Once more I had traced my way to Egypt to pass the winter there. Like every European who makes a lengthened sojourn in that ancient but renewed land, I was led to recall the great engineering and other achievements accomplished within our own time, and also to consider future projects of development for which the country seems to present so wide a scope. A great deal has been heard of late on the subject of improved communication between Egypt and Southern Syria. Proposals for the construction of a new harbour at Jaffa, for a railway through the valley of the Jordan, and for harbour works at Beyrout, exercised my mind in succession; and during my frequent walks in the beautiful Esbekieh my thoughts were more particularly occupied with the overland route between Syria and Egypt. Since the wanderings of the Israelites through the desert, and the flight of the child Jesus, of how many great events have these countries been the scenes, and what various recollections are awakened by their names!
tude is the view backward over the desert scene, with the palm group of Rumman--"pomegranate," to the right (see illustration). Soon, however, to our great joy, we came upon the palm group of Bir el Nus, signifying "Half-way Well," with a tamarisk growing near. The well itself, the water of which is slightly saline, is placed under a small group of palms to the left. This little oasis, situated at three-fourths of the distance from Kantara to Katya, is an inviting resting-place, but we decided to go on; and, continuing our progress along the well-marked road across the deep sandy ground, reached the small palm group of Tahte--"subjacent," from which that of El Garif may be seen to the left and that of Abou Raml to the right. These groups of verdure form a most enlivening contrast to the dreary scene around.
From Tahte the ground gradually rises, and we soon saw over the sandy undulations the countless palms of Katya. Upon this, our Bedouins, who were quite exhausted from their toilsome journey through