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The innocents abroad, or, The new Pilgrim's progress

being some account of the steamship Quaker City's pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy land ; with descriptions of countries, nations, incidents and adventures, as they appeared to the author






NAZARETH is wonderfully interesting because the town
has an air about it of being precisely as Jesus left it,
and one finds himself saying, all the time, “The boy Jesus has
stood in this doorway—has played in that street—has touched
these stones with his hands—has rambled over these chalky
hills.” Whoever shall write the Boyhood of Jesus ingeniously,
will make a book which will possess a vivid interest for
young and old alike. I judge so from the greater interest we
found in Nazareth than any of our speculations upon Capernaum
and the Sea of Galilee gave rise to. It was not possible,
standing by the Sea of Galilee, to frame more than a vague,
far-away idea of the majestic Personage who walked upon the
crested waves as if they had been solid earth, and who touched
the dead and they rose up and spoke. I read among my notes,
now, with a new interest, some sentences from an edition of
1621 of the Apocryphal New Testament. [Extract.]

“Christ, kissed by a bride made dumb by sorcerers, cures her. A leprous girl
cured by the water in which the infant Christ was washed, and becomes the servant
of Joseph and Mary. The leprous son of a Prince cured in like manner.

“A young man who had been bewitched and turned into a mule, miraculously
cured by the infant Saviour being put on his back, and is married to the girl who
had been cured of leprosy. Whereupon the bystanders praise God.

“Chapter 16. Christ miraculously widens or contracts gates, milk-pails, sieves or
boxes, not properly made by Joseph, he not being skillful at his carpenter's trade.
The King of Jerusalem gives Joseph an order for a throne. Joseph works on it
for two years and makes it two spans too short. The King being angry with him,
Jesus comforts him—commands him to pull one side of the throne while he pulls
the other, and brings it to its proper dimensions.

“Chapter 19. Jesus, charged with throwing a boy from the roof of a house, miraculously


Page 538
causes the dead boy to speak and acquit him; fetches water for his
mother, breaks the pitcher and miraculously gathers the water in his mantle and
brings it home.

“Sent to a schoolmaster, refuses to tell his letters, and the schoolmaster going to
whip him, his hand withers.”

Further on in this quaint volume of rejected gospels is an
epistle of St. Clement to the Corinthians, which was used in
the churches and considered genuine fourteen or fifteen hundred
years ago. In it this account of the fabled phœnix occurs:

“1. Let us consider that wonderful type of the resurrection, which is seen in the
Eastern countries, that is to say, in Arabia.

“2. There is a certain bird called a phœnix. Of this there is never but one at a
time, and that lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution
draws near, that it must die, it makes itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and
other spices, into which, when its time is fulfilled, it enters and dies.

“3. But its flesh, putrefying, breeds a certain worm, which, being nourished by
the juice of the dead bird, brings forth feathers; and when it is grown to a perfect
state, it takes up the nest in which the bones of its parent lie, and carries it from
Arabia into Egypt, to a city called Heliopolis:

“4. And flying in open day in the sight of all men, lays it upon the altar of the
sun, and so returns from whence it came.

“5. The priests then search into the records of the time, and find that it returned
precisely at the end of five hundred years.”

Business is business, and there is nothing like punctuality,
especially in a phœnix.

The few chapters relating to the infancy of the Saviour contain
many things which seem frivolous and not worth preserving.
A large part of the remaining portions of the book read
like good Scripture, however. There is one verse that ought
not to have been rejected, because it so evidently prophetically
refers to the general run of Congresses of the United States:

“199. They carry themselves high, and as prudent men; and though they are
fools, yet would seem to be teachers.”

I have set these extracts down, as I found them. Every
where, among the cathedrals of France and Italy, one finds
traditions of personages that do not figure in the Bible, and
of miracles that are not mentioned in its pages. But they are


Page 539
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 539. In-line Illustration. Image of a man driving a horse down a steep, rocky incline. The caption reads, "WANT OF DIGNITY."] all in this Apocryphal New Testament, and though they have
been ruled out of our modern Bible, it is claimed that they
were accepted gospel twelve or fifteen centuries ago, and
ranked as high in credit as any. One needs to read this book
before he visits those venerable cathedrals, with their treasures
of tabooed and forgotten tradition.

They imposed another pirate upon us at Nazareth—another
invincible Arab guard. We took our last look at the city,
clinging like a whitewashed wasp's nest to the hill-side, and at
eight o'clock in the morning, departed. We dismounted and
drove the
horses down
a bridle-path
I think was
fully as
crooked as a
which I
know to be
as steep as
the downward
of a rainbow,
which I believe
to be
the worst
piece of
road in the geography, except
one in the Sandwich Islands,
which I remember painfully,
and possibly one or two mountain
trails in the Sierra Nevadas.
Often, in this narrow
path, the horse had to poise
himself nicely on a rude stone step and then drop his fore-feet


Page 540
over the edge and down something more than half his own
height. This brought his nose near the ground, while his tail
pointed up toward the sky somewhere, and gave him the appearance
of preparing to stand on his head. A horse can not
look dignified in this position. We accomplished the long descent
at last, and trotted across the great Plain of Esdraelon.

Some of us will be shot before we finish this pilgrimage.
The pilgrims read “Nomadic Life” and keep themselves in a
constant state of Quixotic heroism. They have their hands on
their pistols all the time, and every now and then, when you
least expect it, they snatch them out and take aim at Bedouins
who are not visible, and draw their knives and make savage
passes at other Bedouins who do not exist. I am in deadly
peril always, for these spasms are sudden and irregular, and
of course I can not tell when to be getting out of the way.
If I am accidentally murdered, some time, during one of these
romantic frenzies of the pilgrims, Mr. Grimes must be rigidly
held to answer as an accessory before the fact. If the pilgrims
would take deliberate aim and shoot at a man, it would be all
right and proper—because that man would not be in any danger;
but these random assaults are what I object to. I do not
wish to see any more places like Esdraelon, where the ground
is level and people can gallop. It puts melodramatic nonsense
into the pilgrims' heads. All at once, when one is jogging
along stupidly in the sun, and thinking about something ever
so far away, here they come, at a stormy gallop, spurring and
whooping at those ridgy old sore-backed plugs till their heels
fly higher than their heads, and as they whiz by, out comes a
little potato-gun of a revolver, there is a startling little pop,
and a small pellet goes singing through the air. Now that I
have begun this pilgrimage, I intend to go through with it,
though sooth to say, nothing but the most desperate valor has
kept me to my purpose up to the present time. I do not mind
Bedouins,—I am not afraid of them; because neither Bedouins
nor ordinary Arabs have shown any disposition to harm us,
but I do feel afraid of my own comrades.

Arriving at the furthest verge of the Plain, we rode a little


Page 541
way up a hill and found ourselves at Endor, famous for its
witch. Her descendants are there yet. They were the wildest
horde of half-naked savages we have found thus far. They
swarmed out of mud bee-hives; out of hovels of the dry-goods
box pattern; out of gaping caves under shelving rocks; out
of crevices in the earth. In five minutes the dead solitude and
silence of the place were no more, and a begging, screeching,
shouting mob were struggling about the horses' feet and blocking
the way. “Bucksheesh! bucksheesh! bucksheesh! howajji,
bucksheesh!” It was Magdala over again, only here the
glare from the infidel eyes was fierce and full of hate. The
population numbers two hundred and fifty, and more than
half the citizens live in caves in the rock. Dirt, degradation
and savagery are Endor's specialty. We say no more about
Magdala and Deburieh now. Endor heads the list. It is worse
than any Indian campoodie. The hill is barren, rocky, and forbidding.
No sprig of grass is visible, and only one tree. This
is a fig-tree, which maintains a precarious footing among the
rocks at the mouth of the dismal cavern once occupied by the
veritable Witch of Endor. In this cavern, tradition says, Saul,
the King, sat at midnight, and stared and trembled, while the
earth shook, the thunders crashed among the hills, and out of
the midst of fire and smoke the spirit of the dead prophet rose
up and confronted him. Saul had crept to this place in the
darkness, while his army slept, to learn what fate awaited him
in the morrow's battle. He went away a sad man, to meet
disgrace and death.

A spring trickles out of the rock in the gloomy recesses of
the cavern, and we were thirsty. The citizens of Endor objected
to our going in there. They do not mind dirt; they do
not mind rags; they do not mind vermin; they do not mind
barbarous ignorance and savagery; they do not mind a reasonable
degree of starvation, but they do like to be pure and holy
before their god, whoever he may be, and therefore they shudder
and grow almost pale at the idea of Christian lips polluting
a spring whose waters must descend into their sanctified
gullets. We had no wanton desire to wound even their feelings


Page 542
or trample upon their prejudices, but we were out of
water, thus early in the day, and were burning up with thirst.
It was at this time, and under these circumstances, that I
framed an aphorism which has already become celebrated. I
said: “Necessity knows no law.” We went in and drank.

We got away from the noisy wretches, finally, dropping
them in squads and couples as we filed over the hills—the aged
first, the infants next, the young girls further on; the strong
men ran beside us a mile, and only left when they had secured
the last possible piastre in the way of bucksheesh.

In an hour, we reached Nain, where Christ raised the
widow's son to life. Nain is Magdala on a small scale. It has
no population of any consequence. Within a hundred yards
of it is the original graveyard, for aught I know; the tombstones
lie flat on the ground, which is Jewish fashion in Syria.
I believe the Moslems do not allow them to have upright
tombstones. A Moslem grave is usually roughly plastered
over and whitewashed, and has at one end an upright projection
which is shaped into exceedingly rude attempts at ornamentation.
In the eities, there is often no appearance of a
grave at all; a tall, slender marble tombstone, elaborately lettred,
gilded and painted, marks the burial place, and this is
surmounted by a turban, so carved and shaped as to signify
the dead man's rank in life.

They showed a fragment of ancient wall which they said
was one side of the gate out of which the widow's dead son
was being brought so many centuries ago when Jesus met the

“Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold there was a dead man
carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people
of the city was with her.

“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said, Weep not.-

“And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And
he said, Young man, I say unto thee, arise.

“And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to
his mother.

“And there came a fear on all. And they glorified God, saying, That a great
prophet is risen up among us; and That God hath visited his people.”


Page 543

A little mosque stands upon the spot which tradition says
was occupied by the widow's dwelling. Two or three aged
Arabs sat about its door. We entered, and the pilgrims broke
specimens from the foundation walls, though they had to touch,
and even step, upon the “praying carpets” to do it. It was
almost the same as breaking pieces from the hearts of those
old Arabs. To step rudely upon the sacred praying mats, with
booted feet—a thing not done by any Arab—was to inflict
pain upon men who had not offended us in any way. Suppose
a party of armed foreigners were to enter a village church
in America and break ornaments from the altar railings for
curiosities, and climb up and walk upon the Bible and the pulpit
cushions? However, the cases are different. One is the
profanation of a temple of our faith—the other only the profanation
of a pagan one.

We descended to the Plain again, and halted a moment at a
well—of Abraham's time, no doubt. It was in a desert place.
It was walled three feet above ground with squared and heavy
blocks of stone, after the manner of Bible pictures. Around
it some camels stood, and others knelt. There was a group of
sober little donkeys with naked, dusky children clambering
about them, or sitting astride their rumps, or pulling their
tails. Tawny, black-eyed, barefooted maids, arrayed in rags
and adorned with brazen armlets and pinchbeck ear-rings, were
poising water-jars upon their heads, or drawing water from the
well. A flock of sheep stood by, waiting for the shepherds to
fill the hollowed stones with water, so that they might drink—
stones which, like those that walled the well, were worn
smooth and deeply creased by the chafing chins of a hundred
generations of thirsty animals. Picturesque Arabs sat upon
the ground, in groups, and solemnly smoked their long-stemmed
chibouks. Other Arabs were filling black hog-skins
with water—skins which, well filled, and distended with water
till the short legs projected painfully out of the proper line,
looked like the corpses of hogs bloated by drowning. Here
was a grand Oriental picture which I had worshiped a thousand
times in soft, rich steel engravings! But in the engraving


Page 544
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 544. In-line Illustration. Image of a square well with many different types of people and animals around it. The caption reads, "AN ORIENTAL WELL."] there was no desolation; no dirt; no rags; no fleas; no
ugly features; no sore eyes; no feasting flies; no besotted ignorance
in the countenances; no raw places on the donkeys'
backs; no disagreeable jabbering in unknown tongues; no
stench of camels; no suggestion that a couple of tons of powder
placed under the party and touched off would heighten the
effect and give to the scene a genuine interest and a charm
which it would always be pleasant to recall, even though a
man lived a thousand years.

Oriental scenes look best in steel engravings. I can not be
imposed upon any more by that picture of the Queen of Sheba
visiting Solomon. I shall say to myself, You look fine, Madam,
but your feet are not clean, and you smell like a camel.


Page 545

[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 545. In-line Illustration. Image of two Arab men embracing. The caption reads, "ARABS SALUTING."]

Presently a wild Arab in charge of a camel train recognized
an old friend in Ferguson, and they ran and fell upon each
other's necks and kissed
each other's grimy,
bearded faces upon both
cheeks. It explained
instantly a something
which had always seemed
to me only a farfetched
Oriental figure
of speech. I refer to the
circumstance of Christ's
rebuking a Pharisee, or
some such character, and
reminding him that from
him he had received no “kiss of welcome.” It did not seem
reasonable to me that men should kiss each other, but I am
aware, now, that they did. There was reason in it, too. The
custom was natural and proper; because people must kiss, and
a man would not be likely to kiss one of the women of this
country of his own free will and accord. One must travel, to
learn. Every day, now, old Scriptural phrases that never possessed
any significance for me before, take to themselves a

We journeyed around the base of the mountain—“Little
Hermon,”—past the old Crusaders' castle of El Fuleh, and
arrived at Shunem. This was another Magdala, to a fraction,
frescoes and all. Here, tradition says, the prophet Samuel was
born, and here the Shunamite woman built a little house upon
the city wall for the accommodation of the prophet Elisha.
Elisha asked her what she expected in return. It was a perfectly
natural question, for these people are and were in the
habit of proffering favors and services and then expecting and
begging for pay. Elisha knew them well. He could not comprehend
that any body should build for him that humble little
chamber for the mere sake of old friendship, and with no selfish
motive whatever. It used to seem a very impolite, not to say


Page 546
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 546. In-line Illustration. Image of Bedouin men riding horses and carrying long spears. The caption reads, "'FREE SONS OF THE DESERT.'"] a rude question, for Elisha to ask the woman, but it does not
seem so to me now. The woman said she expected nothing.
Then for her goodness and her unselfishness, he rejoiced her
heart with the news that she should bear a son. It was a high
reward—but she would not have thanked him for a daughter
—daughters have always been unpopular here. The son was
born, grew, waxed strong, died. Elisha restored him to life
in Shunem.

We found here a grove of lemon trees—cool, shady, hung
with fruit. One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare,
but to me this grove seemed very beautiful. It was beautiful.
I do not overestimate it. I must always remember Shunem
gratefully, as a place which gave to us this leafy shelter after
our long, hot ride. We lunched, rested, chatted, smoked our
pipes an hour, and then mounted and moved on.

As we trotted across the Plain of Jezreel, we met half a
dozen Digger Indians (Bedouins) with very long spears in their


Page 547
hands, cavorting around on old crowbait horses, and spearing
imaginary enemies; whooping, and fluttering their rags in the
wind, and carrying on in every respect like a pack of hopeless
lunatics. At last, here were the “wild, free sons of the desert,
speeding over the plain like the wind, on their beautiful Arabian
mares” we had read so much about and longed so much
to see! Here were the “picturesque costumes!” This was
the “gallant spectacle!” Tatterdemalion vagrants—cheap
braggadocio—“Arabian mares” spined and necked like the
ichthyosaurus in the museum, and humped and cornered like
a dromedary! To glance at the genuine son of the desert is
to take the romance out of him forever—to behold his steed is
to long in charity to strip his harness off and let him fall to

Presently we came to a ruinous old town on a hill, the same
being the ancient Jezreel.

Ahab, King of Samaria, (this was a very vast kingdom, for
those days, and was very nearly half as large as Rhode Island)
dwelt in the city of Jezreel, which was his capital. Near him
lived a man by the name of Naboth, who had a vineyard. The
King asked him for it, and when he would not give it, offered
to buy it. But Naboth refused to sell it. In those days it was
considered a sort of crime to part with one's inheritance at any
price—and even if a man did part with it, it reverted to himself
or his heirs again at the next jubilee year. So this spoiled
child of a King went and lay down on the bed with his face to
the wall, and grieved sorely. The Queen, a notorious character
in those days, and whose name is a by-word and a reproach
even in these, came in and asked him wherefore he sorrowed,
and he told her. Jezebel said she could secure the vineyard;
and she went forth and forged letters to the nobles and wise
men, in the King's name, and ordered them to proclaim a fast
and set Naboth on high before the people, and suborn two witnesses
to swear that he had blasphemed. They did it, and the
people stoned the accused by the city wall, and he died. Then
Jezebel came and told the King, and said, Behold, Naboth is
no more—rise up and seize the vineyard. So Ahab seized the


Page 548
vineyard, and went into it to possess it. But the Prophet Elijah
came to him there and read his fate to him, and the fate
of Jezebel; and said that in the place where dogs licked the
blood of Naboth, dogs should also lick his blood—and he said,
likewise, the dogs should eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.
In the course of time, the King was killed in battle, and when
his chariot wheels were washed in the pool of Samaria, the
dogs licked the blood. In after years, Jehu, who was King of
Israel, marched down against Jezreel, by order of one of the
Prophets, and administered one of those convincing rebukes so
common among the people of those days: he killed many
kings and their subjects, and as he came along he saw Jezebel,
painted and finely dressed, looking out of a window, and ordered
that she be thrown down to him. A servant did it, and
Jehu's horse trampled her under foot. Then Jehu went in and
sat down to dinner; and presently he said, Go and bury this
cursed woman, for she is a King's daughter. The spirit of
charity came upon him too late, however, for the prophecy had
already been fulfilled—the dogs had eaten her, and they
“found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the
palms of her hands.”

Ahab, the late King, had left a helpless family behind him,
and Jehu killed seventy of the orphan sons. Then he killed
all the relatives, and teachers, and servants and friends of the
family, and rested from his labors, until he was come near to
Samaria, where he met forty-two persons and asked them who
they were; they said they were brothers of the King of Judah.
He killed them. When he got to Samaria, he said he would
show his zeal for the Lord; so he gathered all the priests and
people together that worshiped Baal, pretending that he was
going to adopt that worship and offer up a great sacrifice; and
when they were all shut up where they could not defend themselves,
he caused every person of them to be killed. Then
Jehu, the good missionary, rested from his labors once more.

We went back to the valley, and rode to the Fountain of
Ain Jelüd. They call it the Fountain of Jezreel, usually. It
is a pond about one hundred feet square and four feet deep,


Page 549
with a stream of water trickling into it from under an over-hanging
ledge of rocks. It is in the midst of a great solitude.
Here Gideon pitched his camp in the old times; behind Shunem
lay the “Midianites, the Amalekites, and the Children of
the East,” who were “as grasshoppers for multitude; both
they and their camels were without number, as the sand by
the sea-side for multitude.” Which means that there were one
hundred and thirty-five thousand men, and that they had
transportation service accordingly.

Gideon, with only three hundred men, surprised them in the
night, and stood by and looked on while they butchered each
other until a hundred and twenty thousand lay dead on the

We camped at Jenin before night, and got up and started
again at one o'clock in the morning. Somewhere towards
daylight we passed the locality where the best authenticated
tradition locates the pit into which Joseph's brethren threw
him, and about noon, after passing over a succession of mountain
tops, clad with groves of fig and olive trees, with the Mediterranean
in sight some forty miles away, and going by many
ancient Biblical cities whose inhabitants glowered savagely
upon our Christian procession, and were seemingly inclined to
practice on it with stones, we came to the singularly terraced
and unlovely hills that betrayed that we were out of Galilee
and into Samaria at last.

We climbed a high hill to visit the city of Samaria, where
the woman may have hailed from who conversed with Christ
at Jacob's Well, and from whence, no doubt, came also the celebrated
Good Samaritan. Herod the Great is said to have
made a magnificent city of this place, and a great number of
coarse limestone columns, twenty feet high and two feet
through, that are almost guiltless of architectural grace of
shape and ornament, are pointed out by many authors as evidence
of the fact. They would not have been considered
handsome in ancient Greece, however.

The inhabitants of this camp are particularly vicious, and
stoned two parties of our pilgrims a day or two ago who


Page 550
brought about the difficulty by showing their revolvers when
they did not intend to use them—a thing which is deemed bad
judgment in the Far West, and ought certainly to be so considered
any where. In the new Territories, when a man puts
his hand on a weapon, he knows that he must use it; he must
use it instantly or expect to be shot down where he stands.
Those pilgrims had been reading Grimes.

There was nothing for us to do in Samaria but buy handfuls
of old Roman coins at a franc a dozen, and look at a dilapidated
church of the Crusaders and a vault in it which once
contained the body of John the Baptist. This relic was long
ago carried away to Genoa.

Samaria stood a disastrous siege, once, in the days of Elisha,
at the hands of the King of Syria. Provisions reached such a
figure that “an ass' head was sold for eighty pieces of silver
and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of

An incident recorded of that heavy time will give one a
very good idea of the distress that prevailed within these
crumbling walls. As the King was walking upon the battlements
one day, “a woman cried out, saying, Help, my lord, O
King! And the King said, What aileth thee? and she answered,
This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may
eat him to-day, and we will eat my son to-morrow. So we
boiled my son, and did eat him; and I said unto her on the
next day, Give thy son that we may eat him; and she hath
hid her son.”

The prophet Elisha declared that within four and twenty
hours the prices of food should go down to nothing, almost,
and it was so. The Syrian army broke camp and fled, for some
cause or other, the famine was relieved from without, and many
a shoddy speculator in dove's dung and ass's meat was ruined.

We were glad to leave this hot and dusty old village and
hurry on. At two o'clock we stopped to lunch and rest at ancient
Shechem, between the historic Mounts of Gerizim and
Ebal where in the old times the books of the law, the curses
and the blessings, were read from the heights to the Jewish
multitudes below.