One of our favorite amusements at each landing-place was to make the natives scramble for money. They came down in large numbers, sometimes two or three hundred of them, and kept up a continual howl of “Backsheesh, O, Howadji!” that sounded very much like the murmurs of a mob. They gathered on the bank opposite the stern of the boat, and were ready to catch all the money we would throw to them. We had a supply of copper for just such cases, and by a judicious use of it, we made a franc go a great ways, and this was the way we would distribute it.
One of us would take a copper, and after balancing and aiming it several times, would give it a toss. A mass of hands would be stretched to receive it, and the crowd would sway in the direction of the falling coin. If it struck in the dirt, a dozen Arabs would spring upon the place where it fell, and there would be a scramble for it. Sometimes the struggle would be so fierce, that the cloud of dust raised thereby would completely conceal the combatants, and they would emerge with torn garments
Shoe peddler in the Bazaar
The term sakkieh is applied to all the apparatus for raising water, but the proper name for the Egyptian pole and bucket is shadoof. The shadoof is very ancient, as it is represented on the walls of the tombs constructed three or four thousand years ago.
An Arab school is a curiosity. The pupils study their lessons aloud, and make the place about as noisy as a political meeting, and how they can learn, any thing is a surprise to a person from the Occident, where silence is considered desirable in a school-room.
The beast par excellence of Egypt is the donkey; he ought to have a place on the national coat-of-arms, as much so as the llama has on that of Peru. The horses of Egypt are magnificent, some of pure Arabian, and some of a cross between English and Arabian stock, and are famous for their speed and beauty. But they are a luxury that not everybody can afford, as their support requires a constant outlay, not to speak of the first cost of the property. But the donkey is universal, and everybody can have one, unless he is the poorest of the poor.
At every hotel door there are groups of them ready saddled at all hours of the day, and you can hire them cheaply. If you can make a bargain in advance you can hire a donkey at three or four francs a day, inclusive of the boy, to drive him, though the latter generally looks for backsheesh in addition to the price of the beast and saddle. I have hired donkeys frequently for half a franc an hour, though the hotel keepers tell you that a franc an hour is the proper fare.
The Story Teller of the Desert
An Egyptian Eunuch
The police were very civil, and the “cavass,” or police officer on duty in front of our party, kept the population from crowding us in conveniently close. The “cavass” was arrayed in gorgeous style, and a franc slipped into his hand proved a good investment; where he had before used words he now used a stick, and soon 150convinced the multitude that it had no rights which he or we were bound to respect. We had front places, and the fellow even brought a couple of bricks on which the lady of our party could stand and thus preserve her feet from the dampness of the earth.
Moslems at Prayer
A few years ago some Greek and Italian scoundrels “put up a job” to plunder one of the mosques at Constantinople. They were weeks at work, perfecting their plans, and managed to get their plunder safe on board a schooner which was waiting in the sea of Marmora, a mile or two from shore. They sailed away in triumph, but the electric telegraph, which has brought so many scoundrels to justice, caused them to be overhauled at the Dardanelles.
The schooner was captured and brought back to Constantinople; the property was returned to the mosque, and the enterprising gentlemen who removed it without authority received the polite attentions of a Turkish headsman. Not only they, but the entire crew of the schooner down to the cook and cabin boy—also a cat and two kittens—were decapitated, without fear or favor.
“Bismillah!” (in the name of God) shouted the executioner each time he swung his sword. “Inshallah!” (God is willing) responded the attendant, as he gathered up the heads one by one and stowed them away in a sack.
Beyrout and the Mountains of Lebanon
But the wonder of Baalbek is in the stones used in its construction. Hewn stones, twelve, fifteen, and twenty feet long, and proportionately wide and high, are frequent in the walls and substructures. You grow weary of saying: “There’s one!” “Look at this!” “and this!” “and this!” You wander down in the underground passages, and the size of the stones, placed as precisely as bricks in a wall of a building of to-day, fairly astounds you; you come out, and look on the wall of the temple, and you find stones twenty-four, twenty-eight, and thirty feet long, and proportionally wide and high. You see stones of this sort away up in the air at the tip of the columns, and you wonder how they got there.
Boot-Blacks of Cairo
Bread Seller in the streets of Cairo
A lady of the Harem
A Nubian Belle
Everywhere through Egypt water is filtered in large jars, some of them holding nearly a barrel, and it is carried on the heads of women in lesser jars that contain from four to six gallons.
is impressed during his first days in Cairo with the spectacle of runners in front of carriages to warn people to get out of the way. These fellows have a picturesque dress and muscular legs, and their duty is to clear the way, by keeping a few yards in advance and warning people that a carriage is coming. An appendage of this sort is called a syce, and formerly it was necessary that he should be a native born Egyptian, but at present a Nubian may aspire to the position, and it is not unusual to see syces of the complexion of charcoal in front of elegant carriages.
Yet it was the first 'stitch' in the great web, and thousands of eyes were turned towards it on August 25th, 1876, when the very first passenger crossed along it from shore to shore. This passenger was Mr. Farrington, one of the engineers. He wished to encourage his men by a good example, for over that terrible gulf it would soon be necessary for many of them to go. His seat was a small piece of board such as we use for a swing in a playground, and it was attached to the wire by four short ropes. The perilous journey took more than twenty minutes, and the people below watched almost breathlessly as the slender thread swayed up and down with the weight of the traveller. To their eyes it appeared at times as if he was soaring through the air unsupported, so thin was the line by which he hung.
A wolf had an ordinary family of eight young ones. The keepers, probably thinking that these were too many for the captive wolf to bring up alone, divided the family. Four of them were left with their mother, and four of them were placed in charge of a collie. The dog took kindly to her foster-children, and reared them successfully with her own.
Frog collecting lunch
Another machine used for the same purpose [irrigation] is the sakiyeh, or draw-wheel. It consists of a horizontal axle, with a wheel at each end. One of these wheels overhangs the water of a river, a canal, or a well, and over it there passes a long, hanging loop of cords, to which a number of earthen pots are fastened. As the axle and the wheel go round, the pots on the cords are drawn over the wheel, and made to move in a circle like the buckets of a dredging-machine. The lower end of the loop of pots dips in the water, and each pot, as it passes through the water, is filled. It is then slowly drawn up by the turning wheel, and as it passes over the wheel, and is tilted over, it empties the water into a tank, or spout, and passes on downwards, empty, to the river again to take up a new supply.
The commonest of these machines is the shadoof. It is a sort of balance, with a weight at one end and a cord and bucket at the other. The arm of the balance rests upon a bar of wood, which is supported by two wooden posts, the whole resembling the horizontal bar of a gymnasium. The posts are about five feet high and two or three feet apart, and they are set up on the top of a bank, close to the edge, so that the end of the arm which bears the bucket may project over the water. This arm is made out of a slender branch of a tree, and is fastened to the horizontal bar by loops of cord. Its thicker end is loaded with a large, round ball of mud, while the other carries a long cord, or even a slender stick, at the end of which is the bucket, or bowl, in which the water is raised.
The 'bin,' or 'vina,' may be regarded as the national instrument of India.
The 'bin' is made of wood, and has seven strings, two of steel, the rest of silver, and these are plucked by the two first fingers of the performer, who wears little metal shields made for the purpose. It is tuned by pegs, and has two gourds suspended below, each usually measuring about fourteen inches across. These, being of irregular shape and gaily coloured, give a very picturesque look to the instrument.
Another favourite instrument is the 'kimmori.' This also derives its sounding powers from gourds, of which three are usually slung from the tube forming the body. It is said by the natives to have been invented by one of the singers of the 'Brahma Loka,' or heaven of the Brahmins. The 'kimmori' is made of a pipe of bamboo or blackwood, with frets or screws, which should be fashioned of the scales of the pangolin, or scaly ant-eater, though more often they are made of bone or metal. It has only two strings, one touching the frets, the other carried above them. The tail-piece is always carved like the breast of a kite, and the instrument is frequently found sculptured on ancient temples and shrines, especially in Mysore, in the south of Hindustan.
In many parts of India iron is made in a very simple way, which has probably been followed for centuries without much change. The iron-worker builds a little furnace of clay, in the form of a tower which is narrower at the top than at the bottom. This tower is only four or five feet high, so that it is after all no bigger than the towers and castles which children build in the sand; but its builder makes good use of it, small though it is. The top of it is open, and at the bottom there are one or two openings in the side, through which the iron-maker can blow the air of a pair of bellows. These bellows are goat-skin bags, which have been made by sewing up whole skins. A hollow bamboo is fitted into the end of each bag, in order to form the pipes of the bellows and there is also another opening in each bag which may be closed very quickly by the man who blows the bellows. He works the bellows by pressing upon the goat-skin bags with his feet, so as to drive out the air through the pipe which is fixed in the end of each bag. He works two bags at one time, pressing first upon one and then upon the other. While he is pressing one bag, he raises the other, which is empty, and allows it to fill again through the hole which has been left in it for that purpose. In this way he contrives to have one bag filling with air, while he is squeezing the air out of the other.
The ploughs used by these Syrian cultivators are little more than a bent wooden stock, having a long bar, by which it may be drawn. The lend of the stock is in shape somewhat like that which is formed by a human foot and leg, the foot being the 'share,' which scratches up the soil. That part which corresponds to the leg is prolonged upwards into a long handle, with the help of which the ploughman guides the plough. The bar by which the plough is drawn is attached to the inner or fore side of the bend, at the ankle, as it were. Two oxen of a small kind are, as a rule, attached to each plough.
The wandering Arabs subsist almost entirely upon bread, wild herbs, and milk. It is rather strange that they should eat so much bread, because they never remain sufficiently long in one place to sow wheat and reap the harvest from it. They are compelled to buy all their corn from the people who live in towns, and have cultivated fields. When these townsmen and villagers have gathered in their harvests, the Arabs of the desert draw near their habitations, and send messengers to buy up corn for the tribe, and perhaps also to sell the 'flocks' of wool which they have shorn from their sheep.
This I take to be the sorcerer Tlaloc. He is blowing the wind from his mouth; he has the eagle in his head-dress, the jaw with grinders, the peculiar eye, the four Tlaloc dots over his ear and on it, the snake between his legs, curved in the form of a yoke (this is known to be a serpent by the conventional crotalus signs of jaw and rattles on it in nine places), the four Tlaloc dots again in his head-dress, etc. He has a leopard skin on his back (the tiger was the earth in Mexico) and his naked feet have peculiar anklets which should be noticed.
Maya War God
This represents Huitzilopochtli, or rather, the Yucatec equivalent of this Aztec god.
Statue at Copan
Statue at Copan
Tablet at Palenque
The Palenquean Group of the Cross
This represents the “Adoratorio or Alta Casa, No. 3” of Palenque. This is nothing else than the temple of the god Huitzilopochtli and of his equal, Tlaloc.
Mayan God of War
Maya God of War
Columbus ship. A letter written by Columbus of America in 1493
Oldest known image of Columbus
Early George Town
Map of George Town
Silhouette of man
On the other side of High Street stands St. John's Episcopal Church, the lot for which was given in 1796 by the Deakins' family. Reverend Walter Addison of Prince Georges County, Maryland, had visited George Town in 1794 and 1795 and held occasional services, so a movement was started to build a church. Among the subscribers were Thomas Jefferson and Dr. Balch.
First flight engine, 1903
4-Cylinder vertical engine assembly
4-Cylinder vertical engine assembly
First flight engine, 1903 rear view
First flight engine, 1903, assembly
First flight engine, 1903, cross section
The Wright Brothers Aero Engine
Shop engine, 1901
For several years several agencies have been founded, which, for a modest remuneration, transport foreigners through Paris and make them aware of its monuments, its particularities, its beauties and its ugliness.
Suddenly, without us knowing which fly bit it, one of the horses in the procession suddenly took on a disorderly pace as the combined efforts of his coachman and of his tiller's comrade failed to moderate. He does not gallop, he flies, sowing fear in timid souls, arousing the noblest inclinations of devotion in generous natures.
The expected shock has occurred. A carelessly driven cab, it was seen, emerging from the rue de Presbourg, did not have time to avoid the avalanche with four wheels which rolled towards him. The rear wheel of the carried tank (it broke suddenly) struck hers so that the two vehicles were instantly stopped. The lighter cab was thrown to the side while his driver was launched on the back alley.
An impressionable porter saw smoke on his staircase. — In his zeal, he went to smash the windows of all the warnings in the neighborhood, and from all points of the horizon the firefighters rushed to the scene of the disaster, a little unsure of his exact situation. All the kids they met escorted them with long strides, while the city sergeants stopped the traffic, under the fallacious pretext of ensuring it.
It is an open-air circle, without subscription, and with this advantage that women are admitted to it. It is undoubtedly for this reason that we see regulars there, who, although provided with numbers, never decide to take their place in the vehicles which succeed one another, however, without interruption.
The horses had scarcely begun to get used to the steam trams, their smoke and their whistles, which it was thought fit to use electricity. — It was doubtless with good intention, since these new vehicles run noiselessly and smoke-free. Nevertheless they cause the Parisian cavalry an invincible terror. — The animals, who are only half stupid, are always wary of what they cannot explain, and the sight of this car that nothing apparently does not set in motion, and which stirs however, inspires them with a distrust which does not seem completely unintelligent to me.
This is a serious problem. — Is the night rate applicable when you arrive home after 12:30 am, or is it necessary that the driver was picked up after that hour to be allowed to claim the price? In the current circumstance, the coachman claims the opposite, the bourgeois claims that he owes only the ordinary race, the agents are in an extreme perplexity, and the female part of the loading of the cab is moping while waiting for the solution of the conflict.
It is noon. It's lunch time, and, as La Réclame knows that a hungry stomach has no more eyes than ears, it rests. Illuminated vehicles park lined up at the bottom of the sidewalks, while their hitches stretch their tired limbs and light the comforting cigarette. — To be immobile, these vehicles nevertheless retain their motley appearance for all, terrifying for quadrupeds, and like their daily station coincides with the return of the rides, it puts desperation the squires responsible for watching over the first steps of young Amazons, whose dismayed mounts manifest in various ways their invincible repugnance.
It is certainly the most important step that has been taken towards social reform since the new era. — The refuge adds to human rights that of being crushed only when it wants to, when it is lacking of patience, or that his physiognomy is unfriendly to the peacekeeper responsible for interrupting the movement of devices to crush the members of the poor people.
Foresighters did not wait until January 1 to send their gifts, but the latecomers who waited until the last moment pile up at the confectioner's and go jostle to get the obligatory bag. The unfortunate thing is that in these extreme times the supplies of renowned specialists are often exhausted, and that to meet "the requirements of the public", they sometimes find themselves in the need to replace their usual products poisonous sweets and adulterated chocolates from the nearest grocer.— " Tarde venientibus ossa, " said the poet on forgotten New Years.
Here, it is the meeting place for gourmets of intelligence, who prefer to the satisfaction of vulgar gluttony the feast of the spirit. No indigestion to fear if the chance of the title has misled you; the heaviest products have never had more serious effects than bringing sleep, sometimes anticipated, but always calm and often deep. The great advantage of this kind of gift is for the donor that it is not forced to taste it; the danger is to give, without having read it, a book which demolishes the political, religious and social tendencies of the important personage to whom he offers it for the sole purpose of making himself a protector as devoted as it is persevering.
The cyclist is generally daring — it comes from his age, his confidence in his address, the little space he needs to evolve, the speed he can get. — As a result, he throws himself with all his might, and that, if he encounters an unforeseen obstacle, he tumbles. — As long as it does not occur under the omnibuses, there is only half harm. in extreme cases, it is not yet said that it will not get away unscathed. — The Binger brake is so powerful!
The wooden pavement is sometimes slippery, - this is often the result of natural humidity; - more frequently still, this dangerous state of the roadways results from an insufficient watering which does not remove any of the refuse on which the horses skate. - These days, there are as many animals lying as standing, and without the spirit of brotherhood that leads our fellow citizens to help each other, the circulation would become decidedly impassable.
The downpour, so impatiently awaited during certain summers, sometimes multiplies in such a way that this cataclysm becomes the daily event. — Despite this regularity, the phenomenon varies so much the hours of its appearance, and occurs with such instantaneousness, that 'he succeeds each time in surprising and flooding a satisfactory number of walkers, who had thought they could profit from a fallacious clearing.
The instruction that cars must pass through this oasis intended for the recreation of children and nannies is perfectly legitimate, and we find it natural that we seek to protect future generations from any accident. But would it not be fair to demand a certain reciprocity for the safety of teams that venture there, and to prohibit these young men, so paternally protected by municipal by-laws, from launching horses such a wide variety of projectiles?
Very sympathetic to the housewives of the district who support them against all odds, they are the masters of the road, and the heaviest vehicles are obliged to give way to them. — If an unfortunate coachman has the audacity to walk at the smallest trot , or the awkwardness of passing too close to a customer installed in the middle of the street, he is in the grip of a vocabulary which reveals the neighborhood of the halls.
Everyone, after a hard day's work, is anxious to find the freshness of a more or less vast garden, but where one has the freedom to put oneself in shirt sleeves. — It is the hour when additional edibles abound in the nets of the wagons, and where the melons combine their perfumes with those of the marolles and the emanations of the cigars expensive or cheap, but also smelly, of our national factories.
The case sometimes arises that one of them takes a fish, - generally small; - the physiognomy of colleagues immediately expresses all the nuances of astonishment much more than the symptoms of jealousy, - which would tend to prove that no illusion supports them during their long stations, and that, far from coveting imaginary fries, they know what to expect from the probable results of their platonic passion.