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feel the most, and yet it is difficult to see how it can be remedied.
The Druse nation is divided into three sections, of which by far the greatest inhabits the Jebel Druse, a mountainous and somewhat inaccessible district to the east of the Hauran, where the Turkish authority is little more than nominal, where no conscription is attempted to be forced, and the taxation is of the lightest. In fact, the Druses there, who are governed by one of their race appointed by the government, are practically independent. The rest of the nation inhabits the Lebanon, with the exception of these few villages in Galilee. The Lebanon Druses, who come under the international instrument known as the Réglement du Liban, are also free from conscription, excepting for militia service in their own country, and, like their neighbors the Maronites, enjoy the protection of the treaty powers. The small fraction in Palestine, so far from enjoying the privileges of their coreligionists in the Lebanon and Jebel Druse, are in a worse position than any of the fellaheen amongst whom they live, whether Christian or Moslem. The Christians are exempt from military service by virtue of their creed, besides enjoying the protection of the Church to which they belong, which, in its turn, is under the ægis either of France or Russia. The Moslems, though liable to conscription, are at any rate in religious sympathy with the government, and are more or less favored in consequence.
The Druses of Palestine have none of the privileges of the Christians or the advantages of the Moslems. They are regarded as a sort of pariah class, and despised as infidels by both. Hence they are robbed with impunity by their Moslem neighbors, oppressed without possibility of redress by the authorities, as being too unbelieving in matters of religion to be deserving of any one's sympathy; while their denial of the true faith does not protect them, as it does the Christians, from being called upon to serve as soldiers. The consequence is, that there is weeping and wailing every year in some eighteen or twenty villages which are in this exceptional position, when some of their young men are drafted off for service, which arises not merely from the grief of immediate separation, but from the anticipation of future trouble; for, in nine cases out of ten, not a year elapses before these recruits find opportunities of deserting, and seek their refuge in the Jebel Druse, where pursuit
by the Turkish authorities is impossible. As infidels, they find existence in a Mos. lem army intolerable, especially when they can win their liberty so easily by escaping to their co-religionists beyond the Hauran. Their desertion is the certain prelude to a visit by the zaptiehs to the village from which they were conscripted, and it thus becomes liable to a contribution, the amount of which depends more or less upon the good pleasure of the head of the police. The unhappy family to which the deserter belongs lives for the future under a constant financial pressure, thus dearly paying for the liberty which the defaulting member has purchased at their expense. It seems at first sight hard that the Druses of these few villages should not be put upon the same footing as the Christians, or their more fortunate kinsmen in the Hauran and Lebanon. But this would introduce a precedent which the government very naturally refuses to establish, as it would apply equally to the Metawalies, the Ansaryii, the Ismailians, and other non-Moslem sects in the empire, which also are not Christian; and it would give rise to great dissatisfaction among the Moslems, who would refuse to see the expediency or justice of exempting infidels of this category from the conscription to which they were themselves liable. So great is the horror of military service among these people, that a few days ago a man who had just been drawn as a conscript came to me and offered to bind himself to my service for five years in any part of the world if I would purchase his discharge; and when, after satisfying myself as to the character of the man, I accepted his offer, his gratitude, and that of his family, was unbounded. This reluctance to serve is not because they are bad fighters the experience of the Turks in their numerous conflicts with the Druses proves the contrary. but because they object to being specially selected by the officers to be placed in the front of battle, as having less valuable lives than the Moslems, and because they have to endure so much petty persecution at the hands of their comrades in the army; at least this is the explanation given by themselves.
The behavior of the zaptiehs when they visit these villages is often harsh and tyrannical in the extreme. They quarter themselves in the houses of the inhabi tants, who are obliged to keep them and their horses free of charge as long as they choose to remain, and to submit to their overbearing conduct without remon
strance. On one occasion, when a ser geant and two men were at the village, a man came to me with his breast bleeding with blows which he had received from one of the men. I was listening to his tale, when my servant appeared, white, or rather amber-colored, from indignation. He had protested against a zaptieh- the same zaptieh who had struck the man watering his horse at a trough filled with water drawn especially for my horses, and had also been beaten. I at once sought out the offender, and in the heat of the moment paid him back in his own coin. The sergeant then came up, and, afraid of the consequences, sought to propitiate After making the man stand in the sun for an hour in the presence of the villagers, I finally agreed not to make a formal complaint to his superior officer at Haifa, on condition of his apologizing publicly to the man he had struck, as well as to my servant, which he did with a great show of humility.
Besides events of this public nature, there are others of a more private character, which serve to relieve the monotony of life in a Druse village. The other day, aroused by a violent uproar, I went into the street, and found a handsome young fellow, one of the sheikh's sons, surrounded by a posse of screaming women, whose abuse drove him to such a frenzy of rage that he seized a huge stone and would have hurled it at them, had not his father, whom I was in the act of questioning as to the cause of the tumult, rushed to the rescue. With great difficulty he succeeded in quelling the disturbance. Meantime I observed with surprise the young man's wife, a remarkably pretty young woman, whom he had presented to me the day before, standing in a verandah, apparently quite unconcerned at the excitement which was raging against her husband, leaning against a post, with her baby in her arms. She looked on, and smiled languidly. I said to a man standing near,
"What is all the row about? At any rate, the wife does not seem to take much interest in it."
"What would be the use?" he replied. "He has just divorced her, and all the women are abusing him for it. His father is angry with him too, for she is his niece, and his own first cousin, and it brings discredit on the family."
"Then why does he do it?" I asked. "She is a very pretty young woman, and he seemed to have no such intention yesterday when he introduced me to her as bis wife."
“Oh yes, he had. He has been planning for it for some time, only he could not find an excuse. I suppose he has made one now. He is in love with another woman, whom he wishes to marry."
Then I saw the baby put into the cradle, which a man took up, followed by the wife still smiling, and by the mother-inlaw raging, and by the sheikh sullen and dignified, and they marched off to the mother-in-law's house, which was henceforth to be the house of the discarded wife, who thus promptly evacuated her husband's premises "bag and baggage," to make room for her successor. Shortly after, the sheikh reappeared, wrote out a paper — which I afterwards heard was a paper of divorce and proceeding to the mother-in-law's house, followed by a mixed crowd of men and women, solemnly read the document, and the separation became a fait accompli. From this example, and from what I have been able to gather, I incline to the opinion that Druse women have no hearts where love affairs are concerned, though they seem to have strong maternal instincts. However, I have not been long enough among them to be able to pronounce upon this point definitely. The sheikh himself is not immaculate in respect of proceedings of this nature; but his conduct is shrouded in mystery, which I have not completely solved. It was brought to my notice in this manner. A few mornings ago my servant came to tell me that a young man wanted to see me in the kitchen. I went there, and found a youth of two or three and twenty hanging on to the kitchen table as if it were the horns of the altar. Near him was an elderly woman weeping, with whose aspect I was familiar, though I had never asked her name. To my astonishment, I was now informed, for the first time, that she was the sheikh's wife. In all my intercourse with that worthy, although I had several times dined and once even slept in his house, I had never so much as heard of her existence, but had always been waited upon by his daughter. Now it appeared that she was his second wife, that she did not live in his house, that she had had children by a former marriage, that the young man before me was one of them, that an incident had taken place the preceding night which had rendered the young man obnoxious to the sheikh's sons by his first wife, that his life was in danger, and that he had fled to me for protection.
At this point the spiritual sheikh appeared, his son had married a daugh
ter of the old lady's, and sister to the young man. I took him into the liwan, and requested him, in Scotch law parlance, to" condescend" upon particulars. As far as I could make out, the temporal sheikh's sons were jealous of their stepbrothers, and especially of this one, who made too free of his step-father's house, and they had brought against him a baseless accusation. Pressed to define this, he said that the night before the young man had lost his cow, and that he had searched for her everywhere, and, among other places, on the top of the house of the sheikh's brother, which was, in fact, the bedroom of the young wife of that worthy, and that there he had been found and soundly thrashed by the irate husband and his nephews, the sheikh's sons, who had also taken the opportunity of thrashing their step-mother. I suggested that cows did not usually roost on the tops of houses, and that the suspicions of the jealous sons and their no less jealous uncle might be well founded. This the spiritual sheikh, whose sympathies were all with his daughter-in-law's family, denied. At all events, he said that the sheikh's sons had sworn to have the young man's life, that in their present frame of mind they were sure to keep their word, and that his only safety was to remain in my kitchen. Unfortunately the temporal sheikh was absent, so I sent for his sons; but they declined to come, sending word that they felt ashamed. Next day the sheikh appeared, I represented to him the impossibility of my boarding and lodging his step son indefinitely, and asked him whether he could not protect him. He said he could as long as he himself was in the village, but not during his absence. I suggested sending the culprit off to the Hauran. He said that in that case his wife, the youth's mother, would follow her son. As he seemed to speak of this contingency with regret, I suggested that she should be sent for to meet her husband in my house, and a reconciliation should be effected. He said he desired nothing more. So I sent for the old lady, but she declined to come. I now began to feel that I was getting so deeply immersed in Druse domestic relations, that I was becoming confused by them. But there was the lad still in the kitchen, and his bloodthirsty step-brothers outside, and some thing had to be done. Finally, the sheikh said that he thought that if the young man went to stay with a Christian of my acquaintance at Esfia he would be safe, and he himself would not be heart-broken
if his mother chose to follow him there, and that when the storm blew over he could come back. So he was packed off to Esfia. The mother did not follow him, but, for some reason best known to herself, remained in hiding for some days. Whenever I asked where she was, I was told vaguely "in the woods." When she did reappear, she took up her abode with the spiritual sheikh, and is always very glad to come and do a day's work for me -drying figs, making mud plaster, and so forth-whenever I can provide her with work. Meanwhile, the sheikh her husband comes and calls, and sips his coffee, and complacently regards his better half thus earning her living by drudg ery without honoring her with his notice. He has a grown-up daughter by this wife, to whom he seems much attached, and who appears to divide her affections with great impartiality between her estranged parents. What puzzles me is — but I have not ventured to ask the question with divorce so easy, they continue to live on these terms. The old spiritual sheikh, who is a most venerable and charming old man, though not without his faults, was not deterred in early life from following the prevailing custom; he had also divorced his wife; and her successor is what would be called in America the "boss" woman of the village. No tones so shrill, no language so abusive, no energy so indomitable as hers; she is the head and front of every row, and was especially active in behalf of her daugh ter-in-law's family. But she has a warm heart and generous nature, and is untiring in her efforts to render me some service in return for the one I rendered her in saving her son from the conscription, and indeed, if I would only let her, would gladly undertake the management of my whole household, and slave herself to death, without any other recompense than that which she would derive from the constant exercise of authority. During the first weeks of my residence here, she and her whole family invaded my back premises to that extent that I was obliged to place restrictions on their visiting, or rather trespassing, propensities. Still the whole village seems to consider the place common property. They take a great pride and interest in all our little efforts at beautification and landscape gardening, being much puzzled and struck thereby; and whenever they receive visits from the sheikhs of neighboring villages, which is happening constantly, they are instantly brought to see me, and if I am
Accidents and wounds are, however, common, which often terminate fatally owing to the absence of surgical assist ance. My curiosity was one day excited by the perpetually tearful condition of an old woman, apparently in the extreme of poverty. Upon making inquiries in regard to her circumstances, I found that she had been entirely dependent for sup port upon an only son. This young man was noted among his companions for his strength, and being not long since on his way to the neighboring village of the Ummes-Zeinat with a donkey-load of grapes and figs, was waylaid by three of the Umm-es-Zeinat men. Being armed with a heavy club, he succeeded in keeping these at bay. They were, however, joined by four others; and after a severe struggle, during which he put several hors de combat, he was himself disabled by a bullet from a rifle which one of his assailants carried. They then left him, supposing him to be dead; but he succeeded in crawling home several miles, and lingered for ten days before he died. From what I can make out, it is probable that, had he been properly attended to, his life might have been saved. As he was well acquainted with his murderers, who were all members of the sheikh of Umm-es-Zeinat's family, he denounced them to the authorities, and they were arrested and impris oned, but, after a short confinement, were released on the payment of the necessary backsheesh. The old woman now wishes me to take up her case, and insist upon the punishment of the culprits; and I find that it will be possible to obtain her a pecuniary compensation for her loss. This, in spite of her destitute circumstances, she indignantly refuses, vengeance being sweeter to her than cash. But this could only be obtained by a very considerable expenditure of money, and the incurring of much unnecessary hostility; so I have compromised the matter by finding her employment.
absent, shown over the place by one or other of the village notables, who are much flattered and gratified by their mashallahs, and other expressions of surprise and delight as they think how their guests will return to their own village and expatiate on the wonders they have seen. It must not be supposed that they have seen anything but a very modest abode; still it has some of the marks of civilization about it, and to these unsophisticated people they are indications of great grandeur. What astonishes the women most is, that my wife does not go down to the well twice a day for water with a jar on her head, nor does she make barbarica, or mud plaster, or climb into the fig trees to pick the fruit, or bake the bread, or indeed perform any of the whole duties of woman. This apparent indifference to all ordinary feminine avocations is a neverending source of envy and surprise, which is increased by the still more incompre hensible fact that she occupies herself largely in studying Arabic, painting in oils, and doctoring the inhabitants. At first they somewhat mistrusted her skill in this particular; but she has been so successful in her practice, having indeed elsewhere had a pretty extensive medical experience, that her fame is spreading to an inconvenient extent, and every morning now sees a group of patients waiting to be treated. Practice here, however, presents difficulties unknown to the medical profession in more civilized countries. It is impossible to have any instructions carried out, partly from prejudice, partly from stupidity, and partly from ignorance. The patient who requires fresh air and quiet, always lies in the one public room, surrounded by a crowd of waiting women if his disease is serious. The people have no idea of time, excepting with reference to distance. If you ask them if they know what an hour is, they say it is as far as from here to Esfia. Hence it is hopeless to prescribe doses to be given at intervals, excepting sunrise and sunset. All periods There is, indeed, a curious mixture of of time are uncertain. In the summer, security and insecurity of life and propfevers are prevalent, because nearly the erty in this country. I sleep every night whole of the population moves down to with all the doors and windows of the the cabins on the plain of Esdraelon, house wide open, but twice during the where the village owns about three hun-night we have found that thieves have dred acres, the crops on which they have to get in and thrash. These mud huts are only inhabited during the two or three summer months, but they are the most feverish of the year. Otherwise there is very little sickness in Dahlieh, the climate of which is both healthy and agreeable all the year round.
been stealing the leaves from the tobacco in the field which joins it behind, and grapes from the vineyard only fifty yards off in front; but they would never dare to push their depredations into the house. I don't feel so certain about the horses, which are tethered in a shed at the back, especially after an incident which occurred
a few days since, only about five miles the inhabitants themselves. The Druses from here. A German colonist was driv- are especially eager for improvement. ing his team by night from Haifa to Naza- | Their first inquiry was, whether it would reth, when a Circassian passed him on not be possible for me to help them to horseback and gave him the usual salutation; he then whistled, and turned sharply back, two other Circassians appearing simultaneously from an ambush near the road, where they had been hiding. The German, who was an old soldier, scenting mischief, drew his revolver as the Circassians at the same moment sprang from their animals and seized his horses' heads. Jumping from the box, the German rushed to grapple with them, when he was dealt a heavy blow by one of them, with whom he was soon engaged in a severe struggle, while the others were cutting the traces of the horses. Observing that his assailant had drawn a knife, he saw that no time was to be lost, and firing a revolver, dropped him on the spot. The two others now set upon him; and firing again, he wounded one of them. A fourth then came up; but instead of attacking the German, the two Circassians succeeded in placing their wounded comrades on their horses under the fire of his remaining barrels, and galloped away. From the report of a villager with whom they had passed the night, it was afterwards found that one Circassian had been killed outright, one severely and one slightly wounded. Having thus disposed of his assailants, the German, with characteristic phlegm, patched up his harness, and with a very sore and bruised body proceeded on his journey to Nazareth. Since this episode I have decided to build a stable in which to keep the horses under lock and key. Were it not for the Circassians, this would not be necessary, so far as the native fellaheen are concerned; but the Circassians are inveterate horse-stealers, and there is a colony of them which has been recently established about fifteen miles distant. No doubt there are parts of the country which are less safe than others; but I have been in the habit of riding about Carmel at all hours alone, and have never observed any symptom of danger-indeed it is very rare, even in the course of a ride to Haifa, to meet a living soul on the sparsely inhabited mountain.
It is only to be expected that, in a district and amid a population which have been so much neglected, there is plenty to be done. The difficulty is, to know where to begin, and how to set about it. The obstacles in the way of progress are mainly from the government, and not, as might be supposed, from the prejudices of
make a wagon-road to the plain, which would enable them to carry manure to their fields, and their produce to Haifa. They are the first villagers I have met who seem to have any idea of the use of manure for agricultural purposes. Then they expressed a great desire to have a school, as the village was destitute of all means of education. With some kind missionary assistance, I have succeeded in meeting their wishes in this respect. The village furnishes the schoolmaster with board and lodging free, and has set apart a house for school purposes. The master's salary is supplied from other sources. He teaches the Arabic and English languages, besides other elementary branches of knowledge; and the attendance of boys already exceeds fifty, although the school is not a month old, and, as soon as the pressure of agricultural work is over, will be largely increased. About twenty girls have also applied for admission. The neighboring villagers are also making efforts to send their boys, though the distances to be traversed every day involve journeys of from two to three hours. It is a pity that any attempt at the amelioration of the condition of the people, however harmless, should have a tendency to arouse official suspicion. Some deep political design is supposed to lie behind a school; the improving of a mountain path with a view to making it available for agricultural purposes, may mean the commencement of a military road preparatory to the invasion of the country by a hostile army; and an inno cent little bath-house which I put up on the beach, was gravely suspected of being the beginning of a fortification. As for the purchase of land, that, although legally and internationally his right, is virtually almost prohibited to the foreigner, and at present can only be accomplished on a very small scale. This is the more trying when one rides over thousands of acres of fine arable land, only waiting for the application of capital and industry to be made to yield rich returns. The crops on Mount Carmel itself are almost limited to wheat and a little barley, and a species of vetch: near the two villages there is a little sesame and tobacco, with olive-groves, gardens, and vineyards. There is probably no better locality anywhere for vines, as the ancient terraces show, and the very name of the