wading into the sea to carry us ashore on their backs from the small boats. CHAPTER VIII. This is royal! Let those who went up through Spain make the best of it– these dominions of the Emperor of Morocco suit our little 315 party well enough.
We have had enough of Spain at Gibraltar for the present.
Tangier is the spot we have been longing for all the time.
Elsewhere we have found foreignlooking things and foreign-looking people, but always with things and people intermixed that we were familiar with before, and so the novelty of the situation lost a deal of its force.
We wanted something thor316 oughly and uncompromisingly foreign–foreign from top to bottom–foreign from center to circumference–foreign inside and outside and all around–nothing anywhere about it to dilute its foreignness– nothing to remind us of any other people or any other land under the sun.
And lo! In Tangier we have found it.
Here is not the slightest thing that ever we have seen save in pictures–and 317 we always mistrusted the pictures before.
We cannot anymore.
The pictures used to seem exaggerations–they seemed too weird and fanciful for reality.
But behold, they were not wild enough–they were not fanciful enough–they have not told half the story.
Tangier is a foreign land if ever there was one, and the true spirit of it can never be found in any book save The Arabian Nights. 318 Here are no white men visible, yet swarms of humanity are all about us.
Here is a packed and jammed city enclosed in a massive stone wall which is more than a thousand years old.
All the houses nearly are one-and two-story, made of thick walls of stone, plastered outside, square as a drygoods box, ﬂat as a ﬂoor on top, no cornices, whitewashed all over–a crowded city 319 of snowy tombs! And the doors are arched with the peculiar arch we see in Moorish pictures; the ﬂoors are laid in varicolored diamond ﬂags; in tesselated, many-colored porcelain squares wrought in the furnaces of Fez; in red tiles and broad bricks that time cannot wear; there is no furniture in the rooms (of Jewish dwellings) save divans– what there is in Moorish ones no man may 320 know; within their sacred walls no Christian dog can enter.
And the streets are oriental– some of them three feet wide, some six, but only two that are over a dozen; a man can blockade the most of them by extending his body across them.
Isn’t it an oriental picture? There are stalwart Bedouins of the desert here, and stately Moors proud of a history 321 that goes back to the night of time; and Jews whose fathers ﬂed hither centuries upon centuries ago; and swarthy Riﬃans from the mountains–born cut-throats–and original, genuine Negroes as black as Moses; and howling dervishes and a hundred breeds of Arabs–all sorts and descriptions of people that are foreign and curious to look upon.
And their dresses are strange beyond 322 all description.
Here is a bronzed Moor in a prodigious white turban, curiously embroidered jacket, gold and crimson sash, of many folds, wrapped round and round his waist, trousers that only come a little below his knee and yet have twenty yards of stuﬀ in them, ornamented scimitar, bare shins, stockingless feet, yellow slippers, and gun of preposterous length–a mere soldier!– 323 I thought he was the Emperor at least.
And here are aged Moors with ﬂowing white beards and long white robes with vast cowls; and Bedouins with long, cowled, striped cloaks; and Negroes and Riﬃans with heads cleanshaven except a kinky scalp lock back of the ear or, rather, upon the after corner of the skull; and all sorts of barbarians in all sorts of weird costumes, and all more or less 324 ragged.
And here are Moorish women who are enveloped from head to foot in coarse white robes, and whose sex can only be determined by the fact that they only leave one eye visible and never look at men of their own race, or are looked at by them in public.
Here are ﬁve thousand Jews in blue gabardines, sashes about their waists, slippers upon their feet, little skullcaps upon 325 — sat upon a throne in fancy; who braved every danger to go to his dying mother–and grieved that she could not be spared to see him cast aside his plebeian vestments for the purple of royalty; who kept his faithful watch and walked his weary beat a common policeman of London–but dreamed the while of a coming night when he should tread the long-drawn corridors of the Tu541 ileries; who made the miserable ﬁasco of Strasbourg; saw his poor, shabby eagle, forgetful of its lesson, refuse to perch upon his shoulder; delivered his carefully prepared, sententious burst of eloquence upon unsympathetic ears; found himself a prisoner, the butt of small wits, a mark for the pitiless ridicule of all the world– yet went on dreaming of coronations and splendid pageants 542 as before; who lay a forgotten captive in the dungeons of Ham–and still schemed and planned and pondered over future glory and future power; President of France at last! a coup d’etat, and surrounded by applauding armies, welcomed by the thunders of cannon, he mounts a throne and waves before an astounded world the sceptre of a mighty empire! Who talks of the marvels of ﬁc543 tion? Who speaks of the wonders of romance? Who prates of the tame achievements of Aladdin and the Magii of Arabia? ABDUL-AZIZ, Sultan of Turkey, Lord of the Ottoman Empire! Born to a throne; weak, stupid, ignorant, almost, as his meanest slave; chief of a vast royalty, yet the puppet of his Premier and the obedient child of a tyrannical mother; a man who sits upon 544 a throne–the beck of whose ﬁnger moves navies and armies–who holds in his hands the power of life and death over millions– yet who sleeps, sleeps, eats, eats, idles with his eight hundred concubines, and when he is surfeited with eating and sleeping and idling, and would rouse up and take the reins of government and threaten to be a sultan, is charmed from his purpose by wary 545 Fuad Pacha with a pretty plan for a new palace or a new ship–charmed away with a new toy, like any other restless child; a man who sees his people robbed and oppressed by soulless tax-gatherers, but speaks no word to save them; who believes in gnomes and genii and the wild fables of The Arabian Nights, but has small regard for the mighty magicians of to-day, and is nervous in the 546 presence of their mysterious railroads and steamboats and telegraphs; who would see undone in Egypt all that great Mehemet Ali achieved, and would prefer rather to forget than emulate him; a man who found his great empire a blot upon the earth–a degraded, poverty-stricken, miserable, infamous agglomeration of ignorance, crime, and brutality–and will idle away the allot547 ted days of his trivial life and then pass to the dust and the worms and leave it so! Napoleon has augmented the commercial prosperity of France in ten years to such a degree that ﬁgures can hardly compute it.
He has rebuilt Paris and has partly rebuilt every city in the state.
He condemns a whole street at a time, assesses the damages, pays them, and rebuilds superbly. 548 Then speculators buy up the ground and sell, but the original owner is given the ﬁrst choice by the government at a stated price before the speculator is permitted to purchase.
But above all things, he has taken the sole control of the empire of France into his hands and made it a tolerably free land– for people who will not attempt to go too far in meddling with government aﬀairs.
No 549 country oﬀers greater security to life and property than France, and one has all the freedom he wants, but no license–no license to interfere with anybody or make anyone uncomfortable.
As for the Sultan, one could set a trap any where and catch a dozen abler men in a night.
The bands struck up, and the brilliant 550 adventurer, Napoleon III., the genius of Energy, Persistence, Enterprise; and the feeble Abdul-Aziz, the genius of Ignorance, Bigotry, and Indolence, prepared for the Forward– March! We saw the splendid review, we saw the white-moustached old Crimean soldier, Canrobert, Marshal of France, we saw–well, we saw every thing, and then we went home 551 satisﬁed. CHAPTER XIV. We went to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
We had heard of it before.
It surprises me sometimes to think how much we do know and how intelligent we are.
We recognized 552 — else they are those old connoisseurs from the wilds of New Jersey who laboriously learn the diﬀerence between a fresco and a ﬁre-plug and from that day forward feel privileged to void their critical bathos on painting, sculpture and architecture forever more.
We visited the Dancing Dervishes.
There were twenty-one of them.
They wore a long, 1606 light-colored loose robe that hung to their heels.
Each in his turn went up to the priest (they were all within a large circular railing) and bowed profoundly and then went spinning away deliriously and took his appointed place in the circle, and continued to spin.
When all had spun themselves to their places, they were about ﬁve or six feet apart–and so situated, the entire circle of 1607 spinning pagans spun itself three separate times around the room.
It took twenty-ﬁve minutes to do it.
They spun on the left foot, and kept themselves going by passing the right rapidly before it and digging it against the waxed ﬂoor.
Some of them made incredible ”time.” Most of them spun around forty times in a minute, and one artist averaged about sixty-one times a minute, and 1608 kept it up during the whole twenty-ﬁve.
His robe ﬁlled with air and stood out all around him like a balloon.
They made no noise of any kind, and most of them tilted their heads back and closed their eyes, entranced with a sort of devotional ecstacy.
There was a rude kind of music, part of the time, but the musicians were not visible.
None but spinners 1609 were allowed within the circle.
A man had to either spin or stay outside.
It was about as barbarous an exhibition as we have witnessed yet.
Then sick persons came and lay down, and beside them women laid their sick children (one a babe at the breast,) and the patriarch of the Dervishes walked upon their bodies.
He was supposed to cure their diseases by trampling upon their breasts or 1610 backs or standing on the back of their necks.
This is well enough for a people who think all their aﬀairs are made or marred by viewless spirits of the air–by giants, gnomes, and genii–and who still believe, to this day, all the wild tales in the Arabian Nights.
Even so an intelligent missionary tells me.
We visited the Thousand and One Columns.
I do not know what it was originally in1611 tended for, but they said it was built for a reservoir.
It is situated in the centre of Constantinople.
You go down a ﬂight of stone steps in the middle of a barren place, and there you are.
You are forty feet under ground, and in the midst of a perfect wilderness of tall, slender, granite columns, of Byzantine architecture.
Stand where you would, or change your position as often as 1612 you pleased, you were always a centre from which radiated a dozen long archways and colonnades that lost themselves in distance and the sombre twilight of the place.
This old dried-up reservoir is occupied by a few ghostly silk-spinners now, and one of them showed me a cross cut high up in one of the pillars.
I suppose he meant me to understand that the institution was there before 1613 the Turkish occupation, and I thought he made a remark to that eﬀect; but he must have had an impediment in his speech, for I did not understand him.
We took oﬀ our shoes and went into the marble mausoleum of the Sultan Mahmoud, the neatest piece of architecture, inside, that I have seen lately.
Mahmoud’s tomb was covered with a black velvet pall, 1614 which was elaborately embroidered with silver; it stood within a fancy silver railing; at the sides and corners were silver candlesticks that would weigh more than a hundred pounds, and they supported candles as large as a man’s leg; on the top of the sarcophagus was a fez, with a handsome diamond ornament upon it, which an attendant said cost a hundred thousand pounds, 1615 and lied like a Turk when he said it.
Mahmoud’s whole family were comfortably planted around him.
We went to the great Bazaar in Stamboul, of course, and I shall not describe it further than to say it is a monstrous hive of little shops– thousands, I should say–all under one roof, and cut up into innumerable little blocks by narrow streets which 1616 are arched overhead.
One street is devoted to a particular kind of merchandise, another to another, and so on.
When you wish to buy a pair of shoes you have the swing of the whole street–you do not have to walk yourself down hunting stores in diﬀerent localities.
It is the same with silks, antiquities, shawls, etc.
The place is crowded with people all the time, and 1617 as the gay-colored Eastern fabrics are lavishly displayed before every shop, the great Bazaar of Stamboul is one of the sights that are worth seeing.
It is full of life, and stir, and business, dirt, beggars, asses, yelling peddlers, porters, dervishes, high-born Turkish female shoppers, Greeks, and weird-looking and weirdly dressed Mohammedans from the mountains and the far provinces –and the 1618 — scrambled between, occasionally chipping a leg with their sharp hoofs, and when the whole ﬂock had made the trip, the dogs sneezed a little, in the cloud of dust, but never budged their bodies an inch.
I thought I was lazy, but I am a steam-engine compared to a Constantinople dog.
But was not that a singular scene for a city of a million inhabitants? 1642 These dogs are the scavengers of the city.
That is their oﬃcial position, and a hard one it is.
However, it is their protection.
But for their usefulness in partially cleansing these terrible streets, they would not be tolerated long.
They eat any thing and every thing that comes in their way, from melon rinds and spoiled grapes up through all the grades and species of dirt and refuse 1643 to their own dead friends and relatives–and yet they are always lean, always hungry, always despondent.
The people are loath to kill them–do not kill them, in fact.
The Turks have an innate antipathy to taking the life of any dumb animal, it is said.
But they do worse.
They hang and kick and stone and scald these wretched creatures to the very verge of death, and then leave them 1644 to live and suﬀer.
Once a Sultan proposed to kill oﬀ all the dogs here, and did begin the work–but the populace raised such a howl of horror about it that the massacre was stayed.
After a while, he proposed to remove them all to an island in the Sea of Marmora.
No objection was oﬀered, and a ship-load or so was taken away.
But when it came to be known 1645 that somehow or other the dogs never got to the island, but always fell overboard in the night and perished, another howl was raised and the transportation scheme was dropped.
So the dogs remain in peaceable possession of the streets.
I do not say that they do not howl at night, nor that they do not attack people who have not a red fez on their 1646 heads.
I only say that it would be mean for me to accuse them of these unseemly things who have not seen them do them with my own eyes or heard them with my own ears.
I was a little surprised to see Turks and Greeks playing newsboy right here in the mysterious land where the giants and genii of the Arabian Nights once dwelt–where winged horses and hydra-headed dragons guarded 1647 enchanted castles–where Princes and Princesses ﬂew through the air on carpets that obeyed a mystic talisman–where cities whose houses were made of precious stones sprang up in a night under the hand of the magician, and where busy marts were suddenly stricken with a spell and each citizen lay or sat, or stood with weapon raised or foot advanced, just as he was, speechless and motionless, 1648 till time had told a hundred years! It was curious to see newsboys selling papers in so dreamy a land as that.
And, to say truly, it is comparatively a new thing here.
The selling of newspapers had its birth in Constantinople about a year ago, and was a child of the Prussian and Austrian war.
There is one paper published here in 1649 the English language–The Levant Herald– and there are generally a number of Greek and a few French papers rising and falling, struggling up and falling again.
Newspapers are not popular with the Sultan’s Government.
They do not understand journalism.
The proverb says, ”The unknown is always great.” To the court, the newspaper is a mysterious and rascally institution. 1650 They know what a pestilence is, because they have one occasionally that thins the people out at the rate of two thousand a day, and they regard a newspaper as a mild form of pestilence.
When it goes astray, they suppress it–pounce upon it without warning, and throttle it.
When it don’t go astray for a long time, they get suspicious and throttle it anyhow, because they think 1651 it is hatching deviltry.
Imagine the Grand Vizier in solemn council with the magnates of the realm, spelling his way through the hated newspaper, and ﬁnally delivering his profound decision: ”This thing means mischief –it is too darkly, too suspiciously inoﬀensive– suppress it! Warn the publisher that we can not have this sort of thing: put the editor in prison!” 1652 The newspaper business has its inconveniences in Constantinople.
Two Greek papers and one French one were suppressed here within a few days of each other.
No victories of the Cretans are allowed to be printed.
From time to time the Grand Vizier sends a notice to the various editors that the Cretan insurrection is entirely suppressed, and although that editor knows better, he 1653 still has to print the notice.
The Levant Herald is too fond of speaking praisefully of Americans to be popular with the Sultan, who does not relish our sympathy with the Cretans, and therefore that paper has to be particularly circumspect in order to keep out of trouble.
Once the editor, forgetting the oﬃcial notice in his paper that the Cretans were crushed out, printed a letter 1654 — an astonishing sort of dance an hour long, and one I had not heard of before, with a very pretty girl, and we talked incessantly, and laughed exhaustingly, and neither one ever knew what the other was driving at.
But it was splendid.
There were twenty people in the set, and the dance was very lively and complicated.
It was complicated enough without me–with me it was more 1826 so.
I threw in a ﬁgure now and then that surprised those Russians.
But I have never ceased to think of that girl.
I have written to her, but I can not direct the epistle because her name is one of those nine-jointed Russian aﬀairs, and there are not letters enough in our alphabet to hold out.
I am not reckless enough to try to pronounce it when I am awake, but I make a stagger at 1827 it in my dreams, and get up with the lockjaw in the morning.
I am fading.
I do not take my meals now, with any sort of regularity.
Her dear name haunts me still in my dreams.
It is awful on teeth.
It never comes out of my mouth but it fetches an old snag along with it.
And then the lockjaw closes down and nips oﬀ a couple of the last syllables–but they taste good. 1828 Coming through the Dardanelles, we saw camel trains on shore with the glasses, but we were never close to one till we got to Smyrna.
These camels are very much larger than the scrawny specimens one sees in the menagerie.
They stride along these streets, in single ﬁle, a dozen in a train, with heavy loads on their backs, and a fancy-looking negro in Turkish costume, or an Arab, pre1829 ceding them on a little donkey and completely overshadowed and rendered insignificant by the huge beasts.
To see a camel train laden with the spices of Arabia and the rare fabrics of Persia come marching through the narrow alleys of the bazaar, among porters with their burdens, moneychangers, lamp-merchants, Al-naschars in the glassware business, portly cross-legged 1830 Turks smoking the famous narghili; and the crowds drifting to and fro in the fanciful costumes of the East, is a genuine revelation of the Orient.
The picture lacks nothing.
It casts you back at once into your forgotten boyhood, and again you dream over the wonders of the Arabian Nights; again your companions are princes, your lord is the Caliph Haroun Al Raschid, and your 1831 servants are terriﬁc giants and genii that come with smoke and lightning and thunder, and go as a storm goes when they depart! 1832 CHAPTER “IX. We inquired, and learned that the lions of Smyrna consisted of the ruins of the ancient citadel, whose broken and prodigious battlements frown upon the city from a lofty hill just in the edge of the town–the Mount Pagus of Scripture, they call it; the site of that one of the Seven Apocalyptic Churches 1833 of Asia which was located here in the ﬁrst century of the Christian era; and the grave and the place of martyrdom of the venerable Polycarp, who suﬀered in Smyrna for his religion some eighteen hundred years ago.
We took little donkeys and started.
We saw Polycarp’s tomb, and then hurried on.
The ”Seven Churches”–thus they abbreviate it–came next on the list.
We rode 1834 there–about a mile and a half in the sweltering sun–and visited a little Greek church which they said was built upon the ancient site; and we paid a small fee, and the holy attendant gave each of us a little wax candle as a remembrancer of the place, and I put mine in my hat and the sun melted it and the grease all ran down the back of my neck; and so now I have not any thing left 1835 but the wick, and it is a sorry and a wiltedlooking wick at that.
Several of us argued as well as we could that the ”church” mentioned in the Bible meant a party of Christians, and not a building; that the Bible spoke of them as being very poor–so poor, I thought, and so subject to persecution (as per Polycarp’s martyrdom) that in the ﬁrst place they prob1836 ably could not have aﬀorded a church ediﬁce, and in the second would not have dared to build it in the open light of day if they could; and ﬁnally, that if they had had the privilege of building it, common judgment would have suggested that they build it somewhere near the town.
But the elders of the ship’s family ruled us down and scouted our evidences.
However, retribution came to 1837 — erage, and never enterprising.
But above all, an oyster does not take any interest in scenery–he scorns it.
What have I arrived at now? Simply at the point I started from, namely, those oyster shells are there, in regular layers, ﬁve hundred feet above the sea, and no man knows how they got there.
I have hunted up the guide-books, and the gist of what they say is this: ”They are 1850 there, but how they got there is a mystery.” Twenty-ﬁve years ago, a multitude of people in America put on their ascension robes, took a tearful leave of their friends, and made ready to ﬂy up into heaven at the ﬁrst blast of the trumpet.
But the angel did not blow it.
Miller’s resurrection day was a failure.
The Millerites were disgusted.
I did not suspect that there were 1851 Millers in Asia Minor, but a gentleman tells me that they had it all set for the world to come to an end in Smyrna one day about three years ago.
There was much buzzing and preparation for a long time previously, and it culminated in a wild excitement at the appointed time.
A vast number of the populace ascended the citadel hill early in the morning, to get out of the way of the 1852 general destruction, and many of the infatuated closed up their shops and retired from all earthly business.
But the strange part of it was that about three in the afternoon, while this gentleman and his friends were at dinner in the hotel, a terriﬁc storm of rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning, broke forth and continued with dire fury for two or three hours.
It was a thing 1853 unprecedented in Smyrna at that time of the year, and scared some of the most skeptical.
The streets ran rivers and the hotel ﬂoor was ﬂooded with water.
The dinner had to be suspended.
When the storm ﬁnished and left every body drenched through and through, and melancholy and half-drowned, the ascensionists came down from the mountain as dry as so many charity-sermons! They 1854 had been looking down upon the fearful storm going on below, and really believed that their proposed destruction of the world was proving a grand success.
A railway here in Asia–in the dreamy realm of the Orient–in the fabled land of the Arabian Nights–is a strange thing to think of.
And yet they have one already, and are building another.
The present one is 1855 well built and well conducted, by an English Company, but is not doing an immense amount of business.
The ﬁrst year it carried a good many passengers, but its freight list only comprised eight hundred pounds of ﬁgs! It runs almost to the very gates of Ephesus– a town great in all ages of the world–a city familiar to readers of the Bible, and one which was as old as the very hills when the 1856 disciples of Christ preached in its streets.
It dates back to the shadowy ages of tradition, and was the birthplace of gods renowned in Grecian mythology.
The idea of a locomotive tearing through such a place as this, and waking the phantoms of its old days of romance out of their dreams of dead and gone centuries, is curious enough.
We journey thither tomorrow to see the 1857 celebrated ruins. CHAPTER XL. This has been a stirring day.
The Superintendent of the railway put a train at our disposal, and did us the further kindness of accompanying us to Ephesus and giving 1858 to us his watchful care.
We brought sixty scarcely perceptible donkeys in the freight cars, for we had much ground to go over.
We have seen some of the most grotesque costumes, along the line of the railroad, that can be imagined.
I am glad that no possible combination of words could describe them, for I might then be foolish enough to attempt it. 1859 At ancient Ayassalook, in the midst of a forbidding desert, we came upon long lines of ruined aqueducts, and other remnants of architectural grandeur, that told us plainly enough we were nearing what had been a metropolis, once.
We left the train and mounted the donkeys, along with our invited guests–pleasant young gentlemen from the oﬃcers’ list of an American man-of-war. 1860 The little donkeys had saddles upon them which were made very high in order that the rider’s feet might not drag the ground.
The preventative did not work well in the cases of our tallest pilgrims, however.
There were no bridles–nothing but a single rope, tied to the bit.
It was purely ornamental, for the donkey cared nothing for it.
If he were drifting to starboard, you might put your helm 1861 — of Noah. ”The early history of Damascus is shrouded in the mists of a hoary antiquity.” Leave the matters written of in the ﬁrst eleven chapters of the Old Testament out, and no recorded event has occurred in the world but Damascus was in existence to receive the news of it.
Go back as far as you will into the vague past, there was always a Damascus.
In the writings of ev2028 ery century for more than four thousand years, its name has been mentioned and its praises sung.
To Damascus, years are only moments, decades are only ﬂitting triﬂes of time.
She measures time, not by days and months and years, but by the empires she has seen rise, and prosper and crumble to ruin.
She is a type of immortality.
She saw the foundations of Baalbec, and 2029 Thebes, and Ephesus laid; she saw these villages grow into mighty cities, and amaze the world with their grandeur–and she has lived to see them desolate, deserted, and given over to the owls and the bats.
She saw the Israelitish empire exalted, and she saw it annihilated.
She saw Greece rise, and ﬂourish two thousand years, and die.
In her old age she saw Rome built; she saw it 2030 overshadow the world with its power; she saw it perish.
The few hundreds of years of Genoese and Venetian might and splendor were, to grave old Damascus, only a triﬂing scintillation hardly worth remembering.
Damascus has seen all that has ever occurred on earth, and still she lives.
She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires, and will see the tombs of a 2031 thousand more before she dies.
Though another claims the name, old Damascus is by right the Eternal City.
We reached the city gates just at sundown.
They do say that one can get into any walled city of Syria, after night, for bucksheesh, except Damascus.
But Damascus, with its four thousand years of respectability in the world, has many old fogy 2032 notions.
There are no street lamps there, and the law compels all who go abroad at night to carry lanterns, just as was the case in old days, when heroes and heroines of the Arabian Nights walked the streets of Damascus, or ﬂew away toward Bagdad on enchanted carpets.
It was fairly dark a few minutes after we got within the wall, and we rode long dis2033 tances through wonderfully crooked streets, eight to ten feet wide, and shut in on either aide by the high mud-walls of the gardens.
At last we got to where lanterns could be seen ﬂitting about here and there, and knew we were in the midst of the curious old city.
In a little narrow street, crowded with our pack-mules and with a swarm of uncouth Arabs, we alighted, and through a kind of 2034 a hole in the wall entered the hotel.
We stood in a great ﬂagged court, with ﬂowers and citron trees about us, and a huge tank in the centre that was receiving the waters of many pipes.
We crossed the court and entered the rooms prepared to receive four of us.
In a large marble-paved recess between the two rooms was a tank of clear, cool water, which was kept running over all 2035 the time by the streams that were pouring into it from half a dozen pipes.
Nothing, in this scorching, desolate land could look so refreshing as this pure water ﬂashing in the lamp-light; nothing could look so beautiful, nothing could sound so delicious as this mimic rain to ears long unaccustomed to sounds of such a nature.
Our rooms were large, comfortably furnished, and even 2036 had their ﬂoors clothed with soft, cheerfultinted carpets.
It was a pleasant thing to see a carpet again, for if there is any thing drearier than the tomb-like, stone-paved parlors and bed-rooms of Europe and Asia, I do not know what it is.
They make one think of the grave all the time.
A very broad, gaily caparisoned divan, some twelve or fourteen feet long, extended across one 2037 side of each room, and opposite were single beds with spring mattresses.
There were great looking-glasses and marble-top tables.
All this luxury was as grateful to systems and senses worn out with an exhausting day’s travel, as it was unexpected–for one can not tell what to expect in a Turkish city of even a quarter of a million inhabitants.
I do not know, but I think they used 2038 that tank between the rooms to draw drinking water from; that did not occur to me, however, until I had dipped my baking head far down into its cool depths.
I thought of it then, and superb as the bath was, I was sorry I had taken it, and was about to go and explain to the landlord.
But a ﬁnely curled and scented poodle dog frisked up and nipped the calf of my leg just then, 2039 and before I had time to think, I had soused him to the bottom of the tank, and when I saw a servant coming with a pitcher I went oﬀ and left the pup trying to climb out and not succeeding very well.
Satisﬁed revenge was all I needed to make me perfectly happy, and when I walked in to supper that ﬁrst night in Damascus I was in that condition.
We lay on those divans a long time, 2040 — says, the prophet Samuel was born, and here the Shunamite woman built a little house upon the city wall for the accommodation of the prophet Elisha.
Elisha asked her what she expected in return.
It was a perfectly natural question, for these people are and were in the habit of proﬀering favors and services and then expecting and begging for pay.
Elisha knew them 2455 well.
He could not comprehend that any body should build for him that humble little chamber for the mere sake of old friendship, and with no selﬁsh motive whatever.
It used to seem a very impolite, not to say a rude, question, for Elisha to ask the woman, but it does not seem so to me now.
The woman said she expected nothing.
Then for her goodness and her unselﬁshness, he 2456 rejoiced her heart with the news that she should bear a son.
It was a high reward– but she would not have thanked him for a daughter–daughters have always been unpopular here.
The son was born, grew, waxed strong, died.
Elisha restored him to life in Shunem.
We found here a grove of lemon trees– cool, shady, hung with fruit.
One is apt 2457 to overestimate beauty when it is rare, but to me this grove seemed very beautiful.
It was beautiful.
I do not overestimate it.
I must always remember Shunem gratefully, as a place which gave to us this leafy shelter after our long, hot ride.
We lunched, rested, chatted, smoked our pipes an hour, and then mounted and moved on.
As we trotted across the Plain of Jezreel, 2458 we met half a dozen Digger Indians (Bedouins) with very long spears in their hands, cavorting around on old crowbait horses, and spearing imaginary enemies; whooping, and ﬂuttering their rags in the wind, and carrying on in every respect like a pack of hopeless lunatics.
At last, here were the ”wild, free sons of the desert, speeding over the plain like the wind, on their beautiful Ara2459 bian mares” we had read so much about and longed so much to see! Here were the ”picturesque costumes!” This was the ”gallant spectacle!” Tatterdemalion vagrants– cheap braggadocio–”Arabian mares” spined and necked like the ichthyosaurus in the museum, and humped and cornered like a dromedary! To glance at the genuine son of the desert is to take the romance out of 2460 him forever–to behold his steed is to long in charity to strip his harness oﬀ and let him fall to pieces.
Presently we came to a ruinous old town on a hill, the same being the ancient Jezreel.
Ahab, King of Samaria, (this was a very vast kingdom, for those days, and was very nearly half as large as Rhode Island) dwelt in the city of Jezreel, which was his cap2461 ital.
Near him lived a man by the name of Naboth, who had a vineyard.
The King asked him for it, and when he would not give it, oﬀered to buy it.
But Naboth refused to sell it.
In those days it was considered a sort of crime to part with one’s inheritance at any price–and even if a man did part with it, it reverted to himself or his heirs again at the next jubilee year.
So 2462 this spoiled child of a King went and lay down on the bed with his face to the wall, and grieved sorely.
The Queen, a notorious character in those days, and whose name is a by-word and a reproach even in these, came in and asked him wherefore he sorrowed, and he told her.
Jezebel said she could secure the vineyard; and she went forth and forged letters to the nobles and 2463 wise men, in the King’s name, and ordered them to proclaim a fast and set Naboth on high before the people, and suborn two witnesses to swear that he had blasphemed.
They did it, and the people stoned the accused by the city wall, and he died.
Then Jezebel came and told the King, and said, Behold, Naboth is no more–rise up and seize the vineyard.
So Ahab seized the vineyard, 2464 and went into it to possess it.
But the Prophet Elijah came to him there and read his fate to him, and the fate of Jezebel; and said that in the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs should also lick his blood–and he said, likewise, the dogs should eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.
In the course of time, the King was killed in battle, and when his chariot wheels were washed 2465 in the pool of Samaria, the dogs licked the blood.
In after years, Jehu, who was King of Israel, marched down against Jezreel, by order of one of the Prophets, and administered one of those convincing rebukes so common among the people of those days: he killed many kings and their subjects, and as he came along he saw Jezebel, painted and ﬁnely dressed, looking out of a win2466 dow, and ordered that she be thrown down to him.
A servant did it, and Jehu’s horse trampled her under foot.
Then Jehu went in and sat down to dinner; and presently he said, Go and bury this cursed woman, for she is a King’s daughter.
The spirit of charity came upon him too late, however, for the prophecy had already been fulﬁlled– the dogs had eaten her, and they ”found no 2467 — it was our fortune to see.
Yet our holyday ﬂight has not been in vain–for above the confusion of vague recollections, certain of its best prized pictures lift themselves and will still continue perfect in tint and outline after their surroundings shall have faded away.
We shall remember something of pleasant France; and something also of Paris, 2975 though it ﬂashed upon us a splendid meteor, and was gone again, we hardly knew how or where.
We shall remember, always, how we saw majestic Gibraltar gloriﬁed with the rich coloring of a Spanish sunset and swimming in a sea of rainbows.
In fancy we shall see Milan again, and her stately Cathedral with its marble wilderness of graceful spires.
And Padua–Verona–Como, jew2976 eled with stars; and patrician Venice, aﬂoat on her stagnant ﬂood–silent, desolate, haughty– scornful of her humbled state–wrapping herself in memories of her lost ﬂeets, of battle and triumph, and all the pageantry of a glory that is departed.
We can not forget Florence–Naples–nor the foretaste of heaven that is in the delicious atmosphere of Greece–and surely not 2977 Athens and the broken temples of the Acropolis.
Surely not venerable Rome–nor the green plain that compasses her round about, contrasting its brightness with her gray decay– nor the ruined arches that stand apart in the plain and clothe their looped and windowed raggedness with vines.
We shall remember St.
Peter’s: not as one sees it when he walks the streets of Rome and fancies 2978 all her domes are just alike, but as he sees it leagues away, when every meaner ediﬁce has faded out of sight and that one dome looms superbly up in the ﬂush of sunset, full of dignity and grace, strongly outlined as a mountain.
We shall remember Constantinople and the Bosporus–the colossal magniﬁcence of Baalbec–the Pyramids of Egypt–the prodi2979 gious form, the benignant countenance of the Sphynx–Oriental Smyrna–sacred Jerusalem– Damascus, the ”Pearl of the East,” the pride of Syria, the fabled Garden of Eden, the home of princes and genii of the Arabian Nights, the oldest metropolis on earth, the one city in all the world that has kept its name and held its place and looked serenely on while the Kingdoms and Empires of four 2980 thousand years have risen to life, enjoyed their little season of pride and pomp, and then vanished and been forgotten! 2981
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