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The Ferny Farm that nestled


LIFE, Joy, and Splendor with the year awake, The young Spring smiles on Winter passed


The air is balmy with the coming May,
And bridal music rings from bush and brake.
All things the glory of the time partake;
I would be bright and joyous even as they:
But tearful Memory dims the golden day;
The light glares sickly, while this heart must

For eyes long closed, that fondly turned to mine,

And voices dear forever dumb to me;

Where the stream grows broad and clear. Yet, as the warm wind murmurs in the pine,

The lights and shades went racing

Across the fields of rye,

As the hopes and fears that tremble

When Love himself is nigh.

Sorrow grows mild, and sufferance less sore;

I hear soft whispers from the unseen shore, With promise of eternal spring to be.

April, 1883.

Temple Bar.

turesque though more honest retainer of the British firm of Cook.

From The Fortnightly Review. FRANCE AND SYRIA. THE able administrator who for the last In village life the same process may be twenty-two years has impartially executed observed. The people are fewer, the vilthe laws framed immediately after the lages even are less numerous. Many massacres of 1860 for the protected prov- which I found prosperous in 1872 are now ince of the Lebanon, has, only quite re- either deserted or half ruinous, and we cently, been dismissed from an office which never heard of a new settlement of Moshe had every right to regard as intended lem or even Christian natives. The cruel to be held during life; and Rustem Pasha war with Russia half ruined Palestine. leaves (for no very evident reason) the The flower of the male population was government of a country which has grown carried off to the Balkans, and the young rich and prosperous under his care. The sheikh of Gibeon (a place of perhaps five condition of the rest of Palestine and hundred souls) told me in 1881 that out of Syria is, on the other hand, miserable; twenty men taken from that one village he and those who have known the country was the only one who had returned alive. for the last ten years are able to judge Riding through the land I was more than how much it has declined from even the once offered a village with its lands for very modest degree of prosperity which sale, the peasants being no longer able to it formerly enjoyed. It is true that at pay the taxes or meet the demands of Beyrout and round Jerusalem many new usurers, Jewish, Greek, or Armenian, into houses have been built, while the Ameri- whose clutches they were falling, after can mission has spread not only through paying sixty to seventy per cent. for many Lebanon but into the districts immedi-years for money borrowed to pay the gov ately adjoining. It is true that the Jewish ernment. population of Jerusalem has increased enormously, and that the Jews of Hebron and Safed have also augmented their numbers and attained to greater influence; but these signs of progress, together with the spread of German colonists from Jaffa and Haifa to other towns, are not as encouraging as would at first be supposed.

The consequences of this misery are, either that the population of a hamlet gradually dies out, the men being unable to marry, while illicit connections before! marriage are very rare among the Moslems, or else the elders of the village, with the consent of the rest of the men, sell, themselves and their lands into the hands The peasantry, who are the backbone of some capitalist, or of the usurer who of the population, have diminished most has lent most money to the community. sadly in numbers and in wealth. Ten The evil does not, however, stop here. years ago the village sheikh generally A capitalist willing to spend money on rode a fair horse, and was not ill-dressed; the rich soil of the Sharon plains might now the tourist may travel for a whole no doubt reap a good interest by employday without meeting one of the native ing the native labor, and he might considhorsemen he used once to encounter; and | erably better the physical and moral conthose who have had to buy horses know how few remain in the country, and how the strong half-bred Arabs are now mostly in the hands of the contractors, who provide for the annual tourist army conducted by Mr. Cook, or some other enterprising organizer of travel. The Syrian dragoman, gorgeous in purple robes, as handsome a rascal as one could wish to meet, a capitalist working on his own account, is a thing of the past. He has disappeared before Western competitive prices, and is superseded by the humbler and less pic

dition of his serfs by judicious liberality in bad seasons. The peasantry are neither lazy nor stupid, and when contented and happy they will do a good day's work and serve their master cheerfully. But they find it hard to forget the means whereby generally their new master has obtained possession of the land, and they certainly cherish the dim hope of one day regaining the ancient fee-simple which they have generally held since the Moslem conquest in the twelfth century, or possibly for many centuries before. The plains of

Jaffa have now been bought up by capi. | Turkish regulations. It is said that many talists, some of whom are Jews, some thousands sterling have been spent by the Greek Christians, some Maronites from French republican government to assist Lebanon; but there is nothing more diffi- the schools in Lebanon, and even in Moab, cult in the lands ruled by the Porte than which have been inaugurated by missionto establish a title to landed property. aries of that very Church which has been Theoretically any one who conforms to so persecuted at home in France, yet Turkish law has now the right to acquire which is found so useful a political engine property by purchase; practically a flaw abroad; and in all cases where schools is soon found by one official after the have been so assisted it is said to have other, and each official either increases been stipulated that French alone among his own income at the purchaser's ex- foreign languages was to be taught, and pense, or else involves the more scrupu- that the learning of English should be lous landowner, who refuses to pay an discouraged. unending and ruinous baksheesh, in legal expenses which are almost equally ruinous, and which in turn entail other demands on the part of those who have the sale of the precious commodity of justice. Yet, although the peasant and the capitalist are thus in equally grievous plight, it must not be supposed that the Turkish government is any the better off. Taxes are paid, it is true, two or three times over by peasant and landlord; but the tax-collector refuses to disburse. There are cases in which an official defaulter has been tried and condemned, yet again reinstated in his office without paying what he owed the government, partly on account of a judicious distribution of bribes, and partly because his superiors knew that a new man might be more rapacious, because poorer, than the old offender.

Nor has Russia been less active in the Holy Land. Without counting certain surveys which are said to have been secretly executed in northern Syria, there is abundant evidence of the pious interest which the czar and his orthodox subjects are taking in the holy places of Jerusalem and Galilee. Almost the only new buildings in Nazareth are Russian chapels, and churches have sprung up - at Fuleh and Nain, at the newly discovered site of the meeting of Christ with Mary near Bethany, at the home of John the Baptist at Ain Karem, and elsewhere — for which money has been found by the Russian head of the orthodox Church, or by the Roman Catholic cabinet at Paris. When, in 1881, the grand dukes came piously to pray for the soul of the late czarina at the Holy Sepulchre, it was thought necessary to parade five hundred Russian sailors marching in column through the Jerusalem streets; and in 1882 we saw a procession of a thousand French pilgrims in white cloaks, with banners and crosses, slowly pacing, with melodious hymns, down the narrow lane of David Street to the Crusading gateway of the Sepulchre Cathedral. Every year the number of Russian pilgrims, assisted by the Russian government, increases. They have been seen in armies of a thousand or more, mounted on donkeys, and escorted by the

Another circumstance which has aggravated the misery of the country is the not unnatural suspicion which has arisen in the sultan's mind regarding the designs of France, England, and Russia on his Syrian province. There can be no doubt that intrigue is rife throughout the country. The military attaché of the French Embassy at Constantinople who visited the Hauran in 1881, but who was so successfully escorted by the Turks as to be unable to enter into any relation with the Druzes or Moslems, was probably but one out of many offiicials, actively employed | Russian consular staff through the counin intrigues directed against the sultan. The recent rebellion of the Druzes was thought to be fomented by foreigners. The Maronites have been more than once encouraged by the promise of French assistance to gather and to protest against

try. It is well known that at Bethlehem a Roman Catholic congregation has lately been induced, by a subsidy, to become converted to the Greek Church, and that the property of this congregation will be confiscated if they relapse to their former

Syria will (as has been proved more than once) probably meet with courteous hospitality from the inhabitants of a Moslem village. It has been so since the days of Omar or of Saladin, and so it will be while a Moslem peasantry remain; but who shall say how soon the fellahin will become an extinct race if the present misery continues?

faith. The Jesuit missionaries in Madeba | eller who loses his way at nightfall in of Moab have, on the other hand, converted and taken away half the Greek population at Kerak; and this has led to a visit from the Greek patriarch to this long-forgotten Christian colony. To say nothing of visits of many royal personages of all nations, or of the attachés and consuls who have of late found Syria so interesting a country for private tours, the activity of the Greek and Latin Churches, and the money openly spent in Syria by French and Russian agents, are sufficient indications of political activity.

When we turn to the larger cities, where many mosques remain with families in charge who trace back to the days of Saladin, and who claim to have been estab

Pan-Islamite propaganda had been assid. uously fomented among them just before the Egyptian war can hardly be doubted. Those who had known this class well for many years were then of opinion, from the greater reserve of their manners, that they had something on their minds. The excitement and tall talk at Gaza and elsewhere, at the time when a wide rumor prevailed, according to which Arabi Pasha had taken the heads of the English commanders to Cairo and had driven the British army into the sea, showed the in

And what, it may be asked, is the atti-lished by Omar, we encounter, it is true, tude of Islam in face of this activity? another class, among whom fanaticism To answer the question we must first con- has a real existence. That the sultan's sider what is meant by a Moslem. The peasantry, who form the majority of the supposed Sunnee Moslems, are in reality little better than pagans. As in Egypt the fellahah women still secretly visit the temple of Athor for the performance of ancient rites, and still worship the old gods of Egpyt, scarcely veiled under the modern names of Derwish saints, such as Seiyid el Bedawi; so in Palestine (as I have elsewhere endeavored to show in detail) it is the local worship of the old Canaanite divinities which survives in the veneration of Mukâms, named after Mos-terest felt by the class of the Ulemma, the lem heroes. There are but few of the Solhtas, and the Moslem gentry in the country towns in which the minaret of a expected triumph of Islam and in the mosque is to be seen; there are few of coming of the Mohdy. This excitement the fellahin who can even recite the Fat- has fortunately been repressed, and it hah, or first chapter of the Koran. Re- does not appear to have affected the ligion in Syria, as in some other countries, peasantry. The upper class in Egypt is a matter of class, and the peasant held the same views, and looked forward knows nothing of the questions which to the same future, but they failed to exoccupy the Moslem doctor. I have heard cite any true religious fervor among the the sultan the head of the faith peasants who filled the trembling ranks openly cursed by Moslem peasants with- at Tell-el-Kebir. They might look with out a dissentient voice, and the fanatical disfavor on Frank interference, but they spirit, which Arabi Pasha vainly strove to have no real power to resist it. Pan-Isarouse in the breast of the Egyptian fella- lamism is but a dream, the futility of hin, is equally unnatural to the Syrian which was evidenced in Egypt, when ploughman. The Christian and the Mos- Indian Moslem soldiers, Egyptian peaslem live peacefully together in the East, ants, and the sheikhs of El Azhar were until the paid foreign agent comes to stir alike without religious sympathy. To exup their passions and to excite their pect the Sunnee to combine with the cupidity. The Damascus massacre of Shîáh, or even the Turkish Hanifeh, the 1860 would be found, were its history African Maleki, the Indian Shafi, the studied, to be no less of political origin | Arab Wahhebi, to combine heartily in the than the Bulgarian atrocities. The trav-cause of the faith, is as fruitless as to

suppose that the Latin Frenchman and the Russian Greek will combine, for a common Christian cause, with the Armenian and the Maronite, or with the Protestant sects of Great Britain.

or stock.

The cry of the people is the same throughout Syria, whatever be their sect "Give us British rule, French rule, nay even a Russian, or a Greek, or a Jew to govern us, but save us from the sultan and the Turk!" And yet they little know the troubles which such a revolution must bring upon them, and little estimate the danger of Syria becoming a battle-field of European nations when, whoever gains the day, the peasantry are equally certain to be the immediate sufferers.

That the sultan will give up Syria to any nationality without a severe struggle is not to be supposed. One of his chief claims to the office of khalif lies in the practical guardianship of the Holy Places. Of these, the" distant Mosque" (El Aksa), to which the Prophet came flying on his cherub, "the lightning," and where he prayed before ascending to heaven, is second only to the sacred Kaaba itself. The very pith of the question is to be recognized in the fact, that the glorious dome of 'Abd-el-Melek, at Jerusalem, enshrines the sacred rock, which is the foundation stone of the world.

mosques have been robbed; the various factions have been pitted against one another; and quietness and peace reign in the land because a sturdy race who, within the present century were practically their own masters, have been cowed and ruined so that there is no longer any spirit left in them. The country is certainly more secure, and the tourist is safer than of old, but diminished population and decreasing cultivation are not indications of a good administration. The whole population of Syria (including some fifteen thousand square miles) is estimated to be considerably less than that of London, and so far as the Arab race is concerned, it appears to be decreasing rather than otherwise..

But, it may be asked, why do not these oppressed subjects of a foreign power help themselves to liberty? There are, it is true, perhaps only a dozen real Turks in the country, for the pashas even are Kurds, Armenians, or Europeans. Yet to expect a national rebellion is to argue a great want of acquaintance with Oriental character. The power of combination for a common object is unknown in eastern communities. Arabi's army mightso some of his officers said- have deserted en masse if any one of them had been able to trust another with his real wishes. To the peasant, the village faction appears more important than any national league, and the Turk knows well how to rule by dividing. Southern Palestine, within the memory of living men, was divided into two fierce factions - the Keis, who seem to have been mainly the original peasantry on the west, and the Yemini, allied with the eastern Arabs, who were pushing northwards from Yemen. The battles fought between these factions are yet related by the village elders, and much courage and daring was then exhibited by the peasantry.

Turkish power in Syria has certainly not decreased in the last fifteen years. The officials of the Porte (mostly of the fierce Kurdish race to which Saladin belonged) have shown a vigilance and activity greater than that of the older times of inert obstruction. A barrack has been built in the middle of the turbulent district of the Hauran, and another under Hermon, to check the Druzes. The governor at Es Sâlt has firmly established himself in Gilead, in a town which, fifteen years ago, was practically independent. In Jerusalem itself, three of these facBy intrigue and force he has broken the tions still divide the Moslem population. power of the Adwan and Sakhûr, and The Hoseini, in the middle of the town, levies taxes on the Bedawin as far south are the most powerful; the Khaldi, ocas Kerak. cupy the east quarter; the despised Jauni On the west side of the river, the trav-abide among the Jews on the south. A eller who sees the shepherd or the pedlar leave his flock or his donkey and fly to the hill, on the approach of the irregular policemen or Bashi Bazouk, knows well what species of tyranny must be exercised by these unpaid emissaries of the govern


The policy of the Turk has been directed to the breaking up of all the native power of Syria. The ancient families have been ruined or degraded; the rich

Hoseini mother would rather see her daughter die unwedded than suffer her to take a Jauni husband. The same survival of faction I have traced in many other towns of Palestine, and the division of these Moslem parties, even in the petty villages, is almost as great as that which separates the Moslem from the Arab Christian, Latin, Greek, or Maronite. It is by fostering such ancient enmities, and by playing the Druze against the Maronite,

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