THE DESERT TRAIN
THE Egypt of history paused at that gorge among the Nubian rocks where the Nile spouts its way over the Second Cataract. Often it could not get so far, and the frontier fell back to the First Cataract, where now the great dam blocks the stream by the island temples of Philæ sometimes an ambitious ruler pushed his armies to the south and levied tribute from the tribes and nations towards the Equator; once or twice in the agelong process the movement was reversed, and the lower valley of the river has been subject to the masters of the upper plains. But nearly always, be it under Usertsen or Ramses, under the Ptolemies, the Romans, the Arabs, or the Turks, a line was drawn at some border fortress below the Cataract, by the site of what in modern times is called Wady Halfa. Egypt, with one hand clasped to Asia, ended here; all beyond was Africa--vast, confused, mysterious, incomprehensible, at once a menace and a temptation; a land perhaps to prey upon, perhaps to fear, but one that seemed to have little kinship or community with the kindly, habitable earth men knew. There, at Wady Halfa,
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Publication information: Book title: Egypt in Transition. Contributors: Sir Sidney Low - Author. Publisher: The Macmillan Company. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1914. Page number: 1.
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