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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 fix 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, all was 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
manship could suggest was done, and that each renewed gust of wind sent our bulwarks under the water to a fearful depth; and when our schooner righted but to bound forward without a stitch of canvas through the foaming brine, we had only to let her run and trust to the guiding hand of Him who
plants his fontsteps on the sea, And rides upon the storm."
Presently the rain fell in torrents, and pattered like hailstones upon the deck, and about an hour after, the fury of the hurricane abated, and the wind lulled, as if from sheer exhaustion at the effort it had made.
March 12th. The weather cleared somewhat at day-break; but still the effects of the gale left the sea literally white with foam. The motion of the waters was not the regular measured swell of the ocean, but they were tossed and tumbled about as if moved by some hidden force beneath their surface. We endeavoured to continue on to Caipha, but, on passing Tyre, the wind again headed us, and we were obliged to put back and seek shelter within the reef of rocks which runs parallel with the shore, and forms the northern roadstead. The sea broke with great fury over these rocks, the tops of which just appear above the water; and whether placed there by nature or by art, were once the breakwater to the northern harbour of Tyre. The swell, however, though checked, was not arrested by them, but, leaping the barrier, continued on, though in diminished strength, into the basin, where we now rode in comparative security.
Before us lay the present Sour or Tsour upon the peninsula ; and, though appearing to exhibit much more of life, and a greater number of houses than we were led by accounts to expect, yet it, as well as every thing around, wore an aspect of dreariness and desolation. The ruins of the old church of Paulinus; some tottering walls towards the shore; a few ancient towers that mark the time of the Crusaders ; a white-domed mosque ; a few unconnected houses jumbled together on this sea-washed rock; and, rising over all, a couple of waving palms, whose plumy tops seemed to mourn over the surrounding desolation, were the only objects that presented themselves to the traveller, of the once proud, and still celebrated, city of Tyre. The shore is low and sandy, and
APPEARANCE OF THE INHABITANTS.
on its edge lay the wreck of a vessel half sunk in the oozing sands--a more appropriate and painful object could not possibly have presented itself, to remind us at once of the splendour and the ruin of all human enterprise. On the distant plain could be distinguished the remains of the ancient aqueduct, as well as several bands of Bedawees, mounted on their camels, slowly pacing onward to the desert. Shortly after our arrival, the British flag was hoisted by our vice-consul from the roof of one of the principal houses, and continued so during our stay.
13th. Although we still continued in quarantine, the governor allowed us to land and examine the ruins, accompanied by a guardian, to see that we did not endanger the health of the city by touching or coming in contact with any of the natives, a surveillance we had not the slightest objection to, and one, we were much more willing to obey than he was to enforce. It was remarkable, that one of the first objects which caught my attention on entering the small boat-harbour, was a large net hung out to dry on one of the adjacent towers, the ruins of which still exist in the remaining portion of the cyclopean wall that surrounds the north side of the town--even at the present day, “the top of a rock-a place to spread nets upon.”—Ezk. xxvi. 14. A crowd of the inhabitants were collected at the landing place, and the British consular agent came forward to welcome us and offer his services. He is a Christian of the Latin church, and was dressed in a red striped silk gown or cassock, (the beneesh,) a flowing fur-trimmed cloak with wide sleeves, and a most sumptuous purple turban. The people, who are mostly Greek or Latin Christians, were all dressed à la Turk, but much more tastefully than any we had seen since we left Egypt. Their turbans were particularly full and bold looking, and their wide Memlook trowsers, and party-coloured cloaks, gave them an air of respectability, we did not expect to find amidst so much apparent wretchedness.
As an Irishman, I felt no small degree of interest on first touching the motherland, whose colony we claim to be. But when I looked around, and beheld its prostrate columns, its crumbling walls, its deserted cothon, where once the greatest of mercantile navies floated in security ; when I saw a heap of wretched houses rising without order or regularity from out the mounds of surrounding ruins-here, perched up the remains
SPLENDOUR OF ANCIENT TYRE.
of some mouldering tower—there, sunk within the walls of a tottering church ; and where the threatening scowl of the swarthy Bedawee frowned on us as we paced through the vacant streets ;I asked myself, was this, indeed, the joyous city, whose antiquity was of ancient days; the mart of nations ; the strong city of Tyre; the daughter of Sidon; the sister of Bæotian Thebes; the mother of Carthage, and the correspondent of Egean. Could this be the city which pushed her colonies beyond the pillars of Hercules, even to Gades and the isles of the west ; whose merchants were princes; whose traffickers were the honourable of the earth ; whose silver was heaped up as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of its streets. Where every precious stone was a covering: the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle. Whose ships were constructed of the fir-trees of Senir, the cedars of Lebanon, and the oaks of Bashan ; and the benches of which, inlaid with ivory, the company of the Ashurites wrought out of the box-wood of the isles of Chittim ; and whose Sidonian mariners, with the sons of Arvad,* and Gebal, spread forth the sailf of the fine linen of Egypt, broidered with purple and scarlet from the isles of Elisha. I Whose walls were manned by the Persian ; and in whose towers the Gammadians hung the shiled and the helmet, to perfect its beauty, and set forth its comeliness. Whose merchandise consisted in silver, iron, tin,|| lead, and vessels of brass ; and whose wares were emeralds, s purple, and broidered-work, and fine linen, and agate,
* An island in the Persian Gulf, sometimes spelled Arpad; it is mentioned in Gen. x. 18. For the extensive intercourse of Tyre, see p. 363.
† Supposed by commentators to mean the flags, or, perhaps, it may mean the awning or covering to the triremes.
Believed to be Elis, or Hellas, a port in Peleponnesus, from whence some of the shells were obtained that formed the celebrated dye.
Mr. C. Fellowes, in his interesting work on Asia Minor, informs us, that he discovered at Perge the Greek shield carved as an ornament upon the upper part of the walls, and appearing as if hung from the top. This seems to offer a satisfactory explanation of this passage.
|| This metal is supposed to have been brought from Cornwall by the ships of Tarshish or Carthage.
P Herodotus describes a pillar of emerald situated in the temple of Hercules, which during the night diffused an extraordinary light. Larcher
THE MERCHANDISE OF TYRE.
and blue cloth, and chests of rich apparel, and the persons of men.* At whose fairs were bartered the horses, and horsemen, and mules of the house of Togarmuth, with the wine of Heblon, and the white wool of Damascus. Where the merchants of Judah and Israel traded with the wheat of Minnith, with honey, and oil, and balm. Where the gold and spices, and all the precious stones of Shebad, and Barmoth, together with the bright iron, cassia, and calamus of Dan and Javan, were exposed in the markets; and the princes of Kedar and Arabia brought rams, and lambs, and goats; and Dedan purchased the precious cloths for chariots, in exchange for ivory and ebony. A city, whose commercial glory “ went forth out of the seas," and did enrich the kings of the earth with its riches and merchandise. -Ezek. chap. xxvii. And whose artificers assisted in raising and
thinks this was the Psudosmaragdus--others, that it was coloured glass, illuminated by lamps placed within it.
* Slaves—To this may be referred the denunciation against Tyre, on account of selling the Lord's people, as spoken by Joel and Amos : “ The children of Jerusalem have been sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from your border.”—Joel iii. 6. The Tubal, or Tobel, here mentioned as engaged in this traffic, is understood to be a country north of Armenia, peopled by the sons of Japheth, and was then a Greek colony.
+ THE HOUSE OF TOGARMUTH.-We read in the 10th chap. and 3d verse of the Book of Genesis, that Togarmah was the third son of Gomer, who was the eldest of the sons of Japheth, and who is supposed to have peopled Galatia: but Dr. Whiston, the translator of Josephus, who first put forward this opinion, must certainly have erred in calling the Galatians Gauls; for it must refer to the country of those Asiatics to whom St. Paul wrote his Epistle. Josephus, likewise, makes Togarmah, or Thrugramma, the father of the Phrygians, (vol. I. b. i. ch. 6, sec. 1.) Dr. Adam Clarke considers the descendants of Gomer to be the Turcoman tribes; and Calmet and the majority of the learned incline to the opinion that Cappadocia and Armenia were the countries they occupied. From them sprung the Cimbri, or Cimmerians, the most ancient of the Celtic nations, who peopled the greater part of Europe, having spread from their original seat, on the borders of the Euxine Sea. Dr. Wells makes the fola lowing judicious remarks upon this geographical subject :
“ The third and last son of Gomer, named by Moses, is Togarmah, whose family was seated in the remaining, and, consequently, in the most easterly part of the nation of Gomer. And this situation of the family of