The East (1876) PDF book : being a narrative of personal impressions of a tour in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria

The East: being a narrative of personal impressions of a tour in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria

The East: being a narrative of personal impressions


At present any new book on the East will naturally be looked upon as got up in view of the existing excitement on the subject of the " Turkish Atrocities." Hence a few lines of preface may be necessary. This book was originally written more than a year ago, and was in the publishers' hands before the Bulgarian massacres were made public; but I have since had time to add a Chapter and several Notes still farther illustrating Turkish character, as well as Mahomedan domestic, religious and political life. I think that in the present crisis every little fact and observation, even of an ordinary Eastern tourist, may add to a knowledge of what has I fear been too long — -not intentionally, but inadvertently — concealed from the general reader.

Prominence is given to the inevitable results of Moslem domestic life — the slavery and imprisonment of women. Industry, art, and patriotism have disappeared, as also national probity, and even the fertility of the land 1 Turkey has no Shakspeare, no Burns, no Beranger, because the sentiment of tenderness, in which all poetry has its root, is extinct. Need we be very much surprised if such people should become fiendlike? In view of the important events now transpiring in Eastern Europe, I have not hesitated to express an opinion of the Turkish Government and the condition of that unhappy country, but have been careful to avoid a political tone. To act otherwise would, I feel, be entirely out of place; and besides, I think that either both political parties are to blame for the present condition of Turkey, or that neither party really is so.

Except the securing by Government open navigation and the freedom of commerce, the only duty that seems imposed upon Great Britain now, is to fulfill her treaty obligation of twenty years ago — namely, the seeing that complete protection and religious liberty be secured, not only to the Greek Church but to all sects alike — Christian and Jew. This may prove no easy task, however, and requires unanimity. There is very great danger that, in befriending Turkey, Great Britain may unintentionally strengthen her in evil, and this it now appears was pointed out by the late Prince Consort. It is remarkable that of all our statesmen he was the one who some twenty years ago foresaw and pointed out this danger; and every new revelation we obtain of his live shows more and more the enlightened character of that great Prince, who seems to have lived in advance of his age.

Contents of the book

I. Egypt and the Outward Journey . . 1

II. Palestine, Judea, Jerusalem, &c. . . 49

III. Palestine, Bethlehem, Dead Sea, Jor-
dan, &c 91

IV. Palestine, Samaria, Tent Life,. . 133

V. Syria, Damascus, Balbec, Beirut,

Homeward Journey, 17.2

VI. Postscript. — Recent Events .... 238

Author: William Young  Martin

 Publication Date: 1876. 

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