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July 8th.

To-day we quitted our cold hard couch at six o’clock in the morning, and travelled agreeably for two hours through this romantic valley, which appeared almost at every step in a new aspect of increased beauty. Above the village a foaming stream bursts from the mighty rocks in a beautiful waterfall, irrigates the valley, and then vanishes imperceptibly among the windings of the ravine. Brooks similar to this one, but smaller, leapt from the mountains round about. On the rocky peaks we seem to behold ruined castles and towers, but discover with astonishment, as we approach nearer, that what we supposed to be ruins are delusive pictures, formed by the wonderful masses of rock, grouped one above the other in the most fantastic forms. In the depths on the one side, grottoes upon grottoes are seen, some with their entrances half concealed, others with gigantic portals, above which the wild rocks tower high; on the other a rich soil is spread in the form of terraces on the rocky cliffs, forming a lovely picture of refreshing vegetation. Had I been a painter, it would have been difficult to tear me away from the contemplation of these regions.

Below the greater waterfall a narrow stone bridge, without balustrades or railing, leads across a deep ravine, through which the stream rushes foaming, to the opposite shore. After having once crossed, we enter upon a more inhabited tract of country, and travel on between rows of houses and gardens. But many of the houses stood empty, the inhabitants having fled into the fields, and there erected huts of branches of trees, to escape the plague. The Maronites, the real inhabitants of these mountains, are strong people, gifted with a determined will; they cannot be easily brought under a foreign yoke, but are ready to defend their liberty to the death among the natural strongholds of their rocky passes. Their religion resembles that of the Christians, and their priests are permitted to marry. The women do not wear veils, but I saw few such handsome countenances among them as I have frequently observed in the Tyrol.

On the first mountain-range of Lebanon, in the direction of Caelosyria, many Druses are found, besides a few tribes of “Mutualis.” The former incline to the Christian faith, while the latter are generally termed “calf-worshippers.” They practise their religion so secretly, that nothing certain is known concerning it; the general supposition is, however, that they worship their deity under the form of a calf.

Our way led onwards, for about six miles from Bscharai, through the beautiful valleys of the Lebanon. Then the smiling nature changed, and we were again wandering through sterile regions. The heat, too, became very oppressive; but every thing would have been borne cheerfully had there not been an invalid among us.

Herr Sattler had felt rather unwell on the previous day; to-day he grew so much worse that he could not keep his seat in his saddle, and fell to the ground half insensible. Luckily we found a cistern not far off, and near it some trees, beneath which we made a bed of cloaks for our sick friend. A little water mixed with a few drops of strong vinegar restored him to consciousness. After the lapse of an hour, the patient was indeed able to resume his journey; but lassitude, headache, and feverish shiverings still remained, and we had a ride of many hours before us ere we could reach our resting-place for the night. From every hill we climbed the ocean could be seen at so short a distance that we thought an hour’s journeying must bring us there. But each time another mountain thrust itself between, which it was necessary to climb. So it went on for many hours, till at length we reached a small valley with a lofty isolated mass of rock in the midst, crowned by a ruined castle. The approach to this stronghold was by a flight of stairs cut in the rock. From this point our journey lay at least over a better road, between meadows and fruit-trees, to the little town which we reached at night-fall. We had a long and weary search before we could obtain for our sick comrade even a room, destitute of every appearance of comfort. Poor Herr Sattler, more dead than alive, was compelled, after a ride of thirteen hours, to take up his lodging on the hard ground. The room was perfectly bare, the windows were broken, and the door would not lock. We were fain to search for a few boards, with which we closed up the windows, that the sick man might at least be sheltered from the current of air.

I then prepared him a dish of rice with vinegar; this was the only refreshment we were able to procure.

The rest of us lay down in the yard; but the anxiety we felt concerning our sick friend prevented us from sleeping much. He exhibited every symptom of the plague; in this short time his countenance was quite changed; violent headache and exhaustion prevented him from moving, and the burning heat added the pangs of thirst to his other ills. As we had been travelling for the last day and a half through regions where the pestilence prevailed, it appeared but too probable that Herr Sattler had been attacked by it. Luckily the patient himself had not any idea of the kind, and we took especial care that he should not read our anxiety in our countenances.

July 9th.

Heaven be praised, Herr Sattler was better to-day, though too weak to continue his journey. As we had thus some time on our hands, the French gentleman and I resolved to embark in a boat to witness the operation of fishing for sponges, by which a number of the poorer inhabitants of the Syrian coast gain their livelihood.

A fisherman rowed us about half a mile out to sea, till he came to a place where he hoped to find something. Here he immersed a plummet in the sea to sound its depth, and on finding that some thing was to be gained here, he dived downwards armed with a knife to cut the sponge he expected to find from the rocks; and after remaining below the surface for two or three minutes, reappeared with his booty, When first loosened from the rocks, these sponges are usually full of shells and small stones, which give them a very strong and disagreeable smell. They require to be thoroughly cleansed from dirt and well washed with sea-water before being put into fresh.

After our little water-party, we sallied forth to see the town, which is very prettily situated among plantations of mulberry-trees in the vicinity of the sea-coast. The women here are not only unveiled, but frequently wear their necks bare; we saw some of them working in their gardens and washing linen; they were half undressed. We visited the bazaar, intending to purchase a few eggs and cucumbers for our dinner, and some oranges for our convalescent friend. But we could not obtain any; and moderate as our wishes were, it was out of our power to gratify them.

By the afternoon Herr Sattler had so far regained his strength, that he could venture to undertake a short journey of ten miles to the little town of Djaebbehl. This stage was the less difficult for our worthy invalid from the fact that the road lay pleasantly across a fruitful plain skirting the sea, while a cool sea-breeze took away the oppressiveness of the heat. The majestic Lebanon bounded the distant view on the left, and several convents on the foremost chain of mountains looked down upon the broad vale.

We seemed to have but just mounted our horses when we already descried the castle of the town to which we were bound rising above its walls, and soon after halted at a large khan in its immediate neighbourhood. There were large rooms here in plenty, but all were empty, and the unglazed windows could not even be closed by shutters.

Houses of entertainment of this description barely shield the traveller from the weather. We took possession of a large entrance-hall for our night’s quarters, and made ourselves as comfortable as we could.

Count Berchtold and I walked into the town of Djaebbehl (Byblus). This place is, as I have already mentioned, surrounded by a wall; it contains also a small bazaar, where we did not find much to buy. The majority of dwellings are built in gardens of mulberry-trees. The castle lies rather high, and is still in the condition to which it was reduced after the siege by the English in 1840; the side fronting the ocean has sustained most damage. This castle is now uninhabited, but some of the lower rooms are converted into stables. Not far off we found some fragments of ancient pillars; an amphitheatre is said to have once stood here.

July 10th.

To-day Herr Sattler had quite recovered his health, so that we could again commence our journey, according to custom, early in the morning. Our road lay continually by the sea-shore. The views were always picturesque and beautiful, as on the way from Batrun to Djaebbehl; but to-day we had the additional luxury of frequently coming upon brooks which flowed from the neighbouring Lebanon, and of passing springs bursting forth near the seashore; one indeed so close to the sea, that the waves continually dashed over it.

After riding forward for four hours, we reached the so-called “Dog’s-river,” the greatest and deepest on the whole journey. This stream also has its origin in the heights of the Lebanon, and after a short course falls into the neighbouring sea.

At the entrance of the valley where the Dog’s-river flowed lay a simple khan. Here we made halt to rest for an hour.

Generally we got nothing to eat during the day, as we seldom or never passed a village; even when we came upon a house, there was rarely any thing to be had but coffee: we were therefore the more astonished to find here fresh figs, cucumbers, butter-milk, and wine, things which in Syria make a feast for the gods. We revelled in this unwonted profusion, and afterwards rode into the valley, which smiled upon us in verdant luxuriance.

This vale cannot be more than five or six hundred feet in breadth. On either side high walls rise towering up; and on the left we see the ruins of an aqueduct quite overgrown with ivy. This aqueduct is seven or eight hundred paces in length, and extends as far as the spot where the Dog’s-river rushes over rocks and stones, forming not a lofty, but yet a fine waterfall. Just below this fall a bridge of Roman architecture, supported boldly on rocky buttresses, unites the two shores. The road to this bridge is by a broad flight of stone stairs, upon which our good Syrian horses carried us in perfect safety both upwards and downwards; it was a fearful, dizzy road. The river derives its name from a stone lying near it, which is said to resemble a dog in form. Stones and pieces of rock, against which the stream rushed foaming, we saw in plenty, but none in which we could discover any resemblance to a dog. Perhaps the contour has been destroyed by the action of wind and weather.

Scarcely had we crossed this dangerous bridge when the road wound sharply round a rock in the small but blooming valley, and we journeyed towards the heights up almost perpendicular rocks, and past abysses that overhung the sea.

The rocky mountain we were now climbing juts far out into the sea, and forms a pass towards the territory of Beyrout which a handful of men might easily hold against an army. Such a pass may that of Thermopylae have been; and had these mountaineers but a Leonidas, they would certainly not be far behind the ancient Spartans.

A Latin inscription on a massive stone slab, and higher up four niches, two of which contain statues, while the others display similar inscriptions, seemed to indicate that the Romans had already known and appreciated the importance of this pass. Unfortunately both statues and writing were so much injured by the all-destroying hand of time, that only a man learned in these matters could have deciphered their meaning. In our party there was no one equal to such a task.

We rode on for another half-hour, after which the path led downwards into the territory of Beyrout; and we rode quietly and comfortably by the sea-side towards this city. Mulberry trees and vineyards bloomed around us, country-houses and villages lay half hidden between, and convents crowned the lower peaks of the Lebanon, which on this side displays only naked rocks, the majority of a bluish-grey colour.

At a little distance from Beyrout we came upon a second giant bridge, similar to that over the Dog’s-river. Broad staircases, on which four or five horsemen could conveniently ride abreast, led upwards and downwards. The steps are so steep, and lie so far apart, that it seems almost incredible that the poor horses should be able to ascend and descend upon them. We looked down from a dizzy height, not upon a river, but upon a dry river-bed.

At five o’clock in the evening we arrived safely at Beyrout; and thus ended our excursion to the “lovely and incomparable city of the East,” to the world-renowned ruin, and to the venerable Grove of Cedars. Our tour had occupied ten days; the distance was about 180 miles; namely, from Beyrout to Damascus about 60, from Damascus to Balbeck 40, and from Balbeck across the Lebanon to Beyrout about 80 miles.

Of four-footed beasts, amphibious creatures, birds, or insects, we had seen nothing. Count Berchtold caught a chameleon, which unfortunately effected its escape from its prison a few days afterwards. At night we frequently heard the howling of jackals, but never experienced any annoyance from them. We had not to complain of the attacks of insects; but suffered much from the dreadful heat, besides being frequently obliged to endure hunger and thirst: the thermometer one day rose to 40 degrees.

In Beyrout I once more put up at the house of the kind French lady. The first piece of news I heard was that I had arrived twenty-four hours too late, and had thus missed the English packet-boat; this was a most annoying circumstance, for the boat in question only starts for Alexandria once a month (on the 8th or 9th), and at other times it is a great chance if an opportunity of journeying thither can be found. On the very next day I hastened to the Austrian consulate, and begged the Vice-consul, Herr C., to let me know when a ship was about to start for Egypt, and also to engage a place for me. I was told that a Greek vessel would start for that country in two or three days; but these two or three days grew into nineteen.

Never shall I forget what I had to endure in Beyrout. When I could no longer bear the state of things at night in the Noah’s ark of my good Pauline, I used to creep through the window on to a terrace, and sleep there; but was obliged each time to retire to my room before daybreak lest I should be discovered. It is said that misfortunes seldom happen singly, and my case was not an exception to the rule. One night I must have caught cold; for in the morning when I hastened back to my prison, and lay down on the bed to recover from the effects of my stone couch, I experienced such an acute pain in my back and hips that I was unable to rise. It happened to be a Sunday morning, a day on which my kind Pauline did not come to the house, as there was no school to keep; and so I lay for twenty-four hours in the greatest pain, without help, unable even to obtain a drop of water. I was totally unable to drag myself to the door, or to the place where the water-jug stood. The next day, I am thankful to say, I felt somewhat better; my Pauline also came, and prepared me some mutton-broth. By the fourth day I was once more up, and had almost recovered from the attack.

Journey from Beyrout to Cairo and Alexandria.

It was not until the 28th of July that a Greek brig set sail for Alexandria. At ten o’clock in the evening I betook myself on board, and the next morning at two we weighed anchor. Never have I bid adieu to any place with so much joy as I felt on leaving the town of Beyrout; my only regret was the parting from my kind Pauline. I had met many good people during my journey, but she was certainly one of the best.

Unhappily, my cruel fate was not yet weary of pursuing me; and in my experience I fully realised the old proverb of, “out of the frying-pan into the fire.” On this vessel, and during the time we had to keep quarantine in Alexandria, I was almost worse off than during my stay in Beyrout. It is necessary, in dealing with the captain of a vessel of this description, to have a written contract for every thing stating, for instance, where he is to land, how long he may stay at each place, etc. I mentioned this fact at the consulate, and begged the gentlemen to do what was necessary; but they assured me the captain was known to be a man of honour, and that the precaution I wished to take would be quite superfluous. Upon this assumption, I placed myself fearlessly in the hands of the man; but scarcely had we lost sight of land, when he frankly declared that there were not sufficient provisions and water on board to allow of our proceeding to Alexandria, but that he must make for the harbour of Limasol in Cyprus. I was exceedingly angry at this barefaced fraud, and at the loss of time it would occasion me, and offered all the opposition I could. But nothing would avail me; I had no written contract, and the rest of the company offered no active resistance so to Cyprus we went.

A voyage in an ordinary sailing-vessel, which is not a packet-boat, is as wearisome a thing as can be well conceived. The lower portion of the ship is generally so crammed with merchandise, that the deck alone remains for the passengers. This was the case on the present occasion. I was obliged to remain continually on deck: during the daytime, when I had only my umbrella to shield me from the piercing rays of the sun; at night, when the dews fell so heavily, that after an hour my cloak would be quite wet through, in cold and in stormy weather. They did not even spread a piece of sailcloth by way of awning. This state of things continued for ten days and eleven nights, during which time I had not even an opportunity to change my clothes. This was a double hardship; for if there is a place above all others where cleanliness becomes imperative to comfort, it is certainly on board a Greek ship, the generality of which are exceedingly dirty and disgusting. The company I found did not make amends for the accommodation. The only Europeans on board were two young men, who had received some unimportant situation in a quarantine office from the Turkish government. The behaviour of both was conceited, stupid, and withal terribly vulgar. Then there were four students from Alexandria, who boarded at Beyrout, and were going home to spend the vacation good-natured but much-neglected lads of fourteen or fifteen years, who seemed particularly partial to the society of the sailors, and were always talking, playing, or quarrelling with them. The remainder of the company consisted of a rich Arab family, with several male and female negro slaves, and a few very poor people. And in such society I was to pass a weary time. Many will say that this was a good opportunity for obtaining an insight into the customs and behaviour of these people; but I would gladly have declined the opportunity, for it requires an almost angelic patience to bear such a complication of evils with equanimity. Among the Arabs and the lower class of Greeks, moreover, every thing possessed by one member of the community is looked upon as public property. A knife, a pair of scissors, a drinking-glass, or any other small article, is taken from its owner without permission, and is given back after use without being cleaned. On the mat, the carpet, or the mattress, which you have brought on board as bedding, a negro and his master will lie down; and wherever a vacant space is left, some one is sure to stand or lie down. Take what precautions you may, it is impossible to avoid having your person and garments infested by certain very disgusting parasitical creatures. One day I cleaned my teeth with a toothbrush; one of the Greek sailors, noticing what I was about, came towards me, and when I laid the brush down for an instant, took it up. I thought he only wished to examine it; but no, he did exactly as I had done, and after cleaning his teeth returned me my brush, expressing himself entirely satisfied with it.

The diet on board a vessel of this kind is also exceedingly bad. For dinner we have pilau, stale cheese, and onions; in the evening, we get anchovies, olives, stale cheese again, and ship-biscuit instead of bread. These appetising dishes are placed in a tray on the ground, round which the captains (of whom there are frequently two or three), the mate, and those passengers who have not come furnished with provisions of their own, take their places. I did not take part in these entertainments; for I had brought a few live fowls, besides some rice, butter, dried bread, and coffee, and prepared my own meals. The voyage in one of these agreeable ships is certainly not very dear, if we do not take the discomforts and privations into account; but these I can really not estimate at too high a price. For the voyage to Alexandria (a distance of 2000 sea-miles) I paid sixty piastres; the provisions I took with me cost thirty more; and thus the entire journey came only to ninety piastres.

In general the wind was very unfavourable, so that we frequently cruised about for whole nights, and awoke in the morning to find ourselves in almost the same position we had occupied the previous evening.

This is one of the most disagreeable impressions, and one which can scarcely be described, to be continually driving and driving without approaching the conclusion of your journey. To my shame I must confess that I sometimes shed tears of regret and annoyance. My fellow-passengers could not at all understand why I was so impatient; for, with their constitutional indolence, they were quite indifferent as to whether they spent their time for a week or a fortnight longer in smoking, sleeping, and idling on board or on shore whether they were carried to Cyprus or Alexandria. It was not until the fourth day that we landed at


This place contains pretty houses, some of which are even provided with slated roofs, and resemble European habitations. Here, for the first time since my departure from Constantinople, I saw a vehicle; it was not, however, a coach, but simply a wooden two-wheeled cart, and is used to transport stones, earth, and merchandise. The region around Limasol is barren in the extreme, almost like that of Larnaca, except that the mountains are here much nearer.

We stayed in this port the whole of the day; and now I learnt for the first time that the captain had not put in here so much on account of scarcity of provisions, as because he wanted to take in wine and endeavour to take in passengers. Of the latter, however, none presented themselves. The wine is very cheap; I bought a bottle containing about three pints for a piastre. As soon as we were again at sea, our worthy captain gave out that he wished to call at Damietta. My patience was at length exhausted. I called him a cheat, and insisted that he should bend his course to no other port than to Alexandria, otherwise I should have him brought before a judge if it cost me a hundred piastres. This remonstrance produced so much effect upon the captain, that he promised me not to cast anchor any where else; and, marvellous to relate, he kept his word.

One other circumstance occurred during this journey which is interesting as furnishing a sample of the heroism of the modern Greeks.

On the 5th of August, about noon, our sailors discovered a two-masted ship in the distance, which altered her course immediately on perceiving our vessel, and came sailing towards us. It was at once concluded by all that this ship must be a pirate, else why did she alter her course and give chase to us? The circumstance was indeed singular; yet these maritime heroes ought to have been used to all kinds of adventures, and not at once to have feared the worst, particularly as, so far as I am aware, the pirate’s trade is very nearly broken up, and attempts of this kind are unprecedented at least in these regions.

A painter like Hogarth should have been on board our ship, to mark the expression of fear and cowardice depicted on the several countenances. It was wonderful to behold how the poor captains ran from one end of the ship to the other, and huddled us travellers together into a heap, recommending us to sit still and keep silence; how they then hurried away and ran to and fro, making signs and gestures, while the pale sailors tumbled after them with scared faces, wringing their hands. Any one who had not witnessed the scene would think this description exaggerated. What would the Grecian heroes of antiquity say if they could throw a glance upon their gallant descendants! Instead of arming themselves and making preparations, the men ran about in the greatest confusion. We were in this enviable state when the dreaded pirate came within gunshot; and the reason of her approach turned out to be that her compass was broken. The whole scene at once changed, as though a beneficent fairy had waved her wand. The captains instantly recovered their dignity, the sailors embraced and jumped about like children, and we poor travellers were released from durance and permitted to take part in the friendly interview between the two heroic crews.

The captain who had spoken us asked our gallant leader in what latitude we were, and hearing that we were sailing to Alexandria, requested that a lantern should be hung at the mainmast-head, at which he might look as at a guiding-star.

With the exception of Cyprus, we had seen no land during all our weary journey. We could only judge when we arrived in the neighbourhood of Damietta by the altered colour of the sea; as far as the eye could reach, the beautiful dark-blue wave had turned to the colour of the yellow Nile. From these tokens I could judge of the magnitude and volume of that river, which at this season of the year increases greatly, and had already been rising for two months.

August 7th.

At eight o’clock in the morning we safely reached the quay of