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“During the thirty-four years that the Signora had been in the harem, she had never been out of it, nor seen any other foreign man than myself. My presence excited in her the most lively emotion. !I discovered that the love of country and the desire of liberty were not entirely extinguished in her heart. She saw me depart with the most poignant feelings, and I retired from her greatly moved. She has never beard any tidings of her family; she is ignorant as to whether the officer Dévaux was killed or not at the affair of Mansourah.'.)!...on
“In the abode of the Signora I saw all that Bedouin hospitality preserves of the patriarchal. The two repasts that I partook of there, were served up on a large circular mat (natte ronde). In the middle was an entire sheep, and around the borders were placed a great number of small dishes. The members of the family, the principal persons of the village, and myself, were the first to dine, squatted down upon our car pets, tearing with the fingers our bits of roast-meat, or kneading our Arab pilau into balls. We were replaced by others, and these again by tbe servants and the poor, of whom I counted sixty. What struck me particularly was, that the chief of the house did the honours of the table to the last; so that the poor had less the appearance of unfortunates on whom alms were being bestowed than of guests who had been invited. Moreover, this was not an act of ostentation ; the hospitality of every day was the same."
With regard to the Osmanlees or Turks, pride and presumption are their moral characteristics. They entertain very singular ideas about Europeans. They are persuaded that we make war upon their religion, which it is our object to destroy, and that if we do not absolutely conquer the country they occupy, it is because our strength is not equal to our ambition. It is very difficult to make any of them comprehend our religious tolerance, and those political considerations which are the sole barriers under shelter of which the existence of the Ottoman Empire has been prolonged to the present day. There are but very few of them that have any clear idea of the position of Turkey with relation to Europe. The most part have no recollection of the numerous humiliating predicaments to which the Porte has of late years been subjected during its conflicts with Russia. There are some who are convinced that the kings of Europe humbly pay tribute to the Sultan.
Upon many points, it is true, the Turks are forced to acknow.' ledge the superiority of the Europeans; but, on the whole, they regard them with a sentiment of pity mingled with disdain. It is curious to observe the manner in which they oftentimes receive a European of distinction. Though they welcome him with an appearance of polite consideration, by which a person is often deceived (who is not fully acquainted with the usages of oriental etiquette), yet the fact is, they do not condescend to rise at his entrance; they scarcely move themselves upon their divan. If however they wish not to show themselves utterly impolite, when they know that a great European personage is about to pay them a visit, they give instructions to the servants to forewarn them of the arrival of the Frank whom they are expecting, and then keep themselves standing in order not to betray the concession of having risen expressly to receive him. The same sentiment of fanatical pride has revealed itself in a great number of circumstances. A striking instance of it occurred in Egypt some time ago, when an ignorant and ridiculously vain colonel refused to put his regiment through its required evolutions before the Duke of Ragusa, who was reviewing a portion of the viceroy's army. Mehemet Ali, in rising above such absurd prejudices, displays the real superiority of his understanding and sense. He always receives strangers with the utmost courtesy. He has constantly set before his officers the example of the greatest politeness towards Europeans. He has in this respect not only run counter to the prejudices of his subjects, but even braved the accusations of infidelity, which the ignorant and the fanatical have not hesitated to throw at him. He seems to seize every occasion of setting off the superiority of talents which he recognizes in Europeans over his own people, and every means he can employ to cause them to be respected by these latter. Many anecdotes of this propensity of his might be given; one will suffice.-One day there happened to be, in the divan of the viceroy, some strangers of distinction. At the commencement of the interview, Mehemet Ali ordered coffee to be brought in. The officers charged with serving it offered it with the left hand to the European guests of the Pasha. The latter, not being au fait at the details of oriental etiquette, did not perceive the extent of this gross impoliteness ; (the left hand being considered by Mussulmans as impure, they never employ it but in offices implying a character of contamination). But hardly had his visitors left, when the viceroy, whose vigilant eye the affront had not escaped, severely reprimanded the servitors, ordered them to be clothed with a white shirt and sent to Mecca to do the services of the Caaba, saying, " Since you are so fanatical as to disdain to show politeness towards persons whom I do myself the honour to receive, go to a city where the sight of Europeans will not annoy you, and you will not have occasion to blush at your rudeness."
The Mamelukes, who governed Egypt at the time of the French invasion, believed they possessed for their part the first army in the world. An idea of the ridiculous excess to which the beys had carried this notion may be illustrated by the following: When Bonaparte had taken Malta, M. Rosetti, consul for Austria and several other powers at Cairo, being a person of great consideration and influence with the Mamelukes, repaired to MouradBey to apprise him of this event; he suggested that it was very possible that the French might intend to make a descent upon Egypt, and strongly advised him to take precautionary measures of defence. Mourad-Bey replied by a very loud burst of laughter. “What !” said he, "would you have us fear the French, especially if they are like these cavadjas (traders) that we have here? Let a hundred thousand of them land, and I have only to send to meet them some Mameluke youngsters, who will cut off their heads with the edge of their stirrups.*" M. Rosetti then endeavoured to make the Bey understand that the conquerors of Italy were something else than those poor traders that he saw at Cairo, and he insisted that he ought to put Alexandria in a state of defence. Mourad-Bey was not convinced, but out of complaisance to M. Rosetti, he sent two quintals of powder to supply the artillery of that city. The French landed ; Alexandria fell into their hands. Mourad having learnt it, sent immediately for M. Rosetti, and told him with a tone of irritation that those impertinent French had had the audacity to set foot in Egypt, and that he was about writing to them to decamp with all speed. “ But” observed M, Rosetti, “ they are not come here to go away again at the first bidding.” “What then do the hungry infidels want?" replied Mourad impatiently, “ send them a few thousand pataques, and let them go.” “ But Monseigneur," rejoined the consul, that would not buy the sinallest of the vessels that have transported them :-You must prepare for defence.” Mourad was still unable to understand the temerity of these Frenchmen who were foolish enough to come and measure swords with him. He was so infatuated with his own superiority that he sent against them at first but a mere handful of men. It was only when these, put to the route in the first encounter, returned with all speed to announce to him that the French were not what he imagined, that he began to believe in the reality of danger. His arrogance experienced at length a first and grievous disappointment in the battle of Chebreis, which was soon followed by that of the Pyramids,
In a very interesting section on the Frank population of Egypt, Dr. Clot informs us, that the European employés of the government are not so numerous as might be supposed. They were more so at the original organization of the regular troops and
* The Mamelukes used very large stirrups with sharp-cutting edges before and behind, which served as a very destructive weapon against the infantry, and even horses of the enemy.
+ A thousand pataques was about fifty thousand francs.
of the marine ; but since then, the Egyptian soldiers have been sufficiently well trained not to need recurrence to the discipline of foreigners. There are in the schools from twenty to five and twenty European professors; most of whom are Frenchmen. The workshops and manufacturing establishments of the government contain likewise several directors and workmen, French, English, and Italian. It is easy to perceive that Mehemet Ali, while intending to do good service to his subjects, is endeavouring to free himself from the kind of tutelage under which Egypt was held, as long as it was dependent for every thing upon Europe. His desire, though laudable in itself, may be carried too far. It ought not to be concealed that, if the object be to preserve new institutions, to insure the maintenance of already acquired results, and to 'reach forward towards fresh attainments, the intercourse of Europeans will be for a long time to come necessary and in
Among the Frauks are to be reckoned all sorts of what our anthor designates hommes à projet (project dealers), who go to Egypt thinking to make a harvest by their charlatanerie. There is the military schemer, the artilleryman with his projectiles that will destroy the strongest places, and set on fire whole fleets. One wishes to reveal to the Egyptian government the secret of a submarine boat.' Another will propose a system of hydraulics promising marvellous results, or machines of a prodigious power. There are quack physicians, the depositaries of secrets of which they boast most miraculous effects. One brings an infallible specific for the cure of the three principal endemic maladies of Egypt, dysentery, ophthalmia, and the plague. Another of the gascontribe of some celebrity, whose ambition is less vast if not less vain, confines himself to the deliverance of Egypt from the curse of ophthalmia; more fortunate and adroit' than the rest of his kin, this man has gone on for some time "astonishing the natives," and increasing the number of liis dupes. In connexion with this topic Clot-Bey tells the following tale: ".. .
op It must be confessed," says he, “that there exists an extreme facility for adventurers to practise their deceptions upon Europeans, which proceeds perhaps from the unreflecting complaisance with wbich letters of recommendation are given to persons who are quitting their own country, and whom the writers do not sufficiently know. Hence has it happened often that sharpers, whom al respectable man would have been 'ashamed to have admitted into his company, have been received with all the distinction that characterises the introduction of very honourable seigneurs. I could tell on this subject a multitude of adventures, some more piquant than others.--However I will confine myself to that of the celebrated Baron of Wulfenghen, whom bis feudal title and powerful recommenda
tions caused to be welcomed by all the society of Alexandria. Our skilful adventurer began by taking magnificent lodgings, making a great show, and receiving much company : he talked of nothing but his chateaux and his rents. All were anxious to obey his behests, and to anticipate bis wishes. To him every one's purse was freely offered. The choicest company assembled at his house, and every one was proud of being admitted at the baron's, who, moreover, from a disposition in which taking manners seemed a natural element, received with courtesy plebeians, who were 'exceedingly flattered by the condescension with which this noble seigneur deigned to admit them to his presence. They would say-I am going to the Baron's,' with as much pride and self-complacency as if they had been invited to attend at court. Great was the sensation, when, suspicions having been roused respecting this high personage and he having exhausted all bis resources and bis expedients, it was given out one fine morning from his own mouth, that his pretended wealth and chateaux in Germany had pever had any existence but in his conversation and the credulity of his kind courtiers. These, then, beside the cost of their obsequiousness, were left minus their advances to bim, which were not altogether less than from fifty to sixty thousand francs. This was no small barvest of speculation for an agreeable sojourn of between fifteen and eighteen months made at Alexandria by the Baron de Wulfenghen!", i
We now arrive at that part of our subject which necessitates some inquiry into the circumstances and causes that have operated to advance civilization in the East with far greater celerity during the present century than at any previous era, as well as a few remarks upon the government, institutions, and political resources created in Egypt by one of the chief agents of that civilization, while it may not be irrelevant to our purpose to introduce occasional notices of some other collateral topics.
If what we witness of civilization in the East had been the matured fruit of time, and the last resting-place of a continuous course of progression, it would require a much more extended disquisition than we have here space to allot to it, and a profound study of the internal developement of the Turkish Empire. But the movement has been sudden, abrupt, spontaneous; it has not proceeded from the mass of the people; it is from one or two individuals that it has received its impulsion. It must have had, then, some grand accidental cause, either action or reaction produced by some great event easy to discover. Now, important events are followed generally by consequences unforeseen by their authors or contemporary witnesses. It is in this necessary generation of facts, in which man becomes the instrument of an energy of which he oftentimes knows not the end or tendency, that the providential power which governs and directs humanity reveals itself. We like to discover the mysterious link which unites one