Warburton, Eliot
Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, or, The crescent and the cross: comprising the romance and realities of eastern travel — Philadelphia, 1859

Page: 128
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License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
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siout—the catacombs.

And there the bodies lay, age after age,

Mute, life-like, rounded, fresh, and undecaying,

Like those asleep in quiet hermitage,

With gentle sleep about their eyelids playing;

And living in their rest, beyond the rage

Of death or life : while Fate was still arraying,

In liveries ever new, the rapid, blind,

And fleeting generations of mankind.


We found ourselves disappointed in the owner of the English
flag at Siout; but, as our crew had stipulated to remain one day
here to bake bread for the remainder of the voyage, we mounted
donkeys, and, accompanied by Mahmoud and one of the crew
carrying provisions, started for Siout. El Hamra, the little vil-
lage at which our boat lay moored, besides being the port of the
capital of the Said, or Upper Egypt, is remarkable for its ship,
building propensities. There were six or seven vessels of vari-
ous sizes on the stocks then : their knee-timbers formed of acacia
wood, their scarrings of the sycamore-plane tree.

Siout is watered by a canal, and approached from the river by
a road that runs along a causeway, under an avenue of plane-
trees, about a mile in length. The city itself possesses baths,
bazaars, rope-walks, and a cotton-factory, a slave-market, and
the best pipe-manufactory in the East; but, notwithstanding all
these advantages, it is dirty, unpaved, and poverty-stricken.
This is one of the great desert caravan stations, and therefore
contains some spacious khans and other accommodations. I
visited the slave-market, where the proprietor at first refused
me admittance, but I understood enough of Arabic manners by
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