Billeder på siden
[blocks in formation]





Alexandria – Pompey's Pillar Cleopatra's Needle—Visit to the

Pacha Mohamed Ali-New Seragliomthe Catacombs-Destructive Indolence of the Turks—Social Life among the Franks at Alexandria—Departure for Cairo-Fouah-Interview with the Governor-His Fondness for Raki-His Cunning-Banks of the NileFirst Sight of the Pyramids-Boulak-Cairo~Mr. Salt-Mr. B. --Costumes at Cairo-Site of Heliopolis-Bazaar-Visit to the Pyramids — Return to Cairo—Tombs at old Cairo-that of the Grand-daughter of the Prophet-Tombs of the Mamelukes-the Maturia.

On the 19th we went ashore to deliver our letters of introduction, Having settled at the inn, and engaged a servant, our first object was to visit the far-famed column, commonly known as Pompey's Pillar, standing about two miles from

[blocks in formation]

the sea shore, on a slight eminence, composed of the remains of the former city, to which, at one time, it had served as an ornament; but it is now a sepulchral monument, pointing out the site of the ancient town, which lies buried in ruins at its feet. We had understood, before going there, that the date of its erection might be fixed from an inscription discoverable on the pedestal. On approaching this, the first thing we remarked was—“H. M. S. Glasgow, March, 1827," in large black letters, surmounted by the classic name, Henry Cram, of the equally classic town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Of less daring or less ambitious Dogberries, who had also written themselves down-beneath, there were Johnsons, Thomsons, and many

of that eternal name, Smith

“ A name so spread o'er Sir and Madam,
That one would think the first who bore it, Adam.”

So that, what with black paint and red ochre, pitch and sand, the pedestal and the lower part of the shaft may now rival the party-coloured mantle of Jacob's favourite son. It was in vain to look for any of Dioclesian's inscriptions, since the scribbling of those who had ascended to the top had obliterated all other traces. It that, in March, 1827, the officers of the Glasgow, by means of flying a kite, had passed a string over the top of the column—to this was fastened a cord, and eventually a rope-ladder was affixed.




Their example has been followed by the crew of almost every man-of-war which has been stationed in the port. The Turkish flag having been left, by a party visiting, at the top of the column, caused offence to the governor ; and it is said that nothing of the kind is now allowed. Breakfasts have been given, and letters written from the top, and even a lady has been known to ascend. It is evident, on inspection, that the shaft does not correspond with the capital, base, and pedestal, which, to say the most of them, are poor, both in execution and taste. The feeble prop-work put up by the Turks is fast mouldering away, and should not a more substantial support be furnished, the column, ere long, will add to the heaps of ruins already scattered around it.

About a mile farther to the N. E., in a solitary, dull, square, and unpicturesque corner, stands the obelisk, called Cleopatra's Needle. It is a fine piece of granite, covered with hieroglyphics. No one having ascended it, it is undisfigured with writing. Having dined with Mr. S. the Dutch consul, we proceeded to the palace, where we found that the Pacha had not yet risen from the siesta. We were introduced into a large plain room; and, after waiting for about ten or fifteen minutes, we crossed the hall, and were introduced into the audience chamber. The room was surrounded by a divan, at the farther end of which he was seated in the corner. Mr. B., the

« ForrigeFortsæt »