The Gold-Mines of Midian and the Ruined Midianite Cities (1878)

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This is an OCR edition with typos.
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CHAPTER II. THE CHANGES AT CAIRO. My short stay at the capital began in the saddest way. Visiting it with the intention of reading a Paper before the Societd Khediviale de Geographic, I ordered a carriage and bade the dragoman drive to the quarters of the Marquis Alphonse-Victor de Compiegne, whose last letter lay unanswered in my pocket. "Mais, vous ne savez pas gu'il est mart f " was the reply, followed by an account of the needless untimely death in a duel on February 28th. It is vain now to dwell upon the singular combination of malign chance, the fatal mismanagement of "friends" who should never have allowed the affair to become serious, the declining health which made a shoulder- wound mortal, and the failure of the right man to find himself in the right place. It is only fair to notice that they were in error who attempted to apply a political complexion to the event, simply because it happened between a Frenchman and a German. Those best informed can find no faultwith the conduct of Herr Meyer, who was subsequently condemned to three months' imprisonment in Prussia, and who manfully returned home with us in the Austrian Lloyd's S.S. Flora, to expiate his offence. Yet the perfect loyalty of the two concerned offers scanty consolation for the unhappy close of that young and promising life, which began so gloriously with exploration, and which, at the age of thirty, ended as it were by mistake, the exit being the only act which did not become it. Mr. Frederick Smart, one of the " Ancient Egyptians," whose ranks are now so sadly shrunk, kindly announced my arrival to His Highness, and I was honoured with an invitation to the Abadin Palace next day. My reception by the Viceroywas peculiarly gracious ; and the first audience taught me that this Prince is a master of de...
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