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and spanned by an arch. This stable, which ages ago sheltered Roman steeds, is now filled with the horses of the Arabs. This whole mansion is extremely well built of hewn stones, and nearly all the rooms are entire. Most of the large towns in the Hauran exhibit traces of architectural magnificence, which Rome so freely lavished on her remotest colonies; but what is still more striking here is the consideration evidenced and pains taken to promote the welfare and comfort of her people. There is scarcely a village without its stone tank, for holding rain-water, and stone bridge; structures so solidly built that many of them are still as good as new.
A striking peculiarity in the manners and customs of the inhabitants of the Hauran is, that the richest live like the poorest, the only difference being that the former makes a display of his wealth on the arrival of strangers, while the hospitality of the latter is unattended with any display.
The ancient buildings afford spacious and convenient dwellings for a large portion of the modern inhabitants, and those who occupy them may have three and four rooms for each family; but in newly built villages the whole family, with its furniture, horses, saddles, guns, and yataghans, are all huddled together in one apartment. Here also they keep their wheat and barley in a reservoir (formed from a clay called kawara), which is about five feet deep by two in diameter. The chief articles of furniture are a hand-mill, some copper kettles, and mats. In the richer houses some coarse woollen stuffs used principally for carpets and horse-cloths are met with; real
carpets are seldom seen, except on the arrival of strangers of consequence. Each family has a large, singular shaped earthen jar, which is filled every morning by the females at the birket, or spring, for the day's use. In every house of any considerable size is a room set apart for the use of strangers, and has in the midst of it a fire-place for boiling coffee: hospitality being a characteristic of the people of the Hauran. A traveler may alight at any house he pleases, a mat will be spread for him, coffee made, and breakfast or dinner set before him. It often happens on entering a village that several persons will present themselves to the traveler, each begging that he will lodge at his house, and the same care is taken of the horse or camel as of the rider.
Wealth is estimated by these people by the number of horses, camels, and oxen a man has. If it is asked if such a one has property, the answer is, “A great deal," he drives six oxen, or he has camels, horses, and oxen, a great many. The Fellahs often cultivate one another's fields in company, but the Turkish and Christian proprietors cultivate their lands by hired laborers, or let their fields for a share of the produce. A laborer who has a pair of oxen usually receives one gharara of corn at planting-time, and at harvest takes one-third of the crop. The master pays the tax, called the miri, to the government, and the laborer pays 10 piasters annually. A considerable portion of the agricultural population of the Hauran consists of day-laborers, and they generally earn their living very hardly. A young man was once met with here who had served seven years for his
food and clothing, but at the expiration of that period obtained in marriage the daughter of his master, for whom he would otherwise have had to pay from seven to eight hundred piasters. Daughters are paid for according to the respectability and wealth of the father, from seven to fifteen hundred piasters.
The Druses are the most superior race in this country; their Sheiks and elderly men are always well and often handsomely dressed, while their women are neatness itself; and they never go out without veiling their faces, as the stern morality of this people forbids the slightest indication of boldness or levity. A fearful instance of the uncompromising severity with which the Druses visit female frailty is related by a recent traveler, to whom the deputy of a local governor told the tale as follows:-"I was asleep in bed, when in the middle of the night I heard a knock at the door of my room. 'Who is there?' I said. A voice answered, 'Nas-reddin.' I opened the door and in came a Druse with a sack on his back. 'What brings you here at this untimely hour?' I said. 'My sister has had an intrigue, and I have killed her; there are her horn and other ornainents in the sack, and I am afraid the governor will do something to me: I want your intercession.' 'Why, there are two horns in the sack,' said I. 'I killed her mother too; she knew of the intrigue.' 'There is no power but in God Almighty: if your sister was impure, was that a reason for killing your mother? but lie down and sleep.' In the morning I said to him, 'I suppose you were too uneasy to sleep? 'By Allah! so unhappy has dishonor made me, that