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a handful of dirt, and put their seal to it. Some ftone is, ufed in this building, but, for the greatest part, it is built of bad bricks, and mud; and therefore has no pretence to be deemed so antient, as the name it bears might import; it muff have been a work of the Saracens.

The canal is of great antiquity : it reaches from Bazár to the water-house; is a quarter of a league long, and 200 common paces broad. When the Nile is low, you may pass the whole length of the canal on foot, without being wet; but when the waters of the Nile rise, you will see the canal covered with all forts of boats, and even barks,

The Mokkias, or Mikkias, is a work of the Saracens * and derives its name, which fignifies measure, from its use which is, by means of a graduated pillar, to fhew the degrees of the increase or decrease in the waters of the Nile, which are proclaimed, at different hours, in the city, by public criers. The bason is in a square tower, environed by a gallery, with feveral windows; the whole terminated by a vaulted roof, after the manner of the Arabians: our Author has given us a fine section of this building. The Arabic inscription at the entrance, was thus explained to Mr. Norden; “ The entrance into this « place witnesseth, that there is no other God but one God, « and that Mohammed is his embassador." On one side of the Mokkias is a grand mosque, and on the west side of this mosque are stairs, leading down to the water : and here the people make their observations; for the mokkias itself is fhut, and not readily opened to every one., 1.11.3, mit 11: 119

It is called by the Greeks, Nilometron. Abdalaziz, brother of Caliph Abdalmalek, of the family of the Ommiads, erected one at Hulvan; but this was of no service, and therefore Solomon the Caliph, who was son of Abdalmalek, built another in the island, where the river divides, one branch going to Cairo,' the other to Gize. The Caliph Al-Mamon, of the family of the Abeslides, built one in the Saïd, or Thebaid, near Banbenouda, in a place called Sourat, and repaired another in the city of Akhmim. In the 245th year of the Hejira, Motavakkel, son of Motalem, ninth Caliph of thie family of the Abeslides, hearing that the Nilometre erected in iland of Cairo, by Solomon, son of Abdalmalek, was {poiled, builo one at Gize, which is now called Mekias Algedid, lometre: that by Soliman being called Mekias Alätik, or the Old Nilometre. Moradi, an Arabian poet, sitting on the banks of the Nile, near the Mekias, and reciting his verses, was observed by an Egyptian, who supposing him to utter fome incantation to hinder the increase of the Nile, threw the unfortunate poet into the river, and drowned him. See Herbelot's Bibliotheque Orientale. 8

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Our Author, amongst other designs, gives us a view of Gize, a large town on the west side of the Nile, oppofite to Cairo, Sand the Ife of Rodda. It is built of brick and mud, and has four or five minarets. This, according to fome, was the very spot on which the antient Memphis stood; but it is not half to big as Old Cairo, and the plains about are over-, flowed by the waters of the Nile : a circumstance the antient autbors would have recorded of Memphis, if it had been fituate in this place. Half a league to the south of Grand Cairo is seen the great mosque of Otter-Ennabi; the Mohammedans have a great veneration for it, because they believe, that the firf Calif, Omar, in descending upon the spot where this mosque has since been founded in honour of him, left the impression of his foot upon marble. Near this place is the town of Deir Etiin, which, as some pretend, fignifies a convent of figs. Upon this occafion Mr. Norden tells us, there are several kinds of figs in Egypt ; but that which differs most from the common fort, grows on the ficamoré, called gionez, in Arabic. This tree is as tall as the beech, and bears its fruit

n a manner different from all other trees; for the figure, and further description, of this tree, we refer to our Author. Here is also a print of Adam's fig-tree, commonly called bananas, and of two cypress-trees at Old Cairo: allo of some other trees, and infects, and

utensils, and instruments of husbandry, with a plan of the ovens made use of in order to hatch chickensie

It is a great mistake to suppose, that Egypt, by its natural fertility, and the annual overflowing of the Nile, requires, like Paradise, little or no labour to bring forth its productions; on the contrary, says our Author, I dare aver, from what I

with my own eyes, that there is no country where the land requires more culture, than the land of Egypt, The beft land is in Delta, because it is more cultivated, and better inhabited, and from ita low situation, receives greater advantage from the overflowing of the Nile. But this yearly inundation hot proving sufficient, the natives have contrivances for Taving water. The antients succeeded:wonderfully in their inventions for preserving and distributing the waters of this river, to different parts of the country; witness their canals, aqueduets, Takes : --which, tha' now in fo decayed a condition, are fill of prodigious advantage. They, however, approach fo fast towards ruin, that if the Arabs are not, by extreme necesty, obliged to work for their preservation, in less than a century, Egypt will be reduced to as miserable a state as the lesser Barbary, in the neighbourhood of the cataracts, where no one labours, or tills, beyond twenty or thirty paces from the sides of the river. The prosperity of a province here de


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pends upon the care taken of the canals; but every one endeavours to gain what he can by them, insomuch, that, the Bey of Gize actually raises above 500 $ purses, yearly revejue, on these canals; yet no body, it seems, takes any thought about keeping them in repair : so that they are continually decaying, and the fertility of the land decreases in proportion to their ruin,

IC After this account of the natural and improved state of Egypt, our Author proceeds to consider the civil government of that country,

Selim I. 'Emperor of the Turks t, conquered Egypt in one compaign; and, to secure his conquest, he erected a Basha, whom he made absolute governor of all Egypt, accountable to none but the Emperor himself. Twenty-four Beys were allo established, to govern the provinces, with as absolute power as the Basha; to whom alone they were answerable for their conduct. One of these, as we observed before, was obliged to attend the Carats, or tribute, sent every year to Conftantinople; another to conduct the caravan to Mecca, and such as were not otherwise engaged, were to assist once a week at the divan, or council of the Balba, to receive the Grand Signior's orders, and to determine upon the most speedy and effectual means of putting them in execution.

When Egypt fupplies any troops for the service of the Emperor, they are commanded by these Beys, or Begs, and the office of High Chancellor cannot be discharged but by one of them. The title of Bey they retain for life, but their continuance in any office depends upon the will of the Basha. The power of these officers would be too great for subjects, but their charge seldom continues for more than one or two years, and the army is not at their disposal. When Selim had defeated the Mamalukes, and established this sort of government

| About 30,000 1. fterl. * Mr. Norden might have compared Egypt with Holland. The preservation of boin depends upon the care they take of their dykes and canals ; nor is there any work in the former, fo great as

building such a city as Amsterdam, upon piles in the fea: but as both are against nature, the, in the end, will get the better of them; and that foon of the latter, if the inhabitants depart but a very little more than they have already done, from that industry, ha. nefty, and concern for the public welfare, which at first made them what they are: and if the sea returns upon them, their having existed, will be known only from tradition, and books.

+ He was born in 1472, and conquered Egypt a few years before his death, which happened in 1519. He poffefied many good qualities, and was as learned as he was brave. He was che ninth prince of the Ottoman family, and the firit of the name of Selim.


already defcribed, he put the militia upon the fame footing as it was in other parts of the empire, mixing the natives with Turks drawn from other provinces : they were divided into different claffes, called Portes'; the two principal of which are The Janiffaries and Affaffs, between whom there fubfifts great jealousy, which seems to proceed from the insolence of the former, who think the more highly of themselves from the importance of their name' at Conftantinople. Every porte, or elals, is commanded by an Aga, who is chosen by the corps, and receives his Caffetah, or commission, from the Grand Signiot." His power extends 10 farther than his own class,

or divifion. He affifts at the divan, and prefides in all couneils of his own corps ; and has under him other officers, called Kraja, or Kieche, and Sious ; of the last, which are the lowest in command, there may be fome hundreds to each class, or porte. 10: They have no naval force here'; and not more than fix for"tified places in all Egypt. The garrisons consist of Janiffaries,

and Affaffs, commanded by an Aga, with subalterns, called Shorbafhies. Their power is, strictly speaking, limitted to their fort; but they find the means of extending it to whatever paffeth within their reach. In civil matters, the Cadi, as judge, determines all causes, without appeal; but not without apprehension that the parties may have powerful friends, who may call him to account for any injustice, before a higher tribunal. At Cairo, besides the Cadi, is another officer, called Huali, The public markets, weights, and measures, fall under bis cog

nizance. He traverses the city day and night, attended with wififty officers; and has the power of life and death, without being accountable for any thing he does.

The government of provinces is generally committed to the Beys, but many places have only Casheffs, or Caymakans*: the former have the care of three or four towns committed to them; the latter only one. Their power is the same as that of the Beys. In affairs of religion, Egypt is governed by the Mufti, and the Doctors of the law. in, alon 31: The Arabs in Delta, and higher up, beyond Cairo, are di

vided into Felabques and Bedouins. The first are peafants, iu who live in towns, and are obedient to the Governors. The

others live in tents, are divided into troops; eachunder the command of a chief they call Sheck, and every band forms a little camp. As they have no property, they often change their fituation. When they continue any time, they agree with the Bey, or Cacheff, or Caimakan, at a certain price

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by the year, for leave to cultivate a quantity of land, fufficient for corn, and for pasture for their cattle, Under this agree ment: they come and go into the towns, buy and sell, and have all the privileges they can defire; and are better used thana the other subjects of the Grand Signior ; for they have nothing 1 to lose, and, as military men, they can make themfelves It would be well-for Égypt if all the Arabs were to behave in this manner : the land would be better cultivated, and thei: officers receive greater, and more easy, tribute. But these Be douins are of toð roving-à difpofition, and not honeft enough to continue long in a place." When they have either done or received an injury, they decamp, and join other bands of Arabs, till they are become very numerous, and then, chusing a good : commander, they return to the country they left, and pillage ito.) Engagements of this fort happen every year, in which the Besi douins often get the better; and then they pay no tribute, buto carrying away whatever they please, greatly distress the people, 3 particularly the Felacques, who, by this means, ate noto able to pay their tribute : which, therefore, the officers muft! make good ; for the Balha, and the Grand Signior, admit of no defaults. Besides thefe Bedouins, there are other Arabs, who live upon the mountains opposite Ell-guzone. They are amphibious robbers, plundering all they can, both by land and

The Bey of Girge is continually in pursuit of, but can: o: extirpate them.

The Arab Princes, called Shechs, command all that partA of Egypt which lies on both sides the Nile, between Girge and Eluaan. They are tributary to the Grand Signior, and fay an acknowlegement to the Balha, when they succeed upon the death of a former Shech, but not if he conveys his authon ! rity to them during his own life. They are exceedingly jeans lous of their power, and suffer not the Bey of Girge to enter their territories without asking leave: which they never allow him, unless it be to go to Kene, where he affifts at a feast; or to give his advice, when they think proper to ask it. There are a great many of these princes, the chief of which are those of Negadi, Achmin, Efna, Farcinth, Nichee, Berdis, and Uladjeche. They frequently consult together, for the commop good of themselves and their subjects, and generally agree; but if some are oblinate, and dilagree, it ends in an open war. In these disturbances they do not permit the Turk to aflift either side with his troops: but then he often foments their divisions, and by such policy keeps them in proper subjection. When a Shech dies, and leaves, ten lons, with out paming which of them shall be his successor, the affair is



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