JOHN ASHWORTH IN PALESTINE. - Mr. John Ashworth, of Rochdale, author of
"Strange Tales", has written an account of his recent visit to Palestine, or
"Walks in Canaan", as he terms his tour. He writes as a consistent man of
peace. His ten companions in travel armed themselves with pistols and
revolvers, but he declined to do so. He says: "I believe that the less a
man has to do with swords and guns, the longer he is likely to live. I
never yet knew a consistent member of the Peace Society shot, but history
tells a sad tale on the other side. These being my principles, I had no gun
to take care of."
He thus speaks of Jaffa, or Joppa, the first place visited by him in the
Holy Land: - "Some who have visited Joppa, did not go to comfort, but to
make widows; not to raise from the dead, like Peter, but to destroy.
Pompey, Alexander, Saladin, Napoleon - terrible names ! especially the
last - all visited this city. In 1799 Napoleon besieged Joppa; the garrison
offered to lay down their arms and surrender on condition that their lives
were spared. Eugene and Crozier, two of Napoleon's staff officers, agreed
to the terms proposed.
Four thousand men laid down their weapons of war, and were led to the head
quarters of the French army. Napoleon ordered them to sit down; their hands
were tied behind their backs; despair instantly marked every countenance,
but all were silent.
A council of war was held, and though his own officers had promised them
life, this deity of France signed the death-warrant of the whole four
thousand, and ordered evey man to be shot. Bound and helpless, they were
led down to the bottom of the sand hills on the sea-shore, formed into
squares for execution.
They requested one word with Napoleon; that one word was to remind him of
the terms of their surrender; but the hero, who had just been through the
hospitals and ordered the poisoning of four hundred sick creatures, could
now order four thousand to be butchered.
For five hours, French soldiers fired volley after volley into the dense
mass of sons, husbands, and fathers, till not one soul was left alive. the
returning tide washed the blood of this murdered host from the sands of
Joppa, but no tide will ever wash their blood from those French executioners
and this soldier-god.
Printed and Published by the Sole Proprietor,
WILLIAM ALSOP, at his General Steam Printing Office, 43, Roper-street,
Whitehaven in the Parish of Saint Bees, in the County of Cumerland,
September 30, 1869.