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قراءة كتاب Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 710 August 4, 1877

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‏اللغة: English
Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 710
August 4, 1877

Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 710 August 4, 1877

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 7

glide away into Nubia, and are quickly conscious of a perceptible change, first in the river scenery, which becomes wilder and more grand, and then in the character of the inhabitants, who become more savage, and at the same time more truthful and honest. The climate becomes warmer, and with the accession of heat, turbans disappear, and the only headgear is that furnished by Nature, consisting of profuse thickly matted hair, plentifully anointed with castor-oil, a species of pomade which frizzling in a tropical sun makes a Nubian beau or belle an exceedingly savoury individual. Very little clothing is worn; the young of both sexes are content with a slight covering round the waist, and the matrons with a single long loose garment of blue. The Nubian women are often beautiful, with lustrous gentle eyes, and grand majestic figures like Junos in bronze. If their wardrobes are slender, their jewel caskets seem well supplied, for they almost invariably wear a profusion of gold and silver ornaments.

Nubia, like Egypt, abounds in temples. At Aboo-Simbel there are two excavated out of the sandstone rock. On the façade of the great temple there is a wonderful row of colossal figures, portraits of Rameses the Great and some of his more immediate successors. This Rameses is believed with good reason to have been the Pharaoh who oppressed the Israelites. Many hieroglyphic records of his reign have been discovered, some of which when deciphered run thus: 'I, the scribe, have obeyed the orders of my master, and served out rations to the Hebrews, who quarry stone for the palaces of King Rameses, Mer Ammon.' This monarch, whose passion it was to build, has left a more ineradicable impress of his personality upon the scenes of his former glory, than any of his predecessors or successors have done. His face, preserved for us by an Aboo-Simbel Michael Angelo, still frowns in lonely majesty across the desert sands, handsome, placid, sternly implacable, precisely the man who would account the tears and anguish of helpless thousands as less than nothing when weighed against a pet project.

Shortly after leaving Aboo-Simbel, Miss Edwards had a pleasure which she had almost despaired of—she saw a crocodile. The creature was asleep upon a sandbank, and was to all appearance so exactly like a log of drift-wood, that our author refused to believe it was a veritable crocodile until, aroused by the approach of the dahabeeyah, it cocked up its tail, wriggled off the bank, and splashed into the water with amazing rapidity.

They were now on their return journey, and the wind was against them, necessitating frequent and vexatious delays.

At a place called Ayserat they paid a visit to a native gentleman, Ratab Agha, and before leaving were conducted to his harem. He had two wives: the principal wife was very beautiful, with auburn hair, soft brown eyes, and lovely complexion; her rival was plain; and both were magnificently dressed in black robes embroidered with silver, full pink Turkish trousers, and silver bracelets and anklets. They wore their hair cut straight across the brow and plaited behind into an infinitude of small tails studded with coins.

A parting visit to the Pyramids followed; and with an inspection of these colossal monuments, which remain an imperishable testimony to the vigour of the world's dawn, they bade adieu to what was once the mighty temple-crowned empire of Rameses the Great.