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hundred thousand dollars for her, so that I could do like the other Arabs — hesitate, yearn for the money,
but, overcome by my love for my mare, at last say, “ Part with thee, my beautiful one! Never with my life! Away, tempter, I scorn thy gold !” and then bound into the saddle and speed over the desert like the wind !
But I recall those aspirations. If these Arabs be like the other Arabs, their love for their beautiful mares is a fraud. These of my acquaintance have no love for their horses, no sentiment of pity for them, and no knowledge of how to treat them or care for them. The Syrian saddle-blanket is a quilted mattress two or three inches thick. It is never removed from the horse, day or night. It gets full of dirt and hair, and becomes soaked with sweat. It is bound to breed sores. These pirates never think of washing a horse's back. They do not shelter the horses in the tents, either; they must stay out and take the weather as it comes. Look at poor cropped and dilapidated “Baalbec," ' and weep for the sentiment that has been wasted upon
the Selims of romance.
BOUT an hour's ride over a rough, rocky road,
half flooded with water, and through a forest of oaks of Bashan, brought us to Dan.
From a little mound here in the plain issues a broad stream of limpid water and forms a large shallow pool, and then rushes furiously onward, augmented in volume. This puddle is an important source of the Jordan. Its banks, and those of the brook, are respectably adorned with blooming oleanders, but the unutterable beauty of the spot will not throw a well-balanced man into convulsions, as the Syrian books of travel would lead one to suppose.
From the spot I am speaking of, a cannon-ball would carry beyond the confines of Holy Land and light upon profane ground three miles away. We were only one little hour's travel within the borders of Holy Land - we had hardly begun to appreciate yet that we were standing upon any different sort of earth than that we had always been used to, and yet see how the historic names began already to cluster ! Dan - Bashan – Lake Huleh - the Sources of Jor
dan — the Sea of Galilee. They were all in sight but the last, and it was not far away. The little township of Bashan was once the kingdom so famous in Scripture for its bulls and its oaks. Lake Huleh is the Biblical “Waters of Merom." Dan was the northern and Beersheba the southern limit of Palestine - hence the expression “from Dan to Beersheba.” It is equivalent to our phrases “from Maine to Texas”-“from Baltimore to San Francisco." Our expression and that of the Israelites both mean the same great distance. With their slow camels and asses, it was about a seven-days journey from Dan to Beersheba - say a hundred and fifty or sixty miles — it was the entire length of their country, and was not to be undertaken without great preparation and much ceremony.
When the prodigal traveled to “a far country,” it is not likely that he went more than eighty or ninety miles. Palestine is only from forty to sixty miles wide. The state of Missouri could be split into three Palestines, and there would then be enough material left for part of another — possibly a whole one. From Baltimore to San Francisco is several thousand miles, but it will be only a seven-days journey in the cars when I am two or three years older. * If I live I shall necessarily have to go across the continent' every now and then in those cars, but one journey from Dan to Beersheba will be sufficient, no doubt. It
* The railroad has been completed since the above was written.
must be the most trying of the two. Therefore, if we chance to discover that from Dan to Beersheba seemed a mighty stretch of country to the Israelites, let us not be airy with them, but reflect that it was and is a mighty stretch when one cannot traverse it by rail.
The small mound I have mentioned a while ago was once occupied by the Phoenician city of Laish. A party of filibusters from Zorah and Eshcol captured the place, and lived there in a free and easy way, worshiping gods of their own manufacture and stealing idols from their neighbors whenever they wore their own out. Jeroboam set up a golden calf here to fascinate his people and keep them from making dangerous trips to Jerusalem to worship, which might result in a return to their rightful allegiance. With all respect for those ancient Israelites, I cannot overlook the fact that they were not always virtuous enough to withstand the seductions of a golden calf. Human nature has not changed much since then,
Some forty centuries ago the city of Sodom was pillaged by the Arab princes of Mesopotamia, and among other prisoners they seized upon the patriarch Lot and brought him here on their way to their own possessions. They brought him to Dan, and father Abraham, who was pursuing them, crept softly in at dead of night, among the whispering oleanders and under the shadows of the stately oaks, and fell upon the slumbering victors and startled
them from their dreams with the clash of steel. He recaptured Lot and all the other plunder.
We moved on. We were now in a green valley, five or six miles wide and fifteen long. The streams which are called the sources of the Jordan flow through it to Lake Huleh, a shallow pond three miles in diameter, and from the southern extremity of the lake the concentrated Jordan flows out. The lake is surrounded by a broad marsh, grown with reeds. Between the marsh and the mountains which wall the valley is a respectable strip of fertile land; at the end of the valley, toward Dan, as much as half the land is solid and fertile, and watered by Jordan's sources. There is enough of it to make a farm. It almost warrants the enthusiasm of the spies of that rabble of adventurers who captured Dan. They said: “We have seen the land, and behold it is very good.
A place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth.”
Their enthusiasm was at least warranted by the fact that they had never seen a country as good as this. There was enough of it for the ample support of their six hundred men and their families, too.
When we got fairly down on the level part of the Danite farm, we came to places where we could actually run our horses. It was a notable circumstance.
We had been painfully clambering over interminable hills and rocks for days together, and when we suddenly came upon this astonishing piece of rock