The Project Gutenberg eBook, Cities of the Dawn, by J. Ewing Ritchie

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Title: Cities of the Dawn

Author: J. Ewing Ritchie

Release Date: May 11, 2011  [eBook #36084]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1897 T. Fisher Unwin edition by David Price, email


Dawn on the Great Sphinx




(‘christopher crayon’),
author of ‘crying for the light,’ ‘east anglia,’ etc., etc.


‘Ye glittering towns with wealth and splendour crown’d;
Ye fields where summer spreads profusion round;
Ye lakes whose vessels catch the busy gale;
Ye bending swains that dress the flowery vale;
For me your tributary stores combine;
Creation’s heir, the world—the world is mine.’


with thirty-one illustrations


paternoster square.

p. ixTo
to whose practical philanthropy
many of the young people of both sexes
are indebted for happy holiday-times,
this book
is respectfully dedicated


In this new publication, consisting chiefly of articles which appeared in the Christian World, the Echo, and the East Anglian Daily Times, the author makes no pretence to original information, or to have acted the part of an antiquarian explorer.  He has simply gone over ground familiar to many, and to which all holiday-makers will turn in increasing numbers, partly for pleasure, and partly on account of the absorbing interest attaching to the route here briefly described.  To such he offers his services as guide, philosopher and friend, trusting also that many who stay at home may be interested in the story here told.

With regard to the illustrations, the author acknowledges the kindness of Dr. Lunn and Messrs. Cassell in allowing him the use of them, and especially is grateful to Miss Pollard, the daughter of the author of that valuable work, ‘The Land of the Monuments,’ for permission to use her sketch ‘Dawn on the Great Sphinx,’ which he has utilized for his frontispiece.






a run across france



off to naples



naples of to-day



pompeii and vesuvius



the isles of the mediterranean



about athens









jaffa to jerusalem



the holy city






the jew in jerusalem






in cairo



the pyramids and the sphinx



the river nile



the return to marseilles






the great city of lyons



dijon, or the wine country



books of reference





dawn on the great sphinx


two-berth cabin, ‘midnight sun’


the bay of naples


temple of venus, pompeii


the corinth canal


temple of victory


the parthenon


a busy street in constantinople


a mosque on the bosphorus


the quay, constantinople


galata bridge, constantinople


an old street, constantinople


the gate of persecution, near ephesus


jerusalem: via dolorosa and pontius pilate’s house


view from st. stephen’s gate, with russian church and garden of gethsemane


general view of jerusalem from the convent of the sisters of zion


the church of the holy sepulchre




pompey’s pillar, alexandria


general view of cairo


a street in cairo


tomb of the caliphs of cairo


p. xvidonkey-boy, cairo


colossal statue of rameses ii.


pyramid and sphinx


the great sphinx


a tourist steamer—cook’s nile flotilla


the new harbour, marseilles




the castle of the popes, avignon


the place bellecour, lyons




To leave London one day and to arrive in Marseilles the next would have been deemed impossible—the dream of a madman—in the age in which I was born, when steamships and railways were unknown.  Yet it is a fact, to the truth of which I can testify.  Half a century has elapsed since the fair fields, leafy woodlands, and breezy chalk downs of Kent were invaded by a band of navvies, who, under the skilful direction of the late Sir William Cubitt, built up the main line of the South-Eastern Railway.  The next thing was to connect France and Europe, which was done by means of steamers running between Calais and Dover, and thence by rail to all the chief Continental cities and health resorts.

I leave London by the Continental express at eight in the morning one cold day in October; in eight hours I am in Paris, passing Calais and Abbeville, both of which places, especially the former, are, I believe, pretty well known in these days of universal restlessness and travel.  It is little we see p. 2of Paris, the gay and beautiful.  We have to dine—for man must dine, if possible, once a day—and to Paris we turn for its cooks and cookery.  It is there that the art of dining is carried to perfection.  ‘Unquiet meals make ill digestions.’  There is no fear of that as I sit down to my well-prepared repast at the handsome buffet attached to the French Northern Railway, and yet there my troubles begin.  As a barbarous Englander, I ask why in Paris, the centre, as it deems itself, of civilization and refinement, I am compelled to help myself to salt by putting my knife into the saltcellar.  Then, again, it seems curious to me, and what I am not accustomed to, to eat my fish without a fitting knife and fork.  Surely one may expect to find in Paris the refinement one is accustomed to in one’s native land!  As to being cheated with one’s eyes open, one does not complain—you expect it, and it is not worth while losing your temper merely for the sake of a few paltry centimes; and yet I felt that I had been done unfairly when, on asking a waiter for a cup of coffee noir, and giving him an English shilling, and particularly calling his attention to the value of the coin, he coolly treats it as a franc, and gives me change accordingly.  That was rather a dear cup of coffee, I calculate; but, then, the fault was mine, and mine alone.  I ought to have provided myself with French money before I started.

I am going on what Dr. Lunn calls an educational tour on the Continent.  It seems to me I shall get a good deal of education of some kind or other before I return to my native land again.  There are about 112 on board from London and the provinces.  As we are bound for Jerusalem, we have, as was to be expected, p. 3a large proportion of the clerical element.  Ladies are not so numerous as one would expect from what one knows of the curiosity and fondness for adventure of lovely woman.  The worst part of the trip is the long, wearying ride from Paris to Marseilles, where we found peace and plenty on board the Midnight Sun.  We saw but little of the country on leaving Paris; but when we reached Lyons, where we were refreshed with delicious coffee and bread-and-butter, and were provided with a handsome lunch, to be eaten in the course of our journey, consisting of a bottle of claret, beef and fowl, bread-and-butter, and cheese and fruit—a handsome meal, to which we all did justice—the day broke on us clear and fine.

But I pause to make another little grumble.  In barbarous England the lunch would have been neatly packed away in a basket specially provided for the purpose, and a knife and fork would have been included.  On the Lyons railway a brown paper bag was deemed all that was necessary, and instead of a knife and fork we had to use our fingers.  As there was no convenience for washing—at any rate, as regards second-class passengers, quorum pars fui; I recommend the traveller to go first-class on such a long ride—you can imagine our disgusting state.  It seems to me that the rule that they do things better in France is one to which there are several exceptions.  But in some respects France beats us.  It will be hard to find anywhere in England a prettier ride than that we enjoyed from Lyons to Marseilles.  The white houses, with their green blinds and red tiles, nestling in and among the trees, always make a French landscape bright and gay.  Their great industrial and manufacturing centres also always p. 4 Two-berth cabin, ‘Midnight Sun’ p. 5look cleaner and less forbidding in their dreariness than ours at home; and if the little narrow plots you see suggest peasant farming, rather than the high and costly farming patronized at home, you feel that the peasant of gay and sunny France—for such France undoubtedly is—has a happier lot than with us.  But as you travel you have no time to think of such things.  It is all one can do to watch the fairy panorama of rock and river, of waving woods and smiling plains, as you glide by.  At all times the Loire is a grand river, but to-day it is flooded, and seems to be made up of lakes and seas, in which struggle haystacks, farmhouses, barns, the everlasting poplars, and, what is worse, the poor man’s garden, and I think, in one or two cases that met my pitying eye, his vinefields as well.

One word before I have done with the Midnight Sun.  ‘In the new yachting,’ writes Sir Morell Mackenzie, ‘there is no unpleasantness as to the change of places to be visited, nor are carefully-arranged plans to be disarranged at the last moment by the thoughtlessness or unpunctuality of friends.  You have the pleasure of companionship, without any of the responsibilities of a host or the obligations of a guest.  You can enjoy the sea and the air charged with ozone, which is the champagne of the lungs, and free from any taint of animal or vegetable corruption, just as freely as if you were an Alexander Selkirk on a floating island; and you have many comforts which cannot be had even on the largest and best-appointed yachts.’  Such were the results of the great physician’s experience on board one of the fine excursion steamers of the Orient line.  ‘I felt,’ he writes, ‘like Faust after his great transformation scene from age to youth.’

p. 6I am not on an Orient steamer, but I am on the Midnight Sun, and to that Sir Morell Mackenzie’s testimony is equally applicable.  The Midnight Sun is a grand steamer of 3,178 tons, and she was especially fitted out for yachting purposes.  She may be said to be the best of the class.  For instance, take the sleeping cabins.  They contain no upper sleeping berths—a boon most acceptable to passengers who have had to pass many nights, as I have done, in cabins overcrowded with passengers and luggage.  An idea of the magnificent proportions of the Midnight Sun may be gathered from the fact that seven times round her deck is equal to one mile.  The upper deck forms a promenade over the entire length of the ship, with uninterrupted views on either side.  She has been engaged by Dr. Lunn for his co-operative educational cruises, which become more popular every year.  I note especially the smoking-room on the upper deck, capable of accommodating nearly 100 persons.  There is a crew of 110 on board for the purpose of ensuring our safety and supplying our comforts and wants.  Truly, if one cannot enjoy himself on such a trip, and with such a company of gentlemen and ladies as Dr. Lunn succeeds in drawing around him, he must be hard to please.  Dr. Lunn, who is not on board, is in himself a host, and so is his popular brother, who supplies his place.  We are now approaching Corsica.  I will spare you my feelings as I gaze on the land that gave birth to a Napoleon Bonaparte, and that sheltered Seneca in his dreary exile, but which in modern times Lady Burdett Coutts finds to be a very beneficial health resort.  They are all that should inspire the virtuous emotions of a true-born Englishman.



I left off my last letter opposite Corsica.  Since then—and this is the charm of coming to Naples in the Midnight Sun—we have passed quite a cluster of isles more or less renowned in history—such as Caprera, the rocky home of the great Italian, Garibaldi—of which, alas! we see nothing.  In old times Caprera derived its name from the wild goats, its original inhabitants.  Later on it was colonized by monks.  ‘The whole island,’ says a contemporary writer quoted by Gibbon, ‘is filled, or, rather, defiled by men, who fly from the light.  They call themselves monks, or solitaries, because they choose to live alone, without any witnesses of their actions.  They fear the gifts of fortune from the apprehension of losing them, and, lest they should be miserable, they embrace a life of voluntary wretchedness.’  Elba, however, is visible, which the wiseacres whom Providence, for mysterious reasons of its own, at one time permitted to rule over European affairs, fixed on as the residence of the Corsican adventurer, in the childish belief that he who had aimed almost at universal empire, and had in vain attempted to grapple with and overthrow the pride and power of p. 8England, would be content to remain on that puny isle, within a hop, step and jump of France, as it were, and almost within speaking distance of the legions whom he had led to glory.  Then we sailed past Monte Cristo, the scene of Dumas’ celebrated romance of that name.  Mostly, at a distance, the isles look bare of life and vegetation, rocks rising out of the blue waves; and yet we know it to be otherwise.  At best, however, they must be poor places to live in, far from the great battle of life, and out of touch with human progress.  We pass Sardinia, but see little of it.  This is Sunday, and to-day the Church clergy, who are numerous, seem to have had a good innings.  Unfortunately, I came into collision with one of them.  As I entered the smoking-room after breakfast, I saw there had been held there an early Communion, and the implements utilized on such occasions were lying about.  In a light and flippant tone I asked whether this was High Church or Low Church or Broad Church.  A little oily parson, who was apparently guarding the vessels, angrily exclaimed, ‘Sir, it is the Church!’  ‘Thank you,’ I said; ‘I only wanted to know.  To me it is a matter of indifference.’  ‘That was very naughty of you,’ said a mild, gentlemanly young man at my side.  Let everyone worship God, or what he takes to be God, as best he may.  I scorn not the savage who bows down to idols of wood and stone.  To him they represent a Divine presence and power.  I claim a similar liberty for the High Churchman, who sees sacred emblems in vessels of human device to be bought in the shops, or wrought by devout females; but let him give me the same freedom, and not denounce me as little better than one of the wicked, as void of Christian faith, because I turn from p. 9man’s devices to cry out of the aching heart to the living God, if haply I may find Him.

But I am digressing; for the fact is that I always see more of sacerdotalism afloat than I do on land.  We are getting on pleasantly as regards social companionship.  It was very cold in the train to Dover, and I felt inclined to take rather a gloomy view of the situation.  It was worse on board the Dover and Calais packet, where the whole of the deck was set apart for first-class passengers, while we unfortunate second-class men were sent down below to see what we could out of the cabin windows.  But once in the French second-class carriages, really much nicer than our own, reserve was broken, the tongue began to wag, and all went merry as a marriage-bell.  I was much pleased with my neighbour—a Yorkshireman, I think, who had brought with him a bag of new farthings to be utilized for backsheesh.  He offered me some, but I refused.  At my time of life I should not like to be caught by a wild Arab of the desert to whom I had offered a new farthing for the familiar sovereign, the use of which is known from China to Peru.  The pompous elderly first-class passenger amuses me.  He has got his English paper, and he carries it with him everywhere, in spite of the fact that its news is some days old.  One of my fellow-passengers had bought himself at Marseilles a small footstool to keep his feet dry—a needless precaution, as all the seats are built with a view to protect the passengers from the damp of the decks, always rather moist after the early morning scrub and scour.  The daily bath is in much request.  The young Englishman must have his morning bath—a favourable sign, if it be true that p. 10cleanliness is next to godliness.  We are rather a miscellaneous lot—there are Scotchmen, whose sweet Doric I fail to understand, and Cockneys, who ignore the letter h; but some of the ladies are charming, and that is saying a good deal.

Long before we reach Naples the awnings are put up and we rejoice in all the warmth of an English summer; and never did the far-famed bay look more beautiful, and the towns and castles and convents that line the cliffs in every direction for miles look more bright.  The usual babel of sounds reigned in the bay as singers and divers and dealers in fruit and other articles of Neapolitan production were clamorous to sell them.  The worst feature of the Neapolitan petty dealer is that he is too anxious to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.  I know of many English who stay in Rome merely because the people deal fairer with the stranger within its gates.  It is quite otherwise in Naples.  The native pays fourpence for his two pounds of bread; the Englishman always has to pay fivepence.  It is in vain you go to another baker.  For a week he will charge you fourpence, and then he raises his price.  One peculiarity of the Naples tradesman is that men of the same trade always stick together; and he does not spread out his business like the English shopkeeper of to-day.  For instance, if he is a baker he does not deal in pastry, and the pastrycook does not interfere with him.  But away from the trading classes the poverty of the people is really awful.  You see men very lightly dressed sleeping on the broad pavement at all hours; and yet they adore their King, and are now building him a grand new monument just in front of the Royal Palace.  Naples still needs better drainage; and the p. 11substitution of current money in gold or silver for its copper coinage would be a great improvement.  Personally, this time I had no reason to find fault with the people.  I found an honest boatman who rowed me to the ship for half a franc.

The one redeeming point in Naples is the untiring efforts of the Protestant ministers of all denominations—Church, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan, the latter especially active and doing a good work in the way of schools.  I called in at the Sailors’ Rest, an awful climb to get to, but a real rest when you get there.  The present missionary is Mr. Burrowes, and his wife, the latter a genuine Scotchwoman of the better sort.  They deal in the institution and on board ships with other peoples, with other religions and political opinions, and the result is very satisfactory.  The number of destitute persons who have been relieved is as large as ever.  Seamen are relieved and weaned from drink.  Almost every evening there is something going on bright and cheerful at the Rest.  The Sunday evening services have been found especially useful.  After the evening service of a Sunday a large number of men stop to sing their favourite hymns, and the number of interesting temperance and religious works circulated is very large.  The English colporteur, Mr. Copley, has given away 1,000 copies of the New Testament during the year, and he is aided by a band of foreign colporteurs quite as active as himself.  It is work that ought to be more liberally supported by Christians at home.  The good it does is great; its needs are pressing.  I hope I may not appeal for the Sailors’ Home of Rest at Naples in vain.  During the year 1895, 176 persons stayed in the Home, including those sent there by the British p. 12and foreign consuls, passing travellers from ships.  Many stayed only one night, such as seamen from warships.  About 140 persons got free teas, not including the relief given to destitute people.  It is a pity that such a real good work should languish for want of popular support amongst the wealthy English residents at Naples and at home.



Once more I am in Naples, with its houses rising one over another, in front of me, and Vesuvius looking down on me, and across the loveliest bay the world has yet seen.  There is little to see in Naples beyond its museum, which no one should omit to visit, and Pompeii, to which you are conveyed by train, where you come face to face with ancient civilization and ancient life.  For the traveller the city is rich in hotels, and at one of them—the Hôtel Vesuve, a magnificent structure with stately halls—I once spent a happy week.  I had come with money enough to defray my two days’ expenses; but, to my horror, I had to stay longer than I intended, and you may judge of my delight when the manager, who knew me, at the end of the week refused a penny for my board and daily food.  I wish I could speak as well of the shopkeepers, who fleece you as much as possible, and are prone to give you bad money for good.

The people are industrious, and mostly very poor; but they don’t drink, and content themselves with water and a slice of lemon—always on sale in the streets.  They are devout Roman Catholics, but, p. 14nevertheless, an official said to me, ‘Morality is unknown here.’  I met with a man from Newcastle, an engineer, who employs a thousand people here, and gave them an excellent character.  ‘Do you employ any English?’ I asked.  ‘Not one,’ was his reply; ‘they drink too much and are too troublesome.’  Taxes are awful and Custom dues ditto.  I landed here once with twenty-five cigars, a present from one of the gentlemanly captains of the Orient line.  I could have put them in my pocket, and no one would have been any wiser.  I thought, however, ‘Italy is a poor country, and I might as well contribute my mite towards its exhausted exchequer.’  My confidence was misplaced; for those cigars I had to pay a duty—incredible as it may seem—of three shillings and ninepence!  Only fancy!

What I like best in Naples are its tram-cars, which are cheap, and the attendants are civil.  Riding and driving seem to be the principal amusements of the people, especially on a Sunday, when the poor horses have to rattle along with tremendous loads, which makes one regret that in this part of the world there seems to be no society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  Pope Pius IX. did not think one required.  Artistic manufactures seem to constitute the staple trade.  In every hotel there are fine marble busts for sale.  Vesuvius supplies abundant lava, which is utilized in a thousand forms.  On many a housetop you may see the macaroni spread out to dry, and in many a street you may watch through the windows the tortoiseshell manufacturers at work.  To the city there appears to be no end, as it stretches away to the right and left, and climbs up the hills on which it is p. 15built.  It boasts two Gothic cathedrals, and numerous churches, and many public buildings of a handsome order.  Little of female loveliness, however, is to be seen in the streets—not half so much as in Oxford Street at home any day in the week.  Miss Cobbe writes: ‘Naples struck me on my first visit—as it has done again and again—as presenting the proof that the Beautiful is not by itself the root out of which the Good spontaneously grows.’  I quite agree with Miss Cobbe.

In the wide and sunny expanse of blue waters that surrounds Naples there is much to be seen.  Rocky Capri lies just opposite—the home of artists and English residents.  In the bay on our left are Baiæ and Puteoli, the latter the port at which St. Paul landed on his way as a prisoner to Rome to appeal to Cæsar.  Baiæ was the Brighton of ancient Rome; the remains of its temples and baths are scattered freely among the fig-trees and olives of the peasant.  Emperors dwelt there.  There Cæsar sought retirement, and the warm springs on the side are yet called by his name.  Behind, Virgil placed the entrance of Avernus, and not far off is his reputed tomb.  Between Baiæ and Puteoli was the Lucrine Lake, over which coloured sails wafted the small yachts of fashionable visitors, and which contained the oyster-beds for the luxurious tables of Rome.  Vitellius the beastly, as Gibbon calls him, seems to have been the greatest oyster-eater in the ancient world.  He is said to have eaten oysters all day long and to have swallowed a thousand at a sitting.  There are no oysters in the Lucrine Lake now, for the simple reason that an earthquake long ago destroyed the lake.  All p. 16that now remains of that famous fishery is a small and shallow stream, which is separated from the sea by a narrow strip of sand.  Further north is Misenum, where Æneas came to land; where the navy of old Rome rode secure; from whence Pliny sailed away to get a nearer view of the celebrated eruption of Vesuvius, and where he met with his death by the ashes discharged from the burning mountain.  On the other side of the bay lie Sorrento and other charming spots.  It was here the Greeks sent colonists.  The Greeks were the colonizing people of antiquity, as much as the English are colonizing people of to-day.  It is pleasant of a night to stand on the deck of the steamer to see the gas-lamps on the shore glittering like glow-worms or fireflies all along the romantic coast.

If possible, the tourist should find time to have a look at Pæstum.  In his diary Rogers the poet thus describes his visit: ‘Country green and level.  The temples in a plain shut in on three sides by the mountains, on the fourth open to the sea; and the sea itself half shut in them by the promontory of Sorrentum, within which are the Isles of the Sirens.  A magnificent theatre, worthy of such objects: the columns almost bare—broken and of an iron-brown, like iron rust; the floor green with moss and herbage; the columns and cornices of the richest tints, and climbed by the green lizards that fly into a thousand chinks and crevices at your approach; fluted fragments of columns and moulded cornices among briars strew the middle space between the temple and the basilica.’  Let me add, the temples are all in the same Doric style.  Poseidonia, as its inhabitants, the Greek p. 17colonists, called it, was founded in the seventh century b.c., and, as the name imports, was specially sacred to Poseidon, or Neptune.  The principal temple, which was probably that of Neptune, was that of the sea god.

Let me remind my readers that in the English burial-place at Naples was laid one of the very greatest and best of Englishwomen—the late Mrs. Somerville—where a marble monument has been placed over her grave by her daughter.  It represents her, heroic size, reclining on a classic chair, in somewhat the attitude of the statue of Agrippa in the Vatican.  It is a shame that she was not buried in Westminster Abbey.  When asked, Dean Stanley assented, as was to be expected, freely to the proposal.  Mrs. Somerville’s nephew, Sir William Fraser, promised at once to defray all expenses.  There was only one thing further needed, and that was the usual formal request from some public body or official persons to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.  Dean Stanley immediately wrote to the Astronomer Royal and the President of the Royal Society, as representative of the science with which Mrs. Somerville was immediately connected, to ask him to authorize the Dean proceeding in the matter.  But that gentleman refused to do so on the ground that he had never read Mrs. Somerville’s books.  ‘Whether he had read,’ writes Miss Cobbe, commenting indignantly on the above, ‘one in which she took the opposite side from his in the bitter Adam Le Verrier controversy, it is not for me to say.’  Any way, jealousy, either scientific or masculine, declined to admit Mrs. Somerville’s claim to a place in our national Walhalla, where so many men neither p. 18intellectually nor morally her equal have been received.

In one respect Naples has improved since I was here last.  The drainage has been rendered better, and the fearful odours that met you at every turn have disappeared.  The poor are indolent, dirty, thriftless, and ill-housed; but that does not much matter, as most of their lives are passed in the open air.  The convents are suppressed, the schoolmaster is abroad, and they may grow better as the years roll by, and Italy, as a nation, once more becomes great and renowned.  But a good deal has yet to be done.  I heard of things to be seen in Naples of the most disgraceful and disgusting character.  At the dawn of the Reformation Naples took the lead among the Italian cities in the adoption of its principles.  Then came a bitter persecution, and the triumphs of the Pope and the Inquisition.  As the result, Naples has been given up for years to the most abject superstition, and its people have become the most ignorant and demoralized in Europe.  But the city is full of life—far more so than is to be found in any other Italian city.  Such talking, shouting, and rushing to and fro can hardly be found anywhere else.  Nowhere is there more life than is to be seen on the Toledo.  One of the quaintest objects is that of the letter-writer, seated at his desk in the open air, with his clients waiting to have their letters written—some of business, some of love.  The cab-driver is better than he looks, and it is not difficult to get along with him.  But you must be on your guard with waiters.  More than once one has come to me with a bad franc, which he pretended I had given him; but I turned a deaf ear to his complaint, and p. 19 The Bay of Naples.  (From a photograph by Frith and Co.,
Reigate.) p. 20left him to do the best he could with his spurious coin.

If you want to visit Vesuvius, apply at Cook’s offices, where you will find everything arranged for you in the most agreeable manner, and no difficulty of any kind.  His funicular railway is one of the wonders of the place.  The ascent of the cone requires two hours’ hard walking in deep ashes and on hard rubble lava—an undertaking not very pleasant for people affected with delicate hearts and constitutions, or bordering on old age.  Get into one of Cook’s railway cars, and you are up in a few minutes.  At the lower station there is an excellent restaurant belonging to the wonderful John Cook, whose headquarters are the Piazzi del Martini.  I dined once at his restaurant at the foot of the cone, and it is one of the few dinners in my life to which I look back with pleasure.  I had a friend with me, of course.  It is never pleasant to travel—at any rate, in a foreign country—alone.  We had a good rumpsteak and French beans, an omelette, and a bottle of the wine whose praises were sung by Horace when the world was much younger and fresher than it is now.  After dinner we sat on the terrace, drinking black coffee and smoking cigars.  Of course, as an Englishman, it gave me pleasure to reflect that our beautiful Princess of Wales had been there before me in 1893, with Victoria of Wales, the Duke of York, and a distinguished suite.  As I sat smoking, it seemed to me as if I was monarch of all I surveyed.  Naples was at my feet, far away behind was the green Campagna, with but here and there a solitary dwelling, and before me, in all its glory, the bay and its islands.  If old Sam Rogers had gone up there to write his p. 21‘Italy,’ I think he would have done better than he did—at any rate, I was never so near heaven before; and this reminds me that I have said nothing of the means of grace available to English Protestants when they come to Naples.  There is an English Church in the San Pasquale à Chiagia, a Scotch Presbyterian opposite Cook’s offices, and a Methodist.

There are many ways of getting to Naples.  I came this time overland by Paris and Marseilles, and thence, as I have said, by the Midnight Sun.  If the weather is fine, and the Bay of Biscay in good form, I prefer to come by the Orient steamers right away from London.  You have then no trouble till you land in Naples.  We leave Black Care behind as we slip out of English fog and cold into the region of cloudless skies and starry nights.  We smoke, or read, or feed, or walk the deck, or talk in the pleasantest manner.  Perhaps we get a glimpse of Finisterre.  Heroic memories come to us as we pass the seas where the Captain was lost—it is to be feared in consequence of defective seamanship.  All along the coast and on those faraway hills the noise of battle rolled, and not in vain, for the struggle that ended in Waterloo placed England in the first rank among the nations of the earth.

As soon as we cross the bay we think of Corunna and Sir John Moore.  Afar off are the memorable heights of Torres Vedras.  Cape St. Vincent, a bluff sixty feet high, with a convent and a lighthouse, reminds one of the brilliant victory won by Sir John Jervis, with Nelson and Collingwood fighting under him; and in a little while we are at Trafalgar, to which sailors still look as the greatest sea-fight in the history of our land, and as the one that saved the nation; and p. 22then you spend a day at Gibraltar.  A Yankee friend once said to me, ‘I must go back to America.  I can’t stay any longer in Europe; I shall get too conceited if I do.’  I, too, feel conceited as I skirt along that romantic coast, which you sight in a few hours after leaving Plymouth.  Englishmen are always grumbling.  There is no country like England; and an Englishman who is not proud of his native land, and ready to make every sacrifice for her, ought to be shot, and would be if I had my way.



It is needless to write that no one can go to Naples without paying a visit to Pompeii, if he would get a true idea of a Roman city, with its streets, and shops, and baths, and forum, and temples; and it is as well to read over Bulwer’s ‘Last Days of Pompeii’—that master work of genius, compared with which our present popular novels are poor indeed—and then let the reader spend an entire day, if he can, among the Pompeiian remains, in the museum at Naples, which Garibaldi, when Dictator of Naples, handed over to the people.  Pompeii is easy of access by the railway, which lands you at the very spot, after a short but pleasant trip.  Much can be accomplished there and back for a little more than three francs.  On Sundays Pompeii can be visited for nothing; on other days the charge is one franc, and when you have paid the guide the franc, I think you will agree with me that in no other part of the world can you see so much that is truly wonderful at so small an expense.  Close to the gate are a hotel—the Hôtel du Diomede—and a restaurant, at either of which you can get all the refreshments you require; and if it is too hot to walk—and in the summer months Pompeii is a very hot p. 24place indeed—there are chairs in the grounds in which you can be carried all round and see all that is to be seen at very little personal fatigue.

Pompeii is spread out in an elliptical form on the brow of a hill, and extends over a space of nearly two miles.  On one side of you is Vesuvius, and on the other the blue waters of the bay.  One of the towns through which you pass in the train is Portici, the ancient Herculaneum; as it is, you are lost in wonder at the awful extent of the catastrophe which turned all this smiling land into a scene of desolation and death, and which, at any rate, led to the extinction of one philosophic career—that of the elder Pliny, a real victim to the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties.  At the time of its visitation, Pompeii is reputed to have had a population of about 26,000.

Imagination fails to realize the agony of the hour as the swift, black, sulphurous death came down on all—the patrician in his marble halls, the tradesman in his shop, the miser at his desk, the devotees who cried to their gods for safety in vain, the slave, the freedman, the aged, to whom life had nothing to give, the tender, the beautiful, the young, to whom life seemed an exhaustless dream of joy.  As in the days of the flood, there was marrying and giving in marriage.  Here the baker had fled, and left his loaves in his oven; there was an eating-house, in which were found raisins, olives, and fish cooked in oil.  There stands the tavern, indicated by the sign of the chequers, while the amphoræ of wines are still marked with the year of the vintage.  An election was going on at the time of the catastrophe, and appeals to the free and independent are still preserved.  In one place a schoolboy has p. 25scratched his Greek alphabet.  In his sentry-box a sentinel was discovered, a grisly skeleton clasping his rusty sword.  And the streets tell a piteous tale.  In one a young man and woman had fallen together; in another part a lady was discovered attempting to flee with a bag of gold, and then there was seen the skeleton of a mother with her children, whom she was vainly seeking to save.  In the house of Diomede, or, rather, in a vaulted cellar underneath, eighteen bodies were found of men and women who had evidently fled there for shelter.  The probable proprietor of the house was found near the garden door, with the key in his hand, while beside him was a slave with valuables.  It is evident that the city was a scene of vice and dissipation.  Some of the inscriptions are too indecent to reproduce.  I know not whether for this it becomes us to point the finger of scorn, we who read ‘Don Juan,’ who revel in Fielding, who reverence Dean Swift, who know what goes on in Paris and London by night, when respectability has gone to bed and Exeter Hall is shut up.

Let me turn to the streets—they are very narrow—and to the houses, which strike me as generally very small.  In that grand climate the people must have mostly lived in the open air.  One of the most elegant houses is that of the Tragic Poet.  On the threshold was a dog in mosaic, with the inscription ‘Cave canem’—now in the museum at Naples.  I was much interested in the public baths, or thermæ, which indicate with how much care the ancient Romans attended to cleanliness and health.  They must have been on a somewhat extensive scale.  A passage leads to the chamber for undressing.  Beyond this is the cold bath.  p. 26Thence we make our way to the warm bath, or tepidarium.  The baths also possessed an extensive colonnade, now converted into a garden, besides several other chambers and baths for women, none of which are now open to the public.  But we see wonders everywhere, in spite of the fact that all that is best in Pompeii has been moved to the museum at Naples, where remains one of the finest of the Pompeiian mosaics—that representing a battle between Darius and Alexander, which no one who wishes to have a competent idea of ancient art should avoid going to see.  Let me add that no visitor should go to Pompeii without having first got a clear idea of what he is going to see.  The guides are but poor helps, as mostly they speak nothing but Italian.  Further, let me say that if you have at Naples only the day allowed by the Orient Company, while waiting for the overland mails, which generally reach Naples in a little over two days and nights after leaving London, your best plan is to get hold of Cook’s agent, who reaches the ship in a boat with a flag bearing the well-known name.  He will take you off, drive you straight to Pompeii, give you time to ‘do’ the place and to get a good lunch there, and bring you back in time to the ship to pursue the even tenor of your way to Egypt, or Ceylon, or Australia, as the case may be.  If you have time, pursue your studies by a day in the museum, or more if you can.  It is there you can realize best, as you study the grand statues of great men and women and gods and goddesses, the Diana of Ephesus being one of them—statues in which the

   ‘Majesty of human passion
Is to the life expressed’—

p. 27 Temple of Venus, Pompeii.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and

p. 28what men the world’s masters were.  Nero has a shocking head; Caligula looks an empty-headed fop; but I gazed admiringly on the grand features of my guide, philosopher, and friend—Marcus Aurelius.  And I thought of Voltaire, as I stood opposite the noble statue of Julius Cæsar, on your left just as you enter the museum.  Voltaire tells us men may be divided into two classes—hammers and anvils.  Julius Cæsar evidently belonged to the former class.  It was there, too, I saw a Venus, radiant in innocence and beauty and sweetness and grace, as if new ‘bathed in Paphian foam’—the only Venus I ever could have loved.  But I had no guide-book, and the day was hot, and all the attendants were fast asleep.

Let me add a caution: Never change money if you can help it.  You are sure to get a bad franc if you do.  At Pompeii the guide tried it on with me.  Again, while waiting for the train at Pompeii, I was tempted to have a deal with a pedlar, who asked me ten francs for souvenirs, which I subsequently bought, after a good deal of haggling, for five.  Unfortunately, I had only a ten-franc note, and he had to give me change—not in coppers, as they generally do in Naples, where silver is scarce, but in francs; and one of them was bad, as I found out when I went to the museum next day.  To my disgust, the civil gentleman who takes the money kindly cut it in two.

‘I will call for you at a quarter-past seven,’ said Cook’s agent to me, as he left the Ormuz.

‘Come at that hour,’ I replied; ‘I will be ready.’

Alas! man proposes—often in vain.  I went to bed early.  I had made arrangements for an early meal.  I had agreed to see that a fellow-passenger who was p. 29to come should be ready; but I could not sleep—the heat in the bay was too great, the odour of the tide-less waters seemed to possess my soul, and as I lay awake all the chronic diseases by which I am borne down reasserted themselves, and I didn’t get a wink of sleep till just as it was time to get up.  I have an early breakfast, and yet there is no sign of Cook’s agent.  In due time I see him, and my friend and I and Cook’s agent are rowed on shore, and we drive to Cook’s headquarters.  There we are put into a carriage drawn by three horses, and away we go along the crowded streets.  What a display we have on every side of the unwashed, as they sit at the shop doors, or at the corners of the long narrow alleys in which most of them live!  There are naked children, hideous old women, and very unlovely young ones.  A fat priest passes with his beaver hat and black robes, and a young woman rushes at him and kisses his hand.  The priest and the militaire are to be seen everywhere.  No wonder the country is poor.

As we proceed the ground begins to rise, and we see pleasant villas with decent gardens.  As we rise so does the dust; for mostly we are shut in between two walls, over which we see the vine hang heavily, or apricots glitter among the green branches on either side.  Here and there is a break in the wall, and, seated at rustic tables, peasants and their families are enjoying a holiday, looking under their vine arbours across the blue bay or pleasant Capri, or glancing upward at the smoking mountain above.  At one of these wayside publics our driver stops to water horses, which are useful animals, and, in spite of the heat, never turn a hair.  We enter the principal room, at p. 30one end of which is a big bed, while nearer the door is a table with wine and glasses, and fruit, and specimens of lava and other matters.  My friend, with the recklessness of youth, spends his money.  I refuse to do anything of the kind; and again our coachman urges on his wild career.  He pulls up again as a woman rushes out of her cabin to offer us drink.  Again we are tempted, and in vain.  Then we reach a level of reeds and rushes, where resides a venerable and unwashed hermit, who sighs as he turns in and thinks of the hardness of our hearts.  We are now nearly out of the cultivated land, as we see the gigantic fields of lava on every side; where it can all have come from is a mystery.  You can scarcely realize how all this lava—stretched on every hand, far and wide—can ever have come out of that crater.  There seems more lava than you could get into the mountain itself; and how terrible must have been the scene when the red-hot lava rushed down the mountain-side, overwhelming green vines, and square-roofed huts, and living animals, and smiling babes, and weak and helpless old age!  As it cooled, it seems to have wreathed itself into a thousand fantastic shapes—and yet the scene is fair and tranquil.  A small wreath of smoke at the top only suggests a feeble fire within, and down far below the blue Mediterranean sleeps, and gay Naples sparkles, and the great Campagna opens up its vast green solitudes, save where, here and there, a white-stoned villa varies its monotony.  Around me animal life exists not.  The yellow birch blooms in her golden beauty, that is all, and the common white butterfly of England has the upper airs all to herself.

As we reach the observatory—an oasis in the desert—p. 31we meet a couple of sportsmen; they have a gun between them, though why I cannot understand, as I see nothing to shoot at but lizards, and so we are drawn slowly on the dusty road, which zigzags in the most wonderful manner every few yards.  We enter through a gateway which, I presume, marks the bounds of the Cook territory, as one of his agents takes a look at our tickets.  With joy our brown-faced coachman points us to a white, flat-roofed building, which he declares truly is the hotel, where he intimates we can have lunch, and where he intimates he can do the same if we will supply the cash—which we do, though he had no right to ask it—and weaned and parched we enter the grateful portals of the hotel to feast, and to enjoy a refreshing breeze, which we should have sought for in Naples in vain.  As I rested there, I felt no wish to depart either upwards or downwards.

Of course the summer is the bad time for the crater.  In the season Cook has his pilgrims, sometimes to the number of 200 a day.  The cars are airy and light.  As one goes up, another descends, and thus the work goes on under the care of an able German, who caught a fever in Egypt, and has been ordered here for the benefit of his health.  The whole country should be called Cooksland.  It is there John Cook reigns supreme.  Just as I was leaving London a Leicester gentleman said to me: ‘I wonder Mr. Gladstone did not make John Cook a baronet.’  ‘The man who does what Mr. Cook does, for all travellers, whatever their nationality, surely deserves public recognition,’ says a commercial Dutchman to me as I write; ‘I am off to Palermo and Catana and Messina.  I have taken Cook’s tickets for all the way.’

p. 32I found in my subsequent travels every one of us had more or less to enjoy the assistance of Cook’s agents.  In many cases travellers derive great pecuniary benefit from doing so.  I remember a friend of mine got some money changed for him by Cook’s agent on very much cheaper terms than he could anywhere else.

Italy is a poor country; yet it displays a sense of humour highly creditable under the circumstances.  The site of the Custom House in Naples is locally known as the Immaculate.



Remember, as the great Dr. Johnson remarks, how life consists not of a series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments; the greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities in the performance of daily duties, in the procurement of petty pleasures; and we are well or ill at ease as the main stream of life glides on smoothly, or is ruffled by small obstacles and frequent interruptions.  This is emphatically true as regards life at sea.  But as we steam along we see much to attract and excite in the isles of the Mediterranean, that diversify the travel all the way from Marseilles to Jaffa.  It is said that there are eighty ports in the Mediterranean, and that into all of them Lord Brassey can take his yacht without a pilot.  Alas! I am permitted to tarry at none of them.

As we sail out of the Bay of Naples we pass Capri—a rocky island, where there is scarce a yard of level ground—dear to Englishmen and artists.  The highest point of Capri is about 1,960 feet above the sea.  The traveller will find there several hotels.  Roman remains abound, and Tiberius, the drunken and dissolute, had twelve palaces there.  There he was in no fear of unwelcome p. 34intrusion, and gave himself up to shameless and unnatural lusts; while his worthy lieutenant, Sejanus, carried on a series of persecutions against all who stood in any relation to the imperial family, or excited the suspicions of the tyrant by freedom of speech, independence of character, or position, or popularity.  The famous Blue Grotto of Capri is on the northern side, near the landing.  In the great war with France, Sir Hudson Lowe—the same General who had subsequently charge of Bonaparte at St. Helena—had to surrender the island to Murat, after a fortnight’s siege, and had the mortification of seeing reinforcements arrive just after the treaty was signed.  Leaving Capri, the Gulf of Salerno opens; Pæstum, with its temples, lying on the southern bight of the gulf.  Then follows the elevated headland of Cape Palinure—named after Palinurus, the pilot of Æneas, whose tomb is marked by a tower on the cliff some eight miles northward, thus fulfilling the Sibyl’s promise in the ‘Æneid,’

‘And Palinurus’ name the place shall bear.’

We next get a peep at the now active volcano of Stromboli, and the Lipari Islands to the northward.  On these islands, the Insulæ-Eoliæ, also the Vulcaniæ of the ancients, Æolus held the winds enclosed in caverns, letting them blow and howl as it seemed good in his sight.  There, too, Vulcan forged the bolts of Jove.

From Naples we steer for Sicily, once, though only for a short time, prosperous under British rule, when we took possession of it in the name of the King of Naples, after he was driven away from Italy by the p. 35soldiers of France.  Garibaldi handed it over to United Italy.  Sicily is a country which is almost unknown to tourists, though in his youth Mr. Gladstone visited the island and wrote: ‘After Etna, the temples are the great charm and attraction of Sicily.  I do not know whether there is any one, if taken alone, which exceeds in interest and beauty that of Neptune at Pæstum, but they have the advantage of number and variety as well as of interesting position.’  We pass Catania, which had the most celebrated University in Italy.  The present town is comparatively new; many of its more ancient remains are covered with lava; among them the theatre, from which it is probable Alcibiades addressed the people in b.c. 415.  What memories rose up before us as we steamed along the Straits of Messina!  It was from Syracuse that St. Paul sailed away to Reggio, on the coast of Italy, and all the parsons on board pull out their Testaments and compare notes.  I trow I know more of the Greeks, and Romans, and Carthaginians, who shed so much blood, and waged so many desolating wars in these now peaceful regions.  The town was founded by the Greeks nearly 3,000 years ago.  All the nations seem at one time to have held Sicily—Romans, Greeks, Moors, Turks, and Normans.  There are some of us who can yet remember how Cicero thundered against Verres for his misgovernment of Sicily.  It was to Sicily that Æschylus retired to die after Sophocles had borne away the prize from him for his tragedy.  The pet of the Athenian mob, the gay and graceful Alcibiades, fought against the Sicilians in vain.  At that time they must have been a more intelligent people than they are now.  Take, for instance, their appreciation of p. 36Euripides.  Of all the poets, writes old Plutarch, he was the man with whom the Sicilians were most in love.  From every stranger that landed in their island they gained every small specimen or portion of his works, and communicated it with pleasure to each other.  It is said that on one occasion a number of Athenians, upon their return home defeated, went to Euripides and thanked him for teaching their masters what they remembered of his poems; and others were rewarded when they were wandering about after the battle, for singing a few of his verses.  Nor is this to be wondered at, since they tell us that when a ship from Cannes, which happened to be pursued by pirates, was going to take shelter in one of their ports, the Sicilians at first refused to receive her.  Upon asking the crew whether they knew any of the verses of Euripides, and being answered in the affirmative, they released both them and their vessel.  We are a cultured people.  The Americans, according to their own ideas, are yet more so.  Yet it is evident that the Sicilians were far before us in their admiration of poetic genius.  Alas! Pompey the Great, as we still call him, gave the Sicilians a different lesson when he summoned the people of Messina before him, who refused to obey his summons, arguing that they stood excused by an ancient privilege granted them by the Romans.  His reply was, and it was worthy of the present Emperor of Germany, ‘Will you never have done citing laws and privileges to men who wear swords?’  Another lesson Sicily teaches us is how much readier the world is to remember its oppressors than its benefactors.  We all have a vivid impression of Dionysius, the Tyrant of Syracuse, yet how few of us p. 37are familiar with the fame of Dion the Patriot, who was the pupil of Plato when the philosopher dwelt for a time in Syracuse.  It is to the credit of the Sicilians that they were a grateful people.  When Timoleon died they gave him a public funeral, and instituted games in his honour, ‘as the man who destroyed tyrants, subdued barbarians, repeopled great cities which lay desolate, and restored the Sicilians their laws and privileges.’

Gradually we make our way through the Straits, sailing between Scylla and Charybdis, which for the modern traveller has no terrors.  Our last view of Sicily gives us a fine glimpse of Etna, with the crater into which Empedocles threw himself, 400 b.c.  Men are immortalized as much by their follies as by their virtues.  As we onward press we get a glimpse of Candia, with the snowy peaks of Mount Ida, and Gavodo, or Goro, supposed to be the Clauda of St. Paul’s voyage to the westward.  What associations rise as we see Cephalonia, Zante, Corfu!—all looking dry and bare in the scorching sun.  We manage to make our way, though with some difficulty, through the Canal of Corinth, a work which I fear can never pay, as it is not large enough for the big steamers which now plough these waters.  Everywhere islands, or rather rocks, diversify the scene, and every day we have more radiant sunsets and sunrises than you can realize in a Northern clime.  To sail on this summer sea is indeed a treat.  No wonder old Ulysses loved to wander among these isles, and to leave Penelope to do her knitting and to look after her maids at home.  I regret that I cannot have a peep at Crete and Cyprus, the most famous islands p. 38in the Mediterranean, and we pass over the far-famed bay of Salamis almost unconsciously.

The Corinth Canal (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)

It is not my privilege to sail from one of the historic isles of the Mediterranean to another, nor do I know that in all cases it would be safe.  In many cases besides Corsica and Sicily the traveller has to look to his ways.  There are brigands to be met with still and as we travelled we heard of a British officer who had just been made captive as he wandered about in search of a day’s shooting.  As you may well suppose, I gave the brigands a wide berth.  I am quite content with being fleeced by guides and hotel-keepers.  When I was in Australia, I was amused to learn that p. 39the last of the bushrangers had sailed to America to carry on a hotel.  I fear that in many parts of the world the two callings have much in common.  I believe the British pay no taxes—at any rate, they do not in Jerusalem—and this is one reason why we meet with such swarms of shady Greeks who claim to be British subjects.  In this part of the world the Civis Romanus sum of old Palmerston seems to me in danger of being carried a deal too far.  Not that I am a Little Englander; I am, in fact, very much the reverse.

Over these waters sailed the hardy mariners of ancient Greece in search of the Golden Fleece, and the brave Theseus, as he went to do battle with the monster Minos, who demanded a yearly tribute of Athenian maids.  We all went on deck to have a look at Patmos, where the Apostle John wrote that wondrous dream, the Revelation, and viewed with interest the white convent on the island which still bears his name.

In the Sea of Marmora we pass the Princes Islands, four of which are inhabited.  In one of them is the grave of Sir Edward Barton, the first resident British Ambassador in Turkey.  He was sent by Queen Elizabeth to the Sultan Mahommed III., and died in 1507.  Another of them, Plati, was purchased by Sir H. Bulwer while Ambassador to Constantinople.  He built a castle on it, which is now falling into ruins, and later sold the island to the ex-Khedive of Egypt, to whose family it still belongs.  Steaming south, we pass Alexandria Troas, which was twice visited by St. Paul.  On the first occasion he came down from Mysia and went to Macedonia; on the second, on his return from Greece, he had an interview with a large p. 40body of fellow-workers.  It was there he restored Eutychus, who had fallen from an upper window in his sleep.

Next we pass the ancient island of Lesbos, one of the most beautiful in the Ægean Sea.  Islands are around us everywhere.  There is no end to them.  The most thickly populated of them is Chio; another is Cos, of which we see the chief town, the birthplace of Hippocrates, the great physician.  Then we pass Rhodes, famous for its renowned knights, who did battle with the ever-advancing Turk, of whom Luther had such fear, and its grand Colossus overthrown and broken in pieces by an earthquake fifty-six years after its erection, b.c. 224; and then we leave the lovely Mediterranean at Jaffa, where, according to Greek mythology, Andromeda was chained to the rock and delivered by Perseus, and where the prophet Jonah embarked when he tried to escape the command of God to go and warn Nineveh of its impending fate.  Of course I went to the house where St. Peter lived, the dwelling of Simon the tanner, a very dreary, tumbledown old place, which required a good deal of climbing, rather trying in that sultry clime.  And here I leave that wonderful Mediterranean over which the navies of all the world in all ages have swept.

   ‘Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee—
   Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
   Thy waters washed them power while they were free,
   And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
   The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
   Has dried up realms to deserts: not so thou;
   Unchangeable save to thy wild waves’ play—
   Time writes no wrinkles on thine azure brow—
Such as Creation’s dawn beheld, thou rollest now.’



For the first time in my life, I realize the fact that the Mediterranean is a lake—calm and blue as the eyes we love.  What astonishes me is the absence of life in these waters.  All is barren as that dreary sail across the Indian Ocean from Ceylon to West Australia.  Really, if it were not for the photographers, who are always at work on board, we should be rather dull.  It is really wonderful the number of amateur photographers who have come out in the Midnight Sun, and are daily having recourse to their art; and sometimes the consequences are ludicrous.  For instance, we have a considerable number of respectable married people on board.  Amongst them are a young couple whose experience of matrimonial felicity has been, I suspect, somewhat of the shortest.  One morning they were ‘far from the madding crowd,’ indulging in little familiarities, such as leaning on one another’s shoulders—quite proper, as we must all admit, but rather suited for private than public life.  Well, a photographer had his eye on them, and straightway made them his victims.  There they were, large and fully recognisable.  His praiseworthy p. 42attempt was greeted with a roar of laughter, of which the victims, far away (the artist was on the upper deck), had not the remotest idea.  Let me add the moral: let me beg the newly-married ones to beware of the photographers.  More numerous than the photographers are the ladies and gentlemen who spend their mornings in writing their diaries—if with a view to publication, a sad look-out.

In due time we reach Attica, and are landed at the Piræus, which is busy now as when Themistocles planned the harbour and Pericles planted its walls, five miles in length.  The town has quite a modern look; nothing of its ancient glory remains.  Its modern history dates from 1834.  A modern lighthouse marks the site of the tomb of Themistocles.  A railway, made in 1869, now connects the Piræus with Athens, and it grows apace.  In old times there was rarely to be seen any boat in the harbour.  In 1871 the population was only 11,000; in 1890 it had grown to 36,000, About 6,000 vessels of over two and a half millions of tonnage, one half of which is in Greek bottoms, enter the harbour annually.  As a town, it consists chiefly of commercial buildings and unpretending private residences.  It has, however, an arsenal, a military and naval school, several handsome churches for the orthodox members of the Greek Church, an interesting museum of antiquities, and a gymnasium.  Trains run to Athens through the whole day until midnight.  We land in a homely quarter of the town.  ‘It is in the spring,’ writes Edmond About, ‘one sees Attica in her glory, when the air is so clear and transparent that it seems as if one had only to put forth one’s hand to touch the furthest mountains; when p. 43it carries sounds so faithfully that one can hear the bleating of flocks half a mile away, and the cries of great eagles, which are lost to sight in the immensity of the skies.’

I find Athens hot and dusty—a fine white dust, which makes everything look desolate.  I get hold of a plan of Athens, showing me how to make the most of six days, but as I have not that time to spare, one’s first thoughts turn naturally to the Acropolis, a rocky plateau of crystallized limestone, rising to about 200 feet.  Romans, Goths, Byzantines, and Turks have done their best to make Athens a heap of ruins.  It was well that Lord Elgin did so much to preserve some of the choicest relics of Athens by bringing them to England and sending them to the British Museum.  Had he not done so, they would have been inevitably destroyed by the unspeakable Turk, a fact deeply to be deplored.

One night we had an amusing illustration of the qualification of the fair sex for the right to rule over man.  There was a concert in the smoking-room, the finest apartment in the ship.  Amongst the performers were some ladies, and a good many were auditors.  Suddenly a large rat made its appearance, when all the ladies, shrieking, fled.  I may not be equal to the New Woman—of course she is far above me—but, at any rate, I am not afraid to face a rat.  Fancy a rat appearing in the House of Commons with a lady speaker on her legs, and a Government of ladies seated gracefully and in the loveliest of toilettes!  The result would be appalling and disastrous.

The country through which we passed was quite dried up, and quite prepared me for the tasteless beef p. 44and skinny fowl of which I was to partake afterwards at the Hôtel Grand Bretagne, where they charged me two francs for a cigar; and where, when I remonstrated, I was told that the taxes were so high that they could not afford to let me have one for less.  There are a great many trees about, but they have all a dwarfed and dried-up appearance.  Far off rises the great Acropolis; you may see it from the steps of the hotel, and the ruins on its top.  The life of the streets amuses me.  It is incessant and ever varying.  The soldier is conspicuous, as he is everywhere on the Continent; priests in black robes and peculiar black hats are plentiful, grave and black-bearded, though I am told that in reality they have little hold on the people of Athens.  I have been in one of the churches, very dark, and with a lot of ornamentation; and quite a number of people—very old ones—came and crossed themselves, after the Greek fashion, before a picture just inside the door.  Ladies are to be seen, few of them with any particular personal charm, but all in the latest fashions of Paris; and there come the girls with pigtails.  I see one of the French illustrated newspapers everywhere.  Among the daily papers published in Athens are the Ora (Hour), the Plinghensia (Regeneration), Neai Ideai (New Idea), Aion (Era), Toia (Morning), and Telegrafui (The Telegram).  The most curious people you see are the men from the country, with black waistcoats, white petticoats—I can give them no other name—dark hose, and antique-looking shoes turned up at the toes and decorated—why, I know not—with enormous tufts.  The living objects I most pity are the forlorn, half-starved donkeys, loaded fore and aft p. 45with luggage, while in the centre, on his saddle, is seated his hard-hearted proprietor.  Some of the shops are fine, but few of the houses are lofty—the most striking being modern buildings, built on the plan to admit as much air as possible, and to exclude the light.  But you see no beggars in the streets, and that is a good sign.  Greece has, as you know, the most democratic Government of any.  The King, who is not very popular, reigns, but does not govern.  The real power is in the hands of the Legislative Chamber—there is no Upper House—consisting of 150 members, all paid for their services, and elected by means of universal suffrage and the ballot every four years.  The population of Athens is about 160,000, with the addition of 3,000 Armenian refugees who have found there a city of refuge.  Education is free and compulsory, reaching from the lowest strata to the University, so that every lad of talent has a chance.  If democracy can make a people happy and content and prosperous, the Greeks ought to be content.  There must be a good many wealthy men at Athens, however, whom the democracy have wisely spared.  It is not right to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, as is desired by some of our Socialists.

Modern Greece, with the exception of America, is the most republican Government in existence; at any rate, it is ahead of England in this respect.  We want, or, rather, some people do, who do not know any better, to agitate for payment of members.  I object because I have seen the mischief of paid members in all our colonies, and because when I part with my scanty cash I like to have value for my money; and as I know the average M.P., I think he is dear at any price.  The men p. 46in office are bitterly opposed by the men who languish in the cold shade of Opposition, and that really seems the only line of cleavage.  For instance, if a Minister proposes that a certain work should be done by a certain number of horses, the Opposition argue that oxen should be used, and so the battle rages, for the modern Greek, degenerate though he is, is still as fond of talk and windy declamation as any long-winded and ambitious M.P. at home.  Ministers, though appointed by the King, are amenable to the Chamber, but under this system we do not hear of the great Parliament, such as we have at home or in Italy or France.

For administrative purposes Greece is divided into sixteen monarchies, governed by municipalities, who alone have the power to levy rates and taxes.  These monarchies are divided into eparchies and domarchies, the later under the control of the mayor, elected by the people.  Thus in Greece alone, in the Old World, we have government of the people and for the people.  For purposes of justice there are local courts; five Courts of Appeal, and a Supreme Court at Athens.  In matters of education, again, Greece is far ahead of us.  We want to connect the people with the Universities, so that the poorest lad may have his chance.  In Greece this result is obtained.  Ample provision is made for the elementary schools, leading from the lowest strata of society up to the Universities, free and compulsory—not that the latter provision needs to be enforced, as naturally there is a great desire for education all over the land.  The Greek Church is the established one, but any undue zeal on the part of the priest is held in check both by law and the spirit of p. 47religious toleration.  Among her subjects Greece reckons as many as 25,000 Moslems.

Temple Of Victory.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)

Passing out of the Piræus, to our right we notice a monument to the memory of one of the wild heroes of Grecian Independence, whose insolent followers were a great trouble to our Lord Byron during his fatal sojourn at Missolonghi.  In due time we arrive within sight of the Temple of Theseus and the other well p. 48known landmarks familiar to the cultivated reader.  Nevertheless, the approach to Athens is not very interesting, as we enter through one of its most homely quarters.  The principal modern institutions are the Polytechnic School, divided into three branches—the School of Fine Art, the Industrial School, and the Holiday School, where on Sundays and feast-days instruction is given in writing, elementary drawing, etc.; there is also a School of Telegraphy.  In the same neighbourhood is also to be found the Academy of Science; next to the Academy is the University, adorned with statues of the famous men who helped to make modern Greece.  The classes at the University are practically free, and the number of students attending is generally between 3,000 and 4,000.  The library in connection with the University has 100,000 volumes.

It is impossible to do justice to the activity of the life in these parts; there are many steamers in the harbour—I saw two steam away one morning.  Naples seems a very sleepy place compared to the Piræus.  Little white boats, with leg-of-mutton sails, skim the blue waters of the harbour all day long, and the men are lean and dark, and wonderfully active, a great contrast to our English sailors.  Once upon a time, coming from New York, we called off Portland Bill for a pilot.  It was midnight, and dark as Erebus, but we all sat up waiting for the pilot, to hear the English news.  Suddenly there climbed up the ship’s side, and stood on the deck in the full glare of light, two awful living mountains of flesh, as fat as beer and bacon could make them—a couple of English pilots.  We had some skinny American ladies on board, and when they saw these men they uttered quite an appalling shriek.  p. 49They had never seen such specimens of humanity before.  I own I felt really ashamed of my fellow-countrymen, and asked myself why on earth men should make themselves such guys.  Happily, in Australia I lost a couple of stone, and I have been mercifully preserved from laying on flesh ever since.  Flesh is the great source of human depravity.  With Falstaff, I hold the more of it the more frailty.

The Parthenon.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and Young)

And now let me return to Athens, the Acropolis of which I see in all its glory, and on which by night lights gleam that you can see in the harbour, crowning the belt of bright lamps which by night glorify the whole front of the town.  They show you Mars’ Hill, p. 50where Paul preached the unknown God; the porch of the Erechtheum, sacred to the olive-tree, brought to Greece by Athene; and the Parthenon, which still attests the genius of Phidias.  Of Athens it may be said:

‘Her shores are those whence many a mighty bard
   Caught inspiration glorious in their beams;
Her hills the same that heroes died to guard,
   Her vales that fostered Art’s divinest dreams.’

Modern Athens is bright and cheerful, the shops gay and lofty, with well-known Greek names.  The latter remark also applies to the streets.  The hotels are magnificent.  The Hôtel d’Angleterre is well spoken of, and the dragoman Apostoles will be found an intelligent servant, who will arrange for the traveller who is disposed to make an excursion in the Morea for food, lodging, mules or horses at a reasonable rate.  The Hôtel Grand Bretagne, just opposite the palace—and a far finer building to look at—is about as good a hotel as I was ever in.  The rooms seem awfully dark as you enter from the glare of the ever-shining sun, but the rooms are lofty, well ventilated, and everywhere you have marble floors and marble columns, and the feeding is good, considering what a parched-up land Greece is, and how dried-up its beef and skinny its poultry.  I have seen cheaper hotels in Athens, such as the Hôtel des Iles Ionienic, the proprietor of which, a Greek from Corfu, strongly recommended it to me; but on the whole, in such a place as Athens, I should think it preferable to pay a little more for the comfort of a first-class hotel, even though it may make one indifferent to the ‘Laurels’ or the ‘Cedars’ of his own native land.

p. 51How to live rationally is an art the majority of Englishmen have not yet acquired.  I leave Athens with regret; its people are all industrious.  At any rate, there are no beggars in its streets; and if this be the result of its democratic Government, so much the better for the coming democracy, which, whether we like it or not, is sure to rule at home.  Here the Government is popular, and the people are content.  Manufactures are almost unknown.  They have a woollen factory at Athens, and a cotton-mill in the Piræus, and there must be a busy agricultural population, as a good deal of the land between the Piræus and the capital is laid out in market-gardens.  I am troubled as I think of our great cities, with their vices and slums.  I hold, with the poet, God made the country and man the town.

It is a chequered history, that of Athens.  Once it was occupied by the Goths.  The Romans fortified it; but the ancient walls, which had been strengthened by Sylla, were unequal to its defence, and the barbarians became masters of the noble seats of the Muses and the Arts.  Zosimus tells us that the walls of Athens were guarded by the goddess Minerva, with her formidable ægis, and by the angry phantom of Achilles, and that the conqueror was dismayed by the presence of the hostile gods of Greece.  Yet, nevertheless, Alaric a second time mastered the city by means of his barbarian troops.  It is wonderful that any remains of the Athens of its prime exist.  As it is, it requires a good deal of enthusiasm to ‘do’ its ruins, with which photography has long made the world familiar.  The glory of the Parthenon, however, remains.  Gibbon tells us in the sack of Athens the Goths had collected p. 52all the libraries, and were about to set fire to them, when one of the chiefs, of more refined policy than his brethren, dissuaded them from the design by the profound observation that as long as the Greeks were exercised in the study of books they would never apply themselves to the exercise of arms.  But, as Gibbon writes, the Gothic arms were less fatal to the schools of Athens than the establishment of a new religion, whose masters resolved every question into an article of faith, and condemned the infidel to eternal flames.  For centuries Athens had flourished by means of her schools.  After the settlement of the Roman Empire, it was filled with scholars from every part of the known world, even including students from Britain.  In the suburbs of the city tradition still lingered of the Academy of the Platonists, the Lycæum of the Peripatetics, the Portico of the Stoics, and the Garden of Epicurus.  The Attic schools of rhetoric and philosophy maintained their reputation from the Peloponnesian war to the reign of Justinian.  It was he who suppressed the school which had given so many sages to mankind, and whose influences have quickened and invigorated the human intellect ever since.  The art of oratory may soon be held to be almost a doubtful boon—at any rate, so far as senates and parliaments are concerned.  It was not so when the eloquence of Demosthenes

         ‘shook the arsenal,
And fulmined over Greece.’

Some of my fellow-passengers made their way to Eleusis, but they came back disappointed, and covered with dust.  It was enough for me to study the life of the streets—full of soldiers and black-robed priests.

p. 53The traveller who, remembering the long period of Turkish sway, counts on receiving an Oriental impression from the aspect of Athens is doomed to disappointment.  Even the national garb is fast disappearing.  It may still be worn by a few elderly Athenians.  These, and a peasant here and there selling milk or cheese, recall the day when their dress was the national one.  The wide blue trousers of the Ægean islanders are not less rare, nor is there much chance of seeing them at the Piræus, among the craft from the various islands moored along the quays.  The uglier and cheaper product of the slop-shop has replaced the picturesque drapery of the olden time.

Sooner or later Athens is sure to become a winter resort not less favoured than any on the Mediterranean, and the permanent home of many foreigners.  The opinion thus confidently expressed is strengthened by the fact that few who have lived for some length of time within its gates pass out of them without regret, or fail to re-enter them with pleasure.  At any rate, so writes a learned American.

A gentleman has written explaining that Greece is bankrupt because she is so small.  He says that out of 5,000,000 Greeks who rose in 1821 against the Turk, less than 1,000,000 were allowed to form part of the Hellenic kingdom.  The obvious reply to this is, Why don’t they go and live in Greece if they really want to?  Nobody forces them to live elsewhere, and they can hardly be waiting till Constantinople, Asia Minor and Cyprus are added to King George’s kingdom.  The truth is that in business Greek would rather not meet Greek; there is more money in meeting somebody else.  The rich Greeks will always be found outside Greece.



I am in Constantinople, founded 658 b.c. by Byza, King of Megara, after whom it was called Byzantium.  After some hundreds of years it fell into the hands of the Romans, who, like the Scotch, kept everything they could lay their hands on; and then came Constantine the Great, whose mother, some people say, lived in East Anglia, who enlarged and beautified the city, built the Hippodrome (one of the wonders of the place), and would have made it the capital of his enormous empire.  No one can blame the Emperor for preferring Constantinople to Rome.

The city soon became worthy to be the seat of empire.  It commanded from its seven hills the opposite shores of Asia and Europe.  The climate was healthy, the soil fertile, and the harbour capacious and secure.  The Bosphorus and the Hellespont were its two gates, which could always be shut against a hostile fleet.  A hundred years after its foundation, a writer, quoted by Gibbon, describes it as possessing a school of learning, a circus, two theatres, eight public and a hundred and fifty-three private baths, fifty-two porticos, five granaries, eight aqueducts, four spacious halls for the meetings p. 55of the senate and courts of justice, fourteen churches, fourteen palaces, and four thousand three hundred private houses, which from their size and beauty deserved to be distinguished from the multitude of plebeian buildings.  Successive wars and invasions impaired the wealth and the magnificence of the city.  Of the time of Constantine little remains but the ruins of the Hippodrome.  The Christian Church of St. Sophia, which he erected to the Eternal Wisdom, and from the pulpit of which Gregory of Nazianzen and Chrysostom the golden-mouthed thundered, was burnt in the reign of Justinian, and his Church of St. Sophia is now a Turkish mosque.  The city was the seat and centre of the controversies originated in Alexandria as to the nature of the Trinity, and its rival factions, the Greens and the Blues, were ever ready to engage in bloody and disastrous conflict.  As a rule, a man’s zeal is according to his ignorance, and at Constantinople the meanest mechanics spent most of their time in discussing mysteries of which the acutest intellects can never even form an adequate idea, and which no human creed can properly define and express.  The Crusaders, who knew little of these matters, seem to have been quite awestruck when they made their way to Constantinople.  ‘That such a city could be in the world,’ writes one of the old chroniclers, ‘they had never conceived, and they were never weary of staring at the high walls and towers with which it was entirely compassed; the rich palaces and lofty churches, of which there were so many that no one could have believed it if he had not seen with his own eyes that city—the queen of all cities.’

There are few places naturally so picturesque—no city p. 56where the suburbs are so charming.  One never wearies of Scutari, Gallipoli, washed by the splendid waters of the Sea of Marmora, the Bosphorus, or those of that magnificent harbour, the Golden Horn, which extends eight miles, and affords an anchorage for a fleet of twelve hundred vessels.  Indeed, whether viewed from sea or land, or from such a wonderful standpoint as the marble tower of the Seraskierat, Constantinople on its seven hills, divided as it were between Europe and Asia, presents a marvellous display of scenic beauty.  You gaze on stately white palaces, surrounded by domes, towers, cupolas, standing amidst tier above tier of many-coloured dwellings, surrounded on all sides by graceful masses of dark cypresses and sombre pines.  High above all rises the grand marble mosque of St. Sophia, resplendent with mosaics, and sending up heavenwards its lofty minarets, whence five times a day the cry of the muezzin calls the world to prayer.  As you look and admire, you feel, with the poet,

‘That every prospect pleases,
   And only man is vile’—

that is, ever since the Turk has been there.  And thus it appears that Constantinople has been, socially and politically, a centre of abominations.  It was in 1453 that Mahomet II. took it as his own, and it is there that the unspeakable Turk has ever since remained, and mainly in consequence of English diplomacy and the prodigal expenditure of English treasure and blood.  The climax was reached in the days of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe—the Great Elchi, as he was termed.  He insisted on reforms, and the Sultan granted them.  He insisted that all religions should be equal in the eye of the law, and the precious boon was at once declared.  A busy street in Constantinople.  (From a photograph) p. 58Under the pressure of the Great Elchi, the Sultan issued a proclamation, stating his desire of renewing and enlarging the numerous improvements suggested in his institutions, with a view of making them worthy of the place which his empire held among civilized nations.  He was anxious, he said, to promote the happiness of his people, who in his sight were all equal and equally dear.  ‘Every distinction or designation tending to make any class of subjects of my empire inferior to any other class on account of their religion, language, or race shall be for ever effaced.’  No one was to be hindered in future on account of his religious creed; no one was to be compelled to change his religion.  Such was the spirit of the famous hatti Humayun of 1856.  Then came the Treaty of Paris, to destroy the influence of England in the East.  The French cared nothing for Turkish reform, and have cared nothing ever since.  Bulgarian atrocities, murder and massacre in Cyprus, murder and massacre on a larger scale in Armenia or wherever Armenians are gathered together—of these things the gay world of Paris takes little heed, except when an occasion offers to sneer at John Bull.  What cares La Belle France, so long as it has its boulevards and theatres, for the deadly sufferings of any nationality?  When did it ever fight for men and women dying by the thousand—ay, tens of thousands, under the despotic sway of a Sultan Abdul Hamid?  France does not fight; its aim is to sneer at others and to glorify itself, to make better people as heartless, as cynical, as frivolous as itself.  And are we much better—we, whose people, and nobles, and courtiers, and statesmen, and princes, have just done throwing themselves under the feet of A Mosque on the Bosphorus.  (From a photograph by Frith and Co.,
Reigate) p. 60the Czar?  Yes, but John Bull can act when he has a mind—that is, when he has his inferiors to deal with.  It was beautiful when we brought Greece on her knees over the Don Pacifico affair!  How bitterly we made China pay for her attack on the Arrow!  How we settled the would-be Sultan of Zanzibar!  How we have smitten the Dervishes hip and thigh!  When I was in Ceylon, I had an interesting interview with Arabi Pasha.  I left him hoping, and that is what we all do as regards Turkish affairs—hoping for what never comes.

In the Dardanelles we make our first acquaintance with the Turk.  He arrives in a small steamer, with a crew of men wearing the red fez, and at the stern of his boat floats the red flag of Turkey, bearing the crescent.  He gives us permission to pursue our way past the forts on either side at the mouth and along the Dardanelles, at the entrance to which point are lying off on our right the far-famed plains of windy Troy.  I see also a couple of ironclads, but of what nationality I cannot exactly make out.  We are soon out of the Dardanelles, and at Gallipoli, the last town on the European side, and we enter the Sea of Marmora.  In current language, Constantinople includes Stamboul, Galata, and its suburbs, which stretch up both sides of the Bosphorus.  Galata, the mercantile and shipping quarter, occupies the point and slopes at the right-hand side of the Golden Horn.

Constantinople looks best at a distance.  It is true here that distance lends enchantment to the view.  Outside it glitters with magnificence.  Inside it is foul and beastly, with pavements detestable to walk along or drive, with ruins at every corner, and with refuse The Quay, Constantinople.  (From a photograph by Fradelle and
Young) p. 62lying to fester in the blazing sun all day long—certainly a remarkable illustration of what Lord Palmerston affirmed, that dirt was only matter in the wrong place.  If you drive you are choked with dust, and the streets are by no means broad enough for the constant business and bustle.  Enter the mosques, and you are astonished at their grandeur and the air of desolation and neglect all round.  On the waters you miss the gay caique, now superseded by the steam-ferries, ever vomiting clouds of sulphurous smoke.  In the city you see the tramcar, a very shabby one, doing a roaring trade.  Down by the harbour you see the police, well armed and in small detachments, carefully guarding the streets.  The men, with the exception of the red fez, mostly wear the European costume.  The women you see in the streets are old and ugly, and, happily, veiled, so that you see nothing of their ugliness but the nose and eyes.  Some of the little urchins and girls are very bright-looking, but I fancy they are mostly Greeks.  The Turkish boy of the middle class seemed to me very heavy, but, however that may be, he develops into a fine man, with a grand dark face and powerful nose, and looks especially well when on his Arab steed—small, but active and strong, as if he were born to drive everyone before him.  Alas! in his little shop he seems very listless and apathetic, but the man in the street is very pertinacious, and I have just bought an elegant walking-stick for half a crown, after being asked four shillings, which I hold to be the cheapest bargain I have made for some time.

We are quite mistaken in England as to the safety of walking the streets in Constantinople.  I heard of a row last night, but by day the streets are quite as p. 63secure as they are in London.  One thing that astonishes me is the utter ignorance of the people of what is going on outside respecting Turkish affairs, and the action, if any, of the diplomatists.  You never hear a word on the subject.  To sell seems to be the only aim of the Turk.  The shops are prodigious.  In London their owners would be a great middle class, and form an enlightened public opinion.  Here they do nothing of the kind, and there is not a street that has a decent pavement nor a corner that is not a dunghill.  There seems to be no attempt at improvement.  The dogs—very much like Australian dingoes—bark and bite all day and howl all night.  Confusion and decay seem to reign paramount.  Now and then you come to an open space—as at the old slave-market, the mosques, and the Hippodrome, where a few trees, chiefly acacias, manage to live, and then you plunge into Holywell Street as it existed half a century back, and all is darkness and dirt again.

Constantinople seems to live chiefly on corn imported from Roumelia and Bulgaria; but they say they are going to open up Asia Minor by means of railways, and the wheat-grower there will then have his chance.  There are few liquor-shops, but many for the sale of lemon-and-water and grapes and melons.  In many a shop I see Sunlight Soap and the biscuits of Huntley and Palmer and Peek and Frean.  The donkeys and horses have an awful time of it as they go along the narrow streets, with panniers on each side, which appear to get in everyone’s way.  Then comes a rickety waggon, drawn by two big oxen, which seem as if they must grind the pedestrian to powder.  Then follows the porter, perspiring and bending under his p. 64heavy load, and the aged crone, more or less veiled, as if she had—which she has not, unhappily—a glimpse of female charm to display.  Now and then you meet a priest with his red-and-white turban and long brown robe, and if you make your way into a mosque—and they are all worth visiting—there, in a little wooden recess, seated cross-legged on an Indian mat, you will find a priest or devout layman by himself, repeating verses of the Koran.  The mosques are grotesque outside, but inspiring from their size inside.

Constantinople is not the place to come to on a hot November day, and the commercial port is, I hold, utterly unfit for shipping.  We have a good deal of diarrhoea on board, nor can you wonder, when you remember that into this one spot flows all the filth and sewage of Galata.  It is worse than Naples; it is worse than Athens, and that is saying a good deal.  Coleridge’s Cologne, with its numerous stenches, is nothing to it.  If there be any truth in sanitary science, there must be an awful waste of life in these parts.  Here we hear not a whisper of the Turkish crisis, or of the driving out of the Turk, ‘bag and baggage,’ as Lord Stratford de Redcliffe wrote fifty years before Mr. Gladstone adopted the celebrated phrase.  Be that as it may, Constantinople gives you an idea of a densely-populated city.  It is with real difficulty that you make your way anywhere.  The fat official Turk, who dines in some gorgeous palace—and the place is full of them—and drives in his brougham and pair, may have an easy time of it; but the majority of the inhabitants, in their narrow shops and darkened houses, must have a bad time of it.  I sigh for the wings of a dove, that I may fly away and be at rest.  Under this pestiferous p. 65atmosphere and bright, blazing sun, it is impossible to do anything but sleep; but that is not easy in one’s small cabin, floating on this wide waste of sewage.  There seems nothing to amuse the people.  In the course of my peregrinations I met with but one minstrel, and he was far away.  Next to the mosques, the coolest place I have yet visited is the new museum, with a Galata Bridge, Constantinople.  (From a photograph by Fradelle
and Young) fine collection of Greek and Roman and Egyptian antiquities; but I am no friend to a hurried visit to a museum, which leaves the mind rather confused and uninformed.  As yet I have made no attempt to penetrate into the mysteries of the harem.  For one thing, I am rather past that sort of thing.  But if I may judge from what I have seen outside the harem, there can be but little to tempt one to enter within; and p. 66with the poet I exclaim, ‘Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.’

I fancy we are most of us tired of Constantinople.  To me it is a place where a little sight-seeing goes a long way.  Our gallant captain, on the contrary, tells me that he could put in three months here very well.  As it is, there are about 2,000 English here, to say nothing of naturalized Greeks and Maltese.  I suppose Constantinople is not a bad place for a short residence.  The hotels are good, and in some you may have a bedroom for four francs a day.  Provisions are not dear, but house-rent is very expensive.  The population of the place is dense, at which I wonder, as Constantinople seems to me the most unhealthy city I have ever seen.  The only nuisances are the guides, who will persist in following you everywhere, and whose knowledge of English and of the things you really want to know is very limited.  For instance, I passed two obelisks one day.  I asked my guide about them.  ‘They come from Egypt,’ was his reply.  I could have told him as much myself.

If you need rest, seek it not in Constantinople, with its noisy crowds by day and its noisy dogs by night; seek it not in its narrow streets, where horses and asses and big bullocks, dragging along the most rickety of waggons, are ever to be seen; seek it not as you drive along its uneven and disgracefully-paved streets.  The mosques are cool and spacious—there you may rest; but if there is a service, you are not permitted to remain unless you are a Mohammedan.  One advantage of the mosques is that there is generally a large open space attached to them, where people can wash themselves and also hold a market.  People seem to p. 67 An old street, Constantinople.  (From a photograph by Fradelle
and Young) p. 68do much as they like, as they talk and smoke and play cards, and indulge in coffee or lemon-and-water.  I have never yet seen a drunken man or—what is worse—a drunken woman, and yet an English lady, a clergyman’s wife, told me that she only went on shore once, and was so shocked that she resolved never to set foot in the place again.  The people were so degraded; the poor porters were so overburdened; and, then, they were all such awful idolaters.  I presume the lady knows nothing of parts of London where worse sights are to be seen every day.

The Bosphorus is beautiful beyond description.  It beats the Rhine, it beats the American Hudson; indeed, it is the grandest panorama in the world.  At its back rise the green wooded hills, and the front is lined with pleasant villas and palaces—white or yellow, built in Turkish fashion, with innumerable windows everywhere.  There must be great wealth in the district to build and support such places.  Everywhere there is a great appearance of religion.  Go into a mosque any hour you will, and you see a priest or layman sitting in a quiet corner, fenced with a wooden rail, cross-legged, repeating the Koran.  One of the oddest sights I saw in the grand Mosque of St. Sophia was that of an old-fashioned London clock.  One of my troubles as I explored the mosque—the floor of which is lined with Indian matting—was to keep on my Turkish slippers.  An attendant who followed me had to stoop down every minute to put them on, that I might not reveal the deck-shoes which I wore inside.  A gentleman who had visited the mosque told me that on one occasion, when he took off a pair of new boots there which he was wearing, he never saw them again.

p. 69It is wonderful how cheap provisions are: beef, threepence a pound; bread, a halfpenny; grapes, a halfpenny; fowls for sevenpence; and mountains of melons everywhere.  There is free education, and an abundant supply of schools.  The labouring classes are well employed.  The English here are chiefly merchants or agents or engineers.  On our way back we pass that favourite resort of the Turkish holiday-makers—the Valley of Sweet Waters—and have a good view of the hospital at Scutari, built by Florence Nightingale—now utilized as barracks—and of the monuments in front of the cemetery in memory of the British officers and soldiers who died during the Crimean War.

It is a relief to us all to get back into the Dardanelles and sail over the spot where Xerxes built his famous bridge, the narrow strait across which Leander swam nightly to visit his lady-love—a feat performed by our great poet Byron at a later age—and wander in fancy as we again catch sight of the plains of Troy, the spot where the Greek hero Protesilaus first struck the Trojan strand, and thus gave occasion to our Wordsworth to write his immortal poem—a poem that will be read and admired when all the puny poets of the present age are dead and forgotten.  Out in the Ægean Sea the weather is almost cool and delightfully refreshing, just like a fine morning in spring at home.  The first isle of any importance we make is Tenedos, behind which, on the mainland, lies Troas, visited by the Apostle Paul.  To the north lies Besika Bay, where once the French and English fleets assembled prior to their passage of the Dardanelles, and where the British fleet, under Admiral Hornby, lay in 1887–88 during the Russo-Turkish War.  Next we reach the p. 70ancient Lectum, the most westernly point of Asia, and get a glimpse of the beautiful island of Mitylene, the ancient Lesbos.  Mitylene, on the east coast, is prettily situated, and does a considerable trade.  There are few remains of the ancient city.  The island has 115,000 inhabitants, mostly Greeks.



I write now from one of the most ancient cities in the world.  There is a wonderful lot of ancient history in these parts.  The mind quite staggers under the ever-accumulating load of facts and figures and legends.  The Æolians, who founded on this site the first Greek city, claimed it as the birthplace of Homer.  It was there that his poetry flourished; then, under the successors of Alexander, it became celebrated for its schools of science and medicine.  Christianity early made its way into Smyrna, which has enjoyed the reputation of being one of the Seven Churches of Asia alluded to in Revelation.  It was there that Polycarp suffered martyrdom, and it is there they still show you, or profess to show you, his tomb.  Defended by the Knights of Rhodes, Smyrna fell when Timur, the terrible Mogul, appeared before it and put all that breathed to the sword.  As it was, I felt satisfied and charmed with modern Smyrna, and did not climb the hill behind on which stands the ruins of a castle, and where brigands still lie in wait for the unwary traveller.  Nor did I take the train to Ephesus, a run of nearly two hours, to wander under the hot sun and amidst the p. 72rough winds to see what remains, amidst bushes and rocks and cornfields, of ancient Ephesus—notwithstanding the fact that there Christian synods have been held, and that in a cave adjoining slept those marvellous Seven Sleepers; that there stood the temple of the goddess Diana, whose worshippers the great Apostle of the Gentiles woke up to cry excitedly for the craft by which they lived.  It is a scene of desolation, which certainly does not repay the ordinary tourist the trouble of a visit.

But I revelled in Smyrna—one of the brightest, cleanest, and most prosperous cities under Turkish sway.  Its white houses, chiefly hotels and restaurants and theatres, line the bay, with dense shipping in the forefront, while the mountains behind, up the slopes of which modern Smyrna is gradually planting herself, act as guard and shelter.  At the time of my visit there stretched across the bay quite an imposing display of ironclads of all nations—American, English, Italian, French—and it made me shudder to think of them bombarding this scene of life and gaiety and spreading terror amongst its hard-working people.  A tramway runs along the whole front of the city for about a couple of miles, and, as you stand thinking of the wonders of modern civilization, you hear a bell tinkle, and see half a dozen camels laden with sacks of grain striding past, generally led by a man on a donkey.  Sometimes the donkey had no rider, and yet the patient camel followed all the same.  It was intensely amusing: the contrast between the little donkey leading and the big camel behind.  It set me thinking of the many parallel passages in modern history—of parties, Churches, States, led by donkeys.  Smyrna has p. 73an enormous bazaar, into which it is easier to find one’s way than to get out.  It has fine mosques and handsome Greek churches.  It shelters the ships and people of all nations, but my chief delight was to watch the string of camels as they ever came and went.  Even in the narrow passages of the bazaar there were the camels, and it was all you could do to get out of the way of these grand animals, for such they were.

The Gate of Persecution, near Ephesus.  (From a photograph by
Fradelle and Young)

One place that I visited much interested me.  It was the Sailors’ Rest on the quay, a fine room with a library and reading-room, where the sailors come and go, and where they are supplied with refreshments of a non-intoxicating character, carried on in connection with the Greek Evangelical Alliance, founded in Smyrna in 1883.  Depression in business, and consequent p. 74poverty and other causes, such as the declining number of British merchants who come to Smyrna, ousted, I presume, by more enterprising rivals, and troubles in the interior, have hindered the work, which, however, is successfully carried on.  The average attendance last year was: Sunday morning service, 83; afternoon, 59; Tuesday prayer-meeting, 41; Gospel service at the Rest, 50.  At the Sunday-school the average attendance has been about 60.  Owing to the shifting population of Smyrna, many of the church members have become scattered in many lands.  The bitterest enemies of the work are the members of the Orthodox Greek Church, who have no sympathy with an Evangelical Alliance of any kind, and care not a rap for the union of the Churches.  As an illustration, take the following: ‘In 1895 it was expected that the official permit for the building of a chapel on a site assigned by Government would be granted to the Evangelicals.  In fact, in the middle of January permission was granted for the opening of the school, but the local authorities, desiring to avoid any possible outbreak on the part of ‘the Orthodox,’ tried to bring about a friendly compromise.  It was all in vain, the Orthodox declaring that they would listen to no terms unless the Evangelicals were entirely thrust out from the central quarter of the town, and that they would never allow the chapel to be built or the site prepared for it.  Thus foiled, the Evangelicals opened their school, but ‘the Orthodox’ attacked the building with stones, defacing it almost entirely, and quite destroying all the furniture within.  The result was that the Evangelicals had to commence their labours anew elsewhere.  After two months’ labour the ire of the p. 75Orthodox was again aroused; they drove out the workmen, pulled down part of the walls, and finally remained masters of the situation.  It is true that fifteen of the Orthodox were imprisoned, but the Evangelicals were advised to leave the situation also, and to remove to some other site more acceptable to their opponents.  This advice the Evangelicals refused to accept, and, after a long delay, by the personal efforts and goodwill of the new Turkish Governor the building was restored.  Orthodoxy seemed to be a sad stumbling-block in the way of good work everywhere.  The Sailors’ Rest at Smyrna may be much aided by British Christians, both by presents of books or by pecuniary contributions.  During the last year it seems that 229 visits have been paid to ships, 64 bags of books sent out, 20 pledges taken.  I fear there is a good deal of drunkenness in Smyrna.  Seven thousand six hundred visits have been made in the year by sailors to the Rest, 797 have attended the meetings, 676 Bibles, Testaments, and portions have been given away, and many were the letters sent home by sailors from the Rest.  It seems to me that it might be kept open a little later at night with advantage, as I find it is the fashion to keep many of the drinking-shops open all night.  The work among the Greeks has been reviving, and it is regarded as hopeful.  The meetings are well attended, and especially so the Wednesday evening meeting in the Corner Room at the Rest.  This meeting is described as the fishing-net of the Greek work, as many of those who became regular attendants at the other services held in the American Chapel began at the Rest.  At Smyrna our American fellow-passengers hear the result of the Presidential p. 76contest in America, and greatly rejoice.  Their country is saved—at any rate, this time.  Local lines of steamers run from Smyrna to Messina and Beirut, touching at all the important coast towns and at several of the islands, at which we have a peep, such as Cos, the birthplace of Hippocrates; Halicarnassus, where Herodotus was born, and where stood the famous mausoleum, one of the wonders of the world; and Rhodes, far-famed.  But we may not tarry even in order to gratify such a laudable curiosity; no, not even at Cyprus, which has prospered so much under English rule.  It is enough for us to have explored Smyrna, a city which in every way, as regards cleanliness in the streets and the absence of abominable smells, is a great improvement on Constantinople.  It has a population of nearly half a million, of which less than one-fourth is Moslem, and more than half Greek.  There are large Armenian and Jewish colonies, that of the Jews, of course, being the most squalid, unhealthy and debased.  The town is governed by a municipality.  Europeans are under the jurisdiction of their consuls.  Its gas lights beamed on us brilliantly as we steamed out in the dark into the open sea.  The one nuisance of Smyrna are the boys, who go to learn English at the schools taught by the missionaries, and these persistently pester you to be taken on as guides.  The professional guides are nuisance enough, but these boys are infinitely worse.



You see nothing of Jerusalem till you get inside the city, and to enjoy a visit requires a greater enthusiasm than any to which I can lay claim.  We were safely landed at Jaffa, which by this time ought to have a more decent landing-place; thence, after a glance at the house where Simon the Tanner carried on business, I made my way—along tortuous roads, more or less blocked with stones and rubbish, and more or less exposed to a burning sun—to the station, whence we were to start for Jerusalem, a hot ride of nearly four hours in railway-carriages of very second-rate quality.  The land about Jaffa is fertile and well cultivated; fig-trees and olive-trees and orange-groves are abundant, and at Jaffa the chief business seemed to be packing them in boxes for export.  At one particular spot our conductor told us that it was there that Samson set the cornfields of the Philistines on fire.  Certainly the ground seemed dry and baked up enough.  Then Arithmea was reached.  On our way we got our first sight of a native village, built of mud huts, into which it seemed difficult to find an entrance.  A Kaffir village is infinitely to be preferred.  The scene of desolation p. 78was complete.  On the neighbouring rocks nothing was to be seen but flocks of goats.  A little fairer scene opened on us as we passed the neat German colony that has settled down here, almost under the shadow of the walls of Jerusalem.  Then the terminus is gained, and we are whirled in a cloud of dust, in rickety carriages, driven by their hoarsely-shouting drivers at full gallop, all of us white as millers, being clothed with dust.  I wash at Howard’s Hotel, swallow a cup of tea, and, as we do not dine till six, make my way into Jerusalem by the Jaffa Gate.  A little of Jerusalem goes a long way.  It is dark and stifling, swarming with people and camels and asses, and noisy beyond description.  A sort of Rag Fair, only with a few touches of the East, such as a veiled woman, or a stately Turk in turban and flowing robes, or a black-coated, black-bearded Greek priest, or a low row of shopkeepers, sitting patiently in their dark and tiny shops, thrown in.  You must keep moving, or you will be run over by a donkey or a camel, for, as the country round Jerusalem grows nothing, the necessaries of life have all to be brought from a distance.  My respected countrymen and countrywomen are in a state of gush all the while, not to be wondered at when you think of the Jerusalem of David, and Solomon, and Jesus Christ.  As it is in reality, I own I see very little to gush about.  I reach the Via Dolorosa—there is no trace of Christ there; I pass the Church of the Sepulchre and the mosque which marks the site where Solomon built his Temple.  I think of the royal Psalmist who here poured forth the wailings of his heart in language which has formed the penitential chant of all the ages.  But if I would see the Christ I must get out of this p. 79city, all crammed with lies and living upon lies.  I muse by myself in the Garden of Gethsemane; I climb the Mount of Olives.  It is outside the city, away from Jerusalem: via Dolorosa and Pontius Pilate’s House its old and new churches, that I see the living Christ and Calvary, and feel how true it is that

‘Each soul redeemed from sin and death
   Must know its Calvary.’

p. 80I have had enough of Jerusalem.  My fellow-travellers leave me to go to Jericho.  I have no wish to be sent to Jericho, and prefer to remain under the grateful shelter of my hotel, just outside the Jaffa Gate.  What strikes me most is the prosperity of the place.  It is growing fast, in spite of Turkish rule.  The people are robbed by the tax-collectors; nevertheless, the place gains, and the population outside the city walls is quite as great as that within.  One reason, of course, is that wealthy Christians in England and America spend large sums of money in keeping up proselytizing establishments here, and in erecting fine buildings for the same end.  Of course we have a Bishop here, but he is High Church, and seems, from all I hear, more inclined to bridge over the gulf between his Church and the Greek than to promote general and undenominational Christian work.  The number of poor Jews is enormous.  They come here from all parts of the world to die in the Sacred City, and have many charities established on their behalf.  The Britisher has this advantage—that he pays no taxes.  The Jew is not permitted to hold a bit of land unless he has been a resident here five years.  The Turk holds Jerusalem to be a sacred city only second to Mecca.  No wonder, then, that the nations have fought bitterly for the possession of its so-called sacred shrines; no wonder that Christians from all parts of the world hasten to Jerusalem, and that you meet in the streets and shops and hotels such a mixture of men and women—brought by excursion-parties from London—as, perhaps, you have never seen before, and, perchance, may wish never to see again.  I suppose it has ever been so.  Those old Crusaders must have been rather a mixed lot.  As it is, p. 81 View from St. Stephen’s Gate, with Russian Church and
Garden of Gethsemane p. 82the Russian Church seems most in evidence.  It has spent, apparently, a great deal of money in building purposes.  Its new church, half-way up the Mount of Olives, is one of the finest buildings to be seen outside the walls.  The Russian is wily; he knows what he is about—at any rate, better than many of his rivals in the race for empire.

I think most of my party are getting tired of Jerusalem—even the clergy, of whom we have many.  Exertion of any kind is painful on these dusty highways and under this blazing sun.  There has been no rain for six months, and the Jews in the synagogue are praying for it daily, and yet it seems as far off as ever.  One thing that is really enjoyable is the cool splendour of these cloudless skies by night.  I have seen the moon rise in many lands, but never—no, not even under the Southern Cross—a moon so full, so fair, so bright, as that of Judæa, as it throws its silvery light over old walls and peasants’ huts, on hill and dale—I may not say ancient ruins, for all is new outside Jerusalem, and as regards most of the city a similar remark may be made.  For Saracen and Roman have devastated and destroyed entirely the real Jerusalem, which is now only being disinterred by the labours of the agents of the Palestine Exploration Fund, of whom Dr. Bliss is the chief.

The Jews preponderate everywhere, apparently poor and depressed.  The real Turk, sleek and well robed, is an imposing figure, but the dragomans—chiefly Greeks, or of the Greek Church—are active and intelligent, and very ready to use their English, of which, apparently, they have but an imperfect knowledge.  The Jews speak the common dialect of the country, but are p. 83taught Hebrew in the many schools established for their benefit.  The food displayed in their cook-shops is, however, by no means tempting, and nowhere, unless it be at such an international hotel as that of Chevalier Howard, is the commissariat department very strong.  But we have clean, cool, delightful bedrooms.  And Mr. Chevalier himself is a remarkably intelligent and active man, and offers the traveller facilities for excursions such as he can find nowhere else.  When one thinks of Palestine and the place it fills in the world’s history, it is hard to realize what a small extent of country it contains.  Its length is about 200 miles, and its average breadth 75 miles.  On one side is the Mediterranean Sea, and on the other the desert plain of Arabia.  A mountain range runs through it from north to south.  Its chief rivers are the Jordan, the Litany, the Abana, and the Pharpar.  I fancy it is better to come here in the spring than in the autumn.



The three principal sights in Jerusalem are the Mosque of Omar, now standing on the site of Solomon’s Temple, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Muristan, which is the conglomerate remains of numerous edifices raised on the same spot in the course of ages, from Charlemagne to Saladin, but named from the madhouse built there by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre should be visited in the sunniest part of the day, as the interior is awfully dark.  It may be that it is what it assumes to be.  There are people who doubt this, as they do everything; but here countless pilgrims in all ages have come to pray and weep, and have kissed every stone and shrine to be seen within the sacred precincts.  I have read somewhere how a young lady from the country came to town to hear the immortal Siddons, then in the zenith of her fame.  As soon as the performance began, the young lady began to weep immediately.  ‘If you weep in this way,’ said a gentleman to her, ‘you will have no tears to shed when the real Siddons appears.’  The same feeling occurs to you in Jerusalem.  One is never sure that p. 85the people are wailing and weeping at the right place.  People seem there so much taken up with the dead Christ that they are actually in danger of forgetting the living one, who speaks to us to-day as when He lifted up His Divine voice in the crowded streets of Jerusalem or beneath the proud pillars of the Temple itself.

The question has long been discussed whether the traditional site on which stands the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the true one.  The matter turns upon the course of the city walls in the time of Christ.  All are agreed that wherever the sepulchre was, it was without the gate, and not within Jerusalem.  From the Gospels we learn that the tomb was rock-hewn, and that it was nigh the place of the Crucifixion.  Major Conder’s excavations have almost conclusively proved that the traditional site was without the circuit of the city wall, and though the point cannot be considered as quite settled, there are very strong grounds for believing that the site was elsewhere.  By the common consent of experts, the true site has been found a short distance north-east from the Damascus gate of the present city on the rocky knoll immediately above the Jeremiah Grotto of our Bible map.  Indirectly, the so-called Jeremiah Grotto contributes some support to the modern identification.  It is the spot where executions by stoning were carried out.  The locality General Gordon brought into notice as the Holy Sepulchre seems to be quite unfounded.  Major Conder points out that the tomb was no new discovery when the General was in Jerusalem—that it is probably not a Jewish tomb at all, and may be assigned to the middle ages.

p. 86It is a wonderful city, this old Jerusalem.  It was here Solomon built his Temple a thousand years before Christ.  This structure was subsequently destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, rebuilt by Zorobabel, and afterwards by Herod.  Then came Titus and the Romans, who left the city a desolation.  Of all its stateliness—the populous streets, the palaces of the kings, the fortresses of her warriors—not a ruin remains, except three tall towers and part of the western wall, which was left for the defence of the Roman camp.  From a Roman point of view, Titus had well earned the honour of a triumph.

Of course in this connection one falls back on Gibbon: ‘In the midst of a rocky and barren country the walls of Jerusalem inclosed the two mountains of Sion and Acra within an oval figure of about three miles.  Towards the south the upper town and the fortress of David were erected on the lofty ascent of Mount Zion; on the north side the buildings of the lower town covered the spacious summit of Mount Acra, and a part of the hill distinguished by the name of Moriah, and levelled by human industry, was crowned with the stately temple of the Jewish nation.  After the final destruction of the temple by the arms of Titus and Hadrian a ploughshare was drawn over the consecrated ground, as a sign of perpetual interdiction.  Sion was deserted, and the vacant space of the lower city was filled with the public and private edifices which spread themselves over the adjacent hill of Calvary.  The holy places were polluted with monuments of idolatry; and, either from design or accident, a chapel was dedicated to Venus on the spot which had been sanctified by the death and resurrection p. 87of Christ.  Almost 300 years after these stupendous events the profane chapel of Venus was demolished by the order of Constantine, and the removal of the earth and stone revealed the Holy Sepulchre to the eyes of mankind.  A magnificent church was erected on that mystic ground by the first Christian emperor; and the effects of his pious munificence were extended to every spot which had been consecrated by the footsteps of patriarchs and prophets and the Son of God.’

Admirably Gibbon puts the case.  Nevertheless, from that praiseworthy zeal on the part of Constantine, innumerable woes and awful demoralization have ensued.  The history of Jerusalem has been dark and dolorous ever since.  The priests reaped a golden harvest, and found a believing generation ever ready to accept even the most marvellous of their statements, the Empress Helena leading the way.  The clergy made the most of these devout pilgrimages, and exhibited their powers of invention on an enormous scale.  The more the pilgrims demanded, the greater the supply.  The clergy fixed the scene of each memorable event.  They exhibited the instruments which had been used in the passion of Christ: the nails and the lance that had pierced His hands, His feet, and His side; the crown of thorns that was planted on His head; the pillar at which he was scourged; and, above all, they showed the cross on which He had suffered—dug miraculously out of the ground!  It seems to us impossible that the credulity of people could ever have been so great; but, alas! there are no miracles or traditions which devoted men and women are unable to swallow.  Such miracles as seemed necessary found ample credence.

p. 88‘The custody of the true cross, which on Easter Tuesday,’ writes Gibbon, ‘was solemnly exposed to the people, was intrusted to the Bishop of Jerusalem; and he alone might gratify the curious devotion of the pilgrims by the gift of small pieces, which they enchased in gold or gems, and carried away in triumph to their respective countries.  But as this gainful branch of commerce must soon have been annihilated, it was found convenient to suppose that the marvellous wood possessed a secret power of vegetation, and that its substance, though continually diminished, still remained entire and unimpaired.’  That is enough.  It is unnecessary to carry our investigations any further.  The only relics in which I could believe were the spurs of that grand old crusader, Godfrey of Bouillon.  In that city of pretended sanctity, with its doubtful hallowed ground, it does one good to think of Campbell’s vigorous lines, never more applicable than now:

‘To incantations dost thou trust,
And pompous rites in domes august?
See, mouldering stone and metal’s rust
      Belie the vaunt
That man can bless one pile of dust
      With chime or chaunt.’

Be that as it may, all steps in Jerusalem are dogged with doubt.  You hear a great deal more than you can believe.  We tread on ruins and know what they are,—so far we can believe their testimony.  Yet the city is full of surpassing interest.  ‘After Rome,’ writes Dr. Russell Forbes, in his valuable little work, ‘The Holy City: its Topography, Walls, and Temples,’ ‘there is no city which appeals to the feelings like Jerusalem; the sympathy is deeper and stronger than that of Athens, which we place third on the list.  As p. 89the sympathy towards the Eternal City is derived from profane history, so as it were in opposition, one’s feelings toward the Holy City owe their origin to sacred history.  These two cities, sacred and profane, stand out boldly on the world’s surface like the figures in Titian’s celebrated picture—one appealing to the sun, the other to the wind.  The sacred is more ancient than the profane, and the wind of controversy has swept equally over both, while the spade of modern science has in each case confounded the sceptic and established the truth of the unbroken records of the past.’  That is putting the case rather strongly.  At any rate, in studying the topography of Ancient Rome the authorities are many.  In Jerusalem they are few—but the Bible, Josephus and the Talmud.  It is only of late that we got at the real Jerusalem.  It was not till explorations, surveys, and excavations were made that anything beyond tradition, mostly false, was known of the ancient city.  It is below its modern level that one has to trace the remains of the real Jerusalem.  As Byron wrote of Rome, so we may say of the Holy City:

   ‘The Goth, the Christian, time, war, flood, and fire
   Have dealt upon the seven-hilled city’s pride.
   She saw her glories star by star expire,
   And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
   Where the car climbed the Capitol; far and wide,
   Temple and tower went down, nor left a site:
   Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,
   O’er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
And say, “Here was, or is,” where all is doubly night?’

It was not till 1868 that the time arrived for cheap excursions to Jerusalem.  The credit of the idea is to be given to the late Mr. Thomas Cook.  In the time of the Crusades the bands which visited Palestine did so p. 90under a leader.  At a later date parties travelled in the form of a caravan.  Before visiting the lands of the Bible Mr. Cook consulted that eminent traveller and at one time popular author and lecturer, Mr. James Silk Buckingham, as to the best route,—and collected information from every available quarter.  Then he made the trip by himself in 1868.  On his return home he advertised a tour in Palestine and the Nile in the following spring.  Before a month had elapsed thirty-two ladies and gentlemen had taken tickets for the trip to the Nile and Palestine, and thirty to Palestine only; and now they come by the hundred at a time, so popular is the trip.  From the year 1868 up to 1891, 1,200 persons had visited Palestine under Cook’s protection.  Many of these travellers held high social positions, such as their Royal Highnesses the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Prince George of Wales; their Imperial Highnesses the Grand Duke and Duchess Sergius, the Grand Duke Paul of Russia, the King of Servia, and other travellers of distinction.  It is a part of the business of the firm much patronized by American tourists and the clergy of all denominations.  Up to the time of the firm taking up the matter, travellers were at the mercy of savage chiefs, who made them pay dearly for the permission which they granted to pass through their districts.  These chiefs were as fickle as they were avaricious, and as dilatory as they were exacting.  All this vexatious delay has vanished.  When you start you are certain of arrival at the day indicated, and of being able to return in a similar manner.  Moreover, the element of danger has been eliminated.  You are safe in Jerusalem as in London—perhaps safer; for as p. 91there is always danger in the streets of London from hardened criminals and careless drivers of cabs and omnibuses, and the ever-increasing multitude of men and women who have taken to the bicycle—and ‘rush in where angels fear to tread.’

Finally, after Omar and Saladin, Syria and Palestine were conquered by Selim, and since then, with the slight advent of the Crusaders, have formed part of the Turkish Empire.  The inhabitants complain a good deal of the injustice and corruption of the Turkish tax-gatherers, and I fancy not without reason; but that the city is prosperous and flourishing now is evident to the most superficial observer, from the number of new buildings erected in every direction.  I believe it is a fact that the number of people living outside the city is far greater than the population within.  It is a fashion to build schools and churches and convents everywhere, Russia in this respect standing ahead of the rest.  I don’t care to go into the city.  What I see there is all fiction, hallowed, if you like, by the superstition of ages.  In the daytime all is noise and confusion.  The trader sits in his little shop in a narrow street, covered from the sun, and there the people collect in every variety of costume—some in rags and almost naked; others, like the cavass of some consulate, in a dark, showy dress, with a grand sword hanging from his thigh; but the prevailing fashion seems to be a brown or blue jacket hanging over a print skirt extending down to the feet.  Some are almost as black as niggers.

Immense as is the traffic of the city and the noise and tumult by day, the silence by night is equally wonderful.  There is no living soul or body to be seen in the streets by night—nor a light; not even the bark p. 92of a dog is heard.  There is scarce a street in which you can walk comfortably either inside Jerusalem or outside.  There are stones everywhere to throw you down, and then there is the dust.  That deserves a chapter in itself.  It is simply awful.  There is a cartload of it inside me now.  It is white as snow; it fills the air; you can see nothing.  As we got out of the railway-station, and got into carriages to drive towards the hotel, we could not see an inch of the way on account of the dust.  To make it worse, the drivers all set out at full speed, and in the race to get in first it seemed to me that a collision was inevitable; however, happily, no casualty occurred.  A poor unfortunate donkey was run over—that was all.

As an illustration of what the natives have to suffer under Turkish rule, let me give the following account of a gossip with a driver I met with.  His father had died and left him a little property in the fertile plain of Sharon.  The man did all he could to improve it—fenced it with stones, dug it over and enriched the soil, planted olive-trees and dates, and then, when the crop was nearly ready, the Turkish taxpayer came and demanded a third of the estimated value, and got it.  In a fortnight after he was visited by the Bedouins, who took another third, and in the end the poor man had to give up his little farm.  The Turks are bad, but the lawless Bedouins who harry the land are infinitely worse.  For instance, one of our party drove down to Jericho by himself.  He got out to walk in one part of the road, and got ahead of his driver.  Immediately he found himself surrounded by a crew of these ruffians.  Happily, he had with him the American Consul’s cavass, who, seeing the position, came up with his p. 93 General view of Jerusalem from the Convent of the Sisters of
Zion p. 94loaded revolver, at the sight of which the gentleman was rescued, as the rascals fled.  There is no taming the Bedouin of the desert.  He only owns the rule of his sheikh.  The Turkish ruler of the province is afraid of him, and actually pays him a tribute to be allowed to send his yearly offering to Mecca.  No wonder the land is bare of life.  It is a wonder that there is any cultivation at all.  The people are forced to live in villages, remote from one another, and there they defend themselves against the enemy as best they can.  You see nowhere a farmhouse, a cottage, or country house.  For miles and miles not a human habitation is visible.

As most of us are sitting half asleep in the smoking-room after our mid-day meal, a wailing sound reaches my ears.  I rush to the window and see a funeral procession.  Someone has died in one of the houses above us, and they are bearing the dead body into the city for burial.  About 100 men and women follow, wailing as they go, while on each side of the coffin—a very unsightly structure borne on a rude bier—walk the black-robed priests, evidently of the Greek Church.  The sight is not particularly imposing as the procession makes its way, while the world goes on selling and buying much as usual.  I pity the poor mourners and the priests as they move slowly along.  I know not, but perhaps the presence of so many priests may indicate that the deceased was a person of some consequence in his community.

I resume my writing, and then a native comes in to rub off the white dust which has come in through the open window.  It is impossible to keep out the fine white dust, and all day the flies are equally troublesome.  p. 95I hear of some of the ladies being bitten by the mosquitoes, but the latter, happily, leave me alone.  The courteous manners of the dragomans who fill the hall of the hotel are amusing.  All of them seem much interested as to my health, and anxiously inquire how I slept.  As I write, Mr. Howard’s nephew is arranging the papers in the smoking-room; a native enters, who kisses the back of his hand with effusion—a The Church of the Holy Sepulchre pledge, I learn, of faithful service.  As to the people in general, they seem to be mere drudges and to have little idea of amusement; amusement in the Holy City is not tolerated.  Now and then you see in the narrow, darkened streets a few sitting round a hookah, enjoying a quiet smoke, but the people, dressed out in all the colours of the rainbow, plod up and down wearily in a never-ending stream, in pursuance of their daily p. 96tasks.  A good deal of building is going on outside the city walls.  There is no scaffolding, no hodman with bricks and mortar; the solid stone walls seem to grow up in the most hopeless confusion.  Of course you see no decent carriages.  Around the door of the hotel there is a daily collection of donkeys and horses and carriages, the last all white with dust and of the most rickety character.  One would think they would fall to pieces over the bad roads, almost as bad as those of Constantinople; but I hear of no accident, though it seems as you watch the flying crowd that one may occur at any moment.

As I chat with my dragoman, I ask him if he is married.  His reply is that he cannot afford it; it would cost him £60 to get a wife.  Perhaps it were as well that the cost of a wife in England were as much; we might have fewer marriages of the kind that tend to misery and want.  The servants in the hotel seemed remarkably honest.  There was a lock to my door, but I could not get it to act, so my room remained unlocked, and I missed nothing, even when one morning I left my purse on the table, containing all my money, when I went to breakfast.  A breakfast consists of hot rolls, good coffee, and delicious honey.  At lunch the first course consists of olives, radishes, lemons and vegetables, which are supposed to create an appetite.  At dinner we have a wonderful lot of stewed flesh, and vegetables are often served up as a separate course.  In the evening the hall is lighted up with many lamps, and the dealers come and turn it into a bazaar.  They are not above making a considerable reduction.  But really there is very little manufactured in Jerusalem—the Sacred City.  Oh, how I loathe the term as I p. 97tread the church of the reputed Holy Sepulchre—its stones slippery with the tread of millions of pilgrims in all ages, its sacred shrines worn away by the kisses of the faithful.  As I sit outside, a cripple comes to a pillar of the door, on which a cross has been rudely carved.  He kisses that cross and stands there praying.  Those poor devotees—how they kiss, and kneel, and crawl, and pray!

The most interesting man I have seen is the Rev. Ben Oliel.  Born in Morocco in 1826, a man wonderfully active for his years, you would not take him to be more than sixty at the best.  At Tangiers he attended the Rabbinical schools, learning Spanish at home, Arabic out of doors, and Hebrew and Chaldee at school.  He speaks English with great readiness and fluency.  When eighteen years of age he read the New Testament for the first time, but his father took it away from him—however, not before a spirit of inquiry was raised in his mind.  In 1847, while visiting at Gibraltar, he became acquainted with a Christian friend, who gave him the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ and ‘Keith on Prophecy’ to read.  From them he learnt that Jesus was the Messiah and the Saviour of men.  He then resolved to come to England to prepare to preach the Gospel to the Jews.  The committee of the Society for the Promotion of Christianity among the Jews accepted his services, and sent him to labour in Gibraltar and North Africa.  During a visit to England in 1850 he translated the Gospel of St. Luke into Hebrew-Spanish, and also a number of tracts into Hebrew and Spanish.  In 1852 he was ordained to the ministry in Orange Street Chapel, London, by twelve ministers representing Presbyterian, Congregational, p. 98Baptist, and Lutheran Churches.  Shortly after he was recognised by the Presbytery of Edinburgh as a minister, and ordained a missionary of that church, and was sent to Thessalonica and Smyrna, where he established missions.  Later on his old society—the British—sent him to Algiers, when he succeeded in inducing his relatives to become Christians, who are now usefully employed in Christian work.  Mr. Ben Oliel has been twice married—first to a daughter of Rev. B. Lewis, a Baptist minister of London, and then, after a widowerhood of some years, to a sister of Mr. Seeley, Vicar of Clacton-on-Sea, and a cousin of Professor Seeley, author of ‘Ecce Homo.’

We next find him in Spain.  In Cadiz he laboured with much success, sometimes having a congregation of 1,000 hearers.  He opened schools for both sexes, where he had as many as 360 children.  His success provoked the animosity and opposition of the Romish priests, who started a newspaper to put him down.  Thence, for reasons perfectly satisfactory, he returned to his old scene of labour in Algeria, and commenced a very successful mission at Oran.  From Oran he was sent to Rome to labour among the Jews, and then the question was put to him—would he go to Jerusalem?  To this question there could be only one, and that an affirmative, reply.  In the ancient city he is certainly the right man in the right place.  In the first place, he can converse in Hebrew with learned Jews and Rabbis, with whom the city is full.  It is a curious fact that Hebrew is fast becoming a living tongue in Jerusalem, as is evident from the fact that the only newspapers now published in Palestine are two weeklies in Jerusalem, both in the Hebrew tongue.  Another p. 99advantage Mr. Ben Oliel possesses is that he can talk to the Sephardim Spanish Jews in their own dialect; and they, it seems, are the most ancient in the city and the most easy of access; and then, again, as an undenominationalist, he has provided an upper room, where he holds an English service on a Sunday, sometimes attended by as many as 100 English-speaking travellers from all parts of the world.  His work is now entirely supported by friends, especially Americans, who sympathize in his aim.  He has no great society at his back; he fights on his own behalf, in faith that the supplies when needed will come.  In his work he is greatly aided by his devoted wife and daughter, who have established schools—one of them a sewing-class of girls, to which I paid a visit.

In his schools Mr. Oliel met with great opposition from the Jewish Rabbis.  They held a conference on the subject.  The outcome of their conference was seen the following Saturday.  Great and solemn warning was preached in every synagogue at morning prayer to the Jews not to continue going to the Christians, and earnest pleading with them to put an end to this sin in Israel.  On the doors of all synagogues, inside and outside town, were placards, some of which were handed to individuals.  Here is a translation of one:

‘Inasmuch as we hear that two schools of the English have been opened, one inside and the other outside the town, and women, sons and daughters of the Israelite people are going to them, and according to the information that reaches us they are stumbling in the sin of idolatry, for above all they are required to p. 100believe in their religion, as their conditions, as it is heard; we heard and our bowels trembled, how can it be that because of straits we should forsake our faith, God forbid, and believe in the sin of idolatry, and the end will be that in a short time they will abandon the Holy Law and turn to the law of the Protestants, God forbid, whose whole interest is to tempt and push precious souls of Israel and bring them to their faith, thereupon they are told in the name of the First in Zion, and in the name of the exalted Rabbis, even all the fathers of the House of Judges, the righteous, and in the name of all the Rabbis, that from this day forward, after we have given them to understand the heavy forbidden thing they are doing—certain that Israel are holy—they should withdraw and not go to those places, neither women nor young men, nor girls or little children at all, and let them trust in the Blessed be His Name, who feeds and nourishes all, and to whom is the power and the greatness, and let them not think for a moment of benefit, whose end is bitter like poison of losing their Judaism, God forbid; and no benefit will they derive from those cents, and keep this exhortation before their eyes continually all the days; and in eight days from to-day those schools will be found empty, that no Jew’s foot shall tread in them any more, which we shall hear and rejoice, and if, which God forbid, that time arriving and any still continue to go, let them know assuredly that as they sought to separate themselves from the community of the people of Israel, we also therefore will endeavour with all our strength to separate from them.  If sons are born to them, there will be no one to circumcise them, if any get married, there will be no one to give the nuptial blessings.  If p. 101any die, they will not be buried with the Jews.  The women will not be married to Jews.  To young men no Jewesses will be given.  They will be a separate people.  We trust that from this day forward they will withdraw from the said schools, and despise them as unclean, and will not go near their doors; and will have trust in God, exalted be His Name, preferring to starve to death as Jews, and not arrive to this measure [of punishment].  And let them not suppose that we shall be silent, but we shall persecute them to the bitter end as far as our hands can reach.

‘Blessing to those who obey.’
Seal of the Chief Rabbi.

Seal of the Judges.

Considering that the Rabbis have considerable sums of money sent them from abroad to distribute among the poor every month, and that many houses are given to the worthy penniless free of rent for several years, it is no wonder that the parents of the little ones were afraid to disobey their tyrannic rulers, and kept their children away from the school.

I find the Y.M.C.A. have a branch here, founded by Mr. Hind Smith in 1890, and are doing useful work, and just outside the Jaffa Gate is a depot for the sale of Bibles.  But I have been somewhat astonished at the bitter, exclusive spirit displayed in some quarters where I might have hoped for better things.  It is difficult for a Jew to make a profession of Christianity.  If he does so, he has to leave the place at once.  The strong caste spirit among the Jews is also very great.  The high caste will not associate with the men of a lower caste.  But where people dare not go to the p. 102recognised agencies for Jewish conversion, many come to Mr. Oliel for a chat, and Turks as well.  Such missionary work as he does seems to be of the right stamp and worthy of British support.  An increasing interest is being taken in Jerusalem, though, alas! I cannot say with the Psalmist, ‘Thy servants take pleasure in her stones and favour the dust thereof.’  They are my stumbling-block by night and day.



The one spot in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem which one must visit is Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Christ, the music of whose voice and the lustre of whose life have brightened and bettered all the ages, dark and dreary as many of them have been, ever since.  It is difficult to visit such a place alone; it is impossible to visit it in company with a garrulous and credulous crowd.  I had for companions an esteemed clergyman from Leeds and an Oxford scholar, a man of infinite learning and wit.  There had been rain overnight, and the dust was not so much of a nuisance as it generally is, and, besides, we had a refreshing breeze.  We did the whole trip between breakfast and lunch.  Starting in one of the shabby-looking carriages—the only available vehicle in these parts, which one expects to break down every minute—drawn by a couple of half-starved steeds, it rattled along over the stones at a speed for which one was scarcely prepared.  On my way I learned a fact that I may not have mentioned before—viz., that at Constantinople the Sultan had given special orders for the comfort of the excursionists arriving in the Midnight Sun by placing a guard of soldiers around p. 104the ship to keep off the crowd, and by giving special orders that the party were to be everywhere received with courtesy and respect.  As regards myself, seeing that not very long since the Sultan had ordered one of my books to be burnt, I must own that I felt his conduct in this matter to redound very much to his credit.

We leave our hotel by the road running to the right from outside the Jaffa Gate, and admire very much the long range of neat almshouses built for the poor Jews by the late Sir Moses Montefiore, leaving the Hill of Evil Counsel to the left, and the pretty, red-roofed, clean-looking village inhabited by the German Templars’ community to the right.  Then the road passes by the Valley of Rephaim on the right, where David fought twice with the Philistines and conquered them, the signal for the battle the second time being given by a ‘going in the tops of the mulberry-trees,’ which betokened the presence of the Lord.  A round stone on the left denotes the well in which, when quenching their thirst, the Wise Men from the East beheld once more reflected in its waters, to their ‘exceeding great joy,’ the star which led them in search of the new-born King of the Jews.  On our left is the convent of Mar Elias, now occupied by a brotherhood belonging to the Greek Church.  Far off on our right is Giloh, white and glittering in the sun, where dwelt Ahithophel, the Gilonite, David’s counsellor.  It is now a village inhabited exclusively by Christians.

Again, on our right, we come to Rachel’s Tomb, at a point where the great highroad to Hebron is left for the road to Bethlehem.  There is no dispute as to the identity of Rachel’s tomb; at any rate, for ages the p. 105same legend has been connected with the spot.  For hundreds of years the site was marked by a pyramid of twelve stones, placed there for the twelve tribes of Israel.  The present monument, built by the Moslems, is white—as every building is in this part of the world—an oblong erection, with a small dome on the top.  One of my learned friends points to the whiteness of Bethlehem.  (From a Photograph by Fradelle and Young) the limestone which lines all the roads, and which is utilized in all the buildings, whether private or public, as an illustration of the falsehood of the legend connected with the home of Our Lady of Loretto, which, according to monkish legend, flew all the way from Palestine to Italy, where yet it remains.  The stone of that building is red, a significant proof of the falsehood of the tale.  The next point of interest is David’s Well, p. 106in commemoration of the incident recorded in Samuel, when the Philistines being in possession of the town, and David in a hold in or near Cave Adullam, he said: ‘Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!  And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David; nevertheless, he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord.  And he said . . .  Is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?’

And now I am in Bethlehem—not a simple country village, as many imagine, but a densely-populated town, with winding, narrow ways, where men and women and children, camels, donkeys, and carriages, seem mixed up in wild disorder.  On every side we are shut in with habitations—stony, bare of windows, built high up, with here and there a shop, but chiefly with a simple door on the ground-floor; and then we dash into the market-place, and apparently it is market-day, and half of the open space is filled with buyers and sellers in many-coloured garments of the East; and down on us come the guides and small pedlars, shrieking, ejaculating, spluttering in broken English, just as Byron tells us the Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold.

We enter the Church of the Nativity, regarded as the very oldest specimen of Christian architecture; and a very ugly building it is.  In one of the remote quarters I came to an old stone font, bearing the inscription: ‘For the memory, repose and forgiveness of sinners, of whom the Lord knows the name.’  Here, p. 107in 1161, Baldwin was crowned King of Jerusalem.  Look up at the roof as you pass along, of pure wood and lead, furnished in 1482 by Edward IV. of England and Philip of Burgundy.  The guardianship of the church is divided among Greeks, Armenians, and Latins.  We are supplied with tapers, and go down in the cave where the Christ was born.  A little further on is the place of the manger in which He was laid.  In another section of the cave, all hewn out of the solid rock, Joseph is said to have slept when he was warned by God in a dream to take Mary and her child and fly into Egypt.  Again, we are shown the spot where the children massacred by King Herod were interred.  Fifteen lamps perpetually illuminate the subterranean Church of the Nativity, near which is the Altar of the Adoration, which commemorates the visit of the Magi.  Amidst darkness visible we make our way to the cave in which St. Jerome wrote his great work, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into the Vulgate or Latin tongue.  It is a dark and dreary spot, and near by we are shown his tomb.  One can scarce credit the story of his having done such work in such a corner, or believe that there he lived to reach the ripe age of ninety-two.  A year in such a spot would be enough to kill an ordinary orthodox Christian in these degenerate days.  I make my exit speedily into the upper air.  I have seen enough for one day; no lying legend can tempt me further.  The enormous pile of churches built up over the sacred sites, and inhabited by priests of rival Churches, who hate each other like poison, are too much for me.

Bethlehem is the market-place of the Dead Sea Bedouins, and also of the numerous small towns and p. 108villages in the vicinity, and has besides some nourishing manufactures of its own.  Its inhabitants are almost exclusively Christian.  The people are chiefly employed in the production of embroidered dresses, and in carving in a beautiful way mother-of-pearl.  I hear that they are an intelligent and industrious people, and that there are plenty of schools for the children.  The women are said to be fair, but I see none such.  On our way back we are shown the Field of the Shepherds, sloping up a neighbouring hill.  It was there the angel of the Lord appeared to them as they watched their sheep by night.  We pass by also the Pools of Solomon—three reservoirs made by the great King for supplying the inhabitants of Jerusalem with water.  All the country round is a scene of great activity, as is evident from the enormous amount of terraces to be seen everywhere planted with the universal olive-tree.  But at this time we see nothing but stones, with here and there a few black goats climbing the mountain-sides; all life seems to have withered up under the scorching sun.  The Wells of Solomon contain no water, the hills no sign of vegetation.  They are dry, and so are we.

On the whole, after my visit to Bethlehem, I quite agree with an American writer—the Rev. Mr. Tompkins—in his remarks on the church built by the Empress Helena.  While vast, imposing, and suggestive of past glory, it is a fitting monument of that kind of Christianity which, let us hope, is relegated to the past.  No instance of an enormous expensive building could show more clearly the folly of erecting to God that which has no earthly use.  Unless men can see in future ages that Christianity is for man, and not for p. 109God, I fancy that religion will perish from the earth.  To-day one stands in this edifice, which in point of size is justly comparable with any church in the world, and wonders what rash folly ever possessed the Empress to waste so much money.  It is so dreary, so cold, so deserted, so utterly the shell of Christianity, that Christianity seems a very farce right here where it began.



One of the most interesting evenings I spent in Jerusalem was in listening to a lecture by Dr. Wheeler, of the English Hospital in the city, who is now seeking to build a hospital for the Jews there.  He is also, I believe, connected with the London Society which is seeking to bring over the Jew to the knowledge of the Messiah, a task by no means easy, as the conviction of the Jew—that the promised Messiah is yet to come—is not easily to be dispelled.  I came over with a converted Jew—a clergyman in London.  His parents, who were wealthy, lived in Jerusalem.  In order to become a Christian he had to sacrifice all his worldly prospects, and aroused such bitter enmity on the part of his relatives that, though he had made the journey for the sake of seeing his dying mother, he almost despaired of an interview, and had to wait five days before his object was achieved.

But to return to Dr. Wheeler.  He has been at work in Jerusalem eleven years, and his knowledge of the state of the Jews is profound.  The Jews, he told us, in Palestine may be roughly divided into four classes: The Ashkenazim, comprising the fair-haired, sallow p. 111German Jew, the Russian, Polish, American, etc., who speak Yiddish, and enjoy the protection of the consuls of the countries to which they belong; the Sephardim, or Spanish Jews, many of whom still wear the black turban imposed on them by the mad Caliph Halim; the Gemenites, who have only recently come to the land—they are dark, and wear their hair in side-curls; and the Karaites, a sect which sprang up about the eighth century.  These reject the Talmud and deny the authority of the Oral Law; they are few in number, and have but one small synagogue; the orthodox religious Jews have no religious intercourse with them, and regard them as heretics.  The Ashkenazim adapt themselves to any costume.  The Sephardim all wear the dignified and beautiful Oriental costume.  All unite in wearing the love-locks.  As to the women, they all dress in Oriental costume, and wear their heads covered.  On the Sabbath they are all dressed in their best.  Charms are worn on the heads and foreheads and necks of young children, and a sprig of green is worn also as a charm against the evil eye.  The Rabbis generally wear long flowing robes, trimmed with fur, and also a turban.

Specially-appointed Rabbis see that the food is properly prepared, as everything must be kosha, or legally clean.  Milk must not be taken before or after meat.  No Christian food on any account may be consumed; even eggs cooked in Christian pots are refused.  Only Jewish wine may be drunk, and if a bottle of it is only touched by a Christian it becomes unclean.  The social and religious life of the Jew is identical.  The birth of a son causes great rejoicing, and improves p. 112the social status of the mother.  Circumcision on the eighth day, if the child is strong enough, is a holy festival.  After eighteen all Jews are expected to marry.  Although facilities of divorce are large, they are not often resorted to.

One is struck, said Dr. Wheeler, in living among Jews, with the fact that religion amongst them is not only a creed or an act of observance, but that it pervades every relationship and dominates every phase of life.  The Sabbath is the pivot round which family life moves.  It is a day of real rejoicing, accompanied by a complete suspension of work.  It begins with the cup of blessing, of wine mixed with water, of which all partake.  The Sabbath lamp is lit.  No burial is allowed on that day.  No phylacteries are worn while the Cohenites give the Aaronic blessing—‘The Lord bless thee and keep thee,’ etc.  Visiting the sick has great merit.  According to the Talmud, eleven visits to the sick will release a soul from Gehenna.  All are enjoined to follow funerals, and to pay honour to the remains of the dead.  After death the body is allowed to remain awhile unburied.  The creed of the Jew is as ancient as the beginning of history.  With it are connected the triumphs and struggles and defeats of ages.  What strange and opposite feelings has the name of Jew created!  What appalling deeds have been perpetrated in connection with his name!  The Jew is in every sense, as Dr. Wheeler eloquently told us, the marvel of history—the wonder of the ages—the anomaly of nations.  So it has been for upwards of 4,000 years.  He is Heaven’s great witness on earth of earth’s righteous King in heaven.  Nations have risen and fallen.  Mighty empires have crumbled p. 113to decay.  Assyria, Greece, Carthage, where are they?  Yet the Jew—scattered, despised, persecuted, and trampled under foot—has never disappeared.  Nay, more, he has risen to be a light and guide to the nations; and many are the statesmen and artists and philosophers who have had Jewish blood in their veins.  And yet, say certain good people, the Jews are under a curse.  Well, perhaps they are—when poor.  Poor people, it seems to me, are under a curse all the world over.  To the Jews, Jerusalem is the one holy city, and here they come to die and be buried in its sacred soil.  Wealthy Jews in all parts of the world give freely for charity and for charitable purposes, and it is this wealth that brings so many poor Jews to Jerusalem.  By these benefactors Jewish children are educated gratuitously.  They have three synagogues, all very ancient, and the beautiful pale-green dome of one of them is a conspicuous feature in the view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.  Jews, because they persecuted the Christ, are not allowed to pass before the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  They are also still rigorously excluded from the Moslem sanctuary, where it is said stood King Solomon’s Temple in all its glory, though Christians have been admitted of late years to this jealously-guarded spot, containing as it does the Dome of the Rock—a very precious spot in Moslem eyes.  Alas! everywhere the Jew in Jerusalem has to come in contact with ‘the pig of a Turk,’ as he contemptuously calls him.  I wonder the wealthy Jews do not buy Jerusalem or Palestine itself of the Sultan, who, however, does all he can to keep the Jews from returning there to live and die.  Notwithstanding the place it fills in the world’s history, the p. 114country is a small one.  As it is, the Jews in Jerusalem have the greater part of the trade of the city in their hands.  They own the shops and the cabs, and their numbers increase every day, very much, as I have said, against the wishes of the Sultan himself.

It is an awful history, that of the Jew in Jerusalem, of incessant revolt on the part of the people, of incessant conquest and massacre on the part of the sanguinary conquerors.  Again and again the Jew seemed on the brink of extermination.  Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus, Titus, Hadrian, successively exerted their utmost power to extinguish, not merely the political existence of the State, but even the separate being of the people.  Hadrian, to annihilate for ever, writes Dean Milman, all hopes of the restoration of the Jewish kingdom, accomplished his plan of founding a new city on the site of Jerusalem, peopled by a colony of foreigners.  The city was called Ælia Capitolina: Ælia after the prænomen of the Emperor, Capitolina as dedicated to the Jupiter of the Capitol.  An edict was published to prevent any Jew from entering the new city under pain of death, or approaching its environs even at a distance so as to contemplate its sacred height.  More effectually to keep them away, the image of a swine was placed over the gate leading to Bethlehem.  The more peaceful Christians were permitted to establish themselves within the walls, and Ælia became the seat of a flourishing church and bishopric.  At a later period Julian the Apostate—as the ecclesiastical writers term one of the noblest men who ever wore the imperial purple—embraced the extraordinary design of rebuilding the Temple of Jerusalem.  In a public epistle to the nation or community p. 115of the Jews, he pities their misfortunes, condemns their oppressors, praises their constancy, declares himself their gracious protector, and hopes, after his return from the Persian war, he may be permitted to pay his grateful vows to the Almighty in the holy city of Jerusalem.  The Jews from every part of the world gave freely to assist this pious enterprise.  According to the Christian writers, Heaven interfered, and the Temple was left unbuilt.  This glorious deliverance was speedily improved by the pious art of the clergy of Jerusalem and the active credulity of the Christian world.  It is evident, as Gibbon remarks, the restoration of the Jewish Temple was secretly connected with the ruin of the Christian Church, a Church for which Julian had little love.  From the confessions of Jerome himself, Jerusalem seemed saturated with every form of vice and crime.

They tell me the Jew is blind because he is waiting for the coming Messiah, but, I ask, are we not all waiting for a coming Messiah?  And the sooner He comes the better for all of us, Jew and Gentile alike.  If the Jew is waiting for a coming Messiah, that is surely to his credit—that he remains true to the teaching of his fathers—and shows him to be no more blind than those of us who piously await the dawn of a millennium, which, according to all human appearances, seems as far off as ever.  When the Turkish Empire breaks up, it will be no easy matter how to settle in whose hands Jerusalem shall be placed.  There may be a terrible fight about the Holy City yet.

It is now the fashion for everyone to rush to Jerusalem.  At one time to go there required no little expenditure of money, and time, and trouble.  An p. 116excursion-steamer takes you there for a trifle compared with the expense of the journey only a few years ago.  You land at Jaffa, take the train to Jerusalem, and in due time find yourself outside the Jaffa Gate, guarded by Turkish soldiers.  Amidst a dirty, many-coloured mob of donkeys, camels, and people, exhausted by the heat, suffocated by the dust, and bewildered by the noise, you are at the Holy City, as lying superstition terms it.  It certainly is not Jerusalem the golden, but is very much the reverse.  Its smells are indescribable, and to drink its water is death.  Your first wonder is why David and Solomon should ever have made it a royal residence at all.  It is a city set upon a hill, but it is dominated by hills all round, where no verdure is seen, and where the black goat alone finds a scanty existence.  Climb one of these hills, and you look down on the gray, stony city, surrounded by a high wall, over which rise minarets, and mosques, and church spires in wild confusion.  There is nothing to charm the eye there.  Enter through one of the gates, and you are still more disappointed.  You wander in hopeless confusion, shut in on all sides by lofty buildings, with no windows to speak of, only here and there a door; or you plunge into a street with a dark awning, which serves as a bazaar, with shops of all kinds around, where so dense is the crowd that it is with difficulty you make your way.  Poverty seems to be the prevailing characteristic of the place.  Even the shops fail to attract.

Money is the one thing Jerusalem sucks in as a thirsty soul does water when it comes, and many well-meaning people find there a living prepared for them who would otherwise have to starve.  As to the real p. 117state of the people you never hear a word.  The Turkish tax-gatherer may grind them down.  The wild Bedouin of the desert may come and take what the tax-gatherer has left.  But you hear nothing of that, and the daily topic of conversation among the European settlers is the repetition of dogma and the fulfilment of prophecy.  It is not till you have cleared out, taken the rail to Jaffa, and sail along the blue waters of the Mediterranean, that you get rid of the nightmare, have done with cant, and once more breathe free.

The fact is, the Holy City is one gigantic fraud.  All we know is that there Christ lived and laboured and suffered and died.  Not a stone remains of the Jerusalem over whose impending fate He shed bitter tears.  The cunning of an interested priesthood has done all the rest, from the discovery of the true cross by the mother of Constantine, to the holy fire which is seen at Easter by a panting, perspiring crowd in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  The town itself covers an area of more than 209 acres, of which thirty-five are occupied by the Haram-esh-Sherif.  The remaining space is occupied by Christians, Mohammedans, and Jews.

The Greek Church is the strongest branch of the Christians in Jerusalem, having eighteen monasteries, with schools, churches, a hospital, hospice, and a printing press.  The Russian church on the Mount of Olives is the grandest ecclesiastical building in the city of the modern type.  The Roman Catholics have fine churches, monasteries, and convents.  The Armenian Patriarch resides in his convent between the Jaffa and Zion gates.  The Latins, Abyssinians, and Copts are also well represented.  The Knights Templars of the p. 118Holy Sepulchre, a Roman Catholic body under the patronage of the Emperor of Austria, have a fine convent just outside the walls.  Priests, and nuns, and sisters of mercy, and devotees, meet you at every turn.

One ought to go to Jerusalem if only to see what priests can build up on small foundations, and to what length superstition can be carried, even in what are termed days of light and progress.  In this respect the Turk is as great a sinner as the Christian, and tells you how at the resurrection the risen will have to cross the Valley of Jehosaphat by a bridge of the Prophet’s hair, from which the wicked will fall straight to Gehenna, while to the righteous heaven, with its houris, will open its diamond gates.  You see in Jerusalem what you see nowhere else, a city built up by religion, true or false.

In a letter from the Rev. Ben Oliel to a friend, he says:

‘You want to know what is (1) the actual population of Jerusalem; (2) the Jewish population in it; and (3) the number of Jews in all Palestine.

‘The Turkish Government, like that of other lands, has its statistical “bureau”—office; but whatever may be its success in the European provinces of the empire, here in Asia its computations are believed to be imperfect, unreliable, and mainly guesswork.  The conscription and consequent tax for exemption from military service operate against it.  The heads of the several religious communities—Turkish or Moslem, Jewish, Latin, Greek, Armenian, Copt, Maronite, Melchite, etc.—who co-operate in the census, have powerful motives to frustrate exactitude, for it means a larger annual taxation, for which they are made p. 119responsible; and, apart from this, the inhabitants have strong prejudices against being numbered.  Therefore, all estimates of population are merely approximate, and nothing more.

‘A young Jew of the highest family in this city, who is employed in offices of trust in the Pasha’s court and has access to official records, a convert of this mission, who confessed his faith in the Lord Jesus on October 27, tells me that in official circles the population of Jerusalem, including its suburbs—Bethlehem, Bethany, the Mount of Olives, etc.—is now computed at 100,000, of which 60,000 are believed to be Jews; and he declares my estimate of the general population of Jerusalem and its immediate suburbs at from 65,000 to 70,000, and the Jewish at about 40,000, to be far too low.  He is custodian of the roll of the Sephardim poor—widows, orphans, blind and decrepit old men and their families—amounting to 7,000 souls, that have to be provided for regularly; and yet the Ashkenazim constitute the majority of the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem now, and they have a roll of poor as large proportionately.  He says the Sephardim pay £1,000 annually for exemption from military service, and the Ashkenazim £1,250, which, at the rate of two medjidis per head, represents 5,625 men of the age liable to service.  Jewish families are prolific, and must therefore be calculated at seven rather than five per family, and if one in each family is liable to service, the result is 39,375 souls.  But this has reference to the Jewish rayahs—Turkish subjects; whereas there is a large admixture of those under Russian, Austrian, German, etc., protection, who are free from taxation, military or other.  By such a p. 120process of reasoning his estimate of 60,000 Jews for Jerusalem is almost proved mathematically.

‘I have before me Luncz’s First Hebrew Almanack for the Jewish year 1895–96, an interesting compilation; it gives the population of Jerusalem thus: “Number of inhabitants 45,420, of which Jews 28,112 (viz., Ashkenazim 15,074, Sephardim 7,900, Mughrabim 2,420, Gurgis 670, Bucharis 530, Tamanites 1,288, Persians 230); Moslems 8,560; Christians 8,748 (viz., Armenians 695, Greeks 4,625, Abyssinians 105, Syrians 23, Protestants 645, Catholics or Latins 2,530, Copts 125).”  He does not say so, but he can only mean the population inside the walls.’

As an illustration of the difficulties awaiting the Jew who is led to renounce Judaism, I quote from a convert’s letter a few particulars:

‘I will briefly say that I commenced the journey of life in Jerusalem as son of one of the first Jewish families that found their way back to the fatherland.  According to the custom of our people, my dear mother sent me to school when I was only two.  I sat at the feet of our Rabbi school-teachers until I was twelve; then I studied the Rabbis’ commentaries and had an Arab tutor.  At thirteen years of age I entered the Seraya, or Government House of Jerusalem.  I studied to be an Arabic and Turkish scribe, and attended the Jewish school to learn French.

‘In the Government House there are three judges appointed to represent respectively the Christian, Jewish, and Moslem citizens.  My uncle is the Jewish judge.  At sixteen I became one of the scribes of the Chief Justice, and two years ago his assistant secretary.

p. 121‘When I used to visit Jaffa I heard about Mr. Ben Oliel from many Jews who frequented his house for discussion and study of God’s Word.  In 1890 he came up to Jerusalem, and at last I met him.  The first time that I called upon him I was in company with my father, my uncle the judge, the son of the Chief Rabbi, and another Rabbi, one of the judges of the Jewish Court.

‘The Chief Rabbi appoints twelve judges, who each serve a term of three months every year, and every dispute between Jews must first be brought before them, and, if needs be, is referred by them to the Turkish Court.’

In time the writer became a Christian and was baptized.  He adds:

‘It was my desire to get the training that would make me a good Christian teacher, but I could not travel without a passport, and could not get this except through the application of my father, who, instead, gave strict orders that no passport should be made for me.  After a year of vain endeavour, I was able to persuade a friend who was in the office where they are written, on the score of friendship, to give me a tishcara, or local passport, which, however, he did not dare to record; off in the country it served me well.  My plan was to start on a trip through the country and seize any opportunity that might offer of getting to Egypt.  I started from the Damascus Gate, my faithful horse being my only companion.  We travelled first to Nablous, the ancient Sichem, and finding that the Samaritans were soon to keep their passover, I waited to see their celebrated p. 122sacrifice.  Each family took a lamb, and they went out and pitched their tents on Mount Gerizim before the tomb of Sichem, the son of Hamor, whom they hold in great reverence, and camped out there for eight days.  On the first day their high-priest sacrificed a lamb for each family, and every day he himself mixed the unleavened cakes.  Leaving Nablous, I struck across country till I came to an Arab village on the Jordan, and then followed its course until I came to Tiberias.  Along this part of the country many of the villagers knew me, and wherever I was acquainted they entertained me freely with their proverbial hospitality.  At one Bedouin encampment they insisted on roasting an entire sheep.  This they did in a very primitive fashion.  They dug a ditch in the earth, and made fire within it until it was very hot, and then, removing the fire, they laid the lamb, well seasoned, on the hot ashes, and then buried it for a couple of hours.  It then made a very savoury dish, of which we all partook, dipping into the same dish.

‘Tiberias is one of the four sacred cities of the Jews, and there I found a large number residing.  It is also a favourite resort because of its hot springs of healing qualities.  I had left Jerusalem almost ill, and so was very glad to take a course of baths here.

‘From Tiberias I journeyed towards Nazareth, and visited the Tomb of Jethro, near the horns of Hassau, where probably our Lord preached His wondrous Sermon on the Mount.  At Nazareth I was hospitably entertained at the Latin Convent, and a priest showed me all the sights of the town.  Next day 400 or 500 French pilgrims arrived, and I shared their entertainment.

p. 123‘After three days I resumed my journey, with the intention of embarking at Haifa and passing on to Egypt without being seen at Jaffa.’

And in due time the writer made his escape, and was welcomed in America, mainly owing to the assistance of Mr. Ben Oliel, who had been the means of his conversion.



We left Jaffa on the Monday, and in twenty-four hours after were landed at Alexandria.  Alexandria is not a desirable place to land at; travellers have to trust generally to native boatmen, who are a race of robbers.  For instance, an American gentleman described to me how it fared with him on attempting to land a few years since.  He and a friend made a bargain with a respectable man to put them ashore.  He called a boatman, into whose boat they got with their luggage.  No sooner had the man rowed a little way from the ship than he stopped and demanded the instant payment of a sum four times the amount that had been agreed upon.  The travellers said they had made an agreement with his master, and he was bound to carry it out.  He replied that he had no master; that the boat was his, that the oars were his, and that he would neither take them back to the ship nor row them ashore unless they complied with his request.  One of the gentlemen had a revolver, which he held at the rascal’s head, telling him to prepare for instant death.  The man sullenly obeyed, but no sooner had he reached the shore than he p. 125landed and preferred against the travellers a charge of attempting to murder him.  The affair promised to be serious, but it was discovered by the judge that the revolver was not loaded, nor ever had been loaded, and the travellers were at length allowed to depart in peace.  I heard of another case of a Frenchman shooting his boatman, who refused to fulfil his contract.  In my case, happily, I landed on the quay, and had no trouble with the boatmen at all.

At length I am fairly landed in the land of the Pharaohs—a land whose records are engraved in stones, and date thousands of years before the birth of Christ.  You see nothing of Alexandria till you approach it, and then it spreads out before you in all its charm, from Pharos, the most ancient lighthouse in the world, on one side, to Pompey’s Pillar on the other.  Soon after I land at the quay, I make my way to the railway-station in a carriage and pair, for which I had agreed to pay a shilling.  At the station the driver has the impudence to demand two shillings, which I refuse to give, whilst a dragoman, who has fastened himself on to me, though I have attempted to get rid of him, demands a shilling for his unnecessary attendance.  I offer him threepence; he is indignant.  ‘I am a dragoman,’ he exclaims in an angry tone.  ‘What do you take me for?’  At length I give him sixpence, and he goes away in peace.  I smoke my first pipe of excellent Egyptian tobacco, swallow a tiny cup of coffee, all sugar and grounds, and survey the scene from the outside of the excellent railway-station, which is a credit to the city.  Every minute a blacking boy begs me to let him clean my boots, but as I need not his services they are declined.  On my way I have seen p. 126every sign of industry and wealth: spacious shops, and a fine square adorned with handsome houses, and with a good statue of Ibrahim Pasha—the man to whom modern Egypt owes its first dawn of revived prosperity.  The municipal authorities of the place have Pompey’s Pillar, Alexandria done much to promote its prosperity.  The traveller will find it to his advantage to stop here a day or two.  The hotels are excellent, and, with one exception, by no means dear.  The harbour is full of shipping and steamers, and the number of trains laden with merchandise running between Cairo and p. 127Alexandria seems incessant.  The railway-carriages are an immense improvement on those which take you from Jaffa to Jerusalem.  Alexandria has a population of over 300,000, and its prosperity has greatly increased of late.  The English reside principally at Ramleh, five miles off, to which there is a local train service.  On your way you pass the battlefield between the English and the French, where our General, Sir Ralph Abercrombie, lost his life in the hour of victory.

Commerce seems to have had her birthplace in Egypt.  In the time of Joseph, we read, all countries came there to buy corn.  Fifteen hundred years before the birth of Christ its merchants brought indigo and muslins from India, and porcelain from China, and the fame of its mariners was great.  The trade route was down the Persian Gulf, along the Tigris, through Palmyra—the Tadmor of old—down to the cities of the Mediterranean.  Arab mariners also sailed from India, keeping close to the coast till they reached Berenice, in the Red Sea, whence the goods were transported to Captos, thence down the Nile to Alexandria.  ‘Under such Emperors as the cruel and dissipated Commodus,’ writes Mr. R. W. Fraser, in his ‘British India,’ ‘the plundering barbarian, Caracalla, and the infamous Heliogabalus, the wealth that came from the East through Alexandria to the imperial city of Rome, passed away to Constantinople and the rising cities along the Mediterranean.’

The glory of Alexandria in the olden time was the Serapeum, sacred to the worship of Serapis, a god originally worshipped in Sinope, and brought to Alexandria by the Emperor Ptolemy—worshipped p. 128eventually by the Romans as the Supreme Being, the beneficent Lord of Life and Death.  It is clear the Ptolemies—at one and the same time Egyptian Pharaohs and Greek princes—felt the need of a real and presiding deity for the great city, with its enormous population, not only from Greece and its colonies, but from all the nations and tribes of the Mediterranean and the East.

As the seat of a god-worship became important, so did the deity its patron.  When Alexandria became the official and mercantile capital of Egypt, Serapis became the chief of all the gods of the land, and there his shrine was worshipped for nearly one thousand years.  The worship of Serapis was the last to fall before the advancing force of Christianity.  The philosopher saw in Serapis, writes Macrobius, nothing more than the anima mundi, the spirit of whom universal nature is the body; so that by an easy transition Serapis came to be worshipped as the embodiment of the one Supreme whose representative on earth was Christ.  This is clear from a letter written by the Emperor Hadrian a.d. 131.  ‘I am now become,’ writes Hadrian, ‘fully acquainted with that Egypt which you extol so highly.  I have found the people vain, fickle, and shifting with every change of opinion.  Those who worship Serapis are, in fact, Christians; even those who style themselves the bishops of Christ are actually devoted to Serapis.  There is no chief of a Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Christian bishop, who is not an astrologer, a fortune-teller, or a conjurer.  The very Patriarch of Tiberias is compelled, when he comes to Egypt, by one party to adore Serapis, by another to worship Christ.’

p. 129And this seems to show that some Christians, in order to escape persecution, enjoyed their own faith under the cover of the national and local worship, which was susceptible of a spiritual interpretation quite cognate to their own ideas.  A similar case occurred in Spain, as the historical reader may remember, when so many Jews, in fear of the Inquisition, nominally became Roman Catholics.  Accordingly, it is clear that the tone of the higher, the fashionable society in Alexandria was to believe that on some grander or philosophic theory all these religions differed in form, but were essentially the same; that all adored one Logos or Demiurge under different names, all employed the same arts to impose on the vulgar, and all were equally despicable to the real philosopher.

The worship of Serapis was abolished in the reign of Justinian, and of the former glory of the Serapeum nothing now remains, unless it be Pompey’s Pillar, which was said by some to have formed part of the Serapeum.  According to Tacitus, sick persons were accustomed to pass a night in the Serapeum in order to regain their health.  The colossal statue of Serapis was involved in the ruin of his temple and religion.  It was believed that if an insult were offered to that statue, chaos would ensue.  When a Christian soldier aimed his first blow, even the Christians trembled for the event.  The victorious soldier, Gibbon tells us, repeated his blows; the huge idol was overthrown and broken in pieces, and the limbs of Serapis were ignominiously dragged through the streets of Alexandria.  His mangled carcase was burnt in the amphitheatre amidst the shouts of the people, and many persons attributed their conversion to this p. 130discovery of the impotence of their great deity.  A process something similar, attended with similar results, has more than once occurred in the history of missionary enterprise.

Deeply interesting is Alexandria from a historical point of view.  It was founded by Alexander the Great more than 300 years before Christ.  King Ptolemy, the first of that name, made it the capital of his kingdom, laid the foundations of its enormous library, and held out inducements to men of learning to come from all parts of the world to settle there.  During the siege of the city by the Romans the library was burnt, but Antony afterwards gave the library a large collection of manuscripts, which formed the nucleus of a second library.  In the early centuries of our era the town was torn with religious dissensions about the Jews and religious dogma.  It was here the beautiful Hypatia, the fair heroine of Kingsley’s celebrated novel, was torn to pieces by an infuriated mob.  St. Mark is said to have preached the Gospel here.  It was here that there arose fierce discussions between Arius and Athanasius and Cyril.  The Christians were persecuted with great severity by Decius, by Valerianus, and Diocletian.  The city then declined in wealth and importance.  Its population dwindled away.  All fanatics, Christian or pagan, seem to me equally to blame.

It was at one time, as I have said, the headquarters of the worship of Serapis.  The temple stood to the east of Alexandria, near Pompey’s Pillar.  It is said to have been one of the most remarkable buildings in the world, and was filled with excellent statues and other works of art.  It was destroyed by the Christian fanatic, Theophilus, during the reign p. 131of Theodosius II.  Gibbon describes the prelate as ‘a bold, bad man, the perpetual enemy of peace and virtue, whose hands were alternately polluted with gold and blood.’  The library of the Serapeum is said to have contained about 400,000 manuscripts; at any rate, when it was burnt by the command of the Khalif Omar, the manuscripts were said to have been sufficiently numerous to heat the public baths for six months.  Perhaps it is as well they were not all preserved.  Of making many books there is no end, and many are the books published in this intelligent age, the burning of which would be no loss, but a gain, to the reading public.  Among the famous men who studied in the original library of Alexandria were Strabo, Hipparchus, Archimedes, Plato, and Euclid.

Then came the blighting rule of the Turk, and the wise men moved away.  They are all vanished—gone; in their place have come the Jew banker, the tradesman, and the merchant prince.  The people amuse me.  They wear the cotton tunic longer, and have a more Arabian cast of feature than the Jews.  I see a funeral, with a long line of women following.  I see a Turk at his devotions.  He spreads a small carpet before him, then raises his arms above his head, muttering something all the while; then he bows his body so that the head touches the ground, and so he goes on.

In a little while we are off for Cairo, or Caire, as they call it here.  On my way I get my first glimpse of one of the branches of the Nile, one of the largest, and certainly the most renowned, rivers in the world.  In a few days I see more of the Nile, the overflow of which has not yet been dried up, and watch the people p. 132in the mud, far too soft to admit of ploughing, hoeing the land, rich and dark, and casting in the seed which is soon to bear an abundant harvest.  On our way to Cairo we pass a fertile country, and see crops of sugarcane and rice and maize growing, and the blue-clad fellaheen at work.  We pass several big towns, which seem thickly populated and full of life.  The houses are everywhere the same—white, with flat roofs.

As originally founded, Alexandria was only equalled by Rome itself.  It comprehended a circumference of fifteen miles, and was peopled by 300,000 free inhabitants, besides at least an equal number of slaves.  The lucrative trade of Arabia and India flowed through its port to Rome and the provinces.  No one lived an idle life.  There was plenty of work for all, chiefly in glass-blowing, weaving of linen, and the manufacture of papyrus.  The people, a mixture of all nations under the sun, were difficult to rule, and always ready for sedition.  A transient scarcity of flesh or lentils, the neglect of a public salutation, a mistake of precedency in the public baths, or a religious dispute, such as the sacrilegious murder of a divine cat, was quite sufficient to create a bloody tumult.

Origen was a native of Alexandria.  It was there, after his time, that the endless controversy as to the nature of the Three Persons in the Trinity originated—a controversy which lasted for centuries, which led to wars and massacres, and which finally separated the Churches of Greece and Rome.  The Jews, who had settled in Alexandria by the invitation of the Ptolemies, carried the teaching of Plato into their religious speculations.  In time Arius arose to proclaim his idea of the Logos, and Athanasius to oppose and protest, and p. 133ultimately triumph.  The Homoousians prevailed, and the Homoiousians were branded and persecuted as heretics—enemies alike to God and man; yet Athanasius was driven from his diocese, and the famous St. George of Cappadocia reigned in his stead.  The pagans of Alexandria, who still formed a numerous and discontented party, were easily persuaded to desert a Bishop whom they feared and esteemed.  At a later time Cyril became the Archbishop, and distinguished his orthodox career by the animosity with which he expelled the Jews, and opposed the doctrine of Nestorius, who taught that there was a Divine and human Christ, and refused to worship the Virgin Mary as the mother of God.

‘He was a most expert logician,’ writes Zosimus, ‘but perverted his talents to evil powers, and had the audacity to preach what no one before him had ever suggested, namely, that the Son of God was made out of that which had no prior existence; that there was a period of time in which He existed not; that as possessing free will, He was capable of vice; and that He was created, not made.’  At the Council of Nicæa, held in the reign of Constantine, it was decided that Christ and the Father were of one and the same nature, and the doctrine of Arius, that Christ and God were only similar in nature, was declared heretical.  Nevertheless, the Arians became more numerous than ever under the reign of Valens.  As soon as the Christians of the West, writes Gibbon, had extricated themselves from the snares of the creed of Rimini, they happily relapsed into the slumber of orthodoxy, and the small remains of the Arian party that still subsisted in Sirmium or Milan might be considered as p. 134objects of contempt rather than resentment.  But in the provinces of the East, from the Euxine to the extremity of Thebais, the strength and number of the hostile factions were equally balanced, and this equality, instead of recommending the counsels of peace, served only to perpetuate the horrors of religious war.  The monks and bishops supported their arguments by invectives, and their invectives were sometimes followed by blows.  Athanasius still reigned at Alexandria, but the thrones of Constantinople and Antioch were occupied by Arian prelates, and every episcopal vacancy was the occasion of a popular tumult.  The Homoousians were fortified by the reconciliation of fifty-nine Macedonian or semi-Arian bishops, but their secret reluctance to embrace the Divinity of the Holy Ghost clouded the splendour of their triumph, and the declaration of Valens, who in the first years of his reign had imitated the impartial conduct of his brother, was an important victory on the side of Arianism.  Well might Dr. Arnold write that it was an evil hour for the Church when Constantine connected Christianity with the State.  It is really wonderful that real Christianity survived that fatal step when the sword of the civil magistrate was drawn in its support.  It is hardly yet recognised that the religion of Jesus of Nazareth flourishes best when free from State patronage and control.



Covered with dust, parched with thirst, exhausted with hunger, burnt up with heat, I am landed at the charming Hôtel du Nil, in the gardens of which, filled up with American rocking-chairs, and trees bearing gorgeous red flowers and bananas and palms, and eucalyptus and banyan-trees all around, I realize as I have never done before something of the splendour and the wondrous beauty of the East.  It must have been a fairy palace at one time or other, this Hôtel du Nil, with an enchanted garden.  In the day it is intolerably hot, but the mornings and evenings are simply perfection.  If there be an Elysium on earth, it is this.  I feel inclined to pitch my tent here, and for ever bid adieu to my native land.  The dinners are all that can be desired, the bedrooms large and lofty, and the servants, who, with the exception of the German waiters, are Soudanese—tall, white-robed, with a girdle round the middle—seem to me to be the best and most attentive in the world.  There is nothing they will not do for me, and they are honest as the day.  Apparently the dark boys have a good deal of the negro in their blood.  I walk out to see the fine p. 136buildings and palaces which lie between me and the railway-station, but I cannot stand the bustle and confusion of the street, and soon beat a hasty retreat.  The infirmities of old age follow me into this land of perpetual youth.

General view of Cairo

I walk outside the narrow and sombre lane which leads to the hotel in the quaint and ancient street Mousky.  Let me attempt to describe it, and it will give the reader an accurate idea of Oriental life.  The Mousky is the busiest street in all Cairo.  Here meet Greek and Syrian, Anglo-Saxons, American or English, Armenian and Turk, Maronite and Druse, Italians, French, Russians, German, Dutch, and Belgian, and the vast army of residents, men, women, and children, of all shades and complexions, from the ebony-black Soudanese to the olive-tinted Arab, walk its length, penetrate its dark and confusing bazaars, and there p. 137 A street in Cairo p. 138is nothing more for you to see.  Donkey drivers, who beset me at every step, and the guides on the look-out for their prey, are a perpetual nuisance, even though they assure me they like the English and are glad to see them here.

Crowded together are nooks and corners where native merchants ply their trades, and the gloom of some dark recess is lit by the glowing blue and scarlet and purple of Persian rugs, and the glare of polished and embossed brass.  In the street the modern descendant of Tubal Cain is hard at work, and the tailor plies his needle, and the cigarette-maker rolls up his tobacco in its thin wrapper of paper, and the weaver bends over his loom, differing in nothing from that used by his forefathers a thousand years ago.  Eatables and drinkables of strange flavour and colour are exposed for sale, and pedlars meet you at every turn uttering hoarse and discordant cries.  There is quite a buzz of conversation, but I cannot understand a word.  Why, I ask, did not Leibnitz carry out his grand idea and give us a universal language?  It would have saved some of us a good deal of trouble.  The pavement is too narrow for anyone to walk on, as the shopkeeper sits outside smoking his cigarette, while the customers also do the same, and the street is completely blocked.  You are obliged to get into the narrow way where carriages and donkey and luggage waggons meet you at every step.

Women abound, all clad in black, with a black cloth over their faces, leaving only the eyes and nose visible, and a cheek of pallid skin.  The nose is covered with a little gilt ornament, I suppose they call it, coming from the forehead, so that you really see nothing of it.  p. 139Now and then you pass a coffee-house where smoking and gambling seem to be going on all day.  In the course of my ramblings I came to a street lined with scribes on stones writing letters for their clients, and was struck with the firm, clear hand in which their letters are written—all in Arabic, of course.  Every now and then a swell passes me in his carriage, with a running footman to clear the way with a white or black staff.  I expect to be knocked down every minute.  To walk the Mousky in peace and safety, you require to be as deaf as a post and to have a pair at least of good eyes at the back of your head.

Tomb of the Caliphs of Cairo

Wearied, I return to the quiet and shady groves of the hotel, a large pile of buildings streaked red and yellow, with a grand bit of garden ground at the back, and a wooden tower, from which you may see all Cairo at a glance.  All the houses are flat-roofed, and many p. 140of them look unfinished, though not in reality so.  I sink into a rocking-chair, light my pipe, and talk of the future of Cairo.  I say I want to visit a Coptic Church, the church which was held heretical by the Orthodox Church, as they were said to have held imperfect ideas of the dual nature of Christ.  One gentleman tells me I had better keep away, as the priests will pick your pockets in the very church.  He has 300 Copts in his employ, and gives them all a very bad character.  I ask as to the Khedive; everyone gives him a bad character, though he has discovered one wife is enough for any man.  ‘He has the bad blood of his father and grandfather,’ says an Englishman to me.  He has a thin veneer of civilization, but he is weak and ignorant, eaten up with ambition, and over head and ears in debt, though his allowance is £100,000 a year, a sum which should go far in a city where the price of labour is from two piastres to five, the piastre being valued at twopence halfpenny.

The people live exclusively on maize-corn, certainly not an expensive article of diet.  The intelligent people are all in favour of the English Government, but, alas! the majority does not in Cairo, as I am told it does at home, represent the enlightened opinions of an intelligent people.  I hear the shilly-shally policy of the English Government bitterly condemned.  We are here, and must remain here.  As it is, the people know not what to expect.  There is no progress, but a terrible paralysis all over the city.  ‘I like you English,’ said an intelligent native; ‘but you are here to-day and may be gone to-morrow, and then we who have adhered to England will all have our p. 141throats cut.  We are like a boat between two shores, and know not whither we are going.  The English must either stop or go.’  Our stay is to the lasting advantage of all the European nations.

We have wonderfully improved the condition of the fellaheen, who, according to all I hear, are not too thankful for the liberty we have gained for them.  I met an intelligent old Greek, who deeply resented that we had abolished flogging—a little of it now and then, according to him, did the natives good.  Manual labour is so cheap that it is used in every department.  At the hotel I note that they bring the coals in in baskets, and in the railway-station I see a native employed in laying the dust, with a skin of water, which he carries on his back, using the neck as a water-spout.

Of all the cities I have known—and, like Ulysses, I am ever wandering with a hungry heart—I infinitely prefer Cairo, and am not surprised that it is becoming more and more the winter residence of the English aristocracy.  It was a delight to live when I was there, and as I took my breakfast al fresco in the beautiful grounds of the Hôtel du Nil, with tropical plants in full flower all round me, a bright sun and unclouded blue sky above, the question whether life was worth living seemed to me an absurdity.  But, alas! no one can look for perfect happiness—at any rate, on earth.  In Cairo there are the flies, not so bad as I have seen them in Australia or America, but a terrible infliction nevertheless.  One of my companions, Mr. Willans, the popular proprietor of the Leeds Daily Mercury, suffered much from them, and had for a time to give up reading and writing, and to wear coloured p. 142glasses, but I was let off more easily.  In Cairo, for the first time, I realized what a luxury it was to have dates to eat.  We at home, who buy dates at the grocer’s, have no idea how juicy the date of Cairo is.  Donkey Boy, Cairo Then the heat is great, and walking far is out of the question.  But what of that?  Directly you turn into the street the donkey-boy comes up to offer you a ride; and the Cairo donkey is lively, large, and white, and p. 143well groomed, sure of foot, swift in speed, and beautiful to look at.  An English coster’s moke is not to be named on the same day with the Cairo donkey, on which you can have a ride for a trifling sum.

Life and prosperity seem everywhere to prevail, and the station at Cairo conducts you at once into a fine city, with broad streets, well watered, and shaded by trees, handsome shops, fine hotels, beautiful gardens, and the inevitable statue of Mohammed Ali, who did so much to develop modern Egypt.  Palaces of all kinds attract the eye, one of the finest of these being the residence of Lord Cromer.  Cairo is distinctly a society place, though, perhaps, not so much so as Cannes or Nice, and living is dear, though cheaper than it used to be.  French seems the language principally used, though the guides, who pester you at every corner, and the donkey-boys, who are equally persistent, have a confusing smattering of English.  The resident English colony is chiefly composed of the diplomatic and Consular bodies, or of those connected with the different Consular departments, and of officers of the garrison.  You meet many English soldiers whose appearance is creditable to the country, and amongst the birds of passage are many Americans.  There are two good clubs for visitors—the Khediveal and the Turf, the latter chiefly supported by army officers.  The theatre, where French plays and Italian operas are performed, is a very fine building.  In the same neighbourhood is also a café chantant in the gardens.  All day long, under the bright blue sky, the scene is very animated.

But the visitors, although a welcome addition, do not entirely make up Cairene society.  The gaiety p. 144begins and is mainly kept up by the residents, especially the British civil and military, who are always most hospitable at the winter time of year.  Cairo is no doubt a court and capital, the residence of the sovereign to whom diplomatists are accredited from all the civilized Powers.  But it is also a British military station, and it owes much of its present liveliness to the British officers and civil servants.

It was the British garrison that established the Cairo Sporting Club, where good polo is played, and very fair cricket, ‘squash’ rackets, and lawn-tennis; where there are monthly race-meetings, and officers ride steeplechases on their own horses.  The big lunches, the pleasant afternoon teas, the dances and flirtations so constantly in progress, are essentially British.

Out at Mena, under the shadow of the Sphinx, there is a golf-course, and the caddie is an Arab boy in a long blue bed-gown, and you can aim your ball from the putting-green straight at the Pyramid of Cheops.  Out at Matarieh, just where Mr. Wilfrid Blunt lives the life of an Arab patriarch, under tents, surrounded by his flocks and herds, there is a training stable, and the British sporting subaltern keeps his ‘tit’ there, and comes out to give him his gallops at early dawn.

But it is as you get away from the broad streets of new Cairo, and plunge into the bazaars and the narrow streets, that you realize what a bewildering place old Cairo is.  The city of Cairo covers an area of three square miles, and greatly exceeds the limit of the old walls.  On the south stands the ancient citadel, on a rock, memorable for the massacre of the Mamelukes.  Of the most perfect of the old gateways still p. 145remaining is the Gate of Victory.  Above the archway is an Arabic inscription: ‘There is no god but God, and Mohammed is His Prophet.’  The streets are narrow and irregular, and badly paved, while the white houses, with their overhanging windows, are, at any rate, picturesque.

The bazaars are of all sorts: the leather-sellers have one, the carpet-dealers another, silk-merchants another, and everywhere purchaser and buyer seem to spend a great deal of time in smoking cigarettes.  The gold bazaar is so narrow that three persons can scarcely pass; there, and at the silver bazaar, you see the artificers constantly at work.  Coptic churches and mosques you meet everywhere.  There is a good attendance at the English Church; there are also a Presbyterian Church, and two Roman Catholic churches.  I saw the bishop of one of them, who was to preach, driving along in very grand style.  The Wesleyans have also a chapel.  The howling dervishes have also their sanctum, where they exhibit their peculiarly unpleasant powers.  I decline to go and see them, as everyone tells me they are a fraud; and if I want to be deceived, there is the Egyptian conjuror always ready with his little tricks.  He comes daily to the hotel to give a performance; also daily resort there the Egyptian minstrels, whose performances we all greatly applaud.

The English have a party paper called the Sphinx, which, however, I fancy has little influence in the formation of public opinion.  In Alexandria a daily English paper is published, which reaches Cairo about eight in the evening, but which gives little general news, and is chiefly devoted to trade and commerce.  p. 146It was with a heavy heart I left Cairo and its bright and busy life for the gray skies and bleak winds of my native land.  My consolation is that we breed better men than they do in southern climes—a fact of which the Roman Cæsars were aware when they drew their best troops from Britain or Northern Gaul.

The French complain bitterly of English influence in Egypt—a country for which we have done much, and which, if it ever becomes prosperous, will owe its prosperity to England alone; and yet it is the fact that the Englishman in Egypt lies under peculiar disadvantages, and that as much as possible English enterprise is discouraged and destroyed.  It ought not to be so.  We who have made Egypt what it is, who have fought its battles, developed its resources, improved the condition of its people, destroyed its corrupting and enervating influences, put its finances in a healthy condition, may be expected to have, at any rate, fair play there.

That this is not so, the case of Mr. Fell, of Leamington, one of the few men who have raised themselves from the ranks and become honoured far and near, is a notorious illustration.  In 1890 he obtained a concession from the Egyptian Government giving him the right to make tramways in the city of Cairo.  The particular department of the Egyptian Government which has to do with such affairs has at its head a Secretary of State—at that time the office was held by Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff—and a financial adviser appointed by the Egyptian Government on the recommendation of the English Government.  Mr. Fell went to Egypt, had the whole city surveyed, and the plans drawn, a difficult task which occupied a considerable p. 147amount of time.  In August of the same year he bought the steel rails, ordered the cars to be built, and did all he could to hasten the fulfilment of his contract, and, as a security, deposited with the Egyptian Government twenty-two Egyptian bonds of the value of £100 each.  To still further strengthen his position, he had a letter from Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff to the effect that he was quite satisfied that Mr. Fell had complied with legal requirements.

So far all was straight sailing, but in April the Egyptian Government confiscated the bonds Mr. Fell had deposited with them, and also declared the contract null and void, on the ground that he had failed to comply with the conditions under which the contract was made.  Mr. Fell had a long correspondence with the Egyptian Government of a very unsatisfactory character.  In 1893 he returned to Egypt, and interviewed the authorities.  Lord Cromer advised him to go to law.  In his action against the Government, he was defeated on the plea that the letters written by Sir Scott Moncrieff, as Secretary of State, were not valid.  In the meanwhile, the Egyptian Government advertised for a new concession in July, 1894, for which Mr. Fell again tendered, depositing a thousand guineas.  In compliance with a request from the Egyptian Government, Mr. Fell again returned to Egypt, but found, on his arrival, that the contract had been given to a Belgian firm, who frankly admitted that they had paid so much for the concession that it was scarcely worth having.  ‘My loss in consequence,’ said Mr. Fell to me, ‘is at least from £17,000 to £20,000, and this all through French intriguing.’

Such is a brief outline of a case of hardship, not p. 148to an individual, but the whole nation.  Practically speaking, there is no British capital invested in Egypt except what was there previous to 1882.  In the railway department, for instance, of late years all the works have been carried on by French and Belgian—to the exclusion of British—contractors.  All the contracts for bridges which have recently been let have been let to Belgian contractors.  The only companies that thrive in Egypt are French companies.  Everything is in their favour.  The law officers of the Crown are exclusively foreign, principally Corsicans, and they are able to control the native tribunal, notwithstanding the fact that there are English judges upon it; and to these Corsican law officers it is due that so much anti-English feeling exists in Egypt at this present time.  Assuredly, Egypt makes us but a poor return for the money and blood we have spent in its behalf.  We have a right to expect better treatment.  If John Bull stands this sort of thing, he must be a poor creature indeed.

Anthony Trollope gives us an amusing illustration of the official life of Cairo in his time.  He was sent there by the English Post-Office to accelerate the mail-service to Suez, and it took him two months to do his business.  ‘I found, on my arrival,’ he writes, ‘that I was to communicate with an officer of the Pasha, who was then called Nubar Bey.  I presume him to have been the gentleman who lately dealt with our Government as to the Suez Canal shares, and who is now well known as Nubar Pasha.  I found him a most courteous gentleman, an Armenian.  I never went to his office, nor do I know that he had an office.  Every other day he would come to me at my hotel, and bring p. 149with him servants and pipes and coffee.  I enjoyed his coming greatly, but there was one point on which we could not agree,’ and that was as to the rate of speed with which the mails should be carried through Egypt.  The Post-Office said it must be done in twenty-four hours.  The agent of the Egyptian Government contended that it would take forty-eight hours at the least.  For a long time they could come to no agreement.  Both were equally obstinate.  It was impossible, said Nubar, that the mail could be carried at such a rate.  It might do for England, but would not do for Egypt.  The Pasha, his master, he said, would, no doubt, accede to any terms demanded by the British Post-Office, so great was his reverence for anything British.  In that case, he, Nubar, would at once resign his position and retire into private life.  He would be ruined, but the loss of life and bloodshed which would follow would not rest on his head.  Nevertheless, he gave way after many days’ delay and a good deal of smoking and coffee-drinking.  The twenty-four hours gained the day.  It is to be hoped that official business is done more quickly now.  A two months’ stay in Cairo over such an affair may have been pleasant.  It certainly was expensive, and someone other than Mr. Trollope had to pay the bill.

Lord Cromer’s latest report of the state of matters in Egypt is cheering.  The finances are better.  The income from railways, customs, and tobacco has improved.  A great boon has been conferred on the fellaheen by the experimental money advances made by Government to tide them over till their cotton-crop is ripe.  Hitherto they have had to borrow from Greeks, who, however admirable in the character of liberators, p. 150are not so lovely as money-lenders.  They charge from 20 to 30 per cent. for their loans, and, in addition, always take back an Egyptian pound, equal to £1 0s. 6d., for the pound sterling.  This is really more than an extra 2½ per cent., for the loans are not for a whole year.  There are Mohammedan lenders, too.  Their religion forbidding usury, they take it out of the fellaheen in cotton.  The Government in their experimental loans have charged a half per cent. per month, or 6 per cent. per annum.  The experiment was successful.  Of nearly £8,000 lent between February and July, all but £20 had been repaid with interest by the end of November.  The benefit that an agricultural bank would be to the smaller cultivators has been in this way realized by Lord Cromer, who suggests that private bankers should take the experiment in hand.

The Government has also been checkmating the money-lenders by sending them good seed at 58 pounds Turkish an ardeb, payable in three instalments, upon finding out that the usurers were advancing inferior seed at 70 to 100 pounds Turkish, payable at cropping-time.

The land-tax is now got in with certainty, whereas formerly the Government never knew what to estimate for arrears; the post-office revenue is improving; exports and imports have gone up by about two millions; the cotton-crops are better; the sugar industry is rapidly increasing in Upper Egypt; the railway receipts are the highest on record; railway extension is going on, and plans and surveys for light railways are well advanced; agricultural roads are constructed; there are electric tramways and lighting in p. 151Cairo.  The light dues will be decreased this year.  The only relic of forced labour is a yearly diminishing amount for the protection of the Nile banks during the period of flood.  Crime is diminishing, and sanitary reform is progressing.  Education is advancing as far as possible, considering the deficiency of funds, and slavery is kept under.

As to the question when our work shall be done, and we English shall retire from Cairo, it is impossible, says Sir A. Milner, to give a definite answer.  It would be difficult to over-estimate what that work owes to the sagacity, patience, and fortitude of the British Ambassador.  The contrast between the Egypt of to-day and the Egypt as it was when he first took it in hand is the best testimony to his efficiency and wisdom.  All writers on Egypt agree in this.  ‘There is not a native,’ writes Mr. Wood, ‘that does not recognise at heart the benefits of the British occupation’—a remark which seemed to be to a certain extent true; but not quite to the extent Mr. Wood suggests.  ‘It is quite an anachronism,’ Sir A. Milner remarks, ‘to suppose that the interest of Egyptian finance centres in the debt, and that the financial authorities of the country are the mere bailiffs of the bondholders.’  As a matter of fact, now that it has been established that the resources of Egypt can bear the interest of the debt at its present rate, the last people whom an Egyptian Finance Minister need trouble himself about are the bondholders.  Except when an occasion presents itself to reduce the interest by the legitimate method of conversion, the debt need no longer have a foremost place in his mind.  ‘Even the Commissioners of the Caisse,’ writes Sir A. Milner, ‘who only meet to p. 152protect the creditors, and who from time to time, to justify their existence, get up a little fuss about some supposed danger to interests which in their hearts they know to be perfectly secure—even the Commissioners of the Caisse, I say, are more occupied now-a-days with employing their reserve fund in developing the wealth of the country than with needless anxieties about the coupon.’  Sir A. Milner has no doubt well weighed his words.  Of all the romances of finance there are few to be compared with the borrowings of Ismail, to whom is due the honour of having originated the Egyptian National Debt.



There are two things in Egypt which amply repay the traveller for his trouble.  One is the museum at Gizeh, and the other the pyramids, especially the Great Pyramid of Cheops.  I did them both in one day.  It is a pleasant ride from Cairo, on a road broad, well watered, and shaded all the way by large acacia-trees.  I did the museum first, though it will be a matter of regret to me that I had only an hour to visit a collection where one might usefully spend weeks, and that our guide indulged in an English almost as unintelligible to us as

      ‘The heathen Greek
That Helen spoke when Paris wooed.’

The palace which shelters the museum is said to have been built at a cost of nearly 5,000,000 sterling.  The edifice is placed in spacious grounds close to the river, just opposite the spot on the other side where Pharaoh’s daughter is said to have come to bathe when she discovered Moses.  It was opened by the Khedive in 1890.  The section devoted to the exhibition of papyri is remarkably interesting, but to most of us the gem of the collection is the splendid sarcophagus which p. 154contains the body of Rameses II., the persecutor of the Israelites.  The features of his face are well preserved, but his head does not give you any idea of any special intellectual capacity; and the face of his father, who lies close by, is almost that of a pure negro—that is, as far as I could make it out.  On one of the papyri is an inscription, of which I copy a portion, in order to Colossal Statue of Rameses II give the reader an idea of the piety of the ancient Egyptians:

‘When thou makest an offering to God, offer not that which He abominateth.  Dispute not concerning His mysteries.  The God of the world is in the light above the heavens, and His emblems are upon earth.  It is unto these that worship is paid daily.  When thou hast arrived at years of maturity, and art married and hast a house, forget never the pains which thou p. 155hast cost thy mother, nor the care which she has bestowed upon thee.  Never give her cause to complain of thee, lest she lift up her hand to God in heaven to complain of thee, and He listen to her complaint.’

It seems to me that we have a good deal to learn of the ancient Egyptians yet.

To the Pyramids it is a drive of about five miles.  When we reached them it was too hot for most of us to attempt climbing; yet several of our party did so, and came back delighted with the view they had thus gained over all the country round.  I need not describe the appearance of the Great Pyramid, standing as it does on the edge of the Libyan desert—an enormous pile of stones, up which it would be impossible to climb were it not for the help of the guides, who are remarkably skilful in aiding the traveller in the perilous ascent and the far more perilous descent, and at the same time remarkably pressing for backsheesh.  There is no evidence to show that the Pyramids were built for astronomical purposes, and the theory that the Great Pyramid was built as a standard of measurement is equally worthless.  Outwardly, they seem nothing but a pile of big stones, broad at the base, tapering at the top.  A French savant has asserted that the stones of the three Pyramids would make a wall round the frontier of France.  The Pyramid of Cheops was built b.c. 3733.  Its four sides measure in length about 755 feet at the base; its height is now 451 feet, but it is said to have been originally about 481 feet.

Of late, as I have shown, the trip to the Pyramids cannot well be easier or more agreeable.  In 1868 Sir p. 156Stafford Northcote thus describes his experiences: ‘We observed nothing particular till we reached the Nile, when the scene of crossing in the ferry-boats afforded us unmixed satisfaction.  The usual amount of noise in the streets at Cairo was as silence to the noise at the waterside.  Hosts of donkeys were being pushed, pulled, beaten, or shouted at, and eventually lifted into the boats, and then shoved off with loads Pyramid and Sphinx that looked very unmanageable.  We had a boat to ourselves, and our donkeys took their places in it like old stagers.  We had a pretty strong breeze in our favour, and sailed across easily enough, wondering how we were to get back again.  Soon after crossing, we came into the fine new road which the Viceroy has made to the Pyramids, and which is perfectly luxurious.  It is as wide as the Edgware Road, but not so hard, p. 157 The Great Sphinx. (From a photograph taken by Dr. W. Ogle,
February, 1888) p. 158and must be charming for a horse’s foot.  Avenues of acacias are planted all along it, and when these have grown to the size of those which line the earlier part of the road, the approach will be in delicious shade all the way.  Avenues of trees are inferior in dignity to avenues of sphinxes, but make pleasanter travelling.  We were seized on in the usual way and dragged up the Great Pyramid by the Arabs.  I could have got up a great deal better by myself, but it would have been contrary to all precedent, and might have led to an émeute.  It took me twenty minutes to go up, including a good stoppage for breath and another for a wrangle between two Arabs.  The view from the top was good, but one could not enjoy it much in the presence of such a crowd.  The first thing my Bedouin did was to go down on his knees and offer to cut my name, which I indignantly forbade.  He then proceeded to tender some coins (genuine antique, of course) at a suspiciously low price, and finally he urged me to come down quickly, in the hopes, no doubt, of getting hold of another victim.’

Sir Stafford adds that he admired the Sphinx, which is, in some respects, more interesting than the Pyramids themselves.  Now there is to be a tramway to the Pyramids.  But I fear the nuisance of the Arab guides shouting and pushing will remain a nuisance still.

As I sit under what little shade I can find on the burning sand, I am badgered to death by the dealers in imitation antiques and the donkey boys.  The white donkeys of Egypt are beautiful animals, and sometimes fetch a hundred pounds.  I have seen a gentleman whose donkey cost him that sum.  The value of the common donkey to be met with in the streets of Cairo p. 159is about seven pounds.  The finest donkeys in the world come from Cyprus.  The next best are those to be had at Syene, in Egypt.  I could tell much of the artfulness of the donkey-boys.  One of my companions was very stout, and did not think it right to gallop, on account of his weight.  ‘Me too fat,’ said he to the donkey-boy.  ‘No,’ replied the latter—‘not too fat; you fine man.’  Again, one of the ladies of our party was enjoying a ride, when the boy plaintively remarked: ‘Fine lady—fine donkey—poor donkey-boy!’  And the boy secured a little extra backsheesh.  I could fill a chapter with the smart sayings of the donkey-boys.  So far as I can make out, there is no need for the donkey-boy to travel to Ireland to kiss the Blarney-Stone.  Alas for him, I was deaf to all his flattery, and plunged on in the burning sand till I stood in the presence of the world-renowned Sphinx.

At first I was disappointed in the Sphinx, but, like Niagara, the more you look, the more you admire.  Poets and literary men have told us how it stands in the desert, and has stood for centuries, overlooking the eternal sands as nations and dynasties come and go.  In reality its position is by no means elevated, and you don’t see it till you are actually before it.  And yet one can in time realize something of that fine passage in ‘Eothen,’ written half a century ago, which tells how this unworldly Sphinx has looked down on ancient kings of Ethiopian and Egyptian origin, upon Greek and Roman, upon Arab and Ottoman conquerors, upon Napoleon, dreaming of an Eastern empire, upon battle and pestilence, and how it will remain watching when Islam will wither away, and the Englishman will plant a firm foot on the banks of p. 160the Nile.  Originally it was crowned with a helmet; the stone cap was only discovered as lately as 1896.  Mr. John Cook runs a four-horse coach to the Pyramids and back during the season, and thus, at the foot of the Sphinx, the present and the past meet and mingle.  The age of the Sphinx is unknown.  All that is certain is that it was the work of one of the kings of the ancient empire.  A stele discovered of the time of Thothmes, b.c. 1533, records that one day, during an after-dinner sleep, Hermachis appeared to Thothmes IV., and promised to bestow upon him the crown of Egypt if he would dig his image the Sphinx out of the sand.  Another inscription recently discovered shows that the Sphinx existed in the time of Cheops.  The Sphinx is here hewn out of the solid rock, but pieces of stone have been added when necessary.  The body is about 150 feet long, the paws are 50 feet long, the head is 30 feet long, the face is 14 feet wide, and from the top of the head to the base of the monument the distance is about 70 feet.  Originally there were probably ornaments on the head, the whole of which was covered with a limestone covering, and the face was coloured red.  Of these decorations scarcely any traces now remain, though they were visible towards the end of the last century.  The condition in which the monument now appears is due to the savage destruction of its features by the Mohammedan rulers of Egypt, some of whom caused it to be used for a target.  Around this imposing relic of antiquity a number of legends and superstitions have clustered in all ages.  A little to the south-east of the Sphinx stands the large granite and limestone temple excavated by M. Marriette in 1853.

p. 161And now I have done with the East, and my face is turned towards Marseilles.  I am once more on board the Midnight Sun, the quiet and repose of which are infinitely refreshing after the tumult and bustle of Egypt.  Long, long will I remember the gorgeous East—its heat, its confusion, its noise, its undying charm.  To enjoy Cairo, you must go and stop there a winter.  My fellow-passengers seem to have been lavish in their expenditure.  One gentleman alone of our party expended as much as £60 in the purchase of carpets and gold-embroidered cloths, and for the ladies the bazaars seem to have had peculiar charms.  I am sure Dr. Lunn deserves the hearty thanks of all our party for organizing what has proved to be such a gratifying time.  His brother and his secretary, Mr. Wight, have done all in their power to make us comfortable.  There was no hitch in any of the arrangements.  Carriages and hotels were all of the very best, and the cost of the whole trip was really remarkably small.  The ordinary traveller, making the trip on his own account, must have had to pay a great deal more, and experienced an amount of trouble and fatigue, and consequent loss of temper, of which we passengers by the Midnight Sun have had no conception.

The Doctor calls his tours educational ones, and provides us with lectures.  I did not much profit by the lectures, my hearing being, alas! rather defective; yet we all of us got a good deal of education during the course of our visit—the education which comes to all of us from the use of our eyes and ears, and the gift, or, rather, exercise, of common-sense.

I ought to mention that there is a very good hotel on your right just as you get to the Pyramids; many p. 162gentlemen I met were staying there, and spoke well of it.  Some years since a gentleman suffering from consumption built a house, and went to live there in the hope that the pure air of the desert would restore him to health.  It did not.  As is the case with so many consumptive people, the remedy was deferred too long.  Many are those who have gone to the desert to recover, but fade away and die, to the sorrow of those who loved them, simply because they have deferred the remedy too long.  On the decease of the builder of the house, it was greatly enlarged, and is now known as the Mena House Hotel.  Mena is the name of one of the most ancient Egyptian kings.  All round it stretches the desert right away to the great Sahara, and there Byron might have realized his dream—which, happily, he never realized, nor ever, perhaps, wished to—of the desert being his dwelling-place, with some fair spirit for his minister,

‘Where he might soon forget the human race,
And, hating no one, love but only her.’

It was well for the noble poet, whose fame will grow when that of our Poet Laureate and his brother rhymesters will have collapsed, that the elements did not hear his prayer and accord him his heart’s desire.  But a fellow might do worse than put up at the Mena Hotel, of which I, alas! only saw the outside.  One ought to stop some time at the Pyramids.  Mr. Pollard, who devotes considerable space to them—the last authority on the subject—says the rocks upon which they are built, ‘and the stones with which they are constructed, abound with small fossil shells, which, from their resemblance to money or coins, have caused p. 163this limestone to be called nummulite.  Other round, small shells, closely resembling lentils, are also found; the Arabs say that they were the food of the masons turned into stone.  The flora is interesting, though limited: an anthromis bearing its strong characteristic scent, but without petals; a very pretty small plant of the herbage family; and an umbelliferous plant smelling strongly of aniseed, were all much appreciated by the camels and snails.’

While I was there I saw no flowers, nor heard of any.  They had all withered under the scorching sun.



At length I gaze on the Nile—that marvellous river, the sources of which, though many have tried to find them, have only been discovered in our day.  The history of Egypt is the oldest known to us.  A large portion of its history can be constructed from the native records of the Egyptians, and those records are all to be found on the banks of the Nile.  Four thousand four hundred years before Christ, Mena, the first King of Egypt of whom we have a record, founded Memphis, having turned aside the course of the Nile and established a temple service there.  In the reign of Ammenehat, 2,300 years before Christ, special attention was paid to the rise of the Nile, and canals were made and sluices dug for irrigating the country; the rise of the Nile was marked on wells at Semnah, about thirty-five miles above the second cataract, and the inscriptions are visible to this day.  A thousand years later Seti I. is said to have built a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea.  Under the Roman Emperor Trajan the Nile and Red Sea Canal was reopened.  Egypt proper terminates at Syene: the territory south of that town and each side of the new Nile is called p. 165Nubia.  All Egypt depends upon the Nile; where the Nile does not flow all is barrenness—nothing but sand and rock.

The area of the land in Egypt available for cultivation is about 11,500 square miles; the Delta contains about 6,500 square miles, and the Nile Valley about 5,000.  The country seems to have been taken possession of by a people from the East about 5,000 years before Christ.  They found there an aboriginal people, with a dark skin and complexion.  The Egyptians generally called their land black (Kanit), and the term is appropriate, if we consider the dark rich colour of the cultivated land.  In the Bible Egypt is known as Ham.  All nations have held the land, and have sent their people thither.  But it is a curious fact that the physical type of the Egyptian fellah is exactly what it was in the earliest dynasties.

The river Nile is one of the largest rivers in the world.  It is formed by the junction of two great arms, the Blue Nile and the White; one rises in Abyssinia, at an elevation of about 10,000 feet above the level of the sea; the other, the true Nile, has its fountain-head in the Victoria Nyanza, a huge basin far below the level of the country.  The course of the Nile has been explored about 3,500 miles.  From Khartoum to Cairo the Nile falls about 400 yards; its width in its widest part is about 1,100 yards.  After entering Egypt, the Nile flows in a steady stream always to the north, and deposits the mud which is the life of Egypt.  The breadth of the Nile Valley varies from four to ten miles in Nubia, and from fifteen to thirty in Egypt.  The width of the area of cultivated land on each bank of the river in Egypt is never more than eight or nine p. 166miles.  The inundation caused by the descent of rain on the Abyssinian mountains commences at the cataracts in June, and in July makes a great show.  The rise of the Nile continues till the end of September when it remains stationary about three weeks.  In October it rises again, and attains its highest level.  When I saw it in November the waters had subsided, and the peasants were hard at work, making the best of their opportunity.

The ground was still too wet for ploughing, but gangs were turning up the soil with hoes, and sowing the seed.  It seemed to be simple work, under the blue sky and the bright sun.  There was no need for high farming; Nature did everything, and the toil of the labourer was richly rewarded.  It made me think of what Douglas Jerrold said of Australia—that it was a country so fertile that ‘if you but tickle her with a hoe she laughs with a harvest.’  And the harvest is wonderful.  Commercially, the Nile is a fortune to Cairo.  It is estimated that if all the land watered by the Nile were thoroughly cultivated, Egypt, for its size, would be one of the richest countries in the world.  Till the Cairo Waterworks were established, the people of Cairo depended solely on the water of the Nile; and in Cairo, as in Jerusalem, the water-carrier is still to be seen, bearing on his back a large black goatskin filled with water from the river.  At the Cairo railway-station he is always in evidence watering the platform and keeping down the dust.  The short legs of the goat cut off at the knee stick out in a most grotesque manner when the skin is full and round.  The neck forms the spout, and is held firmly in the left hand, to enable the carrier to sprinkle the contents where p. 167desired.  The weight of some of these large skins must be very considerable.  The skins used for wine are identical in form with these.

In ancient times there were near Cairo no less than seven branches of the Nile; only two now remain.  Very busy are the people who have to do with the Nile in the vicinity of Cairo.  A large open space at the end of one of the bridges is selected for the collection of the octroi duties levied upon all food and produce entering the city.  Here the fellaheen assemble daily, with their camels and asses laden with produce, or with droves of buffaloes and oxen, and flocks of sheep and goats.  The scene there is almost picturesque and animated.  Another bridge carried over a wide canal, which forms an important backwater to the hill, connects the western shore.  From this point roads radiate north, west, and south, each shaded by avenues of the acacia, so common in Egypt.  The Ghizeh road is the southern one, following the course of the river, always alive with boats with large triangular sails, always redolent of busy life.

Egypt without the Nile would be a desert.  ‘Anyone,’ says old Herodotus, the father of history, the truth of whose narrative every day becomes more apparent to everyone who sees Egypt, without having heard a word about it before, ‘must perceive, if he has only common powers of observation, that the Egypt to which the Greeks go in their ships is an acquired country, the gift of the Nile.’

The prosperity of the country depends upon its inundation: if it should prove excessive, and becomes what is termed a high Nile, towns and villages are sometimes swept away; if it should not rise above a p. 168certain height, it is called a low Nile—a large area will be left uncovered, and deficient crops will be the result.  Fortunately, a low Nile is of rare occurrence.  At one time, the only way of going up the Nile was by the dahabeah, a kind of yacht fitted up for the convenience of travellers, an expensive and dilatory mode of conveyance.  Now Mr. John Cook has a line of fine steamers, and the Nile and the journey up and down is done as safely and expeditiously as the trip by the Clacton Belle steamers up and down the Thames.  The voyage to Assouan and back is done in three weeks.  Facilities are afforded the traveller for the extension of his voyage to the second cataract.

Of course, the ancient Egyptians worshipped the Nile.  Hapi, the god of the Nile, is represented wearing a cluster of flowers on his head; he is coloured red and green, probably to represent the colours of the water of the Nile immediately before and just after the beginning of the inundation.  An illustration of this worship occurs upon a wall in Thebes, where a priest, in his painted robe, is offering incense, while others play on a harp, a guitar, and two reed pipes.  This is the song of one of the priests who lived 1,400 years before Christ:

‘Adoration to the Nile!  Hail, to thee, O Nile! who manifesteth thyself over this land, and comest to give life to Egypt; mysterious is the coming forth from the darkness, watering the orchards created by Ra (the sun-god), to cause all the cattle to live.  Thou givest the earth to drink, inexhaustible one.  Thou createst the corn; thou bringest forth the barley, causing the temples to keep holiday.  If thou ceasest thy toil and thy work, then all that exists is in anguish. . . .  None p. 169 A Tourist Streamer—Cook’s Nile Flotilla p. 170know the place where he dwells; none discover his retreat by the aid of a written spell.  All is changed by the inundation.  It is a healing balm for all mankind.  A festal song is raised for the harp with the accompaniments of the hand,’ etc.

In a valuable work on the Nile, written by Wallis Budge, Acting Assistant Secretary in the department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum, and published by Thomas Cook and Son, we have a beautiful illustration of the practical side of Egyptian theology, written by a scribe called Ani, who gives his son advice for behaviour in all the varied scenes of life.  It is taken from one of the papyri in the Egyptian Museum at Ghizeh:

‘If a man cometh to seek thy counsel, let this drive thee to look for information.

‘Enter not into the house of another; if a man asks thee into his house, it is an honour for thee.

‘Spy not upon the acts of another from thy house.

‘Be not the first to enter or leave an assembly, that thy name be not tarnished.

‘The sanctuary of God abhorreth noisy declamations.  Pray humbly, and with a loving heart whose words are spoken silently; God will then protect thee, and hear thy petitions, and accept thy offerings.

‘Consider what hath been.  Set before thee a correct rule of life as an example to follow.  The messenger of death will come to thee, as to others, to carry thee away; yea, he standeth ready.  Words will profit thee nothing, for he cometh—he is ready.  Say not, “I am a child; wouldst thou in very truth bear me away?”  Thou knowest not how thou wilt die.  Death cometh to meet the babe at his mother’s p. 171breast, even as he meeteth the old man who hath finished his course.

‘Take heed with all diligence that thou woundest no man with thy words.

‘Keep one faithful steward only and watch his deeds, and let thy hand protect the man who hath charge of thy house and property.

‘The man who hath received much and giveth little is as one who committeth an injury.

‘Be not ungrateful to God, for He giveth thee existence.

‘Sit not while another standeth, if he be older than thou or if he is thy superior.

‘Whosoever speaketh evil receiveth no good.’



What memories crowd on me as I step into the tug which is to take me and the rest of us, in a confused mass, stowed away amidst the luggage, to the Custom House at Marseilles, a fine, handsome building, apparently in the very heart of the town, with shipping of many nations all around; for has not Marseilles in our time come to be the headquarters of all those who, fearing the Bay of Biscay, have a mind to make their way along the historic shores, and on the blue waters of the Mediterranean?  As I leave the Custom House, a friend says to me: ‘I have soon got out.  You see, there is nothing lost by civility.  I took my luggage to one of the officers, took off my hat to him, and he came directly and let me go through.’  I replied to the effect that I was more successful, as I had been out a quarter of an hour before my friend, and I never took off my hat, but simply held out my Gladstone, which confirms me in my original idea, which, I mention for the benefit of travellers, that the real secret of getting one’s examination over is simply to have nothing for the Custom House officer to search.  p. 173 The New Harbour, Marseilles.  From Cassell’s ‘Cities
of the World’ p. 174Not that I deprecate civility; the more I travel in France, the more I appreciate it.  We English are a grand people—there are no better men on the face of the earth—but we might be a little more civil to one another.

And now I am in Marseilles, a clean, handsome, flourishing city, with an enormous population and an enormous trade; and naturally I think of the time—now more than a century ago—when the Marseillais set out for Paris.  ‘The notablest of all the moving phenomena of that time,’ writes Carlyle, ‘is that of Barbaroux’s “six hundred Marseillais who know how to die.”  A black-browed mass, full of grim fire,’ got together no one knows how—from the forçats, say some.  As they march through Lyons, the people shut their shops in fear.  ‘The Thought which works voiceless in this black-browed mass, an inspired Tyrtæus, Colonel Rouget de Lille, has translated into grim melody and rhythm; into his Hymn or March of the Marseillaise: luckiest musical-competition ever promulgated.  The sound of which will make the blood tingle in men’s veins; and whole Armies and Assemblages will sing it, with eyes weeping and burning, with hearts defiant of Death, Despot, and Devil.’

Marseilles is a far nobler city than it appears to the tourist as he rushes from the train to catch the steamer waiting to bear him far away.  High above the city, on a precipitous rock, from which you have a grand view of the place, and the harbour, and the far-off Mediterranean, stands the old Cathedral of Marseilles—Notre Dame de la Garde—a noble Romanesque p. 175 Marseilles p. 176building, with a gilt figure of the Virgin at the top, her arms extended as if to protect the city.  You reach it either by a winding road or a hydraulic lift, for the use of which you pay a trifle.  It was there the ancient inhabitants kept watch over sea and land.  In time a chapel was erected on its site, which became a place of pilgrimage for mariners and fishermen.  The present magnificent building was erected in 1864.  If only for the view, the visitor is well repaid for his trouble.  Hardly can you enjoy a more magnificent prospect, embracing the fair valley of the Rhone, the white houses of Marseilles stretching up the plain, the gray mountains of Spain in the far distance, the dazzling blue of the Gulf of Lyons, the dark towers of the fort, with the rocky, picturesque islands, with the Château d’If, whence, according to Dumas, Monte Cristo made his marvellous escape, beyond.  In the city itself, on a hill, whence you have also a fine view, is a grand new cathedral of imposing form and structure.  It was Sunday when I visited it; but there were not many people in it, though more in the heart of the city, where I tried to enter a church, it was so crowded that there really was no standing-room.  But even in Marseilles you must be cautious when the east wind blows.  It was there Dr. Punshon, the greatest Wesleyan orator of our time, caught the cold which laid the foundation of the illness that ultimately carried him off.

It has a very ancient history, this noble city of Marseilles.  It owes its origin to a tribe of Ionian Greeks, who, about 600 b.c., there founded a town that ultimately became the head of a Roman province.  In the contest between Pompey and Cæsar, the town p. 177wished to remain neutral, but Cæsar had need of gold, vessels, and harbours, and scrupled not for a moment to lay siege to it, which was maintained against him during the whole of his long and severe warfare with Afranius and Petreius in Spain, and was not taken till after the capture or dispersion of their legions.  The treatment of the town was so merciless, that from thenceforward, by Strabo’s account, it only preserved vestiges of its former prosperity and wealth.  However, Marseilles in time recovered from the blow, and chiefly by means of the book trade.  It seems to have become a miniature Athens.  France was especially distinguished by its aptitude and zeal for Roman learning.  At Marseilles there was an institution for Greek education and literature, which was visited, even in preference to Athens, by men of the highest rank.  A large institution of the same kind existed at Autun, and Tacitus calls that city the principal seat of Latin culture.  With respect to the book trade of Lyons, we have the testimony of the younger Pliny, when he states that he learned, with some surprise, from a friend that his own discourses and writings were publicly sold there.

In the time of the Crusades Marseilles became a busy place.  It is now wholly given up to trade, and flourishes accordingly.  Since 1850 it has become the head packet-station on the Mediterranean, and more and more frequented by English passengers, who can stay at gorgeous hotels, or more economical ones, according to the state of their finances.  If they only stop the day, they cannot do better than dine at the buffet attached to the railway-station, unless they wish to partake of the famous bouillabaisse of which Thackeray sung, and p. 178to which my friend—my lamented friend—George Augustus Sala, devoted many a learned paragraph in his ‘Table Talk’ in the Illustrated London News and elsewhere.  Woe is me!  I quite forgot all about it till just as I had to take the train to carry me away.  I shall never cease to regret that forgetfulness on my part.  It may be that I may live to repair it!

There was a time when this delicious delicacy could be had in Paris.  Some of us can still remember Thackeray’s beautiful ballad:

‘A street there is in Paris famous,
   For which no rhyme our language yields;
Rue Neuve des Petits Champs its name is,
   The New Street of the Little Fields.

‘And here’s our wish, not rich and splendid,
   But still in comfortable ease,
The which in youth I oft attended
   To eat a bowl of bouillabaise.’

But Marseilles lives on other things than its bouillabaisse—a rich soup or stew of all sorts of fish—not to be flippantly eaten, not to be lightly forgotten.  Some 2,000 vessels fill its capacious harbour.  In its lofty bonded warehouses are stored away the merchandise of many climes, and its soap-works and sugar-refineries are on an extensive scale.  In short, it is the Liverpool of France; but, alas for the pride of the Mersey, how much cleaner, brighter, grander! how much purer the smokeless atmosphere! how much lovelier the outlook over sea and land!  It was there that in 1797 that great French statesman, M. Adolphe Thiers, was born.  That acute judge of men and books, Abraham Hayward, who was at Paris before Thiers had risen, as he did at a later time, describes him, in p. 1791844, as ‘a little, insignificant man, till he gets animated, but wonderfully clever.’

The one drawback to Marseilles, the only cloud in its blue sky, is the drink; and I am glad to find that there is a good man there, Pastor Lenoir, who has taken up temperance work, and has carried it on very successfully.  Last year, for a novelty, in Marseilles he got up a temperance fête, which was a great success.  During the last twenty years drinking has greatly increased, and the drink-shops as well.  In 1876 there were in Marseilles 2,460 drink-shops; now there are 4,205—far too many, when we remember that the town has only 600 bakers’ shops and only 500 schools.  As a consequence, Dr. Rey shows that insanity has greatly increased, and that in the hospital of St. Pierre the proportion of insane patients whose disease can be traced to alcohol has increased from 15 per cent. to 31 per cent. of the patients admitted.  ‘The chief factor,’ he writes, ‘of these mental diseases is alcohol, and especially when to its intoxicating effects is added that of absinthe, and other vegetable substances which produce epilepsy and other similar evils.’  In this respect, Marseilles teaches us a lesson which it is well to remember at home.

In another way Marseilles is a lesson in favour of temperance work.  In the district of Villette the drinking classes chiefly dwell.  It is a narrow, dirty court, opening on a series of alleys; in the centre runs an open gutter—the only drainage of the place—while on either side are small one-storied houses, called cabanons, let for about eight shillings a month.  They are let to the poorest of the poor, and abound with dirt and large families and drunkenness; the three in p. 180France, as in England, generally go hand in hand.  The air is stifling, the odours insupportable; and when the sun pours down in the middle of summer, and the hot sirocco-like wind blows, the condition of matters is unbearable.  As I write I see the people of Marseilles, in fear of the plague, will not permit travellers from the East, under any pretence whatever, to land there.  They had much better look at home, and reform their own sanitary arrangements in such districts as Villette.  It is there the good Protestant pastor, connected, I believe, with the McAll Mission in Paris, labours unweariedly with a band of fellow labourers as devoted as himself.  I give the story of one of his rescued men, as an illustration of labour-life in the fair city of Marseilles:

‘Thibaut is a strong, muscular man, who worked as a docker, and could carry 140 kilos of wool on his shoulders from six o’clock to twelve o’clock without taking rest.  He was an inveterate drunkard, and had on one occasion swallowed thirty-five glasses of absinthe, raw, in a day.  For thirty years he had never set foot in a church, and his wife had died from the effects of his ill-treatment.  Once, in a fit of drunkenness, he threw all that was left of furniture in their miserable home into the street, including the stove, which was alight, and on which their bit of dinner was cooking.  He dragged his wife when ill from her bed by her hair, and threw her into the street.  The day of her death he was found drunk in a public-house, and he followed the remains to the grave reeling.  He lived in the famous “Grand Salon,” in a miserable hut of planks, the most filthy hovel imaginable.  Thibaut was not over-scrupulous as to how he got the drink, without p. 181which he could not exist.  There are many ways in which a docker can steal from the cargoes he discharges without being found out.  For instance, there is a way of letting fall a case of wine or cognac, so as to break one bottle, the contents of which then can be quickly absorbed.  Like most French workmen, he wore trousers very baggy at the top, and tied round the ankles.  Such trousers can be made to hold about four pounds of tea or coffee, or such like, and many a time Thibaut has walked past the searchers at the dock-gates with his stock of groceries, and has never been detected.’

He was nearly falling a victim to his drunken habits more than once.  They are now rejoicing over him at Marseilles, for he that was dead is now alive again.  The lost one is found.

If the traveller has time to spare, let him by all means pay Arles a visit, where there is a fine Roman amphitheatre, or rather the remains of one.  Very early Arles became distinguished in Church history—I was going to say Christian history; but, alas, at that time the bitter disputes and dissensions in the Church bore little traces of the teachings or the example of Christ.  In a.d. 314, when, as Gibbon writes, Constantine was the protector, rather than the proselyte of Christianity, he referred the African controversy to the Council of Arles, in which the Bishops of York, of Treves, of Milan, and of Carthage, met as friends and brethren to debate, in their native tongue, on the common interests of the Latin or Western Church.  One ancient writer says there were 600 bishops there, but this is probably an exaggerated account of their number.  The subject, of course, was the nature of p. 182the Trinity, the discussions on which, inflamed with passion, had filled the Churches with fury, and sedition, and schism—a fury which excites the wonder of the modern less heated Christian Church.

It was at Arles, at a later period, Constantine repaired to celebrate in its palace, with intemperate luxury, a vain and ostentatious triumph—his military success against the Goths.  It was at Arles, the seat at that time of government and commerce, a.d. 418, that the Emperor Honorius, in a solemn address, filled with the strongest assurances of that paternal affection which, as Gibbon writes, sovereigns so often express but rarely feel, convened an annual assembly consisting of the Pretorian Prefect of the Gauls; of seven provincial governors, one consular and six presidents; of the magistrates, and perhaps the bishops, of sixty cities; and of an indefinite number of leading landed proprietors.  They were empowered to interpret the laws of their sovereign, to expose the wishes and grievances of their constituents, to moderate the excessive or unequal weight of taxes, and to deliberate on every subject of local and national importance that would tend to the restoration of peace and prosperity to the seven provinces.  It was a step in the right direction.  It was a step that might have tended, if universally followed, at any rate, to retard the decay and decline of the Roman Empire.  But the Emperor found that the people were not ready to accept the proffered boon.  A fine of three, or even five, ounces of gold was imposed on the absent representatives.  Honorius was in advance of his age—in politics as great a blunder as being behind it.  It was not till centuries of oppression and misgovernment that the rights of man were p. 183practically won for France, and that Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity became the watchwords of the people.

Arles was very early peopled by a colony from Central Italy, and very remarkable is the physique of its inhabitants.  The late Lord Malmesbury, Lord Derby’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, writes: ‘The women are remarkably handsome, but entirely of the Etruscan type, with magnificent dark hair and eyes, good teeth, and fair complexions.  They have beautiful round throats, set on fine shoulders and busts, but their legs are much too short for their general build.’  I am, of course, not a judge of such matters, and I prefer to copy from Lord Malmesbury, who, as a Foreign Minister and a frequent guest both at the Courts of England and France, and a high-born aristocrat as well, had opportunities for the pleasing study of woman far superior to any possessed by an ordinary scribe.  He had a good opportunity of seeing the population, as it was a fête day when he favoured the city with his presence.  He continues: ‘There were games in the square, such as climbing a greased pole for a leg of mutton placed at the top, which no one succeeded in winning.  The women were all in costume, with black veils, worn like the mantilla.  I noticed that the men were remarkably plain, sallow, under-sized and narrow-chested—in every way a remarkable contrast to the women.’  As indeed they are, or ought to be, all the world over.

In the neighbourhood is a hermit’s cell, very curiously contrived in the rock, where there was a secret way of escaping to the deeper recesses and hiding in case of danger.  There was the stone bed of the hermit who is said to have been the first to introduce Christianity p. 184into the province.  His name is held in high esteem and a church is dedicated to his memory.  It was upon the plains adjoining that Charles Martel gained his final victory over the Saracens.  The Roman amphitheatre in Arles is in a fine state of preservation, with towers added in the Middle Ages.

Soldiers have a mission hall to themselves in Marseilles, which is full of them, and to the hall many come for peace and light.  The aggregate attendance is set down at nearly 6,000.  The hall offers them a warm, comfortable room, well lighted, with books, games, newspapers, and other conveniences.  A lady gives them elementary lessons in French, arithmetic, reading, and writing.  When the soldiers sailed to Madagascar they took with them, in spite of the priests, 3,000 copies of the New Testament.  The labours of the agents of the McAll Mission are numerous and persevering.  Last year they held about 500 meetings for adults.  They have five schools for children, besides two sewing schools for girls.  There are three mothers’ meetings, with a fair attendance, and a mission choir does good work.

Of more recent formation, and perhaps less well known, is the Society of Christian Endeavour.  It has given proof of its existence in various ways.  It was the Endeavourers who organized four series of lectures, of three each, which were given in the halls of the Grand Chemin de Toulon and the Boulevard de Strasbourg.  Friends were much encouraged to see each time a large and attentive audience; the lectures had been announced by means of handbills distributed in profusion throughout the district.  The society takes charge also of the visitation of the sick, and the p. 185distribution of tracts in the suburbs, at the gates of the factories and workshops, etc.  Some of the sisters have taken to heart the work among fallen women, and in one case, at least, they have been able to snatch one of these poor creatures from her life of sin, and place her in a neighbouring refuge.  And so good work gets done, quietly and unobtrusively.

There were put in circulation last year through the Librairie Evangélique 12,000 almanacks, 4,500 Bibles and Testaments, 1,000 tracts, 1,000 books of various kinds, and 600 copies of the Relévement.  Open Bibles and Testaments are constantly displayed also in the large shop-window, where the passers-by can stop and read at their leisure—a thing which a goodly number of them do not fail to do.  Nor are the Italians, of whom there are many in the town, overlooked.  But I pass on

‘To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
I turn, and France displays her bright domain;
Gay, sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
Pleased with thyself whom all the world can please.’

And pleasant recollections come to us of Oliver Goldsmith, who, as he tells us, oft led

            ‘The sportive choir
With tuneless pipe beside the murmuring Loire.’

The traveller who does as the writer did—leaves the train at Marseilles, and travels home slowly, will find as much pleasure in that little trip as in any part of his pilgrimage to the East.



Leaving Marseilles, the place at which I tarried next was Avignon, where I had comfortable and cheap quarters at the Hôtel Grillon.  It was there I saw the only drunken man that came under my notice in France.  It was market-day, and the town was full of country-folk, many of whom came to my hotel for the excellent déjeuner provided for guests; amongst then was an individual—not a farmer, for he did not wear a blouse—who managed, in spite of the fact that he had had quite enough, to consume the quart bottle of vin ordinaire which, in French country hotels, every one is supposed to take at lunch and drink.  The allowance was too much for me.  The lunch in every case was so excellent and tempting that I could not manage another heavy meal, and was glad to content myself with tea.  One thing surprised me at all the country hotels, and that was the predominance of the military element.  At every meal there were great numbers of officers present, and, so far as I could judge by the way in which these sons of Mars did justice to the good things provided, all in first-rate physical condition.  p. 187Avignon is full of soldiers—we met them everywhere.  All round the place the old walls seemed turned into barracks.

I stopped at Avignon to see the burial-place of John Stuart Mill.  He was fond of Avignon, and spent a great deal of his life there.  I am afraid, on the whole, he was rather a hard, cold man.  He had a sister living in Paris, but, often as he passed through it, he never went to see her.  I suppose he had learnt a good deal from Godwin’s ‘Political Justice,’ which had a great influence at one time among superior people, I remember, when I read it many years ago.  You never see the book now.  Godwin shows how wrong is the indulgence of social and family affection.  Perhaps the philosopher’s way of looking at such things is the right one, after all.  As I was sitting with a friend, a philosopher, on board the Midnight Sun, a gentleman, to whom we were neither of us particularly attached, passed us.  ‘I think I could save that man’s life,’ I said.  ‘Why should you?’ he asked; ‘ought we not to think of the greatest happiness of the greatest number?’  The reply was irresistible, and I acquiesced.  ‘Is it not the survival of the fittest,’ I asked myself, ‘that best accords with Nature’s scheme?  “If,” says Godwin, “you are in a boat with your father and a philosopher, and you meet with an accident, you are to save the philosopher and leave your father to perish.”’

Mill’s philosophy seems to have been of a similar character.  At any rate, his sister’s husband complained much, to an acquaintance of mine, of the philosopher’s neglect.  But his worship of Mrs. Taylor, who afterwards became his wife, was intense.  They p. 188sleep together in the same grave in the cemetery, a mile or two out of Avignon.  On the tomb is the inscription: ‘John Stuart Mill, born 20 May, 1806, died 4 May, 1873,’ and that is all.  On the surface of the tomb—a plain white flat one—is a long eulogium of his wife, who had died before him.  Her influence, the inscription records, has been felt in many of the greatest improvements of the age, and will be felt in time to come.  Following her life, we are told, this earth would become the type of heaven.  Her death is described as ‘an irreparable loss.’  The grave is separated by an iron rail from the rest, and is fringed with a few evergreens.  It is plain and simple, and certainly much more in accordance with English taste than the rest.

One should visit the cemetery, if only to see what a French cemetery is—all glitter and glass, for many of the flowers placed on the tombs are under glass, and the place was quite dazzling in the summer—or, rather, the autumn—sun.  The ground is carefully laid out, and well planted with trees and flowering shrubs.  It seems to me of considerable extent, and people come there every day to place fresh flowers on the graves of those they love.  It was early in the morning when I was there, yet a good many ladies were engaged in their pious work.  By most of the graves were chairs placed for the mourners, who love to repair to such a place.  It is evident that family affection is strong in France.

Avignon, I should think, is a pleasant place in which to reside, with its mild atmosphere and a nice country all round.  There is a broad promenade (if a short one), with a monument to a native worthy, and trees; p. 189 The Castle of the Popes, Avignon.  From Cassell’s
‘Cities of the World.’ p. 190but away in the interior the streets are narrow and ill-fashioned.  It boasts a cathedral, a museum, and an Hôtel de Ville, and tramcars run backward and forward all day long.  In the early days of the French Revolution it was all for union and the ‘Contrat Social’ of the worthy Jean Jacques Rousseau; and yet it burst forth with its 15,000 brave brigands, headed by Jourdain.  In 1789 the French Assembly declared that Avignon and the Comtat were incorporated with France, and that His Holiness the Pope should say what indemnity was reasonable.

‘Papal Avignon,’ writes Carlyle, in his wonderful ‘French Revolution,’ ‘with its castle rising sheer over the Rhone-stream; beautifullest town, with its purple vines and gold-orange groves; why must foolish old rhyming Réné, the last sovereign of Provence, bequeath it to the Pope and gold tiara—not rather to Louis XI. with the Leaden Virgin in his hatband?  For good and for evil!  Popes, Antipopes, with their pomp, have dwelt in the Castle of Avignon rising sheer over the Rhone-stream; there Laura de Sade went to hear Mass; her Petrarch twanging and singing by the Fountain of Vaucluse hard by, surely in a most melancholy manner.’

Speaking of Petrarch, naturally one’s thoughts turn to Rienzi, the Italian liberator, who fell because the Roman people were not at that time prepared for freedom.  ‘When,’ writes Lord Lytton, in his splendid novel, ‘Rienzi,’ ‘the capital of the Cæsars witnessed the triumph of Petrarch, the scholastic fame of the young Rienzi had attracted the friendship of the poet—a friendship that continued, with a slight exception, to the last.’

p. 191Rienzi was one of the Roman deputies who had been sent to Avignon to supplicate Clement VI. to remove the Holy See back to Rome.  It was on this mission that Rienzi for the first time gave indication of his extraordinary power of eloquence and persuasion.  The pontiff, indeed, more desirous of ease than glory, was not convinced by the arguments, but he was enchanted with the pleader, and Rienzi returned to Rome laden with honours and clothed with the dignity of high and responsible office.  No longer the inactive scholar, the gay companion, he rose at once to pre-eminence amongst all his fellow-citizens.  Never before had authority been borne with so austere an integrity, so uncorrupt a zeal.  He had thought to impregnate his colleagues with the same loftiness of principle, but in this respect he had failed.  Now, secure in his footing, he had begun openly to appeal to the people, and already a new spirit seemed to animate the populace of Rome.  According to modern historians, Petrarch and Rienzi went to Avignon together, but, says Lord Lytton, it was more probable that Rienzi’s mission was posterior to that of Petrarch.  However that may be, it was at Avignon that Petrarch and Rienzi became most intimate, as Petrarch observes in one of his letters.  Perhaps it would have been better for Italy and better for the Roman Catholic Church had they never returned to Rome.  If the reader doubts this, let him read Zola’s ‘Rome.’  It was in 1309 that Clement moved his Court thither, and for sixty-eight years, until 1377, Avignon continued to be the Papal residence.  The six successors of Clement V., all of them Frenchmen, like himself, were regarded by the Italians with feelings of dislike p. 192and contempt.  They were little more than the ecclesiastical agents of the French monarchy.

The climax in the history of Avignon was reached when, in 1309, Clement V. removed thither from Rome, and made Avignon the seat of the Roman Pontiff and the metropolis of Christendom.  By land, by sea, by the Rhone—the position of Avignon, writes Gibbon, was at all times accessible—the southern provinces of France do not yield to Italy itself; new palaces arose for the accommodation of the Pope and Cardinals, and the arts of luxury were soon attracted by the treasures of the Church.  A part of the adjoining country had long belonged to the Popes, and the sovereignty of Avignon was purchased from the youth and distress of Jane, the first Queen of Naples and Countess of Provence.

Under the shadow of the French monarchy, amidst an obedient people, the Popes enjoyed a tranquillity to which they had long been strangers.  Italy deplored their loss, but the Sacred College was filled with French Cardinals, who regarded Rome and Italy with abhorrence and contempt.  What remains of the Papal Palace is now turned into barracks, of which you get a good view from the station as you leave for Lyons or Paris.  Dr. Arnold, who paid it a passing visit, was struck with horror by the sight of its dungeons.  From Avignon the Pope prosecuted a bitter persecution of his neighbours, the Waldenses.  The King of France was alarmed, and sent an officer to inquire into the matter.  The report was favourable.  ‘Then,’ said the King, ‘they are much better Christians than myself or Catholic subjects, and therefore they shall not be persecuted.’  He was as good as his p. 193word, and the Pope at Avignon had for a time to forbear, or Avignon might have had as bloody a record as Rome itself.  But at Avignon they do not think of these things.  All round the old city are the mulberry trees and the silkworms; and the farmers want protection for their native industry, and to keep foreign raw silk out of the market.



In one of the first books which used to be placed in the hands of young people when I was a lad—Fox’s ‘Book of Martyrs’—we get rather an unpleasant idea of Lyons.  ‘There,’ writes old Fox, ‘the martyrs were condemned to sit in iron chains till their flesh broiled.  Some were sewn up in nets and thrown on the horns of wild bulls, and the carcases of those who died in prison previous to the time of execution were thrown to dogs.  Indeed, so far did the malice of pagans proceed that they set guards over the bodies while the beasts were devouring them, lest the friends of the deceased should get them by stealth, and the offal not devoured by the dogs was ordered to be burnt.’  After this we get a little indignant as we turn to Gibbon, and read of the mild and beneficent spirit of the ancient polytheism, which seems to find such favour in his eyes.  To-day all is changed.  Christians, in the shape of Roman Catholics, have it all their own way; yet one of the handsomest places of worship I saw was that of the Reformed Church.  One of the earliest reformers, Waldo, the leader of the Albigenses, was born at Lyons.

p. 195The McAll Mission is doing a good work at Lyons, though in some districts they have to report a falling off.  They seek to get hold of the children, but they find in this respect the priests are as active as themselves.  By means of the œuvres de patronage founded by the Catholics many of the children are drawn away.  In one of the immense remote suburbs of Lyons the mothers’ meeting plays an important part in the work of evangelization.  In many quarters Bible-readings have been found to be very successful, and there is a Y.M.C.A., to which many young men belong.  As a rule, French Protestantism is not aggressive, else it would not be what it is to-day.  Still, during the last few years the churches have waked up wonderfully, and much good has been the result.  Be this as it may, Lyons is the finest city next to Paris that France can boast of.  It has a population of about half a million, and the Rhone runs through it, adding much to its picturesqueness, as its banks are lined with stately houses and offices and shops.  There are some twenty bridges over the river, most of them very handsome.  At night you seem a little lonely as you watch the long rows of lamps that glitter along the banks.  But by day the picture is reversed: there is busy life everywhere, and so clean and handsome are the buildings that you can scarcely realize that Lyons is planted with silk-mills, and that, in fact, it is the centre of the great silk trade of France.  The trees, planted everywhere on the quays, which are used as promenades, make it a very charming residence.

Lyons has a very ancient history.  It was adorned by successive Roman Emperors, and became the capital of Gaul.  It was the principal mart for the p. 196Western provinces of the Empire.  Agrippa made it the starting-point for four great military roads that traversed Gaul.  Suddenly it disappeared.  As Seneca writes: ‘There was but one night between a great city and nothing.’  Aided by Nero, however, it speedily rose from its ashes.  The city fared badly in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.  Alaric, the scourge of God, sacked it.  In 571 the Lombards ravaged it; in 715 the Saracens appeared, and left it a heap of ruins.  Under Charlemagne it became a city of light and learning.  Towards the end of the ninth century it came under the rule of the Archbishops and Chapter of St. John.  In 1312 Philip le Bel annexed the city to France.  The Lyons of to-day is a stately city, splendidly situated at the junction of the Rhone and the Saone—a junction which gave the great Pitt a fine passage in one of his finest speeches.

The Lyonnais, says the writer of an excellent account of Lyons in Cassell’s ‘Cities of the World,’ think the Place Bellecour the finest square in Europe.  It is planted with trees, and ornamented with basins and fountains and two elegant pavilions, and is a very favourite promenade of the people of Lyons, especially when the military band plays.  According to some, the name is derived from bella curia, and denotes the site of a Roman tribunal.  In the Middle Ages the Place was a muddy swamp, often covered by the waters of the Rhone; it was gradually drained and improved by the Consulate, and surrounded with fine buildings.  After the Peace of Utrecht, a bronze statue of Louis le Grand—the King who, by revoking the Edict of Nantes, nearly ruined Lyons, to please the Maintenon and her Jesuit p. 197 The Place Belleour, Lyons.  (From Cassell’s ‘Cities
of the World.’) p. 198friends—was set up in the centre.  At the Revolution of 1792 the statue was pulled down and broken up.  Some proposed simply to replace the King’s head with a head of Brutus, but the multitude would not hear of it.  On this spot perished some of the first victims of the fusillade in the terrible siege by the Republican army in the following year.  When the siege was over, Couthon set his troop of démolisseurs to work, and the beautiful façades of the Place Bellecour were soon irretrievably ruined, and the subsequent erections have not reproduced the monumental character of the original buildings.  The Place was still covered with débris when, in April, 1805, the populace of the city, upon their knees, received the blessing of Pope Pius VII., who was then in France as the half-guest, half-prisoner, of Napoleon.  On March 11, 1815, the Orleans princes hastened from the town as the advance guard of Napoleon, returning from Elba, was crossing the Pont de la Guillotière.  On the morrow the Emperor reviewed 15,000 soldiers in the Place Bellecour, amidst the acclamations of the populace.  But the Empire passed away, and in 1825 the restored King placed a second statue of Louis XIV. in the centre of the Place.

Churches abound in Lyons.  One of them, that of St. Nizien, in memory of a bishop of that name, is placed on the spot where one of its martyr bishops, St. Pothinus, assembled his flock.  It has been rebuilt many times, and is interesting not only as the cradle of Christianity in Lyons—it was also the cradle of its civil liberty.  Here the growing commune met in the days of its resistance to the bishops, and the bell of the ancient tower used to call the citizens together to elect p. 199their magistrate.  Near the Church of Ainay was the ancient Forum, where Greeks, Orientals, Africans, Gauls, and Spaniards met to exchange the products of their various commerce.  In the Forum was an altar dedicated to the Emperor Augustus and Rome, and near it was the Temple of Augustus.  In the church was sacredly preserved some hair of the Virgin Mary, and part of the cradle and some of the swaddling clothes of our Saviour.  In the western part of the city, beyond the Saone, are found some very interesting churches.  St. Irénée was built by the Bishop St. Patient in the fifth century.  In the crypt is a well into which, according to tradition, the bodies of 19,000 Christians were thrown when the Emperor Severus revenged himself on Lyons for its adherence to the cause of Albinus.  Nearer to the river stands the Church of St. Just.  In connection with it was a vast monastery, with massive walls and towers.  In its cloisters many sovereigns found a safe asylum.  Innocent IV. was one, another was the Regent Louise, while her son Francis I. was fighting in Italy, and here she received the famous letter after the Battle of Pavia: ‘All is lost except honour.’

Still nearer to the river stands the Church of St. Jean Baptiste, the Cathedral of Lyons.  In one of the chapels attached to the church was some wood of the true cross; in another is preserved the heart of St. Vincent de Paul.  The Chapter of the Cathedral of Lyons was the most important body of clergy in France; they were thirty-two in number, all Counts of Lyons, the rank of Premier Canon being held by the reigning King of France.  Amongst the remarkable events that have occurred here was the Council p. 200General of 1245, when Innocent IV. hurled the thunders of the Church against Frederick II., and where, for the first time, the Cardinals wore the red dress to distinguish them from other prelates.  In 1274 a Council General held here formed a short-lived union of the Latin and Greek Churches.  In this church Henry II., Emperor of Germany, performed mass, in one of his efforts to desert his throne and take Holy Orders.  And here, in 1600, Henry of Navarre renewed his marriage with Marie de Medicis.  Close by is the Archiepiscopal Palace, the magnificent apartments of which have accommodated many kings and queens and eminent personages.  Napoleon passed a night here on his return from Elba.  On that awful St. Bartholomew’s Day, in the courtyard of the Palace, 300 Protestants were murdered.

Thence you ascend by steep and narrow steps to the Church of Notre Dame, on the hill of St. Fourvières.  All round are priestly residences and numerous shop for the sale of ecclesiastical millinery.  Higher up are the merchants who deal in rosaries, devotional pictures, medals, and wax models of different parts of the body, for offerings in the church, when the time comes for the multitudes of pilgrims who throng thither to obtain pardon of sin and restoration of health.  One would have thought that an anachronism in the France of to-day; but we know how credulity reigns rampant, in spite of the philosopher, in every nation in the world.  It was our Thomas à Becket, who spent part of an exile in Lyons, who seems to have suggested a church on this spot.  In 1643 Lyons was ravaged by a terrible pest, and the municipality dedicated Lyons to Notre Dame in perpetuity, and until p. 201the Revolution of 1789 the whole city celebrated, on the Feast of the Nativity, the anniversary of the event.  Pope Pius, in 1805, superintended the rededication of the building to Divine worship, and, amidst a grand display of flags, discharge of cannon, and ringing of bells from the summit of the hill, blessed the city of Lyons, as Innocent had done centuries before.  In December, 1852, Lyons was en fête day and night, on the occasion of the planting of a colossal statue of the Virgin on the top of the tower.  Like ancient Ephesus, it lived on its saints.  Happily, unlike Ephesus, it stuck to trade, and became wealthy, and populous, and great.  The Quai de St. Clair is the finest in Lyons, and was formerly the rendezvous of merchants and foreigners, and the centre of Lyonese trade.  One of the many quays in Lyons, that known as Les Etroit, a charming promenade, is associated with the memory of Rousseau, in the days of his youthful poverty.

Its modern Hôtel de Ville is held to be one of the handsomest in Europe, and that is saying a great deal when we think of Brussels or Louvain.  Its cathedral of St. Jean Baptiste took three centuries to build.  The city is one of the Roman Catholic strongholds, and to some of its churches resort every year as many as 1,500,000 pilgrims, who obtain similar privileges to those accorded to the devotees at Loretto.

Now that Lyons is at peace, it exports to England, America, and Russia, manufactured silks to the amount of £18,000,000 yearly.  It is to Jacquard that it owes its silk manufacture, and a statue of him properly graces the city.  For many years it had been renowned for its manufactures, but in 1802, a workman originally, Jacquard lived to revolutionize p. 202the silk trade, and laid the foundation of its present prosperity.  Its workshops for the construction of machinery, its manufactories of chemical products and coloured papers, are justly celebrated; but it is from the production of its silk fabrics that Lyons derives its chief fame.  This industry, in which Lyons has no rival, was first brought from Italy.  Florentines, Genoese, and others, driven away by revolutions, did for France what in after-times expatriated Frenchmen did for other countries to which they were compelled to flee by reason of tyranny at home.  By decree of Louis XI., experienced workmen settling at Lyons were exempt from taxes levied on other inhabitants.  Twelve thousand silk-weavers were busy at work in Lyons by the middle of the sixteenth century.  At the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, it seemed as if the silk industry was about to be annihilated.  More than three-fourths of the looms were silenced; but in the course of a couple of generations the industry resumed its former proportions, and steadily increased, till Lyons became par excellence the city of beautiful silks.  The Lyonnese silk-weavers mostly work in their own dwellings.  A man with his family will keep from two to six or eight looms going, often employing journeymen.  The silk-merchants of Lyons, about 600 in number, supply the patterns and the silk; there are about 40,000 looms at work in the city and in the vicinity.  Formerly, the weavers were nearly all grouped together in the northern part of the city, but the employers, in order to lessen the influence of the close trade organizations, have succeeded in distributing the industry throughout the neighbouring villages, though La Croix-Rousse p. 203still holds the lion’s share.  Its silks still maintain their prestige.  The Empress of Germany last year purchased at Lyons white silk, with flowers, birds, and foliage in relief, at twenty-five pounds a yard, five-sixths of the price being the actual value of the raw silk.  She intended to have a dress made of it, but it was so beautiful that she used it for a curtain.  This is believed to be the highest priced silk goods ever made.  Louis XIV. paid twelve pounds a yard for the cloth-of-gold material of which his dressing-gown was made.  Lyons has been the birthplace of many distinguished and illustrious personages—Germanicus, and the Emperors Claudius and Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-king; the ruler who preferred the solitude of the student to the splendour of the palace; the soldier who loved the arts of peace better than the glory of war; who left to the world his ‘Meditations,’ which, even at this era of the world’s history, it does us good to read.  Another native of Lyons whose works were at one time much read in England was J. B. Say, the famous political writer.  Another of the modern glories of Lyons was Louise Labé, the Lyons Sappho, surnamed La Belle Cordière.  Another was Roland, the great statesman, the husband of a yet more illustrious wife.  Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, was one of the victims of what Fox terms the fifth general persecution, and it is generally supposed that the account of the persecution in Lyons was written by him.  He was beheaded in a.d. 202.

‘Lyons,’ says the Guide-Book, ‘embraced with ardour the cause of the Revolution, and it suffered frightfully in consequence; but the Patriots knew nothing of the dark days to come, as they formed p. 204one bright May morning the Federation of Lyons, in which some fifty or sixty thousand of its citizens took part.  What a picture Carlyle gives us of the Lyons guardsmen meeting at five on the Quai de Rhone, marching thence to the Federation Field, amid waving of hats and ladies’ handkerchiefs, great shoutings of some two hundred thousand patriot voices and hearts—the beautiful and brave! ‘amongst whom, courting no notice, and yet notablest of all, what queen-like figure is this, with her escort of house friends and Champagneux, the Patriot editor?  Radiant with enthusiasm are those dark eyes in that strong Minerva face, looking dignity and earnest joy—joy-fullest she where all is joyful!  It is Roland de Platière’s wife; that elderly Roland, King’s inspector of manufactures here, and now likewise, by popular choice, the strictest of our new Lyons Municipals—a man who has gained much, if worth and faculty be gain; but, above all things, has gained to wife Philipon, the Paris engraver’s daughter.  Reader, mark that queen-like burgher woman, beautiful, graceful to the eye, much more so to the mind.’

Lyons had a bitter awakening—famine, ruin, and despair; a long siege and an awful doom.  The cry in Paris is, ‘Lyons has rebelled against the Republic; Lyons is no more.’  The infamous Fouché is there, and the hangman follows.  There is no end to the fusillading and filibustering, and mangled corpses float down the Rhone.  The picture is too awful; let us draw the curtain, and think of Madame Roland, as in her grace and glory she helped to give—alas! in vain—freedom to Lyons and to France.  I think of her as I take the train, and bid adieu to a city so splendid p. 205and so replete with associations, some pleasant, others much the reverse.  Under the Consulate and the Empire Lyons once more rose to life and prosperity.  Bonaparte did much for the city in the way of restoration.  In 1829 General La Fayette, that mild, well-meaning, but mistaken man, came there to receive an ovation.  Once more Lyons throbbed with joy.  But its troubles were not over.  In 1831 the workmen rose in revolution, and the Duke of Orleans and Marshal Soult had to come there to put it down.  This was followed by a disastrous inundation, and in 1849, and again in 1870, it was on the point of and was in connection with the Commune of Paris, which had active agents there.  The French ouvrier is always discontented, and has no faith in God; yet Lyons is still the second city of France, in spite of the fact that not long since the President of the French Republic was assassinated there.



As an illustration of what a French provincial town is in the way of hotels, I would take Dijon, where I stopped a night on my way from Lyons to Paris.  From Marseilles to Dijon the country is interesting, giving fine views of the valley of the Loire and hills and mountains far away.  From thence to Paris the ride is uninteresting.  I suppose a great many people stop at Dijon, as it abounds in magnificent hotels, all of which seem to flourish.  I put up at the Hôtel de Jura, close to the railway-station, and I feel as proud as a lord as I enjoy the luxury of that well-appointed hotel.  My bedroom is delicious, very unlike that of an English hotel.  Everyone in the house seems smiling and civil.  The dining-room is large and lofty, the cuisine is excellent, and the smoking-room is elegantly furnished, as much so as a drawing-room in England.  I feel that I am in France, and that there they manage better than they do with us.  I go into the shop, and the shopkeeper and his men all wear the blue blouse of the country.  If I buy anything, it is done up for me in the most careful manner, and so profuse are the thanks of the shopkeeper and his wife that I leave with a p. 207feeling that my visit has been a real benefit to the town.

There is much to see in Dijon; it is an ancient city, formerly the capital of Burgundy, and still the headquarters of its extensive wine trade.  Let us hope that the dealers are honest men, as burgundy is much in demand in my native land.  What I have at the hotel is excellent and cheap, and this is the great difficulty in France in the way of any national temperance movement.  Like the Cape, like Australia, the wine trade is an important factor in the national life.  It is the Diana of the Ephesians.  Try to check it, and everyone is up in arms.  The traveller is bound to drink.  At lunch he has a quart bottle of red or white wine placed before him, and it is just the same at dinner.  The wine is included in the bill, and it is all the same whether you drink it or leave it alone.  If there is a family dining or lunching together, the bottle goes round, and perhaps a glass or two will suffice; but a solitary traveller has his two quart bottles to tackle per day, and what are you to do?—one is afraid to drink water when travelling, as there may be poison in the pot.  A similar remark applies to milk.  It is sadly liable to infection, and it may be that, when you ask for it, it may prove no exception to the general rule.  I remember how Sir Russell Reynolds, when on a Continental tour, confined himself to milk, and on his return to England had a serious illness in consequence.  No wonder, then, that as a rule the ordinary traveller sticks to the wine of the country, which is little intoxicating, and has a pleasant favour that helps much in its consumption.

I fancy the burgundy of Dijon is much purer and p. 208pleasanter than that of London.  Nevertheless, two quarts of it a day are rather too much.  I got rid of the difficulty by sacrificing my dinner and having tea instead.  Dijon is a very ancient city, and full of very interesting remains.  Indeed, I fancy it is one of the most interesting cities in France.  In an old engraving of it which I have, it is surrounded by a wall, and seems a city of church spires, and its ecclesiastical buildings are very old and numerous, but the walls are gone, and handsome boulevards have taken their place.  Its modern fame depends on its wine, its spiced bread, and its mustard.  I buy a mustard-pot—a characteristic specimen of French ingenuity.  It is an earthenware pig.  The back is hollow.  You take off the top, and there is the place for the mustard and a long mustard-spoon, the crooked end of which does duty as a tail.  The animal has his nose in a trough, which is divided into two portions, one for pepper, the other for salt.  I am proud of that mustard-pot, and only use it on state occasions.  At Avignon the mustard-pot was equally a combination, but of a less artistic character.  It was simply a blue earthenware pot with the mustard in the centre, while just below are two little recesses, one for the pepper and one for the salt; and these you see at really good hotels in preference to the costlier electroplate mustard-pots in use nearer home.  At Thetford they make unbreakable earthenware.  I should recommend the company to try a few mustard-pots à la Francaise.

Dijon, says the guide-book—one of that excellent series in red known as Guide-Ioannes, to be purchased for a franc, sometimes less, at all French railway-stations—is one of the most interesting cities in p. 209France, containing 63,425 inhabitants.  It is situated at the junction of the Ouche and the Suzon, at the foot of the mountains of the Côte d’Or, and at the commencement of a fruitful valley which stretches as far as the Jura.  It is lovely—when I was there it rained, and I did not see much of its loveliness—well built and salubrious.  Its principal attractions are the Cathedral of St. Benigne, the Churches of Notre Dame and St. Michel, and the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, the Palace of Justice, the museum containing the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy and the remains of the Chartreuse de Chamoi.  Wherever you go you meet with old houses and architecture of the most interesting character.  It is a place to be visited carefully by the artist.  He will find much to interest him at every step.  In England we have nothing like it.  In the troubles and wars which led, after many ages, to the establishment of a united France under one monarch, Dijon became a place of great importance and the seat of a legislative assembly.  Originally a second-rate Roman settlement, it had become Christianized by the preaching of St. Benigne, who died a martyr for his faith, and to whom, as I have already stated, the great cathedral was consecrated; yet it did not become the seat of a bishopric till 1731.  For ages the Dukes of Burgundy resided there, and at a later time it gave to France its grand pulpit orator, Bossuet, and to the Church St. Bernard.  In 1477 the French King gained possession of the city, and the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy came to an end.

‘The Lord of Craon,’ writes old Philip de Commines—the father of modern history, whose memoirs, writes Mr. Hallam, almost make an epoch in historical literature—p. 210‘when he drew near Burgundy, sent forward the Prince of Orange and others to Dijon to use persuasion and require the people to render obedience to the King, and they managed the matter so adroitly, principally by means of the Prince of Orange, that the city of Dijon and all the other towns in the duchy of Burgundy, together with many others in the country, gave in their allegiance to the King.’  Whether the people gained much by the change is not very clear.  Apparently, Commines did not think Dijon had much cause for thankfulness.  ‘In my opinion,’ he writes, ‘of all the countries in the world with which I was ever acquainted, the government is nowhere so well managed, the people nowhere less obnoxious to violence and oppression, nor their houses less liable to be destroyed by violence or oppression, than in England, for these calamities only fall upon the authors of them.’  I suppose the people of Dijon were of a similar way of thinking, as the writer of the guide-book tells us that ‘Dijon adopta avec enthousiasme les principes de la Révolution.’  Happily its victims during that reign of terror were few.  In the war with France the Germans got hold of Dijon; but Garibaldi came to the rescue.  Now Dijon is at peace, and long may it so remain, its hotels affording rest and refreshment to the weary traveller, and its wine, when taken in moderation, making glad the heart of man.  Let me make one remark as a hint to the tourist.  Possibly he sees in the Continental Bradshaw an advertisement of a hotel where the charges are rather less than those of others.  He goes there, but he finds no reduction.  The excuse is that the lower charge is not for the hasty traveller, but for the one who comes to stay.

p. 211As a recent writer in Temple Bar remarks, the general air of pride and prosperity indicates that the capital of the duchy thrives excellently as a member of the Republic.  The Rue de Liberté reminds us of some of our old English towns.  Step aside into any of the cross-streets, and you find yourself in a labyrinth of crooked by-ways and carved doors, by the side of low angular bell-towers, which seem to have come straight from some old Flemish city, or you come to quaint, quiet, detached squares, planted with young trees, with white detached houses all round some of them, remnants of feudal hotels.  In the Salle des Gardes of the old palace the tombs of the two greatest Dukes may still be seen.  The palace, a huge, stately, modernized building, is now a museum, a picture-gallery, and the headquarters of all local and departmental business.  It is there that the French Protestants of to-day worship.  The Church of Notre Dame, of which the great Condé declared that it should be packed in a jeweller’s box to preserve it, is beautiful outside as in.  It is the mother-church, to which the Dijonais cling, where their children are baptized and brought on their First Communion.  It is crowded of a Sunday.  Nor is St. Michel externally less impressive; but the interior is described as dowdy and disappointing.  But, after all, I fancy the chief visitors to Dijon are the wine-merchants, and others interested in the wine trade.  The railway time-tables are full of familiar names of vineyards.  In a journey of thirty miles southwards, you meet with, the well-known names of Chambertin, Vougeot, Beaune, and Meursault, and you think, perhaps, of feasting and gaiety a long time ago.  But the country p. 212lacks the picturesque.  You may travel far on the main line without seeing anything in the shape of pleasant landscape.  The country around is undulating, but on the whole flat.  There are many walks with pleasant memories—one leads to Talant, the ancient palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, now the seat of an archaic village with a marvellous church, where they show you an ancient picture said to have been painted by St. Luke.  From the common at the foot of the hill you get a good view of Dijon, with the cathedral towers in the foreground, and the cupola of St. Michel standing up above.  In an old château near-by was the birthplace of the great St. Bernard.  Far off is the rolling expanse of land which stretches away to the frontiers of Champagne.  ‘It was among these fields and villages,’ says the writer in Temple Bar to whom I have already referred, ‘that the three battles of Dijon were fought during the Franco-Prussian War, and here and there, at turnings in the road and in wide ploughed land, monuments covered with withered wreaths recall the event, and make the sad landscape all the sadder; yet France pines for war, and the clang of martial strains everywhere makes it little better than an armed camp.  It is the same everywhere.  The one great problem of European statesmen seems to be to find a sufficiency of soldiers and sailors, as if we still lived in the dark ages, when might was right, and the sole arbiter of nations was the sword.  It is awful to think of; it is a disgrace alike to Christianity and civilization that such should be the case.  It is not now that we can sing, as we did in the great Exhibition year, more than forty years ago, of the p. 213triumph of Captain Pen over Captain Sword.  Still, we can pray with Campbell:

‘The cause of truth and human weal,
   O God above!
Transfer it from the sword’s appeal
   To Peace and Love.
Peace, Love! the cherubim that join
Their spread wings o’er devotion’s shrine;
Prayers sound in vain, and temples shine,
   Where they are not.’



As possibly some of my readers may wish for a further study of some of the cities and places to which I have referred, I have added a few books of reference which they may consult with advantage.  They are as follows:

Plutarch’s ‘Lives.’

Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.’

‘How to Visit the Mediterranean,’ by Dr. Lunn.

Pollard’s ‘Land of the Monuments.’

‘The Holy City,’ by Dr. Russell Forbes.

Murray and Baedeker’s Guide-Books.

Merriwether’s ‘Afloat and Ashore on the Mediterranean.’

‘Climates of the South of France,’ by Dr. Theodore Williams.

‘Cities of South Italy and Sicily,’ by A. J. C. Hare.

Cook’s ‘South Italy.’

‘Jerusalem Illustrated,’ by G. Robinson Lees.

Cook’s ‘Egypt.’

‘Walks in Cairo,’ by Major Plunkett.

‘England in Egypt,’ by Sir A. Milner.

‘From Pharaoh to Fellah,’ by C. F. Moberley Bell.

p. 215‘Scenes from Life in Cairo,’ by Miss Whateley.

‘Leaves from my Sketch-Book,’ by E. W. Cooke.

‘Court Life in Egypt,’ by A. J. Butler.

‘Last Letters from Egypt,’ by Lady Duff Gordon.

‘Egypt as It Is,’ by J. C. Moran.

‘Egypt and its Future,’ by Dr. Wylie.

Budge’s ‘Dwellers on the Nile.’

‘The Nile,’ by Wallis Budge.

‘Egypt as a Winter Resort,’ by Dr. Sandwith.

‘Wintering in Egypt,’ by Dr. A. J. Bentley.

‘Monuments of Upper Egypt,’ by Marriette Bey.

‘Pharaoh’s Fellahs and Explorers,’ by A. M. Edwards.

‘Nile Gleanings,’ by H. Villiers Stuart.

‘Sketches from a Nile Steamer,’ by H. M. Tirard.

‘A Tour in Egypt,’ by Rev. Canon Bell.

‘Egyptian Sketches,’ by J. Lynch.

‘Egypt,’ by S. L. Lane.

‘Leaves from an Egyptian Sketch-Book,’ by Canon Isaac Taylor.

‘Cairo,’ by S. Lane Poole.

‘Egypt of To-day,’ by W. Fraser Rae.

‘Land of the Sphinx,’ by G. Montbard.

‘The New Egypt,’ by Francis Adams.

‘Through David’s Realm,’ by Rev. E. T. D. Tompkins.

‘Palestine,’ by Major Conder.

The Works of Flavius Josephus.

‘Mount Vesuvius,’ by J. Logan Lobley.

‘The Bible and Modern Discoveries,’ by Henry A. Harper.

‘Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid,’ by Piozzi Smith.

p. 216‘Palestine under the Moslems,’ by Guy Le Strange.

‘The Women of Turkey,’ by Lucy Garnett.

‘Greek Pictures,’ by Dr. Mahaffy.

‘Mythology and Monuments of Ancient Athens.’

‘With the Bedouins,’ by Gray Hill.

‘Modern Discoveries on the Ancient Site of Ephesus,’ by J. T. Wood.

‘Essays on Christian Greece,’ by Demetrius Bikelos, translated by the Marquis of Bute.

‘A History of Greek Sculpture,’ by Dr. A. Murray.

‘Eothen,’ by A. W. Kinglake.

‘Cornhill to Cairo,’ by W. M. Thackeray.

‘The History of Sicily,’ by Dr. Edward A. Freeman.

‘Sicily, Phœnician, Greek and Roman,’ by the late Prof. F. A. Freeman (‘Story of the Nations’).

‘Among the Holy Places,’ by Dr. James Kean.

Dean Stanley’s ‘Sinai and Palestine.’

‘Buried Cities and Bible Countries,’ by G. St. Clair.

‘In Christ’s Country,’ by Samuel Rome.

‘The Byzantine Empire,’ by C. W. C. Osman.

‘On the Nile with a Camera,’ by Anthony Wilkin.

‘The Island of Capri,’ by Ferdinand Gregorovius.

‘Diary of an Idle Woman in Constantinople.’

‘Recollections of an Egyptian Princess,’ by Miss Chennelles.

‘Jerusalem, the Holy City,’ by Mrs. Oliphant.

‘The Rulers of the Mediterranean,’ by R. H. Davis.

‘The Historical Geography of the Holy Land,’ by Dr. G. A. Smith.

‘The Holy Land and the Bible,’ by Dr. Geikie.

‘The Ancient Egyptian Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul,’ by Dr. Wisedeman.

‘Manual of Egyptian Archæology,’ by Dr. Maspero.

p. 217‘The Bible and the Monuments,’ by W. St. Chaud Boscawen.

‘Letters from Constantinople,’ by Mrs. Max Müller.

‘Egypt under the British,’ by H. F. Wood.

‘Travel Pictures from Palestine,’ by James Wells, D.D.

‘A History of Egypt,’ by W. M. Flinders Petrie.

‘The Forgotten Isles, Balearic Isles, Corsica and Sardinia,’ by Gaston Villiers.

‘The Sultan and his People,’ by Richard Davey.

‘The Outgoing Turk,’ by H. G. Thomson.

For invalids merely travelling for health, I would recommend ‘The Mediterranean Winter Resorts,’ by E. A. Reynolds Ball, which is now in a third edition.  Great prominence has been given to the medical aspect of the principal invalid resorts, and special articles dealing with the climatic, sanitary, and general hygienic conditions of these resorts have been contributed by resident English physicians.  This is the only English guide-book published containing authoritative articles on the principal winter resorts by medical experts.  Another new feature which may be specially mentioned is the introduction of detailed descriptions of the newer health resorts, such as Biskra, Luxor, Helouan in North Africa; St. Raphael, Grasse, Beaulieu, Ospedaletti on the Riviera; Torre del Greco, Castellamare, Amalfi on the South Italian Littoral, which have come into favour within the last few years.  In describing the different places in this guide-book, a certain uniform order has, as far as possible, been preserved in treating of the various subjects.  Routes, climatic conditions, society, hotel and villa accommodation, amusements, sport, principal attractions, places p. 218of interest, and excursions, have been dealt with consecutively in the above order, greater or less space being accorded to the various subjects according to the special characteristics of each resort.  The author has attempted to give rather fuller information about the newer and less known winter resorts, concerning which little has been written in the standard works of Murray and Baedeker, than he has done when describing the popular and well-known Riviera resorts, which possess a whole library of guide-book and travel literature of their own.

Dealing with the delicate question of hotel accommodation for visitors, Mr. Reynolds Ball has not shrunk from the invidious task of occasional recommendation, based either on personal experience, or on trustworthy reports of friends or residents.  Most of the information in this handbook has been derived at first-hand.  He has visited nearly all the places described, and with regard to others he has availed himself of the help of travelled friends or residents possessing knowledge gained on the spot.

Magazine articles in connection with the countries and cities here referred to are numerous.  Social life at Naples is well described in an article in the National Review for February, 1892.  A readable account of the sanitary and meteorological conditions of Cairo will be found in an article in the Lancet, November, 1889, entitled ‘The Winter Climate of the Nile.’  An interesting description of Corfu appeared in the Sunday Magazine for May, 1893, by Professor Mahaffy; the reader will find also a good deal of useful information in Cassell’s ‘Picturesque Mediterranean,’ 1891.  For Corsica the reader had better refer to Mr. Freshfield’s interesting p. 219account of climbing experiences in the island, which appeared in the Alpine Journal, 1880.

When one thinks of the enormous number of works published in connection with Egypt, it is worth noting that when Edward William Lane wrote his account of the ‘Manners and Customs of Modern Egypt,’ of which an excellent reprint has been published in the Minerva Library, when he returned to England with a complete description of Egypt as it then was, and a hundred excellent drawings, Egypt was not known or appreciated in England, and no publisher would incur the expense of publishing the work and reproducing the drawings, though they were universally praised by all who saw them.  In this respect the change is simply marvellous.


the end.


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p. 221Advertisements

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Or, Fifty Years Ago.

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‘On the pressing social problems of the day he has much to say that is well worth listening to.  There is a force of characterization in Mr. Ritchie’s sketches and a passion for human sympathy pervading his whole work.’—The New Age.

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‘Among the lower walks of journalism he treads upon comparatively new ground, and this picture has the witness of truth upon it.  This, after all, is what we ask from the novelist—a true picture of real life.’—Literary World.

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Eastern Daily Press.

‘There is some bright writing in the story.’—Standard.

‘The style of the writer is bright and sparkling.’—Suffolk Chronicle.

‘One may tolerate the least popular views of an author who writes so genially and good-naturedly.’—Scotsman.

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Also Eight Homes on Shore for Educating and Maintaining
nearly 1,000 Boys and Girls.

President: The Right Hon. the EARL of JERSEY, G.C.M.G.



These times of mercantile depression have made sore gaps in the usual gifts, and we now earnestly appeal for new subscribers to support this long-established Charity.  Over 14,000 Boys and Girls have been rescued and trained since the foundation in 1843 by the late William Williams, Esq.

CONTRIBUTIONS ARE EARNESTLY SOLICITED and will be very thankfully received by the London and Westminster Bank, 214, High Holborn, W.C.; by


HENRY G. COPELAND, Finance and Deputation Secretary.

National Refuges for Homeless and Destitute Children, and ‘Arethusa’ and ‘Chichester’ Training Ships.







(For Training Orphan and Destitute Boys for Domestic Service.)




Hon. Secretary:
E. H. M. DENNY, Esq.

This Institution was founded in 1870 by the late Lady Wolverton, for the purpose of receiving Orphan and Destitute Boys, and by employing them in the houses of the gentry, in domestic work, training them for indoor servants.

A boy must have passed the Fourth Government Standard of Education, be twelve to fifteen years of age, and in good health.  The boys work in the morning, and attend school in the afternoon.  This is tested by yearly examinations, which are presented to the Committee and published in their Report.

The entrance fee is £5.  As this is the only payment asked during the period of three years or more that the boy remains in the Society—indeed, started in life and looked after for a period of years—£5 thus expended in helping a boy is an excellent investment.

Further particulars and forms of admission can be obtained from Mr. C. H. Chevens, Secretary, by applying to the Office, 148, Marylebone Road, London, N.W.

p. 223Orphanage for Little Girls,

(Connected with the London Flower Girls’ Christian Mission.)

Founder: MR. JOHN A. GROOM.

Contributions earnestly Solicited on behalf of the above Orphanage, now sheltering, caring for and training over 120 Orphan Destitute Girls—some of whom are infants only a few months old.  They are admitted irrespective of creed, nationality or physical infirmity, and remain till they are 16 years of age and are trained for domestic service.  There are no elections, votes, canvassing or expense connected with admission; the most urgent and needy cases are admitted by the Selection Committee.  The homes are conducted upon the cottage principle, each home offering accommodation for 20 children, and under the care of a Foster Mother.  The Institution is quite unsectarian, and is entirely dependent upon the generous offerings of the benevolent.  Visitors are earnestly invited to visit the homes between 2 and 5 o’clock any day except Saturday and Sunday.

Reports and Audited Accounts may be had, post free, on application to John A. Groom, Secretary, 8, Sekforde Street, Clerkenwell, London, E.C.


The Ragged School Union & Shaftesbury Society

Is a Christian Organization designed to bring brotherly sympathy and uplifting ministries to the street child and its parents.  The methods and agencies cover body, mind, and heart.

The HOLIDAY HOMES FUND dealt last summer with 6,673 children.

The CRIPPLE DEPARTMENT visits and ministers various comforts to about 6,000 cripples.

The POOR CHILDREN’S AID BRANCH supplies Boots and Garments.

The BENEVOLENT FUND aids acute distress; also helps with Soup Kitchen, Children’s Breakfasts and Dinners.

The DRIFT CHILDREN’S BRANCH gathers the outside children to Missions and Schools who might drift away from all good influences.


There are 192 affiliated Mission Buildings located in the poorest districts of London attended by over 50,000 children, 232 Bible Classes, 131 Mothers’ Meetings, 171 Bands of Hope, 106 Week-night Schools and Industrial Classes, 97 Libraries, 70 Penny Banks, 198 Religious Meetings.  There are nearly 6,000 Voluntary Workers.

‘Deserving of support.’—Bishop of Bedford (Dr. Billing), in Westminster Abbey.

‘The noblest of many noble charities.’—Marquess of Lorne, Southend.

‘The most conspicuous illustration of the new philanthropy.’—Sir Walter Besant on the R.S.U.  Jubilee in The Contemporary Review.

‘I would rather be President of the Ragged School Union than Prime Minister of England.’—Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury.


Offices: 37, Norfolk Street, Strand, London, W.C.  JOHN KIRK, Secretary.


p. 224ESTABLISHED 1851.



Southampton Buildings,


INVESTED FUNDS—£8,000,000.
Number of Accounts, 75,061.


TWO-AND-A-HALF per CENT. INTEREST allowed on DEPOSITS, repayable on demand.

TWO per CENT. on CURRENT ACCOUNTS, on the minimum monthly balances, when not drawn below £100.

STOCKS, SHARES, and ANNUITIES purchased and sold for customers.


Savings Department.

Small Deposits received, and Interest allowed monthly on each
completed £1.

The BIRKBECK ALMANACK, with full particulars, post free.


Telephone No. 65005.

Telegraphic Address: ‘BIRKBECK, LONDON.’




p. 225Second EditionPrice 7s. 6d. [225]


Personal Recollections and Historical Associations.

By J. EWING RITCHIE (‘christopher crayon’).

‘“East Anglia” has the merit of not being a compilation, which is more than can be said of the great majority of books produced in these days to satisfy the revived taste for topographical gossip.  Mr. Ritchie is a Suffolk man—the son of a Nonconformist minister of Wrentham in that county—and he looks back to the old neighbourhood and the old times with an affection which is likely to communicate itself to his readers.  Altogether we can with confidence recommend this book, not only to East Anglians, but to all readers who have any affinity for works of its class.’—Daily News.


London: JARROLD & SONS, Warwick Lane, E.C.




‘The South African journalist gets a trifle wearied with the commonplace descriptions of his country usually affected by the ordinary globe-trotter, and so he will welcome a work like this all the more warmly.  For trite remarks, we have original and critical analysis of affairs as Mr. Ritchie found them.’—South Africa.






‘The reader who desires a clear bird’s-eye view of the country and a pleasant sketch of its many interests will do well to follow Christopher Crayon’s summer journey to Australia and back again.’—Literary World.




[225]  In the book this page is unnumbered and at the start of the book.  It has been moved to the end to make the whole more readable.—DP.


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