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IV.

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the city is built,and came to a precipice CHAP.
corresponding with the words of the Evangelist.
It is above the Maronite Church, and probably
the precise spot alluded to by the text of St.
Luke's Gospel.

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Christi.

But because the monks and friars, who are most interested in such discoveries, have not found within the Gospels a sufficient number of references to Nazareth, upon which they might erect shops for the sale of their indulgences, they have actually taken the liberty to add to the writings of the Evangelists, by making them vouch for a number of absurdities, concerning which not a syllable occurs within their records. It were an endless task to enumerate all these. One celebrated relic may however Pensa be mentioned ; because there is not the slightest notice of any such thing in the New Testament; and because his Holiness the Pope has not scrupled to vouch for its authenticity, as well as to grant very plenary indulgence to those pilgrims who visit the place where it is exhibited. This is nothing more than a large stone, on which they affirm that Christ did eat with his Disciples, both before and after his resurrection. They have built a chapel over it; and upon the walls of this building several copies of a printed

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IV.

CHAP. certificate, asserting its title to reverence, are

affixed. We transcribed one of these curious documents, and here subjoin it in a te'. There is not an object in all Nazareth so much the resort of pilgrims as this stone -- Greeks, Catholics, Arabs, and even Turks; the two former classes on account of the seven-years

' indulgence granted to those who visit it; the 'two latter, because they believe that some virtue must reside within a stone before which all comers are so eager to prostrate themselves.

As we passed through the streets, we heard loud screams, as of a person frantic with rage and grief; which drew our attention towards a miserable hovel, whence we perceived a woman issuing hastily, with a

cradle containing an infant. Having placed the child upon the area

(1) While the author was engaged in making the following transcript of the Papal Certificate, the Greeks and Catholics who were of the party busied themselves in breaking off pieces of the stone, as relics.

“ Tradictio continua est, et nunquam interrupta, apud omnes nationes Orientales, hanc petram, dictam Mensa CHRISTI, illam ipsam esse supra unam Dominus noster Jesus Christus cum suis comedit Discipulis, ante et post suam resurrectionem a mortuis.

« Et sancta Romana Ecclesia INDULGENTIAM concessit septem annorum et totidem quadragenarum, omnibus Christi fidelibus hunc sanctum locum visitantibus, recitando saltèm ibi unum Pater, et Ave, dummodo sit in statu gratiæ."

СНАР.
IV.

at;

before her dwelling, she as quickly ran back
again; we then perceived her beating some-
thing violently, all the while filling the air with
the most piercing shrieks. Running to see
what was the cause of her cries, we observed
an enormous serpent, which she had found near
her infant, and had completely dispatched be-
fore our arrival. Never were maternal feelings
more strikingly pourtrayed than in the counte-
nance of this woman. Not satisfied with having
killed the animal, she continued her blows until
she had reduced it to atoms, unheeding any
thing that was said to her, and only abstracting
her attention from its mangled body to cast,
occasionally, a wild and momentary glance
towards her child.

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In the evening, we visited the environs; and, Environs walking to the brow of the hill above the town, Town, were gratified by an interesting prospect of the long valley of Nazareth, and some hills, between which a road leads to the neighbouring Plain of Esdraelon, and to Jerusalem. Some of the Arabs came to converse with us. We were surprised to hear them speaking Italian : they said they had been early instructed in this language, by the friars of the Convent.

Their conversation was full of complaints against the rapa

CHAP.

IV.

cious tyranny of their Governors. One of them
said, “

Beggars in England are happier and
better than we poor Arabs.“Why BETTER ?"
said one of our party. Happier,” replied the
Arab who had made the observation, “ in a good
Government : better, because they will not endure a
bad one."

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The plants near the town were almost all withered. We found only four of which we were able to select tolerable specimens. These were, the new species of Dianthus mentioned in the account of our journey from Sephoury; the Syrian Pink, or Dianthus Monadelphus'; the Ammi Copticum; and the Anethum graveolens": these we carefully placed in our herbary, as memorials of the interesting spot on which they were collected.

We observed the manner of collecting the harvest : it is carried upon the backs of camels: and the corn being afterwards placed in heaps, is trodden out by bullocks walking in a circle ; something like the mode of treading corn in the Crimea, where horses are used for this purpose.

The second night after our arrival, as soon as

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CHAP.

IV.

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Land.

it grew dark, we all stretched ourselves upon the
floor of our apartment, not without serious alarm
of catching the plague, but tempted by the hope Penance of
of obtaining a little repose. This we had found in the holy
to be impracticable the night before, in conse-
quence of the vermin. The hope was however
vain; not one of our party could close his eyes.
Every instant it was necessary to rise, and endea-
vour to shake off the noxious animals with which
our bodies were covered. In addition to this
penance, we were serenaded until four o'clock in
the morning, the hour we had fixed for our de-
parture, by the constant ringing of a chapel bell,
as a charm against the plague; by the barking
of dogs; the braying of asses; the howling of
jackals; and by the squalling of children.

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