By Far The Most Comfortable Quarters In Jerusalem Are Those Of The
Armenians, In Their Convent Of St. James.
Wherever we have been,
these Eastern quakers look grave, and jolly, and sleek.
convent at Mount Zion is big enough to contain two or three
thousand of their faithful; and their church is ornamented by the
most rich and hideous gifts ever devised by uncouth piety. Instead
of a bell, the fat monks of the convent beat huge noises on a
board, and drub the faithful in to prayers. I never saw men more
lazy and rosy than these reverend fathers, kneeling in their
comfortable matted church, or sitting in easy devotion. Pictures,
images, gilding, tinsel, wax candles, twinkle all over the place;
and ten thousand ostrichs' eggs (or any lesser number you may
allot) dangle from the vaulted ceiling. There were great numbers
of people at worship in this gorgeous church: they went on their
knees, kissing the walls with much fervour, and paying reverence to
the most precious relic of the convent, - the chair of St. James,
their patron, the first Bishop of Jerusalem.
The chair pointed out with greatest pride in the church of the
Latin Convent, is that shabby red damask one appropriated to the
French Consul, - the representative of the King of that nation, - and
the protection which it has from time immemorial accorded to the
Christians of the Latin rite in Syria. All French writers and
travellers speak of this protection with delightful complacency.
Consult the French books of travel on the subject, and any
Frenchman whom you may meet:
Enter page number
Page 180 of 240
Words from 49131 to 49396