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up before we reached the end of our day's work. But it was now half past five instead of two o'clock. I had had next to no breakfast, and felt now so tired that I could hardly walk from the boat up to the temple. I was quite exhausted; what with the early rising and packing, the baking sun, the hot ride and walk through the hot sand, it had been almost too much for me. I sat down, but could not eat, only had something to drink. After half an hour's rest, we moved on in order to see the temple, but it was almost too late, and nearly dark, so we soon went down again to the boats, and rowed home to our new dahabeah. It was a lovely night, and bright moonlight; and it was a real repose to both body and mind thus to glide gently on in the boat; but what rather spoiled the peaceful sensation, to my mind, was the so very disagreeable singing, or rather mournful yelling of the boatmen. They can never row, or, indeed, do any kind of work, without accompanying themselves with a monotonous ugly tune; to my ears painfully unmelodious.
I dressed, and, in spite of kind advice to go to bed instead, I went to dinner, which had been laid out in some tents, pitched before we arrived on the edge of the bank. The Duke of Sutherland gave us the dinner, after which there was coffee and chibouques in another tent. It was a lovely cool night, yet we were all tired, and glad to get early to bed. The Duke, with his son and brother, and Mr. Russell, slept in a tent; the others returned to Assouan.
February 23. Slept very badly; not more, I am sure, than three hours. The fatiguing day and hot sun of yesterday, and the fourteen miles' ride the day before, had been a little too much for me, and I was too tired to sleep. Got up and went on shore early. A fine morning, though very hot. Breakfasted at ten, though I did so only nominally, as I could not touch any thing. At 11.30 the Princess and some of the party went in a boat to see the Temple of Philae from the water, but did not land. I remained quietly on the bank all the morning. At two'o'clock the Duke and all his party (most of which had come over from Assouan in the morning) left us, and I am very sorry, as they were all very nice and pleasant. They go straight back to Cairo and return to England, except two of the gentlemen, who have been invited by Colonel Stanton to remain with him while he stays at Thebes to superintend some excavations and diggings for the Prince.
We left Philae at three o'clock in our new boats, consisting of two dahabeahs tied together and towed by a small steamer. In some respects it is not an
Departure from Philae.
agreeable change, as there is very little room, and my cabin is rather too small for comfort. We only went about ten miles to-day before we stopped, as the Prince hoped there might be a chance of seeing a crocodile; but they were disappointed in their hopes, and only got a couple of birds. The Princess, myself, Mourad Pasha, and Dr. Minter landed at five o'clock and took a little walk. It was a very pretty spot, and we walked through a few corn-fields, the corn being here already in ear—wheat and barley -and never did I see such corn, so thick and so magnificent, and such a beautiful deep green color; the smell was quite refreshing. The way it is watered is by means of pumps, by which the water from the Nile is thrown into large ditches or channels dug in the midst of the fields, and led in all directions, and in which the water stands more than a foot deep. We saw a few natives walking about, and a swarm of little naked children. I counted twelve of them, , from five to ten years old, perfectly naked; but, being nearly black, one is not shocked at this any more than one would be at seeing white children with a brown tricot over them, for this is, in fact, the effect produced; nor, on their part, do they seem to know what the word shyness means in any degree whatever, as no sooner do they get sight of us than they rush upon one and begin to stare, and ask for “Backsheesh,” which the Princess is only too happy to distribute. We also here found a donkey running about, which was at once caught, and the Princess rode on it through the fields in the cleverest way, without saddle or bridle. I do not think they speak pure Arabic here, at least it struck me that Mourad Pasha did not make himself quite understood. Went to bed very early. We have had a very hot day; 98° Fahr. in the shade, and still 75o at nine o'clock.
February 24. Had a good night's rest, and got up at seven. The Prince had already started at six o'clock to look for crocodiles, having seen the tracks of two yesterday. They found none, however, and again only shot a couple of birds, and also got twenty large fishes caught in a net. To bed early—always sleep with the windows open here.
February 25. I got up early. The Princess and I drew and painted all the morning. There was a nice fresh breeze, though the thermometer was at 90°.
At three o'clock we stopped, Major Teesdale having seen a crocodile through his glass, on some rocks, which caused great excitement. The Prince and Sir S. Baker went in a boat, and landed a long way off, in the hope of being able to stalk him; but, in spite of the caution with which they advanced, they had not Arrival of Mail from England.
got more than half way when the beast took the alarm, jumped into the water, and disappeared. It seemed enormous, and they guessed it to be from fourteen to sixteen feet long.
The mail arrived from England, but I got only one letter from my mother, of the 3d. The sporting gentlemen all set off after dinner at 11.30, in the hope of shooting hyenas, some of which had been heard of near where we are; but they returned at 3 A.M. without having had a shot.
February 26. Went on all day. Wrote a letter home for the mail which goes to-day. The scenery is now very fine and wild, and, to my mind, much prettier above the First Cataract than below it. The hills or rocks are very high, and there is a greater variety of trees, though they still consist mostly of palms and sycamores. We have hitherto been very fortunate in having had a high breeze from the north, which has made the air quite cool, and has also delivered us from the only plague I have hitherto found in Egypt, namely, the flies. The first two days from Assouan they bothered us much, but since that we have had none to speak of, and I have taken down my musquito-net. My cabin being very small and low, I could not, when the door was shut, stand up straight while the net was there. I have scarcely two feet to