Letter from Burnes to Murray, 30 Mar 1835

Author(s): Burnes


On the Nile 30 March 1835
My dear Murray

It is only four weeks this very day since
I took leave of you in Albemarle Street, and here I am
within a couple of hours sail of [¿] Cairo and in sight
of those stupendous monuments of folly, the Pyramids of Egypt,
which as my favourite author Gibbon has [¿]”still stand erect and
“[¿] above the floods of the Nile, after an hundred genera
“tions and the leaves of autumn have dropped into the grave “ - I
cannot believe myself so far distant from the salons of London
but the moment I reach [¿] the line of demarcation
too apparent, the transition form civilization to barbarism was
[¿] and we revived befor quitting the [¿] the
astounding intelligence that 15,000 human beings had died of plague within
the [¿] three months and that 129 had perished on the preced
ing day in the isolated town of Alexandria - My fellow passengers
and myself [¿] our boxes into a boat and set off for
[¿] without holding conversation with a human being
and hitherto our journey has been most prosperous - a couple
of days more will transport us [¿] and we
shall in all probability reach India within fifty days of
quitting the Landsend - what commotion! - before I have done
with; [¿]I shall begin to doubt my existance, as [¿] I do not take
P.S - I go to the Pyramids to morrow morning & start in the evening
for the Red Sea - 8th work but not too 8th for 190 people 8th
here (Cairo) yesterday of the plague-! 8th

these towering [¿], which they tell me are the Pyramids, for their
beautiful lithographs which I was looking at with Mrs Murray
on your table a month [¿], but then I have since spanned a
goodly [¿] of the world and, as you expected some interest in
[¿], I have resolved to fill the chest by telling you
what you and your friends may expect who are resolved on profiting
by this new [¿] communication with India and what
you may do in three months - we left Falmouth on the 4th and
as was to be expected, had little peace in [¿] ”sleepless bay” - by
this last [¿], i find that [¿] take my [¿] from
[¿] description is not more glowing
than time - we [¿] the coast of Spain in four days.


were all printed and to us in succession but we were too distant
to see the [¿]
[¿] by moonlight and anchored in its beautiful bay - and
then sailing along the coast of [¿] by [¿] Vincent and
the memorable
[¿] three
days in examining the pillars of [¿] & in sight of
Africa - [¿] with the lofty mountains of [¿]
[¿] with much excietment, I was taking a last
look at Europe and of a truely interesting portion of it with which I would
[¿] and delightful appreciation as I lay
in hazy mist behind me - the Kingdom of Goths - the [¿]

the land of Columbus - the Kingdom of the Great [¿]
[¿] the sence of achievement that will perpituate the [¿]
[¿] — would not all this delight a much less when [¿]
[¿] and if it would not, I say to him draw upon Dear [¿]
[¿] and name the names of Seville [¿] Granada - [¿]
[¿] From Spain we crossed the Mediterinian
described Africa in the [¿] mountains of Atlas which still bear more
[¿] longer the world - V saw Algiers
[¿] and its houses which form remaining steps to each
other - [¿] but were distant, yet how could one
think so when so near ancient [¿] but we soon [¿]
barren shores of African fo rthe Kingdom of the Knights of [¿]Egypt,
[¿], a barrier to which [¿] good
a beutiful aspect from the sea - Here we embarked on another [¿],
and after a four days sail discovered the land of Egypt by the
modern [¿] of Alexandria & Pompey's pillars - The one in bygone London
the other I can say little of, for was a wonder of the world but now it is a sequence [¿] saw it through a glass and from th was
thus was a wonder of the world but now it is a sequence [¿] in Egypt in 22 days - a month or rather six weeks
may be spent in visiting Cairo, Jeruselem & Damascus & by
availing oneself of the was a wonder of the world but now it is a sequence [¿] after the next it would be quite
possible to be in London in three months!! - One another, I forgot
his name gives, his book the name of “Dates and Distances shewing
what may be done” in a certain time he does not out do this which
ought to tempt some of the thousand and one who wishes to
write a book for next season” & [¿] for immortality as [¿]

The Quarterly is lyinf befor me and strangely enough I have
been [¿] the very article which [¿] on Mohammed Ali in that
able essay regarding the encroachment of [¿] - The journal [¿]
which the [¿] are made regarding the state and government of Egypt
[¿] the written to have been an [¿] and an acute observer but

I do thaink that he has been too severe on the [¿]
[¿] merchant and a wholesale oppressor but compare him in [¿]
[¿] of businessman, & then judge - From the very spot where
I find beheld the Pyramids, Muhammed Ali has began to dig an enveious
[¿] - into which he is to [¿] the Nile after having bridged the [¿]
channel! the bridge is to be constructed that he may [¿] any
[¿] above the delta and the river itself will be [¿] and out of its channel by
John Murray Esqre
50 Albemarle Street

an embankment [¿] is to be formed by boats filled with stones +
[¿]!! I, this the work of a barbarian-can a work be useful, tho'
he may force the [¿] to perform it, be called anything but a national
[¿], whence are the supplies to be derived by Mohammed Ali
but from his “faithful commons” - But [¿] Cairo is in
right, the boatman are singing a song of delight in the [¿]
however as attened Cleopatra is her gallery, nor enough to make [¿] charms
into a forgetfulness of all your many attentions to me-with best regards to Mrs Murray
& your family & particular rememberences to your son [¿] believe me Yours very sincerly
[¿] Burnes


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Letter from Burnes to Murray, 30 Mar 1835

Document Information

Document ID 226
Title Letter from Burnes to Murray, 30 Mar 1835
Year group 1800-1850
Genre Personal writing
Year of publication 1835
Place of publication On the Nile, Africa
Wordcount 1008

Author information: Burnes

Author ID 50
Surname Burnes