Excerpt from Travels in the Middle East: Being Impressions by the Way in Turkish Arabia, Syria, and Persia
These two trips were taken, it is hardly necessary to say, and the records of them written, before the War broke out. The result of the tremendous struggle now in progress will bring, of course, considerable changes to the Middle East, and it may seem that such changes will make this book not so much a picture as far as it is a picture at all - Oi present-day travel in the countries concerned as of travel-conditions of a bygone age; that it may haltingly answer the question, What was it like 7' instead of What is it like P It is true that with the changes may come those revolutionaries of travel - railways that where the writer's caravan bells tinkled merrily there may one day be heard the raucous scream of the locomo tive and that journeys which took the writer weeks of preparation and months of actual wayfaring may be accomplished by the reader in a few days after five minutes' conversation at a booking-office. But it is also true that the said changes will in the main affect politics, of which this book contains no mention from cover to cover; that railways are not built in a day nor yet in a year that even when - ii ever - they stretch across the Middle East they will be few and far between, and that in the wide Spaces between will still lie the happy hunting-grounds of the traveller.
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