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that name on many maps. Arsûf is generally supposed to mark the site of the ancient Apollonia. . You observe that the banks of the Falej are shaded with a dense jungle of those mop-headed canes called babeer, which cover the great marshes of the Hûleh. By keeping up the bank for some distance we shall find an easy ford near some old mills, where the river breaks through a ledge of rocks and enters this verdant vale. It has taken an hour and a half from Em Khâlid, and another hour and a half will bring us to El Haram, on a bold cliff overhanging the sea.
Do you know, I was very suspicious of those Arab horsemen who joined us out of the jungle upon our left. But you seemed to enjoy their society amazingly.
They had no intention of molesting us. The main speak. er was the sheikh of a tribe whose tents are concealed by the bushes to the southeast of us.
anxious to hear the news from the Crimea, and, to judge from his talk, you would think him a most zealous partisan of the Sultan and the Ingleese (English); but he soon turned from war to discuss the merits of the splendid mare upon which he sat so proudly. He had heard that the English were buying horses, and was anxious to sell. He only asked the modest sum of 18,000 piastres (720 dollars) for his mare. She is, in reality, a splendid creature, and walks over this sandy soil as if she were built on springs; nevertheless, I should be sorry to give 18,000 piastres for her.
Let us quicken our pace to this Haram, for there is something to examine on the north of it. The walls of an ancient city, or immense quadrangular fort, can be traced all round; and on the northwest corner was a citadel overhanging the sea, and cut off from the rest by a deep ditch. It must have been a very strong place. There are also other traces of antiquity in various directions.
What an extensive view this elevation commands! The precipice breaks sheer down to the sea, while to the east the country declines gently over many a mile of this sandy desert. Isaiah says that Sharon shall be a wilderness,' and
1 Isaiah xxxiii. 9.
the prediction has become a sad and impressive reality. And so these flocks of the Arabs fulfill that other prophecy, Sharon shall be a fold of flocks. Why is Sharon always joined with Carmel ?
Because, as we remarked when turning round the extreme end of it to Cæsarea, the broad vale which stretches southward to this distance and a great deal farther does actually commence at the base of that mountain. This long plain seems always to have been celebrated for its flocks and herds. David appointed one of his great officers—Shitrai, the Sharonite-over the herds that fed in Sharon.
By the way, we have skirted this plain for so many miles without meeting any of those roses about which Solomon sings so sweetly.
There are wild roses enough in some parts, with their ever-accompanying thorny thickets; and, if the Hebrew word khúbbaizly may be interpreted by the Arabic khubbaizy (malva), I have seen thousands of Solomon's roses on Sharon; and, before you explode in a passion at the thought of degrading the poetic rose into marsh-mallows, let me tell you that certain kinds of mallows grow into a stout bush, and bear thousands of beautiful flowers. However, I will not contend for the identity of khúbbaizly and khúbbaizy, for that would exclude our favorite rose from the Bible altogether, a calamity which the critics seem determined to bring about at any rate, for some of them maintain that the khúbbaizly is the narcissus, others that it is the asphodel, and some translators call it lily.
But come, bid adieu to El Haram, and, for the present, to Sharon also, and slide down this steep declivity to the shore, along which our track lies all the way to Jaffa, a distance of three hours. You may go to sleep for the first two, for there is nothing to attract attention except the infinite quantity of shells, of which there are banks many miles long and several feet thick. A whole fleet might be loaded with them.
And now we shall have to wait at this ’Aujeh, and take Isaiah lxv. 10. · 1 Chron. xxvii. 29.
3 Song ii. 1.
off the loads from our mules, for I see, by that horseman who is fording it, that the water will come up to the sides of the mules, and wet our clothes and books. I never before attempted to cross at this place; but the people of El Haram said that, owing to the scarcity of rain, it could easily be done; and so it can, by all except the loaded animals. However, we shall quickly pass the things over on the shoulders of the men, and then another hour will bring us safely to the biarah of our worthy and hospitable friend Mr. Murad.
Jaffa appears well, bathed in the soft light of sunset. We see almost every house, for they are built on the steep northern declivity of the cape, and the roof of the range below is on a level with the street of those above. The city therefore shows to best advantage from the sea as one comes from the north. The cape itself is merely a sand conglomerate, like the cliffs of Durb el Kheît; it is, in fact, the continuation of that ridge, broken up for a short distance by the joint influence of the 'Aujeh and the sea.