How I Found Livingstone Travels, Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo by William Makepeace Thackeray


A little way from him, there was a sort of play going on - a clown
and a knowing one, like - Page 210
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A Little Way From Him, There Was A Sort Of Play Going On - A Clown And A Knowing One, Like

Widdicombe and the clown with us, - the buffoon answering with blundering responses, which made all the audience shout with laughter;

But the only joke which was translated to me would make you do anything but laugh, and shall therefore never be revealed by these lips. All their humour, my dragoman tells me, is of this questionable sort; and a young Egyptian gentleman, son of a Pasha, whom I subsequently met at Malta, confirmed the statement, and gave a detail of the practices of private life which was anything but edifying. The great aim of woman, he said, in the much-maligned Orient, is to administer to the brutality of her lord; her merit is in knowing how to vary the beast's pleasures. He could give us no idea, he said, of the wit of the Egyptian women, and their skill in double entendre; nor, I presume, did we lose much by our ignorance. What I would urge, humbly, however, is this - Do not let us be led away by German writers and aesthetics, Semilassoisms, Hahnhahnisms, and the like. The life of the East is a life of brutes. The much maligned Orient, I am confident, has not been maligned near enough; for the good reason that none of us can tell the amount of horrible sensuality practised there.

Beyond the Jack-pudding rascal and his audience, there was on the green a spot, on which was pointed out to me a mark, as of blood. That morning the blood had spouted from the neck of an Arnaoot soldier, who had been executed for murder.

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