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The Oriental Herald and Journal of General Literature (v. 14)

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Pages: 660

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: James Silk Buckingham

Excerpt from book: Excursions On The Banks Of The Nile. No. IV. Bazars of Cairo—Females of Egypt—Intercourse with India, by way of the Red Sea, as a route of Supply between the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Not having yet completed the purchase of my Oriental dress for the voyage into Upper Egypt, I passed the greater part of the day (October 20) in the bazars for that purpose: and willingly prolonged my stay beyond the time barely necessary for the purchases I had to effect, as I felt a great pleasure amidst the infinite variety of objects and characters which every change of place presented me, and considered such intercourse favourable to that knowledge of the people which I was desirous of acquiring during my short stay among them. These bazars, not being the residences of the dealers, are one continued succession of little recesses, adjoining each other, with no other space than the dividing wall between them : and, when shut up at sun-set, have the appearance of one unbroken range of flat windows. These are about six feet in height, and from six to twelve feet in breadth : being elevated about three feet from the ground, but without a door, or any thing like an entrance, except that formed by taking down the shutters themselves. These shutters, when let down in the morning by their hinges at the bottom, form the benches on which the goods are laid for the inspection of the purchaser, who stands in the street, as the recess in which the seller sits is scarcely ever more than sufficiently large to contain the wares and himself. Some of the higher orders of dealers have their shutters unhinged : and, in lieu of the stall which it would otherwise form, have a permanent little bench, railed around, and furnished with cushions like a sofa, and a carpet in the centre. In this there is r...  

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