Warburton, Eliot
Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, or, The crescent and the cross: comprising the romance and realities of eastern travel — Philadelphia, 1859

Page: 165
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chap, xvi.]

BAALBEC.

165

waste, on which the sun went down in purple clouds. Here I
lost my way, and it was long before I chanced to learn the right
road from a goatherd. When I reached the pathway again, the
last light of day was vanishing. Every where I met groups re-
turning to their homes, carrying their harvest home, or driving
flocks ; then the precipitous path became more difficult, the river
foamed more wildly, the peasants became fewer, and hurried past
me without wishing 'to exchange salutations with one who was
leaving the haunts of men at that late hour.

The few villages that occur in this wild valley, and every trace
of cultivation, seemed confined to the river-side. I passed some
tombs, curiously cut in the rock, which are said to have been
made by the Jews during the Roman persecution. Thence, after
passing over a beautiful bridge, I entered upon the Vale of Baal-
bec. I rode as fast as my wearied horse would travel for some
hours ■ but at last, the power of the spur failing, I was fain to
walk.

A full moon shone upon the wild, wide, lonely scene, and made
curious illusions with the rocks and bushes by the wayside, by
which every thing imaginable, from crouching demon to crawling
Arab, was represented.

My maps were with my luggage, and I had only a slight sketch
from Arrowsmith's very inaccurate map to guide me over the
waste. In following its guidance, I repeatedly lost my way, un-
til a light on a far mountain side announced a village. Riding
up to this, I found most of its inhabitants sleeping in the open air
outside their houses. One of the women, waking up, very civilly
directed me, and, after another weary hour's ride through fra-
grant lanes of gum-cistus and wild roses, I reached the pretty lit-
tle village of Zebdani. This is consecrated by the pleasant asso-
ciation of being the spot wherein Cain murdered Abel, and here
] found my tent, in which I was soon soundly asleep.

Zebdani itself is beautifully situated among clustering groves
and rapid streams ; but, on emerging from its friendly shade, I
rode through a perfectly bleak and barren country, until I came
in sight of the huge pile of the temple of Baalbec, with six light
columns towering over it; it is situated a little to the right of the
centre of the Valley of Bekaa. This vale is about twelve miles
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