Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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•235
feel the loneliness of the Desert. The in-
fluence of such scenes, however, was not
of a softening kind, but filled me rather
with a sort of childish exultation in the
self-sufficiency which enabled me to stand
thus alone in the wideness of Asia — a
short-hved pride, for wherever man wan-
ders, he still remains tethered by the chain
that links him to his kind; and so when
the night closed round me, I began to return
— to return as it were to my own gate. Reach-
ing at last some high ground, I could see, and
see with dehght, the fire of our small en-
campment, and when, at last, I regained
the spot, it seemed to me a very home that
had sprung up for me in the midst of these
solitudes. My Arabs were busy with their
bread, — Mysseri rattling tea-cups, — the
little kettle with her odd, oldmaidish looks
sat humming away old songs about England,
and two or three yards from the fire my
tent stood prim, and tight with open portal,
and with welcoming look.
At the beginning of my journey, the
night breeze blew coldly; when that hap-
pened, the dry sand was heaped up outside
round the skirts of the tent, and so the
Wind that every where else could sweep
as he listed along those dreary plains, was
forced to turn aside in his course, and make
way, as he ought, for the Enghshman. Then
within my tent, there were heaps of luxu-
ries, — dining-rooms, dressing-rooms, —
libraries, bed-rooms, drawing-rooms, ora-
tories, aU crowded into the space of a
hearth rug. The first night, I remember,
with my books, and maps about me, I want-
ed light, — they brought me a taper, and
immediately from out of the silent Desert
there rushed in a flood of life, unseen be-
fore. Monsters of moths of all shapes and
hues, that never before perhaps had looked
upon the shining of a flame, now madly
thronged into my tent, and dashed through
the fire of the candle till they fairly ex-
tinguished it with their burning limbs.
Those who had failed in attaining this mar-
tyrdom, suddenly became serious, and clung
despondingly to the canvass.
By and by there was brought to me the
fragrant tea, and big masses of scorched
and scorching toast, and the butter that
had come aU the way to me in this Desert
of Asia, from out of that poor, dear, starv-
ing Ireland. I feasted like a King, — like
four Kings, — like a boy in the fourth
form.
When the cold, sullen morning dawned,
and my people began to load the camels,
I always felt loath to give back to the
waste this little spot of ground that had
glowed for a while with the cheerfulness
of a human dwelling. One by one the
cloaks, the saddles, the baggage, the hun-
dred things that strewed the ground, and
made it look so familiar — aU these were
taken away, and laid upon the camels. A
speck in the broad tracts of Asia remained
still impressed with the mark of patent
portmanteaus, and the heels of London
boots; the embers of the fire lay black,
and cold upon the sand, and these were
the signs we left.
My tent was spared to the last, but when
all else was ready for the start, then came
its fafl; the pegs were drawn, the canvass
shivered, and in less than a minute
there was nothing that remained of my
genial home but only a pole, and a bundle.
The encroaching Englishman was off, an
instant upon the fall of the canvass, like
an owner, who had waited, and watched,
the Genius of the Desert stalked in.
To servants, as I suppose of any other
Europeans not much accustomed to amuse
themselves by fancy, or memory, it often
happens that after a few days journeying,
the loneliness of the desert will become
frightfuUy oppressive. Upon my poor fel-
lows the access of melancholy came heavy,
and all at once, as a blow from above; they
bent their necks, and bore it as best they
could, but their joy was great on the fifth
day, when we came to an Oasis called
Gatieh, for here we found encamped a ca-
ravan (that is an assemblage of travellers)
from Cairo. The Orientals living in cities,
never pass the Desert, except in this way;
many wiU wait for weeks, and even for
months until a sufficient number of persons
can be found ready to undertake the journey
at the same time — until the flock of sheep
is big enough to fancy itself a match for
wolves. They could not, I think, really
secure themselves against any serious dan-
ger by this contrivance, for though they
have arms, they are so little accustomed
to use them, and so utterly unorganized,
that they never could make good their re-
sistance to robbers of the sUghtest respect-
ability. It is not of the Bedouins that
such travellers are afraid, for the safe-con-
duct granted by the Chief of the ruling
tribe, is never, I believe, violated, but it
is said that there are deserters and scamps
of various sorts who hover about the skirts
of the Desert, particularly on the Cairo
side, and are anxious to succeed to the
property of any poor devils whom they
may find more weak, and defenceless than
themselves.
These people from Cairo professed to be