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EFFECTS OF THE CONSCRIPTION.

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believe this to be the case, for I certainly, as I before mentioned, saw no want of young men there ; whereas, I observed that the fields in Upper Egypt were frequently cultivated exclusively by old men or boys, and females.

I cannot, however, admit that mischief to the extent generally represented has arisen from the conscription. It is true that, both in the Delta and in Upper Egypt, large tracts of country susceptible of cultivation are lying waste; but then it frequently would happen, from the Nile not rising to the necessary height, that the cultivators of those tracts would be thrown out of employment. I think, the sacrifice of those lands is fully counterbalanced by the degree of security with which the inhabitants of the more favoured parts of the country now cultivate their fields; freed by this army of conscripts from the marauding visits of the Bedouins, and the oppressive exactions of the Mamelukes and Janizaries. The mischief to be apprehended is that the country will not be able to furnish for any length of time the

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INSTRUCTORS OF THE EGYPTIAN ARMY.

number of conscripts required to recruit the present immense standing army, without drawing upon the cultivators of the lands that may always be rendered productive.

The native of Egypt is in many respects fitted to make a good soldier; he is hardy, and equal to great bodily fatigue; temperate, and satisfied with the coarsest food; docile, and easily led, particularly by kindness; respectful to his superiors, and obedient to the rules of military discipline; but the Frank instructors of the Egyptian army know not themselves the true meaning of the term discipline, nor are they of that class of men to excite much respect, even from ignorant Arabs. For the most part, outcasts from society, and natives of those countries of southern Europe that are the least distinguished for military conduct, they are by no means qualified for the task they have undertaken, and are quite satisfied with the degree of discipline they have instilled into their disciples, which amounts to little more than the timid obedience of a flock of sheep to the bark and

DRESS OF THE TROOPS.

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worry of the shepherd's dogs. — For the lities of alertness on their posts, order and regularity in their quarters, or cleanliness and respectability in their appearance, it would be in vain to seek in the soldiers of the present army of Egypt.

I know not, however, what Egyptian troops a modern traveller can have seen, who asserts that they are the dregs of Lower Egypt, and that he hardly saw a soldier in the ranks who had not lost one eye. The defect of vision must. decidedly have been on his side — for such a want in a conscript Fellah would cause him to be rejected from the military service.

The dress of the troops is certainly not calculated to set them off to advantage in European eyes, but it is as convenient a costume as could have been adopted, considering the prejudices to be encountered; and its description will furnish an exemplification of the transition state of every thing in this country. The nether garment, without having been actually fashioned into trowsers, is in a kind of chrysalis state, between the Turk

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SHOES AND HEAD-DRESS.

ish shaksheer and what used to be called “Cossacks;" the upper part having the semblance of breeches, but being furnished with “continuations ” fitting tight from the knee down, in the style of leggings. The jacket fits close to the body, is unencumbered with skirts, and convenient enough. These garments, as also a wide sash that folds round the waist, are, for winter wear, made of a coarse, red* woollen stuff, but others of white cotton are substituted in summer. The feet roam about in a pair of large red leather shoes, which — pointed and turned up at the toes—are altogether against file marching. The head dress is the common red cloth cap, or turbouch; which, besides that it affords no protection to the eyes against sun, wind, and dust, (thereby multiplying the causes of ophthalmia), must be very disadvantageous when the sun has sided with the enemy, and has to be faced as well as their fire : for the glare of the one would effectually prevent a correct aim being taken in returning the other.

The guards are clothed in dark brown.

DRESS OF THE OFFICERS.

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The muskets are rough, but good, and are invariably in excellent order. The accoutrements are of white leather, and inconveniently long.

The dress of the officers is provided, in the first instance, at the Viceroy's expense. It is covered with gold lace-tasteless and tawdry, but is uniform, and bears some resemblance in colour to that of the soldiers. From its costliness, however, the officers are afterwards permitted to indulge their own fancies, and I have seen them on parade decked out in all sorts of colours—blue, green, brown, and even yellow the red skull-cap and pointed shoes being the only articles that are common to all. This sweeping permission to “depart from the regulation ” has probably been given to the officers, from the greater difficulty experienced in overcoming the prejudices of the Turks, who still fill all the upper ranks of the Egyptian army; the Arabs, except in very few instances, being confined to the lower grades.*

They seldom rise beyond the rank of lieutenant.

VOL. II.

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