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to enter your room, but walk in without warning or ceremony. It is nearly impossible to teach an Arab servant to knock at your door. They give warning at the outer gate, or entrance, either by calling or knocking. To stand and call is a very common and very respectful mode; and thus it was in Bible times, and to it there are many very interesting allusions. Moses commanded the holder of a pledge to stand without, and call to the owner thereof to come forth.? This was to avoid the insolent intrusion of cruel creditors. Peter stood knocking at the outer door, and so did the three men sent to Joppa by Cornelius. The idea is that the guard over your privacy is to be placed at the entrance to your premises. But this discussion of manners and customs has taken a very wide range, and grows heavy on our hands. It is a topic, however, which will be constantly suggested by what passes before our eyes, and it is well to become familiar with it at the outset. 'Deut. xxiv, 10.
Acts xii. 13, 16.
3 Acts x. 17, 18.
Sleeping in bright tranquillity.” Every vestige of yesterday's commotion has disappeared, and we are riding along this celebrated “coast of Tyre and Sidon,” with “ the body of heaven in his clearness like a paved work of sapphire” overhead, and the Mediterranean, but now so agitated and angry, lying at our feet gentle and calm as infancy asleep. No wonder that Hebrew poets refer to sea and storm to illustrate the might and majesty of Jehovah.
Yes; and it was this very sea that kindled their inspiration—this Mediterranean, lashed into fury by such a storm as we have witnessed, that made the sweet singer of Israel exclaim, The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the mighty waves of the sea. Thou stillest them.
David, I suppose, was no sailor, never saw the ocean, and yet his sea-storm in the 107th Psalm is unrivaled in beauty, fidelity, and spirit. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters—these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep; for He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them to
· Ps. xciii. 3, 4. VOL. I. I
their desired haven. And how appropriate the closing reflection, O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, for his wonderful works to the children of men !
It is indeed simple, natural, devout. David had witnessed the beginning, middle, and end of just such a storm as has been raging on the Mediterranean for the last fifteen days, or he would not have written this very graphic picture; and yet this is not the wildest specimen which our sea can offer. During the last days of eighteen hundred and forty, there was one far more terrific and destructive. The British and allied fleets were then riding at anchor in the roadstead at Beirût, and the largest three-deckers were tossed about by the mighty billows like bits of cork. Many ships were thrown out on to the shore in that sort of contempt which means “there let him lay,” according to Byron. The snow also came down the mountains, at that time, nearly to the shore, while now there is none on these lower ranges, though they are a thousand feet high and more.
Let me call your attention to this curious avenue of acacia-trees, the largest of the kind, I venture to say, that you have ever seen.
They are certainly remarkable specimens of vegetable architecture. Their crooked stems and muscular arms bend and twist in all directions after a fashion altogether original.
You may connect them in your memory with a circumstance which made no small stir in our good city of Sidon. About three years ago, some workmen, digging over the ground of this garden on our left, found several copper pots, which contained a large quantity of ancient gold coin. The poor fellows concealed the discovery with the greatest care; but they were wild with excitement, and, besides, there were too many of them to keep such a secret. The governor of the city heard of it, apprehended all who had not fled, and compelled them to disgorge. He recovered two of the pots, placed them beside him, and required them to re-fill them with coin. In this way he obtained between two and three thousand, but it is certain that there remain hundreds, if not thousands, which he could not get. The French consul told
me that the whole number was over eight thousand. They are all coins of Alexander and his father Philip, of the most pure gold, each one worth a little more than an English sovereign. As there is no mixture of coins later than Alexander, the deposit must have been made during his reign, or immediately after. I suspect it was royal treasure, which one of Alexander's officers concealed when he heard of his unexpected death in Babylon, intending to appropriate it to himself, but, being apprehended, slain, or driven away by some of the revolutions which followed that event, the coin remained where he had hid it. If we remember how much more valuable gold was then than now, the amount of this
deposit will surprise us, nor does it seem likely that any private man in Sidon could have gathered what was probably
at that time equivalent to forty thousand pounds, and all of this particular coin of Philip and Alexander. The latter appears as he is usually figured, and his face
is too familiar to need ex. planation. Philip I had not seen before, and was particularly pleased to find him associated with the chariot and horses, of which he was so proud and so vain.
There are frequent allusions to hid treasure in the Bible. Even in Job, the oldest book in the world, we read that the bitter in soul dig for death more earnestly than for hid treasures. There is not another comparison within the whole compass of human actions so vivid as this. I have heard of diggers actually fainting when they have come upon even a single coin. They become positively frantic, dig all night with desperate earnestness, and continue to work till utterly exhausted. There are, at this hour, hundreds of persons thus engaged all over the country. Not a
1 Job iii. 21.
few spend their last farthing in these ruinous efforts. I heard a respectable man in Sidon declare that if he had been one of these fortunate diggers in this garden, he would have killed all the rest, and fled with the treasure out of the country. These operations are carried on with the utmost secrecy, accompanied with charms and incantations against the jan and other spirits which are said to keep guard over hid treasures. The belief in the existence of these guards, and of their dangerous character, is just as prevalent now as in the time of the Thousand Nights. Intelligent and respectable people have assured me that they have come upon slabs of stone, closing up doors to secret chambers, which no power on earth could remove, because the proper password or charm is lost. Others soberly assert that they have been driven away by terrible jan, who threatened them with instant death if they attempted to force the doors. They evidently believe what they say, and I suspect that their fears are not always imaginary. Persons are watching their midnight labor, and when any thing is found they suddenly show themselves, dressed as ghouls or jan, and thus frighten them out of the pit, and out of their wits as well. The wild excitement, the gloomy darkness, and the firm faith in the existence of these creatures, render the workmen wholly incapable of detecting the artifice. The Arabs universally believe that the Western nations, particularly the Greeks and the Mugharaby, possess certain daleel, or guides, by which they discover these treasures; and many of these vagabond Greeks cheat the ignorant and the credulous out of large sums by contracting to lead them to the proper spot to dig; and it is remarkable that they rarely point out a place entirely destitute of concealed chambers and other curious indications. These, I suppose, are detected by some peculiarity in the sounds when the surface is struck or stamped upon above them. At any rate, they are sufficiently successful to keep up their credit, although I never knew an instance where any thing of value was obtained from the places indicated by these daleels. On the contrary, these deposits are always found by accident; and this is the more