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FOOD-THINGS CLEAN AND UNCLEAN.
forming their ablutions, and going through their genuflections and prostrations beneath the noble walnut-trees which adorn the hill sides of beautiful Jebaah. Nowhere else have I seen Moslem women thus pray in public, and the whole performance is immodest and disgusting. They are a sallow, forlorn, and ill-conditioned generation, every way inferior to the Christian women who dwell by their side. It is religion that makes the difference, even though the Christianity known there is little better than a caricature of the religion of Jesus.
Before leaving these Metāwelies, I must call your attention to the remarkable resemblance between them and the Jews. They have the Jewish contour and countenance, and even cultivate their love-locks after the same fashion. They are also alike in one other respect: though both are afraid to associate with you lest you contaminate and pollute them, they are both so intolerably filthy in all their habits and habitations that it is no great trial to avoid and be avoided by them.
In the 11th chapter of Leviticus and the 14th of Deuteronomy we have an extended enumeration of things clean and unclean, of what might be eaten and what not: are these laws and customs still in force in this country to any considerable extent?
Those distinctions are still kept up among various classes of people, but not exactly as Moses ordained. The camel was forbidden to the Jews, and it is still rejected by all except the wild Arabs. The cony is so rare that I have not heard of its being eaten, but suppose it would be allowed, as it resembles the rabbit, which few, except Jews, hesitate to eat. Swine are still held in abomination by Moslems; Jews, Druses, and most Orientals. Even some Christians refuse swine's flesh. Except by the Jews, there is no attention, apparently, paid now to the distinction between what has and what has not scales, but any thing from the sea fit to eat is used without hesitation. The eagle, ossifrage,
osprey, vultures, hawks, kites, owls, ravens, and crows, after their kinds, are all rejected. The stork is sometimes
eaten by Druses. Swans, geese, ducks, snipes, and all kinds of pigeons, doves, partridges, quails, larks, and an endless variety of small birds, are highly prized. The locust is still eaten by Bedawin Arabs; so is the snail; but I have never heard that beetles were used for food, and suppose it to be a mistranslation in Leviticus xi. 22. Bats, rats, mice, the tortoise, hedgehog, squirrels, ferrets, and lizards of all varieties, are rejected; "whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean," and they are generally so to this day.
We have one curiosity of Old Tyre yet to examine, and had better devote this fine morning to it. I wish to show you some of her most ancient walls. They lie buried beneath those sand-heaps where the causeway is joined to the island. The workmen sent to open the entrance for us say they have found the place, and, while they are clearing away the sand, we will trace the line of the wall from sea to sea. This large mass of old rubble-work marks the southeast angle, and from it the direction of the original wall along the margin of the island, toward the north, is easily followed to the opposite bay, and by descending into this vault we can see what sort of workmanship it was.
Take off your coat, and slide down after me, crab-fashion, and with as much caution as you have at command, and now you stand beneath the most ancient vault that ever spread its arch over your head. Stop a moment until we light our tapers, for the interior is as dark as the centre of a tar-barrel.
We are nearly on the water-line, and are passing along the extreme eastern ledge of the island. The main wall is on our left, protected outside by this strong arched culvert, which rests against it, forming a vast vault, which probably extended the whole length of the island from south to north. In it thousands of soldiers could stand in safety and shoot through these lancet loopholes. Here were congregated those bold Tyrians who so long and so desperately resisted the fierce Macedonian, and so often thwarted his efforts by destroying his works. Give your particular attention to the bevel of these great stones in the main wall. Let your eye
become familiar with it, for you will learn to look with the respect due to most venerable antiquity upon every stone that has this mark upon it.
It would be easy to open a ditch along the line of this wall from south to north, and thus again make Tyre an island. Indeed, William of Tyre says that in his time this was actually done. He calls the ditch a “vallum late patens,” something more than an ordinary fosse, and into it the sea could be introduced from both sides. I regard this section of the old wall as by far the most interesting relic of ancient Tyre.
XIV. TYRE TO KANAH.
It is delightful to be again on our journey, and the more so that the region into which we are about to penetrate is absolutely unknown to me.
We are now crossing the territory of Asher toward the Kanah, which belonged to that tribe; but it is not probable that the Jews ever had possession of this plain, nor even certain that Kanah itself was inhabited by them. East of it lies the country of the warlike tribe of Naphtali
, where Jews always resided from the days of Joshua until several centuries after the destruction of Jerusalem; and even yet they cling to certain places in it with invincible tenacity. How beautiful the sea, the city, and the plain from these hills! and as the eye runs along the sloping declivities north and south, it rests on many a ruin which bears indubitable marks of Phoenician origin. I have wandered from place to place among them, hoping to find inscriptions in that ancient language, but in vain; and since they have no historic interest, it is useless to load the memory, or cram one's note-book with long lists of unpronounceable names. Here, however, is something which merits attention. That singular structure is called Hiram's Tomb, upon what authority, except native tradition, I know not. But as there is nothing in the monument itself inconsistent with the idea that it marks the final resting-place of that respectable friend of Solomon, I am inclined to allow the claim to pass unquestioned. It bears about it unmistakable marks of extreme antiquity. The base consists of two tiers of great stones, each three feet thick, thirteen feet long, and eight feet eight inches broad. Above this is one huge stone, a little more than fifteen feet long, ten broad, and three feet four inches thick. Over this is another, twelve feet three inches long, eight broad, and six high. The top stone is a little smaller every way, and only five feet thick. The entire height is twenty-one feet. There is nothing like it in this country, and it may well have stood, as it now does, ever since the days of Solomon.
These large, broken sarcophagi scattered around it are assigned by tradition to Hiram's mother, wife, and family. Concerning them nothing need or can be said. This whole neighborhood abounds in Phoenician remains, and it is quite natural that it should be so. The situation is beautiful; near enough, and sufficiently high, to command the then glorious prospect of plain, city, and crowded harbor; and no doubt the country-seats and summer residences of Tyre's "merchant princes” crowned these hills. This village of Hanaweih is built out of the ruins of such palaces, and similar remains lie scattered over all the neighborhood.
Are there any of the cedar-trees which Hiram transported by sea to Joppa still found on these mountains ?