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Dinner at Gizerek.-Turkish Customs. 139
We now drove home, the Prince and Princess together in one carriage, and we all following in our smart equipages, with red liveries and powdered servants, exactly like the English gala liveries.
We changed our dresses, and at two o'clock the Princess and myself started, with two of the gentlemen, on donkeys, for a ride through the parts of the town we had not before seen.
The heat to-day was very great, otherwise we have had no heat to complain of since we returned to Cairo, and the evenings have been quite cool. We returned home at four o'clock, and, after again changing our dresses, we went for a drive on the Shubra road, and visited “Kazr-el-Nourza,” the palace the Viceroy had put at the Prince's disposal when he was here seven years ago.
We returned home to our palace at 6.30, and dressed ourselves as smartly as we could, and went to the palace of Gizerek, where the Viceroy's four wives had invited us to dinner. We were met at the door of the garden by the young Prince, and inside the door by the two eldest daughters of the Viceroy. We walked through the garden, and in the palace were met by the four Princesses, attended by a great number of slaves. They all accompanied us to a drawing-room, where coffee and pipes were handed round. Then came music, and two slaves brought in a most beautiful large gold tray, with a whole service of gold, all inlaid with diamonds and rubies! They gave you a spoon, and you took a spoonful of cherry preserve,
after which a large gold and diamond tumbler of water was handed to you. Pipes and coffee were again offered, and at last dinner was announced, when we proceeded to the next room, where the table was laid. Every thing was exactly the same as at the dinner we had with la Grande Princesse on our first visit to Cairo, except that this time we sat down on chairs instead of on the floor. I sat between the second and third Princesses.
We had again to tear off the meat, just as we had done before; but this time I managed to get a good bit of turkey with my fingers, and several things that I could swallow, and knowing, from my remembrance of the last time, the dishes of garlic and onions by sight, I was able to avoid tasting them again. When dinner was over, beautiful gold basins were handed round for us to wash our hands in, and then we went back to the drawing-room. We had had a very pleasant dinner indeed; all were very merry, and the young Prince in very high spirits, and full of fun. We had some very odd singing during dinner, a fat creature telling a story while she was Dressed à la Turque.
singing. After dinner there was music and dancing, just like what we had already seen. They gave us some photographs, and were charmed with some which the Princess gave them of herself.
Shortly before we left them, the Princess having expressed a wish to see how their veils were fastened on (those, I mean, that they wear out of doors), they sent for some, and the third Princess immediately began to put it on the Princess, one of the others dressing me up, to their great amusement, and not less so to that of the young Prince, who entreated us to drive home dressed in this manner, and thus make the Prince believe that his Princess had been kept, and a slave sent instead! Our eyebrows were painted; the thin veil was put over the upper and lower part of the face; and a kind of silk cloak or bournouse was put over us, which they begged us to keep as a souvenir of our visit to the harem. We then said good-by; they kissed us, and in every way showed how pleased they were with our visit. The first Princess, whom we had not met before, is handsome and very young-looking, having a daughter of seventeen. The fourth Princess is the mother of the young Crown Prince. She was dressed in the common Egyptian dress—loose jacket, skirt, and wide trowsers. The second and third were dressed in the European fashion, with satin and lace, and lace bodies, flowers in their hair, and some beautiful jewels. We also saw the children of the second Princess: one, a nice little boy about seven, who, having General McLean for his governor, speaks English very nicely; and a little girl, who spoke French.
At twelve o'clock we took our departure, keeping our Egyptian dresses on, in the hopes of astonishing every body on arriving at our palace; but, to our great disappointment, we found our whole party had gone to bed except the Prince, who had not yet returned from his dinner with the Viceroy. The only person who saw us was Kanné, our courier, and he declared he did not know us again, and thought us looking far better than usual! Excellent Kanné! Any account of our travels would be incomplete without some acknowledgment of all we owed him. What, indeed, should we have done without him? It was Kanné here—Mr. Kanné there—at all hours of the day; and, however busy he might be, there was Kanné always ready to listen patiently to our wants (and sorely his patience must have been tried at times !), and to do his best to satisfy them! I, for one, feel that but for Kanné and his perfect arrangements, our trip could not have been the success it proved to be!
This is our last night in Cairo. To-morrow we go to see the Suez Canal.
Adieu to Cairo.
THE SUEZ· CANAL.
-RETURN TO ALEXANDRIA.
[ARCH 24. Up early, and very busy all the morn
ing packing and preparing for our start for Suez. We took our final departure from our palace at twelve o'clock, and drove straight to Kazr-el-Nil, to take leave of the Viceroy before starting in the train from the private station at that palace. The Viceroy accompanied us through the garden to the station, where Lord Huntly, Lord Gosford, and Sir Henry Pelly, as well as all the English residents, had assembled to take leave of the Prince and Princess. At half past twelve we took our places in the railroad carriages, and bid a final adieu to Cairo. And I think we were all sorry that it was so, for any thing more studiously kind and cordial than the Viceroy has been to us all during our stay in Egypt is not to be conceived. Every thing that it was possible to do for the comfort and accommodation of the Prince and Princess, as well as of their suite, has been done in a most princely manner, regardless of expense and trou