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have dared to remain neutral during the war. Next to bravery in battle, to be reckoned hospitable is the proudest distinction an Arab chief can obtain. A plentiful repast of honey, dibs, butter, and various kinds of sweetmeats, was served up soon after our entrance, and at sunset a feast was prepared for us which far surpassed anything of the kind I had before seen. A whole sheep, roasted and stuffed with rice, graced the centre ; beside it was a huge dish of pillau, some three feet in diameter. Round these were ranged nearly twenty other dishes of various kinds of dainties, including fowls, soups, kibbeh, burghul, and a host of others. Round these again were ranged the thin cakes of bread in little piles, on the top of each of which was placed a wooden spoon, the only instrument used in this primitive land in taking food, and even this is a recent importation. All the dishes were of copper, tinned, and they were placed on a large circular mat in the middle of the floor. The guests squatted round the dainties, each one stretching forward hand or spoon, and helping himself to whatever he preferred. We were first invited to dine, and, having finished, the other guests, with the servants, advanced. Then a portion was set aside on a separate mat for the sheikh ; and the members of his household, retainers, and such of the villagers as were present, afterwards fell upon the remainder. Before this third relay the pyramid of rice soon disappeared; the bones of sheep and fowls were stripped of every vestige of flesh; and the soup, burghul, and pillau were thrown into one huge dish and speedily devoured.

But enough of a Druze feast. Even so much I would not have inflicted on my reader, but that it serves to show the primitive state of society in this country, and that, in this ancient kingdom of Bashan, the lapse of three thousand years has effected but little change in manners and customs. The hospitality of former days still remains strangers could not then pass the house or tent of the patriarch without being constrained to go in and take food; and so it is even now. The wonderful expedition in the preparation of food, when the lamb, or kid, or fatted calf was brought and killed, and the bread was kneaded and baked, and the dainties thus hastily prepared were set before the stranger—all this is illustrated here, at the present time, and in the ordinary incidents of every-day life. It seemed to me, as I wandered among these hills of Bashan, as if time had retrograded many long centuries. The strange stories I used to read in boyhood beside a mother's knee, in that ponderous old Bible, were now realized. These surely are the tents of Abraham; or these are the dwellings of Israel. These are the very salutations with which the patriarchs were wont to address strangers ; and these the prayers for their safety and welfare when they took their departure. At whatever house we lodged a sheep or a lamb was killed for us, and fresh bread baked. It was sometimes near sunset when we reached the house; but in due time the dainties appeared. To whatever village we went among the Druzes, pressing invitations were given us to stay and eat. Once and again has one seized my horse's bridle, and said, “Will not my lord descend while his servants prepare a little food ?” In one village our intercession saved a lamb which we saw hurried away to slaughter just as we entered the street, before even a word had been spoken. The chief had seen us approach

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ing, and “ he made haste to kill a lamb;" fortunately we were in time to save it, by assuring its hospitable master that we could not remain. At another village where we took refuge from a passing shower, we observed the flour taken and the water poured upon it, to prepare unleavened cakes; and it was with much difficulty we could prevent the work from being prosecuted.

These things may seem trifling; but they are trifles which strikingly illustrate Bible stories. It is by such incidents that Bible scenes are indelibly impressed on our memories, and the truthfulness of the narratives in God's Word irresistibly forced on our minds. Could stronger evidence be given of the truth and faithfulness of a 'narrative some three thousand years old, than the witnessing of every little circumstance attending it realized in the ordinary customs of the people now residing on the spot where it was first enacted ? Bible story assumes a living character when studied in this land. The localities, the costumes, the manners and customs, are unchanged. The language too, though different, is nearly allied to the Hebrew; and the modes of expression and set forms of salutation are almost identical.

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FROM HIT TO KUNAWAT — THE NORTHERN SECTION

OF JEBEL HAURÂN. Topography of the plain of BASHAN Singular features of the Lejah –

Vast numbers of deserted towns — Buildings of Hît — Their antiquity - Inscriptions and dates — Visit to Bathanyeh, Batanea Ancient houses Deserted towns — The province of Batanæa identified — Stone doors — Druze horsemanship — Visit to Shủka, the ancient Saccæa - Interesting ruins - Ancient churches — Errors in map of Berghaus - Position of Săfă — Wady Liwa — Visit to Shủhba — Causes of the Druze war and tyranny of Turkish rulers — Ruins of theatre, temples, &c. — Extinct crater Identification of site Princes of Shehâb – Terraced hills — Mourning for the slain in battle - Ancient towns — Ruins of Suleim identified with Neapolis Beautiful mountain scenery — Visit to Kunawât, KENATH — Splendid ruins — A Druze schoolmaster - Character of the Bedawîn Description of Kunawât — Historical notices — Date of principal

buildings. February 2nd. This morning dawned beautifully. The sky was unclouded, the mists, which on the previous

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day hung around the hills and settled upon the plains, had completely disappeared, and the atmosphere was clear and transparent. Ascending to the roof of the sheikh's house, which commands a view of the whole plain from these mountains to the snow-capped Hermon, I examined with care the features of the country. The district lying between Jebel Haurân on the south-east, and Jebel eshSheikh on the north-west, is one continuous plain, about forty miles in breadth. On its northern side the low barren ridge of Jebel Khiyârah extends nearly ten miles across it. On the south it has no natural boundary, as it runs unbroken far as the eye can reach even from the commanding heights of Súlkhad, on the southern brow of the Jebel Haurân; but we may assume as its border the Wady Zêdy, which runs from Băsrah in a course nearly north-west, till it joins the Sheriat el-Mandhûr. This district embraces the whole of the plain of Haurân, the whole of the Lejah, with large portions of Jedûr and Jaulân; and these modern provinces respectively correspond pretty nearly with the ancient Auranitis, Trachonitis, Ituræa, and Gaulanitis. The Lejah is the most remarkable of these provinces; and, in a geological point of view, the most wonderful district I have ever seen. I shall have occasion to speak more fully of it, as well as of the others, in the sequel; but I refer to it here to enable the reader to follow me in my description of the physical features of the country. As seen from Hît the Lejah resembles a lake agitated by a strong wind, and any one who has seen Loch Lomond while a winter tempest swept over it, and the troubled waters assumed the gloomy hue of the clouded heavens, may form some idea of the appearance of the Lejah as seen from this place. Its eastern

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