Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































 -  He received me very politely; but when he
heard of my intention of proceeding southward, he told me that he - Page 480
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He Received Me Very Politely; But When He Heard Of My Intention Of Proceeding Southward, He Told Me That He

Could not allow of my going forward with one guide only, and that as he was preparing to visit the

Southern districts himself, in a few days, I should wait for him or his people to conduct me. His secretary then informed me, that it was expected I should make some present to the Sheikh, and pay him, besides, the sum which I must have given for a guide. The present I flatly refused to make, saying that it was rather the Sheikh’s duty to make a present to the guest recommended to him by such a person as my Damascene friend was. With respect to the second demand, I answered that I had no more money with me than was absolutely necessary for my journey. Our negotiations on this point lasted for several days; when seeing that I could obtain no guide without an order from the Sheikh, I at last agreed to pay fifteen piastres for his company as far as Djebel Sherah. If I had shewn a disposition to pay this sum immediately, every body would have thought that I had plenty of money, and more considerable sums would have been extorted; in every part of Turkey it is a prudent rule not

[p.379] to grant the Turks their demands immediately, because they soon return to the charge. Had I not shewn my letter to the Sheikh, I should have procured a guide with little trouble, I should have had it in my power to see the borders of the Dead sea, and should have been enabled to depart sooner; but having once made my agreement with him, I was obliged to wait for his departure, which was put off from day to day, and thus I was prevented from going to any distance from the town, from the fear of being left behind.

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