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MAHOMED DECEIVES THE MAMLUKES.

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Sheiks, who were persuaded by Mahomed to lend their services on the occasion, and act as decoys to the unheeding enemy. Those Sheiks, however, had, in truth, received ample provocation, inasmuch as, in all the ravaging excursions of the Mamlukes, their respective villages had been not only ransacked, but taken possession of, until duly and dearly ransomed. They played their parts remarkably well, deceiving the Mamlukes in the completest manner.

These last came by the Mokattam to the gate of Victory, which happened to be open, for the purpose of admitting some countrymen with their loaded camels. The Mamlukes entered, and finding no force on the spot to guard its safety, they put implicit faith in all the wild promises of the heads of the people; and, dividing their numbers into two parties, they hurried into the city. In rushing along, they shouted in triumph, and sounded all their instruments of martial music, in joyous anticipation of success. But their eyes were soon opened to their situation; being attacked on all sides, driven from post to post, and slaughtered like so many bellowing bullocks by the infuriated multitude, who were sufficiently recompensed by the large booty they collected, - not only by stripping the dead, and the prisoners, but by easing the dromedaries of their packages, which, according to ancient custom, and on every occasion, follow their owners, loaded with whatever, of the greatest value, they possess. Meanwhile, the chief prisoners were carried before the rampant Pacha. He received them with supercilious contempt; marking out, especially, Ahmed Bey of Damietta, for his jeering mockery. But he was addressing, to use the word of the poet, one of the

Souls made of fire, and children of the Sun,
With whom revenge is virtue,"

and who would have made a manifestation of his possession of that most excellent virtue, but the star of the Viceroy had the ascendant. Ahmed's hands were tied. He complained of thirst, and the guards loosened the cords which bound him, and handed him a vessel of water. On the instant, he caught a dagger from a bystander's side, and rushing towards his taunter, would have stabbed him to the heart. The Pacha fled, and Ahmed fell under the innumerable blows of the assailant guard. All the prisoners were massacred without mercy, and eighty-three heads were sent in trophy, to adorn the Seraglio walls of Constantinople.

The Mamluke power never recovered this severe blow. Mahomed then turned his attention towards the Delhis, who glutted, in the Delta, their customary rapacity for plunder. An expedition was levelled against these monsters ; but, on the first intelligence of this measure, the wretched, rascally crew, most wisely absconded,

MAHOMED SUPPLIES HIS EMPTY COFFERS.

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taking with them booty of every description, including many camels, women, and children.

Mahomed, however, notwithstanding all these acts of cunning and generalship, felt the want of what has been aptly enough denominated, the sinews of war. And to get a sufficient supply he resorted to an entirely new expedient. It was simply this, instead of laying a capitation tax on the people, he laid his hands on his receiver general, George Gohary by name, and a Copt, and threatened him with a capitation tax of a most effectual kind, unless he gave in his accounts for the five preceding years. The administration of the country, indeed, had been ruinous in the extreme, and peculation and robbery were openly matters of every-day enactment. Thus it was that Egypt, than which no country, through a bountiful nature, is richer on the face of the earth, was constantly in a state of bankruptcy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer's malpractices, however, were discovered; he was obliged to refund nearly five thousand purses, and, like anotherwas dismissed from office. When this sum was expended, however, the body of the Copts was not spared, and the exactions of the Pacha reduced some of them to beggary. The arrival, too, of a caravan from Arabia and the East, was a tempting prize for his not over-qualmish appetite. He wished to lay hands upon the costly goods which it had brought for the merchants of Cairo ;

but they, by a timely donation of a thousand purses, were rejoiced to purchase his forbearance. In addition to all this, by fawning and flattering, the Viceroy, through the Sheiks, collected from the proprietors the third of their yearly incomes.

Mahomed had yet another most essential matter to effect- his nomination by the Porte. The remaining Mamlukes, and Elfy, in particular, were endeavouring to conciliate the good graces of the Capitan Pacha, still at Alexandria. But the Albanian had been too wary for the Mamluke: all the officers of the Admiral had been gained over to his party, and cultivated, to advantage, the favourable disposition of the Capitan. But he was deposed; another Capitan Pacha was on his way to Alexandria, for the purpose of assisting Elfy in his assumption of the Vice-regal mantle. Mahomed now endeavoured to sow discord between that leader and his brother beys, by exciting the jealousy of the latter, at the former's good fortune, and at the same time he lavished bribes amongst the partizans and adherents of Elfy, and brought treason home to that officer's very door.

The new Capitan, at length, arrived with his fleet at Alexandria, and despatched a Capidji Bashi to Grand Cairo, summoning the Pacha to depart, on the instant, for that port; where his master was ready to bestow upon him the government of Salonica. But our Albanian hero demurred at this soft invitation, and a good reason

MAHOMED A FAVOURITE WITH HIS TROOPS. 63

and forcible, he had for so doing. He had his spies, too, at the Divan, of him whose slave he most meekly professed himself to be, and these had reported to their employer that the Capitan had private orders, in case he was so silly as to venture into the lion's den, to measure the circumference of his neck with a supple bowstring. So the Pacha sent his substitute to Alexandria, whom he instructed to express his most perfect readiness to obey the summons of his august Lord the Sublimity, but for the enormous sum in which he stood indebted to the troops, twenty thousand purses or so, these last were so unwilling to suffer his departure, that they actually followed him about the live-long day, fearful lest, by some odd chance, he should take short leave and escape : and right well did he act up to his representation. For he drilled those of his officers and soldiers, in whom he had the greatest confidence, in the part they were to play—that of suspicious, clamorous, and fierce creditors, so that whenever he appeared in public, after him came his noisy reti

He did yet more ; for by working on their feelings, and on his army at large, he made them give expression to their partiality for him. Mahomed, indeed, to the soldiery, was of inestimable value ; for, whereas other governors and generals had suffered the pay due to that body to accumulate, totally regardless of the time and manner of liquidation, Mahomed, on all occasions, made the

nue.

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