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him in his flight to Egypt, when he forsook Beteddein, surrounded on every side by his enemies, and they returned with joy on his restoration. Women, at least in the East, are the creatures of habit far more than of circumstance: the flight, the voyage, the residence in Egypt, a climate and scenes so different from their own; the court of Mahmoud Ali, where they were intimate with the sultana and the favourite ladies, and witnessed a splendour and refinement hitherto new—after all these excitements, Beteddein is as dear to them as ever. The rains and snows, the thunder-storms, the solitude of their rocky home, had been their companions for years; did not the memory of the Pacha's gardens and fountains, and the music and the ball follow them to their windy terraces and withered flower-beds? and the splendid and costly dresses of Egypt's seraglio flit in mockery before their eye? Of what avail was the dye of the surmeh, black as the raven's wing, for the eyelashes; or the crimson hue of the hennah, for the palms of the hands and tips of the fingers; or the gold coins drooping in braided rows on the shoulder,—when few came to the castle to see and to admire, few came to flatter the Emir's ladies. The Eastern castles being as bookless as those of the old Highland chiefs, a taste for reading would be of little use, and here such a taste is unknown: the steep and irregular cliffs on every side forbid all pleasant promenades or excursions, so that fancy can scarcely picture, for a beautiful woman, a more triste and monotonous life than that of Beteddein. The love of dress, ever a passion in the East, is certainly indigenous in Lebanon, and dwells within these lonely walls as intensely as in the gay circles of Europe, whence large pier-glasses have been brought for the use of the harem: could the toilette of Beteddein be descried through its massive gates and fences, its mists and its sentinels—the many hours daily of bathing, adorning, perfuming,—the display, the envying, and scolding one another—the spectator would have said, and more justly said, not frailty, but "Vanity, thy name is Woman!"
The plate represents the gathering of the chieftains to join the army of Ibrahim Pacha, who was then about to advance into Syria, previous to his capture of Damascus, and the victories of Koniah, &c The Emir, the ally of Ibrahim, sent his summons through the whole range of Lebanon, and the mountaineers obeyed the call with alacrity: it was like the passage of the fiery cross through the Highlands, of old, calling on every man to range beneath his banner, and come to the gathering without delay. These mountaineers were bold and hardy troops; Ibrahim knew their value in rapid and daring movements, and it was the interest as well as policy of the Emir to afford him as numerous an aid as possible. In the time of extremity, he can command a force of twenty thousand men, horse and foot, armed with firelocks: the larger proportion consists of cavalry; their manner of warfare is desultory, and rarely incurs the loss and slaughter of a well-fought field. The Druses, who compose two-thirds of this force, are distinguished by their broad-striped dresses: they are a stout well-made race of men, with a cheerful and rather reckless expression on their round faces, which are in general beardless and rather fair: they wear their hair beneath the light Syrian turban, for in Lebanon the faith and usages of the Turk are not at all fashionable. The scenery around Beteddein was admirably suited to this busy and martial scene: there was the flashing of arms along the brink of the descents, where a line of cavalry was advancing; and then the tedious ascent, through the pass, where a few men only could advance abreast: down the declivities, in another direction, poured groups of foot soldiers, wild and disorderly: muskets, lances, sabres, were as plentiful on the mountain paths as pipes in a coffee-house: the advance of the chiefs, who were beautifully mounted, with their immediate followers, was still more picturesque; the horses, long used to the rugged ways and passes, came on with as much eagerness as if their feet were on the plain. The great court of the palace was crowded with men and steeds already arrived; some lounging idly, or smoking, or conversing in groups: many of the more curious mounted the roofs and terraces, to look out afar for the coming of the troops of Lebanon and the banners. The galleries and recesses were filled with officers and soldiers, eagerly passing in and out, while the Emir was in his hall of audience, in earnest consultation with his chief counsellors and friends. All felt that the present summons was to no wonted or local contest, in which they fought with no more zeal than was agreeable to them, and returned to their homes when wearied; but to a desperate conflict, in which the stake was for kingdoms,—and Ibrahim brooked no lukewarmness in his cause. The general of the mountain troops, on former occasions, was the Sheich Beshir, the Druse chief: he was put to death a few years since; and the Emir, to shew his zeal, more apparent than real, in the cause of Ibrahim, accompanied his troops good part of the way to Damascus, borne in a litter. The Christians are the more numerous, and the Druses the richer part of the population,—both are warlike: the former detest the name of Druse too much ever to yield quietly to a chief of that community; and they are attached to the Emir, who, with his whole family, long ago embraced the Christian religion. The latter was long supported by the Pachas of Acre and Tripoli, by whom, a hundred and forty years since, the government of the mountain was entrusted to his family; and now he is in close alliance with the viceroy of Egypt, who received him kindly and generously in his exile: and he is delivered from the rivalry of the Sheich Beshir, with whom he was obliged to share all the contributions which he extorted from the mountaineers. The Druses are perhaps the only people who do not love music, vocal or instrumental: rarely, if ever, is the ballad, or legendary song, or mountain air, heard in their cottages, or at their festivals: they have no sort of musical instruments, and they march to battle without trumpet, pipe, or song.