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Leibnitz, too, sent a memorial on the subject to Louis XIV. He advises the Grand Monarch to lay hold of the land of the Pharaohs, for the
purpose of destroying the maritime and commercial ascendancy of the Dutch " Hollandi,”
the philosopher, “ ex Egypto commerciis Indicis nullo negotio depillentur, quibus omnis eorum potentia hodie nititur ; et longe certius, rectiusque affligirentur quam fieri possit maximo successu belli aperti.
Bonaparte, it will, therefore, be seen, only revived, by his invasion of Egypt, an old theory. For Holland place Great Britain, and the position of the philosopher's terms remains equally perfect. It is not to be wondered at, that, notwithstanding the stipulation in the treaty of Amiens, with respect to Egypt, both France and England should yet have been constantly striving to establish friendly communications in the country. Elfy would have proved an invaluable person to the latter, had he possessed, in an equal degree, that energy of mind so conspicuous in Mahomed; or, if no opponents like Mahomed had been in the field. But the French had gained over the subtler and stronger spirit, and the fortune of the day was theirs. The English expedition to Egypt proved entirely unsuccessful. It landed there on the 17th of March, 1807, and sailed away, according to agreement with the Pacha, on the 14th of September following, for Sicily. Our small army
suffered, during that space, most dreadfully. General Wancof, commanding the chasseurs Britanniques, was killed before Rosetta, where many of our brave men fell. Four hundred and fifty of their heads were publicly exposed at Cairo. Many prisoners, too, were taken, and conducted to that city.
The enterprize, on the part of the English ministry, was wrong in principle; childish in execution, from scantiness of numbers; and, as it is known, unfortunate in its result. The very best thing for Great Britain, that Napoleon could have undertaken, would have been a second expedition to Egypt. The advantage, then, would have been ours in every way. In the first place, the expedition owing to the unhappy fate of the army under Menou, was of a most unpopular character throughout all the French empire. Next, we might have met their armament at sea, and destroyed it. Then the Egyptians, themselves, would have risen against the army of France; for they, and most certainly their ruler, would have been most inimical to a foreign domination-particularly, as he had played so deep and difficult a game to win his Viceroyalty from the Ottoman. And, finally, that measure which could have drawn away any portion of the French Emperor's army from the plains of Europe, and thus narrowed, there, his sphere of action and annoyance, would have favoured the cause of England, by facilitating the subjugation of his remaining forces. As it was, we lost our army, lavished our treasures, and tarnished the lustre of that fairer day, on which the gallant Abercrombie fell.
Departure of the English from Egypt-Misery of the Inhabitants of
Egypt-Mahomed Ali's Exactions—Exasperation of the Sheiks— The Sultan sends Presents to the Viceroy of Egypt–Toussoun appointed Pacha of Two Tails-Destruction of the MamlukesDreadful State of Cairo-Mahomed Ali's Remark on the Massacre of the Mamlukes.
IMMEDIATELY on the departure of the English, the Pacha turned his attention, once more, to his old enemies, the Mamlukes. Those, however, of the House of Elfy, entreated his clemency. He took them into seeming favour, and gave them, in proof, the whole province of Fayoum. Their leader he loaded with rich presents and words of grace, and then dismissed him in the fond belief that he was anchored, at length, in the safe harbour of the Pacha's friendship.
Still he did not lose sight of the other ramifications of that dangerous order. To effect his plans,
however, he had to tax his ingenuity to the
proportion to an army of nearly ninety thousand effective
Yet this was an evil to which the Pacha found himself compelled to yield; for his was a military government, and if his army were to become irate and rebellious, where would he find himself? Certainly not on the throne. The villages of the Delta and the Said, were falling into ruins; the inhabitants, no longer able to support the burthen of the imposts, had long deserted their dwellings, and fled into the Oases and distant quarters. In the country, agricultural labour was at a stand : in the cities, the few remaining inhabitants—wretched, ragged and hungry-were passing away the day in supplications to Heaven for relief. A heavy taxation was imposed on every article of merchandize, and the monopoly of tobacco was attempted ; but both means failed to produce wherewithal to supply the exigencies of the Viceroy. The increase of the Nile, most opportunely for the people, intervened between them and starvation.
The Pacha was now so careless of acting in conformity with the views of the body of the people, that he courted only his military safeguard ;