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Aground on a Sand-bank.
large chambers, the granite walls of which are also richly carved. The difference between the figures in this temple and the hieroglyphics we had already seen is that these are cut in relief from the stone, the cutting of some being still beautifully preserved, while at Thebes they are all cut deep into the stone. We rode home again to our boat, after having had coffee and pipes in the large court-yard, and soon after resumed our voyage.
After staying quietly on board our dahabeah for an hour, we went for luncheon to the big boat, where we remained, expecting to arrive at Silsileh soon after four; but about that time we stuck fast on the ground, as did all the other steamers. After much struggling, without the least success, we had to land, in order to lighten the boat, when all the luggage was taken out, the boiler emptied, and so on. It was very amusing to see our kind captain, Achmet Bey, during these difficulties. He got so excited and so miserable that one could hardly believe that his very stern, and even fierce face could be the same as the one you generally saw, always smiling and laughing. He is quite a character, and a great favorite with us all. He speaks very good English, though rather in his own style; his usual reply, when pressed to answer as to the hour we are to arrive at such or such a place, being “I not say, but please God,” or else only “please God.” He is a most hard-working man, up at six every day, and never off the bridge till late at night, and he worked as hard as his crew whenever we had to labor, as we had to-day, to extricate the steamer from a sand-bank. While this was going on we all walked on the sand for more than an hour and a half. Most of the Duke's party joined us. At half past six we re-embarked in our dahabeah, as they had at last succeeded in getting the big steamer off the bank by means of the small steamer, which dragged it off.
While we were here struggling to get off, two poor men who had just landed, I fancy to get a view of what was going on, found all of a sudden that their large sailing boat, which they had not sufficiently drawn up on shore, had got loose, and was drifting down the river. They were just going to throw themselves into the water to swim after the boat, when Colonel Marshall and Mr. Montagu jumped into a small boat, and started off to bring back the drifting barge. The men seemed much pleased, but their way of expressing their pleasure seemed rather odd, when, instead of thanking the gentlemen for their trouble, they put out their hands, and, with the usual word "Backsheesh,” actually tried to make some money out of it.
The Duke's Steamer.
At seven we went in the small towing steamer to the Duke's steamer, where the Prince, Princess, and myself dined. All the rest of the party dined on board Colonel Stanton's steamer, with Mourad Pasha, etc. It was blowing hard, notwithstanding which we dined on deck, and though I had no jacket or hat on -only a light alpaca dress—I did not feel at all cold. This certainly is the first time such a thing has happened to me in February. It was a pleasant dinner, but with too much to eat (sixteen dishes). The Duke has got every thing as magnificently and comfortably arranged in his boat as we have in ours.
Returned to our dahabeah at 11.30. Just a fortnight to-day since we left Cairo.
February 21. Only awoke at 6.30, and feeling we were going at full speed, I knew we had got safely over our difficulties with the sand-banks. The day was fine, but the thermometer only 56° Fahr. at seven o'clock. The Prince read the service. Arrived at Assouan at twelve o'clock. We here found at least 100 camels, which had been sent from Cairo to meet us, to carry our things across from the First Cataract to Philae. There were also many natives on horseback, and a great number of these Nubians, who looked very much like savages, grouped on the bank just in front of our boats, some of them dancing and singing; and, altogether, it was a very curious and interesting sight. We landed to look at these poor peo: ple, and were sorry that we had no language in which to say a kind word to them.
It was fearfully hot in the middle of the day, notwithstanding which we got ready after luncheon to ride to Philae, to see the boats in which we are to go to the Second Cataract. Most of the party were tempted by the novelty to ride dromedaries; but, having had one ride on these beasts, I was less eager for a seven miles' ride on one of them, in spite of their being gorgeously equipped in very smart velvet saddles with silver ornaments. Donkeys there were none to be had, and so I had nothing for it but to mount a horse. I chose the one with the best-looking saddle among the lot of these wretched and wild beasts that stood there for hire. There was no way to get on but to be lifted up, as these saddles are quite different from European ones. They are merely formed by two boards sticking up before and behind, and between these I contrived to ensconce myself, not very comfortably, with my feet in two large iron stirrups like square iron plates. There was no bridle round the head of the horse, the bit being simply fastened by a rope round the ears; and then a bit of rope and a bit of leather were tied and knotted together by way Ride to Philae and back to Assouan.
of a bridle. How I had courage to get on I hardly know, especially as every body told me these horses were not always safe, but sometimes very wild. Off we went, however, and I had a very successful ride of seven miles. Two of the gentlemen were mounted on horses of the same description, but they had bridles. The heat was awful, 1090 Fahr., and riding through the desert was broiling.
Philae is itself a very pretty spot. We got off to look at our new dahabeah, which is to take us up to the Second Cataract, and had been sent up here many months
ago, while the Nile was high. I fear we shall be rather crowded in our new home. Rode back again in the same way. I got on last to avoid the dust, and thus a great portion of the party got out of sight, and took another way to go by boat from Philae, which we who were behind had not heard of, so we returned by the same road. It was a most heavenly night, bright moon, with stars, and the air quite delicious after the sun had gone down. Yet the road was difficult to find, as there was nothing to mark it, every thing having the same yellowish color. My horse behaved very well, and the secret of my managing him so well was, I suppose, my not daring to hold the bridle hard, for fear of the small rope, with all its knots, breaking in two, when, doubtless, the