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for a cangia, to the governor of the port, we were informed, that an order had been received from the Pacha to engage every boat for the conveyance of his suite, which was daily expected to leave Alexandria for Cairo. We had much difficulty in persuading him to allow us to take a boat from the place; but prevailed by giving a captain about fifty piastres more than the usual fare, half of which was to be paid down, that our reis might reimburse the governor for his condescension. We were delayed for about half a day by this circumstance, and it was nearly night before we got under weigh.
We proceeded a short way up the river, and, finding a contrary wind had sprung up against us, we were constrained to lay-to for the night, under the walls of Fouah. We had not been there twenty minutes, when a chaoush came down from the governor, to ask who and what we were ? This inquiry was soon after followed by an invitation from that officer, to smoke and take coffee with him. We eagerly seized on this opportunity of witnessing Turkish life in Egypt, and accompanied the messenger.
Achmet Cachef, into whose presence we were ushered, was a man about thirtyfive, whose corpulent figure and flushed face bore evident marks of the bon vivant. He was surrounded by a group of Albanian soldiers, all of whom retired at a signal given by him, and we were left alone with him, his Copt Secretary, a
Greek, and two Mamlouks. This governor pro-
than make him an offer, which we did, desiring our dragoman to inquire, what kind he would have, brandy, gin, or rum? “Oh,” replied he, quickly, “I like them all three.” Whereupon, of course, we gave him a bottle of each, and a hearty laugh was raised at our expense. The spirits were shortly produced, and the corks drawn, and Achmet, having first insisted on our tasting, proceeded to help himself. Scarcely had he satisfied his curiosity, when, pleased with the success of his first trial, he made a second attempt. “ As you are Englishmen,” said he, “ of course you are fond of shooting; but this time his address was parried, our reply being that we were fond of shooting, but unfortunately had left Alexandria without providing ourselves with gunpowder. This turned the laugh against the governor, in which he goodhumouredly joined, and calling for another glass of raki, pledged, and drank it, remarking, that if Mahomed should ask him why he drank, he would throw the whole blame upon us.
Pleased with the acquisition of his three bottles, he invited us to remain to supper, which was served up
about midnight. A large circular tin tray was brought in, round which we seated ourselves, and, having washed our hands, commenced the meal in the Turkish fashion. A spoon, but no knife or fork, was given to each guest, who helped himself to the soup, all eating out of the same tureen. This was followed by above twenty different dishes, among which was a saddle of mutton, which we were invited to claw to pieces with the rest of the party-our host shewing his attention by tearing off every now and then a large piece of mutton in his fingers, and placing it before us.
As soon as supper was over, ablutions were again performed, pipes, coffee, and spirits introduced, and we quitted the house of the governor about one in the morning, highly pleased with the novelty of our entertainment.
Fouah was a town of some consideration in the tenth century, but it gradually lost its commerce, which was removed to Rosetta. This latter place, in its turn, yielded to Alexandria ; and the canal, which nearly connects Alexandria with Fouah, is likely to restore it to its original importance. In the morning, with a fair breeze, we continued our voyage to Cairo.
Nothing can be more unpicturesque than the banks of the Nile. The landscape, in fact, so far as the picturesque is concerned, might be taken by a parallel ruler. A horizontal line for the water, a horizontal line for the bank, and the line of the horizon itself—a few angular lines for the palmtrees,—will give an idea of the monotonous appearance of these banks. Were it not for the mud-built villages, from which the white-washed minarets of the mosque are seen, through a palm grove, which invariably overshadows these dwellings, and in some degree relieves the scene, the
country, setting aside its antiquities, would present a continued scene of dulness and monotony. The traveller's attention, however, is agreeably diverted by the novelty of the customs and appearance of the inhabitants. If an agriculturist, he is pleased with the fertile soil, and its varied productions ; (although he may regret the low ebb to which the agricultural knowledge of the country is reduced : so true is it, that in all countries where the land is fruitful, the husbandman is indolent:) , the ornithologist will find birds, known to him before only by books : the botanist a wide field for his researches, and the sportsman as much amusement as he can desire: the economist could not live in a country where provisions are cheaper : and those, who are fond of numerous retinues and splendid attire, may here find them at little cost. A succession of small villages is seen at every
fresh winding in the river. The Arab women, in their blue robes, fetching water from the Nile in urns, which they carried away upon their heads--and, as they wound up the bank, the graceful folding of their drapery, the uplifted arm supporting the vase, which strongly resembled that of the antique, - formed a most picturesque spectacle. The halfstarved fellah, seated on his donkey, with his long nabout, or stick, and if very fortunate, with his pipe in his mouth, rode lazily along the course of the river. The creaking of the sakkeiahs, used for the irrigation of the land, were the only sounds