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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•237
by their wainings, took upon himself to
keep watch all night in the tent; no rob-
bers came, except a jackal that poked his
nose into my tent from some motive of
rational curiosity; Dthemetri did not shoot
him for fear of waking me. These brutes
swarm in every part of Syria; and there
were many of them even in the midst of
the void sands, that would seem to give
such poor promise of food; I can hardly
tell what prey they could be hoping for,
unless it were that they might find, now
and then, the carcase of some camel that
had died on the journey. They do not
marshal themselves into great packs like
the wild dogs of Eastern cities, but follow
their prey in famihes, like the place-hunt-
ers of Europe: their voices are frightfully
like to the shouts and cries of human be-
ings; if you he awake in your tent at night,
you are almost continually hearing some
hungry family as it sweeps along in full
cry; you hear the exulting scream with
which the sagacious dam first winds the
carrion, and the shrill response of the un-
animous cubs as they snuff the tainted air
— 'Wha! wha! wha! wha! wha! wha! —
AVhose gift is it in, mamma?'
Once, during this passage, my Arabs
lost their way among the hills of loose
sand that surrounded us, but after a while
we were lucky enough to recover our right
line of march. The same day we fell in
with a Sheik, the head of a famility, that
actuahy dwells at no great distance from
this part of the desert, during nine months
of the year. The man carried a match-
lock, of which he was very proud; we stop-
ped, and sat down, and rested awhile, for
the sake of a httle talk; there was much
that I should have liked to ask this man,
but he,could not understand Dthemetri's
language, and the process of getting at his
knowledge by double interpretation through
my Arabs was unsatisfactory. 1 discovered,
however, (and my Arabs knew of that fact)
that this man and his family Uved habitually
for nine months of the year, without touch-
ing, or seeing either bread, or water. The
stunted shrub growing at intervals through
the sand in this part of the desert, enables
the camel marcs to yield a little milk,
which furnished the sole food and drink
of their owner and his people. During
the other three months, (the hottest of the
months, I suppose) even this resource fails,
and then the Sheik and his people are
forced to pass into another district. You
would ask me why the man should not re-
main always in that district which supplies
him with water during three months of the
year, but 1 don't know enough of Arab po-
litics to answer the question. The Sheik
was not a good specimen of the effect pro-
duced by the diet to which he is subjected;
he was very srifall, a mere cinder of a man.
I made him sit down by my side, and gave
him a piece of bread, and a cup of water,
from out of my goat skins. This was not
very tempting drink to look at, for it had
become turbid, and was deeply reddened,
by some colouring matter contained in the
skins, but it kept its sweetness, and tasted
hke a strong decoction of Russia leather.
The Sheik sipped this, drop by drop, with
ineffable relish, and rolled his eyes solemii-
ly round between every draught, as though
the drink were the drink of the Prophet,
and had come from the seventh heaven.
An inquiry about distances, led to the
discovery that this Sheik had never heard
of the division of time into hours; my
Arabs themselves, I think, were rather sur-
prised at this.
About this part of my journey, 1 saw
the likeness of a fresh-water lake; I saw,
as it seemed, a broad sheet of calm water,
that stretched far, and fair towards the
south — stretching deep into winding ci^eeks,
and hemmed in by jutting promontories,
and shelving smooth off towards the shal-
low side; on its bosom the reflected fire
of the sun lay playing, and seeming to
float upon waters deep and still.
Though I knew of the cheat, it was not
'till the spongy foot of my camel had al-
most trodden in the seeming waters, that I
could undeceive my eyes, for the shore
line was quite true, and natural. I soon
saw the cause of the phantasm. A sheet
of water, heavily impregnated with salts,
had filled this great hollow; and when ^
dried up by evaporation had left a white
saline deposit, that exactly marked the space
which the waters had covered, and thus
sketched a good shore-line. The minute
crystals of the salt sparkled in the sun,
and so looked like the face of a lake that
is calm and smooth.
The pace of the camel is irksome, and
makes your shoulders, and loins ache from
the pecuhar way in which you are obliged
to suit yourself to the movements of the
beast, but you soon of course become inur-
ed to this, and after the first two days
this way of travelling became so familiar
to me, that I now and then slumbered for
some moments together, on the back of
my camel. On the fifth day of my journey,
the air above lay dead, and aU the whole
earth that I could reach with my utmost