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Frederick Shoberi, Junior, Printer to His Royal Highness Prince Alliert, 
51, Rupert Street, Haymarliet, London. 




Preparations for a journey to Balbec — Precautions against 
the plague — Departure from Meshmushy — Heavy attire — 
The author loses his road — Cheerless night — Druze hos- 
pitality — Baruk — Bur Elias — Village of Malaka — Cottages 
in the Bka — Hard dumplings — Grumbling servants — Misery 
of villages in the territory of Balbec — Mode of encampment 
— Arrival at Balbec ...... 1 


Residence at Balbec — Visit to the governor, the Emir 
Jahjah — Wretchedness of Balbec — Bath Scene — Encamp- 
ment of Lady Hester at Ras el Ayn — Sepulchral caverns — 
Greek bishop of Balbec — Catholic priest — Climate — Depar- 
ture from Balbec — Any Ayty — Hurricane — Bsharry — Mi- 
neral springs — Dress of women — Village of Ehden, conjectured 
by some to be the site of Paradise — Resort of native Christians 


— Arrival of Selim, son of Malem Musa Koblan, of Hamah — 
The Cedars of Lebanon — Maronite monastery of Mar Antanius 
— Lady Hester enters it in spite of the monks — Arrival at 
Tripoli 15 


Residence at Tripoli — The governor Mustafa Aga — l^ady 
Hester's visit to him — Extraordinary civilities paid by her to 
Selim — Town and port of Tripoli — Greek bishop — Library — 
Paintings in the church — Unwholesome climate — The author's 
journey to the convent of Dayr Hamyra — Illness of jNIuly 
Ismael's Khasnadar — Miraculous cures performed at the 
convent — The Khasnadar's wife — The monks — Castle of El 
Hussn — Extensive view — Arrival of Selim at the monastery — 
His character — Return of the author to Tripoli — Lady Hester's 
plan of an association of literary men and artists — Departure 
for Mar Elias 41 


Journey from Tripoli to Abra — Monastery of Dayr Natur 
— Grave of Mr. Cotter — Ruins of Enfeh — Batrun — Rene- 
gade priest — Remarks on apostates — Gebayl, the ancient 
Byblus — Mulberry plantations — Castle — Public-houses — 
Nahr Ibrahim, the river Adonis — Taberjeh — Ejectment of 
cottagers in rain and cold — Nahr el Kelb, the ancient river 
Lycus — Inscriptions — Shuifad — Visit of Lady Hester to the 
Syt Habus — Capugi Bashi sent to Lady Hester — Mbarak, the 
groom — His dexterity — Nebby Yunez, the tomb of Jonah — 
Arrival at Mar Elias — Precautions adopted against the Capugi 
Bashi . . . . .^ . . . .64 


Probability of the existence of Hidden Treasures in the 
East — Manuscript pretending to reveal such Treasures, 


brought to Lady Hester — She obtains firmans from the 
Porte authorizing her to make researches — She sends to 
Haroah for Malem Musa — Her letter to the Pasha of Acre — 
Her plans for raising money — Journey of the Author to 
Damascus — His Visit to Ahmed Bey — Ambergris — Damascus 
sabres — Horse Bazar — Horse Dealing and Horse Stealing — 
M. Beaudin's night journey to Tyre — His horse stolen — 
Detection and punishment of the thieves — Return of the 
Author to Mar Elias — His dangerous situation in a snow-storm 
— Interior of a Druze Cottage . . • . .86 


Journey of Lady Hester from Mar Elias to Ascalon — 
Bussa — Acre — She prevails on Mr. Catafago to accompany 
her to Ascalon — Illness of Ali Pasha — Professional visits of the 
Author — Abdallah Bey, the Pasha's son — Extraordinary 
honours paid to Lady Hester — Her departure from Acre — 
Tremendous storm — M. Loustaunau ; his prophecies — His 
history — Don Tomaso Coschich arrives with despatches from 
Sir Sydney Smith to Lady Hester — Substance of them — 
Presents sent to the care of Lady Hester by Sir Sydney 
— His character in the East — Cffisarea — Um Khaled — 
Village of Menzel — Jaffa — Mohammed Aga, the governor 
ordered to accompany Lady Hester — His character — Arrival 
at Ascalon . . . . . . . .116 


History of Ascalon — Ruins — Encampments — Forced labour 
of peasants — Excavations — Fragments of Columns — Dis- 
covery of a mutilated statue — Apprehensions of Signor 
Damiani — Lady Hester orders the statue to be destroyed — 
Excavations abandoned — Lady Hester's narrative of the mo- 
tives and results of the researches — Auditing accounts — 


Mohammed Aga a fatalist — Return to Jaffa — Derwish Mus- 
tafa Aga and Lady Hester's black female slave — Patients — 
Mohammed Bey; his story — Return of Lady Hester's 
servant Ibrahim from England — Khurby, or the Ruins — 
Remains near that spot — Return to Acre — Altercation with 
muleteers — Excavations at Sayda — Reflexions on researches 
for hidden treasures . . . . . .152 


Visit of the Author to the Maronite convent in the village 
of Joon — Abyssinian man and woman — Black horses — Lady 
Hester fixes herself at Meshmushy — Solitary wigwam — The 
Author wishes to return to England — He sets out for Egypt 
— Destruction of Tyre, not so complete as travellers repre- 
sent — A self-taught lithotomist and oculist — Seaweeds used 
for dyeing — Embarkation for Egypt in a vessel laden with 
wood — Impalement — Passengers on board — Cyprus — Revolt 
in Gebel Nablus — Frequency of insurrections there — Arrival 
at Rosetta — Smoking during Ramazan — The Author is joined 
by Burckhardt, or shaykh Ibrahim — Mutiny of troops at Cairo 
— Departure by land for Alexandria — Lake Edko — Stay 
in Alexandria — Coasting voyage to Damietta — Burckhardt 
not considered as a Turk — Foreigners betrayed by their 
speech . . . . . . . .188 


M. Surur, English agent at Damietta — Patients — Excur- 
sion to Lake Menzaleh — Mataryah — Melikyn — Pounds for 
cattle — Ruins of San — Broken pottery — Conjectures on its 
original use — Tennys — Dybeh — Botarga fishery — Fowling — 
Running deemed indecorous in a Turk — Menzaleh — Haunted 
house — Disdain of pedestrian travellers — False door — Depar- 
ture for Syria — ^Vessel, cargo, and crew — Charms to raise the 
wind— Arrival at Acre, Tyre, and Abra . . 223 



Disappearance of Colonel Boutin, a French traveller — 
Efforts of Lady Hester Stanhope, for investigating his fate — 
Mission of Abd el Rasak from Mahannah to Lady Hester — 
Manners and character of the Bedouins — Story of Mustafa 
Aga, Khasnadar of Muly Ismael, and his wife — Departure of 
Abd el Rasak and his companions . . . 254 


Quarrel between a Druze and a Metoualy — Buying of 
medals — Imposition practised on Lady Hester — Punishment of 
the offender — Illness and death of the Greek patriarch — Fune- 
ral ceremonies — Election of a new patriarch — Cottage in the 
gardens of Sayda — Long drought — Flocks of birds — Hydro- 
phobia — Excursion of the Author to Garyfy — Shems ed Dyn 
and his father — Purchase of wine — Decline of commerce in the 
Levant — Malem Dubany and his daughters — Extortion of 
Eastern rulers — Arrival of IVIiss "Williams — Arrival of Mr. 
Bankes — He copies and removes fresco paintings — Failure of 
his first attempt to reach Palmyra — Visit of Mr. Buckingham 
— Locusts — Lady Hester takes a voyage to Antioch . 267 


Journey of the Princess of Wales to Jerusalem — Burial at 
Abra — Dismissal of Ibrahim — Padre Nicolo — M. Ruffin ap- 
pointed French consul at Sayda — Great drought — Festival of 
St. Elias — Alarm of robbers — Visit of the Author to the 
Shaykh Beshyr's wife, and to Syt Frosyny Kerasaty — Further 
alarms — Festival of Byram — Cottages taken for Lady Hester 
at the village of Rum — Depilation — Flight of Malem Dubany 
— Return of Lady Hester from Antioch — Result of researches 
after the murderers of Col. Boutin — The Ansary refuse to give 
them up — Mustafa Aga Berber collects ti'oops to punish the 


Ansary— Motives of Lady Hester's voyage to Antioch — Visit of 
M.Regnault, French consul at Tripoli — M. Loustaunau and his 
predictions — History of Michael Ayda — Return of Giorgio from 
England, with Mr. N., as successor to the Author — Last 
visit of the latter to Acre — The governor of Smyrna put 
to death — Hawary soldiers — Visit to the Emir Beshyr 310 


Departure of the Author for Europe — Arrival at Larnaka, 
in Cyprus — Hospitality of M. Vondiziano, British vice-consul 
— Tours in the island — Leucosia — The Greek archbishop — 
City walls — Lepers — Cytherea — Monastery of St. Chrysostom 
— Famagusta — Return to Larnaka — Carnival amusements — 
Houses — Amour of Signer Baldo — Murder of Prince George 
Morusi — History of Signor Brunoni — Cypriote women not re- 
markable for beauty — Superstitious notions — The Greek arch- 
bishop and his dragoman Giorgaki — Insurrection of Turks — 
How quelled by Cara Pasha — Pusillanimity of the consuls — 
Thunder-storm — Lenten diet — Malignant fevers — Excursion 
in the interior — Idalia — Leucosia — M. Brens — Robbery in the 
governor's palace — Proceedings against the suspected — Into- 
lerance towards freemasons . . .359 


Departure from Cyprus, and voyage to Marseilles — Dirti- 
ness of the French ship and her crew — Fare on board — Cruel 
treatment of a political prisoner — Angora greyhound — Arrival 
at Pomegue, the quarantine anchorage of Marseilles . 416 

Additional Note . . . , . . 423 




Preparations for a journey to Balbec — Precautions against 
the plague — Departure from Meshmushy — Heavy attire — 
The author loses his road — Cheerless night — Druze hos- 
pitality — Baruk — Bur Elias — Village of Malaka — Cottages 
in the Bka — Hard dumplings— Grumbling servants — Misery 
of villages in the territory of Balbec — Mode of encampment 
— Arrival at Balbec. 

A journey to Balbec had been projected for this 
autumn ; but obstacles of one kind or another had 
caused it to be delayed until the season was very far 
advanced. At length, however, every preparation 
being made, we set out on the 18th of October. 
During the whole of the year, the plague had not 
entirely ceased at Damascus, and in several villages of 
the Bka, a plain which we should have to traverse 
from one extremity to the other. Lady Hester was 
strongly impressed with the dread of exposure to its 



contagion' from the carelessness of some of the people ; 
to prevent which the strictest precautions were taken, 
and the observance of these considerably diminished 
the pleasure which such a tour would otherwise have 
aflforded. We travelled with tents to prevent the 
necessity of sleeping in villages ; and no fire was ever 
to be lighted unless where the country supplied fuel 
without having recourse to the inhabitants for it, 
which was equivalent to a total interdict ; as, with 
the exception of a few orchards, there was not a tree 
through the whole plain. To supersede the necessity 
of cooking or buying provisions, a kind of minced 
meat dumplings was made, enough for the consumption 
of a week. These, and bread-cakes baked for the 
same purpose, were to be eaten indifferently by all. 
We carried with us kitchen utensils, tents, beds, 
coffee, rice, hiirgol or malted wheat, soap, candles, oil, 
wine, vinegar, vermicelli, macaroni, cheese, tea and 
sugar, syrups for sherbet, and fuel for Lady Hester, 
whose sex and delicate health necessarily prevented 
her fi'om submitting to the privations to which men 
could willingly subject themselves. It was necessaiy 
likewise to be provided with cords, nails, hammers, 
axes, hoes, and some other things of this sort ; so 
that we had wherewithal to colonize as well as to 
travel. For if, as it was reported, the plague still 
raged at Balbec, the impossibility of obtaining any- 
thing from the town would expose us, if not thus fur- 

1 A few years afterwards she became more of a fatalist. See 
" Memoirs of Lady Hester Stanhope." 


nislicd, to great inconveniences. All this baggage 
loaded fifteen mules. The party consisted of Lady 
Hester, the dragoman, myself, eight men-servants, 
four women and a black female slave, making alto- 
gether fifteen ; and we all rode on asses. 

The extraordinary resolution of performing a long 
and difficult journey on asses was not a mere fancy in 
Lady Hester : it arose from a deep feeling of indigna- 
tion at the neglected state in which she found herself 
left by her friends and her relations, more especi- 
ally by the then Marquis of B********* ; and she 
thought, by assuming the mode of travelling common 
only to the poorest pilgrims who traverse Syria on 
their way to Jerusalem, to direct the attention of the 
consuls and merchants of the towns through which she 
passed to her deserted condition, imagining, no doubt, 
that a report of it would reach England, and call 
down animadversions on those from whom she had a 
right to claim support and attention to her comforts. 

Lady Hester descended the mountain, and I was 
preparing to accompany her, when I was detained by 
a dispute among the muleteers, who declared that the 
fifteen mules could not carry the baggage. Litending 
to compel them to it, I desired my servant to lead my 
ass down the mountain, saying I would follow ; but, 
after some time, I found that another mule was indeed 
required, and that there was not one to be had. Im- 
patient of the delay, I mounted a horse belonging to 
the owner of the house, and rode to the monastery to 



get one. The monks refused to lend or hire out their 
mules ; and, seeing no alternative, I desired the lug- 
gage thus left should be taken care of, and hastened 
on foot to overtake the party ; but more than an hour 
had elapsed, and they were far before me. Descend- 
ing into the plain on the north-east side, I continued 
along the banks of the Evvely, passing the granite 
columns, of which mention has already been made, 
over the bridge . called Greser Behannyn. The road 
continued for a small distance farther in the ravine, 
through which the river runs north and south, when 
it turned to the right up an almost precipitous moun- 
tain, which overhangs the river, and the indentations 
and strata of which correspond exactly with those on 
the opposite side. I here became much fatigued 
with walking and with the exertions I had made 
during the morning, and I sat down to rest myself; 
for I had on me a riding dress, with which, in Turkey, 
it is scarcely possible to walk ; as the breeches are 
very large. I had likewise a brace of pistols in my 
girdle, the weight of which was annoying. Whilst 
sitting by the road-side, some Druzes, coming in an 
opposite direction, passed me, and I questioned them 
whether the English lady had been seen by them, 
and they pointed out the road by which she had gone. 
I then offered them an unusual price if they would 
let me have one of their mules to convey me to where 
she was ; but they averred it to be impossible, on ac- 
count of their business, which took them another way. 


Renewing my journey, and ascending in a zigzag 
direction, I reached the head of a deep ravine, into 
which fell a cascade from the mountain above : I 
then resumed a northerly course, and made as much 
haste as my heavy attire would allow me. On the 
left, but low down and out of hearing, was the river 
Ewely, and on my right very high mountains, whilst 
my path was, although stony and rugged, along level 
ground. In this way I walked till the sun was de- 
clining behind the mountains, when I saw the lights 
of a village, but at some distance before me, which I 
guessed to be Makhtarah, the residence of the Shaykh 
Beshyr, as I knew I had been tending towards it. 
The path soon became somewhat intricate, in con- 
sequence of olive, fig, and mulberry-tree plantations, 
which were numerous hereabout. It now grew dark, 
and I overtook a man driving an ass, who, as far as I 
could discern, seemed somewhat afraid of me and my 
pistols, whilst I felt equally so of him ; I therefore 
turned out of the path, apprehensive, if I asked the 
way, that he might guess my situation, and find means 
to rob me ; for, in the hurry of the moment, I had 
not loaded my pistols, and my cartridges were with 
my servant. 

The lights were still before me. I knew that the 
place of our encampment would be marked by blazing 
meshals (formed by fixing an iron-hooped cylinder on 
a pole, and supplying it continually with tarred 
canvas), and I thought that, at some distance on the 


left and beyond tlie village, I observed this very blaze : 
I therefore left Makhturah on my right, and inclined 
towards them. After I had walked about half an 
hour, the blaze suddenly disappeared ; by degrees, the 
path, which, from the darkness of the night was now 
no longer perceptible, became so uncertain, that I was 
almost fearful to advance, when, on a sudden, I found 
myself on a descent and within hearing of the sound 
of a torrent. Stepping with caution and difficulty, 
I came to a bridge over a rushing water, which I 
judged to be the river Ewely. I crossed it, but was 
no sooner over than I lost all traces of the path, and 
found my farther advance opposed by a precipice. 

Here my courage and my strength failed me. I 
judged it to be three hours after sunset, and the 
darkness was not relieved in the abyss into which I 
had descended by even the glimmering of a star. The 
jackalls howled around me ; and whoever has heard 
their night-cry, so like what we may suppose would 
be the screams of a child whom robbers are in the act 
of murdering, will not wonder if I disliked the necessity 
of sleeping in this wild place. I was not sure that 
there were not leopards near the spot where I was ; 
and the jackalls alone, although they seldom or never 
attack a man who is awake and moving, might yet 
fall on me when asleep, and do me great injury before 
I could rise and defend myself. However, all these 
reflections were of no avail against extreme weariness. 
I lay down on the ground, fell asleep, and in the 


morning, soon after daylight and not before, awoke 
refreshed and unhurt. 

I looked round me, and perceived that I was in a 
deep ravine ; and, as I observed the path by which 
I had descended to the river, I blessed Providence that 
had guided my steps ; for it was dangerous even in 
open day. About two hundred yards up the stream 
was a water-mill. I went to it, and, knocking at the 
door, found an old Druze who invited me in ; but my 
apprehensions of the plague caused me to refuse ; and 
I asked him where I was, told him how I had passed 
the night, and inquired if he had seen a large caravan 
go by on tlie preceding day. The bridge, I learned, 
was called Geser Gedayda. 

Having satisfied myself on these points, he directed 
me up the mountain to a village, where, on my arrival, 
I met another Druze, who was just driving his oxen 
to plough. I asked him for something to eat, and he 
immediately turned back, and led me to his own door. 
His wife was yet in bed. He roused her, and said he had 
brought a foreigner for a visitor, desiring her to set out 
the table. But, on expressing my apprehensions of 
the plague, and on refusing to cross the threshold, she 
put out her homely fare on a straw tray.' It consisted 
of cheese soaked in oil, a bunch of hung grapes, and 
some bad bread-cakes. I had now fasted for twenty - 
two hours, and was not disposed to quarrel about 
' These trays are made in continuous circles, like the top of 
a beehive, and are very common in Syria. 


trifles ; so she placed it on a stone, and on her re- 
tiring I advanced, and ate with my fingers. My 
looks, dress, &c., were all examined by the woman 
and a neighbour ; but they both scrupulously kept 
their faces covered. 

Having satisfied my hunger, the man desired his 
son and daughter, children of six or seven years old, 
to show me on my way ; but when I produced all the 
money I happened to have about me, which was seven 
paras (about two-pence), and offered it in payment for 
my breakfast, his civility relaxed, and he sufiered me 
to set off" alone. In the village of Gedaydy, for so this 
was called, the inhabitants are Druzes. 

As soon as I was out of the village, I came on a 
country barren and stony ; hardly was there a tree to 
be seen. An hour''s walk brought me to a Druze 
village, called Ayu-wy-Zayn. Here, as there was no 
plague, I hired an ass and guide to carry me onward. 
Soon after we entered among very extensive vineyards, 
which continued as far as Baruk, where it will be re- 
collected we halted for a night two years before. 

Lady Hester had pitched the tents on the very 
same spot where she had encamped at that time. She 
had been, during the night, apprehensive that some 
accident had happened to detain me, and my absence 
had been productive likewise of still worse consequences. 
For as, in the necessity there was that our provisions 
should last us until we reached Balbec, the keys could 
not be entrusted to the servants, I had them in my 


pocket. Upon the arrival, therefore, of the party to 
the restin<^-place, which they did not reach until eleven 
at night, no provisions could be had ; and after so long 
a day's journey (the dragoman, who had turned off 
the road to go to Makhtarah to bear Lady Hester's 
compliments to the Shaykh Beshyr, not being pre- 
sent), the mule-drivers and servants broke open the 
provision hampers, and unnecessary waste ensued, 
and caused us to be afterwards reduced to great straits. 

My pedestrian exertion brought on an intolerable 
erysipelatous heat and itching in both my feet, which 
nothing could appease but sitting with my naked feet 
in the stream, just where it issued quite cold from the 
rock, — a dangerous mode of cure, only to be justified by 
the necessity I was under of pursuing our journey on 
the morrow. We passed the whole of the 19th at 
this spot, while Pierre went back to recover the lug- 
gage which had been left at Meshmushy. 

On the 20th, we ascended the last ridge of Lebanon, 
and, when at the summit, enjoyed that fine prospect 
which has been described in a former place. We 
descended into the Bka, and passed the hamlet of 
Aaney, a few miserable cottages, whither the husband- 
men of Baruk go in the summer to plough and sow, 
and, having finished these operations, quit them for 
their homes until harvest time. 

One mile farther we planted our tents. Here we 
remained two nights, waiting for the return of M. 
Beaudin ; but, not being come back on the 22d of Octo- 



ber, in the morning, the tents were struck. We took 
a northerly direction, along the plain close to the foot 
of Mount Lebanon, and passed some small villages 
part on our left in the mountain, and part on our right 
in the plain. 

After a march of about three leagues we came to 
Bur Elias, a small village with a castle of modern 
construction overhanging it. It was watered by a 
rivulet, which ran with a smart stream through it. 
This stream was made to irrigate several well cultivated 
gardens and orchards, which so much embellished the 
spot, that, until our arrival at Balbec, we saw no place 
to compare with it. There were also the remains 
of an old mosque, with other evidences that the village 
was once more populous than at present. In a rock 
on the south-west side are several ancient caverns, 
Avhich served as tombs, with sarcophagi hewn in the 
stone ; and, at one part, on the face of a small preci- 
pice, chiselled smooth for the purpose, was a square 
portion of ten or fifteen feet, cut deep enough to admit 
of a layer of stucco or marble with which it seemed to 
have been coated, having in its centre, towards the 
bottom, three recesses, which had probably been filled 
up with votive tablets, or basso-relievos, there not 
being depth enough for statues. 

Leaving Bur Elias, we came next to Malaka, a large 
village of two hundred houses, where terminates w-hat 
is called the district of Bka,^ and begins the Balbec 

^ There are said to be about forty-four villages in the Bka. 


territory, which is, however, but a continuation of the 
same plain. This village, although so large, is but of 
two years"' date, and was transferred from about three 
hundred yards off to its present situation, by the emir 
of the Druzes, who, having taken, by force of arms, 
from the Emir Jahjah, the governor of Balbec, the 
village of Khurby, which was just beyond the line of 
demarcation of his domain, destroyed it, and made the 
inhabitants build Malaka. 

The houses in the Bka were not of stone, as on the 
mountain, but of mud bricks dried in the sun. They 
were low, and had tlie appearance of much misery on 
the outside, althougii, as we were told, very comfort- 
able within. This we had no opportunity of ascertain- 
ing, as the plague reigned about us, and it was by no 
means prudent to approach, much less to enter, any 
habitations. The dress of the people was different 
from that of the mountaineers. No horns were now to 
be seen on the heads of the women, who likewise wore 
red aprons, which were universally seen towards the 
Desert, but never near the sea-coast. The Palma 
Christi was cultivated very generally for the sake of 
the oil, which is used for lamjjs. As harvest was now 
over, we could not see what were the particular pro- 
ductions of the plain ; it seemed, however, highly fer- 
tile, being of that fine snuff-coloured mould which, at 
Hamah and elsewhere, had been pointed out to us as 
most useful to the husbandman for agricultural pur- 


We encamped near Khurby, which yet had some 
cottages among its ruined walls. Our water was drawn 
from a spring which, from its vicinity to an ancient 
sepulchre assigned by tradition to the patriarch Noah, 
is called Ayn Nuah. His body is said to occupy a 
length of forty cubits, and his feet, for want of room, 
to hang down in the well. 

Our appearance here and elsewhere in the Bka 
excited much curiosity. Without guards from the 
emir or pasha, demanding provisions nowhere, and 
boldly encamping in the open plain away from every 
habitation, we perhaps awed the very people who 
would have attacked others marching with more cau- 
tion. For the Bka is entirely open to the incursions 
of the Arabs, who overrun the tract of country be- 
tween Balbec and Hems, where no mountain inter- 
poses to obstruct them, although many maps falsely 
lay one down. 

The cuby (or dumplings), which have been men- 
tioned in setting out on this journey, were now be- 
come so dry and hard that the servants and muleteers 
refused to eat them. I felt that they were justified 
in their refusal ; for I, who, for the sake of example, 
was obliged to enforce the order for their consumption by 
eating them myself, never suffered more from bad food 
than on this occasion : but no representations could 
make Lady Hester abate one tittle of her resolution. 
The maids cried, the men grumbled and rebelled, and 
the fatigue of keeping order among Christians, Druzes, 


and Mahometans, was more than I had hitherto ex- 
perienced : yet no one fell ill. This day Pierre joined 
us here, and brought with him the luggage which had 
been left behind. 

On the 23d we continued our route. The villages 
in the territory of Balbec were much less numerous, 
and much more miserable, than those in the Bka. 
Such as were on the side of the mountain were built 
higher up than they had been, as if the inhabitants 
feared to be exposed to depredations from the plain. 
No gardens or orchards were to be seen. After five 
hours' march we arrived at a Tel, where was a fine 
rivulet, which, running from the mountain, turned a 
mill wheel, and then flowed towards the river in the 
centre of the plain, the ancient Leontes or Litanus, 
called the Balbec river by our muleteers, and which 
becomes the Casraia before it empties itself into the 
sea. Here we encamped, in a still more dangerous 
situation than hitherto. 

I had established a fixed plan of encampment, with 
regular distances assigned for each tent, which was ad- 
hered to every night ; but here the tents were brought 
closer than usual. I was not at ease in my bed, and, 
awaking M. Beaudin, the interpreter, he and myself 
patrolled the ground alternately through the night. 
The moon shone bright, and the scene wore a lonely 
appearance. Fortunately we had to deal with a wo- 
man whose composure of mind was never ruffled by 


real danger, and whose sleep was never broken by the 
apprehension of false. 

The Letanus passed very near the Tel, from which 
circumstance it is evident that the slope of Anti- Leba- 
non extends across two-thirds of the plain. At this 
season of the year, and in this spot, a man might leap 
over the river. Higher up, one day ""s journey Avest of 
Balbec, there is, according to Abulfeda, (p. 155) a 
pool or lake, reedy and stagnant, where this river 
takes its source, and the bed of the stream had many 
reeds in it where we saw it. 

On the 24th we crossed it, and at noon reached 
Balbec. The luxuriant scenery which the imagina- 
tion readily lent to the city and ruins as seen at a 
distance, intermixed with the deep green foliage of 
trees, vanished on a nearer approach. The gardens 
near the ruins were no more than orchards, sown, in 
the intervals between the trees, with maize, turnips, 
and other vegetables : nor did the Temple of the Sun 
impress us with all its grandeur until close to it. 
The inequalities of the soil in a manner buried the 
ruins, and their magnificence, at the first glance, seemed, 
like that of Palmyra, to be less than, on a farther exa- 
mination, it proved to be. 



Residence at Balbec — Visit to the governor, the Emir 
Jahjah — Wretchedness of Balbec — Bath Scene — Encamp- 
ment of Lady Hester at Has el Ayn — Sepulchral caverns — 
Greek bishop of Balbec — Catholic priest — Climate — Depar- 
ture from Balbec — Ayn Ayty — Hurricane — Bsharry — ]Mi- 
neral springs — Dress of women — Village ofEbden, conjectured 
by some to be the site of Paradise — Resort of native Christians 
— Arrival of Selim, sou of Malem Musa Koblan, of Hamah — 
The Cedars of Lebanon — Maronite monastery ofMar Antanius 
— Lady Hester enters it in spite of the monks — Arrival at 

We encamped under tlie south-west angle of the 
temple, in an open field, through which ran the ri- 
vulet that traverses the town ; but, considering that the 
water we thus drank was no better than the washings 
of the houses, and fearing also, from the concourse of 
women and children who were constantly surrounding 
our encampment, that the plague might be introduced 
among us, it was resolved to remove to a spot of 
ground near the spring where the rivulet takes its 
rise, called Ras el Ayn, the fountain head, about a 
mile from the town to the south-east. Here, in the 
ruins of an old mosque, her ladyship's tent was 


screened from the wind ; for tempests were now ex- 
pected ; whilst the rest of the party encamped in the 
open fields. 

The day after our arrival I paid a visit to the gover- 
nor, Emir Jalijah, of the family of Harfush, whose ex- 
actions from travellers passing through this place 
have been recorded by more than one sufferer. He 
was a needy prince, who ruled, indeed, the district, 
but was surrounded by too many chieftains as powerful 
as himself ever to feel secure. For, on the one hand, 
the Pasha of Damascus, to whom he was tributary, 
was said to take annually from him sixty purses : 
on the other, the Emir of the Druzes, towards the 
west, was watching, upon every occasion, to make 
encroachments upon him ; and the Emir of Demy, a 
neighbouring district of Mount Lebanon, was his 
enemy whenever it served his turn to be so. Jahjah 
had been on one occasion displaced by his brother, the 
Emir Sultan, backed by the Pasha of Damascus : but 
he afterwards restored the usurped province to Jah- 
jah, and they were now living in amicable relations 
with each other. 

I found the emir in a house with little appearance 
of splendour about it. The room in which he received 
me had no more than four whitewashed walls, with a 
mud floor covered with a common rush mat. What 
his harym was I had no opportunity of judging: but 
the harym of one of his relations, to which I went to 
see a maid servant who was ill of a tertian ague, was 


very much of a piece with this. His brother, Emir 
Sultan, to whom I next paid a visit, seemed somewhat 
better lodged : for his sofa was covered with yellow 
satin, with a cushion of the same stuff to lean on, 
but his guests were obliged to sit on the floor on a 
common mat. An earthenware jug to drink out of, 
a towel to wipe his face and hands, a pipe and tobacco- 
bag, a sword, a pair of pistols, and a gun — these 
formed the furniture of his, as they do that of the 
rooms of many other chieftains in the East. 

I dined with Emir Sultan, a compliment from him 
which I did not expect, as the rules of the Metoualy re- 
ligion prohibit eating and drinking from vessels defiled 
by Christians. Wanting to drink during the repast, I 
called for some water, which to the other guests was 
handed in a silver cup. To me it was given in an 
earthenware jug : and, when we had risen from table, 
this jug was broken by the servant close by the door of 
the room, that no one of the house might make use of 
it afterwards. I felt ray choler rise at this unjust 
distinction made between man and man, but I pre- 
tended not to observe it. Why it was done in sight 
of us all I do not know, unless it were to remove the 
imputation which might lie at his door if it could be 
surmised that an impure drinking-cup still remained 
in his house. 

Twice, when I was on a morning visit to Emir 
Sultan, the butcher came, weighed his meat at the 
door of the room, and minced it in the window-seat 


before him, in order, as 1 guessed, to avoid all sus- 
picion of poison, the constant dread of eastern po- 
tentates, or else to fulfil to th(3 letter some precept 
of his religion touching meats. 

The plague was occasionally making its appearance 
in different families, so that I could visit no one with- 
out some degree of apprehension. Respecting the 
modern town, this is the information I collected. It 
contained now no more than from 120 to 150 families, 
about thirty of which were Catholics.^ The Maho- 
metan inhabitants were Metoualys or Shyas.^ Nothing- 
could present a more miserable appearance than the 
streets. Five sixths of the old town were now covered 
with rubbish. Wretchedness was depicted in the rags 
and looks of the inhabitants, and poverty in the palace 
of the emir. It is said that the emir himself, rendered 
desperate by the little quiet which the pasha of Da- 
mascus allowed him, had, of his own accord, destroyed 
whole streets, that his town might be no longer an 

1 Ttiese had a resident Frank priest, wlio acted also as 
doctor. He was well known as having received all the Eu- 
ropean travellers, who have passed through Balbec, at his 
little monastery. 

2 The word Shiys or Shyas marks either the particular fol- 
lowers of Ali, who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of the 
first three Caliphs, or comprehends, generally, all heterodox 
persons, born in the bosom of Islamism, in opposition to the 
Sunnys, an expression by which all Moslems of the four or- 
thodox sects are designated. — (Tabl. Gen. de VEmp. Ott. 
vol. i. p. 95.) 


object ofcovetousnesstohim. Balbec is situated in 33° 
50 N. I observed two mosques, Jama el Malak and 
Baekret el Cadi, There were four gates to the town, 
which was divided into seven parishes. The district 
of Balbec contained twenty-five villages. 

South and by east of the temple, at the distance of 
a quarter of a mile, is an elevation which commands the 
town, and affords a beautiful view of the ruins and of 
the surrounding covmtry. On the top of this eminence 
was a well, hewn out of the rock, of a square form, 
but now filled up with rubbish. The quarries, which 
supplied the stone for building the temple, are to the 
south-west of it. Viewed from this spot, the plain of 
the Bka seems to run north-east and south-west. The 
last visible point of Anti-Lebanon, seen from hence, 
lies north-east and by north half east, and the snowy 
summit of Mount Lebanon bore north-north-west. 

I forbear to give any description of the Temple of 
the Sun. It was in the same state in which Volney 
saw it in 1784. The immense stones which form the 
escarpment of the south-west corner, and which are 
always mentioned by travellers with so much wonder, 
somewhat disfigure the edifice ; ' for their monstrous 
magnitude is so little in correspondence Vv^ith the stones 

' The largest of the stones in the outer (western) wall is said 
to be 62 feet 9 inches, that in the quarry 68 feet in length, 1 7 
feet 8 inches wide, 13 feet 10 inches thick. Wood and Dawkins, 
who aver that they give all their drawings and plans from 
measurement, are the best authors to rely on. 


which form the upper part of the wall that they destroy- 
all symmetry, and impress an idea of a building 
less in size than its component parts were intended 

Lady Hester's first inquiry was generally for a 
bath ; and, when she had ascertained that there was 
one, having reposed herself for two or three days, she 
was desirous of going to it : so it was to be cleaned 
out for her reception. It was the afternoon, and, as 
is customary, the women, who always bathe from noon 
to sunset, were in it. The bathmaster, eager for the 
bakshysh, which he already anticipated he should get 
from a person reputed so rich as Lady Hester, re- 
quested me to wait a little, and said he would order 
the women out in a moment, and show it to me. Ac- 
cordingly, he went into the centre room, vociferating as 
he entered, and then, driving them, undressed as they 
were, into a side chamber, he called me in. A few 
naked children continued to run about ; whilst the 
women, curious to see a Frank, peeped out of their 
hiding-place, and cared very little what part of their 
person was exposed to view. Had I been anything 
but a medical man, neither the bath-man nor I could 
have risked such an adventure on such an occa- 
sion. Thus the women of the east, veiled from head 
to foot, and shut up with bars and bolts, still find 
means, under the excuse of doctors, dervises, and rela- 
tions, to admit men into places from which their 
jealous husbands in vain would exclude them. 





The spot at which we were encamped was one of 
the most beautiful that it is possible to behold. It 
was at the extremity of a valley, on the first rise of 
the Anti-Lebanon, where several copious springs, 
bubbling up in a circular basin of antique masonry, 
formed a considerable rivulet, which watered the whole 
valley down to Balbec, one mile off. The valley was 
covered with the dense foliage of fruit-trees, cypresses, 
weeping-willows, plane, and fruit-trees of all kinds, 
through which a shady path led to the town. Close 
to the spring were the ruins of an old mosque, and the 
remains of a gateway, the lintel and posts of which were 
single blocks of stone. It probably had belonged to 


the temple ; and the circular basins, which confined 
the springs, were once, to appearance, surmounted by 
domes. Many large loose stones lay round about. 
In looking from the bank, just above the spring, a 
variety of objects filled up the landscape. In the 
farthest distance were the two most elevated peaks of 
Mount Lebanon, covered with snow, contrasted with 
a lower chain of the mountain, wooded and dark- 
looking. Over the tops of the gardens rose, in mag- 
nificent grandeur, the six columns, which were still 
standing, of the inner temple. Dispersed in the field 
to the left of the mosque were the green tents, with 
asses and mules tied up among them. It was but 
to turn one's back on these cheerful objects, when the 
barren declivities of Anti- Lebanon presented them- 
selves, heightening the beauty of the mixed scenery 
at their foot by the contrast which they presented. 

By an arrangement made previous to Lady Hester's 
departure from Meshmushy, Selini, the son of Ma,lem 
Musa Koblan of Ilamah, of whom mention has been 
made during our stay at that place, was to meet her 
here ; but, as he had not come, my servant was de- 
spatched on a mule with a letter to him. This 
necessarily detained us at Balbec ; and, when the 
ruins had been seen, the governor visited, and the 
prospects round about admired, a stay here became 
somewhat irksome : as the plague was so much in- 
creased that it was necessary to abstain from entering 
people's houses. 


The death of a Sayd or Sheryf of the plague 
alarmed the g-overnor so much, that he removed soon 
afterwards with his household to a castle at a small 
distance. Bat the motive he assigned was not consi- 
dered by us as the real one : for we thought that he 
was either afraid of Selim's coming, of which he had 
heard, considering that he might be an emissary of the 
Pasha of Damascus, who had long endeavoured to lay 
hold of his person : or else, apprehensive that in our 
exposed encampment we might be plundered, he 
supposed, by removing himself from the town, he 
should not be considered as responsible, or charged by 
the Porte with reparation. 

In the mean time, as it happened everywhere, 
Lady Hester never rode through the streets, or ap- 
proached the town, but she was immediately followed 
by several persons. Ali, Emir of Derny,i was so far 
attracted by curiosity as to depart from his dignity 
and ride round our encampment, in the wish of getting 
a sight of her. Affairs with Emir Jahjah had brought 
him from his principality, which is on the north ex- 
tremity of Mount Lebanon, down to Balbec, and his 
martial air, as he rode along with a dozen attendants, 
struck me very forcibly ; but Lady Hester did not see 

^ Of this emir Ali, Burckhardt has these words (p. 168) : — 
" the north declivity of JNIouiit Libanus, a district governed 
at present (March, 1812,) by Ali Beg, a man famous for his 
generosity, liberality, and knowledge of Arabian literature." 


At the beginning of November it came on to rain 
most violently, and successive storms of thunder and 
wet confined us much under our tents. In the in- 
tervals of fine weather, I rode out in every direction 
round the town ; but my researches were unsuccessful 
in discovering any remains of antiquity that had not 
been before seen by other travellers. About one hun- 
dred yards from the north-east wall of the city there 
are several caverns, the appearance of which demon- 
strated that stone was quarried there for building, and 
that, at the same time, or subsequently, these caverns 
had been converted into sepulchres for the dead. They 
are very numerous, and some were very spacious : 
but, in all, the shape was nearly alike, being that of 
an arch of six feet from the apex to the floor, and five 
and a half or six feet long. They contained from three 
to ten pits or sarcophagi, and generally they were just 
deep enough for the breadth of a human corpse. Some 
had two abreast. Some sepulchres were flat-roofed, 
and one had a centre embossment which might ori- 
ginally have been sculptured in relief. Many had in 
them small niches as if for a lamp ; and in one was an 
upright sarcophagus. 

We found here some peasants filling sacks with 
saltpetre, which they collected from these and other 
caverns, in and about the place : they had amassed 
four ass loads. On the talus of one of the shafts 
of the quarry there were, although with difficulty to 
be discovered, some old Grecian characters. 


I was sitting one day under a clump of trees, by 
the side of a rivulet, smoking, when a Greek caloyer 
or priest approached, and saluted me. It proved to 
be the bishop of Balbec, whom I had known, in the 
autumn of 1812, at Yabrud, the ordinary place of his 
residence ; for the fanaticism of the Metoualys, and 
the oppression of Jahjah's government, obliged him 
to reside in a more tranquil spot. His diocese ex- 
tended from Hems to Malula. He was a dark, ugly, 
squinting man, but very loquacious, and seemingly a 
very good theologian. His name, which, as a layman, 
had been Wakyn, was now Cyrillus : and this 
assumption of an episcopal name is a common practice 
among Eastern divines.' 

' Balbec has to boast of having given birth to a famous 
physician, named Beder-ed-dyn Balbeky, who lived in the 
third century of the hegira. 

I marked in charcoal, on the walls of the inner temple, the 
name of Lady Hester with this laudatory quatrain : — 
Quam multa antiquis sunt his incisa columnis 

Nomina ! cum saxo mox peritura siraul. 

Sed tu nulla times oblivia : fama superstes, 

Esther, si pereant marmora, semper erit. 

How many names, else never to be known, 
Live for a while, inscribed upon this stone ! 
But, Hester, thine oblivion shall not fear : — 
Fame will transmit it, though not written here. 

However, her ladyship requested me immediately to efface the 
whole ; and she declared she never had consented, when livhig 
with her uncle, to be praised in verse, or portrayed in painting. 


Giovanni was not yet returned from Ham ah, and 
apprehensions were entertained that he had been 
plundered by the Bedouin Arabs : yet, as he was 
furnished with a paper saying by whom he was sent, 
and as he was moreover known as having accompanied 
us to Palmyra, it was thought that he would not be 
molested. During the whole of this time, the mule- 
teers and their mules were at a fixed pay per diem, 
which made the delay very expensive. 

I occasionally visited the Catholic priest, a Euro- 
pean. His house contained the only oven for baking 
loaves in the place, and our bread was baked there 
every two or three days. I was sitting with him one 
day on a stone by the way side, in conversation, when 
a sayd or green turbaned Mahometan passed us on 
an ass, carrying before him a dish of lentils, which he 
apparently had bought for his dinner. " El mejd 
lillah — (Glory be to God)" — was his salutation to us j 
to which the priest immediately replied, " dayman — 
(for ever)"" — and the sayd went on, and the priest 
continued the conversation, both quite unconscious 
how strange their puritanical language appeared.* 

Balbec is an extremely cold and exposed place in 
the winter, but must, from the dry air of the neigh- 
bouring downs, enjoy a very salubrious climate. 

The weather still continuing tempestuous, there was 

* In the Syrian monasteries, the customary salutation be- 
tween the friars who meet each other is that above mentioned, 
and the answer likewise. 


some hazard, should our departure be delayed much 
longer, that the route over Mount Lebanon to Tripoli 
would become impassable from the snow. Accord- 
ingly, we left Balbec on the 7th or 8th of November 
at 11 ©""clock, after having remained there a fortnight. 
We crossed the plain in a north-west direction. 
When we were half over it, we saw on our left, half 
a mile out of the road, a single pillar : but, whether one 
of many others now thrown down, or a votive column, 
I had not time to examine.' About four we reached 
the foot of Lebanon, and passed the village of Dayr 
Ahmar. We ascended, and, about half past five, 
arrived at the narrow valley where stood the village of 
Ayn Aty ; so named from a source of water which 
springs from the rock just above : and there is, as we 
were told, a small lake near the spot.^ 

The wind was north, and blew very cold, with rain 

^ I have since read in some author that this cohimn was of 
the Corinthian order, fifty-seven feet high and five feet in 
diameter, having a tablet for an inscription, now erased. 
I cannot recollect whether it was before or after we arrived at 
the column, that there stood a village (called Yyd or Nyd) 
not far out of the road, which we were desirous of entering : 
but the inhabitants hailed us from the roofs of the houses, 
and with muskets in their hands threatened to shoot any one 
who should approach them ; for they were determined, they 
said, to let nobody, coming from Balbec, where the plague was, 
have intercourse with them. 

^ For the properties of this lake, see Eusebius de vita Con- 
tantini, iii. 55. 



and sleet. Pierre, who had undertaken to be our 
guide, had promised that we should arrive before sun- 
set at our station : but it was already dark, and 
Lady Hester, who suffered much from the inclemency 
of the weather, grew impatient and angry with him. 
We continued to ascend through a scattered forest of 
stunted oaks, with which the whole of the lowest 
chain is wooded. Some were of a good circumference 
in the stem, but none were high. Whilst it was yet 
light, I picked up two specimens of the rock, which 
seemed to be a sort of marble in a bed of argil. 

We arrived, at length, at the spring-head, Ayn 
Aty ;' but such a hurricane of wind and rain came on, 
just as the muleteers were unloading, that they, one and 
all, threw down tents, trunks, and beds, in confusion, 
and betook themselves for shelter to caverns in the 
rocks, so that we saw no more of them all night. In 
vain did I call and threaten ; they heeded me not. 
The tent-men were desired to plant Lady Hester's 
tent, and leave the others for the moment to shift as 
they could : but, so strong did the wind blow, that, 
as fast as they reared it, it was blown down again. 
The maids could keep no candle alight : even in a 
lantern it was extinguished, and the darkness was 
intense. With some difficulty. Lady Hester'^s tent 
was at last secured, then that for the women. Her 

' Aj^n Aty is called by Burckhardt Ainnete, one word, but 
I venture to think that he is incorrect. 


ladyship, who had meanwhile taken shelter under a pre- 
cipice, was at length comfortably placed under cover. 

This was one of the most distressino- nights we 

o o 

ever passed. When the other tents were fixed, and, 
by means of fires, we had somewhat dried ourselves, 
a laughable accident occurred from the terrors of 
Pierre, who, having gone a short distance from the 
camp, could not from the darkness find his way back 
again, and was heard amidst the fury of the tempest 
bellowing lustily for help. Neither the dragoman nor 
myself slept the whole of the night ; as, on several 
occasions, the tent-ropes flew, and it required all our 
authority to induce the akams or tent-men to brave 
the weather and repair them. 

November the 9th, as soon as it was light, the mule- 
teers re-appeared, confessing that they had hidden 
themselves for fear of being employed through the 
night. We departed from Ayn Aty, clambering up 
the steep paths to surmount the second chain ; and, 
in about two hours, we came to the summit, from 
which the valley of the Bka, as we looked down 
behind us, seemed like a slip of fallow land, so much 
were its dimensions narrowed by distance. In ascend- 
ing Mount Lebanon, from the plain between Dayr 
Alimar and the spring Ayn Aty, the rock is of a 
compact limestone, with a portion of iron intermixed : 
at least, so I judged from its colour, which was, 
where exposed to the air, red, and within flesh-coloured. 
On the very summit of the mountain, above the 


Cedars and behind the village of Bsharry, I broke off 
a frao^ment of rock, which was limestone also. De- 
scending on the other side, we saw the far-famed 
clump of Cedars on our right ; and, leaving them, 
arrived at sunset at Bsharry. The shaykh, named 
Ragel, received Lady Hester into his house, although 
he had made some difficulty at first, owing to his 
dread of the plague, which we might have brought 
with us from Balbec. I was lodged in a house on the 
opposite side of the street, and the rest were dispersed 
about as the shaykh chose to billet them. 

Bsharry is in itself a picturesque spot, and com- 
mands views of other spots equally so. It was a burgh 
of two hundred houses, furnishing when necessary 
five hundred muskets. From the martial character 
of the inhabitants, who were hardy mountaineers, and 
accustomed from their infancy to carry firearms ; as 
also from its elevated situation, difficult on all sides 
of access ; it had, at different periods, asserted its in- 
dependence by force, although surrounded by Druzes 
and Metoualys, Turks, and Ansarys. They spoke of 
the present government of the Emir Beshyr with dis- 
gust, and pretended that, if the love of liberty, which 
was so strong in their forefathers, had still existed, 
they should yet have been free. 

In the environs of Bsharry, potatoes were cultivated 
and eaten by the peasants as an article of daily food. 
Their introduction was of a few years' date only. Some 
Franks at Tripoli, I afterwards learned, were accus- 


tomed to eat them occasionally ; but elsewhere than at 
Bsharry I did not observe them to be cultivated. 
Lady Hester caused some to be planted at Abra, but 
the peasants prognosticated that they would die ; and 
indeed they came up very well, but the soil was too 
much burnt up, and they could not find moisture 
enough to come to maturity. 

The inhabitants of Bsharry were of the Maronite 
persuasion. They were said to be all good sportsmen. 
I found few sick in the place, and was told that per- 
sons lived to an advanced age. Among those who 
applied to me there were cases of colic, sore eyes, and 
old sores, and one of a venereal nature ; but there 
were no poitirs, and yet snow-water is the only water 
drunk. I collected here a few ancient coins, which 
was generally the payment I exacted from the sick. 
The river Kadyshy takes its source above this village, 
out of a rocky amphitheatre, and is precipitated by 
small cascades into a deep ravine, where it runs until 
lost among the windings of the mountains. 

To the north-east another spring, from the moun- 
tains that overhang the environs of the village, fell in 
a pretty cascade, and, running close to the east point 
of the village, contributed to increase the stream of 
the Kadysha. The water, where it formed the cascade, 
and before it mixed with other rivulets, was said to 
affect goats, drinking of it, with looseness ; whilst men 
were exempt from this effect. The roads around were 
stony and difficult, rendered wet and muddy by the 


constant intersection of rivulets, which, at this season, 
were very numerous. To the east of Bsharry there is 
a convent dedicated to Mar Serkyz. 

The women here, instead of veils of silk crape, wore 
over their heads coloured handkerchiefs, principally 
red. The tassy on the head was of the shape of a 
truncated bell of silver, to which were appended by 
the better sort of females jingling gold and silver 
coins, to divert (as a lively young woman told me) 
their tiresome husbands. Their pantaloons were 
red ; and, from the frequent resort of Tripoline 
ladies to these heights for change of air, they had 
adopted from them the high-heeled slipper with red 
soles, affected by the Christian women of that city, 
and by them borrowed from the Cypriotes, 

In the same house with the shaykh lodged another 
shaykh of the same family, named Girius, a man of 
better appearance than his colleague. Seeing that I 
inquired for antiques, he produced an intaglio, re- 
presenting an owl, for which I offered him a con- 
siderable price ; but he was quite exorbitant in his 
demands. I had every reason to believe, from what 
I afterwards heard at Tripoli, that this ring had once 
been the property of an Englishman, Mr. Davison, 
who, on visiting the Cedars of Mount Lebanon, lost it 
in the snow. It was picked up by a man sent by the 
shaykh to look for it, after Mr. Davison had em- 
ployed a peasant in (as he said) a fruitless search for 
it and had departed. 


We staid here the whole of the 10th, but Lady 
Hester did not show herself out of doors, nor admit 
the females of the house into her room ; and from this 
circumstance originated a report, which was circulated 
at Tripoli before our arrival, that she had guards to 
prevent people from gazing on her as she passed along 
the road. 

From Bsharryi we proceeded to Ehden. The rainy 
season was now set in, and the weather was exceed- 
ingly cold in these high regions. Eden, or, as it is 
more properly written, Ehden, has been fancifully 
supposed by some travellers to be the ancient Paradise ; 
but it has no claim whatever to such a pre-eminence, 
excepting in name, as there are many villages in the 
mountain equally, or even more, romantic. Its 
elevated situation renders it a pleasant summer re- 
sidence, and the Franks of Tripoli resort to it 
annually in the hot months. In their eyes and those 
of the native Christians, it is no small recommenda- 
tion to these almost inaccessible spots, that they live 
here quite away from the Turks, whose gravity and 
sobriety in the cities greatly repress their conviviality. 
Ehden abounds in lofty and spreading walnut-trees 
and mulberry plantations. Meandering rivulets purl 
through it in every direction. The cottages are sub- 
stantially and neatly built, and we were nowhere 

^ For Aphaca, a temple dedicated to Venus, on the top of 
Mount Lebanon, see Zosimus, i., 58. 

c 5 


more pleasantly lodged during the journey than here. 
The curate's widow gave up her best room for me. 
It was a stone-walled house, with a flat roof and a 
floor of compact cement. The windows were without 
casements. The whole village was much more neatly 
built than any of those that we had hitherto seen. 

There was a man in this village named Yusef 
Kawam, who afibrded much amusement. He might 
be said to officiate in the capacity of parasite to any- 
body who visited Ehden, and who would pay him for 
playing the character. 

It was resolved to wait here for Selim, whose de- 
parture from home had been announced to Lady 
Hester by letter. She was lodged in a small convent, 
which had once belonged to the Jesuits ; and every 
arrangement for the comfort of so numerous a party 
had been made by the shaykh of the village, named 
Latiif el Ashy, who, having passed his youth at Tri- 
poli, as a clerk in a mercantile house, spoke a little 
French, Two days afterwards Selim arrived, accom- 
panied by a boy fourteen years old, Sulyman, the 
son of Malem Skender, of Hems, of whom mention 
was made in a preceding part. Selim had two ser- 
vants with him, and Sulyman one. Selim alighted 
at the shayklvs door, where an apartment was pro- 
vided for him, and where I waited to receive him. 
On hearing the noise of his horse's feet, I ran to wel- 
come him as an old acquaintance, and conducted him 
up the steps into his room. A few minutes after- 


wards I was surprised to find Sulyman did not follow, 
and desired one of the servants to see if lie had gone 
into a wrong room. He returned and whispered to 
me that Sulyman was at the foot of the steps, and 
would not come in, unless I went and fetched him in 
the same form as I had done Selim. Surprised at 
this boy''s ridiculous ceremoniousness, I would have 
laughed at him, but I found that he was in good 
earnest. This circumstance is mentioned as illus- 
trative of the pride of Christians in the Levant, which 
swells where their demands on people's civility are 
likely to be complied with, and shrinks into nothing 
before Turks, or where they expect a repulse. 

The mornings were spent by Selim and myself in 
sitting and smoking by the side of the stream on a 
carpet spread for the purpose, or in riding. He had 
with him a very beautiful horse, which he backed with 
much elegance. Conducted by the shaykh, we went 
to view the Cedars ; but they have been too often 
described to render it necessary to say anything about 
them. The neighbouring convent keeps so far a guard 
over these sacred trees, that no native peasant dares 
injure and cut them. Travellers, however, did not 
scruple to take away as large a branch or piece as 
suited their wants ; but latterly some restraint has 
been put upon them, and it is now necessary to obtain 
an order for that purpose. These Cedars have a very 
dubious reputation, and no great beauty to recommend 
them. Those which grow in the grounds of Warwick 


Castle are (the traditions attached to the others ex- 
cepted) ahnost equally worth seeing. 

We remained at Eden a week, and went thence to 
the monastery of Mar Antanius, (St. Anthony) situate 
about half a league to the south of the village, on one 
of the most romantic sites that can be found in any coun- 
try, halfway down a deep and precipitous ravine : and, 
although we could look down upon it from Ehden, yet, 
to get there, it was necessary for persons on horseback 
to make a circuit of two leagues. At the bottom of the 
ravine, which is well wooded, is a river, the Kadyshy ; 
and the summits of the mountains quite overhang the 
monastery, which stands on a ledge of the rock scarcely 
broad enough for its base, and which is only accessible 
by a path, so narrow that habit alone could make 
persons pass it with indifference. From the rock, in 
the very centre of the monastery, issues a stream of 
water, that, in summer, must give a delicious coolness 
to the cloister, but now produced a cold and comfort- 
less chill. 

The friars are Maronites, fifty or sixty in number, 
including residents and mendicants. Many miracles 
are attributed, by the inhabitants of the surrounding 
country, to the tutelary saint of the place : such as 
the cure of lunacy, epilepsy, and fits ; the incorrupti- 
bility of corpses buried in the monastery ; and, more 
especially, the certain manifestation of his anger to- 
wards anything of the female sex that presumes to 
cross the threshold of this holy place. I believe this 


to have been the chief reason that induced Lady- 
Hester to turn out of her road to visit it. So tenacious 
of violation is Saint Anthony in this respect, that the 
hen-fowls are cooped up, lest they should stray into 
the sacred precincts, whilst the cocks run at large. 

On our arrival, Lady Hester was accordingly lodged in 
a house about fifty yards distant, built for visitors ; 
whilst we were received into the monastery. As soon 
as she had rested a little, she sent a message to the 
superior, announcing her intention of trying the Saint's 
gallantry, and, saying that she would, on the follow- 
ing day, give a dinner to him and to the shaykhs, 
who had escorted her from Eden, in a room of the 
monastery itself. She hinted at the authority with 
which she was furnished from the Sultan to visit what 
places she chose ; and that, consequently, any opposi- 
tion on their part would be opposition to him. But 
there were not wanting some priests who openly- 
avowed their abhorrence of such impiety, whilst the 
greater number secretly murmured at this sacrilege on 
the part of a heretic, and that heretic a woman. Selim, 
who was a man of great discernment and knowledge 
of the world, which he concealed under a mock 
frivolity and gaiety, which made many- persons ima- 
gine him to be half mad, pretended that, on such a 
grand occasion, nothing less than a Cashmere shawl 
must cover the sofa whereon Lady Hester was to sit, 
and that no common carpet would serve to rest her 


feet on.* For he was much afraid that some trick 
would be practised by the monks, either on the sofa 
or carpet, in order to preserve the miraculous con- 
sistency of their saint. My own foresight went no 
farther than to desire that the ass should be carefully 
watched previous to her riding from the adjoining 
house to the monastery : for the path was on the edge 
of a low precipice, and a bramble under its tail, or a 
pin in the crupper, would have been sufficient to en- 
danger the rider^s life. When the dinner hour arrived, 
Lady Hester mounted ; and, being determined that 
the monks should have no subterfuge, she would not 
dismount until she had ridden on her she-ass into the 
very hall of the building ; and I verily believe, if the 
wiser sort did not, that at least the servants of the 
monastery, and her ladyship's own, expected to see 
the pavement gape beneath her feet and swallow her 
up. She visited the refectory and every place where 
she could put her head ; but at one door there was a 

^ It must be observed that, in the East, a usual way of 
doiug honour to distinguished guests is to spread something 
costly for them to tread or sit on. Thus, when it was thought 
that her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales would have 
visited Damietta, the English agent there, a rich merchant, had 
arranged that the path from the side of the Nile to his house 
door should be covered with Cashmere shawls. Carpets are 
seldom left spread out in a room, but are rolled up and moved 
from room to room as wanted, being generally small, and 
never made singly to cover a whole room. 


momentary altercation between the two parties of 
monks, who were for and against her entering. We 
then sat down to dinner, and, at the expiration of four 
hours, Lady Hester retired. The news of her courage, 
as it was construed by some, and her sacrilege, as it 
was called by others, soon spread through the moun- 
tain, and was long the topic of general conversation. 

This monastery had a printing-press, which lay 
useless, owing to the recent death of an old monk 
called Seraphim, who was the founder and worker of 
it, having himself made the font of the types. I was 
presented with a specimen of his labours, being a 
single sheet containing a notice of the miracles that 
had been wrought by the tutelary saint. 

The glebe of Mar Antanius produces, as I was in- 
formed, to the amount of fifteen purses in silk. 

Canubin and other convents in this district, 
although well worthy of the traveller"'s attention, were 
not visited by us on account of the weather. We left 
the friars, who were greatly satisfied with her lady- 
ship's generosity, and proceeded, with the rain upon 
us, to a village called Keffer-zayny, on our road to 
Tripoli. Lady Hester fell from her ass in the way, 
but received no hurt, for two lads always walked by 
her, one on either side, who supported her knees and 
back in craggy and difficult places. The ass was 
without a bridle, and was left, with the sagacity for 
which that animal is known, to pick his own way. We 
were escorted by a guard of armed men. The diffi- 


culties of the road were more than commonly great. 
A man, dressed in a splendid scarlet robe, presented 
himself to Lady Hester in the evening, and created a 
great deal of merriment by his assumed airs of im- 

On the following day we arrived at Tripoli, amidst 
a tremendous storm of thunder and rain. The report 
of Lady Hester's approach had spread through the 
city, and the streets through which she had to pass 
were lined with spectators, whose curiosity must have 
been great to induce them to stand the pelting of such 
a storm. 



Residence at Tripoli — The governor Mustafa Aga — liady 
Hester's visit to him — Extraordinaiy civilities paid by her to 
Selim — Town and port of Tripoli — Greek bishop — Library — 
Paintings in the church — Unwholesome climate — The author's 
journey to the convent of Dayr Hamyra — Illness of Muly 
Ismael's Khasnadar — Miraculous cures performed at the 
convent — The Khasnadar's wife — The monks — Castle of El 
Hussn — Extensive view — Arrival of Selim at the monastery — 
His character — Eeturn of the author to Tripoli — Lady Hester's 
plan of an association of literary men and artists — Departure 
for Mar Elias. 

The Capuchin convent, an uninhabited building, 
was hired for Lady Hester ; and for Sehm, the dra- 
goman, and myself, a spacious house, belonging to the 
widow of the katib of the governor. The muleteers 
were dismissed, and arrangements were made for a 
residence of some weeks. As a clue to many circum- 
stances which occurred during the time of our stay in 
this city, it will be necessary to say something respect- 
ing Mustafa Aga (nick-named Berber), the then 
governor, a man raised by his conduct and valour from 
the very dregs of the people. 

Mustafa was the son of a muleteer, whose employ- 


ment consisted in transporting goods for hire from 
place to place ; and he himself, in his youth, followed 
the same occupation. He afterwards entered the ser- 
vice of Hassan, emir of the Druzes, as an under- 
servant of the household. Here he caught the eye of 
the emir, and was advanced by him ; but, probably, 
not liking to derogate from the character of a true 
Mussulman by associating with schismatics, he quitted 
his place and returned to Tripoli. Tripoli, at this 
time, was divided into two opposite factions, that of 
the janissaries and of the townspeople. Mustafa sided 
with the latter ; and, having shown himself a man of 
talent and courage by his language and demeanour, ten 
or a dozen others formed themselves into a sort of 
gang under his direction. His followers by degrees 
increased ; and at length a plan was formed among 
them to strike at the very root of the power of the 
janissaries by seizing the castle. This, according to 
the nature of the Turkish o;overnment, is the strong- 
hold of the military power, and is bestowed generally 
on some confidential servant of the Porte as a check 
on the civil governor, who is chosen by the pasha of 
the department. 

The aga of the janissaries, or governor of the castle, 
was so little suspicious of the possibility even of so 
bold an attack, that he resided in the city, and left 
only a few soldiers on guard in the citadel. Some of 
these were gained over by the artful Mustafa ; and, 
at an appointed signal, ropes were let down at night, 


by wliicli lie and about twenty others were drawn up, 
and admitted unperceived through a window. 

The few soldiers who attempted to oppose them 
were despatched or bound, and in the morninoj the 
news was spread that Berber had obtained possession 
of the castle. The townspeople declared for him im- 
mediately ; and his first care was to send to Mohammed, 
pasha of Egypt, to request him to write to the Porte 
to express his allegiance to his sovereign, and to ob- 
tain for him the post of Janissary Aga, or, in other 
words, a confirmation of the power he had usurped. 
After a lapse of some weeks, during which he main- 
tained himself in the citadel, a firman arrived, pro- 
claiming him military governor ; but so powerful was 
the opposite faction, that he dared never venture 
through the streets of Tripoli without a guard of 
fifty or sixty persons. 

It was said that, as he rode through the streets, his 
piercing eyes, which were turned in every direction, 
watched the looks of those he met ; and wo to him 
whose guilt Avas supposed to be betrayed in his coun- 
tenance — that moment was his last. 

Next to the governor, a very important person in 
every Turkish town is the katib, or government se- 
cretary. Mustafa Aga had several ;^ the two chief 
were Wahby Sadeka and Mamy Graryb, his son-in- 

1 I dined with these gentlemen at different periods, and was 
generally expected to give about a crown as vails to the ser- 
vants on coming away. 


law, a youiiiT mau who had ah-eady acquired in his 
situation much deserved reputation. M. Guys, grand- 
son of the author of a Comparison between Ancient and 
Modern Greece, was French consul ; Mr. Catsiflitz, 
English agent. These are the public authorities with 
whom travellers, generally speaking, have to do. 

A day or two after our arrival, Lady Hester re- 
ceived Malem Wahby, the public secretary, sent by 
Mustafa Aga to compliment her and to offer her his 

The visit was returned to the governor a few days 
afterwards. He received her ladyship in the most 
polite manner to which his rough character could 
adapt itself ; for his frank and hearty welcome was 
strongly contrasted with the generally formal cour- 
tesy of the Turks. Selim sat on the floor at the 
govemor''s feet ; for native Christians seldom obtain 
the privilege of a seat on the sofa in a great Turk's 
presence, and are well content not to be kept stand- 
ing. Lady Hester found means, in a short con- 
versation, to impress Mustafa Aga with a favourable 
opinion of her talents and character ; and ever after- 
wards he showed a strong disposition to serve her on 
all occasions. Everything about the Aga wore a 
martial appearance ; and his black slave, who stood 
at a little distance from him, armed with pistols in his 
girdle, seemed, by his attitude and air, to be the 
faithful guardian of his master's safety. 

Mustafa Aira had several Christians amons; his 


soldiers, destined for the service of the police. This 
is uncommon in Asiatic Turkey, for examples of it 
occurred nowhere else, that I saw. 

In coming away, I had an opportunity of judging 
of the extreme simplicity of the Aga's mode of living. 
His dinner was laid out on a mat, on the floor of a 
room which we passed, and consisted of six or eight 
messes of pilau and yakhny, which are boiled rice 
and a stew of small bits of meat and vegetables, and 
these in dishes of common queen's-ware. There were 
no knives or forks, and the spoons were wooden. A 
man in England, living like a temperate Mahometan, 
would pass for a prodigy with some, and with others, 
for one who took not enough to support life ; by all, 
he would be considered as a most sober liver : for the 
food of Mustafa Aga, like that of most of the followers 
of Mahomet, was generally confined to rice, boiled 
mutton, vegetables, honey, and fruit. Water was his 
only drink ; and, on the very afternoon of this visit, 
being requested to call on him that he might consult 
me respecting some indisposition, when I advised hira 
to use a tincture, which he understood from me was 
compounded of spirit, he totally rejected it, upon the 
plea that, in whatever state he might be, his abhor- 
rence of vinous liquors was settled. 

In the mean time, Malem Selim was treated with 
the most marked civihty by Lady Hester. Tlie 
public bath was hired for him an evening or two after 
our arrival. Two sumptuous repasts Avere prepared 


for him every day, and people saw with wonder the 
deference that was paid him by her ladyship. But 
she had her ends to answer ; and on such occasions it 
might be observed, by those in the habit of living 
near her, that she often would raise very humble in- 
dividuals to an elevation to which they had not been 
accustomed, by which they were the more easily led to 
forget their natural prudence, and communicate more 
readily the information she wanted. She knew that, 
when these artificial props were taken away, folks could 
very easily be made to drop to their own level again. 

In the middle ages, Tripoli was the scene of much 
warfare. It was taken by the crusaders after a siege 
of seven years, and retaken by the Saracens in 1229 
by sap. 

Modern Tripoli is the head of a pashalik, extend- 
ing north and south from Nahr Ibrahim to Bylan, 
and bounded on the east by the highest chain of the 
mountains which run parallel to the coast. Ali, 
a pasha of two tails, held it, but resided at St. Jean 
d'Acre as kekhyah of Suliman Pasha, whilst Mustafa 
Aga governed in his stead. It is the best built and 
cleanest town along the coast of Syria ; perhaps, too, 
the largest, certainly, at the time we are speaking of, 
the most commercial ; although now superseded by 
Bey rout. The castle is at the south-east part of the 
city, and is of Saracen or Frank construction. There 
are five or six mosques. The Greeks and Maronites 
have their churches, and the Franciscans and Capu- 


chins their monasteries. A river runs by the city, 
which serves to irrigate the gardens. As it is built 
at some distance from the sea, (about one mile) there 
is a small town, called the Myna, close to the har- 
bour, if the insecure anchorage formed by two or three 
rocks deserves that name. Between the city and the 
Myna are the orchards and gardens, which are the 
boast of the place, both for their productions and 
beauty. Oranges were now in season, which have been 
before mentioned as very juicy at this place. One of 
the chief sources of wealth to the city was the ma- 
nufacture of silk turbans, sashes, bath waist-cloths, 
and saddle-covers, which are in request throughout 
Syria. The Christians here were of the Greek 
church ; and so violent were they against schismatics, 
that it was dangerous for a Grreek Catholic to tarry in 
the place for a few hours. The bishop of Tripoli 
was an agreeable man, who spoke often in praise of 
the English : for he had known many of that nation, 
when our army invaded Egypt the second time under 
General Eraser, at which period he was residino- as a 
priest at the Greek convent of Alexandria. 

I had an opportunity of seeing, in the bishop's 
house, the library belonging to the see. The books 
had been thrown into a lumber room, and left there to 
be devoured by the rats, or more slowly consumed by 
moths and damp. There were some Greek manu- 
scripts. The church was undergoing a thorouo-h 
repair, and, to embellish the altar screen, a Caudiote 


painter had been sent for, whose skill in his art 
seemed to me far from despicable. He showed me 
some copies from Italian eno;ravings, which were very 
well executed : and, when I asked him if he did not 
prefer them to the gilded daubs of Virgins and 
Saints of his own church, he showed himself per- 
fectly aware of the faults of his countrymen's manner, 
but said he must paint to please, or he could not live. 
The climate of Tripoli is reputed to be the worst 
in Syria, and the cadaverous looks of the inhabitants 
bore evidence to the truth of the assertion ; for, 
although the season was far advanced, it was grievous 
to behold and hear of the number of the sick. The 
prevailing disease was a bilious remittent fever : this, 
if not fatal, generally left an ague, which, ending in 
obstructions, brought on dropsy and death. I was 
witness here to a fatal mortification from the applica- 
tion of leeches by a French doctor to the foot ; to 
the only case of gout that came under my observa- 
tion in Syria ; to the worst case of epilepsy I ever 
saw ; and to hysterical fits, with lunar recurrences, 
from seven to fifteen times in the twenty-four hours, 
which had now lasted two years. These latter I 
cured, and may cite that cure as having led to one of 
those ingenious subterfuges, which were not rare in 
the Levant, to avoid the weight of an obligation. 
When the young lady, who had been thus afflicted, 
was found to be relieved by my treatment of her, 
she was hurried off to the convent of Mar Antanius 


Kuziyali (famed, as I have already mentioned, for 
miraculous cures) from wliicli, in a few days, she 
returned, and her parents and friends were loud in 
their admiration of the Saint, who took no fees, and 
dumb on the merits of the doctor, who they were 
afraid would. 

We had not been lonsj at Tripoli,' when a letter 
reached Lady Hester from her old friend Muly 
Ismael of Hamah, requesting she would allow me to 
go to a monastery, eight or ten leagues from Tripoli, 
where his khasuadar or treasurer, a man whom he 
greatly esteemed, was lying grievously afflicted with a 
stroke of the palsy. Accordingly, I set off a day or 
two afterwards, on the 20th of December, and was 
fortunate enough to hire one of the nmleteers, who 
had accompanied us on the Balbec journey, to carry 
my luggage. 1 was mounted on a mule, and placed 
my man, Giovanni, with a few necessaries on another, 
whilst the muleteer, named Michael, walked. 

As we went out of Tripoli, about noon, the rain fell 
in torrents, and we were soon wet through. Our 
route lay about east-north-east ; and, after passing a 
stony and rugged road, we came upon an extensive 

' We heard here, with pleasure, a eulogium passed on two 
of our countrymen, by the grateful widow and daughters of a M. 
Cuzi, who, in the prosecution of a journey, as intrepreter, with 
two English gentlemen, Major C. and Mr. F., fell a victim to a 
fever, and left a family who would have seen want staring 
them in the face, but for the liberal relief afforded them by 
these gentlemen. 

VOL. in. D 


plain, named el Accar. The day closed in very early, 
and, from the continued rain and darkness, the beaten 
track vfShS by no means clearly visible. We reached 
a river, which appeared so swollen that we dared not 
ford it, and were puzzled what to do. A light on our 
right attracted us, and, after following the course of 
the stream for about two miles, it disappeared, and we 
resolved to return down again. We accordingly 
arrived at the point whence we had turned off, but 
still hesitated to ride into the stream, as we could 
discern no appearances of a path or of footsteps down 
the bank, as of a ford. A light on our left was now 
seen : we rode towards it, and after a little time came 
to some tents. Huge mastiff dogs rushed out upon 
us, and the muleteer had much ado to keep them at 
bay with a club stick, until two or three ill-looking 
men issued from the tents to discover the reason of 
their barking. They were Turkmans, who were 
pasturing their flocks and herds on these plains, and, 
when they saw we were benighted travellers, they 
very strongly pressed me to go no farther, and to spend 
the night with them : but I hesitated to do so on 
account of my ignorance of their habits of life, and 
resolved, on hearing that the river was fordable, to 
pursue my journey. One of the Turkmans accord- 
ingly led us back to the same place where w^e had been 
twice before, and bade us ride through boldly. When 
we were safe over he wished us good night. As he 
had previously told us that we could reach a car a- 


vausery a few miles farther on, we took fresh courage, 
and for a time I forgot the rain in musing on the 
Turkman dogs and the shepherd's civility ; but, at 
last, cold and weariness made me anxious to get 
housed. There was no light before us, and the plain 
was every where covered with large pools of water 
which embarrassed us exceedingly. The mules were 
fatigued, and could with difficulty be driven on. The 
muleteer finally declared that the servant's mule could 
go no further, and that we must sleep in the plain. 

Although the rain fell in torrents, as there was no 
alternative, I got off; and the best arrangement that 
circumstances would admit of was made for the night. 
I found a knoll of ground, somewhat drier than the 
rest of the soil ; and a small rug, which I Carried with 
me in travelling, was opened on it, upon which I 
seated myself with my legs doubled under me : and, 
with my hood^ drawn over my head, 1 leaned against 
my-medicine-chest, and went supperless to sleep. The 
muleteer and Giovanni made the best of their situa- 

In the morning, when daylight came, we found, to 
our surprise, that a quarter of a mile more would 
have brought us to the caravausery which we had 
been told of. The mules were re-loaded, and, just at 
this moment, a caravan, on its road to Tripoli, passed 

^ These hoods are made of cloth, and men use them in 
travelling as women use hoods in England : they being, in the 
like manner, not attached to a cloak, but worn separately. 



US. A dozen tongues addressed us at once to inquire 
why we had stopped short of the caravansery, and 
many jokes were cracked upon our miserable appear- 
ance. In twenty minutes we reached Nahr el Kebyr, 
a river, on the banks of which was a large, but dilapi- 
dated caravansery, where we found a man, who, for a 
small recompense, stripped and walked before us 
through the ford. The stream was rapid and deep, so 
that for a moment I feared we should have been 
carried away by it : which, encumbered with dress as 
we were, would have been to our inevitable destruc- 

We now advanced with as much expedition as 
possible, and at last came to the end of the plain. 
A gentle ascent brought us among some low hills, 
covered with stunted shrubs, and shortly afterwards we 
came to the monastery. The building was of stone, 
and seemed of great solidity. I dismounted, and was 
made to enter by a door, the lowest, bearing that 
name, I had ever seen in my life. For, as this 
monastery stands quite away from any town, and is 
in the high road from Tripoli to Hems and Hamah, 
by which road troops are frequently passing, a diffi- 
cult entrance is a necessary precaution to prevent the 
refectory from being converted into a stable : which 
troopers, not liking to lose sight of their horses, 
would often unceremoniously do. 

I was put into a neat room, and immediately 
presented with a pipe and coffee, followed by a break- 


fast ; whilst two garrulous priests told me why I was 
come, which they seemed to know better than myself, 
and questioned me on the news of Tripoli. With 
respect to the khasnadar, my patient, I gathered some 
particulars of his life. It appeared that he had been, 
as a youth, a favourite of Miily Ismael, who, when 
he arrived at manhood, created him his khasnadar, 
and gave him in marriage to one of his concubines, of 
whom he himself was tired. Soon after their union, 
the khasnadar had a stroke of the palsy, which deprived 
him of the use of his limbs and utterance. Every 
known means had been tried for his recovery ; and, as 
a last resource, it was resolved to send him to Dayr 
Hamyra, this monastery, which was dedicated to Saint 
George, and renowned far and wide for miraculous 
cures, effected in the following manner. The afflicted 
person was made to sleep in the chapel, his bed being 
placed there for that purpose, and round his neck was 
put an iron collar, jointed behind, and shutting over 
a staple before, in which sometimes a pin was in- 
serted. He slept ; and, if the cure was within the 
reach or the will of the Saint, the collar was found open 
in the morning ; if otherwise, shut. Offerings, or vows 
in case of success, were made to propitiate the Dragon- 
killer, and it was said that from a rich man a trifle 
would not content him. The khasnadar had made- 
the trial two or three times without success : when his 
wife, who accompanied him, having heard of our 
arrival at Tripoli, thought that the request of Muly 


Ismael would be sufficient to bring me over to the 
monastery to see him : and a horse soldier, as has 
been said, was accordingly despatched with a letter to 
that effect. 

After my breakfast I went to see my patient, whom 
I found with his wife in an adjoining room. A best 
carpet was spread for me ; coffee and pipes were 
served. The khasnadar was a plethoric young man 
about twenty-five ; and, but for sickness, must have 
been very handsome. His wife was veiled at first by 
a shawl over her head, and pinched together by her 
hand so as to show one eye only ; but by degrees she 
let it fall open, and I beheld a masculine woman of 
thirty or thereabouts. She was a Georgian, and had 
been a slave. I immediately took my patient in 
hand, and, as it is alwaj^s necessary in the East, 
enacted, in the course of an hour, the parts of phy- 
sician, surgeon, and apothecary. I then left him, and 
went to look over the monastery. 

It was inhabited by three caloyers only, who, ac- 
cording to the rules of this Greek monastic order, are 
permitted, except on fast-days, to indulge in coffee, 
smoking, drinking, and eating, to what extent they 
please, with the exception of meat, which is allowed 
only twice a year. Hence I was requested to ad- 
minister medicines for the corpulence of the one, the 
indigestion of the other, the pimples of a third. There 
were three or four good rooms on the story which 
they inhabited, and beneath were storehouses well 


stocked with wine, oil, wheat, and eatables. There were 
two or three servants, and a mule or two ; and thus 
this small community lived. As the extreme lowness 
of the entrance was still strongly present to my 
thoughts, I asked them concerning it. They assigned 
the reason I have above given, and added that the 
mule of the convent had been taught to crawl through 
on his knees, of which I was afterwards an eye- 
witness, in consequence of my previous incredulity. 

There was an annual festival celebrated at this 
place, upon which occasion persons come from Hamah, 
Hems, Tripoli, and other towns in great numbers. 
At midnight, the image of St. George on horseback 
is seen against the wall of the convent, at which vision 
the people set up a shout, and rejoicings continue 
until morning. 

As this road is much frequented, not a night passed 
in which travellers or caravans did not stop. A sort 
of shed sheltered the horses and mules, and the people, 
if respectable, were received into the interior. The 
monks supplied them with food, which was good or 
bad in proportion to the recompence expected, and 
this employment was so lucrative that the monastery 
was supported by it. Their funds had been enough 
at one period to enable them to build a caravansery, 
which they had begun, but were prevented from pro- 
ceeding in by an order from the government. This 
happened during the rule of Yusef Pasha : and the 
half-built caravansery adjoined the monaster}-. 


I expressed my wonder how a strict Mahometan 
could have resorted to the shrine of a Christian saint ; 
but the caloyers told me that this was by no means a 
rare occurrence, and that, if I stopped a few days 
among them, I should see many Ansarys, who had 
recourse to them in all their difficulties, and especially 
when their wives wished for children ; and, in fact, 
there did afterwards come a party of ten or twelve on 
account of sickness. 

The evening was passed with the khasnadar's wife 
in talking over the news of Hamah. On the follow- 
ing day I had a visit from the katib of the district 
(if so he may be called), the person who was the ac- 
credited agent ^ in all transactions between government 
and the people. He too was in want of a doctor ; for 
it is to be observed, that, although in the East no tra- 
veller has such advantages as a medical man, because 
he is well received everywhere, yet no one is so much 
harassed : and I sometimes thought the people pre- 
tended to have maladies either to get English medi- 
cines given to them, which they prized greatly ; or to 
learn what mode of cure was to be pursued in case 
such a disease really affected them ; for at no place 
was I secuiie from interruption from morning to 

On the 15th I rode up to a castle, which stands on 

^ His name was Suliman, the son of Ibrahim, katib of 
Hussn and Safyna, which is an adjoining district, and where 
he lived. 


the highest part of the hills through which the road 
passes from the sea-coast to Caile-Syria. From its 
position it commands the passage, in a certain degree ; 
it is distant from the monastery ahout one mile and a 
half, as the crow flies. The road was of no difficult 
steepness, and lay through small brushwood. A long, 
dark, covered way, filthy with cow-dung and mire, led 
to the gate, which appeared to have had a portcullis 
and all the apparatus of early fortifications. I entered 
through it into a spacious court, in which were living 
several Turkish families. The castle was composed 
of a keep and outer works, fl^anked with round towers ; 
but the whole was in a dilapidaT:ed state. 

I was taken to a smoky stone room under the gate- 
way, where a man, in a tawdry yellow silk pelisse, 
the shaykh of the village, received me with an air 
which brought to my recollection JuvenaPs descrip- 
tion of the magistrate of Cums. It may be observed 
of the Turks and Christians, that the former are often 
more gaily dressed than their means warrant ; whilst 
the latter, in spite of the humility of garb to which 
they are condemned, swell sometimes with the pride 
which a full purse gives, and excite the envy of 
their better-dressed masters. The name of the castle 
was El Hussn, which signifies a walled fortifica- 

From the top of the keep I enjoyed a most ex- 

^ It would appear that this is the place described by Abul- 

feda (page 102), under the name of Hussn el Kerad. His 

D 5 


tensive view, wliieh is to be recommended to travellers 
as favourable for obtaining a correct notion of the 
natural geographical divisions of this part of Syria. 
This keep bears from Tripoli north-east and by east- 
half-north. I saw from it the wide plains towards 
Hamah and Hems narrowing into the vale of the 
Bka, the Csele-Syria Proper of the ancients ; whilst the 
whole tract of level country to the north and east of 
the Bka Avas called Oeele-Syria in general. As I was 
now on the highest spot within the pass, I saw the 
error into which the generality of maps lead, when 
they mark a continuous chain of mountains from one 
end of Syria to the other ; for, from the castle, I could 
behold the north extremity of Mount Lebanon reach 
its greatest height, and descend suddenly into low 
hills down to the foot of the castle, upon which I 
stood ; whilst, from the monastery, a new chain may 
be said to begin, extending, if my information be just, 
as far as the river Syr, and forming the ancient 
Mount Bargylus, mentioned by Pliny. — (Hist, v., 17.) 
I cannot express my sensations as I looked from the 
place on which I stood over the Desert. A haze, 
raised by the heat of the sun over the surface of the 
country, dimmed the sight of objects so as to give the 
distant plains a look more boundless and desolate than 
usual. I obtained here a few copper coins of no value. 

words are : " Hussn el Kerad is a fortified castle, facing Hems 
to the west, upon the mountain. This castle is a day's journey 
from Hems, and the like distance from Tripoli." 


The shaykli spoke with pleasure of an Englishman, 
who had passed a night there some years before, and 
who was dressed in scarlet, and slept under a tent. 
These Mahometans were in an exposed position, in 
case of warfare, as they were surrounded by Ansarys 
and Christians. 

I returned to the monastery much pleased with my 
excursion. Selim and Suliman had now judged their 
visit to Lady Hester to have been long enough, and 
left her during my absence. Their road lay past the 
monastery, and they made it their station on their 
way home, arriving here on the 17th at night. Suli- 
man showed a pretty watch-chain, with other presents 
which Lady Hester made him. The khasnadar and 
his wife were well known to Selim ; and Selim''s wife 
was a native of a village in this neighbourhood ; so 
that the monastery was a scene of festivity on his 
arrival, and several cavaliers, whom I had not before 
suspected to be in the neighbourhood, came from 
different directions to visit him. 

But my patient, amidst all this, grew no better, 
and I could do no more than draw out a line of cure, 
and beg the wife to adhere strictly to it, which she 
promised to do ; for Lady Hester had written to me 
to request me to return ; and on the 19th, in the 
morning, I departed, leaving Selim still there ; and in 
him I bade adieu to a man, the strangest compound 
of talent, frivolity, liberality, and libertinism, that I 
ever met with. He was the most wayward of mortals. 


He was ever writing sonnets to his mistress's eye- 
brow, and carried about with him small bags of silk, 
stuffed with ribbon-ends, locks of hair, and scraps of 
love-letters. Often would he cut up portions of a 
lock of hair, and deliberately eat them, which, I found 
from him, is a favourite way in the East of marking 
a lover's devotion. It was told me, upon creditable 
authority, that he lay a whole night on the grave of 
one of his mistresses who had died. He would recite 
amatory poetry stanza after stanza, and his own com- 
positions were admired by such as pretended to be 
judges. Upon one occasion, at the commencement of 
our acquaintance, dining with Mr. B. and myself, he 
tried a little while to make use of a knife and fork, 
but, not managing them well, he threw them away 
with vehemence, and declared, if he must not eat 
but with them, he would even go without his dinner. 
He was an excellent horseman ;^ and one of his feats 
on horseback was to throw a stick, of the thickness 
of a broom-handle and half its length, on the ground 
in a full gallop, and to make it rebound so as to catch 
it in his hand again. This is certainly difficult, as 
any horseman may prove by experiment, and requires 
much force and expertness, but has no use that I know 

^ One of Selim's horses continually moved his head up and 
down. This is esteemed, in the East, a mark of a high-bred 
horse, and is supposed to have something holy in it, I believe 
because it resembles the motion which learned and devout 
JSIahometans put on when reading the Coran. 


of, excepting to teach how to exercise the arm with 
violence without losing one's seat. Of his cleverness 
there was ample testimony from all quarters ; and of his 
intriguing disposition there could be no doubt ; for he 
was ever toiling to exalt himself, and pull down some- 

My journey back to Tripoli was more fortunate than 
the one out had been. Near the city I observed a 
pretty spot by the road side, the name of which I 
forget, where I saw certain fish in a pond which were 
as tame as gold fish kept in a vase, and would eat out 
of one''s hand. 

One day (January 12) Lady Hester spoke to me 
of a plan, which she had been turning over in her 
mind, of forming an association of literary men and 
artists, whom she proposed inviting from Europe, for 
the purpose of prosecuting discoveries in every branch 
of knowledge, and of journeying over different parts 
of the Ottoman empire. In fact, she aimed at cre- 
ating another Institute, like that which Buonaparte 
led with him to Egypt, and of which she was to be 

1 It perhaps may amuse some persons to know that parasites, 
or toadies, as they are now called, are as common in Syria as 
in other countries. Selim, wherever he went, was generally 
accompanied by a man, to whom, upon all occasions, he was 
accustomed to appeal for a confirmation of his assertions. This 
man accordingly would attest, with violent asseverations, any- 
thing, however hyperbolical or exaggerated, that Selim 


the head. Chimerical as such an undertaking would 
be for an individual, unless of great wealth, it must 
be allowed that a society so made up can alone 
combine all the requisites for thoroughly investi- 
gating the arts, sciences, statistics, geography, and 
antiquities of a country imperfectly known, like 

For a time her mind was entirely engrossed in this 
new scheme ; and she even drew up memorials to be 
presented to different persons whom she wished to 
enlist and engage in the undertaking. Wonderful 
was the facility with which she would square every 
word to the different tempers and situations of diffe- 
rent persons, anticipate their different objections, and 
(which was no immaterial part,) show how contribu- 
tions were to be levied on the rich ; for she proposed 
to do it by subscription. The experiments, likewise, 
which she intended to prosecute on the plague, and 
on the bites of venemous animals, by means of the 
bezoar and serpent stones, were now a favourite 
hobby with her ; and she particularly charged me 
to write about them to certain persons only, lest 
some one should get hints enough to anticipate 
her discoveries, and thus rob her of a part of her 


As there was nothing to detain us longer at Tripoli, 
our departure for Mar Elias was resolved on ; and, on 
the 16th of January, fresh muleteers having been hired 
at three piasters and a half per day, we proceeded 


on our journey. We were accompanied, during the 
first stage, by Malera Yanny, the brother-in-law of 
Mr. Catsiflitz, a gentleman who, on several occasions, 
had been very attentive to us during our residence at 
Tripoli, officiating for Mr. Catsiflitz, the consul, who 
was too old to be any longer active. 



Jdurney from Tripoli to Abra — Monastery of Dayr Natur 
— Grave of Mr. Cotter — Ruins of Enfeh — Batrun — Rene- 
gade priest — Remarks on apostates — Gebayl, the ancient 
Byblus — Mulberry plantations — Castle — Public-houses — 
Nahr Ibrahim, the river Adonis — Taberjeh — Ejectment ofj|t 
cottagers in rain and cold — Nahr el Kelb, the ancient river 
Lyons — Inscriptions — Shuifad — Visit of Lady Hester to the 
Syt Habus — Capugi Bashi sent to Lady Hester — INIbarak, the 
groom — His dexterity — Nebby Yunez, the tomb of Jonah — 
Arrival at Mar Elias — Precautions adopted against the Capugi 

Instead of taking the direct road, we proceeded 
along the sea-shore. About two hours'" march from 
Tripoli we passed the village of Calamun, the ancient 
Calamos : inhabited entirely by sheryfs, or descen- 
dants of the Prophet, Mahomet. This was the birth- 
place of Berber : and he was said to have paid but 
one visit to it since his elevation to his present great- 
ness, although he often spoke of his humble birth and 
former occupations : how far he would have liked to hear 
the same remarks from other people's mouths is not 
clear. At Calamun we turned towards the west, and 
arrived at Dayr Natur, where it was proposed to halt. 


Dayr Natur was a monastery of plain and rude 
construction, with a few small vaulted cells : the one 
wherein my bed was placed would but just contain it. 
There was a well of rain water in the middle of the 
yard, and stabling for horses and mules. The church 
had a few pictures of very ordinary merit : two monks 
and a rays (or superior) * served it. The monastery 
stood on a point of land projecting into the sea, and 
forming one of the horns of the bay of Tripoli. It 
was at this place that Mr. Cotter, an Englishman, 
in the month of July, J 813, fell a victim to the cli- 
mate, having, with his companion, Mr. Davison, and 
their servant, been seized with a bilious fever, which 
carried him off, but spared the other two. I visited 
his grave ; and, although I knew him not, dropped 
over It a tear of sympathy for his fate ; which, in the 
name of fellow-countryman and from our common 
perils in a foreign land, my melancholy feelings made 
me readily deplore. 

As Lady Hester was somewhat indisposed, we re- 
mained here during the 1 7th, and I took this oppor- 
tunity of accompanying Malem Girius Yanny, who 
was still with us, to a place called Enfeh, one hour's 
ride from the monastery, due south-west. The path 
was by the sea-side, through a rugged rocky soil 
admitting of no cultivation, except on one or two 
patches which were manured for tobacco. 

^ Rays means a captain of a vessel, or the superior of a com- 
munity, or the head of any body of persons. 


Enfeh* was now but a liamlet : formerly the same 
site had been covered by a large city, probably the 
ancient Trieris. There was a church still standing, 
which had been lately repaired, seemingly of Venetian 
construction : and, on a tongue of land about a quarter 
of a mile long, at the very extreme point, were to 
be distinctly made out the ruins of a castle. This 
tongue of land was cut across, at its root, by a ditch 
made through the solid rock : the place of the draw- 
bridge was yet visible, and two small chambers like- 
wise hewn out of the rock were yet perfect. One we 
found with the door blocked up by stones. On push- 
ing them down, it proved to be a storeroom for salt, 
collected from tanks and hollows close by. The neigh- 
bouring rocks were full of excavations, presenting the 
same appearances as those at Latakia and at other 
parts of the coast of Syria, having been no doubt 

Malem Girius Yanny told me that at the back of 
Enfeh there was a village called Amyun, with other 
similar chambers. All these, most probably, were 
anterior in date to the castle. We returned to Dayr 
Natur, where he finally took his leave of us, and re- 
turned to Tripoli. 

The next day we left Dayr Natur, and, keeping by 
the sea-side, passed, at the distance of three quarters 

^ Burkhardt spells it Amfy. His words are, " Below, on 
the sea-shore, at the extremity of a point of land, is a lone vil- 
lage, called Amfy, and near it the convent Dair Natour." 


of an hour, Enfeli, seen yesterday, and a spring called 
Muggr. The soil, thus far, had been rude and rocky, 
and, where there was mould, had been red : but he re- 
abouts it changed to black, and the mountain on our 
left receded, so as to leave a small level, as far as 
the hamlet of Herry, an hour and a half further. 
Here finished the district of Curah, which is a low 
mountain south of Tripoli, and celebrated for its to- 
bacco, which has the properties of scintillating, like 
the Gebely tobacco (or tobacco of Mount Lebanon). 
At Herry began mulberry-tree plantations, for the 
nourishment of silkworms. 

Having rested an hour at Herry, we ascended the 
Mesalah, which terminates toward the sea in a pro- 
montory, mentioned above under the name of Ras el 
Shaka. This promontory, the Theoprosopon, is con- 
sidered by Strabo as the termination of Mount Le- 
banon : and so it is, inasmuch as it is but a western 
branch at the end of that chain, which, however, 
appears more properly to finish at that part, where, 
having attained its greatest height, and being covered 
with perpetual snow, it abruptly sinks into low hills a 
few leagues to the north of the Cedars, near Calat 
Hussn. The soil on the Mesalah is argillaceous, 
and, as there had been rain lately, was very slippery ; so 
that the mules and asses were continually falling. In 
wet weather, this hill, as we were told, was considered 
by the carriers the most difiicult road along the country. 
The ascent and descent took up about an hour and a 
half: after which we traversed a narrow valley in 


which stood a castle, perched on a pointed rock in the 
centre, and at the foot of which ran a river, called 
Nahr el Joze, a stream of some depth, but narrow. We 
arrived in one hour more at Botrun, the ancient Botrus. 

Botrun is a seaport town, used only by small fish- 
ing-boats, as it does not afford a safe anchorage for 
large vessels. It was in the hands of the emir of the 
Druzes, and was governed by a bailiff deputed by 
him. Thece were few Turkish families in it : the 
Christians were Maronites and Greeks. There are 
several excavated tombs ; and close to the town the 
rock shows the marks of the chisel in every direction. 
Botrun is a town of the highest antiquity, said to 
have been built by a king of Tyre.' 

I was visited in the evening by two persons, both 
of whom had apostatized to the Mahometan religion, 
and afterwards recanted. One was a Greek priest, 
who became a follower of Mahomet for the sake of a 
sura of money, subscribed by the Turks of Antioch 
upon his pretended conversion. Having undergone 
the requisite ceremony necessary on induction to the 
Mahometan faith, he pocketed the money, fled with it, 
and recanted. He was now living despised and in 
wretchedness : nor could he quit the emir''s territory 
lest he should be seized and impaled. The other, a 
native of Leghorn, had a more pardonable weakness 
to excuse his conduct. His name was Ducci, and he 
gave me the outline of his history as follows. He 
became acquainted, early in life, witii Colonel Capper, 
^ Jos. Antiq. Jud. 1. viii. c. 13. 


an Englishman, who had been sent on some mission 
to Suez, and whom he accompanied to England : 
where he remained more than a twelvemonth, and 
learned the language. By the coloneFs interest he 
was employed to go overland to India with despatches 
for the East India Company. There he entered into 
the Company ""s service, in a regiment called " the 
Europeans," when Sir T. Rumbold was governor of 
Bombay, succeeded afterwards by Sir Eyre Coote. 
He fought in seven engagements against Hyder Ali, 
when he obtained leave to return to England. In his 
way overland he stopped at Aleppo, where he married 
Miss Hayes, the English consul's daughter : in con- 
sequence of which connexion he was made English 
agent at Latakia, to forward government and other 
despatches to and from India. 

After a lapse of some years, he formed a connexion 
with one of his maid servants, who became pregnant 
by him : when, to avoid the reproaches of his wife, 
he turned Mahometan, obliged his maid servant to do 
the same, and then married her ^ according to the 
Turkish law. Afterwards, feeling remorse for what he 
had done, he recanted : but, dreading lest the Turks 
should lay hands on him, he fled to the mountain of 
the Druzes, the asylum of many others who seek to 
hide their shame, or dread the retributive hand of 
justice. His first wife's relations made many at^jtempts 

^ This kind of marriage is called in Arabic El Menmah 
— conjugium temper arium. 


to induce him to quit his illicit commerce with his 
maid servant, hut in vain. 

When I saw him, he was in great distress, and was 
keeping a small shop to maintain his family, now in- 
creased by the addition of three children : yet Signor 
Dueci had once been the owner of the fine house] which 
we occupied at Latakia. Lady Hester gave him such 
consolation as she could, and twenty rubias.^ We 
passed the evening together. His manners were gen- 
tlemanlike ; he spoke English remarkably well, and 
I had reason to think that, for two or three hours at 
least, in conversation about India and England, he 
forgot his misfortunes, and was comparatively happy. 

The history of Signor Ducci and that of the other 
apostate prove that the lot of such persons is not 
enviable. Indeed, the Turks, as far as I could learn, 
never overlook a recantation : but, as a set-off to this, 
they are never very severe with their new converts, 
if they will only preserve the external forms of their 
religion ; but such as are really sincere in their con- 
version they will assist on every occasion. Thus, at 
Jaffa, as will be mentioned hereafter, I saw a venerable 
shaykh, who, from a Christian wallet-maker, had be- 
come a reverend ulema among the Mahometans. The 
Scotch private soldier, who, under the name of 
Yahyah, became physician to the son of Mohammed 

■" About £3 sterling. Roubles, rupees, rubias, are all the 
same word in different tongues. 


Ali, certainly gained by the cliange ; and, for the 
general indulgence which converts to Mahometanism 
are allowed, the whole troop of French Mamelukes in 
Egypt were staijdiug examples ; for they had nothing 
of Turks about them but the name. To say how far 
a man may be excused for changing his religion, and 
whether, upon any grounds, he can be excused at all, 
is a matter upon which we do not pretend to speak. 
Pearce, who resided in Abyssinia, seems to have acted 
on motives of expediency. The groom of Captain H., 
who purchased horses for the English army, was pro- 
bably a man of no religion : he became a Mahometan 
for the sake of gain, and would have made himself 
pagan for the same reason. Burckhardt had a nobler 
object in view in his simulation — the advancement of 
knowledge : yet even his motives have not escaped 

We quitted Botrun on the 1 9th ; and, still keeping 
the sea-coast, arrived, after five hours'' travelling, at 
Gebayl. Through the whole of this distance Mount 
Lebanon came down to the water's edge, scarcely 
leaving a mule-path between its foot and the surf of 
the sea. About two hours before reaching Gebayl, 
the soil is rocky beyond any part of the coast we had 
yet passed ; but still it was covered with mulberry 
grounds. The cultivation of these grounds is lucra- 
tive, no doubt, but they are disagreeable objects to the 
eye, as the trees look like so many tall posts ; being 
every year stripped entirely of their branches. 


Gebayl was anciently called Byblus.^ It is now a 
walled town, containing within its circuit perhaps 
SOO houses, half of which were at this time in ruins. 
It has a castle, apparently the work of the Saracens 
or Crusaders, for Gebayl was taken by them. Over 
one of the gates was an heraldic shield, with a motto 
or inscription beneath, but too disfigured and too high 
up to be legible. The castle is square, with ramparts, 
and a citadel with double walls. It was repaired by 
the Emir Abd-el-dyn. Hassan, the last emir but 
one, resided here, and the two sons of Emir Yusef, 
successor to Hassan, had their eyes put out here by 
order of their uncle, the Emir Besh;^^r, who dispos- 
sessed them of the sovereignty. It had one piece of 
ordnance broken in half. There were also two standards 
preserved here — white, with a green band in the 
middle. The walls of the town consist of curtains 
and bastions. The port is very small, capable of 
sheltering coasting boats only. By means of a mole 
it might, as could almost all the ports of Syria, be 
made fit for large vessels. There is also a church, 
which I went to see, but found nothing remarkable in 
it. At a subsequent period, the emir of the Druzes 
presented Lady Hester with a figure of Isis on her 
knees, holding before her, and between her hands, an 

^ Strabo, xvi. 755. 1 Kings, v. Josh, xiii, 5. Ezekiel, 
xxvii. 9. Ptolemy places Bj-blus ten miles south of Botrus ; 
this agrees very nearly with five hours' march, ass's pace.. 


altar, on which was a scarabseus. This perfect piece 
of sculpture was presented to the late Lord Lonsdale, 
and is now in England. It was found at Gebayl, by 
some workmen whilst turning up the soil. A donis had 
temples in the city, but 1 know not of any Egyptian 
worship having existed here. 


Gebayl had a motsellem, but his power hardly ex- 
ceeded that of an English constable. He was a Turk, 
which, considering that the place belonged to the emir 
of the Druzes, and that almost all the inhabitants 
were Christians, was somewhat extraordinary ; but 
the presence of a Turkish governor was in some degree 
necessary, as many capugi- bashis and emissaries 
of the Porte were continually passing this road. The 
rocks round the town were every where full of exca- 



vatecl sepulchres ; and, in Abulfeda's time, Gebayl 
had a port, a bazar, and a mosque. 

We remained here the 20th and 21st of January, 
on account of the weather, which was exceedingly 
tempestuous : on the 22nd we again moved, although 
the rain fell in torrents. The road was still uneven 
and stony. From Tripoh, Lady Hester had adopted 
the plan of breaking the day's journey by an hour's 
rest at some spot half way ; and, for this purpose, it 
was generally necessary to cause a peasant's cabin to 
be emptied and swept : but the fleas sometimes 
swarmed to such a degree, that it was impossible to 
get rid of them. On these occasions the practice of 
the servant employed on this duty was to go into the 
middle of the room, bare his leg, and watch how many 
fleas jumped on him from the floor. Sometimes they 
might be seen like iron filings drawn to a magnet, 
blackening the skin. This day the resting-place was 
on the banks of Nahr Ibrahim, the ancient river 
Adonis, in a small public-house, close by the bridge. 
These public-houses, for no more precise name can be 
given them, generally consisted of small sheds, the 
walls of which were bare rough stones or mud, no 
better materials being used in their construction. 
Adjoining was another large shed, to afibrd shelter for 
beasts of burden. Corn, straw, cofi'ee, and tobacco, 
were sold in them as well as wine and brandy, this 
being in the territory of the emir of the Druzes, where 
Christians might do with impunity what they dared 


not do in other provinces of the Ottoman Empire ; 
nor is there any road, that I recollect, where these 
places of entertainment are so numerous as on the 
coast road from Tripoli to Beyrout. 

Nahr Ibrahim is two hours' distance from Gebayl. 
Its stream was, at this time, about as large and as 
deep as the river Cherwell, where it empties itself into 
the Isis at Oxford ; but we were now in the very height 
of the rainy season ; the stream, therefore, would 
probably be very much less in summer. It had over 
it a liglit elegant bridge of three arches. 

One mile and a half more brought us to Taberjeh,' 
where it was intended to pass the night. Whilst Lady 
Hester was resting at the bridge, I rode forward, and 
was told by the servant that the cottagers, with tears 
in their eyes, begged that they might not be turned 
out of doors in the wet and cold. This hamlet con- 
sisted of a few cottages, and, as usual, we were fur- 
nished with an order to select the most convenient for 

^ So it is written in my notes, but I am inclined to think the 
name of this hamlet is Mynat Bergeh, or the port of Bergeh. 
It was in going to this place, that, finding one of the Turkish 
muleteers exceedingly careless, I dismounted, and laid a stick 
sharply across his shoulders. This was the only time, 
thus far in my travels, I ever struck a Mahometan; and, 
although he merely vented his dudgeon in words, I was very 
apprehensive that, on our arrival at Beyrout, he would take 
an opportunity of raising a mob against me. I would not 
advise a European ever to strike a Mussulman, whatever the 
provocation may be. 

E 2 


our lodging. Upon these occasions the tenants were 
sent for the night to the houses of their friends and rela- 
tions. But we were so many in number, and the cot- 
tages so few, that, the rain falling in torrents, a re- 
moval seemed an act of cruelty ; this, however, I was 
reluctantly obliged to enforce. In one cottage a young 
woman had lain-in five days only, but was up, and, 
though she did not seem to consider her case peculiarly 
hard, an exemption was made in her favour : thus, by 
degrees, and from the hope of a handsome recom- 
pense, the cottages were vacated, and contentment was 
restored. So incessant was the rain, that, for this 
night, it was fortunate we were not sleeping under 
tents instead of mud roofs. 

Taberjeh is a fishing hamlet by the sea-side, close 
to a small creek, in which were anchored two or three 

On the 23d we loaded our mules, and continued our 
journey over a rocky soil, and along a most difficult road. 
In tliree quarters of an hour we came to Nahr Maha- 
meltayn, over which was a bridge, the work of the 
ancients. The river was scarcely knee-deep, and, like 
many others which obtain that name in sultry coun- 
tries, was, properly speaking, no more than a water- 
course. After Mahameltayn, the soil became sandy. 
Here began the district of Keserwan (falsely spelt by 
many authors Castervan), the most populous, it is 
said, of all Lebanon. The villages certainly stood 
very thick, with hamlets and cottages at small inter- 


vals between them. The monasteries^ also, with their 
b elfries, denoted the liberty which the Christians here 
enjoyed, a bell being in Turkey a distinctive emblem 
of their religion, which (as prohibited by the Maho- 
metans) they take more pride in erecting than they 
would an hospital. 

Grunyh (pronounced Jewny), an hour and a half 
from Taberjey, is a hamlet by the sea-side, with a small 
pavilion or pleasure-house to which the emir some- 
times resorted. Half an hour farther is a small rocky 
cape. Passing this, the strand is again sandy, during 
one hour, as far as Nahr el Kelb, the ancient Lycus, a 
river somewhat larger than Nahr Ibrahim, and with a 
bridge over it the precise counterpart of the other, but 
of a later date. Here commenced the district of Met- 
ten. Ascending a rocky cape, which is close to the 
river on the south side, several inscriptions were seen 
on the faces of the rock, which had been smoothed for 
the purpose ; but, as it was nearly dark when we 
passed, I had no time to read or try to read them, and 
they are very fully described in other books of travel. 
They are said to relate to the road,^ which bears marks 
of having been anciently cut, with great labour, in the 
solid rock ; for in the middle are still seen steps, eight 
or ten feet broad, each step jagged, to prevent beasts 
of burden from slipping. There seemed also to have 
been a causeway on each side, and a parapet on the 
side next the sea. 
^ Via Antoniana. This road was made by Aurelius. (Pococke.) 


After crossing the promontory we again found our- 
selves on the sandy strand j and, at the distance of 
one hour and a half from the river Kelb, diverging 
from the seaside somewhat into the mountain, we 
stopped at a village called Kunet Elias, in a small 
Maronite monastery. The shafts of two granite 
pillars lay at the entrance ; but I am not aware what 
ancient edifice occupied this spot. 

On the 24th, we quitted Kunet Elias, and, in one 
hour and three quarters, crossed the bridge of Beyrout,' 
distant from the city more than a league. The river, 
which runs beneath it, is the ancient Magoras.^ 
Numerous mulberry plantations in every direction 
denoted the principal product of the district. To cross 
the bridge we had been led considerably to the W. 
of our direct road ; and, when over it, we inclined to 
the S.E., and, leaving Beyrout on our right, in three 
hours, reached Shuifad, a large burgh on the first rise 
of Mount Lebanon. 

Lady Hester^s purpose in going thither was to 

^ Beyrout was taken from the Saracens, by Baldwin, in 
1111, and lost in 1187. It was anciently a famous school of 
civil law. 

^ Some say the Adonis (Brown) ; some the Tamyras (Poc.) ; 
but Brown seems to have been exceedingly inaccurate in 
assigning names to places and things along the coast of Syria ; 
and Pococke places the Tamyras, which we shall presently 
pass, and which is the modern Damur, some miles too far 
North. The similarity of Tamyr and Damur might have 
saved Pococke from this blunder. 


visit the Syt Habus,^ a celebrated Dr{ize lady, sprung 
from a noble family, who had in her own hands the 
administration of several villages, which she farmed 
from the Shaykh Beshyr ; — a singular thing in this 
country, where the women seldom take upon them- 
selves or have any other duties but such as are 
domestic. Shuifad, where she resided, was a 
populous burgh, consisting of three large parishes, 
separated from each other by deep water ravines, 
worn by the mountain torrents descending through 
the burgh. It is distant from Beyrout one league, and 
commands a fine view both of the forest of olive trees 
which covered the plains of Beyrout, and of the sea 

If the Syt Habus was an object of curiosity to Lady 
Hester, the latter was not less so to the Syt. But 
their meeting did not take place until the 26th, as her 
ladyship was much fatigued, and wished to enjoy a 
little repose. The habitation assigned to her in the 
first instance was so iudifierent that her health would 
have suffered unless a better could be provided : 
accordingly we were desired to choose one wherever 
we liked. 

It was at this place that Sir S. Smith gave the 
meeting to the Emir Beshyr (in the year in which the 
French retreated from Acre), upon occasion of some 
festivities which the emir made in his honour. With 
Sir S. landed a corps of marines, who performed the 
^ Dame Habus. 


military exercise of the musket, to the great amuse- 
ment of the spectators, some of whom spoke to me 
of that event as a very remarkable one ; for at that 
period disciplined troops had not been seen on Mount 

In the evening I paid a visit to the Emir Yunez, 
brother-in-law to Syt Habus, a talkative old man, but 
apparently well read in Arabic literature. He 
showed me some common English pocket-handker- 
chiefs, whereon battles and figures were printed, which 
he seemed highly to value. There were present the 
Emirs Hyder, Emin, and Ali, who were all dressed 
in gaudy silks. 

On the 26th of January, M. Beaudin rode down 
to Beyrout ; and, in the afternoon, returned with the 
news that a Capugi Bashi was at that town on his 
road to Sayda, who, it was reported, was going to 
arrest Lady Hester, and carry her prisoner to Con- 

My servant, Giovanni, who had been sent with 
M. B., comingback late, I questionedhim on the reason 
of his delay, when, to excuse himself, he said, as he 
was riding through the streets, his mule was pressed 
by a Tartar, to carry the luggage of a Capugi Bashi, 
going to Sayda from Constantinople. It is usual for 
all persons travelling on the service of government to 
have a Tartar with them, who presses horses and 
mules for the service of his masters as they go along. 
The muleteer, with Giovanni, deplored the lot of his 


poor animal, and entreated him to liberate it : for 
the Tartars have no compassion, and greatly maltreat 
the animals furnished them. With tears in his eyes, 
he begged him to go to the governor"'s, where, he 
assured him, the bare mention of ray lady's name 
would be sufficient. Giovanni accordingly went, and, on 
mentioning Lady Hester's name, was immediately 
questioned by the great Turk himself (who was sitting 
with the governor), as to where the English lady 
could be found, for he had urgent business with her. 

As this story agreed with the report which M. B. 
had brought, 1 lost no time in telling Lady Hester ; 
but she knew perfectly well what his coming meant ; 
and, having long expected him, was not disturbed by 
the report. Immediately, although the evening was 
far advanced, a dragoman was sent for, to write a 
letter to the Oapugi Bashi, appointing a meeting at 
Abrah ; for letter-writing is made a craft in the 
East, and few are competent to it. Hence comes the 
name of katih^ or scribe, as an office in the suite of 
all governors and great Turks, which is generally filled 
by Christians. Such a one, indeed, is expected to 
make himself acquainted with all the forms, official 
and ceremonial, used in writing letters, petitions, &c. 

This event abridged Lady Hester's stay at Shuifad. 
She had seen Syt Habus in the morning, and found 
her to be a money -getting woman, with her keys by her 
side ; clever, perhaps, but with nothing very lady-like 

E 5 


about her. The interview took place in the presence 
of the Shaykh Beshyr, and I acted as interpreter: 
for, by this time, I understood Arabic, and could 
express myself tolerably on ordinary subjects. 

On the 27th we left Shuifad, and proceeded to- 
wards Abrah. I rode forward with a servant, to find 
a restinof-place for her ladyship, half way on the day''s 
journey. This man, one of the walking grooms, was 
named Mbarak, a native of Bisra, the son of the 
curate, of which circumstance he was exceedingly 
proud. As he knew this part of the country per- 
fectly, he pointed out to me a retired cottage, in the 
midst of a mulberry plantation, very proper for our 
purpose. It was found to be empty, and the door 
locked with one of the wooden locks used very 
generally ^ throughout Syria. But he gave me a 
proof of his cleverness, by cutting a twig of a par- 
ticular shape, by means of which he picked the lock, 
and we entered. Suspecting that this invasion of 
private property would not escape notice, I waited 
in the orchard, smoking my pipe, to see the issue of 
it ; when a man came running from a village on the 
slope of the mountain, whence he had seen us enter 
his grounds. A promise, however, of half a crown 
for the use of his cottage pacified him ; the more 
particularly as I told him we had an order from the 
emir for free quarters. I then rode on to Nebby 
' Vid. Niebuhr or Pococke. 


Yunez,* a mosque built over the tomb of Jonas, 
him of Nineveh, said by the Moslems to have been 
vomited up, and also, after his death, to have been 
buried here. At this place the arrangements for the 
night were somewhat difficult ; for the rooms, though 
good, were not sufficient to hold the whole party ; 
and there were, besides, a few pilgrims seeking 
lodging, many of whom, for the sake of devotion, 
occasionally resorted thither. The water from the 
well of the mosque was brackish and unpalatable : 
but we caused a supply to be brought from Berdja, a 
village close by, from which likewise fuel was sent 
to us. 

Lady Hester did not arrive ; and, somewhat 
alarmed, I rode back to meet her. She had been 
delayed by the river Damiir, the ancient Tamyras, 
which was to be forded ; and, not then having a 
bridge, this was no easy matter on asses. There is, 
also, great danger from giddiness to those who, in 
crossing a rapid stream, look down on it. Never- 
theless, Werdy, one of the maid servants, a native of 
Acre, was so intrepid in dangers of this sort, that she 
often put the very men to shame. I forded the river 
seven times on this occasion, in assisting Lady Hester 
and the maids. 

On the 28th, we resumed our journey. As the 

^ Supposed by Pococke to be the Porphirion of the Jeru- 
salem Itinerary, eight miles from Sidon : but Nebby Yuncz 
is from fifteen to eighteen, being six hours' ride. 


mountain rises close to the sea-shore, the road Is 
on the sands. We arrived in four hours at Mar Elias. 
I hastened to my cottage, whichi now looked on as my 
home. The peasantry came, and crowded round my 
door. Their felicitations, though unpolished, seemed 
to have too much sincerity not to please me : and if, 
as I have grown older, I have since thought that interest 
might have had some part in them, I still recollect 
with pleasure their expressions of welcome at my return. 
We were scarcely settled, when a messenger came 
to inform Lady Hester that the Za,ym' or Oapugi 
Bashi was arrived at Sayda, and wished to see her at 
the governor's ; meaning that a Moslem of such con- 
sideration as a Capugi Bashi never could demean 
himself so far as to go to a Christian's house. But 
Lady Hester sent such an answer, that the Capugi 
Bashi, who best knew his own affairs, suddenly 
ordered horses ; and our dinner was just over, when 
a great bustle was heard in the courtyard, with the 
trampling of horses' feet and the voices of the 
servants. The Capugi Bashi was soon afterwards 
announced. Not yet apprized of the precise nature 

^ Zaym means, I believe, the superior of any order : I 
should translate it by the word president. Capugi means a 
doorkeeper, and Capugi-bashi, a head doorkeeper. But these 
appellations do not convey to the mind the nature of the 
duties allotted to such persons by the government. A 
Capugi-bashi and a Zaym are great men, who are entrusted 
with the most important missions. 


of his mission, I must confess I felt some inclination 
to believe, with the people, that his arrival portended 
no good. M. Beaudin, the secretary, was of the 
same opinion ; and when, to my inquiry of Lady 
Hester whether she apprehended any mischief from 
his presence, her answer was intentionally equivocal, 
I communicated my suspicions to M. Beaudin, and 
we agreed to put our pistols in our girdles, fresh 
primed, determined that, if we saw the bowstring 
dangling from under the Oapugi's robe, at least no 
use should be made of it whilst we were there. 

To account for these seemingly unnecessary pre- 
cautions, I ought to premise that, in Turkey, a 
Oapugi Baslii never comes into the provinces, unless 
for some affair of strangling, beheading, confiscation, 
or imprisonment. These are the missions upon which 
the emissaries of a secret court are sent ; and their 
presence is always dreaded, as it is seldom known 
where the blow will fall, and as their presence rarely 
portends any good. Various were the whispers 
which went about : some thought that he was sent to 
arrest Lady Hester, others to order her out of the 
country ; some to give her money for secret service to 
the Porte. But his real object will be known in the 
succeeding chapter. 



Probability of the existence of Hidden Treasures in the 
East — Manuscript pretending to reveal such Treasures, 
brought to Lady Hester — She obtains firmans from the 
Porte authorizing her to make researches — She sends to 
Haroah for Malem Musa — Her letter to the Pasha of Acre — 
Her plans for raising money — Journey of the Author to 
Damascus — His Visit to Ahmed Bey — Ambergris — Damascus 
sabres — Horse Bazar — Horse Dealing and Horse Stealing — 
M. Beaudin's night journey to Tyre — His horse stolen — 
Detection and punishment of the thieves — Return of the 
Author to Mar Elias — His dangerous situation in a snow-storm 
— Interior of a Druze Cottage. 

I will now endeavour to explain the business upon 
which the Capugi Bashi (or Zaym, as he was more 
frequently called) had been sent by the Sublime Porte 
to Lady Hester. In the preceding year, her ladyship, 
during her illness, had upon several occasions hinted 
at the existence of hidden treasures, a clue to which 
she had by some means become possessed of; but, 
finding me incredulous on the subject, she dropped it, 


and never more spoke of it until the day after the 
Zaym's arrival j when, as I was to assist in the 
management of the business, she gave me a history of 
it, as follows : — 

A manuscript was put into her hands, said to have 
been surreptitiously copied by a monk, from the 
records of a Frank monastery in Syria, and found 
among his papers after his decease. It was written 
in Italian, and disclosed the repositories of immense 
hoards of money, buried in the cities of Ascalon, 
Awgy, and Sidon, in certain spots therein mentioned. 

Persons, whom a residence in the East has made 
acquainted with the usages of Eastern nations, con- 
sider such events as very probable and worthy of ex- 
amination : for there are causes among them which 
induce the concealment of riches, not operating in 
other countries. To make this clearer, it may not be 
amiss to enumerate the reasons : firstly, the want of 
paper currency, or the bulkiness and weight of specie j 
secondly, the non-existence of banks, wherein money 
may be deposited in safety ; thirdly, the insecurity 
of private property ; fourthly, the frequency of wars 
and tumults : lastly, the particular circumstances 
of the times in which the treasures in question are 
supposed to have been buried, combining all these be- 
forementioned difficulties. 

Firstly, It is only in Europe and America, that the 
public confidence in the government and in rich in- 
dividuals has been sufficient to give general currency 


to pieces of paper bearing the value of specie : in 
the East, no such paper money exists, unless it be in 
China. Governors of towns send their tribute to their 
pasha in bags, on mules and other beasts of burden, 
guarded by soldiers : whilst private persons generally 
pay their debts where they can in goods and by 
barter, rather than send specie, which would be too 
declaratory of their wealth. A rich man, who has 
not the means of investing his money in the purchase 
of jewels, houses, lands, &c., feels the hazard of lay- 
ing up specie in a trunk or closet, especially as the 
locks and keys in the East aflford little security, 
and as iron chests are no where seen excepting 
in the counting-houses of European merchants, esta- 
blished among them. Banks and public funds are, 
generally speaking, unknown. He is, therefore, 
reduced to concealment, either in a hole, or in some 
subterranean place constructed for the purpose : more 
especially if, leaving his house on a journey, he holds 
his wife so little worthy of trust that he dares not 
make even her acquainted with the secret of his 
treasures ; a case by no means rare in Turkey, and 
not uncommon elsewhere. 

Not a year passes that a pasha or governor does 
not lay violent hands on some rich man, whether 
Turk or Nazarene. Excuses are never wanting, 
either from the frequent peculations which persons 
employed under government habitually practise, or 
from alleged treasonable correspondence with Franks, 


or from any other motive which arbitrary injustice 
holds good enough for its purposes. To such as have 
imprudently made a display of their riches the ransom 
will be proportionally high. They have, therefore, 
no other means of avoiding similar difficulties than by 
carefully hiding what they possess, even from their 
nearest connections, among whom instances of trea- 
chery have put them on their guard. It is obvious 
to every traveller in Turkey, how much the extreme 
of indigence is affected in the dress and houses of rich 
individuals. The receiving apartment of a Christian, 
more especially when visited by a Turk, is generally 
the hall of his house, sometimes a bench at his door, 
where everything intentionally indicates poverty : 
whilst a Turk pursues the same course towards every- 
body. Relatives and intimate friends alone see the 
interior of each other"'s houses, and it is before these 
only that a person displays his smart pipes, his 
pelisses, his shawls, and his rich silks ; so that, in 
the most tranquil state of such a government, every 
possible caution is necessary to escape the invidious 
eyes of oppressive masters. 

But, when we add to all this the extreme frequency 
of popular tumults ; of plunder by troops, who own 
no control; of rebellion, and, its consequences, sieges, 
pillages, and precipitate flights ; we shall not wonder 
if a prudent man never thinks his wealth safe until it is 
under ground. Let us take Tripoli for an example. 
Within the last twenty years it had undergone five 


sieges, and every siege had terminated by sacking the 
city. The peaceable inhabitant, if he flies, cannot 
take his money with him because it is too heavy, if 
to any amount, even for a mule to carry (considering 
that Turkish coins are very bulky, as are Spanish 
dollars, the coin chiefly hoarded) ; and, if he shuts it 
up in the strongest chest, he knows that it will ine- 
vitably be rifled. He therefore, if obliged to flee, 
either throws it into the well, the cistern, or the 
water-closet ; or, if he has had prudence and foresight 
enough to be prepared for such a calamity, he deposits 
it in some hole made with a view to this particular 

From such like reasoning as this Lady Hester had 
no doubt of the possibility of the existence of hidden 
treasures. She next examined the manuscript ; and, 
on observing that it had no signs of antiquity about 
it, she was told this was a copy of the original paper, 
which, through fear of losing it, had never been taken 
out of the house. Keeping the copy, therefore, Lady 
Hester insisted on seeing the original, and pretended 
to treat the matter lightly unless she should be con- 
vinced by the sight of a more authentic document 
than that before her. 

The inhabitants are strongly possessed with the idea 
that the Franks who come among them have no other 
object than to seek treasures concealed in ancient ruins. 
They look with indiflerence themselves on the works 
of the ancients as specimens of architecture, and do 


not understand how others can be so eager in re- 
searches after what they despise. The admeasure- 
ment of an edifice, the copying of an ancient inscrip- 
tion, is, in their eyes, nothing better than taking the 
marks of a golden hoard. Nor can this opinion 
have originated in anything else but the certainty, 
from their own experience, that treasures are often 
discovered.' Can it be wondered at, therefore, that 
they should often have asked me these questions l — 
" If my lady is not come to seek for treasures, what is 
she come for ? Is she banished ? No : Is she on mer- 
cantile aifairs ? No : Well, but if she is come, as 
you say, for her health, surely in Syria there are 
more pleasurable spots to be found than the barren 
sides of Mount Lebanon." 

With this opinion, therefore, so strongly impressed 
upon their minds, she considered that the document 
might be no more than a forgery fabricated on pur- 
pose by some of the emissaries of the Porte, to make 
a trial of her eagerness about it, and thereby assure 
themselves whether she were travelling for such an 
object, or (which is another very flattering opinion 
they sometimes have of travellers) as a spy. To 

^ Thus, whilst we were at Acre, there were Roman coins of 
the middle empire on sale at the goldsmiths' by threes and 
twos : and as one three disappeared another supplied its place. 
It was plain that a jar of coins had lately been discovered, and 
it was said that Shaykh Messaud of Hartha was the fortunate 


accept the paper, then, was a less dangerous course than 
to refuse it : for it is better to be considered as a 
treasure-hunter than as a secret agent of a govern- 

The original copy was produced, and considered by 
Lady Hester as genuine. The donor had, most pro- 
bably, looked to the certainty of an immediate present 
for his disclosure, as he had often experienced Lady 
Hester's liberality : but there were many reasons for 
not immediately rewarding him ; and, knowing the 
impracticability of a similar attempt without exposing 
herself to some risk and to more expense than she 
could afford, she determined on making an application 
to the Porte, offering them all the pecuniary benefit that 
might accrue, and reserving for herself the honour 
only. She accordingly submitted a succinct statement 
to His Excellency Mr. (afterwards Sir Kobert) Listen, 
to be presented by him to the Eeis Effendi. Whether 
any correspondence took place on the subject, or 
whether the business was prima facie considered so 
well worth a trial as to demand no farther inquiries 
into it, I do not know : because, as was said before, 
the whole affair was matured for execution before I 
became acquainted with it. 

It may not be improper to add that much reliance 
must have been placed on Lady Hester's judgment, 
since the manuscript wanted the very essential con- 
firmation of a date. Therefore, as no clue could be 
obtained, after the priest's death, to the records from 


which it was copied, it was not clear at what period 
the treasures were hidden. That they were so, when 
the mosque, mentioned in the manuscript, was still 
standing, we gathered from the allusions made to pil- 
lars, walls, &c. We might go farther back, and con- 
clude the deposit to have been made before the edifice 
was appropriated to the Mahometan worship — because 
Christians are not allowed to enter a mosque, much 
less to remain long enough to dig a hole, or take the 
precautions necessary for such a concealment. This 
therefore carries us back to a period of seven or eight 

How is it possible that a treasure could so long lie 
untouched, when the secret of its existence was known ? 
The answer is, that digging and rummaging in ruins 
always excites dangerous suspicions in the Turks. 
Every traveller in the Levant has heard how certainly 
the discovery of a jar of money leads to the ruin of 
the finder, if known. In vain he immediately carries 
it to the governor : his greedy masters suppose that 
he has concealed a part for his own use ; and the bas- 
tinado, nay, often torture, compels him to yield up the 
supposed remainder by sacrificing all he has in the 
world. His property is confiscated, and poverty and 
blows are his reward. So much do examples of this 
kind terrify, that some, who have fallen accidentally 
on jars of coins, have been known to cover the spot 
carefully up, and never to speak of it but on their 


death-bed; a disclosure more likely to do mischief 
than good to their heirs. 

On the 2Sth of January, 1815, Derwish Mustafa 
Aga, the Zaym, arrived, as we have already seen, 
after a journey of many weeks, from Constantinople, 
deputed to invest Lady Hester with greater authority 
over the Turks than was, probably, ever granted even 
to any European ambassador ; certainly, than to any 
unofficial Christian. 

Derwish Aga was a short man, about 50 years old. 
As soon as he had supped, Lady Hester requested his 
presence in the saloon, to which he moved most slowly, 
moaning and whining on entering the door as though 
he had been ill. Giorgio acted as the interpreter : 
and the aga and her ladyship remained in private con- 
versation until past midnight. He was the bearer of 
three firmans or imperial orders, empowering her to 
demand what assistance she might want for the prose- 
cution of her purpose : one was addressed to the 
Pasha of Acre ; another to the Pasha of Damascus ; 
and a third to all governors in Syria generally. Der- 
wish Aga was to })ut himself entirely under the di- 
rection of Lady Hester, and was to do nothing without 
consulting her. 

On the 29th and 80th he had long conversations 
with her ladyship, and tried eyerj device to wind 
about her, in order to judge what were her motives 
for offering to the Porte treasures which others would 


have appropriated to their own use : but he invariably 
found them to be such as she had professed. He next 
wanted to make the first excavation at the spot said to 
be near Say da, but her ladyship insisted on Ascalon, and 
it was finally so arranged. Considering that an affair of 
this magnitude ought not to be trusted entirely to the 
Capugi Bashi, (and those enlisted into this service by 
him) she bethought herself of Malem Musa of Hamah, 
father of Selim, in whom she had perceived a vast 
capacity for business, and on whom she felt she could 
rely better than on any other native of her acquaint- 
ance. Accordingly a letter was sent off by express 
to Hamah nearly in these words : " You know I am 
a straitforward person. An affair has happened which 
demands your presence at Acre. Be not alarmed ; 
there is nothing serious in it : but let nothing prevent 
your coming, short of illness. In such a case, send 
Selim, and with him some one who reads and speaks 
Turkish fluently. But it would be better that you 
came together ; you to give counsels, and he to exe- 
cute them." 

Lady Hester, just returned from a long and fatiguing 
journey, felt almost unequal to undertake another : 
but the Zaym of course urged the necessity of her 
presence, and she probably did not wish him to act 
without her ; so it was arranged that he should pre- 
cede her to Acre, to make the necessary preparations. 
He accordingly departed, accompanied by Giorgio, 
who was promoted to be dragoman, and was furnished 


with the following letter to the pasha : — " I send your 
Highness my dragoman, who will acquaint you with 
his business, according to the tenor of a paper which 
I have put in his hands. In a few days I shall be 
with you myself to explain the whole." The paper 
was to this effect ; — " A person had put into my hands 
certain indications of a treasure. His object was to 
get money from me : but, as the benefit was not to be 
mine, (since I never seek to appropriate to myself the 
property of others,) it was not for me to reward him. 
It would have been natural for me to have immedi- 
ately acquainted your Highness with it : but I con- 
sidered that there might arise a double mischief from 
this : first, that, if the treasure did not exist, the 
ridicule would fall on you ; and secondly, that, if it 
did exist, and you had presented it to the Porte, you 
might have been suspected of having appropriated a 
portion to yourself, and would have been avanized.' 
I therefore addressed myself directly to the Sultan, 
assigning to him the same reasons for having kept 
you in ignorance that I now give you, and having 
spoken of you in such terms as, had you been present, 
you would have approved of." 

On Wednesday, February 1st, Derwish Aga and 
Giorgio departed, and it was fixed for us to follow in 
ten days. 

Lady Hester had considered how she should be 
able to support the expense which this afiair would 
^ " Avanized " is the Levant word for " mulcted." 


bring upon lier. Her limited income scarcely sufficed 
for her ordinary expenditure, and she had exceeded it 
greatly in her late tour to Bcilbec. She therefore 
came to the resolution of asking (or, as she expressed 
it, of obliging) the English government to pay her ; 
.considering that the reputation which she was giving 
to the English name was a sufficient warrant for ex- 
pecting this remuneration. " I shall beg of you, 
doctor" (she said) " to keep a regular account of every 
article, and will then send in my bill to government 
by Mr. Liston ; when, if they refuse to pay me, I 
shall put it in the newspapers and expose them. 
And this I shall let them know very plainly, as I 
consider it my right, and not a favour: for, if 
Sir A. Paget put down the cost of his servants' liveries 
after his embassy to Vienna, and made Mr. Pitt pay 
him <i£'70,000 for four years, I cannot see why I should 
not do the same." 

As both Lady Hester and myself were in want 
of many articles necessary on a long journey, she re- 
quested me to go to Damascus for them, as well as to 
pick up some horses for our riding. Two days before 
Derwish Aga departed for Acre, I left Abra, taking 
with me Mbarak, the lock-picking servant, and a mule- 
teer. Our road lay to Bisra, already described, and 
from Bisra, ascending the mountain upon which I lost 
myself in October, 1814, we came to the cascade. Here 
we struck off to the north-east, and ascended another 
mountain, at the back of a village called Ayu Matur, 

VOL. 111. F 


from the top of which there is a view of the plain of 
Bisra, of the ^len through which the river Ewely 
winds, and of the mountains in which these romantic 
scenes are embosomed. We then turned to the 
east, continuing over a rocky but somewhat level 
ridge, and reached, about sunset, a village where 
Mbarak, the servant, had some respectable relations. 
I was taken to their house ; a warm room was im- 
mediately provided, and in due time a hot supper 
made me forget the fatigues of the day. 

This village was the highest to be seen hereabouts, 
before reaching the summit of the mountain. It had 
some good substantial stone dwellings, and the in- 
habitants, I was told, were all above want, or, in 
other words, in comfortable circumstances. The 
plague was raging at another village half a mile off, 
even at this unusual season of the year. I retired 
to rest, whilst, in the adjoining room, Mbarak''s re- 
lations sat the greater part of the night listening to 
the recital of his adventures in the journey to Balbec, 
to which he did not fail to add as many marvels as he 
could conveniently invent. 

The next morning, having thanked my hospitable 
hosts, I proceeded on my journey. Half an hour 
brought us to the foot of the last and highest chain of 
mountains, where the snow now lay very thick. 
When almost at the top, we met two women on foot, 
one of whom had neither shoes nor stockings. I 
stopped her, and, having a pair of yellow shoes loose 


in a bag, I gave them to her, and received her thanks. 
We soon afterwards arrived at the summit, and, 
descending rapidly into the Bka, incHned to the left, 
until we fell into the same track which we had followed 
in 1812. The passage over the mountain by which I 
had now come lies two or three leagues to the south 
of that of Baruk. Passing .Tub Genyn, we did not 
halt until we reached Aita ; and on the third day, we 
arrived at Damascus. 

We had scarcely reached the precincts of the 
orchard grounds, when we were stopped by an officer 
of the excise, who, with a follower or two, was lurking 
about the road for the purpose of preventing smug- 
gling. He was attracted by the sight of my camp- 
bed, which, in the manner it was rolled up in its case, 
looked like a bale of raw silk. Nothing short of open- 
ing the case would satisfy him that it was not silk, 
and, after giving me much trouble, he grumbled at 
his disappointment, and allowed us to proceed. I 
rode straight to the house of M. Chaboceau, the 
French doctor, of whom I have spoken in a former 
part of my journal, where I had reason to suppose I 
should be hospitably welcomed — nor was I mistaken. 

One of my first visits was to Ahmed Bey. His 
son, Sulyman, of whom mention is made so largely at 
my first visit to Damascus, was no more. Some 
months before, in looking too eagerly over the edge 
of the housetop, he fell forward, and, unable to save 
himself, was dashed to pieces. Yet he had survived 

F 2 


the plague in 1813; although Ahmed Bey at that 
tune lost tweuty-one persons of his family, among 
whom was his amiable wife. But how was I gratified, 
yet afflicted, by the visit of the lovely Fatima ! whose 
exceeding beauty and amiable character, known to me 
during the protracted illness of her mother, whom 
I attended when at Damascus before, had almost 
made me forswear the faith I was born in, and 
become, for her sake, a convert to Islamism. In- 
formed of my arrival, she hastened, with the aged 
Hadjy Murt Mohammed Aga, to see me. I was 
shocked to find her blooming youth poisoned with a 
sickly yellow hue, and her large and once brilliant 
eyes now deprived of their lustre. She had had the 
plague, and was yet, though so many months had 
elapsed, labouring under its terrible effects. 

I took Shukhr Aga, one of the bey's people, with 
rae, and went from bazar to bazar making purchases. 
I was shown the largest piece of ambergris I ever saw. 
It was of the size and nearly in the shape of a human 
skull, which it resembled also in being hollow, this 
form being given by the calabashes in which it is col- 
lected. It is much used by the wealthy and luxurious 
to perfume coffee, which is done by fixing a piece the 
size of a pea at the bottom of the coffee-cup. Each 
time the boiling coffee is poured upon it, it imparts an 
agreeable flavour to the beverage. Ambergris enters 
frequently into the composition of aphrodisiacal 
stimulants, much used by Mahometans. 


I purcliased a Damascus sabre for 172 piasters. 
It was of that kind called in Arabic tahane, wliich 
means tempered. It will not be amiss here to advert 
to the sabres known in Europe by the general name 
of Damascus blades, but which are more accurately 
distinguished in Turkey, either from their temper, 
their metal, their form, or their age. Their temper 
is known by the clearness of the waves which cover 
the surface and indeed penetrate the metal ; and the 
more dense these are, the better is the metal : to 
such is applied the term of tabane. If the blades 
are very black, then the Turks name them kara 
Khorasan (black steel of Khorasan) : if they are of a 
lighter hue, tabane Hindy or Indian-tempered, in 
which case the waves are farther apart, and their 
outline is sometimes broken. 

In looking along the blade, the back more especi- 
ally, a flaw or crack may sometimes be discovered. 
This is caused by hammering out the blade from two 
eggs, or balls, of metal instead of one, or from thicken- 
ing, or from piecing, the blade where defective. Gilt 
letters engraved on them are often placed to conceal 
some such defect, and, in Turkey generally, detract 
somewhat from their value, unless the legend happens 
to mark great antiquity or the name of a celebrated 

The form most admired, and which peculiarly be- 
longs to those blades called Damascene, is the nar- 
row blade, curved with an equal bend. The broad one 


is called the Stambul or Constantinople blade, and is 
double-edged from the point up to one-third of its 
length. There is a blade of a more silvery gray and 
of a broader wave than the Indian tabane, which is 
called ueryz, as I conjecture from the name of some 
place where a celebrated manufactory was. All the 
above mentioned blades are, in a certain degree, 
ancient ; for the modern Damascus blades, of which I 
possess one, are inferior in every respect, and are 
known by looking somewhat like blades made wavy 
with aquafortis. 

1 was desirous of buying a shawl for a turban ; and, 
from the inquiries I was led to make on that occasion, 
compared with what I have observed since my return 
to England, T have no doubt cashmere shawls are 
cheaper here than in Turkey, as are, at this moment, 
Damascus sabres, since the peace has thrown a great 
many of both into our market. 

The horse bazar was held every morning about 
half an hour after sunrise, in an open space in the 
middle of the town. I resorted thither, and looked 
about for such horses as I was in search of. I found 
that horse-dealing was a system of cheating as ex- 
tensive in Damascus as in London ; but the public re- 
gulations to prevent the ignorant from becoming the 
dupes of knaves were good, and, as I was told, 
generally speaking, rigidly enforced. I saw, among 
many ordinary horses which were sold, a Bedouin 
filly of two years fetch 500 piasters, or ^£'25. 


She was iron-gray, which is rather the prevailing 
colour of Arab horses ; and, although not of the 
finest breed, still it was evident that she was eagerly 
caught up. On coming into the bazar, you are sur- 
rounded by several delals (brokers.) These men 
endeavour to find out what your wants are, and busily 
set about satisfying them. Horses are ridden at a 
walk, trot, and gallop, backward and forward between 
the double rows of spectators, whilst the delals, 
mounted on their backs, cry aloud what has been 
bidden, and thus sell them by auction. 

Shukhr Aga, always with me, sought out the delal 
generally employed by Ahmed Bey, and told him 
what I was in search of. Forthwith he brought before 
me several steady mares, among which I selected one, 
stout, bony, and in good condition ; and, having seen 
her tried, after much altercation with the owner, the 
bargain was struck, and the mare paid for. The delal 
was paid at the regular market agency about one 
and a half per cent ; and there was besides a fee to 
the bazar. Horses thus bought are subject to three 
days'" trial, within which time they may be returned, 
and the money reclaimed. But the best illustration 
of horse-dealing in Damascus will be in relating the 
adventures of M. Beaudin"'s horse, stolen from him, 
and sold in that very market. 

M. Beaudin had left Mar Elias for St. Jean d'Acre 
on business for Lady Hester. He rode a brown 
bay mare, and carried under him his saddle-bags. 


His heavy luggage was on an ass conducted 'by a 
driver. Night overtook him near old Tyre, at E^as- 
el-ayn, a village in which are the celebrated waters, 
called by Pococke and other travellers Solomon's 
springs. They turn several water-mills ; and one of 
these he entered, with a determination to sleep out the 
night, and pursue his journey when day broke. He 
tied up his mare, hung the corn-bag to her nose ; and, 
putting the saddle-bags under his head as a pillow, 
covered himself with his abah, and attempted to 
sleep. The miller was attending to his business at 
the hopper. M. Beaudin had scarcely made himself 
comfortable when he heard the footsteps of persons 
entering the mill ; and, lifting the abah off his face, 
he saw two ill- looking men, who had come in, as they 
said, to escape the rain which was falling very fast. 
M. Beaudin thought their appearance suspicious ; 
but he argued with himself thus : " JNIy saddle-bags 
are under my head, my mare's bridle is almost in my 
hand ; they cannot do me much mischief, and let the 
miller look to himself;" so he covered up his face, 
and went to sleep ; the ass-driver probably had better 
secured his own animal, and went to sleep also. 

An hour or two afterwards M. Beaudin awoke, 
and, looking from under his cloak, saw, to his 
utter astonishment, that his mare was gone. He 
sprang up, and accused the miller, who was still at 
work, of connivance in the theft. The poor man 
seemed as much astonished as M. Beaudin at the 


audacity of the thieves, and ran out immediately 
iu pursuit of them ; but they were already far away : 
and, although Beaudin strongly suspected the miller of 
being a party in the crime, it was afterwards proved 
that he was altogether innocent. 

The night was dark and stormy : M. Beaudin re- 
solved, nevertheless, to gain the town of Tyre, and 
hire a horse to pursue his journey. Accordingly, 
desiring the muleteer, as soon as it should be day- 
light, to go forward on the Acre road, he set off on foot 
by himself for Tyre, distant about three miles from 
Ras-el-ayn. He knew that the way by the sea- 
shore was the surest in the dark ; but he had not 
proceeded far, when he found himself embarrassed 
among several rivulets ; and, inclining inland to 
avoid walking through them, he lost his way. He 
had a brace of pistols at his girdle, heavy Turkish 
trousers, and an abali or cloak. The weight of liis 
clothing was increased by the rain, which continued 
to fall, while its pattering drowned the roaring of 
the surf, and prevented him from regaining the sea- 
shore. He wandered about for some time, until at 
last he came to a sugar-loaf hill, well known to sucli 
persons as have passed near Tyre, which stands iu 
the middle of the plain, and has on it a mosque 
crowned with a double dome, called, from the simi- 
larity of the two. El Ashuk w'el Mashuk (the lover 
and the beloved). This mound formerly Avas tlie 
site of some ancient edifice, as there are portions of an 



aqueduct still remaining which led from old Tyre 
to it, whilst vast stones which lie scattered about its 
foot bear evidence of masonry of no modern date. 

From El Ashuk a road leads to Tyre. M. Beaudin 
followed it, and arrived at the gates of the town before 
they were opened. He seated himself on the outside, 
and waited patiently until daylight, when he obtained 
admittance. He then proceeded to the motsellem or 
governor, and informed him of what had happened. 
The motsellem despatched people in search of the horse 
and robbers, while M. Beaudin hired a mule and con- 
tinued his journey to Acre. On arriving there, 
Malem Haym, the pasha's minister, was mformed of 
his loss. M. Beaudin (after he had executed his 
commission at Acre), was about to depart for Mar 
Elias when he was furnished with a buyurdy or 
government order to the motsellem of Tyre, enjoining 
that officer to give him his own horse until the stolen 
one should be found. The particular horse so assigned 
was twice as valuable as M. Beaudin''s, who, there- 
fore, politely told the motsellem that he did not i-equire 
the pasha''s order to be executed to the letter, and 
accordingly received a common horse for present use, 
until his own could be recovered. Whilst delayed at 
Tyre in these arrangements, he received a small scrap 
of paper from Lady Hester, whom he had informed 
by a letter from Acre of his loss. Upon this scrap of 
paper was written, "/S'e vous atez perdu voire jument 
trouvez la^ The motsellem promised, and was 


bound, to make every exertion to bring the robbery 
to light. M. Beaudin then proceeded to Mar Elias, 
and had a severe reprimand from her ladyship for his 
negligence ! 

Some months elapsed, and M. Beaudin still rode the 
motsellem's horse, when it happened that he was de- 
spatched by Lady Hester on business to Damascus ; 
and, on his way back, was stopped by the snow, which 
had blocked up the roads. He formed part of a 
caravan ; and, as he was sitting in the caravansery, 
during the evening, conversing with a horseman who 
was one of the number, to pass the time he related the 
story of the loss of his mare. A muleteer, who was 
listening, asked him to describe her, and then said he 
thought he knew where she was. 

It appeared that the robbers had immediately taken 
her from Tyre to Damascus, where, in the public 
bazar, they sold her to a Persian for 600 piasters 
(about £30). The laws of the bazar are, that every 
horse sold there must be warranted as known not to 
have been stolen ; and responsibility, to its full value, 
falls on the company of deldls. So the stealers, unable 
to produce a security, had her returned on their hands. 
In selecting a Persian, who might be setting off imme- 
diately for his own country, they thought to have 
evaded this requisition : but the dealers, who have 
their eyes on everybody and everything that passes, 
felt that they might be called upon for the money, and 
so prevented the sale. The stealers tried a second 


and a third time, but without success. At last an 
aga or gentleman, who had seen the mare more than 
once in the bazar, and who suspected something wrong 
in the business, pretended to bid for her, and inquired 
where she was brought from. The stealers mentioned 
a village in the Metoualy country : but, as some 
persons were known to the aga in that very village, 
he put some questions respecting them ; and, when 
he found that the stealers could not give correct 
answers, he seized the mare's bridle, and said — " My 
friends, I take this mare home to my stable. When 
you can prove to me that you came by her fairly, I 
will then restore her." Guilt, we may suppose, made 
the men fearful : for, after some words, the aga led 
the mare away without any resistance. 

M. Beaudin was informed by the muleteer of the 
residence of the aga ; but, on account of the inclemency 
of the weather, deferred going thither at that moment. 
He returned to Mar Elias ; and, in a few days, went 
after the mare. The aga, on hearing his story, de- 
livered her to him ; and information was laid against 
the pretended owners. They were apprehended, 
convicted of being the stealers, and one of them 
was hanged, without any law expenses whatever. 
The peculiar variations, from beginning to end, in the 
suspicions, discovery, and punishment of the theft, 
compared with a similar event in England, are too 
obvious to make it necessary to point them out to the 


To return to my narrative, I was much surprised to 
find Malem Musa at Damascus ; and, knowing that 
an express messenger had, as I have before men- 
tioned, been sent off to him to Hamah, I told him of 
it, and repeated from memory the letter, the contents 
of which I knew, as having been privy to the writing 
of it. The conduct of Musa on this occasion will 
show how wary Levantines are in incurring the sus- 
picion of being in secret correspondence with Euro- 
peans. Although the business concerned nobody but 
himself, and was known to nobody else, he immediately 
communicated it to the Jew serafs, Ma,lem Yusef and 
Eafael, pretending that he was all astonishment at 
what Lady Hester could mean by wanting him. I, 
however, judged it proper to send off a letter to her 
ladyship, informing her that he was here, and 
begging a corroboration, under her hand, of the com- 
munication I had made him. The muleteer was, on 
the 10th of February, despatched with this letter, and 
with another from Malem Musa. Dmnng his absence, 
which v/as six or seven days, I completed the pur- 
chases I had to make. When Sulynian (that was the 
muleteer's name) returned, Malem Musa received 
permission from the pasha to go to Acre, where he 
was to meet Lady Hester ; and, having finished my 
business, I set off for Mar Elias. 

Much snow had fallen in the interim. There were 
two mule loads of baggage, and I was mounted on 
my newly-purchased mare. The highest part of the 


Antilebauon is very elevated ground ; and we suflfered 
greatly from the wet and cold, when, on the first 
night, we arrived at Halwell, where I slept almost 
under my horse's legs, in a place no better than a 
shed. The second night we reached Jub Genyn, 
where we were informed that the pass of Mount 
Lebanon was impracticable, owing to the snow. 
However, as my return, I knew, was waited for im- 
patiently by Lady Hester, I resolved to attempt it on 
the following day. 

From Jhh Genyn we arrived at the foot of the 
mountain early in the day, when we began to ascend ; 
and at noon we had reached the part where the snow 
lay. There was no fresh track, by which we plainly 
understood that none but ourselves had made the 
trial that day. We had nearly reached the summit, 
when, as we were advancing, a storm of snow, or 
what is called on the Alps a totirmente, came on, and 
in a moment the view around us was bounded to 
fifteen or twenty paces. Sulyman was a daring and 
resolute Driize, and promised yet to carry me through 
it. We had advanced about a hundred yards, when 
one of the mules slipped into a hole, which the 
snow had covered, fell, and could not, from the weight 
of his load, rise again. We unloaded him ; and, 
when extricated, replaced his burden on his back. 
We had not advanced much farther when my mare 
sunk in up to her belly ; and, in plunging about, 
caught the end of my cloak in her fore-foot, and pulled 


me off. The inule, that had fallen before, at the same 
time swerved from the path, and rolled over. Being 
unable to rise, the girths were cut to relieve her. 

It has been mentioned more than once, that stock- 
ings and gloves are not worn in Syria. Mbarak, from 
the exertion he had used in assisting the muleteer, 
became afterwards very cold, and now complained that 
his feet and hands felt almost frozen. We made many 
ineffectual attempts to reload the mule, but the snow 
and wind were so rigorously sharp, that we began 
to think, if we delayed any longer, we should be lost 
altogether. I therefore resolved on abandoning the 
luggage, which was accordingly put together in a heap 
on the snow ; and on the heap was a species of otter, 
alive in a box, which I had brought from Damascus 
as a curiosity. As we had evidently lost the track, we 
took the direction which we thouo'ht would bring us 
to it ; when, after wandering about for half an hour, 
every moment tumbling into holes and over stumps of 
trees, we found ourselves, to our dismay, close to the 
luggage again. Sulyman's courage now became de- 
speration, and, drawing his yatagan, he was going to 
stab his mules, saying it was better to kill them out- 
right than leave them to be frozen to death. This 
design I prevented, insisting that we must now try to 
retrace our steps to the plain of the Bka as the only 
chance we had of saving our lives. Mbarak, by this 
time, had begun to complain most bitterly, and could 
scarcely be persuaded to advance. We were unable 


any longer to discern the footsteps we had ourselves 
made in coming ; for the snow had already effaced 
them. Fortunately, the bend of the trees, caused by 
the prevalence of a constant wind, suggested to Sulyman 
the direction we ought to take, and, guided by this, 
we slowly returned. Providence assisted us. We had 
gone on for about half an hour, when the toiirmente 
ceased, and a comparative serenity in the atmosphere 
enabled us to regain the path by which we had 
ascended : but Mbarak was now helpless, and we had 
much ado in keeping him from sitting down, for I 
opposed his riding, as the only chance of preventing 
the fatal effects of the cold on his extremities. 

It was dark before we reached the foot of the moun- 
tain, and some lights directed us to a few wretched 
cottages, which Sulyman knew to be the hamlet of 
Khurby,' and where, when at Jub Genyn, we had been 
informed the plague was raging 5 but, I believe, if 
worse than the plague had then faced us, we should 
have thought it preferable to what we had just left : 
so we knocked at the first door we came to, and re- 
quested that some empty stable or outhouse might be 
given us, where, having made a fire, we sheltered our- 
selves. We had scarcely entered when Mbarak 
fainted away. Sulyman was much astonished Avhen I 
insisted on his being laid in the corner farthest from 

^ " "We reached the plain near a small village, inhabited only 
during the seed time." Burckhardt, v. ii. p. 207. This village 
was that where we now sought shelter. 


the fire, where we rubbed his limbs and his feet, until 
he came to himself, when, from pain and fear, he kept 
up a grievous moaning. Sulyman next procured some 
barley for the animals, and I endeavoured to find a 
dry spot to lie down on, but it was impossible. The 
villagers at first refused to give us anything to eat : 
but there is a law which subjects any place v/hcrein a 
person dies from want to a considerable fine ; and the 
apprehension of Mbarak's perishing during the night, 
which, as he lay, seemed likely, frightened them, and 
they brought us some bread and porridge. 

What a miserable night did I pass ! Morning at 
length came ; and then the person calling himself the 
bailiff of the hamlet offered, for a reasonable reward, 
four men to assist us in recovering the baggage. These 
people are well acquainted with the mountain. They 
guided us up, and we were fortunate enough to find 
every thing as we had left it. The otter was alive, 
nor did he die until some time afterwards. The lug- 
gage was carried on the backs of the peasants and of 
Sulyman, until we reached the descent to the west j 
when, having reloaded, I rewarded the peasants, and 
in a short time we reached Baruk, where the snow 
disappeared. In order to make up for the loss of time 
on the preceding day, Sulyman was told to hurry on. 
We left Dayr el Kamar on the right of us, and 
arrived at sunset at Ayn-bayl, a Druze village, inha- 
bited chiefly by muleteers, among whom was one who 
had served Lady Hester in the journey to Balbec. 


To his house Sulyman led me to pass the night. The 
wife gave me the best entertainment in her power j 
and to convey some idea of the interior of a Druze 
cottage, I will relate how I passed the evening. 

A narrow carpet, kept doubled up, excepting on days 
of ceremony, was spread on one side of the clay floor, 
which, from being well rubbed with a smooth round 
boulder, shone like a mirror. The cottage was of 
stone, one story high, and flat-roofed, with a shed 
close by which served for a stable, and no other out- 
houses whatever. The cottage was divided in two, by 
a partition not reaching to the ceiling, which was of 
beams and rafters, trimmed with an adze only. Round 
the room were several sun-baked clay barrels, about 
three feet high, but of small circumference: these 
were filled with wheat-flour, figs, borgul, lentils, rice, 
&c. The muleteer's wife busied herself in preparing 
my supper at a fireplace, made of a few rude stones 
outside of the door. As she came in and out to 
fetch the difierent articles which she wanted, she 
carefully concealed her face by pinching together her 
veil, which was of long white crape, falling gracefully 
from the point of her horn, so that only one eye was 
seen. In the same room with me sat Sulyman and 
Mbarak, with six or eight Druzes, who dropped in 
one by one on the news of our arrival, and to whom 
Sulyman was earnestly relating the adventures of the 
preceding night. They invariably, as they entered, 
civilly saluted everybody, and there was much decorum 


in their manners, which is, however, not peculiar to 
the Druzes, but is universal among the different 
classes of society throughout Turkey. Whenever the 
husband spoke to his wife she answered in low femi- 
nine accents, for it would have been discreditable to 
her, had she, whilst strangers were by, laughed or 

When supper was ready, which consisted of a dish 
of boiled rice, some dibs and leben, and a few figs and 
raisins for the dessert, it was served up on a wooden 
table about two feet in diameter, and six inches from 
the ground, with boxwood spoons alone to eat with. 
After supper, my own travelling stock afforded coffee, 
with which the whole party was regaled, smoking their 
pipes, and appearing as soberly merry as pious Christians 
round a winter fire ; for nowhere will you see so much 
cheerfulness without loud laughter, and sedateness 
without gloom, as among this people. 



Journey of Lady Hester from Mar Elias to Ascalon — > 
Bussa — Acre — She prevails on Mr. Catafago to accompany 
her to Ascalon — Illness of All Pasha — Professional visits of the 
Author — Abdallah Bey, the Pasha's son — Extraordinary 
honours paid to Lady Hester — Her departure from Acre — 
Tremendous storm — M. Loustaunau ; his prophecies — His 
history — Don Tomaso Coschich arrives with despatches from 
Sir Sydney Smith to Lady Hester — Substance of them — 
Presents sent to the care of Lady Hester by Sir Sydney 
— His character in the East — Ca3sarea — Um Khaled — 
Village of Menzel — JatFa — Mohammed Aga, the governor 
ordered to accompany Lady Hester — His character — Arrival 
at Ascalon. 

The next morning we resumed our journey, and 
arrived at noon at Mar Elias. I found Lady Hester 
busily occupied in preparing for our departure for 
Acre, which, now that I was arrived, was fixed for the 
next day. In my absence she had purchased a gray 
mare from Mr. Taitbout, the French consul of Sayda. 
The next morning she departed with nearly the same 
attendants, as she had taken with her to Balbec : 


not being quite ready, I followed her the next day, 
which was the 16th of February, 1815. 

I shall pass over the names of places on the road to 
Tyre, as having already described them when coming 
this way before. The weather was still tempestuous 
and wet ; and, a very few hours after her ladyship's 
departure, there was a hail-storm, which, had glass 
been in use for windows, would have broken every 
pane. She slept at El Khudder. About noon, I 
overtook her there, and found the tents just struck 
for marching : so, without dismounting, I joined com- 

There are two roads from Sayda to Tyre, as also 
from Tyre to Acre, from which circumstance, as being 
not generally known to travellers themselves, there is 
often an apparent discrepancy in the names of places 
and their relative distance. In the winter season, it 
is customary to follow the windings of the strand of 
the seashore, where the sand always affords a firm 
footing for the animals : in the summer, a strait road, 
sometimes close to the sea, and sometimes, from the 
bends of the coast, two, or three hundred yards, or a 
quarter of a mile distant from it, is preferred : but 
it is too full of holes and too deep in mire to be 
passed in the wet season. 

We slept that night at Tyre. The rains still con- 
tinued. I departed next morning earlier than Lady 
Hester, to provide the evening station. Passing Ras- 
el-ayn, I came to the promontory called Kas el Nakura. 


Ascending this, and riding through a level beyond it 
covered with underwood, I came to the GufFer or toll- 
house, on the left hand of which, as mentioned in a 
former place, is the village of Nakura. This I 
thought a convenient distance for a halfway sta- 
tion between Tyre and Acre. Accordingly, in- 
quiring for the shaykh^s house, I produced the 
huyurdy^ by which we were to be furnished with 
lodging and entertainment on the road. The shaykh 
very civilly professed his willingness to do so, but 
said that the station was specified in the order for the 
village of Bussa, which was farther on, I thanked 
him, perceived my error, and, remounting my horse, 
descended the hill by the Burge Msherify into the 
plain of Acre. At the foot of the hill, the road to 
Bussa turned short to the left. The incessant rains, 
for some weeks past, had so soaked the ground that 
my horse could with difficulty get along. 

Bussa was about one mile from the Burge Msherify, 
and was a small village surrounded with olive grounds, 
in which it seemed to be particularly rich. The soil 
appeared lower than the seacoast ; so that, on my 
arrival at the village, the street was fairly flooded. 
I was directed to the menzel or khan, as strangers 
generally are : but I inquired for the shaykh's house, 
and was, as it always happened, followed by three or 
four people to learn my business there. 

The shaykh, in compliance with the buyurdy, 
desired me to choose what cottages I liked best : but. 


here the choice was truly puzzling. Each cottage 
had a courtyard, where dung and wet lay in the same 
manner as in the old-fashioned farmyards in Eng- 
land : each cottage likewise consisted of a single 
room, half of which contained a yoke of oxen, and 
the other half, somewhat raised, the tenant of it and 
his family. Finding that they were all alike, I 
caused three to be cleared out, and set the peasant 
women to work, to sweep and carry off the dung and 
other filth. Mrs. Fry, Werdy, and the black slave, 
soon afterwards arrived ; and, by the aid of mats, 
carpets, and other contrivances, metamorphosed the 
sheds into something like a habitation. 

But there had been a mistake, on the part of M. 
Beaudin, as to the meaning of the buyurdy ; and he 
conducted Lady Hester, who departed late from Tyre, 
to Nakura, where she was informed that I had gone 
on to Bussa. The night had already set in, when she 
arrived at Nakvira : but, she was obliged to continue, 
on account of the luggage : and, for her protection, 
the shaykh of Nakura and two armed horsemen ac- 
companied her. I waited anxiously for her, until, 
owing to the extreme darkness of the night, I 
became alarmed, and resolved to ride back in search 
of her. The road, which was no better than a slouo-h, 
presented a most formidable obstacle in the dark, and 
my horse had already floundered half a mile throuoh 
it, when the welcome sound of voices reached my 
ears. Nor was Lady Hester herself less glad to 


hear mine : for fatigue, wet, and appi-ehension, had 
agitated her more than I well remember to have seen 
on any other similar occasion. 

Bussa is inhabited by JNIahometans. The women 
had somewhat the appearance of Bedouins, in dress, 
more especially in the pointed shift sleeves reaching 
almost to the ground. We left this place next morn- 
ing for Acre. As the road had now diver oed a mile 
from the sea, we had an opportunity of observing the 
fertility of the plain. It must, however, be unwhole- 
some, since the seashore is plainly higher than the 
soil inland, which prevents the rains from running off ; 
so that there are many stagnant pools. The plain is 
semicircular, and the horns of the mountains which 
enclose it are, IMount Carmel to the south, and the 
Nakiira, over which we had just passed, to the north. 
We soon arrived at Acre. A small house had been 
provided for Lady Hester, where she lived with her 
female attendants only. M. Beaudin and myself had 
apartments in the corn khan. 

In order to avoid all foul play on the part of those 
with whom she might have to do, her ladyship en- 
gaged Signer Catafago, at whose house she lived on 
her first visit to Acre, to go with her, as being a 
cunning man, and used to the intrigues of the country. 
We remained at Acre until the i7th of March. In 
the mean time, Malem Musa arrived from Damascus, 
having with him two men servants. Lady Hester 
saw from day to day Malem Haym, the Jew ; and she 


paid a visit to the pasha, who received her with 
peculiar aflabiHty. Whenever she went out, she was 
followed by a crowd of spectators ; and the curiosity 
and admiration which she had very generally excited 
throughout Syria were now increased by her sup- 
posed influence in the affairs of government, in having 
a Oapugi Bashi at her command. 

She was returning one day from the bath, in which 
she often indulged, muffled up to keep out the cold air, 
and mounted on her favourite black ass, with a groom 
on either side to support her, when the ass took 
fright, and, turning suddenly round, threw her. The 
man on whom the fault chiefly fell was named Harb, 
a Mussulman, who had been hired expressly for this 
journey, at Sayda, as a janissary, he having been 
janissary to the French Consul. Although Lady 
Hester was not hurt, the Jew Seraf caused him to be 
bastinadoed on the feet, that he might take more care 
of his mistress in future. No Turk now paid her a 
visit without wearing his beni/sh, or mantle of cere- 
mony : and every circumstance showed the ascen- 
dency she had gained in public opinion. 

I have already described the caravansery in which 
I was living (called Khan el Kummah) on a former 
occasion. I was lodged in a room the window of 
which overlooked the harbour, which is no more than 
a small nook sheltered by a dilapidated mole. During 
this time there was a most violent storm, and I was 
witness to the stranding of a polacca, which, 

VOL. in. G 


although moored by two cables through portholes in 
the mole, rode so uneasy that she broke the cables and 
drove on shore. 

About this time, an order arrived from the Porte to 
the pashas of Syria, desiring them to enforce the 
wearing of kauks, the cloth bonnet of Oonstanti- 
nopolitan Mahometans 5 and which, more especially, 
was affected in the Levant by government officers, or by 
Turks, in contradistinction to the natives, with whom 
the turban was the favourite covering of the head. 

On our arrival, a request was made me to attend on 
Ali, pasha of Tripoli, whom we have before spoken of 
as residing with Sulyman Pasha in preference to re- 
siding on his own pashalik, and who was, at present, 
dangerously ill of a pulmonary complaint. He had 
been treated by eight doctors, all at variance with 
each other in their opinions : and, during three weeks 
previous to my arrival, the merits of bleeding had been 
discussed in consultations held before the pasha''s friends, 
whilst the patient's malady was gaining ground. The 
casting vote was given to me, and I decided for it. One 
of the anti-phlebotomists, however, who performed the 
operation, made the orifice too small to give issue to the 
required quantity of blood : this was a medium anceps^ 
which appeased both parties ; the arm was bound up, and 
the trial was not repeated. I generally visited him twice 
a day ; and never surely had I seen the path of death so 
smoothed to a dying man. 

He was attended by a certain Shaykh Messaud, 


spoken of heretofore as head of an ancient family and 
governor of Beled Hartha. Seeing this gentleman 
and one Hassan Effendi always with Ali Pasha, I 
inquired the reason of their close attendance ; and I 
was answered — " They are two clever persons who are 
kept near the pasha to amuse him, to pacify him 
when his temper is ruffled, to give the tone in conver- 
sation, and to raise his spirits when depressed by me- 
lancholy forebodings." The office of toady in Turkey 
at least requires some talent, where an unlucky observa- 
tion may lead to a bastinading : but, when this talent is 
exerted in alleviating the sufferings of a sick bed, a 
toady ceases to be a despicable person. 

His complaint was pulmonary, and his intervals of 
ease were few. When I paid my evening visits, an atten- 
dant, in waiting in the antechamber, would lead me to 
the door of the room where he was sitting, and, draw- 
ing aside the red cloth curtain embroidered in gold, 
would in a low whisper tell me to enter. The salute to a 
great personage in the East, on entering his presence, 
is by walking up to him, and kissing the hem of 
his garment or his hand, when he makes a sign to 
him who enters to sit down. All this was dispensed 
with from me, as a foreigner ; but J saw it done by 
every one else. When seated, I was asked how I did, 
and how her Presence, or her Felicity, the dame, the 
emiry ' did, which civility I acknowledged by a ivpoa- 

^ Emiry is feminine, emir masculine. — These were the titles 
the pasha always gave her in speaking of her. I therefore con- 

G 2 


KVPTja-is. ' I might then look round the room, and, in 
dumb show, by carrying my hand to' my mouth and 
forehead, recognize those whom I knew. There were 
generally present the chief men of the place ; such as 
the mufti, the divan effendi, some ulemas, and always 
Malem Haym, the Jew seraf, the minister, that won- 
derful man who was present everywhere, and directed 
everything. The pasha was seated in an arm-chair 
(a very uncommon thing unless in illness) and on each 
side of him stood a page, one holding a pocket-hand- 
kerchief, and the other a small vase to spit in. The 
rest of the party were seated on the floor : for who 

ceived they were what she was legitimately entitled to in that 
country. Her Presence is no more an absurd title than her 
Highness, her Grace, his Excellency, his Worship, and many 
other terms and qualities which use has consecrated to rank. 

^ By Trpoa-Kvvrjo-is I understand the salutation, in use among the 
Romans, of carrying the points of the fingers to the mouth, and 
kissing them, which is the customary mode still practised through- 
out Turkey from an inferior to a superior. Our word adoration (os, 
oris) is derived from this gesture, and by no means implies prostra- 
tion or genufle-xion. Sir R. K. Porter, in his Travels in Persia, 
p. 665, I think, makes a mistake, in attributing this mode of sa- 
lutation to another cause. His words are — " In front of the 
sovereign appears a man in a short tunic and plain bonnet, 
carrying his right hand to his mouth, to prevent his breath ex- 
haling towards the august personage." Sir R. seems not to have 
been aware that the answer to every question put by a great 
man to an inferior is accompanied by this very gesture. Facci- 
olati (Tot. Lat. Lex.) defines adoratio by " precatio, mauu ad 
OS admota et flexo corpore facta." 


would dare sit on the sofas when the pasha himself 
did not ? who, so to say, would presume to sit higher 
than the pasha ! 

Awful indeed was the moment of feeling the pulse, 
when it was necessary to render an account of every 
pulsation : and how is it possible not to dissimulate 
on such occasions ? At every favourable turn which 
manifested itself, happiness and complacency seemed 
to illumine every countenance, and a bystander 
would have said, " The pasha will be well to-morrow." 
When the visit was over, I was generally taken into 
another room by Haym, to confer with Abdallah Bey, 
the pasha's son.' Here I found the young lord, 
sitting between two venerable shaykhs, who were 
expounding to him the Koran, or commenting on 
some abstruse points of faith. When with the bey, 
pipes and coffee were served to me, the latter of which 
alone was given me in the pasha's presence. The 
state of his father's health was then inquired into, 
plans for the next day were devised, and so the cure 
was conducted. 

On one occasion, when ushered into Abdallah Bey's 
room, I observed an unusual degree of gaiety in the 
conversation. Inquiring the reason of this from one 
sitting by me, I was told that the bey had, in the 
course of that day, made a very clever throw with his 
giryd or javelin, on horseback, and that nothing had 

1 Afterwards Pasha of Acre, until taken prisoner by Ibrahim 


since been talked of but his great skill as a perfect 

Soon after our arrival at Acre, the weather became 
fine for a few days, and it was resolved to remove 
Ali Pasha to a pavilion which he had built a few 
miles from the city. I rode over to see him, accom- 
panied by the kumrukgi or collector of the customs, 
Ayub Aga, who was very attentive to me during my 
stay at Acre. There was an extensive garden round 
the pavilion ; a thing of easy creation in Syria, where, 
as was the case here, copious springs and running 
streams were found. It was from this spot that the 
aqueduct, destroyed by the French in their invasion 
of Syria, conveyed water to Acre. But Ali Pasha 
received no benefit from his removal, and was soon 
conveyed back again. 

In relating the case of the pasha, I am forgetting 
Lady Hester, who was now ready to depart for As- 
calon. In compliance with the orders contained in 
the firmans of the Sublime Porte, she was honoured 
with distinctions usually paid to princes only. In 
addition to her own six tents, about twenty more were 
furnished, one of which was of vast magnitude, and 
under which Her Royal Highness the Princess of 
Wales slept, on her journey to and from Jerusalem. 
As a part of the alleged misconduct of that princess 
was said to have taken place beneath it, and as its 
particular shape excited some discussion in the House 
of Lords, a sketch of it is annexed. 





This tent was double, like the calix and corolla of a 
flower inverted, the same post supporting both ; and, 
when planted, the distance between the two at the 
bottom was about twelve feet. It was of a green 
colour on the outside, studded with yellow flowers 
and stars. In the centre of the inner tent was placed 
a sofa, behind which, and bisecting the tent, was sus- 
pended a curtain made of broad bands of satin of the 
most vivid colours. Nothing could be more showy or 
more elegant. There were twenty-two akams or tent- 
pitchers to accompany us, headed by one Mohammed, 
a person whose activity, as I afterwards heard, made 
him conspicuous in the suite of Her Royal Highness 


not less than in that of Lady Hester, There was 
a meshalgy to bear the nio-ht-torch, being the iron 
skeleton of a tub fixed on a long pole, in which 
pieces of tarpaulin are thrown from time to time to 
burn. A sakka^ with two mules at his disposal carry- 
ing vast leather skins, was to supply water. Twelve 
mules carried the luggage ; twelve camels the tents. 
The attendants were on mules : Mr. Catafago, Malem 
Musa, the two dragomans, and myself, on horseback. 
Last of all, to Lady Hester was appropriated what, 
in Arabic, is called a takhterwan, or tukht, a tilted 
palanquin, covered with crimson cloth, and having in 
front six large gilded balls, glittering in the sun. The 
palanquin was carried by two mules, which were 
changed every two hours. In front of the palanquin 
were led her ladyship's mare and her favourite ass, in 
case she preferred riding. One hundred of the Ha- 
wary cavalry * escorted us, and three' treasury mes- 
sengers preceded, as couriers to arrange stations and 
to make provision for so many persons. I had almost 

^ These Hawarys were from Barbary, and the dingy colour 
of their complexions distinguished them from soldiers of other 
parts of the empire. I know not what pay the colonel, or the 
person whose duties answered to those of our colonels, had : 
but he was reputed to increase his income in this way. A re- 
giment was composed of so many bayraks or standards, each 
consisting of four men : but, instead of four, as rated, there 
were generally only two or three on actual service; and, in 
cases of muster, temporary substitutes were found. 


forgotten the Zaym and the persons composing his 
suite, who added considerably to our numbers. 

On the 18th of March, the cavalcade left Acre, and, 
to the astonishment but admiration of every one, 
Lady Hester rode her ass ; nor did she, on any future 
day, make use of the palanquin. I remained behind 
one day to attend to the effect of certain remedies 
which I had prescribed for the pasha, who, on my 
taking leave of him, ordered his khasnadar or treasurer 
to send me a purse of money.* 

On the 19th it blew a strong equinoctial gale : but, 
as Lady Hester had said she should wait my coming at 
the first station, I resolved to depart in spite of the 
weather. It was afternoon before I had finished my 
affairs, when I set off, taking with me an Hawary 
horseman for my escort. As I rode along the sea- 
shore, the wind swept the dust in clouds, and the 
waves, contending with the swollen streams of the 
two rivers which I had to pass, formed quicksands 
in their beds, with a counter-current, which made 
the fords very dangerous : whilst the hail cut our 
horses' faces, so that with difficulty they could be 
forced on. The horseman who accompanied me 
vented his spleen in muttering complaints against 
the English, who always would travel at such ex- 

' The word ky$, or purse, means a specific sum of 500 pi- 
asters. On the 5th of April, whilst we were at Ascalon, news 
was brought of his death. 



traordinary seasons, when every sensible person re- 
mained in-doors.' 

I did not arrive until after sunset, when I found 
the encampment, in consequence of the tempest, in 
the greatest confusion, which continued to augment as 
the night advanced. 

The station was at the western gate of Hay fa, on 
the outside, being that which we had occupied on our 
previous passage. On entering the dinner-tent, I ob- 
served a stranger, in a long threadbare Spanish cloak, 
whom, by his salutation, I guessed to be a French- 
man. He seemed to be nearly sixty years of age, his 
hair grizzly and uncombed, and his whole person ap- 
parently very dirty. He held under his left arm a 
book, which he never seemed to let go or lay down. 
We took our dinners in great haste, as the storm in- 
creased so much that the lights could not be kept in, 
and it was necessary, in the sailor''s phrase, to make 
all snug, and prepare for a busy night. The stranger 
soon went away ; and I then learned that he was a 

' The obstinacy of the English, and of Europeans in general 
who visit the East, often leads them into disagreeable and dan- 
gerous situations. When endeavours are used to divert them 
from any purpose where the difficulties which are represented 
are not quite obvious, and can only be foreseen by persons used 
to the country, they fancy their advisers are playing with them, 
and thus persist in their purpose, until they find themselves 
attacked by robbers, carried away by a torrent, or embedded in 


Frenchman, who had now, for two years, lived in a 
shed in the orchards of Hayfa, where the alms of the 
inhabitants maintained him. The book he carried 
constantly under his arm was a Bible, which he read 
incessantly, and, whenever questioned by any one who 
knew his failings, he would interpret texts from it as 
applicable to the existing state of the world. But 
Buonaparte was the chief subject of his prophecies. 

No sooner had Lady Hester made her appearance 
at Acre, and the town-talk of Hayfa had informed 
him of the preparations that were making for her 
escort, than, ignorant of her real destination to As- 
calon, he fancied, like many others, that she could 
be going nowhere else than to perform the pilgrimage 
to Jerusalem. He accordingly searched out a number 
of texts wherein he pretended that her coming was 
announced, and was prepared to greet her with them 
on her passage through Hiiyfa. Her ladyship had 
admitted him just before my arrival, and had treated 
him with that kindness which the unfortunate ever 
obtained from her. His history has already been re- 
lated in a recent publication. • 

The storm continued, and the wind was so powerful 
that it blew up the tents like so many umbrellas. 
Malem Musa's, which was twelve or fourteen feet in 
diameter, was thrown down on him, and he lay buried 
under it for some minutes, roaring for assistance, until 

1 Memoirs of Lady Hester Stanhope, 1st edit., vol. ii. p. 184. 


extricated by the tentmen. Lady Hester, for better 
security, bad betaken herself to her own tent, and had 
quitted the large one. In spite of the additional pre- 
cautions which were used, by fixing stays on the wind- 
ward side of it, and by placing large stones on the 
pickets, she was twice half smothered. Anxious for 
her safety, I remained on foot the whole of that night, 
and was exposed to the fury of the contending elements. 
Early in the evening. Signer Catafago had taken refuge 
in the town at the Carmelite monastery : Derwish 
Aga, the Ziiym, had done the same ; and not a soldier 
was left. The mesalgy"'s beacon could not be kept 
alight, and the akams or tentmen were worn out by 
so often setting up the blown down tents. 

About midnight, Werdy, one of the women, came 
in haste to inform me that there was a Frank in the 
dinner tent, just arrived from Acre : I repaired to him 
immediately, and I found a young man in the act of 
putting on a British naval uniform coat. I saluted 
him in Italian, without reflecting that I was address- 
ing him in a language foreign to his dress : but I was 
right. He told me in the same breath that he was a 
Dalmatian, in the English service, who had accom- 
panied the Princess of Wales in the capacity of 
dragoman from Palermo to Constantinople, in her 
voyage of 1813, and that he was now come to conduct 
Lady Hester and all of us to England. I was rather 
surprised at his embassy ; more especially when I 
learned from whom he came : but, having given 


orders for providing him a supper, which was no easy- 
matter in such a storm, I took his despatches, and 
carried them to Lady Hester. In the midst of the 
hurricane, she immediately read them. They were 
from Sir Sydney Smith, and were most volu- 
minous, relating to matters very different from Lady 
Hester"'s return : but, as they are foreign to this 
narrative, I shall not enter into particulars. 

Sir Sydney, however, had taken this opportunity 
of sending various presents to persons whom he had 
known in Syria. These were a pair of pistols to Abu 
Ghosh, the chieftain who lived on the mountains 
of Judea, in the road to Jerusalem from Jaffa ; a 
dressing-box for the Emir Beshyr''s wife ; an English 
bible to the public library of Jerusalem (there being no 
such institution) ; and a picture of the pope for the 
Holy Sepulchre. He likewise displayed his indigna- 
tion at cruelty, but not his prudence, in telling the 
Emir Beshyr, in a letter which he wrote to him, how 
much he regretted that the sons of his brother had been 
deprived of their eyesight by his order. The picture 
of the pope which he gave was to be in the keeping of 
the Copt, Greek, Syrian, and Catholic bishops ; but, 
in so doing, he showed little knowledge of the state of 
things at Jerusalem. These different sects have 
nothing in common among them but their quarrels. 

The following memorandums of the correspondence 
contained in the despatches which passed between 
Sir Sydney Smith and Lady Hester Stanhope, by the 


hands of M» Thomaso Coschich, were written down at 
the time. They contain the substance of all the 

Sir Sydney Smith to Lady Hester Stanhope, Latakia> 

Vienna, Dec. 8, 1814. 
My dear Cousin, 

1 received yours from Latakia. In my way to England 
I spoke to Fremautle, whom I saw at Gibraltar, to send you 
a frigate ; for I am at present no longer in command. My 
nephew, Thurlow Smith, has got the Undaunted (the ship 
which carried B. to Elba), and he will contrive, if possible, to 
come to you, as I say all I can of the necessity of guarding 
our trade in that quarter. 

I send you Don Thomaso Coschich, with despatches, &c. 
I have paid his passage, and agreed with him for one dollar a 
day, having left forty dollars unpaid (as he is a man of whose 
character I am ignorant in a moral point of view), to leave him 
something to look to. I shall leave Vienna after the Con- 
gress, for Florence and Leghorn, where I hope to meet you 
in the month of April. 

1 remain, &c. 

A second communication begged to charge Lady 
Hester with delivering certain despatches to the Emir 
Beshyr. They were, to ask him to send the 1,500 
soldiers which had been promised him through Mr. 
Fiott, who vouched for the prince's having said so in 
word and in writing, and to inform him that these 
troops were to be employed in attacking the Algerine 
pirates. For the purpose of rallying them, he sent 
flags of different descriptions, with plans for encamping. 


His plan (he added) had been submitted to the 
emperors of Austria and Russia, to the kings of Prussia 
and (through Talleyrand) of France ; who all approved 
highly of it. He had also held conferences with the 
crowned heads in ball-rooms and assemblies as well as 
he could have done in their closets ; but nobody would 
advance money. 

He went on to say that, finding his debts pretty 
large, he had given up his goods and chattels to his 
creditors in England, and had brought his all to 
Vienna on eight wheels : that he was so far reduced 
as to be obliged to beg a loan from his Syrian friends ; 
and he charged Lady Hester with the commission. 

He advised Lady Hester not to go to Naples, which 
was not orthodox, owing to the presence of a certain 
person (the Princess of Wales), whose follies she 
recollected at Plymouth. He observed that his 
nephew had seen the King of Rome, who was at 
Schoenbrun, wearing a wooden sword, and that he 
was a pert lad. 

To confirm the feasibility of his scheme, he said he 
was in correspondence with the Emperor of Morocco, 
who would second these views, hemg,par/orce, just then 
no pirate. The dey of Tunis had also been consulted 
on the business ; but, as he was since dead. Sir Sydney 
recommended it to Lady Hester to visit the coast of 
Barbary, and see what sort of a man his successor 
was. The deceased dey was too liberal-minded for 
his subjects, and had been poisoned. 


There was a letter to the Emir Beshyr, which was 
in French, nearly as follows : — 

Au tres puissant et grand prince Beshyr. I have heard 
with much pleasure from certain Englishmen (Mr. Forhes, 
Mr. Gell, who were never there, and Mr. Fiott, now Dr. Lee, 
were the names mentioned), of the continuance of your health 
and prosperity. It grieves me to learn that the sons of the 
Emir Yusef labour under your displeasure, and that they have 
lost their eyesight. (N.B. It was the Emir himself who had 
blinded them). I hope you will not suffer them to want your 
protection. You are answerable to them, and more particularly 
to me, for their safety. 

The letter then went on in a style which will show 
that Sir Sydney's vanity sometimes made him fall 
into hyperbole. 

I have dismantled my ships, having no farther occasion for 
them, owing to the pacification of Europe. I have written to 
the Prince Regent of Portugal, whom I had induced to take 
refuge in America, that he may now return to his capital : 
and, after having paid a visit to the son of the king of England, 
I am come to Vienna to assist at the Congress. Mr. Fiott, an 
English gentleman, has informed me that you are ready to 
furnish me with fifteen hundred men : I have just now occa- 
sion for them, to subjugate the Barbaresque pirates, who impede 
the transmission of corn from Egypt to Christendom; so 
Captain Ismael, Mahomet All's envoy to Malta, has told me. 

I send your highness a dressing-box, containing a few 
trifles for your ladies (N.B. This dressing-box was in ebony, 
studded in steel, furnished with pins and needles, thread, 
&c.) ; also a black cloak for yourself, or for the officer you 
may choose to appoint commander of your troops. To these 


things I have joined a pair of pistols, with an Arabic inscrip- 
tion partly defaced. 

Ladj Hester disapproved of the whole plan, from 
beginning to end, and answered Sir Sydney's letters as 
follows : — She told hiin, that to send for troops from 
the Emir Beshyr was endangering that prince's life ; 
as he was employing the force of one province against 
another, both being parts of the same empire. Such 
a thing could only be done by a direct application to 
the sultan, enforcing the request by saying that, if he 
would not lend his aid to stop the piracy of his sub- 
jects, then other measures would be resorted to. 
Alluding to the flags which he had sent, and which 
were no more than so many German stuflf shawls, she 
asked him, who was the king of pocket-handkerchiefs ? 
She said, the mountaineers wouldfight very well on their 
own dunghill, when they had their mountain to retreat 
upon ; but that they would never quit their firesides. 

Lady Hester might have added likewise, that the 
Emir had too many enemies of his own to dare to 
send his troops away ; nor could he, as he wanted a 
seaport in his own territory, have embarked them 
without permission from the pasha of Acre. 

Of her own and Sir Sydney's letters she sent copies to 
Mr. Listen, English ambassador at Constantinople ; 
and to Mr. Barker, English consul at Aleppo ; 
desiring the latter to stop all letters passing through 
his hands, which he supposed to come from Sir Sydney 
to the Emir Beshyr. 


She then wrote to the Emir himself, to say, when 
her journey to Ascalon was over, she would see him 
on business of importance. 

There was great indelicacy in Sir Sydney's conduct in 
sending such a man, giving out wherever he went 
that he was to take charge of Lady Hester, and con- 
duct her back to Europe. 

The perusal of these papers and the necessary de- 
liberation upon them lasted until morning. In the 
mean time, Signor Thomaso Ooschich (for so the 
Dalmatian was called) had made but a poor supper, 
and could not conceal his discontent, when the ser- 
vants told him no wine was ever served up at 
Lady Hester's table when she was travelling with 

When daylight came, I gathered, by reports already 
in circulation among the people, that Signor Ooschich 
had arrived at Acre after my departure ; that he had 
addressed himself to Mtilem Haym with an exaggerated 
story of the importance of his mission, alleging that 
he bore despatches declaratory of war between Turkey 
and Russia, in which England would take a part, 
and that he was, therefore, come to convey Lady 
Hester to a place of safety ; with many other strange 
inventions of a hardy cast : upon which Malem Haym 
had caused the town gates to be opened after the 
usual hour, and a treasury messenger had been ordered 
to conduct him to Hayfa. The imprudence of such 
conversation induced Lady Hester to get rid of him 


forthwith. She accordingly ordered a halt at Hayfa ; 
and, stopping there three days, she wrote answers to 
Sir Sydney Smith's despatches, laying open the whole 
transaction to Derwish Mustafa Aga, in order to set 
his mind at ease on a subject which must otherwise 
have excited a multitude of suspicions. When the 
answers were prepared, Signer Coschich was ordered to 
depart ; and instructions were given him to ship him- 
self for Cyprus as speedily as possible. The courage 
of this man on the sea, nevertheless, was wonderful. 
He had crossed the Mediterranean, in the most 
perilous part of the year, in a boat no bigger than a 
nutshell ; so that, on entering Larnarka roads, in 
Cyprus, seafaring men would scarcely credit their 
eyes. He had quarrelled with his guides on the road 
from Tripoli, exposing himself more than once to be 

Upon examining the different articles which Sir 
Sydney Smith had sent as presents, farther incongrui- 
ties were discovered. The pistols were of Persian make : 
this was sending coals to Newcastle ; for, when Turks 
ask for pistols from England, it is English pistols 
they want. There was an abah made of black satin, 
with Sir Sydney's arms emblazoned on the shoulders 
on a white ground. He seems to have known as little 
of the dress of the country as he did of its politics 
or religion. A satin abah could no more be worn 
by a man in Syria, than a pair of chintz breeches 
by a man in England. 


To have done with this subject altogether, it may 
be as well to say here how it terminated. Lady 
Hester, on her return to Mar Elias, sent her secre- 
tary to the emir Beshyr, who translated to him as 
well Sir Sydney "'s letters intended for him as her 
ladyship's answers, and then gave him the presents. 
The emir, as might be supposed, did not like to be 
lectured about his nephews, whom he had barbarously 
mutilated. But this was of little note in comparison 
with the mischief which a supposed league with Eu- 
ropean nations would do him in the eyes of the Porte ; 
and, had it not been for Lady Hester''s prudence, he 
felt that his head would soon have been no longer on 
his shoulders. The presents he received ; but, con- 
trary to his usual custom of showing everything that 
he had, which was curious or foreign, to people who 
went to see him, these he never exhibited to a soul. 

Lady Hester thought that the ebony dressing-box 
would best befit the Shaykh Beshyr's wife, who was 
young and coquettish : but the shaykh, fearful of 
being mixed up in such a business, returned it imme- 
diately, and never mentioned the giver's name. 

Sir S. Smith never passed in Syria for a man of 
talent. He spent a good deal of money, and always 
carried his point by bakshyshes, or presents. Yet, 
with a squadron to back him, he failed in raising him- 
self a reputation ; and, as for a politician, he was con- 
sidered a miserable one ; for, when he interfered in 
Grezzar's war with the Emir Beshyr, and took that 


prince on board his ship, to save him from the hands 
of Grezzar, he knew not that he was lending protection 
to a man who afterwards showed himself to be one of 
the most sanguinary tyrants of modern times. Gezzar 
Pasha said, " Here is a man who comes and attempts 
to destroy in a day what I have been labouring to 
effect for fifteen years," and he was right ; for, now that 
the plan was consolidated, the expediency was manifest, 
and the emir and shaykli Beshyr were as completely 
under the thumb of the pasha as two servants ; which, 
however abject a situation in the abstract, is what, by 
the nature of their tenure from the Porte, they were re- 
quired to be. 

Some persons will blame Lady Hester for disclosing 
a private correspondence to the Zaym j but, when Sir 
Sydney had said that he had written to Constantinople 
and to the emir, she knew it must soon be blown. 
Besides, from the strange rhodomontades of Signor 
Ooschich, it was necessary to tell the truth, or to 
incur the suspicion of being an emissary and a spy. 

On the 23rd of March, in the morning, we left 
Hayfa. The weather was cloudy, and a misty rain 
now and then fell. In four hours we arrived at Aatlyt, 
but here an accident happened which damped our joy 
for the evening. Turkish cavalry are accustomed, on 
all occasions of festivity, to show their feats of horse- 
manship, one of which is to fire off their carbines at 
each other in a full gallop. Just before reaching the 
encampment at Aatlyt, a soldier, among others who 


were merrily disposed, galloped up close to his com- 
rade, when, firing his carbine, the wadding lodged in 
the shoulders of a handsome youth of fifteen, the son 
of the hill bashi, or colonel, I was immediately called to 
him, and found an ill-looking wound in the deltoid 
muscle, but it was superficial, and there was nothing 
serious to be apprehended. I bound up the woimd, 
and the young man went the following morning to his 
mother at Nazareth, where, as I afterwards heard, he 
speedily recovered. ^ 

Lady Hester was lodged in a cottage, to avoid the 
repetition of the inconveniences suffered at Hayfa. 
Whilst supper was cooking by Um Risk, a serpent, 
unperceived by her, entwined itself round her naked 
leg. I had seen other proofs of courage in this 
withered old woman, but was astonished most at this. 
She felt the serpent, and, looking down, calmly seized 
it by the neck, held it so until she had unwound the 
tail, and then killed it. 

On the 24th we departed for Tontura, where we 
arrived in two hours. We observed several Arabs 
under tents pasturing their flocks. Here we experi- 

^ I here lost a glass-stoppered bottle, which I had entrusted 
to the hands of some one standing near me ; and I observed, 
on every occasion where crystal bottles with glass stoppers 
once got into the possession of any one in Syria, they were 
never to be recovered. It was an article not attainable there 
but by gift, and possessed in the eyes of the inhabitants great 
value for holding elixirs, essences, &c. 


enced much civility from the shaykh. As our en- 
campment, next day, was to be among the ruins of 
Csesarea, camels laden with rice, bread, fuel, and other 
necessaries, were sent forward ; for Csesarea, a ruined 
place, could furnish nothing but water. From Tontura 
to Osesarea proved a distance of two hours'" march.' 
We reached it on the afternoon of the 25th. As the 
night threatened to be very tempestuous, Lady 
Hester's tent was planted under the vault of a ruin, 
our horses were stabled in caves, and every preparation 
was made to guarantee us from the inclemency of the 
weather. We experienced, in fact, a storm not less 
dreadful than that at Hayfa ; and those who had not 
ventured to brave it on the former occasion, now, having 
no town to flee to, were much worse off. Our 
squadron of horse soldiers lay exposed to the wind and 
rain, without any covering but broken Avails, and 
Signer Catafago was so terrified, that he wished him- 
self safe back at his house in Acre. Ruins are very 
uncomfortable places to encamp in, under the most 
favourable circumstances, owing to the reptiles which 
are continuall}- crawling about. ^ 

The 25th continued too rainy to allow of resuming 

^ Yet it had required three hours fifteen minutes to do it in, 
on a former occasion. 

2 In hot climates, for an encampment no soil appears to me 
so good (and I had some experience) as a sandy soil, covered 
with tufted grass or turf. 


the jouruey, or even of examining the ruins among 
which we were encamped. One of the Hawary soldiers 
took this favourable moment for being bled, having, 
as he told me, neglected to undergo his annual spring 
venesection before quitting Acre. Accordingly, he 
seated himself on a stone in the air ; and, as is 
generally pretended to be done by the barbers of the 
country when they bleed a person, begged me to let 
the blood spout until I saw it change to a good 

On the 26th, we had fine weather, and struck our 
tents. We arrived at Um Khaled. The shaykh 
called to mind our passage three years before, and 
complimented me on my beard. The peasants were 
turned out of their cottages, compelled to remove every 
article of furniture, and moreover to sweep the cottages 
for our reception. I got my breakfast early, and, 
accompanied by a courier, proceeded on before to 
Mharrem. We passed the sandy tract called Abu 
Zaburrah, which, to a traveller in an unprotected state, 
is not a place devoid of danger. A pasha named 
Ismael was stripped and robbed by the Arabs at this 
spot ; and, in Gezzar pasha's time, a patrole was kept 
here. It was no slight proof of the good government of 
the reigning pasha, that the greatest security pre- 
vailed in every part of his pashalik. 

At Mharrem, the shaykh immediately pointed out 
the sanctuary of the saint as the best place for lodging 
us ; and indeed the building was more respectable than 


those which usually cover the sepulchres of the santons 
of Islamism. Lady Hester arrived soon afterwards. 
I renewed my acquaintance with such of the peasants 
as recollected us in our former journey. We now 
had an opportunity of judging of the nioroseness of 
men, and of their disposition to inflict pain where they 
can. On the former occasion we paid largely for every 
thing, but were served reluctantly, and were by 
no means well treated : whereas now, when every 
article was furnished by requisition, the utmost alacrity 
and apparent good-will was demonstrated, although 
they received nothing but blows in payment. 

It seemed an act of oppression, on first thoughts, 
thus to oblige a small village to furnish nearly 200 
persons and their animals with food and lodging, for 
one or more nights ; yet, in reality, it was less so than 
it appeared to be. The reason is this. Every village 
shaykh has remitted to him so much of the imposts 
falling on it, in consideration of the number of per- 
sons who may be likely to be guests, from government 
orders, or otherwise, during the year ; and, in con- 
sideration of this, he is bound to receive and enter- 
tain them for the space of three days. In this 
way, that noble institution of the menzel or alio-ht- 
ing-house is maintained throughout Syria, (where I 
have often profited by it,) and elsewhere in Turkey, 
as I have been informed : in consequence of which 
a traveller, who is a stranger, rides boldly up to the 
house of the shaykh, nd, in nine cases out of ten, 



is entertained for the night, and sent off next morning 
with a prayer for his safety, without the cost of a 

The next day we reached Jaffa in three honrs. One 
hour from El Mharrem is the river Awgy. The news of 
our approach had reached Jaffa already, and curiosity 
was awake, as I could perceive, among the inhabitants. 
The town-gate was thronged with spectators. This 
gate, if I recollect rightly, the only one, was hand- 
some, and highly ornamented with a diversity of 
colours fantastically painted in arabesque. The 
governor had a small kiosk, or pavilion, near it : and, 
seeing me pass from his window, requested my pre- 
sence the moment of my arrival. He received me with 
a very distant air, recalling to mind, in all probability, 
the refiisal of his present, which refusal he recollected 
to have occurred through me in Mr. B.'s name, three 
years before. 

When I told him I wished immediately to have 
quarters assigned for us, he gave me one of his archers, 
with a command to turn out any family at my plea- 
sure. Knowing, however, the delay and distress that 
always attended these measures of force, I preferred 
going to the Latin monastery, but found it too small 
for all of us. The Greek monastery (where I had 
lodged before) was more spacious, and I here took six 
rooms opening on the terrace that overlooks the 
port. The English consul's house had been previously 
prepared for Lady Hester, and was at once airy and 


agreeable. She arrived in due time (on her gray 
mare), and rode strait to Signor Damiani's, who re- 
ceived her in the same gold-laced cocked hat which 
afterwards so much excited the ridicule of her royal 
highness the Princess of Wales and of Signor Ber- 

Jaffa was at this season very dull, as the pilgrims 
had already passed to Jerusalem. Their influx and 
return from that place, I have already said, are the 
chief support of the inhabitants ; for the trade is little 
without them. 

Much bustle occurred a day or two afterwards, in 
consequence of the arrival of a courier from Egypt on 
his way to Constantinople, to announce the defeat of 
the Wahabys and the imprisonment of Abu Nukta, 
their chief. It was reported that there was among 
these Wahabys a valiant maiden, named Galy, who 
performed prodigies of valour. 

Mohammed Aga, the governor, was ordered by the 
firman of the pasha to accompany Lady Hester to 
Ascalon ; a mission he would willingly have avoided, 
as it cannot be supposed he liked her ladyship, 
who had before treated him with such contempt : nor 
did she now pursue more conciliatory measures; 
for never was she known to bend to any man, 
neither had Mohammed aught in him to secure her 

He was astute, false, and insinuating. Bought, as 
a Mameluke, by the tyrant Gezzar, he had, like those 



who had survived of that number, been elevated to 
considerable situations, in which the present pasha 
had continued him ; but, like them, without relations 
or domestic connections to chain him to the soil, he 
lived but to enrich himself. Hence he was often 
o-uilty of rapine and oppression ; and the energy of his 
administration, for which he was sometimes praised, 
was nevertheless founded in cruelty. The thief was 
punished with the loss of the offending hand, the 
libertine with the severest castigations ; yet he was 
not disposed to set bounds to the indulgence of his 
own depraved tastes and propensities. He was mar- 
ried, nevertheless, to the daughter of that Kengi 
A.hmed, whom formerly we saw as governor of 
Jerusalem, which post he still filled. With all this, 
Mohammed Aga was reputed a warlike chieftain, and 
was thought by some as likely to succeed the present 

Signer Damiani, the English vice-consul, had a 
budget full of anecdotes tending to prove how per- 
fidious and how base the governor was. I noted 
down two ; one as serving to show how much the 
simplicity of the Mahometan worship had been per- 
verted ; such perversions being common in the course 
of time to all institutions. He happened to be greatly 
taken with a handsome horse belonging to a chorister 
in one of the mosques. The chorister liked his horse, 
and would not sell it, which refusal Mohammed Aga 
pretended not to resent, and seemed to have forgotten 


the matter. On the first day of Ramazan, the new 
moon was not visible, upon which the chorister deferred 
the commencement of his fast until the morrow. 
Mohammed Aga wanted nothing more than a pre- 
text to ruin him, and this seemed a good one. He 
sent for the singer, reproached him loudly for his 
relaxed principles and his breach of public and 
divine ordinances, inasmuch as the new moon had 
been seen by several persons on the prescribed day ; 
fined him in a large sum of money ; and confiscated 
his goods and possessions, among which, of course, 
was the horse. 

On another occasion, a man offended him grievously. 
He pretended to have forgiven him ; and a few days 
afterwards, as the offending Turk was sitting under a 
tree, a servant of the governor's drew his pistol and 
shot him. The servant made a pretence of hiding 
himself for three or four days, and then resumed his 
situation in his master"'s family as if nothing had hap- 

We remained at Jaffa until the 30th of the month ; 
and, on the last day of March, set off for Ascalon, 
our party being now increased by the addition of Mo- 
hammed Aga, Abu Nabut, and suite, and by Signor 
Damiani, together with a host of cooks, and loads of 
shovels, pickaxes, baskets, and whatever was neces- 
sary for excavating the soil. The country from Jaffa 
assumed a rural appearance, resembling the cultivated 
parts of England ; the undulating soil, covered with 


wheat in leaf, barley in ear, and high grass, gave 
proofs of its fertility. No part of Syria is so beau- 
tiful ; which manifests how erroneous is the argument 
of Gibbon, who founds on the supposed barrenness of 
Palestine, compared with its former population, a 
doubt of the authenticity of the bible. 

In four hours' time we arrived at Ebna, a village 
not less miserable than those to the north of Jaffa. 
Three hours' farther was a hamlet. El Lubben or 
Lubden. Leaving this, with the village of Haremy 
on our right, we arrived, in one hour and a half, at 
Mejdel, a populous burgh, ^ whose shaykh bore the 
name of Shubashy, which is a Turkish word, indi- 
cating a degree higher than simple shaykh. Ascalon 
was no more than a league off, and we proceeded 
thither on the morrow. Arrived at our destination, 
our tents were fixed in the midst of the ruins, whilst 
a cottage was fitted up for Lady Hester at the village 
of El Jura, just without the walls of Ascalon. Orders 
were immediately sent to the surrounding villages 
to furnish workmen, in gangs, at the rate of 150 per 
day, for the excavations. But, before I narrate the 
proceedings which took place, it will be necessary to 
say a few words on the history of this once celebrated 
city, and on the revolutions to which it has been sub- 
ject ; now, last of all, to be the scene of operations of 

1 " Two miles south of Majdil are the rums of six Roman 
baths of mineral water." — Mangles and Irby's Travels, 
p. 299. 


a singular and surprising nature, if it be considered 
that Mahometan governors were to act under the 
commands of a helpless Christian woman, in a bar- 
barous and fanatic country. 



History of Ascalon — Ruins — Encampments — Forced labour 
of peasants — Excavations — Fragments of Columns — Dis- 
covery of a mutilated statue — Apprehensions of Signor 
Damiani — Lady Hester orders the statue to be destroyed — 
Excavations abandoned — Lady Hester's narrative of the mo- 
tives and results of the researches — Auditing accounts — 
Mohammed Aga a fatalist — Return to JaiFa — Derwish Mus- 
tafa Aga and Lady Hester's black female slave — Patients — 
Mohammed Bey; his story — Return of Lady Hester's 
servant Ibrahim from England — Khurby, or the Ruins — 
Remains near that spot — Return to Acre — Altercation with 
muleteers — Excavations at Sayda — Reflexions on researches 
for hidden treasures. 

The antiquity of the city of Ascalon is clear fi'ora 
the sacred writings ; for we read of it in the book of 
Joshua, 1 the book of Kings,^ and elsewhere ; so that 
as early as nineteen hundred years before Christ it 
was known as one of the chief places of Palestine. It 
became afterwards a part of the Assyrian, then of the 
Persian, monarchy ; and was subdued, together with 
all Syria, by Alexander the Great. After his death, 
it fell to the lot of Ptolemy Lagus, king of Egypt ; 

c. xiii., V. 3. ' L Kings, c. vi. 


and by Antiochus the Great it was incorporated with 
the empire of Syria. In Strabo' it is said that 
" Ascalon is a city not spacious, and built in such a 
sunk situation as to seem to be in a hole." William 
of Tyre informs us that " it resisted our arms for 
fifty years and more, after Jerusalem had fallen ; 
until, in the year of our Lord 1194, on the 12th of 
August, after a bloody siege, it was surrendered to 
king Baldwin by its Saracen inhabitants." 

Herod, king of the Jews, respected Ascalon as the 
native place of his family ; and, from this circumstance, 
and from the splendid baths and peristyles which he 
built there, he obtained the appellation of Herod the 
Ascalonite. William of Tyre informs us that "this 
city, from the inaptitude of the seacoast, neither has 
nor ever had a harbour or safe anchorage for ship- 
ping."2 Abulfeda, quoting from El Azyz, and speak- 
ing from his own knowledge, says : " Ascalon is a 
city on the seashore, in which there are vestiges of 
antiquity :" and again, — " It adjoins the sea on a 
bank ; it is one of the most illustrious places of the 
plain on the seashore, and has no port." ^V"hat was 
the fate of the city from this time I have no docu- 
ments to show, excepting that it is probable it fell 
gradually to decay, until the time when it was visited 
' Lib. 10. 
"' The above notices of Ascalon are extracted from Noris, de 
Ep. Syromac, to whose learned researches the reader is referred 
for more copious information. 



by d'Arvieux, a Frenchman, who gives us the follow- 
ing account of these ruins in 1659. " We departed 
from Graza, about eight in the morning. We 
kept the shore as far as the ancient city of As- 
calon. It is situated on the sea, in a country level 
and very fertile. The prodigious thickness of the 
walls and towers, which are all fallen, and which 
have filled the ditches, show it to have beec formerly 
one of the strongest places in Palestine. It is at 
present as ruinous as Csesarea or St. Jean d'Acre. 
There are only a few spaces of wall still exist- 
ing towards the sea, in which are embedded 
(endosses) several columns of granite, or, as the vulgar 
fancy, cast stone. This city has no port, nor any 
houses sufficiently entire to be habitable, so that it is 
wholly abandoned We found nothing re- 
markable in it but an old well half filled up, and con- 
structed in the style of Josephs well in the castle at 
Cairo : and, towards the middle of the city, seven or 
eight pillars of marble still standing upon their 
pedestals, which appeared to be the remains of a 
temple. We quitted the seashore, in leaving this 
desolated city, and took the road to Rama, over a 
most beautiful and highly cultivated country."" I 
may add that, so late as thirty years ago, there was 
enough of the great mosque standing to afford a 
dwelling to a shaykh of Barbary. 

The city of Ascalon, as we found it, differed little 
from the account of d'Arvieux, excepting that no 


marble columns, or portions of an edifice, were now 
standing; and those which formerly strewed the 
ground had, for the most part, been carried away. 

Palmyra is an instance how long structures will 
remain when left to the slow effects of time and natural 
decay. It is to the hand of man that they generally 
owe their greatest dismemberment : and, thus Asca- 
lon was stripped of all that was useful in it to rebuild 
Jaffa and Acre. Its neighbourhood to the seashore 
afforded great facilities of conveyance : and blocks 
ready cut, columns ready shaped, and slabs of marble 
that required but to be laid, would not be spared 
when so near at hand. Hence rose the seraglio of 
Gezzar, the mosque, and the public baths ; where 
granite, prophyry, and marble, are huddled together in 
rich but bungling confusion. When that which lay on 
the surface had been carried off, they proceeded to dig, 
and their labour was rewarded by the discovery of ma- 
terials equally useful, although less easy to come at. 

According to a rough calculation, from the time 
required to make the circuit of the walls of Ascalon 
on horseback, its circumference is two miles. The 
shape is somewhat triangular, and the side towards 
the sea is a little longer than the others. The asser- 
tion of Strabo, that the city is built as if in a hole, 
and Abulfeda's account that it stands on a bank, may 
be reconciled on an actual view of the spot. For, 
when approaching it from the east, hillocks of drifted 
sand, accumulated round the walls, have obtained an 


elevation almost equal to them, so that the ground 
within the walls is lower than that without. But, 
towards the sea, the plain closes abruptly in a preci- 
pice of some height ; so that, viewed from that 
quarter, Ascalon may even be said to stand high. 
The coast runs nearly north-east and south-west. 
The wall on the seaside rises almost from the water's 
edge, and is intended to prop the crumbling precipice. 
It was probably raised on an emergency ; for it is 
composed of rude masonry, where shafts of granite 
columns are stuck in, so as to represent at a distance 
the cannon of a ship or the artillery of a fortress. At 
certain distances on the walls were towers, which, 
by the parts that still remain, appear to have been 
of good masonry. The walls themselves are five or 
six feet thick. ^ 

Ascalon is mentioned by Strabo as famous for its 
onions, and it enjoys at this day a reputation for the 
same root, which is considered by the neighbouring 
peasants as a delicious article of food. ^ 

Within the ruins, all was desolation. Fragments 
of pillars lay scattered about, and elevations here and 
there showed how many more might lie concealed 
beneath the surface of the soil. 

^ How far this justifies the epithet of " prodigious thickness," 
used by d' Arvieux, is for the reader to decide. Indeed, they are 
so much covered with sand, that I should not wonder if any cur- 
sory observer conceived them to be offour times that thickness. 


Early on the first of April, ^ Lady Hester, Derwish 
Mustafa Ao;a, and Mohammed Aga, accompanied by 
the interpreters and myself, rode over the ruins, 
seeking for the indications given in the Italian docu- 
ment. The mosque was inmiediately recognized by 
the malireh^ or niche, looking towards which the imam 
stands to direct, as fugleman, the kneeling and pro- 
strations of Mahometans in prayer. This was still 
standing, but, in other respects, no more than a stone 
or two of the foundations remained above ground. 
Although there was little doubt that this was the spot 
meant, still it was difficult to know at which side or 
end, in a building fifty-five paces long and forty- 
three in breadth, to begin. At the north-west corner 
of the ruins was a santon''s tomb, covered with a 
small building. Here dwelt a shaykh,^ the only in- 
habitant of the place ; and, seeing his solitary reign 
thus molested by horsemen, tents, soldiers, and 
corvees of peasants, he very soon became acquainted 
with the motive, and readily mixed with the specta- 
tors. He was consulted as to what he knew of the 
building. He said that formerly a Barbaresque had 
visited the shrine, and had lived with him eleven 
months, always lurking about, doing he knew not what : 
but that, in conversation, he had assigned to two 

^ Looking at the result of Lady Hester's search, some wag 
may be disposed to say — " Certainly, the fittest day in the year." 

- Named Ashur, if there be such a name in Arabic ; for I 
do not recollect the like to it. 


different spots hidden treasures, both within the cir- 
cuit of the mosque. It was finally resolved to begin 
on the south side. 

The tents were then fixed in the following ruanner. 
On the east side, close to the mosque, were planted 
Signor Catafago's, Malem Musa's, M. Beaudin's and 
my own, each as large as an English marquee : and, 
close to them, a sewdn^ or open tent, for meals. The 
meals were to be served three times a day, consisting 
of two services at noon and sunset, and of a light 
breakfast at sunrise. No where in Syria did I fare 
better than here. At the south side of the mosque, 
on an eminence or mound, was fixed a large tent of 
observation, in which Mohammed Aga, when present, 
sat. But the tents of Mohammed Aga and the Zaym 
were without the city walls, close by the Eastern gate, 
in a sandy bottom. And here, too, were the tents of the 
cavalry, the kitchens, the water-carriers, the horses, 
&c. ; presenting a scene of showy gaiety almost as lively 
as a race- course. All the tents were either green or 
blue: and the principal ones were conspicuous forflam- 
ings swords, flowers, stars, and other ornaments, worked 
upon them. Couriers were coming and going every 
day from and to Jaffa. 

It has been said that to the north of the ruins 
there was a small village, called El Jura, two hun- 
dred yards from the walls. Here two cottages were 
swept out, matted, and carpeted for Lady Hester 
and her female attendants : for to have encamped in 


the midst of the men would, by Mahometans, so far 
as related to women, have been thought improper, 
and her ladyship now required the strictest decorum of 
behaviour in her women, and on all occasions consonant 
to Mahometan usages : so that, not even Mrs. Fry, 
her English maid, was suffered to open the door of 
the courtyard of the cottage without veiling her face. 
Between the village and the ruins was fixed a tent, 
and here Lady Hester sat in the day-time, and 
received visits from the agas, the malems, &c. At 
two she generally mounted her ass, and rode to see 
the workmen. On these occasions they would shout, 
and renew their digging with fresh activity. 

I have mentioned that, for this purpose, the neigh- 
bouring peasantry had been put in requisition. These 
poor men were pressed by government, and received 
no pay, but they were treated well ; for two meals 
were served up to them in the day-time, and no 
severity was used towards them. They generally came 
about one hundred a day, many, where they could, 
alleging causes of exemption, and worked until about 
an hour before sunset. Signor Oatafago, Signer 
Damiani, M. Beaudin, Giorgio, the governor, and my- 
self, superintended them, with overseers immediately 
among them : and it was no small exertion to sit or 
walk six or eight hours, sometimes in the rain, and 
sometimes under a burning sun. The peasants, who 
laboured and perspired, suffered less. It would seem im- 
possible to an Englishman that they could have worked 
hard, when told that these men drank nothino- but water. 


The very day of our arrival, a gang was imme- 
diately set to work : and I shall now proceed to detail, 
day by day, what the excavations brought to light. 
As a beginning, nothing more was done than just to 
remove the surface of the ground, 

April 2nd. After digging down three or four feet, 
some foundations were laid open, running east and 
west. On removing the earth between them nothing 
was found but mould and loose stones, with two or 
three human bones. Three fragments of marble 
shafts of pillars were bared and a Corinthian capital. 
There were appearances showing that the ground had 
been disturbed at some former period, particularly in 
the south-east corner, where there was a ditch of a 
very recent date, which (it was whispered by the 
peasants) had been made by Mohammed Aga himself. 
Two small earthen phials, about three inches long, 
some fragments of vases, and a bottle of lapis 
specularis, or talc, were dug up : shards of pottery 
were found here and there, but none of them of fine 

On the 3rd day, the excavations were continued 
along the south wall. The men worked with great 
animation. The idea of discovering immense heaps of 
gold seemed to have an effect upon them, although they 
could not hope for a share in it. On this day there 
was a great fall of rain and hail, and the weather was 
so tempestuous as much to impede the labourers. A 
pipe and tabor were therefore brought, to the tune of 
which they worked, sung, and danced. Cross foun- 


dations were met with, running east and west, seeming 
to have served for the support of rows of pedestals. 
About fifteen feet from the centre of the south wall 
were discovered several large fragments of granite 
columns, which lay one on another in such a manner 
as to render it probable that they were placed there. 

On the 4th day the work was continued nearly in 
the same direction. At three in the afternoon, the 
workmen struck upon a mutilated statue. 1 was im- 
mediately called, and felt exultation at the sight of a 
relic of antiquity, which I thought might give 
celebrity to our labours. The soil around it being 
removed, it was drawn up by ropes, without damage. 
There were at the same spot some imperfect remains 
of the pedestal on which it had stood. The depth of 
the mould and rubbish which lay over the statue was 
six or eight feet. 

On examination, it proved to be a marble statue of 
colossal dimensions and of good execution. It was 
headless, and had lost an arm and a leg ; but was not 
otherwise disfigured. It seemed to have represented 
a deified king : ^ for the shoulders were ornamented 

^ " Participa ella del colosso, avanzando molto Fordinaria 
statura d'uomo; sapendosi per osservanza degli eruditi, che 
cosi erano soliti farsi per i re e pergli imperadori." — Statue 
antiche e moderns. No. 15. 

It appears that the sculpture on the Gate of the Lions, as 
it is called, at Mycente, had a strong resemblance to the 
centre ornament of the statue. — See Hughes's Travels, v. i. 
p. 229. 



with the insignia of the thunderbolt, and the breast 
with the Medusa's head. There was every reason to 
beheve that, in the changes of masters which Ascalon 
had undergone, the place in which we were now digging 
had originally been a heathen temple, afterwards a 
church, and then a mosque. The statue probably be- 
longed to the age of the successors of Alexander, or it 
might be that of Herod himself. At the depth where 
the statue lay was a marble pavement and also a tym- 
panum of a porch of the Co- 
rinthian order. To the East, 
close to the South wall, was 
found the trunk of another 
statue. As the mould was 
cleared away, a modius was 
discovered, which probably 
had surmounted the head 
of one of the two statues. 
It was chipped off at the 
top, and evidently, at the 
bottom, had been forcibly 
separated from the head to 
which it had belonged : it 
was nine and a half inches 
long. The statue, from the 
acromion to the heel, was 
six feet nine inches. 



On the fifth clay the outline of the foundations of the 
entire building was made out. It was amusing at this 
time to find how many wise men, some calhng them- 
selves astrologers, and some fortune-tellers, started up 
on all sides to foretel Lady Hester's success. This 
was fortunate : for the workmen had begun to relax 
in their labours, and their overseers sneered at the 
business. Mohammed Aga found his own purposes 
answered in the number of marble slabs that were 
discovered. These he shipped, in a coasting boat, for 
Jaffa. On the outside of the West foundation, three 
subterraneous places were opened, which at first, it 
was thought, would lead to the object we were in 
search of. But they proved to be cisterns or reser- 
voirs for rain water, with no appearance of antiquity 
about them ; and, both in the round mouth upwards, 
and in the conduit which led the water into them, 
resembled those in use throughout Syria at the present 

In the mean time. Signer Catafago and myself were 
much amused by the exceeding apprehension of Signer 
Damiani, lest he should be poisoned. The governor 
generally dined with us : but Damiani would neither 
eat nor drink in our tent. He affected an air of 
mystery in every thing, and soberly advised her 
ladyship, if she wished to succeed, to sacrifice a cock 
of a particular colour, and at a particular hour of 
the day, to ensure success. Derwish Mustafa was 
too phlegmatic to be acted upon by any hopes or 


fears. He expected the issue (in appearance at least) 
with as much indifference, or, I might say with more, 
than he did the uncovering of a dish at dinner : for here 
his philosophy sometimes forsook him, and he occa- 
sionally showed undue joy. News of Ali Pasha"'s 
death reached us this day ; but the Turks did not 
mourn outwardly ; yet, where they w^ere not called 
upon to do so, there were sometimes touches of feeling 
to be observed, rare in more formal exhibitions of 

This and the following day produced nothing new. 
In riding over to Alegdel, to visit Signor Damiani, 
who lived in a dirty cottage there, I observed that the 
place had a market which was well attended. 

On the following day, which was the eighth from 
the commencement of our labours, the cisterns were 
emptied. Digging in the line of the West wall, two 
stone troughs of considerable length were discovered 
about four feet under the surface, and upon them lay, 
cross-wise, four gray granite columns, closely packed 
to each other, as if done methodically. This dis- 
covery revived the people's hopes ; for it was supposed 
that huge masses of granite could not have fallen in 
such a position accidentally, and would not be labo- 
riously placed so, unless to conceal something. The 
removing was deferred until the morrow, the men 
requiring ropes to do it, because horses are never put 
into harness in Syria. Near the North East angle 
was also found a marble pavement, and by it seemed 


to have been another door. Under the pavement ran 
a continuation of the same canal which conducted 
water to the cisterns. 

I had by this time made a pen sketch of the statue, 
and had represented to Lady Hester that her labours, 
if productive of no golden treasures, had brought to 
light one more valuable in the eyes of the lovers of the 
fine arts, and that future travellers would come to 
visit the ruins of Ascalon, rendered memorable by 
the enterprise of a woman, who, though digging for 
gold, yet rescued the remains of antiquity from ob- 
livion. What was my astonishment, when she 
answered — "This may be all true; but it is my 
intention to break the statue, and have it thrown into 
the sea, precisely in order that such a report may not 
get abroad, and I lose with the Porte all the merit of 
my disinterestedness." 

When I heard what her intentions were, I made 
use of every argument in my power to dissuade her 
from it ; telling her that the apparent vandalism of 
such an act could never be wiped away in the eyes of 
virtuosi, and would be the less excusable, as I was 
not aware that the Turks had either claimed the 
statue or had forbidden its preservation. It was true, 
that, whilst sketching it, the people liad expressed 
their surmises at what I could find to admire in a 
broken image; and I heard some of them conjecture that 
it might be a deity of the Franks, as it had been of the 
Romans and Greeks. But no idle notions, I insisted, 


ought to have weight on her mind ; and I begged hard 
that, if she could not with decency cany it away, she 
would at least leave it for others to look at. She re- 
plied, " Malicious people may say I came to search 
for antiquities for my country, and not for treasures 
for the Porte : so, go this instant ; take with you 
half a dozen stout fellows, and break it in a thousand 
pieces !" Her resolution was not a thing of the mo- 
ment : she had reflected on it two days ; and knowing 
her unalterable determination on such occasions, I 
went and did as she desired. When Mohammed 
Aga saw what had been done, he could not conceal his 
vexation : for it is probable that Lady Hester had read 
what was passing in his mind, and had thus prevented 
many an insinuation against her. Indeed, reports 
were afterwards circulated that the chest of the statue 
was found full of gold — half of which was given to the 
pasha, and the other half kept by Lady Hester. Li 
England, where her motives were unknown, people 
naturally have decried her conduct, although it is plain 
that her strict integrity ought to prove her justification. 
On the 9th, when the granite pillars were removed, 
a work of no trifling magnitude, considering the means 
by which it was effected,^ the troughs were found 

^ The labours of Mr. Belzoni, in removing and embarking 
the head of Memnon in a barge, entirely set at naught all 
boasting of what was done at Ascalon. Columns of granite, 
indeed, are much heavier than Memnon's head ; but they are 
round, and may be made to roll easily in any direction. 


empty. The disappointment was very great : and, the 
more so, as the excavation of the four following days 
produced nothing but two granite columns at the 
North West angle, six or eight feet below the surface, 
a white marble pedestal, some bones of animals, and 
two earthenware lamps. A small excavation was 
likewise made in one of the towers of the East wall of 
the city. With respect to the area of the mosque, 
almost all of it had been turned up. The North foun- 
dation wall had been traced throughout its whole 
length ; and, in that direction, the shafts of two small 
marble pillars, about six feet in length, and with rude 
capitals, had been the only reward. Other masses 
had been broken up, to see if they had concealed any- 
thing. But, when every research was fruitless, the 
closing hand was, by Lady Hester's consent, put to 
our labours on the 14th of April, being a fortnight 
from the commencement. The conclusion that her 
ladyship came to was, that when Gezzar Pasha em- 
bellished the city of Acre, by digging for marble and 
other materials in the ruins of Ascalon, he was fortu- 
nate enough to discover the treasure. That Gezzar 
enriched his coffers by wealth so got was generally 
affirmed : and it is probable that his pretended mania 
for building was no more than a cloak to conceal this 
real motive for excavating. Thus ended this most 
interesting experiment ; which failed in its primary 
object, but had the desirable effect of establishing Lady 
Hester's popularity throughout Syria, and of con- 


firming the belief, already grown up, that she was a 
person of some consideration, even in the eyes of the 
Sublime Porte. 

I am enabled to subjoin Lady Hester's own account 
of these excavations, which she sent to Lord Bathurst, 
then Secretary of State, 

Lady Hester Stanhope to the Right Hon. the Earl 
Bathurst, S^c. 
My Lord, 
A curious document, once in the hands of the church, fell 
by accident into mine. It was an indication to considerable 
treasures in Syria. Having made this known to the Porte, a 
confidential person belonging to the sultan's household was 
sent from Constantinople to investigate the business. I pro- 
ceeded with him to Ascalon : but the mosque, in which 
the treasure was said to be hidden, was no longer standing. 
One wall only remained of a magnificent structure, which had 
been mosque, church, and temple at different periods. After 
having traced out the South West and North foundation walls, 
and after digging for several days within them, we came to the 
under-ground fabric we were looking for : but, alas ! it had 
been rifled. It was, as nearly as one could calculate, capable 
of containing three millions of pieces of gold — the sum men- 
tioned in the document. Whilst excavating this once mag- 
nificent building — for such it must have been by the number 
of fine columns and fine pavements we discovered under ground 
— we found a superb colossal statue without a head, which 
belonged to the heathens. It w^as eighteen feet below the 
surface. Knowing how much it would be prized by English 
travellers, I ordered it to be broken into a thousand pieces, 
that malicious people might not say I came to look for statues 
for my countrymen and not for treasures for the Porte. 


This business has taken up a good deal of my time for 
these three months past. I have had a thousand honours paid 
me, which it is not worth while to enter upon. The authen- 
ticity of the paper I do not doubt ; but, as many centuries 
have elapsed since the Christians hid treasure there, it is not 
very surprising that it should have been removed. Had it 
escaped observation, in the same way the statue did the eyes of 
the Turks, when this spot was converted into a mosque, it 
would have been a fine thing for the Turkish government. 
I have the honour, &c. 

H. L. Stanhope, 

During these fourteen days many circumstances 
took place which were not mentioned, in order that no 
interruption should take place in the narrative. It 
happened that the time of auditing the accounts of 
the district over which Mohammed Aga was governor 
occurred during this period ; and the katibs, or under- 
secretaries, of the pasha were sent for that purpose. 
They and the katib of Mohammed Aga were for two 
days closely at work. When they had concluded, 
and all was found right, the two secretaries were dis- 
missed, with a present from Mohammed Aga, between 
them, of 700 piasters, and their servants with 100. It 
is certainly matter of surprise with how few books they 
manage very extensive concerns ; such as must be 
those of the civil and military command of a district 
vested in the same person ; and it is equally a cause 
of astonishment to an Englishman to hear gentlemen 
put the question one to another, at the close of a 

VOL. ni. I 


pecuniary arrangement, of " Well, how much did the 
governor give you, and what did your servants get f 

On the i2th, Signor Catafago left us, upon pretext 
of business at Damascus. 

It was said, in a former page, that Mohammed 
Aga was a fatalist : a conversation, which took place 
in the presence of Malem Musa, the dragoman, and 
myself, will prove it. I had attended professionally 
on him and one or two of his people ; and I observed 
to him, '' One of your Excellency*'s servants has the 
itch ; it would be well if you kept him at a distance 
from your person.*" " Oh, my good sir," he replied, 
" I take no precautions against this sort of thing ; it 
were a matter of indifference to me if I even wore the 
shirt just pulled off his back. Who created that 
disorder, if you please? — was it not God? and, if so, it 
is of very little consequence what precautions I take ; 
for, if God intends me to have it, &c., &c," At this 
time, there were so many of his people infected with it, 
that I avoided feeling any one's pulse until I had 
first closely inspected his fingers. 

The race of peasants in the villages near Ascalon 
is ugly, with skins of a dirty brown. I saw not one 
pretty nor even one engaging woman ; a rare occur- 
rence in those parts, where the human form has 
generally some one feature to boast of, and where all 
the females strove to be pleasing in their manner of 

Lady Hester lodged in a cottage in a village two 


or three Iiuudred yards from the ruins. To get to it 
there was a path, of course little trodden until our 
coming : to return home from it after dark was always 
at tlie hazard of broken shins. 

There being nothing farther to detain us at 
Ascalon, on the 15th we returned to Jaffa. An un- 
lucky accident happened through the negligence of 
Mbarak, who, being caffegi, or coffee-server, laid a 
complaint against a peasant for stealing a silver coffee- 
cup stand, or zerf, which was missing. The peasant was 
bastinadoed at Mejdel ; when, on our arrival at Ebna, 
the cup was found. I made Lady Hester acquainted 
with the circumstance, and reprimanded Mbarak 
severely. A sum of money was sent to the poor 
peasant to recompense him for the injustice that had 
been done him ; but the soles of his feet were not to 
be healed by money. Oh ! ye men in authority, be 
not too hasty in awarding stripes ! 

I bought a few coins at Mejdel, but of no value : 
none were found during the excavations. Silver or 
gold coins of Ascalon are so rare that it is said one of 
either of these two metals would be Avorth from ten to 
fifteen guineas. 

When we returned to Jaffa, Lady Hester wished to 
enjoy a little quiet ; and a cottage belonging to Signor 
Damiani, and situate in a garden half a league from 
the town, was made comfortable for her as far as 
time and its ruinous condition would allow. I lodged 
as before in the monastery. 


One thing had troubled Lady Hester very much 
during the whole journey, which may be mentioned 
as showing the system, pursued universally through- 
out the Turkish empire, of making it impossible for 
Christians, however favoured, to enjoy tranquilly the 
concession of any right or immunity ordinarily be- 
longing to Mahometans only. One of these was to 
have black slaves, whom Christians are not allowed 
to buy, but which Lady Hester had been privileged 
to do. Derwish Mustafa Aga had not been many 
days acquainted with Lady Hester, when he heard of 
her possessing a black slave, and her ladyship told 
him how much pains she had bestowed in having her 
instructed in the principles of her religion ; adding, 
that he might question her, if he would, to see if she 
had profited by the lessons she had received. The 
Zaym did so, and expressed himself so satisfied with 
her progress, that he thought it a pity (he said) she 
should be left among Christian servants, who would 
contaminate her mind and expose her to the tempta- 
tion of wine, &c. The fact was, that the old man 
found her young and beautiful, though black, and, 
according to the usages of his country, would have 
very willingly made her his concubine. He, there- 
fore, often renewed the subject : and, half joking half 
seriously, would say to Lady Hester that she was 
aware that the first duty of a Mussulman was to get 
a true believer out of the hands of infidels ; and that, 
when the business was over, he should require her at 


her hands. Then he would say, " Tell me her price, 
that you may not be a loser by her ;" and would con- 
tinually be making many similar speeches. Lady 
Hester used to remark upon this subject : " This 
man puts me in an awkward predicament : — what 
can I do ? He will make me give her to him at last, 
for, when he says that he will buy her of me, that 
means nothing ; I can't take money of him. To give 
her to a man like Muly Ismael, who has wives and 
a harym, might be harmless ; but to this man, who 
I know will make use of her for his own purposes on 
the road, it is a disgrace, and I cannot do it." Nor 
did she ; but it will be seen how, to the last, he tena- 
ciously persisted in demanding her ; and, in her 
stead, obtained one of less beauty and value indeed, 
but still recommendable for both. 

Among the merchants of Jaffa, I had a few patients, 
and in visiting their houses I saw somewhat of the 
domestic society of the place. One of these was a 
blind Turk, whose conversation I found very interest- 
ing. He had been converted to Islamism from 
Christianity, and passed for a learned man. Not 
thinking that his apostacy from the religion of Christ 
ought to make me decline his visits, we often saw 
each other ; although some people in England, for 
whom I have a great respect, and to whom I men- 
tioned the subject, were of opinion that I ought to 
have done so. 

One day, whilst I was sitting in my room at the 


convent, Mai em Musa and M. Beaudin being with 
me, a young man, about twenty-two years old, en- 
tered, and, giving me the salutation, used between 
friends when they meet, of a kiss on each cheek, set 
himself down in the highest place, with the air of a 
man who knew that he had a right to it. He was 
handsome and of a pleasing countenance. It is cus- 
tomary in the East not to ask the business of a person 
who presents himself as a stranger, until he has been 
welcomed by some refreshment. Conformable to this 
usage, I bade the servant bring coffee and pipes, and 
stared with some degree of inquisitiveness, trying to 
guess, in my own mind, who he could be. Malem 
Musa, I have said, was a man acquainted with the 
world, and he saw at once that the stranger was un- 
fortunate : thinking, therefore, to relieve the young 
man's chagrin, he began a long story on the fickle- 
ness of fortune. The youth, encouraged by his appa- 
rent sympathy, by degrees took courage and told his 
tale. He said his name was Mohammed Bey, son of 
Daher Tabii, and nephew of a pasha ; that he had 
been motsellem of Killes, near Aleppo, but had 
baen driven from his home by the persecution of 
Gelal-ed-Dyn, pasha of Aleppo. The account he 
gave us of his misfortunes was as follows. 

This Gelal-ed-dyn had been sent on a mission from 
the Porte, commissioned to punish the rebels at 
Aleppo. He passed the night, on his way thither, 
at Killes, and was magnificently entertained by Mo- 


hammed Bey, whom in return he honoured with great 
apparent civihty ; and professed so much satisfaction 
with his treatment that he invited the bey to accom- 
pany him on his expedition. The bey went. During 
the whole of the siege of Geser Shogr, which pre- 
ceded the attack on Aleppo, he manifested an unusual 
liking to him. Topal Ali and Sayd Aga having fled 
from Geser Shogr, Gelal-ed-dyn marched for Aleppo, 
where by artifice he succeeded in prevailing on the 
chiefs of the rebels to trust their persons within his 
camp, and then massacred them. The bey told us he 
was witness to the massacre, and that he stood by, 
his knees trembling and his teeth chattering, in an 
indescribable way, whilst the pasha''s only remark 
was : " Well, now it's over, what do you think of all 

this r 

In the evening of the same day, the kekhyah sent 
for him, and he immediately repaired to his tent. " I 
want," said the kekhyah, " thirty-three purses of you." 
The youth was astounded, and cried " where am I to 
find such a sum V — " You best know," replied the 
kekhyah ; and he was led from the tent to prison, 
where he was chained. Here he found liimself in 
company with several others in a similar situation. 
The prison doors were opened in the night, and, soon 
after, two or three reports of guns gave the signal of 
the death of more victims of the pasha''s sanguinary 
cruelty. This uncomfortable scene was renewed for 
several nights. At last the bey's turn came. He 


was conducted by some Albanian soldiers into a room, 
where he was again told he must find the sura of 
money demanded of him. Upon declaring it to be 
impossible, he was put to the torture by means of a 
rope, twisted tight round his head, and pressing on 
two phalangeal bones placed on his temples. Over- 
come by extreme pain, he promised to do all they 
asked, though he knew not how. He returned again 
to prison, and time was given nim to raise among his 
friends what he could. Half the sum required was 
finally paid, and he was set at liberty. 

He fled from Aleppo to Antioch, from Antioch to 
Hamah ; thence to Damascus, Acre, and Jaffa. 
" Here, gentlemen," he continued, " I am come to 
throw myself at the feet of the English lady, and 
ask succour at her hand." He then exhibited his 
sherwals, (brogues) and the other parts of his dress 
torn and dirty, as proofs of his situation. He said 
that Muly Ismael had given him 200 piasters ; Bekyr 
Aga of Antioch 500 ; and that Kengy Ahmed Aga 
had, since his arrival at Jaffa, taken care that he 
should not want for a meal. 

By this little history, it will be seen that the pride, 
which forbids an Englishman well-born to demand 
charity, however great his distress, is unknown to the 
Turks ; but what we wondered at was that he could 
submit to beg from a Christian. Lady Hester gave 
him ten guineas, which sura enabled him to embark 
for Egypt, where he hoped, at the court of Mohammed 


All Pasha, to find some honourable employment. 
Throughout his story there was occasionally an ap- 
pearance of falsehood. But, whether true or false, it 
serves as a picture of the measures of arbitrary govern- 
ments ; since no man who wishes to be believed in- 
vents occurrences that have not a similitude to truth, 
and to the usages of the people of whom he is speaking. 
Lady Hester was much surprised one day to find 
that a man, who had sent in to say he wished to be 
admitted to her presence, should prove to be that 
same Ibrahim who went from Egypt to England with 
two horses as a present from her to H.E,,H. the Duke 
of York. He had saved a considerable sum of money 
whilst there, arising from the generosity of the 
Duke and of several other distinguished persons. 
This money he had converted into cutlery previous to 
his return to Egypt ; but, arriving at Malta when the 
plague was raging, he got into difficulties, was de- 
tained a long time in Sicily, where he lost his mer- 
chandize, and was reduced, by the time he reached 
Jaffa, to a penniless state. He related many amusino" 
stories of what he had seen in England, by which it 
appeared that he had been much caressed by the great ; 
but his astonishment at the novel and wonderful sight 
which a metropohs Hke London would be supposed to 
excite in the eyes of an untutored ^Mahometan did 
not appear to have been remarkable. Two things, 
however, had struck him as scarcely credible ; he 
never saw a flea, and very few people told lies. 



Whilst Lady Hester sojourned in the gardens of 
Jaffa, Malem Musa could not resist the temptation of 
performing the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, now that his 
vicinity to that place afforded him the opportunity. 
We do not in Europe feel the same ardour with those 
in the Levant to pay this meritorious debt. I believe 
that Malem Musa would have wept like a child, could 
he not have gone. As my servant, Giovanni, had 
never been there, he was allowed to accompany him. 

There was another place mentioned in the MS. 
given to Lady Hester, where a second great treasure 
was said to be concealed, viz. in the ruins of Awgy, 
and it was resolved that I should go alone, and 
examine it. Upon the edge of a river, still known 
by the name of Awgy, and at the distance of an hour 
and a half from Jaffa, bearing north-east and by 
east, once stood this city. Its site is called El 
Khurby or The Ruins ; and, when I visited it, a 
peasant was ploughing over it. Loose stones, thickly 
scattered on the surface, marked the spot : an indica- 
tion the mor6 certain, as the surrounding country was 
of a fine mould, and stoneless. To the right of the 
ruin was a hillock called Tel Abu Zytun. The river 
Awgy empties itself into the sea three miles north of 
Jaffa. Its source is about a mile and a half from the 
foot of the mountains in ten or a dozen springs : these, 
uniting, form at once a river from twenty-five to thirty 
feet broad. It is augmented on the left side by the 
river Messalelah, (which is much swollen in the rainy 


season), and perhaps on the right bank by other 
streams. There was a villaoe just above the Messa- 
lelah on the right bank, called Shajkh Geraas. Over 
the Awgy, distant one hour from Jaffa, were the re- 
mains of a lonof brido-e with the centre arch broken 
down, which arch seemed to have been built subse- 
quent to the two ends. At the extremity of the 
bridge were several ruined buildings that appeared 
either to have been water-mills, or portions of a castle, 
they being surrounded by a moat. Close by was a 
hamlet of wretched cottages. Ascending the stream, 
three quarters of an hour higher up, was the village of 
Mlebbes ; and three quarters of an hour farther, 
Kalat Ras el ayn, (or the Fountain Head Castle) close 
to the sources of the river. The castle was in tolerable 
preservation, and worthy of being visited : it appeared 
to be of Saracen construction, from having a mosque 
in the centre : it was of a square form, with a tower at 
each angle, and had two rows of long narrow apertures 
for bow-shots and musketry : it was now used for 
folding cattle. The mosque was so full of fleas, that 
above a hundred leaped upon me the first step I set in 
it. I was consequently unable to look for inscriptions, 
commemorative of its date. The country, hereabouts, 
is of a red soil, and very rich. Near the Awgy, I saw 
abundance of colocynth plants, and of what 1 thought 
to be stramonium. The Messalelah had also the ruins 
of a bridge, makins; a line from the bridire of the 
Awgy to Jaffa. There were many proofs that this 


district was once liiglilv populous ; but, with respect to 
Lady Hester's particular object, uo one indication was 
left, and I ventured to assure her that her attempts 
at a search on these ruins would necessarily be 

Under these circumstances, she had nothing to do 
but to return to Acre. Before quitting Jaffa, the 
governor attempted to effect a reconcihation with her ; 
but she always treated his advances with neglect. 
How justly Lady Hester appreciated this man's charac- 
ter will be seen from what took place shortly after. 

Sulyman Pasha and Mohammed Aga Abu Nabud 
had been bred up together, and, no sooner was Suly- 
man raised to the pashalik of Acre, than he advanced 
his friend by degrees to power, until he made him 
governor of Jaffa, a post of considerable importance, 
and which at some former period had been designated 
as a separate pashalik, although latterly merged in 
that of Acre and Sayda, Sulyman Pasha was 
desirous that Abu Nabud should attain yet greater 
honours, and it was thought by many, now that All 
Pasha was no more, that he looked to him as his 
successor. Accordingly, as a preparatory step, he 
wrote to the Porte to ask for him the dignity of Two 
Tails. At this very time Abu Nabud had secretly 
written to the Grrand Vizir, and, after pointing out 
the incapacity of Sulyman Pasha on account of his 
advanced age and bad health, had offered to raise a 
much more considerable revenue than Suliman Pasha 


now remitted, if he were made pasha in his place. 
The Porte had known from many years' experience 
the fidehty of the old pasha, and, feeling satisfied 
that a person so treacherous towards his benefactor 
was little to be relied on, enclosed Abu Nabud's com- 
munication under cover to him, with the simple ob- 
servation of — " This is the man for whom you ask 
the title of pasha of two tails." 

Sulyman Pasha, enraged at such duplicity, de- 
spatched Abdallah Bey with a body of troops to 
Jaffa. Abu Nabud happened just then to be absent 
on a circuit, and the news soon reached him that he 
was shut out from the city. Suspecting, probably, 
that his machinations were discovered, he had the 
sagacity not to trust himself to require an explanation 
or attempt to recover the place, and fled to Egypt. 
It was surmised that this traitor was the first who 
suggested to Mahomet Ali the feasibility of con- 
quering Syria, afterwards efiected through the in- 
trigues of the Emir Beshyr, a greater JSIachiavelian 
than either. 

It may be supposed that Lady Hester felt some 
disappointment in the unsuccessful results of her re- 
searches, which tended to vex her. The tone of one 
of her letters, written whilst here, sufficiently indicates 
a feeling of fallen greatness, and a sense of her loneli- 
ness, which fresh schemes from time to time made her 
forget . 


Lady Hester Stanhope to ■ 

Jaflfa, April 25th, 1815. 
My dear 

You must not think that I am ungrateful, or that the in- 
terest I felt in your concerns is in the least diminished, 
although I am less anxious about you, knowing you to be 
in the midst of friends who love you. I received your kind 
letter written at different periods, just as I was about to 
leave Mount Lebanon for Balbeck. I returned to my con- 
vent the end of January, having made a long tour. Upon 
the very night of my arrival there, the great person men- 
tioned in the enclosed paper paid me a visit, indeed took up 
his abode in my comfortable mansion for some time. Then 
I proceeded to Acre, to pay my respects to the pasha, and my 
guest from the Porte accompanied me to Ascalon. Therefore 
you see that from last October I have never had a quiet mo- 
ment I could call my own; and besides, occasions either by 
sea or land are scarce and unsafe in the winter season, and, 
intending to send a person to England when all my business 
was over, I have deferred answering most of my letters to 
profit by this conveyance. 

I have at last decided upon sending for James to take 
me away from this country ; for I know so little of the state 
of the Continent, and feel in my own mind so doubtful of its 
remaining quiet, or, if it does, that I shall like it as formerly, that, 
before I break up a comfortable establishment to form another at 
random, I wish to have the opinion of one who knows my 
taste, and whom I can depend upon. 

If Lord Mulgrave ever mentions me, pray remember me 
kindly to him: for I really believe he had a friendship for 
Mr. Pitt, though artful Canning formerly used to take great 
pains to make me believe it was all affected ; but, since he has 


turned out himself a perfect political chameleon, one may be 
permitted to mistrust a few of his opinions. How unhappy it 

makes me to hear that the dear duke of is over head and 

ears in debt. With such a fine family just coming into the 
Avorld, it must hurt him very much, not to be in a situation to 
give them all those advantages which they are born to. 

The Pasha of Acre and all the leading people in this 
country continue to be vastly kind to me, even more so than 
before, if possible ; and I am upon the whole as comfortable as a 
hermit can be. 

Believe me, 

Yours sincerely and affectionately, 

H. L. S. 

On or about the 1st of May, we reached Acre, 
having, on our route back, enjoyed very fine weather. 
The same honours were paid Lady Hester on her re- 
turn as when going. 

The night we arrived at Um Khaled I had well 
nigh embroiled myself with Derwish Mustafa Aga in 
the following manner. A servant happening to be 
very impertinent, I had recourse to the usual remedy 
for this in Turkey, which was laying my stick about 
his shoulders. The man was one Ayd, a muleteer, 
who, it will be recollected, was dismissed from Lady 
Hester's service on a former occasion, and who had 
been afterwards taken back for the purpose of this 
journey. Upon being beaten, he flew to the tent of 
the Zaym, claiming protection. I desired the Zaym's 
servants to send him out, which they refused to do, 
saying that no gjiur (or infidel) should touch those 
whom Moslems protected. The Zaym took the part 


of his servants, and kept A^^d in his tent the whole 
evening ; which assumption of so extraordinary a right 
led to a warm discussion between him and Lady- 
Hester, who took my side in the dispute. 

From Acre, Malem Musa was allowed to depart for 
Hamah, with a present from Lady Hester of 1000 
piasters. His way home was through the district 
of Suffad to Damascus. Hadj Mohammed, the Akam 
Bashi, was handsomely rewarded for his extreme care 
and attention with 300 piasters. The captain of the 
Hawarys and the officers divided about 1000 more 
among them. 

When the time came to quit Acre, I was curious to 
observe whether the subtraction of the numerous suite 
and the loss of tents, palanquins, and other emblems 
of greatness, would aflfect Lady Hester''s looks or 
spirits. But neither was there to be observed morti- 
fication nor melancholy, and she rode out of the city 
gates with as much serenity as any human counte- 
nance could put on. Being now reduced to eight or 
ten persons, we encamped in a field close by the 
Nakiira ; and, on the following morning, resumed our 
march for Tyre. From Tyre we departed the next 
day for Abra. Wishing to arrive somewhat early at 
Abra, I rode on alone, and overtook the baggage 
mules, stopping at a place short of that where our 
people had been desired to unload, and I commanded 
them to go onwards. Some expressions, which escaped 
one of the muleteers, of the great hardship of loading 


and unloading so frequently, led me to think that they 
would stop here if I left them, I therefore desired 
them to proceed before me, when one of them refused, 
and, letting his cords slip, threw down his load. 
Upon this, wishing to punish him in a way not un- 
common there, I drew a sort of small yatagan from 
my girdle, and in stooping from my horse, to cut the 
breast-band of the mule's harness, so that his saddle 
might for the time become useless, and he be left alone 
on the road until a saddler should repair it, I drew 
the knife with such force, that it came home, and ran 
into my own horse's neck to a great depth just under 
the vertebrae, by the mane. The horse shook his ears — 
the other muleteers were frightened — and at last went 
on. Farther on I halted them, and, leaving them 
there, rode on to Abra, The wound of my horse bled 
freely, but he showed no symptoms of weakness : it 
was, however, some weeks before it healed entirely. 

Lady Hester arrived on the following day. When 
she was refreshed from the fatigue of so long a journey, 
the Zaym proceeded, under her direction, to excavate 
near the river Ewely, close to Sayda. Two hundred 
yards above the present modern bridge are the 
remains of an ancient one, which, as hid from the view 
of travellers, who pass the usual road, is never men- 
tioned by them. Hereabouts, the manuscript signified 
that there were treasures, and here, by corvees of 
peasants, the digging was renewed, but with much 
less alacrity than at Ascalon, and with no better sue- 


cess. After a few days it was therefore abandoned ; 
and, Lady Hester having written the despatches which 
occupied her a short time, and having presented the 
Zaym with a black slave and a Cashmere shawl, 
which, added to the presents, he had received at Jaffa 
and at Acre, made up something considerable, he 
departed with his suite for Constantinople. 

Thus ended this very extraordinary affair, which, 
however, I should not have ventured to introduce into 
my narrative at such length, or accompanied with so 
many comments, had I not thought that it related 
closely to a subject always treated much too lightly 
by travellers. There is every reason to suppose that 
hidden treasures in plate, coins, or jewels, are fre- 
quently found under old buildings, in gardens, and in 
the open country. But, whether they are or are not, 
this is certain, that no European traveller in Turkey 
is seen wandering among ancient ruins, without being 
suspected by the natives to be in search of such de- 
posits ; for it is imagined that he bears with him pri- 
vate marks or indications written at the time of con- 
cealment, and which have been since handed down 
from generation to generation as family papers, until 
a fit moment presented itself for going in search of 
them. It is therefore necessary he should be apprised 
that, although he may one day be angry and another 
laugh at this unjust suspicion of the motives of his 
researches, still he will never alter their belief; and a 
true relation of the manner in which the Turks of all 



ranks lent a willing hand to such researches in our 
case puts this past doubt. In a word, it is the part of 
a prudent traveller to take this notion into account in 
all his dealino-s with the natives, that he may under- 
stand much of their conduct, which will otherwise be 
seemingly mysterious. 

Lady Hester, in providing for the expenses which 
the Ascalon affair brought on her, had, as we have 
seen, recourse to Mr. Barker for a loan of money. 
As she had throughout proposed to herself no advan- 
tage but the celebrity which it would bring on her own 
and, as she thought, the English name, and had acted 
with the cognizance of our minister at Constantinople, 
she fancied that she had a claim on the English 
government for her expenses : she accordingly sent to 
our Ambassador at Constantinople a succinct account 
of her proceedings, and, in showing that all which 
had been done was for the credit of her country, she 
asserted her right to be reimbursed. 

She, however, was unsuccessful in her application, 
and the expenses weighed heavily on her means. 
Yet hitherto she never had been in debt, and by great 
care and economy contrived still to keep out of it. 



Visit of the Author to the Maronite convent in the village 
of Joon — Abyssinian man and woman — Black horses— Lady 
Hester fixes herself at Meshmushy — Solitary wigwam — The 
Author wishes to return to England — He sets out for Egypt 
— Destruction of Tyre, not so complete as travellers repre- 
sent — A self-taught lithotomist and oculist — Seaweeds used 
for dyeing — Embarkation for Egypt in a vessel laden with 
wood — Impalement — Passengers on board — Cyprus — Revolt 
in Gebel Nabliis — Frequency of insurrections there — Arrival 
at Eosetta — Smoking during Ramazan — The Author is joined 
by Burckhardt, or shaykh Ibrahim — Mutiny of troops at Cairo 
— Departure by land for Alexandria — Lake Edko — Stay in 
Alexandria — Coasting voyage to Damietta — Burckhardt not 
considered as a Turk — Foreigners betrayed by their speech. 

The supernumerary servants were again dismissed, 
and Lady Hester resumed the retired mode of life 
which she had adopted in the spring of last year. 
There was no plague, consequently nothing to inter- 
rupt those pursuits which are most interesting to a 
traveller. Professionally, I was about this time 
chiefly called upon to vaccinate the children of the 
neighbouring villages. 


It was about this period that I rode over, one day, 
to pay a visit to the patriarch of Antioch at the 
monastery of Dayr Mkallas, near the village of Joon. 
I had retired to rest in one of the cells, when I was 
wakened, in the middle of the night, by the noise of 
horses fighting. I called my servant. Receiving no 
answer, I descended into the stableyard myself, when 
I was somewhat startled by seeing a black man 
separating the horses. He told me in bad Arabic 
that he was an inmate of the monastery, and, when I 
had seen him tie them up, I returned to my chamber. 

In the morning my first inquiry was to know who 
this man of colour could be. The superior of the 
monastery told me he was an Abyssinian, who, to- 
gether with his sister, had, when on their pilgrimage 
to Jerusalem, been shipwrecked at Suez, and with 
difficulty escaped with their lives. Having found 
their way to the tomb of Jesus, they were, by the 
charity of a few countrymen, enabled to reach Dayr 
Mkallas, in which they sought an asylum, until, as 
they said, they could receive aid from Abyssinia. 

With this story I returned to Mar Elias ; and 
Lady Hester, on hearing it, asked me to bring them 
over that she might see them. On the following day 
I again rode over to Dayr Mkallas, and went to the 
cell in which the woman lived. She was of a dark 
colour, approaching to black, with regular features, 
lively intelligent eyes, and white teeth. I told her. 
through her brother, what the object of my visit was ; 


and she consented to accompany me the next day. I 
visited her again in the afternoon, and the interest I 
seemed to take in their welfare induced them to be 
open in their conversation with me. They gave me 
to understand that in their own country they were 
people of rank,i and that their shipwreck had de- 
prived them of much property in money and slaves, 
of which latter they pretended to have had several. 

When the morning came, Mariam (that was the 
name she chose to go by, although it afterwards 
proved not to be her real one)^ was put upon an ass ; 
and, with her brother Elias by her side, accompanied 
me to Mar Elias. Lady Hester received them with 
much kindness, and with her accustomed humanity 
told them they should no longer be dependent on the 
priests, for she would feed and clothe them, until 

^ Those who have read Bruce's and Salt's travels will re- 
collect that both of them speak of a particular rotundity in a 
certain part of a woman as a criterion of noble birth, and as 
giving an air of high breeding and gentility to the happy 
possessor. In this respect it must be allowed that Mariam 
might lay claim to a descent from a distinguished race. 

^ For Mariam, the Abyssinian woman's parentage, see at 
page 164 vol. 3rd Lord Valentia's travels, Avhat is said of Eas 
Ayto, who raised Tecla Georgis to the throne. Subsequently, 
Elias gave me his Abyssinian name as Elias Jegurgos lidj, 
or Elias the son of George, and hers as Trungore Rashyelo 
lidj — urarefs or curnakyb Dinkanesh Rashyelo lidj — yeroda 
midjt — confusing all these terms in a way that left me in the 
dark as to which of them was her own name, and which that 
of her parents. 


they could find means to return to their native 
country. They were accordingly put into one of the 
rooms of the house. 

Having with me at this time an abridgment of 
Bruce's travels in Abyssinia, I questioned the Abys- 
sinian on all those passages in it which, as descriptive 
of the manners and usages of the country, admitted of 
affirmation or negation : and it is just to say that 
every allusion, or name, or description, was perfectly 
intelligible to him. He spoke of Mr. Salt as a per- 
son whom he had seen very frequently in Abyssinia. 

Ibrahim was now raised to the post of cook, which 
he filled with considerable credit, and his residence in 
England had made him less delicate in the use of 
lard and other parts of hog's flesh, which circumstance 
is generally a great obstacle to the employment of 
Turks in European houses. 

It was during this summer that Lady Hester was 
for the first time enabled to obtain a true, thoroughbred 
Arabian horse. On my journey to Damascus, I had, 
at her desire, looked through Ahmed Bey's stables, 
to ascertain whether a tall black stallion, which had 
caught her attention when at Damascus, was still alive. 
When on my return she learned that he was, and 
that Ahmed Bey had, from ill health, grown less fond 
of his steed than formerly, she resolved to endeavour 
to get this horse for herself. Accordingly, M. Beau- 
din was sent to ofier a reasonable price for it : and, 
not many days afterwards, he returned, bringing it 


with him, mounted by the Abyssinian, who had gone 
with M. Beaudin for the purpose. What price 
Lady Hester gave she would never tell me : but it 
was something considerable, 

Madame Lascaris, of whom nothing had been heard 
for more than a year, came one day to Abra. It 
appeared that her husband had left her, and was gone 
to Constantinople ; and she was now living on the 
liberality of her friends, more especially of the pasha 
of Acre ; that viceroy being a fellow-countryman of 
hers, carried away, as she had been, in his childhood, 
to be sold as a slave. But fortune put him in the 
road to greatness ; and, like many others in the East, 
he had no reason to regret the chance that removed 
him from his native soil into a strange country. 
Madame Lascaris obtained a small sum of money, and 
I afterwards heard that, on leaving Mar Elias, she 
embarked for Cyprus, where she put the society of 
Freemasons under contribution, as being of that order 

At the beginning of June, Lady Hester had found 
the weather extremely hot ; for she could not live 
comfortabl}* but in a temperature of from sixty to eighty 
degrees ; and, now that it was higher, she resolved to 
repair to a more elevated situation, as she had done the 
preceding year. Meshmushy was accordingly chosen, 
and three cottages were taken for the accommoda- 
tion of servants, the Abyssinians, &c. On the road, a 
romantic spot was selected for the first day's halt, at 


a hamlet overhanging the river Ewely, in the deep 
ravine through which it runs after quitting the vale of 
Bisra. The hamlet is named Musrat et Tahun, or the 
mill-field. Here dwelt a miller named Abu-Tanus, 
who became from this time a sort of purveyor to her 
ladyship ; until, by making an improper use of her 
name at Acre, to gain preferment to the place of 
shaykh of the hamlet, he fell into disgrace. 

On arriving at Meshmushy, Lady Hester fixed 
herself quietly for the autumn, resolved to find 
amusement in wandering among the rocks and preci- 
pices and in beholding the beautiful and magnificent 
views which surrounded us. The Abyssinians also 
occupied much of her time ; and, in the numerous 
anecdotes she heard of the chief men of that nation, 
and of the productions of the country, she found her- 
self almost induced to undertake a journey to it, and 
revolved in her mind the practicability of the scheme. 
Her success would not have been doubtful, had she 
undertaken it ; since her plans were generally laid, as 
a prudent builder raises an edifice, upon a sound foun- 
dation ; but other events intervened. 

Towards the end of July, to amuse myself, and 
relieve the sameness of our rides, I caused a sort of 
rural wigwam to be constructed of stakes and branches 
of trees, in the midst of the forest of firs which lay at 
the back of Meshmushy. For, although on the side 
of Bisra plain the mountain seems like a sugar-loaf, 
it is in fact no other than a promontory belonging to 



a lofty ridge, which runs south, with a gradual as- 
cent, until it reaches the province of Suftad, where it 
begins to decline. This ridge afforded pleasing excur- 
sions for a great distance. To this wigwam an occa- 
sional ride in the course of the morning diversified the 
monotony of the life we led, where, sitting for an hour 
or two, one might peruse a favourite author, or indulge 
in one's own reflections, for which there was ample 
food. Meshmusln- i? by nature so inaccessible, that 
no person, from mere idle curiosity, would think of 
ascending to it. There, her society was literally con- 
fined to myself; for the priests were too unmannered 
to gain access to her presence, and the shaykh of 
the village was a farmer, without any other know- 
ledge than that required for his agricultural occu- 

That Lady Hester had no thoughts at this time of 
going to Europe, much less of returning to England, 
is pretty evident. It might be supposed that she had 
almost now resolved to spend the remainder of her 
days in the East. I therefore, with much reluctance, 
had communicated to her my wish, as soon as some 
one could be procured to supply my place, of returning 
to ray native country, from which I had now been 
absent nearly six years ; and it was resolved that 
Giorgio, the Greek, should be sent to England both 
for the purpose of bringing out my successor, and also 
to execute a variety of commissions for his mistress, 
which could not be accurately made known by letter. 


On the 80th of June, he sailed from Beyrout to 
Cyprus, where he found a vessel to Malta, and 
thence took his passage to England. He was charged 
with several presents, in sabres, wines of Mount 
Lebanon, brocades, and other productions of the ma- 
nufactures and soil of the Levant. 

It was about this period that a malicious paragraph 
found its way into the English newspapers, copied from 
the French, stating that Lady Hester was surrounded 
by children whom she educated. The fact was, that she 
had three servant boys of from ten to twelve years 
old, sons of peasants of Abra, who were useful to run 
on messages, where the different parts of the family 
were scattered in different cottages, and who took 
it by turns to walk by the side of her ass when she 
rode out, to hold it when she alighted, and to per- 
form the duties of groom-boys in the stable. 

When not animated in the pursuit of some interest- 
ing affair. Lady Hester now sunk into an extraordi- 
nary lassitude and inactivity of body, but never of 
mind. She had been accustomed ever since her ill- 
ness at Latakia to be carried up stairs by two men- 
servants, and could, on no occasion, support the 
slightest exertion of an unusual nature. 

Time passed on in this way. Her ladyship was 
in constant correspondence with Malem Haym Shady 
at Acre, to which end M. Beaudin was continually 
going backward and forward. The project of my 
journey to Egypt, so often put off, was now defini- 



tivelj- arranged ; and on the 1st of August I left 
Meshmusliy for Abra, in order to embark. 

Signer Volpi, an Italian, professing medicine at 
Tripoli, was sent for, and engaged by Lady Hester to 
attend on her until my return. 

As there was a constant resort of vessels from 
Egypt to Tyre, for the purpose of loading with wood, 
I resolved not to wait at Sayda for an occasion, which 
was at best very uncertain, but to go to Tyre. Ac- 
cordingly, on the 6th, accompanied by my man 
Giovanni, I departed, and arrived at Tyre in the 
evening. I took up my abode at the house of the 
Greek bishop, and, sending Giovanni to the captain 
of the port, desired him to inform me as to the 
Egyptian craft I saw lying at anchor. He soon 
afterwards brought to me the rais of a sliekyf^ 
burden 250 ardeps of rice, not decked, and with a 
crew of twelve men — the master named Mohammed el 
Ketab. As he was not to sail until the 8th, I em- 
ployed the whole of the 7th in examining the town, 
about the miraculous decadence of which so much has 
been said, and continues to be repeated by travellers. 
Yet, to an unbiassed observer, it appeared to share 
only in the general fate of all the cities of the coast, 
and could indeed claim a more prosperous fortune 
than Gaza, Ascalon, or Csesarea, all famous cities in 
their time. 

Tyre therefore, described as so ruinous by some 
travellers, was now a flourishing town, to which addi- 


tions were daily making in houses and inhabitants. Its 
population might be estimated at 2,000 souls, con- 
sisting of Metoualys, Grreek Catholics, and Greeks. 
The quarter of the Metoualys was on the isthmus 
near the gate ; that of the Christians to the nortli- 
west side of the town. The Grreek families amounted 
to no more than a dozen : they had, however, a mo- 
nastery, in which there was but one secular priest, 
who had now resided twenty years in Tyre ; and 
there I was lodged. I had before heard of this man, 
who was remarkable, as I was told, for the retired life 
he led, and for his spare diet. On obsorving him, I 
remarked that he ate everything but fruit, sweets, and 
pastry, which he refrained from, not because he did 
not like them, but because he was a martyr to flatu- 
lence, for which he consulted me. I found him 
to be a complete valetudinarian, to which state he had 
brought himself by gross feeding, wine-drinking, and 
absolute inactivity. So much for worldly reputation ! 
The walls of Tyre, in the state in which I saw them, 
were a very recent and insignificant work ; but in 
parts might be discerned the remains of a wall of older 
date. There was also a dilapidated palace, in a corner 
of which the governor still contrived to reside : this 
might be considered as the castle. The houses were 
of stone, and some of them had very handsome upper 
apartments, commanding an extensive prospect. At 
this time houses and warehouses were building on the 
strand to the north, facing the basin. The isthmus 

198 travf:ls of 

was, in appearance, a heap of sand ; beneath the 
surface, however, according to the report of the in- 
habitants, were hidden masses of ruins. So lately as 
fifty years before, this part was covered with gardens ; 
now it was built upon. To the south and to the west, 
on the sea-shore, the rock, which forms the peninsula, 
was bared by the continued action of the sea, impelled 
by the western gales ; but to the north, wherever 
workmen dug for the purpose of laying foundations, 
the rock was never met with.' 

' Pococke, who saw the flourishing state of Tyre, even in 
1737, not knowing how to reconcile with it the words of 
Ezekiel, xxvi. 14 ; and xxviii. 19, says, that the prophecy must 
be understood of the ancient city on the continent. He adds, 
" It is a place where they export great quantities of corn, and 
Malta itself is supplied from this place." Vol. ii. p. 82, fol. Surely 
a port which supplies Malta must be a populous and thriving 
one ! I know that evidence contrary to this may be brought 
from the relations of other travellers, and I believe the par- 
ticular bias of a person's mind has much to do with the colour- 
ing which he gives to objects. It would be well if commen- 
tators on prophecy would consider that Antioch, Ascalon, 
Berytus, Cssarea, Decapolis, Emesa, Famagusta, Gebayl, He- 
liopolis, or Balbec, Laodicea, Palmyra, or Tadmur, and other 
cities, the rivals in commerce and luxury of Tyre, will be 
found fallen from their flourishing greatness, many of them 
lower than it ; and yet against the greater part of them there 
is no denunciation at all in the prophetic writings. On the 
other hand, we read (Isaiah v. 1, c. xviii) — "Behold, 
Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a 
ruinous heap :" yet, in spite of its doom, so emphatically pre- 


Tyre has two ports. The inner seemed to have been 
formed by two moles, enclosing a basin perhaps 250 
yards across. The moles were now partly washed 
away by the sea, and the towers which flanked them 
were tumbling down. The basin contained at most 
half a fathom of water. On the outside of the mole, 
running West and East, were to be seen, under the 
surface of the sea, on a fine day, about a dozen fallen 
pillars, which probably formed a colonnade to some 
ancient edifice. To the West, likewise, were various 
fragments. There were men whose occupation it was 
to dive to the bottom of the basin, or to rake the strand 
for whatever they could find. They came to me, at 
dieted, Damascus has flourished from that time until now. 
The editor of " The Monthly Review " for November, 
1822, looking at the account of Tyre given by Mr. Bucking- 
ham, whose Travels he is reviewing, and who states that he 
saw 800 substantial houses, containing full 5,000 inhabitants, is 
staggered at the assertion, and confronts with it the testimony 
of Maundrell, Bruce, Jolliffe, and some others. He observes, 
very justly, that what were good comfortable houses in the 
eyes of Mr. Buckingham, accustomed from the age of nine 
years to roam about the world, might not be so in reality. But 
perhaps a means for settling his doubts may be found when he 
is told that the houses of Tyre were equally good with those at 
Jaffa and Acre, two neighbouring towns, Avhich have not fallen 
under the prophet's interdict, and that therefore no manifesta- 
tion of the Divine wrath can be said to have descended more 
on it than on the two others. Csesarea, where the good Cen- 
turion lived, has not now one house standing ; yet the walls 
which encompass it were built by Saint Louis : — but then he was 
a Catholic. 


the instigation of the harbour-master, and produced, 
out of their findings, about a hundred and fifty copper 
coins, some agates and cornehans, pieces of lead, hke 
the heads of arrows, or the balls of slings or of the 
balistse, &c. The coins were so corroded by the salt 
water as to be totally defaced. Among the stones 
was the frao-ment of an intaolio of a horse, the head 
only and the end of the warrior's spear remaining : 
but this portion was so beautifully cut, that, had it 
been entire, it would have been invaluable. 

The outer port or road is considered as one of the 
best along the coast of Syria. It is formed by a 
broken ledge of rocks running North from the peninsula. 
Were the intervals between the rocks filled up, so as 
to make a continued breakwater, a capacious and 
nearly a safe port might be formed. The depth of 
water between the rocks varies from a fathom and a 
half to three fathoms. In this road the bottom is 
sand as far out as the ledge runs. To the South of 
Tyre, there is a bay which is very deep and dangerous, 
having at places sixty fathon)s of water. The trade 
of Tyre was, in 1815, in corn, tobacco, wood, and char- 
coal, all exported to Egypt. 

For two piasters I hired a boat with four men, 
for the purpose of obtaining, if possible, some speci- 
mens of the Tyrian dye. The man who steered her 
was the harbour-master, Riiis el myna, who, brought 
up to the trade of a fisherman, had, nevertheless, ac- 
quired considerable celebrity along the coast of Syria 


for his skill in lithotomy. His name was Bulus Abu 
Hanah. From the moment of my arrival at Tyre, he 
had hung about me, hoping to obtain from me an 
English penknife, that being the instrument with 
which he operated. He showed me a stone of seven- 
teen drachms Turkish, or an ounce and a half English, 
and another a little smaller, which he had extracted. 
His operations amounted to twenty-five, and his average 
of deaths was not different from those on record by 
some celebrated European surgeons. He acknowledged 
that no previous study had led him to undertake this 
bold operation ; but that, having observed with Avhat 
facility it had been done by some itinerant lithotomists 
who came to Tyre, he ventured to undertake it 
first upon his own nephew. His success in that 
instance emboldened him, and he now refused no case 
that presented itself, where he saw a prospect of cure. 
It will scarcely be believed that the very delicate 
operation for the cataract is likewise performed in 
Syria by itinerant oculists. 

Our search after the Tyrian dye was unsuccessful : 
this not being, it was said, the proper season for fish- 
ing for it. But a promise was made me that I should 
be supplied with some in the spring of the ensuing- 
year ; in return for which I was to send the harbour- 
master an English penknife. He did not execute his 
promise the following year, but I did mine. 

As I desired him to bring to me everything that his 
nets caught, one of the men bethought himself that a 

K 5 


collection of sea-weeds would interest me. He showed 
me thirteen sorts. Two of them are used for dyeing; 
of these one, called hashysh ed dudy^ or' sindean el halir^ 
dyes a crimson, and is of a purple hue. Although the 
history of the Tyrian dye is a certain one, I would 
nevertheless ask whether there might not have been 
a crimson extracted from a sea-weed as well as a fish.^ 

On Monday, the 8th of August, I embarked, about 
one in the morning. At sunrise we weighed anchor, 
and, coasting the shore, came to the Nakura (of which 
mention has been made in former passages) about four 
leagues South of Tyre. Here the vessel was anchored 
in a nook close in to the shore, for the purpose of 
receiving her cargo of wood, consisting of cordbats as 
thick as a man's leg, and about a yard long, which 
were cut on the mountain close to the villages of 
Nakiira and Alma, and sold on the spot for from five 
to eight piasters the hundred. 

AVhilst the vessel was loading, which was done by 
tlie crew, who carried the wood on their shoulders 
througli the surf, the passengers went on shore, and I 
among the number. We were about one mile to the 
North of the Nakura toll-house, when, at a httle 
distance from the sea-shore, I observed two pillars 
standing, the remains of some ancient building. The 
name the ruin goes by is Um el Hamud ; but I was 
surprised to find that two such objects should have 
hitherto escaped my notice, when 1 had now passed 
^ Murex. 


this road three times. I have not, therefore, inserted 
them in our itinerary, in their proper place. On a hne 
with the pillars, close to the sea-shore, so as to be 
washed by the surf, were two or three small springs of 
water, which from their situation are constantly 

Some Metoualys, who were inhabitants of the 
mountain hereabouts, came down to look at us. They 
had muskets, the use of which Gezzar Pasha had pro- 
hibited at the time when, he laid waste their country, 
and put their chiefs to death. But their rough and 
almost insolent manner towards Moslems here argued 
very clearly that they had in a certain degree recovered 
their independence. 

Gezzar persecuted this race of people almost to 
extermination. The troops which he sent against 
them were commanded by Selim Pasha, a Mameluke, 
who afterwards headed the insurrection of the Mame- 
lukes against that pasha. Upon this occasion, Paris 
and Nasyf, two chieftains of a Metoualy family, in 
which had been vested the government from time 
immemorial, were put to death, and others were im- 
prisoned at Acre. Selim Pasha sent 745 heads to his 
master, which were piled up outside the gate of 

But the greatest cruelty was exercised on those who 
were led to Acre as prisoners ; for Gezzar Pasha 
ordered them to be impaled immediately. This 
horrible massacre was recounted to me in the followinir 


niauner. It was two or three hours past sunset when 
the prisoners were brought in. Pierre, one of our 
servants, whom I have often mentioned, was Hving at 
Acre at that time ; and, happening to be walking to- 
wards the city gate on his own affairs, with his lantern 
in his hand, he was laid hold of, as were many others, 
by the soldiers, to stand by and guard the prisoners, 
whilst the others were executed. Of these there were 
twenty-seven. Three, bound hand and foot, were his 
charge : and, when he saw the horrid work that was 
preparing, he trembled not much less than did the 
prisonei's themselves. Several were already impaled 
on rough stakes hastily sharpened, when at length a 
man, whom Pierre described as of great strength, 
feeling the first blow of the mallet which drove the 
stake into his body, (his legs having been untied pre- 
viously to stretch them wide open,) gave a sudden 
spring, extricated himself from the grasp of his execu- 
tioners, and ran off. He plunged into the sea, and in 
the darkness of the night saved himself or was 
dro\vned ; for he was heard of no more. The execu- 
tions continued until the night was far advanced : 
some of these miserable creatures lived until the next, 
and some until the third day. 

At night our cargo was completed, and the shekyf 
(so the little craft was called) was hauled off into deep 
water. After midnight, as soon as the land breeze 
was felt, we set sail for Rosetta, our course being 
West South West. A shekyf resembles somewhat, 


in size and construction, a smuggler''s lugger, being 
without a deck. The wood filled her up to the very 
gunwale ; and, upon this hard and uneven material, 
twelve passengers, with a crew of the same number, 
were to find berths. The small boat, which was lifted 
in, was awarded to me by the captain, against the pre- 
tensions of a Turk, who, however, did not yield so 
advantageous a situation without much grumbling. 
There was a soldier with one hand, with a military 
voice and very haughty demeanour, but whom the 
rais smoothed into a most obliging person by fre- 
quently applying to him the title of aga : although 
his pride never could submit to be civil to two Jews, 
who were driven from side to side until the rest of the 
passengers had accommodated themselves : yet one 
of these was a rabbin, a man of learning, and whose 
conversation afterwards was my greatest comfort on 
the passage. There was, likewise, an Egyptian 
shaykh, whose neck was ornamented by three rows of 
large Mecca beads : and with him were his wife and 
daughter, both dreadfully sea-sick, with an old man 
servant, seventy years of age, infirm and helpless. 
Two Alexandrian pedlars, and two poor creatures of 
no trade or craft whatever, with Giovanni, who was 
like a corpse from the moment he got on board, com- 
pleted our heterogeneous party. 

During the whole of Monday, our course was 
nearly the same, with a capful of wind. In the 
nio-ht it fell calm. The land breeze was then felt, and 


with that we advanced a little. But, on Tuesday, the 
9th, a West wind, the prevailing one of the season, 
sprung up, and obliged us to alter our course to North 
and by West, upon which rhumb we kept the whole 
of the day and the following night. The wind fresh- 
ened considerably, and we furled our niizen, Giovanni 
was very ill, and incapable of doing anything for me ; 
and, in the usual strain of the sea-sick, recommended 
himself to the Virgin, and considered his case as 

On the 10th, about ten in the morning, we got 
sight of Cyprus, bearing North. Through the day 
we had a fresh breeze, and went, as I suppose, at the 
rate of five knots. Our vessel was leaky, and the 
crew baled her twice (for there was no pump) before 
noon. Every passenger was sick but the soldier, the 
Egyptian shaykli, and myself. A little before sunset, 
we anchored in a nook to the East of the island. 
After sunset the wind freshened ; but we were in per- 
fectly smooth water. 

On the 12th we Aveighed, and coasted the island 
towards the south. We doubled a small cape, and 
came in sight of the bay of Limasol, into which a 
gentle breeze brought us after sunset. Smooth water 
and the sight of the lamps in Limasol (for it was Ra- 
mazan) had revived the passengers, and Giovanni 
begged to be permitted to go on shore with the boat 
which was hoisted out to fetch water. When he re- 
turned, he brought me a supply of grapes, honey, fresh 


bread, eggs, and other articles, which made the rest of 
the passage very tolerable : but the water we took iu 
here was extremely bad. 

The island of Cyprus looks from the sea very pic- 
turesque and of varied scenery. Its grand features 
are a chain of mountains which runs through its whole 
length, and which is rendered remarkable by a sugar- 
loaf elevation in one part, and a lofty long summit in 
another. These large mountains detach themselves 
into smaller ones, and these into hills, of conical and 
other shapes, which come down to the sea-coast. The 
point, that forms the bay of Limasol, is a cape of flat 
land, running into the sea to a considerable length. 
As we coasted the island, the face of it appeared varie- 
gated with trees and pastures, and rising in fair slopes. 
Haifa leao-ue from the shore, near our first anchorino- 
place, we saw a village, which resembled those I had 
left in Syria. , 

, About midnight, a light breeze sprung up : and, 
taking advantage of it, we set sail for Egypt. It may 
be remarked that, at this season of the year, when the 
west winds prevail ^ very constantly, the country 
vessels seldom attempt to beat down by short tacks : 
but they make a long tack to Cyprus, and a second 
brings them to Egypt. 

Saturday, the loth, was a cloudy day. Sunday, 

^ The Arabic saying is, " The month of August, the month 
of wind and wave." 


Monday, and Tuesday we kept close-hauled, our course 
being S.W. and S.W. and by W. At sunrise there 
was generally a calm, and a sea as smooth as a mirror : 
about ten a breeze would come on, which would freshen 
until about sunset, when it usually became as strong 
as the vessel could well bear. The captain, one morn- 
ing, frightened me somewhat by leaping into the sea : 
but I found that his intention was only to bathe, and, 
after swimming about the vessel, he returned on board. 
I was not tempted to follow his example, although 
very fond of swimming. 

As my provisions failed me somewhat, I was sur- 
prised to find that the Jew produced from his store 
many excellent things, such as sweet biscuits, cakes, 
dried fruit, Szc. He was a native of Tiberias, and 
was now on his way to Gibraltar, and perhaps to 
England, to beg for the Holy City. I found some 
relief to the tiresomeness of the passage in his conver- 
sation. His name was Yudy (Judas i) Among other 
things, he gave me the details of a revolt which took 
place in Gebel Nablus during the preceding year, at 
which he was present in the capacity of secretary to 
Malem Sulymau, who was seraf to the forces on the 
occasion : which I thought it worth while to write 
down, as descriptive of the petty wars which often 
take place in the Turkish provinces. 

In the autumn of each year, jSIuly Ismael and his 
mercenaries were generally hired by the pasha of Da- 
mascus for the purpose of marching through the 


soutliern districts of the pashalik, where there had 
been for many years past a refractory spirit, and a 
disposition to throw off allegiance to the reignin^ 
pasha. This had more particularly manifested itself 
on Gebel Nablus, the ancient Samaria. The Muly 
proceeded on his march, as was customary ; but, on 
approaching Suffyn, a village that could raise 400 
muskets, he was told to retire, or he should be received 
as an enemy, as they would no longer submit to the 
oppressions of the government. The Muly accordingly 
halted and encamped. He did not attack the village, 
but sent a courier to acquaint the pasha with the re- 
sistance which was opposed to him, and to demand 
fresh troops. In the mean time, it was Avhispered that 
Muly Ismael had received a bribe to induce him to 
remain passive. Fresh troops, however, were sent 
from Damascus ; and, lest these should not be enough, 
aid was required from the pasha of Acre and afforded. 
With these latter troops, Sulyman, the banker, went, 
and with him his secretary, Yudy. Thus the forces 
of two pashas were united against one village. 

No sooner did these reinforcements reach the en- 
campment, than, on a sudden, their leaders also be- 
came pusillanimous, and declared it impossible to 
attack the village. An interrupted cannonade was 
carried on from a great distance, but no demonstration 
of resistance was made by the village, unless when the 
troops approached too near, on which occasions they 
were warmly received. The peasants had no other 


protection than a trench carried round their village : 
but the place itself was on an elevated situation, and 
presented natural difficulties. This warfare continued 
several days. Despatches from the pashas cried shame 
on their conduct, sayinp; that they would be loaded 
with infamy if they suffered themselves to be baffled 
hj so few men, and those not soldiers. 

During this suspense, the regular forces were more 
than once on the point of running away. On one 
occasion a report was industriously circulated that the 
peasants intended to attack the camp by night. Ac- 
cordingly, the horses were kept bridled, the troops lay 
on their arms, and the seraf Sulyman was seized with 
a diarrhoea from fright, and had taken his measures 
to escape with the gold, intending to drop some silver 
about on the road, as a trap to stop the pursuit, ^ 

It will be recollected that, in relating the occurrences 
at Damascus, a certain Hamed Bey, son of Yusef 
Pasha, was mentioned, as commanding a corps of mer- 
cenaries. This man had now been sent by the pasha 
of Damascus, and, not having shared in the bribes 
given to the other leaders, resolved on distinguishing 
himself by a spirited attack on the village. He was 
joined by an aga, who was also aware of the treachery 
of Muly Ismael and his colleagues. These two, then, 
forming a body of horse and foot, advanced to the 

' Yet it may be safely affirmed that this gentleman had never 
read the story of Hippomenes and Atalanta. 


trench. The peasants received them by a general 
discharge along their whole line, which threw Hamed 
Bey's cavalry into disorder : but, whilst they were re- 
loading, the infantry rushed forward sword in hand, 
passed the trench, and mixed pell-mell among the 
peasantry. It being harvest time, there was a great 
quantity of straw lying near the spot where the attack 
was made ; and, the wind being high, the Turks got 
to windward, set fire to it, and, following the smoke 
which blinded their adversaries, they discomfited them 
completely. Thirty- one heads were cut off; for which 
a reward of 100 piasters each was given, and, as is 
customary, a stamped piece of tin, which the gainers 
wear afterwards in their caps or somewhere about 
them, as a sign of their prowess. Two shaykhs and 
several peasants were made prisoners, and for them 
150 piasters each was awarded,^ The Albanians di- 
rected their attention chiefly to the women, whom 
they violated wherever they caught them : the deldty 
plundered for effects. ^ The prisoners were conducted 

^ Mohammed Aga Abu Nabut, actuated by a more sangui- 
nary feeling, was accustomed, in his petty wars, to give 150 
for a head and 100 for a prisoner. The consequence was 

^ The mode used by the soldiers, when plundering a village, 
to discover where the peasants have hidden their corn and ef- 
fects, is ingenious enough. They know that such things are 
generally concealed in holes in their cottages, but the diiBculty 
is to discover where to dig. The floors are of clay mixed up 


to the camp, and, on as many as chains could be found 
for, chains were put. The rest were tied with their 
hands behind them, and made to lie on their backs : 
from which position, if they dared to stir, a soldier with 
a whip lashed them cruelly. Others were bound to- 
gether with a long cord in nooses round their necks : 
so that if one attempted to stir he tightened the noose 
round the neck of the man next to him, and might 
eventually strangle him. The women, who were not 
comely, or who were somewhat old, were sold back to 
the old men for five, ten, or fifteen piasters : and thus 
the afiair terminated. 

There was not a year, during our stay in Syria, 
that some part of Gebel Nablus was not in insurrec- 
tion. This spirit of resistance to the lawful autho- 
rities we may suppose to be often fomented by persons 
attached to the government. The rabbin Yudy told 
me an anecdote in confirmation of this, which was as 
follows. When Abdallah Pasha was governor of 
Damascus, an attack was made by one of his officers 
on a village of about twenty houses in the district of 
Nablus, which was unsuccessful. Enraged at this 
repulse, the pasha in person assaulted the place at 
the head of seventeen men and took it. He found in 

with chaff. The soldiers make three or four piles of stones in 
different parts of the room, each pile consisting of several large 
stones placed one upon another. They then jar the floor by 
jumping or stamping on it, and wherever a pile falls there is 
the hole, because the jar is felt only where there is a hollow. 


it one of his own ammunition chests which had been 
sold by his gunners to the enemy, whilst encamped 
before the village. Such treachery the rabbin said 
was common in Turkish warfare. 

On the 15th of August, at sunset, our riiis suspected 
we were approaching the land, and hove the lead to see 
what bottom it was : by it, and by the freshness of 
the water, he knew that we were near the Egyptian 
shore. He accordingly shortened sail, stood cautiously 
in, and anchored late in the evening in sight of land, 
which he distinguished, no doubt, easily enough : but 
my eyes, less used to reconnoitring a flat coast, more 
especially in the dark, beheld nothing but a heavy sky 
and a gloomy sea. 

In the morning of the 1 6th, I was turned out of the 
small boat, which was my berth, just as we were 
coming upon the bar of Rosetta, and, to lighten the 
vessel, it was lifted out, and loaded with wood : but, 
in going over the bar, it swamped, and the painter was 
cut in an instant to prevent the hindrance it caused to 
the progress of the sliekyf. We touched several times 
in crossing the bar ; and signs were made to us by 
vessels within that our course was too far south : but 
the rais appeared to rely on his own skill, and we 
finally got into smooth water. 

The Delta was now flooded, as the Nile was at its 
height, so that the houses and villages seemed to be 
inaccessible but to boats. There were, however, 
children, who kept up with us by the river side. 


sometimes on a dry knoll, sometimes up to their 
in water, and sometimes wading and swimming over 
canals, eagerly following us, to catch the bread and 
other refuse provisions which were thrown to them 
from the vessel. A cap was handed round to collect 
coffee- money for the crew, in consideration of our safe 
passage over the bar. 

On arriving at the quay of Rosetta, the busy scene, 
though not iiuvel to me, had lost none of its attrac- 
tions. I had seen the Nile before when empty : I 
now beheld it brim-full, and enlivened with an in- 
creased degree of activity from the number of vessels 
and from the animation that commerce excites. 

It was Ramazan time, and I sat on the quarter, 
smoking, and viewing the scenes around me. But, 
had the vessel not been from the sea, and of course the 
passengers considered as persons travelling, I could 
not thus, in the face of everybody, have presumed to 
smoke. For travellers and for the sick there is an 
exemption in the Koran. ^ 

I had sent a letter on shore to the English 
agent, Signor Lenzi, requesting him to provide 
me a lodging. His dragoman came instantly down to 
inform me that the plague was in the town, otherwise 
Signor Lenzi would have accommodated me at his own 
house, but that he had secured apartments for me at 

^ This fact, and what occurred to me at Latakia, will enable 
travellers to judge when and where they can smoke openly in 
Ramazan time. 


the Terra Santa monastery, where Padre Luigi would 
entertain me. To prevent the danger of contagion, 
the dragoman had provided some rush mats, in which 
the whole of my baggage was wrapped, and then 
carried by porters to the monastery, where they put 
down their burdens at the door and took away the 
mats. Thus, they having touched nothing that re- 
mained, all danger of infection was prevented. 

I retired to a gloomy cell, where I was devoured 
by fleas ; and resolved to escape as speedily as possible 
to Alexandria. So I went to rest, deliberating how 
this was to be managed ; as both land and sea con- 
veyances would expose me to the contact of the in- 
fected. In this mood I fell asleep, and was wakened 
next morning by a violent knocking at my door ; 
when who should enter but shaykli Ibrahim, better 
known as Mr. Burckhardt, who was on his way from 
Cairo to Alexandria. We renewed our acquaintance, 
(which had been but momentary at Nazareth) and 
agreed to go thither in company. He was glad, I 
believe, to have me for a companion, as his health was 
far from re-established since a dangerous fever that 
had attacked him at Mecca : and, in return, I was 
pleased to study the character of a man who was re- 
puted to be an adventurous and enterprising traveller, 
and, moreover, highly gifted with the talents neces- 
sary for rendering his researches useful to the 

As we could not depart immediately^ we were com- 


pelled to be very careful in our walks and visits about 

On the 18tli of August, in tlie evening, we departed 
for Alexandria by land, mounted on asses. Shaykh 
Ibrahim had with him a black slave ' named Fadl 
Allah, and Giovanni and he, both accustomed to tra- 
velling, left us nothing to do but to smoke, eat, converse, 
and sleep. Arrived at Lake Edko, we hired a boat 
to cross it, and here I was determined to leave the 
whole conduct of the passage to the shaykh, who 
knew so much more of Egypt than I did. But he 
could not be a match for the cunning of an Egyptian. 
The director of the ferry deceived him both as to 
price and as to the nature of our passage. He had bar- 
gained for a boat to be occupied by ourselves only ; yet, 
we found, on getting on board, that it was already full 
of passengers ; and, whilst he was charging the director 
with duplicity and cheating, the boatmen were setting 
the sail and seemed not to heed us. For, it must be 
observed, these lakes are very shallow, and a boat that 
draws only three feet water cannot approach within 
fifty yards of the shore. Hence it is customary for men 
to ply at the landing places, to carry passengers and 
luggage to and fro on their shoulders. They wear 
nothing but a blue smock frock, and this they tuck up, 
even if there are females on board, as high as the waist. 

^ This slave was bought in Upper Egypt and cost fifty 
dollars — four dollars were paid as dues at the towns coming 
down the Nile, and two at Cairo : making the total cost fifty-six. 


We crossed Lake Edko and the isthmus, and then 
re-erabarked in another boat of a similar build. We 
were finally landed at the block-house, on the dyke 
between Lake Madia and Lake Moeris, where, three 
years before, I passed, in company with Mr. Henry 
Pearce, so disagreeable a night. We here hired asses, 
which were waiting on the shore for the arrival of 
boats, and proceeded strait to Alexandria, which we 
reached at sunset. Colonel Missett, the British 
Resident, received us both into his house, and expressed 
his oblio-ations to me for coming; so far on his account. 
The plague had committed some ravages in Alex- 
andria this year, but they were now over, and, in the 
language of the Levant, people had opened their 
houses ; that is, those who had shut themselves up in 
rigid quarantine had now resumed their accustomed 
occupations and intercourse.^ 

Shaykh Ibrahim showed a strong disposition to re- 
visit Syria at this time, and expressed himself as half 
inclined to accompany me when I should go back. 
My time passed away most delightfully in Alexandria. 
Eanished so long as I had been from European 
society of all sorts, I entered again, with infinite re- 
lish, into the parties and evening conversazioni, which 
were both gay and instructive. Colonel Missett's 
urbanity drew to his house whatever was respectable 
in talent or rank. So great was the esteem in which 
the British Resident was held, that the greatest title 

^ The Gazette of the battle of Waterloo reached Egypt a 
day or two after our arrival. 



to consideration and gratitude, from all ranks at 
Alexandria, for me would have been in restoring to 
the Colonel that health of which he had been long 
deprived. But some dietetic rules, with a few re- 
medies as palliatives in the most distressing symptoms, 
were all the relief that a confirmed paralysis of the 
lower extremities, now of seven years' standing, would 
admit of. 

As it was Ramazan, Shaykh Ibrahim, in the 
character of a Moslem, was bound to fast from sun- 
rise to sunset : but, when he got to Colonel Missett's, 
he thought he might resume his Frank habits with- 
out the risk of being detected. We were seated one 
morning at one of those sumptuous breakfasts for 
which the Colonel's table was celebrated, when a 
young Turk, named Sadiz Effendi, and well known 
to Shaykh Ibrahim, suddenly entered, and caught the 
shaj^kh with his mouth full. Evasion or denial was 
useless : and this discovery, no doubt, did the shaykh 
great harm among those Moslems who had almost 
made up their minds to identify him with themselves. 
Much amusement was aitorded us about this time 
b}' the facility with which some French gentlemen, 
presuming on the restoration of the old nobility by 
the return of Louis XVIII. , assumed pretended dor- 
mant titles in their families ; so that Cairo and 
Alexandria had on a sudden many noble names to 
boast of. 

M. Drovetti, ex-consul of France, was residins: at 


Alexandria, and gratified us with a sight of his col- 
lection of antiquities, which he hoped one day to sell 
in Europe. He estimated it at three thousand 
guineas, probably somewhat more than its value. ^ 

The commerce of Alexandria had revived since 
Buonaparte's downfall. There were more than a hun- 
dred European ships in the west harbour during my 
stay. Of these, a few came fully laden with European 
commodities ; but as yet there was not a market for 

Signor Belzoni, who afterwards rendered himself so 
celebrated for his discoveries in Egypjt, was, at this 
epoch, just arrived there in search of employment. 
But the person who excited most conversation 
among the Franks was Mr. J. Silk Buckingham, 
who to considerable natural abilities united much 
activity and research, which, not being well seconded 
in Egypt, obliged him subsequently to repair to India, 
where he found his talents better appreciated. There 
was also a Scotchman here, who was left after the 
affair of Rosetta, and from a soldier had made a 
doctor of himself. He secretly told me that he 
wanted to abandon Egypt and his religion ; but 
Shaykh Ibrahim dissuaded him from doing so. 

Towards the end of September, after a stay of five 
weeks, I quitted Alexandria. As Shaykh Ibrahim 
had never seen Damietta, he resolved to accompany 

* This collection was afterwards bought for the Royal 
Museum at Munich. 



me thither ; and we jointly hired a coasting boat to 
convey us to that city, for which we were to pay 
100 piasters. 

We embarked in the evening of the 25th, but the 
wind was fresh, and we could not quit the port until 
the next day. Our boat was roomy, and we had it 
entirely to ourselves, such being the agreement. Both 
our servants became so ill the moment they were em- 
barked, that we were obliged to dress our dinner for 
ourselves. The passage was favourable. Shaykh 
Ibrahim performed his prayers on board, but the riiis 
never could make up his mind to address him as a 
Turk, and through the whole passage persisted in 
calling him Khawagy^ Shaykh Ibrahim, ludicrously 
mixing the Christian appellation with his JNIahometan 

Shaykh Ibrahim, it is generally believed, passed 
everywhere, unsuspected, as a Mahometan. That is 
possible. All Turkey is full of Italian and French 
renegadoes, who, of course, speak but indifferently a 
Linguage which they generally attempt to acquire 
when the organs of speech have no longer the pliabi- 
lity of childhood ; and, exclusive of these, Syria, 
Eo-ypt, and Arabia, abound with Albanians and other 

' Khawagy is the appellation given to Christian mer- 
chants or gentlemen ; its meaning is merchant, and it is the 
most civil title that Christians, whether subjects of the Porte 
or Europeans, ever get from Mahometans. Aga, Bey, Muly, 
Shaykh, &c., they reserve for themselves. 


natives of European Turkey, who have, of course, nearly 
the same difficulties to encounter in learning Arabic 
as a Swiss or an Englishman, It was, therefore, no 
cause of suspicion that he had an accent, or that he 
could not pronounce certain letters, and overcome 
those (we may call them) insurmountable difficulties 
for grown persons in speaking in Arabic. But, that he 
ever passed as a native is not true ; and, although he 
spoke Arabic better than any European traveller upon 
record, still he was incapable of opening his mouth for 
ten sentences without being detected as a foreigner. 

Mr. Burckhardt himself often related an anecdote, 
which went to prove the belief of the pasha of Cairo 
that his character of a Moslem was an assumed one ; 
but this anecdote rather regards the purpose of his 
disguise. It was, that, on having obtained permission of 
the pasha to go to Mecca, the pasha sent a message 
to him by his hakym bashi or chief physician, (Hanah 
Bozaro) desiring him to keep his own counsel, and 
not to go and say he had made a fool of the pasha. 

After quitting Alexandria, and before reaching 
Aboukir bay, we passed an eminence called Tel Agul ; 
and farther on is Nelson's Island, as it has been 
named by the English, but which the native sailors 
called Gezyra Ghoro. 

We arrived at that mouth of the Nile, marked, on 
d'Anville's map, Ostium Taniticum, crossed the bar, and 
reached the custom-house, where a party of Albanian 
soldiers was put on board to be conveyed gratis to 


Damietta. The shaykh, as well as myself, had enough 
experience of this sort of gentry to know that, if they 
discovered us to be Franks, they would probably 
usurp our places, aud send us to the forecastle. We 
therefore seated ourselves in a sort of authoritative 
manner, smoked our pipes, spoke little, and carried on 
the farce of Turkish gentlemen (to which, so long as 
our tongues betrayed us not, our costumes lent every 
assurance) so well, that when we arrived opposite to the 
quay of the town, and were inquired after by the dra- 
goman of the English agent, who was apprized of our 
coming by letter, the Albanians were furious to think 
how they had been imposed upon. 



M. Surur, English agent at Damietta — Patients — Excur- 
sion to Lake Menzaleh — Mataryah — Melikyn — Pounds for 
cattle — Ruins of San — Broken pottery — Conjectures on its 
original use — Tennys — Dybeh — Botarga fishery — Fowling — 
Running deemed indecorous in a Turk — Menzaleh — Haunted 
house — Disdain of pedestrian travellers — False door — Depar- 
ture for Syria — Vessel, cargo, and crew — Charms to raise the 
wind— Arrival at Acre, Tyre, and Abra. 

We were taken to the house of Malem Michael 
SurAr, the English agent, a young gentleman of con- 
siderable abilities and property, who did everything 
that Oriental hospitality, so fertile in resources, dic- 
tated, for the entertainment of his guests. He had 
several fine horses, upon which we rode out daily. 
Mounted himself on a superbly caparisoned stallion, 
his grooms preceded him on foot, bearing perpen- 
dicularly each his zan, or white staff, in the right 
hand, with which, as he went along, they beat the 
walls, and, at every curvet which his horse gave, 
cried, Mashallah, how wonderful ! This, being the 
style of the principal Mahometans, and absolutely 


prohibited to Christians, becomes one of the dis- 
tinguished privileges of a Consul ; and it is only to 
be regretted that the restraint under which the Chris- 
tians live should have given a value to such empty- 

I became acquainted here with the most fascinating 
lady that I had known during my long residence in 
the Levant. Her name was Syt Fersun (or Euphro- 
syne) Karysaty. She and her infant daughter Benba 
came daily to Malem Surur's to consult me ; and 
Shaykh Ibrahim used to express very pathetically 
his chagrin that, whilst I was admitted into the 
harym to" converse with these ladies, he was excluded. 
I had several patients at Damietta, and a consideration 
of some of the cases which fell under my care leads me 
to say, that I am not disposed to accede to an assertion 
made by Mr. Brown in his travels — " that in no 
country are pulmonary diseases so rare as in Egypt." 
Mr. Brown was not a medical man, and, therefore, 
of course makes similar remarks as the result of what 
he heard from the natives. It would seem that there 
is as large a proportion of them here * as in some or 
any European countries. 

* My stay at Damietta was short, yet, among the sick whom 
I was called upon to see, were six with pulmonary complaints. 
These were Hylaneh Karysaty, with spitting of blood ; Kha- 
wagy Isaac, with asthma ; the brother of Hylaneh Karysaty, 
with consumption ; Michael Surur, bronchitis ; his sister, with 
that disposition confirmed ; Khawagy Kharysaty, the husband 


Malem Surur had three black slaves and fifteen 
servants in all. 

Shaykh Ibrahim had meditated, among the objects 
of his visit to Damietta, an excursion on the lake 
Menzaleh, and I agreed to join him in it ; the more 
especially as there was no vessel ready to sail for 
Syria, to which country I was now anxious to return. 

Lake Menzaleh is not of great antiquity : Macrisi 
speaks of it as having been made to prevent the re- 
currence of invasions on the side of the Syrian desert. 
The ruins which are still to be found in and about it 
have rendered it an object of curiosity. In my first 
visit to Damietta, in company with Lady Hester, 
I was prevented from indulging the wish I entertained 
to see it, owing to the shortness of our stay, and to 
the hurry which our preparations for the voyage to 
Syria occasioned. 

Malem Surur made such arrangements as he thought 
would render us comfortable, in furnishing us with 
a basket of provisions, and sending his janissary as 
our guard. Just before sunset, on Sunday evening, 
the 30tli of September, we traversed the beautiful 
environs of the city, for about two miles, down to the 
edge of the lake at the place of embarkation, called 

of the lady, with spitting of blood. In Alexandria, Mrs. Schutz 
died of consumption ; her sister was ill, and lived in daily ap- 
prehension of sharing her fate : Miss Maltass, an English lady, 
died of it ; and there were other examples, both of natives and 
foreigners, which I neglected to note. 

L 5 


Mehub, where we found a small barge, of the kind 
common to these waters, waiting for us. It had a 
temporary awning made of rush mats. The solid 
construction of the boat itself rendered it so far from 
crank that we could walk or sit in it anywhere without 
rendering it lapsided. Our boatmen were three bro- 
thers : two men, Ahmed and Segawy, and Metwelly, 
a lad. Shaykh Ibrahim had with him his black 
slave, Fadl allah and Shaaty, a servant he had hired 
at Damietta, and I had Giovanni. The crew were 
furnished with poles, to push the boat over the shal- 
lows, and to force her onwards when there was no 
wind. In this operation, the poles are rested against 
the shoulder ; and, considering the great force occa- 
sionally used, it is wonderful that no injury ensues. 
The servant, with the provisions, not having yet ar- 
rived, we amused ourselves in observing Malem 
Surur, who, mounted on a Mameluke saddle, exhi- 
bited more skill in horsemanship than Christians in 
these countries are generally possessed of. His youth, 
he not being more than nineteen years of age, gave him 
every disposition to enjoy the privileges attached to 
his situation. 

At nightfall, Malem Surur took his leave. We 
embarked, and had not got far from the shore 
when the shaykh recollected that he had brought 
away certain letters, prepared for Alexandria, 
which he had forgotten to leave. We therefore 
put about, and returned to Mehub, the place of 
embarkation. At each place of embarkation, of 


which there are many on the borders of the lake, a 
soldier is generally stationed to levy the customs, 
which he farms from the chief officer at Damietta. 
It is not necessary to ascertain what his claim was on 
our boat ; but no sooner had Ahmed, accompanied by 
his brother, stepped on shore to find a boy to carry 
the letters to Damietta, than he was seized by the 
soldier, and desired to pay the dues. It was now 
quite dark. Ahmed assured the soldier he had no 
money, as he had yet received nothing from his 
passengers ; but, not being believed, he was forcibly 
thrust into the guard-house, where the soldier began 
to beat him most unmercifully. His cries induced 
his brother to beseech Shaykh Ibrahim (who was on 
shore delivering his instructions to the messenger 
about the letters) to go to Ahmed's assistance. The 
shaykh went ; and with great promptitude broke 
open the door, and rescued him from the grasp of his 
enraged assailant, who had, in addition to a beating, 
drawn his ^^atagan, and was threatening his life. The 
soldier was promised a bastinadoing on our return to 

It was some time before Ahmed could now be made 
to hold his tongue, when he found he could vociferate 
without fear of reprisals ; at last quiet was restored, 
and finally we re-embarked. We supped, and lay 
down to rest in our clothes, under our rush tent, 
and at three in the morning were disturbed by the 
boatmen, who told us we had arrived at Mataryah. 
We had passed during the night two islands, el Usbeh 

'^za . TRAVELS OF 

and el Luskeh ; but at what distances, and in what 
direction of the compass, we had not observed. 

When day dawned, we found Mataiyah to be a 
large fishing village. Of the houses which faced the 
lake, some were of brick, and others mud ; but, as it 
is customary in Egypt, the buildings seemed rather 
decaying than improving. The shaykh's name was 
Hassan el Faal. The water-side exhibited, as usual, 
a scene of women filling their water-jars, men washing 
themselves for prayers or other causes, and naked 
children paddling about. We endeavoured to pur- 
chase a little milk ; and, having waited until Ahmed, 
whose family lived here, had gone to his house and 
returned, at seven ©""clock on the first of October, we 
loosened our sail, and stood south and by east. 

Continuing in this direction for one hour, 
about nine we entered the canal, called Toret el 
Moez, and the mouth itself was named, by the rais, 
Ahmed, Ilalc el Naby. JSIataryah bore from this 
point north-east and by north. As the current ran 
out very strong, and there was no wind, we made the 
boat fast to a pole thrust into the mud, and break- 
fasted. Close to us was a fisherman's seat, in which 
he sat to watch his nets ; many more of which we 
saw up the canal. These were made of layers of 
rushes, pressed down between four stakes, and formed 
the apex of two converging sets of stakes. The net 
was placed between thera ; and the current, as it 
brought down the fish, drove them into the enclosed 


part, where they were entrapped. The mouth of the 
canal was single ; but, immediately within it, the 
course of the canal itself was no longer distinguishable 
to a person unacquainted with its navigation, as 
various streams were seen coming in different direc- 
tions to the same point ; which was occasioned by the 
retiring of the Nile waters, now just on the decrease. 

About half an hour before noon the breeze 
freshened ; and we, fancying that our riiis was only 
gaining time in order to make money, since his agree- 
ment was at a certain rate per day, obliged him to 
cast off. In about two hours, we arrived at Meli- 
keen, a square mud hamlet on the east bank of the 
canal. This hamlet now stood insulated 5 for in front 
of it was the canal, and round it were meadows over- 
flowed ; so that the children were seen dabbling in 
the water like amphibious creatures, and men were 
going from hamlet to hamlet wading up to their waists, 
either with their clothes pulled up or entirely naked. 

The inhabitants of Melekeen, our rais told us, ranked 
themselves in the class of dervises, and assumed the 
name of fakirs. They were known, when they wan- 
dered from their native town, by a bit of white rag, 
going under the chin and over the head, and tied 
down by the turban. They carried a cruise of water 
by their sides, to give to drink to whosoever asked 
them ; this was their principal vow. They were 
bound, if beaten, to make no resistance, not to steal, 
and to some other observances which I now foro-et. 


About three we arrived at another hamlet, similar 
to the first, but on the opposite bank of the canal, 
called Melikeen el fokany, or Upper Melekeen, in 
contradistinction to that below it. The banks hitherto 
had been lined with reeds and rushes ; nor could we 
distinguish what was behind them, excepting here 
and tliere through openings which discovered an 
almost entire inundation. Here we found the mo- 
notony of the scene a little relieved by tamarisk 
bushes {tnrfij) growing in hedges. The banks here- 
abouts emerged from the waters, and might be about 
fifty yards apart, as far as we could judge by the eye. 
Our rais had pretended that the depth of the canal 
was greater than the length of the pole which he held 
in his hands — perhaps twenty feet long ; and upon 
his assertion we had already noted it ; but, wishing to 
assure myself farther, I sounded, and found only nine 
feet water. 

In the afternoon we arrived at a third hamlet, 
called Weled Ali, much the same in appearance as the 
others. Indeed the square walls of mud in which they 
v/ere enclosed concealed the interior from us ; but it is 
sufficient to be familiar with one of them to know them 
all. Our course soon changed to South West. The 
canal here divided, and we kept the left branch : but 
we observed the two branches again to join, liaving 
thus formed a small island. From JSIelikeen upwards, 
we had remarked, besides the hamlets, certain little 
pounds, or pens, made of mud walls about four or five 
feet high, upon knolls of ground, which remained dry 


here and there on the banks : these, we were told, 
were the retreats of the buffaloes and herdsmen at 
night ; for, the moment the retiring waters leave the 
grass and rushes visible above the surface, these 
meadows are resorted to by the peasantry, who pasture 
their buffaloes on them while yet swampy ; such 
swamps, it would seem, being best suited to the nature 
of those beasts. To protect them by night, they are 
penned in these enclosures of a few yards'* breadth ^ 
and man and beast here live more together certainly 
than we had ever yet witnessed in brute and reason- 
able animals. 

Towards evening we came to another hamlet, called 
El Way, and from El Way might be seen another, 
called El Bekashy. A little distance beyond brought 
us to the foot of the height on which San ^ formerly 
stood, and where we were now to seek for its ruins. 
On landing, we accosted an old man with a dark brown 
rusty skin, and asked him to point them out to us. 
He was a very fit person for the purpose, as he 
proved to be one of many others who gained a live- 
lihood by digging for the foundations of these ancient 
edifices, which they sold for limestone, and was then 
watching several heaps, collected on the banks of the 
canal, ready to be embarked. He led us on for about 
a quarter of a mile, until we found ourselves on a flat, 
partly surrounded by a hill in the form of an aniplii- 

^ San, the ancient Tanis, capital of Tanites, a province of 


theatre, where several huge granite masses were lying 
in confusion. 

The site of San is what would be called in military- 
language a height ; which, at a rough guess, may be 
two or three miles in circumference, and rises out of 
a country otherwise totally flat. It is composed of 
several monticules, which, combined, have the shape 
of a horseshoe, but are separated from each other by 
deep gullies, apparently worn by the waters in the long 
course of ages. In the centre of the horseshoe is a 
level, and at the entrance of it were some masses of 
granite. The soil about us was of the same nature as 
that which the Nile leaves, and must, therefore, have 
been brought hither by the wind or by men's hands ; 
being above the level of the annual inundations. 

Proceeding a little further, we found a granite 
obelisk, entirely perfect, but fallen. It measured 
about seventy feet in length and six in breadth. 
Beyond it were three more fallen obelisks, with hiero- 
glyphics, but less distinct than those on the first. 
Close to the last was a hole in the ground, dug by the 
workmen, at the bottom of which we discovered a part 
of a granite colossal statue. What was bare seemed 
to represent the folds of drapery ; but, not being able, 
for want of time, to dig round it, (although the means 
were at hand) we could not decide exactly to what it 

By this time the whole squad of peasantry had left 
their work, out of curiosity to see what we were doing. 


Two among them offered to lead us to other ruins, if 
we would promise to reward them. They accordingly 
took us to the top of the height, where was a small 
crumbling shed, the sanctuary of a Mahometan saint, 
called Shaykh el Garyby, Near it was a broken 
granite sarcophagus without a lid. Descending the 
hill, on the side towards the canal, we came to the 
stumps of an immense colonnade of granite, which 
seemed to have belonged to some vast edifice. The 
fragments of the shafts of these pillars measured nine 
spans in diameter : but the upper parts had either 
been entirely removed or were buried in sand, as 
nothing remained but these lowest portions, which 
seemed to occupy their original situations. 

Having on a boot which chafed my foot, I was com- 
pelled to halt, whilst Shaykh Ibrahim ran forward to 
some heaps where he thought he might discover other 
fragments. Whilst he was gone, I found a part of a 
granite statue, of the proportions of a youth, in alto 
relievo, with the right foot, up to the ancle, still entire. 
I loaded some workmen with it down to the boat, whither 
we were obliged to hasten, as the evening had now 
closed on us : for, although we could have wished to 
make some farther examination of this interesting 
spot, yet the character we had heard of the people 
about San made us desirous not to sleep where we 
should be exposed to be plundered. While peram- 
bulating the ruins, their rude jocularity, and the 
half insolent, half inquisitive way in which they looked 


at us, led us to believe their intentions might not be 
good. We accordingly loosened our sail, and re- 
turned nearly down to Weled Ali, where we slept. 

The disjuucted elevations which form the heights of 
San are covered with broken bricks and pottery.^ 
Unless the conformation of these monticules be en- 
tirely changed, and the rains have worked out gullies 
between them, these never could have been the site of 
a connected town. It is rather to be inferred that the 
city was built on the flat ; and particularly as at the 
foot of the elevation there was still remaining a portion 
of a wall of sun-baked bricks. Perishable as such 
materials might be supposed to be, we yet observe 
them, in this instance, surviving the fall of columns of 
marble and of obelisks of granite ! Their duration, 
however, must not be ascribed alone to their durability ; 
for, whatever could attract the cupidity of the Moslems 
and was portable has been removed by them. Sun- 

^ Burckhardt, in one of his works, amongst the various theo- 
ries that have been advanced by different travellers to account 
for the enormous heaps of broken pottery which are found 
among the ruins of Egytian and other cities, has alone given a 
plausible one. He supposes (I quote from memory) the ancient 
Egyptians to have built their walls of those cylindrical pots 
(like English chimneypots) which, placed horizontally one 
upon another, are still very generally used throughout Syria 
for the parapets of terraces of houses ; whereby air is admitted, 
the view excluded, and little weight added to the subjacent 
walls. Broken into shards, they would be sufficient to account 
for the vast heaps in question. 


baked bricks can be made cheaper than transported : 
and to this, perhaps, it was owing that the wall still 

The wind blew fresh during the night. On the 
morning of October the 2d, in descending the canal, 
we bought some cheese and milk at one of the pens on 
the banks, and stopped at Melikeen, to give an 
account of ourselves to a subaltern officer stationed 
there in a canja^ or barge, for the purpose of levying 
the duty on salt passing down the canal. This duty 
our rais told us was 8000 medini (equal to £^ 10s.) 
on a large load : but we had reason to believe that his 
information was not to be relied on. 

About noon, we left Hale el Naby, and in three 
hours arrived at Mabed, one of many other small 
islands lying East North East of the mouth of the 
canal. We went on shore, and found fragments of 
bricks enough to testify that a village had once existed 
there. The island is not more than half a mile in 
circumference. Shaykh Cheleby, the present chief 
of Menzaleh, had carried off the greater part of the 
ruins to build with. We departed from Mabed ; 
and, about five o"'clock, passed the extreme point of 
the island, where the Marabut of Shaykh Abdallah 
stands. This island is called El Canili. Having 
weathered the point of El Carah, we wore, and stood 
East half South ; and, keeping this course, arrived 
after dark at Tennys. It was too late to go on shore, 
BO we made fast to a pole, stuck in the bottom of the 


lake, at some distance from the shore, to avoid the 
musquitoes ; and, having smoked our pipes, to which 
we were both very partial, went to sleep. 

At daylight (October 3rd) we visited the ruins. 
We found a brick wall still standing, about 1 000 paces 
long, and, within it, several cisterns of curious con- 
struction. The largest of these was twenty paces in 
breadth and thirty-one in length. The roof was 
supported by brick arcades, the pilasters of the arches 
being about ten feet distant from each other. Except- 
ing in these cisterns (none of which, moreover, were 
entire), and on the walls, we found not one entire brick 
left on the ground ; the neighbouring shaykhs having 
carried them away for building. The whole area was 
one continued quarry, from excavations made to find 
the stones of foundations. In the North West corner 
might be distinguished the remains of a fortress or 
castle : and, close to it, a canal divided the corner 
from the rest of the city, which, it is most probable, 
was a continuation of some one of the great canals 
leading from the Tanitic branch of the Nile. The 
island is elevated a few feet only above the level of the 
lake. The soil is of the same fine mould as we ob- 
served at San, but certainly could not get there by 
the same means. Innumerable swarms of mus- 
quitoes pestered us on the island, and for some time 

Having spent about three hours at Tennys, we left 
it ; and, keeping a North North West course, with a 


String of small islands constantly on our right hand, 
we arrived, at three o'clock in the afternoon, at the 
bogaz of Pyby Castle, one of the openings by which 
Lake Menzaleh communicated with the sea and the 
ancient Tanitic branch of the Nile. The canal, as we 
entered it from the side of the lake, was called by the 
rais Dunet El Sharay, and was about thirty yards 
broad. After running 200 or 300 yards, it opened 
into a broad water, and then continued for perhaps half 
a mile, until it emptied itself into the sea, South West 
and North East. 

Between the broad water and the sea was a fishing 
hamlet, called El Tat, on the right hand side ; and, 
facing it, branched off a gut, leading into the lake in a 
South East direction, named Ishtum ed Dybah, down 
which we sailed. Upon the point of junction between 
Ishtum ed Dybah and Dunet el Sharay stood the 
castle of Dybah, a fortress of brick, built by the French 
for the defence of this entrance. 

Our object in visiting the Dybah bogaz was to 
learn something of the Botarga fishery. Botdrekh in 
Arabic, Botarga in Italian, is considered throughout 
the Levant, by Turks and Christians, as a very great 
delicacy : and in Lent the consumption by the latter 
is enormous. It is the roe of a fish, salted and dried. 
There are three places where this fishery is carried on ; 
namely, Mferdjv, Gemayd, and Dybah. It would 
appear that the fish leave the open sea in search of a 
tranquil place where to deposit their spawn, in the 


nionths of August, September, and October, and are 
then caught. The fish is called, in Arabic, lebt^ 
and is from a foot to two feet long. 

On the side next the lake, the fishermen ply day 
and night with circular hand-nets, which, from habit, 
they throw with great expertness ; and, from the 
number caught each time, the fish must be very 
abundant. They are carried on shore, ripped open 
with a knife, and the roes taken out, salted, and ex- 
posed to the sun for three successive days, when they 
are fit for the market. There is also a kind of botarga 
prepared by simple drying only : and a third sort, 
where the fish, when caught and salted, are sent 
to a distance ; after which the roes are there taken out 
and dried. 

The botarga fishermen form almost a distinct race. 
They are all natives and inhabitants of Mataryah, 
and reside at the Ishtums only during the fishing 
months, when they build themselves cabins of mats, 
spread over ribs of palm branches. Each hamlet may 
contain forty or fifty families ; and, at the close of the 
season, they strike their cabins, and return to 
Mataryah. The men appeared to be a very fine 
race : and, to convince us of the purity of their clan, 
pretended that they intermarried only with each 
other. The children were naked, and wanted not 
beauty in their shape : and there was a young man, 
the fineness of whose person, much above the common 
size, particularly attracted our attention. Indeed we 


were of opinion that the Egyptians employed on the 
lakes and on the Nile wei'e of as symmetrical and 
robust a make as any men that we had ever seen or 
read of. 

The fishery, like every other profitable business 
under the existing government of Egypt, was in the 
hands of the pasha, who farmed it out to the shaykh 
of Menzaleh. The shaykh sent an overseer to every 
hamlet, to whom was delivered whatever fish were 
caught, and an account was kept of them. At the end 
of the season, the whole amount was summed up : 
two thirds of the profits were given, in fixed portions, 
to the fishermen, and the remainder was the farmer''s. 
No fish could be sold, no botarga cured, except by 
the order of the bailiff; and a severe bastinado was 
the immediate consequence of detection : so that the 
poor fishermen might be said to be miserably off. 
Their gains for a season (as they told us) amounted to 
from 50 to 125 piasters a man. 

On our arrival at the hamlet, our dress and our 
beards, in everything corresponding with those of 
Mahometans, had imposed on the bailiti", who, as 
soon as the boat grounded, advanced into the water 
up to the waist to salute us: but, the moment we 
spoke, finding we were khawagys ^ (or Christians) he 

^ An explanation of this term has already been given. This 
appellation, with that of malem, or master, and khodja, or 
goodman, is what is bestowed on Christians, when spoken of or 
to in a civil manner. A proud, an angry, or a rude Mahometan 
addresses them generally by the term Nusrany, Nazareen, 


very coolly returned to the shore ; and, when we were 
landed, whilst we sat smoking our pipes and making 
our inquiries respecting the fishery, he was snoring at 
his length on the ground, close by us. We bought four 
fish, each about one foot and a half long, for a shilling, 
and paid very dear for them. They were lehts, and 
were, when boiled, of a good flavour. The roes had 
little taste done in this manner. 

These fishermen employed themselves likewise in 
catching wild fowl, which was done, at particular 
seasons of the year, in the following manner. The 
fowler strips himself, and puts on his head a black 
woollen cap. When night comes, he wades into the 
lake, taking care that his head only is visible. The 
birds at this time are all sleeping. The main object 
of the fowler is to seize the leader of the flock : with- 
out securing him he can do nothing. The leader is 
called on the Lakes the cadi, and is known, we were 
told, by a white head and large mouth. The fowler 
gets hold of the cadi by the neck, and draws him under 
water, where he holds him, and then he gently serves 
four or five more in the same way, until his hands are 
full, when he wades back to the shore. Another way 
of catching them is to throw the circular hand-net 

or Christian ; Kafir, or infidel ; and gaur, signifying the same 
thing. To true believers only belong the titles of aga or 
elFendi (which are Turkish words), and shaykh or sayd ; much 
less would an infidel dare to usurp the loftier titles of bey, 
muly, emir, &c. Ga in gaiir is like ga in gander. The word 
is pronounced ga-oor, and not jaoor, as Lord Byron seems 
erroneously to have sounded it. 


over the flock, and envelop as many as possible. We 
did not see many flights of ducks. At this time of 
the year, gulls, ox-birds, and pelicans, seemed the most 

A little before sunset we set sail with a fresh wind 
through Ishtum el Dyby in a north-west direction. 
On our right, on entering the gut, was El Weranyah, 
a fishing hamlet : farther, on the same side, El Ar- 
kim ; and beyond it El Malaca. The canal here was 
a quarter of a mile broad ; and somewhat farther on, 
opened into the lake, between several small islands 
on the right, and the hamlet of Sunara on the left ; 
close to which is a triple marabut of Shaykhs el Mo- 
graby. El Bugdady, and Abu el Wafy. We then kept 
a south and by west course, and anchored, after a short 
run, at an island called Zubbar. 

Much amusement was here created by Shaykh 
Ibrahim's objections to anchoring and the rais''s de- 
termination to do so. The wind, it is true, was very 
fresh, and our bark without ballast : the rais also 
said that he could not answer for his course in the 
night : but we had every reason to believe that he 
availed himself of these excuses only to lengthen out the 
voyage ; since the pay that he received from us (seven 
piasters a day) was much more than he could gain by 
his ordinary work. Nor is it unnecessary to observe, 
that nothing is ever gained from these people, except 
by seeming desirous to have, in the com.mon phrase, 
as much for one's money as can be got. For if, out 



of compassion to their poverty, you seem disposed to af- 
ford them indulgences, they immediately become either 
importunate beggars, or insolent cheats. Although, 
therefore, we passed the night at Zubbar, it was not 
done until we had urged the point with much seem- 
ing vehemence, threatening to throw Ahmed into the 
lake, to cut off a day's pay, with many other menaces, 
for the purpose of ascertaining if there really were a 
necessity for staying. 

Next morning it was calm, and our crew were re- 
warded for their delay by being compelled to push the 
boat on with poles. We left Zubbar at half past four, 
and scarcely advanced more than a mile in an hour. 
The lake was very shallow hereabout, and around us 
were a number of small islands, with several more to 
the north-east. 

At ten we reached the border of the lake, and en- 
tered the canal, called Turet el E-usweh, which leads 
up to Menzaleh. Although the lake itself, during the 
rise of the Nile, almost touches the town, yet its 
shallowness prevents boats of any size from approach- 
ing, and is the cause that the natives have dug a 
narrow canal more easily navigable. It is crooked ; 
and, in its whole length from the lake to the town, 
may be a mile. When we were half way up, the 
boat grounded, and we disembarked to walk the rest 
of the way. We observed here three barges, 
laden with gypsum, collected at an island near El 
Usby J which we regretted not having seen. The 


gypsum was iu coarse powder, and looked like so 
much salt. 

As we had been cramped up in the boat nearly 
twenty hours, and were consequently desirous of 
stretching our legs, we had scarcely got on shore when 
we started off in a sort of trot, but had reason to re- 
pent of this gross deviation from Turkish gravity : for 
our rais and the janissary, on their return to Dami- 
etta, roundly asserted that we were either mad or pos- 
sessed of an evil spirit : since no gentlemen with beards, 
and in their senses, would think of running ! 

On arriving at the town we desired to be conducted 
to Shaykh Cheleby's house. The shaykh was absent, 
but we were introduced to his son, Hassan, a man 
seemingly about thirty-five years old, to whom we 
presented our letter from Malem Surur. He received 
us with civility, gave us coffee : and, soon afterwards 
we sat down with him to a very comfortable noon 
repast of pilaw, roasted chicken, botarga of two kinds, 
and cheese. He left us to go on a party of pleasure 
to some orchards in the neighbourhood, to which we 
would not accompany him, intending to depart as soon 
as possible for Damietta. Shaykh Hassan was dressed 
in the costume peculiar to the Egyptians : — a camlet 
black smock-frock, and, beneath it, a showy-coloured 
(generally yellow, orange, or red) jubey and silk 
kombaz. The turban is worn by the Egyptians 
arranged more fantastically than by the Turks and 

M 2 


Menzaleh, in the state we found it, was a large 
buvgli, with four mosques, and with several small 
buildings having cupolas, which I presumed to be ora- 
tories. With the exception of one large block of 
granite, converted into an olive mill-stone, we saw no 
remains of antiquity ; it is evident nevertheless that 
this was once a very large place. Its population was 
perhaps more than 8,000 souls. The houses were 
chiefly of brick, and many of them tolerably good. 
The streets, as is customary in Egypt, were unpaved ; 
and, during the day, when the usual wind blew, the 
dust filled the eyes which way soever they turned. 
There was a rudely-constructed bridge over the canal, 
on the inner side of which were lying ten or twelve 
barges, carrying on the trade inland to Mansura. 
There was a coffee-house, and a small bazar for the 
first necessaries of life. Within the town and in the 
environs there were sycamore and palm-trees. Rice 
was cultivated around : but the Nile had not yet de- 
creased enough to begin tilling the soil, excepting in 
some fields close to the town. The magistracy of this 
place and district had been, for many generations, in 
the family which then held it, and which derived its 
origin (as Shaykh Hassan told us) from Tabariah 
(Tiberias), and hence had gained its surname of 
Tabiir. Menzaleh was the principal town of an akalym, 
(district or sub-division) containing about twenty vil- 

Shaykh Hassan el Tabar told us, in reply to some 


remarks which we made on the goodness of his house, 
not inferior to many of the best in Damietta, that it 
was new ; as he was obliged to desert his old one, be- 
cause it was haunted by an afr;^t, or ghost, in the shape 
of a Frank ! He added that he had himself seen the 
ghost, which spoke in broken Arabic, generally beat a 
drum, knew most of the persons who addressed him, 
and called them by their names. Such was the terror 
created by this apparition, particularly among the 
women, that the house which it haunted, although 
spacious and handsome, was without a tenant. We re- 
mained in Menzaleh until four o''clock, and then, riding 
down to our boat on miserable asses, quitted the 
canal and set sail for Damietta. 

Arriving at a landing-place, called Gut el Nussara, 
about midnight, and asleep, towards morning I awoke ; 
and, looking out from under the tent, found our boat 
driving fast in the direction from which we had come, 
her painter having slipped. I roused Ahmed, who, 
with much cursing and grumbling at the day he had 
ever taken Franks on board, pushed her back. At 
daylight we landed, leaving the servants to hire a 
camel and bring the baggage to Damietta. We then 
set off on foot for the city. 

The walk in the cool of the morning, through fields 

presenting, in the mouth of October, the verdure of 

spring, > whilst above them the yellow and crimson 

clusters of dates hung in rich luxuriance, Avas no 

* The rice was now in ear. 


less agreeable than salutary. Yet, when we arrived 
at Malem Sur^ir's house, and presented ourselves to 
our host, who was lolling over his morning pipe, with 
half a dozen servants humbly standing before him, he 
could not conceal his astonishment and chagrin, that 
we should exhibit ourselves with feet covered with 
dust and the perspiration running down our faces, in 
the guise of foot-travellers. And his Eastern pride 
was wounded to the quick at the surmises that must 
have been made, as we came through the streets, upon 
such extraordinary conduct. We took no pains to 
combat his false ideas of gentility. A servile people, 
restricted in their actions by their fanatic masters, 
fancy those only to be happy who are privileged to be 
inactive : although such inactivity leads to the ruin 
of their health, and excites commiseration in those 
who know better. 

Shaykh Ibrahim and myself went to view the 
mosque of Abu el Alal, full of beautiful columns, 
among which were some of verd-antique. There was 
an inner part, into which I would not go, fearing, as 
T was no Turk, they would compel me to become one. 

On the 7th, we were invited to dine with Monsieur 
Basil Fakhr, the agent of the French nation at this 
place, a man of great talents, both literary and poli- 
tical. Malem Surur was dressed in a lilac silk kombaz 
and a salmon-coloured jubey.' There was a variety of 

^ Young and handsome, he looked extremely well. Malem 
Surur one day showed me his wardrobe, which was exceedingly 


dishes, and among the rest a roasted pig, which was 
probably put there purposely to see whether Shaykh 
Ibrahim would eat of it : but he did not. 

Shaykh Ibrahim and myself slept in the same bed- 
room at JSIalem Surur*'s, and, when going on the lake, 
we had deliberated, as our books and clothes were 
lying loosely about, whether we should lock the door, 
or whether such caution in the house of a gentleman 
would not be indelicate. We at last determined for 
the safe side, and actually took the key with us. This 
proceeding, so strange, if done in England, was not 
equally so there : for bed-rooms are not washed as 
with us, neither are they regularly swept : and, when 
once an inmate in a house, your room is entered by 
none but your servant. On our return we found the door 
locked as we left it ; but, on entering, we saw at once 
that our effects were not as we had left them. Malem 
Surur, when we joined him at dinner, asked us if all 
was in its place, with a sort of cunning look that caused 
us to say no. He then informed us that the open 
beaufetin the wall, with shelves, the borders of which 
were so neatly worked, and which were decked with 
china and glass, was no more than a false door, but so 
artfully made, that it was impossible to distinguish it 

well furnished. The Levantines are as nice, and perhaps nicer, 
in their distinction of colours than the French. Take, for ex- 
ample, Shems el Aser (the setting sun) ; mantura, rosy pink ; 
zinjaby, between dove and ash-colour, &c., all tints exceedingly 


from a cupboard. Of this his mother had a key, and 
entered the room several times during our absence. 

Shaykh Ibrahim now wished to depart for Cairo, 
seeing that I had taken my passage for Syria. On 
the same afternoon we entered together into a boat, 
which took him to the mash that was to convey him 
up the Nile, and me to the long-boat of my vessel. 
Here we bade adieu to Malem Surur and to each 
other. I was immediately rowed over the bar, and 
found in the offing a polacca brig, so crazy-looking as 
to frighten me, and so deeply laden as to float but two 
feet above the surface of the water. Her decks were 
covered with cuffases or flagbaskets of salt fish, which 
had a very offensive smell, with mats, and with six 
new cables. The cables were green as grass, being 
made either of the filaments of the bark of some tree 
or of rushes : and two thirds of the cordage used on 
board the Egyptian and Syrian vessels are of this 
kind. All these are articles of trade with Syria ; 
but the bulk of the cargo was rice : besides which, the 
sailors had filled every nook and space with baskets 
of parched peas, called hammas, (which are as much 
sought after by the common people throughout Turkey 
as Barcelona nuts are in England), and with linen and 
cotton cloths. The salt fish and mats, it appeared, 
belonged to the ship''s own cargo. From the multi- 
plicity of articles on the deck itself, it was impossible 
to move from one part to another. I too had a heap 
of luggage; and, among other things, I had brought 


with me a bedstead made of palm-branches. These 
bedsteads are so firmly yet lightly constructed that 
they can be lifted easily with one hand. Mine was 
lashed over the stern. 

Our crew was Greek, and the captain's name Tan us 
el Bawab. Every thing was in such confusion that 
Giovanni could find»no where to make my bed : so I 
slept on a mat on the deck without bed or covering, 
and when I awoke I was nearly soaked with the dew. 

In the morning, at sunrise, the sailors, standing on 
the forecastle, the ship's head being towards the east, 
made the sign of the cross repeatedly, bending the 
body forward at each sign, and mumbling their prayers. 
We remained the whole of this day in the offing at 
anchor ; partly because the wind was foul, and partly 
to receive on board other things, so that I expressed 
my fears that the ship would sink from the weight 
she had in her. Nor was my alarm diminished, 
when, in conversation, I discovered that this was the 
very polacca, which, whilst we were at Acre in March, 
was driven on shore under the window of the cara- 
vansery and bilged. 

If the Greek sailors are generally more attentive to 
Europeans, when passengers, than the Turks, (al- 
though I am not disposed to allow this to the same 
extent that many are) still there is something dis- 
gusting in the filth and nastiness of the former com- 
pared with the clean hands and persons of the latter. 

On the 14th of October, we weighed anchor at 

M 5 

250 trjWels of 

half-past eleven ; and I bade adieu, for the second 
time, to the shores of Egypt. There was little 
wind, and we advanced but slowly. The whole of 
Saturday the wind was east, and we made scarcely 
any Avay : on Sunday and Monday it was the same. 
This constant calm became at last extremely irksome. 
On Tuesday and Wednesday the. ship lay like a \o^ 
in the water : so that the sailors bathed around her. 
The shore was visible, and it was judged that we were 
yet below Gaza. Gebel Ky was likewise in sight. 
Sometimes the sailors fancied there was a mummy on 
board, which, according to their superstitions, brings 
ill luck. Many schemes were resorted to for raising 
the wind. Night and morning, incense was burned 
from stem to stern : and a contribution was levied for 
St. Elias of Mount Carmel. When these means 
were ineffectual, application was made to me to write 
a charm on a piece of paper, to be suspended to the 
boom-end. As I expressed my doubts whether I had 
any control over the winds, they told me a story to 
prove how a Mograbyn (a native of Barbary, which 
country produces all the conjurors in Turkey) had, 
when they were becalmed, by a few written mystical 
characters, produced not only a fair wind but almost 
a storm. I answered to this that I really was afraid 
I could not do so much : but, if a breeze would con- 
tent them, fair or foul, I ventured to say I could pro- 
mise it. Accordingly, I invoked " Libs, Notus 
Auster," in verses as musical as those from which 1 


borrowed their names : and, to the great delight of 
every one, towards evening a breeze sprung up from 
west-south-west, and we advanced rapidly towards our 

We saw Tontura at a distance as we sailed along, 
and, on Friday the 21st, we entered Acre. I went on 
shore, and betook myself to Signor Catafago''s, who 
gave me a lodging at the house of a fi-iend. 

On the following day, I called on Malem Haym, 
who was confined to his house by an inflammation in 
his only eye. He talked on the state of Europe : 
and, if any one be curious to know what his sum- 
mary of politics was, he concluded by saying that 
England had gained nothing by a bloody and expen- 
sive war but a rock — meaning Malta. 

Signor Morando, the pasha's doctor, showed me his 
collection of intaglios. One, which was an agate, had 
more than a dozen figures, representing the heathen 
gods assembled, with a long Greek inscription, and on 
the back of it a number of alphas in a row. This I 
considered very curious and valuable. He had like- 
wise a votive leg of exquisite workmanship in marble. 
I became acquainted with Abuna Yusef Maron, a 
Maronite priest, who for a certain jSum procured for 
me a catalogue of the library at the new mosque, which 
had been collected at a very great expense by Gezzar 
Pasha, consisting of eleven thousand volumes.' 

* This catalogue, on my return to England, I lent to Dr. 
Nichol, Hebrew professor at Oxford : at his death it probably 
■was burnt, as a paper of no value. 


At sunset, on the 24th, as the harbour gate shuts at 
that hour, I went on board to sleep : and the next 
morning the vessel was warped out of port, not with- 
out considerable difficulty. 

When getting under way, our rudder caught on a 
cable, and we nearly drove on a rock, which would 
surely have wrecked the vessel. The harbour-master, 
All Shemass, and his companion, Abu Katur, fol- 
lowed me on board with the customary request of a 
bakhshysh.' We had light airs all day. Just before 
sunset we were near Tyre. We supped, and every 
body went to sleep, not excepting the man at the 
helm ; for, although we were destined for Tyre, he 
suffered the ship to pass the port during the night, 
and in the morning we were eight or ten miles beyond 
it. We put back ; and, after losing nearly twenty- 
four hours through the steersman's negligence, 
anchored in the harbour of Tyre. 

I landed my luggage ; and was somewhat surprised 
when the captain demanded payment for my passage, 
Malem Suriir having insisted, before my departure, 
that no mention should be made on that subject, the 
vessel being his. However, when he afterwards 

^ The word bakhshysh is so often in the mouths of the Syrians 
and Egyptians, that the reader will be anxious to know its 
precise meaning. The verb bakhshesh means " to give gra- 
tuitously :" and the native of these countries, after every thing 
he does for you, generally says — Please to give me a bakhshysh, 
or please to bakhshysh me. It is the first word that a 
stranger learns and the last that he hears : so that it is not 
astonishing if very soon it becomes familiar to his ear, 


heard what the rais had done, he made him refund 
the money, and sent it back again to me. I hired 
some mules ; and, on the following evening, reached 
Abra, after an absence of three months. 

Having made some few arrangements at Abra, I 
rode up to Meshmushy, where Lady Hester still was, 
on the fifth of November, accompanied by Abu 
Yusef Jahjah, the proprietor of the house at Mesh- 
mushy, who happened to have been at Sayda on busi- 
ness. At Kejfferfelus, a village on our road, he said 
he had an old acquaintance where we might breakfast : 
but the good lady (for her husband was away) pro- 
duced nothing but eggs fried in oil, which she boasted 
of as some of the best tefdh oil in the country. 
Tefah oil means oil skimmed ofi" by the Jiands from 
the surface of the water in which the olives have been 
boiled, in opposition to the other manner, in which it 
is pressed, and supposed to be less pure. 



Disappearance of Colonel Boutin, a French traveller — 
Efforts of Lady Hester Stanhope, for investigating his fate — 
Mission of Abd el Easak from Mahannah to Lady Hester — 
Manners and character of the Bedouins — Story of Mustafa 
Aga, Khasnadar of Muly Ismael, and his wife — Departure of 
Abd el Rasak and his companions. 

I found Lady Hester in tolerable health : but her 
mind was at this time wholly intent on avenging the 
death of Colonel Boutin, a Frenchman, whose name and 
destination will be seen by referring to the occurrences 
in ]\larch of the preceding year, and who had been 
made away with in his journey from Hamah to 
Latakia. As one of the most useful purposes to 
which Lady Hester turned the influence which she 
enjoyed in this country is connected with his fate, it 
would be inexcusable were this affair not to be related 
at length. 

Colonel Boutin departed from Hamah for Latakia, 
accompanied by his Egyptian groom and by another 
Mahometan servant. He had written to M. Guys, 
French consul at Latakia, to intimate that, to avoid 


the circuitous route of Geser Shogr, he should cut 
strait across the mountains inhabited by the Ansarys.^ 
He slept at Shyzer, departed on the following morn- 
ing, and was heard of no more. 

For many weeks, M. Guys supposed that, like other 
travellers, he had loitered on the road, or had turned 
aside to view objects which had taken his attention ; 
but, at last, when no information was received of him 
from any quarter, rumours of his death began to spread, 
and reached Lady Hester''s ears. She expected, for 
some time, that an application would have been made 
to the pasha to order an inquiry into the circum- 
stances which attended his mysterious disappearance ; 
but, when it was evident that no steps had been 
taken, she resolved to investigate the matter herself. 
For she considered that the common cause of tra- 
vellers, without regard to nation, required that 
robbery, and much more murder, should not be 
suffered to pass unpunished ; and she respected 
Colonel Boutin individually as a man of distinguished 

For this purpose she resolved on employing Signor 
Volpi, the Italian doctor, who had been left to supply 
my place on my departure for Egypt. Signor Volpi, 
it was reported, had been originally bred within the 
pale of the church, but, taking advantage of the 

^ I conceive these Ansarys to be descendants of the Iturei 
spoken of by Strabo in his 16th book, and who were in part 
subdued by Pompey. 


tumults of the French revolution, had danced round 
the Tree of Liberty, and had quitted the cell for the 
more lucrative employment of the law : which, 
together with his country, he had finally deserted for 
physic and Syria. There, not meeting with the en- 
couragement which he thought he merited, he had 
recourse to his pen, and was for some time clerk to 
Signer Catsiflitz, English agent at Tripoli. Lady 
Hester had, during my absence, observed in him a 
great knowledge of the bad side of men, and she 
pitched on him as a proper person to go to Hamah to 
find out what he could respecting Colonel Boutin's 

She had retained in her service, as muleteer to the 
house, ever since her journey to Balbec, a Driize 
named Sulyman, a hardy and resolute fellow, fit for 
dangerous enterprises. This man she resolved to 
send in the very track, through the Ansary moun- 
tains, that Colonel Boutin was supposed to have 
pursued, accompanied by Pierre, who was well 
adapted, under a feigned object of pedlary or of buy- 
in o- oil, to pass as a poor Christian gaining a liveli- 
hood by such traffic. 

These three persons, so instructed, had already 
fulfilled their missions : and, on my arrival from 
Egypt, Lady Hester was disposed to have made me 
acquainted with the progress of this affair, and to 
have requested my help ; when I, perhaps too offici- 
ously, took upon me to dissuade her from prosecuting 


it ; saying that the French consuls were bound to sift 
it to the bottom : whilst she, in taking so active a 
part, was exposing herself, in her excursions about 
the country, and even in her rides, to the vengeance 
of these mountaineers, who, there was every reason 
to think, were as likely to have emissaries sworn to 
•their deadly purposes now as of old.' 

The only effect of my exhortation was that she 
never said anything more of the matter to me, and 
steadily pursued her own humane purposes. I shall 
dismiss the subject for the present, and will, in the 
order of events, recur to it hereafter. 

During my absence in Egypt, Lady Hester had 
been visited by M. Otto de Richter, an enterprising 
Russian, who was travelling through Syria : he after- 
wards died at or near Ephesus. 

Mrs. Fry, Lady Hester's maid, fell ill of an ague. 
On the 6th of November, there arrived at Mesh. 
mushy two Bedouins of the tribe of Mahannah, 
sent by him with a letter to Lady Hester, which 
contained much complimentary language and in- 
quiries after her welfare. Their real object was to 
get money, which the emir, always needy, was al- 
ways using shifts to obtain. One of the Bedouins 
was named Abd el Rasak, and was a relation of 

^ This is supposing the Ansarys to be those same moun- 
taineers, one of whom stabbed our crusading king, and hence 
introduced the word assassiti into our language. 


Abd-el-Rasak was an entertaining person, disposed 
to answer all my questions ; and I now satisfied my- 
self on some subjects touching the customs of the 
Bedouins, which, from my little knowledge of the 
language when in the Desert, I could not understand. 
Those which related to the victor and vanquished in 
battle seemed dictated by motives of humanity, to 
disarm the strong and ferocious, and give the prisoner 
a chance of freedom. They are comprehended under 
the word dukliyl^ a term for which (from not having 
a clear notion of its meaning) I cannot find an equi- 
valent in the English language.^ It comprehends the 
pleas and rights of hospitality. 

Sometimes a Bedouin loses all his camels by a 
marauding party ; and, finding himself reduced to 
poverty, resolves to recover his possessions by duck- 
hyl. For this purpose he quits his home, and seeks, 
unperceived, his enemy*'s encampment. He secretes 
himself near the path by which the despoiler must 
pass. He bears with him a ball of twine (guzzle)^ 
which he spins as he stands. His enemy passes him, 
and he throws the ball of thread at him. If, as it un- 
winds, it hits him, the thrower is safe, and he then 
claims his property ; but, if it misses, his enemy 
turns on him, and, unless he can escape, he loses his 
liberty or his life. 

Again, if one Bedouin, under any circumstances 
of peril or supplication, can approach so near and 

^ Dukhyl means a suppliant, according to the dictionary. 


unexpectedly to another, as to tie a knot in his 
keffjah (the silk handkerchief which generally en- 
velops his head), there is no favour that he may not 
claim : likewise, if the captured can at any time 
enter into the tent of the captor, or eat of the same 
mess with him, he is entitled to his liberty. It may 
be said, with all these strange usages, that no Bedouin 
is secure for a moment in the enjoyment of his plunder, 
or in his right over his prisoner. But let it be re- 
collected that he has many ways of immediately get- 
ting rid of the one and the other, so as never to be 
exposed by any possibility to the consequences of 
dukhyl ; and likewise, that, under all circumstances, 
if any of the women or children, or if he himself, sees 
a prisoner seeking to obtain his ends in this manner, 
he has but to cry nefali^ which destroys the intended 

The character of the Bedouins is not destitute of 
traits of great magnanimity. A certain Ali, in a 
dispute, killed Ershyd, an ancestor of Mahannah's. 
Ershy'd's son, Fadl, was bound to revenge his death, 
and he steadily sought for an opportunity. The mur- 
derer, knowing how certainly his hour would come by 
FadPs hand, unless he could for ever shun him, ab- 
sented himself in a distant tribe for many years. 
Tired, at length, of banishment, he deemed life not 
worth preserving on such terms, and resolved to 
present himself before his foe, and see if he could not 


prevail on his generosity so far as to obtain his for- 

One night, Fadl was in the division of his tent set 
apart for the women, when he heard a footstep and 
a man cough. " Up, fellow !" he cried out to one of 
his slaves ; " there is a guest in the tent ; make some 
coffee."' He rose himself, went to him, and in the 
accustomed friendly terras of the Arabs welcomed 
him. It was very dark. The slave raked the ashes, 
and threw on some roots to make a blaze. Fadl 
looked at his guest, and stared, like one thunder- 
struck ; for he knew Ali. " Ali !" said he. " It is 
even so," replied the stranger, " and your sword is 
hanging over me." Fadl was, for a moment, like one 
convulsed : but by degrees he calmed his emotions, 
and, when he found himself master of his expressions, 
he said, " Make yourself easy ; you are no longer my 
father's murderer, but my guest ;" and he forgave 

FadFs friends assembled round him ; they said to 
him, " Can you admit your father's murderer into 
your tent ? Kill him, and revenge your wrongs." 
But Fadl replied, " Shall I kill the man who judges 
so nobly of me ?" He called his secretary, and bade 
him write an engagement to pay every year to Ali 
and his descendants 50 piasters, which continued to 
be done until the time that Abd-el-Rasak related the 


The following story will show from what trivial 
beginnings their deadly feuds may sometimes arise. 
Sidad is a village between Hems and Carietain, on 
the road to Palmyra, The inhabitants are Chris- 
tians, and therefore, generally speaking, considered as 
fair objects of oppression hy the Bedouins, who often 
vex them greatly. Their insulated situation in the 
Desert thus obliges them to depend on themselves for 
protection, and hence they have a martial and inde- 
pendent character unknown to the Christians of 

An Anizy, who was in a house at Sidad, wishing 
to fill his pipe, asked his host to lend him his tobacco- 
bag. " Stop," said the host, " there is no tobacco in 
it, but I will go to my neighbour and borrow some." 
He went out, and soon returned with his bag appa- 
rently replenished, and handed it to the Bedawy ; 
who thrust the pipe-bowl into the bag, and drew it 
out full of dry dung. " Do you mean to affront me V 
said the Arab, his bosom swelling with indignation ; 
'■'• Kata ardah — we are twain from this moment." 

He mounted his mare, and rode oflf. When he 
arrived at his tents, he assembled his friends, and 
explained to them the gross insult that had been put 
upon him, inviting them to assist him in revenging 
his cause. An opportunity was not long wanting. 
One of the Sidad caravans was reported by the scouts 
of the Bedouins to be on its way to Palmyra. The 
Bedouins rode forth and attacked it. The caravan 


was well armed, and made a stout resistance, but at 
last was dispersed and plundered. How many of the 
same caravan were killed or wounded, Abd-el- 
Rasak would not tell rae ; but Madame Lascaris, who 
happened to be on her return from Palmyra in the 
same caravan, and who gave me some particulars about 
it, said that all the men were stripped naked, and in 
that way entered Sidad. Hamed, son of Mahannah, 
was at the head of the party ; and, knowing Madame 
Lascaris, respected her and her baggage ; but her 
intercessions could do nothing for saving the effects of 
the caravan in general. She said that the attack and 
resistance were of short duration. One Bedawy was 
killed by the fire ; and, before they could load again, 
the Bedouins rode in upon them ; and she saw two 
or three who resisted speared, but the others ran or 
surrendered. For the one Bedawy killed, Mahannah 
demanded from the village of Sidad the price of his 
blood ; and, to save themselves from a perpetual feud, 
they paid 2,000 piasters. 

In one of my conversations with Abd-el-Rasak, I 
inquired after Mustafa Aga Duz Oglu, khasnadar of 
Muly Ismael, the man who was under my care for a 
palsy at Mar Giorgius, or Dayr Hamyra. "He is 
dead," said Abd-el-Easak. " Did you know his 
wife, Aysliaf I asked. " She is dead, also," cried 
he. " Heavens ! and how V I rejoined. 

His story was as follows : — " You know she was 
once ]\Iuly IsmaeFs concubine {saryah), and that he 


gave her, when tired of her, in marriage to Mustafa 
Aga. He, poor fellow, was seized with apoplexy ; 
and, after lingering some time, died. As he had 
amassed vast sums in his employment of treasurer, 
she feared that these, now become her own, would be 
taken from her by the Muly, under some pretext, and 
she resolved to secure them by poisoning him. 

" It is necessary to inform you that she had a 
paramour, one of the deldty dragoons, who instigated 
her, it was thought, in her foul purposes." " I recollect 
such a man" (I observed) " coming to Dayr Hamyra 
whilst I was there, and seeming to be on a very 
familiar footing with Aysha." " It is the same," re- 
plied Abd-el-Rasak. " It was concerted between this 
man and herself that the poison should be bought at 
Aleppo, in order not to excite suspicion in Hamah. 
When it was procured, she endeavoured to bribe 
Merjan, one of the Muly's black slaves, ' promising to 
give him 500 piasters, if he would hand the Muly a 
cup of coffee in which she should have previously put 
something ; which he had agreed to do. 

" The Muly came one day to see her. Aysha made 
the coffee with her own hand, and contrived, unper- 
ceived, to drop in the poisonous powder. Merjan 
took the cup, and, whilst in the act of presenting it to 

^ Black slaves often are named from substances in colour and 
quality very unlike themselves. Thus merjan means coral, 
and anbar or amber was another name of one of Ahmed bey's 
black slaves. 


his master, felt the terrors of a guilty conscience, and 
suddenly dashed it on the ground. ' What do you 
do that for, you son of a w...V said the offended 
Muly. ' Effendim, there was brandy in the cup." 
' What !' said the Muly, whom a life of reverses had 
made readily suspicious, ' there was something else : 
tell me, instantly, or I'll have you bastinadoed to 
death/ Merjan, terrified, confessed the plot. Aysha 
was immediately seized and strangled, and then 
hanged upon a tree. The slave was rewarded by a 
large sum in money, and (which to an Osmanly is 
even more agreeable) was clad in a splendid suit of 
new clothes." 

Sionor Volpi, coming at this time to Meshmushy, 
dined with the Arabs and me. He still retained his 
European habits, and could not eat without a knife 
and fork. Long custom had now reconciled me, 
whenever there were Mahometans present, either to a 
spoon or even to my fingers, like them. Signor 
Volpi expressed a wish to see how the Bedouins ate 
in the Desert. I laid aside my spoon, and begged 
the Arabs to put themselves at their ease and do the 
same. They readily complied ; and, forming the rice 
into pellets, they delivered it into their mouths 
quickly, and with more ease than with a* spoon, 
which to them is a troublesome article. Not suspect- 
ing that there was anything extraordinary in their 
manner, they attached to my request another mean- 
ing : they thought that I was willing to seal the bonds 


of friendsliip between us still closer, tlian merely eating 
with a spoon out of the same dish together. He is 
determined (they whispered to each other) that it should 
be complete : hyn-el-yedayn — " between both hands " 
will alone satisfy him. 

On the 10th of October, the Arabs took their leave, 
furnished with letters to Mahannah ; and, as to 
themselves, their pockets and even their wallets were 
filled. For the Bedouins, indeed I may say all the 
Turks in general expect, on quitting you, to have 
their tobacco-bags replenished, provisions given them, 
and to have nothing to dread from the contingencies of 
the day. I accompanied them to Abra, where they 
were to sleep : and, whilst we were smoking in my 
cottage, I made Abd-el-Rasak sit still, that I might 
endeavour to sketch his costume. Such was his wish 
to oblige me, that I saw huge drops of sweat 
running down his face from the fatigue of keeping the 
same posture : and he did not change it, until, out of 
pity, I begged him to do so. The next morning they 
took the coast road to Tripoli. 

I was, for many reasons, compelled to question the 
accuracy of Volney's account of the sensations expe- 
rienced by the Bedouins on entering large towns, and 
approaching the sea. First of all, they are a race in 
whom you never can witness marks of sudden emotion, 
whether of astonishment or otherwise : and, in the 
next place, these very Bedouins, who came from a 
more inland Desert than those whom Daher brought 



to Acre, still led me to think, in answer to my ques- 
tions, that there were as few sights for them as for 
any one else. For had they not heard people often 
enough describe a ship, the sea, and whatever wonders 
they are thought to be ignorant of in the Desert I 



Quarrel between a Druze and a Metoualy — Buying of 
medals — Imposition practised on Lady H ester — Punishment of 
the offender — Illness and death of the Greek patriarch — Fune- 
ral ceremonies — Election of a new patriarch — Cottage in the 
gardens of Sayda — Long drought — Flocks of birds — Hydro- 
phobia — Excursion of the Author to Garyfy — Shems ed Dyn 
and his father — Purchase of wine — Decline of commerce in the 
Levant — Malem Dubany and his daughters — Extortion of 
Eastern rulers — Arrival of Miss Williams — Arrival of Mr. 
Bankes — He copies and removes fresco paintings — Failure of 
his first attempt to reach Palmyra — Visit of Mr. Buckingham 
— Locusts — Lady Hester takes a voyage to Antioch. 

Nothing particular occurred to interrupt our cus- 
tomary mode of living until a serious dispute happened 
at Hara, a village on the road from Abra to Sayda, 
between a Druze and a JSIetoufdy. The Druze, 
named Wahab, was watching his olive-grounds, when 
he observed the Metoualy wantonly strike a branch, 
and knock down several olives. This created some 
words, which produced a quarrel j and the DrAze, who 



wore a short battle-axe in his girdle, cut a gash in the 
Metoualy's leg and in his back. The Metoualy fled 
to Sayda, and complained of the assault to Musa Aga, 
motsellem of Geba, and at this time governor of the 
Metoualy district, who was exasperated to the highest 
degree that such an aggression should have been com- 
mitted in his immediate neighbourhood. Armed 
with a spear, and taking with him some of his people, 
he rode out blind with rage ; and, encountering, near 
Hara, a mountaineer, who wore the Drtize dress, 
without inquiring whether this was the offender, he 
was about to run him through the body : when his 
secretary interposed, but could not save the man from 
a most severe beating given him on the spot. The 
real Druze, in the mean time, had concealed himself 
at Heleleyah, a village near Mar Elias. 

The fury of Musa Aga created some alarm among 
the peasantry at Abra : for, although Christians, 
they would not go to Sayda the whole of the next 
day. They feared lest, in the absence of the real 
offender, they might be maltreated : a strange way of 
doing justice ! But on the third day some soldiers 
came down from the Shaykh Beshyr, and, arresting 
Wahab, carried him to Mukhtara. 

The conversation of the villagers showed what a 
rancour those of the Druze districts harboured against 
the Turks in the plain. They said that tiie shaykh 
was unjust, who thus, at the representation of Musa 
Aga, would punish a Druze ; and it appeared to me 


that both Christians and Drilzes would ill brook 
affronts from the Turks, if their leaders were disposed 
to encourage this disposition in them. 

As winter was now approaching, the convent was, 
as usual, put in repair against the rains. This was a 
very necessary precaution ; but was never a complete 
remedy : for there was not a year in which the wet 
did not penetrate more or less through the roofs into 
the rooms. 

On the 21st of November, a young Russian passed 
through Sayda. The nature of medal-buying in these 
countries may be understood by what happened be- 
tween him and a silversmith of the place, who gave 
me a laughable account of the traveller''s eagerness, 
and of the advantage which, in a matter of buying and 
selling, he thought himself authorized to take of it. 
The Livonian, as most travellers do, had no sooner 
arrived at Sayda than he inquired if there were any 
medals to sell in the place. A silversmith, who made 
a traffic of them, was summoned immediately ; and for 
a silver coin (which, from his description, I judged to 
be a Jupiter holding an eagle), asked the very rea- 
sonable sum of six piasters, the silver weighing nearly 
to the value of five. The Livonian was not accus- 
tomed to have them presented to him so cheap, and, 
at a word, said Fll take it : upon which the silversmith 
asked time to consider. He went to his shop, and was 
followed by the Livonian, who kept rising in his 
offers, which were as regularly refused by the silver- 


smith, who now pretended he had been told it was a 
most rare coin, and demanded fifty piasters. On the 
third day the Livonian departed ; and, in passing the 
shop where the silversmith, apprized of his going, 
took care to be, once more made a still greater offer 
than he had done, of thirty-six piasters, which was 
taken by the exulting silversmith ; who, had the Li- 
vonian showed some reluctance to pay the original 
price of six, would have been glad to have disposed of 
it, as he had done of some others of the same kind, 
for even a less sum. 

A curious trick was at this time played off on Lady 
Hester by a needy adventurer. The Pasha of Acre, 
with a harym full of concubines, had never been 
blessed but with one son, who died of the plague. It 
was very well known throughout the pashalik that 
the birth of another would give rise to considerable 
rejoicings : and it is customary in the East that who- 
ever brings the first news of any joyful event should 
be handsomely recompensed. There was not indeed 
much likelihood of offspring : for the pasha was old, 
and had abused his constitution in indulgences. One 
day that I had ridden down to Abra from Mesh- 
mushy, I received a note from her ladyship, in which, 
among other things, she mentioned that an officer of 
the pasha''s had been sent to announce to her the birth 
of a sou, and that she had made a present to him in 
consequence. It happened that Hadj Ali, our old 
janissary, had called at the convent to see the syt, his 


mistress (as he always named Lady Hester) ; and, as 
lie was recently from Acre, I questioned bim why he 
had not brought the news himself. He declared that 
such an event was not expected and could not have 
happened : and he immediately guessed that there must 
have been some imposture practised. I accordingly 
wrote to caution her ladyship, and kept Hadj AH 
until the messenger returned, which was in about nine 
hours, when he informed me that the officer who had 
brought the news styled himself Hassan Aga ; that 
he had not only brought tidings of the birth of a son, 
but had said that the pasha had charged him to add 
that there was not a village in his pashalik, or a horse 
in his stable, which Lady Hester might not claim of 
him on such a happy day. On hearing the name, 
Hadj Ali knew him to be an adventurer, one Hassan, 
alias Hassan Nykhu.' In El Gezzar's time he was 
captain of a guard of twenty-five men, stationed at the 
bridge of the Casmia river for the security of the public 
road : since the death of El Gezzar he had been out 
of employ, and lived by his wits. 

I immediately sent off this account to Lady Hester, 
who was highly irritated at the man's impudence : for 
it had nearly led her to send a letter of congratula- 
tion, and to order rejoicings to be made in her house. 
Accordingly, Sulyman, the Druze, was despatched, 

^ The very adjunct of Nr/khu, a nickname the most offensive 
to delicate ears in the Arabic language, would have been suffi- 
cient to designate this man as an impostor. 


to try and secure his person, and to deliver him 
over to Hadj Ali at Mar Elias. Suljmau went in 
pursuit of him, and traced his route : but, fearing 
that he might escape from him if he attempted to use 
force, he inveigled him back to Mar Elias, by saying 
that Lady Hester had sent after him in order to pre- 
sent him with a new suit of clothes as a farther recom- 
pense for his joyful tidings. 

No sooner was he arrived at Mar Elias than Hadj 
Ali and Sulyman seized him, and bound him hand 
and foot. Hadj Ali reproached him with his lies, and 
he was locked up in the woodhouse until the morrow. 
The next day Lady Hester came down from Mesh- 
mushy : and, on alighting at the door, she saw Hassan 
tied to a tree, with Sulyman keeping watch over him. 
She desired Hadj Ali to bastinado him, and then went 
in ; but she little thought to what lengths these men 
would go : for, throwing the poor wretch on the ground 
on his back, with his hands tied as they were, one held 
up his feet whilst the other beat him most unmerci- 
fully on the soles ; and when, at length, Sulyman's 
strength failed him from passion, Hadj Ali seized a 
broom bat which lay near at hand, and struck the 
helpless man across the legs and thighs in a manner 
that I thought would have broken them. I had cried 
" enough !" several times ; but at last seeing that 
they heeded me not, I forcibly held their hands, and 
with difficulty drew them off, pale, breathless, and 
tremblinsr. Oh ! how vile a beino- seemed to me then 


an infuriate and passionate man ! They would have 
renewed the beating, had not I compelled them to 

Hassan was left bound to the tree, and afterwards 
thrown into the woodhouse for the night. On the 
following morning Hadj Ali departed for Acre ; 
driving Hassan, lame and bruised, before him. He 
was furnished with the following letter from Lady- 
Hester to Malem Haym. " A certain impostor, 
called Hassan, came to me at Meshmushy in the name 
of the pasha and yourself, pretending that the pasha 
had been blessed with a son. Hadj Ali knew him, 
went in search of him, and put him in prison. He 
will tell you the rest."' 

Hassan, however, could not walk so great a distance, 
and Hadj Ali was compelled to leave him by the way, 
lying down in the middle of the road. The affair was 
not made a serious one at Acre ; for the Turks hold 
living by one's wits to be a fair mode of gaining a 
livelihood : and they thought that the loss of the 
money, which Hadj Ali had taken from him, and 
the beating he had received, were punishment enough. 
Hassan however limped on, and reached Acre three or 
four days afterwards. He went immediately to Hassan 
Aga, a favourite Mameluke of Sulyman Pasha, who 
knew him, and there complained bitterly of the treat- 
ment he had received at Mar Elias. Hassan Aga 
espoused his cause ; and, had the matter been pursued 
by her ladyship, would have stood forth as his pro- 

N 5 


tector. For, in this respect, I observed on several 
occasions such a relation between client and patron 
as I suppose to have existed in ancient Rome. Thus, 
whenever a person of inferior station in life was in 
jeopardy, from the oppression of the great, it did not 
follow that he became their victim ; for either his cause 
was espoused by some great man, whose creature he 
was, or, if he had not the means of interesting such a 
one directly, he found some channel through which to 
come at him, and thus would often transfer his own 
quarrel to the shoulders of the patron. By these 
means men of consequence in Turkey form parties, 
which they often use for the furtherance of their 
own ambitious views, or to repress those of their 

This business was hardly over when a letter came 
to me from Macarius, patriarch of Antioch, praying 
my attendance on him, inasmuch as he was very ill. 
Exclusive of my readiness on all occasions to visit 
sick people of the country, the patriarch was entitled 
to my attendance on the score of obligations owed to 
him for having lent his house to Lady Hester, and 
for having put the village of Abra under her control. 
I rode over immediately to the monastery of St. 
Saviour (Dayr Mkhallas) where he resided ; but I had 
been called in too late to be able to save him. 

He had now been ill ninety-five days. His malady 
had begun in an intermittent fever, which left him, 
and was renewed in making his annual rounds through 


his diocese in the month of October. A violent pur- 
oative remedy, administered to him by one Hanah 
Zahar, a silversmith of Sayda, who was much in re- 
pute as a doctor in the neighbourhood, had reduced 
him to a state of great debility, from which he never 
recovered. His subsequent treatment had tended to 
bring on a dropsical affection, the insidious approaches 
of which had not been strictly guarded against ; and, 
now that his dangerous state became too apparent, 
Malem Hanah Zahar had been dismissed, and my aid 
was solicited,' 

I found him under the influence of a medicine which 
had been administered as tincture of bark, but which 
was in fact an opiate. His sister-in-law, Helayny, an 
Egyptian woman, was supporting his pillow, and two 
priests were fanning him. There was much simplicity 
in the appearance of his bed and room. 

He died on the Friday following, at midnight, in 
the arms of Tanus, an old servant. As "soon as the 
breath was out of his body, he was dressed in his most 
splendid robes, the mitre was placed on his head, and 
he was carried in an arm-chair into the church of the 
monastery. From the time he became my patient I was 
accustomed to ride over almost every day. On Thurs- 
day I had left him in bed with no hope of recovery, 

^ Among the remedies which had been used to remove the 
anasarcous swelling of his feet and legs were the actual cautery 
on the instep and the application of pounded small white 
(called in Arabic halazony), in poultices to his feet. 


On Saturday, wliat was my surprise, on approaching 
the monastery, to find a crowd of people assembled at 
the church doors ; and, on enteriug it, to see the dead 
patriarch sitting in a chair, with a crosier in his left 
hand and the New Testament in his right, whilst an 
incense-pan smoked by his side. Prostrate, before 
and around him, were men and women, some of whom 
religiously approached the corpse, plucked a hair from 
the beard, or kissed the hand. 

Messengers had been sent to the bishops of Sayda, 
Acre, Beyrout, and the other sees in the district. 
Theodosius, bishop of Acre, happening to be at Bey- 
rout, arrived about eleven in the morning just l)efore 
me, and was giving the necessary orders for the fune- 
ral. I went into the room where he was. It is cus- 
tomary for the Greek catholic church to embalm its 
patriarchs : and this is generally done by the priests : 
but, as the offensive smell, which continued to arise 
from the last patriarch, whose body was deposited 
under the staircase in the chapel of Mar Elias, had 
convinced me that little or no care was used by the 
priests in doing it, I volunteered my services, which 
were accepted. I expected that some objection would, 
have been made on the score of my being a heretic ; 
but perhaps the priests were glad to get rid of a pro- 
cess so disagreeable to eyes unused to the dissection 
of dead bodies. 

There was a receipt for preparing the drugs used in 
embalming kept at the see, which was forthwith sent 


to Sayda to be made up.^ The corpse was imme- 
diately carried into a vault or cellar near the door of 
the church. I was assisted by two peasants, who, 
too-ether with the monks, showed as much indecency 
in the treatment of the body now lifeless as they had 
manifested obsequiousness and servility to it when 
breathing. I proposed that a flat table should be put 
upon trestles (such being the bedsteads of the monks 
themselves) to lay the corpse on : but their reply was, 
" Why not on the ground V I asked for silk thread 
to sew up the body : but they produced cotton, and 
said that would do well enough. I required a sponge 
and hot water : the latter they would not give -them- 
selves the trouble to bring, and the sponge they pro- 
duced was as black as a coal. Who would be the 
future patriarch, not what would become of the dead 
one, was now all their consideration. 

I opened the body. I removed each viscus, one by 
one, observing the external phenomena only, fearing 
to cut into them, lest the bystanders should speak of 
it among the populace, and I get stoned. Not one 
monk would attend, each declaring that he could not 
bear the sight : a lay brother came in once, to ask 

' It was as follows : — Aloes and myrrh in powder, three 
parts: pitch and frankincense, two parts. Some time subse- 
quently M. Belzoni observed, on my showing him this receipt, 
that frankincense formed no part of the embalming powder 
used by the Egyptians, it being forbidden by their religion. 


when the process would be over, and, having stolen a 
handkerchief, disappeared. The contents of the ab- 
domen and chest being removed, I rubbed in the pow- 
dered ingredients over the interior surface oT these 
cavities just as one salts down meat. Then, stuffing 
the whole with bran, I sewed up the body with the 
usual stitch ; and, the thread being blue, the suture 
looked neat, which was the principal thing that ex- 
cited admiration in the peasants, I took out the 
brains and filled the skull with powdered drugs. 
The integuments were then carefully drawn over and 
sewed up.' The body was afterwards washed as clean 
as I could do it ; for the bystanders were extremely 
indifferent to my reproaches for their irreverent con- 
duct,2 and would afford me no assistance. 

^ In examining the head of a mummy opened by M. Belzoni 
at the Egyptian Museum in Piccadillj^ I mentioned to him the 
way in which I had extracted the brains of the patriarch ; which 
led to an examination of the skull of the mummy before us, to 
see if it were possible to find out by what means the Egyptians 
extracted the brains previous to embalming. No division of the 
scalp or inequality of the bone, as if it had been forcibly opened, 
could be discovered on any part of the head. There was no pas- 
sage even for a probe up through the palate or the substance of 
the sphenoidal bone; but the right nostril was larger than the left, 
and, on introducing a crooked probe, I could carry it up into 
the cavity of the skull, and I suspect that to have been the 
opening by which the brain was extracted. 

- In this respect the Mahometans are exceedingly praise- 
worthy. A body, previous to interm.ent, is carefully Avashed, 


They now dressed the corpse in a pair of drawers, a 
kombaz (or gown) of white silk, with gokl tinsel running 
through it ; a silk band or cope, in the shape of a 
horse-shoe, which came over the shoulders from behind 
and reached to the ground, and a smaller one of the 
same kind overit,which two latter are episcopal emblems. 
To the right side in front was suspended a square 
board, covered with silk, resembling a dragoon's 
despatch bag. The mitre was then placed on his 
head ; and the body, being tied in an arm-chair to 
keep it erect, was carried into the church, which was 
lighted up for the mass of the dead. It was eight 
o"" clock in the evening, and I had been employed just 
five hours. A great concourse of people was assembled 
from the neighbouring villages. Not sure how some 
of them might be disposed to consider my interference 
in the religious rites of their church, I declined to 
attend the service. On the following morning, I 
mounted my horse, and rode back to Mar Elias. 

I heard afterwards that, having been exposed to 
the devout and curious all night, he was buried the next 
day., seated in an arm-chair, in a place excavated be- 
neath the pavement of the church, which was well 
done ; for, in such an imperfect mode of embalmino- 
as that just related (in which I had necessarily fol- 
lowed the custom of the monks), there was no reason 

and prepared for going to the grave with scrupulous attention 
to cleanliness. 


why a corpse should not corrupt almost as soon as if 
it had been left to natural decay. 

Four patriarchs had now died within the last six 
years. Agapius, after ruling his flock for twenty 
years, was succeeded by Athanasius, who died, as has 
been mentioned, at Mar Elias, a week or two before 
Lady Hester took possession of that residence. He 
was succeeded by Ignatius, who was murdered by a 
band of Greeks, set on by the heads of the Greek 
church in and about the mountain, on account of his 
exertions in converting the Greeks to the Catholic 
persuasion. The death of the last has been just re- 
lated. This rapid succession had, it was thought, re- 
pressed the ambition of some of the bishops : and it 
was the belief of many that both Athanasius and 
Macarius had died of slow poison. In consequence of 
this surmise, I was mysteriously questioned by many 
persons as to the appearances I had discovered in 
opening the body. 

Amongst those spoken of as likely to succeed to 
the vacant dignity was Abuna (Father) Saba, now 
superior of the monastery of Dayr Mkhallas. He had 
been educated at Eome, where he remained ten years, 
and was well versed in theology and intrigue ; speak- 
ing Italian like a native, and reputed of much learning 
in his own tongue. He was of a remarkable vivacity, 
most simple in his habits, and of very entertaining dis- 
course: so that Malem Haym,thebanker of Acre, would 
often invite him to that city in order to enjoy his society. 


It is true that a patriarch must be chosen from the 
synod of bishops, and Saba was only a priest : but it 
was thought that he would be preferred to a see, and 
forthwith created head of the church. 

To the astonishment of all persons, an obscure and 
aged curate, an octogenarian, was selected. For 
party disputes had run extremely high, and the synod 
not agreeing on any of those who were nominated, it 
was thought best to elect one who could not remain 
long ; whilst, in the interim, each party would have 
time to strengthen its separate interests against a 
succeeding contest. 

On the 27tli of November, Signor Volpi left us. 
About this time Mr. William Bankes, an English 
gentleman, was reported to be on his way from Egypt 
to Syria: and, as Lady Hester was well acquainted 
with him, she wrote to St. Jean d''Acre to secure a 
proper reception for him. Winter now had set in ; 
we had returned to Abra for many weeks. The even- 
ings generally were spent by Lady Hester in listening 
to me, who read to her, or in regulating the manage- 
ment of her household and stables, the whole of which 
she took entirely on herself 

On the 5th of December, a lady, the daughter of 
Malem Dubany, my nearest neighbour, died in child- 
birth. Although her danger was evident to her 
husband and family for many hours previous to her 
decease, no inducement could persuade them to call 
in a physician or surgeon ; for the Mahometans are 
so averse to the interference of men in cases of mid- 


wifery, that a Christian, even if he were so inclined, 
dares not oppose the reignino- prejudice. I ought, 
however, to remark, that this is the only case of death 
in labour that came to my knowledge during two years 
that I resided near Sayda. 

A cottage, in one of the gardens of Sayda, was 
fitted up against the approach of spring for Lady 
Hester, in order that she might occasionally ride 
down to spend the day. It belonged to a Turk, 
named Derwish-el Seghyr,' who was endowed with 
sagacity enough to see that the way to get well paid 
was to give satisfaction to his employer. Hence he 
neglected no means of pleasing her ladyship : and the 
unremitting attention of this man to her con- 
firmed her in the dislike she had long since conceived 
to the Christians of the country, whom she treated 
with open contempt. This cottage was an extremely 
pleasing retreat : before the door was a row of bananas, 
and some tall trees threw a delicious shade around it. 
A lad, about twelve years old, had been sent to 
Lady Hester as an object of charity ; and as he spoke 
Italian very well, he was given to me for my servant. 
His story was — that his brother had been forced to 
embrace the Mahometan religion ; and that he, to 
avoid the same fate, had been secretly sent away from 
Cairo, his native place. His name was Musa. On 
arriving in Syria, he had been kept for some months 

^ Derwish el Seghyr was an ear-sucker ! Ear-sucking is 
practised in deafness, abscess of the ears, and in other com- 
plaints of that organ. 


in the monastery of the Franciscans at Jerusalem, 
where he had become apparently a very pious youth. 

There had been no rain up to the 22nd of December, 
since the month of May, with the exception of one 
shower ; consequently the drought, in some parts, 
was very distressing. The first symptom was in the 
unusual appearance of immense flights of birds, in 
Arabic kuttct. The flocks in which they came were 
truly terrific, covering the sun like a black cloud. 
This unusual state of the weather called forth many 
ejaculations from the mouths of the Mahometans as 
they walked the streets, and a fast of three days was 
instituted for averting the evils which a continuance 
of it must bring on. 

I had procured for Shaykh Ibrahim a copy of the 
gospels ; also the Psalms of David, and the miracles of 
St, Athanasius, all printed in Arabic on Mount Lebanon. 
These I forwarded to him about this time, -and in 
return he sent me a ring, with my name engraved on 
it in Arabic characters : but here our correspondence 
dropped until his death. 

A person in the country, having got into his pos- 
session a certain cure for the rheumatism, was at a 
loss how to use it. Being unable to get the directions, 
which were in English, translated into Arabic, he 
applied at last to me ; and I found that he had 
obtained from the master of a merchantman 
" Whitehead's essence of mustard." He was 
astonished, when, at the bottom of my translation, 


(relying on Dr. Paris's assertion) I added an N.B. — 
that there was not an atom of mustard in the prepara- 
tion : the delusion would have proved more agreeable 
to him than the truth. 

M. Beaudin was now frequently going to Acre 
respecting M. Boutin's murder, and for other schemes 
which were constantly floating in Lady Hester''s 
brain. He was also desired to put himself in readi- 
ness for a journey by land to Egypt ; and, on 
Sunday, the 14th of January, departed for Acre on his 
road thither. He was accompanied by a little peasant 
boy, named Oabur, who had been taken from tending 
sheep into Lady Hester's service, and had become 
a great favourite with her from his bold and indepen- 
dent character ; so that he was now permitted to go 
to Egypt to see a little of the world — seeing Egypt 
being, in the eyes of the Syrians, about what going 
to Paris is to an Enolishman. 

On the 29th of January, I was requested to give 
assistance to a man attacked with hydrophobia, who 
had been bitten some weeks before (T think five) by a 
dog running by the sea-shore ; it was suspected that 
the dog was rabid, and he was pursued and killed ; 
and the leg of Mohammed (that was the man's name) 
was enclosed in his reeking skin, this being a supposed 
cure for the bite. The man died six days after the 
symptoms manifested themselves. He appeared to be 
about thirty-five years old. It was expected that I 
should have suggested some remedy for a cure j but I 


had none to offer. I sat in the room with him for 
about twenty minutes : a native doctor proposed ad- 
ministering onions. The man tried in vain to swallow 
a piece, and then some water, which he equally reject- 
ed ; not being so much terrified at the sight of it, for 
he carried it to his mouth, as having a dread, appa- 
rently, of the painful effort which he was compelled to 
make in attempting to swallow anything. The season 
of the year is the most remarkable part of this case. 

On the 14th of February, I made a very agreeable 
excursion to the village of Garyfy, situate between 
Abra and Dayr el Kamar, in a very romantic glen, 
through which runs a river that empties itself into the 
Ewely. The vineyards and olive plantations around 
Garyfy are not to be exceeded in beauty or extent by 
those of any other village of the mountain. * 

On my arrival about sunset, I rode straight to the 
menzel, or room assigned for the reception of tra- 
vellers, who are entertained at the expense of the 
shaykh of the village with a supper and night's 
lodging. My horse was taken to the adjoining stable. 
On entering the menzel, I found it to be a large, 
square, paved room, with a fire in the centre, around 
which were seated some poor travellers. I lighted* 
ni}^ pipe, and joined in conversation ; when, after 

' Near the village of Garyfy there is abundance of quartz 
lying on the surface of the soil. This village is nearly iu the 
centre of Mount Lebanon. 


about ten minutes, I was told that the son of the 
shajkh was coming to welcome me ; and I was shown 
into an adjoining room. A handsome young man 
soon afterwards entered, whose name was Shems-ed- 
Dyn. He very civilly gave mo to understand that 
he had often heard my name mentioned, and, for my 
own sake, and for the sake of her ladyship, he was 
bound to make my stay agreeable. Supper was 
served up, which, after all his fine speeches, proved to 
be a dish of pilau only. We then smoked our pipes, 
and he left me to go to rest. I was here greatly tor- 
mented by fleas. 

On the following day, almost at daylight, his father, 
an aged and venerable-looking Druze, came down to 
see me, and we drank our coffee and smoked our 
pipes under some fir-trees in front of the house, where 
we overlooked the valley beneath. It appeared that 
the Honourable Frederick North' had once paid a 
visit here, with two other Englishmen, Mr. Gaily 
Knight and Mr. Fazackerley. The object of my 
visit was to make a purchase of wine, for which 
Garyfy was in repute. I went into several peasants' 
houses, where I found jars, some four or five in a 
■ row, each holding from eighteen to thirty-six gallons, 
full of wine, and merely covered with a piece of board, 
roughly cut to the shape of the mouth, and luted with 
clay. These they would break open, and lade out the 
wine in a calabash, cut longitudinally, so as to repre- 
^ Afterwards Lord Guildford. 


sent a ladle, for me to taste. There was both red 
and white ; and, having purchased two ass-loads, 
each ass carrying two goat- skins full, I departed from 
Garyfy on the following morning. 

I was much entertained with the conversation of 
Shaykh Shems* and his father Beshyr. But the 
greatest amusement was derived from a native of the 
village, who had when young quitted the country with 
a European priest, and spent twelve years at Rome ; 
having brought away, as the sum total of the benefit 
derived from his travels, about as many words of 
Italian, and the love of drink, which his pre- 
sent employment of taster allowed him fully to 

The wines of Mount Lebanon are rarely exported 
to Europe, with the exception, occasionally, of a cask 
of the golden wine, which is the growth of certain 
villages, and is now and then sent by merchants to 
their correspondents. Lady Hester shipped a few 
casks for England, as presents to two or three friends ; 
but some of ifc soured on the voyage ; and that which 
retained its taste had not flavour and body enough 
for the climate of England. Yet, with proper pre- 

i When a person is named Shems, it does not mean that he 
bears simply that name. Shems-ed-dyn (or the sun of reli- 
gion) is his true appellation. So no man in Turkey is com- 
monly called Aladdin, or Ali-ed-dyn, as it should be written, 
but Ali only ; and Aladdin, his name in full length, would be 
inserted in writing only. 


paration, there are many wines which would suit the 
English market as well as the wines of Sicily. 

It was impossible to mix in European society in 
Tripoli, Acre, or Sayda, without hearing continual 
lamentations on the low ebb to which the commerce 
of the Levant with Europe had sunk. We have 
only to look into the journals of travellers, who 
visited these countries a century ago, to find them at 
every town recording the hospitality of some English 
merchant. Aleppo had a flourishing factory, and 
even maintained a chaplain and physician ; and 
several English houses of commerce existed at Lao- 
dicea, Tripoli, Beyrout, Sayda, and Acre. But, for 
some years before the French revolution, this state 
of prosperity had been manifestly declining, and 
the commodities formerly sought for in Turkey were 
brought at a less expence from our colonies and by 
other routes. The French, however, still maintained 
large establishments at all the above mentioned places, 
and Marseilles was enriched by the Levant. Even 
the coasting trade of Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, 
was performed by French vessels, and called the 
caravan trade. A master of a merchant vessel would 
sail from Marseilles, Toulon, Cette, or some one of the 
ports of Provence or Languedoc, and would remain 
two or three or more years at a time in the Turkish 
seas, until he had made a considerable sum for his 
owners and himself, when he would return home for 


awhile, and again make another voyage with the same 

When the French revolution broke out, and war 
was declared between England and France, the Eng- 
lish cruizers in the Mediterranean rendered it im- 
possible for the French merchant- ships to traverse 
that sea ; and the factors of that nation at Acre, 
Sayda, and Aleppo, found themselves so utterly 
ruined, that many were obliged to descend to occu- 
pations for which they were never intended, to save 
themselves from want. To this might be added the 
vexations of Ahmed Pasha, el Gezzar, of Acre, 
who indulged himself in a singular hatred and per- 
secution of the French who dwelt in his pashalik. 

Upon the restoration of Louis XVII I. to the 
throne of his ancestors and the pacification of Europe, 
many of the old captains resumed the Levant trade, 
but without any great success. Formerly, the ex- 
ports consisted in raw silk, cotton, gall-nuts, scam- 
mony, drugs, wax, old copper, wool, &c. ; but, in 
1815, the few French houses which had attempted to 
revive the trade had hitherto shipped nothing but 
cotton, a little wheat, and some drugs. With regard 
to England, I think I may affirm that scarcely a 
single vessel had gone to that country direct, freighted 
from Cyprus or Syria. Several reasons were assigned 
for this. One was, as I have said above, that the 
articles derived heretofore from the Levant were now 
obtained from a diSerent quarter of the globe ; a 

VOL. in. o 


second, that the restrictions of the Levant Company 
were oppressive ; a third, that there was unusual risk 
incurred, in long quarantines, by exposure of goods 
to damp and rot in the quarantine houses ; and that 
much inconvenience arose from the necessity of em- 
ploying hireling interpreters,* by which ways were 
opened for cheating, and for collusion between the native 
merchants and the interpreter ; whilst constant dan- 
ger attended the vessels and crews from the insecurity 
of the ports and the frequency of the plague. 

At the time that this was written, the imports 
most saleable were said to be hardwares, American 
coflee (which the natives mixed with Mocha coffee in 
adulteration, or sold separately as a cheap article), 
sugar, cloth, English printed cottons, muslins, fire- 
arms, watches, Geneva jewelry, peppers, cochineal, 
indigo, lead, iron, tin, French earthenware, German 
glass, &c. 

It is to be observed that, so totally does the sale 
depend, especially in articles of jewelry, fire-arms, 
and Manchester goods, on an adaptation to the taste 
and usages of the people, that no person who has not 
resided among them can judge what is saleable mer- 
chandize ; for example, the best duelling pistols, 
brown barrelled, and unornamented, without knobs at 
the ends of the stocks, would not fetch five pounds ; 
whilst a brace of trumpery pistols, made by the di- 

1 In 1815, there was not in all Syria a factor (unless the 
English consul may be styled one) who spoke English. 


rection of a person who knew what the Turks fancied 
would sell for treble that sum : yet, with this ex- 
ception, one general rule with them is to prefer solid 
to fancy goods . 

I did not hesitate to ask shaykli Shems many 
questions respecting his religion. From him I was 
confirmed in the received opinion that Hakem by 
Omrhu was the founder of their sect, and beyond this I 
could get no new light. But it was evident that he 
had read with attention the Bible and New Testament, 
and was as well versed in the Koran as the Mahome- 
tans themselves. 

My neighbour, ]\Ialem Dubany, had two daughters, 
Tuckly and Haneh ; the eldest, Tuckly, was about 
seventeen years old. As I was a doctor, and an old 
friend, I was admitted into the family upon all occa- 
sions, and the young ladies were suffered by their 
mamma to remain when I entered the room, and 
would sit down by me unveiled. Tuckly was grave 
and majestic, and of dazzling beauty, her skin being 
of a higher polish than 1 had ever seen : Haneh, on 
the contrary, was a laughing girl, with large black 
eyes, lips somewhat thick, but as red as coral : and all 
the decorum which custom required of females before 
men could scarcely keep down her natural vivacity. 

I had at this time a patient from Aleppo, named 
Gibrael el Anhury, a merchant, who had brought a 
letter of introduction to me from Mr. Barker, our 
Consul at that place. With him came his nephew, a 

o 2 


young man about twenty- three or twenty-four years 
of age, who had resolved on demanding one of Malem 
Dubany's daughters in marriage. As he never was 
permitted to see either, of course he could only judge 
by report as to the respective merits of the two. His 
go-betweens were a female cousin, who lived at Sayda, 
and his uncle, a respectable priest, living at Sayda 
also, both of whom (for priests have the privilege 
of entering the haryms) were in habits of intimacy 
with Dubany''s family. They united in extolling 
Haneh, the youngest, and Haneh was finally de- 
manded in marriage. 

But there is a custom among the Levantines of 
never allowing a younger sister to marry before an 
elder. 1 In the marriage of Malem Surur, the British 
consul at Damietta, to the second daughter of Batrus 
Anbury of Mount Lebanon, this custom was violated, 
it is true, inasmuch as he took the younger, the elder 
being yet unmarried. But this was considered as 
conduct worthy of blame in the father, and he was 
said to have been induced to do so from the fear of 
losing so good a match in his family. Malem Dubany, 
therefore, refused his consent. It must be observed 
that the Benat Dubany (or the Misses Dubany) 
were never consulted ; and the father, whilst relating 
to me the negociations which had taken place, suffered 
his daughters to listen to the conversation, without 

^ " And Laban said, it must not be so done in our country, 
to give the younger before the first born." Genesis, xxvi. 29. 


imagining for a moment that his omnipotent decrees 
could ever excite a murmur in their bosoms. 

Young Auhury was, therefore, driven to take Tuckly 
or neither. But it had been whispered to him by his 
matronly cousin, that she suspected Tuckly was of a 
complexion too much like alabaster to be in sound 
health, and that she was well assured that something 
was wrong in her constitution, as my lady's doctor 
had been prescribing for her. This was true ; although 
the cousin's alarm was groundless as to anything seri- 
ously faulty in the state of her health, for she was 
possessed of an excellent frame of body. One day, 
therefore. Anbury, the nephew, called on me, and, after 
many roundabout questions, asked me what I thought 
of Miss Tuckly, and I, as in truth I might, eulogized 
her in the discreetest manner I could. 

The following day, when visiting Malem Dubany, 
he, in his turn, interrogated me whether I was not of 
opinion that bad eyes argued bad humours in the con- 
stitution, and whether Mr. Anbury did not seem to me 
to have bad eyes. Here, too, I endeavoured to say 
nothing that might hurt the young man's suit ; but 
Malem Dubany was so often recurring to the sore 
eyes of Anbury, that he persuaded himself a person so 
afflicted could not have healthy children ; and the 
suitor was finally dismissed. 

Will it, after this, be thought wonderful that there 
should be a purity of blood in the different races of 
people in Syria and other parts of the East, unknown 


to Northern climates, when so slight a motive as this 
could cause a young man, respectable, rich, and comely, 
to be rejected ? 

I cannot dismiss the subject of Dubany and his 
family without saying a few words on an incident in 
liis life, which explains the meaning of the term 
avany, a word that has been adopted into the English 
and French languages, by travellers in the Levant, to 
express the extortion of money on frivolous pretexts. 
Malem Dubany acquired his little fortune in Egypt, 
and, whilst a resident merchant there, was, with eight 
others, made the subject of an avany^ under the 
following circumstances, during the reign of INIurad 
Bey. He was reputed rich ; and the bey, desirous of 
appropriating a portion of his wealth to himself, was 
not long in inventing a crime whereof to accuse 

There was a place in Damietta, which had been 
used as a French chapel ; and, after the evacuation of 
the French, some few persons, Greek Catholics, were 
accustomed to resort to it, to worship. It had beneath 
it a dwelling or magazine, used by some Mahometans. 
One day an officer of justice seized on Malem Dubany, 
and hurried him to prison, where he found himself in 
company with seven others, his acquaintances, and 
respectable merchants like himself. They were accused 
of having said prayers over the Turks' heads, which 
was construed into an arrogation of superiority ; and 
of having heard mass in the French chapel, without a 


firman from the Porte, authorising them so to do ; 
for wliich offences they were ordered to pay eighty 
thousand piasters among them, or about .f'oOO 

They naturally protested their innocence of the 
charge, and that they had not such a sum at their 
command ; and, persisting in their assertions, they 
were taken out and bastinadoed, ten pair each^ They 
were then remanded to prison, and given to under- 
stand that this Avas only a prelude to what would 
follow, if they did not produce the money. During 
this time, although in confinement, they were treated 
with much attention. Their meals were as good as if 
at home. Coffee and pipes were regularly served to 
them, and the domestics stood before them, with 
crossed hands in the attitude of respect. At last, being 
threatened with a second bastinadoing more severe than 
the first, they raised the fine, and, having paid it, were 
liberated with a polite message from Murad Bey, that 
they might now go and hear mass if they pleased, 
and not fear any molestation from him. But they did 
not think it advisable to expose themselves to be 
beaten and avanized a second time. 

In the middle of March of this year, Lady Hester 
received information that Miss Williams, a young 
person strongly attached to her, had ventured from 
Malta to Cyprus, in a vessel alone, on purpose to 
join her. Miss W. owed her education and the care of 
^ Two blows, one on each foot, make a pair. 


her younger years to the protection of Mr. Pitt. Lady 
Hester afterwards took her near her person, and she 
left England with her ladyship in 1810. 

At Malta she found her sister married to an officer 
of the commissariat, with whom, at Lady Hester's 
departure from that island, she remained ; but her 
attachment was so great to her protectress, that, after 
residing at Malta four years, she determined to follow 
her into the East. She accordingly embarked on board 
an Italian merchant-vessel, and alone braved the 
hazards of a voyage which proved particularly dis- 
tressing ; for the autumnal gales were so violent that 
the ship sprung a dangerous leak, and the captain Avas 
obliged to put into Rhodes to refit. Here Miss 
Williams remained two or three months, whilst the 
ship, which was found to be much damaged, under- 
went a thorough repair. 

They sailed from Rhodes at the commencement of the 
new year. The captain, named Fanuggia, was a man 
of violent language and conduct ; so that his crew, 
which was composed of very bad subjects, mutinied. 
The two parties came to blows more than once ; and 
Miss Williams, oppressed with sea-sickness, and lying 
in her cot, from which she was unable to move, often 
"heard upon deck the clashing of swords, and thought 
every moment that murder was perpetrating. At 
length they reached Cyprus, where some of the crew 
were put into prison ; and, other men being shipped, 
they crossed to Bey rout, in the middle of March. 


Here Miss Williams landed, after a voyage of three 
months and a half, and was entertained by Mr. Lau- 
rella, the British agent, until recovered from her 
fatigue. Mrs. Fry was sent immediately to her, to 
isastruct her how she was to dress herself — how wear 
her veil in travelling — and how conduct herself in this 
new world. About the 10th of March, she left Bey- 
rout, escorted by Mr. Laurella, and I went to meet 
them on the road. 

The day was exceedingly fine and warm. I was 
riding along in the wash of the sea ; and, the sands 
being broad hereabout, there was a mirage playing 
along them, which seemed somewhat to lift objects 
above the ground and to confuse them. I had passed 
several small parties of travellers ; and, tired of look- 
ing at what was coming, I let the bridle fall on my 
mare"'s neck, and began to muse on the effects of my 
long residence in Syria. When first I entered the 
country, had I undertaken a day's journey in any 
direction, it would have been thought necessary to 
have with me an interpreter, a janissary, and a mule 
or two for my baggage. My bed would have been 
indispensable, and my portmanteau loaded with the 
numerous articles which a European carries along 
with him. Now I was alone, a fowling-piece, lying 
across my saddle-bows, was my only protection ; I. 
my own interpreter ; I had no bed but my cloak ; and 
all the articles of my dressing-box were reduced to a 
comb for my beard, and my tooth-brushes, which 

O 5 


generally I concealed from the view of Mahometan 
natives, lest the materials, being of hog's bristles, 
should render me unclean in their eyes. And this is 
the unincumbered way in which everybody travels in 

A mile or two beyond the river Damur I met them. 
Mutual salutations having been exchanged, I turned 
back with the party. We stopped to sleep at Nebby 
Yunez. Whilst at supper, a circumstance occurred, 
which must have seemed somewhat extraordinary to 
a new comer. Mr. Laurella''s servant had furnished 
the provision basket, but had neglected to put up a 
candlestick ; and such things are not to be met with 
in Turkish caravanseries, where oil is generally 
burnt. He therefore invented a substitute : cutting 
off the crown of a loaf of bread, part of our meal, 
and, making a hole in the crumb with his finger, 
he stuck the candle in it. Miss Williams stared 
in astonishment. 

The next day we resumed our journey, and about 
noon reached Mar Elias. Lady Hester was very 
sensible to this mark of attachment on the part of 
Miss Williams. It was shortly afterwards, although 
I neglected to note down the day, that Mr. W. J. 
Bankes* came to Mar Elias. Lady Hester had been 
long in expectation of him. Of all the travellers who 

^ In 1824, member of parliament for the University of 


had passed that way previously for many months, he 
was the only one who could give her any news of her 
friends and acquaintance. When he arrived, he was 
lodged at Mar Elias. A day or two afterwards, I 
took him on a two days'' tour round by Meshmushy. 
Gezyr, and Geba, three villages on the heights of 
Mount Lebanon, situated so romantically that Mr. 
Bankes professed not to have seen any thing like them 

On another occasion, I accompanied him to Dayr 
Mkhallas, to see the monastery, and to make the 
acquaintance of Abiina Saba, the superior or rais. 
In going, Mr. Bankes's horse, probably unused to our 
mountain tracks, slipped up on his side on a rock, 
and it was a fortunate escape for that gentleman that 
he received no hurt. 

When Mr. Bankes had favoured me with a sight 
of the drawings which he had made in his progress 
through Egypt and Syria, I conceived him to be a fit 
person to lead to the sepulchre discovered at Abu 
Ghyas, as has been related, since he could copy the 
paintings, and thus preserve a memorial of a valuable 
monument of antiquity. I accordingly provided a 
couple of peasants and some tapers, and took him to 
the spot. 

The paintings appeared to him of considerable ex- 
cellence, and he made two large drawings of them. 
Mr. Bankes, when in Italy, had seen paintings in 
fresco removed from the walls entire, and he conceived 


that he could pursue the same method with these. 
I witnessed with regret his preparations and success 
in removing two, because I feared that succeeding 
travellers would blame the act : and yet, on the other 
hand, two such pieces of antiquity would be highly 
esteemed in England, and I knew that an idle boy or 
a fanatic Turk might destroy them for ever, if left 
where they were. 

Mr. Bankes left Mar Elias immediately afterwards 
for Dayr el Kamar, to pay a visit to the emir Beshyr. 
He had brought with him from Egypt a renegado 
Italian in the Albanian costume, who acted as his in- 
terpreter. As a private soldier is not a proper person 
to come into the presence of people of rank, Mr. 
Bankes was advised to obtain the services of M. 
Bertrand in his interview with the prince, which he 
did. They proceeded to Btedyn, the emir's resi- 
dence. After visiting the emir, Mr. Bankes pursued 
his journe}', and M. Bertrand returned to Sayda. 

Soon after Mr. Bankes's departure, we heard that he 
had made an attempt, in the month of April, to go to 
Palmyra, but had failed. Lady Hester had told him 
how many difficulties he would have to encounter in 
the passage of the Desert, unless he went under the 
escort of the Bedouin Arabs ; and, to secure him a 
favourable reception from them, she offered him letters 
of introduction to Muly Ismael of Hamah and to 
Nasar, son of Mahannah ; soliciting him likewise, for 
his own sake, and for the sake of his parents, who 


would lay much to her charge, should any misfortune 
happen to him, which a prudent foresight on her part 
might have prevented, to take as a guide her servant, 
Pierre, who had already been twice into the Desert, 
and was personally known to all the Arabs. But Mr. 
Bankes seemed inclined to trust to his own resources 
and management, which had hitherto brought him thus 
far in safety : and unwillingly accepted both the 
letters and the man.^ 

^ When Lady Hester was in the Desert, she entered into an 
arrangement with the emir and his son Nasar, that, whatever, 
person applied to them for a passage to Palmyra, and made 
use of her name without being furnished with a letter from 
her, such a one was no friend of hers. Of those who pro- 
duced letters from her she wished them to understand there 
might be two classes, who would be distinguished by a double 
seal or single seal. " If there comes to me," said Lady 
Hester, a great man, on whom I can rely, and Avhose word you 
may trust as my own, who wants to live among you, to see 
your mock fights or a camel killed and eaten, to ride on a 
dromedary in his housings, &c., I will send him with two 
seals : but if it be another sort of person, I will send him with 

Lady Hester had mentioned this conversation to Mr. Bankes. 
When therefore Mr. Bankes was furnished with a letter by her 
ladyship, curious to know under which denomination he was 
sent, he caused his letter to be read to him by a man at Hamah, 
a stranger whom he accidentally met ; and, finding that there 
was but one seal, and that he was mentioned neither as a prince 
nor nobleman, he would not present it. 

Some persons, who heard of this, went so far as to say that 


Soon after Mr. Bankes's departure, I had one nio;ht 
retired to bed in my cottage, when I heard the 
tramphng of horses near my door, with a talking, as 
of persons who were strangers. To this succeeded a 

Lady Hester wanted to shut people out of the Desert ; but it 
must be evident that all she wanted was not to compromise 

So much was ]VIr. Bankes's pride hurt by this adventure that, 
when finally he had achieved his journey to Palmyra, he left 
Lady Hester's letters with Mr. Barker, as a deposit, — to show 
(he said) that her influence had nothing to do with his getting 

Arrived at Hamah, he neither delivered the letters to Muly 
Ismael and to Nasr, nor suffered Pierre to remain with him ; 
but, having met there the Pasha of Damascus, Hafiz Ali, who 
showed him great civility and wrote to the Bedouins to recom- 
mend him to their protection, he set off with his customary 
guard, the renegado Albanian. He was arrested in his progress, 
at the Belaz mountain, by Shaykh Nasar, who demanded of 
him who he was, and whither he was going. Mr. Bankes in 
vain said that the pasha would punish those who molested him. 
Nasar required of him a vast sum of money, as the price of his 
passage ; and, on Mr. Bankes's refusal, conducted him back to 
Hamah, without doing him any harm. Mr. Bankes afterwards 
made a second attempt, which also was not attended with com- 
plete success. Hearing that Sir William Chatterton and Mr. 
Leslie were on their way to Hamah, he waited some time for 
them ; but, eager to effect his purpose, he at last departed alone, 
having agreed to pay 1,100 piasters (£45 sterling). On his 
arrival at Palmyra, Hamed, another son of Mahannah, insisted 
on having an additional present ; and, on Mr. Bankes's refusal, 
imprisoned him. It was also said that Mr. Bankes was forced to 


knocking, and then a parley with my servant : the 
result of which was that a voice, in English, made 
known that it was Mr. Buckingham, who was 
bending his way to the monastery, where he had been 
expected some days, yet was afraid to present him- 
self, as it was so late. Finding, however, on looking 
at my watch, that it was only two in the morning, 
and knowing that Lady Hester was seldom in bed at 
that hour, I urged him to go on, which he did. 

On the morrow I found him safely housed. Mr. 
Buckinghara''s Turkish dress became him, and he 
looked very much like a Mahometan. Lady Hester 
found much pleasure in his conversation, and detained 
him until the 18th of April. 

As soon as Mr. Buckingham was gone. Lady 
Hester, who had deeply reflected on the then recent 
events which had anew convulsed Europe, gave vent 
to her indignation in a letter which is couched in such 
energetic language as to be worthy of standing as a 

pay thirty ikliks to be permitted to copy an inscription over 
the gate of the Temple of the Sun : but Nasar restored the 
money to IMr. Bankes on his return to Hamah. 

Some time before this, a rupture had taken place between Lady 
Hester and Mr. Bankes ; and, on Mr. Bankes's writing to me a 
request that, in case of going to England, I would take charge 
of a tin box containing some of his drawings and his fresco 
paintings, both which were still at Mar Elias, Lady Hester ad- 
vised me to have nothing to do with them, but to transmit them 
to him, which I did, with an excuse on the score that the trust 
was too great. 


record of her opinions on men, whom, perhaps, she 
had a better opportunity of knowing than most per- 
sons of her times. 

Lady Hester Stanhope to the Marquis (afterwards Duke) of 

Mount Lebanon, April 22, 1816. 
My dear Cousin, 

For years, in writing to you, I have been silent on pohtics : 
but as it is probable that this letter will reach you, I avail 
myself of this opportunity to give you my real opinions. 

You cannot doubt that a woman of my character, and (I 
presume to say) of my understanding, must have held in con- 
tempt and aversion all the statesmen of the present day, whose 
unbounded ignorance and duplicity have brought ruin on 
France, have spread their own shame through all Europe, 
and have exposed themselves not only to the ridicule but to 
the curses of present and future generations. One great 
mind, one single enlightened statesman, whose virtues had 
equalled his talents, was all that w^as wanting to effect, at this 
unexampled period, the welfare of all Europe, by taking ad- 
vantage of events the most extraordinary that have ever 
occurred in any era. That moment is gone by : an age of 
terror and perfidy has succeeded. Horrible events will take 
place, and those who find themselves farthest from the scenes 
which will be acted may consider themselves the most 

Cease therefore to torment me : I will not live in Europe, 
even were I, in flying from it, compelled to beg my bread. 
Once only will I go to France, to see you and James, but only 
that once. I will not be a martyr for nothing. The grand- 
daughter of Lord Chatham, the niece of the illustrious Pitt, 


feels herself blush, as she writes, that she was born in Eng- 
land — that England, who has made her accursed gold the 
counterpoise to justice; that England who puts weeping 
humanity in irons, who has employed the valour of her 
troops, destined for the defence of her national honour, 
as the instrument to enslave a free-born people ; and who 
has exposed to ridicule and humiliation a monarch who 
might have gained the good will of his subjects, if those 
intriguing English had left him to stand or fall upon his own 

What must be, if he reflects, the feelings of that monarch's 
mind? but it is possible that his soul is too pure to enable 
him to dive into the views of others, and to see that he has 
merely been their tool. May Heaven inspire him with the 
sentiments of Henry the Fourth, (a name too often profaned) 
who would have trod the crown under his feet rather than 
have received it upon the conditions with which your friend 
has accepted it ! 

You will tell me that the French army — the bravest troops 
in the world, they who have made moi'e sacrifices to their 
national honour than any others — would not listen to the 
voice of reason : and you think I shall believe you. Never ! 
If an individual, poor and humble like myself, knows how to 
make an impression (as I have done) upon thousands of wild 
Arabs, without even bearing the name of chieftain, by yield- 
ing somewhat to their prejudices and by inspiring confidence 
in my integrity and sincerity, could not a king — a legitimate 
king — guide that army, to which he owed the preservation of 
his power, to a just appreciation of their duty? Without 
doubt he could, and would have done too, if he had been left 
free to act. What was to be expected from men, naturally in- 
censed at the interference of those who, for twenty-five years, 
were held up to their minds as their bitterest enemies, but that 
which has happened ? In a word, never did tyrant, ancient or 


modern, act so entirely against the interests of humanity as 
those insensate dolts of our day, who have violated the holy 
rights of peace, and have broken the ties, which, mider any 
circumstances, should connect man and man. 

And pray consider all I say as the real expression of my 
thoughts. Oh ! if I said all I feel, I could fill a volume ! 
but, just now, I am not very well in health, and to take a pen 
in hand confuses my head, as it has done ever since my attack 
of plague at Latakia. I have therefore begged the doctor to 
write this for me. 

You and James must let me know if you can come and 
meet me in Provence : for to Paris I will not go. The sight of 
those odious ministers of ours, running about to do mischief, 
would be too disgusting. Recollect that it is not what is 
called " Love" which takes me now to a prison, but that senti- 
ment which I shall always feel for those whom I have loved : 
— a sentiment, which, in my bosom, is not inferior in intensity 
to the passion itself in the bosom of another. You may make 
faces or not — I care not a farthing ; for there is no soul on 
earth who ever had, or ever will have, any influence on my 
thoughts or my actions. 

If you wish to write to me, send your letters to Paris, 
addressed to James, or to the care of Messrs. Lafitte et C'^, 
Coutts's correspondents, I shall take care that the bearer of 
this letter applies there before he leaves Paris to rejoin me. 
His stay will be from fifteen to twenty days. 

Adieu, my dear cousin. Be as proud and as angry as you 
please at my politics, but you will never change them : do not 
however, on that account, cease to love me, or forget 
Your ever affectionate 

L. H. S. 

Visitors of another kind made their appearance this 
year, but were not so cordially received. These 


were swarms of locusts, which came to add to the dis- 
tress in which the country was then plunged from the 
unusual drought of the season. The locusts first 
showed themselves in the middle of March, and flew 
chiefly along the border laud between the mountains 
and the sea, forming a swarm of some miles in length. 
They would have gone onward, but the north wind 
happened to set in, and blew so strongly that, when 
they came to a point of land a few miles north of 
Sayda, past which there was no screen from the wind, 
they could not advance any farther ; for once on 
the wing, so slight of body are they, that, whichever 
way the wind blows, they are carried irresistibly with 

The poor husbandman slept for a few hours, and, on 
waking, found a track of stalks where lately he left a 
corn-field in full blade. Winter seemed suddenly to 
have succeeded spring, so completely were the trees 
and fields stripped of their verdure. 

Locusts on the wing can be compared to nothing so 
well as a fall of snow. Their swarms obscure the air 
in just the same manner and as far as the eye can 

About this time news was brought that Her Royal 
Highness Caroline Princess of Wales had landed at 
Acre. Lady Hester had heard many weeks before of 
her approach, and, not intending to come in contact 
with her, had given out that she had meditated for 
some time past a journey to Antioch, and was resolved 


to put it in execution this summer. Preparations 
and arrangements had therefore begun as early as the 
mouth of May ; and she had written to Mr. Barker, 
British consul at Aleppo, to meet her at Antioch, for 
the purpose of settling their banking accounts and other 
matters. Many persons thought it an instance of great 
rashness on the part of Lady Hester to go into a dis- 
trict inhabited entirely by Ansarys, a race which had 
lately seen such mischief accruing to it at her instiga- 
tion, on account of M. Boutin's assassination. 

Lady Hester's preparations for her departure were 
now so far advanced that the vessel in which she in- 
tended to sail had been hired. I know not whether 
her ladyship had any reason, other than the mere pro- 
bability of such a thing, for believing that Her Royal 
Highness would extend her journey towards Say da ; 
but, as she had resolved not to remain herself at Mar 
Elias to await the result of the princess's movements, 
it was thought proper that I should do so, to offer 
her such accommodations and entertainment as the 
monastery could affbrd. Miss Williams was left for 
the purpose of household arrangements, and Hanyfy, 
the black slave, likewise stopped behind j probably 
to prevent her from forming an acquaintance with 
so fanatic a people as the Autiochian Mahometans, 
who hold it to be a sin for any believer to be bought 
and kept in servitude by a Christian. Lady Hester 
furnished me with a letter of introduction to Her 
Royal Highness ; and desired me to go and meet 


her as far as Tyre, supposiug she came that way by 

Lady Hester spent a few days, previous to her de- 
parture, in her cottage in the gardens of Sayda ; and 
on the 18th July embarked on board of a shaJctur^ 
which had been fitted up for the voyage. The vessel 
put into Tripoli, where she saw Mustafa Aga Berber, 
and other persons with whom she was in correspon- 
dence of business and friendship. Re-embarking, she 
arrived safely at Swadiah, and thence went to Antioch, 
•where she was received with great honours by the 
authorities of the place. 



Journey of the Princess of Wales to Jerusalem — Burial at 
Abra — Dismissal of Ibrahim — Padre Nicolo — M. Ruffin ap- 
pointed French consul at Sayda — Great drought — Festival of 
St. Elias — Alarm of robbers — Visit of the Author to the 
Shaykh Beshyr's wife, and to Syt Frosyny Kerasaty — Further 
alarms — Festival of Byram — Cottages taken for Lady Hester 
at the village of Rum — Depilation — Flight of Malem Dubany 
— Return of Lady Hester from Antioch — Result of researches 
after the murderers of Col. Boutin — The Ansary refuse to give 
them up — Mustafa Aga Berber collects troops to punish the 
Ansary — Motives of Lady Hester's voyage to Antioch — Visit of 
M. Regnault, French consul at Tripoli — M. Loustaunau and his 
predictions — History of Michael Ay da — Return of Giorgio from 
England, with Mr. N., as successor to the Author — Last 
visit of the latter to Acre — The governor of Smyrna put 
to death — Hawary soldiers — Visit to the Emir Beshyr. 

In the mean time, it was told me by Abuna Saba, 
the superior of the monastery of Dayr Mkhallas, who 
was just returned from Acre, that Her Eoyal High- 
ness the Princess of Wales had reached Acre under 
the folio wins: circumstances. The vessel, on board of 


which she was, had put into Jaffa, as being the nearest 
port to Jerusalem. Mohammed Aga, the governor, 
was not there, and the vice-governor, Kengi Ahmed, 
(his father-in-Law) refused to let Her Eoyal Highness 
land, saying that he respected her firmans, but dared 
not act upon them until they had been presented to 
his master, Sulyman Pasha.' Upon this the vessel 
sailed for Acre. Here the Princess inquired for 
Signor Catafago, of whom she had probably heard 
at Jafla ; but, on learning that he was absent, Her 
Royal Highness sent for Signor Malagamba, the Eng- 
lish agent. 

A complaint was laid against Kengi Ahmed Aga 
for having refused her entrance at Jaffa ; but his 
conduct was justified by the pasha, who said that it 
was Her Royal Highness who had gone wrong by 
trying to get in at the window instead of the door ; 
meaning that she had presented herself at a port which 
was not the seat of government. The pasha judged 
Signor Catafago to be the fittest person to act as Her 
Royal Highnesses conductor to Jerusalem : he there- 
fore sent for him to Nazareth, ordering him to come 

Soon after his arrival, which was on the same day, 
the princess landed, and paid a visit to the pasha, who 
received her with distinction, but in his common saloon ; 

^ Lady Hester Stanhope, under precisely the same circum- 
stances, contrived to effect her entry. These difficulties were 
never raised against common persons. 


after which the necessary orders were issued by him 
that she should be furnished with tents, horses, and 
mules, for her suite and luggage, and with a takhtar- 
wan, or covered palanquin, and his own double tent for 
herself; and, likewise, that she should be entertained 
at the pasha's cost at the different stations on the 
road. Abuna Saba told me that, on the princess''s 
visit to the pasha, she walked through the streets to 
the palace, taking the arm of two of her officers who 
wore red coats. There was one great piece of neglect 
in her people : they never officially advised the pasha 
that she proposed to visit him, otherwise he would not 
have received her in the room that he did. 

Signor Malagamba, the English agent, had, it 
appears, so little polish in his manners, that he was 
entirely neglected by her Eoyal Highness, who found 
in Signor Catafago all the attention to her wishes that 
she could desire. Accordingly, in arranging the plan 
of the journey to Jerusalem, he obtained from her 
E-oyal Highness her consent that she should go by the 
way of Nazareth, and across Samaria, to Jerusalem. 
On quitting Acre, her Royal Highness presented the 
pasha with a snuff-box (my narrator told me) worth 
one hundred purses — more than .£'1500 ; but here the 
customary exaggeration of the Levantines probably 
added seven eights to the real value. 

On the road to Nazareth there is a large village, 
called Shuf Omar. I conceive this to have been the 
place meant, in the evidence adduced against her 


Royal Highness in the House of Lords, in 1820, 
under the name of Aum : for there is no place called 
Aum on the road from Acre to Nazareth, and none 
the sound of which comes so near it as Omar. Here 
her Royal Highness made her first station. As, in so 
large a cavalcade, composed of so many persons ignorant 
of Arabic, there was necessarily much confusion, it 
happened that one of her Royal Highnesses trunks, 
containing effects she would have been unwilling to 
lose, was stolen hereabouts. No sooner was it missed, 
than Signor Catafago set his people to work to discover 
the thief. This is not very difficult in a country, 
where, between town and town, or between village and 
village, there are no single houses, no extensive forests, 
and few places of concealment, except caverns, to issue 
from or return to ; and where a single individual, not 
present at the customary evening conversation of his 
neighbours, would necessarily be compelled, from the 
usual interrogatories of his friends, to assign a sufficient 
reason for his absence. Signor Catafago immediately 
sent for the bailiffs of the village, and told them that, 
if the trunk were not produced forthwith, the village 
should be avanized. This is a common way of finding 
out a delinquent : for the peasants, rather than suffer in 
their own pockets, will soon discover the ofienders and 
bring them to justice. Accordingly, on the following 
morning, Signor Catafago was told that the trunk would 
be found lying in a cavern by the side of the road. 
VOL. in. P 


It was found and restored to the princess : and although 
it had been broken open, the contents were left in it. 
At Nazareth her Royal Highness was lodged in Signor 
Catafago's house. When she departed, he requested 
her to excuse him from accompanying her farther, and 
deputed his son, Lewis Catafago, in his place. Her 
Royal Highness offered him a handsome present for 
his trouble and hospitality, which he refused, pro- 
bably out of fear, under the plea that he was but a 
servant of the pasha's, and could not accept anything. 
Her Royal Highness pursued her journey, and 
arrived safe at Jerusalem. The same house was 
assigned to her which Lady Hester had occupied when 
there. Thence she went to the river Jordan, and, 
returning to Jerusalem, took the road to Jaffa, where 
the vessel awaited her. Among the persons appointed 
to attend her Royal Highness on this interesting tour 
in the Holy Land was Hadj Ali, whose name has already 
occurred so often in these pages. He filled the same 
situation with her Royal Highness v/hicli he had done 
with Lady Hester ; and it is chiefly from him and 
Abuna Saba that I have collected these trifling details. 
About this time, an old man in Abra (nicknamed 
the doctor), but whose real name was Abu Daud, died. 
As soon as the breath was out of his body, the women 
stripped the corpse, and put on it what had been his 
Sunday clothes. His son, with much wailing (for 
custom allows not silent grief), set up the usual cry of 
' Oh, my father ! oh, my father !*''' Friends of the 


family were then despatched to all the villages within 
distance, to assemble the villagers, who make it a 
point of good neighbourhood to attend on these 
melancholy occasions. They flocked in by small 
parties ; and, as soon as they came within hearing of 
the house where the corpse lay, they began to cry 
aloud, continuing in one breath and one tone from be- 
ginning to end — " Thou art gone, cousin : our tears are 
hot : parting is bitter, but such is the will of God !" 
This cry was continued up to the door. To a person 
unacquainted with Arabic, the cry for a marriage and 
for a death (by the men) appears the same : the 
tones are one, the words only are difierent. 

Ibrahim, the Egyptian, who had been sent to 
England with a couple of Arabians, as a present to his 
Royal Highness the late Duke of York, had, under 
my hands, recovered his health from a severe pul- 
monary attack : but, not liking the monotonous life of 
Abra, he threw up his service, and went to Damascus. 
Here poverty overtook him, and he returned to me 
begging. I gave him a small allowance on Lady 
Hester's account, merely to keep him above want until 
her return : for I did not wish to use harsh measures 
with a man just rescued from the jaws of death, and 
for whom I supposed Lady Hester would have some 
consideration, as having been in England, and for 
some time groom in the Duke of York's stables. 
However, to finish what I have to say of this man, 
when Lady Hester returned from Antioch, she found 

p 2 


it impossible to keep him, I took him, therefore, 
before the cadi of Sayda, to whom I made known the 
kindnesses which had been wasted on this ungrateful 
fellow. I dwelt particularly on his habits of drunken- 
ness, which were hardly pardonable in any one, more 
especially in a Mahometan ; and I then begged, in Lady 
Hester's name, that he might be shipped off to 
Egypt, his own country, by the first opportunity. 
This was done. His loose habits there brought on a 
repetition of his cough ; and he finally died of phthisis. 
I discovered afterwards that this man had acted as 
sheriff's officer at Alexandria on the occasion of an 
execution of a thief, who was hanged by the English 
from the top of the gateway that overlooks the parade. 
AVhat would the Duke have thought, if he had known 
that one of his grooms was a hangman ! 

On the 26th of July I had an attack of fever, 
which, however, left me in four days ; but I felt feeble 
for some time afterwards. At the commencement of 
this fever I happened to have taken an emetic, and 
was under its influence, when a holy father was an- 
nounced to me. He proved to be Father Nicholas, a 
friar of the order of St. Francis, who had resided for 
many years at Zeluma, a village on the very summit 
of Mount Lebanon ; where, in the midst of the Druzes 
and some Christian families, he enjoyed such consider- 
ation as his convivial qualities entitled him to. He an- 
nounced himself as the envoy of the Emiry (feminine for 
emir) Meleky by name, sister to the Emir Hyder, who, 


having run the gauntlet through all the medical practi- 
tioners of Syria for some female complaint with which 
she was afflicted, now wished me to undertake her cure. 
I entertained the jovial friar until the next morn- 
ing, as well as my sick state of body would permit 
me, and then dismissed him with a letter to the 
princess, excusing myself on the score of ill health. 

Monsieur Taitbout, the French consul at Sayda, 
had been superseded by Monsieur Ruffin, son of a 
gentleman at Constantinople, who had, on one occa- 
sion, held for a short time the situation of charge 
d''affaires of the French government to the Porte. Mon- 
sieur Euffin arrived about this period. He was accom- 
panied by Madame Ruffin, a Parisian, who expressed 
much disgust at the want of gallantry to the ladies 
which so strongly marked the Levantine manners. 

On the 28th of July Miss Williams fell ill, as it 
seemed, from excessive heat. The customary heat of 
the climate had received an adventitious augmenta- 
tion from the great drought which had parched up the 
soil. The spring, which usually supplied the con- 
vent with water, was dried up. Peasants were seen 
transporting their sacks of corn from places ten or 
twenty miles distant, to be ground at the water-mills 
on the river Ewely, where the stream had yet power 
to turn the wheels : for, in most places, even the rivers 
had ceased to flow. Wheat had become exceedingly 
dear ; and in Abra the peasants ate barley bread. 

It had been an annual custom, with the bishops and 
patriarchs who had made Mar Elias their residence, 


to celebrate the festival of that saint by a solemn mass 
at the chapel of the convent. Lady Hester had found 
that she could not dispense with this practice ; and, 
accordingly, on the 2nd of August, the peasantry of 
the neighbouring villages and many persons from 
Sayda were seen flocking into Abra and spreading 
their carpets on the village green, for bivouacking pre- 
paratory to the morrow. In the morning, mass was 
said ; upon which occasion the priest collected from a 
farthing to twopence or threepence from each indi- 
vidual ; and if he made ten piasters by the festival he 
considered himself well paid. 

These festivals, as I have said before, are looked 
upon by the village girls and young men as fairs are 
in England, and are attended often with consequences 
as pernicious to their morals. 

On the 1st of August it was reported that some 
Nablusians (Samaritans), compelled by the dearth 
which prevailed throughout the southern district, had 
resorted to robbery and plunder for subsistence, and 
were then marauding in Ahlym-el-Khar{ib, within a 
few leagues of us. Upon more strict inquiry, I found, 
however, that they were rather to be denominated a 
gang of horse and ass stealers, as they hitherto had 
confined their depredations to the brute species. I, 
nevertheless, thought it necessary to use more than 
common vigilance, knowing that Lady Hester's 
bountiful conduct on several occasions had caused her 
to pass for a person extremely rich. And as the 
common people of the countiy conceived all riches to 



be either such as are in possessions or in solid cash, 
they concluded that chests of o;old were locked up in 
the convent. 

I, therefore, resolved to transfer my bed to the 
convent ; and I appointed one of the servants to watch 
on the roof of the chapel, where he could, in the still- 
ness of the night, hear the footsteps or voices of persons 
prowling about. 

On the 4th of August, I rode over to Muktarah, the 
palace of the ShaykliBeshyr, to see his wife, who was ill. 


1 arrived early in the afternoon ; but, as it was 
now Rainazan, and the shaykh, although a Druze, 
chose to keep that fast, he was still in bed. Before 
sunset he quitted his room, and at sunset I dined 


with him. As his manner of living accords more 
with the primeval simplicity of the Arabians than 
what is practised in towns, it will not be amiss to 
describe the meal. 

About four o"" clock, it being now the hottest part of 
the year, the servants began to throw pails of water 
over the paved court, which occupied the centre of the 
lower rooms of the palace, and from which there was, 
on one side, which was open, a beautiful and extensive 
view of the adjoining mountains. In the midst of this 
watering the shaykh appeared, dressed in a silk 
kombdz, or tunic, and a lemon-coloured ^2/^^?/, or cloth 
mantle : for he loved finery and bright colours, which, 
it appeared to me, these mountaineers generally do. 
Whilst the watering was going on, he walked about 
in the wet, barefoot, to enjoy the cooling and refresh- 
ino- sensation. Persons who had business, suitors, com- 
plainants, &c., formed a large ring round him. Calling 
these to him, one by one, he discussed and despatched 
their affairs whilst walking. I stood by, as a looker-on. 

This scene continued until sunset. He then washed 
his feet and hands, and we sat down to dinner. I 
was on the shaykh's left hand. The dinner was very 
plentiful, the dishes of excellent flavour ; and unlike 
the manner of the Turks, they were all put on at 
once. The shaykh selected a few good morsels with 
his fingers, and placed them on my plate. We ate 
with our fingers, or with box-wood spoons, the handles 
tipped with coral. We were six in party, and each, 
when he had done, rose, and removed to the carpet 


spread out for sitting, where a servant brought him 
water and a basin, and he washed his mouth and 
hands, with much soaping of the beard, garghng of 
the throat, and rinsing of the mouth ; all which are 
received usages. The shaykh, in the mean time, kept 
his seat ; and, as one guest moved off, desired another to 
take his place. Tliese consisted of his secretaries : 
but, when they had done, the very servants, who 
had waited on us, were told by the shaykh to sit 
down, and they too dined — Giovanni, my servant, 
among the rest. All this was done with much de- 
corum, and little or nothing was said during eating. 
When every one had finished, the tinned copper tray 
was lifted off; the heptangular stool, or low table, on 
which it had stood, was carried away ; the spot was 
swept, and in a few minutes there were no traces of 
dinner to be discovered, excepting in the occasional 
eructations of the shaykh and of some others, who 
made no scruple of giving a free escape to the gas 
bubbles from their overcharged stomachs. We then 
smoked our pipes, that of the shaykh being of jessa- 
mine wood, and about ten feet long. The shaykh 
then resumed the transaction of business, which, 
during Ramazan, is chiefly done in the first part of 
the night. An hour before sunrise another meal is 
served up, and rest is taken in the day-time to relieve 
the ennui of fasting. 

Being now relieved from the effects of my ride, 
I was taken to the harym to see the shaykh's wife, 

P 5 


my patient. The entrance to the harym, or the 
women's side, was by so circuitous a way, that it 
took up ten minutes to arrive at her chamber, which 
was at the very top of the palace. We entered on a 
terrace paved with coloured stones, in the centre of 
which was a circular basin, with a fountain in the 
middle. On the side fronting the entrance was a dome, 
supported b}'- four pillars, painted in lively colours, 
and not without taste. Under it the women would 
sit in the day- time, and overlook the courtyard below, 
where all the busy scene, of cavaliers and men on foot, 
was open to their view. One side of the terrace had 
a large saloon, the other an alcove, with an open divan 
between two rooms, in one of which was the fair Druze, 
sitting up in bed, dressed, and with her horn on her head, 
which the Druze women never lay aside, up or in bed. 

I was much struck with her beauty, and with a 
pair of rosy cheeks on a very fair and clear skin, 
which looked very little like a person in ill health. 
I was somewhat surprised at finding that the person 
in waiting was the wife of Jahjah Atmy, our former 
host at Meshmiishy. Coflee and a narkily were 
brought to me, and, whilst smoking, her case was 
examined. I left her, and retired to rest, saw her 
the next morning, and then departed for Abra, where 
I arrived about eight at night. 

My servant-boy, Musa, tired of work, had con- 
trived, during my absence, to excite the pity of a 
woman traveUing to Tyre, to whom he told a story 


of his wish to return to his distressed mother. In 
this way he reached Tyre, and betook himself to the 
house of the bishop. The bishop suffered him to 
remain with his family, but secretly wrote to me a 
letter, desiring to know whether he should send him 
back. As, however, he had stolen nothing, and was evi- 
dently tired of his service, I only requested the bishop 
to endeavour to forward him by safe hands to Jerusa- 
lem, whither he had often expressed a wish to return. 

During my absence, also, the alarm of robbers had 
increased ; so I distributed among the servants what 
arms were in the convent. In the mean time, I began 
to be anxious about her ladyship, from whom no 
letter had yet been received, nor could I hear any- 
thing certain of the movements of her royal highness 
the Princess of Wales. Miss Williams had recovered 
from her indisposition, but sickness and alarm had 
already begun to make her discontented with her 

Although the following letters relate to a date 
posterior to the close of this narrative, they are never- 
theless not altoo-ether irrelevant, as affordino; a strong 
illustration of Lady Hester Stanhope''s character. It 
is Dr. Wolff himself who has related all these circum- 
stances to me, and who has favoured me with the 
copies of the letters. 

" In the year 1823 I travelled with Captain the 
Honourable John Caradoc, now Lord Howden, from 
Jerusalem to Sayda, from which latter place, as being 


near to Lady Hester''s residence, I forwarded to Miss 
Williams a letter from her sister, Mrs. David, which 
had been entrusted to me by that lady, and to which 
I added a note from myself, saying that I should be 
happy to forward her answer to her sister, at Malta. 
One hour after, a letter arrived from Lady Hester 
herself, the contents of which were as follows : — 

"' To Dr. Wolff. 
" ' I am astonished that an apostate should dare to thrust 
himself into notice in my family. Had you been a learned 
Jew, you never would have abandoned a religion, rich in itself 
although defective, to embrace the shadow of one. Light 
travels faster than sound : therefore the Supreme Bemg could 
never have allowed his creatures to be left in utter darkness, 
until paid and speculating wanderers deem it proper to raise 
their venal voice to enlighten them. 

" ' Hester Lucy Stanhope.' " 

Dr. Wolff immediately returned the following- 
answer: — 

To the Lady Hester Stanhope. 

Saida, June, 1823. 

I have just received a letter which bears your 
Ladyship's signature ; but I doubt its being genuine, as I never 
wrote to your Ladyship, nor did I mention your name in my 
letter to Miss Williams. 

With regard to my views and pursuits, they give me perfect 
tranquillity and happiness, and they must be quite immaterial 
to your Ladyship. 

Your humble servant, 

Joseph Wolff. 


At the time this correspondence took place, Miss 
Williams may be supposed to have grown disgusted 
with an Eastern life, and to have wished to return to 
her sister. This feeling Lady Hester was probably 
fully aware of; and to have admitted Dr. Wolff, who 
had seen that sister, as a visitor at her house, was 
to open a means of communication which might have 
led to Miss Williams's return. With her custo- 
mary energetic tactics, Lady Hester therefore put an 
end to all such contingencies. 

That the reverend gentleman, whose philanthropic 
exertions in the cause of humanity have already 
raised him to a height in men"'s esteem, where no 
praises of mine can reach him, does not feel the term 
" apostate," so harshly applied to him by Lady 
Hester Stanhope, as a reproach, is evident from the 
readiness with which he made the communication, 
and is a proof, if any were required, of his firm 
belief in the truths which he preaches. 

Dr. Wolff informed me, in furnishing me with these 
particulars, which I had begged for insertion in my 
Travels, that the bearer of his letter was bastinadoed 
by Lady Hester and kicked down stairs ; and that the 
poor fellow returned to Sayda lame, and told him that 
" the daughter of the King of England had beaten him." 

I received, on the 9th of August, a letter from the 
village of Joon, requesting my attendance on Syt 
Frosiny Kerasaty, the lady of Damietta, of whom 
mention has already been made, when speaking of 


that city. I went on the following day, and found 
that this lady, having lain in of a boy, in Egypt, had 
thought it prudent to embark for Syria, there to bring 
up the child. Syt Frosiny's husband was by birth a 
Damascene ; and there is a common belief that the off- 
spring of Syrians, born in Egypt, if left there, never 
arrive at puberty. This was certainly verified in the 
case of Malem Kerasaty''s family ; for she had already 
borne him three children, which had died in infancy. 
When pregnant with this last, her husband had be- 
come paralytic, and she had no hope, if this one did 
not survive, of bearing him another. Accompanied, 
therefore, by her mother, who was blind, she em- 
barked for Sayda, and had arrived a few days before 
at the village of Joon, in the house of Malem Jusef 
Sewayeh, whose father Malem Kerasaty had once 
served as clerk. 

I was fearful of sleeping away from the convent, and 
returned to dinner. Whilst dining at my cottage, 
the peasants came to inform me that the gang of 
robbers had been seen passing the village. As it was 
now dark, I recommended to them weat vioilance, 
and, retiring to Mar Ehas, went to bed. Not very 
long afterwards, the man on the roof of the chapel 
saw a person coming up a footpath at the back of the 
convent. He hailed him ; and, as he received no 
answer, fired. It was not known until the day after 
that this was a poor pedlar, travelling towards the 
mountain, totally ignorant why he was fired at, and 


not aware that any one could possibly want an an- 
swer from him. 

Thus did this alarm continue night after night for 
a fortnight ; but no banditti ever attacked us : still 
I could not absent myself for twenty-four hours to- 
gether, since Miss Williams, unacquainted with the 
language, necessarily felt much inquietude when 1 
was away. One night, I was awakened suddenly 
by the old Druze woman, Um Riskh, who entered 
my chamber, and begged me, for God's sake, to get 
up. The robbers immediately came into my mind ; 
1 seized the brace of pistols, which I kept constantly 
at my bedside, and followed her into the court. I 
opened the great door. " There he is !"" she said. 
I looked, expecting to see a man ; but, to my asto- 
nishment, found that her agitation had been 
caused by her having seen, from her window, her 
favourite pack-horse cast, by having entangled his 
legs and neck in his halter, so as nearly to have 
strangled himself. The rope was immediately cut, 
and the kedysli saved ; but, as we had made some 
bustle, I hastened in doors, and found Miss Williams 
and the black slave trembling and expecting every 
moment to see some huge, ferocious ruffian enter to 
cut their throats. By degrees, the report of robbers 
lost ground, and at last died away entirely. On the 
10th of August, I went again to Joon, to see the Syt 
Frosiny, who had caught an ague. Another lady 
was added to the inmates of Joon Place, by the arrival 


of Yusef Sewayeh's wife, married from a family well 
known to English travellers as occupying a house in 
Damascus, which is shown as one of the best in the 
city. But the contrast between the manners and 
dress of these two ladies was much in favour of the 
Damiettan. Frosiny was in person somewhat small, 
but well made, with an engaging smile ever on her 
countenance, a playful wit, and with features that 
everybody pronounced charming. Syt Sewayeh was 
stout even to fatness, heavy in conversation, formal, 
bedecked from her head to her fingers' ends with 
jewels and precious stones. But what seemed most 
unbecoming to her was the form of the turban, which 
is worn by the women of Damascus of a prodigious size. 

I was now revelling in all the abundance of the 
fruits growing in the gardens of Sayda. The autumn 
was always to me the most delightful season of the 
year ; and, but for the musquitoes, would have left 
little to desire as far as the enjoyment of the senses 
goes. Having now so much leisure time oii my hands, 
I delineated several fish which were brought to me 
fresh from the nets ; but, such was the heat of the 
weather, that they often smelt before I could finish 
the drawing.^ 

1 These fish were afterwards shown to Monsieur Cuvier, 
but, as being common to all the Mediterranean, proyed not to 
be curious. The traveller in those countries should be ap- 
prized that drawings of the fish of the Syrian rivers, and of 
the inland seas and lakes, would be esteemed a great curiosity. 
Dr. Clark says, " An Arab fisherman at Jaffa, as we were stand- 


About this time, Sulyman Pasha sent off Hassan 
Ao-a as bearer of some very rich presents to Mo- 
hammed Ah, pasha of Egypt. This is the mode of 
keepino- up a friendly intercourse between potentates 
in the East. In the same way, he was accustomed 
to send annually to Muly Ismael a caravan of camels, 
loaded with rice, preserved dates, raisins, figs, and 
such other articles of consumption as were with diffi- 
culty, or at an increased price, to be had in Hamah 
and its neighbourhood. 

M. Beaudin, Lady Hester''s dragoman, arrived also 
on the same day, with news that her ladyship was on 
her return by sea. Fearful of the continued heats of 

ing upon the beach, came running to us with a fish he had 
just taken out of the water ; and, from his eagerness to show 
what he had caught, we supposed it could not be very com- 
mon. It was like a small tench, but of a dark and exceed- 
ingly vivid green colour, such as we had never seen before nor 
since ; neither is it described by any author we are acquainted 
with. We had no means of preserving it, and therefore would 
not deprive the poor man of an acquisition Avith which he 
seemed so delighted; but gave him a trifle for the gratification 
its very extraordinary appearance afforded us, and left it in 
his hands." — Dr. Clark's Travels : vol. ii., chap, xviii., p. 643 : 
quarto edition. 

Dr. Clark, on seeing a drawing I had made of the Aroos, 
in French Demoiseau, declared it to be the same fish that he 
speaks of in the above extract. He is, however, mistaken in 
supposing it to be rare on the coast of Syria. I have seen 
five at a time for sale, and his assertion is totally incorrect. 


the season, she determined to pass a few weeks higher 
up in the mountain, and had requested the Shaykh 
Beshyr to assign her a village as her residence. Rum 
was fixed on, and on the 20th I rode up to see if 
there was a house fit for her reception. Rum is a 
village of about forty families, Metoualis and Chris- 
tians, occupying the peaked summit of a conical 
mountain, about three miles south-west of Mesh- 
mushy. The road to it is most difficult, by a path 
where it is necessary to clamber up rather than 
walk. Having inadvertently quitted the path, I 
lost my way, and wandered about among the 
rocks for some time, being obliged to dismount 
and lead my horse. The place was in sight and over 
my head, but I still had much difficulty in getting 
to it. 

On my arrival, I addressed myself to the shaykh 
for whom I had a letter and a buyurdy, and whom 
I found to be a most venerable old Druze, cousin 
of the shaykh Beshyr, and consequently a man 
of importance. He received me with much civility. 
He ha:l a son, named Habyb, a most beautiful 
boy seven years old, who attached himself to me 
the moment that we met. The shaykh's name was 
Kelayb. As it was just breakfast time, (noon) I 
sat down with him to four dishes, viz., melinjans' 

' The melinjan is a vegetable of a pear shape and of a deep 
lilac colour, as large as a bon-chretien pear, called in French 


boiled and beat up with oil, eggs fried in oil, nielin- 
jans sliced, fried in oil, with some sour cream cheese. 
Custom had now reconciled me to such a repast as 

The houses of Rum were of stone, but with mud 
Hoors, as elsewhere on the mountain. The chief pro- 
duce of the village was tobacco, which was considered 
as the best in the district of Aklym el Tufah, that being 
the name of the district. Charcoal was likewise made 
from the stunted oaks, arbutuses, turpentine trees, 
and underwood, in which the mountain hereabouts 
abounded, and was an article of trade between the 
village and Sayda, 

I took three cottages for Lady Hester, desiring 
that the one belonging to Joseph the Ironmonger 
( Yusef el Hadad) should be fitted up for her. For 
these three the rent was fixed at thirty- eight piasters 
for the season, and I paid eight more to a cottager, 
who was to admit Yusef el Hadad as a lodger in the 
interim. The houses were all built on the east side 
of the summit, to avoid the cold. 

I returned in the evening, and on the following day 
sent up Miss WiUiams and Hanyfy, the black slave, 
under the care of a servant, to put the cottages in 
order. It was my custom to go almost weekly to the 
public hot bath at Sayda. On entering the sudatory 
from the tiring-room, the bathman would always ask 
me " Do you use deica to-day V I knew very well 
that he meant " Do you depilate to-day V As I con- 


stantly said no, he suggested to me that a want of 
cleanliness in this respect would not be excusable in a 
pauper if a Mahometan, and, although I was a Chris- 
tian, he was sure I should be more comfortable for 
adopting the custom. As I knew how much im- 
portance was attached to such matters, I did not like 
to persist in my refusal, and, on the 22d of September, 
for the first time I depilated. The preparation with 
which this is done is a mixture of orpiment and quick 
lime, smeared on for three or four minutes, or sometimes 
for a less time, whilst the body is in a state of per- 
spiration. As I was unused to the application, I kept 
it on too long, and inflamed my skin most severely, 
so as to be incommoded with the heat and redness for 
nearly a week. This application does not prevent the 
return of hair where removed : it merely corrodes or 
burns it off" for a couple of months. 

September 25th. In returning from Sayda I 
called at Malem Dubany's house on my way, and 
found that the master of the house had just fled 
from his home, in consequence of a dispute with an 
aga of Sayda arising from the following circumstances. 
Malem Yusef Dubany^s warehouse and counting- 
house were in the caravansery, called Khan el Hum- 
mus, at the gate of which a man had planted himself 
selling rice by retail, which was an obstruction to the 
entrance. Dubany turned him away, and Mustafa 
Aga replaced him. As some anger had been shown 
by both parties in the dispute, Dubany thought pro- 


per to take refuge in the interior of Mount Lebanon 
until the decision on the rights of the caravansery 
could be obtained. Next day I learned that he was 
gone no farther than Khuska, a village one league off. 
On the 28th an order came from the pasha, confirm- 
ing Dubany in what he had done, and he returned to 
his home. But this anecdote will serve to prove how 
precarious personal liberty is under the Turks, when 
an aga — a simple gentleman — not properly vested 
with the authority of a magistrate, could venture to 
menace a Christian who had offended him, and might 
do him some personal harm, as the sudden flight of 
Dubany out of his reach plainly argued. 

On Sunday, the 29th, a polacca brig came to an 
anchor in the outer harbour, and about five o*'clock 
Lady Hester arrived at the convent. She had 
almost freighted the vessel with oats, for Antioch is 
the only place that I heard of in Syria where they 
grew : nevertheless, oats were not approved of for 
horses by those natives who could get barley, which 
was preferred as more nourishing. 

It will be necessary here to give a little account of 
Lady Hester's voyage to Antioch, and of her resi- 
dence there. But we will first bring the history of 
M. Boutin's assassination to a conclusion, since it 
was much connected with this voyage. 

It will be recollected that Lady Hester had sent 
into the Ansary district, which is wholly moun- 
tainous, three persons who, after having made such 


researches as they could, returned to communicate 
their information to her ladyship. I never heard 
precisely what this information was ; but she thought 
it sufficient to ground upon it an application to the 
pasha, that measures should be taken to bring the 
murderers to punishment. She had not, perhaps, 
reflected how very reluctant the pasha might be to 
require persons to be given up who would be refused 
to him : in which case, if he did not compel their 
obedience, his authority Avould be compromised. 

The Ansarys inhabit that chain of mountains 
which runs as a continuation of Mount Lebanon, from 
Dayr Hamyry to Antioch, comprehended between 
the two parallels 34° 40' and 36° 20' north latitude. 
They are tributary to the pashas of Tripoli and 
Damascus, but their obedience is uncertain and their 
contempt of authority general, because necessarily 
suffered to go unpunished. In the centre of their 
mountains, they have certain strongholds, where 
the troops of the plains, which had been occasionally 
sent against them, had always been foiled. It was 
known in what village the murder had been com- 
mitted ; but to every order to give up the murderers 
some evasive answer had been returned. To Lady 
Hester"'s urgent request, therefore, that more 
strenuous measures should be resorted to, the pasha 
repHed civilly, but evasively, that the troops could 
not endure the cold mountains in the winter, but, 
when spring came, her wishes should be complied with. 


When spring did come, Lady Hester failed not to 
remind the pasha of his promise ; and I heard after- 
wards that an order to the same effect, originating in 
the French authorities at Constantinople, was sent 
him. But to the French none of the honour of 
revenging their countryman's death belonged, for 
Lady Hester alone, by the information she had col- 
lected, could direct them where to march. ^ Whether, 
however, moved by her ladyship or by others, at last 
the pasha was roused to action ; and, towards the 
middle of the year, troops were seen marching on the 
road to Tripoli. These troops were very generally 
impressed with the idea that it was Lady Hester who 
had caused them to march : for they said in the towns, 
as they went along, that they were ordered on the 
Syt's business. 

' As a proof of this we here subjoin the translation of an 
extract from the Courrier Frangois, under date of April 29, 
1830, and part of a sketch of Colonel Boutin's life, which 
appeared in that newspaper. — "Towards the year 1811, 
Colonel Boutin received orders from the Emperor to visit 
the East. He was entrusted with a mission to explore 
Syria, to learn Arabic, and, at a fit opportunity, to penetrate 
into Arabia and describe that country. On that occasion he 
made the acquaintance of Pitt's niece, Lady Hester Stanhope, 
subsequently crowned Queen of Palmyra by the Bedouins in 
1821. He met from her with a most honourable reception, 
and, proud of her powerful protection, he was on the point of 
succeeding in his enterprise, when he was assassinated in the 
neighbourhood of Damascus by the Arabs, who sought to rob 


It was evident that the pasha meditated a formid- 
able irruption into the Ansary mountains; and the 
command was given to Mustafa Aga Berber, as 
o-overnor of their district, and as, moreover, a brave 
officer, fit to cope with these mountaineers. The 
Ausarys are that people who, during the crusades, 
furnished those assassins who devoted themselves to 
certain death for the sake of destroying the enemies 
of their faith. The reader will recollect the old man 
of the mountain and all the traditions connected 
with that mysterious person, and he will then know 
those whom Berber was to attack. 

Mustafa Aga Berber at last marched, and, entering 
the Ansary mountains, carried fire and sword into 
their villages. It is supposed that, to the motives 
furnished him by the cause on which he went, he 
added personal hatred, on account of their religion ; 

him of a bag of coins which he had in his possession. France 
knows how the murder of this illustrious traveller was 
avenged by her ladyship, who caused his assassins to be de- 
capitated and obtained the restitution of his baggage, which 
she effected purely by her personal influence and efforts." 
To this extract may be added another mark of the gratitude 
of the French nation, by whom her noble conduct was better 
appreciated than by her own countrymen. She received the 
thanks of the French Chamber of Deputies, after a speech 
made relative to this affair by the Comte Delaborde, and I 
regret that I have not been able to meet with the notice of it 
in the French newspapers of the day. 


for Berber was a rigid Mahometan, and the Ansarys, 
being out of the pale of the Mahometan faith, are 
hated by the Turks so cordially that they are said to 
consider it meritorious to put an Ansary to death. 
Berber, therefore, was going to a work of faith. I 
am ignorant of the details of his proceedings, but it 
came to my ears by general report that he burnt the 
villages of the assassins, sent several heads to the 
pasha as trophies of his victories, and several women 
to Tripoli as slaves. There was the tomb of a shaykh, 
who, for his sanctity, was held as a saint by the 
Ansarys : this he caused to be broken into, and the 
body or bones to be taken out and consumed by fire. 
He burnt also the house of shaykh Khalyl, who was 
a considerable personage among them. One of the 
places which he besieged was called Hamam. By 
some it was said that he was never able to get hold of 
the assassins themselves, and had substituted other 
heads for them, whilst others affirmed that the 
assassins were taken and put to death. Berber, how- 
ever, returned triumphant to Tripoli : and it was soon 
afterwards that Lady Hester set out for Antioch. 

When Berber was about to depart on this expedi- 
tion, he wrote a letter to Lady Hester, saying that, 
, as he was going to fight for her, it was but fair that 
she should arm her knight : accordingly, Lady Hester 
sent him a brace of handsome English pistols. Now 
that he was returned, we may suppose that Ladv 
Hester was desirous of seeing him, and of learning 



the details of his expedition. On the 18th of July 
she embarked. The voyage was considered by most 
persons as connected with the Ansary affair ; but such 
as knew some circumstances of Lady Hester''s life ima- 
gined that she absented herself from Sayda to avoid the 
Princess of Wales. She herself always said that the 
real object of her journey to Antioch was to see Mr. 
Barker, in order to settle her money affairs : but, as 
on many other occasions, so on this, I was quite able 
to satisfy my mind as to her real motive, although she 
judged it prudent not to avow it. The hope of a 
little diversion to her mind might have formed a 
part ; the wish of seeing Mr. Barker also had its 
weight ; but the reason assigned respecting the Princess 
of Wales seems to me most correct : for Lady 
Hester probably knew, long before, that the Princess 
was coming to Jerusalem, and she might fear that, 
once in the country, she would extend her journey to 
Mar Elias ; where such a visit would also have 
brought upon her so much expense as to induce her to 
go out of the way. But certainly no one but herself 
would ever have thought of taking refuge in the 
midst of the very people upon whose countrymen, per- 
haps whose relations, she had been the means of bring- 
ing such calamities. 

When Lady Hester embarked at Sayda, the strand 
was covered with spectators. The vessel she had 
hired was a large shaktur. Upon the ballast, which 
was sand, were laid some mats, and upon these her 


ladyship's bed without any bedstead. At the head 
and foot, mats were put up as screens. Towards the 
stern was the heavy luggage, where lay the three 
women, and towards the stem was the favourite black 
horse, with the ass she was accustomed to ride. 
The vessel sailed the same evening, and on the fol- 
lowing day at sunset Lady Hester was on shore 
at Tripoli, in the house that had been prepared 
for her at the strand, which is about a mile from 
the city. 

As the consideration in which the government held 
Lady Hester was very well known, all those who 
generally take their tone from the great man hastened 
down to pay their respects. Besides these, came the 
English Consul, the Greek bishop, and the French 
Consul. Having seen the governor, and heard the 
particulars of his expedition, after a stay of five days, 
Lady Hester re-embarked, and sailed for Antioch. 
The rais (or captain) objected to enter the port of 
Swadiah, which is nearest to Antioch, and dropped 
anchor at Bussyl, the ancient Posidium, a small port 
to the south of it. Mr. Barker, who had been wait- 
ing at Swadiah twenty days, living under tents, 
hastened immediately to Bussyl, and mules were 
provided for the luggage. Lady Hester landed, and, 
in a short time, arrived on her ass at Antioch, which 
is distant six or seven leagues from Bussyl. Mr. 
Barker had caused a house to be prepared for her, 
and another for himself, but staid only five days at 



Antioch, and then departed for Aleppo, bein^ oblioed 
to return on account of the Prince Regent's birthday, 
which he wished to celebrate in his consular house. 
Here Lady Hester spent seventy days, and the 
language she held after her return, when speaking of 
the Ansarys, was, that she considered them as an in- 
dustrious but oppressed people. Few Europeans had 
at that epoch ever met with common civility at 
Antioch, much less with honours and consideration. 
It seems, however, that Lady Hester was not less re- 
garded there than elsewhere. 

She visited whatever was curious. Much of the 
time that she was there was spent in a retired cottage 
out of the town, where she might be truly said to show 
a fearless disposition and much courage : for a few 
Ansarys, had they been so disposed, could have 
carried her off or murdered her any hour of the 
night or even of the day ; and some well disposed 
persons secretly informed her, when there, that her 
life was in danger. But the terror excited by the 
late severe vengeance exercised on their nation pro- 
bably saved her ; and, more than all, the magna- 
nimous conduct which she pursued towards them ; 
for, at her cottage in the woods, she took an occasion, 
when several peasants were around her, to harangue 
them ; telling them that she had indeed revenged the 
death of a Frenchman, and of a man who was her 
country's enemy, because she knew that all just persons 
abhorred the deeds committed against the defenceless 


in the dark — deeds such as must be disowned by the 
brave and the good everywhere. 

Lady Hester returned to Sayda in a polacca brig, 
wiiich she found lying in Latakia harbour waiting for 
a freight. As the heat was still too great to remain 
at Abra, she set off on the 6th of October for Rum. 
On the 13th she returned from Rum to receive M. 
Regnault, the French consul at Tripoli, who was, by 
invitation, come on a visit to her. He was a short, 
humpbacked man, formerly one of the twelve of the 
Institute of Egypt. His language and manners were 
pleasing. He was somewhat facetious, and had ami- 
ability enough to make his ugliness forgotten in the 
course of a few hours' conversation. 

M. Loustaunau, a sketch of whose life has been 
given in another work, and whom Lady Hester had 
long since dubbed the Prophet, was still living on her 
bounty. He was ever brooding over portentous events 
about to happen to her ladyship : of whom he now always 
spoke as a person destined by the Almighty to play 
a great part in the world. On all subjects he dis- 
covered remarkable good sense, excepting on the Bible, 
the texts of which he perverted in a most extraordi- 
nary manner, to accommodate them to the events of 
her life, past, present, and future. 

Lady Hester and M. Regnault visited the French con- 
sul at Sayda. She wore a splendid black abah, with gold 
brandenburghs and tassels, and, whilst sitting on a carpet 
on the ground, after the Turkish fashion, she reclined 


on a short crutch beautifully inlaid with mother of 
pearl, after the manner of the great personages of the 
East. Such was the crowd which assembled round 
er when she entered the town that one would have 
said it was the first time they had ever seen her. 
Adults and children, Turks and Christians, all were 
actuated by the same spirit of curiosity to behold 
the woman who could stir up a whole province to 
take revenge upon the Ansarys for the death of a 

Lady Hester's acts of beneficence to a number of 
individuals, coupled with this last generous and dis- 
interested labour for M. Boutin, had caused her name 
to spread very widely through the country, and herself 
to be regarded as the protectress of the unfortunate 
and the almoner of the poor. On her return to the 
convent, she found a suppliant at her gate, whose 
history will claim some sympathy. 

Michael Ayda was the son of an Egyptian mer- 
chant, whose father was receiver of the customs at 
Damietta, and afterwards katib to Gezzar Pasha, 
by whom, in a fit of bloodthirstiness, he was put to 
death. Michael and his sister, ,with another brother, 
were left orphans to the care of their uncle, Girius 
Ayda, who, having been an active adherent of the French 
when in possession of Egypt, was obliged, on their 
evacuation of his country, to abandon it, and retired 
with them to France He there obtained a pension from 
Buonaparte and the rank of general in the army. 


Michael was then about nine years old. He was 
young and apt for literary acquirements, so that, as 
he grew up, he retained the Arabic language and ac- 
quired the French. At the age of seventeen, he became 
a teacher of Arabic, and copyist at the royal library in 
Paris, where he read the best authors in his native 
tongue, and acquired a correct knowledge of the Arabian 
poets. He had often heard speak of the great wealth 
which his father possessed ; and he cherished the re- 
solution within himself that, when arrived at man''s 
estate, he would go to Egypt, and try if any of it could 
be recovered from the hands of those who, he was told, 
unjustly kept possession of it. Accordingly, in May, 
1816, he carried his resolution into effect, and sailing 
from Marseilles landed at Alexandria. 

Another uncle, who was living at Alexandria, had 
opposed by letter, and with all the means in his power, 
this voyage to Egypt. Michael Ayda therefore ima- 
gined that his relations in Egypt were in a league 
together, to prevent the recovery of his property. 
After his arrival at Alexandria, he brooded over 
this idea so deeply that, added to the strangeness of 
the people among whom he found himself, and the 
stories which he had heard from his boyhood of the 
barbarity of the Turks, it turned his brain. He fancied 
that the object of his journey was known to everybodj% 
and that persons set on by his uncle were conspiring 
against his life. 

Being, therefore, on the way from Alexandria to 


Damietta by land, he one night thought that he ob- 
served one of the mule-drivers secretlj' approaching 
him with a knife in his hand, and fancied that it could 
be with no other intention than to murder him. 
Frantic almost to madness, he sprang upon his feet, fled, 
and, after wandering about for nearly twenty-four 
hours, arrived, worn out with fatigue and hunger, at 
Damietta. The cousin in some way heard that a 
person of his own name was arrived from France, and, 
finding him out, received him with the kindness of a 
near relation, clothed him, and expressed himself 
willing to give him every information respecting his 
father's property. But Michael Ayda was too deeply 
impressed with the supposed cruel intentions of his 
cousin ever to feel at peace, and, in the course of a 
couple of days, he entered a mosque, and proclaimed 
himself in the middle of the assembled congregation 
as one resolved to become a Mahometan. 

As his air was bewildered, some of the shaykhs 
took him into a room, conversed with him, found out 
who he was, and sent to the cousin to know whether 
it was with his knowledge that Michael Ayda was 
about to take so important a step. The cousin has- 
tened to the spot, and did all in his power to dissuade 
him, but in vain. The young man persisted in his 
purpose, submitted to the necessary but painful opera- 
tion which his new faith required, and, at his own 
desire, was shipped for Syria in order to be out of the 
reach of his ideal enemies. He landed at Beyrout, 


and his story soon reached Dayr el Kamar, where 
his uncle, named Nicola Turk, resided. This gentle- 
man employed two stout and trusty men, who inter- 
cepted the caravan, by which he was going from Bey- 
rout to Damascus, at Hamel-merge, in the Bka, and, 
by persuasions and threats, induced the muleteers to 
whose care he was entrusted to give him up. They 
carried him to Dayr el Kamar. He was there made 
by his uncle to abjure the Mahometan religion before 
the patriarch, and was restored to the privileges of a 

This last act rendered his life forfeit to the Turk- 
ish law, and he now dared not stir beyond the pre- 
cincts of the emir's district without running the 
hazard of being seized and impaled. His object, 
therefore, in throwing himself at Lady Hester's feet 
was to solicit her protection, and to beseech her to 
afford him an opportunity of embarking for Europe : 
but Lady Hester held it as a rule of conduct never to 
interfere in the religion of other persons, and, althouo-h 
she was willing to assist him, it was not in abetting 
his double apostacy. She endeavoured to show the 
young man, however, that his real interests lay in 
adhering to the Turkish religion, if indeed he was de- 
sirous of prosecuting the business which had brought 
him from France. If he remained a Christian, he ran 
the risk of being impaled, and must abandon the hope 
of the recovery of any of his father's property. Ayda 
was irresolute, half inclining to the faith of his family 

Q 5 

846 TRAVE1.S OF 

and relations, and yet desirous of avoiding the life of 
misery and apprehension to which he should be ex- 
posed. Lady Hester told him finally that she could 
receive him only as a Turk, and that, once a confirmed 
Mahometan, he could not return again to the church 
through the medium of a priest of this country. He 
became, for some time, a tenant of one of her cottages ; 
but melancholy had taken such deep possession of 
him that he was totally unfitted for active life. Here 
he devoted himself to Arabic poetry, and, by the aid 
of some books which I lent him, he speedily acquired 
a knowledge of Italian and English : but he was 
grievously superstitious ; much imbued with the pre- 
judices of the Levantines, although he had as yet never 
lived among them ; and a believer in magic, alchemy, 
and all mystic sciences. 

On the 28th of October, M. Didot, son of the cele- 
brated printer, Firmin Didot of Paris, being on his 
travels through Sayda, was invited to the convent- 
With him was M. Le Grange, who had been studying 
Arabic two or three years at Zuk, a large village in 
the Keserwan, in order to qualify himself for the situa- 
tion of interprete de la cour pour les Icmgues Orientales. 
It may be illustrative of the characters of the moun- 
taineers on Lebanon to observe, that, about this time, 
the story of the Wapping baker, who appeared to a 
ship's crew in the flames of Mount ^tna, as they 
were sailing past Sicily, and was afterwards found to 
have died on the day on which he had been seen, had 


2;ot into circulation, and seemed to have made a deeper 
impression on the minds of all ranks of people than 
any piece of European news I ever heard discussed 
among them. 

Lady Hester grew every year more fond of the hot 
bath. She would go into it two days following, stay- 
ing in three or four hours at a time. 

November the 15th, one of the little running foot- 
boys came panting up to me, crying, A7ia abaskerak. 
Ana abaskerak — / bri7i^ you good tidings. This is a 
common way with persons of all ranks in the East, to 
endeavour to be first to tell good news ; in which ease 
a recompence is generally expected and given. The 
news was, that Giorgio Dalleggio, the Greek servant, 
sent to England, in June, 1815, was arrived in Sayda 
harbour, and that Mr. N., surgeon, who was come out 
as my successor, had arrived with him. 

Giorgio had brought with him twenty-seven cases, 
which were all landed without examination by the 
custom-house officers of the place, a mark of civility 
invariably shown to Lady Hester during the whole 
of her residence in Syria ; and which she returned 
twofold by an occasional present to the kumrukgy, or 
collector of the customs. Their voyage had been favour- 
able, having left the River Thames on the 2nd of 
August. West of Malta they were fired into three 
times by the Tagus frigate, Captain Dundas, owing to 
some breach of the regulations existing between mer- 
chant vessels, when under convoy, and king's ships : be- 


cause masters of merchant vessels, for the sake of gain- 
ing a few leagues in a long voyage, will often expose 
their freight and passengers to the danger of capture. 

When Giorgio Dalleggio gave the history of his 
reception in England, it appeared that he had been 
much caressed. This had caused him to forget the 
benefits he had received from his mistress and to 
despise her service. He said that his Royal High- 
ness the Duke of York was his intimate friend, and 
that everything he saw in England was inferior to 
what he had seen in Constantinople. The Princess 
Charlotte of Wales, on his delivering a letter from 
Lady Hester, gave him a silver chain. He remarked, 
when speaking of it, that, if these were the presents 
English princesses made, what was he to think of such 
mean people : he accepted it, he declared, only not to 
give her pain by his refusal. And soon after, when 
setting out for Damascus, he asked Lady Hester 
Avhether he should take the chain with him or not, 
and then answered himself by saying, " Well, I shall 
take it, but I will not say it was from her, lest I 
should give the Turks a mean opinion of English 
royalty." He asserted that the palaces in England 
were not so good as the prisons in Turkey.^ 

' In the same manner, Ibrahim, a groom who took over two 
horses which Lady Hester sent to the Duke of York and to 
Lord Ebrington, used to affirm that his Royal Highness the 
Duke shook hands with him, and that the Duchess danced 
with him. 


Two Bedouins arrived on the 17th, with a letter 
from the emir of the Anizys, Mahannah-el-Fadel, 
bringing with them a colt, as a present to Lady- 
Hester. The object of their mission was of some im- 
portance. Shaykli Nasar, in some dissensions that 
had sprung up between Mahannah and the governor 
ofHamah, had plundered the granaries of the governor 
of that place, after a battle in which Farez (Mahan- 
nah's son) was slain. The governor complained of 
the aggression to the pasha of Damascus ; upon 
which the pasha vowed he would have Nasar''s life, if 
ever he should be caught. Nasar, therefore, suppli- 
cated Lady Hester to intercede with the pasha for 
him ; and hinted that, in case of her succeeding, it 
would be well to demand some pledge of his good faith 
in the performance of his promises ; adding that, 
although the pasha's words were honeyed, there was 
always a sword under them. It was a fine sight to 
behold the Bedouins come and seek protection of a 
woman and a stranger. 

This letter is not devoid of interest, as showing the 
style of Bedouin writing : for, although it is probable 
that some itinerant writer penned it, Mahannah dic- 
tated it. 

To our dear Sister the Syt Hester, whom may the Almighty 
save, and whose days may he prolong unto us, whom she has 
breathed upon — this letter, with our most profound respect, 
comes greeting — Amen, O God of the Universe ! Next, 
shouldst thou, our sister, inquire after us, thy brother, we, 


praise be to God, are well, but ever anxious after thy perfect 
safety, which is the sum of our wishes and prayers. 

From the time that you were with us, we have been in 
bloody affrays with the pasha. He it is that slew our son 
Farez and our men. This was God's doings, but we stopped 
the rout, and God, the most High, scattered them ; so that we 
are, just now, quiet. But it behoves us that we should inform 
your Felicity, and give you tidings also of the state of ISTasar. 
For two years past he has escorted the pilgrims (to Mecca) : 
but we have no news that you are coming unto us. The 
bearer of this is our chieftain, Abd-el-Rasak, and if you wish 
for a mare, send word by him, and let us know : for we wait 
the commands of your Felicity. 


Whilst the Bedouins were sitting with me, on 
Tuesday, the 19th November, about half past eleven 
in the morning, the sky became by degrees overcast, 
and, unapprized of such an event, I did not at first 
perceive that the sun was eclipsed. I blackened a 
piece of glass with smoke, and made the Bedouins 
look through it ; but they seemed to me to express no 
irrational astonishment whatever. The cottagers in 
the village brought out pans and kettles, and beat 
them to avert the evil influence of the heavens. 

The twenty-seven cases which Giorgio had brought 
out from England for Lady Hester contained numberless 
articles of every kind, which she had ordered to be bought 
for her, to distribute as presents amongst her various 
friends and acquaintances in Turkey. ' With her usual 
method and oxpedition in business, these difierent objects 


were, in a week's time, unpacked, ticketed, and 
arranged, so as to require nothing but the delivery of 
them to those for whom she intended them. My 
attention was chiefly occupied by Mr. N., to whom the 
country and its inhabitants were to be made famihar 
as speedily as possible, and who looked to me for 
such information on the climate and the diseases inci- 
dent to it as my long residence in it might be sup- 
posed to have given me. 

It was now finally resolved that I should embark 
by the earliest occasion for Europe : but, as there 
was a thermometer and a barometer, among some 
other things, which Lady Hester intended to give to 
Malem Haym, of Acre, I made one more journey to 
that place, as well to take leave of my friends there, 
as to explain to the Malem the nature of these two 
tubes, and where best to suspend them. Accordingly, 
on the 24th of November, I set off for Acre at noon, 
and slept that night at the Khudder, opposite Sarfend. 
I reached the Guffer Naktira the next day, and, early 
on the third, arrived at Acre. 

Having finished my business with Malem Hayra, I 
then paid my last visits to my acquaintance. At one 
of their houses I met with a native of Acre, who, 
having accompanied the French in their flight from 
Syria, under Buonaparte, had become a soldier, and, 
by bravery and conduct, risen to be captain in the 
Imperial guard, and member of the Legion of Honour. 
Yet this man, had he remained in his native place, 


would have been at best an humble shopkeeper, subject 
to the abuse, and occasionally to the blows, of his 
masters, the Turks.' 

There was a strong feelins; of party excited through- 
out the sea-ports of Syria about this time, by the 
death of the governor of Smyrna. It was a useful 
lesson to consuls and to other Europeans, not to hold 
out inducements to a Mahometan to violate the pre- 
cepts of his religion. A Turk, who drinks, goes to 
balls and parties at European houses, flirts with Greek 
women, and forgets the gravity peculiar to his nation, 
may go on thus for a time ; but eventually the Poi-te 
never pardons such flagrant violations of the precepts 
of the Prophet, and deprives him of his place or of his 
life. His successor is then chosen from those who are 
known to be very anti-Christian ; or, if not naturally 
so disposed, he is obliged, in self-defence, to keep the 
Franks at a great distance, marking them as objects of 
contempt in every thing he does. This real or appa- 
rent severity is adopted throughout the country, and 
thus is generated mutual hatred, which, had that 
reserve been practised which is proper between people 
who can never thoroughly amalgamate, would not have 

Mr. Lewis Catafago, of Acre, who had conducted 
her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales to Jerusa- 

' His name was Seraphim ; and he spoke of Colonel Camp- 
bell as a person he knew at Elba, whither he had accompanied 
the Emperor Napoleon. 


lem, bore testimony to her condescension and affability 
during the journey. The priests of the monastery 
there had circulated reports in prejudice of her gene- 
rosity, by declaring that the corn supplied for her 
horses had been left unpaid for ; although it was very 
well known that, besides paying very liberally for 
whatever was consumed by herself and suite, she 
settled an annual sum on the monastery. 

On the 29th, I left Acre, and slept a few hours at 
Ras-el- Ayn. Whilst it was yet dark, I resumed my 
journey, and reached the river Khasmia about two 
hours before sunrise. Giovanni spread my carpet in 
the open field, in front of a ruined caravansery, where 
I lay down, in the hope of getting another nap : but I 
had hardly composed myself to rest, when the noise 
of horses' feet and of loud and dissonant voices startled 
me, and I sat up. Soon afterwards, about a hundred 
Hawary horse soldiers rode up to the spot where I 
was ; and it was so very dark that I cried out to pre- 
vent them from riding over me. As Giovanni was 
seated against a ruined wall, where he had made a fire 
to boil me some coffee, I was taken for a traveller, 
and not the slightest molestation was offered me. 
Each soldier dismounted at the place he hked best, 
unstrapped the foot-ropes from behind his saddle, to 
tether his horse ; and immediately a hundred voices 
were heard of Mohammed, Yusef, Mahmoud, Selim, 
Ali, &;c„ crying, " Hand me a stone, to drive in 
my tethering-piu !" — " Will you lend me yours. 


when you have done ?" — with the like excla- 
mations ; and the iron pins were heard yielding a 
clang through the field to the strokes which drove them 
into the ground. Thus, in ten minutes, the whole 
troop was encamped. Then followed the noise of 
fighting and neighing among some of the horses, which 
had been tied too near to each other ; for these soldiers 
ride chiefly stallions : but silence succeeded as soon 
as each soldier had unstrapped his corn-bag, and had 
hung it on his horse's head, whilst the riders drew 
from their wallets such provisions as they had brought 
from their last station. As each man carries his all 
on his horse, there were no baggage animals, and no 
tents to pitch. All squatted on the ground, to eat 
and smoke their pipes, and many lay down to sleep 
on the ground in their cloaks or sheepskin pelisses. 

They took little or no notice of me ; some few made 
acquaintance with Giovanni, whose pot of cofiee they 
soon emptied, but not before he had given me what I 
required for myself. By their conversation, which I 
overheard, I found that they were a part of the troops 
who had assisted in ravaging the Ansary territories 
under Mustafa Aga Berber, and Lady Hester's name 
was often mentioned. 

As soon as day dawned, I left them, and continued 
on my way to Abra. This rencontre will serve to 
show that the alarms and descriptions of travellers 
respecting the Turkish soldiery may sometimes be 


On the Srd of December, I went down to Sayda. 
At about an liour before sunset, there came on a most 
heavy fall of rain ; so that, using all the haste I could 
to quit the city, I found a little rivulet, which crossed 
the road on ^oing through the orchards, so swollen 
that my horse could hardly ford it without falling. 
Such are the rains in these countries. M. Beaudin de- 
parted the same day for Acre, with five camel-loads of 
presents, for the pasha, for Malem Haym, and other 
individuals. The rain continued, without intermission, 
until the 8th. 

On the 9th, Lady Hester had a suppliant at the 
convent, in the person of Mohammed Aga Tersyty, 
who came to demand money. He had been driven out 
of one of the towns between Hamali and Damascus 
by the new pasha, who had cut off his uncle's head, 
and avanized his family. I omitted to mention, 
in its proper place, that the pasha of Damascus, 
Sayd Solyman, had been replaced by Hafyz Ali 
Pasha, formerly Lord High Admiral. This pasha 
took the road for Damascus, through Asia Minor, 
with his myrmidons, and had no sooner arrived on the 
skirts of his pashalik beyond Hamah, than he began 
to reform many abuses that had crept into the ad- 
ministration. A new pasha generally enters into 
office with sanguinary measures. As he advanced, he 
confiscated the property of some, put others to death, 
and made the guilty of all sorts (or perhaps the rich) 


of these : and the nephew probably had his reasons for 

On the 13th, I took Mr. N. into the mountain, 
to show him a little of the country, and to introduce 
him to some of the persons who were occasionally 
in correspondence with Lady Hester. On our way, 
hearing that the Emir Beshyr was not at Dayr-el- 
Karaar, we turned from the road through the village 
Aynut to another, called Hazrus, whither he had 
gone. He was out with his falcons, and we went on 
to Garyfy, where we passed the night at Shaykh 
Shems's. Mr. N. was so dreadfully tormented with 
the fleas, that, in the morning, his body looked 
as if he had the measles. This arose from his unwil- 
lingness to forego the English habit of undressing to 
his shirt, and sleeping on a bed. For myself, I slept 
on my small carpet, with my clothes on. 

The next morning we returned to Hazrus. Here 
we saw the emir, of whom I took leave preparatory to 
my voyage to England ; and, having told him that we 
wished to see his palace at Bteddyn, which he requested 
we would do with all liberty, we left him. We took 
a different road from that which we had followed on 
the preceding day through Ayn Bayl, and Zimaruka, 
where reside some of the family of Zayn ed Dyn, 
Druzes who have enjoyed the enviable privileges of 
supplying for many generations the common execu- 
tioner. But it will hardly be believed that this fa- 
mily derives much importance from the office ; so 


that they would no more wish to lose it than a chief- 
tain his fief. Nothing could exceed the romantic 
scenery we this day saw. The path lay principally 
by the side of the bed of a torrent, in a deep 
ravine between two lofty mountains, from which, in 
the lapse of ages, large fragments of rock had detached 
hemselves, and lay below in majestic confusion. The 
late rains had somewhat swelled the stream, and it 
occasionally foamed in cascades over the broken masses. 
Arriving at night at Dayr el Kamar, we were pro- 
vided with lodging in the old palace, the residence of 
the emir before building that of Bteddyn, 

I sent for Pierre, who proceeded to see that our 
supper was provided in the best style, and M. Ay da 
came to spend the evening with us. The next day 
we visited Bteddyn palace, which is really a very 
pleasing specimen of the irregularities and decorations 
of the present Syrian architecture. Tlie most beauti- 
ful room is the hcia^ which is not inferior in richness 
of ornament to some of the first rooms at Damascus. 
We made the acquaintance of Abuna Stefiin (or 
Father Stephen), a priest and a physician, in which 
latter capacity he was now in attendance on the emir's 
lady. We were however called upon to intrude on 
his department by a request from the princess to enter 
the harym and prescribe for one of her women. But, 
as we saw only one room in the harym, our visit did 
not answer the purposes of curiosity whicli we had 


hoped to derive from it. We returned the next day 
to Abra. 

Christmas-day now came, and my departure was 
fixed for the next week ; but the necessary preparations 
for a long voyage, and the number of letters which 
Lady Hester had to write, detained me until the 18th 
of January. It was not without great melancholy that 
I beheld the day arrive, which was to separate me from 
a country, where I had seen so many strange things, 
and from a person whose exalted courage, talents, and 
character, had gained an entire ascendency over ray 



Departure of the Author for Europe — Arrival at Larnaka, 
in Cyprus — Hospitality of M. Vondiziano, British vice-consul 
— Tours in the island — Leucosia — The Greek archbishop — 
City walls — Lepers — Cytherea — Monastery of St. Chrysostom 
— Famagusta — Return to Larnaka — Carnival amusements — 
Houses — Amour of Signor Baldo — Murder of Prince George 
Morusi — History of Signor Brunoni — Cypriote women not re- 
markable for beauty — Superstitious notions — The Greek arch- 
bishop and his dragoman Giorgaki — Insurrection of Turks — 
How quelled by Cara Pasha — Pusillanimity of the consuls — 
Thunder-storm — Lenten diet — Malignant fevers — Excursion 
in the interior — Idalia — Leucosia — M. Brens — Robbery in the 
governor's palace — Proceedings against the suspected — Into- 
lerance towards freemasons. 

On Saturday, January IStli, 1817, at two o'clock 
in the morning, I took leave of Lady Hester, Miss 
Williams, and Mr. N. ; and, after a short night's 
rest, mounted my horse soon after sunrise, and 
departed from Abra (may I be excused for saying 
it ?) amidst the tears and good wishes of the peasants, 
who followed me with blessings to the end of the vil- 


lage green. M. Beaudin accompanied me, he having 
returned from Acre on the 29th of December. 

We passed the tomb of Nebby Yunez (the Prophet 
Jonas), after it the river Damiir, and, at sunset, 
stopped at the Guffer el Naamy, abreast of the village 
of Naamy, which is on the hill, and from which the 
Guffer, or toll-house, takes its name. Our provision 
mule was better stocked than usual, and we made an 
excellent dinner on cold pasty of gazelle-venison, tarts, 
and plum- cake, besides cold fowls, and some other 
good things, with which Miss Williams was desirous 
of making my last day's travelling in Syria agreeable. 

Next morning at daylight we mounted our horses, 
and, about a quarter of a mile from the Guffer, we 
passed a cemetery, which is called Kebur el Yahud 
(the Jews' tombs). It is nearly facing a ruined tower, 
called Burge el Rehan (the myrtle tower). The 
greater part of these tombs are oblong parallelograms, 
simply hollowed out of the rock ; but others were 
elevated above its level, by having the rock cut away 
around them. 

To go from Guffer el Naamy to Beyrout took us 
four hours. The ride was very beautiful during the 
last two hours, on a sandy soil, amidst olive planta- 
tions, and where the cultivation of the land was evi- 
dently attended to. 

We were received in the house of the British agent. 
I was fortunate enough to find a schooner in the roads, 
bound for Cyprus, on board of which I took my pas- 


sage. The vessel was Greek, from Eno, commanded 
by Captain Gregorio ; but, as she was not to sail im- 
mediately, I returned on shore. M. Beaudin left me 
the next day. The British agent had just been very 
properly exercising his consular authority on a Vene- 
tian adventurer, who had endeavoured to pass himself 
off as a British officer of infantry, wearing regimentals. 
His right to the dress was disputed, and he was 
obliged to doff it. 

On Tuesday, January 21st, just before sunset, I 
embarked. There were on board thirty-five passen- 
gers, Turkish pilgrims on their return from Mecca. 
I had paid for a berth in the cabin, which was only 
nine feet square ; but, as my luggage was stowed away 
there, and there were four Turks cabin passengers 
besides myself, I resolved to sleep on deck, although 
the season was not that in Avhich exposure to the night 
air is agreeable. The long-boat was hoisted in and 
put amidships, into which also four Turks immediately 
got, two of whom seemed to be very sick from the 
motion of the vessel, as I then thought. We put to 
sea with little wind. About three in the morning, a 
northerly breeze sprung up, and carried us on under 
reefed topsails. I lay down on the lee-side of the 
deck, wrapped up in mj^ lambskin pelisse, which made 
an excellent bed. 

On Wednesday, the 22nd, Avhen daylight broke, 
everybody was sea-sick. About two o'clock in the 
afternoon, we saw Cyprus. The wind continued fresh, 

VOL. 111. R 


and at sunset we were within five or six leasjues of 
Larnaka. We hauled off for the night. I lay down 
on the deck as before, but was prevented from sleeping 
by groans which came from the long-boat, and, on 
inquiring what was the matter, I found that the two 
Turks who were ill had the dysentery. Soon after- 
wards one died ; and the melancholy situation of the 
other was augmented by the intolerable efiluvia, which 
it was impossible to prevent. A young Turk, ragged 
and poor, but of very interesting mien, was remarkable 
for the attention which he had paid to the two sick 
men, and now continued to the survivor, although he 
was himself dreadfully sea-sick : nor shall ever my 
testimony be wanting to the exemplary conduct and 
obedience which old age invariably receives from the 
Mahometan youth, relation or not, known or un- 

At daylight we anchored in Larnaka roads. The 
dead Turk was immediately conveyed on shore, but 
not to the usual landing-place, lest the knowledge of a 
death in so short a passage should excite suspicions of 
plague, and cause the vessel to be put under quarantine ; 
a precaution, which the preponderance the Greeks and 
Franks had in the island enabled them to enforce, but 
which was ao easily evaded. I did not, however, wish 
to leave any uneasiness, from subsequent discovery, in 
the mind of the gentleman to whose house I was going, 
and I accordingly wrote a note to say that a Turk 
had died of dysentery during our passage, and that 



there was no suspicion of plague in the case. Mr. 
Anthony Vondiziano, the British vice-consul, relied 
on my assertion, and received me forthwith into his 
house at Larnaka. 

A Cephalonian by birth, he settled early at Cyprus, 
where he married the daughter of the English dra- 
goman, by whom he had now six daughters. This 
increase of famil}^ induced him to build a pavilion, 
over the gateway of his courtyard and away from the 
house, entirely for the reception of strangers ; and 
as so many English have lived in it, and as besides 
it may serve for a specimen of the modern edifices of 
Cyprus, a drawing of it is given. 



M. Vondiziano has often been mentioned by tra- 
vellers for the hospitable reception which he gave to 
the English. An ample fortune enabled him to do this 
with less inconvenience than some others who repre- 
sented the British nation : but this circumstance ought 
not to diminish the feeling of obligation for hospitality 
exercised sometimes (as in my own person), for weeks 
and even months together. 

The arrival of a traveller at the consular house is 
generally a signal for visits from all those who are in 
habits of friendship with the consul, impelled by cu- 
riosity and the desire of news. Four or five days were 
thus consumed, in which time I had made the ac- 
quaintance of half the people of the place. 

A common subject of conversation for the entertain- 
ment of travellers is the history of those who have 
preceded them in the same route. Some gentlemen 
would be pleased to hear the things that were said of 
them ; but 1 shall be excused from mentioning per- 
sonal anecdotes, excepting where they have some 
reference to Eastern customs.^ 

As there was no vessel about to sail for Europe, I 
resolved to make an excursion into the interior of the 

On Monday, January 28th, accompanied by Gio- 
vanni, (whom I had brought with me from Syria) I 

^ Messieurs Stratton, Fuller, Idliff, and Rennell, had been 
here in their way from Greece to Egypt ; as well as Lord Bel- 
more and family. 


left Larnai'ka for Leucosia, the capital of the island, 
and called by the Franks Nicosia. The weather was 
cold, and, although I was clad in my lambskin pe- 
lisse, my fingers became quite benumbed. The first 
part of the road lay through a few fields of onions, 
artichokes, and other vegetables, cultivated for the 
supply of Larnaka market and of the vessels in the 
roads : but there were no trees whatever, and the 
soil had a bare appearance, being half covered with 
shingles. Two leagues from Larnaka we crossed the 
river Parthenia, and reached some low hills running 
apparently from the north-east side of the bay of Lar- 
naka to the conical mountain now called the Mountain 
of the Cross. At the distance of four leagues, we arrived 
at Athegainos (pronounced by the modern Greeks 
Atheyanos), where we were to sleep. 

Athegainos was a straggling village, containing 
probably seventy or eighty houses : it was neverthe- 
less one of the largest on the island, the whole popu- 
lation of which it is said does not exceed 15,000 souls. 
Each cottage was enclosed by a very large yard, 
hedged in by a fence of prickly acacias, forming three 
sides of it, the fourth being buildings. The entrance 
was by large folding gates. Within, was a small room 
for travellers, the only furniture of which was a deal 
table placed on trestles to sleep on, with a cushion and 
mat on it. The floor was mud, uneven as the soil out 
of doors. Beyond this was a cow-lodge ; then the 
cottage for the family, a stable for the mules, a 


Straw room, and a lodge ; in all five : the whole built 
of sunburnt bricks, with flat roofs on rafters covered 
with canes laid close together. There was a well in 
the yard. Such was the construction of all the houses 
in the village. The peasants there had but one occu- 
pation, that of carriers, owing to their central situa- 
tion between Larnaka and Leucosia. They, their 
wives, and children, seemed filthy in their persons 
and habits. They however ate with knives and forks, 
sat on chairs, and slept on beds raised from the 
ground : in all which circumstances they differed from 
the Christians and Turks of Syria, and by some 
persons will, on that account, be supposed to be 
further advanced in civilization. 

We left Athegainos early in the morning, and, at 
a small distance on the left, passed a mountain of 
about a mile long, in shape like an inverted hog- 
trough. Two or three others, of the same form, 
might be seen in different directions. On the left 
was a small conical mountain, the top of which looked 
like a ruin, but it was the strata of the rock which 
assumed that appearance. Beyond it was a stream, 
called Zalia ; but neither this nor the one passed on 
the preceding day flows in summer. 

A long range of mountains lay before us, stretching 
from the north part of the island to the level of 
Leucosia. Our road was west, somewhat northerly. 
Near the stream of Zalia was a Turkish village, and 
over the stream a small but neat bridge. The valley 


througli which the ZaHa runs had scattered olive 
trees planted in it ; and we saw near the road, on the 
rioht and on the left, two single houses of three 
stories high, larger and better-looking than any we 
had yet observed out of Larnaka. These, my guide 
told me, belonged to Turkish agas, or gentlemen. 

The face of the country had hitherto varied but 
little from a level, and the chain of low hills over 
which we had come was approached by so gradual a 
rise, and quitted by so gentle a descent, as to be 
almost imperceptible. In about two hours, we came 
in sight of the minarets of Leucosia, of which I 
counted seven. Two of these, belonging to the 
church of St. Sophia, towered above the others. 
Within a quarter of a mile of the city, upon the 
brow of an elevation, we enjoyed a full view of the 
place, which, from the number of palm and cypress 
trees interspersed among the houses, wore a pic- 
turesque appearance. The walls, I observed, were 
broader at the base than the summit. Close to the 
gate of the city was an infirmary for lepers — a small 
house, from which pitiable objects, consuming with 
disease, issued, to the number of thirty or forty, im- 
portuning for alms. A long, vaulted gateway, lighted 
half way through by a pierced dome, led us into the 
streets. The custom-house officer, placed at the en- 
trance, questioned me on my luggage, but suffered me 
to proceed. We turned short to the left into the 
Christian quarter, where lived the archbishop, to 


whom I had a letter of introduction. On ali2:htinof, 
I was ushered into his presence by several priests, and 
found a man about forty-five years old, handsome in 
person, and richly attired in a sable pelisse. His 
address was pleasing ; and, when he had read the 
letter I presented, he received me with much polite- 
ness, expressing great regard for the British nation. 
But, as French travellers, and those of other nations, 
relate that the like expressions have been used to 
them, it will be excusable if we suppose that the na- 
tural urbanity of the priest caused him to give an 
equal share of civility to all strangers. His name 
was Cyprianus, and he had sprung from a peasant 

Coffee and pipes were served, after which, it being 
now noon, the time of the first repast of the Orientals, 
we went to table. If a number of servants could con- 
stitute greatness, this prelate might vie with the first 
duke in England ; for we had no fewer than twenty to 
wait at table, and I was told that he had fifty in the 
palace. The repast was what is called excellent in 
Turkey, but would seem strange to a European. 

The archbishop received great reverence from his 
followers. No Greek sat down in his presence, ex- 
cept when commanded to do so. Such as entered the 
room prostrated themselves (which means that they 
bent forward until they touched the floor with their 
hands), and bared the head, a degree of servility which 
the Turks, their masters, have not exacted from 


them, proving that men, when tyrannized over, be- 
come themselves vile, and exercise the same or even 
more, tyranny towards their inferiors. The Eng- 
lishman thinks he degrades himself when he kisses 
the pope's toe ; the Greek licks the very dust on 
which the archbishop walks. I say nothing of the 
archbishop"'s privilege of signing his name with red 
ink, and of wearing the purple, so often mentioned by 
other travellers ; or of his having two janissaries at 
his gate, wihch latter distinction is a concession made 
to him by the Turkish government, as head of the 
only recognized Christian church. Eastern enjoy- 
ment, or a priesfs idleness, was exemplified in the 
mode in which the archbishop washed his hands after 
dinner. The chair in which he sat was swung round 
by his attendants (grace having been said), and ano- 
ther arm-chair was brought, with the back between his 
knees, on the seat of which was placed a broad basin. 
The arms of the chair afforded support to his arms ; and, 
whilst the water was poured on his hands, the back 
prevented the wet from falling on his clothes. His 
palace was roomy, but old and patched. Facing the 
palace was a handsome new building, that would do 
honour to any potentate in Europe. This was a 
college, founded from the funds of the church, for the 
instruction of youth, having professors of ancient and 
modern Greek, of Arabic, of Italian, and of church 
music. The exercises of some of the scholars were 
shown to me, and I listened with advantage to a 

R 5 


lecture of one of the professors. One scholar, a 
student principally in Italian, had made a progress 
that was quite astonishing ; and I read a very clever 
Italian composition, written by him in his capacity of 
secretary to the archbishop, the fruits of knowledge 
acquired in one year. The edifice consisted of a ves- 
tibule, from which branched two saloons, with sofas at 
the extremities and tables in the middle. Out of 
these saloons, to the left and right, were four apart- 
ments, making eight altogether, where the professors 
taught. The latter rooms had desks and benches for 
the pupils. 

I visited, in the afternoon, the church of St. 
Sophia, converted into a mosque by the Turks when 
the Venetians lost Cyprus to them. The interior 
was lofty, consisting of a nave, supported by five mas- 
sive Saxon-like pillars on either side. At the bottom 
was a semicircular windovv, where, as well as up the 
side aisles, the pillars were of less dimensions. There 
were several old carpets spread on the ground, one 
of which was very large.' The governors palace, 
whither I next went, was an irregular building, with 
a large courtyard, and a corridor round the first and 
upper story. Such private houses as I entered were 
commodious, spacious, and of great neatness. 

The walls of the city were of considerable thick- 

1 It never happened to me to see carpets in Turkey so large 
as those which, under the name of Turkey carpets, cover Eng- 
lish dining-rooms. 


ness, broad enough, on the ramparts, to admit two 
carriages abreast. They had bastions at small dis- 
tances, faced with sunburnt bricks, whilst the cur- 
tains were faced with stone. The bastions probably 
had been repaired since the time of Pococke, for they 
no longer represented a semicircle, as he describes 
them, but were an imperfect triangle, with truncated 
corners. On the three bastions nearest to the Fania- 
gusta gate were eight or ten pieces of cannon. There 
were three gates — that of Paphos, that of Famagusta, 
and a third which I did not note down. Some embra- 
sures of turf, very recently made, were observable, and 
were constructed probably during the time of a recent 
insurrection in Cyprus, to which I shall presently 
advert. In Leucosia the guard was set every niglit 
on the walls, and the watches were cried. 

On Wednesday, the oOth, I went to see the 
lepers at the city gate. There were among them 
persons of both sexes and of all ages ; some with the 
joints of the fingers gone, some with blotches, and 
all more or less deformed. Most of them were people 
of low birth, generally peasants ; some were ^Moslems 
a,nd some were Christians. The little information I 
obtained from them amounted to this ; that those 
who lost the first joints of their hands had nails 
growing on the second ; that the heat of a fire was 
invariably pernicious, visibly increasing their com- 
plaint ; that sleep and appetite were not diminished 
generally by it ; that hot water had not the same 


effect on tbera as the heat of a fire. One told me 
that, when first attacked in the fingers, he thought he 
saved them by having the actual cautery applied to 
both his arms. Another said he bad been in the 
leper-house thirty-five years. Men and women lived 
promiscuously, but I could not learn whether any 
children had resulted from this intercourse. It may, 
however, here be observed, that there was a woman 
in the village of Abra who had lost the first pha- 
langes of both hands by leprosy, yet this woman had 
a daughter, who was well-looking, healthy, and the 
mother of five most beautiful children, all free from 
every symptom of the grandmother's complaint. 

I spent the evening with the archbishop. The 
title of the prelate is iMaKaptoTdros (most blessed.) His 
archimandrites was a man of peculiarly venerable 
appearance. But the most learned person that it 
was my fortune to see in Leucosia was Andreas, dra- 
goman to the archbishop, whose business lay in 
transacting the affairs of government between the 
governor of the island and the archbishop. There 
were numerous baths in Leucosia. 

I took leave of my host over- night, and, on the 
morning of the 31st January, prosecuted ni}'- journey 
for Cytherea, now called Cherki, the true situation of 
the ancient Cytherea being assigned to a spot one 
league south of Cherki. After riding half an hour, 
we passed the river Pedias, close to which was a 
small Turkish village, called Miamillia. The bed of 


the river was deep ; for the soil through wh'cli it ran 
was loose and sandy, and easy to be washed away by 
a rapid stream. At that time, as the rains had 
ceased some days, the water that flowed was no more 
than a rivulet. The road was parallel to the chain of 
mountains, called (from a five-fingered inequality on 
the ridge which was on our left) Pentedactylus. In 
two hours'* time we reached Cytherea. 

I had a letter of introduction to a farmer, named 
Petraki, the chief person in the village. Though a 
rustic, he had nevertheless a spacious house and 
six house-servants, always a serious consideration 
to the traveller, who, as he casts his eye over 
them, and marks the alacrity with which they run to 
serve him and neglect their master, is obliged to 
check his self-complacence, by the recollection that 
all this is but a larger draft on his purse when he 
departs. I ate some excellent pork, boiled down to a 
jelly and dressed with a sour sauce in the manner of 
the French. The female part of the family, although 
seen occasionally bustling about in the duties of the 
house, did not sit down to table with us. 

Cytherea was a long, straggling village, producing 
a great quantity of cotton and oil, and making abun- 
dance of silk. The oil was esteemed the best in the 
island. From the foot of Mount Pentedactylus issued 
a copious spring, in a stream which, in its course, 
turned twenty-four mills, besides irrigating tlie 
grounds and orchards. My host told me that the 


delicious atmosphere of Cytherea brought on hiiu 
frequent visits from the Turks of Leucosia, who came 
as often as two or three times a week to take the air, 
and were generally entertained at his expense. He 
expressed himself an ardent well-wisher to the cause 
of the Franks, and prayed for the moment when 
they would relieve Cyprus from the yoke of the 
Turks : but his prayers for the emancipation of the 
Greeks, I fear, were mercenary ; for he said he should 
like to know whether any great changes threatened 
the Turkish empire, as, in that case, he might be 
spared the expence of a barattery^ or license, which 
he was about to purchase. 

A barattery was formerly a patent, which might be 
purchased from the Turkish government by Chris- 
tian subjects. It cost 3000 piasters ; and by it the 
purchaser was entitled to leave his property to his 
children, to wear certain coloured clothes and yellow 
shoes, and to some other privileges, not permitted to 
rayahs or unredeemed Greeks. It was the practice in 
the golden days of the European ambassadors at Con- 
stantinople to make a traffic of these baraterries ; but 
the evil grew to such a height, that the Porte was 
obliged to interfere. 

The peasants' cottages were built of bricks dried in 
the sun, and, apparently, were comfortable enough. 
I could discover no antiquities or inscriptions. 

Early in the afternoon, we remounted our mules, 
and, partly retracing our steps, proceeded in a north-west 


direction to the monastery of Chrysoston^us, up the 
side of Pentedactylus, at the summit almost of which 
is built the monastery. The foot of the mountain is 
of a barren argillaceous soil, producing nothing but a 
few stunted firs, and some oleanders in the water- 
courses. This whitish gray coloured soil ceased, and 
after it came the upper chain, which was of a reddish 
coloured rock. 

We arrived at St. Chrysostom's about sunset. 
The spot was not devoid of beauty, being a semi- 
circular flat, indented in the side of the mountain. 
In front of it was a miserable hamlet. Two or three 
cypresses, with some vines and lemon trees, made 
up an orchard, which could not fail of being an em- 
bellishment to the place in the summer season : at 
present, it was robbed of its verdure. We found in 
the monastery one monk, an old woman, and a boy. 
Some rice, which I had with me, a little leben, pro- 
cured from the hamlet, and some rammakins, dressed 
in oil, afforded a comfortable supper : and, after the 
priest had entertained me with a description of the 
milordi who had been there, my guide, the muleteer, 
produced from his wallet a violin, which he played on 
in a manner by no means disagreeable — yet he was 
but a rough peasant. I was then left to repose, 
wrapped up, as was my custom, in my lambskin 
pelisse, and without bed or covering. In this way no 
fleas molested me. 


The following morning, at sunrise, I visited the 
ruins that overhang the monastery, and which go by 
the name of to. aTrrjna TTji peavos. The ascent was dif- 
ficult, and, for nearly the whole way, impracticable 
to mules. On reaching the summit, which here was a 
peak, I enjoyed an extensive prospect both to the south, 
over the land I had traversed, and to the north along 
the coast. Between the mountains and the sea, to the 
north, there was a sloping plain from one to three 
miles in breadth, and running east and west as far as 
the eye could see. Towards the west it appeared to 
be well wooded ; and it had already been described 
to me as affording the most beautiful scenery in the 
island. From this point was seen Lapithus, whose 
true name is Larapua. It is called, by the Turks, 
Lapta. The high mountains seen to the west are 
called TpvywSo?, pronounced Truothos. 

Having satisfied myself with the view, I turned to 
the ruins. They consisted of four or five stone houses, 
of tolerably solid but modern structure, built one 
above the other, and which once were connected by 
steps in the rock, now crumbled away. The upper- 
most was a church, and those beneath seemed to have 
been parts of a monastery ; both because such places 
were commonly built on the most elevated spots, and 
because there was nothing castellated in the walls. 
The situation was certainly as well fitted for a place 
of strength as for a monastery ; but ruins, in Syria at 


least, of the nature of a fortress always showed cre- 
nelated battlements, loopholes, or something appro- 
priate to defence, of which this had none. 

We descended to the monastery, where I break- 
fasted, and then departed for Famagusta. Cytherea 
lay in my route ; and, in passing through it again, as 
I beheld its verdant foliage and its purling rivulets, 
there seemed to be nothing but the hand of love and 
refinement wanting to make it yet one of the most 
picturesque spots in nature. Its situation, at the foot 
of a mountain, on a slope, with an extensive plain in 
front, is not unlike Balbec, but in more diminutive 

We kept along the lower chain of hills, in an easterly 
direction, and passed through two Turkish villages. 
Round one of these the land was cultivated with the 
utmost neatness. In Cyprus the husbandman''s annoy- 
ance is the squill plant, which springs up amidst the 
corn almost every where. Here it had been so care- 
fully destroyed, that not one was to be seen. My 
guide lost his road, and it was necessary to make in- 
quiries at one of the cottages ; but, wherever we 
knocked, a voice from within cried out either — "There 
are no men at home ;" or, " The men are at plough ;" 
and, as Turkish women do not appear before strangers, 
we were considerably embarrassed. At last, however, 
we met an obliging peasant, who, taking me for a 
Mahometan Arab, walked nearly a mile to put us 


right, and excused himself that he could go no farther, 
on the plea of having his cattle to drive in. 

About one league farther on, in a south-easterly 
direction, we reached a Christian village, called 
Marathon. The sun had set, and there was a gleam 
across the landscape, just enough to give to every 
thing around an illusive appearance. The women 
were returning from the well with water on their 
heads ; and their white dresses, as they floated in the 
wind, gave them a look not unlike what my imagina- 
tion pictured the maidens of earlier times to have 
been on this once happy island. Alas ! an unseemly 
reality soon dissipated these visions of fancy. I was 
led to the house of a Greek papas, who, seeing the 
guest with whom he was about to be burdened for the 
night, bawled, in a stentorian voice, to a dirty wife 
and half a dozen children, and, by his rough hands, 
uncombed beard, and the dexterity with which he 
housed his cows, showed himself to be more of a 
labourer and husbandman than of an ecclesiastic. His 
lodging, nevertheless, was commodious, and, when he 
found that he should be paid, his welcome was 

As it was now full moon, we took advantage of its 
light, and departed next morning two hours before 
daylight. We passed several little villages and ham- 
lets on our way : and, keeping an easterly direction, 
we reached the sea-shore about eleven o"" clock, near to 


a large red brick monastery, called St. Barnabas. 
We then turned short to the right, towards Fama- 
gusta, compelled to take this circuitous route, owing 
to the swamps made by the River Pedias in this 
season of the year. These were so extensive, that the 
former possessors of the country had constructed a 
long causeway and bridge over the extremity of it, 
where the water of the river discharged itself by an 
outlet into the sea. 

When we were safe over the bridge, we arrived, in 
about half an hour, at the monastery of St. Luke, 
which is abreast of the city of Famagusta. It belonged 
to the Greeks, and was a sort of spacious cottage, 
kept by a single monk, who received us with a forced 
smile, not having the most distant idea that I was a 
Frank, Nor could I, for some time, persuade him 
that I was one, so much did my dress, my tanned 
face, and the language I spoke in to my servant, dis- 
guise me : for the priest did not understand Arabic, 
and therefore was not able to detect my foreign 

It was customary for Christians to take up their 
lodgings either there or in the village of Merash, close 
by, there being, as I was told, a law that no Christian 
should lodo-e in the town of Famagusta. Prohibitions 
of this sort, however, were probably not strictly en- 
forced towards Franks ; as no inhabitant of Famagusta 
would, I am persuaded, have been so uncivil as to 


eject a Frank traveller, who demanded merely a 
night's lodging. 

After dinner, I walked with the priest to the town. 
We made the circuit of the fortifications, which are 
very considerable. We then visited the port, the 
ancient church of St. Sophia, now a ruined Gothic 
edifice, and afterwards betook ourselves to the coffee- 
house, to smoke a pipe. Some Turks, who were 
sitting on the benches at the door, made me welcome, 
and severally desired the waiter to present me with a 
cup of coffee, which is a mark of civility they show to 
a friend, or to one whom they have not seen for some 
time. I came away with much good will in my heart 
towards them. 

On the following morning, the 2nd of February, we 
departed betimes, in order to arrive early at Larnaka, 
as the appearance of the sky indicated the approach of 
a storm. We marched two hours by moonlight, as on 
the preceding day, over an uncultivated champaign 
country. When the sun rose, we found ourselves 
abreast of a Christian village. The land around it 
attracted my notice by the high state of its cultivation. 
The soil itself seemed rich, being of a fine red mould. 
Soon afterwards, we again came upon uncultivated 
plains, which lasted for two leagues more, and then 
reached the village of Ormethia, on the sea-shore, 
where the English consul had a country-house, at 
which I alighted. Giovanni procured such provisions 


as the place afforded, and I rested and ate something. 
One league before coming to Ormethia, there grew a 
low shrub like the juniper, which covered the soil as 
far as the village. From Ormethia to Larnaka, the 
road lay by the sea-side. At three o'clock I reached 
Mr. Vondiziano's, having been absent seven days. 
Cyprus afforded more accommodation for travellers 
than Syria ; for at every little distance there generally 
was a convent, where was to be found a sufficiency of 
most necessaries. In most parts, the roads were good. 

I had arrived in Cyprus in the middle of carnival ; 
and, as the Catholics formed the greater portion of the 
Franks, this festival was celebrated with much gaiety. 
There were two faro-tables constantly open, to which 
fathers, mothers, and children, resorted together. In 
adjoining rooms were balls ; and dissipation exerted its 
most baneful effects on the morals and constitutions of 
young and old. At the end of the faro-room, an 
elevated sofa afforded the spectators an opportunity at 
once of smoking and of enjoying the game. The 
transition from the sober and grave habits of those 
I had just left in Syria to the tumultuous assemblies 
of those I was now among, formed a striking contrast, 
which somewhat shocked me, and was, upon the 
whole, favourable to the Mahometans, 

The Frank society was composed of a few indi- 
viduals of every nation in Europe. In Europe, the 
Turks are cried down as barbarians ; no doubt because 
arts, and sciences, and polite letters, are so little cul- 


tivated among them ; but in Cyprus the epithet was 
applied to them because they did not gamble, dance, 
and drink wine : and, affecting an opposite extreme, 
the Franks ran into excesses unknown in the countries- 
they sprang from. But, in a society made up of parts 
so heterogeneous, and which could never, from the 
constant clashing of its religious and social institutions, 
amalgamate, no wonder that the whole had a tendency 
to confusion, which could only serve to let loose mens 
vicious propensities without confirming their virtuous 

Each consul was the head of the subjects of the na- 
tion he represented : he Avas a king to them, and 
nothing to others. Hence the friendship of the consul 
was immunity from laws, and his enmity a bugbear to 
the poor only ; for the wealthy did not hesitate to 
change masters, when those they acknowledged were 
no longer sufficiently complaisant ; and there were 
persons, who, by what is called " changing protec- 
tion," had been English, French, Swedish, Ragusan, 
and Danish, subjects, in the course of a few years. 

Larnaka, as to its buildings, represented, in some 
manner, a large country village in England. The 
houses were straggling, and built of sun-dried bricks ; 
they were, nevertheless, not devoid of neatness in 
their exterior ; and, in their interior, they were com- 
modious, spacious, and, in some instances, handsome. 
They were mostly of two stories, having generally a 
laro-e courtvard, with a coach entrance for their 


caliches. All had window casements, with weather- 
board blinds. There were no fireplaces in their rooms, 
nor was it ever cold enough for two days following to 
make a fire desirable. In some of the best furnished 
houses, there was much richness and even elegance 
displayed in the furniture, as far as French clocks, 
fine chandeliers, lamps on pedestals, good prints, 
tables, beaufets, and sofas, can be so considered, 

I made a ground-plan of a house at Citi, near 
Larnaka, considered as one of the best country-houses 
in the neighbourhood. It was built of sun-dried 
bricks ; and, being neither plastered nor whitewashed 
externally, had a sombre appearance, like the cottages 
on the banks of the Nile ; indeed, throughout Cyprus, 
there were many marks of its intercourse with Egypt. 
This house was two stories high. The whole of the 
buildings were walled in. A garden, containing orange 
and lemon trees, attached to it, was irrigated by a 
Persian wheel, turned by a mule. Citi is about two 
leagues and a half from Larnaka ; and its name is a 
corruption of the ancient Citium. 

The caleches in use in Cyprus were like clumsv 
cabriolets, being a rude single-horse chaise, without an 
apron or splashing board, guided by a driver who sat 
on the shaft. All the houses had large ovens. The 
water of Larnaka is not what I should call bad, but 
Pococke has pronounced it to be so. Lamb, mutton, 
game, and pork were plentiful, and beef was generally 
to be had. 


The Christian inhabitants of this island had little 
purity of blood. The Franks were not Europeans, 
and the Greeks, intermarrying perpetually with the 
Franks, had ceased to have the characteristics of their 
own nation. I do not, however, wish to speak dis- 
respectfully of persons who were generally so very kind 
to me. 

The habits of living of a Greek family in Cyprus 
may be gathered from that with which I was staying. 
Many Greek families, although mixing in free inter- 
course with Europeans, retained much of their nation- 
ality. Their wives very seldom frequented places of 
diversion, had fewer parties, and, when at home, 
confined themselves to the gynseceum and nursery, 
where they were employed in household affairs, and 
the care of their children. During more than a 
month, there were two persons only who came and 
dined in a family way with Mr. Vondiziano, and these 
were relations. His wife's brother was preceptor to 
his eldest girl ; and for the three next there was a 
priest, who taught them to read the Ne_w Testament 
and some homilies, which works were in Hellenic 
Greek. They learned to write likewise, and I believe 
a little ciphering. We retired to our separate rooms, 
generally about seven o'' clock at night, and the whole 
family was often in bed at eight, to rise with the sun 
next morning.- 

There is a story of somewhat ancient date, which 
was told me by Mr. Vondiziano, touching two mer- 


chants, Englishmen, who, when residents in Larnaka, 
finding their affairs unprosperous, resolved to quit the 
island with eclat. Their names I will conceal out of* 
delicacy to their children. They invited a very large 
party to a splendid fete, and, in the midst of it, dis- 
appeared, and, embarking on board a vessel prepared 
for the purpose in the roads, they sailed for Europe, 
leaving their creditors all the spoils in biscuits, wax- 
candles, and French wines. 

I was fortunate enough to procure some antiquities 
at Larnaka, one of which, of whitest marble, in shape 
like a tailor's goose, the handle finished off by two 
lions' heads, was dug out of the ruins of Oitium, 
and seemed to intimate that the ancients confined 
their doors against blasts of wind in the same way 
that is done now-a-days. It is now in the possession 
of Newman Smith, Esq. of Croydon Lodge. 

Soon after my arrival, the whole island was thrown 
into commotion, by an event which it will not be 
amiss to relate, as illustrative of the state of society in 
Cyprus. The dragoman of the Austrian consul, a 
Greek by birth, and of the Greek persuasion, but 
enjoying by his post a Frank protection, had an only 
daughter twelve years of age, beautiful as the day. 
Her father, adhering to the customs of his nation, 
kept her confined to the house, secluding her from 
the sight of everybody but her relations, and allowing 
her the privilege of going to mass three times a year 
only, in company with them, on the grand holydays 



of their religion. Her charms, however, were the 
talk of every circle. She was sought for in marriage 
by several Greek gentlemen ; but the father's ambi- 
tion led him to hope for still more advantageous pro- 
posals, and each suitor was declined in turn. 

There was a Ragusau merchant resident in Larnaka, 
about thirty-five years of age, very rich, and, from 
his wealth, held in much consideration. He was the 
brother of one of the consuls. The maiden excited 
his desires, and he resolved to attempt the illicit 
gratification of them. The father possessed a little 
farm in the countrj^, to which he went occasionally to 
superintend his agricultural business. Constantine, (for 
that was the Ragusan's name) had secured in liis in- 
terests a Turkish woman, who, under the cloak of a 
suppliant, obtained admission into the house. She 
made known his passion to the girl, whose vanity was 
gratified by the admiration of a man so distinguished 
in her eyes, whilst she felt besides a predilection to- 
wards Franks, because they were known to allow their 
wives greater liberty than the Clreeks. 

During the absence of the father at his farm, the 
maid-servant, who was her duenna, betrayed her 
trust, and Constantine was introduced into the house, 
where he effected his dishonourable purposes. He re- 
peated his visits, as occasions offered, for some time, 
until she found herself pregnant. Alarmed at her 
condition, she informed her lover of it, and begged him 
to bring her a potion to procure abortion. He soothed 


lier alarms, and desired her to be under no apprehen- 
sion ', assuring her that, in bearing him a child, she 
would but secure a testimony of their love, and a 
pledge of the promise he had given her of soon making 
her his wife. 

Her increasing size could not escape the observation 
of her father, who, unsuspicious of the real cause, was 
amused with a story of female complaints, for which 
some old woman's nostrum was pretended to be ap- 
plied. Some months passed on in this way, until, on 
the 8th of February, a few days after my landing on 
the island, the distressed girl escaped from her father's 
house to that of a friend, and there, Avith tears in her 
eyes, and overwhelmed with shame and confusion, 
disclosed her situation. 

The news spread like wildfire, and the outcry 
against Oonstantine knew no bounds : but, with the 
assurance of impunity, he appeared at a public ball 
the same evening, and, as some persons maliciously re- 
marked, was the admiration of the fair sex more than 
he ever had been. The Greeks, however, in a body, 
took up the cause, with a determination to make him 
their victim, unless he rendered ample satisfaction to 
their injured honour. They made a party affair of it : 
for, of seven vice-consuls who resided at Cyprus, three 
were Greek, who held together against those who 
were of Frank extraction. Constantino was called upon 
to repair the dishonour done to the young lady, and, 
through her, to the Greek nation, by marriage. The 


arclibisliop of the island was written to, and applica- 
tion was made to the Turkish governor, who put 
Constantine under arrest, so that he seemed to have no 
alternative but to comply. 

He alleged, however, in excuse of what he had done, 
that he was not the only one who had enjoyed the 
favours of the girl — that the father, who lived in con- 
cubinage with his maid-servant before the eyes of this 
young creature, could not expect her to escape the 
influence of so bad an example. He cited the Ger- 
manic law, to which they were both amenable, and by 
which a fine of money only was awarded to the 
aggrieved party, in case of seduction, which he was 
ready to pay. He asserted that he had made no 
promise of marriage, and, consequently, could not be 
compelled to take her for his wife. He insinuated that 
the girl was artful enough to have planned the whole 
affair, in the hope of thus ensuring herself a good 
match, aware that, both in the order of events and 
from her father's situation and small fortune, she 
could not expect to be so well married in any other 
way. Finally, he declared, that, whatever might be 
the consequence, he repudiated her. He knew, he 
said, the vindictive spirit of the Greeks ; and, if they 
had resolved on assassinating him, why, let the worst 
liappen : he had made his will, and Avould abide by 
the event. Added to all this, several of the in- 
habitants spoke of the practice the young lady had 
of secretly going to the house-door, and of saluting 


young men as tliey passed by ; whilst, whenever she 
saw ladies coming, she disappeared, as if conscious of 
doing something improper. 

The father and the Greek party, on the contrary 
side, said that the girl was too young and too inno- 
cent to have acted otherwise than from the impulses of 
nature and the suggestions of her seducer; whilst 
the go-between, when interrogated, testified to the ad- 
mission of Constantino only to the house. They pro- 
duced two rings given by him as tokens of a promise 
of marriage. 

The affair was thus advocated with the utmost 
bitterness of party spirit on both sides. Constantine, 
finding that threats were thrown out against his life, 
stirred very little from home : and it was thought that 
resort would be had to the ambassador of Austria at 
Constantinople to decide on the case : but here another 
difficulty intervened. Whenever the consuls were at 
variance, the Turks took advantage of their quarrels, 
and it was only by their union that they could make 
a stand against them. The girl, therefore, was at last 
sacrificed to political reasons, and Constantine con- 
sented to pay a certain sum as her dowry to any one 
who would marry her. This, with the distribution of 
a few douceurs, quieted the outcry. A person was 
not long wanting, who offered himself as her husband ; 
but his low rank in society and mercenary charactei- 
precluded the unfortunate victim from iho hopes of 
happiness for the rest of her life. 


In 1812, when, as it was said at the instigation of 
the French ambassador, much persecution was exer- 
cised against the family of the Morusis, at that time 
enjoying the highest dignities which the Porte awards 
to her Greek subjects, one of them. Prince George 
Morusi, was banished to Cyprus, where he lived for a 
few weeks unmolested, and in great privacy. I was 
making a visit with Signer Vondiziano to a person 
named Bosovitch, inhabiting a large house at the 
strand of Larnaka, when, the conversation turning on 
beheading, a person who was present said, " It was on 
this sofa I saw the Prince George Morusi so bar- 
barously murdered ;" and he proceeded to relate the 
way in which it was done. " We had just risen from 
dinner, and the prince had reseated himself to smoke 
his pipe, when a slight bustle was heard on the stair- 
case, and an armed Turk, with two others behind, 
entered the room. They looked steadily for half a 
minute at us, and the prince, who beheld them, 
dropped his pipe, turned pale as ashes, and fell back 
almost inanimate : for he apprehended immediately 
what business they were come upon. The first Turk 
advanced to him, and shot him through the body. 
We were three of us present : we leaped from the 
sofa, and, as the murderers paid no attention to us, 
we got out of the room into the passage. There every- 
thing was in confusion ; and, in the midst of it, the 
chaplain of the prince pulled me aside. ' Secrete these 
things immediately,"' he said, and gave me a watch 


with some jewels and rings ; all which I afterwards 
restored to the family at a proper time. Whilst this 
was doing, the Turks, to make their work sure, had 
strangled the prince with a girdle, and had dragged 
the body into the passage. They then retreated by 
the street door, no one daring to follow or cry after 

" When they were out of sight, we went immediately 
to the governor, and told him what we had seen. He 
pretended astonishment and horror at the deed, and 
immediately gave orders to his police officers to search 
the town and bring the assassins before him. This 
farce was carried on some days, although every one 
knew that the soldiers were the governor's men, and 
that he had authority from the Porte for what he had 

Let me now narrate a story of a different nature, 
and of a more innocent and enlivening cast. The 
conversation of Larnaka turned much upon it, as 
soon as Signor Constantine's afiair had blown over. 
Signor Brunoni's history was singular. He was about 
to quit Cyprus for Italy, and was reputed to carry 
with him a fortune estimated at half a million of 
piasters, or .£'15,000 sterling. 

An Italian by birth, he belonged originally to the 
fraternity of monks of St. Francis, called in the Le- 
vant the monks of the Holy Land. He was a lay 
brother ; and, it is said, disgusted with his calling, he 
obtained from Rome a dispensation to throw off his 


frock. As soon as he returned to the world, he pro- 
fessed himself a doctor ; and, being of a handsome 
presence and of insinuating manners, he established 
himself so effectually in the good-will of the people 
of Leucosia, the capital, that, at the end of twenty- 
five years, when he left the place to reside at Larnaka, 
on the sea-coast, he was escorted on his way to town 
by the principal inhabitants, as a testimony of the 
respect they bore him. 

On coming to Larnaka he continued to exercise his 
profession, and, at the same time, turned merchant. 
But his neighbours were surprised to see that, on a 
sudden, he threw a capital into his business, supe- 
rior to that of the oldest and wealthiest merchants. 
Shortly afterwards he sent his eldest son, a lad, to 
Italy, under pretence of giving him a good education ; 
but reports soon reached the island that the son had 
purchased, in his father"'s name, a large estate for 
some thousands of pounds. Many were the surmises 
and conjectures how he had amassed so much wealth, 
when at last a trifling circumstance led to the dis- 
covery. Signor Brunoni offered for sale to a friend a 
large silver lamp, saying it had been the property of 
the pope, but was sold during his holiness's troubles, 
and had, from hand to hand, come into the possession 
of his son, who, thinking it would suit some devout 
person of Cyprus, had sent it to him. Some one, to 
whom it was shown, on examining the lamp, disco- 
vered on the back of it the name of Seneca, and re- 


collected that a wealthy Venetian family of that 
name once flourished in Cyprus. He talked of the 
coincidence, until it was asked whether Signer Bru- 
noni might not have found a hidden treasure : and 
then it was that, by degrees, the following account 
came to light. It appeared that, adjoining to his own 
residence at Leucasia, lived a poor single woman, in a 
small house, but which was her own property. This 
woman hired herself to Signer Bruuoni as a servant ; 
and, after living with him some years, she, in a mo- 
ment of confidence, showed him some papers she had 
in a chest, which she had inherited from her fatlier 
with the house. One of these was an indication to a 
treasure buried under the house. Brunoni pretended 
to take time to look over them, copied them, and .se- 
cretly resolved to make the search. He first pur- 
chased the house for a trifle, then joined it to his own 
as a surgery, and succeeded, to his great joy, in find- 
ing what he was in search of. 

The woman lived with him always afterwards, and, 
when he quitted the island, he settled a pension on 
her. But what renders the truth of the story more 
probable, if confirmation were wanting, is, that dis- 
coveries of this sort were by no means rare. Vene- 
tian families would transmit from Venice notices of 
treasures concealed by their ancestors in Cyprus, and 
left by them at their expulsion by the Turks in the 
fifteenth century. But a griping government, and 
the impossibility of searching houses and places whicli 

S 5 


had passed into the hands of strangers, had pre- 
vented those entrusted with these documents from 
acting upon them. Instances occurred very frequently 
of several coins of the same stamp being offered for 
sale in quick succession. Many a man had been known 
to disappear on a sudden from the island, and it had 
been ascertained afterwards that he had fled from his 
country, to enjoy, without risk, the fruits of a fortu- 
nate discovery. For if it were but whispered that an 
Ottoman subject had found concealed treasures, the 
government claimed them ; and the distrust which 
existed in the official authorities, lest a part should be 
withheld, often subjected the finder to blows and 
even torture. 

It would appear affectation in my readers to say, 
that they do not feel a desire to know whether the 
women at Cyprus retain any of those charms and of 
that amiability which once drew down the protection 
of the goddess of beauty on the isle. I reluctantly 
confess that the favours of that deity were no longer 
so manifest as of old, although votaries were not 
wanting at her shrine ; but yet some exceptions 
ought to be made.' 

^ I was informed that, in the village of Trisolias, there was 
a woman, thirty-five years of age, with a tail. She was the 
daughter of a papas, named Yennion. My informant was the 
archimandrites, a man respectable from his situation and age. 
"When entreated by me to allow me to make use of his name 
or to furnish me with a letter, as a meaus of seeing her, he 
refused both requests. 


The voices of the Cypriot women had somethino- in 
them peculiarly dissonant, and they all seemed to 
speak in a false tone, nor did use ever make these 
shrill accents agreeable. They were not, in general, 
beautiful, nor was their dress graceful, being in no 
sense calculated to display their shapes. Seen from 
behind, they resembled nothing so much as a horse in 
a mantua-maker's show-room, with a dress appended 
to it. In their habits they were indolent ; they were 
not good although niggardly housewives. They were 
oftener to be seen at the windows and doors of their 
houses than elsewhere, looking at passengers with 
the most idle curiosity. They were addicted to the 
grossest superstitions. For example : when oil is 
spilt from a lamp, a cruet, or otherwise, some dire 
misfortune is supposed to overhang the family ; and, 
upon one occasion, having the misfortune to upset a 
lamp, I saw the eyes of the servants turned upon me, 
as on one whose presence foreboded evil. A neigh- 
bour would in vain attempt to obtain a light from the 
adjoining house, if applied for after sunset. These 
superstitions are harmless enough ; but they become 
hurtful when they interfere with the cultivation of a 
useful study. Thus, a labourer on the estate of a 
gentleman of Larnaka struck upon the head of a 
statue, as he was ploughing. Curiosity induced him 
to clear away the soil from it ; but when he saw the 
features (as it was of remarkably white marble), he 
took them for those of a spirit, and ran away. He 


bethought himself of going to the priest, who, hearing 
his story, accompanied him to the spot, and there 
found the head ; which, under pretence of exorcising, 
he carried home, and presented to his patron, a Greek. 
His patron was proud of a handsome piece of ancient 
sculpture, and gave it a conspicuous situation in his 
house. It so happened, that, immediately afterwards, 
there was an epidemical disorder in Cyprus. The 
effects of it were felt in every house, and the pos- 
sessor of the marble head did not escape. At last his 
sisters, unmarried ladies, who lived with him, conceived 
that the bust had brought the malady upon them. In 
vain he attempted to convince them of the absurdity 
of such a notion : they persisted, and he was obliged 
to give the bust away. 

TJiey rule their servants by caprice, and educate 
their children by fits of anger and indulgence. 

The manufactures of Cyprus are chiefly coarse 
printed cottons for furniture, which are of lively 
chintz patterns, and remarkably cheap. The prin- 
cipal articles imported at this time into Cyprus were 
German looking-glasses, queen'^s and other earthen- 
ware, sugar, syrups and liqueurs, cloth, Lyons' stuffs, 
Manchester goods, glass, &c. 

The Greek spoken at Cyprus is as corrupt as that 
in any part of the Turkish empire. An attempt to 
enumerate the words that have been introduced into 
it from other tongues would be to select almost all 
the expressions of eating, drinking, visiting, and bu- 


siiiess, common to the Turkish, Arabic, Italian, and 
French languages. An example of each will suffice. 

Arabic. — Ti x«/^«P' ^X«' 5 what news is there ? from 
kaber, news. 

Italian. — Kanveiv inav jSia-iTav, to pay a visit : from 

French. — To eKafiev e^aKTafifVTei we have done it ex- 
actly : from exactement. 

Turkish. — VoKo-a; or not? ivom y ok. 

Ditto. — Ve^CKes^ disputes. 

The p is aspirated in pronunciation at Cyprus, 
which is not done, I believe, elsewhere in the Greek 

Living at Cyprus was extremely cheap : but the 
terra means nothing, when applied as relative to Eng- 
land ; for all countries almost are cheap in comparison 
with it, and hence to Englishmen a great advantage 
is afforded wherever they travel. Compared with the 
adjacent districts of Syria and Caramania, living in 
Cyprus was cheap even then. 

Cyprus still felt the eff'ects of an insurrection which 
had convulsed the island some time before. To un- 
derstand the causes of it, it is necessary to pre- 
mise, that the Greeks enjoyed so much influence 
in Cyprus, as to be able often to displace a gover- 
nor who had become obnoxious to them ; not by an 
act of authority (for they had none in the eye of the 
law), but by representations to the Porte, backed by 
money. At the head of the Greek party was the 


archbishop. The one who held the crosier before the 
reigning archbishop was so infirm, that he emploj'^ed, 
in all transactions with the government, his drago- 
man, named Hadji Georgaki, a man of great talents, 
which he perverted to the purposes of intrigue. To 
such a height had this man''s power grown, that he 
was suj^osed, by his machinations, to have removed 
more than one motsellem, or governor ; and it was 
thought that no one could hold that dignity long, who 
had not previously entered into a friendly under- 
standing with him. 

In this way, Hadji Georgaki's measures were 
generally uncontrolled, and he proceeded to the length 
of oppressing Turks and Christians indiscriminately, 
which was ill borne by the Turks, who submit re- 
luctantly to authority- exercised over them by an 
infidel ; but not unwillingly by the Greeks themselves, 
who cared not to lose a portion of their substance, 
if their oppressors were to be fellow-sufferers. At 
length, however, the complaint of the Turks found 
its way to Constantinople, and Hadji Georgaki 
thought fit to go in person to the capital to counteract 
the machinations of his enemies ; which, by force of 
bribes, he succeeded in doing, and returned trium- 
phantly to Cyprus. 

The hatred of the Turks against the dragoman 
now knew no bounds ; and, finding they could not 
obtain justice from the Porte, they resolved to take the 
cause into their own hands. They accordingly laid a 


plot to seize the person of Hadji Georgaki, and to take 
away his life, but he was apprized of it in time to 
escape to Laruaka, where (after concealing himself 
some days in a consular house) he embarked for the 
Archipelago, and betook himself again to Constan- 
tinople, The Turks, having lost their victim, and 
committed themselves too far to recede, hoisted the 
standard of rebellion, and were headed by the 
governor. The Greeks were oppressed without appeal, 
and complaints poured into Constantinople, demand- 
ing relief. 

The Porte now saw that energetic measures must 
be resorted to, and looked about for a proper man to 
execute its commands. Cara Pasha, a subtile chieftain, 
versed in intrigue, and who would stick at no means 
to effect his ends, was selected for the purpose. He 
embarked from the opposite coast of Asia with a 
large body of troops, and, landing, marched strait 
for Leucosia : but Leucosia, a fortified place, was so 
well defended by the rebels, that he found himself 
unable to carry it by assault. He accordingly sat 
down before the city, having seized on the flour-mills 
at Cytherea as the best means of straitening the 
besieged, who had no means, except by hand and 
mule-mills, of grinding corn within the walls. The 
archbishop and the chief Greeks found themselves 
shut in with the rebels. The former, fearing for his 
personal safety, and pretending to be alarmed only 
for that of his flock, wrote letters to the difterent 


consuls at Laruaka, begging them to intercede with 
the pasha for a truce, and to endeavour to settle the 
affair any how so that he might escape ; signifying 
that, if hostihties commenced, he and the Greeks 
should be massacred. For it was the artifice of the 
rebels to hold out the threat, knowing how much 
could be done by the archbishop, if made a party in 
the affair. 

The consuls, pleased with the importance they 
were likely to acquire in becoming mediators, set off, 
to the number of five, for Leucosia. They made 
known their business to the pasha, who eagerly 
availed himself of an opportunity which he thought 
was thus afforded him of getting within the walls. 
He accordingly treated them with great distinction, 
and expressed himself disposed to accede to any 
thing which their negociations might effect. A 
correspondence was immediately entered upon, and 
thirty days passed in messages to and fro ; the rebels 
endeavouring to obtain permission to leave Leucosia 
with their property, and the pasha, on his side, 
offering them their lives and property, but with the 
condition that they should remain where they were. 
The rebels were at last brought to consent to these 
terms, on a solemn promise being made to the consuls 
by the pasha that their lives should be saved. 

On an appointed day the gates were thrown open, 
and the pasha and the consuls marched in together in 
procession. The day was spent in merriment, and 


most persons tlioutrht the pasha honourable in his 
intentions. Night came, and the consuls retired to 
their respective houses, where they were to sleep. It 
was then that the pasha began to play his treacherous 
game. Despatching soldiers in difierent directions, 
he secretly caused to be seized, at the same moment, 
thirteen rebels, who were brought to the palace and 
beheaded immediately. Their relations flew to the 
consuls, whilst these executions were yet going on, 
and told them that the pasha had not respected the 
compact made between them. Monsieur Eegnault, 
the French consul, as first in rank among them, de- 
spatched his dragoman to the pasha, and bade him 
hold his hand and respect the treaty. The dragoman, 
a timid Levantine, arrived whilst the bow-string was 
yet at work. Fainting and trembling, his tongue 
faltered, and his representations were unheeded by a 
man, who, in having made the consuls the tools of his 
perfidy, could well ask them why they meddled 
between the Porte and its subjects. 

The next morning, when the day dawned, the pasha 
sent for the consuls. Monsieur Regnault at first 
refused to attend on him, but his timid associates 
advised him not to offend so sanguinary a man, and 
he accompanied them. The pasha received them not 
like one convicted of treachery, but as a magistrate 
vested with an authority in which they had no part. 
He read to them the firman of the Porte, commanding 
him to exterminate the rebels ; and excused the mode 


in which he had effected it, by saying that no faith 
could be kept with them. He then invested each 
consul with a pelisse of one thousand piasters value, 
and, when they had suffered this, they went away, 
held their peace, and returned humbled to Larnaka. 

To add to the disgrace which this whole transaction 
brouoht on the consuls, when the pasha afterwards 
came to Larnaka, previous to his embarkation for 
Latakia, they invited him alternately to their houses, 
where he made himself drunk with brandy, which he 
asked for incessantly ; and, retiring to vomit, returned 
to drink again. These scenes were renewed from 
house to house, and often lasted through the night. 
And here Monsieur Regnault was destined to betray 
a second time the folly of meddling in affairs that did 
not concern him, however good and honourable the 
motive ; for when, on the evening of the massacre, he 
had favoured the escape of certain rebels, and had 
caused them to be secreted in his house at Larnaka, 
the pasha sent a detachment of troops, and compelled 
him to give them up. Two, however, of the leaders, 
named Hadj Mustafa and Delli Omar, escaped. The 
latter was for some time secreted at Signor Vondizi- 
ano"'s, until an opportunity offered for stealing on 
board a ship and sailing for Syria. The whole affair 
cost a vast deal of money to the island, which was 
obliged to maintain so many troops ; and the pasha 
enriched himself individually by presents extorted by 
terror, and by avanies levied on each rich person who 


could in any manner be implicated in the rebellion. 
The troops themselves departed with their arms 
covered with gold. 

Will it then be said, after this, by writers and 
travellers, that the Turks are a nation devoid of ani- 
mation, activity, or enterprise ? Rather let us look 
on them as unmoved by the tranquil occupations of 
virtuous minds, and by the ordinary pursuits which 
agitate a Christian''s bosom, because they play a 
deeper game, and are to be excited to energy only 
where the stakes are fortune and life : but we must not 
charge them with dulness or inactivity. 

The information acquired respecting Hadji Georgaki 
induced the pasha to denounce him to the Porte. 
On his arrival at Constantinople, after his flight, he 
had concealed himself at the village of Arnautkui on 
the Bosphorus, until by fresh bribes he could judge 
himself sufficiently protected at court ; after which he 
appeared in public. But, his work not having been 
well done, one day he was seized and beheaded. His 
house was despoiled at Leucosia, and in the floor of 
one room was found a trap-door leading by steps to a 
stone vault, where immense treasures were discovered. 
When at Leucosia, I descended into this place, and 
was satisfied more than ever that such means of con- 
cealment were often resorted to by the natives of these 

The archbishop, in this conflict, saw himself de- 
prived of half the authority which before, by peculiar 


privileges, had belonged to the see of Cyprus. For, 
up to this time, no judicial proceedings could be en- 
forced against a Greek subject without his presence, 
personally or by deputy : now the motsellems of 
Leucosia, Larnaka, and Famagusta, were vested with 
the same authority as the governors of other cities of 
the empire. 

The archbishop had once been an oikovoiios, or com- 
missary, and served as purve^-or in the camp of the 
vizir, who conducted an army against the French in 

From the 3rd of February continued rain had 
fallen. The weather had become exceedingly tem- 
pestuous, and a succession of storms rendered it im- 
possible for vessels to take in their cargoes ; for 
Larnaka has no harbour, and vessels coming for a 
fi'eight lie at anchor in the bay, and receive their 
merchandize by boats from the shore. There was a 
polacca brig loading for Marseilles, by which I had 
resolved to take my passage : but there was little 
prospect that she would be ready for some time, for 
the reasons assigned above. 

On the 24th of February, after a very tempestuous 
night, the house of Mr. Caridi, (whose wife was sister 
to Mr. Vondiziano) was struck by lightning, which, 
after taking an irregular course through four cham- 
bers, breaking in its way a looking-glass, singeing a 
coverlet, and bursting a door, entered the wall of 
the house, which wall was of burnt brick. It so hap- 


pened that there was a New Testament in Greek lying 
by the mirror ; the mirror was broken, but the Testa- 
ment remained uninjured. This book immediately 
acquired a degree of sanctity equal to what a reVewf, 
{temenos) would have done among the ancients. But 
what amused me greatly was to see Mr. Oaridi obliged 
to keep open house for three days, that people might 
view the book and compliment him on the miracle. 
His wife was much inclined to make a vow to go to 
Mount Athos, and return thanks for the signal deli- 
verance. The same house was soon afterwards visited 
by another hurricane, when a gust of wind carried 
away a staircase, which led from the ground floor to 
the upper story, and which was on the outside, as is 
customary in the island. 

Lent had now begun, and I resolved to live with 
Mr. Vondiziano's family as if T had been of their own 
religion, in order to see how I could bear a meager 
diet. Yet he would not suffer me to do so entirely, 
apprehensive that it would not agree with my consti- 
tution. Tlie eldest of Signer Vondiziano's daughters, 
about twelve years old, had been so schooled by their 
confessor, that she fed on bread and olives only. 
Our meals consisted generally of rice soup, made 
with oil, instead of meat or butter ; fish done 
in oil ; wild and garden artichokes ; salads, peas, 
beans, or other vegetables, fried in oil ; botarga, 
caviare, olives, anchovies ; and some other things, 
which I forjret. The children vied with each other 


in undergoing privations of this kind : and tlie maid- 
servants were their abettors. Signor Vondiziano, 
under the plea of a weak stomach, obtained an ex- 
emption for himself twice a week. 

In this way time wore on, but the weather did not 
change for the better : even the passage between 
Syria and Cyprus was interrupted. The drought of 
the preceding year was now more than overbalanced 
by the flooding rains ; and, from the standing pools 
M^hich they made, fevers and endemic maladies were 

The inhabitants of Larnaka, and, after them, tra- 
vellers, have attributed the malignant fevers, which 
almost annually infest that town to a small lake of 
stagnant water, which lay between Larnaka and the 
Marina. As this lake is not more than a few hundred 
yards across in its longest diameter, it seems inade- 
quate to the production of such extensive effects. 
There would appear to be sufficient reason in the 
sudden change of temperature which takes place at 
sunset, wherever in these latitudes there are low 
flats, in which heat is confined by day, and vapours 
are condensed by night. Even in the winter, after a 
sunny day, there was, at the close of it, such a chill sud- 
denly pervading the atmosphere, as to give an instan- 
taneous check to perspiration in any one incautiously 
exposed to it. In the spring and autumn, this must 
necessarily be more sensibly felt ; as the quantity of 
vapour carried into the atmosphere is greater from 


the greater heat, and the system is then more easily 
acted upon, at one time from the sudden cessation of 
a renovated circulation, at another from the sudden 
contraction of relaxed pores. 

Tired of waiting for the vesseFs departure, I resolved 
on another excursion into the interior ; and, on the 
21st of March, I set off with two mules, which cost 
me eleven piasters and a half per diem, for Leucosia. 
I was desirous, this time, of taking the road through 
Idalia ; but my guide, who wished to pass the night 
at his own village, turned from the road which led to 
Idalia into that to Athegainon, imagining that, when 
once there, I could do no more than fume and talk, 
without any positive mischief to him. But I knew a 
Greek''s shifts well enough to suspect that the direction 
he took was not the right one, as I had previously 
instructed myself respecting the way. Accordingly, 
I suffered him to take the lead for about two hundred 
yards, and then suddenly, without apprizing him, 
turned off in a northerly direction. He did not look 
round, until I and my servant were almost out of 
sight ; when, discovering what I had done, he came 
hurrying after me. 

Idalia, now called Dali, is five leagues from Larnaka, 
west by north. It proved to be a village of eighty houses, 
twenty of which were Turkish, and sixty Christian. 
It had four papases, or priests. I was lodged at 
the $fvo8oKuov, or public lodging, than which nothing 
could be more wretched. I went the following morning 


to see the site of ancient Idalia, to the south-east, over a 
fine plain of whitish soil. Half a dozen stones of rude 
workmanship, at a spot where the hills form a bogaz, 
or ravine, were all that now remained. My guide 
was very anxious that I should sit down and look 
around me ; because, he said, the last Englishman 
who had been there had done the same : and I was 
inclined, therefore, to believe, that he had no other 
reason for calling these scattered stones ruins of Idalia, 
than because this Englishman had told him so. On 
my return to the village, I inquired for coins and 
statues, as is customary with travellers, and found, at 
a papas's, a small woman's head, in marble. I 
mounted my mule to depart, and, in passing a heap 
of stones and rubbish by the church, I observed what 
I thought to be the drapery of a statue peep out. I 
alighted, and found a statue in high relief, about 
twenty inches long, without a head, done in ala- 
baster. This I brought away with me. 

The road lay through hills, where I occasionally 
caught a glimpse of Leucosia ; but did not enjoy the 
complete view until within a quarter of an hour's dis- 
tance from it. The day was beautifully fine. On my 
arrival at the monastery, the archbishop received me 
civilly, but with a settled gloom on his countenance, 
the cause of which will be presently shown. His 
dinner, as being Lent fare, was no better than the 
repasts which I had left behind me at Larnaka. 

I visited, on the following day, Malem Anthony 


Brins, a native of Tripoli in Syria, who may pass as 
a person of some mark in the eyes of Europeans, as 
having been Monsieur Vohiey''s teacher in Arabic, 
when living at Mar Hanneh, on Mount Lebanon.' 

Brins was now a merchant, living in affluence at 
Leucosia. His house was spacious and agreeable. 
Ali Bey had paid him a long visit during his stay at 
Leucosia. He spoke of that traveller as ill able to 
support the character of a Moslem, either by his 
exercise of the rites of the Mahometan religion, or by 
his general language and demeanour. 

Let us now revert to the cause of the archishop's 
gloominess. About a week before this my second 
visit to Leucosia, a large sum of money, amounting to 
about twenty purses, or nearly ,^500, had been stolen 
in the night from the room where Andrea, the arch- 
bishop's dragoman, sat every day for the purpose of 
transacting the business of the island between the 
governor and his master. In the bottom of the chest 
which was rifled, human ordure was left, as if to add 

' He was, likewise, a knight of the holy sepulchre ; having 
made good his pretensions to a noble descent (by money of 
documents) in the following manner. He asserted that his 
name, Brins, is but the Arabic manner of spelling Prince; 
there being no letter P in the alphabet of that language : and 
that his ancestors were princes of Tripoli, a principality erected 
in the time of the crusades. His plea Avas thought so good, 
that he was created a knight ; and, as a proof of it, he shoAved 
me his diploma to that effect. 



insult to thejft. It is to be observed that the palace 
of the governor, in which this room was situated, was 
enclosed in a quadrangular court, and had but one 

At break of day, Andrea"'s servant went, as was his 
custom, to put the room in order, when, finding the 
door forced and papers scattered in confusion on the 
floor, he ran back in dismay to inform his master, 
who hastened to see what had happened. The palace 
was soon in an uproar, and the extrordinary event of 
burglary committed in the very residence of the go- 
vernor was considered as without a parallel. 

When the first tumult was over, Andrea's servant, 
the porter of the gate, who was a Turk, and three 
Christians, employed near these rooms, were appre- 
hended. The tufenkgi hashi (or head of the police, 
whose apartment was immediately under the treasury, 
and where it was supposed no noise could have 
been made without his hearing it), was suspected ; as 
was Signor Andrea himself. Over these two persons, 
though not imprisoned, a guard was set to see that 
they did not escape. 

It is usual with the Turks, when suspicion rests on 
particular persons, to resort to torture for a confirm- 
ation of their doubts. Accordingly, after four or five 
days, persons, to the number of thirty-two, having 
been arrested, and all these but six having proved 
their innocence (which six were, the porter, Andrea's 
servant, and three Greeks, with a woman, the wife of 


one of them), the suspected were confined in separate 
rooms, and the investigation was begun in the fol- 
lowing manner. Meal barley, wetted, was made up 
into boluses of a large size, and one of these was 
given to each of the accused. If he swallowed it, he 
was innocent ; if guilty, it was supposed to be im- 
possible to do so. Let it not, however, be imagined 
that the Turks place more reliance on evidence of 
this sort than we do. But they know that guilt 
sometimes betrays itself in superstitious trials, where 
the regular process of justice would be balked. An- 
drea's servant was most cruelly tormented. He was 
placed on a cross, like that on which we represent 
St. Andrew to have been crucified. His temples 
were screwed by the pressure of a diadem of what are 
vulgarly called knuckle bones. Hot stones were 
applied to his head, hot irons to his flesh. Inflam- 
mable matter was smeared on him, and then ignited ; 
and he was prevented from sleeping by persons placed 
near him for that purpose. On the other Greeks and 
on the gatekeeper the same torture was exercised.^ 

1 One of the servants accused Andrea, the dragoman, as 
having prompted him to the theft. He described how he had 
eflfected it, how he carried the money to his house, and deli- 
vered it into Andrea's hand, who recompensed him imme- 
diately for his trouble. Fortunately for Andrea, his wife that 
very night lay-in, and, as is usual in Greece, his house was full 
of friends, who bore witness to the falsehood of such testi- 

T 2 


For the woman, a mode of torture was resorted to 
which may be called a refinement on cruelty. The 
trousers worn by women in these countries are ex- 
ceedingly large, and tied at the ancles and waist. 
The plan pursued with her was this. A cat was 
put into the trowsers, which, being pricked and 
beaten, and unable to escape, grows furious, and tears 
the thighs and legs of the sufferer with his teeth 
and claws. 

It was in the midst of this dreadful investigation 
that I arrived at Leucosia ; and, walking the next 
day by the palace, I was startled by the sight of a 
man dangling by the neck to the iron grating of one 
of the palace windows, from fifteen to twenty feet 
from the ground. This was the porter, who had been 
hanged in this way, just as he was about to expire 
from the tortures he had undergone. As the inves- 
tigation advanced, it was rumoured that an Armenian 
seraf (banker to the governor, and the rival of Andrea's 
influence among the Turks) had invented this ne- 
farious plot for the purpose of ruining Andrea. The 
servant of the latter died soon afterwards of his suffer- 

In the mean time, Andrea himself was exposed to 
the greatest danger, for his enemies were powerful ; 
and, although the proofs of his innocence were satis- 
factory at home, he knew that such representations 
might be made at Constantinople as would totally 
change the face of things. And the event justified 


his apprehensions ; for, although the cause was still 
under investigation when I left Cyprus, and the cer- 
tainty of the Armenian"'s plot became every day more 
apparent, the affair was not finished without a great 
sacrifice of money on the part of the archbishop ; 
whilst Andrea, to avert a continuance of the per- 
secution, sold off his household furniture and pic- 
tures, which he had recently imported from Italy, and 
reduced his establishment and his dress to so humble 
a guise, that envious and malevolent people should 
not have it in. their power to allege anything against 

I got back to Larnaka just before Easter day. It 
fell this year on the 6th of April, and to a dull Lent 
succeeded visiting and festivities. Mass was cele- 
brated at midnight, and, this over, the ceremony of 
kissing the cheek and saluting each other with 
"Christ is risen," began. By 10 o"* clock, Mr. Von- 
diziano's courtyard was filled with drums and dancers, 
whilst in the saloon was the bishop with a party of 
priests chanting. 

A circumstance, however, somewhat interrupted 
the harmony of the inhabitants. On the restoration 
of Louis XVIIL, and the arrival of a new ambas- 
sador at Constantinople, religion had again raised her 

' About this time, by the Trieste newspapers, the news of 
Lord Stanhope's death (on the 26th December, 1816) came to 
Cyprus. I forwarded the melancholy information to Lady 
Hester on the 2nd and 3rd of April. 


head, and the Catholic priests attempted to resume 
the influence which they had once so extensively en- 
joyed, even in these distant colonies. The freemasons 
were supposed to have been the fomenters of all the 
insults which the priests had suffered for so many 
years during the revolution, and the anathemas of the 
preachers were now levelled principally against them. 

This spirit of persecution was encouraged by the 
arrival of the Abbe de Masure, almoner to the French 
ambassador, who denounced them as the machinators 
of all evil, political and moral. It is customary for 
Roman Catholics to confess themselves before re- 
ceiving the sacrament at Easter ; and, according to 
the new order of things, the French consul and the 
nation (for so the few individuals of each country 
style themselves) went to confession. Three, who 
were freemasons, were sent back, unless they would 
give up their masonic diplomas, which, of course, 
they refused to do. Nor was the matter settled until 
the consul threatened to imprison the priest, if he 
withheld absolution any longer from the individuals 
in question. 

I dismissed my servant Giovanni, who was to re- 
turn to Syria, where he proposed marrying a young 
person to whom he had been affianced three or four 
years. Wishing to make the best recompence in my 
power to a man, who, though he sometimes gave me 
reason, as has been related, to be angry with him, 
still had served me faithfully, 1 had previously pre- 


sented him, on quitting Abra, with the best part of 
the furniture my cottage contained ; and I now made 
him a present of a few articles for his bride, and of a 
sum of money for himself. 



Departure from Cyprus, and Voyage to Marseilles — Dirti- 
ness of the French ship and her crew — Fare on board— Cruel 
treatment of a political prisoner — Angora greyhound — Arrival 
at Pomegue, the quarantine anchorage of Marseilles. 

The Jean Baptiste brigantine polaccaofl50 tons being 
now ready to sail, I embarked for Marseilles on the 9th 
of April, in the afternoon. It was not without consider- 
able regret that I took leave of a gentleman whose un- 
abated hospitality I had partaken of for seventy-six 
days. The vessel was laden with cotton, of which 
she had nearly 600 bales, so that they were stowed on 
the quarter-deck, in the waist, and on the forecastle ; 
besides which the cabin was so full, that between the 
bales and the ceiling there was only room enough to 
creep to the sleeping berths. I was to pay for the 
state-room and my board 850 francs. Much had 
been said to me beforehand of the bad food and bad 
usage which passengers generally meet with on board 
of Proven9al vessels ; I therefore prepared myself 
contentedly for the worst. 


On Friday the 10th of April, before sunrise, we 
j^ot under weigh, with the wind at west ; but, after 
tacking off and on, we found ourselves, at sunset, 
where we started from in the morning. We had on 
board a prisoner in chains, named Candie, who had 
been arrested at St. Jean d'Acre, by an order from 
Constantinople ; and, as far as I could collect, was 
accused of having taken part in some of the troubles 
at Grenoble at the return of the Emperor Napoleon 
from Elba. The place assigned him was on the cables, 
which lay on the cargo close to the main hatchway ; 
but, complaining that he feared being stifled when the 
hatches were closed in bad weather, he was transferred 
to the long boat ; and, when the vessel was distant 
from the land, his chains were taken off. The Captain, 
the owner, his two sons, the mate, and a Maltese pas- 
senger, slept in the cabin ; and, there being no room to 
sit, we ate constantly on deck, fair weather and foul. 
As there was no space for stools, or chairs, or benches, 
they all stood to eat, and to this position I should 
have been myself condemned, had not my habits of 
sitting in the Turkish fashion made a bale of cotton 
a very good sofa. 

On the ] 2th, a strong wind from the East carried 
us on our course seventy or eighty miles. On the ISth, 
the wind again shifted to the west, and, up to the 23d, 
we were still beating to windward. 

May set in with a change of wind to the north- 
east. For the first time, studding sails were set. 


We now got on rapidly, and on the night of the 3rd, 
we passed between Malta and Sicily. 

On the 8th, the coast of Barbary was in sight the 
whole day. On the 11th and 12th we made little way ; 
and on the 13th and 14th we were becalmed on the 
Casse, a bank over which ships of large burden cannot 
pass without danger. Here one of the sailors speared a 
fish, between three and four feet long, of a deep purple 
colour on the back, and with a snouted head, which 
some called a paron and others a requin (shark). 

On the 15 th we had an easterly wind, and advanced 
very fast towards our destination. On the 16th, at four 
o'clock in the afternoon, we discovered the high land 
over Toulon, and about sunset we descried the church 
of Notre Dame de la Garde, the village of Sinfours, 
and the rock at the entrance of Toulon harbour. We 
stood off during the night ; and, on quitting the cabin 
in the morning, I found the vessel at the mouth of Mar- 
seilles harbour, just where the rocky land, so rugged 
and bare, presents itself to the sight. In an hour we 
Avere anchored at Pomegue, an inlet in a small island 
not altogether safe in blowing weather, but destined 
for vessels that have to perform quarantine. Thus we 
had been thirty-seven days on our passage ; ten of 
which were spent in reaching Candia, thirteen more 
to Malta, six to Sardinia, and eight more to our 

In taking a review of the circumstances of the 
voyage, I cannot say that anything could have made 


it tolerable but the prospect of soon landing in Chris- 
tendom. I was shut up in a vessel, and obliged to 
live in close society with men, whose habits, occupa- 
tions, and education, differed entirely from my own : 
and, although a philosophic mind will not suffer its 
happiness to depend on such temporary inconveniences, 
I confess I found mine sometimes greatly affected by 

The Proven9al sailors are superstitious to excess ; 
and, whenever the weather was bad, there was always 
a disposition to throw the blame of it on me, whom, 
as a Protestant, they reckoned no Christian. They 
were totally wanting in cleanliness. The cabin was 
full of fleas, and was never swept during the whole 
voyage. This however was perhaps more owing to 
the remissness of the captain, who did not enforce it, 
than to the cabin-boy and men, who themselves, when 
ill-humoured with the captain, complained of the dirti- 
ness of the vessel. The Proven^aux seem to have a 
habit of spitting not exceeded by the Spaniards or 
Americans, and, what is worse, they spit in every di- 
rection and on every spot, so that I had not a single 
resting-place on the deck, nor could I go one step with- 
out the apprehension of brushing with my long dress 
the saliva that was scattered and conglobated in every 
direction. This habit appeared more disagreeable to 
a person coming from Turkey, where the meanest 
pauper is never seen to spit, even when smoking. 

Their cookery was to me extremely disagreeable. 


The principal ingredients in it were oil and garlic, 
the latter of which is considered so great a delicacy, 
not only by the seafaring people of Provence but by 
those who live on shore, that women even of respec- 
table condition often carry the odour of it in their breath 
into society. 

It will not be misplaced here to give a list of 
the dishes on which we chiefly lived during the 
passage, that other travellers may be induced from it 
to take the precaution of laying in their own provi- 
sions on a similar voyage. On Wednesdays and Fri- 
days we lived on meagre fare, such as lentils or rice 
done in oil,/ or salt fish soup, or salt fish plain boiled ; 
artichokes stuffed with onions, and parsley stewed in 
oil ; or on split peas and slices of bread boiled into a 
soup with oil and water ; or on cold boiled peas with 
oil. Hard Dutch cheese, or, which is still harder, 
Cyprus cheese, with two dates and a few raisins for 
each person, made up the dessert. On other days, 
there was rice boiled, or rice soup ; ham and bacon 
omelettes ; stockfish always ; broad beans raw, which 
were to be eaten as children eat peas in England ; 
boiled garden snails, which were considered a delicacy, 
and of which we had a bushel basket full. Two lambs 
were taken on board at Cyprus, and killed on the 
voyage. They were eaten in the following manner. 
On the first day the blood caught from the neck 
was fried, which looked like pieces of liver ; but this I 
could not eat. Next the liver itself was fried or 


roasted, and the tripe done in fricassee^ but so badly 
washed that it was impossible to touch it. After this 
we fared well for two or three days on lamb chops, 
vermicelli soup, houilli of lamb, &c., until the lamb 
was eaten. Towards the latter part of the voyage, 
when all the provisions were nearly gone, we were 
reduced to ham and salt fish soup, and boiled horse- 
beans in salad ; whilst the water we drank came from a 
wine barrel, with a smack of the vinous sourness in it. 

There was no remedy for these evils when once 
embarked ; for the desire of avoiding anchorage dues 
prevents these vessels from entering any port on their 
way home. 

But when it is considered that some regard was paid 
to my English habits, and that I had the liberty of dis- 
liking what did not please me, my situation was good 
compared to that of the poor prisoner, confined to the 
long-boat, and with no covering but an old sail. His 
food was always of the worst ; and the spray of the sea, 
in bad weather, constantly flew over him, so as to wet 
him. In this man's conversation I found the only 
resource I had in the ship. He had been bred to, and 
followed, the trade of a turner ; but, in the revolution, 
he had signalized his love of liberty, and bore with 
him a medal equivalent in its import to what in ancient 
times a civic crown would have been. His conduct on 
the return of Napoleon had made him obnoxious to the 
royalists, and he had absented himself with a view to 
escape persecution, which however pursued him into 
the heart of Syria : for, at St. Jean d'Acre, whilst 


gaining a scanty livelihood by portrait painting, he 
was seized and shipped off for France. 

He was more attached than any person I ever saw 
to freemasonry, which he seemed to have studied deeply, 
and his object in going to Palestine was, he said, to 
visit Jerusalem, as the place which gave birth to this 
singular fraternity. Whatever his motives were, he 
did not effect them. 

The Proven9al language (on board ship) is a most 
disagreeable jargon, as unintelligible even to those 
who understand French as to those who do not, and 
delighting in intonations of the voice, which always- 
reminded me of a crying child. 

I had brought with me an Angora greyhound. The 
beauty of a dog from that country consists in long- 
silky hair at the ears and on the tail, the peculiar fea- 
ture of all animals, whether goats, cats, or dogs, which 
come from Angora and its neighbourhood. Never did 
1 feel so forcibly the proverb of " love me, love my 
dog," as then ; for the whole of the crew, when my 
back was turned, were constantly beating him, and 
worried him cruelly. 

As soon as the vessel was moored, the captain pro- 
ceeded to Marseilles (which is a league from Pomegue) 
with his papers ; and next morning I was conveyed, 
with my effects, to the Lazaretto, thankful to the 
Almighty, for having permitted me, after so man^' 
perilous voyages and journeys, once more to revisit 


" Beaten him." — p. 325. 

I have preserved the exact words in which Dr. Wolff told 
the story ; but, in justice to Lady Hester Stanhope, I ought 
to observe that, in her ladyship's residence at Mar Elias, there 
were no steps either in the house or at the entrance, and con- 
sequently the bearer of the letter could not be " kicked down 
stairs." Neither am I disposed to believe that her ladyship 
bastinadoed him : she might have desired the porter to say 
that, if he returned again, he would be bastinadoed. In this way 
were many strange tales circulated, for which there were no 
other grounds than the assertion of some poor devil, who made 
out a pitiful case in order to get a bakshysh for his supposed 
sufferings. A Syrian thinks a few piasters are fairly gained by 
a plausible lie. 

Frederick Slioberl, Juuior, Printer to His Royal Highness Prince Albert, 
51, Rupert Street, Haymarket, London. 




Vol. I., comprising WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR. Printed and 

illustrated uniformly with Miss Strickland's " Lives of the Queens of 

England," in small 8vo., price 10s. 6d. bound. To be completed in 

about six volumes. 

While History is occupied with the public deeds of the great and the 
mighty of the earth, and with the consequences which result from them, 
it is the province of Biography to explore the peculiarities of individual 
disposition, character, and way of thinking; to study the influence of 
external circumstances upon these r to search out the real motives of 
actions ; to follow its subject into the privacy of domestic and social life; 
and to draw a faithful picture alike of his virtues and his vices, his excel- 
lences and his failings, his passions, propensities, and eccentricities; in 
short, of every trait by which he is distinguished from the rest of man- 
kind. Hence the sagacious biographer, extending his researches to 
minute details, may chance to discover truths which elude the eye of 
the historian, content with the great outlines of general facts. The 
"Lives of the Kings of England," written with such impressions, must 
therefore prove a valuable auxiliary to those readers, who, fond of 
tracing effects up to their true causes, are desirous of ascertaining the 
real share contributed by each of the British Sovereigns to those results 
which have conferred on our country and nation their present proud pre- 
eminence in power, prosperity, freedom, and glory. To such as seek 
amusement only, they cannot fail to be equally acceptable, as a con- 
nected record of the sayings and doings of personages, many of them 
ranking foremost as models of chivalry, and most enjoying the highest 
renown among the politicians and the warriors of their own time. 




Now first published from Official Records and other Authentic Docu- 
ments, private as well as public. 


Now in course of Publication, embellished with Portraits, in elegant 
volumes, small 8vo., price 10s. 6d. each, bound; either of which may be 
had separately. 

" These volumes have the fascination of a romance united to the 
integrity of history." — Times. 

" A most valuable and entertaining work." — Chronicle. 

" A valuable contribution to historical knowledge, to young persons 
especially. It contains a mass of every kind of historical matter of inte- 
rest, which industry and research could collect. We have derived much 
entertainment and instruction from the work." — Athenceum. 




Now first Published from the Originals, with Introductory Notices, 
In 3 vols, small 8vo., with Fac-simile Autographs, &c. 
Price 31s. 6d. bound. 
" This collection of letters is very curious and very valuable. The 
general reader will derive great instruction from its pages, and the reader 
of history will find it of considerable service. The editress has accom- 
plished well a remarkably laborious task. She has collected together 
the letters of the most illustrious women of England, whose lives extend 
over a period of four centuries and a half They will throw a very 
curious light on many passages of history, and will thus become of im- 
mense service to the historian, besides being a most welcome and inte- 
resting addition to our literature." — Sunday Times. 



Three vols., with Illustrations, 31s. 6d., bound. 
" This work is intended to complete the ' Memoirs' of Lady Hester 
Stanhope. As the ' Memoirs' embraced a period of about fifteen years, 
in which were traced the causes which led to the ' decline and fall' of lier 
Ladyship's somewhat visionary empire in the East, the ' Travels' will 
take up her history from the time she quitted England ; and by a faith- 
ful narrative of her extraordinary adventures, show the rise and growth 
of her oriental greatness. A distinct line may at once be drawn between 
this and all other books of travels in the East — for it boasts of a heroine 
who marches at the head of Arab tribes through the Syrian desert — 
who calls governors of cities to her aid, while she excavates the earth in 
search of hidden treasures — who sends generals with their troops to 
carry fire and sword into the fearful passes of a mountainous country to 
avenge the death of a murdered traveller — and who then goes defence- 
less and unprotected to sit down a sojourner in the midst of them. The 
work will introduce the reader to a more familiar acquaintance with the 
Syrians and Arabs ; and the habits, customs, and feelings of these 
strange nations, than perhaps any book that has hitherto appeared." 





Now first Translated and Published, from the Author's Original Manu- 
script. 2 vols. 8vo., 28s., bound. 


Now ready, in 2 vols., small 8vo, with numerous illustrations, price 2 Is. bound, 






From the SPECTATOR^ 

Nothing but the already overdone topics prevented Mr. Warburton's 
Eastern sketches from rivalling Eblhen in variety : in the mixture of story 
with anecdote, information and impression, it perhaps surpasses it. Innu- 
merable passages of force, vivacity, or humour are to be found in the vo- 


This delightful work is, from first to last, a splendid panorama of 
Eastern Scenery, in the full blaze of its magnificence. The crowning merit 
of the book is, that it is evidently the production of a gentleman and a man 
of the world, who has lived in the best society, and been an attentive ob- 
server of the scenes and characters which have passed before him during his 
restless and joyous existence. To a keen sense of the ludicrous, he joins a 
power of sketching and grouping which are happily demonstrated. 
From the GLOBE. 

Mr. Warburton has fulfilled the promise of his title-page. The "Realities " 
of "Eastern Travel" are described with a vividness which invests them with 
deep and abiding interest; while the "Romantic" adventures which the 
enterprising tourist met with in his course are narrated with a spirit which 
shows how much he enjoyed these reliefs from the ennui of every-day life. 

From the ATHEN.s:U]yi. 

The Author has been careful to combine with his own observation such 
information as he could glean from other sources ; and his volumes contain 
a compilation of much that is useful, with original remarks of his own on 
Oriental life and manners. He possesses poetic feeling, which associates 
easily with scenery and manners. 


This is an account of a tour in the Levant, including Egypt, Palestine, 
Syria, Constantinople, and Greece. The book is remarkable for the colouring 
power, and the play of fancy with which its descriptions are enlivened. The 
writing is of a kind that indicates abilities likely to command success in the 
higher departments of literature. Almost every page teems with good feeling; 
and although that " catholic heartedness," for which the Author takes credit, 
permits him to view Mahometan doctrines and usages with a little too much 
of indifferentism, yet, arriving in Palestine, he at once gives in his adherence 
to the " religion of the place " with all the zeal of a pious Christian. The 
book, independently of its value as an original narrative, comprises much 
useful and interesting information. 



From the BRITANNIA. 

Mr. Warburton sees with the strong clear vision with which Heaven has 
endowed him, bat with this there are always blended recollections of the 
past, and something — though dashed in unconsciously — of poetic feeling. 
He brings to his work of observation an accomplished mind, and well- 
trained and healthful faculties. We are proud to claim him as a country- 
man, and are content that his book shall go all the world over, that other 
countries may derive a just impression of our national character. 
From the EXAMINER. 

Mr. Warburton's book is very lively, and is most agreeably written. 

A lively description of impressions made upon a cultivated mind, during a 
rapid journey over countries that never cease to interest. The writer 
carried with him the intelligence and manners of a gentleman — the first a 
key to the acquisition of knowledge, and the last a means of obtaining access 
to the best sources of information. 


We know no volumes furnishing purer entertainment, or better calculated 
to raise up vast ideas of past glories, and the present aspects of the people 
and lands of the most attractive region of the world. 


Of recent books of Eastern Travel, Mr. Warburton's is by far the best. 
He writes like a poet and an artist, and there is a general feeling of 
bonhomie in every thing he says, that makes his work truly delightful. 


This is one of the most interesting and adm.rable publications of the day. 
The accomplished tourist presents us with graphic and life-like descriptions 
of the scenes and personages he has witnessed. His narrative is written in 
the most elegant and graphic style, and his reflections evince not only taste 
and genius, but well-informed judgment. 


We could not recommend a better book as a travelling companion than 
Mr. Warburton's. It is by far the most picturesque production of its class 
that we have for a long time seen. Admirably written as is the work, and 
eminently graphic as are its descriptions, it possesses a yet more exalted 
merit in the biblical and philosophical illustrations of the writer. 

Mr. Warburton possesses rapidity and brilliancy of thought, and felicity of 
imagery. But he has qualities even rarer yet— a manliness of thought and 
expression, a firm adherence to whatever is high-souled and honourable, 
without one particle of clap-trap sentiment. Let his theme be a great one, 
and for it alone has he ears and eyes ; and the higher and more poetic the 
subject, the more elegant and spirit-stirring are his descriptions. 


There is a fine poetical imagination, tempered by a well trained intelligence. 
Thought, feeling, and passion, manifest themselves in every page. 



FOR 1846. 
A New Edition, corrected throughout from the Personal Communi- 
cations of the Nobility, etc. 
In One Vol., (comprising as much matter as twenty ordinary volumes) 
with upwards of 1500 Engravings of Arms, &c., price 38s. bound. 
" The New Edition of ' Mr. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage' is 
certainly the most perfect and comprehensive Encyclopaedia of per- 
sonal and national history ever given to the public; combining sur- 
prising accuracy and important information with the greatest brevity 
and clearness, and exhibiting, in a condensed and lucid form, the lives 
and achievements of the many eminent men who have shed lustre on the 
roll of our nobility, from the steel-clad Barons of Crescy and Agincourt, 
to the heroes of Blenheim and Waterloo. This new edition has evidently 
undergone the most searching revision ; several of the lineages have been 
rewritten— all remodelled and improved — and the introduction of much 
interesting matter, referential to the baronets and the collateral branches, 
renders the impression far more valuable than any of the former ones. 
Indeed, there is not a name connected with peer or bai'onet, that is not 
displayed in its pages." — Globe. 


A Companion to the " Peerage and Baronetage." 

Now in course of publication, in Four Parts, price 10s. 6d each, (Three 

of which have appeared) beautifully printed m double Columns, 


A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the whole of the Landed 

Gentry, or Untitled Aristocracy, 


By JOHN BURKE, Esq., Author of "The Peerage and Baronetage," &c. 


JOHN BERNARD BURKE. Esq., of the Middle Temple, Barrister- 


This work relates to the Untitled Families of Rank, as the " Peerage 
and Baronetage" does to the Titled, and forms, in fact, a Peerage of the 
Untitled Aristocracy. 




It should be particularly noticed, that this new work appertains nearly 
as much to extant as to extinct persons of distinction ; for, though 
dignities pass away, it rarely occurs that whole families do. 

New and cheaper Edition, beautifully printed, in double columns, 1 vol. 
8vo. With Emblazoned Title-page, 6i.c. price 28s bound. 







RUSSIA in 1846. 2 vols. 21s, 


SYBIL. 3 vols. 



CHARLES STUART. By C. L. Klose, Esq. 2 vols. 


Poetical Romance of London. Post 8vo., elegantly bound, 7s. 6d. 



GEOR-GE I. 2 vols. 



SPAIN in 1846. 2 vols. 21s. 




QUEEN OF SCOTS. Edited by Miss Strickland. 2 vols, 21s. 


10s. 6d. 


YEARS IN CONSTANTINOPLE. 3 vols., with 34 Illustrations.