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words spoken by his prophets. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.' 'From generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it; and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof and it shall be a habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech-owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. Seek ye out the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them. And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.' Isaiah xxxiv.

"I read in the sacred book prophecy upon prophecy and curse upon curse against the very land on which I stood. I was about to journey through the land, and to see with my own eyes whether the Almighty had stayed his uplifted arm, or whether his sword had indeed come down upon Idumea and the people of his curse to judgment.' I have before referred to Keith on the Prophecies, where, in illustrating the fulfilment of the prophecies against Idumea, 'none shall pass through it for ever and ever,' after referring to the singular fact that the great caravan routes existing in the days of David and Solomon, and under the Roman empire, are now completely broken up, and that the great hadji routes to Mecca from Damascus and Cairo, lie along the borders of Idumea, barely touching at and not passing through it, he proves by abundant references that to this day no traveller has ever passed through. the land.

"The Bedouins who roam over the land of Idumea have been described by travellers as the worst of their race. The Arabs about Akaba,' says Pococke, are a very bad people and notorious robbers, and are at war with all others.' Mr. Joliffe alludes to it as one of the wildest and most dangerous divisions of Arabia; and Burkhardt says, 'that for the first time he had ever felt fear during his travels in the desert, and his route was the most dangerous he had ever travelled,' that he had nothing with him that could attract the notice or excite the cupidity of the Bedouins,' and was even stripped of some rags that covered his wounded ankles.' Messrs. Legh and Banks, and Captains Irby and Mangles, were told that the Arabs of Wady Moussa, the tribe which formed my escort, were a most savage and treacherous race, and that they would use their Frank's blood for a medicine;' and they learned on the spot that 'upwards of thirty pilgrims from Barbary had been murdered at Petra the preceding year, by the men of Wady Moussa;' and they speak of the opposition and obstruction from the Bedouins as resembling the case of the Israelites under Moses, when Edom refused to give them passage through his country. None of these had passed through it, and unless the two Englishmen and Italian, before referred to, succeeded in their attempt, when I pitched my tent on the borders of Edom no traveller had ever done so."


"Standing near the shore of this northern extremity of the Red Sea, I

saw before me an immense sandy valley, which, without the aid of geological science, to the eye of common observation and reason, had once been the bottom of a sea, or the bed of a river. This dreary valley, extending far beyond the reach of the eye, had been partly explored by Burkhardt; sufficiently to ascertain and mention it in the latest geography of the country, as the great valley of El Ghor, extending from the shores of the Elanitic gulf to the southern extremity of the Lake Asphaltites or the Dead Sea; and it was manifest by landmarks of nature's own providing, that over that sandy plain those seas had once mingled their waters, or, perhaps more probably, that before the cities of the plain had been consumed by brimstone and fire, and Sodom and Gomorrah covered by a pestilential lake, the Jordan had here rolled its waters. The valley varied from eight to twelve miles in breadth, and on each side were high, dark, and barren mountains, bounding it like a wall. On the left were the mountains of Judea, and on the right those of Seir -the portion given to Esau as an inheritance; and among them, buried from the eyes of strangers, the approach to it known only to the wandering Bedouins, was the ancient capital of his kingdom, the excavated city of Petra, the cursed and blighted Edom of the Edomites. The land of Idumea lay before me, in barrenness and desolation; no trees grew in the valley, and no verdure on the mountain-tops. All was bare, dreary, and desolate." Vol. II. 44-49.


Nothing but the small space left to us prevents our extracting the whole of the fourth chapter of the second volume. It is devoted to Petra, and is full of intensely interesting details. We shall give a part of it, referring the reader to the book itself for the whole :


"Petra, the excavated city, the long lost capital of Edom, in the Scriptures and profane writings, in every language in which its name occurs, signifies a rock; and, through the shadows of its early history, we learn that its inhabitants lived in natural clefts or excavations made in the solid rock. Desolate as it now is, we have reason to believe that it goes back to the time of Esau, the father of Edom;' that princes and dukes, eight successive kings, and again a long line of dukes, dwelt there before any king 'reigned over Israel;' and we recognise it from the earliest ages, as the central point to which came the caravans from the interior of Arabia, Persia, and India, laden with all the precious commodities of the East, and from which these commodities were distributed through Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, and all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, even Tyre and Sidon deriving their purple and dyes from Petra. Eight hundred years before Christ, Amaziah, the king of Judea, slew of Edom in the valley of Salt ten thousand, and took Selah (the Hebrew name of Petra) by war.' Three hundred years after the last of the prophets, and nearly a century before the Christian era, the King of Arabia' issued from his palace at Petra, at the head of fifty thousand men, horse and foot, entered Jerusalem, and uniting with the Jews, pressed the siege of the Temple, which was only raised by the advance of the Romans; and in the beginning of the second century, though its independence was lost, Petra was still the capital of a Roman province. After that time it rapidly declined; its history became more and more obscure; for more than a thousand years it was completely lost to the civilized world; and, until its discovery by Burkhardt in 1812, except to the wandering Bedouins its very site was unknown.

"And this was the city at whose door I now stood. In a few words,

this ancient and extraordinary city is situated within a natural amphitheatre of two or three miles in circumference, encompassed on all sides by rugged mountains five or six hundred feet in height. The whole of this area is now a waste of ruins, dwelling-houses, palaces, temples, and triumphal arches, all prostrate together in undistinguishable confusion. The sides of the mountains are cut smooth, in a perpendicular direction, and filled with long and continued ranges of dwelling-houses, temples, and tombs, excavated with vast labour out of the solid rock; and while their summits present nature in her wildest and most savage form, their bases are adorned with all the beauty of architecture and art, with columns, and porticoes, and pediments, and ranges of corridors, enduring as the mountains out of which they are hewn, and fresh as if the work of a generation scarcely yet gone by.

"Nothing can be finer than the immense rocky rampart which encloses the city. Strong, firm, and immovable as nature itself, it seems to deride the walls of cities, and the puny fortifications of skilful engineers. The only access is by clambering over this wall of stone, practicable only in one place, or by an entrance the most extraordinary that nature, in her wildest freaks, has ever framed. The loftiest portals ever raised by the hands of man, the proudest monuments of architectural skill and daring, sink into insignificance by the comparison. It is, perhaps, the most wonderful object in the world, except the ruins of the city to which it forms the entrance. Unfortunately, I did not enter by this door, but by clambering over the mountains at the other end; and when I stood upon the summit of the mountain, though I looked down upon the vast area filled with ruined buildings and heaps of rubbish, and saw the mountain-sides cut away so as to form a level surface, and presenting long ranges of doors in successive tiers or stories, the dwelling and burial-places of a people long since passed away; and though immediately before me was the excavated front of a large and beautiful temple, I was disappointed. I had read the unpublished descriptions of Captains Irby and Mangles. Several times the sheik had told me, in the most positive manner, that there was no other entrance; and I was moved to indignation at the marvellous and exaggerated, not to say false representations, as I thought, of the only persons who had given any account of this wonderful entrance. I was disappointed, too, in another matter. Burkhardt had been accosted, immediately upon his entry, by a large party of Bedouins, and been suffered to remain but a very short time. Messrs. Legh, Banks, Irby and Mangles had been opposed by hundreds of Bedouins, who swore that they should never enter their territory nor drink of their waters,' and 'that they would shoot them like dogs, if they attempted it.' And I expected some immediate opposition from at least the thirty or forty, fewer than whom, the shiek had told me, were never to be found in Wady Moussa. I expected a scene of some kind; but at the entrace of the city there was not a creature to dispute our passage; its portals were wide open, and we passed along the stream down into the area, and still no man came to oppose us. We moved to the extreme end of the area; and, when in the act of dismounting at the foot of the rock on which stood the temple that had constantly faced us, we saw one solitary Arab straggling along without any apparent object, a mere wanderer among the ruins; and it is a not uninteresting fact, that this poor Bedouin was the only living being we saw in the desolate city of Petra. After gazing at us for a few moments at a distance he came towards us, and in a few moments was sitting down to pipes and coffee with my companions. I again asked the shiek for the other entrance, and he again told me there was none; but I

could not believe him, and set out to look for it myself; and although in my search I had already seen enough abundantly to repay me for all my difficulties in getting there, I could not be content without finding this desired avenue.

"In front of the great temple, the pride and beauty of Petra, of which more hereafter, I saw a narrow opening in the rocks, exactly corresponding with my conception of the object for which I was seeking. A full stream of water was gushing through it, and filling up the whole mouth of the passage. Mounted on the shoulders of one of my Bedouins, I got him to carry me through the swollen stream at the mouth of the opening, and set me down on a dry place a little above, whence I began to pick my way, occasionally taking to the shoulders of my follower, and continued to advance more than a mile. I was beyond all peradventure in the great entrance I was seeking. There could not be two such, and I should have gone on to the extreme end of the ravine, but my Bedouin suddenly refused me the further use of his shoulders. He had been some time objecting and begging me to return, and now positively refused to go any further; and, in fact, turned about himself. I was anxious to proceed, but I did not ike wading up to my knees in the water, nor did I feel very resolute to go where I might expose myself to danger, as he seemed to intimate. While I was hesitating, another of my men came running up the ravine, and shortly after him Paul and the shiek, breathless with haste, and crying in low gutturals, El Arab! El Arab-The Arabs! the Arabs! This was enough for me. I had heard so much of El Arab that I had become nervous. It was like the cry of Delilah in the ears of the sleeping Sampson, The Philistines be upon thee.' At the other end of the ravine was an encampment of the El Alouins; and the shiek, having due regard to my communication about money matters, had shunned this entrance to avoid bringing upon me this horde of tribute-gatherers for a participation in the spoils. Without any disposition to explore farther, I turned towards the city; and it was now that I began to feel the powerful and indelible impression that must be produced on entering, through this mountainous passage, the excavated city of Petra.

"For about two miles it lies between high and precipitous ranges of rocks, from five hundred to a thousand feet in height, standing as if torn asunder by some great convulsion, and barely wide enough for two horsemen to pass abreast. A swelling stream rushes between them; the summits are wild and broken; in some places overhanging the opposite sides, casting the darkness of night upon the narrow defile; then receding and forming an opening above, through which a strong ray of light is thrown down, and illuminates with the blaze of day the frightful chasm below. Wild fig-trees, oleanders, and ivy, were growing out of the rocky sides of the cliffs hundreds of feet above our heads; the eagle was screaming above us; all along were the open doors of tombs, forming the great necropolis of the city; and at the extreme end was a large open space, with a powerful body of light thrown down upon it, and exhibiting in one full view the façade of a beautiful temple, hewn out of the rock, with rows of Corinthian columns and ornaments, standing out fresh and clear as if but yesterday from the hands of the sculptor. Though coming directly from the banks of the Nile, where the preservation of the temples excites the admiration and astonishment of every traveller, we were roused and excited by the extraordinary beauty and excellent condition of the great temple of Petra. Even in coming upon it, as we did, at disadvantage, I remember that Paul, who was a passionate admirer of the arts, when he first obtained a glimpse

of it, involuntarily cried out, and moving on to the front with a vivacity I never saw him exhibit before or afterwards, clapped his hands, and shouted in ecstasy. To the last day of our being together, he was in the habit of referring to his extraordinary fit of enthusiasm when he first came upon that temple; and I can well imagine that, entering by this narrow defile, with the feelings roused by its extraordinary and romantic wildness and beauty, the first view of that superb façade must produce an effect which could never pass away. Even now that I have returned to the pursuits and thought-engrossing incidents of a life in the busiest city in the world, often in situations as widely different as light from darkness, I see before me the façade of that temple; neither the Coliseum at Rome, grand and interesting as it is, nor the ruins of the Acropolis at Athens, nor the Pyramids, nor the mighty temples of the Nile, are so often present to my memory.

"The whole temple, its columns, ornaments, porticoes, and porches, are cut out from and form part of the solid rock; and this rock, at the foot of which the temple stands like a mere print, towers several hundred feet above, its face cut smooth to the very summit, and the top remaining wild and misshapen as nature made it. he whole area before the temple is perhaps an acre in extent, enclosed on all sides except at the narrow entrance, and an opening to the left of the temple, which leads into the area of the city by a pass through perpendicular rocks, five or six hundred feet in height." Vol. II. pp. 65–72.

An entertaining account of a visit to the tomb of Aaron upon Mount Hor, we are compelled to omit.

The approach to the Holy Land over the same road and through the very spot which the Israelites, so many centuries since, traversed, each one hallowed by some act of divine agency, and bearing the clearest testimony to the truth of the scriptural narrative, is replete with interest of the deepest and warmest kind. Mr. S. reached Palestine through Idumea; though he was unable to visit the southern shore of the Dead Sea, the journey being, in his circumstances, altogether impracticable. He turned off, therefore, to the left, towards Hebron, and visited it and every other town of note in Palestine.

The places of Palestine being comparatively familiar to our readers, we shall not dwell upon this portion of the book. Upon but one concluding topic we shall say a word—the Dead Sea.

This mysterious lake has been thoroughly explored, so far as is known and believed, but by two Europeans-one an illiterate sailor; the other an enthusiastic traveller, an Irish gentleman, who died upon its shores after having made its fearful circuit. His story has died with him, and the world has lost what cannot be easily supplied. The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah lie beneath the tainted waters of the "Sea of Death," and the unfortunate Costigan is supposed to have dropped his line in the midst of their ocean-covered remains. Had but strength and means been his, what disclosures might VOL. XXI. NO. 42. 58

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