« PreviousContinue »
Amongst other cities built by Solomon, Tadmor in the Wilderness, or Palmyra; and Baalath, or Balbec, are specially mentioned, (2 Chron. viii. 4-6.) The sites of both these cities are, perhaps, more satisfactorily identified than is the case with most others of such remote antiquity.
We this month present our readers with a general view of part of the ruins of the former city, which derived both its ancient and modern names from the palm-trees which grew there. It is situate on a small oasis in the midst of a vast desert of sand, and hence, well deserves the characteristic epithet—" in the wilderness"-bestowed upon it in holy writ. In similar localities the wandering Israelites delighted to encamp, because the palm-tree always indicated the proximity of water, one of the choicest natural blessings which God has provided for his creatures, especially in regions subject to the most oppressive heat and drought. Thus they pitched in Elim, where were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and
VOL. VI. 4th SERIES.
ten palm-trees. (Numbers xxxiii. 9.) This fact partly explains why Solomon built Tadmor in what might otherwise be looked upon as an unfavorable situation, as it “enjoys the advantage of a good supply of wholesome water;" but his chief object was most probably 'to afford a convenient halting-place for the
ans which conveyed the merchandize of eastern Asia to Syria.
The ruins shewn in our engraving present an imposing appearance when viewed from a distance, but, on closer inspection, do not bear out this impression. We have, however, given but a partial view of them; and shall resume the subject in our next number.
LIVING LIGHT HOUSES. “We were sailing up channel, with a fair wind,” said my
cousin Timothy, who commanded a fine brig in the West India trade; “and as night came on, I ordered a sharp look-out to be kept, for my reckoning told me we could not be very far from the English coast. The day-light gradually faded, and a dark night followed ; but bitter cold as it was, we were all in high spirits at the thought of reaching the Downs before day-light, and of meeting in a day or two afterwards all our kind friends at home. We kept on our course gallantly for an hour or two without any thing occurring worthy of notice; but I was soon afterwards agreeably surprised by the cry of our watch,-'a light on the starboard bow !' I ran forward, and I then saw it plainly enough, gleaming in the far distance
Like to a dragon's eye that feels the stress
Of a bedimming sleep.' “It can't be Dungeness," said the mate; “it's a world too far off for that?" “So I was thinking," I replied ; you may keep on yet awhile, and I'll just go below and work out our position.” “ Down I went,” he continued, “and made out as clearly as possible that we were almost abreast of the Ness, and that its light should be much stronger, though I could see no other than the one before us. I ordered the ship to be put about, and going aloft myself, soon saw the long-desired light to larboard, distant only a few miles, though hitherto hidden from