Thursday, June 6th.--We were on horseback at half-past four in the morning. The day was cool and pleasant. Our road lay between the mountains, in a narrow pass, formed by the dry bed of a torrent, with gardens on each side. The mountains were cultivated in terraces, and planted to the summit with vines and olives--"a lovely scene," Sir Moses observed. Indeed it would have been impossible to travel through a richer or more beautiful country. We stopped to rest and take some refreshments, and started again, ascending an extremely barren mountain, and at two o'clock reached Shabia, or Gibeah, the commencement of the scene of destruction. We dismounted, and read some of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, then continued our journey till three o'clock, when we had the first view of Jerusalem. Dismounting once again, we recited the usual prayers. Hearing that the plague was yet in the city, Sir Moses deemed it prudent not to enter. We therefore passed the walls and went up the Mount of Olives, where we pitched our tents on a spot commanding a magnificent view of the Holy City and Mosque of Omar, near the tomb of "Huldah" the prophetess. For two hours before reaching Jerusalem, the road by which we travelled was stoney and deserted. Not a blade of grass or a tree was visible. "Most fervently do I pray," Sir Moses remarked, "that the wilderness of Zion may again be like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord."
Moses Haim Montefiore (1784-1885) was een Brits bankier en filantroop. Hij en zijn vrouw Judith Cohen (1784-1862) hielden een dagboek bij.