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the fifth crusade in 1203-4 in which the Venetians
were largely concerned, and which, as is well known,
developed into an attack on the Greeks at Constanti-
nople, may supply another explanation. In this
crusade the Latin-Christians, perhaps influenced by
the mercenary spirit of the money-making merchants
of Venice, who found the ships for the expedition,
looted the Greek churches at Constantinople and took
away all the spoil they could. It was not until the
time of Henry III. that the lands of Norman nobles
in England were confiscated. At the beginning of the



30 THE LETTERS OF

13th century there were many of these Normans who
held both Norman and English estates. The D' Andely
family was connected both with Southampton and St.
Mary, Bourn, and probably came from the neighbour-
hood of Les Andleys in Normandy. Many French
and Norman knights took part in the adventurous
expedition known as the fifth crusade. The effigy of
a cross-legged knight, believed to be one of the
D' Andely family, still remains in St. Mary, Bourn,
church. Whether any one or more of these fonts ever
had a place in a Greek church must be uncertain ; but
there can be no doubt about the Byzantine influence
on the art they exhibit, and consequently, whatever
may have been the origin of the St. Mary, Bourn, font,
there can be no doubt about its interest. Nor can
there be any difference of opinion as to the desirability
of placing such a rare specimen of ecclesiastical art
upon a more fitting base.



February 26///.

It was on Wednesday, the 27th ult., that we started
on this, to us, great expedition. Our party consisted
of six ; W. and his wife, myself and Mrs. Lombard,
C. and M. travelling single. A multitude of kind
friends came to see us start, and with wistful,



PETER LOMBARD 81

longing looks, we bade them " God be wi' you."
On Friday morning we reached Rome, and stayed
there some thirty hours. M. had never been
there. We were able, on Friday, to go on the
Pincio Hill and survey the panorama of the Great
City, to point out the chief scenes of interest,
from St. Peters and the Capitol down to the little
church at our feet, where, according to tradition, the
Christian slave girl, Acte, did a faithful service to
the wretched Nero. The earth was well rid of him,
but she remembered a time when he had been kind to
her, and she had him burned, and buried his ashes
reverently. And the church of St. Mary, near the
" Gate of the People," covers him. From the spot
where we stand we can see the burial-place of
Augustus, but his bones have been thrown out of it,
and the Mausoleum is now a circus. The castle of
St. Angelo, too, built by Hadrian to be a place of
imperial tombs, was ransacked by Alaric and every
grave desecrated. We ran through St. Peter's and up
the middle of the Forum, and went into the Coliseum,
and saw the church of St. Andrew, the scene of one of
the events which has changed the history of the world.
In the recess behind the high altar, before the theatre
was turned into a church, stood Pompey's statue, and
at the foot of it Julius Caesar was assassinated. I saw



32 THE LETTERS OF

the statue itself two years ago. I think it is not now
shown, but it is in the Law Court, not far from the
spot. Next day, as M. wanted to see one of the
catacombs, I became his guide to that of St. Callistus.
There is still, of course, the deepest interest attaching
to the subterranean chapels at which SS. Peter and
Paul, we may be certain, celebrated the Sacred
Mysteries, but the inscriptions which formerly covered
the graves all round you are mostly removed to the
Lateran Museum. Our guide, a very pleasant
Trappist monk, told us that there are sixteen kilo-
metres (10 miles) of passages in this catacomb alone.
We also visited another very different kind of burial-
place, one of the columbaria, of which there are a great
number all over the city. The name means the
" dovecots." Why so called ? Enter the building.
It is generally a plain square place, roofed in. On
entering you find yourself at the top of a staircase
which leads down to the floor, say fifteen or twenty
feet below. So you are looking down upon four
walls, each of which is pierced with holes, rising tier
above tier. Hence the name of " pigeon-holes." In
the middle generally there is a block, similarly
pigeon-holed, so that the one collection faces the
other. And this was all done that when any member
of a household died, whether master, son, or slave, his



PETER LOMBARD 33

body, having been burned, his ashes might be placed
in one of these recesses, and sealed up, the name
being placed on the outside. They have been all
opened on the chance of relics being found, but the
inscriptions lie about by the hundred. I pointed out
to my companions the name Tryphosa. She may
very probably have been the same to whom St. Paul
sent a loving salutation in the last chapter of the
Epistle to the Romans. There was just time for a
run through the Lateran Church (the scene of many
Councils), and for a reverent look at the Santa Sca/a,
the marble steps by which our dear Lord was led
down from Pilate's judgment seat. Probability is
altogether in favour of the genuineness of this relic
which was brought hither by Helena. In the after-
noon we went on to Naples.

We had only a night and morning in Naples.
After an early celebration of Holy Communion we
breakfasted, and then took a walk along the shore.
As it was Sunday morning we did not care to go
sight-seeing, but there were two objects which particu-
larly interested me. The first was the island of Capri
right before our windows across the bay. Let anyone
who has seen the Isle of Wight from the hills above
Portsmouth think of the long, gentle slope from the



34 THE LETTERS OF

centre of the island to Bembridge Downs on one
side, and the steeper one to the abrupt rocks of Alum
Bay on the other. This will give him a thoroughly
good idea of the appearance of Capri if he make the
following alterations. First of all turn the Isle of
Wight round, put the Bembridge slope on the right
and Alum Bay cliffs on the left. Next, in the centre,
on St. Catharine's Downs, put a couple of lofty hills,
and, lastly, take away the Needles on the Alum Bay
side. Such is Capri, and very lovely it looked in its
blue haze of distance, a sky almost cloudless above it,
and the intense blue of the Great Sea in front. This
was the island where, at the time that the Redeemer
was going about day by day ministering to the weary
and heavy laden, Tiberius Caesar was secluding
himself from the world over which he tyrannised,
attended by a myriad of spies and evil officers, the
terror and hatred of the world which never saw him.
Anybody who wants a clever novel to read may take
my recommendation of Necera. I cannot remember
the author's name, but it gives a wonderful picture of
the heathen world and of Roman society under
Tiberius. My other object was the Pozzuoli, and I
found it after a walk of a couple of miles along the
coast. It is the Puteoli at which St. Paul landed in
Italy after his shipwreck, and I was desirous of



PETER LOMBARD 35

following, wherever I could, the scenes of the sacred
history. I cannot remember the exact reference, but
there is a very vivid account of this Great Apostle's
route from here along the Appian Road in one of
Bishop Christopher Wordsworth's sermons. Vesuvius
was covered with heavy black clouds ; they broke for
about five minutes, and we saw the smoke then, and
then only ; and a gentleman showed us the situation
of Pompeii. By the way, I ought to mention that
after we moved away in our ship, and got nearer
Capri, I saw some rocks answering to the Needles
after all, at what I have called the Alum Bay end.
They were not visible from the town.

We got aboard our boat about four o'clock that

afternoon and soon steamed away. The incidents of

our four days' voyage were pleasant enough, but not

exciting. At daybreak on Monday morning we were

told that we were passing through the Straits of

Messina, and went on deck. The sea was quite

smooth, though there was a fresh wind blowing. We

saw both Messina in its beauty, and Rhegium, and

thought of the Punic war, which found here its first

great ground of contention ; the death-grip of two

mighty cities which was to end in the total destruction

of one, and the beginning of the world-wide supremacy

D 2



36 THE LETTERS OF

of the other. There never was any other such thing
in history, and we may be certain that there never
will be again, as nations of the world being ruled, not
by another nation but absolutely by one city. So it
began to be for centuries from the day when Rome
wrested Sicily from Carthage.

We saw the base of Etna for half an hour before its
top became visible out of the clouds. Snowy sides,
but all deeply furrowed with black chasms, and a
blackened top without any white at all, such was the
aspect. There was no sign of the volcanic fire in the
way of smoke after passing the strait. We read from
my pocket Bible how St. Paul was " tossed up and
down " in the waters through which we were passing.
It was now all calm, and except for a little rolling
now and again it continued so until we reached
Alexandria on the Thursday. Apelles and his wife
had joined us at Naples, a welcome addition to our
party. He pointed out to me a peculiar aspect of the
sea which Homer describes as the "wine-coloured
sea." When the sun was shining aslant at morning
and evening, whilst there were clouds overhead, the
water certainly looked like very good claret. Nobody
who hadn't been here, said Apelles, but would think-
that Homer's expression was nonsense. I am sorry



PETER LOMBARD 37

Apelles is not going to Palestine with us, for he is
quite at home there, and his two most famous pictures
were painted there, but he is going up the Nile.

The first sight of Alexandria was exciting enough,
for it was our first view of a fresh continent. First we
saw low patches along the horizon — sand-hills. Then
the captain showed us the tall lighthouse, on the site
of the ancient Pharos. Presently we saw the masts of
the shipping, then the buildings, most of them snowy-
white. We thought of the Ptolemies, and the
Septuagint, and the great library, and Philo, and
Antony and Cleopatra, and St. Mark, and Origen,
and St. Clement of Alexandria, and Arius and
Athanasius, and Cyril and Hypatia. What was
Arabi Pasha compared with such as these? I saw
his house in the course of the day, but I would ten
thousand times rather have seen the house where the
LXX. interpreters turned the Scriptures into a
language in which the wide world could read them,
and who took one of the most momentous steps in
the education of mankind. It was a mighty fresh
unrolling of the scroll of God's eternal mysteries.

He who would attempt to describe that landing
would have to be an impressionist ; no painter of



38 THE LETTERS OF

details would have a chance. The whole Arabian
Nights turned loose ; at least the male part of them,
for women there were none. I saw Sinbad the Sailor,
and Noureddin, and AH Baba (the forty thieves have
greatly augmented their numbers), I knew them all
by the exact portraits in the illustrated edition.
After we had passed the breakwater and had entered
the port, we ran up a yellow flag and " stood off and
on," as Captain Cuttle would say. The flag signified
that we were in a good state of health, and wished
the medical authorities of Alexandria to testify as
much. Very soon we were boarded by the doctor,
a handsome, jolly-looking old fellow, red-faced, and
red-fezzed, white-bearded, red sash round him. He
didn't ask to look at our tongues, but turned over
some papers which the mate showed him, shook his
sides at some joke which the same functionary made,
waved his farewell gracefully, and departed. Then
we went in. Two or three gangways were run up, and
then — such a hurly-burly ! Up they rushed, in long
flowing robes, blue, black, red, some with faces as
unmistakably Egyptian as those on the monuments of
5, OCX) years standing, Syrians, jet black Nubians, and
a dozen nationalities besides, such crowds that there
must have been twenty candidates to every passenger.
Free fights on the gangway, and an official (I was told



PETER LOMBARD 39

he was " a policeman ") with a little stick in his hand
applied it fiercely to the shoulders of three or four
men who were pushing themselves in. From the
shore a very Babel of vociferating hotel-touters,
carriage drivers, mule owners, and porters. Woe to
the man who hasn't settled his own movements. We
had previously secured the services of a Cook's agent
(I am told Gaze's is equally good). He came forward
quite calmly, with a number of Egyptian myrmidons,
asked which was our luggage, and being shown, told
us we might go ashore and leave the rest to him.
One might well have thought that it was all lost for
ever when you pushed your way through the motley
throng, and saw them pouncing upon it. One of his
subs carried us down, bade us answer no touter who
spoke to us, but follow him, looking straightforward s.
We did so and were put into a great omnibus, and
presently we saw bundle after bundle of our luggage
being packed upon drays. Our destination was the
railway station to have it all registered and our places
secured for the afternoon train. Then, under charge
of a dragoman, we started for a stroll in the city.
He was a stupid fellow, and knew nothing. We
should have liked to see the historic scenes ; he took
us instead to see the houses of this, that, and the other
Pasha. Oh that he had fallen into the hands of Mark



40 THE LETTERS OF

Twain ! However, there were two or three things
which were of great interest, which we found for our-
selves. First, when we got clear of the crowd at the
boat, we saw the population more distinctly. Day by
day ever since I have been here I have been more and
more impressed with the tall, noble figures of the
Egyptian men, and with the dignity of their aspect.
There they are, old and young, grave and impressive
as the figures in a sacred painting. Out of all the
elderly men you meet, whether grizzled or white-
bearded, half would make admirable models for a
patriarch. The women, I need not stay to tell that
those you meet in the street are closely veiled. A
pair of piercing black eyes is all you see of them.
I met three or four drayloads in a street of
Alexandria, and enquiring what they were doing,
was told that this was the day answering to the All
Souls' Day of Christendom, and that they were going
to the cemetery to weep. They hardly looked like
it, but I proposed that we should go there and see.
It was a striking, but not a pleasing, sight. Blocks
of stone cover each grave, and at the head is a thin,
slender shaft, about four feet high for the most part,
with an inscription. Everything is white. Round
these graves were group upon group of " mourners,"
with baskets of food, which they seemed to be



PETER LOMBARD 41

enjoying thoroughly as they laughed and talked.
In some cases they had made themselves tents.
There may have been religious services going on,
but if so I did not see them. I confess that to me
it all looked rather ghoulish. Just outside the gate
of the cemetery is " Pompey's Pillar," a magnificent
granite monolith, surmounted with a Roman capital,
and standing in the centre of a great mound. It
was set up in honour of Diocletian, and is named
after its founder, Pompey, who was a prefect of Alex-
andria in that reign. It was formerly the centre of
the Serapeum, which all readers of Kingsley's Hypatia
will remember.

In the afternoon we started for Cairo, a journey
of about four hours across the Delta. I have found
some striking illustrations already of sacred history,
which I hope to tell of hereafter. At present I can
only refer to the fact that we were practically in the
land of the Israelites. The Delta is the land in
which Joseph's Pharaoh lived. The Delta is a very
fertile plain, with no sign of a hill anywhere. We
were on the left bank, Goshen was on the right, but
they are altogether alike. The figures of the workers
on the monuments might have been taken from the
living men that we saw in the fields as we passed



42 THE LETTERS OF

along; long garment, girdle, head-dress — nothing is
changed. We saw them making bricks ; we passed
many brick and mud villages, low hovels, flat-roofed,
one-storied. Yes, a visit hither is a beautiful com-
mentary on the Pentateuch.



II



CAIRO. February 8t/i.

I LEFT off my last letter with the remark that I had
seen since I came here many illustrations of the
Bible. Take this incklent of our first morning. We
were driving up the hill to see one of the mosques
(which, by the way, is pronounced " moosky " ) ; our
driver nearly ran over a couple of women who
cried out angrily, and received an equally angry retort.
With furious mien one of them rushed forward, took
up a handful of dust and threw it after us, though by
this time we were several yards off (2 Sam. xvi. 13).
During the same drive we met a funeral : it was that
of a little child, evidently of the poorest class, but
two or three men were singing monotonously in front.
We met many more in the course of our stay, one or
two of persons of the better class, and in one case



PETER LOMBARD 43

there must have been thirty of these professional
wailers, and one thought of the " minstrels and people
making a noise." On our last day we met at the very
gate of the city " a dead man carried out," and in this
case there was a weeping woman behind the bier. Of
course we remembered Nain. Once more, on that
first morning we met a carriage of some rich person,
and before it were two running footmen. These, when
engaged in such employment, turn up their long robes
to the loins and bind them fast with a girdle, thus dis-
playing linen garments like knickerbockers buckled at
the knees, the rest of their legs and feet bare. Then
at a swinging trot, with chests well thrown forward,
they glide along ; and even thus must Elijah have
done when he girded up his loins and ran before
Ahab's chariot, showing his loyalty to the King he
was forced to oppose and rebuke, in the same spirit
as did our own Anselm to Henry I.

Of the veiled women I have already spoken. If a
women is engaged in any outdoor labour which
compels her to uncover her face, she always, when
approached by a man, lifts her garment and covers
her mouth, showing as much instinctive delicacy as
would an English woman in attending to her ankles
in getting into a railway carriage. I have seen this



44 THE LETTERS OF

gesture constantly. Rebekah, when Isaac approached
her, "took a veil and covered herself."

My next point requires a few words of preface.
Egypt comprises two portions — Upper Egypt, the
Valley of the Nile, and lower Egypt, the Delta. Now
look at that valley of the Nile. It is a sight never to
be forgotten. The banks on either side covered with
beautiful verdure, sometimes not more than a mile in
breadth, river and all, sometimes five or six miles.
And on each side of this fertile strip — what ? Abso-
lute desolation. As far as my geographical memory
goes, for I have no map at hand, this great desert
stretches westward to the Atlantic seaboard, and east-
ward to the valley of the Euphrates, broken into, in
the latter case, by the Red Sea, which sends a tongue
of water up through it. I have not only never seen,
but no description has enabled me to imagine, the
awful loneliness of the scene.

Last Saturday I went to the Pyramids. I am not
going to speak of them just now, only of the situation.
You pass through the rich river valley, and find your-
self at length in the desert, which here and, I believe,
everywhere is a slightly elevated plateau. Now, as
you stand here under the shadow of Cheops, you see



PETER LOMBARD 45

the valley all bright and beautiful in its varying shades
of green, and its acacias and tall palms, and along
the edge is the arid sandy plain, as clearly marked off
as a turnpike road in England alongside a green
common. You wade through the dry sand above
your boots ; look westward over this great Libyan
desert, and there is not anywhere a single vestige
of any tree, or flower, or blade of grass. Here and
there a mass of red rock relieves the colour of the
pale sand, and the undulations make shadows ; but
all speaks of loneliness and death.

Now go back with me into the valley. The Nile
has no tributaries. The plain is watered, partly by
the periodical overflows of the river, partly by canals
and by big reservoirs. Several times I have seen
this: the fields of rice, of leeks, of melons, are made
up in small quadrangular portions by means of low
mud-banks four or five inches high. The labourer
passes up and down, carefully treading them up into
good order where they have been broken down.
When he wants to water the plot, he just treads a
breach in them on the reservoir side, and the stream
flows in. The first time I saw him I understood
Deut. xi. 10 in a moment. I suppose Proverbs xxi. I
must have reference to the same practice. In fact,



46 THE LETTERS OF

the management of the water supply is one of the
most curious characteristics of the country. The
water-carriers go to the river or the canal with their
vessel, generally the skins of a pig tightly sewn up,
holding the beast over their shoulder by one leg.
Some supply buyers on demand, others are told off
to water the streets, all with the same kind of vessel.
At the wells the patient, blindfolded ox works away
all day at the wheel, and the supply which he draws
up is turned into troughs, and sent down into the
fields to be distributed " with the foot." I have also
seen " two women grinding at the mill," not corn
indeed, but in one case coffee, in the other pepper ;
the revolving stone upon a fixed one, with a long
curved handle.

Liddon has a masterly sermon on " The Fascina-
tions of Egypt." I cut it from a penny periodical,
and read it in the desert. It was clearly written after
his visit. Here am I early in February ; it is like
a London day in July, the sun is in a cloudless sky.
Think of an experience of the heat streaming down
over that waterless sand, of the wind rising and
driving it in a storm into your eyes and ears and
nostrils. There is no difficulty in understanding
the phrase "the waste howling wilderness," nor the



PETER LOMBARD 47

regretful memories of the delicious fruits which they
had left behind them. Liddon thinks that their
words about the " graves in Egypt " indicate a
yearning to have their bones laid in the grand tombs
which they had seen there, rather than in the pathless
sand. It was a terrible discipline, that of those forty
years, but it turned a horde of rough savages into an
organised nation.

The endless strings of camels and asses also speak
of Scripture lands. Nobody rides horses, I think,
except soldiers and Government officials. Well-to-do
civilians in turbans and long dark mantles, covering
snow-white tunics, ride along past our windows on
handsome donkeys every minute, always grave and
impassive of aspect. I wonder if you presented a
loaded gun at one whether he would show any excite-
ment. I cannot imagine him.

Our visits to the Mosques were not without
reminders of the Holy Book, " Loose thy shoe from
thy foot." Do not run the risk of desecrating this
sacred place with any of the defilements of the common
world. If you choose to take off your boots, good ; if
not, you have to wear sandals over them ; and the
Moslem custodians do not like you to touch these



48 THE LETTERS OF

sandals even with your hand, they prefer to tie them
themselves. So shod we went into several, and the sight
is impressive. A service at the regular hour of prayer
you are not permitted to see. Once we were very
urgently hurried out because the time drew nigh.
But in two of them we found a solitary sheikh in his
pulpit, seated on the floor with his face towards Mecca,
chanting the Koran. And one of them did it beauti-
fully. His voice was a strong and sweet baritone, and
so true to the key that I could have jotted down the
melody on a bit of music paper. We stood near and
listened to him, but of course he took no notice of us.
Here and there were a few men performing a vow,
apparently; they went on from station to station
reciting passages at each place. At one Mosque M.
and I watched a man at M the Mecca door " (a closed-
up recess pointing always towards their holy city) ; he
knelt and touched the floor with his forehead, remained


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