THERE is no object on the Nile so beautiful as the island of Philæ, with its temples and trees seen amidst the wild desolation of the vast rocks which here bound the river above the first cataract of the Nile.

    On whichever side this charming island is approached, nothing can exceed its beauty. The picturesque forms of its temples, its romantic situation, and its fertility, are the themes of every traveller. It is the first object lying in the beauty of repose which presents itself to those who ascend the river after the turmoil and dangers of the cataract. But with all these natural advantages, and the emotions excited by the charm of contrast, it acquires a vast increase of beauty if it be seen at sunset, against the blaze of the last rays of an Egyptian sun; it is then that the light breaking through the elegant temple called the Bed of Pharaoh, enriches the scene with the character of fairy land.