William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By William Henry Seward; Olive Risley Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.
UP THE NILE.

Embarkation at Ghizeh.--The Pyramids of Saccara.--The Two Deserts.--Siout.--The American Vice-Consul.--Sultan Pacha.--Character of the Nile.--Slave Boats.--Arab Villagers.--The Birds of the Nile.--The Population on the Banks.--Domestic Animals.--Personal Arrangements.--A Tippling Monkey.

Rhodah, on the Nile, May 12th.--We shall never cease to felicitate ourselves that we had sufficient resolution to go to the Great Wall of China, though it was November; and through India, though so late as March. We are not particularly satisfied with ourselves for having yielded to remonstrance, and given up our projected visit to the Euphrates. An excursion on the Nile in May is equally contraband. Though the Khédive has provided for it like a prince, yet, like a judicious merchant, he warns us that he does not insure our lives.

We took our seats in a special railway-train at Ghizeh, on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Cairo, at one this afternoon; and now, after a journey of two hundred and ninety miles, we are embarked in the steam-yacht Crocodile. Our journey at the very beginning afforded us one of the most beautiful views which the valley of the Nile presents. On our right, the Libyan Desert, with its eternal sentinels, the Pyramids. The river winds almost at right angles toward the east, and is covered with lateen-sail-boats freighted with the grains and fruits of Southern Africa. Before us the undulating bank beneath the cliffs of the Arabian Desert

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