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217

CHAP. X.

OLD PHOENICIANS AND MODERN DRUZES.

ONE day early in July we had occasion to go down
to Beyrout to despatch some business, and when
there we found ourselves suddenly included in a hastily
settled ride to Saida, the ancient Sidon. The oppor-
tunity of accompanying some friends was too pleasant
to be resisted, and the arrangements were so managed
that we were not to be troubled with mules and
canteen ; a Saida gentleman, Signor Pietri Santi, then
in Beyrout, having offered us the use of rooms in his
house. The heat in Beyrout was now very great indeed,
and the mosquitos almost intolerable : we felt them all
the worse as there are scarcely any at Beit Miry, the
bloodthirsty creatures seldom taking the trouble of
flying so high above the plains. We therefore settled
to make our journey by night, and to rest by day. We
had, too, a glorious full moon that lighted us through
the narrow lanes of the town and the pine-forest, with
a cool flood of silver-coloured light that was infinitely
delightful, hiding much of the monotony of what is
sometimes considered a tiresome ride, although there is
really constant change, — the steep rocky shore, here
and there dressed with olive groves, alternating with
smooth curving sands. It is very wild and perhaps
dreary by day, and to add to this impression, in one
place where we were threading the broken rocks by the
 
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