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ungracious as possible—with corded loins, bare and dirty feet, old rusty garments, evil odours, and mortifying looks. If report said truly, this monastic residence was found more dreary than the shores of the cataracts or the Syrian deserts: the monks still talk of this visit, as a curious event in the history of their convent. But each scene within and without the city seems to yield in interest to the interior of Calvary: it was now peopled every day, for it was the feast of Easter. Some of the pilgrims drew nigh with rapid and eager footsteps, and with the air of men who were conscious that the end of their toils was before them. Others hesitated long ere they ascended the three marble steps that led from the floor of the church to the side of the sepulchre: they knelt on the pavement, and turned an imploring eye, not on the priest, for the priest was nothing at this moment, but on the sacred chamber within, where the light fell, and whence hushed sounds issued. One very old man, of tall stature and wasted form, whose hair and beard were white, and who seemed to have come from a very distant home, was observed to bend long beside the first marble step that conducted within. Numerous pilgrims passed him, of both sexes, and one of the priests came and whispered in his ear some words of encouragement: but the old man still lingered, as if a long life of sin or of carelessness had then risen before him, or he doubted that there could be mercy at so late an hour as this. Rich and handsomely dressed men passed him and entered, and women of different persuasions, dressed in white,—the young, the old, the beautiful, the lady, and the woman of low degree, were among them: a few looked earnestly at the aged man, who still knelt beside the lowest step, his looks bent on the floor, his thin white locks falling on his shoulders, and at times veiling his pallid cheek: his hands were clasped, and, from the movement of his lips, it was evident that he was engaged in earnest prayer—that in this moment his thoughts were all swallowed up in the conflicts and distress of his soul. O who can tell the swiftness and clearness of the thoughts, the keen recollection and exquisite upbraiding felt on the step of Calvary, at the entrance of the Sepulchre? It was more than the eleventh hour—it was the verge of his earthly pilgrimage, and this was perhaps the last offer of mercy—the last call of that voice that bade him "turn to the Lord, and be saved." He felt it to be so; and he yet lingered, till the greater part of the pilgrims had left the place. He then rose, and entered the tomb, in which was no one save the priest: falling on his knees, he spread his thin hands over the Sepulchre, laid his head on it, and burst into tears. This was a true repentance, a sorrow of the very soul, even in extreme old age: perhaps the "silver cords of his life were loosed, and his golden bowl broken at the fountain:" wife, children, all, perhaps were dead, and each dear affection cold, for no one was with him, either companion or comforter. Yet mercy touched his wearied spirit with its ineffable power, and by the tears he shed, and the relief he felt, it was evident that hope, the hope of immortality, was given in that hour. The noble Mosque of Omar, with its large dome, in the middle of the plate, is, perhaps, the most beautiful mosque in the Turkish empire: much of its material is a light blue stone, which has a peculiar effect in the brilliant sun-light: it is forbidden to ••• 2b
Christians, to whom it is death to enter its walls. The gate to the right of the mosque, in the front or eastern wall, is that of St. Stephen, the path from which leads down the declivity of Zion: the spot just above this path, where the tombs are seen, is the Armenian burying-ground. Calvary is to the north-west of the mosque, near the western wall, and not far from the gate of Bethlehem: it stands on rather elevated ground, and is ascended by eighteen lofty steps. The Armenian convent, to the left of the mosque, is a spacious edifice, with large courts, in which, and within its walls, it can accommodate ten or twelve hundred pilgrims, of all ranks. The hill in front, on whose crest are the city-walls, is Zion, its surface wildly broken. Mount Moriah formerly arose here, and on its summit was the temple; but it is now nearly levelled. The vale beneath, but imperfectly visible, is that of Jehoshaphat: the side of Mount Zion to the left is partly cultivated with corn-fields and pasture: the stream that is seen to flow down its side, is that of Siloam from its rocky basin, which is not visible. Beneath this spot begins the Vale of Hinnom, which sweeps far to the right, and ends beneath the two square towers in the opposite or western wall. The building on the summit, to the extreme left, is that erected by the Mahometans to the memory of David and Solomon, who they believe to be buried there. On the north, to the extreme right, begins the Plain of Jeremiah, two-thirds of a mile long, where extended the ancient city: this is the only level place in the vicinity of the walls. The traveller who now visits Jerusalem, or remains some time there, will find many facilities, and even comforts, which the last few years have introduced: he has now the privilege of European society, in the few merchants and the missionaries who make the city their general residence, and in whose dwellings he finds himself comparatively at home. When the writer was here, there was no one in whose society he could hope to pass a few hours agreeably: he felt as a stranger in a strange land, where no man cared for him. Convenient lodgings can be obtained, at a moderate price, in the city, where the traveller will find himself far more agreeably situated than in the monastery; and his host, and his family, civil and attentive, whether they be Armenians, Greeks, or Catholics. Fruit and wine, meat, vegetables, &c, are cheap in Jerusalem, and can be procured every day: privations need not be feared: every year will now render the city a more comfortable and social residence, though much of its lone, sublime, and gloomy character will thus be lost . Its climate, or rather that of the neighbourhood, is in general healthy: the winds on the surrounding hills are fresh and pure, and the heat is rarely excessive. In the spring, when we passed a few weeks there, the weather was pleasant and soft, never too warm, with occasional falls of rain. There are a few wild and romantic walks always to be enjoyed, where passengers are not often met with; down the valley through which the stream of the Siloam flows: and over the plain of Jeremiah to the sepulchres of the kings, and farther on to that of the judges: to Bethany by the way of Olivet: and early in the morning, to go over the plain of Rephidim to Bethlehem:—are not these exquisite rambles'!