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346

UNIIEALTHINESS OF CYPRUS.

the Levant; and if you wish to prepare it for Greece, add a certain quantity of resin ; or for Spain or Portugal, put in the same quantity of anise-seed. Strength and sweetness are the qualities looked for; and the tarish flavour which it possessed, I found to arise from its being kept in large unglazed earthen jars, which, to prevent filtration, are coated on the outside with tar. There are two kinds of this wine, red and white. It is carried from the country into the port in skins, as at Madeira; but of its mode of preparation the merchants engaged in the trade are totally ignorant, and they generally dispose of it as soon as possible.

We found Limasol to be but a poor place. Its streets are, however, broader than those of most oriental towns. An old castle at the entrance mounts a couple of long brass Venetian guns of the date of 1543. The population is mixed, and consists of Greeks and Mohammadans, who have all (particularly the women) a wan and sickly look, that at once discovers the influence of malaria. There is no place upon, or in the vicinity of, the coast of Asia Minor where fever is so prevalent as this. It continues the entire three months of summer, and we were told that those who may have suffered from it previously are still liable to its repeated attacks. With some it remains, though in a more modified form, during the whole year, so that the place can never be said to be entirely free from its influence; and when I visited the consul, both his wife and child were just recovering from a fit of agne. On my recommending to some of the inhabitants to seek a higher elevation during the time in which the fever is most prevalent, they smiled, shook their heads, and said that they were perfectly aware of the propriety of following my advice, but that they had been accustomed to it from their youth, and, as it seldom caused death, they were unwilling to lose the chance trade, of which they might be deprived by a summer's residence in the mountains. None, even of the better classes, remove from the place, preferring to suffer this intermittent from year to year, to a removal to a more healthful situation during its continuance. The men seemed a slothful race, and the women, as far as we could observe, bore no resemblance to their great progenitrix.

On the 9th we left Cyprus, and sailed for Syria.

CHAPTER XVII.

SYRIA.

Peyrout-Quarantine-Rise of the Sea-Silk manufactory- Proceed to Jaffa -- Lebanon-A Storm

--Tyre-Appearance of the Place--Inhabitants-Present condition of Tsour-Comparison of its Ancient Grandeur and Merchandise--Questions proposed for Inquiry-Position of the Peninsula-Water Tower-Whence its Supply-A Remarkable Rock-The AqueductMarshuk--Its Cistern and Water Works-A Threshing Instrument-Discovery of Ancient Tombs Their Position-Historic Sketch of the Several Cities of Tyre--Its Earliest Mention --Chronology of Sir I. Newton-Palæ Tyrus-Its Antiquity--Siege of Shulmanazer-Destruction by Nebuchadnezzar—Building of Insular Tyre-Besieged by Alexander, Prophetic Fulfilment--Its History up to the Introduction of Christianity - From that to the Crusades-Probable Site of Palæ Tyre-Opinion of the Count de Bertou--Derivation of the word Tyre--Definition of Palve- Position of Ancient Cities--Sepulchres-Aqueducts—The Modern Town--Its Population-Remains of the Insular City-Rise of the Sea-Varbours-Submerged RuinsDiscovery of the Dye-pots--- Fountains of Solomon-Departure from Tyre--Caipha-Proceed to Jaffa,

March 10th.—We arrived at Beyrout, as we understood that vessels would not receive pratique at Jaffa, for which place we were bound. The authorities here finding that we had come from Cyprus, informed us that we could not land on any part of Syria without performing fourteen days' quarantine; but having the privileges usually granted to vessels of war, it was reduced to nine, including our passage, the day of arrival, and that on which the quarantine expired.

The establishment of quarantine laws and regulations is one of the recent reforms effected by the Basha of Egypt throughout his dominions, and has been already attended with the most salutary results. At Alexandria a board of health, chiefly composed of the Europeon consuls and medical men, has been some time in operation, and it regulates the amount of quarantine to be performed by vessels in all the other ports under the government of the Básha; but at the same time I have reason to believe that it is often made an excuse for gratifying a political hatred, as the different governors at these ports will often inflict a longer quaran

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tine on ships coming from any port belonging to the Sooltan, even if no disease existed in those places, than on the vessels of any other country. It is, however, on the whole a wise precaution, and the reason assigned in our case I considered a fair one :—that although there may not have been any disease at Cyprus, yet that vessels arriving there from Constantinople, which is seldom without plague, are not placed under sufficient quarantine. We were permitted to proceed toward Jaffa on our parole that we would not touch any of the natives till the expiration of our time a treaty we were fully as willing to observe as the governor of Beyrout could possibly desire.

Beyrout is a lovely spot, and is now become a place of considerable importance, being the principal seaport of Syria. Our position afforded us a very splendid prospect of Mount Lebanon and the snow-clad heights of Ante-Lebanon, rearing their heads above it in majestic grandeur. The town is embosomed in gardens which were then bursting forth in all the bloom of early spring. Several old castles, remnants of the Crusaders, stand at the landing place; one of them, opposite the Lazaretto, is now completely washed by the sea, and though a dark and gloomy tower it has a pleasing effect. An examination of the ground around this building will show that it once stood upon the mainland; thus affording another proof of the rise of this part of the Mediterranean ; or, if the land has sunk (as some have asserted) it must have been very gradual indeed ; as had it been produced by an earthquake or a sudden submersion of the ground, some traces of its effects would be visible on the doors and windows of this edifice. The greater part of the landing-place is a pile of granite and marble columns, formed into wharfs; and which were probably the remains of the ancient Beritus. Behind these the town rises in terraces, through which peep vines and orange trees; and the surrounding plain is a continuous grove of olives and mulberies, studded with the villas of several of the wealthy residents.

Beyrout offers many inducements to the travelling invalid, or to families desiring to visit Syria ; and would, I doubt not, form a pleasant and healthy winter residence for such persons. Its climate is moderate and subject to less change than either Algiers or Alexandria ; and the vicinity of mountains affords the means of varying the temperature. There are many European residents here, and there is constant and direct communication with

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England by trading vessels and the government steam-boats, which arrive at Beyrout once a inonth. With Egypt there is daily communication ; Balbeck is but forty miles distant; the interesting country of the Druses is just in its vicinity; and a visit to the cedars of Lebanon forms an entertaining excursion to the tourist ; and the cave of St. George a pleasant morning's walk.

The principal export of this place, is silk, and it is very considerable, but though acknowledged to be of a superior quality, none of it finds its way into the English market. The greater part is sent to Marseilles ; and although this place is an entrepôt for a large quantity of our manufactures, principally hardware and printed cottons, into Syria, and by Damascus even to Persia, we receive no produce in return ; and our vessels, three of which were here at the time of our visit, were going to Alexandria for cotton. All this arises from a trifling circumstance that a few pounds, and a little trouble on the part of our silk manufacturers, could remedy : the winders or reels on which the Syrian silk is wound are smaller than ours, and consequently the hanks do not answer our machinery. How simple the remedy for this !—by sending out machines suited to our factories.

A heavy swell rolls into this open roadstead, so we hove anchor on the evening of the 11th, intending to coast to Jaffa.

There is the appearance of a large population along the shores and hill sides about Beyrout; and several picturesque villages, with their patches of cultivation, mosques, and marabuts, appear among the scattered groves. A light breeze off the land kept us on our course. Presently the moon rose in the most gorgeous splendour ; the night was exceedingly mild and calm ; and the stillness and strikingly grand scenery of all around was most imposing. The range of Lebanon which runs parallel with the coast for some distance, raised aloft its dark fantastic form, and threw the broken outline of its summits into strong relief, as the orb of night sailed slowly and majestically on her course ; now casting the lower hills into shadow, and now glistening on the pearly coronets of snow that cap the topmost peaks. Our vessel seemed to glide almost imperceptibly through the placid waters ; and as she rose and fell with the gentle undulations of the subsiding swell, and all was noiseless except the rustle of her cutwater, it required but few touches of the romantic to conjure up the idea

350

A MEDITERRANEAN STORM.

of a phantom ship, undirected by the hand of man. Even the hardy sailor appeared stricken ; forgot his hour of rest, and gazed in silence on the scene, for it was one of those absorbing pictures that by the depth and vigour of their colouring, and the associations connected with their locality, enchant and fis the mind, as by a magic spell, and leave it more tranquil than before. For myself I found it impossible to sleep during the early period of the night, and so remained on deck till near two o'clock in the morning, when we passed Sidon, which has of late years received a kind of minor celebrity, from its being in the vicinity of the residence of that extraordinary and eccentric woman, the late Lady Hester Stanhope.

About four o'clock I was suddenly awoke by a concussion of the vessel, which lay over so much that I was nearly tumbled out of my berth, with a noise of rushing waters, straining spars, flapping ropes, and howling winds on all sides. One of the sudden squalls to which this coast is exposed had commenced, and reached us but a few minutes before, barely giving us time to strip the ship to bare poles and ropes. Studding-sails lay unfurled, and sheets were uncoiled upon the deck, where every soul was now congregated, some almost in a state of nudity, and all in utter consternation at the extraordinary change that had come over the face of nature in so short a time ; for now, black, black night, sweeping tempest, and boiling surge; I cannot call it waves, for the water was comparatively smooth, so instantaneous was the first burst of storm. So black a sky. I never beheld; and could one spot be said to be darker than the rest, it was in the east, to which all eyes were now turned ; for every minute this black cloud seemed to open in the centre, and thence shone out a blaze of vivid light that appeared to give us a momentary glimpse into another world, from whose refulgent portals were hurled the sheets of fire that skimmed along the deep, brightening in their transit every nook and cranny of the vessel, and throwing a lurid glare upon the anxious faces of us all. And when this cloud closed, all was darkness as before. Often have I sat and gazed with admiration on the lightning's flash; but here I confess my feelings were those of awe, nay, absolute fear. The thunder was not so loud as I have heard it on land, probably from the absence of echo. For some short time the scene was truly terrific; and when every thing that skill and sea

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