« PreviousContinue »
thousand, christians, jews and mahometans. These subsist chiefly by the pilgrims, about fifteen hundred, or two thou. sand of whom annually visit the holy city. This zeal to visit Jerusalem gave rise to the crusades in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the princes of Europe, with millions of their subjects, travelled to that city, and numerous armies were employed to wrest it out of the hands of infidels ; by which some European kingdoms were greatly impoverished. But pilgrimages from Europe have almost çeased ; and few are seen to visit this city but Greeks, Ara menians, and other Asiatics.
6. The chief traffic of Jerusalem consists in the sale of beads, crosses and sacred relics to the pilgrims. The fabrication of these articles procures subsistence for the greatest part of the inhabitants. Men, women, and children are employed in carving and turning wood and coral, or embroidering silk, with pearls and gold and silver thread. The convent of the holy land alone lays out Gifty thousand piasters in these wares. These commodities, rendered saleable by a superstitious veneration for relics, are exported to Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
TEMPLES IN JERUSALEM. THE temple designed by David and finished by Solo*. 1 mon, was one of the most magnificent buildings ever erected. It was not a single edifice, like a modern church, but a number of courts connected. It stood on the top of Mount Moriah, and made an exact square of eight hundred cubits-about fourteen hundred and sixty feet on each side, and fronting the four cardinal points.
2. To secure the walls of this immense structure, it was necessary to begin the foundation at the bottom of the mountain, so that the walls were above six hundred feet high.The stones were of the largest sizes, and so mortised into each other, that the joints could not be seen, and so wedged into the rocks as to be immovable. The whole was surrounded with a battlement of five feet thickness, in which were windows formed with gold wire. Immediately with in this, was a terrace walk of ninety feet width, into which strangers were permitted to enter, and here was a sort of exchange, or place for buying and selling.
3. The temple, properly so called, was about a hundred and fifty feet in length, and a hundred in breadth. This
consisted of three parts, the porch, the sanctuary, and the holy of holies. Over the porch was a tower a hundred and twenty cubits high. The sanctuary or nave of the temple contained the altar of incense and the table of shewbread; the holy of holies, a square of twenty cubits, contained the ark of the covenant, in which were the two tables of storie on which were engraved the ten commandments.
4. This vast edifice which employed one hundred and eighty thousand men for seven years in its construction, was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, four hundred and twenty four years after it was built. After the seventy year's .: Of captivity, the Jews returned and built a second temple ; but inferior to the first in magnificence. This was destroyed when the city was taken by Titus and the Jews ceased to be a nation.
MOUNT SINAI. , A T the extremity of the valley of Foran, in Arabia, "A is a range of mountains, called by the Arabians, Gibbel Mousa, the mountains of Moses. One eminence is called Tarsina, and is supposed to be the Sinai of the scripture. About seven miles from the foot of this mountain stands the convent of St. Catherine, an edifice of a hundred and twenty feet in length, and nearly square. The whole is of hewn stone.
2. In front stands a small building, in which is the only gate of the convent, which is always shut, except when the bishop is present. At other times, whatever is introduced, whether persons or provisions, is raised to the roof in a basket by a pulley. Yet the Arabs say the Monks enter by a subterranean passage. Before the convent is a large garden. · 3. No-stranger is permitted to enter without permissions of the Bishop, who usually resides at Cairo. The monks are supported chiefly by alıns, and their provisions, which are collected in Cairo, are often stolen on ihe way, by the Arabs. The Arabs also fire upon the convent from the neighboring rocks, and often scize the monks when abroad, and make them pay for their ransom.
4. On the side of this hill is a huge stone, which the A. rabs say, is that which Moses divided with his sword to procure water. In this vicinity there are many springs of good water. Fifteen hundred paçes above the convent
stands a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and five bur. dred paces above this, two others, situated on a plain. The whole mountain is ascended by fourteen hundred stone steps, and on the top is a Christian church and a Turkish mosk. From this spot there is a noble view of the valley of Rephis dim and the Red Sea.
Ruins of PALMYRA. IN the barren plains of Syria, south east of Aleppo, "I and nearly at an equal distance between the Medie terranean and the Euphrates, are to be seen the stupendous ruins of the magnificent city of Palmyra. This city, it is conjectured, was the Tadmore of the wilderness, built, or more probably enlarged and fortified by Solomon. It sto od at the point formed by the approach of two converging hilis, which furnish two springs of water, without which the place would not be habitable.
2. It is probable that this city was built and supported by the profits of a lucrative trade carried on by caravans between Syria and the Persian guif. It rose to a state of unea qualled splendor and wealth, as is evident from its ruins. It was reduced under the power of the Romans by the Empe. ror Trajan. It revolted under its Prince Odenaihus-but this prince being slain by his nephew, the sovereignty de. volved on Zenobia, his wife, a woman of remarkable intre. pidity, who withstood for a time the power of Rome. But Zenobia was at last conquered, and taken prisoner, and a Roman garrison left in Palmyra. A second revolt provoked Aurelian to destroy the city, and in this catastrophe perished the elegant critic, Longinus.
3. As the traveller approaches these ruins, he is struck with astonishment at the number, size and beauty of the white marble columns, some of them standing, others fallen or defaced, which form a range of twenty-six hundred yards. In one place, he sees the walls of a ruined palace ; in another, the peristyle of a temple, half destroyed ; on one side, a portico, a gallery or triumphal arch; on the other, a group of magnificent columns. On all sides he is surrounded with subverted shafts, some entire, others broken : the carth is strewed with vast stones, half buried, with broken entablatures, damaged capitals, mutilated frizes, violated: tombs, and altars defiled with dust.
4. But the spectator's curiosity will be arrested by the
majestic remains of the Temple of the Sun. This noble edifice covered a square of two hundred and twenty yards. It was encompassed with a stately wall, built with large square stones, and adorned with pilasters, within and with, out, to the number of sixty-two. Within the court are the remains of two rows of marble pillars, thirty-seven feet high, with capitals of exquisite workmanship. Of these, fisty.. eight remain entire. This edifice stands in the direction of the meridian, and on the west is a magnificent entrance, on the sides of which are vines and clusters of grapes, carved. in the most masterly imitation of nature.
5. North of this place is an obelisk, about fifty feet high, consisting of seven large stones, besides its capital. About. a hundred paces from the obelisk, is a magnificent entry into a piazza, forty feet broad, and more than a half a mile in length, inclosed with thivo rows of marble pillars, twenty-six feet high, and each nine feet in compass. Of these, one hundred and twenty-nine remain, and by computation, the vhole number must have been five hundred and sixty. Such'majestic ruins, in the niidst of a desert, and inhabited only by a few miserable Arabs, whose huts are scattered among vast and splendid columns of marble, awaken in the mind the most melancholy reflections upon the instability of all human greatness.
OF THE PYRAMIDS IN EGYPT. BOUT twelve miles from Cairo, the metropolis of A Egypt, and on the opposite or west side of the Nile, stand the Pyramids, about ten miles from the site of the ancient Memphis. The large ones are three in number, sittiated upon a ridge of rocky hills, on the border of the Ly.. bian desert. This ridge rises from the plains of Egypt ac bout one hundred feet.
2. The largest of these stupendous works, is six hundred feet square at the base, and five hundred feet high, comipo. sed of soft calcaerous stone, which also forms the hill where it stands. The whole area covered by this mass of stone is about eleven acres of ground. On the outside are steps by which a person may ascend, but not without danger, as the steps are much decayed, except on the south side. On the top is a level platform, sixteen feet square, where a person may repose and enjoy one of the most extensive prospects on earth.
. 3. Sixteen steps above the base, there is an entrance into this pyramid, about three feet square, from which is a steep descent ol ninety-two feet. Within are spacious galleries, halls, and chambers, lined with Thebaic marble, or porphyry, in stones of a vast size. Within one of these apartments is a toinb of one entire piece of marble, hollowed and uncovered at the top, conjectured to have been the sepulcher of the founder. This tem), like the pyramid, stands exactly north and south. At what time, by what prince, and for what purpose this and the other pyramids were erected, are questions that are left to conjecture. The common idea is, that tirey were intended for the tombs of King's. At any rate, mankind agree that they are durable monuments of the extreme folly, as well as despotism of their founders, and of the miserable slavery of their subjects.
Of "Joseph's WELL IN CAIRO. O N the south side of Cairo, is a rocky hill on which " U stands a castle, within wliich is an extraordinary well, which supplies the castle with water. This wellis dug into a soft rock, to the depth of two brundred and seventy feet. A winding staircase is cut out of the same rock, about six feet wide, but separated from the well by a thickness of half a yard of the rock, to prevent persons from falling into the well, or even iooking in, except by small holes, made to let in light.
2. The steps are broad and the descent easy ; but persons descending are incommoded by dirt. At the depth of one laundred and fifty feet, is a large chamber or apartment, where oxen are employed to raise the water by means of wheels and machinery. The water being raised to this piace, is carried to the top by other wheels, worked also by oxen. From this place the descent is more difficult, the stairs being narrow, and not separated from the shaft of the well by a partition. The water raised from the well is distributed in pipes to different parts of the castle. ;
Extract from the Oration of THOMAS Dawes, Esq. deliver
ed at Boston, July 4, 1787. , WHAT Education is one of the deepest principles *.1 of independence, need not be labored in this asmbly. In arbitrary governments, where the people neis