Eothen By A. W. Kingslake


My servants, helped by the Arabs, busied themselves in pitching the
tent and kindling the fire.  Whilst this was doing - Page 190
Eothen By A. W. Kingslake - Page 190 of 325 - First - Home

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My Servants, Helped By The Arabs, Busied Themselves In Pitching The Tent And Kindling The Fire.

Whilst this was doing I used to walk away towards the east, confiding in the print of my foot as a guide for my return.

Apart from the cheering voices of my attendants I could better know and feel the loneliness of the Desert. The influence of such scenes, however, was not of a softening kind, but filled me rather with a sort of childish exultation in the self- sufficiency which enabled me to stand thus alone in the wideness of Asia - a short-lived pride, for wherever man wanders he still remains tethered by the chain that links him to his kind; and so when the night closed around me I began to return, to return, as it were, to my own gate. Reaching at last some high ground I could see, and see with delight, the fire of our small encampment, and when at last I regained the spot it seemed to me a very home that had sprung up for me in the midst of these solitudes. My Arabs were busy with their bread; Mysseri rattling tea-cups; the little kettle, with her odd old-maidish looks, sat humming away old songs about England; and two or three yards from the fire my tent stood prim and tight, with open portal, and with welcoming look, like "the old arm-chair" of our lyrist's "sweet Lady Anne."

At the beginning of my journey the night breeze blew coldly; when that happened, the dry sand was heaped up outside round the skirts of the tent, and so the wind, that everywhere else could sweep as he listed along those dreary plains, was forced to turn aside in his course and make way, as he ought, for the Englishman.

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