صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[blocks in formation]

gentlemen, twenty years of age, and has travelled much in the East. We ride two hours longer over a very stony road, and arrive just at sunset at the Koordish village of Hemdik; 10 houses, 50 population; situated in the midst of the plain, bounded by snow-crowned mountains.

"TUESDAY, 2. "Have a splendid sunrise view from our housetop over Mount Judy, where tradition relates that Noah's ark rested, and the dove plucked the olive branch from the plain.

“In one hour came to the village of Babin, an old ruined town. The Onbashi refuses us a horseman. We continue our way past two small Koordish villages, over a wretchedly rough, rocky road, and lunch at noon on a little green spot in sight of the village of Ainser. Just before sunset arrive at Deir Ona. The Moodir is holding his medghis in the open air, clothed in a scarlet cloak. He is very civil-says he will give me horsemen, and begs me not to report the Onbashi to the Pasha, who dishonored the Sultan's firman

-One hundred and fifty population, Moslems and Jacobites. Hadji Suleiman Agha, very civilcomes himself on his fast horse, one half hour, to make ready a konak for us.

“We spend the night at the Koordish village of Atim—forty population; ten Jacobites.

a

[blocks in formation]

“WEDNESDAY, 3. “We are in the saddle at sunrise; in one hour we cross the plain with the Sinjar hills on our left and the Marian mountain on our right, and the vast (chul) desert stretching before us, we come to the village Bannet, on a little mound-one hundred and fifty Jacobites, Armenians, and Moslems. The villages are all upon raised mounds; peasants are ploughing and sowing in the fields, and the land is productive.

“ The white church of Nisilin is seen in the morning sunlight far away.

“We lunch at noon in sight of the snow-crowned mountains just rising above the wide spreading plain like peaks of light and purity exceedingly beautiful. A raised mound gives us a splendid view in all directions; stop at the village. The Kahya Shukuro is very polite and cordial in his greetings and attention. We then gallop on across the plain, passed several mound-built villages, and in two hours come in sight of the large barrack of Nisilin. Mule falls sick on the way; treatment and tears of muleteers. Meet several troops of soldiers, a Koordish chief with his guard -see the women coming to the wells with their rope to draw water; arrive at sunset across the river Chebar at Nisilin. Again we see another river where the Prophet Ezekiel is said to have seen the sublime visions of Jehovah and his glory.

[blocks in formation]

We find a curious room full of soldiers seated round a good fire, smoking and drinking coffee. Call upon the nakie of Moodir; send for the Usbashi, and dispatch two horsemen for our mules. Have a long konak, and comfortable quarters for the night.

"THURSDAY, 4. "See the ancient river Chebar from the housetop winding far through the plain. We ride two hours over the plain. On the left partly desert, on the right cultivated land, and arrive at the ruined barracks, Russer Sercha Rhan. A few miserable Arabs are quarrelling over their measures of barley; a half dozen stone huts filled with women and children are inclosed within the ancient walls.

“We lunch to-day upon the open plain. Then in two hours we come to Dara. 'It is well situated on a hillside in front of the great plain, and beside a stream of

water. “Here are extensive old Roman ruins, temples, theatres, bridges, immense blocks of hewn stone, and all the marks of their ancient power. Also many tombs and sepulchres cut in the rock. Two hours more over hill and valley bring us at sun. set to the village of Harin; three hundred and fifty population—all Arabs, who spend the winter in their houses here, and in summer take their tents and flocks, and go out into the desert. The

pure

[blocks in formation]

Kahaya Seid Hassein is a good specimen of the Arab character; invite him to come to England; have a pleasant talk with him in the evening. The Shammar Sinjar and Anasee, occupy the whole of the desert to Baghdad and Damascus. He says the Sinjar are no more; they have become Yezidee. The village is situated near an old mound, and beside a well and running water. See a large caravan of camels coming in the evening to rest here.

a

“ FRIDAY, 5. "Beautiful morning; see women and girls drawing water from the well with their own ropes, to water the mules and camels, as in Scripture days, in ancient Mesopotamia.

“We then ride across the fertile plain to the mountain side. Mardin rises high above us with a castle fortress higher still. The air is pure and bracing. The son of the Kahya, mounted on his fine Arab horse, performs feats of horsemanship in curves and circles around us. Climbing over the rugged, rocky ascent in one hour, we come to the convent Deir Zaferran, the residence of the Patriarch of the Jacobite Church, in the East, Patriarch Jacob. It is beautifully and securely situated, commanding a wide view over the plain and desert. There is good water, cistern, well, fountain, springs. Grapes and figs are cultivated,

RELIGIOUS SERVICES.

291

[ocr errors]

and wheat and barley. The Patriarch and his vakel are absent. Two of his Rahab and Shemmas, Priests and Deacons, receive us very kindly and provide us with eggs, cheese and bread for refreshment. They show us through the convent, and to the church. It is adorned with red-colored paintings of the Saviour, the Apostles, Saints, and the Virgins upon the walls. They do not worship these as do the Catholics, but pray to Christ alone. They have a large silver gilt Gospel before the high altar. I find a copy of the Bible in Arabic and Syrian here.

"They pray seven times a day, and spend the remainder of their time in writing manuscripts. They pray at midnight and before sunrise, midday and sunset; three times in the church. The wooden bell, struck with a large stick, sounds the hour for prayers at noon.

We attended the service in the church. They cross themselves, bow down, chant their prayer from a book, then draw aside the curtain from before the high altar, where a lamp is burning, then cross and prostrate themselves, and chant a short prayer again. The chapel is hung round with glass and gilded lamps. They all go forward and kiss the cover of the Gospel and the stone of St. John. They listen with much interest and with tears in their eyes to our spiritual conversation, after service. We tell them they must pray for the Holy

« السابقةمتابعة »