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Of the Late

Charles Thompson, Efq;



ESCENDING from our agreeable Eminence into the Plain, we were conducted by our Guide round about the Gardens to the Eaft Gate of the City, which was nearest to the Latin Convent, where we propofed to lodge du ring our Stay at Damafcus. As we pafs'd between the Gardens, we obferv'd their Method of fcouring the Channels, which. is done by putting a great Bough of a Tree into the Water, and dragging it along by a Yoke of Oxen. The Driver fits or ftands upon the Bough, as well to prefs it down, as to drive the Beafts; and thus they both cleanse the Bottom, and fatten the Water by ftirring up the Mud, fo as to render it of greater Advantage to the Gardens. We alfo admired the fingular Structure of the GardenWalls, which confift of huge Pieces of Earth, fhap'd like Bricks, and harden in the Sun. They are each VOL. III. N° XXXIII.



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of them two Yards long, one in Breadth, and half a Yard thick. Two Rows of thefe placed edge-ways, one upon another, form the ufual Inclofures in this Country.

As to the River Barrady, after it has largely contributed to the Beauty and Fertillty of the Fields and Gardens about Damafcus, wherein it lofes great Part of its Waters, the fmall Remnant that efcapes is again united in one Channel, on the South-East Side of the City; and after a Course of a few Hours, it is finally loft in a Morafs, without ever arriving at the Sea. It is well known that the Greeks, and from them the Ro. mans, call'd this River Chryforrboas, which is as much as to fay, the Golden River; but as for those Rivers of Damafcus call'd Abana and Pharpar, whereof mention is made in 2 Kings v. 12, there are no Traces of any fuch Names remaining, nor can we tell where to find them, unless two Branches of the Barrady were anciently fo call'd, as it feems reasonable to conje


On the 28th of February, about Noon, we arriv'd at the Eaft Gate of Damafcus, and went immediately to the Latin Convent, where we were kindly receiv'd by the Superior, a Native of Aix in Provence. Our first Bufinefs was to make a Present to the Turkift Beglerbeg or Viceroy, to pave the Way for a Vifit we intended to make him*, in order to procure his

"It is counted uncivil, fays "Mr. Maundrell, to vifit in this "Country without an Offering

in hand. All great Men ex"pect it as a kind of Tribute "due to their Character and

Authority, and look up"on themselves as affronted, "and indeed defrauded, when

this Compliment is omitted. "Even in familiar Vifits amangit inferior People, you


fhall feldom have them come "without bringing a Flower, or an Orange, or fome other "fuch Token of their Refpect "to the Perfon vifited; the "Turks in this Point keeping up "the ancient oriental Custom "hinted, 1 Sam. ix. 7. If we


go, (fays Saul) what shall we "bring the Man of God? there "is not a Prefent, &c. which "Words are questionlefs to be

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Favour and Protection whilst we continued in this
City; for the Damafcens are a bigotted and infolent
People, and have a strange Averfion to the European
Christians, from whom therefore we had Reason to ex-
pect fome injurious Treatment. We fucceeded in our
Application to the Turkish Governor according to our
Wishes, who gave Orders to an Officer of the Fani-
zaries to let two of that Body attend us wherever
we went, and prevent our being infulted or molefted
by the Populace.

THUS guarded, we walk'd out to take a View of
the City, the Streets whereof are narrow, as is ufual in
hot Countries, and the Houfes built of Brick harden'd
by the Heat of the Sun, or only common Clay, in as
coarfe a manner as the vileft Cottages, notwithstand-
ing they have Plenty of good Stone in the adjacent
Mountains. This dirty way of building is attended
with an Inconvenience which we were made fenfibe
of by Experience; namely, that upon any hafty
Shower fo much Mud is wash'd from the Sides of the
Houses, as makes the Streets intolerably nafty. It
feems ftrange, that People fhould affect fuch mean
Buildings, when they have Materials at hand fit for
the noblest Structures; but the Turks think it to little
purpose to build durable Houses, in which their Te-
nure is fo very precarious; and feem particularly averfe
to making an outfide Shew, left it should prove a
Temptation to their Superiors to deprive them of
their Poffeffions, The Doors, however, are adorn'd
with Marble Portals; and the Infide of the Buildings
elegant enough, for there we ufually find a large fquare
Court, beautified with Variety of fragrant Trees, Flow-
ers, and Fountains, and furrounded with fplendid A-
partments and Sofa's, where the Turks eat, drink,
smoke, receive Vifits, and loll at their Ease, taking
"and not to a Price of Divina
* tion." Pag. 26.

A 2

understood in Conformity to "this Eastern Cultom, as relating to a Token of Respect,



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