One by one I had seen the many illusions of my waking dreams fade away; the gorgeous pictures of Oriental scenes melt into nothing; but I still clung to the primitive simplicity and purity of the children of the desert; their temperance and abstinence, their contented poverty and contempt for luxuries, as approaching the true nobility of man's nature and sustaining the poetry of the "land of the East." But my last dream was broken; and I never saw among the wanderers of the desert any traits of character or any habits of life which did not make me prize and value more the privileges of civilization. I had been more than a month alone with the Bedouins; and, to say nothing of their manners, excluding women from all companionship; dipping their fingers up to the knuckles in the same dish; eating sheep's insides, and sleeping under tents crawling with vermin engendered by their filthy habits, their temperance and frugality are from necessity, not from choice; for in their nature they are gluttonous, and will eat at any time till they are gorged of whatever they can get, and then lie down and sleep like brutes. I have sometimes amused myself with trying the variety of their appetites, and I never knew them refuse anything that could be eaten. Their stomach was literally their god, and the only chance of doing anything with them was by first making to it a grateful offering; instead of scorning luxuries, they would eat sugar as boys do sugarcandy; and I am very sure, if they could have got poundcake, they would never have eaten their own coarse bread.
- from page 318, Incidents of Travel