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THE SITE OF THE ANCIENT DAPHNE.
In this wild and luxurious scene there is a resemblance to the site of the ancient oracle of Delphi: the gardens of Armida were not more formidable to the crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon, than the groves of Daphne were of old to the Roman veterans. Cassius, their general, forbade them to enter here, where the sights and sounds were more subduing than the enemy's sword. Daphne, so famous in the history of Syria, is about six miles from Antioch: you travel for some time along the foot of mountains through groves of myrtle and mulberry trees, till you arrive at this natural amphitheatre on the declivity of the mountains, where the springs burst with a loud noise from the earth, and, running in a variety of directions for about two hundred yards, terminate in two beautiful cascades, about thirty feet in height, falling into the valley of the Orontes. The largest of the fountains rises from beneath a rock, on the top and sides of which are the massy remnants of an ancient edifice, perhaps those of the temple of Apollo: the water of this spring is conveyed for nearly two miles through an artificial subterraneous aqueduct, which has been traced to the vicinity of Antioch. The real site of Daphne" has been much disputed by travellers, among whom there is a great difference of opinion: neither Babylae, Zoiba, or Beit-el-ma, fulfil the anticipations and images excited by the words of the ancients, who sometimes dipped their pens, when painting scenes of natural beauty, in the colours of the rainbow; or from their less correct taste and genuine Iov. for the picturesque, when compared with that of the moderns, their descriptions m. y not always be depended upon, even of the scenes they saw. They loved the soft, rather than the magnificent; and things delicious to the senses, rather than the splendid scenes and ruder excitements of alpine regions. The charms of Daphne were derived as well from religious and voluptuous associations, so artfully blended in the old mythology, as from the unrivalled features of nature.
Here Seleucus planted a thick grove of laurel and cypress trees, reaching ten miles in circumference, and forming a cool and impenetrable shade, even in the most sultry summers. In the middle of the wood he erected a magnificent temple, which was consecrated to Apollo and Diana. Daphne" was the same with respect to Antioch, as Baia? was to Rome, and Canopus to Alexandria—a place of resort for arr usement and pleasure. The senses were gratified with harmonious sounds and aromatic odours; beautiful were the walks, and shades, and grottoes, beautiful the Syrian women who resorted or dwelt here: at last, all who had any fortitude or virtue avoided the place: the soldier and the philosopher shunned its temptations.
"The joyful birds sang sweet in the green bowers;
Flowers and choice odours richly smiled and smelled
On either side of the calm stream, which wound
In a so spacious circle, that it held
The whole vast forest in its charming round.
It seemed that the hard oak, the grieving yew,
The chaste sad laurel, and the whole green grove,
It seemed each fruit that blushed, each bud that blew,
All spoke of ladies' hope, of ladies' love,
And bade the pilgrim hail to this delightful grove." Wifpks.
Nevertheless, the groves of Daphne" continued for many ages to attract the veneration, and to be the resort, of natives and strangers: the privileges of the sacred ground were enlarged by the munificence of succeeding emperors; and every generation added new ornaments to the splendour of the temple. At last the Christians of Antioch built a magnificent church here to Babylas bishop of that city, who died in the persecution of Decius: the rites thenceforth began to be neglected, and the priests of Apollo to forsake the place. Julian the Apostate endeavoured to revive the love of paganism amidst the groves of Daphne": he visited the neglected altars, and resumed the sacrifices, and saw with mortification and anguish that their reign was over, their sun was going down, and that the mysterious voice had gone forth in Daphne, as in the temples of Greece, "Let us go hence." One night the temple was discovered to be in flames; the statue of Apollo was consumed to ashes, as also were the altars: Julian said that the malice of the Christians had caused the conflagration; the Christians said, it was the vengeance of God.
Two beautiful cascades, and a few groupes of trees and bushes, and a screen of bold crags behind, cannot, however, realise the associations of memory, which are here miserably shattered; and the pictures of the past flit away like the foam of the waterfalls. Is this all that remains of Daphne ?—Let the traveller recline on the bank, whose flowers grow rank beneath the spray; and, lulled with the falling waters, or with a gentle dose of opium, strive to conjure up on the steep the magnificent temple of Apollo; its flights of columns casting their long shadows on the stream, the smoke of its sacrifices and clouds of perfume rising slowly over the groves, while over the cataracts slowly floated the music of many instruments, and the voices of invisible women. He wakes—and what does he behold? Three water-mills built of mud, some myrtle and bramble bushes, and a few mountain girls drawing water from the stream, their coarse garments hiding coarser forms—the Dulcineas of the place; which, had Cervantes seen, he «ould surely have placed his hero on the steep, and given him visions, and made him harangue over Daphne" and her glory, while Sancho stood laughing loudly by his side.
"Ah, sister! Desolation is a delicate thing;
ADANA,—MOUNT TAURUS IN THE DISTANCE.
Adana, which retains its ancient name and situation on the banks of the river Syhoon, the ancient Sarus, is still a considerable town, and the capital, till lately, of a pachalic, including the greater part of Cilicia Proper. It is now, with the surrounding district, ceded to Ibrahim Pasha. This city was formerly, next to Tarsus, the most flourishing in Cilicia: it was one of the towns to which Pompey banished the pirates, and it subsequently shared the same fate as Tarsus. The modern town is situated on a gentle declivity, surrounded on all sides with groves of mulberry, peach, apricot, fig, and olive trees, and vineyards. It is large built: the population, composed chiefly of Turks and Turcomans, is nearly equal to that of Tarsus, from which it is twenty-eight miles distant Part of the ancient walls remain; and a noble gateway in the middle of the bazaar, forms a lively contrast to the flimsy architecture of the Turks. Near the bridge, on the bank of the river, is a castle about a quarter of a mile in circuit, the work apparently of the Mahometans. The river Syhoon, which passes through Adana, and afterwards through the plain of Tarsus into the sea, near which its width is 270 feet, holds its course for some distance within a few miles of that of the Cydnus, both flowing through the same plain. Livy and Appian make mention of the river Sarus, when relating the destruction of the fleet of Antiochus by a violent storm.
From Adana the snowy range of Mount Taurus is grand: it is bolder in character than Lebanon, from being more broken, and from the rugged precipitous aspect of its loftiest pinnacles, where there are probably glaciers. There is usually a battalion or two of troops stationed here: on the bridge in the foreground, some of the soldiery are entering the castle, which is partly ruinous; on the opposite side are the encampments of the cavalry. Adana is a large and gloomy town, with bazaars well furnished with provisions, &c . The surrounding plain is fertile, and better cultivated than is usual in Asia Minor. It is not easy to procure a lodging here: the stranger is obliged to present the firmoun of Ibrahim Pasha to the governor, and solicit him to procure one, which is almost sure to prove very bad and comfortless; and instead of wandering about in a vain effort to move the kindness of its wealthier people, he had better apply at once to the Frank physician, who will accommodate him beneath his roof; and this roof is welcome, after a visit to the squalid apartments selected by the governor, from which his foot was quickly turned in disgust, and he was on the point of asking the shelter of the soldiers' tents when rescued from his homeless state by the physician.