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ALEXANDRIA

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OBSERVATIONS IN THE EAST,

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EGYPT, PALESTINE, SYRIA, AND ASIA MINOR.
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JOHN P.

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D U R BIN, D.D.,

LATE PRESIDENT OF DICKINSON COLLEGE.

AUTHOR OF

“OBSERVATIONS IN EUROPE,” & c.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

NEW-YORK:

HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,

82 CLIFF STREET.

18 4 5.

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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by

HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New-York.

PREFACE.

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In the Preface to a former work,* I promised to offer to my friends and the public the results of my observations during an extended tour in the East, through Egypt, Arabia. Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor. That promise is now redeemed.

Believing that readers of a book of travels are not likely to take an interest in any scenes which have not impressed themselves so strongly upon the writer's mind as to remain distinctly in his memory, I have excluded from these pages such portions of my journals as I found, upon reading them after the lapse of a considerable time, to have escaped my recollection. I may hope, therefore, that the brief descriptions here given of scenes and incidents that have left a permanent impression upon my own mind, will be a source of pleasure, and perhaps of profit, at least to my friends.

Although the reader will be disappointed if he looks for profound research, topographical or antiquarian, in these pages, I may venture to hope that in the observations on various questions connected with the fate of Christianity in the East, which are scattered through the volumes, sometimes interwoven with the narrative, but generally imbodied in distinct chapters, there will

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* Observations in Europe.

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be found some important views that have not been presented by my distinguished countrymen who have so lately travelled over the same regions. Indeed, a part of the ground, especially in Syria and Asia Minor, is nearly untrodden by American travellers.

In regard to topography, the only new view that I offer in these pages is that of the Exode of Israel from Egypt, for which I have suggested a route differing, in part at least, from any other that I have seen. The reader must judge of the value of the suggestion.

My principal guide-book in the Holy Land, besides the Bible, was the Biblical Researches of Messrs. Robinson and Smith. Their exceeding accuracy was a matter of daily surprise to me in my travels through Palestine ; and I must express a deep sense of obligation to such indefatigable and successful observers. I had not then seen Dr. Olin's excellent volumes, which convey a great amount of information, also remarkably accurate. His first volume contains the best account of Egypt that has appeared in this country—perhaps in the language.

I was accompanied during my travels by three young friends, the Rev. Thomas Sewall, of the Baltimore Conference, Mr. James Cortlan, of Baltimore, and Mr. J. O'Hara Denny, of Pittsburg, to whose vivacity and constant disposition to oblige I was greatly indebted. Their presence with me will explain the use of the pronoun we in these volumes.

J. P. DURBIN. September, 1845.

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