The Gateway to the Sahara: Observations and Experiences in Tripoli

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1909 - Africa, West - 306 pages
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Page 161 - FUNERAL, SHORTLY AFTER THE REVIVAL OF LEARNING IN EUROPE. LET us begin and carry up this corpse, Singing together. Leave we the common crofts, the vulgar thorpes, Each in its tether Sleeping safe on the bosom of the plain, Cared-for till cock-crow: Look out if yonder be not day again Rimming the rock-row!
Page 126 - Out of the seven hundred scaphanders working on this coast, from sixty to a hundred die every year, and, sooner or later, hardly a man escapes from it in one form or another.
Page 142 - Often great strings of sponges bleaching and drying in the sun cover large portions of the standing rigging of deposit boats when in port. When dry they are worked up in sand, then packed in boxes ready for shipment; a third to a quarter of the crop is sold direct from Tripoli, mainly to England and to France and Italy; the bulk of the crop, unbleached and unprepared, is taken at the close of the season to the islands from which the boats came, where long experience, manipulation, and cheap labor...
Page 13 - Arbar-Arsat, in the very heart of Tripoli, stands what once must have been one of the most splendid triumphal arches of antiquity. It is known to the Moors as the Old Arch ; to the Europeans, as the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, in whose honor it was erected AD 164.
Page 230 - Arabian poetry is pervaded with the story and legend of the tending of camels, and words and metaphors based upon him or his life are in daily use for all manner of strange purposes. Time or death, for instance, is compared to a drinking camel : "Deep was the first draught, deep the next, no stint was there, When Time gulped down the great of al-Aswad and of Attab." While a tribe bereft of its chief by plague is likened to Death with a herd of camels, to whose fonduk they must all come home, some...
Page vii - How long before the primitive customs of this people will give way before the progressive aggression of some Christian power, and the picture of an ancient patriarchal life be tarnished with the cheap veneer of a commercial vanguard, may be answered any morning by the cable news of the daily paper. The great dynamic forces of modern civilization cause events to march with astounding swiftness. Tripoli, in Barbary, is already in the eye of Europe; to-morrow the Tripoli of to-day may have vanished.
Page 137 - ... another atmospheric pressure. Crawling along the bottom, taking care not to wrench the weights from his feet, which would cause him to turn head downward, he searched among the wonders and beauties of the semitropical...
Page 130 - The greatest danger is in the rapid ascent, producing sudden relief of pressure. A partially paralyzed diver recovers, the use of his limbs again on descending. These divers work for six months in the year, from April to October, from sunrise to sunset, generally on a rough sea and under the scorching rays of an African sun. During the winter months, they spend most of their time ashore in their island homes. The experienced diver will receive from $'200 to $600.
Page viii - an insight into this most native of the Barbary capitals, its odd and fascinating customs, industries, and incidents; a view of those strange and interesting people who Inhabit the oases and table-lands of Tripolitania, their primitive methods and patriarchal life: a narrative of some personal adventures which occurred during a trip alone with Arabs over some two Hundred miles of the great Sahara; and a description of the daily life...
Page 137 - Crawling along the bottom, taking care not to wrench the weights from his feet, which would cause him to turn head downward, he searched among the wonders and beauties of the semitropical sea garden, and when he found a colony of the reddish-brown Tripoli sponge, signalled to the overseer, whereupon the spot was buoyed. Discarding among others the few black and worthless male sponges, he selected only the marketable sponges, the best of which he gathered from the rocks.

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