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
"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."