Page:Lands of the Saracen 1859.djvu/33

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SUNDAY IN QUARANTINE. 23 he replied that there would be no difficulty, provided he was accompanied by a native, and he offered to take me even to Timbuctoo, if I would return with him. He was very curious to obtain information about America, and made notes of all that I told him, in the quaint character used by the Mughreb- bins, or Arabs of the West, which has considerable resem- blance to the ancient Cufic. He wishes to join company with me for the journey to Jerusalem, and perhaps I shall accept him. Simday, April 18. As Quarantine is a sort of limbo, without the pale of civi- lized society, we have no church service to-day. We have done the best we could, however, in sending one of the outside dragomen to purchase a Bible, in which we succeeded. He brought us a very handsome copy, printed by the American Bible Society in New York. I tried vainly in Cairo aud Alex- andria to find a missionary who would supply my heathenish destitution of the Sacred Writings; for I had reached the East through Austria, where they are prohibited, and to travel through Palestine without them, would be like sailing without pilot or compass. It gives a most impressive reality to Solo- mon's " house of the forest of Lebanon," when you can look up from the page to those very forests and those grand mountains, excellent with the cedars." Seeing the holy man of Timbuc- too praying with his face towards Mecca, I went down to him, anfJ we conversed for a long time on religious matters. He is tolerably well informed, having read the Books of Moses and the Psalms of David, but, like all Mahommedans, his ideas of religion consist mainly of forms, and its reward is a sensual paradise. The more intelligent of the Moslems give a spiritual