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of the great Temple of Baal. This is per- phia are appealed to for an interpretation haps the most beautiful part of the ruins ; ihereof, but two words are all that they at a little distance to the north-west is an can decipher. exquisite small temple in almost perfect The ruins of Palmyra swarm with anpreservation, and a few steps from the cient inscriptions, both in Palmyrene (i.c., tent-doors, in the opposite direction, rises Aramaic) and in Greek uocials. The a graceful arch enriched with beautifully Greek inscriptions are the terror of Soelaborated sculpture.
phia and Sebaste, who are expected by As soon as they are rested our friends the rest to decipher them for the general set forth to explore the great Temple of benefit. It is a pathetic sight to see the Baal, the sun-god. There rises before miserable Sebaste held in position, by them a huge wall seventy feet high, en- moral coercion, before one of them, and closing a square court of which the side given to understand by her inexorable is seven hundred and forty feet long. Part elders that there is no escape for her till of the wall, having fallen into ruins, has she has read it. been rebuilt from the ancient materials ; but the whole of the north side, with its The only water to be obtained at Pal. beautiful pilasters, remains perfect. As myra smells and tastes strongly of sulphur, the visitors enter the court they stand still but one gets used to little details of this in astonishment at the extraordinary sight kind; and one of the most delectable which meets their eyes; for here, crowded things in the place is a copious subterrawithin those four high walls, is the native nean spring of clear water which is really village of Tadmor. It was natural enough warm, but which, when the thermometer for the Arabs to build their mud-huts announces over 90° Fahr. in the shade, within these ready-made fortifications, but seems by contrast deliciously cool. The the impression produced by such a village entrance to the cave has been anciently in such a place is indescribably strange. closed with a roughly built dome, only a The temple, so to speak, is eaten out at narrow space being left as an entrance. the core, and little but the shell remains. The first time the travellers visit this cave, But here and there a fluted Corinthian they arrive almost simultaneously with a column or group of columns, with entab- little procession of Arabesses from the lature still perfect, rises in stately grace village. A little girl dances in front with far over the wretched huts, the rich, very graceful movements, and next comes creamy color of the limestone aod the a tall negress who beats a tambourine beautiful mouldings of the capitals con- with great vigor, and from time to time trasting with the clear blue of the cloud- utters the quavering shriek which, among less sky. The best view of the whole is Arab folk, is an expression of joy. She to be obtained from the roof of the naos, is the nurse of the two girls who follow, which, once beautiful and adorned with escorted by several others. These two sculpture, is now all battered and defaced, are native brides, and the object of the and has been metamorphosed into a procession is to bring them on this their squalid little mosque. To describe the wedding day to bathe at the spring. The view from that roof were indeed a hopeless English ladies beg to be admitted to see task. High into the clear blue air and this ceremony, and the favor is granted, the golden sunshine rise the stately col. but not before they have, by request, reumos; crowded and jumbled and heaped moved their hats and kefiyehs, that the together below, untouched by the gladden- Arabesses may behold their long hair, ing sunbeams, upfreshened by the pure, and be thereby assured of their femifree air, lies all the squalor and wretched- ninity. ness of an Arab mud-hut village.
It is indeed a delightful place for bathFour more delightful days are spent at ing. At a little distance from the enPalmyra, in wandering about among the trance the bottom suddenly shelves down, graceful ruins, and in growing familiar and you find yourself quite out of your with what were once the stateliest build. depth, and can strike out into the deepenings of that lordly city. After much ing twilight, and swim on and on into the searching among the widely scattered darkness till nothing remains of the glar. chaos, they at length discover what is ing sunshine without but a doubtful gleam thought to be the doorway of an ancient of daylight far away ; and still you may Jewish synagogue, and there on the lintel swim on and on, and still the deep stream and doorpost, according to that ancient lengthens out into the gloom and seems command, are inscribed in Hebrew some to have no end, even as doth this present words from the Law. The sister and So- paper. Ah, good reader, would that thy
patience were inexhaustible! Then would steps; it is hard to discover that the path I further tell of break-neck descents into one has been eagerly pursuing is, after all, subterranean tombs, and the discovery only a by-way leading off the main road! therein of many ancient sculptures on Wherefore our friends do not start on the huge slabs of stone, and many ancient day's march in their usual gleeful mood, skeletons crumbling into dust at the slight- but ride soberly and silently through the est touch ; of the ascent to the mediæval desert plain. Even Hassan has so far castle which (built, saith tradition, by a forgotten himself as to behave for once Druse prince and refugee) stands on the like a reasonable being. summit of the highest and boldest of the On this morning the travellers are acneighboring hills; of the going down into companied by a charming little sheep (or the deep moat thereof; of the final clam- large lamb) purchased from an Arab at bering progress up the face of the rock Tadmor. Ít trots along after them in the from which the castle towers aloft, and most confiding manner, though quite at of the marvellous view from the topmost liberty to bolt into the desert and attempt turret. But, alas ! even that memorable an escape. In the evening there is a sharp gallop over the desert to the eastward shower of rain (an extraordinary occur. salt lakes must go uncelebrated and underence in these regions), whereupon this scribed.
small sheep walks into Irene's tent and The last evening at Tadmor in the wil. there reposes on the carpet till the shower derness sinks down into night. The bril. is over. Later on it even trots into the liant moonlight illumines the ruins of the sitting-tent during supper; but the father, ancient city as once its stately and popu. mindful of certain future repasts, steroly lous youth, and rests calm and peaceful forbids his daughters to make a pet of it. over the long line of the Grand Colonnade, So“ Irene's little lamb” is led off by the more ethereally beautiful now, maybe, ear to the tent of that villainous old Abu than when fresh and new in Hadrian's Elias, the cook, and is seen no more ; or, days. They are haunted, those forest-like as Sebaste more accurately expresse sit, columos, graceful arches, and scattered he appears not again quà sheep. heaps of fragments; the semblance of a The most exciting event of this first royal lady glides among them with sad day's march is the discovery of three but stately step. Weeping over her city's large greenish-grey eggs left on the ground downfall, so like her own, sharing its des. at some little distance from one another, olate sorrow as once its pride and glory, and with not the slightest pretence of a Aits here and there the mournful ghost of nest anywhere near. Cæsar pronounces Zenobia, the queen of the East. It is them to be the eggs of a vulture, and great her story which gives so pathetic ao inter is the elation of the travellers at the disest to these ancient ruins, far away in the covery of such a treasure; which elation lonely eastern deserts, and that haunting is much increased when forth from one of shadow which makes it so hard to say, as the eggs there begins to make itself heard say we must - Farewell to Palmyra. a plaintive chirp, and in its shell is de
scried a small hole, which is gradually enlarged by a small beak pecking thereat
from the inside. Very tenderly does the RETURN FROM PALMYRA.
father carry these treasures to the tents DURING the stay of our friends at Tad at the White Khan, and there bestow them mor, many are the suggestive remarks in a biscuit-tin filled with cotton-wool. made by the younger members of the Next morning at breakfast the supposed party relative to the attractions of Bagdad vultureling is found to be subdued and and the Euphrates, which latter is only silent, whereupon great anxiety prevails as four days' journey from their present to his health, and an appeal is made to the abode. Unfortunately the elders, being sister, who, being a trained nurse, is able swayed by certain prosaic considerations to doctor anything, from a camel to an of no interest to any one, do not respond Arab baby. She forth with gives the pato these wistful hints; and so it comes to tient a warm bath in her teacup, and her pass that on Monday, May 12th, our wan- efforts are regarded by a grateful little derers set forth on the return journey to speech (all on one note, and that a squeaky Baalbek. They rise at about four o'clock, one) through the window of his abode. and when the sun is up, reluctantly turn Moreover, a second egg now begins to their faces westward, feeling convinced show signs of vital activity. It, too, has that they will never see Palmyra again. a voice of its own, and on its surface also It is sad to turn back and retrace one's a chink can presently be discerned. This
state of things continues till the midday aim at being as idiotic as possible, and halt, when, after much controversy as to eminently succeed. whether the eldest chick should not be At other times the sister charmingly regiven a start in life and helped out, the cites ballads for the benefit of the other sister carefully peels off the shell and re- riders; but perhaps the most acceptable leases what proves to be a hopeful young entertainment is that supplied by Cæsar bustard. But, alas ! he proves also to be and Sheikh Nasr, when they get up a in an unfinished condition, and the follow- tournament for the amusement of their ing night be dies, as does also his un. English frieods, charging one another at hatched brother ! This is the second full gallop, chasing one another like the tragedy of the return journey.
wind, wheeling about with astonishing On the Wednesday evening our friends swiftness, and generally displaying very find themselves once more at Karyatên, fine horsemanship, sometimes, more. where Hur Ibrahim kindly welcomes them. over, making quite intelligible speeches in The ladies seize this opportunity of re- the language of gesticulation. turning the call of the sheikh's family, “ Cæsar would make his fortune on the and seeing their friends at home. The stage !” exclaims Philippa.
“ Look at sheikh's house is a very extensive one, him now, bearing down upon Sheikh Nasr and the visitors are entertained in a large with eyes flashing wrath, and his sword room furnished with divans, carpets, etc. held like a spear above his head !” Mrs. Sheikh herself carries round the Cæsar dasbes to the side of the sheikh, rose-sherbet, followed by the pretty daugh- and glaring into his face, makes the fol. ter before mentioned, who holds a large lowing speech without uttering a word. napkin of very delicate material, on which “ Thou and I, O sheikh, are deadly foes. the visitors are expected to dry their lips. When I meet thee alone, I will seize thee The sister carries on an Arabic conversa. by the throat. I will wring thy neck with tion with the sheikh, and many polite my hands, and leave thee dead on the things are said, which unfortunately are ground !”. rather lost on the rest of the English vis. As for Sheikh Nasr, he can tell quite a itors.
long story in sign-language. Some years For the next three days, divergiog from ago he made a journey to Odessa to visit the scarcely perceptible track which leads by invitation a certain Russian prince, towards Damascus, our friends travel over and very interesting is his account of his ground never (says Cæsar) traversed by experiences on shipboard. Europeans, and througb places quite un- “Why, it is the very words of the recognized by guide-books. Even the Psalm !” exclaims Philippa; and in fact Cæsar has never been here before, and the sheikh, though perfectly silent, is Sheikh Nasr only once. The last days clearly speaking on this wise: of desert-travel have now arrived. The “We mounted up to heaven," says he ; Palmyrene excursion has been eminently we went down again to the depths. The successful, the only disappointment being ship reeled to and fro, and staggered like that the travellers have not fallen in with a drunken man; and as for me any large number of Bedouin folk. Once, Here he lays his head down on his horse's indeed, they find themselves not very far neck, and looks as though his soul were from a Bedouin camp, which they might indeed melting because of trouble. visit by making a detour of two hours or Sometimes the sister converses with thereabout. Unfortunately this would in. Sheikh Nasr in Arabic, and in the course volve the loss of a day; for whenever the of these conversations it is discovered Bedouin see visitors approaching, they in- thai he is the nephew of that Sheikh stantly kill a sheep, and by no possibility Miguel who was married to an English can you bring your call to an end until lady of rank. It is also discovered that, you have feasted thereupon, which rule for all his gentleness, he thinks very little of good manners necessitates a certain of making a descent on a hostile camp, expenditure of time. Wherefore, to the taking with him five or six hundred horseinconsolable disappointment of some of men, and making a clean sweep of all their the party, the Bedouin project is given up. possessions; and you would believe him,
An account of the desert-marches would too, if you were to see his fine face lightbe incomplete without some description of ing up with the “joy of battle," and his the devices to which our friends resort in dark eyes sparkling and flashing as he order to enliven the monotony of the long remembers these exploits. But he cannot rides. When feeling particularly puerile be persuaded to describe them in detail. they propound impromptu riddles, which it is strange, after such an admission, to
see the kindliness and courtesy where the present paper having been submitted with, when the cavalcade arrives at the to the searching criticism of the practicalcamping-ground, he advances to the fa- minded Philippa, she pronounces that ther's palanquin, takes bim in his arms, "there is no backbone in it.”. By way of and lifts him to the ground, carrying him supplying this lamentable defect, we will with the utmost gentleness, and apparently now conclude with one of her own emi. with no effort at all. Then, with stately nently vertebrate descriptions, extracted grace, he will move toward whichever of from the pages of the family journal:the ladies is still on horseback, aod, si. “On Ascension day (May 15th), leaving lently laying one hand on her rein, will Karyatên, we rode across the desert westpoint with the other to his own shoulder, wards, and in about two hours began to meaning that she is to lean thereon as she ascend the lower slopes of the mountains dismounts.
bounding it in that direction. A picturThe travellers now find themselves once esque little couple on a donkey, a mother more in a region of villages, which are in and her son (a boy of about thirteen), came teresting in their way, though most of our with us from Karyatên as far as the first friends look back with regret to the time village we reached, in order that they when they sometimes travelled all day might have the benefit of our protection without seeing a human being except on the road. Besides themselves, the untheir own people, and camped at night fortunate little donkey seemed to be carry. under an unbroken expanse of sky, suring a stock of things for sale, and some rounded on all sides by the vast tracts of household goods into the bargain. El the lonely desert. It is exceedingly amus. Breij, where we camped that night, looked ing to arrive at a village where Euro very picturesque as we approached it, peans are an altogether unknown curiosity. lying as it does near the eastern slope of Nearly the whole population come forth the Anti-Lebanon. The village seems to witnoss the arrival, and follow the out. miserable enough when one gets near, but landish creatures to their tent doors, where the people who crowded to see us seemed they stand in mute astonishment watching healthy, and most of them very goodwith wide-open, serious eyes the progress looking. El Breij is on the way from of afternoon tea. By this line of conduct Damascus to Homs, and a carriage road they give to the strangers the best possible is actually in process of being made be. opportunity of gazing at them, and the tween the two cities. English folk are never weary of admiring “ The next day we had a beautiful ride their graceful attitudes, picturesque through mountainous country. Our route dresses, and (sometimes) very beautiful lay along a wady which traverses this faces. Children almost always predomi- part of Anti-Lebanon ; further on it devel. nate, and very charming children they are, ops into a splendid gorge, whose rocky, especially the little girls, some of whom mountainous sides are very grand. About are wonderfully handsome. If you leave seven hours' ride brought us to Ras Baalyour tent door open you are sure to have bek, a village on the western slopes of a whole ring of these little Arabesses the Anti-Lebanon, from whence one looks gathered round it, and watching your across the valley to the snowy ridges of movements with the profoundest admira. Lebanon. tion. Their mothers and grown-up sisters “Next morning we started for Baalbek, also take a very deep interest in the En. and rode all day along the valley, which glish ladies and their strange attire, and takes a south-westerly direction. The are never tired of stroking their silk mountain ranges on either side are very kefiyehs, marvelling at the astonishingly beautiful; there is a good deal of snow fair hair of some of them, and pitying even on the lower ridges of the Lebanon, their sunburnt faces. They are always and it has not yet disappeared from the most anxious to know what relations they Anti-Lebanon range. We had beautiful are to one another, and it becomes impera- views of the Mount Sunin (over eightytively necessary to learn sufficient Arabic five hundred feet high), and far away in wherewith to explain, with the help of the distance we at last saw Mount Hermon signs, that they are four sisters with their again. A good part of our path lay by the father, and a friend. When asked after side of a stream which comes from one of their mother, they point to the ground, the sources of the Orontes, and flows in and are answered by sad faces of intelli. a northerly direction till, joined by other gent sympathy.
streams, it forms that river. In this The journey from Palmyra to Baalbek stream we saw a snake of a tawny-brown has now been more or less described; but I color swimming at full speed, till, perceiv
ing us, he went to the bottom and lay block of stone, the mighty shafts are each there, refusing to stir for any amount of composed of three blocks, and the entabstones thrown at him. A handsome tor- lature, reaching from column to column, toise was picked up this morning, and of one block. There were originally fifty. Irene has decided to appropriate him; so four such columns. we have another travelling companion, To any one standing at the lower level whose constitution, it is hoped, will prove of the Temple of the Sun, it is indescribtougher than that of the infant bustard. ably impressive to look upward at the
* At last, as we came round the should stately giants that remain, conspicuous der of a hill, we had a beautiful view of against the clear blue sky, the rich tiats our destination, the ruins of Baalbek." of the stone made more resplendeat by
But they must be relegated to the next the golden Syrian sunshine. chapter.
After long wandering about the great Temple of Baal, ever discovering fresh fragments of deep mouldings and exqui
site sculpture, the travellers walk round BAALBEK AND THE LEBANON.
on the outside of the exterior walls of the Not more than one clear day can be platform on which the temple stands, till devoted to Baalbek. Our friends visit first they reach the western side. Here the the enormous hewn stone (shaped, but not wall rises about fifty feet above the surentirely detached) left in the quarry by the face of the ground, and contains the three ancient Phænician builders, and intended, huge stones of world-wide renown. They apparently, for the unfinished north wall are each from sixty-three to sixty-four feet of the platform on which stands the great long, and in height and thickness thirteen Temple of Baal. It is 68 feet long, 14 feet feet. They are raised to a height of 2 inches high, and 13 feet 1 inches broad, twenty feet above the ground. Immedicontaining over thirteen thousand cubic ately beneath them is a course of masonry feet.
wherein each stone is about thirty feet As for the ruins of the great temples, long and thirteen feet high. The whole although far less extensive than those of of this platform is of unknown antiquity, Palmyra, they are immeasurably grander, built probably by the ancient Phænicians. and are the most beautiful ruins ever be Thence they go to visit the beautiful held by our travellers, though not fasci- little Temple of Venus, which stands at natingly weird and strange, like the more some distance from the others, but is of ancient Egyptian temples. The visitors the same age and style. Very beautiful it first explore the vaults in some of the looks, with its rich mouldings lit up by massive substructures, which contain the evening sunshine, and contrasting with Phænician masonry of unknown antiquity, the vivid green of the surrounding trees. dating from a period far more remote than Thus ends our travellers' one view of that of the classic temples above, built in some of the most marvellous ruins in the the days of Antoninus Pius. Emerging world. To see them thoroughly in so from these vaults, they turn to the Temple short a time is a manifest impossibility, of the Sun, with its stately colonnade of but even so superficial an examination Corinthian columns sixty-five feet high leaves a profound impression not to be supporting a sculptured roof of wonderful easily obliterated. richness. Then, passing through the A very sad thing has to be done in the beautiful entrance in the eastern face, they course of this day – viz., saying good-bye stand in bewildered admiration of the pro- to Sheikh Nasr, who is departing for fusion of interior sculptures, fragments of Beyrout. He comes into the sitting-tent, which are beautifully preserved.
and silently taking the hand of each one Next they make their way to the great of the travellers, kisses his or her right Temple of Baal, and marvel most of all at shoulder, and so departs. This leavethe remaining six columns of its immense taking throws somewhat of a shadow over colonnade. Each column has a circum- the day, which should have been an espe. ference of twenty-two feet, and their height cially merry one, seeing that it is Cæsar's (including base and Corinthian capital) is birthday. Returning from the ruins a seventy-five feet. They are furthermore little before sunset, the travellers find him crowned by an entablaiure fourteen feet entertaining quite a crowd of congratulathigh, which, with its deep moulding and ing friends and cousins, who sit round in profusion of sculptured ornament, is said a ring in front of the sitting.tent, with to be hardly surpassed in the world. The Cæsar in the middle. capitals and bases are each but a single " This lady speaks Greek, Miss Se.