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of the bank. It is used in the construction of the bridge. Beth. sban is almost entirely built of it.
April 24.–At last we have made out our visit to Pella. Making an early start, we retraced our steps along the Jordan valley, to the mouth of Wady Seklab; a short half-hour beyond that brought us to the little Tell, upon which are situated the ruined remains of Pella. A good many broken columns and pieces of pediment lie at the foot of the Tell, close by the fountain. I observed, also, a large stone sarcophagus near the ruins. The view is similar to the view I described from the hills above, which we admired on our way from Ba-oun. Shortly after leaving the ruins, on our return to the camp, we fell in with a strong party of Bashi-Bazouks, about a hundred of as disreputable-looking gentlemen as I ever saw. They rode up to us, and instantly inquired if we had seen a number of Bedouins with cattle and horses passing by. We had not, and said so. They did not believe us, evidently. At last, they rode away up a wady, and we rode home. It was very hot, and on reaching the tent we were not surprised to find the thermometer had been 123 deg. at mid-day. Not long after our return, the Bashi-Bazouks came triumphantly into the Turkish camp announcing that they had captured the train of animals who were with the Bedouins ; news also came from Tiberias that Aghile Agha's men, with a party of Adwân, had swept down early this morning and carried off cattle and horses from Semakb, killing four men. These were the Bedouins that we just missed falling in with. I am so sorry, for it would have been quite an adventure to meet a regular Bedouin marauding party returning with their spoil to the mountains of Bashan. Before_sunset this evening I had a most charming dip in the Jordan. The river is swift and deep even here. We found, however, a delightful little nook, where there was a break in the beds of bamboo-cane and oleander, and where a willow hung over the river. One yard from the bank the water was up to my waist, and even there I felt the current. It was most refreshing to dip right under the water on such a hot afternoon.
April 25.—Before starting this morning, I made a little sketch of the bridge. The river is very pretty just by the bridge. There is a little island below it, with oleander growing on it, covered at present with flowers. We heard from Michael, as we were riding away, the real version of the Adwân raid on Semahk. Goblan himself led the party; they crossed the Jordan by a ford below the bridge, near Beisan, came up under the hills, close past the Turkish camp in the night, barried Semahk, and returned by the same route early in the morning. They must have preceded us by a bare hour, turning up one of the wadys north of Wady Seklab. They made good their retreat. The Basbi-Bazouks never came up with them at all; but finding some peaceful Bedouins of the Ghor feeding a flock of goats close to where we had our meeting with them, they carried off these goats, and returned to Tabor, whence they had come in the morning. The officer in command of the Turkish troops was aware of the whole transaction, but said he could not interfere, having no cavalry. We took a guide to Umkeis from the camp, but he lost his way in leaving the Jordan valley, which made us longer than we need have been. As we wound our way along the low ridge of hills, we came suddenly upon a couple of wild boars, accompanied by a numerous family of young
ones. They went off at their best pace, grunting melodiously. We had nothing but small shot in the guns, unfortunately, or else the pair would not have got away scot free as they did. Soon after, two lovely gazelles started up, really close to us, and went away. I never had so good a look at wild gazelles before. Eagles we saw two or three times in the course of the day. Two hours' ride brought us to Umkeis, the ancient Gadara, most beautifully situated on the crest of a rounded hill, having a splendid view over the sea of Tiberias and all its surrounding mountains. This bill is a spur of the north-western extremity of the mountains of Gilead. To the north of the ruins and some three miles distant is the deep bed of the Sheri-at-el-Mandhur, the ancient Jarmuk, which is a pretty stream winding down to join the Jordan, between beds of oleander. The ruins of Gadara, the capital of Perea, are extensive, but, except the two theatres, none are recognisable to the ordinary traveller. One of these theatres facing west is in tolerable preservation, the other is a complete ruin. The city boasted of a street of columns, similar to the one at Gerasa, but now these columns are all prostrate. The paved street, however, is in many places quite perfect, and it is most interesting to trace the deep wheel-ruts, which are distinctly visible in several parts of it. Some ten minutes' ride beyond the ruins are the celebrated tombs which were inbabited in our Saviour's time by maniacs. We passed immense numbers of sarcophagi, some of them adorned with rude sculpture of figures, and faces, and garlands, “ gods and genii,” Mr.
The tombs are most interesting. They are excavated in the limestone rock, and many of them have doors, which open and shut, cut out of solid blocks of basalt. They are fitted most ingeniously, having projecting pieces of stone at the top and bottom, rounded and made to fit into corresponding sockets in the door-sill and the lintel. They are ornamented in some instances with bands and nails, cut in the stone to resemble iron-work; in one I found something like a knocker, with a hole cut through, doubtless to insert the finger, in order to pull the heavy door to. Among the ruins I gathered a lovely large iris, purple, with delicate brown pencilling on the leaves; it smelt deliciously sweet. We found Bedouins of the Ghor camped here. An hour's ride down the steep descent brought us to the Sheri-at-el-Mandhur, where we rested and lunched, under the shade of the thickets of oleander which cover the banks. I dever saw such a profusion of flowers on the oleander anywhere. The spring was surrounded with invalids, who come here from various parts of Syria, for their health's sake. It was considered second only to the hot springs of Baiæ, in the days of the Romans. We rode for some way down the western banks of the Mandhur, here a precipitous cliff-the haunt of eagles. It is a wild, beautiful place. We turned down (for the last time) into the Jordan valley, and rode past Semakh, the valley which' bas just suffered from the Bedouin raid. It is deserted, the inhabitants having fled in all directions. At the ford across the Jordan we found a boat, which is an unusual luxury. It is here that the river issues from the Lake of Tiberias a clear, broad, swift stream. We swam the horses over, and they were speedily re-saddled. Our way to Tiberias lay along the shores of the lake, a beautiful ride of an hour and a half.
BY MRS, ALFRED M. MUNSTER.
LAURA'S RECEPTION AT HOME. ONE week of perfect happiness was Laura's, and then her lover departed to fulfil his postponed engagements. They parted with the understanding that their next meeting was to be at Charlwood, for, in reply to a letter from Colonel Home, Mr. Charlton had written sadly but kindly, sanctioning the new engagement, while he lamented the rupture of the old one, and concluding by inviting the colonel to Charlwood at his pleasure. To Laura her father had also written, desiring that she should return home as soon as she could possibly do so. He told her that her happiness was his first care, and that, much as he deplored the disappointment of his hopes as to Arthur Errol, his Laura had but to be sure of her own heart and wishes to be equally certain of his full co-operation.
“ Your father is not very flattering to me, Laura,” said the colonel, lightly, as he handed her the letter he had just read. “ He gives me clearly to understand, that, had you thought fit to fall in love with a chimney-sweep, he would have consented, rather than cross his darling."
“Nonsense, George !"
“ Probably it is, my dearest; but it is what he implies, nevertheless. However, he does not say nay to my prayer, and that is everything. Since I have leave to call you mine, I shall not quarrel about the manner in which it has been given me. What does he
?" “ He is only too forbearing with me,” answered Laura, with tears in her voice. “He does not allow himself to reproach me in the least, although I know he must be bitterly pained by my inconsistency, and "Oh! of course he will think
away on me. I declare, it would make me angry if it were not too ridiculous. Such a piece of fuss about a silly boy-and-girl firtation! As if every man and woman in the world had not had a dozen such affairs before they learned to know their own minds."
“ Surely you do not think that, George ?”
He looked at her fixedly for a minute, as if he had only half heard her question, and then with a sudden smile, and brightening of his clouded brow, he seized both her hands.
“It is true of every one but you, my dove, my lily, my sweet nun! I do believe you love me with your whole innocent heart. You never loved that Errol, poor yielding, ignorant child that you were. Had he been worthy the name of man, he would have kept you, for
would never have had force of will or hardness of heart enough to save yourself; but, thank Heaven! I have freed you from him, and you are my own now."
When Laura was again permitted to speak, she said, “Papa wishes me to go home at once.”
“Humph! And I suppose that fellow will be whining and sighing about the lawns and groves of Charlwood ? I declare, Laura, I can hardly trust you. I shall have to claim my property. Nay, I don't mean to say that I really distrust you—far from it; I am as sure of your love as I am of-of-of my own, but I can't have you exposed to any annoyance from the imbecile, boyish despair of your discarded suitor. You belong to me now, and I will not have my sanctuary profaned by the sighs of other worshippers, however fruitless they may be.” “I wish you would not think so hardly of poor
Arthur. He is too generous and too much of a gentleman to do as you imagine. It is likely that I shall not see him at all."
“ Í am sure I hope so. If he has half a grain of spirit or sense, he will take himself off before your return. And now, my pet, I must go. I shall be at Charlwood very soon after your arrival there, and, mind! I shall have something to say to your father, and you must make no difficulties about it. The sooner I have you altogether in my keeping, the sooner I shall be quite at ease ; I always detested the idea of a long engagement. You will write to me every day, and if I should not be quite so good a correspondent, you will remember that I have many things to arrange, much to occupy my time, and that, whether I write or am silent, I am yours only."
So he went.
“Sir Thomas,” said Lady Lenox at breakfast on the morning after the colonel's departure," Mr. Charlton naturally wishes Laura to go home. Could we not hasten our departure by a little, and go to Kent earlier than we had intended ?"
“Why yes, I suppose we could.”
“ I am very sorry to inconvenience you in any way,” said Laura, “and I am so happy here, but papa does urge my return; however, you know he will gladly come for me.”
dear, we shall take you. You will want me to help you when you face Lucy Charlton ; not but she will rejoice that you are marrying a poor man instead of a rich one, but all the same she will make you feel her claws. Perhaps that wretched Emilie of hers may succeed in laying hold of young Errol now.”
"I may write papa, then, that I shall be home in a fortnight?” “ Yes, we shall manage it so." Laura was at home again, and the first words her father said to her, when they were left for a moment alone, told her that Mrs. Errol had gone to make a long stay in Yorkshire with some friends, and that Arthur had on the previous day joined a travelling party bound for Egypt; then he handed his daughter a letter from Mrs. Errol, and I fancy Colonel Home had been but ill pleased had he seen the red eyes and known the sorrowful heart of his betrothed when she had read the kind, good woman's forgiving words. Mrs. Errol took great blame on herself, in that she had allowed her own and her son's wishes to blind her to the fact of Laura's ignorance of the importance of what she did when
she pledged herself to Arthur. There were kind hopes for the girl's happy future, and not one harsh or ungentle word from first to last.
"Don't cry so, my little Laura,” said her father, tenderly. “It cannot be helped now; and perhaps it is all the better as it is. I cannot but feel and say that I had rather things had remained as they were; but, whatever secures my darling's happiness, will satisfy me. I ought never to have allowed you to bind yourself at your age, and with your utter unconsciousness of what you were doing. We'll say no more about it now, my dear. I have no doubt Colonel Home is all he ought to be, and I am sure I shall like him very much if he loves my Laura, and she loves him. I shall not fail to grow fond of him. He has a high character and a good position, and, if he is not well off, we can remedy that; you have enough for both."
Laura only answered by her caresses and tears, and her father went on to speak of his delight in her return, and of how much he had missed her during her absence.
Mrs. Charlton was in one of her worst moods ; she seemed brimming over with ill nature, and Laura was made to feel that she was in deep disgrace. As the family party sat at dessert, Lady Lenox asked whether there had been any news of Adelaide lately.
yes!" replied Mrs. Charlton; "they are all in Paris now, and are coming home rather sooner than we expected ; that is to say, they are coming to England, but I cannot say when we shall get Adelaide home, for her brother-in-law seems quite as unable to do without her as Marion is."
“So you may say that two of your daughters are provided for," observed the old lady:
“ Marion is, at all events,” answered Mrs. Charlton, “and Adelaide might have been even better settled than her sister ; but, with her beauty and advantages, she is naturally fastidious, and none of her offers have had favour in her eyes.”
“ If she would take my advice,” said Sir Thomas, “she would take the first honourable, respectable man she could like tolerably well. Being
very much admired, as you say she is, there is great danger of her becoming a flirt, and there is not much demand for that style of young lady."
“No fear of any of my girls becoming flirts or jilts, Sir Thomas. They despise such a character as much as I do—as much as every well-principled, delicate-minded woman must do. I think Adelaide quite right in being difficult in making her choice, but, once made, I venture to say she will behave honourably, and like a lady.”
“I am sure I hope so," said Lady Lenox. “ And now, suppose we talk of something else."
“ Not just yet, please, dear aunt, for recent distressing events render it necessary that, in justice to myself, I should allow Emilie to see that the contemptible vacillation and want of constancy shown by her halfsister can never meet with my approbation.”
Lady Lenox touched Laura's arm, and with one slight look at the girl's crimsoned face, she said:
“Go to your own room, my dear. I wish to speak to Mrs. Charlton.”
Laura rose without a word, and left the dining-room. Lady Lenox turned to her niece.