DAYS AND NIGHTS
IN THE EAST
FROM THE ORIGINAL NOTES OF A
RECENT TRAVELER THROUGH
EGYPT, ARABIA-PETRA, SYRIA, TURKEY AND GREECE.
LONDON� PUBLISHED BY T. C. NEWBY,
72, MORTIMER STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE.
For the notes, from which the facts in the following volume are drawn, I am indebted to another; but, for the remarks, reflections, or opinions, arising out of the subject, I alone am responsible; and on me alone must the reader charge any error apparent in either.
LONDON, May 19th 1845.
Leave England... Bay and town of Syra...Land at Alexandria, Asses in Egypt ...Obelisks�Pompey's Pillar ...Mourning Women...leave Alexandria ...Plague of Insects� Aft�e...First Night on the Nile--Appearance of the Country and Villages, and their Women ..Pigeon-Shooting ..first sight of the Pyramids Reach Boulac and Cairo...Slave Market ..Manner of progres�sing through the Bazaars and Streets...the Bazaars�View of Cairo...Mosque of Abdel Hassan...Conscientious scruples of its keeper...Death of a fellow traveller.
Petrified Forest...Pyramids of Ghizeh...Appearance of the Valley of the Nile thence...Sphinx...Eagles...ovens for hatching Eggs...Women of Cairo...Law of Divorce.
Leave Cairo...Moonlight on the Nile...our Boat's Crew... Religious Scruples...Bad Weather...Arrangements for personal Comfort...Beni Souef ..Labour not of Love ..Tastes of the Crew�Produce of the Valley...first sight of Crocodiles...Failure of our Reis in his Agreement...the Governor's treatment of him�Temple of Denderah...Dogs...Arrival at Luxor.
Temple of Karnac...Dancing Girls...the Memnons...Temple of Medinet Abou...Mummy Pits...Traffic in their contents...The Memnonium...Tombs of the Kings...General Remarks on the Ruins...Leave Thebes.
Kenneh�Crocodile-shooting...Chants of the Crew.. Sugar versus Treacle...Crocodiles again...Ruins of Abydos, and the horse that conveyed me thither...appearance of the Country...half the crew decamp...Siout...Tombs in Djebel el Koperi...Baths of Siout, and manner of enjoying them...complete our Crew...Tombs in the Lybian range�Arrival at Boulac.
General remarks...Produce of the Country, and its price...Practical Hints�First Essay at Camel riding ..Shooborough...the Pasha.
Start for Suez...Partridges ..unexpected Summerset ..Suez...Wells of Moses...Track of the Israelites...Fountain of Marah...an uninvited companion�Wilderness of Sinai... Wady Feiran ...Arab musket practice...Beauty of the Wilderness...Manner of Encamping...Cold Tea.
Wady Feiran...Sheiks in full dress...Manner of entering the Convent...its interior...Ascent and summit of Mount Sinai...Stinginess of the Superior...Camel-riding...Tents of the Bedouins...annoyed by sand and heat...Wady Ine�The Khamseen...an Overturn...Arab Fisherman...Picturesque appearance of our caravan...approach Akaba.
�� ���������������������������������������������CONTENTS.����� ������������������������������������������ ix
The great Hadj at Akaba�Visit the Bey, and some of the pilgrims, their kindness...Dying Camel...Interview with the Governor and Alouin chiefs; their complaisance, and the reason of it...leave-taking of an old sheik, difficulty of coming to terms with the new ones...Scene in our Tent, and a very lively one out of it...Wady el Ghor... sand again ..enter the Land of Edom.
Ascents and descents...Thirst...Dangerous Track...Situation of Petra...encamp there...visit of the Arabs of Wady Moussa, who exact tribute...confusion of an Arab Council--El Khasne...Magnificent Ravine El Syk.
Theatre at Petra, and view thence, how truly pictured in the prophecies...Doric Temple in the Eastern range...its contemplation disturbed...disputes among the tribes...El Deir in the Western range...Corinthian Temple...Eastern range...Desolation of Petra...Last view of its remains.
Aaron's Tomb...Lizards...View from Mount Hor...An un�comfortable bed-fellow...fatiguing day Gazelles�our tent alive...traces of War...Wady Ilwaller...Roman Wells there... Arabs at the well...A Sheik exacts tribute...Valley of Hebron...Tomb of Abraham and Sarah...View of Hebron ..Return of our Sheik to Akaba.
General Remarks...The necessary preparations to be made for crossing the desert, and practical directions to travellers.
Leave Hebron...change in the appearance of our caravan...Turkish saddles...Solomon's Pools. Bethlehem...approach to Jerusalem...threatened with quarantine...our quarters in Jeru�salem...appearance of the city, within the walls ...Mosque of Omar...English Church...Church of the Holy Sepulchre...Garden of Gethsemane...part of the valley of Jehoshophat--�Tombs there...the prophesied place of the Last Judgment.
Mount of Olives, view of Jerusalem thence ..Great Hadj ..accompany the English Bishop in their track...rushing of the Pilgrims towards the Jordan...their Immersion ..the Jordan...Dead Sea...Convent of St. Saba...return to Jerusalem by Siloam ..view of the City thence...Lower part of the Valley of Jehoshophat...visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre ...descent of the Holy Fire...disgraceful scenes there...state of the Pro�testant Church in Jerusalem.
Start for Damascus...noisy Pilgrims ..Nablous...country ..Valley of Esdrelon...river Kishon...native encampments...Caypha, Convent there; Acre...interview with the Pasha...its fortifications--a merry monk...Mass...Nazareth...Beauty of the women...Insects...Lizards...Mount Tabor...Tiberias...Slumber disturbed ..Capernaum �Lake of Genesaret.
Ancient paved road...native Tents...reach Damascus...our host there; his house...the bazaars, their contents and visitors...Fine specimens of Architecture ...Ladies of Damascus...Baths...Sherbet...exceedingly beautiful appearance of Damas�cus, as we leave it...Baalbec..its Temples...Sirocco.
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Ascend Mount Lebanon...the Cedars...lovely village of Beshirai ..its Inhabitants...Convent of Konobin...highly cultivated Country ..Tripoli...Beyrout...General remarks on Syria, its products and Inhabitants.
Sail from Beyrout...Cyprus ..Coast of Asia Minor...Smyrna...Dardanelles...Turkish Forts�Hellespont...Sea of Marmora...First sight of Constantinople...Quarantine quarters...Spoglio�Bosphorus...quit the Larazetto for Constantinople...the Mosques...Slave-market...Alarm of Fire�Caiques...Bazaars�Dogs...Dancing Dervishes...leave Constantinople.
Return to Smyrna�Syra...Quarantine...fine Bathing...Centipedes...leave Syra...reach the Piraeus...Acropolis...Natural situation of Athens...Parthenon...Olympeum�
Tower of the winds...Temple of Theseus...Lantern of Demosthenes...Stadium...Theatre of Herodias Atticus...Theatre of Bacchus...Pynz...Hill of Mars...Mount Museum...Agora...Mount Lycabettus...Thoughts on Ancient Greek Art...Modem Athens...Leave for England.
The following pages are not intended for the perusal, or at least for the information of those who are already familiar with the laboured works which treat at large of all that the East holds; but it is presumed, that at a time when universal attention is directed thither, a fami�liar, circumstantial, and authentic account of the great things we delighted to look on, and of the little things that would sometimes hap�pen to annoy, in our progress through Egypt, Syria, Arabia,--Petra, and Greece, cannot but be interesting to a numerous class.
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The facilities afforded to travellers in these our days, have left them little chance of in�curring the imminent dangers which beset the path of earlier pilgrims; let not the reader therefore prepare for a chronicle of� "moving accidents."� I have described everything as we found it; and if "stations" and "hotels" have taken something from the peril and ro�mance of the way, I cannot admit they abstract from the inherent beauty and interest of the objects to which they lead; and invite all who hold the same opinion, to dip with us into a journal, which, if it convey to them but a small portion of the pleasure which the writer felt in looking on the scenes it attempts to describe, will not have been penned in vain.
Left London on the 2nd of December; whence, I will not ask the reader to go with me on the beaten track from Calais to Mar�seilles, or thence to Malta; but we will join company on this 31st of December, as we
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are merrily seeing the old year out and the new one in, in the bay of Syra. This town is mi�serable enough, the houses small, and their roofs flat; but like many other wretched as�semblages of the like, it has quite a different aspect from the water, which is without a ripple, and reflects Syra with the truth of a mirror; but this was not to last, a tremen�dous storm arose, which all the day and night of the 1st, tossed us about in the bay, which is much exposed: on the 2nd we started, the sea still running very high.
In our progress we passed a great many islands; those of the Archipelago have a bar�ren appearance. On the 4th, about 10 A.M., caught sight of the land of Egypt, and found it difficult to withdraw my gaze: within an hour after the first glimpse, Pompey's pillar could be distinguished, and at 12 we passed through the Pasha's fleet, and dropped our anchor before Alexandria.
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We saw but little of the town on entering the harbour, and oily landing were assailed by a drove of donkeys and their drivers, and were obliged to mount to save our toes; our bag�gage (which was not examined) was placed on camels, and we proceeded through a mise�rable part of the town to the great square and the hotel.
The heavy storm which ushered in the morn�ing of the 5th having passed away, we all mounted donkeys (which are not here the wretched-looking creatures that go by that name in England, but handsome, high, and spirited), and visited the arsenal, where we met with a young Egyptian who had been educated in England, and spoke our language perfectly. We saw hundreds of fellahs work�ing in gangs, many of them minus a finger or an eye, cut off, or put out, in order that they may escape the service; but the Pasha does not allow even this to exempt them. We went thence to view the obelisks, one of which was thrown down by the British troops; but� though they
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�are larger than any I have seen in Europe, they are by no means so perfect; for the hie�roglyphics are entirely effaced on the side, which that one which retains its original position presents towards the East. Indescribably miserable was the part of the town through which we passed.
The next day we went over the Pasha's pa�lace, which is furnished partly in the European style; the divan is circular, and splendidly fitted up: from its window the whole harbour is to be seen.
We were anxious to pay our tribute of ad�miration to the most beautiful object in Alex�andria--Pompey's pillar.*� This magnificent column we regretted to observe disfigured by the names of travellers written in large cha�racters, in some instances half way up the shaft. I could not help muttering to myself' something about "throwing pearls before
* This is now universally admitted to be a misnomer.
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swine," and wondering that among civilized nations, beings could be found to come hither to desecrate in such a manner, a monument made so beautiful by art, and so deeply hal�lowed by time, and by every association that connects the present with the past.
In Egypt it seems, to be the peculiar pri�vilege of women to mourn over the departed; and in the cemetery in which Pompey's pillar stands, we saw many singing or crying over the tombs, it would be difficult to say which they bury their dead in graves not more than two feet and a half deep.
On the 8th, our baggage was conveyed on camels to the canal, which is about a mile and a half from the town; a 7 A.M. we left Alex�andria, and in another hour were sailing on the fine canal, (the Mamhoudie,) which lies much above the low level of the country.
We had two boats, Colonel----- and I took possession of one, and the remainder of our party of the other, which being the largest we
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used as a salle a� manger. Saw great quantities of wild fowl, but could not get a shot. Sleep was out of the question, for the whole insect army of Egypt was down upon us; we were obliged to resort to fire to repel them, and ac�cordingly lighted our lamp and pipes, and chatted away the night.
About 5 A.M. we arrived at the curious vil�lage of Aft�e, on the Nile, and I was glad to escape from my berth which had been anything but a comfortable one. We went to the French consul, for whom we had a letter; he appeared anxious to do all in his power for us, and soon found a reis who agreed to convey us to Cairo for three hundred piastres; and after signing the agreement, we returned to the inn kept by an Italian, and enjoyed a better breakfast than I had promised myself.
Aft�e is a singular village, built on mounds of earth thrown out of the canal; the habitations are miserable in the extreme, so low, that none but children can stand upright in them, and
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very few can boast of a door; there are pigeon-�houses on the tops of most of them.
Mr. C. and his lady (who were to join us here, and to prosecute the remainder of our intended journey with us,) arrived about 10, but the latter was so very ill, that we gave up the idea of sailing to-day. Everything appear�ed so novel that we amused ourselves very well, even in this miserable place, which, like all the villages of Egypt, is full of dogs, which bear a great resemblance to the fox.
Dined on board, and attempted to sleep, but this was impossible, for the army was much stronger than the one on the canal; our cabin was quite alive; and if ever boat did, ours "will walk the waters like a thing of life." 1 A.M., found me writing, and wondering how my com�panions could possibly sleep amid this swarm of vermin: so passed my first night on the Nile.
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The 10th found Mr. C.'s lady very ill; about 10 A.M. we bade them adieu, (leaving Baron B----with them, and left Aft�e, to proceed up the river.
The country appeared remarkably rich; the villages large and numerous; they all stand under clumps of palm-trees, and generally op�posite each other, on either side of the river. On several occasions we were delighted to watch the parties of their women who came to the river for water. Blue is the only colour they are allowed to wear, and the arrangement of their dress is simple in the extreme; it con�sists of three pieces--a petticoat from the loins, a piece over the shoulders, the third, which is worn over the head, also serves for covering the face; in height they are rather above the European standard, and graceful as the statues of Greece; they use for transporting the water, vases of a fine antique form; and as they moved along with these on their heads, the beauty of their figures and extreme elegance of their movements, left an abiding impression on the mind akin to that produced by some fair vision.
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The beans were very high and in bloom, and the whole country beautifully green. We burnt lamps at night in hope of keeping the �creeping and flying things innumerable,� with which we were persecuted, at a little distance, but only partially succeeded; however, I slept a little in spite of everything, for the first time since leaving Alexandria.
The next day being calm, we left our boat in order to shoot pigeons, and to see a few of the villages, all of which we found finer and better built than Aft�e. The pigeon-houses, before mentioned, are very curious, built of mud, in the form of sugar-loaf, the interior fitted with earthern pots, nicely arranged from top to bottom.� We were so busy shooting their tenants, that we forgot all about the boat; the reis, it appeared, taking advantage of a breeze which sprung up, had set his sails, and left us behind; at dinner time, the old fellow was obliged to dispatch half his crew in all directions to find us; and we did not reach our boat till
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late in the evening, weary with the long distance we had walked.
About 11 A.M. next day, caught sight of the everlasting pyramids;---certainly that first and distant view rather disappoints one�s expectation; as children, we are taught to consider them as among the world�s wonders; we think them not the less so, when, having passed childhood, we endeavour to realize to our ardent imaginations, some idea of their magnitude, architectural perfection, and indestructibility; and however completely the pyramids of our creation may be revealed to us as we stand beneath them, and compare their ponderous proportions with modern fabrics, (for then and there, no one I should say, can feel disappointed), a contrary impression is produced when they are first seen at three or four hours� distance.
We reached Boulac between two and three, and the mounting donkeys, rode to Grand Cairo, which is nearly two miles from the river.
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This city offers a pleasing contrast to, Alex�andria; after passing through many of its turn�ings and windings, we found ourselves at the grand eastern hotel; after a wash, we paid a visit to the English consul, with whom we drank coffee and smoked pipes, as nearly as we could manage it, in the Turkish fashion.� Walm�e is a good consul, perhaps, but he could give us no information whatever; after our chat with him, we returned to our quarters, and enjoyed a delightful night's rest in the absence of all tormentors.
The 14th very fine; rode to Boulac, and engaged a boat for Upper Egypt; signed the, agreement with the reis before the American consul, who had no more information to give than our friend Walm�e. We next visited the slave-market, which is in the centre of the town; it is a large square yard with cells all round it; the cells in a gallery above on one side of this square, were filled with black slaves, and a more disgusting sight I never
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beheld; they were valued at from 500 to 4000 piastres. The more beautiful and highly-priced slaves are not thus publicly exposed to view; but among those exhibited for sale was one girl rather pretty; she was much lighter than the rest and delicately formed, and she appeared very shy; the owner saw me looking at her, and offered to sell her for 3000 piastres; she had a most beautiful mouth, and the rascal knew it well, for he repeatedly opened it to shew me her fine teeth; I felt a great in�clination to knock out his, and in order that I might not be tempted to make a useless exhibi�tion of the indignation I could not but feel, hastened off in another direction.
We directed our course through the town; the pace at which the donkeys carry you, through the ever-crowded alleys of Cairo is quite astonishing; to be sure, a few were upset by us, but the people regain their legs with great composure, and take no notice whatever. If at any time we came to a standstill, the
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drivers cried, " Kalic, kaluc, shemarluc," &c., applied their sticks vigorously, and the, don�keys, in spite of our efforts to restrain them, bore down in their way.
Cairo is certainly a fine city; its bazaars are endless, and many of them at a first view can�not but strike the stranger as extremely rich and picturesque, particularly those devoted to arms, carpets, shawls, and jewellery, (for every article of use or ornament is to be purchased only in the bazaar set apart for that particular class of merchandize.) They are for the most part roofed with rafters, and are open at each end; and through the centre a mixed multitude is incessantly pouring.� On either side are the stalls of the merchants whose rich wares are spread with lavish hand around, and above too, for if the nature of his commodities ad�mits, they are displayed hanging, waving, or festooned towards the roof; there hangs the golden-broidered scarf or shawl, the luxurious carpet, the dainty silk, or the flashing and
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jewelled scimitar; and in the midst of this profusion, on a raised and carpeted platform, sits the turbaned, bearded proprietor; who, when a frank attended by his dragoman, comes to treat for his wares, seats himself opposite him on his carpet, presents him with coffee and a pipe, (with which he is also himself supplied) and, as they sip and smoke, the bargain is discussed and concluded, the dragoman acting, of course, as interpreter, and invariably taking charge of his master's purse, which he resigns only with his engagement. Buyers and sellers thus engaged, added to the motley costumes of the passing throng, make altogether a scene, of which it is difficult to give a complete de�scription.
On our return we found that our friend, whom we had left at Aft�e with his sick wife, had arrived; she was better, but still very ill. The next morning we paid a visit to the citadel, which stands high above the town, and from this elevation the view of Cairo is splendid.
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The most conspicuous object in the town itself, is the great mosque of Abdel Hassan, with its immense domes and graceful minarets; and the peculiar characteristic of the houses is their flat roofs: the eye, however, does not rest long upon either of these objects, but ranges over the varied and extensive scene beyond.
On that side of Cairo where stand the tombs of the caliphs, lies the desert, and its arid sands at that point come close to the very walls of the city. In the distance are the pyramids, and more distant still, the moun�tains; and to this wilderness, the broad Nile and cultivated valley, and the beautiful gar�dens of the Pasha offer an agreeable relief.
The Pasha was building a beautiful mosque on the site of Saladin palace, the only remains of which are a few broken pillars; the marble they were raising had the external appearance of alabaster.
The palace is not worth seeing; the citadel contains the Mint, the Hall of Justice, and Jo�seph's Well, which supplies it with water.
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We next visited the largest mosque in Cairo, that of Abdel Hassan; its immense size and the absence of all decoration, strike a stranger forcibly on entering; and his eyes and ears are greeted by the sight and sound of the silver waters of the large fountain which rises under the dome. Beyond is the tomb of Abdel Has�sen, on which is placed an immense and richly ornamented copy of the koran.
I glanced with some little apprehension at my boots, on having the fact brought to my recollection, that it is customary to uncover the feet on entering a mosque; but this was soon relieved by my guide, who thrust a pair of slippers over them; and thus qualified, I walked in. As there were no more slippers to be had, my friend remained at the threshold; but we had not advanced many paces when he bethought himself of holding up a 3-piastre piece; this overcame their scruples, and (booted as he was) they beckoned him to follow.
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Our first inquiry on reaching home, was for Mrs. C.; we found her gradually sinking, and at 11 that night she died. She was beautiful and amiable, and only 23; her loss cast a gloom over us all.
On the 16th I did not leave my room; and at 7 the next morning, the remains of our fel�low-traveller were placed in a coffin, and the Church of England service performed over them. Her husband intended transporting them to America, and between 6 and 7 in the even�ing we followed them to Boulac, where a boat was waiting to convey them to Alexandria. The American consul's janissary led the way, attended by Arabs, each holding high in the air blazing fires in small iron baskets; and strange and wild was the appearance of the funeral procession, as the fitful red light flashed on the group of Arabs who assisted in convey�ing the body; their light dresses and red caps contrasting strongly with our own dark garments--for she was followed by four Europeans all of different nations.
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We arrived at Boulac a little before 9, and a few minutes after the boat dropped down the river with her melancholy freight, and we returned to Cairo.
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On the 18th we visited the petrified forest which is about five miles from Cairo. Many entire trunks of palm and other trees are lying here, perfectly transformed into solid stone, and the hills for miles are covered with fragments of their branches, brittle, and glazed in appearance, and which on being struck, give forth a ringing metallic sort of sound, something similar to that elicited from the musical stones (commonly so called) quarried in Westmoreland.
The l9th was a lovely day; we started at 9,
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to see the pyramids; passed through some beautiful gardens belonging to Ibrahim� Pasha, to old Cairo; where we crossed the Nile, and had a delightful ride, through a very rich country.
The pyramids stand on a sandy plain, about sixty feet above the valley of the Nile, and about four miles from Cairo. Truly sublime did they appear to me as I now for the first time stood face to face before these mutely eloquent monuments; but I will spare the reader the train of ideas which was interrupted by the offer of the guides to assist me in making the ascent with the help of two very active fellahs I gained the top with ease in a few minutes, and found the task much lighter than I had been led to imagine. The stones are very irregular, and from two to four and a half feet in height.
The space at the top, I should think about twenty feet square: the view from it is fine in the extreme. On one side flows the Nile, through one of the richest valleys in the world;
22��������������������� �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������DAYS AND NIGHTS
on the other is the fearful Lybian desert. It appeared as if there were some hidden barriers against the flowing sands, and that the fertiliz�ing waters of the Nile were not unaided in repelling them; so distinct is the desert from the valley: it seems from this height quite possible to walk with one foot in either. More distant, the domes and minarets of Cairo, rise above masses of trees against the sky; and close beneath the enormous sphinx reveals her co�lossal proportions, dimly but unmistakably, through the sand, which veils, but does not quite conceal that part which lies between the shoulders and tail; and as the clouds at this moment break, a flood of sun-light crosses the track of a company of Arabs and camels, and their many coloured dresses and picturesque arrangement contrast powerfully opposed to the uniform tone of the plain around.
We gazed long on the scene I have attempted to describe, and even then turned unwillingly to make the descent. The vast proportions of
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the great pyramid strike you more when half way up its side, than from any other point. Its height is 461 feet. The clouds which had screened us having dispersed, we felt much annoyed by the heat, and were glad to halt for a time in a small chamber about one third of the way down.
The descent is very easy; but this is more than I can say for our task in the interior, to which the entrance is on the northern side. The passage inclines at the angle of 27� and is about three and a half feet square: at the end of this passage is a false entrance to the right, up which we were pulled by our guides, and found ourselves in another passage (inclining upwards,) one hundred feet in length, and five in height. In a recess at the extremity of this second passage, is the well spoken of by Pliny. A third, and very low passage, led us to the Queen's chamber--a rather large apartment, with an arched, and somewhat pointed roof above this is the King's chamber, which is five
24�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
good strides in width, and eleven in length; its sides are of polished granite, its roof flat, and composed of enormous stones; at one end is a broken sarcophagus, which it is evident, (from the fact of its being too large to have entered the apartment, either by its entrance or its approaches,) must have been placed in it as their construction was in progress.
There are several chambers above this, but the ladder which leads to them was broken, and as we had no means of supplying its place, we were fain to exchange the intense heat for the comparatively cool external air, which we reached, nearly choked with dust.
We now approached to take a nearer view of the sphinx. The face is not of that order of beauty, or to be measured by those propor�tions which the whole civilized world has for more than two thousand years agreed to worship; possibly it imaged forth the beau-ideal of an earlier age, and even in its present mutilated state a surprising degree of sweetness and repose
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dwells on every feature. The sands have been cleared from the upper part of the figure, and a wooden frame-work set up, which in a great degree has resisted their progress, and enough was to be seen to give an idea of its exquisite proportions. The head has suffered very much; one of our party took aim at an eagle that was perched on it, but we persuaded him to refrain from shooting it; there were, however, many of these majestic birds about the pyramids. and he brought down several of large size.
The objects which next engaged our attention were of a different order from those we were contemplating yesterday; viz: the ovens for hatching eggs; it being an extraordinary but well-known fact, that the liens in Egypt will not take the trouble to hatch their own; we did not see the process in operation, as they do not begin till next month, (February.) We staid some time watching the boats, which are constantly engaged in conveying passengers and provision: from this side of the river to Old
26�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
Cairo on the opposite bank; and afterwards rode to Boulac, where they were painting our boat, preparatory to our starting for our further voyage up the Nile.
Spent the 21st in the bazaars; found one very narrow one, filled with druggists; I bought some otto of roes of an old fellow, who applied the cork of the bottle to my whiskers and mustachios with such a liberal hand, that I carried a violently perceptible sweet odour with me. I was more annoyed than ever on this day with the sight of the women, whose ugly habit of blinking at you with one eye, had impressed me disagreeably from the first. On the approach of a man they are obliged to cover their faces, which, if I may judge from the few I saw, (and the pretty ones, it is said alone, by accident let fall their veil,) are extremely ugly; their eyes are large, but their features irregular, with a bad expression.
The law of divorce is singular; the husband is only obliged to say to his wife, in the presence
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of two witnesses, "I divorce thee;" he may a second time marry her after she has been married by another; but if the divorce be a third time pronounced, he can never marry her again.
In the afternoon of the 22nd the camels were brought to convey our luggage to the boat; they make a dreadful noise during the whole time the business of loading them is going on; this was not accomplished till 6, and it was 8 when we got on board.
28�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
On the 23rd, at 1 A.M., we hoisted the Prussian flag, and left the shore; the wind was not favourable, and the crew were obliged to tow. As we were passing the island of Rhoda, an officer boarded us, saying, that our reis owed him 900 piastres, and that it was his intention to arrest him; if he came with the idea that we should liquidate the debt rather than lose our reis, (as I have no doubt he did) he found himself mistaken; for we shewed him the Pasha's firmam, and stated we were not in-
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clined to submit to delay for any one; so he quietly took a cup of coffee, and left us and our reis.
We arrived at Old Cairo at 7, and witnessed the most gorgeous sunset that even this clime can display; for the sun sunk behind the pyra�mids, and left on the Arabian mountains, and the sky with which they seemed to mingle, a hue and a glory of which nor pen or pencil can give an idea. Something of the twilight tinge which succeeds this, Martin gave in his " Flight into Egypt," exhibited two years ago.
The next morning was dreadfully cold; I shivered under my cloak; the wind was fa�vourable, and at 11 A.M. we sailed away in gallant style, and soon lost sight of the Great Pyramid, and passed those of Scharah and Dashoor; the immense proportions of the lat�ter were very striking. Passed the village of Holman about 2; and after a good day's sail, hauled up to the bank close to a village; it was a beautiful moonlight night, and long did
30�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
I remain looking on the silent river and the majestic palms; there was just wind enough to stir their feathery branches; and as they waved gracefully to and fro, the moonlight lay on their pale edges (in contrast with the dark green of the leaf above) like molten silver.
By the next morning the wind had changed and was blowing in our teeth; our men made so little progress, that at night we could see our starting-post. Our boat was somewhat too large and heavy; it had two cabins and a capital tent on the quarter-deck, where we dined in hot weather; the two latteen sails were immense, I should think the main full eighty feet in length; they gave her a very elegant appearance. Our crew consisted of twelve, (without the reis), six of whom were blacks from Nubia.
We were upon the whole very comfortable, and in cold weather could shut ourselves in, for we had six glass windows in the cabin--very necessary articles, even in this climate.
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The next morning brought but little wind and our men were again obliged to tow; we halted at a village at breakfast--time for some milk, which we did not succeed in obtaining; their sheik came on board, and having smoked a pipe, asked for some tobacco; but as we had only just enough for our journey, we thought it prudent to refuse him; at this, the old fellow went off quite disappointed, without giving us the customary salute.
The men continued to tow till noon, when we hauled to the bank to rest them; and as soon as they had made fast, they threw themselves on the sand, and were almost instantly asleep; while they were thus engaged, the Count and I went into a village and astonished the na�tives by shooting their pigeons: in a short time we had all the inhabitants round us, who ea�gerly pointed out the birds for us to shoot. Though most of them fell quite dead, I ob�served they cut off their heads, which Agassi (my dragoman) explained by saying, that the
32�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
Mahomedans are forbidden to touch anything killed by an infidel; so they no doubt settled all qualms of conscience by the proceeding just described.
The following was a terrible day; we moved about half a mile up the river, but the wind being right in our teeth, were obliged to haul to the bank: as we peeped out from our windows, the scene was most desolate; the air was loaded with sand, which it carried in clouds hither and thither with great fury; and our men had taken shelter under a high bank, where they lay huddled together.
The two next days brought but little im�provement in the weather, and we made scarcely any progress; on the third, we could make no way; and I had my head shaved by one of our crew, who had a touch as light as any Parisian barber could boast of: the sensation was agree�able, and I felt extremely comfortable after the operation. The tarbouch is a red cap with a silk tassel, and is a delightful head-dress; it is worn by all the Pasha's troops, and with few
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exceptions, by all other classes in Egypt. Eu�ropeans are obliged to protect the head from the excessive heats of the country, by winding a shawl round the tarbouch, in form of a turban; a custom very generally practised by the natives, but an indulgence not allowed to the military.
The next morning (the 31st) early, there was a fine favourable wind, and we piped all hands, but it soon fell, and we were again obliged to crawl along the banks at a snail's pace, which we could not quicken, either on that day or the next; the evening of which found us (having worked our way with great difficulty,) at Beni Souef, about two hours after a most gorgeous sunset.
We landed for a short time, and took a cup of coffee in one of the miserable coffee-houses of the town. Beni Souef is quite deserted, Mahomed Ali having forced all its inhabitants to work at the dykes; we saw about a dozen marching away with iron collars round their necks, and guarded by soldiers.
34�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
This morning, February 2nd, the wind became favorable, and we sailed in gallant style till 10 A.M. when it fell.
The Arabs are so fond of company of all sorts, that they take care, if possible, to haul the boat either close to a village, or some other boats, from which you receive a fresh supply of rats and other vermin; but for a change we made them drift her into the middle of the river, and cast anchor. This was a fine day's sail, and we were all in good spirits. 3rd, splendid wind, so we weighed at an early hour, but at 11, ran, with all our canvas set, on one of the shifting sand-banks, which make the navigation of the Nile so difficult.
We were in this pleasant position about three hours, during which we had made more than one attempt to get her off; at two P.M. we gave our men a glass of spirits, (to which, what�ever travellers may say, we never found them object,) and piped all hands to make another effort. The count jumped overboard to see that all did their duty, while V--- and I remained
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at the poles, and in a few minutes we were again running at a great rate before the wind.
About fifteen miles south of Beni Souef, the Nile washes the base of the Arabian mountains; these and the Lybian range run through the whole length of the country, enclosing and pro�tecting from the deserts the splendid valley through which the river holds its serpentine course. The country is flat, and consequently there is little variety in the scenery; but nothing can exceed the richness of the crops.
All the grain is bearded; wheat, beans, peas, Indian corn, sugar-cane, rice, dates, coarse to�bacco, cotton, and white and red clover, are the general produce. In the pastures we saw im�mense numbers of buffaloes, unlike the animal known in England by that name; they are very large, of a dirty blackish colour, and have no hump on the back. In order to protect their unwieldly bodies from the attacks of insects they remain in the river during the heat of the day, and when the sun was powerful, we saw
36�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
droves of them with only their noses above water, their flesh is not eatable, but we found their milk excellent.
The Pasha has introduced a great many head of cattle from Europe; there are no pigs, (of course in a nation of Mahomedans,) but plenty of sheep, fowls and pigeons.�������� As far as that part of the river in which we now were, the valley (whose average width is 27 miles,) had presented the rich appearance I have des�cribed; but above this, on the Arabian side, for miles there was no cultivated ground. Here was an encampment of Bedouins, the first we had seen, but they were at too great a distance for us to examine their appearance minutely, even had we not been-sailing at a great rate; on a previous day one of our boatmen was taken ill, of course we prescribed for him; to-day an�other complains, and we have administered a dose of magnesia. I suppose we shall have to do the same to all; for, strange to say, they are de�lighted of an excuse to take physic, of which they are really fond: as we gave them only
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magnesia, and as a single dose never failed to remove their ailments, it is pretty clear they could have been only fancied.
Fine wind all night; we ran on several sand. banks, but fortunately lost but little time; the navigation at night is very difficult. At 8 the following morning, we sailed with a fine wind into Mineyeh, where we remained a few minutes for our men, who bought their bread in the town; passed Melani at 10 A.M. having sailed beauti�fully all day. Light wind all night; there were a great many boats going up, but ours passed them with ease; we only struck on one sand�bank, but this detained us an hour.
5th. Splendid wind still; at 10 A.M. we met a boat bearing the American stripes and stars spoke her, but the delicious breeze allowed us but little time for a parley, and carried us at a tremendous pace into Manfacant. About half an hour before our arrival we observed a party of crocodiles, to the number of 8 or 10 on a bank, and regretted that we could not have a shot at
38�������������������������������������� �����������������������������������������������������������������DAYS AND NIGHTS
them, but the wind was too precious to lose a single puff; they were the first we had seen; indeed, they are now never met with lower than Mineyeh, though ancient historians speak of them at the river's mouth.
We remained at this village half an hour for provisions; and after a fine afternoon's sail, arrived at 9 A.M. at Siout, the capital of Upper Egypt. Here our reis found some of his friends, and refused to move when we ordered him to make sail; some of our party went into the town to solicit the interference of the Governor to oblige our refractory sailing-master to fulfill the terms of the agreement, which (as is usual in such cases) was, that we should sail night and day when the wind was favourable; and that when it was foul, the crew should not tow except between sun-rise and sun-set; however, the Governor had retired to his harem, and we were obliged, with� what patience we could, to pass the night stationary, instead of taking ad�vantage of the wind, which was fine.
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Early next morning we had our reis up be�fore the Governor, who having asked a few questions, made a sign, whereupon three of the guards seized the delinquent, and threw him on the floor, when he received an unmerciful thrashing, until we cried, �Hold! enough !" I asked Agassi how long he would have been beaten, had we not interfered? he replied, that it depended on the humour of the Governor; and that had it not been for us, he would have received it on the soles of his feet.
He returned quite an altered man; and at 12, we left Siout, deferring the inspection of the tombs, &c. in its neighbourhood till our return. The fine breeze with which we left, continued through this day and the two next; but dropped on the 8th at midnight. On the 9th, our men were obliged to tow, and we went on shore to shoot, and found immense numbers of pigeons, but no game. At 4, we had a nice breeze, and sailed well till 8, when our pilot ran our boat into a creek, in which we lost a great deal of time.
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At noon the following day we landed at Kenneh, to walk to the temple of Dendirah, which lies about a mile and a half from the river; it is one of the most perfect and the most correctly-proportioned in Egypt; its mas�sive columns are seven feet in diameter, and the distance between them is not more than two diameters and a half; and the solidity and (if the word be permitted) the peculiar solemnity of Egyptian sacred architecture strike the tra�veller with awe, when he looks on this, the first temple to which his steps are turned in the ascent of the Nile. The facade and vestibule are exceedingly grand; the whole of its co�lumns covered with hieroglyphics, whose co�lours have, however, suffered from the easterly winds.
With the aid of candles we explored the inner chambers, which we found equally rich in sculptured and painted hieroglyphics; on the ceiling of the largest, the signs of the zodiac are painted. This splendid temple is disfigured with the miserable ruins of a modern
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town, which was deserted a few years ago, (for what reason no one could inform us).
At 3, we were again under sail; in the even�ing we ran on a sand-bank, where we spent the night. At 6 the following morning, our men got the boat off; the breeze was light, and in�creased till 10, when we sailed; with every prospect of seeing Thebes before night, but were again to be doomed to disappointment; for the wind fell at 2 P.M., and we crawled along the banks at a miserable pace, and an�chored about five miles from Thebes, near one of the Pasha's cotton plantations. The valley here is very narrow on the Lybian side, but the Arabian range can hardly be seen. The wheat was in bloom, and they were planting tobacco. Our men made a large fire, round which they sat like so many monkeys; for they screw them�selves into the ordinary attitude of those ani�mals. It is quite delightful to see them enjoy the heat. At tea-time, Agassi informed us he had no milk, and that one of our men would
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go with him to the Pasha's temporary settle�ment. I took down my sword and joined them; on the outskirts of the said settlement we sus�tained a severe attack from the dogs, who ap�peared determined to oppose us; but they kept at a respectful distance from my steel; we found a dozen men round a capital fire, near which they made room for me, while Agassi executed his commission. We were escorted on our return by half the party, who kept off their dogs, at which attention he seemed highly delighted. We passed the night here, and at 10 the next morning arrived at Luxor.
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As soon as possible after landing, we took our way to the temple of Karnac, which stands about a mile and a half from Luxor; the ap�proach to it is through an avenue of sphinxes, which at one time extended the whole distance, and many of which now raise their mutilated shoulders, (for none boast of a head), at in�tervals, above the sand in which they are im�bedded. This avenue leads to the temple of Isis, which formed one of a series of smaller ones connected with the great temple.
The entrance to the temple of Isis is magnificent,
44������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ DAYS AND NIGHTS
and the only perfect one remaining at Karnac. But I forgot all on entering the great temple; for never did I see such a scene of havoc and destruction. If the great pyramid had been shaken to its foundation, it could not have covered a much greater space; tottering walls and pediments, broken obelisks and co�lumns, all of immense proportions, thrown in all directions, covering the ground, with here and there a threatening pillar declining from its centre, gave to this immense ruin an air of desolation not met with in any other; and yet, 134 of its gigantic columns still remain in a perfect state, covered with hieroglyphics, and beautifully proportioned, forming an avenue through the centre of the building, along which the eye ranges through an extent of upwards of 1200 feet. The roof of one immense apart�ment is composed of enormous slabs, and was supported by sixteen rows of pillars, beyond which lies another of still larger dimensions, which was upheld by 168 columns.
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The outer walls are in a good state of preser�vation, and on their sides, the wars of the kings of Egypt are represented, many of the figures as large as life. In front of the temple stands the obelisk of Luxor perfect and beautiful; its hieroglyphics fresh as if sculptured yesterday; and I should imagine no one could look on the vacant spot where its equally perfect compa�nion stood, without lamenting the existence of that false taste which has led the French to transport it to the� �Place de la Concorde," in their capital, where it is so lamentably out of place, and where the frost has already done on it the work of time, and bids fair to destroy it utterly; instead of leaving it in a spot to which it gave, and from which it received beauty.
In the temple itself, of the many obelisks that decorated it, two only remain on their pedestals. The avenue which passes through the largest of the numerous temples connected with the great one, was prolonged by a double row of sphinxes to a similar gateway to that
46������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
on the east side; and each of the principal entrances was likewise, through avenues of sphinxes, and one entire cluster of temples would appear to have been surrounded by a line of those monsters. The finest view of the ruins is from the smallest obelisk standing; shattered sphinxes, statues of sheep and other animals (many of them of colossal size) lie in every direction; but no adequate idea of this vast ruin, this assemblage of temples, which covers a space nearly two miles in circuit, can be conveyed by the pen.� An Arab village is built in and about it) and nothing can be more striking than the contrast offered between its miserable hotels and these monuments of a vanished race.
We did not return to out boat till late in the evening; on reaching Luxor we found one belonging to two of our countrymen, with whom the passed the evening; during which we were entertained by the performances of a troop of dancing girls.
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The next morning (the 13th,) was very cold; we crossed the river in a small boat, to visit the wonders on that side: and on landing, were assailed by a number of fellahs who wished to act as our guides; we selected two, but the whole troop followed for a great distance. We first visited the colossal memnons, called by the Arabs, Shanny and Danny; these splendid statues stand alone on the plains, surrounded by cornfields, and are on account of their beauty, size, and antiquity, interesting objects; the heads had suffered very much, and unfortunately one had been repaired.
The temple of Medinet Abou, which was the next object of our attention, stands to the south of Thebes, and is remarkable for the beauty and high preservation of its hierogly�phics. The court in the centre is exceedingly fine, and all its columns (which are square) are, as well as its walls, quite perfect; they are covered with hieroglyphics, which are full half an inch deep (intaglio) beautifully colored with
48�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� DAYS AND NIGHTS
red, blue, &c. The exterior walls are covered by sand, and little is to be seen with the ex�ception of the grand entrance and the centre square.
We passed several deep mummy pits; a little fellow ran after me, offering the head of a mummy for one piastre; and the ground was covered with all parts of the human frame, torn from the pits by the Arabs; the Pasha's edict has gone forth forbidding the traffic in mum�mies, which was formerly carried on by them in this place; not that he wished to dabble in it, but, because lie preferred employing them in draining or cultivating the laud; but we saw enough to convince us that it still goes on to a considerable extent.
The Memnonium must have been a splendid temple, and is still (after Karnac) the finest in Egypt; it has suffered more from the busy hand of man than from the Great Destroyer; all its beautiful statues have been removed, and but little remains, except two rows of columns; on
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four of which the figures are still almost per�fect, and exhibit a greater variety, and higher degree of finish than is found in any other. These temples stand on the edge of a plain, at the foot of the Lybian range, which rises to a great height; its sides pierced with excavations and tombs, many of which are inhabited by Arabs, in a primitive condition; on entering the ruins of the Memnonium, we surprised three of these miserable creatures in a state of nudity; they ran away and took refine on the top of the great wall which faces the Nile, where they remained until we had left the place.
It was noon next day before we crossed to the western bank, owing to a mutiny among our crew; we had them up before the Gover�nor, who thought fit to bastinado one fellow, and send them all to prison for the day.
We mounted donkeys and ascended the Lv�bian range by a very steep path, and descended into a very deep valley, in which are the tombs
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of the Kings. We visited Belzoni's first; a flight of steps led us down to a lofty door-way about twenty feet below the surface, through which we entered a long corridor, at the end of which are the sepulchral chambers, at a great depth in the mountain; they are large and well proportioned; the largest has an arched roof, but its walls have suffered from some cause; I believe the experiments (!) of a French traveler.
All the walls are plastered, and covered with mysterious paintings and hieroglyphics.
The gods are represented by figures a foot and a half high, of men with birds' heads; they are hand-in-hand with the Kings, whose titles are written above them; the other figures are serpents, hyaenas, geese, storks; but the favorite is the owl: both in their paintings and hieroglyphics the key of the Nile is seen near every King. The paintings in the small chamber near the arched one, are the most beautiful and perfect; the principal colours are red, blue, yellow and green; the primitive colours alone
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being known to the Egyptians. The cor�ridors are not plastered, but ornamented by hieroglyphics cut in the stone; we visited five others which appeared very poor, after the splen�did one discovered by Belzoni; they are the most extraordinary excavations in the world, and among the most interesting of Egypt's wonders.
I have described the principal objects in Thebes, but there are immense and shapeless masses of ruins in all directions; the paintings and decorations are similar in all the temples of Egypt; the winged globe, with serpents over every gateway, and the sacred vulture over every temple: in most of the hieroglyphics, birds and animals are introduced: I noticed very few composed entirely, of characters.
In no instance are obelisks found on the western bank of the Nile, or pyramids on the eastern; and we see clearly the poetry and beauty of this arrangement, if we consider the former as representing a beam of the sun, and being thus placed, the first objects to receive on
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their Gilded heads (for many were gift) the earliest of his rays; while as he sank in the west, he shone full on the funeral monuments of those whose sun of existence had for ever set.
With the exception of Shanny and Danny, all the ruins of Egypt are surrounded by the sands, although they are within a short distance of the cultivated valley; in fact, they may be said to form a nucleus, round which the sands accumulate to a much greater depth than elsewhere. It is nevertheless true, that vast tracts have been lost within the last century, which may be accounted for in some measure by the increased depth of the Nile's channel, which of course diminishes the extent to which it overflows its banks, and repels the sands of the desert; the average height of the banks in this month, (February) I should guess at twelve or fourteen feet above water-mark.
At Thebes, the cultivated valley, between the Nile and the Lybian range, is about a mile and a half in width; but the Arabian mountains
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are hardly visible, and the next plain between them and Luxor is a perfect desert, in which stands the great temple of Karnac, some 200 yards from the river; it is evident, therefore, that the desert has made awful strides in this vicinity; nothing astonished me more than the luxuriant appearance of the crops, when the ground appeared baked and cracked by the beat, many of the fissures being eight or ten inches in depth.
We returned to our boat at 7 P.M.; the Governor was in attendance with all our crew; for the trouble he had taken, we presented him with a sum of eight piastres, with which he appeared satisfied; and I believe, would have bastinadoed the whole of them for another piece of gold.
I went on board my countryman's boat to bid them farewell, and about 9, our own was on our return to Cairo; but we made little progress, owing to a strong unfavourable wind.
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15th. The wind still unfavourable, and we could scarcely move with the stream in our favour; and felt envious of the speed at which the numerous boats passed that were sailing up. Passed Kenneh in the night; the beautiful porous vapours so generally used in Egypt for cooling water, are manufactured here. The next was a beautiful morning; at 8, the splendid temple of Dendera was visible from my window, and I had a long last look at it. About two hours later we had fine fun with the crocodiles, which were so numerous, that one
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might imagine they had come up from the bed of the river to pay their respects; so to return the compliment, we saluted them with a little lead, firing four barrels into a batch of eighteen, and the huge creatures scrambled one over another into the water (from which they are never seen more than a few feet distant.) We saw one fellow make his appearance a minute or two after he had received one volley, and we thought he was wounded, (for they always come on shore to die); so we landed and walked quietly up the bank, but he disappeared before we could give him another shot.
Having caught a glimpse of another party, we directed our steps towards them, but could not get within distance; one fine fellow, who measured at least fourteen feet, plunged in, in gallant style, and we returned without the prize we expected. The best way to get near them is, to drop down in a boat; it is impos�sible to get a shot at them by land: the largest I saw, I should think was between sixteen and
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eighteen feet ill length; the fellahs fear them only when they are to be seen on the banks. About half an hour after we lead this sport, we ran on a sand-bank; our men threw them�selves overboard to get the boat off, and took the opportunity of having a bathe: this was the warmest day we had had on the Nile, the thermometer in our cabin, with windows open, standing at 75�. Before we left Thebes, the reis struck our mainsail, so that we had but the foresail left; instead of towing, the men work with long sweeps when the wind is not favourable, and the chants with which they ac�company this labour, I found anything but dis�agreeable. We discovered we were without sugar, (that of Egypt is as dark as the soil) but we could procure none, and the next day pur�chased some treacle: Oh ! such dreadful stuff!
About 5 P.M., we had some nice sport with our scaly friends, the crocodiles: we made our men crouch on the deck, and drifted silently down within ten of twelve yards of seven huge
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fellows who appeared to be asleep, and poured the contents of four barrels among them; I thought we had seriously damaged two, but they managed to scramble with their compa�nions into the water, above which we saw their noses for some time, and peppered a few with small shot. About twenty minutes after we drifted down upon another lot, and passed within a few feet of them; the Count's gun was charged with shot, and only one of my barrels with ball, and that unfortunately missed fire; we then gave them a charge or two of shot, which made one leap from the ground; and this I believe is as much effect as ball generally takes on these well-protected creatures. They are seldom out of the water so late in the even�ing, rarely to be seen after sun-set; our men (who had been towing) were afraid to come on board, because they saw two of these ugly monsters on the opposite bank; but we laughed their terrors away, and they all plunged into the river, making as much noise as possible to
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keep the said monsters at a respectful distance. They do not think of them unless they are to be seen.� Beautiful calm moonlight night!
On the 18th, at 9 A.M., we arrived at the small village of Bellyanna; and after breakfast started to see the ruins of the ancient Abydos, which are about four miles from the Nile; we passed through a beautifully rich country; the crops were luxuriant, though the earth appeared almost as hard as it does in England after a severe frost.
The only saddle I had was an old sack; and unfortunately my animal was one of the leanest of his kind, so that I was much inconvenienced until I made my fellah fill the sack with bean-haum.
There are three temples in a tolerable state of preservation, considering that they are nearly the most ancient ruins in Egypt; they are co�vered with sand, and we crawled with difficulty into two of them, the third was entirely closed up. The paintings, ornaments, and hieroglyphics,
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bear a great resemblance to those at Thebes, and I thought equally well executed; but so little was to be seen, that I could not form an idea of their proportions; the whole space between them and the Lybian range, appears to have been one vast cemetery; and hundreds of its grim tenants torn from their graves, were bleaching in the sun.
I returned quite tired and well shaken; it is no joke to ride without a saddle. Just as we reached the village, the Pasha passed in his steamer; wind high, cold night.
The next morning dull, wind still unfavour�able; arrived at Djirjeh at 10 A.M., and re�mained a short time for provisions: our men worked with the sweeps, but the wind was so high, that we were obliged to halt about two miles below the town; we went ashore with our guns, and found a great number of quails. The Count and I chased a fox for some time; I sent a ball after him, but it struck the ground before him, and my companion brought him
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down with shot; he was a very fine fellow. I did not see a single partridge below Thebes, and hares are scarce.
On our return from the chase, we found our Nubians had decamped, leaving us with only five men besides the reis. During the night the wind changed, and blew in our favour, but we could not take advantage of it; we had 60 degrees on deck.
Early in the morning we started to see the Governor of Djirjeh, whom we found seated at a cafe in the bazaar, and smoking; after drink�ing coffee, and taking a few whiffs from his pipe, we informed him that seven of our men had ran away; he said he could do nothing for us, so we took our leave; returned to our boat, and started for Siout, but made but little pro�gress, the wind being right against us; it in�creased at night, and we had a severe storm of rain, 66 degrees, on deck.� 21st. The wind still un�favourable, and so strong, that it was useless to attempt to move; crossed to the Lybian side,
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and had some excellent quail-shooting. The weather improved towards evening, and at 8, with a moderate wind, we set sail, and got on better than we expected. Early next morning we arrived at Akmin, and about three hours later passed a large village; and hearing that a Pasha was in its vicinity, we hauled to the bank, and two or three of our party, who went in search of him, returned with a reinforcement of four men, who only engaged to go as far as Siout with us: made but little way, the wind falling (as it generally does) at sunset; calm, but cold night.�� About four next morning, we found ourselves quietly fixed on a sand-bank�(how tired I was of the name of one !) and we� were obliged to leave our beds to make our men get her off, which they did in a few mi�nutes, when they could be once induced to exert themselves.
Our boat did not drift well on account of her lightness, for we had no ballast on board, and another which passed us with a French flag,
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soon left us in the rear. Splendid moonlight night, not a cloud to be seen in tile sky, or a ripple on the river; this was the most delight�ful night I had passed on the Nile; and I remained on deck contemplating the repose of the scene, stirred only by the moving and whispering of the solemn palms, till one in the morning.
Arrived at Siout at an early hour; and after breakfast, rode into the town, and paid a visit to the Governor, with whom we smoked and drank coffee; he promised to supply us with men, and we started to see the tombs in Djebel el Koperi, which stand in the Lybian range: there are hundreds of excavations, tile largest runs from one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet into the mountain; it has several chambers, but they are quite plain. This tomb was quite full of bats, three times the size of those of Europe; the form of their heads is not unlike that of a bull's without horns; their mouths are very large and their teeth long and sharp.
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The baths of Siout are among the best in the country; and on our return we took our way thither, the cold winds having prevented our paying them an earlier visit. I could not have imagined anything more luxurious; but, I must describe the treatment;--We undressed in a small room with a comfortable divan; as soon as I was ready, a sturdy fellow took me in hand, and led me through a narrow passage into the hall of the bath, where I was nearly suffocated by the steam and heat; he then con�ducted me into a very small chamber, placed me on a marble seat in a reclining position, and scrubbed me well with a rough glove, cracked all my joints, and left me for a minute or so to recover; he then laid me on the marble floor of the hall, and covered me with soap, which he washed off by throwing hot water over me; he next covered me with a great quantity of linen, and led me from the bath to the dressing-room; the scene in the hall was rather singular; dozens of men and boys, motionless as statues,
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were stretched at full length on the floor; our white skins rendered us conspicuous objects among this swarthy collection.
In our dressing-room I found the Count and V-- rolled up like mummies, and my attendant soon relieved me of my wet drapery, and covered me with half a dozen large pieces of rough linen, winding one piece round my head in form of a turban; having placed me in an inclined position, he presented me with a cup of coffee and a pipe, and left me to enjoy myself; a boy pressed my limbs to circulate the blood, which operation nearly sent me to sleep, and left a delightful sensation: most thoroughly did I enjoy this bath.
We paid the Governor another visit, who provided us with six men, and we returned to our boat at four P.M.
The capital of Upper Egypt is rather a fine town, the bazaars, and many of the buildings are handsome; it stands in the centre of the valley, which is here about three miles in width,
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extremely rich and well cultivated. The elevated causeway from the town to the river, is one of the wonders of Egypt, being considered as ancient as the pyramids.
Our new men crossed the river to bid adieu to their families, promising to be aboard before night. There were three boats in the little harbour, displaying respectively, the flags of England, France, and Prussia. At eight P.M., our men gave us the signal, and we drifted to the opposite side to take them on board. Calm moonlight night; I felt delightfully soft and comfortable-the effect of the bath.
Sailed in gallant style till twelve next day, when we ran on a sand-bank, where we re�mained till evening, when the wind changed, and with the help of our sail, we got her off. Calm lovely night, nothing to be beard but the chant of our men.
Arrived early next morning at Mineyeb, where we remained an hour to have our boat examined, but they could find no leak, though
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we had been baling out water all night. Sailed in beautiful style till two P.M., when we lost the wind: dull night. The following day, at one P.M., we were sailing merrily past Beni Souef; two hours after we were once more stationed on a sand-bank, where we sojourned some hours.�� Towards evening we moved; our men worked all night at the sweeps, which prevented me from getting any sleep.
28th. Beautiful morning; the pyramids were in sight before we were up; arrived at those of Sacchara at 10 A.M., and landed a couple of miles down the river; we could find no donkeys, and were obliged to walk to the Lybian range, which is excavated for miles; we entered by an opening cut in the rock, extending about thirty feet; at the end of which was a pit about four�teen feet deep, down which we sent an Arab to see if it was the right entrance; we descended, and found ourselves in a low square cell, at the opposite end of which we noticed a small out�let, through which we squeezed ourselves with
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difficulty; we were here obliged to light our candles, for it was as dark as night. I found it very difficult to crawl on my hands and knees and hold my candle; we passed through a great many passages and small chambers filled with the remains of human mummies and sarco�phaghi, many of the latter quite perfect.
We descended to two of the lower floors, and I felt certain there were others below them, but my candle was burnt out before I could satisfy my curiosity; and the Count's would not have lasted much longer, when we found another outlet quite by accident.
I would advise all persons exploring places like these, to provide themselves with more than one candle; for the prospect of groping our way out was anything but cheering, and our success I thought somewhat problematical; we found the interior of the tombs dreadfully hot, but the air good.
On our re-appearance we found Agassi quite uneasy; he feared our candles were burnt out,
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and that we had lost our way. On our return, we passed through the largest forest of palms in Egypt; the trees were all in rows, and the corn grew luxuriantly under them; and on their trunks, the height to which the water attain�ed during the last inundation, was distinctly marked.
Reached our boat rather fatigued; and with a favourable wind set sail for Cairo (then in sight). Arrived at Boulac at 6 P.M., and rode thence to the capital, which appeared finer than when I left it, which is not surprising, when it is considered, that in the interval I had seen so many of the second-rate towns and poor villages of Upper Egypt.