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Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 60 pages of information about The Bride of the Nile Volume 01.
in her beauty, he insisted on it that she was proud and ungracious, and incapable of winning any man’s love; only the child, little Mary—­she, to be sure, was very fond of her.  It was no secret that even her uncle’s wife, worthy Neforis, did not care for her haughty niece and only suffered her to please the invalid.  And what business had a Melchite at Memphis, under the roof of a good Jacobite?  Every word the dragoman spoke breathed the scorn which a mean and narrow-minded man is always ready to heap on those who share the kindness of his own benefactors.

But this beautiful and lofty-looking daughter of a great man had conquered the merchant’s old heart, and his opinion of her was quite unmoved by the Memphite’s strictures.  It was ere long confirmed indeed, for Philip, the leech whom the guide had been to find, and whose dignified personality inspired the Arab with confidence, was a daily visitor to the governor, and he spoke of Paula as one of the most perfect creatures that Heaven had ever formed in a happy hour.  But the Almighty seemed to have forgotten to care for his own masterpiece; for years her life had been indeed a sad one.

The physician could promise the old man some mitigation of his sufferings, and they liked each other so well that they parted the best of friends, and not till a late hour.

CHAPTER III.

The Mukaukas’ barge, urged forward by powerful rowers, made its way smoothly down the river.  On board there was whispering, and now and again singing.  Little Mary had dropped asleep on Paula’s shoulder; the Greek duenna gazed sometimes at the comet which filled her with terrors, sometimes at Orion, whose handsome face had bewitched her mature heart, and sometimes at the young girl whom she was ill-pleased to see thus preferred by this favorite of the gods.  It was a deliciously warm, still night, and the moon, which makes the ocean swell and flow, stirs the tide of feeling to rise in the human breast.

Whatever Paula asked for Orion sang, as though nothing was unknown to him that had ever sounded on a Greek lute; and the longer they went on the clearer and richer his voice grew, the more melting and seductive its expression, and the more urgently it appealed to the young girl’s heart.  Paula gave herself up to the sweet enchantment, and when he laid down the lute and asked in low tones if his native land was not lovely on such a night as this, or which song she liked best, and whether she had any idea of what it had been to him to find her in his parents’ house, she yielded to the charm and answered him in whispers like his own.

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