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others consist of bare walls, which afford temporary shelter from wind or rain. Many, especially those in large towns, are square buildings, with a court in the middle, encompassed with galleries and chambers all round, in which travellers may lodge; but even these contain no furniture. It was most likely at such an inn, which was all pre-occupied, that the Lord of life and glory came into our world.”
“ And are the Eastern caravanseras still the same sort of inns?" “ I believe they are, Harry.
Campbell tells us, that 'such are built at proper distances through the roads of the Turkish dominions. In general, they are formed of solid and durable materials ; they have commonly one story above the ground floor, the lower of which is arched, and serves for warehouses to store goods, for lodgings, and for stables, whilst the upper is used merely for lodgings ; besides which, they are always provided with a fountain, and have cooks' shops, and other conveniences, to supply the want of lodgers. In Aleppo, the caravanseras are almost exclusively occupied by merchants, to whom they are let, like houses."
“ Well, are not they like our inns, somewhat at least ?”
“ The far greater part are by no means so good as those described by Mr. Campbell. Volney says, speaking of the East : “ There are no inns any where, excepting a caravansera for travellers near villages and towns. These consist of four wings round a square court, which serves by way of enclosure for beasts of burden. The lodgings are cells, where you
find nothing but bare walls, dust, and sometimes
scorpions. The keeper gives the traveller a key and a mat, and he provides himself the rest. He must therefore carry with him his bed, his kitchen utensils, and even his provisions, for frequently not even bread is to be found in the villages.”
“ These are very different from ours, indeed !” Truly they are.
• The caravanseras, or Eastern inns, are very different from ours; for they are neither so convenient nor so handsome : they are built square, much like cloisters, being usually but one story high, for it is rare to see one of two stories. A wide gate brings you into the court, and in the midst of the building, in the front, and upon the right and left hand, is a hall for persons of the best quality to associate together. On each side of the hall are lodgings for every
man by himself. These lodgings are raised all along the court, two or three steps high ; just behind which are the stables, where, many times, the accommodations are as good as in the chambers. Right against the head of every horse there is a niche, with a window into the lodging chamber, through which every man may see that his horse is properly looked after. These niches are usually so large, that three men may lie in them, and here the servants usually dress their victuals.' You see, Harry, it is as I told you; their inns are very unlike
How thankful ought we to be for the admirable accommodations of more civilized society!
“ Did you notice, father, what was said in my Greek lesson, this morning, about the key ?”
“Yes, Harry; I think the piece was from the twenty-first book of Homer's Odyssey; and the key you refer to was that of the storehouse of Ulysses."
But, I mean, did you observe what was said of the shape of it ?”
“ Yes, I think Homer calls it by a term which signifies, of a large curvature. The critics
say, it was in shape like a reaping-hook. It was made of brass, but the handle was of ivory; though the locks and keys in the East are very commonly made of wood.”
“ Is there any reference to this kind of key in the Bible ?"