Hide Articles List

24 articles on this Page



Family Notices

[No title]








[No title]


[No title]

[No title]

[No title]







BITS FROM BOOKS. A GHAWAZEE DANCE. While returning along the steep bank of Luxor to the Lohengrin we were met by Achmet Effendi, the son of the English consul,Mustapha Agha,who begged us to come to the fantasia, held at his father's house that evening. This invitation we of course accepted, as it is the customary thing. Accordingly, we betook ourselves at the appointed time to Mustapha Agha's house,built amongst the columns of the temple of Luxor, and here, after the usual smoking of cigarettes, salutation-making and coffee-drinking, we witnessed much the same curious style of dance as; I have endeavoured to describe when first passing Luon on the ascent of the river. There were the same eight Ghawazees clothed in the extravagantly-coloured dresses of their class,and decked with tinsel and orna- ments the same wild music produced by performers who extracted shrill sounds from one-strinved rababs, and the same waving of arms, snapping of fingers, and passionate songs while the dancers danced their oriental measures.One new feature of the performance struck me, as being a display of the manner in which these Ghawazee can command the different muscles of their lithe bodies in all the various motions of their dancing. A young girl took a lighted candle, and fixing it in the mouth of an empty cham- pagne-bottle, placed this improvised lamp on her coin-bedecked head, and forthwith commenced to thrill and quiver in a most surprising fashion. Then, after making these waves of motion run from her head to her feet-during which she seemed about to lose consciousness, so absorbed was the look in her eyesâand after tremulous movements of her neck, body, and arms, she slowly sank to the floor till perfectly flat on her back, with the bottle and lighted taper still standing upright on her head, which was now bent at right angles to her body. With her arms at her side she now rolled across the room from one end to the other, and then back again without even compromising the safety of the balanced bottle and light, though how she contrived to twist her neck at the right moment without dislocating it,or to turn her body independently of her head was a wonder to all, albeit we watched her every movement closely. Although many other strange feats of the sort were executed, this elicited the most surprise from the visitors seated on the divans round the room, and, as a proof of the Ghawazee's strange control over each muscle of her body, was a most curious exhibition. Though I have since seen many and various kinds of Ghawazee dancing, I think I never saw this bottle- balancing exploit rivalled, either in the ease of its execution or the confidence of its performer.â Palms and Temples Being Notes of a Four Months' Val/age upon the Nile. By Julian T. Biddulph Arnold. HUMBLE HEROISM. The self-appointed leader asked for flannel cloth- ing. A dozen garments were flung to him at once. He wrapped himself up like a mummy, and bound a cotton handkerchief over his face. Then with the machine strapped securely across his shoulder, he set one foot in the bucket, and laid a hand upon the rope. A man ran forward with a slender chain, which lie passed rapidly round the volunteer's waist, and fixed to the ri pe which supported the bowk. Another tinnst an end of cord into his hand, and stood by to reeve out the rest as he descended. Then came the word: "Short, steady." The engine panted, the rope tightened, the muffled figure with the machine bound about it swung into the smoke, and in a death- like stillness, with here and there a smothered gasp, the man went down. His comrade at the edge drib- bled the cord through his coal-blackened fingers as deiicately as though it had been a silken thread. Then came a sudden tug at it, and the word was flashed to the engine-room, and the creak of the wheel ceased, and the gliding wire rope was still. Then for a space of nigh a minute not a sound was heard, but every eye was on the rope, and every cheek was pallid with suspense, and every heart was with the hero in the fiery depths below. Then came another warning tug at the rope, and again the word flashed to the engine-room. The wheel spun round, the rope glided, quivered, stopped, the figure swung out through the smoke again, was seized, lowered, landed. When his comrades laid hards upon him. the flannel garments fell from him in huge blackened Hakes, so near to the flames had he been, He cast these garments from him, and they fell, half tinder, at his feet. Then he drew off the hand. kerchief which bound his face, and, at the god-iike, heroic pallor of his countenance, and the set lips, and gleaming eyes, women whispered pantingly, "God bleps him and the breath of those bold fellows was drawn hard. Then he reeled, and a pair of arms like a bear's were round him in a second. In ten seconds more he was outside the crowd, and a bottle of whisky, which came from nobody knew where, was at his lips as he lay upon the ground, and two or three women ran for water. And whilst all this was doing, anothei man, as good as he, was swinging downwards in the blinding smoke. So fierce a leap the flames made at this hero, that they caught him fairly for a moment in their arms, and when he was brought to the surface he hung limp and senseless, with great patches of smouldering fire upon his gar- ments, and his hands and face cracked and blackened. But the next man was ready, and when he in turn came to the light he had said good-bye to the light for ever in this world. Not this, nor anything that fear could urge, could stay the rest. Man after man went down. There were five-and-thirty men and boys below, and they would have them up or die. With that god-like pallor on their lips and cheeks, with those wide eyes that looked Death in the face, r.nd knew him, and defied himâdown they went! I saw these things who tell the story. Man after man defied that fiery hell, and faced its lurid smoky darkness undismayed, until, at last, their valour won the day.-fr. Bowker's Courtship. Bit D. Christie Mur- ray, in Gleanings from Popular Authors, A LOVE TRAGEDY. Spanish novels are naturally but little known in England, and our readers may, perhaps, be interested in the following translation of an incident in Doha Perfecta," a work by the best living Spanish novelist, Don Benito, Perez Galdos. It is necessary to premise that Rosario, the daughter of the heroine, has fallen in love with her cousin,Don Jose de Rey, commonly called Pepe Rey,while her mother had destined her for another. Rosario has an appointment with Pepe in her e'arden at midnight, at which their plans are to be finally settled, but a watch had been set, Maria Iteniedios and a Carlist bravo, Caballuco, being placed as spies. Rosario, driven to desperation by the fact that her mother insists on keeping watch all night, thus depriving her of all chance of keeping her rendezvous with Pepe, confesses everything on her knees, and the following scene ensues Rosario, Rosario!" exclaimed Dona Perfecta, with a terrible accent, "rise!" There was a little pause. "This man has written to you? "Yes." "You have seen him since that night?" "Yes." "And you- "I also. Oh, mother why do you look at me so You are not my mother." "Would to heaven, no Yes, re- joice in the pain you give me You kill me, you kill me, without hope!" cried Perfecta, with indescribable agitation; "you say that this man Is my husband. I shall be his, protected by the law-oh, you are not a womanâwhy do you look at me so, you make me tremble Mother, my mother, do not condemn me." "You have condemned yourselfâenough. Obey me, and I will forgive you. Answerâwhen did you receive letters from this man?" "To-day." "What treasonâwhat infamy," exclrimed the mother, violently. You had arranged to meet?" "Yes." "When?" "To-night." "Where?" "Here, here. I. confess it aU-all. I know it is a crime. I am very wicked but youâ you, who are my mother, wjJl sa ve me frorc this agony. CO., consentâsay one word to meâone onlyââ" "Ilii.! man here, in my house," cried Dona Perfecta, springing rather than walkirg towards the centre of the room. Rosario followed her on her knees. At 1 the same moment they heard three strokes, three blows, three thunder-claps. It was Maria Remedies, knocking till the house trembled. Mother and daughter stood like statues. A servant went down t" open, and a moment afterwards Maria Remedies entered, more like a basilisk than a woman. Her face, scarlet with excitement, shot fire from under her mantle. "He is here, he is here," sho said, taking breath at every syllable; "he has found his N,i,v into the garden through the disused gate." "Now I understand," repeated Dona Perfecta, with a kind of roar. Rosario fell back fainting. Come," said Dona Perfecta, without taking the smallest notice of her daughter, and the two women glided down the stairs. The servants crowded the gallery in t ewiJderment. Dona Perfecta passed through the dining-room into the garden, followed by Maria Reniedios. "Fortunately we have Caba'luco here," said the canon's niece. Where ?"" In the garden also. He jumped the wall." Doiia Perfecta ex- plored the garden with her angry eyes, to which passion gave a cat-like fiie anJ brilliancy. "I see something there," she said. "It is going towards the oleanders." "It is he," fa: 1 Ueniedios "but there is RamosâK^mos a; <1 distinguished plainly the colossal figure d Cab; Juco. Towards the (,lc:i),Icrs 1 !-t"r!. the V«)1< Perfecta nova;ved a r n >>; ce and her harsh voice, with a tei rib'e i: .-vl'c* the words, Cristobal, "s L.. A shot Wft8 hearà - And then another