The Patriarch now deemed himself strong enough to enter upon his project of crushing the Druzes. His power in the mountains being in the ascendant, he ordered the Druze sheiks to assemble at Deir el-Kamr. They came armed, and, as they approached Deir el-Kamr, were required to send away their followers and lay aside their arms. They refused. A battle ensued, and the Maronites were defeated.
It is certain, at any rate, that the Druze sheiks confidently expected this. With such expectations, they made a definite agreement with the mission, that a school for the sons of the ruling class should be established at Deir el-Kamr, and other schools as fast as practicable in their villages, and that the missionaries should be welcomed as religious teachers among all their people.
Yet he appears to have secured in a remarkable degree the good-will of the people. He thus describes the scene connected with his departure from Deir el-Kamr, on the 22d of September: "A little before I left, the family appeared very sorrowful, and some of them wept. The mother wept much, and a priest with whom I had often conversed came in and wept like a child.
King passed six weeks at Deir el-Kamr in the study of Syriac, with Asaad el-Shidiak for his teacher, a remarkable young Maronite, who will have a prominent place in this history. On returning to Beirût, Mr. King wrote a farewell letter to his friends in Palestine and Syria, which Asaad translated into excellent Arabic, and afterwards multiplied copies for distribution.
A levy had been demanded of the Druzes before this visit of the brethren to the mountains, and had been refused, with an urgent request to Mohammed Ali that he would not impose upon them so odious a burden. Nothing was heard in reply until the fourth day after Mr. Smith's return to Beirût, when Ibrahim Pasha presented himself at Deir el-Kamr, at the head of eighteen thousand men.
A school was at once opened at Deir el-Kamr by Messrs. Wolcott and Van Dyck, and Mr. Thomson removed to 'Ain Anab to superintend the schools for the common people, of which there were three opened in the vicinity. Mr. Smith, on arriving at Beirût, was so much interested that he did not stop to open his house, but went up at once to Deir el-Kamr. In this same month, the Rev. Mr.
Not long before, having offended the Sultan, he had fled into Egypt, and there became acquainted with the missionaries. Having made his peace with the Sultan and returned to Deir el-Kamr, his capital, the brethren visited him there, and were hospitably entertained, and furnished with a firmân for travelling in all parts of his dominions. 1 See Missionary Herald, 1824, pp. 65-71, 97-101. Mr.