Zion Gate (Wilson et al. 1881, I.10)

Sermon on Martha & Mary.1

Woke at sunrise ― headache, irritation X14. ― O! the strange ups & downs! ― Arranged things somewhat when I rose, & at 9 breakfasted. Afterwards ― went to the English Church ― at 10. ― Large ― plain, in good taste; organ delightful. Te Deum ditto. Good reader. Good sermon ― young man. ― Returned, lunch. Mr. Thornton & Dr. McGowan ― who pleased me by speaking nicely of Daddy Hunt. ― Then, taking Giacomo with me ― (the Dragoman who hopes to be ―) I left letters at the Bp’s ― & called on the Rosens. R. a pleasant friendly German, Mrs. R. I should say a Jewess, ― & sharp ― then on Mr. & Mrs. Finn ― H.B.M. Consul.  No letters. ― Mr. F. also spoke well of Daddy ― but seemed to know little about Petra. As to Dragomen ― one gets little help. (All this was done before lunch, ― at which I found the preacher was no other than little Reginald Barnes ― grown up.) About 2½ or 3 I went out with Giorgio & Giacomo, by the Via Dolorosa ― to the Damascus Gate, where I sent Giacomo back ― telling him to come this evening to see George. ― G. & I went on, round the walls: olives, ― & beautiful bits of rock & wall. Barring the especial interest attached to these spots ― all the valleys of Jehosaphat & Hinnom remind one of Orvietto [sic] ― or many Italian places. ― Overlooking wonderful Gethsemane ― we crossed the Kedron & went up the Mount of Olives ― every step bringing fresh beauty to the City uprising behind. At the top, by the Church of Ascension the view is wonderfully beautiful indeed. ― Turning round, ― lo! The Dead Sea! ― clear pale milky far blue, with farther off all rosy mountains ― fretted & carved in lovely shadow forms, ― their long long simple line melting into air towards the desert. Nearer was a village I thought Bethany ― & I began to draw it, having told G. all about it. But the 4 Americans coming up, their Dragoman declared it was not El Lazir at all ― so I had to revoke all my enthusiasm. [Avoiding] some disgusting grinning Backsheesh brutes, who raise my anger frightfully ― we went down, amid a world of black goats ― to the valley, & along to Absalom’s tomb, & the other tombs ― whence Siloam was most beautiful in the yellow sunset. Then up to the Zion Gate ― & round the walls to the Jaffa Gate2 ― & so home. Bad headache. ― Dined at 6½ ― agreeably. A day of wonderful interest & pleasure. (Fine day but high wind.)

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

  1. Luke 10:38-42. []
  2. Or Bethlehem Gate. []