The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens













































 -  I perceived on the right hand and on the left
waiters created in Switzerland, hall porters made in Germany,
Levantine - Page 3
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I Perceived On The Right Hand And On The Left Waiters Created In Switzerland, Hall Porters Made In Germany, Levantine

Touts, determined Jews holding false antiquities in their lean fingers, an English Baptist minister, in a white helmet, drinking chocolate

On a terrace, with a guide-book in one fist, a ticket to visit monuments in the other. I heard Scottish soldiers playing, "I'll be in Scotland before ye!" and something within me, a lurking hope, I suppose, seemed to founder and collapse - but only for a moment. It was after four in the afternoon. Soon day would be declining. And I seemed to remember that the decline of day in Egypt had moved me long ago - moved me as few, rare things have ever done. Within half an hour I was alone, far up the long road - Ismail's road - that leads from the suburbs of Cairo to the Pyramids. And then Egypt took me like a child by the hand and reassured me.

It was the first week of November, high Nile had not subsided, and all the land here, between the river and the sand where the Sphinx keeps watch, was hidden beneath the vast and tranquil waters of what seemed a tideless sea - a sea fringed with dense masses of date-palms, girdled in the far distance by palm-trees that kept the white and the brown houses in their feathery embrace. Above these isolated houses pigeons circled. In the distance the lateen sails of boats glided, sometimes behind the palms, coming into view, vanishing and mysteriously reappearing among their narrow trunks.

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