May 3, 2012

The Father of Rivers in Ancient Egypt, 1833

The Father of Rivers, 1833
Robert Curzon

Nille Father of Rivers
. . . we were glad to arrive the next day on the shores of the Father of Rivers, whose swollen stream, although at Atfeh not more than half a mile in width, rolled by towards the north in eddies and whirlpools of smooth muddy water, in colour closely resembling a sea of mutton-broth.

In my enthusiasm on arriving on the margin of this venerable river I knelt down to drink some of it, and was disappointed in finding it by no means good as I had always been told it was. On complaining of its muddy taste I found that no one drank the water of the Nile till it had stood a day or two in a large earthen jar, the inside of which was rubbed with a paste of bitter almonds. This causes all impurities to be precipitated, and the water thus treated becomes the lightest, clearest, and most excellent in the world.

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