gut, and lastly the 'M, the lute or mandoline, the oldest of all the
The Egyptians consider themselves a highly musical people. The
Egyptian sings when indulging in his kef (p. xxvi), whether sitting on
his heels or stretched out on his mat, when driving his donkey, when
carrying stones and mortar up a scaffolding, when working in the fields,
and when rowing. He sings whether alone or in company, regarding his
vocal music as a means of lightening his labour and of sweetening his
repose. A peculiarity of the Egyptian songs, however, is that they have
no tune, though they have a certain rhythm, which is always dependent
on the text. They are sung through the nose on seven or eight different
notes, on which the performer wanders up and down. The character
of this so-called music is exceedingly monotonous and, to a European ear,
displeasing. The songs (mawwdl or shughl) are all of a lyrical description,
most of them are erotic and often pointless and meaningless. Some of
them, however, extol the pleasures of friendship and rational enjoyment,
or express derision of an enemy, or contempt for the rustic fellah.
Female Singers QAwalim, sing. 'Almeh or 'Alimeh; i.e.
'learned women') of a good class are now very rare and perform
only in the harems of wealthy natives.
The Female Dancers, or Ghawdzi (sing. Ghaziyeh), were for¬
merly one of the chief curiosities of Egypt, but for some years past
they have been prohibited from performing in the streets. Really
good dancers are said to be now rare; the performances in the cafes-
ohantants in Cairo are very inferior.
The Snake Charmers (Rifd'lyeh, sing. Rifa'i; p. lxvi) exhibit
performances of a very marvellous character, as credible European
residents in Cairo have testified; but the traveller will rarely come
in contact with them except by lucky accident. The men and boys
who exhibit small snakes in the streets or at the hotels must of
course not be confounded with the Rifa'iyeh.
The Jugglers (Hdwi) of Egypt are similar to those of other
countries. The performances of the Buffoons (Kuruddti or Mohab-
bazi) are disgracefully indelicate.
The baths of Egypt, with their hot-air chambers, are those com¬
monly known as Turkish, but they are neither so clean nor so well
fitted up as some of those in the larger cities of Europe. A Turkish
bath is particularly refreshing after a long journey, and is an ad¬
mirable preventive of colds and rheumatism. The baths are always
cleanest in the early morning. Fridays are to be avoided, as numerous
Muslims bathe early on that day, which is their Sabbath. When a
cloth is hung up at the entrance to the baths, it indicates that
women only are admitted.
The visitor first enters a large vaulted chamber covered with a
cupola (hosh el-hammdm), having a fountain of cold water in the
centre (fasklyeh), and the bathing towels hung around on strings.
Having taken off his shoes and given them to the attendant the
visitor is next conducted to one of the raised llwans (PI. 4) that