Meanwhile they leave transcendentalism to their poets
and philosophers, and they busy themselves with preparing for heaven by
practising the only part of their faith now intelligible to them-the
It is not to be supposed that a nation in this stage of civilisation
could be so fervently devout as the Egyptians are, without the bad
leaven of bigotry. The same tongue which is employed in blessing Allah,
is, it is conceived, doing its work equally well in cursing Allah's
enemies. Wherefore the Kafir is denounced by every sex, age, class, and
condition, by the man of the world,[FN#34] as by the boy at school; and
out of, as well as in, the Mosque. If you ask your friend who is the
person with a black turband, he replies,
"A Christian. Allah make his Countenance cold!"
If you inquire of your servant, who are the people singing in the next
house, it is ten to one that his answer will be,
"Jews. May their lot be Jahannam!"
It appears unintelligible, still it is not less true, that Egyptians
who have lived as servants under European roofs for years, retain the
liveliest loathing for the manners
[p.111]and customs of their masters. Few Franks, save those who have
mixed with the Egyptians in Oriental disguise, are aware of their
repugnance to, and contempt for, Europeans-so well is the feeling
veiled under the garb of innate politeness, and so great is their
reserve when conversing with those of strange religions.