Billeder på siden

Of Cairo, or Misr, as it is denominated the author and his friend, with other genby the natives, Mr. Legh gives us a suc- tlemen, paid their respects to the Pacha, cinct description, most of which we have by whom they were graciously received. extracted.

On the 2d of January Mr. Legh and 'In the castle where the Pacha resides, his companion crossed the Nile to Gizeh, is the mint, the well of Joseph, 276 feet where they passed the night and prodeep, which is cut out of the soft calca- ceeded the next day to visit the Pyrareous rock, and the palace, or hall, attri- mids in its neighbourhood. buted, with equal propriety, to the same "At the distance of two hours from celebrated personage. It was built by Gizeh, we found ourselves, on the followSultan Saladin, and offers an extraordi- ing morning, at the foot of the largest of nary instance of the use of the pointed these wonderful monuments, the period arch. With respect to the city of Cairo and object of whose construction have itself, the houses are built of brick, and been, for so many ages, the theme of are remarkable for their extreme height, wonder and discussion. while the streets are mean and dirty, and “As we mounted the heap of sand and so narrow as scarcely to allow two load- rubbish which leads to the opening into ed camels to pass. The only part which the Pyramids, and prepared to explore has any claim to be exempted from this the galleries which conduct to the integeneral censure is the place, or square, rior, we had every reason to applaud our called Esbquieh, into the centre of which prudence in bringing with us a Turkish the water of the Nile flows at the time of soldier, as a guard; for it required all his the inundation.

exertions and authority to prevent the Among the chief curiosities which at- entrance of a crowd of importunate tracted our attention, may be ranked the Arabs, who are always ready to guide, bazaars, of an appearance far superior in and, if occasion offers, to rob the travelsplendour to any we had witnessed in ler whom curiosity may conduct to this our travels in Turkey. Each trade has celebrated spot. its allotted quarter, and the display of The account given by Denon of the superb Turkish dresses, costly Dainascus interior of the large Pyramid, the only swords, ataghans, and every species of one that has been opened, and indeed eastern luxury and magnificence, formed which it is practicable to ascend, is so a most brilliant and interesting spectacle. correct and complete, that it would be dif

"We visited also the slave-market, ficult and quite unnecessary to attempt to where, to say nothing of the moral reflec- add to his description. tions suggested by this traffic in human On our return from the galleries, we beings, the senses were offended in the ascended to the top of the Pyramid, but most disagreeable manner, by the exces from the unfavourable state of the weasive state of filthiness in which these mis- ther, it being a rainy misty morning, our erable wretches were compelled to exist. exertions were not repaid by the view of

• The population of Cairo has been es- the boundless expanse of desert, which timated at between 3 and 400,000, and is usually seen from that enormous elevathat of all Egypt at two millions and tion, though the fatigue of reaching the a half. The inhabitants of the capital summit considerably exceeded that of are of a most motley description, consist- climbing the cone of Mount Etna. On ing of Arabs, Copts, Turks, Albanians, our descent we breakfasted at the base Greeks, Syrians, Arminians, Jews, negro of the Pyramid, and after admiring the slaves from Sennar, and Barbarins, or graceful outline of the Colossal Sphinx, the natives of the country beyond the returnc. to Cairo, which we reached by Cataracts. These last are in considera- two o'clock the same day.' ble numbers, and, like the Gallegos of At the time of the arrival of our author, Lisbon, are in great estimation for their Egypt enjoyed a greater degree of tranhabits of honest industry.

• quillity than it had known for many Cairo is a place of considerable com- years. The present Pacha, Mahomed merce, and is the metropolis of the trade Ali, who is represented as a man of great of Eastern Africa, the chief mart of the talent and extraordinary decision of chaslaves who are brought from Abyssinia, racter, was formerly the captain of a piSennar, Darfur, and other parts of Sou- rate boat in the Archipelago, and owes dan. The caravans which arrive from his elevation to his present rank and powthese countries bring also gold dust, ivo- er solely to his personal qualities. After ry, rhinoceros' horns, ostrih feathers, the English evacuated Egypt, a misunguns, and various drugs.' .

derstanding ensued between the Turkish The day after their arrival at Cairo, and Albanian troops, and the Mamelukes

who had been driven into Upper Egypt, the journey across the Desert to this were called in by the latter to assist in place, the drivers take the opportunity deposing the Turkish Pacha. The Ma- afforded by periods of distress, and scarmelukes, in turn, began to lord it over city of water and provisions, to emascuthem, and they found it necessary to late their male slaves. It is said not one make an effort to get rid of these oppres- in three survives this cruel operation. sors. They attacked Osman Bey Bar. The methods resorted to in order to sedissi, the Mameluke chief, with very suc cure the virginity of the female slaves are perior forces, and compelled him to re- scarcely less horrible. On the 28th they treat, with few attendants, to Upper reached Antæopolis, now called Gaw-elEgypt. The choice of the Albanian sol- Keber. Here are the ruins of a famous. diery then fell upon Mahomed Ali, who temple. The portico, which is standing, had alike distinguished himself by his va- consists of three rows, each of six colour and capacity. Since that period, lumns, eight feet in diameter, and with adds Mr. Legh, the Pacha has not only their entablature, sixty-two feet high; driven the Mamelukes out of Upper four of them have fallen down. Every Egypt, but pursued them beyond the stone of the building is covered with hinCataracts as far as Ibrini, and compelled roglyphics. On proceeding up the Nile, them to take refuge in Dongola.

Mr. Legh remarks on the wonderful fer"The police of the city of Cairo is also tility of its banks, and deplores the existhighly creditable to the vigour of his go- ence of a tyranny, which by its various vernment, and he has so far repressed the exactions does not allow more than a disorders of his troops as nearly to verify twentieth of the products to be retained a promise he had made on his appoint- by the cultivator of the soil, and thus ment to the Pachalic, that in a few years takes away every incitement to industry. " you might walk about the streets with On the sith they reached Menshieh, the both hands full of gold."

ancient Ptolemais Hermii, of which no During our stay at Cairo we found the vestige remains but the ruins of an oid Pacha engaged in organizing a large body quay. Here whilst at anchor, a Turkish ef troops to act against the Wahabees, soldier discharged his musket at them for who had, in the preceding campaign, mere amusement. The ball passed nearly annihilated his army in a battle through the hat of a servant, and hit the Dear Jedda.

arm of Mr. Smelt. On aprlying for reFor the account of this people, or ra- dress, for this outrage, to the Cacheff, ther religious sect, we have no room. We they were told, that is the Turk was shall pass over many remarks in relation only a passenger on the water as well as to the military history of Mohamed Ali's themselves, he was not liable to his jurisreign, and his diplomatic connexions, to diction. On the 24 of Fehruary the our author's departure from Cairo on his party left Menshich and passed Diospolis expedition up the Nile.

Parva, the modern How. Just below The journey from Cairo to Upper this place they saw crocodiles for the first Egypt and Nubia, was commenced on time. Whilst opposite flow, they expethe 14th of January, 1813. Whilst at rienced a gale of the kesmin, a violent Cairo the travellers were so fortunate as wind of the Desert, which often overto conciliate the good will of the Pacha, whelins caravans in the sand. On the who provided them with a cangia, (boat) morning of the cih they landed on the for their voyage, and a firman or passport, plain of Thebes, the city celebrated by for their protection. Thus equipped, Mr. Homer for its hundred gates. The cirLegh and the Rev. Mr. Smelt, set out on cumference of the ancient city has been their adventure, having engaged Mr. estimated at 27 miles, and it has been Barthow, an American, who had resided said that in the day of its power, it could, many years in the country, to accompa- upon any emergency, send forth 20,000 ny them, and act as interpreter. Our warriors at each of its rates. Above this limits will not allow us, minutely, to fol- city, and on the western bank, are the low their course. They did not reach Memnonium, the two colossal statues and Siout, which has succeeded to Girgeh, as the remains of Medinet Abou!. A frarthe capital of upper Egypt, till the 26th ment of one of these statues, lying among of January. Here they fell in with Shehk the ruins of the Memnonium, measures Ibrahim, with whom they had become ac- 25 feet across the shoulderg. From this quainted in Cairo. He had travelled up some idea may be formed of the size of the country on asses, and was waiting for the building it was intended to ornament. a guide to prosecute his journey. Siout On the 11th of February the travellers is the great mart of the slave trade. In reached Essouan, having performed a

journey of 600 miles from Cairo. Here tiful Damascus sword, valued at 500 pithey had an interview with the Shekh, astres. The Cacheff in return presented and were encouraged by him to prose- Mr. Legh with a negro boy, whom Mr. cute their journey beyond the Cataracts L. eventually took with him to Eagland. into the country of the Barabras, the This boy on being summoned and inname given to the present inhabitants of formed of his master's intention, apNubia. The boundary of the French proached Mr. Legh, took his hand, kissed expedition in Egypt, is marked on a gra- it and placed it on his forehead, completnite rock a little above the Cataracts. ing the transfer by this simple ceremony. Mr. Legh and his companions remained Our travellers next proceeded to Ibrim, a few days at Essouan, and employed situated on the east side of the hill, at their time in visiting the islands Elephan the southern extremity of a ridge of tina, Philæ, and the Cataracts. Elephan- mountains, which for nearly two miles, tina is described as wonderfully pictu- rise perpendicularly from the Nile, scarceresque. At the southern extremity of ly leaving a path between them and the this island are the remains of an Egyp- river. This fortress is now ruined and tian temple covered with hieroglyphics. deserted. The Mamelukes being exRoman relics are found in the same quar- pelled from Egypt have seized upon Donter. Eight temples or sanctuaries are gola, a considerable kingdom, about 12or 14 crowded together in the small island of days journey from the second Cataract,and Philæ, though its length is but 1000 seet, having dispossessed the independent king and its breadth 400. They appear to be of that nation, have established and mainof various styles of architecture, and tain themselves in his capital and country. were probably built at different periods. Their present chief is Osman Bey BarIt is evident from their present appear dissi, who is said to have made a vow neance, that it was the Egyptian system to ver to shave his head or beard till he shall erect immens masses of building at return victor to Cairo. Ibrim was the first, and to finish them afterwards, be- furthest point to the southward that Mr. ginning with the sculpture of the hiero- Legh visited. The company here resolvglyphics, and then passing to the stucco ed to retrace their steps, without atand painting. This island is supposed to tempting to penetrate to the second Catahave been the burying place of Osiris. ract. They returned to Dehr the same

Of the Cataracts of the Nile a great night, and obtained further civilities from deal has been written. They are, at this the Cacheff by the offering of a watch. day, very trifling ripples. The descent He presented them with some provisions, is only 3 or 4 feet, and that with so little and gratified them by releasing a boy from abruptness, that with a moderate breeze confinement at their request. The only a bort will pass up ; and boys dive for monument of antiquity at Dehr, is a temamusement into the most rapid of the ple excavated from the solid rock, ornacascades. The range of primitive moun- mented with hieroglyphics. A little betains which forms the barrier between low Dehr on the western side, are the Egypt and Nubia on each side of the Nile, ruins of what was once a temple and afcauses this interruption in its channel. terwards a Christian church. They are

On the 13th the travellers left Essouan called Amada. The building is nearly buto penetrate into Nubia. They were ried in the sand. treated with hospitality by the natives, On the 27th, as they were passing and pursued their route unmolested up down the river, they were hailed, in Arathe river, principally in a southern direc- bic, by two persons in the dress of Arabs, tion. Ruins of ancient temples, and not whom they mistook for Mamelukes, and unfrequently of Christian churches, oc- attempted to avoid. But being again carred at short intervals. On the 21st hailed and compelled to answer, they they quitted the boat, and procured asses discovered, to their joy and astonishment, and camels to ride to Dehr, about 14 in one of them their friend Shekh Ibramiles, where was the residence of Hassan him. They received him on board, but Cacheff, who was understood to be the after a social repast he rejoined his camost powerful chief among the Barabras. mels. Mr. Legh says that no one could This prince was engaged in celebrating be better qualified for the enterprise in his marriage, and happened to be about which he has embarked, than this travelhalf drunk at the time of the arrival of ler. His attainments in almost every his visiters. He did not receive them very living tongue, and his talents for observagraciously; however, the next day Mr. tion are above all praise.' Legh was fortunate enough to purchase On the 28th they arrived at Dakiki. his friendship with the present of a beau- The Propylon and Temple here are quite perfect. We must dispense, however, perienced à distressing sensation of fulwith copying the description of them. ness about the heart. They felt that they Guerfeh Hassan is about 9 miles below had gone too far, but how to return. Dakki, where is a most stupendous exca- “At this moment,' says Mr. Legh, the vated temple. The area is 64 feet in torch of the first Arab went out; I was length and 56 in breadth. The first cham- close to him, and I saw him fall on his ber is 46 feet 6 inches long, 35 feet 3 side; he uttered a groan-his legs were inches wide, and 22 feet 3 inches high. strongly convulsed, and I heard a rattling The second chamber is 34 feet 6 inches noise in his throat-he was dead. The wide, and 15 feet 6 inches long. They Arab behind me, seeing the torch of his passed into four smaller apartments. companion extinguished, and conceiving T'he temple contains some gigantic sta- he had stumbled, passed me, advanced tues of priests, and numerous hierogly- to his assistance and stooped. I observed phics. In the third chamber they found him appear faint, totter and fall in a moan altar a: d four statues seated on a ment-he also was dead.” The exbench, which, as well as the figures, is plorers then mustered strength to retreat, cut out of the solid rock. On the ed of leaving the third Arab to share the fate of March they visited the ruined temple of his comrades—though happily he esKalashi. We niust pass over the account caped. It was with extreme difficulty of this, and all other places they noticed, that they were able to reach again the till their return to Essouan. On revisit- mouth of the pit, where they might still ing Thebes, our travellers were induced have perished of exhaustion and dismay, to descend into one of the mummy pits had not water been poured on them by that abound in that vicinity. They found those they had left on the outside; who it a most disgusting scene, the Arabs made a rope of their turbans and drew having scattered, in every direction, the them up. Thus, this rash and foolish atfragments of the bodies which they had tempt to discover crocodile mummies, rifled of the bituminous substance in caused the death of two ignorant Arabs; which they were embalmed. Not satis- though neither Mr. Legh, nor his Rev. fied, however, with their discoveries in companion, appear to have felt any comthis region, they determined, on their ar- punction for the fatal issue of this stupid rival at Mantalout, to examine some undertaking. They ought to have known pits said to contain mummies of the cro- that azotic gas must inevitably exist in a codile. The Arabs had a superstitious vault of this kind, and however they dread of entering these cavems, but were might choose to risk their own lives, prevailed on by a reward of 25 piasters, should have forborne to expose those to undertake to be guides. Mr. Legh, who had no knowledge of their hazard. Mr. Smelt, and Mr. Barthow, their Ame- They were arrested on a charge of murrican companion, with three Arabs, de der, but compromised by paying the wives scended into the pit, by a circular aper- of these unhappy men twelve piasters, or ture, to the depth of 18 feet. They then two Spanish dollars a-piece! -though it crept several yards on their hands and is probable their countrymen will revenge knees, when they found themselves in a themselves for an injury, which they allarge chamber about 15 feet high. Here tribute to malice, upon the first European they saw fragments of the mummies of that falls into their hands. Thus other the crocodile, which only stimulated their lives may probably be lost, in consedesire to penetrate further. They ad- quence of this inconsiderate and fooivanced, each preceded by an Arab, and hardy proceeding. after many windings found themselves in After this tragic event the party purthe same chamber again. The Arabs sued their journey, without further hinwere evidently reluctant to proceed. drance or molestation, to Miniet. Here The travellers, however, were resolved they were met by a courier, who gave to see the end of the adventure. They such alarming intelligence of the progrees compelled their guides to resume the of the plague that they deemed it dangersearch. They came at length to a ditch, ous to proceed, and accordingly took up which they leaped. The passage they their residence at this place for several now entered was so contracted that they weeks. Destitute of books, they conwere obliged to crawl on the ground. trived to vary the monotonous tenor of They pressed on, but before they had a Turkish lite by learning to ride after proceeded far in this way, the heat be the method of the country, and in accame excessive. Mr. Legh tells us he quiring the use of the djeritt. This afnow found his respiration difficult, his forded employment for the morning. In bead began to ache violently, and he ex- the evening they generally amused them

selves by attending the exhibitions of the latter being previously plucked, was all Almes, or dancing wirls, at the house of thrown into the water jars, from which, the Governor. Shooting and bathing after a certain interval, it was cautiously were additional recreations.

taken out by one of our servants, who During their residence at Miniet they opened the inner door for the purpose. saw several persons attacked with the In this manner we lived for several weeks, ophthalmia. The method of treatment witnessing the most distressing sights of is to bind up the eyes, as tightly as possi- death and disease under our windows, ble, to exclude the light and air. Aiter from which we had frequent opportunithree days the bandage is removed, and ties of observing attacks of the plague, as frequent bathing with cold water com- it first seized upon its unfortunate victims. pletes the cure. The lammation is free As far as we could judge from their gesquently very great, and the pain severe. tures, they appeared to suffer most violent Mr. Legl's servant sound relief by intro- pains in the head, and were at the same ducing between the eyeliais a small quan- time seized with violent retchings, and tity of very finely powdered sugar every black vomiting.' night. In regard to diseases, Mr. Legh Our author adds with characteristic further remarks, that the symptoms of sang froid :-*We lost three of the Arabs, sypluilis are in this country extremely whom we had engaged to act as our purmild, and generally yield to the simple use veyors in the town. When the mortality of the warm bath and an increased atten- was at its height, the numbers who died tion to cleanliness, which, at other times, daily amounted to about eighty.' is too much neglected.

It was impossible, however,' he contiAt Miniet our travellers fared well, and nues,' to include in our measures of safety had abundance of fish. Among others a the few English soldiers who were employspecies caller in the country Bulti, the ed, together with about fifty Arabs,in lookLabrus Niloticus, which somewhat re- ing after the horses piqueted in the camp sembles the white trout, and sometimes without the town; but the judicious direcweighs filty pounds. They left this town tions of their officers, and the ready obedion the 1st of May, but found, on their ence of the menin avoidingevery occasion arrival at Cairo, that the plague still raged of touching eitherthe native servants, sevethere. They were obliged to take upral of whom died, or the horses of which their abode at Boulac. They soon after they had the immediate care, saved them removed to Rosetta, where, also, the from any infection. plague was prevalent. By a close volun- The exemption of the British soldiers tary imprisonment and strict precaution from the attacks of the disease is an addithey escaped the contagion. The natives, tional instance in support of the opinion who are firin believers in predestination, that the plague is only to be communicamake no care to avoid exposure. In reply ted by actual contact, for they were exto remonstrances on this point, they posed to the same atmosphere, and to the merely answer, “ Chulo men Allah." action of the same gcneral causes, as the "Every thing comes from God.”

less fortunate natives who, like thiemWhat measures of security our travelselves, were employed in the care of the Lers adopted will best appear from Mr. horses.' Legh's own account.

• We heard of no remedy for the The house we occupied had double plague: when the stellings broke, sca doors, and in the space between them we bathing was supposed to be very benefiplaced two very large jars filled with wa- cial, but after that erent the patients geter, which was changed once in twenty- nerally recovered without any remedy.' four hours ; and having provided our- When the natives are seized with the selves also with a sumigating box, to re- first symptoms of the plague, they wrap ceive all our letters, we hired an Arab for themselves up in their cloaks, and enà piaster a day, to station himself every deavour to promote perspiration by morning imder our windows, receive our drinking large quantities of warm water. orders, and purchase our provisions. In a short time, swellings break out in the

• With respect to our bread, we took groin and under the arms, and if they are the precaution of never touching it till it alive thirty-six hours after the first seizure, was cool, as it is ascertained that in that they generally recover. We saw a Turk state it does not communicate the plague. at Alexandria who had suffered several Even letters which have been fumigated attacks of the plague, and he informed us, must be allowed to cool before they are that as soon as he was able to move, he touched.

crawled to the sea side, in which be con• Our meat, whether heef or fowls, the stantly bathed.'

« ForrigeFortsæt »