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Visits To Monasteries in the Levant   By:

Visits To Monasteries in the Levant by Robert Curzon

First Page:

[Illustration: Book's cover, CURZON'S MONASTERIES]

[Illustration: From a Drawing made on the spot by Viscount Eastnor.

VIEW OF THE GREAT MONASTERY OF METEORA, FROM THE MONASTERY OF BARLAAM, WITH THE RIVER PENEUS IN THE DISTANCE.]

VISITS TO MONASTERIES

IN

THE LEVANT.

BY THE

HONBLE. ROBERT CURZON, JUN. From a Sketch by R. Curzon.

[Illustration: From a Sketch by R. Curzon.

Interior of the Court of a Greek Monastery. A monk is calling the congregation to prayer, by beating a board called the simandro ([Greek: simandro]) which is generally used instead of bells.]

WITH NUMEROUS WOODCUTS.

LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

1849.

PREFACE.

In presenting to the public another book of travels in the East, when it is already overwhelmed with little volumes about palm trees and camels, and reflections on the Pyramids, I am aware that I am committing an act which requires some better excuse for so unwarrantable an intrusion on the patience of the reader than any that I am able to offer.

The origin of these pages is as follows: I was staying by myself in an old country house belonging to my family, but not often inhabited by them, and, having nothing to do in the evening, I looked about for some occupation to amuse the passing hours. In the room where I was sitting there was a large book case full of ancient manuscripts, many of which had been collected by myself, in various out of the way places, in different parts of the world. Taking some of these ponderous volumes from their shelves, I turned over their wide vellum leaves, and admired the antiquity of one, and the gold and azure which gleamed upon the pages of another. The sight of these books brought before my mind many scenes and recollections of the countries from which they came, and I said to myself, I know what I will do; I will write down some account of the most curious of these manuscripts, and the places in which they were found, as well as some of the adventures which I encountered in the pursuit of my venerable game.

I sat down accordingly, and in a short time accumulated a heap of papers connected more or less with the history of the ancient manuscripts; at the desire of some of my friends I selected the following pages, and it is with great diffidence that I present them to the public. If they have any merits whatever, these must consist in their containing descriptions of localities but seldom visited in modern times; or if they refer to places better known to the general reader, I hope that the peculiar circumstances which occurred during my stay there, or on my journeys through the neighbouring countries, may be found sufficiently interesting to afford some excuse for my presumption in sending them to the press.

I have no further apology to offer. These slight sketches were written for my own diversion when I had nothing better to do, and if they afford any pleasure to the reader under the same circumstances, they will answer as much purpose as was intended in their composition.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER Page xix

PART I.

EGYPT IN 1833.

CHAPTER I.

Navarino The Wrecks of the Turkish and Egyptian Fleets Alexandria An Arab Pilot Intense Heat Scene from the Hotel Windows The Water Carriers A Procession A Bridal Party Violent mode of clearing the Road Submissive Behaviour of the People Astonishing Number of Donkeys Bedouin Arabs; their wild and savage appearance Early Hours Visit to the Pasha's Prime Minister, Boghos Bey; hospitable reception Kawasses and Chaoushes; their functions and powers The Yassakjis The Minister's Audience Chamber Walmas; anecdote of his saving the life of Boghos Bey 1

CHAPTER II.

Rapacity of the Dragomans The Mahmoudieh Canal The Nile at Atfeh The muddy Waters of the Nile Richness of the Soil Accident to the Boatmen Night Sailing A Collision A Vessel run down Escape of the Crew Solemn Investigation Final Judgment Curious Mode of Fishing Tameness of the Birds Jewish Malefactors Moving Pillar of Sand Arrival at Cairo Hospitable Reception by the Consul General 14

CHAPTER III... Continue reading book >>




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