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CHAPTER IV.

Kourchid Pacha — His Services against Ali Pacha of Jannina - His

miserable Death-the Mamlukes— Their Opposition to Mahomed Ali— Their Defeat-Elfy Bey-Arrival at Alexandria of the Capitan Pacha—Proceedings of Mahomed Ali-Death of Elfy Bey and of Osman Bey Bardissy-Hostilities between Great Britain and the Porte-Colonel Sebastiani-Admiral Duckworth’s Expedition - Defeat of the English.

mons.

Still Kourchid Pacha, as was to be anticipated, held out in the citadel. Mahomed prepared to force him to a capitulation, by attacking him in his strong hold, but the latter invoked the assistance of the Mamlukes, and they obeyed the sum

The Capitan Pacha, however, cast anchor before Alexandria ; and, by his selikdar, sent an instant summons to Kourchid, not only to place the citadel in the hands of Mahomed, but to repair, without delay, to his head-quarters. The slave of the Sultan knew no will but that of his master, as pronounced by this high delegate. Yet, this compliance was not given with readiness : he would have resisted, but he lacked courage, and that “prudence” which is “ the better part of valour,” and which, in Egypt, has always the fear of the capidji-bashy, and the bowstring before its eyes, as timorous children, in western countries, have the rawhead and bloody-bones of nursery fable, whispered him to yield assent to the summons of the admiral's deputy. He, accordingly, capitulated. Alas! unfortunate Kourchid_little did he know the fate that awaited him. After he quitted Egypt, he headed a body of men in the war against Russia. Subsequently, being appointed to the Pachalic of Aleppo, he wished to harass that city with his customary exactions, but the populace rose against him, and drove him from the walls. He was then despatched against old Aly Pacha, of Jannina ; and, after the fall of that bold Albanian rebel, the Porte suspected their own servant of having appropriated to himself, and concealed, the treasures of the audacious and slaughtered outlaw. There is only one fate that invariably awaits all the suspected by the Sultan-Death. It was Kourchid's lot to lose his head by a blow of the yatagan.

The spirit of Kourchid, however, was, in the person of his lieutenant, active amongst the malcontent Mamlukes, who held out in Dgize, and threatened the “Great City" with a siege. They absolutely approached Cairo, and commenced negotiations with some of the principal

Sheiks, who were persuaded by Mahomed to lend their services on the occasion, and act as decoys to the unheeding enemy. Those Sheiks, however, had, in truth, received ample provocation, inasmuch as, in all the ravaging excursions of the Mamlukes, their respective villages had been not only ransacked, but taken possession of, until duly and dearly ransomed. They played their parts remarkably well, deceiving the Mamlukes in the completest manner. These last came by the Mokattam to the gate of Victory, which happened to be open, for the purpose of admitting some countrymen with their loaded camels. The Mamlukes entered, and finding no force on the spot to guard its safety, they put implicit faith in all the wild promises of the heads of the people; and, dividing their numbers into two parties, they hurried into the city. In rushing along, they shouted in triumph, and sounded all their instruments of martial music, in joyous anticipation of success. But their eyes were soon opened to their situation ; being attacked on all sides, driven from post to post, and slaughtered like so many bellowing bullocks by the infuriated multitude, who were sufficiently recompensed by the large booty they collected, - not only by stripping the dead, and the prisoners, but by easing the dromedaries of their packages, which, according to ancient custom, and on every occasion, follow their owners, loaded with whatever, of the greatest value, they

possess.

Meanwhile, the chief prisoners were carried before the rampant Pacha. He received them with supercilious contempt; marking out, especially, Ahmed Bey of Damietta, for his jeering mockery. But he was addressing, to use the word of the poet, one of the

“ Souls made of fire, and children of the Sun,
With whom revenge is virtue,"

and who would have made a manifestation of his possession of that most excellent virtue, but the star of the Viceroy had the ascendant. Ahmed's hands were tied. He complained of thirst, and the guards loosened the cords which bound him, and handed him a vessel of water. On the instant, he caught a dagger from a bystander's side, and rushing towards his taunter, would have stabbed him to the heart. The Pacha fled, and Ahmed fell under the innumerable blows of the assailant guard. All the prisoners were massacred without mercy, and eighty-three heads were sent in trophy, to adorn the Seraglio walls of Constantinople.

The Mamluke power never recovered this severe blow. Mahomed then turned his attention towards the Delhis, who glutted, in the Delta, their customary rapacity for plunder. An expedition was levelled against these monsters ; but, on the first intelligence of this measure, the wretched, rascally crew, most wisely absconded,

MAHOMED SUPPLIES HIS EMPTY COFFERS.

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taking with them booty of every description, including many camels, women, and children.

Mahomed, however, notwithstanding all these acts of cunning and generalship, felt the want of what has been aptly enough denominated, the sinews of war. And to get a sufficient supply he resorted to an entirely new expedient. It was simply this, instead of laying a capitation tax on the people, he laid his hands on his receiver general, George Gohary by name, and a Copt, and threatened him with a capitation tax of a most effectual kind, unless he gave in his accounts for the five preceding years.

The administration of the country, indeed, had been ruinous in the extreme, and peculation and robbery were openly matters of every-day enactment.

Thus it was that Egypt, than which no country, through a bountiful nature, is richer on the face of the earth, was constantly in a state of bankruptcy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer's malpractices, however, were discovered; he was obliged to refund nearly five thousand purses, and, like anotherwas dismissed from office. When this sum was expended, however, the body of the Copts was not spared, and the exactions of the Pacha reduced some of them to beggary. The arrival, too, of a caravan from Arabia and the East, was a tempting prize for his not over-qualmish appetite. He wished to lay hands upon the costly goods which it had brought for the merchants of Cairo;

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