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was waiting on the quay. The luggage had all been passed on to Cairo, practically innocent of customs examination, and it seemed wise to follow it as closely as possible. As for Alexandria, what cared we? And what should care you? Its ancient greatness is departed. Nothing remains of its classic magnificence, save Pompey's Pillar, which was not Pompey's at all; a museum of antiquities, chiefly of Grecian date; and a cemetery that makes greater claim to antiquity than any oth
other fragment of the past that still survives. All these might give to the painstaking sightseer a good day's work; but it is the common lot to be whisked away to Cairo by the steamboat special, leaving of Alexandria no more than the confused impression of a busy, modern port, a harbor alive with shipping, and a city so flat, stale, and modern in appearance as to cause wonder if this can indeed be
It is a pity, however, to be forced, as so many of us are, to make the journey to Cairo in the night. The line passes through a wonderful country, albeit lacking in diversity of view. To one who has made but a casual study of the map, it is astonishing to discover that Alexandria is not situated at one of the mouths of the Nile, but lies well to the western side of the Delta on a shore so low that one approaching by sea is unable to perceive it until close at hand. Secondly, the wonder is likely to be at finding Cairo so very far inland. It requires between three and four hours to make the journey in a train that is called by proper courtesy an express. You ride for some distance over a perfectly level country before you cross the Nile at all, and even then you are not likely to be much impressed by it. Down here in the Delta, which is nothing at all but a broad, fan-shaped deposit of upland mud, the Nile is a muchdivided and subdivided stream --- an extraordinary river, reversing all our notions of river life. For it is actually smaller at its mouth than in its middle reaches! No tributaries have come into it, and vast quantities of water have been diverted from it for irrigation as it has passed along. Evaporation is enormous. It follows that the Nile actually grows smaller as it proceeds, and in the Delta is likely to appear to the expectant eye a very ordinary river indeed.
To us, riding by night, all these wonders of the Delta slipped by in the darkness unguessed. A belated moon lent an uncertain light, its pale bulk reflected in the tranquil bosom of the canals that lay along the line. As we neared the Nile a ghostly mast or two rose from the river mists. But of the wondrous garden of the Delta we saw nothing. Its broad expanses of waving green faded away in illimitable distances. Its scattered mud villages, huddling under clumps of palms, were invisible.
In almost exactly sixty minutes from the time of starting, the train drew up at the first large town – called, by some happy and appropriate chance, Daman-hour. It was a considerable place, glimmering whitely in the moonlight; but its station was deserted save for a few shrouded and hooded shapes who stole silently up and down the bare platform in the chill of the February night. The Arabic signs mocked our ignorance from the whitewashed walls for a moment and then the train moved on.
It was long after the midnight hour when the lights of Cairo came into view and the train slowed to a halt in the glare and bustle of the great terminal station - a magnificent building, by the way, photographs of which on occasions are exploited by unblushing newspaper correspondents as representing the palace of the Khedive, which is not nearly so fine. If the way stations had been deserted, this one was not. It was alive with hotel touts who fell upon the alighting throng and enmeshed them like greedy spiders. In almost less time that it takes to tell it they were gone, - gone to the last one, and we stood alone on the platform with our Cairo host, “ the Hakkim” – blessed man!- who had left his warm fireside in the Ghezireh to meet us in the dead of night. A wandering porter informed us that no luggage would be unloaded that night. It would be found the next morning in the courtyard of Shepheard's, such being the pleasant but rather haphazard custom of the place in dealing with large inundations of sowaheen. Whereupon we also passed down through the gloomy tunnel that led to the outer air, summoned an "arabiyeh," or native carriage, manned by a spectral figure crowned with a turban and as black as a coal, and plunged into the almost deserted streets that led down toward the bank of the Nile.
That was an arrival never to be forgotten. The long ride led through a maze of streets lined with tall buildings, across squares aglow with light, and at last down past the museum and the barracks to where the great Nile bridge reared its imposing portals crowned with majestic bronze lions. The river flowed muddily below, giving back from its ripples the broken reflection of the waning moon. A ghostly clump of masts towered into the sky close by the palm-clad bank. The city behind was crowned with a luminous haze from its multitude of lamps. The island of the Ghezireh before bulked large with its masses of black lebbakh trees against the star-lit sky. And at the end the carriage drew up at our desired haven, a dark house looming mysteriously out of a fragrant garden. As the door opened, a silent Arab in white vanished through its dimly lighted hall. So this was Egypt —at last!
We had been spared the sensation to which so many confess on being precipitated from the train into Cairo by the garish light of broad day-a sensation of partial disappointment which is the keener when one's appetite has been whetted for something rich and strange. It must be admitted that the immediate surroundings of the railway terminal are not particularly impressive. It is only when seen from the south that Cairo has the truly Oriental air, a fitting home for the hero of the Arabian Nights. From the Citadel, or floating on the bosom of the river above the town, one gazes upon a truly satisfying visiona great white city dominated by a frowning fortress, from the midst of which towers a huge mosque flanked by two lofty minarets. The tawny cliffs behind afford an appropriate desert setting. The pyramids of Ghizeh may be descried, dim and majestic, to the west, behind a foreground of waving palms. It is almost a pity not to have this the first view of Cairo—the view from which the lasting impression is derived.
As things are arranged, the visitor emerges from a very satisfactory station into a square seemingly European, with a throng of cabs, a passing multitude of people, electric lights, tall buildings, and