THE Mediterranean still divides the East from the West. Ages of traffic and intercourse across its waters have not changed this fact; neither the going of armies nor of embassies, Northmen forays nor Saracenic maraudings, Christian crusades nor Turkish invasions, neither the borrowing from Egypt of its philosophy and science, nor the stealing of its precious monuments of antiquity, down to its bones, not all the love-making, slave-trading, war-waging, not all the commerce of four thousand years, by oar and sail and steam, have sufficed to make the East like the West. Half the world was lost at Actium, they like to say, for the sake of a woman; but it was the half that I am convinced we never shall gain—for though the Romans did win it they did not keep it long, and they made no impression on it that is not, compared with its own individuality, as stucco to granite. And I suppose there is not now and never will be another woman in the East handsome enough to risk a world for. There, across the most fascinating and fickle sea in the world—a feminine sea, inconstant as lovely, all sunshine and tears in a moment, reflecting in its quick mirror in rapid succession the skies of grey and of blue, the weather of Europe and of Africa, a sea of romance and nausea—lies a world in Everything unlike our own, a world perfectly known yet never familiar and never otherwise than strange to the European and American. I had supposed it otherwise; I had been led to think that modern civilization had more or less transformed the East to its own likeness; that, for instance the railway up the Nile had practically "done for" that historic stream. They say that if you run a red-hot nail through an orange, the fruit will keep its freshness and remain unchanged a long time. The thrusting of the iron into Egypt may arrest decay, but it does not appear to change the country. There is still an Orient, and I believe there would be if it were all canaled, and railwayed, and converted; for I have great faith in habits that have withstood the influence of six or seven thousand years of changing dynasties and religions. Would you like to go a little way with me into this Orient? The old-fashioned travelers had a formal fashion of setting before the reader the reasons that induced them to take the journey they described; and they not unfrequently made poor health an apology for their wanderings, judging that that excuse would be most readily accepted for their eccentric conduct. "Worn out in body and mind we set sail," etc.; and the reader was invited to launch in a sort of funereal bark upon the Mediterranean and accompany an invalid in search of his last resting-place.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-06-27 - Publisher: Archaeopress Publishing Ltd
Early travellers in Egypt and the Near East made great contributions to our historical and geographical knowledge and gave us a better understanding of the different peoples, languages and religions of the region. Travellers in this volume are a mixture of rich and poor, bravely adventuring into the unknown, not
Quarterly accession lists; beginning with Apr. 1893, the bulletin is limited to "subject lists, special bibliographies, and reprints or facsimiles of original documents, prints and manuscripts in the Library," the accessions being recorded in a separate classified list, Jan.-Apr. 1893, a weekly bulletin Apr. 1893-Apr. 1894, as well as a