To form a correct idea of the mechanical
art which the ancient masons possessed, the reader should peruse
the following: "Blocks got out, hewed, squared and numbered
in the quarries of Baalbec but never removed to the city, measure
from forty to seventy feet in length, other parts being in proportion.
There are still to be seen in the ruins, at heights of twenty
five feet, blocks as large as those. It is a strange sight to
behold these pieces, just as they were left by the hands of the
quarry men. An amusing tradition, still extant among the Arabs,
shows how unaccountable to moderns are the means used by the craft
to transport such blocks.
They say that on one occasion all the men of the kingdom failed to remove a certain stone, still to be seen there. A woman standing near, after jeering them for their failure, laid hold of the stone, lifted it on her back and with it trotted off to Baalbec, where she laid it down by the wall! Demanding an enormous sum for the service, the Sultan refused to pay it, so the fair one resumed the block, carried it clear back, dropped it where it now lies, and went off dancing!"
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