Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































 -  He
is one of the most amiable men I have met with in the East, and what is
still more - Page 130
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He Is One Of The Most Amiable Men I Have Met With In The East, And What Is Still More

Extraordinary, he is extremely desirous to acquire knowledge. In the conversations I had with him during my repeated visits at

Aaere, he was always most anxious to obtain information concerning European manners and institutions. He begged me one day to write down for him the Greek, English, and German alphabets, with the corresponding sound in Arabic beneath each letter; and on the following day he shewed me the copy he had taken of them. His kindness towards me was the more remarkable, as he could not expect the smallest return for it. He admired my lead pencils, of which I had two, but refused to accept one of them, on my offering it to him. These Druses, as well as those of Kesrouan, firmly believe that there are a number of Druses in England; a belief originating in the declaration of the Christians in these countries, that the English are neither Greeks, nor Catholics, and therefore not Christians.

Upon a stone in the village I copied the following;

[xxxxx].

November 20th.--Being desirous of visiting the parts of the Haouran bordering upon the desert, of crossing the Djebel Haouran, or mountainous part of the district, and of exploring several ruined

HEBRAN.

[p.89]cities which I had heard of in the desert, I engaged, with the Sheikh's permission, two Druses and a Christian, to act as guides. As there was considerable risque of meeting with some hostile tribe of Arabs on the road, I gave my purse to the Greek priest, who promised to wait for my return; he did not keep his word, however, for he quitted Aaere, taking my money with him, no doubt in the view of compelling me to follow him to his village, from whence he might again have a chance of obtaining a daily allowance, by accompanying me, though he well knew that it was my intention to return to Damascus by a more western route; nor was this all, he took twenty piastres out of my purse to buy straw for his camels.

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