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Clarke's health. In the spring they visited the Troad, and in the summer Egypt, then the theatre of war, and the Holy Land. A long letter from Jerusalem is greatly praised by Mr Otter, and certainly not more than it deserves; but we cannot afford room for more than a page or two of it. Those who have read Dr Clarke's Travels will recollect that he disputes at length, and with irresistible force of argument, the commonly received tales respecting the Holy Sepulchre. Indeed, of all the writers who have visited Palestine, he is by far the most rational and judicious. It is known that M. Chateaubriand, one of the most recent, with his accustomed accuracy, confounding the parable of the New Testament with realities, tells you where he saw the dwelling of the indigent Lazarus ;' and on the
opposite side of the street the residence of the obdurate rich man;' and afterwards, in confirmation of this notion, adds, that the name of the latter has been preserved by the Jews, who called him Nabal ; and, accordingly, Dr Clarke, in his
Travels, shows this to be a common and not a proper name, being the expression to denote a covetous man. Our traveller, however, not only disbelieved the common stories of the Sepulchre, but found, as he contends in his book, the site and remains of the real Sepulchre. The extract which we are about to give, contains his account of this discovery immediately after he made it.
• Jerusalemn, July 10, 1801.--Convent of St Salvador. · The date !-the date's the thing! You will thank me for a letter dated Jerusalem, more for that little local honour stuck in its front, than for all the fine composition and intelligence it may contain. I hardly yet feel the reality of my being here, and when I reflect, and look back on the many years in which I vainly hoped for this happiness ; on the difficulties and dangers I have encountered to get here ; on my fatigue, and fevers, and toil; I am ready to sink be. neath the weight of an accomplishment, possessing so much influ. ence on my life. For all my hopes centered there--all my plansspeculationswishes--were concerned in travels; and without visiting Egypt, Syria, and Greece, my travels, however extensive, would have appeared to me to want that nucleus, which, like the heart, is necessary to give life and sensation to the body. If I could repose a little, I should now, I think, be found more quiet for my future life. A stillness must succeed to the gratification of desires which have so long irritated my mind and body. I have done my portion, and am satisfied. If I sit down in Old England's meadows, I may hope to listen no more to schemes of enterprise, but leave it to younger and stronger men to visit those regions, which I have no longer the wish, nor the power to explore.' p. 465, 466.
• The absurdity of hewing the rocks of Mount Calvary into gilded chapels, and disguising the Holy Sepulchre by coverings of marble and painted domes, has so effectually removed or concealed all that might have borne witness to the history of the Crucifixion, that a visit to Jerusalem has often weakened, instead of fortifying the faith of pilgrims ; many of whom have returned worse Christians than they came. This may be the case with those, who seek for guidance in the works and relations of ignorant monks; but Jerusalem will be no source of incredulity to men, who, with the Gospel in their hands, and a proper attention to history, tread over the ground, shutting their ears, and opening their eyes.
• More pleasing is the prospect from the summit of Mount Olivet, Mount Sion, or the insulated top of Thabor, in the plains of Esdraelon. Thence, all Judea is presented to your view; and such confirmation of the accuracy of the Scriptures, that the earliest records to which history can refer, appear the most authentic. The wild Arab, journeying with his immense family, with his camels, his oxen, his mules, and his asses, is still the picture of patriarchal manners. Customs that were thought peculiar to people who have disappeared in the lapse of ages, characterise, at this moment, the inhabitants of the same countries. Novelty, so adored in Europe, has few charms in Asia. The same habits are transmitted invariably from father to son. A thousand years may pass away, and future travellers find the descendants of Abraham watering their camels by the well of Nahor, while another Rebecca, with the daughters of the men of the city, come down, with pitchers on their shoulders, and draw water from the well; wearing ear.rings of half a shekel weight, and bracelets ten shekels weight of gold. Visiting their tents, he will find a second Sarah, kneading three measures of fine meal, to make cakes upon the hearth, and to offer it for his refreshment beneath a tree, in the plain of Mamre; while Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, is at war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboim, and the king of Belar, which is Zoar. Such wars were raging as we passed from Jerusalem to Joppa; and we once saw a circle of such kings and princes, seated on the ground, holding council, whether we should be smitten, as were the Rephaims, in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Horites in Mount Seir.
. But the antiquities to which I particularly wish to call your at. tention, I found in descending from Mount Sion to the valley of Jehoshaphat. I forget, whether in my letter to you, describing the antiquities in the Gulf of Glaucus, I mentioned some remarkable se-, pulchres hewn in the rocks there, and which I said so exactly an-, swered the description given of the tomb of Jesus Christ, that I was, convinced, could I visit Jerusalem, I should find similar antiquities there. Having visited the sepulchre, supposed to have been that of Christ, I was not satisfied with its appearance. It is now so disguised with marble, that no one can judge from its appearance of its
original state. I found no rock in which it seemed to have been hewn, but its sides were of that sort of marble called verd-antique ; and all the rocks of Jerusalem are a very hard limestone. Add to this, it is only forty paces distant from the spot on which they pre. tend the cross stood; and almost on a level with it, both being beneath the roof of the same church. Finding it difficult to reconcile the topography of modern Jerusalem, and the situation of the places shown there, with its ancient history, I began to extend my researches without the walls. Coming down from the gate of Mount Sion, I perceived the sides of the opposite hill perforated by sepul. chres, exactly resembling those among the ruins of Telmessus, in the Gulf of Glaucus, and fulfilling my prediction most completely. One of these, facing Mount Sion, so exactly corresponds with the description of the sepulchre of our Saviour, that you would be at once disposed to pronounce the hill on which it has been cut, Mount Calvary, and this, or at least one of the other tombs, the precise place in which his body was laid. It is hewn in the rock. To look into it, it is necessary to stoop down.' (See St John, chap. xx. 5.) The stone which filled its mouth was of such size, that it could only be rolled to its place, and when once there, would have asto. nished any person to find it had been removed. (Mark, chap. xvi. 3.) It is natural to suppose, that a hill for the execution of malefactors, would be placed as this is, out of the walls of the city. But there is a stronger reason to suppose the body of Jesus was placed there, viz. that exactly upon this mount, and no other, Joseph of Arimathea would construct his tomb. It is this—that from time immemorial, the Karæan Jews (a sect of all others the most correct in the oba servance of ancient ceremonies, and whose traditions, extending to the remotest periods, are the least corrupted) have been accustomed to bring their dead for interment to this mount. They bury them there at this hour; but having no longer the power to execute such prodigious works of art, are contented to cover the bodies of their re. lations with more simple works. The present inhabitants of Jerusalem know nothing more of the place; and, though one of the most wonderful works of art which can be found, despise it for two reasons :
" Ist,- Because it has not been considered among the number of the holy places.
“ 2d, Because it is the Jewish cemetery. ." However, that it was once entitled to more respect, I shall prove, by giving you the Greek inscription which I found on this tomb, and on others, cut above, below, or on one side of the mouths of the sepulchres, in large characters, on the face of the rock."pp. 467-470.
The inscription is in the character of the lower ages, and runs thus in the ordinary character: TNS acycus Erw.
In the language of this letter there is assuredly no want of a
due tinge of enthusiasm for the subject; and the Book of Travels, bears further testimony to the warm devotional feelings of the author; for he there relates, what in the letters he has omitted, that though convinced of the imposture practised on him by the monk who showed the pretended tomb of Christ, he and his party knelt when called upon by the father to experience • pardon for sin,' and participate in the feelings of more cre• dulous pilgrims,'—whereupon a naval Captain, who accompanied him, drew his hanger and placed it on the tomb in token of devotion. It is the more to Dr Clarke's credit that, under the influence of feelings so excited, his judgment was not permanently warped upon the subject of the Sepulchre.
In the summer of 1802, he returned towards England, by way of Vienna, and there received the news of that calamity, the fear of which, as we have seen, so frequently baunted him, his mother's death. This blow, though one for which he must in some measure, have been prepared, fell heavily on him. He secluded himself for some time from all society; and when three months afterwards, Mr Otter met him at Paris, he found him still labouring under the effects of his affliction. His health was evi• dently broken by the fatigue and sickness he had encountered " in his journey, and his spirits were at times exceedingly de• pressed by the loss of his mother. It seemed, for the moment, that every tie which bound him to his native land was.
weak in comparison of that which had just been broken; and • bis heart, instead of dilating as it was wont to do, at the prospect of the British shore after a long absence, shrunk
fearfully within him at the thought of revisiting a country 6 where he had no longer a home to receive him, nor a mother - to welcome him. Of his singular affection for his mother, no ( one who has read his letters will need to be reminded; but it
is an act of justice on the part of one who knew her well to 6 state, that her excellent and amiable qualities amply merited
all the kindness and attention with which it was repaid.'
He arrived at Cambridge in the latter end of 1802, and continued almost an uninterrupted residence there, and in the immediate neighbourhood, during the rest of his life. For about three years he held the office of senior tutor of Jesus College, and in 1806 he formed a matrimonial connexion with a singularly amiable and accomplished lady, daughter of Sir William Rush, and sister of his friend Mr Cripp's wife. He succeeded to a college living, and to a more valuable family one; and a professorship of mineralogy having been established, it was bestowed upon him, with the general assent of all classes in the University as well as the College; he having for several seasons previously
delivered courses of lectures upon this subject, with great and increasing success.
The cares, public and domestic, which occupied him after his return to Cambridge, postponed the great work of preparing his Travels for the press, and it was not till 1808 that he applied himself vigorously to the task. The first volume appeared in 1810, and the other four at different intervals, the fifth being published in 1819. A part only of the sixth was finished by himself, about a third of it being added after his death by his friend Mr Walpole, who had contributed many valuable notes to the former volumes, and whose literary attainments, as well as his Travels in the Levant, have acquired him a well merited reputation. He received for the whole work between six and seven thousand pounds. The immediate and decisive success of this work was as creditable to the public as to the author, for it thwarted many strong prejudices, and flattered none; it called things by their right names, and fearlessly told the truth respecting those Russians whom the political bigotry of the ruling powers in this country had held up as our natural allies against the ambition of French barbarians; and it accordingly had all the virulence of the hireling press to contend with. Mr Otter gives some testimonies of private friends, as examples of the praise most grateful to the author which he received from many quarters. We shall extract one of Lord Byron, rather on account of the celebrity of the man than the impartiality of the decision; for the more laudatory o the two letiers is obviously in acknowledgment of one as laudatory from Dr Clarke to him. . From Lord Byron to Dr Clarke.
“ St James's Stret, June 26, 1812. " Will you accept my very sincere congratulations on your second volume, wherein I have retraced some of my old paths, adorned by you so beautifully, that they afford me double delight? The part which pleases me best, after all, is the Preface, because it tells me you have not yet closed labours, to yourself not unprofitable, nor without gratification, for what is so pleasing as to give pleasure ? I have sent my copy to Sir Sidney Smith, who will derive much grati. fication from your anecdotes of Djezzar, his ' energetic old man.' I doat upon the Druses ; but who the deuce are they, with their Pan. theism? I shall never be easy till I ask them the question. How much you have traversed! I must resume my seven leagued boots and journey to Palestine, which your description mortifies me not to have seen more than ever. I still sigh for the Ægean. Shall not you always love its bluest of all waves, and brightest of all skies? You have awakened all the gipsy in me. I long to be restless again, and wandering: see what mischief you do, you wont allow gentle