Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































 -  The best bread is of the finest quality; but a second and
third sort is made for the Bedouins who - Page 700
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The Best Bread Is Of The Finest Quality; But A Second And Third Sort Is Made For The Bedouins Who Are Fed By The Convent.

In the distillery they make brandy from dates, which is the only solace these recluses enjoy, and in this they are permitted to indulge even during the fasts.

Most of the monks are natives of the Greek islands; in general they do not remain more than four or five years, when they return to their own country, proud of having been sufferers among

[p.551] Bedouins; some, however, have been here forty years. A few of them only understood Arabic; but none of them write or read it. Being of the lower orders of society, and educated only in convents, they are extremely ignorant. Few of them read even the modern Greek fluently, excepting in their prayer-books, and I found but one who had any notion of the ancient Greek. They have a good library, but it is always shut up; it contains about fifteen hundred Greek volumes, and seven hundred Arabic manuscripts; the latter, which I examined volume after volume, consist entirely of books of prayer, copies of the Gospels, lives of saints, liturgies, &c.; a thick folio volume of the works of Lokman, edited, according to the Arab tradition, by Hormus, the ancient king of Egypt, was the only one worth attention. Its title in Arabic is [Arabic]. The prior would not permit it to be taken away, but he made me a present of a fine copy of the Aldine Odyssey and an equally fine one of the Anthology.

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