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also of the Armenian bishops, animated by the progress of liberal opinions and feelings, even in Lebanon, have, within the last ten years, thrown off the yoke of celibacy, and taken to themselves wives. A priest of the mountain brought up the rear of the party, in his turban, robe, and beard: mounted on his sure-footed mule, habituated, like its master, to cross precipices and ravines; he was on the way to his own home, his own rooftree, where the wife of his bosom awaited him, in the midst of the village of his flock, who would welcome the return of their pastor. His cottage was, probably, as humble as the peasant's; but in that humbleness there was no want, no privation: the little, well-cultivated garden, the few, very few books, the coarse furniture; the attachment 01 his people, with whom he lived as with one large family. Might not the priest of Lebanon, even with the errors of his creed, be a happy and pious man?



This scene, characteristic of the often narrow and rugged vales of Syria, is on the confines of the territory of Tripoli, and about three miles from the sea, which is visible from the heights: the Castle is supposed to be a relic of the crusaders, and is a position singularly fortified by nature, and almost impregnable in the age in which it was defended. Here dwelt of old the soldiers of the Cross; perhaps some of the chivalry of England, with a small band of retainers: savage as is the seclusion, it is in the heart of a territory of exceeding beauty and fertility, where a ruthless hand and licentious heart could find ample indulgence. This remarkable rock is perpendicular on all sides, being a hundred feet high, and five to six hundred feet in circumference: the walls of the Castle are so uniform with, and so resemble, the sides of the rock, that they seem almost of one continued piece with them. It would make a famous bandithold, being in a state of good preservation; the gloomy scenery of the iron-like vale is in keeping with its dark and massive walls: it looks as if perched on the turreted cliff, to give a fine and wild finish to the scene. A rivulet runs beneath, crossed by a half-broken and massive arch, over which is the path leading through the valley. The heights to the right are luxuriantly spotted with trees: the benighted traveller, no khan being within reach, may seek the shelter of the decayed chambers and vaults, and, while his fire flashes on the hoary floor and walls, be thankful that he is sheltered from the wind and the dews of night: he may safely feel that he is lord of all he surveys: no host shall meet him in the morn with an eye craving for presents, while kindness is on the lips; no sheich with an exorbitant demand, which may be lessened but not evaded; nor the sound at sunrise of the Turkish prayers, heard distinctly from room to room—first the low muttering, then the gradual swelling of the voice, and the names of Alia and Mohammed mingling loudly in the morning thanksgiving.


Silence in the Gothic castle will be on the sleeping hours of the stranger, silence on his waking: no "charm of earliest birds;" the cry of the jackal, that dismal watcher of the waste, ceases at the approach of morn. "The valley," observes Lamartine, "here contracts, and is completely shut in by a rock; this rock, whether it be natural or hewn out of the side of the mountain which adjoins it, bears on its summit a gothic castle, in a state of complete preservation, but now the abode only of the jackal and the eagle; staircases cut out of the solid rock communicate with terraces ranged one above another, protected by towers and battlements, and terminate on a platform, from whence rises up the donjon-keep pierced with loop-holes. A luxuriant vegetation covers the castle, its walls and turrets; immense sycamores have struck root in its halls, and rear their spreading heads above the crumbling roof; the ivy clinging to doors and windows; the lichens revealing here and there the colours of the stone; and the numberless parasitic plants, which hang in profuse and tufted festoons, give this fine monument of the middle ages the appearance of a castle framed of moss and ivy. A beautiful spring flows at the foot of the rock, shaded by three of the finest trees that can be imagined. They are a species of elm. The shadows of one of them covered our tents, our thirty horses, and the scattered group of our Arabs."—The three noble trees praised by Lamartine are ilex, not elm; they afford a delicious resting-place to the traveller: the stream at their feet is bordered by oleander and myrtle. The whole glen is fragrant to a degree with flowering myrtle and clematis.


These are some of the very ancient trees: on the large trunk to the left many tourists have left their names. One of the latest is that of De Lamartine, the poet and traveller, carved industriously in large letters. An Arab tribe sometimes live in the forest, and were here at the time of this visit: the Sheich is conspicuous among the standing figures: this tribe is very hospitable and attentive to strangers: the costume of the women is that of almost all the Christians in Mount Lebanon. Tradition asserts, and the people believe, that these aged trees are the remains of the forest that furnished timber for Solomon's temple, three thousand years ago: and every year, on Transfiguration-day, the Maronites, the Greeks, and the Armenians, celebrate a mass here, at the foot of a cedar, upon a homely altar of stone. It is certain that they were very ancient, even several hundred years ago: two centuries since, they were twentyfive in number; Pococke, a century ago, found fifteen standing, and the sixteenth was recently blown down: Burckhardt, in 1800, counted eleven or twelve: there are now but seven, and these are of so prodigious a size, of an appearance so massive and imperishable, that it is easy to believe they actually existed in biblical times. Those which have fallen during the last two centuries, have either perished through extreme

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