Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

General John De Kalb

John Quincy Adams
Kirby's Coals of Fire.

Lightning and Lightning-Rods.
National Self-Protection

Novalis and the Blue Flower.

Obsolete Fine Gentleman, An

Of Some Railroad Accidents, I., II.

Old Régime in the Old Dominion, The
Old-Time Oriental Trade.

Old Times on the Mississippi, VII.

V-Old Woman's Gossip, I., II., III., IV., V.

Oleander-Tree, The; A Story of the British Press-Gang

Passing the Cataract of the Nile

Patriotic School-Master, A

Practice and Patronage of French Art

Private Theatricals, I., II.

Roadside Romance, A

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Virginia Campaign of John Brown, The, VI.

Washington in Cambridge

58, 129, 269, 385, 583, 641

Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

Albert F. Webster

H H.

Dean Sage

T. S. Perry

F. B. Sanborn

Alexander McKenzie

71

339, 427, 535

49

464

666

142

167

704

92

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Straggler, A, Edgar Fawcett

443

That New World, Mrs. S. M. B. Piatt
To a Cride, T. B. Aldrich

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

RECENT LITERATURE. Abbott's A Paragraph History of the United States, 115; Abbott and Conant's A

Dictionary of Religious Knowledge, 112; Andre-Marie Ampère et Jean-Jacques Ampère, Correspon-

dance et Souvenirs, 630; Astronomical Engravings from the Observatory of Harvard College, 754; Auer-

bach's Drei einzige Töchter, 506; Baker's Point Lace and Diamonds, 109; Bancroft's The Native Races

of the Pacific States of North America, Vol. III., 496; Benedict's Mr. Vaughan's Heir, 111; Boyesen's

A Norseman's Pilgrimage, 363; Browning's Aristophanes' Apology, 493; Calvert's Essays Esthetical,

364; Carlyle's The Early Kings of Norway, 498; Comte de Paris's Histoire de la Guerre Civile en

Amérique, 758; Coues's Birds of the Northwest, 365; D'Ideville's Journal d'un Diplomate en Alle-
magne et en Grèce, 369; Droz's Les Étangs, 759; Duff Gordon's (Lady) Last Letters from Egypt, 500;
Eggleston's How to Make a Living, 627; Faunce's The Christian in the World, 503; Flagg's The Birds
and Seasons of New England, 623; Garrett's Doing and Dreaming, 503; Guizot's Histoire de la France
racontée à mes Petits-Enfants, 121; Harrison's A Group of Poets and their Haunts, 364; Harvard
Book (The), 502; Haven's Our Next-Door Neighbor, 368; Hayne's The Mountain of the Lovers, 495;
Higginson's English Statesmen, 118; Hillebrand's Zeiten, Völker, und Menschen, 504; Hunt's Chem-
ical and Geological Essays, 751; Ingersoll's Fears for Democracy, 107; International Meteorological
Observations (The Bulletin of), 629; James's Transatlantic Sketches, 113; Jones's Africa, 368: Kra-
sinski's The Undivine Comedy and Other Poems, 624; Krez's Aus Wisconsin, 371; Lewes's Problems
of Life and Mind, 361; Littré's Littérature et Histoire, 371; Lucy Larcom's An Idyl of Work, 241:
Macready's Reminiscences and Diaries, 116; Madame de Girardin, avec des Lettres inédites de Lamar-
tine, Chateaubriand, Mlle. Rachel, 370; Mark Twain's Sketches, 749; Memoirs of General William T.
Sherman, 245; Mérimée's Lettres à une autre Inconnue, 503; Morris's The Defence of Guenevere and
other Poems, 243; Nadal's Impressions of London Social Life, 751; Osgood's Bunker Hill Memorial,
244; Osgood's Handbook of the Maritime Provinces, 248; Phelps's (Miss) Poetic Studies, 108; Public
Health: Reports and Papers of the American Public Health Association in 1873, 628; Publications
Received, 122, 372, 506; Quicherat's Histoire du Costume en France depuis les Temps les plus reculés
jusqu'à la Fin du XVIIIe Siècle, 119; Richardson's (Mrs.) The History of Our Country, 244; Russell's
Library Notes, 753; Saxe's Leisure-Day Rhymes, 495; Spangler's The Physician's Wife, 630; Stowe's
(Mrs.) We and Our Neighbors, 248; Swinburne's Essays and Studies, 756; Talmage's Sports that Kill,
754; Taylor's David, King of Israel, 503; Tennyson's Queen Mary, 240; T. G. A.'s A Sheaf of Papers,
627; Turgenjew's Zwei Neue Novellen, 505; Waring's Whip and Spur, 109; Whittier's Mabel Martin,
748.

ART. Baker's Portrait of Longfellow, 762; Boston Society of Architects' Exhibition (The), 124; David

Neal's Pictures, 508; Despard's Old New York, from the Battery to Bloomingdale, 761; Dubufe's Paint-

ing of the Prodigal Son, 123; Duveneck's Portraits at Doll and Richards's, 376; Gardner's Illustrated

Homes, 760; Hunt's Talks on Art, 249; Hunt's and Inness's Recent Pictures, 375; Stillman's Poetic

Localities of Cambridge, 762; Veronese versus Millet, 374.

MUSIC. Bennett's The Maid of Orleans, 380; Burlingame's Art Life and Theories of Richard Wagner, 253;

Dr. Hans von Bülow's Concerts in Boston, 763; Ignorance of Musical Terminology in the United States,

634; Liszt's Die Glocken des Strassburger Münsters, 377; Recent Music, 256, 382; Tytler's (Miss) Mu-

sical Composers and their Works, 256; Wieck's Piano and Song, 382.

EDUCATION. Annual Report of the Board of St. Louis Public Schools, 638; Bellows's The Bona-Fide
Pocket Dictionary of the French and English Languages, 384; Gow's Good Morals and Gentle Man-
ners, 640; Ladies Society for the Encouragement of Studies at Home, 383, 640; Recent School Reports
of Boston and Chicago, 510; The Woman's Educational Movement in England, 126.

THE

ATLANTIC MONTHLY:

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, SCIENCE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. XXXVI.-JULY, 1875.-No. CCXIII.

PASSING THE CATARACT OF THE NILE.

At last, twenty-four days from Cairo, the Nubian hills are in sight, lifting themselves up in the south, and we appear to be getting into the real Africa -Africa, which still keeps its savage secret, and dribbles down this commercial highway, the Nile, as it has for thousands of years, its gums and spices and drugs, its tusks and skins of wild animals, its rude weapons and its cunning work in silver, its slave boys and slave girls. These native boats that we meet, piled with strange and fragrant merchandise, rowed by antic crews of Nubians whose ebony bodies shine in the sun as they walk backward and forward at the long sweeps, chanting a weird, barbarous refrain — what tropical freights are theirs for the imagination!

the narrow passage to the left we announce, by a rocket, to the dahabeeahs moored at Assouan the arrival of another inquisitive American. It is Sunday night. Our dragoman dispatches a messenger to the chief reis of the cataract, who lives at Philæ, five miles above. A second one is sent in the course of the night, and a third meets the old patriarch on his way to our boat at sunrise. It is necessary to impress the Oriental mind with the importance of the travelers who have arrived at the gate of Nubia.

The Nile voyager who moors his dahabeeah at the sandbank, with the fleet of merchant boats, above Assouan, seems to be at the end of his journey. Travelers from the days of Herodotus even to At sunset we are in a lonesome place; this century have followed each other in the swift river flowing between nar- saying that the roar of the cataract deafrow, rocky shores, the height beyond As- ened people for miles around. Civilizasocan gray in the distance, and vultures tion has tamed the rapids. Now there watching our passing boat from the high, is neither sight nor sound of them here at crumbling sandstone ledges. The night Assouan. To the southward the granite falls sweet and cool, the soft new moon walls which no doubt once dammed the is remote in the almost purple depths, river have been broken through by some the thickly strewn stars blaze like jewels, pre-historic convulsion that strewed the and we work slowly on at the rate of a fragments about in grotesque confusion. mile an hour, with the slightest wind, The island of Elephantine, originally a amid the granite rocks of the channel. long heap of granite, is thrown into the In this channel we are in the shadow middle of the Nile, dividing it into two of the old historical seat of empire, the narrow streams. The southern end rises island of Elephantine, and turning into from the water, a bold mass of granite.

Copyright, H. O. HOUGHTON & Co. 1876.

Its surface is covered with ruins, or rather with the débris of many civilizations; and into this mass and these hills of bricks, stones, pottery, and ashes, Nubian women and children may be seen constantly poking, digging out coins, beads, and images, to sell to the howadji. The northern portion of the island is green with wheat, and it supports two or three mud villages, which offer a good field for the tailor and the mission

ary.

The passage through the eastern channel, from Assouan to Elephantine, is between walls of granite rocks; and southward, at the end of it, the view is bounded by a field of broken granite, gradually rising and apparently forbidding egress in that direction. If the traveler comes for scenery, as some do, nothing could be wilder and at the same time more beautiful than these fantastically piled crags; but considered as a navigable highway, the river here is a failure.

Early in the morning the head sheik of the cataract comes on board, and the long confab which is preliminary to any undertaking begins. There are always as many difficulties in the way of a trade or an arrangement as there are quills on a porcupine; and a great part of the Egyptian bargaining is the preliminary plucking out of these quills. The cataracts are the hereditary property of the Nubian sheiks and their tribes, who live near them, belonging to them more completely than the rapids of the St. Lawrence to the Indian pilots; almost their whole livelihood comes from helping boats up and down the rapids, and their harvest season is the winter, when the dahabeeahs of the howadji require their assistance. They magnify the difficulties and dangers, and make a mystery of their skill and knowledge. But, with true Orientalism, they appear to seek rather to lessen than to increase their business. They oppose intolerable delays to the traveler, keep him waiting at Assouan by a thousand excuses, and do all they can to drive him discouraged down the river. During this winter boats have been kept waiting two weeks on one frivolous excuse or another: the

day was unlucky, or the wind was unfavorable, or some prince had the preference. Princes have been very much in the way this winter; the fact would seem to be that European princes are getting to run up the Nile in shoals, as plenty as shad in the Connecticut, more being hatched at home than Europe has employment for.

Several thousand people, dwelling along the banks from Assouan to three or four miles above Philæ, share in the profits of the passing boats; and although the sheiks and head reises (or captains) of the cataract get the elephant's share, every family receives something-it may be only a piaster or two — on each dahabeeah; and the sheiks draw from the villages as many men as are required for each passage. It usually takes two days for a boat to go up the cataract, and not seldom they are kept in it three or four days, and sometimes a week. The first day the boat gets as far as the island of Séhayl, where it ties up and waits for the cataract people to gather next morning. They may take it into their heads not to gather, in which case the traveler can sun himself all day on the rocks, or hunt up the inscriptions which the Pharaohs, on their raids into Africa for slaves and other luxuries, cut in the granite in their days of leisure. three or four thousand years ago, before the world got its present impetus of hurry. Or they may come and pull the boat up a rapid or two, then declare they have not men enough for the final struggle, and leave it for another night in the roaring desolation. To put on force enough and cables strong enough not to break, and promptly drag the boat through in one day, would lessen the money value of the achievement, perhaps, in the mind of the owner of the boat. Nature has done a great deal to make the First Cataract an obstacle to navigation, but the wily Nubian could teach nature a lesson; at any rate he has never relinquished the key to the gates. He owns the cataract, as the Bedawees own the pyramids of Gizeh and the routes across the desert to Sinai and Petra,

« PreviousContinue »