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scendants of Ishmael, there can be no rooms are so large and lofty that they doubt; for the prediction delivered to would be considered fine rooms even in Hagar in the fourteenth chapter of Gene- an European palace. sis holds good of them in every particular The ancient capital was called Edrei, to the present day. " And he will be a and is now called Edra'a, which means wild man; his hand will be against every strong arm." The ruins extend along man, and every man's hand against him; the summit of a ledge of rocks which can. and he shall dwell in the presence of all not be ascended, save by a winding path his brethren."
like a goat track. The epithet of “lawless or wild man It is a strange situation. In selecting outlawed, is truly applicable to, and often it, everything has been sacrificed to used of, the Druse; for, like the roving strength and security, for there is no Bedouin, he cannot be made to submit to stream of water and no verdure here, and any laws or governments. When finding the rocks are wild. Huge masses of mahimself rendered amenable to justice and sonry lie scattered up and down, over a searched for by the myrmidons of the space three miles in circumference, being law, he can retire within the recesses of remains of towers, temples, and mosques, the Metten, or the fastnesses of the Lejja, all of black basalt. The rugged and inwhere he bids defiance to, and laughs tricate defile that leads to it, protects to scornfully at, all efforts to retake him. this day from any danger all those who His skill in evading and baffling all search take refuge in it. for him is more than equal to that of the It is of no use to long for a peep into North American Indian. He finds shel- the past of this wonderful place. History, ter and concealment under every Druse that is Bible history, tells us the little we roof he comes to, as well as food and as- know about it, and particularly gives us sistance of every sort until he is safe in the dimensions of the bedstead of Og, the Lejja; and he need not fear that the king of Bashan, as of a thiog fabulous in youngest child will babble of his secret. itself and worthy of preservation (Deut.
And what is the Lejja, or refuge (for iii. 11). Its warriors must have been on that is the meaning of the word in Arabic), the same scale, heroes of no common where they can be so safe and bid defiance order; and their mothers and sweethearts, to all law ?
sisters and wives were no doubt worthy of It is indeed a singular spot, so impreg. them. In the days of Abraham it was nable by nature, that both roving Bedouins probably in its zenith of glory. Now it and lawless Druses are sure of perfect contains only cities of the dead; but the safety when once they have succeeded in plain around is amazingly fertile. taking refuge within its precincts. It is The goddess Ashtaroth, or Astarte was wholly inaccessible to trained troops of worshipped here - Astarte, queen
of any sort, and is called Lejja by the Arabs heaven, with crescent moon. A figure of apparently because it is a district enclosed this goddess is found at one of these by a rocky rampart, being a vast field of cities; a large, colossal face with a cres. basalt, the long, black line of which at once cent and rays shooting upwards looking attracts the eye of the traveller.
like horns, on account of which this town This was doubtless originally the land is supposed to be the ancient " Karnain," of giants or Rephaim, the special territory as the word Karnain in Arabic means two of Og, king of Bashan (Deut. iii. 3). To horns. Westward from it is Kunawât, on this day, the cities which lie scattered sloping ground above a deep ravine. It about there in great numbers, present fea- was built on the top of a cliff; the walls tures of interest in this respect, as bearing still exist to a great extent, following the witness to the truth of Holy Scripture, for cliff in a zigzag direction. Here are found they are like the dwellings of a race of palaces and theatres and temples and giants, which for that very reason have churches, all in ruins; and in the glen stood till now, though utterly deserted. below, and on the wooded sides of neigh
The walls are very generally from five boring hills, clusters of columos and lofty to eight feet thick, built of large, square tombs and also massive towers. The blocks of basalt; the roofs of the same leading streets of the city can be traced material, hewn like planks, and reaching wide and regular. But want of space for. from wall to wall. The very doors and bids further description. At present the window.shutters are of stone hung upon silence of the grave reigns around; and pivots.
the rough, untutored Bedouin, who never In some of the towns, there are perhaps dreams of sleeping on a bedstead as was five hundred such houses. Some of the done thousands of years ago in the days
of Og, king of Bashan, and the lawless of a gentleman who was an alien to their Druse, who is content with the earth for religion. Emissary after emissary was his bed and a stone for his pillow, and his sent to get hold of it; and every means own 'abba (long jacket of camel's bair) for was resorted to, to wile it away in some his only covering, are the only occupants; fashion, even by stealth if possible. All and there, with success, these can and do efforts having proved useless, advantage bid defiance to all armies of trained sol. was taken of one of the usual disturbances diers sent to coerce them to the require. in the Lebanon, between Druses and ments of civilization.
Maronites. Fire was set to the house, The Druse acknowledges no laws but and that library actually burnt down to those that emanate from his own khal. the ground, as the only means and last wåt, and are secretly made known to him resource by which they could get their by his own superiors. A blind, reveren. book out of the possession of aliens, altial awe and absolute, unquestioning obe- though the proprietor of it had been a dience towards his superiors in religion, devoted friend and benefactor to them, are iostilled into him with his mother's and a constant and welcome guest when milk, and that is the mainspring of all his they were in sickness and pain. actions. To be a Druse is his pride - Having given this short account of their his boast. Ask a lithe, strapping fellow religion, I will pass on to their home life. not yet in his teens, or a graceful little Their houses are built of a conglomera. maiden of the same age, as to their na- tion of mud, stones, and sticks. After the tionality, and the proud flash of the dark, walls have become sufficiently dry, the limpid brown eyes, heavily curtained and ceiling is made by laying across, from one fringed by long, curling black eyelashes, wall to another, poplar-trees which have aud ibe haughty straightening of the fig. barely had the branches lopped off, and ure, and throwing back of the well-formed are of unequal sizes. There is no attempt head, bear witness to the pride with which at planing them. The interstices between the words, “I am a Druse," escape the these trees is more than equal to them. smiling, ruby lips.
Two or three layers of bushes are then The bump of reticence is developed laid over, and earth well pressed in upon among them to a wonderful degree; not them. Serpents, scorpions, lizards, rats, even ihe youngest will divulge anything and mice, as well as smaller vermin, infest respecting any one of their own people to these ceilings and the cavities around the a stranger. The saying, so common in door-posts; and if an uowary hand is many lands, “as talkative as
an old placed unwittingly upon a scorpion or woman,” finds here no foothold; for the centipede basking lazily in the sun, which, old women are invariably silent before being of the self-same color as the mud strangers.
walls and wooden posts, is totally unseen, There seems to be an inpate suspicious- a shriek of agony alone discovers the fact. ness of all other human beings wrought otherwise none of these creatures go out into their iomost nature. Should a stran of their way to harm any one. ger be seen approaching any of their I myself have bad a serpent drop upon kbalwåt, spies are immediately set to me as I was crossing a room. It fell in watch him in the distance, although their the shape of a ball; and having a large holy place may be, for the time being, un ball of yarn on my arm with which I was tenanted and closed; and if it should knitting, I simply thought that it was my happen to be at an hour when a secret ball that had fallen. A moment's glance conclave is held, the life of that stranger soon satisfied me that iny ball was securely is not safe until he leaves far behind him resting in the hollow of my elbow, and that low-roofed, whitewashed building, wondering what round object it was, the which looks outwardly more like a prison heavy weight of which I could plainly feel cell than a place of religious worship, dragging down the train of my dress, I
Their religious books – and, at the time bent down to inspect it closely, when lo I speak of, they had no others - are in and behold! to my astonishment, and bemanuscript, and are consequently very fore my wondering eyes, the ball slowly
The Druses will not have them but surely unrolled itself into a serpent of printed, and are exceedingly jealous of several feet in length, which glided away and determined to prevent, if possible, peacefully and bid itself in one of the their getting into the hands of any but many holes sunk into the mud floor.
• U'kkáls." Information once This happened at a late hour of the night, reached them that a small copy of one of when alone in my bedroom; and, though these books was known to be in the library somewhat startled, I thought it hardly
worth while to disturb any one. The, when loosened by rain, having no props result justified my confidence, for I slept of any sort, are very apt to slide down wholly undisturbed by my unwelcomne vis- upon the workers, and engulf them; one itor. A pair of serpents gambolling play. or more being dead before the needed help fully together in the thatch above the door, arrives, and they can be dug out, as the is not an unfrequent sight on a sunny day quarries are always at some distance from after heavy rain.
the viliages. About eighteen inches from the floor It is a sound never to be forgotten and the same distance from the wall is a that which announces such a disaster partition of mud and sticks, divided into that of the piercing shrieks and cries for compartments, each of which has a hole help raised by those who stand outside large enough to put in the hand down at the quarry that has collapsed; and the its base, and another twice as large at the whole village seems paralyzed at the first top, which is also about eighteen inches note of it. The men rush from their fields froin the ceiling.
and workshops, breathless, silent, and with These compartments fill two sides of compressed lips. the house, and are used for storing their The young mothers catch up their little wheat, barley, maize, rice, lentils, etc., for ones and put them astride on their shoul. the winter. The third side is occupied by ders, the elderly women throwing down the a yook, flanked by a cupboard on each jars they were filling or the brooms they side of it. The doors of these cupboards, were using - all fly towards the site of although of sticks and mud, have some the fearful catastrophe in breathless haste, attempt at decoration in the shape of bits for none know upon whose family the of looking.glass, bands with widespread blow may have fallen. The young girls fingers to avert the evil eye, bits of bright: generally go in large numbers to these colored, highly glazed crockery, camels' digging parties, and leave their homes teeth, glass beads, etc., stuck here and before the morning light, to avoid the there in the mud. The yook is a recess heat of the day. I have heard their merry eighteen inches from the floor, and about laughter in the darkness of the early dawn, the same width from the wall, in which all and heard again within a few hours the the mattresses, sheets, pillows, and leháfs slow, heavy tramp of the bearers, as they required for the family use are neatly carried the cold, mutilated forms - the folded and laid away early in the morning. disfigured remains — to the homes they A curtain hanys before it. At night they had left but a short time before in all the are taken out and the beds made up on flush of youth and health. Yet, strange the mats with which the floor is covered. to say, still the same thing is repeated
A small mud fireplace is raised in the year after year, and no precautions are centre of the room, and from it to the door taken to prevent it. is a partition, all within which is consid- Both men and women wear a coarse, ered the women's private apartment. If strong linen stuff, woven by themselves. there are married sons, there will be a por- The portion used for the outer garment tion partitioned off for each; but oo doors is dyed a navy blue, also by themselves. of any kind to shut these partitions off The younger portion of the community, from one another, can be found in any both boys and girls, use rouod silver buthouse.
tons for the vests of the former and the All the mud work is done by the females, dresses or gombaz of the latter. Young and is more or less repaired every year. married women also wear rings, bracelets, For this purpose they dig out of the sides chains, with amulets and anklets of silver. of the mountains a peculiar kiod of bluish The latter are especially so constructed earth, which they mix with chopped straw that they tinkle as the wearer walks, or, and cow's dung. Of course these floors as the Bible has it (Isa. iii. 16), “make a are a perfect hot-bed for fleas; and every tinkling with their feet." good housewife, on making up the beds At the time I speak of, the Druse women for the night, takes good care to put a wore a very peculiar headdress called piece of raw cotton within the sheets, un the tantoor, consisting of a horn made of der the impression that it will entrap the some kind of metal. The rich had them feas before the owner of the bed comes to of silver, and sometimes even of gold, set take possession of it, at which time it (the in front with precious stones, and measur. cotton) is taken out and burnt.
ing in some instances two feet in length. The quarries formed in procuring the The ordinary length was one foot, or a earth are very dangerous, being dug in the little over. Some had them of brass, and sloping sides of the mountains, which the very poorer ones of tin. They are
tied on their heads with three cords of speed and to overtake and mount bim black silk or cotton, and these cords are without causing him to stop for a single braided with their hair, of which they moment in his wild career (as I have my. wear one tress on each side of the face self often seen done) is the acme of pride aod one at the back of the head. The and delight. Minus a leg, poor young two tresses on each side of the face were Kásim could no longer enjoy this; and in tied together tightly under the chin. A bitterness of heart he turned his face to large muslin veil, covering the back, was the wall that none should see the despair brought over the top of the horn down as written upon it. When the time came far as where it was set with precious for the amputation to take place, he gave stones; and then, as it neared the face, orders that every one must leave the the edges on both sides were caught in house, and go a quarter of an hour's dis. between the cheeks and the braided hair. tance away. This was done lest any one The strain on the hair must have been should be able to say that they had heard enormous, and the weight of the horn and him giving vent to expressions of sufferveil together very painful. I have often ing. He was left with his father, the surbeen told by them that it caused a great geon, and one faithful servantWhat deal of pain in many ways, giving them happened then I heard from the surgeon's severe headaches, and making the hair to own mouth. As soon as the operation fall; but it was the fashion, and consid-commenced, the boy began to sing war ered to give elegance to the figure, which songs and the songs of Antar. He never in my opinion they certainly did not need, flinched for a single moment; and the for in many years' residence among thein, only way they knew that he was suffering I do not think I ever saw a woman whose more at certain times than at others, was figure was not naturally elegant, or whose that at those times his voice would ring movements were not graceful. This is more proudly and thrillingly in his notes. saying a great deal, seeing that they had All present had their eyes filled with tears to wear this horn, or tantoor, by night as at his endurance; but the falcon glance well as by day.
of his eye never quailed once. I have heard, since the time of which I When a bride is brought home to her have been speaking, that the government husband's house, she sits, carefully veiled, in the Lebanon has interdicted the use of on a horse, riding astride, as all women in the tantoor, but that the Druse women, the East do, and with a drawn sword beinstead of being thankful, were so far in- tween her hands, to denote that she is to clined to rebel that severe measures had be the wife of a warrior. to be taken to prevent the continued use The Druses do not indulge in a plurality of it.
of wives, like the Moslems. They have In the presence of a strange man, but one at a time; but divorces are frewhether Druse or other, Druse women quent. always draw one side of the veil over their Marriages take place principally befaces, only allowing one eye to appear. tween first cousins on the father's side. Men, both Moslems and Druses, have A father disposes of his daughter as he repeatedly told me that they look upon a pleases, and no law or government can woman who leaves her face uncovered, as interfere or shield her from any whim or pot only wanting in self-respect, but also caprice, however cruel. If the father is in proper respect to them; in fact, they dead, the eldest brother takes his place; considered it an insult to men, and for this if neither father nor brothers exist, the reason insisted upon the women covering first cousin or the nearest male relation their faces.
by the father's side. The relations by the To be wanting in courage, not to be mother's side are legally of no kin, and able to suffer and make no sign, – is hold no authority whatever. In speaking scouted a disgraceful weakness not to, or of, bis wife, a man will say “Bintworthy of a Druse. I remember an inci. u'mmee,” daughter of my father's brother, dent which took place in Jedeydah, in a and, vice verså, a woman in speaking family where I was staying at the time. to, or of, her husband, will say, “IbnThe son of the host, a fine boy of about u’mmee,” son of my father's brother. seventeen, had injured his leg very se. The men are industrious, courageous, verely. Mortification set in. The only and enterprising. The women are excel. chance of life lay in amputation of the lent housekeepers, and devoted wives and limb. This, of itself, was a dreadful blow; mothers. In the fights that often take for to a young man among the Druses, to place, either with the local government or be able to pursue a horse galloping at full | the Maronites, it is the shrill saghareet
(a peculiar noise that they make) of the puts on his whitest turban and his newest women that give the intimation far and 'abba. The women draw the kohl reed near, and call the men together from the through their eyelashes, and put on, not more distant villages and hilltops. On the only their own, but all the borrowed jewbattlefield their presence cheers and en- ellery they can get. They set out on foot, courages the men. They bring 'jars of travelling all night, so arranging matters cool water from the spring for the thirsty that they shall arrive as soon after the and bandages for the wounded, load the dawn as possible. The women carry on guos for the men, and stand in front of their heads, in very large round pads of them, while the guns rest on their shoul. light wood, the food that has been preders for the men to take sure aim. A pared. Druse woman laughs at danger. She fol- As they draw near to their destination, lows the men of her people into the thick. the men break out in war-songs, to which est of it, and shows less mercy to an the women add a chorus of “Zaghareet.” enemy that falls into her hands.
If the occasion is a joyful one, young men Druse men bear the character of being accompany the party on their little Arabian chivalrous towards women, even among steeds, and enter the large meedan, which their foes, and never willingly injure one; exists before every sheikh's house, carolbut to the men they are implacable foes, ling and prancing, and throwing the jereed, and do not know the meaning of the word and showing off such dexterous feats of mercy as regards them. To each other, horsemanship as would make the fortune their religion binds them to be strictly of a circus manager. The length of time faithful and loyal, even to the death if that a deputation remains at the sheikh's necessary; and this trait is a part of their village is from one to eight days, accordvery being, whether they be men oring to the importance of the occasion. women, old or young.
Should any scandal be discovered among them, or any treachery, the man or the woman who has caused it is quietly,
From The Spectator. yet surely, made away with in the dead of
WESTMINSTER ABBEY. night, the offender's own nearest relations taking the lead. The strictest silence is The first report of the Royal Commispreserved on the subject, and no bint or sion which was appointed in the spring to inkling of the matter is allowed to leak inquire into the want of space in Westout to any alien. Should any inquiries be minster Abbey for further interments and made about the missing one, a plausible monuments, is exhaustive so far as reexcuse is readily found to account for his gards evidence. The dean has given the or her absence.
history of past burials, the clerk of the A strong bond of union exists between works has stated what grouods remain
for the common people and their sheikhs. future burials. The Archbishop of Can. Private messengers go swiftly from villagę terbury has defined the general conditions to village on foot, travelling, day and to which any annex to the Abbey should night; and thus a constant but secret conform, and several architects have precommunication is kept up among all ranks. sented plans and suggestions for the The outer world, their very neighbors at erection of such an annex. It is no busitheir doors, see nothing, hear nothing, and ness of ours to pronounce an opinion upon suspect nothing.
these last. To do so would be to antici. In the case of a great event taking pate the final report of the Royal Commisplace in a sheikh's family, such as the sion. It will be enough if we inquire death of one of its members, or the birth whether any need has been shown for the of a son, or a marriage, deputations are erection of an additional building, and by sent from every village. Immediately what general considerations those who upon the arrival of the messenger, word is build it should be governed. As regards sent to each family. The women at once the need, it has to do with the monuments set about preparing provisions for the rather than with the actual interments. deputation to take with them. Sheep and Mr. Wright's evidence seems to show goats are killed, and cooked with rice, or that at the present rate, we mnight go on maize, or lentils. Large quantities of burying for another century without combread are baked in the tannoor (native pletely exhausting the remaining available oven). The u'kkáls make out a list of space. Had the present practice of limitmen and women who form the deputation. ing the right of interment to eminent perAll don their best robes. The u’kkáll sons been adopted even no further back