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It was taken by the French in March 1799, and its beautiful gardens were almost all laid waste.
“ We arrived at Jaffa, the ancient Joppa, about 5 P.M. ... There being no inns, or khâns, in the sea-port towns for the accommodation of travellers, we were obliged to repair to the English consul's. We found the British representative at the door of his house, and, as he was a perfect original, I will give you some description of him. He was a man apparently about sixty years of age, dressed in the Turkish mode, excepting an old brown cocked hat covered with grease, and put square on his head. His beard might be of some seven or eight days' growth, and his back was ornamented with a plaited pig-tail reaching down to his middle. We found it difficult to refrain from laughing at the sight of so odd a figure, for his dress was all soiled with the drippings of soup and fat. He. showed us into (an) apartment . . . filled with watermelons; some old English pictures decorated the walls, and an old dirty sofa, without a covering, and wellstocked with fleas, constituted the furniture; numerous holes in the floor gave free access and egress to the rats ...
“ Jaffa, situated on the sea-coast, is a small fortified town; the fortifications were in a very ruinous state; but the Aga was busily employed in repairing them, Vessels were arriving from the northward daily with stones, &c. and he himself was in constant attendance on the operations. The Christian and Mahommedan inhabitants were obliged to take it day and day about to work, at the sound of the drum, every morning at sun-rise. We saw the place where the French entered the town on their advance into Syria, and the hospital where Buonaparte poisoned his sick, on his retreat, to
1 His house was formerly a convent, and is upon the same spot, tradition says, as the residence of Simon the tanner. It is by the sea-shore.
prevent them falling into the hands of the Turks. This place is now the Armenian Convent, and one of the priests, who was in the town at the time, says there were only thirty-five men thus poisoned.
About a mile without the town the French army was encamped, and it was here that Napoleon inhumanly massacred the inhabitants in cool blood, after the town was fully in his possession. The number thus slain is uncertain, but many people now in Jaffa attest the truth of the assertion.”—IRBY and MANGLES, pp. 184–186.
Rae Wilson furnishes us with the following account of his voyage to Joppa from Egypt:
“ We embarked in a small crazy vessel, laden with rice . . On the 21st of January, a little before midnight, we made Joppa, having been three days in reaching it. After dark, on approaching the town, where the navigation was intricate, a horn was blown at intervals from the land, to apprise us of danger. The custom appears to be judicious, and is peculiarly called for by the numerous, and very dangerous, breakers and shallows about this place. Independently of this, we had previously been warned by the rocks, which reechoed the groaning of the waves. Next morning, the view of Joppa from the deck of the vessel was highly picturesque and pleasing."
“ Joppa was denominated beautiful, in all probability from its peculiar situation, and is called by the natives Yâfa. It is built upon the side of a rocky mountain ... rising gradually from the sea-shore, crowned with a castle, and fortified towards the ocean ... The harbour is rocky and very dangerous, and has been in that state from the earliest periods. The streets, which are crooked, and some of them steep, present the usual slovenly meanness which is to be found in every town throughout the Turkish empire, though externally, the houses, which are of a white colour, have rather an imposing appearance. (The roofs are flat,) on discovering which,
struck with the circumstance of the
inspired writer having made such places his oratory (place of prayer) when he resided at Joppa." —RAE Wilson's Travels, vol. i. pp. 155, 156, 170.
The neighbourhood of Jaffa is celebrated for its beautiful gardens. Vines, figs, prickly pears, &c. grow in rich abundance, and citron-trees extend their grateful shade. Oranges and lemons are plentiful, and a number of very rare plants are found. On departing from Joppa (to journey towards Ramleh) we rode," writes Mr. Wilson, “ along a narrow winding path, enclosed with a kind of wall formed by the cumbrous shrub of the prickly pear, which grows to a prodigious size, and affords one of the most firm and secure fences imaginable.”
“A neat little fountain, as you enter the town, we thought merited attention.”—See RAE WILSON'S Travels, vol. i. pp. 159, 160, 177 ; IRBY and MANGLES, pp. 184, 188.
“ There fell a heavy shower of rain during our stay at Joppa, attended with high wind. The vessels in the harbour rocked about as if they had been in the open sea, though they were moored very near the shore, in a narrow channel formed by a ledge of rocks. When Vespasian approached the city, the inhabitants, who were all pirates, fled to their ships, but a storm coming on, upon these rocks they were dashed to pieces.”Hardy's Notices of the Holy Land, p. 128.
SCRIPTURE NOTICES. “ But Philip was found at Azotus ; and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Cæsarea.” — Acts viji. 40.
“ And (Saul) spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they
went about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Cæsarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.”—Acts ix. 29, 30.
" There was a certain man in Cæsarea called Cornelius, a centurion ... a devout man ... He saw in a vision an angel of God coming in to him, and saying, Cornelius . . . Send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter; he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner . . he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do . . . On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour Now ... behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate . . . Then Peter went down to the men . . . and . . . called them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And the morrow after they entered into Cæsarea.” - Acts x. 1, &c. (See whole chapter.)
“ And when Herod had sought for him (Peter) and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judæa to Cæsarea, and there abode. And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” Acts xii. 19-23.
“ And (Paul) sailed from Ephesus. And when he had landed at Cæsarea, and gone up, and saluted the
Church, he went down to Antioch.” – Acts xviii. 21, 22,
“ And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, (from Ptolemais,) and came unto Cæsarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the Evangelist, which was one of the seven ; and abode with him . And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem. There went with us also certain of the disciples of Cæsarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.”—Acts xxi. 8—17.
“ And (the chief captain) called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Cæsarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night
Then the soldiers . . took Pąul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him Who when they came to Cæsarea presented Paul before the governor). . . And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's Judgment Hall.”—Acts xxiii. 23, &c.
66 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Cæsarea to Jerusalem : : . Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him ... that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him. But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Cæsarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither. Let them, therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this
man, if there be any wickedness in him. And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Cæsarea; and the next day, sitting on the judgment seat, commanded Paul to be brought
“ And after certain days King Agrippa and Bernice came unto Cæsarea And Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king Then Agrippa id, I would