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where, as I am inform’d, in former days a very fine city stood, which is so desolated, and in process of time decay'd to that degree, that in our days there is almost nothing left of it but a small village, and here and there in the fields some small ruins of old houses.
We went on farther between the mountains, where we spy'd a little town upon the hills, and above it a strong castle, which it is said the French did formerly build, that lieth in a very convenient place between the mountains, so that you must go just by it; but because it is haunted with evil spirits and hobgobblins, it remaineth unrepair'd and uninhabited. We left it on our left hand, and came out into a spacious corn-field well tillid, where on our left we saw the town Sermin at a great distance, and near to it and about it, great woods of Pistacia-trees, which are gathered there, and fent to Tripolis, and so by the merchants to us : Some of them grow also near the high-ways, chiefly in the village of Bafilo, where we stay'd all night.
In our way we found nine or ten Champs, call’d Caravatscharas : these are open inns, where the caravans and travellers go in, commonly towards evening, to stay there all night ; they are free to any body, but you find neither meat nor drink there, if you will have it you must bring it along with you, and must be contented to lie upon straw, if you can have it, upon the lower wall, which goes round about the sides, on purpose to give to horses, afics, and camels their food upon it. They are generally three miles distant from one onother ; they are large and stately, and as strong in walls as castles, commonly built four-square, and have within a large yard, and round about it are stables which are quite open, just like cloisters. Some of them have a garrison of nine or twelve Janisaries, to keep the roads clean, and to protect the travellers from asfaults of the inhabitants and Arabians,
When we had travellid over several rough mountains, and came almost near to Halepo, we saw at last the city just like Darrand, of the bigness of Strasbourg ; at the gates we dismounted, because in Turky no outlandish man hath liberty to ride thro'a city, and so we went into it, and I went into the French Fundique to take my lodgings, as all Germans ufe to do,
C H A P. VI. .
Of the situation of the potent city of Halepo, of the
buildings thereof, and also of the delicate fruits, and fine plants that grow there within and without the gardens.
T HE town of Halepo, which is the greatest and most
potent in Syria, anciently call'd Nerea, is in some places well fortify'd with ditches and walis, only they are not quite round it, so that one may (the same it is with Tripolis) at any time of night go in and out ; neither are the gates, as used in our country, chiefly in cities of account, beset with soldiers, but you will only see two or three waiting at the head-gates, where the highways go through, which are rather there to take custom, than to keep the gates, neither have they any arms. But in the middle of the city there is a castle on a high hill, which is strong, large, surrounded with walls and ditches, and well beset with a good guard. Concerning their other buildings, which are fat at the top, and cover'd with a sort of pavement, that one 'may walk on the tops of them, they are like unto them of Tripolis. Amongst the rest there is a very magnificent building, which they say hath cost a great deal of money, which hath for it's entrance a very low and finall door, so that one must bend himself very low that will go into it, but when you come in, you find there delicate large halls, high open arches, very pleasant and cool to fit underneath in the summer, water-works, orchards, and kitchen-gardens, where among the rest was one of these Ketmy's: Besides these there was also some fine Mosques with steeples, which were round and finall, but very high ; some of them had a balcony at the top, like unto a garland, whereupon the waits, are, and their priests go about at the time of prayers, to call people in. But for other stately buildings, that might be erected] for the memory of some potent King or Prince, there is
Without the city they have here and there some country-houses; among the rest one built for the Turkish Emperor, at four miles distance from the city, where he used to be sometimes, chiefly when he is at war with the Sophy, King of Persia, that he may presently affist his army in case of necessity ; this is very large, but not built fo stately as so great a monarch deserveth. In the great garden is a chapel built by the river that runs through it upon pillars, where the Great Sultan used to hold conferences with his Privy-counsellors and Vifier-bashaws. It happen'd in the reign of Solyman the Great, as the gardiner did relate to us, that when they were assembled, to consult whether it was more profitable to him to suffer the Jews in his provinces, or to root them quite out ; after every one had given his opinion, and most of them were of the opinion, that they ought not to be tolerated, because of their unfufferable ufury wherewith they oppressed his subjects ; and after the Emperor had heard every ones sentiment, he gave them also to understand his, and that in this instance, viz. He bad them look upon a flower-pot, that held a quantity of fine flowers of divers colours, that was then in the room, and bid them consider whether each of them in their colour, did not fet out the other the better ; and that if any of them should decay, or be taken away, whether it would not somewhat spoil the beauty of the rest. After every one had heard the Sultan's opinion, and did allow of it to be true ; the Emperor did begin to explain this, and said, The more forts of nations I have in my dominions under me, as Turks, Moors, Grecians, &c. the greater authority they bring to my kingdoms, and make them more famous.. And that nothing may fall off from my greatness, I think it convenient, that all that have been together so long hitherto, may be kept and tolerated fo ftill for the future ; which pleased his council fo well, that they all unanimously agreed to it, and so let it remain as it
Without the city of Halepo are abundance of quarries, where they dig great free-stones of a vast bigness, almost
as white and soft as chalk, very proper for building: There are alfo about the town some walks or grotto's under ground, which are above an English mnile long, which have the light let into them by holes made near the highway, so that a man must be very careful (chiefly at night) that he may not fall into them, or that he may not be trapann'd by the Moors that live in them in great numbers. The ground about it being very chalky, it causeth to the foles of our feet, chiefly at night, although one be very well provided with strong shoes, a very considerable driness and heat, as one may also fee by the Moors, that, for the most part go bare-foot, which causeth the soles of their feet to be so fhrifted, that into some of their crevises you may almost put your little finger. Yet notwithstanding that, Halepo is surrounded with rocky hills, and the valleys thereof are chalky ; they have no want of corn, as barley, wheat, &c. but rather it is very fruitful, and their harvest beginning commonly in April or May: But they have but few oats, and less grass or hay; for the driness is so great, and it is so fandy, and the hills are so rough and full of bushes, that they make but very little hay. Wherefore they feed their cattel with barley, and with straw, which is broken in pieces by threshing waggons, that are drawn by oxen. The valley is also full of Olive-trees, so that yearly they make several thousand hundred weight of oil for to make Soap. There is also a great quantity of tame and wild Almond-trces, of Figgs, of Quince, and white Mulberry-trees, which are very high and big : Pistacies-trees, which they call Fiftuc, are hereabout very common; they liave underneath very strong stems, which have outwardly an afhen-colourd bark, and are adorned with handsome leaves of a fad green colour, like unto their Charnubis, and behind them grow many small Nuts like Grapes in clusters together. In the spring when they first put out, they send forth long shoots, which the Moors gather in great quantity for their sallad, and dress them as we do Asparagus. There are also abundance of delicate orchards, that are filled with Oranges, Ciirons, Lemons, Adam’s-Apples, Sebefter, Peaches, Morelloes, and Pomegranates, &c. and amongst them you find sometimes Apples and Pears, but very
few, them ;
few, nor so many sorts, nor so big, nor so well coloured
There grow many Myrtles, which bear roundish berries of the bigness of our Sorbus or Services, of a blewish grey colour, very good to eat, which have white feeds of the shape of our jumping cheese-magots ; they propagate them diligently, because they are beautiful, and remain long green, to put about their graves. Moreover there are many Sumach-trees, which they plant for their seeds sake, which is much used by them ; but Cherries, Amelanchier and Spenleny I have not seen there, and very few Goosberries, or Currans ; Weychseln they have, but very few, wherefore they esteem them, and keep them choice, as a foreign plant, to thew them to others, and to present great persons with
suffice of trees. Concerning their garden plants : those that are common, are Endives, Lettice, Keal or Coleworts, Colliflowers, Caulorapa Rauckelen, Apium, Tarcon, whereof Rhafis describeth two forts, one with long small leaves, by us callid Taragon, and the other with broad leaves, which I reckon to be our Lepidium, by the inhabitants calld Cozirihan. Ravos Serap ;'or our common Hartichokes. But beyond all they plant Colocasia in such plenty as we do Turneps, whereof they have also great plenty. They are also very well provided with Horseraddishes, Garlick, and Onions, which the inhabitants still call Basal. Of Pumpions, Citruls, and Cucumis anguinus, which they call Gette, they plant as many as they have occasion for ; but many more Angurien an Indian Muskmillion, or Water-mellons, which they call Batiechas, but Serap. Dullaha, they are large, of greenish colour, sweet and pleasent to eat, and very cooling, wherefore they esteem thein to be their best fruits ; but chiefly those, which have more red than white within ; they are very innocent and harmless, and keep so long good, that they sell them in their Batzars all the winter long. Moreover, there are three forts of those plants which the Arabians call Melanzana, Melongena, and Beudengian, as ash-coulour’d, yellow, and flesh-colour'd, which are very like one another in their crookedness and length, and like unto the long Gourds. There are two other forts, which are call?d Bathleschain, viz.