0Thursday. 17th January [1895]—On the Nile
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17 January 1895 — On the Nile
Thursday. 17th January [1895]. We were up at 8 o’cl breakfast & got into a ferry boat at 8.30 all the party except the Frenchman & his Italian niece. We were ferried across the river & there found donkeys & some carrying chairs. I had a chair & Elaine rode & we changed with each other on the return journey. On getting to the W. bank we were seized by arabs & carried ashore & rode some way till we reached a canal over which we were once again ferried. Then we rode on thro’ fields of barley & lentils to a long ravine a scene of desolation not a green thing to be seen till we reached first the temple of Gurnah & then the tombs of the King. There we began to explore & I have now a confused idea of chambers hewn in the rock & covered with hieroglyphics coloured & plain & graven and in relief. Just as I came up to breakfast a German Baron des de Romberg came up & asked me my name & if I did not live at Venice & then went into ecstasies at finding we had mutual friends there & so we made great friends & talked French together & he politely gave me his arm to help me in the dangerous places in the descent to the tombs. We lunched abt 12 in the entrance to a tomb & rested in the shade. After resting about an hour we ascended to the top of the ravine a pretty steep climb & went down towards the plain to see the temple of Hatasu which is still being excavated by Mr de Naville who very politely conducted us over the ruins. There was also a young Englishman directing the workmen & he enquired for me & I found he was a Mr Hogarth a friend of Elaine’s brother in law Mr Thesiger & had heard of our probable arrival. He offered us tea wh we could not accept but he showed us some mummies wh had just been discovered– A man his wife & child—a touching trio the woman had a wooden label tied to her breast saying she was a Copt & giving the date. Mr Hogarth said it was interesting as proving that the Christians in early times also made their dead into mummies. We returned past the Ramesseum with its gigantic fallen statue & got back to the steamer abt 4 very tired & dusty & ready for tea– We took a rest before dinner. The irrascible Frenchman was greatly disturbed at the telegram recd that the whole French Ministry had resigned & Casimir Perrier had also resigned the Presidency. There was a mail in the evening after dinner but no letters for me.

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