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TRAVELS IN EGYPT, SINAI, ARABIA
AND THE HOLY LAND
WILLIAM CHARLES MAUGHAN
HENRY S. King & Co.
203. e. 291.
THE FOLLOWING VOLUME of travel treats of a land which has been described by some of the most distinguished authors of the present day, as well as by many an accomplished and enthusiastic explorer who has now reached that world · from whose bourn no traveller returns.'
In thus venturing to come after those whose works are read wherever literature has found a home, I may be permitted briefly to mention how I chanced to form one of that ever-increasing band who have been attracted to the glowing East, with its days of dazzling sunshine and nights of dreamy repose. As I was early brought up to a most prosaic and matter-of-fact profession, which fully occupied my time, I had no opportunity of indulging a long cherished wish to visit the enchanted regions of the · Arabian Nights,' until two years ago. An illness having caused a break in the continuity of my business career,
I thought that a tour in the East would be a pleasant and profitable mode of passing a portion of my time.
Accordingly I started on these travels, and can cordially recommend my readers to follow my example. In addition to the usual Nile trip, I would strongly advise a tour to Mount Sinai to be made, when the travellers can survey the profoundly interesting scenery which characterises the route of the Israelites after they left the land of bondage. If possible, and provided that they care to encounter the trouble, risk, and expense involved, the journey to Petra should be attempted. I assume, in this case, that the travellers have a certain amount of tact and coolness, most useful qualities if the lawless denizens of the capital of Edom are inclined to molest them. They must, however, be prepared for tedious delays and other unpleasant contingencies ; and if they go to Petra, the Eastern route, by the Wady el-Ithm, ought certainly to be selected. One of the party should know something of geology, so that the remarkable and unique features of the rocks and mountains may be duly appreciated.
The ensuing pages are based upon a careful record of each day's journey, that was kept by me in the form of a diary. Working upon these materials, which, however imperfect, were at all events written at the time and on