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Route to Jerusalem, continued · Kariet-el-Aaneb - Abou Ghosh-Terebinthian Vale-Approach to Jerusalem-First view of the City-Arrival at Jerusalem-Franciscan Convent-Terra Santa Establishments-Meeting with M. de Breuvery-Death of a travelling companion-Church of the Resurrection-Calvary-The Holy Sepulchre.
AUG. 14.-At dawn of day, remounting our horses, we emerged from the ravine, and shortly afterwards arrived at a small village, called by the natives Kariet-el-Aaneb, and by the Christians, Jeremiah, from its occupying the supposed site of the ancient Anathoth, the birth-place of that prophet. Here our progress was momentarily arrested, in consequence of some Arab soldiers claiming a caphar or tribute-money, in the name of the celebrated Abou Ghosh, the sheikh of the place, and head of a family;
who, from time immemorial, have assumed a sort of hereditary right, of levying contributions upon all persons passing this way; and this on the score of the protection they profess to afford them, from all other robbers but themselves. On showing our firmans, they desisted from their demand, but requested backsheesh (a present), which we thought it prudent not to refuse. The village occupies a commanding situation at the head of an extended valley. Above it on the peak of a hill is the residence of the chieftain just mentioned. Not far from the village are the remains of a Christian church, apparently of the time of the Crusades. The monastery which was attached to it, and belonged to the monks of the Terra Santa, has ceased to be inhabited since the massacre of its inmates by the Arabs, an event which occurred about a century ago.
Continuing our journey over some rugged hills, we descend into another valley, the sides of which are cultivated in terraces, the soil being supported by walls of loose stones. A torrent flows through the lower part, and is crossed by a stone bridge. This is usually called the Vale of Turpentine,
otherwise denominated the Valley of Elah; the scene of the single combat between the youthful David and the Philistine giant Goliath. It is about a league from Jerusalem.
As we approach Jerusalem, the road becomes more and more rugged, and all appearance of vegetation ceases. The rocks are scantily covered with soil, and what little verdure might have existed in the spring, is now, in the autumn, entirely burnt up. There is a like absence of animal life; and it is no exaggeration to say, here man dwelleth not, the beast wandereth not, and the bird flieth not. Indeed, nothing indicates the immediate approach to the ancient metropolis of Judæa, unless it be the apparent evidences of a curse upon its soil, impressed in the dreadful characters just mentioned, whilst the inhabitants thereof" are 66 scattered abroad." Oftentimes on the road was I tempted to exclaim, like "the stranger that shall come from a far land," "" wherefore hath the Lord done this unto the land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?" (Deut. xxix. 22, 24, 27.)
*.“ Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant."'—Isaiah.
Impatient to catch the first glimpse of the city, I had rode on at the head of the party, when upon reaching an eminence, which for some time past we had seen before us, a line of embattled walls, above which a few cupolas and minarets raised their heads, suddenly presented itself to my anxious view. I did not inquire if this was Jerusalem. Indeed 1 could not have satisfied my enquiry had I wished, for not a living creature was moving without the city walls. I felt, however, that it was the Holy City ;— at the same time, I was disappointed in its general appearance, and in the impressions I was prepared to receive, upon viewing for the first time, the place that had so long enjoyed the special favours of heaven, and which at a later and ever memorable period, was fixed upon by our Lord, to be the theatre of his sufferings for our redemption. This surprise originated, not so much on account of the aspect of the town (for as yet we had seen but little of it), as from the singularity of its position; being surrounded by mountains, without any cultivated land within the range of vision, destitute of water, and not apparently on any high-road. As my companions successively came up, they
evidently participated in this feeling of disappointment. We remained silent a few minutes, each one declining to communicate his sensations to the other-or perhaps unable to do so from the novelty of our situation. After a while, we continued our march in a body towards the city.
We entered by the gate of Jaffa, or Bethlehem, as it is indifferently called, when turning suddenly to the left, in a few minutes we arrived at the Latin convent of St. Salvador, situated in the north-west corner of the city, on the sloping edge of what is supposed to be Mount Gihon. Our party being rather numerous, apartments were assigned to us in the Casa Nova, a sort of appendicle erected by the monks, on the opposite side of the street, for the accommodation of travellers, but more particularly of females, whom curiosity or devotion may have attracted to the spot, the rules of the order forbidding their sojourn within the precincts of the convent. The large room that fell to our lot had been at one time occupied by the late Queen of England. It was quite destitute of furniture on entering, but soon after our arrival, four or five beds were set up against the walls, and a good-sized table placed in