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Donkey-Boy at Cairo

Earl Shinn ["Edward Strahan"], Gerome: A Collection of the works of J.L Gerome in One Hundred Photogravures. Multiple Volumes. New York: Samuel L. Hall, 1881.


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DONKEY-BOY OF CAIRO.

HALF the Orient is symbolized in this dappled beast, with its red head-gear, and the other half in this sleepy rascal, with his head of a young Memnon in ebony. The patient endurance of the ass is not a bad type of the Egypt of the present day, bullied and overloaded both by its own masters and those coming from the greedy bourses of Europe; while the boy's face is a revelation to eyes from the frozen North. Nothing less than a thousand years of sun could have produced him. His is like one of those faces of the colossal figures that front forever the burning sands of the desert ; his mouth is like the Sphinx's, but open, and with no secrets to utter. Truly, the wonders of this land of heat and fire are worthy the painting. As for that patient and much-abused animal, the donkey, he is almost as well adapted for pictorial purposes as for those of transportation, and the apologies of the artists are due him for their unreasonable neglect. Who that has ever seen a neat specimen of the Equus Asinus, and has an eye for structural beauty, has notstopped to admire his gray and yellow dappled coat, with the black cross forever laid on his shoulders, his mincing pace, his clean little legs,and the mingled patience and thoughtfulness in his fine dark eye ? Do we not learn in Judges, v. 10, that the great of the earth were accustomed to ride on white asses ; is not the wild ass of the wilderness chanted by Job, who had the " barren land " for its dwelling and "the



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