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the south side, an amphitheatre capable of holding a vast multitude of people. All have disappeared. Those tall buttresses, which make the most show of any part of the present ruins, evidently belonged to a Christian church, possibly of Crusader times.
Cæsarea has the misfortune to be inseparably associated with the incipient causes and first outbreaks of that dreadful war in which Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Jewish nation were destroyed. Herod, by erecting heathen temples and theatres, and placing idol statues in the city, greatly displeased the Jews, and the disputes between them and their idolatrous fellow-citizens finally became so bitter and exasperated that they rushed blindly into open revolt. One of the first acts of the bloody tragedy was the massacre of twenty thousand Jews in this city by the Greeks. The whole Jewish nation then flew to arms, and ceased to fight only when they ceased to exist as a people.
How comes it that Cæsarea has for many ages been utterly deserted ? It is, I believe, the only considerable city on the coast that has been thus absolutely forsaken.
Several things conspired to work out this result. The mole being overthrown, the harbor became utterly unsafe; not a single ship could ride securely in it. This destroyed her commerce. The aqueducts broken, there was no longer an adequate supply of water; and this gone, the surrounding country relapsed into its natural state of a barren desert, and the sand, constantly accumulating from the sea, buried up every green thing. Thus solitary in itself, it early became infested with robbers, so that no one could live here in safety, and thus it continues to this hour; nor is there much reason to hope that it will again become an important city, for it has not a single natural advantage.
It is time to seek our tent at Tawâhîn ez Zerka, an hour to the north-east of us. Let us follow the line of these lofty aqueductstwo in one-by which we shall obtain a better idea of the ancient suburbs, and likewise observe their great size. They were carried along parallel to the shore for about two miles, and served as a defence against the sands of the sea, and the whole space on the east of them seems to have been occupied with buildings. We can see into the covered canals in many places; and the stories of the
AQUEDUCTS.-MILL-DAM AND MILLS OF EZ ZERKA. 73 natives, that a man could pass inside of them on horseback from the city to the mills of ez Zerka, do not seem to be incredible fables. They are in such preservation that it would not cost a large sum to clear them of the sand, and again bring the water to the harbor. It is not true, however, as some travellers assert, that ships frequently put in here to obtain water from these aqueducts, for they have been broken for centuries. Boats often call in summer to load with stones from the ruins, and many of the recent buildings in Jaffa and Acre are constructed out of them. I once spent a day here while my boat was being thus freighted for Jaffa, and such is the only trade carried on with this ancient capital of Palestine. Shepherds, who water their flocks from the well near the site of the southern gate, visit it by day; and robbers, by night, lie in wait to plunder any unprotected traveller who may chance to pass—which, however, is of rare occurrence, as comparatively few now follow this desolate coast, and none venture alone, if they can in any way avoid it.
Here are the mills, and, by taking the advice of the miller, our tents have been pitched in a very good position for defence. There is no disguising the fact that we are surrounded by robbers, and it will be necessary to keep a strict guard. We have time enough before sunset to examine this extraordinary locality. It appears that the river Zerka had here broken through the low rocky ridge which runs parallel to the shore, and in some remote age that opening was shut up by this powerful wall, thus raising the water twenty-five feet high. The wall is two hundred and thirty paces long and twenty feet thick, and the road still passes along its topthe grandest mill-dam I have ever seen. The water falls directly from the top on the wheels below. There are some eight or ten mills now in motion, others are in ruins, and at least twenty might be ranged side by side below the wall. It is this dam that causes the marsh of ez Zoar- the whole of which could be effectually drained by simply breaking it down, and many thousand acres of the richest land would thus be regained to cultivation.
The Zerka is undoubtedly the Crocodile River of the ancients, and you will be surprised to hear that there are now living crocodiles in the marsh at our side ; but such is the fact. These millers
say they have seen them often; and the government agent, a respectable Christian, assures me that they recently killed one eighteen spans long, and as thick as his body. I suspect that, long ages ago, some Egyptians, accustomed to worship this ugly creature, settled here, and brought their gods with them. Once here, they would not easily be exterminated, for no better place could be desired by them than this vast jungle and impracticable swamp. I was delighted, on my first visit many years since, to find these creatures still here to confirm the assertions of Greek and Roman geographers. The historians of the Crusades speak of this marsh, which they call a lake, and also say that there were crocodiles in it in their day. If the locality would admit, I should identify this Zerka with the Shihor-libnath of Joshua xix. 26, for Shihor is one of the names of the Nile, the very home of the crocodile; but the river in question was given to Asher, and is probably the N'amân-the Belus of ancient geographers—and the marshes at its source are as suitable for this ugly beast as these of ez Zoar.
Nature's Call to Worship.-Marsh of the Zerka.-Crocodiles.- Paul a Prisoner at Cæ.
sarea.-Ancient Itineraries and Geographers-Strato's Tower.-Ride from Cæsarea to Samaria.-Bâkah.—Native Customs.-Hill-country of Samaria.-Numerous Villages.-Philistines.—Tellûl Abu Zabûrah.-Water-spouts.-Flying-fish.—Abu Zabûrah. -Derb el Kheit.—Nests of Field-sparrows.-Mukhâlid.—Watermelons.—Ants great Robbers.–Subterranean Granaries.-Sand-downs.—Shifting Banks of the Brooks.Groves of the Stone Pine.—Richard Cour de Lion.-Bedawîn Shepherds of Sharon.Rose of Sharon.—El Haram.-Arsâf.--Apollonia.—Bridge over the 'Aujeh.—Population of Palestine in Ancient Times.-Census taken by Moses.—Limited Area of Palestine.-Density of the Population.-Comparative Cost of Living.–Manners and Customs.—Prophecy of the Mother of King Lemuel.—Modern Palestine.—Plain of Sharon. -Mirage.- Origin of the Philistines.-Beit Degân, Beth Dagon.-Renthieh, Arimathea. -Ludd.-Church of St. George.-Harvest Scene.—Lines of Ancient Traffic.-Women Grinding at the Mill.— Tût Shâmy, Damascus Mulberry.-Camp at the Tower of Ramleh,
April roth. The hurry and bustle of an early start have crowded out our morning worship, but we can take a lesson from the works and ways of nature while the gray dawn grows into the full broad day.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
The lark is already on high, saluting the first rays that gild the dappled east with his cheerful matin. All nature hears the call, , and hastens to join the general welcome to the coming king of day; and yonder he comes, over the head of Carmel, rejoicing as a strong man to run a race. Even the vegetable kingdom shares the universal joy. Notice the flowers, how they turn smiling to his ardent gaze, bend forwards in seeming reverence, throw open their pretty cups, and cast abroad their sweetest perfume. This silent adoration of ten thousand flowers is most beautiful and impressive,
and I have seen it nowhere else in greater perfection than upon the sacred plain of Sharon.
Now this powerful king of day is but the faint shadow of his Maker, the Sun of Righteousness; and when He rises with healing in his wings,' may we be ever ready to meet him with analogous welcome and superior joy. Let us even now listen to the many voices around us calling to prayer.
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand."
We have done well to commence our ride with the dawn, for it is a long one, and will be most fatiguing. He who goes not to bed will be early up, says an Oriental proverb, and so it has been with me. I can never sleep in such a place as this, and therefore merely wrapped my cloak about me, and sat down patiently to watch our boastful guard, for I never yet found them faithful through a whole night. Talking, smoking, and joking, they managed to stave off sleep until midnight, and then all except Hammûd gave up the effort. He held on for nearly another hour, humming to himself more and more drowsily, till finally his head subsided on his chest, and his song into a gurgling snore.
Lifting his gun quietly from his knee, I walked out on the ancient causeway, and set myself to count the stars, and listen to the sounds that startle the dull ear of night. I deemed myself familiar with every noise and note that mark the transit of those leaden hours: the surf's low murmur, dying out on the shore; the sobbing of the winds amongst the trees and rocks; the monotonous response of the night-hawk to his mate; the muffled flutter of the circling bat; the howl of the wolf; the jackals wail; the bark of the fox, and the watch-dog's bay from the distant fold. To these and such as these I have listened with the listening stars many a time. But there was something additional to render my solitary watch upon that old dam strange, doubtful, and expectant. Above the clattering of mill-stones and the rush of water-wheels there came, every now and then, a loud splash and stifled groan. Did they come from the slimy crocodiles which crawl through this 1 Mal. iv. 2.
9 Psa. xcv. 6, 7.