Letter From Asaad To Mr Bird

"Dear Sir,--After expressing imperfectly the love I

bear you, and the desire I have to see you in all

health, I have to say, that in due time your letter

came to hand, and I read and understood it. You ask

respecting our health. I answer, I am in a state of

anxiety, but not so great as some days ago.

"On Thursday last, having come home from a visit to

the emir Sulm
n, I found the remnants of the Holy

Scriptures, torn in pieces, as there is reason to

believe, by order of the bishop. When I was told,

that my brother Mansoor had done this mischief, I

returned to the emir, and informed him of the

affair. He sent to call Mansoor, while I returned

again to our house. I now learned, that my brother

Phares had gone off. After searching for him some

time, I went down to the inn in quest of him, but

he was not to be found. As I was on my way

returning from the inn, where I had gone in search

of my brother, I prayed to God, that he would take

every thing from me, if necessary, only let faith

and love towards him remain in my heart.

"As I proceeded on, a man came up, and gave me

information that all the consuls of Beyroot were

slain, and that you also were slain with them. The

report came from a man, who said he had deposited

goods with you for safety. In order to be the more

sure, I asked the man if it were really true, and

he again assured me, that it was. Ask me not the

state of my feelings at that moment.

"On reaching home, I heard this terrible news

confirmed; at the same time looking out, and seeing

the heap of ashes near the house, all that remained

of the 11 copies of the holy scriptures which my

brothers had destroyed, I burst into tears, and

committed all my concerns into the hands of God,

saying, 'Blessed be his holy name: the Lord gave,

and the Lord hath taken away;'--and so I prayed on,

with tears and groanings, which I cannot describe.

"I afterwards heard, that Phares was probably in

the neighbourhood, and set off to search after him

by night, but found him not. When I heard the news

of your death confirmed, I sent off a messenger,

that, wherever Phares might be found, he might

return; and when I received his letter, saying that

he had gone to your house, I could not yet believe

that the report respecting you was false.

"But when the truth on this subject began to

appear, then I heard by a person who came to the

yesterday evening, that the patriarch and the emir

had made an agreement to kill me, and that they

had sent men to lie in wait for that purpose. I was

afterwards told, by another person, that some of

the servants of the emir were appointed to

accomplish this end.

"Here I am, then, in a sort of imprisonment,

enemies within, and enemies without.

"One of my brothers, the other day, advised me to

surrender my self entirely to the mercy of the

bishop, whereupon I wrote the bishop a letter, (of

which I send you the enclosed copy,) and gave it to

my brother Tannoos, begging him to carry it to the

bishop, and bring me his reply. Tannoos read the

letter, and without saying a word, threw it down in

contempt. I then gave it to my uncle with the same

request, but as yet I have got no reply.[K]

"All my concerns I commit into the hands of God,

who created me. Through the blood of our Lord Jesus

Christ, I hope that all my distresses will be for

the best.

"I accept with pleasure all your kind wishes, and

send you many salutations in the Lord, and pray for

you length of days.

"Yours, &c. ASAAD."

"March 27, 1826."