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Great Difficulties In The Way Of Asaad's Release

18. Tannoos came to converse about his brother Asaad. He had just
received a letter in Asaad's own hand-writing, saying, that he was
reduced to a great extremity of distress, and perhaps had not long to
live, and begging Tannoos to come up and see if nothing could be done to
end or mitigate his sufferings. Tannoos declares that he would be very
glad to get him away from Cannobeen, if he could be safe, but that in
any other place in the dominions of the emir Beshir, he would be killed.
He might be safe at the consul's, but with me, he would not be. "There
are men in these mountains," said he, "that can kill and have killed
patriarchs and emirs, and that in their own houses; and why could they
not kill Asaad with you, if they chose? Is your house more secure than
the convent of the patriarch, or the palace of the emir? A man in
entering your house, would violate all law, but the English would not
make war for the killing of a single man."

I observed, that an application would very possibly be made to the
pasha, by the consul, if Asaad was not soon delivered up. "An
application of that sort," replied T. "would be quite useless. The pasha
would send the application to the emir, and do you not think the emir
would arrange the affair as he pleased? He knows well this sort of
dealing. He has known how to manage these mountains for forty years, and
do you think he would be at a loss about such a trifle as this? For
example, what would be more easy for the emir, if he chose to detain the
man, than to say he had committed murder, and therefore could not be
given up?" "But," said I, "such a charge must be established by
competent witnesses, and under the consul's inspection." "True," replied
he, "and where would be the difficulty in that? The emir would bring
500 witnesses to-morrow to establish any crime he was pleased to
allege. And as to his fearing the pasha, though he holds his office
under him, yet his power is even superior to the pasha's."----"The
patriarch," continued Tannoos, "can do just what he chooses, in spite of
the English. You have brought books here, and the patriarch has burned
them in spite of you. He has issued to all denominations a proclamation
full of lies against you, and what have you been able to do? You have
indeed written a reply to the proclamation, and hold it up to the
people, and say, 'Look how the patriarch lies about us;' but what does
he care for all that."

So talks a Lebanon mountaineer, of more sense, information and truth,
than most others, respecting the moral character and godly fear of his
patriarch and prince.

Next: His Family Attempt His Liberation

Previous: Attempts Made To Procure His Release

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