« السابقةمتابعة »
"Have a comfortable night. The view from the country is beautiful. Gallop on over the plain past two Syrian villages, and in four hours arrive at El Rosh. It is beautifully situated just at the base of the mountain range.
"The fig, pomegranate, and evergreen trees are growing beside the fountain and stream that flows through. This was the birthplace of the prophet Nahum and the Elkoshite. He has often ploughed these fields and looked upon these scenes. We are very cordially received by the Kahyah Yusef, a Chaldean. He says that English, Americans, Chaldeans, are all one in Christ. Christ is
our Master and Head.
"He speaks in the highest terms of Dr Grant; says he was an excellent man, and has been in the village, and in this very room.
"After lunch, visited the tomb of the Prophet in a small church underneath the mountain.
round tomb, covered with Persian cloth.
It is a small
We then ride
on to a Yesidi village. It is very neat and comfortable. A woman runs down the hill to the doctor, and begs for medicine. Then we ride over a stony road past several Yesidi villages. There were two large mounds on the plain. Oleanders are growing by the brooks. We start up gazelles near the mountain. They are beautiful creatures as they nimbly leap among the rocks. Just after sunset we reach the Yesidi village of Baadri. It is situated in a little valley with a stream flowing through, and planted with green trees. It is very neat and thrifty in appearance.
Hassein Bey, to whom we have letters of introduction, receives in very gracious manner, shaking us cordially by
chief calls upon us and takes a cup of coffee. Then we call the Moolah, and present him with a copy of the Bible. He receives it very reverentially, and his priest began to read both in the Old and New Testament of the Creation and Christ. Tell him we love this much in England and America. That we have much money, but we value this above all. That comes from the earth, this from God. He says he will read in it every day, and also to the people of his village. Tell him this speaks of Jesus Christ, who came from heaven, and through faith in Christ we hope to reach heaven. It was a most interesting scene.
"Then the Bey walks with us to a hill that overlooks the village. Here is the ruin of his father's palace, destroyed by Raroudoz Bey. The view is beautiful. Over the plain are sixty villages of Yesidis. As we come down we enter a native house. It is very neat and well constructed. Now we mount our horses, and the chief, with twenty horsemen, his son, Hassan, accompanies us. As the word is given, and the horses gallop on, the spears glitter in the sunlight, the music sounds. It is a gay and brilliant scene. Two are richly dressed in goldembroidered red suits. The sheik is dressed in a light brown suit, neatly embroidered, and mounted on a fine black horse of Yesidi breed. Hassan, his son, is dressed in scarlet, and though only seven, rides a gray mare beautifully. It is a beautiful view over the hill as they
gallop around in circles, and then close around their chief. In one hour we come to a white pointed tomb; they dismount and kiss a flat stone in front, repeating a short prayer, and then ride on, singing as they go their native song. In another hour we come to a small ravine, through which a clear stream flows, and it is planted with oleanders and green trees.
"We now move on in single file for a half hour-come in sight of the white spires of Sheik Avi. Descending to a small valley they all dismount and pull off their shoes, and walk up to their sacred shrine. The chief folds his hands in front, and walks barefoot in solemn style. It is a beautifully shaded place-green olive trees, oaks, with autumn tint and various shades; the brook rustles through, and the birds are singing in the branches. I walk beside the Bey, and we enter the outer court of their temple. He and his men all walk around and kiss the sacred stones, and then we sit down under the shade of a large overspreading vine to lunch. A stream of clear water is running through, and birds are singing beautifully. The blacksnake and hatchet are upon the wall outside. It is one of the most interesting visits I have ever made, and all are so amiable and courteous I cannot realise that we are in the midst of the hated devil worshippers. Then the door of their temple was opened, and we entered. A large fountain of water is in one side, and at the other two tombs with curtains drawn before them. One is said to contain the devil's head. Lamps are kept continually burning before them. I then presented the sheik with a copy of the Bible, in Arabic, to be kept in their temple and read at their festivals, and whenever any one came who wished to read it. We then
gave our cards to Hassein Bey, and gave him our parting salutations. He was exceedingly gracious and gentle to the last. I was greatly pleased with him, and trust our visit will do good to the Yesidis. He gives us two horsemen, with spears, and one footman as a guard and guide. The valley is exceedingly romantic and beautiful, planted with the fig, the olive, and the oak, and resounding with the notes of singing birds. We now pursue a hilly winding road-past black Koordish tents and small villages, and then come to a wild ravine with a stream dashing over the rocks, and the mountain rising steep on either side—a scene of great wildness and beauty. The road is rough and steep. In two hours more, climbing up the mountain side, we came to the village of Bebosi, all Chaldeans or Catholic Nestorians.
Sleep well in a warm native house. The views at sunrise from the house-top in the midst of the mountains are beautiful. The reddening and the rosy light. The village is partly in ruins. Ride on through a rocky wooded glen, where figs and olives grow in the valley, and oaks cover the mountain side, and rest at an angle of the road in a shady spot refreshed by the cooling breeze. In a half hour we come to a point that commands a view over a fertile valley with villages at the side, and a wild deep ravine winding through the mountain. Descending thence, we lunched under a wide-spreading oak, with this scene stretching before us. We rode on over steep, rough, rocky mountains, and in four hours arrived at the village of Spindura, upon a sloping hillside. There was much excitement upon our arrival; nearly the whole
village turned out on the house-tops to witness the important event. The population is three hundred and fifty, entirely Moslems.
"The patients come round in the morning to shew their diseases, and receive their medicines with much gratitude. We ride three hours over a very rugged mountain, and lunch in a quiet little valley by a clear stream flowing down the mountain. Then three hours more over a rough road intersected by ravines, and come in sight of Amadia, perched high upon the rocks. We toiled up the steep hillside late in the evening, and find the large gate shut. We rap at the gate, and they hail us from the wall to inquire who we are, and where we came from. Our cavass replies, that he is Achmet Effendi, the Pasha's man, and a distinguished party had arrived. They, however, had heard our guns of salute fired, and suspect us of being a party of robber Koords, fifteen in number. The cavass says we have come from the Pasha, and have a firman from the Sultan. The capugi replies, I do not know who you are; and thus we are kept waiting an hour in the cold and dark. At length the Moodir and several of his principal men came with lanterns, and the gates were opened with great carefulness and display. How great was our delight when our good friend Shemmas Jeremiah of Mosul embraced us, and bid us welcome! The Moodir also extended both hands, and bid us welcome. He had walked
down from his palace to receive us, and his suite accompanied us to the Serai. There his largest room fitted for our reception, and a warm fire made us most comfortable. Immediately he ordered an Oriental dinner of six or eight courses, rice, chickens, mutton, cakes, preserves, &c., and