By daybreak we were off Beyruth ― & at sunrise, in the sounds, & waiting for boats. The aspect of the Lebanon assuredly disappointed me ― wanting in point & form, & only a higher portion of a high line of coast. When covered with snow it must be far finer ― but the peaks & chasms I have seen represented are necessarily bosh. ― The town strongly resembles some place I have seen but cannot recall: sloping north to the sea ― surrounded with gardens. But the suburbs are doubtless Neapolitan in character, & the Hotel with its flat roof & arches, & its white & yellow colour ― might be at Sorrento or Amalfi. The “Bellevue” outside the walls ― was ghetto ― but people were going. Arriving there were Barnes Gibbs & Turner. ― I was glad to see Regd. Barnes again. The youth Wilson also was there with his Aunt, ― & others. The morning passed in talking with Barnes, showing drawings, &c. &c. breakfast ― & in cleaning oneself. ― At 2 I went out with Abdel & got passports. French seems wholly spoken here ― & all Syrian is Gallicized. On all hands are worse accounts of the Arabs near Carmel ― & Nablus: I fear I shall not see Nazareth after all. Post ― no letters. ― We then went up to the Pasha’s barracks ―: fine view ― but a little soon uninteresting. The Pasha with his Arnaout guard1 was there. Then on by dusty lemons, & Cactus borders, through Mulberry gardens ― & by degrees to Col. Churchill’s with Miss Mannering’s letter. Col C. was out ― but a “Bint”2 was there ― & a very pleasant girl ― who gave me some lemonade & coffee ― & we talked a while. ― Then I came down, & went through parts of the town ― which might be Salonica or any other. ― Back by 5 meeting Barnes on his way to the Steamer. Came into my new room, ― unpacked & re=arranged. ― Dinner at 6.30 ― not very good nor pleasant. ― Came tired to bed at 8.30 or 9. ― Each fresh account of southern Palestine is worse than the last. ― Yet I think to give up Damascus would be silly, & I shall still try for the rest. ―


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

  1. A guard of mercenaries. []
  2. From the Arabic word for ‘daughter’, a derogatory slang word meaning woman or girl. []