Left Sad And Sorrowful In The Dark, Until The Stars Light Up And Remind
Us That There Is Always Something Beyond.
In a land whose beauty is the beauty of a moment, whose face is
desolate, and whose character is strangely stern, the curse of war was
hardly needed to produce a melancholy effect.
Why should there be
caustic plants where everything is hot and burning? In deserts where
thirst is enthroned, and where the rocks and sand appeal to a pitiless
sky for moisture, it was a savage trick to add the mockery of mirage.
The area multiplies the desolation. There is life only by the Nile.
If a man were to leave the river, he might journey westward and find no
human habitation, nor the smoke of a cooking fire, except the lonely tent
of a Kabbabish Arab or the encampment of a trader's caravan, till he
reached the coast-line of America. Or he might go east and find nothing
but sand and sea and sun until Bombay rose above the horizon. The thread
of fresh water is itself solitary in regions where all living things
In the account of the River War the Nile is naturally supreme. It is
the great melody that recurs throughout the whole opera. The general
purposing military operations, the statesman who would decide upon grave
policies, and the reader desirous of studying the course and results of
either, must think of the Nile. It is the life of the lands through
which it flows.
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