How I Found Livingstone Travels, Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo by William Makepeace Thackeray


By far the most comfortable quarters in Jerusalem are those of the
Armenians, in their convent of St. James.  Wherever - Page 180
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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.

Their 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:

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