Chapter II


and during the rest of the day we saw nothing but fields of level water.

At evening, the few clouds on the horizon seemed like the hills on some distant land. There was no peculiar beauty in the sunset—only the sun himself appeared remarkably brilliant,

"Not as in northern climes obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light.

The swallows kept flying about the vessel till darkness came on; and then the stars shone out singularly bright . The planet Venus was reflected on the water quite like the Moon in brilliancy.

Coming down to the cabin, the young American traveller described to us some of the scenes which he had witnessed at Rome during Passion-week. He told us of the Pope blessing 150,000 people, all kneeling before him* in the great square of St. Peter's, and of his riding into the city in imitation of Christ's entry into Jerusalem.

The night was perfectly serene. We experienced nothing of the

"Dux inquieti turbidua Adritc ;"t (The blustering south wind swaying Adria's waves;) though we were passing over its waters, or at least over the "Ionium mare," where it joins the Adriatic. All the next day, the sea presented the same glassy smoothness. Two vessels on the distant horizon were lying quite motionless, there being not a breath of wind. The Greek sung many of his national war-songs, and his patriotism seemed to rise higher and higher as we sailed towards his country.

Next morning (May 10) about sunrise, we came in sight of Greece, opposite Cape Gallo (the ancient Acritatt). Crossing the Gulf of Coron (anciently the Sinus Mesteniacus), we sailed slowly past Cape Matapan (the ancient Tanarus), where the cloudcapt hills of Laconia terminate. These hills form the range of Taygelus

TM..." virginibus bacchata Lacaenis

Taygeta :"t
(Where Lacedemon's virgins kept their revelry:)

and the cape is the most southern point of Europe; the "invisi horrida Ttmari sedes"\ (the seat of hateful Trenarus), of which we used to read in the classics. The young Greek guide proudly pointed to the mountain range as the seat of the unconquered Mainotes, and to

* 2 Thcss. ii . 4. t Hor. Ode iii. 3, 5.

t Virg Georg. ii. 488 . y Hor. Ode i. 34, 10.


the fer distant hills at the top of the gulf (the Sinus Laconicus) as marking where Sparta stood. Many of the summits were capped with snow. The heights of Taenurus were obscured by morning clouds—while their bases reached down to the water edge. Through the glass we could descry many hanging villages with terraced fields and gardens.

Passing the island of Elaphonesia and Cerigo (the ancient Cythera), and the promontory Malea, we entered the J2gean Sea. The numberless islands of the Archipelago now came in view one after another. We remembered that the Psalmist spoke of all this great sea, and may have known something of the islands and countries which it washes. The expression appeared very appropriate, "this great and wide sea,"* or more literally, " this great sea which is broad in its arms" (d'v am rehav yadaim), an epithet which seems to refer to the waters clasping round these innumerable islands, and pouring themselves into these thousand creeks and bays.

Our first sight of those beautiful islands, and the whole of their appearance afterwards, under so bright a sky, made us understand the language of the Latin poet, "nitentes Cycladas" \ (bright-shining Cyclades). Nor is Virgil's description of this sea less accurate,—" crebris fireta consita terris" \ (liquid fields sown thick with countless isles).

Our vessel was now directing its course north-east for the island of Syra, the ancient Syros. At a distance, Spezzia was pointed out to us, and a little farther off rose Hydra, famous in the warfare of modern Greece, reminding us of our own Bass Rock. Next we passed near Falconero, an uninhabited rocky islet. Melos and Anti-melos then came in sight; the former a large island with a fine harbour, and marked by two lofty hills; the latter bold and precipitous, descending steep into the water. Far to the south we saw Dipsis, almost a bare rock, and toward evening Seriphos. The sun seemed to sink down behind Falconero, leaving a calm sea and a beautifully spotted sky behind, tinging all the western horizon with a glorious red.

At two next morning (Saturday, May 11), we cast anchor before the town of Syra. The coast of the island forms a natural harbour. The town rises up from the shore, and seems entirely to cover the conical hill on which it is built. The castle or Acropolis is on the top,

• Pt cir. 2i t Hor. Ode i 14, 20. 1 Mn. iii. 127.


keeping watch over houses that seem to creep up the hill toward the Acropolis for shelter. All the buildings are of a dazzling whiteness, and the hills around green with olives. We could imagine ourselves riding in the harbour of one of the ancient cities of Greece, the town smiling below, and the Acropolis frowning defiance from above. The chief town of Syra was anciently called Hermopolis, and the books printed here by the Church of England Missionary Society bore this name on the title-page. It was a place of little consequence till some of the Sciotes who escaped the massacre in which their brethren perished, fixed on it as their residence; but since the settlement of the new kingdom of Greece, and especially during the last fifteen years, it has rapidly increased.

The mail-packets of the French and Austrian companies use Syra as their station, and from this place vessels are ready to carry the traveller to Athens, Egypt, and Constantinople. We witnessed much activity in the harbour, boats loading and unloading. The water was so clear that we could see the pebbles at the bottom. In the docks we counted thirteen small vessels on the stocks. The town has a population of 20,000. A hardy Greek rowed us to the shore, when, after being examined by the Board of Health, we found our way to the "Hotel de Grece," or "ncmSoxcm m EXXa<5ot" (the Greek inn). It was a wretched inn, but the people were anxious to show us every kindness. Instead of butter they brought us Grecian honey.

In walking through the streets it was interesting to find the language of ancient Greece moulded to express modern inventions. There was the "BaaiXi«w tpo/utn Zvpas" "the Royal Post-office of Syra;" and again, a board, marking the sailing of the steamers, was headed by the word "AruoraxwXoia." We met asses carrying in panniers the ancient aucpopa, a two-handled jug. A little child came begging for bread, and his cry was "»pupi, ipaiu" (i.e. bread). We came upon three booksellers' shops, in one of which we found "Ta Smt/uwia »'>-^Javra n,v VoStwtravos Kpoemv" "the wonderful adventures of Robinson Crusoe," with a recommendation of it by some of our countrymen: — "o miX^a^t xaXutpot, *ai Ta..Xopot," "the learned Chalmers and Taylor." We saw with greater joy the whole Greek Bible for sale; though beside it stood one of Sir Walter Scott's novels. Occasionally in the streets tumblers of ratus of an Infant and Juvenile school. On the walls were boards for the multiplication table, entitled " iiu.a«t A^e^ntac." Others had the elementary syllables, n^awj "Anynnut;" and others the picture of some object of natural history, "Aim*," "eagle:" "0wf," "ass;" "a»«f," "wolf;" with the description below. There were present 300 boys and 300 girls, all busily engaged. It was curious to hear'the boys reading the Cyropedia in ancient Greek, and rendering it into Romaic. The girls were writing, and they formed the Greek letters beautifully. Some of them were learning English. Young Greeks are very clever, and anxious to acquire knowledge. Want of perseverance is their greatest fault . They read the New Testament daily, and almost every child possesses a copy. On Sabbath mornings, after they have been at the Greek church with their parents, they are assembled for two hours in the school, learn a Bible lesson, and are addressed by the Missionary; but many do not attend, as the parents are anxious only about their temporal welfare, and the acquisition of secular knowledge. The American Missionaries at Athens conduct a school in all respects similar to this, and some of the inferior clergy there, who seem to be pious men, take an interest in its prosperity. The London Society maintains a similar school at Corfu.

This visit to Syra served to awaken in our bosoms new feelings of interest in behalf of Greece. On our way back to the harbour, observing the rising spire of a new

• Matt . x. 42.


building, we asked what it was, and were told that it waa a Roman Catholic church. Popery seems determined to assert her right to the name of Catholic, by her untired zeal and universal enterprise.

The same day we left the island with regret in the "Leonidas," another French steamer, which was to convey us to Alexandria. On leaving the harbour we saw the hills of the island of Negropont (the ancient Eubrea), to the west; and near us on the left lay Tinos. Before us were Delos and Mycone; on our right Andros and Xiphos. We could see the general aspect of all these islands. Summer clouds rested over the summits of their hills.

On board our new vessel we found a change of company, several passengers having been waiting at Syra for a vessel to carry them to Egypt. Among others were four Eastern Jews, and a tall strong Albanian, who spoke only Romaic, but whose gestures were as significant as language. There was also a Turk, of a mild pleasing countenance, and his wife with her face mufHed in a white veil.

We passed by Naxos, with its town of the same name, of a marble whiteness. Opposite to it lie Paros and Olearos.* We stretched our eyes in the direction of Icaria and Naxos, that we might obtain a glimpse of highlyfavoured Patmos; but in vain. We could only see the waves that were rolling on to break upon its rocky shore.

About sunset, when we were leaving Naxos and Paros behind us, and had left off gazing on their hills, we found the four Jewsf seated together, finishing their Sabbath prayers. At the moment we had first spoken to them, one was reading Psalm Ixxxv. 1,2, "O Lord, thou hast been favourable to thy land," &c. They told us that they had come from the Dardanelles, and were now on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, meaning to return home in the course of three months. Two of them were men of learning, and all seemed to know Hebrew well. They spoke Spanish with each other, but understood Italian. In order to gain their confidence, and engage their attention, one ofour number brought out Abarbinel on the Passover, and showed them its map, vignettes, and figures. At the foot of one of these pictures, the abbreviation aainj occurred; at another

* " Olearon, niveamque Paron."—Virg. jEn. iii. 126. t Their names were, Solomon Japbe, Solomon Peshuto, Abraham Joseph, and the mildest and most simple of all, Nasim Paltiel. t See p. 24.


,van* These we explained to their great surprise: and when one of us added, Jdk a»iD» urn* Bj. "We too use the word Amen "—they looked at each other, and began to smile and talk. Our friendship was now established, and opening our Hebrew Bibles, we got into close conversation. One of them, at our request, read aloud Isaiah liii, and then listened to us, when we applied it to the atoning Saviour. On telling them that we believed a first and a second coming of Messiah, they spoke of it to each other, but made no remark to us. A little after we joined them again, all sitting upon the deck. We opened out a map of their country, and as we pointed to the most remarkable places, named them in Hebrew. We had in our hands a small publication of the Tract Society, entitled "Manners and Customs of the Jews." In explaining to them some of the woodcuts, we took occasion to let them know that we were not Roman Catholics, and had no images in our churches. Of this also they spoke to one another. A little after, opening our Italian New Testament, we read the quotation from Isaiah in Matt. iv. 15, 16, "The people that sat in darkness," &c.—saying, "The great Light is Messiah." One of them replied, "We believe it is." They continued for some time looking at the pictures in the book already mentioned, till coming to a representation of Paul preaching to the Jews from the stairs of the Temple,f they asked what it was. This led us to explain, and again taking up the Italian New Testament, we read Paul's address. Every thing in the passage was suited to awaken their attention. Paul's reference to the law, to his sitting at Gamaliel's %et, and to the traditions of the fathers—the people keeping silence because he spoke in Hebrew—and then the lull narrative of his former life, and his conversion to Christ. It seemed a message directed to them by the Lord, and they listened with deep attention. But as soon as it was ended, first the one that seemed most learned, and then another, rose and left us, apparently somewhat displeased. Two still remained, and continued to examine the other pictures, such as the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Deluge, which afforded us further opportunity of speaking to them. Observinij one of Peter and John healing the man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, one of us said it was the gate Sicanor; they immediately looked to each other and said -upj ijr (Saar Nicnor).

* This means, "Amen—so be the will of God." t Acts xxii.

44 "the Pair Havens "—Bacred Recollections.

After which, we read in their hearing the passage where the miracle is described.* During the conversation, they were not a little pleased by our remarking, in reference to there being four of them, and four of us, travelling to Jerusalem, urn* o'n« (acheem anachnu), "We are brethren." f The two who had staid with us, then bade us good night with great cordiality. We learned from them that Jacob Bad Turim, a well-known Jewish commentator, is believed to be buried in the island of Scio.

The captain of the steamer informed us, that from November to February he has often on board sixty or seventy Jews at a time, going up to visit Jerusalem. Of these not many are wealthy, and they return in the course of a few months.

During night the wind rose and the sea became boisterous, so that we experienced the tossings of the "Carpathium Mare" (Carpathian Sea), to which we had now come. About sunrise next morning, which was Sabbath, we were passing the eastern point of Crete, opposite Cape Sidro, anciently called Salmonium or Salmone. \ A ledge of rocks ran along the shore, behind which the country was bold and mountainous. Over all a lofty peak rose in the distance, which may possibly have been Ida. About an hour after, we obtained a view of a part of the southern coast of the island, where, in the days of Paul, was "the place called the Fair Havens, nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea." The recollections of the sacred history were a thousand-fold sweeter to us than all our classical remembrances. It was interesting no doubt, to look upon the island of which Virgil sung, and whose inhabitants Homer celebrates—

"01 Kpfjrriv iKaTtjxiroXiv a^<tthvCftQvn"^
—(Who peopled hundred-citied Crete).

But a far deeper and holier feeling of interest was awakened in our breast, when we looked upon it as a region where the Cross of Christ was once so successfully lifted up, and salvation preached with power to the debased idolaters. We read over with a new relish, the Epistle to Titus, who was "left in Crete, to set in order the things that were wanting, and to ordain elders in every city." We remembered how frequently Paul must have visited this island, sailing over the very sea we had

* Acts iii t Quoting Gon. xiii. 8.

t Acts ixvii. 7. $ Horn. II. ii . 64a

tion was renewed. The doctor declared that religion was dead in France; the follies of Popery had led men of reason to despise all religion, and he believed that there was more morality now than when Popery reigned. His idea of duty was, that it consisted in the practice of such virtues as concern for the public good, faithfulness to the marriage relation, and charity to the poor. He had no idea that a regard to the will of God was the rule of a man's duty, and honestly confessed, that he had not the least feeling of sin—"Philosophy," said he, "has taught me all that is needful for man." He acknowledged that he was not happy:—he ate, drank, slept, and rose every day to his work, yet still was not so happy as he wished to be. "But where am I to find happiness? The St. Simonians say they are quite happy in their brotherhood, yet their system is absurdity." We said that we had found happiness, and pointed out the foundation on which it rested, and urged him to put to the proof God's promise through his Son, "Come to me, and I will give you rest." He put us off by saying, "he could not pray unless he believed." We rejoined, that he refused to turn the mind's eye toward the object to be believed, and therefore could not rationally expect to embrace the truth. Upon this he argued that a man was no more to blame for his hard heart, than for a diseased member of his body; nor could he see the evil of being born in sin,

• Tittw iii. 13.


and having a wicked nature. We showed him God's solemn declarations of man's awful guilt, and the free offer which he makes to him of pardon and a new heart. He was a kind, feeling, amiable man—one who seemed truly sincere, yet one who felt, like the young ruler, an invincible repugnance to the demands of the gospel. We gave him a French Bible, writing his name upon it, and our heart-felt desires for his salvation. He received it freely, and " went away sorrowful."

The heat was now very oppressive, and the cabin at midday was like an oven. About two o'clock in the afternoon, we came in sight of the low-lying shores of Egypt. The coast is very low indeed; and the country, as far as the eye can reach, flat and sandy. A land-mist arose over the sky as we approached the shore, drawing a veil over the sun, and thus moderating the intense heat. Our Albanian friend pointed to a row of buildings indistinctly visible, which he said were "Aw/io^xtm," i. e. windmills. Sailing past the ancient Pharos, now no longer an island, we entered the harbour. We counted twelve ships of the line, belonging to the Pacha's fleet, resting majestically on the waters. They seemed to be beautifully equipped and fully manned. The appearance of the marines was striking, with their white cotton dress, red sash, deep brown faces, and glancing arms—and martial music resounded from every vessel. The crescent and star upon the red flag reminded us that we were now among the followers of the false prophet. Turning towardsIhe shore, our eye rested with quickened interest on the graceful palm-trees, the camels slowly moving along the beach, and other indications of an Eastern clime, as the anchor dropped, and we prepared to land.

quay exhibited a strange scene of confusion and noise. A crowd of rough half-naked men and Arab boys, some with asses, some with camels, lined the beach, all screaming and quarrelling, determined to press their services on every passenger, and to take no denial. With some difficulty we got our luggage satisfactorily disposed of, and then each of the company mounted on an ass, and guided by an Arab boy, scampered through the gate of the city, and through the narrow bazaar, till we came to a pleasant square in the other extremity of the town. Here we took up our abode in an inn kept by a Frenchman.

With calm delight we were now able to look round upon the land of Egypt, while many scenes of its eventful history rose up before us. It was here that Jacob and Joseph sojourned, with their families, for 400 years. This was the land of Moses and his wondrous deeds. And, more interesting still, this was the land that gave refuge to " the holy child Jesus," when compelled to flee from the land of Judah. It was the cradle of Israel, and the cradle of Israel's Saviour,—as it is written, "out of Egypt have I called my son." *

This city Alexandria was the birth-place of Apollos,f that pattern of burning zeal, and scriptural eloquence— the city, too, of Athanasius—and the scene of the labours of the seventy translators of the Old Testament. Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Caesar, and many other

• Matt, il 15. t Acta xviii. 84.

names, are associated with the name of the once illustrious Alexandria. With still deeper interest we now pondered over the future history of Egypt, as disclosed in the record of prophecy, and prayed that the time may be hastened, when " Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to God" *—When "the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord"—"And the Lord shall smite Egypt, he shall smite and heal it;" "Saying, Blessed be Egypt my people." f

(May 14.) Every eastern city is infested with dogs that prowl about the streets for food; and during all the night their ceaseless howling reminded us of David's description of his enemies: "They return at evening; they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city." J Before breakfast, some of us rambled out to Pompey's Pillar. The only thing remarkable about it is, that the shaft is one stone, a solid mass of red granite, 90 feet long, and 9 feet in diameter. The capital is Corinthian, indifferently carved. The traces of many a traveller's visit are to be found scratched upon its pedestal. The Mareotic Lake lay east of it, but is now dried up, affording no moisture to water the Mareotic vines that once regaled Cleopatra and her luxurious court. The ground around it swarmed with small lizards, and the surface is broken with innumerable holes made by the jerboa. It was curious for us to observe for the first time women wearing the veil that hides the whole face except the eyes. Some carried the earthen jar upon their head in a very graceful manner. Some also were carrying their children on their shoulders, as referred to by k the prophet, when he says of returning Israel, "thy daugh; ters shall be carried on their shoulders."} Some carried £J them in a still more singular manner, upon their side, a

costume; the rest from Leghorn, Trieste, and other mercantile towns of Europe. They showed little feeling of devotion; except at one point of the short service, where there was a pause in the reading of the prayers, and all seemed to pray in silence for four or five minutes, turning their faces towards the ark. Before concluding, a box was carried round for contributions. There was not one interesting feature either in the worship or in the place, with the exception of a large frame suspended on the wall bearing these words,—" enpo-ma rrnajr iw Idtwi •u<D'a nViDa noipioS ," "May the merciful one bring back the service of the house of the sanctuary to its place, speedily, in our days." This was like one of the groans of Israel for deliverance in "the house of bondage."

As soon as service was over, the Jews spoke freely to us—opened the ark, and showed us their copies of the law. One of the best of these we spread out for examination on the reading-desk; and out of their own scriptures discoursed to them of sin and atonement for sin. We told them that we had come from Scotland out of love to their souls. We spoke of Messiah, how he came the first time to die for sin, and is coming soon the second time to reign in glory. They said that there are

* Isa. lxvi 12. * 11 Kings xviii. 46.


about 100 families of European Jews in Alexandria, who have only one synagogue; and that there are about 300 families of native Jews who have two, and these they called the Arab synagogues. One Jew who had resided much at Cairo, told us that in that city there were 300 families of Jews, of whom one-third were Caraites. We afterwards learned from English residents that this information was not very accurate, and that there are more Jews in Cairo than in Alexandria. In the latter, there may be about 1000, and in Cairo about 2000. The Jews of Alexandria are mostly of the third class in trade—the richest of them are all saraj's, or money-changers.

We were occupied all next morning (May 15) in pre

Earing for our journey through the desert. The plague aving appeared in Alexandria, we could not enter Palestine by Jaffa or Beyrout, without submitting to a long and unwholesome quarantine. We therefore resolved to proceed by the way of El Arish; and to do this without delay, as in the course of a few days, orders were likely to be sent to establish a quarantine at El Arish. The Consul's trusty janissary, Mustapha by name, born at Thebes, a useful, clever person, busily engaged himself in providing us with needful articles. We had already furnished ourselves with light dresses at Marseilles, and straw hats at Leghorn—and now we purchased travelling implements. We went to the bazaar, and bought carpets to lie upon at night, and a thick soft coverlet to wrap ourselves in. We next procured with some difficulty two tents, neither of them large, one round, the other oblong. Cairo is the proper place for obtaining such articles. An Indian gentleman's canteen and cooking utensils, with a stock of remainder provisions, fell into our hands at a cheap rate. Mustapha procured two Arab servants to attend us, Ibraim and Ahmet, the former able to speak Italian and English, the latter only Italian. They had often journeyed through Syria, and Ibraim had been lately there with Professor Robinson of America. When they came to be hired, Mr. Todd said to them in the Eastern manner—" I am as they are," pointing to us. "Offend them, offend me." They replied, "Their comfort shall be on our heads." Mustapha added, "If they do not do what is right, they shall never drink water in Alexandria again."

The two tents cost us 340 piastres (about 3/. 9s.;) for our beds, canteen, and provisions, we paid about HI. Our servants were to accompany us for three months at upon our backs, covered over with a warm quilt, and *hampooedr—-the soles of our feet being scraped with an instrument for the purpose, and every joint in our hands and feet made to crack. Lastly, we were offered coffee, and a glass of sherbet; after which we were allowed to dress, and come away, not a little amused, as well as refreshed. The custom of passing from the bath to the dressing-room, during which the feet might easily be soiled, reminded us of the true rendering of the precious words of our Lord, " He that has been in the bath, needeth not, save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit."*

Before dinner we had a pleasant ride to the gardens of the Governor, about a mile from town. Passing out of the gate, we observed that every man who went out showed his hand to the sentinel. This is to prevent desertion from the army, every soldier bearing the Pasha's mark on his right hand. We passed a grove of palms and observed the flowering pomegranates—vines also and figs, tamarisks and banians.

We stood a little to observe the common manner of drawing water at the wells. A wheel is moved round by oxen or buffaloes, whose neck is yoked to a pole. Every where we saw the slow-pacing animal moving round, and heard the creaking of this clumsy apparatus.

• John xiii. 10.


By the road-side an old sarcophagus was lying in frag meats. We alighted and walked through the gardens, laid out with straight walks, after the Egyptian taste. The flowering oranges were beautiful and fragrant, ano the vines luxuriant. The grapes are said to be watery In returning we visited the site of the lake Mareotis, Pompey's Pillar, and the Mahometan burying-ground. We then proceeded through the extensive ruins of the old city to Cleopatra's Needles, two beautiful obelisks, one lying flat, half sunk in the ground, the other still standing erect . Both are covered with hieroglyphics, fresh and unchanged by time. Near the Coptic Convent we examined with much interest the site and remaining traces of the church of the great Athanasius, who was Bishop here A. D. 326, God's witness for the truth against many kings and people. Some broken pillars and fragments of the foundation are all that remain. Not far from this is the ancient Jewish burying-ground; but the Jews are now forced to bury outside the walls.

In the course of our ride, one of our friends, who had resided long in Egypt, stated a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy.—Scarcely any of those reeds for which the Nile was once famous are now to be found upon its banks. The lotus in particular has disappeared, so that it is nearly unknown; and the papyrus is very rare. Now the words of Isaiah are these: " The waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up."* This has literally taken place. In the days of the prophet there were seven mouths of the Nile; there are now only two; the rest have been wasted and dried up. But farther he predicts,f " They shall turn the rivvers (t. e. the canals) far away, and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither. The paper-reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more."J These words have come to pass, while at the same time it is interesting to remark, that Egypt is as famous for its melons and cucumbers, its leeks and onions, and garlick, as it was in the days of Moses.} The reeds were commanded to wither, and they have fled away; the other productions against which no word of threatening went forth, are as and Ahmet rode by our side, and ten Egyptian lads ran beside the asses that bore the luggage. Soon after, our train received the addition of two more asses, one to carry the water-skins, and another to be ready for service in case of any of the rest becoming exhausted. We soon passed through the Rosetta gate, and bade farewell to Alexandria.

• Jsa. xix 5. t Verses 6, 7.

t Some have rendered verse 7—" Nakedness on the river, on the mouth of the river," which would be a striking reference to the five dried-up branches -nm 'B Sjj iiK'-Sp nny $ Num. xi. 5.

It was the morning of the day on which our General Assembly was to meet in Edinburgh, an assembly in which the important question of the Spiritual Independence of our Church, and the privilege of its Christian people, were likely to be keenly discussed. As we rode along the sands, sometimes meeting the palm-tree, sometimes a cluster of lowly shrubs, with flocks of goats browsing near, we spoke to each other of the day, praying that the crown might be set on the head of the Anointed One, and that the dry land of our parishes miirht be turned into water-springs.

We thought of the Judges of Israel riding on asses, * and of the many references to this custom in the Bible. We remembered above all that Zion's King came thus fo Zion, "Meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass."f The palms seemed frequently to spring

• Judg v. 10. t Matt . xxi. 5.


up immediately from out of the sand, their root no doubl being nourished by unseen moisture. Does the Psalmist refer to this circumstance, when he says, " The righteous shall flourish as the palm-tree?"* At all events, there is reference to its regular, steady growth, year after year, marked by a new circle upon the bark. The beautiful waving of the branches also, when moved by a passing breeze, showed us how they came to be so frequently used in triumphs; a custom alluded to in Revelations, f where the great multitude who have overcome all their enemies and stand before the throne, are clothed in white robes and hold " palms in their hands." Lizards were every where basking in the heat of the sun; and sometimes in the distance a group of camels were seen feeding on the stunted shrubs of the desert; while the only sounds that broke on the ear were the cries of the driver, "ruach," "get on," and "uzbel," "stop;" or sometimes the voice of the older men calling "waled," "boy," to the younger lads. The boys took great delight in teaching us the Arabic for the numbers one, two, three, &c., and for some of the common phrases of life, interpreting them by signs. Dr. Keith engaged himself in questioning our servant and guide Ibraim about Petra; for he had been there with Dr. Robinson of America. From him we learned that a rough, hairy animal, which we understood to be the porcupine, abounds in Wady Mousa, and that the Arabs call it "kangfud," which is evidently the Hebrew iiup (kippod), the word used in Isaiah, \ though translated " bittern" in our version.

Our course lay across the head of the ancient Lake Mareotis, and some other salt-lakes, now dried up by the sun. A white crust of salt often covered the hard sand. In the distance, we observed the well-known phenomenon of the mirage, to which the prophet Isaiah is supposed to allude, "The parched ground shall become (really) a pool."} At one time, we saw what seemed to be a calm flowing water, reflecting from its unruffled surface trees growing on its banks, while some object in the background assumed the appearance of a splendid residence amidst a grove of trees. At another time, there appeared castles embosomed in a forest of palms, with a lake of clear water stretched between us and them. Generally

* Pa. xcii. 12. t Rev. vii. 9. t Isa. xxxiv. 11.

$ lea. xxxv. 7. The Hebrew word (a-iB,) employed in this passage for "parched ground," is exactly the Arabic name for the mirage, viz. serab


the mirage may be known by its continually shifting the view, and by the hazy movement of the atmosphere over the apparent waters.

Suddenly we came upon the Bay of Aboukir, and were refreshed by the cool breeze from the Mediterranean. This bay is famous in the warlike annals of our country, and here the Canovic mouth of the Nile used formerly to empty itself into the sea.

About one, we rested, taking shelter from the heat under the walls of a wretched khan, which was so small that we preferred putting up our tent, while the Arabs opened their sacks and gave the asses provender,—reminding us of Jacob's sons.*

At three, we resumed our journey, enjoying the pleasant air from the sea till toward evening, when we left the shore. The road was now marked by pillars, composed of heaps of brick, at distant intervals. The Arabs called these "Ahmoud," that is " pillars." They are peculiarly useful to the traveller, for it is as easy for one to find his way amidst drifted snow that has covered the tracks and lines of a road, as to find it in this sandy desert;—and no doubt, to these allusion is made by the prophet,f "Set thee up way-marks, make thee high heaps." When a hurricane has passed over the desert, the traces in the sand are easily obliterated, which may be alluded to by the prophet,J "O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy (swallow up) the way of thy paths."

We descried Rosetta about two hours before we reached it, at the extremity of a long flat valley of sand. The rays of the setting sun gave a red tinge to the surface of the desert, and as we approached the town, we entered a beautiful grove of palms, growing luxuriantly out of sandy hillocks. Some of our attendants had got before us, and were waiting for us, in eastern style, at the gate—"El Bab Rashid," the gate of Rosetta, as they said. All was now truly oriental, and the scenery of the Arabian Nights occurred vividly to our mind, as we rode through streets silent as the grave, with not even a solitary lamp to cheer the eye. The houses seemed nothing else than lofty walls of brick or red granite. Many of them appeared to be wholly deserted, though sometimes a turbaned head was dimly seen at the narrow windows

• Gen. xlii. 27.

tJer.xxxi.2i. The Hebrew word isonnon, "obelisks or columns." t Ia-iii. 12.

are about fifteen Roman Catholics m the town, and a superior (who was absent at Jerusalem) generally resides in the Convent; but at the time of our visit, there were no inmates except a solitary Monk,—an amiable Italian, with a little native boy attending him.

We were refreshed by a draught of the water of the Nile. It is certainly peculiarly sweet and soft—very palatable at any time, and not less so after the heat of the day. Perhaps the peculiar pleasantness of these waters is referred to by Jeremiah, "Now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor V *

We had scarcely sat down when we heard the sound of music and mirth, and running to the window observed the glare of torches in the street. We were told that it was "the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride."+ Some of us instantly set out to witness the spectacle of an Eastern Marriage. We wished to see the parable of the Ten Virgins illustrated, and our wish was gratified. The bridegroom was on his way to the house of the bride. According to custom, he walked in procession through several streets of the town, attended by a numerous body of friends, all in their showy eastern garb. Persons bearing torches went first, the torches being kept in full blaze by a constant supply of ready wood from a receiver, made of wire, fixed on the end of a long pole. Two of the torch-bearers stood close to the bridegroom, so that we had a view of his persort. Some were playing upon an instrument not unlike our bagpipe, others were beating drums, and from time to time muskets were fired in honour of the occasion. There was much mirth expressed by the crowd, especially when the pro

• Jer. ii. 1a t Jer. xxxiii. 11.

Lord's parable,f the virgins go forth to meet the bridegroom with lamps in their hands, but here they onlywaited for his coming. Still we saw the traces of the very scene described by our Lord, and a vivid representation of the way in which Christ shall come to his waiting Church, and the marriage supper of the Lamb begin. In India and other parts of the East, it is the custom for the friends of the bride to go out to meet the company.

There are a few Jews in Rosetta, but no synagogue. The whole population of the town consists of 6000 inhabitants, and about 3000 soldiers. The ancient Canopua stood near the site of the town, but Rosetta is believed to be the ancient Bolbotine, and the branch of the Nile that flows past Rosetta is the Bolbotinicum ostium.

The Monk in the Convent proved very affable. His name was Jeremiah Galazzo, a Franciscan, from Italy. He had never read the New Testament in any language but Latin; and when we offered it to him in Italian, received it with a smile of delight . Shortly after he came back to us, and asked if we really meant to make the book his own; and then requested us to write our names upon it, mentioning that it was our gift to him. This we gladly did, and also left some Italian tracts in his library. Perhaps the Lord may some day make these seeds of divine truth spring up in his heart, as they did in Luther's within the walls of a monastery.

At one end of the room where we slept, there was a small library, containing such books as these:—" Officia ginal sin, pray tor us who betake ourselves to thee." On the back of a chair hung a monk's brown, dirty dress; and a skull cap lay on a shelf above.

* John iii. 29 t Matt Xxm 1.

(" May 17.) Next morning when we rose we gazed for the first time upon the river Nile; and in the forenoon walked along its banks, drinking of the " water of Sihor," those pleasant waters that were once turned into blood. The fact that these waters were so highly prized must have made that amazing miracle to be the more deeply felt, and gives singular force to the words, "The Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river."* So much is the water esteemed down to the present day, that the Turks say, "if Mahomet had tasted this river, he would have prayed for a temporal immortality that he might enjoy it for ever."

We visited a rice-mill which is in the course of erection; and found that the principal workmen in it were four Americans employed by the Pasha. They were very happy to meet with us, and invited us to their lodging. One of them begged us to leave any English books which we could spare, as they had read over all their store. They said they kept the Sabbath every week, for when engaging with the Pasha, he allowed them this privilege, that they might take either tbeir own Sunday or the Mahometan Friday for rest. We next went to the Bazaar, a strange scene of filth and wretchedness. The shops were poorly supplied, except in the article of cucumbers; but the miserable objects that were crawling about,—sore-eyed children perched on their mother's shoulder, with faces half devoured by flies,—old men half blind,—and all filthy in the extreme, presented a

• Exod. vii 1a

approaching too near the door, we were warned to withdraw. Looking into another, we observed a man in a kind of pulpit, addressing the worshippers, who were seated in a row upon a marble floor, with their eyes directed towards the preacher. The attitudes of devotion in the East are singularly beautiful.

In returning to the Convent, we had an opportunity of witnessing the procession that takes place upon the erent of a circumcision. The Arabs, with a reference to their progenitor Ishmael, circumcise their children when thirteen years old, and perform the ceremony with great pomp.f The boy, on whose account the ceremony was to be performed on this occasion, was handsomely dressed, and seated upon a white horse, with his head garlanded with flowers. The attendants stopped every now and then, and were entertained with music, firing of muskets, and merriment of various kinds, as in the marriage procession. The women wearing the veil seated themselves on the ground, and sang with shrill voices, sometimes they threw a fragrant liquid over the boy, reminding us of the words of the Psalmist, "All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad." J We observed more narrowly the bracelets and ornaments on the forehead worn by the women, and their eyes painted with stibium, and also the silver anklets worn by the children. The men together played at single-stick, keeping time to the music in a very dexterous manner

• Pi. W. 17. t Gon. xvii. 25. J Ps. xlv. a


At four in the afternoon, we took leave of Rosetta and of our friendly monk, and crossed the Nile, which is here 1800 feet broad. We and our servants were a sufficient load for one small boat; our luggage occupied another; and our asses a third:—and thus we floated slowly to the other side. A rice-field was near the spot where we landed; the rice was springing up through the water, which still drenched its surface. We saw a man ploughing with oxen;—the plough seemed nothing more than a piece of wood, shaped so as to be capable of piercing

the ground. Some of the women of the villages were using the distaff, and the children were gathering mulberries.

We had now a pleasant ride down the right bank of the Nile, among very rich gardens of melons and cucumbers, with figs and mulberry trees, and the finest palms we had yet seen. The croaking of frogs in all the ricefields was incessant, and the pigeon, called by the Arabs Tur, was cooing among the trees. From time to time we had to cross little canals formed to carry water from the Nile, and supplied by the oxen turning round a wheel. Into one of these one of our baggage asses was pushed headlong by his fellow; and the patient animal lay quietly at the bottom till it was lifted out.

One of our attendants went to drink at a tank by the roadside. At all these tanks there is a small pitcher for the accommodation of travellers; sometimes fastened by a chain, and sometimes without it, but even if left loose it remains untouched. The villages are wretched. The people seem almost naked, and excessively dirty; most of them, too, are old people; very rarely did we meet any healthy young men. The reason is, that all such are obliged to enter the army; and Egyptian villages and lands are left to the care of women and old men. It seems still the case that taskmasters rule over Egypt— it is a "house of bondage" at this day. God remembers how Egypt kept his chosen Israel 400 years in slavery, further. Upon this the young Arabs proceeded without a murmur, and in order to cheer the way commenced a native dance and song. One of them, advancing a little before the rest, began the song, dancing forward as he repeated the words, when the rest, following him in regular order, joined in the chorus, keeping time by a simultaneous clapping of hands. They sang several Arabian songs in this way, responding to one another, and dancing along the firm sand of the sea-shore, in the clear beautiful moonlight . The response, the dance, and the clapping of the hands, brought many parts of the word of God to our minds. We remembered the song of Miriam at the Red Sea, when " the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances; and Miriam answered them," that is, "Miriam sang responsively to them;" J and also the song of the women of Israel after David's victory over the giant, "They answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands."} The words of the Psalmist were likewise brought to mind, " O clap your hands, all ye people; Shout unto God with the voice of triumph;" || and again, "Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together" IT—i. e. in full choir. The responsive form of the 136th Psalm, and others of a like kind, was fully illustrated by this interesting scene.

* Ezrk. xxix. 15. "Basest of kingdoms," is every where seen fulfilled in the fact, that native Egyplians nave none of the power or wealth of the land. Every appearance of power or greatness in it belongs to its foreign governor and his officers, not to natives. The Pasha is the gulf in which the produce of Egypt is swallowed up.

t Numb. xxiv. 9. t Kxod. xv. 20. $ 1 Sam. xviii. 6, 7.

I Pa. xlvii. 1- * Ps. xcviii. a


We slept this night on the sea-shore. And in putting up our tents, we began to understand better the circumstances attending this manner of life. We learned howto " enlarge the place of the tent" * by " stretching out the curtains." We saw how by " lengthening the cords," we drew wider the covering; and as we drove in the pins "or stakes" into the sand, we learned the necessity of " strengthening the stakes," if they were to endure the tugging of the wind and weight of the canvass. Israel is yet to dwell at large, under a tent widely spread; but not a temporary abode, shifted at next morning's dawn. Jerusalem is to be "a tabernacle that shall not be taken down, not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken." f There may be a reference to the falling of the tent when its cords are loosed, in Job, " He hath loosed my cord and afflicted me." J And perhaps also in the Epistle to the Corinthians, "If our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved,"} where the original word is KaraXvOn, "loosened." Then verse 4th has this meaning, "We groan, not to be left without a tabernacle altogether, but to have the glory enveloping our tent, to have an additional and far more glorious covering." Jael's tent-nails and hammer || could not fail to occur to us. When Zechariah says, "out of him came the nail," H he refers to the fixing of the tent. And when another prophet says, " the nail that is fixed shall be removed," ** he may allude to the tent-pin pulled up when the tent is shifted.

(May 18.) We started early next morning, and were soon on our way. We had already learned how natural were the words, " Take up thy bed and walk;" ff our simple beds costing us no trouble, and serving us for a softer seat on the asses' back.

About one o'clock we reached the lake Bourlos, anciently lake Buteo, where the Sebennetic branch of the Nile once discharged its waters into the Mediterranean. It is a fine expanse of water, communicating with the sea by a narrow outlet. Multitudes of large porpoises were swimming about, whose playful motions amused us as we sailed across. They repeatedly darted out of the water in pursuit of smaller fish. The fishermen on shore were using the d^i«x,«rrpov, a net resembling the poke-net used in the isles of Scotland. It is circular, and

* Isa. !iv. 2. t Isa. xxxiii. 20. X Job xxx. 11. The Hcb. is 'in» $ 2 Cor. v. 1, 4. II Judg. v. 26. 1 Zoch. x. 4.

** Isa. xxii. 25. The nail is in Heb. "irv. tt John v. 8.

more of our journey, and the road was too bad for travelling in the dark. Without any altercation, therefore, and being glad to rest, we pitched our tents in the middle of this village about seven o'clock. The day had been exceedingly sultry; and the faces of some of us were blistered by the hot wind and glowing sands. We had scarcely sat down in the tent-door to enjoy the cool air of evening, when our attention was painfully arrested by the screams of one of our drivers. We rushed to the spot in time to save the poor fellow from a repetition of the unmerciful blows which the chief driver had been inflicting on his head with a staff. Some disobedience in drawing water was the cause of quarrel. We took him into our tent, and Ibraim applied some coffee to the bleeding wound, laughing all the time at his piteous cries. Truly the tender mercies of the heathen are cruel.

(May 19.) This morning was the Sabbath, and we rested according to the commandment. After worshipping together, we spent the forenoon in a grove of palms. The heat was great, the thermometer being 84 •. We soon left the shade of the palm, and seated ourselves under the deeper shade of the fig and tamarisk. A fox started from his lair at our approach, and

* Matt. iv. IS. Wc saw the same afterwards at the lake of Galilee, t In i 8.

not able to tell them in their own tongue one word ot the great salvation. It stirred us the more to cry, "Thy kingdom come!" They kindly offered us some fresh garlick, and then their long pipe to smoke. One of them brought a vessel of water, and tasted it first himself to induce us to drink with confidence.

In the evening, the Sheikh or Governor of the place came down to our tent, attended by his Secretary— whom we found to be an Arabic Christian—and by his Pipe-bearer. They drank tea and ate sugar with great good humour, and seemed delighted at the attention paid them. They gladly accepted a pencil-case and knife, and promised to Dr. Keith to take Arabic tracts if he would send them. The Governor's brother was next introduced, that we might heal him of blindness. We found that one of his eyes was obscured by cataract, which we assured him it was beyond the reach of our skill to remove. Upon their leaving us, we received a hint to give a small bacshish, or present, to the Pipebearer, as a token of respect to the Master for the honour he had done us in visiting our tent.

(May 20.) Owing to the restless impatience of our guides and servants, we were obliged to strike our tents at midnight. The moon was nearly full, and the sky without a cloud as we travelled onward for some hours through a much richer and more undulating country than that which we had passed. The palms and other trees of the desert gave beauty to the scene, while the hoarse croakinp; of the frogs told us that water was plentiful. Sometimes we came upon Arab huts made of branches of the belach or palm, and were saluted by the angry howl of dogs. Arriving at the sea, we rode along the

* Iso. xxviii. 27,2a

rice and dates, we resumed our journey, being anxious to reach Damietta this evening. About three o'clock, as we left the sea-shore, the Minarets of the town appeared in the distant horizon. We rode through an undulating . pass of low sand-hills, the air resembling that of an oven. Coming in sight of a well, our guides ran to quench their burning thirst. To us, however, this only afforded a trial of patience, for the water was so muddy that we could not drink. In a little time we arrived at Senana, a village on the west side of this branch of the Nile, where the Pasha has barracks for some thousand troops. The troops were exercising as we passed by:—some were in drill, and some shooting at a mark. They wear a white cotton dress, with a deep red sash, and are far from being a bold-looking set of men. The Nile here is 800 feet broad: and this was anciently called the Phatnitir or Burolic branch. We sat down upon the bank, and drank freely of the water, which, when passed through a filter, was pure and delicious. An Egyptian officer brought us out chairs, and sat down with us in the shade of his house. He spoke with deep admiration of Mehemet Ali, and told us anecdotes of his unwearied activity.

The houses and mosques of Damietta looked very beautiful in the evening sun on the opposite bank of the river,—a sad contrast to the filth, poverty, and guilt, to be found within. This is the ancient Tamiatis; it occupies a fine situation, and has well cultivated lands in its


vicinity. We had sent Ibraim across the river with * letter to the Vice-Consul, the only representative of England in this place, to make known our arrival. He returned with a message from the Vice-Consul inviting us to his house; upon which we immediately embarked, and were soon rowed across the gentle stream, and up one of the canals, till we landed in Damietta, immediately under the Consul's garden. We were received into a large hall, with a stone floor, and a broad divan at the far end. In the one corner, * which is the place of state, we found the Vice-Consul, a smart-looking Egyptian, in a Greek dress of dark green, with yellow slippers. He received us very graciously, and made us sit beside him on the divan. Long pipes, highly ornamented, were immediately brought to us by the attendants. We felt it not a little teazing, after all our fatigues and sleeplessness, to be compelled, out of politeness, to go through these eastern formalities, and to recline with him for nearly two hours, until a repast was prepared such as he thought suitable for British travellers. However, we were deeply interested by observing many eastern customs, which we had read of from our youth. We were introduced also to the Consul's brother and nephew; the latter a fine-looking young man; with a pointed moustache, who had singular command over his features. He spoke to us in the Italian very freely; told us with great sangfroid of the poverty and misery of the inhabitants of Damietta; and when we informed him that we w'ere Ministers of Christ, said that he admired our religion very much, because it appealed to reason. An old Bedouin sheikh was brought before us, who promised to do his best to procure camels for our future journey through the desert. At last the repast was served up. It was much after the English fashion, our host shewing us the greatest kindness. After all was over, we were guided by the janissary, carrying a silk lantern, through the dark streets, to rooms belonging to the British consulate. Our mats were spread upon the floor, and we slept soundly, although the mosquitoes annoyed us not a little. A locust also dropt in at one of the lattices of the room. Our chamber was fitted up in the true oriental style, for the part of the room assigned for the bed was about a foot higher than the rest of the floor. We saw the meaning of " going up to the bed."j The windows were completely shaded"by a wooden lattice-work on the outside, which we found universal in * Amos iii. 12, and Zech. x. 4. t Pa cxxxii. 3.

whom was the Governor of the province—a rough-looking man, with a grisly beard, snow-white turban and

auuaiuu in uic xaauua, IIvmIua ao unj cjra ui acivcnus

look unto the hand of their masters."f While we were thus seated, a tall old man came in with a petition in his hand. He took off his shoes, and approached the Governor barefoot.J The great man glanced rapidly over the paper, and without speaking a word, gathered his brows into a terrible frown; whereat the poor man retired as if from a serpent.

At parting, we were invited to return to the evening meal. No hour was fixed; but towards evening, we were sent for by the secretary, whose name was Salvator Strigelli, an intelligent young Italian, fantastically dressed, with long black hair curling upon his shoulders. We asked him when his master usually dined; he said, "About half an hour after sunset," which proved to be half-past seven. We had an opportunity of speaking to this secretary very directly on the necessity of a personal interest in Christ. He seemed, however, to have a strong leaning to scepticism, and was of a romantic turn of mind.

At the door of the Consul's house were many poor and diseased, hanging about in expectation of getting help from those who visited him. We remembered Lazarus laid at the rich man's gate.} At dinner we were still more interested in observing a custom of the country.—In the room where we were received, besides the divan on which we sat, there were seats all round the walls. Many came in and took their place on those

• 2 Kings iii 11. t Ps. exxiii 2. t Exod. iii. 5. $ Luke xvi. 20.

A u& vuusui, wuuac name is miLlluri OUl'UU, Is vy IJU'Ul

an Egyptian, and his father was a native of Damascus. He is a Greek Roman Catholic, but so liberal, that he declared he believed our Protestant worship to be much nearer the form which Christ would approve. He thought that there were no traces in Scripture of any such orders in the church as their bishops. At the same time he reckoned it a disgrace for any man to change his religion. (Wednesday, May 22.) In the pleasant air of morning the flat roof of our house afforded us an opportunity of realizing Peter's position in Acts x. 9, and of imitating his example. Immediately below our apartment was the Graeco-Romish chapel, a very small apartment, filled with the fragrance of incense. Two priests stood at the altar and two monks were reading the Arabic service. Two little boys also were assisting; but we were the only auditors. The half of the population of Damietta is proheap at the door. Three repeated their lesson at once, rocking to and fro. Quickness and loudness of utterance seemed to be aimed at as the chief excellence of the scholars.

* John xii. 1—3.

t Luke vii. 36—3a We afterwards saw this custom at Jerusalem, and there it was still more fitted to illustrate these incidents. We were •itting around Mr. Nicolayson's table, when first one and then another stranger opened the dour and came in, taking seats by the wall. They Vaned forward and spoke to those at table. Now, in the case of the woman that was n sinner, Christ is dining at a Pharisee's tabic. As the feast goes on, the door opens, and a woman enters and takes her seat by the wall just behind him. The Pharisee eyes her with abhorrence; but as custom permits it, he does not prevent her coming in. After a little time, as Jesus is reclining, with his feet sloped toward the back of the couch, the woman bends forward, pours her (ears on his feet, and anointa them with precioua ointment.

We visited the Consul once more, to thank him for all his kindness and bid him adieu. The common salutation at meeting and parting is to put the hand first on the breast and then on the lips, as if to intimate that what the lips utter the heart feels.* But no custom of the East struck us more than their manner of squandering away time: drinking coffee, smoking, and sitting indolently on a couch, seem to occupy many hours of the day.

In the forenoon, our arrangements for traversing the desert being completed, we set out for the lake Menzaleh, about a mile from Damietta. Many of the people whom we passed on the way were preparing chopped straw and camel's dung mixed with earth for fuel.f Many of the children were absolutely naked. Reaching the lake, we embarked in a large open boat, spread our carpets on the floor, and formed an awning with our mats. A large sail was raised, and a gentle breath of wind carried us slowly along; the sail and ropes were well patched, and would have fared ill in a gale. Lake Menzaleh is the ancient Mendes, and is in general four or five feet deep. The bottom appeared to be a very rich alluvial soil, and were the lake drained would form a splendid plain. The banki are all cultivated for rice. In the middle of the deck of our boat stood a large earthen jar with water, of which the sailors drank from time to time. The Bedouin sheikh, Haggi Mater, sat beside us. He was an

* See Job xxxi. 27, " My mouth hath kissed my hand."
t This may explain what is said in Ezck. iv. 14, 15.

j— .._ _- ..-..._ ..j ...„ . ^««j J

some carrying lime, others rice, others fish. The Mosque, rising over the houses and palm-trees, and seen against the deep blue sky, gave a truly picturesque effect to this quiet but busy spot. Towards evening, we observed the shore covered with immense reeds, from ten to twenty feet high; the water-fowl, and the fish leaping out of the water, seemed to be innumerable. The unbroken stillness of the evening scene was strangely solemnizing, and after singing the 23d and 121st Psalms, we committed ourselves to repose in the bottom of the boat.

(May 23.) We were roused before sunrise. Our boat had reached during the night a narrow embankment, which divides this part of the lake from the next. The part we had sailed over was anciently the Mendeman branch of the Nile: and the part we were now to enter upon was the Tanitic or Sailic branch, now called Moes. The place was called Sid, perhaps a remnant of the ancient Sou.

While the men were transporting the luggage over the slender isthmus, we wandered along the shore. It was a beautiful morning, and the air was soft and balmy, —just such an atmosphere Joseph used to breathe when he was governor over the land of Egypt. We came upon two Arabs sitting by a smouldering fire of camel's

stones, was lying by alarge cruise of water, and a round iron plate for baking. As we sailed on, the banks on either hand presented fields of very large onions watered by human labour. A half-naked Egyptian stood by a well, into which he dipped a bucket, which was attached to a transverse pole. By means of a weight at the other

end of the pole, the bucket was easily raised and emptied into the ditch, which conveyed it over the field.* There were also many " sluices and ponds for fish," similar without doubt to those referred to by Isaiah,f which were once numerous on all the branches of the Nile.

About ten o'clock A. M. we landed at the village of San, anciently called Tunis, and in Scripture Zoan, one of the most ancient cities in the world.J; The fine alluvial plain around was no doubt " the field of Zoan,"} where God did marvellous things in the days of Moses; and it is by no means an unlikely opinion, that the wellknown Goshen|| was in this region. We pitched our tents upon the bank to shelter ourselves from the rays of an almost vertical sun, while the wild Arabs came round, some to gaze upon the strangers, and some to offer old coins and small images for sale. In the cool of the day we wanderedforth for solitary meditation,and Mr. Bonar.passing over some heaps of rubbish a few minutes' walk from the

* Some such custom is alluded to in Deut. xi. 10: "Not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot as a garden of herbs." t Isa. xix. 10. t Numb. xiii. 22

§ Pa lxxviii. 12, 4i II Gen. xlvi. 29.

village, started a fox from his lair. Following after it, he {bona himself among low hills of loose alluvial matter, full of fragments of pottery, while beyond these lay sevc


ral heaps of large stones, which on a nearer inspection he found to be broken obelisks and ruins of what may have been ancient temples—the relics of a glory that is departed. But darkness came on, and obliged him to return to the tent. It was a lovely moonlight night, and very pleasant it was to unite in prayer and in singing psalms amid the wild Arabs, in the very region where God had wrought so many wonders long ago. We read over Isaiah xix, "The burden of Egypt," in our tent, and when we looked out on the paltry mud village of San, with its wretched inhabitants, we saw God's word fulfilled before our eyes. "Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish :" " Where are they? where are thy wise men f "The princes of Zoan are become fools"* The people of the modern village are extremely filthy and ignorant, famous for pilfering, and not to be trusted. Our sheikh and servants were a little afraid of them, and insisted on making one or two discharges of fire-arms, to instil a salutary awe into the villagers. They also kept watch round our tents the whole night, (one of them with a naked sabre, which lay by his side gleaming in the moonlight,) keeping one another awake by a low Arab chant.

(May 24, Friday.) At sunrise we took a full survey of all that now remains of ancient Zoan. We found that the large mounds of alluvial matter which cover the ruins of brick and pottery, extend about two miles from east to west, and one mile and a half from north to south. The whole country round appeared to be covered not with sand, but with soil which might be cultivated to the utmost if there was water. The most remarkable relics of this ancient city lie at the western extremity. We came upon immense blocks of red granite lying in a heap. All had been hewn, some were carved, and some were still lying regularly placed one above another. Here probably stood the greatest temple of Zoan; and there seems to have been an open square round it. Possibly also a stream flowed through the very midst of the city, for at present there is the dry channel of a torrent. Further to the north, we found ten or twelve obelisks, fallen and prostrate, and two sphinxes, broken and half sunk into the ground. The finest of the obelisks was thirty feet long, the culmen unbroken, and the carving unimpaired. All were covered with hieroglyphics. Seve* Isa. xix. 11—13.

however, were most remarkable, consisting of jars of the ancient form, without number, all broken into fragments, many of them bearing the clearest marks of the action of fire, showing that God has literally fulfilled the word of the prophet, " I will set fire in Zoan." *

Returning to our tents, we found eight camels waiting for us, each attended by a Bedouin. This was our first trial of " the ship of the desert." The loading of the camel is a singular scene. At the word of command the animal sinks down upon the sand with its limbs crouched under it . A wooden frame is fastened on the highest part of the back, to which a net-work of ropes is commonly attached, for the convenience of enclosing luggage. A carpet and covering are then placed above, and form a soft saddle, upon which the rider must sit either astride or sideways, without stirrup or bridle, and balance himself according to the best of his ability. The camel often moans sadly during the time of mounting, and sometimes tries to bite. When it rises there is much danger of being thrown over its head, and then of being thrown the other way; and the Arabs are very careless

* Ezek. xxx. ?t See Dr. Keith's Evidences of Prophecy, p. 380, last ed


in warning, for they say no one is hurt by a fall from a camel. All things being ready, we proceeded forward at the slow rate of somewhat less than three miles an hour. The long step of the camel causes a constant monotonous rocking of the body, which is very fatiguing at first, and our patience was tried by their incessantly bending down their swan-like necks to crop the dry prickly herbage of the desert. The Sheikh presented us with some fresh cucumbers to keep us from thirst, and we listened with interest to the short plaintive song of the Bedouins, who responded to one another while they urged on their camels. We passed a small hovel in the sand, where the Arabs made a curious sound expressive of superstitious reverence. They told us it was the dwelling of a dervish. Coming upon the dead carcase of a camel, which two men were flaying for the sake of its flesh and skin, our guide remarked that, besides these, the hair also is valuable, being used in making rough cloaks for the Bedouins. No doubt these are the same as the hairy garment worn by Elijah,* and the " raiment of camel's hair" worn by John the Baptist, f All the Arabs wore also a broad " leathern girdle about their loins."

We frequently experienced an interesting illustration of a passage in the prophet Isaiah.J About midday, when the heat was very oppressive, a small cloud, scarcely observable by the eye, passed over the disc of the burning sun. Immediately the intense heat abated, a gentle breeze sprung up, and we felt refreshed. "Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers (enemies) as the heat in a dry place (a sandy desert), even the heat with the shadow of a cloud; the branch (the palm branch waved in supposed triumph) of the terrible ones shall be brought low." The immediate relief afforded us by the interposition of a small and almost imperceptible cloud, taught us the lesson of the prophet—with what divine ease and speed God can relieve his suffering church and bring low her proudest enemies. Again and again in the course of our journey we had occasion to quote the words, and in the spirit of Bunyan's pilgrim when refreshed, said one to another, "He bringeth down the heat in a dry place with the shadow of a cloud."

In four hours and a half We arrived at Menaghee, a poor village, where every house was built entirely of mud, j but

* 2 Kings i. 8. t Matt . iii. 4. J Isa. xxv. 5

5 Perhaps Kzekiel refers to such mud walls as these, xiii. 10; and our Lord, Matt . vi. 19 (Greek), " where thieves dig through and steal"

sistibly reminded us of the word of God concerning Ishmael, "He will be a wild man"—or more literally, "He will be a wild ass man." IT

(May 25, Saturday.) We were mounted on our camels by sunrise, and bade salaam to the old sheikh and his black attendant, who now took leave of us in a very kind manner, committing us to the care of the Bedouins. The sunbeams glanced along the level plain of the wilderness, scorching our hands and faces, for we were journeying nearly due east. Every hour it became hotter and hotter, and this, along with the slow rocking motion of the camel, often produced an irresistible drowsiness—a feeling indescribably painful in such circumstances. About half-past nine o'clock, a loud cry from the guide aroused us all. Our friend Dr. Black had fallen suddenly from his camel. We immediately slipped down from our camels and ran to the spot. For some time he remained nearly insensible, but by the use of such restoratives as we had, at last began gradually to recover. It was a truly affecting scene, which we can never forget . Far from our kindred, in the midst of a vast soli

V.xod. xv. 27. t Isn. xix. 7. t Heb. aip (oreb)

I No doubt the Hebrew nxi (daiah). II Isa. xxx. 24.

t Gen. xvi. 13. oi* Htb

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