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DIFFERENT KINDS

OF CAMELS.

271

the very face of his rider, uttering, at the same time, a short, abrupt "sound in the throat. This note of anger is most startling, and during its continuance, they will draw in this inflated bag, and blow it forth again with great violence, the eyes flashing fire, and stamping with the fore-feet. If the camel be not now either soothed or cowed by his keeper, he will often bear off his rider, and throwing down his burden, rush at the object of his anger, and lifting him up, dash him with terrific fury against the earth. I have seen a man in the large square of Alexandria, rescued with great difficulty from the terrors of such a scene.

Although it is vaunted as a new discovery, that the camel can sustain hunger by the absorption of its lump; as well as thirst, by the provision nature has made in the sacculated stomach for carrying water, yet this was long known to the owners of these animals. An old author, John Leo Africanus, mentions the fact of having seen them, when on a long journey, and deprived of food, consume “ first the flesh of their bunches, then their bellies, and last their hips.” This same

author very properly enumerates three varieties of camel : the first, called Hugiun, are thick and tall, and the fittest for carrying burdens; this is the common camel of Africa. The second, called Becheti, have a double bunch, which renders it fit for carriage and riding; but these are only reared in Asia. The third, called Ragnahill, being of a slender, low structure, are unquali

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ZOOLOGY OF THE CAMEL.

fied for carriage, but go beyond the other two in swiftness ; this is what may be denominated the dromedary, and it is one of this description that is used yearly to carry the sacred mahmil to Mekka, and ever after enjoys exemption from labour. The phenomenon of the protrusion of the membrane of the mouth, is worthy the attention of zoologists, and, was remarked long ago by the observant Sandys, who, though attributing it to a different cause—that of supplying moisture—says, “ for in his frequent belchings, he thrust up a bladder, which moistened his throat and mouth."* Their subsisting on their fat is quite in accordance with the most acknowledged facts in the animal economy; it being a reservoir to be used upon emergencies, as in hibernating animals, the tail of particular kinds of sheep, the hump of the bison, or in the human subject in any protracted illness or long abstinence; and I conceive it to be for the same useful purpose that those plates of fat, so much praised by our gourmands, are placed in the sides of the turtle.

* Appendix M.

CHAPTER X.

EGYPT. Harbour of the Mahmoudie--A Kanghia--The Canal--Egyptian Plagues-

Cotton Plant--Appearance of the Country--Game--Mode of Cleaning the Canal--Atfé--The Nile-Boatmen--The English Ensign--Composition of the soil--Scenery-Husbandry—Birds--The Fellaheen--Their Costumes -- Arab Females—– Their Dress — An Egyptian Eye-Old Women Habitations Sheykhs—Self-mutilation-Cyclopean Population – Conscription --BoolacApproach to the Capital—Cairo-Hotel de Jardin—The Lions-Citadel View from it-Mosque of the Básha-Joseph's Well-Palace of the Básham The Hareém—The Arm Factory-Massacre of the Memlooks—Mosque of Sooltan Hassan—Description of its Interior-The Streets-Inhabitants—Shop-keepersNightly Stillness—The Mooeddin's Chant.

SATURDAY, 20th. This morning was spent in preparing for our journey to Cairo.* At three o'clock we arrived at the harbour of the Mahmoudie canal, which is without exception one of the most abominable sewers that this dirty country can boast of. The banks rise high and precipitous from the water, and are generally crowded with dirty Arabs, half

* Before we left Alexandria we met most unexpectedly Mr. A. Finlay, who was on his way from Bombay to England, but who consented to return with us to Cairo, and to whose knowledge of Eastern manners and customs we were much indebted in our route through the Levant, whither he accompanied us. VOL. I.

T

274

THE MAHMOUDIE HARBOUR.

naked women, and blear-eyed children, squatted on logs of timber, bales of cotton, and heaps of coal, from the mines of Syria. These, with troops of camelsa wretched shed for a custom-house-a filthy coffeeshop—a troop of the never-failing donkeys, and a Babel of tongues, such as can only be experienced among the Arabs, are the impediments and annoyances a traveller has to push himself and his baggage through, in order to reach that most uncomfortable of conveyances - a Mahmoudie kanghia. For nearly a mile the line of boats extends, as close as they can possibly be crammed, and it is usual for European (at least English) travellers to have their boats sunk for some days before, choosing rather to encounter the damp and dirt consequent on its immersion in the mud of the canal, than to suffer from the numerous cockroaches and other living torments that invariably infest these conveyances. We were unable, from want of time, to submit our boat to this process, so we had to endure (I cannot say with patience) our tormentors, which in the shape of creeping things, appear as the remnant of the plagues that once swarmed throughout all the quarters of this land. Our kanghia was a long narrow boat, sharp at both ends, with a high projecting stern, a cabin, consisting of a kind of tent-house raised over the deck, and in size about equal to a good dog-kennel, barely capable of containing four of us, who found great difficulty in sitting upright. Our steersman, a venerable grey

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bearded Arab, sat perched on the roof of the cabin. These boats have a long mast and latteen sail, but as the wind was contrary we were unable to set it, and so commenced our journey by tracking, which was done by four of our crew; making about two miles an hour. If the waters of the Tagus resemble pea-soup, this could be most justly likened to thin porridge, flavoured with the essence of divers carcases of buffaloes, camels, and asses, in every possible state of decomposition, on which innumerable flocks of gulls and several vultures were making their evening's meal. Our attention was more forcibly drawn to the scene, from the circumstance of our being obliged to use this most filthy fluid; for, although we had been careful in providing ourselves with the other necessaries for such a voyage, as provisions, bedding, cooking apparatus, &c. we totally forgot until too late the most essential—a supply of pure water. Leaving Alexandria, the canal winds along the shores of Mareotis, from which it is only separated by the bank. Independent of its value as a means of communication, this fluid, as a manure, is of great use in enriching the land along its banks, for which object it is raised, either in Persian wheels, or the simple apparatus of the pole and basket, worked by a single man. The only green things along its banks are a few acacias.

We spent a night of unusual discomfort, for, though we were all fatigued, and had made

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