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for my departure. You, no doubt, recollect that I was left without a servant. I succeeded only yesterday in procuring one, and he, too, a blockhead of a fellow; but I had no choice, and must contrive to do my best with him whether I will or no. With regard to mules, too, I had difficulties to overcome. Owing to the great number of travellers now in Jerusalem, the proprietors of mules and horses have raised their prices to half as much again as they were to be had for six weeks ago. Hence I must pay fifteen piastres per day for each horse or mule I employ. It would have been better for me to have made an agreement once for all at the beginning of my journey with one of the mule-drivers of Sidon or Beirût. But it cannot now be helped, and I must needs submit with patience.
In another point of view, the remainder of my journey promises some improvement on the past. A young German divine, whom I had more than once met with at Bishop Gobat's and at the deaconesses', expressed a wish to accompany me for a part of my journey. He travels with great simplicity, without a dragoman, without a travelling-canteen, and with a tent so simple, that in case of need it can be packed on his own horse. His baggage and travelling articles, accordingly, will not be much in the way. Neither has he any servant. Whether my one-eyed Theodori, who runs always with bent knees, as if he meant to fall asleep when walking, will suffice as a servant for us both, experience alone can tell. I am to set off to-day before him with my two English friends by the convent of Mar-Saba to the Dead Sea and Jericho. Mr Finn is to join us at Elisha's Fountain; from that
to proceed to Bethel, along the way that Joshua must have taken with his army when he took Ai. Ai has not yet been discovered, and we cannot on this occasion pass without giving our attention to it. I met my German friend, the young divine, yesterday afternoon, at the fountain of Rogel (en-Rogel) in the King's gardens, at the south-eastern foot of Zion, where the valleys of Hinnom and Jehoshaphat unite together.
"Are you quite prepared, my dear sir," I asked, "to start on Monday morning?"
"So early as Monday morning? Why so soon? It is impossible."
"But I gave you timely warning; and as my English friends, too, have agreed to accompany me, I cannot put off my departure. We go, as I said, to Mar-Saba, the Dead Sea, the Jordan, Jericho, and Bethel; and then "
Well, now, that will take you three days. So long, then, shall I remain in Jerusalem, and hope on Wednesday evening to join you at Bethel.”
Very good! But be sure now to keep to your time. I will leave with you Theodori, my new servant, for your assistance. On Wednesday afternoon, then".
"Ja, Ja, bestimt bis mitwoch," was the answer of my young friend, who found it difficult to tear himself away from Jerusalem.
Sunday, the last Sunday in Jerusalem, now dawned. It was one more real festal day, a day full of blessings. Mr Crawford preached in the morning from Titus iii. 5; we afterwards participated in the Holy Supper. When the afternoon services were over, I once more took a walk round Jerusalem with my English friends.
FAREWELL TO JERUSALEM.
The sky was cloudy, but the sun now and then broke through the clouds. When we stood on the northeastern height of the Scopus, we saw Jerusalem in a flood of light, whilst all the surrounding hills lay in shadow. We could not possibly have seen the royal city more brilliantly illuminated. We were deeply affected with the splendid spectacle before us, and felt thankful at having been privileged to see Jerusalem to such advantage before our departure. I can well understand, after such a sight, why Jerusalem was chosen by God before all the cities of the earth. Not because of its royal situation alone, but among many other reasons, because of that also. Yes, truly, Jerusalem, although her crown of royalty has been wrested from her head, although she has been sunk in dust and ashes, Jerusalem cannot conceal her descent.
Deeply moved, and filled with sad thoughts of our departure, we walked along Gethsemane and Absalom's pillar to the foot of Zion hill; we then ascended to enter the city, and went once more to contemplate the remains of the arch that erewhile belonged to the bridge which connected Zion and Moriah; and returned home through the noisome dirty streets of the Jewish quarter. The day was closed in meditations on the Word of God and in prayer at the Rev. Mr Crawford's, in the midst of a numerous circle of friends,—a day for me never to be forgotten.
And now, my friend, I leave Jerusalem: you, too, I must leave for the present. Our caravan is quite ready; I must, therefore hasten. With kindest regards, yours, &c.
FROM JERUSALEM BY JERICHO, AI, AND BETHEL, TO SHECHEM.
BETHEL, 5th May. Just imagine, my friend, it is now nearly ten o'clock at night, and no appearance as yet of my German fellow-traveller with Theodori ! The distance from Jerusalem to this is hardly four hours. After sundown he cannot leave the city, as the gates are then shut; so that if he does not soon appear I must dread one or other alternative, either that he has quite forgotten that I am waiting for him here, or that he has lost his way and has arrived nobody knows where. A sad commencement this of our travelling in company, to be kept thus in anxiety and suspense owing to the non-fulfilment of a settled agreement. But I must exercise all the patience I can command, and perhaps he may ere long be here. Meanwhile let me tell you of the journey from Jerusalem to Bethel.
Hardly had I sealed my last letter to you, and sent Theodori with it to the post, when the voice of my friend T. made me suspect I was keeping the rest of the company waiting.
"What is keeping you so long?" he cried; "the kind-hearted Crawfords have been waiting for us more than ten minutes outside the Damascus gate, intending to give us a convoy."
EXCURSION TO MAR-SABA, ETC.
And there, to be sure, they stood, those warmhearted friends with whom it was so painful to part. We now formed quite a caravan. My English friends, who travel with all the comforts that one can any way command in this country, have a train of mules that might suffice for six persons instead of two, making my simple travelling equipage appear as nothing in comparison. Further, we had besides dragomans, servants, and mule-drivers, four Bedouïns to accompany us as guides, and also as an armed escort; for the consuls who represent the five great Powers of Europe at Jerusalem, to this day allow the Bedouïns that haunt the environs of the Holy City to levy on all travellers who wish to visit the Jordan a tribute of 100 piastres a-head, besides a sheep, or, by way of equivalent, an additional 40 piastres. This is one of those amazing instances of daring imposition whereof most travellers justly complain, and which are a consequence of the feeble and enervated government of the Turks.
Passing by the citadel and the city's western wall, through the valley of the Son of Hinnom, along the foot of Mount Zion, on the right hand side of the fountain En-Rogel, we followed for awhile the bed of the Cedron valley, passing by sepulchral caves and slender olive-trees. These, as we advanced, became fewer and fewer, until they altogether disappeared, while the wadi, with its waste and wild aspect, reminded me of our approach to the wilderness. For two hours did our Jerusalem friends accompany us, but then it became necessary that they should return, for we were getting too much among the encampments