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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•239
delight of bathing) through green, wavy
fields of rice, and pastures fresh, and plen-
tiful, and dived into the cold verdure of
groves, and gardens, and quenched my hot
eyes in shade, as though in deep, rushing
waters. (Eothcn.)
174. THE PYRAMIDS.
The Pyramids had become as familiar to
our view as the Grampians to a Highlander,
when we suddenly recollected that they still
remained unexplored, while the days of our
stay at Cairo were already numbered. Our
donkeys, which stood at our door, from sun-
rise to sunset, were put into immediate re-
(juisition, and we started about four o'clock
in the afternoon of the 11th of April.
We sallied forth then from the 'City of
Victory,' mounted on two donkeys; Abdal-
lah and another donkey preceded us, as serv-
ants always do in this paradoxical coun-
try, while a sumpter-mule and four Arabs
brought up the procession. Arrived at the
mouldering quays of Cairo Vecchia, we em-
barked our donkeys in a large ferry-boat,
and passing the Nilometer on the island of
Rhoda, we landed on the western bank of
the river.
The sun had just set in glory over the
crimsoned sands of the Lybian desert,
throwing the mountain pyramids into fme
relief against the gilded sky. The plain
which we traversed was riante as if it led
to Paris: wide tracts of waving corn spread
around, and an avenue of acacias conceal-
ed all of the distant city, except its mina-
rets, and the silvery mist which rose
amongst them. The air was very balmy,
and the breeze, which had been exploring
the Pyramids, seemed to be whispering its
discoveries to the palm-trees and the ruins,
which ever and anon, we came to and pass-
ed by. Suddenly the rich verdure ceased
like a shore, and the ocean-like desert re-
ceived our silent steps, moving over its
waves as noiselessly as ships upon the
water.
We killed, somewhat wantonly, two large
silvery snakes, traversed some dreary glens,
j and surrounded by an immense number of
1 Arabs, soon found ourselves at the foot of
the rocky platform on which stands the
Great Pyramid. This advantage of ground
has been but little noticed by travellers,
and yet it gives an elevation to the side of
the Pyramids of at least forty feet above
the surrounding plain.
Vast as these Pyramids appear at a dis-
tance, they do not appear to increase in
size as you approach; but, when at length
you arrive at their base and look up and
around, you feel, verily, as it were, in an
awful presence.
After indulging in the course of reveries
usual on such occasions, we proceeded in a
practical spirit to examine the sepulchre
that was to be our lodging for the night.
The rocky platform I have alluded to is
hollowed out towards the south into numer-
ous tombs; from these the unresisting dead
have long been banished, but they still re-
tain a charnel chill that must soon be fatal
to anything except Egyptian fleas. While
we were waiting for dinner, such swarms
of animals came crawling and quivering over
us, that it gave the sensation of wearing a
hair-shirt; — my companion slew fifty-seven
vampyres in the few minutes that interven-
ed between our ordering dinner, and its ap-
pearance.
We did not remain long at a banquet in
which we performed a passive as well as
an active part, but hurried out to the Py-
ramids, accompanied only by five Bedouins,
who had volunteered as guides. It was mid-
night when we stood under the greatest
wonder of the world, and then it appeared
in all its mountain magnificence, eclipsing
half the sky.
We climbed up some distance on the
eastern front, when we found the narrow
entrance, and then half sHded down a long
narrow passage, which was admirably fitted
with grooves for wheels the whole way
through. There seemed to me little doubt
that a car was adapted to run down this
inclined plane, to be carried by the mo-
mentum of its descent up a circular stair-
case, now broken, which leads to another
downward passage. These steep and smooth
passages we traversed with considerable dif-
ficulty, the torches and naked Bedouins ren-
dering the head and other annoyances ex-
cessive: at length we stood in the King's
Chamber, in the heart of the Pyramid, lin-
ed throughout with polished granite, and
now quite empty.
As soon as we entered, the Bedouins set
up a shout that made the Pyramid echo
again through all its galleries, and then,
turning rudely round, they demanded mo-
ney. We put a fierce face on the matter,
and began our difficult ascent wtth the as-
sistance of the angry guides. When we
emerged from the Pyramid, the Arabs turn-
ed round again, and declared that we should
not stir a step until we gave them money:
as I put my hands in my girdle , a gigan-
tic Bedouin drew near to receive the ex-
pected tribute, and was not a little startled