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BARDISSY ATTACKED BY MAHOMED.

49

to preserve the same friendly bearing towards Bardissy. Suddenly, however, he attacked him in his palace, and would have slaughtered the chief, and all his people, had he not very fortunately, and in a soldierlike manner, dashed, sabre in hand, through the Albanian ranks, followed by his retinue of soldiers and servants, and dromedaries, laden with his most valuable effects. The fugitive Bey bent his course to the Baçatyn, while Mahomed urged the exasperation of his soldiers, consequent on their not receiving their large arrears of pay, as the plea for the attack. Like our own king-making Warwick, Mahomed seemed to make and unmake Pachas at his pleasure.

Towards midnight, Mahomed sent to the Cadi a firman, appointing Kourchid Pacha to the government of Egypt. But, in consequence of the tumults between the Albanians and the Mamlukes, the storming of houses, and strong places of Bardissy by the former, and the flight of the latter, to regain the standard of their chief, Kourchid's authority was a mere cypher; Mahomed, seeing this, disregarded his own nomination. It so happened that, for greater security, Kusrouf Pacha had been taken to the Mamluke capital, and the Albanian chief invited him to assume the supreme command. This was cunningly contrived by Mahomed; for as Kusrouf was certainly the legalised viceroy of the province, it behoved our hero to get rid of him, and no method was so sure of success as his

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50 KUROUF REINSTATED AND EJECTED_KOURCHID.

elevation to that conspicuous office in which he would immediately become obnoxious to the malice and the machinations of his bitterest enemies. Kusrouf was simple enough to fall into the Cavalliot's snare. Very shortly after his elevation he was once more ejected, in consequence of Mahomed having excited the relatives of Taher Pacha to the deed. The road to real pre-eminence was now opened for the prime instrument, who immediately was invested with the office of Kaimacan, while messengers were despatched to Alexandria, to recall Kourchid to the viceroyalty. Meantime he, who held the vicariate, strengthened himself by again conciliating Bardissy and his Mamlukes.

Kourchid had a most difficult game to play, not only on account of the intricacy and entanglement of the chances themselves, but also of the experience, the activity, and the cunning of him whom a tissue of the luckiest contingencies had made his opponent. The Mamlukes from without were to be repulsed, and sedition from within was to be appeased, a favourable party was to be formed, and an empty exchequer was to be replenished for the payment of his own troops. For this

purpose the annual tribute to government, called the miry, was to be anticipated for the year, and this angered, exceedingly, the Moultezims, or proprietors, and the Fellahs, or husbandmen. He was, by the above means, enabled to carry on his measures for some

PUBLIC HATRED TOWARDS KOURCHID.

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short time, but his coffers were in the happy situation of one of the roguish servants of Terence, who exclaims, Plenus rimarum sum, huc atque illuc perfluo." His own soldiers began to be mutinous, and he was driven to unjust and unwise measures for relief. Amongst other things he accused the widow of the brave Murad Bey, the bold opponent of Napoleon, of aiding the Mamlukes—his object being to draw some money from her, of which the lady had an exceeding store. She was held in great veneration by all the chiefs of her nation, and all the ministers of religion; and, to shew their respect towards her, her style was Nefyssah Sitty, the latter word being equivalent to the French “ Madame.On his tyrannical bearing towards the Sitty, the exasperation of the people against Kourchid was increased, and it considerably extended its circle, on his compelling the proprietors to pay a new miry.

It was at this date (1814) that Mahomed Ali received a firman from the Porte, ordering him and the Albanians in Egypt, to return to their own homes. Whatever outward ceremonies of respect he might have evinced on the solemn occasion, certain it is, that his heart was rife with disobedience, for he totally disregarded the mandate of the Sublime Porte. His services were, indeed, useful to Kourchid, for the Mamlukes were again making head, and Mahomed was not only the most enterprising soldier in the ranks of the

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Viceroy, but the most successful; from the circumstance of his possessing that degree of dence and caution, without which the finest chances of success will be unavailing. But so great was Kourchid's fear of this officer, that though he required his services against those ever active firebrands, the Mamlukes, still he wished him out of the country. Suddenly Mahomed expressed a desire to return to Cavalla, and as an earnest of his determination he made sale of a considerable portion of his possessions. This was a cunning contrivance for the purpose of sounding public opinion. He was anxious to see what effect the news of his departure would have upon the inhabitants of Cairo, and in what manner it would affect the soldiery : at the same time, by every possible contrivance, he sought to ingratiate himself with the people; and circumstances most opportunely assisted his desire. The troops were in a fearful state of insubordination, a long arrearage of pay was due, they had become clamorous, and their every action foreboded a storm. It burst, at length, and Mahomed was the only man capable of withstanding its impetuosity, and screening the affrighted inhabitants of Cairo from its fury. By his orders, the ringleaders amongst the rioters were seized and beheaded, and their mangled carcases exposed to public view, as a warning to their companions. This raised him high in the estimation of the populace, and still more so did his

CONDITION OF EGYPT.

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his party

subsequent services against the Mamlukes at Minyeh, which place they abandoned to the Albanian chiefs. On his return to Cairo, Kourchid would have opposed him at Torrah, by means of a body of Delhis, which, a short time previously, had arrived from Syria. But the corps was too weak to effect opposition to the army of Mahomed, and he not only marched into the place, but, by his subtle address, gained the Delhis over to

Thence the Albanian soldiers proceeded, without opposition, to their quarters at Cairo.

The situation of Egypt was most melancholy and deplorable. The Mamlukes were partly at Manfalout, and partly in the occupation of the province of Fayoum. Mahomed Ali had

possession of Cairo ; but Aboukir and Djizeh were in the Mamluke occupation, while a host of half starved voracious Arabs were ravaging Lower Egypt, like a swarm of locusts. Added to all this, the vice-regal authority was in contempt, and the Viceroy's purse without a para. His own army, consequently, from being the guardians of the public safety, had been, through want and necessity, converted into a turbulent band of robbers, and dreadful were the excesses they daily perpetrated. The people ran for protection to their Sheiks, the Sheiks reclaimed the protection of the Viceroy, the Viceroy admonished the troops, but the troops per

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