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the heat is tempered during the daytime for nine months in the year by a strong wind which blows from the north, and which enables vessels to ascend the river against the stream. The winter months are delightful, the air being cool and balmy, and the ground covered with verdure; later, the ground becomes parched and dry, and in May the simoon, a hot wind, begins to blow into the valley from the desert plains, raising clouds of fine sand, and causing various diseases, until the rising of the river again comes to bless the land.
11. As above mentioned rain seldom falls, nowhere more than three or four times in the course of the year; but at night the dews are plentiful, and the air cool and refreshing. Showers of hail sometimes fall, but ice is very uncommon.
Livingstone, a missionary, and angular tract of country found a Delta? Describe the Nile valley. What great phenomenon is. connected with the Nile? Describe it. What appearance does the Delta present at this time? How is the water required for irrigation raised from the Nile? At what periods of the year are the crops. reaped ? Describe the atmosphere and temperature of Egypt. What hot wind blows from the desert, and at what time of the year?
one of the greatest of African between the two extreme travellers. He died of fever mouths of some rivers. The in Central Africa in the year
word is derived from the 1873, and his body was brought fourth letter of Greek alphato this country by his native bet-A, delta. attendants. He is buried in engulfed, covered over. Westminster Abbey.
turbid, muddy, dirty. Stanley, an American, and filtered, strained through some
perhaps the most successful thing. African traveller. He dis- phenomenon, an occurrence. covered and relieved Living. tropics, the countries lying be. stone. He has since crossed tween 231 degrees N. and 231 the African continent from degrees S. of the equator. East to West, and described subsiding, falling. many countries and peoples fertilizes, makes fruitful. before unknown.
inundation, covering of land by devious, winding
water. cataracts, waterfalls.
simoon, a hot, dry wind from Delta, the name given to the tri- the desert.
Where is the supposed source of the Nile? After leaving the Victoria Nyanza how far does the Nile flow before it is joined by the Blue Nile? What obstructions impede the navigation of the stream? What is the character of the river below Cairo? What is
1. No country possesses such ancient or such grand monuments of antiquity as Egypt. It abounds in ruins of cities and magnificent temples, and its pyramids have been for
the wonder of the world. More than 4000 years ago, when most nations were in a state of barbarism, Egypt was a highly civilized country. Its kings were wise and powerful, and its priests and rulers highly educated.
2. When Abraham entered Lower Egypt from Canaan, the people had long enjoyed the advantages of a settled government. They had built cities, and invented a most curious kind of writing, perhaps the most ancient in the world. It is called hieroglyphical writing, and pictures. of birds, flowers, animals and men were largely used in the composition of its words. With these picture words they wrote their poetry, or related their history.
3. The records of their kings have been preserved to this day in hieroglyphics cut upon highly polished granite stones which were erected in front of temples. Some of these stones are still standing, and one of them has been brought to this country. It is called the Cleopatra Needle, and is erected upon the Thames embankment in London.
The Egyptians were formerly a very warlike nation, yet the country has been many
times overrun by foreign foes. Ethiopians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs have ruled them by turns.
The country is now under the dominion of the Turks, and is governed by a ruler called the Khedive, or Viceroy of Egypt.
5. On the banks of the Nile there grew formerly a kind of rush called the papyrus. The ancient Egyptians used to collect this rush, strip off thin layers all round below the bark, and use these for writing upon; and many poems, written by them in hieroglyphics upon this material, are now extant. From the name of this rush our word "paper" is derived. A most singular fact is that the
papyrus is now nowhere to be found in the country.
6. One peculiarity of the ancient Egyptians was the great care they took of their dead, and even of some dead animals. They brought the art of preserving dead
bodies, which is called embalming, to great perfection; and many thousands of these bodies have been discovered in a wonderful state of preservation. The einbalmed bodies are called “mummies." A number of mummies with their cases have been brought to this country, and placed in our museums.
7. The mummies of the kings, priests, and great men are found in splendid cases made of sycamore or cedar wood. These are often richly ornamented by painting and gilding, and covered with hieroglyphics which describe the rank, position, and merits of the person whose body is found within. When a mummy case is opened, the body is found wrapped up tightly in many yards of cloth, and filled with various kinds of gums used in the embalming of it.
8. The pyramids of Egypt are the largest known buildings in the world. They are generally built on a square foundation, and usually present their sides to the cardinal points. The most famous are constructed of huge blocks of stone, so arranged that the outside looks like four immense flights of stairs leading to a small platform on the top. There are a number of them in Lower Egypt and several in Nubia. Some of them are built of unburnt bricks. The largest two are respectively 480 and 450 feet in height. The interior of several pyramids have been explored by enterprising travellers. From their discoveries it is supposed that they were intended as the burial places of kings, but for which kings can only be dimly conjectured. They form abiding memorials of the ancient condition of the country, and point out the existence of a teeming population under the rule of a great and despotic race of kings.
9. The wild animals found in Egypt are apes, monkeys, jackals, hyenas, and in Nubia the lion. The hippopotamus and crocodile were once very abundant, but are now found only in the Upper Nile. Birds, especially water fowl, are very numerous. The ibis, in ancient times considered so sacred that the penalty for killing it was death, is still common.
10. The branch of industry for which Egypt is peculiarly well adapted by nature is agriculture, and large quantities of cereals are raised and exported; yet in that country, where three successive crops can be gathered in one year, agriculture is in a very low state, the natural consequence of the wretched condition of the heavily taxed people engaged in it. The chief articles of culture are rice, wheat, barley, maize, beans, peas, lentiles, flax, hemp, sugar-cane, and cotton. Fruits are abundant and good; apricots, peaches, pomegranates, lemons, figs, melons, and grapes are the chief.
11. Of all the great public works carried out in Egypt, the one from which that country will probably derive the greatest benefit is the Suez Canal, constructed only a few years ago. This is one of the great triumphs of modern engineering skill. It is a broad deep canal, and joins the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. Vessels of the largest size are thus enabled to go to Australia, India, China, and Japan by a much shorter route than round the Cape of Good Hope.
antiquity, old times.
Nubia, a name given to the barbarism, uncivilized state. countries on and around the civilized, cultivated.
valley of the Nile, above Egypt, Cleopatra, a beautiful Queen of as far as Abyssinia. Egypt, about 50 B.C.
conjectured, imagined. Ethiopians, inhabitants of Abys- cereals, grain-yielding plants. sinia.
Suez, a seaport on the Red cardinal points, N., S., E., W. Sea.
What monuments of iquity re found in Egypt? What proofs have we that Egypt was a civilized country from a very early date?