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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 478



encouraging its own subjects to insult and murder the subjects of its allies. The inhabitants of Jerusalem number about sixteen thousand, and the pilgrims and travellers who annually visit it at Easter time are reckoned at about fifteen thousand more. The population is composed of such varied and discordant elements that to give an account of the different sects alone would occupy a volume. We do not profess to enter at all into the question from a theological point of view, but simply to give a brief account of the various peoples inhabiting Jerusalem as they appear to the traveller of the present day. First in order come the Mohammedans, Turkish and native, who, although they give themselves the airs for which the true believer is distinguished, and look with ill-concealed aversion and contempt upon all besides themselves, yet are not, perhaps, quite so fanatical 'as those in other towns of the Holy Land. They are, for the most part, Orientals of the conventional type, leading lazy, useless lives, and dividing their time between smoking, praying, bargaining, and cursing. The Turks have the same stupid pasty look which all town-bred Turks have. The natives are remarkable for nothing but sturdy limbs, an inordinate appetite for brown bread and onions, and an incessant habit of reckoning up real or imaginary gains. If you see two Fellahin coming along the road you may venture anything that their conversation will be of piastres, and that the first word you hear will be a numeral. We must do the Mohammedans the justice to say that the bigotry is not all on their side, for a Jew's life is not safe if he so much as venture into the neighbourhood of the Holy Sepulchre. The Christians are of so many different types and nations that it is almost hopeless to attempt to enumerate them all ; the following are, however, the chief divisions :


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