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MOSQUE OF AMERA
GROTTO OF THE VIRGIN. 29
We next proceeded to the mosque of Amerou, a strong wind and drifting of sand blowing against us the whole way. This mosque is quite a forest of columns, and in the central part of the upper end, is a balcony, lighted by several lamps. In the left hand corner stands a tomb, and in the centre a small building, surrounded by a colonnade. As a whole, this mosque is the finest that we saw at Cairo. We kept on through ruins in all directions, foundations, bricks, &c. till we came to Old Cairo. Here, in a church, we saw a place called “the Grotto of the Virgin," where, according to tradition, she remained some time while in Egypt. It is nothing else than the crypt of the church. There is an old picture representing the flight, and, on the left, a little recess, where the child is said to have been placed, &c. This grotto, or crypt, was held in great veneration.
On Saturday, the 23d, we visited the tombs of the Mamelukes. The domes are numerous, twelve or fifteen being seen at once.
At a distance of half a mile in the desert, is another square, with dome, painted roof, &c., and ruinous, as all of them
We went on to the Maturia, a place famous for the residence of public women—a sort of viceencampment, sanctioned by the authorities. Many came out dressed, with their hair plaited down the back with cords, continuing to the heels, and wearing silver pendants and large rings in their
We entered, and saw two of them dance, which was an odd exhibition. They make use of small cymbals, placed on the finger of each hand. These they use with much elegance. Though this class of women has been represented as very numerous, we saw but few, and we looked into every tent as we passed along the central street. Nothing is more exaggerated than vice. Cities are slandered wantonly; and the personal experience of certain travellers is extended to the moral character of a whole people.
Mahomed Ali, Pacha of Egypt-Murad and Ibrahim, the ruling
Beys of the Mamlukes-Murad and Murat—the Character of the two Beys-Battle of the Pyramids-Osman Tambourgi, Murad's successor—Ibrahim, Shiek El Belled-Sir David Baird-Massacre of the Mamlukes-Mahomed Kosrouf-the Defeat of Youssuf Bey and Mahomed Ali-Reflections.
MAHOMED Ali is, without doubt, one of the most hardy and enterprizing characters of modern history. Whether we regard his origin, rise, or present condition, there is an equally ample space for the indulgence of our “wondering faculty.” Born amidst barbarians, he has acquired the graces and the conduct of civilized life; suckled in prejudice, deep, deadly, and hereditary, he has opened his heart to the acquisition of knowledge, and banished all those animosities derived from peculiarity of race and blood, in order to facilitate the amelioration of his country and of his people. By parentage an abject slave, he became the dele
gate of Ottoman sway over one of the most fertile and the most celebrated countries of the world ; chosen a delegate of power, he possessed the courage and the prudence to cast off the yoke of the imperious Porte, and to rule with self-created and unborrowed light, where he was expected to glimmer and waste his energies as a feeble satellite. For the land of the Pharaohs he is the Divus orte bonis, optime Romule,” and his name will, without doubt, be recollected in oriental annals, as that of a man who left the impress of his character
in which he had his being. To give, however, any thing like a satisfactory account of the present sovereign, or, nominally, Viceroy of Egypt, it will be necessary to take a slight retrospective glance at the transactions there, previously to his arrival in that country.
It is well known, that Murad Bey and Ibrahim Bey, were the two principal chiefs who influenced the Mamluke eicositetararchy, or government of four and twenty chieftains. The former was ima petuous, bold, and as gallant a soldier as the noble order which he commanded had ever boasted. He was as remarkable among his people, as Murat was amongst the French; and their persons, carriage, and impetuosity were, by the invaders, brought into a closer parallel, owing to the simia larity of their names; and Murad and Murat were honoured with the distinction of " les deux beaux sabreurs."
MURAD AND IBRAHIM--BATTLE OF THE PYRAMIDS. 33
Murad was of a warlike, and Ibrahim of a peaceable disposition. When the French invaded Egypt, the latter passed into Syria, and the former having nobly led on the Mamluke cavalry, against the republican forces, at the battle of the Pyramids, was vanquished, and obliged to retreat into the Sayd. He, however, afterwards made his peace with his conquerors, and being rewarded with the two provinces of Djerge and Esne, appears, on the whole, to have been much attached to the General Kleber's administration. When the forces of France under Menou had met with the reverses of 1801, Murad was invited, by General Belliard, to Cairo, where he caught the plague, and after a few days illness, fell a victim to its virulence.
Shortly after, the French were compelled to evacuate Egypt, which passed into the the English. These occupied Alexandria, Rosetta, and Damanhour, while the seapoys of Sir David Baird were stationed at Gizeh. The beys were collected at Cairo, under Osman Tambourji, Murad's successor, while Ibrahim had been reinstated in his office of Sheik-il-belled, or Governor. The Grand Vizier, and the Capitan Pacha too, were in the country, having co-operated with the English for the expulsion of the republican army: In this purpose, indeed, both were agreed, though their ulterior views were very different. The Porte sought to curb the licentiousness of the Mamlukes, the English general to conciliate