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This last point, as before observed, is that whereon accounts most differ.
Judging from Ibrahim Pasha's actions, he cannot be denied the possession of the qualities of courage in the field and tact in the cabinet; whilst, by the encouragement he gives to agriculture, the protection he affords to foreigners, and the establishment of numerous schools and colonies at his own expense, it may be presumed he is desirous of promoting the welfare of the country over which he looks forward to rule.
In his manner, he is lively and impetuous, but affable and communicative, with a slight disposition to sarcasm. In person, he is short and thick set.
A great deal of virtuous indignation has of
* At an inspection of the French army sent to the Morea, in 1827, Ibrahim Pasha, pointing to some particularly ill-conditioned and badly clothed regiments, asked Marshal Maison what troops they
They are some that have just arrived from Spain,” replied the French Generalissimo, “and have not yet had an opportunity of receiving new appointments.” “What!” exclaimed the Turk, with well feigned astonishment, “ do you employ the same troops to give liberty to the Greeks that have been making slaves of the Spaniards?”
IBRAHIM PASHA IN SYRIA.
late been expressed at the extortions and atrocities of Ibrahim Pasha in Syria : but what do all his acts of tyranny amount to? The levying taxes on a turbulent population which had been accustomed from time immemorial to beard all authority with impunity-in raising an army by conscription amongst a set of lawless bandits that had lived by rapine and plunder, and relieving the peaceable portion of the inhabitants from their exactions — in allowing the Franks to remain undisturbed with their hats on their heads, and their heads on their shoulders the putting on the one having but a few years since been deemed quite sufficient excuse for taking off the other. In fact, if the whole population of Palestine had been cut off by “ one fell swoop
swoop ” of the despotic sword of the “ ferocious Ibrahim "- great as would have been the loss of human life, it would have been a gain to civilization.
The war in the Morea was certainly carried on in the most barbarous manner, but in this species of warfare the Greeks have the honour
POPULARITY OF MOHAMMED ALI.
of the initiative and to Ibrahim's credit be it stated that, on his troops carrying the fortress of Anatólico by assault-when even by the European code of martial law the garrison might have been put to the sword, -he granted the Greeks their lives, merely disarming the men and sending them with their wives and families to Arta. Ibrahim is beloved by his own troops and feared by those of the enemy-and if he does occasionallyas report says-take something stronger than sherbat, Alexander the Great and other heroes have done so before him. He is not, however, so generally liked as his father.
That Mohammed Ali is popular in Egypt cannot, I should think, be questioned by any one who has seen him ride almost unattended through the streets of Cairo, dense with a fanatic population. To all my inquiries on this point-and I questioned persons of all ranks and of every nation—the answers were invariably in his favour. Each, it is true, had some one grievance to complain of, that bore particularly hard on himself individually.
EVILS IN THE GOVERNMENT.
The Levantine, whilst he praised Mohammed Ali's justice and liberality generally, complained of the laws affecting commerce. The Jew, though he admired the Viceroy's tolerance, disliked his system of monopolies. The Arab peasant complained only of the conscription ; and his sole regret, after becoming a soldier, is that his new calling obliges him to leave his native land. The Turk alone finds no one thing to praise, and fear only checks him from uttering his abuse of the whole system of Mohammed Ali's government.
That there are faults in it cannot be denied ; but the seeds of many of the evils that retard the prosperity of the country — evils that are equally detrimental to the interest of Mohammed Ali and of Egypt — are too deeply sown to admit of being removed but by a cautious system of weeding avoiding the rooting them out with a rash hand, lest the good seed that has already shot up might run the risk of being also destroyed.
The great evil that weighs down the coun
APPROPRIATION OF LAND.
try — pressing particularly on the springs of industry — is the necessity which obliges Mohammed Ali to constitute himself the sole proprietor of the soil; but who else could, in the present condition of Egypt, possess it with greater advantage ? If the country were parcelled out in grants to the different grandees of his court, they, being all Turks, would regain the influence of which it has (most wisely) been his constant aim to deprive them. The Arab Sheiks of the old school are not sufficiently enlightened to be trusted, whilst those natives, who have been fitted by education for such charges, are not old enough to have the requisite influence with the people, (whose hereditary respect for grey beards is unabated), and they are, besides, wanted for other purposes. If the lands were divided amongst the people themselves, each Fellah would cultivate merely the quantity of ground sufficient to afford him subsistence.
Mohammed Ali sees the necessity of creating a class of hereditary landed proprietors, who would have an interest-beyond that of