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Title: What We Saw in Egypt
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "What We Saw in Egypt" ***

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Profusely Illustrated.




The Religious Tract Society;
56, Paternoster Row; 65, St. Paul's Churchyard:
and 164, Piccadilly




       I. How we Fared in the Suez Desert                          7

      II. The First Night in Cairo                                16

     III. Sights in Cairo                                         22

      IV. More Sights in Cairo                                    28

       V. The Pyramids                                            40

      VI. The Mosques                                             51

     VII. Heliopolis, and other Sights and Scenes                 56

    VIII. A Long Day                                              66

      IX. The Start up the Nile                                   75

       X. Still up the Nile                                       84

      XI. We go to Alexandria                                    101

     XII. Conclusion                                             125

List of Illustrations


     ON THE DECK OF THE SLAVE BOAT.                                2

     SUEZ                                                         10

     ARAB SOLDIERS.                                               15

     COURTYARD OF THE HOTEL.                                      17

     EASTERN VEIL.                                                24

     SIGHTS IN CAIRO.                                             26

     EGYPTIAN PIPE-BEARER.                                        29

     CURE FOR THE TOOTHACHE.                                      32

     MOSQUE.                                                      34

     DONKEY-BOYS AT CAIRO.                                        41

     EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGUS.                                        47

     THE SPHINX.                                                  49

     MOSQUE.                                                      53

     ARAB SITTING IN FRONT OF HIS TENT.                           57

     VISIT TO THE HAREM.                                          63

     OLD GATEWAY.                                                 68

     THE FINDING OF MOSES.                                        71

     BRICKMAKING (from _Egyptian Sculpture_).                     78

     BRICKMAKING (from _Egyptian Sculpture_).                     79

     THE SACRED IBIS.                                             80

     SCENE ON THE NILE.                                           83

     EASTERN BAZAAR.                                              88

     EGYPTIAN LOOM.                                               90

     FISHING.                                                     91

     POTTERS.                                                     92

     IDOL PAINTERS.                                               93

     HEAD OF CROCODILE.                                           96

     RUINS OF THEBES.                                             97

     GRAND HARP.                                                  99

     BAGGAGE CAMEL.                                              102

     DROMEDARY.                                                  105

     INTERIOR OF GREAT TEMPLE AT ESNEH.                          107

     RUINS OF COLONNADE AT PHILÆ.                                114

     PAPYRUS ON THE NILE.                                        116

     EGYPTIAN TEMPLE.                                            120

     MARKETING IN ALEXANDRIA.                                    126





The welcome cry of "Suez! Suez!" resounded throughout the steamship
_Bentinck_ one November morning. The passage up the Red Sea had been
rough, and every one was glad to exchange the rolling and pitching of
the vessel for land travelling. The railway between Cairo and Suez was
not yet finished, and travellers crossed the desert in vans, each of
which held six persons and was drawn by two horses and two mules. Our
cavalcade consisted of eight of these high-wheeled vans. The fifth team
of vans contained four grown-up people and two children, Hugh and Lucy.

It was a lovely day, the sky blue and clear as on the finest summer day
in England.

Some little time after leaving Suez, a spot was pointed out to us as the
place at or near which the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. The waters
were now calm and peaceful; they lay gleaming like silver in the
sunlight. But these very waters had been raised as a wall on the right
hand and on the left for the children of Israel to pass through. Then,
with a mighty surge, they had overwhelmed Pharaoh and his host, obedient
to the word of God. This miracle of old seemed more real than it had
ever done before, while we looked at the very waters on which it was

On we went. A blue cloudless sky above; below, sand, sand, sand: except
where, every now and then, we jolted over large blocks of stone which
sent us bobbing now to this side, now to that, sometimes almost into
each other's faces, to the great amusement of the children. We stopped
about every seven or eight miles, to change our horses and mules;
generally at some little lonely building.

Wherever we stopped, we all got out for a breath of air. For as we
passed stage after stage, the sameness of the desert began to be tiring,
especially to the children. This was not to be wondered at; for, except
the occasional skeleton of some poor camel, whose bones were bleached by
the sun, there was really nothing to interest them. Hugh consoled
himself with a nap now and then, but Lucy was wakeful and restless.

At last we reached the midway station, where we were to stop for nearly
an hour, and to dine.

"How glad I am to get out of this stuffy little van, and to stay out of
it for a good while!" Lucy cried, as she jumped down on the sand.

So was everybody.

"Will they give us some dinner?"

Certainly, this was the only thing we had to wait for.

We went into a large room, in which were long tables, and benches at
them. The dinner was soon brought in. Dishes of fowl and stewed cabbage,
dried fruits, and fresh dates, succeeded one another, with plenty of
bottled beer. There was no bread. But some of the older travellers had
brought some loaves from the _Bentinck_, and were very good-natured in
dividing their store with their fellow-passengers.

[Illustration: SUEZ]

After dinner we had some coffee, which we found very refreshing; and
soon the vans were announced. In a few minutes we were in our old seats
again, cutting our path through the sand and jolting over large blocks
of stone.

"There is another skeleton, papa," cried Hugh, pointing to the whitened
ribs of a camel. "Do they leave the camels to die, and take no trouble
to bury them or do anything with them?"

"Most likely this camel was unable to travel farther," his father said,
"either from fatigue or old age, and so was left behind by his owner to
die. The hot wind and the sun together have bleached his bones. But the
skin and hair of the dead camel are both used by the people of the
desert. They are made into clothes, mats, halters, and many other useful

"Yes," said Hugh, in a sleepy voice; and the next minute down went his
head on his father's shoulder.

Lucy, too, was all but asleep. She was heartily tired of the jolting van
and the changeless dreary sand.

The day had worn on rather wearily to her, and now that night was
setting in she felt cold and tired. She was wrapped up in a large shawl,
and made a pillow of her mother's lap. Indeed, we were all tired. And as
night closed in, and all became dark around us, we began to feel that
there was weariness in crossing the desert, notwithstanding the deep
interest connected with it.


On, on we went. The sky had become thickly studded with stars; the moon
had risen, and her beams shed a clearer light and cast deeper shadows
than they do in our colder country. All was quiet round us. Not a sound,
except the crushing of the sand beneath our wheels and an occasional
crack of the whip, urging our horses and mules on their way. There was
no chirping of grasshoppers, no croaking of frogs, no beating of
tomtoms, such as we had been used to hear at night in our Indian homes.
All was so still that we might have fancied ourselves the only living
creatures in all the wild waste of sand.

We stopped at one of the little lonely buildings to change horses and
mules. The stoppage roused us from the half-asleep state we were in, and
we got out of the van to look at the glorious star-gemmed sky. There was
an unusual stir in the little building, and the moonlight showed a large
dusky mass nearing us. Nearer and nearer it came; and as it passed, we
saw that it was a long string of camels.

The war with Persia was going on at this time; and this was a treasure
party, carrying money to pay the army. The camels were laden with chests
of treasure, silver and gold. On they came, with their long, sailing
step. "Ships of the desert," the Arabs call them. The name is well
chosen, for their motion over the sea of sand is very like that of some
stately vessel over the desert of waters.

The caravan was escorted by a party of Arab horsemen. The officer in
command of the party stopped behind for a few moments at the building at
which we were halting, to give some orders. The string of camels and
their escort were again becoming dusky in the subdued light when he
flashed past us on his Arab horse, his drawn sabre glittering in the
moonlight, which sparkled for a moment on its jewelled hilt, and on the
gems in his turban. Then he too was lost in darkness.

The stately procession moved noiselessly on; the picturesque rider
flying by like some fleet graceful bird. No tramp of feet, no ring of
horses' hoofs. The deep sand hushed every sound. It was like a beautiful
dream; seen for a moment, then vanishing into the land of shadows for

We were fortunate to fall in with this treasure party; still more
fortunate to see it by moonlight. Travellers generally pass through the
desert by this beaten track without anything to break its monotony.

In a few minutes we were again on our way; those of us who could were
dozing, perhaps dreaming of camels and horsemen, and only just conscious
of the stoppages we made.

[Illustration: ARAB SOLDIERS.]

At last some one said, "Wake up, we are near Cairo."

We shook ourselves up, undrew part of the curtains, drew our wraps more
closely round us (for the night was cold), and looked out. We were going
down a gentle slope, passing walls which enclosed gardens, and above
which we could see the tops of trees and shrubs. The moon was getting
low, and we could not distinguish what trees and shrubs they were; but
the sight of green leaves was very pleasant.

We drove on down the easy descent into Cairo; and at between three and
four o'clock in the morning we drew up before Shepheard's Hotel. We had
left Suez at ten o'clock on the previous morning. Dusty and tired, we
were all glad to have the prospect of a comfortable rest.



Alas! for the news which greeted us. The hotel was full!

The passengers by the overland mail from Alexandria had arrived the
afternoon before. What with their number, and with travellers staying in
the house, it was full to overflowing. What was to be done? We tried
another hotel with the same ill success. After a great deal of driving
about, we came back to Shepheard's, and it was arranged that a large
sitting-room should be given up to the ladies and children, and that the
gentlemen must do as they could.


The room which was given to the ladies and children had, according to
eastern custom, couches ranged round it, and a large divan, or couch, in
the middle. Every one was hungry, and the children were clamouring for
something to eat. One after another among us went to see whether supper
or breakfast (or whatever you like to call a meal at four o'clock in the
morning) could be had. But no! we could not even get bread-and-butter,
much less tea or coffee.

In vain poor Lucy pleaded, "But I am _so_ hungry and thirsty." And
Hugh's eyes filled with tears which it took his strongest effort to
choke down, when he looked round at the number of people and the few
couches, and thought that, tired and hungry as he was, he might be
obliged to do without either supper or bed.

But things were not to be quite so bad as this. Every one began to
unpack such little stores as they had. One of the ladies had a tin of
biscuits, another had some sandwiches, another some soda-water, and some
one found a little hoard of concentrated milk.

Little enough among so many. But He who once fed a multitude on five
barley loaves and two small fishes, put it into the hearts of all to be
unselfish and to think of their neighbours' need before their own. And
so the little store went farther than we could have believed possible.

Hugh's mother brought him a share.

"No. There are not beds and suppers enough for the girls and the
babies," he said, trying to look very brave, though his lip quivered;
"and I am a boy."

It was with difficulty he was persuaded to take a sandwich and a little
wine-and-water. Directly he had swallowed it, he took a little blanket,
which no one seemed to want, and went away. And our next sight of Hugh
was rolled up in his blanket, and sleeping quietly on the floor under
the table in the billiard-room.

Did you ever try to pack bricks into a box all but too small for them?
That would be a joke compared to our task. However, we were all bent on
lying down somewhere and somehow, and we managed it.

Lucy's mother was very delicate, and, by common consent, she was made to
take one of the best couches. Lucy had part of a tiny one near a window.

"I do thank God for my bed to-night," Lucy whispered. "Oh, how sorry I
am for all the poor little children who have no beds! I never thought
what it was to have a bed till to-night, when it seemed as if we should
get none. Has Hugh got a bed?"

"Hugh was fast asleep when I last saw him," I said.

But Lucy hardly heard; her eyes were close shut, and her own words had
come out very dreamily.

I sat down beside her for a little while, and amused myself by looking
at the strange scene. There was a large round table in the room, on
which were carriage bags of every kind, size, and shape. Some were half
open, some quite open, and their contents jumbled together in the
greatest confusion. In the middle of the table was a lamp, which cast a
dim light over the room. This was large and lofty. The couches were
filled with sleepers, covered, some with blankets, some with cloaks,
shawls, wraps, of every sort and every colour. The large divan which had
been in the middle of the room was pushed on one side and ornamented
with a circle of little faces peeping out from among their wraps, like
lilies from moss. On the floor were carpet bags of all colours, black
bags, white bags; boots, shoes, baskets. I wished that I could sketch
the scene, and especially the divan with its tiny sleepers, who looked
as happy as if in their own little beds at home.

At last, almost without knowing it, I fell asleep in my corner, and was
conscious of nothing more till I felt the chilly air of dawn blowing in
through the venetians at my side.

The hotel was soon all bustle. We pitied the passengers who were going
on to England. They were to start at half-past eight, and the hotel
breakfast was not till nine. With great difficulty they managed to get
some tea; this was all.

Our own party were intending to remain in Cairo for a time. We knew that
as soon as the passengers going each way by the overland route should
have left, we should find comfortable quarters. This made us the more
sorry for our fellow-passengers, who had been so unselfish on our
arrival. But they would soon reach Alexandria by train, and we were glad
to know that they were to stop for refreshment by the way.

"What sort of bed had you last night, Hugh?" Lucy asked.

"A hard floor and a couple of warm blankets. Some kind friend threw a
second blanket over me after I fell asleep. I was well taken care of,
and never slept better. I fancy a good many would have been glad to have
changed places with all of us who were snugly under the billiard-table."



All was bustle that morning. We had scarcely finished breakfast before
two or three parties of travellers set off for Sinai and Palestine; then
the passengers for India prepared to start. Before noon we were settled
in comfortable quarters.

Shepheard's Hotel (which was burnt down some few years afterwards) stood
in a large, handsome square, called the Uzbeekéh, laid out like a garden
and planted with beautiful acacias, which give a delightful shade.
Almost every procession passes through the Uzbeekéh, serpent charmers
and jugglers make it the place for showing off their tricks, and there
is always something going on in it.


Some of our party had business at the consulate, and they promised to
take Hugh and Lucy out first and show them a little of the town.

At the end of an hour and a half the children came back in great

[Illustration: EASTERN VEIL.]

"Oh! such lovely things," cried Lucy, chattering as fast as lips and
tongue could move. "Such lovely things we have seen! and curious women
with their faces bandaged up, and only two holes left for their eyes,

She stopped for want of breath.

Hugh went on: "Yes; and there was such a noise of shouting and screaming
among all the donkey-boys, to make people get out of their way. And I
think my donkey-boy screamed louder than any. It was such fun."

"And the beautiful things in the shop, Hugh! There were bracelets, and
slippers, and carpets, and shawls, and all sorts of things. I never saw
any bazaar half so beautiful."

"And there is a grand procession, and they say it is sure to pass by
here. Come, Lucy, come and watch for it."

We all went to the window, and were just in time to see the procession

It was headed by two wrestlers, who played all kinds of antics, and
asked every well-dressed passer-by for money. Then came two more men,
wearing a sort of helmet, and carrying shields and swords. They
flourished the swords, and twisted themselves about in such a curious
way, and made such funny faces, that we all laughed heartily. These men
were followed by musicians, who played on pipes, flutes, cymbals,
tambourines, guitars made out of cocoa-nuts, violins with only one
string, and a sort of drum called darabookha, beaten with the hand
instead of with drum-sticks. Besides the sound of all these instruments,
there was such a singing and clapping of hands that the noise was quite

Behind the musicians came a camel carrying a machine, something like
Punch's show-box, covered with gilding. The camel had red leather
trappings, ornamented with shells. Then we saw six led horses, and on
them were six little boys, very handsomely dressed in clothes worked
with gold. They were followed by some people on foot.

[Illustration: SIGHTS IN CAIRO.]

Next came another band of musicians like the first. After them, a number
of young women, covered up to their eyes and over their heads with large
shawls, and holes left for their eyes just to peep through. They carried
large bouquets of fresh flowers.

Now came the grandest person of all, the bride.

She was covered from head to foot, eyes and all, by a large scarlet
shawl, which reached down to her yellow boots. A circle of gold, studded
with sham diamonds, was bound round her head, over the shawl. As she
could not see, she was led by two of her relations--women, who were
muffled up in black silk. A canopy of yellow silk, with four gilt poles,
was carried over her head by four men, dressed in grand robes and

Behind the bride came a number of her relations, all women, and all
muffled up in black silk. The procession was closed by a number of hired
women, who made shrill cries, as the custom is in Cairo on all joyful

After a hearty laugh at the men who headed the procession, Hugh and Lucy
had watched it without speaking. Now they began to talk as fast as

"How uncomfortable to have to walk with that heavy shawl over her face,"
said Lucy.

"Yes," Hugh answered. "I should hate that; and what a noise the
musicians made! I am sure it was not a bit like music. I liked the camel
and the horses the best. But look! here is a serpent-charmer; and now,
see! such a grand man coming!"

As he spoke, an Arab rushed by at full speed, cracking a long whip to
clear the way. He was followed by an Egyptian gentleman, mounted on a
horse covered with velvet and gold and tassels. His pipe-bearer, on a
splendid horse, rode close behind him.

This was the beginning of our sight-seeing in Cairo.



The name Cairo is corrupted from Musr el Kaherah, which means the
"Victorious City." It was founded by a general called Goher. The walls
were built of brick till the time of the famous Saladin, who erected
stone walls in their place.


It is impossible to get on in Egypt without a dragoman to arrange
everything and act as guide. We had a very good one, named Mohammed

We put ourselves under his guidance and he engaged to show us all that
was worth seeing. Hugh and Lucy were delighted with the promise that
they should come with us. Mohammed had excellent donkeys waiting for us.
They were pleasant to ride, and ambled along with a light elastic tread,
quite unlike that of our English donkeys.

We first turned down the chief street of the city, called Moskee; and
from it wended our way towards one of the oldest bazaars in Cairo. As we
went along, we were much struck with the beautifully carved woodwork of
the houses, and with the curious overhanging windows.

The children were delighted, too, with the gay confusion of the streets.
People were there dressed in every variety of colour. Egyptian ladies,
enveloped from head to foot in blue silk mantles and white veils, which
left nothing but their eyes to be seen, were riding on high donkeys,
preceded by their attendants. Then there were Mamelukes, in their
dresses of richly braided cloth; Copts, in dark turbans; Mecca Arabs,
with flashing eyes, and heads wreathed with folds of snowy muslin;
majestic Mograbbyns, in their white burnouses; Caireen merchants, in
silken robes.

And the noise! Such shouting, screaming, pushing! Donkey-boys and
others, each trying to make the best path for his own animal through the
crowd of horses, asses, camels, dromedaries, which filled the narrow

We threaded our way to the southern gate of the city, called Bab

"What are those people doing?" Hugh asked.

He pointed to some people who were resting their heads against the
hinges of a large iron-bound door, fastened back to the wall. Mohammed
told us that these people had had headaches, and were waiting for them
to be charmed away by the good spirits who dwelt behind the door. He
showed us that the door was covered with metal plates, and that every
crevice of them was full of nails, driven in by persons who had had
headache, that they might be cured. Besides the nails, a great number of
teeth had been crammed in by persons who had suffered from toothache.

Their faith is a lesson to us, whose hearts are less ready to trust in
the God who reigneth in the heavens, than the hearts of these poor
heathen are to trust the gods of their imagination.


From the gate Bab Zuweyleh we went to the citadel. Here we were to see
the palace of Saladin.

"What! the great Saladin who fought with Richard Coeur de Lion?" Lucy

"Yes, that very Saladin."

"Delightful! the next best thing to seeing Saladin himself," cried Hugh.

Hugh and Lucy were impatient to see a real palace like those in old
eastern tales; we all felt a thrill of excitement, expecting something
of Oriental grandeur. Great was our disappointment! There was nothing
left of the renowned Saladin's palace except a few grand fragments of
its granite pillars, and some blocks of granite covered with
hieroglyphics. We found another memorial of him in "Joseph's well,"
which is also in the citadel, and is now generally considered to have
been called after the great Saracen, whose name was Yussuf
Salah-ed-Deen, and not after the patriarch Joseph.

From the gloomy remains of Saladin's palace we went to the palace of the
Viceroy, the windows of which look into a beautiful garden. From the
terrace we had a magnificent view. Cairo, with its domes and minarets;
then, the tombs of the Caliphs; beyond them, the broad, silent Nile;
beyond it again, the eye rested on the sands of the desert and on the
long line of pyramids which loomed in the distance.

[Illustration: MOSQUE.]

We next saw the new mosque, built by Mohammed Ali, of beautifully veined
alabaster. And, last of all, the court where the Mamelukes were
massacred by Mohammed Ali in 1811. Here Mohammed pointed out to us the
spot at which Emir Bey took his famous leap.

Hugh and Lucy begged to hear the whole story; but it was too long to
tell at that moment and was put off till evening.

We then returned to the hotel for lunch, and in the afternoon went to
Shoubra to see the pacha's country palace.

Our road lay through a beautiful avenue of sycamores and acacias, which
interlaced their boughs over our heads, so that we seemed to be in a
bower of green. The palace is small, and the gardens are the sight
really worth seeing. There is a great variety in them; terraces, covered
walls, labyrinths, and bowers. But the great sight is the kiosk with its
large reservoir of water.

"See!" Lucy exclaimed, "see! the water comes through those animals'

"They are crocodiles, Lucy," Hugh said; "marble crocodiles; and look at
the arcade. Do let us walk all round."

We did so. It was a charming arcade: on one side the water, on the other
the gardens, from which the most fragrant perfumes filled the air around

"It is like fairy-land," said Lucy, as she danced along the arcade.

"The young lady is delighted with it now," said Mohammed; "but she would
think it much more beautiful if she could see it when the lamps are
lighted and the fountains are playing."

"When can we see that?" Lucy asked.

But Mohammed told us that this can only be seen on fine nights when the
pacha and his household are assembled here; and that no Christian is

"Not even a small one like me?" Lucy suggested.

No, not even the smallest one, Mohammed assured her; not if she were as
small as a grasshopper.

The gardeners brought us beautiful bouquets and quantities of oranges;
and we walked about or rested on the divans in the arcade till it was
time to go home.

In the evening we read the following story of the massacre of the
Mamelukes to Hugh and Lucy:--

The Mamelukes had long given a great deal of trouble to the pachas of
Egypt. It once happened that Mohammed Ali was on the point of sending an
expedition against the tribe of the Wahabees, when he discovered that
the Mamelukes were only waiting till his army should have gone, to try
and overturn his government. He was very angry, and determined to meet
their treachery with treachery. So he sent a message to them, through
their chief, inviting them to come to Cairo and to be present at the
ceremony of investing his son with the command of the army.

The Mamelukes fell into the snare. Between four and five hundred of them
went to the citadel on the day fixed. Mohammed Ali received them very
courteously, and ordered coffee and pipes for them, according to Eastern
custom. When the ceremony was ended they mounted their horses to leave
the citadel. At this moment a volley was fired upon them by the pacha's
troops, and the gates of the citadel were all shut, so that there was no
possibility of escape. Shots flew in thicker and faster among the
unfortunate Mamelukes. In vain they galloped hither and thither in hope
of finding some shelter or escape. Men and horses fell under the shower
of balls, and the open space before the palace was strewn with the

Emir Bey, one of the Mameluke chiefs, determined to make a desperate
effort for his life. He rode his spirited horse to the parapet of the
citadel wall, and urged him to take the leap. Together they go over the
wall; they are safe from the whizzing shots. Together they go down,
down. They near the ground, they touch it, they roll over together. Emir
Bey rises unhurt, but the faithful horse lies motionless. He will never
rise again. He has bought his master's life with his own.

Emir had no time to linger by the side of his faithful friend. Every
moment was precious. Happily for him, an Albanian camp was at hand. He
rushed into the nearest tent and threw himself on the kindness and
generosity of the officer to whom it belonged.

The officer contrived to hide him for some days. But Emir Bey's
wonderful leap became talked of, and the story came to the pacha's ears.
Orders were given that the person who had sheltered Emir should deliver
him up to the pacha; but the officer resolved that he would not give him
up. He provided Emir with a horse and helped him to escape into Asia,
where he would be safe.

Some years afterwards Mohammed Ali heard where Emir Bey was living, and
invited him to come back to Cairo, settled a pension on him, and made
him many friendly offers. But Emir Bey would never trust the pacha
again. He lived at Acre for the rest of his life, and died there.

Hugh and Lucy listened breathlessly to this story. When it was finished
Lucy said, "I am so glad Emir Bey would not go back. I was afraid he

"Was it safe for the officer to hide him?" asked Hugh.

"No, he did it at the risk of his life."

"What a noble man! Did he know Emir Bey before?"

"Probably not. He saw a stranger in distress, and risked his life to
help him."

"How generous!" Hugh cried. "Emir Bey must have felt as though he could
never do enough to show his gratitude. I wonder whether they ever met

This no one could tell. But the noble act of the Albanian officer led us
to talk of the gracious Saviour, who came from heaven, not only to risk
his life, but to give it for us. He gave it, not for those who had done
him neither good nor harm, but for us who were rebels against him; and
he came, not to win for us earthly life, which must soon pass away, but
a heavenly life, which will last for ever and ever. Shall not we show
our gratitude to him by helping our neighbours whenever we can, even at
the cost of some self-denial? The heathen officer has set us a noble
example of love to each other.



Hugh was so very anxious to see the pyramids, that every one agreed to
visit them from Cairo, instead of from the boat on the voyage up the
Nile, which was to be as far as the second cataract; but neither the
children nor their mother were to go. The latter was not strong, and she
thought it best to keep the children with her. Lucy would very much have
liked to see the pyramids as well as Hugh, but the ride from Cairo was
too long for her.

Our donkeys were ordered early, and we set off in high spirits. As we
drew nearer and nearer to the pyramids we realised more and more their
immense size. Their grandeur impressed us very much, and we shall none
of us forget the thrill of awe we felt when we first saw their base and
their gigantic size.

[Illustration: DONKEY-BOYS AT CAIRO.]

They are the oldest monuments in the world. Jacob, Joseph, Moses looked
upon them. They are the grandest work of man in lasting endurance. The
workmen who laboured at them have been dead and forgotten for thousands
of years. But their work lives, and will live for hundreds of years to
come; probably till the Great Day when the heavens shall be rolled
together as a scroll, and the earth and everything on it shall be burned
up and melt with fervent heat. No other work of man has been so

The pyramids are supposed to be the tombs of the Pharaohs, kings of

We went first to the Great Pyramid, or Pyramid of Cheops. We were
attended by Arab guides, who carried wax candles, and undertook to show
us everything. We went down a sloping passage till we came to a large
block of granite. A narrow way has been made round this block, and by it
we reached the other side and came to an ascending passage. This was
very low, so low that even Hugh could not stand upright in it. This
brought us to the great passage, from which a gallery led to a room
called the Queen's Chamber. The ceiling is painted, and the masonry very

Here we rested for a little while, and then went back to the great
passage. We still had to ascend to reach the King's Chamber. The passage
being cased with polished granite, we found it very slippery. Indeed,
Hugh and I were continually sliding backwards, and found a special
difficulty in getting on.


At last we reached the King's Chamber. This is the largest in the
pyramid. It is more than thirty feet long and about half as wide. The
roof is flat, made of seven immense blocks of red granite, with halves
of two other blocks. The walls are of the same red granite. In this room
we saw a large granite sarcophagus, but there was neither any
inscription on it nor any of the hieroglyphics which the old Egyptians
used in writing.

There are five other rooms above the King's Chamber. But the guides told
us that we could not get to them without ladders. As we could not find
out that there was much worth seeing in them, we left them unvisited.
Many travellers suppose that these rooms were only built to break the
great weight of the large upper part of the pyramid, and to prevent it
from pressing too heavily and crushing in the ceiling of the King's

Colonel Howard Vyse (who made a great many researches in Egypt, and has
written a very interesting book about them) says that the Great Pyramid
is now four hundred and fifty feet high, and that when it was entire it
must have been four hundred and eighty feet high. The blocks of stone
become smaller in size as they near the top. The lowest fifty rows
measure one hundred and thirty-eight feet three inches; the highest row,
only three feet six inches.

When we had come back again into the fresh air the guides asked if we
wished to go up the outside of the pyramid. Hugh wished it very
decidedly. I was advised not to attempt it, and told that the view would
not repay me for the exertion. So I consented to stay below. The others
went up, and returned in about twenty minutes. Hugh said that the steps
were steep, and made of irregular broken stones. All agreed that the
view was not so fine as might have been expected. Cairo; the Mokattan
Hills; the Nile, with its fresh green banks; the Pyramids of Aboosir,
Dashoor, and Sakkara, were the chief objects.

Hugh asked one of the guides in how short a time he could go to the top
of the pyramid and down again. He said he would show us, if we would
give him a present. We agreed. Within five minutes he was at the top,
and in three more he was by our side again below, claiming his reward.

The Great Pyramid is seven hundred and forty-six feet square at its

"How many yards is that, Hugh?"

Hugh thought for a minute. "Two hundred and forty-nine yards all but a
foot," he answered.

"Right, so that if you were to build a straight piece of wall as long as
the four sides of the pyramid, it would stretch more than half a mile."

"How wonderful!" exclaimed Hugh, gazing in astonishment at the gigantic
pyramid. "May I ride round it?"

We rode round it, and then went on to the second pyramid. This is
sometimes called the Pyramid of Cephren. He was brother to Cheops. The
casing-stones are still left on the highest part of this pyramid. They
are of a delicately-grained white stone which comes from the Mokattan
Hills, and are highly polished. We saw great quantities of granite lying
scattered about.

This pyramid was opened by the celebrated traveller Belzoni, in the year
1816. Passages were found in it like those in the Great Pyramid. In a
granite room, with a pent roof, we saw a sarcophagus half-buried in the

The third pyramid, called the Pyramid of Mycerinus, was opened by
Colonel Howard Vyse. Mycerinus was the son of Cheops. He was a just
king, and treated his people with kindness. This pyramid now measures
three hundred and thirty-three feet at its base, and is two hundred and
three feet high. It was originally cased with granite, and some of the
casing is still left.

In it is a room with a painted roof; a space is left over it to prevent
its being crushed in by the weight above. A sarcophagus was found in
this room, in which was the coffin of King Mycerinus, and his name on
it. The coffin and the king's body were sent to England, and are now in
the British Museum. This pyramid is thought to have been the most
beautiful of the three.


As we stood in these solemn chambers of the dead, we thanked God, who
has given us a better hope than these mighty kings of old had. Death
must have had many terrors for them. But our blessed Saviour came to
make it the gate to eternal life for all who love him and serve him

We next went to look at the tombs around the pyramids. Some are very
much injured, others are in better preservation. One of the most curious
of these was opened by Colonel Vyse. We looked down into a deep well or
pit, about fifty feet deep, and there we saw a large black sarcophagus.
There were many other tombs on all sides, but we had not time to examine

Time was passing quickly, and we had not yet seen the wonderful Sphinx.

The excavations which have been made show the Sphinx to have been a
gigantic figure of a crouching lion, with the head of a man, and wearing
a royal crown. It is cut out of the natural rock. Its length, according
to Pliny, was one hundred and forty-three feet, and its height
sixty-three feet.

The Sphinx is now much injured: and the sand drifts so fast from the
desert that the space where excavations have been made is soon filled
again. Yet, defaced and half-buried as it is, it is grand beyond
description. The "Father of Terrors," as the Arabs call him, is majestic
in his mighty repose. There he crouches, guardian of the solitary desert
and its solemn tombs. Thousands of years have rolled over his head, yet
there he still sits on his lonely throne amid his silent court. There as
long as the world lasts he will abide; grand, silent monarch of the

[Illustration: THE SPHINX.]

It was long before we could tear ourselves away from the majestic
Sphinx. But at last Mohammed warned us that if we wished to reach Cairo
before nightfall, we must no longer delay. We remounted our donkeys. But
though we rode at a quick pace, the sun was already setting before we
reached our hotel.

Our first thought the next day was to find out all we could about the
Sphinx. We searched our books of Eastern travel, and from them we found
that the Sphinx originally supported a small temple between its paws.
The walls consisted of three tablets, the top of one of which yet
remains. The middle one was of granite, and represented Thothmes the
Fourth making an offering to the Sphinx. He lived about fourteen hundred
and ten years before the birth of Christ.

The side walls were of limestone. They, too, were sculptured, and
represented offerings made by Rameses the Great, He lived in the year
thirteen hundred and eleven before the birth of our Lord.

There was an inclosure in front of this temple, bounded by a low wall,
which stretched from one paw of the Sphinx to the other. The space
inclosed between it and the temple was about fifty feet. There was an
altar for sacrifice in front of the steps leading to the temple.

In front of the wall was a wide paved space, from which two large
flights of steps went up to a paved road. This road led to the plain,
and had a brick wall on each side to protect it from the sand.

The approach must have been very grand. A man coming by it would first
be on a level with the breast of the Sphinx, and would have a full view
of the altar and temple below. Then, as he went down the roadway, the
Sphinx would seem to rise higher and higher, till he must have felt
himself quite a pigmy, looking up at the vast figure.

The children were, like ourselves, very much interested in these
accounts of the Sphinx, which their father had collected for us.

"Has any one besides Colonel Howard Vyse tried to clear away the sand?"
Hugh asked.

"Yes, Mr. Salt and Signor Caviglia excavated the upper portion and all
the front of the figure. Colonel Howard Vyse continued what they had



This day was to be given to seeing the mosques in Cairo. We set off
early, and went first to see the mosque of Sultan Hassan. This is
thought to be one of the most beautiful specimens of Arabian
architecture in Cairo.

It was built in the fourteenth century, and the blocks of stone for it
were brought from the Great Pyramid, of which these were the
casing-stones. Inside, the mosque was beautiful. Rows of coloured glass
lamps hung from the walls; some were especial curiosities, for they were
the finest early glass-work of their kind. The arches also are fine, and
so are some of the ornaments of the roof.

One sight was pointed out which made us shudder. This was the dark stain
of Sultan Hassan's blood on the pavement. He was murdered in the mosque
by his Mamelukes. His tomb is just in the middle of the inner inclosure.
On it we saw a copy of the Mohammedan holy book, the Koran. It was
splendidly illuminated in gold and colours. The sultan's tomb was once
covered with a rich embroidered covering, but this was faded and
moth-eaten when we saw it. The marble pavement, too, was broken in many

The mosque of Sultan Hassan has always been famed for its beauty. It is
said that the sultan cut off the head of the architect, that he might
never build another as beautiful.

From the mosque of Sultan Hassan we went to the mosque of Sultan Tuloon.
It was built about the year 879 after the birth of our Lord, and is said
to be the oldest mosque in Cairo. It has double rows of handsome pointed
arches. There is a fine view from the chief minaret. Our guide told us
that it even excels that from the citadel. But the staircase is spiral,
is outside, and in rather a ruinous state.

[Illustration: MOSQUE.]

On reaching the second gallery, some of us became faint-hearted and
stayed to rest. Even from it the view was a grand one; but those who
went to the top said that we had really seen nothing in comparison.

Lucy was tired and giddy when we came down, so some of us went home with
her while the rest went to see the mosque of El Ghoree.

"It is beautifully painted," said Hugh, when giving us an account of it
afterwards. "And inside there are pillars of marble and

"Those are in the niche for prayer," his father said. "The windows and
walls of the mosque, and the roof, are ornamented with stone carved like
lace-work. But I think, Hugh, that what I admire most are the horseshoe
arches, and the four grand columns which look as if they had belonged to
some ancient temple."

"What did the man call that niche for prayer?" Hugh asked.

"The Mahrab. In every mosque the Mahrab looks in the direction of Mecca,
where Mohammed was born; and which is therefore to the Mohammedans the
most sacred of cities."

"Do they pray towards Mecca, then, just as Daniel prayed towards

"Yes, they do. When we were looking at the Mahrab, I, like you now,
thought of Daniel, and wished for the day when the knowledge of the
gospel shall have spread over the earth, and when all places for prayer
shall be used for the service of the only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom he has sent."

"I should like to make one little Egyptian girl a Christian," said Lucy;
"would not you, Hugh?"

"But how could we, Lucy?"

"Oh! we could talk to her, and teach her our hymns, and tell her about
our Bible pictures."

"Only," Hugh answered, thoughtfully, "she would not understand what we
said, and we should not understand her."

"I forgot that. Mamma, may we learn Egyptian?"

"That would take a long time, and I think you can do something better
than that. There is a mission already at Cairo, where the children are
taught by persons who understand the language."

"May we see it?"

"Yes, and you can give some of your money and time in buying and making
clothes for those who are very poor. And something else you can do."

"What is that? Can I do it?" asked Hugh, "for I cannot hem and sew the

"Yes, we can all do it. We can pray every day for the Egyptian children,
that God will give them hearts to serve him, and to love our precious
Saviour Jesus Christ, who came to save little children as well as
grown-up people."

It was a happy thought that we could all begin that very night to do
something for the Egyptian children. Hugh and Lucy said so, and we all
felt it.



The next morning we set off for Heliopolis.

Heliopolis, or the "City of the Sun," is the same which is called "On"
in the Bible. Joseph's wife came from On, where her father was a man of
wealth and importance.

The ride from Cairo to Heliopolis is delightful. We went across the edge
of the desert, and on our way were struck by a solitary dome marking a
tomb. This is the tomb of Saladin's brother, Malek Adhel, to whom
Richard Coeur de Lion wished to marry his sister Matilda.


Beyond this our road lay through green fields and shady avenues of
acacias. The air was filled with a delicious perfume and with the
humming of the wild bees. We saw Arabs, with bare legs and turbaned
heads, tilling the ground, oxen treading out the corn, long strings of
camels and asses bringing home provender.

It was, indeed, a living Bible picture.

The land of Goshen was opening before us. We were looking at the same
scenes among which Joseph and his brethren had moved. The strings of
asses laden with corn were like the strings of asses which Joseph's
brethren had taken back laden to their dear father in Canaan.

It was a solemn feeling to be treading the very ground, and looking at
the very fields over which the patriarchs once trod.

A village called Matarieh stands near where the city of Heliopolis once
stood. Here a sycamore was shown to us under which Joseph and the Virgin
Mary and Infant Saviour are said to have rested when they fled into
Egypt from King Herod. The gardens of Matarieh were in former times
famed for their balsams. They were first brought from Judea, and were of
the same species as trees from which was made the "Balm of Gilead" that
we read of in the Bible.

Heliopolis, the "City of the Sun," was so called because in ancient
times there was a magnificent temple in it which was dedicated to the
sun. Besides the temple of the sun, there was in Heliopolis another
temple, dedicated to the bull Mnevis.

Cambyses, a king of Persia, took the city about five hundred years
before the birth of our Lord. He burnt the temples and destroyed the
palaces. Some of the obelisks escaped, and were afterwards taken to Rome
and Alexandria. One is still left. It is about sixty-five feet high.

Part of a Sphinx was found near it some time ago, so that it is supposed
that an avenue of Sphinxes led up to it, and that it is one of two
obelisks which probably stood at the entrance of the Temple of the Sun.
Wild bees had made their nests on the top of the obelisk, and came down
upon us in swarms, as is their wont to travellers. Lucy was frightened;
and though Hugh tried to look very brave, he did not feel quite at ease
any more than myself. However, we came to no harm, though they buzzed
all about us. The obelisk stands in a garden of rosemary and other
herbs, which perhaps attracted the bees to it as their home.

In vain we wandered hither and thither, searching for some other traces
of the bygone glories of this City of the Sun. Here it was that Joseph
once lived. Here it was that Moses was made "learned in the wisdom of
the Egyptians." Here the wise and learned men of Egypt used to assemble.
Here was once heard "joy and the voice of melody." Where is it now? All
is silent, still. This solitary pillar alone stands to mark the scene of
long-forgotten pomp and glory.

Thus do earthly cities vanish. But the heavenly city which our Saviour
has prepared for them that love him, will endure for evermore. Its
glories are far brighter than ever were those of this City of the Sun,
and are unfading; be it ours to have a part in that new and blessed

The next morning we met some travellers who had been to a Copt wedding,
of which the lady gave us an account.

"The family was a rich one," she said, "and everything was most
splendid. The inner court of the house was beautifully lighted, and was
crowded with guests. In the middle were the musicians, with all sorts of
instruments: Arab flutes, dulcimers, fiddles; the noise was deafening.

"The master of the house took us to an up-stairs room in which were the
guests of higher rank. These were all men. Though the Copts are not
Mohammedans, it seems the custom for their women to live in as great
retirement as the Mohammedan women do, and also for them to cover their
faces when they go out of doors.

"We were taken into a large room covered with rich carpets, and lighted
by a number of wax candles and a large chandelier. We were led to a
large divan, where pipes, coffee, sweetmeats, and sherbet were handed to
us, whilst we listened to the songs of the singing women.

"These singing women are called 'Almé.' They attend the weddings of all
the rich people in Cairo, and are paid by contributions from the guests.
Generally they make a good sum at a wedding, especially those who are
clever enough to invent songs at the moment.

"We stayed in this room for a long time, and then I was taken to that
part of the house where the ladies of the family live. At the entrance
some negress slaves were waiting to receive me and lead me to the room
in which the lady of the house awaited me. She was mounted on a complete
throne of cushions, and some eighty or ninety guests, all ladies, were
with her. They were dressed in every variety of colour, and their
dresses were all embroidered in gold. The young ladies wore pretty gauze
veils, pink, white, or blue. These were all edged with needlework; some
in gold, some in silver. The elder ladies wore gorgeous Cashmere shawls
thrown over their heads and shoulders, and most of them wore diamond

"I was conducted to the seat of honour by the side of the lady of the
house, and a narghilé (a sort of pipe) was brought to me. Then a china
saucer was filled with bonbons from a tray covered with all sorts of
confectionery, and was handed to me with some rose sherbet.

"After this I was taken into another room to see the bride. She was a
girl about twelve years old. She lay on a sofa, with her face muffled up
in some kind of white stuff which was ornamented with diamonds, and was
bound on by a band of diamonds. Her nurse was with her. The poor child
was very tired, and more than half asleep. When the covering was removed
that I might see her face, she moved uneasily, as if she did not like to
be disturbed. She was dressed in satin, scarlet, and gold, and had a
white cashmere shawl round her waist. She wore a number of splendid

"It was nearly midnight when we came away. The cool night air was
delicious after all the heat and glare of the house. It was a glorious
night, the sky radiant with stars which sparkled more brightly than the
little bride's diamonds."

[Illustration: VISIT TO THE HAREM.]

It was now time for us to go to the mission schools, which we all very
much wanted to see.

We went first to the girls' school, where we saw a number of children
copying portions of Holy Scripture in Arabic. They wrote beautifully.
Lucy took a great fancy to one little girl, and stood beside her,
watching her, for a long time. The child stole a shy glance at her now
and again; a kindly feeling sprang up between them, though they could
not understand each other's language.

We were told that the language taught in the schools generally is
Arabic, but that some of the children learn English. They are taught
reading, writing, arithmetic, needlework, embroidery, and, in fact,
everything that can be useful to them. They read the Bible, and many of
them can say large portions of it by heart.

We next went to the ragged school. There we saw a number of little
children, some of them not more than three years old. They are fed and
clothed, and stay at school all day, only going home at night. They
looked very happy.

Besides these schools, there is also a school for Coptic young men.

These schools were all founded by the Rev. Theophilus Lieder (a German
clergyman, head of the mission in Egypt) and his wife. So great a work
needed much self-denial, courage, energy, industry. But Mr. and Mrs.
Lieder gave these willingly for love of Jesus Christ, and of the lambs
of his flock. He has helped their work, for he always blesses the work
which is done from love to him. Very few of us can do such a great work
for Jesus Christ as Mr. and Mrs. Lieder have done. But we can all do
something for him. And if we love him, he will help even our smallest
work in his name. For he has said, "Whosoever shall give to drink unto
one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a
disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."

On our way home from the schools we rode round the principal bazaars, a
never-failing pleasure to Hugh and Lucy.



Fostat, or Old Cairo, was the next place of interest which we visited.
The walls built round it by the Romans were of small squared stones,
mixed with tiles, and were about nine feet high. There were two towers,
each half a circle in shape, standing out from them, and two other large
towers at the principal gate. The gateway was almost buried in sand:
still, we could distinguish an eagle on one part of it.

The only entrance it now has is a small gate, too narrow for a carriage
to pass through. The streets are really only lanes, and the houses are
high. In old times this city was called Egyptian Babylon.

"Is it the same as Babylon the Great?" Hugh asked.

"No. Babylon the Great stood on the River Euphrates, and was the capital
of the Babylonian empire."

"Can you tell me anything more about this Babylon in Egypt?"

"Yes, a little. Sir Gardner Wilkinson mentions an early Christian
record, sculptured on wood, of the time of Diocletian. It is in the west
tower, and we will try and find it. Then the crusaders, under Louis IX.
of France, besieged but did not take it. The Sieur de Joinville, who
wrote the life of the king, has given an interesting account of the
siege. He describes the terror caused in the army when the 'Greek fire'
was thrown from the walls. In the middle ages it was a noted place, and
a stuff called 'cloth of Baldeck' was manufactured here. It was made of
silk and of gold and silver threads, and was ornamented with imitations
of trees, flowers, and birds. It was worn and much prized by persons of
high rank. Henry III. was, I believe, the first English king who wore
cloth of Baudekin or Baldeck, but it was worn in other countries of
Europe before his time."

We went to the upper chamber over the west tower of the old gateway, and
there saw the record described by Sir Gardner Wilkinson. The upper part
with the Greek inscription; below it a symbol of the Deity, a globe
supported by two winged angels; and on each side six figures, which Sir
Gardner Wilkinson believes to be the twelve apostles. We were very much
interested in this Christian record, and wished that we had had some
knowledge of who these early Christians were who had left the traces of
their assembly in this upper chamber.

[Illustration: OLD GATEWAY.]

We next went to see the mosque of Amer. This mosque was built by the
Saracen Amer on the spot on which he encamped with his army when he
besieged the city and took it. He founded the city of Fostat, which
became the capital of Mohammedan Egypt. Four hundred years afterwards
the present city of Cairo was built by one of the caliphs. He made it
the capital, and called it Masr-el-Kahira, or "the Victorious City." The
city built by Amer was then called "Old Cairo."

We were not so much struck by the mosque of Amer as we had been by some
other mosques. There are some fine pillars and arches, both pointed and
circular. But its chief interest is its great age. There is an old
tradition that whenever this mosque falls, the Mohammedan power will
fall in Egypt.

From Old Cairo we crossed over to the Island of Roda, to see the
Nilometer. It consists of a square well, in the middle of which is a
pillar marked in degrees, for measuring the rise of the Nile. There was
once a tower over it. At the time when the Nile is rising, the criers
come into Cairo every morning to proclaim the height to which it has
risen since the previous morning. This overflow of the Nile irrigates
the country for a long distance from its banks, and makes them very

From the Nilometer we went to see the gardens belonging to Ibrahim
Pacha; then to the spot where Moses is said to have been found by
Pharaoh's daughter. We could picture the cradle of bulrushes floating on
the still waters; the royal princess coming down with maidens to bathe,
the anxious Miriam watching with eager eyes to see what would be the
fate of her baby-brother. Hugh and Lucy both said that it made the Bible
seem much more real to them, now that they were in the very land where
so many of God's wonders of old were wrought. We all felt it so, as we
looked at the spot where Moses was preserved in his babyhood, while
floating in his cradle in the very waters which afterwards at his word,
by God's command, were turned into blood.

Our next expedition was to the tombs of the Mameluke kings. We rode
through a not very interesting part of Cairo to the "Bab-el-Nasr," or
"Gate of Victory."

The tombs stand at a short distance from Cairo, on the edge of the
desert. Each has its mosque, with dome and minarets. In one, called El
Kait Bey, there is the print of a man's foot on the marble slab. This is
said to be the footprint of "the Prophet" Mohammed. It is within a
covered enclosure which is open at the sides. The Arabs show their
respect for it by touching it reverently with their hands, which they
kiss afterwards.

[Illustration: THE FINDING OF MOSES.]

Another beautiful tomb is El Berbook. It has been faced with red and
white stones, many of which are still left. There is an open corridor on
the first floor. The entrance-hall leads into the large court of the
mosque, in which there once was a fountain. It has long ceased to play,
and the ornaments are all in ruin. The dome was richly ornamented. The
door to it was locked, and we could only peep through some holes at the
beauties within.

We next went to the tomb and mosque of Ahd Bey. The pavements, the
windows, the grand arch, the ornamentation, all were beautiful. And the
thought that the great Mameluke sultans, in whose honour these were
wrought, made us silent. These palaces were not for the living, but for
the dead. Even Hugh and Lucy grew grave. It was such a solemn thought
that we were walking among earthly palaces, dedicated to those to whom
earthly glory has for centuries been less than nothing! Here they sleep,
silent owners of their silent city in the desert, till the last great
trumpet shall sound, and the mighty dead shall (with their humbler
fellow-men) be judged according to their works. Thanks be to God who
giveth his people the victory in that day, through Jesus Christ our

In silence we passed on from one tomb, one mosque, to another.

"Where are we going now?" Hugh asked, after we had ridden on for some

"To the petrified forest."

"Shall we find the trees standing, all turned into stone? For petrified
means turned into stone, does it not?" said Lucy.

"Yes, it does. But I do not think we shall find any trees standing, from
what I have read about the 'petrified wood.'"

True enough. When we reached the petrified forest in the Valley of
Wanderings (this valley forms the beginning of the desert leading to the
Red Sea) we did not see a single tree, but the sand was for miles
covered with fragments of wood. Though these were turned into stone, we
could see knots and fibres, and even the rough bark, which showed them
to be fragments of trees.

"Is it not wonderful!" exclaimed Hugh.

It was indeed wonderful. And now we came to what looked like the trunk
of a large tree; there was another like it, at a little distance; they
must have been quite fifty feet long, or more; they lay in the sand, and
seemed to have broken as they fell, for there were small pieces
scattered about all around.

"What made it?" Lucy asked.

None of us could tell; nor have we since been able to find any account
of how these trees were turned into stone. But it seems certain that all
this part of the desert, on which there is not now a blade of grass,
must have been covered by a wood.

We could but look and wonder. "How unsearchable are the judgments of
God, and his ways past finding out!"

We all picked up some pieces to bring away with us. Then we sat down on
one of the large petrified trunks and ate our lunch, the wonders all
round us giving us plenty to talk about the while.

On our way home we came round by another group of tombs beneath the
mountains of Mokattam. We had had a long day, and it was nearly sunset
when we left the tombs.

The sunset clouds were gorgeous. All at once, as the sun sank beneath
them, the deep-toned sound of the muezzin called the faithful followers
of the prophet Mohammed to prayer. Every one around us prostrated
themselves. Our hearts obeyed the call; we offered our thanks to our
Heavenly Father, who has made such a world of beauty and wonder for our

    "O God, O good beyond compare,
     If thus Thy meaner works are fair,
     If thus Thy bounties gild the span
     Of ruined earth and sinful man,
     What must those glorious mansions be
     When Thy redeemed shall dwell with Thee!"



Our party was now to be divided for a time. We were all anxious to see
the Nile, but it was thought better for the children and their mother to
stay quietly in Cairo. Those who were not pressed for time offered to
remain with them, while the others hastened up to the second cataract.
After much discussing and arranging, it was decided that three should
stay with the invalid and her children in Cairo, and the other three
should go up the Nile together.

The most comfortable sort of boat for travelling is the "dahabieh." One
was engaged. Mohammed laid in the stores necessary for the journey; and
when all was ready, we went to Boulak, which is the port of Cairo, to
see the travellers start.

We went on board the dahabieh.

"What a beautiful room!" Lucy exclaimed, as she went into the saloon.

And so indeed it was. Carpets, cushions, divans, book-shelves; nothing
was wanting to make the dahabieh a most luxurious little home. There
were easy-chairs of every kind on deck, and an awning was spread as a
protection from the sun. The crew consisted of a captain, or reis, as he
is called, a pilot, and fourteen Arab sailors.

We exchanged farewells, heartily wishing that we too were going, and
they started. As we waved our last farewells from the shore, Hugh said,
in a disconsolate voice, "Great fun for them, but no fun for us."

We were all a little dull that evening. But the travellers had promised
to keep a journal, and we soon began to think when we should receive
news of them.

The first instalment of the journal was brought by a gentleman with
whose dahabieh they fell in off Benisooéf. It was eagerly opened and
read aloud, while we listened with all our ears and eyes.

                           JOURNAL ON THE NILE.

The wind was fair when we left Boulak. We passed Roda, the Nilometer,
and Old Cairo. Then a long reach of the river brought us to the village
of E Deyr, which is inhabited by Copt Christians. We next passed, on our
left, El Masarah, where there are large stone quarries. The stone for
the Great Pyramid was taken from these quarries.

At Bedreshyn we landed, Mohammed procured donkeys for us, and we set off
to see the Pyramids of Sakkara.

We rode first to the village of Mitrahenny, where the ancient city of
Memphis once stood. The country round it is very pretty. The village
itself stands in a wood of palm-trees. We were told that at the time at
which the Nile overflows its banks the people leave their houses and
live in the palm-trees, where they put up a sort of scaffolding to sleep
on. When the river falls again, they leave the trees, repair their mud
huts, and live in them till the next overflow.

Memphis, formerly such a splendid city, is gone. There is scarcely a
trace left of this once busy capital of Lower Egypt in which Moses
lived, where the poor Jewish captives toiled to make up the tale of
bricks for Pharaoh's taskmasters. Some few remains of foundation-walls
are found in the sand. But nothing is left to tell of the temples and
palaces of this ancient city, except only a part of a colossal statue of
Rameses, called Sesostris. It is of a pure white, made of polished
limestone, and must have been more than forty feet in height. The statue
lay on its face, and we could not see the features. It has a scroll in
its hands. Pieces of the legs and feet were lying about. All around are
magnificent palm-trees.

[Illustration: BRICKMAKING _(from Egyptian Sculpture)_.]

The Pyramids of Sakkara are near the village of the same name. The
largest of them is called by the Arabs "the Pyramid of Degrees." It has
outside six stories or degrees, each smaller than the one below it.
Inside are passages and chambers.

Near the pyramids are the famous pits, in which are ibis mummies. The
ibis was a sacred bird among the Egyptians. We bought one of these
mummies. It was enclosed in a round earthen jar, the top of which was
shaped like a cone, and was fastened down strongly with cement.

[Illustration: BRICKMAKING _(from Egyptian Sculpture)_.]

The bird was rolled up in long bandages of linen. The head and neck were
folded over the breast, the wings laid close to the sides, and the long
legs were folded up and brought close to the beak. The bird was perfect.
We said we knew how delighted you all, and especially Hugh and Lucy,
would be to see it. But our curiosity was selfish. As soon as the air
played on it, it crumbled into dust.

[Illustration: THE SACRED IBIS.]

There are some fine tombs near the Pyramids of Sakkara. We went to the
one which we were told was the best worth seeing. The roof was hollowed
into the shape of an arch and covered with smoothly-cut stones cemented
together. This led into a room in which is a deep well. We also saw some
hieroglyphics, and some sculpture; most of these represented men
carrying birds. It was not very interesting, and we did not stay long to
look at it.

We had a delightful ride back to Bedreshyn, through fields and among
clumps of thorny mimosa, on which the camels love to browse. The
palm-trees looked beautiful in the clear sunlight. Nothing was wanting
but the song of birds, and this is a want almost always felt by
Europeans in the hot climates of Africa and Asia.

The next day we went to the Pyramids of Dashoor. Two are of stone and
two of brick. The first was the largest. Colonel Howard Vyse gives its
height as three hundred and twenty feet. The entrance was covered with
stones and rubbish. The second pyramid is not so large. The ascent to
the entrance is not very difficult, but the descent is exceedingly so,
and there is not much to repay one for the trouble.

We returned to our boat in good time, and were much amused, after we had
again started, by watching the peasants raising water from the river
with poles and buckets, and with looking at the Arab boats, a number of
which passed us.

We next came to El Kafr el Jyat. It is only a small village, but in it
is the residence of a wealthy chief whose hospitable house is the resort
of travellers. He bears the title of Khabeéree, or "the guide." We find
from Sir G. Wilkinson's book[A] that this title "has been hereditary in
his family since the time of Sultan Selim, who gave it to his ancestor
as a reward for his services in that capacity, when he took possession
of the country after the defeat of the son of El Ghoree."

We next passed the False Pyramid. It takes its name from the base being
of rock and not really part of the building.

The banks of the river and villages were enlivened with palm-trees. But
we passed no place of any size or interest till we came to Benisooéf.

Benisooéf is the capital of the province, the Fyoom, and has several
manufactories of cotton and silk.

We are lounging idly on deck looking at the scene before us. A great
many boats are tied to the shore, and a number of people are on the
quay. The children are tolerably clad, and some of the old men are
exceedingly picturesque in their white dresses, with their cloaks thrown
over their shoulders and leaning on their staves; girls are coming down
to fill their jars with water and carrying them away most gracefully on
their heads. And as for animals! Hugh would find more than enough to
satisfy him. Dogs, goats, poultry, cows, horses, camels, buffaloes! And
_such_ a noise! we can scarcely hear ourselves speak for the clatter.
But a gentleman who is going down to Cairo, and will leave at daybreak,
has just sent to know whether he can take any letters for us. So good-by
for the present.

[Footnote A: "Modern Egypt," vol. ii.]

[Illustration: SCENE ON THE NILE.]



It was some little time before we could expect the next part of our
travellers' journal.

Hugh very much wished to go to the citadel again. Lucy wanted to pay
another visit to the gardens at Shoubra. We gave an afternoon to each,
and almost every morning we went to the Mission Schools; either to the
girls' school or to the ragged school. The more we saw, the more we
admired the energy and self-denial of Mr. and Mrs. Lieder, and the more
zealous and anxious we grew to do what little we could to help in the
great work of making known the love of Jesus Christ and the salvation he
has bought for us with his blood. Those who have the love of Christ
really in their hearts must always long to make others love him too.

Day by day went on and we began to watch anxiously for some more news.
The gentleman who had brought the first part of the journal told us that
he knew there was another dahabieh which was not very far behind him. He
had passed it, not having time to stop and see all that its travellers
were stopping to see.

At last this dahabieh arrived, and we had a large packet. Lucy had leave
to open it. She and Hugh danced about in delight for the first few
minutes. Their father was one of the party who had gone, which made the
joy of news the greater.

The first great excitement of the arrival was soon over, and we all
clustered together eagerly to hear the contents of the large letter.

                           JOURNAL ON THE NILE.

We finished our last letter just after we arrived at Benisooéf. It is a
large town, and was once famous for its manufacture of linen.

We started the next morning with a fair wind. We passed Isment; and near
it, the quarries from which the beautifully veined marble was obtained
of which the mosque of Mohammed Ali at Cairo was built.

But what delighted us most was the high table-mountain, Sheikh Embárak.
This giant seemed standing to block our path. Its surface is broken; and
as we neared it, we saw one large cliff which looked like a ruined
castle. The Sheikh, like some other giants of olden times, is accustomed
to give travellers rather a rough welcome, and we came in for one of his
gusty greetings in a sudden gale of wind.

Tell Lucy that her father, who was lounging in a chair on castors,
suddenly found his chair running away from him, and he narrowly escaped
a ducking in the Nile. And tell both Hugh and Lucy that the dahabieh lay
over so suddenly that every one else was nearly following me, and that
if I had gone over into the Nile, I should only have been ready to
welcome the others who were coming after.

After this unwilling prostration to the Sheikh, we went on without any
further trouble.

A rock in the stream next attracted our attention. It is called the
Hagar o' Salam, or Rock of Welfare, because the boatmen say that they
cannot venture to call a voyage down the Nile prosperous until they have
passed it. We looked at it with interest. It seemed an emblem of our
Saviour Jesus Christ; for, till we have come to him, there can be no
safety for us in our voyage on the river of life.

Our journey was, after this, a little dull for a time. On both banks of
the Nile we saw the sites of various ancient towns; and at Khom Amer, or
"the Red Mound," there were some rough grottoes. We also saw the mounds
of the ancient Cynopolis, the "City of the Dogs."

The mountain chain of Gebel e' Tayr was more interesting. Some of the
mountains rise straight up from the water, and are enlivened with
palm-trees; and on the opposite banks we saw some fine acacias. The top
of Gebel e' Tayr is flat. On it stands a convent called Sitleh Mariam el
Adea, or "Our Lady Mary the Virgin." It is a Copt convent. But I am
afraid that religion has little effect there, for there seems to be more
begging than industry among the monks. As soon as they see a boat full
of travellers coming they hurry down the cliffs and swim out on inflated
water-skins to ask for charity. Our Arab boatmen were inclined to treat
them rather roughly, and we were heartily glad when we got beyond their
beat, for they were very noisy and clamorous in their petitions for

Gebel e' Tayr means "the mountain of the bird." There is a curious
legend belonging to it. It is said that all the birds in the country
assemble here every year. They choose one of their number who is to stay
on the mountain till the next year. Then all the rest fly away and leave
the poor solitary bird by himself till the next year, when a fresh one
is chosen to take his place.

We have now just arrived at Minieh, six days exactly since we left you
all at Boulak. We are going to dinner, and then on shore.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I want to ask something before you go on, please," said Hugh. "Why was
that city called 'the City of the Dogs'?"

"Because the dog was then considered to be a particularly sacred animal.
One of the largest repositories of dog mummies is found on the opposite
bank. It was not unusual in Egypt for a city to bury its dead, as well
as its sacred animals, on the opposite shore of the Nile, especially if
a better place could be found there for making catacombs."

       *       *       *       *       *

Minieh is a pretty and busy town. Near the landing-place we saw the tomb
of a sheikh, shaded over by a palm-tree, which is very picturesque. We
admired the houses too, with their trellised balconies overhanging the
river. And there are such queer little coffee-shops! Some are tents,
some only little huts made of reeds. We found the bazaar airy and some
of the buildings handsome. The country round Minieh is rich and
beautiful; it abounds in groves of palm-trees and in every kind of
fruit. We enjoyed our ramble exceedingly, and the two guns brought back
a fair share of wild fowl.

[Illustration: EASTERN BAZAAR.]

Our next stopping-place was Beni-Hassan; we arrived this morning, and
have been on shore all day.

The tombs of Beni-Hassan are open to the Nile, and are ornamented with
coloured figures or other devices, and are very old.

[Illustration: EGYPTIAN LOOM.

    _a b_. Rollers for carrying and tightening the warp.
  _c c c_. The warp
    _d d_. Frame of the machine.
    _e f_. Movable bars, for pressing the successive weft threads
      _g_. Roller for relieving the cloth when woven.
      _h_. Hooked stick (used instead of a shuttle) to carry theweft

We went first into the most northern tomb. In front of the entrance is a
portico, supported by pillars, which leads into a vaulted room: its roof
is supported by four large pillars. These pillars have been coloured to
imitate red granite, and so have the lower part of the walls. Above this
coloured part of the wall are long lines of figures; some employed in
outdoor work, some in indoor work, some in amusements. Some are fishing,
some are watering flax, some dancing, others wrestling.

[Illustration: FISHING.]

In one part there are men catching wild fowl in nets; in another part
there are women kneading or making bread; and others playing the harp.

On one part of the wall we saw a procession. As we had heard that this
procession represented the arrival of Joseph's brethren, we were very
much interested with it. The first figure is an Egyptian scribe, who is
giving an account of the arrival of the strangers to one of the chief
officers of the king, and the owner of the tomb. The next, also an
Egyptian, is ushering the strangers into his presence. Two of the
strangers are advancing, and bring with them presents, a goat and a
gazelle. Four men follow, carrying bows and clubs, and leading an ass,
which two children are riding on in panniers, accompanied by a boy and
four women. Last, are another ass, laden, and two men; one of these
holds a bow and club, and the other a lyre.

[Illustration: POTTERS.]

We saw another curious tomb, where there is a hunting scene, and the
name of each animal is written above it, in hieroglyphics. Below this
are birds, and their names are also written. There we saw a group of
women jumping and dancing; others playing at ball, throwing up three
balls one after another and catching them; men dancing on one leg and
performing other feats of skill.

[Illustration: IDOL PAINTERS.]

The occupations and trades of the ancient Egyptians are also shown.
There are goldsmiths, glass-blowers, painters, potters, workers in flax.
On one wall there are wrestlers in different attitudes; on another, some
unhappy people who are undergoing the bastinado. We were surprised, too,
to see that dwarfs and deformed people formed part of the trains of the
great men of Egypt in those days, just as they did in Rome in later

In one of the tombs we saw a Greek alphabet on the wall; the letters
were transposed in different ways, apparently for the purpose of
teaching Greek.

We meant to have gone to see the Temple of Diana of the Egyptians, but
were all tired, and have left it till our return.

We have been obliged to have a strict watch kept over our boat to-day.
The villages of Beni-Hassan were destroyed by order of the pacha some
years ago, because the people were such great thieves. But this cure for
theft does not seem to have answered, for the villagers still have the
character of a love of pilfering.

We sat up rather late last night, helping each other with our journal
for your amusement. Just as we were putting by our pens and paper we
were startled by seeing a bright light. Mohammed appeared and told us
that a dahabieh was on fire, and that English travellers were on board.
We hurried on deck. The dahabieh was a mass of fire. Pillars of smoke
rose from it, and large tongues of flame darted from them and seemed to
lick down into the fire whatever came into their way. There was a great
buzz of voices on the shore, and the wild light cast a lurid glare on
the figures which were hurrying to and fro. A European figure rushed on
shore with something in his arms, then darted back and was lost in the
smoke. We did not wait to see more, but went on shore instantly.

There was no possibility of saving the dahabieh. But every one on board
was safe, and we brought the travellers to our dahabieh, where they are

They prove to be Mr. and Miss Roper, father and daughter, a European
servant, and a negress girl, whom they call Rahaba. I never heard such
an outpouring of fervent thanksgiving as Mr. Roper offered up to God as
soon as they were all safely on board our boat. It reminded us of the
history of Jacob wrestling with the angel, "I will not let thee go
except thou bless me."

Rahaba has a sad expression of face, but her eyes brighten when Miss
Roper speaks to her.

Mr. and Miss Roper only arrived at Beni-Hassan that evening. There
seemed little chance of their being able to get on to Cairo, so we asked
them to be our guests and to return over their old ground with us.

We left Beni-Hassan the next morning, and saw crocodiles that day for
the first time. They were on a sandbank basking in the sun. One was very
large, the two others smaller. A salute from our guns was fired at them,
which made the smaller crocodiles rush into the water in a great hurry,
but the larger one treated us with cool contempt.

The first sight of Manfaloot was charming. A sudden bend of the river
brought us full in view of its minarets, which rise from a group of
mingled buildings and palm-trees.

[Illustration: HEAD OF CROCODILE.]

We have not landed since we left Beni-Hassan. Miss Roper has been making
a sketch of our reis and the crew. Rahaba looks on her sketch-book and
colour-box as some kind of magic possessions, and contrived to save them
from the fire in consequence.

Miss Roper took the sketch at sunset. The sky was flooded with gorgeous
tints, and their glow was reflected on our reis as he sat in his blue
robes and crimson turban, smoking his pipe. We shall reach Thebes
to-night, and shall go on shore early to-morrow to see some of the
interesting sights of which Mr. Roper has been telling us.

[Illustration: RUINS OF THEBES.]

Our boat was moored as near as possible to the village of Koorneh, or
Karnac, as it is often called. We went on shore early in the morning and
visited the small palace and temple of Koorneh, and then rode on for
about twenty minutes to the palace-temple of Rameses the Second. This is
one of the most interesting temples in the valley of the Nile. The
entrance leads into a court where are the ruins of the largest statue in
the world. It is made of granite from the quarries of Syene.

Mr. Roper told us that this was a statue of the king, seated on his
throne with his hands resting on his knees. Judging from the fragments
the foot must have been eleven feet long and about four feet ten inches
wide. The statue measured twelve feet ten inches from the shoulder to
the elbow, twenty-two feet four inches across the shoulders.

The throne and the legs are quite destroyed. The figure is broken at the
waist, and the upper part is thrown back on the ground. No one knows who
erected or who destroyed this giant statue. We gazed at the ruin with
astonishment, almost with awe.

In a beautiful court, with a double row of columns, we saw some
interesting sculpture. An enemy is flying from the Egyptians. The
complexions and features of the men are quite different from those of
the Egyptians. They are fleeing towards the river in chariots; some are
represented as drowning in the river, and others as entreating for
mercy. In the grand hall we saw another battle-scene.

The great hall leads into a room with eight columns, which support the
roof. On it are represented the Egyptian months, and on the wall are
sacred arks borne by priests. The side walls of the temple are
destroyed, so that the pillars are seen to great advantage.

[Illustration: GRAND HARP.]

We saw, too, the famous colossal statues; they are made of a hard stone,
marked with black and red oxide of iron. The northern statue is called
Salamet by the Arabs. It is the celebrated statue of Memnon, which was
said to utter a sound of melody every morning at sunrise, and a mournful
sound at sunset. The sides of the throne are ornamented with figures;
they represent the god Nilus winding up a pedestal, over which is the
name of the king who made them. The statues of his wife and mother are
attached to the throne. We then went to the Temple of Medeénet Háboo.
The early Christians had a settlement here, and they used one of the
deserted courts of the great temple for a church, hiding the idolatrous
sculptures with a coat of mud. But a time of persecution came. The
colony was invaded by Arabs, the Christians fled to the neighbourhood of
Esneh, and the village of Medeénet Háboo fell into ruins.

We passed the palace of Rameses the Third, and went into the temple. Two
fine pillars ornament the doorway which leads from the court into a
corridor before the second doorway. Over this doorway there is a
beautiful winged globe and serpent, the colouring of which still

This doorway leads into another corridor and afterwards into a small
court. We looked at this court with great interest, because Mr. Roper
told us that it was built by Tirhakeh, whose battles with Sennacherib we
read of in the Bible.

On the outside wall of the temple, King Rameses is represented in his
chariot, attended by fan-bearers and lions, and advancing with his army.
His enemies are defeated, and heaps of tongues are among the tokens of
his victory.

In another part, the king, while pursuing his enemy, is attacked by
lions. He kills two with his arrows, and is on the point of killing
another with his spear.




"And that is the last piece of journal we shall get, very likely," said
our reader, as he folded up the packet again.

"I hope not," said Lucy, "for I want to hear more about Rahaba."

"And I want to hear about the temples and the statues, and how they got
on past the first cataract."

But no more news could be expected for some time. So, to amuse
ourselves, we determined on paying a visit to Alexandria. The distance
is about one hundred and thirty miles, and the railway being already
opened, we went by train. The carriages had double roofs, as a
protection from the sun; the upper roof was raised about a foot above
the lower, on little iron pillars, so that a current of air could pass
between the two roofs.

[Illustration: BAGGAGE CAMEL.]

On leaving Cairo we could see the high road. Hugh and Lucy were much
amused with watching the strings of camels, tied one behind the other
with ropes, and laden with large bales of cotton. There were sometimes
as many as sixteen camels in one string; then we saw donkeys laden with
various things for sale, and numbers of people carrying goods of
different kinds. We saw a great many people, too, working in the fields.
The country is fertile, and we thought the villages very pretty, peeping
out from their groves of palm-trees.

As we came near Alexandria the country became more sandy and less

"Alexander the Great built Alexandria, did he not?" said Hugh.

"Yes. And in old times it was very famous for its library."

"Oh, yes," said Hugh, "I remember that; it had a museum with a library
of I do not know how many volumes."

"Yes, and besides the museum library there was another library in a
splendid building called the 'Serapion.' The museum library was burnt
during the wars of Julius Cæsar with the Alexandrians, and the
'Serapion' library was destroyed by the orders of the Caliph Omar."

"Why?" asked Hugh, in astonishment.

"The caliph said that if the writings in these books agreed with those
in the Koran they were useless, and that if they did not they were
mischievous; so in any case they would be better destroyed than kept."

"I think his reasoning was very foolish, though I suppose he meant it as
very wise."

"So do I. Two thousand of the volumes had belonged to the kings of
Pergamos, and had been given by Marc Antony to Cleopatra."

It was too late to see anything that evening, but we set off early the
next morning. We first visited the pacha's palace. It faces the harbour,
and has a fine view of it. We went through a small garden up a
staircase, and then, on the upper floor, came to the pacha's apartments;
these were very handsomely furnished. We saw beds with rich curtains of
cloth of gold and silver, and large divans which were very handsome. In
the dining-room the floor was of inlaid wood. The view from the balcony
was very fine; but one of the things which we admired most was a
beautiful table of Roman mosaic, representing all the most interesting
monuments in Rome.

After leaving the palace we went to see a garden belonging to the pacha.
The garden was pretty, and we very much enjoyed our drive along the
Mahmoudieh canal. We had some friends who lived in a villa not far off,
and we called on them. After lunch the lady asked if we had ever ridden
on a dromedary.

We had not, and Hugh and Lucy were specially anxious to try what it was
like. So the dromedary was ordered to come for us.

It looked very handsome with its saddle of crimson velvet, from which
splendid draperies of gold and silver stuff hung on all sides, with a
number of silken cords, loops, and tassels.

Most of us thought the motion very pleasant. But Lucy was a little
frightened, and said she felt as if she was going to tumble over the
dromedary's head. She would only go at a walk, which we thought a
disagreeable pace. Hugh thought the dromedary's trot delightful, and
wished he could always travel by dromedary, but Lucy thought a Cairo
donkey very much to be preferred.

[Illustration: DROMEDARY.]

Almost everything that we see in Egypt reminds us of something we read
of in the Bible. We seem to live among Bible pictures, which help us to
understand the Bible and the customs it speaks of.

We were pleasantly surprised the morning after this little visit to our
friends at the villa to receive another packet of journal from the
travellers. The last had been so long on the way that we scarcely
expected to hear again from them before their return.

We opened it eagerly, and were all excited to know how they had passed
at least the first cataract.

                          JOURNAL ON THE NILE.

We wrote last from Thebes, which place we left the next morning. We were
obliged to wait at Esneh for twenty-four hours for our sailors to bake
bread. In the evening we saw at least twenty crocodiles pass our boat.

We left Esneh with a fair wind, and stopped nowhere till we reached
Assouan. Here we had to make our arrangements for passing the first

The management of our boat was given over to the reis of the cataract.
He provides men to help in taking us through the rapids. Whilst these
arrangements were being made, we had time to see all that was worth
seeing round Assouan.

There was a gay scene on the quay. Large boats which had been damaged
were undergoing repairs; others were being loaded and unloaded with
bales of cotton, which are sent from here across the desert to Sennaar.
Then there were the tents of the owners; groups of Nubian merchants in
white turbans; natives of Assouan seated on the ground, smoking their
chiboques; camels waiting for their loads; and donkeys which seemed as
strong and lively as our Cairo favourites. Of course there was a
terrible noise--shouting, screaming, quarrelling among the various
sellers of arms, ornaments, and other things.


We hired donkeys and a good guide, and then set off to see the quarries
of Syene. From these quarries the obelisks were cut which adorned the
cities of Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis thousands of years ago. We
passed the ruins of a burying-ground belonging to an old Saracen town
which was desolated by the plague some hundreds of years ago, and very
gloomy these ruins looked.

On our way back we rode through the bazaar. There was nothing very gay
for sale, but the people interested us. We saw a great many Berbers, a
people quite unlike either the Arabs or the negroes. The Berbers live in
Lower Nubia, and are a wild, fine-looking race. The men wear but little
clothing; they all carry a small dagger, which is bound with a red
leather bracelet round the left arm, above the elbow. They also wear a
_fetish_, or charm, enclosed in a little red leather case. The women
uncover their faces, and wear nose rings of either brass or bone. They
also wear quantities of coloured bead necklaces and bracelets, brass
ear-rings and finger-rings; and whenever they can get them, they wear
gold or silver coins hanging on the foreheads. They tattoo their chins
and dye their under-lips blue, which looks very ugly.

To-day we crossed to the island of Elephanta. We went to the quarries,
visited groups of tombs of sheikhs and dervishes, and the mosque of
Amer. We had a delightful row round the island. Its groves of palms and
its granite rocks are picturesque. But we were disappointed to see no
flowers. The Nubian children offered us some pretty baskets for sale,
and some Egyptian agates. We are bringing some of them back with us:
amongst them a lovely little basket of palm leaves for Lucy.

We sailed towards the cataract with a stiff breeze. The scenery was wild
and beautiful. On the western side the sands of the Great Desert, yellow
as gold, came to the water's edge, with dark masses of rock rising from
them here and there. On the east, granite rocks rose one above the other
in strange forms.

With the help of about fifty Arabs, who shouted at the top of their
voices as they hauled us by a thick rope, we passed the first little
fall of the cataract. Then we passed a succession of rapids. It was an
exciting passage. Great masses of granite towered round our little boat;
sometimes we even struck against them, but not so as to do us any harm.
The groups of Nubians were picturesque. Miss Roper has sketches of some
of them swimming on palm logs.

At length we came to the grand fall. At first our boat seemed to grow
faint-hearted, and to make as though she would go back to Assouan. But
our cataract reis was prepared for this. He seemed to be everywhere at
once. He had thrown off his turban and looser clothes, and the activity
with which he darted from place to place was wonderful. One minute he
was in the boat, at another on shore pulling with the Arabs at the rope;
the next, he was mounted on a rock in the middle of the rapids shouting
to the Arabs and boatmen. Wherever there was danger, there was the reis
ready to ward it off. At last the boat was clear of the last projecting
rock; one long, strong pull from the men on shore, and she shot forward
like an arrow into the smooth water.

We anchored for the night at Mahatta, glad to be at peace from all the
screaming and yelling which made the chorus during our passage through
the rapids.

At Mahatta we had a touching scene.

Early in the morning a large boat laden with slaves came alongside of
us. Mohammed told us that they were to be landed here, and to march to
Assouan, to save the trouble of taking them down the cataract. At
Assouan they will be put on board a boat for Cairo. There must have been
at least fifty: men, women, children, and even little babies. About
half-a-dozen Egyptian soldiers had them in charge. Poor things! they
looked very miserable. Some were black and very ugly; some of a bronze
colour: these were not so ugly, and many of the women were very

It made us very sad to see these poor creatures, who were bought and
sold like animals, without the knowledge of a Saviour and his love and
mercy to support them in their sorrows. We longed to speak to them of
Jesus Christ and his love; but, alas! they could not understand us, nor
we them. Rahaba was crouched on deck by Miss Roper's side, and her eyes
were flashing with eagerness.

We asked Mohammed if anything could be done for their comfort. He took
two men with him and brought back as many dates as they could carry for
us to divide among the poor captives. Miss Roper and I went up to a
group of women whom Rahaba had been watching. Rahaba attended her
mistress. All at once Rahaba seized a baby from its mother's arms,
kissed it, and fondled it. Then she and the young mother bent over it
together and clasped each other's hands tightly and kissed each other.
But there was no joy in their faces. Sad, silent tears trickled down
their cheeks. Rahaba said a few words in a low, choking tone to the
mother. Both looked pleased when Miss Roper took the baby in her arms.
Our eyes filled with tears, and as Miss Roper leant over the sleeping
child her tears too fell fast upon it. For a moment a gleam of hope
seemed to shine on the poor mother. She asked Rahaba if the white girl
was going to buy the baby. When she found that her baby could not stay
with Miss Roper the large tears gathered in her eyes again, and chased
each other down her cheeks.

Miss Roper, who understands a few words of Rahaba's language, pointed to
the sky, and told the mother that the great God loves little babies, and
that he cares for slaves and loves those who are good and obedient. The
poor girl folded her baby to her heart and shook her head sadly. The
news seemed to her too good to be true.

But Miss Roper tried again to make her believe it. All the rest of the
time till the pioneers were ordered to march on, Rahaba and her sister
negress crouched side by side in grief and despair. We could not comfort
them, but we prayed that God would in his mercy bring them to know and
love him and his Son Jesus Christ; and then they will be comforted for
every sorrow.

We rowed to Philæ, the sacred island of the ancient Egyptians, in the
evening; but it was too late for us to stay amongst the ruins. Early the
following morning we left Mahatta. The weather was warm and pleasant,
and on the third day the scenery began to be lovely. On both sides the
banks of the river were fringed with castor-oil plants and prickly
mimosa; above these we saw plantations of dates and palms. The fruits of
these trees are the chief food of the Nubians.

We passed near the capital of Nubia without landing. It is a large town,
and the streets are wide and busy.

We still had the desert on our left, but it was partly hidden by the
broken hills fringed with acacias. The mountain Gebel Derr projects into
the river; and for nearly three hours we coasted under broken rocks
which rise straight up from the Nile.


After this we saw acacias on the left bank of the river, and on the
right groves of palm-trees. There were numbers of peasants to be seen;
some walking, some riding. The men wore long white dresses and turbans,
the women blue gowns.

The wind was fair, and we hastened on, passing some places where there
were interesting ruins without stopping, and at last anchored here at
Wadee Halfeh.

Miss Roper has been even more diligent than before in trying to teach
Rahaba, who has looked very sad ever since we left Mahatta. To-day Miss
Roper has been telling her the story of our Saviour's birth, and of his
being laid in a manger; and how he, the King of glory, came to suffer
and die for us sinners. Rahaba listens, but she shakes her head. She
tries to understand and learn anything that Miss Roper teaches her. But
it is only to please her mistress that she does this; and as yet she is
no nearer to being a Christian than when she was in her own country.

Directly after breakfast this morning we hired donkeys to take us to the
second cataract. All was still and silent as we rode over the loose,
shifting sand of the desert. Nothing living was to be seen. We passed
some skeletons of dromedaries which had been bleached by the sun and
wind. They made the silence and desolation seem the greater. After
riding for about an hour and a half we came to the first rocky islands.
About an hour more brought us to the Rock of Abousir.

[Illustration: PAPYRUS ON THE NILE.]

The view here was indeed grand. The second cataract covers a space of
about seven miles in length. The river bursts its way among numberless
rocky islets. Some of these are so small that they are hardly more than
large stones; some are rocks of considerable size; others are larger,
islands of rock and sand. Between them all the rapids rush headlong,
throwing up their foam on every side. There are trees on some of the
islands, and five of the largest at the northern extreme of the cataract
are inhabited. Far off to the south we saw what looked like a dark-blue
cloud, and were told that it was the mountains of Dongola. We wished
that we could have gone to them.

On the side next the cataract the Rock of Abousir is like a straight
wall. On the desert side it is a succession of crags. We found the names
of various celebrated travellers on these rocks, amongst others that of
Belzoni. We gazed at them with a thrill of interest, and lingered long
looking at the beautiful view and scanning the names of the travellers,
great and small, who had visited the rock. What would we not have given
at that moment to go farther and track the grand river to its source!
But it was impossible! We must turn back at this point and begin our
homeward journey down the Nile.

Wadee Halfeh, the highest point we reached on our journey up the Nile,
is very picturesque. The houses are built in groups, and most of them
are surrounded by palm-groves. They are of mud, but are generally larger
and cleaner than those of the Egyptian peasants. We went into one. Its
mistress had a double row of plaits round her forehead, oiled to an
extreme degree. The people are generally well dressed and appear

We left Wadee Halfeh at dawn, on our return down the river to Cairo, and
arrived at Aboo Simbel, or Ipsambul as it is sometimes called, in time
to see the temples before dusk. The sand-drifts of hundreds and hundreds
of years had once covered these temples, so much so that nothing could
be seen but the giant head of one statue. Burckhardt was the first
traveller who discovered them. In the year, 1817, Belzoni, in company
with Captain Irby and Captain Mangles, began to clear away the sand.

There are two temples. In the small temple are six giant statues, three
on each side of the door. On the walls are pictures. The temple was
dedicated to the goddess Athor, and her emblem was a sacred cow. Mr.
Roper told us that, in the inscriptions, the goddess is called "Lady of
Aboshek," Aboshek being the ancient name of Aboo Simbel.

The front of the large temple is adorned by four enormous statues. They
are seated on thrones. The heads of two are nearly perfect, and so is
the face of another. We were very much struck by them. On the arms there
is an oval bearing the name of the great Rameses. Over the entrance we
saw a large figure with a hawk's head. Mr. Roper told us that it is a
figure of the god Re. He pointed out to us the figure of Rameses
offering little images of Truth and Justice to the god.

Mohammed had provided torches for us that we might see the inner
chambers of the temple. The walls and ceilings were beautifully
ornamented with hieroglyphic figures.

These temples must have been very grand when in their beauty, for they
are grand even now in their decay. As we walked through them our
thoughts went back to the time when Egypt was in her glory, when princes
worshipped their gods in these gorgeous temples, and when priests clad
in splendid robes offered their sacrifices with all the pomp of grand
processions. All have passed away. The temples of the false gods have
fallen into ruin. The kings, and those who recorded their victories, are
all gone. The giant ruins which are left only serve to show how great
has been the decay.

Thus, "the fashion, of this world passeth away, and the glory of man is
as the flower of the grass; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever."
The throne of our great and glorious God is in heaven; in that holy
temple his faithful servants shall worship him through endless ages. It
knows no decay and no change.

[Illustration: EGYPTIAN TEMPLE.]

After passing through several places of interest without stopping,
because our time is getting short, we anchored last night at El Kab, and
this morning started to see the tombs. They are about twenty minutes'
ride from the spot where our boat is moored. In the larger grotto we saw
curious coloured pictures of the occupations of the ancient Egyptians.
In the first line the peasants are ploughing and sowing. There is a car
in the field, which is supposed to show that the master has come out to
overlook his workpeople.

There is an inscription in hieroglyphics which was translated by
Champollion thus:

                     "Work, oxen, work,
     Bushels for you and bushels for your master."

In the second line, the peasants are reaping wheat and barley with a
sickle, and pulling the doorà, a kind of corn, up by its roots.

In the third line they are carrying the crops, and oxen are also
treading out the ears of the wheat and barley. The doorà was not trodden
out. It is represented as being bound in sheaves and carried to the
threshing-floor, where the grain was stripped from the stalks with a
pronged instrument.

The hieroglyphics are thus translated by Birch in his _Egyptian

      "Thrash ye for yourselves,
       Thrash ye for yourselves, O oxen;
       Thrash ye for yourselves,
       Thrash ye for yourselves,
       The straw which is yours,
       The corn which is your master's."

There are also pictures of winnowing, measuring, and homing the grain.

Below are the asses, pigs, goats, cattle, belonging to the owner of the
tomb. They are brought to be numbered and a list made of them by his

In another part there are other scenes. There is a boat with a chariot
on board. There are also men fishing, catching geese, and salting fish
and geese. There is also a party of guests.

Then in the last compartment is the funeral procession of the owner of
the tomb--the end of all things for him. This, with some religious
subjects, take up the remainder of the wall. We noticed that the
Egyptian boats were large and handsomely painted--large enough to take a
chariot and its two horses on board.

On the opposite side of the tomb the owner and his wife are seated, with
a pet monkey close to them, tied. They are entertaining a party of
guests, the men and women sitting separate; servants are handing round
refreshments, and musicians, with a double pipe and a harp, are amusing
the company.

These pictures of the home-life and manners of the early Egyptians have
interested us very much. I certainly prefer them to the battle scenes
and pictures of sacrifices to their gods.

Leaving El Kab, we next stopped at Esneh. Our sailors have been baking
bread here. They bring it from the oven and spread it on the roof of the
cabins, where the wind and sun dry it into a sort of biscuit.

We landed to see the temple. It is very perfect, and the pillars are of
great beauty. They are about fifty feet high, and are covered with
hieroglyphics. There are four rows of pillars, six in each row. On the
ceiling is a zodiac, and the walls are covered with sculpture.

The villa built here by Mohammed Ali is well worth a visit. It is on the
bank of the river below the town. A flight of stone steps leads up to a
terrace, which is shaded by acacias and other shrubs. The palace stands
in a garden; the entrance and chief rooms are large and high, and have
carved wooden roofs. The pacha's rooms are very comfortably furnished,
with carpets, divans, and every sort of luxury. We saw numbers of lemon,
orange, cypress, acacia, and palm-trees in the garden, and hedges of
Cape jessamine. Below the palace there is a delightful walk on the bank
of the Nile. Altogether it is a charming retreat.

We have now an opportunity of sending letters. They will be the last you
will have. For we shall delay nowhere on our way back after we have
again visited the temples at this place. You may expect us in two days
after this packet arrives.

       *       *       *       *       *

"So they are really coming back," said Lucy; "I am so glad. I want very
much to see Rahaba."

Hugh, who was more taken up with sight-seeing at that moment, began to
make his calculations as to how much we should be able to see before the
Nile party reached Cairo.

We determined to lose no time, but to set off early in the morning to
see Pompey's Pillar, and such other sights as we could. The day after,
we must go back to Cairo to meet our friends.




We wished to make the most of our day in Alexandria; and, at Lucy's
request, went first to see Cleopatra's Needle, which, as Lucy observed,
is not a needle, but an obelisk of red granite, about seventy feet high.
There were two, but one has fallen.

Sandys, an Egyptian traveller of a hundred years ago, calls this obelisk
"Pharaoh's Needle." Even in his day the other had fallen. It was so
nearly buried in sand that we could only see part of the top of it. The
two obelisks are supposed to have been brought from Heliopolis by one of
the Cæsars, to adorn the city of Alexandria.

We next went to "Pompey's Pillar." It is more than ninety feet high. We
were quite angry with the foolish people whose vanity has made them
scribble their names on the pedestal.

"I am very glad that all the people who have disgraced themselves so are
not English," said Hugh.

So we all were, if one could feel glad about anything so discreditable.
There were French and Italian names there as well as English.


About two miles beyond the Rosetta Gate we came to Cæsar's Camp. It was
here that Augustus Cæsar defeated Antony's followers. We saw some
remains of towers and walls. This spot also had a still greater interest
for us English as being the place on which Sir Ralph Abercrombie fell,
in the famous battle on the 21st of March, 1801.

In the afternoon we went over the "mosque of the thousand and one
columns." This mosque is said to stand on the spot where the church of
St. Mark once stood, and where the evangelist St. Mark was put to death.
The church was destroyed by the Moslems in the year 121, in the reign of
Malek el Kamel, and whilst the crusaders were besieging Damietta.

We passed another large mosque, the Mosque of St. Athanasius. From this
mosque was taken the sarcophagus called "The Tomb of Alexandria," which
is now in the British Museum.

The next day we returned to Cairo, and on the day following our Nile
travellers arrived. A very happy meeting it was. They had stayed one day
at Luxor, to see the temples there, and had then hastened back to Cairo
as quickly as they could.

We were all very much interested in Rahaba. To Lucy's delight, the
little girl seemed to take a great liking for her. Before Hugh and Lucy
left, they had taught her the hymn which begins,--

        "Jesus who lives above the sky,
         Came down to be a man and die."

Miss Roper thought of asking for admission for Rahaba into the Mission
School, and said she would take her first to see it. But Rahaba's eyes
streamed with tears when it was spoken of, and she pleaded so hard that
she might not be taken from Miss Roper, that the idea was given up.

Mr. and Miss Roper took her with them to England. The prayers of us all
are offered daily that God would send a blessing on Miss Roper's labours
to make Rahaba a Christian. We believe that our prayers will be heard,
for Jesus Christ's sake, and that Rahaba will learn to love the gracious
Saviour who died to save us. For he has said, "Whatsoever ye shall ask
in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

                  LONDON: R. K. BURT AND CO., PRINTERS.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

A List of Illustrations has been added for those illustrations
that were captioned.

The first letter of each chapter had a drop cap, which is not
reproduced here.

Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

Two instances of the oe-ligature were changed to "oe".

The following corrections were made:

On page 11, "wearilv" was changed to "wearily".

On page 12, "th" was changed to "the".

On page 74, "soun" was changed to "sound".

On page 90, the caption for the illustration "Egyptian Loom" was
reformated for better readability.

On page 113, "wa" was changed to "was".

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