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The Lands of the Saracen Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain   By: (1825-1878)

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or, Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain.


Bayard Taylor.

Twentieth Edition.


To Washington Irving,

This book the chronicle of my travels through lands once occupied by the Saracens naturally dedicates itself to you, who, more than any other American author, have revived the traditions, restored the history, and illustrated the character of that brilliant and heroic people. Your cordial encouragement confirmed me in my design of visiting the East, and making myself familiar with Oriental life; and though I bring you now but imperfect returns, I can at least unite with you in admiration of a field so rich in romantic interest, and indulge the hope that I may one day pluck from it fruit instead of blossoms. In Spain, I came upon your track, and I should hesitate to exhibit my own gleanings where you have harvested, were it not for the belief that the rapid sketches I have given will but enhance, by the contrast, the charm of your finished picture.

Bayard Taylor.


This volume comprises the second portion of a series of travels, of which the "Journey to Central Africa," already published, is the first part. I left home, intending to spend a winter in Africa, and to return during the following summer; but circumstances afterwards occurred, which prolonged my wanderings to nearly two years and a half, and led me to visit many remote and unexplored portions of the globe. To describe this journey in a single work, would embrace too many incongruous elements, to say nothing of its great length, and as it falls naturally into three parts, or episodes, of very distinct character, I have judged it best to group my experiences under three separate heads, merely indicating the links which connect them. This work includes my travels in Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Sicily and Spain, and will be followed by a third and concluding volume, containing my adventures in India, China, the Loo Choo Islands, and Japan. Although many of the letters, contained in this volume, describe beaten tracks of travel, I have always given my own individual impressions, and may claim for them the merit of entire sincerity. The journey from Aleppo to Constantinople, through the heart of Asia Minor, illustrates regions rarely traversed by tourists, and will, no doubt, be new to most of my readers. My aim, throughout the work, has been to give correct pictures of Oriental life and scenery, leaving antiquarian research and speculation to abler hands. The scholar, or the man of science, may complain with reason that I have neglected valuable opportunities for adding something to the stock of human knowledge: but if a few of the many thousands, who can only travel by their firesides, should find my pages answer the purpose of a series of cosmoramic views should in them behold with a clearer inward eye the hills of Palestine, the sun gilded minarets of Damascus, or the lonely pine forests of Phrygia should feel, by turns, something of the inspiration and the indolence of the Orient I shall have achieved all I designed, and more than I can justly hope.

New York, October , 1854.


Chapter I.

Life in a Syrian Quarantine.

Voyage from Alexandria to Beyrout Landing at Quarantine The Guardians Our Quarters Our Companions Famine and Feasting The Morning The Holy Man of Timbuctoo Sunday in Quarantine Islamism We are Registered Love through a Grating Trumpets The Mystery Explained Delights of Quarantine Oriental vs. American Exaggeration A Discussion of Politics Our Release Beyrout Preparations for the Pilgrimage

Chapter II.

The Coast of Palestine.

The Pilgrimage Commences The Muleteers The Mules The Donkey Journey to Sidon The Foot of Lebanon Pictures The Ruins of Tyre A Wild Morning The Tyrian Surges Climbing the Ladder of Tyre Panorama of the Bay of Acre The Plain of Esdraelon Camp in a Garden Acre the Shore of the Bay Haifa Mount Carmel and its Monastery A Deserted Coast The Ruins of C├Žsarea The Scenery of Palestine We become Robbers El Haram Wrecks the Harbor and Town of Jaffa... Continue reading book >>

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