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prostration consequent on the severe privations | Lieutenant Lynch, "we saw the Supply stand and great exposure to which they were unavoida-out to sea. Shall any of us live to tread again bly subjected." Besides these few men, Lieuten-her clean familiar deck? What matters it! We ant Dale and Midshipman Aulick were attached to are in the hands of God, and, fall early or fall late, the expedition; and the commander had with him we fall with his consent." There was certainly his son, who took charge of the herbarium. Thus room for serious reflection. The fates of the unthe party consisted in all of fourteen persons, to happy Costigan, and more recently of Lieutenant whom were subsequently added, as volunteers, Mr. Molyneux, both of whom perished of fever caught Bedlow and Dr. Anderson, the former at Constan- on the Dead Sea, were but too well calculated to tinople, and the latter at Beirut, where also an damp the spirits of the adventurers. Even the interpreter was acquired in the person of an intel- thoughtless sailors felt its influence :— ligent native Syrian called Ameuny. We should like to know whether this was the person of the same name who, a few years back, studied in King's College, London. We feel almost sure that this is the same person; and, in that case, we know that he was qualified to render far greater services to the expedition than he has credit
for on the face of the narrative.
The Supply sailed from New York on the 21st of November, 1847, and reached Smyrna on the 18th February, 1848. From Smyrna the officers of the expedition proceeded to Constantinople in the Austrian steamer, with the view of obtaining from the sultan, through the American minister, permission to pass through a part of his dominions in Syria, for the purpose of exploring the Dead Sea, and of tracing the Jordan to its source. The account of this journey occupies too much space; and even the writer of the lesser account, although avowedly remaining behind at Smyrna, treats us to an account of Constantinople, prepared, it would seem like the other notices of places which he is fond of thrusting in-from those invaluable authorities, the geography books for the use of schools.
We had been told, (it is stated in the Montague book,) that there never was an expedition planned to explore the Dead Sea which had prospered, some fatality, like the unerring dart of an eagle, had always pounced upon its brave fellows; they had been sick, and lingered but a short while, and had died in this unfriendly climate; or had been attacked by the bloodthirsty Arabs, plundered, and then murdered. These things had taken place so recently, that the murderer has scarce sheathed his sword-the smoke from his pistol has scarce died away in the atmosphere-the unerring spear has scarce stayed from its quivering-and the blood of the murdered has scarcely yet been dried up by the prevailing heat, or absorbed by the surrounding earth. But we Yankee boys, &c.
The first difficulty of a practical nature was how to get the boats across to the Sea of Tiberias. The copper boat, we should have noticed. was named Fanny Mason, and the other, Fanny Skinner-two very pretty and appropriate names for the navigation of the Sea of Death. boats, mounted on the trucks, were laden with the stores and baggage of the party, and all was arranged most conveniently-only the horses could not be persuaded to draw. The harness The commander had the honor of an audience was also found to be much too large for the small of the young sultan, and manifests some disposi-Syrian horses; and although they manifestly glotion to plume himself upon the republican free-ried in the strange equipment, and they voluntaridom of his demeanor. There is, we must say, ly performed sundry gay and fantastic movements, much bad taste of this sort throughout the book. We are also indulged with some rather twaddling observations upon the character of the sultan, and the impending downfall of the Turkish empire. The latter is a subject on which we are sorely tempted to have our say too; but we will not at this time allow even Lieutenant Lynch to seduce us from our proper theme. The desired authorization was granted; and the sultan even appeared to manifest some interest in the undertaking, and requested to be informed of the results.
the operation of pulling was altogether averse to their habits and inclination. What was to be done? Oxen might have been tried, and we have no doubt that they would have performed the task well; but they were all engaged in the labors of the field, it being now "the height of seed-time," (which must be a mistake for harvest,) and Lieutenant Lynch generously hesitated to withdraw them from that essential labor. was thinking of taking the boats to pieces, though most reluctant to adopt that course, when the idea of trying whether camels might not be made to draw in harness crossed his mind. The experiment was tried; and all hearts throbbed with gratitude as the huge animals, three to each, marched off with the trucks, the boats upon them, with perfect ease. It was a novel sight, witnessed The expedition men, with the stores, the tents, by an eager crowd of the natives, to whom the and the boats, having landed, an encampment successful result disclosed an unknown accomwas formed on the beach, and the Supply depart-plishment in the patient and powerful animal, ed to deliver to the American squadron the stores which they had before thought fit only to plod with which it was charged, with orders to be along with a heavy load upon his back. back in time for the reëmbarkation of the exploring party. "With conflicting emotions," writes
Thus armed with all necessary powers, the officers returned to Smyrna, rejoining the Supply, which sailed the next day (March 10) for the coast of Syria, and, after touching at Beirut and other places, came to anchor in the Bay of Acre, under Mount Carmel on the 28th.
This difficulty, and some others, thrown in their way by the Governor of Acre, being removed,
the party at length set forth from the coast on the | allied Bedouins, with the cattle, proceeding along
4th of April. They were accompanied by "a fine old man, an Arab nobleman, called Sherif Hazza of Mecca, the thirty-third lineal descendant of the prophet." As he appeared to be highly venerated by the Arabs, Lieutenant Lynch thought it would be a good measure to induce him to join the party; and he was prevailed upon to do so with less difficulty than had been anticipated. Another addition to the party was made next day in the person of a Bedouin sheikh of the name of Akil, with ten well-armed Arabs. This person, described as a powerful border sheikh, had become known to them at Acre, and on now visiting him at his village of Abelin, he was induced to attend the expedition “with ten spears," which, with the sheikh and sherif, and the servants of the latter, made fifteen Arabs in all. The exploring party itself amounted to sixteen, with the interpreter and cook; so that altogether, with the Arabs gallantly mounted, with their long tufted spears, the mounted seamen in single file, the laden camels, and the metal boats, with flags flying, mounted on carriages drawn by huge camels, the party presented rather an imposing aspect. "It looked," says the commander, proudly, "like a triumphal march."
Some difficulty was experienced in getting the boats over the broken and rocky upper country, the roads being no better than mule tracks; but by breaking off a crag here, and filling up a hollow there, and by sometimes abandoning the road altogether, difficulties were overpassed, and the whole equipage reached the brink of the slopes overlooking the basin of the Galilee lake. How to get them down into the water was still some question. Took all hands up the mountain to get the boats down. Many times we thought that, like the herd of swine, they would rush precipitately into the sea. Every one did his best, and at length success crowned our efforts. With their flags flying we carried them triumphantly beyond the walls [of Tiberias] uninjured, and amid a crowd of spectators, launched them upon the blue waters of the sea of Galilee the Arabs singing, clapping their hands to the time, and crying for backshish-but we neither shouted nor cheered. From Christian lips it would have sounded like profanation. A look upon that consecrated lake ever brought to remembrance the words, "Peace, be still!" which not only repressed all noisy exhibition, but soothed for a time all worldly care. Buoyantly floated the two "Fannies," bearing the stars and stripes-the noblest flag of freedom now waving in the world. Since the time of Josephus and the Romans no vessel of any size has sailed upon this sea; and for many, many years but a solitary keel has furrowed its surface.-P. 162.
the shore, under the command of Lieutenant Dale. The real business of the expedition here commenced, and aware of this, the commander made a division of labor, assigning to each officer and volunteer his appropriate duty. Mr. Dale was to make topographical sketches of the country; Dr. Anderson was to make geological observations and collect specimens; Mr. Bedlow was to note the aspect of the country on the land route and the incidents that occurred on the march; Mr. F. Lynch was to collect plants and flowers for the herbarium: to Mr. Aulick, who had charge of the Fanny Skinner, was assigned the topographical sketch of the river and its shores; and Lieutenant Lynch himself, in the Fanny Mason, undertook to take notes of the course, rapidity, color, and depth of the river and its tributaries, the nature of its banks, and of the country through which it flowed-the vegetable productions, and the birds and animals which might be seen, and also to keep a journal of events.
The descent of the river occupied above a week, as the bathing-place of the pilgrims, somewhat above the Dead Sea, was not reached until the night of the 17th. During this time the water party had generally, in the evening, joined the land party on the shore, and remained encamped until the morning. But little information concerning the river could be obtained at Tiberias, and it was therefore with considerable consternation that the course of the Jordan was soon found to be interrupted by frequent and most fearful rapids. Thus, to proceed at all, it often became necessary to plunge with headlong velocity down the most appalling descents. So great were the difficulties, that on the second evening the boats were not more than twelve miles in direct distance from Tiberias. On the third morning it became necessary to abandon poor Uncle Sam, from its shattered condition. It was seen that no other kind of boats in the world, but such as those which had been brought from America, combining great strength with buoyancy, could have sustained the shocks they encountered. The boats were indeed sorely bruised, but not materially injured, and a few hours sufficed to repair all damages.
The immense difference between the levels of the Lake of Tiberias and the Dead Sea-the latter having been, by the best observations hitherto obtained, ascertained to be no less than 984 feet lower than the former-had recently been called in question both by Dr. Robinson and Carl Ritter. In the "Bibliotheca Sacra" for August, 1848, Dr. Robinson has a statement on the subject, which may be thus summed up :
The result of the survey made by Lieutenant This "solitary keel" is, it appears, the same that Symonds of the royal engineers gives 1311.9 feet the party bought for six pounds, and put in repair for the depression of the Dead Sea, and 328 for to relieve the other boats in transporting the bag- that of the Lake of Tiberias below the sea-level of gage. It was called "Uncle Sam ;" and on the the Mediterranean. Seeing that the distance be10th of April the boats were pushed off from the tween the two lakes does not exceed one degree, shelving beach, and sought the outlet of the Jor- this would give to the river Jordan, which passes dan; Uncle Sam, rowed by Arabs, being preceded from the one to the other, a descent of 16.4 feet per by his two fair daughters-Fanny Mason leading mile. Of several rapid rivers, whose course is the way, closely followed by Fanny Skinner; the | stated, the lower part of the Orontes, “roaring over
The verdure-such as it is-may only be sought on and near the lower valley or immediate channel of the Jordan. No one statement can apply to the scenery of its entire course; but the following picture, which refers to nearly the central part of the river's course, some distance below Wady Adjlun, is a good specimen of the kind of scenery which the passage of the river offers. It is also a very fair example of the style in which Lieutenant Lynch works up the passages he wishes to be most effective :
waste was singularly wild and impressive. LookThe character of the whole scene of this dreary ing out upon the desert, bright with reverberated light and heat, was like beholding a conflagration from a window at twilight. Each detail of the strange and solemn scene could be examined as
its rocky bed," and unnavigable, and the Missouri | rather, the cliffs and slopes of the risen uplands, at the Great Falls, are the only ones whose rapid-present, for the most part, a wild and cheerless ity of descent can compare with this. "But the aspect. Jordan, so far as known, has neither cataracts nor rapids, and its flow, though swift, is silent. Yet, of the 984 feet of its descent in 60 geographical miles, there is room for three cataracts, each equal in descent to Niagara; and there would still be left to the river an average fall equal to the swiftest portion of the Rhine, including the cataract of Schaffhausen." On these grounds Dr. Robinson hinted there might probably be some error in the calculation, affecting the results. We must admit there was ample ground for the doubt thus expressed, and which the great Prussian geographer declared that he shared-but seeing that a few weeks were destined signally to subvert the whole reasoning, and the doubt that rested on it, there is a striking resemblance between this and Mr. Cobden's famous declaration respecting the unchange-through a lens. The mountains towards the west rose up like able peacefulness of Europe. The great secret of this depression is solved by our explorers on the their bases. The rough peaks caught the slanting islands from the sea, with the billows heaving at basis of the very facts whose non-existence Dr. sunlight, while sharp black shadows marked the Robinson too hastily assumed. First, there are sides turned from the rays. Deep-rooted in the rapids. The boats plunged down no less than plain, the bases of the mountains heaved the gartwenty-seven very threatening ones, besides a great ment of the earth away, and rose abruptly in naked number of lesser magnitude; and then, although pyramidal crags, each scar and fissure as palpably the direct distance between the two lakes does not distinct as though within reach, and yet we were exceed sixty miles, yet the distance actually trav-bling the leaves of some gigantic volume, wherein hours away; the laminations of their strata resemersed by the stream in its course-found to be ex-is written, by the hand of God, the history of the ceedingly tortuous-is at least 200 miles, reducing changes he has wrought. the average fall to not more than six feet in each mile, which the numerous rapids in that distance render very comprehensible. Thus the great depression of the Dead Sea below the Lake of Tiberias is established both by scientific calculation and by actual observation-by two independent lines of proof, which support and corroborate each other.
Toward the south, the ridges and higher masses of the range, as they swept away in the distance, were aerial and faint, and softened into dimness by a pale transparent mist.
hills was broken into ridges and multitudinous coneThe plain that sloped away from the bases of the like mounds, resembling tumultuous water at "the meeting of two adverse tides;" and presented a The larger narrative traces, with great and wild and checkered tract of land, with spots of vegproper minuteness, the changing aspects and cir-etation flourishing upon the frontiers of irreclaimcumstances of the river at the successive stages able sterility. of progress. These details are so numerous and so various that it is difficult to generalize them. We are, therefore, glad that Montague's sailor, in his more general and less responsible view, supplies a few lines, which, corroborated as they are by the commander, will serve our purpose well. He says
The banks of the Jordan are beautifully studded with vegetation. The cultivation of the ground is not so extensive as it might be, and as it would be, if the crops were secured to the cultivator from the desperadoes who scour the region. The waters of the Jordan are clear and transparent, except in the immediate vicinity of the rapids and falls. It is well calculated for fertilizing the valleys of its course. There are often plenty of fish seen in its deep and shady course; but we see no trace of the lions and bears which once inhabited its thickets:
now and then are to be seen footsteps of the wild boar, which sometimes visits the neighborhood.
The wide and deeply-depressed plain through which the river flows, is generally barren, treeless, and verdureless; and the mountains, or
A low, pale, and yellow ridge of conical hills marked the termination of the higher terrace, besimilar undulating surface, half-redeemed from barneath which swept gently this lower plain with a renness by sparse verdure and thistle-covered hillocks.
Still lower was the valley of the Jordan-the sacred river!-its banks fringed with perpetual verdure; winding in a thousand graceful mazes; the pathway cheered with songs of birds, and its own clear voice of gushing minstrelsy; its course a bright line in this cheerless waste. Yet beautiful as it is, it is only rendered so by contrast with the harsh, calcined earth around.-Pp. 232, 233.
Of the manner in which the rapids were passed, the following passage will afford an adequate notice :
At 10. 15 A. M., cast off and shot down the first
rapid, and stopped to examine more closely a despe
rate looking cascade of eleven feet. In the middle of the channel was a shoot at an angle of about sixty degrees, with a bold, bluff, threatening rock at its foot, exactly in the passage. It would therefore be necessary to turn almost at a sharp angle in descending, to avoid being dashed in pieces. This
rock was on the outer edge of the whirlpool, which | sometimes washed the bases of the sandy hills, at a caldron of foam swept round and round in circling other times meandered between low banks, genereddies. Yet below were two fierce rapids, each ally fringed with trees and fragrant with blossoms. about 150 yards in length, with the points of black Some points presented views exceedingly picturrocks peering above the white and agitated surface. esque-the mad rushing of a mountain torrent, the Below them, again, within a mile, were two other song and sight of birds, the overhanging foliage rapids-longer, but more shelving, and less diffi- and glimpse of the mountains far over the plain, and here and there a gurgling rivulet pouring its tribute of crystal water into the now muddy Jordan; the western shore was peculiar from the high calcareous limestone hills which form a barrier to the stream when swollen by the efflux of the Sea of Galilee during the winter and early spring; while the left and eastern bank was low and fringed with tamarisk and willow, and occasionally a thicket of lofty cane, and tangled masses of shrubs and creeping plants, gave it the appearance of a jungle. At one place we saw the fresh track of a tiger [leopard ?] on the low clayey margin, where he had come to drink. At another time, as we passed his lair, a wild boar started with a savage grunt, and dashed into the thicket; but for some moments we tracked his pathway by the shaking cane, and the crashing sound of broken branches.
Fortunately a large bush was growing upon the left bank, about five feet up where the rush of the water from above had formed a kind of promontory. By swimming across some distance up the stream, one of the men had carried over the end of a rope, and made it fast around the roots of the bush. The great doubt was whether the hold of the roots would be sufficient to withstand the strain, but there was no alternative. In order not to risk the men, I employed some of the most vigorous Arabs in the camp to swim by the side of the boats, and guide them if possible clear of danger. Landing the men, therefore, and tracking the Fanny Mason up stream, we shot her across; and gathering in the slack of the rope, let her drop to the brink of the cascade, where she fairly trembled and bent in the fierce strength of the sweeping current. The birds were numerous; and at times, when It was a moment of intense anxiety. The sailors we issued from the shadow and silence of a narrow had now clambered along the banks, and stood at and verdure-tinted part of the stream into an open intervals below, ready to assist us if thrown from bend where the rapids rattled and the light burst in, the boat and swept towards them. One man with and the birds sang their wilderness song, it was, to me in the boat stood by the line; a number of use a similie of Mr. Bedlow, like a sudden tranArabs were upon the rocks and in the foaming wa-sition from the cold, dull-lighted hall, where gentleter, gesticulating wildly, their shouts mingling with the roaring of the boisterous rapids, and their dusky forms contrasting strangely with the effervescing flood, and five on each side, in the water, were clinging to the boat, ready to guide her clear of the threatening rock if possible.
The Fanny Mason, in the mean while, swayed from side to side of the mad torrent like a frightened bird, straining the line which held her. Watching the moment when her bows were in the right direction, I gave the signal to let go the rope. There was a rush a plunge-an upward leap, and the rock was cleared-the pool was passed! and half full of water, with breathless velocity, we were swept safely down the rapids. Such screaming and shouting! The Arabs seemed to exult more than ourselves. It was in seeming only. They were glad we were grateful. Two of the Arabs lost their hold, and were carried far below us, but were rescued with a slight injury to one of them.-Pp. 189, 190.
The following, which is one of the best descriptions, has reference to an earlier portion of the river's course, about one third from the lake of
For hours in their swift descent the boats floated down in silence-the silence of the wilderness.
Here and there were spots of solemn beauty. The
men hang their hats, into the white and golden saloon, where the music rings and the dance goes on.-Pp. 212, 213.
The passage of the river was accomplished without any real opposition from the neighboring Arabs-all hostile demonstration being apparently held in check by the manifest strength of the party. Some friendly intercourse, indeed, took place at different points.
We observe generally that the explorers, with their minds preoccupied with ideas of North American Indians, greatly underrate the position, character, and knowledge of the Arabs. Indeed, they are plainly called ages;" but they are not savages, unless the patriarchal fathers of Scripture history were savages, which no one ever thought. This misapprehen
sion of the Arabs is, of course, exhibited in a still more exaggerated form in the narrative of Mon
tague's sailor, whose less cultivated perceptions are still more obtuse. He ventures to say in one place that the Arabs wondered how the boats could walk the waters without legs!
All this that relates to the Jordan is new, valuable, and important. It is the real, great work of the expedition. We absolutely knew next to nothing
about the river between the two lakes before, exnumerous birds sang with a music strange and manifold; the willow branches were spread upon the cept just below where it leaves the upper lake, stream like tresses, and creeping mosses and clam- and just above where it enters the lower; but here bering weeds, with a multitude of white and silvery the whole river is set forth before us, and all the little flowers, looked out from among them; and mysteries connected with its course are completely the cliff swallow wheeled over the falls, or went at solved. For this, the commander is well entitled his own will, darting through the arched vistas, and shadowed and shaped by the meeting foliage on the to the gold medal by the Royal Geographical Sobanks; and above all, yet attuned to all, was the ciety, which we should hope will be awarded to music of the river, gushing with a sound like that him. In the Dead Sea, the additions to our of shawms and cymbals. There was little variety | knowledge are less striking and important. The in the scenery of the river; to-day the streams lake had been viewed at nearly all points by differ
The sea-custom of keeping an account of minute particulars and observations from day to day in the log-book, tends to create a habit of correctly observing and registering small details, but is perhaps unfavorable to the formation or cultivation of the faculty of generalization. On the other hand, there are men who can only
See things in the gross,
Being much too gross to see them in detail.
ent travellers; the comparison of whose statements | occasional generalizations of details, which the
This writer does not
One of this sort is Montague's sailor, who, being incapable of following the observations of his commander, and being, as it seems, only partially acquainted with other than the most obvious results, states general impressions rather than particulars; and we are not sure but that in this way he renders to the common reader the general effect of the whole much more effectively than his commander, whose account alone is, however, here of any scientific value. It has seemed to us, indeed, that this part of Montague's book is better done than any other. He here makes a most distinct impression, and, but for the egregious blunders into which he falls whenever stating what men know from reading, we might suppose that in this portion of the work he had access to better information than in other parts. lack power of observation; and his errors are mostly in those allusions to " things in general," The expedition spent no less than twenty-two in which only a man possessed of assured know]. nights upon the lake. During this time the whole edge from reading and study, can be always correct. circuit of it was made, including the back-water We are not sure that the blunders made in alluat the southern extremity, which had never before sions of this sort-which are as plenty as blackbeen explored in boats. Every object of interest berries-and the disgust one feels at the vile slang upon the banks was examined; and the lake was which turns up every now and then, tends to crossed and recrossed in a zigzag direction through create an under-estimate of the truthfulness of its whole extent, for the purpose of sounding. many observations on matters that fall within the The figure of the lake, as laid down in the sketch-fair scope of an intelligent seaman's knowledge. map, is somewhat different from that usually given to it. The breadth is more uniform throughout; it is less narrowed at the northern extremity, and less widened on approaching the peninsula in the south. In its general dimensions it is longer, but is not so wide as usually represented. Its length by the map is forty miles, by an average breadth of about nine miles. The observations and facts, from day to day, are recorded in Lieut. Lynch's book; and it is by reading them that the reader must realize the impressions which the survey is designed to produce, for the author does not take the trouble to combine his results in one clear and connected statement; indeed, the want of these
The only passage in which Lieutenant Lynch attempts to furnish us with something like the result of his exploration is this:—
We have carefully sounded the sea, determined its geographical position, taken the exact topography of its shores, ascertained the temperature, width, depth, and velocity of its tributaries, collected specimens of every kind, and noted the winds, currents, changes of the weather, and all atmospheric phenomena. These, with a faithful narrative of events, will give a correct idea of this wonderful body of water as it appeared to us.
From the summit of these cliffs, in a line a little north of west, about sixteen miles distant, is Hebron, a short distance from which Dr. Robinson found