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British Herald (Newspaper) - January 1, 1864, London, Middlesex REGISTERED FOR TRANSMISSION james and EDITED BY THE REV. WILLIAM 8tekbt, LETTERS FROM THE EAST. March 9. I posted a few lines to you just before we sailed from now we are twelve or fifteen hundred miles further from in ancient Two days after embarking we passed in sight of the high lands of Corsica and were off Sicily next landed the following one at and spent some hours at It is a terrace above terrace from the to a considerable The point which have interested us most in the Paul's on the other too distant to allow of our visiting it during the brief stay of the but the whole island shares the interest of Paul's memorable and it felt to us like a The church of St John's and the palace of the Knights Templars are the lions of the and full indeed of historic and romantic former is especially four hundred of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem lie buried stone in the pavement being an elaborate monumental and the church surrounded with little chapels of exquisite workmanship and costliest material The Maltese costume is peculiar and pretty the women all wear a black silk which is at the same time and and which they with elegant it is a sort of between the Eastern veil and the Western the island and all about it appear just what they house between Europe and the East. We took on board many additional passengers so that the rest of the voyage was rather uncomfortably In the fore part of the vessel were already about one hundred Arab pilgrims from bound for poor they were deck and in their a deplorable during some rough weather wa had after leaving Malta sick and wet with the rain and the spray breaking over unaccustomed to the and iU provided with the first stage of their pilgrimage was enough to dishearten them we watched them with deep pity and interest though so About six o'clock last after anxiously looking out for it for some we sighted the Pharos at the mouth of the harbour of It Was just too late to enter the the approach to which is so difficult of navigation that pilots never attempt taking ia a vessel between sunset and So we had to lie off all rolling idly on the and longing for the morning for when the engines are not at the motion of a steamer at sea is peculiarly As we watched the light on the and remembered that it beamed from Egypt's we felt with pleasure that we were about to enter the scenes we have so often wished to lands of old and hallowed We were up with the and sure lay before us the sandy and the white and innumerable windmills of Alexandria we explored the view with a as we steered cautiously through narrow between till about 6 a.m. we cast amidst a forest of within half a mile of the dock In a few minutes the vessel was surrounded by little manned by sailors of every and in every jabbering an unintelligible jargon of and The ship seemed to be taken by and Greeks swarming sdl and that too in a pouring rather unpleasant as well as un-Egyptian phenomenon 1 It was no easy matter to get ourselves and our baggage safely assembled in one and under the auspices of one but we did succeed at and were soon deposited on the But such a dilapidated and dirty and such ragged creatures as those upon I neier saw We passed through the and out upon the amid a varied crowd of thoroughly men and donkeys and but all forlorn and degraded in beyond everything description had ever led me to The narrow tumble - down - looking streets to unusual disadvantage in the but they certainly impress a stranger most The Frank or principal where the European hotels are is a little but shares the look of decay and dilapidation which characterises the The Peninsular and Oriental where we is tolerably comfortable A fire which occurred last night was still burning when we were shewn to our which commands a view of a central surrounded with balconied of which the demolished theatre forms one Here are hundreds of robed and turbaned half-naked boys of all sizes and and I the but rendering little assistance in extinguishing the The real work is doing by gangs of French and English sailors from the vessels in the who are manfully exerting and exposing down the burning building and those their and daring contrasts strikingly with the unintelligent apathy of the It is a strange novel alike to eye and and painfully those beings our bone of our flesh of our bodies and like our formed by Him who is no respecter of Like they are on their way to meet their to stand at His and be judged by the law or perish without in the day when by Jesus shall judge the secrets of As we gaze down on this surging sea of human and remember these the desire to be able to speak to them of the only way of salvation is intense but alas I our tongue would awake no intelligent response in their minds were it they scorn the story of a crucified Saviour poor deluded followers of a false prophet 1 In the as the rain had we took a long and very interesting The sky was it was very but not oppressive novel objects met our eyes at every the palm and the elegant tamarisk the utterly foreign a gigantic growing in hedges ten or twelve feet and yuccas and aloes and little succulent such as we keep in growing under foot instead of Then the extreme clearness of the air causes colours to look much more and the houses and mosques stand out so brightly against the deep blue The long lines of with their bending necks and undulating movements above the amazing variety of complexion and costume among the women with their covered some with little naked babies seated astride on one others with on their altogether we could not for a moment forget that we were in a foreign land indeed amid scenes rendered so familiar by pictures and that while all was very new in one all seemed very old and very natural in We came unexpectedly upon Pompey's standing near an old and to-day have made further acquaintance with the visiting Cleopatra's the We have but three weeks for so tomorrow we go on to a more interesting city and 12. for seven we passed at a moderate speed through the verdant Delta of crossing and recrossing the broad brown Nile at The railway of English in construction and but most un-English the scenes through which it Lake with its immense swarms of wild was the first then the rich green fields of young corn then the grand old which once rolled its tide through that city of the towards whose ruins we were then the frequent little Egyptian of which I must fail to give you any fair utterly unlike English hamlets are so amazingly below even the worst group of Irish cabins we ever Fancy a large brown mound of rising in the centre perhaps twelve or fifteen feet above the surrounding covered with the cottages or hovels look like nothing built also of brown and large enough only for pigs swarming with nearly naked and mostly and adults who look little and you will have some idea of the squalor and misery of Egyptian The larger ones would have one or two minarets and mosques rising a little above tha other made like them of mud and whitened over the one or two palms or sycamores relieve also the brown but trees are not The employment of the people seemed very much connected with watering the fields in a primitive ladling up the water from one little canal to another on a higher by unassisted manual labour in soma in others by the help of very rough The fruits of their industry were everywhere in the delicious freshness of the which is of a most pleasant to the But the Nile was the interest of the Such a a slow imperial sort of flood I Muddy and deep brown in tint in the but glittering silvery white in the it seems like a symbol of When one remembers what Egypt owes to what it would be deprived of it acquires a sort of typical well expressed in the following which dear as we travelled How through her Bole Rolleth its waters Life-giving ever I How arid tracts Prom its Fields of the softest Richly are Thna to refresh and Grace like a Through the world Wandereth O thou abounding Speedily With the sweet spring of All the earth We had often heard of how many dear friends had made it a temporary home There it not five walk from the at the corner of the an immense occupied by a wild shrubbery formed of the sandiest soil you can A large plain with a fine
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