Skip to main content

Full text of "Hichens "Holy Land""

See other formats


Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 

Read more about Early Journal Content at 
journal-content . 

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 

hichen's "holy land — ADLER 255 


The Holy Land. By Robert Hichens. Illustrated by Jules 
Guerin and with photographs, New York: The Century 
Company, 1910. pp. -x + 302. 58 illustrations. 

The enthusiasm of Robert Hichens for Egypt and for the 
desert have been made known to the reading world by hi? novels, 
his book on Egypt, and other more ephemeral writings. The 
present volume, beautifully printed by the De Vinne Press and 
splendidly illustrated, is a well written book of travel. Of 
scientific discovery there is none to be expected. The author makes 
observations from time to time of a special Jewish interest; thus 
he is of the opinion that Jerusalem "despite the growing dominion 
of the Jew .... is for the Christian," a prediction about which 
both the Jew and the Moslem may have his reasonable doubts. 

Hichens, however, views the Jewish colonists with a sym- 
pathetic eye. This is his description of what he calls a colony of 
German and Polish Jews. 

"Toward evening we came to a definite road running straight 
between tall ranges of eucalyptus-trees. Behind them were planta- 
tions of almond and fruit-trees symmetrically arranged, and care- 
fully tended vineyards. In the gold of the evening, flocks of shaggy 
sheep, herds of small bullocks and goats, were being driven home 
by fair men, with pale faces, weak eyes, and noses of mark, whose 
long-haired heads were crowned by hideous hats of soft and dusty 
felt. We turned to the right, climbed a steep road covered with 
enormous, firmly fixed stones, passed through an avenue of 
cypresses, and came into one of those strange little worlds which 
are scattered about Palestine — 'a colony.' This colony was of 
foreign Jews, Polish and German. The well-built stone houses, 
many of them with little gardens, were alined on each side of 
a street rising in steps up the mountain, and as I stood upon the 
small, grassy terrace — almost like a natural balcony jutting out 
over an immense view which embraced Lake Huleh, with its 
papyrus-covered northern shore — on which the camp was pitched, 
I heard behind me a chorus of Jewish voices lifted in what 


seemed an antique evening hymn. The hymn persisted. Up from 
the plain pattered the flocks and herds. Mares, attended by 
prancing foals, went by. I heard the baaing of sheep, the lowing 
of cattle. Dogs barked. Yes, this was a 'home' — a home bathed 
in the pure air from the mountains. Lights shone from the 
windows. Jewish mothers were putting their children to bed — 
little Palestine Jews and Jewesses who knew not the lands of 
their parents. In the darkness the hymn sounded older, full of 
pathos — yet full, too, of the strange determination — of the wan- 
dering nation that denies and is so often denied. And I thought 
of the 'songs of Zion,' and I thought of the strange land. Here 
at least they could sing, strangers though they were." 

Dropsie College Cyrus AdlER