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Departure from Damietta-Mouth of the Nile-Passage of the Boghaz-At Sea-Our Vessel-Passengers on Board--Arrival off the Coast of Syria-Jaffa-Yabne-Ekron-Ashdod -Askelon-Gaza-Gath-El Arish-Setting out for the Holy City-Caravan of Pilgrims-Plain of Sharon-Ramla -Hospitium-Ruins in the Neighbourhood-Journey by Night to Jerusalem-Adventure-Halt at a military Station.
DAMIETTA, 8th August, 1830.-I have said that we were desirous of visiting Palestine from hence. An opportunity of carrying this wish into effect, though perhaps not the most eligible one, this morning presented itself. An open rice-boat, of about fifty tons burthen, was lying alongside the quay, ready to start for that country, and only waiting for a wind. We were not long in striking a bargain with the reiss or captain of this vessel, for this simple reason, that having completed his cargo, the high
price we paid him-ten Spanish dollars-was all clear profit, if we except the loss of time occasioned by his landing us at Jaffa on his way to Beirout, to which port he was eventually bound.
Having embarked our luggage, and taken leave of our excellent host, M. Darmandy, the French Consul here, we went on board about noon, and immediately got under weigh. As we pushed off from the shore, many a poor Arab fellah gazed upon our bark with a longing eye, as if desirous to escape from the tyrannic chains of the present ruler of Egypt. But their motions were watched by the custom-house officers with a vigilance that made it impossible for us to second their wishes.-We dropped down to the mouth of the river where we came to an anchor for the night.
Aug. 9.—Early this morning the pilot of the Boghaz *, deeming the moment favourable, came on board to conduct us over the bar. As a measure of precaution, he commenced discharging a part of
Boghaz is the term for the narrow and shallow channels through the sand-banks that stretch across the mouths of the Nile, preventing the passage of any ships of burthen.
the cargo into lighters, to be taken on board again, when in deep water. This operation concluded, we stood out to sea. Fortunately there was very little wind at this moment, and we could easily discern the channels through which it was necessary to pass-nevertheless we touched several times, to the great annoyance of the master of our vessel, who expressed his dissatisfaction in no measured terms, and this in a language which, all who have heard it will admit, is admirably adapted for the expression of passionate feeling. At length, clearing all impediments, we brought up in safety outside the bar, where the cargo being once more taken on board, it was stowed away, and we fairly set sail.
We now proceeded to make ourselves as comfortable as the crowded state of the vessel would admit of. The passengers consisted of M. de Cadalvene and myself-M. de Breuvery* had gone over
These gentlemen, in whose amiable and instructive society I had the advantage of travelling during the greater part of my tour in the East, have recently commenced publishing the result of their observations on these interesting countries. See " L'Egypte et la Turquie de 1829 à 1836, par
land from Cairo to Jerusalem-an Italian gentleman, and several slaves, male and female, destined for the Lady Hester Stanhope's establishment near Tsaida. The latter were accompanied by an aged and respectable-looking Turk, who had been for many years attached to her ladyship's household. There was no cabin, though we paid as much as if there had been one; but by piling up some rice-bags, which formed the principal part of our cargo, we drew a sort of barrier between ourselves and our Arab and Abyssinian friends, with whom it was desirable not to come into too close contact; for though peaceable and inoffensive, as we had every where found them to be, their habits do not always accord with our notions of cleanliness and propriety. A matting was laid down over the rice and coffee-bags in lieu of a carpet, and a sail was suspended over our heads, to protect us from the scorching rays of the sun. The reiss or master of the vessel sat on the poop, cross-legged, with a pipe in one hand and the tiller in the other, surrounded by a turbaned crew. We
M.M. Ed. de Cadalvene et J. de Breuvery, avec cartes et planches."