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Paul

'we reached them. They are large, and tall, and beautiful, the most picturesque productions of the vegetable world that we had seen. There are in this clump two generations of trees; the oldest are large and massy, rearing their heads to an enormous height, and spreading their branches afar. We measured one of them, which we afterwards saw was not the largest in the clump, and found it thirtytwo feet in circumference. Seven of these trees have a particularly ancient appearance: the rest are younger, but equally tall, though, for want of space, their branches are not so spreading. The clump is 80 small, that a person may walk round it in half an hour. The old cedars are not found in any other part of Lebanon. Young trees are occasionally met with; they are very productive, and cast many seeds annually.' Travels along the Mediterranean. Vol. II. pp. 512, 13.

It seems from this account, that, of the sixteen patriarchs mentioned by Maundrell and Pococke, seven only survive; and probably, in less than a century, not one of these sylvan monuments will be standing. Volney, it is charitable to suppose, saw them only from a great distance, when they might have the appearance he describes, as they had at first to Dr. Richardson : one would think he could not have visited the spot. For the representation given by Captain Mangles, we cannot account; it is so incorrect in many respects, and the reference to Volney casts suspicion on the whole. Of one thing we can assure these gentlemen, that the Eden of Lebanon, though, in all probability, the same that is referred to by Ezekiel, (ch. xxxi. 8, 9.) is not the same Eden as that from which our first parents were expelled.

We have possibly bestowed more than proportionate attention on this subject; for, after all, the only fact of any importance in connexion with Scripture illustration, is that of the cedar's being indigenous to the mountains of Lebanon. This being incontestible, whether the cedars at present to be found there are older or younger, is a point of little moment. No one imagines, we presume, that there is any thing miraculous in their preservation, or that these old cedars were standing in King Solomon's days. The oldest cedars in this kingdom date not above a hundred and fifty years back: they are supposed to reach their maturity in less than three centuries. There can be little doubt, that the mountains of Libanus were formerly clothed with far nobler specimens of this majestic tree than any which are at present to be seen there. But now, " Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon " languisheth.” The ax has been busy there during nearly three thousand years, and the torch of war has made still wider desolation. As a specimen of the discrepancies in tra. vellers' stories, the differing accounts are not a little curious...

Vol. XXI. N.S.

Captains Irby and Mangles visited Balbec, and then returned to Tripoli, whence they started for Aleppo. They passed through Latachia, the ancient Laodicea, where there appear to be some interesting antiquities, and in the neighbourhood some sepulchral caves ; but, • as they have no paintings,' say our Travellers, we did not think it worth while to visit them. A strange reason, were it not that they were fresh from Nubia. Here again we are provokingly referred to the romancing Frenchman for further information. The banks of the Orontes are described as far exceeding in beauty, the expectation of the Travellers. .

We now began to follow the banks of the river, and were astonished at the beauty of the scenery, far surpassing any thing we expected to see in Syria, and indeed, any thing we had witnessed even in Switzerland, though we walked nine hundred miles in that country, and saw most of its beauty. The river, from the time we began to trace its banks, ran continually between two high hills, winding and turning incessantly : at times the road led along precipices in the rocks, looking down perpendicularly on the river. The luxuriant variety of foliage was prodigious, and the rich green myrtle, which was very plentiful, contrasted with the colour of the road, the soil of which was a dark red gravel, made us imagine we were riding through pleasure-grounds. The laurel, laurestinus, bay-tree, fig-tree, wild vine, plane-tree, English sycamore, arbutus, both common and andrachne, dwarf oak, &c. were scattered in all directions. At times the road was overhung with rocks covered with ivy; the mouths of caverns also presented themselves, and gave a wildness to the scene; and the perpendicular cliffs jutted into the river upwards of three hundred feet high, forming corners round which the waters ran in a most romantic manner. We descended at times into plains cultivated with mulberry plantations and vines, and prettily studded with picturesque cottages. The occasional shallows of tbe river keeping up a perpetual roaring, completed the beauty of this scene, which lasted about two hours, when we entered the plain of Suadeah (Seleucia,) where the river becomes of a greater breadth, and runs in as straight a line as a canal.' pp. 225, 6.

The Authors express their regret at not having been able to visit the ruins of the city and groves of Daphne, for want of a guide, which it was impossible to procure. Pococke says: * The place called Battelma, about five miles south of Antioch, • must have been Daphne, about which there are several foun• tains: the palace of Daphne is placed, in the Jerusalem Itine• rary, five miles from Antioch in the way to Latachia.' Battelma, our Travellers do not mention : they probably left it to their right, as Pococke mentions a road different from that which he took, which goes over the eastern side of Mount Cassius, and to the west of a village called Ordou, and soon

after joins the other road. If Pococke's Ordou be Captain M.'s Lourdee, (no violent conjecture,) this must have been their route. At Aleppo, they found Mr. Bankes, then on his way to re visit Nubia. He paid our Travellers the compliment to say, he wished they might travel together, as he heard we ! were the only travellers he had met with, who go after is

method.' What this method is, we regret that our Authors have not thought proper to explain. They had entertained an idea of visiting Bagdad and Babylon, as had Mr. Bankes; but a letter shewn them by the Dutch consul, assured them that • there is nothing whatever to be seen there, and, strange to say, on this assurance, they contentedly gave up the plan. There are not paintings, or temples, or pyramids, assuredly; yet, we should have imagined that Mr. Bankes might have found work there, and that the banks of the Tigris had been worth seeing.

At Hamah, they witnessed a melancholy scene, a specimen of the Turkish slave-trade. Eleven Georgian girls, the remnant of between forty and fifty who had been kidnapped, were brought in to be sold to such wealthy Turks as could afford to bid high enough. They were mostly between fifteen and twenty years of age; two were about twelve ; • all exceedingly

pretty, with black sparkling eyes, rosy cheeks, long black hair, and very fair complexion, giving a very strong contradiction to what Volney writes of the Georgian and Circassian ! women. One of these poor girls had no lower a price put upon her than £252. • They were all taken out four different

times, and conducted through the town to the rich Turkish * houses, to be viewed and bid for, the same as any other mer"chandise.' In this manner, they had been exposed for sale at all the principal towns as they came along ; they had been conducted on horseback, but their diet was of a piece with their brutal treatment in other respects. They were now destined for Damascus.

Palmyra, our Travellers represent as much less worth seeing than Balbec, and altogether • hardly worthy of the time, ex' pense, anxiety, and fatiguing journey through the wilderness,' they had incurred in order to visit it. The plates of Wood and Dawkins, they complain,' have done but too much justice to the originals.'

Great was our disappointment, when, on a minute examination, we found that there was not a single column, pediment, architrave, portal, frieze, or any architectural remnant worthy of admiration. None of the columns exceeded in diameter four feet, or in height forty feet. Taken as a tout ensemble, these ruins are certainly more remarkable, by reason of their extent, (being nearly a mile and a

half in length,) than any we have witnessed'; and, exclusive of the Arab village of Tadmor, which occupies the peristyle court of the Temple of the Sun, and the Turkish burying-place, there are no obstructions whatever to the antiquities. Take any part of the ruins separately, and they excite but little interest.' p. 270.

The tombs, however, were found very interesting, and differed in their construction from any thing they had seen, consisting of a number of square towers, three, four, and five stories high.

• There are generally five sepulchral chambers one over the other, and on each side are eight recesses, each divided into four or five parts for the reception of corpses; the lower chamber, in some instances, fronts an excavation in the side of the hill contiguous to it.

The best of these lower apartments which we saw are very handsome, the sides being ornamented with sculpture and fluted Corinthian pilasters, though the walls were plain white stucco, without any figuresor emblematical representation. The cieling, on which the paint is still very perfect, is ornamented, like that of the peristyle court of the Temple of the Sun at Baalbec, with the heads of different heathen deities, and disposed in diamond-shaped divisions. We were much interested by the remains of some of the mummies and mummy cloths, which appear to have been preserved very much after the manner of the Egyptians, only that the gum had lost all that odour, resembling frankincense, which we noticed in Egypt. We found a hand in tolerable preservation. But after all, you must not imagine that these sepulchres are in any way so interesting as those of Egypt. You here look in vain for those beautiful paintings, &c. which so well portray the manners and customs of the ancients. We observed the marble folding-doors, still erect, of some of the grander tombs situated in the town ; these latter are much dilapidated : the doors were carved in pannels, but ill executed and unpolished.-We agree with Mr. Bankes, that many of the small square rows of columns which Wood and Dawkins suppose to have inclosed temples, were no other than the open court of private edifices which inclosed fountains.”

pp. 271, 2. · For an account of Damascus, we are briefly' referred to Maundrell; a good example for travellers who have really nothing new to tell us. From Damascus, Captains Irby and Mangles proceeded to Jerusalem.

At Om Keis (or Oom Kais), by Mr. Buckingham supposed to be Gamala, but by Mr. Bankes, as well as by Seetzen, concluded to be Gadara,* the party were kindly received by the

* In an article written against Mr. Buckingham in the Quarterly. Review, No. lii., his reasons for supposing Domkais to be Gamala, are treated with haughty contempt; the Reviewer attributing them

Shiekh of the natives, who inhabit the ancient sepulchres. The • tomb we lodged in,' says Capt. M., 'was capable of con' taining between twenty and thirty people: it was of an s oblong form ; and the cattle, &c. occupied one end, while • the proprietor and his family lodged in the other.' In exploring the ruins of the ancient Scythopolis, (Bisan, Bethsan,) they found several sculls in a concealed vomitory of the theatre, in one of which 'a viper was basking, with his • body twisted between the eyes.' In a plain to the west of the ruined modern village of · Tabathat Fahkil,' they noticed the ruins of a square building, with a semi-circular end, which appears to have been surrounded with columns; and on the East and South sides of the hill are considerable ruins of some ancient city of great extent.

.The situation is beautiful, being on the side of a ravine, with a picturesque stream running at the bottom. As this place appears to be as ancient as the ruins of Scythopolis, and full two thirds of its size, it appears unaocountable that history should not mention a place 80 near « the principal city of the Decapolis” (Gadara) as this is. We searched for inscriptions, but in vain. The ruins of a fine temple are situated near the water side, and among the columns are discovered the three orders of architecture, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.-The river passing to the South, finally communicates with the Jordan. p. 304.

to obliquity of intellect,' and suppressing Mr. B.'s arguments. D'Anville, following Pliny, places Gadara on the Hieromax, and says that it is now called Kedar. From Capt. Mangles's account, the site in question is at some distance from the plain of the Yarmack, and between Om Keis and Kedar there seems no traceable resem. blance. He notices' a small ancient site' on the banks of the river, but says: It contains · nothing of interest : the map marks it Amatha. That Oom Kais is in “ the country of the Gadarenes;” there is no question. Mr. Buckingham notices the circumstance, though the Reviewer represents him as ignorant of the fact. In the opinion, that it is the site of Gamala, Mr. B. is not singular. Burck. hardt says, I am doubtful to what ancient city the ruins of Om Keis are to be ascribed.' On which his Editor has this note : " It was probably Gamala, which Josephus describes as standing upon a mountain bordered by precipices.' Pliny and Jerome are both cited as authorities for the different position of Gadara. The former says: Gadara Hieromiace præterfluente. Jerome describes it as urbs trans Jordanem contra Scythopolin et Tiberiadem ad orientalem plagam, sita in monte ad cujus radices aquce calidæ erumpunt, balneis super edificatis. El Hossn, Mr. Bankes's Gamala, Burkhardt con: jectures to be the remains of Regaba or Argob. Amatha is sup. posed to have been Szalt. May not Gadara be, after all, the ancient site' on the Yarmack ?

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