, and the shrubs and pretty flowers, depend for 
life upon the fresh water brought from the river Nile 
along the " Sweet Canal." Another branch of this gives 
water to Port Said by an iron tube,*^ with open troughs 
at intervals to drink from, as the traveller rides or walks 
a weary fifty miles along the bank, or sails in the salt 
water of this enormous cut. 

A railway from Ismailia to the Avest had been opened 
only a few weeks. The station is the largest in the 
world — the desert. The rails themselves end on the 
bare sand, and the " station master " occupies a little 
bell-tent. Passengers waited for the next train, which 
was to start "about four o'clock," that is, anything up to 
six. There was no platform, so they placed their bundles 
on the sand, and friends took leave of one another as if 
they could not expect to meet again alive. Certainh' it 
was a strange sound, the guard cr\-ing " Now, then, for 
Ramescs ! " Then he looked at each man's ticket, a long 
paper crowded with Arabic writing, and all of them lay 
down in a row under the bales of goods, guard, engineer. 

s If this tube were once possessed by an enemy, Poit Said would be 
wiihout fresh water, and the sternest garrison in it would be forced to yield. 

Chap. I.] Crocodile Lake. 

ticket-man, and passengers, and most of them were soon 
fast asleep in the shade. 

Ismaiha is Hke a hothouse without the glass, and all 
the life in it is exotic. The sun's heat and the Nile's 
fresh water fructif}' the arid sand itself into a beautiful 
tropical verdure. Embosomed in this are French cafes 
and billards, with Arab huts and camels — the signboards 
on booths in Greek, and Turkish, and Spanish, and 
American ; ateliers resounding with hammer and cog- 
wheel ; and tents full of half-dressed savages chaffering 
uproariously ; and boulevards thronged by the second-rate 
fashion of a French town planted and growing fast too in 
the veritable desert. Beside it lie the shores of the Lake 
Timsah, " Crocodile Lake," which had a few pools when 
the canal was begun, but now it is filled with brackish 

Only freshwater shells are to be found in Lake Timsah, 
and the crocodile does not live in salt water. These 
facts seem to confirm the idea that a freshwater canal 
existed here, and Glynn considers that the town, of which 
there are ruins at the end of the Bitter Lakes, and which 
must have had a freshwater canal (indeed, relics of it still 
remain), may have been destroyed by the same upheaving 
of the land which dried the lakes themselves.^ 

3 A canal from tlie Nile to the Red Sea was begun 2400 years ago, and 
a branch of it went to Pelusium, in the Mediterranean. The " Bitter 
Lakes " were then navigable for small craft. About twelve centuries after 
that tlie canal joined the Nile near Cairo, and the navigation was kept open 
for 120 years. Napoleon I. resolved to i-evive the scheme long disused in 
practice. The Bitter Lakes were, doubtless, once a portion of the Red Sea. 
The marine shells found at the bottom of the lakes and those of the Red 
Sea are identical. These shells are to be seen on the sides of the lakes, 
and even on a raised beach, which is now above the level of the Red Sea. 
The ridge between the end of the Red Sea and the Bitter Lakes consists of 
tertiary strata, the fossils of which are identical with those of the London 
basin and of the hill of Montmartre, near Paris. " Kgy[)t, England, and 

14 Miirdcrs. [Chap. I. 

I rashly determined to spend a night on this lake, 
and launched the Rob Roy after sundown, with rod and 
line, net, deep-line, bait, flies, and trawling-hooks ; after 
sailing everywhere until the wind died out, I took to 
fishing in four ways at once. The moon beamed bril- 
liantly after midnight, and my little lamp, fastened on 
the canoe so as to be protected from the paddle by my 
knee, glittered on the water, and a hundred flies kept 
dancing round it always. I plied every means in my 
power to catch one fish, but did not get one single bite, 
and sad disasters happened to my gear. 

The deep-line ran out overboard. The bait melted 
away without a nibble, my rod slipped into the water 
unperceived, and the " spinner " of my trawling-line got 
hooked in some rocks below. Wet and disappointed, I 
sought an island to sleep upon, for the shores of the lake 
were quite unsafe. In the preceding week two murders 
had been perpetrated, only one murder had come off 
in the present week, so it was still one below the average, 
where any man ^\•ith five francs, or supposed to have 
them, is worth killing, and there is no policeman X, and 
no Coroner summons his jury of quest. 

France are consequently of the same age." — 'Glynn on the Isthmus of Suez,' 
and discussion on the paper (Minutes of the Institute of Civil Engineers, 
vol. X. session 1850-51). In .Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible' (article "Red 
Sea"), it seems to he considered that the Red Sea once extended to Lake 
Timsah, and i-eceded thence, fulfdling prophecy (Isaiah xi. 15 ; xiv. 5 ; 
Zechariah x. 11). To myself it seems that the high land at El tjisr would 
be an effectual bar to an extension of the Red Sea beyond the Bitter Lakes. 
The project for a salt-\\;Uer cut fiuni the Mediterranean to the Red Sea has 
been a long time under consideratiijn. In 1S30, General Chesney reported 
upon the subject, and Mr. Steiihensoii and others in 1847. The concession 
to the iMX'sent jn-omoters was giantcd in 1854, and the \\ov\< was to l)e 
finished in six years. Aflerw aiils, it was arranged that the "Sweet 
Canal" was to belong .to the Egyptian Government, but the Erencli nuay 
use it for navigation until the end of 1S69. 

Chap. I.] 

Guy Faiukcs. 


The lake is girt by little hills of purest sand, a few 
shrubs perish by the margin, but farther back are rich 
deep jungles, full of water-fowl and small game, a per- 
fect larder for the wild beasts of the bare desert around. 

Night Visitor on Crocodile Lake. 

Under a sandy hill I grounded the Rob Roy, and 
rigged out her nightly cabin. Chill air and wet gar- 
ments soon made me shiver under the cold moon, but I 
did not know then that this is about the worst fever 
spot in Egypt. There was not fuel enough for a fire, 
but I lit up my Russian cooking-lamp, and this warmed 
the cabin wonderfully. Poor, however, were my pyro- 
technics for this the fifth of November, yet it is well to 
remember Guy Fawkes. To my great surprise, although 
it was on an island, a visitor came, and he would not 

1 6 Jackal. [Chap. I. 

be denied an interview. He was only a jackal, and the 
conversation was entirely on his side, as he screamed 
his shrill cry, and would neither leave me in peace nor 
come near enough to be shot. The savoury smell of 
hot supper, perhaps, found the poor beast desperately 
hungry. Next morning, on a return visit, I traced him 
by footsteps to his den, but he would not come out. 
Then to recover the lost fishing-rod I visited every cape, 
and bay, and beach, and reedy fen, and stony islet, 
where I had fished or walked upon during the night 
before. All these features appeared so different now in 
broad daylight, and at the very last place of all the 
rod was found, and with every hook still floating in the 

At Ismailia, now again all safe, there met me the 
brave and faithful companion of my future journey, 
Michael Hany, well known to me as my dragoman in 
1 849, frequently trusted since by large parties sent to his 
charge ; most welcome now as the man without whose 
aid I could scarcely have ventured to take the Rob Roy 
through the journey we are about to relate. My old 
friend was delighted with the new boat, and all her 
fittings had to be thoroughly explained to him. Perhaps 
this may be a good .time to mention them briefly here. 

The new canoe, named Rob Roy, like the other two, 
is, of course, fitted with every improvement suggested 
by former experience or kind hints from the 200 members 
of our Canoe Club. She was specially built for this 
voyage (by Mr. Pembery, of London), and is probably 
the smallest vessel ever launched in which one can 
travel long and far, and sleep at the end in comfort. 
Moreover, she is strong and light, portable and safe, a 
good sailer, and graceful to behold. 

The Rob Roy is 14 feet long, 26 inches wide, and one 

Chap. I.] TJic Canoe. 1 7 

foot deep outside, built of oak below and covered with 
cedar.'" A waterproof apron protects me from waves 
and rain. Her topmast is the second joint of my fishini;- 
rod, and a third joint is ready in the stern. Her sails 
are dyed deep blue, an excellent plan, for it tempers 
the glare of the sun, and is more readily concealed from 
the Arab's eye. The blue bladed paddle is the same 
that was wielded in Sweden over many a broad lake. 
and though an inch of its edge had been split off by 
an upset of the canoe from a runaway cart in a Norway 
forest, yet I loved my old paddle best of them all. To 
sleep in the canoe I always go ashore, and work her 
back and forwards on the beach until the keel is firmly 
bedded for a good night's rest. Next we form a little 
cabin less than 3 feet high, and more than 6 feet long, 
and then having inside the gauze musquito curtain, and 
over all a strong white waterproof sheet, 6 feet square, 
and drooping loose upon each side, we are made up 
snug, and can defy all kinds of weather. A " post-office 
bag," very light, but completely waterproof, has held 
our clothes during the day, and now it becomes a pillow. 
The bed is 3 feet long, and 14 inches wide, quite long 
enough for all one cares about, and no complaints were 
heard of its being too broad. It is only the shoulders 
and hips that really require a soft mattress if the head 
is pillowed too ; as for the rest of one's body it doesn't 
matter at all. When travelling under hot sun, I place 
this bed behind me, with one end on deck, and the 
middle of it is tied round my breast, so as to bring 
the upper end just under the long back leaf of my 
sun-helmet, which is of pith and felt combined, a 
head-dress lately introduced by Tress, and entirely 

'° iNIinutice in her construction, and details interesting .specially ti> 
paddlers, are given in the Append i.x. 

1 8 My Bed. [Chap. I. 

successful, for I wore it during about seven months, 
and neither rain, nor sun, nor duckings in salt waves, 
ever altered its lightness or good shape. The bed thus 
becomes an excellent protector against sunstroke, and 
it was especially useful when my course was north, and 
my back was thus turned to the sun. Often I went 
ashore with the bed still dangling from my waist behind, 
while wondering natives gazed at the " Giaour " with his 
air-bag tail. The bed was useful too when I sat upon 
wet sand, or grass, or gravel, and it w^as always a good 
life-buoy in case of an upset.'' 

Every timber in the boat had, of course, been care- 
fully placed, so as not to interfere with my comfort in 
sleeping, or to catch the shoulders, elbows, hips, or knees 
while turning in bed. In fact this canoe was built round 
me reclining, as my first one had been built round me 
sitting — in each case recognising the one great principle, 
far too often forgotten, that a comfortable boat, like 
a shoe, or a coat, must be made for the wearer, and not 
ivorn doivii to his shape. 

" This and all other fittings were made at Silvers, of Cornhill, where 
each of the four Rob Roy cruises had its outfit. 

Chap. II.] Ramcscs. 19 



HANY had brought a tent and a cook, and these 
a luggage-boat carried, while the canoe went 
westward by the Sweet Canal to spend the Sunday at 

The French seem to have settled it, to their own 
satisfaction at any rate, that this place is rightly named. 
It is now a dreary " wady " in the bleak desert, and a 
walk from it far away on the burning sand found for 
me only more loneliness. Yet hereabouts the Israelites 
must have lived in their Egyptian bondage. A railway 
passes near, and affronts our dreams of antiquity by its 
iron print of progress ; and, worse still, the thin wires 
of the Egyptian telegraph, curving from their naked 
posts in the desert, seem to jar upon a half sacred, half 
poetic sympathy with the long-buried past. These little 
threads, never quite silent if there be but the faintest 
breeze to make them " hum " — a strange yet well-known 
music — are the nerves of the earth, running over land 
and under seas, and speeding the thoughts of the world 
through all its great round body. 

I sat down in the desert under ni}- white-tojjped 

20 Sweet Canal. [Chap. II. 

umbrella. Only a little black spider seemed to be alive 
on the black gravel. The sandhills in the distance 
quivered in the sunlight, or gently floated for a while 
upon a sea of liquid nothing in the bright mirage. 
Pictures came forward to the inner eye of fancy : crowds 
of Israelites, laden with jewels and kneading-troughs ; 
countless cattle trudged along ; a half- frightened, half- 
escaped multitude, beginning that wonderful walk of 
forty years. By the " Sweet Canal " the Rob Roy sailed 
again southward, and, hoisting her topsail to the pleasant 
breeze, she kept pace well with the luggage-boat, which 
was wafted along by her tall and graceful lateen. 

Brilliant meteors shot across the sky at night, but 
softly the stars hung out their spangles, and the moon 
slowly rose. Then it was silent and cool and delicious 
for sleep : so far removed from the barking dogs of 
towns, and Avith only the wild jackal's scream, which 
is plaintive, clear, and not unmusical, but rather lulls to 
slumber. A rumbling in the distance came nearer as 
the express train rattled up, jingling, and swaying its 
red light like a great beast's angry eye. No wonder the 
Arabs ran up the bank to look at the hissing, puffing- 
monster, and murmured a prayer to the Prophet as they 
came back amazed. Two active, merry Nubian lads 
A\ere with our luggage-boat. They seemed never to 
weary or to quarrel as they towed her along with ripples 
simpering under the bows, and the red English ensign 
lazily fluttering against a sky of purest blue. One of 
the lads had all his wealth on his back— a shirt most 
uncommonly brief 

Sometimes, for a change, I lounged on the soft carpets 
in the stern, while the Nubians towed both our craft 
in the midday heat. Dinner was cooked on shore by 
liany, and my table was set in the boat, while Sleman, 

Chap. II. 1 

Bitter Lakes. 


the waiter, handed the dishes as he stood impassive in 
the cool water between us. 

Uiiiiicr in the "Sweet Canal." 

In this way we visited the Serapeion, and then Cha- 
louf, where ten thousand men were hard at w^ork, and 
a thousand donkies and steam-engines and railways, 
all trying their best to hollow out the huge gap in the 
desert which by this time is filled with salt water, and 
floats the ships of the world from sea to sea. 

Then came the vast hollow, called now the Bitter 
Lakes, where the sea has been rushing in for months 
to quench the thirst of many hundred years since water 
was here before. 

As we passed this wide tract, the salt upon it glistened 
bright and dry. Men were loading huge white blocks 

22 StniJige Leap. [Chap. II. 

of it into boats moored along the Sweet Canal, which 
here skirts the edge, and on a much higher level. There 
seems to be scarcely a doubt that all this hollow was 
part of the Red Sea when Moses led the people to it, 
and that over this very tract the Israelites passed. 

But the canoe has no special work for it here, and 
all this can be seen from a camel or on foot. It was 
pleasant enough to sail over, but a very inactive voyage. 
So much is to be told of livelier work in the bounding 
waters of Palestine that we must hurry through this 
slow canal, and even the Red Sea and the Nile, so as to 
reach the mountains and lakes and rapids, where dis- 
covery is open, and adventures are sure to be met. 

We were now descending from the level of the Nile 
to that of the Red Sea, and so there was a lock to 
pass through. Many boats were waiting for the Turkish 
officials to open the gates, but these lazy fellows meant 
to keep the boats there all night. Our red ensign, how- 
ever, soon stirred them up, and a few kind words per- 
suaded the guards to let all the boats into the basin. 
At least a hundred passengers were on board one of 
these floating boxes, and all of them had to debark until 
the lock Avas passed. Then what a rush there was to 
get aboard again, pell-mell ! and to secure the most 
comfortable places and softest boards to sleep upon in 
the cold. 

Fish leaped and splashed in the still evening always. 
Once, in the midday, a man .shouted to me to approach 
the bank, for he had a letter from Suez ; so I moved 
the canoe to the shore, and, after reading the letter, I 
put it into my breast-pocket, when at the same moment 
a beautiful little fish leaped from the water into my 
pocket with the letter. The bystanders shouted eagerly 
at this as an undoubted sign of " good luck ; " and I had 

Chap. II.] Red Sea. 23 

the fish broiled for dinner, occupying the centre of a 
large flat dish. The extreme length of the fish was 
under two inches, but the happy omen from it lasted 
among my men for months. 

At Suez we camped, and next day (November 12) 
the Rob Roy w^as launched upon the Red Sea.^ At the 
north end this arm of the sea runs up a crooked channel, 
where the variable tide of about six feet is magnified 
by the contracting bends, and very difficult currents 
whirled the canoe about uncertainly. 

There is a ford across this twisted channel, nearly at 
the mouth of the Sweet Canal ; and an island opposite 
Tell Kholzum, Avhere the ford is, still bears the name of 
Jews' Island. The ford is not often passable, except at 
low water ; and here it is that local tradition seems 
to place the passage of the Israelites. The w^ater now 
filling up the Bitter Lakes indeed reminds us how they 
were once part of the Red Sea.^ After considering all 
that I saw of the land and water, and what is believed 
to have been its ancient condition long ago, I think the 
w^eight of evidence is much in favour of the opinion 
that the Israelites crossed at or above Suez.'^ 

The other place assigned by many for the miracle is 
much farther south, and where the water would be more 
than a hundred feet deep on the occasion of the passage, 
and at least ten miles across. Among other objections to 

^ The name " Red " applied to this sea may signify the sea of the " Red 
Man ; " or it may refer to the red coral reefs, or to the very brilliant hues 
of the i-ocky shores which are noticed farther on. 

- Robinson's 'Biblical Researches' (1841), vol. i. p. 72. 

^ In Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible' (article "Red Sea"), the passage 
of the host seems to be placed about thirty miles north of Suez. The 
word " Pihahiroth " is said to mean a reedy place, and there is still much 
jungle-morass near Lake Timsah. The Septuagint has the word "south " 
wind where the A. V. reads "east " wind; but it is said to include a wind 
several points off the E. towards S.E. 

24 PJiaraoJi. [Chap. J I. 

this theory arc the following: — i. The east wind would 
not have caused the water there to recede. 2. The 
water on each side of the dry passage would have been 
sixt}^ or seventy feet high, which would rather have 
been styled a " mountain," whereas it is repeatedly 
called a Tcv?// on either side. This latter expression is 
quite intelligible when used for a heap of water even 
eight or ten feet high (and in the Bitter Lakes it would 
be thirty feet), and that depth, when the waves returned, 
would be quite enough to overwhelm the Egyptians. 

3. One night would not suffice for the first and last of 
the long column of such a host to walk so many miles, 
nor would the women and children be able to do it. 

4. It does not appear that Moses had special directions 
to go far south, and the natural desire of escape b}^ the 
shortest way would lead him to the more northern part. 

5. The relative positions of hills, valleys, and the sea 
itself, strongly favour the idea that the host passed 
over above Suez. 6. Pharaoh, coming from Zoan, would 
hasten his army to the upper end of the Red Sea (then 
farther north), and so bar the passage by dry land ; and 
the subsequent " turnings " of the Israelites, as mentioned 
in the Bible account, would all be more intelligible. 

The splendid range of Attaka rises grandly on the 
African side of the Red Sea, and the steep bare rocks 
glow ruby red in the setting sun. The ships of Eng- 
land, France, and Egypt, rest on the smooth bosom of 
the bay, and the Rob Roy dips her paddle-blades for 
the first time in bright waters of the south. 

I paid a visit to the ' Malabar,' one of the magnificent 
troop-ships which, with the 'Crocodile' and ' Serapis,' on 
the other side of the Istlmius, carry our regiments back 
and forward for the Indian reliefs. All the sailors were 
at once in love with the canoe. As for the captain and 

Chap. II.] 

Caiiicl icadiuo-. 


officers, they were profuse in their kindness. The visitors 
at the hotel, too, insisted on having a regular lecture 
and explanation of all her fittings, and a crowd of on- 
lookers hedged her round for the occasion. The gallery 

Camel in the Reil Sea. 

was filled by ladies and children from India with their 
native nurses. The Hindoo servants of the hotel stared 
•with large black eyes from beneath their raven silky 
hair. Greek, Turkish, Italian, and French sailors, with 
Indians and negroes of every shade, up to the jet-black 
woolly pate of Central Africa, peered over the others' 
shoulders, and three Chinese sailors smiled at every- 

Next day we started on a Red Sea voyage. A clumsy 
native boat took the luggage about ten miles down the 
eastern shore, to rig up the tents at Ain Moosa, where 

26 Wells of Moses. [Chap. II. 

the "wells of Moses" spring- up with refreshing sweet- 
ness from a desert of dry rock and illimitable sand. 

In a fine fresh breeze — indeed, almost a gale — the 
Rob Roy scudded here over a very high swell, until 
she came to the luggage-boat, now aground in the fallen 
tide, and a camel was in the water unloading our gear. 

More than a mile from the present shore, and on the 
Jiighcst point of the district round, but on what may 
have been the ancient coast-line once, fresh water, con- 
stant and copious, bubbles up, overflows into the sand, 
and sobbing, as it were, with a few fitful gushes now 
and then, loses its glittering stream in the ever-thirsty 
desert. About fifty feet farther down, water appears 
again in a pool about six feet wide, under one lonely, 
tall, and weatherbeaten palm-tree. Not far off this, 
Arabs have dug about a dozen pits, in each case finding 
water, which is ladled up with a leathern bucket, and 
supplies the life-giving moisture to grow many trees 
and garden plots, while bleating sheep and cackling 
fowls soon gather about them too. The long-stepped, 
silent camel marches past in his caravan, stately and 
tall, and the Arab sings a plaintive song. The sea-bird 
shrieks as he wends his way aloft to the crags far over 
the waves, and our little boat is soon left alone by the 
unrippled beach, like a dead thing thrown there b}- 
the sea. 

After two pleasant days here, the Rob Roy paddled 
back to Suez quietly in about three hours of a lovely 
morning. The clear water showed below bright sand 
and rocks of all painted hues, with patches of coloured 
coral. Dipping my arm down, I grasped a beautiful shell 
as a trophy to bring home. The flying-fish rose here 
and there in a shoal at my paddle-blade, and danced 
along the tops of the little glittering waves, flashing light 

Chap. II.] Mirage. 27 

from their silver scales ; and then, fresh and quivering 
with life, and after a glance at the sun-gleam of the 
morning, and most beautiful to see, they vanished. 

Far off were the huge war-vessels, pictured above in 
the vapour and below in the sea, and twisted by mirage 
into weird and wonderful forms. Sometimes a great 
frigate would disappear from sight entirely ; then a 
huge steamer would suddenly rise in the air, and mount 
up silently above a sailing vessel's deck. All these views 
were increased in grotesqueness by the nearness of my 
eye to the water's surface. The whole scene had an air 
of enchantment which one can never forget, and there 
was a solemnity given to it all by the perfect noiseless- 
ness of the panorama changed. The Rob Roy hovered 
here a few minutes to look on this marvellous spectacle. 
Her bows were in Asia, her stern was in Africa ; her 
crew had the mingled thoughts of years of travel — 
such thoughts as cannot be seized for confinement in a 
cramping chain of words. 

The hotel at Suez has a very motley mixture of 
nationalities rushing through it to all parts of the world. 
There is, of course, a regular tide of passengers, rising 
full for a day in each week as the Indian mail comes in, 
either that from home or the other from the East ; and 
next day all of these are on the wing again, either 
gliding over the sea to the Indies, or fast speeding home 
over the sand. Though most of these passengers are 
English people yet the manners and appearance of the 
outward and of the homeward bound are very different. 

The mail-train to-day has filled all the corridors of 
our hotel with passengers straight from England, the 
faces of many blooming with youth, and others freshened 
up for another spell of service by a year's leave at home. 
Their talk is of the latest London news and the Bay of 

28 Suez. |;chap. ii. 

Biscay, and their big strong boxes and new portmanteaus 
will all stream out again to-morrow into that barge by 
the quay for loading to Bengal. 

Next day the living tide is rushing in from the distant 
East, from India, and Hong Kong, and Nagasaki, and 
the Australian mail. The clothes of these are well 
worn, almost threadbare, and their " puggeries " are 
ample and business-like round their hats ; their faces 
are pale or careworn, or even haggard, and their fretful 
children battle on the stairs : pretty, and with brilliant 
eyes, but no bright English roses on their cheeks. What 
country but Britain could stand for ten years the ex- 
haustive draught that India makes upon our health and 
energy .'' Many of the men who are thus turned into 
scarecrows by the heat and dust of that great empire 
will always deserve, and they do, indeed, obtain, full 
credit from all Englishmen at home for their brave and 
hardy work in the sun so long and so far away. 

The cafes of Suez are a wretched jumble of East and 
West, combining the worst features of both. Better by 
far is that rude African dance of negroes and feathers 
and tom-toms in the open square, where the wildness of 
the savage has poetry and fitness in his outlandish yell. 
Let us leave Suez. 

This is to be done by the railway to Cairo. Did ever 
any one see such a terminus as this t The door is 
locked, the guards inside are snoring, loud batteries on 
the wooden window wake up the clerk at last, and he 
makes no toilette for his morning Avork. Our boxes, 
and tents, and bundles, are tediously weighed on a rusty 
steelyard, which will tell any weight you please according 
to your purse. The Rob Roy itself is weighed, almost 
blushing at the indignity, and half an hour after the 
train is to start, we bustle all these things in. Of course 

Chap. II.] Holu to losc Money. 29 

there was no room in the carriage specially provided for 
the canoe. We had been foolish enough to take tickets 
instead of paying backshish to the guard. 

My fellow-passengers laughed at this my greenness — 
" We 7icvcr buy tickets," they said ; " give five francs to 
the guard, he gives one to the engine-driver, and one to 
the station-master at the end, and you can then go any- 
where you please." 

This is what the Viceroy gains by working a railway, 
while the fell plan of " backshish " reigns in his flat and 
sandy kingdom.^ But though I had thus paid 6/. for 
transit, it was better than to sell one's honesty even 
dearly, and yet it was only at the last moment, and after 
regular battle for the point, that I could thrust the Rob 
Roy into a huge box, called a third-class carriage. 
There we tumbled over an entangled mob of miserable 
natives sprawling on the floor, for there were no seats, 
in a mess of pumpkins, and babies, and filth, and we 
tied the canoe against the windows, the open spaces, I 
mean, along the sides of the travelling shed. 

At Zag-a-Zig there was a change to another train. 
Everybody scampered off with his bundles, and a down- 
right scramble began for places in the new carriages. 

Entreaties here were vain, and so were threats. The 
whistle was .shrieking, but it was just one of the times 
when to do the thing yourself is the only way to do it. 
Therefore I carried my boat in my arms, and shoved 
her right into a carriage already full, and tied her again 
to the side, and, what was most strange of all, not a 
single person protested, or said he would write to the 
' Times.' 

■* I was assured, on good authority, tliat a million sterling is lost thus 
each year to the Viceroy. Unless it had been declared by several jiassengcrs 
that to bribe was their custom, I should not say so thus distinctly. 

30 Shame! [Chap. II. 

Cairo I had seen well years ago, and, at any rate, 
now is not the time to paint in words that gorgeous 
picture in the East. 

Yet there were many changes here in twenty years : 
knocking down, building up, opening out, planting, 
fencing, painting, cleaning, almost civilising, the old 
Egyptian capital. 

Great gangs of workmen are all day toiling here at 
reconstruction. Puny children, herded in flocks by 
cruel task-masters, who flog them with long sticks, are 
carrying on their heads straw-baskets full of earth and 
stones. As they march they sing ; but it is in a rhythm 
of slavery. The strongest repression of one's feelings 
is scarce enough to keep us from knocking that wretch 
over who has just belaboured with his bludgeon a tender 
little girl, but this is Egypt, the product of idolatry, of 
philosophy without real religion and the Bible ; and yet 
this is not half so bad as England would become if 
left to " philanthropy " without the love of God. 

The evening brings a short relief even to the woe 
of these hapless little ones. Then they sit round in a 
circle with their baskets before them, while the roll- 
call is droned over by a taskmaster who can read. 
The little sketch on the opposite page records this 
curious scene. 

And can nothing be done for these poor little babies 
starved in mind and soul, slaved in muscle and life } 
Shall so many hundreds of happy English " Christians " 
hurry past here every month to the work, the wealth, 
the honours of the East, without one effort to comfort 
or to teach the dark nation they pass by } 

One brave British woman at least has nobl}^ answered 
this, and has planted here the " Cairo Ragged School." 
Many as I have seen of schools, none struck me more 

Chap. II.] 

Cairo Ragged School. 


than this, and a long and pleasant morning was well 
occupied in those cheerful classes, among those grateful 
little faces, however poor, and pinched, and wan — and 

tilavi; Cliiklrcn at Cairo. 

with those bright teachers whose prayers and labour 
will have most certain fruit. ^ 

^ The girls gave me a little sample piece of very quaint and pretty needle- 
work (the same on both sides). People in London who wish to add tasteful 
colours to their drawing-room tables, and to cheer up the hearts of the 
teachers and children in Cairo, would do well to buy some of the neat and 
original patterns cojiied in this school. The little girls thus taught to em- 
broider get better husbands by the accomplishments added to their charms, 
so the time spent on the work is not lost, but very well bestowed. The 
school was begun eight years ago. In September, 1869, there were 170 boys 
and 75 girls attending. The Prince and Princess of Wales kindly visited 
the place. In 1849, I visited the Ragged School at Siout, far up the 
Nile, where little Coptic children were taught good doctrine and practice. 
This is the town where it is believed that our Saviour lived when lie was a 

32 On the Nile. [Chap. II. 

But besides the young in Cairo, Miss Whately cares 
too for the ignorant old Arabs, even in the desert. Only 
one who knows their ways and their language — a woman 
— a lady, a cultivated mind, and a tender loving heart, 
could win room here amid the sand for the ever advancing 

My tent at Boulak, the bustling port of Cairo, was 
placed close to the water, and the Rob Roy was launched 
into the Yellow Nile. Long lines of native boats were 
here with lofty yards pointing up into the blue sky. 
Splendid " dahabeehahs " for the European traveller's 
use vied in their brightest paint and gaudy flags. I 
stopped at one of these, and a dragoman I had met 
years ago hailed the canoe, and handed a cup of hot 
coffee as I ranged alongside. On the other bank were 
steamers, moored head and stern, in a far-reaching line. 
Many of these were the Viceroy's yachts, with trim 
sailors lounging on the bulwarks, and the reflected sun- 
beams sleepily waving on their upturned open ports of 
rich plate-glass. 

Staid and passive as the Egyptians are, they stared 
astonished at the little " Merkeb."" The word was passed 
along — some outlandish word of their own — and all 
eyes were set upon the Rob Roy, slowly moving towards 
them. Turning a point of land, I came upon soldiers at 
their prayers. Of course I advanced softly, not to dis- 
turb them as they went through the regular kneeling, 
sitting, standing, kneeling again, and all the time mut- 
tering, with a look at least of intense and simple de- 
votion. The Rob Roy came upon them suddenly, and 
they could not but see it in the field of vision, however 
straight they gazed away. Yet not one single glance 

^ A Ijoat is called " Merkcb," and so is a camel — "the ship of the deserl." 
The word is applied to anything you mount upon for travel. 

Chap. II.] Worship. 33 

was directed to the canoe. I doubt whether such a new 
sight could be thus received by people worshipping in 
any church in P^urope. 

It is a curious comparison that one makes in visiting 
the places of worship of different nations. Once I was 
in St. Peter's, when a new saint was being added to the 
calendar (next year it would be a new miracle, and the 
next a new doctrine, for the oldest thing in the Romish 
Church is to be always adding new bits of stucco and 
plaster to the stone). By good fortune I had a place 
very near to the Cardinals, who were all on their knees, 
Dr. Wiseman among them, and they passed from hand 
to hand a goodly snuff-box, while they were in this 
sacred act of devotion. The Pope alone of all seemed 
to be really devout. 

To come to Egypt again and look at the Moslems 
there. I had an interview at the Viceroy's palace with 
a Pasha, one of his Cabinet. In the waiting-room there 
was a Turk, a fine old gentleman, patiently sitting until 
his turn might come for business. But suddenly he 
rose and began his afternoon prayers upon the royal 
carpet, and he went on and on entirely undisturbed. I 
will give one more instance. At a far-off island in an 
Egyptian lake, a crowd of men were round the Governor, 
who had brought them in a large boat to welcome the 
Rob Roy. There was scarcely standing-room for the 
excited visitors, yet on the deck and amid them all was 
one who had spread out his carpet and kneeled for his 
prayers, and he prayed on this boat in this bustle as if 
it were the quietest of private chapels in the world. 

The Mahommedan has a very plain and majestic 
ritual. His mosque has no idols, or pictures, or orna- 
ments, or pews, but on a carpet, or a mat, or on the 
floor, he kneels before God. Indeed, he needs no church 


34 Paddle to the Pyramids. [Chap. II. 

to pray in, no image to adore, no book to read, no priest 
to offer his petitions. The hour of worship comes, and 
wherever is the man there is his place of worship. On 
a ship's deck he spreads his carpet and kneels down. 
The stone-mason bows his forehead on his white marble 
block. The Arab kneels under his camel's shade while 
the sun is scorching the desert about him, and the shep- 
herd bows adoring amid the green grass of the hills.'' 

To pray thus before men — a characteristic of outward 
religion — is all the more easy if it does not clearly 
signify that the worshipper is yielding what is asked by 
the demand, " My son, give me thine heart." 

As the Rob Roy neared the Water Palace of the 
Nile, so prettily posed upon an island, the w^atchful 
guards cried loudly to her to keep off. The life of the 
Viceroy had been several times lately attempted, and 
the orders to his guard were now rigorous. But I 
wished to approach, though no boat is allowed to come 
here. To their shouts I shouted " Ingleez," and at 
length an officer was called who courteously told me in 
French that, being an Englishman, I might go where I 
pleased. A little time after this the palace was honoured 
by the presence of the first gentleman of England, the 
Commodore of the Canoe Club. 

Glorious old pyramids ! it is you I see over the palm- 
trees, pointing your peaks to the sky. 

" A paddle to the Pyramids ! " 

Can there be any two words so little and so great 
together } It seems, indeed, a desecration, so the Rob 
Roy floats back to her tent. 

' Buckingham (p. 92) says that lie saw, near Ras el Ain, two Arab 
women at prayer on the road, ami that he "hail never yet, either in Turkey, 
Kgypt, or Arabia, seen a woman thus employed." I noticed a woman 
jnaying in ]Hiblic upon one occasion, but only one. 

Chap. II.] Wild Boavs. '^^ 

The jumble of barbarism and civilised life at Boulak 
was almost distracting. Camels grunting, and the rudest, 
nudest natives squatted on the ground, while yet a rail- 
way engine near us, built in Manchester, shrieks out 
with warning whistle, " Clear the line ! " The Turks 
care very little about clearing any line if they are walking 
upon it, and everybody here saunters between the rails 
at pleasure ; men will even ride donkeys on the " four- 
foot way," and I have several times done it myself here, 
while the " down express " whisked by. As evening falls 
there are thick swarms of very large hornets hurrying 
to the water. It is wonderful how soon one gets used 
to these formidable-looking visitors, but when they are 
not teazed, they appear not to do any mischief. In the 
dark a shot was heard, and a bullet came through my 
tent. From my bed I asked what was the meaning of 
this note of emphasis, but the only answer was, " Some- 
body is firing at the wild boars." They would be as 
likely to find wild boars in Piccadilly as at Boulak. 

3 6 The Nile. [Chap. III. 



TO descend the Nile, we now hired as a luggage-boat 
a very clumsy craft, with her top streaks plastered 
some inches thick of mud. The three men of the crew 
were not promising in appearance. They were hired by 
the day, and the wind was in our teeth, so the canoe 
could run round and round them under sail. But ener- 
getic argument accomplished a little with this stolid 
crew, and the stream of the Nile runs steadily here and 

A few facts may be jotted down that bear upon the 
country we are sailing in. The average amount of rain 
in Egypt is very small : forty days at Alexandria, seven 
at Cairo, and two or three at Assouan. The land, there- 
fore, would never bear green things but for the Nile that 
brings water from far-off melted snow, and with this 
laves the rich soft loam Avhich settles on the surface of 
the exhausted land, and makes it ever new again.' The 
Nile begins to rise in July, and is highest in the end of 
September, when, at Cairo, it is from 17 to 28 feet above 

' Tlic plain of Thebes lias been raised about twenty feet by the deposit 
from the Nile inundations since the temples were erected there. 

Chap. III.] Imuidatioii. ^il 

its lower level. After this it gradually lessens again 
until June.^ 

The river at Cairo, when in flood, is about 70 feet 
higher than the sea, with a fall of about 5 J inches per 
mile, and a velocity of 5 feet in a second. In " low Nile " 
the fall is only 'i^h inches per mile, and the velocity 19 
inches a second. Thus the current is not sufficient to 
turn hydraulic engines at the time they are most required. 
When at its lowest, the surface of the water is below the 
banks at the mouth about 4 feet, at Cairo about 16 feet, 
and at Assouan (in Nubia) about 33 feet. The water in 
flood overflows Upper Egypt, but in the Delta it is 
restrained by high banks. 

To use the inundations properly for agriculture, the 
water must be conducted to the plots of ground quietly, 
and so as not to tear them up by any violent current. 
Then it must rest, in order that the rich deposit may be 
precipitated, and when one level is watered thus, the 
channels to another below can be opened. The water is 
led from the full Nile by numerous canals. Mehemet 
Ali paid great attention to this subject. He opened up 
again many of the ancient canals, and made cross dykes 
in Upper Egypt, and strong banks along the two branches 
of Damietta and Rosetta, so as to control the irrigation 
of the Delta. Artificial irrigation has to be employed 
during the five or six months of the crops growing, and 
when the Nile has sunk far the labour of raising water is 

A small proportion of this watering is done by the 
shadoof. This is a leathern basin, slung from a long pole, 
which is mounted on pivots, and balanced by a stone or 
counterpoise of clay at the other end. The basin end is 

* Last summer (in 1869) it sank lower than for 150 years before. On Octo- 
ber 10, an extraordinary inundation occurred (' Times,' October 27, 1869). 

38 Raising Water. [Chap. III. 

depressed by the labourer until it dips into the water 
below, and, being freed, it is raised by the counterpoise 
until the leather basin comes level with the upper chan- 
nel, into which it is then emptied, and the operation 
begins again. The men at this work are swarthy fellows, 
nearly nude, and singing a wild not unmelodious song. 
Sometimes two are alongside ; sometimes one above the 
other, when the water is raised by stages. For filling 
with water any canal or pond quite near the river's level, 
the leathern basin is not slung to a pole, but by four cords 
held by the hands of men facing each other, who dip the 
bucket and swing it full to the level above. One or other 
of these men usually leans against a mud bank, but sel- 
dom both of them. I have seen some hundreds of these 
at work close together in a gang of men and women, 
and they were always very good-humoured whenever the 
canoe came near. 

The irrigation of wider tracts of land, requiring a 
copious stream of water, is effected by hydraulic engines 
of more or less simplicity. 

The " sakieh " was used, as now, in most ancient times, 
and consists of a wheel turning on a horizontal axis, and 
carrying an endless rope of hemp or withs, upon which are 
earthen pots so placed as to dip into the lower Avater, and 
to be carried up as the wheel revolves until they empty 
themselves successively into a shallow trough at the 
higher level. Sometimes, instead of jars on a rope, there 
are buckets, or compartments like boxes, in the hollow 
rim of a wheel, the lower part of which dips into the 
water and fills the buckets, and these empty their contents 
above through one side. Wheels of this sort and others 
are worked by oxen, horses, camels, buffaloes, mules, 
or asses, which move in a circle, turning round a hori- 
zontal frame, in the centre of which sits a boy or a woman 

Chap. III.] IVateriitg lintJi the Foot. 39 

to flog the animals. In the ruder forms of this machine, 
where wooden pegs answer for cogwheels, much power is 
expended in friction. Much water also escapes by leakage, 
or bad adjustment of the upper flow, and a loud splashing 
noise generally tells how a large proportion of what is 
raised only falls back again through bad adjustments. 

Wheels turned by men's hands and legs acting in uni- 
son are sometimes used in the East to wind up buckets 
from wells, but I never saw one employed for irrigation. 

Robinson (vol. i. p. 542) thinks that this was the mode 
of watering alluded to in Deuteronomy xi. 10 — " For the 
land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the 
land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou 
sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a 
garden of herbs." But as we constantly see men water- 
ing land in Egypt at the present day by opening and 
closing the canalettes of mud in their fields with their 
feet, it is surely to be presumed that this more general 
characteristic is referred to rather than the use of a 
particular machine.^ 

A steam-engine, working the best hydraulic pumps, 
may now be seen in very many places, sometimes 
in those apparently most out of the way. These, 
however, were more employed when the cattle dis- 
ease made animal power dear, and when the cotton 
culture became less lucrative, and steam-engines then 
were more at liberty, on account of the cessation of the 
American war. The steam-engine and the "sakichs" 
often work night and day, and the sound of night labour 
in the East jars upon the wonted stillness and soft dark- 

' Niebuhr, in 1776, mentions having seen only one machine turned by 
hands and feet at once ('Voyage in Arabia,' p. 12). Thomson ('Land 
and Book,' p. 509) does not agiee with Robinson's view. The wheel 
turned by the current of the river Orontes is not, I think, to be seen on the 
Lower Nile. 

40 Rob Roy the Robber. [Chap. III. 

ness. Music accompanies the watering, whatever be the 
mode employed. The sakieh, with its ungreased ricketty 
axles, groans, rattles, and creaks with painful regularity. 
When the harmony stops, by the blind ass going to sleep, 
the labourer in charge of it is sure to be awakened, but 
he is generally too lazy to do more than to hurl a threat 
or a brickbat at the resting brute. The steam-engine 
pants with its hot strong breathings, and the men at the 
shadoof whine a vagrant music in no particular key. 

About half of the area of the Delta is cultivated, and 
to water about one-fifth part of this it was estimated, in 
1849, there were 50,000 sakiehs in operation, each em- 
ploying three oxen, and managed by 25,000 men. 

Of course the canoe was soon out of sight of the boat, 
and when, after sixteen miles, I came to the Barrage, at 
the fork of the Delta, I ran through speedily, at my very 
best pace, lest the crowd that came might send a shower 
of mud from the high walls above. There was noise in 
plenty, but I heard only one faint cry of "Monsieur!" 
from an irate official, and I was too much occupied to 
heed this while gazing upon the splendid bridge before 
me, Avhich was built to head back the Nile water for 
thirty miles ; because even a few inches more or less of 
water flooding the land means hundreds of thousands 
of pounds gained or lost from the fertilised soil. 

My luggage-boat came to the Barrage long after me, 
and she was detained two hours because the canoe had 
not been " inspected " by the doiia)u\ The dragoman 
and the crew were brought before the Governor, and 
a very angry man he was. " I insist on your bringing 
the small Mcrkcb back, that I may see it." " We cannot, 
my Lord, it is miles away." "Who is in it .-*" "An 
Englishman." "One.'" "Yes, by the Prophet! one." 
" Impossible ! He must be a robber escaping ; bring 

Chap. III.] 

Cafc/iiuo- the Canoe. 


fetters for these men." And chains were soon at hand. 
" O ! my Lord, we did not know the rule." " Catch the 
canoe, then, or go to prison." " Not a boat on the Nile 
can catch it, my Lord." Two witnesses were then pro- 
duced who swore they had seen the canoe, and that it 


The Barrage of the Nile. 

was only the size of a large fish, but that it " flew like a 
bird." Finally, the Rob Roy was rated at half a ton's 
burthen, and heavily taxed, and all this time she was far 
off, quietly in a shady nook, while I wandered over the 
lovely sand in the charming day, inspecting the plants, 
birds, fish, and deep rich loam, and waiting to see the 
English ensign of my luggage-boat flutter in the distant 

Meanwhile I made a sketch of the Barrage. This 

4-2 Livingstone. [Chap. III. 

great work was resolved upon in 1843, and begun in 
1846. It acts as a long gate or weir across each of the 
two forks of the river, at the point of the Delta. The 
portion across the Damietta branch is about 600 yards 
long, and that over the Rosetta branch 500 yards. The 
weir consists of arches each of 16 feet span. Of these 
there are 72 ■* upon the Damietta branch. On the branch 
to Rosetta there are 62. Mehemet AH died ^ before any 
progress was made with this scheme, and his successor 
resolved to continue only the barrage proper without the 
canal, which formed its most important feature. At 
present it appears that the work has been entirely use- 
less, and it is considered that, if any attempt were made 
to dam back the Nile by closing in the structure at 
high flood, the river would sweep away the whole mass 

Until this point the Nile has run in one stream, and 
for a thousand miles of that without a tributary, pouring 
on towards the sea its gracious waters, whose birth is 
so far away, even (shall we not yet know it X) at " Lake 
Livingstone."'' But the river now divides into two great 
branches, and the triangular shape of the country em- 

•* My dragoman counted 74, but this, no doubt, included the two arches 
ashore. The other dimensions given above are taken from ' Annales des 
Fonts et Chaussees,' 185 1, p. 161. 

^ The traces of what this wonderful man, Mehemet Ali, began in building, 
in works of irrigation, in agricultural improvement, as well as in administra- 
tion and foreign conquest, are already almost like old ruins of the Pharaohs. 
His amazing energies came not from the lotus-eaters of the Nile. He was 
"no true Ottoman Turk, but rather a Seljakian Koniarat of Cavalla '' 
(' Saturday Review,' June 26, 1869). 

•"' At Suez I met the foreign correspondent of the 'New York Herald,' 
who was waiting there to receive Dr. Livingstone, then expected every 
day. This active little Yankee had accompanied the armies of India, 
Sadowa, and Abyssinia, and had now 1000/. ready wherewith to telegraph 
to the American press every word he could get from the lips of tlie brave 
explorer. Such world-wide interest has this hero of Africa. 

Chap. III.] The Delta. 43 

braced between these and the sea at the end is called 
the Delta, from its resemblance to the Greek letter A, 
answering to our D. I have voyaged along both branches 
of the river, but I do not feel able to say which of them 
has the largest volume of water. The left branch, going 
towards Alexandria, has its mouth near Rosetta. The 
right branch, down which the Rob Roy is to sail, flows 
into the sea near Damietta. About the mouths of both 
these branches are large swamps and lakes. One of 
them — Lake Moeris — had long been dry, until the sea 
was admitted by the English army to protect Alexandria 
from Buonaparte and the French. 

The other great lake is Menzaleh, near the eastern 
branch, and where our paddle is to ply in a day or two 
among the flamingoes and pelicans. 

The boats on the Nile are truly picturesque. To catch 
the breeze over the lofty banks, the long lateen sail lifts its 
pointed head high up in the air. No rig is so graceful as 
this. One sees it on the Swiss and Italian lakes, the 
Rhine, and the Danube, and (in a modified form) all 
through the Levant ; but by far the largest lateens are 
in the Delta of the Nile. Some of these have yards 
150 feet in length. The sails are often striped with a 
gore of blue cloth, and delicate streamers are waving, 
or the sailor's charms like necklaces dangle from the 
farthest peak. 

Boats with two and three masts are also common. 
Pressed by a strong north wind, they breast the powerful 
current with their white-bosomed sails, which lean over 
athwart each side, or, as we call it, "goose-winged." 
This river was for ages the "seven-mouthed Nile." It 
was called by a Hebrew word, and is still called in 
Arabic " El Bahr," with the same meaning, " the sea." 
These features do, indeed, remind us of the prophecy 

44 The Seven Streams. [Chap. hi. 

uttered by Isaiah when he says (ch. xi. ver. i6), "And 
the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyp- 
tian sea; and with His mighty wind, shall He shake 
His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven 
streams, and make men go over dryshod." 

The "tongue" is evidently what is now called the 
Delta, and the Egyptian "sea" is the Nile. The "seven 
streams " have now dwindled down to only two,'^ and by 
the bridge at the Barrage, for the first time, men can 
" go over dryshod." 

Nothing is more useless than a fanciful interpretation 
of prophecy, even of that which is fulfilled and past, but 
it is impossible not to follow the Scripture words into the 
next verse in this chapter, " And there shall be an high- 
way for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, 
from Assyria ; like as it was to Israel in the day that he 
came up out of the land of Egypt." 

Whatever may be this " highway," we have at present 
a railway here from the Red Sea itself, and traversing 
probably the very ground on which the host of Israel 
marched. The railway is already finished to Mansoura, 
and a branch is next to extend to El Arish, the frontier 
post of Palestine.^ 

The Damietta branch of the Nile which thus bears us 
along has all the grandeur of a noble river. It is wider 
than the Thames at Gravesend, and neither rocks nor 
rapids break the stately flow. The banks are high, and 
they are partly artificial. The foliage of green under- 
wood often shades the water. Sometimes the shores are 

^ In the days of the Romans the Nile was known by its eleven branches, 
but of these, seven were principal ones. Herodotus states that of these seven, 
the Rosetta and the Damietta branches were both artificial. Thus at the 
present time tlie only mouths which arc in proper action are the two artificial 

^ Consider also verse ii of this chapter, and in chapter xix. verses 23-25. 

Chap. III.] Delight of the A^ativcs. 45 

really beautiful with splendid trees and wide-spread park- 
like spaces, carpeted by richest grass. The current is 
quickened where the banks close in, and the Thames 
above Richmond Bridge was brought to my recollection 
by several turns in the Nile. In very io-v^ places is the 
scenery positively tame, and no two bends of the river 
are alike. 

My reception by the natives was generally civil, often 
humorous, and sometimes exciting, when the boys who 
cheered the coming stranger flung sods and mud upon 
him for a parting salute as he retired from the bank. 
This conduct was harmless w^hile I had the broad river 
Nile (or even its branch) to take speedy refuge in, but 
afterwards, in the narrow rivers, "it was a serious con- 
comitant of the voyage. Generally, as the blue sail was 
seen, a whole village rushed down to the bank, and half 
of them into the w^ater, but with nods and smiles and 
" salaam " from her crew, the Rob Roy managed to get a 
good offing before the awe of wonder had subsided into 
the boyish desire to have a " shot " at the tiny craft. 

We camped on a nameless island — no dogs howling all 
night as in every town — no " ghuffeer " as a guard to 
snore under my tent-eaves, but the radiant moon shining 
in the eddies of old Nile as they rippled me to sleep. 
Next we stopped at Benha, the old Atribis, with huge 
mounds of potsherds, the remnant that never perishes 
from an ancient town. I dug long to get at a mummy 
here, having spied a bit of garment sticking out from the 
rubbish, but at last the whole piece came forth, much 
burned at one z^a^, for the place was no doubt set on 
fire before it was deserted, and then buried for ever. 

The country on both sides of the river here is perfectly 
flat, teeming with verdure.^ Five crops of clover had 

^ The English Consular Agent at Port Said, Dr. Vaab, has a very fine 

46 Foo\ [Chap. Ill 

already been housed this year, and the sixth was to be 
the largest of all. Delicious Indian corn grew high, and 
my table was supplied with dainty fare. Working, 
eating, and sleeping well, I soon gained the exuberant 
spirits of buoyant health, and the whole journey of twelve 
days on the water was a continual delight and surprise, 
for indeed I had expected only a tame sort of trip, like a 
canal voyage in Holland, or a paddle in Lincolnshire. 

By five in the morning our slumbers were done ; at six 
three eggs appeared with tea and toast, while the tent 
was being struck, and then off went the Rob Roy into a 
dense but mild-tempered fog, which instantly concealed 
everything around. Then I took out my Bible, or a tra- 
veller's ' Book of Psalms,' the kind parting present of the 
Earl of Shaftesbury, and while my canoe gently floated 
on the current, then was the time to read. 

The sensation of being thus enveloped in what looked 
like dense white wool was most singular, and wholly 
undisturbed by any sense of danger. I must be going 
the right way. For the next hundred miles at least 
there was no new river to be entered. No boat could run 
me down, for there was no wind for it to sail with, and 
none of them dared to row in the mist. My luggage-boat, 
I knew, must be behind me, and at eleven o'clock I would 
somehow meet her again for luncheon. But by the time 
the Rob Roy had twirled round and round for half an 
hour the cotton atmosphere was evidently thinner. Then 
rents appeared in it, and then patches of blue sky, and 
the faint green of trees, and the faint brown of mud 
villages, and the faint red flicker that I knew was the 
ensign on the tall yard of my consort. See the veil rises 

garden, with Uie rai'est and most beauliful African plants growing, and a 
collection of others growing from seeds and cuttings in sand covered by 
small glasses. Moisture is sui>plied to these only once in several month.-,. 

Chap. 1 1 I.J PigCOns. 47 

now, and the silk flag flutters on my little mast ; the 
whole bright scene comes out fresh and gorgeous, and a 
breeze has begun — yes, a south wind, favourable ; so my 
blue sail runs up, and away goes the Rob Roy on another 
twelve hours of charming journey. 

By the way we shall fish and shoot, and land to see 
the shore, and sing and talk with the natives, and sketch, 
and read, and soliloquise. There is one of the pigeon 
villages. It exists for pigeons. A hundred mud towers, 
about thirty feet high, are clustered together, and myriads 
of blue and white pigeons wheel in the air. Sometimes 
passing these in my little vessel, one could see what I 
had remarked before on the Nile, that, when the banks 
are steep, and the pigeons cannot well stand on them 
to drink, they settle on the water itself, and closing their 
wings and floating for a few seconds, they manage thus 
to slake their thirst. 

Evening comes quick in winter, and near the tent there 
sleeps, on the ground, our " ghufteer," or native guard, 
which personage you must take at every village, and pay 
this beadle of the Nile a franc or two for sleeping very 
loud to keep away the robbers. We were in a bad 
neighbourhood last night, and even before this potent 
functionary had arrived, some thief had stolen a long 
piece of rope left out for two minutes. At another place 
our three boatmen absconded entirely, being displeased 
at some order I had given about their tattered but grace- 
ful sail. It is sometimes more pain than pleasure to 
know too much about what others are doing for you 
badly, and boat-sailing being a hobby of mine, I felt it 
hard to put up with the lubberly ways of an Egyptian 
crew. Here is the large town of Semenood, where I had 
hoped to have a boar hunt, but my last experience of one 
in the Delta many years ago was not encouraging. The 

48 Potters. [Chap. III. 

moment a boar ran out from the dense high covert of 
beans and prickles high above my head, all the beaters 
ran off, and as I fired into the brute's hind-quarters my 
foot fell into a deep chasm in the mud, so I sprawled 
on my back with spear and sword and dagger all clinging 
entangled together. 

In more pacific humour now, I spent an hour to see 
the potters at their work, near Semenood, the town being 
celebrated for this ancient art.'" Among the tombs, in low 
clay huts, the nimble-fingered and prehensile-toed suc- 
cessors of old Egypt's potters w^ere plying the busy 
wheels. The wheel that flies round by that man's 
naked foot is the same as when Amenophis died, and 
the vase that is now spinning swiftly is of the shape that 
Sesostris drank from — for " why should they change } " 
that is what the people always ask me. Yet they wil- 
lingly go by railway even in the Delta. 

In a pottery far up the Nile, I recollect, in my former 
visit, one of the men had his long chibouque suspended 
by cords from the roof, so that with one end in his mouth 
he could smoke and yet have hands free to work. The 
idea of a shorter pipe seemed never to have occurred 
even to this man so conversant with the clay." 

Fishermen have odd ways of filling their baskets in the 
Delta. One of the most primitive is to see a man sitting 
on a sort of raft made of empty gourds, which are held 
together by a net below a small platform of river reeds. '- 

'" Thomson (' Land and Book,' p. 521) yivcs a yood picture of the ])ottcr 
of Egypt, and cites the texts Jeremiah xviii. 4, 6 ; Isaiali xxx. 14 ; and 
Paul's striking metaphor in Romans ix. 

" At a seaport also I remember a man up to his waist in water and 
caulking a ship, while all the linie, somehow or other, he managed to 
wield also a large " nargilleh " with two tubes, a yard long, stuck into a 
cocoa-nut, which every now and then was submerged by a wave. 

'- The sketch shows the man fishing thus, and the lower figure represents 
a view of the same raft turned up to exhibit the net-bag of goinils. 

Chap. III.] 

Pnuipkin Raft. 


How can he sit upon that for two minutes without an 
upset 1 He asks ine the same question about my canoe. 
Both of us conclude that practice will teacli ahutjst 

Gourd Rait on the Nile. 

The Rait seen Irom below. 

anything. In the next river the raft was .still more 
rude, merely a large bundle of reed shanks tied together. 

Another mode of fishing practised in the East (but 
chiefly on the sea-coast) is to scatter on the w^ter crumbs 
of bread soaked in poison. The fish eat these and die 
and float, and the man gathers them to sell. 

All along- the banks of the Nile is free luxuriant life, 
animal and vegetable, with a sense of profuseness and 
overflowing that is almost oppressive, And yet every 


5© River God. [Chap. III. 

person around us looks squalid and poor, although not 
one begged from me. The cry of " backshish " was heard 
only once, and then it may have come from a donkey 
boy who had floated hither from Cairo. Everybody is 
getting water all day and most of the night. The Nile 
is everything to the Egyptian. The women are filling 
huge earthen jars, while they stand gazing at me in the 
stream that laves their bare knees, and instantly they 
replace the long, black, dirty yashmaks, which hang by 
three brass rings on the middle of the nose, to screen 
their sallow features from masculine gaze. The men 
are lifting water either in a leathern bucket or by a pole 
and weight, or a long lever, and working the Persian 
wheel. Not far off you can hear the p?iff, puff ! of a high- 
pressure engine, and this also is pumping water. ]\Iar- 
vellous Nile, how far you spring from, how long you 
wander, how many millions all take water from you, 
and no wonder you were worshipped as a god ! At 
eventide, the buffaloes wend their way to the river, 
and run the last few steps with neck outstretched, and 
eager thirsty eye, and vrading forward they plump down 
in the mud, rollicking about in their bovine gladness, 
with only the nose above the surface, and a cloud of 
flies fighting to find room upon that. Warm red now 
creeps over the w^estern sky, and our anchor hooks us 
to the shore. The Rob Roy meanders up some creek, 
while the tent is being smartly pitched by my admirable 
dragoman, and in half an hour my dinner is served up, 
having been partly cooked at the bows of the luggage- 
boat upon that clay slab you see there white with ashes. 
The repast is hot, and clean, and wholesome, excellent 
soup, one of the ducks I shot yesterday, peas, oranges, 
and coffee ; can any travelling be more comfortable than 
this, in a canoe with a luggage-boat .-' And I mention 

Chap. III.] Fiddle and D nun. 51 

the fare distinctly, for all members of the Canoe Club 
soon get to know that, unless }^ou are thoroughly well 
fed on a voyage, it is impossible to keep up both pace 
and spirits. The rising moon, now full, lights up the 
whole picture again, and makes it new with silver setting 
instead of gold. The oxen and asses for the night-work 
still keep grinding on the tedious round of the water- 
wheels, but the rather creaky tune is soon lost in the 
merry, plaintive song from every hamlet, with the shrill 
shrieking "trill, trill," of the women, and the deep-toned 
solemn sound of the Egyptian drum.^'^ Some swains join 
in with reed pipes, and an old blind maestro will moan 
a sort of dirge while he plays, wonderfully well too, on 
a- fiddle, called kamjeh, made out of half a cocoa-nut 
and only one solitary string. 

Then begin the jackals, and, at their sharp whine of 
challenge, the dogs — arrant cowards both ; \'ou can 
make them scamper with a straw. Meantime, in m\' 
large and beautiful tent, I recline reading ' Speke and 
Grant's Travels' in French, or Tristram's 'Land of 
Israel,' or add to my notes and sketches, or chat with 
Hany, or post up my log, and before ten o'clock I shall 
be in bed. 

" I had learned to play this darahookra years ago, and brought a good 
one home. Music floats ever in the air of Egypt, as " backshish " in Turkey 
proper, and " dollar" in the land of the West. Crossing the IMissouri River 
in Kansas, I thought there at least I was out of the range of Scotchmen and 
of dollars ; but in the feriyboat the only other passenger was a Macdonald, 
and from the opposite shore the first word — shouted at an auction — was 

Nile and Scvei'ii. [Chap. I\'. 



MANY of the reaches of the Nile were Hke what is 
seen from the window where these hnes are written, 
as the heavy tide of the Severn runs sleepily past the red 
cliffs near Newnham. But substitutions must be made 
in the mind if Gloucestershire is to look like the Delta. 
Those corn-fields are instead of maize ; those bushy 
elms are put for palm-trees. The spires that point our 
English landscape must be thought of as minarets, 
gaudy and white, and this pleasant " Severn Bank 
Hotel " is a change from the door-less, wall-less, window- 
less " khan " of the East, with only a roof and pillars, 
and a general odour of donkeydom. 

August here on the Severn will do very well for 
December on the Nile, and as the moon lights up at 
eve, the difterence between the two pictures is only that 
between shadows. That lazy boat at anchor, fishing 
in mid-channel, would do for either continent, only in 
Egypt there would be gay turbans on board, and the 
soft, melodious drum, and gentle, careless song. 

Chap. IV.J jVHc and TJiaiiics. 53 

As night advances, the illusion is more complete that 
I am now in Egypt, and can fancy the bed is in the 
same old tent, for I hear quite close the roar of wild 
beasts ; they are in the vans of Mander's " Unrivalled 
Menagerie," and their species and genera must be ver)' 
terrible, for there is inscribed upon the caravan the fol- 
lowing Latin — the whole stock, no doubt, of the com- 
poser : — " Sui generis," " Veni vidi vici," " Va^ victis." 
Meanwhile the brass band plays a chorus from Handel 
— an oratorio — at a show ! 

Even a better likeness of the Nile is seen upon the 
Thames, from the garden of the hotel at Purfleet, where 
the old Rob Roy on her first voyage passed her first 
night in comfort. 

The dykes along the Thames are smaller than in 
Egypt, but equally strong. The Essex marshes stretch 
their flat landscape on either side, just like the Delta, 
When the setting sun casts a hazier light behind the 
shores, and fancy is more free, and colours are less true, 
then the tall tower of the new Asylum on the opposite 
hill might well be taken for a Moslem minaret, and the 
whitebait fishers' boats for boats of Egypt. Greenhithe 
to our left from hence is shaded deep, but we can still 
discern the sharp masts of the ' Chichester ' Training Ship, 
the floating home for the homeless boy, and nearer, we 
hear a soft, sweet chant of the " Evening Hymn " from 
the open ports of the ' Cornwall,' where the poor lads 
who have slipped in first steps of life are put in the way 
upright, that they may cheer up, and try again.' 

We halted in a lovely bend of the Nile, while I walked 
about two miles through the cotton-fields to examine a 
wonderful ruin very seldom visited by travellers. Alas ! 

' Details concerning the "Training Ships," and the "Reformatory Ships,' 
are given in ' The Voyage Alone in the Yawl Rob Roy.' 

54 Bab el Hagar. [Chap. IV. 

to reach this reHc of the past, we have to cross the rails 
of a new " iron road " of the present ; so the romance 
is much spoiled of this "Bab el Hagar" {Stone Gate). 
No one can tell what the place was in ancient days ; 
now it is a heap of stupendous cut stones, all granite 
and porphyry, all brought hundreds of miles, carved, 
polished, exquisitely fashioned, then all cast down, a 
huge pile of utter confusion — but how .'' Really no one 
has yet found out the mode by which the ancients could 
tear asunder the enormous blocks of these grand tem- 
ples. A long green snake came out of the ruins to 
dispute the ground with us. Hyenas and foxes live in 
the tenantless palace, and the winding canal that watered 
its magnificent portal sleeps now for ever, with a stagnant 
pool just here and there to trace it by. 

At Zifteh the people were in holiday trim, on their 
Moslem sabbath, being Friday. The men had on their 
clean white turbans, and my crew asked to stop two 
hours for their mosque, which, of course, was allowed, 
because they seemed to care for their worship. Indeed 
it became a question whether it was not right for me to 
let the boat rest all their *' Sunday," as it did during all 
of mine, but they have no such custom here. 

Another scruple may now be noticed, as one of the 
very few things which even for a moment interfered ^\"ith 
the continuous pleasure of this canoe journey. 

When we had only one tent in Egypt, and when 
afterwards in Syria, Avith two tents for a larger party, 
we had still to accommodate some of them at night in 
that splendidly roofed spare-room — the open air — it 
was not easy to enjoy my comfortable bed, piled up 
with blankets, and shaded above from the dew, while 
some of my dependents were out the live-long night 

Chap. IV.] Misery. ^iy 

in a keen, cold, frosty winter blast, lying upon the bare 

'Tis true they were " used to it ; " that I paid them 
highly for the additional hardship of a journey in winter ; 
that for some at least, as, for instance, the "ghuffeer," 
or guards, it would be a breach of duty to come under 
cover, when theirs was the post of watchmen ; and that 
none of them ever complained to me, and none would 
accept the rugs and carpets I freely offered for their 
comfort : still it was not quite a lullaby to hear men 
groaning with cold outside, huddled under the lee of 
my tent (at the best a rather bare shield against the 
bitter blast), and only separated by a thin bit of canvas 
from their fortunate employer, who was so intensely 
snug in his soft, warm bed. 

Some of the men, too, had terrible coughs, for hours 
barking away by moonlight as if they must burst their 
very lungs before morning ; and by our tent at Suez a 
poor woman, in a wooden hut beside me, coughed the 
whole night incessantly, as if each moment was to sob 
out her soul. It was a relief indeed to hear that in 
Egypt these colds in the chest seldom, if ever, prove 
mortal, but their trouble and their loud appeal to sym- 
pathy were scarcely less from this. Even the stout 
old muleteer would whine at the cold racking his hardy 
bones, and at dead of night I could hear the muffled 
prayer of "Yorub!" (God help me!), or a long-drawn 
moan — " Alla-a-a ! " 

Thick walls in England separate us from the dark, 
wet, freezing misery of the poor amongst us, and deaden 
to our ears their cries of hunger and of pain. Life would 
be impracticable if we could realise one tithe of the 
wretchedness around us ; but his is a stony heart that 


Compass Card. 

[Chap. IV. 

does not think of this often, and get nerved by the sad 
thought to do his share in helping. 

Our voyage so far had no need of a compass, for the 
river kept us in its own course ; but among the sea-stores 
of the Rob Roy a mariner's compass was an article very 

Common C"()m]>,ii-s Caul. 

specially prepared. In my voyage alone in a yawl, I 
had found some defects in the construction of the Liquid 
Compass, which had been kindly^ presented to me by the 
Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Months of experi- 
ence by day and night in the use of it at last resulted 
in several improvements as to the mode of lighting, and 
the diagram on the card, &c., which were adopted. The 
new card is applicable, of course, to a canoe compass. 
Messrs. Newton, the well-known oi)ticians, presented to 
me one made in the new pattern, and by which for half 

Chap. IV.] 



a year my course was guided, and many curious observa- 
tions were made, as will afterwards be noted in our log. 
The two forms of card are shown here in the woodcuts, 
and the superior clearness of the new one will not need 
to be explained when it is compared with the other." 

Rol) Roy Compass Card. 

Before a fresh breeze still favouring, and an onward 
current, too, our boat speeds fast and pleasantly to the 
large bustling town of Mansourah.^ The sounds and 

* The Arabs, wlien looking at the compass, always speak first of the 
south point, "kibleh," as they call it. This is the same as among the 
Chinese, who "box" the compass by "South, North, ^Vest, East," and not, 
as with us, beginning at the north. I once heard a lecture upon "Great 
Britain," when the map used by the eccentric lecturer had its north point tt) 
the right hand, but the names all written so as to be read. 

' The name means "a delightful place," and several towns in .Syria are 
so called. 

Kino; Cotton. [Chap. IV. 

sights, and even the very scents, around us now seem to 
tell at once that a revolution has been working here. 

Mansourah is immersed in cotton, and " Cotton is 
king ! " The American war gave suddenly a start to 
the cotton-trade in Egypt. Even now, much of the 
cotton that reaches England comes from the land of 
the Pharaohs,^ and cotton bursts forth on all sides. 
Children are plucking it in the fields, singing as they 
gather the fleecy pods into their little blue dresses 
tucked up for pockets. From country plantations a 
long string of camels stalks over the plain, all cotton- 
laden. Boats full of it are tracked along the sleepy 
lagoons of the Nile and the countless canals which inter- 
sect the ancient land of Goshen. At Mansourah the 
cotton-gins for cleaning the stuff and separating the 
seed are worked by steam ; and the ceaseless sighs of 
the engine are not even stopped on Sunday, though 
the bell has been ringing long for the Greek Church 

The tall, simple, smiling camel has found out this 
cotton-seed, too ; and as he strides along, he turns his 
head, and (when his driver is turning his head) he bites 
a mouthful of cotton out of the sack he is carrying, and 
munches away with a look of guileless innocence. 

Behind my tent is another railway, all made by 
Englishmen. See the "signalman," with a bright turban 
and no shoes ; he is spinning with the distaff, and the 
" pointsman " lies prone on the ground and fast asleep. 
In front are the steamers, with the crescent flag shining 
red again below in the deep-flowing stilly Nile. Thus 
the spirits of fire and water, raised by James Watt, are 

* The export of cotton from l^y;)-pl from Oct. I, lS68, to August 13, 1S69, 
was 217,596 bales ('Times,' Aug. 26, 1869). From America, in 1S68-9, 
it was a million bales \ the total American crop, 2,750,000 bales. 

Chap. IV.'] Shocdlacks. 59 

in the locomotive, the marine engine, and the land- 
engine, haunting us everywhere. 

The English Vice-Consul at Mansourah was kind and 
hospitable, and he already knew the Rob Roy well by 
name. He told me the following strange story, quite 
typical of Turkish ways. An accident happened a few 
da}'s ago in a factory, when one of the cotton-gins tore 
and mangled a little lad's arm. The necessity for am- 
putation caused great excitement, but a terrible delay 
interv^ened. First, the boy's consent had to be given ; 
then, being a minor, it was found his father must assent ; 
next, his mother, too, had to be persuaded ; and when 
all had agreed, the wise officer of justice had to re- 
examine each and to take their evidence in writing ; 
after which, and other formalities occupying three mortal 
hours, the operation was begun which should have been 
finished long before. As a set-off to these evidences 
of barbarity, we noticed, at any rate, one plain sign of 
civilisation at Mansourah : there are shoeblacks in the 
streets. Cairo, Beyrout, and Alexandria have also their 
blacking brigades, though they are not so organised as 
we have them in London, but each boy works on his 
own account as a " freebooter." ^ 

After a blood-red sunset, empurpled far overhead by 
heavens of deeper blue, we had a sudden and fierce gust 
of wind from the west, which whistled through the lofty 
masts and marred the sleeping landscape of the evening 
with a rushing storm of sand. My tent quivered again, 
and all inside was dust and darkness, as the poor, 
fainting candle soon gave in. Loud cries now^ for the 

' The " Ragged-School Shoeblack Societies " of London earned during 
the twelve months ending June, 1869, nearly 9000/. The oldest of the 
Societies, begun in 185 1, and of which 100 boys occupy chiefly the City and 
the Strand, earned during the same time, as part of the above amount, the 
sum of 2400/. , and this year will earn 3000/. 

6o The Zrier River. tchap. I v. 

mallet to hammer down our iron tent-pegs ; so I must 
close my inkbottlc for the night, and give an extra brush 
to my hair in the morning. 

I left the Nile at this town, and chartered a luggage- 
boat on the Zrier River (small river). Our Ryis, or 
captain, is a veteran seventy years of age, but he objects 
to being called "old." His two sons are the crew, both 
able lads, and the moment the bargain was struck (now 
made " by the piece," and not " by the day ") the ancient 
mariner begged us to hoist our ensign upon his boat 
at once, for that, he said, and only that, would keep him 
from being at the mercy of the soldiers, who could claim 
his boat at any moment and at any price they pleased. 
Next morning we launched our little navy, with a fine 
breeze behind us, and tropical verdure thick on the banks 
of the Zrier. The oak, sycamore, and weeping willow 
overhang us now ; gorgeous butterflies flit from the tall 
reeds, or rest as if poised on the sunbeams ; the black 
and white kingfisher hovers in mid-stream, and the large 
Indian kingfisher, arrayed in red and blue, twitters as 
he launches on the breeze. Eagles, hawks, and bustards, 
wild ducks, and the graceful ibis now and then, and the 
crook-necked flamingo, and the pretty little hoopoo, 
with its crest and bill in a line till it settles on the sand, 
and spreads its chignon to be admired by its partner, for 
they are always conjugal in pairs. 

We have, of course, a sort of " family worship " with my 
dragoman and his servant (both professing Christians — 
one, I hope, more than that) ; but, before this, it is a 
strange sight to see the crew of our boat every day at 
their prayers. They first wash their faces, adjust their 
garments, and then on the cloak of the Ryis each 
man will kneel, bow, stand, bow, and rapidly repeat his 
words of Moslem worship, turning still to Mecca as our 

Chap. IV.] A Water Puzzle. 6i 

boat is wheeled round in the current. Then they give 
wilHng silence while a chapter of the Bible is read for 
ourselves. Some only of these men can read Arabic ; 
to them, and to such others as it seemed advisable, I 
gave Arabic tracts, or French, or English, and they were 
always gratefully accepted. It seems strange and un- 
friendly to live with men for days, and not to say or 
give one word to them about the great eternity that 
they and we shall meet in again most surel}-. 

The Zrier River we are now upon is not visibly joined 
to the Nile, though once it was. This little river is one 
of many hundred streams that seem to rise out of the 
surplus water which percolates the soft loam of the 
Delta, coming underground from the Nile itself, by 
working through its narrow banks of clay. An elaborate 
map is before me of the canals and rivers in the Delta. 
Years must be spent in learning the outlines of an 
aquatic network like this, and the clearest head would 
be very long puzzled in arranging their outlets and over- 
flows, so as not to require some of them to run up hill.'' 

The fish are so numerous that no bait need be used : 
the hook is sure to catch a fish, even if the fish does not 
catch the hook. When caught, the fish are tasteless — 
as they are, in my opinion, all over the Mediterranean 
— and not worth cooking. This curious, economical 
mode of fishing is practised all over Egypt, but was par- 
ticularly well suited to a narrow river like the Zrier. 
A man flings a brickbat with a string to it across the 
little channel — fifty yards. By this another man draws 

^ The map is a photograph of one made by Mr. Lutfy, C.E., and it was 
found to be very correct. By a decree (' Times,' Aug. 20, 1869), "Omar 
Pasha Lutfy " has been appointed the Director of the Eg}-ptian Canal Works. 
From part of this map has been prepared our map at p. 86, engrafting 
on it from the official map of the Suez Canal, and from a tracing of the 
last new lines of railway. 

62 A Run on the Bank. [Chap. IV. 

over a long string carrying large hooks upon it (but no 
bait), attached by a span of cord at every three inches. 
A float of cork is at each three feet, and some brickbat 
sinks every six yards. These were all neatly tied on by 
the fisherman with one hand and his teeth. A dozen 
lines are thus stretched across the stream, and fixed by 
pegs to the bank. The two men then take the ends of 
the string they first laid down, and so drag the hooks 
slowly under water against the current. Each of the strings 
is worked in succession, and thus in half an hour the two 
fishers catch at any rate a few of the more sleepy of 
the fish. Besides this plan, the Delta fishers also use a 
triangle of bare hooks dangling from a short rod, and 
the more ordinary drag-net and the seine. 

The trees became rather troublesome now that they 
branched so far across the little river, and there was 
scarcely room for the sail to pass between their green 
boughs, which almost met in a leafy arch from bank to 
bank. Still the current ran fast, and the wind freshened 
up until we had to take in a reef; while our ensign, 
floating off to leeward in the breeze, often lapped the 
foliage on the tree-tops with its long red tongue. Tall 
reeds on either side choked up the channel, and as the 
wind down in the hollow between such high banks could 
not reach the little sail of the canoe, I reluctantly tied 
her painter to the luggage-boat that she might be towed, 
while I climbed the bank for a scamper over the countr}- 
alone. It w^as exceedingly amusing to see the astonish- 
ment of the natives when they suddenly perceived a 
human form entirely clad in grey, and trotting steadily 
along. But they were never uncivil to me, and they 
always returned the salutations of the runner. By 
cutting across the windings of the channel it was easy 
for me to keep up with the boat, which was now tearing 

Chap. IV.] 

Land of Goshen. 

along at great speed through the water. The view from 
the high bank was very interesting, for before me was 
the " Field of Zoan," where once was the pride of 
Egypt, and where mighty miracles were wrought through 

Gcscin, in thi; " licld ol Zoan," seen irum a b.iuk on the Zrier River. 

The horizon on every hand was one straight line, with 
only a few very distant mounds, or " Tells," to show 
where cities had stood of yore.^ 

All the vast plain was deep brown in colour, not 
the sombre hue of wild, bleak savagery, but that of a 
rich and mellow land. Between the trees and just beside 
our sail-top, as it hurried past, there was a little row of 
dots on the distant limit, a village still called Gosein.'' 

7 Several large villages were visible to the north, and beyond tliese were 
the minarets of Damietta. 

^ This is marked on the map. There is also another of tlic same name, 
which I did not see. 

64 Wonderment. [Chap. IV. 

This was the only relic I could find to tell of the famous 
land of Goshen, and the sketch here given was taken on 
the spot. 

Berimbal was the name of a village where we camped, 
with fine trees all round it, and a peaceful look of plenty 
and intelligence on many faces. The river here was not 
twenty yards broad, and a good deal resembled the 
wooded stream under Magdalen Bridge at Oxford. 

After another day's delightful sailing, on December i, 
we arrived at the lively town of Menzaleh, with its 
mosques and minarets, and its bazaars, its street mer- 
chants squatted beside their piles of gourds, and dates, and 
pepper, and round flat bread, eggs, sweetmeats, oil, em- 
broidered shoes, copper pots, mule saddles, and a host of 
other things one does not want, although loud voices roar 
the names. 

The Zrier River has a barrier here, which no per- 
suasion could induce our boat captain to pass ; therefore, 
yielding to the custom of the place, it was necessary for 
us to hire another boat to enter upon Lake Menzaleh ; 
and we were sorry to part with the nimble sons and the 
juvenile father, and they were sorry too. 

We camped in the highway, just outside one of the 
town gates, and in full view of the broad lake of Men- 
zaleh. A dense crowd soon assembled, but they behaved 
most courteously, ranging in a wide circle with the first 
few rows squatted down in the usual Eastern fashion. 
The tent was a delight to them, but a tent they had seen 
before. As for the canoe, it was so entirely new to every 
man that the oldest shook their heads when asked by 
the juniors in a timid way, "What in the world is t/iat /" 
In the various cruises of the Rob Roy the wonder or 
inquisitiveness shown by the natives of difterent countries 
has always been a study to her captain. Where boats 

Chap. IV,] Admirers. 6^ 

are unknown — as upon the Upper Danube and Moselle, 
the canoe was greeted with an unmeaning stare, which 
often became a gaze of fright, especially if she was seen 
first in motion on the water, or dragged over the grass. 
In parts of Palestine, where not only no boat had ever 
been seen but no picture of such a thing which might 
give an idea of a boat to the Mahommedan mind, the 
feeling of the spectator on a sight of the canoe generally 
began with fear, and sometimes ended in a brave attack, 
as will be told before the end of the Rob Roy's log. 

Again, where boats are known, as in Norway, Sweden, 
the Elbe, and Schleswig-Holstein, as well as here in 
Egypt, the natives were all admirers, rather than amazed. 
They smiled with a yearning to examine the canoe more 
nearly, and their animated discussions about the matter 
showed how much they appreciated her delicate con- 
struction, and beautiful finish, and diminutive size, com- 
pared in each feature with all the best models of naval 
architecture which the oldest sailor of them had ever seen 

But now came the difficult part of the work — to find 
any man among these wonderers who could point out 
our way over the lake to the ruins of San, the modern 
name of Zoan, whither the Rob Roy was bound.^" 

s In Canadian waters the Indians examined only the crew of the canoe I 
paddled alone. They saw plenty of the bark canoes and of "du£;-()Uts, ' 
and the craft therefore was no novelty. 

1" From Lynch's 'Visit to the Suez C^anal ' (iS68), p. 58, we learn that 
Menzaleh Lake was formerly called Zoan, or Zan, or Tanis, or Tan ; and 
in Scripture the fertile district round was called the "field of Zoan." Strabo 
mentions fields and villages on its site, and the word used by him (vofxos), 
*' pasture lands," corresponds with the word employed by Arab geographers, 
who also call the lake Tanis, from a word meaning clay or mud. The 
Hebrew "Tan" means "clay," and the Greek tttjAos, found still in the 
modern name Pelusium. An Arab tradition from the tenth century states 
that this district wa.s once covered with villages ; that many hundred years 


66 Finding the Way. [Chap. IV. 

I selected three of the hkehest fishermen for consulta- 
tion, and (Hany interpreting) the plan of travel we had 
formed was explained for their opinion. We were stand- 
ing in full view of the lake, and with an excellent map, 
and these three men to help us in counsel, yet, after a 
good hour's earnest talk, of which, however, almost half 
was wasted in an animated debate between the guides, 
who at last came to blows, we found it utterly impossible 
to make out how the canoe was to paddle to San. 

" Toweel " was the place most difficult to fix in their 
different versions of directions. At one time we were to 
go outside of " Toweel," at another it was evident that 
" Toweel " was to be left outside of our route. " Nobody 
lived at Toweel," and yet there were "always men" at 
this very place. The canoe could not sail nor paddle to 
"Toweel," nor could "the Howaga" walk to it." 

Even by a careful sketch of the coast I made for them, 
no man could tell us the proper course for San. But 
I have found that explaining things by drawings is 
seldom of any advantage, except when only common 
objects are outlined. People who have never before 
seen a map or a plan have no idea of it as a miniature 
of the land and water.'- Dr. Livingstone told me that 
the intelligent Makololo chief, " Setcheli," was perfectly 
incapable at first of discerning any figure even in a plain 
picture. The Doctor tried him at last with the simplest 

ago tlio sea overwhelmed all except Tooiieh and others on high ground, an<l 
that the surviving inhabitants carried their dead to /oan. J^'unernl hiero- 
gly])liic inscriptions found at Menijdiis nientit)n " the land of Taniien.'' 

^^ In I'vgypt the Arabic _;"■ is pronounced hard, whereas in Syria the wonl 
would be with the soft /, as " Kowaja." 

'-' Once u])on a steamboat 1 observed a Turkish lady studying an atlas. 
'I'he map represented Tin-key, not only as the centre of the enrlh, but a? 
occupying nearly all the circund'erence ; while I'higlaud and America were 
two red dots on the farthest verge. 1 was generally sjioken of as a native 
of Belad Infrleez — " the town linglantl." 

Chap. IV.] The JMakololo. 67 

sketch of a few men in a group, but the puzzled clever 
African, thout^h truh' anxious to make the best of what 
was put before him, only turned it round and round in 
his hands, and u])side down, and still stared intensely at 
the paper utterh' be^\•ildered. At last a gleam of light 
seemed to flash upon his mind, and he pointed to a man's 
arm he could just descry in the drawing ; then gradually, 
but \'ery slowly indeed, he seemed to catch another limb, 
and then a head, until the whole of the pictured group 
became intelligible. After his eye had been thus tutored 
to look for form represented in miniature, he could always 
make out the meaning of pictures ; and the process his 
mind went through is, doubtless, like that which a little 
child must graduate in before he can point to a cow in 
his nursery picture-book, and tell us that he knows it b\- 
saying " Moo !" 

I retired from the bustle to consider the conflicting 
evidence as to the best route, and the verdict was "to 
start next day, and find the way myself" 

Four fowls must be roasted at once, and bread and 
eggs made ready for four days' food. To lighten the 
canoe, I left every possible item behind, even the boat's 
topsail ; and thus, prepared for all chances, there was 
encouragement in the reflection that surely this insoluble 
Menzaleh could not be worse to get over than the Malar 
Lake in Sweden, where the Rob Roy had found her way 
to the end, though eleven hundred islands had to be 
threaded to get there. 

It was a wide and novel view to sit and meditate 
before that open lake and the strange fi.shermen around 
us. The sun just setting showered upon the water a 
flood of fiery red. On the large marshes near was 
a company of fowlers at their work, while more than 
thirty beaters spread out in a great semicircle and 

68 The Governor. [Chap. IV. 

plashed along- wading. The ducks and water-fowl rose 
in advance by thousands, and whole clouds of winged 
game flew straight into the range of men posted with 
guns in little bowers far out in the water. Many reflec- 
tions crowded into my mind as to the strange things 
I should meet there on the morrow ; the men, the birds, 
the water, even the land, so entirely different from what 
could be seen anywhere else. Thunder in the night 
rumbled from far, and a few drops of rain came sprink- 
ling in the dark. My macintosh sheet was soon rigged 
out to cover us from a storm, but it did not come to- 
night, and only pleasant sleep. 

Before our start on this doubtful journey to San, a 
crowd came to see us, and in the middle of them, arrayed 
in full state, was the Governor himself. In almost every 
town where we stopped in Egypt, the chief ruler was 
courteous enough to honour us with a visit, but this 
Governor at Menzaleh was particularly complaisant. 
He was venerable and dignified, lie was dressed in 
most brilliant colours. His suite encircled him with 
pomp, and the boy slave, his pipe-bearer, carried for him 
a magnificent chibouque, all gold and gems, which 
reached from the old man's mouth even to the ground. 

His interest about the canoe was excessive. All its 
contents had to be explained — the cabin, sails, lamp, 
curtains, compass, paddle, and cuisine. He felt the long 
lithe sides of the Rob Roy with his hands from end to 
end, because he was nearly blind. How vague must 
have been, after all, his notions about the whole affair. 
I'2xplanations from this worthy fellow soon cleared up 
the meaning of that mysterious word " Towcel," which 
we now found to signif\' any piece of land not solid 
enough to walk upon, and not covered enough to sail 
over. In fact, there were fiflv " Toweels " around us. 

Chap. IV.] Staii on Lake jMciizalch. 69 

and the particular " Toweel " that was marked on the 
map near Mataryeh, and described as a village in the 
guidebook, had no special existence whatever, nay, the 
natives protested against any such town in the world. 

Plans fully made in a campaign should be carried 
out at all hazards — if only you have made them after 
weighing all the evidence. But in canoeing one learns, 
among other lessons, that an important fact, though new, 
must be duly considered in our plans, even though its 
intrusion discomposes all. Thus it was now plain that 
the route I had settled to start upon, all alone, would 
entail a full half-mile of sheer haulage of the Rob Roy 
over deep mud and very shallow water, and yet there 
was a far better way to San, for the lake was wide, and 
3000 fishing-boats upon it all had ample room. 

At once my plans were changed then, and a luggage- 
boat was hired to take us for five days at the price of 
eight napoleons, of which sum the large proportion 
of five napoleons went to the Government for their 
share as a tax. By this boat we were to enter the lake 
at another side from the west, and to double the Cape of 
Mataryeh instead of crossing a marsh, and so to push on 
to San, which place I was more than ever resoKed to 
visit by water now that the difficulty of getting there in 
this way was fully proved. 

Camels came to carry our luggage and tent, as our 
camp was now going to sea. The tall palm-trees bent 
gracefully over the gazing crowd, and shaded us to the 
last. Two stalwart fishermen shouldered the canoe, 
amid loud plaudits, and Hany singing led the way. 
My parting address to the Mayor of Menzaleh was 
earnest and eloquent, if not intelligible, and in a i^w 
minutes more we had borne the canoe through the 
cotton-fields and launched her on a beauteous river. 

70 Living Clotids. [Chap. IV. 

hemmed in deeply by the weeping willows and other 
pendent trees. 

Four miles of a winding course upon this brought me 
gradually down to the west limb of the lake, where a 
very fresh breeze was blowing, and quite a new scene 
awaited my arrival. We had been told of the enormous 
tiocks of wild fowl to be seen on this lake, and especially 
in winter. I had seen thousands, nay, myriads of these, 
and wondered at the multitude in the air. But I never 
expected to see birds so numerous and so close together 
that their compact mass formed living islands upon the 
water, and when the wind now took me swiftly to these, 
and the island rose up with a loud and thrilling din to 
become a feathered cloud in the air, the impression was 
one of vastness and innumerable teeming life, \\hich it 
is entirely impossible to convey in words. The larger 
geese and pelicans and swans floated like ships at 
anchor. The long-legged flamingoes and other waders 
traced out the shape of the shallows by their standing 
in the water. Smaller ducks were scattered in whole 
regiments of skirmishers about the grand army, but 
every battalion of the gabbling shrieking host seemed 
to be disciplined, orderly, and distinct. 

The breeze bore me fast from shore, and the waves ran 
high. More wind came, and I had to take in a reef. 
Still more came whistling in squalls, and I tied m\- air- 
bed round me as a life jacket. Soon it was a gale on 
the lake, presaged indeed by the thunder of last night, 
and being far out of sight of the luggage-boat, I struck 
sail to lie to, and to ^\■ait, and look, and listen, tossed 
upon the waves delightfully in the light sunshine. For 
a large boat the navigation of this vast sheet of surplus 
water is extremely intricate. The edges of it arc of 
course entirely unseen when )-ou leave them a few miles 

Chap. IV.] MatarycJi. ■yi 

astern, and I never could discover how the pilots found 
their ways among so many shallows and by such hidden 
channels. Soon the red flag of my consort joined, and 
the blue lug of the Rob Roy ran up to have a race with 
the luggage-boat, until we rounded in towards " the 
Egyptian Venice," Mataryeh, a very curious town, built 
upon two flat islands, which are united by a causeway 
only six feet wide and very low. Some hundred boats 
were here, and their long lateen yards broke up the 
straight horizon by a jagged forest of sharp peaks. By 
cutting across the shallows, the canoe was able to keep 
up with the great luggage-boat, which had to go round 
each island in a deeper channel. When the red ensign 
came in sight of the town, the whole population turned 
out to see. Red, with a white crescent on it, is the 
Moslem flag ; so the people thought my luggage-boat 
had some high officer of state on board, coming, 
perhaps, to raise their taxes, which already for the 
fishing on the lake produce ten thousand pounds a year. 
But presently, when the blue sail of the Rob Roy 
showed round the " Hospital Point," it was to her, of 
course, that every eye was turned, for all the people 
here are interested in fish, and so in boats — men, women, 
and children. 

The deep calm harbour was a contrast to the winter 
gale outside. Under the gaze of the crowd, Hany, with 
due dignity, prepared the midday repast, and I had to 
attack it (nothing loth) with many hundred eyes fixed 
upon the clean white tablecloth spread on my deck, A 
barge approached from the shore with all its deck full of 
people and music, and the Governor himself on board. 
I landed with him to see the town, and a very amusing 
progress we made of it through his aqueous domain. 
He was a young sprightly fellow, very well dressed, a 

72 Legs of Ingleez. [Chap. IV. 

Nubian with a face like the blackest charcoal. Six of 
his suite preceded and six followed me on my rounds, 
and all of them had long bamboo canes. The first half- 
dozen of these were to thrash the people out of the way, 
and from the other six I heard whack ! whack ! as they 
thumped the population who insisted on following after. 
But it was all done in good humour ; and, for a bit of 
fun, I began a quick-march too, stepping out gradually 
at first, then more and more at speed, until with the 
longest strides I walked my very best, in and out and 
round all the blind alleys of the town and its dark 
bazaars. The escort had to run to keep up with their 
charge, for the Egyptians cannot walk five miles an 
hour. Often the vanguard rushed in one direction, but 
when I came to the turning, I went perversely down the 
other v/ay. As they ran, they panted, and laughing said 
while they scampered along, "How he does walk!" 
"Great is the power of the Ingleez!" "Oh his long 

The fish caught here seem to be nearly all of one 
size and shape, like perch, but of exaggerated depth 
and stumpy length, and exactly of the form depicted 
in so many Eastern paintings. The houses for packing 
these fish, when salted, were very interesting to see. 
Our parting with the people and their dusky ruler was 
more than cordial, it was almost affectionate ; while all 
the crowd exclaimed, " Never was there seen such a 
sight in Mataryeh!" We had laughed a good deal at 
many things together, and now the Mayor most gladly 
received from me some little books, for he could read 
quite well, and which dealt with graver topics common 
to all mankind, and far too interesting and good to be 
shyly ignored between men meeting for once in the 
wide, wide world. 

Chap. IV.] Egyptian Lock. 73 

Three sailors and a boy were our crew of the luggage- 
boat this time, but there was another little fellow, almost 
a baby. I did not know at first he was with us, for they 
had locked him up for safety in the forecastle, an apart- 
ment about the size of a portmanteau, and when he 
whined inside, and I ordered him to be let out, they 
brought the key of the Egyptian lock, just like a tooth- 
brush, with wires for its hairs, each wire corresponding to 
a ward in the lock. The plan is simple and sure, and it 
certainly contains the idea too of the well known " Bramah 
lock," which is used all over the world.'^ 

The wind being contrary, the paddle had now to drive 
the Rob Roy for about four hours, ascending the river 
Mushra, but I ran her up the winding creeks, and soon 
began to replenish our larder by shooting my first wild 
duck from a canoe. People had foreboded an upset as 
the sure result of a gun's recoil. However, it was only 
the duck that was knocked over. 

'•* The Egyptian lock and its key are botli of wood, and when a man lias 
locked his door, he throws the key over his shoulder, where it can hang all 
day suspended by a string round his neck. This custom, no doubt, explains 
that verse of prophecy, " And the key of the house of David will I lay u] on 
his shoulder ; so he shall open, and none shall shut ; and he shall shut, and 
none shall open " (Isaiah xxii. 22) ; which passage again leads us to the 
further and clearer mention of the solemn truth in the Book of the Revela- 
tion, " These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the 
key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth ; and shutteth, and no 
man openeth" (ch. iii. 7). 

74 River JMusJira. [Chap. V. 



AFTER a long and winding voyage on the Mushra, 
which leaves the Delta with a score of others, and, 
passing by Zag-a-Zig, conveys Nile water, partly from 
filtration, partly direct from the Nile, finally into Lake 
Menzaleh, and once, probably, in much greater volume, 
into the sea, we came near the vast Tells, or mounds, 
of ancient Zoan, and I started on foot to explore them 
all alone. It is far the best way to be alone in exa- 
mining a huge relic like this, where desolation reigns, 
where all may be seen without a guide, and where the 
sentiment of silence adds to the loneliness of the scene. 

For a mile I crossed a marsh, not without frequent 
difficulties, and then climbed up to the highest mound, 
perhaps 200 feet above the water. All Avas seen from 
that point, and indeed it is a noble view. The horizon is 
nearly a straight line on every side. Looking west, the 
tract before us is a black rich loam, without fences or 
towns, and with only a dozen trees in sight. This is 
" The Field of Zoan." ' 

' "Now Ilebioii was buill seven years before Zoan" (Xunibers xiii. 
22). In Tsalni Ix.wiii. 12, we read, "Marvellous things did He in the sight 

Chap. \'.] 

'^ Field of Zoan: 


Behind is a gleam of silver light on the far-away shore 
of Lake Menzaleh. Across the level foreground winds 
most gracefully the Mushra, and down there below the 
Rob Roy floats on the ripples of a gentle breeze. But 

The " Field of Zoan." 

between that winding river and the mound we look from, 
there is lying bare and gaunt, in stark silent devastation, 
one of the grandest and oldest ruins in the world. It is 
deep in the middle of an enclosing amphitheatre of 
mounds, all of them absolutely bare, and all dark-red 
from the potsherds, that defy the winds of time and the 

of their fathers, in the land of Eijypt, in the field of Zoan;" where Stanley 
considers that "field" may be the translation of the Hebrew signiP.injj 
" to level." Cruden gives "motion" as the meaning of "Zoan." The 
name is referred to again in Isaiah xxx. 4. 

Sirajioc Creatures. [Chap. V. 

dew and the sun alike to stir them, or to melt away their 
sharp-edged fragments. 

M. Mariette, of Cairo, lately had these ruins uncovered 
(by forced labour, I was told, of 500 men at a time). 
They are wide-spread, varied, and gigantic. Here you 
see about a dozen obelisks, all fallen, all broken ; twenty 
or thirty great statues, all monoliths, of porphyry, and 
granite, red and grey ; a huge sarcophagus (as it seemed 
to me) was of softer stone, and enormous pillars, lintel, 
and wall-stones are piled in heaps one over the other, 
most of them still buried in the earth. The polished 
statues are of various sizes, and of beautiful workman- 
ship. Some sit with half the body over the ground, 
others have only a leg in the air. One leans its great 
bulk sideways, covered up to the ear ; another lies with 
chair and legs appearing, but the head is buried deep in 
the mud.~ 

- In the exfoliating granite of these old walls I found some very curious 
insects. Tliey were crowded in groups of many hundreds close together, 
and they seemed to lie dormant until disturbed. Each was like a small 
grain of corn, but flatter, and more of the shape of a ladybird. The colour 
was a uniform pale yellow, and they had many legs. I could not discover 
the slightest trace of moss, or any vegetable matter, in or near these groups, 
though I carefully examined the stone with a lens. Some of them I brought 
away, and sent in a letter to that amusing and excellent weekly paper, 
' Land and Water, ' being quite sure that a description of them there would 
educe full explanation of their proper names and habits, if they did not 
eat tlifir way through the envelope on their passage home — like some bats 
sent from Australia to my friend Mr. Gould (the king of ornithologists), 
and which, though asleep when they were posted, awoke, and ate up the 
other letters in the mailbag, and bit the postman's fingers at the end. How- 
ever, the following appeared in ' Land and Water,' September l8, 1S69 :^ 
"With the kind assistance of ?ilr. V. Smith, of the British Museum, I 
have compared their damaged remains with tlie specimens of this class of 
insects in the national collection, and find that there is only one individual 
there which at all resembles the Rob Roy specimens. This is an unnamed 
coccinella from China. Tt has the same buff-yellow elytra w ith very faintly 
discernible spots of a slightly tlccper .shade on them, and, so far as we 

Chap. V.] A Lost Nccdic. 77 

The buildings seemed to have formed a temple, with 
three outlying edifices. Some of the obelisks must have 
fallen long before the dust and refuse of ages had filled 
the courtly halls, then tenantless. Others fell on this 
new stratum, and these now lie, say, ten feet higher than 
the floor, while a few of the taller columns lasted perhaj)s 
f.)r another thousand years, and then they toppled over 
on the lonely plain with a crash unheard by a regardless 
world. The sand soon buried them there, and even the 
memory of Zoan faded away. 

The words in Isaiah'^ may well be read here with so 
plain a comment round us : — 

" Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of 
the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish : how 
say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son 
of ancient kings ."^ 

" Where are they .^ where are thy wise men } and let 
them tell thee now, and let them know what the Lord of 
hosts hath purposed upon Egypt. 

" The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of 
Xoph are deceived ; they have also seduced Kgypt, even 
they that are the stay of the tribes thereof" 

Think of the labour of transporting hither these stones, 
each many hundreds of tons in weight, from the Upper 
Nile, whence several of them ninst have come, and yet 
we Englishmen have left the splendid obelisk, " Cleo- 
patra's Needle," close by the sea at Alexandria for fifty 
years, though it belongs to England, and it would grace 
our finest site in London. In 1(849 this neglected gift 
was only half buried, but in 1869 it was so completely 

could ascertain, tlie same number of black spots (nine) on the thorax, 
placed in the same form and position. Mr. Smith hopes to be able to 
make a j^erfect insect for the collection from the dis/Wia mcinhra of more 
than one individual." — IIknry I.kk. ^ Isaiah xix. II-I'?. 


^'' Fire in Zoan'' [Chap. V. 

hidden that not even the owner of the workshop where 
it Hes could point out to me the exact spot of its sandy 
grave ! 

The mounds that now hedge in the ruins of Zoan 
—so that from no point in the plain can you see even 
one stone of the grand silent pile — were probably the 
houses of a great town built of mud, and an extensive 
pottery. All over and under and among the stones are 
large masses of vitrified bricks, evidently the produce of 
the kilns, and reminding us of what was predicted in 
Ezekiel (ch. xxx. 14), " I will set fire in Zoan." 

Many as are the celebrated ruins I have seen, I do not 
recollect any that impressed me so deeply with the sense 
of fallen and deserted magnificence.^ 

Our wandering up and down the Mushra was like a 
quiet walk along a country lane to see a deserted town, 
only the way was by water. In the lake again once 

■* In the 13th verse of the 30th chapter of Ezekiel it is said, "And tliere 
siiall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt." The country has been for 
ages subject to foreign rule. Lately the present Viceroy seemed to have 
acquh-ed almost the place of an independent sovereign, but the Sultan has 
just reminded his Highness (in no measured terms) how entirely dependent 
upon the Porte is this Governor, who would set up as "a prince of Egypt." 
In Isaiah (ch. xix. 4-10) is the following further prophecy : — "And the Egy]> 
tians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord ; and a fierce king shall rule 
over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts. And the waters shall fail from 
tlie sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up. And they shall turn 
the rivers far away : and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried 
up ; the reeds and flags shall wither. The paper reeds by the brooks, by 
the mouth of the brooks, and everything sown by the brooks shall \\-ither, 
be driven away, and be no more. The fishers also shall mourn, and all they 
that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon 
the waters shall languisli. Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they 
that weave networks, shall be confounded. And they shall be broken in the 
purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish." How much of 
this is already fidfiUed can on!)- be seen by going to the brooks, and ponds, 
and fishers for oneself. Tiie word " aroth " is said, in Smith's Dictionary, 
to lie wrongly translated " paper reeds'" in this passage. 

Chap. V.] Qualms. 79 

more, the journey was livelier as the Rob Ron- dashes 
out upon a wave-flowing sea. Islands innumerable bloek 
up the horizon. Sea-birds by thousands sail upon the 
wind. Flamingoes hover in flocks, and spread a pale 
pink cloud of beauteous plumage painted b\' the sun. 
Pelicans in groups of ten at a time gently rise and fall on 
the ground-swell, or lumber through the air with heavy 
wing, and pouch well filled with fish. 

The life of a waterbird seems the most full of enjoyment, 
for it has three elements to sport in, and on the earth 
and the wind and the wave it is equally at home. But 
what is to be said about the fourth element, fire t There 
is good reason to cut short even so happy an existence if 
the dead bird is really useful for the mind or the bod\' of 
man, to be stuffed for a museum, or for a side dish, or to 
grace the head of a girl. Still I own to some tender 
qualms when the pretty gay feathers are fluttering at the 
other end of my gun-barrel, unconsciously waiting their 
doom ; and it may even be a consolation to the sports- 
man that a " miss " of his trigger will disappoint onl)- 
one of the parties concerned, while it sets the other free. 
'Tis better to grumble at one's bad luck or bad shooting 
than to be haunted by the ghosts of orphan ducklings, or 
the cackling of a web-footed widow. 

To the bird-fancier, or the scientific ornithologist, one 
might A\'ell suppose that a month on Lake Menzalch 
would be the very least he could give. As for myself, I 
did not go for the waterfowl, but for the water, and yet 
every day there was some new feature of winged life to 
be noticed on the lake. 

One of the most amusing sights was the odd clumsy 
manner in which the flamingoes {iic/iaf in Arabic) rise 
from the water to the air when the}' are hard pressed by 
such an intruder as a canoe. 

So Flamingoes. [Chap. V. 

The bird, with the utmost reluctance, having at last 
resolved to fly away, up he springs, with his long legs 
dangling upon the wave-tops, and walking on the water 
might and main, while his wings are struggling above, 

Flamingoes taking Wing. 

and his neck is crooked out in front. It is only after a 
long doubtful scramble between earth, water, and air, 
that the scrimp little body, with its pretty pink wings, 
can finally manage to carry off the whole concern, in a 
hurry packed together, the long snake-like neck and 
the lower incumbrances called legs. The various phases 
of this process of locomotion are shown in the sketch 

It will be seen by Map I., at p. "^6, that Lake 
Menzaleh has a very irregular outline, especially on the 
southern side. Its length from north-west to south-east is 
about forty miles, and when the water is full, the breadth 
from Port Said is fifteen miles. A distinct chain of 
islands runs along the middle, and many others of various 
sizes dot the surface, or disappear just beneath the water 
when that is full. 

The depth of the lake is nowhere great, and for many 

Chap. V.] J^ios 

square miles we found it not more than four feet, even in 
the channels. On first thoughts one is apt to suppose 
that a shipwreck in water only a yard deep would not be 
a very serious disaster, even if the solid land were several 
miles away on every side ; but, on reflection, it is soon 
found that this shallow pond-like area is more dangerous 
for the lone sailor who may be overturned, or water- 
logged, or benighted, than a deeper lake would be. For 
while it would be very difficult or impossible, without 
complete exhaustion, to reach the shore by wading 
several miles over such shallows, it would also be a 
severe tax upon both pluck and patience to find for the 
first time a channel deep enough for a boat, where so 
many parts of the lake are mere pools joined by surface 
water only a few inches in depth. For when you get 
into one of these, desiring to cross it in some determinate 
direction, the channel leading to another of the pools in 
the chain may be in the most unlikely side of the pool 
you have entered, and thus for hours the boat would be 
caught in a cul-dc-sac? 

The various rigs of vessels on the lake are not nume- 
rous, but we may be allowed to spin a little yarn about 
them. Small boats, especially at Port Said, carry the 
orthodox lug-sail, some of them also a jib. Fish tank- 
boats, very low in the water, and (without any conceivable 
reason I can see) depressed on deck at the bow and stern, 
have the lateen sail on their masts, but are much pro- 
pelled by poling. All the larger vessels also have long 
poles to punt with, and of course they row with " sweeps." 
The large lateen sail of the Nile is much used on the 
lake, but without the good reason which justifies its use 

'" On one occasion, long ago, voyaging alone, my boat found its way iiilo 
a pool of this kind ; but it was more than six. hours before she could get out 
again, and all that time there was nothing to do but to read the only bock 
I happened to have on board, ' A Table of Logarithms'. 


82 A Yarn. [Chap. V. 

in the river: that its uplifted peak may catch the breeze 
over the top of the high banks. For lake sailing, and 
wherever any attempt to beat to windward in regular 
boards has to be made in rough water, and in narrow 
bounds, the lateen is used by the Menzaleh boats most 
absurdly. Often they tack ship without shifting the sail 
to leeward of the mast, and they are content to lose all 
weather progress whatever while sailing on the "short 
leg," besides cutting the sail itself to pieces by grinding 
it on the shrouds. 

The sail is not like a " dipping lug," for the yard is 
permanently slung at the masthead, and when the vessel 
comes about, the sail has to pass above all, so that the 
after-leach goes over the mast and yard and is brought 
round to the other side. Then the yard itself swings 
over the masthead, and finally the sheet can be hauled 

This dangerous and lubberly process is so much more 
easily done by " wearing ship " that in most cases you 
find the pilot put his helm up. Sometimes, when the 
loss of weather-way would be too bad to justify this, the 
vessel is actually stopped, and held by a pole (or even 
anchored !) while the sail is got over. In such cases, and 
often when "going large," and wearing, the sail is triced 
up for a minute or so, while a boy is sent out on the yard 
to hold it up and to gather it with his arms, in order to 
prevent the canvas from catching too easily in the upper 
gear. The braces, too (or vangs, as they would become 
in an ordinary cutter-sail, with gaff" and boom rig), bind 
the sail in an extremely dangerous manner, and, if taken 
aback in a squall, the boat is most apt to subside for a 
ducking, like a man in a strait jacket sent adrift on the 
waves. The crew, however, care very little indeed about 
the prospect of a capsize, being fatalists in the most 

Chap. V.] Lubbcrs. 8 


illogical fashion. Once, when my " dahabeeh " was sailing 
on the Nile in a fresh gale, the hardihood of the men was 
bcj'ond all bounds, and the boat reeled about several 
times, within an ace of upsetting. To the sailors per- 
sonally it was no matter if she did go over ; not one of 
them had any luggage to care for but his pipe ; so after 
they had disobeyed my directions once too often, and 
the vessel heeled down under a long mountain squall, I 
quietly went forward and cut the sheet in two with a 
knife at the time in my hand, being then at breakfast. 

Had this been done with any semblance of anger, it is 
not easy to say what the consequences might have been, 
for it was of course the highest possible affront to the 
seamanship of the crew, but being perpetrated with 
serene calmness, and even a smile, they only wondered 
and muttered, and put it down in their memories as 
another of the extraordinary things that those " Ingleez " 
will dare to do. But many occasions occurred when the 
extreme ignorance of sailing on the part of a crew, willing 
enough, but utterly lubbers, grieved me, in the hopeless 
knowledge that it was no use to protest, far less to 
instruct, and the only thing was to sit still with an air 
resigned, but a deep wounding of one's sense of the 
" ship shape," and an excruciating pain concealed. 

There was thus always plenty to occupy the mind of 
any one who cares for boat-sailing, besides many other 
interesting and ever varied sights. Camping for the 
night on a lonely islet in this lake is truly a new lodging. 
It was quiet enough until the jackal's scream woke up 
some distant echoes on the mainland, but yet the shrill 
music near us being a solo made the other silence more 
impressive. Not far off were the fishers' stations, little 
bowers of rushes, each at the end of two lines of wattles 
fixed obliquely zigzag in the shallow lake. The fish 


By M 0071 light. 

[Chap. V. 

swim along- these hedgerows seeking an outlet, and they 
find themselves at last in the net at the end. This net is 
held by the strange baboon-like native, whose fire for 
the evening is now alight, and the smoke feebly curls in 

NiL,ht on Lake Mcn^altli. 

the dark glooming of eve. He will stop there for days 
and nights together, and boats will take away his 
basketful of fish, which at Mataryeh will be salted and 
thence sent all over Egypt. The wonder felt by these 
men may be imagined — sitting in silence in 'their funny 
little nests — when I visited them suddenly in the canoe. 
The moon rose in state to brighten long rows of white 
sea-birds dotting the dark water, and the horizon was 
only broken by the distant mast-tops at Mataryeh. 
Then gliding back in the moonlight, the Rob Roy 

Chap. V.] Port Said. 85 

brought me to camp again, and her covering was thro\\ 11 
over her now resting in bed and well "tucked in" by 
Hany. The absence of all sounds but the faint ripples 
on the shore is intensely refreshing. Our party arc all 
at rest now, but yet we can hear at times the latest 
flocks of geese speeding homeward to roost in the fens, 
and the beat of their instant tireless wings sounds 
sharply musical, but unseen, as if you were to whisper 
loudly and very fast the words " Tiff — tiff — tiff — tiff," 
lowering the voice as the sound dies away in the night, 
and the moon shines calmly still. 

By sunrise our tent is melting into a bundle, while a 
lovely morn is welcomed and a friendly breeze. With 
compass and map I cheerily sail out alone, and after a 
long cruise with my gun, and a rest on the islands, 
peeping into the wild ducks' homes, we board the 
luggage-boat as usual, when sharp hunger, after five 
hours' work, quickens the nautical sense, for it is won- 
derful how soon you can "find the way to food " if you 
have but a good appetite, and know^ where it will be 
appeased. Thus we sailed on till, in the far horizon, 
blurred and quivering with mirage, the ships at Port 
Said could be seen. The Arabs call this " Bult," a way 
of saying " Port " when their language has no /. Safely 
landed at our old quarters there, we looked back on the 
past six weeks of travel with unmingled pleasure, and 
forward to the Syrian tour with hope. 

Next day I took a long walk by the seashore, which 
here is of unsullied sand. The temperature was perfect 
— cool enough to walk anywhere, warm enough to sit 
any time. The tide came quietly in upon the glittering 
beach, and rushed among the coloured shells. Wave 
after wave gracefully bent its thin crest, and, toppling 
over, flung athwart the sloping shore a long, wide. 

86 Parting Shot. [Chap. V. 

tongue-like sheet of glistening water, which lapped 
around it with a gentle sweep, and then left the cool 
wet sand to shine in the sun, verged by a rim of pure 
Avhite foam, melting away. 'Tis in such days one can 
walk fast and far, singing unheard. It was my last walk 
in Africa, and a good twelve miles, rather too long for a 
morning stroll. 

The heavy luggage and the second tent which we had 
not taken through Egypt were all waiting for us at Port 
Said. The officers of the canal very kindly permitted 
our party to camp in their well kempt ground, an 
excellent place for a Sunday rest. Hany was delighted 
to be no longer shorn of half his dignity by ruling over 
only a half-equipment, so he rose to the occasion, and 
spread abroad our English flag in this French town of 

Next day all was bustle in preparation for the farewell 
dinner in my tents, to which were invited four of the 
French Company, who had been most kind to the Rob 
Roy, and while plate and glasses, and viands and 
decorations, and hangings and flowers, were being pre- 
pared, the canoe took a farewell paddle down the canal, 
for a parting shot at my old friends the pelicans. A fine 
rolling swell in the bay poured its blue waters tumbling- 
through the long-armed piers projecting seaward. 

The pelicans were swimming, and had been daring us 
to come out for hours, but they could be seen only at 
rare intervals when the canoe and the floating birds 
happened both to be high on the waves. It seemed as 
if it would be impossible to use a rifle in such a swell, 
but it was impossible to resist the desire to try it. No 
one can tell what excitement will not urge him to dare 
if once the idea seizes the mind that a shot can be had 
at a fine large bird like a i^elican. 

86 Parting Shot. [Chap. V. 

tongue-like sheet of glistening water, which lapped 
around it with a gentle sweep, and then left the cool 
wet sand to shine in the sun, verged by a rim of pure 
white foam, melting away. 'Tis in such days one can 
walk fast and far, singing unheard. It was my last walk 
in Africa, and a good twelve miles, rather too long for a 
morning stroll. 

The heavy luggage and the second tent which we had 
not taken through Egypt were all waiting for us at Port 
Said. The officers of the canal very kindly permitted 
our party to camp in their well kempt ground, an 
excellent place for a Sunday rest. Hany was delighted 
to be no longer shorn of half his dignity by ruling over 
only a half-equipment, so he rose to the occasion, and 
spread abroad our English flag in this French town of 

Next day all was bustle in preparation for the farewell 
dinner in my tents, to which were invited four of the 
French Company, who had been most kind to the Rob 
Roy, and while plate and glasses, and viands and 
decorations, and hangings and flowers, were being pre- 
pared, the canoe took a farewell paddle clown the canal, 
for a parting shot at my old friends the pelicans. A fine 
rolling swell in the bay poured its blue waters tumbling 
through the long-armed piers projecting seaward. 

The pelicans were swimming, and had been daring us 
to come out for hours, but they could be seen only at 
rare intervals when the canoe and the floating birds 
happened both to be high on the waves. It seemed as 
if it would be impossible to use a rifle in such a swell, 
but it was impossible to resist the desire to try it. No 
one can tell what excitement will not urge him to dare 
if once the idea seizes the mind that a shot can be had 
at a fine large bird like a pelican. 


Scale of Miles . 

Chap. V.] Squall. 87 

To shoot was not easy, for when I brought the Rob 
Roy as near as possible to the birds, and then lowered 
the paddle and drew out the double-barrel, the ver}- 
next wave was sure to turn round the head of the boat, 
and the next turned her more, and so while the little 
canoe was brought " side on " to the long rollers, ni}- 
body had to be screwed round at a most crooked angle 
to get the barrel in line with the birds, which now were 
behind my right shoulder. Nothing but daily use of the 
boat would enable one to balance himself wdiile aiming 
thus, and without the paddle, and without regarding in 
the eye the waves as they came, for the boat must now 
be poised by only the sense o{ feeling. At length came 
that supreme moment when the gun and the bird were 
each on a wave, and I fired, and I missed, and that was 
an end of it. 

On the pier Avhich we approached, so as to reload in 
more quiet water, there were some pilots waiting for a 
large vessel seen in the offing. They shouted to me 
that a big squall was coming, and truly it was looming 
in the sky, and a rainbow framed the picture. As we 
got out on the pier, the waves dashed full upon it. Down 
came a furious gust of wind and drenching rain while 
we cowered under the huge blocks of the jetty, and the 
men told me all the secrets of their craft, and entirely 
confirmed the impression I had received after carefulh^ 
going round the whole area of water here enclosed, as a 
place of safety for the future navies of nations that are 
to hie them in a body to Port Said. 

Bey rout. [Chap. VI, 



OPLEjSIDID old Lebanon, snow-capped; young 
*^ Beyrout smiling in rain tears ; and all the boys 
running down to the beach to see the canoe — that was 
our way of landing in Syria. Yet it was only with 
reluctance that I could bring her to the shore and leave 
the fresh-flowing waves of that pretty bay. Egypt, 
indeed, is grand with the sublimity of vast flatness. 
But now we have the mountains for a happy change, 
and, after all, the plain cannot please like the hills. 
Quaint oldness is the feature of Egypt, lovely beauty is 
the charm of Beyrout. 

A rapid glance at this thriving town soon shows one 
that it is now the focus of civilisation for Syria, perhaps 
of the evangelisation also of this district of Asia. My 
faint recollection of it many years ago was still enough 
to let me judge how wonderful is its recent advance. 
The town is increased in size. Its roads and streets 
are far better kept than most of those in Alexandria or 
Cairo ; its houses are altogether superior externally to 
those of Egypt ; its people well clad and wholesome- 
looking — women comely and tidy, children mirthsome 

Chap. VI.] Massacre. 89 

and intelligent, a "school-going" race, whose mothers, 
too, can look men in the face as equals. Most of these 
improvements here have been effected during the last 
eight years, since the terrible massacre of the Christians 
by — but we shall not name the assassins. 

While family ties w^ere cut asunder then with a bloody 
violence, the bonds of priestcraft were broken by the 
same rude shock, and people were set free from worn- 
out crazy systems, to unite again under new associations 
of religion or nationality. Hence Beyrout has become 
a camp ground for both truth and error. Popery is 
entrenched here. The Greek Church has enormous 
buildings and collegiate apparatus (if we extend the 
title " college lads " to the merest schoolboys). Prussian 
deaconesses congregate and toil with zeal and success. 
The American Christians are banded in close array — 
they who almost first won the ground here for the 
Bible. The practical action of British Protestants may 
be seen and closely studied in Mrs. Thompson's schools, 
and even the dull cry of the Moslem prophet is 
quickened by these intruders, so as to have, at any rate, 
a Mahommedan college too. 

It is scarcely fair to any of these institutions to visit 
one or two of them and to describe only these, when so 
many are clustered in the beautiful slope of the town, 
looking out upon " that goodly Lebanon," now decked 
to its waist in purest snow, and skirted below by the 
azure sea. But my time here was limited to the few 
days required for preparing men, horses, mules, tents, 
luggage, supplies, and porters for my own journey, and, 
this being unique in its kind here or anywhere else with 
a canoe as the centre of the cavalcade, I felt it would be 
out of place to inspect Beyrout, however interesting, if 
the time thus consumed w^ould be taken from that 

90 Good Nczus. [Chap. VI. 

absolutely needful for success in the main purpose of my 
voyage on the "waters of Israel." 

Let us, however, go into that airy, cheerful, and sub- 
stantial building, where the chief schools are carried on 
by Mrs. Thompson. Her husband, well known years ago 
to travellers who went to Damascus, bravely did his 
duty in the Crimea and fell a victim to disease. As a 
widow, she felt sympathy for the widowed wives and 
bereaved mothers and sisters in these mountains, when 
" all their men " had been butchered for their Christian 
name. She assembled these poor hapless ones, and told 
them of the aid sent out by England. Lord Duft'erin 
had come to dispense this British present, and he did it 
well. The widows were grateful for the help, but far 
more than gratitude moved them when they were told 
of the sympathy of our Queen, and of English ladies, and 
that these had even w^ept for the poor Syrian mourners. 
Sympathy is more, or seems more, than money gifts 
when the heart is sore. She spoke to them of Christ, 
and the story of His love was news to many. They 
would not leave the room where such good news had 
been heard. Their new friend was forced thus by heart 
pressure to begin a noble work. 

Her schools are chiefly for girls, as most needed for 
the country and most fitting for a woman to manage. 
What a pleasant schoolroom this ! Nothing can be 
more cheerful or inviting. Children of all ages, nations, 
and ranks, are here, busy and happy together. Those 
of them who are the best learners now will be teachers 
soon under this excellent training. Sec that first class 
of girls, with their bright-hued dresses, the natural and 
therefore graceful colours of their land, toned down a 
little by the neat, plain pinafores, sent as presents 
from England. How many lovely faces there are among 

Chap. VI.] Schools. 91 

those maids from the mountain ! Druse girls, with gay 
kerchiefs and black hair ; Arabs and Mahommedans, 
some who will not show their faces, and others who 
smile at every look from a visitor. One coming in state 
with nine servants ; another sent to school in a carriage ; 
the next one a mere pauper from the street ; and beside 
them both an Abyssinian with her frizzled locks. Two 
or three English are here, too, but all seem equally 
happy and equally loved. 

No wonder this little family should gladly meet in 
such a place, and with such kind ladies to direct them, 
and such excellent, active, and intelligent teachers to 
instruct them. They read in Arabic, French, and Eng- 
lish ; they trace the maps or sew embroidery ; they 
write and cipher. A few recite some simple drama, 
wherein one is the " spider," one the " fly," and one the 
wise fairy who tells the moral to us all at the end. 
Then how well they sing ! and what sermons their very 
manners must preach at their several homes, even if 
they never speak a word of what they have learned. 
But there are several branch schools besides at moun- 
tain outposts in connection with the head-quarters of 
Mrs. Thompson's work in Beyrout, and we shall visit 
some of these as we go farther on. 

Coming so recently from Egypt, with its vast plains, 
to Syria, with its lofty mountains, it was natural to com- 
pare the countries and the people of the two ; also to 
regard together the ragged -school at Cairo wath this 
training-school at Beyrout, and to consider the separate 
fields occupied by Miss Whately and Mrs. Thompson, 
working in the same vineyard. Both are of their kinds 
most interesting, useful, and worthy of all support. In 
Cairo the degradation of the ignorant is deeper, the 
bonds of women are more cruelly slavish, the position 

92 Bustle. [Chap. VI. 

of the Christian teacher is more isolated, the lack of 
sympathy and companionship is more depressing. No- 
thing, in fact, but positive heroism could attack such a 
difficult post as that, or win it, or hold it when a footing 
was secured. In Beyrout there is an atmosphere more 
free, and the brighter faces of the pupils are more glad- 
dening to the teacher's eye ; but yet in each place, 
Cairo and Syria, there is a most signal evidence of 
the constraining power of Christian love for souls ; one 
more proof of the influence of woman in the world when 
patient, persevering work is to be done, and one more 
sign that of all women British ladies are the best for 
noble deeds.^ Every moment of my time here was soon 
engaged by kind friends on one side or another. An 
address to this school, an examination at that, a peep 
into a third, a lecture on canoes to the English residents, 
and a service on Sunday for the school children, &c., 
these filled up pretty well the time between packing and 
buying, walking and visiting, settling those nameless 
nothings without which, well arranged, a special journey 
of this kind is certain to break down. 

Besides these efforts on behalf of the ignorant, and 
the orphans, and the sick, a very interesting but very 
difficult work has also been commenced for the blind, 
and one for the maimed. Mr. Mott's little class of blind 
men reading is a sight, indeed, for us who have eyes. 
Only in February last that poor sightless native who 
sits on the form there was also in the mental and moral 
darkness of ignorance. How glorious now the change, 
as his delicate fingers run over the raised types of his 
Bible ! and he reads aloud and blesses God in his heart 
for the precious news and for those who gave him the 

' Infi)rmation may be obtained by those who would help those Beyrout 
schools from Mrs. Smith, Morden College, Blackheath, Kent. 

Chap. VI.] 



new avenue for truth to his soul. "Jesus Christ will be 
the first person I shall ever sec," he says, " for my eyes 
will be opened in heaven." Then even this man be- 
comes a missionary. Down in that room below the 
printing-press of the American Mission, and in the 
dark, for he needs no sunlight in his work, you find him 

Blind rirauiiii^ to the Lame. 

actually printing the Bible himself in raised type, letter 
b}- letter, for his sightless brethren. This is one of the 
most impressive wonders I ever looked upon. As we 
leave the place, some of the maimed, and lame, and halt, 
scramble along the road to their special class for a 
lesson, so that all kinds of suffering are here provided 
for ; and this mission of Christians is following closely 
in the actual personal work which He, the Great Mis- 
sioner Himself, described as His mission to mankind. 
The woodcut here is from a photograph of this blind 
man reading God's Word to the maimed. 

The American Mission and Schools and College in 

94 American Mission. [Chap. vi. 

Beyrout are in amicable Christian fellowship with their 
British brethren ; and this is most happy, for their pre- 
mises are near one another, and their work is to the same 
end, though by different means and in distinct depart- 
ments. While the " British Syrian Schools " are educat- 
ing children and training teachers, the American College 
is intended to instruct youths willing and able to give 
some years to deeper study, and to aim high at learning, 
so as to enter important professions and to become 
ordained ministers or doctors of medicine. 

The College- is a large, plain, and practical-looking 
edifice, with halls and dormitories, and a medical 
school and dissecting-room, and with a pretty, new 
chapel, nearly finished then, but doubtless now all ready. 
This is a prominent addition to the beautiful buildings 
of other kinds ranged all around upon the same hill. 
When I walked into this church alone, an old gentleman 

- The following information is derived from Dr. Post, of the medical de- 
partment in the Beyrout College : —"The College (in January, 1869) numbers 
sixty-seven students, of whom forty-six are in the literary and twenty-one 
in the medical department. The latter all pay their fees in full ; and as 
these, for the new class, are quite heavy for this country (10 gold medjidies 
= about 9/.), we consider this a great success in the direction of self-support. 
The students in the literary department are in part supported by scholar- 
ships ; but a considerable number defray all their expenses. They are from 
six different religious sects, including Druses. The students of the literary 
department study the Arabic language and literature, English, French, the 
natural and physical sciences, and will ultimately advance to the higher 
departments of intellectual and moral philosophy, and the analogy of natural 
and revealed religion. The mathematics are also thoroughly taught. An 
air of studiousness and decorum, imusual in Arabic schools, pervades the 
building. The religious influences brought to bear on the students are of 
the strongest kind. The medical students for the most part room out (/.(•., 
in English, 'lodge out') of the college building, and cannot, therefore, be 
brought so much under college discipline. The students have gone through 
a thorough course of anatomy, chemistry, and jihysiology, and are now 
receiving instruction in materia medica and practical clinical medicine and 
surgery. Not a few of them attend tlie services of the college and mission 

Chap. VI.] Moslems. 95 

addressed me. He is the architect of the building-, a 
native Syrian, the brother of one well known in Eng- 
land. He was the first Protestant convert in Syria, but 
soon after the change he had a difference with the 
missionaries which resulted in a separation. Then his 
former friends came round him again, insisting that he 
should return once more to his old discarded creed ; but 
he answered, " No ! I have a quarrel now with some 
other Christians, but not with Christ. I love Him more 
than ever, and I will never separate from Him." Re- 
stored friendship enabled this steadfast man again to 
work in harmony with his foreign brethren, and now he 
is building their church ; and when its marble floor has 
been laid, and its clock has been set a-going, and its bell 
a-ringing, he will have just reason to be proud of the 
part he has been privileged to take in the American 

Dr. Bliss is at the head of it, and Dr. Vandyk, 
eminent as an Arabic scholar, and another able pro- 
fessor of medicine, and all the appliances for education 
— broad, sound, if not refined — which our western cousins 
know so well how to keep in action on strictly econo- 
mical terms. The Bible is, of course, their solid founda- 
tion. Their curriculum requires four years' study before 
any youth is deflected into one or other particular line 
by choice and fitness, and at his entrance he must be 
sixteen years of age, and pass a creditable examination. 
I could not judge of the aptness of the scholars, because, 
very properly, their studies are not allowed to be inter- 
rupted by the examination often given in other places 
when visitors call to see a school. 

In one of Mrs. Thompson's schools I found the man 
who calls the Moslems to prayers from the top of their 
mosque — one of the Muezzim whose faint shrill voices 

96 Prince of Wales, [Chap. VI. 

sound in the hot sun of noon ; but now he is reading 
and praying over the Bible. In another school, that at 
Zahleh, one of the pupils is the best painter of church 
interiors in Syria. Many a " Virgin " and " Saint " has 
he limned upon their idolatrous walls ; but now he 
knows the pure faith, and at a great sacrifice he has 
given up his former profitable business, because it was 
inconsistent with his obedience to God's Word. 

After a service at one of these schools, all the girls 
pressed forward to shake hands with the " Howaja 
Ingleez," and one of the little creatures confided to me 
a very loving message I was to carry to her former 
teacher, now in Damascus. They were, indeed, a happy 
and affectionate party, more like a family than a school, 
and amongst them were the little Druse girl, and the 
Abyssinian child, the intended bride of Theodore's son, 
who found so far away from home a nestling place upon 
Mrs. Thompson's knee. One of the pupils then recited, 
with a clear and distinct voice in English, that striking 
piece Of poetry, " The Starless Crown," which she after- 
wards wrote out for me as a souvenir of this visit. 

It was truly kind of the Prince of Wales, who had 
visited these schools himself, that he did not forget to 
commend them to the Sultan when that phlegmatic 
monarch came to England. Let all nations see for them- 
selves, and let them hear besides from the mouths of 
our princes, that education without religion is like an 
atmosphere without its oxygen. We can breathe it so, 
but it is not the " breath of life." The prosperity and 
progress of Beyrout, and the remarkable stir to be seen 
there in the matter of education, and the great quick- 
ness and aptitude of the Syrians to learn, are all excep- 
tional features in the East, and are the more striking 
because of so much sluggish dulness at this end of the 

Chap. VI. j Agrippa. 97 

Mediterranean Sea. It is well to remark that Beyrout 
is beyond the strict limit of the Holy Land, and it seems 
also to be outside the borders of the curse which rests 
upon the land of Israel — only for a time, we know, but 
still heavily now, and 'for good cause too. But fast 
comes the day when the blessing will embrace them 
again, and " all Israel shall be saved." 

Not many notices of this town of Beyrout can be 
found in ancient authors, but Josephus tells us some- 
thing of what Agrippa did for the place.^ 

While the English after the massacre in i860 did the 
real work of helping the poor, and the widow, and the 
fatherless, the French blew their bugles and marched 
their Zouaves throughout the land. A splendid road 
was made by the French from Beyrout to Damascus. 
This is a hundred miles long, and the Suez canal is just 
the same length over Egypt. Thus Paris has two arms 
stretched over the East : one on the land, the other o\\ 
the water ; and both seem to clutch, if they do not em- 
brace, the country of Osmanli. 

The road is more P'rench than anvthing in France — 

' "Now, as Agrippa was a great builder in many places, he paitl a 
peculiar regard to the people of Berytus ; for he erected a theatre for them, 
superior to many other of that sort, both in sumptuousness and elegance, 
as also an amphitheatre, built at vast expenses ; and besides these, he 
built them baths and porticoes, and spared for no costs in any of his edifices, 
to render them both handsome and large ; he also spent a great deal ujion 
their dedication, and exhibited shows upon them, and brought there musi- 
cians of all sorts, and such as made the most delightful music of the greatest 
variety. He also showed his magnificence upon the theatre, in his great 
number of gladiators ; and there it was that he exhibited the several anta- 
gonists, in order to please the spectators : no fewer indeed than seven hun- 
dred men to fight with seven hundred other men ; and allotted all the 
malefactors he had for this exercise ; that both the malefactors might receive 
their punishment, and that this operation of war might be a recreation in 
peace. And thus were these criminals all destroyed at once." — ' Ant. Jews,' 
book xix. ch. vii. sec. v. 


98 OiLV Flag. [Chap. VI. 

a strict monopoly to begin with, and it does not by any 
means " pay," except in political influence. 

The very same carts, with big wheels, gawky shafts, 
thin bodies, canvas tops, and cerulean-bloused French- 
men inside and out, are rumbling along here, precisely 
as they rumble in Algeria to the Atlas, or, in France, 
to the mountains of Grenoble. 

The sea, too, is scored deep with French ruling. 
Splendid steamers run up and down the coast incessantly, 
and so long as the enormous subsidy is paid them by 
Government, they will never cease to run. 

Russia, jealous, sends her steamers too, along the 
same route, which bring pilgrims to Jerusalem by thou- 
sands from Odessa, and garrison the holy places by 
battalions of stout women, who start from the steppes 
of Moscow, where I have seen them on their way, each 
in a universal garment, with its hood about her sturdy 
cheeks, and a staff in her hand. Half a year is their 
holiday for the crusade, and they fight their wa}' to 
Rachel's tomb, and then, satisfied, stump back again. 

Austria buys steamers too in Scotland, and sends 
them along this coast. England, alone, is entirely ab- 
sent on this line of travellers, for she will not pay for an 
" idea," nor for that will her merchants equip a passenger 
line of Syrian steamboats. 

But a good quiet trade in merchandise is done by 
Britain here, and if you go farther round the African 
headlands, and look at the flags in Lagos, and along the 
bights, on to the Cape of Good Hope, it is the brave 
old ensign of our island that is waving there, as it 
always will do when freights arc found, and dividends 
are to be earned by sheer work. Still this absence of 
England from the Palestine coast is not pleasant to 
notice for an English tra\eller. 'Tis true the mercantile 

Chap. VI.] , French Lake. 


attractions for shipping are but meagre now, at an\' 
rate for passenger-boats. From Alexandria right up to 
Skanderoon there is really not one good port all along 
this iron-bound shore. 

Port Said is of the future. Joppa is utterly bad. 
Acre has skeleton hulls bleaching on the shore to warn 
you off. Haifa is a mere tossing roadstead. Beyrout 
has no dock, but squalls and swell in plenty, and if the 
Turk would invite good commerce to his country, he 
really must provide or alloiK.' that a port should be made 
to receive it. 

Besides this want of harbours in Syria the distance 
between the present ports is wasteful of steam and of 
seamen's Avages. Joppa must be entered by daylight, so 
the steamer runs six hours in the dark to Port Said, and 
then waits a long time there, so as to arrive next 
morning at Joppa. Again she leaves Joppa, so as to 
enter Be}-rout in the morning. In fact, the whole eastern 
side of the IMediterranean is inconvenient as yet for 
legitimate commercial venture, and it is precisely in the 
condition when France finds scope for Imperial advance- 
ment at any cost, however great, to her taxpayers. 

All this clever policy has one purjDOse ; Algeria, Egypt, 
Syria, and so on round the coast, are to be attached to 
Paris, until the Mediterranean becomes a "French lake." 
France is tJie nation here in Syria, and napoleons are 
the common coin. French is the best known foreign 
tongue here, and the very shops in the streets have 
French signboards besides their own. England, which 
is, after all, dearer to the hearts of these people than any 
other " Feringhee," appears to be, it must be confessed, 
most lamentably absent from the sight and the hearing 
of the common people, except by these schools we have 

lOo '''' Gratiasr [Chap. vi. 

mentioned, by the large number of English travellers in 
Palestine (about fifty times the number of the French), 
and by the impression, still very vigorous and fresh, of 
what Albion achieved in her Abyssinian raid/ 

■* In one good policy, however, all the steamers I used in the East did 
well — they carried the Rob Roy gratis. England had set them the ex- 
ample when the "Peninsular and Oriental Company" kindly took her 
from Southampton to Alexandria, and brought her back again, quite free. 
The French steamers did the same, the Austrian too, and the Russian 
likewise. For this I thank them all, not as for a money boon (a few pounds 
is little in a six months' journey here), but because it showed kind feeling to 
the voyager, and an approval of his purpose. 

Chap. VII. ] Ovo' Lebanon. loi 



OUR ride over Mount Lebanon need not be described, 
but it is impossible not to mark the rapid change 
in a few days from Egypt and the yellow Nile to 
the rugged cliffs of the mountain, the whirling mist, 
the dashing torrents, and, at last, the snow. It was 
unusually early for the winter garb to clothe even this 
the " White Mountain," as its name signifies. Yet for 
miles we plunged on in snow a foot deep, driven about 
by a keen, cutting wind, and hundreds of men were 
required to clear this away that the French diligence 
might ply its daily course in time. On arrival in a 
dark night at a little village, I found my saddle-bags 
had dropped off on the road. At once two hardy 
mountaineers volunteered to go back and seek for the 
valuable lost property, and off they trudged with 
lanterns, and splashed through the mud and slush and 
sleet, and they happily found the bags a long way off 
where I had suspected they must have come loose. 

The road is excellent ; it is all marked in kilometres 
(French again), very well kept, and rolled down and 

102 Canoe on Wheels. [Chap. vil. 

fenced and di^ained. But the toll of 3 francs for each 
mule is enough to deter hundreds of these from using 
the road ; so they plod on their way along the old worn- 
out, steep, muddy, slippery, winding bridle-path, which 
runs often for miles alongside the carriage-way, and 
thus you see strings of heavy-laden asses, camels, and 
mules, toiling among boulders and sharp rocks, with 
their drivers ankle-deep in mud, while the even flat 
surface of the new road is used by a scant few ; and no 
cart or carriage goes upon it except as part of the 
" Company's " monopoly. It is a miserable sight, and 
this gift of France to Syria is like a crust to a toothless 

Our first intention as to the mode of transporting the 
canoe through Syria was to have her carried by two 
men, with two others in reserve at intervals, for the 
weight of the Rob Roy, when lightened as much as 
possible, could be reduced to about 60 lbs., which would 
not be an oppressive burden for a couple of stout 

But after careful consideration of this plan, I came to 
the conclusion that something better must be devised, 
and the events of the very first day on Mount Lebanon 
clearly showed us how difficult it would be to carry a 
boat by hand, especially on slippery ground, and that it 
would have been more than could fairly be expected 
from mortal men to plash through the half-thawed snow, 
while a canoe was upon their shoulders or in their arms, 
constraining their motions, and making the troubles of 
their way ten times more irksome. Therefore, for this 
part of the journey at any rate, we were glad to be able 
to hoist the Rob Roy into its covered cart again, and 
happily she got over the high pass just in time to avoid 
the worst part of the second storm, which came in 

Chap. VII.] 

The Rob Rov in Siiozo. 


sudden fury soon when the rpad had been opened for us 
after the first fall of snow for tlie year. The diligence 
had been stopped here for many hours, buried in a drift 
up to its axles, but the French showed great energy in 


Crossinc; Mount Ltlxinon. 

clearing the road again, and our cart went over easily, 
bearing its precious cargo.' 

' Some thousands of persons have seen the Rob Roy since she returned 
to England, and was shown for three months at the Palestine Exhibition in 
the Dudley Gallery. 

Many of these visitors, well aware of the numerous scars and scratches 
which a six moiiths' journey would inflict upon so light a craft, are astonished 
to observe that the canoe has weathered it all, and is almost unscathed, 
for she is far less knocked about than the former Rob Roy was in her trip 
to the Baltic. There is not one crack in her planks or her thin cedar deck, 
after all sorts of hardships from weather, and carriage, and hauling on land, 
and never spared for a moment in waves, or rapids, or morass. 

I04 Odd Quarters. [Chap. VII. 

Is it maudlin that one cannot help personifying a boat 
like this, the companion of so many happy hours, the 
sole sharer of great joys and anxious times } When we 
see even deal tables merrily turning round, and can fancy 
a smile on the face of a clock, are we quite sure that 
there is no feeling in the " heart of oak," no sentiment 
under bent birch ribs ; that a canoe, in fact, has no cha- 
racter ."^ Let the landsman say so, yet will not I. Like 
others of her sex, she has her fickle tempers. One da)- 
pleasant, and the next out of humour ; led like a lamb 
through this rapid, but cross and pouting under sail on 
that rough lake. And, like her sex, she may be resisted, 
coerced, nay, convinced, but, in the end, she will always 
somehow have her own way. Yet however faintly other 
people may feel with me in this matter, it will be allowed 
that any one who keeps a boat for a journey, and expects 
her to go long and far, and to be always staunch and 
trim, must at least be careful of her safety in dark nights, 
in doubtful places, or when left alone. Few boats can 
have had greater variety in their night quarters than 
this canoe. In hotels she was often locked up in a 
bed-room ; and once she floated on a marble basin under 
the moon. In private houses a place was kept for her 
near the fire, and away from the children. By lakes, 
canals, and rivers, the Rob Roy was sometimes my 
house, and so it covered me ; or, when the tent was used, 
she was covered up herself from the dew b\' a carpet, 
and snugly placed under the tent lines safe from the 
mules. The straw hut of the Arab gave her shelter 
once, and, at another time, a buffalo's b\'re. Her 
polished deck was shielded from sun by hiding her 
below the long grass of Gennesarcth, and for two nights 
she rested on the shelly beach of the Red Sea. She 
was lodged in a custom-house, or on a steamer's deck, or 

Chap. VII.] Young Lady. 105 

down in the hold, or she floated on the Nile under the 
protection of her rough sister of the sail, whose sides 
were of Delta clay, or at times she was taken on board 
so as to be quite out o{ danger. Great deference was 
paid to the canoe by all the men of our retinue. She 
had not one tumble or accident, and no wonder that 
Hany always called her " the young lady." Perhaps 
through this pleasant fiction the voyage was safer, cer- 
tainly it was more fortunate, and it was impossible for a 
cruise to be more successful in all the course prescribed. 
At present, however, the Rob Roy was safe on the rice- 
bags in a Frenchman's waggon, while we rode on to meet 
her at the Abana River. 

Our traveller's morning lesson was now on horseback, 
as it had been on the Nile in a boat, and it was soon 
found to be quite easy to read aloud while riding over 
the grassy plain. From this we turned oft" to Zahleh 
(pronounced with a strong aspirate on the letter //, 
almost as if it were the Scotch ch). This is the largest 
village in Mount Lebanon. It was all burned down in 
the " massacre time," an epoch of suffering which seems 
to date so many changes here. 

Frenchmen soon rebuilt the houses, all with flat roofs, 
while at Beyrout the sloping tile is beginning gradually 
to appear in large new buildings, where they wish the 
house to be dry, and to last a long time. 

A gush of waters sounds loud at the bottom of a deep 
and winding valley, v.ith poplars at the bottom, and vine- 
terraces to the top. The houses are all neat-looking, 
and most of them white in colour, and, as there are no 
chimneys and no streets, the appearance of the whole 
is very peculiar, even to the eye well used to Eastern 
buildings. What strikes one about it is that the irregu- 
larity is so very regular. The houses nearly all face to 

io6 Generous. [Chap. VII. 

the same point, but they are not in rows. We stumbled 
up one side and down the other until our horses reached 
the new school-house of one of Mrs. Thompson's branches, 
chiefly aided by kind friends in Glasgow. The old school- 
house being too small and too far off, a new one, in every 
way suitable, was most generously offered free during 
the remainder of the lease, if taken after that for five 
years. This munificent aid from a native is of itself a 
real proof of the value set by them on the operations of 
a school. 

The new building is wide in its front, and stands high 
in the town. The excellent Scotch lady in charge was 
delighted to receive her visitor, and soon men and women 
came in from other houses, all evincing by look and 
manner, and earnest salute, how glad they were to see 
an Englishman ; for the place is not often thus visited, 
being a few miles out of travellers' paths, and only 
otherwise interesting because of its picturesque situation. 
Nearly all the inhabitants of this village are Christians 
in name, most of them bigoted Papists, with lazy priests 
for guides, and the church and the convent bells ring on the 
hill ; but no mosque is there that I could see. A deeper 
Christianity seems lately to have spread in Zahleh, and 
many are eager to read the Word of Life. Perhaps it 
was by some of these that, within the last two months, 
more than three hundred Arabic Testaments had been 
purchased at one shop alone in Beyrout, as I heard from 
the person who sold them. Surely this one fact gives 
hopes that the people are seeking the Bible, while from 
other evidence we know that the missionaries are seeking 
the people. 

Comfortable airy rooms, and a cheerful courtyard, 
open to the fresh blowing mountain air ; these are the 
features of Zahleh school. All the children are away. 

Chap. VII.] 

ZahleJi School. 


The house just occupied is to be whitewashed to-day, so 
the scholars have a holiday, though the women who are 
to whiten the walls have not arrived, and it is noon. 
But a pith helmet, with the Canoe Club cipher upon 

J■^JB^E»-■ ^ 

' t,i r M I 


^i ' '^^^'¥^~~^'y^^%. 

Zahleh School — Opening Day. 

its black ribbon, and a waterproof coat, and a dragoman 
with a double-barrelled gun, these are novelties that do 
not scramble through the lanes of Zahleh unnoticed by 
the boys of the town. They followed us, so that when 
called to come in, there was soon a large and motley 
array, first of little girls (for whom the school is meant), 
w^ho sat quiet and well behaved in a room open to the 
air, and then of boys from the American school, just 
opened, under the Sultan's sanction, given to the English 
female department (by a clever extension of the boon, 

io8 River Litany. [Chap. VII. 

whether legal or not) ; and then of men of various ages, 
fringing the background with their graceful head-gear 
and their many-coloured robes. 

An address to the children was very well interpreted, 
each sentence at a time, by a girl, and another inter- 
preted a prayer, to which all listened. 

It was a pleasing, strange, and solemn sight. The 
congregation half in-doors and half in the open air ; 
half children, half old men ; the words half spoken in 
English, half in Arabic ; and to think (and to say) that 
never again in this world, but surely again in the next, 
we should all meet each other once more. The men 
were anxious for a longer interview, and some of them 
sat down on chairs (a very unusual thing here), while 
they were spoken to apart. Then being invited to ask 
any questions, one of them wished to have our "jury 
system " explained, which was, of course, soon done, and 
my dragoman gave, in round guttural Arabic, Ids version 
of the Templar's picture of our English law. All kissed 
my hand, and we were soon in our saddles again. As a 
memento of Zahleh, I made the above sketch of the new 
school on its opening day, from the roof of another house, 
though there is little chance of forgetting a visit like 
this that we had enjoyed. 

Soon wc cross the Litany, the largest river flowing 
through Palestine into the Mediterranean. It was not 
easy to resist the desire to paddle at once upon this fine 
strong stream, but, strangely enough, there are scarcely 
any historical associations, and no sacred ones, about 
this river at all. We shall see some of its grandest 
beauties farther on, meanwhile it flows steadily here, 
yet enlivening the landscape at once. Land without 
water never can be perfect in scenery. The veriest pond 
on a plain is like a dimple on a smooth cheek. The 

Chap. VII.] Hanged. 109 

lightsome glitter of a lake or a river bend is like a sweet 
smile on the face of a beauty.^ 

With the first glimmer of day, it was most pleasant to 
walk over the rich plain of Ccele Syria, breathing the fresh 
air of the morning. My horse's bridle was slack upon 
my arm, and our tread was light on the footpath wind- 
ing through the loam made fat by many battles. 

The pretty crested larks 

" that lira lira chant " 

rose into the merry blue sky twittering their song to the 

Thus in advance and alone until Hany overtook me, 
I gradually ascended the pass through Antilebanon, 
and in charming enjoyment of unfettered thought, and 
lovely scene, and healthy exercise. 

In a former travel of this road some twenty years 
before, I was so weak from severe illness, that I had to 
fasten a chair on the saddle-bow, and to lean forwards 

- " Ain," the Arabic won! for " eye," and also for a fountain bursting out 
from the earth, is very expressive, as representing a glittering "eye" on the 
face of nature. The word has the same meaning in " Hebrew and Syriac, 
and is in that form in Amharic, Arkiko, Hurar, Gindzhar, and Gafat " 
(Paper by H. Clarke, ' Athenreum,' No. 2178, 1869, p. 116). 

If the " face of nature" is to have fountains for eyes, and hills for cheeks, 
and forests for hair, our fancy may as well make it sentient at once, by 
putting telegraph wires for the nerves, by which quick pleasure or neuralgic 
pain thrills through the great dull body. 

The electric wire is spread over Egypt. There are two lines of tele- 
graph from the south to Damascus. The posts cresting the rocky moun- 
tains, over some desolate pass, remind one of those in Switzerland. Turkish 
reforms are by jerks and starts, but it is a steady maxim never to repair. 
More than once we came upon broken wires in coils on the plain. Nothing 
is more dangerous to ride over than an iron trap like this, for an Arab 
horse becomes furious if his legs get entangled. The Arabs themselves are 
compelled to respect the telegraph. One of them who defiantly struck the 
wire with his spear was ferreted out, and hanged \\\>o\\ the very post he 

no An Eagle. [Chap. VII. 

upon it for support. Getting worse, and yet determined 
not to delay, I had a long pole lashed on the back of a 
mule, and sprawled upon that, face downwards, and 
forced to dismount each half-hour to get a short rest on 
the ground. But all was different now, and the intense 
enjoyment of the present journey was quite in keeping 
with the vigorous health vouchsafed. 

Not far from the ruins of old Chalcis is the beautiful 
temple at Mejdel, from which our view is magnificent 
over the wide-spread plain of Bukaa. For many cen- 
turies this had sounded with the shouts of warriors 
battling for the mastery of Palestine, in the struggles 
related by Josephus. But now it is all sad and silent 
here, and the only noise at Chalcis was the chirping 
of a little bird under a thistle in the sun. From these 
graceful ruins a large grisly beast came out to stare, but 
I could not get near enough to see whether he was a 
hyena or only a jackal, and at 500 yards a shot from 
my gun merely splintered the rock. Unfortunately the 
rifle itself had no claim to my confidence, for it shot 
always to the right, as is often the case when a gun 
barrel for shot and another for ball are welded together 
as a double-barrel.^ 

A. cold biting breeze from the snows of great Hermon 
gave zest to the ride, and brought us to Dimes, where I 
went off for game with the rifle, but marched in vain 
over the mountains, until, after two hours, I met on the 
highest peak a splendid eagle, feasting on some quarry, 
with his broad wings outstretched, as he stamped with 
his talons and chuckled, tearing with ravenous beak the 
bloody living flesh. 

Our meeting was so sudden, and after so long with 

^ The Ijores are seldom iiamllel, and the thickness of metal being unecjual 
for the two, there is a deflection caused by their expansion when heated. 

Chap. ML] The Fiji. Ill 

nothing to do, that I lost my presence of mind, and, 
instead of stalking; up to cas)' distance, which my 
grey coat and grey helmet would have facilitated, espe- 
cially when the hungry bird was carving his dinner, I at 
once unslung my rifle, dropped on one knee in " H}-the 
position," and aiming at 300 yards, flashed quick the 
sudden trigger, but only hit the hare, which was being 
devoured piecemeal, and was yet quite warm, nor had 
its glazing eye yet ceased to quiver, while the eagle 
mounted in reluctant circles only half fed. 

It may well be evident from these records of failure 
with the gun that, if my paddle had not been better than 
my powder, the Rob Roy's cruise would have been 
rather a bore, but it is one thing to hit a target on a 
rifle-range, with the distance known, and the shooter 
cool, and a very different thing to fire at rough game on 
the open. Next day at El Hameh, the Arab host of 
the house we put up at received veiy gladly a little 
paper which I was very sorry to find was not in Arabic, 
but in Turkish — the same in letters, but not in words. 
However, this man could also read a printed sheet in 
French, and he went on translating it to a congregation 
in the next room, v>-hile at every sentence everybody 
said " Um ! " as a token of assent. 

A stormy sky and cold rain next morning were all 
in keeping with a wild ride over the bleakest of hills, 
and through deep dales gushing with waterfalls to Ain 
Fiji,^ a source of the Abana, not the highest, but far the 

^ IMy dragoman, who seemed to have a minute and delicate appreliension 
of Arabic, his native tongue, said that this word Fiji means "premature, 
unripe, or sudden." Mr. Palmer, the traveller in .Sinai, whose acquaint- 
ance with the language may be acknowledged as almost unrivalled, ap- 
peared to think that "Fiji," if it be the word with a short first syllable, 
" Fidji," denotes a source from which the water ascends and then spreads, 
and that in an Arabic poem it is contrasted with another word, indicating 
a source where the water descends or trickles down. This meaning of 

I 12 

S jure 3 of A b ana. 

[Chap. VII. 

largest of its springs. In a dark dell here, all shadowed 
by rugged cliffs;'' is a sudden change of scene, where 
water perennial quickens life in the soil, and while the 
snow is thick above, and reaches down in long streamers 

Fiji S( urce of the ALaiKi. 

as far as it dares to enter the warm vale, the blooming- 
little garden by the fountain below is redolent with 
walnut-trees, apricots, olives, and long trailing vine 

the term V\]\ compounds with tlie actual character of the source so named. 
Can the word " Feejee,'" as a name of islands in the Pacific, be related 
to this Arabic term ? Reland makes the " Figa" the Belus. 

* The dip of the strata here is 49°, according to the observation of 
Captain Wilson, R.E., who, with Lieutenant Anderson, R.E., on behalf 
of the Palestine Exploration Fund, surveyed jiart of Syria and Palestine in 
1S65-6. The unpublished MS. notes of their journey have been kindly 
lent to me for perusal, and when the information obtained from this valu- 
able and accurate source is embodied in these pages, the reference to it is 
made simply under the name "Wilson." 

Chap. VIT.] Indoors. 1 1 3 

branches, tangling the tall poplars. Here stand the 
ruins of two bluff old temples, and the massive stones 
of an arch, from out of which bursts a pure and copious 
river, rushing at once into light with a roar as if free, and 
staggering over rocks and boulders for about 70 }'ard.s, 
till it tumbles into the ravine and meets the other branch, 
and so forms the Barada, the ancient Abana, the river 
by which the Rob Roy will enter Damascus. We took 
shelter from rain in a Moslem house, and the inmates 
were amazed to see my " canoe cuisine," by which in 
ten minutes I prepared four cups of good English tea. 
They had never heard of " tchai " (tea) before, and a 
wax-match to each of the pretty daughters pleased also 
their grave papa, who said it was the third day of the 
Ramadan, when none of them eat, drink, or smoke, from 
4 A.M. to 5 P..M., but then the w^hole night is passed in 
these three engagements. Such is Mahommedan fasting." 
He and his family and visitors were respectfully quiet 
while the Bible was read at our morning prayers. 

While the rain patters at Dimes, we can glance round 
our lodgings and take notes. My room then — vacated 
of course by the family — is about twenty feet by fourteen 
wide. I know the breadth exactly, for the Rob Roy 
reclines by my side, and just fits into the apartment. 
The walls are mud, but well plastered, and neatly white- 
washed. Hollow arched spaces are left in them here and 
there as cupboards and shelves, just as one sees in the 
stone dwellings of old Bashan. There is a window, with 
shutters, but no <jlass. The floor is raised eighteen inches 
above the doorway entrance, and is spread with mats, 
but there are no tables or chairs. Our table and camp- 
stools from the tent supply the want. The c filing is of 

Abd-el-Kader, the brave veteran Aralj of Aljjeria, resides near Da- 
mascus, but his observance of the fast is so strict a sechision lliat I found 
it impossible to get an interview with him. 


114 Cats. [Chap. VII. 

two logs unhewn ; across them are barked trees, about 
two feet apart, and again across these are bundles of 
sticks, over which is a flat mud roof After rain you 
will see a little boy with a stone roller smoothing the 
roof to fill up the sun cracks. In one corner of the room 
is a great copper salver, three feet wide, and a candlestick 
three feet high. A mirror is near ; it is evidently made 
in Damascus, with the golden crescent on its frame. This 
is the first mirror I have looked into for many a day, and 
surely the glass must be of a rich brown tint — or is it my 
countenance that colours the portrait .'' The door is closed 
by a wooden bolt, with a key such as I have described 
before, and the lock can only be opened from the inside; 
but near it there is a hole in the door through which the 
hand can be put from the outside for a friend to open 
with the key and so let himself in. Does not this remind 
one of the beautiful expression in Canticles, which seems 
to tell that Christ is an intimate of the believer, and can 
admit Himself into the heart-home of His friend. Out- 
side the room are my little band of followers ; we are in 
all, as yet, only seven men, six mules, and two horses. 
A dog with me as a pet would have been great fun, and 
good to keep off the cats of the house, which pester me 
sadly. • I don't like them, but I don't like to hurt them, 
though they spring on the table and nibble my bread. 
Throwing nutshells at them answered at first, but then 
boots had to be thrown, and at last I found that cold 
water was what they most fear, so they all scamper off 
when I take up a tumbler, and they escape in a bound 
through the hole in the door. At night I stuffed my 
large sponge into this hole, and that puzzled the cats, 
but at 2 A.M. they had pulled this out, so I had to rise in 
the cold and fasten the entrance by a riding-boot, which 
thev tucre:ed at for an hour in vain. 

Chap. VIII.] TJic Abaua. i i 



WE are now about to descend the first of five or 
six rivers explored in this journey, and which 
run through channels where important parts are entirely 
inaccessible except in a boat, and as no voyager has 
been mentioned in history to have floated on them thus, 
it may well be supposed that their full beauties and 
all their dangers have never been seen before. The 
Abana passes straight through Damascus, the oldest 
inhabited city in the world,^ and so we may linger on its 
wavelets with the deep interest aroused by the far-gone 
past, while telling how the stream flows as newly seen. 

When we are asked where is the source of a river, 
it is necessary to agree about the meaning of the term 
" source." 

The " historic source " of a river, or that which is -writ- 
ten about soonest, is by no means sure to have been the 
most distant or the most copious one, or the most con- 
stant origin of its waters, though it may be the most 
accessible, or the most striking in appearance and inte- 

' Josephus says that Damascus was founded by Uz, the son of Shem 
('Ant. J.' ch. vii. sec. iv.). The Arabic name of Damascus is Sham. 


ii6 Sources. [Chap. VI 1 1. 

resting from local associations. Thus it will be seen 
hereafter that the " historic source " of the Jordan at 
Laish is not that which we should now style " the source 
of Jordan," if describing or exploring the river for the 
first time thoroughly. 

Then there is the " geographical source," that which 
ought to be reached by following up the largest perennial 
stream where the river is formed by tributaries. But 
here again there is the doubt whether we ought not to 
follow up the longest tributary rather than the largest, so 
as to reach what may be termed the " theoretical source " 
of the river. The Mississippi flows into the Missouri, 
but as the former was probably seen first, it gives its 
name to the united stream, though every one who has 
been upon them both knows well that the Missouri is the 
longest and is also the largest of the two at their junction. 
This difficulty as to whether we should cite for the source 
of a river the water which has run the longest, or the 
largest, or the loudest, occurs constantly in our paddling 
tours. It was a puzzle on the Danube to say whether 
that, the largest river of Europe, rises at Donaueschingen 
(whence the water comes to it most), or at St. Georg 
(whence the water comes to it farthest) ; and with respect 
to the most interesting rivers of Syria, the Abana and 
the Jordan, the question is even more difficult, for to dis- 
place the " historic source " of either is to tamper with 
the tradition of some thousand years. 

The splendid gushing forth of the Fiji under the cliff 
at the end of the Antilebanon is at once the most striking 
and most copious source of the Abana,~ and we have pic- 

- The tlircc oilier more distant sources are marked in Vaiidevelde as 
follows : — (i Near Ami I'.l IlaAvar, north of Zebedany, imder Jebel Ruzma, 
not far from a tributary dftlic l.itany, wliich river falls into the Mediterra- 
nean ; (2) west of Zebedany, running through the Wady el Kurn, but this 
seemed to me quite dry ; (3) west of Kukleh, under Ilennon, near Kcfr 

Chap, till.] Abaiia and PJiarpar. 1 1 7 

tured it already at p. 112, though it was very difficult to 
make a satisfactory sketch of the scene ; but the limb 
joined there has come from the west through a marvel- 
lous glen, so steep that I could only see it in safety by' 
lying down on the cliff to look over, and opposite Avere 
the ruins of Abila, the city of Abel, under high snow 
peaks. ^ 

It ma)-, however, be stated broadly, that the Abana 
rises from the Antilebanon range, while the Pharpar 
rises from Hermon. These rivers are entirely distinct in 
their rise and in their flow,* their characters and their 
use, as well as in their terminations, and yet the " Abana 
and Pharpar" are represented in many maps as united, 
for their identity is disputed, and their very names are 
interchanged even by Jews at Damascus." 

Kook ; but this, though the ground was very wet and marshy, appeared to 
have no flow. The springs of Abana here are near a source of Jordan, 
a-nd the river Orontes rises not very far away. Thus four rivers I'ise and 
f5ow north, south, east, and west. Porter states that the Abana rises in a 
little lake, 3CX) yards long, in the plain of Zebedany, iioo yards above the 
sea level, and falls 400 yards before reaching Damascus, /'. e. 50 feet in tlu 

^ Another Abila, now " Abeel," is marked on Map \'. 

Whiston states that the city Ablemain (or Abellane in Josephus' copy) 
is the same as Abilo, and considers that Christ referred to the shedding of 
the blood of Abel the righteous within the compass of the land of Israel, in 
His prophecy. Matt, xxiii. 35, 36; Luke xi. 51 ('Ant. J.' book viii. ch, 
xii. sec. iv.) In ch. xiii. sec. vii. Josephus speaks of the prophet " Elisha of 
the city of Abela." 

■* Except by the artificial conjunction of their waters led off by a canal 
from each, meeting at half a mile from Muaddamyeh ; I heard that the united 
water is delicious (see the two rivers in j\Iap III.). 

* It appears clearly from the following passages in p. 54 of Rabbi Schwartz, 
that he makes the Pharpar to be the north river, and the Abana the south 
one. "Not far from the village Dar Kanon (Hazar Enan), there is a village 
called Fidjeh (the Figa of Parah ; viii. 10), north of which is the source of 
the stream of the same name, which flows soutlreasterly to Damascus, and 
unites with the Amanah near the lake Murdj. Now this stream is the Pharpar, 
as it is still called by our fellow-Israelites in the vicinity, according to tradi- 

ii8 Their Names. [Chap. Vlll. 

The Arabic word " Barada " means small hail or 
hard snow, and is very appropriate when the hail and 
sleet are felt so near the river. After a careful reading 
of what is written by the best authorities upon this 
subject, it seems plain that the Barada is the old Abana ^ 
(the middle a of both words is pronounced short), and 
the Av/aj is the Pharpar, which latter name in Chaldee 
means "crooked," as Awaj does in Arabic. Benjamin 
of Tudela, who lived A.D. ii6o, calls' the Abana the 
Amana. This may be a mode of pronouncing the word 
Abana (readily passing into " Amana," as will be found 
from trial). Porter cites it as probably giving the name 
to the mountain whence it flowed, and as part of his 
strong argument for the identification of the Abana and 
the Pharpar with the Barada and Awaj. It is in Solo- 
mon's Song (chap. iv. ver. 8) that we find this beautiful 
name of a mountain : " Come with me from Lebanon, 
my spouse, Avith me from Lebanon : look from the top 
of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from 
the lions' den, from the mountains of the leopards." 

Josephus ^ speaks of the " mountains Taurus and 

tion which they have. In case, therefore, that a divorce takes place in 
Damascus, they write in the letter of divorce, 'at Damascus, situated on 
the two rivers Amana and Pharpar.' " 

"About \\ English mile north of the village Beth al Djana is found a 
larcre spring, called Al Barady, that is to say, ' the cold.' Its waters are 
clear and excellent for drinking, and it flows north-east to Damascus. This 
river, formerly called Chrysorrhoas (Gold River), and known in the Talmud 
Baba Bathra, 'j\b, as the Karmion, is the identical Amanah of the Bible, 
as it is actually called by all the Jews of Damascus." Neubauer says the 
Karmion is the Kishon (' La Geographic du Talmud,' iS6S, p. 32). 

Pocock seems to suggest that the Fiji, or, as the Arabs called it, 
Fara, may be the Pharpar, and the Barada the " Abna " (' Pinkerton's 
Voyages,' vol. x. p. S^o)- 

^ Meaning "made of stone" (Crudcn), perhaps from its rocky bed. 
.' Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' ii. 1448. 

^ ' Ant. J .' book i. ch. vi. sects, i. and vi. 

c H AP. V 1 1 1 . ] Canalettes. 119 

Amanus ; " and again, " Syria and Amanus and the 
mountains of Libanus." Pliny mentions the " hill Ava- 
nus " (lib. V. ch. xxii.). 

Having traced the Abana on foot from very near 
its furthest source to the Fiji, and thence on horseback 
clearly to the bridge at Doomar, I consider that its 
course so far is well given in Vandevelde's map. But 
here we notice at once that, just as the Nile as it runs 
on lessens in volume partly by evaporation and absorp- 
tion, partly by the artificial conduits which bear away 
large portions to water the country around, so the 
Abana is early seized upon for distribution, and grows 
thinner as it runs. The highest conduit from it above 
Doomar, called the Yezid, runs among the hills north- 
ward, and was said to go as far as " Tadmor in the 
wilderness ; " but it ends in the plain. This flows in a 
winding channel, seven feet wide and three feet deep, 
which I followed on foot for miles. A second, about 
twelve feet wide, the Toura,^ branches out below Doomar ; 
and there are said to be other canalettes on the south 
side of the river made for the same purpose, to irri- 
gate the plain. The best detailed account I have met 
with of these Avaterways is by Pocock (in ' Pinkerton's 
Voyages,' vol. x. p. 503, written so long ago as 
A.D. 1745). According to him the Yezid and Toura 
do not enter the town of Damascus. The Acrabane, or 
Serpentine River, passes close by the north wall of the 

^ Queiy from the Taurus of Josephus ? In an Arabic version (of tlie 
eleventh century) the Pharpar is called Tourah in 2 Kings v. 12, and the 
Abana is called Barda. Vandevelde marks the Berdy River flowing into the 
Awaj (see Map III.). The Awaj was no doubt crossed by Jacob (Gen. xxxi.). 
As to the Yezid reaching Tadmor, it may be remarked that Josephus says 
('Ant. J.' b. viii. ch. vi. sec. i.) : — "Now the reason why the city lay so remote 
from the parts of Syria that are inhabited is this : that below there is no 
water to be had, and that it is in that place only that there are springs or 
pits of water." 

I20 Start on Abana. [Chap. VII I. 

town (and by this I entered the place), while the other 
four streams pass through the town, and one more waters 
a village in the plain. Some of these rivers are under- 
ground, and may often be seen and heard through holes 
in the surface. Numerous other tunnels are formed by 
connecting wells opened at successive levels. Some of 
these are marked on Vandevelde's map by a line on 
the plain where they are spent in irrigation. Most of the 
streams indicated on maps as if they were tributaries do 
in fact run out of the main river. Two days were 
employed on foot or in the saddle in examining these 
complicated waterways. The time was not spent fruit- 
lessly, for it showed me why Naaman ^" might well speak 
of the Abana as superior to Jordan, seeing that the 
former river waters a whole city and about a hundred 
villages and thousands of acres of richest land ; whereas 
the Jordan, below the Sea of Galilee, waters only a 
strip of jungle. Certainly, as a work of hydraulic en- 
gineering, the system and construction of the canals by 
which the Abana and Pharpar are used for irrigation 
may be still considered as the most complete and ex- 
tensive in the world. A previous examination of my 
course on the Abana was also necessary before launching 
the Rob Roy upon a stream too strong to remount, and 
too much hemmed in by forest and crags to let any man 
come near for help, however much the need might be. 

The village of Doomar was all astir when the canoe 
came down to the bridge for a start. Although I had 
resolved to begin there, and all the spectators were 

'" In the nccount of I'^li^ha given 1)\- Josephus, lie has omitted all mention 
uf the miiaele wrought upon A'aaman. W histun considers that a part of 
tlic original is wanting here. Lepers are alluded to in anotlier place, and 
amongst tlieni "great captains of armies" ('Ant. J.' book iii. ch. xi. sec. 
iv. ; and book i.\. ch. iv. ). 

Chap. VIII.] CJianQ;c to tJie Tanra. 121 

expecting, amid silence almost enforced upon them by 
the loud rushing of waters, I altered my plan at the 
last moment, for there was one particular rapid with a 
fallen tree across which on closer inspection seemed 
absolutely too dangerous, at least for the first essa}^ 
upon rapids in a new boat, and with so many rivers to 
come, and unknown and unavoidable dangers to be met 
in them. The people were much disappointed by this 
prudent refusal. Some of them had ridden out from 
Damascus to see the wonder (having heard of the ex- 
pected event by telegraph) ; but it is one of the small, 
useful bits of wisdom one learns in canoeing not to 
mind in the least what the natives say or think upon 
matters about which they are profoundly ignorant. 

The river we are now launched upon is like a Scotch 
salmon stream, with high snow-clad mountains on one 
side and bluff rocks on the other, leaving now and then 
a green flat sward between crags and boulders and 
gravel banks well clothed with trees, among which the 
French road winds. This is the only piece of real 
carriage-way in all Syria, and its presence in this valley 
at once Europeanises the scene ; but the Abana soon 
runs out of sight of all such detestable civilisation, 
and pours its old stream, as it did in Abraham's time, 
gushing under the thickets and round the lonesome 
rocks with a merry onward gait, too fast to let you stop 
to look how fast it runs or how wide. Part of the river 
— the Taura arm, branching to the north — passes, like 
a broad mill-race, under the road ; and for variety the 
Rob Roy followed along this on a higher level, while 
the main water soon gets much lower, running at a more 
headlong pace ; but the Taura goes at last through a 
dark tunnel in the cliff, and it would have been madness 
to follow it there, so I dragged the canoe down again 

122 How to do it. [Chap. VIII. 

to the old river, and plunged once more out of sight 
into places perhaps never seen before, though very beau- 
tiful. The pace quickens as we approach the cut of 
the great gorge, and there is a goodly sound of waters 
echoed from lofty rocks. After months upon the quiet 
level of the Suez Canal, and the oily-running Nile, and 
the waves of the Red Sea, and the broad sheet of Lake 
Menzaleh, it was true luxury to be whirled in the swift 
eddies of Abana, and to speed at a river's gallop among 
rocks and forests, where the midriff is tickled in the 
paddler's breast by the sensation often felt on a high- 
rope swing, and the mind expands into an exulting glee, 
always begotten by rapids encountered alone.'^ Many 
birds and animals were roused from their uninvaded 
haunts, and splashed into the stream or scurried away, 
rustling among the dusky brakes. The canoeist soon finds 
that it is impossible to note these pretty companions when 
he is in this sort of river ; for the stream carries you 
suddenly to where a dozen prostrate trees are tangled 
in the water, while their straggling roots hold fast to 
the bank. A heavy, treacherous rock overhangs on the 
left, and the right shore is steep with soft mud. The 
whole picture of this is presented in an instant as you 
round a point, and the decision how to deal with it must 
be instantly made, or the current itself will decide. 

" Strong to the left hand, seize that bough with the 
right. Swing round a quarter circle, then duck the head 
for ten seconds under that thorn, and shoot across below 
the second tree, drift under the third, and five strokes 
will free us, surely." After settling all this as the course 

'' It was soon found that this new canoe, with its long floor adapted for 
sleeping in and sailing, was thereby rendered much less "handy" in rapids 
than my Norway Rob Roy. Every canoe is a compromise between the 
qualities of steering, stowage, sailing, strength, and speed. 

Gorge of :he Abana. 

Chap. VI I I.J Pleasant Toil. 125 

to be pursued, at the first paddle-stroke out splashes 
a shrieking bird, rattling the close thicket of canes as 
he plunges into the water. 

Now if you look at him, even for an instant, in such a 
place, the whole programme above is in confusion — the 
bough knocks your hat off, the rock catches your paddle, 
and the third tree gets hooked in your painter. This 
comes of mingling ornithology with canoe craft, and yet 
it is in just such a place that strange birds are most 
likely to be flushed. 

My dragoman on his horse, and a muleteer on mine, 
rode along through orchards or water-meadows, and 
closing to the rapid river wherever they might get a 
glimpse to see me pass in safety, ever shouting among the 
crags that echoed his voice, "Rob Roy!" the usual hail 
we had for each other. Meantime I was swiftly borne 
awa}' into a thicket of trees, with magnificent towering 
crags and snow behind them. The Abana here was 
about sixty feet broad, but every mile we go down it has 
less of water, for the canalettes lead off the precious liquid 
right and left, to far-away meads and long dry plains. 
The stream is swift, and tumbles along in a rugged bed, 
with a very lively noise. I had to jump out into the 
water at least twenty times, and used a strong pole as 
a prop in fording the powerful current. At one or two 
places I had to haul the boat round on land, where the 
trees met over the water, and their branches were inter- 
laced, or their trunks had fallen in root foremost. Next 
came a weir for a mill, a waterfall and torrents of foam 
with dense woods all round, through which no one could 
sse me as I waded, and shoved, and dragged away, but 
always, somehow, getting onwards, and most thoroughly 
enjoying the varied exercise on so bright a sunny day. 
The amount of labour involved in a voyage of this kind 

126 Procession. [Chap. VIII. 

will be understood by the fact that with every effort to 
get on, the canoe was five hours in reaching a point 
which is only one hour distant by the road at a walk. 
After I had battled with all the difficulties which could 
be crammed into this time, panting with a tried but 
wholesome excitement, the sun suddenly appeared, that 
had been hidden by rocks or trees ; the gorge had loosed 
its hold of us, and the canoe soon floated along the now 
placid river, while Damascus, old Damascus! gleamed out 
brilliant before me in the evening light, with its groves 
of green, and white shining walls, and airy minarets, a 
glorious scene. The far-famed approach to this city 
from the west, which unfolds upon the traveller all its 
gentle beauty from a lofty hill, I had well remembered 
nineteen years ago ; who could forget it .'' That is one of 
the sights of the world, but the sudden emerging now 
from rapids, and rocks, and dense jungle, into the broad 
day, with such a picture before me, was more striking 
by far than the other view, especially to one who was 
the first to see it. 

And now the river itself seemed tired of the struggle, 
and it gurgled, almost sleeping, between the green mea- 
dow banks. There a most pleasant repast was spread 
on the soft grass, and the little knot of wondering Turks. 
Avhich soon collected, was good proof that even Moslems, 
with all their apathy, could not help looking at a boat 
on the river. Then the Rob Roy glided into the town 
itself, under the bridges, round the dripping aqueducts^ 
past the barracks, close up to the Pasha's palace ; and 
two men carried her wearied hull safe to the hotel with 
colours flying, Hany singing, mud splashing, Moslems 
wondering, and the hotel folks bowing. 

Chap. IX.] Damascus Dock. 127 



DEMETRI'S HOTEL is like other houses of 
Damascus, with the rooms round a large court- 
yard, looking inwards upon a broad marble basin, where 
fountains copious and cool sprinkle soft music, with 
gentle splashings never ceasing ; and little rivulets pour 
in as they gleam under the coloured sunbeams that dart 
through vine branches, and orange trees ; and gaudy- 
hued dresses are flitting about — for it is the people's 
clothes you see in the East, the faces of the fair are all 
closely bandaged up. 

There, on the cool water, I placed the canoe, with her 
blue sails set, and her golden flag reposing. Soon began 
the long line of visitors ; each one, as he left, sent in a 
dozen friends to see. Even the Pasha of Damascus 
came, and the English Consul ; and the Arabic news- 
papers gravely chronicled the arrival of the canoe, in the 
same page with the movements of the Greek ironclads, 
stirring up their fires then for a European war. 

On Sunday (December 21) the Consul had an English 
service, and among the five present was Mrs. Thompson, 
of Beyrout, who — indefatigable woman — had come here 

J 28 Pretty Girls. [Chap. IX. 

to open her new school-house. This is large and roomy, 
and very suitable for its purpose. After you have strug- 
gled up and down dingy lanes, ankle-deep in mud, you 
enter a substantial pile of buildings, and under the 
gilded carving of these roofs, the girls of Damascus 
stand silent and smiling, to wait for their kind Christian 
" Mother," with Bibles in their hands. Not long ago a 
Giaour dared scarcely to ride through the streets of the 
town, and in my former visit there our very mules were 
taken by force, because we were " Nussarenes." Now 
there are schools and " Bible women," supported by the 
ladies of Turkish harems here, who saw their own chil- 
dren able to read, while the mothers were ignorant and 
cried to their husbands, " Why are ivc to be less blessed 
than our children .'' " Among the forty-four voung people 
who had assembled in the school, there were Jewesses, 
Greeks, Moslems, and Christians. I never saw so many 
pretty faces among a like number of girls. As for their 
dresses, they were so varied, so graceful, so suitable to 
womankind, that one could not but lament that our 
climate (for of course the fault is not ours) has so grie- 
vously contorted our feminine toilette. Mrs. Thompson 
was received with a gush of welcome and sweet greetings. 
She went round the circle of girls, and kissed each of 
them in turn, not with a mere " general salute," but a 
tender look from heart to heart, a special clasp for every 
one, that made each child feel her embrace was meant 
in good earnest. This was indeed a pretty sight for a 
rough-bearded traveller to see. 

I do not enlarge upon the importance of sustaining 
this school. One thought of Saul and Paul stamps 
Damascus on a Christian's heart, and fixes it as a post 
of duty for the brave and the generous, who have gone 
out there to labour for Christ's sake. Nor is it only 

Chap. IX.] Eastern Dcscrt. 129 

Paul of the past, but shall we not see him ourselves in a 
future we know not how near, and speak to him then of 
Damascus } Let us cherish a vivid sense of heaven in 
its reality as a life. 

The girls sang gentle hymns, and then the whole of 
them listened to an English address, which was very 
well interpreted, as also a prayer. At Damascus I met 
Mrs. Digby, the English wife of a great Arab chief, and, 
when in English society, her quiet manner as a lady 
makes one forget that her husband has some thousand 
spearmen at his beck, and that to get to Palmyra with 
their aid, the curious traveller must pay a heavy black- 
mail of yellow gold. 

On a hill above Damascus is the celebrated " wely," 
or little domed chapel, where first, as you journey east- 
ward, the splendid panorama bursts upon the view. 
Looking from this over the vast plain, long ago I had 
observed in the distance, tremulous with mirage, two 
huge black vapour pillars, which drifted slowly across 
the limitless flat. These were sand clouds, whirled aloft 
by the breeze, and I was told that they were coursing 
over a silent and desolate region, almost unknown, 
through which the river Abana ran, and though it had 
run there for ages, the life-blood of thousands, and was 
praised in every language, and sung of in melodious 
verse, and fabled in prose, it melted away in the desert 
somehow, nobody knew how. 

The Rob Roy had come to this region, and to probe 
the inviting mystery of the ancient river's end. But all 
enquiries as to how she could follow the Abana to the 
east were baffled more every day by the stolid igno- 
rance or stupid exaggeration with which natives compli- 
cate any stranger's effort to do what ought to have been 
done long ago by themselves. The united testimony 

130 Reconnoitre. [Chap. IX. 

asserted that the canoe might be taken by land if I 
could mount her upon a horse, but to float her by water 
all the way was impossible ; and this was precisely what 
we meant to do. They all agreed, too, in describing the 
bleak morass at the end as " impenetrable," full of whirl- 
pools, which sucked people down ; of hyenas, panthers, 
and Avild boars, which ate people up ; and of fevers, 
agues, snakes, jungle, sun-strokes, and many other hor- 
rible things. 

As usual we found that there was just one peg of 
truth in each of these warnings whereon to hang a huge 
fiction, and that nothing in the tale had the merit of 
pure invention. To reconnoitre the land and water of at 
least the first day's route, Hany and I rode along the 
banks near Abana. The river's speed was moderate 
now, for it was running through a plain, but the intri- 
cacies of its navigation Vv'ere most perplexing, because the 
water branched out right and left into numerous channels, 
of which one only could be the right one, and nobody 
could tell us that one. It is only by a ride of this sort 
that one can appreciate the richness and beauty of the 
Damascus plain, or can understand the marvellous in- 
genuity and perseverance with which the Abana has been 
led through the desert to water it. In Egypt, indeed, 
the sluices and canalcttcs arc intricate enough, but 
nothing to what is done here. Banks, dams, lashers, and 
weirs, seem to force the water into every nook of the 
country ; to force it underground, and, as it were, even 
up hill, until every available drop has been wrung out 
for use. Below the shady groves, athwart bright level 
meads, oozing over, murmuring beneath, and softly 
hurrying by, there is water everywhere, and nearly all 
this from that one river which has fed millions of people 
for ages of time, and if this river stopped, Damascus 

Chap. IX.] The Rob Roy on Horseback, 131 

Avould perish. The problem of carrying the canoe on a 
quadruped was new and difficult, but it must be solved, as 
complete preparation for months of journe}', where much 
was over mountain and plain. AH, my chief muleteer 
(an excellent fellow to the limits of his calling), was 
therefore consulted, and he looked grave for two days, 
after which he proposed that the Rob Roy should be 
slung crossways over a mule, so of course his further 
suggestions were useless. 

After thought and experiment, I went out and bought 
two strong poles, each sixteen feet long, and about three 
inches thick at the larger end. These were placed on 
the ground two feet apart, and across them, at three feet 
from each end, we lashed two stout staves, about four 
feet long, which resulted in a frame like that shown in 
the sketch. Then a leading horse ^ was selected, a 
strong, docile, sure-footed creature. On his back a large 
bag of straw was well girthed, and flattened down above. 
The frame of poles was firmly tied on this, and a crowd 
looked on as we wrapped the canoe in carpets and placed 
her on the frame, and the moment it was there, I saw 
the plan would succeed. For three months this simple 

' Most good caravans have a "lea'ling horse" in the van. lie costs 
double the price of the others, but he is well worth the expense : he finds 
the way for all, keeps up the pace, and is very soon recognised as a guide 
by the other mules, horses, and donkies. Indeed they are restless without 
him, and wander about in straggling disorder. 

132 Latoof. [Chap. IX. 

method enabled us to take the Rob Roy over sand and 
snow, over rock and jungle, across mud and marsh — 
anywhere, indeed, where a horse could go ; and therefore, 
perhaps, it deserves to be described. The frame was 
elevated in front, so as to allow the horse's head some 
room under the boat's keel. Two girth-straps kept the 
canoe firmly in position above, and carpets were cushions 
under its bilge. 

It will be seen from the sketch of this boat-frame that, 
in the event of a collision with a rock or a tree, or if the 
horse had a stumble and fall on the ground, the shock 
would be received upon one or other of the four pro- 
jecting points, instead of striking the canoe itself. To 
lead the horse by a long rope (though for many a day he 
was ever shortening it), Ave told o'^ A door, a gentle, half- 
witted, raw-looking youth, who was brought A\"ith us 
because with a charming voice he sang so sweetly that 
all his faults were drowned in his music. In sharp con- 
trast to him was Latoof, a powerful fellow, purposely 
chosen at Beyrout to hold fast to the canoe in every 
difficulty, grasping the frame as he trudged through the 
pools, or clambered the rocks, or swayed the high top- 
heavy burthen right and left, when fierce gusts of wind 
threatened to overturn us all. To guide these three came 
Hany next behind on his plucky little Arab, with a hun- 
dred and one things in his saddle-bags (and always the 
things one wanted most), his cocoa-nut nargilleh dangling 
at his side, and his double-barrel rifle slung upon his 
back. Without him personally, and his care over all, 
there is no doubt in my mind that our long new way of 
travel in the East could not have been finished as it was, 
without one check, .or disaster, or breakdown, without 
one day lost, or the slightest injury to any of us, men, 
horses, mules, donkeys, and boat. 

Chap. IX.] O?! Ahana. 


Another secret of success was the elaborate prepara- 
tion of minutiii:,\ and the stern resolve that everything- to 
be used should be of the best, as the clearest economy 
in the long run, when any failure might cost a day's 
delay, and the cost of a da}' \\as never less than three 

Those delights or dangers of the river which the 
canoe-man might meet with anywhere, we need not 
describe in this story, having plenty to tell that is pecu- 
liar to the place and the people. However, as this stream 
of Abana has not been boated upon before, it may be 
well to inform the next canoeist that, below the first 
mill beyond Damascus, we found it full of interest and 
variety.^ The water was now red in colour and two feet 
deeper than before, being swollen high by mountain 
storms, and the channel led us away and away among 
orchards and groves and thick osier beds and smiling 
water meadows. Tortoises sleeping on the bank toppled 
into the stream as we passed, and land crabs lazily 
crawled out of sight. There were many wild ducks in 
the river brakes, most of them too fat or lazy to rise, and 
I had to get out only seven or eight times to haul the 
canoe past obstructions, until on a sudden the ruddy 
current bore the Rob Roy right into an impassable jungle 
of osiers ten feet high. This sort of obstacle, or a marsh 
full of deep holes, are the only real troubles to the 
canoeist, if we except (as very unusual) a river covered 
with small hewn logs, such as I met in Norway on the 

' The same dragoman, providing also the best materials in 1S49, charged 
•2.1. per diem for myself and a companion. The increased expense now of 
about 100 per cent, is accounted for Ijy the Crimean war, the Abyssinian 
expedition, and the cattle murrain, which raised the price of animals and 

^ The general route of our journey may be traced on Map VIII., while 
Map II. (p. 134), and i\Iaps III. and IV. (p, 168), give portions on a larger scale. 

134 Celebrated Canoeists. [Chap. IX, 

River Vrangs ; but even then I had only to drag the 
boat for a mile through a lonely wood. Rapids however 
long, waterfalls however high, can be passed on the land 
by persevering patience. The sea between Ireland and 
Scotland was traversed by one of our Canoe Club in 
his canoe ; another member sailed his Rob Roy from 
England to France, and a third paddled from France to 
England, all in one summer.^ Still, though a canoe can 
start from any part of Britain, and struggle all the way 
to Hongkong, there will always be much difficulty in 
passing it through a forest of small trees, which may be 
too dense to allow the canoeist to shove his craft by the 
w^ater, or to drag it along the bank. An invariable policy 
in such cases always brings relief: " Persist in the 
assurance that you must get through ; pull up to the 
side ; ponder on the best place, and shout aloud." Who 
would have thought that in such a strange jungle on the 
Abana there would be any one within reach of a call } 
Yet a man was there, cutting the osiers, and soon his 
head was stretched forward. Then he ran off at once 
as fast as his legs could carry him. Smiles and soft 
speeches speedily brought him back, and we soon shoul- 
dered the Rob Roy together, and so passed the obstruc- 
tion. I slept that night at Jisrin (Map III., p. i68). 

The Abana now ran eastward, steady and deep, in a 
tortuous way between high grass banks, with a lively day 
for enjoyment. No trees now, and no thickets, but wide 
and fruitful plains, and oxen that stopped ploughing 
while the peasants ran from their teams to see the 
" Shaktoor." P'or miles they ran with me thus, a good- 
humoured, smiling band, men, women, and children, 
shouting with joy, while statelier Turks on horses and 

•* The names of these ihree members of tlie Canoe Chib may well be 
recorded — Mr. R. Tennent, Mr. Bowker, and the h\te Hon. J. Gordon. 

MKP 2 



/. Mi/f tc thf i inch . 


,EI Aiuu/y.i, ^ ^zz- eslTShm-kyeh 



Ard fl Mu> 

Chap. IX. ] Brave Guards. 135 

mules kept pace alongside with more dignity, when any 
path on the bank could be found. Thus we came to 
El Keisa, and pitched our tents in the cemetery, while 
at least a hundred people sat round the camp in a 
picturesque circle, staring hard till sundown. It was 
important to make friends with these people, who were 
being rather drilled than delighted by the officious order- 
ings of two Turkish soldiers I had taken with me as 
guards, splendidly mounted, miserably clothed, wretchedly 
armed, and thoroughly prepared for their only duty in 
danger — to run away. The peasants' red coats reached 
to their ankles. Every man had a staff five feet long. 
Some of the Avomen had yashmaks, and a few of the 
men wore a black cotton kerchief (the JUandai) tied over 
the face, to moderate the reflection from the ground, and 
concealing the nose, but used in a manner I had never 
seen before.^ 

These quaint people were easily amused by a few 
pleasantries, and they laughed very heartily. Patting 
the children's heads pleased the little ones, and their 
mothers too. One copper-coloured youngster, wallowing 
in the mud, asked me for a farthing (the only beggar), 
but when I gave it to him, he asked that it might be 
" put by." Poor fellow ! he had no pocket for his purse, 
being as perfectly naked as on the day he was born. 

A long string of my new friends followed in procession 
to the village, which was of mud, but far better built 
than in Egypt. A shepherd was dozing by his flock, 
with a sword girt round his waist. A few Arab tents 
were near, and keen eyes in them eyed me askance. I 
slept now in my tent, feeling far more lonely under canvas 

^ This, however, reminds one of the Towaregs one sees in Algeria, a 
tribe to the extreme south of the French settlements in the hot Sahara, 
where all the men wear black crape masks entirely covering their faces. 

136 Tent Life, [Chap. IX. 

than when lodging in my canoe. It was a small square 
tent, sent from England as a present to Hany — double, of 
course — and m.ade by Edgington, so it ought to be good, 
but we shall have it tried by jury further on. The other 
round Syrian tent was henceforth used by the servants. 

Sweet sleep follows such a day, but the winter's dawn 
next morning cannot soon struggle through English 
canvas. Yet one awakes by habit or instinct, or by a 
previous resolve ; and, without lighting a match to see 
my watch, it was easy to tell the time by the sounds 
outside. First, there is the feeblest bustle heard in the 
dark, and a tinkling sound as the charcoal briskly kindles 
in the cook's fire. The cock-crows (so many and loud in 
Palestine) are absent here. , Soon the men around are 
whispering more loudly, and then a horse neighs. The 
sharp "w^hish" of swift pinions is from a wild bird over- 
head hieing off thus earliest to the lake ; then the soft 
regular beat of the cook's bellows gets louder, it is a 
turkey's wing waved with a sound like "fam, fam, fam !" 
At last a donkey brays. Up now ! An end to sleep for 
ever, and let the joyous splashing of my bath bespeak 
me eager for the happy hours of another bright day. 
Hany hears the sound, and soon after a "Good morn- 
ing !" times the hot wholesome breakfast to a minute. 

Among the chief features of the Abana River is the 
fine Tell of Salahiyeh, a green mound that looks like 
Primrose Hill, in Regent's Park. The excavations made 
here for the Palestine Exploration Fund, in 1866, by 
Mr. Rogers are described in part 2 of the ' Quarterly 
Statement.' Some of the articles dug up were shown in 
the Society's Exhibition last autumn. 

The Tell had an imposing grandeur, and, at the same 
time, an air of lively interest, as the huge green mound 
seemed to turn slowly round, while my canoe bore me 


Chap. IX.] Harran. 137 

floating by in the bend of the river ; but nearly all the 
researches in these artificial hills, so common in Palestine, 
have been barren of valuable results.'' 

After El Keisa, the Abana has some very intricate 
navigation. Against my opinion — for experience points 
the way even in new places and by indications that can- 
not be explained — I was directed down the wrong branch 
of three into which the river had forked. At last my 
faithful compass told the tale so clearly that it was plain 
we were going astray ; so I took the Rob Roy across the 
fields to the right way, and we halted at a point about 
sixteen miles straight from Damascus, the village of 
Harran el Awamid, that is, " Harran of the pillars." 

These are three handsome basalt columns in the 
middle of this village. Sculptured fragments also are 

^ The following is the conclusion of the account Mr. Rogers gives of the 
excavations at Salahiyeh : — " Close to this cutting, and to tlie east of it, 
I made another, in which was found much broken pottery, black inside 
and red on the surface. A few stones, similar to those already mentioned, 
with bricks, mortar, and strong cement were found. It was opened to the 
depth of 32 feet. 

"... at the south of the mound, the regular layers of bricks are very 
distinct and perfect ; these bricks are about i8 inches square and 4 inches 
thick ; some pale yellow, others pale red, joined by strong mortar ; . . . 
some stones of a heart shape were found, as if belonging to a pavement, 

" The people in the neighbourhood came to me, and said that, if I wanted 
to make any discoveries, I must first propitiate the sheikh, whose tomb is 
on the top of the Tell, by sacrificing a sheep in his honour. I immediately 
gave them half a sovereign, with which to purchase the victim, and my 
workmen partook of the feast. 

"... it seems to me that the Tell is a solid mass of brickwork built over, 
perhaps, one chamber or more in the centre, similar to the Pyramids of 
Eg)'pt ; for wherever I dig I find layers of bricks and mortar. If the Tell 
were the mere store of a brick factory, there would be no mortar between 
the layers. The work, affording no promise of further discoveiy, was then 

Captain Wilson gives the position of this Tell as in 33- 30' 28" X., and 
36" 28' 02" E. The mound is 60 feet high, the largest side nearly east and 
west, and the Barada washes its southern slope. 

138 Mirage: [Chap. I x. 

amongst the mud hovels. The pillars, standing 40 feet 
high, served as a landmark to my journey for a whole 
fortnight, and I took a careful sketch of them," and 
some bearings by compass, while the most exemplary 
silence prevailed among the wondering villagers. 

Then, by a "silver argument," the sheikh was per- 
suaded to let me mount the minaret of the mosque, and 
for the first time to get a good general survey of the 
country about us, the snow hills behind, the river wind- 
ing below, the far-off desert, the nearer plain with its 
hundred villages, and the weird morass I had come to 

Not a drop of water could be seen in this " Lake of 
Ateibeh," painted so prettily blue on the travelling maps. 
Mr. Rogers told me he never could see water in the 
marsh. On the other hand. Porter saw, in November, 
1852, "a large expanse of clear water in the midst of the 
marsh," a little south of the Abana mouth, where there 
w^as not a pond visible to me.^ In his visit to Hijaneh 
also, where I traversed a full lake with 5 feet of water 
in it, he found a basin " perfectly dry." 

With such variations of the surface we are about to 
map, we must expect the contours of these marshes 

7 It was unfortunately lost overboard, but a beautiful photoijraph of the 
pillars is in the series published by the Palestine Exploration P\ind. The 
side pillars are not equidistant from the corner one. Wilson gives their 
height of shaft 29 feet, base 2 feet 3 inches, circumference 1 1 feet 7 inches, 

^ Partly this may be accounted for by different times of the year, and by 
Avet or dry seasons, though his visit was in a season "unusually dry;" 
partly because the appearance of water is deceptive in hot regions of mirage, 
as one soon discovers by journeys on rivers and lakes, and Porter himself 
describes a phenomenon of this kind in this very plain (vol. ii. p. 11). 
Thomson ('L. and B.' p. 521) says that the mirage, or Serab, "thirst of the 
gazelle," is meant by the word translated "parched ground" in Isaiah 
XXXV, 7, " And the parched ground shall become a pool ;" and certainly this 
rendering gives much force to the passage. The mirage on tiic river St. 
Lawrence is perhaps the most wonderful one can see. 

Chap. IX.] ^^ Ahraliavis WeW ' 139 

to be very dififerent as sketched by different travellers, 
or at different times. The maps of them in Porter's 
' Five Years in Damascus ' are different from those in his 
excellent Guidebook (' Syria and Palestine,' Murray). 
The Maps II. and IV. of the district are made from 
my own compass bearings, of which a list is given at 
p. 169, while the other parts are taken from Vandevelde's 
map, which I found to be more correct than any other. 

As for the branch of Abana passing by Harran, it was 
only a few disjointed pools. We were now on almost 
unknown territory, and it was something to know that ; 
but I instantly resolved to carry the canoe north to the 
next arm of the Abana, for it was plainly impossible to 
get her into the morass from Harran. 

By the mosque here they showed me a very ancient 
well, about 6 feet deep, with stones exceedingly worn.^ 
This is called Abraham's Well, and Dr. Beke and others 
consider the village to be the Harran where Abraham 
dwelt " between the two rivers " (Abana and Pharpar). 

Josephus (' Ant. J.' b. i. ch. vii. sec. ii.) states that Be- 
rosus writes : " Now the name of Abram is even still 
famous in the country of Damascus, and there is showed a 
village named from him — ' the habitation of Abram.' " '° 

We bade good-bye to the amiable village " sheikh," 
a man with long, shaggy, red hair, very intelligent, and 
very sorry we were not to stop a night in his mayoralty. 

Our route lay across the verge of the morass (see 

^ Stones are sooner worn at wells than elsewhere, and as an indication of 
antiquity this is deceptive. The edge-stones of the tanks in the Haram at 
Jerusalem are seamed several inches deep by the bucket-ropes, but Lieut. 
Warren, R.E., the clever explorer of the Holy City, told me that a year or 
two of use is enough to make a deep cut in the stone when a wet rope 
(always carrying grit with it) is constantly worked. 

'" Dr. Beke wrote again upon the subject of Abraham's sojourn here, in 
the 'Athenreum' (April, 1869) having previously suggested that the well 
mentioned above might be Rachel's Well. 

140 P hinging. [Chap. IX. 

Map II., p. 134), but we went too far eastward, and the 
work was now very troublesome and dangerous. We soon 
found that the experienced " marsh- walker," who acted 
as guide, had never led more than cattle over these wilds, 
and the amphibious oxen here can plunge through pools 
that are impossible for laden mules and restiff horses. 
It was a wide sea of shallow water, concealed by grass 
in tufts, like an Irish bog, and with soft deceptive mud, 
deep holes, and trickling streamlets. 

Hundreds of cattle stood up to their stomachs in the 
water, as our mules plunged deep above their girths, 
and the men sank down repeatedly. The guide now 
fairly lost his head, and I had to push on in front to 
lead, with a feeling of some responsibility in having 
brought to such a place our long cavalcade, numbering 
eleven men and twelve animals. 

At length mule after mule slipped in till only his 
shoulders were visible, and one of the little donkies dis- 
appeared under water completely, head and ears and 
everything, but a clever muleteer caught him by the tail, 
and we pulled him out. Then he began to bray — a 
piteous performer, all wet and muddy. I noticed that 
particular donkey's music for months afterwards was 
always, at least, double his natural allowance, but, in 
consideration of his gallant behaviour on this occasion, 
he had special license to bray on continually to the end. 

The men lamented their moist bread (the load of the 
ass submerged)," but I cheered them up with a promise 
of Christmas fare, and then I dismounted, and punted 
and paddled the Rob Roy, for she might hav^e been 
injured by a fall if carried any longer on horseback. 

By the route line on the map it will be seen that we 

" In such a wild district, of course, we had to bring all our provisions from 
Damascus. In the sketch on next page is shown the Rob Roy on horseback. 

Chap. IX.] 

Atcibeh Morass. 


were travelling nearly north along the edge of the mansh 
until at last we struck upon that branch of the Abana 
which passes near Haush Hamar ; we camped by its 
mouth, on fine solid ground, to spend our Christmas 

Day, and the red ensign of England was soon hoisted on 
a high pole, to wave over as wild a spot as ever was seen. 
The river narrowed here to four or five yards across, 
with a deep and quiet stream.^''^ No jackals sang out 
now their usual lullaby we had nightly listened to be- 
fore, but it is said that where larger beasts are near, the 
jackal does not cry, and I have generally found this to 

'2 The course of the branches is explained in a note further on. Porter 
states the breadth as thirty feet, but though it widens to this at a long pool 
by the ford, the average above and below that place is only one-half of this 

142 ''^ Ko-ax ko-axr [Chap. IX. 

be true. The frogs owed no such tribute of silence, and 
their chant was from a thousand-throated chorus, each 
one croaking as loud as the quack of a duck.'^ 

" The croak of a frog has been one of the best means of informing the 
modern world of the mode in which the ancient Greeks pronounced their 
beautiful language, for in an old Greek author, the frogs are made to sing 
what would now be written in English " Brech-ech-ech-ex ko-ax ko-ax." 
Now the frogs of the nineteenth century have probably been faithful to the 
pronunciation of their race in former times, and as we listen in the still 
night to their curious music, it is exactly as if one set of them — perhaps 
the tenors — the gentlemen of their choir, kept saying, " Brekekekex ! " while 
the softer wooing of the ladies is uttered always as " Koax koax ko-ax." The 
din made by millions of these songsters, in a marsh many miles extended, 
is astounding. Those in the distance are heard like the sound of a railway 
train when it passes over a metal bridge. The nearer croakers, being 
more articulate, are more disturbing. Sometimes they all stop, as if by 
command, and, after a few moments of silence, the catch-note of some flip- 
pant flirt just whispers once, and instantly the whole Babel resumes its 
iiniversal roar. 

Chap. X.] AtcibcJi Morass. 143 

C H A P T E R X. 


HERE then we face this dread lake of Ateibeh, 
whicli I have carried the Rob Roy over the snow 
to explore. Behind us is a vast plain, bounded by the 
rocky hills and snow-capped mountains, and great Her- 
mon in his cold white robe presiding over all. Small 
mud villages are scattered upon the grassy level. The 
inhabitants are very interesting to look at, tall, very 
handsome, men, women, and children, strong, good-tem- 
pered, healthy, and intelligent, also well dressed. They 
wear long robes of most brilliant colours, bright red pre- 
dominant. Even if a man is in tatters, his rags are crim- 
son. The better sort have embroidered coats and ear- 
rings (not in the lobe of the ear, but in the small pro- 
jecting flesh), and their faces are tattooed. Their boots 
are of red leather, with long turned-up toes, and the 
women seldom conceal their faces. Scores of these have 
often run a mile alongside the canoe, but I never had an 
unkind word or act from one of them. Their villages 
are nearly surrounded by water, and not very dirty — one 
gets used to all things being reasonably dirty here. 

144 Drozuncd in the Lake. [Chap. X. 

Compared with Egypt, this verge of house habitation in 
the East (bordering the real Arab tent-folk) is a paradise. 

Great excitement was caused by the Rob Roy coming 
to such a place, because the only boat which had 
attempted this lake had a miserable end three years 
ago. I made particular enquiries as to this accident, and 
went to the spot where she launched, and saw one of the 
men who helped to find her sad wreck. From these 
enquiries it appeared that two Moslems and a Christian 
from Ateibeh (a village near the lake) brought a boat 
from Damascus. They were all " fowlers," and wished 
to shoot more ducks for the market. The boat was 
shorter than the Rob Roy, but broader, evidently a poor 
tub, and the three men having been absent in her for 
five days, an off"er of 500 piastres' was made to any one 
wdio would find them. The villagers selected a man who 
was a good swimmer, and they made a raft of reeds and 
sticks, upon which he set off naked, and after fifteen days 
he found the boat upset and the bodies of the three 
drowned men — none of them could swim — and each of 
them, in true Arab style, had strapped to his body his 
gun, ammunition, and food. So I was put quite at case 
about this foolish adventure. 

Before us the Abana ran straight into the marsh for a 
quarter of a mile ; so it was evident we were at the right 
place for our essay at quagmire navigation, and the next 
thing was to determine the best mode and time and 
direction for penetrating to the centre of the morass. 
Not an atom of information could be got on this subject 
from the books or the maps, of which I had three, and 
the best that the inhabitants could tell us was not re- 
assuring ; for, according to these, besides the panthers, 

' A piastre is about twopence ot our value. Not many years ago its 
value was si.\pence. 

Chap. X.] Menagerie. 14^ 

hyenas, and other beasts, there are, worst of them all, 
wild boars. In ordinary times a wild boar avoids a man, 
but if I came upon him in my canoe in a marsh among 
tall reeds, he would most likely " charge" the newcomer, 
and one blow of his tusk, I knew, would finish the Rob 
Roy. In such a case she would not float, for when mud 
gets inside it, even a lifeboat will sink. Then I could not 
swim ashore for the reeds, and I could not wade or drao- 
the boat through the deep pools if it were broken and 
jagged, nor could any help whatever be given from 
shore, because the water jungle completely hides you. 

Still the thing must be done somehow, and plans for 
new projects of this kind cannot be hit off in a moment. 
Long consideration, and a resolve to leave nothing hap- 
hazard, are the true secrets of ensuring success, and here 
comes in one of the great advantages of travelling- alone 
— you have time and silence to consider maturely. You 
do not mar your plans by feeble compromises. You see, 
hear, and think a great deal more than if a " pleasant 
companion " is beside you all day, whose small talk (and 
your own) must be run dry in a month, and neither of 
you is free. In these solitary expeditions I have never 
a sensation of loneliness. Hard work, healthy exercise, 
plain food and plenty of it, early hours, reading at night, 
and working, moving, noting, drawing, observing, and 
considering all day, one's plans are quietly perfected, and 
there is no more of tedium or solitary dulness than is 
felt when you read or fish alone, or paint or write in a 
town — the place one can feel most lonely in, after all. 

Our object was now to trace the Abana River until it 
flowed no farther, and to see whether its end is in a mere 
morass or in a lake, that is, a sheet of water reasonably 
open all the year round. For this purpose it was plain 
that our course ought to be always in the strongest flow 


146 Embarking. [Chap. X. 

and towards the lowest depression, which, after careful 
scrutiny, appeared to lie to the south-east. 

At break of day the compass bearings of the chief 
objects around us were accurately taken, and their align- 
ments with the snow-hills far in our rear. This was 
done to enable me to get out of the marsh by the way 
through which I came in at the end of the river, for at no 
other place could I hope to bring the Rob Roy close to 
the margin. 

The canoe compass has been already explained.^ In 
taking bearings by it when afloat, I found it best to hold 
the compass to the eye with both hands, and to keep the 
lid slanted back so as to allow a long black line on its 
inside to be directed by the eye to the object, when the 
pressure of the right forefinger acting upon a stud will 
fix the needle for reading off, and this being done four or 
five times, and a mean taken of the angles noticed, it is 
easy to obtain bearings within a quarter of a point. 

Having thus made every possible preparation, I ran 
the Rob Roy to the river's mouth, with the sun just 
rising over the illimitable desert on the other side of the 
lake, and gilding bold Hermon with a bright morning 
ray. I had food for two days, a double-barrelled gun, 
one barrel loaded with ball, a long pole for working in 
the reeds, and a number of strips of calico two feet long, 
which I tied one by one at various points to the loftiest 
canes, that I might have perhaps some chance of finding 
my way back to the river's mouth. This last object was 
important, because if in the return I arrived at any other 
place, it would still be a quarter of a mile from the verge, 
without water enough to float in, or land enough to stand 

Hany, my invaluable dragoman, was to hail me every 

* See a>ttc, p. 56. 

Chap. X.] Dangerous Day. 147 

ten minutes until he could not hear my voice. In the 
first ten minutes I was invisible, and he saw me no more 
all day. The river ran to a clump of bushes, widened to 
twenty feet and four feet deep, and then branched out 
into five or six small streams among the reeds. The 
current became stronger, and it was impossible to forget 
that this would be all "up hill" in coming back. I had 
soon lost sight of the tents, but part of the red flag was 
always visible when I stood up. Taking my bearing 
from this, I wound a long strip of calico round the tops 
of three highest plants tied together, and carcfulh* 
entered the particulars in my " log-book ; " doing this all 
very deliberately, for certainty in such matters is better 
than speed, and any confusion or excitement might ruin 
the whole proceeding. From this, called " Station No. i," 
I worked on until it was nearly invisible, and then placed 
" Station 2," and so on. The plan answered admirably.'^ 
Soon I put my paddle away below deck, and worked 
with a long pole. As the Avater shallowed, I had to 
" punt " the canoe, standing up in her, and with my shoes 
off for better foothold, and to lessen the danger of making 
a hole in her skin, which would probably have let in the 
mud so fatal to the boat, or by its rough edges outside 
would prevent her progress on her return. I had shot a 
few ducks, for there were hundreds quite close, but it was 
impossible to retrieve them when they fell even a few 
yards off; and, moreover, it was soon found that all one's 
attention in such a place is required for navigation. 
Sporting with either the rod or the gun is, in my opinion, 
incompatible with proper progress in discovery when only 
one man has to do all. 

At length I reached a point where all stream ceased 

' As this metliod may be a hint to others paddliiiL,' wlicre they cann(;t 
see twenty yards in hont, the exact notes are given at p. 169. 

148 A Lonely Wold. [Chap. X. 

as was shown when the mud stirred by my pole did not 
advance beyond my boat at rest — in fact the Rob Roy 
was now in the middle water of the marsh, and to be 
quite sure of this, I got out and waded, dragging the boat 
to the point P in Map II., at p. 134; but the deep holes 
concealed by clumps of grass were very troublesome, 
though of course a good wetting had to be counted on 
at starting, and the water was warm, while the mud 
below was cold. 

Some of these holes indeed seemed bottomless, and 
now I understood what had been so often stated to me 
before setting out : " There are whirlpools (as they styled 
them) which drag men down — every year men are lost 
even on the edges, and no help can reach them." These 
are the Arabs who shoot ducks which fall a few yards off 
in the marsh, and the men, eager to retrieve them, soon 
get overhead. It was one more proof added to hundreds 
in my voyages that natives speaking of what they don't 
understand always give the worst view of danger, but 
that there is generally something meant by them which 
it is well to understand for oneself 

Having fully satisfied myself that I was now going up 
hill to the other side of the lake, and it being noon with 
a hot sun, after four hours of tremendous labour, and 
craving for food, I sat down and enjoyed an excellent 
luncheon. How silent, how solitary, how desolate the 
scene in this wilderness of marsh. No ducks rose now, 
for I was quiet. I saw three very tiny fish, but could 
not catch them. One mosquito came to me, but he did 
not bite. Perhaps he had never been taught that man is 
the sweetest morsel for his ravenous tooth. A beautiful 
fly buzzed about me, like a bluebottle of the most bril- 
liant green. 

The faint buzzing of that fly made the silence of all 

Chap. X.] End of the Abaiia. 149 

else far deeper, for the ear was aroused by the sound, 
and yet found only that sound for its listening. It was 
a position this entirely unique, sitting most comfortably 
in a boat, aground, hidden, absolutely still ; time passing, 
but nothing doing. If you are floating on a lake, there is 
at least a scene around, or catspaws on the water, or cries 
from the shore, for variety. If you are alone in the sea, 
be it ever so glassy, there is sure to be a ground-swell 
gently curving the clouds pictured on the waves. If you 
rest thus on a river, the boat will turn round, and so a 
panorama seems to pass before the eye, and lastly, if 
you are alone on the water in the dark, you can at any 
rate strike a light for company's sake.* In every one of 
these cases some new object is likely to appear, or, if not, 
it may be hoped for, while, if sickness or death come 
suddenly then, there is the grim consolation that some- 
body would find the boat and the body. But now in 
this marsh I was out of the network of things : no chancre 
took place in the view about me, no event happened, I 
was farther away from the world than on the highest 
mountain's peak, or in the deepest mine — and the world 
was getting on very well without me. Let us go back to 
it, thoroughly convinced that the Abana dies in the marsh 
of Ateibeh, yielding its vapoury spirit to the hot sun, as 
Jordan faints away in the Dead Sea, and so, rising into 
the clouds again, both of them perhaps Avafted aloft to 
the snow-peaks where they were born, pour down their 
old waters in a current ever new, in that circuit of death 
and life which God has ordained for all. 

* In sailing alone from Havre to Portsmouth in my yawl, there was a 
sense of isolation when each port was fifty miles away, and no other vessel 
was in sight, but then there was always action, a movement of the waves and 
of the boat ; and isolation to be felt in all its force must have absolute rest 
and silence. 

150 Retreating. [Chap. X. 

The end of the Abana, then, may be less sublime than 
that of the Jordan, but it is not less grim and mys- 
terious. A trackless marsh has horrors worse than the 
Dead Sea. You can float in water, but in mud you 
can neither swim nor stand, and the great slime 
volcano in Sicily seemed to me more terrible than even 
Etna itself. 

To turn the boat required a sweep of half a mile, and 
then I could see snowy Hermon in front, and a flutter of 
my English ensign at the tents where poor Hany, like a 
distracted mother, was waiting long hours in despair, for 
these Easterns jump from exulting joy to deepest distress 
at a bound. 

Beginning with " No. 6 " guide of cotton, I traced back 
to No. 5, having recorded each one clearly in my note- 
book. One of the most important things, I repeat, in 
such expeditions is to do everything very slowly, and to 
keep every idea clear and separate. 

Much sooner than in the outward voyage I reached the 
river again. An Arab fowler was there, Avistfully gazing 
at a large bird which was out of his reach. I shot it, and 
the bird flew towards him wounded. He put a bullet 
through its head as it lay on the rushes with dishevelled 
outstretched wings, and then he brought it to me, but of 
course I gave it to him, which made us great friends. 
The bird had a beak like the " great bittern's," and a 
large crest on its head. 

The men at our camp were rejoiced to hear my hail 
again, " Rob Roy ! " long before they saw the canoe. 
Orientals speedily identify themselves Avith their master's 
cause, and these fellows had believed all the nonsense 
told them about this lake. Besides, their promised 
Christmas feast depended a good deal on my being 
among them. For this I bade them collect materials 

Chap. X.] 

CJiristnias on tJic Ahana. 


to make a huge bonfire, and these were piled up high. 
Hany brought in a splendid stuffed roast turkey for me 
and then a capital plum-pudding swimming in the flames 

Christmas Night on a Mouth of the Abana. 

of brandy. Fancy such an orthodox dinner in the desert 
of Ateibeh ! 

The moon shone clear, and our fire had become embers 
when the Howaja joined the party round it and asked 
silence for his address. He told them that we had now 
reached the farthest point of our journey. After this we 
were going south, and west, and homewards. Then he 
turned to the journey of life, and the home for us pil- 
grims — then to the Christmas Day just finished as a 
great mark in time's road to eternity — and then he gave 
tliem a condensed history of the world from the creation 

152- " TJwngJits. [Chap. X. 

— the law — the prophets, and the Saviour — the apostles 
— the martyrs and ourselves. 

Hany interpreted each sentence, and every sentence 
was heard with intense interest. It was indeed an open- 
air sermon, and»what with the time, the place, the au- 
dience, and the occasion, we might well feel solemnly the 
heavy responsibility we incur in speaking to others who 
will listen on subjects like these. Long after the hour 
for sleep these men were talking of it all. Perhaps no 
one of them had ever heard so much truth before, or 
will ever hear it again. 

Those who arc not convinced of the truth of the 
Gospel must at any rate admit that Christianity exists. 
How it came here, how it thrives, and how it works more 
than all other energies, are questions that no man has 
solved without assuming far more unlikely things than 
the existence of a Christ such as the Scriptures describe. 

The phenomenon appeared, they must allow, some 
eighteen centuries ago, and among a few fishermen upon 
Bethsaida beach. These simple folk carved out the only 
God-like image ever seen. These crafty conspirators 
arrayed it with a glory that eclipsed first of all them- 
selves hopelessly and for ever. They devised the most 
novel and successful scheme of moral conduct, and kept 
on preaching doctrines that convicted ever}' da}' their 
own falsehood and deception. They invented the very 
best plan for benefiting other people, but they utterly 
failed to get anything out of it for themselves except 
weeping and loss. These simpletons, that could not see 
through the flimsy veil of fable, saw deeper into human 
hearts than any other men, and gave voice to yearnings 
that were felt everywhere, but were never understood 
before. These dui)es exposed all other deceptions that 

Chap. X.] ThoiigJits. 153 

had deceived the wisest of philosophers. These dullards 
conceived a s)-stem that outreached the loftiest fancies of 
the cleverest thinkers. 

We who are of course so much wiser, and cooler, and 
better altogether — we are the only fair and shrewd 
judges to try this case. A whirlwind of clashing thoughts 
is sweeping in thunder through the darkness above us, 
and an earthquake rends the rocks, but we are placid, 
and can sit unmoved, while we rake among the chaos 
and sift out grains of truth. We have not taken sides — 
we are only standing aloof from everything. It does not 
tell upon our verdict at all that, if these prisoners at the 
bar are in the right, then we are utterly in the wrong, 
and must lay our mouths in the dust and confess that we 
are miserable sinners, and give up our dearest idol — self, 
and change our whole course of life, and labour and 
suffer and die for the truths we are now judging. 

'Tis true that we have ourselves no rival system that 
will bear five minutes' comparison with theirs — that our 
advance towards any better truth from the beginning of 
mankind, say fifty thousand years ago, is rather minute ; 
but the day after to-morrow we shall have explained all 
mysteries by our sun-like inner light, without that dim 
candle of revelation — our existence in flesh and spirit, right 
and wrong, happy and wretched, poverty, sickness, death, 
and the illimitable past and future of it all. Oh it is a 
delightful thing to live in an age so modest, impartial, 
and serene, and to trace back my pedigree with honest 
pride to the ancestral oyster in a metamorphic rock, to 
feel a patronising regret that no light from heaven could 
ever penetrate his thick shell, but that all truth is re- 
vealed to my soul by me, and that viy law of life is what 
I think right, and (for I am charitable as well as infallible) 

154 NortJicrn Lake. [Chap. X. 

your law of life is what yon think right, and that nobody 
can say anybody is more right than anybody else, and 
yet we are all right together — and that's the way to 
make things pleasant all round. 

Next day I rode to the village of Ateibeh to examine 
the northern lake. Pools of water made this town nearly 
an island, but its five hundred inhabitants seemed healthy 
and comfortable, and the sheikh was most hospitable in 
his palace of clay, with pictures on its outer walls, which 
sloped like those in Egypt. 

A dense white fog shaded the morning sun, and be- 
dewed the grove of trees. Through this we galloped 
over a fine plain to the mouth of the Abana's northern 
stream, which ran into the lake, only five feet wide in one 
part, and five feet deep, with a current of a mile an hour, 
until it suddenly branched into five, exactly like the 
palm of a hand, and so oozed forth into deep water, 
closed not far ofi" by tall dense canes — a scene quite 
different from that in the southern lake we had left. 

This was the place where the three men had perished 
in the only boat known to have traversed these lakes 
before. I waited till the fog cleared away, in order to 
get compass bearings, and then commenced a long, 
tedious, and dangerous, search for the course of this 
northerly branch of the Abana. 

The route-line on Map II., at p. 134, indicates the 
general direction, which was sometimes over low mud 
plains and hollows, at others across numerous canals 
and streamlets, or deep, treacherous mcn-ass, or golden- 
coloured herbage. 

The general conclusions arri\ed at during this ride 
were as follows : — Above V\ Keisa the Abana had sepa- 
rated into three streams. The most southerly (marked 
C on Map II., and seemingly rather modern and arti- 

Chap. X.] MoutJis of the .Ihana. 153 

ficial) is spent in irrigation, but in floods it may run 
by Harran. The middle one (marked B) we had followctl 
in the Rob Roy, and, soon after the place where we left 
it, the stream is lost in an upland marsh, until about a 
quarter of a mile from its mtnith. Tliere tlie water 
appears again as a ri\er, and. passing near tlie hamlet 
of Haush Hamar, runs into the lake through the mouth 
we had camped by for Christmas Day. The northern 
branch (marked a) also merges into an intricate spongy 
bog, until the waters unite in the stream which enters the 
northern lake. Between these last two branches is the 
land separating the two lakes. Porter states that this 
neck of land, about a mile in breadth, divides them 
permanently, except where the deep channel through it 
allows the water to run. \"andevelde marks the land 
here only as a peninsula, and he indicates the channel 
called El Hawar through this narrow tongue. Porter 
says that the water flows from south to north through 
this, but the sheikh at Hijaneh stated that the water 
runs either way. All the people at Ateibeh assured me 
that Tell el Khanzir^ is not at the place so named in 
Vandevelde and in Petermann (and which is called 
Tell Xamy). but is north and west of Ateibeh. Porter 
(who visited the actual spot) places Tell ^laktil Musa 
near the channel above mentioned, while Vandcxelde 
calls another Tell by that nanie. The misty cloud 
which hung about us for several hours prevented me 
from taking reliable bearings of the villages in this 
district, but, on the whole, they corresponded with the 
position marked in Vandevelde. 

According to Porter, the northern lake is about eight 
miles long, by four and a half wide, and receives part of 

* Wilson, however, mentions the Tell by this name, as being near the 
canal, though he did not reach it, owing to a robbery at his camp. 

156 Tell Dckweh. [Chap. X. 

the Yezid water, and in winter a stream called the Mah- 
rabrit at the north. It also receives water from some 
springs. The most copious of these, Ain Halush, waters 
five villages. The southern morass is about six miles 
long, and four broad. The plants I saw upon it were 
seldom higher than five feet. 

On the east of these lakes, and, according to my com- 
pass bearings, about sixteen miles from Ateibeh, and 
eighteen from Hijaneh, is a high mound, called Tell 
Dekweh, one of a line of Tells close together for fifteen 
miles. These form the most remarkable, and, indeed, 
singular feature in the eastern horizon. The land 
between them and the lakes must be high, Porter says 
thirty feet, and the outline sketch of them given on 
Map II., which was taken from my post P in the marsh, 
shows that they are nearly hidden by the shore when 
looked at from the water. 

Three strange ruined buildings lie between these hills 
and the lake, but no man lives in that solitude, and all 
around and beyond is a desert of silence. 

It was difficult to resist the powerful attraction of a 
visit to such places on the eastern shore, but the Rob 
Roy had no business there, and plenty of work was 
awaiting her which could only be done in a canoe. So 
she was mounted again on her pony, and we filed along 
the edge of the morass by Kefrein ("two villages") and 
Jedideh, easily finding a far better route than our herds- 
man guide had led before ; for there are very few places 
where a traveller is not his own best guide when journey- 
ing in a mode unknown to the natives." 

* The plain of the Abana is considerably lower than that of the Pharpar, 
and Wilson describes a canal leading from the l'li;\rpar to the Damascus 
plain. In one place it is crossed by a Roman bridge, so it must have 
existed in Roman times. This may be the canal alluded to before, p. 117. 

Chap. X.] 

Tell Ilijanch. 

I '. 

In the lovely evening our tents were pitched at the 
foot of the large and very remarkable mound of Hijaneh, 
which, looming out from the horizon, deep blue-black 
and vivid, against the evening sky, had long been our 
landmark from afar." To run up this for a new view of 
old things, and a sight of what was hidden behind, was 

I'i'i-l- - "-^^^^iS^ 

Hijaneh Lake from the Top of the Tell. 

n, the tirst river. r, second river. /, pools in Bashan. B, Butreya ruins. 

c, cairn. s, summit of Fashal. i, position of the island. 

?, south limb of the Pharpar. The dotted part in the lake is densely covered by canes. 

of course one's immediate delight Such pleasures never 
pall on the voyager. 

This huge Tell is about lOO feet high, and lOOO yards 
long, by 400 in breadth. It seems unlikely that it can 
be wholly natural, yet it is far too large to be formed 
by man. On one end is a fort Ruins are in the 
middle, and enormous stones are piled in circles all 
about, while a small modern cairn crowns the southern 

' It is strange that this very striking object is not noticed in Murray's 
Guidebook. It is marked on Map IV, 

158 Hija7ieh Lake. [Chap. X. 

end, as a look-out for the soldiers here to spy the robber 

Towards the north I could not see a speck of clear 
water in Ateibeh marsh, but to the south-east there 
stretched the new lake of Hijaneh, its ample basin full, 
and ready for to-morrow in the canoe, where myriads of 
water-fowl were darkening the air, or busily crowding 
amongst the tall yellow canes. 

Here was our first view also of the River Pharpar, 
which divides into two as it nears the lake,* and from 
this point the accompanying sketch was made, looking 
south-east towards the giant cities of Bashan. 

This was one of those many charming spots to camp 
in which make the traveller revel in joy. The air balmy 
and serene, the prospect grand, the floor of one's little 
mansion dry and salubrious, the village not too close 
to mar by its odours and noises, the sky melting 
from the azure of day into the dark repose of night, 
where only the stars seemed alive, until the last plain- 
tive wail of the last jackal for the night was blended 
in the first bark of the most wakeful dog next day. 
What must it be for a sentimental man to live in scenes 
like this .? 

Goats in a flock wending to the river showed us the 
ford where bushes and wattles laid on the water formed 
a rude bridge. Then we mounted the little hill, and 
next Tell Kasrein, to reconnoitre the lake. On both 
of these are ruins of black basalt, squared as in the 
giant cities of Bashan. At the eastern top of Kasrein 
there is one enormous stone, twelve feet wide, and a 

* Inspection of these confirmed the evidence of tlie natives that the 
branch running south of Tell Kasrein is the larger of the two. Vandevelde 
niarlvs only one, and that on the wiong side of the Tell, 

Chap. X.] Paddling to Bashan. 159 

yard in thickness, covering a subterraneous store or 
chamber. This stone I observed had been blasted by 
gunpowder, and, descending below it, I came upon the 
skeleton of a man, from which I brought back a tooth, to 
remind me to ask about it. Then they told us that, 
many years ago, some " Frangi " (that is, somebody not 
dressed or speaking like Turks) had excavated here for 
"treasure," but that they suddenly left the spot when an 
" accident " had occurred ; and, doubtless, the skeleton 
was that of the one who was killed. 

Next day the Rob Roy dashed into the reeds of 
Hijaneh. These were from ten to fifteen feet high, 
counting the root. The longest I obtained was twenty 
feet, allowing for five feet of immersion, as the water was 
usually of that depth. These canes were a barrier not 
easily forced. However, it was quite a different matter 
here from the slow dull " punting " across a shallow 
marsh in Ateibeh. My pole easily caught the long stiff 
reeds, as a purchase to act upon, and, by standing up in 
the canoe with a compass to direct, and the clumps of 
canes to haul upon with my hands, I soon crossed right 
through them, and came into open water, and so landed 
at the foot of the long hill of the Fashal, which bounds 
the lake on the south ; and thus in the Rob Roy I entered 
the land of Bashan. Here I left the canoe and ran up 
the mountain to a cairn near the end, whence a new and 
splendid prospect oj^ened out grandly from a point not 
visited before by any traveller, so far as can be found. 
Our mode of progress was at any rate unique, thus 
landing on the Hauran^ in a canoe, and entering alone 
upon a district where a guard is always required for pro- 

' Hauran, from the Hebrew word meaning a liole. The jieople tliere 
Uved in caves, the " Troglodytes." 

1 60 TJic Giani Cities. [Chap. X. 

tection. My first care was to see that no lurking Arab 
should intercept my return to the water. For miles 
around the place was utterly desolate. In case of an 
armed party appearing, I must be ready to retreat to my 
boat, and, by gaining the reeds, be out of reach of their 
guns. Meantime, with cocked pistol in one hand, and a 
stout staff in the other, I was fully prepared for any 
single Arab, or even for a couple of them, who might try 
to make a capture in hopes of the usual ransom. Ruins 
with huge black basalt rocks crowned the hill-crest, to 
which I had run up rather than climbed, and the sight 
all around me was magnificent. The day was bright, 
the air was clear, no sound whatever came to the listening 
ear, however still, no moving thing could be seen on that 
dread wilderness. In the far-off picture, which was all 
black basalt, I could see the mounds and ruins of at least 
ten towns, apparently tenantless of man, desolate for 
ages, but sternly defying time and weather still, and 
telling loudly to the world in their very silence the truth 
of prophecy, and the sureness of the curse of God. To 
the north was the wide marsh of Ateibeh, and the un- 
measured plain beyond. The Jebel Tinyeh chain stood 
out from the plain of Damascus, and a long line of snow 
peaks gleamed in the blue sky. Hermon, that ever 
present mountain, here again asserted his majesty, and 
pierced the only cloud. From below this, like a long 
winding thread of silver, the Pharpar flowed, and, 
sweeping to the south, just under the sun, Averc the 
rugged hills where Og had ruled and revelled ages 
ago. In the middle of this ancient panorama was my 
pretty little floating home resting by the waterside. All 
the Bedouins of the desert could not catch us when 
afloat, nor could they reach me with their rifles, for, in 

Chap. X.] Nimriiu. l6i 

two minutes, I should be hidden by the reeds. At sucli 
a moment the Rob Roy seemed more than ever dear to 
me, if such an expression is ever permissible respectini^ 
an inanimate object, and as I wended my way down the 
hill again through huge ruins and rank vegetation, there 
was a feeling of exhaustion and repletion of excitement, 
and the conviction in the mind, " I have had strange 
thoughts here." A chain of far distant pools shone with 
light to the south. Among those nearer was Bala Lake, 
but, unfortunately, I did not sketch it. In the facsimile 
sketch at p. 157, the farthest water must be Bala, and the 
long streams of Nimrim,^*^ while the oak forests darkened 
the way to the ancient Bozrah. 

In all this panorama of sable rock and hills one man 
only could be seen, and he was miles away, though he 
seemed near enough to hail as he marshalled his little 
flock of desert sheep and a camel, all unconscious that a 

'" "The waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate" (Jeremiah xlviii. 34). 
The name occurs again in a passage of such exquisite beauty, and with 
other names so liquid and grand, that it is inserted here. This is in Isaiah 
XV. 2-7. 

"He is gone to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: 
Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba : on all their heads shall be 
baldness, and every beard cut off. 

" In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth : on tlie to]:)s 
of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abun- 

"And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh : their voice shall be heard even 
unto Jahaz : therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out ; his life 
shall be grievous unto him. 

" My heart shall cry out for Moab ; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an 
heifer of three years old : for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping 
shall they go it up ; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry 
of destruction. 

" For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is williei\-d 
away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing. 

" Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have 
laid up, shall they carry away tt) the t^rook of the willows." 


1 62 The Island. [Chap. X. 

Giaour was staring at him from the hot sharp peaks of 
the mountain. 

A hasty examination of the ruins marked Betraya in 
Vandevelde's map found nothing of interest there. But 
I noticed at once with great deHght that there was, 
indeed, an island on the lake, and buildings upon it. 
This can be only just discerned from one part of Hijaneh 
fort, for it is otherwise hid by Kasrein, and I cannot 
explain why I did not remark it from the top of Kasrein 
Tell. Carefully taking its bearings, I descended from 
my eyrie, and the Rob Roy w^as soon again in the 
thick of the reeds. 

By careful steering I reached the spot desired, and 
was soon made aware of my nearness to it by the tracks 
of wild boars cut through the reeds as the water shoaled 
to less than two feet. With necessary caution I went all 
round the island first, ever ready in an instant to dart 
out into deeper water, if by misfortune I should come on 
some sleepy "tusker" who might charge the Rob Roy, 
smash her to pieces, and leave me helpless on the con- 
cealed island. The ground was a few acres in extent, 
and torn to pieces with innumerable boar ruts, while 
for 200 yards the massive walls of four strong buildings 
rose to the height of three or four courses of masonry. 
I determined not to land in so dangerous a place, but 
with the full conviction all the time that I must land 
nevertheless. Very quietly then I punted in along a 
boar track and stepped ashore, and with pistol and club 
stole noiselessly into the silent enclosure. I was the 
only animal then on the island, or the others were ver\' 
well hid. Indeed I have seen only two wild boars at all 
in the East, and these certainly were not pleasant- 
looking, with their enormous heads, )-ellow tusks, and 
stiff red bristles erect on their back, fully three inches 

Chap. X.] 

In a Boar-track. 


long-. I entered chamber after chamber, always pistol in 
hand, but all was silent. j\Iy boat was so buried in the 
reeds where I had left her that I could not find her 
again, and for a little time there was a qualm in her 

By a Boar-track on Lakt; Hijanch. 

captain's bosom, but soon we were afloat again. From 
observations here and in hunting the wild boar in Egypt 
years ago, I came to the conclusion that in two feet of 
water the boar is compelled to swim, and he is then 
more concerned to retreat than to attack. As I slowly 
paddled round the shores of this lonely isle, I saw dee[) 
at the bottom many huge stones and ruined walls and 
piers as of a bridge, squared and cut for unknown pur- 
poses by unknown men at a time unknown. At the north 
angle of it there is a channel of open water straight to 

164 Channel. [Chap. X. 

the shore, in a direction north-west ; this is 200 yards long, 
twenty yards wide, and with water seven feet deep, so that 
it was evidently a fortress in old times cleverly placed, 
though one may well pity the garrison of such a keep. 
The channel led to a little Tell, no doubt an outwork 
once, and busy with life of a people long since passed 
into another world. 

I know not whether this place has been visited before, 
but it would be quite easy to reach the island by the 
merest raft. As for getting through the reeds, that 
could only be done by a canoe. A row-boat needs room 
on each side for her oars, and it would be next to impos- 
sible to wade, with mud below and four feet of water 
above, and the reeds between. I brought away one of 
the twenty-foot reeds trodden down by the wild boars in 
this island as a trophy for my traveller's museum in the 
Temple, but to my great regret it was afterwards thrown 
aside by a muleteer heedlessly. There was great 
rejoicing in the village at the return of the shaktoor 
(boat), and until a late hour at night the people haunted 
my tents, and the sheikh, a fine handsome fellow, had 
coffee with me to learn the news, which afterwards and 
for many a day he would retail to his subjects with all 
the additions which a romantic Arab can so pleasantly 
hang upon a simple tale. 

Chap. XL] Hijaiick Lake. 1 65 



OU R next day's start in the Rob Roy was made 
farther north to survey the rest of the lake, and to 
determine its nature, depth, and size. Open spaces were 
frequent, and the countless wild fowl made the scene 
lively and exciting. When undisturbed, the noise of 
these birds feeding all unseen was extraordinary. It 
sounded like a strong river gushing, and yet it was only 
the chittering of their bills. The dotted route line on 
the map shows the course of the canoe, with arrow points 
to indicate its direction. At the round promontory on 
the north-east I noticed a wolf stealthily drinking, and I 
landed for battle, creeping low with my pistol and 
bludgeon, but he decamped with a snarl of defiance. 
Next the canoe entered a canal, to which a deep channel 
conducts through the bay. The water was fifteen feet 
wide and four feet deep, and the current about a mile 
an hour, between banks gradually higher as we floated 
along, merrily singing, in the bright sunny day. But after 
a mile or so of this, as the current increased rapidly, we 
had to think of the journey against it for return, and so 
I landed in the wilderness to rest and take bearings. 

1 66 yiinglc. [Chap. XI. 

The next promontory was low, and led out to an 
insular tract of shallow in the lake ; so I hauled the canoe 
over this and entered a second canal. This seemed to 
be much older than the other, and it had no current, but 
ended in a deep dr}^ brake with banks nearly 20 feet 
high. We were told that these two canals were made to 
drain off the surplus of Hijaneh Lake, that it might not 
flood the arable land. 

The canal first entered was made about thirt}* years 
ago, and it leads by the Asyah Hasweh to the pool 
called Bala in Vandevelde's map. When the canoe could 
go no farther in the second channel, I left her for a walk. 

The jungle became rapidly thicker, and exactly the 
sort of place where wild beasts lie at noon. Numerous 
marks of their feet were there, and the turf was torn up 
freshly by the tusks of boars. Having thus gone as far 
as prudent towards the " Road of Robbers," I sat down 
on the level plain to rest and enjoy myself and to take 
compass bearings. Some at least of these angles were 
less accurately observed than they ought to be, especially 
when the fear of robbers and beasts hurried the work of 
the surveyor, A\ho, besides observing the compass, had to 
look on each side of him for danger just as a monkey 
does when everything about him is suspected. Perhaps 
at first sight it may be considered of little consequence 
to ascertain the nature and shapes of these places, but a 
difterent estimate of their interest and importance is 
formed when we consider their relation to the ancient 
city of Damascus, the evidence around them of nations 
once existing, but now extinct, to whom Hijaneh must 
have been a well-known feature, and besides all this the 
halo of undying celebrity attached to the Abana and 
Pharpar by Naaman's comparison of them with that 
other more blessed stream we are soon to sail upon. 

Chap. XL] 

Plain of PJiarpcir 


Let us rest a bit in our tent this fine evenin;4- to collect 
oar memoranda from the note-book hurriedly pjnci lied. 
Yet it is not easy to withdraw the eye from the bea utiful 

Hermon and Plain of the Pharpar. 

picture before us, framed by the curtains of our canvas 

Hermon insists on beincr sovereign of the scene, and 

1 68 Maps. [Chap. XL 

there you see him high over all in the sketch above. 
The plain, long stretching from the carpet at our feet, is 
that which is watered by the Pharpar, and to the left is 
the root of the Fashal Tell, while the mound of Abu 
Zid and other less prominent hills are grouped in front 
at the foot of imperial Hermon. The villagers have 
come to gossip and drink our coffee, so the short reverie 
is closed. 

After examining all the best maps hitherto drawn of 
this lake of Hijaneh, it is evident enough that none 
of them have been made by personal survey from each 
side.^ Porter declines to imagine where he has not 
inspected, and rightly merges the lake in the desert 
without any southern outline, though Hijaneh has a 
very distinct shore line all round it. Vandevelde's map 
is distinct, but rather inaccurate. Petermann's is worse, 
for the whole is imagined, and not even imagined well, 
though distinctly. Ritter's, however, is the worst of all, 
for it " lumps " the three lakes in one, and marks all 
sorts of bays and capes as if they had been accurately 
surveyed. This pretentious accuracy is equally falla- 
cious in his delineation of the Abana and Pharpar, the 
Jordan, the Lake of Hooleh, and the Sea of Galilee. 

Keeping to facts ascertained by those Avho have 
actually seen the places, we may consider it to be 
proved that there are four lakes ; that a channel unites 
the two northern ones ; that the margins of these are 
vague, and that the Abana runs into them without ever 
escaping again except in vapour. Also that the two 
southern lakes, Hijaneh and Bala, are united by a 
channel, and that the Pharpar falls into Hijaneh only 
to be evaporated again like the Abana. Lasth', the 

' Unless the contour varies nuicli in dilTcrent seasons. But tliis is not 
likely here. 

■ pashal Xf 


■^^^rllf*"*' -.«fl™.,-^,i'*" 

TM AhuZid ^i'"'"'' ^ Fort 

1M(1^ Te, 

" t' ' r -^'-d el M u s 



Chap. XL] Bearings. 169 

water in the two sets of lakes does not increase and 
diminish together, but one may be dry while the other is 
deep, and vice versa. Probably the Abana and Pharpar, 
therefore, do not flood or dry up together. One may be 
more influenced by the melting snow, and the other 
by rain. The investigation of this interesting point is 
still open to some careful observer. 

The principal bearings obtained by our little compass 
may now be given from the Rob Roy's Log. From 
these were constructed the maps of the lakes. A few of 
the bearings are evident mistakes, or at least cannot be 
dovetailed with the rest, but it is better to record them 
all, with the excuse for a little confusion which any one 
who follows the Rob Roy will need for himself when he 
uses together both a canoe and a compass.- 

Compass Bearings near Ateibeh Marsh. 

Hanan Mosque Tell Dekweh, E. by S. 

Haush Hamar Mouth Harran Pillars, S.W. 

North mouth of Abana Tell el Namy, E.S.E. J E. 

Ateibeh, S. * W. 

(?) Tell el Khanzir, N.^ 

- Those who are interested sufficiently to investigate these bearings in 
detail will remark that the maps of the two lakes are connected in position 
only by one observation from Hijaneh Fort, and in distance by the interval 
between Jedideh and Hijaneh taken as a base. The length of this base I 
could not measure, but estimating it from the time taken to ride over it, 
Vandevelde's map, and Murray's account, I reckon the distance as nearly 
two miles and a half. The time occupied in riding from Haush Hamar 
mouth to Hijaneh was four hours and a half, but the ground being very 
heavy at first, and our horses tired by a long morning's work, our pace 
was not more than two miles an hour, which would agree veiy well with 
the distance given by compass bearings, SJ miles. These maps had been 
printed before it was thought desirable to allow for variation of the com- 
pass, which in the other maps is 5° west. 

3 This was pointed to by the native guide, but it was not seen in the fog. 


Bearings. [Chap. XI. 



Course in Ateibeh Morass. 




) Bearings of Last. 



... I 

... N.N.\Y. 


... N. N. W. (tent-flag midway between I & 2). 



... N.N.W. Pillars at Harran, \Y.S.W. 


... N.W. by N. (turn to left). 


■•• 5 

... N.W. 1 N. 


... 6 

... Bearings from this : — 

Harran pillars, W.S.W. \ \V. 
HijanehTell, S.S.W. 
Tent-flag, N.W. by N. 
Ateibeh, N.N.E. 
Dekweh mount, E. by S. 
Tell Maktil Musa, S.E. h E. 
Tell el Namy, N.N.E. 
The position of Station 6 is marked P in Map II. 

Compass Bearings ix and near the Lake of Hijaneh 

Hijaneh (X.E. corner of the fort) Jedideh, N. 

Kefrein, N. J E. 
Harran, N. % E. 
Ateibeh, N.N.E. \ E. 
Tell Meskin and 
Deir Hagar 
. ... Pharparford, S.S.W. 
End of fort, N.W. I N. 
End of reeds, E.S.E. \ E. 
End of next promontory, S.E. \ S. 
Small Tell near Kasrein, S. \ ^^'. 


Hijaneh (south cairn) 

Entrance of first canal (first river 
in plan at p. 157) 

Entrance of second canal (second 
river, p. 157) 

Hijaneh, east end, W.N.W. A W, 
Kasrein Tell, W.S.W. 
Bataryeh ( ? ) ruins, S.W. 
End Tell on Fashal, S. 
Tell Abu Zid, W. \ N. 
Jedideh, N.W. I N. 

Ruins, W.S.W. 
Kasrein, N.W. by W. 
Fashal Cairn, S.W. by S. 
Tell Dekweh, E. by N. \ N. 
Hijaneh, N.N.W. \ W. 

■* This seems too far N, to be correct. 

Chap. XL] Off to BasJiau. 171 


Post B on soutli bend of tin- 
canal Hijanch, X.W. byX. 

Fa,shal, S.W. 
Second start point on Lake Ili- 

janeh Ruins, S.W. by S. 

Fashal point, S.* 
Ilijaneh fort, X. by W, 
X.E. corner of the island in Ili- 
janeh West corner of Hijaneh fort, N. 

Kasrein to E. covers the rest. 
Direction of the channel to shore, X^.W. 

I thirsted to see near what I \vis:fully gazed at in the 
Hauran from afar, the "Giant Cities" so graphically 
described by Porter, and I determined to visit at least 
one of these. For this we went up the Pharpar to 
Nejha, a little village full of Arab tents, but built itself 
on so steep a rock that we could scarcely find room for 
our camp alongside. Next day leaving our tents, and 
all our valuables, and with only a mule for light luggage, 
and with the village sheikh as guide, and one of our 
soldiers as guard, we rode into the " Land of Argob," as 
the Bible calls it, the "stone country." Here are the 
Druses in force, and the Turks have the mere name of 
possession without rule over the Arab hordes, but an 
Englishman is safer here than other travellers. They 
like us, they welcome us, and now and then they 
plunder us. 

This part of our journey need not be minutely 
described, for it has been done well by other travellers. 
The village sheikh who came with us was mounted on a 
very small saddle made of bones. His wife was weaving 
cane mats with black strings, each of them tied to a 
stone. Bleak was the way amid wavelike hills of un- 
numbered stones. Camels fed in them nevertheless, 

^ This seems too far W. to be correct, or the point was not that at 
the end. 

172 Brak. [Chap. XI. 

and long-haired goats, and the black Arab tents were in 
many valleys, with the blue smoke listlessly curling 
towards the sky, but not very particular as to its 
direction here or there. Rivers marked in the map 
we found utterly dry. Yet we went down for miles 
until a blacker black in the distance showed we had 
come to the nearest " giant city." 

This Bashan town of Brak looked like a mass of crags 
without order until we came close. It was far more 
curious to behold than I had even anticipated. You 
come upon a mile of rock and stone in piles, the ruins of 
the commoner houses along a ridge, and at one end 
of this you perceive with amazement that fifty or sixty 
of the ancient houses are still standing almost uninjured. 
They are built of massive basalt blocks, a stone which 
resists time and weather, and yet is so rough that it will 
scarcely slip to tumble down even when ruin has begun. 
No one can tell when these cities were built. "^ Porter 
says it may have been in the da}'s of Ham. We lunch 
meantime on the roof of one, and then for four hours 
wander over and under and through the others, at every 
step more puzzled about them and more pleased. 

Stone is everything here. The town has some hun- 
dred stone cisterns, but no well, and the rain water is 
stored in these ; hence its name Brak (cistern). The 
walls of the houses are four or five feet thick, sometimes 
six feet, of roughly hewn basalt. Several houses have 
the stone well cut, almost polished. Many are of two 
stories high, and a few three stories. The joists and 

® Mr. Freshfiekl, wlio recently visited the ll.iuran, thinks tliat the 
buildings are modern. 'J'hey seem to be of two kinds where very ancient 
remains are interspersed with structures of Roman character and of a 
different form, and certainly not " giant " in the height of their gates, or 
roofs, or ceilings. 

Chap. XL] Stoitc Everything. 173 

rafters of the great rooms are all of stone. Some of 
these are twelve or fourteen feet long. The doors are 
large slabs of stone, the stables have stone mangers, and 
the spouts on the roofs are stone. I could not find any 
chimneys except holes in the roof, but there were stone 
cooking places, and stone troughs in the kitchens. 
There is no wood here at all, and every single thing is 
stone. In several houses fine semicircular arches sup- 
port the roofs of large halls, and until quite lately all 
these buildings were entirely untenanted. The Arabs 
like their tents better than any houses, and they even 
live in tents pitched in the courtyards of the empty 
streets, and they would not let other people take 
lodgings here. The sight of this town is a new sen- 
sation, a bewilderment, and upon looking at house upon 
house, built, finished, lived in, deserted, and yet unsought 
by any of the homeless, houseless folks of this world, 
there is an inward protest against the conclusion, 
mingled with a romantic interest in the whole affair. 
Yet, I regret to say, much of this will be lost to future 
travellers. They will see the houses indeed, but not so 
silent and tenantless. People are beginning to inhabit 
them again. Within the last three years a hundred 
persons have taken up their abode in this one town of 
Brak which Porter speaks of as without an inhabitant 
at the time he wrote. A man came here from Aleppo 
to avoid the cruel conscription for military service, which 
is one of the self-inflicted wrongs of the miserable Turk. 
He collected others round him who liked this convenient 
" tenant right," with no landlord to give notice, and no 
rates to pay. So these people settled in Brak, and now 
the chief defies the Government to wrest from him his 
freehold I " By all means," I said, " let us call on him." 
He was not at home, but his son, a fine youth of twenty, 



[Chap. XI. 

received me well, and I invited myself as a lodger for 
the night. 

Turning to the Turkish soldier who was with me, he 
said with most courteous ferocity, " I should like to cut 
your throat, sir ; " we told him not to joke with the 
military, but he said it again, said it to his face, and was 
in earnest too. However, because of the " Howaja 
Ingleez," he would let the poor Turk alone. I had a 

stone Door of a House in Bashan. 

bedroom given to me in this ancient house, the largest 
and best in the town. Perhaps Og, the king of Bashan, 
may have slept in the same room ; and let me now 
describe it, after wc have swept out all the grain which 
fills the floor, in a heap. 

We have entered the yard of the dwelling through a 
gateway where two massive stone doors still turn on 


Chap. XL] 

Sfojie Gate and SJnittcr. 


their pivots, and folding together are fastened by a rope 
through holes in their inner edges. These slabs are 
about seven feet in height and six inches thick, and the 
pivots about four inches long and three in diameter. I 
can close them with one finger. A stone door of this 
kind has been sent to the British Museum. Inside the 
court we find a stable with compartments, all of stone, 
and upstairs m}' room is now ready, the steps to it 

,, „.|.;,.„,|li;l|l'll'!lll,-— , 


Stone Shutter of my Bed Room. 

being in the wall outside. The floor is perfectly smooth ; 
the walls, of cut stone, well joined. The window, on a 
level with the floor, and opposite to the door, is actually 
furnished with a stone ivindoiv-sJinttcr, four feet by three 
in width. Somebody may have looked through this 
window when England was a desert, and long before 
the Britons were painted blue and hunted the elk in 
Wessex. A Greek inscription is on a wall of the court- 
yard relating to some monument, and dated five cen- 
turies before Christ. At night I took mv candle and 

Mr. Brio-ht. [Chap. XT. 


went upstairs to bed (holes in some stairs for bannisters 
are noticed), and then read the * Times,' telling that the 
new Ministry had been formed with the Right Honour- 
able John Bright in the Cabinet. My bed-room win- 
dow stone-shutter opened outwards. The stone-doors 
opened inwards, and when there are two leaves, they 
overlap. In several of the houses there were small stone 
rollers to smooth the clay on the roof outside exactly 
like those now seen elsewhere and described before. 
One of these rollers was in use at this sheikh's house, 
and he assured me that he had found it there. Our bed- 
room is fourteen feet long, and nine feet wide, and eleven 
feet high. Stone slabs neatly jointed project inwards 
from the end walls, and on them are laid six stone 
rafters, each ten feet long, and about fifteen inches wide. 
The stones to support the joists were sometimes let into 
the wall at a slope, and in other cases with a flat part 
let in and an angle turned up. Rough stones are laid 
across these above, and then rubble and earth to form 
the roof. One side wall has three recesses, about three 
feet from the floor, each of them about a yard deep and 
high and wide. These form cupboards, and in most 
houses in Syria, whether of stone or mud, the very same 
plan is adopted at the present day. In the stable below 
the mangers are recesses of this kind, and the oxen eat 
their fodder from this sort of recessed shelf, the lower 
ones being open to allow the sheep and goats to pass. 
It occurred to my mind at once that, as Bethlehem has 
many houses built against rocks, the manger of the 
room in which our Lord was laid may have been 
precisely of this kind, and if so, it \\ould be the \ery 
safest and most convenient place in the apartment for 
the infant Saviour to be placed. At one of the watering- 
places in the ruins there was assembled a picturesque 

Chap. XI.] KiilZ Os^. 

group of men and women, cattle, sheep, and goats, 
camels, horses, and asses, all awaiting their turn as a 
man let down a bucket by a rope thirty feet long, and 
then poured the water into pots and pans and troughs 
for the beasts, just as it was done, no doubt, in the days 
of Og, that lofty warrior-king. 

Wild beasts infest these ruins, and they ran about all 
night wailing with greedy hunger as they scented the 
bleating kids. The dogs of the house were equall}' 
active, and rushed through my room and clambered on 
the roof, baying at the moon and barking furiously as 
the wilder quadrupeds shrieked again for prey. The 
sheikh, a man with long red hair, was most complacent 
in the morning. He reviled and defied the Turks and 
their government, and then extolled the English and 
our gracious Queen. He said the River Khuneifis never 
ran water, except in heavy rain storms. This stream is 
marked in the maps as if it were a regular river. I 
passed four times over its bed, which had not the sem- 
blance of water then, but was tilled and verdant Avith 
crops. The River Leiva (or Looa) must be a good deal 
imaginary. The ground near Brak seemed to be below 
the level of Lake Hijaneh. The Matkh Brak (marked 
as a lake in the maps) was dry and covered with crops. 
The pools I saw from the Fashal and the Bala Lake 
were not visible from the highest point at Brak, though 
I spent about six hours there in carefully inspecting all 
that could be dived into or clambered over. 

Returning by another route, we visited Merjany, a 
smaller town, and with houses just like the others, except 
that they were utterly vacant and still. As I came near 
them, riding a mile in advance, a wild cat skulked in one 
of the kitchens, the only sign of life. The pav^ement 
of the enclosures here was absolutely as perfect as it 


178 Paddle on Pharpar. [Chap. XI. 

ever could have been in old times, but no flock ever 
bleats now in these ancient folds. Brak was grander 
than this, and, at first, more striking ; but the mud now 
plastered on the walls of the houses full of living men 
has covered up much of the sentiment there, and which 
still reigns in Merjany supreme and overwhelming amidst 
absolute silence, and black gaunt loneliness. 

It was a pleasant ride back from the Hauran and the 
stony land of Argob, and soon our horses' hoofs again 
sank softly in the rich loam by the Pharpar, and I chose 
for my encampment a charming bend on the river. The 
water ran smoothly round a low grassy bank, which Avas 
warmed by a genial sun, and dotted Avith early flowers. 
How peaceful it was for a moment ! But soon our long 
string of mules came near. Boxes and bundles were 
loosed from their backs, and quickly sprinkled the sward. 
Men shouted, and horses neighed. As if by magic, two 
snowy homes fluttered into being, and the wild plain 
resounded with hammer knocks on tent pins. Perfect 
method and order always ruled our camp. Lax disci- 
pline gains no respect from the Moslem ; so, when our red 
ensign was flung out to the breeze, I left the men to their 
duties and paddled up the river. The boys of Adalyeh 
were frantic with a new delight. The women forgot even 
to cover their faces. The men ran pell-mell to see the 
" Shaktoor," doubtless the very first boat they had ever 
seen in their lives, even in a picture. Above the village 
is a curious aqueduct, and beyond it a sort of dam with 
a waterfall. Here, as we mount the stream, are the first 
trees on the Pharpar, and from this spot I could just 
discern the fort of Hijaneh, near which the ri\er enters 
the lake. After healtliy exercise like this — riding half 
the day and canoeing the rest — it is pleasant, indeed, to 
haul up the Rob Roy on the velvet turf, and to enter 

Chap. XL] Sources. 1 79 

one's canvas citadel, sure to find every single article, 
great and small, precisely in the same relative positi(Mi 
they occupied yesterday, and every day before. 

The thick Turkey carpet, the tressel-bed, the wooden 
box, I had got made at Damascus twenty years before, 
the portmanteau I had brought from America, the camp 
stools, with the large tin basin on one, the cleanest of 
table-cloths spread daintily, and the brightest of j^late ; 
all these, and every little nick-nack, are the same every 
day, and not an instant is wasted about the furniture oi 
our room, but all attention may be riveted at once upon 
the splendid prospect outside, seen as we recline in peace 
and gaze through our tent-door framing this lovely pic- 
ture. The Pharpar rises in Blount Hermon in two 
streams. According to Porter, the north and principal 
branch has its spring in fountains near Arny, and the 
second rises from Beit Jenin, at the foot of Hermon, 
These unite after eight miles at Sasa, and form the 
Awaj,' which then runs about six miles south-east, and 
then eastwards to Kesweh, five miles more, whence it 
soon falls over the weir near Adalyeh, and meanders 
quietly to its noiseless end in the lake. 

Reveries are sweetest when you are half tired ; but 
the most poetic traveller m?ist eat, if it be only as a duty. 
The jingling of plates and glasses foretels that faithful 
Hany has elaborated his menu and Sleman approaches 
with a low reverence to say it is "hadir" (ready). The 
tinkling of mule-bells shows the beasts have come from 
their watering, the quiet outside shows that the men are 
at rest, the soothing gurgle of the Nargilleh proclaims 
that Latoof is in the height of enjoyment. Our long 

" Jebel Jar seems to form a ptjrtion of tlic diviling ridge, as the waters 
flow to Pharpar on one side, and to tlie \'armuk on the other. It is near 
Jebba, in lat. 33° 09' 36" N., and long. 35° 52' 34" E. (Wilson). 

i8o Adalych. [Chap. XI. 

chibouque, less vocal, is equally serene. Not one dis- 
turbing thought or care jars on the mind, not even about 
the waiter and the "bill." This is luxury, a terrible 
luxury too, for if not earned by labour and energy, it 
cannot be enjoyed by him who counts the hours that fly. 

At least a hundred visitors formed a respectful circle 
round our camp, all sitting on the grass, until the sun 
sunk into Hermon's snowy lap. Then one by one they 
left, the last one being a depository for all time to come 
of all that the rest of them had heard or imagined about 
the wonderful "Frangi" and his marvellous " Shaktoor." 

Next day she was launched again, and sped down the 
river swiftly on a rapid stream. The whole course of 
the Pharpar from this to the lake is dull and monotonous 
to a degree, without any interest whatever, except as 
a new lesson in canoeing. 

The excessive winding of Pharpar can only be com- 
pletely realised by following its channel in a canoe. Of 
course, any other kind of boat would very soon be unbear- 
able in such a river as this, unless the voyager could turn 
his face permanently backwards. Though the stream 
ran from four to five miles an hour, and my speed over 
the land must have nearly doubled this in actual pro- 
gress, yet the Rob Roy was two hours in accomplishing 
a distance between two points which the mules, at an 
easy walk (under three miles an hour), finished in thirty 
minutes. Thus we may estimate that the channel bends 
so much as to make the river's length about seven or 
eight times as much as the real interval measured upon 
a straight line. 

To exhibit this more clearly, I have given here in the 
plan a copy of my map of half a mile of the Pharpar. 
In nearly all rivers we have a bend to right and left of a 
general course. In some there is a "wind within a bend," 

Chap. XL] JViiiduig Pharpar. 1 8 1 

but in the instance refen-cd to on the Pharpar it will be 
seen that in several parts there is " a turn within a wind 
within a bend."*^ 

Some of these gyrations were performed in so small a 

Half a Mile of the Pharpar. 

compass that Hany used to stand still on the bank and 
converse with me wdiile the Rob Roy carried its crew 
away from him, and then back again several times, but 
yet seldom out of sight during the excursion. 

It would have been waste of time to spend it on much 
of this work ; so at the bridge where the " Haclj road '" 
takes the Mecca pilgrims over the river on their long 
tiresome route to the air-hung coffin of the Prophet, the 
canoe was brought ashore. 

Here we part from the bare and bending Pharpar, so 
slow, so silent, so solitary ; winding to the lake to die, 
and yet in dying to rise again — a subtle vapour drawn 
up to heaven by the sun. There in the sky it meets the 
rapid Abana, which has rushed over rocks and through 
the ancient city, and then oozed to the marsh, and has 
melted into a cloud. We leave these streams, that we 
may see their rivals in Palestine, and so answer the 
question of the Syrian prince, "Are not Abana and 
Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters 
of Israel .'"^ 

** At Nejha, the river Berdy runs into the Pharpar, according to Van- 
develde's map. In Porter's, no confluent is marked here. The stream at 
Nejha appeared to me only a tiny canal, banked up behind the village, antl 
being but two feet wide in many places, it was not large enough to embark 
upon. Unfortunately I forgot to notice accurately the junction of these 
rivers, but my impression is that the water of the canalette was wholly 
absorbed in irrigation. ^ 2 Kings v. 12. 

1 82 Dainasnts. [Chap. XI. 

On New Year's Da}^ the Rob Roy returned to Da- 
mascus. It is easy to lose count of the days of the week 
while we are travelling among people whose mode of reck- 
(Miing them is not ours. And one collateral benefit to the 
traveller from the Sunday rest (besides its refreshment to 
soul, and mind, and body) is the preciseness with which 
it checks the computation of time's unnoticed flow.^- 

At Damascus again the Pasha came to see the canoe 
with his suite. He spoke French, so we could converse, 
and he asked very pertinent questions. He is an earnest 
Freemason, and a clever agreeable man. His dress, 
semi-European, was a bad compromise between the two 
kinds of costume — theirs so loose and flowing, so bright 
and graceful, so useless for action, so dreary in rain ; and 
ours, as a contrast, fitting our forms, dull in its colour, 
but perfection for manly exertion, and exposure to sun 
and storm. Damascus has never yet, I think, been well 
described, and the reason may be that the traveller, who 
has enough acuteness to paint a good word-picture of the 
town, has sense enough to see that it is a sentimental 
humbug. In vain he tries to feel an admiration which 
he cannot support by the appearance of the place. It 
may be the oldest, but, in Avet weather, it surely is the 
filthiest of towns. It may be rich, but the mud walls are 
what you see, and not the wealth. Damascus is a dis- 
appointment ; its situation is its chief beauty, and, once 
inside it, you cannot realise that outside these dirty 

'" Some years ago, I entered Cairo on Cln-istmas Day — the bursting of a 
waterskin for the camels having deranged our set days for travel — and we 
overtook a party of Englishmen, whom we had journeyed with some months 
before. " We shall have our turkey together to-night," I said ; and they 
enquired with surprise, " What turkey ?" " Why, of course, at our Christ- 
mas dinner," I rejilied ; and they answered, "Christmas? we have e.iten 
our Christmas pudding tea days ago!" They had tried to gain time by 
losing Sundays. 

Chap. XL] Spitr of Hcnuoii. 18 

lanes, tumble-down walls, gloomy shops, and crooked 
bazaars, are the lovely groves, the gushing fountains, the 
teeming gardens, and the glorious hills. For the fourth 
time, then, I leave Damascus, and without any deep 

After a night at our old quarters in Dimes, we 
wended round the spur of Hermon to Deir el Ashaycir, 
with its splendid temple.'' 

The mountain pass between this and Rukleh pre- 
sented a totally new set of difficulties to the traveller 
carrying a boat. In the marsh and quagmire of Ateibeh 
it was the horse one had to fear most for. In case of 
his sinking, his legs might be easily broken ; but the 
canoe in falling there would at least descend upon reeds 
and rushes and water and from a diminished height. 

But now we had a narrow, steep, and very crooked 
path, at sharp angles, down, down amid slippery rocks, 
projecting trees, loose stones, and deceitful mud, where 
the two men could seldom hold the canoe steady as the 
cold winter blast from the snow alongside us swa}'ed 
the lofty top-heavy burden this way and that Avith 
unwonted violence. In some places the ice under our 

*' A curious incident is mentioned in the remarks on this place and its 
people in Murray's Handbook : — 

" This is a small village, inhabited by a few families of Dnises and 
Christians ; the former, like their neighbours of Halwy and Yuntah, have 
a bad character, and deserve it. They are the hereditary pests of the 
Damascus and Beyrout road ; never missing an opportunity of shooting 
a postman, or plundering a caravan. Franks, however, have little to fear 
from them ; indeed they look upon the English as their friends and pro- 
tectors. On one occasion, some years ago, a Yunta chief committed a 
most cold-blooded murder by night, in a house in Siak \Vady Barada ; but 
having learned the next day that the English Consul of Damascus had 
been sleeping in an adjoining room, he sent him a polite apology for 
ha\-ing unconsciously disturbed his repose, and assured him that had he 
known the Consul was there, he would have postponed his work to a more 
suitable time." 

184 Ice. ' [Chap. XI. 

feet gave way suddenly with a crash. In others the 
gnarled trees blocked up all passage, or the sharp jut- 
ting rocks made it impossible to get the boat through 
between them. This was the sort of work that really 
tries a dragoman by difficulties entirely new in his ex- 
perience ; for whoever before carried a long delicate 
boat on horseback over these rocks in winter ? 

Hany behaved splendidly in this business. A dozen 
times we had to carry the canoe by hand, or to slide it 
down cliffs, guiding it by the painter, until the horses, left 
to themselves, could find their way down to meet us below. 

Muscular strength and sheer pluck and endurance 
were needed for this, combined with gentleness, caution, 
and judgment, and backed by indomitable perseverance. 
One slip of their feet on such rocks would have smashed 
our best oak plank in a moment ; one sign of ill-temper 
would have dissolved the allegiance of our muleteers, 
who must have been sorely tried at times to put an end 
to the cause of all this trouble and toil — that incom- 
prehensibly useless Rob Roy, carried so far and so 
tenderly for a purpose they could not possibly appre- 
ciate, and requiring that the boat should be handled 
so softly while their own limbs were bruised, their 
shoes and garments torn, and their steps directed with 
peremptory exactness into mud, or shingle, or ice-cold 
water, all for its sake. Yet the men had learned to love 
the boat (who would not, if he had any heart T), and 
when they did not like the canoe, they feared it. They 
saw it do things impossible to be done in any other 
way. They were promised good payment for success ; 
they deserved this, and they received it. 

Chap. XII.] Rukleh. i8 




RUKLEH is a curious place, and not like any other. 
Our tents were pitched there in a deep valley, 
hemmed in by piles of the sharpest grey rocks tumbled 
one upon another in extraordinary confusion. Climbing 
these, you soon perceive that once, in time gone by, every 
nook of the jagged heights had been occupied. Endless 
winding avenues ; gardens hanging upon steeps ; huge 
walls girding amphitheatres where the slightest level 
space admitted of any such expanse ; and ruins and 
temples and altars harboured in rock clefts, all lone 
and speechless now, but once, no doubt, sounding out a 
busy life ; and tombs and sculptured caverns, the longer- 
lasting records of ages of death — all these are crowded, 
almost huddled, together in Rukleh. To sit on a high 
peak and look upon it all is very quaint. Some hours 
passed here richly rewarded the steep clambering, and 
from a rugged edge, out of sight of the camp, there were 
splendid glimpses of the dark Damascus plain ; while 
sheer down below there gaped two huge chasms just 
"like the crater of Etna. At the foot of the larger temple 
here is a large medallion in stone, about four feet long, 

i86 Bust of Baal [Chap. Xll. 

representing a human face which stares out straight 
upon Hermon, while its curly locks hang on both sides. 
Most likely this countenance is intended for the face of 
Baal himself. 

Wistful glances could not be restrained from eyeing 
Hermon here ; it would be so splendid a summit to gaze 
from on all the land of Israel. The ascent is easy at a 
proper season ; but now, with fresh snow every day in 
the cold of January, I came reluctantly to the conclu- 
sion that the main object of the tour must be kept to, 
and the water of lakes and rivers was our proper field. 

Yet it was impossible not to urge the plea that the 
very source of the river we were now to examine was up 
in that white shining snow which clad the high summit 
above us, burying the temple there in its soft bosom, 
and streaming down as the long folds of a robe to 
cover the valleys beneath. Nay, that snow itself had, 
no doubt, come up from the Jordan and the Pharpar, 
and was only resting now for another devious journey 
when once more melted from its cold sleep by the sum- 
mer's sun. 

Porter's description of the ascent of Hermon and the 
view from the top must have incited many travellers to 
enjoy the climb and the prospect. Respecting the general 
features of this mountain, related as they are so closely 
to the "waterways" we are to traverse in the canoe, 1 
venture to extract his account. 

" The name Hcrvnvi was doubtless suggested by the 
form of this mountain, ' a lofty conical peak,' con- 
spicuous from every direction ; just as Lebanon was 
suggested by the ' white ' colour of its limestone strata. 
Other names were likewise given to Hermon, also de- 
scriptive of some striking feature. The Sidonians called 
it Sirion, and the Amorites S/icnir, both signifying 

Chap. XI I.J Mo7nif HovJioJi. 187 

' breastplate,' and suggested by its rounded glittering 
top, when the sun's rays were reflected b}' the snow that 
covers it (Deut. iii. 9; Cant. iv. 8; Ezek. xxvii. 5). It 
was also named Sion, the ' elevated,' towering over all its 
compeers (Deut. iv. 48 ; Psalm cxxxiii. 3). So now it 
is called Jcbcl csh-S/icik/i, 'the chief mountain,' a name 
it well deserves, and Jebel esh-Thelj, ' snowy mountain.' 
When all the country is parched and blasted with the 
summer sun, white lines of snow streak the head of 
Hermon. This mountain was the landmark of the 
Israelites. It was associated with their ideas of the 
northern border almost as intimately as the sea was 
with the west. They conquered all the land east of the 
Jordan, 'from the river Arnon unto Mount Hermon' 
(Deut. iii. 8 ; iv. 41 ; Joshua ix. 12). Baal-Gad, the an- 
cient border city before Dan became historic, is described 
as 'under Mount Hermon' (Joshua xiii. 5, xi. 17), and 
the north-western boundary of Bashan was Hermon 
(i Chron. v. 23). In one passage it would almost seem 
to be used as a synonyme for ' north,' as the word jfam 
(' sea ') was for ' west,' and the word Kiblch (the shrine 
at Mekkah) is now for ' south ' — ' The north and the 
south, Thou hast created them ; Tabor and Hermon 
shall rejoice in Thy name' (Psalm Ixxxix. 12). The 
reason of this is obvious. From whatever part of Pales- 
tine the Israelite turned his eyes northward, Hermon 
was there terminating the view. From the plain of the 
coast, from the mountains of Samaria, from the Jordan 
valley, from the heights of Moab and Gilead, and the 
plateau of Bashan, that pale-blue snow-capped cone 
forms the one feature on the northern horizon. The 
' dew of Hermon ' is once referred to in a passage which 
has long been considered a geographical puzzle — ' As the 
dew of Hermon, the dew that descended on the moun- 

1 8 8 Kefr Kuk. [Chap. XII. 

tains of Zion' (Psalm cxxxiii. 3). Zion is probably used 

for Sion, one of the old names of Hermon (Deut.iv. 48)." ^ 
The little lake of Kefr Kuk soon attracted attention 
in our journey from Rukleh to Rasheya, for the sur- 
rounding hills were complicated in their watersheds, and 
it was necessary to be on the qui vive for the very first 
streams that enter the Jordan. 

The lake was full/ and waterfowl played upon it in 
merry whirling groups ; but who could be astonished 
by these crowds of wild birds after seeing the myriads 
circling on the bare lake of Menzaleh, or rustling in the 
reeds of Hijaneh .'' 

' The snow on the summit of this mountain condenses the vapours that 
float during summer in the higher regions of the atmosphere, causing light 
clouds to hover around it, and abundant dew to descend upon it, while 
the whole country elsewhere is parched, and the whole heaven elsewhere 

Hermon is the second mountain in Syria, ranking next to the highest 
peak of the Lebanon, behind the cedars, and probably not more than 300 
or 400 feet lower than it. The elevation of Hermon may be estimated at 
about 10,000 feet. The whole body of the mountains is limestone, similar 
to that which composes the main ridge of Lebanon. The central peak 
rises up an obtuse truncated cone, from 2000 to 3000 feet above the ridges 
that radiate from it, thus giving it a more commanding aspect than any 
other mountain in Syria. This cone is entirely naked, destitute alike of 
trees and vegetation. Here and there grey, thorny, cushion-shaped shrubs 
dot the ground, but they can scarcely be said to give variety to the scene, 
they are as dry-looking as the stones amid which they spring up. The 
snow never disappears from its summit. Li spring and early summer, it 
is entirely covered, looking from some points of view like a great white 
dome. As summer advances, the snow gradually melts on the tops of the 
ridges, but remains in long streaks in the ravines that radiate from the 
centre, looking in the distance like the white locks that scantily cover 
the head of old age. Late in autumn only a few white lines are left, 
round which the clouds cling until early in November, when the winter 
raiment is renewed. 

- A hundred yards from tlie shore tlic w atcr \\-as three feet deep, \\\\\\ 
soft sandy clay below, and rapidly shcKing. Ilany assured me that in 
summer this basin is often quite tiry. Its \\aters may percolate to Jordan, 
but I cannot see how they could run there o\ cr-ground, so as to constitute 
the lake a perennial source. 

Chap. XII.] Ras/icya. 189 

It was a charming day's journey over this district to 
Rasheya, with weather perfect overhead, and clear, crisp, 
silvery hoar-frost, melting into shining drops as the sun 
rose warm. 

All this was singularly fortunate for allowing the 
canoe horse to pass. 

Yet we had to carry the Rob Roy by hand over many 
obstructions, and amid much difficulty and delay. On 
all these occasions the operation of dismounting her had 
to be carefully performed. First, Adoor held the horse's 
head ; Hany and Latoof loosened the girths which 
strapped the canoe to the frame ; then they bore her 
each with one arm, the post of danger and responsi- 
bility in every instance being that in the rear, where 
it is harder to see one's footsteps and to advance or 
retard the pace, or to raise or depress, or move the 
boat sideways through or over rocks, stumps, or other 

The horses followed, or found their own way. It was 
play to them ; and to the mules the worst places seemed 
alike with the best, always managed with patient intelli- 
gence — indeed, they were often quite hilarious under 
their heavy loads, and many a caper they cut with 
redundant energy. Each of the animals had plainly a 
distinct character and mode of thought, but each had 
a high opinion of his own importance, and would fling 
out his hoof at a neighbour with playful jealousy of 
precedence, or a sort of rough humour if his rival 
was a friend. The donkeys alone had always true 
dignity in their gait, never stopping, never i)rancing, 
ever sure to find out their way someho^\• or other, and 
often enduring many a needless thwack with stoical 

To get past Rasheya there is a cut in the rock, for 

90 Search for Jordan. [Chap. XI i. 

many hundred yards only about six or eight feet wide, 
and the same in depth, with the roughest footing for 
horses, and so narrow and sHppery that we had to 
carry the canoe all the distance, about half a mile, and 
thence reached the pretty hamlet of Bekafyeh, where 
a lovely meadow gave ample room for the camp ; 
and all the villagers sat looking on in mute array 
until the latest moment that the cold night wind could 
be braved. 

In these altitudes day and night were as summer and 
winter in the change. Sometimes I was cold even in 
bed with five blankets over me and my thick cloak, 
besides my day-clothes all kept on, though beneath the 
sheets. It was not very easy to write up a journal with 
fingers tingling, but perfect health makes even a frost-nip 

Early next day I went off alone to scour the country, 
in eager hope of finding the first springings of the sacred 
river. Even Vandevelde's map was at fault here, and no 
wonder my way was soon lost entirely for the rest of the 
day. But little mattered that, or any trifling hardship ; 
with such an object for pursuit, one could readily pass 
the niefht under the coldest loneliest rock. 

From the hill north of Bekafyeh, and between that and 
El Akalah, I found streams from a tiny spring forty feet 
below the sheep-path, but on following it, these onh- sank 
back into mother earth exhausted. 

From the same point could be seen two pools on the 
west side of the valley, and bearing W.N.W., but they 
appeared to be shut in completely. 

Searching again very carefull)- — for now was the right 
time to find the Jordan's source, when no rain had fallen 
for weeks, and the cold hindered snow from melting — I 
noticed a spring in a field, south-west from which a 

Chap. XII.] 

Earliest Spring. 


streamlet wandered past a house. This gradually in- 
creased in definite direction and size, and at last ran 
down the bare sides of the W'ady et Teim, where was 
the dry but ample bed of the Jordan channel. This is 

Am Rub Rov, 

here full of huge white stones and mountain-gravel, 
with steep sides, and the waterworn track of a powerful 
stream, which no doubt runs deep with violence and great 
volume in stormy times, though the river it forms then is 
only of surface water. 

My little streamlet tumbled into this dry bed. the 
earliest water I had seen actually on its way to the Dead 
Sea. Dismounting, as the only way to investigate, I 
forgot all about my horse in the excitement of the 
enquiry. The rivulet fell in a pretty cascade over a 

192 Jordan s Eye. [Chap. xii. 

horizontal ledge of strongly stratified rock, about thirty 
feet wide and five feet thick, with a deep grotto-like 
cavern hollowed out beneath, and forming a beautiful 
background to the water, which, after its fall, is gathered 
together again as a clear brook, and runs down among 
stones into the desert rocky sun-dried channel we have 
before described. 

About thirty feet to the north-west of this point is the 
ruin of a little building, with only one pillar erect, and 
two prostrate in the grass. Evidently this had been 
built here to look upon the bright cascade, for no other 
view is open. 

Has this ever before been recognised as the youngest 
babblings of Jordan?'' May it not now be regarded as 
the water farthest from the mouth 1 

The opposite bank is steep and rugged, and, as I 
climbed the crags, one stone at the top looked rather 
HunaturaU and this on inspection proved to be the jamb 
of a sculptured gate still erect, and about eight feet high. 
Beside it lay (north and south) a well cut slab, the lintel 
of the door, which must therefore have looked straight 
upon Hermon splendidly rising in front, as the other 
Baal temples do, from their posts round the mother- 
mountain of the idol's cult.'' 

Alone both sides of the glen are manv hewn stones, 
SO scattered and mingled with the natural rocks that 
only a close inspection can detect the difference. A wall 
lies near to the river's brink on the eastern side, a sort of 
quay of huge stone blocks, but the water of our fountain, 

■' The stream that runs into the Ilaslmny I'ool was remarked, in 1S34, as 
having "its oriL^in to tlie W. or N.W. of Rasheya." The pillars were 
sketehed separately, ami are more distant in reality from the lied of the 

■* ISekafyeh is not visible from this stone, but judging by the smoke of 
the village, it bears l'".S.K. 

Chap. XII.] Sad L OSS. 193 

once it has run into the channel, seems too soon satisfied 
by asserting its claim to be Jordan's earliest rivulet, for 
it dies away in the sand and gravel. Only a few pools 
appear below this, though I followed the very precipitous 
banks closely, and had to cross the dry bed of boulders 
many times to get along by any means. 

Of course there was no road here, and, walking my- 
self, I drove my horse from point to point, where he 
could be tethered to graze, while his rider clambered up 
and down in the exciting search. 

Three gazelles pranced out of the wild rocks grace- 
fully, and I chased them on horseback through many a 
turn, always keeping above them, but in vain, for they 
were never within pistol-shot. 

The position of the hills and villages on distant peaks 
puzzled me now exceedingly. Vandevelde's map is cer- 
tainly incorrect in this district, at any rate, in its names 
for places. 

Wishing to take bearings again, I discovered that my 
compass was missing. Only one who has become fond 
of such a silent but self-moving thing like this, his " intel- 
ligent" companion in months of happy solitude, can tell 
how sad was such a loss. 

How could this have happened ? Surely in chasing the 
gazelles. Shall I give it up as hopeless to find the com- 
pass again .-' But how can I survey the waters of Merom 
and the Sea of Galilee without a compass ? A minute's 
w^eighing of doubts, and I resolved to go back and trace, 
if possible, all my devious zig-zag from where I had last 
used the compass upon the ruined temple slab. My poor 
horse, already wearied, seemed to wonder at this back- 
ward move. How much I wished to explain to the 
faithful spirited beast that dire necessity imposed this 
threefold traverse of one way ! 


194 LeecJies. [Chap. XII. 

It was only when by long labour we arrived in sight of 
the prostrate stone that I could see, and with delight, the 
little brown box still lying on its surface, open to the sun 
and telling its own tale silently, with the needle ever 
true, and no one there to regard it. Thus three hours 
were added to my wanderings, and at length I descended 
to a mill very deep down, where a confluent from the 
east brings in an ample stream by Es Sefiny — undoubt- 
edly, then, the first continuous water of Jordan. 

Three men were in this deep glen, and I begged for 
bread, being very hungry. They laughed outright to see 
me roll up their wafer-like scones and bolt them in a 
moment. But they refused all payment, for they were 
Druses,^ and I was an Englishman. One said he had 
been at Beyrout, and liked the " Ingleez," for they were 
" Tyeb Keteer " (exceedingly good fellows). When he 
had guided me over the hills, and would take no pay, I 
got off my horse and shook both his hands, and we 
parted. The country was now rough and stony, with 
deep deceitful valleys, which seemed at first quite pos- 
sible to cross, but on trial were reluctantly acknowledged 
to be impassable when one had got halfway down them 
into the shade, and after much of this work, and plunging 
about in a deep morass, I forced my way to the western 
road, and there found Hany overpowered with anxiety 
and long waiting, but with the canoe reclining quite at 
ease by a pretty stream, fit place for a wanderer's dinner. 
It was under a steep rock, and in some of the clefts of 
this we found several small leeches. How they came 
there was a mystery ; how the\' lived there without a 
shred of moss in the stony holes, not two inches deep, 

■'' The name of this slrany;e sect is (leri\ed froin Derazv, their founder, in 
the eleventh century, and their original centre was at llasbeya, in this 

Chap. XII.] TJic Hasbany. 195 

was still more wonderful, but there they were and lively 

It was night when we crossed the first bridge which 
spans the Jordan, a short distance below the highest 
recorded source, not far from the village of Hasbeya, 
which is perched on a knoll encircled by hills, and gives 
its name to the river itself, here called Hasbany, as if it 
were still too small to be called Jordan, being only a 
babe among streams, and not yet christened by its own 
great name. 

The travellers who have camped here all speak with 
favour of the lovely spot : the spring flowers and crocus 
spangling the green grass, the deep shade of olives, the 
graceful oleanders by the banks of the young and beau- 
tiful river, cradled here in hills, and watched over by 
great Hermon, stately and shining, the prince of them all. 

It was a happy walk, on January the 7th, to wander 
up the glen and rest by its deep crystal pools, listening 
with rapture to the eloquent voice of solitude. But 
these waters, we were assured by all who know them 
(and Vandevelde had the same information '), are only 
winter rivulets. 

The sketch given on p. 196 represents the outlines of 
the country through which they flow, and whence we 
had come in search of the earlier stream, as seen from 
the cairn on the hill above the bridge. The Hasbany is 
winding in the glens below, but it is hidden there until it 
sweeps round the foot of the hill on which we stand, on 
the top of a cairn marked C in the sketch, and which is 
about east from the bridge. 

** This is called Ain Alii, the "high fountain." 

'1 Vandevelde's ' Syria and Palestine,' vol. i. p. T2S The high fountains 
of Jordan are descriijcd by Wortabet in 'journal of Geog. Soc' vol. .\xxii. 
p. lOI. 


Wady ct Tcim. 

[Chap. XII. 

Young Jordan is like the prettiest tiny stream in Scot- 
land, with white hollowed rocks and weird caverns, but 
the gravel is prettier here than any in my own land ; 
pebbles of yellow and bright blue banked in by fruitful 



Watlv et Teim, north of Hasbeva. 

loam of a deen rich red, and all so silent and unaffected. 
So it winds until steeper rocks gird the water, narrowing 
where wild beasts' paws have marked the sand. Return- 
ing from a long ramble, we came to where a bold cliff 
dips into a pool of deepest green. Here I launched the 
Rob Roy, certainly the first boat that ever floated on the 
pool. The few natives round us stopped in wonder, 
sitting — that is their posture for lost astonishment. 
They assured us this pool of Fuarr is 1000 feet deep.** 

* Newbold says it "appeared to l)e of immense deplli.'' In (he plan. 
on p. 197 the pool is marked at the right. 

Chap. XII.] 

Hasbany Source. 


It is entirely unapproachable for sounding from the cliff 
overhead, so imagination has full sway to fancy it 
fathomless. The cold matter-of-fact sounding-line let 
down stopped short at eleven feet. I was astounded at 
the illusion, for the water here looked any depth you 

"--■•-'•5 -■ ^pfl.sS 



First Source of the Jordan. 

please. Of course the people did not believe my word 
for this, but nevertheless it is a sturdy unromantic fact 
that less than two fathoms measures this abyss. 

The plan here given was carefully sketched from the 
hill above, and corrected from various other points, as 
representing the true beginnings of Jordan. 

Just opposite the cliff, and a few yards away, is a three- 
cornered island of sand and small gravel, with many low 
bushes on it, and luxuriant spotted clover, and under and 
from out these there bubbles, gurgles, and ascends the 
first undoubted subterranean source of Jordan." 

' This, the Hasbany, was first noticed as a source of the Jordan by 
Fiirer von Hamendorf, in a.d. 1566 (p. 206, Niirnberg, 1646, see New- 
bold's paper, 1856, p. 15). Next Seetzen did the same, then Burkhardt 
and Buckintrhani. 

98 First Bridge. [Chap. XII. 

There are about twenty of these very curious fountains 
on this islet, and the water runs from them in all direc- 
tions. That which pours out towards the north runs a 
few feet /// tJie stream, being at first a foot higher in level. 
The island and the rocks near it are formed into a weir, 
for the terribly practical purpose of supplying a mill. 
Perish all the mills and millstones that spoil the birth- 
place of such a stream ! i3ut the weir, happily, is moss- 
grown, and delicate cascades tumble through its broken 
edges, unite below in a narrow pool about 150 yards 
long, under the fall of ten feet high, and then escape at 
one end, just as in the great falls of the Zambesi, if these 
could be scanned on a Lilliputian scale. 

Camp struck and all things packed, we floated the 
canoe again just below the falls, to begin our descent of 
the river. In front was the bridge, with two pointed 
arches about eighteen feet span,'" and sixteen feet high, 
with a narrow roadway of twelve feet broad, and only 
three or four small coping-stones left upon the edge. 
The stream was swift and shallow here, but it occupied 
only one arch of the bridge. 

It was thus on the loveliest of sunny days that we 
shoved off from shore to begin the Jordan, and the iron 
keel of the Rob Roy sounded sharp on the pebbly beach 
as she gladly rushed into the water, with a cordial but 
faint and doubting cheer from the thin attendance on the 
bank, every one of them certain that now, at an}- rate, 
she must capsize. 

The sketch of the bridge, and the weir and the island 
of springs above it, I made before starting." 

'" These were studiously measured with an umbrella 33 inches long. 
Newbold gives the length of the bridge as 135 feet. 

'' A part of this sketch appeared (a good deal grandiiieil) in the front page 
of an April number of the 'Illustrated London News.' The village visible 
north of the source is that called Mimes. The town of Ilasbeya is not seen 

Chap. XII.] Start Oil J ordau. 201 

I saw that the numerous rapids now to be encountered 
would endanger my paddle, so a long pole was taken 
aboard, and, as I might have to get out often, it was 
more convenient to adopt the plan of sitting first used at 
the Rheinfelden rapids on the cruise through Switzer- 
land, and which was always found very good for such 
places. For this you sit, not in the " well " of the canoe, 
but on the deck astern, with your bare legs in the water, 
or tucked up in front, when you have learned to be very 
steady. This action, of course, raises the bow of the 
canoe entirely out of the water, and by depressing the 
pole to the rocky bottom below, you can drag it hard 
over stones and gravel, so as to retard the speed in a 
powerful current, and, indeed, to stop altogether if this 
be necessary, and if you do not mind the cold waves 
invading your seat from behind. 

As the stream bears the boat among rocks, you meet 
them with one foot or the other in the water, balancing 
carefully the while, and see that you do not meet the 
rocks with both feet at once, or the canoe will instantly 
pass away from under you altogether. If you are whirled 
on to a shallow, the bow runs in so far that you can 
stand on the ground and allow the boat to pass on 
(keeping hold of the painter) until, in wading alongside 
her, the water gets too deep, when you spring on the 
stern again, and so are charmingly ferried over. 

After a little practice I found it not very difficult to 
get out from the " well " to the deck of the canoe without 

from the river, as it is perched on a hill, quite encircled by higher mountains. 
Rabbi Schwartz says of this (p. 65) : — "The Jewish inhabitants of the 
town of Chaspeya carry their dead across the stream to Abel al Krum, 
because they have a tradition that the river Chaspeya formed the boundary 
line of Palestine, and they wish to inter the dead on the Holy Land. But 
this boundaiy line was only so after the return from Babylon, as I have 
shown at the proper place above." A tributary falls in from the east near 
the ford. 

202 Colo7U'cd Cascade. [Chap. XII. 

stopping the boat, even in rough water, and this saves a 
great deal of time. Indeed, the variety of positions and 
pranks that the canoeist can practise with advantage and 
pleasure in paddling, punting, poling, sailing, towing, 
and drajTfjincj- his faithful floating house over land and 
water, soon makes him weary of the everlasting monoto- 
nous swing of a row boat, Avhere he goes into dangers 
and beauties back foremost, gains no rest from a favour- 
ing breeze, and smashes his oars, or his boat's hull, or his 
own face, whenever there is a narrow among rocks, or an 
eddy among trees. 

The river bends below the bridge with all the way- 
wardness of a trout-stream in the Highlands. Thick trees 
hang over its clear surging waters, and reeds fill the bays 
twenty feet high, while rocks, and a thousand hanging 
straggling creepers on them, tangle together over silent 
pools. Who had seen these before the Rob Roy ? It 
can scarcely be supposed that any other boat had been 
here, and so no man had yet looked on these earliest 
beauties of the hallowed stream. 

I had often to get out of the canoe, and to drag her 
over or round obstructions, and sometimes we went down 
a mill-race for variety, until at last the white tents of my 
camp shone homelike through the thick trees. The 
sketch at p. 205 represents this part of the river. 

Torrents of rain poured upon us all the night. The 
last rain we had met was on December 17, so that the 
Jordan had been seen at a time of drought (for winter). 
This was exceedingly fortunate, both for an auspicious 
beginning of the voyage and for a special examination of 
the effect of rain upon the river. 

Next day, therefore, I rode back to the waterfall, 
and the flood pouring over it was now bright red and 
resounding. But it was not all thus coloured. In the 

Chap. XII.] Pitch Pits. 203 

middle, and where the stream from the subterraneous 
springs came over the fall, only the brightest, clearest, 
limpid water came. It was a piebald cascade, red, white, 
and red again, curious, though not more beautiful than if 
no such phenomenon appeared. The full stream now 
occupied both arches of the bridge, and ran wildly, 
careering over islets that were warm and dry the day 
before. The rain continued, and next day I came back 
to look at the waterfall ; but there was the same crystal 
gushing between muddy torrents. Once more, and to 
certify the fact, I returned early next morning, and still 
it was the same — the unsullied waters from the deep-fed 
fountain — protesting in unchanging purity against the 
fitful upstart surface puddles of a passing storm. These 
rain-flows had no right to mingle with the true source 
born high in the snow of Hermon, and running below 
through dark channels in clean rocks, far out of reach 
of rain. 

The current had doubled in force and volume, and its 
ruddy waves welled high over the banks, and covered 
the trees a yard deep, roaring the while with anger, and 
by no means inviting to paddle upon. So I climbed one 
hill after another round the camp, and from each had a 
new and splendid prospect. 

It was a pleasant walk to Hasbeya, where eight hun- 
dred Christians were so barbarously massacred in i860; 
but now they have Missionary Bible Schools there — the 
true retribution of Christianity. 

There are some curious bitumen pits near the Jordan. 
The people live beside them in very simple huts, and 
they go down fifty feet into the earth to fill baskets with 
the black shining treasure, which " grows," they say, how- 
ever much they dig. 

A climb up the highest hill on the west had shown me 


Joi^dan Vale. 

[Chap. XII. 

clearly all the Hasbany vale. Looking north, one sees 
on the left a hill range north and south bounding Wady 
et Teim, and from it smaller white knolls are trending 
always eastward. A parallel group of conical hills is to 

the right of this, and 
again another larger one 
to the east. Through 
this last the Hasbany 
cuts its way steadily, 
meandering southwards, 
while eastward again are 
wedge-like ridges and 
the long roots of Her- 
mon, but its head is in 
the clouds, sullen and 
dark. To say the very 
least of this scene, it was 
at any rate anions. 
What it would seem if 
bereft of its holy asso- 
ciations and the remem- 
brance of a hundred 
armies that came this way from Babylon or Parthia to 
the battle-ground of Judea, I really cannot tell, having 
failed (and willingly) in every attempt to look at the 
vale of Jordan as a mere river's banks. 

Then I rode alone over the hills to the river Litany, 
where it bursts through cliffs one thousand feet high, and 
is crossed by the bridge of Burghuz. This is said to be 
the old river Leontes/- which rises not far from the 

■2 But Stanley remarks that Ritter shows this to be a mistake, and that 
the Litany had no ancient name, except the " Tyrian river" ('S. and P.' 
p. 414, d). Now it is called the Khasmyeh, the " divider," perhaps because, 
after a lont:; course south, it cuts its channel westward. 


Valley of Jordan. 

Chap. XII.] TJic Litany. 205 

Abana, and runs south as if trying to find an exit that 
\vay. But the hills rise into mountains on cither side 
more impenetrable, until at last, as if with a desperate 
effort, the torrent cuts straight through the western range 
in a gorge of magnificent grandeur, and so it rushes out 
to the sea. 

I wandered long without road here, over many a 
rugged and bleak mountain, and returning by the village 
of Kaukaba, which clings to its perch aloft on the scarped 
hill, I found our tents newly pitched on a fine grassy 
mound ; in fact, the roof of an old deserted khan.''^ 
Nothing could look prettier than this for a place of 
camping, but it was a great mistake to pitch the tents 
there. For at night there arose a furious storm of wind, 
almost a hurricane. Each moment I feared the worst — 
tliat the tent would fall — and then what to do } Of 
course to get out from the ruins, if not already wounded 
by the tent-pole ; but what next .' The other tent and 
my men were a long distance off, and between us were 
several holes in the arched roof upon which our camp 
stood. To fall down any of these would be instant 
death, and in the dark it was impossible to see them, 
because no lantern could live in the gale, nor, in the din, 
and darkness, and confusion, could we recollect exactly 
where these holes were. 

To care for the Rob Roy was, of course, my first 
thought — the men being in a safe place, and the horses 

" Marked K on p. 204, where B shows a bridge. Wlien a map is so 
very good as Vandevelde's, it may be presumptuous to add to its informa- 
tion, or even to correct. Still I venture to make three remarks : (i) There 
is a good road to Khan from the Hasbany source on the west side, and 
without passing the bridge (not marked). (2) There is a road from KJian 
to Burghuz, by the hill defile, without going to Kaukaba (not marked). 
(3) " Zuk " is marked here as the name of a village, for ".Suk," which 
indicates the " fair" held at this place. 

2o6 Storm. [Chap. XII. 

and mules ensconced in strong quarters below. I lashed 
the canoe to the earth, mooring her like an ironclad in a 
cyclone, yet the wind still lifted the light little craft, and 
a sad remembrance came into my mind of a gale in the 
Baltic, where my canoe was so blown about on land that 
in my efforts to hold her down I Avas upset several 
times myself, and was bruised and spattered all over 
with mire. 

The first strange thing one notices in a storm under 
canvas on shore is that, however violent the wind, it is 
the tent only that shakes under the pressure. The 
strongest stone house vibrates even in the lower stories 
in a gale, but unless your bed in a tent actually touches 
the canvas walls, the sleeper is perfectly unmoved, while 
the roof and walls of his tabernacle rattle and quiver as 
if they never could hold out for a moment. And is it 
not a good thing in the storms of life to have the living 
soul, the real self, firmly set on the rock steadfast and 
unshaken, though blasts do harry and shatter the frailer 
tabernacle wherein we lodge 1 

As this was the first good honest storm of rain 
and wind which this new square tent from England 
had endured, I was careful to see how it stood the trial. 
For resistance to the gale it was perfect. The excel- 
lent ropes, the long iron tent pegs, the sturdy pole, and 
the double laced sides, so well pegged down all round, 
these sufficiently kept the wind from getting under the 
canvas, and unless you can do this in a tent, the whole 
structure gives way in an instant. 

On a former tour a storm overtook us at Gaza, and 
both our tents were overturned, when at once the wildest 
confusion ensued. Water ran deep on the floor of 
softest mud. Wet canvas caged us in. Camels and 
horses entangled in the ropes, and screaming, fell in a 

Chap. XII.] Dripping Bed Room. 207 

jumble together in the dark howling night, and all the 
men roared and bellowed at each other to calm the 
excitement, as in duty bound according to their light." 

As to wind, then, our English-built tent was secure, 
but not as to water. The seams of the roof, instead of 
being along the edges w^iere the inclination is strongest, 
and therefore the rain runs fastest away, were joined in 
the middle or flattest part of each slope of the roof In 
an hour or two, therefore, water worked through this, 
and soon it came through the inner tent too, until at 
length the rain fell sprinkling cold on my face in bed, 
and then methinks the laziest sleeper must get up. 

But for just such times as these I had brought a piece 
of sheet waterproof, seven feet long and five feet broad, 
the cover of my cabin in the canoe, and this secured 
aloft over the bed received the invading stream, and 
conducted it in a continuous patter all to one corner, 
where it could run off harmlessly, and with a sweet 
harmonious lullaby that gendered sleep even in a 
dripping bed-room.'^ 

Sunday came next, with morning bright and warm. 
The grass was soon covered by our wet dismantled gar- 
ments spread out to dry, and a half sleepy life began 
after the sleepless night. The only pleasure was that 
listless one of quiet, and a feeling as if one was having 
one's hair cut by a dumb hair-cutter — the rarest case in 

'■* In the great storm of 1S39, in Britain, a small bell-tent, pitched on a 
gentleman's lawn, near Belfast, was swept off by the wind, and was car- 
ried a distance of nearly _/?/?)' miles. 

'^ The ornamental dentellated "flaps" round a tent's roof make a 
ceaseless disturbing chatter in high wind. This I could not put up with, 
though not veiy nervous, but "silence for sleep" is a good maxim, so I 
had these useless appendages sewed fimily down. The tent-maker who 
would make a good tent ought to live in a tent in a storm to acquire ex- 

2o8 Wild Beast. [Chap. XII. 

London. Still the neutral stagnant hours of such a 
time are not altogether without benefit. Dreamy 
tiredness has its slow-paced thoughts, and they may 
not be brilliant or deep, but they are very pleasant. 
These are breaks in the lines of life's story, but they 
may give emphasis to the quicker action which comes 
after. The compulsory rest of illness is a different 
pause, though it also has its benefits, some of them 
inestimable ; but what I speak of now as pleasant and 
profitable is that half-slumber of mind in a healthy but 
unslept body, relaxed, not lazy, when peace and fine 
weather are outside, no pain within, no particular 
anxiety, no feeling that " it is all our own fault," and 
no doubt is felt that the very best thing to be done 
(unless we mean to lose time) is to rest entirely all 
to-day. Our more orthodox slumbers at night were 
rudely broken by loud shouts and bustle. Every- 
body seemed to run everywhere and to knock down 
everybody, and all this was only because a wild 
beast (species and genus probably imaginary) had 
alarmed the horses. Hany immediately fired four 
volleys into the universal darkness, " to compose " 
us all. 

Chap. XIII.] 

Across Jot dan. 




* I "'HE first valley of the Hasbany ends a little below 
^ Khan. Wady Sheba, a tributary, enters it on the 
east, crossed by a two-arched bridge. Then the two ranges 
of hills close in upon the river, which tumbles and foams 
and hisses between them, a headlong torrent, quite im- 
possible to put a boat upon for several miles. Therefore 
we carried the Rob Roy across it here, and round or 
over the mountains towards the next source of Jordan.' 

A Fish from the Hasbanv. 

We are now on terra fir ma, and so my tale must be 
brief, for it is meant to be only a log of the watcrway.s, 
and my pen should be quiet when my paddle is ashore. 

' A Greek priest, fishing in the river near the bridge, brought me liis whole 
bag as a present. It consisted of two small fish, very like trout. A sketch 
(natural size) of the smaller one is given here. 


2IO Bloody Fray. [Chap. xiii. 

The bridle-path on the east side of Jordan was ver}^ 
troublesome for the mules. Once and for the first time 
the Rob Roy's horse fell on his knee over a broken stone. 
I heard the shout behind me, and looked round stoically 
prepared for a catastrophe, but nothing happened. 

A very old bridge led us over a noisy torrent, has- 
tening its tribute to the Hooleh plain. The canoe was 
floated over, but at the same time there came a string of 
asses, each bearing a huge load of fragile earthen jars 
made at Hasbeya el Fokas, and now carried for sale into 
Bashan. These were cleverly packed with one great 
pot in the centre, and the others grouped round it in 
light matting. The sure-footed asses trod their ways 
thus laden, when one single fall or one brush against the 
jutting rocks on either side would have instantly smashed 
the whole cargo. 

The men joined us for company's sake, and our mid- 
day meal was spread beside the beautiful stream. Later 
in the afternoon, when suddenly rouneiing a rock, we 
came upon a fray. One of the pottery merchants had 
driven his ass near a field to avoid the mire and marsh 
alongside, and the owner of the unmarked domain 
instantly rushed at him and broke his ox-goad upon 
the offender's head, which instantly streamed with blood, 
while the unappeased assailant whipped out a long 
curved dagger, and was just aiming a blow when we 
appeared. Our muleteers closed ui)on the man in a 
moment, seized the sharp dagger and pitched it into 
the marsh, and then brought up the prisoner for judg- 
ment. The sentence was that he must run the gauntlet 
of our avenging muleteers, but at a suitable wink from 
mc he was let off a moment too soon for their prepara- 
tions, and I never saw a man run away faster than he 
did. The district did not seem to be a peaceful one for 

Chap. XIII.] British Ojjiccrs. in 

residence. A short time before three dead men had 
been found under a tree close by. Not far from this 
Hany had taken a party of travellers, three Eng-lish 
officers. At night the Arabs came and stole all the 
horses. Next day they had the impudence to send for 
a sum of money, and then again for, at any rate, half 
the sum. Hany waited until next morning early, and 
found the Arabs all asleep in a mill, and the stolen 
horses inside. The officers, each with a double-barrelled 
gun, were quietly posted so as to command the sleeping 
robbers, who were then awakened, and in sudden be- 
wilderment of fear they allowed the horses to be quietly 
recovered by their owners. Vigorous means were taken 
to force the Turkish government to bring these men to 
justice, and at length one and all of them were hunted 
up and punished.- 

All endeavours could not repress the increasing excite- 
ment which this part of the journey stirred in my mind. 

- In a former journey in Asia ]\Iinor, I recollect two British officers of 
the GuarJs were attacked by sixteen robbers, who stripped them of almost 
every bit of dress, and even of their rings. Long, tedious "representations" 
ended in nothing. 

In 1849, while among the Greek islands, becalmed in a little schooner, I 
heard the sharp rattle of musketry, and the big boom of cannon behind 
a hill. To get at the cause of this, we entreated the captain to lend us the 
boat. Pirates were at their work, and had murdered the cre\v of a brig. 
This we told at .Smyrna, and instantly an English war-steamer, then in 
port, started in pursuit of the sailors' common enemy, the robbers of the 
sea. We were informed afterwards that the pirates were captured, and 
seven of them were hanged. 

These instances are cited to show how much may be done for the repres- 
sion of crime (which is the sad but dutiful prerogative of true humanity) by 
the power and influence of the viser and more powerful nations acting, 
even in the Moslem's land of hot-blooded murderers. But since the " Mas- 
sacre year" (i860), and the energetic action of England and France, the 
peace of the high-roads and the security of the towns of Syria may be said 
to have become "tolerable," considering the people who rule, and llie 
people who are ruled, there. 

212 Our Ignorance. [Chap. Xlll. 

Now the Rob Roy is to enter on territory absolutely 
unknown and yet world-wide in its interest, where new 
discoveries are possible and likely, but only to the 
traveller journeying thus. Some parts of the Danube, it 
is true, are entirely inaccessible by land, and so these 
were first seen when the Rob Roy wandered there four 
years ago. Large portions of the rivers which she 
descended in Norway were also first unveiled to her. 
But what part of the Norse Vrangs or the Hohenzollern 
Donau can compare in interest with the bends of holy 
Jordan } Yet in the brief run of this venerated river, so 
looked upon by mountains, so watched by ancient tribes, 
and so often pencilled by travellers, there are actually 
portions which no map delineates rightly, because no 
observer has been privileged to see them. For ten 
miles the course of Jordan is almost unknown, or its de- 
scription at any rate is not published, and three miles of 
this interval have most probably never been seen before. 
Of Palestine itself, we are shamefully ignorant, though 
the whole area of the country is not larger than Lanca- 
shire and Yorkshire together. Jerusalem, in a sense the 
metropolis of the world, has still many nooks not even 
visited by men who can use their eyes and pens, and yet 
all that is left of that city would easily be contained in 
Hyde Park. \\\ full keeping with this unaccountable 
ignorance of the Holy Land and the Holy City would 
be our acquiescent permission for the Holy River to run 
on with any portion of it still untraced. Jordan is the 
sacred stream not only of the Jew who has " Moses 
and the prophets," of the Christian who treasures the 
memories of his Master's life upon earth, of the cast- 
out Ishmaelite who has dipi)cd his wandering bloody 
foot in this river since the days of PLagar, but of the 
Moslem faithful also, wide scattered over the world, 

Chap. XIII.] yordaiis Streams. 213 

who deeply venerate the Jordan. No other river's name 
is known so long ago and so far away as this, which 
calls up a host of past memories from the Mahommcdan 
on the plains of India, from the latest Christian settler 
in the Rocky Mountains of America, and from the Jew 
in every part of the globe. It is not only of the past 
that the name of Jordan tells, for in the more thought- 
ful hours of not a few they hear it whispering to them 
before strange shadowy truths of that future happier 
land that lies over the cold stream of death. 

Therefore, as our view of the wide plains under 
Hermon opened southward, it was with an intense 
impatient longing to reach such scenes of interest. 
Step by step brought our caravan nearer to the waters 
of Merom, and our gaze was soon riveted upon the 
heavy silent morass that had so long guarded the un- 
seen course of Jordan. 

Meanwhile our horses plunged about in very wet 
ground on the plateau above Hooleh, where there are 
several ruins worth visiting, until, deserting the usual 
track as almost impassable (in winter), we reached the 
well known Tell el Kady by a way of our own. Here is 
the ancient historic source of Jordan, and though the real 
source is, as we have seen, a long way farther north yet 
this latter has only been acknowledged about three hun- 
dred years, while the, springs we have come to visit now 
were known and reverenced ten times as long ago. As 
the Jordan itself attracts us most, because of the part it 
has played in history, rather than the course it now runs 
as a river, so its ancient reputed source will always com- 
mand more attention than the actual origin of its highest 
waters ; and we may enter somewhat minutely into particu- 
lars here because the springs of this stream so renowned 
are precisely what the Rob Roy came from afar to see. 

2 1 4 Tell cl Kady. [Chap. XI 1 1. 

Tell el Kady is situated on the east side of the Has- 
bany, which runs crooked here and out of sight in a 
ravine, torn roughly rather than cut by its furious waters. 
About us is a ragged bleak jungle of stream-worn pla- 
teau shelving southwards gradually, then at a quicker 
slope, some five hundred feet, down to " Ard el Hooleh," 
a district low and level, about twelve miles long, and 
five or six in width. This is bounded by the hills of 
Naphthali on the right, and those of Bashan opposite, 
until these two chains approach in the distant horizon, 
and clasp the little lake of Merom glittering in the sun. 
So sweeps the gaze of the eye until, satisfied, it rests 
once more on the giant mountain, ever present in the 
scene, but now, for the first time, behind us — 

" That lifts its awful form, 
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm ; 
Though round its breast the rolling clouds be spread, 
Eternal sunshine settles on its head." 

The Tell itself is a mound of great size, and its shape, 
as will be seen by the opposite plan, is rectangular, with 
rounded corners. Its length is about 300 )-ards, and the 
breadth 250 yards.-^ The space within is hollow, and 
nearly flat, while the sides or walls are like those of a 
railway viaduct, with an average height oi thirt)' feet, but 
much higher at the south-west end, and steep. 

Ruins are at various parts visible all round, and within, 
and upon the mound itself, which seems to me to be 
wholly artificial ; but it is said to be partly formed by a 
volcanic crater. 

At the south-west corner of the Tell is the reputed 
spot where the idol was set up b\' l^^ing' Jeroboam.'' 

3 Captain Wilson's estimate. It appeared somewhat larger to me. Other 
liavellers have strangely cut it down to half the size, even \"andcvclde, 
I'nrlcr, and Newbold. 

■• 1 his is reluteil in I Kings xii. 28-30 : — " WlicrcupiHi the king look 

Chap. XIII.] 



The word "Dan" in Hebrew means "Judge," and 
"Kady" in Arabic has the same meaning; and there 
seems to be no doubt whatever that the town of Dan 
once stood where now is Tell el Kady. But Dan itself 

Source of JorJan at Dan. 

had formerly an older name, as we read in the Book of 
Joshua (xix. 47), when he speaks of the various tribes 
receiving their inheritance by lot : " And the coast of the 
children of Dan went out too little for them : therefore 
the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, 
and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, 
and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, 
Dan, after the name of Dan their father." A more par- 
ticular account of this incursion is given in the Book 
of Judges,^ where we are told that the Danites, feeling 

counsel, ami made two calves of gold, and said unto them. It is tr)o much 
for you to go up to Jerusalem : behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought 
thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in IJeth-el, and the 
other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin : for the people went 
to worship before the one, even unto Dan."' 
^ Chapters xvii. and xviii. 

2i6 Laish. [Chap. XIII. 

their border too narrow, sent five men out to spy the 
land, and they came to Mount Ephraim. Here dwelt 
Micah, a man who had stolen some money set apart by 
his mother to make an idol with. He had found a young 
Levite, whom he appointed as his priest, with a salary of 
ten shekels a year and his board. 

The five spies met the young priest, and talked with 
him. Then they " came to Laish, and saw the people 
that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the 
manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure ; and there 
was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to 
shame in anything, and they were far from the Zidonians, 
and had no business with any man. And they came 
unto their brethren to Zorah and Eshtaol : and their 
brethren said unto them, What say ye t And they said, 
Arise, that we may go up against them : for we have 
seen the land, and behold, it is very good : and are ye 
still } Be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the 
land. When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, 
and to a large land : for God hath given it into your 
hands ; a place where there is no want of anything that 
is in the earth." The Danites then set off and passed 
Micah's house, and, after some parleying, they enticed 
the Levite to come with them as priest to their band, 
which numbered six hundred chosen men. 

"And they took the things which Micah had made, 
and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto 
a people that Avere at quiet and secure : and they smote 
them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with 
fire. And there was no deliverer, because it was far from 
Zidon, and they had no business with any man ; and it 
was in the valley that Hcth by Beth-rehob. And they 
built a city, and dwelt therein. And they called the 
name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, 

Chap. XIII.] TJic Goldcn Image. 217 

who was born unto Israel : howbeit the name of the city 
was Laish at the first. And the children of Dan set up 
the graven image : and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the 
son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe 
of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. And 
they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, 
all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh." 

But Tell el Kady, besides its claim to attention as 
being Dan, and farther back old Laish, is the spot where 
the Jordan issues from the deeps of the earth in a noble 
spring, said to be the largest single source in the world. 

In the four-sided enclosure already described is a most 
tangled thicket, quite impenetrable to man, and perhaps 
almost to beasts. Round it is a low quadrangular raised 
dais, and the remains of what once was evidently a 
splendid amphitheatre, often, perhaps, thronged With 
spectators of the idol's rites. 

Scattered trees, still in some sort of order, dot the wide 
space beyond, but the thorns of the brake itself, a dark 
and thick screen even in mid-winter, must be ten times 
more dense in spring, or in the luxuriance of summer 
growth. These cover a hidden pool, which defies all 
efforts to enter its retreat, but, under a pit half filled by 
heaps of old grey stones,'' you can just hear the smothered 
murmuring of pent-up secret waters, and on the west 
side of the embankment, beneath a mass of fig-trees, 
reeds, and strongest creepers, the water issues free into 
the day, and filling up to the brim the circular basin a 
hundred feet wide. Here the new-born Jordan turns 

•"• These should be taken out by the Palestine Exploration Funil. Some- 
thing worth finding is Hkely to be there. Josephus, wlien describing how 
stones were heaped upon a dead body after a battle, plainly indicates that 
the body was in a hollow, and so the heaj) would only fill up this to the 
level of the ground about it, which would therefore be unnoticed in a few 
hundred years. 

21 8 Sounding the Source. [Chap. XIII. 

and bubbles, and seems to breathe for a while in the 
light, and then it dashes off at once a river, with a noisy 
burst, but soon hiding its foam and waves in another 
thicket, and there its loud rushing is shrouded in dark- 
ness as it hurries away to the mysterious plain. 

In much less time than is required to read these lines, 
the Rob Roy was dismounted and was floating on this 
pool, while the muleteers stood round to see, but now quite 
prepared for any wonder. After their recent experience 
of the boat on the Abana, the Pharpar, the lakes of 
Damascus, and the swift Hasbany, they thought that the 
canoe could do anything she tried. 

As before, so now, they told me this pool also was 
bottomless, and, to be prepared for the strange current 
gurgling from below and circling about in all ways right 
and left with uncertain eddies, I sat upon the deck with 
my legs in the water and a sturdy pole in my hands. 

Behold the abyss of the Dan source of Jordan, it is 
only five feet deep ! After a full examination of it all, 
the canoe was carried to our tents, which were pitched 
inside the enclosure, and almost hidden by the rich 
foliage of the inner stream. This last''' has been led to 
the south-west corner of the mound, and then through 
that (broken down for the purpose) it rushes out to turn 
a mill, which nestles among the brambles, and seems 
half ashamed to drive its trade just under the old altar 
of the golden calf A splendid terebinth and a not less 
splendid oak droop over this little stream, and the soft 
breeze of a dank evening waves the countless old rags 
hung upon the branches in honour of some long dead 
worthy of the Mahommcdan sect. 

'' That all the water in both the conlluent streams comes evidently from 
the same source within the enclosure is, 1 think, cjuite clear on examination. 
What is hid from the eye is jilain enough to the ear, in the pile of stones. 

Chap. XIII.] Justice and Mercy. 219 

A crowd of men came next day as a deputation 
on the matter of the ass-driver's broken head. These 
pleaded for our pardon. His bloody cheeks and gashed 
forehead urged grim justice. After long parleying to 
establish the enormity of their offence, I gave an Eng- 
lishman's merciful sentence, and restored the dagger we 
had captured in the fight. Then all of them went off 
well pleased and — quite ready to do the same deed 
again ! Not long ago it was a matter of risk to camp long 
in such a place as this, even with guards. But here we 
settled to stay and without any escort, and I roamed 
the savage country round without any attendant what- 
ever. No bravery is needed for this, but only quiet 
attention to a few simple rules. ^ 

^ One of these rules was not to heed one man at all, but if two were in 
sit^ht, and they seemed to be in concert, then to go straight up to one of 
them when the other was sure to come too. I had my pistol then, not a 
revolver, but a far more useful weapon, with only one barrel, and a bayonet 
which jumps out when you touch a spring. This I have carried on such 
occasions for twenty years, and find that, when people come near in out-of- 
the-way places, and some of them are curious, an admirable effect is pro- 
duced by asking them to "look " while the bayonet leaps out. Arabs 
(of this prowling sort) all know the revolver well, and there is no excuse 
for exhibiting it to them ; besides, they would ask to handle it too. But 
the other pistol is a novelty, and one can offer to show it as such. The 
moment the bayonet darts out, there is sure to be surprise, or even a start, 
and while its unexpected power can be exhibited (and with the bayonet thus 
fixed, you are a match for any man quite close), the show has the air of a 
gratuitous favour, not a warlike challenge, though virtually it is a vivid 
symptom that one ]3arty at least is ready for action. 

With more than two men, a single traveller does wisely to rel\- on moral 
means alone. If actually attacked by three armed Arabs, his chance 
would be small indeed, and supposing that he was justified in killing two, 
and able and willing to do it, the vengeance of their more distant comrades 
would be certain. With the whole tribe it might become a religious duty 
to wipe out blood In' l;lood. 

Besides this, it is to be remembered that, while one man or two might 
attack to rob and plunder, the united advance of more than this would 
usually be made with the intent, not to murder or to rob, but to capture 
and get a ransom. The first kind of attack is mere footpad's war ; it is 

220 Name of Jordan. [Chap. XIII. 

We are now at the second source of Jordan, and 
the stream that gushes forth here from Tell el Kady 
is named the Leddan. Of the three several fountains 
which form that wonderful river, the Hasbany may be 
considered as the Arab source, the spring at Dan as the 
Canaanitish source, and the fountain at Banias as the 
Roman source. 

Josephus speaks of Dan as at "the fountains of the 
lesser Jordan," ^ and an imaginary derivation was early 
given ''^ and even long maintained for the very name of 
" Jordan," as compounded of " Ghor " and " Dan." But 
the name of Jordan occurs in the time of Abraham, five 
centuries before the title Dan was given to the town of 
Laish. The Jordan is never called in Scripture " the 
river " or " brook," or by any other name than its own ; 
and it may be considered as proved by Robinson and 
Stanley that the word "Jordan" is only the word 
larden of the Hebrew, which signifies " the Descender " 
— rightly due both to the fast flow and the enormous 
fall of the river, which also " descends " into the earth 
lower than any other in the world." The Jordan is also 

right to resist, even according to the laws of the wildest horde ; but for 
the second — the endeavour to catch a European, who has not taken the 
proper course of procuring a guard or escort — there is more than a shadow 
of reason in favour of the aggressors, and one cannot forget tliat other tribes 
than these have drawn their broadswords for blaclcmail. 

^ 'Ant. J.' book v. ch. iii. sec. i. ; and book viii. cli. viii. sec. iv. 

'" Even in Jerome's time (Robinson, voL iii. p. 352) ; and in the 

" Stanley says that only the Sacramento has so great a fall as Jordan 
has from the Lake of Galilee to the Dead Sea (' .Sinai and Palestine,' p. 284). 
The physical features of the river in general will be alluded to in a summary 
farther on. 

Captain Newbold differs in some particulars from those in my notes. He 
says the mound at Dan is about 300 paces in circumference, that the volume 
of water is at least as much as from the Banias fountain. He cites an 
Arab authority for the usual erroneous supposition that the united stream 
enters the lake "nearer its eastern than its western angle." He says Abul- 

Chap. XIII.] El GJmjar. 221 

said to be the most winding of rivers, but the Pharpar 
certainly winds more. 

After examining the runlet of surface-water which 
bears a muddy tribute into the clear pool of the source 
at Dan, and being satisfied that this is only the drainage 
of the morass behind, and is dried up entirely in summer, 
I rode to the old Hasbany again, which had cut its 
channel so deep as to have eluded our sight towards the 
end of the day's journey. This ride was very difficult, 
when so much rain had lately drenched the teeming 
plain. For an hour Latoof and myself were struggling 
through watercourses and thick bushes. In two of the 
four larger streams the current almost carried us away. 
Arrived at the river, we followed it for a mile down to 
the bridge of El Ghujar,'^ which with three crooked old 
arches, all of unequal spans, crosses the Hasbany as it 
roars in a wild glen. The bridge itself is, of course, more 
easy to reach, even on a dark winter's eve, as being in 
some sort upon a thoroughfare ; but we then turned, 
where no path leads, along the Hasbany to its latest 
traverse of the high plateau before the torrent rolls over 
headlong into the Hooleh marsh. Latoof was thoroughly 
well versed in the intricate waterways of this wold ; and 
unless he had been so, it would certainly have been 

feda called the Jordan "El Urdun." ('Journal of Asiatic Society,' vol. xvi. 
pp. 12, 13.) He considers it highly probable that Banias was Baal Gad 
'p. 27). He never mentions the papyrus, though a list is given of the 
plants about Jordan. His paper is, however, the most full description of 
Jordan's sources hitherto published. 

*- Finn says (' Byeways in Palestine,' p. 370) that his guide called the 
river itself El Ghujar. Porter does not seem to mention this bridge as El 
Ghujar. Wilson saw the water running through only the western arch, 
but it filled all three channels during my visit. The bridge is 65 paces 
long, and four paces broad ; two of the arches are slightly pointed, tlie third 
being round. A rough sketch of the bridge I have inserted in Map \'. The 
Luisany enters near this as a tributary. 

Ill Hazor. [Chap. XIII. 

dangerous to make such a circuit, with night approaching, 
and when every streamlet was swollen into a red and 
angry torrent, and several times so deep as to cause us 
to hark back and try to ford elsewhere. 

But for this toil there came reward in finding, for at 
least a mile, huge blocks of stones laid out in circles and 
squares, far too many and too big, and in a place too 
wet, to be old Arab camps, but plainly, in my opinion, 
the relics of a very ancient city. These stones extend 
quite up to the river's bank, which here is very steep, 
and their weatherworn aspect, their enormous size and 
vast numbers, their strange aggregations, wherein form 
and method were clearly visible, though amid such con- 
fusion and wreck, impressed me very strongly with the 
conviction that this might be the site of ancient Hazor. 
Other travellers have been here, and usually not in 
winter. In drier seasons they could, therefore, move 
more easily amid these stone blocks by riding on harder 
ground ; but their bare desolation in January was better 
than the high rank undergrowth of summer for ex- 
ploring, and it also enforced our attention by laying bare 
great numbers of these stones at once, and giving to the 
whole scene a wide significance. Careful examination of 
some of the stones showed that a proportion, at least, of 
them had been hewn. I looked for inscriptions in vain, 
but the writing of old time was there without letters ; 
and I would earnestly suggest that this district should 
be far more diligently scrutinised than it appears to 
have been from what is told about it in travellers' 

Subsequent examination of the texts in Scripture and 
the Maccabees and the notices by ancient and modern 
authorities upon the site of Hazor have con\'inced me 
that De Saulc)' is right in his supposition that Hazor 

Chap. XIII.-i Hazov. 'ii'i 

was here. In bis ' Journe}' round the Dead Sea and in 
the Bible Lands' (1854), he describes a visit to this place, 
and how he found the ruins of a vast building like to the 
Temple in Gerizim in plan. His investigation seems to 
have extended chiefly along the southern ledge, but 
much farther north I found the ruins quite as thickly 
strewn. Three venomous snakes from under the stones 
attacked De Saulcy's party. This, and the utter devasta- 
tion of the scene, may well remind us of the prophecy of 
Jeremiah (ch. xlix.) — "And Hazor shall be a dwelling 
for dragons, and a desolation for ever : there shall no 
man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it." 

224 Banias. [Chap. XIV. 





^ I "'HE Rob Roy had now floated on two of the great 
-*- sources of Jordan ; but another and the most in- 
teresthig had yet to be seen.^ This is at Banias, about an 
hour's pleasant ride from Tell el Kady eastwards through 
a well-wooded district and over springy turf. Here we 
are just within the bounds of the land of Israel, reaching 
" from Dan to Beersheba ; " and here at once we come 
upon a hallowed spot, for Jesus Himself had tarried in 
the place, had wrought there miracles of mercy, had 
spoken deep loving words of wisdom, and had mani- 
fested forth His heavenly glory after a manner never 
seen elsewhere. 

' A fourth, lint minor, tributary to the Jordan, not mentioned by the 
ancients, is found in the springs of Esh Shir, 2i miles east by north of 
Phiale Lake. They form a rivulet a yard broad, and a foot deep, ^vhich 
runs by the north side of the lake, between it and Majdel, increased by 
several springs in its course down the deep ([<'\\\ki of Wady esh Shir, and, 
passing close to the south of Banias, by Wady el Kid, joins the Banias River 
in the basin of Hooleh. Captain Newbold "saw it in the month of May, 
when no rain had fallen for many days ; it \\'as then six yards wide, and twi^ 
feet deep, clear and rapid." The Arabs assured him it never dries uji 
('J<jurnal of tlie Asiatic .Society,' 1S56, vol. xvi. pp. 15, 16.) 

Chap. XIV.] Cccsarca Philippi. 225 

For at this little village of Banias was once the town 
of Cresarea Philippi. Like some other old places, it had 
several different names. According to Robinson and 
Rabbi Schwartz, the place was that called in the Bible 
Baal Gad.^ Then the Greeks named it Paneas, and the 
Romans Caesarea, while the Arabs, who have no letter 
/, now call it Banias (as "Pasha" becomes "Basha"). 
A long time might well be spent in examining the 
curious relics here, and to describe them fully would 
occupy some pages ; but this has been well done by 
Porter with his usual clear succinctness, and our business 
now is only with what concerns this source of Jordan. 

In riding up a gentle rise from the morass, we soon 
meet the new river tumbling its young waters among beau- 
tiful old ruins, bridges, walls, and fallen pillars, the broken 
relics of grandeur and elegance, mingled with trees and 
undergrowth of most exuberant forms. The hum of run- 
lets underground and the louder dashing of cascades 

- Schwartz says (p. 6l) : " It was there that the image of the cock-iclol 
was worshipped by the Cutheans, in the town of Tarnegola, consecrated 
to the god Nergal (2 Kings xvii. 30). . . . The more recent name of 
the time of the Crusaders of ' Belias ' for ' Banias ' is founded ujx^n the 
original appellation of the same Baal-gad (Joshua xi. 17)." 

Again (p. 80) : "It was there that the idol Baal-gad, already existing in 
the time of Joshua, was worshipped as late as the days of Isaiah (ch. v. 11), 
' who set a table for the Gad' (English version, ' for that troup,' which, how- 
ever, hardly means anything ; whereas it is highly significant when taken 
as the name of a heathen divinity)." 

Stanley places JBaal Gad at Baalbek. Thomson seems to think that 
Rehob was at Banias ('Land and the Book,' i. p. 392). Schwartz tells us (p. 
202) that, " About three mill north of Banias, there is a mount, on which 
there is an old building having several cupolas. There is a tradition that the 
'covenant between the pieces' with Abraham (Gen. xv. 9) was made on this 
spot ; the Arabs call it Meshhad al Tir, /. e. the covenant or testimony of 
the bird (turtle-dove ? ), in reference to the 'bird ' referred to, ibid. v. 10." 

Banias had one more name given to it according to Josephiis (' Ant. J.' 
book XX. ch. ix. sec. iv.) : "... King Agrippa built Ca'sarea Pliilippi larger 
than it was before, and in honour of Nero named it Neronias." 

%26 ' Cavern. [Chap. XIV. 

above give animation to what else would be desolate. 
The head of all is in front of a steep-faced cliff about 
eighty feet high, of white and pink stone, much scathed 
by weather and cut about by man. Niches aloft, but 
empty, tell plainly of great statues and idols. Numerous 
inscriptions upon the cliff speak even now of Pan, though 
with a mutilated story.^ Above them is a ivcly, dedicated 
to El K/ntdr, the Moslem St. George ; and thus we have 
grouped round this grotto the emblems that show it was 
sacred to the Baalite, the Jew, the Greek, the Roman, 
the Christian, and the Moslem, each in turn. A lofty 
and wide cavern opens deep in the rock, and just in 
front of this, outside, and 7iot from within, but apparently 
from at least the level of the cavern's present floor, a 
copious flood of sparkling water wells up and forward 
through rough shingle, and in a few yards it hides its 
noisy dashings in a dense jungle."^ 

Josephus^ thus writes of this rock and cavern : — " So 

^ Some of these are copied in Finn's 'Byeways in Palestine' (Appendix). 
The stream of Banias is crossed by a bridge of one arch, very slightly 

■1 AVilson mentions the stream that flows above ground to swell that 
from the cave as formed from springs in a shallow valley, near Jebata 
Khusseh, while on the other side of a ridge there the springs flow to tlie 
Varmuk. Newbold estimates the width of the front of shingle as 150 
yards, but it appeared to me much less. The position of the fountain, as 
given by Captain Wilson, is lat. 33° 14' 45" N., and long. 35° 38' 57" E. 
He says that in the cavern there is a large accumulation of rubbish, and 
some little moisture, and that the spring appears to have issued directly 
from it at one time, and there was probably a large pool, over which may 
have been erected a temple, similar to that at Ain Fijeh, though on a more 
extensive scale. The fountain issues from the limestone, just at its junc- 
tion with the trap formation. In front of the wely the limestone lias a dip 
of 15°, and strike of 250°. 

The stream bridged in W. Zaareh, joining the fountain stream, had (in 
January) about one-fourth of the volume of the latter stream ; the AV. 
Khoshabe has about one-twentieth of that volume, and joins il a little 
higher up. ^ ' J- ^^ •' hook xv. chap. x. sec. iii. 

Chap. XIW] 



C?esar bestowed his country, which was no small one, 
upon Herod ; it la}^ between Trachon and Galilee, and 
contained Ulatha" and Paneas, and the country round 
about So when he had conducted Csesar to the 


B;iiiias Source of .T( rdan. 

sea, and was returned home, he built him a most be;iu- 
tiful temple, of the Avhitest stone, in Zenodorus's country, 
near the place called Panium. This is a very fine cave 
in a mountain, under which there is a great cavity in the 
earth, and the cavern is abrupt and prodigiously deep, 
and full of a still water ; over it hangs a vast mountain, 
and under the caverns arise the springs of the river 
Jordan. Herod adorned this place, which was already 
a very remarkable one, still further by the erection of 
this temple, which was dedicated to Caesar." 

In another passage Josephus" varies his account of the 

'' This evidently means tlie Arc! el Hooleh. 

' 'J. \V.' book i. ch. xxi. sec. iii. Schwartz tell us (p. 203, note) : " In 
' Bereshoth Rabba,' ch. xxiii., it is said ' Three springs of Palestine and its 
vicinity remained not closed up after the flood (Gen. viii. 2), the springs at 
Tiberias, Abilene, and the one of the Jordan issuing from the cave at Paneas.' '' 
The Talmud says the same (Neubauer, 34, 37.) Pliny speaks only of the 
fountain here as the source of Jordan (' Nat. Hist.' \v.). 

22 8 Three Streams of yordan. [Chap. xiv. 

cavern and source, but by combining the two versions, it 
appears to me that the springs did always in old times, 
as now, issue from the front outside the cave, and not 
from within. The cavern was quite dry when I visited it. 

The plan of this place given above is merely a rough 
map of the land and water in front of the cave.^ This 
is the " greater source " of Jordan, that longest recog- 
nised as a beginning of the river, and it is not easy either 
to tell how much water comes from any one of the three 
sources separately or to compare their relative quantities 
when you are looking at one only, and the other two, 
being distant, can only be reviewed by memory. 

On the whole, and after a careful examination of them 
all, and a further inspection (to be described later) of the 
Banias and the Hasbany at their point of junction, I 
come to the conclusion that the Hasbany source is less 
than that at Banias, though the former river is the larger 
where the two unite, and that the source at Dan is larger 
than that at Banias, though the Dan waters disperse 
afterwards, and fail to reach the others in any one par- 
ticular channel. 

Josephus mentions^ that Philip theTetrarch discovered 
a still higher source of Jordan than Pan's Cave, in the 
little cup-like lake of Phiale, four hours distant from 
Banias. To test the matter, he put chaff into this pool, 
and it came out at the rock of Banias after passing under- 
ground. This is frequently referred to in travellers' 
books. From Irby and Mangle's account (p. 2S8), it 
seems to have been considered by them, and Robinson 
agree.3 (vol. iii. p. 350), as well as Stanley ('S. and P.' 394), 
that this discovery of Philip was barren. It is given as 

* A photograph of jmrt of the springs is ])ul)li;,hcd by the Palestine E.\- 
ploration Fund, and several views about Bauias. 
' ' J. W.' book iii, ch. x. sec. vii. 

Chap. XIV.] Pliialc. 229 

a reason for this that the water could not pass under- 
ground from Phiale to Banias because it would have to 
go beneath a certain streamlet described as lower than 
the level of Phiale. Wilson says the lake (Phiale) lies 
at the bottom of a cup-shaped basin, and has no outlet, 
though there is no stream running directly into it ; it 
appears to receive a great portion of the surface drainage 
of the plain or sloping ground on the north-east. 

Captain Newbold,'" who also examined the Birket er 
Ram (Phiale) with care, says that the lake is 3000 paces 
in circumference, the taste of the water " a little brackish 
and flat," the temperature 75° Fahr. (air 78^ in shade). 
The temperature of the Banias spring at the same time 
was 58°. The lake abounds with leeches and frogs. 
Then he says : " I repeated the experiment of Philip 
the Tetrarch, but the straw thrown in remained motionless 
on the surface. The loss by evaporation would be amply 
sufficient to account for the lake's never overflowing." 
A water-mark showed the lake had been six inches 
higher in winter. 

Though Captain Wilson sought for subterranean pas- 
sages leading from the fountains of Banias, none could 
be found. The impure water of Phiale is very different 
from the sweet water of the fountain. The deep ravine 
of Wady em Keib lies between Phiale and the fountain. 
The cleft of W. Khoshabe cuts off communication be- 
tween the fountain and the pool near Sheba, which some 
supposed was a source of the river ; the rapid dip of the 
strata westerly would not allow the water to run to the 
fountain. The sheikh at Banias said straw had been 
put in at Sheba and appeared at the Banias fountain. 

'" 'Journal of the Asiatic Society,' vol. xvi. (1856), p. 8. The small lake 
south of Banias, and shown in my picture [post, p. 235), is also called 
Birket er Ram. 

230 Oiw Savio2Lrs Visit. [Chap. XIV. 

This was most likely a fabrication, built upon accounts 
of the other experiment already noticed. The amount 
of water from the fountain was doubled after rain. It 
may, therefore, be considered as quite settled that the 
fountain of Banias is the first real source of Jordan in 
that direction. 

A little stone shanty beside the great rock ^^ served me 
as a shelter from a shower of rain, as I came here all 
alone, and my horse was put into Pan's Cavern, while I 
heaped wood on the still warm embers of the deserted 
fire, and made myself at home. 

The house of this trustful shepherd had no door. Ke 
had left everything quite open inside, so I was very soon 
comfortable, and greeted the venerable proprietor when 
he returned, telling him the one cardinal fact that I was 
an Englishman. 

Caisarea Philippi would have been interesting enough 
to see with what has been told already as its features — 
the grand mountain views around it ; the worships of 
Pagan, Turk, and Jew, each with their symbols ; the 
Crusaders' ruined keep, and the fights of the Cross ; and. 
oldest of all, yet ever fresh, the source of Jordan. 

But a higher holiness was printed on this rock when 
the foot of Christ came here, seeking for " the lost sheep 
of the house of Israel," '" even on the outskirts of the 
land where they wandered. 

He had healed the blind man of Bethsaida.'-' If this 

" Thomson, in ' The Land and llie Book,' i;ivcs woodcuts representing this 
rock and the Phiale pooh 

'" The wely marked in Map V. as Neln' Seid Yiula — the "tomb of the 
Lord Judali " — may be (Thomson thinks — i. 384) what is alhided to in 
Joshua NIX. 34, wlien he describes the borders of Naphthali as reaching "to 
judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising." 

'■' ALxrk viii. 22. So " He is gone to Kisrin " (/. (■. CiX'sarea ; to express 
the fartlicst limit). — Neuljauer, 238. 

Chap. XIV.] The G rcat Question. 231 

was the eastern town of that name, our Lord next 
went by the waters of Merom until He " came into the 
coasts of Ca^sarea PhiHppi." '^ Then was that searching- 
question put, and that solemn pledge was given, w liich 
is recorded in these verses : — 

" He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say 
that I the Son of man am } 

"And they said. Some say that thou art John the 
Baptist : some, Elias ; ^^ and others, Jeremias, or one of 
the prophets. 

" He saith unto them. But whom say ye that I am } 

"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the 
Christ, the Son of the living God. 

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art 
thou, Simon Bar-jona : for flesh and blood hath not 
revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in 

" And I say also unto thee. That thou art Peter, and 
upon this rock I will build my church ; and the gates of 
hell shall not prevail against it. 

" And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom 
of heaven : and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall 
be bound in heaven : and whatsoever thou shalt loose on 
earth shall be loosed in heaven. 

" Then charged He His disciples that they should tell 
no man that He was Jesus the Christ. 

• " And '^ He began to teach them, that the Son of man 
must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, 
and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and 
after three days rise again. 

*^ ^latt. xvi. 13. The word "coasts" is expressive as describing "the 
towns" (Mark viii. 27) on the edge of the wide watery plain. 

15 The people were likely to say this, if it was here that Mlijah aj^pearcd 
with Moses. "^ Mark viii. 31, 33. 

232 Peter. [Chap. XIV. 

" But when He had turned about and looked on His 
disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, 
Satan : for thou savourest not the things that be of God, 
but the things that be of men." 

Too often the latter part of this conversation is omitted 
when the first is given. At the same place and time, 
when Peter was called a "stone," he was called " Satan." 
We are content to be built in with Peter just so long 
as Peter is a " living stone " on Christ, the " Rock of 
ages." " 

Where this scene took place cannot be ^ascertained 
now. Mark says it was " by the way " (ver. 27), but a 
fond fancy would fix it dramatically under the rock at 

God seems to have withheld from us precise know- 
ledge as to the places of His most glorious deeds, that 
the lessons taught by them might be free from mere 
local interest, being for all people everywhere, and for all 
time — aye, for eternity itself and every universe.^'^ 

Then "after six days" our Saviour took His three 
apostles " into a high mountain " to be transfigured, and 
to speak with the prophet and the great lawgiver. He 
had called Himself the " Son of Man " to the apostles ; 
now He was proclaimed as " My beloved Son " by the 
very voice of Jehovah. All this took place near Banias, 
and much better is it that no one can say exactly where. 
The words and deeds are glorious and thrilling, but they 
are meant for the whole earth, and not for a single spot 

''' Let thuse wlio assemble under the dome of St. Peter's, encircled by 
the promise given to the apostle, written there on a bh;e band above 
them, think well whether the "lively stones" of Christ's Church are new 
doctrines invented by man, or new men converted to Christ. 

'* Perhaps the spot most nearly known and quite undoubted is that A\l)ere 
the Croat Preacher "sat thus on the well," and preached a full sermon to 
the most empty of congregations, even to one fallen woman. 

Chap. XIV.] Criisadcrs Keep. 233 

to make its own. From this farthest point of His walk 
of mercy through Israel, the Saviour turned back again 
to scenes of agony and death. He had fortified His 
faithful ones by His king-like promise ; He had been 
fortified Himself by His Father's voice out of the " bright 
cloud ; " and now and for the last time " He set His face 
to go unto Jerusalem." 

From Banias I rode to the splendid ruin of the castle 
of Subeibeh. This still stands proudly on a height 
guarded by sheer cliff all round, except at the entrance 
gate ; and to reach this — the only way in — the pilgrim 
must pass a long narrow path, wholly open to the view 
of a defending garrison, and completely at their mercy 
if he comes as an enemy. Murray's Handbook almost 
entreats the traveller not to miss this place. His words 
are not too urgent, for it is, on the whole, the most mag- 
nificent relic of such a fortress to be seen. Heidelberg 
is not so large, nor has it anything like the view we have 
before us here. Towers and bastions are round about, 
and huge walls and courtyards fill the ample space 
within.'" A thousand men here, more or less, would 
not crowd the " visitors' rooms," or weigh upon the 
grand old masonry. Built by the Herods first, perhaps, 
or by Phoenician masons, it was an outwork afterwards 
of the Holy Wars, when nations were fired with frenzy 
for the Land of the Cross. Now we can scarcely beg a 
few guineas from the world to uncover the buried ruins 
of Palestine. 

My rifle beside me, but no one in sight or hearing, 
I had a fit of melancholy meditation here, deploring our 
degenerate days that leave such a noble stronghold in 

'^ Thomson describes the vast number of scorpions found here in 
summer. The inhabitants, to avoid these, build Httle booths on long poles 
to dwell in. 

234 Viezu from SubeibeJi. [Chap. XIV. 

the hands of the feeble Turk — his, too, for the last seven 
hundred years. But it was not to be moody I climbed 
up to Subeibeh, nor, indeed, was it to see this old castle 
with its cold grey stones. I came to scan from hence 
how the Rob Roy could paddle through the marsh of 
Hooleh ; to get, if possible, some little inkling of where 
the Jordan spreads its lost waters, and how they are 
gathered again into one before the last long leap of " the 

From this lonely perch, about 1500 feet above the 
plain, the panorama is superb. The hills of Bashan are 
cleft in front, and they frame the wide-spread picture. 
To the left, and farthest off, are the gleaming waters of 
Merom. In front is the Galilean chain, and on the right 
is Hermon — 

"like Teneriffe or Atlas unremoved." 

Down in the level hollow stretches the wide morass, of 
dark and even colour, gloomy, but with pools and lakes 
and strips of disjointed water shining in the sun like 
the last snow-wreaths of spring on a half-melted lawn. 
The most careful scrutiny could not detect any method 
or sequence in these water-patches.-*^ Viewed as a mere 
landscape, one might fancy, indeed, some possible 
channel between them ; but a more practical connection 
must be discerned before the canoeist can trust his boat 
on such a patchwork of water, without at least some 
possible route determined. Often in Sweden I had to 
climb high hills to spy out the way through the archi- 
pelagos on the great lakes, several of them eighty miles 
long. But the grand difference there that the canoe 
might be stranded a dozen times or lost altogether, and 

-" They are inserted in the drawing; here as aecurately as I could make 
them out. Thomson gives a sketch, but from a lower point of view. 

Chap. XIV.] Anxious. 237 

yet there would be no danger to its crew from man or 
beast ; and it certainly is one effect of experience in 
such voyages alone that, while a certain class of dangers 
gets more despised, and boldness increases as to one 
class of difficulties, another kind of possibilities becomes 
more realised as truly formidable ^vhich, at first starting 
on such cruises, would never be thought of at all. How- 
ever, after all the moralising about the morass had been 
done, it came to this in the end : that there was very 
good reason for not trying to pass through Hooleh 
marsh, and that there was much better reason for a 
determined effort to do it now. Next day, therefore, 
with Hany, I made a rccoiuiaissancc from our head- 
quarters by the mound at Dan, that we might find the 
best way, or any way, by which to carry the Rob Roy 
into the soft green plain. He was quite as anxious as 
myself to do this well, and up to a certain point of 
perseverance a good Eastern dragoman is as resolute as 
any Englishman. Where the Orientals break down (as 
seems to me) is when the difficulty is an unknown one, 
and has to be overcome in a way entirely new. It is 
just then that is wanted the Saxon's positive resolve " It 
shall be done." And this was needed now. To take 
a horse down these rough rocks was easy. To steer a 
mule, even a laden one, among the bogs and gushing 
streamlets, and through hedges and reeds and thickets, 
could be done by bearing bumps and bruises and duck- 
ings in the mud. But we had to find a way for a tender 
cargo to be carried here — the ever-precious Rob Roy ; 
and this, so strong in waves and rapids, might be 
smashed by a single fall of the horse, and then the 
journey could not be begun again without long delay, 
or, at best, would be continued with the enfeebling 
sensation of paddling over a new and rapid river in a 

238 Mansoiira. [Chap. XIV. 

crippled boat. Nevertheless, we found a way here even 
in this winter season, and with all the ground flooded 
by recent rain ; and we settled upon a house, the last 
on the plain, where the Rob Roy might lodge the first 
night, and there we bespoke for her the best bed-room 
in a buffaloes' byre, the landlord, no doubt, being puzzled 
out of his wits when he was gravely told that next 
day would come a " shaktoor." And come it did, on 
January 4th, all safe, to Mansoura, after far less strug- 
gling than was expected, and no hurt. 

This place is at a clump of trees seen from Tell el 
Kady. Two stone houses are by a little mound, and, 
so far as I could make out, this is the ground of the 
Difne Arabs, evidently connected by name with the 
ancient Daphne, the longer way of saying Dan. What 
in such sparsely peopled places may be called a crowd 
was waiting to receive us, and indeed they were a rough- 
looking set, but civil enough, and strongly reverencing 
my double-barrel while they worshipped the canoe. 

So great was the pressure about me that it was very 
difficult to take compass-bearings here, but it was far 
more difficult to obtain from the numerous Arabs peering 
at us any one name of the villages in front — the clumps, 
I mean, of straw mat huts, and Arab- tents, and every 
cross-breed compromise between the animal and vege- 
table orders of architecture. 

First, it was scarcely possible to point out any of the 
knobs on the horizon, so that any two men beside me 
should agree upon what they were asked to look at. 
Then their arguments about the matter had to be filtered 
through faithful Hany's rendering of the case. Next 
the names had to be marked in pencil on my plan, and>- 
lastly the whole list was found to be wrong. 

This was the usual routine, and it happened so man}' 

Chap. XIV.] Parliament. 239 

times, and after long periods of rest had been given to 
cool down the conflicting geographers, and to allow some 
consensus of their versions to be precipitated for use, that 
I was driven to the reluctant conclusion, first, that the 
places had no names, and, second, that none of the men 
knew the places. As this never happened thus before 
to me, and as it must have been caused by one or other 
of these reasons, I feel pretty sure that the maps of 
Hooleh will never agree if we take the names from what 
the people tell us, and that the time is come for some 
inventive tourist to christen all the localities himself. 

After a stormy session of this parliament in the grove 
of Daphne,-^ I peremptorily silenced all the self-elected 
speakers, except a fine clear-eyed fellow, who seemed to 
be the least garrulous and the most knowing man among 
them ; and having overruled in my favour all points of 
order, I noted down this man's version of the Hooleh 
Domesday-Book as a comment in explanation of a 
careful sketch made previously from a point 500 feet 
above the plain. From this the few names are given in 
Map v., and, perhaps, they are as likely to be right as 
any other list. 

The following catechism will show what had to be 
digested into knowledge fit to record in a map, and in 
the colloquy Q. is the English enquirer, and A. is the 
answering Arab. 

Q. — You see that little group of huts near the big 
tree .'' 

A. — Yes, where the water flows quiet ; that is Absees. 

-' Another Daphne, near Antioch, is mentioned by Josephus, and in 
2 Maccabees iv. 3. The Dufneh Arabs are to llie west of Mansoura, and 
the village is marked on Map V. Schwartz (p. 47) ]>laces "Dafne" at 
Berim, or Riblah. I observe that almost every writer of travels here has 
a I )a]>hiie of his own. 

240 Catechism. [Chap. XIV. 

^.— And the next huts to the left } 

A. — Tell el Schady. By the Prophet ! it's a fishing- 
station. Great for fishing is the Ingleez ; but this is in 
the reeds (" Rab "). 

(Voice in the crowd :) " ' Dowana ' is the name." 

Q. — What name did you say last .'' 

(Voice :) " Zahmouda " — (which voice, after much 
wrangle, turns out to be not the same that spoke first). 

Q. — Which is Zahmouda } 

(Three people point in three directions, and instantly 
begin a subsidiary debate.) 

Q. — Look along my ramrod. Now, what's the name 
of the hamlet it points to } 

A . — Dowana. 

Q. — Why, it's what you said was Absees } 

A. — El Aksees the Howaja sees to the right of Zah- 

Q. — But where is Zahmouda .'' 

(First voice, and a general chorus — the second voice 
being stifled by cuffs :) " Next to Tell el Schady." 

Then, with rough eagerness, the strongest of the 
Dowana faction pushes his long forefinger forward, 
pointing straight enough — but whither.'' and with a 
volley of words ends " Ah — ah — a — a — a a — a." 

This strange expression had long before puzzled me 
when first heard from a shepherd in Bashan. I thought 
the man was a stammerer, then that he was laughing at 
me, then that he was crazy himself But the simple 
meaning of this long string of " ah's " shortened and 
quickened, and lowered in tone to the end, is merely 
that the place pointed to is a " very great way off." 
Nor is the plan a bad one for giving by words a long 
perspective distance to the place we are pointing out. 

The festival ending Ramadan happened to fall at 

Chap. XIV.] 



this time, so that all the people were idle, joyous, and 
boisterous in their fashion, and they had donned their 
gaudiest finery. A procession of children came over 
the marsh with cruns and flafrs, green boughs, long 

Three Hookli Heads. 

sticks, and music of tom-toms and singing. When 
they saw the Rob Roy on horseback, the ranks burst into 
disorder, and rushed to our group with wild shouts. 
They believed (said they) that the canoe had come to 
honour their holiday show. Each one in turn came up 
to see my pith helmet, and the older men to gaze on my 
compass. Their dress was the most various possible, 
long and short, coloured and plain, scantx^ and ample, 
of camel's hair of Damascus, silk of Lebanon, and Man- 
chester cotton. All the women had their faces stained 

2 4 '2 Nose-rings. [Chap. XIV. 

with blue patterns. Most of the men were tattooed, 
and some not merely punctured, but gashed hideously 
in diagrams on their cheeks. A good deal of jewellery 
was displayed. Many of the men wore earrings. Nose- 
rings were the fashion among the young. Heavy dirty 
coins (kesh) chained together hung from their hair and 
rattled on their cheeks. One had this chain of money 
linked at one end to the ear, and at another to the nose. 

The moment I tried to sketch any of these, the happy 
subject of the pencil became at once grave, important, 
and stifT, putting on his " best looks," and (as generally 
in such cases) looking the most unlike himself These 
portraits were bespoken and eagerly received as presents, 
and so I secured only three for my album, which are 
given above. One of these dandies thus sketched had a 
headdress with fur woven into his hair, and two long 
sidelocks pendent, and another was the likeness of a 
mischievous little scamp, very unlikely to be regular at 
his ragged-school, with three tails on his head, and, 
plainly, by his manners, a sprig of nobility, or, it may be, 
a prince from a mud palace near, and, at any rate, 
privileged in general as a " fliberty-gibet." The third 
portrait represents the young fashionable with the chain 
from nose to chin. I thought that the wearer was a 
girl, and^ even then this ornament would be wonderful 
enough, though what finery can be too extravagant for 
feminine coquetry } But my sketch-book shows that 
the wearer of the panirc was a man ; nor is this warrior 
of Hooleh the only man who, with a string of coins, can 
be " led by the nose." 

The name of this village, Mansoura, means " delight,"' 
and there are many other places called by this name 
besides the large town in the Delta already described in 
our log. 

Chap. XlW] Wafcrzuays. 243 

Fine oak-trees shade the green Tell here ; south of it 
is the cow-house, where we docked the Rob Roy for a 
night, and a corn-mill turned by a noisy sluice of A\ater. 
It will be seen by Map V. that the river on the east is the 
Banias,-^ which has wandered down here from the cave 
of Pan, while behind and around the Tell are several 
streams complicated in their relations, but on a higher 
level than the Banias, and apparently not always here 
uniting with that river ; at all events, not when we saw 
them. These upper streamlets are parts of the Leddan, 
which has broken its channel into many pools and 
brooks, soon after leaving the source at Dan, and is then 
dispersed by canalettes over fields, and absorbed by 
marshland, from which the waters again debouch, unite, 
and branch out once more at half a mile from Tell el 
Kady. One arm of this, I was told, reaches to the 
Hasbany River, but, if so, it is a mere brook. It may 
be safely said that the Leddan spreads generally into 
Hooleh plain, but to follow up this network of watenvays 
on foot was not easy, for I found them often too broad 
to leap on foot, and their banks were too treacherous 
to ride over. The exact geography could be better 
deciphered in summer, but fever, ague, and plenty ot 
other ills would be, of course, rampant then upon the 

The crowd under the oaks had increased in number as 
I returned from the rough survey of their amphibious 
territory. In a large semi-circle they stood at the open 
door of the house until the buffaloes were expelled, 

*- I cannot understand what Dr. Thomson says ('Land and the Book,' 
i. 381), that, starting from Mansoura, and " crossing the at Sheikh 
Hazeih, we came to the main branch of the Leddan, and in ten niiniites 
more to another branch with the name of Buraij. Half a mile from this 
all the streams unite with the Hasbany, a little north of SlieiKh Vusuf, .t. 
large Tell on the very edge of the marsh." 

244 Bright Eyes. Chap. XIV. 

protesting in loud bellows and angrily rushing through 
the mud. 

Our host was a dull, sad, and silent man. He had 
come to the place a year before. Four of his children 
had been slaughtered in the massacre — for he was a 
Christian — and the only one left was a little girl of ten 
years old. She was most beautiful in face and figure, 
and with a happy angelic look, very winning to regard. 
Her gentle kindness to her father, her graceful alacrity 
in the household bustle of preparing for a Howaja, her 
dignified restraint of the rude urchins about us delighted 
me exceedingly. With tears the fond father held out 
her little right hand to show me how it was gashed and 
worthless for needlework, and shook his head, sorrowfully 
weeping, and sympathy w^atered in my eyes. 

He seemed too down-hearted and woe-begone to feel 
the panting thirst of hot revenge for this Moslem's out- 
rage, and in lack of other consolation he lighted his 
chibouque. I gave the pretty child a ' British Work- 
man ' with its cheerful pictures, and an English knife 
and other presents. Then to get peace, we closed the 
few boards called a door, and which admitted plenty of 
light, though there was no window. For company's 
sake the man stopped the hours of evening by me. My 
converse with him Avas by few signs and fewer words, 
though they were all I knew of Arabic ; but even these 
cheered him, for my hand pointed him upwards, and 
he knew the meaning when that signal came from a 
" Nussarcnc." A heap of corn was in the room, and 
a steelyard to weigh it, and some ox yokes. Not a 
single article of furniture was there but the one straw 
mat, on which I stretched out to sleep, with my boat- 
bag for a pillow. 

Loud kickin<7S at the door soon knocked in its feeble 

Chap. XIV.] Enter Arabs. 243 

fastening, and a dozen Arabs entered. They had come 
to buy gunpowder from the Christian miller. vVfter 
much bargaining he pulled out the old canvas sack I 
had been leaning upon for hours, and Avherein was the 
gunpowder perfectly loose, and we had been smoking 
too, and now a man came in with a nargilleh (water- 
pipe). The powder was weighed in handfuls. Each 
of the Arabs flashed a pinch of it in his rusty gun, and 
then blew down its mouth. Some put their powder in 
bits of paper in their belts, others carried it quite free 
in a goatskin bag, others in their pockets, with a dozen 
more things. Each man wrangled all the time of 
weighing his portion, and he always got a spoonful more 
thrown in extra to quiet his murmurings. They all 
departed at last, and we were at peace. But they 
all returned with loud imperious mien to say " their 
change was wrong." My wearied host only sighed and 
gave half-farthings round, and I did not wish to see any 
one of the miller's customers again, but to-morrow will 
tell about that. The cats scampered over me all night, 
no doubt they smelt the large pudding in my bag. In 
dreamy struggles to explain how the eyes of cats will 
glance bright like diamonds through black darkness, 
sleep seized and overcame. 

246 River Danias. [Chap. XV. 



'* T~\EFT little lassie, good morning! Your bright 
-1—^ eyes, how they sparkle ! your neat and modest 
dress, how tidy ! One only spared of his children, and a 
darling to your father — fair Christian maid, good bye ! " 
Now mount the Rob Roy, and be careful, Latoof and 
A door. 

We were taking the canoe as far as possible on horse- 
back straight over the plain to save the time of floating 
her on the crooked river, and so gain a fine long daylight 
for the voyage itself. The Banias takes long bends 
here, keeping well eastwards to our left, and at intervals 
I rode to its banks to inspect them. Near Mansoura it 
passes a most curious obstacle, an oblong level rock, 
probably — certainly, so far as I saw^ — the last rock in the 
plain. This projects from the west bank, due eastwards. 
It is rectangular in shape, about six feet thick, and three 
feet out of the water. Against this barrier the river runs 
full tilt, and foams back, turning on itself as if in anger. 
The swift current sways to the left, and rushes quite 
round the end of the rock in a narrow passage, which 

Chap. X\'.] 

Sh'aiic'c Rock. 


Str.inge Rock in Jordan. 

must have rock on its other side too, else it would soon 
sweep out a broad ba}^ in the bank. I never saw a rock 
so placed in a river, and therefore I made this sketch of it. 

The banks of the Banias are 
otherwise uninteresting here, and 
about six feet high along the 
plain. Shrubs line them at in- 
tervals, but they are mostly bare 
and gravelly. Buffaloes and 
horses browse on the luscious 
green grass. All the horses 
appear to be of one colour, for 
they are thickly coated with 
mud. Clover, I am sure, would 
readily grow on their backs. As 
for the buffaloes — the " bulls of 
Bashan " — their favourite pas- 
time is to stand, with outstretched gaping head, just up to 
their stomachs in slush. A herdsman was out thus early 
to drive this mixed flock somewhere. He rode a splendid 
Arab without saddle or bridle, and perfectly naked him- 
self. With a long stick he dealt heavy blows on the 
horses before him, and heavier upon the buffaloes. All 
these plunged and scampered, and squealed, bellowed, 
and kicked, with their tails in the air, a loud wild orgie 
of savage animal life. 

The few hamlets in the marsh are curiously various in 
their architecture. After the stone house and flat roof 
we had left, there is the mud wall with a round hump- 
backed top of reed matting. Others have side mats for 
walls, and the roof shaped like a pulpit cushion, of which 
the tassels at the corners are heavy stones tied by straw 
ropes to keep the light covers on ; black Arab tents 
succeed, and with woven reeds at the sides, and then the 

248 Afloat Alone. [Chap, XV. 

long tent pure and simple : all the varieties, in fact, of 
tent and thatch, and mud and mat, combined. The 
sketch at p. 265 will show these " Beit Shahr," the reed 
demesnes of Hooleh. 

We joined the Banias River where it runs between 
the houses of Aksees, or Absees, or Abseeyieh, as it was 
called by each of my instructors yesterday. The stream 
was about lOO feet wide for a little, but narrowing and 
expanding at every turn. The water was turbid and in 
flood, with whirling eddies, the banks of reddish clay, 
and thick reeds nestled in the bights. Nobody was 
aroused in the village when we noiselessly launched the 
Rob Roy to float on the third stream of Jordan, as it 
had already floated on the other two. 

Slowly we numbered each article that had to be 
stowed away, so as to see that nothing was taken that 
could possibly be left behind (for lightness), and nothing 
left that ought to be taken for safety. Hany was now 
to return towards Dan, whence the mules and baggage 
had already gone away, and he was to press on to 
Mellaha, near the end of Hooleh Lake, where he was to 
wait for me, and by relays to watch night and day until 
I might arrive, " any time during the next forty-eight 

It was bright sunshine above us, and the river-stream 
looked hearty and strong below, but there was more 
than usual pressure between our hands as the Rob Roy 
glided off with my dragoman's earnest "God bless you!" 

Once more alone, the interest and excitement were 
strung up to the highest pitch. It was not like the 
Ateibeh morass, where my tent was on shore, and I had 
only to get back to it. Here, on the Jordan, the stream 
was far too powerful to think of returning against it ; 
and where, indeed, could I come back to } 

Chap. XV.] Hiding. 249 

The interest arose from the hope of discoverinir the 
real course of Jordan. 

Suppose we had ten miles of the Thames still uncer- 
tain in our maps, would it not be a reproach to English 
boatmen .'' But Jordan was an old river before the 
Thames was heard of, and the Thames will be forgotten 
when Jordan will be remembered for ever. What an 
honour, then, for the Rob Roy to trace even one new 
bend of this ancient river ! 

As the Hooleh Arabs seemed to be an ill-looking set, 
and had but a poor certificate of character from the tales 
of travellers, I tried to slip by them unperceived under 
the high banks, and this was the first place in my 
voyages where the natives were to be eluded. 

On the Abana the difficult parts for the canoe were 
in deep rocky defiles, where no man, friend or foe, could 
come along the banks ; but here, on Jordan, the banks 
were level and open to the prowling robbers. Moreover, 
I was to meet them, if at all, without the constraining 
pomp and presence of a retinue, and, once captured, I 
would be lawful prize for a ransom. 

No one caught sight of the canoe as she stole past 
the mat houses of Absees under a few palm-trees. Then 
the river wound very crookedly, but with steep banks 
and jungle concealing me. The bends were so angular 
and the current so swift that in the turns it was utterly 
impossible not to run into the thick overhanging canes. 
Then it was I invented a new way of getting round 
sharp serpentine corners, and which I beg to commend 
very warmly to canoeists. 

The diagram will show this manoeuvre. We are sup- 
posed to be speeding fast round a bend shaped like the 
letter S, and this is the way to manage it. 

Run the bows of the canoe gently into the left bank 


" Waltzing: 

[Chap. XV. 

at the first angle, and let the stern be swung by the 
current until you can back into the right bank of the next 
angle, and run the stern in there. Let the current again 
swing the bow until you can paddle ahead in freedom, 
and so escape from the double bend. 

It will be found 
that the eddies are 
all in favour of this 
plan, and the jungle 
in the bends is an 
aid rather than 
hindrance ; but the 
operation requires 
quiet attention and 
good balancing, 
especially when 
steering back fore- 
most ; and a good 
look-out must be kept, lest in the narrow parts of the 
stream both bow and stern might be caught at once, 
when an upset would be a moral certainty. 

This new /c?jr in the canoe I called "waltzing," the 
Rob Roy being my fair partner ; and as we were whirling 
about in this dance without music, I saw a head gazing 
over the reeds in amazement. His eyes opened large, 
up went his hands, and he disappeared with a yell. 
Soon I heard others shouting, and soon — too soon — 
they all ran near to see. In a moment I noticed how 
very different they were in manner from any other spec- 
tators that so often had run alongside me in Europe 
and America. They were dancing in frantic excitement 
and shouting ferociously. The bounding current bore 
me along too fast for their running, but while I had to 
go round the long bends, they crossed by shorter routes, 

" Waltzing." 

Chap. XV.] Meeting of the Waters. 251 

and saluted my approach with a volley of clods. All 
these fell harmless, and at the next bend the Hasbany 
River ran into the Banias ; so the men were left at the 
point of junction, high on the steep bank, screaming 
until I disappeared. 

The Hasbany joins the Banias in a proper orthodox 
way, each river yielding its tribute quietly to the united 
whole, and now for the first time is formed the veritable 
Jordan. Vandevelde marks this spot near Tell Sheikh 
Yusuf, "the Mount of the lord Joseph;"^ and he is 
quite right, for there was the green hill close by the 
shore, the junction of the geographical and the historic 
streams of Jordan, the wedding of the line of largest 
waters with the line of largest fame.^ Here I intended 
to land and take bearings, but the banks were perfectly 
steep. However, in the middle there Avas a beautiful 
island of small round black gravel, and I ran the boat 
on that and got out to rest, to collect my thoughts as 
to the new complexion things had taken, to prepare my 
pistol, and settle whether it was better to lie concealed 

' On the eastern hills is shown the place where Joseph was sold to the 

^ Robinson rode (with Thomson) from Tell el Kady to Sheikh Yusuf in 
an hour and forty minutes (' Land and the Book,' i. 388). Josephus says : 
" Now Jordan's visible stream arises from this cavern (Panium), and 
divides the marshes and fens of the Lake Semechonitis : when it hath 
nm another hundred and seventy furlongs " ('J. W.' book iii. ch. x. sec. 
vii.). The distance he mentions would be about fourteen English miles. 
But the position of Tell Sheikh Yusuf is settled by the observations of 
Captain Wilson, R.]'!, and Lieutenant Anderson, R.E., whose survey 
reached to this spot, and from these the Tell is marked in our map, as 
well as Mansoura, Banias, and Jisr Ghujar, fixed in relation to Tell Haroweh 
(on the south-west of Map V.), where was an astronomical station. Thus 
far the features of the district of Hooleh are now published for the first time 
from proper data, and it will be seen that all ]5revious maps are wrong. 
The details of Map ^^, and the -whole of Maj:) \T., are from my own 

252 Pursued. [Chap. XV. 

for an hour, or to push on swiftly and try to outrun the 
wave of excitement which had evidently arisen, and 
would quickly propagate itself among the Arabs in the 
fields. Each of the rivers here seems to be about seventy 
feet wide, and seven or eight feet deep. The waters of 
both were pale brown in colour, and their united stream 
was about a hundred feet broad. 

Launching again on the river, the current bore us 
on delightfully. The banks were from twelve to twenty 
feet high and quite vertical, with grass upon the top. 
Two buffaloes looked at me over this, and soon their 
driver too. I gave him a most polite "salaam ! " but he 
stared as if he saw a ghost — and a most terrible ghost, 
too — then he ran away hallooing. 

With all my might I pressed on now, but soon heard 
the men behind me. In a straight reach, and with 
a good current like this, they could not keep up 
with the canoe.^ But here these pursuers cut across 
the bends on shore, and so they overtook me in ten 
minutes. Then a dozen of them were running high 
above, and they speedily increased to fifty — men, women, 
and children. 

It was of no use now to paddle fast, but better to 
reserve my strength and keep cool for what might come. 
Suddenly every one of them disappeared, but I knew I 
must meet them all round the next corner. There they 
were, screaming, with that wild hoarseness only the 
Arab can attain, " Al burra ! al burra ! " (To land ! 
to land !) That was the chorus, and a ro)'al salute of 
missiles splashed in the water. I bowed to them quietly, 
and answered " Ingleez ;" but they ran still with me in 
a tumultuous rabble, and seeing some of them give their 

•* In tlie last "long race" of our Canoe Clul), tlie winner's canoe accom- 
plished 12 miles in 85 minutes. 

Chap. XV.] At day. 1^2) 

scanty garments to the otlicrs, I knew what would 
follow ; about half a dozen jumped into the water. 

They swam splendidly, and always with right and 
left hand alternately in front ; but of course I distanced 
the swimmers, who murmured deep, while the others 
shouted and laughed. Then the naked ones got out and 
ran along the bank again, and all disappeared as before 
for another attack. 

It was a crisis now ; but as there was no shirking it, 
the Rob Roy whirled round the next point beautifully ; 
and here the river was wide, and the rascals were waiting 
in the water, all in a line across, about a score of them 
wading to their middle. 

For a moment I paused as to what was best to do, 
and every one was silent and stood still. Then I quietly 
floated near one of the swimmers, splashed him in the 
face with my paddle, and instantly escaped through 
the interval with a few vigorous strokes, while a shout 
of general applause came from the bank ; and they all 
ran on except one, who took a magnificent " header " 
into the river, and came up exactly by the stern of the 
Rob Roy, with his arm over her deck. But my paddle 
was under his arm in an instant, and I gently levered 
him off, saying, in my softest accents, " Katerhayrac ! " 
(Thanks!), as if he had been rendering a service. The 
shout renewed, and the best of them all retired dis- 

At this time we must have been quite near the village 
of Salhyeh (a name I can never forget \ and the number 
of people on the banks was now at the least a hundred. 
Many of them had ox-goads, some had spears, the rest 
had the long clubs with huge round knobs at the end 
peculiar to that northern district. Another shower of 
missiles came, yet, strange to say, not one hit the boat. 

254 Fired at. ' [Chap. XV. 

There rose the cry, " Baroda ! baroda ! " (the gun ! the 

I let my boat float quietly that the excitement might 
cool down, and, looking at the mob quite close, I saw 
several point their long guns at me ; one kneeled to do 
so, yet none of them at first seemed really in earnest 
to shoot. 

But soon on a little point in front I noticed a man 
posted methodically for a purpose. He trimmed his 
priming, he cocked his hammer, and, as I came straight 
up to him, every other person stopped to look, and not a 
voice was heard. 

I could not escape this man, and he knew that well. 
Up went his gun to his shoulder : he was cool, and so 
was I. The muzzle was not twenty feet from my face. 
Three thoughts coursed through my brain : " Will hit 
me in the mouth; bad to lie wounded here." "Aimed 
from his left shoulder ; how convenient to shoot on both 
sides!" "No use 'bobbing' here— first time under fire 
— Arabs respect courage." The clear round black of the 
muzzle end followed me covering as I passed. I stared 
right at the man's eyes, and gave one powerful stroke ; 
at the same moment he fired — fiz, bang! and a splash 
of the bullet in the water behind me. Loud shouts came 
out of the smoke. I stopped, and said, " Not fair to use 
a gun ! " In an instant the water was full of naked 
swimmers straining towards me. It was shallow here, 
and in vain I tried hard to avoid them. Suddenly my 
canoe was wrenched down behind. It was the same 
black giant I had elbowed off before ; but now he came 
furiously, brandishing the white shank-bone of a buffalo. 
I warded off that with my paddle, but another had got 
hold of the boat's bow. I was captured now, and must 
resort to tactics. The crowd yelled louder in triumph, 

Chap; XV.] 



but I motioned m}' captors to take the boat to the 
opposite shore. The man cried " Bakshish ! " — a word 
I had somehow heard before ! I said, " Yes ; but to the 
sheikh." The villain answered, " / am the sheikh ;" but 
I kneA\- he was not. His face was black, his cheeks were 


deeply gashed and tattooed ; he had one big- earring. 
His topknot stood erect, and the water glistened on his 
huge naked carcase as he roughly grasped my delicate 
little paddle. My pistol lay between my knees full- 
cocked, and my hand stole down to it. Better thoughts 
came instantly. " Why should I shoot this poor savage .' 
it will not free me. Even if it docs, it would be liberty 
bought by blood." Still I parleyed with the man till he 
softened down. I pointed to his bone weapon, and said 

2<,6 Captive's Appeal. ' [Chap. XV. 

it was not fair to use it. He pointed to my paddle, and 
said that was not fair. Poor fellow ! I felt for him ; his 
vanity had been wounded by discomfiture before. Soon 
we became good friends, chiefly by my quiet smiles and 
patting his wet shaven pate. 

I kept him yet on the far side of the river, that the 
others might sober a little, for the Arabs quiet into calm 
as suddenly as they flash into rage. All the village was 
out now on the banks, and many swam over to the Rob 
Roy. I formally appointed my captor as my protector, 
and he became proud instead of angry. Little as I 
knew of the language, I could make him understand my 
meaning, and he did understand — nay, there is scarcely 
any idea of facts that you cannot make intelligible 
without words if you are at once calm and in earnest.^ 
Then we crossed — he swimming and holding on with 
excruciating twists to the poor prisoned Rob Roy. 
How frantic the people were ! Some of them in the 
crowd tumbled over into the water. They did not mind 
that a bit. I commanded silence, and all obeyed. Then 
was pronounced this most eloquent oration. I said, " I 
am English." They replied, " Sowa, sowa " (friends), and 
then rubbed their two forefingers together, the usual 
sign of amity. I said it was not fair to use the "baroda " 
(o-un). Holding up one finger, I said, " Ingleez wahed " 
(one Englishman), then holding up both hands, I said, 
"Araby kooloo " (all the rest Arabs). At this the 
crowd applauded, laughing, and so did I. A little girl 
now took up a huge lump of red earth, and from the 
bank, about eight feet above me, she hurled it down 
with violence upon the canoe. This was a crisis, and 
the time to be perfectly calm. If the quick spirit had 

* It is quite anotlier matter to understand /Iiciii. They speak as if you 
knew tlieir language — you gesticulate as if they don't know yours. 

Chap. XV.] Carried to Captivity. 257 

seized them then, the boat would ha\'e been smashed 
to pieces in three seconds. Turning, therefore, slowly 
round, I pointed to the horrid mess the mud had made 
on the clean white waterproof of the canoe, and looked 
up in the faces of them all with a pleasant but beseeching 
air. It was a turning point this. They looked at one 
another for a moment silently, and then, as by a general 
impulse, they rushed at the hapless girl, and as the 
whole mob of them disappeared over the bank, I heard 
her screams and the thumps of discipline that caused 
them. In the confusion caused by this absence I had 
almost escaped once more, when they angrily captured 
me again. But they could not persuade me to get out 
of the boat, and for this reason : my pistol was still 
open and at full cock lying on the floor boards of the 
canoe. If I got out, they would see it, and surely would 
scramble for the prize. Every time I put my hand 
inside to stow the pistol away out of sight, they tried to 
wrench my paddle from the other hand. One hand was, 
therefore, needed for the paddle, but the other could not 
be spared from its duty of patting their wet greasy 
heads, which affectionate caress seemed to be an un- 
wonted but most successful mode of propitiation. 

The water mob of swimmers closed nearer and waxed 
larger as more crossed the river. Their curiosity was 
boundless, and every hand tried to undo my apron or 
to get somehow under the deck. Their patience ^\•as on 
the ebb, and while I considered what to do next, I felt 
the Rob Roy heaving this way and that, and then 
gradually, and despite all my smiling but earnest remon- 
strance, the canoe began to rise out of the water with all 
her crew inside. Loud shouts welcomed her ascent up 
the bank as a dozen dark-skinned bearers lifted the 
canoe and her captain, sitting inside, with all due dignity 


25 8 Before the Court. [Chap, XV. 

graciously smiling, and so they carried her fairly up the 
steep bank and over the smooth sward some hundred 
yards towards the tent of their Arab sheikh. 

See this strange progress depicted in the frontispiece 
of our volume, and it may safely be said that no prisoner 
before was ever thus taken into custody. 

But it was an anxious journey this from river to tent. 
The men were rough and boisterous. The boat heeled 
and plunged as if in a terrible sea. I clasped the two 
nearest bearers round their necks to steady these 
surgings. Then they let the boat down while I clung 
to their clammy cheeks and swarthy shoulders, and I 
had soon to loose hold of these and descend to the 
ground with the Rob Roy, for I would never desert her. 
Up aloft again ! and laughing and shouting we waddled 
along, while the crowd was denser than ever, until the 
sheikh came slowly to meet us with a few of his ancient 

I insisted that the canoe should be placed in his tent. 
After much resistance he suddenly allowed it, and then 
I got out. But what to do next } The first thing to 
recollect in this sort of adventure is that time is of no 
consequence to such people, but that stage effect and 
dignity are very important to your case. Therefore I 
made long preliminaries, and had every person ordered 
out of the tent. The crowd obeyed, after some had 
been beaten with sticks to convince them. The sheikh 
seemed puzzled at the whole affair. I looked at him 
carefully, and saw he was a second-rate man without 
much decision in his mien, and one who would, on the 
whole, like events to happen under other orders than 
his own. 

Having now a fair stage scene around the central 
figures, I came forward slowly, hat in hand, and bowed 

Chap. X\'.] ScjlhllCC. 259 

to the sheikh very low, and shook hands with him 
heartily, and told him I was a wandering Briton on my 
way to the lake, and I would rest at his tent until the 
sun was cooler. 

The crowd was attentive and silent. Men in the rear 
beat ott the boys, and the women went behind the tent 
and peered through the matting, so that a whole 
regiment of feminine noses was ranged over the little 
Rob Roy, now reclining safe on a carpet. The sheikh 
retired to consult with his Cabinet. I asked for two 
men to keep order, and he gave them, and desperately 
tyrannical they were upon the mob. After an hour, 
about mid-day, the chief and his ministry came back, 
and ordered " silence," and said, " You cannot go to the 
lake." I said, " I uiiisL" He answered it was " impos- 
sible." I said I must go to see that. He gave me the 
very smallest wink that could be given by a man's e}'e, 
and I answered by one a little smaller. Then I knew 
he could be convinced — /. e. bribed, and so finally, at 
any rate, I would have my own way. 

The tent was cleared again. About twenty women 
came forward in a group, and the sheikh's wife, quite 
refined in manner and very intelligent. I behaved to 
her as if she were an English lady. She was lost in 
amazement when I exhibited my little bed, my lamp, 
compass, and cuisine. She looked with kind and 
feminine interest upon me when I said I was losing all 
the fine sunshine of the day a prisoner alone among 
strangers. She fetched her husband by himself, and, 
under cover of showing him the inside of the canoe, I 
managed to let him see a gold napoleon in my open 
hand, and with a nudge to his elbow for emphasis to the 
sight. He whispered, " Shwei, shwei " (softly, quieth'). 
I knew I had bou"-ht him then. The " council of 

i6o Taunts, [Chap. XV. 

ancients " came with their final decision, " You cannot go 
to-day, but must have a horse to-morrow. There are 
reeds (Rab) quite impassable." I explained how the canoe 
went through reeds in the lake of Hijaneh. " Yes," they 
answered, "but there is water in Hijaneh, now here the 
reeds arc so," and they placed a sort of hedge of sticks 
at the bow of my canoe to explain. 

I then began to amuse them by making sketches of 
men and horses, next I gave a lesson in geography by 
placing nutshells at various points to represent " Sham " 
(Damascus), Musr (Cairo), El Khuds (Jerusalem), and 
Bahr (the lake of Hooleh), and at last placed one little 
shell at the extreme end of the tent to represent England 
so far away. They exclaimed loudly in astonishment at 
my long journey to see them. At intervals several of 
these men kept boring me for "bakshish." One was 
an old deaf cunning fellow, who whispered the word in 
my ear. Another, a sharp lad, who said he had seen the 
" Ingleez " at Beyrout, spoke incessantly to me by signs 
only, and he did it admirably. I was much interested 
in the clever variations of his noiseless pictures, always 
culminating in the same subject, " bakshish." A third 
applicant used no such deHcate co}-ness in the matter, 
but merely roared out the hateful word before all, and 
louder every time. 

No one had as yet oftered me any food. This gross 
neglect (never without meaning among the Arabs) I 
determined now to expose, and so to test their real 
intentions. M}^ cuisine was soon rigged up for cooking, 
and I asked for cold water. In two minutes afterwards 
the brave little lamp was steaming away at high pressure 
with its merry hissing sound. Every one came to see 
this. 1 cut thin slices of the preserved beef soup, and, 
■while they were boiling, I opened my salt-cellar. This 

Chap. XV.] Revenge, 261 

is a snufif-box, and from it I offered a pinch to the 
Sheikli. lie had never before seen salt so white, and 
therefore, thinking- it was sugar, he w^illingly took some 
from my hand and put it to his tongue. Instantly I ate 
up the rest of the salt, and with a loud, laughing shout, 
I administered to the astonished outwitted sheikh a 
manifest thump on the back. " What is it .'' " all asked 
from him. " Is it sukker .'' " He answered demurely, 
" La ! meleh !" (No, it's salt !) Even his Home Secre- 
tary laughed at his chief. We had now eaten salt to- 
gether, and in his own tent, and so he was bound by the 
strongest tie, and he knew it. 

The soup was now ready and boiling hot. They all 
examined my little metal spoon, and my carving-knife 
went round (it never came back). I gave every one of 
them seated in a circle about me one spoonful of the 
boiling soup, ^\hich, of course, scalded each man's mouth, 
and made him wince bitterly, yet ^^•ithout telling the 
next victim. Now they had all partaken of food with 
their prisoner. How much they relished it, I don't know. 
All went out, and I took this opportunity to stand near 
the sheikh, and try to slip the napoleon into his hand. 
He was c^uite uncertain what to do when the gold 
tickled his palm. It was utterly against their code of 
chief and people for him to take this secret personal 
gift from a stranger, yet he could not resist the tempta- 
tion. His hand pushed mine away, but with a very 
gentle indignation. Soon his fingers played among mine 
as the yellow coin kept turning about, half held by each 
of us, unseen behind our backs. Two of the sheikh's 
fingers were pushing it away, but then the other three 
fingers were pulling it in. Finally I felt the coin had 
left me, and I knew now the sheikh was not only 
bought hut paid for. Down went his countenance from 

262 Escape. [Chap. XV. 

that moment, and he slunk away abashed. An hour 
more of palaver was spent by the seniors, during which 
time I ate my luncheon heartily and read the ' Times.' 
Then all came back once more except the chief, and the 
women were rustling- behind the mat screens, and a 
great bustle seemed to say that the verdict was agreed 
upon. The " foreman "' briefly told it — " You are to go 

This would never do — but how to reverse the sentence .•* 
I was seated on the ground at the-time, and I rose very 
slowly and gravely, until, standing on a little eminence 
in the tent, and drawing myself up besides as tall as 
could be, and stretching up my hand as high as possible 
(and utterly undetermined what I was going to say, and 
exceedingly tempted to burst into laughter), I exclaimed 
with my loudest voice only three words, Bokra } — La ! 
— Ingleez ! (To-morrow 1 — No ! — I am English !) and 
then the orator sunk calmly down and went on reading 
his paper again. In fi\e minutes more a man came to 
say I might leave at once. But I was not to be shoved 
off in this way, so I insisted that they must carry my 
canoe back to the river. The procession, therefore, 
formed again, with the Rob Roy in the centre, and her 
captain walking behind, while boys and girls, and 
especially the people who had not already seen her 
on the water, all rushed in a crowd to the bank with 
the same hoarse shouts they had given before, and 
which we were nov/ more accustomed to hear. All 
parties pledged their friendship in deep " salaams " of 
adieu, and we paddled off, rejoicing. 

Chap. XVI.] Chase resinned. 263 





BUT once out of sight of the huts, and when I had 
just begun a little song of lonely triumph, the 
crowd came running in pursuit, calling for " bakshish," 
and very urgent too. I chose out four men of the 
company, and promised to pay them as a body-guard. 
In a moment they emerged from their clothes, dashed 
into the stream, and then ran along the opposite bank. 
This was to keep me to themselves. 

The two parties accompanying me, on different sides 
of the river, and having different objects, soon quarrelled. 
The four men on the west bank, who were naked and 
could swim the numerous lagoons that now branched 
around the river, called out to me, " Sook ! sook !" that 
is " Pull ! pull ! " so as to make me go faster on, and thus 
enable them to return before the sun set. They wished 
to earn their payment as soon as they could. The 
others, however, on the east bank, who were delayed by 
carrying their clothes and clubs and ox-goads — some of 
them also being girls — commanded me to go slower, by 
an unceasing cry of " Awash-awash-awashawash ! " (no 

264 A Rascal. [Chap. XVI. 

doubt a continuous form of " Shweieh.") They wished 
to delay my progress and to extract money the while. 
This disturbance was an unlooked-for trouble and diffi- 
culty. It prevented me from making careful notes of 
the river's course in this interesting part of its channel, 
unseen by any other traveller, or, at all events, un- 

It was evident, too, that I was still not free, yet I 
determined to press on, resolved, if I could only get rid 
of the men, I would cheerfully sleep in the wildest part 
of the marsh, trusting for better times to-morrow. 

The men on the east bank were more angry and 
insolent as the current ran swifter. Baroda ! again was 
the cry, and two of them pointed their guns at me as 

One of these men, Avhose weapon was as tall as 
himself, did this at least twenty times in succession, 
and always called out "Bakshish!" while he brought up 
his gun to his cheek. 

Now my purse was already empty, except of about a 
shilling, and though they wanted my watch I determined 
that at any rate for tJiat my pistol might fairly be used 
in defence, because an Arab who would rob a traveller 
of his watch would have no scruple about putting " out 
of the way " the only witness against him who A\-ould be 
certain to compel the robber to deliver back the booty 
through the pasha. 

The man's repeated menace and i)ointing of the gun 
became so common a thing that I spccdih' got used to 
the action, and at last, on one occasion, when the muzzle 
of the long barrel was very close, I moved it aside with 
my j)addle.' After this he stoi)pcd, and all on his side 

' ll is not \cry (lirficiill to understand how a soldier Itccomes used to 
bullets in llie battle. 1 di) not think that rc>//)-iii;c is either increased or 

Chap. XVI.] 

The River 


with him. Luckil}" they had come to where a deep 
lagoon intercepted their progress, and with clothes or 
guns they could not well swim across this, so I was now 
more free to observe the river. 

Here it was level with the marsh. Much of its volume 
was lost by flooding aside into branches. The main 
branch turned and twisted exceedingly, and was now 
only twenty feet wide at the little group of huts called 
Zweer,- out of which another set of men rushed forth, 

diminished by experience, but that it is entirely congenital in kind and 
degree. Daring or boldness may be called forth by frequent use of them 
with immunity, or coolness by finding its extreme value, or by desire to 
sustain reputation, or these may lie lessened by experience enforcing caution ; 
but that seems to be because experience enables one man to dare more 
as he finds the danger less, and forces another to dare less when he finds 
that the danger is more than he thought at first. A man can learn 7i>liat 
to fear most, but to fear is bom in him. A poodle and a mastiff are dif- 
ferent even from their puppyhood. 

- This is evidently the last dwelling in the marsh. Thomson states that 

266 Buffaloes. [Chap. XVI. 

and several of them with guns. However my four nude 
aides-de-camp talked to these neighbours, and they 
allowed us to go on, and half a dozen of the new comers 
swam with the others and easily kept pace with the boat. 
The swimmers raised a long sharp cry together, 
calling over and over a word I could not make out, but 
which was evidently meant as a warning. Yamoos ! 
Yamoos ! they shouted, pointing to a dangerous sweep 
of the stream where six or seven large buffaloes were 
immersed in the water, and only their heads appeared, 
and horns and round staring eyes. 

In my first canoe voyage, when the Rob Roy and the 
' Rothion ' ^ began the river Meuse, we met a large herd 
of bullocks swimming accross the stream, and at first 
sight they looked formidable, but it was soon perceived 
that they were far more afraid of our canoes than we 
need be of their horns. Still these were not wild oxen, 
and we had allowed them room to retreat, whereas the 
buffaloes in the Jordan were come of a turbulent stock 
not famed for politeness, and perhaps now they might 
decline to give way, or they might even attack. 

At any rate the men were unaccountably careful to 
keep off. I ordered them all to stop perfectly quiet, and 
then the Rob Roy floated gently through the group of 
horns and eyes, and not one of the buffaloes did any- 
thinc: worse than to stare* 

he had a lisit of thirty-two viliaijes in the plain, but they were all movable 
huts, and there was not a " house" in any of them. 

3 This canoe is the Earl of Aberdeen's, and she went for a week with the 
Rob Roy on her voyage to the Danube. The Rothion afterwards crossed 
the KijLjlish Channel at night (being the first canoe to perform that feat), 
under tlie management of the late Hon. J. Gordon, one of the best oarsmen, 
best rifle-shots, best canoeists, and best of Christians. 

* St. Willil)ald, in the eighth century, speaks of the buffaloes of Mooleh, 
as " wondcj-fu] herds, with Jong backs, sliort legs, and large horns; all of 

Chap, xvi.] Snakes. 267 

The river forked out now into six different channels. 
The guides disputed as to which was best, but every one 
was hopelessly bad, and with all our care — the men 
working splendidly to help me — the Rob Roy became 
firmly entangled in a maze of bushes eight feet high. 
The men bravely pulled us through, but only to get 
her fixed again in the thickset stumps and reeds and 
thorny branches which studded the marsh exactly as 
they had been represented to me so graphically in the 

To the utmost possible limit of this I hauled and 
pushed and punted the Rob Roy, but there was an end 
to further progress except by getting out. The men 
standing round, and up to their middles in the water, 
Avere amazed to see me also jump into the river. 

Immediately there was a sharp twinge at my leg, like 
the cut of a lancet, and only then I recollected what I 
had been warned of so often — water snakes.^ But it was 
merely a leech. There are thousands of these in a pond 
above Banias, and men catch them for sale by dipping 
their limbs in the water. It is evident now that there 
are leeches also in Jordan. Upon a deliberate survey of 
the little horizon around me, it was perfectly clear that 
no boat, or even a reed raft, or a plank, could get 
through the dense barrier before me. I much question 

them are of one colour," and that they immersed themselves in the marshes 
except their heads (Robinson, vol. iii. p. 342, note). 

Thomson (vol. i. p. 384) seems to consider that the "behemoth" of Job 
meant the buffalo, and that the land of Uz may be reasonably supposed to 
be that east of Hooleh, the name of which might be derived from Hul, the 
brother of Uz. 

^ May not these be alluded to in the words of Muses — " Dan shall be a 
serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that 
his rider shall fall backward " (Gen. xlix. 17) ? One of the mounds in the 
morass is called Tell Hay, the " hill of snakes." 

268 The Barrier. [Chap. xvi. 

whether a duck could, or dare, go far into it, and only a 
fish would be safe.'^ 

In one sense it was satisfactory to find the obstacle 
thus definite and beyond attempt. Had it been other- 
wise, or with the faintest chance for an entrance, I might 
have spent hours in vain, and the men would have left 
me as hopeless and mad, and still there would have been 
before me miles of this impassable, nor can any one say 
how this would have ended. 

Now that their words Avere proved true, I frankly 
confessed it was so, saying, "JMafeesh derb !" my Arabic 
for " No road." So from the point marked N, in Map 
v., we began our journey back. It was a hard fight to 
retreat against current and snag. The men helped 
to their utmost, but all of us were already tired. Some- 
times they insisted upon towing the boat, but that was 
soon found to be useless.'^ 

After a tedious travel back, we reached the village 
banks, and the Rob Roy was carried into another tent — 
that of the whispering senator, not that of the sheikh. 
I was wet and weary, and put on more clothes and thick 
carpets, for I began to shiver. Then a fire was lighted, 
and the cold night air blew round me rolled up like a 
ball on the floor. 

I noticed a man with a horse, and in secret got a word 
with him. I promised him good pay if he would start 
off" at once to my dragoman at Mellaha. He said, " To- 

^ This will be confirmed by our knowledge of the other side of this 
barrier, as explained in the next chapter. 

' Towing a light boat in a winding river is one of the most dangerous of 
aquatic performances. If you tow it down stream, it is nearly sure to run 
ashore. If you try to t(nv il up stream, it is most likely to get upset at the 
corners, wlu-n its head is not free, and. in such a case, the contents of 
the capsizeil boot lloat away in a UKinicnl, and if you lose hold of yuur 
craft, it may be impossible to regain il by swimming. 

Chap. XVI.] Ho7.^ to cat. 269 

morrow," but I firmly replied. " To-night much pay — 
to-morrow no pay at all," then he asked mc for a 
" writing " to give my dragoman. I knew that Hany 
could not read luiglish, and that I could not write 
Arabic, but I sketched upon a bit of paper my canoe 
fixed in a tree, and this the man put into his pocket. 
Of course I felt sure that he would not — could not — 
start over the marsh in the dark. 

The tent was soon filled by fifty men sitting closely 
together. The sheikh came too, but with a face of most 
hang-dog cheerfulness. He and the host and m\'sclf sat 
cross-legged near the canoe, and on the other side of the 
bright crackling fire were the visitors. In came a huge 
wooden bowl of smoking " kusskoosoo," a kind of small 
bean porridge uncommonly good to eat. Three little 
black saucers of buffalo cream were set by us, the 
magnates, and three wooden spoons. Water was brought 
for our hands, then the chief shewed me the manner to 
eat my supper. Taking a spoonful of the cream he put 
it in his part of the general bowl and mixed it as he 
pleased, while I did the same at my side, and the other 
dark Arab at his. The people in front dipped their 
hands in the public dish as often as possible, and rolling 
up a ball of the contents in three fingers, each man 
cleverly whipped the food into his mouth. When we at 
the top had finished the bowl was passed among the 
rest until every man had his supper. We all drank out of 
one narrow-necked water jar. New comers dropped in, 
and each of them bowed to the sheikh and saluted the 
company. They all behaved with excellent propriety 
and good breeding, and yet without any constraint. 

Their whole talk was about our day's adventures, 
especiall}' the lesson in geograph)- — -not that in the 
canoe, but by means of the nutshells — so I had to repeat 

270 Prison Fare. [Chap. XVI. 

it, and on a much larger scale. Then I told them a long 
story about steamboats which I had told to another 
Arab tribe twenty years before at the Dead Sea. Some 
old dirty figs were produced as dessert, and I resolved to 
give them a treat from the " caboose " of the Rob Roy. 
Roast fowl came forth, therefore, and rice pudding, fine 
white bread, dates, excellent almonds and raisins, sugar, 
pepper, eggs, and the best black tea from old Eng- 
land. The raisins they seemed not to know, for they 
passed them from hand to hand. The tea, too, was 
quite a novelty, but by far the most prized was the 

Pipes were soon pufiing. Every man of them pressed 
me to smoke his, and a youngster next but one to me '^ 
was my greatest favourite from his lively laugh and 
eyes like diamonds, and his quick perception of all I 
explained. In a whisper I was told an hour after that 
this was the identical hero w^ho had aimed at me so 
often with his gun until I knocked it away with my 
paddle. I did not now alter my bearing towards him. 

-'* He smoked the "sebeel," a curious short jiipe from Bagdad, wiiliout 
any stem. An Arab usually carries his chibouque thrust down his back, 
with the bowl uppermost, near his turban. If he loses his pipe, or forgets 
to bring it, he is in desperation, almost as bad as a lady who has mislaid 
her reticule. Once, in Egypt, the man who took us to some caves had left 
his pipe behind. When we came out, he had rolled up a large thick brown 
paper, in which we brought the candles, and out of them he made a ciga- 
rette twelve inches long and an inch thick. My muleteer, Latoof, was the 
most inveterate smoker of our party on the tour, and by far the strongest 
man, but it was the nargilleh he affected, and not the cliil)(ni(|ue. At Kerak, 
on the Sea of Galilee, his nargilleh was lost, ami wc w ere too far away 
from a village to buy another. In this diffirull >lrait, l.atoof went mooning 
about for an liour or two, but to solace his bereaxement, he got a glass 
bottle, and two reeds, and some clay, and long grass, and a bit of wood, 
and with great ingenuity lie managed to construe a new nargilleh, whereat 
Adoor, our laureate, had to compose a special song, ami the old chorus 
was soon heard again in the gurgling of the hubblebubl^le. 

Chap. XVI.] The Rascal again. 271 

for it would have been difficult to explain why. Perhaps 
it would have been difficult for this young rascal to 
explain why he aimed at me so often, though one can 
easily understand why the other one had fired the shot 
before. For consider that, while these people had never 
seen nor heard of a boat, they had all heard about 
ghosts and water sprites, and so when they suddenly 
saw a thing with a man's face, but all the rest of it 
unlike a man — a long brown double-ended body joined 
by grey skin to a grey pot-shaped head, and waving 
about two blue hands (the paddle-blades) — which of 
them could refrain from taking a shot at such a creature } 
Would you or I, walking with a loaded gun and a finger 
on the trigger, and eager for an excuse to fire, if ivc saw 
for the first time a thing in the air unknown before and 
yet plainly living, could we resist the desire to fire at it 
instantly .'' Not I, certainly ; so my assailant might well 
be forgiven. 

It was late when I was left with the old Arab only. 
After one look out on the bright moon, the starry night, 
and the palm-tree in front of us, I piled wood upon the 
fire, and carpets upon myself, and matting against 
the wide-chinked walls of our camel's hair lodging. 
Behind a division'' in the tent, and within a foot of my 
ear, was a poor woman groaning all night in the distress 
of illness. I pitied her sadly in the dark, that she was 
suftering while I was so happy and well ; but I could 
not speak to her — that would have been felony at the 
least. The Arab snored beside the dying embers. Fitful 
thoughts sped dreamily through my brain. I had 
resolved to slip out unperceived when all \\ere asleep 

3 The expression in Cenesis xviii. lo, "And Saiali heanl it in the tent 
door which was beliind him," is supposed to mean that she wa-s liien on tlie 
women's side of the division or screen across the tent. 

272 Voice of the Night. [Chap. XVI. 

and to cross the river, and then drag my canoe into a 
hiding-place until morning, and so to scramble somehow 
over the marsh, and then conceal the canoe and walk 
on to the camp at Mellaha. But after all attempts to 
devise a plan, I could not find any method of paying 
the men who had been my guides, and of course it would 
never do to leave them unpaid. 

In the gentle slumbering of playful dreams that 
followed, and which are often most pleasant when one is 
thoroughly tired, a faint far voice seemed to flutter in 
the midnight. Again I heard it — wakened, and then 
heard it again distinctly, though so distant, calling 

out clearly a long drawn " Rob Roy ! " The 

thrill that nerved me in an instant started me up erect, 
and with the loudest longest hail I ever gave in my life, 
I shouted " Rob Roy ! " in return. It was indeed my 
faithful Hany who was calling to me through the dark 
morass. Up rose the Arab, and clutched my feet con- 
vulsively. He thought I was raving, but it was only 
joy. I told him, " My dragoman is coming, hurrah ! " 
but we listened long again, and yet no answer came to 
my hails, for Hany was now fording the Jordan, and he 
had quite enough to do. My messenger had, in fact, 
reached the camp at Mellaha, and had found Hany just 
arriving after eleven hours on horseback. Yet not for a 
moment did Hany hesitate what to do — to rest, or to 
rescue the Rob Roy. The messenger then told him he 
had brought a letter from me, but searching for it, no 
letter could be found.'" Hany then suspected some plot 
of the Arabs to capture both dragoman and master. 
Yet the brave fellow started, and traversed this desolate 

'" He had lost it in the marsh, and I have c;ot it now (all stained by his 
red sash), having found the letter myself in the water. 

Chap. XVI.] HtirraJi ! 273 

And now the sound of near hoofs reached me, and a 
loud long- hail, which was answered by the Englishman's 
authorised formula, "All right!" Up trotted Hany on 
his tight little Arab quite as game yet as it had been at 
sunrise. Latoof came on my horse, and Adoor on the 
horse for the canoe. 

All was changed round us in a moment by this 
arrival. The news spread fast, and the sleepers were 
roused in the huts. " Leave it all now to me, Sir," said 
Hany ; so I sank into a mere spectator of a real drama 
in life, and the play of character seen for the next half- 
hour was far beyond the fancies of the hired fictitious 
stage; Hany stirred up the old host to extreme activity, 
and then piled up a blazing fire, sent for the Arabs all 
round, and rated them soundly with caustic effrontery. 
One Arab dared to half mutter a protest, but Hany 
spurned him to the floor ; he launched out thus against 
even our friends, and abused Latoof for not quickl\' 
cleaning my boots — saying (aside) to me, in English, 
" Don't mind. Sir ! Latoof and I have arranged all this 
before." Hany was abject to me in manner — respectful 
is not the word — but contemptuous to the wild Hoo- 
lehites, and all this was as much as to sa)' to them, 
"See how you are like grasshoppers before mc — yet I am 
but the slave of Howaja, and his height above you 
how measureless — him you have dared to insult ! " 

I ventured to suggest, though timidly, " Han}', all this 
is but humbug." His answer was instant and final, 
" Without humbug, master, we could never manage these 
men." Candles, and a sumptuous feast, and a brilliant 
teapot, came quickly out of his saddle-bags. I I'.ad to 
sit in state, and to eat with feifjned hunger, while the 
Arabs could only gaze with awe. 

It was difficult not to smile at their altered bearing 


274 Riding High Horse. [Chap. XVI. 

but I paid all of them well that had worked for me, and 
managed to get a few compass bearings by the pale light 
of dawn. Amid the loud rebukes and feeble answers at 
our parting, there was an amusing conversation in an 
undertone, and which we may render thus, wherein H. 
is my indignant dragoman, and A. is the Arab least 
abashed in reply : — 

H. Who was it fired on my master 1 

A. He was a Druse — a stranger. 

H. When did he come, and where did he go } 

A. He came two hours before, and left at once. 

H. Why did you not catch him 1 Why did he fire .'' 

A. Because the boat was so low the Howaja was sure 
to be drowned, and because, if he went on, he was sure to 
lose his way 

//. And so to save him from drowning, or being lost, 
you thought it best to shoot him .'' Ah ! dogs, brutes, 
pigs, Jews ! '^ 

H. After Howaja paid you, why did one of your own 
men aim at him .'' 

A. Only to frighten Howaja. 

H. Did it frighten him } 

A. Why — no. 

H. Do you think a great English prince will be 
frightened by your wretched guns .^ (Hany had his 
double-barrelled English rifle and his Colt's revolver 

" Here, as well as some twenty years l:)efore, I lieard men in Palestine 
call their fellows "Jew," as the very lowest of all possible words of al)use. 
When we recollect that the Jews in this vciy land, their own, w ere once 
the choice people of the world ; thai now, ihrou^h tlie whole earth, aniont; 
the richest, tlie l)ra\cst, tlie cleverest, tlic fairest, tlie Ijcst at nuisic and 
snnj;, at poetry and painting, at art, and scieiiee, and literatiu'e, at educa- 
tion, philanthropy, statesmanship, wai', comnierco, and finance, in every 
s|)hcre of life, are Jews — we may well lemendier the word of proiihecy 
which told us long ago that the name of Jew would be a " by-word and 
a reproach," even in tlie Jews' own land. 

Chap. XVI.] Frcc. 275 

dangling about most ostentatiously all this time.) Did 
you ever hear of Abyssinia .'' 

A. Oh yes! wc know all about the Inglcez at " Ha- 

And so on. 

We soon forded Jordan — the Rob Roy carrying me. 
The journey over the plain, in a direction N.W., was 
difficult ; but what must it have been last night for Hany 
and the jaded horses } Often the Rob Roy had to be 
carried by hand, or floated on the pools, while the horses 
scrambled through. Once the sturdy Latoof went down 
completely overhead in a treacherous hole. 

At another place the canoe horse sunk down until his 
head was buried in soft mud, even above his eyes, yet he 
flinched not at all. I never saw so steady a nag. Other 
parts of this journey, or voyage, were so much of land 
and water '~ mixed that I towed the Rob Roy along the 
surface by tying her painter to my waist in the saddle. 
The two guides who accompanied us from Salhyeh 
being handsomely paid, we trudged along easily under 
the mountains for the rest of our road, but Hany, still 
furious at the whole transaction of these two days, was 
urgent that I should write upon it to the English Consul 
at Damascus. 

It is a traveller's duty to think of the others that 
may follow his route, and to remedy abuses, and 
to punish extortions, and to abstain from doubtful 
actions, lest others may suffer, even if he is not injured. 
No person can be more sensible of this duty than one 
who has been so much benefited by the good conduct of 
other travellers as I have been ; and it would not be 

'- One of three larger streams we forded was called by the Arabs " Ain 
Messieh," the "spring of Christ." Another was Ain Bellatu, "fountain 
of big stones." Our route along these is niaiked on Map V, 

276 Duty. [Chap. XVI. 

from carelessness or a forgetful content with my own 
good fortune that I should by weakness, or lavish giving, 
or by niggard pay, or winking at wrong, do anything to 
spoil a good road for future tourists. But, after mature 
reflection on this incident in Hooleh marsh, I felt it was 
not one to complain of to our consul. The Custom, well 
settled over all the East, is that the traveller must either 
come guarded by the local ruling power with an escort 
of adequate force ; or he must contract with an Arab tribe, 
in which case the " ghufr." or protection payment, makes 
the receiver of it responsible ; or, thirdly, the traveller 
may go at his own risk, but then he must abide the 
usual consequences, and cannot fairly complain either to 
his own Government at home or to that of the Sultan.''^ 

Now, the canoe could not have a Turkish guard, 
for it paddled where even Arabs could scarcely swim. 
Then its crew could not contract for " ghufr " because 
no tribe would answer for a man's safety unless their 
sheikh or his soldiers could go with him. Having chosen 
the third of these plans — that of travelling alone — I had 
to deal with the Hooleh Arabs only as between indi- 
viduals ; and, after all, they had done me no harm, and 
had not injured the boat. They extorted money, in- 
deed, but that is not uncommon in Europe. They fired 
at me point-blank, but then it was because the thing 
they fired at was unlike anything they had ever seen 
before, with a voice coming out of it singing in an out- 
landish tongue. 

'^ A Yankee sailor once sliared my tent for some; days, and Ijcini; impa- 
tient of the slow travel, he took one of our muleteers, and set off by himself. 
lie wore a "chimney-pot " hat and black coat, just as if he was in a European 
town. In a week he was robbed of all but his hat and coat. He got 
fitted out aj.'.ain by his Consul, and in ten ilays mure all his money was 
stolen again. Meanwhile I plockled on, and saw far more, and spent 
far less. 

Chap. XVI.] Cheap. * 277 

Nor were these Arabs very rapacious when they 
found that the ghost was a man. The Arabs of Ilooleh 
do not go to the great centres of Eastern commerce such 
as Damascus, Aleppo, or Jerusalem, where they would 
meet Europeans. Their trade is carried on by wandering 
Druses, who act as middlemen, while the natives stick 
fast in their primitive mud. Again, travellers do not 
stray to the suburbs of Zweer, and therefore, happily, 
the natives did not know what a ransom they might 
have demanded — at least 100/. — as the proper price for 
an Englishman ; and I really cannot complain of their 
terms of compromise when I had a feast, and a lodging, 
and porters, and protection, and excellent fun, and all 
for the very reduced tariff of \6s. A^d. sterling. 

The whole transaction was harmless after all, and it 
was an interesting comment upon the prediction of what 
Ishmael was to be — " his hand shall be against every 
man, and every man's hand against him." 

278 • McUaJia. [Chap. XVII. 






RIDING on in front, my grey helmet wa.s seen over 
the hill by our men at the camp near Mellaha, 
and shouts soon told how glad they were. After a little 
paddle on the lake and a bath, the remainder of the day 
was not too long to spend in rest upon my own comfort- 
able sofa-bed. The change from prison to freedom, from 
uncouth strangers to my own contented, well-behaved 
retinue, with the Rob Roy now released and sleeping 
all safe in the sun, and Hany recounting his story, and 
melodious Adoor singing it all over again, while a dim 
picture of its best scenes kept ever moving past me in 
day-dream — this was an enjoyment which only the lone 
traveller can feel. 

This great morass of Hoolch, or the lake at the end 
of it, is spoken of once in the Bible as " the waters of 
Merom " (Joshua xi. 5). It is called by Josephus and 
later writers Samachonitis ; and the name of Hoolch, as 
applied to the vicinity, is at least as old as the Christian 
era. Some of the Arabs in the neighbourhood call it 

Chap. X\'II.] Waters of Mcro]U. 279 

the Lake of El-Mellahah, and others Bahr Banias, or 
Bahr Halt/ 

The name of Hoolch, as applied to the kU-:e, is as 
old as the Crusades. This may be deriv^ed from IIul, 
or Chul, one of the sons of Aram (Gen. x. 23).- 

The name " Meleha " (" the salt ") is applied b)' 
William of Tyre to the whole of the lake {* Will. Tyre.' 
xviii. 13), "circa lacum Meleha." Burkhardt says (vol. i. 
p. 316): "The south-west shore bears the name of 
Mellaha, from the ground being covered with a saline 
crust ;" but I did not observe anything of a deposit 
except a greyish clay where the water of the lake is 
deep, quite close to the bank. The Arabs give the name 
"Ain Mellaha" to the spring running in at the north- 

^ Tlie name Merom is from the Hebrew, "high lake." " 'J'his ex- 
planation of Merom is undoubted" (Stanley, ' S. and P.' 391, note) ; and 
the place is also called " Kaldayeh," " the high." 

The name Samachon (Josephus, ' W. J.' book iii. ch. x. sec. vii. ; and 
book iv. ch. i. sec. i.) has three explanations : — 

(i) From the Arabic Samak, "high." 

(2) From the Chaldaic Samak, "red;" which may well allude to the 
red clay banks of the Jordan, already noticed, or to the very dark water in 
the lake itself. 

(3) From the Arabic Samach, " a fish." It is called Samac in the Jeru- 
salem Talmud. The name Sabac, "a thorn," given to it in the Babylonian 
Talmud, it is said, "may allude to the thorny jungle round it," but I saw 
no " thorns " in any part. 

2 We may compare the tomb of Sitteh Hooleh, the "Lady Hooleh," 
near Baalbec. Robinson (vol. iii. Appendix, pp. 135, 137) speaks of the 
other Hooleh in the government of Hanes ; and Finn mentions a village of 
the name east of Tibneen ('Byeways of Palestine,' pp. 257, 386). In 
Smith's Dictionary ( " Merom " ), it is said that the word Hooleh seems in 
Arabic and in Hebrew to mean "depression." This may well explain 
how the term Hooleh is first applied to the district " Ard Hooleh," as a 
" hollow " among the hills, while " Merom " indicates the lake, as " high " 
among the waters. Burkhardt says : " The lake of Houleh or Samacho- 
nitis is inhabited only on the eastern borders" (vol. i. p. 3'^). I have 
used the spelling "Hooleh" instead of the usual one "Huleh," as tlie 
latter is apt to be pronounced " Heuleh." 

28o The Lake. [Chap. XVII. 

west angle of the lake. Schwartz speaks of it as Ain 
Malka (p. 29), " Spring of the King," which may allude 
to Joshua's battle ; for we find Neby Yusha (Tomb of 
Joshua) on the hill to the west of the centre of the 
marsh, and on the east is said to be the Tell Farash 
(the Arab name of Joshua).' 

The wide level tract on the south-west verge of the 
lake is called " Ard el-Hait," or " Belad el-Hait." This 
level ground is richly cultivated,'* justifying the name, for 
"halt" means "wheat." A very beautiful lily flourishes 
here, and is renowned as the " Lily of Hooleh." ^ 

From Map VI. it will be seen that Mellaha, where we 
are resting for Sunday, is at the north-west corner of the 
lake of Hooleh, on the pleasant sward beside a quiet 
lagoon. On this, in the shallows, I found a man afloat 
on a bundle of reeds, which he punted along, while his 
spear was stuck up like a mast. His delight and surprise 
when the Rob Roy glided alongside, and then darted 
away to the depths where he could not follow, amused 
me much. From this, as head-quarters, it was my pur- 
pose to thoroughly examine these curious upland waters, 
because the few references to them in travellers' books 
are exceedingly meagre ; and yet great decisive battles 
had been fought upon these shores, and the steps of our 
Blessed Lord had hallo\\'ed their eastern verge. 

It is impossible to examine the upper part of this 
lake except from a boat, for the boundary there is 

" Staiile_v. 'S aiul P.' p. 393, note. Tlio " Wady Farash " is also marked 
in Vandcvclde's map (as I have inserted it in mine), but though I asked 
the Arabs for it frequently, they never seemed to agree as to the exact 
spot ; nevertheless the name was evidently known. 

' Pocock places liarosheth here (' Pinkerton's Voyages,' x. 463), and 
many authors consider that Joshua's battle with Jabin was on this plain. 

■'' Thomson thinks that this is the plant referred to by our Saviour when 
He compares Solomon with tlie lilies (Luke .\ii. 27). 

Chap. x\' 1 1 .] Raft of Bit I rushes. 1 8 1 

entirely composed of tall papyrus plant,^ perfectly inac- 
cessible to man on account of its extremely close growth, 
and therefore this has nev^er before been visited by any 
one who has told us what is there. And jjreat additional 

interest was imparted to this voyage b}^ the fact I had 
just proved, that the Jordan cannot be followed all the 
way from its source ; but that it eludes our sight by 
diving into jungle, where it defies all search from the 
north side as to where its waters roll into this lake of 
Merom. Therefore it became important to go from the 
lake itself upwards along an}- channel containing the 
river, and then to go as far as the barrier which had 
stopped us in descending, so as to see how broad that 
barrier is. The result of the next few days' work upon 
the problem was an ample reward for all the trouble 
incurred in the complete and novel discox-ery of the 
hitherto unknown channel, as will speedih' be seen. 

" This is exi)lained in detail, /iv.', ]). 297. 

2.82 From above. [Chap. XVII. 

First, in order to scan the district from above, I 
ascended the hills nearest Mellaha. There were ruins 
upon each of them, but we cannot stop to consider these 
now when our eye is fixed upon the wider features of the 

From this height the lake is seen just below us, 
bounded on the east by the hills of Bashan, which form 
a high plateau, behind which one sees the tops of another 
distant range. Westwards of the lake, on the wide green 
level, a few Tells rise by the water's side, and little groups 
of dwellings.' The dwellers here must be hardened to 
fever and frogs, wild boars, snakes, and ague half the 
year. They have many buffaloes and horses, but their 
trade is done by others, for the natives seem to revel in 
their marshy home and rear their red rice,* while the big 
world outside them is left to roll on as it can. 

In different seasons and in different years the A\hole 
appearance of this lake and its shores must be alto- 

1 Stanley's description of tliis is not so accurate as his other pictures in 
words of what he saw hinisslf. " In the centre of this phiin, half morass, 
half tarn, lies the uppermost lake of the Jordan, about seven miles long, and 
in its greatest width six miles broad, the mountains slightly compressing it 
at either extremity, surrounded by an almost impenetrable jungle of reeds, 
abounding in wild fowl" {'S. and P.' p. 390). According to my ob- 
servation the size of the lake is not one-fourth of the area given here, the 
reeds are thin and easily entered, and in the jungle of papyrus, which 
is impenetrable, there are very few waterfowl, while the '' lake," %\hether 
that means the whole morass, or the open water, is not by any means in 
the centre of the plain. Finn says that there is a Watly Meleh, or .Salt 
Vale, near Carmel. 

** Schwartz says (p. 47) : — " Many canes also grow here, among which 
wild beasts, &c., find shelter, especially serpents and wild boars. Not for 
from the village Malcha, situated on its northern shore, the Jordan enters 
tills lake. The inhabitants of the village just named cultivate the rice-plant 
in this \icinit)', which is the only jilacc in Palestine where this plant grows. 
This rice, \\hich is sent to the other towns, is (piite singular in its colour 
and llavour ; it is retl in ajipearance, and swells in cooking to an unusual 

Chap. XVII.] Puzzh\ 283 

gether different. Thus, thirty years ago; Mr. Smith, twice 
travelHng here, " had been able to get from the road 
only one or two glimpses of the water." ^ But when I 
saw it, the banks of the lake were quite bare except on 
the north side, where stands, as a savage border to the 
open water, the densest jungle ever man can see. This is 
nearly three miles across and perfectly flat, with a sombre 
colour, and is marked with shading on Map VI. The 
outline of the lake is irregular, but distinct. The marsh 
above it has a few still darker lines winding through the 
level, evidently the deeper shades of narrow hollows like 
canals, bounded by the jungle which hems in these silent, 
stagnant streams. Further to the north are patches of 
water,'" with islets plainly visible, and then the prospect 
shades away to greener hues until the eye rests on the 
trees at Dan, far off, and the lofty heights of Banias. 

Dr. Thomson speaks of this lake as a peculiar " pet " 
of his, and says it is of " unrivalled beauty." One is 
allowed to say this about a " pet lake," but I do not yet 
feel that enthusiasm. 

Between the marsh itself and the western shore — which 
we had skirted by the path under the hills — an irregular 
edging of water lies in disjointed shreds. This water is 
often several feet deep," and I had paddled my canoe 
upon it in various places ; nor would it be difficult, I 
think, to come all the way by water from the upper 
plain quite down to the lake. But in this bordering 

3 Robinson, vol. iii. sec. xv. p. 341, note. 

'" The largest of these, near the centre, and wliicli we visited afterwards, 
may have been that alhided to by Buckingham, as another lake nortli of 
Hooleh. .See Robinson, vol. iii. sec. xv. p. 340, note. 

" I agree with Robinson, who says this is an artificial canal. He also 
states that it is led off from the Hasbany (vol. iii. sec. xv. p. 342), which is 
now known to be the case. Thomson describes the fountains of this side 
in detail. 

284 Kedesh. [Chap. XVII. 

edge there is no perceptible current, though it receives 
a {q\n rills from springs near the margin. At any rate, 
to take a boat along this fringe of puddles would not be 
to follow the Jordan. 

Then where does the Jordan run to when it hides its 
dark stream after Zweer t Vandevelde's map boldly 
marks it on the east of the marsh, and most other maps 
do the same. Dr. Tristram, the traveller who has written 
of it after dwelling longest here, says that Jordan's 
course can be clearly distinguished on the east.^-' More 
cautious myself, perhaps, in tracing rivers than those who 
have not to get a boat through the imagined channel, 
I could not discern any sign of a stream on the east part 
of Hooleh, and for the good reason, as was afterwards 
proved, that no river at all goes there. 

The ruins of Kedes (Kedesh Nephtali) are in a valley 
to the west of the lake ; and although I saw them from 
above, and they would be very interesting to describe, 
yet I must not depart so far from our actual log. 

Having made careful plans of the marsh by bird's-eye 
views of it from several hills, I started from Mellaha, 
ardent and rejoicing, to begin this most interesting voyage 
of discovery. The weather was very propitious for such 
an occasion : a cloudy day, with no wind, and a general 
mildness. I had, of course, arranged a regular plan of 
investigation, so as to measure the distances by count- 
ing my paddle-strokes, checked by the time on my 
watch ; to take the angles by my compass ; and to 
sound the depth by a 20-fathom line. To do these four 
different things accurately, and to note the results in my 
log-book, gave full employment to mind and body, while 
anything to spare of energ}^ was devoted to look out for 

'- Smith's ' Dictionary of the Bilile' also tells us the Jordan " enters the 
lake close to the eastern end of the upper side." 

Chap. XVII.] SfarL 285 

curious sights, birds, fishes, animals, plants, and stones, 
to scan the shores for hostile Arabs, and to note the 
character of the hills aloft and the beaches by the 

The first "course" for the canoe was to be straight 
across the lake at the northern end, where the water is 
widest, and then to inspect the supposed mouth of the 
Jordan in the east. Next I intended to embark a 
stone from the Bashan shore, wherewith to commence 
soundings at regular intervals on the return voyage. 
But after 800 double paddle-strokes, that is, about two 
miles and a half due east, I could see an Arab with a 
gun descending the slope of the rugged mountains 
straight in front of me. I turned to the right, and he 
followed. I went the other way, until the Rob Roy was 
hid behind the jungle, but standing up in the boat I 
could see through the reed tops that the man was lying 
under a shady tree on a beautiful green Tell close by 
the water side. Now, whether the man had shooting 
intentions or not, it would evidently have been unwise 
for me to turn up a channel (if one was found there), 
leaving him in command of the mouth of it to inter- 
cept my return. Therefore, as he would not depart or 
com.e out of his hiding-place, I turned south along the 
eastern shore, and he followed running, and half a dozen 
more soon clambered down from the rocks shouting all 
in chorus. But in open water I could laugh at their 
humble efforts to keep up with the Rob Roy as they 
struggled through thickets and round deep bays, while I 
had a smooth lake to paddle on, and in any direction 
I chose However, it being absolutely necessary for me 
to land that I might get a stone for sounding, I made a 
feint as if to reach a point jutting out, and when they 
were all in full cry for this to reach it also, I coolly 

286 Arabs again. [Chap. XVII. 

turned to another promontory, leaving a bay between 
us, and ran the Rob Roy into the bank below some 
shady trees. Very soon I could hear the Arabs 
splashing through the shallow edge of the bight, and 
breaking down the jungle canes in an eager rush to my 
new landing-place. But after choosing and taking on 
board three stones, we slipped away in good time, and 
when they arrived, all hot and hasty, the Rob Roy was 
quietly floating in deep water 250 yards from the shore. 
This was the distance Hany told me would be safe, as 
an Arab would not risk his bullet for a longer shot. 
All their efforts to persuade me to land were futile. I 
am afraid I " chaffed " them rather unceremoniously, 
but then they roared at me till they were hoarse. 

The process of sounding now proceeded methodically, 
and the entries • of time, distance, depth, &c., soon 
occupied all my attention. Some beautiful Arab horses 
were grazing under the trees. Little covies of wild 
ducks bobbed about on the sunny wavelets, or the 
shy ones dived, or the wary took wing. Now and then 
pelicans sailed by on the air in solemn silence, and sea- 
gulls skimmed the edges of scattered isles. But after 
the myriads of ducks at Hijaneh, and the clouds of pink 
flamingoes, and swans and pelicans, on Lake Menzaleh, 
one is " spoiled " for any wonderment at a few hundred 
birds anywhere else. However, at one pretty bay on 
the deep green papyrus margin I came upon a group of 
six pelicans together, swimming ver)' near me. The 
desire to bring back a pelican from Hooleh seized me 
irresistibly, but how to do it, \\ith onh- a small pocket- 
pistol } 1 cautiously " stalked " them round reeds and 
tiny islands, until I could fire with good hopes of hitting. 
At the shot five birds rose majestically, but the sixth 
remained floating there. Jli.^ 

Chap. XVII.] Pelican Hinit. 287 

vigorous, but in vain, for he had only one wing to beat 
the air, so he ahvax's fell sideways again on the A\atcr. 
Quickly m\' pistol was reloaded, but with my last 
bullet, and I must not throw this away. I knew it 
would be a difficult piece of business to kill this powerful 
bird. His struggles with me might overset the Rob 
Roy, or with his strong beak he might smash her cedar 
deck or her captain's face. Then what to do with him 
when dead } He w-as far too large and awkward as a 
cargo to carry two miles in comfort, and cutting off his 
head would be a troublesome operation. So I resolved 
to make him carry his own big body all the way to the 
camp by chasing him towards it while he swam. We 
both prepared for the chase. He began by disgorging a 
volley of small fish from his beak, but I took a different 
plan, for, as it was now full time for luncheon, I put my 
usual lunch on the deck before me and ate it luxuriously 
at intervals while I chased the poor pelican for an hour 
and a half He soon saw what were my tactics, and he 
swerved right and left to get back into the coverts ; but 
I headed him always like a greyhound coursing a hare, 
and yet never came within a few feet of his beak lest he 
might be driven to attack my boat in desperation. 

Our camp had been moved down to Almanyeh, and 
our men there wondered to see the Rob Roy coming 
slowly from afar and very crooked in her course, with a 
white something in front of her bow, which seemed in 
the distance to be a foaming wave. When near the 
camp, I rushed in quickly to get the double-barrel, and 
then went off again to the 'pelican, who meantime was 
far on his way to some reedy home. There was only 
small shot in the gun, and that could not penetrate his 
feathers ; but at length I chased him ashore, and he was 
soon enveloped in an Arab cloak, fighting bravely all 

288 Grand Discoveiy. [Chap. XVII. 

the time. His wing measured four feet six inches, which 
(allowing for the body) would give about ten feet of 
stretch between the two tips. His head I brought home, 
but the great black feet which it was thought would dry 
into a sort of imperishable leather were soon dissolved 
into a mass of black meaningless jelly. '■'^ 

Next day was devoted to a strict examination of the 
northern side of Merom, and very soon on turning into 
one of the deep bays in the papyrus, I noticed a sensible 
current in the water. In a moment every sense was on 
the qui vivc, and with quick-beating heart and earnest 
paddle-strokes I entered what jsroved to be t/ic nioiitJi of 
Jordan. At this place the papyrus is of the richest 
green, and upright as two walls on either hand, and so 
close in its forest of stems and dark recurving hair-like 
tops above that no bird can fly into it, and the very few 
ducks that I found had wandered in by swimming 
through chinks below, were powerless to get wing for 
rising, and while their flappings agitated the jungle, and 
their cackling shrieks told loudly how much they wished 
to escape from the intruder, the birds themselves were 
entirely invisible, though only a few yards from me all 
the time. But they were safe enough from me or any 
other stranger, for in no part could I ever get the point 
of the Rob Roy to enter three feet into the dense hedge 
of this curious floating forest. 

'^ The Arabs call the pelican "Mjah," and sometimes " Jemel el Bahr," 
that is, "sea camel," which well describes its manner of carrying the head 
with the neck in a double arch. Besides those that fly by the sea, and the 
Nile, and the Lake Merom, the pelican is found upon other lonely ponds. 
Finn states that one was killed in Solomon's Pools, near Jerusalem. 

The captured head, which has curly feathers, was shown (with other curio- 
sities of this voyage) at the exhibition held in Minimcr by the Palestine 
F,xi)]oration Fund, as roinarkalile on account of its si/e, llie manner of its 
capture, and the place where it \\a> taken 

Chap. XVII.] Nciu Mouf/i. 29 1 

The Jordan's mouth here is hundred feet wide, and it 
is entirely concealed from both shores by a bend it makes 
to the east. The river thus enters the lake at the cud of 
a promontory of papyrus, and one can understand that 
this projection is caused by the plants growing better 
where the water runs than in the still parts, so that the 
walls or banks of green are prolonged by the current 
itself Once round the corner, and entering the actual 
river, it is a wonderful sight indeed. The graceful 
channel winds in ample sweeps or long straight reaches 
in perfect repose and loneliness with a soft beauty of 
its own. Recovering from the first excitement of this 
important discovery, I set about recording all its features 
in a methodical way. First, of course, by counting 
paddle-strokes, as I slowly mounted the stream, then 
by noting the bends right and left in my book, and the 
few tributaries that entered on this side and that. On 
the west, one joined which I might have easily mistaken 
for the true channel, but happily recollecting my sketch 
made from the mountains, I knew that this arm from the 
west ends in nothing, so I went steadily up the other. 
Presently a strange noise came out of the foliage, and 
approaching cautiously, I found two great falcons or 
water-eagles feeding on something in their nest on an 
islet. The Rob Roy at once " beat to quarters," but 
when her crew attempted to " board," out rushed the 
male bird, and screamed and whirled about me so 
defiant that "discretion was the better part of valour," 
and the nest was left alone. 

A few tiny sparrow-like birds hovered here and there 
on the papyrus tops, and two or three divers swam a 
yard or so in the open, and then rose and went out of 
sight ; but the solitary silence of the place was almost 
painful, and it begot a feeling of awe when nothing but 

292 TJnuider. [Chap. XVII. 

green jungle was present on every side, and yet I was 
glad no other man was there — not from churlish jealousy, 
but for his own sake too, who might wdsh to enjoy this 
scene — let him come also, but free from me, and at some 
other time. The paddle in new places is best enjoyed 
alone, just as the fishing-rod or the exciting tale. 

The channel narrowed, and the current sharpened, too, 
at 800 double strokes (about 4000 yards), and I confess 
that here I was almost about to return, from some vague 
unaccountable fear, or weariness, or presentiment that I 
was to be lost in the maze of green ; it seemed then so far 
to have gone away from life and light outside, and in so 
short a time. Very often since have I rejoiced that 
more bravery came, and I determined at least to rest 
and think, before returning. The Rob Roy clung to the 
shady side of the channel, and then a long and glorious 
peal of thunder rolled athwart the sky. 

I have listened to that deep-toned voice when standing 
on a volcano's crater — when gazing at night on the falls 
of Niagara — and when sailing alone in the hurtlings of a 
midnight storm on the breakers at Beachy Head. These 
wxre, indeed, splendid times and places for hearing in 
the depths of one's mind the loud speaking that comes 
out of the unseen. But none of them was so perfectly 
new and strange as this one single roar from heaven, 
shaking the vast quiet of Hooleh. 

An immediate effect of it was to awaken energy and 
to nerve me to go on, so as at least to accomplish the 
round sum of lOOO double paddle-strokes. But before 
doing so, an old newspaper I had cast on the ri\'er, and 
which now floated along, suggested the idea of measuring 
the speed of the current. For this I cut a long papyrus 
stem into pieces of a few inches, and carefully scattered 
them across the channel and marked the time by my 

Chap. XVII.] Inner Lake. 293 

watch, so as to see how long would elapse before they 
were overtaken afterwards in our descent of the stream. 
This plan, however, though carefully worked, was futile, 
for I never saw one of my floats again. '^ 

At 960 strokes, suddenly rounding a corner, I entered 
a beautiful little lake, just one you would picture in fancy. 
The general contour of it was round, but the edges were 
curved into deep bays, with dark alleys and bright pro- 
jecting corners, and islets dotted the middle. Every single 
part of the boundary about me was green papyrus — not 
ragged and straggling, but upright and sharply defined. 
The breadth of this east and west was estimated at half 
a mile.'^ Extreme caution was instantly prescribed by 
this novel scene, for without coolness and clear noting 
of the course, it might be difficult or impossible to find 
again the narrow entrance which I must pass through 
for my return. Therefore, I bent down some of the tall 
green stems and tied them together, and placed upon 
them for a warning flag large slips of " the Supplement." 
Then carefully noting the compass bearings, I advanced 
to the next group of islands, and did the same again, 
always placing the beacons upon the right hand, so as 
to show the way out in returning. The lake was perfectly 
still — not " calm as a millpond," which expression often 
includes a shivering ruffle on the water, but with a 
smoothness like glass itself, and the water below was 
clear and without the slightest current. The lake was 
shallowed to five feet, but all the bottom was a soft mass 

" After much consideration, and as it was better to overrate tlie current 
than to overstate my advance into the papyrus, it appeared right to esti- 
mate the distance traversed by each double stroke of the paddle here at 
four yards instead of five and a half, and this part of the map, therefore, is 
constructed upon that reduced scale. 

1* Seen from the mountain, it appears certainly wider than this, but I 
have followed the MS. notes, entered at the time in my log. 

294 Lilies. [Chap. XVII. 

of delicate water-moss, patterned in pretty green net- 
work. Large yellow lilies floated on the surface in gay- 
coloured bouquets. I had seen many of these lilies 
along the north shore of the lake, but their stems were 
very thick and multitudinous below, so that, whenever I 
tried to drag up the very roots of them — if, indeed, they 
have any roots in the earth at all — the weight became so 
great that it was quite unmanageable. However, I cut 
and brought home some portions of the complicated 
mass. In the very centre of the lake, the canoe " hove 
to " for compass bearings. 

The sun was now very hot, but the air was cleared 
by the thunder. The view, so much contracted before 
by the high papyrus walls, now opened on all sides, for 
there was space about me. 

To the north was the rounded head of splendid 
glittering Hermon, and to its left the far-off snow on 
the sharp indented Sunnin, chief of the Lebanon range. 
High on a lonely crag to the west was Neby Yusha, 
" Joshua's Tomb," '" and the eastern shore was girt by the 
" hill of Bashan." " 

"' Thomson seems to consider this to be the site of Hazor. P'inn ^\•elI 
reipinds us that the rehcs may often be intentled to honour Moslem "saints," 
who had Scripture names. 

•' In our sketch at p. 289, the two snow mountains are depicted. This 
sight of Senir and Lebanon, and the hills of Bashan, all at one time, and 
from a boat, reminds one of the beautiful verses in Ezekiel (ch. xxvii.), 
where the rich grandeur of Tyre is painted in language so magnificent, 
and the mountains now before us have a place : — 

"Thus saith the Lord God; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect 

"Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfeclcd 
thy beauty. 

"They have made all thy ship boards of In- trees of Senir : the}- lia\c- 
taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. 

"Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars ; the company of the 
Aslunites !iavc made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of 

Chap. XVII.] Royal Sahiic. 295 

In the middle of all, and evidently as yet unconscior.s 
of my nearness, was one of the most graceful of living 
objects — a pure-white swan, floating upon the lo\'ely lake, 
that mirrored his image again below. It never entered 
into my head to shoot him, pretty creature — that ^\■ould 
have been sheer sacrilege : his tameness was quite 
shocking. But, just to waken up the echoes around us, 
and to give vent to the emotions of my mind, so long 
pent up in absolute silence, I fired a volley, and gave 
three cheers. It was a very difficult thing to make quite 
sure that this little lake was a termination of the journey 
upwards ; that it was not merely an enlargement of a 
stream which I had now resolved to follow up, conte que 
coitte, to the end. But a careful circuit of its labyrinthine 
borders satisfied me that this is the earliest Jfozo of 
yordau as one river after it dives into the barrier whither 
I had traced it some days before. The north end of this 
lake was at 11 30 double paddle-strokes from the mouth 
of the channel : that is, 6000 yards, or less than three 
miles and a half; and, allowing for current, it may be 
well averred that the Jordan aggregates its waters in 
this inner lake at the head of a channel which winds 
along nearly three miles before it enters the larger lake 
of Hooleh. 

The interesting question as to the breadth of the 
impassable barrier could be settled only after my return, 
and by a comparison between the observations made in 

" Fine linen with broidered work from Egj'pt was tjial which thou 
spreadest forth to be thy sail ; blue and puqole from the iiles of Elishah 
was that which covered thee. 

"The inhabitants af Zidon and Arvad were thy marineis : thy wise men, 
O Tyinas, that were in thee, were thy pilots. 

" The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers : 
all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to uccvpy tliy 

296 Breadth of Barrier. [Chap. xvii. 

my journey down the river in Map V. and those made 
now in this central lake, the northern end of which 
is marked P in Map VI. "^ This was done with the ad- 
vantage of the MS. survey of Captain Wilson, already 
noticed ; and it will be seen that the interval between 
N and P — that is, the breadth of the barrier — is about 
half a mile. 

The journey back along the new channel was pleasant 
and easy, and lasted less than an hour. My various 
beacons all were spied, and, to guide the next canoeist, 
I left them there ; but with the keenest look-out, I could 
not discover any one of the current-floats which had been 
so carefully strewn for the purpose, and only the floating 
newspaper could be discerned on the gliding stream.'** 

At the mouth again, all safe, the Rob Roy was moored 
for luncheon in the shade, and never was a roast fowl 
eaten with a heartier relish than after such a delightful 
morning's work. 

Next she entered a ba)- farther eastwards, but this 
quickly narrowed and ran up into a cul dc sac at 2000 
yards, until I could pass only through a narrow gap into 
deep gloomy waterways, without any stream, and where 
the tall papyrus stems were tangled over my head. 
Still I followed this up to its positive termination, and 
with all the precautions (as to beacons and guide-marks) 
so useful before ; and again the canoe came back into the 
light, where, in the green circuit of the bay, once more I 

''' For oljseivations as to latitude, I wa^^ (lepcndcnt entirely on one 
lieaiiny; if Ncby Yuslia, seen from point i', i)ut the distance estimate from 
l)addle-strokes may well be considered to transfer the measurement to the 
inoulh of the river in the lake, and so to connect it with the survey of the 
lake itself. 

"^ This, however, tlid not help me to estimate the current, because the 
time and ]ilace of its starting hatl not been noted. As a roui;h L;uess, I 
should sa) that Jordan's current here is, at the nK).si, about a mile in an hour. 

Chap. X\'II.] Slv/ccu SzlHI/is. 297 

found, in one group of graceful elegance, sixteen wild 
swans swimming together. Beautiful as they were, I 
was glad to have seen that one swan first before meeting 
so many. Again a salute from the pistol stunned the 
air. All the white beauties rose in terror or high dud- 
geon ; their wavy circlings above me cleft the sky with 
bright gleaming tracks for a moment, and they passed 
away like a vision. 

As the Rob Roy again neared the lake, I felt that 
the wind had risen very suddenly, and this soon ex- 
plained a most curious hissing, grinding, bustling sound, 
that was heard like waves upon a shingly beach. For, 
to my surprise and delight, I found that the margin of 
the lake about me was waving up and down, and the 
papyrus stems were rubbing against each other as they 
nodded out and in. It was plain in a moment that the 
whole jungle of papyrus \\3.s floating upon the luatcr, and 
so the waves raised by the breeze were rocking the green 
curtain to and fro. 

My soundings had shown the depth in Jordan's channel 
to be almost uniform, at from twelve to ten feet, all the 
way up ; and at first it seemed strange that there should 
be any special current in one part, when the water had 
apparently a wide way to run through underneath the 
floating field. But the reason of this is soon apparent 
when we know how the papyrus grows ; and as the vast 
area of it now before us is believed to be the largest 
mass of papyrus in the world, it may be a proper time 
to look at this strange plant here. 

The papyrus plant (in Hebrew " Gome," and in Arabic 
"Berdi") is called "Babir" by the Arabs of Hooleh, 
which is as near the Latin word as can be, considering 
that the Arabs use b for/. Its stem is three-cornered ; 
in this feature it is one of a limited number of plants. 



[Chap. XVII. 

The thicker and taller stems are not at the edge, but 
about five or six feet inwards ; therefore I was unable to 
get at them without incurring great danger. Also, as I 
meant to bring out the largest possible specimen, I kept 
putting off the endeavour until finally the opportunity 
had passed. The sketch given here shows the manner 
of growth of this plant. There is 
first a lateral trunk, A, lying on the 
water, and half-submerged.^** This 
is sometimes as thick as a man's 
body, and from its lower side hang 
innumerable string-like roots from 
three to five feet long and of a 
deep purple colour. It is these 
pendent roots that retard so much 
of the surface-current where the 
papyrus grows, as noticed above 
for explanation. On the upper sur- 
face of the trunks the stems grow 
alternately in oblique rows ; their 
thickness at the junction is often 
four inches, and their height fifteen 
feet, gracefully tapering until at the 
top is a little round knob, with long, 
thin, brown, wire-like hairs eighteen 
inches long, which rise and then, 
recurving, hang about it in a thyrsus-shaped head. The 
stem, when dead, becomes dark brown in colour, and 

^0 Tlie woodcut in Smith's 'Dictionary of tlie IJibic ' represents the 
stalks as under water, but the natural free i,no\\ ih of tlie plant seems to me 
from a floating trunk, and this would only be submerged exceptionally. 
The small flowerets on the liairy threads of the tliyrsus top in Smith's 
sketch arc not seen in winter. The sketch of paj^yras given by Dr. Thomson 
does not show its multitude of tall stems. The papyrus rcjircscnled by 
a steel engraving in ' Brace's Travels ' is very accurate. 


Chap. XVII.] Its Use. 299 

when dry, it is extremely light ; indeed, for its strength 
and texture, it is the lightest substance I know of. 

The papyrus was used for writing upon by the 
Egyptians, and was prepared for this purpose by cutting 
it into thin slips. These were laid side by side, and 
upon them others in a cross direction, and both were 
joined by cement and then pressed into a continuous 
sheet. It is obvious that by this means the length, and 
to a certain extent the breadth, of a papyrus roll might be 
made according to pleasure. The name Papyrus {babir) 
still survives in the English name of the material upon 
which these words are printed. Smith's Dictionary tells 
us that the Hebrew word for the papyrus. Gome, is used 
four times in the Bible.^^ The Ethiopians made boats of 
it ; Ludolf says that these boats are used in the Tzamic 
Lake, and Moses was hid in a vessel made of this."^^ I 
have mentioned above that I saw a man on an " ark of 
bulrushes " at Hooleh, and I have often seen a woman 
put her baby on a bundle of reeds and swim across the 
Nile while she pushed it along. The plant is mentioned 
in a beautiful passage of Isaiah (chap. xxxv. 7), and 
in Job it is asked, " Can the papyrus grow up with- 
out mire?" (chap. viii. 11). Herodotus says that the 
papyrus was eaten after being stewed. This Papyrus 
antiquorinn is not now found in Egypt, nor anywhere in 
Asia except in Syria. But it grows 7° from the Equator 
in Nubia, on the White Nile. The marsh of Hooleh is, 
therefore, perhaps the largest collection of papyrus to be 
seen anywhere. It is traced along the Jordan only a 

-' In the Septuagint the word irairvpos is used. See also (?///r, p. 78, 
note. For reeds in general the Hebrew term is Kaneh. 

-- Dr. Thomson (' Land and the Book,' p. 337) says the process described 
in Genesis ii. 3, may mean that the ark was "bitiuned" by the mixture, so 
as to resemble a coffin, and thereby to enable the mother to take her child 
out of the house. 

3 o o Hozv it grows. [C h ap. XV 1 1 . 

short distance (as is noticed hereafter), and then re- 
appears at Ain et Tin, on the Sea of Gahlee, and is also 
said to be found on the River Aujeh, near Jafta ; but I 
did not observe it in the part I examined of that river. 
Another kind {Papyrus syriacus) is cultivated in our 
botanical gardens, and is found wild on the plain of 

It is not difficult to understand how the papyrus grove 
is so very thick just at its boundary edge, whereas reeds, 
or rushes, or other aquatic plants, usually get sparse and 
stunted or broken down all round the borders of a marsh, 
or where it merges into open water. 

This peculiarity, which gives to the papyrus plain of 
Hooleh its most remarkable feature of upright wall-like 
sides — and that, too, on deep water — is caused, I think, 
by the manner of the plant's growth. Such of the 
lateral stems as shoot out into open water become bent 
or broken by waves, and so they bind in the rest, and 
the outer stems have too much wind and rough weather 
to flourish as well as the others do inside, being well 
protected. This may be noticed even more distinctly 
when the papyrus grows in running water, as in this part 
of the marsh through which the Jordan flows. While 
we remark that the plant seems to thrive best where the 
water is not stagnant, and so the largest stems are near 
the channel of the river, yet it may be asked how^ it is 
that they do not spread across the channel itself The 
sketch below will explain this at once. It is a bird's- 
eye view of several of the lateral trunks, which are re- 
presented as being turned by the force of the current all 
in one direction — that of the arrow, s~- and so, gradually 

-^ Dr. Tristram, in the 'Leisure Hour,' iS6(), p. 553. Tiionison pro- 
liably alludes to the latter kind when he mentions papyrus in the river 
Fulej, near Uae Aujeh (' Land and the Book,' p. 512). 

Chap. XVII.] 

Bent bv Current. 


bending round to the positions R, T, U, they at last fold 
upon, encircle, and strangle their neighbours, and seriously 
hinder their growth. The width of 
the clear channel is therefore kept at 
a uniform relation to the speed of the 
current ; for if that is slow, it allows 
the trunks to spread and to cover the 
surface, and with their roots to narrow 
the channel until the speed of the 
stream is thereby increased, and the 
trunks are by it curved, stunted, and 
worn off, and so a just balance is re- 

The amount of \\ater exhaled b}' 
the evaporation from millions of these 
stems, presenting so large an area of 
surface above, must be prodigious, 
although, on the other hand, the shade 
of their thick darkness keeps the direct rays of the sun 
from striking into the water itself. So much for the 

The Rob Roy then entered every little bight along 
the indented edge, to make perfectly sure that no other 
open channel was to be discovered, until at length she 
came to the eastern coast of the lake. Here I peeped 
round the cape, but no Arab was in sight at the mo- 
ment ; yet I was too tired with work and the excitement 
of discovery to venture upon a longer journey here, and 
I slowly paddled across the open water to the hovels of 
Mataryeh, whither our camp had been ordered to move. 


302 On Hooleh. [Chap. XVIII. 



THE Rob Roy was eager next morning for one 
more day of search, and to scan especially the 
eastern border of the lake. To aid the fishing ven- 
ture on Lake Hooleh, a boat had actually been built of 
boards carried there from Tiberias. I went to see this 
wreck, which foundered at her launch, they said, and 
was now lying under water in a deep bend of the western 

It was not entirely without misgivings that I once more 
paddled to that same mysterious corner at the north- 
east end of the lake, where the Arab, like a spider in 
his web, had full command of the approaches, and might 
wait in ambush for his prey. But this point had to be 
examined before our survey could be called complete ; 
and, as it must be done, we had best do it at once, and 

* For travellers, however, and especially for those who wish to visit the 
charming central lake we have spoken of, or to gather the ferns, and 
papyrus, and lilies on the water, or to fish, it is well to know of this sunken 
craft, which a few nails would doubtless soon make quite seaworthy, but 
oars must be brought, for there were none, and no wood to make them of 

Chap. XVIII.] Cutting a Cape. 303 

thoroughly. I did not steer a straight course to the 
spot, but first across the lake to the wall of papyrus, and 
then along that, entirely hidden, until I came close to 
its eastern end. 

Here a new plan of action was devised, namely, to cut 
the cape in two, instead of " doubling " it, and thus I 
might stealthily come out opposite the little Tell, and so 
spy out the land while invisible myself A break in the 
boundary favoured this design, for there were only canes 
here, and thick white reeds, and not papyrus. Storing 
my paddle below deck, then I dragged my boat in by 
hauling on these canes with a hand on each side. 

But the water shallowed, and if an Arab saw me, he 
could wade out and catch the Rob Roy fixed in this 
dense jungle. After much reflection, therefore, I re- 
turned to open water, and then went into the jungle of 
reeds again, but this time stern foremost, so that in the 
event of an alarm I might be in the most favourable 
position for running away ! Yes, there is a time to 
prepare for a safe retreat as well as one to get ready for 
a bold attack. The Rob Roy now " advanced back- 
wards " through the reeds, and soon came at last into 
open water, having cut across the isthmus, and so 
entered the bay of the east side, where the maps indicate 
the Jordan as issuing from the marsh. It was a fine 
open bay, and the green Tell and the large shady tree 
were there on the land, but no human being was visible, 
nor even a horse. The dashing of an unseen cascade 
was the only sound.^ 

With hurried strokes the Rob Roy ran up northwards, 
impatient to finish the problem which could be con- 
sidered only half solved until it had been proved that 

- None of the maps mark a stream here, and I forgot to ask its name. 

304 Canoe Chase. [Chap. XYIII. 

here no stream comes forth. The regular river had 
been met and followed up for three miles in its new- 
found course on the west. Still there might possibly be 
another or a branch of it here. Well, there is no stream 
at all in this eastern bay which has distinct bounds all 
about its circuit. And now being fully satisfied of this 
important fact, I thought it wise to get out of the cnl dc 
sac, and set off at a good pace, happy with the work we 
had accomplished. It was quite easy then to paddle 
along the eastern shore, and to sound the depth of water 
as I went. But though the Arabs were high up in the 
hills with their tents and flocks, they very soon noticed 
the little boat, the only speck on the lake below them. 
The clear air which they looked through, with the clear 
eye that only an Arab or an English sailor possesses, 
also carried to my ear the shouts from the shepherds 
standing amazed on the rocky peaks, " Shaktoorah ! 
shaktoorah ! " as they rushed down, impetuous to get 
near. It was no use, of course, for they could not catch 
the canoe either by running through the dense jungle on 
shore or by swimming in the water, and I only laughed 
at them gaily, and waved the paddle in defiance. 

The lake lies quite close to the hills on the Bashan 
side, but, strangely enough, the water is not so deep 
there as on the west, near the plain of Mellaha. To test 
this, I ran in oblique lines and sounded every fifty 
strokes (and sometimes tA\'icc as often), though it was a 
tiresome process, because the canoe had always to be 
stopped, but then the result was satisfactory. Though 
done for the first time, it was done thoroughly, and the 
depth of the "waters of Mcrom " is now ascertained for 
ever. The result may be stated generally that Hooleh 
Lake has an average de[)th (in the winter time) of 
about eleven feet, l^y Jordan's mouth, on the northern 

Chap. XVIII.] HooleJi Lake. 305 

edge, it is twelve feet, and for some way up the channel. 
In a few places (and these principally close to the west 
bank) the depth is fifteen feet, once it is seventeen feet 
deep, but in no part of the whole lake did I find three 
fathoms of water.^ 

Near the south end there is a bay with fine trees on 
the banks and steep rocks above, among which upon the 
slope is a ruin, and here the canoe paused a long time, 
carefully scrutinising the square strong building, which 
we were assured afterwards is only a mill, but the ruin 
looks very difTerent from that. 

For luncheon the Rob Roy landed at the west side 
below Tuleil, where the bank was of greyish clay, very 
cohesive. Then we carefully sounded and " compassed " 
the narrowing end of the pear-shaped lake, until between 
islets of papyrus and tall canes the water closed into a 
regular channel once more, which, by graceful winding, 
narrowed to a hundred feet across, with a good current 
going, for it was now a decided river. This is the first 
unquestionable Jordan that can be approached from 
shore, and is formed of all its three wonderful streams 
that are born from the rock, gush out at Hasbe}^a, Dan, 
and Banias, pour down into the marsh of Hooleh, there 
combine, and thence rush on to the Sea of Galilee, and 
through that onward, winding fast, they hurry into the 
Dead Sea.^ The course of this part of Jordan is given in 
Map VI., as it passes with a broad sweep round the Tell 
Beit Yacob ; and after this place (at the point marked in 

* On Map VI. (next page), drawn (like Map V.) to the scale of half 
an inch to the mile, the soundings of principal places are marked in feet. 
But there were many other soundings taken besides these. 

■* I think that by a cutting 400 yards long, and twenty feel dee]i, at the end 
of Hooleh Lake, the whole of the marsh and lake would be made dry 
in a year, and an enormous tract of land would become productive and 



06 JacoUs Bridge. [Chap. XVIII. 

the map) I recorded in my note-book " last papyrus 
here." It was interesting to observe afterwards, while 
reading Bruce's narrative (written some eighty years ago), 
that he in his journey had remarked the papyrus at 
this identical spot.^ This great traveller seems to have 
always had his wits about him, and almost all the ob- 
servations of his that have been reviewed since are found 
to be accurate, even when he said that in Abyssinia men 
cut beefsteaks out of their living oxen as they travel, 
though the doubts cast upon this statement by his con- 
temporaries went far to break his honest but sensitive 
heart. Our camp was near the bridge of black basalt de- 
picted in the sketch at the corner of the map, and which is 
the first bridge over the complete Jordan. From the end 
of the lake this bridge was distant 650 paddle-strokes, 
that is, 3523 yards, or three yards over two miles, which is 
the measure on shore given in Murray. Thomson gives a 
sketch of this bridge as seen from the north. Schwartz 
calls it " Jisr Abni Jacob," Bridge of Jacob's Sons. The 
bridge is about sixty feet long, has three arches,^ and no 
parapet. At the west end is an ugly round tower, and a 
khan is over the river. The current is very trifling until 
quite close to the bridge. A few unkempt soldiers were 
in mat huts near the bridge, and their horses dreadfully 
dirty, but good nevertheless. These men take toll from 
passengers." The bridge itself has been most likely 
built since the Crusades (Schwartz sa}'s in 11 12, by 

^ ' Bruce's Travels,' A.n. 1790, vol. v. Appendix, p. 3. The ri\cr Hemlaj 
is marked as running into Jordan from the west, above this bridge (in 
Vandevelde and in Petennann), and near Almanych in Porter's map. I 
did not observe any river enter as thus represented. 

•* Robinson states that it "has four pointed arches, and is sixty paci-s 
long" (vol. iii. ji. 363) ; but he does not appear to have visited it. 

" Gumpenberg, in A.n. 1450, seems to have paid toll here, but the usual 
ruuto for caravans before that was to cross the lordan below Tiberias. 

A parlicn i* thu Vafi i»- refirtited ui Map 5 

in ihrff r>fi It' Mrttrr -^ "^ * W > 

f'aris ce^m^td In-TOpyribA are. mm-kfd 

Chap. XVIII.] Who crossed it. 


Baldwin IV.), but the spot selected at once suggests 
that a ford was here, for it is just where the deep water 
ends, and before the high banks of the torrent begin. 
And no other place would be suitable for twelve miles 
north or eight miles south of this ford. 

Robinson*' states that the wn-iters before and in the 
Crusade era mention this only as a ford of Jacob. 
Abulfeda calls the ford " P21 Ajran," and the spot Beit 
Yacob (House of Jacob), as others did, probably referring 
to the Tell with ruins on it a little farther north, and 
shown in our sketch. As to the name which seems to 
connect this place with "Jacob's daughters," it seems 
almost clear that Jacob himself did not cross to meet 
Esau here, but "passed over the ford Jabbok,'"-* on the 
occasion which is marked by his wrestling with " a man," 
when he called the place Benuel. Naaman, the prince of 
a pagan race, may have gone this way to the prophet ; 
and the zealous Saul may have crossed here " breathing 
out slaughter " going to Damascus, or the Apostle Baul 
coming back. Our Saviour Himself may have passed 
over this to C^esarea. 

Much against all advice I now determined to follow 
the river close by its verge all the way to Galilee ; not, 
of course, in the channel, for that was utterly impossible, 
as it soon becomes a mere torrent-bed, and a white- 
foamed bursting rush of water hurries between rocks 

* Vol. iii. p. 362. 

^ Gen. xxxii. 3-22. The subsequent route of Jacob, as described in (his 
and the following chapters, it is not easy to follow, unless the words " passed 
over " refers sometimes to fording the Jordan and sometimes to the Jabbok 
or Zerka River ; and it may be that the name "Bridge of Jacob's Daughters " 
means the ford used by them, or with regard to them, separate from the 
particular journey of their father. Thomson says that the oaks nf Ila- 
zury, near Ranias, are said to be inlialjited by " Benat Vacoub," or "Jan,' 
a genus of spirits (' Land and tlie Book,' p. 372). 

3o8 Templars Keep. [Chap. XVIII. 

thick set with oleanders, which often meet across the 
stream not a dozen feet in width. Before the river settles 
down into a thorough-going mill-race speed, it makes a 
sweep or two to right and left, as if with a struggle to 
get free, and its stream is divided by islands and large 
rocks. About a mile below the bridge are some im- 
posing ruins. Their position settles at once that the 
building was put here to command this important ford. 
It was, in fact, a castle built 700 years ago,'° and was 
given to the Templars, who then held this road. But 
Saladin took the fortress, and razed its proud battle- 
ments. Now it is only a disappointing ruin. Our 
evening was spent until dark in a long ride by this 
channel and over the stony hills to see if it were possible 
to carry the canoe on these dizzy precipices, where not 
one single inhabitant is found for miles, and not even an 
Arab's tent was to be seen all day. 

Few travellers have had the same strong reason for 
going by this route, the desire to continue what had 
been as yet adhered to as a rule, that I should actually 
sec the bed of the Jordan from its very beginning right 
on to its end. Hany was against the plan, though he 
had learned to doubt his own doubts as to what could 
be done with a canoe. He never once, however, opposed 
himself entirely to any distinct resolve of his master. 
In this important point of his character, and in many 
others, he is undoubtedly the best dragoman in Syria. 
Therefore we rode on, my horse being frisky enough for 
any mountain climbing, until a most interesting point 
was reached, and there is only one such place, I suppose, 
in this curious gorge from whence you can see both the 
lake Iloolch with the Jordan coming out and the lake of 

'* Kob;n.scin, vol. iii. p. 363. 

Chap. XVIII.] Grand View. 309 

Gennesarcth, into which the river flows. The distance 
between these lakes is not more than ten miles in a 
straight line, and the river has few long bends between 
them ; so it probably does not add more than three miles 
to its course b}^ winding. Yet the descent of "the 
Descender" is very rapid here, for it falls in these 
ten miles about 700 feet.'' During the whole course of 
the Jordan from source to end there does not seem 
to be one notable cascade or regular " fall." 

The point we have reached is a good one to pause at, 
for several boundaries meet here, and the passage from 
one to another of these is sudden and distinct. Behind 
us are the threefold springs of the river's birth. In 
front we have the bright lake, whose shores and waters 
had teemed with life all fed from Jordan ; beyond that 
lake, and dim to the eye far off, is the river dead in 
Sodom's Sea. 

The bridge behind us marks a new chapter in the 
history of our Lord. Already we have lingered where 
Christ had visited a high mountain, and the Law and the 
Prophets had met the Gospel each by its noblest repre- 
sentative, to discourse of the great event which is the 
centre of God's dealings with mankind, the offering of 
His Son. But now we are looking to where He lived 
most among men. On that mount that is now behind us, 
Peter would have made a tabernacle to dwell in, but 
he is not to abide in the cloud, however glorious. The 
fisherman is to return to his nets in that sea below. 

Behold here the front of that grand stage upon which 

" In the first five clays of the Danube from its source, the canoe had 
descended about 1500 feet, but tlien there was more water to float in, 
several weirs, and a few cascades, and yet the current was at any rate as 
fiist as one would wish to see, and that was nothing compared with the speed 

of the Jordan liere. 

3IO yews Lament. [Chap. XVI II. 

so great a drama was enacted, where the Teacher taught 
longest, the Healer cured most, the Prophet first gave 
warning, the Saviour gathered His people, the Light of the 
world shone brightest, " Galilee of the Gentiles." While 
thoughts of Jordan recall past wonders to the Christian, 
and a glorious future too, there is sadness in the reverie 
upon this river penned by an Israelite'- thus : — 

" My God ! how is my soul bowed down within me, 
when I remember thee in this land of Jordan (Psalm 
xlii. 7). Is not this whole district of the Jordan abun- 
dantly watered, fruitful, and blessed, like a garden of the 
Lord } (Gen. xiii. 10). And still it is scarcely trod 
by the foot of a traveller, it is not inhabited, and the 
Arab pitches not there his tents, and the shepherds do 
not cause the flocks to lie down there (Isaiah xiii. 20). 
Still, thus speaketh the Lord Zebaoth, There shall yet 
be in this place, which is waste, without man and cattle, 
again a dwelling for shepherds, causing their flocks to 
lie down. In those da\-s shall Judah be redeemed, and 
Jerusalem shall be inhabited in security. And this is 
the name it shall be called. The Lord our Righteous- 
ness (Jer. xxxiii. 12,16)." 

The sketch given below is an outline, north and south, 
from the hill we have mentioned. Before us Ave see the 
lower end of Hooleh Lake with the Jordan running out 
of it towards us. If we now turn the book round, 
and look from the same central mount, but now facing 
southwards, we see the Jordan running from us, until it 
enters the Sea of Tiberias. The two projecting points 
to the left in this view are the Wady Semakh and Wady 
P'ik,'-'* while the southern shore at Kerak is seen to 
bound the lake in the far distance about twenty miles 

'" Rabbi Schwartz (p. cSi). 

'' Both of these are shown in the coloured picture in Cli;iplcr XXIII. 

Chap. XVI 1 1.] Ten Miles of Torrent. 

1 1 

from our point of view. An intervening hill on the right 

hides the land of Gennesareth ; and the actual entrance 

of Jordan into that lake is not visible, I think, from our 

present standpoint, being shut out by a hill to the 

right. How great the 

descent of Jordan is, ^\•e 

can see pretty plainl)- 

here by a glance, first 

at Hooleh above, and 

then at Tiberias below, 

comparing their levels 

by the eye, \\hile the 

loud noise of the river 

foaming at our feet 

tells also to the ear 

how fast the Jordan 


Our camp was astir 
early to follow the 
route we had thus re- 
connoitred. For horses 
and mules there was 
nothing to make the 
way difficult, but the 
danger we feared most 
for the canoe was that 
\\\\\c\\ came from the 
wnid. In the high gusts of a breeze it was always found 
necessary to put two men behind the Rob Roy to 
prevent the little horse that bore her from being actually 
capsized when the wind pressed hard against the long 
flat side of the boat perched high upon the cautious 
creatures back. Now the path was much too narrow- 
here to allow even one man to keep near so as to help 

Ten Miles of Jordan. 

312 Hard Tillies. [Chap. XVIII. 

the Rob Roy thus, and especially in the most awkward 
places of the road, where it wound along the edges of 
deep precipices, and where the footing was worst, and the 
wind was strongest. In such places an upset, or even a 
false step in staggering against the blasts, would instantly 
hurl the horse and its burden into the torrent below. 

Often we had to dismount the canoe, and to carry her 
by hand past sloping edges or crooked rocks. Some- 
times even to carry her by hand was difficult, when the 
mountain gusts blew strong, and when one man could 
not hear the other's voice for direction. Patience and 
perseverance triumphed here once more, and the route 
began to descend rapidly, with a full view of the splendid 
Sea of Galilee ever cheering us on. 

I had now such full confidence in Hany (like that 
which a mother feels in a well-tried nurse) that I could 
leave him alone to take care of " the }'oung lady;"'"* 
and indeed he begged me to go out of sight at the worst 
places, so that he might have only one anxiety at a 
time. To stifle anxiety by hard exercise, I climbed the 
heights about us, and always had some new beauties to 
see from the top. At last, having gone far ahead, riding 
alone, I selected a place for luncheon Avhere a crystal 
stream rushed past in headlong race for the Jordan, and 
lovely anemones spangled the turf under shady trees. 

The instant I dismounted, a man's head appeared 
over a rock beside me, and then another opposite, and 
a third behind. In such a case, alone and outnumbered, 
one has only to be cool and stand firm. Presently seven 
or eight men, all armed with guns, closed in upon me. 

'■* Not decked in dead folk.s' hair is she, 
Her iil)s not crampetl in steel, 
No (h\iggle-tail, for you and me 

To tread on, danyling at distorted heel. 

Chap. XVIII.] A Set of Ruffians. 313 

A half-policy here would be of no use, so I (juietly 
slipped off m\' horse's bridle, loosened his girths, and 
spread my large cloak under the tree, and, having 
haltered my horse's leg, laid myself down in the most 
confiding wa}' that traveller could behave. My visitors 
w^ere not Arabs : they were the veriest set of ruffians to 
look at that any one could set eyes upon. They stood 
round and nodded, and I had a free chat with them all ; 
but they began it. " Who are you } " " Ingleez." " Where 
are you going t " " Tiberya." " WHiat have you to 
sell } " " Nothing." " Are you here alone ? " " Oh, no ! 
there is a shaktoor coming soon, and you will see it." 
" A shaktoor ? Did you say a boat ? " So I told them 
of the canoe on the Nile, and the Red Sea, and the 
Barada, and the Hasbany ; but when I spoke of sailing 
her upon Lake Hooleh, they burst out into derisive jeers. 
One of them seemed to be a Greek, but the leader was 
more like the men one meets in the Balearic Islands ; so I 
tried him with a few words of the peculiar Spanish patois 
there, and, sure enough, he turned out to be a renegade 
from the mild sway of the motherly Isabella, Father 
Claret, and the Bleeding Nun. He was amazed at such 
a rencontre, and so was I. All the others were silent, 
but soon they retired for consultation and came again 
for " backshish," when, just at the proper moment, the 
bow of the Rob Roy appeared over a distant hill, nod- 
ding, nodding, as the horse stepped carefull)- bearing it. 
I pointed to that. The men were bewildered at such 
a sight. The mule-bells tinkled in our approaching 
caravan, and they saw I was not quite a lone wayfarer 
fit for these cowards to rob. 

Soon my men were near. Hany saw it all at a glance. 
The only time I ever saw him frightened was then. 
" Get away. Sir ! get away from this place as fast as 

314 • TJic Worst. [Chap. XVIII. 

possible ! Cross the stream ! These are a pack of regular 
robbers. We cannot stop here for one moment." 

So the palaver was put an end to, and my friend from 
Majorca moved off, saying they were "only looking out 
for game to shoot ;" and, indeed, just before they came 
up, I had noticed two otters (as I thought), or they may 
have been conies, wandering among the rocky clefts of 
the stream, and observing my movements A\ith great 
keenness and sagacity. The view a little farther on 
from our bivouac was truly magnificent, as the whole 
lake of Gennesareth opened wide beneath us. Twenty 
years before I had gazed on these waters, but not from 
this end of the lake, and with only that tantalising look 
which a limited hour's visit to such a scene causes to be 
a mixed joy to see it so pretty and sorrow to leave it so 

But now I gazed upon this lake as the haven of a 
long voyage, the chiefest purpose ot a charming journe}-, 
the delightful waters where I was to stop, to see, to see 
thoroughly, to have unbounded enjoyment upon for 
many days, if only I could get my boat safely there ; 
and it was so. 

But the part of the road now to be done was by far 
the most trying of the whole travel. Hany had pre- 
dicted this, and I had alternately confuted his logic, and 
rallied him on his fears. They were not causeless, how- 
ever ; and how we ever got a canoe through that last 
mile of stones and marsh and sliding precipice, I can 
only wonder still ; and most earnestly would I warn an}- 
other person against it who intends to come here with 
a boat. we had learned to plunge through, stones and 
rocks we knew how to manage, for at the worst the 
canoe could be carried b}' hand. Hut here the deep 

Chap. XVIII.] At last. 315 

morass was full of larj^c round boulders, so that the 
horse's feet might be ever so sure in their hold, and just 
at the critical moment the stone he was standing- upon 
gave way. The mules — these clever and amusing com- 
panions, if }-ou will but learn their fun — were completely 
puzzled here. Wandering right and left, and refusing 
for once to follow the little black donkeys who could 
lead best of all, they staggered and fell with a loud crash 
of crockery and the shouts of the men who were wading 
over the bog. Hany and Latoof carried the Rob Roy 
for a quarter of a mile at a time. I admired their pluck 
and patience, while I mourned for their falls and bruises. 
It was hard enough to get on without any load, and I 
was quite wet through while leading my puzzled horse 
and jumping from island to island among the pools. 
But that mattered nothing, of course. Indeed, we all 
felt that no one must spare himself this time. It was 
the very last time we had to be anxious about, for once 
the Rob Roy was in the Sea of Galilee, I knew she A\-ould 
be well able to meet any dangers there. Water we can 
deal with in a boat, or, if she founders, it is a legitimate 
end ; but to perish by a fall in a quagmire, that would 
indeed be inglorious for a travelled canoe. After about 
eight hours spent over as many miles of journey, the 
bottom of the hill was reached at last.'^ 

The Jordan has come down the narrow gorge much 
faster than we have scrambled through it ; and n(jw the 
river, tired with its foaming, spreads as if resting on a 
sort of delta, which is gradually wider to the shores of 
the lake. This fertile land is beautifully green, with 

"^'^ It musl be remembered that tliis was miilwinier, and that we were 
directing our course to aa unusual point, where the canoe could be again 
launched upon the river. The road is a bad one, but for usual travelling it 
is tolerable, and the scenerv along it is a full reward for anv trouble. 

3 1 6 All right I [Chap. XVIII. 

bushy trees and level sward. Numerous side-currents 
from the main stream meander here, and flocks of buf- 
faloes, horses, and goats, are scattered over the plain. 
Other parts of it are cultivated, and the tents of an Arab 
tribe dot the green landscape with their quaint black 
hamlets. I had ridden among these very slowly, until 
the mule-bells sounded near behind me coming on, yet 
for a long, long time there was no sign of Hany, and 
none of the canoe. 

The Arab horses, browsing free and frisky, trotted 
up to gaze upon us. The Arabs themselves must have 
wondered why the Howaja kept riding on while his face 
was always turned behind in anxious expectation. At 
length, through the copse of brushwood, the well-known 
bows of the Rob Roy were seen aloft, and a hail from 
Hany, shouted aloud, "All right!" 

Glad hour that ends our fears and ushers in bright 
happy days of life upon the Lake of Galilee! 

And here, before launching on the most interesting 
water in the world, we may give a parting glance to the 
rivers we have left. 

Note on the Course and Fall of Jordan. 

As we are leaving Jordan here, it seems a fit time for a brief 
general survey of some of its principal features. 

From the Hasbe)'a source to the Dead Sea, the direct dis- 
tance is about 1 20 miles. I estimate the acklition to be made 
for winding of the channel from the source to the end of the 
Sea of Galilee as 20 per cent, and for the rest as 100 })er 
cent, (judging from Warren's outline of that part). 

This would make the water in the first ])art to be 60 miles 
long; and in the second part 140 miles, or in all 200 miles 
of channel, from the source to the Dend Sea. 

The Hasbeya source is 1700 feet above the Mediterranean, 

Chap. XVIII.] Note on the Rivers. 317 

and the Dead Sea is 1300 feet below the Mediterranean, so 
that the total foil of Jortlan is 3000 feet, which would be 
15 feet per mile of its channel, or 25 feet per mile of its direct 

If we sul)tract tlie lake of Gennesareth, and the lake 
and marsh of Hooleh — 20 miles together — tlie fall in the 
remaining 100 miles of direct distance is 30 feet per mile. 

The level of Hooleh morass is estimated at 150 feet above the 
Mediterranean, so that about 1500 feet, or half the total fall of 
Jordan, is descended before the river reaches the barrier in 
Hooleh,"' and the Jordan comes to the level of the Mediter- 
ranean about 2 miles below Jacob's Bridge. Thence it pours 
down its waters into the heart of the earth, and if the Medi- 
terranean Sea were to be admitted to the interior of Palestine, 
it would rise nearly to the ruin of the Templars' keep at Jacob's 

The surfice of the lake of Tiberias is 653 feet below tlie 
ordinary sea-level (its greatest depth is 165 feet). 

From Kerak, at its southern end, the river descends about 
650 feet into the Dead Sea. As a general outline, then, it 
may be said that the Jordan runs 20 miles, falling 1400 feet, 
into a basin 12 miles long; then runs ro miles, falling 700 
feet, into another basin 14 miles long; then runs 65 miles, 
falling 700 feet, into a basin 50 miles long and 1800 feet deep. 
Here, the waters of Jordan being fresh, and therefore lighter 
than the highly saturated salt water of the Dead Sea, the river 
stream most probably disperses over the upper surface only, 
and so, being evaporated before they mingle much \\\\\\ the 
brine that lies heavy and deep below, they are wafted by the 
south wind in clouds once more to Hermon, and, condensed 
into snow-flakes, with water from the Abana and Pharjjar, 
also borne up to Hermon, they trickle down again to run 
along old Jordan's bed, their endless round.'''' 

1'' The fall from Hooleh Lake to the Jisr Benat Yacob is given at ninety 
feet (Wildenbrach), but I consider this estimate to be at least seventy feet 
too much. 

" In the 'Journal of the Geographical Society,' vol. xviii., arc two 
papers by Dr. E. Robinson, of New York, anJ by rctermann, the well- 

Note on the Rivers. [Chap. XVI 1 1. 

The Abana falls 1442 feet from the mill 5 miles below 
Zebedany to Damascus, about 20 miles, or 70 feet per mile ; 
but the fall afterwards, until it is lost in the lake, is trifling — 
say, 100 feet, or 5 feet per mile. The Pharpar seems to fall 
about 25 feet per mile at first, and 5 feet afterwards. 

Thus we have reviewed some of the principal characteristics 
of the chiefest of those " waters of Israel " which Naaman Avould 
not compare with the " Abana and Pharpar rivers of Damascus." 
True, these Syrian streams gave more fertility than the deep-cut 
Jordan, but they could not wash away his blot of leprosy. 
God had appointed for that the ri\er He chose to bless as a 
means ; and for our hearts, sick with sin. He has also pointed 
out a healing stream. Morality is good, but powerless for this 
deadly stain, " There is a fountain filled with blood." 

known geographer, from which the following notes may be inserted upon 
the comparative "fall" of rivers ; but the value of these for comparison 
depends upon the degree of accuracy with which the "lengths" are mea- 
sured along the general course, or the actual windings of all the channel. 

The Dee, of Aberdeenshire, ranks in size with the Jordan. From the 
Linn of Dee (after its cascades as a torrent) to the sea, it runs 'Ji'z miles, 
and descends 11 90 feet, or i6*5 feet per mile. 

The Tweed runs 96'4 miles, and falls 1500 feet ; average about 16 feet 
per mile. 

The descent for the Severn is 265 inches, and for the Shannon 9 
inches, per mile. 

The Clyde runs 98 miles, and falls 1400 feet, about 14 feet per mile. 

The Thames runs 215 miles, and descends 376 feet, or about a foot and 
a half per mile. 

The mighty Amazon falls only 12 feot in the last 700 miles of its course, 
or only one-fifth of an inch per mile. 

Robinson makes Jordan fall I4"3 feet per statute mile, and says the 
Rhine in its most rapid portion, and including the Hrll of SchafOiausen, has 
but one-half the average descent of the Jordan, which iu tiie 9S4 feet of its 
descent in 60 miles has room for three cataracts, each equal in height to 
Niagara, and still leaving an average fall etiual to the swiftest portion of 
the Rhine, including the cataract at .Schaffhausen. 

Baalbec is 3726 feet above the sea (N'andevelde). Dr. ]•;. Rol)inson says 
the Litany runs 55 miles to the sea. 'I'his would give a fall of 67 feet per 
mile, or if we take the latter part of the river, after it has cut through the 
](jck, 50 feci jH'r mile. 

Chap. XIX.] '■'■ On deep Galilee!'' 319 






NEXT morning opened gloriously with sunshine on 
the lake. Thick grass, browsed short by the 
flocks, was a carpet for the Arabs squatting in a circle 
about our tents, the occupation they so dearly love and 
will always work so hard at — looking on. Merriness 
filled our camp. Our perils were done. Nobody could be 
anxious now. The horses neighed, the mules even gam- 
bolled, and Adoor sung out his blithest lay. Climbing be- 
hind the hills of Bashan, the sun poured over their edges 
into the deep bosom of the lake, and the shadowy mists 
of the night gat them in haste away. The Rob Roy's 
deck was still glistening with dew-drops as we carried her 
before the sightseers straight to the banks of Jordan. 

The river is noisy here, but with a pleasant harmless 
chatty sound, and sweeping in wide bends among white 
boulders and clean gravel. Then it enters a quieter 
channel, skirted by stiff banks of cla}', well clothed by 
grass and the red branches of oleander. A i^w strokes 
in such an onward current soon took us away from the 
Arabs, who stood on a point in a wondering g''f'Lip, and 
their deep-toned " Ullah !" ^\•as scarcely heard. Xow 

320 Bank. [Chap. XIX. 

she was to enter the Sea of Galilee, and in the most 
enlivening of all ways, entirely alone. By gentle curves 
the Jordan softly closes here to the western shore, and 
passes two large flat buildings near its mouth. For the 
last 200 yards the river enlarges suddenly, and for twice 
that distance back the current is almost nothing, which 
shows that the level of the lake extends some way up 
the river's channel, and this being so when the water was 
low, no doubt, when the lake is full, the current must 
nearly cease a long way back from the present mouth. 

The actual junction of Jordan with the lake is remark- 
able. A long point of fine black gravel, almost like sand, 
and full of shells, juts out westwards from the eastern 
bank, and in the bay formed by this I rested to survey 
the lovely scene while buffaloes gradually assembled to 
gaze, with their necks outstretched. This peculiar form 
of bank (nearly crossing the river's mouth from one side) 
is a marked feature of the streams at the north of the 
lake, and the same elegance of curve, regularity of slope, 
and neatness and purity of the gravel on the bank, were 
also invariably seen all round the shores, and more 
easily now, because the water was low. This curved 
neck of fine black grit and white shells mingled narrows 
the mouth of Jordan to seventy feet, the stream being 
chiefly on the west, as may be seen from the soundings 
given in feet in the sketch, which represents the mouth of 
Jordan as the point shown in Map VII., at Chap. XXL, 
which is reduced from part of a photograph of the 
unpublished Ordnance Survey Map, made by Captain 
Wilson, R.E., and Lieutenant Anderson, R.hl, in 1866, 
and which was kindly presented to me for use on the 
voyage. It is now inserted in my l(\g as the first correct 
map yet published of the Sea of Cialilee. The soundings 
are in feet from Vandevelde, taken from L}'nch. 

Chap. XIX.] Names of the Lake. 321 

Mouth of Jordan, Sea of Gallic 

This lake or sea has had four names, Chinncrcth, 
Gennesareth, Galilee, Tiberias.^ All these are inserted 
together in the old map of W. Wey {ste post, p. 391, note). 

The lake is called " Chinneroth " ^ in the Old Testa- 
ment, either from " Chinnereth," one of the fenced cities, 
or from the district, or per- 
haps from the oval harp-like 
form of its basin. Now that 
the real shape of the lake 
can be seen in our map, the 
word "oval" does not apply, 
but the form is more than •^-'tv/oe: 

ever seen to be harp-like. 
De Saulcy^ says that in Joshua xi. 2, the Hebrew text 
has " south of Chinnereth," and the Chaldaic text has 
"south of Gennesar." It was called Gennesareth from a 
town or district on the shore. When the lake is called 
by John (vi. i) " the Sea of Galilee,'* which is the Sea of 
Tiberias " (the Sea of Galilee, of Tiberias), it may be to 
distinguish this lake from that other sea of Galilee, 
Lake Hooleh. The earlier Evangelists call it the Lake 
of Gennesareth, for Tiberias was then a new and unim- 
portant town ; but John, who wrote later, calls the lake 

* The name "Tarichion" (from Tarichea, now Kerak) was sometimes 
given (Pliny, lib. v. ch. xv.). 

- Stanley ('S. and P.' pp. 373-4), referring to Numbers xxxiv. il ; Josh, 
xii. 3 ; xiii. 27 ; xix. 35. The Talmud says it was called Cinnereth because 
its fruits were sweet, like the sound of a harp (Xeubauer, 'Geog. Talm.' 
p. 215). 

^ 'Journey to the Dead Sea,' &c., vol. ii. p. 431. 

■• The name Galilee in Joshua xx. 7, is in Hebrew Galit, and in 2 Kings 
XV. 29, it is Na-Galilah. It came to signify an entrance or bound (as in archi- 
tecture now " the Galilee " or porch of the cathedral). Twenty of the cities 
of the district were annexed by Solomon to the kingdom of Tyre, and 
formed the "boundary" or " oflscouring" (" Gebul," or " Cabid "), after- 
wards the "coasts," of Tyre (see ' S. and P.' p. 363). 


322 Shores. [Chap. XIX. 

by the name of the town which had by that time become 

Soon after the river has emerged, it forms a " bar," the 
usual outwork of a swift stream when suddenly arrested 
by the water of a lake or sea, for the matter in suspen- 
sion then subsides. High short waves bristled here, but 
not caused by wind, and after a splash or two from these 
as a welcome to the Rob Roy, she floated in peace on 
the Lake of Gennesareth. In low lake the water is 
fordable at the bar, and the depth is about three feet, 
except for a short interval, but the more usual ford is 
nearly a mile and a half up the stream, where I saw men 
w^ading over in four feet of water, while each of them 
carried his clothes on the top of his head.^ 

To make a complete examination of the Holy Lake 
along its shore was the purpose of my voyage during the 
next two weeks, and by method and system we at once 
began with the northern shore. On the west of the river 
the beach of this lake has the appearance of tan-dust or 
peat, very soft and yielding, nearly black at the water's 
edge, and brown where it is dry A fine tree here at 
Abu Zany grows just by the lake, the only one close to 
the water all round the western side. It is 500 yards 
west of Jordan mouth. Turning east again, we soon 
come to a few palm-trees" about fifty yards inland, and 
near them is a small shapeless ruin. Here is a wall of 

•' Fords in some rivers shift suddenly, hul not a one as this, so that 
it is likely that the people crossed here when they followetl our Lord, who 
went over the lake in a ship. 

•> These palm-trees are often spoken of as il they were exacllxnt Jortlan's 
mouth by writers who have not actually seen the jilaee closely. \'ande- 
velde marks this as Kethsaida el Mesadyeh. 'I'homson seems to regard it 
as the eastern part of IJethsaida, huilt, as he supposes, on both sides of 
lordan. The tliree sets of palm-trees on the nt)rth-eastern shore are depicted 
in our outline sketch, /c'.f/, Ji. 359. 

Chap. XIX.] SubiJierged Rtdn. 323 

hewn stone five feet under water, and about ten feet 
long, extending to twenty feet from shore. The beach 
there is of black gritty basalt particles mingled with sand 
and multitudes of shells. The shore shelves rapidly, so 
that at twent}' feet from the edge there is seven feet 
of water. The land is flat and swampy, in a level plain 
called Butaiah, as marked on Map VII. 

The canoe had skirted slowly along this shore, keeping 
just far enough from the edge to enable my eye to see 
anything like large stones or buildings under water 
between me and the bank, and this was the general 
course pursued all round the lake. For seven hours 
a day during seven days my sight was half below and 
half above the surface, scanning every object with eager 
interest, and few searches are more exhaustive of time, 
patience, and energy, than this, if it be done carefulh". 
On five other days I kept to land work only, so as 
to be refreshed by variety. To do this in any other 
lake might be wearisome enough, but here on these 
blessed shores it was indeed a labour of love. Thus 
eyeing the deep, I began to examine the ruined wall, 
and to probe with my paddle. Now, at least thought 
we, no robber can be near, and the sight below can be 
scanned in peace. Certainly the shores for some wa\- 
inland were perfectly clear when the search began ; yet 
just as my eye was close to the calm water, and every 
sound was hushed that I might drink in the pleasures of 
sight, a loud shout was heard close beside me, " Va 
walud!" (Holloah ! you there!) and I looked up just in 
time to see the dark brown body of a naked man in the 
\'ery act of " taking a header " as he dashed in from 
the shore towards me. But my paddle was instantly in 
action, and when his wet head came up at my bows, the 
Rob Roy was backing astern full speed, and my new 

324 Naked Strange j\ [Chap. XIX. 

friend was full half a moment too late to catch hold of 
her, while he received an ample splashing of water from 
my blade in his eyes. Splendidly the fellow swam, but 
I merely played with him and laughed at his frantic 
efforts and wild shouts. He paused and stared — quite 
at home in deep water — spouting at me a loud and 
voluble, indignant, address, and then he retired in de- 
feat, while I neared the shore again. There he stood 
erect and gleaming with moisture, and redundant life 
playing through his brawny muscles, a most strange 
object to behold. Now that man must have been not a 
little brave to dash in thus, in order that he might seize 
the " sheitan " at once and unarmed ; but invincible is 
the desire of man to get hold of what is unknown. 
Waiting did not get rid of him, so to lose no more time 
I had to proceed without a proper examination of the 
ruin below water, and this, I think, is the only subaqueous 
novelty all round the lake that I did not investigate well. 
The entrance of the crooked lagoon near this on the map 
is twelve feet deep, and no doubt there was a port inside, 
but I did not enter there on account of the naked Arab. 
The margin soon afterwards had small bushes growing 
on it, some of them oleander. There the sand pre- 
dominates, and large round boulders are in the deeper 
parts. We are still coasting along the level plain, which 
curves round the north-east edge of the lake. Several 
travellers have ridden across parts of this, but the notices 
of its nature and contents are extremely meagre. Yet 
here must have been many villages, if not towns, in the 
days of our Lord, for the Tells and other signs of former 
habitation are thickly scattered. Several inlets from the 
lake run through the shore to the level country behind.' 

^ Wlien the Ordnance survey of llie lake was made, a long storm of 
rain had filled the lake, but my visit, though at the same time of the year 

Chap. XIX.] 



We next paddled on to a lai^^'oon near C in the map, 
and shown in our sketch. Near the mouth is one 
hewn stone under three feet of water, and a wooden 
stake one foot long, under 
two feet of water. This is 
an inch and a half thick, and 
is round and upright, and 
in a line with the submerged 
causeway. The post was 
too firmly fixed to be pulled 
up, though I tried hard for 
a long time, yet it looked 
very old. The entrance of this lagoon is between two 
low narrow points of fine black sand, one of them 
curiously turned round (see another of this kind at 
W. Semakh). The part at D is only three inches above 
water, and twenty feet wide. The channel (entrance 
seventy feet wide) runs in E.S.E. From point B the 
palm-tree near Jordan bears N.W. by N. The channel, 
after 400 yards, turns at right angles towards a Tell 
with ruins, and here is the second clump, of palms. At B 
the boundary is above water. On the north side of the 

I.ajnon and Port, BuLii.i 1 l.iiii. 


channel is a row of rush tufts, half 
submerged with two or three feet 
water, and close alongside them all 
the way it is five and six feet deej). 
A channel, six feet deep, runs out 
fifty yards into the lake. 

Farther on, near D on the map, 
there is another gap in the beach. 
The channel is four feet deep, and winds up to a 
palm-tree. Farther east there is a port with a channel 


(in January), was after a long drought had made its level low, and the 
contour of the lake was, therefore, slightly different from that in tiic map. 

326 Ports. [Chap. XIX. 

to another palm-tree, but the bar is closed. At D 
on the map there are oleanders, and from this the 
large terebinth in the plain bears N.E. Going still 
south, we come to Kefr Argib*^ or Argob. In the bays 
about this, there are very large boulders under water, 
and it is a dangerous place for ships. The bottom is 
stony for some distance northwards, but the stones are 
not so large. The same character prevails southwards, 
until we reach the delta of Wady Samakh, where the 
bottom is of stiff clay. 

No Arabs approached within sight during my cruise 
about these latter places, and I landed and walked right 
and left, but always within a run of the boat. Yet the 
survey was not so leisurely effected as it might have 
been had we hired a guard to ride on the bank while the 
Rob Roy pored over the water. Nor have the Arabs of 
this plain a bad repute, but they are inquisitive, and 
might injure the boat without intending harm. On the 
shores of Bashan they might have captured us for a 
ransom, and that would have caused a loss of pre- 
cious time. The hills after Kefr Argib and the Wady 
Shukayah come so near the seashore, and the coast 
seems to be so little adapted for a port (and without 
appearance outside of any channel inwards), that we 
may well suppose the usual point of embarkation from 
the north-eastern coasts must have been one of the ports 
along the strip of beach already described. 

This is an interesting reflection ; for our Saxiour often 
crossed to this side, and when He came over to Beth- 
saida Julias to feed the five thousand, and before He 

"* In \'aiulevel<lc's map lliis is called l)uka. There is a rocky 'I'ell 
lirojectiiig, ami a few huts upon it, ami la ri^e stones of ruin>. On i;oini;' 
near, I founil none liut women there. The ruins ujjon it, when examineil by 
Wilson, (lid not reveal anvthinsj of importance. 

Chap. XIX.] Bcthsaida /iilias. 327 

walked upon the sea at night, it must have been at one 
of these ports He landed, and from one of them the 
apostles embarked.'' 

The sensation of being in such a neighbourhood — and 
that, too, in one's own little boat and all alone — was 
peculiarly impressive. In other places, once made holy 
by His presence, it was the ground, and not the water, 
that claimed regard. But now a new element attracts 
our interest, and not the less so because the water itself 
had changed : for the precise position of an event on 
sea, or lake, or river, seems to be unmoved by the shifting 
of the actual tide or current. 

Our course still trended south, and the terebinth 
marked in the map under the letter A of the word 
Butaia, and which had long seemed to be close to the 
water's edge, was now left behind in the plain. 

A respectable-looking Arab came to the door of a 
neat little tent here, and his wife took leave of him 
affectionately as he mounted his well-fed donkey and 
went along the path with a friend. The Rob Roy 
approached, and we had a most pleasant talk about 
things in general. It was very remarkable how distinctly 
every word was heard, though our voices were not raised, 
even at 300 yards off ; and it ^\■as very easy to compre- 
hend how, in this clear air, a preacher sitting in a boat 
could address a vast multitude standing upon the shore. 

Bethsaida Julias was behind, if it stood Avhere that 
green mound (Et Tell in our map) shines fertile in the 
sun.^'^ The Bashan hills are on our left, but still the 

"•' It has even been urged by able writers that the plain of Butaia is the 
land of Gennesareth (Stanley, ' .S. and P.' p. 386, note). As to the special 
bearing of some of the features of this shore in relation to the site of 
Capernaum, we shall return to the subject farther on. 

1" It will be obsers-ed that this Tell in Vandevelde is far too distant from 
the shore. Wilson does not consider that Et Tell is proved to be Julias. 

32,8 Oozmg Streams. [Chap. XIX. 

water is not much deeper near that side. At only one 
spot of the shore all round it, from this to near Tiberias 
(by the south), do the cliffs approach the water, and then 
it is not abruptly. My present inspection of this shore 
in front, and the hills overhanging it, was chiefly to find 
where — for it is supposed to have been near this — the 
herd of swine ran into the sea, as related in the eighth 
chapter of St. Matthew. After most scrutinising search 
I could not perceive any one locality which might be 
pointed to as the " steep place " in question ; and at this 
there was no small disappointment, though all difficulty 
about the matter was entirely removed on a subsequent 
occasion at another part of the coast. 

The underwood now thickens on the verge of the 
sea. The gravel bank is redder in colour, and of larger 
pebbles and fewer shells. The streams flowing in here 
are numerous, but nearly all of them enter the lake in 
a remarkable way by forming a narrow strip of lagoon 
along the land side of the high gravel beach, and inside 
of this the water from the rivulet Avould filter silently 
and invisible through the clean pebbly barrier A\ithout 
any break in the shore." From a wide glen on our left 
there projects into the lake a tongue-shaped promontory 
about half a mile broad at its eastern base, and covered 
with thick bushes of many different kinds. Some of 
these are twenty and thirty feet high, and the flood- 
mark is distinct upon them all from three to four feet 
above the present level of the lake, while the roots of 
many dip into the water, and their thin polished branches 

Joscplius clearly places Julias on the east side (' W. J.' book iv. cli. viii. 
sec. ii.), and marks the other eastern boundary of Palestine on the south, at 
Somorrhon (Gomorrha ?). 

" Wady Sulam, Wady Tellahyeh, and ^^'ndy lermaiah, or (if \"ande- 
velde be right) Jernaiah, all enter the lake in this way, being quite invisible 
from the water. 

Chap. XIX.] River Semakh. 329 

wave over the surface. Several palm-trees were growing; 
here, with their roots in five feet of water, which seemed 
a very unusual position.'- To skim along in the calm 
silence under the trees was delicious. The towers of 
Tiberias, on the other side of the lake, had long white 
reflections on the water, and the smooth slopes rose 
behind it where once was poured forth to refresh the 
whole world that sermon of te.xts, beginning with 
" Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom 
of heaven." The cleft in the chain of hills above me 
was the Wady Semakh, and, according to the marking 
in the map, I expected to reach the mouth of the river 
before arriving at the end of its gravel tongue.'^ 

It was with some surprise, then, that this mouth was 
found to be not at one side of the tongue, but precisely 
at its end. This deviation of the map from the present 
coast-line was, however, readily explained by perceiving 
that the ground near the river is lower on the north 
shore than on the south, and that this part was sub- 
merged at the time the map was made. 

The mouth of this river, Semakh, is about sixty feet 
wide, and the curious scroll of 
sand at the extremity of the south- 
ern bank of it (like what we have 
remarked upon for the other inlets) 
is here intensified in a remarkable 
manner, and has a second interior 
scroll slightly less regular. These 
scrolls are shown in our sketch. The ' '"'"'' ' '^'-'. n^"- '^trgcsa. 
gravel here is minute and absolutely clean. The water 
gurgles with the tiniest ripples in the delicate angles 

'- There are palm-trees at the north, south, east, and west sides of the 

'^ From this point west to the sjiore near Magdala is the greatest 
breadth of the lake, 6f miles. 

330 Gergesa. [Chap. XIX. 

of the mathematical figure at the end, the top of which 
is not two inches above the surface ; and the wonder is 
how so fragile an ornament can stand the wash of a 
single wave, and as to what becomes of the whole when 
the lake swells deeper, some four feet over its present 

We paddled up the river eastwards until, at about 
200 yards, it was only two and three feet deep, with 
thick undergrowth on both sides, and numerous boulders 
in the channel. Pushing farther in, there was only four 
inches of water, and beyond this the canoe could not 
well float, being heavy with the materials for camping 
out and four days' food. Here I could see the ruins de- 
scribed by former travellers as the ancient Gergesa,''^ now 
called Khersa, and some of which are on each side of 
the river, and are close to the water. 

If Arabs had come at this time, they could have 
caught the Ingleez very readily ; but I had made up my 
mind to risk it, being now thoroughly interested in the 
voyage and determined not to forego any important 
investigation at such a point. '^ Therefore I landed and 
penetrated the thick jungle of canes, a wild and savage 
lair for any beast to live in. Some of these canes had 
evidently been cut down for thatching, or some other 
use, by the Arabs. One of the tallest that I cut with 
my knife was exactly thirty-two feet high. 

It was now time to cross the lake, steering for Tell 
Hoom,'" whither the camp had been ordered to go. 
The water was perfectly calm, ami I could sec no sign 
of the Jordan flowing in the mid-lake, as has been 

'^ As to this iKimc, scc/(V/, Cliaplcr XXIII. 

'•' The uihabitaiits of the place \\c arc now describing attackcil and 
seized l.icutcnanl Anderson wlien lie was fonnd alone. 

"' As it is ]irononnced thns, 1 see no good reason wliy it sliould lie spelt 
"Tell lluni," which is so likely to be called '' Tell Iluinni." 

Chap. XIX.] A Pause. o^^ r 

sometimes reported ; but this will be noticed when we 
go farther south. The lake water" was clear, but not 
very clear — not nearly so translucent as that of the Red 
Sea ; in fact, the bottom was ne\'er visible in depths 
be}-ond thirty feet.'' 

A few — that is, a few hundred — waterfowl were in 
the middle of the lake : ducks, g-rebes, and gulls, also a 
bird like a cormorant, and one or two very shy pelicans. 
Halfway across to the land of Gennesareth, the Rob 
Roy paused for one of those luscious draughts of plea- 
sure which such a panorama yielded every time it \\ as 
seen. On such occasions I could recline at ease in the 
boat — you would no more roll out of the canoe than out 
of a comfortable sofa- — and then m\' little pocket copy 
of St. John's Gospel was always the most vivid hand- 
book of the scenery around. Open the sixth chapter, 
and as you read verse by verse, the very places men- 
tioned in them are on all sides in view. 

From that pure strand He " went over the sea," and 
along that plain "a great multitude followed Him." 
Among those hills He "went up into a mountain, and 
there He sat with His disciples," and fed the faint thou- 
sands with miraculous bread, and gave forth words of 
life for the millions of all hearers to the end of time. 
It was upon those heights He lingered on " a mountain 
Himself, alone," till in the dark and in the storm, and 
somewhere close to the spot where I am now reading, 
they saw the same " Jesus walking on the sea." r'aith 

''' The water of the Jordan from three miles above the mouth is chill in 
colour, not exactly muddy, but with very fine matter in suspension. This 
colour it had also from below the first bridge on the liasbany, being varied 
in the north part of the Hooleh by a redder tinge of the Banias River, and 
a colour nearly black in Hooleh Lake, and then again purifying itself in its 
rapid ran over rock after Jacob's Bridge, but again absorbing earthy matter 
in the Butaia plain. 

S3^ Tell Hoom. [Chap. XIX. 

is not, indeed, begotten by this vividness of places. 
Faith is of loftier birth than sight ; but faith may be 
nourished, if not engendered, by things seen, and a verse 
of the Bible which you have traced out thus is graven 
anew in the memory, with the earth and water round it 
for a visible framing to the nobler spiritual picture. The 
setting can never be worthy of the gem, still it may help 
our clumsy hands to hold the jewel. 

Christ's is a religion that came from heaven, but is 
meant for all places in the world, and for all people, not 
for temples only, or shrines, or priests, or hermits, but 
for the breezy hill-side, and the work-day town, and the 
collier in the mine, and the sailor in the boat. All these 
need His love ; and until this is got, the richest man is 
needy, while the poorest who has pardon and peace has 
a wealth laid up of glory. 

The ensign at our camp was waving languidly in 
the sun, and the white tents stood out in contrast on the 
green grass by the deep black shore at Tell Hoom, 
The beach here is all of basalt stones, rounded by tum- 
bling waves, but never smoothed. A fringe of oleanders, 
growing in the water, screens the shore for fifty feet 
outwards. In no part about this point is there any 
proper place for boats. The land is too rocky to beach 
them ; the water is two shallow to moor them ; the bottom 
is too stony to anchor them. There is no protection 
here from the worst winds, no pier, no harbour ; and 
where you can neither beach, nor moor, nor anchor a 
boat in safety, how can that be the port of a large 
town } 

The shore of Tell ITkmii Cape slopes steep to a height 
of twenty feet. Behind that is flatter ground, all strewed 
with rough black stones. These are often grouped in 
mounds, as if once they had been walls ; but, after a 

Chap. XIX.] Kcraseh. 333 

diligent examination of them, the conchision we arrived 
at was that most of these grouped stones were mere 
enclosure-d\'kes, exactly like those near the cities of 
Bashan, and where flocks and produce were kept, and 
are now kept in Brak, as we have before described."* 
Even if these rounded stones were once in the Avails of 
houses, the thickness of such walls would be very great, 
else the stones would not stand, and thus a small house 
miorht leave large ruins. The fertile ground behind Tell 
Hoom would need many folds and store-places ; and 
though there are small ruins of hewn stone here and 
there among the vast masses of shapeless boulders, their 
number and position and dimensions do not (I think) 
indicate that any large village or town was here. But 
excavation has unearthed at this place the splendid 
sculptured stones of what is supposed to be a syna- 
gogue.'" One would wish that this place may prove to 
be Capernaum, and that the synagogue is the one where 
our Lord so often taught ; but the evidence against this 
particular site (to be adduced farther on) seems too 
strong to leave any such hope ; while we find once more 
how much easier it is to marshal the objections against 
each suggested site than to produce direct evidence in 
favour of any one of them. 

A deep-set ravine from the mountains west of the 
sea winds down here, enclosing a considerable stream 
which rolls the round boulders when the torrent is in 
flood. By this I mounted on and on, until the crags 
aloft were seen to be crowned by massive ruins, and at 
length I climbed to those of Kerasch. Captain Wilson 

18 Ante, Chapter XI. 

" Careful and minute descriptions of tliese and pliotographs are publislied 
by the Palestine Exploration Fund. The building is not yet proved to be 
ancient. The woodcut at p. 344 of ' Buckingham's Travels ' represents an 
octagonal building, which is not now to be seen, nor does he describe it. 

334 ^^t<^' [Chap. XIX. 

and Lieutenant Anderson first described this place ; and 
if this be Chorazin, it must surely be by a stretch of 
expression that we can say that town was " upon the 
lake." 2« 

P'rom Keraseh a great part of the lake is hidden. Its 
distance from the lake is at least two miles and a half 
by the present path, and only a mile less if measured 
in a straight line. The beautiful relics at Keraseh are 
shown in the photographs of the Palestine Exploration 
Fund (query Society), and they include some beautiful 
niches, delicately chiselled out of the rough black 

Gushing streams water these high-perched precipices, 
and under one of the few trees was a camel resting, and 
an Arab. Farther down, the tents of other Ishmaelites 
nestled in sheltered nooks, and men and women ran out 
to inspect the lonely visitor with loud but not rude 
pressure for the hateful "backshish." Thence I rambled 
long upon the hills, but as these may be described by 
land travellers, we shall hasten back to the shore, and 
there we find our tents all gay with special decorations, 
festoons of oleander, hedges of bright yellow shrubs 
new-planted at the doors, huge bouquets of wild flowers 
o-rouped upon the table, singing, shouting, firing of guns, 
and a general hubbub of fete and gala, all improvised 
since my departure in the morning because it happened 
to be the voyager's birthday, Januar\' 24. A huge 
roast turkey and plum-pudding graced the board, and 

=" De .Saulcy says that .St. Jerome telK us Chorazin was two miles from 
Capernaum, but "in littore maris." W'ey's map, in 1442, jnits it east of 
lordan, and so does Hondius' in i()J4. Cruden says " Ciiorazin" means 
" the secret," or "here is a mystery." 

-' Thomson does not apjiear to have s.-en these beautiful seulptured 
ruins, but only some boulders in the neii;hbuurhootl, which he styles "the 
shapeless heaps of Chora/in " (' L. and i;.' p. 359). 

Chap. XIX.] Search for Piers. 335 

opposite the door at night was a frame, supported on 
two poles, with forty-four wax tapers burning when the 
sun sank, and the muleteers whined their unmeasurable 
song until night enveloped the " fantasia," and the sea, 
too, went asleep. 

The bays and shore-line north of Tell Hoom had next 
to be examined up to the mouth of Jordan. It is 
diftieult to estimate the relative breadth and the inden- 
tation of a bay when viewed from either of its projecting 
boundaries or from a height in-shore.^~ Perhaps it is on 
this account that the bays^ all round this lake appeared 
to me deeper in their indentation than they are marked 
on the Ordnance ]\Iap, but in one or two instances I 
found by actual bearings that the coast is more indented 
than is shown. A very careful search was made for any 
semblance of a pier or breakwater near Tell Hoom. To 
use the place for boats, it can scarcely be supposed that 
some sort of pier was not absolutely necessary, and it 
could have been made very easily, for the stones are near 
at hand, and so many of them are round that they might 
easily be rolled down into the water, though they would 
form but a clumsy wall on land. Once submerged, they 
would never have been displaced. They could not be 
raised again from eight or ten feet under water. Their 

■-■- If you l.iok aloni; the course of a river, the bend seems to be more 
sudden than when you look across, for the divergence right and left from 
the medium line of the stream is seen in full breadth by looking endways, 
whereas the length of the cui-ves is foreshortened, and the further half, at 
any rate, is sure to seem more shai-ply crooked than it is in truth. When 
you look at Westminster Bridge from .Southwark Bridge, the bend of the 
Thames appears twice as sudden as it does when viewed from the bridge 
at Charing Cross, and one can generally tell whether a traveller has judged 
of a lake's size from its side or its end, by observing whether he makes it 
too long or too broad. The sketch of the Sea of Galilee, seen from the 
north (and given a«/c, p. 311), represents how much the size is foreshortened 
from north to south. 

^^6 Submerged Remains. [Chap. XIX. 

shape binding them between the rounded rocks at the 
bottom would prevent the waves from dislodging them, 
and if they are not to be seen there now, it is most 
probably because they nev^er have been there. The 
search was somewhat difficult, because the wind was 
south, and the swell made it dangerous to lean much 
over the side of the canoe to put my eye close to the 
surface. However, the care bestowed was enough, I 
believe, to ensure that no ruins near the edge under 
water were unnoticed. Clear indications of a pier were 
found at the promontory marked B in the rough diagram 
of coast {post, p. 340) bearing E.N.E. \ E. from our camp 
(near C), and N. of Wady Kerazeh. These relics are 
sho\\n alongside on a larger scale. The soundings are 

in feet. The quay begins on 
shore, and part of it is above 
water, though in the lake. Be- 
yond that the dotted part is 
^■B^^ submerged two or three feet, and 

^^ ■■■' ' ten feet broad. At A in the 
SEA OF cAuiLEE niiddlc of thc wall (which is 

Under Water, near Tell Hoom. about four fcCt thick) thcrC is 

one large stone reaching within six inches of the surface, 
and inside of this the water was calm, being sheltered.^^ 

For a time the search was suspended, as a brisk 
breeze from Bashan had freshened v/hile we paddled 
along these bays, and the short " choppy " waves at 
Jordan's mouth were angry enough to rt.^quire attention 
while crossing there. I ascended the Jordan again to 
wait for the wind's pleasure if it might calm down, but 
instead of that, the sea rose more and more, and at last 
heavy clouds in thc east burst into a regular gale. For- 
tunately my canoe \\'as in her lightest trim to-day, but 

"' Farlher on we sliall nolicc a few more U\ices. 

Chap. XIX.] A Bi'ceze. 337 

the waves on the lee- shore were exactly upon her beam, 
which is always the most awkward direction when the 
wind catches the tiny craft just on the thin crest of a 
breaker. For some time I hesitated to start, knowing 
well that once in the middle of it there would be no 
place to take shelter at until we could reach Tell Hoom, 
about two miles away, and then it would be very 
doubtful how one could land upon that rough shore 
with such a sea. Hunger (the only plague of strong 
health) forced me at last to the journey, and having 
tightly braced up everything to the task, the Rob Roy 
launched on the Jordan and dashed over the bar, having 
there received one good ducking to start with, so that no 
fear remained that anything up to my shoulders could 
get more wet than it was. It was well known that the 
waves far out from land are longer and more regular 
than in shore, so our course was in oblique lines, giving 
a very wide berth to each headland, and as this was the 
first occasion on which our present canoe had to stem a 
really high sea (for in the Red Sea A\e had been running 
before the breeze), it was Avith great satisfaction I found 
that her full floor near each end made her extremely 
buoyant and safe in her plunges.-^ The Avind whistled 

^^ One of the numerous advantages which a canoe has beyond what can 
ever be had in a rowing-boat is the power of using the paddle just at the' 
critical moment, on the top of a wave, when two entirely opposite dangers 
have to be encountered. For on the one hand, if, when rising on a billow, 
you incline the deck to windward too soon, a drenching sea from the wave- 
crest will, of course, be received heavily, and stagger the whole fabric for 
several seconds. On the other hand, if, to avoid that danger, you delay 
to lean up to the wind as you mount the sloping side of a wave, the 
full force of the crest-water is thrown against the bottom of the boat on 
the weather-side, and just at the moment when the wind also catches the 
hull (and your own body) with its greatest force, so as to make every 
possible provision for a complete capsize. In an open boat, of course, 
both these two pleasant alternatives may come together, for while the bow 



Storm. [Chap. XIX. 

now, and sea-gulls screamed as they were borne on the 
scud. Thick and ragged clouds drifted fast over the 
water, which became almost green in colour, as if it were 
on the salt sea, and the illusion was heightened by the J./ 

complete obscurity of the distance, for the other side of 
the lake was quite invisible. 

The wind shifted about as the Rob Roy came to the 

of the boat is pressed by the wind, just as it toi:)s tlie wave-crest, the full 
body of curving green water descends into the stern, and rushes at once to 
the lee-side, to help the poor vessel to roll over. 

The canoe-man meets this double danger w ith the enormous advantage 
of looking it in the face, and with llic addition nf a long and powerful 
liand, the broad end of his ixuldlc, ti> wliich he can ajiply the entire force 
of l)oth his arms, while he reaches tlie blade deeii down on the lee-side of 
his (|uivering craft, and so apjilies from forty to lift}- pounds of pressure 
only for a second or two, but just long enougii to lilt her gallantly over 
the loam. 

Chap. XIX.] Scan/iiiio; bcloi 


offing at Tell Hoom, and she " hove to," for it was not 
safe to turn her in such a cross sea. The tents were 
flapping and fluttering, and straining at their strong 
cords. The ensign crackled sharply in the gusts that 
drove its free end upwards, as the wind current was 
deflected aloft by the sloping shore below. Hany and 
his men stood picturesquely on high points, shouting all 
sorts of excellent advice, only it was quite unheard, and 
the waves burst in upon the oleanders, and broke high 
and noisy against the rugged rocks. After consideration, 
it seemed to be a clear case for the last resort in landing 
at such a place, so I jumped out and we floated safe 
ashore, the boat being all right, of course, the moment 
my feet found the bottom, when I could drag the Rob 
Roy light upon the beach to be grasped by Han}', who 
said he had been at this place a hundred times, but 
never saw so severe a storm upon the lake. 

The storm lasted next da}^ and I spent the hours on 
shore, but on January 26 it was calm, and again I 
returned to the bays north of Tell Hoom, because 
although nothing had seemed to indicate there any 
harbour in water deep enough for a port, yet the waves 
had prevented careful sounding, and sometimes even 
made it dangerous to approach the shore, where rocks 
just concealed by the water, when at rest, were bared in 
the trough of each A\ave, and showed their pointed tops 
quite hard enough to stove in a boat if cast upon them. 
Besides the pier described at p. '^^^6, and which is at />' 
on the sketch given below, there is a line of big stones 
forming a sort of wall about twenty feet long and ten 
feet broad at C, projecting N.E., also fainter relics at A. 
Going south-west past Tell Hoom again, we find at D 
some traces of several large dressed stones in three and 
four feet water near the old tower at E, but they are 


Ciirioiis Stones. 

[Chap. XIX. 

Coast at Tell Hoom. 

not laid regularly, and there are many smaller ones on 
shore just on the verge, so that it seems as if all are 
from the ruins above. One stone, a cube of two feet, 
looks a little like part of a pier, and two others not far 
off resemble it. None of these structures, ho'.vever, all 
the way hither from Jordan 
mouth, could protect even one 
fishing-boat in wind. A remark- 
able stone pictured below was 
noticed at F. It was on the verge 
of the water, and half submerged. 
In times of full lake it would 
be unnoticed, but a wave re- 
ceding happened to reveal it as 
we passed. The shape is an oval, about four feet long 
and two feet broad (not so smooth as in this drawing). 
In the middle is a deep cut a foot broad, and from two 
to six inches deep, leaving a sort of neck between 
two bulging ends. At first this seemed to be a stone 
for an anchor, but I think it would be too heavy for 
that. For a mooring it would be too li^ht, and the 

sharply defined indentation 
would not be required for 
either of these purposes. 
The waves were too high 
to allow me to examine it 
better. It remains for the next land traveller to bring 
this relic to No. 9, Pall Mall luast. Not far off and south 
of it is another stone hammer-faced, and both of them 
are of black basalt like the rest. 

Farther west there are several small capes or natural 
piers, but not one artificial group longer than twenty 
feet, and these usually with only four or five feet of 

stone m the Water at Tell Hooin. 

Chap. XIX.] No Port. 341 

water alongside. Some of the small bays that seem best 
for boats here are quite shallow, and studded with dan- 
gerous rocks only two feet under water. The islet past 
the old tower, A\hich looks like the remains of a landing- 
place, has very little water round it. Two curious clumps 
or bunches of thick canes stand out in bold relief in this 
bay as islets. The first had five feet and the second six 
feet of water alongside. It appeared to me not unlikely 
that these may have originally grown out of the wrecks 
of boats, and they would thus accumulate earth about 
their roots for a permanent hold. I have never observed 
anything like these before in any lake. 

Pocock speaks of seeing (most probably here) " a 
round port for small boats." ~^ Other persons have 
noticed the same appearance, and undoubtedly the 
semblance of a little harbour is presented by the points 
of rocks and detached stone projecting above water 
when the lake is low. But my visit to this spot entirely 
dispelled any such illusion. The points belong to a 
few of the highest of a thousand enormous rocks and 
detached boulders dotted over the whole surface below. 
There is no room whatever for boats to pass in here, 
much less to lie at peace protected. These rocks are of 
all irregular shapes, but very many have sharp edges, 
and not a few are whitish in colour. They arc in water 
of all depths, even to twenty feet, and their summits 
rise to a i&w inches above the surface, and to every less 
height, without any appearance of regular design, except 
what may perchance seem formal in shape when a few 
are associated by accident together. Thus, what might 
be called a " port " from the shore is, in fact, a most 
treacherous reef, and the whole of the area about it for a 

•'" Vol. ii. p. 72 (foL). 

342- Tabiga. [Chap. XIX. 

quarter of a mile square is, perhaps, the most dangerous 
part of the lake — and certainly is " statio vialefida 

The first beach of sand and gravel west from Tell 
Hoom seems to be a good one, but that bay is full of 
sunken rocks most awkwardly placed. 

In the next much smaller bay is the first soft strand 
where fishing-boats could venture to beach, and it is 
protected from wind by a natural breakwater.-^ The 
beach itself is a pretty bit of strand, with whiter pebbles 
and shells, and the shore was perfectly clean from drift- 
wood or debris, although a whole day's gale had been 
blowing right into it until this morning. Rain and mist 
came mildly down now, and I drifted along with my 
white umbrella hoisted in a most lubberly fashion, but 
very comfortable. 

Rounding again the next point close upon Tabiga 
(Bethsaida), we find great rocks projecting from the 
shore into the waves, while verdure most profuse teems 
over them, and long streamers of " maiden's hair," and 
richest grasses, and ferns, briars, and moss, wave in the 
breeze and pendent trail upon the water. This part of 
the coast is entirely diff"erent from any other round the 
lake. The water is five and six feet deep right up to 
the rocks. The rocks are thickly encrusted with a moist 
trickling petrified grey substance, and this stalagmite 
projects so far over the edge that the Rob Roy easily 
went beneath the rocks, where the clear water had 
hollowed out caverns, and was sounding within a deep- 
toned note as every swell of the sea beat upwards in the 
dark recesses. Grey steam-like \ai)our rises from the 

-'"' Vandevelde was evidently ignorant of tliis Ijcach and others near it 
(' Syria and Palestine,' vol. ii. p. 399). 

Chap. XIX.] Bcthsaida Bay. 343 

surface here, and exhales from the streaming rocks above 
us, for the water is hot, and bursts from the ground 
a Httle way off, and bears in solution to the lake a 
saturated current of limestone, which deposits its crust 
as the stream is cooled, and irrigates the rich vegetation 
with a tepid gush, a powerful stimulant to the rank 
tangled herbage. The rocks thus grozu horizontally b}' 
accretions from this stream, and roots, leaves, and stalks, 
stand out petrified while their neighbours sprout above, 
being forced into excessive life. One can readily under- 
stand how the warm waves of the lake wear away the 
lower parts of these rocks, while the upper edges are 
growing sideways, so that I could thrust in my paddle 
its full length of seven feet under these table-like struc- 
tures, while above water some three or four feet thickness 
of a calcareous plateau was supported by thin pillars, 
and just lapped by the wavelets beneath. 

Here it was well to stop, and no more charming spot 
could be chosen for our well-earned luncheon. This 
surely is Bethsaida, the " house of food, or hunters, or 
snares," according to Cruden's derivation, and in all three 
renderings plainly meaning the " fisherman's home." 

Tabiga is the Arab name for the mills and the fev.' 
houses and huts that mark the spot. We are not in 
view of these just now, but the sound of rivulets and 
cascades, and the musical dripping of water from the 
long-pointed stalactites in the caverns beside us, and the 
low rumbling, splashing, tremulous beat of the mill- 
wheels working unseen, blend a mi.xcd harmony round 
the sunny little cove where the Rob Roy rests on 
the rushes, while her captain reclines at case with limbs 
outstretched on deck and every muscle lax. One or two 
quiet-looking natives soon found out the canoe, and 

344 Flocks and Shoals. [Chap. XIX. 

sat in silence smiling through the long grass, at our 
floating feast. It gave them pleasure to look on, and 
it did no harm to me. 

The place soon asserted its right to the name Bethsaida 
by the exceeding abundance of the fish we saw tumbling 
in the water.^^ The hot springs flowing in here over 
these rocks, and a little farther on in larger volume 
over a clean brown sand, warm all the ambient shallows 
for a hundred feet from shore, and, as much vegetable 
matter is brought down by the springs, and probably 
also insects which have fallen in, all these dainties are 
half cooked when they enter the lake. Evidently the 
fish agree to dine on these hot joints, and, therefore, in a 
large semicircle, they crowd the water by myriads round 
the warm river-mouth. Their backs are above the 
surface as they bask or tumble and jostle crowded in 
the water. They gambol and splash, and the calm sea, 
fringed by a reeking cloud of vapour, has beyond this 
belt of living fish a long row of cormorants feeding on 
the half-boiled fish as the fish have fed on insects under- 
done. White gulls poise in flocks behind the grebes or 
cormorants, and beyond these again ducks bustle about 
on the water or whirl in the air. The whole is a most 
curious scene, and probably it has been thus from day to 
day for many thousand years. I paddled along the 
curved line of fishes' backs and flashing tails. Some 
leaped into the air, others struck my boat or my paddle. 

-7 Vandevekle, however, considers that lielhsaida hcs at Kliaji Minyeh 
(voL ii. p. 395), but he is ahiiost unsupported in this ; and Thomson places 
it on the Jordan mouth. The latter supposition I find to be so entirely 
irreconcilable with the directions and distances of the apostles' voyages 
(considered afterwards) that I have omitted it altogether. He derives 
Tal)iga from " Dabbaga," the Arabic for "tannery," and says the water 
is " precisely the kind best adapted for that business." 

Chap. XIX.] Gennesareth. 345 

Dense shoals moved in brigades as if by concert or 
command. But the hubbub around in the water, and 
the feathered mob in the sky, were all unheeded 
now, for we had come in full view of the land of 
Gennesareth. ~^ 

"^ Stanley says that the name "Gennesar" maybe from Gaiii, "garden," 
and i"^?r, "prince," the "Gardens of Princes," alluding, as the Rabbis 
allege, to the princes of Nephtali (' S. and P.' p. 375, quoting Lightfoot). 
Neubauer(p. 215), besides this derivation, cites "rich garden" as a meaning. 
In the Midrasch, Chinnereth is identified with Sennabris and Beth Yerah. 

546 Bethsaida Beach. [Chap. XX. 



IT may be irksome to those who cannot imagine 
something of the inward thrill of a voyager at such 
a time to hear from another how fast his heart beat then, 
but for those who can even a little realise a delight like 
this, perhaps the mere outward picture of the scene will 
be enough. 

Bethsaida beach recalled bright pictures of our Saviour's 
life. For here it was, as seems to me, that the first and 
shortest sermon of Christianity was preached, " Behold 
the Lamb of God." The hearers were but two, and both 
of them heard to purpose (John i.) ; and of these Andrew 
found next day his " own brother Simon," whom Jesus 
christened Cephas (a " stone " — not " the Rock ") ; and 
after him He " findeth Philip," who "was of Bethsaida 
the city of Andrew and Peter;" and Philip "findeth 
Nathanael," and brought him with the invitation " Come 
and see." Here was the cradle of Christianity, and years 
afterwards here again was " the third time that Jesus 
showed Himself to His disciples after that He was risen 
from the dead." ^ 

' John xxi. It is only by this Evangchst, \\\\o was present, that the 
scene is related. 

Chap. XX.] Of old. 347 

Almost the same persons are this time on the shore 
again : Peter, and Thomas, and Nathanel, and James, 
and John ; but only " that disciple whom Jesus loved " 
could at first recognise his Lord. Peter, who had before 
cast himself into the same sea to go to Jesus, now did 
so again ; but the Lord now thrice called him '' Simon," 
as if the unstable one had by his threefold denial lost 
his better title. On the shore were coals, and food 
thereon. " The banquet is prepared. Shall He issue 
the invitation, ' Come, all things are ready ' } Nay, some- 
thing still is wanting ! The Almighty Provider has yet 
some element of bliss to add ere the feast is complete, 
' Bring,' He says, ' of the fish ye have caught.' " - 

The central figure of this group was a new one in 
history — the risen Saviour. Do we believe that He rose 
again } The rest of the Gospel seems to follow with our 
answer Yes, or No. 

If indeed He rose, the narrative of His life becomes 
consistent and credible, and the sanction of His teaching 
is from on high ; but " if Christ be not raised, your faith 
is vain." ^ 

The evidence for the resurrection is more tangible, 
general, and distinct, than that for any other miracle, and 
it was a belief in this cardinal fact of history that was 
written upon and preached most constantly and most 
urgently by the apostles.'* 

^ ' Memories of Gennesaret,' liy the Rev. Dr. Macduff (19th thousand, 
1 868), p. 255 — a Look full of beautiful descriptions of the Gospel scenes 
upon this lake and its shores. 

* I Cor. XV. 14, and again 17. 

■* Though a regular attendant at church, the writer has heard only one 
sermon upon this subject. This was a powerful sermon by the Dean of 
Canterbury, in the cathedral, to a very large congregation, chiefly of 
Volunteers assembling for the Dover review. If barristers omitted their 
best evidence in addressing a jury as clergymen do in addressing their 
people, they would get few clients and no verdicts. 

348 Evidence, [Chap. XX. 

The evidence for the resurrection of Christ was pre- 
cisely that which common men could best know at the 
time as witnesses, and common men now can best un- 
derstand as testimony. Did Christ evidently die ? Did 
Christ evidently live again ? Surely no questions could 
be more plain for those who knew Him to decide. In 
an argument on this subject with an unbeliever, after 
other evidence had been discussed, a Christian read as 
follows : — " He was seen of above five hundred brethren 
at once, of whom some remain unto this present ; but 
the greater part are fallen asleep." The unbeliever 
quickly interposed — " Yes, it was very convenient that 
most of the alleged witnesses were dead. If it had been 
stated publicly that most of them were then alive, the evi- 
dence of the fact would have been very powerful." Then 
the Christian read the words correctly, as Paul wrote 
them (I Cor. xv. 6) — "After that He was seen by above 
five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part 
remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep." 

This truth before the world for so many hundred 
years, how little it has spread ! Yes ; but the truth 
that " honesty is the best policy " has been much 
longer asserted ; and it has progressed just as little, 
though no one denies the maxim on logical grounds, 
A score of sanitary maxims are made perfectly evident 
to our reason, but pleasure for the moment keeps the 
will from abiding by what the reason is convinced of.^ 

^ It is well said in the 'Spectator' (Oct. i6, 1869) : — "It seems to us 
that the constraint to believe which the study of Christ's life produces is 
hardly an intellectual constraint, even where it is most strongly felt — that, 
judging by the intellectual state of the argument solely, if that were possible, 
men may be strictly reasonable who pronounce the evidence insufficient as 
Avell as those who pronounce it adequate, and that the real force of the 
belief depends upon an undefinable personal imjn-ession produced by Christ 
on the spirit \\hich can never be addiuatcly translated into an intellectual 
foi in." 

Chap. XX.] Bias. 349 

The Holy Spirit of God must do f/iis work. 

" Neither would they be persuaded, though one rose 
from the dead." 

In an age or community where many profess to be 
" believers," there is at least distinction to be gained, if 
not satisfaction, by believing little and distrusting much. 
There is dignity in asserting independence, and you can 
be piquant if you are not orthodox. On the other hand, 
it is a pleasant excitement to believe in unseen facts, if 
we are thereby associated with the unseen, the mys- 
terious, and the unknown, A\hich may be, and probably 
is, so much more sublime than every-day life. An emo- 
tional bias warps our reason when we try to use that 
upon propositions which must affect our whole standard 
of life and determine the centre of gravity of our system. 
If the devout man forgets to allow that this bias may 
warp him towards credulity and superstition, he will 
soon be reminded of the fact by his sceptical friend, and 
he ought not to ignore the tendency. But may we not 
also tell the cold schoolman that he too has a most 
powerful emotion warping his deductions when his logic 
deals with arguments that may convict him of pride, 
foolishness, and ingratitude, and would force him to 
submit his will to a Being whom he has alwa\'s put far 
off.' Feeling this want of some cultus — if not some 
Pope — he has set up for worship that impalpable thing 
called Truth, which is the pretty name given to the idol 
that clever men have been carving at (or paring away) 
for thousands of years, and which is shapeless still ; nor 
can they ever agree as to how many heads it has, though 
the noise of their work goes on — the noise of the crow- 
bar and the pickaxe, rather than of the hammer and the 
trowel. In short, the religious man confesses that he 
must beware of believing in what he wishes may be true, 

350 Sermon afloat. [Chap. XX. 

but the philosopher somehow forgets to confess that he 
has the prejudice of pride, the superstition that kneels 
before human intellect, and a carnal heart, which per- 
suades us to doubt what it dislikes. 

Another scene in the Holy Life which probably hap- 
pened on this beach is related by Luke (chap, v.) where, 
when the multitude pressed upon the Great Preacher 
"to hear the word of God," He entered into one of 
" two ships standing by the lake." This ship, we are told, 
"was Simon's," and Christ "prayed him that he would 
thrust out a little from the land, and he sat down and 
taught the people out of the ship." Then followed the 
miraculous draught of fishes. As the ship was Simon's, 
and his house was at Bethsaida, and as his partners 
were gone out of the ships, " and were washing their 
nets," we are at once brought close to this very spot 
where the fishermen now do the very same thing ; and 
only a few yards away are the shoals of fish we have 
seen by the hot springs.'' Just here, too, the beach rises 
rapidly, and there is deep water within a few yards of 
the shore, while at the same time a multitude of hearers 
could place themselves so as to see the Saviour in the 
boat, and there is no such natural church along the other 
coast by Gennesareth. On another occasion the Lord 
again taught the people out of a ship, while " the whole 
multitude stood on the shore ;" ' and often in other ways 
did He manifest forth His glory when floating on the 
water both in storm and calm. 

Continuing my voyage, I could discern just in front, 
and under a looming clilT (almost the onl\- one all round 

'' Tlic llshermen told me tliat, thout;h lish arc in other jiarts of the lake, 
they are always most plentiful here. 

' Malt. xiii. ; Mark iv. In this sermon \vere tlie parables, beginning 
with that of the sower. See note iiiiuii the si/e of shiji used, post, p. 354. 

Chap. XX.] Sfones. 35 1 

the lake which rises sheer out of the water) my tents 
now pitched at Genncsareth, and the ensign drooping 
with no wind. But we need not hasten to our cani]), so 
let us linger on the way. 

The beautiful white beach of Bethsaida is gracefully 
bent round its pretty little cove in a gentle slope of 
gravel, shells, and purest sand. No footstep this morning 
has marked the tender surface smoothed and laved once 
more by yesterday's waves. " The beach on \\hich 
the limpid waters still gently ripple retains the same 
pearly margin on which was spent the childhood of the 
young fishermen of Bethsaida." ® The bay is admirably 
suited for boats. It shelves gradually ; the anchorage is 
good, and boats can be safely beached. Rocks project 
at the south-west end about fifty yards beyond those 
seen above water. These would form a good protection 
to the harbour. There appears to be no jetty. The 
water is deep, and nearly free from boulders until near 
the south-west end. Evidently the Jews and Romans, 
who successively owned these coasts for many }'ears, 
thought more about building palaces on shore than 
about removing rocks 
from the water. Here 
also we noticed a few 
large stones, arranged 
as in the sketch. These 
are in two feet of water ^^^,^^ ,,.^^^.^_ ,^^.,^ 3^.,,,,,,,.. 

(even when the lake is 

low), and though arranged in the manner of " fish-traps," 
they could scarcely be used for these unless the water 
was much lower. 

On the east edge of Bethsaida bay, and close to the 
water upon a smooth hard bank of grass, very near 

8 ' Memories of Gennesaret,' Preface. 

352- Fishermen. [Chap, xx. 

the gushings of the clear hot stream, a fishing-boat was 
drawn up on land beside two fishers' huts, made entirely 
of reed matting, and not unlike the huts in Hooleh, but 
smaller, neater, and more clean. About a dozen fisher- 
men instantly came out. Their delight and amazement 
as to what this canoe could be, and what was I, had a 
spice of superstitious doubt in their stare, yet we speedily 
became good friends, and I invited them to visit me at 
the camp in the evening. 

The subject of fishing and fishers' boats was, of 
course, of great interest in connection with this beautiful 
lake, where, in old times, among the fishers, were those 
men whose faithful pens have written what goes to our 
hearts and gives us the marrow of life. 

When the Sea of Galilee was fringed by towns and 
villas, trees and cornfields, then the water was covered 
by little vessels sailing about in hundreds.^ It is not 
easy to ascertain what was the size of the largest of 
these vessels ; but probably, as the distances were short, 
and 'the ports were shallow, the boats were not larger 
than they are now, say about thirty feet long and seven 
feet beam. The number of them employed then on the 
lake will be shown very well from the following curious 
narrative related by Josephus, of what occurred when 
he was occupied busily in keeping quiet the district 
along the lake. At that time Taricheas and Tiberias 
were in frequent contention, and one of the revolts of 
the latter city was quelled by a stratagem of Josephus 
He was then at Taricheae, and without soldiers ; but he 
ordered a large fleet of ships, 230 in number, to sail, 
each with four men for a crew.'" These he kept so far 

" Tt was then a very jiopulous district, and, as .Stanley says, miijlit be 

rejjarded as the "manufacturing; districts" are spoken of by ns in England. 

'" Josephus, ' W. J.' book ii. ch xxi. sec. viii. Winston remarks that 

Chap. XX.] Ships and Boats. 'i^^'}^ 

from Tiberias that the people there thought the vessels 
were full of armed men, and so they surrendered to him 
all their 600 senators, who were sent over the lake, while 
Josephus demanded the chief instigator of the revolt, 
one Clitus. He commanded his own lieutenant, Levius, 
to cut off this man's hand ; and, as he hesitated to do 
this alone, Josephus, enraged, prepared to go ashore 
himself to do it, and only relented so far as to leave the 
poor fellow his right hand if with that he would cut off 
his left, which feat of arms he did at once with his own 
sword, and the people were thus awed into obedience. 

When Taricheai was besieged by land, the inhabitants 
retired aboard ships, by which also they were able to 
attack from the sea the Romans then on the shore 
Finally,- the ships fled, and Josephus '^ tells us that Titus 
quickly got ready vessels wherein to pursue, " because 
there was great plenty of materials and a great number 
of artificers also ;" and the description of the battle on 
the lake is then given, which coloured the water with 
blood, and strewed the shore with corpses. 

With respect to the size of vessels formerly used in 
the lake, two words are employed in the New Testa- 
ment (ttXolov, ploion) for the " ship," or larger vessel, and 

these vessels are constantly called "Nrjej, U\oia, and 1i<a<pri, /.i'. plainly 
ships" ('Life of Josephus,' sect, xxxiv. note), lu another place Josephus 
quotes Menander as relating an expedition at sea, when the Phcjcnicians 
supplied sixty ships {vu.vs), and 800 men to row them, or about ten oars for 
each (' Ant. J.' book ix. ch. xiv. sec. ii.), so that even on the salt sea mere 
barges were employed as fleets of war. 

" ' W. J.' book iii. ch. ix. and x. It seems to be stated that Titus and 
Trajan, Vespasian and Agrippa, were present at this fight ; and Clarke 
says Vespasian was on board the fleet, but I do not gather that from 
Josephus. However, this naval fight was prolonged for some time, and 
was probably the last great display of shijjs upon this lake. Now-a-days 
one single Annstrong gun at Ganiala would command the whole Sea of 

2 A 

354 Ships and Boats. [Chap. xx. 

(TrXouipLov, ploiarion) for the smaller one, or " boat." 
Thus the " ship " from which Christ taught the people 
on shore (Mark iv. i) was ttXocov ; and, evidently re- 
ferring to the same vessel, verse 36 says, " and they 
took him even as he was in the ship" (irXoiov) ; "and 
there were also with him other little ships " {TfKouipiov)}'- 

Again, when (Mark iii. 9) " He spake to His disciples 
that a small ship should wait on Him," it was ifkoidpiov ; 
and after His resurrection, when the disciples " entered 
into a ship" (John xxi. 3), ttXolov is used; but those 
who dragged the full net to shore "came in a little ship " 
(verse 8), TrXoidptop. 

In the several accounts of the voyage in which our 
Lord was seen walking on the sea, the ship used by the 
apostles is called 'jfKoiov fourteen times ; ''^ but in John, 
vi. 22,'* we read, " The day following, when the people 
which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there 
was none other boat there save that one whereunto the 
disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with His 
disciples into the boat, but that His disciples were gone 
away alone," here the word ifKoLapiov is twice used for 
the " boat " into which the disciples had entered. 

At first sight there thus appears to be a confusion 
between the words for "boat" and "ship;" and if it 

'- Ciriesbach, however, seems to retain here the term TrXoiou in both 
instances. As the pronunciation of these words may interest some readers, 
it has been given in common letters, following the good example set by the 
present Premier in his last book. 

1^ Matthew xiv. 13, 22, 24, 32, 33 ; Mark vi. 32, 45, 47, 51, 54 : John 
vi. 17, 19, 21. Luke, who was an accurate writer about ship matters (see 
note, p. 374) uses ttKoiov for the general word always, except in Acts xxvii. 
41, when he uses vais (naus). The ship's boat (ver. 36), he calls (rKa<pT) 

'•• The other incidenl.s u'" the Apostles' voyage are discussed in our next 

Chap. XX.] Distinction. ^^-^--^ 

could not be otherwise explained,'^ we might suggest 
that the application of both words to the same vessel 
does not show that their technical meanings were not 
distinct ; for among ourselves, even in so nautical a 
country as England, landfolk use the words a "ship," a 
" barque," and even a *' cutter " and a " boat," for the 
same thing seen upon the water, while each of these 
words, used technically, has a distinct meaning to the 
sailor, who, if he desires to speak of the floating thing 
in general, will call it a "vessel," or "sail," or "craft," 
but never a "sloop" or a "barque." 

But I venture to suggest an explanation which may 
not only clear up the difficulty but throw light also upon 
other parts of the narrative, and vindicate once more 
the extreme accuracy of the New Testament even in 
minute particulars. In John's account of the trans- 
action, he says the disciples went down unto the sea, and 
entered into a " ship," and went over the sea towards 
Capernaum ; " and it was now dark, and Jesus was not 
come to them" (verse 17). Now, this last expression 
seems to show that they expected Jesus to couw to tluin ; 
probably, therefore, they waited in their " ship " before 
or even after they had weighed anchor, expecting their 
Master to come ; and for this He would be expected to 
use a small "boat," whereby to reach the "ship," as in 
a rising sea the ship could not easily come to shore. 

Entirely consistent with this is the expression that 
next day "' " the people saw that there was no lumt there 
save that one whereunto His disciples were entered, and 
that Jesus went not with His disciples into the boat ; " for 

'■^ Stanley {'.S. ami P.' p. 379, note) seems to consider this double use 
of the words shows they were not so different in n?eanipg, remarking that 
it is the tendency of modem Greek to substitute diminutive.^ e\ery\\licre. 

"* For if by the "boat" was meant the "ship'" that had gone pway liic 
day be'bre the people could not see " //lai ou^' the "n?xt day.'" 

356 Aft Explanation. [Chap. XX. 

this tells us that the disciples themselves used a "boat," 
no doubt, to go out to the "ship" (which would be more 
likely left at anchor than on shore, or even in port, for 
they had all left it), while it says that the people saw 
that Christ did not go into the " boat " with them, and 
that " none other boat " ^~ was there by which He could 
have gone on board the ship unperceived. Still further, 
this use of both boat and ship on the occasion shows the 
reason why the Evangelist considered it necessary to 
state afterwards that "other boats" {ir\ouipia) came 
from Tiberias (probably running into shelter before the 
same gale which was for the apostles' ship " contrary "), 
to show how it was that enough " boats " were now there 
to put the people on board when " they took shipping " 
(ships, irXoLa), then still '** at anchor off the shore.'^ 

'^ Griesbach reads izKoiov here. 

^** For it is not said that the apostles' was the only "ship" there, but 
that the boat they used was the only "boat" then available, and it does 
not mention the arrival of " ships," but of "boats," from Tiberias. 

1^ The recent publication of Tauchnitz's loooth volume, the New Testa- 
ment in our authorised version, with the readings of the three MSS., more 
ancient than those available to our translators, is a very great boon to all 
readers of the Bible, and it is enhanced by the excellent preface of Tischen- 
dorf. Applying this new comment to our text, we find that the passage 
John vi. 22-24, i^ given by the Sinai MS. as follows : — "The day following, 
%\hcu the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there 
was none other boat there save that whcreunto the disciples of Jesus were 
entered, and that Jesus went not with them into the boat, but that His 
disciples were gone away alone. When therefore the boats came from 
Tiberias, which was nigh unto where they did also cat bread, after that the 
Lord had given thanks, and when they saw that Jesus was not there, 
neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, 
:-.eekiiig (or Jesus." 

I'I'he Alexandrine MS. omits the first "when" of our version, and the 
Vatican and Alexandrine MSS. have " sa\e one"' instead of "save that 
one," and omit the words " whercunto . . . entered."] 

This reading does not render our explanation of the word " lioat," as 
u>cfl in Ijoth versions, less probable, although it seems to point to anoliier 
phicc, if not to another time, for a miraculous feeding of a multitude. 

Chap. XX.] Present Boats. 357 

Turning now to the lake and its boats, as seen in the 
present days, how great is the falling off in the number, 
when for a long time there was not even one boat on 
the lake ! -° From inspection, I came to the conclusion 
that in 1S69 there are three fishing-boats and two at the 
ferr\", or five in all, besides the ferry-boat at Semakh. 
It is the absurdly prohibitive tax upon boats which 
alone prevents these from multiplying. Nominally, the 
rent the fishers pay for the right to fish at Bethsaida 
is 100/. per annum. The revenue guard I noticed in a 
tent on a wild cliff, with a little flag, like a coloured rag, 
hanging over it. His rapacious hands carry away 20, 
40, even 60 per cent, of the fishers' hard-earned gains ; 
and who can bear up against such extortion } 

The boats now used in the lake by the fishers are all 
about the same size, rowing five oars, but very clumsy 
ones, and with a very slow stroke. Generally only three 
oars were in use, and I much regret that I failed to 
remark whether there was a rudder, but I think there 
was none. Their build is not on bad lines, and rather 
" ship-shape," with a flat floor, likely to be a good sea- 
boat, sharp and rising at both ends, somewhat resembling 
the Maltese. The timbers are close and in short pieces, 
the planks " carvel built," and daubed with plenty of 

^ The following shows the state of the navy of this sea in various years, 
according to travellers' statements : — 

In A.D. 1738, Pococke found one boat on the lake of Gennesareth. 
In A.D. 1806, Seetzen saw one boat, but it was useless ; 1812, Burk- 
hardt, the only boat had fallen to pieces in i8n ; 181 7, Richardson, two 
boats ; 1818, Irby and Mangles, " no boat whatever ;" 1822, Berggren, no 
boat ; 1822, Buckingham, "not a boat nor a raft large nor small ;" 1829, 
Prokesch, no boat ; 1834, 1835, Smith, one boat ; 1838, Robinson, one 
boat; 1852, Vandevelde, one; 1856, Xewbold, one; 1857, Thomson, no 
boat, once only in his other visits he saw a sail ; 1869, MacGregor, six 
boats besides the Rob Roy. 

358 The '' Pillow:' [Chap. XX. 

bitumen, for that is readily obtained here.~^ The upper 
streak of the boat is covered with coarse canvas, which 
adheres to the bitumen, and keeps it from sticking to the 
crew when they lean upon it. The waist is deep, and 
there are no stern sheets, but a sort of stage aft. As 
there appears to be no reason to suppose that the Turks 
should have altered, or at any rate improved, the Jewish 
boat on the lake, it is impossible not to regard the 
modern fishers' boat of Galilee with great interest, and to 
people it at once with an apostolic crew. But the part 
of the boat on the stern has a special and sacred at- 
traction to our gaze, for the Bible tells us that He who 
" never slumbers nor sleeps " was once in a ship on this 
lake "asleep on a pillow."^- The raised platform already 
mentioned would most probably be the place wdiere our 
Lord in the weakness and weariness of His humanity 
was thus resting, and the word " pillow "^'^ v/as perhaps 
the best one available for the translators when they 
sought to describe that His rest was settled not acci- 
dental, and that, when He was on the water, some softer 

"' The wicker boats on tlie Euphrates are mere baskets, an inch thick 
with pitch. Noah's ark was probably made of interwoven trees cased thus 
with bitumen "within and without," and a most serviceable plan this is 
when mere flotation is tlie purpose, without the strain from masts or engines, 
or lieavy seas, and when the vessel is to be grounded only once after being 
launched by the rising of the water around it. 

-- Mark iv. 38, eVt ro irpoffKi(pdkawu (proskephalaion), evidently a regular 
part of the boat's equipment, from the use of the definite article " ///f 
pillow." Smith's ' Dictionary ' mentions another term used, but that this 
was its equivalent, and renders it "boatmen's cushion."' 

-* All the versions in liagster's ' Hexapla ' use this word "pillow." The 
stern in ancient ships was much higher than the prow, and this form con- 
tinued even to the last century in England, while it is still the fashion in 
]Cgy|)t. It was on this account that they could aiiciior from the stern (as in 
the case of Paul's shipwreck), and the high stern made a safe and slo]iing 
place, where our Saviour slept in the storm. 

Chap. XX.] 



thing was found for the repose of Him who, when on the 
land, though all His own, had not "where to lay His 

During twelve days of constant gazing upon this Lake 
of Galilee, I never saw a fishing-boat moving upon it by 

GalilfC Fishing-lioat. 

daylight, except one morning, when a boat sailed past, 
and perhaps her crew had " toiled all the night." The 
sketch represents this boat, and the outlines of the back- 
ground as seen from Tell Hoom. These comprise the 
whole of the Butaia plain in front, with the large tree on 
the right as a boundary, the two clumps of palm-trees 
and the hills of Bashan behind. This and the coloured 
picture of Bashan (Chap. XX H I.) exhibit nearly the whole 
eastern shore. The boat carries the ordinary lateen of 
the Mediterranean, not that of the Nile, or the Levant, 
or the Lake of Geneva. Nothing could be more miser- 
able to the eye of a sailor than to behold this sad 
distortion of the sailor's art. Nevertheless he made the 
sketch of her abominable rig, and as he put his pocket- 
book away, the sketching sailor sighed. 

I cannot find anything in Josephus about the fish in 
the lake, except in the two following passages :'* — " Now 
this lake of Gennesareth is so called from the country 

-* ' W. J.' book iii. ch. x. sees. vii. and viii. 

360 Fish. [Chap. XX, 

adjoining to it. Its breadth is forty furlongs, and its 
length one hundred and forty ; its waters are sweet, and 
very agreeable for drinking, for they are finer than the 
thick waters of other fens ; the lake is also pure, and on 
every side ends directly at the shores, and at the sand ; 
it is also of a temperate nature when you draw it up, 
and of a more gentle nature than river or fountain water, 
and yet always cooler than one could expect in so diffuse 
a place as this is ; now when this water is kept in the 
open air, it is as cold as that snow which the country 
people are accustomed to make by night in the summer. 
There are several kinds of fish in it, different both to the 
taste and the sight from those elsewhere. It is divided 
into two parts by the river Jordan. 

" The country also that lies over against this lake hath 
the same name of Gennesareth ; its nature is wonderful, 
as well as its beauty ; its soil is so fruitful that all sorts 
of trees can grow upon it, and the inhabitants accordingly 
plant all sorts of trees there ; for the temper of the air is 
so well mixed that it agrees very well with those several 
sorts, particularly walnuts, which require the coldest air, 
flourish there in vast plenty ; there are palm-trees also, 
which grow best in hot air ; fig-trees also, and olives also, 
grow near them, which yet require an air that is more 
temperate. One may call this place the ambition of 
nature, where it forces those plants that are naturally 
enemies to one another to agree together ; it is a happy 
contention of the seasons, as if every one of them laid 
claim to this country, for it not only nourishes different 
sorts of autumnal fruit beyond men's expectation but 
preserves them a great while ; it supplies men with the 
principal fruits, with grapes and figs continually, during 
ten months of the year, and the rest of the fruits, as they 

Chap. XX.] Nets. 36 1 

become ripe together, through the whole year ; for besides 
the good temperature of tlie air, it is also watered from 
a most fertile fountain. The people of the country call 
it Capharnaoum ; some have thought it to be a vein of 
the Nile, because it produces the Coracin fish, as well as 
that lake does which is near to Alexandria. The length 
of this country extends itself along the banks of this 
lake that bears the same name, for thirty furlongs, and 
is in breadth twenty, and this is the nature of that 

Josephus does not appear to tell us anything as to the 
regulations of the fishing in this lake, though these must 
have been very distinct when so large and valuable a 
commerce had to be provided for. Nor does he seem to 
mention any of the particular modes of fishing which 
were used. The Talmud says that Joshua enacted 
that the fishing with a hook on the Sea of Galilee 
should be open to all the world (Neubauer, p. 25), 
and once our Lord bid Peter use a hook. The most 
usual method of catching fish was by the casting net, 
hUrvov (dictuon), Matt. iv. 20, 21 ; Mark i. 18, 19 ; 
Luke v. 2 ; John xxi. 6 : the afj,(f)\.t^r}arp6v (amphli- 
beestron), Matt. iv. 18 ; Mark i. 16 ;^^ probably like that 
used in Egypt : also aayrjvr) (sageeneh), Matt. xiii. 47, 
which was larger, and required a boat with men on shore 
to haul it in. Probably our word " sein " for a net of 
this kind may be derived from the Greek. The use of 
a weir or fence of reeds within which the fish were 
caught was forbidden on the Sea of Galilee, because 
the stakes of it damaged the boats, but the small traps 

^ The Sinai and the Vatican MSS. have it "casting iw/s here and there 
into the sea;" the Alexandrine, "casting a net here and there into the 
sea ;" and in verse 18, the Sinai and the Vatican MSS. have it " forsook 
the nets." 

362 Hooks. [Chap. XX. 

of stones I have noticed at p. 35 1 may be an old 
mode of fishing, and the plan is used at present. The 
hook was called by a Hebrew word showing that it 
resembled a thorn, Amos iv. 2 ; a^iaa-rpov (ankistron), 
Matt. xvii. 27. The rod is not mentioned in the Bible. 
Another mode was by the " barbed iron " or trident, 
or the spear, as practised in Egypt for the crocodile. 
Job. xli. 7, or hippopotamus. The hook referred to in 
Job. xli. 2, refers to the practice of putting a ring or 
" thorn " into a fish's gills to tether him to a stake by a 
rope of reeds (A. V. " hook ") that he might be kept 

Having thus examined the boats and nets, we may 
resume the paddle in our own trim craft, and skirt the 
pretty white strand which lies north of Gennesareth. 
The water is a perfect glassy calm, and it is easy there- 
fore to make a careful examination of all the little bights 
and coves which show in this part of the shore more 
variety of outline and character than is met with else- 
where. Although I willingly gave to this the most 
thorough exploration under water, so far as it could 
be done by peering down and by sounding and probing 
with the paddle, yet the place where we might have 
expected that something worth looking for was sure to 
be found did not contain one single evidence of building 
or of hewn stone, either placed in the water designedly 
or fallen from the cliff hanging over us from above."" 
Notwithstanding this dearth of visible remains, it is upon 
that cliff which surmounts Khan Minyeh, and is the 
sudden barrier of the land of Gennesareth on the north, 
that Cai)ernaum may have stood, and was thence into 

-'' Wilson says the only shaft of a column seen in this neighbourhood 
was a small basaltic one five inches in tliameter, standing in the lake near 
the point where the Ain ct Tin flows in. 

Chap. XX.] Cliff. 2>^2> 

that deep below "thrust down." The cHff is vertical for 
about fifty feet at one place, and round it the rocks arc 
bold, scarped, bare, and jagged, of various bright tints 
by weather blasts, and from their clefts spring weird- 
looking trees, which dangle their farthest branches in the 
water, so that it is even difficult to approach the actual 
verge, and the trees and underwood almost conceal the 
junction of rock with water in some parts.-" Large 
fragments of many hundred tons in weight have evi- 
dently fallen into the lake from above, and some stick 
out as islets, others lurk just below as breakers. The 
water about them is clearer than that north of Tell 
Hoom, both because the Jordan does not sully it in 
these quieter bays, and because the rock and gravel here 
yield less for suspension. Perhaps also the warm solu- 
tions at Bethsaida combine with ingredients from other 
fountains, or from Jordan and those of the lake, and so 
precipitate what would be again stirred up only by 
po.werful gales. Of the several rocks appearing above 
the surface close to this clifif, one is particu- 
larly remarkable, which is at A in our sketch, 
and is depicted in two views below. This 
consists of a level flat summit, seven feet 
long by four feet wide, and about two feet 
thick, of which three-fourths were above the 
surface of the lake. This upper portion is 
supported by a stalk, very thin compared 
with the head above, and divided into three 
parallel columns with vertical slits between 
them. One of these subordinate pillars has been thinned 

"^'i The rock descends here in some places into the lake without a beach 
between. It does this also south of Magdala, and south of Tiberias, as well 
as at Bethsaida. It is, therefore, not strictly accurate to say that there is a 
beach all round the lake. 

364 " Scorpion Rock" [Chap. XX. 

and broken near the bottom, where also the other two 
are attenuated for a space, but they thicken again below 
and spread into a solid foot at a depth of seven feet 
from the surface. The form will be understood by the 
end and side views in the sketch. When the lake is full, 
this rock is doubtless entirely covered, but situated as 

it is between Bethsaida 
and the fountain at Khan 
Minyeh called "Ain et 
Tin," a curiosity of this 
striking character would 
"Scorpion Rock." surcly bc well known in 

ancient times. Now Josephus mentions somewhere"^** the 
" Scorpion Rock " as known in the lake, and as this 
remarkable perforated stone which we have described 
seems to be the only one of abnormal appearance all 
round the shores of this sea, perhaps he alludes to that. 

Gliding over the sea, we now touch the placid shore of 
Gennesareth,-* where our Saviour dwelt so long. 

The beach is very low and sloping gently, with a 
thick fringe of oleanders skirting the deep brown sand. 
Our tents are almost hid in the foliage, and the soft 
carpet of grass is patterned bright with wild flowers. 

With such a simple boundary curving inwards to the 
land, the plain is bent into a crescent form, just three 

-"^ An index to Josephus would be a great luxury to those who use his 
work. Various fancies suggest themselves as to why it may be called a 
scorpion, but none are at present satisfactory to me, unless it be considered 
that the head and lobster-like claws of the scorpion resemble the upper 
part of the rock, while the body is like the narrower stalk below, and the 
tail is like the root. 

-^ It is stated that Christ "left Nazareth and dwelt at Capernaum," and 
thus the frequent expression afterwards, " the house,'' in relation to this 
place, meant, no doubt, the dwelling in which He resided there, during 
intervals long and short, between Ills nunKrous visits to other parts of the 

Chap. XX.] " Caphavnaoumr 365 

miles long by one in breadth, and rising gradually in- 
land to the west. About this amphitheatre the moun- 
tains close. Streams and rills from these, and two fine 
fountains in the plain, bless this favoured region with 
lasting fertility. Surely, this is one of the memorial 
places of the past to be kept for the return of Israel. 

Now, the fountain mentioned by Josephus as called 
" Capharnaoum " is evidently of great importance with 
relation to the site of Capernaum, concerning which so 
much controversy has arisen ; and with diffidence we 
shall venture to have a word on the subject, because a 
look at the question from a sailor's eye has not yet been 
noted. At first our interest in the respective claims of 
the three localities asserted by different writers to be 
Capernaum was less than languid. But, even as a prob- 
lem, the question rapidly became absorbing when the 
places themselves had each been examined. They are 
all so near together, and in such well-traversed ground 
— certainty as to which is the true site would impart 
such new attractions to the spot, and the idea seems 
so strange that a place could be entirely forgotten 
where Christ did more of His works than in any other 
village — that we gradually become enlisted in the 
debate, though the point in dispute is not of vital 

Three principal places are maintained by different 
groups of authors to be the site of Capernaum. A few 
others are advanced by isolated authorities, but they 
may with fairness be left aside as unsupported. 

The usual but not very ancient tradition is that 
Capernaum was at Khan Minyeh, and, as our camp is 
now vvithin a few yards of this place, we can give it a 
brief description. Under the high cliff, already mentioned 
as at the northern end of the land of Gennesareth, is the 

^66 Ain et Tin. [Chap. XX. 

ruin of an old khan, or resting-house, frequented by 
pilgrims and caravans passing by this way from Jeru- 
salem on the regular route to Damascus. The building 
is not very old, and excavations close to it, and even 
within a somewhat wide range of the place, have failed 
to bring evidence out of the ground. 

A few yards from it, and near the bottom of the cliff, 
a clear perennial fountain pours out from the rock, about 
eight feet higher than the lake ; and, as it is shaded by 
an old fig-tree, the name it goes by is " Ain et Tin," the 
"Fount of the Fig-tree." ^° The water descends into a 
long marshy lagoon, half choked by flags and reeds 
and papyrus.^' From the lake I paddled the Rob Roy 
through the channel into this jungled pool, and carefully 
searched every nook and cranny in it which could be 
reached in my canoe or on horseback, but with not the 
least trace detected of any sort of building. 

Most of the land of Gennesareth is above the level of 
this fountain's head, and though the amount of water in 
it now may be less than before (by the action of the 
earthquake thirty years ago), it is evident that "Ain et 

•* Tlie name is by no means distinctive, for many fountains in this and 
other districts rise under fig-trees. Wilson says that Ain et Tin has two 
heads, a large and a small one. From old water-marks on the cliff, it 
appears that the lake at times rises into the fountain. The water is slightly 
brackish, though less so than at the Tabiga fountain. The inmates of the 
khan always use the lake water, and say the water of the fountain is un- 
healthy. The volume was estimated at one-eighth or one-tenth that of 
Banias. The temjjeraturc on January 25, 1S66, he gives as follows : — 

feniperature of the 


... 627S Fab 




... 60-44 



small spring ... 

... 72-32 



large spring ... 

••• 77-36 


" Stanley (' S. and P.' p. 375) says the papyrus is also " found on the 
shores of the lake, between the plain of CJennesareth and Tiberias." This 
T (lid not see, though passing along tlie jilace. 

Chap. XX.] Other Streams. 367 

Tin " could not water the plain, as is described by 
Josephus to be a feature of the fountain called " Caper- 
naum." Much of the plain is at present well cultivated, 
and the water for its irrigation comes from several 
streams (marked in Map VII.) entering on the west, and 
which would seem to be capable of use over at least 
twice as much area when the land was fully tilled. One 
of these, Ain el Amud, comes from the south along the 
"Wady Hamam," or "Vale of Doves ;" and after being 
diverted at a high level, and pouring a genial rivulet 
through many a fruitful acre of good soil, it falls into the 
lake. Up this stream the Rob Roy penetrated a long 
way, but without any discovery of art employed, or even 
of much masonry, and on horseback I followed it closely 
for several miles. 

Another stream, called Wady Rubbadyeh, flows into 
the lake more northerly ; and I paddled also upon that, 
ascending in like manner from the shore, but with a 
precisely similar absence of result. Between these two, 
and near the base of a projecting hill, is a fountain 
proper, called "Ain Mudawara," which quietly mounts 
from the earth below into a large round reservoir, and, 
escaping thence, the portion of it not used for irrigation 
(very little at present) finds its way to the lake.'^~ On 
horseback I examined the interior and neighbourhood 
of this fountain, and entering the walled enclosure, which 
is about 100 feet wide, and in depth from three feet to 
a few inches, I traversed it in all directions, and at 
different times.^'' This careful search was made to see 

^- By the channel the Rob Roy entered again, though scarce!}' floating, 
and then for a short distance worked her way into the marshy plain. 

^' Wilson estimates the volume of water at about the same as at Ain et 
Tin. It is sweet and good. Temperature 73° Fahr., when the air was 
b^. More water flows down Wady Rubbadyeh and Wadv Amud than 
in Wady Hamam. 

368 The Cor acinus. [Chap. XX. 

whether I could observe in it a specimen of the cora- 
cinus, or "cat-fish," which Dr. Tristram had found 
plentifully in this fountain a few years ago (but not in 
winter), and which seemed to be evidence that this was 
the fountain indicated by Josephus. 

Various ruins are found not far from the fountain, 
and, though not distinct, these might be the remains of 
Capernaum. However, the town need not have been 
quite close to the fountain ; although, if both had the 
same name, it is likely, either that they were close 
together, or that, if apart, the town was of considerable 
size. In default of any other proper claimant, and if 
possessed of the fish as an exclusive feature, the round 
reservoir at Mudawara would undoubtedly be entitled 
to the highest probability of being the fountain which 
Josephus alludes to. But (i) its peculiar claim in respect 
of the fish is no longer tenable as exclusive ; and (2) 
another claimant, formidable on other grounds, is also 
asserted to possess the fish. 

The question as to what fish'" inhabit the lake has 
assumed special interest because of the fish " Coracinus." 

Haselquist the naturalist says : — "We afterwards went 
out to the shore of the sea Tiberias, and had some fish 
brought us by the fishermen. I thought it remarkable 
that the same kind of fish should here be met with as 
in the Nile, Charmuth, Silurus, Ba^nni, Mulfil, and Sparus 
GaliLxus. The water in the river is sweet, but not 
very cold, though wholesome."''^ This was in May 175 i, 

^ Dr. Tristram, in his ' Land of Israel,' gives recent information as to the 
various fish of Palestine, and a complete list of them is given by Gunther, 
in the 'Student.' for July, 1869 (Groombridge). A vertebra from a very 
large fish, picked up on the shore of the Dead Sea, by Mr. Sandbach, this 
year, was shown to me at Liverpool, on October 4. 

^ Haselquist, ' Travels in the Last' (London, 1766), p. 158. Tetherick's 
narrative (1869) gives Haiinouth as the name of a Siluroid fish in the Nile. 

Chap. XX.] OtJicr Fish. 369 

and the last clause seems to refer to a stream, but its 
name is omitted. 

Burkhardt^*^ says that the most common species of 
fish are the Biinii, or carp, and the Mrs/it, which is about 
a foot long and five inches broad, with a flat body, and 
like the sole. What is here called the AlcsJit, and by 
Haselquist Charniuth, is probably what was called 
Barboot or Burboot'^" to me by the fishermen themselves, 
and meant the cat-fish or Coracinus, which they and my 
dragoman alleged was found plentifully in the lake, and 
was exported by thousands to Damascus and Beyrout. 
A dead one was said to be on the ground near our camp. 

After a diligent search in all the streams and fount- 
ains of Gennesareth, and a total failure to discover 
any of the co7'acinus fish there, I made particular en- 
quiries from the five fishermen who came to my camp 
in their boat by invitation, and were most courteous 
and intelligent in their talk.^*^ These men told me — and 
not in reply to any leading questions, but to the most 
formal and strict examination which a Templar could 
give to such witnesses — that the coracinus fish is found 
in summer time (after the month of April) in the fountain 
of Mudawara, but also in that of Ain et Tin ; and that 
it ascends to both of these from the lake, Avhere it is 
akvays found, but in the colder months only beside the 
hot springs of Bethsaida. Thither I rode at once to see 

^ ' Travels in Syria and the Holy Land ' (1822), p. 316. 

3' Rabbi Schwartz thus alludes to this (p. 302) : — " There is found also 
in the Sea of Chinnereth a very fat fish, ' al Barbud,' which has no scales, 
wherefore it is not eaten by Jews ; I consider it to be a species of the eel." 

•■** All wore the same kind of dress, a cloak, or scarf (the " fisher's coat "), 
and below it a short kilt. When a man had only this latter garment on, he 
was said to be " naked." This explains the expression used when Peter 
went into the sea to go to Christ— he girt his short loose dress about him 
with his Zummar (girdle). 

2 B 


TJie Hot Springs. [Chap. XX. 

further into this matter, and spent some hours on horse- 
back, splashing among the tepid streams ; and at last 
in the lake itself, and just at the spot the men indicated 
— that is, where the waters are A\'armed by the heated 
rivulet — I noticed one of the fish in question darting out 
of the shallows of the warm sand, and a few yards off 
burrowing until its body and even its long tail were 
hidden again. Now, as this fish was seen in the lake, 
and as the Rob Roy floated from the lake both up the 
stream of Ain et Tin and of Mudawara, it is plain that 
the coraciiuis could also ascend to these fountains ; and 
though only seen as yet in one of them by a tourist who 
could record it, the fish may very likely be found in 
both fountains, as the fishermen assert is the case ; and 
so the feature noticed by Josephus need not be peculiar 
to one fountain more than to another. 

But now that we are again at Bethsaida and on 
shore, let us see whence the gushing brooks arise which 
we have dipped our hands in by the fishers' huts, and 
have seen from afar dimmed by a beautiful white cloud 
like finest smoke, as their vapour cooled in the evening 
air while the mill-wheel splashed their waters. 

Behind these mills/'-* and far higher above the lake 

■^'■' There are buildings for five mills, but only one was in use. Captain 
Wilson says there are five springs ; the water is more or less brackish. 
The main spring issues west of the foot of the octagonal reservoir, and has 
a volume a little more than half of that of Banias fountain. This turns the 
mill (on a vertical shaft). The octagon reservoir is of irregular shape, part 
of it oil the east is cut in the rock. By this the spring would be raised to 
a height of about twenty feet, and was then carried by the aqueduct to the 
Ghuweir (Gennesareth). The Arabs calle<l the fountain Ain Dhabur, and 
the wady running into the plain Wady Jamoos. At Tabiga the limestone 
crojis out through the basalt (dip 20°, strike 315"). The temperature of the 
main spring was 86^ Fahr., and ajiparently increased inside the rub!)ish. 
This is the hottest fountain on the lake. The aqueduct had already been 
observed l)y Tliomson ('L. and B.' p. 354). I'e Berlou speaks ol " sume 

Chap. XX.] The Aqueduct. 371 

than Ain et Tin and Mudawara, a perennial stream at 
Bethsaida comes from a great round fountain, also girded 
by walls which are at least twenty feet high. Some part 
of the masonr}' is very ancient, and fig-trees, bursting 
through it, clamber down the sides, and hang their 
white-barked hoary limbs over a hot sullen pool- below. 
Steps reach partly down to this, but I could not find a 
practicable way by which to descend without a rope, 
and though I do not mind a ducking, I object, on the 
whole, to be boiled. 

Now, why has this fountain, so near the sea, been 
walled so high and at great expense 1 Not to suppl}' 
drinking water to any town at Bethsaida — a much smaller 
reservoir would suffice for that. Not to drive the mills, 
for there is plenty of fall to do that without so much 
artificial elevation. Then where did the water run to 
from so high a head } This is what has been most 
satisfactorily answered by the happy keenness of an 
intelligent observer, Captain Wilson, who traced the 
remains of an ancient aqueduct leading from this 
round fountain at Tabiga by a sure but winding route 
all the way to the rocky cliff" we have so often men- 
tioned at the edge of the land of Gennesareth. We 
easily trace it thither. Then we ride up the cliff", and 
find the level water-way has come there too. But to 
take it over that cliff" was impossible, and to tunnel 

ancient aqueducts from under the hill (at Khan Minyeh) carrying the 
water which supplies the mills at Taibiga," which seems a dim notion of 
their purpose, though in a wrong direction. De Saulcy suggests that 
Josephus did not mean that the name of the fountain was Capharnaum (for 
Kefr would not be inserted in a town's name), but that it was named from 
Capharnaum, and may have had another title. He mentions also having 
passed a stream, Tabrah, in going north-east from Nahr Rubadyeh ; may 
this have been a lingering of the name of Tabiga aqueduct when that 
had gone to decay ? 

372- JosepJms Fountain. [Chap. XX. 

through it would be needless ; so the channel is cut 
round the rocky slope, and we go inside the old dry- 
aqueduct, long used as a riding-path, but now plainly 
seen to be a way for water by its section like an in- 
verted horseshoe : the very least convenient form for a 
road, and the very best for a channel.'"-' Can this 
fountain at Tabiga be that named in Josephus ? Fish 
could come to it from the lake.'*' Water brought from 
it to the cliff might well be said to come from a 
fountain named after the most considerable village 
upon its course ; and if Capernaum was near this hill 
— or, as I think, partly at least upon the cliff itself — 
then the fountain, little more than half a mile distant, 
might well be called by the same name as the town. 
From this elevation it could readily irrigate all the 
plain, and the aqueduct leading it for this purpose by 
the north-west horn of the crescent garden has been 
also traced by Wilson quite far enough to show that this 
was done. Thus the description of Josephus would be 
entirely explained as to the fish in the fountain and the 
fountain A\'atering the plain. 

It may well be supposed that, as the very existence 
of this aqueduct has been only lately ascertained, no 
record has been found of \\\\c\\ its functions ceased. 
However, it appears to me that this may have been the 
" channel of Jordan " alluded to in an old but distinct 
account ■*" of what was once at Khan ]\Iinych. Coming 

■"' A photograph of this, jniblished by tlic Palestine K\i)loiation Fund, 
sliow's very clearly to the eye the facts mentioned liere in words. 

■" Perhaps not at present into the reservoir, Imt to the mill-dam, where 
the miller said they are found, and then, w hen the w ater in the reservoir 
w as low, they could go to that. As this li^h lives at the bottom, it might 
not be noticed in the reservoir unless the water was shallow. 

*- This is what Saunderson says, writing a.d. i6oi : — " After leaving 
Tiberias, we came to Almenia" (the sound o'i the word very much resembling 

Chap. XX.] At Tabiga. 373 

from so high a level, the stream might readily be mis- 
taken for a canalette from the river, like those we have 
described in connection with the Abana, and indeed 
quite similar to these both in purpose and in construction, 
cutting through the rock, while to any other stream in 
Galilee the description seems to be inapplicable. 

that of Khan Minyeh), "which hath been a great citie, also 7 or S miles 
off, close built by the sea side, along through which runneth a channel 
of Jordan, this undoubtedly is Capernaum, for that is over the point of 
land;" but with respect to the name he allows that " the Jewes, neither 
the Turkes, could directly advise me which it was"' (Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' 
vol. ii. p. 1635). 

74 The Apostles Voyage. [Chap. xxi. 



WE propose to devote this chapter to a look at the 
site of Capernaum from a sailor's point of view. 
The city is mentioned in the New Testament on one 
occasion, which seems to deserve our attention here, as 
the sole instance where the position of the place is in- 
dicated in relation to other places, and a distance on the 
water is given. These are found in the narrative of 
the dark and stormy voyage of the twelve apostles, 
related by three of the Evangelists, and each of them 
records features or incidents which must all be considered 
together if we would view the description as a whole. 
Let us endeavour to combine in consecuti\'e narration 
the three separate accounts' of this voyage contained in 
Matt. xiv. 13-34; Mark vi. 30-53 ; and John vi. 1-25. 
Our Lord having been told of the death of John 

' St. Luke (ix. 10-17) narrates only the first portion of the events of that 
day. The " beloved physician " who here recounts the cure of the sick could 
have well described the voyage afterwards, for there is great distinctness 
and power in his account of Paul's voyage to Rome, and especially of the 
shipwreck, wherein he gives more information about the ships of the time 
than is found in any other author, or, perhaps, in all other authors together. 

Chap. XXL] T/ic '' DcsH't Placed 2)1 S 

the Baptist, the twelve apostles "slathered themselves 
together" unto Him, and "He took them" and "de- 
parted thence by ship," "and went aside privately" "into 
a desert place." So far the authorised versions of the four 
Ev^angelists agree with the versions in Tauchnitz's. But 
in Luke ix. lo, after the word "privately," whereas our 
version reads " into a desert place belonging to the city 
called Bethsaida," the Vatican MS. reads " into the 
city called Bethsaida," while the Sinai MS., being without 
these words originally, Ijas them inserted in correction. 
The name Bethsaida here is mentioned by only one 
Gospel, and being styled " the city called Bethsaida," 
(not a city), we might suppose that the Bethsaida on the 
west of the lake, " the city of Andrew and Peter," is 
meant. But it is generally considered that the other 
Bethsaida (called Julias), and on the east of Jordan (at 
Et Tell), is the place indicated, because after the miracle 
Christ directed the apostles to get into a ship " and to 
go to the other side, before unto Bethsaida " (Mark vi. 
45). This was the Bethsaida on the west, which is always 
styled simply " Bethsaida," - ^s if it was well known, 

^ Dr. Thomson supposes that there was one Bethsaida wliich was built on 
both sides of the Jordan. While deference may be paid to this opinion of 
a scholar, long resident in Palestine, and acquainted with the locality, 
we may remark that his description of the voyage of the apostles is by no 
means satisfactory to a sailor. He supposes the boat to " set sail " from a 
point in the Butaia plain, and to be "driven past" Tell Hoom, to near 
the plain of Gennesareth. Xow this presumes that the wind was at least 
north of west, and in such a case (i) there would be few waves at first, and 
much less as they went on ; (2) they could easily keep close to shore, as 
their proper course ; and (3) they would not be " in the midst of the sea ;" 
and after rowing "25 or 30 furlongs" they would not be "toiling in 
rowing," but in calm, and, indeed, would then be actually on shore. 
Thomson also says : — "I do not believe that another instance can be 
found of two cities of the saDie name close together on the same part of a 
small lake" (' L. and B.' p. 375). Vet he himself mentions the Wady 
Semak above Khersa, and the village Semak, farther south, on the same 

'^'j6 The Apostles Voyage. [Chap. XXI. 

while the other on the east is "the city called Beth- 

" The people saw them departing, and many knew 
Him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent 
them and came together unto Him ;" "and He received 
them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and 
healed them that had need of healing." That the people 
were able to come " afoot " to the place before the boat 
shows probably that there was not a favourable wind, 
or that the boat went slowly. Jhe greater the distance 
between the starting-point and the place they came to 
the less easy would it be for people to walk round to it 
faster than the boat went across the curve, and this 
makes it less likely that the boat went far south on the 
Butaia plain. The 5000 were then fed, and twelve 
baskets were filled with the fragments.'^ " And straight- 
way He constrained the disciples to get into the ship,* 
and to go to the other side'' before unto Bethsaida," irpo^ 

eastern shore of the lake (but nearer to tlie other than the two Bethsaidas 
were). These places have the same modern name, because it Avas appli- 
cable to them both (meaning " fish^') ; and, for the same reason, two cities 
may have been called "Bethsaida," "the fishermen's home." It maybe 
also observed that a city placed some way up the river's channel would be 
a very inconvenient place for fishers' boats plying on the lake, although it 
might well be a place for catching the fish that ascended the river. 

-* Sittin"- in 50 ranks, of 100 in cacli rank, the men would exactly 
number 5000. Baskets were carried by the Jews when travelling in the 
Passover time, for their food and other things, lest they should be defiled. 

•* Mark vi. 45. The Sinai MS. has " a ship." In Matt. xiv. 22, where 
it is " a ship," the Sinai MS. reads "the shiji." 

'•• The \\()rds 6/s ro Tfpav, translated "to the other side," need not, 
])erhaps, mean to the ojiposite side of the lake, east or west of the Jordan. 
Josephus, departing from Tiberias, says lie " sailetl over to Taricliea'," 
huTTepMuiQei' ('Life,' sec. lix.), while Tiberias and 'I'ariclRW; were on the 
same, western, side of Jordan, and without any deeply indented bay between 
them. Several of the more notable texts involving this subject are cited by 
Robinson, and it may be unwise to disturb the general understanding as to 

Chap. XXL] 77/r Embarkation. 377 

V>i]d(jdihav, " over against Bcthsaicla " (Gricsbach). W hile 
the apostles went to obe\- the directions of Christ, 
He sent the multitude away, and departed into a moun- 
tain "to pra}-." The day had passed, and two things 
are next mentioned, each ^\■ith the same time noted. 
" When the evening was come, He was there alone " 
(Matthew). " When even was now come, His disciples 
went down unto the sea " (John). 

There is no indication of the exact spot from which 
this embarkation was made. We have already described 
several ports and channels on the north-east shore, at 
any one of which the apostles may have left "the ship," 
and it appears to have been the same vessel that they 
now embarked in. For the sake of clearness, therefore, 
it will be necessary to consider the midnight voyage 
both on the hypothesis that it began from the north end 
of the Butaia plain near the point A on Map VH., and 
on the hypothesis that it began near the south-east end of 
the plain at the point E on the map. The intermediate 
cases of embarkation from some port between A and E 
may be worked out by those Avho are sufficiently 
interested in the question. 

They embarked, however, " and went over the sea 
towards Capernaum," i]p^ovTo irepav t*}*? OdXdaai]^ eU 
KaTrepvaov/ji, "were going," Ave might say [Sinai MS. " and 
came over the sea towards Capharnaum "], But Mark has 
told us that the Lord bid them go "unto Bethsaida," 
and v.'e may well suppose that they went in the direction 
He had ordered. Matthew says, "and when they were 
gone over, they came into the land of Genncsareth " 

the word vefiav. Many questions would have to be opened anew if tlie 
meaning does not always involve a passage over the lake east or west, yet 
possibly some difficulties now unexplained would yield to better enquiry on 
this point. The name of the district Peraia comes from Trepar. 

;^'jS Direction. [Chap. XXI. 

[Sinai and Vatican MSS., "they came to land unto 
Gennesaret "]. Mark says the same, adding "and drew 
to the shore," while John tells us that, when they had 
received Him into the ship, "immediately the ship was 
at the land whither they went" [Sinai MS., "whither it 
went "], and that next day " the people came to Caper- 
naum seeking for Jesus." We may surely deduce from 
these specific statements that the place to which Christ 
bid the apostles go (Bethsaida), the place the apostles 
were going to, and which next day the people went to in 
search of Him (Capernaum), and the place they arrived 
at (Gennesareth), were all in the same direction. 

We have now to apply the foregoing conclusions to test 
some of the claims of the two rival sites, the one at Tell 
Hoom (which we shall call T), and the other at Khan 
Minyeh (which we shall call K). and we shall do this b}- 
followingwhat would happen in the voyage as if it began 
at A or at E separately. 

I. As to the Direction or bearings of the course laid 
down at starting. 

(i) If the ship started from A, the direction would be 
the same for T, for K, for Bethsaida, and for the land of 
Gennesareth. Nothing, then, can be decided from this 

(2) If the ship started from E. Now Bethsaida bears 
W. by N. from E, and the land of Gennesareth W. \ N. 
And as T bears W.N.W., while K bears W. \ N., it is 
plain that the bearings would have only half a point 
difference if the ship was going to Khan Min}'eh, but 
would luu'e three times as much if she was going to 
Tell Hoom, so that this is in favour of Khan Minyeh. 
We shall now consider the evidence to be gathered from 
wliat happened during the \-0}'age itself 

II. As to the Position of the ship. The ship had 

Chap. XXL] Position of tJic Ship. 379 

started, and ]\Iattlie\v says it was now " in the midst of 
the sea " [Vatican MS., " many furlongs distant from 
the land "]. Mark sa}\s the same. 

(3) If she started from A, whether for K or T, the 
ship's course would never be five furlongs from the land, 
for if the wind was from anywhere in W.N.W. to W.S.W., 
she would '' hug the shore," and if it were from W.S.W. 
to S.S.E., she would not be driven from the land. This, 
therefore, is against the supposition that the start was 
made from A. 

(4) If she started from E, and rowed the distance men- 
tioned (in our next section), then, if going to T, she 
would not now be four furlongs from land, but, if going 
to K, she would still be double that distance — which is in 
favour of Khan Minyeh. 

III. As to the weather and A\'aves. Matthew sa}-s the 
ship was " tossed with waves, for the wind was contrary." 
Mark says that the men were "toiling with rowing, for 
the wind was contrary unto them." John says, "the sea 
arose (Snjyeipero " was rising ") by reason of a great wind 
that blew. So when they had rowed about five and 
twenty or thirty furlongs," ° the great event occurred 
which all of them recount. We may reckon the furlong 
or stadion (by the best authorised computation) at 202 
yards, so that twenty-seven furlongs and a half, the 
mean of the distances given, would be about three 
miles. Applying this and the other new particulars, we 
observe : — 

(5) If the ship started from A to go to T, the distance 

* He says also, " And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to 
them " [Sinai MS., " And the darkness overtook them, and Jesus was not 
yet come to them "]. This remark, showing that Christ was probably 
expected, and therefore waited for, is considered in another place {rt;/A', p. 
355), but it does not bear upon the reasoning as to the claims of K or T to 

380 The Weaiher and Waves. [Chap. XXI. 

rowed would bring her on the shore, for Tell Hoom is 
only two miles from A ; but if she was going to K, she 
w^ould still be nine furlongs distant. This again is in 
favour of Khan Minyeh. The contrary wind might be 
the same in both cases. 

(6) If she started from E for T, she would now be five 
furlongs distant. In this case the wind, to be "contrary," 
must be from north-east, round by west to south-west ; 
and if it blew from north of their course (W.N.W.), the 
sea would be almost calm near the spot the ship has now 
come to. Again, if it blew from south of their course, 
the ship could not be drifted to the land of Gennesareth. 
But if she started from E going to K, she would now be 
nearly twenty furlongs distant from K (almost midway 
on her voyage), and the wind, being contrary (from the 
west), would come out of the high gorge of the Vale of 
Doves and across the land of Gennesareth, with a sweep 
of nearly eight miles, without shelter from the hills ; so 
that not only would the sea be high at starting, but the 
force of the wind would be felt to the very end of the 
voyage, because there the beach is low and the hills 
recede ; whereas at T the land is quite different in this 
respect. This is strongly in favour of Khan Minyeh. 

We have thus used the narrative of the apostles' 
voyage to test the claims of Tell Hoom and Khan 
Minyeh by supposing one and then the other of them 
to be Capernaum, and have regarded it under the heads 
of — I. The direction or bearings at starting ; II. The 
position of the ship in the lake ; III. The weather 
and waves. Three wonderful events next signalise this 
voyage : IV. The approach of Christ ; V. The action of 
Peter ; VI. The arrival of the ship ; after which there 
is, VII. The search next day. These we shall consider 
solely with relation to the question of the site of Caper- 

Chap. XXI.] Appi'oach of Christ. 381 

naum. For other purposes, the minds of the most pro- 
found and devout men have studied the subject, and the 
ablest pens have written. 

IV. The Approach of Christ. — \\. was at the "fourth 
watch of the night " that this happened — not earher 
than three o'clock of the succeeding morn ; and the 
apostles had left Him on land at least six hours before. 
Now they saw Him "walking on the sea."" Mark says 
of the apostles, "they all saw him." In Matthew it is 
written, " He Avent to them." Mark says, " He cometh 
unto them ;" and John describes Him as " dravv'ing nigh 
unto the' ship;" so that He was not standing, but 
moving, and the direction of His progress seems to be 
indicated by Mark, when he adds that "the Lord would 
have passed by them." There is no room left to suppose 
that He who "plants His footsteps in the sea" was 
standing upon some point of land, or went along some 
shallow, which, at all events now, does not, I am certain, 
exist in or near either place, K or T. It states distinctly 
that He went on the sea after them, came from behind 
to them, but on one side, and so overtook the ship 
while it was in deep water, and before it " drew to the 

V. Peter is now forward to be called into danger. 
He requests, he is bidden to "come ;" he walks, doubts, 
("If it be Thou"), fears, sinks, calls for help, and this is 
given, and with it the title " thou of little faith," in 
presence of them all. This Peter, who at another time 
leaped into the water to go to Jesus, would have done 

7 sttJ Ty\s 9a\d(T(Trjs. Alford considers that this expression clearly means 
"upon the sea." Matthew, after using the word lilce the others (ver. 25), 
uses also eVl Tr]v 6d\aaaa.v (ver. 26), which form is used by John (ver. 16), 
when stating the embarkation of the apostles. \V hen Peter " walked on 
the water," it is eVi ra D'Sara (Matt. xiv. 28, 29). 

Action of Peter. [Chap. XXI. 

so now without fear, had the wind been cahn, or the 
waves less boisterous, or the water shallow, or the land 

(7) All these features in the incidents of Christ's 
approach and Peter's conduct seem to harmonise well 
with the supposition that the ship was away from the 
shore, and that the sea was }'et rough ; and thus they 
favour the view that the ship had not gone towards Tell 

Still more is this shown by the next words, " And He 
went up unto them into the ship ; " " Then they willingly 
received [Sinai MS., "came to receive"] Him into the 
ship ; " for we can see no reason why He should then 
go on board, and take Peter there also, if the ship was 
already at its destination, or if it was even near to the 

VI. Quickly, however, there follows the remarkable 
expression, "the wind ceased," both in Matthew and 
Mark ; while John tells us " and immediately (eu^ew?) 
the ship was at the land whither they went " [Sinai MS., 
" it went "]. 

(8) Now, Bethsaida was "whither they went;" and 
whether this was (as Thomson places it) at Jordan's 
mouth, or was near K (and no other position for Beth- 
saida seems suggested), it was in each case several miles 
from T. This last consideration seems sufficient to 
dispose of the claims of Tell Hoom as the site of 

l^ut we are told distinctly by John that, " when they 
were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret " 
[the Sinai and the Vatican ]\1.SS. even more definitely 
read, "they came unto land to Gennesaret"]. This 
land is more than forty furlongs distant from any part 
of the north-east plain, excci)t that just near the Jordan 

Chap. XXL] Arrival of tJie Ship. 383 

from which it is about thirty-nine furlongs. The apostle's 
estimate of twenty-five or thirty furlongs from the point 
of their embarkation is not likely to be incorrect or hap- 
hazard, for they were fishermen in their own boat, and 
homeward bound. We may, therefore, believe that the 
vessel w^as now at least a mile from the shore. 

A distinguished expositor of the New Testament 
seems to intimate, in his note on this subject, that the 
speedy arrival of the ship was not necessarily miracu- 
lous. Doubtless, the question turns a good deal upon 
whether the word " immediately " does or does not allow 
sufficient interv^al of time to bring the ship from " the 
midst of the sea," and one mile over the water, to the 
land itself, say at the least a quarter of an hour. But 
as we have had already in the narrative a succession of 
miracles — Christ walking on the sea, Peter walking on 
the water, the calming of the wind — so now, perhaps, 
we have another — the quick arrival of the ship. 

Some persons feel it difficult to believe that any 
miracle has ever occurred, because, they say, it would be 
a " breach of the laws of Nature." I do not believe 
that any " breach of the laws of Nature " has ever 
occurred, but that these laws have been always observed, 
and that one of the laws He ordained (though we did 
not know it, being ignorant) is that He can do, has done, 
and will do, whatever is His will and pleasure, at all 
times, in all places. 

Vn. The Action of tJic People next day. — They "took 
shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus." 

(9) Insomuch as this indicates that Capernaum was 
distant enough to make it advisable to go by sea, it is 
in favour of k as the site rather than T. (The difficult 
passage, John vi. 22-25, ^^'^ have considered already, at 
p. 355, and it does not affect our present question.) 

384 Other Incide7its. [Chap. XXI. 

We have thus endeavoured fairly to apply the whole 
narrative of this voyage as a test of the rival sites of 
Capernaum. The difficulty of doing so satisfactorily is 
enhanced by the fact that, while direction and distance 
are given, the starting-point is uncertain from which our 
direction is indicated, and from which our distance is 
measured. The starting-point has, therefore, been re- 
garded in its two extreme positions on the plain. Doubt- 
less, it may have been between these, and not either at 
A or E ; and an attentive consideration of the preceding 
argument will probably convince the reader that the 
starting-point was nearer to E than to A. He will also 
perceive that, while the site at Tell Hoom would be 
violently inconsistent with the narrative in one or another 
group of important particulars, wherever the starting- 
point really was, the site of Khan Minyeh for Caper- 
naum fulfils easily every one of the conditions under the 
seven heads we have considered, and supports the whole 
narrative as to the direction, distance, weather, the 
transactions on the sea, and the conduct of the people 
on the shore. 

Some remarks may be added upon other passages 
of the New Testament where Capernaum is mentioned, 
applying the reliable information now first available as 
to the contour of the shore, the distances between the 
several points, and the form of the hills and valleys 
on land, and our knowledge, in addition, of the bays, 
beaches, harbours, and the winds. 

(10) After our Lord had called His disciples from their 
nets and Zebedee's ship, it is stated (Mark i. 21), "And 
they went into Capernaum, and straightway on the 
Sabbath day He entered into the s}-nagogue and taught " 
(probably at the beginning of the Sabbath in the evening, 
for the fishermen would not be employed at their nets 

Chap. XXI.] Other Evidence. ■ 385 

on the Sabbath) ; " And forthwith when they were come 
out of the s\-nag"ogue, they entered into tlie house of 
Simon and Andrew with James and John." This and 
Luke iv. '^%, as well as numerous other passages, show 
that Capernaum \\as near to l-5ethsaida, so that whatever 
force there is in our arguments from the sea and the 
shore in favour of Bethsaida being at Tabiga will apply 
to show that Capernaum was at Khan Minyeh. 

(11) "And in the morning-, rising up a great while 
before day, He went out and departed into a solitary 
place and there prayed." The rough hills behind Khan 
Minyeh, but not far off, seem to provide more naturally 
for this than the cultivated ground about Tell Hoom. 

(12) In Matt. V. we are told that Christ "went up into 
a mountain." After the long Sermon on the Mount, 
related in that and the next two chapters,^ He came 
down, the leper was cured, " And when Jesus was 
entered into Capernaum" (Matt. viii. 5, and Luke vii. i), 
the centurion came about his servant, and then the cure 
of " the great fever " of Simon's wife's mother is related." 
So that, whether this was done immediately after the 
calling of the fishermen, or after the Sermon on the 
Mount, the position of Capernaum as close to Bethsaida 
seems implied ; and as in the former case we bring 
Bethsaida near to Tabiga, because of the shore, and the 
sea, and the fish, so in the latter case we are led to place 
Capernaum on the way to Bethsaida from the " Mount," 

* The floor of a boat-house in Ireland appeared to me so remarkably 
good that I asked of what it was made, and the reply was "of refuse 
salt." This illustrates verse 13 in the Sermon, where the salt is "trodden 
under foot of men." 

8 It is remarked that the plain of Gennesareth and the parts adjacent are 
now very subject to fever, and probably were so of old, but I think tliat 
this, though corroborative of a detail, is not an inij)ortaiit fact in ihu 

2 C 

386 '' Exalted to Heaven!" [Chap. XXI. 

otherwise the route of our Lord on this occasion, and 
after such long proceedings, would be very circuitous ; 
and as the " Mount " has usually been placed south of 
Gennesareth, we shall find Capernaum south of Bethsaida, 
i.e. at Khan Minyeh. 

( 1 3) In Luke x. 15, Christ uses the expression " exalted 
to heaven " in relation to Capernaum. Whether this 
refers to the actual situation of the buildings, or is only 
metaphorical, it deserves to be noticed. No other city 
all round the lake had a hill on the shore so high ^"^ as 
that at Khan Minyeh which could be built upon. If 
the houses were on this hill (as well as below) the couch 
of the paralytic (Mark ii. 4) could more readily be 
carried to the roof from the terrace above than by the 
usual outside stairs to the roof, which would have their 
entrance on a level with the floor, and therefore be less 
accessible on account of the crowd. 

(14) We may also ask how it was that, if Capernaum 

^^ The cliff projecting into the sea is Tell Larc)Tie. Wilson estimates 
the height of the hill as from 200 to 300 feet. 

De Saiilcy (vol. ii. p. 428) cites a remarkable passage from Adumnan, 
in the seventh century, who says ('De Locis Sanctis,' lib. ii.), writing of 
Capernamn — "qua; ut Arculfus refert qui earn de monte vicino prospexit 
murum non habens angusto inter montem et stagnum coartata spatio, per 
illam maritimam oram longo tramite protenditur, montem ab aquilonali 
plaga, locum vero ab australi habens, ab occasu in ortum extensa dirigitur." 

(De Saulcy, indeed, to force this to agree with him, turns all the bearings 
through an angle of about 45° ; but, if needful to support his own theory, 
this lively PVcnch traveller turned majis, and pictures, and testimony 
through even 180° without any ceremony.) 

Benjamin of Tudcla says: — " Caphar Nahhuni is foure leagues distant 
from thence (Carmel), retayning the ancient name, a very high jilace, 
which exceedcth Carmel in prospect" (Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. ii. p. 1444). 
Tabor, if that was meant by " Carmel," is about four leagues from Khaji 
Minyeh. This extract is cited, not as to the geographical position, but the 
eievation of the town. Saundcrson also, in a.d. i6oi, may allude to tliis 
elevation of the place when he says it "is over the point of land" (see 
the passage, aide, p. 373). 

Chap. XXL] Joscphus. 387 

was not there, no other city or building seems to have 
been placed on this cliff", the most commanding site of 
any round the lake, with a good harbour below, with 
water accessible in the aqueduct above, and with the 
richest ground alongside. That no name should have 
lingered here, and no relics, is explained if we consider 
tliis was the place to which Christ's words applied, " And 
thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be 
thrust down to hell" (Luke x. 15)." With such a fate 
denounced upon Capernaum, we may wonder that, if Tell 
Hoom be the city, not only has the name survived, but 
chief amongst the ruins there — -the best preserved of any 
round the lake, and the finest of their kind in Palestine 
- — should be those of the very synagogue where our Lord 
was most rejected, and which would incur the deepest 

(15) There are three passages in Josephus wherein 
Capernaum is mentioned. In one of these he speaks of 
the fountain, and this we have already discussed. Another 
is in the narrative of his own life (sec. Ixxii.), where 
he relates several skirmishes and battles in the Butaia 
plain, ^^ and close to Julias, after one of which he says : — 
" And I had performed great things that day if a certain 
fate had not been my hindrance, for the horse on which 
I rode, and upon whose back I fought, fell into a quag- 
mire and threw me on the ground, and I was bruised on 

" In the Sinai and Vatican MS S., "and thou, Capernaum, shalt thou 
be exalted to heaven ? Thou shalt be thrust down to hell." 

'- The name "Keraseh" and the ruins there are subject to the same 
remark if that place can be considered to represent Chorazin. Bethsaida, 
however, has not preserved its name, and no ruins remain in situ. 

" In sec. Ixxiii. it is distinctly said that Sylla's ambush was "beyond 
Jordan." The details given in sec. Ixxi. appear to be equally applicable to 
either side of Jordan, and not to determine the position of Julias, which, 
however, from other notices, we may conclude was on the east. 


88 Wounded. [Chap. XXI. 

my wrist and carried into a village named Capharnome.'* 
... I therefore sent for the physicians, and while I was 
under their hand, I continued feverish that day, and as 
the physicians directed, I was that night removed to 
Taricheae." From this " quagmire," wherever it was,'^ 
the wounded general was carried {eKoyuiaQriv) to Caper- 
naum. Now Josephus had at this time 200 ships at 
Tarichese. His party had complete command of the 
Avater, for next day, after another fight, " Avhen they 
(the Romans) heard that some armed men were sailed 
from Taricheae to Julias, they were afraid and retired " 
(sec. Ixxiii.), so that no doubt Josephus had boats near 
the battle-field, and to go by water would be the most 
natural, the most easy, and the safest, shortest, and 
surest for a wounded man. The port they reached on 
their way to his home at Taricheae would be Capernaum. 
There the physicians consulted, and as he was feverish, 
and as the fight, the wound, the sending for the doctors, 
and the time under their hands were all in one day, it 
must have been late when he set out again for Tarichea;, 
to which he was taken (" carried over," fxeTeKoixlcrOT^v) 
that night. Now if he was taken by land from Tell 
Hoom to Taricheae (Kerak), it would be over fifteen 
miles of road, occupying at least eight hours (a sick man 
travelling at night), but if he went by water from Khan 
Minyeh to Tarichea:, which is about ten miles and a half, 

'•• In Whiston's translation is inserted here, "or Capernaum," but this 
is not in the f'.reek of Dindorf 's version (Paris, 1845), which has only the 
V'Ords e(s Kwfir]v Ki^apv'SifjLrjv \('yofiivr]v, and it may be noticed here that 
tliis is not exactly the same word as that used by Josephus when speaking 
ot the fountain, Ka<papi'aovf.i. (' W. J.' book iii. ch. x. sec. viii.). 

'^ It may have been upon either side of Jordan, so far as the nature of the 
t;round indicates. For on the east side is the marshy Butaia, and on the 
west is the treacherous morass dcscrilied already as most difficult to ride 
over (see anU; p. 315). 

Chap. XXL] Dimensions. 389 

he could be rowed as fast as possible, at all events, in 
three hours. It is, therefore, most probable that Josephus 
embarked for Taricheie at once when he was wounded, 
that he stopped at Capernaum to consult the physicians 
of his army (then in that neighbourhood), and that there 
is nothing here to show that Capernaum was close to 

(16) One more passage in Josephus seems to bear 
upon the site of Capernaum, although with only negative 
evidence against the claim of Tell Hoom. He says 
(' W. J.' book iii. ch. iii. sec. i.) of Lower Galilee — " Its 
breadth'''' is also from Meroth to Thella, a village nearest 
to Jordan," where the name Thella has much the sound 
of Tell Hoom/' but Josephus mentions it without any 
reference to Capernaum.'^ 

'" fxTiKvveTai, latitiido (Dindorf) ; but Whiston translates it "length;" 
a.nd yeLTovos, proxi/no (Dindorf), he translates "near." 

^^ "Thella is undoubtedly the ancient Tellum, now Cherbath Tillum, 
situated on the north-west shore of the lake of Tiberias" (Schwartz, 

p. 70). 

'^ The accuracy of Josephus in his descriptions seems to be more clearly 
brought out in proportion as recent researches have uncovered the evidence 
long buried under ruins. While we read this author's books for information 
as to the places made notable in the Bible, it may be allowed, perhaps, to 
mention the following allusions made by him to some of the principal 
persons of the New Testament. 

In his ' Antiquities of the Jews ' (book xviii. ch. iii. sec. iii.) he says : — 
" Now there was about this time, Jesus a wise man, if it be lawful to call 
him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men 
as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the 
Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ. And when Pilate, 
at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to 
the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him ; for he 
appeared to them alive again on the third day ; as the divine prophets had 
foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. 
And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this 
day." (See also a note to ' W. J.' book ii. ch. ix. sec. i.) 

Pontius Pilate is mentioned in ' Ant. J.' (book xviii. ch. ii. sec. ii.) ; and 
Josephus mentions that "John that was called the Baptist" was slain l)y 

390 Testimony. [Chap. XXI. 

The question as to whether Khan Minyeh or Tell 
Hoom has most right to be regarded as the site of Caper- 
naum from what has been written since the Bible and after 
Josephus, and from the opinions of modern travellers, 
opens a very large and interesting discussion quite 
beyond the limits of the Rob Roy's cruise. My opinion 
on this general question has no particular weight, but 
the new and special data here supplied from the water 
and the map may be useful to those who have the 
ability, diligence, and scholarship necessary to give im- 
portance to their decisions. Such men have already in- 
vestigated the question with the knowledge available when 
each one wrote. To them for their facts, and their argu- 
ments, their reflections, or their stirring words, or their 
bright descriptions, each new traveller owes a debt that 
cannot be paid, and is only imperfectly acknowledged by 

Herod at Macherus ('Ant. J.' book xviii. ch. v. sec. ii.), and that "the 
brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James," was 
stoned (book xx. ch. ix. sec. i.). 

An interesting comment is also supplied by another fact which Josephus 
relates. When the appeal of Paul forced King Agrippa to say, " Almost 
thou persuadest me to be a Christian," the prisoner answered that he 
wished all who heard him were not only almost but altogether as himself, 
"except these bonds," and he raised up his hands fettered by a chain. The 
king must have felt this gesture specially above all, for he himself had been 
bound at Rome with an iron chain, and when he was pardoned, the em- 
peror " changed his iron chain for a golden one of equal weight," which 
Agrippa afterwards brought to Jerusalem, and "hung it up within the 
limits of the Temple over the Treasury, that it might be a memorial of 
the severe fate he had lain under, and a testimony of his change for the 
Ix'tter " (Josephus, ' Ant. J.' book xviii. ch. vi. sec. x. ; and book xix. ch. vi. 
sec. i.). 

vSucli notices of the leading personages in Chri>tian history will be 
received by some readers not only with interest, but with special attention, 
because the author occupied the peculiar position of apparent neutrality. 
If a pagan writer tells distinctly the same facts as the Bible, people are 
sure to ask, " Why did he not believe them ?" — and yet, if he did believe 
them, and so became a professed Christian, they innnediateiy exclaim, "He 
is a partial witness." 

Chap. XXL] Thanks. 391 

scrupulously citing each name when its special authority 
is used. This willing tribute is given in these pages to 
Robinson, Stanley, Tristram, Thomson, Porter, Wilson, 
Alford, Finn, Schwartz, Newbold, Smith, &c., besides the 
classic authors who are now beyond our thanks. 

The argument in favour of Tell Hoom as the site 
of Capernaum appears to me to rest chiefly upon its 
name, which is supposed to have been altered from 
Kefr Nahum (the village of Nahum) to Tell Nahum (the 
hill or ruin of Nahum) when the place had become 
deserted. But while we find the name Kefr Nahum 
applied by authors to various other places, I do not see 
it applied to the place now called Tell Hoom in any 
ancient writer, and though Wey's map'^ (a.d. 1462) 
places it near Jordan yet the definite distances he gives 
in his list do not favour this position. On the whole, 

'" As we have inserted in this chapter the newest map of the Sea ol 
Gahlee, it may be interesting to notice some of tlie older maps. The 
oldest map relating to Palestine we have been able to find is that called 
" Mappa Mundi," in Hereford Cathedral, a MS. of the date about a.d. 1310, 
very elaborate in its outlines, being symbolical and almost romantic. It 
shows the Abana and "Farfar" running into the Euphrates. Jordan has 
three streams — "Fons Jor," "Fons Dan," and "Fons Torrens." On the 
east of where is now Port Said, there is marked " Sirbonis " (the " Sirljonian 
bog "), and other curious points are noted. Another and more useful map of 
Palestine, 400 years old, is in the library of the Royal Geographical Society. 
It is about seven feet long, and carefully made, but probably without visit- 
ing all the localities. Distances between important places are given in a list, 
and in the book of which the title is ' The Itineraries of William Wey, 
Fellow of Eton College, to Jerusalem, A.D. 1458, and A.D. 1462.' 

From the original manuscript in the Bodleian Library, printed for the 
Roxburgh Club (London, 1857), at p. 138, is the following list of dis- 
tances in Roman miles : — 

Alilliario 4° a Bethsayda est Coroazym. 

• 2° a Coroazim est Cedar. 

2" a Capharnaum est descensus montis in quo doniinus predi- 

cabat turbis.* 

* After this entry is inserted in the similar list on the map — Milliario p" a descensu est 
locus in quo dominus pavit V millia hominum ex V panibus et duobus piscibus. 

39^ Maps. [Chap. XXI. 

then, the evidence seems to be much in favour of Khan 
Minyeh from (i) Scripture, (2) Josephus, (3) old authors, 
(4) modern -travellers. So, having now delivered the 
verdict of her crew, the Rob Roy may be hauled ashore, 
and safe among the bushes, tired, but not weary, we 
welcome the sweet rest of night, that link of peace in the 
chain of pleasant days. 

Milliario 2" a Genesaret est Magdalum castrum.* 

2° a Magdalo Castro est Tyberiadis.t 

1 6° a Nazareth contra Mare Galilee est Genazareth vicus in 

quo Christus misit legionem demonum in porcos. 

From Dan to Beersheba, i6o milliaria. From Joppa to Jordan, 6o 

The map represents the Sea of Galilee as a long narrow lake, with 
large fish in it. (In the Dead Sea several buildings are depicted under 
water), and among other features we notice that on the east of Jordan are 
Chorazin, Godcra, and Gedarcinics. Capharnaum is at the north-west, and 
Magdala close to it, with a stream between. Bethsaida is farther west 
up this stream, and on the same side as Capernaum. To the south of 
Magdala is Bethsaida, and then Genereth, and west of that is Tabor. 
Kades is at the south-west of the lake, and west of that is Carmel ; to the 
north of which is Caipha, on a stream. The relative apparent distances 
between the towns on the map do not at all correspond with those stated 
in the list. 

In " Hondius his Map of Terra Sancta," printed in A.D. 1624 (Purchas' 
' Pilgrims,' vol. v. p. 91), the position of the towns is as follows : — West of 
Jordan we have Capernaum at the north end, then a stream, and south of 
that Bethsaida, Magdala, Tarichere, a stream, Tiberias, and then Jordan ; 
east of Jordan we have Chorazin, and Julias at the north end ; then Gadara 
(in the centre of the east shore), a stream, Hippos, and Jordan. 

In D'Amville's map (a.d. 1794), Capernaum is on the north-west shore 
of the lake. From Gilboa the Kishon flows, and a river running to the 
Sea of Galilee. Mageda is marked south of Phiale, Gadera on the east 
of the lake at Khersa. In the Talmud, Kefr Ahim is noticed \\\\\\ Chorazin, 
also Tanhoum, Tanhoumin, Tchoumin (Neubauer, ' C^eog. Talm.' 221). 

* In the ma]) list tliis is "oppiilum," but on the face of the map it is "castrum." 
t In llic map tliis is — Milliario 1" a Magdalo Cencrcth vcl Tiberias j (ami then follows 
this) Milliario 4" a 'lyberiadc Bcthuliaci. 

Chap. XXII.] Sea of Galilee. 393 



" As when in heaven the stars about the moon 
Look beautiful, when all the winds are laid, 
And every height comes out and jutting peak 
And valley, and the immeasurable heavens 
Break open to the highest, and the stars 
Shine, and the shepherd gladdens in his heart." 

THE silence on this shore of Gennesareth is perfect — 
almost startling, but in the dark stillness there 
comes a muffled sound, with regular beat, yet as from 
afar. Let us look through this chink in the tent on the 
beautiful picture of the night, seen by old Homer, and 
told in Greek, which the Laureate of England has ren- 
dered as we give it above. The sound we hear is the 
plash of oars in that little fishing-boat gliding past like 
a vision. She is coming back after a night of toil, 
and the chant of her crew gives the time to their oars, 
and then it floats over the lake to the Rob Roy, listening 
in her oleander-bed. 

Next day our camp moved to Tiberias.^ We have 

' Tiberias is mentioned only once (John vi. 23), except as part of the 
name of the lake. 

394 Magdala. [Chap. XXII. 

already described what we saw in the canoe and on 
horseback along the shore until Magdala is reached at 
the southern end. The place is called Mijdel now, and 
is only a poor village, without beauty or cleanliness, at 
once the only pollution of the lake by its slovenly 
disorder, and the only town all round the shores 
retaining the name it had before. 

In Mark xiv. w^e are told how Christ was anointed by 
" the woman that was a sinner," and the promise of our 
Lord that, " Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached 
throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done 
shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." It is remark- 
able that, while the deed is thus embalmed in universal 
memory, the name of the woman is not mentioned here, 
but if it was indeed the Mary of Magdala then the name 
of her town has been for some good reason still preserved 
by the Arabs of Asia, and was assumed for the great 
fortress of Theodore by the Abyssinians of Africa.^ Here 
it is interesting to read what an Israelite has written 
about Magdala. Citing Jewish authorities for details, 
the Rabbi Schwartz says (p. 189) that Migdal is the 
village Medjdl. " This town is also called by the Chris- 
tians Magdelenia," and is alluded to in the Talmud. 
"Migdal Nunia'^ is one mile from Tiberias." The identity 

^ Magdala may be the Migdal el of Joshua xix. 38 (Stanley). In Matt. 
XV. 21, is stated the incident of the woman in the coasts of Tyre, to whom 
the Saviour said, "O woman, gi-eat is thy faith." After this He came " nigh 
unto the Sea of Galilee," and fed the 4000 upon " a mountain." Then " He 
took ship, and came unto the coasts of Magilala." 

This name has long been supposed to be inserted for some other name. 
Tlie Sinai and the Vatican MSS. read " Magadan" instead of "Magdala," 
and Magedan may have been on the eastern side. It is so marked in 
Hondius' map in 1624. All the MSS. read "the ship" here, and the 
Sinai and Vatican do so also in Mark viii. 10 (the parallel passage), showing, 
perhaps, that it was the vessel regularly employed, as would be consistent 
with the rest of the story. 

•'' It will be seen from Map VII. tliat Magdala is three miles from Tiberias 

Chap. XXII.] Dalmanutha. 395 

of this Mijdel and Magdala is also stated by Ouaresmius. 
In Mark viii. 10, the place called Magdala by Matthew 
is styled "the parts of Dalmanutha,"'* and if the word in 
Mark means Magada, which may have been on the east 
side of the lake, then Dalmanutha may be the Dalhamia 
(or Dalmamia) mentioned by Thomson as on the Jordan 
below Kerak,^ and which would accord well with Christ's 
route " from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon unto the Sea 
of Galilee through the coasts of Decapolis." ^ This ex- 
planation would appear to place the miracle of the " four 
thousand " on the east shore," and thus the Bethsaida 
they came to afterwards (Mark viii. 22) would be that 
on the west coast, which would be a likely place for 
them to go to for the bread which they had forgotten. 

Just behind Magdala the hills again rise abruptly to 
the height, as Wilson estimates, of looo feet. From this 
point, all the way to Tiberias, 1 found an inhospitable 
shore bristling with breakers, sunk rocks, and treacherous 
reefs. Some few of these look like islands. One is only 
about an inch under water, though 100 yards from shore, 
and on the whole we may regard this to be the most 
dangerous coast of the whole circuit. The Wady el 
Ammas sends a hot spring into the cool water about 
a mile from Magdala. The little triangular plain at 
Fuliyeh (just overhanging the lake) corresponds to the 
particulars given in Matthew xv., as Wilson also con- 
siders, who describes three springs here giving together 

on a straight course by water, and a little farther going by the path on 
shore. Neubauer ('Geog. Talm.' p. 217) mentions Migdal Niinia (tower 
of fishers) as a different place from Magdala, and the Talmud says this 
latter was destroyed because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. 

■• In the Vatican MS. " Dalmanuntha " (Tauchnitz). 

* ' L. and B.' p. 393. 

® Mark vii. 31. Or as the Sinai and Vatican MSS. have it, "from the 
coasts of Tyre, He came through Sidon unto the Sea of Galilee." 

^ See also Robinson (vol. iii. p. 278). 


A in Bareidch. 

[Chap. XXII. 

a little more water than the round fountain at Ain et 
Tin. The centre spring is open, and the water runs 
down to the lake. The two others are enclosed, probably 
for mill purposes, and the structures may be the circular 
Roman baths noticed by Irby and Mangles. Though 
warm, the water of these fountains is sweet to the taste. 
They are called "Ain Bareideh," "cold fountain."^ The 
stream from these (and I think also from another lower 
fountain) gushes into the lake, w^here the heated water 
remains so distinct from the rest that you 
can put one hand on each side of the boat 
with about 20"^ difference in the warmth of 
the water. To the south of the two build- 
ings over the hot springs, there are re- 
mains of a building in the water not likely 
to be remarked from the land. The sketch 
shows a plan of this, which stands in four feet water, 
and has walls of rubble masonry four feet thick, and 

much eaten away by the 
waves. These walls ap- 
pear to have encircled 
a pool, in which there 

Structvirc in 
WatLT near 

Covered Passage in Sea-wall. 

IS now a 



The cliff seems to cut it off from the nearer of the two 
others. The detached part has at B, between it and the 
rest, a passage from three to four feet deep, about a foot 
broad, and covered by hammered stones, as represented 

" Thomson says ihat the Arabs do not apply tliis name to tliem. Possibly 
the temperature may have been altered by the earthquake. On January 
29, 1S66, Wilson found the temperature of these as follows :— 

Temperature of the air 

,, north spring ... 

,, central spring ... 

,, south spring ... 

6476 Fahrenheit. 


8o"6 ,, 

85 "46 M 

Chap. XXII.] ^ Tiberias. 397 

in the sketch. Where the dotted h'nc shows the water- 
level, sev^eral of the stones are in situ, but others have 
fallen down. The passage looks like a water channel, 
and the enclosure resembles a bath rather than part of 
a mill. 

The Rob Roy next arrived at Tiberias, and a crowd 
gathered soon on the shore, and pressed so close upon 
me that it was with more difficulty than usual the canoe 
could be shouldered and carried through the narrow- 
lanes to the locanda, a guest house, doing half duty for 
an hotel, when occasionally travellers are unwise enough 
to leave canvas homes for stone prisons. In the great 
arched room, whose walls were ten feet thick and scarcely 
lighted, the canoe lay stretched upon the floor, and her 
captain on a divan. Part of my tent was hung across 
the room to screen it a little from the women folks who 
came in and out, night and day, and who could now see 
the boat to far better advantage by peeping over and 
under the very feeble barrier we had placed to guard our 
privacy. Poor bodies, they did their best in civility and 
activity, and so did their other permanent lodgers, whose 
diminutive size was made up for by their myriads of 
numbers, so that long before midnight I had pronounced 
all houses to be wretched everywhere, and this one 
detestable, in comparison with the cleanly comfort of a 
tent. When Toorich, the pretty girl of this hospice, 
brought the " Visitors' Book " for my name to be in- 
scribed, she evidently was in happy ignorance of the 
comments made in every page of it by each traveller 
who had survived his stay. In charity and truth com- 
bined, I could only write that the Rob Roy and myself 
had stopped there two nights, and that the canoe was 
not devoured. The town of Tiberias is chiefly remark- 
able for the exceeding filthiness of most of its streets, 

398 The Jews. [Chap. XXII. 

and especially in the Jews' quarter. How any civilised 
European Jew can see his people degraded as they are 
in Tiberias, and then come back to his own gilded home 
in the west, and leave his brethren to wallow in such 
a mess beside that lovely lake, is beyond conception. 
Jews amongst us Gentiles in England have refinement, 
cleanliness, luxury, and elegance^why don't they send 
to the Rabbis of Galilee, at any rate, besoms and 
soap ?'' 

Our attack upon the people's nastiness in this city is not 
too severe, nor is it made by an enemy, but by a friend 
of the " nation scattered and peeled " — one who reveres 
their name, their past and their future ; who admires their 
patience and pluck, their learning, science, and art, their 
musical talent, their military prowess, their schools and 
asylums, their fitness for every post, premier, banker, 
and senior wrangler, anything perhaps that men can be 
(except a sailor) ; but who wonders how with all their 
love of their people and their land they leave it to us 
Christians to search for their records among the rubbish 
— how they never ask the world for what the world 
would give them free, their own beloved Palestine, while 
they still with obstinate persistence cling to a hopeless 

Let us leave this filthy town, and hie to the moun- 
tain brow. The slopes of smiling green mid sweet per- 
fumes of the flowery grass, and painted glittering 
flies that dance in warm sunlight and buzz their short 
hour of life, brings us to the highest hill from which 
the lake is seen outspread below. It is a precious 
hour, the contemplation of so grand a scene, grand, I 
mean, not by bigness of mass in mountains, or by other 

'■• In Tilicrias I read the ' 'J'imes,' telling of millions of gold left by 
Kotk;:cl:ild's will. 

Chap, XXII.] Fast Travellers. 399 

mere earthly features, but because each snowy peak, 
each jutting point, each swelling mound, each trickling 
stream before us, is the centre of a hundred thoughts 
within about things that are grandest of all in the 
universe — the deeds of God made man, the message of 
the Ambassador of Peace to a rebel world, the promises 
of the King of heaven to the poor lost sinners of earth. 
Surely it does not need a fanciful or even an imaginative 
mind to feel that there can be character and almost soul 
in scenery. The face of a hero we gaze upon with 
admiration, though his eye is only a lens, and his brain 
is but phosphorus, and his bones are lime. Palestine is 
the visible embodiment of the most wonderful and holy 
deeds and thoughts that have lived upon this world. 
The lineaments of what is noble and righteous and wise 
are shining here, though the lake is only water, and the 
hills are only stone. 

We are rhapsodising on this mountain, let us get 
down again to the mud. On the slope below, we 
found an American in his tent. Next morning he was 
gone. These cousins of ours do do their sight-seeing 
so uncommon quick. About thirty of them I met at 
various times in this voyage, but not a word or look 
from any one that meant appreciation or enjoyment of 
the wondrous land they had scurried through. If this 
vice of foolish swiftness in a country which you cannot 
" skim " (for the cream of it is not at the top) were 
incurable as well as inherent in these people, it would be 
cruel to notice it ; but it is the vice of a few, and it is 
curable. Yet all Americans incur the blame for it. 
They are sensitive to public outcry against their coun- 
trymen, though they are far more meek under censure 
than John Bull, and. no doubt, once sufficiently stirred 
up by friendly plainness upon this point, the i\mericans 

400 American [Chap, XXII. 

will surely organise a " caucus " on such a national 
stigma and will rub it off, or hold a " convention " and 
put it down. At any rate, now it is the most rabid 
nuisance in the East.!'' Some of the very best Oriental 
travellers are Americans ; need we cite Dr. Robinson's 
name, or Dr. Thomson's ? But nine out of ten of those 
who come from " the States " to see the world pass 
through it, and over it, and see almost nothing. This is 
partly because they allow, say, a year for the grand tour, 
and few minds can travel for a year in different countries 
with any proper zest and purpose all the time. Partly, 
too, it is owing to the fact that in America you can see 
nearly all as you move by rail or steamer over the wide 
continent. The towns there are uninteresting, architec- 
turally. Partly, it is because men, badly educated, but 
rapidly rich, often try to cram knowledge by running 
after it over the world. Partly, again, it is because the 
love of ancient things needs to be fostered young, and 
Americans, therefore, do not and cannot appreciate ruins 
or antiquities ; and, lastly, the unfortunate lack of sen- 
timent, romance, or quiet enjoyment of the dreamy past, 
is made stronger, if not perpetuated, by the speed of 

'" Here, for instance, is the conversation, almost verbatim, of two tourists 
at an hotel. The words can be written down, but the suffering and pity which 
other travellers feel for the hapless wights who are such slaves of speed, 
and whose gloomy careworn restlessness tells of their dreary task, can 
never be described. 

" Been to Jurden, Sir ? 

"Yes, Sir; come back 4.35 this aflernuon. 

" Road — how's that ? 

" Wal, Sir, it's rough, that's so — nothin' particular to sec but scaldcil hills. 

Came back by Marsaba, and Neby (Jane, what do tliev call it ?) 

You goin' to Jurden ? talce my word the Dead Sea is only a dull-like place, 

And this man liad been looking on the most sacred river in tiic world, 
and into the tlcepesl hollow Ui be seen on earth. 

Chap. XXII.] Confessions. 401 

affairs, the unhappy " doHarism," the unceasing bustle, 
change, and excitement of an American's daily life in 
the dreary crowds of a huge hotel — the climate of his 
country being too vif ior rest and peace, and the food he 
lives upon and the habits of his life heating body and 
mind to impatient hurry, even in the most captivating- 
scenes, which cannot- be grasped in a glance, and which 
refuse to yield their precious sweets to a passing 

The better travellers from America deplore this sad 
defect in many of their countrymen, and it is to support 
these in protesting against this absurd sort of travelling, 
and to remedy the evil, that I venture to dwell upon the 
subject here, because our cousins know full well that our 
mutual criticisms are useful to both countries — whether 
they touch yachts, or boat crews, or travellers' ways — 
and that both Englishmen and Americans are sensible 
enough to bear even a sharp word or two upon our 
special frailties. 

Once an American traveller entered Nazareth with me 
at eight o'clock in the evening. At half past four next 
morning he had left. In America he could say he had 
seen Nazareth. Another, who had journeyed in Syria, 
had omitted to visit Damascus. He could not bear this 
when talking with others, and he came back all the way 
to Beyrout with me, and rode to Damascus and back 
and embarked again. Another, being in quarantine 
with me, confessed that whole pages from ' Murray ' 
were sent home as her journal, and that she inserted in 
the " towns visited " all the stations on the London and 
Brighton Railway, which she had traversed once by 
train. Such a traveller cannot really enjoy any one 
place, but is always speaking of the next place to be 
" done," and of the shortest time to do it in. 

2 D 

402 How to see England. [Chap. XXI I. 

The great mistake they make is to go to many spots, 
and over many miles, rather than to see some places 
well. Above all, the East must be seen deliberately. 
To run over it is exactly like looking at bright pictures 
in a book without reading a page of its print. The man 
who stops two days in one neighbourhood, and who thus 
imbibes the air of the place, knows more of the whole 
land of Israel than if he had passed through five other 
places in the same day without resting, thinking, and 
pondering, over what is around him. A young American 
told me lately he intended not to go to Palestine. He 
said, " All our Yankee tourists ' do ' the Holy Land. 
One of our cleverest girls in New York said to a learned 
minister who had just returned from his foreign tour, 
' Well, did you go to Palestine } ' He replied (lialf 
ashamed), ' No, I did not.' ' Ah ! ' she said, ' I am so 
glad ; for I have been so much bored lately by all my 
friends who have come back from Palestine, and have 
been at Samaria, and at Bethlehem, and up Mount 
Tabor, and dozun to Jordan, and not one of them seems 
to know as much of the realities of the Holy Land as I 
can read in a school-book ; so I am quite delighted to 
meet a traveller who has not been to Palestine.' " An 
American who had come to see Europe asked me in 
London, after having bestowed two days upon seeing 
the largest city in the world, " Can you tell me if I can 
go and see Birmingham, and Warwick Castle, and Kenil- 
worth, and then Oxford, and go on to Southampton, all 
in one day } " I answered that he could scr a great deal 
more than that in one day, and it was a pity not to do 
as much as possible in the time ; and, as for his method 
of travelling, daylight was of no consequence, the best 
way would be to take a return ticket to Edinburgh, and 
start b}' the night mail, for then he could say that he 

Chap. XXII.] A Rainy Day. 403 

had seen York Minster, and a whole host of Engh'sh 

Enough has been said about this class of travellers. 
They have little time to spend. This is their misfor- 
tune, and for that no blame attaches ; but we complain 
that, having little time, they waste it by trying to stretch 
it over what it will not cover ; and thus they lose the 
benefits of a proper tour, they get little profit or pleasure 
themselves, and they are bores to other travellers here ; 
they are unworthy representatives of their great and 
wonderful people, and thus they do wrong to themselves, 
to their nation, and to us. Against such I most earnestly 
protest, at least for Palestine and Egypt. If a man has 
only half an hour to read Longfellow's poems, he had 
far better read one or two of the best pieces right through 
than read a half-line on every page. 

At length there is a rainy day for the Rob Roy, and 
all day, too. This was the only day in the tour that I 
could not walk, or ride, or boat ; but every hour of it 
was agreeably filled up, and not a moment hung heavy 
on my hands. 

Murray's 'Handbook for Syria' is, of itself, a most 
interesting work to peruse. In my opinion, it is the best 
of all Murray's Guides for Travellers. It gives just what 
you want to know, and in plain but pleasant style, with 
full explanation of Scripture allusions, and a devout 
spirit pervading the whole, as ought surely to be the 
case when it tells of the Holy Land." 

When the Rob Roy launched again from Tiberias, all 
the walls and house-roofs were covered with people 
come out to see ; so she turned about also to look at the 
sight on shore. The town juts out into deep water. 

" No doubt Dr. Porter will take care tliat in future editions liis letter- 
press is accompanied by a better map. 

404 Earthquake. [Chap. XXI I. 

Ugly circular towers, built lately and badly, lean here 
and there, with huge cracks through their toppling sides. 
The earthquake which occurred on New Year's Day in 
1837 had its centre at Jish, but, in its wide revelry, it 
shook these bastions of Tiberias, and one would wish 
it had levelled them entirely. 

One relic of the more solid past remains — a wall of 
blackened bevelled stone, that just tops the water for 
100 yards, and still proudly testifies to the better 
masons of better days gone by. The south end of this 
wall seemed to be a little lower than the other. This 
might be because more stone was left upon the north ; 
but a nearer examination showed me that three courses 
of stones were above the water at the north end, and 
only two at the south, while the line of the bevel course 
was inclined ; so that the whole wall, unbroken, almost 
unshaken, had sunk down in one grand mass obliquely 
towards the south ; while the other rude white towers 
built yesterday — only a few hundred years ago — have 
staggered, jostling one against the other, broken into 
melancholy wreck. Until my arrival in England, the 
importance of this observation had not occurred to me, 
otherwise the exact length of the base, and the depth of 
the depression at one end, would have been easily mea- 
sured. This can, of course, be done by any traveller, 
for there is usually a fishing-boat at Tiberias. '- 

On the shore, at the north end of the sea wall, are 
numerous squared stones, detached and in the water, 
but nothing attracting particular attention until we reach 

'- Our Lord ilocs not appear to liave entered Tilierias on any occasion, 
['he reasons suggested for this are that (i) it was full of foreigners, while 
He came first " to the lost sheep of the house of Israel ; " and (2) Tiberias 
was built partly upon ground occupied by ancient sepulchres, and to enter 
this place would have made Him ceremonially "unclean." 

Chap. XXII.] Deep and Hot. 405 

the southern end of the wall. Open arches )-awn above 
this place ; under one of these I thrust in the canoe, 
and so inspected a fishing-boat therein beached. The 
remarkable sinking down of the south end of Tiberias 
is soon explained when we paddle farther south along 
the shore. For there, about a mile only from the town, 
is the famous warm bath, alwa}'s supplied from the heat 
of Vulcan's forges, deep in the earth, and from whence 
has flowed for ages a hot sulphurous stream. We must 
recollect that the Sea of Galilee itself is a great hollow, 
and at the bottom it is about 800 feet depressed into 
the crust of the earth. The surface of the water is so 
low that, if St. Paul's Cathedral were set upon the shore, 
and the lofty spire of Salisbury on the top of that, 
the summit of this pile would still be lower than the 
Mediterranean Sea. 

But the earth's cuticle seems also to be constitu- 
tionally thin in Galilee ; and hence it is that, \\\\<i\\ you 
stand upon one of the flat-roofed houses that overhang 
the lake, you can see to the left hot vapour srising from 
the boiling stream of Tabiga ; while again, close on 
your right, the self-acting, self-heated warm bath of 
Emmaus is ready always for the weary traveller, or the 
soft idler, or the dirty public in general, to soothe and to 
please and to cleanse them under its dark dome. Hot 
water pouring out thus for thousands of years has, no 
doubt, still further thinned the skin of earth at this 
place ; so, when the earthquake came, probably the 
crazy arch of rock gave way, and giants' halls below 
were crushed together, and the wall of Tiberias sunk 
towards that side. 

Questions suggest themselves by the dozen about 
this — for the geologist, not for me. Has the wall, in- 
deed, sunk at one end, or has it been raised at the 

4o6 Under the Wave. [Chap. xxii. 

other ? Has the very shore of the lake sunk too ? Has 
this sinking been to the south, along the rest of the 
lake ? If so, we shall find Jordan issuing there much 
lower, and therefore deeper now than it w^as of old ; but 
let us go and see. 

Glorious sunny w^eather now brightened the water as 
the Rob Roy paddled on this errand, close by the 
pebbly shore, which here is of beautiful white. My 
camp was leisurely moving to Kerak, at the south end 
of the lake, and so there was plenty of time for a slow 
and careful survey of the coast under water. The ragged 
ones of Tiberias all rushed out to see the canoe so close ; 
therefore, to shake them off, and to have peace for my 
pleasant work, I went out to sea, and lolled the time 
away until their short patience was exhausted ; then we 
came back to the survey. There are numerous ruins 
farther inland. Pillars stand, or lean, or lie quite flat, 
in the long grass. Massive walls attest the remains of 
grand buildings here. The caves hollowed in the cliffs 
behind were, perhaps, the grottoes of country seats, and 
the lovely lake was admired from many a Roman villa, 
and shrined by temples of design most chaste, when 
here Josephus lived, and Titus led his admirable legions, 
and the fleet of Vespasian sailed with the sun upon 
bright Roman shields, and Palestine was just giving up 
(but with a brave, hopeless struggle) its last shred of 
liberty ; for the day of reproach had come, and deso- 
lation for the people. Very much as might have been 
anticipated, on approaching shore again, we soon found 
there were pillars and buildings quite visible under the 
clear waves, and which, before the earth sank here, must 
have been on the verge, " awash," if not perfectly dry on 
the beach. There was a little swell, but not too much 
tt) prevent me sketching" these and measuring their depth 

Chap. XXII.] S/iorc So?if/i of Tidcrias. 


(I, large rubble wall. 



SuBMEiiGED Remains 

'~%-^ <;.-, r_f <i ^ 30 feet, a c 50 feet 
.-J v;-'-''-^,-. J^)- 3 leetof wrtter'over i 

O-C^^'n) ;-n'' -' '^' 5 lect over 

er b. 

Small thick wall. 

Nothing more to be 
seen in this direction. 

Pillars on shore, one 

White pillars and pe- 
destal ; d 2 feet umitr 
water, e 5 feet. 

Two pillars on the 

White pillar awash. 

Whits pillar awash. 

Four lilack pillars in 
situ, 2 feet under 
water; 2 feet diameter 
in depth of 4 feet; 
pillars about 7 feet 

along the Shore South of Tiberias. 

4o8 Hot S^uiimners. [Chap. xxii. 

under water. From the sketches and notes then made 
our plan is copied, which represents the part of the coast 
and the ruins submerged.'^ 

In the hot baths I found a number of naked and 
moist negroes, not \'ery inviting to bathe among. One 
of them was pla\'ing a flute in the water. These 
baths have been a hundred times described.'^ They are 
rightly Avithin our province, too, for a word or so, being 
Avater ; but we turn -with more pleasant feelings to the 
cooler sparkling wavelets of the lake itself Nothing 
Avas found under the surface here but a number of 
detached squared stones. A little farther on, bold cliffs 
descend into the water, and the road winds over their 
shoulders. Huge rocks, too, are in the lake just under 
these, and the Rob Roy had threaded among these ; but 
nothing was there that might not be found in any 
other lake. 

" The wall marked a \vill be easily recognised Iw any traveller, for it is 
a prominent object on the shore, and the ruins on shore are those indicated 
in Map \\\. The dotted parts are underwater. An hour was spent in 
examining this short piece of coast, going backwards and forwards several 
times, so as to have the sun in front and behind, and working in parallel 
strips ; we may, therefore, hope that no object has been unobserved. 

'■* Thomson says the temperature of the baths had varied during twenty 
years from 136° to 140"^ (Fahr.). The springs were more copious for a 
time during the earthtjuake. , He considers that the word "mules" in 
Genesis xxxvi. 24, means " warm waters." 

Not very far from our own prosaic Temple (that in the City of London, 
E.G., not in Judwa), we have the "Hummums" in Govent Garden, the 
same Arabic word meaning " Bath ; " and in the Strand, close to Somerset 
House, is a S]3lendid old ]<.oman bath in excellent preservation, and with 
purest water running into it from the "Holy well," at the corner of a 
street called (almost in derision) by that name. Such a bath, with water 
in it, and so preserved, you cannot find in Ital\-. If it were there, all 
travellers would be ashamed not to ha\e seen it, Init being in London, 
like many other most interesting Roman relics of our great capital, not one 
man in ten thousand even hears of its existence, though a great notice 
board proclaims to all who walk ujion the pavement, "To the Old 
Ivonian liath." 

Chap. XXII.] Sout/i-2UCsf S/iorc. 409 

The ba\'S along this part are, therefore, all bad for 
boats, until the last ba}', on the south-west in Map VII., 
near the mound of Kerak, where an excellent beach shelves 
quickly to good anchorage in flat sandy gravel. There 
are remains of a pier, and the north-west wind is power- 
less in this bay. 

The lake narrows at its southern end, and a charming 
slope of green, with gentle knolls enlivening its outlines, 
shows where the desperate fight took place between 
the Jews at Tariche;e and the heavy-mailed cohorts of 
Rome. Now the place looks peaceful enough — with 
the peace of desolation. Bright anemones wa\'e in the 
evening breeze ; red is the most frequent colour, but 
white ones are scattered too. In other localities there 
are blue anemones ; and in one spot by Jordan I noticed 
a red, a blue, and a white anemone, all three together. 
This conjunction is regarded as singular. 

There is some traffic along the bridle-path by the 
lake. You meet somebody almost every quarter of an 
hour. My muleteers had a palaver with each of these 
wayfarers, and showed off the Rob Roy as part of t/icir 
propert)', while they praised her exploits in florid story. 
Then she drew to the shelving beach near Kerak, where 
we can lie on the shore in the sun for rest and refresh- 
ment. Here the lake banks are of red clay, and the 
water is shallow along a shore of black sand, curved and 
indented by lagoons ; for here again will Jordan once 
more lay hold of the waters, and hurry them awa}' still 
down with the " Descender," down to the dull Dead Sea. 
Our camp groups up in the evening air like mushrooms 
in the grass, and the canoe reclines among the oleanders, 
and her crew under the palm-tree b}' our tent.'^ This is 

'5 The Talmud speaks of the fishers in tlieir holidays resting by the 
lake (Xeubauer, p. 213). 

4 1 o Night. [Chap. XXI I. 

quite away from all intruders, and no dwelling is in 
sight but our own ; so Kerak is the place for a quiet 
Sunday, when the beautiful lake is beside the Sacred 
Book, for now, indeed, we can read a pictorial Bible. 

What a relief to be out of that house at Tiberias ! 
What a delightful change to be again in a tent by the 
sea ! Instead of the dark draught}- room, with no view, 
no comfort, no privacy, now I have the fairest green 
prospect facing me as I recline ; the sweetest air around, 
the light of heaven above, and the sentiment and ro- 
mance of a wandering life for a quiet undercurrent of 

That squalling child, too, in that Jews' barrack we 
have left ; how inhuman the mother was to let it cry all 
day and most of the night ! Once I went in and told 
her so. She stopped it, and the little creature was quite 
pleased. Instead of this wretched music, we hear now 
the gentle plash of waves on the clean and sparkling 
beach, the soft breathing of the evening breeze, the 
tinkling of the mules' bells as they graze to their full in 
richest clover, and the merry laugh from the other tent, 
or the chop of a hatchet as the men gather wood for 
the fire. The mountains of Bashan have sunk into a 
sombre outline of deep shade, and the twinkling stars 
are about us ; but just before me they seem to be paler, 
while the dark of the sky is tinted by a faint unusual 
light. See, this gets stronger now, and at last, in silent 
inexpressible beauty, slowly rises the bright full moon, 
and in a moment the Sea of Galilee is changed into 
silver, with ten thousand sparkles from the opposite 
shore in a blazoned path right up to the very wa\'cs at 
my feet. Yes ; it is better here than in an}- house of 

Spring had fairly begun, \\ith all its fresh beauties, 

Chap. XXIL] joyous. 41 I 

on this 29th of January. The herbage was profuse about 
us, and the nuiles rolled over and over in its soft luxu- 
rious coolness. Fancy rolling upon one's food, and 
eating up one's mattress ! 

Hany and his men and his beasts -were as merry as 
could be. None of us had a frown or a care, or the least 
bit of anxiety. Architects, be they never so clever, cannot 
build us a house half so pleasant as the tent. In front 
is my boat, too, a span from the water, all ready for 
launching in a moment ; while my horse is tugging at 
his halter, and ready for a ride if that is better than a 
sail. The wish and a word is enough to start either of 
these ; but our mountain boots are clamorous for a 
climb. On with them, then : and in the balmy day- 
break we wander away alone, gradually mounting, ex- 
panding the prospect, watching the great silent clouds 
that veil the hot sun, but with no threatening gloom, 
the far-off patches on the water like roughened glass 
under the " cat's-paws " on the lake ; the Jordan, marked 
for thirt)' miles, as it pours out upon its last quick 
journey to the vale of death ; '•" the distant Bethsaida ; 
the green tenantless Gennesareth ; the dumb shattered 
towers of Tiberias, only bearable among the beauties of 
nature, because anytJiing looks pretty when reflected in 
the lake ; the hills of Bashan opposite, with Gamala 
unbuilt again since its last terrible destruction ; the 
meadows of the Gadarenes in blue distance, scene of 
the story read so long ago ; the hill of the fi\e thousand 
below ; and behind us Mount Tabor, and the groves of 
Deborah, and that great, wide level, outstretched away, 
away to dimness on the horizon, the rich mysterious 

"* The valley of Jordan has been from an early period an almost unpro- 
duclive desert. " The curse which rests upon it seems to date with the 
destruction of Sodom " (Newbold, 'J. As. See' xvi. 24). 

412 S/cc of tJie Lake. [Chap. XXII. 

plain of Jezreel. Who would not go to Palestine to see 
a sight like this, and for such a Sunday walk, which a 
lifetime of weekdays cannot wear out from our memory } 

A mere speck now is my tent by the shore, but still 
we feel " it is a home." From this high point we have, 
on the whole, the best land view of the lake from the 
west ; but the prettiest view from the water we have yet 
to see. 

From north to south the lake is 12^ miles long. 
Across the widest part from Magdala is 63 miles. 
Soundings show its depth to be less than 200 feet in 
any part.^" 

Kerak is the ancient Taricheas, a name well known in 
the writings of Josephus.'^ Its position at the end of the 
lake is shown by the plan given opposite, and you can 
readily see how it was made a strong fortress, and for 
many ages. It was built on a triangular mound, about 
fifty feet high and 400 yards in length, which was made 
into an island by the water led round it. Though bits of 
masonry, almost hidden in tall grass, were once strong 
walls about this hill, the Jordan forms a fosse on one 
side, while the lake guards another, and an artificial 

''' The length of the lake given by Josephus is 140 stadia, or sixteen 
miles, which is much too large, unless he means the distance by land, 
which would then be nearly correct. He gives the breadth as forty stadia, 
or about four miles and a half, which, again, is much too small, unless he 
reckons it from opposite Tiberias, wiiere it is only about four miles and 

Abulfeda gives the length as twelve miles, and the breadth six (Bucking- 
ham, p. 345). All modern travellers, except Robinson, have erred in 
their estimates, and usually make them too large, but Buckingham gives 
eight miles long, and six miles broad, and says the plain above is ten 
miles square. 

If the Jordan could be dammed up at the Iloolch, it would form a lake 
there of nearly the same size, shape, and depth as the Sea of Galilee. 

"* lie places it thirty stadia south of Tilicrias (' W. J.' book iii. ch. x. 
sec. i.). 

Chap. XXII.] 



lagoon is towards the mainland. The remains of a 
causeway westwards from the mound show how it was 
approached when insulated. [The Ordnance Map, sur- 
veyed, no doubt, when the lake was high, shows water all 
round. We have ventured to alter this because we 


Jordan's Exit Irom the Lake. 

found it dry. We have also placed the name Hippos on 
Map VII.] When Titus and Vespasian finally subdued 
other towns of Palestine just before the grand catastrophe 
of the doomed capital, they came at last to Tarichere, 
and Josephus tells us of the siege.''-' The desolate mound 
so silent now was once a great city teeming with people 
and soundinf? with the shouts of the brave and the din of 

" ' W. J.' hook iii. ch. ix. sec. x. He speaks of prisoiiers taken there, 
and sent to " the Isthmus." \Va; this to work upon the Roman canal '.' 

414 Ruins. [Chap. XXII. 

battering rams.^" The north front has a long beach with 
oleanders, and the water is very clear and not deep. In 
paddling over it we could see every object for twenty 
feet below, yet not one large stone could be detected 
along this point — only a few flat slabs and soft mossy 
banks of weed. But on shore it was very different. 
Kerak has a mine of relics to be dug out when bene- 
volent contributors will pay the diggers, whom our Pales- 
tine Exploration Fund would willingly send there to dig. 
In the steep sides of the clay cliff, and buried by upright 
masses piled twenty feet above them, are fine Roman 
pavements with patterns of tesserae, which stick out even 
now in section on the face of the hill, and you may poke 
them down by hundreds with your cane, for the debris is 
soft, and the relics are on a level with the eye of one 
standing on the beach. This beach, too, is one mass of 
curiosities, but most of them are much worn by the 
water and the grinding of the gravel. One relic among 
many I got here was exhibited lately at the Egyptian 
Hall and in Liverpool, where it deservedly attracted 
attention, not from its excellence as a work of art, but 
from its homely and quaint appearance. It is the figure 
of a little donkey with water jars, wrought in terra cotta 
(for which this town was famous), but the waves of 
twenty centuries have worn the donkey's legs to stumps, 
have washed off one of the jars from his back, and have 
scrubbed his long ears so short that they seem only the 
size of a cat's. Near it I picked up some gypsum, and 
this substance also is mentioned as found near Tarichca^.-' 

'" In front of this beach was fought the only sea battle between the Jews 
and tlie Romans (see a)itc, p. 353). The plain to the west is called Aid el 
Mellaha, by Seetzen. 

*' The Sultan has recently given strict command that no anticiuities sliall 
be removed from Tiukey. lie is forming a museum at Constantinople. 
A Greek there, who has a museum, encourages the scheme, because he can 

Chap. XXII.] Exit of J ordaii. 415 

Some huts at the end of the great mound arc concealed 
until you come just above them, and here is the ferry- 
boat, for which the ferrymen live in those little straw 
mansions among the bushes. 

Our next pleasant voyage was along this shore at 
Kerak, but as it was then too windy and therefore 
muddy to see well under water, the Rob Roy turned 
south at the end and went into the Jordan. An able 
and interesting writer says of this place, "The Jordan 
leaves the lake in an ordinary manner." Now, the plan 
of this scene already given was sketched from the high 
hill above, and corrected from Kerak mound, and again 
on the water, and we appeal to all dispassionate readers, 
Can this way of leaving a lake be called an "ordinary 
manner V The Jordan, indeed, glides into the Sea of 
Galilee quietly enough, but its exit is very strange. The 
east point of Kerak is high, and below it there juts out a 
promontory, with thick trees growing in the water. The 
stream runs fast through these, and the canoe cut across 
this leafy cape and then swept round the bay just in 
front of the ferrymen, who ran out uproariously shouting, 
but were soon distanced as the powerful current hurried 
us along. Here the river is more than 100 feet wide, 
and probably about four feet deep. The east bank is 
twenty feet high and quite steep, except at one place, 
w^here some ruins look like the piers of a bridge at 
first, but not so much when better examined." Behind 
Kerak the river bends west and then east under high 
cliffs, and with canes and reeds through the current 

thus recmit his own. If this order is carried out, real mummies will rise 
in price in Egj'pt. Sham ones are constantly sold. Not long ago the 
man who made sham idols brought for sale to an Englishman the brass 
mould for casting the counterfeit images ! 

^- When Kerak was Tarichex, there »iit^/tt have been a bridge here, but 
the foundations, I think, would be unsteady. 

4^6 Dozviz Stream. [Chap. XXII, 

is merry enough. So it winds right and left until we 
reach an Arab camp. From this the people rushed out 
en masse, but the Rob Roy was too fast to be caught, 
and after a mile or so we came to the ruins of the old 
bridge, Em el Kanater (mother of arches), of which nine 
or ten piers still stand in the stream, which is here about 
a hundred yards broad. My reason for spending a little 
time on this lower Jordan was not with the intention of 
cruising along that. Twice already it has been descended 
in a boat, first by an Englishman, Lieutenant Molyneux, 
in 1847, and then by the American, Lynch, in 1848. All 
that they saw can be well seen from the shore, and these 
two difficult and troublesome voyages did not add any- 
thing to our knowledge of Jordan's stream that might 
not be noticed on horseback. The Rob Roy had gone 
rather to what could only be seen from a boat, and what 
no boat had done before, and whether in the Abana, 
the Pharpar, the lakes of Damascus, Hooleh, and Gen- 
nesareth, or afterwards also in the Kishon and the Belus, 
the aim was to hit upon new ground and new water, or 
to examine the old ways in a new manner, so as to add 
new facts rather than to reiterate.^^ But it was interest- 
ing to run down this upper end of the lower Jordan, 

^' The Jordan seems never to have been navigable for traffic. If any 
boat went down the lower part before Molyneux, or the upper part before 
the Rob Roy, it must have been for exploration. Josephus mentions ships 
in the Dead Sea (' W. J.' book iv. ch. viii. sec. iv.), where he tells us the 
sailors in them used to gather the bitumen floating on the water. He also 
speaks of the Ammonites as having passed over the Dead Sea to attack 
Engedi, in Jehoshaphat's time. Vet is it clear that the Greek words " ttjj/ 
Klixut]!/ Sia^aures " are rightly translated by " superato lacu," and " passed 
over the lake," so as to imply the use of boats ? (Josephus, ' Ant. J.' book ix. 
ch. i. sec. ii.) 

Newbold says (' As. Soc. J.' vol. xvi. jx 23) " that we hear no mention of 
boats or bridges in the different passages of the Israelites." Ferryboats, 
however, seem to have been established very early ; we hear of one for 
Jon.lan in 2 Saniucl xix. 2S. 

Chap. XXII.] JMolyniciix and Lyiich. 417 

just to see the few first lapids that caused ls\x. L\-nch so 
many hours of work, but \\hicli, with the canoe, were 
passed in a few minutes. Lynch had two boats, one of 
them made of copper, and he had sixteen men. No 
wonder then that with such a fleet to float he speaks of 
" twenty-seven dangerous rapids " on the lower Jordan. 
Rlolyneux had one boat (a ship's cHnghy), and he found 
the passage easier, though his voyage ended in trouble 
and in death.-'* To descenci all the way in a canoe 
would have been easy enough, but ciii bono / The banks 
are high. There is no view to see, and nothing but heat 
and gravel and Arabs to meet with, wasting much time, 
muscle, and money, but without even the prospect of 
any new knowledge to be gained. Therefore, as it was 
wise to use the convenient portability of the canoe to 
take her to rivers hitherto untraversed, I resolved 
to haul up after a few miles'"'^ on the Jordan's lower 
stream, and to take her to untried waters, a resolution 
amply rewarded, as will be seen farther on. We brought 
her back to camp on horseback, and the vocal Adoor 
improvised his (carefully prepared) song of the " Shak- 
toorah done with Galilee." 

Yet in the calm watches of the night, when all v^-as 
quiet beside, a low sweet murmuring from the river 
seemed to float as a whisper in my tent. 

So had it been for how many thousand years, ever 
streaming on its fluent story. 

2-* See a short notice of it in the Appendix. 

-* About six miles from the lake, the Yarmuk enters from the east, having 
had its sources not far from those of the Pharpar. The Arabs call the 
Yarmuk and the Jabbok or Zerka " Shereea," meaning a watering place. 
They apply this name, too, to Jordan, but adding the title " Great." Below 
this there is the first bridge now practicable, the Jisr Mejaama, so called 
because it is at a " meeting of the waters," after another set of islands had 
divided them. 

2 E 

41 8 Farewell to J ordan. [Chap. XXII. 

Sleep's curtain gently folds us now in dreamland 
where the soft music melts into a liquid shadowy picture 
of great things and people mingled in long procession, 
and the river tells us over again the wonders of its source, 
the swiftness of its fall, and the silence of its end — the 
events that happened by its banks, the miracles wrought 
upon its waters, the mysteries about its lakes, the glory 
shining on it from our Saviour at His baptism. His 
transfiguration, and His appearance after He rose again. 

Surely the Jordan is by far the most wonderful stream 
on the face of the earth, and the memories of its history 
will not be forijotten in Heaven. 

Chap. XXI 1 I.J In the Lake. 419 



" Full many a glorious morning have I seen 

Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye, 
Kissing with glowing face the meado\\'s green, ' . 

Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy." 

IT was just such a morning now as Shakespeare thus 
describes. The grey veil of hoar frost mehed on 
the face of day, and the crisp air softened into a warm 
dalHance, gently beguiling the Rob Roy to linger about 
in a languid laziness. Cease, pleasant dawdling ! Our 
crew is piped to work, and with steady stroke to reach 
again the farthest point we had touched on our first day\s 
course ; for now we must complete our tour of the shore 
all round the sea. 

In traversing the centre of the lake, I came rather sud- 
denly upon a novel sight. The smooth surface of the 
water was undulated in short sharp swells, without any 
vs'ind whatever, and none for hours before. 71iese waves 
were exactly east and west in the ridges, and of the form 
and size of " steamboat waves " upon the Thames. They 
had a uniform width of fifteen feet, and ni}- bow often 
dipped deep in one as my stern left the other. Perhaps 
the cause of this is some volcanic perturbation either of 
the water or of its bed belcnv. Molyneux noticed some- 

420 Strange Swell. [Chap. XXIII. 

thing of the same kind in the Dead Sea, and precisely in 
the same direction, north and south. On the very deep 
part of the Rhine also, as it issues from Lake Constance, 
I observed a similar appearance, but never elsewhere, 
when afloat.' 

The wind soon brought the ordinary waves upon the 
lake, and these confused the previous distinctness of 
this ground swell. When I was near the middle of the 
lake, on another occasion, the water was not calm, and 
so the phenomenon was not observed. It is not unlikely 
that the assertion is correct that Jordan does, in fact, run 
through the lake, without much mingling with the other 
waters ; and I remark that some persons who deny this 
have passed but few hours upon the Sea of Galilee, but 
a longer stay is needed for evidence in such a question. 

Great heat soon poured down from the fierce sun, 
and " something," we thought, " must come of this bril- 
liant glare." Gentle zephyrs breathed from behind me ; 
then they lulled ; then other little airs fanned my cheek 
on the right, and then these, too, quite waned away to 
calm. Patches of the smooth mirror again were ruffled 
on our left by squalls from the north-west right ahead. 
But the sun killed them one after the other, and I steadily 
advanced — yet all the time aware that this sort of weather 
was not to be trusted. 

Just as the Rob Roy passed below Wady Fik, a 
strange distant hissing sounded ahead, where we could 
see that a violent storm was raging. Instantly all hands 
were on the alert to meet it. The waves had not time to 
rise. The gusts had come down upon calm water, and 

' Just below the whirlpool at Niagara, the eddies ciii-1 like this. All 
these, however, are in currents, but i could not detect the slightest current 
here in Gennesareth. Neubauer ('Gcog. Talm.' p. 31) says the Tahnud 
mentions the phenomenon on Jordan. But it also says that Jordan runs into 
the Mediterranean Sea ! 

Chap. XXIII.] A Sior?ii. 421 

they whisked up long wreaths of it into the sky. The 
sea-birds sailed with the roaring blast, which rushed on 
with foam and fur\^ but it found the Rob Roy all ataunto. 
This torrent of heavy cold air was pouring over the moun- 
tain crests into the deep cauldron of the lake below, a 
headlong flood of wind, like a waterfall into the hollow ; 
just as is said in Luke (viii. 23) — "there came dozen a 
storm of wind upon the lake." 

The peculiar effects of squalls among mountains are 
known to all who have boated much on lakes, but on the 
Sea of Galilee the wind has a singular force and sudden- 
ness ; and this is, no doubt, because the sea is so deep in 
the world that the sun rarifies the air in it enormously, 
and the wind, speeding swift above a long and level 
plateau, gathers much force as it sweeps through flat 
deserts, until suddenly it meets this huge gap in the way, 
and it tumbles down here irresistible. 

With my best efforts I could scarcely stem the force of 
this head-wind, though I was in excellent training, and 
my canoe in her lightest trim. Ikit every moment 
now in getting to the cliffs for shelter would make the 
work ten times harder afterwards, ^\hen the sea had time 
to rise. By pressing on\\-ards, then, with every nerve, 
and with more exertion than at any time during the 
cruise, we gained at last the windward shore, and here we 
could look with safe amazement at the scud of the gale, 
careering across the lake, and twisting the foam in the air 
as if tied in knots of spray, which sparkled in the sun like 
ten thou.sand diamonds, while the sea-birds still flew help- 
lessly down wind. 

The reward of exertion in pure fresh air like this is to 
find our craft snugly nestling under thick trees in perfect 
calm, and safe from all the bobbery. This luxurious rest 
was enjoyed at the very same spot of the Wady Scmakh, 

42.2 S2ibmerged Ruins. [Chap. XXIII. 

where the Rob Roy had rested on our first day's cruise, 
and yet how long a time it seemed since then ! So many 
pleasant things had been thought, and done, and said, 
and sung, and read, and written. Just so, but now we 
are entitled to lunch. Swift as the tempest had come 
down, it vanished away as swiftly, and when we turned 
our bow to sea again, there was only a fine fresh breeze 
and common waves to meet. 

Just south of the Tell, near the mouth of the river, by 
Khersa, is some heavy rubble masonry, of which part has 
fallen into deeper water. A few cut stones are sub- 
merged, but no other remains of interest were to be seen, 
for the pile of large stones at the next point seemed to 
be not artificial, after I had examined them closely. Our 
gaze was, therefore, directed with eagerness and care to 
the hills above and the plain below, for much interest 
must always be felt in looking at this spot as the most 
likely place for that strange, indeed unique, miracle where 
the "Legion" entered into the herd of swine.~ Other tra- 
vellers, more or less hurried in their examination of this 
place, have given their impressions after seeing it from 
the shore. I shall venture to record what was noticed 
from the water during some hours of leisure, and from 
notes written at the time.'^ 

Between Wady Semakh and Wady Fik there are at 
least four distinct localities where every feature in the 
Scripture account of this incident may be found in com- 
bination."* Above there are rocks with caves in them, 

- Matt. viii. ; Mark v. ; Luke viii. 

^ Thomson states incorrectly that " Everywhere along the north-east 
and east shores, a smooth beach declines gently down to the water" (' L. 
and li.' p. 377), but his assigned locality for the miracle coincides with one 
to be mentioned presently. 

■* The place where the herd was feeding is stated to be "a good way 
off from them," i.e. from where the demoniac met our Saviour "imme- 
diately " after " Tic camo out of the ship." 

Chap. XXI I I.J The " Herd of S:,'im\' 423 

very suitable for tombs,^ and farther down there is ample 
space for tombs built on sloping ground — a form of 
sepulture far more prevalent in Scripture times than we 
are apt to suppose. A verdant sward is here, with many 
bulbous roots which swine might feed upon. And on 
this I observed — what is an unusual sight — a very large 
herd of oxen, horses, camels, sheep, asses, and goats, all 
feeding together. It was evident that the pasturage was 
various, and enough for all — a likely place for " a herd of 
swine feeding on the mountain." Khersa, near this, in 
ruins, was probably the Gergesa of old, and, as has been 
observed repeatedly by authors, this might well be in the 
"country of the Gadarenes," though a considerable dis- 
tance from the town of Gadara.*" We are told that " the 
whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place." 
It does not say that it was a " /i/^/i " place, but " steep," 
Kp7]/JA>ov, and that they " ran " (not, they " fell ") down this 
" into the sea." There are several steeps near the sea here, 
but only one so close to the water as to make it sure that, 
if a herd " ran violently " down, they would go " into the 

* Wilson appears to have found tombs here, and another traveller states 
that he saw a mad beggar running about, who lived in a cave. 

^ The incident of the demoniacs is related as having taken place in the 
"country of the Gergesenes," Matt. viii. 28 [Sinai MS. (corrected) 
reads Gazarenes ; Vatican MS. Gadarenes]. In Mark v. i, it is " Cada- 
renes" [Sinai MS. and Vatican MS. Gerasenes, but again corrected in the 
Sinai MS. to Gergesenes\. In Luke viii. 26, it is " Gadarenes " [Sinai MS. 
Gergesenes ; Vatican MS. Gerasenes] ; so that there are four readings, \\hich 
differ not much in sound. Wey's map (in a.d. 1462) puts Cedar and 
Godara near this, and " Hondius his Map," in 1624, places Gadara by 
the river. Damville's map, 1794, has Gadera at Khersa. 

The name Wady Fik is derived from the ancient village of Aphek 
near it (Aphaka is the Phoenician Venus worship). The ruins one sees on 
the top of the camel-like ridge are those of Gamala, (" Gumel " " camel ") 
perhaps the Gebal and Gammadims of Ezekiel (ch. xxvii.). This was the 
last town taken by the Romans in this direction, and Josephus tells how 
hard a fight the Jews made there with the brave old legions. 

424 The'' Herd of Su.nni\ [Chap. XXIII. 

sea."^ But the place which I regard as most likely for 
the site of this event is at the end of the short plain 
under some rocks, and near the green plateau, where 
the swine could feed. Here, for a full half-mile, the 
beach is of a form different from any other round the 
lake, and from any I have noticed in any lake or sea 
before. It is flat until close to the edge. There a hedge 
of oleanders fringes the end of the plain, and immediately 
below these is a gravel beach, inclined so steep that, 
Avhen my boat was at the shore I could not see over the 
top even by standing up ; while the water alongside is so 
deep that it covered my paddle (seven feet long) when 
dipped in vertically a few feet from the shore. Now, if 
the swine rushed along this short plain towards this 
hedge of underwood (and in the delta of Semakh, their 
usual feeding-place would be often among thick brush- 
wood of that kind), they would instantly pass through 
the shrubs, and then down the steep gravel beyond into 
deep water, where they would surely be drowned. 

The picture here given is a faithful copy of a sketch I 
made next morning from Kerak. The sun was then just 
rising behind the hills of Bashan, and therefore each cliff 
in the mountains had a deep shade, as shown in the 
picture. The shore under Wady Fik was five miles dis- 
tant from where I sketched, and, as my eye was near the 
water-level, the low shore along the base of the hills was 
beneath the horizon, and therefore invisible ; but the 
extreme clearness of the earh' morning air made it easy 
to mark each feature of the picture so illumined. The 
letter S, near the edge of the picture, is above the south 

" This is sliown on Map VII., at p. 3S6, by the shaded portion of a cliff 
touching tlie shore. It was very satisfactory to nic, after making these notes, 
indejiendently of other travellers' views, to find tliat Captain Wilson agrees 
in con.sidering that the coast south of Scnuikh i.-, the must suitable for the 
occurrence we are discussing:. 

Chap. XXI 1 1.] The " Herd of Szi'incr 425 

end of the Wady Scniakh, and a little to its right below 
would be the ruins of Khersa. The letter V is above 
the spot where the large open plain A\as covered by a 
flock. Behind this are rocks and caves, and, possibly, 
tombs. Before it is the curious beach already described 
as a "steep place." The letter G is over the ruins of 
Ganiala, marked as little spots on the hill. This picture 
and the outline given at p. 359, ante, nearly complete the 
contour of the east side of the lake.** 

The Rob Roy now runs close to shore between two 
trees in the water, and moors there, with her bows towards 
land — an attitude the most suitable when visitors may 
call without sending up their cards. " El asher hadir," 
" Dinner ready ! " and we attack the contents of our bag. 

The beach south of Wady Fik is generally steep, and 
there are some clumps of stones by the water, one of 
them looking at first like a ruin, but, on close inspection, 
no remains were visible to indicate ports, piers, or 
quays, along this part. So our course \\as homeward 

Our camp broke up to return to the land of Gennc- 
sareth, and by diligent search I discovered a plausible 
excuse for not leaving the entrancing lake this day, 
namely, that I had still to examine one little bit of the 
southern shore. They left me. therefore, to follow on 
the lake, and the Rob Roy skimmed away by Kerak ; 
but, although it was clear in the water and calm above, 
yet not one thing could be seen under the surface worth 
a word of comment. 

" Here we feel it a pleasing duty to mention that the faithful representa- 
tion of the criminal sketches to illustrate this volume has Ijeen effected 
by the artistic skill of (.'aptain May, R.X., under the able and experienced 
direction of Mr. James Cooper, who, has su])crintended the i)reparation of 
the illustrations in this volume, and in the three other records of the Rob 
Roy's rovings. 

426 Semakh Village. [Chap. XXI 1 1. 

The water here is only about twelve feet deep, for 
fifty yards out, and flat stones are scattered on it even 
so far from shore. Crossing Jordan's mouth, we arrive 
at Semakh village." This place seemed to be entirely 
untenanted ; it stands, close to the water, upon a cliff of 
stiff clay, almost indurated into rock, and its appearance 
is most singular. The houses do not look very decrepid 
or forlorn. Some of the fifty or sixty dwellings huddled 
together are of three stories high, and are built of black 
cut stone, and the roofs are there, and yet nobody is 
inside.'" Then the bareness of the place : no foliage 
about it, no vale, no mound, no feature of strength or 
beauty, but just a well-built Arab town, deserted with- 
out any seeming cause. A pure and spotless beach is 
below the clifts. I landed here, for it was not possible 
to resist so inviting a shore ; and the air was quiet, 
and the sea, and yet it was sheer waste of time to stop 
now in these silent shady coves." 

Reluctantly embarking, and then coasting along, I 
diligently spied below, but could detect nothing here 
on the clean level bottom of the lake. When the boats 
on the Sea of Galilee were counted once by hundreds, 
surely there must have been numerous wrecks and 
founderings ; and, as the lazy Turks would never re- 

" The southern village, not the wady we visited yesterday. 

'" So I was informed. Dr. Thomson speaks of 200 houses here, and that 
it was inhabited in 1S58. He marks Hippos here in his map. Robinson 
states the houses at about one-tenth of that number. The name Semakh 
may be de. ived from the old name Samaia, mentioned by Josephus {'\V. 
J.' book i. ch. ii. sec. vi.). In the Talmud the name "Jordan" is not 
given to the river until it has issued from the lake after passing Beth 
Yerak and Sennabris, which may be Kerak and Semakh. Susitha (from 
a word meaning "horse") may be Hippos ('Geog. Talm.' pp. 31, 216, 


" Nevertheless, about six months might well be spent on this lake, with 
plenty of variety, in place, or weather, or scene, or incident every day, even 
if no lime were devoted merely to quiet reverie. 

Chap. XXIII.] Hippos. 427 

move these, one might well expect to see some relics 
of them still, but there was nothing until we approached 
the little Tell, now called Sumrah, which is believed to 
be the ancient Hippos.'- If the town was called by this 
Greek name because of what it means (a " horse "), there 
is a show of reason for the title, since near it, on the 
plain, is a splendid pasture for steeds, and not far off I 
noticed many of them. It is likely, too, their owners 
noticed me, and, being now on the eastern shore, some 
caution was advisable, for the tribes there would gladly 
capture a Feringhee, and they know his proper ransom 
price. I searched about here with all diligence, but 
could find only some cut stones in the lake under water 
near the Tell, and south of it a large mass of masonry 
partly submerged, which seems not only to have tumbled 
down but to be inverted. The finest view of the lake in 
panorama is from a point about half a mile west of 
Hippos. Here we can see snowy Hermon and the white 
peaks of Antilebanon, closing in the northern end, while 
Tiberias is visible to the left, and Gennesareth beyond. 
No person who wishes to see the lake of Galilee well 
should omit to come here for the centre of his panorama. 
The wind rose suddenly after I left Hippos to cross 
the lake. The waves were sharp and high, and in several 
directions at once, when my course led me into the 
middle, where the peculiar swell had been noticed before. 
In ten minutes the sea had risen from sullen calm to 
anger, and it was necessary to be careful, even in a 
canoe. Worse it got, and worse, and finally so very bad 
that I had to " heave to," the only time the Rob Ro\- 
was forced to do this during the whole cruise.'-' In an 

•^ Josephus (' Life,' sec. Ixv.) mentions the country of Justus (evidently 
Tiberias ; sec. Ixx.) as being thirty stadia from Hippos, sixty from CJadara, 
and 120 from Scythopolis. 

'^ When aboat is made to "lie to," her bows are turned to tlic wind and 

428 High Sea. [Chap. XXIII. 

hour or so the wind had calmed down entirely. The 
surface of the water became glassy, but was bent in 
graceful curves by a long swell. Passing Tiberias about 
two miles off, I heard every word the people said as 
they stood on their house-tops in long rows, and shouted 
all kinds of messages to the canoe, but chiefly ending 
in " Taly, taly, taly heny ! " (Come here!) The Rob 
Roy insensibly floated once more to Bethsaida, for it 
was impossible not to pay one parting visit to these 
pleasant fishermen. The hot steam now rose from the 
lake itself, outside the thermal fountains, and the fishes' 
backs, by thousands, roughened the water. After a 
long day's work, however pleasant, there must come an 
end, and I paddled for the last time along the strand of 
Gennesareth, and hauled the Rob Roy into the oleanders 
near Magdala. 

Our camp was here, and next morning the regretful 
feeling assumed sway that now, on this 2nd of February, 
there was no more excuse to linger on the charming 
lake, and yet with the consolation that to return and 
have long weeks to spend will be a happy hope. 

On terra firnia now again, it is my turn to carry the 
Rob Roy, as she has so well and so long carried me. 
And for the reader, our turn comes to be very brief; for 
he can find what is seen on the land well told by better 
scribes who ride and do not paddle. Any one \\\\o goes 
up the rocky gorge of the Vale of Doves, and in winter, 
will be surprised to hear that we carried the canoe 
through that rough pass in a heavy storm of wind. 
Eagles soared about us, circling in the gale. Long \-car3 

se^, and her progress is moderated, so as to be almost nil. By this means 
the breaking of the waves upon her is harmless, and she rises and falls, and 
pitches and rolls, with ease, and, indeed, with delight ; but much time is 
lost, and there is the humiliation felt of being thwarted all the time. 

Chap. XXIII. 

Vale of Doves. 


ago, in those dark caves above the upright cUffs, a 
terrible band of robbers hved, aiul preyed, ami ninlti- 

Last Vitw of Gtnncsarcth. 

plied, until at last bold Herod was sent to deal with 
them, and Josephus tells us how he managed. ^^ 

» "Now these caves were in the precipices of cragtjy mountains, and 
could not be come at from any side, since they had only some winding 
pathways, very narrow, by which they got up to them ; but the rock that 

430 Long Last Look. [Chap, xxiii. 

On the plain above this " Vale of Doves," we come 
to where Saladin routed the Crusaders with terrific 
slaughter, and finished their long sway in the East. 
But just before we tread this vast swamp of Hattin, there 
is one long, last, lingering look behind : a farewell gaze 
at the loved lake, far below, now left, but not for ever. 
With a melancholy pencil we sketched the scene, and 
though only the northern end of the lake is here visible, 
in a small compass much is seen. Right and left are 
the rocks of the robbers' caves. In the foregrouhd of 
the distant lake is the " land of Gennesareth." On its 
left edge is Ain et Tin ; then the cliff at Capernaum, 
and behind that Bethsaida, and farther on. Tell Hoom. 
The mouth of Jordan is beyond, and the western end 

lay on their front had beneath it valleys of a vast depth, and ot an almost 
perpendicular declivity ; insomuch that the king was doubtful for a long 
time what to do, by reason of a kind of impossibility there was of attacking 
the place. Yet did he at length make use of a contrivance that was subject 
to the utmost hazard ; for he let down the most hardy of his men in chests, 
and set them at the mouths of the dens. Now these men slew the robbers 
and their families, and when they made resistance, they sent in fire upon 
them (and bui-nt them) ; and as Herod was desirous of saving some of 
them, lie had proclamation made that they should come and deliver them- 
selves up to him ; but not one of them came willingly to him, and of those 
that v/ere compelled to come, many preferred death to captivity. And 
here a certain old man, the father of seven children, whose children, to- 
gether with their mother, desired him to give them leave to go out, upon the 
assurance and right hand that was offered them, slew them after the 
following manner: He ordered every one of them to go out, while he 
stood himself at the cave's mouth, and slew that son of his perpetually who 
went out. Herod was near enough to see this sight, and his bowels of 
compassion were moved at it, and he stretched out his right hand to the 
old man, and besought him to spare his ciiildren ; yet did not he relent at 
all upon what he said, but over and above reproached Herod on the lowness 
of his descent, and slew his wife as well as his children ; and A\hen he had 
tin-own their dead bodies down the precipice, he at last tin-ew himself down 
after them."' (' W. J.' book i. cli. xvi. sec. iv. The story is rejicated witli 
variations in ' Ant. J.' 

Chap. XXII I.] 



of the Butaia plain. In the far-awa\- backc^round Bashan 
shows those flat-edited hills which thus close in our little 

Kefr Cana ""' was our halting-place, and next da>- ihe 
Rob Roy stopped at Nazareth. Twenty \-ears before I 

The New Frotebtant Church at Nazareth. 

had spent ten days here, and then the old doctor-monk, 
" Fra Joachim," used to come to m\' bedside and pre- 
scribe for me with gravit}' and produce homccopathic 

** To obtain this bijou prospect, I went north of the usual road, and 
tried several points of view, until at last there could be included the 
largest portion possible of the Sea of Galilee. One of the photographs of the 
Palestine Exploration Fund represents a part of this scene, but it is taken 
from a point farther east and south, and, therefore, it has less of the lake 

^^ Full and recent reliable information as to this village, which was the 
scene of our Lord's first miracle, will be found in an interesting paper by 
the Rev. J. Zeller, published in the Quarterly .Statement No. 111. of the 
Palestine Exploration Fund for October, 1869. 

432 Nazareth. [Chap. XXIII. 

herbs out of his ample sleeve, while he puffed his 
cigarette Avith smiles. We paid a visit to this ancient 
now. For forty years he has been away from Spain, 
his native land, so he seemed to care little about 
" Cosas d'Espagna." His laboratory is like a drug- 
gist's shop in a conjuror's cave, and the only draughts 
he ventured to order this time for my health seemed 
undoubtedly vinous, and they were speedily drunk off — 
by him. 

Well, he is a worthy fellow ; and if all the monks were 
as little of monks as he is, they would never have been 
expelled, as they have been almost everywhere, while 
only England is calling them back to her bosom. The ex- 
cellent missionary, the Rev. J. Zeller, showed me the Pro- 
testant schools of Nazareth, and the new English church 
now building here, and of which we present a sketch, 
It is in a most picturesque position, but to pay for it 
funds are needed still, and who could refuse to place a 
stone in the walls of a church at Nazareth } Nazareth 
is vastly changed in these last twenty years. It is larger, 
cleaner, more populous, better built, and better taught, 
for the active catechists are working here with vigour. 
Things arc advancing in the East, though the advance 
is very slow. Mr. Zeller also showed me a very great 
curiosity, which had an important bearing upon an 
incident we shall soon have to relate. This was the 
skeleton of a crocodile, about ten feet long, which a 
person known to Mr. Zeller had killed, three months 
before, in the river Zerka, which flows into the Mediter- 
ranean not far from Csesarea. Old authors have called 
that the " Crocodile River," and near it are the ruins of 
the " City of Crocodiles." Arabs of the vicinity have 
long persisted in stating that the " Timsah " is still found 
there ; and recent authors have written that they had 

Chap. XXIII.] Old Sio/ifs. 433 

" seen men \\\\o had seen crocodiles in the Zerka." Hut 
here we had the actual specimen itsjlf, so all tloubt is 
now removed.'' 

If it is sometimes pleasant to come a sjcond tinij 
into a forei;4"n town, when \-ou have alread\' seen all the 
"stock sights" there, and may therefore now omit them, 
it is especially ai^reeable, in a second tour in Palestine, 
to escape long stories about the Popish paint with which 
so many grand and solemn holy places have been 
daubed. In Bethlehem, we had long ago seen the glass- 
case containing " the tongues of the infiiiits slain by 
Herod;" and we had seen the scandalous impostures in 
other towns, for which every Romish bishop in luiglaml 
(though he smiles at it) is responsible, for his Church 
claims to be " one and infallible." We had seen the 
Saint's blood in Italy, and the pagan crosses for the 
Indians in Romish America ; and the priests, after mass 
on Sunday in Spain, buying tickets at the lotter\', and 
going off with their whole congregation to the bull-fight. 
We had seen the " Madiai " imprisoned in Tuscany, for 
teaching the Bible to their servant-girl ; and we had 
visited an English lady in Lucca, imprisoned for giving 
one tract to a woman. We had seen the " jxiternal 
government " that found these writings were " too hard " 
for the people ; while the most stupid nonsense of false 
saints, with pictures, was publicly sold in their churches, 
as easy to be understood by the people (and exalting 
the priests). We had read the book of thr Rdinisii 

^ Mr. Zeller Isrought it to England, and it was cxiiiliited in < )(:tijbt'r, 
1S69, at the Free Museum and Library in Liverpool, and Mr. Zeller kindly 
promised to present this unique specimen to the Museum of the I'alestin; 
Exploration Fund. If other travellers also would keep tlieir faculties 
alive by collecting articles for the same purpose, tliey would lie doing 
good service, and would feel too that the fruits of their travels are mor..* 
widely enjoyed in a public museum than in any private cabinet. 

2 V 

434 Sights Unseen. [Chap, xxiii. 

Bishop of Birmingham, proclaiming the recent miracle 
of ^' La Salcttc" in France, where the Virgin appeared 
to two children, and talked to them in patois about 
potatoes ; and which tale, he assured us, was approved 
by the Pope, and therefore he invited us all to visit the 
place. We had visited the mountain near Grenoble, and 
had seen the donkeys' panniers, bringing down bottles 
full of water from the holy fountain, while a w'ily priest 
at the bottom started a private pump of his own. We 
had seen the original of the protest against this im- 
posture, signed by fifty priests, who complained that the 
Virgin came down upon " all the hills around." We had 
bought, on the spot, the official report of the trial by 
the highest court, convicting the priests of imposture, 
and the woman herself who had been dressed as "the 
Virgin ;" and we had seen the * Tablet ' newspaper, in 
England, loudly advancing the trick, and then — silent ^ 
— and the Bishop's book withdrawn. But we have never 
yet seen the retractation by any of these people — Pope, 
bishop, priests, or editors — of the proved falsehoods they 
had so freely advocated. 

Having seen these things, and many others like them, 
we placed no faith in what could be shown us now by 
the monks at Nazareth ; and therefore the Rob Roy 
went past them all, to commune rather with the brooks, 
and trees, and everlasting hills, which, happily, even the 
Syllabus cannot suppress. 

It is to be hoped that the plans of the priests will be 
speedily ripe in England, and that they may open fire 
along the whole line before our vigour is sapped and our 
manliness utterly gone. The hard fight — physical fight — 
that is coming must come soon, or it will find us without 

'^ \et now again, September 25, 1S69, warmly espousing another 
*' apparition " in the Pyrenees. 

Chap. XXI II.] Plain Words. 4:5 


heart or sinews. Even if it comes at once, it will find us, 
poor " swaddlers," half-ashamed to be "Protestants," 
tremblini^ before the sarcasm scribbled in some anon\-- 
mous garret, as if it were law and gospel because it is 
printed. Do we really know what Popery has been of 
old, \\hat it is e\'en now, what it tells us positiveh- it must 
and will be here and soon and alwa}'s — " dominant ?" 
Could you or I be true Papists and yet loyal to P'ngland.^ 
To the future England that is to scr\'e the Pope wc 
might be loyal, but lo\-al to the England that as \-et is 
free — never. These truths are too true to be told. It 
is a vast indiscretion to tell them here. But I have seen 
too much of these things to be ignorant, and I fear too 
little and too much to be silent. For money, free trade, 
railways, anything you please that is earthly, you ma\- 
hold meetings, write books, fight battles, make an}- din 
you like, and be " earnest," and speak plain. But for 
the free Bible — the right to tell what Popery was, is, and 
wants to be — you must hush to a whisper an\' v^oice you 
have, and still be reckoned even then a monomaniac. 
We must be "charitable" — yes, and for whom our 
charity ^ Not for our women, our children, our herds 
of ignorant and weak who are beguiled — but for the 
army of foreign priests who stream o\-er the land, and 
raise an alien name above our Oueen'.s. Is it not just 
possible that our wondrous delicacy in this matter is not 
from love, but fear } Rather, perhaps, it is because that 
sort of tone pays best in general popularity — nobody 
is so sure of approval as the man who is " fiercel)- 
moderate." If you want to screen those people here 
whom the Romish Bishop of Cracow (who ought to 
know them best; calls " furies, not women," to keep 
English girls in their prisons under the "moral" restraint 
of character lost by escape ; if you want to justify dis- 

4.36 Plain Words. [Chap. XXIII. 

loyalty, to hand over to a narrow celibate clique of alien 
hopes and sympathies the teaching of our nation, to 
flout the nobles of England cringing to the " Prince " 
last made by an old bachelor abroad, to stifle free 
speech, to buy short peace by bribes, ever larger, never 
enough, to fasten on us again the fangs that sucked 
England's best blood once, and to shame our nation 
in presence of the others who have writhed out from 
under intolerable coils ; if you will fear a huge system 
for its power, and succour it because it is weak — wonder 
at its wealth, yet pay it because it is poor — bow down to 
it as divine, yet laugh at it as only a ghost ; if you will 
enthrone error, and put fetters upon truth — bind heavier 
" them that are fast bound in misery and iron," and set 
the oppressor free — put priests for our lawgivers and a 
gigantic imposture for our faith, drown truth in fables 
and shut our open Bible : if you want to do these 
things with impunity, nay, to be called " liberal " while 
you do them — only say it is in the name of " religion " 
and at the bidding of the " priests," and mind you say 
"the priests of Rome," for to do these things at the 
bidding of any others would convict you of " bigotry," 
or treason, or of craven fear. 

Chap. XX i\'.] Source of KisJion. 437 



NEXT night, sleeping at Malhoolah, seemed to inc 
the coldest of any in the journey. No doubt this 
was caused by our " going up " from the deep chasm of 
Galilee, where the temperature in winter is delicious, to 
the higher ground on the hills that encircle Nazareth. 

Now we are in sight of Mount Carmel, and the Rob 
Roy is carried over the plain of Esdraelon. Here we 
come to a river again, and our pen may be set free, for 
our paddle is to be unloosed. 

The source of the Kishon seems to be at Jenecn, the 
old En-gannim (" fountain of gardens"), gi\-en to Issachar 
by Joshua (xxi. 29). I regret not having, examined this 
fountain during a former visit to Jeneen. But east of 
this there are earlier streams of Kishon, at least in winter, 
and Dr. Thomson proves that the watershed of the 
Jordan and the Kishon is in a line from Ksalis to Endor, 
and that the Kishon and the Jalud overlap one another 
for several miles.' The Kishon is called Mokatta (ford) 
by the Arabs, and its valley, El Kasab, from the spring, 

' ' L. and B.' p. 434. Schwartz says (p. 166) that the Arabs call the 
village south-east of Tabor, near wliich the sources of Kishon arc, Sheicii 
Abrik (chief Barak), in allusion to Barak (Judges iv. 6). In 1 Chronicles 
vi. 37, among the Levitical cities, the village is called Kedesh, and this 
may be the Kedes marked in Wey's old map. 

438 Megiddo. [Chap. XXIV. 

while their name for the plain of Esdraelon is Mcrj ibn 
Aiiicr. We are here on the regular field of battle for 
the centre of Palestine, while the Bukaa we had traversed 
towards Damascus was the battle plain for the north. 
A hundred other points of interest are round us on 
Esdraelon, but we must keep to a few that are fairly 
subjects for our log. 

There is euphony in that name for the streams of 
Kishon, " the waters of Megiddo." This town ^ was for 
years left under the power of the Canaanites. Barak 
and Sisera, "the kings, came and fought" (Judges 
V. 19), and Deborah sang of the victory. The place 
was well chosen as a battle-field to contest both the 
road and the river. The Israelites assembled at Tabor 
could reach it in six hours if the upper streams of Kishon 
were dry, but it is not easy to see how Sisera could 
bring hither his " nine hundred chariots" from Harosheth, 
if that was near Hazor, " above " the waters of Merom.^ 

^ If Megiddo was the Roman station " Legio " (now "Lejun" of the 
Arab), it is south-east of Carmel on the road to Jenin, and in full view of 
Jezreel, looking west. Farther south, on the same highway, was Taanach, 
also a Canaanitish town (Judges i. 27), and now called Tannuk. Vande- 
velde, in his ' Syria and Palestine ' (1854, vol i. p. 364), gives an interestinn- 
explanation of how it was that Pharaoh-nechoh was met here and fought 
by Josiah (2 Kings xxxiii.). 

Rabbi Schwartz (p. 165) thus explains the apparent difficulty in under- 
standing I Kings xxxi. 19 : "On the spot where the dogs have licked up the 
blood of Naboth shall the dogs lick up thy blood also ;■" in conjunction 
with I Kings xxii. 38 : "And they washed out the chariot in the pool of 
Samai-ia, and the dogs licked up his blood." Naboth was stoned to death 
in Jezreel, and still it is said, as if in fulfilment of the prophecy, that Ahab's 
blood was licked up in Samaria. He says that the Hebrew word translated 
"on the spot" should be rendered "in place of," in punishment for; so 
the same word in Hosea ii. i, "And it shall come to pass that instead of 
people's saying of them." 

The "Armageddon" in Rev. xvi. 16, may mean either the "fortified 
city" or the "mountain" of Megiddo (Stanley, 'S. and 1'.' jx 33S). 

^ Thomson (' L. and B.' p. 437) places Harosheth at the large double 

Chap. XXIV.] Fords of KisJion. 439 

As Barak bcg-an the battle, a storm of rain, hail, and 
wind swept over the plain, ■* " the stars in their courses 
fought against Sisera," and "the river of Kishon swept 
them away — that ancient river, the river Kishon." 

The treacherous nature of the Kishon exceeds that of 
any river I have seen. Not only are there few fords in 
the lower part, but they are all difficult of access, even 
in fine weather, and the depth of water in them varies 
extremely even without any assignable cause. 

As we approached the river, after a long spell of fair 
weather, Hany was exceedingly anxious to ford it at 
once, for a few hours' rain might render a passage 
impossible. On one of the thirty visits he had made to 
this river, he was kept thus a whole week without being 
able to pass. 

Therefore we pressed on with wearied mules to the 
upper ford, said then to be the best ; but on approaching 
it I observed about twenty mounted Arabs on the other 
bank, who tried in vain to cross there, and so we retired 
and struggled on to the next ford. 

To save time I went half a mile in advance, through 
the reeds ; and, descending the steep bank, ni)- horse 
entered the river, which is there about fifty feet broad ; 
but we had not advanced two yards into the channel 
before the water came up to my knees sitting in the 
saddle, and all endeavours to cross there were futile. 
Our horses, indeed, could have swum, but not the pack 

Again we retreated, and went still down the stream 
to the last ford (except that at the mouth), and which 
had the worst reputation of all. To our great astonish- 

mound opposite Carmel, now called Ilaiothicli, and he lucidly explains the 
incidents of this battle. 

* Josephus, ' Ant. J.' buok v. ch. v. sec. iv. 

440 Kis/ion's Banks. [Chap. XXIV. 

ment, there was actually not three inches of water at this 
spot, and the Rob Roy could scarcely float across. 

This remarkable uncertainty of the fords is caused by 
the soft sand and mud at the bottom of the river being 
moved bodily from one place to another, so that no man 
can tell where it may be hollowed out one day or heaped 
up in a bank the next. 

It is readily understood, then, how Sisera's army 
might have easily crossed the Kishon before a storm, 
and yet be "swept away" in the very same place 
after rain had flooded the river. This also explains how 
Elijah told Ahab to hasten lest the rain should stop 

Another peculiarity of the plain is that, on certain 
tracts of its surface, there is strong adhesive mud, and 
this alone enables the banks of the Kishon to maintain 
their remarkable upright form, even when they are 
twent}' feet high. 

Now when horses and mules pass over such places, 
they are often unable to pull out their feet. The 
struggles of the mules when they felt this were violent, 
and the loads of those that stuck fast had to be removed. 
(3ne of our donkeys, falling into this clay, which is far 
stiffer than the loam, succumbed without an effort, lying 
upon his side as if hopeless, deep sunk in the mire, and 
patiently waiting half an hour until the other animals 
had been recovered, and he could be released. 

I noticed also that the form of the mule's hoof, being 
sharp and pointed, allows it to sink much deeper than 
the flat hoof of a horse ; but then the mule can, for the 
same reason, draw his foot out more easily. If a horse's 
foot is buried in the mud long enough to allow the clay 
to close over it from above, he finds it extremely difficult 
to draw his leg out again, and he instantly changes his 

Chap. XXI \'.] Siscrds S/aWs. 441 

gait to a series of pluni^es, with rapid, short, and jerky 
steps, snorting and groaning the while w ilh terror, and 
panting and steaming in the wildest excitement. 

Therefore it was that in this battle of Megidd^ the 
war-steeds of Sisera were " discomfited," flying before 
Israel, " so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot," and 
Deborah could sing in her hymn of triumph, " Then 
were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the 
pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones." 

We were now at the foot of Mount Carmel, which 
is about fifteen miles in length, broad and lofty at the 
inland end, and narrowing to a lower point that juts out 
seaward. Having formerly spent a week in the Convent 
here, I was well acquainted with the northern end of 
Carmel, but now I scaled the heights remote from the 
sea, to examine and to admire the place where Elijah 
met the priests of Baal. Stanley well describes this 
grand theatre, and the sacred tragedy that \\as enacted 
there of old. The well whence the water was drawn 
three times to flood the sacrifice I found quite full 
to thirteen feet,^ and the channel of Kishon bends round 
close to Carmel just below this spot ; and deep in its 
sands there is buried no doubt the golden dust of idols 
calcined and stamped to pieces by him who was zealous 
for Jehovah. Then the old river trends away into the 
marsh again, silently meandering slowly to the sea. 

Torrents of rain descended on our camp at night, 

* The depth of water in this well, wlien noted at all hy travellers, is 
often different, but it is never mentioned as positively dry. Thomson's 
suggestion that the water was obtained from a fountain near the chaimel 
seems to me untenable. He cites an interesting ]iassage from Tacitus, 
describing the worship on Mount Carmel (' L. and B.' p. 4S3). Just 1h;1o\v 
the sacrifice place, Moharrakah, which means "burning," is Tell el Kasees 
(hill of the priests). Finn, however, thinks this name alludes to some 
hermit oflater times (' Byeways,' p. 233). 

442- Launch in a Storm. [Chap. XXIV. 

and the flat morass glistened with rain drops, which 
warned both man and beast not to traverse it now, 
and justified our prudent haste in passing it while dry. 

At the beginning of our tour I would not have dared 
to carry the Rob Roy over this terrible bog, but now, 
fully trusting the horse, we set ofi" to float her again on 
the Kishon. 

The rain beat cold in our faces, and the winter blast 
was rushing down the crags. It was an anxious time, 
crossing this dreary swamp in such a storm ; and as my 
horse plunged knee-deep, and struggled, he groaned 
aloud with rage. 

" Suppose he sticks here, what shall I do 1 " was 
the question, and it seemed to be best then to throw 
off my broad cloak on the marsh and to jump into 
it, and lie at full length to prevent sinking ; but the 
next part of the process I never could prearrange, and it 
was just one of those dangers one cannot prepare for, 
and must only be blind to until they occur. After much 
difficulty the canoe was launched down the deep bank, 
and once all snug in the Rob Roy, I was sheltered of 
course from the pitiless rain. Then they left me with a 
Moslem's blessing, and I was soon out of sight of man- 

High vertical banks soon shut in the Kishon, which 
flows moodily dark and deep in a bending channel about 
sixty feet wide. A curious ledge of hard clay projects 
at each verge about three inches under the surface, 
and then is steep again to six feet below, within a 
yard or two from the shore. I tried in vain to find 
even one single stone with which to sound the middle, 
and I hesitated to use my pistol for this, not knowing 
what might be met to require its aid as a firearm. 

Rank grass waved on each hand at the top, and 

Chap. XXIV.] Up the Mclc/ii. 443 

wild ducks flew down the wind, and a i;re\' lienm and a 
white one, but neither man nor beast was to be seen. It 
was evident that the Kishon once begun, we could hope 
for no landing-place even for a minute's rest, but must 
go right on to the sea. 

Soon there flowed in a tributary stream from the 
north, and to this I turned off in hopes of adventure or 

This is the stream Nahr el Melchi," or el Malek, and 
its mouth is twenty feet wide, with a considerable 
current, in about six feet of depth. The banks are from 
twelve to twenty feet high, and very steep, with oleanders 
on the sides and canes. The course is winding, and the 
channel soon narrows, while it bends abruptly amid 
broken islets. Still I pushed upwards, being anxious to 
reach the Tell marked in the map, where there might be 
ruins to reward a search. At length it became impos- 
sible to use the paddle, the river was so narrow, and 
when it was choked by reeds, the Rob Roy had to return, 
stern foremost, for there was not room to turn her round. 

Once more in the Kishon, we had open water, and the 
weather suddenly cleared up with bright sunshine at 
noon. It was time now to breakfast, so my bag was 
drawn out, and the viands spread on deck, while the 
canoe floated gently about twenty feet from the southern 
bank. Here an event happened which was totally un- 
expected, and exceedingly interesting. My paddle was 
at the time across the deck, and I was lolling in the 
" well " as if on a couch, for it was found quite impossible 
to land on any part of Kishon's banks. I was dipping a 

•■ Schwartz (pp. 191, 192) suggests tliat this stream, llowing south of 
Shafamer, is named alter the ancient Alammelech, whicli stood on its l)anks. 
The plain here may be the " Wady el Meleh," for a salt marsh so near the 
sea is natural enough. 

444 Mcetino- a Crocodile. [Chap. XXIV. 

little tin drinking-can, with my hand dabbling in the 
water, when a strange sound was heard quite near — a 
measured breathing, gurgling, hissing sound. After 
this had been repeated, I turned quietly round to look. 
Within a foot of my paddle, and close to my boat, and 
just by my hand, I saw the nose and mouth of — a 
crocodile ! For a second or two my eyes were fixed on 
this extraordinary apparition as if spell-bound by a 
serpent's gaze. The nose was dark grey in colour, 
smooth and rounded, and it stuck out above water. 
The mouth was open, and the water gurgled out and in. 
Not the slightest doubt had I that this was the face of a 
crocodile, though from its position behind me in the 
muddy water, and because my head was low, I did not 
see its eyes. A crocodile's head had long ago been 
familiar to me, for I had seen, quite near, at least fifty of 
them on the Upper Nile, and for twenty years the face 
of one of those I shot has been resting exactly opposite 
to the seat where this is written. The manner of swim- 
ming also, with the nose out of water, and the mouth 
opened towards the flowing stream, was precisely what 
is so often noticed on the Nile, and the very first 
crocodile I had met in Egypt was exactly in the same 
position," having come to the surface like this one here 

' This was just above Minyeh, which was then the limit north for 
crocodiles. More lately they have been driven far away by the steamboats, 
so that when the Commodore of the Canoe Club ascended the Nile this 
year, but one crocodile fell to the gun of his Royal Highness. 

But they used to come lower; so when 1 saw the crocodile near Minyeh, 
I descended the bank, and held on by one hand to a clump of palm leaves, 
while with the other I placed my pistol within a yard of the crocodile's 
head. Straining then at the trigger to fire it, I found the pistol was only at 
half-cock, and when 1 brought it back to the other hand to cock it, the 
palm leaves gave way, and I tumbled into the river, but managed to get 
to land without having lost the pistol, tlie same weapon used in this canoe 

Chap. XXIV.] 

IV/iaf to do. 


to bask in the sun. Mastil}' rising from ni\- Iouiil^c, I 
grasped the paddle, but was doubtful what to do with 
it. If I struck the animal, he might lash his tail and 
injure the boat. If I dipped the paddle gently, it would 

The Crijci.dik- 1,11 the Kl^ll(.n. 

bring my hand quite close to his mouth, and an un- 
sophisticated crocodile would \Li'\- probably snap at such 
a tempting morsel, though those more knowing ones on 
the Nile are shy, because they learn from experience 
that men mean guns, and guns mean bullets, and though 
bullets do not aU\a}-s mean death, m- c\en wounds to 
the crocodile, yet the\- sometimes scratch his sleejjy 
scales.** Cautiously, then, I dippi:d the blue paddle- 

^ One night in the Nile a crocodile lell fiom the hank into the iiiidille of 
my " dahaheeh." He must have been asleep, and the end of the lateen 
yard may have struck him. Aroused in my cabui, I found all the crew 

44^ Feeling a Crocodile. [Chap. xxiv. 

blade, and the nose and mouth went down, and the Rob 
Roy dashed to the middle of the river, for there it would 
be safer, as the crocodile prefers to attack near the 

Then the thought came powerfully, " How important 
a discovery is this, and yet how indistinct are its details ! 
How wrong it was not to get out my pistol — how cul- 
pable now if I do not sift the matter further!" So the 
canoe came close to the bank to examine the muddy 
shores. There we found numerous footprints, which 
seemed to be those of crocodiles. The shores were in 
patches, and in the most favourable condition for inspec- 
tion, because for a long time there had been no rain until 
last night, and the river had not yet been swollen much. 
Many of the footmarks were in little bights, entirely cut 
off from the land above by banks quite vertical, so that 
no ox or other cattle would go there, especially as at the 
flat mud banks farther down there are regular places for 
cattle to drink at. The footprint of the crocodile is very 
like the impression made by the human hand if you strike 
that into mud, with the wrist lowered and the fingers 
bent. These were what I saw, but to make more sure, I 
very slowly ran the canoe upon one of the banks, where 
her bow touched the shore and her stern swung slowly 

had jumped over, and were clinging to the gunwale, while they screeched 
most vigorously. At Siout, in 1849, I saw what was said to be the largest 
crocodile ever killed in the neighbourhood. His death was not accom- 
plished until he killed two men by swings of his tail. His body was hung 
up over the gate of the town, and I estimated its length as twenty-six feet, 
but others called it thirty feet. One of the crocodiles I killed had a quarter 
of a pint of pebbles in his stomach, and the bullet of an Arab gun, 
much corroded. P^ourteen hours after his death, and when his stomach was 
removed, and the skin was being stripped from his back, he moved his 
tail so vigorously that we had to place the "pipe-boy" sitting on it, to 
keep the body still. Warburton, on the Nile, found a lad crying beside a 
dead crocodile, which had eaten his grandnu)thcr. He sold the crocodile 
for 7^-. dd., with the old lady inside. 

Chap. XXIV.] Flioht. 


round in the stream. Just as I bei^an to lean over to 
take a sketch of the footprints, I felt something hard 
under the boat's bottom, which began behind me (not 
floating with the stream), and it went bump, bump, all 
along, exactly under ni)^ seat. 

For three years I had been well accustomed to sit on 
the floor of the canoe (never using a cushion or even a 
mat), and at once to apprehend the various knocks, and 
vibrations, and grazings received, which are quite dis- 
tinguishable as the boat passes over rocks, boulders, 
shingle, gravel, sand, mud, or weeds. This faiii/g of the 
object outside, through the thin oak j)lank (not an inch 
from your body), is almost as easy as by the hand itself, 
and therefore I knew in a moment that some hard, smooth, 
heavy substance was knocking below against my boat, 
and moving forward. The most likely of all things was 
that this was a crocodile, who had seen the large object 
above him — a total novelty here — and being an animal 
of curious mind, he had risen underneath it to examine 
what was shading the light from his eyes. In much less 
time than has been necessary to put all this on paper 
the Rob Roy fled from the spot at the top of her speed, 
and went on until we came in sight of the Mediterranean 

The Kishon widens for the last two miles, and there 
are large bushes on its banks, but mostly on the north 
shore. I brought a branch from one of these as a trophy 
from a point just a little below the Xahr el Melcha. 
Bustards and hawks were numerous, and I saw one white 
ibis and one dead fish. The channel'-' turns suddenly to 

^ It is plain that the mouth of Kishon has been gradually pushed on 
northwards, by the slight but constant current along the coast, which silts 
up the southern bank of the river. The same is noticed at the mouth of 
the Belus. 

448 Evidence. [Chap. XXIV. 

the north for a quarter of a mile, when its waters reach 
the sea sand, and are there a Httle brackish. Numerous 
pahn-trees are alongside, and a long lagoon of marsh. 

Some travellers had come to ford the Kishon at its 
mouth, and I went up at once and told them I had seen 
a crocodile, had seen the footprints of others, and had felt 
below my boat what seemed to be one more. One of 
the party thus met was a foreign Consul. He said that 
none of the people there had ever seen a crocodile in that 
river. But have they gone up high enough to see one .'' 
It will be perfectly easy to take a boat up the Kishon so 
as to test the discovery, and I only regret that this was 
not done at the time, and that there is left to some other 
traveller the satisfaction of bringing home one of the 
crocodiles I met in the Kishon on February 6, 1869. 

It may well be supposed that when this discovery was 
published in a letter to the ' Times,' a great deal of interest 
was excited among naturalists in various countries. From 
Germany I received letters of urgent enquiry, and many 
from England and America. The Austrian Consul at 
Jerusalem took much trouble to look up the old writers 
upon the subject, and the learned Dr. Sandreczki sent me 
excerpts from different authors. Some of the investiga- 
tions gave statements as to the crocodile having lived in 
the Zerka ; but it seems quite unnecessary to refer to old 
writers upon this point, because, as we have narrated, 
there are now in England the bones of a crocodile killed 
in that river. But it being indisputable that the crocodile 
exists in the Zerka, we are more readily prepared to find 
it in the river Kishon, which is only about twenty miles 
north of the Zerka ; ^" and indeed the higher tributaries 
of these two rivers are not five miles apart. 

'" Dr. Thomson says (' L. and 15.' ]i. 407) : "I suspect tliat long ages 
ago, some Egyptians accustomed to worship tliis ugly creature settled here 

Chap. XXIV.] Evidence. 449 

The Austrian Consul at Jerusalem made enquiries of 
the monks at Carmcl, and the Rev. J. Zeller enquired of 
the hunters at Caipha, but none of them knew of a croco- 
dile in the Kishon. The only distinct assertion I can 
find in modern books of the fact that the crocodile lived 
in the river Kishon is the following, by Rabbi Schwartz 
(p. 301) : — "The crocodile, Al Buda,'^ is met with on the 
shore of the Mediterranean, near Cheifa and Ca^sarea, but 
it is not above two feet in length." '- This, of course, refers 
to the Kishon as well as the Zerka, for Haifa is close to 
Kishon's mouth. 

After a day or two at Haifa \\q carried the canoe along 
the white sand of the bay of Acre to the marsh where the 

(Ca?sarea), and brought their gods with them. Once here, they would not 
easily be exterminated, for no better place could be desired by them than 
this vast jungle and impracticable swamp. . . . The historians ot tlie 
Crusades speak of this marsh, which they call a lake, and also say that 
there were crocodiles in it in their day. If the locality would admit, I 
should identify this Zerka with the Shihor Libnath of Joshua xix. 26, for 
' .Shihor ' is one of the names of the Nile, the very home of the crocodile ; 
but the river in question was given to Asher, and is probably the Xaaman 
(the Belus of ancient geographers), and the marshes at its source are as 
suitable for this ugly beast as those of Zoar." It is presumed that this is 
meant for Zoan, although crocodiles are not found in the Delta of Egypt now. 
These marshes of the Belus may be what are referred to in the Talmud under 
the name of Hultha (Xeubauer, ' Geog. Talm.' p. 24). They are only a few 
miles north of the marshes of the Kishon, which are in every way as suitable for 
the crocodile to inhabit ; and when we find that Kishon is between two rivers, 
one of them now containing crocodiles, and the other having a name which 
may indicate its relation or similarity to the Xile, and that the ports at the 
mouth of all three rivers were visited constantly by ships from l'"g)pt, it 
appears highly probable that the animal may have been either indigenous 
in all three streams or brought by P'gyptians for their worship, or by 
Romans for their games. In ' Delitzsch on Job' (Clarke's, ii. p. 366), it 
is said ihe crocodile is found near Tantura in the river Damur (X. of 
Siflon), but, queiy, meaning the Zerka? 

As to the subject generally, sec 'Jerusalem und das Hcilige Land,' by 
Dr. Sepp (.Schaffhausen, 1863), vol. ii. p. 476. 

" Dr. Sandreczki, at Jerusalem, said this name is unknown to him. 

'- The crocodile killed in the Zerka was five times as large. 

2 G 

450 Start on the Bdiis. [Chap. XXIV. 

Belus rises. This Shihor Libnath (/. c. " white " or " glass " 
Shihor, or the "Nile of glass ") is the present Nnnian of the 
Arabs, or the Ramie Abiatz, where, it is said, the manu- 
facture of glass was first discovered accidentally by men 
who lighted a fire and found glass in the embers. The 
expression in Deuteronomy (xxxiii. 19), " The treasure 
hid in the sand," is probably in reference to this, and 
Josephus mentions the stream.''^ 

In a strong breeze I launched here and traversed the 
marshes until it was plai'n there was nothing to see except 
water and long reeds, for I did not then know that croco- 
diles might possibly be here also. There is a strange 
wild savageness about these marshes of the Belus, while 
palms grow on the edge, and a few gardens are enclosed. 
Two beautiful gazelles gave me a long chase on horse- 
back, for it was easy to trace them on the sand. 

As no one but Hany was present w'hen avc launched 
on this river, it may well be supposed how astonished the 
natives were to see the Rob Roy come out at the mouth, 
and with an air about her all the time that this was the 
common thing to do. We had found nothing there, but 
then the wind was so stirring that crocodiles, at least, 
would not be readil}- seen in the fens and marshes, though 

'^ ' W. J.' book ii. ch. x. sec. ii. " The very small river Belus runs by 
it [Acre] at the distance of two furlongs ; near which theie is Menmon's 
monument, and hath near it a place no larger than a hundred cubits, which 
deserves admiration ; for the place is round and hullow, antl affords such 
sand as glass is made of, which place, when it hath lieen emptied by the 
many ships there loaded, it is filled again bv the winds, which liring into 
it, as it were on pur[)ose, the sand which lay remote, and was no more 
than bare conunon sand, while this mine presently turns it into glassy sand. 
.\nd what is ti^ me still more wonderful, that glassy sand which is super- 
lluous, and is once I'einoved out of the place, becomes bare common sand 
again. And this is the nature ol" the place we are speaking of." 

The sand has been emjiloyed for making glass in later times by the \'ene- 
lians (Kenrick's 'I'henicia') ; antl a^ter riding upon it fnr several lu)urs, I 
can tcstif}- to its whiteness, purity, antl beauty. 

Chap. XXIV.] River Aiijeh. 451 

these are just the very places for the " Timsah " to rest 
in ; and I commend the Bekis to the more dihgent search 
of some future traveller. 

Here it may be right to mention — for it could not 
otherwise come into our log (being only a landlubber's 
business, and managed without the canoe) — that I made 
a diligent search along the shores and in the stream of 
the river Aujeh, which runs into the sea a little north of 
Jaffa, seeking for evidence of the crocodile there. As this 
river is between the Zerka and the Nile, and is the longest 
constant river in Palestine next to Jordan, perhaps it 
might also have been made happy by the importation of 
the scaly monster ; but though much that was interesting 
was found in the district around, there was no trace of 
the crocodile noticed on the Aujeh. '■* Yet the banks were 
suitable for its habitat, and one cannot rashly pronounce 
a negative decision in such a case. When the question 
had been still further pressed upon attention by the kind 
enquiries of learned men at Jerusalem, it seemed to me 
not impossible that even in old Jordan, too, there might 
be a crocodile. 

Reports reached me that the animal had actually been 
seen, long ago, in Jordan, but without much to substan- 
tiate their accuracy. Dr. Barcla}', the eminent scholar 
and learned divine, whose pious work as a missionary in 
Jerusalem is joined with keen interest in all matters of 
science and history, informed me that a few years ago 
one of his congregation came back from Jordan mourning 
the sudden death of a fellow traveller, who, he said, was 
carried away before his e\-es by some animal in the 
water. Nor was it easy to banish from one's mind 
the impression created b\' the verse in Job xl. 23, which 

'* All the rivers along tiie coast ought to be searched with this purpose 
in view. 

,\.t,2 Farewell to Jordan. [Chap. XXIV. 

says of " behemoth," " he trusteth that he can draw up 
Jordan into his mouth," although the explanation of that 
verse, already given by Stanley, seems to turn its bearing 
entirely from "the " specific Jordan, and another animal 
is meant by bcJicuiotJi, the " river ox," buffalo, or hippo- 

However, it could do no harm to search even Jordan 
for the crocodile, and therefore, on a fourth visit to the 
Dead Sea, I made a close inspection of the last two 
miles of the river, with only this one object in view. 
Captain Warren, R.E., also went over the same ground 
in the opposite direction, and perhaps with less hopeful 
eye, but neither of us, at the day's end, had discerned 
the least trace of the crocodile here.'^ 

Yet a day is not lost that is spent by the banks of 
the Jordan, and we cannot have one too many visits to 
such a stream. How lonely it looked ! To think of the 
millions of people, and thousands of years, that have 
had this river in their history, and yet not a single house, 
or tent, or booth, or even hermit's cell, is here to mark 
where the Son of Man was proclaimed to be the Son of 

So now, Farewell to Jordan, in ardent hope of coming 
here again. 

Best known of waters in the whole world, you have had 

'■' Two things should be noticed as to this inspection ; tirst, that the 
river was then high, and any foot-prints on the banl< would be most likely 
washed away ; and, second, that the .Arabs whom A\e met u]X)n the banks 
of Jordan seemed in no way surprised that we were "looking out ior a 
'J'ii/is(i/i." A search may yet be successiul even here, if it is made at a time 
when the water is low, and along the part of the Jordan from the last ford 
to the Dead Sea — a portion of the river, very diftKult to approach closely, 
(luitc devoid of any other interest, and, there'.ore, scarcely ever visited by 
travellers, while it has at the same time every feature in banks, and weeds, 
and sandy bays, which would fit it for the habitation of the great reptile of 
the Nile. 

Chap. XXIV.] Across the Bay of Acre. 453 

no ports for j ^mmcrcc, no cities on your banks, no green 
meads watered, no traffic on your waves. But the foot 
of the patriarch has rested there, and- the prophet and 
the prince have dwelt beside you, and battles have 
sounded loud, and hosts have crossed your bed dried up 
by the finger of Goci. If for ten thousand years your 
waters had rolled on unused and unseen, there would be 
reason enough for all their flowing when they at last 
became the font of our Saviour's baptism, and shone back 
the light from a Trinity revealed to man. 

Smoothly gliding out of the river Belus, the Rob Roy 
once more floated upon the salt waves of the Mediter- 
ranean. Bright sunshine gleamed on them, and a lively 
breeze curled over each billow top as it plashed upon 
the shore. Through the waves we crossed this end of 
the bay of Acre, and soon reached the outlying ruins 
in the water, which guarded once this celebrated port of 
Ptolemais. So strong was the wind that nobody ap- 
peared on the walls or at the sally-port seawards, until 
the canoe had come quite close — certainly the smallest 
vessel that ever paid a visit to St. Jean d'Acre. But the 
first man who descried her soon brought the rest by his 
shouting, and the battlements were speedily crowded, 
and the shore was lined by a mass of sightseers. 
Among the busy group, when I landed, one said to me 
in good English, " Come and have coffee with me." It 
was just the very thing I wanted — a cup of hot coffee — 
so I went, nothing loth, and on the way he said, " I wish 
to show you my young wife." This seemed odd enough, 
but I was ready for anything that might turn up. The 
lady was a clever Lancashire lass, who had been six 
years in this funny little town of Acre, and now she 
prattled Arabic like a Turk, and sat cross-legged on a 
divan, while her nargilleh gurgled its blue cloud. I 

454 ''Ariadne' [Chap. XXIV. 

stayed two days, delighted with this kind Jewish family. 
Here was a little negro boy, a slave, who had run away 
from his master, -and got safely to the house of the 
English Consul. And so at once a name was given 
him, Farraj (Free), and with his name a pair of 
trousers, and then the broad grin of happiness came 
on his sable checks, all gashed by the slave stealer's 
knife. Then the canoe went once more to Beyrout, 
and plied her azure sail in the harbour as before, and 
was welcomed by many friends. From this again to 
Jaffa; and here a long gap occurs in our log, which cannot 
be filled up in these pages, because it was all on dry 
land, or indeed much of it was under the earth, in the 
shafts at Jerusalem. This was a delightful stay of some 
weeks at the Holy City. To summarise the proceedings 
of that happy visit would be merely to tell what can be 
read elsewhere. To give in detail all the climbs up 
above, and dives down below, all the rides, and Avalks, 
and drives,'*^ and talks, and sights, and thoughts, of that 
pleasant month, would need another volume quite as 
large as this. Farewell to you also, glorious Jerusalem. 

At Alexandria once more we launched the Rob Roy 
to embark her on board the ' Delta,' bound for home. 
Farther out, and tossing in a gallant breeze, was the 
'Ariadne' frigate, the sea home of our Commodore, and 
of that fair Princess who has won from all Englishmen 
the hardest thing to win, our affectionate regard. 

The waves tossed angry and boisterous as the Rob 
Roy ran out among the sharks to salute the man-of-war. 

The crew clustered thick in the rigging of the stately 
frigate, and cheered the tiny consort with good\\ill. 

^'' Floyd, an American, drove the first carriage seen in Palestine for 
many hundred years, on the new and wretched roatl from Jaffa to Jeru- 
salem, in June, lS6S. 

Chap. XXIV.] 



"Turn round before the Mind,"they cried, "and show 
how you can go." 

It was a moment both of pride and of fear to me : 
pride in the craft that could finish such a voyage, fear 
lest the finish \\-as to be in a capsize. 

A Cheer from ' Ariailnc' 

But the Rob Roy blithely turned upon a wave top 
and flew along the foam, and carried safe through all 
her little flag, and a heart that beat high with grateful 
praise to Him who had vouchsafed to me thus to enjoy 
the happiest days of a very happy life. 


The Canoe. 

IX ' The Rob Roy in the Baltic,' a full description is gi\'en 
with woodcuts of the form of canoe and its fittings which 
succeeded so well on this cruise. Of course, more improve- 
ments were made before the Eastern voyage, but in designing 
the last Rob Roy a new and difficult problem had to be 
solved, because this was to be a boat in which one could not 
only travel but sleep comfortably. 

Much consideration was given for months before the design 
was determined, and we shall now explain minutely vhe con- 
struction of what is in fi^vct a little yacht, in v/hich you can 
cruise over sea and land for a week without getting supplies.' 

It is always best that for sleeping the boat should be drawn 
up on shore, and in lawless countries an island or some solitary 
place should be selected, as you have no guard. It is a 
question still whether on the whole a light tent is not better 
than the boat to sleep in. However, we resolved to make the 
boat itself our comfortable bed, and for this it is absolutely neces- 
sary — (i) to have a clear space of 6 feet 6 inches in length ; 
(2) to remove enough of the deck to give ample room for the 
knees in "turning" at night; (3) to place the timbers of 
the boat so that they do not gall the shoulders, elbows, hips, 
knees, or heels ; (4) to have width enough at the end of your 
bed for the feet inclined sideways with both heels on the floor. 

1 Although some hundred canoes have been built within tlie last three 
years, I do not know one builder who will build a canoe reasonajjly com- 
plete, without constant personal supervision. 

45 8 The Canoe. [App. 

This Rob Roy was therefore built round me lying down, as 
the others had been built about me sitting. Her length on 
deck is 14 feet. Her floor is made longer by lessening the 
rake of stem and stern, which are more upright than in 
the drawing. Her greatest beam, 26 inches, is not on deck, 
but 3 inches below, so that her upper streak " topples in " 
amidships, but flanges out fore and aft. " Eveiybody " said this 
would look ugly, but "nobody" now could find out the differ- 
ence, unless by measurement. The lines thus altered made 
the canoe stow more, sail better, and rise to her seas more 
lively. On the other hand, she is much harder to work in 
rapids and crooked water, and to drag and to beach on shore. 
Her garboard streaks incline dowmuards, so that on a flat shore 
their seams are nearly as low as the keel, which projects less 
than an inch outside. 

The burdens or floor boards are in four pieces, so made as 
to form a floor of 6 feet long, and thus support the whole body 
of the sleeper. They may also be placed above the well, 
as a round arched cover, exactly filling it up when the canoe 
has to be carried far. The dotted lines in the woodcut at 
p. 131 show the well thus enclosed. The weight of the 
Rob Roy with paddle, masts, and sails, is 7 2 lbs. 

To form an open space for sleeping in, I arranged the well 
so that the beam should be where my body needed most width, 
and the well is therefore 6 inches longer than is required for 
sitting in. The fore part of it is half of a hexagon, each side 
of which is one foot long. 

The "apron" is of course the most difficult of all canoe 
matters to settle satisfactorily. 

I tried every feasible plan suggested by others or by myself," 
and finally resolved upon the plan which has borne without 
injury the wear and tear of a whole year's work. 

The apron of the Rob Roy is of light white waterproof, a 
present from a "clerical canoeist," who has lately been paddling 

- A wooden liatch, after a niontli's trial in 1S67, had been discarded. 
Certainly, for the Eastern trip, it would have been useless, though for 
common work it has many recommendations. 

App.] The Canoe. 459 

with a monkey on board, until jacko went up the mast and 
upset the canoe- and drowned himself.* The ai)ron is fixed on 
the hexagonal front of the well by a simple and c]c\er device 
of the builder, and it is kept up by a bit of cane arched over 
the knees. When this is removed (in two seconds), the apron 
lies flat — there is no combing whatever on the sides. 

The edges of the apron are fastened at each side by a single 
button-hole to a round stud 3 inches below deck outside the 
gunwale. This has never cut nor worn out, but it would 
instantly burst if an upset required all hands to debark. 

The after edge of tlie apron is threaded on an elastic band 
devised by the Rev. J. Macdonna, of the C. C, and an excellent 
plan, and thus it lies close to one's chest, and is yet easy and 
slack, being supported on a breast button of my coat. The 
painter is fi^st at each end to the cleat on deck near each knee, 
and is rove through the stern-post — not the stem. In heavy 
weather, by putting the painter under the apron stud, and over 
the edge of the apron, but lower down than the beading of the 
upper streak, the apron is bound close to the gunwale, and 
no water can come in. This plan, invented in the Red Sea, 
worked admirably ever since. The sails and mast are suffi- 
ciently described in our first chapter.* The stretcher is upon a 
new plan, very simple and successful. Instead of a board across, 
supported at each side, there are two fiat thin boards, one for 
each foot which abut on the garboard streak below, and against 
a carline of the deck above. Thus they have strong support, 
but are themselves very light, and there is a clear space 
between them which can be increased in a moment b}- re- 
moving one of them, when a large bag can be passed in for- 

' Of the human members of our Canoe Chib, more than 200 in number, 
not one has been drowned in the many long voyages over KurojK", Asia, 
Africa, America, and Austraha. 

•* The sail is the same in size and shape as in the Baltic Rob Roy. In 
our last Club sailing-match, a simple lug-sail won the prize from all fancy 
rigs. The boom goes into a hem as well as the yard. A cord-loop at the 
end of the boom hooks on a long brass hook at the foot of the mast, so 
that the sail can be entirely detached, and stowed away without leaving 
your seat in the well. 


The Canoe. 


wards, and its neck can always be reached while sitting in the 
boat. My heels rest on the bare garboard streaks, thus gaining 
at least an inch more of inclination for the shin bones, which 
adds much to comfort when you sit for eiglit hours at a time. 

The Rob Roy Cabin. 

Large waterproof pockets are on each side near the knees. 
The luggage consists of one cylindrical "post-office bag" 
(Fig. 3, p. 462), 2 feet long, one foot in diameter, very light, 
with an interior " flap mouth," and so made that, when closed, 
it may be pitched overboard, and nothing will get damp inside. 
The bag acts also as buoyant cargo. The other rectangular 
bag, 12 inches on each side, and 6 inches broad, holds pro- 
visions and things less injured by water, and this is stowed just 
aft of the sitter, so that it can be rea'dily reached. On either 
side of the well are stowed pistol and ammunition, brandy 
bottle and books, large water])roof sheet and coat, the In\-er- 
ness cape (weighing 5-2 lbs.), a water bottle of macintosh (Fig. 
4, p. 462), carrying 5.^ lbs., spare shoes, cork seat, topmast (part 
of fishing-rod), topsail, sponge in tin baler, musquito curtain, 
towel, fishing-net, hooks and lines, sounding cord, small stores, 
matches, &c., and the apparatus for the cabin, which we shall 
next describe. 

To open a light boat of this sort for 6 feet 6 inches of its 
length, and at the jxvrt where there is most strain, was a novel 
proposal, and the builder doubted much, as I tlid myself, whether 
she could possibly bear such a mutilation without getting 
*' hogged" or "screwed," or something worse. Careful manage- 

App.] The Canoe. 461 

ment, however, overcame the difficuky entirely, and by the 
following means. 

Three feet of the deck aft of the back board is in a separate 
piece from the rest, and movable. The fore end of this has 
on it a strong, curved carline, to receive the whole strain of the 
back board, and two other lighter carlines support the rest, and 
are screwed to this shifting deck, but all those carlines are 
quite separate from the gunwale. 

The fore carline of this movable deck has at its ends strong 
flat hooks of iron, which go outside the gunwales, and so brace 
the boat together when the deck is in its place. The surface of 
the deck is flush with the gunwales, so its edge being inside 
keeps them in firm.* At each side of the well, flat movable 
boards (forming the bit of deck left there, and about three 
inches wide) take at each end into recesses in the after deck 
and against a strong knee near the fore part of the well, 
flaps of waterproof at each side (made fast outside under a 
half-inch beading one inch below the level of the gunwale) fold 
inwards and cover the joints. 

Now, to rig up our cabin for the night, we haul the Rob Ro)' 
on shore, and work her backwards and forwards in the ground 
until she is firmly bedded, and this is most important for a good 
night's rest. Next we remove the two flat pieces last described, 
and set them upright near the fore part of the well, as shown at 
a h in the drawing, p. 460, which is on the scale of a quarter 
of an inch to the foot. A light bamboo cane is tied across 
these near the toj). On this we lay the paddle, and its other 
blade rests on the solid piece of deck astern, and so forms our 
roof-tree. Next, the movable deck is placed on the paddle, so 
that its luidcr end projects forward to cover the sleejjer's head. 
Over all, the waterproof sheet is thrown (shown in dotted lines), 
and tucked in between the canoe and the ground, or is 
weighted with stones, or tied down on the windward side if the 
night is not calm. 

■- That this deck should have kept perfectly sound, unwarped, and 
unljroken, through so many trials, is wonderful, but the piece of cedar was 
well chosen for its duties, and well seasoned. 


The Canoe. 


Aft of the backboard and above the movable deck, when 
afloat, there is a loose sheet of waterproof made fast along its 
edges by the beading below the gunwale outside, and which 
generally lies folded on the deck and covers it neatly, being 
kept in shape by the top joint of the fishing-rod that lies along 
one of its folds. For the night the paddle, being inside of the 
macintosh covering, supports it with an inclined roof on each 
side, represented by dotted hnes, while the edges are perfectly 

The mustjuito net has now to be inserted, and then we light 
the little reading lamp — which hijou it would take too long to 
describe accurately — and fasten it on the starboard upright, so 
as to be 6 inches from my left ear when reclining, and thus 
to throw a good light in front for reading. 

The pillow is, of course, our clothes-bag, and for a bed there 
is an air cushion, shown in our sketch, 3 feet long and 14 inches 

broad, with ribs across it so 
made that it will not collapse. 
This bed is particularly com- 
fortable, and we have explained 
in our log that it answers also 
for several other purposes. Its 
diminutive size has been ridiculed, but if you try, you will 
find that, when the shoulders and hips are supported, the 
rest of the body needs no bed at all, except the head, whicli 
has a pillow, and the heels which can rest on a roll of the 

Several canoeists have used wheels with much satisfliction 
where the canoe has to be frequently taken across some beaten 

'' This plan may be imjirovcd upon. It creates trouble in removing and 
replacing the deck, and I think that one waterproof sheet would do for 
the whole roof, while the deck aft might ha\e a projecting ledge above 
the gunwale, to cover the jiiint, which, lu)\\cver, at worst, would let in 
only a little water. The p.iddle has been often used in tMO pieces, with a 
ftriule to unite them. This is convenient, esjiecially for sailing, but I grudge 
the additional weight even of an onnce. Letters and "patents" about 
iniddledjlades set at rinht angles have come often to me during the last five 




Canot UhcJs 

path — as when it is kept in a house near a river or lake, and 
the wheels can be left at an assigned place. 

But in my journeys I had found that out of each thousand 
miles not one mile woukl have been helped by wheels. How- 
e\'er, as the use of them was strongly urged, and possibly it 
might help on this tour, I made a number of experiments, and 
finally reducetl the size and weight so as to be very small, as 
represented in the sketch alongside. These wheels are conical, 
made of wood, hollowed at 
the centres, and with light 
brass tyres, and fixed on a 
steel axle, which turns in a 
strong brass piece {b). Above 
this is a grooved piece of 
wood, into which the keel (a) 
will fit, and without any tying 
or fastening. The diameter 
of the wheels is 4 j inches, and 
they weigh 2 lbs. The plan answered well on trial, and I carried 
the wheels all the way round, and never had one single occasion 
for using them ! The fact is, in real canoeing, that is, in wild 
and unknown lands, you find no smooth roads to wheel a boat 
upon, or if there are roads, you can always get a man to help 
in carrying the boat ; while on rocks, shingle, and jungle, 
no wheels would help you, and on grass, or earth, or sand, the 
boat can be dragged along. 

Before going to bed in our cabin, our supper has to be cooked 
by the "Canoe cuisine," which has been fully described, with 
diagrams, in ' The Voyage Alone in the Rob Roy Yawl ' (Low, 
Fleet Street) : and as this invaluable '" paddler's kitchen" mav 
be had at Hepburn's, 93, Chancery Lane, London, I need not 
further explain its manifold virtues here.'' 

In the East one can often manage to get fowls cooked before 
starting, and even eggs, so that with " Liebig's extract of meat," 
the essence of beef-soup (Morell's, Piccadilly), and dried fruits, 

"^ Xor is it possible, I regret, to engai;e to ans-,ver all tlic corresponden ce 
on the subject from enquiring strangers. 

464 Df^ess. [App. 

there is always a sumptuous meal, besides tea for breakfast and 
a tablespoonful of brandy to kill the animakula in the water for 
dinner. Bread, however, is the important item in travelling, 
and especially that it should keep well in cold, heat, or damp. 
I have still some bread that I got in Norway ten years ago, 
other bread from Africa eight years old, biscuit which was in 
my Swedish journey in 1S66, and neat little loaves (an inch on 
each side) that I brought from Damascus twenty years ago. 
This last kind of bread was the best of all for carrying, because 
it is portable and good. You dip the loaves in water, and they 
soften and expand. Specimens of these were shown in the 
Palestine Exhibition, and deservedly excited much interest. It 
was amusing to find them solemnly denounced by a little evening 
paper as " remnants of repasts," with lots of other nonsense 
equally false. 

What shall be done with that urchin who cries his news under 
a oas-jet in Pall Mall, and throws mud at the public because 
they won't buy his paper, " written by gentlemen," and sold at 
half-price ? Let him be sent to a ragged-school, and, when he 
has learned " manners," we will give him a blacking-brush in the 
" red brigade," that he may get his pennies by polishing, not 
pelting, the public ; for politeness pays better than petulance. 



In all canoe cruises it is important to ha\e convenient dress. 
You are exposed to heat and cold, wind and rain, to sudden 
chills by the splash of wa^•es and wet of leakage, by working 
hard and then sitting still for sailing or for rest, or to cook and 
eat. The dress must be comfortable, light, strong, easily carried, 
readily donned and doffed, washed, dried, mended, and increased 
or diminished. Four long voyages in difterent climates have 
given some experience in these matters, so a few brief notes are 
inserted here for the benefit of canoeists who may paddle in hot 

App.] Dress. 465 

A straw hat is quite enough for the sun of France at its 
hottest, but it is too thin for the more tropical rays of Africa ; 
therefore the straw hat was soon discarded, and I wore tlie new 
hehiiet made by Tress, ah-eady described. The neckshade of 
this is longer than the peak in front, and so, when the sun is on 
the face, by reversing the hat, more shade is obtained for the 
eyes. There is an interval between the hat and the head all 
round, so as to admit cool air. On some occasions a " puggery" 
was added. A wet towel falling down on the shoulders and 
bound over the top of the head answers well in a breeze, but it 
is close and heating in calm sun. This hat bore every accident 
well — rain, spray, snow, and heat, and frequent floatings when 
knocked off in thick jungles. I strongly recommend Tress's 
hat as an excellent headdress for riding or boating in the sun, 
expensive, but not dear, 

" Flannel always and everywhere, and all flannel," is the 
maxim for health. I had two " Norfolk jackets " of fine grey 
flannel ; one can go over the other for a great coat. They last 
so well that one of these has been through all four cruises, and 
it will do again. No wonder the tailors who made it remarked, 
" That will be good for your business, and bad for ours." 

The paddler must put up Avith wet elbows for his coat ; but 
the inside jersey ought to have short arms, so as to be dry. 

A woven sleeveless vest is most useful, as you can slip 
it on when sailing. When it was desirable to be easily seen 
at a great distance, I wore a white nightshirt or a red jersey 

A silk Syrian scarf, of the largest size, was always wrapt about 
my loins. This is invaluable as preserving the heat of the body. 
It can be loosened in the boat and in the tent, but it should 
never be put off out of doors if once it is habitually worn. On 
the passage home it can be cautiously replaced by flannel, which 
may be gradually reduced each week. 

Trowsers very long at the feet (and turned up usually) allow 
you to tie them over your shoes when dozing on the shore in 
midday hours, and so to puzzle the flies, who think it great fun 
to bite through socks, however thick. 

Gloves are also useful fur the same occasions, and a long piece 

2 11 

4^6 Dress. [App 

of gauze net, six feet square, tied over the face, made pleasant 
sleep on the grass or the sand of an island quite enjoyable. 

A waterproof white sheet, six feet by five, the cover of my 
canoe when used to sleep in, was very useful to spread on wet 
sand for a couch, or tied round the waist to cover the legs on 
horseback, or stretched inside the tent over my bed in a furious 
storm of rain. 

Boots are well enough for riding (worn outside the trowsers), 
but are too hot for the canoe. They should be very roomy, 
and thus they will not do for walking. I used a pair bought at 
Constantinople in 1849. The pleasant freedom of light easy 
shoes or slippers, when aboard your boat, amply repays the 
weight and bother of carrying them. Strong shoes, however, 
must be carried to be ready for shingle or jungle, or for a long 
trudge and towing the boat, A pair of the new seamless india- 
rubber half-boots were found most useful in wet grass or 
swampy shores. 

A nightcap is necessary for sleeping in, as there are draughts 
in the " state cabin ; " for it will not do to close it entirely. My 
sou'wester was useful as a bag, and sometimes upon my head 
in rain and in steamboats, &c. 

For rain, either afloat or ashore, I found the best protector 
was a long white (better stuff than black) indiarubber coat. 
Yet all such coats with sleeves are too hot to paddle in, unless 
very slowly, and a better plan was a cape, short near the arms 
and buttoned before or behind, according as the wind was from 
aft or ahead. The arms of the canoeist up to the elbow can 
only be kept dry by waterproof sleeves ; but these should not 
form part of the coat. 

At Jerusalem, Damascus, and Cairo, one collar and ribbon 
was quite enough, and the rest could be left oft' after the voyage 
out. At Alexandria you can get all such miserable furniture 
again for the return voyage. 

For warmth I had a large soft thick dark hooded Inverness 
cape made 18 inches larger than the "largest size," so as to 
touch my shoes. The comfort and benefit of this could not be 
overrated. AVhen riding in the cutting breeze over snow, it 
covered all down to the stirrups ; sitting in the raw air of dawn, 

App.] Canoe Gear and Stores. 467 

it kept all draught from one's limbs ; lying in the canoe at night, 
it was sheet, blanket, and coverhd ; reclining on sand or grass 
by day, or sitting to sail in cool evening breezes, it kept out the 
sun, and dew, and cold ; and in the tent it was a comfortable 
dressing-gown to write in, again reclining, for to sit upriglit in 
the East is absurd, and the bed becomes an easy-chair. After 
all, this useful garment served as an addition to the bedclothes 
during sleep, and next morning it was rolled up, like a soldier's 
greatcoat, and strapped on my saddle. 

An umbreha, with a white cover to it, may almost be included 
among " dress," at least for the hot months." Spectacles of 
neutral tint (large size the best) give comfort to the eyes in the 
sun, and when you remove them, say at 4 p.m., the daylight 
seems to begin again, being about the same as it looked at noon, 
when seen through the glasses. 

The list of " canoe stores " is given below. 


Canoe Gear and Stores. 

A. Gcar^ d-^r.— ]\Iasts, Sails, Wheels, Canoe cuisine, Com- 
pass, Cork seat. Painter, Air bed, IMusquito curtains. Pistol and 
charges. Lamp, Canoe bag, Rob Roy bag. Waterproof sheets. 
Water bottle, Fishing things, Net, rod, flies, Hooks and lines. 
Flag, Sponge, Baler, Spare paddle-rings. Plug, Lens, Long knife, 
Cane, Blocks, Wax-end, Tools, Nails, Screws, Wire, Spare rope 
and cord. Marine glue. Putty, Filter. 

B. Dress. — Pith hat, AVoven cap, Norfolk jacket (2), Woven 
vest. Silk scarf. Socks (2), Flannel trowsers (2), Flannel shirts 
(2), Under vests (2), Cape and hood, Sou'wester, Shoes, 
Macintosh coat, Waterproof boots. Slippers, Brushes and comb, 
Scissors, Needle, pins, and thread. Umbrella. 

^ The French officers at Port Said had adopted a hat very like a parasol, 
the top being distant from the head of the wearer several inches all round, 
and connected by three wires to a leather ring, which goes on the tenij^les. 

468 Voyage of Molyneux [App. 

C. Food^ &>(:. — Liebig's extract (2), Arrowroot, Tea, Beef 
essence. Methylated spirits, James's powder, Insect powder, 
Bread, Eggs, Fowls, Pudding, Figs, Oranges, Quinine, Gregory's 
mixture, Lint, Brandy, Plaister, Wax matches, Fuzees, Chi- 

D. Cargo. — Books, Maps, Papers, Guidebook, Album, Note- 
book, Ink, Pencils, Penknife, Magnesium wire, Drawing things, 
Presents, Money. 


Voyage of Molyneux on Jordan in 1847. 

Although the Rob Roy is the first traveller's boat recorded 
as having navigated the Upper Jordan, there were two previous 
boat expeditions upon the Sea of Galilee and the Lower Jordan 
and Dead Sea. 

The first of these was by Lieutenant Molyneux, of H.M.S. 
' Spartan,' in 1847, and the other by Lieutenant Lynch, of the 
United States Navy, in 1848, who wrote a careful and interesting 
report, which is published and well known. The voyage of 
Molyneux was narrated in a paper read before the Geographical 
Society on March 28, 1848, and printed in their Journal, 
vol. xviii. p. 104. 

This tells us how he transported the ship's " dingy " (a small 
boat) from Beyrout to Tiberias by camels, and from thence he 
started on August 23, 1847, with five men, two of them English. 
They did not examine the lake, but passed at once southwards 
to begin the Jordan. We have condensed the following brief 
notes of their voyage : — 

Molyneux judged the size of the lake to be eighteen miles 
long and eight or nine wide. He found the hot springs at 
Tiberias about 130° F. For seven hours after the " broken 
bridge " (a mile from the lake), they " scarcely ever had sufticient 
water to swim the boat for a hundred )-ards together." On the 
26th he had to carry the boat on camels alongside the river 
before reaching the Jisr IVTejamia, and after that for a great part 
of the lime he was on the bank and frc(iucnllv out ol" siiiht of 

App.] oil Jordan in 1847. 4^9 

the boat, which had four men to pull her and one to steer. 
On the 30th, just below the junction with the Zerka, she was 
attacked by fifty Arabs, who fired shots and then captured her, 
and took the. men away. 

Two Arabs brought the boat on to Jericho. On the 3rd of 
September Molyneux embarked in her on the Dead Sea with 
" Toby" (a guide from Tiberias), and a Greek from Jerusalem. 
He sailed south from 6 p.m. until 2.30 a.m. on the 4th, and, after 
sailing about continually, landed at noon on the 5th. They 
shot some birds standing in the water, and saw others flying 
overhead when in the middle of the sea. They noticed a strip 
of foam north and south, beginning west of Jordan's mouth 
and extending the whole length of the sea, " constantly bubbling 
and in motion like a stream that runs rapidly through a lake of 
still water, while nearly over this white track, during both the 
nights that we were on the water, we observed in the sky a white 
streak, like a cloud, extending also in a straight line from north 
to south, and as far as the eye could reach. On the Sth the 
boat arrived at Jerusalem." 

Mr. Finn, then Consul at Jerusalem, kindly aided Molyneux, 
and he tells us the rest of the story in ' Under the Crown ' for 
May, 1869. The end of it was as follows : — " At my farewell 
greeting I congratulated him on being so much recovered in 
health. He answered, 'This is temporary, during the excite- 
ment ; wait till I get on board, then I shall catch it ' — a pro- 
phecy, alas ! too true. They arrived at Jaffa with the boat, as 
sound as ever, and the crew set up three cheers on her mounting 
the deck, and vowed she would never be washed again, but keep 
her slime of the Dead Sea as a memorial. They rejoined the 
' Spartan ' on September 8. On reaching the station at Bayroot 
fever seized its noble victim, and on the 3rd of October Moly- 
neux died." 





Altitudes according to Authorities relied upon by 

I. — Those in Connection with the Jordan. 

Kefr Kiik (basin north of Wady et Teim) 

Lake Phiale 

Hasbeya town 

(i) Hasbeya source of Jordan 

Ford below 

Khan below 

(2) Banias source of Jordan 

(3) Dan source of Jordan 

Jisr el Ghujar (Roth) 

Ain Belata (by estimation) 

I Hooleh marsh 

Jisr Benat Yacoub 

tile Sea-level. 







I So 

below the Sea-level. 

Templars' keep near Jordan [estimated by J. M.] ... o 

Lake of Gennesareth (Lynch), (greatest depth 160 ft.) 653 

Dead Sea 1292 

Dead Sea, greatest depth (Lynch, 1308 ; Moore and 

Beke, 1800) 3092 

IL — Other Rivers. 

Ahana River. 

Sources near Zebedany (Porter) 

Fall at Suk Barada (Russegger) 

Damascus (mean of 6) 


Sasa (Schubert) 

I'lain of Lsdraelon (where drained) 

above the Sea-level. 

... 3608 

... 3566 

... 2400 


App.] Schools and Missions. 47 1 

III. — Mountains and other Places mentioned in the Book. 

above the Sea-level. 

Lebanon, Jebel el Mcskyeh ioo5i 

Hermon (Mansell) 9053 

Lebanon, Jebel Sinnin 8162 

Dimes (Allen) 3825 

Zalileh (Russegger) 3090 

Jerusalem 2642 

Damascus 2400 

Highest between Jordan and Litany (De Forest) ... 2300 

Banias (Subeibeli Castle), by estimation 2200 

Tell et Hara 2198 

Mount Tabor (Mansell) 2017 

Carmel (highest point) 1861 

Nazareth (Roth) 1265 

Kurn Hattin ... 119 1 

Jisr Burghuz 11 86 

Gamala ruins II 70 

Kades 500 


Schools and Missions. 

Besides the institutions referred to already, the following may 
be noticed : — 

At Jaffa there is a very interesting little school, conducted by 
a young lady, aided by friends in England. Several visits to the 
institution made me admire it more and more each time. The 
children of Jaffa are in a horrid dirty poky hole of a town, and 
it must be charming for them to go to a school where bright 
smiles await them, and the happy teaching of a loving heart. 
Jews, Turks, and Franks, all partake of this blessing in the very 
place where Peter was taught that the Gospel was meant for us 
all. The children are delighted to see a visitor, and as very 
many travellers pass through Jaffa, it may be a new pleasure to 
them to look in at the Jaffa school. 

The followng information has been recently published re- 
garding a most important and extensive educational work : — 

47^ Schools and Missions. [App. 

Society for Promoting Female Education in tlie East. 

For thirty-five years this Society has pursued the special object 
with valuable results. With an income of about 3000/. a year, it 
has been engaged for thirty-five years in a large field of labour. 
It supplies 800/. in salaries to its own missionary teachers at 
Hong Kong, Singapore, Calcutta, Cuttack, Piplee, Secundra, 
Sierra Leone, Shemlan (on Mount Lebanon), Sidon, and Naza- 
reth ; also grants and school materials over the field of Protestant 
missions in the East. The estimated value of ladies' work and 
clothing sent abroad for sale during the past year is more than 
5000/. Twenty-one additional schools are needed ; twenty-seven 
additional native teachers are ready for employment. Two 
ladies are leaving England for Zenana work in India. 

Further information will be gladly supplied by Miss Webb, 
267, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London. 

Extracts from a SpeecJi of tJic BisJiop of Jerusalem 
at a Meeting in London in July, 1869. 

" I first visited Palestine about forty years ago, Avhen there 
was no Bible to be found either among the Jews or the Chris- 
tians, or the Mohammedans — the deepest ignorance, darkness, 
superstition, and vice characterised all the inhabitants of that 
land at that period. With respect to the Jews, 160 adults have 
been baptised in Jerusalem, Avhilst a number of the )'0unger 
Jews have received the first gerrns of the truth of the Gospel, 
and been sent away from Jerusalem by their friends and the 
rabbis, to remove them from the influence of the missionaries. 
There are now very few Jewish families in Jerusalem who do 
not possess a copy of the Old Testament, at least, and a great 
number have the New Testament, which they read amongst 
their friends. Whilst forty-two years ago the Jews, taught from 
the Talmud, believed it to be their duty, whenever the name of 
the Lord Jesus of Nazareth was mentioned, to curse that name 
and blaspheme, there are now very few who would do so. We 

App.] Sc'/hH)/s and Ulissious. 473 

every day meet with some who confess that Jesus was a good 
and righteous man, and that their forefathers were wrong in per- 
secuting Him. In Jerusalem and the places around, our mis- 
sionaries in the course of a few weeks dispose of large numbers 
of copies of the Scriptures. With respect to Roman Catholics, 
Armenians, Copts, and others, forty-two years ago the priests 
and lait}' were ignorant of the Christian religion. There was 
not a single Christian school belonging to any denomination in 
the whole of Palestine. We now have twenty-four Protestant 
schools, containing about 1000 children — Druses, Moham- 
medans, and Jews — who are taught the Word of God. Of these 
twenty-four schools, fourteen are under my charge. The people 
are not able to pay for the education, even were they willing ; 
but they are becoming willing. After the Roman priests had 
endeavoured to prevent the parents from sending their children 
to our schools, the Greek Patriarch gave us a Bible school 
Finding their excommunication unsuccessful, they began to 
open schools wherever I had succeeded in opening one, so that 
for every one of our schools there are two others. They do not 
teach the Bible, yet when the children begin to read, we give 
them the pure Word of God. When the children repeat pas- 
sages, their parents often request them to read out of the Word 
of God. Almost everywhere there are more children in my one 
school than in the Greek and Roman Catholic schools put 
together. In Abyssinia about 6000 copies of the Scriptures 
have been given away; a number of the Jews and others are 
reading the Bible there. When I first went to Jerusalem, there 
was only one native Protestant ; we have now many congrega- 
tions of people. They obtain no temporal benefit whatever 
from becoming Protestants : on the contrary, they have every- 
thing against them." 

Postscript. — On Sunday, November 14, 1869, ^Irs. Bowen 
Thompson, the foundress of the Syrian schools, died at 
Blackheath, . 

2 I 





Itinerary in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt- 
October, 1868, to April, 1869. 




The dates dcnolc iohej-e the A'ol> Roy stopped each flight. 

October 9, Southampton; 10-22, ' Tanj ore' steamer. 

'October 23^26, Alexandria; 27, Steamer 'Tage'; 28, 29, 
Port Said ; 30, Ras el Esh ; 31, November i, 2, Kantara ; 
3, El Guisr ; 4, Ismailia ; 5, Lake Timsah ; 6, Ismailia ; 
7, 8, Rameses ; 9, Serapeion ; 10, Zag-a-Zig ; 11, Cha- 
louf; 12-15, Suez; 16, 17, Ain Moosa; 18, Suez; 19, 20, 
Cairo; 21-23, Boulak ; 24, Barrage; 25, an island; 26, 
Benha ; 27, Zifteh ; 28, 29, JMansourah ; 30, Berimbal ; 
December i, Menzaleh ; 2, Mushra ; 3, Zoan ; 4-7, Port 
Said ; 8, 9, Steamer ' Tibre.' 

December 10-13, Beyrout ; 14, Lebanon ; 15, Mejdel ; 16, 
El Hameh ; 17, 18, Doomar ; 19-21, Damascus; 22, 
Jisrin ; 23, El Keisa ; 24, 25, Abana mouth ; 26-28, 
Hijaneh ; 29, Nejha ; 30, Brak ; 31, Adalyeh ; January 

I, Damascus ; 2, 3, Dimes ; 4, Rukleh ; 5, Bekafyeh ; 
6, Jordan source ; 7, 8, Ford ; 9, 10, Khan. 

January II-13, Tell el Kady ; 14, Mansourah ; 15, Salhyeh 
tent; 16, 17, IMelaha ; 18, Almanyeh ; 19, Matarieh ; 20, 
Jisr Yacob ; 21, Julias plain; 22-25, Tell Hoom ; 26, 
Ain et Tin ; 27, 28, Tiberias ; 29-31, Kerak ; February i, 
Magdala ; 2, Kefr Kenna ; 3, Maloolah ; 4, Kishon ; 5, 
Jelami ; 6, 7, Haifa ; 8, Acre ; 9, Russian steamer ; 10, 

II, Beyrout; 12, Austrian steamer; 13, 14, Joppa ; 15, 
Ramleh ; February 16 to ALarch 17, Jerusalem [four days 
Dead Sea] ; Marcli 1S-21, Joppa; 22-24, French steamer. 

Egypt . . March 25-26, Alexandria. 

March 27 to April 8, Steamer ' Delta ' ; 9, Southampton. 




4/ 1