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Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 174 pages of information about Ziska.
the staid composure of the Arabs, flicking thumb and finger at the patient noses of the small hireable donkeys and other beasts of burden, thrusting a warm red face of inquiry into the shadowy recesses of odoriferous bazaars, and sauntering at evening in the Esbekiyeh Gardens, cigar in mouth and hands in pockets, looking on the scene and behaving in it as if the whole place were but a reflex of Earl’s Court Exhibition.  History affects the cheap tripper not at all; he regards the Pyramids as “good building” merely, and the inscrutable Sphinx itself as a fine target for empty soda-water bottles, while perhaps his chiefest regret is that the granite whereof the ancient monster is hewn is too hard for him to inscribe his distinguished name thereon.  It is true that there is a punishment inflicted on any person or persons attempting such wanton work—­a fine or the bastinado; yet neither fine nor bastinado would affect the “tripper” if he could only succeed in carving “’Arry” on the Sphinx’s jaw.  But he cannot, and herein is his own misery.  Otherwise he comports himself in Egypt as he does at Margate, with no more thought, reflection, or reverence than dignify the composition of his far-off Simian ancestor.

Taking him all in all, he is, however, no worse, and in some respects better, than the “swagger” folk who “do” Egypt, or rather, consent in a languid way to be “done” by Egypt.  These are the people who annually leave England on the plea of being unable to stand the cheery, frosty, and in every respect healthy winter of their native country—­that winter, which with its wild winds, its sparkling frost and snow, its holly trees bright with scarlet berries, its merry hunters galloping over field and moor during daylight hours, and its great log fires roaring up the chimneys at evening, was sufficiently good for their forefathers to thrive upon and live through contentedly up to a hale and hearty old age in the times when the fever of travelling from place to place was an unknown disease, and home was indeed “sweet home.”  Infected by strange maladies of the blood and nerves, to which even scientific physicians find it hard to give suitable names, they shudder at the first whiff of cold, and filling huge trunks with a thousand foolish things which have, through luxurious habit, become necessities to their pallid existences, they hastily depart to the Land of the Sun, carrying with them their nameless languors, discontents and incurable illnesses, for which Heaven itself, much less Egypt, could provide no remedy.  It is not at all to be wondered at that these physically and morally sick tribes of human kind have ceased to give any serious attention as to what may possibly become of them after death, or whether there is any “after,” for they are in the mentally comatose condition which precedes entire wreckage of brain-force; existence itself has become a “bore;” one place is like another, and they repeat the same monotonous round of living

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