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Title: Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope, as related by herself in conversations with her physician, vol. 1 (of 3)
Author: Stanhope, Hester
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope, as related by herself in conversations with her physician, vol. 1 (of 3)" ***

  [Illustration: LADY HESTER STANHOPE.
                 London Henry Colburn, 1845.]

                                 OF THE
                         LADY HESTER STANHOPE,

                         AS RELATED BY HERSELF
                       IN CONVERSATIONS WITH HER

                     HER OPINIONS, AND ANECDOTES OF
                              OF HER TIME.

All such writings and discourses as touch no man will mend no
man.――TYERS’s _Rhapsody on Pope_.

                            Second Edition.

                           IN THREE VOLUMES.

                                VOL. I.

                       HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER,
                       GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.



                   PRINTER TO H. R. H. PRINCE ALBERT.


                                 TO THE

                            SECOND EDITION.

In publishing a second edition of the “Memoirs of Lady Hester
Stanhope,” the Author does not feel himself called upon to reply to the
many desultory criticisms on his work which have issued from the press.
It was naturally to be expected that, among the numerous adherents of
statesmen, noblemen, and princes, whose lives had been commented upon
in these pages, there would be no lack of writers to vindicate their
reputation, or, failing in this, to censure the narrator. But, to do
so with vulgarity, as was the case in two or three reviews, is surely
departing from the rules of literary courtesy, and must rather have
weakened their arguments than otherwise.

We read in the number of the Quarterly Review for September
last (p. 449) a paragraph, which the writer must have known was
a misrepresentation of facts. It is there asserted that the Earl
Stanhope had given a flat contradiction to a portion of Dr. M.’s
_Conversations_. Now, the critic ought to have been aware that what
his lordship denied was no part of the “Conversations,” but an extract
from a letter written by Lady Hester herself to his Grace the Duke of
Wellington; and yet, not acting with the fairness and impartiality
which became him, and becomes every person sitting in judgment on
another, he forgets to give at the same time the answer, and in this
way hopes to cast odium on the Author of the Memoirs, at the expense
of truth and justice. No apology therefore is needed for inserting the
answer, thus, it is to be hoped, unintentionally omitted, and which was
as follows:――

     “The Author of the ‘Memoirs of Lady Hester Stanhope’
     presents his compliments to the Editor of the _Morning
     Post_, and, in reference to that portion of a letter from
     the Earl Stanhope, which appeared in the _Morning Post_
     on the 10th inst., wherein his lordship complains of an
     assertion ‘that he went to dine in company with Mr. Fox
     when Mr. Pitt was on his death-bed,’ begs leave to inform
     him that it was not made by Lady Hester Stanhope in
     conversation with the Author (as might be inferred from his
     lordship’s words), but was contained in a letter written
     by her ladyship to the Duke of Wellington, and which was
     published in the newspapers of the day. Consequently, the
     Author of the Memoirs is in no wise responsible for the
     accuracy or inaccuracy of the statement.

     “With regard to the concluding paragraph of his lordship’s
     letter, in which he says, ‘I may also express my concern
     that any physician should have considered it as consistent
     with his sense of propriety to publish the report of
     conversations between himself and one of his patients,’
     the Author of the Memoirs takes the liberty of observing
     that the contents of his work are not confidential
     communications between a physician and his patient, but
     conversations upon domestic and public subjects, which had
     already been repeated to many other persons, and which, he
     was convinced, from her ladyship’s frequent recurrence to
     the same topics, she was but too anxious should be made
     known to the world. The Author, therefore, may be excused
     if he adds that he has been as desirous to observe the
     strict rules of propriety, and is as incapable of violating
     private confidence, as his lordship himself.”

In other respects, the Author of the Memoirs has no complaint to make.
A reviewer promulgates his opinions, which clash with those of an
author, and the public, if interested in the discussion, soon shows its
leaning. When the reviewer has done honour to Lady Hester Stanhope’s
noble qualities and her virtues, the Author can readily forgive what
is said of himself, although, “peradventure,” not altogether said with

                                                        THE AUTHOR.

     _United University Club,
         November 5, 1845._


There are some people in the world whose pride is so great or so
little, that the remarks of any individual, respecting their condition,
do not affect them one way or the other. Such a person was Lady Hester
Stanhope; and I beg leave, at the outset of this work, to apprize the
reader, in the most explicit terms, that I have published nothing,
in what I am about to submit to his perusal, which she would not
have desired to be _now_ made known. As a professional man, who was
for many years her physician, I may naturally be supposed to feel a
deep interest about her; and, when I had seen her, in the first epoch
of her peregrinations, dwelling in palaces, surrounded with all the
luxuries common to her rank, and courted and admired by all who had
access to her, I could not but be poignantly affected in beholding
the privations to which she was latterly subjected. My object being
to portray a character which is not duly appreciated by people in
general, I could devise no better means than that of giving a diary
of her conversations, wherein her observations on men and things fall
naturally from her own mouth.

Whilst I acknowledge my own unfitness for such a work, my chief reason
for undertaking it is the possession of numerous memoranda, resembling
the unfashioned marble fresh from the quarry, rudely shaped, but, to
the philosopher and moralist, bearing the marks of the soil from whence
it was taken. Had I entrusted them to abler hands, to form into a more
perfect composition, the materials might have been embellished, but it
would have been at the expense of their originality.

Lady Hester Stanhope, noble by birth and haughty by nature, had
carried out from England all the habits of her order: but a prolonged
residence in the East amongst the Turks induced her to reflect on the
different customs of those around her, and she adopted by degrees all
such as she thought had good sense for their basis. Every year brought
her nearer to the simplicity of nature, and taught her to throw down
those barriers with which pride, reserve, and etiquette have hedged in
persons of rank in this country――barriers, favourable to a complete
separation between the rich and poor, between the high and low, but
which have also excluded our aristocracy from the enjoyment of many of
the pleasures of life, and have too often made them the slaves of their
own greatness.

The following pages are faithful transcripts of Lady Hester Stanhope’s
conversations. In the thousand and one nights that I have sat and
listened to them, I have heard enough to compile an uninterrupted
history of her life from her infancy to her death; but, of course, much
has been necessarily suppressed, and much more forgotten: the reader,
therefore, must content himself with a less continuous narrative,
which, it is hoped, will not prove uninstructive, and is, at all
events, strictly true. The phraseology of the speaker is religiously
preserved, as will be readily acknowledged by those who have known her.
In many instances it is but little conformable with the present style
of English conversation: but any alterations made in it, to suit the
fastidiousness of some tastes, would, by destroying the fidelity of the
picture, shake the authenticity of what remains.

I have touched slightly on Lady Hester Stanhope’s religious opinions;
and although I am quite sure that a traveller was seldom, if ever,
allowed to depart from her presence without an insight into her
sentiments on these points, even from the little I have said, it will
be plain that not one has done her justice in speaking of them.

I sincerely trust that nothing will be found in the following pages
which can with just cause wound the feelings of any _living_ person:
and it is to be borne in mind that chagrin and disappointment had
soured Lady Hester’s temper, and put her out of humour with all
mankind; so that her praise and blame must be received with all due

Before I conclude, I think it necessary to add a few lines respecting
the last months of her existence. Lady Hester Stanhope died, as far
as I have been able to learn, unattended by a single European, and in
complete isolation. I was the last European physician or medical man
that attended her, and I was most anxious and willing (foreseeing her
approaching fate as I did) to continue to remain with her: but it was
her determined resolve that I should leave her, and those who have
known her can not deny that opposition to her will was altogether out
of the question.

There is no doubt that, by prolonging my stay on Mount Lebanon, I might
have been of considerable service to her ladyship. She was about to
shut herself up alone, without money, without books, without a soul she
could confide in; without a single European, male or female, about her;
with winter coming on, beneath roofs certainly no longer waterproof,
and that might fall in; with war at her doors, and without any means of
defence except in her own undaunted courage; with no one but herself to
carry on her correspondence; so that everything conspired to make it
an imperative duty to remain with her: yet she would not allow me to
do so, and insisted on my departure on an appointed day, declaring it
to be her fixed determination to remain immured, as in a tomb, until
reparation had been made her for the supposed insult she had received
at the hands of the British government.

It would have been expected that the niece of Mr. Pitt, and the
grand-daughter of the great Lord Chatham, might have laid claim to
some indulgence from those whose influence could help or harm her;
and that her peculiar situation in a foreign country, among a people
unacquainted with European customs and habits (being left as she was
to her own energies to meet the difficulties which encompassed her),
might have exempted her from any annoyance, if it did not obtain for
her any aid. A woman sixty years old, with impaired health, inhabiting
a spot removed many miles from any town, amidst a population whom their
own chiefs can hardly keep under control, was no fit object, one would
think, for molestation under any circumstances; but, when the services
of Lady Hester’s family are put into the scale, it seems wonderful
how the representations of interested money-lenders could have had
sufficient weight with those who guided the State to induce them to
disturb her solitude and retirement. Will it be believed that, when
in August, 1838, I took leave of her, the beam of the ceiling of the
saloon, in which she ordinarily sat, was propped up by two unsightly
spars of wood, for fear the ceiling should fall on her head; and that
these deal pillars, very nearly in the rough state in which they had
been brought from the North in some Swedish vessel, stood in the centre
of the room? Her bed-room was still worse; for there the prop was a
rough unplaned trunk of a poplar-tree, cut at the foot of the hill on
which her own house stood.

It may be asked whether there were no carpenters or masons in that
country? There certainly were both; but, where carriage is effected
on the backs of camels and mules and there are no wheeled vehicles
whatever, in a sudden emergency (such as the cracking of a beam),
resort must be had to the most ready expedient for immediate safety;
and, with her resources cramped by the threatened stoppage of her
pension, her ladyship could not venture on new-roofing her rooms――a
work of time and expense.

The perusal of the narrative which is here submitted to the reader will
sufficiently account for Lady Hester’s debts, and the most cursory
visit to her habitation at Jôon (or Djoun, as the French write it)
would have proved to anybody that the money which she had borrowed was
never expended on _her own_ comforts:――a tradesman’s wife in London
had ten times as many. Having no other servants but peasants, although
trained by herself, she could scarcely be said to have been waited on;
and a tolerable idea may be formed of their customary service, when
an eyewitness can say that he has seen a maid ladling water out of a
cistern with the warming-pan, and a black slave putting the teapot on
the table, holding it by the spout, and the spout only.

But these were trifles, in comparison with the destruction and
pilfering common to the negresses and peasant girls; and so little
possibility was there of keeping any article of furniture or apparel
for its destined purpose, that, after many years of ineffectual
trouble, she, who was once, in her attire, the ornament of a court,
might now be said to be worse clad than a still-room maid in her
father’s house. Her ladyship slept on a mattress, on planks upheld
by trestles, and the carpeting of her bed-room was of felt. She
proclaimed herself, with much cheerfulness, a philosopher; and, so far
as self-denial went, in regard to personal sumptuousness, her assertion
was completely borne out in garb and furniture. How far she deserved
that title, upon the higher grounds of speculative science and the
extraordinary range of her understanding, let those say who have shared
with the writer in the profound impression which her conversation
always left on the minds of her hearers.

Peace be with her remains, and honour to her memory! A surer friend,
a more frank and generous enemy, never trod the earth. “Show me where
the poor and needy are,” she would say, “and let the rich shift for
themselves!” As free from hypocrisy as the purest diamond from stain,
she pursued her steady way, unaffected by the ridiculous reports that
were spread about her by travellers, either malicious or misinformed,
and not to be deterred from her noble, though somewhat Quixotic
enterprises, by ridicule or abuse, by threats or opposition.

I take this opportunity of thanking the Chevalier Henry Guys, French
Consul at Aleppo, for the communication he so liberally made me of
the correspondence between Lady Hester Stanhope and himself, and from
which I have selected such letters as bore on the subjects noticed in
the diary. The reader will form the best estimate of that gentleman’s
merits from a perusal of them.

                                                        THE AUTHOR.

     _London, June 18, 1845._



                           THE FIRST VOLUME.

                               CHAPTER I.

Introductory remarks――Correspondence                                 1

                              CHAPTER II.

The Author’s departure from England to join Lady Hester Stanhope――
Voyage from Leghorn to Syria――The vessel plundered by a Greek
pirate――Return to Leghorn――Signor Girolamo――Letter from Lady Hester
Stanhope to Mr. Webb, merchant at Leghorn――Lady Hester persecuted by
the Emir Beshýr――Letter from Lady Hester to the Author, describing her
position in 1827――Her reliance on Providence――Second Letter to Mr.
Webb――Her opinion of the Turks and Christians in Syria, and of the
wild Arabs――Terror of the Franks in Syria, on occasion of the battle
of Navarino――They take refuge in Lady Hester’s house――The Franks
in Syria――Lady Hester’s letter to the Author, urging him to rejoin
her――Her advice――Her illness――The Author sails for Syria            30

                              CHAPTER III.

Lady Hester Stanhope’s reception of the Author――Her residence
described――Supposed reasons for her seclusion――Her extraordinary
influence over her dependants――Her violent temper――Her dress and
appearance――Her influence in the country――Abdallah Pasha guided by
her――Her hostility towards the Emir Beshýr――Her defiance of his
power――Her opinion of him――Flight of the Emir――His return――Death of
the Sheykh Beshýr                                                   67

                              CHAPTER IV.

Lady Hester Stanhope’s hours of sleep――Her night-dress――Irksomeness
of her service――Her bed-room――Her dislike to clocks――Her frequent use
of the bell――Her aptitude in discovering and frustrating plots――Blind
obedience required by her――Anecdote of Lord S.――Lady Hester’s
colloquial powers――Interminable length of her conversations――Peculiar
charm of them――Her religious opinions――Her belief in supernatural
agencies, and also of revealed religion――Certain doctrines of the
sect of the Metoualis adopted by her                               102

                               CHAPTER V.

Buoyancy of Lady Hester Stanhope’s spirits――Death of Miss
Williams――Mrs.――――’s first visit to Lady Hester――The Author is summoned
to Damascus to attend Hassan Effendi: declines going――Discussions
between Lady Hester and Mrs. ―――― thereupon――Lady Hester’s hatred of
women――She sends her maid to revile Mrs. ―――― ――The Author resolves
to return to England――Alarm from soldiers on their march――Lady
Hester assists Abdallah Pasha in laying out his garden――Anecdotes
of the first Lord Chatham――Fresh discourses about the Journey to
Damascus――Anecdotes of Mr. Pitt――His attachment to Miss E.――His
admiration of women――His indulgence towards other people’s
failings――Lady Hester and the fair Ellen――Strange history――Mr. Pitt’s
attention to the comfort of his guests, and of his servants――Strange
rise of one of them――Lady Hester’s pathos――Paolo Perini’s expected
post of artilleryman                                               132

                              CHAPTER VI.

Lady Hester Stanhope’s belief in the coming of a Messiah――Her two
favourite mares――Lady Hester’s destiny influenced by Brothers, the
fortune-teller, and by one Metta, a Syrian astrologer――Duke of
Reichstadt――Madame de Fériat――Story of a Circassian slave――Rugged paths
in Mount Lebanon――Anecdote of Lord and Lady Bute――Anecdote of Mr. A.,
afterwards Lord S.――His father’s rise in the world――Lord Liverpool and
the order of merit――Intimidation exercised over the Author’s household
by Lady Hester――Sundry difficulties arising therefrom――Lady Hester’s
opinion of X.’s mission――Mrs. Fry――Lady Hester’s defiance of consular
authority, and confidence in her own resources――Lunardi recommended as
a servant――The Author takes leave of Lady Hester――Conduct of the Franks
at Sayda――The Author sails for Cyprus――Is hospitably received by Mr.
Hanah Farkouah, a Syrian, and by Signor Baldassare Mattei――Marine villa
at Larnaka――Mr. George Robinson――Captain Scott――Captain Dundas――Mr.
Burns――The Author sails for Europe                                 170

                              CHAPTER VII.

Reflections――Letter from Lady Hester to the Author asking him
to return――He revisits Syria――Changes which had taken place in
Beyrout――M. Jasper Chasseaud, American consul――Divine service
performed by the American missionaries――Letter from Lady Hester to
the Author――Her continued hostility to Mrs. ――.――The Author takes his
family to Sayda――Dress and demeanour of a lady of Sayda――The Author’s
reception at Jôon――His family frightened by a deserter――Settles at
the convent of Mar Elias――Earthquake of January 1, 1837            208

                             CHAPTER VIII.

History of Raïs Hassan――His influence with Lady Hester Stanhope――Number
of persons in her service――Number of animals in her stables――Her
manner of disposing of those which were superannuated――Her belief
in Magic and Demonology――Examples――Anecdotes of Mr. Brummell――Mr.
H.――The Duc de R********――Lord St. Asaph――Lady Hester’s strictness with
menials――Justified by their misconduct and vices――Zeyneb, the black
slave――Annoyances to which Lady Hester was subjected――Her service not
tolerable for Europeans――Her reasons for using plain furniture――Her
detestation of sentimentality――Her general interference in every
department of housewifery――Irregularities of the servants――Chastity,
how defined in Turkey――Lady H.’s measures for enforcing it――Her
opinion of a French traveller, and of M. Lascaris                  231

                              CHAPTER IX.

Queen Caroline’s trial――In what manner the first inquiry was
suppressed――Lady Hester’s opinion of the P――――ss of W.――Young
Austin――Lord Y.――P. of W.――His disgust at the slovenly habits of
the P――――ss.――Mrs. Fitzherbert――Mrs. Robinson――Mr. Canning――His
person――His duplicity――and deceit――His incapability of acting without
guidance――His disposition to babble――Lady Hester’s account of a great
serpent――Mr. T. Moore――Lord Camelford――His liberality――Some anecdotes
of that high-spirited nobleman――Arrival of Madame L.――She is seized
with brain-fever, and dies raving mad――Visit of General Cass       264

                               CHAPTER X.

Mrs. ――――’s unwillingness to remain at Abra after Signora L.’s
death――Beyrout fixed on as a residence――Lady H.’s account of her
debts――Necessities to which she was reduced――Another version
of her debts――Her extensive charities――Anecdote of Shaykh
Omar-ed-dyn――Usurious discount on Lady H.’s bills of exchange――Loss
from the fluctuating value of money in the East――Estates supposed to
have been bequeathed to Lady H.――Letters from Lady H. to M. Guys――She
employs Sir Francis Burdett to inquire into the nature of the supposed
bequests――Her opinion of Sir Francis――Letter to him――Lady H.’s
diatribes on women――Mr. C.――Letter to Miss ―――― ――Letter to the
Author                                                             294

Additional Notes                                                   337


                                VOL. I.

  Lady Hester Stanhope on Horseback                  _Frontispiece_.

  Ground plan of Lady Hester Stanhope’s Residence
    at Jôon                                               _Page_ 74

                               VOL. II.

  Lady Hester Stanhope in her Saloon                 _Frontispiece_.

                               VOL. III.

  Distant View of Lady Hester Stanhope’s Residence
    on Mount Lebanon                                 _Frontispiece_.



                         LADY HESTER STANHOPE.

                               CHAPTER I.

                 Introductory remarks――Correspondence.

When Lady Hester Stanhope commenced her travels, in 1810, I accompanied
her in the capacity of physician, until, after many wanderings in the
East, I saw her finally settled on Mount Lebanon; but, being obliged
to return to England for the purpose of taking my medical degrees at
Oxford and London, after having passed seven years uninterruptedly in
her service, I took leave of her. My successor, an English surgeon,
disliking an Oriental life, left her, however, at the end of a year
or two, and, at Lady Hester’s request, I again revisited Syria. But I
found that her ladyship had in the mean while completely familiarized
herself with the usages of the East, conducting her establishment
entirely in the Turkish manner, and adopting even much of their medical
empiricism. Under these circumstances, and at her own suggestion, I
again bade her adieu, as I then believed, for the last time.

It was my intention to have cultivated my professional pursuits in
London; there were great difficulties to be overcome――difficulties
which have been ably depicted in the graphic pages of a recent
publication. I did not wait, however, to try the issue of this slow
career. Years of travel had inspired me with other views; and it was
with much secret satisfaction that I resolved to avail myself of an
opportunity which Lady Hester’s wishes again presented me, of once more
traversing the mountain solitudes of Syria. It is not altogether an
idle tribute of respect and admiration for her character to say, that
the prospect of resuming my former position afforded me real pleasure.
Long habit had reconciled me to her eccentricities, and even to her
violent and overbearing temper. I had a profound sense of her exalted
nature, and I felt that her oddities and peculiarities weighed only
with those who knew her merely by common report, and that they in no
respect affected her intrinsic worth in the estimation of such as were
intimately acquainted with the sterling qualities of her heart and

I had been honoured with letters from her, in which she gave me reason
to understand that she should be gratified by my presence in Syria; and
I promptly expressed my readiness, in reply, to resume my situation
near her person. The long intervals, however, which elapsed in the
transmission of letters, (sometimes as much as four months) added to
the uncertainty of what I should do, and the absolute necessity of
doing something, induced me, while the correspondence was pending, to
enter into a professional engagement with a gentleman of rank. When her
anxiety to receive me, therefore, was definitively conveyed to me, I
was placed in the painful dilemma of being obliged to apologize to her
for not being able at that time to join her. This apology naturally
generated a feeling of distrust in a mind so sensitive and impulsive――a
feeling abundantly exhibited, in her own peculiar way, in the following
extracts from letters received from her at this period. Some of these
letters were written by herself, and some by her _protégée_ Miss
Williams,[1] at her dictation.

     _Extract of a letter from Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――._

                                                   July 30, 1823.
       *       *       *       *       *
     I shall not either scold or reproach you; I only hope that
     the line you have taken will turn out in the end to your
     advantage. I confess I am sorry and mortified that, after
     having rendered me several services, you are still in a
     situation so little independent. Were I inclined to be
     angry, it would be with ――――; for, had he been like the
     chevaliers of former times, he would have said, “Doctor,
     however it may be inconvenient for me to part with you
     at present, I so much respect your motives, and so much
     admire your fidelity, that, so far from opposing, allow me
     to promote your views; and I beg you will accept of this
     purse for your little wants. When you have finished with
     it, I trust you will consider me as your next friend; and
     I flatter myself I may expect from you the same proofs of

     But the world is spoilt; no good feeling exists; all is
     egotism. Had ――――’s mind been as elegant as his horses,
     carriages, and servants were, when I saw them, years ago,
     he would not have acted thus, and taken advantage of a
     man’s circumstances, to have made him act against his

     I have no right to demand permanent sacrifices of you or
     others. The time will come when you will see with deep
     regret whether or not I had taken into consideration
     your interests as well as my own present convenience. I
     was surprised at your offer, so often repeated, and less
     surprised at your conduct; as a doubt often had occurred
     in my own mind, if temptations of any kind happened to be
     thrown in your way, whether or not you would have strength
     of mind to refuse present advantage and comfort. You have
     acted as you judged best, and as you thought circumstances
     authorized you to do; but you never can persuade me that
     General Grenville, the soul of honour and feeling, could
     ever have recommended a man to break his word. Had you
     simply asked him, before you had made up your mind, “Shall
     I keep my word and go, or accept of those offers? Give me,
     I do entreat, your candid opinion:”――I know what it would
     have been. But, having decided, what would you have him
     say? that I should be angry? No: he knew me too well not to
     be aware that no sacrifice, which I did not believe to be a
     voluntary one, could have any value in my estimation.

     I cannot explain my feelings without seeming to praise
     myself. I make one rule for my own line of conduct, and
     one for that of others, and have two separate judgments;
     I mean, one regulated by truth and feeling, and one after
     the fashion of what is thought right in the world. I never
     judge myself and those I really love by the latter. I wish
     them to be pure and highminded, and to have confidence
     in God’s mercy, if they act from true principle. But
     you worldly slaves of _bon ton_ must not be tried by
     such a test. Mr. Murray[3] was right――“She will not be
     angry,”――no, because she thinks you all children: I mean
     the gay world, of which you now make a part.

     I need not have said all this, but it is a hint as to the
     future, when the folly and uselessness of modern ideas
     and calculations will be at an end. I have been thought
     mad――ridiculed and abused; but it is out of the power of
     man to change my way of thinking upon any subject. Without
     a true faith, there can be no true system of action. All
     the learned of the East pronounce me to be a _Ulemah
     min Allah_,[4] as I can neither write nor read; but my
     reasoning is profound according to the laws of Nature.

     I shall say nothing of this part of the world, where I
     had latterly announced your speedy arrival to some of my
     particular friends and to my family.[5] Your interest about
     matters here must now be at an end; and it fatigues me so
     to write, that, without it is a case of absolute necessity,
     I must give it up. I have no assistance. My two dragomans
     are low-minded, curious, vulgar men, in whom I can put no
     confidence. In short, they can only be called very bad, idle
     servants, having no one property of a gentleman belonging to

     James’s loss,[6] the general’s death――all has afflicted
     me beyond description. I heard of James’s affliction
     six months after. To write, not to write――no proper
     conveyance――what to say――after a year, perhaps, to open
     the wounds of his heart without being able to pour in
     one drop of the balm of consolation! What I say would be
     vain. He considers me as a sort of poor mad woman, who has
     once loved him; therefore, he is kind to me: but as to my
     opinions having weight――no! To be considered as a sort of
     object is not flattering; but so let it be. There is no
     remedy for it, or other evils, except in the hand of God,
     which, if he will stretch forth to save me, all may vanish;
     if not, I shall vanish; for I am quite worn out.

     You will probably never receive the letter I alluded to,
     enclosed to a _person_. They must have heard of your
     conduct, and therefore think it unnecessary to see you, or
     give you the letter. Why did you inquire about this? What a
     simpleton you are! But there it all ends: there will be no
     more jumbles to make. Perhaps you may not hear from me, or
     of me, for years.

     Remember, I shall give no opinion about you to any one;
     therefore, do not fancy, if you see a change in people’s
     conduct, it comes from me. The world and fashionable
     loungers take up new favourites every day, and discard the
     old ones without reason. All are not General Grenvilles. No
     one so likely to be mortified at this as you.

     Why do you not talk to me of James’s poor little children,
     and why not have asked to see them? Have you forgotten how
     all about him interests me? I fear folly and fashion have
     got hold of you....

                                                  H. L. STANHOPE.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the year 1826, my professional engagements with the honourable
individual before alluded to having ceased, I made the necessary
preparations for my departure from England. Lady Hester Stanhope’s
situation, feelings, and intentions at this precise time, will be best
understood from three long letters which she wrote on three successive
days of January, 1827, the very month in which I set out, but which I
did not receive until the July following, at Pisa. To make the contents
of these letters intelligible, it is necessary to premise that a
traveller, whom we will designate as Mr. X., had, during a visit to her
ladyship, at her residence, insinuated himself into her confidence so
far as to make her believe that he was sent by the Duke of Sussex and
the Duke of Bedford, and a committee of other influential Freemasons,
to inquire into her wants, and to offer her such sums of money out of
their funds as would extricate her from her pecuniary difficulties. How
she could believe in such a gross tissue of falsehoods it is difficult
to imagine, unless we are to suppose that Mr. X. was himself the dupe
of others, who, for some sinister purpose, had furnished him with
papers and documents so apparently authentic as to impose even upon
Lady Hester Stanhope’s wonted sagacity.[7]

       *       *       *       *       *

                 _Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――._

                                          Djoun, January 5, 1827.

       My dear Doctor,

               I will not afflict you by drawing a picture of my
     situation, or of the wretched scarecrow grief and sickness
     have reduced me to; but I must tell you that I am nearly
     blind, and this is probably the last letter I shall be able
     to write to you: indeed, no other will be necessary.

     I have received your letters of September the 17th and
     October the 18th of last year. What tricks played upon me,
     who have sacrificed everything to what I thought right!
     X., upon his arrival here, gave out to everybody, a month
     before I saw him, that he was the bearer of important
     letters from persons of the first consequence, and that
     he was sent to see into and settle my affairs. When he
     presented himself to me, he said that _B._ wrote to him to
     go to Syria, and _Aug._ sent him, and that his expenses
     were defrayed by the _Sharky_, and that everything would be
     as I could wish, and more than I could wish; at least, as
     far as I had expressed. As for his having become guarantee
     for my debts, or having advanced me £1400, with the promise
     shortly of £5000 more, it is all pure invention. He _did_
     say that he had written to order a box of jewels, worth
     20, or 25,000 piasters, to be sent to a merchant here, to
     be sold on my account: and he said also he should send a
     letter of credit from Constantinople for 100 purses, for me
     to go on with until an express could arrive from England.
     The money he was to draw from his mercantile house; and
     he told me I need not be uneasy about it, as he should
     be paid instantly upon his arrival in England. He talked
     about its being his duty, &c. I certainly believed all
     this, but have never seen a farthing. What he said to your
     friend, Mr. Vondiziano, of Cyprus, I know not; but Mr. V.
     offered to send me 2000 dollars, which I accepted, and
     gave a note for six months, as desired, and the time of
     payment is now nine months past. X. moreover assured me,
     that in England nothing had been well understood, excepting
     only that all was wonder and approbation. He said that
     he should return here with all that I wanted, and should
     bring with him bricklayers, carpenters, &c., to enlarge my
     house and premises, as many great people would be coming
     who were anxious to see me: so that not a ship appears in
     sight but poor and rich fly to the seaside, shout and bare
     their heads, praying that it may be my ship; for all know
     my distress, and that I shall live upon charity. According
     to the ideas of the East, they expect to see a great box
     of money, left me by my brother, and the contents of his
     store-room, and all his pots and pans. It would not,
     therefore, be prudent for X. to return here. He would fare
     ill, and I should not know what to say. Should he arrive, I
     shall not see him; for he must be either a spy, a swindler,
     or a scapegoat for lies; and none of these characters do I
     wish to have anything to do with.

     Poor Williams knows nothing of all this, except that I am
     in debt, and in expectation of money which is to come; for
     X. told everybody so: but she is at times uneasy about the
     future, and so on. All is right with her: she is strictly
     honest, but ignorant, having been a spoiled child, doing
     only what she thought proper, and never having learned
     household affairs. Yet, had she not been here, everything
     would have been much worse; as all, you know, are thieves,
     or wasteful, destroying beasts, unthankful, improvident,
     and whom it is impossible to teach any thing, or to make
     listen to reason or common sense.

     Write to _B._, or call upon him until you see him. Do not
     give it up; but, until you have seen him, say not a word of
     my letters to any one. Let _B._ take notes, and speak to
     _Aug._――not you. Let prudence and silence be the order of
     the day with you, and even with the _Sharky_ of all nations
     you sometimes dine with. _B._ is a pure one, by birthright.
     I believe X. has acted by command, like others; therefore,
     in my heart, I am not angry with him; yet I will not see

     Now, here are my orders and ultimatum. We will suppose
     two cases. If X.’s story is true, and my debts, amounting
     to £10,000, or nearly, are to be paid, then I shall go on
     making sublime and philosophical discoveries, and employing
     myself in deep, abstract studies; although, as my strength
     is gone, I cannot work day and night, as I have done. In
     that case, I shall want a mason, a carpenter, a ploughman,
     a gardener, groom, cowman, doctor, &c.; so that I must have
     assistance: income made out, £4000 a year, and £1000 more,
     for persons like you, that I should want, and £5000 ready
     money, for provisions, building, animals, money in hand,
     &c., that I may start clear. In the second case, in the
     event that all that has been told me is a lie, then let me
     be disowned publicly, now and hereafter, and left to my
     fate and faith alone: for, if I have not a right to what I
     want, which is in the hands of Messrs. Sharky and Co., I
     will have nothing. Nothing else will I hear of; and grief
     has departed from my soul since I have taken the following

     I shall give up everything for life, that I may now or
     hereafter possess in Europe, to my creditors, and throw
     myself as a beggar upon Asiatic humanity, and wander far
     without one _para_ in my pocket, with the mare from the
     stable of Solomon in one hand, and a sheaf of the corn of
     _Beni-Israel_ in the other. I shall meet death, or that
     which I believe to be written, which no mortal hand can
     efface. There is nothing else to be done. I shall wait for
     no dawdling letters, or fabrication of lies, of which,
     for these five years, I have had enough. The will of God
     be done! I shall cheerfully follow my fate, and defy them
     all. For what are they without me? In the long run, they
     will see. But I have too lofty a soul not to observe the
     strictest line of honour towards even my enemies.

     Dear little Adams! I have never written to that _joher_;[8]
     but all the past is written in my heart. I only waited till
     the cloud of my misery had dispersed, to let him know I was
     not ungrateful. Should it please God to deliver me out of
     the hands of my cruel brethren, as Joseph was delivered,
     then he will know――and you will know――what are my feelings
     of gratitude. Forgive me, forgive me, if I have injured you
     involuntarily! Oh! my God! perhaps, I have been the cause
     of your ruin. I have wept and wept; but tears will not feed
     the little children. Alas! my only trust is in Heaven.

     You meant to do well, so I will not scold: but why
     apply without leave to the _Fat_ or the _Thin_, or why
     talk to ―――― of my concerns? What is ―――― to me? I
     never could endure him. I know him well――a low-minded,
     chitter-chattering fellow: but suppose him an angel, had
     you my leave to consult or speak to him?――it is not likely.
     But, in the event of the _Fat_ or the _Thin’s_ having
     placed any money in the hands of my bankers, let them
     take it back again.... You have no explanations to make,
     only that I decline it. Under no circumstances, I repeat,
     will I owe any obligation to the _Fat_, to the _Thin_, to
     Canning, or his friends, or have anything to do with Sir
     Vanity. I say this, as I have heard of new plans of his.
     He may perhaps mean to come here;――if to-morrow, I shall
     shut my door in his face. If any force, consular force, is
     ever tried with me, I shall use force in return, and appeal
     to the populace to defend me. It is right this should be
     known. I am no slave, and I disown all such authority.
     Never will I be brought to England but in chains, and never
     will I be made to act differently from that which my will
     dictates, whilst there is breath in my body: therefore, to
     attempt to oppose me is vain. I am up to all their tricks,
     and it is time there should be an end of them.

     If ―――― calls, say you have had a letter, in which I
     express my great astonishment that you should have spoken
     to him of my affairs, as they do not concern him in any
     way, and that I insist upon it that you should be perfectly
     silent in future; so he must not take it ill. Tell him
     that, strange to say, I decline all assistance from my
     family――persons, whom I have had no communication with for
     years, or ever shall have; and if he asks what I am to do,
     say you don’t know――that she knows best. I fear by and by
     that everything will be in the newspapers. These sort of
     men talk before servants to show their importance; all goes
     to grooms, footmen, and coachmen. I have traced all that
     before. One would think you were mad to forget all I have
     said to you on those subjects.

     Grieve not about me――I am without fear and without
     reproach. My mind is a Paradise, since I have cast all
     that botheration from me: it is full of sublime ideas and
     knowledge. Write no more. I want nothing, and shall be off
     as soon as the fine weather comes, unless it should please
     God to _eftah bab el khyr_, [to open the door to good
     fortune]; otherwise, I shall burn all, and send Williams to
     Malta, with a note to be paid the first when Lady Bankes
     dies; for I have never paid her expenses here to Mr. David.
     Adieu, God bless you!

     PS.――There is another letter at your friend’s in the
     city, which goes by this conveyance, and a note in it for
     ――――. Puff! upon the £800. I spit upon it, and as many
     thousands from the same quarter. Are you mad? No, but I,
     in misfortune as in prosperity, am unlike the rest of the
     world; and I shall give sufficient proof that I defy it

                  _Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――._

                                     Djoun, January 6, 1827.

     I have received your letters of the 17th September and 18th
     of October of last year safe. You will inquire for a letter
     of mine directed to Coutts’s, but not in my hand; and do
     not say it came from me. Say nothing to any one of having
     received this, until you have well conned over the other:
     then go to B., insist upon seeing him, saying it is of the
     utmost importance. The note, which I told you in my letter
     of yesterday would be enclosed in this, I have burnt, for
     fear of accidents. Notwithstanding, in the event of my
     being mistaken, in order that all may be clear to you, I
     have sent you enclosed more notes. In the letter of the 5th
     you will find my ultimate resolves. I hope and trust not in

     I have read over your letters again. Never did I tell X. to
     ask for a place, or recommend him, more than saying he had
     acted generously and kindly by me, which I then believed.

     As for my debts, it is not, as you think, 25 per cent.
     yearly that I have to pay, but 50 and 95, and, in one
     instance, I have suffered more loss still. Gold of 28½
     piasters they counted to me here at 45, which I spent
     at 28½, and am to repay at Beyrout at the rate of
     45――calculate that. I was compelled to borrow; for I can’t
     eat silk, and that is all that is to be found here. Had
     those, who ought, then given a clear answer, things would
     not have been thus: but so it is written; I was to be a
     beggar. Be it so! All situations have their blessings, with
     the grace of God; it is uncertainty which is torture: but
     now my mind is made up. I have saved a _mid_[9] of the
     corn of the _Beni-Israel_, having no more land to sow. When
     in ear, ripe or not ripe, I shall cut it and be off, and
     give up my present and future income to my creditors for my
     life. Perhaps they may gain two hundred per cent.

     Should the other letter be lost, burn this; hold your
     tongue, and say you have not heard from me; for this is of
     no use without the other, which contains full explanations,
     and for which reason you may be commanded to say that you
     have not heard from me. The loss will change nothing. I
     shall follow my fate, and be far off, I hope, before new
     lies arrive.

     Not that I credit any change,――but, in case of a happy turn
     of events, I have said all this to provide for all cases,
     that you may not be embarrassed how to act. But I have
     little or no hope. I am no dupe to the tricks played me;
     who could be, who had one grain of common sense? A child
     of seven years old, well brought up, must at once see how
     unlikely――how impossible――it was that I should have applied
     for money to those who, from the hour I have first known
     them, have been themselves involved, or to that _one_[10]
     whom admiration and respect give me confidence in, and
     not intimacy. How could any human being credit that,
     with my independent character, I could stoop to receive
     one farthing from relations who have behaved to me like
     mine ..., and who, for years and years, have been upon the
     footing of strangers?

     What an affliction to me is the sad news you wrote! Poor
     dear angel! what a heart! May he inhabit the seventh

     I have been very ill of a terrible fever and strong
     convulsions. I tell you this that the period may not be
     mistaken, and my pension stopped. My eyes are quite dim,
     and drawn into my head with contraction, which sometimes
     pulls my head back――quite back. I can hardly crawl; but
     yet, poor monster as I am, I shall get on: for my spirit
     and heart are unchanged.

     Now for servants. In the event of things having taken a
     favourable turn, and of their giving you the money necessary,
     I shall want no women until I have seen you first, and heard
     about them, for they might not answer. Men I should want as
     you will find described below, but no man-servant for the
     house――they are quite useless; never can one give a pipe, or
     present himself, and always out of temper with his room, food,
     &c. All those who come may go back in the Turkish year 45.
     Do not forget to make that remark to B., but to no one else.[12]


     The great object would be a storekeeper to lock up, weigh,
     measure, and write down everything that comes in or goes
     out. Strict honesty, activity, and good character, are most
     necessary. Perhaps one of the sons of my old wet-nurse,
     Mrs. T., might answer better than anybody else, as I
     should feel sure of their attachment and principles. Mr.
     Murray knows and likes her, and might make that inquiry;
     and, indeed, there may be a girl in the family that might
     suit me, or a grandchild of the eldest daughter――the more
     like the mother, my nurse, the better; for she was a most
     charming and valuable creature, the happiest temper under
     the sun. It would not be a vulgar place for the son,
     because he would have a strong _fellah_ [peasant] under
     him, to lift, and carry, and expose the stores to the air:
     he should write a good hand, and be able to keep accounts:
     his place would be like that of a purser in a ship. In one
     of the great revolutions, about five years ago, when I was
     eaten up by those who fled to me for succour, there went,
     in less than a year, thirty-six _garáras_ of wheat,[13]
     fifty of barley, and four and a half cwt. of butter, with
     everything else in proportion.

     The second man must be an old dragoon to overlook _sayses_
     [grooms]: one out of Lord Cathcart’s regiments would be
     best, because they are all polite. My lord is of the old
     school, and his men have a fine, imposing appearance. He
     must be spirited, though cool; for hasty people will not do
     with these beasts. General Taylor, if you asked him, would
     understand best what I mean.

     Next, I must have a Scotch gardener, a quiet, steady,
     and retired character, yet active and intelligent,
     understanding the culture of flowers and garden-stuff in
     a common way, and capable of being a sort of bailiff, to
     choose land, prune trees, plough, sow, and lay out grounds.
     He should bring with him all sorts of proper utensils――a
     plough, a harrow, &c.; seeds, roots――and be ingenious
     enough to make a little model for this, and a little
     model for that. These three will be sufficient; for all
     waiting-servants and house-servants are useless.

     I want a maid-servant for myself; not a fine lady, but one
     who has been a nursery or housemaid; one by nature above
     her situation, about eighteen, twenty, or twenty-two years
     of age, proper or not proper all the same, with a most
     excellent character. Don’t employ fifty persons about it.
     The Scotch lady, who was so good to Lucy, perhaps would
     know such a one――I mean one who has natural sense, feeling,
     a good heart and person, but no boarding-school miss――for
     education of all things is most odious.

     Then I must have one for housekeeper, knowing about a
     dairy, all sorts of bread, pastry, and preserves, and not
     mild, but faithful.

     Now, you have heard me a thousand times say what are good
     and what are bad marks; but, as you have a horrid memory, I
     will add a few observations.

     Wrinkles at the eyes are abominable, and about the mouth.
     Eyebrows making one circle, if meeting, or close and
     straight, are equally bad. Those are good meeting the line
     of the nose, as if a double bridge. Eyes long, and wide
     between the eyebrows; and no wrinkles in the forehead when
     they laugh, or about the mouth, are signs of bad luck
     and duplicity. Eyes all zigzag are full of lies. A low,
     flat forehead is bad; so are uneven eyes, one larger than
     the other, or in constant motion. I must have a fine,
     open face, all nature, with little education, in a fine,
     straight, strong, healthy person, with a sweet temper.

     Did you ever see a picture or painting of the Lady William
     Russell, the duke’s brother’s wife? that sort of face
     was perfect for a woman. If the eyebrows of a _man_ are
     straight, and come nearly together, that is nothing; but,
     if they form an arch, it is always a sign of natural _hum_
     [melancholy or gloominess] in character. Never can such a
     one be contented or happy. Look at little Adams and General
     Taylor――how sincere are their black eyebrows!

     Don’t make a mistake――wrinkles of age are not the wrinkles
     of youth, of which I am speaking. One line is not called a
     wrinkle. The wrinkles I speak of are found in children of
     seven years old when they laugh or cry.

     The foot should be hollow and not flat. Club-feet stand
     good with all men and women. Legs that kick up dust when
     they walk, or a heavy walk, are bad. Stumpy hands are not
     good. Very white skin is not good; the yellow-white is
     better, and the veins should appear in the arms and wrists.
     An offensive, snapping voice, and awkward, snatching
     fingers, are bad; as is affectation of all sorts――bad
     teeth, unclean tongue and mouth, and bad smells about the
     person. Shun dry, crabbed dispositions, masked with smiles
     and gentleness; as also the officious and fidgety, the
     curious and intriguing, the discontented, and those with no
     feeling, or feeling false taught.

                                                    [Not signed.]

To this letter is appended a page of Arabic, written in English
characters, which Lady Hester considered would be intelligible to
me, accustomed as I was to her manner of speaking that language: but
it is questionable whether any other person, however well acquainted
with Arabic, would be able to make out her meaning. I shall beg leave,
therefore, to omit the whole passage.

       *       *       *       *       *

                  _Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――._

                                             Djoun, Jan. 7, 1827.

     Besides this, there is a letter addressed to Grosvenor
     Square, and one to the Strand. Do not own any of the three
     from me until you have read them all over, and made notes
     of what concerns me and my affairs. Communicate everything,
     as I desire you, to B., to _Aug._, and not to any one else
     at present, unless ordered by him.

     Say not a word to X. until all is settled, one way or
     another. Then, before B., ask him these questions: Did not
     you say you had been the travelling-companion to B.’s son
     W., and had been like a child of the family?――Did not you
     show a present from _Aug._, saying, in case of accidents,
     that was a passport _partout_, and that money would be
     given you, if required, when that was seen?――Did not you
     show a paper, in a red box, as your grand credentials
     from the house of Sharka and Co.?――Did not you give a good
     reason for not being the bearer of private letters from
     _Aug._, B., and others?――Did not you say that all were mere
     dunces in comparison with _Kokub_? But all is trick. The
     poor devil, I believe, was given _carte blanche_ to lie,
     provided he could spy――perhaps from another quarter?

     Oh! odious ――――! For God’s sake, keep clear of him! What
     has such a fellow to do with me, or my concerns? He has
     ever been a meddler and mischief-maker, and for these
     twenty years I have had no communication with him. By
     what law of God or man, are you bound to answer people’s
     questions?――the lowest and most vulgar of proceedings. I
     have told you so for years and years. What had he to do
     with the coming or going of X.? and what sort of a fellow
     is X., to have thus made public my affairs?

     Of the assistance of the _Fat_ or _Thin_ I will not hear.
     The last I have had no communication with for twenty years
     and more, and the other I cannot respect. Heber has grieved
     me, for I once thought better of him. He has, at times,
     made offers of service in a vague way, just to say he had
     made them; but, if sincere, he would have written――“You
     have lost a friend; perhaps your presence may be required
     in England, to put your affairs to rights; therefore, I
     have placed so-and-so at Coutts’s, ready for your journey,
     which, if not necessary, let me have the consolation of
     thinking, may add to your little comforts.” I should not
     have accepted anything, but yet should have thought it
     necessary to have thanked him, which I have not done for
     nonsensical speeches. I feel that I have no friend left in
     Europe; all are gone. Yet Allah mojôod [God is with me],
     and that is enough.

     Speaking to little _A._ was proper; but, to all others, oh,
     what folly! You are no chitter-chatterer by nature, but
     your vanity makes you so. Why did I never speak to you of
     sublime things?――because I feared your prudence. You used
     sometimes to say――I have been asked so and so, sometimes
     so extraordinary. Poh! poh! stuff! are you a fool? do hold
     your tongue. Those _hums_ and _hahs_ were only distant
     hints: had you heard more, you would have gone mad. Not so
     me: I am all composure; haughty before men, but humble in
     spirit, like the _Nebby Daôod_ [the prophet David], before
     the wise dispenser of _hum_ and _khyr_ [of sorrow and joy].

     Do you think that misery will make me crouch, or beg of
     those who have no heart? If I beg, it will be of the
     followers of Omar and Ali, whose creed is generosity;
     and the good amongst them never even wound an unfortunate
     being, by making him retail his misfortunes.

     Since my mind has been made up, I am not low, but
     feeble, and almost blind with a sort of violent muscular
     contraction, which has drawn my eyes into my head, and
     sometimes has distorted all my body: but my body is
     nothing; the heart is as full of fire as ever. I cannot
     read what I have written. I was two days making out your
     last letters. I had prepared a little court, with two rooms
     and an open divan, for you; but, with Mrs. ―――― and the
     children, it will not do. I shall love her and the dear
     children much, and all might be comfortable. God grant it
     so! I have a house in the village, which is good, and will
     do very well――clean, with two rooms up-stairs. If things
     were to turn out well, I should quickly build apartments
     close to the house, which would be near and convenient. But
     what do I say? All my plans are overturned; and, although
     in spirits at the idea of shortly getting away from all
     I have to go through, I am miserable that that cheat X.
     did not perfectly explain about your letter enclosed in
     _Aug.’s_. What will you do?

     Well, now I have said enough, and must make up my mind to
     have, in a few days, an attack, from overstraining my head
     and eyes: but it is the last effort of the nature I shall
     make. Adieu.

                                                    [Not signed.]

     PS. A dun, who came here two months ago――a Christian――took
     a Turk into his room, after I had seen and spoken to him,
     and said――“I came to get my money, but now I am ready to
     cry at her situation. It is clear that those Franks are
     unprincipled and unfeeling, that they have no religion,
     and know not God. The proof is――and does there want a
     stronger?――their leaving such a wonderful person as
     she really is to wither with sorrow.” Then he went out
     swearing, and took his leave. These are the feelings now
     alive among the Turkish population. As a contrast, mark how
     Mr. ――――, an Englishman, acts. He told one of my creditors
     to take my bond, put it in water, and, when well sopped,
     to drink the mixture; “for that is all,” said he, “you
     will ever get for it.” Furious was the creditor, and took
     himself off to a distance, but will in a few months be back
     again to torment me.


      [1] Miss Williams was a young Englishwoman, who had been
          brought up in Mr. Pitt’s family, and who had all
          along resided with Lady Hester Stanhope, as her
          humble companion. It is necessary to observe that it
          was a common custom with Lady Hester, when she had
          any particular object in view, to write one version
          of the subject with her own hand, and to dictate
          another, which was to be considered as the expression
          of the opinions of the writer, but which to me, long
          habituated to the secrets of her cabinet, was easily
          recognized as emanating from one and the same source.

      [2] In justice to the honourable individual here alluded
          to, it is necessary to state that he was wholly
          ignorant of the correspondence going on between Lady
          Hester Stanhope and myself.

      [3] The late Mr. Alexander Murray, solicitor, of Symond’s

      [4] A heaven-born sage.

      [5] Lady Hester does not here mean her relations in
          England. She had another family, adopted by her, in
          Arabia――the tribe of Arabs called the _Koreysh_. And,
          as many individuals, both among the green-turbaned
          Mussulmans, or _Sheryfs_, as they are called, the
          recognized descendants of Mahomet, and among the
          gentry of Syria who claim alliance with the noble
          tribes of the desert, were in the habit of frequent
          intercourse with her, it is to these she probably
          had announced my expected coming. She had a notion,
          founded on a very doubtful etymology, that the first
          Lord Chatham was descended from an Arabian stock,
          there being a tribe somewhat similar in name still
          existing among the Bedouins. How she could forget
          that Pitt was the family name, and Chatham a title of
          dignity, superimposed, is not clear. But from this
          tribe of Arabs sprung Melek Seyf, a great conqueror;
          and, reasoning in this way, Melek Seyf was her
          ancestor, as tribes, like clans, are all one blood.
          This story, repeated over and over again, became
          current among the servants and in the villages; and
          the maids were accustomed to say, “Yes, my lady, they
          may be princes or emperors who come to see you, but
          your descent is higher than theirs――your ancestors
          were Melek Seyf, and the seven kings.”

      [6] The Hon. J. Stanhope’s loss of his wife, Lady
          Frederica Murray, daughter of the Earl of Mansfield.

      [7] N.B. In the following letters, _Aug._ means H.R.H. the
          Duke of Sussex; _B._, His Grace the Duke of Bedford;
          _Sharky_ (the Arabic for a firm, or partners),
          a committee of Freemasons; _A._, Mr. Adams, Mr.
          Pitt’s secretary; the _Fat_, His Grace the Duke of
          B*********; the _Thin_, the Earl S*******; _Sir
          Vanity_, Sir S***** S****; _Kokub_, Lady H. S.; _H._,
          Mr. Heber.

      [8] The Arabic for jewel.

      [9] A measure of the country, containing about a gallon.

     [10] By _that one_ H.R.H. the late Duke of York is meant.

     [11] Here the Duke of York is again alluded to, who was at
          this time sinking into the grave.

     [12] It would appear from this, that Lady Hester Stanhope
          expected the accomplishment of some great event in
          that year of the Hegira, viz., 1245.

     [13] A _garára_ is seventy-two mids, or gallons.

                              CHAPTER II.

The Author’s departure from England to join Lady Stanhope――Voyage
from Leghorn to Syria――The vessel plundered by a Greek pirate――Return
to Leghorn――Signor Girolamo――Letter from Lady Stanhope to Mr. Webb,
merchant at Leghorn――Lady Stanhope persecuted by the Emir Beshýr――
Letter from Lady Stanhope to the Author, describing her position in
1827――Her reliance on Providence――Second Letter to Mr. Webb――Her
opinion of the Turks and Christians in Syria, and of the wild
Arabs――Terror of the Franks in Syria, on occasion of the battle of
Navarino――They take refuge in Lady Stanhope’s house――The Franks
in Syria――Her letter to the Author, urging him to rejoin her――Her
advice――Her ladyship’s illness――The Author sails for Syria.

On the 23rd of January, 1827, I crossed over to Calais with my family.
Here the severity of the weather and the sale of some landed property
in England detained us until the 9th of May, when we prosecuted our
journey to Paris, Lausanne, and Pisa, where we arrived on the 14th of
June, with the intention of embarking from Leghorn by the first vessel
that sailed for the Levant. It must be borne in mind by the reader
that there were no steamboats in those days, and that, moreover, the
navigation of the Mediterranean sea was rendered dangerous by the
predatory warfare carried on by the Greeks.

At Leghorn I received another letter from Lady Hester Stanhope,
wherein, as if in despair about her affairs, and knowing, from a letter
of mine, that I was leaving England to join her, she winds up the
X. intrigue in a summary way, and gives me instructions how I am to
conduct myself on my arrival in Syria.

                  _Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――._

                                             Djoun, May 29, 1827.

       Dear Doctor,

               You will hear from Mr. Webb the situation I am in.
     I sent three letters to you, by way of France, at the beginning
     of the year. To cut the matter short, it is better to say
     you never received them. If any one asks after X., say you
     don’t know him, or otherwise you will be so teazed with
     questions. Mind these instructions. Say to everybody, when
     you land, that you know nothing of my affairs, not having
     seen any of my family since my brother’s death;[14] that,
     hearing I had a complaint in my eyes, you set off, without
     consulting any one, and that it was your intention to
     remain some time with me, as you had brought Mrs. ―――― and
     the children.

     Land, if possible, at Sayda, and, on reaching the harbour,
     leave your family in the ship, take an ass at my farrier’s,
     and come here to Djoun. This is all, I believe, that is
     necessary for me to say, should you not have received my
     letters, written at the beginning of the year. If you have
     received them, and things do well, the case is rather

     I cannot express my gratitude. May God reward you hereafter!

     I hope Mrs. ――――- has plenty of rings on her fingers, as
     that is very necessary in this country, and the greatest of
     possible ornaments in the eyes of women.

                                                    [Not signed.]

       *       *       *       *       *

No eligible opportunity offered for sailing until the end of August,
when, having concluded an agreement with the owners of a merchant
brig, we betook ourselves to Leghorn, and set sail in the Fortuna,
Lupi master, for Cyprus, on the 7th of September, 1827. There were
four Franciscan friars passengers besides ourselves, bound to the Holy
Land, with money annually sent from some of the Italian states for the
maintenance of the sacred places.

On the 15th of September, being about thirty leagues from the island
of Candia, a tall-masted schooner was seen bearing down upon us,
and was soon recognized as a Greek. On nearing us, she hoisted Greek
colours, and ran under our stern, presenting a formidable battery of
twelve guns, with the heads of sixty or eighty fierce-featured fellows
eyeing us over the gunwale. A scaramouch-looking mate hailed us in
good Italian, and ordered our captain to hoist out his boat and come
on board. Whilst the boat was getting ready, our captain told us to do
the best we could for ourselves, for that he had no doubt we should
be plundered. “As for you,” he added, addressing himself to me, “make
yourself as smart as you can, assume an air of authority, and pass
yourself off as a consul.” We were all greatly alarmed. I hastened to
follow the captain’s advice, whilst the friars were busy in stuffing
their gold, their watches, and their small valuables, into their
under-garments and other hiding-places.

The Greeks, however, gave us little time; for, in a quarter of an hour,
fifteen or twenty were on board, headed by their lieutenant. On getting
over the side, he advanced towards me, and, in a very civil way, told
me that, as Cyprus was blockaded, and as our vessel was bound to that
place, no doubt with succours to the Turks in some shape or other,
his captain found himself under the disagreeable necessity of taking
possession of the cargo. “You,” he added, “being an Englishman, will
meet with no molestation; the English are our friends, and we are not
incapable of gratitude.”

In an instant the hatches were forced open; and, as quick as stout
shoulders and tackles could do it, the Greeks hoisted upon deck, and
cut or broke open every bale, cask, or case that was in the hold,
whilst the lieutenant, holding the bill of lading in his hand, noted
off every one according to its mark. I had various articles of luggage,
and as each was hoisted up, I had to say it was mine, when it was put
aside on the quarter-deck. The same was done with the effects of the
friars. Each launch-load of goods that was sent off to the schooner
brought back a launch-load of stout Greeks, who, with hammers and
hatchets, broke down the wainscoting, cut through the ceiling, searched
the berths, and left not a single cranny of the vessel unransacked.

When the cargo was out, the lieutenant summoned the four, as I
supposed, poor friars to the quarter-deck, and told them their trunks
must next undergo an examination. Each trunk had a cross on its lid.
What was my surprise when, on opening them, the Greeks found fifty or
sixty pounds of chocolate, bottles of rum and rosolio, hams, tongues,
Bologna sausages, sugar, and a large box of sugared almonds; also
seven or eight veils, (such as are worn in the Levant) for women, fine
flannel waistcoats and drawers, good calico shirts, &c.; 200 Venetian
ducats, three or four rouleaus of doubloons, and 5,000 Spanish dollars.
The way in which the Greek sailors scrambled for the sugared almonds
was really quite laughable, making a strange contrast to the ruin they
were perpetrating at the moment on these inoffensive individuals; but,
when they discovered the money, amounting in all, with what was taken
from the friars’ persons, to no less than 14,000 dollars, they set up
a shout, which so effectually frightened the poor friars, that they
fell down on their knees, and invoked all the saints in the calendar
to their aid. But the cupidity of the Greeks was excited rather than
satisfied by the sight of so much gold and silver, and they immediately
proceeded to strip their victims, an office which they performed with
greater agility than could have been exhibited by the most expert
valet. This humiliating operation disclosed fresh booty; the capacious
sleeves, drawers, and hoods, all afforded something. One had a
repeater-watch, and all had money.

Unfortunately, there were a few casks of wine in the hold, which the
Greeks tapped; and thus, becoming intoxicated in the midst of their
pillage, a few of the most ferocious proposed beating the captain to
make him confess if there was more money concealed. They accordingly
gave him some very hard blows with a rope’s end; then they served
the cabin-boy in the same manner (as being generally privy to the
captain’s hiding-places), and then two sailors. Lastly came the mate’s
turn. Him they bound with a cord, and beat severely; and, finding blows
made them confess nothing, they dragged him to the gunwale, held his
head over the side of the ship, and, one putting a knife across his
throat, swore he would kill them instantly, if he did not disclose
where the captain’s money was hid, as well as Turkish letters, which
were conveyed in the brig. The poor man, with loud cries, appealed to
me to save his life; and, whilst I addressed myself to the lieutenant,
Mrs. ――――, who was sitting on the quarter-deck with our little girl,
an infant, in her arms, rushed forward, undismayed by the ferocious
looks of the Greeks, and, with more than a woman’s courage, arrested
the pirate’s arm, and implored him to spare his victim. Whether it was
their intention to murder the mate it is impossible to say; but the man
who held the knife let him go, and threw the key of the mate’s chest at
Mrs. ――――’s feet.

This scene being over, the lieutenant informed me that he was bound to
examine my luggage, whispering to me, at the same time, that, as his
men had become very riotous, it would be prudent to propitiate them by
a present of a few dollars. I gladly took his advice, and presented
them with twenty dollars, which they accepted thanklessly enough. My
luggage was then overhauled; but they took nothing, although, amongst
other things, they were grievously tempted by discovering a bag of
dollars. In the confusion which ensued I lost only a few trifles. The
lieutenant begged a pair of pantaloons, which I gave him, and other
things, which I assured him I could not spare, and which he very
obligingly allowed me to retain. Considering that we were wholly in his
power, I had reason to be grateful for his forbearance.

But let me, as an act of justice, bear witness to the wrongs which
this nation, in the regeneration of its liberties, had to endure,
and none of which were greater than those inflicted by the Austrian
and Sardinian navies, whose flag our vessel bore. Whenever the
merchant-ships of these two powers appeared in the Levant, it was,
under the cloak of trade, to transport materials of war to their mortal
enemies the Turks; and whenever the injured Greeks, availing themselves
of the rights of nations, molested these pretended neutrals in their
unjust traffic, the Austrian ships of war made cruel reprisals on them.
In the German war, about the middle of the last century, when the
Dutch, calling themselves neutrals, became carriers for the enemies
of England, we were accused of committing piratical enormities on the
Dutch, equal to any that the Greeks are charged with, and we sought
our justification in the same rights: so that we may ask if the laws of
blockade are to be held good only when exercised by the hands of the
strong? In excuse for beating the master and mate, it may be alleged,
that the Genoese crews, when they had the mastery, were not backward in
using the same violence. As for the money which was transferred on this
occasion, all that need be said is, that, setting aside the question of
piracy, it passed from the hands of those who had made a vow of poverty
into the pockets of an oppressed people, whose families had been driven
from their homes, and perhaps were starving, until some son or husband
could bring them the fruits of their dangerous enterprises.

Piracy on the high seas, in the open day, has something very awful and
formidable in it. You seem to be utterly defenceless in the midst of
the wide ocean, with the arbitrators of your destiny standing there to
hurl you, if you utter a murmur, into the fathomless deep. They demand
your money, your goods, or whatever else may chance to excite their
cupidity, and you give up everything with as smiling a face as you can.
You offer them refreshments, as if they were welcome guests, who have
honoured and delighted you by their presence; and, until they burst out
into the frantic delirium of drunkenness or butchery, the whole scene
wears the appearance of the visit of an obliging consignee, who has
come to take possession of his property.

At seven at night the schooner’s crew left us to pursue our voyage.
The beds and blankets that lay scattered on the cabin-floor were
replaced in the berths, a little order was restored, and a wretched
supper was made on hard biscuit and cold water; for everything good
to eat, from the chickens down to the lemons, walnuts, figs, raisins,
&c., had either been taken away or devoured. It was calm through the
night; and, when the morning of Sunday broke, the schooner was still
in view. Our fears were revived, when we saw the enemy’s boat manned,
and soon afterwards coming towards us. But it was only a complimentary
visit from the lieutenant, who, with smiles and an amiability that
only a Greek can put on towards those whom he has plundered, expressed
his hopes that we had passed the night comfortably, and begged of
the master to have the goodness to look for a box of jewels that was
marked on the ship’s bill of lading, but which had been overlooked
the day before; for the lieutenant spoke and read Italian perfectly,
and was supposed to be a native of the Ionian isles: so that, having
examined the manifest during the night, he was enabled to discover what
valuables there were on board which had escaped personal scrutiny. The
master reluctantly gave up the casket; and the lieutenant, having
requested him to prick down on the chart the longitude and latitude,
to see if they corresponded with his own reckoning, politely took
his leave, squeezing my hand on parting, just as if we had been old
acquaintances bidding each other adieu. A breeze sprang up; the
schooner put her head towards Candia, and we soon lost sight of her.

A council was then called as to what was to be done. The friars, who
had lost their all, were for putting back: but I objected to that
course, seeing we were now two-thirds of our way to our destination.
The friars, however, having, as I afterwards learned, agreed, in
writing, to give the captain 250 Spanish dollars if he would return,
carried their point; and all that remained to be done was to bear the
disappointment with patience.

In returning to Leghorn, it was necessary to put into the first port we
could reach for provisions; and, accordingly, on the 19th of September,
we cast anchor at Zante. Here I made known our misfortune to the
government secretary, Colonel Maclean, who very obligingly came down to
the health-office to see me, our vessel being in quarantine: and I had
reason, from what he told me, to be well satisfied with having escaped
as we did; for I learned from him that it was quite a miracle that
any respect had been paid to the English name, since many piracies,
accompanied with violence and outrage, had been lately committed on
English vessels. At Zante I saw in the quarantine ground hundreds of
wretched Greeks, in rags and misery, driven from their country, and not
knowing where to find a place to lay their heads.

On the 27th of September we weighed anchor, and, when off Sicily,
nearly lost our masts in a gale of wind. The next day we were alarmed
by the kitchen’s catching fire, and by a passenger falling ill of
fever; after which, we ran on the island of Elba in a fog, and finally
arrived at Leghorn on the 12th of October, 1827.

The passenger I have named was an Italian, one Signor Girolamo ――――,
a young man, who, after very successful studies at Padua, thought to
turn his talents to account in Mahomet Ali’s service; but, on his
arrival in Egypt, he was nearly starved. He was a clever mathematician,
and of great literary attainments; but he forgot that, to teach, one
must be enabled to explain, which, from his ignorance of Arabic, was
impossible, and that Mahomet Ali wanted officers, mechanics, and
engineers――practical men――but not schoolmen. Having in vain essayed to
find an employment, he was at last told he might take service, if he
would pronounce himself competent for the situation of hospital-mate
and apothecary to an infantry regiment. In this his medical
employment, according to what he told me, he saw so much peculation
going forward, that, being ordered to Navarino, with his regiment,
in disgust, he made his escape to Zante, determined to have done
with Pashas and Eastern civilization for ever. Anxiety, fatigue, and
blasted prospects, threw him into a malignant fever; and his deplorable
situation, in the empty hold of a vessel, without bed or blanket to
sleep on, could not but excite our sympathy.

There was one of the friars, named Fra’ Buonaventura, who, after
the plunder of the vessel, when we were on our passage back, was
guilty of a breach of confidence so base, that I hardly know how to
designate it. He was the one to whom the bag of letters from Europe
for the monks of the different monasteries in the Holy Land had been
entrusted. These letters, being of no use to the Greeks, were left; and
Fra’ Buonaventura used to lie on his back in his berth, and, breaking
the seals, read them one by one, and then destroy them. His conduct
appeared to me so culpable, that I wrote to the Neapolitan ambassador
(he belonging to a monastery at Naples), and requested his Excellency
to make this violation of trust known to his superiors.

We remained in quarantine until the 17th of November, during which time
the news of the battle of Navarino reached Leghorn. From the Lazaretto
I took my family to Pisa and Rome; and, the bad weather being now
set in, I resolved to await the return of spring, and the arrival of
fresh letters from Lady Hester Stanhope, before venturing again on so
dangerous a voyage. Besides, the shock had been very great, and Mrs.
――――’s health was seriously impaired by continued sea-sickness and the
horrors of the scenes she had witnessed, which for many months often
recurred in her dreams, so as to bring on a nervous affection, which
did not entirely leave her for two years.

What Lady Hester Stanhope’s situation was at this particular date may
be gathered from a letter which she wrote to the late Mr. John Webb,
her banker, at Leghorn, and of which I annex a copy.

                _Lady Hester Stanhope to Mr. John Webb._

                              Djoun, Mount Lebanon, May 30, 1827.


     A _Firmanlee_,[15] having taken refuge in the mountain,
     under the protection of the Emir Beshýr, contrived to pick a
     quarrel with my water-carrier, who was quietly going about
     his business, and, having bribed some of the Emir’s Jack
     Ketches, they beat him most unmercifully. The Emir Beshýr
     and his chief people have likewise been bribed by this man,
     who has plenty of money at his disposal. They have all,
     therefore, taken the _Firmanlee’s_ part, and acted in the
     most atrocious way towards me. A short time since, the Emir
     thought proper to publish in the villages that all my
     servants were instantly to return to their homes, upon pain
     of losing their property and lives. I gave them all their
     option. Most of them have remained firm, being aware that
     this order is the most unjust, as well as the most
     ridiculous, that ever was issued. Since that, he has
     threatened to seize and murder them here, which he shall not
     do without taking away my life too. Besides this, he has
     given orders in all the villages that men, women, and
     children, shall be cut in a thousand pieces, who render me
     the smallest service. My servants, of course, as you must
     imagine, cannot go out, and the peasants of the village
     cannot approach the house. Therefore, I am in no very
     pleasant situation, being deprived of the necessary supplies
     of food, and, what is worse, of water; for all the water
     here is brought upon mules’ backs up a great steep.

     I should not be a thorough-bred Pitt, if fear were known
     to me, or if I could bow to a monster who could chain
     together the neck and feet of a venerable, white-bearded,
     respectable man, who has burnt out eyes, cut out tongues,
     chopped off the breasts of women by shutting down heavy
     box-lids upon them, put them upon red-hot irons, hung them
     up by their hair, mutilated men alive, and, if a father has
     escaped from his clutches, has loaded his infant son with
     his chains! For the space of three years, I have refused
     to have the smallest communication with the Emir. He sent
     me one of his grand envoys the other day――one of those who
     are charged with the budget of lies sent to Mahomet Ali. I
     refused to see him, or to read the letter of which he was
     the bearer.

     My kind friend and former physician, Dr. ――――, having
     heard that for some years my situation has not been a
     pleasant one, and that my health is very indifferent, has
     given a proof of attachment and disinterestedness very
     rare in these times. He has blasted his own prospects in
     life by giving up every thing in Europe to join me in this
     country, without consulting any one. He wrote to me from
     France that, if he did not hear from me by the 25th of
     April, he should proceed to Leghorn, and there embark for
     this country. The state of my sight has prevented me from
     keeping up a correspondence with him as formerly; but, if
     letters I wrote to him in the beginning of the year have
     been forwarded to him from England, perhaps he may have
     changed his determination. But, in the case of his being at
     Leghorn, you would confer a great obligation upon me, if
     you would advance him £100 for his expenses, and deliver
     him the enclosed letter.

     I must particularly request that neither you nor any of
     your people will communicate anything respecting my affairs
     to Mr. ――――, for he publishes everything in the most
     disadvantageous way to every blackguard in the town of

     I hope you will have received the wine I sent you safe. It
     is needless to tell you I cannot at this moment execute
     your commission, but I hope to do it to your satisfaction
     at some future period.

     Ten thousand thanks for your kind recipe for my eyes. I
     have not had a moment’s time to bestow a thought upon
     myself since I received it.

     Dear Lord Frederick![16] what changes have taken place in
     my situation since I saw him last! but I am too much of a
     Turk to complain of the decrees of Heaven.

     I forgot to mention that there is a plague at Sayda.
     Most of the people are shut up; and, although I must
     have suffered cruelly from the malady formerly, I am
     in no apprehension concerning it, as I am a perfect
     predestinarian. Happy for me that I have inspired the same
     feelings into all those who surround me.

     If it please God that I, like Joseph, should come safe out
     of the well, I hope it will be needless to assure you that,
     whatever part of your family might fall in my way, my
     greatest pleasure would be to endeavour to make them, by
     every service and attention, the evidence of the respect and
     regard which I bear you.

                                                  H. L. STANHOPE.

     PS. Long before you can receive this letter, this business
     must be settled. Depend upon it, I shall be a match for
     them. I shall trouble you to give Dr. ―――― the information
     contained in this letter, begging him to guard complete
     silence on everything that relates to this country or
     elsewhere; for things are in an unpleasant state both here
     and at Cyprus.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some time in the spring, but the exact day is not noted, I received the
following letter from Lady Hester Stanhope:――

                                             Djoun, Nov. 9, 1827.

     I have not heard from or written to you for eight months.
     My three letters, composing one, must have reached you. I
     have not made my intended journey, for I have been, during
     three months of this summer, absolutely as if in prison.
     The representatives of the John Bulls in this country
     having impressed the Emir Beshýr with the assurance that I
     had not a friend in the world, he proceeded upon unheard-of
     outrages towards me; and, if he did not actually put my
     life in danger, he had it publicly cried,[17] that whoever
     served me should be bastinadoed and amerced.

     This unheard-of stretch of insolence was set to rights by
     our old acquaintance[18] at Constantinople, who acted very
     well towards me. The Emir Beshýr, with all the art and
     meanness well known to him, has now become abjectly humble.
     One of his people told me that it was not his doings,
     but the work of ――――, who had put it into his head; and,
     finding he had made a false calculation, and displeased
     great and small in the country by his vile conduct, he is
     humble enough, and repents having given me an opportunity
     of showing what I am. I am thus become more popular than
     ever, having shown an example of firmness and courage no
     one could calculate upon:――it was poor little David and the
     giant. But the God who defended David defended me from all
     the assassins by whom I was surrounded. Even water from the
     spring the beast would not let me have. The expense to get
     provisions brought in the night by people was enormous.
     Some risked their lives to serve me, and bring me food.
     One person only came openly, and that was a woman, saying
     she would die sooner than obey such atrocious orders, and
     called down curses on the Emir, the consuls, and all of
     them. This conduct was well worthy a follower of Ali.

     The plague this year has carried off thousands of
     inhabitants at Damascus and Aleppo; it is now in the
     Mountain. There are all sorts of fevers, too, besides
     plague, and my medicine is nearly all gone; for all the
     world come to me for what they want. I have written to Mr.
     Allen, to beg he will give me a year’s credit for a little
     common medicine, and he sends you this letter. If there is
     war, how am I to get it? but I will run the chance.

     A young _seyd_, a friend of mine, when riding one day in a
     solitary part of the mountain, heard the echo of a strange
     noise in the rocks. He listened, and, hearing it again,
     got off his horse to see what it was. To his surprise, in
     a hollow in the rock, he saw an old eagle, quite blind
     and unfledged by age. Perched by the eagle, he saw a
     carrion-crow feeding him. If the Almighty thus provides
     for the blind eagle, he will not forsake me: and the
     carrion-crow may look down with contempt on your countrymen.

     I say this, because I have seen two doctors――they were
     English――and they tell me that, though my eyes are good,
     my nerves are destroyed, and that causes my blindness.
     Writing these few lines will be some days’ illness to me:
     but I make an effort, in order to assure you of the grief
     I have felt at being, I fear, the cause of your affairs
     being worse than if you had not known me. All I can say
     is, if God helps me, I shall not forget you. You can do
     nothing for me now; trust in God and think of the eagle.
     Remember! all is written: we can change nothing of our fate
     by lamenting and grumbling. Therefore, it is better to be
     like a true Turk, and do our duty to the last, and then beg
     of the believers in one God a bit of daily bread, and, if
     it comes not, die of want, which perhaps is as good a death
     as any other, and less painful. But never act contrary to
     the dictates of conscience, of honour, of nature, or of

     What I shall do, or not do, is the business of no one; so
     on that head I shall say nothing. God is the disposer of
     all events. Do not write to me. First, I shall not get your
     letters; and, besides, I do not wish to hear a thousand
     lies: for you dare not write otherwise, I know, unless left
     to yourself. Leave everything to a great and all-powerful
     Being, who will empower me to act under all circumstances.
     I have had, as things are, reason to bless His mercy
     every day. No one else could get out of such difficulties
     of every kind unprotected by an Almighty’s hand. I have
     written these few lines with the hope of comforting you a
     little, and to let you see I have a soul, though my body is
     wasted to nothing, with anxiety, want of food, rest, &c.
     Don’t expect any more letters. If you wish to do me harm,
     you will talk of me and my affairs to fools, and strangers,
     and curious people: but it is now come to such a pass,
     that it little signifies what any one does or says. God
     bless you!

                                                    [Not signed.]

     If Dr. Madden should call on Dr. Scott,[19] to talk Arabic
     and philosophy, it is I who sent him. Strange opinions are
     not for ignorant, vulgar people. Perhaps you may see Dr.
     Madden. Of private affairs, I only said to him that I was
     in debt.

        _Lady Hester Stanhope to Mr. Webb, banker, at Leghorn._

                                   [Supposed date] October, 1827.

     I thank you a thousand times, my dear sir, for the anxiety
     you express on my account; and, although surrounded by a
     hundred difficulties, I am cheerful, and, as I said before,
     the Turks behave very well to me. That old monster, the
     Emir Beshýr, is pretty quiet at this moment, at least
     as far as regards me: but he is reducing to beggary and
     to misery all who surround him. A real Turk is a manly,
     though rather violent, kind-hearted being, and, if he
     has confidence in you, very easy to deal with. I have
     often wondered at their gentlemanlike patience with low,
     blustering, vulgar men, who give themselves more airs than
     an ambassador, because chance has placed them as consul or
     agent in some dirty town not equal to a village in France;
     men who, in fact, in Europe, would scarcely have their bow
     returned in the street by a man of condition. It is the
     general conduct of these sort of people that has given the
     Orientals such a false idea of Europeans. The race of
     Christians here is of the vilest people in the world: not
     all totally without talent, but all born without principle,
     or one single good quality. Out of the great number of
     children, both boys and girls, which I have taken before
     they have changed their teeth, not one has turned out
     passable, and most of them have become vagabonds. If a
     poor man falls ill, and gives his wife a little trouble to
     wait upon him, she soon ends the business with a little
     poison; and, if a woman marries again, the husband casts
     off all her children by the former marriage, and she,
     without remorse, leaves them to die in a hovel, or abandons
     them under a tree to beg for subsistence. It was only last
     night that one of these wretched beings came to me, skin
     and bone, having been for thirty days ill of a fever. The
     very girls I have brought up with the greatest care have,
     when married, beaten their children of two years old so
     violently as to stun them; and one, from the blow she gave
     her child upon the back, caused the bowels to protrude more
     than a span. A man thinks nothing of taking up a stone as
     large as his head, and throwing it at his wife when she is
     with child. These are the beastly people that create the
     compassion of Europeans――a horrid race, that deserves to be
     exterminated from the face of the earth. What a contrast
     between these wretches and the wild Arabs, who will traverse
     burning sands barefooted, to receive the last breath of some
     kind relation or friend, who teach their children at the
     earliest period resignation and fortitude, and who always
     keep alive a spirit of emulation amongst them! They are the
     boldest people in the world, yet are endued with a
     tenderness quite poetic, and their kindness extends to all
     the brute creation by which they are surrounded. For myself,
     I have the greatest affection and confidence in these
     people: besides, I admire their diamond eyes, their fine
     teeth, and the grace and agility (without capers), which is
     peculiar to them alone. When one sees these people, one’s
     thoughts naturally revert to the time of Abraham, when man
     had not his head filled with all the false systems of the
     present day.

     I must now thank you for a most admirable cheese, and the
     case of _liqueurs_ which accompanied it. You tell me not
     to send any more wine; but I shall not attend to it. I
     only regret that I cannot forward more by this conveyance;
     for it is excessively scarce, which will account for the
     small quantity; but I shall always continue to ship some,
     whenever I can procure it; and I only wish this country
     produced anything that would be agreeable to you or Mrs.

     I have heard that at Geneva there are very fine flowers.
     If you will procure me a few seeds, I should be very much
     obliged to you, as my stock of flowers this year has become
     very low, owing to my having had a very careless gardener,
     who neglected to water the seeds, so that they never came
     up. My fine steed is gone long ago, and my garden remains
     my only amusement. I have made a little note; but, if there
     should be any other showy flowers or shrubs, pray include
     them. Very small flowers are considered here as weeds,
     however pretty they may be.

     I have received my account from your house, and I have
     drawn for another thousand dollars. They tell me, besides,
     that the doctor is gone to England. If so, I fear some
     trick will be played me, and he will not be allowed to
     return. It does not signify――I am an Arab.[20] I have,
     however, written to him, desiring him, in case of his
     return, to beg you to attend most particularly to the state
     of your health and that of Mrs. Webb, and that he will
     leave with you a volume of medical advice. The other letter
     you will please to forward to his friend, Mr. N. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was immediately after the date of this letter that the news of
the battle of Navarino must have reached Sayda and Beyrout. On that
occasion, all the Franks at Sayda, in a single hour, fled precipitately
from their homes, the greater part of them taking refuge with Lady
Hester Stanhope. In the narrative of her subsequent conversations, some
account of the expense she was put to by this unforeseen event will be
found; for, in her correspondence with me, she was particularly careful
not to make any allusion to the universal alarm which prevailed amongst
the Europeans, lest it might possibly have some influence upon the
fears of my family, and deter us from prosecuting our journey.

Some private business requiring my presence in England, I left Italy
in June, 1828, for London, and returned to Pisa in the following
October. Up to this time (now nearly a year), I had had no answer from
Lady Hester to my letters (one from Zante, and one from Leghorn), in
which I had given an account of the piracy. At that time there were no
steamboats on those waters, and correspondence was necessarily carried
on, at great risk and uncertainty, by merchant-vessels, many of which
were plundered by the Greeks, while others frequently consumed two
or three months, returning from the Levant to Marseilles or Leghorn.
At last, a letter reached me, in the handwriting of Miss Williams,
dictated by Lady Hester Stanhope.

                  _Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――._

                            Djoun, Mount Lebanon, March 23, 1828.

     I have received the account of your disasters by sea, and
     latterly the books you were so good as to send me. The
     books I cannot read, and I have nobody to read them to me:
     however, I thank you for your kind attention. I am much
     afflicted at the trouble and vexation you have had, and at
     the situation in which you find yourself. I must say, it
     would be very imprudent to bring women or children into
     this country at this moment, and a great source of fatigue
     and vexation to me; for they could not be comfortable under
     the present circumstances of the times. What I should
     propose is, that, when you have settled your business, you
     immediately set off alone with a Dutch passport,[21] in
     case things should turn out ill before you arrive. Leave
     Mrs. ―――― at Pisa, where she could remain very comfortably
     until you return. Write to X. these few words――“She has
     ordered me to forbid you evermore to interfere with her
     affairs, or even to write to her.”

     The plague will be over before you get here. The Turks
     behave extremely well to me, the Christians and Franks
     as ill. I shall say nothing about the state of my
     affairs――(you may guess what it may be in these times) nor
     of the state of my health, without a person of any kind to
     assist me in anything. If I outlive the storm, I may help
     you:――if not, you can take poor Williams away.

     Let Mr. Webb know how much I prize his kind attentions.
     I hope some wine will go with this ship for him:――if
     not, it is not my fault. Salute Mrs. ―――― and say I hope
     no childish feeling will prevent her allowing you to be
     absent a little while. I feel for her――but I cannot write.
     She may rely upon me: only obey me strictly. Had you done
     so before, things might have been otherwise for all: but
     simpletons will be wise men, and that is what has turned
     the world upside down, as well as caused much unhappiness
     to individuals. I promise to keep you only a few months,
     but I want to see you: only come in as silent and quiet a
     way as you can.

     I will not receive any letter from X., so do not take
     charge of any: all must be lies. Return them, should he
     send any, and say not a word that you mean to come here.

                                                    [Not signed.]

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 15th of November of the same year I received another letter,
which was also in Miss Williams’s handwriting.

                  _Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――._

                                          Djoun, August 25, 1828.

     I have heard from Mr. Webb’s house that you are gone to
     England. My heart misgives me: I fear some trick, and
     that they will prevent your coming. At all events, do not
     let your head be crammed with ideas that you cannot land;
     for, notwithstanding the departure of consuls and Franks
     from this part of the world, I firmly believe that, any
     one coming to me either in a man-of-war or in an open
     boat, his landing would not be opposed, even if things
     were more decidedly bad than they are at present. Sulyman
     Effendi, whom you recollect at Sayda, is governor of
     Beyrout, and Ali Aga has succeeded him at Sayda; Laurella,
     as Austrian consul, still remains at Beyrout, though but
     little friendly to me, as does old Gerardin at Sayda; being
     considered as an Arab. Never write to me but through Mr.
     Webb’s house, whether you come or do not come. I want no
     reasons and no long stories. I hope your head will not be
     turned, because I am sure you will repent it hereafter, if
     it is.

     Arabize yourself before you get here, if you are ever such
     a quiz. I have common Turkish clothes ready for you, that
     you may not cut up and gobble good cloth in a hurry.[22]
     You must not think of bringing any Frank servant with you.
     I have a room ready for you, and I hope you will be very
     comfortable. The difficulty about Mrs. ―――― was want of
     room; and a house in the village in these sort of times is
     not exactly the thing, though I had a pretty little house,
     two stories high, picked out for you, had you come sooner.
     Cut short impertinent questions _here_, by saying everybody
     was out of town, that you saw none of my family or friends,
     and only stopped a few days in London to transact your own
     private business.

                                                [Signed] H. L. S.

     Ah! why did you not come directly, and bring Lucy? what a
     comfort to me!

       *       *       *       *       *

In compliance with Lady Hester Stanhope’s wishes, I resolved to await
the coming of spring, in order to conduct my family to England, and,
leaving them there, to set off alone for Syria. But new difficulties
had arisen, and Lady Hester’s situation had become more painful by
a severe loss which she unexpectedly sustained in the death of her
long-tried and affectionate companion, Miss Williams. It was some time
in December that Mr. Webb, of Leghorn, communicated to me a letter from
Lady Hester Stanhope, giving him the melancholy news of this sad event.
The letter was in French, dictated to some secretary whom she had found
to carry on her correspondence, and it is here translated for the
convenience of the general reader.

           _Lady Hester Stanhope to Mr. John Webb, merchant,
                              at Leghorn._

                                    Djoun, 24th of October, 1828.


     When I received your letter of the 17th of July, I was very
     ill, confined to my room, and occasionally delirious:
     nevertheless, in a moment of reason, I desired Mr. Gerardin
     to acquaint you with the great loss I had sustained in the
     faithful Miss Williams.

     After two years of plague, there broke out, over almost
     all Mount Lebanon, a kind of fever, which I do not know
     precisely how to name. Whether it was a sort of yellow or
     malignant fever, poor Miss Williams fell a victim to it,
     as well as a servant, named Môosa, the only one in whom I
     had any confidence; and I but just escaped death from it
     myself. I am, as it were, come to life again by a miracle,
     owing to the attentions of a rich peasant, who came from a
     considerable distance to assist me. He found me entirely
     abandoned, delirious, and at the point of death; and left
     in that state by whom?――by wicked maids, who had cost Miss
     W. and me such pains in endeavouring to make something
     of them. You may easily imagine that I did not keep such
     ungrateful sluts an instant after I came to myself. Even
     in the weak state in which I was, I felt in a rage at the
     deplorable accounts which were given me of the detestable
     indifference which they showed when Miss W. was dying,
     occupying themselves in pilfering what they could lay their
     hands on: but I have already told you what the Christians
     of this country are. At the present moment, I have nobody
     to assist me but some old women of the village, the most
     stupid and ignorant creatures in the world. My greatest
     resource is a girl of eight years old, whom I have brought
     up, who appears attached to me, and who is less stupid than
     the others.[23] However, one cannot get well very fast,
     attended by such people, to whom it is impossible to trust
     a key. I am moved from my bed to the sofa, and from the
     sofa to the bed, and I am not yet able to walk unsupported;
     but, if I was better waited on, and had more quiet and
     proper things to eat, I know very well what an effort my
     iron constitution would make, which has brought me through
     this illness without doctor or doctor’s-stuff. I have a
     good appetite; but my weakness of stomach does not enable
     me to digest the coarse and badly-cooked food which they
     give me to eat, seeing that my stomach has been very much
     disordered for want of nourishment during fifteen days,
     having subsisted all that time on barley-water and plain

     My ignorance of what passed around me was not, properly
     speaking, the delirium of fever; it was a stupor, caused
     by the neglect with which I was treated. The peasant says
     that, when he entered my bed-room,[24] he found me stiff
     and cold, in the state of one dying of hunger: he gave me
     food immediately. After some days I came to myself, and am
     now gaining strength. But, in the midst of all this, I am
     not melancholy. What has happened has happened, and whatever
     is is best. To-day I was telling Mr. Beaudin[25] some
     anecdotes of the celebrated Duke of Dorset, which were of no
     very mournful turn. Mr. Beaudin’s coming has been of the
     greatest service to me in every way. He has raised for me,
     with a great deal of difficulty, some money, for which I
     have given him my bill of exchange for 1000 dollars, dated
     October the 15th. I have given him another bill for 500
     dollars, dated the 24th of October. I endeavour to scrape
     together as much as I can, because the aspect of the times
     is dark. I must lay in provisions of all kinds; for in a
     short time it will not be so easy to do it, as some imagine,
     and prices will rise to something incredible.

     It seems to me that, if Dr. ―――― had decided on coming,
     he would have been here before now. Well! I have got over
     this illness without his assistance, or that of any other
     doctor, and one feels much more elevated when God has
     been one’s physician. It is the Supreme Being alone who
     has saved me in all my difficulties for these last twenty
     years, and who has given me strength to support what others
     would have sunk under.

     With the bills, drawn through Mr. Bell and Mr. Beaudin,
     there are life-certificates. You know my weakness of sight,
     and that, consequently, I cannot write the bills myself;
     but, thank God! I can still, though with great pain, read
     a letter, although I cannot extend the effort to books and
     newspapers. This is the reason why I have had the bills
     of exchange, to the order of Mr. Beaudin, written by old
     General Loustaunau, and those, to Mr. Bell, written by Mr.
     Beaudin; nor must you wonder, if, another time, Mr. Beaudin
     should himself write bills to his own order.

     The mercantile house of ――――, at ――――, has asked me for a
     letter of introduction to you, because they say you are a
     man of high respectability: but I should be very sorry to
     render a service to such rogues.

                                                [Signed] H. L. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

The distressed situation in which Lady Hester Stanhope found herself by
such a severe calamity as the loss of Miss Williams, who, in sickness
and in health, had been all in all to her, induced me to set aside
every other consideration, and to resolve on making the voyage to
Syria without loss of time, even in the depth of winter, although the
navigation of the Mediterranean is exceedingly boisterous in the months
of January, February, and March. I accordingly went over to Leghorn,
and entered into an agreement with the master of a merchant-vessel,
who was to sail in a few days for Beyrout. Nothing remained but to
sign it; but, previously to so doing, I had to overcome the repugnance
which Mrs. ―――― felt to being left behind, if she remained, and the
apprehension of fresh piracies, if she accompanied me. Between the two
she hesitated and wavered until the opportunity was lost, and, being
unable to make up her mind one way or the other, spring came, and then
summer, until it was finally settled that I should take her back to
England, and, leaving her there, return and perform the voyage alone.

We accordingly set off for Marseilles in August, 1829, and traversed
France as far as Paris. But there her womanish fears, and the dread
of losing me in a foreign country by plague, and a thousand ills,
which persons, who have not visited the East, fancy to be more common
in distant countries than at home, still preyed on her mind, and a
fresh resolution was formed to accompany me. We therefore returned to
Marseilles: but not until November, 1830, could I prevail upon her to
set her foot in a vessel.

On the 3rd of November, we set sail from Marseilles, in the Belle
Sophie, Coulonne master, a brig of 220 tons or thereabouts. We had
secured the state-room, and one berth out of four which the cabin
contained. Two others were occupied by two English ladies, and the
fourth by the captain. Temporary berths were fitted up for three
Englishmen adjoining the companion-ladder, who, in society with these
pious ladies, had embarked on the wide world in the holy mission of
making proselytes among Jews and Mahometans.[26] On the floor and
lockers of the cabin was an Arab woman with three daughters and a son,
whilst her husband, with a Cypriot Greek, were tenants of the hold.
Thus we were twelve cabin-passengers, where six only could have been
comfortably accommodated: but no scruples of this kind would appear to
have ever crossed the conscience of the master of the vessel or the


     [14] The death of the Hon. James Stanhope.

     [15] _Firmanlee_ is synonymous with _outlaw_.

     [16] Probably Lord Frederick Bentinck, brother of Lord

     [17] The criers in villages on Mount Lebanon stand on the
          roofs of houses at sunset, and, with a loud voice,
          give out the orders and proclamations of their Sheykhs
          and Emirs.

     [18] Sir Robert Liston, ambassador to the Porte.

     [19] Dr. John Scott, of Bedford Square, a distinguished
          Oriental scholar.

     [20] There is a proverb, shortly and beautifully expressed
          in Oriental language, the sense of which is
          this:――“There are two things, which God laughs at in
          heaven――men’s determination to elevate a mortal――men’s
          determination to crush one――either of which He alone
          can do.”

     [21] Lady Hester Stanhope advised a Dutch passport in
          consequence of the insecurity to which, after the
          battle of Navarino, the English, French, and Russians
          were for a time exposed, from the vengeance of the

     [22] There is a curious work, called _The Doctor_, written,
          as I have understood, by Dr. Southey; and, in the
          123rd chapter, he seems to allude to Lady Hester’s
          care in providing a suit of clothes against my
          arrival. He is speaking of misplaced economy――

              “Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,
               Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting
               A little cloth:”

          And then he adds: “Lady H. Stanhope had an English
          physician with her in Syria, who, if he be living, can
          bear testimony that her ladyship did not commit this
          fault, when she superintended the cutting-out of his
          scarlet galligaskins.”

     [23] This is the girl _Fatôom_, who afterwards, in
          conjunction with others, robbed her ladyship of money
          and effects to a considerable amount.

     [24] See Additional Notes, at the end of the volume.

     [25] Formerly secretary to Lady Hester Stanhope, now
          French vice-consul at Damascus. He is the individual
          so highly eulogized in M. Lamartine’s _Souvenirs de

     [26] The names of these ladies and gentlemen were Mr.
          Cronin, a surgeon; Mrs. and Miss Cronin, his mother
          and sister; Mr. Parnell, son of Sir Henry Parnell, and
          afterwards Lord Congleton; Mr. Newman, a gentleman of
          great classical acquirements; and Mr. Hamilton.

                              CHAPTER III.

Lady Stanhope’s reception of Dr. ―――― ――Her residence described――
Supposed reasons for her seclusion――Her extraordinary influence over
her dependants――Her violent temper――Dress and appearance――Her
influence in the country――Abdallah Pasha guided by her――Her hostility
towards the Emir Beshýr――Her defiance of his power――Her opinion of
him――Flight of the Emir――His return――Death of the Sheykh Beshýr.

We reached Beyrout, after a prosperous voyage, on the 8th of December,
having anchored eight days at Cyprus to disembark some merchandize,
the Arab family, and the English party. In pursuance of Lady Hester
Stanhope’s injunctions, I dressed myself in an old faded suit of
Turkish clothes, and thus presented myself at the English and French
consuls’ residences. My appearance certainly was not calculated to make
her ladyship’s creditors suppose I came loaded with money to pay her
debts; and I felt, as I passed through the streets, that my old Bedouin
manteau or _abah_, and indeed my whole dress, in which I had twice
traversed the desert to Palmyra, was of a hue and age to dissipate the
hopes of the most sanguine.

I lost no time in sending off a messenger to announce my arrival
to Lady Hester Stanhope; and received a note from her on the 11th,
in which, after congratulating us on our safety, she expressed the
pleasure it would give her to see me; she added that, as for my family,
they must not expect any other attentions from her than such as would
make them comfortable in their cottage; that they were not to take this
ill on her part, as she had long before apprized me that she did not
think English ladies could make themselves happy in Syria, and that
therefore I, who had brought them, must take the consequences. This
reception was not very agreeable to my feelings, but it was highly
characteristic of Lady Hester.

With the bearer of the letter her ladyship sent camels for our luggage,
donkeys for my family, and a horse for me. At _Nebby Yôoness_, where we
slept the first night, we found another of her servants, who had been
sent thither to prepare our dinner and beds; and, on the following day,
two miles from her house, we met Mr. Jasper Chasseaud, her secretary,
who had come thus far to welcome us. Placing my family under this
gentleman’s guidance, I hurried forward alone, and reached Lady Hester
Stanhope’s residence about noon. A cottage had been provided for us in
the village of Jôon, with two black slaves for servants, and, so far as
the accommodation was concerned, we had no reason to be discontented.
Mr. Chasseaud accompanied my family to their new home, but it was
twelve at night before I was able to join them.

I found Lady Hester in good health and excellent spirits, and looking
much the same as when I left her some years before. She received me
with great apparent pleasure, kissing me on each cheek, ordering
sherbet, the pipe, coffee, and a finjàn[27] of orange-flower water; all
which civilities, at meeting, are regarded in the East as marks of the
most cordial and distinguished regard. I myself was truly astonished
at all this, but more especially at her salutation on the cheeks after
the Oriental fashion; for, in the early part of her travels, when I
was with her for seven years together, I do not recollect that she had
often even taken my arm――an honour she seldom vouchsafed to any body
less than a member of the aristocracy. My astonishment was increased,
when, for several days in succession, she insisted on my always sitting
by her on the sofa――a privilege she rarely, indeed, I believe never,
allowed to any one afterwards.

The conversation turned at first on such inquiries as are common,
after a long separation, to persons who have known each other before.
I remained with her from noon until midnight, in vain endeavouring to
get away, during which time I hardly moved from the sofa, except to
sit down to dinner. A description of the dinner appointments of this
lady, who once presided at Mr. Pitt’s table in the splendour of wealth
and fashion, may be considered both curious and interesting. She sat
on the sofa, and I opposite to her, on a common rush-bottom chair,
with an unpainted deal table (about three feet by two and a half
between us), covered with a scanty tablecloth, of the kind usually
spread on a bed-room table at an inn. Two white plates, one over the
other, French fashion, were placed before each of us, and in the
centre of the table were three dishes of yellow earthenware (common in
the south of France), containing a pilàf, a _yackney_, or sort of
Irish stew, and a boiled fowl, swimming in its broth. There were two
silver table-spoons for each of us, which, she said, were all she had,
and two black bone-handled knives and forks. One spoon was for the
broth, one for the _yackney_; and, when the pilàf was to be served, we
helped ourselves with the same spoons with which we had been eating.
The arrangements were completed by a black bottle with Mount Lebanon
wine in it, of exquisite flavour, it is true, and a common
water-decanter. She said that in this style the young Duke of
Richelieu had dined with her; adding, however, that her destitute
state as to dishes and table-service was not quite so deplorable
previously to the long illness she had gone through; but that, at that
melancholy period, her slaves and servants had robbed her of
everything, even to the cushions and covers of her sofa.

At length, after frequently pleading the anxiety my family must feel
at being left so many hours in a strange habitation, I contrived to
make my escape, and found Mrs. ――――, on my return, sitting disconsolate
in the midst of her trunks, under a conviction that I must either
have been lost, or devoured by the wolves and hyænas, with whose
neighbouring depredations, for want of other subjects of conversation,
the secretary had endeavoured to entertain her. There was no great
difficulty in appeasing her fears on such occasions, of which we
had afterwards so many repetitions; but it was not quite so easy to
reconcile her to the undisguised slights which Lady Hester Stanhope put
upon her from the very moment of our arrival, in retaliation, as we
supposed, for the repeated delays, of which Lady Hester believed her to
have been the cause, in the prosecution of my journey. Her ladyship’s
resentment was probably rendered still more severe by her general want
of sympathy towards her own sex.

The reader will pardon these extraneous details. They are introduced
for the sake of preserving entire the thread of the narrative, and
certainly with no acrimonious feeling towards Lady Hester Stanhope,
whose motive, as she afterwards told me, for adopting this strange line
of conduct towards my family, was to check in the bud the womanish
caprices, which she anticipated might otherwise disturb the harmony of
our intercourse.

Before we commence our diary, it is necessary to give a description of
the residence which Lady Hester Stanhope had chosen, in order to avoid
the confusion which an ignorance of localities is sometimes calculated
to produce.

Her first retreat, when she settled in Syria in 1813, was an old
monastic house, about two miles from the ancient city of Sidon: but
this she found much too small for her establishment; and having
observed, in one of her rides whilst living there, a small house
near the village of Jôon,[28] or Djoun, as the French spell it to
accommodate the sound to their pronunciation, she resolved to hire
it, and remove thither. It belonged to one Joseph Seweyah, a Damascus
merchant, who very readily let it to her for 1,000 piasters, or £20
a-year, as the exchange was then, on condition that, on quitting it,
the buildings and improvements she might make were to revert to him
and his heirs, without any consideration on his part. The house was,
and is, called Dar Jôon (see the view), _dar_ signifying a Hall, or
gentleman’s dwelling, as when we say Boxwood Hall, Wortley Hall. _Dar_
also means a _mount_, or elevated hunch. In which of the two senses
the word is applied in Dar Jôon I could not learn, as some Arabs told
me one way, and some the other.

The mount on which the house stands is shaped like a half orange,
with a flat on the summit, which afforded room for exercising ground,
a garden, stabling, and any other additional buildings that might be
thought necessary. The garden, entirely of her own creation, was richly
diversified with covered alleys, serpentine walks, summer-houses,
pavilions, arbours, and other embellishments, in which she displayed
such admirable taste, that it would not be easy, even in England, to
find a more beautiful garden within similar limits.[29]

Around the house Lady Hester built small rooms, stables, cottages,
offices, and entire dwellings. The rooms and dwellings were intended
for lodging those who, she expected, would fly to her for refuge,
during the revolutions which she believed were then impending, not
only over the country in which she resided, but the whole world; and,
anticipating that many individuals, whose lives would be eagerly
sought after by their persecutors, might ask for an asylum at her
hands, she contrived several detached rooms, in such a way, that
persons dwelling within the precincts of the same residence should be
ignorant who their neighbours were; whose vicinity, in like manner,
should be unknown to others. The whole was surrounded by a wall more
than ten feet high to the north and east, and about six or seven feet
high on the other two sides. The entire space within the wall was a

[Illustration: _Ground Plan of Lady Hester Stanhope’s Residence at

     _Length of the Outside Wall 180 paces._
     _Breadth of d° ... 100 d°_
     _The Dots mark the way from the Doctor’s Pavilions to the inner


   1__Lady Hester Stanhope’s Bed Room._
   2__Saloon, converted into a Store Room._
   3__Divan, open to the air._
   4__Entrance to the Garden._
   5__Lady H. S.’s Drawing Room._
   6__Store Room._
   7__Major domo’s Room._
   8__Men servants’ Hall._
   9__Baroness Fériat’s Room._
  10__Arbour, Covered with Jessamine._
  11__Glass Room with Cistern under it._
  12__Maid servants’ Room._
  13__Miss Williams’s Room._
  14__China Closet._
  16__Kitchen for Lady H.S. only._
  18__Inner Court._
  19, 19__Dairy._
  20__Back yard for Lady H.S.’s maids._
  21, 21, 21.__Granaries._
  22, 22.__Loolo’s Stable._
  23.__Best Store Room._
  24, 24.__Offices & Kitchen for the Household._
  25, 25.__Strangers’ Rooms (second class.)_
  26, 26.__Provision Rooms with immense Jars._
  27, 27.__Strangers’ Garden._
  28, 28.__Strangers’ Room (first class)._
  29.__Cow Houses._
  30. 30.__Still Rooms._
  31.__Servants’ Gardens._
  32, 32.__Stables & Stable Yard for Horses._
  33, 33.__Mule Yard & Stables._
  35.__Carpenter’s Stores._
  36.__Wine Cellars._
  a, a, a, a.__Different Court Yards._
  o, o.__Secretary’s Rooms._
  p, q.__Doctor’s Rooms._
  Ω__Doctor’s Pavilion――extra muros._
  z, z, z.__Porters’ Lodges._

_London. Published by H. Colburn, 13 Gᵗ. Marlboro St._]

The buildings were, in some instances, composed of a number of walls,
one within the other like the palace of the kings of the Medes (see the
annexed ground-plan); and owing to the different enclosures wherein
servants with different occupations lived, a person attempting to
enter, or to escape, was certain of being seen, and almost equally
certain of being stopped. Two gateways opened into the buildings, one
for the men servants and visitors, and the other for the women, and
those who were introduced secretly to her ladyship’s apartment. On
entering by either of these two gates, a stranger would be seriously
perplexed, and his first question would be, Where am I going? Is this
a labyrinth, with a door here, and a dark passage there; a garden on
one side, a screen on the other; here a courtyard, there another? what
does it all mean? Some passages afforded an immediate communication
with parts which, to one unacquainted with the building, and judging by
the roundabout approach from one to another, would seem to be at least
fifty or one hundred yards apart. In the garden were two pavilions,
with trap-doors in the floor leading to steps which descended to a room
under ground, from which opened doors through the wall upon the open
country. More than one individual has been indebted for his safety, if
not for his life, to these secret means of escape and shelter.

Her constant outlay in building arose not from the love of brick and
mortar witnessed in many persons as they advance in years, but from the
one predominant idea, that to her the distressed, the proscribed, the
rich, the poor, would fly for protection, succour, and concealment.
And however erroneous the fancy might have appeared at first (for
events in some sort proved she was right), nobody who really knew her
character could have suspected for a moment the generosity and pure
disinterestedness of her motives. Her asses, mules, camels, and horses,
were kept principally with the same view; and her servants were taught
to look forward, with a sort of awe and religious expectation, to
events and catastrophes, where their services and energies would be
tasked to the utmost.

Besides the additions which Lady Hester Stanhope was constantly making
to her own residence, she had hired four or five cottages in the
village of Jôon, and had bought an old ruined house there. This, she
said, she should repair, and convert into a sort of inn, where she
might conveniently lodge a number of those persons who would be passing
backward and forward on the important affairs in which she was soon to
play so conspicuous a part. “And do not think,” she one day observed,
“when the time comes, that I shall let your family, or that of my
secretary, reside in the houses you now occupy: these I shall want; and
I have in my eye, in a village about three leagues off, an asylum for
all the women and children, and useless members of my establishment.
There I shall send them; and you will have to give up all the spare
room you can to the people who will take refuge with me.”

It often formed a source of strange reflection with me, what could
have made Lady Hester Stanhope select such a locality, so remote and
solitary, instead of living in a city, where the conveniences of
life were readily accessible; and I at last came to the conclusion,
in my own mind, that it proceeded from her love of absolute power,
which could not be so thoroughly gratified in the midst of a numerous
population as in a lonely and retired residence. She chose to dwell
apart, and out of the immediate reach of that influence and restraint,
which neighbourhood and society necessarily exert upon us. Arbitrary
acts may lose at a distance some of their odiousness, or admit of being
explained away. Servitude also becomes more helpless in proportion as
it is removed from the means of escape or appeal. Mar Elias, at Abra,
where she had previously resided six or eight years, was scarcely two
miles distant from Sayda; so that her servants, when they were tired of
her service, could abscond by night, and take refuge in the city; and
her slaves, rendered low-spirited by the monotony of their existence,
could at any time run away, and secrete themselves in the houses of the
Turks. By removing to Jôon, she cut off their retreat; for a poor slave
could rarely muster courage enough to venture by night across lonely
mountains, when jackalls and wolves were abroad; or, if he did, by the
time he reached Sayda, or Beyrout, or Dair-el-kamar, the only three
towns within reach, his resolves had cooled, the consequences of the
step he had taken presented themselves forcibly to his mind, or there
was time to soothe him by promises and presents; all which palliatives
Lady Hester Stanhope knew well how to employ. The love of power made
her imperious; but, when her authority was once acknowledged, the
tender of submission was sure to secure her kindness. Unobserved escape
was well nigh impracticable by day, in consequence of the situation
of the house on the summit of a conical hill, whence comers and goers
might be seen on every side; yet, notwithstanding this, on one occasion
all her free women decamped in a body, and on another her slaves
attempted to scale the walls, and some actually effected their object
and ran away.

In addition to these artificial barriers, she was known to have great
influence with Abdallah Pasha, to whom she had rendered many services,
pecuniary and personal; for to him, as well as to his harým, she was
constantly sending presents; and he, as a Turk, fostered despotism
rather than opposed it. The Emir Beshýr, or Prince of the Druzes,
her nearest neighbour, she had so completely intimidated by the
unparalleled boldness of her tongue and pen that he felt no inclination
to commit himself by any act which might be likely to draw either of
them on him again. In what direction, therefore, was a poor unprotected
slave or peasant to fly? Over others, who were free to act as they
liked, as her doctor, her secretary, or her dragoman, and towards
whom she had more _menagemens_ to preserve, there hung a spell of a
different kind, by which this modern Circe entangled people almost
inextricably in her nets. A series of benefits conferred on them, an
indescribable art in becoming the depositary of their secrets, an
unerring perception of their failings, brought home in moments of
confidence to their bosoms, soon left them no alternative but that of
securing her protection by unqualified submission to her will.

As a proof of this we may take the case of an English gentleman,
of acknowledged abilities and of good professional education, who,
about the years 1827 or 1828, after having remained attached to Lady
Hester Stanhope as her medical attendant for a certain period, felt
an insurmountable anxiety to quit her service. The village of Jôon
furnished beasts of burden for hire, and Lady Hester Stanhope’s own
mules went two or three times a week to Sayda for corn, provisions, &c.
A horse was at the doctor’s call for his own riding, and the means of
conveyance for so short a distance as two leagues were always therefore
at hand. What, then, under such circumstances, could have induced him
to set off on foot, without giving notice of his intention to anybody,
if it were not that he was aware he could not get away in any other
manner? When his absence was discovered, and it was known that he was
gone to Sayda, a letter from Lady Hester Stanhope could not bring him
back, neither could all the exhortations of her man of business, sent
for that purpose, make him alter the determination he had taken not to
return under her roof.

Yet, that the doctor’s emotions at the step he had twice hurriedly
ventured upon produced a painful mental conflict cannot be doubted;
for, in the room at Sayda where he was found, he sat with his head
between his hands for some hours, weeping and sobbing, as one who
considered that an injurious interpretation might be put on his flight,
or as if Lady Hester’s conduct towards him had driven him to it, when
he knew in his own heart, as his own letter to her proved, that she had
been a benefactress to him at moments when it was not easy to find a

As for consular interposition, under any circumstances, most of the
consuls along the coast had found what a dangerous enemy she was:
therefore, few of them, perhaps not one, would have risked a contention
with her on any grounds. To have appealed to them, the legitimate
protectors of Franks, would, therefore, have been fruitless.

At the time of my arrival, Lady Hester Stanhope’s establishment
consisted of Mr. Chasseaud, her secretary (a nephew of Mr. Abbot’s,
then the English consul at Beyrout), who, with his wife and two infant
children, occupied, like ourselves, a cottage in the village――of Paolo
Perini, a Roman, her _maître d’hôtel_, seven black slaves, (five women,
a man and a boy) and a Metoûaly girl, named Fatôom, the daughter of
a peasant woman in the village, who principally waited on her. There
were besides a Mahometan groom, two stablemen, a porter, a cook, and a
scullion, three or four men as muleteers and water-carriers, and two,
whose chief employment was to carry messages, letters, &c., to distant
places, and who had been in Lady Hester Stanhope’s service ten or
fifteen years. In addition to all these, she gave employment to a score
of workmen, who were constantly occupied in different constructions.

Independently of these, there were two persons who might be considered
as her men of business in matters that particularly regarded the
natives. One was what would be called a small farmer in England, and
the other a tailor by trade: they both lived in the village, were
sent for when they were wanted, received no regular salary, but were
paid for their services from time to time in money, presents of corn,
raiment, &c., as is the custom in the East. The tailor was a cringing
knave, fit for a great person’s parasite. He had somehow found his way
into Lady Hester’s establishment, from having married the daughter
of a Syrian woman, named Mariam, or Mary, a creature of incomparable
suavity of manners and considerable beauty, who had been housemaid
during her ladyship’s stay at Latakia, some years before. This woman
had two daughters, one of whom, on becoming the tailor’s wife at about
twelve years of age, interested Lady Hester Stanhope so far as to make
her extend her favours to the husband: he was named Yûsef el Tûrk. The
other was a man of a different description: he was club-footed; and
it was usually one of Lady Hester’s physiognomical remarks that all
club-footed people had something of the Talleyrand in them――something
clever in their composition: he was called Girius Gemmal. On this man’s
character she would often dilate with much commendation; but she always
finished by calling him a designing knave and a rogue. “He serves me
well,” she would say. “At whatever hour of the night I ring my bell, he
is always on his legs. If I want to be talked to sleep, he has a number
of amusing stories to tell. He moves about so gently, that I hardly
hear him, although he is lame and hobbles on one leg. There is sure to
be hot water on the fire at any hour, and he makes the girls look about
them somehow or other; but he is the greatest rascal that ever walked
the face of the earth.”

As to her health, she was better perhaps than when I left her in 1820.
Her pulse and her movements indicated considerable vigour of body.
Although she had not stirred beyond the precincts of her residence, as
far as I could learn, for nearly four years,[30] still she took the air
and some exercise in her garden, and in attending to and overlooking
the building and improvements that were constantly going on.

She was become more violent in her temper than formerly, and treated
her servants with severity when they were negligent of their duty. Her
maids and female slaves she punished summarily, if refractory; and, in
conversation with her on the subject, she boasted that there was nobody
could give such a slap in the face, when required, as she could.

Lady Hester Stanhope had adopted a particular mode of dress, to which
she adhered without much variation, on all occasions, from the time she
fixed her abode at Jôon. It was a becoming one, and, at the same time,
concealed the thinness of her person, and the lines which now began
slightly to mark her face. Lines, that mark the habitual contraction of
the features into a frown, a smile, or a grin, she had none; and the
workings of her mind were never visible in her lineaments, which wore
the appearance of serene calm, when she chose to disguise her
feelings. But age will, without furrowing the brow or the cheeks,
bring on that soil of network which we see on the rind of some species
of melons. This, however, was so very faintly traced, that it could
not be detected without a little scrutiny: and, by means of a dim
light in her saloon, together with a particular management of her
turban, she contrived to conceal the inroads that years were now
making on what her bitterest enemies could not deny was always a fine
and noble face. It was this kind of pardonable deceit that made me
exclaim, on meeting her again, after a long separation of several
years, that I saw no alteration in her appearance.

Her turban, a coarse, woollen, cream-coloured Barbary shawl, was wound
loosely round, over the red _fez_ or _tarbôosh_, which covered her
shaved head; a silk handkerchief, commonly worn by the Bedouin Arabs,
known by the Arabic name of _keffeyah_, striped pale yellow and red,
came between the fez and the turban, being tied under the chin, or let
fall at its ends on each side of her face. A long sort of white merino
cloak (_meshlah_, or abah in Arabic, ابه) covered her person
from the neck to the ancles, looped in white silk brandenburgs over the
chest; and, by its ample and majestic drapery and loose folds, gave
to her figure the appearance of that fulness which it once really
possessed. When her cloak happened accidentally to be thrown open in
front, it disclosed beneath a crimson robe, (_joobey_) reaching also
to her feet, and, if in winter, a pelisse under it, and under that a
cream-coloured or flowered gown (_kombàz_), folding over in front, and
girded with a shawl or scarf round the waist. Beneath the whole she
wore scarlet pantaloons of cloth, with yellow low boots, called _mest_,
having pump soles, or, in other words, a yellow leather stocking,
which slipped into yellow slippers or papouches. This completed her
costume; and, although it was in fact that of a Turkish gentleman, the
most fastidious prude could not have found anything in it unbecoming a
woman, excepting its association, as a matter of habit, with the male

She never wore pearls, precious stones, trinkets, or ornaments, as some
travellers have affirmed: indeed, she had none in her possession, and
never had had any from the time of her shipwreck. Speaking of her own
dress, she would say, “I think I look something like those sketches of
Guercino’s, where you see scratches and touches of the pen round the
heads and persons of his figures, so that you don’t know whether it is
hair or a turban, a sleeve or an arm, a mantle or a veil, which he has
given them.” And, when she was seated on the sofa, in a dim corner of
the room, the similitude was very just.

It was latterly her pride to be in rags, but accompanied by an
extraordinary degree of personal cleanliness. “Could the Sultan see me
now,” she would say, “even in my tattered clothes, he would respect
me just as much as ever. After all, what is dress? Look at my ragged
doublet, it is not worth sixpence; do you suppose that affects my
value? I warrant you, Mahmôod would not look at _that_ if he saw me.
When I think of the tawdry things for which people sigh, and the empty
stuff which their ambition pursues, I heartily despise them all. There
is nothing in their vain-glorious career worth the trouble of aspiring
after. My ambition is to please God. I should be what I intrinsically
am, on a dunghill. My name is greater than ever it was. In India, I am
as well known as in London or Constantinople. Why, a Turk told one of
my people who was at Constantinople that there is not a Turkish child
twenty miles round that place who has not heard of me.”

There might, nevertheless, be perceived, under all this assumption and
display of tattered raiments, a feeling of profound indignation at the
neglect she had experienced from her former friends and acquaintances;
and, for the purpose of affording evidence of the way in which she had
been left, as she called it, to rot, she carefully preserved a bag of
her old ragged clothes, which she would not suffer to be given away.

The frequent alarm she expresses in her letters of approaching
blindness seems to have been nothing more than the defective vision
incident to the decline of life. Spectacles in silver-gilt or
tortoiseshell rims, which I sent her from time to time in parcels
containing other small commissions, without hinting that they were
intended for her, she affected to consider, when she got them, as only
useful for presents to old people to whom she was charitable. I now
found that she had taken to wear them, but of that kind worn by poor
old women in England, without branches, such in fact as are stuck
on the nose, and vulgarly called barnacles.[31] Her voice on such
occasions became nasal from the compression of the nostrils, and at
first she was very reluctant to betray her use of these glasses before
me; but, after a short time, her objections wore away: yet she never
could be persuaded to wear any other kind of spectacles, invariably
giving away all gay and handsome ones that were sent to her.

The influence she had enjoyed in Syria, during the first years of her
residence there, had been merely that sort of consideration which is
accorded to a person of high descent and connections, who had made a
great figure in England, and who had acquired a romantic celebrity by
her travels: it was the homage paid to an illustrious name. But when,
by degrees, her extraordinary talents came to be known, more
especially her political abilities, and when it was observed that
Pashas and great men really valued her opinion and feared her censure,
she obtained a positive weight in the affairs of the country on her
own account, independently of the _prestige_ of birth and notoriety.

Speaking of this, she one day said, “What offers have not been made me!
which, had I chosen not to be clean-handed, would have put pretty sums
into my pocket.” Among the rest, she mentioned one man, who had offered
her a vast sum, if she would lend her name and protection in some
extensive mercantile speculation. The Sheykh Beshýr (the acknowledged
chief of the Druze nation, and the powerful rival of the Emir Beshýr,
the reigning prince) sent her, when he was proscribed and in flight, at
three different times, _carte blanche_ to settle with Abdallah Pasha or
the Porte the amount of the sum which would save his life: “but,” she
said, “knowing the Sheykh was not clean-handed, I could not undertake
to buy him off; yet the whole of his treasures would have been at my

In relating this story, Lady Hester Stanhope added, “How odious has
Abdallah Pasha rendered himself by his extortions and confiscations,
because none of his people will speak the truth to him! When he wants
money, his secretaries tell him he has only to sign an order for it,
and then perhaps half a dozen families are driven into exile, or half
ruined. But I speak plainly to him; and once, when I wrote to him how
he was making himself hated by a particular act of oppression about
money, he tore the _buyurdee_[33] in pieces, which gave force to that
act, and drove his secretaries out of his presence for having flattered
and deceived him. Why, doctor, when he receives a letter from me, if
there are half a dozen others at the same time, he will let them lie on
his sofa whilst he reads mine, and then will put that alone into his
pocket, and take it into his harým to read over again.”

But Lady Hester’s nearest neighbour among Pashas and Princes, and the
one who, consequently, was the most frequently mixed up in her affairs,
was the Emir Beshýr, prince of the Druzes; and, as his name will
necessarily occur very often in this diary, it is desirable to give a
sketch of his career and character. At a remote period, his ancestors
had migrated from the neighbourhood of Mecca to this part of Syria, and
their origin was acknowledged to be noble. In the course of time, his
family had attained to great consideration in Mount Lebanon, and
stamped him, who sprung from it, as an Emir, or Prince.

The Emir Beshýr was now the reigning prince of the Druzes, himself
a Mahometan born, but, as it is said, professing Christianity,
whenever it answered his wicked ends to do so. In the annals of no
country, according to Lady Hester Stanhope, can be found a man who
has practised more barbarities, considering the small extent of his
principality, than he has done. Not content with emasculating, he cut
out the tongues and put out the eyes of five young princes, nephews
and relatives of his own, whose contingent prospects to the succession
gave him uneasiness. His atrocities transcend belief. All those who
were obnoxious to him, high or low, were sure, in the course of his
protracted despotism, to be removed, either by secret machinations or
overt acts. On Mount Lebanon it was common to hear whispers that some
one had been made away with, but nobody dared to give utterance to
their suspicions of the agency.

This man was Lady Hester’s determined enemy. She was living within
his principality――within his reach――and yet she braved him! and the
greatest proofs of personal courage that she had occasion to show,
perhaps, during her life, were manifested in her bold and open defiance
of his power; which is the more extraordinary in a woman, apparently
neglected by her country and friends, towards a prince, who has been
certainly one of the most perfidious as well as bloodthirsty tyrants
that ever governed a Turkish province.

Lady Hester, as I said, was domiciled within his territory, and many
were the petty vexations with which he harassed her, in the hope of
finally driving her away; for he considered her as a very dangerous
neighbour, seeing that she openly cultivated the friendship of the
Sheykh Beshýr, his rival, and made no disguise of her bad opinion of
him, the Emir. Finding, however, that she was determined to remain
at Jôon, some of his emissaries were employed to insinuate the peril
to which she would inevitably expose her life if she persisted in
her hostility to so powerful a prince. But Lady Hester Stanhope was
not a woman to be frightened; and, when she found a fit opportunity,
in the presence of some other persons, of getting one of the Emir’s
people before her, so as to be sure that what she said must reach his
ears and could not well be softened down, she desired the emissary to
go and tell his master that “She knew very well there was not a more
profound and bloody tyrant on the face of the earth; that she was aware
no one was safe from his poisons and daggers――but that she held him in
the most sovereign contempt, and set him at defiance. Tell him,” she
added, “that he is a dog and a monster, and that, if he means to try
his strength with me, I am ready.”

On another occasion, one of the Emir Beshýr’s people came on some
message to her, but, before he entered her room, laid by his pistols
and his sabre, which in Turkey these myrmidons always wear on their
persons. Lady Hester’s maid whispered to her what the man was doing,
when her ladyship, calling him in, bade him gird on his arms again.
“Don’t think I am afraid of you or your master,” she said; “you may
tell him I don’t care a fig for his poisons――I know not what fear is.
It is for him, and those who serve him, to tremble. And tell the Emir
Khalyl” (the Emir Beshýr’s son) “that if he enters my doors, I’ll stab
him――my people shall not shoot him, but _I_ will stab him――I, with my
own hand.”

Lady Hester, after relating this to me, thus proceeded: “The beast,
as I spoke to him, was so terrified, doctor, that he trembled like
an aspen leaf, and I could have knocked him down with a feather. The
man told the Emir Beshýr my answer; for there was a tailor at work in
the next room, who saw and heard him, and spoke of it afterwards. The
Emir puffed such a puff of smoke out of his pipe when my message was
delivered――and then got up and walked out.

“Why, what did Hamâady[34] say to the Emir, when he was deliberating
how he should get rid of me?――‘You had better have nothing to do with
her. Fair or foul means, it is all alike to her. She has been so
flattered in her lifetime, that no praise can turn her head. Money she
thinks no more of than dirt; and as for fear, she does not know what it
is. As for me, your Highness, I wash my hands of her.’

“Oh, doctor, if you were to feel the bump behind my ear, it is bigger
than any thing you ever saw! And they say of the lions, that the
more their ears are buried in bone the bolder they are. Why, at the
time I am speaking of, there were five hundred horsemen about in the
neighbouring villages, and they killed three men, one between the house
and the village, one at the back of my premises, and one other farther
off, just to let me know what they could do, thinking to terrify me;
but I showed them I was not to be frightened. I always slept with a
khanjàr” (a poniard) “by my side, and slept as sound as a top. Poor
Williams was terrified out of her senses: she used to get up in the
night and come to me. Why do I keep Seyd Ahmed but on account of his
courage? because, in these dangerous times, you must have servants of
all sorts. I remember when I and Miss Williams were left without a
farthing of money, and the Emir had surrounded the house with the
intention of murdering us, that Seyd Ahmed remained at his post, when
all the rest were so frightened they did not know what they did; and
we had nothing to eat too, but he never complained. Once, when we were
at Abra, all the black slaves formed a plot to run away in the night
to Sayda, which they executed. I had rung my bell several times, and,
as nobody answered it, I went out to look, thinking they were all
asleep, for it was two in the morning. Not a soul was to be found
except the little black boy. I awoke Seyd Ahmed, called Miss Williams;
and, although Seyd Ahmed was in a terrible fury, and wanted to set off
in search of them in the middle of the night, I would not let him: for
I thought it was a plot of the Emir’s to get the men out of the house,
and then to have us murdered. But all these matters never disturbed my
equanimity――I was as collected as I am now.”

Once some camels, that Lady Hester had sent with a load to a
neighbouring seaport, were returning light, when some persons, who
were employed by the Emir Beshýr, and who were accustomed to see the
richest individuals of the province eager to embrace any opportunity
of obliging him, thinking that she would be delighted that her
camel-drivers should have rendered any assistance to their prince,
stopped the camels, and loaded them with marble slabs, that were
intended for the floor of a part of the Emir’s new palace, then
building. These the drivers were ordered to deposit on Lady Hester’s
premises, where they would be sent for. As soon as she heard that the
slabs were lying near her porter’s lodge, she went out, and had them
broken to pieces. “You may guess,” said she, when she told the story,
“what a face the Prince made when this was related to him.”

There was a man, named Girius Baz, who was prime-minister to the
Emir Beshýr; and, being an ambitious man, who sold his services to
the injury of his master, he was strangled by him, and his goods and
property, as far as they could be come at, were confiscated. The widow
was left in poverty and destitution, as it was generally believed; and
Lady Hester, having one day desired me to give two hundred piasters
to her son, a lad, who had come begging in a genteel way, told me the
following story:――

“That son,” said she, “was about eight or ten years old when his father
was killed, and, since he has grown up, he maintains his mother by
weaving. To succour this distressed family was a dangerous business
with a man so cruel and jealous as the Emir; but I did it. One day,
I asked one of the Emir’s officers why his master had so little
compassion on Baz’s widow! ‘Because,’ answered the officer, ‘she goes
about, saying she does not like the Emir.’――‘Like him!’ said I; ‘how
can she like the man who murdered her husband? If she said she liked
the Emir, it must be a lie, and therefore she only speaks the truth.
Why did the Emir put it out of her power to like him?’――‘Because,’
replied the officer, ‘the minister became more powerful than his
master, and then it was necessary to get rid of him.’――‘If he was too
powerful,’ resumed I, ‘it was the Emir’s fault: he should have kept
him under.’――‘But he could not,’ retorted the man.――‘Then, by your own
confession,’ continued I, ‘he rode on the Emir’s shoulders; but that
was no reason why he should have had him killed in a――――.’――‘He was not
killed in a――――,’ interrupted the officer; ‘he was only seized there,
and afterwards killed in his room.’――This was precisely what I wanted
to get out,” added Lady Hester; “I made the man confess that the Emir
_had_ murdered Girius Baz, and it was of no consequence to me when,
how, or where.

“Poor woman!” cried Lady Hester, after a pause, returning to the
widow’s case, “I once had her for four months with me here, but she was
so overwhelming in her gratitude and thanks, and kept so constantly
about me, to attend upon me, that I was obliged to send her home
again. Would you think it, that even in this case the sufferers proved
themselves almost as bad as the tyrant! for this very woman carried
on the farce of abject poverty for two years, and, at the end of that
time, all of a sudden, appeared the diamonds, shawls, and money, she
had hitherto concealed; in fact, she turned out almost as rich as I
was myself. There is no believing a word you hear from any of them.
Even Gondolfi[35] assured me that, in all his life, and in no other
country, had he seen a people so full of lying, theft, and all kinds of
vice as these are; and this, to crown all, is what he said of the Emir
himself:――‘I have known him,’ said he, ‘twenty years, and never was
there a more heartless, cruel man. I took an opportunity of talking to
him in private, after he had put out his nephews’ eyes, and told him
what an execrable thing it was. He beat his breast, and professed such
repentance for what he had done, that I was quite moved, and thought to
myself, perhaps the man acted from what he considered necessity, and
that surely he would be more humane in future. But, soon after, I heard
of the murder of Girius Baz, and of half a dozen more enormities, and I
felt persuaded that his hypocrisy was as great as his cruelty.’

“You are shocked,” continued Lady Hester, “and say you are sick at your
stomach from hearing of the atrocities of Ibrahim Pasha’s governors
in getting recruits. Oh, they are nothing to what the Emir Beshýr has
done in his time! Think of women’s breasts squeezed in a vice; of
men’s heads screwed into a tourniquet until their temple-bones were
driven in; of eyes put out with red-hot saucers; and a hundred other
barbarities, worse than any you ever heard of! Wasn’t it extraordinary,
that the same day that I sent the Emir’s man away with such a message
to his master, one of the house-dogs pupped, and one of the puppies was
blind?――not blind, as puppies usually are, but with his eyes burnt out,
just as if they had been seared with a red-hot iron. I said to the man,
‘The demon of your Prince has entered the very dogs.’ The man almost
fainted away before I had done with him, for I was not afraid of them;
and even now, weak as I am, I do believe I could strangle the strongest
of them.

“The Emir Beshýr has duped everybody. He duped the Pasha with the
Sultan, and duped the Sultan with the Pasha. He cheats the English,
cheats the French, and cheats all round. There is not a greater
hypocrite on the face of the earth; and, although he sends his
compliments to me by every traveller that passes, he is only waiting to
see what turn matters will take, to fall on me, if he can; and, if he
cannot, to lie and cringe, until a safer opportunity occurs of taking
his revenge.

“You knew Aubin, the French navy surgeon, who had been a prisoner in
the hulks at Portsmouth, and used to abuse the English so. Well, he was
made the Emir’s doctor, because he procured him a ship to fly to Egypt
in; the events on the mountain here succeeded each other so rapidly
after your first leaving me! About 1820, Abdallah Pasha having hostile
intentions against the Emir Beshýr and the Sheykh Beshýr, they both
fled to the Horàn; and, after some time, when the Pasha pretended to
be pacified, they both returned. Soon after that, the Emir, not being
quite sure of what Abdallah Pasha meditated, thought it safest to fly
a second time; and it was by the assistance of Monsieur Aubin that he
embarked for Egypt, on board of a French merchant-vessel, commanded,
I believe, by a Captain Allard. The Sheykh Beshýr, finding his former
domineering rival fled, assumed the supreme authority in the mountain,
and told the Emir Beshýr, by letter, that, if he ventured to return,
he, the Sheykh, should be obliged to have him arrested, and sent
prisoner to the Pasha.

“The Emir Beshýr, on arriving in Egypt, was coldly received at first,
as it was said, by Mahomet Ali; but afterwards, having induced the
Viceroy to believe that he could put him in possession of Acre and all
Syria, he was, by Mahomet Ali’s money and mediation, restored to his
principality. It was then that the plan for the conquest of Syria was
concocted in secret between them. The Emir, on his return, contrived to
recover his ascendency over the Sheykh Beshýr; and, picking a quarrel
with him, he succeeded in taking him prisoner, and sent him in chains
to Acre, where Abdallah Pasha finally cut his head off. At the same
time, the Emir, to complete the ruin of the Sheykh’s party, mutilated
the young Princes, who had shown themselves the Sheykh’s partisans. The
Sheykh’s wife fled; and Aâlm-ed-dyn, a Druze, whom he employed in the
execution of his bloody barbarities, was sent after her, and told to
bring her son, a little boy, cost what it would. ‘Let me see him cut
in pieces before my eyes,’ said the sanguinary wretch. The tyrant! he
never sleeps without a number of guards round his person. His wife died
soon after, and he sent a confidential agent to Constantinople, and
bought two young Georgian slaves, he then being past eighty; and, after
having both with him to see which he liked best, he took one of them as
his favourite. It was for them that the mâalem[36] you saw at Cyprus,
looking after canary-birds, was sent.”


     [27] A finjàn is a small hemispherical coffee-cup, a little
          bigger than an egg-cup.

     [28] The Arabic word is جون _Gún_ with the soft
          G, or Gwn. The pronunciation is Jôon.

     [29] Prince Pückler Muskau, who saw the garden seven years
          afterwards, and who is perhaps as good a judge of
          gardens, grounds, and parks, as any man, did not
          seem so much delighted with it as I had expected. He
          bestowed excessive praise on that of the Pasha of
          Egypt at Shôobra, one of the finest, he said, that he
          had ever seen, and better kept than the best English

     [30] In 1837 she said to me, “I have never been out of the
          doors of my house since my brother’s death. For five
          years I have not been farther than the outer door,
          once with M. Lamartine, and once to the bench at the
          first door with the Americans. Since that time, I have
          not seen the strangers’ garden, nor your little room;
          for, if I should put my head outside of my own court,
          I should certainly fall into such a passion with some
          of the people, that it would make me ill.”

     [31] Probably from the French, _besicles_.

     [32] This chieftain, after having lingered in prison for
          a year in Acre, lost his head in 1828, or near that
          time, by the order of Abdallah Pasha.

     [33] A government edict.

     [34] Hamâady, the executioner.

     [35] The Abbate Gondolfi was the Pope’s legate to the
          Maronites of Mount Lebanon.

     [36] _Mâalem_ means Master or Mister: as Mâalem Yusef, Mr.
          Joseph. Mâalem is never applied but to Christians; a
          Turk would repudiate such an appellation: he is Sheyk,
          Aga, Effendi, &c., which additions to his name a
          Christian in Turkey dares not assume.

                              CHAPTER IV.

Lady Hester Stanhope’s hours of sleep――Her night-dress――Irksomeness of
her service――Her bed-room――Her dislike to clocks――Her frequent use of
the bell――Her aptitude in discovering and frustrating plots――Blind
obedience required by her――Anecdote of Lord S.――Lady Hester’s
colloquial powers――Interminable length of her conversations――Peculiar
charm of them――Her religious opinions――Her belief in supernatural
agencies, and also of revealed religion――Certain doctrines of the sect
of the Metoualis adopted by her.

For the last fifteen years of her life, Lady Hester Stanhope seldom
quitted her bed till between two and five o’clock in the afternoon,
nor returned to it before the same hours the next morning. The day’s
business never could be said to have well begun until sunset. But
it must not be supposed that the servants were suffered to remain
idle during daylight. On the contrary, they generally had their work
assigned them over-night, and the hours after sunset were employed by
her ladyship in issuing instructions as to what was to be done next
day; in giving orders, scoldings, writing letters, and holding those
interminable conversations which filled so large a portion of her time,
and seemed so necessary to her life. When these were over, she would
prepare herself to go to bed, but always with an air of unwillingness,
as if she regretted that there were no more commands to issue, and
nothing more that she could talk about. When she was told that her room
was ready, one of the two girls, _Zezefôon_ or _Fatôom_, who by turns
waited on her, would then precede her with the lights to her chamber.

Her bedstead was nothing but planks nailed together on low trestles. A
mattress, seven feet long and about four and a half broad, was spread
on these planks, which were slightly inclined from head to foot.
Instead of sheets, she had Barbary blankets, which are like the finest
English ones, two over her, and one under. There was no counterpane,
but, as occasion required, a woollen _abah_, or cloak, or a fur pelisse
would be used for that purpose. Her pillow-case was of Turkish silk,
and under it was another covered in coloured cotton. Behind this were
two more of silk, ready at hand, if wanted.

Her night-dress was a chemise of silk and cotton, a white quilted
jacket, a short pelisse, a turban on her head, and a kefféyah tied
under her chin in the same manner as when she was up, and a shawl over
the back of her head and shoulders. Thus she slept nearly dressed.

As it had become a habit with her to find nothing well done, when
she entered her bed-room, it was rarely that the bed was made to her
liking; and, generally, she ordered it to be made over again in her
presence. Whilst this was doing, she would smoke her pipe, then call
for the sugar-basin to eat two or three lumps of sugar, then for a
clove to take away the mawkish taste of the sugar. The girls, in the
mean time, would go on making the bed, and be saluted every now and
then, for some mark of stupidity, with all sorts of appellations.
The night-lamp was then lighted; a couple of yellow wax lights were
placed ready for use in the recess of the window; and, all things being
apparently done for the night, she would get into bed, and the maid,
whose turn it was to sleep in the room, (for, latterly, she always had
one) having placed herself, dressed as she was, on her mattress behind
the curtain which ran across the room, the other servant was dismissed.

But hardly had she shut the door and reached her own sleeping-room,
flattering herself that her day’s work was over, when the bell would
ring, and she was told to get broth, or lemonade, or orgeat directly.
This, when brought, was a new trial for the maids. Lady Hester Stanhope
took it on a tray placed on her lap as she sat up in bed, and it
was necessary for one of the two servants to hold the candle in one
hand and shade the light from her mistress’s eyes with the other. The
contents of the basin were sipped once or twice and sent away; or, if
she ate a small bit of dried toast, it was considered badly made, and a
fresh piece was ordered, perhaps not to be touched.

This being removed, the maid would again go away, and throw herself
on her bed; and, as she wanted no rocking, in ten minutes would be
sound asleep. But, in the mean time, her mistress has felt a twitch
in some part of her body, and ding dong goes the bell again. Now,
as servants, when fatigued, do sometimes sleep so soundly as not to
hear, and sometimes are purposely deaf, Lady Hester Stanhope had got
in the quadrangle of her own apartments a couple of active fellows,
a part of whose business it was to watch by turns during the night,
and see that the maids answered the bell: they were, therefore, sure
to be roughly shaken out of their sleep, and, on going, half stupid,
into her ladyship’s room, would be told to prepare a fomentation of
chamomile, or elder flowers, or mallows, or the like. The gardener was
to be called, water was to be boiled, and the house again was all in
motion. During these preparations, perhaps Lady Hester Stanhope would
recollect some order she had previously given about some honey, or
some flower, or some letter――no matter however trifling――and whoever
had been charged with the execution of it was to be called out of his
bed, whatever the hour of the night might be, to be cross-questioned
about it. There was no rest for anybody in her establishment, whether
they were placed within her own quadrangle, or outside of it. Dar Jôon
was in a state of incessant agitation all night.

These details are unimportant in themselves, but they are significant
in a high degree of her ladyship’s peculiarity of character; and, as
we have touched upon the incidents of her bed-room, which was, for
most purposes, her principal apartment, it may be as well to complete
the description by a few additional particulars. The room bore no
resemblance to an English or a French chamber, and, independently of
its rude furniture, it was, in another sense, hardly better than a
common peasant’s. Its appearance, when illness confined its occupant
to her bed, was something of this sort; for I often entered it, early
in the morning, before breakfast. On the floor, which was of cement,
the common flooring of Syria, lay, upon an Egyptian mat, a large
oblong bit of drab felt, of the size of a bedside carpet, called in
Arabic _libàd_, and a thick coarse chintz cushion, from which her
black slave, Zezefôon, had just risen, and where she had slept by
her mistress’s bedside; the slave having this privilege over the
maid, who always slept behind the curtain. This dirty red cotton
curtain was suspended by a common cord across the room, to keep off
the wind when the door opened, most of the curtain-ring tapes being
torn off: so that the curtain hung, alternately suspended here, and
dangling there, a testimony of the little time the maids found for
mending. There were three windows to the room; one was nailed up by
its shutter on the outside, and one closed up by a bit of felt on the
inside: the third only was reserved for the admission of light and
air, looking on the garden. In two deep niches in the wall (for the
walls of houses in Syria are often three feet thick), were heaped on a
shelf, equidistant from the top and bottom, a few books, some bundles
tied up in handkerchiefs, writing-paper――all in confusion, with sundry
other things of daily use; such as a white plate, loaded with several
pair of scissors, two or three pair of spectacles, &c.; and another
white plate, with pins, sealing-wax, wafers; with a common white
inkstand, and the old parchment cover of some merchant’s day-book, with
blotting-paper inside, by way of a blotting-book, in which, spread on
her lap, as she sat up in bed, she generally wrote her letters. These
places were seldom swept out, and dust and cobwebs covered the books,
into none of which, I believe, she ever looked, excepting Tissot’s
_Avis au Peuple_, another medical book, the title of which I have
forgotten, the Court Calendar, a Bible, and a Domestic Cookery. The
ground was strewed with small bundles; gown-pieces of silk, or coloured
cotton, which she destined as presents; bits of twine, and brown paper,
left from day to day, from packages which had been undone, &c.

She had no watch, clock, or timepiece; and generally the last words,
when I left her in the evening, were, “Doctor, tell me what it is
o’clock before you go.” I took the liberty of asking her why she had
not sent for a watch or timepiece during the number of years she
had remained on Mount Lebanon, a thing so necessary every where,
but especially in a solitary house, where the _muezzim_[37] could
not be heard, as in towns. “Because I cannot bear any thing that is
unnatural,” was her answer; “the sun is for the day, and the moon and
stars for the night, and by them I like to measure time.” Upon another
occasion, she said, “I never should be induced to go into a steamboat;
I, who have seen five men killed by the explosion of a boiler, and I
don’t know how many more wounded and scalded, have always a dread about
me. Besides, I like nothing but nature.”

On a wooden stool, which served as a table, by the bedside, stood a
variety of things to satisfy her immediate wants or fancies; such as
a little strawberry preserve in a saucer, lemonade, chamomile tea,
ipecacuanha lozenges, a bottle of cold water, &c. Of these she would
take one or other in succession, almost constantly. In a day or two
they would be changed for other messes or remedies. There would be a
bottle of wine, or of violet syrup; aniseeds to masticate, instead
of cloves; quince preserve; orgeat; a cup of cold tea, covered over
by the saucer; a pill-box, &c.; and so thickly was the wooden stool
covered, that it required the greatest dexterity to take up one thing
without knocking down half a dozen others. And, in this respect, the
noiseless movements and dexterity of the Syrian and black women pass
all imagination. For months together nothing of this assemblage would
be upset or broken; whilst a blundering Frank (Lady Hester would often
say) could not come into a room without tumbling over her pipe, hooking
his foot in the carpet or mat, pitching forward against the table, and
manifesting all that European clumsiness, upon which she so delighted
to expatiate.

Her bed had no curtains, no mosquito net. An earthenware _ybrick_, or
jug, with a spout, stood in one of the windows, with a small copper
basin, and this was her washing apparatus. The room had no table for
the toilet, or any other purpose; and, when she washed herself, the
copper basin was held before her as she sat up in bed. There were
no curtains to the windows; and the felt with which one of them was
covered was kept in its place by a faggot-stick, stuck tightly in from
corner to corner, diagonally. Such was the chamber of Lord Chatham’s
grand-daughter! Diogenes himself could not have found fault with its

I see I have omitted, in the enumeration of the furniture, to mention
a necessary appendage, often so ornamental in English rooms――I mean,
bellropes. Lady Hester Stanhope’s room had one, a common hempen cord,
such as is customarily used for cording boxes. It was reeved through a
wooden pulley, screwed into the centre of the ceiling, and came down
slanting to the wall, where it was tied to a rusty hook; the bend,
within her reach, was thickly knotted, so that she might the more
easily lay hold of it. Nor was it made so strong and stout without
good reason; for she lugged at it sometimes with a degree of violence
and vigour, that would have snapped whipcord in two; and seldom did
a servant leave her room without being rung back again, once, twice,
or thrice――so impatient was her ladyship’s temper, and in such quick
succession did her ideas rise in her mind upon every order she had to

Worn out with the fatigue of ringing, talking, and scolding, at length
Lady Hester Stanhope would fall asleep; all would be hushed, and so the
silence would continue for three, four, or five hours. But, soon after
sun-rise, the bell would ring violently again, and the business of the
morning would commence. This was a counterpart of the night, only that
the few hours’ sleep gave her a fresh supply of vigour and activity. As
she seldom rose until four or five in the afternoon, the intervening
hours were occupied in writing, talking, and receiving people; for, as
she then sat up in her bed, her appearance was pretty much the same
as if she had been on a sofa, to which her bed bore some resemblance.
She would see, one after another, her steward, her secretary, the
cook, the groom, the doctor, the gardener, and, upon some occasions,
the whole household. Few escaped without a reproof and a scolding;
her impatience, and the exactitude she required in the execution of
her commands, left no one a chance of escape. Quiet was an element in
which a spirit so restless and elastic could not exist. Secret plans,
expresses with letters, messengers on distant journeys, orders for
goods, succour and relief afforded to the poor and oppressed――these
were the aliments of her active and benevolent mind. No one was
secure of eating his meals uninterruptedly; her bell was constantly
ringing, and the most trifling order would keep a servant on his legs,
sometimes a whole hour, before her, undergoing every now and then a
cross-examination worse than that of a Garrow.

In the same day, I have frequently known her to dictate, with the
most enlarged political views, papers that concerned the welfare of
a pashalik; and the next moment she would descend, with wondrous
facility, to some trivial details about the composition of a
house-paint, the making of butter, the drenching of a sick horse, the
choosing lambs, or the cutting out of a maid’s apron. She had a finger
in everything, and in everything was an adept. Her intelligence really
seemed to have no limits; the recesses of the universe, if one might
venture to say so, absolutely seemed thrown open to her gaze. In the
same manner that she frustrated the intrigues and braved the menaces
of hostile Emirs and Pashas, did she penetrate and expose the tricks
and cunning of servants and peasants, who were ever plotting to pilfer
her. It was curious to see what pains she would take in developing and
bringing to light a conspiracy of the vile wretches, who, from time to
time, laid their deep schemes of plunder――schemes to which European
establishments have no parallel, and machinations which Satan himself
could hardly have counteracted. She used to say, “there are half a
dozen of them whom I could hang, if I chose;” but she was forbearing to
culprits, when she once had them in her power, although unwearied and
unflinching in her pursuit of them.

No soul in her household was suffered to utter a suggestion on the most
trivial matter――even on the driving of a nail into a bit of wood: none
were permitted to exercise any discretion of their own, but strictly
and solely to fulfil their orders. Nothing was allowed to be given
out by any servant without her express directions. Her dragoman or
secretary was enjoined to place on her table each day an account of
every person’s employment during the preceding twenty-four hours, and
the names and business of all goers and comers. Her despotic humour
would vent itself in such phrases as these. The maid one day entered
with a message――“The gardener, my lady, is come to say that the piece
of ground in the bottom is weeded and dug, and he says that it is
only fit for lettuce, beans, or _selk_, [a kind of lettuce] and such
vegetables.” “Tell the gardener,” she answered vehemently, “that when
I order him to dig, he is to dig, and not to give his opinion what the
ground is fit for. It may be for his grave that he digs, it may be for
mine. He must know nothing until I send my orders, and so bid him go
about his business.”

The consequence of all this was, she was pestered from morning till
night, always complaining she had not even time to get up, and always
making work for herself. Here is another example. A maid, named
Sâada, was desired to go to the store-room man, and ask for fourteen
sponges. She went, and added, out of her own head when she delivered
the message, “fourteen to wipe the drawing-room mats with”――it being
customary in the Levant (and an excellent custom it is) to clean mats
with wet sponges. In the course of the day, this slight variation in
the message came to Lady Hester’s ears, and she instantly sent for the
culprit, and, telling her that she would teach her for the future how
she would dare to vary in a single word from any message she had to
deliver, she ordered the girl’s nose to be rubbed on the mats, while
this injunction was impressed on her, that, whatever the words of a
message might be, she was never to deviate from them, to add to them,
or to take from them, but to deliver them strictly as she received
them. In fact, she maintained that the business of a servant was, not
to think, but simply to obey.

Truly did old General Loustaunau say sometimes that, with all her
greatness and her talents, there was not a more wretched being on
earth. People have often asked me how she spent her life in such a
solitude: the little that has already been related will show that time
seldom hung heavily on her hands, either with her or those about her.

In reference to the blind obedience she required from servants, Lady
Hester Stanhope one day said to me, “Did I ever tell you the lecture
Lord S******* gave me? He and Lady S―――― had taken me home to their
house from the opera. It was a cold snowy night; and, after I had
remained and supped _tête-à-tête_ with them, when it was time to go,
owing to some mistake in the order, my carriage never came for me; so
Lord S―――― said his should take me home. When he rang for the footman
to order it out, I happened to observe, ‘The poor coachman, I dare say,
is just got warm in his bed, and the horses are in the middle of their
feed; I am sorry to call him out on such a night as this.’ After the
man had left the room, Lord S―――― turned to me and said, ‘My dear Lady
Hester, from a woman of your good sense, I should never have thought
to hear such an observation. It is never right to give a reason for an
order to a servant. Take it for a rule through life that you are never
to allow servants to expect such a thing from you: they are paid for
serving, and not for whys and wherefores.’”

When Lady Hester Stanhope got up, increasing attention to her own
personal wants through long years of bad health had rendered her
a being of such sensitiveness, that a thousand preparations were
necessary for her comfort; and herein consisted the irksomeness of the
service for those about her. Yet this, if ever it was pardonable in
any person, was surely so in her; for her nature seemed to lay claim
to obedience from all inferior creatures, and to exact it by some
talismanic power, as the genii in Eastern tales hold their familiar
spirits in subjection.

The marked characteristic of Lady Hester Stanhope’s mind was the
necessity she was under of eternally talking. This is a feature in
her life to which justice can hardly be done by description. Talking
with her appeared to be as involuntary and unavoidable as respiration.
So long as she was awake, her brain worked incessantly, and her
tongue never knew a moment’s repose. It might be supposed that such a
perpetual flow and outpouring of words must lead to the unconscious
disclosure of every thought and feeling; but it was not so with Lady
Hester Stanhope. Her control over her expressions was wonderful, in
spite of her impetuous volubility. Her tongue was anything but the
frank interpreter of her thoughts; it seemed rather to be given to her,
upon Talleyrand’s principle, to conceal them; it was the tongue of a
syren, always employed in misleading the hearer, and in conducting
him to some unexpected conclusion by a roundabout road, or through
a labyrinth of words, in which she would inextricably entangle him,
until, at length, to his amazement, he found himself at some point,
which he had never thought of before, or which he had been all along
trying to avoid.

Her conversations lasted six and eight hours at a time, without moving
from her seat; so that, although highly entertained, instructed, or
astonished as the listeners might be, it was impossible not to feel
the weariness of so long a sitting. Everybody who has visited Lady
Hester Stanhope in her retirement will bear witness to her unexampled
colloquial powers; to her profound knowledge of character; to her
inexhaustible fund of anecdotes; to her talents for mimicry; to her
modes of narration, as various as the subjects she talked about; to
the lofty inspirations and sublimity of her language, when the subject
required it; and to her pathos and feeling, whenever she wished to
excite the emotions of her hearers. There was no secret of the human
heart, however studiously concealed, that she could not discover;
no workings in the listener’s mind that she would not penetrate;
no intrigue, from the low cunning of vulgar artifices to the vast
combinations of politics, that she would not unravel; no labyrinth,
however tortuous, that she would not thread.

It was this comprehensive and searching faculty, this intuitive
penetration, which made her so formidable; for, under imaginary names,
when she wished to show a person that his character and course of life
were unmasked to her view, she would, in his very presence, paint him
such a picture of himself, in drawing the portrait of another, that you
might see the individual writhing on his chair, unable to conceal the
effect that her words had on his conscience. Everybody who heard for
an hour or two retired humbled from her presence; for her language was
always directed to bring mankind to their level, to pull down pride
and conceit, to strip off the garb of affectation, and to shame vice,
immorality, irreligion, and hypocrisy.

In the latter years of her life, social and unrestrained conversation
was out of the question――it was difficult to unbend before her――to
spend a couple of hours with her was to go to school. She was
unceasingly employed in laying bare the weaknesses of our common
nature. Mercy, in the sense of tenderness for people’s foibles, she
had none; but, to her honour be it said, although she was constantly
drawing a line between the high and low born, good qualities in the
most menial person bore as high an estimation in her mind, as if she
had discovered them in princes.

It was wonderful how long she would hold a person in conversation,
listening to her anecdotes and remarks on human life; she seemed
entirely to forget that the listener could possibly require a respite
or even a temporary relief. It may be alleged that nothing was more
easy than to find excuses for breaking up a parley of this sort; but
it was not so――for her words ran on in such an uninterrupted stream,
that one never could seize a moment to make a pause. I have sat more
than eight, ten――nay, twelve and thirteen hours, at a time! Lady Hester
Stanhope told me herself, that Mr. Way[38] remained, one day, from
three in the afternoon until break of day next morning, _tête-à-tête_
with her; and Miss Williams once assured me that Lady Hester kept Mr.
N. (an English gentleman, who was her doctor some time) so long in
discourse that he fainted away. Her ladyship’s readiness in exigencies
may be exemplified by what occurred on that occasion. When she had rung
the bell, and servants had come to her assistance, she said very
quietly to them, that, in listening to the state of disgrace to which
England was reduced by the conduct of the Ministers (this was in
1818-19), his feelings of shame and grief had so overpowered him, that
he had fainted. Mr. N., however, declared to Miss W. that it was no
such thing, but that he absolutely swooned away from fatigue and

Her conversations were generally familiar and colloquial, sometimes
sarcastic, sometimes rising to eloquence so noble and dignified,
that, like an overflowing river, it bore down everything before it.
Her illustrations were drawn from every sensible or abstract thing,
and were always most felicitous. Her reasoning was so plain, as to
be comprehended and followed by the most illiterate person, at the
same time that it was strictly logical, and always full of strength
and energy. She had read all subjects without books, and was learned
without lore; and, to sum up all, if she was mad, as many people
believed, she was, like the cracked Portland vase, more valuable,
though damaged, than most perfect vessels.

These dialogues may not, perhaps, read so well upon paper as they
sounded to the ear when she spoke them. The flexibility of her
features, the variety of her tones, her person, her dignified manner,
her mimicry――all contributed towards the effect. Sometimes, after
being deeply impressed with her discourse, I have gone from her, and
immediately put it down in writing, word for word; but it never seemed
to me the same thing.

It was often necessary to bear with great superciliousness and
arrogance in her manner, and she might be said to be the most
deliberately affronting person that ever existed, for she would say
anything to anybody. Few, however, thought proper to put themselves in
a passion, for she generally hit right. I have known her call a prince
a _coquin_ to his face. Nobody could despise her powers of argument,
and her superiority of intellect. Her quickness of perception between
right and wrong was indubitable; but, when she chose it, her sophistry
was no less subtile and irresistible.

In the following diary, as much as possible of what fell from her on
different subjects has been preserved. To have written down all would
have required as many scribes as there are reporters for a daily
newspaper. “Thoughts come into my head as wind comes in at the window,”
Lady Hester used to say. Topic succeeded topic, one thing followed
another, and it required a tenacious memory to retain such a profusion
of matter, and much leisure to put it on paper.

The religious opinions of a person like Lady Hester Stanhope may
probably be an object of curiosity to those who consider a man’s mode
of faith the true criterion by which to estimate him. As far, however,
as professed creeds went, it is doubtful whether she ever subscribed to
any. She was accustomed to say, “What my religion is nobody knows. Jews
and Christians have tried me hard, and questioned me pretty closely,
but they were not wiser when they ended than when they began.”

“Doctor,” one day she said to me, “you have no religion――what I mean by
religion is, adoration of the Almighty. Religion, as people profess it,
is nothing but a dress. One man puts on one coat, and another another;
but the feeling that I have is quite a different thing, and I thank God
that he has opened my eyes. You will never learn of me, because you
cannot comprehend my ideas, and therefore it is of no use teaching you.
Nobody opens a book to an idiot, that would spit and splutter over it;
for you never could make him read. Ah!――I see my way a little before
me, and God vouchsafes to enlighten me perhaps more than other people.

“I know my own imperfections and my own merits; and I hope, by
rendering myself pure in thought and deed, to become acceptable in the
eyes of God. In all my gaieties, I was always the same as I am now. I
saw there was a system of mythology, a system of medicine, of politics,
of all sorts of things; but they did not satisfy me, and I used to say
to myself I must find all this out. I know now a great deal more than
I did then; and, if I were to sit down to dictate all I know, it would
take me two years to do it. Yet, after all, when I look round and see
the boundless extent of knowledge, I feel my own littleness. But what
are half the people in the world? I hold them in the most sovereign
contempt. Sir J. Mackintosh, who makes a speech, and makes a talk at a
dinner-table, and then says he doesn’t know what about witchcraft――he
may say what he likes, but there are evil spirits in mankind. Go into
a madhouse!――all madnesses are not alike――and where you suspect the
presence of an evil spirit.... But there, you will go and speak of
these things to common persons, who will make fun of it, just as Dr.
Madden and Dr. Clarke did....”

She went on, “I never can imagine that all the celebrated Greeks and
Romans were a pack of old women; and therefore what they believed in
must be as good as what other people believe in. But many, who see
these things with the same eyes as I do, are still in the dark. It is
like that looking-glass――everybody knows it reflects his face, but many
do not know how and in what manner that is effected. Now I understand
all the heathen mythology, not from reading about it, or hearing
people talk about it, but from my own penetration and the depth of
my reflections. And, if I could but get hold of some books that would
give me the opinions and doctrines of all the ancient philosophers, I
would then write down my own, and would support them by quotations; as
thus――such a thing is so and so, and Plato, or Socrates, or Cicero, or
somebody else, has such a passage in confirmation of what I assert.

“It was ever an object with me to search out why I came into the world;
what I ought to do in it, and where I shall go to. God has given me the
extraordinary faculty of seeing into futurity; for a clear judgment
becomes matter of fact. It has ever been my study to know myself. I may
thank God for my sufferings, as they have enabled me to dive deeper
into the subject than, I believe, any person living. The theory of the
soul, doctor, what an awful thing!

“My religion is to try to do as well as I can in God’s eyes. That is
the only merit I have: I try to do the best I can. Some of the servants
sometimes talk about my religion――_dyn es Syt_,[39] as they call
it――and I let them talk; for they explain it to people by saying, it
is to do what is right, and to avoid all uncleanliness.

“My views of the Creator are very different. I believe that all things
are calculated, and what is written is written; but I do not suppose
that the devil is independent of God: he receives his orders. Not that
God goes and gives them to him, any more than the big my lord goes and
gives orders to his shoeblack. There is some secondary being that does
that――some _intendant_.

“There are angels of different degrees, from the highest down to the
devil. It must be an awful sight to see an angel! There is something
so transcendent and beautiful in them, that a person must be half out
of his senses to bear the sight. For, when you are looking down, and
happen to raise your head, and there is the angel standing before you,
you can’t say whether it came up through the earth, or down from the
sky, or how――there he is, and may go in the same way. But angels don’t
appear to every body. You know, doctor, you can’t suppose that, if you
were a little dirty apothecary, keeping a shop in a narrow street, a
prime minister would waste his time in going to call on you; or that,
if a man is sitting over his glass all the evening, or playing whist,
or lounging all the morning, an angel will come to him. But when there
is a mortal of high rectitude and integrity, then such a being may be
supposed to condescend to seek him out.

“God is my friend――that is enough: and, if I am to see no happiness in
this world, my share of it, I trust, will be greater in the next, if I
am firm in the execution of those principles which he has inspired me

Such were the religious opinions which Lady Hester Stanhope expressed
from time to time. There may be observed in the lives of persons
of extraordinary political talents a disposition to believe in the
possibility of a class of agencies, which are generally considered
visionary by common capacities. This may arise from the comparison
they make between their own intellectual faculties and those of
common minds. For, when they reflect how much superior they are to
the generality of mankind, how much farther they can see into men’s
projects, and what numberless agents, unknown and unsuspected by the
vulgar, they call into action to effect their own plans and purposes,
they then set no bounds to the range of an omnipotent being, and
they fancy such a power to be served by spirits as much invisible to
themselves, as their spies and creatures are unseen and unobserved by
those whom they influence.

It was so with Lady Hester Stanhope. She managed whatever affair
she undertook with impenetrable mystery; and the hand that weighed
down the guilty or lifted up the oppressed was, when she stretched
it out, oftener felt than perceived. Hence, probably, it was that
her all-powerful mind had taken a strong bias towards dæmonology,
necromancy, and magic. She seemed to entertain a firm belief that the
elements were filled with spirits, who watched over and guided the
steps and actions of men. The air we move in, and the earth we tread
on, she considered as filled with delicate and aërial beings, by whom
the gentle and sage were rewarded and protected for the amenity and
prudence of their every-day movements and actions, but who, in return,
avenged themselves on the wicked, nay, even on the awkward, by causing
the numberless bodily accidents which such persons are liable to.
“Never do I move a foot,” Lady Hester would sometimes say, “but I ask
these guardian sylphs to watch over me; and never do I see a blundering
fellow knock his head against the top of a doorway, but I think he is
breaking some of their delicate members. For, as a piece of valuable
china is generally set in a place where it may not be easily knocked
down, so do these spirits generally perch where our steps may not
molest them: and, as a man who spits about a room commonly aims his
saliva where he will not spoil the furniture, so should we look that
our motions and gestures do not injure these unseen creatures; and
hence it becomes us, in what we do violently, to give them a kind of
warning to get out of the way.”

In this belief, Lady Hester still acknowledged the Holy Scriptures
as inspired writings; she quoted from them as such, and may be said
to have looked into them oftener than into any other book. Thus, in
speaking of the resurrection, she drew her argument from the New
Testament. “There will be two resurrections,” she used to say; “for
the Scripture mentions somewhere the first resurrection, and people
don’t talk of their first wife unless they have had a second. The first
resurrection will be such, that the dead will rise, and walk on the
earth, with the people of it, in their accustomed forms and raiment;
but, at the second, they will all appear before the _Murdah_,[40] and
then will be the day of judgment.”

On another occasion, she exclaimed, “What wonderful things those
prophecies are in the Bible! To think they should foretel events, and
even people’s names, so many hundred years before a thing happens!”

When the missionary, Mr. Way, was at Jôon, Lady Hester and he talked
together on religion for several hours. “Mr. W.,” she said, “was clever
and learned; but he, like the rest, fancied he was to effect the
conversion of men by his own efforts: they are all mistaken. My scheme
is quite different. I am but an instrument in the hands of God, and,
when he pleases that the great change is to take place, he will bring
it to pass as he likes. My duty is to prepare people’s minds; and, if
I were to die to-morrow, I should be contented if I thought I had made
some persons, at least, reflect.”

In some things, Lady Hester Stanhope had adopted portions of the Jewish
law, or perhaps of that of the Mussulman sect of the Shyites. Several
of her maid-servants were taken from the neighbouring villages, where
there are a great many schismatic Mahometans, called Metoualys; and
in them she probably remarked certain observances, about which she
obtained fuller explanations from the learned Sheykhs who occasionally
visited her; and she seems to have copied these observances as
useful rules of life, but not as religious duties. The Metoualys
have the terms _nidjez_ and _halal_, synonymous with _unclean_ and
_lawful_, constantly in their mouths, and most of the laws respecting
uncleanliness in the Levitical code are followed by them. Lady Hester
Stanhope had imbibed many of these prejudices, as will be seen from an
example or two.

A gentleman, irreproachable on the score of cleanliness and of refined
manners, having arrived somewhat unexpectedly at Jôon, the servants,
in their hurry to get his dinner, made use of some things which
belonged to her ladyship’s service. After dining, the guest paid his
visit to her, and then retired to go to rest. It was nearly one in the
morning. From a word, casually dropped by the slave, she discovered
that some of her own dinner napkins had been given out for her visitor.
Such an uproar began, as few people can imagine would ever spring from
so trifling a cause, and was hardly over by daylight.

“What! is there no possibility,” she cried, “of keeping anything to
myself? I do insist, that everything which regards other people may
never be mixed with what is for me. Neither shall water be boiled in
my kitchen, nor cooking go on there, nor saucepan, dish, nor glass,
that has once gone out for any one, ever return there again.” The
confusion lasted for some hours after midnight; she had all her pots,
pans, tumblers, dishes, towels, knives and forks, every article of the
table or kitchen, brought in, and spread before her, to teach them, as
she said, by the trouble they had, not to violate her orders again.
But there was reason to suppose that all these minute and exclusive
regulations were not attended to. She was the dupe of the servants’
lies; and she once said, as if in despair at not being able to enforce
obedience, “Doctor, they wipe their noses, then the ..., and then the
drinking-glasses, in the same towel; and lie, and lie, with an
assurance that sets detection at defiance.”


     [37] The man who cries the hour of prayer from the

     [38] Mr. Way, a gentleman who owed his large fortune to a
          peculiarity in spelling his name, and his well-merited
          reputation to the way in which he spent it.

     [39] Syt, (in Arabic سَيت) signifies Dame, in
          the acceptation of a high-born lady; Sytty, Madam;
          the _ty_ being the pronoun affixed, _my_. This was
          the title generally given to Lady Hester by the
          servants: dyn es Syt therefore means Madam’s religion.
          Sometimes, however, they would address her as Her
          Felicity, _Sáadet-es-Syt_, and visitors generally used
          that term.

     [40] Murdah or Mahedi, the expected Messiah of the Turks.

                               CHAPTER V.

Buoyancy of Lady Hester Stanhope’s spirits――Death of Miss Williams――
Mrs. ――――’s first visit to Lady Hester――The Author is summoned to
Damascus to attend Hassan Effendi: declines going――Discussions between
Lady Hester and Mrs. ―――― thereupon――Lady Hester’s hatred of
women――She sends her maid to revile Mrs. ―――― ――The Author resolves to
return to England――Alarm from soldiers on their march――Lady Hester
assists Abdallah Pasha in laying out his garden――Anecdotes of the
first Lord Chatham――Fresh discourses about the Journey to Damascus――
Anecdotes of Mr. Pitt――His attachment to Miss E.――His admiration of
women――His indulgence towards other people’s failings――Lady Hester and
the fair Ellen――Strange history――Mr. Pitt’s attention to the comfort
of his guests, and of his servants――Strange rise of one of them――Lady
Hester’s pathos――Paolo Perini’s expected post of artilleryman.

Her ladyship, in several conversations, took great pains in acquainting
me with all the material events that had occurred during my absence in
Europe, and in what relation she stood with the pashas and governors
of the neighbouring towns and provinces, proceeding, in succession,
from occurrences relating to the most exalted individuals, to those
connected with the lowest persons that surrounded her. She talked
of her debts, her illnesses, her trials and sufferings, and never
finished a day without picturing to herself a brighter futurity, when
her worth would be more appreciated, when the clouds that overspread
her existence would be dissipated, and when the neglect in which she
was left by her friends would meet with its just punishment, and her
magnificent star rise again, with renewed splendour, to gladden the
world, and those, more particularly, who had been faithful to her
cause. This buoyancy of spirits saved her from the despondency which
others, in her deserted state, must inevitably have felt. The work
of years to come was chalked out in her active imagination; plans
were sketched; new channels of correspondence were to be opened; her
household was to be remodelled; fresh buildings were to be raised;
learned researches were to be made: valuable manuscripts were to be
procured. It is impossible to say what was not projected; but her
faithful Miss Williams still rose uppermost in her mind, and her first
care was to see the last duties, yet remaining, paid to her memory.

As that excellent person occupied an important position in Lady Hester
Stanhope’s house and affairs, I will here make room for the following
account of her sickness and death, as it was given me by _Um Ayôob_,
a respectable widow of Jôon. This woman was in the habit of doing
needlework at Lady Hester’s, when she would pass whole days together
at the house. One day, as she and Miss W. were sitting in the same
room sewing (it was on a Friday), Miss W. said to her, “Dear me, how
cold I am――I am all in a shiver!” The season (it being autumn) was
very sickly, and many of the servants were lying ill, one being at the
very time dangerously so with continued bilious fever. The shivering,
however, passed over. Um Ayôob went home at night, and the following
day returned to her work. Miss W. was on her legs again. The day after
she had an attack of intermittent fever. This was Sunday, and on Monday
she was pretty well again. Expecting the return of the fit on Tuesday,
the good widow asked Miss W. whether she should remain with her; but
Miss W. said “No: your daughter has got an ague as well as myself; so
go, and attend upon her――she may want you in the night; and come to
me on Thursday, as to-morrow I shall not require your services, for I
intend to remain quiet all the day.” So, on Wednesday, Um Ayôob did
not go. On Thursday she was baking, when a servant came to her, and
said, “Make haste, for God’s sake! you are wanted to attend on Miss
W.” As the old lady’s bread was just baked, she thought she would
take a couple of hot cakes in a clean towel, with the idea that Miss
W. might like them buttered for her breakfast. “So,” said Um Ayôob,
when she told me the melancholy story, “as I was hastening along the
bottom which divides the village from the Dar, I was met by little
_Gayby_, crying, ‘Oh, come, come――run, run!’――‘What’s the matter?’ I
asked.――‘Oh, oh! she’s dead! she’s dead!’ sobbed Gayby.――‘Who’s dead?’
cried I, terrified out of my senses.――‘Miss Williams,’ answered she. I
was struck with horror, and, quickening my pace as fast as I could, I
arrived out of breath, and found the tale but too true――Miss Williams
had breathed her last.”

It appeared that, on Wednesday morning, Lady Hester, who was herself
ill in bed, had given orders to the little girl, Gayby, to prepare,
from the medicine-chest, a dose of salts and senna, she being too
ill to see to it herself. This dose, according to the assertion
of _Nasara_, one of the maids, who waited on Miss W., produced an
extraordinary effect through the day and night, and Miss W. was not
free from its action until she expired. Besides the black dose, she
took also three pills, but of what nature I could not learn. The
persons who attended on her were Nasara, Gayby, and Fatôom, the Fatôom
so often named in these pages, who was at that time eleven or twelve
years old. Um Ayôob, who loved and regretted Miss Williams (as indeed
did almost everybody), sat by her corpse the remainder of the day. In
the course of the afternoon, she was surprised to find that the body,
so far from becoming cold, retained almost its natural living heat.
There happened to arrive at Lady Hester’s the preceding day a doctor of
the country, who had been sent for to attend on Moosa, the man-servant,
then lying dangerously ill, and who died two days after Miss W. Um
Ayôob called him into the room, and begged him to feel the body, and
say whether there was not yet life in it. He was equally of opinion
with the widow that the appearances were very surprising, and the more
especially as the cheeks retained some colour, and (according to Um
Ayôob’s expression), as something kept continually bubbling inside of
her like boiling water. The doctor went to Lady Hester and told her
what he had seen, and asked her permission to open a vein. Lady Hester,
who was overwhelmed with affliction at the loss of a person so dear
to her, said, “Do what you please.” He accordingly opened a vein in
the foot, and the blood spirted out, said Um Ayôob, as from a living
person. After having taken what he thought a sufficient quantity, he
bound up the incision; but life never returned, and on Sunday she was
buried in the burying-ground of the monastery of Dayr el Mkhallas, the
coffin being followed by the French vice-consul and some merchants of

I must here observe that the letting of blood was an ill-judged
expedient for restoring the living action, because it only completed
the exhaustion already carried to its utmost point by the previous
depletion of the bowels. The case is not the same as when, after a fall
or an attack of apoplexy, the opening of a vein may give an impulse
to the suspended circulation, just as a touch of the finger to the
balance of a watch will set it going when it has stopped. But here the
vital warmth should have been nourished and promoted by every available
means, and nature should have been left to husband her internal
resources until reanimation had been effected.

In company with my family, I visited Miss Williams’s grave, and could
not forbear shedding tears over it; for I had known her many years. She
was a creature of remarkable singleness of mind, of unstained purity,
and so universally beloved that the people of the neighbourhood and the
peasantry talk of her to this day as a model of virtue and goodness.
The only monument raised over her grave was a rude, oval-shaped wall,
topped with thorny shrubs, to keep the jackalls from scratching for her

In the register of the monastery, they have (as I was told) put her
down as a Catholic, and had spread a report that she had died in that
faith, in order that popular prejudice might raise no objection to
her lying in Catholic ground. Over the tomb a tamarisk-tree, with
its delicate, evergreen, feathery branches, waves in the wind. A few
tombs of venerable bishops, devout merchants, and holy monks, stand in
relief from the rocky barrenness of the spot, with Arabic inscriptions
commemorative of their piety and virtues. It is only to be regretted
that some similar memorial has not been raised to Miss Williams.

Miss Williams had now been dead more than two years, and the room in
which she died had never been entered, from the hour that her corpse
was carried out of it. The door had been barred up by cross laths
nailed over it; and, from the circumstance of Lady Hester Stanhope’s
having repeatedly declared she never could pass by the door again,
a sort of dread had crept over the maids and slaves, akin to that
which is common in England when a chamber of some house is reported
to be haunted. A breathless silence, and expectation of something
supernatural, accordingly reigned in the quadrangle, when the carpenter
proceeded to knock away the laths, and, through cobwebs and dust, I
introduced, with some difficulty, the rusty key into the keyhole, and,
with considerable effort, forced open the door. The floor was covered
with dust, and thick, long cobwebs hung across from wall to wall: on
the floor lay scattered in confusion a few books, a hair-brush, and
various papers. A sort of disorder was apparent in the furniture, such
as would arise in a room hastily left. A box of papers, containing a
list of Lady Hester Stanhope’s debts and memoranda relating to them,
lay open in a recess, and seemed the last thing that had occupied Miss
W.’s attention; for, alas! the increasing embarrassment of Lady’s
Hester’s money concerns might naturally be supposed to harass her mind,
seeing that, at one time, her noble patroness, bred in the lap of
luxury, had been reduced to the necessity of selling for their weight
(since they would not pass current), forty English guineas, given to
her by her brother James when they parted, and saved when she was
ship-wrecked, not knowing, when they were gone, where to look for a
penny. An empty work-basket lay turned upside down on the floor; and
an air of desolation and disorder in the room and closets showed that
whatever had been worth pilfering had been carried off by the wicked
servants during the time which elapsed between her death and burial.

“Poor Miss Williams!” thought I; “what must have been your sufferings
at that sad hour, with no one of your own country to close your eyes,
and surrounded by slaves and peasant women, who robbed you instead
of attending to your wants! Yet, with what fidelity and attachment
did you not follow your benefactress from a comfortable home, where
a happy circle regretted you, to endure the numberless privations
which constant confinement, want of society, and a residence in an
uncivilized country, necessarily bring with them! Even I, had my
earlier arrival not been retarded, might have contributed to soothe
your last moments, if not to save your life!”

On opening the closets that were locked, her linen, her writing-desk,
her paint-box, and sundry other articles were seen neatly arranged,
as one would suppose an English woman would place them. I unlocked
the desk, removed the papers, which her relatives had written for, as
well as some others that Lady Hester thought I should find there; and,
shutting the closet again, withdrew with melancholy thoughts on the
uncertainty of human hopes, resolved to defer until another day the
inventory of her goods and effects.

The next day, I remained with Lady Hester Stanhope from eleven in the
morning until ten at night, the greater part of the time being employed
in looking over Miss W.’s papers, which consisted principally of rough
copies of letters dictated by her ladyship.

When I and my family were comfortably settled in our little cottage in
the village, Lady Hester appointed a morning to receive Mrs. ――――, on
the occasion of her first visit. On reaching the house, I conducted
her to the saloon, where, after introducing her, and sitting a little
while, I retired, in compliance with Lady Hester’s usual custom of
never liking to have more than one person with her at a time. Here
Mrs. ―――― remained about three hours, and then took her leave; and I,
having sent her home under the care of a servant, presented myself to
hear Lady Hester’s opinion about her, a necessary consequence that
always followed when any person quitted her whom she had seen for the
first time. Our conference lasted until past midnight. The night proved
very tempestuous: the wind howled, the thunder rolled, the rain beat
against the shutters; and, when I returned to the village, wet through,
I found Mrs. ―――― sitting disconsolate, and terrified at the war of
the elements, alone, as it were, in the midst of the horrors of the
night, and unable to make herself understood by the slaves, who knew no
language but Arabic.

Next morning, at breakfast, we talked over the conversation that had
passed between her and Lady Hester Stanhope. Lady Hester had used the
kindest expressions; and, at the close of her visit, getting up and
ringing for a handsome Turkish spencer in gold brocade, had put it
on her with her own hands, and had wound on her head a beautifully
embroidered muslin turban. Mrs. ――――, not understanding Lady Hester’s
humours, who had in all this imitated the Eastern manner of robing
people when they go away, had taken them both off and left them on the
table, so that they were sent home the next day. This, I knew, would be
a grievous offence in Lady Hester’s eyes.

Things, however, went on satisfactorily until the 25th of January, when
a messenger came from Damascus, sent by a person of an ancient and
noble family, named Ahmed Bey, beyt Admy,[41] with a letter to Lady
Hester Stanhope, saying that, “her physician’s arrival from England
having been reported to the Pasha, he, Ahmed Bey, had been solicited by
his highness to write to her, and request she would spare the doctor,
a short time, to cure a complaint with which a friend of the Pasha’s,
called Hassan Effendi, Tâat ed Dyn, was afflicted in the roof of his
mouth, which was peculiarly painful to him, and a source of deep
regret to the faithful, in consequence of his being one of the most
distinguished chanters of the Koran.”

This Ahmed Bey was a very old friend of Lady Hester Stanhope’s, and a
nobleman who had honoured me with his particular notice some years
before, during our stay at Damascus; she, therefore, laid great stress
on my going, and wished me to prepare immediately for my departure.

As I did not think it right to leave my family for three weeks or a
month alone in a cottage, where no human being could understand them,
I suggested to Lady Hester the propriety of writing a polite excuse
to Ahmed Bey, expressing my inability to comply with his wishes for
the present. But she had my compliance so much at heart, that it was
agreed she should see Mrs. ―――― herself, and endeavour to remove her
scruples, flattering her she could contrive, with her accustomed
fertility in expedients for all difficulties, some means to reconcile
her to my departure, and show her the groundlessness of her fears.
Mrs. ―――― accordingly paid a second visit to Lady Hester, who began by
endeavouring to act on her pride, by telling her my reputation would
be ruined among all the Pashas, if I refused to go to a great man,
like Hassan Effendi, and that her own consequence would be lessened;
moreover, that our ambassador at Constantinople would hear of it, and
take it ill, with many arguments of the like sort. Finding this mode
of reasoning had no effect, she tried to frighten her, by assuring
her very gravely that there were dervises, who, interested in the
well-being of holy men, and especially of a chanter of the word of
the Prophet, would, by unknown charms, inflict all sorts of evils upon
her, make hair grow on her face, bring out blotches on her body, &c.
The reader will be surprised, when he is told that Lady Hester Stanhope
affected to believe all this. Mrs. ―――― lent a civil but incredulous
ear. Her ladyship then endeavoured to engage her consent by holding
out the benefits that would accrue to me in a pecuniary light, and
the shawls and brocades that I probably should bring back to her as
presents from such grand folks. But the foretaste of solitude in a
village during winter, which the many lonely evenings already passed
there had given her, was too strongly impressed on her mind, and she
respectfully but firmly answered, that, if I chose to go, of course she
could not help it, but that it never could be without rendering her
miserable: upon which they parted, with no good will on her ladyship’s
side; and from that hour began a system of hospitality to Mrs. ――――,
which never ceased until our departure.

This leads me to say a word on the extraordinary hatred that Lady
Hester Stanhope bore to her own sex, although from what cause I do not
know: but during her travels and her residence on Mount Lebanon, in
all the visits she received from persons of whatever condition, their
wives, if travelling with them, seldom or never obtained access. She
professed a general dislike to women, and said she had never known
but three, among the hundreds she had been acquainted with, of whom
she could speak with unreserved admiration. Hence it was that she
considered married men as necessarily miserable, and how often did she
quote Sir ―――― ――――’s case to illustrate her views. That same evening
she reproached me for yielding to the idle fears of a woman, and
painted very ridiculous and amusing pictures of the henpecked husbands
she had known in her time, of whom the most prominent was Lord ――――,
and the most suffering, the baronet alluded to above. In conclusion,
she told me she should write an answer to Ahmed Bey, telling him I was
governed by my wife, and could not come.

It was customary for her to send over to the village every morning
a servant and horse to fetch me; but on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of
January he did not come; and I very well knew that some explosion of
anger would take place on her part: it being an unpardonable thing in
her eyes for any living being to oppose her purposes, and much more
for a woman to do so. In the evening of the 28th, her factotum, the
bailiff, came with a message, requesting to know whether I had overcome
Mrs. ――――’s scruples, and, if not, desiring I would certify it in
writing. Accordingly, I wrote a letter, in which I justified my own
refusal to go to Damascus, on the ground that Mrs. ―――― was totally new
to the country; had no soul to talk to; had, in compliance with Lady
Hester’s wishes, brought no maid-servant who could understand her; and
that I could not find it right to leave her, much as I regretted the
disappointment and vexation that such a step caused her ladyship, and
her friend and mine, Ahmed Bey.

February 3, 1831.――I heard no more of Lady Hester until this day, when
the horse was sent, and, on entering her saloon, a stormy altercation
took place between us, in the presence of her secretary. The final
result was, that I signified my wish, as soon as I had done what I
could for her, to take my family back again to Europe, regretting I had
come so far to so little purpose. “I have given,” said she, “a good
deal of advice to many persons in whom I have taken an interest, and
you are the last of my disciples whom I thought I could make something
of: but it is like cutting the hair off the legs of half-bred horses;
it grows again, and you may often get a kick in the face for your
pains. You know what a good opinion they had of you in this country,
which I kept up; but your conduct now has spoiled all: for when a man
gives his beard to a woman it is all over with him. Remember my words,
and write them down.”

But she was not to be so easily foiled. She returned to the charge,
and again urged me to undertake the journey to Damascus. She called
my attention to the words of Ahmed Bey’s letter, describing Hassan
Effendi’s malady: “His chest is without pain, and so is his throat,
and the complaint seems to be in his mouth.” These expressions she
interpreted as a clear indication that this great man was somebody who
had a communication to make to her, which was of too much importance
to be trusted to a letter, and that that was what was meant by the
“complaint in the mouth.” Anxious, therefore, to know what this secret
business was, she thought neither of the state of the weather (for the
snow was lying deep on the upper chain of Mount Lebanon, over which
the road to Damascus lay), nor of the complete loneliness in which
my family would be left. It is true that, in another cottage in the
village, Mr. Chasseaud and his wife lived, and they had shown every
disposition in their power to enliven Mrs. ――――’s solitude; but this
was the rainy season, and there were days when it was impossible to get
from house to house, owing to the violence of the wind and the torrents
of water that fell from the heavens: and, when the rain abated, the
mud, mixed with dung of cattle, so completely filled the paths, that it
was impossible to walk five steps.

That there was cause for apprehension, when left alone, may be seen
from what had occurred on the 24th of January. It rained heavily, and I
was sitting writing in the evening, when the black slave told me that
about two hundred soldiers had halted for the night in the village, on
their way to join Abdallah, Pasha of Acre, who was besieging the castle
of Nablôos, where the inhabitants were in a state of insurrection,
brought on by the arbitrary exactions of the local government. In
those days, soldiers in villages often committed many excesses. We
had no bolt to our front door, nor any fastening but a hook to the
window-shutters. About nine in the evening, the following note was
brought me by Mr. Chasseaud’s servant:

     “Dear Dr. ――――,

     “We have a great many troops this evening in the village,
     and some of them very cut-throat-looking fellows. I am well
     armed, and do not care for them. You would not do wrong to
     be also on your guard.

                           “Yours truly,
                                                  “J. CHASSEAUD.”

But I had no arms, excepting my fowling-piece, which was nailed down in
a case that I had not yet had time to open; so, putting my reliance on
the respect which the name of Lady Hester Stanhope obtained for those
belonging to her establishment, and on the heavy rains, I wrote on,
not altogether free from alarm, when, sometimes, the blasts of wind
shook the door and window-shutters, and made me uncertain whether the
noise I heard was that of the elements or of man.

A truce seemed now to have been concluded between Lady Hester and
ourselves, by a suspension of hostilities, but it was only to mature
a fresh attack. Abdallah Pasha had been busied for some months in
making a European garden in the environs of Acre, as a place of
recreation for himself and his harým, and Lady Hester had given him
many useful instructions in the laying of it out, and had from time
to time sent her Italian servant, Paolo Perini, to lend a helping
hand. The following day, therefore, was spent in writing a letter
about the building of a pavilion, which was dictated in French, and
then translated into Arabic by her Arabian secretary, Khalyl Mansôor,
who, being a shopkeeper at Sayda, was sent for whenever there were
Arabic letters to write. Much amusement arose about the construction
of a phrase, in which pillars of the Ionic order were named. Mansôor
hinted that the word Ionique had a signification in Arabic which
rendered it impossible to use it. I had made a drawing of the five
orders of architecture, and what was to be written was an explanation
of their differences, so that a full hour was spent in getting over
the difficulty.[42] Then a letter was written to Abd el Rahmàn Berber,
a Turkish merchant, with a remittance of five hundred dollars, due
for interest on money lent; and, as he was about setting off on his
pilgrimage to Mecca, the remittance was accompanied with a supply of
medicines and small stores for his journey, such as tea, chocolate,
syrups, &c.

February 4.――This day was passed in writing letters of advice and bills
of exchange on London, and a letter to the Emir Hyder, of Shumbalàn;
also in arranging Miss W.’s papers. In addressing the bills of exchange
to the house of Messrs. Coutts and Co., Lady Hester’s recollections
were carried back to that opulent banker’s times. “One day,” said she,
“on calling on Mr. Coutts, the old man happened to be very gay, and, on
my entering his room, he addressed me thus:――‘I consider myself one of
the most enviable of men: let me see――I have had the visit of one, two,
three, four, five, six, and you make the seventh, of the handsomest
women in London.’ The Miss Gubbinses had just been there――they went out
as I entered; they were beautiful, doctor! On another occasion, old
Coutts put his hands on each side of my face, and kissed me on the
forehead, with an exclamation of ‘Good God! how like my old friend,
your grandfather! You must forgive an old man, if he can’t refrain
from almost embracing you――it is the exact sound of his voice. Ah!’ he
continued, ‘I think I see him now, seated in that chair; and, after I
had been explaining my views in politics, or on anything else, cutting
them all up at once by something that was indisputable.’ That is,
doctor, just as if a person had been going on explaining their views
respecting a child, and another should say, ‘that’s all useless――the
child is dead.’ My grandfather dived into futurity, as I do. Mr. Pitt,
too, would often tell me how much I was like Lord Chatham, my
grandfather. Sometimes, when I was speaking, he would exclaim, ‘Good
God! if I were to shut my eyes, I should think it was my father! and,
how odd! I heard him say almost those very words forty years ago.’ My
grandfather, doctor,” said Lady Hester, going on, “had gray eyes like
mine, and yet, by candlelight, from the expression that was in them,
one would have thought them black. When he was angry, or speaking very
much in earnest, nobody could look him in the face. His memory on
things even of a common nature, and his observations, were striking.
On passing a place where he had been ten years before, he would
observe, that there used to be a tree, or a stone, or a something,
that was gone, and on inquiry it always proved to be so; yet he
travelled always with four horses, at a great rate.”

February 5.――The whole day was taken up in making a drawing to explain
the nature of a forcing-pump, or engine, for watering the shrubs and
flowers in Abdallah Pasha’s garden.

February 6.――From one in the afternoon until ten at night, not
excepting the time we were at dinner, Lady Hester Stanhope talked of
the Damascus affair, endeavouring to prove to me that my refusal would
endanger my life, and embroil the government of Damascus with Mr.
Farren, the new consul-general, who was expected from England; showing
that, in her situation, where her consideration among the natives
depended entirely on opinion, Mrs. ――――’s opposition to her will, if
not effectually put down, would be subversive of all her authority,
and make it be supposed she was not the great personage she was held
to be; inasmuch as, among Eastern nations, in all clans, communities,
and separate governments, there was, and ought to be, but one will,
which was that of the head. I admitted all this to be true; but told
her, there seemed to be no other way of settling the affair than by
our withdrawing at once to Europe. She gave me to understand we might
certainly go if we liked, but that we should find it more difficult
than I suspected. This was no idle threat of hers, and I knew it; for
not a peasant would dare to let out his camels, mules, or asses, to one
who was known to have incurred her displeasure; and to send to Sayda to
hire them was equally impossible, seeing that no one would go willingly
on such an errand; or, if he did, her influence extended far enough to
frighten camel-drivers and muleteers from their engagement. The close
of the conversation was a separation far from amicable; so that on the
8th, 9th, and 10th of February, I did not see her.

February 11, 1831.――My horse was sent over, and I remained from noon
until my dinner-time. All was gentleness and urbanity. The conversation
turned on Mr. Pitt, her father, and her brothers; on Tom Paine, Mr.
Way, Mrs. Nash, and others. She seemed to be disposed to resort to her
customary tactics, which were to make attacks at intervals, and then to
wait a day or two, to see if they had taken effect. I will relate some
of her anecdotes.

“Mr. Pitt loved ardently Lord A*******’s daughter,”[43] said Lady
Hester Stanhope; “she was the only woman I could have wished him to
marry. I had never seen her; and, as she frequented Beckenham church,
I went on a visit to Mr. Grote’s, the banker, to get a sight of her. I
went to church with Mr. Long’s brother, dean of somewhere, I forget
now, a monstrous handsome man. As soon as we appeared in the pew, she
knew who I was, and her whole body became of one deep red. A paleness
followed; she drooped her head, put her hand to her face, and bent
over her book, as if praying. When the service was over, I considered
that the meeting with her was not a scene fit for the church-porch,
but I was resolved to have a close look at her. As we approached her,
she pretended to be talking in an animated manner with some of her
party, but her attention was evidently turned towards me. When we
saluted, I saw she was beautiful――very beautiful, doctor.

“Next day rat-tat-tat came a carriage and four to Mr. Grote’s door. ‘My
dear Mr. Grote, we have long been neighbours, but I don’t know how it
is, we have not seen so much of each other as we ought to have done.’
This was Lord A. and the mother. The young lady was more collected by
this time, and the conversation went on very well. On the following
day, Mr. Grote and I called at Lord A.’s; but, the porter not having
received his instructions, we were rudely sent away. The carriage had
hardly got twenty yards, when out came my lord, and a whole posse of
them, with a thousand apologies for the blunders of servants; and we
returned, and went in. She had been walking out, drawing, or something;
and when she pushed up her bonnet, and turned her hair aside, oh,
doctor, what a forehead was there!

“Poor Mr. Pitt almost broke his heart when he gave her up. But he
considered that she was not a woman to be left at will when business
might require it, and he sacrificed his feelings to his sense of public
duty. Yet Mr. Pitt was a man just made for domestic life, who would
have enjoyed retirement, digging his own garden, and doing it cleverly
too. But it was God’s will it should be otherwise. I never saw her
afterwards but once, when she was Lady B**************. Oh dear! how
she was changed! I remember, it was at Lady Chatham’s. When I first
knew her, she had a mouth no bigger than an eye. Well! on entering the
room at Lady Chatham’s where she was, some years after her marriage,
I recognized her no more than if I had never seen her. She saw it,
and began speaking of persons with whom I was acquainted. This made
me think the more who she could be; when, observing my embarrassment,
she said, ‘I see, Lady Hester, you have forgotten me.’ Well, doctor,
her mouth was grown quite large and ugly, and I have observed that it
does, as people grow older;――I don’t know why: but look at mine, and
you’ll see just the same thing.

“‘There were also other reasons,’ Mr. Pitt would say; ‘there is her
mother, such a chatterer!――and then the family intrigues. I can’t keep
them out of my house; and, for my king’s and country’s sake, I must
remain a single man.’”[44]

Lady Hester said it was fine fun to see these match-making mothers
bring their daughters down to Walmer to try to get Mr. P. into a
scrape, and the extraordinary distance at which he contrived to keep
them. Sometimes, if they approached him, or wanted to plant their
daughters too near him, it was the fire was too warm, or the air from
the window, or some excuse for removing his chair to a distance from

I observed, “it was not to be supposed that a man, buried in state
affairs, could give a thought to the tender passion.”

“I beg your pardon,” she replied; “I have heard him talk in raptures
of some women. He used to say, he considered no man ought to marry who
could not give a proper share of his time to his wife; for, how would
it be if he was always at the House, or in business, and she always at
the opera, or whirling about in her carriage?”

“People thought Mr. Pitt did not care about women, and knew nothing
about them; but they were very much mistaken. Mrs. B――――s, of
Devonshire, when she was Miss W――――, was so pretty, that Mr. Pitt drank
out of her shoe. Nobody understood shape, and beauty, and dress, better
than he did; with a glance of his eye he saw it all at once. But the
world was ignorant of much respecting him. Who ever thought that there
was not a better judge of women in London than he? and not only of
women as they present themselves to the eye, but that his knowledge
was so critical that he could analyze their features and persons in a
most masterly way. Not a defect, not a blemish, escaped him: he would
detect a shoulder too high, a limp in the gait, where nobody else would
have seen it; and his beauties were real, natural, beauties. In dress,
too, his taste was equally refined. I never shall forget, when I had
arranged the folds and drapery of a beautiful dress which I wore one
evening, how he said to me, ‘Really, Hester, you are bent on conquest
to-night: but would it be too bold in me, if I were to suggest that
that particular fold’――and he pointed to a triangular fall which I had
given to one part――‘were looped up so?’ and, would you believe it?――it
was exactly what was wanting to complete the classical form of my
dress. He was so in everything.

“Mr. Pitt used to say, when I went out in my habit and a sort of furred
jacket, that women, when they rode out, generally looked such figures;
but that I contrived to make a very handsome costume of it.

“He had so much urbanity, too! I recollect returning late from a ball,
when he was gone to bed fatigued: there were others besides myself, and
we made a good deal of noise. I said to him next morning, ‘I am afraid
we disturbed you last night.’ ‘Not at all,’ he replied; ‘I was dreaming
of the Mask of Comus, Hester, and, when I heard you all so gay, it
seemed a pleasant reality.’

“To show you what an excellent heart Mr. Pitt had, and how full of
sympathy he was for people whom others spurned, I’ll tell you what
happened one day, when we were at Walmer. I said to him, ‘Who do you
think is coming down to dinner to-night?’ ‘I don’t know, Hester: tell
me.’ ‘Why,’ said I, ‘H**** D*****’s mistress:――oh! but I’ll pretty
soon look her out of countenance.’ I was only in joke, doctor. H. D.,
who was by the same mother as Lord D., but born before the mother was
married, had for his mistress a very excellent woman, whose meritorious
conduct every body spoke of: so I thought I would have a little fun
about her, and told Mr. Pitt that H. D. was going to bring her with
him. ‘My dear Hester,’ cried Mr. Pitt, ‘for God’s sake, don’t distress
the poor woman, if she is coming――now, pray, don’t!’ ‘Oh! yes, I will,
I will,’ I replied. ‘Now, I entreat you,’ said Mr. Pitt. ‘Here she
comes,’ cried I; and a post-chaise drove past us, near the drawbridge.
Mr. Pitt turned his head towards me as it passed, pretending to be
talking to me, ‘She is very pretty,’ said I. ‘Well,’ said Mr. Pitt, ‘I
must go and give some orders about her room;’ and he was actually going
to put her in the best room in the house, and to desire some other
persons who were expected to be sent to the village, when I told him it
was all a joke; for it was only H. D.’s post-chaise, with his man in
it, come down before his master.”

Here Lady Hester Stanhope paused for a little time, as if musing;
and, at length, led away by her reflections, when she resumed the
conversation, she uttered certain sentiments, which, however startling
in comparison with the mere conventional morality of society, I am
emboldened to transcribe. “Doctor,” she said, in an impressive tone,
“I saw in the newspapers an account of a poor creature found on the
step of a door in some street in Westminster. She was named the Fair
Ellen――a wretched outcast from society――and was in the last stage of
starvation. A poor forlorn woman, like herself, found her there, took
her home, sold her petticoat to relieve her, and, probably from her
over-anxiety to give her something good for her weak stomach, fed her
more than she was able to bear, and the Fair Ellen died. Now, doctor,
let the friend of the fair Ellen come to me, and I will receive her
to my bosom, and she shall be my friend; for such sentiments as hers
will I honour and respect wherever I find them.” She went on: “How
strange it is that immorality, in England, is met in some persons by
such severity――much too great; and, in others, escapes animadversion! *
* * * * The poor are spurned for errors not half so gross as what the
wealthy my lords do in the open face of day, and set people at defiance
to boot.”

She went on: “To get inmates for brothels, and mistresses for the rich,
fancy a procuress to some great my lord, who sets off for Wales, or
for some distant province of England. Down she goes, accompanied by a
sort of confidential servant, whom she affects to retain from the great
attachment that her poor dear husband had for him; and she places
herself in handsome lodgings in a town, or in some pretty cottage in a
village. There she visits the poor and the sick, or does some act of
charity to make herself talked about, and, in the mean time, looks out
for some handsome girl. When she has found one that she thinks will
suit her purpose, she first takes her as her maid, treats her with
great kindness, and, when the girl has conceived a liking for her, she
all of a sudden pretends she has received news from London of the death
of a brother, or the sickness of a dear friend, and says she must set
off directly. The poor girl, whom she has fed with hopes of what she
may become some day, by telling her that she has no relations that she
cares for and perhaps may leave her something when she dies, desires to
be taken with her; and the procuress, with a show of generous feeling
for her, says she will not let her go, unless she can ensure her
bettering herself, and begs that her parents will have a paper drawn
up, that she is to remain five or seven years with her, or else she,
the lady, is to give her fifty pounds. The parents, delighted with
the disinterested offer of their child’s mistress, get the agreement
legally drawn up, sign it, and sign their daughter’s ruin.

“As soon as they are in London, dress, pleasure, and other allurements,
are offered her. She forgets her humble home, and becomes the dupe of
her artful seducer. If any inquiry is made after her, perhaps the fifty
pounds are paid; and the very agreement that was to secure her safety
becomes the bond of her destruction.

“Lady Hamilton was brought from Wales in this manner, a fine,
rosy-faced, and rather blowsy country girl. A set of virtuosoes wanted
a model for a Venus, and some of them, who knew Lady H., fixed on her;
but Sir W. H. took her out of their hands, and carried her to Naples.
Yet how did she end?――with not money enough to bury her; and so did
Mrs. Jordan.”[45]

February 12 to 18.――It rained so hard, that, for a week, we were almost
confined to the house. Our good friends, Mr. and Mrs. Chasseaud, when
it was possible, either came and passed the evening with us, or we went
to their cottage. On awaking, on the morning of the 16th, we found
the bed-room and the counterpane of our bed wet with the rain, which
had penetrated the roof in every part, excepting, luckily, over the
children’s bed. The bedding and carpets were obliged to be removed into
another room. The day proved very stormy; and, for two or three days
more, we were compelled to live and sleep in the same room, being the
only one that was waterproof. The occasional squalls were so violent,
that a gust of wind would whirl a large copper ewer to the distance of
a yard. All the trelliscourt of our terrace was blown away, like chaff
before the whirlwind.

February 21.――Nine hours were spent to-day in conversation with Lady
Hester, from three in the afternoon until midnight. She spoke of Lord
Stewart de Rothsay, of the Duke of Sussex, of Mr. Pitt, and many other
persons. The weather was beautiful; and, although the sides of Mount
Lebanon, only a few miles off, were covered with snow, we sat until
sunset with the windows open. The climate of Syria is, probably, one of
the most pure and balmy in the world.

Lady Hester, from one thing to another, returned to the subject of
Mr. Pitt’s amiable disposition. “It is wonderful,” said she, “what a
man Mr. Pitt was. Nobody would have suspected how much feeling he had
for people’s comforts, who came to see him. Sometimes he would say to
me, ‘Hester, you know we have got such a one coming down. I believe
his wound is hardly well yet, and I heard him say, that he felt much
relieved by fomentations of such an herb: perhaps you will see that he
finds in his chamber all that he wants.’ Of another, he would say――‘I
think he drinks ass’s milk; I should like him to have his morning’s
draught.’ And I, who was born with such sensibility, that I must
fidget myself about everybody, no matter whom, was always sure to
exceed his wishes.

“Would you believe, doctor, that, in the last weeks of his last
illness, he found time to think about his groom, in a way that
nobody would have suspected in him? He had four grooms, who died
of consumption, from being obliged to ride so hard after him; for
they drank and caught cold, and so ruined their constitutions. This
one I am speaking of, when first attacked in the lungs, was placed
at Knightsbridge, and then sent to the seaside. One day, Mr. Pitt,
speaking of him, said to me――‘The poor fellow, I am afraid, is very
bad: I have been thinking of a way to give him a little consolation.
I suspect he is in love with Mary, the housemaid; for, one morning,
early, I found them talking closely together, and she was covered with
blushes. Couldn’t you contrive, without hurting his feelings, to get
her to attend on him in his illness?’

“Accordingly, soon after, when he was about to set off for Hastings, I
went to see him. ‘Have you nobody,’ I asked him, ‘whom you would like
to go to the sea-side with you?――your sister or your mother?’ ‘No,
thank you, lady.’ ‘There is the still-room maid, would you like her?’
‘Ah, my lady, she has a great deal to do, and is always wanted.’ From
one to another, I, at last, mentioned Mary, and I saw I had hit on the
right person; but, however, he only observed, he should like to see
her before he went. Mary was, therefore, sent to him; and the result
of their conversation was, that he told her he would marry her if he
recovered, or leave her all he had if he died――which he did.

“Mr. Pitt once obtained a servant in a very odd way. Riding on the
moors with a friend, they came to one of those flocks of geese, which,
picked of their feathers, are driven about by a boy, with a bit of red
rag at the end of a long stick. ‘We must ride round,’ said Mr. Pitt;
‘we shall never get through this immense flock.’ ‘Yes, but you may,’
cried a sharp-looking boy, who had heard him, ‘if you will only keep
your horses quiet. Sh――sh――ee――ee――ayi――ayi!’ and the boy waved his
stick here and there, and in a minute or two the flock opened, and,
wheeling to the left and right in regular columns, made a passage,
through which they rode. ‘That must be a clever lad,’ observed Mr.
Pitt; ‘he manœuvres his little army in a wonderful manner――a general
could not do it better;’ and he ordered the groom to inquire to whom
he belonged. A day or two afterwards he was sent for, and put into the
stables. Next, he was made an undergroom; then taken to town to wait
on the upper servants, and afterwards made a footman; until, one day,
Mr. Pitt, going down to Hollwood with Mr. Dundas, and three or four
friends, to talk about some parliamentary business (a custom he had,
when he wanted to discuss any particular plan in quiet), lo and behold!
the cook fell down in an apoplectic fit, and died; and the butler, who
saw it, was so affected that he was seized with a fit of the gout. This
butler was also Mr. Pitt’s valet, on such occasions as when he was out
of town for a day. Mr. Pitt was in a sad fidget about the dinner: but
the young man in question said, ‘Don’t, sir, send off any express for a
cook: if you think proper, the maid shall dress the dinner. These are
all your intimate friends, and will take no notice: their servants as
yet know nothing of the matter; for I thought they might be frightened
to be where there is a dead man. Let me manage, and all will go well,
without any alarm being spread.’ He, accordingly, dressed Mr. Pitt, saw
to everything, and acquitted himself so well, that Mr. Pitt was more
than satisfied with him, and soon afterwards made him his valet; but
he did not live long enough to have his services recompensed. He died
quite young, at twenty-seven. He was a man all fire and activity. Mr.
Pitt would say to him, ‘You must go down to-day to such a place, and
I shall be there the day after to-morrow.’ ‘You will excuse me, sir,’
the man would reply, ‘but I sha’n’t go; for, if I do, who will attend
to you when you take your physic to-morrow? You will be busy, and put
it off; and nobody knows how to give it but myself.’ ‘Well, well,’ Mr.
Pitt would answer, ‘do so then;’ and would excuse him by an――‘Ah! he is
very anxious about me――I must let him have his own way.’”

It was a remarkable proof of Lady Hester Stanhope’s memory, that,
whatever subject she stumbled on, she had an inexhaustible fund of
anecdotes ready; and, having got into the servants’ hall, she seemed
as much at home there as in the drawing-room. She told me a pathetic
history of a faithful servant, who, in the pecuniary distresses of his
master, served him for several years with the purest disinterestedness.
I was so touched by her eloquent and forcible manner of relating the
story, and with the self-application that I made of it to my own
tardiness in going to her in her distress, together with my present
intention of leaving her, owing to our recent differences, that I burst
into tears, and wept, as the expression is, bitterly. She soothed my
feelings, endeavoured to calm my emotions, and disclaimed all intention
of conveying any allusion to me. This led her to say, how little malice
she ever entertained against any one, even towards those who had done
her injury, much less against me, who had always shown my attachment to
her: and she said that, even now, although she was going to lose me,
still her thoughts did not run on her own situation so much as on what
would become of me: and I firmly believed her.

February 23 to 26, 1831.――Another fresh trouble now harassed Lady
Hester. Paolo, her Italian servant, who had been sent to Acre to
assist in laying out the Pasha’s garden, made or received offers
there to fill a good post in the Artillery, he having served as a
soldier during Buonaparte’s campaigns. He, therefore, came back to her
ladyship’s, to signify his intention of leaving his place, hoping she
would, in consideration of his services, give him a character to the
Pasha. There had been some shuffling in the business on Paolo’s part,
so Lady Hester was determined to play him a trick, as he had tricked
her. Instead, therefore, of a written good character, she put a blank
sheet, undercover, to the Pasha; and, causing it to be directed with
the customary titles and superscription to his highness, she gave
it to Paolo, paid him his wages, and sent him off, exulting in the
prospect of the lucrative post he was about to be promoted to. When he
had obtained admittance to the Pasha, he presented his letter, and,
the seal being broken, a blank sheet was all that the cover contained.
Another letter to the Pasha, explaining what had been done, had been
despatched by a special messenger, in which Lady Hester Stanhope
showed Paolo’s unfitness for a gunner, and urged him not to expose
his men to the chance of being blown to pieces at the cannon’s mouth
by the ignorance of a man who would make a decent valet, but a very
bad artilleryman. The Pasha took the hint, and sent Paolo about his
business, who hastened back to Beyrout, and retreated, crestfallen, to

Nothing farther was said about the Damascus affair. A long letter,
on the organization of a body of regular troops, was drawn up, and
sent to Abdallah Pasha. This, with the trouble of translating it into
Arabic, occupied three or four days. Letters were written to Dr. Dusap,
of Cairo, relative to the purchase of some black slaves, to Lord
Ebrington, and to some other persons, which filled up the time until
March 7. The intervals of writing were devoted to conversations on the
coming of the Murdah, or new Messiah, and Lady Hester laboured hard to
make me a convert to her doctrines. She expressed her regret that the
result of the fulfilment of her predictions would be for strangers, and
not for her friends.


     [41] There is a history of the origin of the Admy family
          in the London and Paris Observer of June 30, 1839.
          Persons who doubt about the existence of hereditary
          nobility in Turkey will do well to read it. The Sultan
          creates Pashas, as the sovereign here makes Lord As
          and Lord Bs, but it is some time before they obtain
          the level of old families, except in their official

     [42] Captain Meadows Taylor does not appear to have been
          quite so scrupulous in his “Confessions of a Thug,”
          where the following passage occurs:――“She falls at his
          feet; she is captivated; she conquers, and the _nika_
          is performed.” How harmless is the sound of words when
          not understood!

     [43] “Report, but I do not give it as at all authentic,
          says that Pitt is to marry Eleanor Eden.”――_Diaries
          and Correspondence of the Earl of Malmesbury_, v. iii.
          p. 370.――_Letter to Sir G. Elliott, Dec. 18, 1790._

     [44] In 1837, when I visited Lady Hester Stanhope again, I
          was reading Wraxall’s Memoirs, where he says, “There
          was something about Mr. E***, that one could not
          feel confidence in him;” and Lady Hester Stanhope
          interrupted me by saying, “That was the reason that
          Mr. Pitt would not marry his daughter. She was unlike
          all the other sisters. The mother, like a hen with her
          chickens, would sit sometimes at a party, and almost
          devour a peer, to see if she could get him for one of
          them. There they were, all open-mouthed, ready to eat
          him up.”

     [45] With respect to Mrs. Jordan, I believe Lady Hester
          Stanhope to have been mistaken.

                              CHAPTER VI.

Lady Hester Stanhope’s belief in the coming of a Messiah――Her two
favourite mares――Lady Hester’s destiny influenced by Brothers, the
fortune-teller, and by one Metta, a Syrian astrologer――Duke of
Reichstadt――Madame de Fériat――Story of a Circassian slave――Rugged
paths in Mount Lebanon――Anecdote of Lord and Lady Bute――Anecdote of
Mr. A., afterwards Lord S.――His father’s rise in the world――Lord
Liverpool and the order of merit――Intimidation exercised over the
Author’s household by Lady Hester――Sundry difficulties arising
therefrom――Lady Hester’s opinion of X.’s mission――Mrs. Fry――Lady
Hester’s defiance of consular authority, and confidence in her own
resources――Lunardi recommended as a servant――The Author takes leave of
Lady Hester――Conduct of the Franks at Sayda――The Author sails for
Cyprus――Is hospitably received by Mr. Hanah Farkouah, a Syrian, and by
Signor Baldassare Mattei――Marine villa at Larnaka――Mr. George
Robinson――Captain Scott――Captain Dundas――Mr. Burns――The Author sails
for Europe.

As many travellers have circulated the report that Lady Hester Stanhope
had announced the coming of a Messiah, and that she had shown her
two Arabian mares, as of a particular breed, which were never to be
mounted until this second advent, making inferences therefrom little
favourable to that lady’s sanity, it may not be amiss to state, in her
own words, what she actually did say on this subject.

“All sects,” said her ladyship, “have predicted the coming of a
Saviour or Messiah; this event, it is foretold, will be preceded by
the overthrow of most of the kingdoms of Christendom: the work has
already begun, and we may soon expect its completion. For is not the
world in a state of revolution? Have not kings been driven from their
thrones? Hundreds and thousands of distressed persons will come to me
for assistance and refuge. I shall have to wade up to here” (pointing
to her girdle) “in blood; but it is the will of God, and I shall not be
afraid. The advent of the Murdah has occupied the minds of many people,
and I think unsuccessfully. M. Lamartine talked about religion to me.
I told him――‘Does not the Testament say, ‘But there is one shall come
after me, who is greater than I am――who is that?’ He hummed and hahed,
but could make no reply.[46] Is he not to appear as an earthly king,
in honour and glory? The Jews expect him, the Turks expect him, the
Ansarias expect him; all expect him but the Christians. What did Lord
P********** shoot himself for, but from the impossibility of getting
at the truth in this matter? And the great Duke de St. Simon, how did
he puzzle his brain to no purpose! He knew a great deal――much more
than Enfantin and all his followers. Enfantin got hold of his
manuscripts, and Rodrigo, his secretary, copied them; but they could
not make it out. The St. Simonians came to see me; they thought to get
hold of me, but they were mistaken. I know the woman that will suit
them; a great _bint el hawa_, a beautiful creature.

“You tell me of secret societies, which have risen up in Europe since
the long war. Did not I know all that? I have been bred in the work
of revolutions since I was first with Mr. Pitt. How many plots did he
crush, within two or three days of their consummation, of which not a
syllable was ever known! The great freemasons, doctor, exist all over
the world: they know I am the person they want. Many of them have been
sent as spies on my actions; but I shall stand in no need of them――it
is they who will want me. When the course of events shall have brought
things to a point, I shall have assistance enough. All the people who
come here after me, are sent to say something: Lord B******, who saw me
at Tiberias, was a freemason, and one of them.”

It is pretty plain, from all this, that Lady Hester Stanhope had a
persuasion of the coming of a new Messiah: but whether she entertained
it as a matter of spiritual faith, or as the groundwork of some great
scheme she was bringing to bear, others must decide. Sometimes, one
was almost forced to conclude that the constant workings of her brain
had impaired it. Add to this, the feverish greediness with which she
received all reports of insurrections, revolts, and political changes.
Even her servants knew her weakness on these points; and there was not
a fellow in her establishment who did not return home every night with
some cock and bull story, to feed her diseased imagination; and it was
an every-day piece of flattery to say that they had heard that all the
power of the Sultan and his Pashas was nothing now, but that the Syt’s
protection alone was worth having. Still let it not be supposed that,
on any other subject, her faculties were in the least impaired. On
every concern of human life, on all other matters, whether common or
abstruse, she conversed like an oracle. But she had talked so often of
the coming of a Murdah[47] into the world, to chastise the wicked,
subdue Christendom and the Moslem countries, and remodel the face of
the globe, that even her maids were inclined to believe it, or
pretended to do so. Fatôom, the least of them, if praised by her
mistress, would ask whether, when the Murdah came, she thought such an
humble being as herself might be saved? Whether this was cunning or
simplicity, may be doubted; but, from the subsequent misconduct of
this girl, in robbing her ladyship, it was most likely the former.
Lady Hester, however, encouraged the belief of her future greatness,
and would often hold it out as a present temptation for good behaviour
to her servants.

Almost all such travellers as came to see her, and who have in their
published books spoken of her, mention the two favourite mares, which
she kept in expectation of the coming of the Mahedi, and which she
never suffered any person to mount. They were called Läila and Lulu.
Läila was exceedingly hollow-backed, being born saddled, as Lady Hester
used to say, and with a double backbone: she was a chestnut, and Lulu
a gray. They were both thoroughbred: they had each a groom, and were
taken the greatest care of. The green plat of ground on the east side
of the house-wall was set apart entirely for exercising them twice
a-day; and round this the grooms, with _longes_, were made to run them
until they were well warmed. This spot was sacred; and, whilst they
were at exercise, nobody, neither servant nor villager, was allowed
to cross it, or to stand still to look at them, under the penalty of
being dismissed her service. Such an order, from its nature, would
necessarily be violated very often, but unknown to Lady Hester; for, as
she never went out of her house, and could not overlook that side of
it, a tacit understanding among the people made them true to their own
secrets: but, from time to time, accident, or the unguarded disclosures
of some of the maids, made her aware that her orders had been slighted,
and then her anger exceeded all bounds. Few were the travellers who
were admitted to these mares in their stable; and never was the
permission granted, until it had been ascertained that their star would
not be baneful to them.[48]

Horses in Syria, for about seven months in the year, are tethered out
of doors, where they are fed and littered down. It was under a shed,
covered with thatch, shut in at the two sides by a treillage, with
three parterres of flowers and shrubs behind them, that these two
beautiful animals stood. Every morning, in the summer, the grooms
washed their tails, legs, and manes, in soap and water, and watered
the ground beneath their feet, to keep them cool; but, during the
winter months, they were stalled in their stables, and warm felts
covered their delicate limbs. Apis, in his most glorious days, and
surrounded by his priesthood, could not have been better attended to.

Lady Hester Stanhope one day assured me that, when her pecuniary
difficulties pressed hardest upon her, had it not been for the sake
of those two creatures, she should have given up her house and
everything to her creditors, sold her pension to pay them, and quitted
the country: but she resolved to wait for the consummation of events
on their account. “Ah, doctor,” added she, “I recollect, when I was
at Rome, seeing, in a beautiful bas-relief, that very mare, with her
hollow back made like a saddle. Two Englishmen were standing by, and
were criticising the very same thing that caught my attention. ‘How
very beautiful,’ said one, ‘is that basso-relievo! but the ancients,
somehow, never could set about a good thing without spoiling it. There
is that hollow-backed horse――did you ever see such a thing?’ I heard it
all, but I made my own observations; and now, you see, I have got a
mare of the very same breed.”

There is reason to think, from what her ladyship let fall at different
times, that Brothers, the fortune-teller, in England, and one Metta,
a village doctor, on Mount Lebanon, had considerable influence on her
actions, and, perhaps, her destiny. When Brothers was taken up, and
thrown into prison (in Mr. Pitt’s time), he told those who arrested
him to do the will of Heaven, but first to let him see Lady Hester
Stanhope. This was repeated to her ladyship, and curiosity induced her
to comply with the man’s request. Brothers told her that “she would
one day go to Jerusalem, and lead back the chosen people; that, on
her arrival in the Holy Land, mighty changes would take place in the
world, and that she would pass seven years in the desert.” Trivial
circumstances will foster a foolish belief in a mind disposed to
encourage it. Mr. Frederick North, afterwards Lord Guildford, in the
course of his travels, came to Brusa, whither Lady Hester had gone for
the benefit of the hot baths. He, Mr. Fazakerly, and Mr. Gally Knight,
would often banter her on her future greatness among the Jews. “Well,
madam, you must go to Jerusalem. Hester, queen of the Jews! Hester,
queen of the Jews!” was echoed from one to the other; and probably, at
last, the coincidence of a name, a prophecy, and the country towards
which she found herself going, were thought, even by herself, to be
something extraordinary. Metta took up the book of fate from that time,
and showed her the part she was to play in the East. This man, Metta,
for some years subsequent to 1815, was in her service as a kind of
steward. He was advanced in years; and, like the rest of the Syrians,
believed in astrology, spirits, and prophecy. No doubt, he perceived
in Lady Hester Stanhope a tincture of the same belief: and, on some
occasion, in conversation, he said he knew of a book on prophecy,
which he thought had passages in it that related to her. This book, he
persuaded her, could only be had by a fortunate conjunction connected
with himself; and he said, if she would only lend him a good horse,
to take him to the place where it was, he would procure her a sight
of it, but she was never to ask where he fetched it from. All this
exactly suited Lady Hester’s love of mystery. A horse was granted him;
he went off, and returned with the prophetic volume, which he said he
could keep only a certain number of hours. It was written in Arabic,
and he was to read and explain the text. The part which he expounded
was――“That a European female would come and live on Mount Lebanon at a
certain epoch, would build a house there, and would obtain power and
influence greater than a Sultan’s; that a boy, without a father, would
join her, whose destiny would be fulfilled under her wing; that the
coming of the Mahedi would follow, but be preceded by war, pestilence,
famine, and other calamities; that the Mahedi would ride a horse born
saddled, and that a woman would come from a far country[49] to partake
in the mission.” There were many other incidents besides which were
told, but which I did not recollect.

Certain it is, that Lady Hester Stanhope had, for a long time, a
persuasion that the Duke of Reichstadt would some day visit her, and
she imagined he was the boy pointed out in the prophecy. After his
death, she fixed on another, who is alluded to in one of her letters to

Metta died, leaving three sons; and, on his death-bed, in the presence
of his wife and children, said to them, “You will tell the Syt, my
lady, that I bequeath you, my children, to her. I have no friend in the
world but her: you are poor, and she will provide for you.” The reader
will, no doubt, call to mind the dying legacy of the poor Grecian
philosopher, who bequeathed his penniless daughter to his friend, and
desired he would marry her. This appeal is understood in the East.
Metta had made his calculations with subtilty, for Lady Hester
Stanhope never deserted the orphans; and, although one proved a sot,
she bore with his idleness and dissipation, and brought them all three
forward in the world.

When Lady Hester Stanhope recounted this story to me, I had not the
least doubt left in my mind of her conviction that all these things
would be fulfilled. “You,” she said, “are of such a cold disposition,
that nothing one can say makes any impression on you. I had thought,
from your letters, that you liked this country, and that, seeing the
dreadful events which will shortly take place in Europe, you wished to
secure a safe retreat with me, and felt the impulse of the doctrines
I had so often talked to you about. I let people here believe (as
they had got such an idea into their heads) that you had been sent by
my family to arrange my affairs. In doing this, I had no view to my
own interest. When the time comes, thousands like you will be ready
to serve me; and, indeed, I should have no leisure then to talk to
you, occupied, as I shall be, in fulfilling my master’s orders. All I
thought was, that, if I could be of any use to you in procuring you a
safe asylum, I should have done my duty by you.”

Quitting this subject, Lady Hester Stanhope related some anecdotes of
the royal dukes, of Lady Augusta Murray, Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Nugent, &c.
This led her to speak of the influence women exercise over the actions
of men, and of the power they secretly exert in affairs where the
ostensible actors are grave statesmen. She told me that the Turkish
women, veiled and shut up in harýms, were not less the springs of
action in Mahometan countries, than European women are, flouncing
about in saloons. Nor were they a bit less self-willed, even down to
purchased slaves, who are generally supposed to be mere mechanical
beings, all submission to their master’s will. She related a story, in
proof of her assertion, the substance of which was this:――

There was a Circassian, who had been in the Sultan’s seraglio, but, for
some cause, was sold, and fell into the hands of the Dey of Algiers.
When he went to see her, in his own harým, and approached her to use
such familiarities as he thought himself entitled to, she slapped his
face, nor would she ever moderate her open aversion to him. At last,
he was obliged to resell her. The would-be purchaser was a gentleman
(the narrator of these facts to Lady Hester Stanhope), who, on going
towards her, as she sat on a sofa, was so electrified at the sight of
her beauty as to lose the power of utterance for some moments. His
emotion pleased her; she liked him. He bought her; and they lived
long and happily together. Afterwards, chance took her back again to
Constantinople, and she entered the seraglio a second time, being
sold by the man she had liked, who married another woman, and, for
prudential reasons, was obliged to part with her. She rose to great
wealth and power, but she never forgot him; and her interest was always
at his service for himself and those he recommended.

On returning to my own cottage in the village, (which was generally
after midnight), I was accompanied by a servant, who carried a lantern.
On these occasions, I rode an ass, as being the most sure-footed
creature for mountainous paths in the dark. In England we have no idea
of a road to a person’s house such as this was; in itself, however, in
no wise different from that which led to the Emir Beshýr’s palace, or
to any other principal or princely dwelling on Mount Lebanon. These
paths are no wider than is requisite for a mule or a horse; and, where
the sides of the mountains are unusually steep, they always run in
zigzags, and sometimes in steps. A slip, in such places, might be
attended with very serious consequences, especially as in no case is
there any protection afforded by means of a parapet-wall or other
defence. It is not without very natural apprehension, therefore,
that a stranger to the country trusts himself for the first time,
even in the daylight, upon these difficult mountain paths; and there
were two instances of Frenchmen, who were actually on their way from
Sayda to Lady Hester’s residence, when they turned back in alarm from
the apparent impracticability of the road. But habit soon begets
indifference to obstacles of this kind, and the animals of the country
are so sagacious and sure-footed, that anybody, who trusts to their
skill rather than his own, may traverse all such dangerous ways in
perfect safety.

I was about to say that, in going home at night, three or four
mastiffs, which lay in the courtyard, commonly came out of the gate
with me. Their delight was to scour the distance between the house and
the village in search of jackals, wolves, and a species of panther,
found during the winter in the low parts, but more commonly in the
forests of the higher chain of Mount Lebanon. In these nocturnal
courses I often heard the jackals, but had hitherto only encountered
one wolf; on one occasion, however, at about two after midnight, on my
way home, the dogs set up a sharp bark, and, from a shelving terrace
of the rock above my head, a wolf made a desperate leap across the
path down the declivity, with the dogs at his heels, and, like dark
shadows, swift as lightning they disappeared. I heard their rush for
about ten or fifteen seconds, and then, in about as many minutes more,
the dogs returned panting; but I was not able, in the obscurity of the
night, to see by their jaws whether they had overtaken the wolf or not.
Wild boars are found in these mountains, as also foxes, antelopes, and
forest animals.

The following day, I walked out with my family into a deep valley,
between two lofty mountains, wooded with low ilexes, locust-trees,
oaks, arbutuses, &c. There was a goatherd leading a herd of goats; and,
just as we reached them, we saw a large mastiff go down the side of the
ravine in chase of some animal. The goatherd told me it was a panther,
which he had roused in throwing a stone at one of his goats. The dog,
after a pursuit of some hundred yards, came back. The man added, that
these panthers were not dangerous in the daytime, but might be after
dark, if very hard pressed for food. He and his companion, however,
seemed very indifferent about it, as if accustomed to see them often.
These goatherds remain, during the whole of the winter season, on some
particular range of the lower mountains, and fold their herds by night
in caverns in the rocks, of which there are many natural ones. Dogs,
and a hedge of prickly brambles, form their protection. In the summer,
they go back to their villages higher up. Those we met came from a
village called Muzrat es Shoof, about three or four leagues off, and
near the snow.

March 9.――We went to Dayr Mkhallas, to revisit Miss Williams’s tomb. I
was entreated the same day, by a peasant woman, to go to her husband,
who was lying ill of a malignant fever. He was then in the agonies of
death, and died the same evening; but I had occasion to remark that he
had six fingers on each hand. I was told this day, also, of the mode
of curing sore throat as practised in the village. A handkerchief was
drawn tightly round the neck, until the patient was half strangled,
and this effected such a revolution in the circulation, that the
inflammation subsided in a few hours. I had the information from the
mouth of a respectable man who had recently been operated upon.

March 10 and 11 were spent with Lady Hester, who was at one time in a
state of high irritation against her blacks, and, at another, busy as
a housekeeper in directing the package of three cases of dried fruits,
honey, syrups, _snobars_, or fir-apple pips, preserved apricots, and
other delicacies, intended for Dr. Dusap, in Egypt.

March 11.――In the midst of her package she related the following
anecdote to me; it happened at Malta, and I recollected the day very
well. Her ladyship had said to me, “On such a day I am going to dine
at Lord Bute’s; he has not invited you, and it will be a very good
opportunity for you to see the medical and other acquaintances you may
have made here: so invite whom you like to dinner, and I will give
orders to François about it. You will lose nothing by not going to
Lord B.’s; for he is a proud man, and expects that doctors and tutors
should never speak but when spoken to. Mr. K. hardly opens his mouth
in his presence, except when my lord asks him a question, or refers to
him about a passage in Virgil, or some book or another: but then how
easily is a clergyman, who has lived with great people, to be known,
and what superior manners he has! Always possessing himself, and always
unassuming, he is sure to be well received everywhere.”

“I was dining,” said Lady Hester, “at Lord B.’s on that occasion, and
at dinner Lord B. asked me what I thought of D*******, the banker’s
son. ‘Oh!’ cried I, ‘I think of him as I do of all bankers’ sons I see
skipping about the continent, that they had much better be behind the
counter; for, if they are intended to follow their father’s trade,
this skipping about only unfits them for it, and they never after
can be brought to sit in some dark room, in a narrow street in the
city; and, if they are intended to be fine gentlemen, it is ten to
one but they ruin themselves: or, if they do not, that their house
gets a bad name:――am I not right, my lord?’ ‘Why, you know, Lady,
Hester,’ answered Lord B., ‘I generally agree with you, but on this
point I am not quite sure. Then you don’t like bankers, Lady Hester?’
‘Not particularly, my lord,’ said I; but, as I looked up, I saw Lord
Ebrington screwing up his mouth, and Lady B. looking very odd, whilst
Lord B. looked very cunning; the butler, all the while, standing first
on one leg and then the other, in a state of the strangest uneasiness.
All of a sudden old C***** came into my head, and I saw what a blunder
I had made.

“In going out of the room, Lady B. said, ‘Lady Hester, you are always
wild as you have been, but I know you never mean any harm in what you
say.’ And here the matter ended, as I thought. Lady B., however, did
not forget it, as you shall hear. I kept up a correspondence with her
for fifteen or twenty years, and her letters were full of protestations
of service. In 1827 I found myself at one time, as I have already told
you, very short of money, and I wrote to Lady B. to ask her to lend me
three hundred pounds: the answer was, that she had not so much at her
disposal, without inconveniencing herself. After this I never wrote to
her again; but I had a great mind to send her a letter to say, I did
not think the proud Lord B. would have left his widow so poor as to
make three hundred pounds an object to her, when I recollected to have
seen as much given away to an old butler or a poor housekeeper.”

March 12.――Lady Hester related another story. “Mr. A******** wanted to
be made――would you believe it, doctor?――wanted to be made Lord Raleigh,
and I was determined he should not, if I could help it. One morning,
Mr. Pitt came into the drawing-room to speak to me, so I said to him,
‘What a pretty caricature they have made about A.;’ and I described,
as if I had seen it, a caricature in which figured Queen Elizabeth
and Mr. A. and the king; and, with as much humour as I could, made
such a ridiculous picture that Mr. Pitt was quite amused. Just as I
had finished my description, somebody came in, and interrupted the
conversation; and, Mr. Pitt going out to dinner, I saw no more of him.
He, thinking what I told him was a fact, repeated the story to Mr. A.
and others. Immediately half-a-dozen people were despatched to all the
caricature shops to buy up the whole impression at any price; but,
as the whole was my invention, of course they found none: for I had
intended to say, ‘Fancy how ridiculous a business it will appear, if
such a caricature is published, which is very likely.’ So, when I saw
Mr. Pitt next day, I told him; but the fright they had been thrown
into was so great that another title was chosen. Subsequently, Mr. Pitt
never would speak to Lord S.

“The rise of Mr. A.’s father in the world was this. Lord Chatham’s
first coachman being taken ill, the postillion was sent to the town for
the family doctor; but, not finding him, and not knowing what to do, he
returned, bringing with him Mr. A., then a practitioner of the place,
and excused himself to my grandfather by saying, he hoped his lordship
would not be offended; for everybody told him Mr. A. was a good doctor.
Lord Chatham spoke to him, and desired him to go and see the coachman,
which he did, and then returned again to report what was the matter
with him. Lord Chatham was so pleased with Mr. A., that he took him as
apothecary for the servants, then for himself; and, finding he spoke
good sense on medicine, and then on politics, he at last made him his

“Mr. Pitt having some intention of creating an Order of Merit, desired
the cabinet ministers each to give their opinions in turn upon the
coloured ribbon that should be used for the decoration. Among the rest,
Lord Liverpool said he had prepared his, and that he would call in the
evening to show it to him and me. He accordingly came. ‘You see,’ he
observed with much self-complacency, ‘I have endeavoured to combine
such colours as will flatter the national vanity. Here is red for the
English flag, blue for liberty, and white to denote the purity of
motive.’ There were several persons present, and some of the toadies
were full of admiration. One cried, ‘Twas excellent;’ another, that
‘The king would be greatly pleased with it;’ a third, ‘You had better
take it down to Windsor;’ and so on. ‘Yes,’ said I, ‘the king will be
delighted with it. I myself think the colours charming; for I know
exactly how they will look, as I have seen them very often.’ ‘Seen
them!――where?’ asked Lord L. ‘Why, in the French soldiers’ cockades,’
answered I.

“Poor Lord Liverpool, who was a good sort of man, but who had been
putting himself forward in a thing he was not fit for, and had stupidly
overlooked the tri-coloured flag, was thunderstruck. ‘What shall I
do, Lady Hester?’ cried he; ‘I have already got five hundred yards of
ribbon made: what can I do with it?’ ‘Why,’ rejoined I, ‘it will serve,
my lord, to tie up your breeches: for, you know, you have always such a
load of papers in your breeches’ pockets, that I quite fear to see them
some day fall down.’ And so it was, doctor; he used to ram his hands
into his pockets, first on one side and then on the other, in search
of some paper or another, just as if he was groping for an eel at the
bottom of a pond.”

March 13.――The example set by Lady Hester Stanhope’s maid, the day she
came and openly abused us, had a bad effect on Aysha, our black woman;
and, at length, after putting up with much impertinence, we sent her
back to her ladyship, with a note to say we could not manage her. Lady
Hester seized the opportunity thus offered, of letting us feel how
much our comfort would be rendered dependent on her pleasure: for we
were informed, when looking out in the village for a maid to take the
black’s place, that one of Lady Hester’s people had circulated a report
that it would be dangerous for any one to serve us, because whoever
did so ran a chance of being turned out of the village; adding, that
great folks like her, when a thing displeased them, sometimes made an
elephant of a flea. So we sent to a village about four miles off, and
got a peasant girl; but she had not been with us twenty-four hours,
when, frightened at what she heard, she went to the secretary to ask
whether there was any danger likely to accrue to her by remaining
in our service. A week passed on, and every day fresh reports were
circulated, that some mischief was intended against us.

The reader will recollect that Lady Hester Stanhope, in one of her
letters (see page 55), speaks of the repeated annoyances which the Emir
Beshýr practised against her, by interdicting the village people from
supplying her wants, and of the steps she was obliged to take, even of
writing to our ambassador at Constantinople, in order to counteract
them. It appears that his example was not lost upon her, and that she
did not disdain to resort to the same measures against us. For a whole
week she did not send the horse for me, nor hold any communication with
me, so that I was precluded from making such representations to her as
otherwise I could have done. In the mean time, we packed up our things,
and resolved to depart as soon as we could.

March 21.――Our situation was now becoming more and more uncomfortable.
We took long walks every day, talking over our troubles, and contriving
how we should free ourselves from the thraldom under which we were
suffering; for we were as effectually in prison as if we had been
under bars and bolts. This may seem incomprehensible to Europeans;
but, in the East, where the will of a powerful chieftain hangs like a
spell over every individual within his reach, it is in vain to argue
about people’s rights. Besides, out of consideration for Lady Hester
Stanhope’s name, I did not wish to come to an open difference with her;
and I could not say precisely that she sought to injure us, as, upon
every occasion when I spent the day with her, she alleged the most
plausible reasons for her conduct, invariably treating me individually
with marked kindness. She was hostile to women; and, calling all their
motives of action mere caprices, she engaged in a Quixotical warfare to
set them down. “I would have done the same,” said she, “if it had been
Sir ―――― ―――― and Lady ――――, instead of you and Mrs. ――――, had she been
here, and chosen to lead him the same dance as she did when he took a
house for her at Tunbridge Wells, and then she would not live in it,
or when she rode across the lawn on a donkey during a dinner-party,
just after he had excused her absence to the company on the score of
indisposition. For what can be more absurd in a woman than to have
followed you, as Mrs. ―――― has done, all this distance, when you came
upon my affairs, and then to prevent you from acting in them in a way
that would be useful to me and yourself?”

On the faith of Lady Hester’s long friendship for me, I had sailed from
Europe with only money enough to pay our passage, and a few pounds
over; I, therefore, was tied down to the spot until I had received a
remittance from England, which after-reflection had made me order to
be sent. On March 23rd, a letter from Cyprus announced the receipt,
from Marseilles, of 2000 francs to my address. This sum was barely
sufficient to defray our passage back; in addition to which, the
personal opposition of Lady Hester Stanhope was yet to be overcome. No
one in the village would dare to let his camels or mules to us, and I
knew that, at Sayda, every consular agent would decline mixing himself
up in any business against Lady Hester, apprehensive of the harassing
consequences to which it would inevitably expose him: for it was well
known that, in speaking of people who attempted to thwart her, her
constant expression was, “If they want a devil, let them try me, and
they shall have enough of it!”

March 24.――I was informed by Mr. Jasper Chasseaud, her ladyship’s
secretary, that she had given him orders to say to such as applied for
information, that she did not prevent any one from working for us; but
that such as were employed by us in any capacity whatever were never to
serve her again. This was tantamount to an excommunication.

April 1.――It was now ten or eleven days since I had seen Lady Hester,
when I received a message from her to say she wished me to call on
her; but, for the first time, she neglected to send a horse. However,
I was resolved not to notice this omission, and so walked over to the
Dar. She received me civilly. A long discussion began, during which her
manner was haughty and her tone loud. It is not necessary to repeat all
that passed; and the reader will already have become tired of these
petty disputes, which can possess no general interest, except in so
far as they help to illustrate the peculiar character of a lady, who,
released from the control of law and opinion, which restrained the
development of her natural temper in England, was here enabled to give
free vent to her disposition with perfect impunity. After a time she
grew calm. I then said I had made every preparation for my departure,
and wished to set off before the season of the plague; for, as that
malignant disease had been sporadic in the preceding year, it is well
known in the Levant that, during the following one, it would probably
prove general.

April 2.――I made out a list of medicines for Lady Hester Stanhope’s
use, answered letters she had received from Europe, and remained with
her until midnight. She related to me, at length, the whole of what she
considered the mysterious affair of X.’s coming to this country. Her
idea was, that the Duke of B******, together with the Duke of S*****
and other arch-masons, having, at a meeting, talked over the neglect
which Mr. Pitt’s friends and others showed her, and the loss which her
political talents were of, in a place where she could not use them for
the benefit of England, had resolved to send an emissary to see what
her wants were, and to pay her debts. X. was chosen. “As to the man
himself,” said Lady Hester, “I thought, by the manner in which he held
his whip, that he must once have been a courier. When he was here,
he took measurement of my rooms for paper, carpets, &c.; noted down
my wants, and said they would all be attended to. I accordingly gave
him a letter for the Duke of S*****, enclosing one for you, which was
to be given to you only in the event of a proper provision being made
for me. If X. took all these great people’s names in vain, it is odd
that they never noticed it; for it might be, after all, nothing more
than an intrigue of X.’s, who, having heard how successful Mr. F*****’s
application had been, thought that, by means of letters from me, and by
such interest, he could slip into a good place too.”

She then spoke of Lord St. Asaph, of Mr. Compton of Yorkshire, of
Captain Blair, and others; also of her old servant, Mrs. Fry, who had
served her so long and so faithfully, regretting she was not able to
make her any allowance, owing to the unsettled state of her own affairs.

She discoursed on her health, and recapitulated the different
illnesses she had got over. She told me that she used to say to Miss
Williams――“‘Mind, if I die, you are not to let Mr. A. have anything
to do with my affairs.’ ‘Oh! but, my lady, how could I help it?’ Miss
Williams would reply; ‘the consular authority....’ ‘D―――― the consular
authority!’ I used to say to her; ‘hire some strong peasant to drive
him away with a good stick, if he makes his appearance. Sell everything
that I leave in the house, if you can’t raise money enough any other
way, to pay somebody to do it, and let my body be thrown into the sea.’
But, doctor,” she continued, “I’ll take care he shan’t have anything to
do with burying my body; for, sooner than that, I’ll order myself to be
burned, without priest or prayer. I can’t bear that man. What right has
he over me? as I said to him, ‘Show me your firman, if that authorises
you to interfere with the nobility――you are here for merchants and such
people!’[50] No! as long as I have breath in my body, no consul shall
ever presume to enter my doors without my leave. I broke a good stick
over the shoulders of a fellow he sent me, and told the rascal to tell
his master I would have done the same to him had he come in person.”

Alluding to my departure, she observed――“Here I shall be left to myself
and my own resources: but I am like a cork; and, though I may be kept
down by my troubles for a little while, I soon come to the surface
again. As for keeping slaves, I only do as all the great people here
do; and as for being harsh to them, about which you talk so much, what
am I to do? If they don’t mind me when I tell them to do a thing, I
suppose I must do something more than talking, or else I should be
murdered. And if I get rid of slaves, why then I must take the people
of the country, who are all thieves――not thieves in great things, but
light-fingered, so that nothing in a single room in the house is safe
from them: such as will slip a wax candle, or the mouthpiece of a
pipe, or any little thing, into their pocket, and sell it the next

April 3.――Our departure being no longer opposed, Lady Hester Stanhope
requested me to take a vessel from Sayda to Cyprus, and not from
Beyrout. “It is as well,” she observed, “to avoid the Franks there,
who will bother you with a thousand questions: and, now the matter is
settled between us, the less said of it the better.” As I assented to
all this, she promised to send next day to engage a vessel; and M.
Gerardin, the French consular agent residing at Sayda, was employed for
the purpose. I begged her to accept the furniture, china, and glass, we
had brought with us; but she refused, alleging that the sight of what
had belonged to me would only give her pain. During our conversation
there happened a violent storm of thunder and lightning, and the wet
came through the roof into the room, so that it was necessary to
place pans to catch the water. On returning home, my own bed-room was
flooded, as if half-a-dozen pails of water had been thrown over it. The
violent gusts of wind would render it dangerous to have tiled roofs[51]
to the houses, although it is seldom that a winter passes without the
water penetrating through the flat ones, which are general in most
parts of Syria. The hurricane carried away one side of the matting that
had been raised to screen our courtyard from the sun.

April 5.――Our passage was engaged in a shaktoor, Captain Hassan
Logmagi, from Sayda to Cyprus, for three hundred piasters. I went to
Lady Hester’s at eleven in the morning, and stayed until half-past
twelve at night. She begged that all that had passed might be forgotten.

I had bethought myself of an excellent young man, named Lunardi, whose
care of his master, Mr. John Webb, of Leghorn, I had witnessed in my
professional attendance on that gentleman, during my residence at
Pisa, and I recommended him to Lady Hester. She seemed to think, by
the description I gave of him, that he would suit her, and I wrote
immediately to the mercantile house of Webb, James, and Co., at
Leghorn, offering him the place.[52]

April 6.――This was the last day I passed with Lady Hester Stanhope: she
was in bed, not being very well, and I drank tea with her. It was the
only time she had taken tea during the many evenings I had sat with
her, and I thought she had abandoned it altogether: however, she had
not wholly forgotten this part of English life. Although in bed, she
did the honours, as ladies do in England, sitting up and pouring out
the tea, handing the cup to me, presenting me the cakes, &c.; all which
things surprised the black slave, in a country where they are not used
to see great people do anything with their own hands: and it was the
same when I dined with her. There were three sorts of excellent rich
cakes, made of almond paste in different ways. Travellers in the East
may perhaps recollect _mâmool_, _gharyeby_, and _baklâawy_. She asked
me how I liked them, and, on my answering that they were delicious,
she said I should find a chest of each sort prepared for the use of my
family on the passage; and, true enough, they had been sent to Mrs.
―――― after I had come away from home.

After this, she produced the list of her debts, which I read over to
her, she making observations as I proceeded, on the manner in which she
had been led to contract them. Being on the eve of my departure, I had
not time to write down what she said until I was in the vessel; but, as
far as I recollected, the first was dated in 1827. The whole, however,
originated in charitable and benevolent motives. Among the distressed
persons whom she had assisted figured Abdallah Pasha himself, when,
upon being amerced by the Porte, he had applied to her for a large sum
of money, which she had lent him. The next were the wife and family of
the Sheykh Beshýr, who, when the Sheykh was imprisoned, were driven
from their princely palace, and compelled to wander and hide themselves
in distant parts of Syria. To them she sent money and clothes. Then
there was the widow of Girius Baz, principal secretary of the Emir
Beshýr, who was reduced, by the decapitation of her husband, and
the confiscation of his property, from affluence to poverty. Other
individuals of less note had shared her bounty. All her debts bore
interest at from 15 to 25 per cent. When once she got into the nets of
the money-lenders, she had never been able to extricate herself again,
and the evil had gone on increasing up to the present time, when she
owed, according to a rough calculation, nearly £14,000.

As soon as she had done talking of her debts, she asked me to go and
replace the list in Miss Williams’s writing-desk, from which it had
been taken, and which was in an adjoining room. I did so; but, on
returning to her chamber-door, to re-enter and take my leave of her, I
found it bolted, and one of the maids waiting on the outside, who told
me Lady Hester would see me no more, to spare both of us the pain of
saying farewell. I was somewhat affected for the moment, but reflection
told me she had acted rightly. Two of her black slaves, who had got
intimation of what was passing, came and kissed my hand: the rest of
the people were all asleep, except the porter, who let me out: and,
mounting my donkey, I left the house, as I then thought, for ever.

It was midnight when I got home. I found that, during my absence,
Lady Hester Stanhope had ordered to be sent, besides the cakes and
_baklâawy_ (which, of all pastry in the world, is, in many people’s
estimation, as in mine, the most delicious), a very fine amber-headed
pipe, and a large quantity of the best _Gebely_ tobacco from her own
store, and had, moreover, given numberless directions for our comfort
on board; which acts of kindness, I trust, my family, as well as
myself, appreciated as they deserved.

April 7.――In the morning, mounted on asses, having sent our baggage by
camels, we set off for Sayda, where we arrived about noon, and were
lodged in a spare room in the French khan. The French agent, with
whom I had been on terms of acquaintance for some years, during my
previous residence in Syria, well aware of our dispute with Lady Hester
Stanhope, prudently resolved to pay his court to her by not being very
courteous to us. All the Frank families imitated his example, and,
instead of receiving ten or fifteen visits, which we should otherwise
have expected, not one single person called upon us. So much for
friendships in the Levant.

April 8.――At sunset, the time which Turkish mariners always choose
for setting sail, we embarked on board of the shaktoor, abundantly
furnished with provisions, which had also been supplied by Lady Hester
Stanhope’s orders. We did not reach Cyprus until the morning of the
12th, owing to the extreme fineness of the weather; for, having stood
along shore as far as Beyrout during the night, to profit by the
land breeze, our vessel’s head being once put on her course, we had
no occasion to alter a cord during the whole passage. Our räis, or
skipper, behaved with great attention; but I little dreamed, at the
time, that this räis was, at some future day, to cross my path again,
as will be seen in a subsequent part of the diary.

On landing, I found that the inn, where we had lodged about four months
before, was broken up; so that we were obliged to remain on the strand
with our trunks and baggage, not knowing where to go. I wrote a pencil
note to the English vice-consul, in whose house I had once lived two
months; but he sent me word that he was unable to lodge us, or even
to procure us a lodging. I addressed myself to his dragoman, who had
brought this answer, and offered to pay handsomely for any place where
we could be housed, knowing, from my former visit to the island,
that he himself had a spacious dwelling; but he declared he knew
not where to put us, nor could he find any one to take us in. These
accumulated disappointments made me at last begin to apprehend that
Lady Hester’s unkind interdict had reached even Cyprus, whose doors
were thus inhospitably closed against us. We were almost in despair,
when, at length, Mr. Hanah Farkouah, the Syrian, who had been passenger
in the same ship with us from Marseilles, hearing accidentally of
our situation, came down and conducted us to his own house, where he
entertained us with great kindness for nine days. But, as we were
somewhat confined for room, M. Balthazar Mattei, a rich merchant, who
had a large mansion, which he had recently built close to the sea,
made us an offer of it. It was then, and probably is still, the best
residence in Cyprus; but, as it had never been inhabited, we felt, at
first, some delicacy in availing ourselves of his friendly proposition,
especially as it is considered a discourtesy in the East to leave the
house of one host for that of another: but all our objections were
finally overruled.

M. Mattei’s marine villa consisted of thirteen rooms, a kitchen, and
offices, and had a corridor sixty feet long, where we could escape from
the oppressive heat of the day, besides a spacious terrace, where we
could inhale the sea-breeze in the evening. It stood about ten yards
from the sea, which was checked in its nearer approach by a stone
breakwater. The saloon was of black and white marble. Its windows
projected, as a kiosk, almost over the waves; and from it we enjoyed
an expanded view of the bay and the shipping; whilst, from a lofty
belvidere, we had a charming panorama of the town and country. It would
not be easy to find a more agreeable mansion for a hot climate in any

We remained here four months and a half, living on the most amicable
terms with the inhabitants, and revelling in the abundance for which
this happy island is famed. Not a drop of rain fell during the whole
time. We were favoured, at different periods, with the visits of two
English travellers, who touched at Cyprus: Mr. George Robinson, whose
“Three Years Residence in the East” is, no doubt, familiar to the
reader, and Captain Scott, who also has given a work to the public. Her
Majesty’s ship, Belvidere, Captain Dundas, cast anchor in the roads,
and I accompanied the English vice-consul in paying his respects to
the British flag. Mr. Burns, the surgeon, as I believe of the frigate,
left an agreeable impression on my memory; but these casual meetings in
foreign countries are like the oases in the desert: it is refreshing to
light on one, and, that left behind, with little chance of ever seeing
it again, we go on until our good fortune presents us with another.
It was thus that three more Englishmen were seen for half an hour, in
their way from Syria to Anatolia; but they, too, sailed away, and,
as their vessel was lost to view, I felt that regret which a lively
conversation inspires, with no hope of its renewal.[53]

No merchant ship offered to take us to Europe until August; on the
twenty-fourth of which month we embarked for the Gulf of Spezia, where,
after a voyage of thirty-five days, we performed quarantine: and thus
ended, apparently for ever, my connexion with Lady Hester Stanhope.


     [46] It is evident that Lady Hester applied the words of
          St. John to our Saviour.

     [47] Lady Hester’s pronunciation in Arabic was not
          particularly correct. By Murdah she meant Mahadi or
          Mahedi, a title, in the Mussulman religion, equivalent
          to that of pontiff. This title was given to Abulcassem
          Mohammed, the last of the imams of the race of Ali,
          born in the year 255 of the hegira. At nine years of
          age, he was shut up in a cavern by his mother, who is
          supposed by the superstitious followers of Mahomet
          still to keep watch over him, until he shall re-appear
          at the end of the world, when he will unite himself
          with Jesus Christ; and the two religions, Mussulman
          and Christian, being merged into one, he will, in
          conjunction with our Saviour, finally overcome the
          machinations of the antichrist.――HERBELOT, _Dict.
          Orient._, p. 531.

     [48] What was meant by a person’s star will be explained

     [49] “The woman from a far country” remained a mystery
          until the year 1835, when the Baroness de Fériat, an
          English lady residing in the United States, wrote,
          of her own accord, out of admiration of Lady Hester
          Stanhope’s character, asking to come and live with
          her: when the prophecy was thought to be fulfilled.

     [50] The reader must bear in mind that Lady Hester
          Stanhope imagined that the consul, here alluded to
          in such ungentle terms, could have no authority over
          travellers or residents not occupied in mercantile
          pursuits, as he was a consul appointed by the Levant
          Company, and not by Government: but it is no longer so
          now that the Foreign Office appoints them.

     [51] It is a remarkable thing that, wherever the Crusaders
          passed, tiled roofs are to be found; as at Antioch, &c.

     [52] Lunardi went to Syria, gave great satisfaction, and
          remained a long time with Lady Hester Stanhope. It is
          the same person of whom M. de Lamartine makes mention
          in the account of his visit to her, styling him
          erroneously her _écuyer_ and doctor. Lunardi seems to
          have passed himself off as a medical man, likewise, to
          the author of “Eōthen.” This assumption of a diploma
          is not unusual in Turkey. I had a servant, named
          Lorenzo, at Constantinople, who, after my departure,
          practised as a physician with some success――I mean, in
          a pecuniary sense.

     [53] One of these gentlemen, by name Chester, a clergyman,
          I believe, has published his observations in a little
          work, entitled “Three Weeks in Palestine.” It is
          needless to eulogize it, as the devout sentiments
          which pervade its pages have induced one of the
          societies for the extension of Christian knowledge
          to cause it to be stereotyped. Perhaps, the greatest
          merit in Mr. Chester’s publication is to have known
          how to reject so much of the trash imposed upon
          travellers by dragomans and consular dependants, and
          to have only retained descriptions of scenes and
          events which he saw with his own eyes. The book is
          altogether an entertaining production.

                              CHAPTER VII.

Reflections――Letter from Lady Hester to the Author asking him to
return――He revisits Syria――Changes which had taken place in
Beyrout――M. Jasper Chasseaud, American consul――Divine service
performed by the American missionaries――Letter from Lady Hester to the
Author――Her continued hostility to Mrs. ――.――The Author takes his
family to Sayda――Dress and demeanour of a lady of Sayda――The Author’s
reception at Jôon――His family frightened by a deserter――Settles at the
convent of Mar Elias――Earthquake of January 1, 1837.

We now arrive at an epoch in Lady Hester Stanhope’s life, when it might
be said that her European reputation had reached its height, and her
domestic humiliations had sunk her to the lowest ebb. She had been
visited in her retirement by so many travellers of all the nations of
the Continent, that it might be supposed her singular mode of life was
known to almost everybody. M. Lamartine’s account of his interview had
spread abroad an undefined sort of wonder about her mystic and singular
opinions, and the public read with avidity whatever details they could
meet with respecting her.

Six years had now elapsed since our separation; and, although
occasionally honoured with a letter from her, I had given up all idea
of ever seeing her again, when, being at Nice, where I had furnished a
house, with the intention of passing two or three years with my family,
I received the following letter.

                       _Lady H. S. to Dr. ――――._

                                               August 21st, 1836.

     I hope I shall not claim in vain the assistance of an old
     friend, at the moment I most require one I can depend upon,
     to settle the business of my debts, &c., now made public.
     Money has been left me, which has been concealed from me. I
     could hardly, at first, believe it, until I was assured of
     it by a young lawyer, who had the fact from one of my Irish
     relations. I should wish you to come as soon as you can
     possibly make it convenient to yourself, and return when
     the business is over.

     [I omit a passage, of no general interest, in which Lady
     Hester arranges the mode of transit by which I was to visit
     her, assures me that she will “think of my family before
     anything else,” and refers to the losses she had sustained
     by the non-payment of certain bills.]

     An English traveller, who has written, as I am informed, a
     very learned work, told a person that, when M. Lamartine’s
     book first came out in England, the impression was so
     strong that many people, who did not personally know me,
     talked of coming here to investigate my affairs, and to
     offer their services, but that they were prevented. A
     woman, of high rank and good fortune,[54] who has built
     herself a _palais_ in a remote part of America, has
     announced her intention of passing the rest of her life
     with me, so much has she been struck with my situation
     and conduct. She is nearly of my age; and, thirty-seven
     or thirty-eight years ago――I being personally unknown
     to her――was so taken with my general appearance, that
     she never could divest herself of the thoughts of me,
     which have ever since pursued her. At last, informed by
     M. Lamartine’s book where I was to be found, she took
     this extraordinary determination, and in the spring I
     expect her. She is now selling her large landed estate,
     preparatory to her coming. She, as well as Lëila, the mare,
     is in the prophecy. (See page 179.) The beautiful boy has
     also written, and is wandering over the face of the globe,
     till destiny marks the period of our meeting.

     Such wonders, doctor! Copy these signs upon another paper,
     and remain silent upon the subject. Bring with you your notes
     upon Palmyra, &c.――do not forget. Perhaps I may receive from you
     an answer to my former letter by the next steamboat; but, as it
     only remains an hour at Beyrout, this must be sent off to be in
     waiting there. God bless you!

                                                    [Not signed.]

(Lady Hester seems to have been interrupted in her writing, and breaks
off; but she thus resumes:)

     The little black is not twelve years old, yet she does
     my bed-room, and answers the bell: she is the only
     good-tempered black I have seen; so I try to please her,
     poor thing! If you come, I should, therefore, wish (if not
     too expensive) that you should bring, as an encouragement,
     a pair of ear-rings, a string of beads, a pair of
     bracelets, and a thimble. Her ears, having been spoilt with
     boring and heavy ear-rings, were obliged to be bored again,
     very high, nearer the face――it is a beautiful ear.

     Now, what I want for myself is six cups and saucers; the
     top, I think, four inches in diameter; height, four inches;
     foot, two inches. I had a cup I was so fond of; for tea
     and coffee tasted so good out of it! It was strong and
     good china, but it is gone: and one cup held enough for
     my breakfast――a moderate cup and a half. I want also a
     teapot, black or red, or what you like; two cream-jugs;
     four milk-jugs, in case two are broken,――being always in
     use――one for hot and one for cold milk; six plates; four
     glass things, for butter and honey; a toast-rack, not
     plated――a plated one for strangers; a dozen basins; some
     little phials and corks; a few common candlesticks, brass,
     or something strong; a few common entangling combs; a few
     scrubbing-brushes for the kitchen――that is all.

     I do not want any books, having no one to read to me: it
     even puts my eyes out to write this.

     I have heard of your situation, and it pains me beyond
     expression. Here you might, I believe, have been happy,
     and I also comfortable, as I have confidence in your
     integrity; and, whilst you were regulating all as I should
     have wished, you would have pursued those avocations most
     pleasing to your taste. What advice can I give you that I
     have not already given fifty times?

     Of myself, I can say but little which is amusing; for, from
     the time the Egyptian troops entered this country until
     now, I have been in hot water. After the siege,[55] all
     that remained of the wretched population fled here, and my
     house and the village were, for the space of three years,
     the tower of Babel. Indeed, it was only at the beginning of
     this year that I got rid of the last of eighteen persons of
     one family, all orphans and widows; and only a lad, who was
     not capable, from his want of education, of gaining anything
     for himself and family, remained. I had, at one time,
     seventy-five coverlets out for strangers, chiefly
     soldiers――the village full of families――and those at Sayda
     and other places coming and going for a little money to buy
     their daily bread.

     I have saved many lives by my energy and determination,
     and have stood alone in such a storm! All trembled, Franks
     as much as the rest; and, if they pretended to act with
     a little spirit, they were sure to have folly, and not
     justice, on their side, and to be at last obliged to give
     in: but the most of them joined, heart and hand, with the
     usurpers, whom I have treated without mercy, and, in the
     end, carried all before me. God helped me in all; for,
     otherwise, I never could have got through with it, having
     no one of any sort of use to me.

     Lunardi, Mr. Webb’s man, whom you so strongly recommended
     to me, turned himself into a doctor, and was too much taken
     up with his new title to be of any use to me: yet this
     useless Lunardi is a good-hearted fellow. Were you to see
     him now, however, you would hardly know him; his manners
     are so improved, as well as his understanding: I believe,
     also, that he is attached to me.

     Anxiety, agitation, and fatigue, together with the violent
     passions I sometimes put myself in, caused me, only a
     year ago, to vomit blood enough several times to have
     killed a horse. In seven days it stopped; but yet I was
     obliged to be bled eleven times in four months and a half,
     fearing a return. Yesterday, I was working like a _fellah_
     [ploughman] in my garden. I am very thin, but contented
     about my health, as this gives proof of my natural
     strength. With the blood running out of my mouth, I was
     collected enough to give orders respecting a man, who, if
     he had been caught, would have lost his head; and no soul
     in the family knew of this but one, who insisted on seeing
     me in the state I was in: and although I could hardly
     speak, I reflected much, and, thank God! settled all to my

     Abdallah Pasha has behaved very ill at Constantinople――a
     vain, stupid fool, without heart and without common sense:
     but it is for the Sultan that I have worked, as I am really
     attached to him, he being a most superior character.

     Your friend Urquhart will be very useful to Lord Ponsonby,
     who, though a sensible man, is idle. Should U. gain the
     confidence of the Turks, he may learn their opinion of
     me; but he must not repeat it to the Franks, as a great
     jealousy exists respecting my politics. I have long
     foretold the change that must take place in those of the
     French and English, and now say that Sultan Mahmood will be
     _mansôor_ [victorious.]

     P.[56] has gambled away nearly five hundred dollars I gave
     him about four years ago for things that I wanted, and
     never sent me anything.

     Do not be uneasy about my health; for an English medical
     man, who came here after my illness, said he never saw such
     a constitution in his life, and that my pulse was then a
     better pulse than his.

     I am reckoned here the first politician in the world,
     and by some a sort of prophet. Even the Emir [Beshýr]
     wonders, and is astonished; for he was not aware of this
     extraordinary gift formerly: but yet, all say――I mean
     enemies――that I am worse than a lion when in a passion, and
     that they cannot deny I have justice on my side.

     Write whenever you please; do not expect me to write, as it
     hurts my eyes too much, and I have no one to assist me.

                                                [Signed] H. L. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

This summons from Lady Hester Stanhope took me a little unexpectedly. I
had not much faith in a story like that on which she built her hopes of
paying her debts; for I did not think it likely that property left to
her could have been purposely concealed from her knowledge, or would be
withheld from her by her relations: but, notwithstanding this, I did
not hesitate to write immediately, and say I would come as soon as I
could arrange my private concerns, which period I limited to the
following spring.

Accordingly, having engaged a governess for my daughter, to be at
the same time a companion for my wife in the long evenings during my
sittings with Lady Hester Stanhope, we left Nice on the 24th of May,
1837, for Marseilles; and agreed there for our passage on board of the
Zoave, Captain Robert, a tight brigantine, paying, for the exclusive
use of the cabin and our provisions, 1000 francs. We embarked on the
6th of June, being my fifty-fourth birthday, and, after a prosperous
voyage, landed at Beyrout on the 1st of July, 1837.

The city of Beyrout had undergone great changes since the conquest of
Syria by Ibrahim Pasha; not in the tortuosity of its streets, not in
its broken pavement and the filthy entrances to its houses, but in the
appearance of its population. Formerly, a few straggling Europeans, or
Levantines in European dresses, were seen hanging about the doors of
a warehouse or two in the Frank quarter; and occasionally a European
woman, the wife of a consul or a merchant, would steal from one house
to another, as if afraid, in her way, of insult from a fanatic Turk.
Now, the bustle of a crowded mart was visible, and Europeans and their
ladies walked about with a freedom which showed that a strong arm kept
the haughty Mussulman under control. In 1831, the appearance of a
French lady in the streets, wearing a green silk gown, was signalized
as a feat of great hardihood; such an assumption of the colour peculiar
to the prophet Mahomet’s descendants generally entailing vexations on
the wearer: and a gentleman would never have dared to give his arm to
a lady out of doors: but now, both the one and the other passed on
without any loud remark, although, internally, the grave Mussulmans
cherished a feeling of vengeance against those who so openly violated
their religious and moral institutions. Emboldened by these changes, I
led my family through the bazars, and showed them the busy Christians
and Turks, working with their fingers and toes those beautiful silk
stuffs, purses, cords, ribbons, &c., which form the admiration of all
persons who visit the Levant.

We were lodged at the inn kept by Pareschivà, formerly a servant of
Mr. John Maddox, an English gentleman, who had made a stay of two or
three years in Syria. This Greek, by his cleanliness and attention,
had secured, in an album which he kept for the purpose, so many
certificates of good entertainment from travellers who had put up
at his inn, that it would have required some courage to raise a
dissenting voice: but he maintained, by a continuance of the same
attentions to his guests, the reputation he had justly acquired.

The environs of Beyrout had always been studded with small villas and
garden-cottages, but some very handsome country-houses had now risen up
among them. New houses had also been built in the town; and among them
were two, the property of our old acquaintance, M. Jasper Chasseaud,
now become American consul, one of which he inhabited. We had the
pleasure of complimenting him on his new dignity, and partaking of his
hospitality in a splendid saloon, overlooking the shipping and port,
and commanding an extensive view of Mount Lebanon. M. Guys, the French
consul, and his estimable lady, also entertained us; and, could our
stay have been prolonged here, we should have had no great reason to
regret the delightful society of Nice.

I hastened to inform Lady Hester Stanhope of our arrival, and, whilst
waiting for the camels and mules which she would probably send, I
made the necessary preparations for the road. A cook was hired, named
Cabôor, who, some twenty or five-and-twenty years before, had been
my servant boy. Great was his joy at seeing his old master. He was
destined, however, to remain but a short time with us, as I discovered
that he had been turned away from Lady Hester Stanhope’s service, a
circumstance which, of course, rendered it impossible for me to retain
him in mine.

We attended divine service, performed by the American missionaries
in the great saloon of M. Chasseaud’s house, and were much edified
by the exemplary piety of these good men, who were labouring to
spread general information among the Syrians, by giving gratuitous
instruction to the children of the inhabitants, by printing useful
books of practical knowledge in Arabic, and by leading them, through
reading and meditation, to work their own way to salvation; trusting
that an acquaintance with the scriptures and with the advantages of
civilization will silently effect the pious object they have in view,
without those violent attempts at conversion which cause enmity between
brethren, and defeat their own end.

M. Guys lent us a handsome green double marquee, and all preparations
were made for our departure, when two servants arrived from her
ladyship, with her own mules, and the following answer to my letter.

            _Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――, at Beyrout._

                                             Djoûn, July 1, 1837.

                                                  Saturday night.

       Dear Doctor,

          I have sent you Botrôos Metta, with the mules necessary
     for your trunks and what you want immediately. Your heavy
     luggage had better go by sea.

     I could wish you, first of all, to come here alone, to see
     a house at Sayda for your family, and to well understand
     each other before you bring them here. For your sake, I
     should ever wish to show civility to all who belong to you,
     but caprice I will never interfere with: for, from my early
     youth, I have been taught to despise it. Botrôos Metta,
     if he can be useful to Mrs. ――――, may remain until your
     return; if not, he will come with you. I hope your health
     is quite recovered, and, in the end, that you will have no
     reason to regret your voyage.

                          Yours, sincerely,
                                            HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

       *       *       *       *       *

So then, thought I, the past is never to be forgotten; and, hardly have
we set foot on the shores of Syria, but war is declared against my
wife. Lady Hester Stanhope made no mystery of her likes and dislikes;
and Botrôos Metta, in his confabulations with Cabôor (as servants in
general talk about their masters and mistresses) dwelt on the rising
storm, which probably would soon burst. Cabôor bore no good will to her
ladyship. He had picked up a little French, and his reflections on my
situation were not deficient in shrewdness. “Ah!” he would exclaim,
“it will be just as it was six years ago――my mistress crying, my lady
_emportée_, and my master trying to satisfy both――no easy task! He will
have one woman saying one thing in one ear, and the other saying the
contrary in the other ear; well! he will be a clever gentleman if he
reconciles them!”

As it would not have been proper to leave my family in an inn, I
resolved to take them with me at once to Sayda, notwithstanding Lady
Hester’s suggestion to the contrary. On the 3rd of July, at sunset, we
commenced our journey; for the weather was too hot to travel in the
daytime. It was pitch dark; nothing whatever was visible; we could
not even see the path before us: but Abdhu, the mule-driver, and
Botrôos, led the way, and each person had a driver by his side. We
were, therefore, spared the horrors of the surrounding scenery, which
M. de Lamartine describes in such imaginative diction. In four hours
we reached Khaldy, where the tent was pitched on the seashore; and,
after supping on a _pâté à la Perigord_, with which Madame Guys had
kindly provided us, and taking a cup of nice Mocha coffee, we lay down
in our clothes, and slept until the morning star made its appearance:
then, remounting, we marched four hours more, which brought us to Nebby
Yuness, where we breakfasted on coffee and milk and the remains of our
provision basket. Here we rested until three in the afternoon, and
then proceeded along the seashore to Sayda. When within about a quarter
of a mile of the town-gates, we met M. Conti, the French consular
agent, and from him learned that the earthquake had so damaged the
city, and the French khan in particular, that he could not give us
lodging in it, but politely offered us his garden, where, under the
shade of the trees, we might pitch our tent. The gardens, or rather
orchards of Sayda, occupy a flat strip of land which intervenes between
the seashore and the foot of Mount Lebanon, from a quarter to half a
mile in width, and stretching a league along the shore. M. Conti’s
garden was on the verge of the sands, and near the spot where we met
him. His offer was accordingly thankfully accepted; and, turning in
at the orchard gate, in about half an hour our camp arrangements were
completed, and Cabôor, with his cooking utensils round a gipsy’s fire,
was busily occupied in preparing our supper.

The lovely wife of M. Pierre Gerardin, who had also just returned to
her home from Beyrout, astride on a kedýsh,[57] in the space of seven
hours, alighted from her horse at the garden-gate, when she learned
who was within, and paid us a visit. This lady was married to a son
of that Gerardin who had treated us with such politic incivility in
1831, and who had since died. She was in the costume of a Syrian lady:
her hair hung in strait tresses down her back, and black braids of
silk fell intermingled with it, so as seemingly to lengthen it to the
bend of her knees. The whole was bespangled with small gold money,
called _rubiahs_, of which there might be two hundred or more; and a
band, set with gold money, encircled her head, on a level with her
forehead, in the fashion of a diadem: the whole being surmounted by a
marone-coloured skull cap, richly embroidered in gold. A cream-coloured
gown, open in front, and buttoned only at the waist, disclosed her
silk gauze chemise, which overhung her pantaloons of silk brocade, and
served as a handkerchief to her neck. Her feet were without stockings,
and covered only by a pair of yellow papooches. She was a lively young
creature; and, as it is common in the Levant to suppose that European
ladies who go in public unveiled must, on that account, have much
levity of conduct, she endeavoured to imitate what she fancied to be
their manners by an assumed freedom, which certainly shocked the
females of our party. Mulberries were brought, and eaten with little
pointed wooden picks, not to stain the fingers. When our new friends
were gone, we supped or dined, and passed the night beneath the tent,
bitten most dreadfully by fleas and musquitoes.

July 4.――In the morning I walked into Sayda to see the house destined
for us; but it was inconvenient, and was still in the possession of
its tenants, a Turkish family; so that the idea of locating ourselves
there was abandoned. Then, leaving my family under the tent, I set off
for Jôon, where I arrived about sunset, it being three hours’ ride from

Lady Hester Stanhope’s reception of me was kind and warm, but more
serious than it had been in 1830; one would have said it was a welcome,
as if I had left her a month before, and had just come back, for she
proceeded, as she called it, immediately to business. She told me it
would have given her pleasure if I had left my family at Beyrout, for
she had no house to offer them; and, from the dreadful effects of the
earthquake, which, on the 1st of January of this year, had thrown down
or cracked a third of the houses throughout Palestine, it would be
difficult for me to find one, if I could not content myself with that
which had been fixed upon for us at Sayda.

July 5.――This discussion occupied the whole of the next day; when,
towards evening, a letter came from my family to say they were in
the greatest trouble and fright, and that my presence was required
immediately. It was hastily determined, therefore, that I should take
them to the convent of St. Elias, (Dayr Mar Elias, as it is called)
which had been the first residence of Lady Hester Stanhope when she
settled in this country.

July 6.――In the morning I rode down to the tent, and found my whole
family in tears, and apparently inconsolable. To understand this,
the reader must fancy himself transported from a comfortable and
well-furnished home to a distant, half-civilized country, where he does
not comprehend a word of the language, and planted under a tent in
the outskirts of a city, without bar or bolt, without table or chair,
and with nobody for an interpreter of his wants but two servants, one
of whom speaks broken French, and even that hardly intelligible, and
the other nothing but Arabic. It is true, the ladies of the French
vice-consul’s family paid mine a visit, and assured them there was
no danger to be apprehended: but, when I had left them, and had gone
up into the mountains, the defiles, ravines, and precipices of which
were visible from the tent, it required no very gloomy imagination to
conjure up horrors of all sorts.

It so happened that, on the night of my quitting them, a deserter,
who expected to be severely bastinadoed or shot next morning, made
his escape from the barrack prison[58] which overhung the walls of
Sayda towards the sea, by letting himself down through a sewer, which
emptied itself into the surf. He ran for his life along the seashore,
until, seeing a light burning in M. Conti’s garden, and a tent, he
crawled through the hedge of prickly pear in the state he was in, and
thought he might find pity, and a temporary hiding-place. A rustling
and a noise awoke Mrs. ――――, and she saw a man, in a _nizàm_ dress,
wet and filthy, standing at the opening of the tent. Her screams awoke
the children, the governess, the cook, the gardener, and Abdhu, who
slept in the gardener’s shed close by. They seized the man, who did
not attempt to escape, but told them his story; and as all the lower
classes were suffering from the oppressive conscription, and other
onerous burthens imposed by Ibrahim Pasha, whose rule they abhorred,
they furnished the poor deserter with a little covering, and directed
him by a lane, through the gardens, towards the mountains, where he
would find holes in the rocks to secrete himself, until he could obtain
succour from the peasantry.

It is not extraordinary that such an apparition as this should have
frightened them all; for, up to the hour of my return, from ignorance
of the language, they had hardly comprehended the circumstances that
gave rise to it. Entreaties and tears, even then, made it imperative
on me to remove them forthwith; and, as the mules had been kept
tethered on the ground in readiness for a removal, they were reloaded;
and, threading the romantic lanes which wind through the gardens,
where lilac-trees, bananas, vines, orange and lemon trees, of
extraordinary height, with passionflowers, and other creeping plants,
wantoning among the thick foliage, made a delicious shade, we emerged
from them at the foot of the mountain. Then, passing the hamlet of
Hellaléah, where, at the doors of their country _bastides_,[59] the
_Kheláts_ and _Dubâanys_, friends of my younger days, stood watching
to hail my return among them, whilst the elders pointed to their
children, now grown up, that I might notice them, we made a steep
descent into a small torrent bed, and, again ascending a rough and
zigzag path, reached the elevation on which stands, on a barren and
unproductive cliff, the small monastery of Mar Elias Abra, or St.
Elias, of the village of Abra, about an hour’s ride from the gates of

Mar Elias had originally been the dwelling of a few monks, who
performed the duties of a small chapel attached to it. Being a retired
and healthy spot, it was chosen by the Bishop of the Schismatic Greeks
(to whose see it now belonged) for his residence, and, in 1813, when
Lady Hester Stanhope first went to live there, was inhabited by one of
his successors to the see, Macarius, who was also Patriarch of
Antioch. At the request of the Emir Beshýr, prince of the Druses, the
patriarch[60] had given it up to Lady Hester, who lived there five or
six years, until she removed to Dar Jôon. After that time she only
occasionally visited it, and, since Miss Williams’s death, had never
been there. General Loustaunau[61] occupied one of the rooms, and an
old woman, the widow of Metta, the village doctor, with her son, lived
in the lodge, and served as porters.

The injuries caused by the earthquake were very extensive. It seems
to have begun somewhere near the sea of Tiberiàd, burying the town of
that name, Suffad, and some others, in ruins, and throwing down or
damaging the greater part of the dwellings in every city or village
along the coast as far as Beyrout, which latter place did not suffer.
The monastery of Mar Elias was shaken to its very foundations; and, on
taking possession of our new residence, the state it was in
sufficiently showed how terrible the terrestrial convulsion had been.
General Loustaunau described it to me as follows:――He was sitting
under the verandah which runs round a part of the small quadrangle,
reading his Bible, when his chair gave a tilt under him. He raised his
eyes from his book, and saw the side of the building facing him rock.
A cloud of dust immediately rose above the roof. He knew it was an
earthquake, but was not, or had not time to be, terrified; for, before
he could well think about it, it was over, and he found himself unhurt.
He never quitted the spot where he was, until his maid, the porter,
and the porter’s mother, called to him with loud cries. When they came
to examine the mischief that had been done, they found the store-room,
which was the corner room of the quadrangle to the north-west, entirely
fallen in, burying in its ruins more than two hundred weight of copper
utensils. The wall of the room which formerly served as Lady Hester
Stanhope’s bed-room, next to the store-room, had peeled from top to
bottom――half having fallen, and half being left standing. The kitchen
roof had fallen in. In the centre of the quadrangle, the parterre,
bordered with oblong freestones, had been raised perpendicularly about
two feet, with a _zenzeluct_ tree, the rose-bushes, and a palm-tree
on it; and so we found them still, the pavement giving a hollow sound
to the tread. The arch of the gate of the stable-yard was lifted out
of its curve, and the wood-house was down. The room inhabited formerly
by Monsieur Beaudin, then her ladyship’s secretary, and now French
vice-consul at Damascus, was a heap of ruins; and numberless rents and
partial fissures manifested themselves everywhere. The chapel, General
Loustaunau’s room, the saloon, and another large room of equal size,
had escaped entirely, together with the bath, and two or three small
rooms adjoining. The beams of what had been Lady Hester’s bed-room were
now propped up by balks of wood; and thus we had three large rooms at
our disposal.

Here then I fixed my family; and hiring two women, Tabithâ and Helôon,
a girl, Werdy, and a boy, Habyb, from the village of Abra, which was
about ten minutes’ walk from Mar Elias, as servants, there seemed a
prospect of great comfort and tranquillity for us all, whilst I could
give my undivided attention to Lady Hester’s health and affairs,
passing my time alternately between the two places.


     [54] The Baroness de Fériat.

     [55] Of Acre.

     [56] An Italian.

     [57] The name given to horses taught to amble; a palfrey.

     [58] The ancient palace of Fakr-ed-dyn.

     [59] The name given in Provence to country boxes.

     [60] This patriarch died in 1814, and was embalmed by my
          hands. A niche was cut in the solid wall of the chapel
          at Mar Elias, and the body was there entombed, seated
          in a chair, and then walled in.

     [61] Some account of this gentleman’s history will appear
          farther on.

                             CHAPTER VIII.

History of Raïs Hassan――His influence with Lady Hester Stanhope――Number
of persons in her service――Number of animals in her stables――Her
manner of disposing of those which were superannuated――Her belief in
Magic and Demonology――Examples――Anecdotes of Mr. Brummell――Mr. H.――The
Duc de R********――Lord St. Asaph――Lady Hester’s strictness with
menials――Justified by their misconduct and vices――Zeyneb, the black
slave――Annoyances to which Lady Hester was subjected――Her service not
tolerable for Europeans――Her reasons for using plain furniture――Her
detestation of sentimentality――Her general interference in every
department of housewifery――Irregularities of the servants――Chastity,
how defined in Turkey――Lady H.’s measures for enforcing it――Her
opinion of a French traveller, and of M. Lascaris.

Dismissing these personal details, which have been mentioned solely as
connecting links of the main narrative, I now resume my diary.

July 7.――I returned to Dar Jôon.

July 8.――The day after my arrival, before breakfast, Lady Hester
Stanhope being yet in bed, a servant came for me. “I hope I have not
disturbed you,” said she, when I entered her room; “but I wanted you
just for a minute to say a word about Logmagi, whom I am going to send
home for a week or two. Poor man! he is all devotedness to my service,
but I must not ride a willing horse to death. He is liberal-minded,
too, and charitable; not as your fine my lord is, who gives his five
guineas to a somebody, and never feels the loss of his money; but one
who, if he sees an old captain that he has known in his younger days,
or one of his messmates, in distress, will pull off his cloak, ay, and
his jacket too, and give them to him. When he hears any one praise me,
his purse is open to him immediately.”

It is necessary that I should introduce my readers to this person, who
played a very conspicuous part in Lady Hester Stanhope’s establishment,
from the year 1832 until and after this my second visit to her in
1837 and 1838. It has already been related that, in returning to
Europe in 1832, I took a passage from Sayda to Cyprus in a boat of the
country, called a shaktôor, better known as a _tartane_ lower down the
Mediterranean. The master of this boat was a cheerful good-looking
fellow, named Hassan el Logmagi, or Hassan the Diver, so called from
his first outset in life as a sponge-diver. At the period when I
engaged him, his employment lay in the coasting-trade from Sayda to
Beyrout, Tripoli, Tyr, and the neighbouring ports. In the course of
his motley existence he had been a porter, a fisherman, a diver, a
common sailor, a slave, and a trader in small goods, visiting almost
every port in the Mediterranean and Archipelago, buying at one what
would sell at another, and thus become acquainted with many maritime
cities of Turkey. Shortly subsequent to the date of his carrying us
to Cyprus, Abdallah Pasha made him captain of an armed vessel in his
service, and he then was entitled fully to the rank of Räis Hassan, or
Captain Hassan, which he always afterwards bore.

Lady Hester Stanhope was accustomed to obtain information from all
sorts of persons, as it suited her purpose; and, feeling some interest
about our welfare after quitting her, she sent for Hassan, on his
return to Sayda, to learn the particulars of the voyage. It would seem
that his appearance and conversation pleased her: for, as soon as
Abdallah Pasha was carried off a prisoner to Egypt, she took him into
her service.

His person and manners were those of a handsome boatswain. He was
boisterous and rude, entirely without education, for he could neither
read nor write, but very shrewd, and, from his varied intercourse with
mankind, a keen judge of character――at least, of the dark side of human
nature. He was jovial in the highest degree, remarkably good-looking;
and, for a day’s acquaintance, when matters of interest were out of
the question, nobody who wished to be merry could desire a pleasanter
fellow. Sinbad the sailor could not tell a more marvellous story.

It was matter of much surprise to the Europeans of Beyrout, and the
natives in general, how such a man could be admitted for hours to Lady
Hester Stanhope’s conversation, and the enjoyment of her intimate
confidence; and it was a great marvel to all Sayda, Logmagi’s native
place, and where, of course, his _antecedents_, as the French say, were
well known, how he could have obtained so firm a footing where so many
before him had slipped. The reason will be seen in the course of these
pages, abundantly verifying what Lady Hester very often said, that it
was in vain for people to attempt to investigate or speculate upon her
motives for what she did; and that, if two people were placed in her
room, one in one corner, and one in the other, all day long, she would
manage her business in their presence so that they should be no wiser
in the matter than if they had been a mile off. “Her intentions,” she
would say, “were pure, but God only was the judge of that, and she
cared not a fig what men thought.”

So it was; and on my arrival in Syria, I found Logmagi installed as
purveyor, steward, emissary, and _factotum_. All transactions with the
people of the country were carried on through his hands, and a most
important part of his avocations was to keep Lady Hester constantly
informed of all sorts of matters going on in Sayda and the surrounding
country. Anecdotes of domestic affairs, of the government, news of
every description, formed his budget every time he came up to Jôon;
and, for this purpose, about half his time was spent in town, to be
able to collect it. He was married, had two wives, and was building a
new house principally at her ladyship’s expence.

The secret of Logmagi’s influence with Lady Hester might perhaps
be traced to her reliance upon his apparent zeal in her service.
She believed him to be thoroughly devoted to her, a belief which he
well knew how to foster and sustain. He was too clever a courtier to
eulogize her to her face, and, therefore, always made his advances
by indirect means. He had been sent by her to Marseilles, to
Constantinople, and to other distant places; and, according to Lady
Hester’s account of what he told her on his return, there was not a
person he came in contact with but had related some history of the
Sultan’s admiration of her, of the Grand Vizir’s apprehension of her
political influence, of the extent of her reputation, even in the very
bazars, and of a hundred similar things calculated to flatter her
vanity and love of fame. At Beyrout, at Tripoli, at Alexandria, he was
sure to have met with a Tartar, or a sea-captain in some coffee-house,
who said he had seen a pasha, or a great merchant, or a sheykh, or a
somebody, who had declared he should not die contented, if he had not
once beheld a woman of such extraordinary talents, or who had been
so munificent to some distressed aga, or who had relieved, with such
a liberal hand, some learned dervise: and, after having praised her
charitable heart, he generally finished with a tale of distress of
some family reduced almost to beggary, of some honest tradesman who
wanted relief; and thus, striking the chords which always vibrated
to Lady Hester’s generous heart, he was entrusted with large sums to
distribute. He seldom went down to Sayda without being the bearer of
one, two, three――nay, five thousand piasters at a time, to purchase
provisions with, and to give away in donations.

Lady Hester had, at this time, in her service thirty-five persons.
There was one Arabic secretary, an upper bailiff, three under ones,
two men cooks, two porters, one for each gate, three grooms, two
muleteers, two ass-drivers, whose sole occupation was fetching water
from the spring, and occasionally an extra one; four maids and a girl
for herself; three boys, and eight men-servants. She had two mares,
which were never ridden, one horse for my riding, and five asses, also
never used, as having completed a certain stated period of service,
and being now placed on the superannuated list. There was a mule, also,
which was never allowed to be worked, except by certain servants, and
even then only on her ladyship’s special commission, for some reason
connected with its star: it was afterwards given to Monsieur Guys. The
remainder of the stock consisted of three cows and a flock of sheep.
Formerly, a herd of goats had been kept (one hundred in number), but
their throats were all ordered to be cut in one day, for some cause
which I never clearly understood, but with the intention of defeating a
scheme of the goatherd’s, who had been detected in turning their flesh
and milk to his own account; and this slaughter, she told me, was made
in imitation of her cousin, Lord Camelford, whose energetic character
and abhorrence of knavery she greatly admired. It was, no doubt, also
in emulation of his Lordship’s example that, if she ever discovered
that any of her domestic animals had been put to any use contrary to
her orders, she instantly had them shot, issuing her mandate, at the
same time, that the human delinquents should be, at a moment’s notice,
turned adrift.

There were also three amblers in the stables. These horses, very common
in Syria, are trained by tying leaden weights to their legs until their
trot becomes a run. Soon after my arrival, Lady Hester signified to
me that she should have them shot, for her under-bailiffs did nothing
but ride them when they ought to go on foot, and, moreover, treated
them cruelly. Accordingly, Osman Chaôosh, an under-bailiff, who always
carried a silver-headed stick in his hand, the emblem of the office of
chaôoshes, of whom many are kept in the employ of Pashas as a sort of
police-officers, was commissioned to be their executioner. He received
his orders from Lady Hester herself to this effect. “Osman, you will
say to each horse, before you shoot him, putting your mouth close to
his ear, ‘You have now worked enough on the earth; your mistress fears
you might fall, in your old age, into the hands of cruel men, and she,
therefore, dismisses you from her service.’” This order, strange as it
may appear, was actually executed to the letter, with imperturbable
gravity. Lady Hester’s mysterious ways had given her an extraordinary
ascendency over the minds of her people; and the Syrians, who are
credulous, like all Eastern nations, were generally disposed to believe
that her ladyship really did possess those undefined powers which are
assigned to demonology and magic. That she herself believed in the
transmigration of souls she frequently avowed, and her faith in aërial
spirits also admits of no doubt.

Throughout Syria, and, I believe, the whole Ottoman empire, the belief
in magic and charms is universal. There is not a single person who
does not resort to some means for counteracting the effect of the evil
eye――such as spells by written papers, enchantments, and the like.
Impotence, estrangement of affection, the murrain in cattle, blight in
fruit-trees, anything the cause of which is not immediately obvious,
is universally accounted for by witchcraft. Lady Hester, indeed, had
imbibed all these notions; and, to judge from the substance of many
conversations she held on the subject, no reasonable doubt can be
entertained of the startling fact, that she placed implicit faith in

“Astrology,” she would say, “is confined to the influence of the stars
over people’s birth and actions; but magic has to do with the devil.
Sometimes it is by compact; as when, for a certain price, I say, for
example, to an evil spirit, ‘If you will tell me what they have written
from the Porte to Abdallah Pasha, I will do so and so;’ or if, by means
which I know to be powerful enough to bring devils under my command,
I say to them, ‘You must do this, and that, and the other,’ they are
obliged to obey, or I annihilate them.

“There are persons,” she continued, “who can write charms, by which
they can effect the most diabolical purposes: but their charms are
sometimes baffled by higher influences. I am an example: my star, more
powerful than that on which they rely, renders their magic useless.
So far, there is a connection between astrology and magic. But take
care, doctor, there are men here who will slip a paper into your pocket
unknown to you, and make you an idiot, or blind, or a hundred things.
Always keep at a distance from Girius Gemmal――that man is an agent of
the devil.

“Why, do you know that a woman’s evil eye once fell upon me? I felt a
strange pricking just above my knee; and soon after there appeared,
first, an oval black rim, then a bluish ground within it, and then a
black spot in the centre, so that any one might have said, ‘There is
an eye:’ after a few days it disappeared. There was a man near Cara,
between Damascus and Aleppo, who possessed the faculty of the evil eye
so strongly that he could kill a person, when he chose to use his power
to the utmost.”

Now all this, the reader will say, looks like the grossest credulity.
But, setting aside the observation that the greatest men among the
ancients, as we know from their writings, entertained a similar
creed, and that many eminent philosophers and jurisconsults, as Lord
Bacon and Sir Matthew Hale, were actuated by similar convictions, it
may be conjectured that Lady Hester Stanhope knew very well what a
powerful weapon was this superstition, placed in the hands of those
who understood how to make use of it. Whether premeditatedly or not,
she more than once brought crafty and designing knaves into signal
disrepute by attributing to them dealings of this sort, and thus
punished or kept in awe those whose villanous machinations it might be
impossible to detect, but of which there was little doubt, even though
not tangible by the hand of justice.

Lady Hester Stanhope once built a new room; and, just before she
was going to inhabit it, from some cause, imagined, or pretended to
imagine, it was charmed. We may judge of the builder’s surprise, when
she sent for him, and said, “To-morrow you must assemble your workmen,
and pull down the new room.” The man, fancying some defect had been
discovered in his workmanship, humbly begged her to say what it was
that moved her displeasure, as, perhaps, he might be able to find a
remedy for it, without destroying the whole. “Your business, sir,”
answered Lady Hester, in that tone of voice which she made so terrible
when she chose, “is to pull down if I like it, I suppose, as well as to
build; so be so good as to obey my orders without farther question.”
“When they were removing the arch of the door, doctor,” said Lady
Hester, who related the story to me, “I saw a paper fall out. I took it
up and sent it to a man versed in charms. He told me it was a charm,
written by one of my deadly enemies: and, if I had dwelt in the room, I
should have died. Only think, how lucky it was I did what I did!

“Another time, when I had been ill in bed for some weeks, I happened
to be looking out from under my eyelids, as you know I have got a way
of seeing everything when people think I see nothing, and I observed
Girius Gemmal fumble a paper between his fingers, and dip it into a
glass of lemonade that the slave was going to give me. I said nothing,
but merely desired the slave to set the glass down. Had I drunk it, I
have no doubt I should have been his victim. He is a terrible fellow! I
warn you never to go to the village or take your family there, because
I am afraid he would do some of you some harm. I don’t know how he
might do it: he might slip a paper into your boot, or sprinkle a few
drops of water on your clothes, and utter some incantation; for they
have a hundred ways of inflicting maledictions.”

It may be as well to add here, although not occurring at this time,
that on reading an article in a newspaper to her about vampires, she
said, “I believe in vampires, but the people in England know not how
to distinguish them. Such a being is not a mere creation of people’s

From these, and a variety of other observations, which will be found
scattered through these memoirs, Lady Hester’s professed opinions
on the subject of charms and supernatural agency generally cannot be
mistaken. Nor, indeed, seeing how she mixed up such opinions with the
actual business of life, allowing them to exercise a direct practical
influence over her conduct in numerous instances, can there be any
reason for supposing that she did not entirely believe in them, to all
intents and purposes, as sincerely as the Syrians themselves. But I
leave the consideration of this curious problem to the sagacity of the
reader, limiting my more appropriate province to the simple record of
her ladyship’s actual life and conversations.

To return from this digression. It might be supposed that, immediately
upon my arrival, Lady Hester would have opened the urgent business upon
which she had summoned me. No such thing. After congratulating me upon
my escape from Europe, which, she assured me, would soon be convulsed
by revolutions from one end to the other, she entered at once on her
favourite topic――the coming of the Murdah. But, as her opinions and
proofs were pretty much the same as those she had entertained six years
before, and which have already been related, it is not necessary to
recapitulate them.

July 9.――In the afternoon, I rode down to Mar Elias to see my family,
and returned the following day to dinner.

July 10.――Lady Hester this day asked me if I had ever known Beau
Brummell. “I should like to see that man again, doctor,” continued
she, without waiting for my answer. “He was no fool. I recollect his
once saying to me, in Bond Street, riding with his bridle between his
forefinger and thumb, as if he held a pinch of snuff, ‘Dear creature!
who _is_ that man you were talking to just now?’――‘Why,’ I answered,
‘that is Colonel ――――.’――‘Colonel what?’ said he, in his peculiar
manner; ‘who ever heard of his father?’――So I replied, ‘And who
ever heard of George B.’s father?’――‘Ah! Lady Hester,’ he rejoined,
half-seriously, ‘who, indeed, ever heard of George B.’s father, and who
would have ever heard of George B. himself, if he had been anything
but what he is? But you know, my dear Lady Hester, it is my folly
that is the making of me. If I did not impertinently stare duchesses
out of countenance, and nod over my shoulder to a prince, I should be
forgotten in a week: and, if the world is so silly as to admire my
absurdities, you and I may know better, but what does that signify?’

“Three of the wits of the day in my time,” observed Lady Hester,
continuing the conversation, “were Mr. Hill, Captain Ash, and Mr.
Brummell, all odd in their way――the one for dry wit, the other for
solemn joking, and the last for foppery. Mr. Hill, for example, when
at dinner at somebody’s house, would draw towards him a dish of mashed
potatoes that had a mould mark on them, as if he was going to help
himself; then, eyeing it with irresistible gravity, and looking at it
very oddly with his quizzing-glass, he would turn to the servant and
say, ‘I wish you would tell the housekeeper, my good fellow, not to sit
down on the dishes;’ pretending that he saw a mark, as if she had sat
down upon it.

“Brummell would commit similar freaks at the houses of _parvenus_, or
people who were not exactly of _haut ton_, where, sometimes at dinner,
he would all of a sudden make horridly ludicrous grimaces, as if he
had found a hair in his soup, or would abruptly ask for some strange
Palmyrene sauce, or any out-of-the-way name that nobody ever heard of,
and then pretend he could not eat his fish without it.”

As a specimen of Brummell’s audacious effrontery, Lady Hester said
that once, in the midst of a grand ball, he asked the Duchess of
Rutland――“In Heaven’s name, my dear duchess, what is the meaning
of that extraordinary back of yours? I declare I must put you on a
backboard: you must positively walk out of the room backwards, that I
mayn’t see it.”

Another time he marched up to Lady Hester, who was remarkable for the
fine turn of her cheek, and the set of her head upon her neck, and
coolly took out her ear-rings, telling her she should not wear such
things;――meaning that they hid the best part of her face.

Upon one occasion he went about in a ball-room, asking everybody where
he could find a partner who would not throw him into a perspiration,
and at last crying out――“Ah! there she is!――yes, Catherine will do; I
think I may venture with her.”――And this was the Duchess of Rutland’s

Sometimes he would have a dozen dukes and marquises waiting for him,
whilst he was brushing his teeth, or dressing himself, and would turn
round with the utmost coolness, and say to them――“Well, what do you
want? don’t you see I am brushing my teeth?” (all the while slowly
moving his brush backward and forward across his mouth, and hawking and
spitting:) then he would cry,――“Oh! there’s a spot――ah! its nothing but
a little coffee. Well, this is an excellent powder, but I won’t let any
of you have the receipt for it.”

On one occasion she spoke of Mr. B. in terms of regard, and said she
should write to him, as a fellow-sufferer like herself from fallen
greatness. “I shall tell him I understand the bedgown is in existence
(alluding to his taste in dressing-gowns when he was a friend of the
Prince of Wales). When he receives my letter, he will say: ‘There she
is again, the dear creature! always the same:’” for I said I had seen
him once or twice at Calais, dressed very quietly, and very much like
a gentleman, with no appearance of foppery, except when he leaned out
of his lodging window in a sort of a fine chintz dressing-gown. “Ah!”
cried Lady Hester, “those are the patterns that the Prince sometimes
used to give £100 for, to have them like his.”

There was a gentleman who visited Lady Hester Stanhope on Mount
Lebanon, Mr. H*****, who, she said, would not be an unworthy successor
of Mr. Brummell. She called him a gentlemanlike fop, who gave her a
sort of a look from top to toe of ineffable _insouciance_, and used
to cry out, when she was telling him some laughable story, “For God’s
sake, don’t make me laugh so: I shall die, I vow and protest: I shall
expire from laughing; now pray, Lady Hester!”

Something turned the conversation to the duc de R――――, who had visited
her once. “I told him,” said Lady Hester, “he had nothing like a duke
about him. ‘Comment! est ce que je suis trop petit?’ he asked. ‘No,’ I
replied, ‘it is not that; you neither look like one, nor act like one.’
Oh! I trimmed him,” she continued. “He wrote to me after he was gone,
and said he had prayed for me at Jerusalem. I wrote him back a letter
so impudent, doctor, and joked him about a _belle marquise_, who, by a
shrewd guess, I fancied, was his _chere amie_, I bade him pray for her,
and not for me, and sent him――what do you call it when there are four
lines in rhyme?――ah! a quatrain, which I will try to recollect.” She
mused a little, and then repeated four lines something to this effect:

    “Ne verse pas des larmes, ma chère et belle marquise,
    Tu seras l’héroine de toutes mes entreprises;
    Je prie trois dieux pour toi; et si ton héros meurt,
    A eux je laisse mon ame, à toi je donne mon cœur.”

Lady Hester added, “He was more like a militia officer than a French
duke, and very stingy.”

“Did Lord St. Asaph publish anything?” she asked. I told her not that I
knew of. “He was very active,” she added, “and went about seeking for
antiquities everywhere: whenever he heard of anything, off he set, and
visited it. When he saw my garden, he expressed great admiration of it,
and assured me that it was not only well kept for this country, but
better kept than many a gentleman’s grounds in England.”

Saturday, July 15.――I spent this day and the next at Mar Elias with my
family, and returned to Jôon on Monday, July 17.

It has already been remarked, that there were thirty-four people in
Lady Hester Stanhope’s establishment at the time I am now speaking
of, and yet she would complain that she could not get the slightest
attendance. This, of course, was mere temper. Her five maids were
constantly in motion, night and day; but she had become querulous to a
degree scarcely imaginable, and was, beyond all example, _exigeante_
in her demands on the services of everybody about her. But, if such
excessive requisition was ever pardonable in anybody, it was in Lady
Hester Stanhope; for her vast talents seemed to lay claim to submission
from all inferior beings, and even to exact it as a matter of justice.
It was always customary with her (as it generally is with people who
overwork their servants) to appeal first to one and then to another,
whether anybody could give less trouble than she did. “What have my
maids got to do?” she would say: “they think themselves mightily put
upon, if I only require as much from them as some shopkeepers wife
insists upon from her housemaid:――a set of lazy beasts, that sleep
and stuff all day, and then pretend they are mightily hard-worked.
Doctor, Logmagi says, that nothing but the korbàsh will keep them in
order; and, depend upon it, it is so. If I did not tell them I would
have them punished, I should not get the bell answered.” It is true
she was generous to them in giving them clothes, high wages, presents
of money, new year gifts, &c.; but, whilst she bestowed with one hand,
she tyrannized with the other. These mixed extremities of kindness and
severity produced a strange effect upon her servants. I never knew
one of them who, after a time, did not wish to leave her service, or
who, having left it, did not wish to return. The desire to leave her
was stimulated by her restless activity, which left nobody quiet day or
night, and her determined hostility to indolence, lies, and all other
vices common to menials in Syria: while the anxiety to get back again
might be in a great measure traced to the dishonest gains which were so
readily made in her service, and by which her domestics so frequently
enriched themselves――to place nothing to the account of that spell
which she infallibly cast over everybody who came within the sphere of
her attraction.

It cannot be denied that Lady Hester Stanhope had great reason for
her strictness. During her severe illness in 1828, when Miss Williams
died and she was confined to her bed-room for three months, G. G. and
another rascal induced the girl, Fatôom, to steal the keys of the
store-room, and, whilst they waited outside of the window, the wooden
bars of which they sawed through with the adroitness of a London
housebreaker, she handed them out much valuable property. Every one
of the trunks was opened and examined. Hinges were wrenched off, so
as to leave the locks untouched, and the trunks were replaced against
the wall, and the bars of the window refitted to lull suspicion. One
night, as was afterwards revealed in a confession made by one of
the maids, when Mr. Dundas, a traveller, who was on a visit at Dar
Jôon, was sitting with Lady Hester, Fatôom took a key from one of her
ladyship’s pockets, which had been left in her bed-room, opened a small
closet, and out of that closet took a bunch of keys, by means of which
she ransacked almost everything Lady Hester possessed. Her beautiful
Albanian dress, covered with gold, was stolen; a gold medallion,[62]
commemorative of her brother’s and General Moore’s death, at Corunna,
shared the same fate; stuffs, brocades, and other articles of value,
were all carried off.

But the servant who committed the heaviest robberies was Zeyneb, a
black slave, who afterwards became a soldier’s trull. This woman, whose
career throughout was marked by every sort of profligacy, robbed Lady
Hester to the amount of many thousands of piasters.

Lady Hester related, on a subsequent occasion, the winding-up of
Zeyneb’s history, in the following words, which I wrote down April the
9th, 1838. “When Zeyneb stole the gold medal, with General Moore’s and
my brother’s name upon it, I procured all the documents relative to
the theft from Cyprus, where one of her accomplices had fled, and then
sent for Zeyneb and Farez into the saloon. I called in Logmagi and
Khalyl Mansôor as witnesses, and then, telling the culprits what I
knew, said I could hang them if I liked. The impudent slave, Zeyneb,
listened with perfect indifference, and, in going out, stopped up the
door, and, in an ironical tone, thanked Logmagi (who, she thought, had
told me all about it). Logmagi, surprised at her insolence, went to
push her out; when, at that moment, Abu Ali, the great black, who had,
it appears, found his way into the court in order to support the black
girl’s cause, and had been waiting outside the saloon door, seized
Logmagi, and, with his muscular grasp, tried to throttle him. I heard
a strange noise, and went out; and there I saw Logmagi, with his eyes
starting out of his head, held down on the ground by the negro. I
caught the fellow’s hand, although one of his pistols was directed
towards me, and with my other arm gave a back-handed stroke across
Zeyneb’s face (who was helping the black), that knocked her down. She
got up, scaled the wall, and ran off to Sayda; and I never saw her
more. I called the Albanians, and had Abu Ali turned out of doors
directly.” After Zeyneb ran away, she threw herself into the arms of
the _nizam_, or soldiers, where Lady Hester, to use her own emphatic
language, left her to rot.

A short detail of the annoyances to which Lady Hester Stanhope was
exposed may serve to show that she was not angry with these women
without reason. The endless trifling acts of ignorance, awkwardness,
carelessness, forgetfulness, falsehood, and impudence, which she used
to relate to me, were quite sufficient upon the whole, although many
of them were individually petty enough, to justify the severe control
she found it necessary to exercise over them. But then it will be
asked, why did a lady of her rank, accustomed to all the refinements
of European life, keep such servants in her establishment?――why did
she not send for Europeans? That was the question that everybody
asked――that nobody could answer. The real fact, probably, was this――she
preferred these poor creatures, with all their demoralization and
filthy habits, to French or English servants, because, by the customs
of the East, they were habituated to despotism and bursts of passion,
which neither English nor French would be very likely to brook so

Besides, no European servants could have reconciled themselves to the
melancholy seclusion of Lady Hester Stanhope’s establishment, or to the
never-ceasing activity, or, what is worse, the long vigils required of
them. Here there was no moment of respite from doing or waiting to do.
In England, the maid looks at least for some intervals of recreation,
and expects, at all events, out of the four-and-twenty hours, that
she shall be allowed six or eight for rest. But there was neither one
nor the other at Jôon; for, even while her ladyship was engaged with
her nightly conversations in the saloon, when little or no waiting
was required, still there was no end to the work marked out for her
servants――such as filling pipes every quarter of an hour――by which they
were kept incessantly employed. Now, as Turkish servants _turn in_[63]
almost universally in their clothes, only drawing a counterpane over
themselves when they lie down, they are enabled thus to steal a short
sleep at any hour they can get it, and are ready to rise at a moment’s
call. This is a great advantage, especially to sick people: indeed,
in Lady Hester’s case, it almost compensated for all their faults.
In the twinkling of an eye, upon an emergency, the whole household,
only a moment before buried in profound sleep, would start up on their
feet; and, their duty once over, would suddenly drop again into a deep

One day, I went to Lady Hester’s bed-room door, without waiting to
ascertain whether she was ready to receive me. It was a rule with her
for many years never to see anybody, even in her saloon, whether
coming from a distance or staying in her house, until she had sent for
them――no matter who, prince or peasant; and she carried this species
of regality to such a length, that, on one occasion, among twenty
which might be mentioned, an English gentleman and his wife, for both
of whom she entertained a high personal esteem, having arrived from
Beyrout to within a league of her dwelling to pay her a visit, and
having politely sent forward a servant with a letter to announce their
approach, she returned a laconic answer, to say they would not be
received. She, moreover, was accustomed to mark, not merely the day,
but the precise hour, that persons coming to visit her were to present
themselves. She would do so with Duke Maximilian, or with Matteo
Lunardi. On the morning to which I have referred, Lady Hester was in
bed. “What do you want?” said she, in rather an angry tone. I replied
that I had brought her a cut-glass cup and stand for her sherbet and
lemonade, as hers was so common that it gave me pain to see her use
it. “No, doctor,” she said, “I am much obliged to you, but you must
send it away again. If I had twenty fine things, those beasts of maids
would break or steal them all. I had some beautiful cut-glass goblets,
and they all disappeared, one after the other. Would you believe it?
they broke one first of all, and then Miss Williams gave out another.
So they kept the pieces of the broken one, and, every fortnight or
three weeks, came to her first with one bit and then with another,
with some plausible story of an accident, and each time got another
goblet out of her, until all were gone. I found them out at last. The
jades destroy everything: but it is not that which gives me pain; it
is to think that I have not one person who will see me well waited

Happening to observe, that perhaps some allowance should be made for
their ignorance in that respect, as, after all, they were but peasant
girls and slaves, who could not know what service was, seeing they were
unacquainted with European customs, she exclaimed, “But my liver is
destroyed by the passions I put myself in, and I dare say you, instead
of helping me, will only make matters worse. They’ll only laugh at
you and your sensibility. I can see an idle fellow or a rascal get a
beating with the same tranquillity that I smoke my pipe: but nobody is
more tender than I am, even when an animal suffers unjustly. I never
shall forget how two or three of the servants turned as pale as death
on hearing me on a sudden utter a cry, because a lazy villain was
driving an ass with foal, heavily laden, down a steep bank. I go then
almost into convulsions.

“But, oh! how I detest your sentimental people, who pretend to be full
of feeling――who will cry over a worm, and yet treat real misfortune
with neglect. There are your fine ladies that I have seen in a
dining-room, and when, by accident, an earwig has come out of a peach,
after having been half killed in opening it, one would exclaim, ‘Oh!
poor thing! you have broken its back――do spare it――I can’t bear to see
even an insect suffer. Oh! there, my lord, how you hurt it: stop, let
me open the window and put it out.’ And then the husband drawls out,
‘My wife is quite remarkable for her sensibility; I married her purely
for that.’ And then the wife cries, ‘Oh! now, my lord, you are too good
to say that: if I had not had a grain of feeling, I should have learnt
it from you.’ And so they go on, praising each other; and perhaps the
next morning, when she is getting into her carriage, a poor woman, with
a child at her breast, and so starved that she has not a drop of milk,
begs charity of her; and she draws up the glass, and tells the footman,
another time, not to let those disgusting people stand at her door.”

The conversation, on a subsequent occasion, having fallen on the
nasty servants, and I having assented to the truth of what she said,
regretting that her acute feelings made her torment herself about
things which were but trifles:――“Trifles!” she vociferated; “it is
trifles, as you call them, that kill me. Everybody comes to me. There
are the very maids――if you were only to see――when they have a hole to
mend, how they sew it up all in a spong: they even ask me how their
gowns must be cut out.”

This was the fact; but they came to her because she would have it so.
Many a morning have I seen her cutting out gowns and pantaloons for
them, and stitching the parts together with her own hands. Her talents
were so versatile, that she always seemed to have served her time to
the particular work, whatever it might be, in which you chanced to find
her engaged. I have in my possession patterns, in paper, of gowns after
the Turkish fashion, cut out by Lady Hester’s hand; and if any of the
travellers who visited her may have had occasion to admire the dresses
of her men or maid servants, they may be assured that, even down to the
embroidery, the models for every one of them were first designed and
cut out by their accomplished mistress.

Lady Hester Stanhope had another serious reason to be discontented with
her servants. Her inner court, the gynœcium or harým, was separated
from the outer one by a door, always, or which always ought to have
been, kept locked. The key was entrusted to one of the two men-servants
who lived in this inner court, but whose rooms were divided from the
wing where the maids were by a screen of wainscoting, which neither
party was allowed to pass. That was the rule, but the practice was
far otherwise, and the men were constantly haunting the maids’ rooms
and the kitchen with perfect security; because the locked door, at
which everybody was obliged to knock to get admission, gave them
time to arrange their matters so as to escape detection. Lady Hester
herself was generally in bed, and perfectly incapable of checking
their irregularities. It was not, therefore, to be wondered at, if,
every now and then, the sad consequences were not slow in manifesting
themselves. For in Turkey, where men are never allowed to associate
with women――where the face of a female, even of the lowest class,
cannot be uncovered before the other sex without a stain attaching
to her modesty, and sometimes to her character――the idea of placing
the two sexes in familiar juxtaposition is so foreign to all their
notions, that both the one and the other, when such occasions present
themselves, fancy all reserve is at an end, and use their opportunities
accordingly. Chastity, in our sense of the word, social and moral, is
perhaps unknown among Mahometans. The woman who is well guarded, or the
maiden who lives strictly under her mother’s wing, is kept chaste; but
she who is neglected thinks that there is no longer any reason for
restraint, or believes, at all events, that she does no great wrong in
thinking so.

Lady Hester, no doubt, knew all this better than any one; but there
was no remedy. She did not feel sure of the good conduct of one single
maid-servant. As long as Miss Williams was alive, the awe they all
stood in of her made things go on with propriety; but, after her death,
all these disorders crept in. One of the very European men-servants
whom Lady Hester kept as a check on the people of the country, set them
a profligate example himself, and then sought a pretext for leaving her
service. In another instance, a black slave was found to have formed an
illicit connection with a black man. Lady Hester Stanhope obliged the
man to marry her, and gave them both their freedom. Her ladyship did
not visit these untoward events with severity. Only, as it is a common
practice in Turkey to procure abortion, and as there is no notice taken
of such things by the public authorities, who often set the example
openly in their own harýms, all that Lady Hester ever did in these
cases was to call the offenders before her, and tell them she would
have them hanged if they resorted to any secret means of that kind: and
she was a person to be as good as her word. Her views in such matters
were lenient and compassionate in reference to the circumstances in
which these unfortunate creatures were often placed; but there was
nothing she held in such utter detestation as mere animal vices.

It was naturally Lady Hester’s object to enlist me on her side into
her plan of keeping her household regulated according to the rules
of the strictest decorum; and I of course was most happy to lend my
assistance. Previous to my arrival, I had been, both now and on my
former visit in 1831, held up as a bugbear to all the servants, and the
common exclamation in her mouth was――“Ah! when the doctor comes, he
will very soon set you to rights.” But I was not at all, either from
temperament or reflection, ambitious of filling a post of that sort;
and, although she turned against me at different times the shafts of
ridicule, and a never-ceasing battery of abuse, I passively but firmly
declined all participation in the severity of her measures.

Sunday, July 23.――I rode over to Mar Elias, and returned again to the
Dar on Monday night.

July 24.――Lady Hester Stanhope took a great deal of pains to make me
acquainted with all that was going on both in the house and in the
neighbourhood: still she never touched on the property left, or said
to be left her; and it was not until August the 3rd that the subject
was fairly entered upon. But, as what she communicated then will come
in more appropriately when the correspondence which took place in
reference to it shall be given, we will proceed to other matters.

August 4.――“The people of Europe,” said Lady Hester, “are all, or at
least the greater part of them, fools, with their ridiculous grins,
their affected ways, and their senseless habits. In all the parties I
was in during the time I lived with Mr. Pitt――and they were a great
many――out of thousands of people, I hardly saw ten whose conversation
interested me. I smiled when they spoke to me, and passed on; but they
left no agreeable impressions on my mind.

“Look at Monsieur *********, getting off his horse half a dozen
times to kiss his dog, and take him out of his bandbox to feed him
on the road from Beyrout here: the very muleteers and servants
thought him a fool. And then, that way of thrusting his hands in his
breeches-pockets, sticking out his legs as far as he could――what is
that like?

“Monsieur ―――― is no poet, in my estimation, although he may be
an elegant versifier: he has no sublime ideas. Compare his ideas
with Shakspeare’s――that was indeed a real poet. Oh, doctor, what
inspirations there are in that man! Even his imaginary beings――his
Ariels, his fairies, his Calibans――we see at once are such as they
would be if they had really existed. You don’t believe in such things,
but I do, and so did Shakspeare: he, I am sure, had great knowledge of
Eastern literature, somehow or other.

“Monsieur ――――, with his straight body and straight fingers, pointed
his toes in my face, and then turned to his dog and kissed him, and
held long conversations with him. They say he has £17,000 a year, and
castles and villages. He thought to make a great effect when he was
here, but he was grievously mistaken. I gave him a letter to Abu Ghosh,
who received him very well; but when he talked about himself, and made
out that he was a great man, Abu Ghosh said it was for my sake, and not
for his own, that he showed him as much honour as he could.”

In speaking of M. Lascaris, of whom Monsieur L. has written a great
deal,[64] Lady Hester said M. Lascaris had the heart of a Roman with
the intrigue of a Greek.


     [62] The medallion came into the possession of M. Marino
          Mattei, a merchant of Cyprus, who bought it for
          thirty-five dollars, of a Syrian; but, being made
          acquainted with Lady Hester’s loss, he immediately
          offered to restore it for the price it had cost him.

     [63] A sailor’s phrase best expresses what these people do,
          who cannot be said to go to bed.

     [64] See _Souvenirs de l’Orient_, appendix.

                              CHAPTER IX.

Queen Caroline’s trial――In what manner the first inquiry was
suppressed――Lady Hester’s opinion of the P――――ss of W.――Young
Austin――Lord Y.――P. of W.――His disgust at the slovenly habits of the
P――――ss.――Mrs. Fitzherbert――Mrs. Robinson――Mr. Canning――His
person――His duplicity――and deceit――His incapability of acting without
guidance――His disposition to babble――Lady Hester’s account of a great
serpent――Mr. T. Moore――Lord Camelford――His liberality――Some anecdotes
of that high-spirited nobleman――Arrival of Madame L.――She is seized
with brain-fever, and dies raving mad――Visit of General Cass.

Some allusion having been made to Queen Caroline, Lady Hester asked
me what they said in England about her trial. “Do,” said she, “tell
me something about it: did you see her?――I suppose it was like Warren
Hastings’s trial.” She continued: “I prevented the explosion the first
time, and I will tell you how. One day, the Duke of Cumberland called
on me, and, in his accustomed manner, began――‘Well, Lady Hester, it
will be all out to-morrow: we have printed it all, and to-morrow it
will be all out.’ I knew what he meant, and said to him, ‘Have you got
the chancellor’s leave? I, for my part, don’t like the business at
all.’――‘Why don’t you like it?’ asked the duke. ‘Because,’ answered I,
‘I have too much respect for royalty to desire to see it made a subject
for Grub Street songs.’ I did not say this so much on the P. of W.’s
account, as for the sake of the P――――ss ――――; I dreaded the _other_
disclosures to which a business like this might lead. The duke turned
away, as if in thought, and I saw that the same idea struck him; for,
after a pause, he resumed his position, and answered――‘You are quite
right, Lady Hester; by God! you are quite right: but what am I to do?
we have gone too far: what am I to do?’――‘Why, I think,’ rejoined I,
‘the best thing you can do, is to go and ask the chancellor.’ So off he
packed; and I fancy Mr. Percival, and the chancellor, and he, talked it
over, and decided on quashing the business.

“Why, doctor, the papers were all printed, and it cost Mr. Percival
£10,000 out of the secret service money to recover one copy which had
been taken off his table. Going out in a hurry, and forgetting to lock
it up, he had left the book open in his room. It was not a thing to
escape. Somebody stole it; and I know, to a certainty, that it cost
him £10,000 to get it back again.

“As for the P――ss of W., I did not care about her. She was a nasty,
vulgar, impudent woman, that was not worth telling a lie about. I never
could feel for her. If she had been a different kind of person, one
might have made up one’s mind to swear that it was one’s self that was
walking in one’s night-clothes from one bed-room to another, and not
her royal highness. I always used to tell the ladies in waiting, if
ever they saw me closeted with her, to contrive some excuse or other
to come in and break up the conversation. I was determined she should
never make a confidante of me. Sometimes she would begin, ‘You know,
Lady Hester, that Sir Richard’――and then I was sure to begin to cough
or to interrupt her with, ‘Oh! I am going out to walk,’ or whatever
happened to come into my head, so as to put a stop to her revelations.

“I warned the D. of B*********, that if the commission examined me,
I would make his old uncle blush finely. If they ask me an impudent
question, I will always answer――‘I don’t understand,’ and so go on with
‘I don’t understand, I don’t understand,’ until I make them, by that,
put their questions in such clear terms that their primosity will be
finely puzzled: and then I’ll put the examination into the newspapers.
This frightened them all so, that they did not know what to do. But it
was I that was really frightened――terribly, doctor, and I pretended
to be so bold about it, only to drive them from their purpose; and I
succeeded too.

“Oh! what an impudent woman was that P――ss of W.! she was a downright
――――. She had a Chinese figure in one of her rooms at Blackheath, that
was wound up like a clock, and used to perform the most extraordinary
movements. How the sea-captains used to colour up when she danced
about, exposing herself like an opera girl; and then she gartered
below the knee:――she was so low, so vulgar! I quarrelled with her at
Plymouth, for I was the only person that ever told her the truth; and
Lady Carnarvon assured me afterwards that they had never seen her moved
so much as after a conversation I had with her. I plainly told her it
was a hanging matter, and that she should mind what she was about. The
Prince, I intimated to her, might do her a great deal of mischief when
he became king. ‘Oh, he will never be _kink_!’ she would reply; for a
German fortune-teller had told her she never would be queen, and, as
she believed the fortune-teller, she thought she was safe.

“There was a handsome footman, who might have been brought into the
scrape, if the trial had related to anybody but the Italian courier.”
Then Lady Hester asked me what had become of young Austin. “I did
not believe,” added she, “that the child was anybody else’s but the
reputed mother’s at Greenwich; and, as for the P――ss of W.’s adopting
it, and making such a fuss about it, it was only pure spite to vex the
Prince. He was a nasty boy. Oh! how Mr. Pitt used to frown, when he was
brought in after dinner, and held by a footman over the table to take
up anything out of the dessert that he liked: and, when the P――ss used
to say to Mr. Pitt――‘Don’t you think he is a nice boy?’ he would reply,
‘I don’t understand anything about children; your R. H. had better ask
his nurse, for she knows those things better than I do.’ He was indeed
a nasty, mischievous boy. I once saw him at Lord Mount Edgecumbe’s,
turning over the leaves of a valuable book of plates backward and
forward with his nasty fingers, that he had just before smeared in the
ink. I told the P――ss it was a shame to let him dirt and tear books of
such value, and she gave him another, a common one, but he cried and
whimpered, and said he would have the first. I declared he shouldn’t,
and said, if he dared touch it, he should see what I would do. My
resolute manner frightened him. Once, he cried for a spider on the
ceiling, and, though they gave him all sorts of playthings to divert
his attention, he would have nothing but the spider. Then there was
such a calling of footmen, and long sticks, and such a to-do! He was a
little, nasty, vulgar brat.

“It was unpardonable in the P――ss to lavish her love upon such a
little urchin of a boy, a little beggar, really no better. To see him
brought in every day after dinner, bawling and kicking down the wine,
and hung up by his breeches over the table for people to laugh at; and
so ugly! Then she had five or six more, not one of whom was pretty,
except a little midshipman, son of a beautiful woman in the Isle of
Wight. It was supposed that she kept these little urchins to carry her
love-letters: she certainly used to employ them in that way, sometimes
as a sort of make-believe. I know that when she used to invite a
sea-captain to dinner, instead of sending a scarlet footman in a barge,
as she ought to have done, she would tell one of these boys to go on
board and give her billet to Captain Such-a-one, and on no account to
let it fall into anybody else’s hands; making people imagine there was
a mystery, when there really was none.

“Indeed, when one thinks of Lady ――――, of Lord ――――, and such
characters, the P――ss is not so much to blame, after all. There was
no lack of bad example. In all London, you could not find a more
abandoned character than Lord ――――. He had exhausted every species of
vice known in the Palais Royal, and was so notorious in that way that
some gentlemen refused to meet him at dinner unless they were sure of
having grave and weighty people present who could keep him in order.
Yet he is a clever, sharp man; no person has carried on more intrigues
in the very first classes: and then to finish by marrying a woman who
really did not know who her father and mother were――strange enough, you
will say. She left him for a Frenchman, and lives at Paris: but he is
on very good terms with her. He says she is in the right, if she likes
a Frenchman better. She came over to England sometimes, by means of a
passport, during the war, to see him, and arrange matters about their

“The P. had always been used to women of such perfect cleanliness and
sweetness, that it is no wonder he was disgusted with the P――ss of
W., who was a sloven, and did not know how to put on her own clothes.
Those kind of people should let themselves be dressed as you dress a
doll. She did sometimes; but then she was sure to spoil it all again
by putting on her stockings with the seam before, or one of them wrong
side outwards: and then her manner of fastening them――it was shocking!

“Mrs. Fitzherbert had a beautiful skin; at sixty it was like a child’s
of six years old: for I knew her well, having passed at one time six
weeks in the same house with her: so had Lady ―――― and her daughters.
There are some people who are sweet by nature, and who, even if they
are not washed for a fortnight, are free from odour; whilst there are
others, who, two hours after they have been to a bath, generate a fusty
atmosphere about them. Mrs. Fitzherbert, likewise, had a great deal
of tact in concealing the Prince’s faults. She would say, ‘Don’t send
your letter to such a person――he is careless, and will lose it:’ or,
when he was talking foolish things, she would tell him, ‘You are drunk
to-night; do hold your tongue.’[65]

“Poor Mrs. Robinson was a woman of a different kind, naturally good
and innocent; and, perhaps, there was personal love towards him in her
composition: but then she had no cleverness. I don’t mean in politics,
but none in common matters: she possessed no guiding influence over
him, so that he scribbled and wrote to her things, that, if they had
been brought to light, would have stamped him with infamy. When she
died, she charged her daughter never to part with a certain casket;
but they got it out of her for £10,000. I believe it was Lord M****
who got possession of it. But a peer told me that there were most
abominable things in those letters, not of common debauchery, but of
every nature. I, for my part, believe he was really married to Mrs.
Robinson, and yet he left her to starve; and she would have starved,
if it had not been for Sir Henry Halford.”

August 6.――This being Sunday, I spent it as usual with my family.

August 7.――Lady Hester Stanhope spoke of Mr. Canning. She said, “The
first time he was introduced to Mr. Pitt, a great deal of prosing had
been made beforehand of his talents, and when he was gone, Mr. P. asked
me what I thought of him. I said I did not like him; for, doctor, his
forehead was bad, his eyebrows were bad, he was ill-made about the
hips; but his teeth were evenly set, although he rarely showed them.
I did not like his conversation. Mr. C. heard of this, and, some time
after, when upon a more familiar footing with me, said, ‘So, Lady
Hester, you don’t like me.’――‘No,’ said I; ‘they told me you were
handsome, and I don’t think so.’”

Upon this point I ventured to observe, that much admiration was
generally expressed of Mr. C.’s features, more especially of the
forehead. (The reader is probably familiar with Sir Thomas Lawrence’s
portrait of him.) “Good God!” she exclaimed, “what fools people are! A
man in London does not even know what his next door neighbour is; but
he sees him go in and out, and he says, he has a fine open countenance
and a fine forehead. Some people thought Mr. C. had a fine forehead,
because it was bald. There was not one feature or one limb in C. but
what was vulgar, except his teeth, and I am not sure those were not
false: and why I think so is, that once, in the House of Commons, he
spit blood in his pocket-handkerchief, and said he had a dreadful
toothache. People don’t spit blood with toothaches.

“I recollect once, when we were sitting at breakfast, C. began reading
some advertisements about Macassar Oil and those sort of things, and
pretended not to know what they meant; and afterwards my maid told me
that she entered his dressing-room when he was at Putney, and was shown
by his valet one of the finest dressing-cases she had ever seen, filled
with all sorts of perfumes, which his man drew out one by one before

Lady Hester went on (for of Mr. C. she could never speak calmly, and
his name once introduced was sure to lead to an angry diatribe), “Oh!
Lord, when I think of his duplicity! for it was not on matters of
this sort only, but in everything that he was deceitful. I only regret
that he ever took me in as he did. But he was so artful as to make me
believe at last in his protestations of admiration for Mr. Pitt; and as
Mr. Pitt was surrounded by such fools as C――tl――h and H――k――b――y,[66]
I thought he might be useful to him in lightening his labours, for he
was clever and wrote well, whilst Mr. Pitt could never trust Lord C.
to draw up an official paper, without having to cross out and correct
half of it. But the first time I saw him I thought him insincere, and
told Mr. Pitt so, and I did not scruple to add how much I disliked
him. ‘Oh!’ Mr. Pitt replied, ‘he is very amusing, and when you have
seen more of him you will think so too.’――‘Well, we shall see,’ said
I. ‘You must like him,’ rejoined Mr. Pitt, ‘he is so brilliant.’ I
answered, ‘Well, if I must I must’――but I never did. It is true I took
a great deal of pains to get him into favour again, when he was out of
favour with Mr. Pitt, but it was because I really believed him to be
Mr. Pitt’s friend, and thought he would be another strong horse in the
stable. It was so with Sir H*** P*****. The first time I saw his face,
I thought I had never seen so bad a countenance: it was the spirit of
evil rising up before me; and I was not mistaken in his case any more
than in the other.

“Oh! when I think of C.’s deceit: how he used to come to me, and cry
out, ‘Ah, Lady Hester, what have I not done to please you? I have drunk
a glass of wine with that fool H.; a glass of wine!――such a glass of
wine!――’twas like physic to me.’ Why, I have seen him, at Mr. Pitt’s
table, pretend not to hear when Lord H. spoke to him. Mr. Pitt used
to say, ‘What does he mean by all this? If he does not like him, why
does he come to my table when he is to be there? But I know how I could
reconcile them; if I would but give C. a place in the cabinet, he would
make it up directly; but he shan’t have it. No,’ said he, ‘C. shall
never have a place in the cabinet whilst I have a voice.’

“His duplicity was perfect. He used to say to me, ‘My dear Lady Hester,
how could I ever drink a glass of wine with a man whom I have so
ridiculed, whom I have made verses on?’ and after that I have seen him
professing the warmest friendship for this same man, the object of so
much ridicule and contempt. I have still by me one of his letters――one
of the only two I ever kept――that he wrote me, of four sheets, before
Mr. Pitt’s death (and which I always kept, because I feared how it
would be), in which he goes on, for ten pages I really think, with ‘My
dearest Lady Hester, what is the meaning of all this? I know no more
of all that is passing than the child unborn. Do write to me; do tell
me; they have made Lord Mulgrave minister,’ &c.; and all this time he

“One day Miss Williams saw the paragraph in the newspaper where Mr.
C. was gazetted as prime minister, and she immediately brought it,
and showed it to me. I said to her, ‘Was ever anything so monstrous?
why, when he paces those rooms in Downing Street, which have witnessed
his lies and his deceit, the very stones will rise up to crush him.’
I remember, when Mr. Pitt was lying ill at Bath, one day there
were no letters. Charles came in, and Mr. Pitt said, ‘Are there no
letters?’――‘None,’ replied Charles; ‘nothing but that C. is going on
very well.’――‘Very well!’ was Mr. Pitt’s reply; ‘to be sure he will go
on very well, as long as he has got your sister to guide him; but if
ever she quits him, that ambitious ―――― of his――badly ambitious――will
soon spoil all the good Hester has done for him.’ How could he live in
Downing Street, and enter those rooms where I have had him before me,
crying like a child――yes, doctor, I used to make him cry and blubber
like a schoolboy――and making a thousand protestations, which he never
kept! How could he dare to talk of Mr. Pitt’s principles![67]

“He sent me once a fine copy of verses――they were very well written――in
which he compared Mr. Pitt to a bound eagle. Oh! how Lord Temple tried
to steal them! He snatched them away from me one evening, when he,
James, and I were together, and, jumping into a chair, held them out
of my reach. I was so angry that I pulled a fine repeater out of his
fob, and dashed it the ground. He then ran into the street without his
hat, and James after him, and the watchman took him for a thief, and
joined in the pursuit: but I got them back.” Lady Hester here made a
pause, and then added: “I know C. would, if he could, he and all his
creatures, have annihilated me.

“Another reason why Mr. Pitt disliked C. was, that he was not to be
trusted. Mr. Pitt used to say, ‘I don’t understand what it is that
people mean, when they go and repeat every word they hear in society
to their intimate friend, their _as myself_.’ For he had seen in ‘The
Oracle’ whole conversations:[68] not that C. put them in himself, but
that he told them to some friend, and then, a week or a fortnight
after, one saw, ‘We are credibly informed――we have reason to believe,’
with every syllable Mr. Pitt had talked about, put down as a piece of
exclusive political information.”

August 10.――I went to Mar Elias, and remained a couple of days. In
the morning of the 10th, Lady Hester Stanhope, in the course of
conversation, said, “I must send you to the chief of the serpents.
You don’t know what that means――I’ll tell you. There is a cavern in a
distant part of this country, inhabited by a great serpent, who has
hundreds of others at his command. He has got the head of a man, the
body of a serpent, and wings: he has been seen by many persons,
and it is all perfectly true: perhaps you don’t believe in such
things?” This was an embarrassing question; but I tried to evade the
difficulty, by observing, that nothing was impossible to the Almighty.
“Well,” rejoined Lady Hester, “you shall go and take a drawing of
the cave.”

She asked me what had become of Tom Moore. I said he had latterly made
a profession of faith, and had written a book to prove himself a good
Catholic. “I dare say it was very well written,” said she; “I always
liked that man.”――“It might be well written,” I replied, “but his other
works have been more read.”――“What are they?” she asked. I enumerated
them; and, among the rest, his life of Sheridan, of Byron, and of Lord
E. F. “Ah! those I should like to read,” observed Lady Hester; “we must
get them.”[69]

Sunday, August 13.――I remained with Lady Hester, reading and talking,
until midnight. She was greatly pleased with the “Penny Magazine,” a
volume or two of which I had with me; and, some conversation having
arisen respecting English poetry, I selected Lord Byron’s stanzas on
the dying gladiator, Wolfe’s lines on the death of General Moore, Mr.
Moore’s on his own birthday, and Pringle’s “Alone in the desert I love
to ride.” Of Byron’s, she said, “I don’t see much in them;” Wolfe she
extolled greatly, and thought his poetry finer than Lord Byron’s. Of
Mr. Moore she said again; “I always liked that little man” and she
laughed where he expresses a wish to live his life over again,
exclaiming, in another sense, “Ah, I dare say he does.” Her remark on
Pringle was, “That’s a good man, I’ll venture to say; there are some
good thoughts there.” I then read the death of Mary Queen of Scots, of
Lady Jane Grey――on the effects of tight-lacing, and on boarding-school
mismanagement. “Oh!” observed she, “if I had time, I would write a
book on Swiss governesses: they are the most artful, nasty
creatures!――you can’t imagine.”

It may be recollected by some of my readers that in her correspondence
with Lord Palmerston, Lady Hester Stanhope made use of this expression,
“Whoever had been the bearer of a disagreeable message to me, would
have found me to be a cousin of Lord Camelford’s. She admired Lord C.’s
character, and, in some things, imitated him. His name happened to be
mentioned, and she spoke of him in the following words:

“Lord Camelford was not such a man as you would have supposed. He was
tall and bony――rather pale――with his head hanging generally a little
on one side――so. What a fright people were in wherever he came! I
recollect his taking me one evening to a party, and it was quite a
scene to notice how the men shuffled away, and the women stared at
him. At last there was a countess, then a little _passée_, with a ten
years’ reputation for fashionable intrigues, who came and sat down by
him on the sofa, and began talking to him. She was a woman who had
seen a great deal of the world, and knew, as well as anybody, the true
characteristics of men of high breeding and fashion. He went away
before supper; and then how she broke out about him! she could talk
of nothing else but Lord Camelford. Such delightful manners, such
fascinating conversation! He was quite charming, irresistible; so
well-bred, such a _ton_ about him!――and so she ran on, in a perfect
ecstasy of admiration.

“People were very much mistaken about him. His generosity, and the good
he did in secret, passes all belief. He used to give £5,000 a-year to
his lawyer to distribute among distressed persons. ‘The only condition
I enjoin,’ he used to say, ‘is not to let them know who it comes from.’
He would sometimes dress himself in a jacket and trowsers, like a
sailor, and go to some tavern or alehouse; and if he fell in with a
poor-looking person, who had an air of trouble or poverty, he would
contrive to enter into conversation with him, and find out all about
him. ‘Come,’ he would say, ‘tell me your story, and I will tell you
mine.’ He was endowed with great penetration, and, if he saw that the
man’s story was true, he would slip fifty or a hundred pounds into his
hand, with this admonitory warning――‘Recollect, you are not to speak
of this; if you do, you will have to answer for it in a way you don’t

“Mr. Pitt liked him personally as much as I did; but considerations of
propriety, arising out of his position, obliged him to keep him at a
distance. How frightened Lady Chatham was for fear he should marry me!
Lord Chatham thought to have the Bowcourt estate (or some such name),
but he was prettily taken in; for Lord Camelford paid £50,000 to cut
off the entail, and left it to his sister. Mr. Pitt took little or no
notice of him, out of absolute fear of the scrapes he was constantly
getting into. He was greatly perplexed about him when he shot the
lieutenant: but Lord Camelford did it from a quick perception of what
was right to be done, which was a sort of instinct with him. He saw
that the ship’s crew was ready to mutiny, and he stopped it at once by
his resolute conduct. Everybody at home was open-mouthed against him,
until the news came of Captain Pigot, of the Hermione, being thrown
overboard, and then all the lords and the ladies began to tremble for
their sons and nephews. Then nothing was too good for Lord Camelford,
and the next mutiny which took place in our ships showed how well he
had foreseen what would happen.

“I recollect once he was driving me out in his curricle, when, at a
turnpike-gate, I saw him pay the man himself, and take some halfpence
in exchange. He turned them over two or three times in his hand without
his glove. Well, thought I, if you like to handle dirty copper, it is
a strange taste. ‘Take the reins a moment,’ said he, giving them to
me, and out he jumped; and, before I could form the least suspicion of
what he was going to do, he rushed upon the turnpike-man, and seized
him by the throat. Of course, there was a mob collected in a moment,
and the high-spirited horses grew so restive that I expected nothing
less than that they would start off with me. In the midst of it all
a coach and four came to the gate. ‘Ask what’s the matter,’ said a
simpering sort of gentleman, putting his head with an air out of the
coach-window, to the footman behind.――‘It’s my Lord Camelford,’ replied
the footman.――‘You may drive on,’ was the instant ejaculation of the
master, frightened out of his senses at the bare apprehension lest his
lordship should turn to him.

“The row was soon over, and Lord C. resumed his seat. ‘I dare say
you thought,’ he said, very quietly, ‘that I was going to put myself
in a passion. But, the fact is, these rascals have barrels of bad
halfpence, and they pass them in change to the people who go through
the gate. Some poor carter perhaps has nothing but this change to pay
for his supper; and, when he gets to his journey’s end, finds he can’t
get his bread and cheese. The law, ’tis true, will fine them; but how
is a poor devil to go to law?――where can he find time? To you and me
it would not signify, but to the poor it does; and I merely wanted to
teach these blackguards a lesson, by way of showing them that they
cannot always play such tricks with impunity.’

“Doctor, you should have seen, when we came back again, how humble and
cringing the turnpike-man was. Lord C. was a true Pitt, and, like me,
his blood fired at a fraud or a bad action.”

A messenger had arrived in the course of the day from Monsieur Guys,
French consul at Beyrout, to announce the landing of an Italian lady
we expected from Leghorn, whom I had engaged to join us in Syria.
Mustafa, a Turkish servant, was immediately despatched to see to her
wants; and the secretary, who spoke Italian, sailed in a shaktôor from
Sayda to convey her by water, the heat rendering the land journey very

August 12.――I rode over to Mar Elias to see my family, and make
arrangements for the reception of the new comer; and, as Lady Hester
Stanhope had some business at Beyrout, which required my presence,
respecting an importunate creditor, it was decided that I should go
thither, under the plea of thanking Monsieur and Madame Guys for the
hospitality they had shown to the Italian lady.

Monday, August 14, 1837.――I departed an hour before sunrise, and
reached Beyrout in the evening, meeting on the road the half-broiled
secretary, who, in consequence of a calm, had not reached his
destination until twelve hours after Signora L. had sailed, the little
wind there was being fair for her and foul for him.

Our ultimate intention in forming an engagement with Signora L., whom
we had known for some years struggling in adversity, was to place her
with Lady Hester Stanhope as housekeeper, a situation for which she was
extremely well qualified.

August 18.――I remained in Beyrout the 16th and 17th, and returned to
Dar Jôon on the 18th. I had hardly dismounted from my horse, when Lady
Hester put a letter into my hands, by which I was summoned in the
greatest haste to Mar Elias, to attend on Signora L., who, as soon as
she had reached that place, had been taken ill with a brain-fever,
arising from the fatigue of the voyage, exposure to the burning sun,
and the circumstances incidental to Eastern travelling, which are so
strange and foreign to European habits.

A messenger had been despatched, on the first intimation that Lady
Hester Stanhope had received of Signora L.’s indisposition, to one
Mustafa, a barber at Sayda, to betake himself to Mar Elias, and bleed
her, and, when I arrived some hours afterwards, Lady Hester strongly
recommended me to leave her case in Mustafa’s hands, as he was a
surgeon as well as a barber, and highly esteemed in Sayda for his
skill. She hinted, also, that European physicians, who applied the same
course of treatment in the East which they were accustomed to prescribe
in the north, must inevitably do more harm than good. I acquiesced in
these observations with the best grace I could.

Saturday, August 19.――On reaching Mar Elias, I was informed that, on
the morning of the 14th, when Signora L. arrived, she showed a marked
oddity in her actions, to which, at first, little attention was paid;
but that, in the succeeding night, she walked about in an unseemly
manner, almost undressed, first in her own room and then in the
quadrangle, to the great scandal and consternation of the inmates. The
following morning, she cut off her hair, close to the roots, with her
own hand; and her conduct at last excited so much alarm, that it was
considered necessary to send for me without loss of time. The next
day, which was the 16th, left no doubt of her brain being disordered,
as she sung, and danced, and laughed, without intermission, saying and
doing the most extravagant things. She had already been bled when I saw
her, and her bed had been removed into the chapel, the most airy part
of the dwelling. The bleeding, although continued until she fainted,
had produced no effect; and in the night she tore off the bandages,
with the loss of a still greater quantity of blood. A blister was put
on her head, and medicine was administered; but certain things which
I observed on the 20th and 21st, such as putting ice, not only on her
head, but on her abdomen, administering pepper in powder, and a written
paper macerated in water, as a charm, to drink, together with sundry
superstitious and empirical remedies, induced me to ride over to Lady
Hester, and to tell her I could have nothing to do with the treatment,
unless Mustafa was instantly sent about his business. But Lady Hester
Stanhope had lived so long in the East that charms, popular remedies,
and quackery, were more in unison with her notions than rational and
scholastic rules of nosology. She therefore replied that, as Signora
L. had come to be in her service, she presumed she might direct what
she chose to have done, and that she should confide her wholly to Hadj
Mustafa’s care. I told her I disclaimed all responsibility as to the
consequences. Lady Hester then despatched two men-servants to fetch
from Jôon or Sayda whatever Mustafa might require, retaining him, at
the same time, to remain in constant attendance on the poor invalid,
with strict injunctions to spare no trouble nor money which the case
might require.

August 23.――I went back to Mar Elias to make these arrangements
known, and to tell the governess, Miss Longchamp, and the maids to
let the Signora L. want for nothing. Miss L. was, night and day, at
her bedside, and the maids assisted in turn. Everything was done that
could be thought of to make her situation comfortable: but her case was
now become one of maniacal delirium. She raved without intermission:
she knew nobody; she closed her teeth, and refused the admission of
food. If her arms were free for a moment, she tore her bandages, her
garments, and the bedclothes; sometimes laughing and sometimes singing
(but with much taste and execution) an Italian song, _Nel cor più non
mi sento_, or else _Malbrook_. When she could, she rose from her bed,
and danced on the floor, being apparently pleased to get on the cold
stones. Sometimes she appeared to be dandling a child in her arms. Her
arms moved perpetually. Now and then, her actions indicated satyriasis.
Generally, she showed by her manner that the light was disagreeable
to her, but nothing could make her pay attention to what was said to
her. There was a copious and frothy expectoration; but the grinding of
her teeth and straining of her eyes almost out of their sockets was
fearful: and, in such moments of excitement, she repeatedly execrated
certain _frati_, or friars, by name. It was necessary to have the room
completely stripped of everything; for, such was her violence, that,
one night, being left but a moment to herself, she loosened her arms,
leaped out of bed, and tore a Leghorn hat, a parasol, and half a dozen
frills, bandbox and all, to fritters.

August 24.――It was found necessary to make a strait-waistcoat for her.
The governess, who saw everything that was administered, told me that
Hadj Mohammed received secret instructions from Lady Hester Stanhope,
with sundry packets.

August 29, Tuesday.――I rode over to Dar Jôon, and again protested
against these proceedings; but, finding my views did not accord with
Lady Hester’s, and that she could not see me again the next day, which
was Wednesday, I returned to Mar Elias.

September 1.――A priest was sent for, and administered extreme unction
to Signora L., who was now evidently sinking. For the first time,
and only for a moment, she recovered her reason so far as to ask for
water, “_aqua, aqua!_”――and to utter, “_oime, oime!_” “I am dying;”
but, immediately afterwards, her intellects became disordered again.
I was informed by the governess that about noon she appeared at the
last gasp, on seeing which Hadj Mustafa jerked her pillow from under
her head, threw it to a distance, and pulled her legs straight, which
pulling he repeated each time she drew them up. This I learned was in
accordance with the usages of the Mahometans.

September 2.――At nine o’clock in the morning, Signora L. died, and
at five the same afternoon was buried in the Catholic burying-ground
at Sayda, Lady Hester Stanhope’s secretary and myself following as
chief mourners, with the French vice-consul and some French merchants
from Sayda, who paid the last tribute to her memory. Before the body
was removed, a monk, of the order of Terra Santa, and eight Maronite
priests, collected from the town and villages adjoining, performed a
funeral service over her corpse in the chapel where it lay. Thus ended
this sad tragedy, with every mark of respect that grief at her loss
on our part, and sympathy from the European residents at Sayda, could

The tenor of Lady Hester Stanhope’s mind, and the peculiarity of her
actions and habits may be gathered from a note or two that were sent me
from Dar Jôon to Mar Elias during this poor lady’s illness.

                  _Lady Hester Stanhope to Dr. ――――._

                                                Djoun, August 20.

     I send you a pair of sheets, a coverlet, and two
     cotton-stuffed pillows for Madame L., and a bed; also
     some arrow-root, some lemons, old newspapers, should they
     be wanted, basins, &c.; a bottle of _bnefsage_ (syrup of
     violets), and one of _werd_ (syrup of roses), which to some
     people is of use medicinally.

     I hope you will find Madame L. not so ill as she was made
     out to be. There must not be the least noise; nothing is
     so bad for persons in her state. I shall expect to see you
     to-morrow morning, and then you can return again on Monday:
     I mean, I expect to see you, if Madame L. gets better. My
     compliments to Mrs. ―――― and Mademoiselle Longchamp: I feel
     much for them.

     I am afraid that the chapel is damp, and that a stone roof
     is not good for Madame L.’s head; but that depends upon her
     star. Many people can bear to sleep under a stone roof; but
     I, for one, would rather sleep out of doors in the rain.
     However, let Hadj Mustafa decide, he knows best.

                           Yours, sincerely,       H. L. S.

     I had forgotten a tarboosh and an arkeyah, in case Madame
     L. should have her head shaved; also some common towels of
     the country.

       *       *       *       *       *

                        _The same to the same._

                              Djôun, Sept. 2. Two in the morning.

     I think you should consult with Mr. Conti about the
     funeral, as Madame L. is a French subject. I can give no
     other advice, only I must add, that my love for the French
     will make me little consider expense, in order that all may
     be respectable.

                                                    H. L. S.

     Hadj Mustafa may go away when he pleases.

       *       *       *       *       *

The consular seals were put on Madame L.’s effects, an inventory having
been taken of them in the presence of General Loustaunau and Miss
Longchamp. They were then carried to Sayda, and afterwards to Beyrout,
to await the directions of her relatives as to their disposal. Other
formalities were fulfilled, and on.

Sept. 7――I betook myself again to Jôon. It was about this time, but
I forgot to note when, that General Cass, who was on a tour in the
Mediterranean, paid a visit to Lady Hester, bringing with him his
family. General Cass, it will be recollected, was, and is now (1839),
ambassador from the United States to the Court of France. His visit,
I believe, had not been previously announced. At all events, I knew
nothing of it, and was absent at Abra, when it took place; so that I
had not the honour of seeing him or his amiable daughters.


     [65] Lord Malmesbury, speaking of an imprudent step which
          the Prince of W―――― was almost committing, says――“Lord
          Pelham heard of it, and, meeting the Prince at a
          house where he was going to dine, strongly urged him
          to reflect on what he was going to do. The Prince
          listened to his advice.” Lord Malmesbury then adds:
          “Luckily this passed _before_ dinner.”

     [66] “His Majesty spoke slightingly of Lord Hawkesbury. ‘He
          has no head for business, no method, no punctuality,’
          said the king.”――_Diaries and Correspondence of the
          Earl of Malmesbury._

     [67] Speaking of Canning’s speech whilst Addington was
          minister in 1802, when, on the 25th of November, he
          defended Mr. Pitt’s administration, Mr. Pitt said:
          “Private regard gave Canning no right to assert
          opinions and doctrines in his name.”――_Diaries and
          Correspondence of the Earl of Malmesbury_.

     [68] Mr. Canning says: “It was devised by Lord Grenville
          to _tie up Pitt’s tongue alone_, who is suspected of
          communicating with other persons. I am not sure that
          he did not suspect him farther of sounding the public
          sentiment through the newspapers.”――_Letter from Mr.
          Canning to Lord Malmesbury_, dated 20th July, 1797.

          In this accusation of Mr. Pitt’s infidelity to the
          secrecy of Cabinet Councils, Mr. C. retorts the very
          charge that Lady Hester makes against him――which was
          the culprit?

          At page 428, Lord Malmesbury seems to reject the
          inference Mr. Canning had come to: for he says, “I
          am a little influenced by the circumstances of the
          paragraphs which have lately appeared in our papers:
          and, although it would be most unfair to say I could
          fix a shadow of suspicion on the fidelity of any
          of the king’s messengers,” &c., whereby it would
          seem that he did not suspect Mr. Pitt, but did the
          messengers.――_Diaries and Correspondence of the Earl
          of Malmesbury_, v. iii. p. 416.

     [69] I afterwards sent them to her from Marseilles.

                               CHAPTER X.

Mrs. ――――’s unwillingness to remain at Abra after Signora L.’s
death――Beyrout fixed on as a residence――Lady H.’s account of her
debts――Necessities to which she was reduced――Another version of her
debts――Her extensive charities――Anecdote of Shaykh Omar-ed-dyn――
Usurious discount on Lady H.’s bills of exchange――Loss from the
fluctuating value of money in the East――Estates supposed to have been
bequeathed to Lady H.――Letters from Lady H. to M. Guys――She employs
Sir Francis Burdett to inquire into the nature of the supposed
bequests――Her opinion of Sir Francis――Letter to him――Lady H.’s
diatribes on women――Mr. C.――Letter to Miss ―――― ――Letter to the

Again the necessity occurs of introducing my personal affairs, in order
to keep up the thread of our story. Madame L.’s melancholy disorder,
and its fatal termination, had left such awful impressions on the
females of my family, that they expressed an earnest wish to remove
from a scene where every object excited some melancholy reflection.
It was in vain they were told there was no other house in the country
in which they could live so comfortably. Their answer was, that day
and night they were haunted with the cries and frantic laugh of poor
Madame L., and that they would prefer even the most wretched peasant’s
cottage to remaining where they were. They represented also the
forlorn state in which they were left during my absence at Lady Hester
Stanhope’s for a week and a fortnight together, having nobody near them
for a protector but General Loustaunau, a man now eighty-two years of
age, impaired in intellect, and sinking into imbecility.

But Lady Hester had no consideration for all these womanish weaknesses.
Her former animosity against Mrs. ―――― had not abated one jot. She held
to our agreement, that my family was to be considered as strangers,
with whom she had nothing to do; for, as I had brought them contrary to
her wishes, I must look to them myself, without expecting any sympathy
from her. I observed to her how much more convenient it would be for
all parties if she would only lend me one of the cottages she had
empty in the village of Jôon, which I could fit up for our temporary
dwelling, and which, from its proximity, would save me so many journeys
to and fro: but, as Cabôor had foretold, there was no reconciling these
conflicting interests. At last she proposed an arrangement, to which
I acceded much against my will, as I knew it would put her to great
inconvenience. No news having yet arrived from England respecting the
property supposed to have been bequeathed to her, she suggested that
I should set off with my family to Beyrout or Cyprus, and live there
until she had certain advice that money was forthcoming sufficient to
pay her debts; when I could easily return and execute those services
for her which she required of me. This plan was settled, as it
appeared, finally.

In the mean time, Lady Hester had taken advantage of a leisure day
to enter into the full particulars of her debts. I will therefore
give some account of their origin, and show how it was that she who,
during her residence in England after Mr. Pitt’s death, and during the
many years I was with her in Turkey, was one of the most punctual and
over-generous payers I ever knew, could have fallen into the opposite
extreme, and have thus exposed herself to the degradation of having
duns at her gate, and her name in the mouths of the moneyed men at
Beyrout as a defaulter.

What I could recollect sufficiently well to write down the same night
in Lady Hester’s own words was as follows:――“After the death of Mâalem
Haym,” said she, “the celebrated Jewish seràf or banker to Abdallah
Pasha of Acre, by whom he was strangled, all the Jews of the pashalik
were amerced. Some of these came to me, and entreated me, for the love
of God, to lend them money to satisfy the Pasha’s extortions, and save
them from being bastinadoed, and perhaps worse. I was at that time low
in purse myself, and could only give them 3,000 piasters, which was all
I had. I subsequently lent them more, for which they gave me in payment
damaged pieces of cloth, sixpenny pocket-handkerchiefs, and other
goods, which of course I could not dispose of except at a ruinous loss.
I knew I was cheated by them, but I was too proud to complain.

“Not long after this, Abdallah Pasha himself having been declared
_firmanlee_ (or outlawed) by the Porte, six pashas, with their combined
forces, were sent to besiege him in Acre. Provisions and animals
became so scarce, that I was obliged to send people to buy camels in
the desert, and then despatch them under the care of a Jew, of whom
I had scarcely any knowledge, to buy corn for myself and the house.
When at last, and partly by my means, Abdallah Pasha had obtained his
pardon from the Porte, but upon condition of paying an immense fine,
he pretended to sell his pipes, shawls, carpets, and jewels, to raise
the money; for he was, or affected to be, so low in his treasury,
that the _delàls_, or auctioneers, were to be seen hawking even his
wearing-apparel in the bazar. Among other ways of meeting the demands
of the Sultan, he applied to me to lend him as much money as I could
possibly raise; and I, not doubting that he would repay me honourably,
after drawing for what money I had at my disposal in England, applied
to a usurious Christian of Beyrout, who, at an exorbitant rate of
interest, furnished me with what I required. No sooner was the
rate known which I was to pay for what I had borrowed, than Turks,
Christians, and Jews, presented themselves with offers of loans to
whatever extent I wished, all professing that their purses were at my
disposal; that it was beneath a lady of my rank to discuss matters so
paltry as money concerns; and that all they required was merely my
signature to a scrap of paper, just acknowledging the debt. In this way
I signed small bits of paper, it is true, but well and legally worded
in Arabic, or Armenian, or Hebrew, which I could not read, and by which
I bound myself to pay enormous interest, varying from 25 to 50 per cent.

“This was the real beginning of my debts and difficulties; for Abdallah
Pasha gave me bills at thirty-one days’ sight on Constantinople,
payment of which was deferred under one pretence or another for a year,
whilst I, in the interim, was in such want of money, that I was reduced
to a single _adlee_.[70] The worst of all was that, I don’t think the
Pasha wanted it, but only pretended poverty to deceive the Porte.
However, in consequence of his failing to repay me at the time agreed
on, which repayment would have placed me immediately in a state of
solvency, I found myself reduced absolutely to destitution. On one
occasion, as I said, I was left without a farthing, and M. Loustaunau
went off to M. Beaudin, who was at Damascus, and told him that, as he
owed his advancement in life in part to me, he was bound to assist me
in my extremity. M. Beaudin at first hesitated; M. Loustaunau
insisted; and B. lent me 4,000 Spanish dollars, which I afterwards
paid him.

“But this is not all. I was even obliged to send my best pelisse to
be sold or pawned in the bazar at Sayda, and to sell to an Albanian
soldier forty English guineas, which my brother had given me on parting
at Gibraltar, and which I had saved in the shipwreck.

“Oh! doctor, about six months before Miss Williams’s death, I was
reduced so low, that, had she died then, I should not have had money
enough to bury her. Môosa, one of the best servants I ever had, and
who died of the same fever that carried off Miss Williams, out of his
own pocket bought oil for two or three months’ consumption, without my
knowledge; telling Miss W., who afterwards told me, that it was not
proper mylady should send for oil by pints and quarts like poor people,
which, just then, I was compelled to do. Oh, Lord! when I think of it!
One day, when I was walking up and down, not knowing how or where to
turn, thinking I must shoot my horses from having nothing to feed them
with, I heard the jingling of camels’ bells, and presently a servant
came to say that there were some camels at the gate laden with barley.
This seasonable supply for the horses was sent by some strangers, who
had heard the condition I was in; and the last adlee that I had I gave
to the camel-driver.”

Another time, Lady Hester gave me, in writing, a little memorandum
of the state of her finances to read, which varies somewhat from her
account by word of mouth, although agreeing in the main. It was as

“My debts began in 1822――from 1822 to 1823; and, in a couple of years,
I owed £3,000, not that I had actually borrowed that sum. I was obliged
to take up money, owing to the revolutions in the country; I speak
of the time in which there were three pachas, with an army, encamped
before the gates of Acre, and when the Emir Beshýr, the governor of the
mountain, had fled to Egypt; and such a number of persecuted people
took refuge under my roof, that this caused me great expense. Expecting
remittances from England at that time, which I never received, I placed
the date of the bonds for the money which I borrowed, for only four
and six months, at twenty-five per cent. This, with their interest and
compound interest, and the loss upon the money which I was obliged to
take at the price they chose to give it, amounted in three years to
£3,000. Now, God knows what it is! My income would now only simply
suffice, after paying the interest of these bonds, to pay my servants
and tradespeople, and put a little provision in my house. You must
understand that, when I drew for my pension upon Constantinople, I paid
the dollars at 6 piasters or 6½; I received them at Beyrout at 10½, and
repaid them again in the Metouali country and at Sayda, where I got
my provisions, at 8½: therefore, I often lost 100 per cent. The house
of Coutts and Co., since old Coutts’s death, desired me only to draw
my drafts upon them through a merchant’s house at Constantinople, and
there was a serious loss and inconvenience to me in doing so.

“It is the custom of this country, when persons cannot pay their
debts, to place them under arrest by quartering soldiers upon them,
who help themselves to everything that comes in their way until the
debt is paid. I was resolved to submit myself to the custom of the
country, rather than allow the interference of the English consul at
that time, whom I detested. I thought it would save me the trouble of
telling my story, and cast the reflection on the English name which
it deserved. As things seemed as if they must come to a crisis, if I
had no means afforded me to avoid it, I thought the more unequivocal
it was the better: for my peace of mind then would not be harassed by
the misfortunes of others, when I was a beggar myself. The means by
which I should become so carried no reproach with them; therefore, I
prepared my mind to submit myself to my fate with them. The only thing
that stopped me was, I was waiting for an answer respecting the sale of
a reversion; and then, if my application did not succeed, I determined
to shoot my mares, that they might never fall into other hands, to
part with Miss Williams and the rest of my establishment as soon as
possible, and to leave this part of the world to be never more heard
of, first putting into the hands of my creditors documents to enable
them to get all I possessed into their power, and my pension, if they
could: but this counted for nothing, as English justice and liberality
would of course have deprived me of that.

“Such were my intentions, founded upon a determination not to make any
explanation to my family, or receive any more reproaches; as I had
already received enough. Whatever I had to say was to be said to the
Americans, among whom I thought of going, that they, at least, might
feel convinced that I inherited my grandfather’s spirit and high sense
of honour; for I never have been in the habit of taking half measures.

“The number of my servants had been much talked of; but as these
people often set off, four and five together, in the night, and as
several were constantly absent upon leave to look after their families,
whilst others were always upon the sick list, giving themselves fevers
by over-eating, I could not possibly get on with fewer than I had: for
five men here cannot do the work of one in Europe. What are called
dragomans and secretaries are a description of persons even worse than
the lower class――the idlest and most inefficient of human beings.

“As for the persecuted people who took refuge at my house, you must
have heard, of course, of the revolution in the mountain about 1822.
For half a day’s journey around me, all the inhabitants abandoned their
houses to Turkish and Druze soldiers. I remained alone, tormented to
death with miserable fugitives. Terrible storms and an unusual fall
of snow destroyed a vast number of houses, and I had only two rooms
remaining in mine which were at all habitable. Buildings and walls
fell, and all the rest were deluged with water. My health, which was
very bad, was rendered worse by the uncommon inclemency of the season,
as snow has not been known to have fallen in the lower part of the
mountain for thirty years. The cattle died of want, and the next
harvest could not be got in for want of beasts of burthen.

“This was enough, and the rest you may imagine; and if you never heard
half of this whilst you were in France, you must always recollect that
what passes in the interior is but little known upon the coast; and a
consul or a merchant, by his fireside, is little better acquainted with
the state of affairs than they are at Marseilles.

“An old Druse had his head chained to his feet, and was thrown into a
dungeon. Several villages, like little towns, were burnt, many women
killed, and the property of most of my friends totally destroyed;
whilst the unfortunate wives of considerable men were hiding themselves
in the snow-mountains in disguise, trembling for their infant sons,
whose fate, if got hold of, was pretty certain. The two lads, Hanah and
Bootroos, and one of whom I had then the greatest confidence in, were
constantly wandering about in search of these unhappy fugitives. I will
not say any more; you may judge of my feelings and situation.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Such was the rough statement Lady Hester gave me. She alludes in it to
the persecuted people who took refuge under her roof: but, in her oral
communication, she never said a word of having afforded an asylum to
almost all the Franks in Sayda, who fled to her residence in a panic
after the battle of Navarino, and many of whom she lodged and boarded
until they could go back in safety: nor of the two hundred wretched
beings whom she fed and clothed, housed, and protected, for nearly two
years, after the sacking of Acre. She never said a word of her numerous
acts of beneficence, nor of the indulgent forbearance she showed even
to those who had wronged her. Here is an authentic case, among twenty
similar ones which might be cited.

Shaykh Omar ed Dyn, a puritanical Mussulman, who kept a grocer’s
shop in Sayda, was for many years her purveyor and bailiff; and
when, for want of money, she had let her account run up to something
considerable, he took her note of hand for the amount, and, at the
end of the year, dunned her for payment. To quiet him, she gave him a
fresh note of hand, which he required should be for double the amount.
Then he begged of her a quarter of wheat, then another; then an entire
piece of broad cloth; then this thing, then that, until he ultimately
paid himself twice over. I well recollect, in 1831, when, one day, I
was going down to Sayda, Lady Hester’s saying to me, “Don’t ride the
chestnut horse,” (rather a valuable one) “for, if you do, as you must
pass Shaykh Omar’s shop, he will beg it of me for his son, and I dare
not refuse him.”

This man, on his death-bed――for he died some time during my
absence――called his wife and children to his bedside, and said to
them――“The Syt Mylady owes me a sum of money; you will find her note of
hand among my papers: burn it. She has ever been a benefactress to me,
and, if I die with a little property, it is from her generosity. You
will here promise me never to urge the claim against her; for I have
received double and treble its amount at her hands.” They made solemn
asseverations, and, after his death, the eldest son went to Dar Jôon,
and informed Lady Hester Stanhope of their father’s dying injunctions:
often did the widow, too, repeat to her how sacred she held them. But
it had come to Lady Hester’s certain knowledge that, notwithstanding
all these professions, the duplicity and ingratitude which mark the
natives of the country were exemplified in this instance, as well as
in all others; for the widow had preserved the paper, and had twice
attempted to sell it, once to an Englishman, and once to a townsman.
Notwithstanding this, every year, at the Byràm, Lady Hester gave the
widow, whom her son’s extravagance and inactivity in business had again
reduced to narrow circumstances, a handsome sum of money.[71]

Lady Hester’s exceeding generous and charitable disposition was well
known; and she was consequently besieged with tales of distress, with
projects of important discoveries, which wanted nothing in the world to
put them in motion but money, with secrets that could be entrusted only
to her, with presents that were always sure to be paid for at treble
their value. Her creditors assailed her with letters, messages, visits;
and these she was obliged to silence by payments in part, and increase
of interest.

But this was not all. During the Greek revolution, the Mediterranean
was so infested by pirates, that it was dangerous for merchants in the
Levant to make their remittances to Europe in specie, a state of things
which so considerably increased the value of bills of exchange, that
they were often bought up at a great premium. Yet, in the face of these
notorious facts, Signor ――――, a merchant at Beyrout, used to cash many
of Lady Hester’s bills on Messrs. Coutts and Co., of London, or on
Messrs. Webb and Co., of Leghorn, at 35, 25, and 20 per cent. discount,
when such paper was actually at a premium in the market. Mr. ―――― took
15, then 10, then 5 per cent. discount. At various periods, likewise,
Lady Hester had had severe illnesses. There was no person about her,
in whom she could put confidence, but Miss Williams, who was totally
unacquainted with pecuniary affairs, and, of course, incapable of
remedying the mischief, even if her innocent mind and artless character
had not prevented her from suspecting it. At one time, Lady Hester had
an Armenian steward, who kept his accounts in his own language: at
another time, she had a Piedmontese, who went to Beyrout to negociate
the bills, and must have known the nature of such transactions. Who
can wonder, therefore, if all her concerns proved ruinous to her,
surrounded as she was by adventurers and intriguers? Add to this, that
various sorts of money are current in Turkey, as many, perhaps, as
thirty, all fluctuating in value, and contributing still more to the
complication of her distresses. It would hardly have been a matter
of wonder, even under ordinary circumstances, that she should have
been plunged into embarrassments; but, in the peculiarly perplexing
situation in which she was placed, it was unavoidable.

I was witness to her signing a list of her creditors’ names, with the
amount of her various responsibilities, at her request, in case, as
she said, anything should befall her, that her creditors might know
she never had the smallest intention of defrauding them, even of their
usurious and unlawful gains. “When I get the money,” she added, “I
shall pay them all just double what they lent me, and I think nobody
can say that is unjust.”

All her creditors took 25 per cent. for the money they lent. Supposing
Lady Hester had not made any difficulty on that head, and was willing
to receive pecuniary assistance even at that loss, why nothing could
be said about the matter. Gold was the commodity these merchants had
to sell, and they made as much of it as they could; but she did not
always get what she had bargained for: some of the lenders sent a part
of the loan in coffee, rice, and in other merchandize. In most cases,
the gold was not of full weight; for never was there a country in which
money-clipping is carried on to a greater extent than in Turkey. And
it is not fair to say that Jews are the only usurers: Mussulmans and
Christians are just as bad, when the law, or other considerations, do
not coerce them into honesty. Let us take, as an example, a Christian
merchant of Beyrout.

Lady Hester Stanhope wanted to borrow £600; and she applied to Mr.
――――, in September, 1826, when the exchange was at 20 piasters the
Spanish dollar: £200, consequently, are about equal to 1000 Spanish
dollars; and £600 to 3000 or 60,000 Turkish piasters. Her ladyship
drew on Messrs. Coutts and Co. for £600, at one year’s date. The
merchant gives her for her bill, instead of 60,000 piasters, only
52,500, that is 17½ for the dollar instead of 20, which was the real
exchange: he gains at once on the transaction, 7500 piasters, or £75.
But the bill has a year to run: he, therefore, demands a bonus for his
risk, and modestly requires 1000 dollars, or £200; and Lady Hester at
last receives £325 for her £600. This sum is paid in _adlees_ of 16
piastres, _ghazis_ of 20, _roobeyas_ of 9, and sundry other current
moneys; but, a week or two afterwards, the pasha issues a tariff,
fixing a lower value than the current one on all the coinage of the
empire, a step customary every year just before the taxes are gathered,
by which the government gains a considerable increase of revenue.
This is known to the merchant beforehand, who, having on his books a
memorandum of the customary rates at which the money is annually set,
or, which is more likely, having, for a consideration, obtained private
information from the government secretaries what money will be rated
lowest, takes care to make his rouleaus consist of what he is most
desirous of ridding himself of: and Lady Hester finds that what she
has received at 20 will only pass at 17¾, those at 9 only at 8¼, and
so on; by which another serious loss is added to all the rest. But in
August, 1837, her bill is delayed payment because Messrs. Coutts and
Co. have not the certificate of her life for Michaelmas of that year,
(delayed, probably, in consequence of Lord Palmerston’s measures) and
she is compelled to ask time for six months more, which is granted on
her signing a promissory note for an additional number of dollars in
the same usurious proportion.

After this statement of her debts, Lady Hester next proceeded to
explain how it was she had written to me in such haste to come over
to Syria. It has already been mentioned that, in 1836, she had been
informed, by one of her friends in England, that a considerable estate
had been bequeathed to her, the knowledge of which was concealed from
her by those privy to the bequest.

The beginning of this erroneous belief seems to date from the spring of
1836. In some letters which passed about that time between her ladyship
and the Chevalier Henry Guys, French consul at Beyrout, which that
gentleman kindly allows me to make use of, and which will best explain
her feelings on the subject, it will be seen that she entertained no
doubt on the subject, and was firmly persuaded that her friends, for
the purpose of forcing her to come to England, kept her in ignorance of
her good fortune, thinking that distress must eventually drive her back
to her native country. These letters were transmitted to me at Nice,
after my manuscript had been sent to England; but the narrative will
suffer no interruption by their introduction here, and they serve to
corroborate many portions of it.

         _Lady H. Stanhope to the Chevalier Henry Guys, French
                          Consul at Beyrout._

                      Translated from the French.

                                                       [No date.]


          A thousand and a thousand pardons for having delayed so
     long sending you the bills of exchange; but Logmagi has put
     off his journey to Beyrout from day to day, and I too have
     been in such a bad humour that I could not write.

     After I had given Yuness the letters, I received one from
     Sayda, from my Lord H******** written in such an agitated
     manner, that it cost me two days to make it out. The date
     of it is the 1st of September; then this date is scratched
     out, and the month of December is put. He tells me that “he
     went directly to get correct information about my money
     matters, and that they excused themselves by saying, that
     sometimes they did not know whether I was alive, which
     was the reason of their being behind in their payments,”
     &c., and such _bêtises_. About the other affair, he writes
     nothing at all, only that he gives me to understand, if
     I wish everything to go on well and as I desire, I must
     return to England, and then there will be such fine doings,
     &c. &c.

     All this does not make me change my mind, but it delays
     everything. If they won’t do me justice, they shall be
     made to do it by force――by the law. Have the goodness to
     put the enclosed letter to my Lord H********, under cover
     to Coutts and Co., with a life certificate, for fear the
     bills of exchange should not be presented soon enough.
     Now that I enjoy a little quiet, I shall settle all these
     matters, and all will do well, I hope, in the end; but the
     excessive folly and blindness of those people astonish me,
     and make me angry, because they place me in a very awkward
     situation, where I must either be deprived of what is due
     to me, or hurt their reputations. If this business becomes
     known in England, it will make a great noise.

     After having well examined my account, I find I have got
     left about 400 and odd pounds sterling. Out of the £700,
     you have £400, or thereabouts, in hand. Make up a bag
     of 1000 dollars clear; keep 200 gazi for things I shall
     want――(Yusef Boutàl, of Alexandria, will have a bill of
     about 2000 piasters, which I will thank you, in due time,
     to pay)――give the rest to Logmagi for commissions, and
     send me by him some fresh bills of exchange for the £400

       *       *       *       *       *

     God grant that the time may come, when I shall have it in
     my power to return you, in some shape, a small measure
     only of the politeness and attention I have received from

     Be assured, Monsieur, of my esteem and friendship.

                                            HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

     Djoun, Sunday.

       *       *       *       *       *

                        _The same to the same._

                                      May 29, King Charles’s day.

     Two words more, Monsieur, for Dr. ――――, and a letter for
     Messrs. Coutts, which be good enough to forward. According
     to the report of a Greek captain, it appears that a cousin
     of mine, my lord N***** after having stopped a day or
     two at Cyprus, is gone to the Carimanian coast, with the
     intention of coming here afterwards. I hope he will not
     come to disturb me in all I have got to say to you. He is
     brother of the D―――― of B――――, that man who always thwarts
     me in all my concerns, in the hope of making me quit this
     country by compulsion. The father of this D―――― of B――――
     spent for the Bourbons, all the time they were in England,
     £25,000 a-year.

     Logmagi has brought me the 6,000 piasters, which you have
     had the goodness to advance me. We will settle all that on
     your arrival here. In the mean time, monsieur, accept a
     thousand thanks, and the assurance of my friendship.

                                                  H. L. STANHOPE.

                        _The same to the same._

                        [No date, but supposed to be June, 1836.]


          I am disposed always to put full confidence in you: here
     is Coutts’s account, such as it is. The letter says
     nothing――only that so much money has been paid in by such
     a one, probably an agent of my brother’s son; but of that
     I am not sure. Send me back the account when you have any
     one coming here. No doubt I owe the payment of this sum to
     Lord Hardwicke, who does not write until he has finished it
     all. He is a man who has rendered me a thousand services,
     without ever having made them known to me: but chance has
     brought them to my knowledge. Wait――have a little patience:
     God is great, and I have right on my side.

     Tell me if there are any opportunities for Leghorn or
     France: I wish to write to the Doctor.

                                                Monday se’nnight.

     Mansoor is going to Beyrout to do some commissions; but
     he has such a bad memory, that I shall be no gainer by
     his going in what I have to say to you. I am in want of a
     drawing for two ceilings (one for my divàn-room,) after
     your taste and ideas, composed of a circle in the centre
     and a cornucopia at each corner; the remainder a trellis.
     There must be also small arcades. These I should like
     to be ornamented with _felák_[72] flowers (I don’t know
     the French name); the circular centre may have ears of
     corn, roses, pomegranates――I mean chiefly. My idea of a
     cornucopia you will see in the annexed sketch.

     I have just this moment received a very long letter from
     Madame de Fériat, who is delighted with the permission
     I have given her to come to me. She is making her
     preparations, is selling her property, &c. I fancy she must
     be a woman quite _unique._

     I will write again on Sunday; but, before you let me hear
     from you, will you make some inquiries about the character
     of a Florentine who has written to me. Let me know what
     kind of a man he is; what he is good for. I can never get
     through all my business with Mansoor alone; still those
     Franks are generally detestable. His name is Renecucci, or
     something like it. Forgive me for troubling you so much,
     and accept, monsieur, the sentiments of my regard and

                                       HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

                                          Friday, 3 o’clock.

     My express goes off now.

     For the divàn-room of Madame F., I should like ornaments of
     a musical character, flowers, &c.; for she seems to be very
     fond of music and the fine arts.

     Let me know whether the Spanish carpenter is out of employ
     just at present.

       *       *       *       *       *

                        _The same to the same._

                                            Djoun, June 18, 1836.


          Your letter came to hand the 17th, in the evening, and
     it is with pleasure that I see the extent of the interest
     you are good enough to take in my affairs. Therefore, you
     will be pleased to learn that what I intended to do will,
     probably, be no longer necessary.

     Very extraordinary circumstances have come to my knowledge,
     which I cannot communicate to you by letter.

     I am neither afraid of plague nor of anything else; so if
     you believe, as I do, that everything is destiny, I should
     like to have an opportunity of profiting by your counsel
     touching certain things somewhat incredible, which have
     been twice repeated to me by persons much attached to me,
     but who are desirous of not being known.

     Now I must speak to you about my money concerns. In the
     course of fifteen or twenty days, I should like to have
     three letters of exchange for 1000 dollars. If you have
     not the money by you, you can give the bills to some of
     the English merchants, with whom I will not have anything
     to do, because they wish to have all my bills or none
     at all; and, as I see that my affairs are likely to be
     bettered, I shall have nobody but you. You served me well
     in my misfortunes, and I wish you to see the end of them.
     As I fear my letters may be stopped,[73] if my handwriting
     were known, I will thank you to direct one of them to Mr.
     A. Kinglake, adding the name of your banker at Paris or
     Marseilles. I have left that one open: you will be good
     enough to seal it, and put it, as well as the other to
     My lord Hardwicke, under cover, directed to one of your
     friends in England.

     Adieu, monsieur, and pray accept the assurance of my esteem
     and friendship.

                                       HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

     PS. I have kept back my letter a day longer, having had
     an express from Beyrout, to inform me that a medallion,
     belonging to me, has been found at Cyprus――another proof of
     the robberies committed in my house. However, for the
     present, say nothing about it, until they have caught the
     man who sold it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The original letter is annexed, as a specimen of her ladyship’s French.

                                         Djoun, le 18 Juin, 1836.


          Votre lettre m’a été remise le 17 au soir; et c’est
     avec plaisir que je vois l’étendue de l’intérêt que vous
     avez la bonté de prendre dans mes affaires. Vous serez ainsi
     content d’apprendre que ce que je voulois faire ne sera
     peut-être plus nécessaire. J’ai appris des circonstances
     très extraordinaires, dont je ne pourrais vous faire part
     par lettre. Je ne crains ni peste ni rien autre: ainsi, si
     vous croyez, comme moi, que _tout est écrit_, je voudrois
     bien avoir l’occasion de profiter de vos lumières touchant
     des choses un peu incroyables, mais qui m’out été deux fois
     répétées par des personnes qui me sont fort attachées, mais
     qui désirent de ne pas se faire connôitré.

     A-présent, il faut vous parler de mes affaires d’intérêt.
     Dans le courant de 15 à 20 jours, je voudrois trois lettres
     de change pour 1000 talaris. Si vous n’avez pas l’argent
     chez vous, vous pouvez donner des lettres à quelqu’un
     de ces Anglois, avec lesquels je n’aime pas me mêler,
     parcequ’ils veulent avoir toutes mes lettres de change ou
     point: mais comme je vois que mes affaires vont se bien
     rétablir, je ne veux que _vous_. Vous m’avez bien servi
     dans le malheur, et j’aime que vous voyez la fin.

     Comme je crains que l’on arrête peut-être mes lettres, si
     mon écriture est connue, je vous prie d’en adresser une à
     Monsieur A. Kinglake, en ajoutant le nom de votre banquier
     à Paris ou à Marseille. Je l’ai laissé ouverte. Vous la
     cacheterez et vous la mettrez, ainsi que l’autre à Mylord
     Hardwicke, sous enveloppe, adressée à un de vos amis en

     Adieu, monsieur, je vous ai beaucoup fatigué; mais
     pardonnez moi, et agreez l’assurance de mon estime et de
     mon amitié.

                                       HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

     PS. J’ai gardé ma lettre un jour, ayant reçu un messager de
     Beyrout, qui me parle d’une médaille trouvée à Chypre qui
     m’appartient, autre preuve des voleurs dans ma maison. Mais
     à present, il ne faut rien dire jusqu’à ce que l’on ait
     attrapé celui qui l’a vendue.

     J’ai fait une bêtise. J’ai adressé la lettre. Mes idées
     sont toutes sur la médaille.

       *       *       *       *       *

                        _The same to the same._

                                             Djoun, July 3, 1836.


          I intended to have written to you yesterday, when your
     letter reached me, to have told you that I have found out
     still more robberies, and such intrigues!――but say nothing
     for the present: only, I foresee, I shall be put to great
     expense every way; and, if it does not inconvenience you to
     wait for the amount of the bill that was protested, until
     the £2,000 are paid into your bankers’ hands, it would
     considerably advance my business.

     I have had farther accounts about the money concealed from
     me. Very good! When I get it, I shall give you plenty of
     commissions for France.

     How kind you are to think about my eyesight, which sickness
     and trouble have so injured! Nevertheless, it is better
     than it was last year.

     I will send you back the book by the express who will go
     for the money. What day would you like he should be with
     you? Half of what the writer says is incorrect.[74] Before
     I went to Palmyra, I made an excursion into the Desert with
     Lascaris alone, keeping the doctor and the married servants,
     under one pretext or another, from accompanying me. Lascaris
     and I were pursued by the Fedâan Bedouins, who were hostile
     to Mohammed el Fadi; and, although our horses never drank
     for two days, we rode from ten in the morning until after
     midnight, without eating or drinking, to get out of their
     district. Then, again, the dispute between Lascaris and me
     was about a groom, who, not knowing who he was, would not
     let him enter my stables at Hamah. His pride would not stop
     to listen to reason, and he ran away (_et il s’est enfuit_).
     I met him several years afterwards at Tripoli, and he made
     me cry for an hour by the excess of his grief, and the
     excuses which he made me: so much so, that I, who hardly
     ever shed tears, was astonished at myself. Poor man! There,
     indeed, was a true courtier, with the most elegant manners,
     and an inconceivable fund of knowledge, without pedantry. It
     was not Napoleon that he was so much attached to; it was to
     him who had the _portefeuille_. You know very well what he
     did for him.

     Accept, monsieur, the expression of my esteem and regard.

                                       HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

                        _The same to the same._

                                          Djoun, August 14, 1836.


          I have succeeded, at last, in finding out the extent of
     the intrigues against me. The intriguers thought to do me
     a great deal of harm, but, thank God! they have done me a
     great deal of good, as you will see hereafter. When the
     hot days are over, you must pay me another visit, in order
     for me to make you perfectly acquainted with everything,
     and also to settle our accounts. Be not uneasy if you do
     not receive any letters from your correspondent by the
     packet-boat. At this season, all the great folks in England
     are dispersed at their country-houses, and your friend,
     perhaps, will defer writing to you until he gets your last

     I have as yet no answer from the doctor since I last wrote
     to him, but I understand his circumstances are not very
     flourishing. Poor man, let him take courage: he shall be
     better, ay, shall be well off, when I have put down those

     In eight days, with your leave, I will send you the bill
     of exchange for the £100, and you can send me the 200
     _gazi_.[75] I sha’n’t torment you any more afterwards,
     until I make you my principal banker and attorney, to
     liquidate my debts, &c.

                             Accept, &c.

                                       HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

     PS. The negro affair has not annoyed me much, but the
     infamous conduct of those two maids torments me daily. One
     of them has driven her father-in-law from his home, and
     the other has been turned out of doors by the man’s wife
     where she lived. I have always found that giving too much
     education was only painting a character over, and that,
     needs must, whatever is born in man will, sooner or later,
     show itself. Too much education is what has spoiled France,
     and has made the French monkey-philosophers, and the
     English wicked brutes (_qui a rendu les François des singes
     philosophes et les Anglois des méchantes bêtes_).

       *       *       *       *       *

                        _The same to the same._

                                                   October, 1836.


          I cannot but think how kind you are to me, not even
     to forget my business, when the presence of such a distinguished
     personage[76] requires all your attention: but you are equal
     to it all. Would to Heaven that the Prince was aware how
     much France owes you! Indeed, he cannot fail of knowing it
     during his cruise in the Levant, where everybody esteems you
     so much: but I must hold my tongue, else you may be angry
     with me.

     Have the goodness to deliver the money sealed up to Yuness.
     Enclosed are the bills of exchange, and the letter which
     you allowed me to read.

       *       *       *       *       *

                        _The same to the same._

                                         Djoun, October 30, 1836.


          Hardly was I recovered from my migraine and inflammation
     in my eyes, when, lo! all my people fall ill――the little
     black girl and all――and I have been tormented and tired to
     death: but, thank God, they are now all well again!

     I have delayed writing to you, expecting always to have
     letters by the steamer; but, when I reflect on it, I doubt
     if I shall receive any until Parliament meets――at least,
     that will be the excuse, and they will say that everybody
     is just now out of town.

     It will be curious to see how they will prove their
     right to conceal from me that money had been left me. I
     understand clearly that there are two legacies (one I
     have been informed of by an indirect, but a very certain
     channel, since I saw you); a considerable one and a small
     one. If I were spiteful, I could make them repent of their
     doings in a court of justice: but, even as it is, the
     matter cannot be passed over without creating some noise in
     the world.

     I have twice advised Mr. Coutts that I should draw on him,
     after the 10th of October, both for my pension and the
     £950 which fell due in September; and, after the repeated
     assurances which they have made, that, in future, they will
     be punctual in their payments, I can’t think they will
     play me any more tricks, especially when they will have so
     much to do for me since the discovery which I have made.
     Therefore, will you let me know if you have money enough by
     you to cash a bill of £300, before the money from England
     comes to hand. Of that amount, I wish you to keep 200 gazi
     for expenses.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lady Hester now told me that, having written ineffectually to a
nobleman on the subject, she had turned over in her thoughts where she
could find a fit person, in whom she could confide, to ascertain the
truth of these matters, and to whom she could write, with the request
that he would make the necessary inquiries. She had deliberated a long
while whether it should be a lawyer, a man of business, or one of her
old friends. Among the latter, from first to last, she added, “I have
thought Sir Francis Burdett would be the one I could most assuredly
confide in.” In speaking of him, she said, “He is a man of feeling,
doctor, and he and I were always the best of friends. I recollect,
when I told him how basely two or three people had behaved on Mr.
Pitt’s death, he was ready to go beside himself: his hand went into the
breast of his waistcoat and out again, as if he could not contain his
indignation. What do you think?――would not he be the proper person?
I always said Sir Francis was no democrat. He threw himself into the
hands of the people merely that he might have an excuse of business to
be out, or by himself. All the democrats that I have known were nothing
but aristocrats at heart――ay, and worse than others. Even Horne Tooke
was not a democrat――that I am sure of, by the court he always paid me,
and by his constantly making so many civil speeches to me and of me. I
have never known a man yet, if he was not to be bought, that was not a
democrat from personal motives.”

In fine, it was resolved to write to Sir Francis, and a rough copy
of a letter was drawn up by Lady Hester’s dictation, which, after
some verbal alterations, she thought would do. Several remarks, quite
foreign to the subject, were introduced, announcing the researches
she had made as to the Eastern origin of the Irish and Scotch; and, as
Lady Hester kept constantly saying to me, “Will this letter do? do you
see anything that wants altering?” a question very usual with her when
dictating letters, I forgot Gil Blas’s warning, and very distinctly
expressed my apprehensions lest the introduction of the opinions about
the affinity of the Irish and the Koreýsh should make Sir F. think her
cracked. For, I observed, his studies, most probably, have never led
him to investigate these subjects, which, thus introduced into a letter
on business, might be made a handle for the ill-natured comments of
people who disliked her. She thanked me, but retained them all, and
only requested me to write them out fair. I did so, and inadvertently
skipped a page, which, when the sheet was full, created some confusion
in reading it. So, resolving to rewrite it, I merely submitted it to
Lady Hester’s perusal, whilst I rode down to see my family. But I was
there seized with a phlegmonous inflammation of my leg, which, in one
night, from the irritation of the stirrup-leather (rudely made, as it
always is in Turkey), assumed so alarming a character,[77] and was so
painful, that I took to my bed and kept it eleven days. I wrote a note
to Lady Hester, describing my situation, requesting her to send
me the letter to Sir F. in order that I might write it over
again: but, hearing that I suffered a great deal, she said it was
not necessary; and, sealing the copy she had got, she despatched
it by a foot-messenger to Beyrout to go by the steamboat.

September 12.――We were thus occupied until this day, with the exception
of the many hours passed by Lady Hester in diatribes on women and their
husbands; she endeavouring to prove that, in almost all possible cases,
women should be simple automatons, moved by the will and guidance of
their masters. Her fertile memory brought a vast number of cases to
bear on her argument; cases which she had seen in high life during her
time, where gentlemen, otherwise of estimable character, became the
ridicule of society from suffering themselves to be ruled by their
wives. But Lord F. was the one whose example she dwelt upon most

“Women,” she would say, “must be one of three things. Either they are
politicians and literary characters; or they must devote their time to
dress, pleasure, and love; or, lastly, they must be fond of domestic
affairs. I do not mean by domestic affairs a woman who sits working at
her needle, scolding a couple of children, and sending her maid next
door to the shop for all she wants: there is no trouble in that. What
I mean is a yeoman’s wife, who takes care of the butter and cheese,
sees the poultry-yard attended to, and looks to her husband’s comfort
and interest. As for the advantage of passing your evenings with your
family, which you urge as a reason for having them near you,” she
remarked, “all sensible men that I have ever heard of take their meals
with their wives, and then retire to their own room to read, write,
or do what they have to do, or what best pleases them. If a man is a
fox-hunter, he goes and talks with his huntsmen or the grooms, and very
good company they are; if he is a tradesman, he goes into his shop; if
a doctor, to his patients; but nobody is such a fool as to moider away
his time in the slip-slop conversation of a pack of women.”[78]

I happened to observe that many clever men had not only passed their
hours with their families, but even studied and wrote surrounded by
them; and I named four or five that occurred to my recollection, one
of whom was C――――. “Did you ever hear me say there were not more fools
than one in the world?”――She rejoined, “As for Mr. C――――, I knew him;
so you need not talk to me about him. Mrs. C――――! there was a
woman!――Charles C. was one of the greatest _roués_ in London――always
drunk. He was in the Blues, and took it into his head to fall in love
with a Rt. Hble.――very ugly――but her relations would not let her marry
him. Perhaps he wanted her money; he was very agreeable. Mr. C. lived
in a very hugger-mugger sort of a way, with a maid of all work and a
boy, and it was his daughter who did most things for him. Perhaps he
was not rich enough to have another room to study in.”

In this sort of way would Lady Hester Stanhope argue on most subjects,
running from one thing to another, and then, when you thought she had
lost sight of her text, returning to it with some pithy observation,
which generally settled the point to her own satisfaction.

September 29.――I remained at Mar Elias, confined with my bad leg,
from the 13th until this day, when I returned to Jôon. Letters and
messengers had, in the interim, been passing between M. Guys and Lady
Hester Stanhope respecting a house which he was employed to hire for
me and my family; but I had reason to think afterwards that she had no
wish to get rid of us, as the house was reserved for the Baroness de
Fériat, and the correspondence could tend to no other purpose than to
throw odium upon Mrs. ―――― as a discontented and capricious woman.

During my confinement, Lady Hester Stanhope wrote the following letter
to my daughter, then hardly out of her childhood.

                             _To Miss ――――_

                   Tuesday, before sunset, Sept. 19th, 1837.

     I was pleased to find, my dear little Eugenia, that you
     inherit your father’s good-will towards me. I must thank
     you and Mademoiselle Longchamp for your kind offers of
     assistance, but I must decline them, having taken a
     determination not to have anything more to do with the
     doctor’s family than if it did not exist in the country.
     I should forget my situation and rank in life were I to
     condescend to dispute and make daily explanations to my
     inferiors. To avoid this, I must give up all thoughts of
     making your acquaintance, although you are an object of
     interest to me, as would be all the children of the doctor,
     even if he had a hundred. Request him not to think about
     my letters or anything else that relates to me; only let
     him take care of his health. If I can be useful to a sick
     person, nothing is unpleasant to me; but, when I cannot, or
     rather am not, permitted to be, the history of the progress
     of sores is not very agreeable. I do not wish to hear of
     him till he is recovered. Writing must fatigue him, and I
     would rather be without letters from you or him.

     I have had a letter from M. Guys to-day, in which he tells
     me he was thinking of taking a ride to see some houses to
     hire for your family. I shall send to Beyrout on Thursday
     before daylight, and the doctor’s letters will go by that
     messenger. He had better write a few lines more to M. Guys,
     to explain what situation and what sort of a house he would
     like, as it would appear that I am grown a fool in my old
     age, and neither know my right hand from my left.

     The doctor is aware that he may command anything my house
     contains which may be useful to him; but I shall neither
     send him anything, nor inquire after him, as my messenger
     was thus ill received:[79] and I do not think I can be
     called upon to put my eyes out by writing, when I more than
     want the sight I have left for my own affairs.

     Believe me, dear little girl, yours sincerely,

                                                    H. L. S.

The frame of Lady Hester’s mind at this period may be further
understood from the following letter, which was sent to me, with a
secret injunction to read it to my wife.

                      _To Dr. ――――, at Mar Elias._

                                      Djôon, Sept. 23, 1837.

     Whilst waiting for M. Guys’ answer, I have some remarks to
     make, worthy of your attention. I do not speak in wrath,
     my dear doctor, but I do not see how, at this period, you
     are to help yourself; and it is plain to perceive that you
     will not be able in any way to accomplish the objects you
     came for. Therefore, I should deem it as an act of folly
     to stick you up as a sort of _maskara_[80] in the public
     eye at Beyrout, merely to write a few letters. The whole of
     my business M. Guys offered to undertake before I sent for
     you, and to come here and write for me; but I had reasons
     for wishing you to come, which no longer exist; for under
     no circumstances do I see that you would be comfortable
     near me, nor should I wish for it, either at present or
     in future. Therefore, if you like to pass the winter at
     Cyprus, where, perhaps, you would be more comfortable than
     at Beyrout, you are at full liberty to do so. When my
     affairs are settled, you might then, if Cyprus pleases you,
     purchase a little _terre_ there, or return to Europe, as you
     like best.

     I am very glad that you wrote to M. Guys yourself; for I
     had described a country-house near some village, and you
     have described a sort of coffee-house near the gate of
     the town. You talked to me of Mrs. ――――’s great love of
     retirement (which I laughed at, at the time,) and therefore
     she chooses a house upon the high road. But leave all that
     childish vulgar stuff; I do not wish for a hasty answer,
     as this subject requires reflection. Try and make yourself
     comfortable, and I shall find means of settling my business
     to my satisfaction; only I must have a clear and distinct
     answer, that I may make arrangements accordingly.

                           Your sincerely,

                                       HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

     PS. Should my messenger retard, it is for M. Guys to be
     able to answer your letter about the house. I enclosed
     your two letters to be forwarded to England. Do not fidget
     yourself about me. I have made many awful sacrifices in my
     life; surely I can make a small one, when I know what it
     is. This is what distinguishes the truly great from the low
     and vulgar.

       *       *       *       *       *

On returning to the Dar, I remained there eight days. Our conversations
turned principally, during this period, on her father’s seat at
Chevening, the people in that neighbourhood, and the happiness of
her early days there. She recollected the names of all the gentry
thereabouts, of the farmers, as also of her father’s servants, and
could tell anecdotes respecting them with such a minuteness of
particulars, that the individuals, to their surprise, after the lapse
of so many years, would have found she remembered more of them than
they did of themselves.


     [70] A piece of money worth 16 piasters.

     [71] Shaykh Omar ed Dyn was a Turk of the old school; that
          is, a man rigid in his religious observances, one
          who knew not the taste of wines or spirits, and of
          inconceivable cleanliness, in which points the modern
          Syrians are somewhat remiss.

     [72] The sunflower.

     [73] Her ladyship appears, from having lived a long time
          in Downing Street, to have acquired some knowledge
          on a subject which has lately created such lively
          discussions in the House of Commons.

     [74] The book here meant is M. Lamartine’s “Souvenirs
          de l’Orient.” What Lady Hester here refers to as
          incorrect relates to her journey into the Desert with
          Mr. Lascaris; about which, and about the dispute with
          Mr. L. it is not likely that M. Lamartine could know
          the particulars; nor does this in the least deprive M.
          Lamartine of the just merit accorded to him, of having
          been the first traveller to give Europe some accurate
          notions about Lady Hester in her retirement.

     [75] A coin of alloyed gold, of the size of a shilling.

     [76] The Prince de Joinville, son of Louis Philippe.

     [77] During the autumnal months in Syria, the bite of
          a horsefly, a simple excoriation, even a musquito
          bite, if scratched, will readily inflame, fester, and
          sometimes become a wound.

     [78] A great philosopher reasoned on this point like Lady
          Hester. According to him: “La femme et le mari sont
          bien destinés à vivre ensemble, mais non pas de la
          même manière; ils doivent agir de concert, sans
          faire les mêmes choses. La vie qui charmeroit l’un
          seroit insupportable à l’autre; les inclinations que
          leur donne la nature sont aussi diverses que les
          fonctions qu’elle leur impose: leurs amusemens ne
          différent pas moins que leurs devoirs; en un mot, tous
          deux concourent au bonheur commun par des chemins
          differens, et ce partage de travaux et de soins est le
          plus fort lien de leur union.”――Let. xiv. 3_me_ partie
          _Nouv. Hel._

     [79] I had declined rather pettishly some articles of dress
          which Lady Hester had sent me, and to this she alludes.

     [80] Maskara means a sort of show. This Arabic word is
          either derived from European languages, or they have
          borrowed a corresponding expression from it.

                           ADDITIONAL NOTES.

                      Page 78-87――The Emir Beshýr.

In relating these conversations, which place the character of the Emir
Beshýr in so disadvantageous a light, it would be unfair not to call
the attention of the reader to a work recently published (Memoirs of a
Babylonian Princess), in which the Emir is held up as a model of all
Christian virtues, and his reign as a reign of peace.

As a romance, the Memoirs of the Princess may challenge a comparison
with many works of our best novelists. The authoress seems to have
a most unbounded indulgence for the errors of others; but the Emir
Beshýr, notwithstanding, must still be left with all his stains upon
him, as a wily, sanguinary, and perfidious, but successful prince.

It is not pretended that Lady Hester Stanhope did not personally
dislike the Emir Beshýr; and, as her hatreds were as cordial as her
friendships, she never spared him when she spoke of him to others,
whilst her language, no doubt, was at all times highly coloured: but,
unhappily, there are too many notorious facts to justify the abuse
she lavishes on him, as regards his cruelties; only, if it is any
palliation of his conduct that he had to deal with chieftains who were
as great adepts in machiavelism as himself, this excuse is conceded to

In vol. ii., p. 160, the Amira Asmar informs her readers that the Emir
Beshýr had put his two nephews to death to punish their treason in
attempting his downfall. Now everybody in Mount Lebanon knows that the
nephews had their eyes put out, and, as it was affirmed, were subjected
to the loss of organs equally dear to Oriental husbands with sight
itself, but were not put to death, and possibly are living now.

In vol. ii., p. 158, we read, “The Emir had been in power forty years,
and, by the firmness and liberality of his policy, had continued,
during the long period, to consolidate the jarring and heterogeneous
elements committed to his sway into something like a united body;
insomuch that peace reigned in the mountain, and the Moslem thirsted
not for the blood of his Christian fellow-subject. In short, Maronite,
Motowli, Mahometan, and Druze, looked upon each other as brethren.” A
little before this (vol. ii., p. 140), she tells us, “I was at length
under the protection of a prince whose vigorous arm upheld the dignity
of Christianity in the East, and bid its followers confess their God
without fear.”

In another place (vol. ii., p. 187), we read, “Soon afterwards Lady
Hester Stanhope rose, and, bidding us farewell, took her departure,
attended by a large retinue. A spirited charger stood at the gate,
champing the bit with fiery impatience. She put her foot in the
stirrup, and, vaulting nimbly into the saddle, which she, after the
Oriental fashion, bestrode like a man, started off at a rapid pace,
galloping over rock and mountain.”

Vol. ii., page 203, will afford us one quotation more; and, whilst it
must be a matter of regret to raise a doubt of the correctness of the
Amira’s recollections, it still will be necessary to vindicate the
present publication from being the vehicle of falsehoods. It is there
said, “The Queen of Tadmor, as Lady Hester Stanhope was commonly called
by all the Bedouin tribes, was on the most friendly terms with the Emir
Beshýr and his family, and a constant visitant to the garden.”

It will be in our power to answer all these somewhat erroneous
assertions, by relating the substance of a conversation with Lady
Hester, not embodied in the text. The conversation was as follows:――

“What would you say, Doctor, if a monster should send his executioner
to tear your little girl, Eugenia, from you, and put her to death? what
would be your horror? Yet the Emir Beshýr was capable of this; for when
the wretched and unfortunate wife of the Sheykh Beshýr was flying from
the terrors that surrounded her, he issued an order that her boy should
be torn asunder wherever found. I was by no means intimate or attached
to that woman; but her misfortunes required that I should assist her,
and humanity justified it, as she was, at the time, without a parra,
and flying through the snow. She had four or five children, two of
which were in prison at Acre with the father, (who was afterwards
strangled there, as you know,) and one was suckling at her breast.

“The Emir will never forget or forgive what I did on that occasion;
for with Hanah” (this was a poor blind peasant, about whom I had
been speaking, and the mention of whom led to the conversation) “and
another, who were but lads then, I thwarted all his detestable plans,
although he had his myrmidons in all directions out in search of her.
Hanah was nearly lost in the snow, and the effect of the glare on his
sight he never recovered. Most people called me a fool for my pains,
and trembled at the consequences for me in opposing a powerful prince;
but I am not one of your quiet sort, who sit in a corner, and grunt
and lament, because they are afraid to act. Humanity raised her voice,
that I should endeavour to rescue these wretched orphans, and I did
it. With the intrigues of these two rivals, the Emir and the Sheykh, I
never meddled: I have never seen the one or the other since the death
of Sulymàn Pasha.” Now Sulymàn Pasha died before 1822, consequently
Lady Hester Stanhope could not have been intimate with the Emir, nor
have mounted her horse at his gate subsequent to 1825, which, if my
recollection serves me (for I copied the quotations and returned the
book), is the date of the Amira’s anecdotes.

               Page 106.――“The room bore no resemblance.”

In perusing these pages, the reader is requested to bear constantly
in mind the distinction there is between the usages of the East and
those of England. Reflections and observations, if made on some of
the incidents in this work, which would apply with irresistible truth
in our own country and would necessarily have much weight attached
to them, fall still-born from the pen in relation to Orientals. This
reservation is called for more particularly in reference to the scenes
which pass in Lady Hester Stanhope’s bed-chamber.

At the word _bed-chamber_ we naturally figure to ourselves a four-post
bedstead with tester and curtains, with paillasse, mattress, and
feather bed, with marseilles quilt, and perhaps an eider-down one
upon that, with a marble dressing-table and _lavabou_, and an endless
display of rouge-pots, combs, hair-brushes, and the paraphernalia of
a fashionable toilet-table. With one breath all this must be blown to
the winds; Turkish ladies never know even the existence of such things.
Some cupboard in a corner, or some brass-nailed box, contains whatever
they want for cosmetical purposes, and a visit to the bath supplies all
the rest.

In Eastern countries there is no room bearing even the name of
bed-room; for there are no fixed bedsteads, no fixed washing-stands, no
fixed dressing-tables. Every room is a saloon; and, when night comes,
from a recess or niche in the thick walls of their houses, covered by a
curtain, is drawn forth a wool mattress with a sheet, which are spread
on the floor-matting. Upon this ready couch the lovely daughters of
those favoured regions throw themselves dressed (let not this be lost
sight of――dressed) very much in the same clothes as in the day-time,
even to the turban, and draw over their persons a wadded quilt, to
which is sewed the upper sheet, as a certain way of preventing it from
shifting its position with reference to the quilt. Nothing else appears
in the room, and ingress and egress is as free when ladies are in bed
as at any other hour: hence the reason why the peasant spoken of at p.
62 of this volume so unceremoniously enters where Lady Hester is lying.
In some houses, where the sofas are of sufficient breadth, even the
mattress is dispensed with, and the quilt alone is all that is required
for the night’s repose.

Lady Hester had adopted the same mode of sleeping. Her bed-room
differed in nothing from the one described, excepting that, from an
invincible repugnance to sleep on the floor, yet unable to procure a
European bedstead, she had substituted in its place deal planks laid
on trestles, which were stationary; and this was a constant source
of difficulty and ridicule with the maids, whose prejudices against
an immoveable bed never were entirely eradicated. On this she slept,
attired as completely as when up, and the most scrupulous prudery could
find no difference between her couch and her drawing-room sofa, unless
it was that on one she lay, on the other she sat. Most often, however,
when in conversation, she sat up in her bed, with a short pelisse over
her shoulders, such as Polish ladies often wear. Her bath-room was her

In the early part of my life I was acquainted with the Prince C――――,
Hospodar of Wallachia, who had fled from his principality to Geneva.
I never shall forget the impression which an introduction to his
daughter, a young princess, made on me, when (not for a medical visit,
but for one of friendship) I was ushered into a bed-room and shook
hands with her, seated in her bed, dressed in the way represented above
as usual with the Turks. Guests went and came as if she had been in
the drawing-room, and, no doubt, some two or three Europeans among the
number were as much astonished as myself. But how frivolous and empty
are the distinctions which men create between right and wrong, when
weighed in the balance of reason! I have dined with a French countess
(who had taken a temporary lodging in Paris) in her bed-room; yet she
never dreamed of impropriety; but I have been told, had I inadvertently
put my hat down on her bed instead of a chair, her _femme-de-chambre_
and she herself would have been scandalized at the imputation such an
act conveyed.

                     Page 125.――“To see an angel.”

      Say, were an angel near,
      Should we not shrink with fear?
    Burdened with sinfulness, death must ensue.
      How can our passions brook,
      Seraph! thy searching look:
    Glances celestial, that pierce the soul through?
                                     _From “The Mirror.”_

                       Page 162.――Lady Hamilton.

“Lady Hamilton was a woman **** **** whom Sir William H. fell in with
here when he began to doat, and married when his doatage was confirmed:
she is clever and artful, but a sad **.”――_Diaries and Correspondence
of the Earl of Malmesbury_, v. iv. p. 214.

             Page 270.――“P―――― of W――――, who was a sloven.”

“Argument with the Princess about her toilette; she piques herself
on dressing quick; I disapprove this. She maintains her point; I,
however, desire Madame Busche to explain to her that the Prince is very
delicate, and that he expects a long and very careful ‘_toilette de
propreté_,’ of which she has no idea. On the contrary, she neglects it
sadly, and is _offensive_ from this neglect.”

In this extract from Lord Malmesbury’s Diary, it will be seen how
accurate his observations were, and how well they tally with Lady
Hester Stanhope’s, who must have had opportunities of knowing all this
even better than his Lordship could.

His Lordship in his diary again returns to the subject. “I
endeavoured,” (says he) “as far as was possible for a _man_, to
inculcate the necessity of great and nice attention to every part of
dress, as well as to what was hid as to what was seen. I knew she wore
coarse petticoats, coarse shifts, and thread stockings, and these never
well washed, or changed often enough.... It is remarkable how amazingly
her education has been neglected, and how much her mother, although an
English woman, was inattentive to it.”――_Diaries and Correspondence of
the Earl of Malmesbury_, v. iii. pp. 207, 211.

                            END OF VOL. I.

                       FREDERICK SHOBERL, JUNIOR,
                 51, RUPERT STREET, HAYMARKET, LONDON.

Transcriber’s Note:

Words and phrases in italics are surrounded by underscores, _like
this_. Footnotes were renumbered sequentially and were moved to the
end of the chapter. Words may have multiple spelling variations or
inconsistent hyphenation in the text. These have been left unchanged
unless indicated below. Obsolete and alternative spellings were left

Obvious printing errors, such as backwards, upside down, or partially
printed letters and punctuation, were corrected. Final stops missing at
the end of sentences and abbreviations were added. Letters missing at
line endings were added.

The following items were changed:

  aad to and, footnote [26], line 2226
  paralellogram to parallelogram, line 2389
  unsustained to unstained, line 3822
  inpressive to impressive, line 4294
  steambout to steamboat, line 8237

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope, as related by herself in conversations with her physician, vol. 1 (of 3)" ***

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