The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 76
Next to the Holy Land, a few weeks spent in Egypt in early spring afforded me great page 56 enjoyment, as well as benefit to my health Cairo was then more of an Oriental city than it is now, but not so gay and luxurious as a British garrison and crowds of winter visitors have since made it. There was, however, good accommodation for travellers, and means for sailing on the grand old Nile, which I ascended as far as the First Cataract, enjoying the delightful climate and temperature at that season, as well as exploring the temples and stupendous columns and obelisks at Luxor and other parts along the banks of the famous river. The enchanting ruins on the beautiful island of Philœ, the rocky mountains, the palm trees, the brilliant skies, and golden sunsets render a sail on the Nile a source of supreme pleasure, filling the mind with ineffaceable recollections, and profoundly solemn impressions of a visit to the land of the Pharaohs and Cleopatra, now greatly enhanced by the knowledge that to British statesmanlike noble enterprise and British valour the government of that ancient country has been changed from a condition of oppression and grinding taxation into one of comparative freedom, justice, and benevolent regard for the toiling dwellers along the banks, and amid the broad lands of the wide valley watered by the mighty stream. I was surprised to see even young Englishmen being helped to ascend the great Pyramid near Cairo, and I had the satisfaction of being able to reach the summit without any aid, but I page 57 had to give backsheesh to the Arabs for being allowed to climb alone.