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groves of mulberry trees-silk still forming å considerable article of commerce here. These fountains are three in number, and are about thirty feet high; they are situated in a small valley, about a quarter of a mile from the sea; and though they are much broken and neglected, yet they retain sufficient magnificence to attest their antiquity and former beauty. The largest is an octagon, and is about a hundred yards nearer to the sea than the others, to which it is joined by some very beautiful arches. A row of steps leads to the top, which is surrounded by a walk eight feet broad. Either it was originally arched over, or the lining is much worn away, as the top projects like a cornice. The aperture is twenty-two yards across, and on fathoming it, I found the depth not more than eleven yards in the centre, and about two at the edges; but its depth has probably been diminished by the rubbish, &c. which from time to time it must have received. Indeed one only wonders how these cisterns have at all stood amidst the many desolations that have visited this unhappy country. They are always full, and an immense body of water flows from them, which also turns several mills in its course; as shown in the accompanying map.
I measured the thickness of the wall of the smallest fountain, and found it to be twenty-three feet. It was formed in this way: -two walls of hewn stones, each stone from five to six feet long, inclosed a space which was filled up with a cement, consisting of lime, broken stones, and gravel. On the inner wall was a lining of mortar, studded with small stones, similar to that on the fountains of Solomon, near Bethlehem, and to that on the pool of Bethesda at Jerusalem.
The water has been drawn from the aqueduct to supply the mills, and Ibrahim Basha was then erecting a turboosh manufactory nigh to the cisterns. Besides the large quantity of water constantly passing off in the regular stream, it flows over the side of the cistern in one place, and forms a handsome cascade. Stalactites, like those on the arches in the plain, are seen here in immense masses ; some Doric capitals have been lately dug up at this place; and an aqueduct of rather modern date runs from it in a southward direction, which was used probably for the purposes of irrigation. The main aqueduct is continued northward to the rock, or citadel of Marshuk, and is supported by arches at one place only. On the morning of our visit to Ras-el
Ain, some Arab women were baking their bread in the vicinity, by pouring a thick batter upon the heated pan, a practice referred to in the book of Samuel.
The existence of these fountains prior to the time of Alexander has been called in question by a learned writer ; but no stronger proof is needed of their having been constructed previous to the building of Insular Tyre than that which is furnished by the aqueduct running direct to the rock instead of along the shore, and afterwards turning back towards the island, to which it could have been brought in half the distance, and with much less obstruction, from the irregularities of the ground. Beyond these fountains is an extensive and fertile plain, bounded by the lower range of Lebanon.
In this part of my narrative I may have been wearisome to some of my readers ; but when they consider that of the many cities recorded in history few deserve more attention than Tyre, I trust they will regard the statements I have given as not devoid of interest or unworthy of attention. Were we to take up a map of the world, and trace on it the colonies that have sprung from this “Queen of the Sea," and follow them in their course through the different collateral branches that again emanated from them, we should be tracing the progress of civilization, the spread of knowledge, and the light of science even into our own country.
15th. We departed from Tyre, and on rounding the headland of Cape Blanco, we obtained a distinct view of the promontory of Mount Carmel, running out into the sea for a considerable distance. The bay of Caipha separates these promontories, and as we sailed through it we had an opportunity of seeing the extensive plain that surrounds its shores. On this plain, and near to the shore, stands the town of Zib, supposed to be the ancient Azib spoken of in Joshua, but now an inconsiderable place, remarkable only for the peculiar appearance of its square mud-built houses, and the number of its tall palm trees, which make it visible even at a great distance at sea. Farther on upon the coast we passed the city of Acre, the ancient Ptolemais ; memorable for the many storms and sieges that it has sustained, and the important part that it has occupied in all the wars that have taken place in these countries. It is the strongest and best situated city in Palestine, having, in addition to the natural advantages of its maritime position, walls and fortifications of
great strength. It is now a place of considerable importance, from the very large garrison which it possesses, and its being the principal stronghold of the Egyptian general. The aqueduct which supplies it with water can be traced for a considerable distance along the plain, and its light arches form a pleasing object in the landscape. As we approached the place, twilight set in, and soon rendered every thing indistinct. Shortly afterwards we anchored about a mile from the little town of Caipha ; and next morning landed, by permission of the officer of health, to enjoy a walk on shore.
Caipha is a walled town, situated upon the water's edge on the north-western shore of Mount Carmel. Next to the sea are some high square towers, built by the Crusaders, but of the interior of the place I cannot speak, as we were not permitted to enter within the gates. A British consular agent resides here, and he, as well as several of the Frank merchants, accompanied us in our walk. The population of the place is said to be 3000, and the town itself has, in a commercial point of view, greatly improved of late years. It has at present a tolerably good market, and its exports of grain and cotton are very considerable. The increase of its trade has, I think, arisen from its vicinity to Acre, which, from being so deeply engaged in the wars and military affairs of the country, lost much of its commerce, and by that means Caipha became, as it were, a granary to the army encamped before it ; and the advantages which it then acquired it still continues to possess. To the south of the town is an extensive plain, highly cultivated and well wooded. On its margin, and close by the sea side, are some very remarkable remains, which have not, as far as I am aware, been either investigated or described by any recent traveller. Immediately beside these are also the ruins of an ancient Cyclopean wall, partly standing in the sea, the stones of which are of an almost incredible size. I know of no scriptural city that existed in this locality. May it not have been a temple of Baal, the deity that was anciently worshipped in this part of the country?
The convent that crowns the outer point of Mount Carmel* forms a pleasing object in the scenery here presented to the view;
* Hence the term Carmelite.
and when we consider that, in all probability, on this spot was gained that wonderful triumph which the prophet Elijah, by the power of God, achieved over the priests of Baal and their idolatry, it adds considerably to the interest of the scene, (1 Kings, xviii.) The proximity of the spot to the sea at once answers the objections of the sceptic as to where the water was procured in that season of drought to pour on the sacrifice and in the trench.
The mountain itself is bare, and nearly destitute of vegetation. On the sloping ground that ascends from the town towards the east, are numerous sepulchres carved out of the solid rock, of the very simplest form, consisting merely of a square domed-roof chamber, having an arched door, which occupies one of the sides, with ledges or troughs for the bodies on each of the three remaining ones. They appeared to be the most recently constructed of any of the tombs of this description that I have seen, and were tenanted with numbers of poor people, who, for lack of better, made them their dwellings. These Troglodytes seemed to partake of the air of their habitations, and were a miserable, filthy, and degraded-looking race. In the vicinity of this place are some very splendid carob, or locust trees (ceratonia siliqua). I saw the husks or legumes of these trees scattered on the ground about the tombs, where some cattle had been eating them; and they at once recalled to my mind the parable of the prodigal son, who “would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat.” (Luke xv. 16.) The expressed juice, and also the pulp of the fruit, is much used in the east. As this tree is sometimes called the locust tree, and St. John's bread, some persons have supposed that from it the food of the Baptist was obtained. Now, in opposition to this opinion, I can only state that locusts fried with honey is a favourite dish with the Arabs about the Jordan even to this day. A long sandy beach stretches away from the town, in a curved direction to the north. On this a very heavy surf breaks, rolling in great quantities of shells, and numerous marine animals.* The river Kishon, which is here fordable, empties itself into the sea at this place; but it is so shallow at
* I picked up some good specimens of the murex trunculous, or dye shell, which seem to be common here. It is remarkable that one of the old names of Caipha is Porpburcon, which Pococke says it received on account of the fish being found upon the coast which furnishes the Tyriau dye.
its mouth that it was with considerable difficulty we forced our boat over the bar. Before reaching the sea, the stream winds through a swampy, and, in some places, a sandy valley; and on either side its banks are fringed with shrubs and underwood which not unfrequently almost meet over the centre of the stream.
The day after our arrival we set out upon a shooting party to the valley of the Kishon, accompanied by two of the Italian residents at Caipha. The plain, which is covered with rank sedge, and low underwood, interspersed with deep and natural drains, and studded with hillocks, has very much the appearance of some of the moors in our own country. The game was very abundant; quails were in great numbers ; and we also got some red-legged partridges. Here, for the first time, I saw that beautiful bird the Francolin.* On returning to the mouth of the Kishon, where the boat awaited us, we passed the black tentst of some Bedawees, in the midst of the sand-hills that surround the coast toward Acre. The females of the tribe were churning goats' milk in a very primitive manner, by shaking it or swinging it in a goat's skin slung between two upright posts.
We weighed anchor that evening, passed the handsome and picturesque Castle Pellegrino, and shortly after the ruins of Cæsarea. Of these enough still remain to tell us of its former magnificence. Some tall pillars and a handsome tower situated at the water's edge; the latter rearing its weather-beaten face in defiance of the storms of nineteen centuries, and the angry waves that foam against its base. The crimson light of a stormy sun-set was reflected from its walls, and gave it a bold and most imposing appearance; but the sea dashed with such fury against the rocks as to prevent our landing ; so we continued on to Jaffa, where we arrived during the night.
* Francolinus Vulgarus.-- This beautiful bird is about the size of a grouse, which it resembles very much in shape. The cock bird we shot here was fourteen inches long; bill black; upper part of head grey, lower part of head and back of neck black; a white oval spot over each ear; a brownish red collar round the neck; crop jet black, spotted with white; wings black, quill feathers, the colour of a wood-cock's; under wings and insertion of tail, small alternate bars of black and white; thighs, bands of brown and red; legs red, like partridges; very good eating, something like grouse.
+ Black, like the tents of Kedar.- Song of Solomon, i. 5.