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soon after said, He has brought a flag. What color is it? said the magician. The boy replied red. He was told to call for another flag, which he did, and soon after said he saw another brought, and that it was black. In like manner he called for a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, which were white, green, black, red, and blue. The magician then asked him, How many flags have you now? Seven, answered the boy. While this was going on, the magician put the second and third of the several slips of paper, upon which the forms of invocation were written, into the chafing-dish, and fresh frankincense and coriander-seed having been repeatedly added, the fumes became painful to the eyes. The boy was next desired to say, Bring the Sultan's tent, and pitch it. This he did, and about a minute after said, Some men have brought the tent—a large green tent; they are pitching it; and presently added, They have set
Now, said the magician, order the soldiers to come and pitch their camp around the tent of the Sultan, which was done immediately. The magician, putting the fourth and fifth slips into the fire, said, Tell some of the people to bring a bull
. The boy gave the order, and said, I see a bull; it is red; four men are dragging it along. At his command they killed, cooked it, and then ate it up before his eyes. They have done, said the lad, and are washing their hands. The magician then told him to call for the Sultan, and, having done so, he said, I see the Sultan riding to his tent on a bay horse, and he has on his head a high red cap; he has alighted at his tent, and sat down in it.
Desire them to bring coffee to the Sultan, said the magician, and to form the court. These orders were given and obeyed. The magician had put the last of the six little strips of paper into the chafing.dish, muttering nothing but the words of the written invocation, except on two or three occasions, when he said, If they demand information, inform them, and be ye veracious.
Here ends the long preparation, and it certainly was magical enough. All was now ready, and Mr. Lane proceeded to
test the boy by a variety of questions, the answers to which were often strikingly correct, but he does not seem to have been as successful that time as at some others which have been described to me. I have never heard any thing like a satisfactory explanation of this matter, and have none of my own. There are magicians in Egypt now, as there were in the days of Moses, and their achievements fill a reflecting mind with very serious thoughts. This description of Lane covers the whole series of magical forms and ceremonies practiced by others, for other purposes, with but slight variations.
I asked one in Sidon whether these names, Turshoon and Turyooshoon, were known and employed by him, and he said they were. In short, this whole subject is involved in no small mystery. It exercises a prodigious influence on Oriental society, and always has, and merits a thorough examination. The boy evidently saw just such scenes as are depicted in the wildest stories in the Thousand Nights, and I suspect that this very art was in greater perfection then than now, and that the gorgeous creations of that work were, in many cases, mere verbal pictures taken from the magic mirror of ink.
But our conversation is running deep into the hours of rest, and the subject is almost boundless. We may meet with it again. Let us now seek protection from Him who slumbers not, both from actual evil
, and from hideous visions of the night, while we resign ourselves to "Nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep.”
February 15th. What snow-capped peak is that which appears beyond these nearest mountains ?
That is the very head of old Hermon. You have been out among Sarepta's ruins, I perceive, for from these only is the point you mention visible. But few travelers see it, nor would
if it had not been covered with fresh snow, and lit up by the rising sun.
These sights and names make me realize with delightful certainty that I am actually within the Holy Land.
However that may be, it is nearly certain that our blessed Lord once walked over this very plain, and gazed on those identical hills. I have the impression that it was to Sarepta he came, in the coasts of Tyre and Sidon,' to visit, perhaps, the place where his great forerunner, Elijah, lived and wrought miracles; and that the woman of Canaan, whom Mark calls a Syro-Phoenician, belonged to the city of that poor widow with whom the prophet resided. He raised her son from death. The Saviour delivered this one's daughter from the power of the devil.
This small village on the hill to our left, called Sarafend, is the modern representative of Sarepta. It seems to have been built there after the twelfth century, for at the time of the Crusades the city stood on the shore. Of course the widow's cave, and all other ancient sites now shown under the hill of Sarafend, are apocryphal.
Those who merely ride along the common road form too low an estimate of the size of the ancient city. There are two distinct groups of ruins. One on the headland, immediately west of this, 'Ain el Kūnterah. This may have been the harbor of Sarepta ; and here, I suppose, was the fortress which Phocas mentions in the twelfth century, and also the chapel erected over the reputed house of the widow. Some of those old foundations which we have just examined may mark the exact spot. Our translation makes 1 Matt. xv. 21.
31 Kings xvii. 17-23.
2 Mark vii. 26.