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good," and that along which he came to his disciples, “ walking on the sea," and where “ He rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Surely no region on earth but Jerusalem and its environs alone is riche in affecting associations, and I felt now as I did upon bidding adieu to the holy city-saddened and quite overpowered with the thought that I should commune with these endeared scenes no more.
We had expected to reach Safet before dark, and to spend the night there. Our guides, hoyever, who seek occasion to retard our progress, with the twofold purpose of favouring their animals, and continuing longer under pay, pronounced this impossible, and they urged us to encamp long before night, under the pretence that their horses were too much exhausted by the excessive heat of the day and the labour of clambering up the endless mountain, tí go farther, and also that there was neither grass nor was before us. We had already learned how little credit such declarations were entitled to, and kept on without paying any regard to them. At sunset we found ourselves upon the brink of a deep ravine. So steep and rocky was the declivity that I should have deemed it impossible to pass down with our horses, much as I had learned to confide in their sagacity and unerring precision of foot, but that a zigzag path, full of rolling stones, marked the way by which others were evidently accustomed to make the ascent and descent of the frightful precipice. I believe there is really nothing to fear so long as one can manage to keep upon the backs of these Syrian horses. It is best to give them the rein, and throw upon them the whole responsibility of picking their own way, and of bearing you harmless to a place of safety, and they are sure, in the end, to justify all the confidence that may be reposed in them. After looking some time for a tract of level ground large enough to pitch our tents upon, we encamped in the narrow bottom of this ravine. It was
full of a rank and nearly impervious growth of tall grass, thistles, and a variety of running plants. Two fountains of clear water burst out of the base of the mountain a few yards below us, and formed a bright stream, that flowed rapidly down the bottom of the wady. Two neglected palm-trees, of a hardy and vigorous appearance, thrive in this well-watered and sheltered spot, and a few ancient olive-trees stood in a cluster near our tents, and were scattered more sparingly along the bottom and sides of the ravine. These steep, rocky declivities evidently possess a high degree of fertility, and are favourable to the production of all the delicious fruits of this favoured climate. We did not observe any marks of cultivation in the valley ; but on ascending the opposite slope in the morning, came to some fields of wheat, and saw considerable tracts, fresh ploughed or clothed with grain, in a broader part of the valley below. We were, indeed, near a thriving agricultural village, though our guides, who, I think, were unacquainted with this part of the route, assured us that it was at least three hours to the first human habitation. A young woman, who came to our camp before dark, set them right in this matter. She said it was but one pipe to Acbala, the place of her residence. This was a method of measuring distance which I had not heard of before, though certainly a very convenient, as well as a tolerably accurate one, in a country where everybody smokes incessantly, whether at home or abroad, at rest or in motion. .
May 3. It was full half after eight o'clock when we recommenced our journey this morning. Rise and breakfast at what hour we will, our muleteers continue to delay us till a late hour. Their horses are never ready in season. Their shoes want fastening or their gearing is out of repair, and they find no difficulty in wasting a half hour or more in loading. These men all seem obliging enough with the exception of the Armenian; but they are evidently disposed to
. make his tardy movements the measure of their own, and to consider his stupid, indomitable obstinacy an excuse for all delinquencies. After using all practicable means to produce reform, with no other effect than that of making matters worse, I have concluded to cultivate patience. We shall probably be in Beyrout in season for the steamer, and there is now but little prospect of our being able to visit Damascus and Balbec, even should the boat be delayed a week; a probable contingency, on which alone we had rested any hope of effecting these objects.
We reached the village of Acbala at about a quarter past nine. It is situated in a shallow wady which comes down from the northeast to the right of our road, and opens into the broad, deep valley just described, at a short distance below the point at which we had emerged from it. A clear, copious stream flows off rapidly in that direction. There may be forty or fifty houses here, roughly built of small stones or earth. The soil is exceedingly fertile, and I have not seen so great a variety of trees growing together since entering Palestine. Here were olives, figs, pomegranates, cherries, pears, and aspens, besides others of species unknown to me. Rank grass, intermingled with a profusion of sweet-scented flowers, covers the entire face of the country, wherever it is not under the plough. The atmosphere was vocal and almost darkened by an incredible number of bees. Their hives are cylinders, made of earth, about two or three feet in length by eight or ten inches in diameter, having the entrances at one end. These were piled one upon another like logs of wood, in some instances forty or fifty together. The culture of bees would seem to be the chief business of the people, and I was reminded, for the first time since entering Palestine, that " honey” was formerly one of the staple products. The people looked blooming and robust, and were decently atajred ; and I believe they were all out, men, women, and
. THE CITY SET ON A HILL.
children, to gaze at us as we passed. Their attention was mostly directed towards Mrs. C., whose bonnet, veil, and other articles of dress and equipage excited an expression of wonder, which induced us to think that this way is little if at all frequented by travellers, and that a Frank lady was, perhaps, never seen here before. This has evidently been a place of some importance. I saw several large blocks of wrought stone, some fragments of a sculptured entablature, and a fountain of massive masonry, all having an ancient appearance, and referring back to more prosperous days. May not Acbala be the ancient Arbela, mentioned by Josephus as a village situated among the fastnesses, occupied by robbers, and captured by Herod ?* The position would answer well enough to his account, and the name, to the eye and ear of the unlearned at least, are similar.
We reached Safet in one hour and forty-five minutes from our encampment. The road ascended rapidly from that point, as, indeed, it had done nearly the whole distance from the Sea of Tiberias. · The ruinous city occupies the summit of the highest mountain in Galilee, and one of the highest in the Jewish territories, and it is conspicuously seen from a great distance in all directions but the north, where some high masses of the mountain interrupt the view. We usually had it in sight throughout the entire route from the plain of Genesareth. Tradition has fixed upon it as “the city set on a hill,” which suggested our Saviour's beautiful illustration. Its conspicuous position, in reference to the Sea of Galilee and the region about it, would favour its pre. tensions to this honour, but there is, in truth, no reason for supposing that a city existed here at so early a day. The town does not occupy the precise summit of the rounded mountain, but rather the sloping ground immediately below it, a military castle or citadel having been erected upon the highest point. This is a Gothic structure, the work of the
* Antiquities, book xiv., chap. xv., sec. iv., v.
crusaders. It was an enclosure of massive walls, strengthened by towers, beyond which, on the declivity of the hill, a fosse encompasses the whole. All is now a heap of ruins. The city, as we approached it from the south, appeared to consist of three separate villages, occupying the east, south, and northwest slopes below the castle. We passed through the southern or chief Mohammedan quarter, which is the best-built part of the town, and suffered least from the earthquake in 1837, probably from occupying a more level site than the other quarters. Some of the houses here have a respectable appearance, and several enclosed gardens, planted with trees, add to the beauty of the situation, while they tend to conceal the ruinous aspect of everything from the view.
We stopped in the bazar, a large area with some ranges of open stalls or sheds around it, where merchandise was exhibited on sale. This market-place lies between the Mohammedan and Jewish quarters, or rather in the edge of the latter, just north of the first. It is a curious place. As I sat upon my horse, the smoke of a kitchen or cook's shop rose from the earth near me. Upon looking about, I perceived the mouth of the chimney from which it issued, rising a few inches above the ground at my horse's feet. I was upon the flat roof of a house, and soon perceived that a considerable portion of the bazar was undermined in a similar way. The natural hillside is nearly perpendicular,
than to excavate for more solid foundations and a more commodious site. Just on my left hand was a precipice, upon approaching the brink of which I found myself moving upon the tops of the houses that formed one side of the next street, to which the rows of mud-built tenements gave the appearance of a ditch of similar dimensions dug in the earth. There was some show of business in the bazar, and a considerable quantity of cotton cloths, tobacco, pipes, and va