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ing for the last trump. She was a won- pensed gratis by the mayors of the difderfully sagacious animal.
Sometimes Lafarge would drink a little too much at dinner, and then Jeannette would immediately disappear. If she remained near the table she was certain to be called upon to do disagreeable tricks, one of which was to jump on to the table without upset ting anything. This often entailed a lot of cuffs, and. Lafarge's shouting was irritating in the extreme. She was the best sporting dog I came across in France.
Noël, the grocer, was a kind and pleasant man. Often he would come in to supper in the garden, and sometimes brought with him his little nephew, whom he had adopted. This youngster, who was about six years old, was as precocious as could be, especially in the expressions he used. On one occasion I had to swim across the river, and when I told him of this he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Eh, bien, mon ami!" as one who would say, "I am glad it was not I." Again, he arrived on the scene while Lafarge was up in a fig-tree plucking the fruit-shouting and gesticulating as usual. Little Noël drew me aside
by the sleeve.
"Je crois qu'il est fou, cet individu là. Jamais je n'ai vu ramasser des figues comme cela," he said confidentially.
He was sent to bathe the setter in the river, and the animal pulled him into the water.
"Si je n'avais su nager," he afterwards remarked, "j'étais f" using a coarse expression meaning he was done for.
There was a little girl of his age in the village who was hardly less precocious. One day Noël was given some new wine to drink, whereupon he became somewhat loquacious and quarrelsome.
"Mon Dieu!" said the little girl, shrugging her shoulders, "c'est le dernier coup qui lui a fait mal.”
At this season the tobacco was being taken in. The growing of the plant, like its sale, is regulated by government. The seeds, which are dis
ferent villages, have to be sown before a certain date, and at intervals one from the other indicated by the state. Only the first crop is allowed to be used, although when the first leaves have been gathered many more appear on the plant. These are removed and allowed to rot. It is forbidden to walk through a tobacco-plantation. these precautions, however, do not make the French tobacco smokable. Perhaps the best for the pipe is that issued to private soldiers in the French army. On joining they are presented with so many coupons which entitle them to purchase certain packets of tobacco at three sous for half a pound, or rather the sixth of a kilo. It is really very fair tobacco, but it cannot be purchased by the public.
Before I left Flaujagues I witnessed the gathering of the grapes, in which and in the manufacture of the wine, I must say, I saw nothing very picturesque or attractive. All the idle youths and women of the place turn out in their oldest clothes, the women wearing shovel-shaped black straw hats; and they are provided with wooden baskets in which they gather the grapes. These baskets are then emptied into the comportes, or tubs, through which is run a pole to enable them to be carried by two men. Carts are waiting to receive the contents of the comportes, and thus the vendange goes on. For days beforehand all conversation turns on this grape-gathering, and discussions arise as to whether the merlots (a species of black grape) should be gathered before the semillon (a white grape), and on similar points. Nothing very disgusting happens, however, until the grapes are taken to the great vats. In the case of the black grapes, for red wine, when the vat is fairly full, a couple of men are told off to crush them. They remove their boots and socks, and with bare feet (which in one case, to my certain knowledge, had not touched water for four years) they proceeded to fouler or squash the fruit. Then the mess was left to ferment. The fermentation is indicated by the bubbling and seething of the
matter: the village swains in their awkward coats and soft felt hats walked proudly by their side.
And with this pleasant picture in mind I must leave Flaujagues, in the hope that some day I may find my way to the sunny unspoiled village, and be greeted once more by the friendly voice of Alain Lafarge.
crushed grape and their juice, and at this stage so great is the amount of carbonic acid gas engendered that a lighted candle held two feet above the tub is instantly extinguished. The juice is then drawn off and the grapes conveyed to the pressoir, where they are further crushed by means of a screw and levers. The process in the case of white grapes is different. Here the fruit is put through the pressoir without going through the treading process, and although the men who work the press are barefooted, the white wine, I think, is the cleaner of the two. People say that all dirt or sediment comes to the surface before the wine is drawn off. Let us hope that it is so. I was compelled, from fear of offending, to sample a glass or two of the new wine. It was indescribably disagreeable and cloying. Still, when I drank the wine from the same grapes which had been a few years in bottle, I found it equal to any Margaux. Many a bottle of Lafarge's white wine have I drunk with him after a long day's shooting, and I do not think an Englishman has ever had better.
It is a curious fact that the village of Flaujagues is almost entirely Protestant. My host was Protestant,
although his wife was a Catholic. The mayor and his family were Protestants. There was a Protestant church (temple, as they will call it), which on Sundays was well attended. As Lafarge's house was just opposite, I was able to watch the people as they went there a dowdy lot. There were few men among them, but a little coloring was given the crowd by the village girls, who wore large sun-bonnets such as one still meets with in remote spots in England. On Sunday, however, these were of a superior quality, of mauve, blue, or pink crépon, embellished with many rows of embroidery and lace. They were very becoming to the wearers, who also covered their coarse hands with long suède gloves as fine as any lady's, and encased their feet in smart shoes. The cheap grey stays purchased at the village mercerie seemed hardly stout enough-but no
From The Sunday Magazine. IN BASHAN.
About twenty miles east of Jordan, and thirty miles south-east of the Lake, 'we reached the ruins of Jerash, in a well watered but treeless plain. It is quoted as "the most perfect Roman city left above ground." Yet it is scarcely ever mentioned in history. It was at the height of its glory in the days of Christ, and it proves that Bashan must have been then extremely fruitful and populous. The theatre at its gate-not the only one in Jerashcould seat five thousand people, and twenty-eight tiers of the stone seats are still perfect. Near it is a racecourse which could be filled with water for naval contests. The forum in front of the theatre is encircled by an Ionic colonnade, not unlike the piazza of St. Peter's at Rome. In front of it runs a street which might be called "straight." Its pavement is as deeply rutted as at Pompeii. It is a mile long, and has one hundred upright columns and many more prostrate. In all about three hundred columns still stand out white and glaring in the mile fierce sunshine.1 The city is a square, and its walls are eight feet thick. A gurgling stream rushes through the ruins to join the Biblical From Jerash we travelled Jabbok. north for a whole day over the tableIt resembled the land of the Hauran. plain of Philistia and the cultivated parts of Manitoba, and was then a green ocean of wheat and barley, soon to be "white unto harvest." For miles and miles we could not see one human habitation. But in harvest
1 A column-mania took possession of the Roman builders in the first centuries A. D.
tower for a vast circuit.
the Bedouins return and reap, while It has some their wives and daughters-Ruth-like five thousand inhabitants, and is the -glean after them. By noon we were seat of the Turkish governor. The at the tents of Beni-Sakhr, “the sons buildings are miserable vaults, and all of the rock." (Beni is just the "Mac" of one model. They are built of of our Highlanders.) By the side of basalt stones, which must have betheir tents lay the great Haj or pilgrim longed to much older edifices, as many route from Damascus to Mecca. It of them are elaborately carved. The is one of "the old paths" (Jeremiah vi. roofs are of stone, and built, like the 16), for it is the immemorial line of Forth Bridge, on the principle of the traffic through Baslan. There were, cantilever or bracket. The houses are I should think, about two hundred tracks, many of which ran into one another. An Arabic poet compares these parallel tracks to the bars of the rayed Arabic mantle. Mohammed made this pilgrimage a religious duty, and he who performs it is a Hadji, a pious person, and is considered safe for Paradise.
In 1893, no less than fifteen thousand were in the pilgrimage caravan which started from "the gate of God" at Damascus. It should be called "the gate of Death," some one has said, for thousands of the pilgrims leave their carcases in the wilderness, and they breed cholera, which spreads sometimes over Europe, while the health of others is injured by the shameful debaucheries at Mecca, which is one of the most vicious cities in the world. As in the march through the wilder ness, the Mecca pilgrims are guided by night by "a pillar of fire." An iron cage or grating, in which a fire is kept burning, is carried aloft in front. It lights the way, and offers a rallying point to the struggling host. We found that the wells on the route were stoutly padlocked, for the modern children of Ishmael imitate their forefathers, who sold water to their cousins the Children of Israel in the wilderness. Our day's journey ended at Ed Deraah, the site of Edrei, the capital and last battlefield of Og, King of Bashan. It is still the largest town in Bashan (Deut. iii. 10). It is exactly such a spot as a military eye would choose for a fortress. It is the only high hill in the plain, and is a watch
1 Haj is from the Hebrew hag, a religious pilgrimage, the very word used by Moses when he asked leave from Pharaoh to go into the wilder
thus veritable Stonehenges. But we
found none of the stone doors or windows that are common in other parts of the country. Some remnants of cyclopean masonry, however, suggested Bashan's "three score great cities 'with walls and brazen doors" (1 Kings iv. 13). But we were most interested in the old Edrei underground. It resembles the underground city at Beit Jibrin. It is hewn out of the soft limestone rock, and is first-rate work. It has rock-hewn streets, houses. shops, stairs, cisterns, pillars, airholes, a market-place, and plenty of water. It was possibly the labyrinthine residence of Og and his people in times of war. It is believed to be the work of the Amorites and Horims, "the giants" of Scripture (Deut. ii. 20). May there not be a reference to such hiding-places in Deut. vii. 20, and Joshua xxiv. 12, where we are told that hornets were sent among those who hid themselves from their pursuers? The only living things we found in underground Edrei were countless bats hanging from the roofs, like hams in a ham-curer's store. Underground Edrei was a fit residence for that mysterious king who appeals so powerfully to the imagination of our children. Many travellers have told extravagant stories about the mosquitoes and flies in Palestine, but our night experiences at Ed Deraah taught us to accept their testimonies. An old traveller, about 1000 A.D., wrote that, from the number of the fleas, the people at Tiberias must dance two months in the year. The author of "Eothen" tells us that in the morning he buttoned his coat over the fragments of himself, and pursued his journey.
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Dejected or exultant, bound or free,
At war with our whole selves with him to Ireland, oh Ireland! centre of my longings, Country of my fathers, home of my heart!
Thou knock'st at hidden doors, and mak'st Overseas you call me: Why an exile from
To crypts unvisited of Day.
Beneath thy smile bonds melt and break,
me? Wherefore sea-severed, long leagues apart?
As the shining salmon, homeless in the sea depths
Hears the river call him, scents out the land,
A night with thee a year's march nearer to Leaps and rejoices in the meeting of the
For which we were born.
No warning, no reproach, no scorn, Falls in thy glance of sympathy, Fair comrade of our liberty.
And so beneath thy gaze the homesteads sleep:
Peace and soft rest the pastures keep:
Boasts of a keener race exultingly;
And their mute pledge forgot, the forest trees
Breathe indiscreet forbidden mysteries. Out of the unexplored heath
Rise up strange folk that sleep beneath, And outcast curse and rebel shout
Salute thee as they join the grisly hunter's rout.
No secret, wild or mild, of any place can hide,
But must at thy soft touch confide.
So for my mad desires, my hopes unuttered, and my nameless goal I steer by thee, mute pilot of my soul. And unreproved by thee the lovers love and sing,
The rebels curse, the dreamer builds, the beggar is king.