Jenin and Nablus

Nov. 6

All ready at 7; but two or three had to see the sights, and it was ½ 7 when we got fairly away. We made straight back to Nain, and had to descend a very steep hill on the plain, and we had several good gallops. Changed horses with Mrs Blake, got a stronger animal, but much clumsier in every respect. My little horse had done well.

Nain is a small hamlet; misery apparently rife as ever. Passed numerous threshing floors, with grain and chaff spread in heaps. They throw up the grain in the wind, and the chaff is carried away. Lunched at Jezreel fountain, and found shade of rock very nice and water good. I alone had a bathe, and found it refreshing. Our afternoon ride was fast - galloped large part of the way - our usual style is a kind of funeral walk - and got to Jenin Engamin about ½ 4. Passed a fine orange garden and pull three off a tree for a piastre. They were green skinned, but sweet inside.

An awkward accident happened to-day. Miss L. Ledger's horse, in crossing a small muddy stream, lay down in the middle, and she was therefore pitched into the mud and water. She had to remain in her miserable state for some hours. Yesterday, she was nearly thrown, through her horse getting among hornets, and objecting in a striking manner; but no harm resulted. I ride same horse now - Mrs B having changed with Miss L, and myself with Mrs B.

Nov 7

Left Jenin's clear springs about ½ 6 on our way to a forest of olive trees and along the plain of Dothan, and then through fine hills and valleys, to site of Samaria. Saw remains of a colonnade etc, supposed to have extended round the hill and Herod's palace to have been at the summit. Traces of a large palace; but not much distinct. Saw ancient Church, now a mosque, where John Baptist's tomb is placed. Reached Nablus in good time, and remain here until Monday. Hills etc of Samaria more fertile than other countries I have passed through. Nablus, ancient Shechem and city of refuge, Capital of Jeroboam etc, is a moderate sized town, and, though not surrounded by actual walls, the buildings are so strong and so arranged that no entrance can be gained through the town but thro' the gates. Went walking thro' main st. and saw bazaars. Many of the streets are tunnels or underground, with houses built over them. The town lies on North side of Mt Gerizim, and Mt Ebel is just other side of a small valley. The town has about 70 springs in or near it, and the valley is very fruitful.

Nov. 8

Sunday again, always most welcome. Felt rather drowsy and tired. Met Mr E.L. Karey, Baptist Missionary here. He is an Arab; but has been long in England and educated there: his English wife is from Liverpool. I fancy I have seen them sometime. Went to his house, where he took Service in Arabic this morning. About 5 Arabs, men and women, were present. We were in time to hear them sing. Tunes are English tunes; but sung loudly in monotonous tone. Afterwards we had an English Episcopalian Service in his room by Messrs Gregg and Hunlett. Had some talk with Mr and Mrs Karey; some of us left small donations with them.

Went with Mr K. to see Samaritan Synagogue, a small vaulted chamber with small recess on East side called Holy of Holies. A few mats on floor were taken up before we entered, to keep us from defiling them. No decorations in room but a few table lamps. The High Priest showed us the ancient manuscript roll of Pentateuch; but tried to palm off a more modern one first. It is covered with a velvet cloth worked with gold and bound with metal covers. The roll is on three sticks, each tipped with ornamental metal tops. After dinner, went with Mr K. on horseback to top of Mt. Gerizim, where Samaritan Temple was. Saw place where they still hold the Passover: and all explained by Mr K. Mt Ebal is close to; and 'tis said voices can he heard from one to another. On very summit is an old tomb - which we got very fine views around, and numerous ruins and stones lie around - in particular the 12 stones said to he brought from Jordan.

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