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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.
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
Favour and Protection whilst we continued in this
THUS guarded, we walk'd out to take a View of
understood in Conformity to "this Eastern Cultom, as relating to a Token of Respect,