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therefore, which I mentioned above, must have been cut, if not with iron, with brass. But this explanation rests on mere conjecture: it is more reasonable to suppose that a nation ignorant of iron, could not have supplied the artificers. We examined,' it is added, the construction of numerous
mummy cases, and boxes containing the sacred emblems of • the Egyptians; they were invariably fastened with wooden 'pegs, no nail of any description being visible.'
In their researches throughout the hundred-gated city, Captains Irby aud Mangles looked in vain for the remains of either walls or gates. They suggest it as by no means improbable, • that it was the numerous porticos, pylons, &c. of the Theban • temples, that gave to her the boasted reputation of a hun• dred gates, rather than any outlets to the city that ever existed. A characteristic specimen of the accuracy of the French savans, is mentioned in connexion with the circular astronomical table found on the cieling of the Temple of Isis at Tentyra, a monument of the same kind as the 'Isiac table 'at Turin.'
• It was in the cieling of the other half of this chamber, that Mr. Ruppell discovered a complete lunar system, which had totally escaped Denon and all the French savans.
Mr. R. took an exact copy of this interesting tablet, clearly making it to contain twelve moons and a bit of another, which no doubt was meant for the odd five days, as the twelve make three hundred and sixty. As this throws an additional light on the Egyptian mode of calculating the year, it is a matter of no small interest, and reflects the more credit on Mr. Ruppell, as so many travellers have examined this chamber, and this cir. cumstance never occurred to them. In the great French work, they have put down fourteen or fifteen moons, never having taken the trouble to count them.' p. 152.
We must take leave of Egypt, and, for the present, of Sir Frederick Henniker, who bids adieu to the least romantic but • most useful of rivers, as he terms the Nile, seemingly in a fit of ennui and satiety. There is,' he says, ''scarcely one spot • on its banks that would attract the attention of an artist, nor • an object of antiquity comparable to the Parthenon and Coli• sæum,'-notwithstanding that he was lost in admiration at Dendera, confessing that very few buildings afford as much delight as its temple, and still more enraptured at Ebsambal. The disparaging and indeed unsuitable comparison did not then occur to him. But now, Egypt is a bore, and the plague is beginning to shew itself at Cairo, which naturally enough increases our Baronet's eagerness to make his escape. He accepts the offer of a passage to Tor in his way to Mount Sinai. Very opposite is the feeling with regard to Egypt, expressed by Capt. Mangles.
Certainly, to an amateur of the picturesque, the ruins of Syria must have a decided advantage over those of Egypt, where an arid climate prevents the appearance of the least spot of verdure on a ruined fabric, be it ever so old. The traveller is, however, highly recompensed for this deficiency, by the comparatively high state of preservation in which he finds the Egyptian monuments, notwithstanding their superior antiquity; and I really believe that he who has once seen Egypt, will never feel equally interested in any other country. It is this feeling that has brought Mr. Bankes back to the Nile, after having explored Greece, Asia Minor, and the Archipelago; and he is now gone a second time to Thebes.'
182. Palestine has little to offer to the traveller in the shape of ancient monuments : the interest of the country rests almost entirely on historical associations. The slow hand of Time has been anticipated by the devastations of holy and unholy wars, and Crusaders have committed scarcely less ravages than the Moslems. Captains Irby and Mangles left Cairo on the 1st of October 1817; their plan was, to cross the desert on camels to Gaza, to visit the whole sea-coast up to Latachia, and thence to cross the mountains to Aleppo. The Letter which details this route, contains the least novelty of information. The country between Gaza and Jaffa has been fully described in the works of Dr. Richardson and Ali Bey. Between Jaffa and Tyre, the coast presents few stations of remarkable interest, and Pococke, Maundrell, Clarke, and Buckingham, have left little to be supplied with respect to these. The sites of some ancient towns still remain to be identified ; in particular, those of Eleutheropolis, Ekron, Apollonica, Antipatris, and Anthedon. But we find nothing in the present volume, adapted to throw much fresh light on the topography of this part of Palestine.
Our fellow-travellers proceeded along the coast as high as Tripoli, which they reached on the 18th day after leaving Gaza. They describe it as the neatest town they had seen in Syria : it is seated at the foot of the mountains, at some distance from the sea-shore. The port, an indifferent one, is nearly an hour's distance from the town, and all the way there are square towers, apparently of the time of the Crusades. The village of Eden, in the neighbourhood of which are the representatives of the ancient Cedars, is about ten hours from Tripoli : it is • delightfully situated, by the side of a rich and highly culti.vated valley,' and contains between four and five hundred families, who annually descend, however, on the approach of winter, to a village only an hour's distance from Tripoli, to pre
vent their being imprisoned in their mountain home by the
Eden is still called by the natives Aden. We transcribe the account of our Author's visit to the Cedars.
* Early on Friday morning, we set out by moonlight for the Cedars, and arrived a little after day light. The ascent from Eden is but little; the distance, allowing for the windings of the road, which is very rugged, and passes over occasional hill and dale, may be about five miles. On the right, higher up the mountain, is a larger and deeper vale than that of Eden, with the village of Beshiri in the bottom: this valley is very rich and picturesque. It is surrounded by lofty mountains, and is watered by a winding stream. It reminded us of the vale of the Dive in Savoy, and its “ Pont de Chevres." The famous Cedars of Lebanon are situated on a small eminence, in a valley at the foot of the highest part of the mountain. The land on the mountain's side has a sterile aspect, and the trees are remarkable by being altogether in one clump. From this spot, the Cedars are the only trees to be seen in Lebanon. There may be about fifty of them, but their present appearance ill corresponds to the character given of them in Scripture. There did not appear to be one tree among the whole, which had much merit, either for dimensions or beauty; the largest among them would appear to be the junction of four or five trunks in one tree. According to Maundrell, this is twelve yards in girth ; but we are much more inclined to agree with Volney than with Maundrell, in the description which these travellers have respectively given of the Cedars of Lebanon. Numerous names carved on the trunks of the greater trees, some of which are as far back as 1640, bear testimony to the curiosity of individuals to visit this interesting spot, which is nearly surrounded by the barren chain of Lebanon, in the form of an amphitheatre of about thirty miles circuit, the opening being towards the sea. We thought the tout ensemble more represented the Apennines at the back of Genoa, than any other mountain scenery we had witnessed.' pp. 209, 10.
We must confess that we are somewhat surprised at the respectful reference made to Volney's authority in more than one instance by these gentlemen; a traveller whose veracity is as suspicious as his accuracy. In the present instance, we are led to suspect that the Writer speaks from a very vague recollection of the description given by either Volney or Maundrell. The former contents himself with a sneer at the boasted cedars
- four or five large trees, the only ones remaining, and which •'have nothing in them particular, are not worth,' he says,' the
trouble you must take in climbing the precipices which lead to • them. This misrepresentation is in direct disagreement with the account given by the present Travellers. Maundrell says: • The noble trees grow amongst the snow near the highest part * of Lebanon, and are remarkable as well for their
and • largeness, as for those frequent allusions made to them in the • word of God. Here are some of them very old, and of a prodigious bulk, and others younger of a smaller size. Of the former I could reckon up only sixteen, and the latter are very numerous. I measured one of the largest, and found it twelve yards sixth inches in girth, and yet sound, and thirty-seven yards in the spread of its boughs. At above five or six yards . from the ground, it was divided into five limbs, each of which * was equal to a great tree.' This was in 1696. Pococke, one of the most learned and accurate travellers, describes them (in 1738) with greater minuteness. • The cedars,' he says, ' form
a grove about a mile in circumference, which consists of some • large cedars that are near to one another, a great number of 'young cedars, and some pines. The great cedars, at some
distance, look like very large spreading oaks ; the bodies of 'the trees are short, dividing at bottom into three or four, some
of which growing up together for about ten feet, appear some 'thing like those Gothic columns which seem to be composed
of several pillars. Higher up they begin to spread horizontally. One that had the roundest body, though not the largest, measured 24 feet in circumference; and another, with a • sort of triple body as described above, and of a triangular ' figure, measured 12 feet on each side. The young cedars are not easily known from pines : I observed they bear a greater quantity of fruit than the large ones. The wood does not differ from white deal in appearance, nor does it seem to be harder : it has a fine smell, but not so fragrant as the juniper • of America, which is commonly called Cedar; and it also • falls short of it in beauty. I took a piece of the wood from ' a great tree that was blown down by the wind, and left there 'to rot: there are fifteen large ones standing. This fallen tree makes up precisely Maundrell's sixteen, which shews the accuracy of that most honest Traveller. I observed,' adds Pococke, that cypress are the only trees that grow towards the ' top, which, being nipped by the cold, do not grow spirally, * but like small oaks ; and it may be concluded that this tree * bears cold better than any other*.' Possibly, the trees in question are of the species of cypress termed white cedar (Cupressus thyoides,) or Arbor-vitæ-leaved cypress. Some species of cypress, according to Pliny, was indigenous to Mount Ida, and grew on its highest point, though covered with snow; and some of the mountains in Persia are covered with cypress trees. The cedars grow in a plain between the highest parts of Mount Lebanon, on which the cypress, it seems, is found.
** A Description of the East,” &c. B. II. c. 5.
It is strange that no other traveller should have noticed this; especially as the apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus is a sufficient voucher for the fact that both
species were indigenous to these parts: "I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus,
and as a “ cypress-tree upon the mountains of Hermon.” (ch. xxiv. 13.) Mr. Jolliffe, who visited them in 1817, describes the trees as spread over a knoll of between three and four acres at a place called Areze*. Mr. Kinneir, who visited them in 1813, says: • The once celebrated cedars are now only to be found in one * particular spot of the great mountainous range which bears • the name of Libanus, and that in so scanty a number as not * to exceed four or five hundred.+ Burckhardt thus describes them in 1810.
• They stand on uneven ground, and form a small wood. Of the oldest and best looking trees, I counted eleven or twelve ; twenty-five were very large ones ; about fifty of middling size ; and more than three hundred smaller and young ones. The oldest trees are distinguished by having the foliage and small branches at the top only, and by four, five, or even seven trunks springing from one base. The branches and foliage of the other were lower, but I saw none whose leaves touched the ground, like those in Kew Gardens. The trunks of the old trees are covered with the names of travellers and other persons who have visited them. I saw a date of the seventeenth century. The trunks of the oldest trees seem to be quite dead; the wood is of a gray tint. I took off a piece of one of them, but it was afterwards stolen.' “ Travels in Syria.” p. 19.
Lastly, Dr. Richardson, in 1818, thus describes the spot.
• From the towering height of this snow-covered mountain, we beheld the sea with clouds hanging over it; the irregular mountain foreground, that concealed the plains of Tripoli
, and seemed to stretch on to the ocean ; the delightful village of Eden and numerous other villages that covered the sides, or occupied the base, of a deep and fertile ravine, with a profusion of walnut and mulberry trees; all of which, seen from the summit of the far-famed Lebanon, formed a most enchanting prospect, which we quit with reluctance. The descent is rather precipitous, and winds, by a long circuitous direction, down the side of the mountain. In a few minutes we came in sight of the far-famed cedars that lay down before us on our right. The natives call them Arselibân. At first, they appeared like a dark spot on the base of the mountain, and afterwards like a clump of dwarfish shrubs that possessed neither dignity nor beauty, nor any thing that 'entitled them to a visit, but the name. In about an hour and a
* Eclectic Review, Vol. XIII.