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was filled with water and handed to us, so that we, together with those so minded, might partake of it. After the service was over we adjourned to an enclosed court outside the church where there was a divan, and where we were regaled with coffee and cigarettes, and introduced to the old priest who had officiated, and who had so gentle and winning an expression of countenance, that I was led to hope that his religion consisted of something beyond the forms I had been witnessing. There is a small Roman Catholic Church in Medinet, which we also visited, and where an Italian curé, who was unfortunately absent, officiates to a congregation of about fifty persons, mostly converts or their descendants. He is the only European permanently resident in the place. The Protestant American Mission opened a school here not long ago; but it was so badly supported, and their efforts met with so little success, that it was abandoned after a short time. The Copt population of the province of Fayoum is about 5000; of these a large proportion are fellahin. Those in the town, as I have already said, are for the most part scribes, and after going to their church, I am inclined to think may also be Pharisees. During our stay in the Fayoum we saw a good deal of the mudir or governor, and one or two of the other officials, to whom we were much indebted for various acts of kindness. For the last ten years the Fayoum has been administered with marked success by the present governor, who has, in consequence, held his position for an almost unprecedented length of time. The mode of administering an Egyptian province is in some respects patriarchal. The mudir is, or should be, easy of access to the humblest fel/a/ ; and if he is a capable man, can exercise the functions of a benevolent despot without let or hindrance. On the other hand, the power thus at his disposition may easily be, and often is, abused. Once aweek the sheikhs of villages used to congregate in the avenue leading to the Government offices. As a rule, they were tall handsome men, and formed striking groups, in their black flowing affeihs, beneath which the white under-garment folded across the chest shows in strong and harmonious contrast. With all these men the governor was in direct and constant contact, and was thus in a position to know the exact condition of every village in his mudirate. Sometimes he would address them collectively, after receiving their various reports; and on occasions of disputes or complaints, groups of the lowest class of fellahin might be seen waiting for their audience. This same avenue was on certain days of the week the resort of numerous letter-writers, who, seated on the ground under the trees, would draw up petitions or write letters for those who could not do so for themselves; here, too, were pitched the tents of the party who are making a cadastral survey of the province under Colonel Mason, to whose hospitality we were indebted for a tent on the first night of our arrival. As this avenue was also the approach to our own rooms, we were in a position to know pretty well what was going on generally. Nor was Fayoum without its dissipations. One evening we dined out and accomplished the feat of steadily wading with our fingers, in the absence of plates or knives and forks, through fifteen elaborately cooked native dishes, which had been prepared in the D

harem by the ladies of our host, who were skilled in the culinary art. As the plats were not cooked dry, but consisted of cunningly prepared gravies and sauces, fingers seemed especially inadequate, even with the aid of bread, to secure satisfactory mouthfuls. However, as we had so many to do justice to, a little of each went a long way. Turkish and Arabic cookery errs perhaps on the side of being too greasy; but I confess I prefer it to any other, perhaps because I acquired the taste for it in my youthWe had now pretty well exhausted the attractions of the town of Medinet, and determined to make some expeditions to such objects of interest in the Fayoum as were within our power. There were a prostrate obelisk and some curious ruins still to be seen within an easy distance of the town, but we had more especially set our hearts upon visiting the Pyramid of Howara, and the far-famed Labyrinth which, in the days of Herodotus, was numbered among the seven wonders of the world, and the ruins of which have lately been discovered by Linant Bey, upon the shores of the dried-up Lake Moeris. Indeed the two great attractions which had induced me to visit the Arsinoite Nome consisted in the prospect that it afforded of exploring the mysteries of the Labyrinth, and of fish

ing in the brackish waters of the Birket el Kurón.

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