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Title: Cities of the Dawn
Author: Ritchie, J. Ewing (James Ewing), 1820-1898
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cities of the Dawn" ***

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Transcribed from the 1897 T. Fisher Unwin edition by David Price, email

                             [Picture: Cover]

                   [Picture: Dawn on the Great Sphinx]

                           CITIES OF THE DAWN:


                                * * * * *

                             J. EWING RITCHIE
                         (‘CHRISTOPHER CRAYON’),

                                * * * * *

    ‘Ye glittering towns with wealth and splendour crown’d;
    Ye fields where summer spreads profusion round;
    Ye lakes whose vessels catch the busy gale;
    Ye bending swains that dress the flowery vale;
    For me your tributary stores combine;
    Creation’s heir, the world—the world is mine.’

                                * * * * *

                     _WITH THIRTY-ONE ILLUSTRATIONS_

                                * * * * *

                             T. FISHER UNWIN,
                           PATERNOSTER SQUARE.
                      NEW YORK: G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS.

                         F. W. WARMINGTON, ESQ.,
                                THIS BOOK
                        IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
                                THE AUTHOR


In this new publication, consisting chiefly of articles which appeared in
the _Christian World_, the _Echo_, and the _East Anglian Daily Times_,
the author makes no pretence to original information, or to have acted
the part of an antiquarian explorer.  He has simply gone over ground
familiar to many, and to which all holiday-makers will turn in increasing
numbers, partly for pleasure, and partly on account of the absorbing
interest attaching to the route here briefly described.  To such he
offers his services as guide, philosopher and friend, trusting also that
many who stay at home may be interested in the story here told.

With regard to the illustrations, the author acknowledges the kindness of
Dr. Lunn and Messrs. Cassell in allowing him the use of them, and
especially is grateful to Miss Pollard, the daughter of the author of
that valuable work, ‘The Land of the Monuments,’ for permission to use
her sketch ‘Dawn on the Great Sphinx,’ which he has utilized for his



CHAPTER                                              PAGE
         I.  A RUN ACROSS FRANCE                        1
        II.  OFF TO NAPLES                              7
       III.  NAPLES OF TO-DAY                          13
        IV.  POMPEII AND VESUVIUS                      23
         V.  THE ISLES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN            33
        VI.  ABOUT ATHENS                              41
       VII.  CONSTANTINOPLE                            54
      VIII.  SMYRNA                                    71
        IX.  JAFFA TO JERUSALEM                        77
         X.  THE HOLY CITY                             84
        XI.  BETHLEHEM                                103
       XII.  THE JEW IN JERUSALEM                     110
      XIII.  ALEXANDRIA                               124
       XIV.  IN CAIRO                                 135
        XV.  THE PYRAMIDS AND THE SPHINX              153
       XVI.  THE RIVER NILE                           164
      XVII.  THE RETURN TO MARSEILLES                 172
     XVIII.  AVIGNON                                  186
       XIX.  THE GREAT CITY OF LYONS                  194
        XX.  DIJON, OR THE WINE COUNTRY               206
       XXI.  BOOKS OF REFERENCE                       214


DAWN ON THE GREAT SPHINX                                        _Frontispiece_
TWO-BERTH CABIN, ‘MIDNIGHT SUN’                                              4
THE BAY OF NAPLES                                                           19
TEMPLE OF VENUS, POMPEII                                                    27
THE CORINTH CANAL                                                           38
TEMPLE OF VICTORY                                                           47
THE PARTHENON                                                               49
A BUSY STREET IN CONSTANTINOPLE                                             56
A MOSQUE ON THE BOSPHORUS                                                   58
THE QUAY, CONSTANTINOPLE                                                    60
GALATA BRIDGE, CONSTANTINOPLE                                               65
AN OLD STREET, CONSTANTINOPLE                                               67
THE GATE OF PERSECUTION, NEAR EPHESUS                                       73
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE                                            95
BETHLEHEM                                                                  105
POMPEY’S PILLAR, ALEXANDRIA                                                126
GENERAL VIEW OF CAIRO                                                      136
A STREET IN CAIRO                                                          137
TOMB OF THE CALIPHS OF CAIRO                                               139
DONKEY-BOY, CAIRO                                                          142
COLOSSAL STATUE OF RAMESES II.                                             154
PYRAMID AND SPHINX                                                         156
THE GREAT SPHINX                                                           157
A TOURIST STEAMER—COOK’S NILE FLOTILLA                                     169
THE NEW HARBOUR, MARSEILLES                                                173
MARSEILLES                                                                 175
THE CASTLE OF THE POPES, AVIGNON                                           189
THE PLACE BELLECOUR, LYONS                                                 197



To leave London one day and to arrive in Marseilles the next would have
been deemed impossible—the dream of a madman—in the age in which I was
born, when steamships and railways were unknown.  Yet it is a fact, to
the truth of which I can testify.  Half a century has elapsed since the
fair fields, leafy woodlands, and breezy chalk downs of Kent were invaded
by a band of navvies, who, under the skilful direction of the late Sir
William Cubitt, built up the main line of the South-Eastern Railway.  The
next thing was to connect France and Europe, which was done by means of
steamers running between Calais and Dover, and thence by rail to all the
chief Continental cities and health resorts.

I leave London by the Continental express at eight in the morning one
cold day in October; in eight hours I am in Paris, passing Calais and
Abbeville, both of which places, especially the former, are, I believe,
pretty well known in these days of universal restlessness and travel.  It
is little we see of Paris, the gay and beautiful.  We have to dine—for
man must dine, if possible, once a day—and to Paris we turn for its cooks
and cookery.  It is there that the art of dining is carried to
perfection.  ‘Unquiet meals make ill digestions.’  There is no fear of
that as I sit down to my well-prepared repast at the handsome buffet
attached to the French Northern Railway, and yet there my troubles begin.
As a barbarous Englander, I ask why in Paris, the centre, as it deems
itself, of civilization and refinement, I am compelled to help myself to
salt by putting my knife into the saltcellar.  Then, again, it seems
curious to me, and what I am not accustomed to, to eat my fish without a
fitting knife and fork.  Surely one may expect to find in Paris the
refinement one is accustomed to in one’s native land!  As to being
cheated with one’s eyes open, one does not complain—you expect it, and it
is not worth while losing your temper merely for the sake of a few paltry
centimes; and yet I felt that I had been done unfairly when, on asking a
waiter for a cup of coffee _noir_, and giving him an English shilling,
and particularly calling his attention to the value of the coin, he
coolly treats it as a franc, and gives me change accordingly.  That was
rather a dear cup of coffee, I calculate; but, then, the fault was mine,
and mine alone.  I ought to have provided myself with French money before
I started.

I am going on what Dr. Lunn calls an educational tour on the Continent.
It seems to me I shall get a good deal of education of some kind or other
before I return to my native land again.  There are about 112 on board
from London and the provinces.  As we are bound for Jerusalem, we have,
as was to be expected, a large proportion of the clerical element.
Ladies are not so numerous as one would expect from what one knows of the
curiosity and fondness for adventure of lovely woman.  The worst part of
the trip is the long, wearying ride from Paris to Marseilles, where we
found peace and plenty on board the _Midnight Sun_.  We saw but little of
the country on leaving Paris; but when we reached Lyons, where we were
refreshed with delicious coffee and bread-and-butter, and were provided
with a handsome lunch, to be eaten in the course of our journey,
consisting of a bottle of claret, beef and fowl, bread-and-butter, and
cheese and fruit—a handsome meal, to which we all did justice—the day
broke on us clear and fine.

But I pause to make another little grumble.  In barbarous England the
lunch would have been neatly packed away in a basket specially provided
for the purpose, and a knife and fork would have been included.  On the
Lyons railway a brown paper bag was deemed all that was necessary, and
instead of a knife and fork we had to use our fingers.  As there was no
convenience for washing—at any rate, as regards second-class passengers,
_quorum pars fui_; I recommend the traveller to go first-class on such a
long ride—you can imagine our disgusting state.  It seems to me that the
rule that they do things better in France is one to which there are
several exceptions.  But in some respects France beats us.  It will be
hard to find anywhere in England a prettier ride than that we enjoyed
from Lyons to Marseilles.  The white houses, with their green blinds and
red tiles, nestling in and among the trees, always make a French
landscape bright and gay.  Their great industrial and manufacturing
centres also always [Picture: Two-berth cabin, ‘Midnight Sun’] look
cleaner and less forbidding in their dreariness than ours at home; and if
the little narrow plots you see suggest peasant farming, rather than the
high and costly farming patronized at home, you feel that the peasant of
gay and sunny France—for such France undoubtedly is—has a happier lot
than with us.  But as you travel you have no time to think of such
things.  It is all one can do to watch the fairy panorama of rock and
river, of waving woods and smiling plains, as you glide by.  At all times
the Loire is a grand river, but to-day it is flooded, and seems to be
made up of lakes and seas, in which struggle haystacks, farmhouses,
barns, the everlasting poplars, and, what is worse, the poor man’s
garden, and I think, in one or two cases that met my pitying eye, his
vinefields as well.

One word before I have done with the _Midnight Sun_.  ‘In the new
yachting,’ writes Sir Morell Mackenzie, ‘there is no unpleasantness as to
the change of places to be visited, nor are carefully-arranged plans to
be disarranged at the last moment by the thoughtlessness or unpunctuality
of friends.  You have the pleasure of companionship, without any of the
responsibilities of a host or the obligations of a guest.  You can enjoy
the sea and the air charged with ozone, which is the champagne of the
lungs, and free from any taint of animal or vegetable corruption, just as
freely as if you were an Alexander Selkirk on a floating island; and you
have many comforts which cannot be had even on the largest and
best-appointed yachts.’  Such were the results of the great physician’s
experience on board one of the fine excursion steamers of the Orient
line.  ‘I felt,’ he writes, ‘like Faust after his great transformation
scene from age to youth.’

I am not on an Orient steamer, but I am on the _Midnight Sun_, and to
that Sir Morell Mackenzie’s testimony is equally applicable.  The
_Midnight Sun_ is a grand steamer of 3,178 tons, and she was especially
fitted out for yachting purposes.  She may be said to be the best of the
class.  For instance, take the sleeping cabins.  They contain no upper
sleeping berths—a boon most acceptable to passengers who have had to pass
many nights, as I have done, in cabins overcrowded with passengers and
luggage.  An idea of the magnificent proportions of the _Midnight Sun_
may be gathered from the fact that seven times round her deck is equal to
one mile.  The upper deck forms a promenade over the entire length of the
ship, with uninterrupted views on either side.  She has been engaged by
Dr. Lunn for his co-operative educational cruises, which become more
popular every year.  I note especially the smoking-room on the upper
deck, capable of accommodating nearly 100 persons.  There is a crew of
110 on board for the purpose of ensuring our safety and supplying our
comforts and wants.  Truly, if one cannot enjoy himself on such a trip,
and with such a company of gentlemen and ladies as Dr. Lunn succeeds in
drawing around him, he must be hard to please.  Dr. Lunn, who is not on
board, is in himself a host, and so is his popular brother, who supplies
his place.  We are now approaching Corsica.  I will spare you my feelings
as I gaze on the land that gave birth to a Napoleon Bonaparte, and that
sheltered Seneca in his dreary exile, but which in modern times Lady
Burdett Coutts finds to be a very beneficial health resort.  They are all
that should inspire the virtuous emotions of a true-born Englishman.



I left off my last letter opposite Corsica.  Since then—and this is the
charm of coming to Naples in the _Midnight Sun_—we have passed quite a
cluster of isles more or less renowned in history—such as Caprera, the
rocky home of the great Italian, Garibaldi—of which, alas! we see
nothing.  In old times Caprera derived its name from the wild goats, its
original inhabitants.  Later on it was colonized by monks.  ‘The whole
island,’ says a contemporary writer quoted by Gibbon, ‘is filled, or,
rather, defiled by men, who fly from the light.  They call themselves
monks, or solitaries, because they choose to live alone, without any
witnesses of their actions.  They fear the gifts of fortune from the
apprehension of losing them, and, lest they should be miserable, they
embrace a life of voluntary wretchedness.’  Elba, however, is visible,
which the wiseacres whom Providence, for mysterious reasons of its own,
at one time permitted to rule over European affairs, fixed on as the
residence of the Corsican adventurer, in the childish belief that he who
had aimed almost at universal empire, and had in vain attempted to
grapple with and overthrow the pride and power of England, would be
content to remain on that puny isle, within a hop, step and jump of
France, as it were, and almost within speaking distance of the legions
whom he had led to glory.  Then we sailed past Monte Cristo, the scene of
Dumas’ celebrated romance of that name.  Mostly, at a distance, the isles
look bare of life and vegetation, rocks rising out of the blue waves; and
yet we know it to be otherwise.  At best, however, they must be poor
places to live in, far from the great battle of life, and out of touch
with human progress.  We pass Sardinia, but see little of it.  This is
Sunday, and to-day the Church clergy, who are numerous, seem to have had
a good innings.  Unfortunately, I came into collision with one of them.
As I entered the smoking-room after breakfast, I saw there had been held
there an early Communion, and the implements utilized on such occasions
were lying about.  In a light and flippant tone I asked whether this was
High Church or Low Church or Broad Church.  A little oily parson, who was
apparently guarding the vessels, angrily exclaimed, ‘Sir, it is the
_Church_!’  ‘Thank you,’ I said; ‘I only wanted to know.  To me it is a
matter of indifference.’  ‘That was very naughty of you,’ said a mild,
gentlemanly young man at my side.  Let everyone worship God, or what he
takes to be God, as best he may.  I scorn not the savage who bows down to
idols of wood and stone.  To him they represent a Divine presence and
power.  I claim a similar liberty for the High Churchman, who sees sacred
emblems in vessels of human device to be bought in the shops, or wrought
by devout females; but let him give me the same freedom, and not denounce
me as little better than one of the wicked, as void of Christian faith,
because I turn from man’s devices to cry out of the aching heart to the
living God, if haply I may find Him.

But I am digressing; for the fact is that I always see more of
sacerdotalism afloat than I do on land.  We are getting on pleasantly as
regards social companionship.  It was very cold in the train to Dover,
and I felt inclined to take rather a gloomy view of the situation.  It
was worse on board the Dover and Calais packet, where the whole of the
deck was set apart for first-class passengers, while we unfortunate
second-class men were sent down below to see what we could out of the
cabin windows.  But once in the French second-class carriages, really
much nicer than our own, reserve was broken, the tongue began to wag, and
all went merry as a marriage-bell.  I was much pleased with my
neighbour—a Yorkshireman, I think, who had brought with him a bag of new
farthings to be utilized for backsheesh.  He offered me some, but I
refused.  At my time of life I should not like to be caught by a wild
Arab of the desert to whom I had offered a new farthing for the familiar
sovereign, the use of which is known from China to Peru.  The pompous
elderly first-class passenger amuses me.  He has got his English paper,
and he carries it with him everywhere, in spite of the fact that its news
is some days old.  One of my fellow-passengers had bought himself at
Marseilles a small footstool to keep his feet dry—a needless precaution,
as all the seats are built with a view to protect the passengers from the
damp of the decks, always rather moist after the early morning scrub and
scour.  The daily bath is in much request.  The young Englishman must
have his morning bath—a favourable sign, if it be true that cleanliness
is next to godliness.  We are rather a miscellaneous lot—there are
Scotchmen, whose sweet Doric I fail to understand, and Cockneys, who
ignore the letter _h_; but some of the ladies are charming, and that is
saying a good deal.

Long before we reach Naples the awnings are put up and we rejoice in all
the warmth of an English summer; and never did the far-famed bay look
more beautiful, and the towns and castles and convents that line the
cliffs in every direction for miles look more bright.  The usual babel of
sounds reigned in the bay as singers and divers and dealers in fruit and
other articles of Neapolitan production were clamorous to sell them.  The
worst feature of the Neapolitan petty dealer is that he is too anxious to
kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.  I know of many English who
stay in Rome merely because the people deal fairer with the stranger
within its gates.  It is quite otherwise in Naples.  The native pays
fourpence for his two pounds of bread; the Englishman always has to pay
fivepence.  It is in vain you go to another baker.  For a week he will
charge you fourpence, and then he raises his price.  One peculiarity of
the Naples tradesman is that men of the same trade always stick together;
and he does not spread out his business like the English shopkeeper of
to-day.  For instance, if he is a baker he does not deal in pastry, and
the pastrycook does not interfere with him.  But away from the trading
classes the poverty of the people is really awful.  You see men very
lightly dressed sleeping on the broad pavement at all hours; and yet they
adore their King, and are now building him a grand new monument just in
front of the Royal Palace.  Naples still needs better drainage; and the
substitution of current money in gold or silver for its copper coinage
would be a great improvement.  Personally, this time I had no reason to
find fault with the people.  I found an honest boatman who rowed me to
the ship for half a franc.

The one redeeming point in Naples is the untiring efforts of the
Protestant ministers of all denominations—Church, Baptist, Presbyterian,
and Wesleyan, the latter especially active and doing a good work in the
way of schools.  I called in at the Sailors’ Rest, an awful climb to get
to, but a real rest when you get there.  The present missionary is Mr.
Burrowes, and his wife, the latter a genuine Scotchwoman of the better
sort.  They deal in the institution and on board ships with other
peoples, with other religions and political opinions, and the result is
very satisfactory.  The number of destitute persons who have been
relieved is as large as ever.  Seamen are relieved and weaned from drink.
Almost every evening there is something going on bright and cheerful at
the Rest.  The Sunday evening services have been found especially useful.
After the evening service of a Sunday a large number of men stop to sing
their favourite hymns, and the number of interesting temperance and
religious works circulated is very large.  The English colporteur, Mr.
Copley, has given away 1,000 copies of the New Testament during the year,
and he is aided by a band of foreign colporteurs quite as active as
himself.  It is work that ought to be more liberally supported by
Christians at home.  The good it does is great; its needs are pressing.
I hope I may not appeal for the Sailors’ Home of Rest at Naples in vain.
During the year 1895, 176 persons stayed in the Home, including those
sent there by the British and foreign consuls, passing travellers from
ships.  Many stayed only one night, such as seamen from warships.  About
140 persons got free teas, not including the relief given to destitute
people.  It is a pity that such a real good work should languish for want
of popular support amongst the wealthy English residents at Naples and at



Once more I am in Naples, with its houses rising one over another, in
front of me, and Vesuvius looking down on me, and across the loveliest
bay the world has yet seen.  There is little to see in Naples beyond its
museum, which no one should omit to visit, and Pompeii, to which you are
conveyed by train, where you come face to face with ancient civilization
and ancient life.  For the traveller the city is rich in hotels, and at
one of them—the Hôtel Vesuve, a magnificent structure with stately
halls—I once spent a happy week.  I had come with money enough to defray
my two days’ expenses; but, to my horror, I had to stay longer than I
intended, and you may judge of my delight when the manager, who knew me,
at the end of the week refused a penny for my board and daily food.  I
wish I could speak as well of the shopkeepers, who fleece you as much as
possible, and are prone to give you bad money for good.

The people are industrious, and mostly very poor; but they don’t drink,
and content themselves with water and a slice of lemon—always on sale in
the streets.  They are devout Roman Catholics, but, nevertheless, an
official said to me, ‘Morality is unknown here.’  I met with a man from
Newcastle, an engineer, who employs a thousand people here, and gave them
an excellent character.  ‘Do you employ any English?’ I asked.  ‘Not
one,’ was his reply; ‘they drink too much and are too troublesome.’
Taxes are awful and Custom dues ditto.  I landed here once with
twenty-five cigars, a present from one of the gentlemanly captains of the
Orient line.  I could have put them in my pocket, and no one would have
been any wiser.  I thought, however, ‘Italy is a poor country, and I
might as well contribute my mite towards its exhausted exchequer.’  My
confidence was misplaced; for those cigars I had to pay a duty—incredible
as it may seem—of three shillings and ninepence!  Only fancy!

What I like best in Naples are its tram-cars, which are cheap, and the
attendants are civil.  Riding and driving seem to be the principal
amusements of the people, especially on a Sunday, when the poor horses
have to rattle along with tremendous loads, which makes one regret that
in this part of the world there seems to be no society for the prevention
of cruelty to animals.  Pope Pius IX. did not think one required.
Artistic manufactures seem to constitute the staple trade.  In every
hotel there are fine marble busts for sale.  Vesuvius supplies abundant
lava, which is utilized in a thousand forms.  On many a housetop you may
see the macaroni spread out to dry, and in many a street you may watch
through the windows the tortoiseshell manufacturers at work.  To the city
there appears to be no end, as it stretches away to the right and left,
and climbs up the hills on which it is built.  It boasts two Gothic
cathedrals, and numerous churches, and many public buildings of a
handsome order.  Little of female loveliness, however, is to be seen in
the streets—not half so much as in Oxford Street at home any day in the
week.  Miss Cobbe writes: ‘Naples struck me on my first visit—as it has
done again and again—as presenting the proof that the Beautiful is not by
itself the root out of which the Good spontaneously grows.’  I quite
agree with Miss Cobbe.

In the wide and sunny expanse of blue waters that surrounds Naples there
is much to be seen.  Rocky Capri lies just opposite—the home of artists
and English residents.  In the bay on our left are Baiæ and Puteoli, the
latter the port at which St. Paul landed on his way as a prisoner to Rome
to appeal to Cæsar.  Baiæ was the Brighton of ancient Rome; the remains
of its temples and baths are scattered freely among the fig-trees and
olives of the peasant.  Emperors dwelt there.  There Cæsar sought
retirement, and the warm springs on the side are yet called by his name.
Behind, Virgil placed the entrance of Avernus, and not far off is his
reputed tomb.  Between Baiæ and Puteoli was the Lucrine Lake, over which
coloured sails wafted the small yachts of fashionable visitors, and which
contained the oyster-beds for the luxurious tables of Rome.  Vitellius
the beastly, as Gibbon calls him, seems to have been the greatest
oyster-eater in the ancient world.  He is said to have eaten oysters all
day long and to have swallowed a thousand at a sitting.  There are no
oysters in the Lucrine Lake now, for the simple reason that an earthquake
long ago destroyed the lake.  All that now remains of that famous fishery
is a small and shallow stream, which is separated from the sea by a
narrow strip of sand.  Further north is Misenum, where Æneas came to
land; where the navy of old Rome rode secure; from whence Pliny sailed
away to get a nearer view of the celebrated eruption of Vesuvius, and
where he met with his death by the ashes discharged from the burning
mountain.  On the other side of the bay lie Sorrento and other charming
spots.  It was here the Greeks sent colonists.  The Greeks were the
colonizing people of antiquity, as much as the English are colonizing
people of to-day.  It is pleasant of a night to stand on the deck of the
steamer to see the gas-lamps on the shore glittering like glow-worms or
fireflies all along the romantic coast.

If possible, the tourist should find time to have a look at Pæstum.  In
his diary Rogers the poet thus describes his visit: ‘Country green and
level.  The temples in a plain shut in on three sides by the mountains,
on the fourth open to the sea; and the sea itself half shut in them by
the promontory of Sorrentum, within which are the Isles of the Sirens.  A
magnificent theatre, worthy of such objects: the columns almost
bare—broken and of an iron-brown, like iron rust; the floor green with
moss and herbage; the columns and cornices of the richest tints, and
climbed by the green lizards that fly into a thousand chinks and crevices
at your approach; fluted fragments of columns and moulded cornices among
briars strew the middle space between the temple and the basilica.’  Let
me add, the temples are all in the same Doric style.  Poseidonia, as its
inhabitants, the Greek colonists, called it, was founded in the seventh
century B.C., and, as the name imports, was specially sacred to Poseidon,
or Neptune.  The principal temple, which was probably that of Neptune,
was that of the sea god.

Let me remind my readers that in the English burial-place at Naples was
laid one of the very greatest and best of Englishwomen—the late Mrs.
Somerville—where a marble monument has been placed over her grave by her
daughter.  It represents her, heroic size, reclining on a classic chair,
in somewhat the attitude of the statue of Agrippa in the Vatican.  It is
a shame that she was not buried in Westminster Abbey.  When asked, Dean
Stanley assented, as was to be expected, freely to the proposal.  Mrs.
Somerville’s nephew, Sir William Fraser, promised at once to defray all
expenses.  There was only one thing further needed, and that was the
usual formal request from some public body or official persons to the
Dean and Chapter of Westminster.  Dean Stanley immediately wrote to the
Astronomer Royal and the President of the Royal Society, as
representative of the science with which Mrs. Somerville was immediately
connected, to ask him to authorize the Dean proceeding in the matter.
But that gentleman refused to do so on the ground that he had never read
Mrs. Somerville’s books.  ‘Whether he had read,’ writes Miss Cobbe,
commenting indignantly on the above, ‘one in which she took the opposite
side from his in the bitter Adam Le Verrier controversy, it is not for me
to say.’  Any way, jealousy, either scientific or masculine, declined to
admit Mrs. Somerville’s claim to a place in our national Walhalla, where
so many men neither intellectually nor morally her equal have been

In one respect Naples has improved since I was here last.  The drainage
has been rendered better, and the fearful odours that met you at every
turn have disappeared.  The poor are indolent, dirty, thriftless, and
ill-housed; but that does not much matter, as most of their lives are
passed in the open air.  The convents are suppressed, the schoolmaster is
abroad, and they may grow better as the years roll by, and Italy, as a
nation, once more becomes great and renowned.  But a good deal has yet to
be done.  I heard of things to be seen in Naples of the most disgraceful
and disgusting character.  At the dawn of the Reformation Naples took the
lead among the Italian cities in the adoption of its principles.  Then
came a bitter persecution, and the triumphs of the Pope and the
Inquisition.  As the result, Naples has been given up for years to the
most abject superstition, and its people have become the most ignorant
and demoralized in Europe.  But the city is full of life—far more so than
is to be found in any other Italian city.  Such talking, shouting, and
rushing to and fro can hardly be found anywhere else.  Nowhere is there
more life than is to be seen on the Toledo.  One of the quaintest objects
is that of the letter-writer, seated at his desk in the open air, with
his clients waiting to have their letters written—some of business, some
of love.  The cab-driver is better than he looks, and it is not difficult
to get along with him.  But you must be on your guard with waiters.  More
than once one has come to me with a bad franc, which he pretended I had
given him; but I turned a deaf ear to his complaint, and [Picture: The
Bay of Naples.  (From a photograph by Frith and Co., Reigate.)] left him
to do the best he could with his spurious coin.

If you want to visit Vesuvius, apply at Cook’s offices, where you will
find everything arranged for you in the most agreeable manner, and no
difficulty of any kind.  His funicular railway is one of the wonders of
the place.  The ascent of the cone requires two hours’ hard walking in
deep ashes and on hard rubble lava—an undertaking not very pleasant for
people affected with delicate hearts and constitutions, or bordering on
old age.  Get into one of Cook’s railway cars, and you are up in a few
minutes.  At the lower station there is an excellent restaurant belonging
to the wonderful John Cook, whose headquarters are the Piazzi del
Martini.  I dined once at his restaurant at the foot of the cone, and it
is one of the few dinners in my life to which I look back with pleasure.
I had a friend with me, of course.  It is never pleasant to travel—at any
rate, in a foreign country—alone.  We had a good rumpsteak and French
beans, an omelette, and a bottle of the wine whose praises were sung by
Horace when the world was much younger and fresher than it is now.  After
dinner we sat on the terrace, drinking black coffee and smoking cigars.
Of course, as an Englishman, it gave me pleasure to reflect that our
beautiful Princess of Wales had been there before me in 1893, with
Victoria of Wales, the Duke of York, and a distinguished suite.  As I sat
smoking, it seemed to me as if I was monarch of all I surveyed.  Naples
was at my feet, far away behind was the green Campagna, with but here and
there a solitary dwelling, and before me, in all its glory, the bay and
its islands.  If old Sam Rogers had gone up there to write his ‘Italy,’ I
think he would have done better than he did—at any rate, I was never so
near heaven before; and this reminds me that I have said nothing of the
means of grace available to English Protestants when they come to Naples.
There is an English Church in the San Pasquale à Chiagia, a Scotch
Presbyterian opposite Cook’s offices, and a Methodist.

There are many ways of getting to Naples.  I came this time overland by
Paris and Marseilles, and thence, as I have said, by the _Midnight Sun_.
If the weather is fine, and the Bay of Biscay in good form, I prefer to
come by the Orient steamers right away from London.  You have then no
trouble till you land in Naples.  We leave Black Care behind as we slip
out of English fog and cold into the region of cloudless skies and starry
nights.  We smoke, or read, or feed, or walk the deck, or talk in the
pleasantest manner.  Perhaps we get a glimpse of Finisterre.  Heroic
memories come to us as we pass the seas where the _Captain_ was lost—it
is to be feared in consequence of defective seamanship.  All along the
coast and on those faraway hills the noise of battle rolled, and not in
vain, for the struggle that ended in Waterloo placed England in the first
rank among the nations of the earth.

As soon as we cross the bay we think of Corunna and Sir John Moore.  Afar
off are the memorable heights of Torres Vedras.  Cape St. Vincent, a
bluff sixty feet high, with a convent and a lighthouse, reminds one of
the brilliant victory won by Sir John Jervis, with Nelson and Collingwood
fighting under him; and in a little while we are at Trafalgar, to which
sailors still look as the greatest sea-fight in the history of our land,
and as the one that saved the nation; and then you spend a day at
Gibraltar.  A Yankee friend once said to me, ‘I must go back to America.
I can’t stay any longer in Europe; I shall get too conceited if I do.’
I, too, feel conceited as I skirt along that romantic coast, which you
sight in a few hours after leaving Plymouth.  Englishmen are always
grumbling.  There is no country like England; and an Englishman who is
not proud of his native land, and ready to make every sacrifice for her,
ought to be shot, and would be if I had my way.



It is needless to write that no one can go to Naples without paying a
visit to Pompeii, if he would get a true idea of a Roman city, with its
streets, and shops, and baths, and forum, and temples; and it is as well
to read over Bulwer’s ‘Last Days of Pompeii’—that master work of genius,
compared with which our present popular novels are poor indeed—and then
let the reader spend an entire day, if he can, among the Pompeiian
remains, in the museum at Naples, which Garibaldi, when Dictator of
Naples, handed over to the people.  Pompeii is easy of access by the
railway, which lands you at the very spot, after a short but pleasant
trip.  Much can be accomplished there and back for a little more than
three francs.  On Sundays Pompeii can be visited for nothing; on other
days the charge is one franc, and when you have paid the guide the franc,
I think you will agree with me that in no other part of the world can you
see so much that is truly wonderful at so small an expense.  Close to the
gate are a hotel—the Hôtel du Diomede—and a restaurant, at either of
which you can get all the refreshments you require; and if it is too hot
to walk—and in the summer months Pompeii is a very hot place indeed—there
are chairs in the grounds in which you can be carried all round and see
all that is to be seen at very little personal fatigue.

Pompeii is spread out in an elliptical form on the brow of a hill, and
extends over a space of nearly two miles.  On one side of you is
Vesuvius, and on the other the blue waters of the bay.  One of the towns
through which you pass in the train is Portici, the ancient Herculaneum;
as it is, you are lost in wonder at the awful extent of the catastrophe
which turned all this smiling land into a scene of desolation and death,
and which, at any rate, led to the extinction of one philosophic
career—that of the elder Pliny, a real victim to the pursuit of knowledge
under difficulties.  At the time of its visitation, Pompeii is reputed to
have had a population of about 26,000.

Imagination fails to realize the agony of the hour as the swift, black,
sulphurous death came down on all—the patrician in his marble halls, the
tradesman in his shop, the miser at his desk, the devotees who cried to
their gods for safety in vain, the slave, the freedman, the aged, to whom
life had nothing to give, the tender, the beautiful, the young, to whom
life seemed an exhaustless dream of joy.  As in the days of the flood,
there was marrying and giving in marriage.  Here the baker had fled, and
left his loaves in his oven; there was an eating-house, in which were
found raisins, olives, and fish cooked in oil.  There stands the tavern,
indicated by the sign of the chequers, while the amphoræ of wines are
still marked with the year of the vintage.  An election was going on at
the time of the catastrophe, and appeals to the free and independent are
still preserved.  In one place a schoolboy has scratched his Greek
alphabet.  In his sentry-box a sentinel was discovered, a grisly skeleton
clasping his rusty sword.  And the streets tell a piteous tale.  In one a
young man and woman had fallen together; in another part a lady was
discovered attempting to flee with a bag of gold, and then there was seen
the skeleton of a mother with her children, whom she was vainly seeking
to save.  In the house of Diomede, or, rather, in a vaulted cellar
underneath, eighteen bodies were found of men and women who had evidently
fled there for shelter.  The probable proprietor of the house was found
near the garden door, with the key in his hand, while beside him was a
slave with valuables.  It is evident that the city was a scene of vice
and dissipation.  Some of the inscriptions are too indecent to reproduce.
I know not whether for this it becomes us to point the finger of scorn,
we who read ‘Don Juan,’ who revel in Fielding, who reverence Dean Swift,
who know what goes on in Paris and London by night, when respectability
has gone to bed and Exeter Hall is shut up.

Let me turn to the streets—they are very narrow—and to the houses, which
strike me as generally very small.  In that grand climate the people must
have mostly lived in the open air.  One of the most elegant houses is
that of the Tragic Poet.  On the threshold was a dog in mosaic, with the
inscription ‘Cave canem’—now in the museum at Naples.  I was much
interested in the public baths, or thermæ, which indicate with how much
care the ancient Romans attended to cleanliness and health.  They must
have been on a somewhat extensive scale.  A passage leads to the chamber
for undressing.  Beyond this is the cold bath.  Thence we make our way to
the warm bath, or tepidarium.  The baths also possessed an extensive
colonnade, now converted into a garden, besides several other chambers
and baths for women, none of which are now open to the public.  But we
see wonders everywhere, in spite of the fact that all that is best in
Pompeii has been moved to the museum at Naples, where remains one of the
finest of the Pompeiian mosaics—that representing a battle between Darius
and Alexander, which no one who wishes to have a competent idea of
ancient art should avoid going to see.  Let me add that no visitor should
go to Pompeii without having first got a clear idea of what he is going
to see.  The guides are but poor helps, as mostly they speak nothing but
Italian.  Further, let me say that if you have at Naples only the day
allowed by the Orient Company, while waiting for the overland mails,
which generally reach Naples in a little over two days and nights after
leaving London, your best plan is to get hold of Cook’s agent, who
reaches the ship in a boat with a flag bearing the well-known name.  He
will take you off, drive you straight to Pompeii, give you time to ‘do’
the place and to get a good lunch there, and bring you back in time to
the ship to pursue the even tenor of your way to Egypt, or Ceylon, or
Australia, as the case may be.  If you have time, pursue your studies by
a day in the museum, or more if you can.  It is there you can realize
best, as you study the grand statues of great men and women and gods and
goddesses, the Diana of Ephesus being one of them—statues in which the

       ‘Majesty of human passion
    Is to the life expressed’—

 [Picture: Temple of Venus, Pompeii.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and

what men the world’s masters were.  Nero has a shocking head; Caligula
looks an empty-headed fop; but I gazed admiringly on the grand features
of my guide, philosopher, and friend—Marcus Aurelius.  And I thought of
Voltaire, as I stood opposite the noble statue of Julius Cæsar, on your
left just as you enter the museum.  Voltaire tells us men may be divided
into two classes—hammers and anvils.  Julius Cæsar evidently belonged to
the former class.  It was there, too, I saw a Venus, radiant in innocence
and beauty and sweetness and grace, as if new ‘bathed in Paphian
foam’—the only Venus I ever could have loved.  But I had no guide-book,
and the day was hot, and all the attendants were fast asleep.

Let me add a caution: Never change money if you can help it.  You are
sure to get a bad franc if you do.  At Pompeii the guide tried it on with
me.  Again, while waiting for the train at Pompeii, I was tempted to have
a deal with a pedlar, who asked me ten francs for souvenirs, which I
subsequently bought, after a good deal of haggling, for five.
Unfortunately, I had only a ten-franc note, and he had to give me
change—not in coppers, as they generally do in Naples, where silver is
scarce, but in francs; and one of them was bad, as I found out when I
went to the museum next day.  To my disgust, the civil gentleman who
takes the money kindly cut it in two.

‘I will call for you at a quarter-past seven,’ said Cook’s agent to me,
as he left the _Ormuz_.

‘Come at that hour,’ I replied; ‘I will be ready.’

Alas! man proposes—often in vain.  I went to bed early.  I had made
arrangements for an early meal.  I had agreed to see that a
fellow-passenger who was to come should be ready; but I could not
sleep—the heat in the bay was too great, the odour of the tide-less
waters seemed to possess my soul, and as I lay awake all the chronic
diseases by which I am borne down reasserted themselves, and I didn’t get
a wink of sleep till just as it was time to get up.  I have an early
breakfast, and yet there is no sign of Cook’s agent.  In due time I see
him, and my friend and I and Cook’s agent are rowed on shore, and we
drive to Cook’s headquarters.  There we are put into a carriage drawn by
three horses, and away we go along the crowded streets.  What a display
we have on every side of the unwashed, as they sit at the shop doors, or
at the corners of the long narrow alleys in which most of them live!
There are naked children, hideous old women, and very unlovely young
ones.  A fat priest passes with his beaver hat and black robes, and a
young woman rushes at him and kisses his hand.  The priest and the
militaire are to be seen everywhere.  No wonder the country is poor.

As we proceed the ground begins to rise, and we see pleasant villas with
decent gardens.  As we rise so does the dust; for mostly we are shut in
between two walls, over which we see the vine hang heavily, or apricots
glitter among the green branches on either side.  Here and there is a
break in the wall, and, seated at rustic tables, peasants and their
families are enjoying a holiday, looking under their vine arbours across
the blue bay or pleasant Capri, or glancing upward at the smoking
mountain above.  At one of these wayside publics our driver stops to
water horses, which are useful animals, and, in spite of the heat, never
turn a hair.  We enter the principal room, at one end of which is a big
bed, while nearer the door is a table with wine and glasses, and fruit,
and specimens of lava and other matters.  My friend, with the
recklessness of youth, spends his money.  I refuse to do anything of the
kind; and again our coachman urges on his wild career.  He pulls up again
as a woman rushes out of her cabin to offer us drink.  Again we are
tempted, and in vain.  Then we reach a level of reeds and rushes, where
resides a venerable and unwashed hermit, who sighs as he turns in and
thinks of the hardness of our hearts.  We are now nearly out of the
cultivated land, as we see the gigantic fields of lava on every side;
where it can all have come from is a mystery.  You can scarcely realize
how all this lava—stretched on every hand, far and wide—can ever have
come out of that crater.  There seems more lava than you could get into
the mountain itself; and how terrible must have been the scene when the
red-hot lava rushed down the mountain-side, overwhelming green vines, and
square-roofed huts, and living animals, and smiling babes, and weak and
helpless old age!  As it cooled, it seems to have wreathed itself into a
thousand fantastic shapes—and yet the scene is fair and tranquil.  A
small wreath of smoke at the top only suggests a feeble fire within, and
down far below the blue Mediterranean sleeps, and gay Naples sparkles,
and the great Campagna opens up its vast green solitudes, save where,
here and there, a white-stoned villa varies its monotony.  Around me
animal life exists not.  The yellow birch blooms in her golden beauty,
that is all, and the common white butterfly of England has the upper airs
all to herself.

As we reach the observatory—an oasis in the desert—we meet a couple of
sportsmen; they have a gun between them, though why I cannot understand,
as I see nothing to shoot at but lizards, and so we are drawn slowly on
the dusty road, which zigzags in the most wonderful manner every few
yards.  We enter through a gateway which, I presume, marks the bounds of
the Cook territory, as one of his agents takes a look at our tickets.
With joy our brown-faced coachman points us to a white, flat-roofed
building, which he declares truly is the hotel, where he intimates we can
have lunch, and where he intimates he can do the same if we will supply
the cash—which we do, though he had no right to ask it—and weaned and
parched we enter the grateful portals of the hotel to feast, and to enjoy
a refreshing breeze, which we should have sought for in Naples in vain.
As I rested there, I felt no wish to depart either upwards or downwards.

Of course the summer is the bad time for the crater.  In the season Cook
has his pilgrims, sometimes to the number of 200 a day.  The cars are
airy and light.  As one goes up, another descends, and thus the work goes
on under the care of an able German, who caught a fever in Egypt, and has
been ordered here for the benefit of his health.  The whole country
should be called Cooksland.  It is there John Cook reigns supreme.  Just
as I was leaving London a Leicester gentleman said to me: ‘I wonder Mr.
Gladstone did not make John Cook a baronet.’  ‘The man who does what Mr.
Cook does, for all travellers, whatever their nationality, surely
deserves public recognition,’ says a commercial Dutchman to me as I
write; ‘I am off to Palermo and Catana and Messina.  I have taken Cook’s
tickets for all the way.’

I found in my subsequent travels every one of us had more or less to
enjoy the assistance of Cook’s agents.  In many cases travellers derive
great pecuniary benefit from doing so.  I remember a friend of mine got
some money changed for him by Cook’s agent on very much cheaper terms
than he could anywhere else.

Italy is a poor country; yet it displays a sense of humour highly
creditable under the circumstances.  The site of the Custom House in
Naples is locally known as the Immaculate.



Remember, as the great Dr. Johnson remarks, how life consists not of a
series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments; the greater part of
our time passes in compliance with necessities in the performance of
daily duties, in the procurement of petty pleasures; and we are well or
ill at ease as the main stream of life glides on smoothly, or is ruffled
by small obstacles and frequent interruptions.  This is emphatically true
as regards life at sea.  But as we steam along we see much to attract and
excite in the isles of the Mediterranean, that diversify the travel all
the way from Marseilles to Jaffa.  It is said that there are eighty ports
in the Mediterranean, and that into all of them Lord Brassey can take his
yacht without a pilot.  Alas! I am permitted to tarry at none of them.

As we sail out of the Bay of Naples we pass Capri—a rocky island, where
there is scarce a yard of level ground—dear to Englishmen and artists.
The highest point of Capri is about 1,960 feet above the sea.  The
traveller will find there several hotels.  Roman remains abound, and
Tiberius, the drunken and dissolute, had twelve palaces there.  There he
was in no fear of unwelcome intrusion, and gave himself up to shameless
and unnatural lusts; while his worthy lieutenant, Sejanus, carried on a
series of persecutions against all who stood in any relation to the
imperial family, or excited the suspicions of the tyrant by freedom of
speech, independence of character, or position, or popularity.  The
famous Blue Grotto of Capri is on the northern side, near the landing.
In the great war with France, Sir Hudson Lowe—the same General who had
subsequently charge of Bonaparte at St. Helena—had to surrender the
island to Murat, after a fortnight’s siege, and had the mortification of
seeing reinforcements arrive just after the treaty was signed.  Leaving
Capri, the Gulf of Salerno opens; Pæstum, with its temples, lying on the
southern bight of the gulf.  Then follows the elevated headland of Cape
Palinure—named after Palinurus, the pilot of Æneas, whose tomb is marked
by a tower on the cliff some eight miles northward, thus fulfilling the
Sibyl’s promise in the ‘Æneid,’

    ‘And Palinurus’ name the place shall bear.’

We next get a peep at the now active volcano of Stromboli, and the Lipari
Islands to the northward.  On these islands, the Insulæ-Eoliæ, also the
Vulcaniæ of the ancients, Æolus held the winds enclosed in caverns,
letting them blow and howl as it seemed good in his sight.  There, too,
Vulcan forged the bolts of Jove.

From Naples we steer for Sicily, once, though only for a short time,
prosperous under British rule, when we took possession of it in the name
of the King of Naples, after he was driven away from Italy by the
soldiers of France.  Garibaldi handed it over to United Italy.  Sicily is
a country which is almost unknown to tourists, though in his youth Mr.
Gladstone visited the island and wrote: ‘After Etna, the temples are the
great charm and attraction of Sicily.  I do not know whether there is any
one, if taken alone, which exceeds in interest and beauty that of Neptune
at Pæstum, but they have the advantage of number and variety as well as
of interesting position.’  We pass Catania, which had the most celebrated
University in Italy.  The present town is comparatively new; many of its
more ancient remains are covered with lava; among them the theatre, from
which it is probable Alcibiades addressed the people in B.C. 415.  What
memories rose up before us as we steamed along the Straits of Messina!
It was from Syracuse that St. Paul sailed away to Reggio, on the coast of
Italy, and all the parsons on board pull out their Testaments and compare
notes.  I trow I know more of the Greeks, and Romans, and Carthaginians,
who shed so much blood, and waged so many desolating wars in these now
peaceful regions.  The town was founded by the Greeks nearly 3,000 years
ago.  All the nations seem at one time to have held Sicily—Romans,
Greeks, Moors, Turks, and Normans.  There are some of us who can yet
remember how Cicero thundered against Verres for his misgovernment of
Sicily.  It was to Sicily that Æschylus retired to die after Sophocles
had borne away the prize from him for his tragedy.  The pet of the
Athenian mob, the gay and graceful Alcibiades, fought against the
Sicilians in vain.  At that time they must have been a more intelligent
people than they are now.  Take, for instance, their appreciation of
Euripides.  Of all the poets, writes old Plutarch, he was the man with
whom the Sicilians were most in love.  From every stranger that landed in
their island they gained every small specimen or portion of his works,
and communicated it with pleasure to each other.  It is said that on one
occasion a number of Athenians, upon their return home defeated, went to
Euripides and thanked him for teaching their masters what they remembered
of his poems; and others were rewarded when they were wandering about
after the battle, for singing a few of his verses.  Nor is this to be
wondered at, since they tell us that when a ship from Cannes, which
happened to be pursued by pirates, was going to take shelter in one of
their ports, the Sicilians at first refused to receive her.  Upon asking
the crew whether they knew any of the verses of Euripides, and being
answered in the affirmative, they released both them and their vessel.
We are a cultured people.  The Americans, according to their own ideas,
are yet more so.  Yet it is evident that the Sicilians were far before us
in their admiration of poetic genius.  Alas! Pompey the Great, as we
still call him, gave the Sicilians a different lesson when he summoned
the people of Messina before him, who refused to obey his summons,
arguing that they stood excused by an ancient privilege granted them by
the Romans.  His reply was, and it was worthy of the present Emperor of
Germany, ‘Will you never have done citing laws and privileges to men who
wear swords?’  Another lesson Sicily teaches us is how much readier the
world is to remember its oppressors than its benefactors.  We all have a
vivid impression of Dionysius, the Tyrant of Syracuse, yet how few of us
are familiar with the fame of Dion the Patriot, who was the pupil of
Plato when the philosopher dwelt for a time in Syracuse.  It is to the
credit of the Sicilians that they were a grateful people.  When Timoleon
died they gave him a public funeral, and instituted games in his honour,
‘as the man who destroyed tyrants, subdued barbarians, repeopled great
cities which lay desolate, and restored the Sicilians their laws and

Gradually we make our way through the Straits, sailing between Scylla and
Charybdis, which for the modern traveller has no terrors.  Our last view
of Sicily gives us a fine glimpse of Etna, with the crater into which
Empedocles threw himself, 400 B.C.  Men are immortalized as much by their
follies as by their virtues.  As we onward press we get a glimpse of
Candia, with the snowy peaks of Mount Ida, and Gavodo, or Goro, supposed
to be the Clauda of St. Paul’s voyage to the westward.  What associations
rise as we see Cephalonia, Zante, Corfu!—all looking dry and bare in the
scorching sun.  We manage to make our way, though with some difficulty,
through the Canal of Corinth, a work which I fear can never pay, as it is
not large enough for the big steamers which now plough these waters.
Everywhere islands, or rather rocks, diversify the scene, and every day
we have more radiant sunsets and sunrises than you can realize in a
Northern clime.  To sail on this summer sea is indeed a treat.  No wonder
old Ulysses loved to wander among these isles, and to leave Penelope to
do her knitting and to look after her maids at home.  I regret that I
cannot have a peep at Crete and Cyprus, the most famous islands in the
Mediterranean, and we pass over the far-famed bay of Salamis almost

  [Picture: The Corinth Canal (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)]

It is not my privilege to sail from one of the historic isles of the
Mediterranean to another, nor do I know that in all cases it would be
safe.  In many cases besides Corsica and Sicily the traveller has to look
to his ways.  There are brigands to be met with still and as we travelled
we heard of a British officer who had just been made captive as he
wandered about in search of a day’s shooting.  As you may well suppose, I
gave the brigands a wide berth.  I am quite content with being fleeced by
guides and hotel-keepers.  When I was in Australia, I was amused to learn
that the last of the bushrangers had sailed to America to carry on a
hotel.  I fear that in many parts of the world the two callings have much
in common.  I believe the British pay no taxes—at any rate, they do not
in Jerusalem—and this is one reason why we meet with such swarms of shady
Greeks who claim to be British subjects.  In this part of the world the
_Civis Romanus sum_ of old Palmerston seems to me in danger of being
carried a deal too far.  Not that I am a Little Englander; I am, in fact,
very much the reverse.

Over these waters sailed the hardy mariners of ancient Greece in search
of the Golden Fleece, and the brave Theseus, as he went to do battle with
the monster Minos, who demanded a yearly tribute of Athenian maids.  We
all went on deck to have a look at Patmos, where the Apostle John wrote
that wondrous dream, the Revelation, and viewed with interest the white
convent on the island which still bears his name.

In the Sea of Marmora we pass the Princes Islands, four of which are
inhabited.  In one of them is the grave of Sir Edward Barton, the first
resident British Ambassador in Turkey.  He was sent by Queen Elizabeth to
the Sultan Mahommed III., and died in 1507.  Another of them, Plati, was
purchased by Sir H. Bulwer while Ambassador to Constantinople.  He built
a castle on it, which is now falling into ruins, and later sold the
island to the ex-Khedive of Egypt, to whose family it still belongs.
Steaming south, we pass Alexandria Troas, which was twice visited by St.
Paul.  On the first occasion he came down from Mysia and went to
Macedonia; on the second, on his return from Greece, he had an interview
with a large body of fellow-workers.  It was there he restored Eutychus,
who had fallen from an upper window in his sleep.

Next we pass the ancient island of Lesbos, one of the most beautiful in
the Ægean Sea.  Islands are around us everywhere.  There is no end to
them.  The most thickly populated of them is Chio; another is Cos, of
which we see the chief town, the birthplace of Hippocrates, the great
physician.  Then we pass Rhodes, famous for its renowned knights, who did
battle with the ever-advancing Turk, of whom Luther had such fear, and
its grand Colossus overthrown and broken in pieces by an earthquake
fifty-six years after its erection, B.C. 224; and then we leave the
lovely Mediterranean at Jaffa, where, according to Greek mythology,
Andromeda was chained to the rock and delivered by Perseus, and where the
prophet Jonah embarked when he tried to escape the command of God to go
and warn Nineveh of its impending fate.  Of course I went to the house
where St. Peter lived, the dwelling of Simon the tanner, a very dreary,
tumbledown old place, which required a good deal of climbing, rather
trying in that sultry clime.  And here I leave that wonderful
Mediterranean over which the navies of all the world in all ages have

       ‘Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee—
       Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
       Thy waters washed them power while they were free,
       And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
       The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
       Has dried up realms to deserts: not so thou;
       Unchangeable save to thy wild waves’ play—
       Time writes no wrinkles on thine azure brow—
    Such as Creation’s dawn beheld, thou rollest now.’



For the first time in my life, I realize the fact that the Mediterranean
is a lake—calm and blue as the eyes we love.  What astonishes me is the
absence of life in these waters.  All is barren as that dreary sail
across the Indian Ocean from Ceylon to West Australia.  Really, if it
were not for the photographers, who are always at work on board, we
should be rather dull.  It is really wonderful the number of amateur
photographers who have come out in the _Midnight Sun_, and are daily
having recourse to their art; and sometimes the consequences are
ludicrous.  For instance, we have a considerable number of respectable
married people on board.  Amongst them are a young couple whose
experience of matrimonial felicity has been, I suspect, somewhat of the
shortest.  One morning they were ‘far from the madding crowd,’ indulging
in little familiarities, such as leaning on one another’s shoulders—quite
proper, as we must all admit, but rather suited for private than public
life.  Well, a photographer had his eye on them, and straightway made
them his victims.  There they were, large and fully recognisable.  His
praiseworthy attempt was greeted with a roar of laughter, of which the
victims, far away (the artist was on the upper deck), had not the
remotest idea.  Let me add the moral: let me beg the newly-married ones
to beware of the photographers.  More numerous than the photographers are
the ladies and gentlemen who spend their mornings in writing their
diaries—if with a view to publication, a sad look-out.

In due time we reach Attica, and are landed at the Piræus, which is busy
now as when Themistocles planned the harbour and Pericles planted its
walls, five miles in length.  The town has quite a modern look; nothing
of its ancient glory remains.  Its modern history dates from 1834.  A
modern lighthouse marks the site of the tomb of Themistocles.  A railway,
made in 1869, now connects the Piræus with Athens, and it grows apace.
In old times there was rarely to be seen any boat in the harbour.  In
1871 the population was only 11,000; in 1890 it had grown to 36,000,
About 6,000 vessels of over two and a half millions of tonnage, one half
of which is in Greek bottoms, enter the harbour annually.  As a town, it
consists chiefly of commercial buildings and unpretending private
residences.  It has, however, an arsenal, a military and naval school,
several handsome churches for the orthodox members of the Greek Church,
an interesting museum of antiquities, and a gymnasium.  Trains run to
Athens through the whole day until midnight.  We land in a homely quarter
of the town.  ‘It is in the spring,’ writes Edmond About, ‘one sees
Attica in her glory, when the air is so clear and transparent that it
seems as if one had only to put forth one’s hand to touch the furthest
mountains; when it carries sounds so faithfully that one can hear the
bleating of flocks half a mile away, and the cries of great eagles, which
are lost to sight in the immensity of the skies.’

I find Athens hot and dusty—a fine white dust, which makes everything
look desolate.  I get hold of a plan of Athens, showing me how to make
the most of six days, but as I have not that time to spare, one’s first
thoughts turn naturally to the Acropolis, a rocky plateau of crystallized
limestone, rising to about 200 feet.  Romans, Goths, Byzantines, and
Turks have done their best to make Athens a heap of ruins.  It was well
that Lord Elgin did so much to preserve some of the choicest relics of
Athens by bringing them to England and sending them to the British
Museum.  Had he not done so, they would have been inevitably destroyed by
the unspeakable Turk, a fact deeply to be deplored.

One night we had an amusing illustration of the qualification of the fair
sex for the right to rule over man.  There was a concert in the
smoking-room, the finest apartment in the ship.  Amongst the performers
were some ladies, and a good many were auditors.  Suddenly a large rat
made its appearance, when all the ladies, shrieking, fled.  I may not be
equal to the New Woman—of course she is far above me—but, at any rate, I
am not afraid to face a rat.  Fancy a rat appearing in the House of
Commons with a lady speaker on her legs, and a Government of ladies
seated gracefully and in the loveliest of toilettes!  The result would be
appalling and disastrous.

The country through which we passed was quite dried up, and quite
prepared me for the tasteless beef and skinny fowl of which I was to
partake afterwards at the Hôtel Grand Bretagne, where they charged me two
francs for a cigar; and where, when I remonstrated, I was told that the
taxes were so high that they could not afford to let me have one for
less.  There are a great many trees about, but they have all a dwarfed
and dried-up appearance.  Far off rises the great Acropolis; you may see
it from the steps of the hotel, and the ruins on its top.  The life of
the streets amuses me.  It is incessant and ever varying.  The soldier is
conspicuous, as he is everywhere on the Continent; priests in black robes
and peculiar black hats are plentiful, grave and black-bearded, though I
am told that in reality they have little hold on the people of Athens.  I
have been in one of the churches, very dark, and with a lot of
ornamentation; and quite a number of people—very old ones—came and
crossed themselves, after the Greek fashion, before a picture just inside
the door.  Ladies are to be seen, few of them with any particular
personal charm, but all in the latest fashions of Paris; and there come
the girls with pigtails.  I see one of the French illustrated newspapers
everywhere.  Among the daily papers published in Athens are the _Ora_
(Hour), the _Plinghensia_ (Regeneration), _Neai Ideai_ (New Idea), _Aion_
(Era), _Toia_ (Morning), and _Telegrafui_ (The Telegram).  The most
curious people you see are the men from the country, with black
waistcoats, white petticoats—I can give them no other name—dark hose, and
antique-looking shoes turned up at the toes and decorated—why, I know
not—with enormous tufts.  The living objects I most pity are the forlorn,
half-starved donkeys, loaded fore and aft with luggage, while in the
centre, on his saddle, is seated his hard-hearted proprietor.  Some of
the shops are fine, but few of the houses are lofty—the most striking
being modern buildings, built on the plan to admit as much air as
possible, and to exclude the light.  But you see no beggars in the
streets, and that is a good sign.  Greece has, as you know, the most
democratic Government of any.  The King, who is not very popular, reigns,
but does not govern.  The real power is in the hands of the Legislative
Chamber—there is no Upper House—consisting of 150 members, all paid for
their services, and elected by means of universal suffrage and the ballot
every four years.  The population of Athens is about 160,000, with the
addition of 3,000 Armenian refugees who have found there a city of
refuge.  Education is free and compulsory, reaching from the lowest
strata to the University, so that every lad of talent has a chance.  If
democracy can make a people happy and content and prosperous, the Greeks
ought to be content.  There must be a good many wealthy men at Athens,
however, whom the democracy have wisely spared.  It is not right to kill
the goose that lays the golden egg, as is desired by some of our

Modern Greece, with the exception of America, is the most republican
Government in existence; at any rate, it is ahead of England in this
respect.  We want, or, rather, some people do, who do not know any
better, to agitate for payment of members.  I object because I have seen
the mischief of paid members in all our colonies, and because when I part
with my scanty cash I like to have value for my money; and as I know the
average M.P., I think he is dear at any price.  The men in office are
bitterly opposed by the men who languish in the cold shade of Opposition,
and that really seems the only line of cleavage.  For instance, if a
Minister proposes that a certain work should be done by a certain number
of horses, the Opposition argue that oxen should be used, and so the
battle rages, for the modern Greek, degenerate though he is, is still as
fond of talk and windy declamation as any long-winded and ambitious M.P.
at home.  Ministers, though appointed by the King, are amenable to the
Chamber, but under this system we do not hear of the great Parliament,
such as we have at home or in Italy or France.

For administrative purposes Greece is divided into sixteen monarchies,
governed by municipalities, who alone have the power to levy rates and
taxes.  These monarchies are divided into eparchies and domarchies, the
later under the control of the mayor, elected by the people.  Thus in
Greece alone, in the Old World, we have government of the people and for
the people.  For purposes of justice there are local courts; five Courts
of Appeal, and a Supreme Court at Athens.  In matters of education,
again, Greece is far ahead of us.  We want to connect the people with the
Universities, so that the poorest lad may have his chance.  In Greece
this result is obtained.  Ample provision is made for the elementary
schools, leading from the lowest strata of society up to the
Universities, free and compulsory—not that the latter provision needs to
be enforced, as naturally there is a great desire for education all over
the land.  The Greek Church is the established one, but any undue zeal on
the part of the priest is held in check both by law and the spirit of
religious toleration.  Among her subjects Greece reckons as many as
25,000 Moslems.

 [Picture: Temple Of Victory.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)]

Passing out of the Piræus, to our right we notice a monument to the
memory of one of the wild heroes of Grecian Independence, whose insolent
followers were a great trouble to our Lord Byron during his fatal sojourn
at Missolonghi.  In due time we arrive within sight of the Temple of
Theseus and the other well known landmarks familiar to the cultivated
reader.  Nevertheless, the approach to Athens is not very interesting, as
we enter through one of its most homely quarters.  The principal modern
institutions are the Polytechnic School, divided into three branches—the
School of Fine Art, the Industrial School, and the Holiday School, where
on Sundays and feast-days instruction is given in writing, elementary
drawing, etc.; there is also a School of Telegraphy.  In the same
neighbourhood is also to be found the Academy of Science; next to the
Academy is the University, adorned with statues of the famous men who
helped to make modern Greece.  The classes at the University are
practically free, and the number of students attending is generally
between 3,000 and 4,000.  The library in connection with the University
has 100,000 volumes.

It is impossible to do justice to the activity of the life in these
parts; there are many steamers in the harbour—I saw two steam away one
morning.  Naples seems a very sleepy place compared to the Piræus.
Little white boats, with leg-of-mutton sails, skim the blue waters of the
harbour all day long, and the men are lean and dark, and wonderfully
active, a great contrast to our English sailors.  Once upon a time,
coming from New York, we called off Portland Bill for a pilot.  It was
midnight, and dark as Erebus, but we all sat up waiting for the pilot, to
hear the English news.  Suddenly there climbed up the ship’s side, and
stood on the deck in the full glare of light, two awful living mountains
of flesh, as fat as beer and bacon could make them—a couple of English
pilots.  We had some skinny American ladies on board, and when they saw
these men they uttered quite an appalling shriek.  They had never seen
such specimens of humanity before.  I own I felt really ashamed of my
fellow-countrymen, and asked myself why on earth men should make
themselves such guys.  Happily, in Australia I lost a couple of stone,
and I have been mercifully preserved from laying on flesh ever since.
Flesh is the great source of human depravity.  With Falstaff, I hold the
more of it the more frailty.

   [Picture: The Parthenon.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)]

And now let me return to Athens, the Acropolis of which I see in all its
glory, and on which by night lights gleam that you can see in the
harbour, crowning the belt of bright lamps which by night glorify the
whole front of the town.  They show you Mars’ Hill, where Paul preached
the unknown God; the porch of the Erechtheum, sacred to the olive-tree,
brought to Greece by Athene; and the Parthenon, which still attests the
genius of Phidias.  Of Athens it may be said:

    ‘Her shores are those whence many a mighty bard
       Caught inspiration glorious in their beams;
    Her hills the same that heroes died to guard,
       Her vales that fostered Art’s divinest dreams.’

Modern Athens is bright and cheerful, the shops gay and lofty, with
well-known Greek names.  The latter remark also applies to the streets.
The hotels are magnificent.  The Hôtel d’Angleterre is well spoken of,
and the dragoman Apostoles will be found an intelligent servant, who will
arrange for the traveller who is disposed to make an excursion in the
Morea for food, lodging, mules or horses at a reasonable rate.  The Hôtel
Grand Bretagne, just opposite the palace—and a far finer building to look
at—is about as good a hotel as I was ever in.  The rooms seem awfully
dark as you enter from the glare of the ever-shining sun, but the rooms
are lofty, well ventilated, and everywhere you have marble floors and
marble columns, and the feeding is good, considering what a parched-up
land Greece is, and how dried-up its beef and skinny its poultry.  I have
seen cheaper hotels in Athens, such as the Hôtel des Iles Ionienic, the
proprietor of which, a Greek from Corfu, strongly recommended it to me;
but on the whole, in such a place as Athens, I should think it preferable
to pay a little more for the comfort of a first-class hotel, even though
it may make one indifferent to the ‘Laurels’ or the ‘Cedars’ of his own
native land.

How to live rationally is an art the majority of Englishmen have not yet
acquired.  I leave Athens with regret; its people are all industrious.
At any rate, there are no beggars in its streets; and if this be the
result of its democratic Government, so much the better for the coming
democracy, which, whether we like it or not, is sure to rule at home.
Here the Government is popular, and the people are content.  Manufactures
are almost unknown.  They have a woollen factory at Athens, and a
cotton-mill in the Piræus, and there must be a busy agricultural
population, as a good deal of the land between the Piræus and the capital
is laid out in market-gardens.  I am troubled as I think of our great
cities, with their vices and slums.  I hold, with the poet, God made the
country and man the town.

It is a chequered history, that of Athens.  Once it was occupied by the
Goths.  The Romans fortified it; but the ancient walls, which had been
strengthened by Sylla, were unequal to its defence, and the barbarians
became masters of the noble seats of the Muses and the Arts.  Zosimus
tells us that the walls of Athens were guarded by the goddess Minerva,
with her formidable ægis, and by the angry phantom of Achilles, and that
the conqueror was dismayed by the presence of the hostile gods of Greece.
Yet, nevertheless, Alaric a second time mastered the city by means of his
barbarian troops.  It is wonderful that any remains of the Athens of its
prime exist.  As it is, it requires a good deal of enthusiasm to ‘do’ its
ruins, with which photography has long made the world familiar.  The
glory of the Parthenon, however, remains.  Gibbon tells us in the sack of
Athens the Goths had collected all the libraries, and were about to set
fire to them, when one of the chiefs, of more refined policy than his
brethren, dissuaded them from the design by the profound observation that
as long as the Greeks were exercised in the study of books they would
never apply themselves to the exercise of arms.  But, as Gibbon writes,
the Gothic arms were less fatal to the schools of Athens than the
establishment of a new religion, whose masters resolved every question
into an article of faith, and condemned the infidel to eternal flames.
For centuries Athens had flourished by means of her schools.  After the
settlement of the Roman Empire, it was filled with scholars from every
part of the known world, even including students from Britain.  In the
suburbs of the city tradition still lingered of the Academy of the
Platonists, the Lycæum of the Peripatetics, the Portico of the Stoics,
and the Garden of Epicurus.  The Attic schools of rhetoric and philosophy
maintained their reputation from the Peloponnesian war to the reign of
Justinian.  It was he who suppressed the school which had given so many
sages to mankind, and whose influences have quickened and invigorated the
human intellect ever since.  The art of oratory may soon be held to be
almost a doubtful boon—at any rate, so far as senates and parliaments are
concerned.  It was not so when the eloquence of Demosthenes

             ‘shook the arsenal,
    And fulmined over Greece.’

Some of my fellow-passengers made their way to Eleusis, but they came
back disappointed, and covered with dust.  It was enough for me to study
the life of the streets—full of soldiers and black-robed priests.

The traveller who, remembering the long period of Turkish sway, counts on
receiving an Oriental impression from the aspect of Athens is doomed to
disappointment.  Even the national garb is fast disappearing.  It may
still be worn by a few elderly Athenians.  These, and a peasant here and
there selling milk or cheese, recall the day when their dress was the
national one.  The wide blue trousers of the Ægean islanders are not less
rare, nor is there much chance of seeing them at the Piræus, among the
craft from the various islands moored along the quays.  The uglier and
cheaper product of the slop-shop has replaced the picturesque drapery of
the olden time.

Sooner or later Athens is sure to become a winter resort not less
favoured than any on the Mediterranean, and the permanent home of many
foreigners.  The opinion thus confidently expressed is strengthened by
the fact that few who have lived for some length of time within its gates
pass out of them without regret, or fail to re-enter them with pleasure.
At any rate, so writes a learned American.

A gentleman has written explaining that Greece is bankrupt because she is
so small.  He says that out of 5,000,000 Greeks who rose in 1821 against
the Turk, less than 1,000,000 were allowed to form part of the Hellenic
kingdom.  The obvious reply to this is, Why don’t they go and live in
Greece if they really want to?  Nobody forces them to live elsewhere, and
they can hardly be waiting till Constantinople, Asia Minor and Cyprus are
added to King George’s kingdom.  The truth is that in business Greek
would rather not meet Greek; there is more money in meeting somebody
else.  The rich Greeks will always be found outside Greece.



I am in Constantinople, founded 658 B.C. by Byza, King of Megara, after
whom it was called Byzantium.  After some hundreds of years it fell into
the hands of the Romans, who, like the Scotch, kept everything they could
lay their hands on; and then came Constantine the Great, whose mother,
some people say, lived in East Anglia, who enlarged and beautified the
city, built the Hippodrome (one of the wonders of the place), and would
have made it the capital of his enormous empire.  No one can blame the
Emperor for preferring Constantinople to Rome.

The city soon became worthy to be the seat of empire.  It commanded from
its seven hills the opposite shores of Asia and Europe.  The climate was
healthy, the soil fertile, and the harbour capacious and secure.  The
Bosphorus and the Hellespont were its two gates, which could always be
shut against a hostile fleet.  A hundred years after its foundation, a
writer, quoted by Gibbon, describes it as possessing a school of
learning, a circus, two theatres, eight public and a hundred and
fifty-three private baths, fifty-two porticos, five granaries, eight
aqueducts, four spacious halls for the meetings of the senate and courts
of justice, fourteen churches, fourteen palaces, and four thousand three
hundred private houses, which from their size and beauty deserved to be
distinguished from the multitude of plebeian buildings.  Successive wars
and invasions impaired the wealth and the magnificence of the city.  Of
the time of Constantine little remains but the ruins of the Hippodrome.
The Christian Church of St. Sophia, which he erected to the Eternal
Wisdom, and from the pulpit of which Gregory of Nazianzen and Chrysostom
the golden-mouthed thundered, was burnt in the reign of Justinian, and
his Church of St. Sophia is now a Turkish mosque.  The city was the seat
and centre of the controversies originated in Alexandria as to the nature
of the Trinity, and its rival factions, the Greens and the Blues, were
ever ready to engage in bloody and disastrous conflict.  As a rule, a
man’s zeal is according to his ignorance, and at Constantinople the
meanest mechanics spent most of their time in discussing mysteries of
which the acutest intellects can never even form an adequate idea, and
which no human creed can properly define and express.  The Crusaders, who
knew little of these matters, seem to have been quite awestruck when they
made their way to Constantinople.  ‘That such a city could be in the
world,’ writes one of the old chroniclers, ‘they had never conceived, and
they were never weary of staring at the high walls and towers with which
it was entirely compassed; the rich palaces and lofty churches, of which
there were so many that no one could have believed it if he had not seen
with his own eyes that city—the queen of all cities.’

There are few places naturally so picturesque—no city where the suburbs
are so charming.  One never wearies of Scutari, Gallipoli, washed by the
splendid waters of the Sea of Marmora, the Bosphorus, or those of that
magnificent harbour, the Golden Horn, which extends eight miles, and
affords an anchorage for a fleet of twelve hundred vessels.  Indeed,
whether viewed from sea or land, or from such a wonderful standpoint as
the marble tower of the Seraskierat, Constantinople on its seven hills,
divided as it were between Europe and Asia, presents a marvellous display
of scenic beauty.  You gaze on stately white palaces, surrounded by
domes, towers, cupolas, standing amidst tier above tier of many-coloured
dwellings, surrounded on all sides by graceful masses of dark cypresses
and sombre pines.  High above all rises the grand marble mosque of St.
Sophia, resplendent with mosaics, and sending up heavenwards its lofty
minarets, whence five times a day the cry of the muezzin calls the world
to prayer.  As you look and admire, you feel, with the poet,

    ‘That every prospect pleases,
       And only man is vile’—

that is, ever since the Turk has been there.  And thus it appears that
Constantinople has been, socially and politically, a centre of
abominations.  It was in 1453 that Mahomet II. took it as his own, and it
is there that the unspeakable Turk has ever since remained, and mainly in
consequence of English diplomacy and the prodigal expenditure of English
treasure and blood.  The climax was reached in the days of Lord Stratford
de Redcliffe—the Great Elchi, as he was termed.  He insisted on reforms,
and the Sultan granted them.  He insisted that all religions should be
equal in the eye of the law, and the precious boon was at once declared.
[Picture: A busy street in Constantinople.  (From a photograph)] Under
the pressure of the Great Elchi, the Sultan issued a proclamation,
stating his desire of renewing and enlarging the numerous improvements
suggested in his institutions, with a view of making them worthy of the
place which his empire held among civilized nations.  He was anxious, he
said, to promote the happiness of his people, who in his sight were all
equal and equally dear.  ‘Every distinction or designation tending to
make any class of subjects of my empire inferior to any other class on
account of their religion, language, or race shall be for ever effaced.’
No one was to be hindered in future on account of his religious creed; no
one was to be compelled to change his religion.  Such was the spirit of
the famous _hatti Humayun_ of 1856.  Then came the Treaty of Paris, to
destroy the influence of England in the East.  The French cared nothing
for Turkish reform, and have cared nothing ever since.  Bulgarian
atrocities, murder and massacre in Cyprus, murder and massacre on a
larger scale in Armenia or wherever Armenians are gathered together—of
these things the gay world of Paris takes little heed, except when an
occasion offers to sneer at John Bull.  What cares La Belle France, so
long as it has its boulevards and theatres, for the deadly sufferings of
any nationality?  When did it ever fight for men and women dying by the
thousand—ay, tens of thousands, under the despotic sway of a Sultan Abdul
Hamid?  France does not fight; its aim is to sneer at others and to
glorify itself, to make better people as heartless, as cynical, as
frivolous as itself.  And are we much better—we, whose people, and
nobles, and courtiers, and statesmen, and princes, have just done
throwing themselves under the feet of [Picture: A Mosque on the
Bosphorus.  (From a photograph by Frith and Co., Reigate)] the Czar?
Yes, but John Bull can act when he has a mind—that is, when he has his
inferiors to deal with.  It was beautiful when we brought Greece on her
knees over the Don Pacifico affair!  How bitterly we made China pay for
her attack on the _Arrow_!  How we settled the would-be Sultan of
Zanzibar!  How we have smitten the Dervishes hip and thigh!  When I was
in Ceylon, I had an interesting interview with Arabi Pasha.  I left him
hoping, and that is what we all do as regards Turkish affairs—hoping for
what never comes.

In the Dardanelles we make our first acquaintance with the Turk.  He
arrives in a small steamer, with a crew of men wearing the red fez, and
at the stern of his boat floats the red flag of Turkey, bearing the
crescent.  He gives us permission to pursue our way past the forts on
either side at the mouth and along the Dardanelles, at the entrance to
which point are lying off on our right the far-famed plains of windy
Troy.  I see also a couple of ironclads, but of what nationality I cannot
exactly make out.  We are soon out of the Dardanelles, and at Gallipoli,
the last town on the European side, and we enter the Sea of Marmora.  In
current language, Constantinople includes Stamboul, Galata, and its
suburbs, which stretch up both sides of the Bosphorus.  Galata, the
mercantile and shipping quarter, occupies the point and slopes at the
right-hand side of the Golden Horn.

Constantinople looks best at a distance.  It is true here that distance
lends enchantment to the view.  Outside it glitters with magnificence.
Inside it is foul and beastly, with pavements detestable to walk along or
drive, with ruins at every corner, and with refuse [Picture: The Quay,
Constantinople.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)] lying to
fester in the blazing sun all day long—certainly a remarkable
illustration of what Lord Palmerston affirmed, that dirt was only matter
in the wrong place.  If you drive you are choked with dust, and the
streets are by no means broad enough for the constant business and
bustle.  Enter the mosques, and you are astonished at their grandeur and
the air of desolation and neglect all round.  On the waters you miss the
gay caique, now superseded by the steam-ferries, ever vomiting clouds of
sulphurous smoke.  In the city you see the tramcar, a very shabby one,
doing a roaring trade.  Down by the harbour you see the police, well
armed and in small detachments, carefully guarding the streets.  The men,
with the exception of the red fez, mostly wear the European costume.  The
women you see in the streets are old and ugly, and, happily, veiled, so
that you see nothing of their ugliness but the nose and eyes.  Some of
the little urchins and girls are very bright-looking, but I fancy they
are mostly Greeks.  The Turkish boy of the middle class seemed to me very
heavy, but, however that may be, he develops into a fine man, with a
grand dark face and powerful nose, and looks especially well when on his
Arab steed—small, but active and strong, as if he were born to drive
everyone before him.  Alas! in his little shop he seems very listless and
apathetic, but the man in the street is very pertinacious, and I have
just bought an elegant walking-stick for half a crown, after being asked
four shillings, which I hold to be the cheapest bargain I have made for
some time.

We are quite mistaken in England as to the safety of walking the streets
in Constantinople.  I heard of a row last night, but by day the streets
are quite as secure as they are in London.  One thing that astonishes me
is the utter ignorance of the people of what is going on outside
respecting Turkish affairs, and the action, if any, of the diplomatists.
You never hear a word on the subject.  To sell seems to be the only aim
of the Turk.  The shops are prodigious.  In London their owners would be
a great middle class, and form an enlightened public opinion.  Here they
do nothing of the kind, and there is not a street that has a decent
pavement nor a corner that is not a dunghill.  There seems to be no
attempt at improvement.  The dogs—very much like Australian dingoes—bark
and bite all day and howl all night.  Confusion and decay seem to reign
paramount.  Now and then you come to an open space—as at the old
slave-market, the mosques, and the Hippodrome, where a few trees, chiefly
acacias, manage to live, and then you plunge into Holywell Street as it
existed half a century back, and all is darkness and dirt again.

Constantinople seems to live chiefly on corn imported from Roumelia and
Bulgaria; but they say they are going to open up Asia Minor by means of
railways, and the wheat-grower there will then have his chance.  There
are few liquor-shops, but many for the sale of lemon-and-water and grapes
and melons.  In many a shop I see Sunlight Soap and the biscuits of
Huntley and Palmer and Peek and Frean.  The donkeys and horses have an
awful time of it as they go along the narrow streets, with panniers on
each side, which appear to get in everyone’s way.  Then comes a rickety
waggon, drawn by two big oxen, which seem as if they must grind the
pedestrian to powder.  Then follows the porter, perspiring and bending
under his heavy load, and the aged crone, more or less veiled, as if she
had—which she has not, unhappily—a glimpse of female charm to display.
Now and then you meet a priest with his red-and-white turban and long
brown robe, and if you make your way into a mosque—and they are all worth
visiting—there, in a little wooden recess, seated cross-legged on an
Indian mat, you will find a priest or devout layman by himself, repeating
verses of the Koran.  The mosques are grotesque outside, but inspiring
from their size inside.

Constantinople is not the place to come to on a hot November day, and the
commercial port is, I hold, utterly unfit for shipping.  We have a good
deal of diarrhoea on board, nor can you wonder, when you remember that
into this one spot flows all the filth and sewage of Galata.  It is worse
than Naples; it is worse than Athens, and that is saying a good deal.
Coleridge’s Cologne, with its numerous stenches, is nothing to it.  If
there be any truth in sanitary science, there must be an awful waste of
life in these parts.  Here we hear not a whisper of the Turkish crisis,
or of the driving out of the Turk, ‘bag and baggage,’ as Lord Stratford
de Redcliffe wrote fifty years before Mr. Gladstone adopted the
celebrated phrase.  Be that as it may, Constantinople gives you an idea
of a densely-populated city.  It is with real difficulty that you make
your way anywhere.  The fat official Turk, who dines in some gorgeous
palace—and the place is full of them—and drives in his brougham and pair,
may have an easy time of it; but the majority of the inhabitants, in
their narrow shops and darkened houses, must have a bad time of it.  I
sigh for the wings of a dove, that I may fly away and be at rest.  Under
this pestiferous atmosphere and bright, blazing sun, it is impossible to
do anything but sleep; but that is not easy in one’s small cabin,
floating on this wide waste of sewage.  There seems nothing to amuse the
people.  In the course of my peregrinations I met with but one minstrel,
and he was far away.  Next to the mosques, the coolest place I have yet
visited is the new museum, with a [Picture: Galata Bridge,
Constantinople.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)] fine
collection of Greek and Roman and Egyptian antiquities; but I am no
friend to a hurried visit to a museum, which leaves the mind rather
confused and uninformed.  As yet I have made no attempt to penetrate into
the mysteries of the harem.  For one thing, I am rather past that sort of
thing.  But if I may judge from what I have seen outside the harem, there
can be but little to tempt one to enter within; and with the poet I
exclaim, ‘Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.’

I fancy we are most of us tired of Constantinople.  To me it is a place
where a little sight-seeing goes a long way.  Our gallant captain, on the
contrary, tells me that he could put in three months here very well.  As
it is, there are about 2,000 English here, to say nothing of naturalized
Greeks and Maltese.  I suppose Constantinople is not a bad place for a
short residence.  The hotels are good, and in some you may have a bedroom
for four francs a day.  Provisions are not dear, but house-rent is very
expensive.  The population of the place is dense, at which I wonder, as
Constantinople seems to me the most unhealthy city I have ever seen.  The
only nuisances are the guides, who will persist in following you
everywhere, and whose knowledge of English and of the things you really
want to know is very limited.  For instance, I passed two obelisks one
day.  I asked my guide about them.  ‘They come from Egypt,’ was his
reply.  I could have told him as much myself.

If you need rest, seek it not in Constantinople, with its noisy crowds by
day and its noisy dogs by night; seek it not in its narrow streets, where
horses and asses and big bullocks, dragging along the most rickety of
waggons, are ever to be seen; seek it not as you drive along its uneven
and disgracefully-paved streets.  The mosques are cool and spacious—there
you may rest; but if there is a service, you are not permitted to remain
unless you are a Mohammedan.  One advantage of the mosques is that there
is generally a large open space attached to them, where people can wash
themselves and also hold a market.  People seem to [Picture: An old
street, Constantinople.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)] do
much as they like, as they talk and smoke and play cards, and indulge in
coffee or lemon-and-water.  I have never yet seen a drunken man or—what
is worse—a drunken woman, and yet an English lady, a clergyman’s wife,
told me that she only went on shore once, and was so shocked that she
resolved never to set foot in the place again.  The people were so
degraded; the poor porters were so overburdened; and, then, they were all
such awful idolaters.  I presume the lady knows nothing of parts of
London where worse sights are to be seen every day.

The Bosphorus is beautiful beyond description.  It beats the Rhine, it
beats the American Hudson; indeed, it is the grandest panorama in the
world.  At its back rise the green wooded hills, and the front is lined
with pleasant villas and palaces—white or yellow, built in Turkish
fashion, with innumerable windows everywhere.  There must be great wealth
in the district to build and support such places.  Everywhere there is a
great appearance of religion.  Go into a mosque any hour you will, and
you see a priest or layman sitting in a quiet corner, fenced with a
wooden rail, cross-legged, repeating the Koran.  One of the oddest sights
I saw in the grand Mosque of St. Sophia was that of an old-fashioned
London clock.  One of my troubles as I explored the mosque—the floor of
which is lined with Indian matting—was to keep on my Turkish slippers.
An attendant who followed me had to stoop down every minute to put them
on, that I might not reveal the deck-shoes which I wore inside.  A
gentleman who had visited the mosque told me that on one occasion, when
he took off a pair of new boots there which he was wearing, he never saw
them again.

It is wonderful how cheap provisions are: beef, threepence a pound;
bread, a halfpenny; grapes, a halfpenny; fowls for sevenpence; and
mountains of melons everywhere.  There is free education, and an abundant
supply of schools.  The labouring classes are well employed.  The English
here are chiefly merchants or agents or engineers.  On our way back we
pass that favourite resort of the Turkish holiday-makers—the Valley of
Sweet Waters—and have a good view of the hospital at Scutari, built by
Florence Nightingale—now utilized as barracks—and of the monuments in
front of the cemetery in memory of the British officers and soldiers who
died during the Crimean War.

It is a relief to us all to get back into the Dardanelles and sail over
the spot where Xerxes built his famous bridge, the narrow strait across
which Leander swam nightly to visit his lady-love—a feat performed by our
great poet Byron at a later age—and wander in fancy as we again catch
sight of the plains of Troy, the spot where the Greek hero Protesilaus
first struck the Trojan strand, and thus gave occasion to our Wordsworth
to write his immortal poem—a poem that will be read and admired when all
the puny poets of the present age are dead and forgotten.  Out in the
Ægean Sea the weather is almost cool and delightfully refreshing, just
like a fine morning in spring at home.  The first isle of any importance
we make is Tenedos, behind which, on the mainland, lies Troas, visited by
the Apostle Paul.  To the north lies Besika Bay, where once the French
and English fleets assembled prior to their passage of the Dardanelles,
and where the British fleet, under Admiral Hornby, lay in 1887–88 during
the Russo-Turkish War.  Next we reach the ancient Lectum, the most
westernly point of Asia, and get a glimpse of the beautiful island of
Mitylene, the ancient Lesbos.  Mitylene, on the east coast, is prettily
situated, and does a considerable trade.  There are few remains of the
ancient city.  The island has 115,000 inhabitants, mostly Greeks.



I write now from one of the most ancient cities in the world.  There is a
wonderful lot of ancient history in these parts.  The mind quite staggers
under the ever-accumulating load of facts and figures and legends.  The
Æolians, who founded on this site the first Greek city, claimed it as the
birthplace of Homer.  It was there that his poetry flourished; then,
under the successors of Alexander, it became celebrated for its schools
of science and medicine.  Christianity early made its way into Smyrna,
which has enjoyed the reputation of being one of the Seven Churches of
Asia alluded to in Revelation.  It was there that Polycarp suffered
martyrdom, and it is there they still show you, or profess to show you,
his tomb.  Defended by the Knights of Rhodes, Smyrna fell when Timur, the
terrible Mogul, appeared before it and put all that breathed to the
sword.  As it was, I felt satisfied and charmed with modern Smyrna, and
did not climb the hill behind on which stands the ruins of a castle, and
where brigands still lie in wait for the unwary traveller.  Nor did I
take the train to Ephesus, a run of nearly two hours, to wander under the
hot sun and amidst the rough winds to see what remains, amidst bushes and
rocks and cornfields, of ancient Ephesus—notwithstanding the fact that
there Christian synods have been held, and that in a cave adjoining slept
those marvellous Seven Sleepers; that there stood the temple of the
goddess Diana, whose worshippers the great Apostle of the Gentiles woke
up to cry excitedly for the craft by which they lived.  It is a scene of
desolation, which certainly does not repay the ordinary tourist the
trouble of a visit.

But I revelled in Smyrna—one of the brightest, cleanest, and most
prosperous cities under Turkish sway.  Its white houses, chiefly hotels
and restaurants and theatres, line the bay, with dense shipping in the
forefront, while the mountains behind, up the slopes of which modern
Smyrna is gradually planting herself, act as guard and shelter.  At the
time of my visit there stretched across the bay quite an imposing display
of ironclads of all nations—American, English, Italian, French—and it
made me shudder to think of them bombarding this scene of life and gaiety
and spreading terror amongst its hard-working people.  A tramway runs
along the whole front of the city for about a couple of miles, and, as
you stand thinking of the wonders of modern civilization, you hear a bell
tinkle, and see half a dozen camels laden with sacks of grain striding
past, generally led by a man on a donkey.  Sometimes the donkey had no
rider, and yet the patient camel followed all the same.  It was intensely
amusing: the contrast between the little donkey leading and the big camel
behind.  It set me thinking of the many parallel passages in modern
history—of parties, Churches, States, led by donkeys.  Smyrna has an
enormous bazaar, into which it is easier to find one’s way than to get
out.  It has fine mosques and handsome Greek churches.  It shelters the
ships and people of all nations, but my chief delight was to watch the
string of camels as they ever came and went.  Even in the narrow passages
of the bazaar there were the camels, and it was all you could do to get
out of the way of these grand animals, for such they were.

 [Picture: The Gate of Persecution, near Ephesus.  (From a photograph by
                           Fradelle and Young)]

One place that I visited much interested me.  It was the Sailors’ Rest on
the quay, a fine room with a library and reading-room, where the sailors
come and go, and where they are supplied with refreshments of a
non-intoxicating character, carried on in connection with the Greek
Evangelical Alliance, founded in Smyrna in 1883.  Depression in business,
and consequent poverty and other causes, such as the declining number of
British merchants who come to Smyrna, ousted, I presume, by more
enterprising rivals, and troubles in the interior, have hindered the
work, which, however, is successfully carried on.  The average attendance
last year was: Sunday morning service, 83; afternoon, 59; Tuesday
prayer-meeting, 41; Gospel service at the Rest, 50.  At the Sunday-school
the average attendance has been about 60.  Owing to the shifting
population of Smyrna, many of the church members have become scattered in
many lands.  The bitterest enemies of the work are the members of the
Orthodox Greek Church, who have no sympathy with an Evangelical Alliance
of any kind, and care not a rap for the union of the Churches.  As an
illustration, take the following: ‘In 1895 it was expected that the
official permit for the building of a chapel on a site assigned by
Government would be granted to the Evangelicals.  In fact, in the middle
of January permission was granted for the opening of the school, but the
local authorities, desiring to avoid any possible outbreak on the part of
‘the Orthodox,’ tried to bring about a friendly compromise.  It was all
in vain, the Orthodox declaring that they would listen to no terms unless
the Evangelicals were entirely thrust out from the central quarter of the
town, and that they would never allow the chapel to be built or the site
prepared for it.  Thus foiled, the Evangelicals opened their school, but
‘the Orthodox’ attacked the building with stones, defacing it almost
entirely, and quite destroying all the furniture within.  The result was
that the Evangelicals had to commence their labours anew elsewhere.
After two months’ labour the ire of the Orthodox was again aroused; they
drove out the workmen, pulled down part of the walls, and finally
remained masters of the situation.  It is true that fifteen of the
Orthodox were imprisoned, but the Evangelicals were advised to leave the
situation also, and to remove to some other site more acceptable to their
opponents.  This advice the Evangelicals refused to accept, and, after a
long delay, by the personal efforts and goodwill of the new Turkish
Governor the building was restored.  Orthodoxy seemed to be a sad
stumbling-block in the way of good work everywhere.  The Sailors’ Rest at
Smyrna may be much aided by British Christians, both by presents of books
or by pecuniary contributions.  During the last year it seems that 229
visits have been paid to ships, 64 bags of books sent out, 20 pledges
taken.  I fear there is a good deal of drunkenness in Smyrna.  Seven
thousand six hundred visits have been made in the year by sailors to the
Rest, 797 have attended the meetings, 676 Bibles, Testaments, and
portions have been given away, and many were the letters sent home by
sailors from the Rest.  It seems to me that it might be kept open a
little later at night with advantage, as I find it is the fashion to keep
many of the drinking-shops open all night.  The work among the Greeks has
been reviving, and it is regarded as hopeful.  The meetings are well
attended, and especially so the Wednesday evening meeting in the Corner
Room at the Rest.  This meeting is described as the fishing-net of the
Greek work, as many of those who became regular attendants at the other
services held in the American Chapel began at the Rest.  At Smyrna our
American fellow-passengers hear the result of the Presidential contest in
America, and greatly rejoice.  Their country is saved—at any rate, this
time.  Local lines of steamers run from Smyrna to Messina and Beirut,
touching at all the important coast towns and at several of the islands,
at which we have a peep, such as Cos, the birthplace of Hippocrates;
Halicarnassus, where Herodotus was born, and where stood the famous
mausoleum, one of the wonders of the world; and Rhodes, far-famed.  But
we may not tarry even in order to gratify such a laudable curiosity; no,
not even at Cyprus, which has prospered so much under English rule.  It
is enough for us to have explored Smyrna, a city which in every way, as
regards cleanliness in the streets and the absence of abominable smells,
is a great improvement on Constantinople.  It has a population of nearly
half a million, of which less than one-fourth is Moslem, and more than
half Greek.  There are large Armenian and Jewish colonies, that of the
Jews, of course, being the most squalid, unhealthy and debased.  The town
is governed by a municipality.  Europeans are under the jurisdiction of
their consuls.  Its gas lights beamed on us brilliantly as we steamed out
in the dark into the open sea.  The one nuisance of Smyrna are the boys,
who go to learn English at the schools taught by the missionaries, and
these persistently pester you to be taken on as guides.  The professional
guides are nuisance enough, but these boys are infinitely worse.



You see nothing of Jerusalem till you get inside the city, and to enjoy a
visit requires a greater enthusiasm than any to which I can lay claim.
We were safely landed at Jaffa, which by this time ought to have a more
decent landing-place; thence, after a glance at the house where Simon the
Tanner carried on business, I made my way—along tortuous roads, more or
less blocked with stones and rubbish, and more or less exposed to a
burning sun—to the station, whence we were to start for Jerusalem, a hot
ride of nearly four hours in railway-carriages of very second-rate
quality.  The land about Jaffa is fertile and well cultivated; fig-trees
and olive-trees and orange-groves are abundant, and at Jaffa the chief
business seemed to be packing them in boxes for export.  At one
particular spot our conductor told us that it was there that Samson set
the cornfields of the Philistines on fire.  Certainly the ground seemed
dry and baked up enough.  Then Arithmea was reached.  On our way we got
our first sight of a native village, built of mud huts, into which it
seemed difficult to find an entrance.  A Kaffir village is infinitely to
be preferred.  The scene of desolation was complete.  On the neighbouring
rocks nothing was to be seen but flocks of goats.  A little fairer scene
opened on us as we passed the neat German colony that has settled down
here, almost under the shadow of the walls of Jerusalem.  Then the
terminus is gained, and we are whirled in a cloud of dust, in rickety
carriages, driven by their hoarsely-shouting drivers at full gallop, all
of us white as millers, being clothed with dust.  I wash at Howard’s
Hotel, swallow a cup of tea, and, as we do not dine till six, make my way
into Jerusalem by the Jaffa Gate.  A little of Jerusalem goes a long way.
It is dark and stifling, swarming with people and camels and asses, and
noisy beyond description.  A sort of Rag Fair, only with a few touches of
the East, such as a veiled woman, or a stately Turk in turban and flowing
robes, or a black-coated, black-bearded Greek priest, or a low row of
shopkeepers, sitting patiently in their dark and tiny shops, thrown in.
You must keep moving, or you will be run over by a donkey or a camel,
for, as the country round Jerusalem grows nothing, the necessaries of
life have all to be brought from a distance.  My respected countrymen and
countrywomen are in a state of gush all the while, not to be wondered at
when you think of the Jerusalem of David, and Solomon, and Jesus Christ.
As it is in reality, I own I see very little to gush about.  I reach the
Via Dolorosa—there is no trace of Christ there; I pass the Church of the
Sepulchre and the mosque which marks the site where Solomon built his
Temple.  I think of the royal Psalmist who here poured forth the wailings
of his heart in language which has formed the penitential chant of all
the ages.  But if I would see the Christ I must get out of this city, all
crammed with lies and living upon lies.  I muse by myself in the Garden
of Gethsemane; I climb the Mount of Olives.  It is outside the city, away
from [Picture: Jerusalem: via Dolorosa and Pontius Pilate’s House] its
old and new churches, that I see the living Christ and Calvary, and feel
how true it is that

    ‘Each soul redeemed from sin and death
       Must know its Calvary.’

I have had enough of Jerusalem.  My fellow-travellers leave me to go to
Jericho.  I have no wish to be sent to Jericho, and prefer to remain
under the grateful shelter of my hotel, just outside the Jaffa Gate.
What strikes me most is the prosperity of the place.  It is growing fast,
in spite of Turkish rule.  The people are robbed by the tax-collectors;
nevertheless, the place gains, and the population outside the city walls
is quite as great as that within.  One reason, of course, is that wealthy
Christians in England and America spend large sums of money in keeping up
proselytizing establishments here, and in erecting fine buildings for the
same end.  Of course we have a Bishop here, but he is High Church, and
seems, from all I hear, more inclined to bridge over the gulf between his
Church and the Greek than to promote general and undenominational
Christian work.  The number of poor Jews is enormous.  They come here
from all parts of the world to die in the Sacred City, and have many
charities established on their behalf.  The Britisher has this
advantage—that he pays no taxes.  The Jew is not permitted to hold a bit
of land unless he has been a resident here five years.  The Turk holds
Jerusalem to be a sacred city only second to Mecca.  No wonder, then,
that the nations have fought bitterly for the possession of its so-called
sacred shrines; no wonder that Christians from all parts of the world
hasten to Jerusalem, and that you meet in the streets and shops and
hotels such a mixture of men and women—brought by excursion-parties from
London—as, perhaps, you have never seen before, and, perchance, may wish
never to see again.  I suppose it has ever been so.  Those old Crusaders
must have been rather a mixed lot.  As it is, [Picture: View from St.
Stephen’s Gate, with Russian Church and Garden of Gethsemane] the Russian
Church seems most in evidence.  It has spent, apparently, a great deal of
money in building purposes.  Its new church, half-way up the Mount of
Olives, is one of the finest buildings to be seen outside the walls.  The
Russian is wily; he knows what he is about—at any rate, better than many
of his rivals in the race for empire.

I think most of my party are getting tired of Jerusalem—even the clergy,
of whom we have many.  Exertion of any kind is painful on these dusty
highways and under this blazing sun.  There has been no rain for six
months, and the Jews in the synagogue are praying for it daily, and yet
it seems as far off as ever.  One thing that is really enjoyable is the
cool splendour of these cloudless skies by night.  I have seen the moon
rise in many lands, but never—no, not even under the Southern Cross—a
moon so full, so fair, so bright, as that of Judæa, as it throws its
silvery light over old walls and peasants’ huts, on hill and dale—I may
not say ancient ruins, for all is new outside Jerusalem, and as regards
most of the city a similar remark may be made.  For Saracen and Roman
have devastated and destroyed entirely the real Jerusalem, which is now
only being disinterred by the labours of the agents of the Palestine
Exploration Fund, of whom Dr. Bliss is the chief.

The Jews preponderate everywhere, apparently poor and depressed.  The
real Turk, sleek and well robed, is an imposing figure, but the
dragomans—chiefly Greeks, or of the Greek Church—are active and
intelligent, and very ready to use their English, of which, apparently,
they have but an imperfect knowledge.  The Jews speak the common dialect
of the country, but are taught Hebrew in the many schools established for
their benefit.  The food displayed in their cook-shops is, however, by no
means tempting, and nowhere, unless it be at such an international hotel
as that of Chevalier Howard, is the commissariat department very strong.
But we have clean, cool, delightful bedrooms.  And Mr. Chevalier himself
is a remarkably intelligent and active man, and offers the traveller
facilities for excursions such as he can find nowhere else.  When one
thinks of Palestine and the place it fills in the world’s history, it is
hard to realize what a small extent of country it contains.  Its length
is about 200 miles, and its average breadth 75 miles.  On one side is the
Mediterranean Sea, and on the other the desert plain of Arabia.  A
mountain range runs through it from north to south.  Its chief rivers are
the Jordan, the Litany, the Abana, and the Pharpar.  I fancy it is better
to come here in the spring than in the autumn.



The three principal sights in Jerusalem are the Mosque of Omar, now
standing on the site of Solomon’s Temple, the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre, and the Muristan, which is the conglomerate remains of
numerous edifices raised on the same spot in the course of ages, from
Charlemagne to Saladin, but named from the madhouse built there by the
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
should be visited in the sunniest part of the day, as the interior is
awfully dark.  It may be that it is what it assumes to be.  There are
people who doubt this, as they do everything; but here countless pilgrims
in all ages have come to pray and weep, and have kissed every stone and
shrine to be seen within the sacred precincts.  I have read somewhere how
a young lady from the country came to town to hear the immortal Siddons,
then in the zenith of her fame.  As soon as the performance began, the
young lady began to weep immediately.  ‘If you weep in this way,’ said a
gentleman to her, ‘you will have no tears to shed when the real Siddons
appears.’  The same feeling occurs to you in Jerusalem.  One is never
sure that the people are wailing and weeping at the right place.  People
seem there so much taken up with the dead Christ that they are actually
in danger of forgetting the living one, who speaks to us to-day as when
He lifted up His Divine voice in the crowded streets of Jerusalem or
beneath the proud pillars of the Temple itself.

The question has long been discussed whether the traditional site on
which stands the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the true one.  The
matter turns upon the course of the city walls in the time of Christ.
All are agreed that wherever the sepulchre was, it was without the gate,
and not within Jerusalem.  From the Gospels we learn that the tomb was
rock-hewn, and that it was nigh the place of the Crucifixion.  Major
Conder’s excavations have almost conclusively proved that the traditional
site was without the circuit of the city wall, and though the point
cannot be considered as quite settled, there are very strong grounds for
believing that the site was elsewhere.  By the common consent of experts,
the true site has been found a short distance north-east from the
Damascus gate of the present city on the rocky knoll immediately above
the Jeremiah Grotto of our Bible map.  Indirectly, the so-called Jeremiah
Grotto contributes some support to the modern identification.  It is the
spot where executions by stoning were carried out.  The locality General
Gordon brought into notice as the Holy Sepulchre seems to be quite
unfounded.  Major Conder points out that the tomb was no new discovery
when the General was in Jerusalem—that it is probably not a Jewish tomb
at all, and may be assigned to the middle ages.

It is a wonderful city, this old Jerusalem.  It was here Solomon built
his Temple a thousand years before Christ.  This structure was
subsequently destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, rebuilt by Zorobabel, and
afterwards by Herod.  Then came Titus and the Romans, who left the city a
desolation.  Of all its stateliness—the populous streets, the palaces of
the kings, the fortresses of her warriors—not a ruin remains, except
three tall towers and part of the western wall, which was left for the
defence of the Roman camp.  From a Roman point of view, Titus had well
earned the honour of a triumph.

Of course in this connection one falls back on Gibbon: ‘In the midst of a
rocky and barren country the walls of Jerusalem inclosed the two
mountains of Sion and Acra within an oval figure of about three miles.
Towards the south the upper town and the fortress of David were erected
on the lofty ascent of Mount Zion; on the north side the buildings of the
lower town covered the spacious summit of Mount Acra, and a part of the
hill distinguished by the name of Moriah, and levelled by human industry,
was crowned with the stately temple of the Jewish nation.  After the
final destruction of the temple by the arms of Titus and Hadrian a
ploughshare was drawn over the consecrated ground, as a sign of perpetual
interdiction.  Sion was deserted, and the vacant space of the lower city
was filled with the public and private edifices which spread themselves
over the adjacent hill of Calvary.  The holy places were polluted with
monuments of idolatry; and, either from design or accident, a chapel was
dedicated to Venus on the spot which had been sanctified by the death and
resurrection of Christ.  Almost 300 years after these stupendous events
the profane chapel of Venus was demolished by the order of Constantine,
and the removal of the earth and stone revealed the Holy Sepulchre to the
eyes of mankind.  A magnificent church was erected on that mystic ground
by the first Christian emperor; and the effects of his pious munificence
were extended to every spot which had been consecrated by the footsteps
of patriarchs and prophets and the Son of God.’

Admirably Gibbon puts the case.  Nevertheless, from that praiseworthy
zeal on the part of Constantine, innumerable woes and awful
demoralization have ensued.  The history of Jerusalem has been dark and
dolorous ever since.  The priests reaped a golden harvest, and found a
believing generation ever ready to accept even the most marvellous of
their statements, the Empress Helena leading the way.  The clergy made
the most of these devout pilgrimages, and exhibited their powers of
invention on an enormous scale.  The more the pilgrims demanded, the
greater the supply.  The clergy fixed the scene of each memorable event.
They exhibited the instruments which had been used in the passion of
Christ: the nails and the lance that had pierced His hands, His feet, and
His side; the crown of thorns that was planted on His head; the pillar at
which he was scourged; and, above all, they showed the cross on which He
had suffered—dug miraculously out of the ground!  It seems to us
impossible that the credulity of people could ever have been so great;
but, alas! there are no miracles or traditions which devoted men and
women are unable to swallow.  Such miracles as seemed necessary found
ample credence.

‘The custody of the _true cross_, which on Easter Tuesday,’ writes
Gibbon, ‘was solemnly exposed to the people, was intrusted to the Bishop
of Jerusalem; and he alone might gratify the curious devotion of the
pilgrims by the gift of small pieces, which they enchased in gold or
gems, and carried away in triumph to their respective countries.  But as
this gainful branch of commerce must soon have been annihilated, it was
found convenient to suppose that the marvellous wood possessed a secret
power of vegetation, and that its substance, though continually
diminished, still remained entire and unimpaired.’  That is enough.  It
is unnecessary to carry our investigations any further.  The only relics
in which I could believe were the spurs of that grand old crusader,
Godfrey of Bouillon.  In that city of pretended sanctity, with its
doubtful hallowed ground, it does one good to think of Campbell’s
vigorous lines, never more applicable than now:

    ‘To incantations dost thou trust,
    And pompous rites in domes august?
    See, mouldering stone and metal’s rust
          Belie the vaunt
    That man can bless one pile of dust
          With chime or chaunt.’

Be that as it may, all steps in Jerusalem are dogged with doubt.  You
hear a great deal more than you can believe.  We tread on ruins and know
what they are,—so far we can believe their testimony.  Yet the city is
full of surpassing interest.  ‘After Rome,’ writes Dr. Russell Forbes, in
his valuable little work, ‘The Holy City: its Topography, Walls, and
Temples,’ ‘there is no city which appeals to the feelings like Jerusalem;
the sympathy is deeper and stronger than that of Athens, which we place
third on the list.  As the sympathy towards the Eternal City is derived
from profane history, so as it were in opposition, one’s feelings toward
the Holy City owe their origin to sacred history.  These two cities,
sacred and profane, stand out boldly on the world’s surface like the
figures in Titian’s celebrated picture—one appealing to the sun, the
other to the wind.  The sacred is more ancient than the profane, and the
wind of controversy has swept equally over both, while the spade of
modern science has in each case confounded the sceptic and established
the truth of the unbroken records of the past.’  That is putting the case
rather strongly.  At any rate, in studying the topography of Ancient Rome
the authorities are many.  In Jerusalem they are few—but the Bible,
Josephus and the Talmud.  It is only of late that we got at the real
Jerusalem.  It was not till explorations, surveys, and excavations were
made that anything beyond tradition, mostly false, was known of the
ancient city.  It is below its modern level that one has to trace the
remains of the real Jerusalem.  As Byron wrote of Rome, so we may say of
the Holy City:

       ‘The Goth, the Christian, time, war, flood, and fire
       Have dealt upon the seven-hilled city’s pride.
       She saw her glories star by star expire,
       And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
       Where the car climbed the Capitol; far and wide,
       Temple and tower went down, nor left a site:
       Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,
       O’er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
    And say, “Here was, or is,” where all is doubly night?’

It was not till 1868 that the time arrived for cheap excursions to
Jerusalem.  The credit of the idea is to be given to the late Mr. Thomas
Cook.  In the time of the Crusades the bands which visited Palestine did
so under a leader.  At a later date parties travelled in the form of a
caravan.  Before visiting the lands of the Bible Mr. Cook consulted that
eminent traveller and at one time popular author and lecturer, Mr. James
Silk Buckingham, as to the best route,—and collected information from
every available quarter.  Then he made the trip by himself in 1868.  On
his return home he advertised a tour in Palestine and the Nile in the
following spring.  Before a month had elapsed thirty-two ladies and
gentlemen had taken tickets for the trip to the Nile and Palestine, and
thirty to Palestine only; and now they come by the hundred at a time, so
popular is the trip.  From the year 1868 up to 1891, 1,200 persons had
visited Palestine under Cook’s protection.  Many of these travellers held
high social positions, such as their Royal Highnesses the Duke of
Edinburgh, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Prince George of Wales;
their Imperial Highnesses the Grand Duke and Duchess Sergius, the Grand
Duke Paul of Russia, the King of Servia, and other travellers of
distinction.  It is a part of the business of the firm much patronized by
American tourists and the clergy of all denominations.  Up to the time of
the firm taking up the matter, travellers were at the mercy of savage
chiefs, who made them pay dearly for the permission which they granted to
pass through their districts.  These chiefs were as fickle as they were
avaricious, and as dilatory as they were exacting.  All this vexatious
delay has vanished.  When you start you are certain of arrival at the day
indicated, and of being able to return in a similar manner.  Moreover,
the element of danger has been eliminated.  You are safe in Jerusalem as
in London—perhaps safer; for as there is always danger in the streets of
London from hardened criminals and careless drivers of cabs and
omnibuses, and the ever-increasing multitude of men and women who have
taken to the bicycle—and ‘rush in where angels fear to tread.’

Finally, after Omar and Saladin, Syria and Palestine were conquered by
Selim, and since then, with the slight advent of the Crusaders, have
formed part of the Turkish Empire.  The inhabitants complain a good deal
of the injustice and corruption of the Turkish tax-gatherers, and I fancy
not without reason; but that the city is prosperous and flourishing now
is evident to the most superficial observer, from the number of new
buildings erected in every direction.  I believe it is a fact that the
number of people living outside the city is far greater than the
population within.  It is a fashion to build schools and churches and
convents everywhere, Russia in this respect standing ahead of the rest.
I don’t care to go into the city.  What I see there is all fiction,
hallowed, if you like, by the superstition of ages.  In the daytime all
is noise and confusion.  The trader sits in his little shop in a narrow
street, covered from the sun, and there the people collect in every
variety of costume—some in rags and almost naked; others, like the cavass
of some consulate, in a dark, showy dress, with a grand sword hanging
from his thigh; but the prevailing fashion seems to be a brown or blue
jacket hanging over a print skirt extending down to the feet.  Some are
almost as black as niggers.

Immense as is the traffic of the city and the noise and tumult by day,
the silence by night is equally wonderful.  There is no living soul or
body to be seen in the streets by night—nor a light; not even the bark of
a dog is heard.  There is scarce a street in which you can walk
comfortably either inside Jerusalem or outside.  There are stones
everywhere to throw you down, and then there is the dust.  That deserves
a chapter in itself.  It is simply awful.  There is a cartload of it
inside me now.  It is white as snow; it fills the air; you can see
nothing.  As we got out of the railway-station, and got into carriages to
drive towards the hotel, we could not see an inch of the way on account
of the dust.  To make it worse, the drivers all set out at full speed,
and in the race to get in first it seemed to me that a collision was
inevitable; however, happily, no casualty occurred.  A poor unfortunate
donkey was run over—that was all.

As an illustration of what the natives have to suffer under Turkish rule,
let me give the following account of a gossip with a driver I met with.
His father had died and left him a little property in the fertile plain
of Sharon.  The man did all he could to improve it—fenced it with stones,
dug it over and enriched the soil, planted olive-trees and dates, and
then, when the crop was nearly ready, the Turkish taxpayer came and
demanded a third of the estimated value, and got it.  In a fortnight
after he was visited by the Bedouins, who took another third, and in the
end the poor man had to give up his little farm.  The Turks are bad, but
the lawless Bedouins who harry the land are infinitely worse.  For
instance, one of our party drove down to Jericho by himself.  He got out
to walk in one part of the road, and got ahead of his driver.
Immediately he found himself surrounded by a crew of these ruffians.
Happily, he had with him the American Consul’s cavass, who, seeing the
position, came up with his [Picture: General view of Jerusalem from the
Convent of the Sisters of Zion] loaded revolver, at the sight of which
the gentleman was rescued, as the rascals fled.  There is no taming the
Bedouin of the desert.  He only owns the rule of his sheikh.  The Turkish
ruler of the province is afraid of him, and actually pays him a tribute
to be allowed to send his yearly offering to Mecca.  No wonder the land
is bare of life.  It is a wonder that there is any cultivation at all.
The people are forced to live in villages, remote from one another, and
there they defend themselves against the enemy as best they can.  You see
nowhere a farmhouse, a cottage, or country house.  For miles and miles
not a human habitation is visible.

As most of us are sitting half asleep in the smoking-room after our
mid-day meal, a wailing sound reaches my ears.  I rush to the window and
see a funeral procession.  Someone has died in one of the houses above
us, and they are bearing the dead body into the city for burial.  About
100 men and women follow, wailing as they go, while on each side of the
coffin—a very unsightly structure borne on a rude bier—walk the
black-robed priests, evidently of the Greek Church.  The sight is not
particularly imposing as the procession makes its way, while the world
goes on selling and buying much as usual.  I pity the poor mourners and
the priests as they move slowly along.  I know not, but perhaps the
presence of so many priests may indicate that the deceased was a person
of some consequence in his community.

I resume my writing, and then a native comes in to rub off the white dust
which has come in through the open window.  It is impossible to keep out
the fine white dust, and all day the flies are equally troublesome.  I
hear of some of the ladies being bitten by the mosquitoes, but the
latter, happily, leave me alone.  The courteous manners of the dragomans
who fill the hall of the hotel are amusing.  All of them seem much
interested as to my health, and anxiously inquire how I slept.  As I
write, Mr. Howard’s nephew is arranging the papers in the smoking-room; a
native enters, who kisses the back of his hand with effusion—a [Picture:
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre] pledge, I learn, of faithful service.
As to the people in general, they seem to be mere drudges and to have
little idea of amusement; amusement in the Holy City is not tolerated.
Now and then you see in the narrow, darkened streets a few sitting round
a hookah, enjoying a quiet smoke, but the people, dressed out in all the
colours of the rainbow, plod up and down wearily in a never-ending
stream, in pursuance of their daily tasks.  A good deal of building is
going on outside the city walls.  There is no scaffolding, no hodman with
bricks and mortar; the solid stone walls seem to grow up in the most
hopeless confusion.  Of course you see no decent carriages.  Around the
door of the hotel there is a daily collection of donkeys and horses and
carriages, the last all white with dust and of the most rickety
character.  One would think they would fall to pieces over the bad roads,
almost as bad as those of Constantinople; but I hear of no accident,
though it seems as you watch the flying crowd that one may occur at any

As I chat with my dragoman, I ask him if he is married.  His reply is
that he cannot afford it; it would cost him £60 to get a wife.  Perhaps
it were as well that the cost of a wife in England were as much; we might
have fewer marriages of the kind that tend to misery and want.  The
servants in the hotel seemed remarkably honest.  There was a lock to my
door, but I could not get it to act, so my room remained unlocked, and I
missed nothing, even when one morning I left my purse on the table,
containing all my money, when I went to breakfast.  A breakfast consists
of hot rolls, good coffee, and delicious honey.  At lunch the first
course consists of olives, radishes, lemons and vegetables, which are
supposed to create an appetite.  At dinner we have a wonderful lot of
stewed flesh, and vegetables are often served up as a separate course.
In the evening the hall is lighted up with many lamps, and the dealers
come and turn it into a bazaar.  They are not above making a considerable
reduction.  But really there is very little manufactured in Jerusalem—the
Sacred City.  Oh, how I loathe the term as I tread the church of the
reputed Holy Sepulchre—its stones slippery with the tread of millions of
pilgrims in all ages, its sacred shrines worn away by the kisses of the
faithful.  As I sit outside, a cripple comes to a pillar of the door, on
which a cross has been rudely carved.  He kisses that cross and stands
there praying.  Those poor devotees—how they kiss, and kneel, and crawl,
and pray!

The most interesting man I have seen is the Rev. Ben Oliel.  Born in
Morocco in 1826, a man wonderfully active for his years, you would not
take him to be more than sixty at the best.  At Tangiers he attended the
Rabbinical schools, learning Spanish at home, Arabic out of doors, and
Hebrew and Chaldee at school.  He speaks English with great readiness and
fluency.  When eighteen years of age he read the New Testament for the
first time, but his father took it away from him—however, not before a
spirit of inquiry was raised in his mind.  In 1847, while visiting at
Gibraltar, he became acquainted with a Christian friend, who gave him the
‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ and ‘Keith on Prophecy’ to read.  From them he
learnt that Jesus was the Messiah and the Saviour of men.  He then
resolved to come to England to prepare to preach the Gospel to the Jews.
The committee of the Society for the Promotion of Christianity among the
Jews accepted his services, and sent him to labour in Gibraltar and North
Africa.  During a visit to England in 1850 he translated the Gospel of
St. Luke into Hebrew-Spanish, and also a number of tracts into Hebrew and
Spanish.  In 1852 he was ordained to the ministry in Orange Street
Chapel, London, by twelve ministers representing Presbyterian,
Congregational, Baptist, and Lutheran Churches.  Shortly after he was
recognised by the Presbytery of Edinburgh as a minister, and ordained a
missionary of that church, and was sent to Thessalonica and Smyrna, where
he established missions.  Later on his old society—the British—sent him
to Algiers, when he succeeded in inducing his relatives to become
Christians, who are now usefully employed in Christian work.  Mr. Ben
Oliel has been twice married—first to a daughter of Rev. B. Lewis, a
Baptist minister of London, and then, after a widowerhood of some years,
to a sister of Mr. Seeley, Vicar of Clacton-on-Sea, and a cousin of
Professor Seeley, author of ‘Ecce Homo.’

We next find him in Spain.  In Cadiz he laboured with much success,
sometimes having a congregation of 1,000 hearers.  He opened schools for
both sexes, where he had as many as 360 children.  His success provoked
the animosity and opposition of the Romish priests, who started a
newspaper to put him down.  Thence, for reasons perfectly satisfactory,
he returned to his old scene of labour in Algeria, and commenced a very
successful mission at Oran.  From Oran he was sent to Rome to labour
among the Jews, and then the question was put to him—would he go to
Jerusalem?  To this question there could be only one, and that an
affirmative, reply.  In the ancient city he is certainly the right man in
the right place.  In the first place, he can converse in Hebrew with
learned Jews and Rabbis, with whom the city is full.  It is a curious
fact that Hebrew is fast becoming a living tongue in Jerusalem, as is
evident from the fact that the only newspapers now published in Palestine
are two weeklies in Jerusalem, both in the Hebrew tongue.  Another
advantage Mr. Ben Oliel possesses is that he can talk to the Sephardim
Spanish Jews in their own dialect; and they, it seems, are the most
ancient in the city and the most easy of access; and then, again, as an
undenominationalist, he has provided an upper room, where he holds an
English service on a Sunday, sometimes attended by as many as 100
English-speaking travellers from all parts of the world.  His work is now
entirely supported by friends, especially Americans, who sympathize in
his aim.  He has no great society at his back; he fights on his own
behalf, in faith that the supplies when needed will come.  In his work he
is greatly aided by his devoted wife and daughter, who have established
schools—one of them a sewing-class of girls, to which I paid a visit.

In his schools Mr. Oliel met with great opposition from the Jewish
Rabbis.  They held a conference on the subject.  The outcome of their
conference was seen the following Saturday.  Great and solemn warning was
preached in every synagogue at morning prayer to the Jews not to continue
going to the Christians, and earnest pleading with them to put an end to
this sin in Israel.  On the doors of all synagogues, inside and outside
town, were placards, some of which were handed to individuals.  Here is a
translation of one:

    ‘Inasmuch as we hear that two schools of the English have been
    opened, one inside and the other outside the town, and women, sons
    and daughters of the Israelite people are going to them, and
    according to the information that reaches us they are stumbling in
    the sin of idolatry, for above all they are required to believe in
    their religion, as their conditions, as it is heard; we heard and our
    bowels trembled, how can it be that because of straits we should
    forsake our faith, God forbid, and believe in the sin of idolatry,
    and the end will be that in a short time they will abandon the Holy
    Law and turn to the law of the Protestants, God forbid, whose whole
    interest is to tempt and push precious souls of Israel and bring them
    to their faith, thereupon they are told in the name of the _First in
    Zion_, and in the name of the exalted Rabbis, even _all the fathers
    of the House of Judges_, _the righteous_, and in the name of all the
    Rabbis, that from this day forward, after we have given them to
    understand the heavy forbidden thing they are doing—certain that
    Israel are holy—they should withdraw and not go to those places,
    neither women nor young men, nor girls or little children at all, and
    let them trust in the Blessed be His Name, who feeds and nourishes
    all, and to whom is the power and the greatness, and let them not
    think for a moment of benefit, whose end is bitter like poison of
    losing their Judaism, God forbid; and no benefit will they derive
    from those cents, and keep this exhortation before their eyes
    continually all the days; and in eight days from to-day those schools
    will be found empty, that no Jew’s foot shall tread in them any more,
    which we shall hear and rejoice, and if, which God forbid, that time
    arriving and any still continue to go, let them know assuredly that
    as they sought to separate themselves from the community of the
    people of Israel, we also therefore will endeavour with all our
    strength to separate from them.  If sons are born to them, there will
    be no one to circumcise them, if any get married, there will be no
    one to give the nuptial blessings.  If any die, they will not be
    buried with the Jews.  The women will not be married to Jews.  To
    young men no Jewesses will be given.  They will be a separate people.
    We trust that from this day forward they will withdraw from the said
    schools, and despise them as unclean, and will not go near their
    doors; and will have trust in God, exalted be His Name, preferring to
    starve to death as Jews, and not arrive to this measure [of
    punishment].  And let them not suppose that we shall be silent, but
    we shall persecute them to the bitter end as far as our hands can

                                             ‘Blessing to those who obey.’
                                                  Seal of the Chief Rabbi.

    Seal of the Judges.

Considering that the Rabbis have considerable sums of money sent them
from abroad to distribute among the poor every month, and that many
houses are given to the worthy penniless free of rent for several years,
it is no wonder that the parents of the little ones were afraid to
disobey their tyrannic rulers, and kept their children away from the

I find the Y.M.C.A. have a branch here, founded by Mr. Hind Smith in
1890, and are doing useful work, and just outside the Jaffa Gate is a
depot for the sale of Bibles.  But I have been somewhat astonished at the
bitter, exclusive spirit displayed in some quarters where I might have
hoped for better things.  It is difficult for a Jew to make a profession
of Christianity.  If he does so, he has to leave the place at once.  The
strong caste spirit among the Jews is also very great.  The high caste
will not associate with the men of a lower caste.  But where people dare
not go to the recognised agencies for Jewish conversion, many come to Mr.
Oliel for a chat, and Turks as well.  Such missionary work as he does
seems to be of the right stamp and worthy of British support.  An
increasing interest is being taken in Jerusalem, though, alas! I cannot
say with the Psalmist, ‘Thy servants take pleasure in her stones and
favour the dust thereof.’  They are my stumbling-block by night and day.



The one spot in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem which one must visit is
Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Christ, the music of whose voice and the
lustre of whose life have brightened and bettered all the ages, dark and
dreary as many of them have been, ever since.  It is difficult to visit
such a place alone; it is impossible to visit it in company with a
garrulous and credulous crowd.  I had for companions an esteemed
clergyman from Leeds and an Oxford scholar, a man of infinite learning
and wit.  There had been rain overnight, and the dust was not so much of
a nuisance as it generally is, and, besides, we had a refreshing breeze.
We did the whole trip between breakfast and lunch.  Starting in one of
the shabby-looking carriages—the only available vehicle in these parts,
which one expects to break down every minute—drawn by a couple of
half-starved steeds, it rattled along over the stones at a speed for
which one was scarcely prepared.  On my way I learned a fact that I may
not have mentioned before—viz., that at Constantinople the Sultan had
given special orders for the comfort of the excursionists arriving in the
_Midnight Sun_ by placing a guard of soldiers around the ship to keep off
the crowd, and by giving special orders that the party were to be
everywhere received with courtesy and respect.  As regards myself, seeing
that not very long since the Sultan had ordered one of my books to be
burnt, I must own that I felt his conduct in this matter to redound very
much to his credit.

We leave our hotel by the road running to the right from outside the
Jaffa Gate, and admire very much the long range of neat almshouses built
for the poor Jews by the late Sir Moses Montefiore, leaving the Hill of
Evil Counsel to the left, and the pretty, red-roofed, clean-looking
village inhabited by the German Templars’ community to the right.  Then
the road passes by the Valley of Rephaim on the right, where David fought
twice with the Philistines and conquered them, the signal for the battle
the second time being given by a ‘going in the tops of the
mulberry-trees,’ which betokened the presence of the Lord.  A round stone
on the left denotes the well in which, when quenching their thirst, the
Wise Men from the East beheld once more reflected in its waters, to their
‘exceeding great joy,’ the star which led them in search of the new-born
King of the Jews.  On our left is the convent of Mar Elias, now occupied
by a brotherhood belonging to the Greek Church.  Far off on our right is
Giloh, white and glittering in the sun, where dwelt Ahithophel, the
Gilonite, David’s counsellor.  It is now a village inhabited exclusively
by Christians.

Again, on our right, we come to Rachel’s Tomb, at a point where the great
highroad to Hebron is left for the road to Bethlehem.  There is no
dispute as to the identity of Rachel’s tomb; at any rate, for ages the
same legend has been connected with the spot.  For hundreds of years the
site was marked by a pyramid of twelve stones, placed there for the
twelve tribes of Israel.  The present monument, built by the Moslems, is
white—as every building is in this part of the world—an oblong erection,
with a small dome on the top.  One of my learned friends points to the
whiteness of [Picture: Bethlehem.  (From a Photograph by Fradelle and
Young)] the limestone which lines all the roads, and which is utilized in
all the buildings, whether private or public, as an illustration of the
falsehood of the legend connected with the home of Our Lady of Loretto,
which, according to monkish legend, flew all the way from Palestine to
Italy, where yet it remains.  The stone of that building is red, a
significant proof of the falsehood of the tale.  The next point of
interest is David’s Well, in commemoration of the incident recorded in
Samuel, when the Philistines being in possession of the town, and David
in a hold in or near Cave Adullam, he said: ‘Oh that one would give me
drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!  And
the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew
water out of the well of Bethlehem, which was by the gate, and took it
and brought it to David; nevertheless, he would not drink thereof, but
poured it out unto the Lord.  And he said . . .  Is not this the blood of
the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?’

And now I am in Bethlehem—not a simple country village, as many imagine,
but a densely-populated town, with winding, narrow ways, where men and
women and children, camels, donkeys, and carriages, seem mixed up in wild
disorder.  On every side we are shut in with habitations—stony, bare of
windows, built high up, with here and there a shop, but chiefly with a
simple door on the ground-floor; and then we dash into the market-place,
and apparently it is market-day, and half of the open space is filled
with buyers and sellers in many-coloured garments of the East; and down
on us come the guides and small pedlars, shrieking, ejaculating,
spluttering in broken English, just as Byron tells us the Assyrian came
down like the wolf on the fold.

We enter the Church of the Nativity, regarded as the very oldest specimen
of Christian architecture; and a very ugly building it is.  In one of the
remote quarters I came to an old stone font, bearing the inscription:
‘For the memory, repose and forgiveness of sinners, of whom the Lord
knows the name.’  Here, in 1161, Baldwin was crowned King of Jerusalem.
Look up at the roof as you pass along, of pure wood and lead, furnished
in 1482 by Edward IV. of England and Philip of Burgundy.  The
guardianship of the church is divided among Greeks, Armenians, and
Latins.  We are supplied with tapers, and go down in the cave where the
Christ was born.  A little further on is the place of the manger in which
He was laid.  In another section of the cave, all hewn out of the solid
rock, Joseph is said to have slept when he was warned by God in a dream
to take Mary and her child and fly into Egypt.  Again, we are shown the
spot where the children massacred by King Herod were interred.  Fifteen
lamps perpetually illuminate the subterranean Church of the Nativity,
near which is the Altar of the Adoration, which commemorates the visit of
the Magi.  Amidst darkness visible we make our way to the cave in which
St. Jerome wrote his great work, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into
the Vulgate or Latin tongue.  It is a dark and dreary spot, and near by
we are shown his tomb.  One can scarce credit the story of his having
done such work in such a corner, or believe that there he lived to reach
the ripe age of ninety-two.  A year in such a spot would be enough to
kill an ordinary orthodox Christian in these degenerate days.  I make my
exit speedily into the upper air.  I have seen enough for one day; no
lying legend can tempt me further.  The enormous pile of churches built
up over the sacred sites, and inhabited by priests of rival Churches, who
hate each other like poison, are too much for me.

Bethlehem is the market-place of the Dead Sea Bedouins, and also of the
numerous small towns and villages in the vicinity, and has besides some
nourishing manufactures of its own.  Its inhabitants are almost
exclusively Christian.  The people are chiefly employed in the production
of embroidered dresses, and in carving in a beautiful way
mother-of-pearl.  I hear that they are an intelligent and industrious
people, and that there are plenty of schools for the children.  The women
are said to be fair, but I see none such.  On our way back we are shown
the Field of the Shepherds, sloping up a neighbouring hill.  It was there
the angel of the Lord appeared to them as they watched their sheep by
night.  We pass by also the Pools of Solomon—three reservoirs made by the
great King for supplying the inhabitants of Jerusalem with water.  All
the country round is a scene of great activity, as is evident from the
enormous amount of terraces to be seen everywhere planted with the
universal olive-tree.  But at this time we see nothing but stones, with
here and there a few black goats climbing the mountain-sides; all life
seems to have withered up under the scorching sun.  The Wells of Solomon
contain no water, the hills no sign of vegetation.  They are dry, and so
are we.

On the whole, after my visit to Bethlehem, I quite agree with an American
writer—the Rev. Mr. Tompkins—in his remarks on the church built by the
Empress Helena.  While vast, imposing, and suggestive of past glory, it
is a fitting monument of that kind of Christianity which, let us hope, is
relegated to the past.  No instance of an enormous expensive building
could show more clearly the folly of erecting to God that which has no
earthly use.  Unless men can see in future ages that Christianity is for
man, and not for God, I fancy that religion will perish from the earth.
To-day one stands in this edifice, which in point of size is justly
comparable with any church in the world, and wonders what rash folly ever
possessed the Empress to waste so much money.  It is so dreary, so cold,
so deserted, so utterly the shell of Christianity, that Christianity
seems a very farce right here where it began.



One of the most interesting evenings I spent in Jerusalem was in
listening to a lecture by Dr. Wheeler, of the English Hospital in the
city, who is now seeking to build a hospital for the Jews there.  He is
also, I believe, connected with the London Society which is seeking to
bring over the Jew to the knowledge of the Messiah, a task by no means
easy, as the conviction of the Jew—that the promised Messiah is yet to
come—is not easily to be dispelled.  I came over with a converted Jew—a
clergyman in London.  His parents, who were wealthy, lived in Jerusalem.
In order to become a Christian he had to sacrifice all his worldly
prospects, and aroused such bitter enmity on the part of his relatives
that, though he had made the journey for the sake of seeing his dying
mother, he almost despaired of an interview, and had to wait five days
before his object was achieved.

But to return to Dr. Wheeler.  He has been at work in Jerusalem eleven
years, and his knowledge of the state of the Jews is profound.  The Jews,
he told us, in Palestine may be roughly divided into four classes: The
Ashkenazim, comprising the fair-haired, sallow German Jew, the Russian,
Polish, American, etc., who speak Yiddish, and enjoy the protection of
the consuls of the countries to which they belong; the Sephardim, or
Spanish Jews, many of whom still wear the black turban imposed on them by
the mad Caliph Halim; the Gemenites, who have only recently come to the
land—they are dark, and wear their hair in side-curls; and the Karaites,
a sect which sprang up about the eighth century.  These reject the Talmud
and deny the authority of the Oral Law; they are few in number, and have
but one small synagogue; the orthodox religious Jews have no religious
intercourse with them, and regard them as heretics.  The Ashkenazim adapt
themselves to any costume.  The Sephardim all wear the dignified and
beautiful Oriental costume.  All unite in wearing the love-locks.  As to
the women, they all dress in Oriental costume, and wear their heads
covered.  On the Sabbath they are all dressed in their best.  Charms are
worn on the heads and foreheads and necks of young children, and a sprig
of green is worn also as a charm against the evil eye.  The Rabbis
generally wear long flowing robes, trimmed with fur, and also a turban.

Specially-appointed Rabbis see that the food is properly prepared, as
everything must be _kosha_, or legally clean.  Milk must not be taken
before or after meat.  No Christian food on any account may be consumed;
even eggs cooked in Christian pots are refused.  Only Jewish wine may be
drunk, and if a bottle of it is only touched by a Christian it becomes
unclean.  The social and religious life of the Jew is identical.  The
birth of a son causes great rejoicing, and improves the social status of
the mother.  Circumcision on the eighth day, if the child is strong
enough, is a holy festival.  After eighteen all Jews are expected to
marry.  Although facilities of divorce are large, they are not often
resorted to.

One is struck, said Dr. Wheeler, in living among Jews, with the fact that
religion amongst them is not only a creed or an act of observance, but
that it pervades every relationship and dominates every phase of life.
The Sabbath is the pivot round which family life moves.  It is a day of
real rejoicing, accompanied by a complete suspension of work.  It begins
with the cup of blessing, of wine mixed with water, of which all partake.
The Sabbath lamp is lit.  No burial is allowed on that day.  No
phylacteries are worn while the Cohenites give the Aaronic blessing—‘The
Lord bless thee and keep thee,’ etc.  Visiting the sick has great merit.
According to the Talmud, eleven visits to the sick will release a soul
from Gehenna.  All are enjoined to follow funerals, and to pay honour to
the remains of the dead.  After death the body is allowed to remain
awhile unburied.  The creed of the Jew is as ancient as the beginning of
history.  With it are connected the triumphs and struggles and defeats of
ages.  What strange and opposite feelings has the name of Jew created!
What appalling deeds have been perpetrated in connection with his name!
The Jew is in every sense, as Dr. Wheeler eloquently told us, the marvel
of history—the wonder of the ages—the anomaly of nations.  So it has been
for upwards of 4,000 years.  He is Heaven’s great witness on earth of
earth’s righteous King in heaven.  Nations have risen and fallen.  Mighty
empires have crumbled to decay.  Assyria, Greece, Carthage, where are
they?  Yet the Jew—scattered, despised, persecuted, and trampled under
foot—has never disappeared.  Nay, more, he has risen to be a light and
guide to the nations; and many are the statesmen and artists and
philosophers who have had Jewish blood in their veins.  And yet, say
certain good people, the Jews are under a curse.  Well, perhaps they
are—when poor.  Poor people, it seems to me, are under a curse all the
world over.  To the Jews, Jerusalem is the one holy city, and here they
come to die and be buried in its sacred soil.  Wealthy Jews in all parts
of the world give freely for charity and for charitable purposes, and it
is this wealth that brings so many poor Jews to Jerusalem.  By these
benefactors Jewish children are educated gratuitously.  They have three
synagogues, all very ancient, and the beautiful pale-green dome of one of
them is a conspicuous feature in the view of Jerusalem from the Mount of
Olives.  Jews, because they persecuted the Christ, are not allowed to
pass before the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  They are also still
rigorously excluded from the Moslem sanctuary, where it is said stood
King Solomon’s Temple in all its glory, though Christians have been
admitted of late years to this jealously-guarded spot, containing as it
does the Dome of the Rock—a very precious spot in Moslem eyes.  Alas!
everywhere the Jew in Jerusalem has to come in contact with ‘the pig of a
Turk,’ as he contemptuously calls him.  I wonder the wealthy Jews do not
buy Jerusalem or Palestine itself of the Sultan, who, however, does all
he can to keep the Jews from returning there to live and die.
Notwithstanding the place it fills in the world’s history, the country is
a small one.  As it is, the Jews in Jerusalem have the greater part of
the trade of the city in their hands.  They own the shops and the cabs,
and their numbers increase every day, very much, as I have said, against
the wishes of the Sultan himself.

It is an awful history, that of the Jew in Jerusalem, of incessant revolt
on the part of the people, of incessant conquest and massacre on the part
of the sanguinary conquerors.  Again and again the Jew seemed on the
brink of extermination.  Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus, Titus, Hadrian,
successively exerted their utmost power to extinguish, not merely the
political existence of the State, but even the separate being of the
people.  Hadrian, to annihilate for ever, writes Dean Milman, all hopes
of the restoration of the Jewish kingdom, accomplished his plan of
founding a new city on the site of Jerusalem, peopled by a colony of
foreigners.  The city was called Ælia Capitolina: Ælia after the prænomen
of the Emperor, Capitolina as dedicated to the Jupiter of the Capitol.
An edict was published to prevent any Jew from entering the new city
under pain of death, or approaching its environs even at a distance so as
to contemplate its sacred height.  More effectually to keep them away,
the image of a swine was placed over the gate leading to Bethlehem.  The
more peaceful Christians were permitted to establish themselves within
the walls, and Ælia became the seat of a flourishing church and
bishopric.  At a later period Julian the Apostate—as the ecclesiastical
writers term one of the noblest men who ever wore the imperial
purple—embraced the extraordinary design of rebuilding the Temple of
Jerusalem.  In a public epistle to the nation or community of the Jews,
he pities their misfortunes, condemns their oppressors, praises their
constancy, declares himself their gracious protector, and hopes, after
his return from the Persian war, he may be permitted to pay his grateful
vows to the Almighty in the holy city of Jerusalem.  The Jews from every
part of the world gave freely to assist this pious enterprise.  According
to the Christian writers, Heaven interfered, and the Temple was left
unbuilt.  This glorious deliverance was speedily improved by the pious
art of the clergy of Jerusalem and the active credulity of the Christian
world.  It is evident, as Gibbon remarks, the restoration of the Jewish
Temple was secretly connected with the ruin of the Christian Church, a
Church for which Julian had little love.  From the confessions of Jerome
himself, Jerusalem seemed saturated with every form of vice and crime.

They tell me the Jew is blind because he is waiting for the coming
Messiah, but, I ask, are we not all waiting for a coming Messiah?  And
the sooner He comes the better for all of us, Jew and Gentile alike.  If
the Jew is waiting for a coming Messiah, that is surely to his
credit—that he remains true to the teaching of his fathers—and shows him
to be no more blind than those of us who piously await the dawn of a
millennium, which, according to all human appearances, seems as far off
as ever.  When the Turkish Empire breaks up, it will be no easy matter
how to settle in whose hands Jerusalem shall be placed.  There may be a
terrible fight about the Holy City yet.

It is now the fashion for everyone to rush to Jerusalem.  At one time to
go there required no little expenditure of money, and time, and trouble.
An excursion-steamer takes you there for a trifle compared with the
expense of the journey only a few years ago.  You land at Jaffa, take the
train to Jerusalem, and in due time find yourself outside the Jaffa Gate,
guarded by Turkish soldiers.  Amidst a dirty, many-coloured mob of
donkeys, camels, and people, exhausted by the heat, suffocated by the
dust, and bewildered by the noise, you are at the Holy City, as lying
superstition terms it.  It certainly is not Jerusalem the golden, but is
very much the reverse.  Its smells are indescribable, and to drink its
water is death.  Your first wonder is why David and Solomon should ever
have made it a royal residence at all.  It is a city set upon a hill, but
it is dominated by hills all round, where no verdure is seen, and where
the black goat alone finds a scanty existence.  Climb one of these hills,
and you look down on the gray, stony city, surrounded by a high wall,
over which rise minarets, and mosques, and church spires in wild
confusion.  There is nothing to charm the eye there.  Enter through one
of the gates, and you are still more disappointed.  You wander in
hopeless confusion, shut in on all sides by lofty buildings, with no
windows to speak of, only here and there a door; or you plunge into a
street with a dark awning, which serves as a bazaar, with shops of all
kinds around, where so dense is the crowd that it is with difficulty you
make your way.  Poverty seems to be the prevailing characteristic of the
place.  Even the shops fail to attract.

Money is the one thing Jerusalem sucks in as a thirsty soul does water
when it comes, and many well-meaning people find there a living prepared
for them who would otherwise have to starve.  As to the real state of the
people you never hear a word.  The Turkish tax-gatherer may grind them
down.  The wild Bedouin of the desert may come and take what the
tax-gatherer has left.  But you hear nothing of that, and the daily topic
of conversation among the European settlers is the repetition of dogma
and the fulfilment of prophecy.  It is not till you have cleared out,
taken the rail to Jaffa, and sail along the blue waters of the
Mediterranean, that you get rid of the nightmare, have done with cant,
and once more breathe free.

The fact is, the Holy City is one gigantic fraud.  All we know is that
there Christ lived and laboured and suffered and died.  Not a stone
remains of the Jerusalem over whose impending fate He shed bitter tears.
The cunning of an interested priesthood has done all the rest, from the
discovery of the true cross by the mother of Constantine, to the holy
fire which is seen at Easter by a panting, perspiring crowd in the Church
of the Holy Sepulchre.  The town itself covers an area of more than 209
acres, of which thirty-five are occupied by the Haram-esh-Sherif.  The
remaining space is occupied by Christians, Mohammedans, and Jews.

The Greek Church is the strongest branch of the Christians in Jerusalem,
having eighteen monasteries, with schools, churches, a hospital, hospice,
and a printing press.  The Russian church on the Mount of Olives is the
grandest ecclesiastical building in the city of the modern type.  The
Roman Catholics have fine churches, monasteries, and convents.  The
Armenian Patriarch resides in his convent between the Jaffa and Zion
gates.  The Latins, Abyssinians, and Copts are also well represented.
The Knights Templars of the Holy Sepulchre, a Roman Catholic body under
the patronage of the Emperor of Austria, have a fine convent just outside
the walls.  Priests, and nuns, and sisters of mercy, and devotees, meet
you at every turn.

One ought to go to Jerusalem if only to see what priests can build up on
small foundations, and to what length superstition can be carried, even
in what are termed days of light and progress.  In this respect the Turk
is as great a sinner as the Christian, and tells you how at the
resurrection the risen will have to cross the Valley of Jehosaphat by a
bridge of the Prophet’s hair, from which the wicked will fall straight to
Gehenna, while to the righteous heaven, with its houris, will open its
diamond gates.  You see in Jerusalem what you see nowhere else, a city
built up by religion, true or false.

In a letter from the Rev. Ben Oliel to a friend, he says:

    ‘You want to know what is (1) the actual population of Jerusalem; (2)
    the Jewish population in it; and (3) the number of Jews in all

    ‘The Turkish Government, like that of other lands, has its
    statistical “bureau”—office; but whatever may be its success in the
    European provinces of the empire, here in Asia its computations are
    believed to be imperfect, unreliable, and mainly guesswork.  The
    conscription and consequent tax for exemption from military service
    operate against it.  The heads of the several religious
    communities—Turkish or Moslem, Jewish, Latin, Greek, Armenian, Copt,
    Maronite, Melchite, etc.—who co-operate in the census, have powerful
    motives to frustrate exactitude, for it means a larger annual
    taxation, for which they are made responsible; and, apart from this,
    the inhabitants have strong prejudices against being numbered.
    Therefore, all estimates of population are merely approximate, and
    nothing more.

    ‘A young Jew of the highest family in this city, who is employed in
    offices of trust in the Pasha’s court and has access to official
    records, a convert of this mission, who confessed his faith in the
    Lord Jesus on October 27, tells me that in official circles the
    population of Jerusalem, including its suburbs—Bethlehem, Bethany,
    the Mount of Olives, etc.—is now computed at 100,000, of which 60,000
    are believed to be Jews; and he declares my estimate of the general
    population of Jerusalem and its immediate suburbs at from 65,000 to
    70,000, and the Jewish at about 40,000, to be far too low.  He is
    custodian of the roll of the Sephardim poor—widows, orphans, blind
    and decrepit old men and their families—amounting to 7,000 souls,
    that have to be provided for regularly; and yet the Ashkenazim
    constitute the majority of the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem now,
    and they have a roll of poor as large proportionately.  He says the
    Sephardim pay £1,000 annually for exemption from military service,
    and the Ashkenazim £1,250, which, at the rate of two _medjidis_ per
    head, represents 5,625 men of the age liable to service.  Jewish
    families are prolific, and must therefore be calculated at seven
    rather than five per family, and if one in each family is liable to
    service, the result is 39,375 souls.  But this has reference to the
    Jewish _rayahs_—Turkish subjects; whereas there is a large admixture
    of those under Russian, Austrian, German, etc., protection, who are
    free from taxation, military or other.  By such a process of
    reasoning his estimate of 60,000 Jews for Jerusalem is almost proved

    ‘I have before me Luncz’s First Hebrew Almanack for the Jewish year
    1895–96, an interesting compilation; it gives the population of
    Jerusalem thus: “Number of inhabitants 45,420, of which Jews 28,112
    (viz., Ashkenazim 15,074, Sephardim 7,900, Mughrabim 2,420, Gurgis
    670, Bucharis 530, Tamanites 1,288, Persians 230); Moslems 8,560;
    Christians 8,748 (viz., Armenians 695, Greeks 4,625, Abyssinians 105,
    Syrians 23, Protestants 645, Catholics or Latins 2,530, Copts 125).”
    He does not say so, but he can only mean the population _inside the

As an illustration of the difficulties awaiting the Jew who is led to
renounce Judaism, I quote from a convert’s letter a few particulars:

    ‘I will briefly say that I commenced the journey of life in Jerusalem
    as son of one of the first Jewish families that found their way back
    to the fatherland.  According to the custom of our people, my dear
    mother sent me to school when I was only two.  I sat at the feet of
    our Rabbi school-teachers until I was twelve; then I studied the
    Rabbis’ commentaries and had an Arab tutor.  At thirteen years of age
    I entered the Seraya, or Government House of Jerusalem.  I studied to
    be an Arabic and Turkish scribe, and attended the Jewish school to
    learn French.

    ‘In the Government House there are three judges appointed to
    represent respectively the Christian, Jewish, and Moslem citizens.
    My uncle is the Jewish judge.  At sixteen I became one of the scribes
    of the Chief Justice, and two years ago his assistant secretary.

    ‘When I used to visit Jaffa I heard about Mr. Ben Oliel from many
    Jews who frequented his house for discussion and study of God’s Word.
    In 1890 he came up to Jerusalem, and at last I met him.  The first
    time that I called upon him I was in company with my father, my uncle
    the judge, the son of the Chief Rabbi, and another Rabbi, one of the
    judges of the Jewish Court.

    ‘The Chief Rabbi appoints twelve judges, who each serve a term of
    three months every year, and every dispute between Jews must first be
    brought before them, and, if needs be, is referred by them to the
    Turkish Court.’

In time the writer became a Christian and was baptized.  He adds:

    ‘It was my desire to get the training that would make me a good
    Christian teacher, but I could not travel without a passport, and
    could not get this except through the application of my father, who,
    instead, gave strict orders that no passport should be made for me.
    After a year of vain endeavour, I was able to persuade a friend who
    was in the office where they are written, on the score of friendship,
    to give me a _tishcara_, or local passport, which, however, he did
    not dare to record; off in the country it served me well.  My plan
    was to start on a trip through the country and seize any opportunity
    that might offer of getting to Egypt.  I started from the Damascus
    Gate, my faithful horse being my only companion.  We travelled first
    to Nablous, the ancient Sichem, and finding that the Samaritans were
    soon to keep their passover, I waited to see their celebrated
    sacrifice.  Each family took a lamb, and they went out and pitched
    their tents on Mount Gerizim before the tomb of Sichem, the son of
    Hamor, whom they hold in great reverence, and camped out there for
    eight days.  On the first day their high-priest sacrificed a lamb for
    each family, and every day he himself mixed the unleavened cakes.
    Leaving Nablous, I struck across country till I came to an Arab
    village on the Jordan, and then followed its course until I came to
    Tiberias.  Along this part of the country many of the villagers knew
    me, and wherever I was acquainted they entertained me freely with
    their proverbial hospitality.  At one Bedouin encampment they
    insisted on roasting an entire sheep.  This they did in a very
    primitive fashion.  They dug a ditch in the earth, and made fire
    within it until it was very hot, and then, removing the fire, they
    laid the lamb, well seasoned, on the hot ashes, and then buried it
    for a couple of hours.  It then made a very savoury dish, of which we
    all partook, dipping into the same dish.

    ‘Tiberias is one of the four sacred cities of the Jews, and there I
    found a large number residing.  It is also a favourite resort because
    of its hot springs of healing qualities.  I had left Jerusalem almost
    ill, and so was very glad to take a course of baths here.

    ‘From Tiberias I journeyed towards Nazareth, and visited the Tomb of
    Jethro, near the horns of Hassau, where probably our Lord preached
    His wondrous Sermon on the Mount.  At Nazareth I was hospitably
    entertained at the Latin Convent, and a priest showed me all the
    sights of the town.  Next day 400 or 500 French pilgrims arrived, and
    I shared their entertainment.

    ‘After three days I resumed my journey, with the intention of
    embarking at Haifa and passing on to Egypt without being seen at

And in due time the writer made his escape, and was welcomed in America,
mainly owing to the assistance of Mr. Ben Oliel, who had been the means
of his conversion.



We left Jaffa on the Monday, and in twenty-four hours after were landed
at Alexandria.  Alexandria is not a desirable place to land at;
travellers have to trust generally to native boatmen, who are a race of
robbers.  For instance, an American gentleman described to me how it
fared with him on attempting to land a few years since.  He and a friend
made a bargain with a respectable man to put them ashore.  He called a
boatman, into whose boat they got with their luggage.  No sooner had the
man rowed a little way from the ship than he stopped and demanded the
instant payment of a sum four times the amount that had been agreed upon.
The travellers said they had made an agreement with his master, and he
was bound to carry it out.  He replied that he had no master; that the
boat was his, that the oars were his, and that he would neither take them
back to the ship nor row them ashore unless they complied with his
request.  One of the gentlemen had a revolver, which he held at the
rascal’s head, telling him to prepare for instant death.  The man
sullenly obeyed, but no sooner had he reached the shore than he landed
and preferred against the travellers a charge of attempting to murder
him.  The affair promised to be serious, but it was discovered by the
judge that the revolver was not loaded, nor ever had been loaded, and the
travellers were at length allowed to depart in peace.  I heard of another
case of a Frenchman shooting his boatman, who refused to fulfil his
contract.  In my case, happily, I landed on the quay, and had no trouble
with the boatmen at all.

At length I am fairly landed in the land of the Pharaohs—a land whose
records are engraved in stones, and date thousands of years before the
birth of Christ.  You see nothing of Alexandria till you approach it, and
then it spreads out before you in all its charm, from Pharos, the most
ancient lighthouse in the world, on one side, to Pompey’s Pillar on the
other.  Soon after I land at the quay, I make my way to the
railway-station in a carriage and pair, for which I had agreed to pay a
shilling.  At the station the driver has the impudence to demand two
shillings, which I refuse to give, whilst a dragoman, who has fastened
himself on to me, though I have attempted to get rid of him, demands a
shilling for his unnecessary attendance.  I offer him threepence; he is
indignant.  ‘I am a dragoman,’ he exclaims in an angry tone.  ‘What do
you take me for?’  At length I give him sixpence, and he goes away in
peace.  I smoke my first pipe of excellent Egyptian tobacco, swallow a
tiny cup of coffee, all sugar and grounds, and survey the scene from the
outside of the excellent railway-station, which is a credit to the city.
Every minute a blacking boy begs me to let him clean my boots, but as I
need not his services they are declined.  On my way I have seen every
sign of industry and wealth: spacious shops, and a fine square adorned
with handsome houses, and with a good statue of Ibrahim Pasha—the man to
whom modern Egypt owes its first dawn of revived prosperity.  The
municipal authorities of the place have [Picture: Pompey’s Pillar,
Alexandria] done much to promote its prosperity.  The traveller will find
it to his advantage to stop here a day or two.  The hotels are excellent,
and, with one exception, by no means dear.  The harbour is full of
shipping and steamers, and the number of trains laden with merchandise
running between Cairo and Alexandria seems incessant.  The
railway-carriages are an immense improvement on those which take you from
Jaffa to Jerusalem.  Alexandria has a population of over 300,000, and its
prosperity has greatly increased of late.  The English reside principally
at Ramleh, five miles off, to which there is a local train service.  On
your way you pass the battlefield between the English and the French,
where our General, Sir Ralph Abercrombie, lost his life in the hour of

Commerce seems to have had her birthplace in Egypt.  In the time of
Joseph, we read, all countries came there to buy corn.  Fifteen hundred
years before the birth of Christ its merchants brought indigo and muslins
from India, and porcelain from China, and the fame of its mariners was
great.  The trade route was down the Persian Gulf, along the Tigris,
through Palmyra—the Tadmor of old—down to the cities of the
Mediterranean.  Arab mariners also sailed from India, keeping close to
the coast till they reached Berenice, in the Red Sea, whence the goods
were transported to Captos, thence down the Nile to Alexandria.  ‘Under
such Emperors as the cruel and dissipated Commodus,’ writes Mr. R. W.
Fraser, in his ‘British India,’ ‘the plundering barbarian, Caracalla, and
the infamous Heliogabalus, the wealth that came from the East through
Alexandria to the imperial city of Rome, passed away to Constantinople
and the rising cities along the Mediterranean.’

The glory of Alexandria in the olden time was the Serapeum, sacred to the
worship of Serapis, a god originally worshipped in Sinope, and brought to
Alexandria by the Emperor Ptolemy—worshipped eventually by the Romans as
the Supreme Being, the beneficent Lord of Life and Death.  It is clear
the Ptolemies—at one and the same time Egyptian Pharaohs and Greek
princes—felt the need of a real and presiding deity for the great city,
with its enormous population, not only from Greece and its colonies, but
from all the nations and tribes of the Mediterranean and the East.

As the seat of a god-worship became important, so did the deity its
patron.  When Alexandria became the official and mercantile capital of
Egypt, Serapis became the chief of all the gods of the land, and there
his shrine was worshipped for nearly one thousand years.  The worship of
Serapis was the last to fall before the advancing force of Christianity.
The philosopher saw in Serapis, writes Macrobius, nothing more than the
_anima mundi_, the spirit of whom universal nature is the body; so that
by an easy transition Serapis came to be worshipped as the embodiment of
the one Supreme whose representative on earth was Christ.  This is clear
from a letter written by the Emperor Hadrian A.D. 131.  ‘I am now
become,’ writes Hadrian, ‘fully acquainted with that Egypt which you
extol so highly.  I have found the people vain, fickle, and shifting with
every change of opinion.  Those who worship Serapis are, in fact,
Christians; even those who style themselves the bishops of Christ are
actually devoted to Serapis.  There is no chief of a Jewish synagogue, no
Samaritan, no Christian bishop, who is not an astrologer, a
fortune-teller, or a conjurer.  The very Patriarch of Tiberias is
compelled, when he comes to Egypt, by one party to adore Serapis, by
another to worship Christ.’

And this seems to show that some Christians, in order to escape
persecution, enjoyed their own faith under the cover of the national and
local worship, which was susceptible of a spiritual interpretation quite
cognate to their own ideas.  A similar case occurred in Spain, as the
historical reader may remember, when so many Jews, in fear of the
Inquisition, nominally became Roman Catholics.  Accordingly, it is clear
that the tone of the higher, the fashionable society in Alexandria was to
believe that on some grander or philosophic theory all these religions
differed in form, but were essentially the same; that all adored one
Logos or Demiurge under different names, all employed the same arts to
impose on the vulgar, and all were equally despicable to the real

The worship of Serapis was abolished in the reign of Justinian, and of
the former glory of the Serapeum nothing now remains, unless it be
Pompey’s Pillar, which was said by some to have formed part of the
Serapeum.  According to Tacitus, sick persons were accustomed to pass a
night in the Serapeum in order to regain their health.  The colossal
statue of Serapis was involved in the ruin of his temple and religion.
It was believed that if an insult were offered to that statue, chaos
would ensue.  When a Christian soldier aimed his first blow, even the
Christians trembled for the event.  The victorious soldier, Gibbon tells
us, repeated his blows; the huge idol was overthrown and broken in
pieces, and the limbs of Serapis were ignominiously dragged through the
streets of Alexandria.  His mangled carcase was burnt in the amphitheatre
amidst the shouts of the people, and many persons attributed their
conversion to this discovery of the impotence of their great deity.  A
process something similar, attended with similar results, has more than
once occurred in the history of missionary enterprise.

Deeply interesting is Alexandria from a historical point of view.  It was
founded by Alexander the Great more than 300 years before Christ.  King
Ptolemy, the first of that name, made it the capital of his kingdom, laid
the foundations of its enormous library, and held out inducements to men
of learning to come from all parts of the world to settle there.  During
the siege of the city by the Romans the library was burnt, but Antony
afterwards gave the library a large collection of manuscripts, which
formed the nucleus of a second library.  In the early centuries of our
era the town was torn with religious dissensions about the Jews and
religious dogma.  It was here the beautiful Hypatia, the fair heroine of
Kingsley’s celebrated novel, was torn to pieces by an infuriated mob.
St. Mark is said to have preached the Gospel here.  It was here that
there arose fierce discussions between Arius and Athanasius and Cyril.
The Christians were persecuted with great severity by Decius, by
Valerianus, and Diocletian.  The city then declined in wealth and
importance.  Its population dwindled away.  All fanatics, Christian or
pagan, seem to me equally to blame.

It was at one time, as I have said, the headquarters of the worship of
Serapis.  The temple stood to the east of Alexandria, near Pompey’s
Pillar.  It is said to have been one of the most remarkable buildings in
the world, and was filled with excellent statues and other works of art.
It was destroyed by the Christian fanatic, Theophilus, during the reign
of Theodosius II.  Gibbon describes the prelate as ‘a bold, bad man, the
perpetual enemy of peace and virtue, whose hands were alternately
polluted with gold and blood.’  The library of the Serapeum is said to
have contained about 400,000 manuscripts; at any rate, when it was burnt
by the command of the Khalif Omar, the manuscripts were said to have been
sufficiently numerous to heat the public baths for six months.  Perhaps
it is as well they were not all preserved.  Of making many books there is
no end, and many are the books published in this intelligent age, the
burning of which would be no loss, but a gain, to the reading public.
Among the famous men who studied in the original library of Alexandria
were Strabo, Hipparchus, Archimedes, Plato, and Euclid.

Then came the blighting rule of the Turk, and the wise men moved away.
They are all vanished—gone; in their place have come the Jew banker, the
tradesman, and the merchant prince.  The people amuse me.  They wear the
cotton tunic longer, and have a more Arabian cast of feature than the
Jews.  I see a funeral, with a long line of women following.  I see a
Turk at his devotions.  He spreads a small carpet before him, then raises
his arms above his head, muttering something all the while; then he bows
his body so that the head touches the ground, and so he goes on.

In a little while we are off for Cairo, or Caire, as they call it here.
On my way I get my first glimpse of one of the branches of the Nile, one
of the largest, and certainly the most renowned, rivers in the world.  In
a few days I see more of the Nile, the overflow of which has not yet been
dried up, and watch the people in the mud, far too soft to admit of
ploughing, hoeing the land, rich and dark, and casting in the seed which
is soon to bear an abundant harvest.  On our way to Cairo we pass a
fertile country, and see crops of sugarcane and rice and maize growing,
and the blue-clad fellaheen at work.  We pass several big towns, which
seem thickly populated and full of life.  The houses are everywhere the
same—white, with flat roofs.

As originally founded, Alexandria was only equalled by Rome itself.  It
comprehended a circumference of fifteen miles, and was peopled by 300,000
free inhabitants, besides at least an equal number of slaves.  The
lucrative trade of Arabia and India flowed through its port to Rome and
the provinces.  No one lived an idle life.  There was plenty of work for
all, chiefly in glass-blowing, weaving of linen, and the manufacture of
papyrus.  The people, a mixture of all nations under the sun, were
difficult to rule, and always ready for sedition.  A transient scarcity
of flesh or lentils, the neglect of a public salutation, a mistake of
precedency in the public baths, or a religious dispute, such as the
sacrilegious murder of a divine cat, was quite sufficient to create a
bloody tumult.

Origen was a native of Alexandria.  It was there, after his time, that
the endless controversy as to the nature of the Three Persons in the
Trinity originated—a controversy which lasted for centuries, which led to
wars and massacres, and which finally separated the Churches of Greece
and Rome.  The Jews, who had settled in Alexandria by the invitation of
the Ptolemies, carried the teaching of Plato into their religious
speculations.  In time Arius arose to proclaim his idea of the Logos, and
Athanasius to oppose and protest, and ultimately triumph.  The
Homoousians prevailed, and the Homoiousians were branded and persecuted
as heretics—enemies alike to God and man; yet Athanasius was driven from
his diocese, and the famous St. George of Cappadocia reigned in his
stead.  The pagans of Alexandria, who still formed a numerous and
discontented party, were easily persuaded to desert a Bishop whom they
feared and esteemed.  At a later time Cyril became the Archbishop, and
distinguished his orthodox career by the animosity with which he expelled
the Jews, and opposed the doctrine of Nestorius, who taught that there
was a Divine and human Christ, and refused to worship the Virgin Mary as
the mother of God.

‘He was a most expert logician,’ writes Zosimus, ‘but perverted his
talents to evil powers, and had the audacity to preach what no one before
him had ever suggested, namely, that the Son of God was made out of that
which had no prior existence; that there was a period of time in which He
existed not; that as possessing free will, He was capable of vice; and
that He was created, not made.’  At the Council of Nicæa, held in the
reign of Constantine, it was decided that Christ and the Father were of
one and the same nature, and the doctrine of Arius, that Christ and God
were only similar in nature, was declared heretical.  Nevertheless, the
Arians became more numerous than ever under the reign of Valens.  As soon
as the Christians of the West, writes Gibbon, had extricated themselves
from the snares of the creed of Rimini, they happily relapsed into the
slumber of orthodoxy, and the small remains of the Arian party that still
subsisted in Sirmium or Milan might be considered as objects of contempt
rather than resentment.  But in the provinces of the East, from the
Euxine to the extremity of Thebais, the strength and number of the
hostile factions were equally balanced, and this equality, instead of
recommending the counsels of peace, served only to perpetuate the horrors
of religious war.  The monks and bishops supported their arguments by
invectives, and their invectives were sometimes followed by blows.
Athanasius still reigned at Alexandria, but the thrones of Constantinople
and Antioch were occupied by Arian prelates, and every episcopal vacancy
was the occasion of a popular tumult.  The Homoousians were fortified by
the reconciliation of fifty-nine Macedonian or semi-Arian bishops, but
their secret reluctance to embrace the Divinity of the Holy Ghost clouded
the splendour of their triumph, and the declaration of Valens, who in the
first years of his reign had imitated the impartial conduct of his
brother, was an important victory on the side of Arianism.  Well might
Dr. Arnold write that it was an evil hour for the Church when Constantine
connected Christianity with the State.  It is really wonderful that real
Christianity survived that fatal step when the sword of the civil
magistrate was drawn in its support.  It is hardly yet recognised that
the religion of Jesus of Nazareth flourishes best when free from State
patronage and control.



Covered with dust, parched with thirst, exhausted with hunger, burnt up
with heat, I am landed at the charming Hôtel du Nil, in the gardens of
which, filled up with American rocking-chairs, and trees bearing gorgeous
red flowers and bananas and palms, and eucalyptus and banyan-trees all
around, I realize as I have never done before something of the splendour
and the wondrous beauty of the East.  It must have been a fairy palace at
one time or other, this Hôtel du Nil, with an enchanted garden.  In the
day it is intolerably hot, but the mornings and evenings are simply
perfection.  If there be an Elysium on earth, it is this.  I feel
inclined to pitch my tent here, and for ever bid adieu to my native land.
The dinners are all that can be desired, the bedrooms large and lofty,
and the servants, who, with the exception of the German waiters, are
Soudanese—tall, white-robed, with a girdle round the middle—seem to me to
be the best and most attentive in the world.  There is nothing they will
not do for me, and they are honest as the day.  Apparently the dark boys
have a good deal of the negro in their blood.  I walk out to see the fine
buildings and palaces which lie between me and the railway-station, but I
cannot stand the bustle and confusion of the street, and soon beat a
hasty retreat.  The infirmities of old age follow me into this land of
perpetual youth.

                     [Picture: General view of Cairo]

I walk outside the narrow and sombre lane which leads to the hotel in the
quaint and ancient street Mousky.  Let me attempt to describe it, and it
will give the reader an accurate idea of Oriental life.  The Mousky is
the busiest street in all Cairo.  Here meet Greek and Syrian,
Anglo-Saxons, American or English, Armenian and Turk, Maronite and Druse,
Italians, French, Russians, German, Dutch, and Belgian, and the vast army
of residents, men, women, and children, of all shades and complexions,
from the ebony-black Soudanese to the olive-tinted Arab, walk its length,
penetrate its dark and confusing bazaars, and there [Picture: A street in
Cairo] is nothing more for you to see.  Donkey drivers, who beset me at
every step, and the guides on the look-out for their prey, are a
perpetual nuisance, even though they assure me they like the English and
are glad to see them here.

Crowded together are nooks and corners where native merchants ply their
trades, and the gloom of some dark recess is lit by the glowing blue and
scarlet and purple of Persian rugs, and the glare of polished and
embossed brass.  In the street the modern descendant of Tubal Cain is
hard at work, and the tailor plies his needle, and the cigarette-maker
rolls up his tobacco in its thin wrapper of paper, and the weaver bends
over his loom, differing in nothing from that used by his forefathers a
thousand years ago.  Eatables and drinkables of strange flavour and
colour are exposed for sale, and pedlars meet you at every turn uttering
hoarse and discordant cries.  There is quite a buzz of conversation, but
I cannot understand a word.  Why, I ask, did not Leibnitz carry out his
grand idea and give us a universal language?  It would have saved some of
us a good deal of trouble.  The pavement is too narrow for anyone to walk
on, as the shopkeeper sits outside smoking his cigarette, while the
customers also do the same, and the street is completely blocked.  You
are obliged to get into the narrow way where carriages and donkey and
luggage waggons meet you at every step.

Women abound, all clad in black, with a black cloth over their faces,
leaving only the eyes and nose visible, and a cheek of pallid skin.  The
nose is covered with a little gilt ornament, I suppose they call it,
coming from the forehead, so that you really see nothing of it.  Now and
then you pass a coffee-house where smoking and gambling seem to be going
on all day.  In the course of my ramblings I came to a street lined with
scribes on stones writing letters for their clients, and was struck with
the firm, clear hand in which their letters are written—all in Arabic, of
course.  Every now and then a swell passes me in his carriage, with a
running footman to clear the way with a white or black staff.  I expect
to be knocked down every minute.  To walk the Mousky in peace and safety,
you require to be as deaf as a post and to have a pair at least of good
eyes at the back of your head.

                 [Picture: Tomb of the Caliphs of Cairo]

Wearied, I return to the quiet and shady groves of the hotel, a large
pile of buildings streaked red and yellow, with a grand bit of garden
ground at the back, and a wooden tower, from which you may see all Cairo
at a glance.  All the houses are flat-roofed, and many of them look
unfinished, though not in reality so.  I sink into a rocking-chair, light
my pipe, and talk of the future of Cairo.  I say I want to visit a Coptic
Church, the church which was held heretical by the Orthodox Church, as
they were said to have held imperfect ideas of the dual nature of Christ.
One gentleman tells me I had better keep away, as the priests will pick
your pockets in the very church.  He has 300 Copts in his employ, and
gives them all a very bad character.  I ask as to the Khedive; everyone
gives him a bad character, though he has discovered one wife is enough
for any man.  ‘He has the bad blood of his father and grandfather,’ says
an Englishman to me.  He has a thin veneer of civilization, but he is
weak and ignorant, eaten up with ambition, and over head and ears in
debt, though his allowance is £100,000 a year, a sum which should go far
in a city where the price of labour is from two piastres to five, the
piastre being valued at twopence halfpenny.

The people live exclusively on maize-corn, certainly not an expensive
article of diet.  The intelligent people are all in favour of the English
Government, but, alas! the majority does not in Cairo, as I am told it
does at home, represent the enlightened opinions of an intelligent
people.  I hear the shilly-shally policy of the English Government
bitterly condemned.  We are here, and must remain here.  As it is, the
people know not what to expect.  There is no progress, but a terrible
paralysis all over the city.  ‘I like you English,’ said an intelligent
native; ‘but you are here to-day and may be gone to-morrow, and then we
who have adhered to England will all have our throats cut.  We are like a
boat between two shores, and know not whither we are going.  The English
must either stop or go.’  Our stay is to the lasting advantage of all the
European nations.

We have wonderfully improved the condition of the fellaheen, who,
according to all I hear, are not too thankful for the liberty we have
gained for them.  I met an intelligent old Greek, who deeply resented
that we had abolished flogging—a little of it now and then, according to
him, did the natives good.  Manual labour is so cheap that it is used in
every department.  At the hotel I note that they bring the coals in in
baskets, and in the railway-station I see a native employed in laying the
dust, with a skin of water, which he carries on his back, using the neck
as a water-spout.

Of all the cities I have known—and, like Ulysses, I am ever wandering
with a hungry heart—I infinitely prefer Cairo, and am not surprised that
it is becoming more and more the winter residence of the English
aristocracy.  It was a delight to live when I was there, and as I took my
breakfast _al fresco_ in the beautiful grounds of the Hôtel du Nil, with
tropical plants in full flower all round me, a bright sun and unclouded
blue sky above, the question whether life was worth living seemed to me
an absurdity.  But, alas! no one can look for perfect happiness—at any
rate, on earth.  In Cairo there are the flies, not so bad as I have seen
them in Australia or America, but a terrible infliction nevertheless.
One of my companions, Mr. Willans, the popular proprietor of the _Leeds
Daily Mercury_, suffered much from them, and had for a time to give up
reading and writing, and to wear coloured glasses, but I was let off more
easily.  In Cairo, for the first time, I realized what a luxury it was to
have dates to eat.  We at home, who buy dates at the grocer’s, have no
idea how juicy the date of Cairo is.  [Picture: Donkey Boy, Cairo] Then
the heat is great, and walking far is out of the question.  But what of
that?  Directly you turn into the street the donkey-boy comes up to offer
you a ride; and the Cairo donkey is lively, large, and white, and well
groomed, sure of foot, swift in speed, and beautiful to look at.  An
English coster’s moke is not to be named on the same day with the Cairo
donkey, on which you can have a ride for a trifling sum.

Life and prosperity seem everywhere to prevail, and the station at Cairo
conducts you at once into a fine city, with broad streets, well watered,
and shaded by trees, handsome shops, fine hotels, beautiful gardens, and
the inevitable statue of Mohammed Ali, who did so much to develop modern
Egypt.  Palaces of all kinds attract the eye, one of the finest of these
being the residence of Lord Cromer.  Cairo is distinctly a society place,
though, perhaps, not so much so as Cannes or Nice, and living is dear,
though cheaper than it used to be.  French seems the language principally
used, though the guides, who pester you at every corner, and the
donkey-boys, who are equally persistent, have a confusing smattering of
English.  The resident English colony is chiefly composed of the
diplomatic and Consular bodies, or of those connected with the different
Consular departments, and of officers of the garrison.  You meet many
English soldiers whose appearance is creditable to the country, and
amongst the birds of passage are many Americans.  There are two good
clubs for visitors—the Khediveal and the Turf, the latter chiefly
supported by army officers.  The theatre, where French plays and Italian
operas are performed, is a very fine building.  In the same neighbourhood
is also a _café chantant_ in the gardens.  All day long, under the bright
blue sky, the scene is very animated.

But the visitors, although a welcome addition, do not entirely make up
Cairene society.  The gaiety begins and is mainly kept up by the
residents, especially the British civil and military, who are always most
hospitable at the winter time of year.  Cairo is no doubt a court and
capital, the residence of the sovereign to whom diplomatists are
accredited from all the civilized Powers.  But it is also a British
military station, and it owes much of its present liveliness to the
British officers and civil servants.

It was the British garrison that established the Cairo Sporting Club,
where good polo is played, and very fair cricket, ‘squash’ rackets, and
lawn-tennis; where there are monthly race-meetings, and officers ride
steeplechases on their own horses.  The big lunches, the pleasant
afternoon teas, the dances and flirtations so constantly in progress, are
essentially British.

Out at Mena, under the shadow of the Sphinx, there is a golf-course, and
the caddie is an Arab boy in a long blue bed-gown, and you can aim your
ball from the putting-green straight at the Pyramid of Cheops.  Out at
Matarieh, just where Mr. Wilfrid Blunt lives the life of an Arab
patriarch, under tents, surrounded by his flocks and herds, there is a
training stable, and the British sporting subaltern keeps his ‘tit’
there, and comes out to give him his gallops at early dawn.

But it is as you get away from the broad streets of new Cairo, and plunge
into the bazaars and the narrow streets, that you realize what a
bewildering place old Cairo is.  The city of Cairo covers an area of
three square miles, and greatly exceeds the limit of the old walls.  On
the south stands the ancient citadel, on a rock, memorable for the
massacre of the Mamelukes.  Of the most perfect of the old gateways still
remaining is the Gate of Victory.  Above the archway is an Arabic
inscription: ‘There is no god but God, and Mohammed is His Prophet.’  The
streets are narrow and irregular, and badly paved, while the white
houses, with their overhanging windows, are, at any rate, picturesque.

The bazaars are of all sorts: the leather-sellers have one, the
carpet-dealers another, silk-merchants another, and everywhere purchaser
and buyer seem to spend a great deal of time in smoking cigarettes.  The
gold bazaar is so narrow that three persons can scarcely pass; there, and
at the silver bazaar, you see the artificers constantly at work.  Coptic
churches and mosques you meet everywhere.  There is a good attendance at
the English Church; there are also a Presbyterian Church, and two Roman
Catholic churches.  I saw the bishop of one of them, who was to preach,
driving along in very grand style.  The Wesleyans have also a chapel.
The howling dervishes have also their sanctum, where they exhibit their
peculiarly unpleasant powers.  I decline to go and see them, as everyone
tells me they are a fraud; and if I want to be deceived, there is the
Egyptian conjuror always ready with his little tricks.  He comes daily to
the hotel to give a performance; also daily resort there the Egyptian
minstrels, whose performances we all greatly applaud.

The English have a party paper called the _Sphinx_, which, however, I
fancy has little influence in the formation of public opinion.  In
Alexandria a daily English paper is published, which reaches Cairo about
eight in the evening, but which gives little general news, and is chiefly
devoted to trade and commerce.  It was with a heavy heart I left Cairo
and its bright and busy life for the gray skies and bleak winds of my
native land.  My consolation is that we breed better men than they do in
southern climes—a fact of which the Roman Cæsars were aware when they
drew their best troops from Britain or Northern Gaul.

The French complain bitterly of English influence in Egypt—a country for
which we have done much, and which, if it ever becomes prosperous, will
owe its prosperity to England alone; and yet it is the fact that the
Englishman in Egypt lies under peculiar disadvantages, and that as much
as possible English enterprise is discouraged and destroyed.  It ought
not to be so.  We who have made Egypt what it is, who have fought its
battles, developed its resources, improved the condition of its people,
destroyed its corrupting and enervating influences, put its finances in a
healthy condition, may be expected to have, at any rate, fair play there.

That this is not so, the case of Mr. Fell, of Leamington, one of the few
men who have raised themselves from the ranks and become honoured far and
near, is a notorious illustration.  In 1890 he obtained a concession from
the Egyptian Government giving him the right to make tramways in the city
of Cairo.  The particular department of the Egyptian Government which has
to do with such affairs has at its head a Secretary of State—at that time
the office was held by Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff—and a financial adviser
appointed by the Egyptian Government on the recommendation of the English
Government.  Mr. Fell went to Egypt, had the whole city surveyed, and the
plans drawn, a difficult task which occupied a considerable amount of
time.  In August of the same year he bought the steel rails, ordered the
cars to be built, and did all he could to hasten the fulfilment of his
contract, and, as a security, deposited with the Egyptian Government
twenty-two Egyptian bonds of the value of £100 each.  To still further
strengthen his position, he had a letter from Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff
to the effect that he was quite satisfied that Mr. Fell had complied with
legal requirements.

So far all was straight sailing, but in April the Egyptian Government
confiscated the bonds Mr. Fell had deposited with them, and also declared
the contract null and void, on the ground that he had failed to comply
with the conditions under which the contract was made.  Mr. Fell had a
long correspondence with the Egyptian Government of a very unsatisfactory
character.  In 1893 he returned to Egypt, and interviewed the
authorities.  Lord Cromer advised him to go to law.  In his action
against the Government, he was defeated on the plea that the letters
written by Sir Scott Moncrieff, as Secretary of State, were not valid.
In the meanwhile, the Egyptian Government advertised for a new concession
in July, 1894, for which Mr. Fell again tendered, depositing a thousand
guineas.  In compliance with a request from the Egyptian Government, Mr.
Fell again returned to Egypt, but found, on his arrival, that the
contract had been given to a Belgian firm, who frankly admitted that they
had paid so much for the concession that it was scarcely worth having.
‘My loss in consequence,’ said Mr. Fell to me, ‘is at least from £17,000
to £20,000, and this all through French intriguing.’

Such is a brief outline of a case of hardship, not to an individual, but
the whole nation.  Practically speaking, there is no British capital
invested in Egypt except what was there previous to 1882.  In the railway
department, for instance, of late years all the works have been carried
on by French and Belgian—to the exclusion of British—contractors.  All
the contracts for bridges which have recently been let have been let to
Belgian contractors.  The only companies that thrive in Egypt are French
companies.  Everything is in their favour.  The law officers of the Crown
are exclusively foreign, principally Corsicans, and they are able to
control the native tribunal, notwithstanding the fact that there are
English judges upon it; and to these Corsican law officers it is due that
so much anti-English feeling exists in Egypt at this present time.
Assuredly, Egypt makes us but a poor return for the money and blood we
have spent in its behalf.  We have a right to expect better treatment.
If John Bull stands this sort of thing, he must be a poor creature

Anthony Trollope gives us an amusing illustration of the official life of
Cairo in his time.  He was sent there by the English Post-Office to
accelerate the mail-service to Suez, and it took him two months to do his
business.  ‘I found, on my arrival,’ he writes, ‘that I was to
communicate with an officer of the Pasha, who was then called Nubar Bey.
I presume him to have been the gentleman who lately dealt with our
Government as to the Suez Canal shares, and who is now well known as
Nubar Pasha.  I found him a most courteous gentleman, an Armenian.  I
never went to his office, nor do I know that he had an office.  Every
other day he would come to me at my hotel, and bring with him servants
and pipes and coffee.  I enjoyed his coming greatly, but there was one
point on which we could not agree,’ and that was as to the rate of speed
with which the mails should be carried through Egypt.  The Post-Office
said it must be done in twenty-four hours.  The agent of the Egyptian
Government contended that it would take forty-eight hours at the least.
For a long time they could come to no agreement.  Both were equally
obstinate.  It was impossible, said Nubar, that the mail could be carried
at such a rate.  It might do for England, but would not do for Egypt.
The Pasha, his master, he said, would, no doubt, accede to any terms
demanded by the British Post-Office, so great was his reverence for
anything British.  In that case, he, Nubar, would at once resign his
position and retire into private life.  He would be ruined, but the loss
of life and bloodshed which would follow would not rest on his head.
Nevertheless, he gave way after many days’ delay and a good deal of
smoking and coffee-drinking.  The twenty-four hours gained the day.  It
is to be hoped that official business is done more quickly now.  A two
months’ stay in Cairo over such an affair may have been pleasant.  It
certainly was expensive, and someone other than Mr. Trollope had to pay
the bill.

Lord Cromer’s latest report of the state of matters in Egypt is cheering.
The finances are better.  The income from railways, customs, and tobacco
has improved.  A great boon has been conferred on the fellaheen by the
experimental money advances made by Government to tide them over till
their cotton-crop is ripe.  Hitherto they have had to borrow from Greeks,
who, however admirable in the character of liberators, are not so lovely
as money-lenders.  They charge from 20 to 30 per cent. for their loans,
and, in addition, always take back an Egyptian pound, equal to £1 0s.
6d., for the pound sterling.  This is really more than an extra 2½ per
cent., for the loans are not for a whole year.  There are Mohammedan
lenders, too.  Their religion forbidding usury, they take it out of the
fellaheen in cotton.  The Government in their experimental loans have
charged a half per cent. per month, or 6 per cent. per annum.  The
experiment was successful.  Of nearly £8,000 lent between February and
July, all but £20 had been repaid with interest by the end of November.
The benefit that an agricultural bank would be to the smaller cultivators
has been in this way realized by Lord Cromer, who suggests that private
bankers should take the experiment in hand.

The Government has also been checkmating the money-lenders by sending
them good seed at 58 pounds Turkish an ardeb, payable in three
instalments, upon finding out that the usurers were advancing inferior
seed at 70 to 100 pounds Turkish, payable at cropping-time.

The land-tax is now got in with certainty, whereas formerly the
Government never knew what to estimate for arrears; the post-office
revenue is improving; exports and imports have gone up by about two
millions; the cotton-crops are better; the sugar industry is rapidly
increasing in Upper Egypt; the railway receipts are the highest on
record; railway extension is going on, and plans and surveys for light
railways are well advanced; agricultural roads are constructed; there are
electric tramways and lighting in Cairo.  The light dues will be
decreased this year.  The only relic of forced labour is a yearly
diminishing amount for the protection of the Nile banks during the period
of flood.  Crime is diminishing, and sanitary reform is progressing.
Education is advancing as far as possible, considering the deficiency of
funds, and slavery is kept under.

As to the question when our work shall be done, and we English shall
retire from Cairo, it is impossible, says Sir A. Milner, to give a
definite answer.  It would be difficult to over-estimate what that work
owes to the sagacity, patience, and fortitude of the British Ambassador.
The contrast between the Egypt of to-day and the Egypt as it was when he
first took it in hand is the best testimony to his efficiency and wisdom.
All writers on Egypt agree in this.  ‘There is not a native,’ writes Mr.
Wood, ‘that does not recognise at heart the benefits of the British
occupation’—a remark which seemed to be to a certain extent true; but not
quite to the extent Mr. Wood suggests.  ‘It is quite an anachronism,’ Sir
A. Milner remarks, ‘to suppose that the interest of Egyptian finance
centres in the debt, and that the financial authorities of the country
are the mere bailiffs of the bondholders.’  As a matter of fact, now that
it has been established that the resources of Egypt can bear the interest
of the debt at its present rate, the last people whom an Egyptian Finance
Minister need trouble himself about are the bondholders.  Except when an
occasion presents itself to reduce the interest by the legitimate method
of conversion, the debt need no longer have a foremost place in his mind.
‘Even the Commissioners of the Caisse,’ writes Sir A. Milner, ‘who only
meet to protect the creditors, and who from time to time, to justify
their existence, get up a little fuss about some supposed danger to
interests which in their hearts they know to be perfectly secure—even the
Commissioners of the Caisse, I say, are more occupied now-a-days with
employing their reserve fund in developing the wealth of the country than
with needless anxieties about the coupon.’  Sir A. Milner has no doubt
well weighed his words.  Of all the romances of finance there are few to
be compared with the borrowings of Ismail, to whom is due the honour of
having originated the Egyptian National Debt.



There are two things in Egypt which amply repay the traveller for his
trouble.  One is the museum at Gizeh, and the other the pyramids,
especially the Great Pyramid of Cheops.  I did them both in one day.  It
is a pleasant ride from Cairo, on a road broad, well watered, and shaded
all the way by large acacia-trees.  I did the museum first, though it
will be a matter of regret to me that I had only an hour to visit a
collection where one might usefully spend weeks, and that our guide
indulged in an English almost as unintelligible to us as

          ‘The heathen Greek
    That Helen spoke when Paris wooed.’

The palace which shelters the museum is said to have been built at a cost
of nearly 5,000,000 sterling.  The edifice is placed in spacious grounds
close to the river, just opposite the spot on the other side where
Pharaoh’s daughter is said to have come to bathe when she discovered
Moses.  It was opened by the Khedive in 1890.  The section devoted to the
exhibition of papyri is remarkably interesting, but to most of us the gem
of the collection is the splendid sarcophagus which contains the body of
Rameses II., the persecutor of the Israelites.  The features of his face
are well preserved, but his head does not give you any idea of any
special intellectual capacity; and the face of his father, who lies close
by, is almost that of a pure negro—that is, as far as I could make it
out.  On one of the papyri is an inscription, of which I copy a portion,
in order to [Picture: Colossal Statue of Rameses II] give the reader an
idea of the piety of the ancient Egyptians:

    ‘When thou makest an offering to God, offer not that which He
    abominateth.  Dispute not concerning His mysteries.  The God of the
    world is in the light above the heavens, and His emblems are upon
    earth.  It is unto these that worship is paid daily.  When thou hast
    arrived at years of maturity, and art married and hast a house,
    forget never the pains which thou hast cost thy mother, nor the care
    which she has bestowed upon thee.  Never give her cause to complain
    of thee, lest she lift up her hand to God in heaven to complain of
    thee, and He listen to her complaint.’

It seems to me that we have a good deal to learn of the ancient Egyptians

To the Pyramids it is a drive of about five miles.  When we reached them
it was too hot for most of us to attempt climbing; yet several of our
party did so, and came back delighted with the view they had thus gained
over all the country round.  I need not describe the appearance of the
Great Pyramid, standing as it does on the edge of the Libyan desert—an
enormous pile of stones, up which it would be impossible to climb were it
not for the help of the guides, who are remarkably skilful in aiding the
traveller in the perilous ascent and the far more perilous descent, and
at the same time remarkably pressing for backsheesh.  There is no
evidence to show that the Pyramids were built for astronomical purposes,
and the theory that the Great Pyramid was built as a standard of
measurement is equally worthless.  Outwardly, they seem nothing but a
pile of big stones, broad at the base, tapering at the top.  A French
savant has asserted that the stones of the three Pyramids would make a
wall round the frontier of France.  The Pyramid of Cheops was built B.C.
3733.  Its four sides measure in length about 755 feet at the base; its
height is now 451 feet, but it is said to have been originally about 481

Of late, as I have shown, the trip to the Pyramids cannot well be easier
or more agreeable.  In 1868 Sir Stafford Northcote thus describes his
experiences: ‘We observed nothing particular till we reached the Nile,
when the scene of crossing in the ferry-boats afforded us unmixed
satisfaction.  The usual amount of noise in the streets at Cairo was as
silence to the noise at the waterside.  Hosts of donkeys were being
pushed, pulled, beaten, or shouted at, and eventually lifted into the
boats, and then shoved off with loads [Picture: Pyramid and Sphinx] that
looked very unmanageable.  We had a boat to ourselves, and our donkeys
took their places in it like old stagers.  We had a pretty strong breeze
in our favour, and sailed across easily enough, wondering how we were to
get back again.  Soon after crossing, we came into the fine new road
which the Viceroy has made to the Pyramids, and which is perfectly
luxurious.  It is as wide as the Edgware Road, but not so hard, [Picture:
The Great Sphinx. (From a photograph taken by Dr. W. Ogle, February,
1888)] and must be charming for a horse’s foot.  Avenues of acacias are
planted all along it, and when these have grown to the size of those
which line the earlier part of the road, the approach will be in
delicious shade all the way.  Avenues of trees are inferior in dignity to
avenues of sphinxes, but make pleasanter travelling.  We were seized on
in the usual way and dragged up the Great Pyramid by the Arabs.  I could
have got up a great deal better by myself, but it would have been
contrary to all precedent, and might have led to an _émeute_.  It took me
twenty minutes to go up, including a good stoppage for breath and another
for a wrangle between two Arabs.  The view from the top was good, but one
could not enjoy it much in the presence of such a crowd.  The first thing
my Bedouin did was to go down on his knees and offer to cut my name,
which I indignantly forbade.  He then proceeded to tender some coins
(genuine antique, of course) at a suspiciously low price, and finally he
urged me to come down quickly, in the hopes, no doubt, of getting hold of
another victim.’

Sir Stafford adds that he admired the Sphinx, which is, in some respects,
more interesting than the Pyramids themselves.  Now there is to be a
tramway to the Pyramids.  But I fear the nuisance of the Arab guides
shouting and pushing will remain a nuisance still.

As I sit under what little shade I can find on the burning sand, I am
badgered to death by the dealers in imitation antiques and the donkey
boys.  The white donkeys of Egypt are beautiful animals, and sometimes
fetch a hundred pounds.  I have seen a gentleman whose donkey cost him
that sum.  The value of the common donkey to be met with in the streets
of Cairo is about seven pounds.  The finest donkeys in the world come
from Cyprus.  The next best are those to be had at Syene, in Egypt.  I
could tell much of the artfulness of the donkey-boys.  One of my
companions was very stout, and did not think it right to gallop, on
account of his weight.  ‘Me too fat,’ said he to the donkey-boy.  ‘No,’
replied the latter—‘not too fat; you fine man.’  Again, one of the ladies
of our party was enjoying a ride, when the boy plaintively remarked:
‘Fine lady—fine donkey—poor donkey-boy!’  And the boy secured a little
extra backsheesh.  I could fill a chapter with the smart sayings of the
donkey-boys.  So far as I can make out, there is no need for the
donkey-boy to travel to Ireland to kiss the Blarney-Stone.  Alas for him,
I was deaf to all his flattery, and plunged on in the burning sand till I
stood in the presence of the world-renowned Sphinx.

At first I was disappointed in the Sphinx, but, like Niagara, the more
you look, the more you admire.  Poets and literary men have told us how
it stands in the desert, and has stood for centuries, overlooking the
eternal sands as nations and dynasties come and go.  In reality its
position is by no means elevated, and you don’t see it till you are
actually before it.  And yet one can in time realize something of that
fine passage in ‘Eothen,’ written half a century ago, which tells how
this unworldly Sphinx has looked down on ancient kings of Ethiopian and
Egyptian origin, upon Greek and Roman, upon Arab and Ottoman conquerors,
upon Napoleon, dreaming of an Eastern empire, upon battle and pestilence,
and how it will remain watching when Islam will wither away, and the
Englishman will plant a firm foot on the banks of the Nile.  Originally
it was crowned with a helmet; the stone cap was only discovered as lately
as 1896.  Mr. John Cook runs a four-horse coach to the Pyramids and back
during the season, and thus, at the foot of the Sphinx, the present and
the past meet and mingle.  The age of the Sphinx is unknown.  All that is
certain is that it was the work of one of the kings of the ancient
empire.  A stele discovered of the time of Thothmes, B.C. 1533, records
that one day, during an after-dinner sleep, Hermachis appeared to
Thothmes IV., and promised to bestow upon him the crown of Egypt if he
would dig his image the Sphinx out of the sand.  Another inscription
recently discovered shows that the Sphinx existed in the time of Cheops.
The Sphinx is here hewn out of the solid rock, but pieces of stone have
been added when necessary.  The body is about 150 feet long, the paws are
50 feet long, the head is 30 feet long, the face is 14 feet wide, and
from the top of the head to the base of the monument the distance is
about 70 feet.  Originally there were probably ornaments on the head, the
whole of which was covered with a limestone covering, and the face was
coloured red.  Of these decorations scarcely any traces now remain,
though they were visible towards the end of the last century.  The
condition in which the monument now appears is due to the savage
destruction of its features by the Mohammedan rulers of Egypt, some of
whom caused it to be used for a target.  Around this imposing relic of
antiquity a number of legends and superstitions have clustered in all
ages.  A little to the south-east of the Sphinx stands the large granite
and limestone temple excavated by M. Marriette in 1853.

And now I have done with the East, and my face is turned towards
Marseilles.  I am once more on board the _Midnight Sun_, the quiet and
repose of which are infinitely refreshing after the tumult and bustle of
Egypt.  Long, long will I remember the gorgeous East—its heat, its
confusion, its noise, its undying charm.  To enjoy Cairo, you must go and
stop there a winter.  My fellow-passengers seem to have been lavish in
their expenditure.  One gentleman alone of our party expended as much as
£60 in the purchase of carpets and gold-embroidered cloths, and for the
ladies the bazaars seem to have had peculiar charms.  I am sure Dr. Lunn
deserves the hearty thanks of all our party for organizing what has
proved to be such a gratifying time.  His brother and his secretary, Mr.
Wight, have done all in their power to make us comfortable.  There was no
hitch in any of the arrangements.  Carriages and hotels were all of the
very best, and the cost of the whole trip was really remarkably small.
The ordinary traveller, making the trip on his own account, must have had
to pay a great deal more, and experienced an amount of trouble and
fatigue, and consequent loss of temper, of which we passengers by the
_Midnight Sun_ have had no conception.

The Doctor calls his tours educational ones, and provides us with
lectures.  I did not much profit by the lectures, my hearing being, alas!
rather defective; yet we all of us got a good deal of education during
the course of our visit—the education which comes to all of us from the
use of our eyes and ears, and the gift, or, rather, exercise, of

I ought to mention that there is a very good hotel on your right just as
you get to the Pyramids; many gentlemen I met were staying there, and
spoke well of it.  Some years since a gentleman suffering from
consumption built a house, and went to live there in the hope that the
pure air of the desert would restore him to health.  It did not.  As is
the case with so many consumptive people, the remedy was deferred too
long.  Many are those who have gone to the desert to recover, but fade
away and die, to the sorrow of those who loved them, simply because they
have deferred the remedy too long.  On the decease of the builder of the
house, it was greatly enlarged, and is now known as the Mena House Hotel.
Mena is the name of one of the most ancient Egyptian kings.  All round it
stretches the desert right away to the great Sahara, and there Byron
might have realized his dream—which, happily, he never realized, nor
ever, perhaps, wished to—of the desert being his dwelling-place, with
some fair spirit for his minister,

    ‘Where he might soon forget the human race,
    And, hating no one, love but only her.’

It was well for the noble poet, whose fame will grow when that of our
Poet Laureate and his brother rhymesters will have collapsed, that the
elements did not hear his prayer and accord him his heart’s desire.  But
a fellow might do worse than put up at the Mena Hotel, of which I, alas!
only saw the outside.  One ought to stop some time at the Pyramids.  Mr.
Pollard, who devotes considerable space to them—the last authority on the
subject—says the rocks upon which they are built, ‘and the stones with
which they are constructed, abound with small fossil shells, which, from
their resemblance to money or coins, have caused this limestone to be
called nummulite.  Other round, small shells, closely resembling lentils,
are also found; the Arabs say that they were the food of the masons
turned into stone.  The flora is interesting, though limited: an
anthromis bearing its strong characteristic scent, but without petals; a
very pretty small plant of the herbage family; and an umbelliferous plant
smelling strongly of aniseed, were all much appreciated by the camels and

While I was there I saw no flowers, nor heard of any.  They had all
withered under the scorching sun.



At length I gaze on the Nile—that marvellous river, the sources of which,
though many have tried to find them, have only been discovered in our
day.  The history of Egypt is the oldest known to us.  A large portion of
its history can be constructed from the native records of the Egyptians,
and those records are all to be found on the banks of the Nile.  Four
thousand four hundred years before Christ, Mena, the first King of Egypt
of whom we have a record, founded Memphis, having turned aside the course
of the Nile and established a temple service there.  In the reign of
Ammenehat, 2,300 years before Christ, special attention was paid to the
rise of the Nile, and canals were made and sluices dug for irrigating the
country; the rise of the Nile was marked on wells at Semnah, about
thirty-five miles above the second cataract, and the inscriptions are
visible to this day.  A thousand years later Seti I. is said to have
built a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea.  Under the Roman Emperor
Trajan the Nile and Red Sea Canal was reopened.  Egypt proper terminates
at Syene: the territory south of that town and each side of the new Nile
is called Nubia.  All Egypt depends upon the Nile; where the Nile does
not flow all is barrenness—nothing but sand and rock.

The area of the land in Egypt available for cultivation is about 11,500
square miles; the Delta contains about 6,500 square miles, and the Nile
Valley about 5,000.  The country seems to have been taken possession of
by a people from the East about 5,000 years before Christ.  They found
there an aboriginal people, with a dark skin and complexion.  The
Egyptians generally called their land black (Kanit), and the term is
appropriate, if we consider the dark rich colour of the cultivated land.
In the Bible Egypt is known as Ham.  All nations have held the land, and
have sent their people thither.  But it is a curious fact that the
physical type of the Egyptian fellah is exactly what it was in the
earliest dynasties.

The river Nile is one of the largest rivers in the world.  It is formed
by the junction of two great arms, the Blue Nile and the White; one rises
in Abyssinia, at an elevation of about 10,000 feet above the level of the
sea; the other, the true Nile, has its fountain-head in the Victoria
Nyanza, a huge basin far below the level of the country.  The course of
the Nile has been explored about 3,500 miles.  From Khartoum to Cairo the
Nile falls about 400 yards; its width in its widest part is about 1,100
yards.  After entering Egypt, the Nile flows in a steady stream always to
the north, and deposits the mud which is the life of Egypt.  The breadth
of the Nile Valley varies from four to ten miles in Nubia, and from
fifteen to thirty in Egypt.  The width of the area of cultivated land on
each bank of the river in Egypt is never more than eight or nine miles.
The inundation caused by the descent of rain on the Abyssinian mountains
commences at the cataracts in June, and in July makes a great show.  The
rise of the Nile continues till the end of September when it remains
stationary about three weeks.  In October it rises again, and attains its
highest level.  When I saw it in November the waters had subsided, and
the peasants were hard at work, making the best of their opportunity.

The ground was still too wet for ploughing, but gangs were turning up the
soil with hoes, and sowing the seed.  It seemed to be simple work, under
the blue sky and the bright sun.  There was no need for high farming;
Nature did everything, and the toil of the labourer was richly rewarded.
It made me think of what Douglas Jerrold said of Australia—that it was a
country so fertile that ‘if you but tickle her with a hoe she laughs with
a harvest.’  And the harvest is wonderful.  Commercially, the Nile is a
fortune to Cairo.  It is estimated that if all the land watered by the
Nile were thoroughly cultivated, Egypt, for its size, would be one of the
richest countries in the world.  Till the Cairo Waterworks were
established, the people of Cairo depended solely on the water of the
Nile; and in Cairo, as in Jerusalem, the water-carrier is still to be
seen, bearing on his back a large black goatskin filled with water from
the river.  At the Cairo railway-station he is always in evidence
watering the platform and keeping down the dust.  The short legs of the
goat cut off at the knee stick out in a most grotesque manner when the
skin is full and round.  The neck forms the spout, and is held firmly in
the left hand, to enable the carrier to sprinkle the contents where
desired.  The weight of some of these large skins must be very
considerable.  The skins used for wine are identical in form with these.

In ancient times there were near Cairo no less than seven branches of the
Nile; only two now remain.  Very busy are the people who have to do with
the Nile in the vicinity of Cairo.  A large open space at the end of one
of the bridges is selected for the collection of the octroi duties levied
upon all food and produce entering the city.  Here the fellaheen assemble
daily, with their camels and asses laden with produce, or with droves of
buffaloes and oxen, and flocks of sheep and goats.  The scene there is
almost picturesque and animated.  Another bridge carried over a wide
canal, which forms an important backwater to the hill, connects the
western shore.  From this point roads radiate north, west, and south,
each shaded by avenues of the acacia, so common in Egypt.  The Ghizeh
road is the southern one, following the course of the river, always alive
with boats with large triangular sails, always redolent of busy life.

Egypt without the Nile would be a desert.  ‘Anyone,’ says old Herodotus,
the father of history, the truth of whose narrative every day becomes
more apparent to everyone who sees Egypt, without having heard a word
about it before, ‘must perceive, if he has only common powers of
observation, that the Egypt to which the Greeks go in their ships is an
acquired country, the gift of the Nile.’

The prosperity of the country depends upon its inundation: if it should
prove excessive, and becomes what is termed a high Nile, towns and
villages are sometimes swept away; if it should not rise above a certain
height, it is called a low Nile—a large area will be left uncovered, and
deficient crops will be the result.  Fortunately, a low Nile is of rare
occurrence.  At one time, the only way of going up the Nile was by the
dahabeah, a kind of yacht fitted up for the convenience of travellers, an
expensive and dilatory mode of conveyance.  Now Mr. John Cook has a line
of fine steamers, and the Nile and the journey up and down is done as
safely and expeditiously as the trip by the _Clacton Belle_ steamers up
and down the Thames.  The voyage to Assouan and back is done in three
weeks.  Facilities are afforded the traveller for the extension of his
voyage to the second cataract.

Of course, the ancient Egyptians worshipped the Nile.  Hapi, the god of
the Nile, is represented wearing a cluster of flowers on his head; he is
coloured red and green, probably to represent the colours of the water of
the Nile immediately before and just after the beginning of the
inundation.  An illustration of this worship occurs upon a wall in
Thebes, where a priest, in his painted robe, is offering incense, while
others play on a harp, a guitar, and two reed pipes.  This is the song of
one of the priests who lived 1,400 years before Christ:

    ‘Adoration to the Nile!  Hail, to thee, O Nile! who manifesteth
    thyself over this land, and comest to give life to Egypt; mysterious
    is the coming forth from the darkness, watering the orchards created
    by Ra (the sun-god), to cause all the cattle to live.  Thou givest
    the earth to drink, inexhaustible one.  Thou createst the corn; thou
    bringest forth the barley, causing the temples to keep holiday.  If
    thou ceasest thy toil and thy work, then all that exists is in
    anguish. . . .  None [Picture: A Tourist Streamer—Cook’s Nile
    Flotilla] know the place where he dwells; none discover his retreat
    by the aid of a written spell.  All is changed by the inundation.  It
    is a healing balm for all mankind.  A festal song is raised for the
    harp with the accompaniments of the hand,’ etc.

In a valuable work on the Nile, written by Wallis Budge, Acting Assistant
Secretary in the department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British
Museum, and published by Thomas Cook and Son, we have a beautiful
illustration of the practical side of Egyptian theology, written by a
scribe called Ani, who gives his son advice for behaviour in all the
varied scenes of life.  It is taken from one of the papyri in the
Egyptian Museum at Ghizeh:

    ‘If a man cometh to seek thy counsel, let this drive thee to look for

    ‘Enter not into the house of another; if a man asks thee into his
    house, it is an honour for thee.

    ‘Spy not upon the acts of another from thy house.

    ‘Be not the first to enter or leave an assembly, that thy name be not

    ‘The sanctuary of God abhorreth noisy declamations.  Pray humbly, and
    with a loving heart whose words are spoken silently; God will then
    protect thee, and hear thy petitions, and accept thy offerings.

    ‘Consider what hath been.  Set before thee a correct rule of life as
    an example to follow.  The messenger of death will come to thee, as
    to others, to carry thee away; yea, he standeth ready.  Words will
    profit thee nothing, for he cometh—he is ready.  Say not, “I am a
    child; wouldst thou in very truth bear me away?”  Thou knowest not
    how thou wilt die.  Death cometh to meet the babe at his mother’s
    breast, even as he meeteth the old man who hath finished his course.

    ‘Take heed with all diligence that thou woundest no man with thy

    ‘Keep one faithful steward only and watch his deeds, and let thy hand
    protect the man who hath charge of thy house and property.

    ‘The man who hath received much and giveth little is as one who
    committeth an injury.

    ‘Be not ungrateful to God, for He giveth thee existence.

    ‘Sit not while another standeth, if he be older than thou or if he is
    thy superior.

    ‘Whosoever speaketh evil receiveth no good.’



What memories crowd on me as I step into the tug which is to take me and
the rest of us, in a confused mass, stowed away amidst the luggage, to
the Custom House at Marseilles, a fine, handsome building, apparently in
the very heart of the town, with shipping of many nations all around; for
has not Marseilles in our time come to be the headquarters of all those
who, fearing the Bay of Biscay, have a mind to make their way along the
historic shores, and on the blue waters of the Mediterranean?  As I leave
the Custom House, a friend says to me: ‘I have soon got out.  You see,
there is nothing lost by civility.  I took my luggage to one of the
officers, took off my hat to him, and he came directly and let me go
through.’  I replied to the effect that I was more successful, as I had
been out a quarter of an hour before my friend, and I never took off my
hat, but simply held out my Gladstone, which confirms me in my original
idea, which, I mention for the benefit of travellers, that the real
secret of getting one’s examination over is simply to have nothing for
the Custom House officer to search.  [Picture: The New Harbour,
Marseilles.  From Cassell’s ‘Cities of the World’] Not that I deprecate
civility; the more I travel in France, the more I appreciate it.  We
English are a grand people—there are no better men on the face of the
earth—but we might be a little more civil to one another.

And now I am in Marseilles, a clean, handsome, flourishing city, with an
enormous population and an enormous trade; and naturally I think of the
time—now more than a century ago—when the Marseillais set out for Paris.
‘The notablest of all the moving phenomena of that time,’ writes Carlyle,
‘is that of Barbaroux’s “six hundred Marseillais who know how to die.”  A
black-browed mass, full of grim fire,’ got together no one knows how—from
the _forçats_, say some.  As they march through Lyons, the people shut
their shops in fear.  ‘The Thought which works voiceless in this
black-browed mass, an inspired Tyrtæus, Colonel Rouget de Lille, has
translated into grim melody and rhythm; into his Hymn or March of the
Marseillaise: luckiest musical-competition ever promulgated.  The sound
of which will make the blood tingle in men’s veins; and whole Armies and
Assemblages will sing it, with eyes weeping and burning, with hearts
defiant of Death, Despot, and Devil.’

Marseilles is a far nobler city than it appears to the tourist as he
rushes from the train to catch the steamer waiting to bear him far away.
High above the city, on a precipitous rock, from which you have a grand
view of the place, and the harbour, and the far-off Mediterranean, stands
the old Cathedral of Marseilles—Notre Dame de la Garde—a noble Romanesque
[Picture: Marseilles] building, with a gilt figure of the Virgin at the
top, her arms extended as if to protect the city.  You reach it either by
a winding road or a hydraulic lift, for the use of which you pay a
trifle.  It was there the ancient inhabitants kept watch over sea and
land.  In time a chapel was erected on its site, which became a place of
pilgrimage for mariners and fishermen.  The present magnificent building
was erected in 1864.  If only for the view, the visitor is well repaid
for his trouble.  Hardly can you enjoy a more magnificent prospect,
embracing the fair valley of the Rhone, the white houses of Marseilles
stretching up the plain, the gray mountains of Spain in the far distance,
the dazzling blue of the Gulf of Lyons, the dark towers of the fort, with
the rocky, picturesque islands, with the Château d’If, whence, according
to Dumas, Monte Cristo made his marvellous escape, beyond.  In the city
itself, on a hill, whence you have also a fine view, is a grand new
cathedral of imposing form and structure.  It was Sunday when I visited
it; but there were not many people in it, though more in the heart of the
city, where I tried to enter a church, it was so crowded that there
really was no standing-room.  But even in Marseilles you must be cautious
when the east wind blows.  It was there Dr. Punshon, the greatest
Wesleyan orator of our time, caught the cold which laid the foundation of
the illness that ultimately carried him off.

It has a very ancient history, this noble city of Marseilles.  It owes
its origin to a tribe of Ionian Greeks, who, about 600 B.C., there
founded a town that ultimately became the head of a Roman province.  In
the contest between Pompey and Cæsar, the town wished to remain neutral,
but Cæsar had need of gold, vessels, and harbours, and scrupled not for a
moment to lay siege to it, which was maintained against him during the
whole of his long and severe warfare with Afranius and Petreius in Spain,
and was not taken till after the capture or dispersion of their legions.
The treatment of the town was so merciless, that from thenceforward, by
Strabo’s account, it only preserved vestiges of its former prosperity and
wealth.  However, Marseilles in time recovered from the blow, and chiefly
by means of the book trade.  It seems to have become a miniature Athens.
France was especially distinguished by its aptitude and zeal for Roman
learning.  At Marseilles there was an institution for Greek education and
literature, which was visited, even in preference to Athens, by men of
the highest rank.  A large institution of the same kind existed at Autun,
and Tacitus calls that city the principal seat of Latin culture.  With
respect to the book trade of Lyons, we have the testimony of the younger
Pliny, when he states that he learned, with some surprise, from a friend
that his own discourses and writings were publicly sold there.

In the time of the Crusades Marseilles became a busy place.  It is now
wholly given up to trade, and flourishes accordingly.  Since 1850 it has
become the head packet-station on the Mediterranean, and more and more
frequented by English passengers, who can stay at gorgeous hotels, or
more economical ones, according to the state of their finances.  If they
only stop the day, they cannot do better than dine at the buffet attached
to the railway-station, unless they wish to partake of the famous
_bouillabaisse_ of which Thackeray sung, and to which my friend—my
lamented friend—George Augustus Sala, devoted many a learned paragraph in
his ‘Table Talk’ in the _Illustrated London News_ and elsewhere.  Woe is
me!  I quite forgot all about it till just as I had to take the train to
carry me away.  I shall never cease to regret that forgetfulness on my
part.  It may be that I may live to repair it!

There was a time when this delicious delicacy could be had in Paris.
Some of us can still remember Thackeray’s beautiful ballad:

    ‘A street there is in Paris famous,
       For which no rhyme our language yields;
    Rue Neuve des Petits Champs its name is,
       The New Street of the Little Fields.

    ‘And here’s our wish, not rich and splendid,
       But still in comfortable ease,
    The which in youth I oft attended
       To eat a bowl of _bouillabaise_.’

But Marseilles lives on other things than its _bouillabaisse_—a rich soup
or stew of all sorts of fish—not to be flippantly eaten, not to be
lightly forgotten.  Some 2,000 vessels fill its capacious harbour.  In
its lofty bonded warehouses are stored away the merchandise of many
climes, and its soap-works and sugar-refineries are on an extensive
scale.  In short, it is the Liverpool of France; but, alas for the pride
of the Mersey, how much cleaner, brighter, grander! how much purer the
smokeless atmosphere! how much lovelier the outlook over sea and land!
It was there that in 1797 that great French statesman, M. Adolphe Thiers,
was born.  That acute judge of men and books, Abraham Hayward, who was at
Paris before Thiers had risen, as he did at a later time, describes him,
in 1844, as ‘a little, insignificant man, till he gets animated, but
wonderfully clever.’

The one drawback to Marseilles, the only cloud in its blue sky, is the
drink; and I am glad to find that there is a good man there, Pastor
Lenoir, who has taken up temperance work, and has carried it on very
successfully.  Last year, for a novelty, in Marseilles he got up a
temperance fête, which was a great success.  During the last twenty years
drinking has greatly increased, and the drink-shops as well.  In 1876
there were in Marseilles 2,460 drink-shops; now there are 4,205—far too
many, when we remember that the town has only 600 bakers’ shops and only
500 schools.  As a consequence, Dr. Rey shows that insanity has greatly
increased, and that in the hospital of St. Pierre the proportion of
insane patients whose disease can be traced to alcohol has increased from
15 per cent. to 31 per cent. of the patients admitted.  ‘The chief
factor,’ he writes, ‘of these mental diseases is alcohol, and especially
when to its intoxicating effects is added that of absinthe, and other
vegetable substances which produce epilepsy and other similar evils.’  In
this respect, Marseilles teaches us a lesson which it is well to remember
at home.

In another way Marseilles is a lesson in favour of temperance work.  In
the district of Villette the drinking classes chiefly dwell.  It is a
narrow, dirty court, opening on a series of alleys; in the centre runs an
open gutter—the only drainage of the place—while on either side are small
one-storied houses, called _cabanons_, let for about eight shillings a
month.  They are let to the poorest of the poor, and abound with dirt and
large families and drunkenness; the three in France, as in England,
generally go hand in hand.  The air is stifling, the odours
insupportable; and when the sun pours down in the middle of summer, and
the hot sirocco-like wind blows, the condition of matters is unbearable.
As I write I see the people of Marseilles, in fear of the plague, will
not permit travellers from the East, under any pretence whatever, to land
there.  They had much better look at home, and reform their own sanitary
arrangements in such districts as Villette.  It is there the good
Protestant pastor, connected, I believe, with the McAll Mission in Paris,
labours unweariedly with a band of fellow labourers as devoted as
himself.  I give the story of one of his rescued men, as an illustration
of labour-life in the fair city of Marseilles:

    ‘Thibaut is a strong, muscular man, who worked as a docker, and could
    carry 140 kilos of wool on his shoulders from six o’clock to twelve
    o’clock without taking rest.  He was an inveterate drunkard, and had
    on one occasion swallowed _thirty-five glasses of absinthe_, _raw_,
    _in a day_.  For thirty years he had never set foot in a church, and
    his wife had died from the effects of his ill-treatment.  Once, in a
    fit of drunkenness, he threw all that was left of furniture in their
    miserable home into the street, including the stove, which was
    alight, and on which their bit of dinner was cooking.  He dragged his
    wife when ill from her bed by her hair, and threw her into the
    street.  The day of her death he was found drunk in a public-house,
    and he followed the remains to the grave reeling.  He lived in the
    famous “Grand Salon,” in a miserable hut of planks, the most filthy
    hovel imaginable.  Thibaut was not over-scrupulous as to how he got
    the drink, without which he could not exist.  There are many ways in
    which a docker can steal from the cargoes he discharges without being
    found out.  For instance, there is a way of letting fall a case of
    wine or cognac, so as to break one bottle, the contents of which then
    can be quickly absorbed.  Like most French workmen, he wore trousers
    very baggy at the top, and tied round the ankles.  Such trousers can
    be made to hold about four pounds of tea or coffee, or such like, and
    many a time Thibaut has walked past the searchers at the dock-gates
    with his stock of groceries, and has never been detected.’

He was nearly falling a victim to his drunken habits more than once.
They are now rejoicing over him at Marseilles, for he that was dead is
now alive again.  The lost one is found.

If the traveller has time to spare, let him by all means pay Arles a
visit, where there is a fine Roman amphitheatre, or rather the remains of
one.  Very early Arles became distinguished in Church history—I was going
to say Christian history; but, alas, at that time the bitter disputes and
dissensions in the Church bore little traces of the teachings or the
example of Christ.  In A.D. 314, when, as Gibbon writes, Constantine was
the protector, rather than the proselyte of Christianity, he referred the
African controversy to the Council of Arles, in which the Bishops of
York, of Treves, of Milan, and of Carthage, met as friends and brethren
to debate, in their native tongue, on the common interests of the Latin
or Western Church.  One ancient writer says there were 600 bishops there,
but this is probably an exaggerated account of their number.  The
subject, of course, was the nature of the Trinity, the discussions on
which, inflamed with passion, had filled the Churches with fury, and
sedition, and schism—a fury which excites the wonder of the modern less
heated Christian Church.

It was at Arles, at a later period, Constantine repaired to celebrate in
its palace, with intemperate luxury, a vain and ostentatious triumph—his
military success against the Goths.  It was at Arles, the seat at that
time of government and commerce, A.D. 418, that the Emperor Honorius, in
a solemn address, filled with the strongest assurances of that paternal
affection which, as Gibbon writes, sovereigns so often express but rarely
feel, convened an annual assembly consisting of the Pretorian Prefect of
the Gauls; of seven provincial governors, one consular and six
presidents; of the magistrates, and perhaps the bishops, of sixty cities;
and of an indefinite number of leading landed proprietors.  They were
empowered to interpret the laws of their sovereign, to expose the wishes
and grievances of their constituents, to moderate the excessive or
unequal weight of taxes, and to deliberate on every subject of local and
national importance that would tend to the restoration of peace and
prosperity to the seven provinces.  It was a step in the right direction.
It was a step that might have tended, if universally followed, at any
rate, to retard the decay and decline of the Roman Empire.  But the
Emperor found that the people were not ready to accept the proffered
boon.  A fine of three, or even five, ounces of gold was imposed on the
absent representatives.  Honorius was in advance of his age—in politics
as great a blunder as being behind it.  It was not till centuries of
oppression and misgovernment that the rights of man were practically won
for France, and that Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity became the
watchwords of the people.

Arles was very early peopled by a colony from Central Italy, and very
remarkable is the physique of its inhabitants.  The late Lord Malmesbury,
Lord Derby’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, writes: ‘The women are
remarkably handsome, but entirely of the Etruscan type, with magnificent
dark hair and eyes, good teeth, and fair complexions.  They have
beautiful round throats, set on fine shoulders and busts, but their legs
are much too short for their general build.’  I am, of course, not a
judge of such matters, and I prefer to copy from Lord Malmesbury, who, as
a Foreign Minister and a frequent guest both at the Courts of England and
France, and a high-born aristocrat as well, had opportunities for the
pleasing study of woman far superior to any possessed by an ordinary
scribe.  He had a good opportunity of seeing the population, as it was a
fête day when he favoured the city with his presence.  He continues:
‘There were games in the square, such as climbing a greased pole for a
leg of mutton placed at the top, which no one succeeded in winning.  The
women were all in costume, with black veils, worn like the mantilla.  I
noticed that the men were remarkably plain, sallow, under-sized and
narrow-chested—in every way a remarkable contrast to the women.’  As
indeed they are, or ought to be, all the world over.

In the neighbourhood is a hermit’s cell, very curiously contrived in the
rock, where there was a secret way of escaping to the deeper recesses and
hiding in case of danger.  There was the stone bed of the hermit who is
said to have been the first to introduce Christianity into the province.
His name is held in high esteem and a church is dedicated to his memory.
It was upon the plains adjoining that Charles Martel gained his final
victory over the Saracens.  The Roman amphitheatre in Arles is in a fine
state of preservation, with towers added in the Middle Ages.

Soldiers have a mission hall to themselves in Marseilles, which is full
of them, and to the hall many come for peace and light.  The aggregate
attendance is set down at nearly 6,000.  The hall offers them a warm,
comfortable room, well lighted, with books, games, newspapers, and other
conveniences.  A lady gives them elementary lessons in French,
arithmetic, reading, and writing.  When the soldiers sailed to Madagascar
they took with them, in spite of the priests, 3,000 copies of the New
Testament.  The labours of the agents of the McAll Mission are numerous
and persevering.  Last year they held about 500 meetings for adults.
They have five schools for children, besides two sewing schools for
girls.  There are three mothers’ meetings, with a fair attendance, and a
mission choir does good work.

Of more recent formation, and perhaps less well known, is the Society of
Christian Endeavour.  It has given proof of its existence in various
ways.  It was the Endeavourers who organized four series of lectures, of
three each, which were given in the halls of the Grand Chemin de Toulon
and the Boulevard de Strasbourg.  Friends were much encouraged to see
each time a large and attentive audience; the lectures had been announced
by means of handbills distributed in profusion throughout the district.
The society takes charge also of the visitation of the sick, and the
distribution of tracts in the suburbs, at the gates of the factories and
workshops, etc.  Some of the sisters have taken to heart the work among
fallen women, and in one case, at least, they have been able to snatch
one of these poor creatures from her life of sin, and place her in a
neighbouring refuge.  And so good work gets done, quietly and

There were put in circulation last year through the Librairie Evangélique
12,000 almanacks, 4,500 Bibles and Testaments, 1,000 tracts, 1,000 books
of various kinds, and 600 copies of the _Relévement_.  Open Bibles and
Testaments are constantly displayed also in the large shop-window, where
the passers-by can stop and read at their leisure—a thing which a goodly
number of them do not fail to do.  Nor are the Italians, of whom there
are many in the town, overlooked.  But I pass on

    ‘To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
    I turn, and France displays her bright domain;
    Gay, sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
    Pleased with thyself whom all the world can please.’

And pleasant recollections come to us of Oliver Goldsmith, who, as he
tells us, oft led

                ‘The sportive choir
    With tuneless pipe beside the murmuring Loire.’

The traveller who does as the writer did—leaves the train at Marseilles,
and travels home slowly, will find as much pleasure in that little trip
as in any part of his pilgrimage to the East.



Leaving Marseilles, the place at which I tarried next was Avignon, where
I had comfortable and cheap quarters at the Hôtel Grillon.  It was there
I saw the only drunken man that came under my notice in France.  It was
market-day, and the town was full of country-folk, many of whom came to
my hotel for the excellent _déjeuner_ provided for guests; amongst then
was an individual—not a farmer, for he did not wear a blouse—who managed,
in spite of the fact that he had had quite enough, to consume the quart
bottle of _vin ordinaire_ which, in French country hotels, every one is
supposed to take at lunch and drink.  The allowance was too much for me.
The lunch in every case was so excellent and tempting that I could not
manage another heavy meal, and was glad to content myself with tea.  One
thing surprised me at all the country hotels, and that was the
predominance of the military element.  At every meal there were great
numbers of officers present, and, so far as I could judge by the way in
which these sons of Mars did justice to the good things provided, all in
first-rate physical condition.  Avignon is full of soldiers—we met them
everywhere.  All round the place the old walls seemed turned into

I stopped at Avignon to see the burial-place of John Stuart Mill.  He was
fond of Avignon, and spent a great deal of his life there.  I am afraid,
on the whole, he was rather a hard, cold man.  He had a sister living in
Paris, but, often as he passed through it, he never went to see her.  I
suppose he had learnt a good deal from Godwin’s ‘Political Justice,’
which had a great influence at one time among superior people, I
remember, when I read it many years ago.  You never see the book now.
Godwin shows how wrong is the indulgence of social and family affection.
Perhaps the philosopher’s way of looking at such things is the right one,
after all.  As I was sitting with a friend, a philosopher, on board the
_Midnight Sun_, a gentleman, to whom we were neither of us particularly
attached, passed us.  ‘I think I could save that man’s life,’ I said.
‘Why should you?’ he asked; ‘ought we not to think of the greatest
happiness of the greatest number?’  The reply was irresistible, and I
acquiesced.  ‘Is it not the survival of the fittest,’ I asked myself,
‘that best accords with Nature’s scheme?  “If,” says Godwin, “you are in
a boat with your father and a philosopher, and you meet with an accident,
you are to save the philosopher and leave your father to perish.”’

Mill’s philosophy seems to have been of a similar character.  At any
rate, his sister’s husband complained much, to an acquaintance of mine,
of the philosopher’s neglect.  But his worship of Mrs. Taylor, who
afterwards became his wife, was intense.  They sleep together in the same
grave in the cemetery, a mile or two out of Avignon.  On the tomb is the
inscription: ‘John Stuart Mill, born 20 May, 1806, died 4 May, 1873,’ and
that is all.  On the surface of the tomb—a plain white flat one—is a long
eulogium of his wife, who had died before him.  Her influence, the
inscription records, has been felt in many of the greatest improvements
of the age, and will be felt in time to come.  Following her life, we are
told, this earth would become the type of heaven.  Her death is described
as ‘an irreparable loss.’  The grave is separated by an iron rail from
the rest, and is fringed with a few evergreens.  It is plain and simple,
and certainly much more in accordance with English taste than the rest.

One should visit the cemetery, if only to see what a French cemetery
is—all glitter and glass, for many of the flowers placed on the tombs are
under glass, and the place was quite dazzling in the summer—or, rather,
the autumn—sun.  The ground is carefully laid out, and well planted with
trees and flowering shrubs.  It seems to me of considerable extent, and
people come there every day to place fresh flowers on the graves of those
they love.  It was early in the morning when I was there, yet a good many
ladies were engaged in their pious work.  By most of the graves were
chairs placed for the mourners, who love to repair to such a place.  It
is evident that family affection is strong in France.

Avignon, I should think, is a pleasant place in which to reside, with its
mild atmosphere and a nice country all round.  There is a broad promenade
(if a short one), with a monument to a native worthy, and trees;
[Picture: The Castle of the Popes, Avignon.  From Cassell’s ‘Cities of
the World.’] but away in the interior the streets are narrow and
ill-fashioned.  It boasts a cathedral, a museum, and an Hôtel de Ville,
and tramcars run backward and forward all day long.  In the early days of
the French Revolution it was all for union and the ‘Contrat Social’ of
the worthy Jean Jacques Rousseau; and yet it burst forth with its 15,000
brave brigands, headed by Jourdain.  In 1789 the French Assembly declared
that Avignon and the Comtat were incorporated with France, and that His
Holiness the Pope should say what indemnity was reasonable.

‘Papal Avignon,’ writes Carlyle, in his wonderful ‘French Revolution,’
‘with its castle rising sheer over the Rhone-stream; beautifullest town,
with its purple vines and gold-orange groves; why must foolish old
rhyming Réné, the last sovereign of Provence, bequeath it to the Pope and
gold tiara—not rather to Louis XI. with the Leaden Virgin in his hatband?
For good and for evil!  Popes, Antipopes, with their pomp, have dwelt in
the Castle of Avignon rising sheer over the Rhone-stream; there Laura de
Sade went to hear Mass; her Petrarch twanging and singing by the Fountain
of Vaucluse hard by, surely in a most melancholy manner.’

Speaking of Petrarch, naturally one’s thoughts turn to Rienzi, the
Italian liberator, who fell because the Roman people were not at that
time prepared for freedom.  ‘When,’ writes Lord Lytton, in his splendid
novel, ‘Rienzi,’ ‘the capital of the Cæsars witnessed the triumph of
Petrarch, the scholastic fame of the young Rienzi had attracted the
friendship of the poet—a friendship that continued, with a slight
exception, to the last.’

Rienzi was one of the Roman deputies who had been sent to Avignon to
supplicate Clement VI. to remove the Holy See back to Rome.  It was on
this mission that Rienzi for the first time gave indication of his
extraordinary power of eloquence and persuasion.  The pontiff, indeed,
more desirous of ease than glory, was not convinced by the arguments, but
he was enchanted with the pleader, and Rienzi returned to Rome laden with
honours and clothed with the dignity of high and responsible office.  No
longer the inactive scholar, the gay companion, he rose at once to
pre-eminence amongst all his fellow-citizens.  Never before had authority
been borne with so austere an integrity, so uncorrupt a zeal.  He had
thought to impregnate his colleagues with the same loftiness of
principle, but in this respect he had failed.  Now, secure in his
footing, he had begun openly to appeal to the people, and already a new
spirit seemed to animate the populace of Rome.  According to modern
historians, Petrarch and Rienzi went to Avignon together, but, says Lord
Lytton, it was more probable that Rienzi’s mission was posterior to that
of Petrarch.  However that may be, it was at Avignon that Petrarch and
Rienzi became most intimate, as Petrarch observes in one of his letters.
Perhaps it would have been better for Italy and better for the Roman
Catholic Church had they never returned to Rome.  If the reader doubts
this, let him read Zola’s ‘Rome.’  It was in 1309 that Clement moved his
Court thither, and for sixty-eight years, until 1377, Avignon continued
to be the Papal residence.  The six successors of Clement V., all of them
Frenchmen, like himself, were regarded by the Italians with feelings of
dislike and contempt.  They were little more than the ecclesiastical
agents of the French monarchy.

The climax in the history of Avignon was reached when, in 1309, Clement
V. removed thither from Rome, and made Avignon the seat of the Roman
Pontiff and the metropolis of Christendom.  By land, by sea, by the
Rhone—the position of Avignon, writes Gibbon, was at all times
accessible—the southern provinces of France do not yield to Italy itself;
new palaces arose for the accommodation of the Pope and Cardinals, and
the arts of luxury were soon attracted by the treasures of the Church.  A
part of the adjoining country had long belonged to the Popes, and the
sovereignty of Avignon was purchased from the youth and distress of Jane,
the first Queen of Naples and Countess of Provence.

Under the shadow of the French monarchy, amidst an obedient people, the
Popes enjoyed a tranquillity to which they had long been strangers.
Italy deplored their loss, but the Sacred College was filled with French
Cardinals, who regarded Rome and Italy with abhorrence and contempt.
What remains of the Papal Palace is now turned into barracks, of which
you get a good view from the station as you leave for Lyons or Paris.
Dr. Arnold, who paid it a passing visit, was struck with horror by the
sight of its dungeons.  From Avignon the Pope prosecuted a bitter
persecution of his neighbours, the Waldenses.  The King of France was
alarmed, and sent an officer to inquire into the matter.  The report was
favourable.  ‘Then,’ said the King, ‘they are much better Christians than
myself or Catholic subjects, and therefore they shall not be persecuted.’
He was as good as his word, and the Pope at Avignon had for a time to
forbear, or Avignon might have had as bloody a record as Rome itself.
But at Avignon they do not think of these things.  All round the old city
are the mulberry trees and the silkworms; and the farmers want protection
for their native industry, and to keep foreign raw silk out of the



In one of the first books which used to be placed in the hands of young
people when I was a lad—Fox’s ‘Book of Martyrs’—we get rather an
unpleasant idea of Lyons.  ‘There,’ writes old Fox, ‘the martyrs were
condemned to sit in iron chains till their flesh broiled.  Some were sewn
up in nets and thrown on the horns of wild bulls, and the carcases of
those who died in prison previous to the time of execution were thrown to
dogs.  Indeed, so far did the malice of pagans proceed that they set
guards over the bodies while the beasts were devouring them, lest the
friends of the deceased should get them by stealth, and the offal not
devoured by the dogs was ordered to be burnt.’  After this we get a
little indignant as we turn to Gibbon, and read of the mild and
beneficent spirit of the ancient polytheism, which seems to find such
favour in his eyes.  To-day all is changed.  Christians, in the shape of
Roman Catholics, have it all their own way; yet one of the handsomest
places of worship I saw was that of the Reformed Church.  One of the
earliest reformers, Waldo, the leader of the Albigenses, was born at

The McAll Mission is doing a good work at Lyons, though in some districts
they have to report a falling off.  They seek to get hold of the
children, but they find in this respect the priests are as active as
themselves.  By means of the _œuvres de patronage_ founded by the
Catholics many of the children are drawn away.  In one of the immense
remote suburbs of Lyons the mothers’ meeting plays an important part in
the work of evangelization.  In many quarters Bible-readings have been
found to be very successful, and there is a Y.M.C.A., to which many young
men belong.  As a rule, French Protestantism is not aggressive, else it
would not be what it is to-day.  Still, during the last few years the
churches have waked up wonderfully, and much good has been the result.
Be this as it may, Lyons is the finest city next to Paris that France can
boast of.  It has a population of about half a million, and the Rhone
runs through it, adding much to its picturesqueness, as its banks are
lined with stately houses and offices and shops.  There are some twenty
bridges over the river, most of them very handsome.  At night you seem a
little lonely as you watch the long rows of lamps that glitter along the
banks.  But by day the picture is reversed: there is busy life
everywhere, and so clean and handsome are the buildings that you can
scarcely realize that Lyons is planted with silk-mills, and that, in
fact, it is the centre of the great silk trade of France.  The trees,
planted everywhere on the quays, which are used as promenades, make it a
very charming residence.

Lyons has a very ancient history.  It was adorned by successive Roman
Emperors, and became the capital of Gaul.  It was the principal mart for
the Western provinces of the Empire.  Agrippa made it the starting-point
for four great military roads that traversed Gaul.  Suddenly it
disappeared.  As Seneca writes: ‘There was but one night between a great
city and nothing.’  Aided by Nero, however, it speedily rose from its
ashes.  The city fared badly in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
Alaric, the scourge of God, sacked it.  In 571 the Lombards ravaged it;
in 715 the Saracens appeared, and left it a heap of ruins.  Under
Charlemagne it became a city of light and learning.  Towards the end of
the ninth century it came under the rule of the Archbishops and Chapter
of St. John.  In 1312 Philip le Bel annexed the city to France.  The
Lyons of to-day is a stately city, splendidly situated at the junction of
the Rhone and the Saone—a junction which gave the great Pitt a fine
passage in one of his finest speeches.

The Lyonnais, says the writer of an excellent account of Lyons in
Cassell’s ‘Cities of the World,’ think the Place Bellecour the finest
square in Europe.  It is planted with trees, and ornamented with basins
and fountains and two elegant pavilions, and is a very favourite
promenade of the people of Lyons, especially when the military band
plays.  According to some, the name is derived from _bella curia_, and
denotes the site of a Roman tribunal.  In the Middle Ages the Place was a
muddy swamp, often covered by the waters of the Rhone; it was gradually
drained and improved by the Consulate, and surrounded with fine
buildings.  After the Peace of Utrecht, a bronze statue of Louis le
Grand—the King who, by revoking the Edict of Nantes, nearly ruined Lyons,
to please the Maintenon and her Jesuit [Picture: The Place Belleour,
Lyons.  (From Cassell’s ‘Cities of the World.’)] friends—was set up in
the centre.  At the Revolution of 1792 the statue was pulled down and
broken up.  Some proposed simply to replace the King’s head with a head
of Brutus, but the multitude would not hear of it.  On this spot perished
some of the first victims of the fusillade in the terrible siege by the
Republican army in the following year.  When the siege was over, Couthon
set his troop of _démolisseurs_ to work, and the beautiful façades of the
Place Bellecour were soon irretrievably ruined, and the subsequent
erections have not reproduced the monumental character of the original
buildings.  The Place was still covered with débris when, in April, 1805,
the populace of the city, upon their knees, received the blessing of Pope
Pius VII., who was then in France as the half-guest, half-prisoner, of
Napoleon.  On March 11, 1815, the Orleans princes hastened from the town
as the advance guard of Napoleon, returning from Elba, was crossing the
Pont de la Guillotière.  On the morrow the Emperor reviewed 15,000
soldiers in the Place Bellecour, amidst the acclamations of the populace.
But the Empire passed away, and in 1825 the restored King placed a second
statue of Louis XIV. in the centre of the Place.

Churches abound in Lyons.  One of them, that of St. Nizien, in memory of
a bishop of that name, is placed on the spot where one of its martyr
bishops, St. Pothinus, assembled his flock.  It has been rebuilt many
times, and is interesting not only as the cradle of Christianity in
Lyons—it was also the cradle of its civil liberty.  Here the growing
commune met in the days of its resistance to the bishops, and the bell of
the ancient tower used to call the citizens together to elect their
magistrate.  Near the Church of Ainay was the ancient Forum, where
Greeks, Orientals, Africans, Gauls, and Spaniards met to exchange the
products of their various commerce.  In the Forum was an altar dedicated
to the Emperor Augustus and Rome, and near it was the Temple of Augustus.
In the church was sacredly preserved some hair of the Virgin Mary, and
part of the cradle and some of the swaddling clothes of our Saviour.  In
the western part of the city, beyond the Saone, are found some very
interesting churches.  St. Irénée was built by the Bishop St. Patient in
the fifth century.  In the crypt is a well into which, according to
tradition, the bodies of 19,000 Christians were thrown when the Emperor
Severus revenged himself on Lyons for its adherence to the cause of
Albinus.  Nearer to the river stands the Church of St. Just.  In
connection with it was a vast monastery, with massive walls and towers.
In its cloisters many sovereigns found a safe asylum.  Innocent IV. was
one, another was the Regent Louise, while her son Francis I. was fighting
in Italy, and here she received the famous letter after the Battle of
Pavia: ‘All is lost except honour.’

Still nearer to the river stands the Church of St. Jean Baptiste, the
Cathedral of Lyons.  In one of the chapels attached to the church was
some wood of the true cross; in another is preserved the heart of St.
Vincent de Paul.  The Chapter of the Cathedral of Lyons was the most
important body of clergy in France; they were thirty-two in number, all
Counts of Lyons, the rank of Premier Canon being held by the reigning
King of France.  Amongst the remarkable events that have occurred here
was the Council General of 1245, when Innocent IV. hurled the thunders of
the Church against Frederick II., and where, for the first time, the
Cardinals wore the red dress to distinguish them from other prelates.  In
1274 a Council General held here formed a short-lived union of the Latin
and Greek Churches.  In this church Henry II., Emperor of Germany,
performed mass, in one of his efforts to desert his throne and take Holy
Orders.  And here, in 1600, Henry of Navarre renewed his marriage with
Marie de Medicis.  Close by is the Archiepiscopal Palace, the magnificent
apartments of which have accommodated many kings and queens and eminent
personages.  Napoleon passed a night here on his return from Elba.  On
that awful St. Bartholomew’s Day, in the courtyard of the Palace, 300
Protestants were murdered.

Thence you ascend by steep and narrow steps to the Church of Notre Dame,
on the hill of St. Fourvières.  All round are priestly residences and
numerous shop for the sale of ecclesiastical millinery.  Higher up are
the merchants who deal in rosaries, devotional pictures, medals, and wax
models of different parts of the body, for offerings in the church, when
the time comes for the multitudes of pilgrims who throng thither to
obtain pardon of sin and restoration of health.  One would have thought
that an anachronism in the France of to-day; but we know how credulity
reigns rampant, in spite of the philosopher, in every nation in the
world.  It was our Thomas à Becket, who spent part of an exile in Lyons,
who seems to have suggested a church on this spot.  In 1643 Lyons was
ravaged by a terrible pest, and the municipality dedicated Lyons to Notre
Dame in perpetuity, and until the Revolution of 1789 the whole city
celebrated, on the Feast of the Nativity, the anniversary of the event.
Pope Pius, in 1805, superintended the rededication of the building to
Divine worship, and, amidst a grand display of flags, discharge of
cannon, and ringing of bells from the summit of the hill, blessed the
city of Lyons, as Innocent had done centuries before.  In December, 1852,
Lyons was _en fête_ day and night, on the occasion of the planting of a
colossal statue of the Virgin on the top of the tower.  Like ancient
Ephesus, it lived on its saints.  Happily, unlike Ephesus, it stuck to
trade, and became wealthy, and populous, and great.  The Quai de St.
Clair is the finest in Lyons, and was formerly the rendezvous of
merchants and foreigners, and the centre of Lyonese trade.  One of the
many quays in Lyons, that known as Les Etroit, a charming promenade, is
associated with the memory of Rousseau, in the days of his youthful

Its modern Hôtel de Ville is held to be one of the handsomest in Europe,
and that is saying a great deal when we think of Brussels or Louvain.
Its cathedral of St. Jean Baptiste took three centuries to build.  The
city is one of the Roman Catholic strongholds, and to some of its
churches resort every year as many as 1,500,000 pilgrims, who obtain
similar privileges to those accorded to the devotees at Loretto.

Now that Lyons is at peace, it exports to England, America, and Russia,
manufactured silks to the amount of £18,000,000 yearly.  It is to
Jacquard that it owes its silk manufacture, and a statue of him properly
graces the city.  For many years it had been renowned for its
manufactures, but in 1802, a workman originally, Jacquard lived to
revolutionize the silk trade, and laid the foundation of its present
prosperity.  Its workshops for the construction of machinery, its
manufactories of chemical products and coloured papers, are justly
celebrated; but it is from the production of its silk fabrics that Lyons
derives its chief fame.  This industry, in which Lyons has no rival, was
first brought from Italy.  Florentines, Genoese, and others, driven away
by revolutions, did for France what in after-times expatriated Frenchmen
did for other countries to which they were compelled to flee by reason of
tyranny at home.  By decree of Louis XI., experienced workmen settling at
Lyons were exempt from taxes levied on other inhabitants.  Twelve
thousand silk-weavers were busy at work in Lyons by the middle of the
sixteenth century.  At the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, it seemed
as if the silk industry was about to be annihilated.  More than
three-fourths of the looms were silenced; but in the course of a couple
of generations the industry resumed its former proportions, and steadily
increased, till Lyons became _par excellence_ the city of beautiful
silks.  The Lyonnese silk-weavers mostly work in their own dwellings.  A
man with his family will keep from two to six or eight looms going, often
employing journeymen.  The silk-merchants of Lyons, about 600 in number,
supply the patterns and the silk; there are about 40,000 looms at work in
the city and in the vicinity.  Formerly, the weavers were nearly all
grouped together in the northern part of the city, but the employers, in
order to lessen the influence of the close trade organizations, have
succeeded in distributing the industry throughout the neighbouring
villages, though La Croix-Rousse still holds the lion’s share.  Its silks
still maintain their prestige.  The Empress of Germany last year
purchased at Lyons white silk, with flowers, birds, and foliage in
relief, at twenty-five pounds a yard, five-sixths of the price being the
actual value of the raw silk.  She intended to have a dress made of it,
but it was so beautiful that she used it for a curtain.  This is believed
to be the highest priced silk goods ever made.  Louis XIV. paid twelve
pounds a yard for the cloth-of-gold material of which his dressing-gown
was made.  Lyons has been the birthplace of many distinguished and
illustrious personages—Germanicus, and the Emperors Claudius and Marcus
Aurelius, the philosopher-king; the ruler who preferred the solitude of
the student to the splendour of the palace; the soldier who loved the
arts of peace better than the glory of war; who left to the world his
‘Meditations,’ which, even at this era of the world’s history, it does us
good to read.  Another native of Lyons whose works were at one time much
read in England was J. B. Say, the famous political writer.  Another of
the modern glories of Lyons was Louise Labé, the Lyons Sappho, surnamed
La Belle Cordière.  Another was Roland, the great statesman, the husband
of a yet more illustrious wife.  Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, was one of the
victims of what Fox terms the fifth general persecution, and it is
generally supposed that the account of the persecution in Lyons was
written by him.  He was beheaded in A.D. 202.

‘Lyons,’ says the Guide-Book, ‘embraced with ardour the cause of the
Revolution, and it suffered frightfully in consequence; but the Patriots
knew nothing of the dark days to come, as they formed one bright May
morning the Federation of Lyons, in which some fifty or sixty thousand of
its citizens took part.  What a picture Carlyle gives us of the Lyons
guardsmen meeting at five on the Quai de Rhone, marching thence to the
Federation Field, amid waving of hats and ladies’ handkerchiefs, great
shoutings of some two hundred thousand patriot voices and hearts—the
beautiful and brave! ‘amongst whom, courting no notice, and yet notablest
of all, what queen-like figure is this, with her escort of house friends
and Champagneux, the Patriot editor?  Radiant with enthusiasm are those
dark eyes in that strong Minerva face, looking dignity and earnest
joy—joy-fullest she where all is joyful!  It is Roland de Platière’s
wife; that elderly Roland, King’s inspector of manufactures here, and now
likewise, by popular choice, the strictest of our new Lyons Municipals—a
man who has gained much, if worth and faculty be gain; but, above all
things, has gained to wife Philipon, the Paris engraver’s daughter.
Reader, mark that queen-like burgher woman, beautiful, graceful to the
eye, much more so to the mind.’

Lyons had a bitter awakening—famine, ruin, and despair; a long siege and
an awful doom.  The cry in Paris is, ‘Lyons has rebelled against the
Republic; Lyons is no more.’  The infamous Fouché is there, and the
hangman follows.  There is no end to the fusillading and filibustering,
and mangled corpses float down the Rhone.  The picture is too awful; let
us draw the curtain, and think of Madame Roland, as in her grace and
glory she helped to give—alas! in vain—freedom to Lyons and to France.  I
think of her as I take the train, and bid adieu to a city so splendid and
so replete with associations, some pleasant, others much the reverse.
Under the Consulate and the Empire Lyons once more rose to life and
prosperity.  Bonaparte did much for the city in the way of restoration.
In 1829 General La Fayette, that mild, well-meaning, but mistaken man,
came there to receive an ovation.  Once more Lyons throbbed with joy.
But its troubles were not over.  In 1831 the workmen rose in revolution,
and the Duke of Orleans and Marshal Soult had to come there to put it
down.  This was followed by a disastrous inundation, and in 1849, and
again in 1870, it was on the point of and was in connection with the
Commune of Paris, which had active agents there.  The French _ouvrier_ is
always discontented, and has no faith in God; yet Lyons is still the
second city of France, in spite of the fact that not long since the
President of the French Republic was assassinated there.



As an illustration of what a French provincial town is in the way of
hotels, I would take Dijon, where I stopped a night on my way from Lyons
to Paris.  From Marseilles to Dijon the country is interesting, giving
fine views of the valley of the Loire and hills and mountains far away.
From thence to Paris the ride is uninteresting.  I suppose a great many
people stop at Dijon, as it abounds in magnificent hotels, all of which
seem to flourish.  I put up at the Hôtel de Jura, close to the
railway-station, and I feel as proud as a lord as I enjoy the luxury of
that well-appointed hotel.  My bedroom is delicious, very unlike that of
an English hotel.  Everyone in the house seems smiling and civil.  The
dining-room is large and lofty, the cuisine is excellent, and the
smoking-room is elegantly furnished, as much so as a drawing-room in
England.  I feel that I am in France, and that there they manage better
than they do with us.  I go into the shop, and the shopkeeper and his men
all wear the blue blouse of the country.  If I buy anything, it is done
up for me in the most careful manner, and so profuse are the thanks of
the shopkeeper and his wife that I leave with a feeling that my visit has
been a real benefit to the town.

There is much to see in Dijon; it is an ancient city, formerly the
capital of Burgundy, and still the headquarters of its extensive wine
trade.  Let us hope that the dealers are honest men, as burgundy is much
in demand in my native land.  What I have at the hotel is excellent and
cheap, and this is the great difficulty in France in the way of any
national temperance movement.  Like the Cape, like Australia, the wine
trade is an important factor in the national life.  It is the Diana of
the Ephesians.  Try to check it, and everyone is up in arms.  The
traveller is bound to drink.  At lunch he has a quart bottle of red or
white wine placed before him, and it is just the same at dinner.  The
wine is included in the bill, and it is all the same whether you drink it
or leave it alone.  If there is a family dining or lunching together, the
bottle goes round, and perhaps a glass or two will suffice; but a
solitary traveller has his two quart bottles to tackle per day, and what
are you to do?—one is afraid to drink water when travelling, as there may
be poison in the pot.  A similar remark applies to milk.  It is sadly
liable to infection, and it may be that, when you ask for it, it may
prove no exception to the general rule.  I remember how Sir Russell
Reynolds, when on a Continental tour, confined himself to milk, and on
his return to England had a serious illness in consequence.  No wonder,
then, that as a rule the ordinary traveller sticks to the wine of the
country, which is little intoxicating, and has a pleasant favour that
helps much in its consumption.

I fancy the burgundy of Dijon is much purer and pleasanter than that of
London.  Nevertheless, two quarts of it a day are rather too much.  I got
rid of the difficulty by sacrificing my dinner and having tea instead.
Dijon is a very ancient city, and full of very interesting remains.
Indeed, I fancy it is one of the most interesting cities in France.  In
an old engraving of it which I have, it is surrounded by a wall, and
seems a city of church spires, and its ecclesiastical buildings are very
old and numerous, but the walls are gone, and handsome boulevards have
taken their place.  Its modern fame depends on its wine, its spiced
bread, and its mustard.  I buy a mustard-pot—a characteristic specimen of
French ingenuity.  It is an earthenware pig.  The back is hollow.  You
take off the top, and there is the place for the mustard and a long
mustard-spoon, the crooked end of which does duty as a tail.  The animal
has his nose in a trough, which is divided into two portions, one for
pepper, the other for salt.  I am proud of that mustard-pot, and only use
it on state occasions.  At Avignon the mustard-pot was equally a
combination, but of a less artistic character.  It was simply a blue
earthenware pot with the mustard in the centre, while just below are two
little recesses, one for the pepper and one for the salt; and these you
see at really good hotels in preference to the costlier electroplate
mustard-pots in use nearer home.  At Thetford they make unbreakable
earthenware.  I should recommend the company to try a few mustard-pots _à
la Francaise_.

Dijon, says the guide-book—one of that excellent series in red known as
_Guide-Ioannes_, to be purchased for a franc, sometimes less, at all
French railway-stations—is one of the most interesting cities in France,
containing 63,425 inhabitants.  It is situated at the junction of the
Ouche and the Suzon, at the foot of the mountains of the Côte d’Or, and
at the commencement of a fruitful valley which stretches as far as the
Jura.  It is lovely—when I was there it rained, and I did not see much of
its loveliness—well built and salubrious.  Its principal attractions are
the Cathedral of St. Benigne, the Churches of Notre Dame and St. Michel,
and the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, the Palace of Justice, the
museum containing the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy and the remains of
the Chartreuse de Chamoi.  Wherever you go you meet with old houses and
architecture of the most interesting character.  It is a place to be
visited carefully by the artist.  He will find much to interest him at
every step.  In England we have nothing like it.  In the troubles and
wars which led, after many ages, to the establishment of a united France
under one monarch, Dijon became a place of great importance and the seat
of a legislative assembly.  Originally a second-rate Roman settlement, it
had become Christianized by the preaching of St. Benigne, who died a
martyr for his faith, and to whom, as I have already stated, the great
cathedral was consecrated; yet it did not become the seat of a bishopric
till 1731.  For ages the Dukes of Burgundy resided there, and at a later
time it gave to France its grand pulpit orator, Bossuet, and to the
Church St. Bernard.  In 1477 the French King gained possession of the
city, and the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy came to an end.

‘The Lord of Craon,’ writes old Philip de Commines—the father of modern
history, whose memoirs, writes Mr. Hallam, almost make an epoch in
historical literature—‘when he drew near Burgundy, sent forward the
Prince of Orange and others to Dijon to use persuasion and require the
people to render obedience to the King, and they managed the matter so
adroitly, principally by means of the Prince of Orange, that the city of
Dijon and all the other towns in the duchy of Burgundy, together with
many others in the country, gave in their allegiance to the King.’
Whether the people gained much by the change is not very clear.
Apparently, Commines did not think Dijon had much cause for thankfulness.
‘In my opinion,’ he writes, ‘of all the countries in the world with which
I was ever acquainted, the government is nowhere so well managed, the
people nowhere less obnoxious to violence and oppression, nor their
houses less liable to be destroyed by violence or oppression, than in
England, for these calamities only fall upon the authors of them.’  I
suppose the people of Dijon were of a similar way of thinking, as the
writer of the guide-book tells us that ‘_Dijon adopta avec enthousiasme
les principes de la Révolution_.’  Happily its victims during that reign
of terror were few.  In the war with France the Germans got hold of
Dijon; but Garibaldi came to the rescue.  Now Dijon is at peace, and long
may it so remain, its hotels affording rest and refreshment to the weary
traveller, and its wine, when taken in moderation, making glad the heart
of man.  Let me make one remark as a hint to the tourist.  Possibly he
sees in the Continental Bradshaw an advertisement of a hotel where the
charges are rather less than those of others.  He goes there, but he
finds no reduction.  The excuse is that the lower charge is not for the
hasty traveller, but for the one who comes to stay.

As a recent writer in _Temple Bar_ remarks, the general air of pride and
prosperity indicates that the capital of the duchy thrives excellently as
a member of the Republic.  The Rue de Liberté reminds us of some of our
old English towns.  Step aside into any of the cross-streets, and you
find yourself in a labyrinth of crooked by-ways and carved doors, by the
side of low angular bell-towers, which seem to have come straight from
some old Flemish city, or you come to quaint, quiet, detached squares,
planted with young trees, with white detached houses all round some of
them, remnants of feudal hotels.  In the Salle des Gardes of the old
palace the tombs of the two greatest Dukes may still be seen.  The
palace, a huge, stately, modernized building, is now a museum, a
picture-gallery, and the headquarters of all local and departmental
business.  It is there that the French Protestants of to-day worship.
The Church of Notre Dame, of which the great Condé declared that it
should be packed in a jeweller’s box to preserve it, is beautiful outside
as in.  It is the mother-church, to which the Dijonais cling, where their
children are baptized and brought on their First Communion.  It is
crowded of a Sunday.  Nor is St. Michel externally less impressive; but
the interior is described as dowdy and disappointing.  But, after all, I
fancy the chief visitors to Dijon are the wine-merchants, and others
interested in the wine trade.  The railway time-tables are full of
familiar names of vineyards.  In a journey of thirty miles southwards,
you meet with, the well-known names of Chambertin, Vougeot, Beaune, and
Meursault, and you think, perhaps, of feasting and gaiety a long time
ago.  But the country lacks the picturesque.  You may travel far on the
main line without seeing anything in the shape of pleasant landscape.
The country around is undulating, but on the whole flat.  There are many
walks with pleasant memories—one leads to Talant, the ancient palace of
the Dukes of Burgundy, now the seat of an archaic village with a
marvellous church, where they show you an ancient picture said to have
been painted by St. Luke.  From the common at the foot of the hill you
get a good view of Dijon, with the cathedral towers in the foreground,
and the cupola of St. Michel standing up above.  In an old château
near-by was the birthplace of the great St. Bernard.  Far off is the
rolling expanse of land which stretches away to the frontiers of
Champagne.  ‘It was among these fields and villages,’ says the writer in
_Temple Bar_ to whom I have already referred, ‘that the three battles of
Dijon were fought during the Franco-Prussian War, and here and there, at
turnings in the road and in wide ploughed land, monuments covered with
withered wreaths recall the event, and make the sad landscape all the
sadder; yet France pines for war, and the clang of martial strains
everywhere makes it little better than an armed camp.  It is the same
everywhere.  The one great problem of European statesmen seems to be to
find a sufficiency of soldiers and sailors, as if we still lived in the
dark ages, when might was right, and the sole arbiter of nations was the
sword.  It is awful to think of; it is a disgrace alike to Christianity
and civilization that such should be the case.  It is not now that we can
sing, as we did in the great Exhibition year, more than forty years ago,
of the triumph of Captain Pen over Captain Sword.  Still, we can pray
with Campbell:

    ‘The cause of truth and human weal,
       O God above!
    Transfer it from the sword’s appeal
       To Peace and Love.
    Peace, Love! the cherubim that join
    Their spread wings o’er devotion’s shrine;
    Prayers sound in vain, and temples shine,
       Where they are not.’



As possibly some of my readers may wish for a further study of some of
the cities and places to which I have referred, I have added a few books
of reference which they may consult with advantage.  They are as follows:

Plutarch’s ‘Lives.’

Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.’

‘How to Visit the Mediterranean,’ by Dr. Lunn.

Pollard’s ‘Land of the Monuments.’

‘The Holy City,’ by Dr. Russell Forbes.

Murray and Baedeker’s Guide-Books.

Merriwether’s ‘Afloat and Ashore on the Mediterranean.’

‘Climates of the South of France,’ by Dr. Theodore Williams.

‘Cities of South Italy and Sicily,’ by A. J. C. Hare.

Cook’s ‘South Italy.’

‘Jerusalem Illustrated,’ by G. Robinson Lees.

Cook’s ‘Egypt.’

‘Walks in Cairo,’ by Major Plunkett.

‘England in Egypt,’ by Sir A. Milner.

‘From Pharaoh to Fellah,’ by C. F. Moberley Bell.

‘Scenes from Life in Cairo,’ by Miss Whateley.

‘Leaves from my Sketch-Book,’ by E. W. Cooke.

‘Court Life in Egypt,’ by A. J. Butler.

‘Last Letters from Egypt,’ by Lady Duff Gordon.

‘Egypt as It Is,’ by J. C. Moran.

‘Egypt and its Future,’ by Dr. Wylie.

Budge’s ‘Dwellers on the Nile.’

‘The Nile,’ by Wallis Budge.

‘Egypt as a Winter Resort,’ by Dr. Sandwith.

‘Wintering in Egypt,’ by Dr. A. J. Bentley.

‘Monuments of Upper Egypt,’ by Marriette Bey.

‘Pharaoh’s Fellahs and Explorers,’ by A. M. Edwards.

‘Nile Gleanings,’ by H. Villiers Stuart.

‘Sketches from a Nile Steamer,’ by H. M. Tirard.

‘A Tour in Egypt,’ by Rev. Canon Bell.

‘Egyptian Sketches,’ by J. Lynch.

‘Egypt,’ by S. L. Lane.

‘Leaves from an Egyptian Sketch-Book,’ by Canon Isaac Taylor.

‘Cairo,’ by S. Lane Poole.

‘Egypt of To-day,’ by W. Fraser Rae.

‘Land of the Sphinx,’ by G. Montbard.

‘The New Egypt,’ by Francis Adams.

‘Through David’s Realm,’ by Rev. E. T. D. Tompkins.

‘Palestine,’ by Major Conder.

The Works of Flavius Josephus.

‘Mount Vesuvius,’ by J. Logan Lobley.

‘The Bible and Modern Discoveries,’ by Henry A. Harper.

‘Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid,’ by Piozzi Smith.

‘Palestine under the Moslems,’ by Guy Le Strange.

‘The Women of Turkey,’ by Lucy Garnett.

‘Greek Pictures,’ by Dr. Mahaffy.

‘Mythology and Monuments of Ancient Athens.’

‘With the Bedouins,’ by Gray Hill.

‘Modern Discoveries on the Ancient Site of Ephesus,’ by J. T. Wood.

‘Essays on Christian Greece,’ by Demetrius Bikelos, translated by the
Marquis of Bute.

‘A History of Greek Sculpture,’ by Dr. A. Murray.

‘Eothen,’ by A. W. Kinglake.

‘Cornhill to Cairo,’ by W. M. Thackeray.

‘The History of Sicily,’ by Dr. Edward A. Freeman.

‘Sicily, Phœnician, Greek and Roman,’ by the late Prof. F. A. Freeman
(‘Story of the Nations’).

‘Among the Holy Places,’ by Dr. James Kean.

Dean Stanley’s ‘Sinai and Palestine.’

‘Buried Cities and Bible Countries,’ by G. St. Clair.

‘In Christ’s Country,’ by Samuel Rome.

‘The Byzantine Empire,’ by C. W. C. Osman.

‘On the Nile with a Camera,’ by Anthony Wilkin.

‘The Island of Capri,’ by Ferdinand Gregorovius.

‘Diary of an Idle Woman in Constantinople.’

‘Recollections of an Egyptian Princess,’ by Miss Chennelles.

‘Jerusalem, the Holy City,’ by Mrs. Oliphant.

‘The Rulers of the Mediterranean,’ by R. H. Davis.

‘The Historical Geography of the Holy Land,’ by Dr. G. A. Smith.

‘The Holy Land and the Bible,’ by Dr. Geikie.

‘The Ancient Egyptian Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul,’ by Dr.

‘Manual of Egyptian Archæology,’ by Dr. Maspero.

‘The Bible and the Monuments,’ by W. St. Chaud Boscawen.

‘Letters from Constantinople,’ by Mrs. Max Müller.

‘Egypt under the British,’ by H. F. Wood.

‘Travel Pictures from Palestine,’ by James Wells, D.D.

‘A History of Egypt,’ by W. M. Flinders Petrie.

‘The Forgotten Isles, Balearic Isles, Corsica and Sardinia,’ by Gaston

‘The Sultan and his People,’ by Richard Davey.

‘The Outgoing Turk,’ by H. G. Thomson.

For invalids merely travelling for health, I would recommend ‘The
Mediterranean Winter Resorts,’ by E. A. Reynolds Ball, which is now in a
third edition.  Great prominence has been given to the medical aspect of
the principal invalid resorts, and special articles dealing with the
climatic, sanitary, and general hygienic conditions of these resorts have
been contributed by resident English physicians.  This is the only
English guide-book published containing authoritative articles on the
principal winter resorts by medical experts.  Another new feature which
may be specially mentioned is the introduction of detailed descriptions
of the newer health resorts, such as Biskra, Luxor, Helouan in North
Africa; St. Raphael, Grasse, Beaulieu, Ospedaletti on the Riviera; Torre
del Greco, Castellamare, Amalfi on the South Italian Littoral, which have
come into favour within the last few years.  In describing the different
places in this guide-book, a certain uniform order has, as far as
possible, been preserved in treating of the various subjects.  Routes,
climatic conditions, society, hotel and villa accommodation, amusements,
sport, principal attractions, places of interest, and excursions, have
been dealt with consecutively in the above order, greater or less space
being accorded to the various subjects according to the special
characteristics of each resort.  The author has attempted to give rather
fuller information about the newer and less known winter resorts,
concerning which little has been written in the standard works of Murray
and Baedeker, than he has done when describing the popular and well-known
Riviera resorts, which possess a whole library of guide-book and travel
literature of their own.

Dealing with the delicate question of hotel accommodation for visitors,
Mr. Reynolds Ball has not shrunk from the invidious task of occasional
recommendation, based either on personal experience, or on trustworthy
reports of friends or residents.  Most of the information in this
handbook has been derived at first-hand.  He has visited nearly all the
places described, and with regard to others he has availed himself of the
help of travelled friends or residents possessing knowledge gained on the

Magazine articles in connection with the countries and cities here
referred to are numerous.  Social life at Naples is well described in an
article in the _National Review_ for February, 1892.  A readable account
of the sanitary and meteorological conditions of Cairo will be found in
an article in the _Lancet_, November, 1889, entitled ‘The Winter Climate
of the Nile.’  An interesting description of Corfu appeared in the
_Sunday Magazine_ for May, 1893, by Professor Mahaffy; the reader will
find also a good deal of useful information in Cassell’s ‘Picturesque
Mediterranean,’ 1891.  For Corsica the reader had better refer to Mr.
Freshfield’s interesting account of climbing experiences in the island,
which appeared in the _Alpine Journal_, 1880.

When one thinks of the enormous number of works published in connection
with Egypt, it is worth noting that when Edward William Lane wrote his
account of the ‘Manners and Customs of Modern Egypt,’ of which an
excellent reprint has been published in the Minerva Library, when he
returned to England with a complete description of Egypt as it then was,
and a hundred excellent drawings, Egypt was not known or appreciated in
England, and no publisher would incur the expense of publishing the work
and reproducing the drawings, though they were universally praised by all
who saw them.  In this respect the change is simply marvellous.

                                * * * * *

                                 THE END.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *



       _Just Published_.  _One Vol._, _crown_ 8_vo._, _price_ 6_s._

Or, Fifty Years Ago.

                           By J. EWING RITCHIE
                          (CHRISTOPHER CRAYON).

                         _NOTICES OF THE PRESS_.

‘On the pressing social problems of the day he has much to say that is
well worth listening to.  There is a force of characterization in Mr.
Ritchie’s sketches and a passion for human sympathy pervading his whole
work.’—_The New Age_.

‘A thoroughly interesting romance.’—_Publishers’ Circular_.

‘The story is refreshing and powerful, and the characters well drawn and
carefully studied.  The heroine is a charming, clever, and popular
actress, and with commendable courage the author endows her with a still
higher attribute—that of true, earnest Christianity.  Wentworth, preacher
and journalist, is another attractive and lifelike character.  The scenes
through which Mr. Ritchie guides his characters are many and varied, and
whether we take him in his description of theatrical life, press life, in
his graphically depicted election scenes of fifty years ago, or in the
strong and painful realism of his “low life,” he shows the same master
hand.’—_Belfast Northern Whig_.

‘There is much that is interesting, and may be read with profit.’

                                                  _Weekly Times and Echo_.

‘It is interesting reading, and exhibits this popular writer’s facility
and graphic power.’—_Inquirer_.

‘It is quite refreshing to read Mr. Ritchie’s new book.’—_Bookseller_.

‘Among the lower walks of journalism he treads upon comparatively new
ground, and this picture has the witness of truth upon it.  This, after
all, is what we ask from the novelist—a true picture of real
life.’—_Literary World_.

‘Free from the suspicion of dulness—always readable and often racy.’

                                                    _Eastern Daily Press_.

‘There is some bright writing in the story.’—_Standard_.

‘The style of the writer is bright and sparkling.’—_Suffolk Chronicle_.

‘One may tolerate the least popular views of an author who writes so
genially and good-naturedly.’—_Scotsman_.

‘A delightfully light and pleasant work.’—_Sheffield Daily Telegraph_.

‘There is not a single page which does not bear the stamp of Mr.
Ritchie’s widely read and acutely observant mind.’—_Liverpool Daily

‘The heroine is a charming woman—a clever actress and a real Christian.’

                                                        _Christian World_.

‘We shall rejoice to hear that the work has a large circulation.’

                                                         _Christian Life_.

‘Amongst the cleverest portions of the book is the account of the
Parliamentary election at Sloville—in which the electioneering tactics of
fifty years ago are unsparingly exposed.’—_East Anglian Daily Times_.

‘Marked by a good deal of animation, and a vigorous and wholesome tone.’

                                                    _Essex County Herald_.

‘The work is in Mr. Ritchie’s best style.’—_Isle of Man Examiner_.

                                * * * * *



        _Also Eight Homes on Shore for Educating and Maintaining_
                     _nearly_ 1,000 _Boys and Girls_.

          President: The Right Hon. the EARL of JERSEY, G.C.M.G.


                                * * * * *

These times of mercantile depression have made sore gaps in the usual
gifts, and we now earnestly appeal for new subscribers to support this
long-established Charity.  Over 14,000 Boys and Girls have been rescued
and trained since the foundation in 1843 by the late William Williams,

received by the London and Westminster Bank, 214, High Holborn, W.C.; by


HENRY G. COPELAND, Finance and Deputation Secretary.

National Refuges for Homeless and Destitute Children, and ‘Arethusa’ and
‘Chichester’ Training Ships.

                                * * * * *


                                * * * * *

                     _FOUNDED 1870_.  _REBUILT 1892_.

                                * * * * *


     (_For Training Orphan and Destitute Boys for Domestic Service_.)

                       146 & 148, MARYLEBONE ROAD,
              22 & 23, ALLSOP ST., UPPER BAKER ST., LONDON.

          President:                       Treasurer:
        LADY WOLVERTON.                  LORD WOLVERTON.
                        Hon. Secretary:
                      E. H. M. DENNY, Esq.

This Institution was founded in 1870 by the late Lady Wolverton, for the
purpose of receiving Orphan and Destitute Boys, and by employing them in
the houses of the gentry, in domestic work, training them for indoor

A boy must have passed the Fourth Government Standard of Education, be
twelve to fifteen years of age, and in good health.  The boys work in the
morning, and attend school in the afternoon.  This is tested by yearly
examinations, which are presented to the Committee and published in their

The entrance fee is £5.  As this is the only payment asked during the
period of three years or more that the boy remains in the Society—indeed,
started in life and looked after for a period of years—£5 thus expended
in helping a boy is an excellent investment.

Further particulars and forms of admission can be obtained from Mr. C. H.
CHEVENS, _Secretary_, by applying to the Office, 148, Marylebone Road,
London, N.W.

Orphanage for Little Girls,

      (_Connected with the London Flower Girls’ Christian Mission_.)

                       FOUNDER: MR. JOHN A. GROOM.

Contributions earnestly SOLICITED on behalf of the above Orphanage, now
sheltering, caring for and training over 120 Orphan Destitute Girls—some
of whom are infants only a few months old.  They are admitted
irrespective of creed, nationality or physical infirmity, and remain till
they are 16 years of age and are trained for domestic service.  There are
no elections, votes, canvassing or expense connected with admission; the
most urgent and needy cases are admitted by the Selection Committee.  The
homes are conducted upon the cottage principle, each home offering
accommodation for 20 children, and under the care of a Foster Mother.
The Institution is quite unsectarian, and is entirely dependent upon the
generous offerings of the benevolent.  Visitors are earnestly invited to
visit the homes between 2 and 5 o’clock any day except Saturday and

Reports and Audited Accounts may be had, post free, on application to
JOHN A. GROOM, Secretary, 8, Sekforde Street, Clerkenwell, London, E.C.

                                * * * * *

The Ragged School Union & Shaftesbury Society

Is a Christian Organization designed to bring brotherly sympathy and
uplifting ministries to the street child and its parents.  The methods
and agencies cover body, mind, and heart.

The HOLIDAY HOMES FUND dealt last summer with 6,673 children.

The CRIPPLE DEPARTMENT visits and ministers various comforts to about
6,000 cripples.

The POOR CHILDREN’S AID BRANCH supplies Boots and Garments.

The BENEVOLENT FUND aids acute distress; also helps with Soup Kitchen,
Children’s Breakfasts and Dinners.

The DRIFT CHILDREN’S BRANCH gathers the outside children to Missions and
Schools who might drift away from all good influences.

CHILDREN’S SCRAP-BOOK MISSION, now form part of the R.S.U.

There are 192 affiliated Mission Buildings located in the poorest
districts of London attended by over 50,000 children, 232 Bible Classes,
131 Mothers’ Meetings, 171 Bands of Hope, 106 Week-night Schools and
Industrial Classes, 97 Libraries, 70 Penny Banks, 198 Religious Meetings.
There are nearly 6,000 Voluntary Workers.

‘Deserving of support.’—BISHOP OF BEDFORD (Dr. Billing), in Westminster

‘The noblest of many noble charities.’—MARQUESS OF LORNE, Southend.

‘The most conspicuous illustration of the new philanthropy.’—SIR WALTER
BESANT on the R.S.U.  Jubilee in _The Contemporary Review_.

‘I would rather be President of the Ragged School Union than Prime



                                * * * * *

                            ESTABLISHED 1851.

                                * * * * *


                          Southampton Buildings,
                       CHANCERY LAME, LONDON, W.C.

                                * * * * *

                        INVESTED FUNDS—£8,000,000.
                     _Number of Accounts_, _75,061_.

                                * * * * *

TWO-AND-A-HALF per CENT. INTEREST allowed on DEPOSITS, repayable on

TWO per CENT. on CURRENT ACCOUNTS, on the minimum monthly balances, when
not drawn below £100.

     STOCKS, SHARES, and ANNUITIES purchased and sold for customers.

                                * * * * *

                           Savings Department.

      Small Deposits received, and Interest allowed monthly on each
                              completed £1.

         The BIRKBECK ALMANACK, with full particulars, post free.

                                * * * * *

_Telephone No. 65005_.

_Telegraphic Address_: ‘_BIRKBECK_, _LONDON_.’

                                * * * * *

                     FRANCIS RAVENSCROFT, _Manager_.

                                * * * * *

               _Second Edition_.  _Price_ 7_s._ 6_d._ {225}


           Personal Recollections and Historical Associations.


‘“East Anglia” has the merit of not being a compilation, which is more
than can be said of the great majority of books produced in these days to
satisfy the revived taste for topographical gossip.  Mr. Ritchie is a
Suffolk man—the son of a Nonconformist minister of Wrentham in that
county—and he looks back to the old neighbourhood and the old times with
an affection which is likely to communicate itself to his readers.
Altogether we can with confidence recommend this book, not only to East
Anglians, but to all readers who have any affinity for works of its
class.’—_Daily News_.

                                * * * * *


                                * * * * *


                           By J. EWING RITCHIE.

‘The South African journalist gets a trifle wearied with the commonplace
descriptions of his country usually affected by the ordinary
globe-trotter, and so he will welcome a work like this all the more
warmly.  For trite remarks, we have original and critical analysis of
affairs as Mr. Ritchie found them.’—_South Africa_.

                                * * * * *

                          LONDON: FISHER UNWIN.

                                * * * * *


                           By J. EWING RITCHIE.

‘The reader who desires a clear bird’s-eye view of the country and a
pleasant sketch of its many interests will do well to follow Christopher
Crayon’s summer journey to Australia and back again.’—_Literary World_.

                                * * * * *

                          LONDON: FISHER UNWIN.


{225}  In the book this page is unnumbered and at the start of the book.
It has been moved to the end to make the whole more readable.—DP.

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