Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































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Although the Christians of the mountain have thus become more attached
to their prince, their condition, on the whole, is - Page 260
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Although The Christians Of The Mountain Have Thus Become More Attached To Their Prince, Their Condition, On The Whole, Is

Not bettered, as the Emir scarcely dares do justice to a Christian against a Druse; still, however, the Christians rejoice

In having a prince of their own faith, and whose counsellors and household are with few exceptions of the same religion. There are not more than forty or fifty persons about him who are not Christians. One of the prince's daughters lately married a Druse of an Emir family, who was not permitted to celebrate the nuptials till he had been instructed in the doctrines of Christianity, had been baptized, and had received the sacrament. How far the Shehab may be sincere in their professions, I am unable to decide; it is probable that if their interests should require it, they would again embrace the religion of their ancestors.

In order to strengthen his authority the Emir Beshir has formed a close alliance with Soleiman Pasha of Acre, thus abandoning the policy of his predecessors, who were generally the determined enemies of the Turkish governors; this alliance is very expensive to the Prince, though it serves in some degree to counterbalance the influence of the Sheikh Beshir. The Emir and the Sheikh are apparently on the best terms; the latter visits the Emir almost every week, attended by a small retinue of horsemen, and is always received with the greatest apparent cordiality. I saw him at Beteddein during my stay there.

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