The Great East is a fascinating theme to most readers, and every traveler, from Marco Polo to the tourist of the present time, taking the trouble to record what he saw, has placed every fireside reader under distinct obligation.
y hesitate a long time before voluntarily parading its advantages.
The uniting of the Mediterranean and Red seas was considered long before the birth of Christ, and many wise men and potentates toyed with the project in the hoary ages. The Persian king, Necho, was dissuaded sixteen hundred years before the dawn of Christianity from embarking in the enterprise, through the warning of his favorite oracle, who insisted that the completion of the work would bring a foreign invasion, resulting in the loss of canal and country as well. The great Rameses was not the only ruler of the country of the Nile who coquetted with the project. In 1800 the engineers of Napoleon studied the scheme, but their error in estimating the Red Sea to be thirty feet below the Mediterranean kept the Corsican from undertaking the cutting of a canal. Mehemet Ali, whose energies for improving the welfare of his Egyptian people were almost boundless, never yielded to the blandishment of engineers scheming to pierce the isthmus; he ma
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