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Travels in Palestine, through the countries of Bashan and Cilead, east of the River Jordan; including a visit to the cities of Geraza and Gamala, in the Decapolis . the south side, by an aper-ture through which it was difficult to crawl, as ithas no door-way, and found on the inside asquare mass of masonry in the centre, built upfrom the floor nearly to the roof, and of such asize as to leave barely a narrow passage for walk-ing around it. It is plastered with white stuccoon the outer surface, and is sufficiently large andhigh to enclose within it any ancient pillar thatmight have been found on the grave of Rachel.This central mass is certainly different irom anything that I have ever observed in Arabiantombs ; and it struck me on the spot, as by nomeans improbable, that its intention might have * Genesis, xxxv. 19, 20.—Benjamin of Tudela describesthe tomb of Rachel as being half a league from Bethlehem,built in a cross-way of twelve stones, according to the numberof the children of Jacob, and covered by a dome supported byfour columns. Upon the stones of this building the Jews whopassed wrote their names. ANJ> THE CAVE OF THE NATIVITV. SSJ. VOL. I. 33S EXCURSION TO BETHLEHEM, originally been to enclose either a pillar, or frag-ment of one, which tradition had pointed out asthe pillar of Rachels grave; and that as the placeis held in equal veneration by Jews, by Christians,and by Mohammedans, the last, as lords of thecountry, might have subsequently built the pre-sent structure over it in their own style, andplastered the high square pillar within. Aroundthe interior face of the walls is an arched recesson each side, and over every part of the stuccoare written and engraved a profusion of names inHebrew, Arabic, and Roman characters, thefirst executed in curious devices, as if a sort ofAbracadabra. After a ride of about two hours nearly in asouthern direction, we entered Bethlehem, whichis agreeably situated on a rising ground, and hasan air of cleanliness and