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Now ready, with 45 Plates and Woodcuts. 8vo. 16s.
THE PALACES OF NINEVEH & PERSEPOLIS RESTORED:
BY JAMES FERGUSSON, ESQ.
AUTHOR OF "TRUE PRINCIPLES OF BEAUTY IN ART."
This volume is written for the purpose of elucidating the ancient Architecture of Western Asia, especially to render intelligible the remarkable buildings of Nineveh, so unexpectedly revealed by recent discoveries; and by comparing them with those of Babylon, Jerusalem, Persepolis, and Modern Persia, to restore, as far as possible, the history of an Art long lost to the world.
"This book contains many things of general interest relating to one of the most wonderful discoveries that has occurred in the history of the world. Mr. Fergusson writes very dispassionately. What he has said deserves serious consideration." —GentU.man's Magazine.
"Mr. Fergusson, by his travels and studies, was well qualified for this task, and has performed it very efficiently. He is entitled to our thanks for his able and ingenious disquisition." — Builder.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
CHAPTER I .
FIRST JOURNEY IN ASSYRIA. — ITS RUINS. KOUYUNJIK, NIMROUD, AND
KALAH 8HERGHAT. — M. BOTTA's DISCOVERIES.— KHORSABAD.— RETURN TO MOSUL.
During the autumn of 1839 and winter of 1840, I had been wandering through Asia Minor and Syria, scarcely leaving untrod one spot hallowed by tradition, or unvisited one ruin consecrated by history. I was accompanied by one no less curious and enthusiastic than myself.* We were both equally careless of comfort and unmindful of danger. We rode alone; our arms were our only protection ; a valise behind our saddles was our wardrobe, and we tended our own horses, except when relieved from the duty by the hospitable inhabitants of a Turcoman village or an Arab tent. Thus unembarrassed by needless luxuries, and uninfluenced by the opinions and prejudices of others, we mixed amongst the people, acquired without effort their manners, and enjoyed without alloy those emotions which
* My travelling companion, during a long journey from England to Hamadan, was Edward Iiedwich Mitford, Esq., now of her Majesty's civil service in the island of Ceylon.
scenes so novel, and spots so rich in varied association, cannot fail to produce.
I look back with feelings of grateful delight to those happy days when, free and unheeded, we left at dawn the humble cottage or cheerful tent, and lingering as we listed, unconscious of distance and of the hour, found ourselves, as the sun went down, under some hoary ruin tenanted by the wandering Arab, or in some crumbling village still bearing a well-known name. No experienced dragoman measured our distances and appointed our stations. We were honored with no conversations by pashas, nor did we seek any civilities from governors. We neither drew tears nor curses from villagers by seizing their horses, or searching their houses for provisions: their welcome was sincere; their scanty fare was placed before us; we ate, and came and went in peace.
I had traversed Asia Minor and Syria, visiting the ancient seats of civilisation, and the spots which religion has made holy. I now felt an irresistible desire to penetrate to the regions beyond the Euphrates, to which history and tradition point as the birthplace of the wisdom of the West. Most travellers, after a journey through the usually frequented parts of the East, have the same longing to cross the great river, and to explore those lands which are separated on the map from the confines of Syria by a vast blank stretching from Aleppo to the banks of the Tigris. A deep mystery hangs over Assyria, Babylonia, and Chaldaea. With these names are linked great nations and great cities dimly shadowed forth in history; mighty ruins, in the midst of deserts, defying, by their very desolation and lack of definite form, the description of the traveller; the remnants of mighty races still roving over the land; the fulfilling and fulfilment of prophecies; the plains to which the Jew and the Gentile alike look as the cradle of their race. After a journey in Syria the thoughts naturally turn eastward; and without treading on the remains of Nineveh and Babylon our pilgrimage is incomplete.
I left Aleppo, with my companion, on the 18th of March.