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UNPOPULARITY OF MAHOMED ALI.
yet the former had been the stepping-stone to his elevation. He demanded from them the half of all religious endowments, whether hospitals, wells, or cisterns; mosques, or otherwise. The Sheiks demurred; but the Pacha threatened force. The Sheiks, exasperated, sent him word that they would use and waste limb, and life, and earthly goods for the protection of their sacred establishments : in fact, every thing tended towards a popular commotion. He, however, continued to flatter and cajole the people, and, when in a little better humour, he banished their chief and principal spokesman, Seydoman.
The day of Mamluke extermination was now drawing at hand. The Pacha had received repeated orders from Constantinople to undertake the cele. brated expedition against the Wahabees. This he was anxious to do, for there was much glory and greater riches to be acquired by the adventure; if, too, it should prove successful, all his enemies would be intimidated, and the Pacha himself seated as firmly as a rock on the ancient throne of the Pharaohs. But it would have been a mani. festation of childish reliance and ignorance to send the very flower of his army on so distant an enterprize, while such deadly and ever active enemies as the Mamlukes were left to revel and to plunder in the very centre of his dominions. This reasoning induced the determination for their thorough eradication from the country. Maho
med's resolves were like the “ dicta Parcarum, and though they were tardy in completion, still that tardiness was yet a surer sign of the fixedness and obstinacy of purpose, seldom manifested in youth, always the characteristic of old age.
“ Gradum studio celerabat anili.”
His plan was effected on the occasion of a public festival. The Grand Seignor had sent his Kislar Aga to Cairo, as bearer of costly presents to the Pacha, and the firman appointing Toussoun the son of Mahomed, to the dignity of a two-tailed Pachalic. The same youth had been by his father nominated general of the army of Arabia. The 1st of March 1811 was the day set apart for the investiture of Toussoun : and the ceremony was ordered in the citadel. The principal portion of the Mamluke body, that indeed most conspicuous for its activity and boldness, under Elfy's successor, Chahyn Bey, had been enticed some time previously into the city, loaded with honours and attentions, and quartered in an appropriated part of the city. These Mamlukes had been invited to take part in the parade and festivities of the day; and they consented to do so.
In the morning Chahyn Bey, with his staff and officers, appareled in whatever they possessed of the greatest cost and magnificence, came to the Pacha's hall of audience in the citadel, to offer their congratulations on so joyous an occasion. Mahomed received
SLAUGHTER OF THE MAMLUKES.
them with the greatest affability. They were presented with coffee, and he conversed with them severally, with openness of heart, and serenity of brow. But the serpent lay hidden in its bed of roses !
The procession was ordered to move from the citadel, along a passage cut in the rock. The Pacha’s troops moved first, followed by the Mamluke corps. As soon, however, as they had passed the gate, at that end of the rocky passage which leads to the citadel, it was shut suddenly against the latter, and Mahomed's forces were ordered to the top of the rocks, where they were perfectly secure from the aim of their victims, and whence they leisurely fired upon the defenceless Mamlukes, and butchered them in cold blood, almost to a man; for escape was difficult, that end of the defile by which they had entered having been also closed, and its breadth, in many parts, being so scanty that two horsemen could with difficulty stand side by side. . Of those who were fortunate enough to find shelter in the Pacha's harem, in Toussoun's abode, and elsewhere, all were mercilessly dragged forth, conducted before the Kiaya Bey, and beheaded on the spot. The body of the brave leader Chalyn, was exposed to every infamy. A
rope was passed round the neck, and the bloody carcase dragged through various parts of the city, exposed all the while to the execrations and the contumely of the inflamed populace. The citadel
itself looked like a hideous slaughter-house, newly deluged with the blood of victims, and overstrown with a multitude of reeking carcasses. Dead steeds lay confusedly along the streets, with their golden caparisons soiled in the filthy compound of dirt and gore; their knights, some with limbs hacked off, others without their heads, still clenching their scymitars with the last despairing, yet desperate grasp of death, were flung near their war-horses, prostrate in a black puddle of their own life-blood. Their numerous followers* were cast around their masters, pierced with many balls, their faces depicting that malice, which raged in their hearts, sprung from their disappointment at not being able to bequeath their dying hatred to a successor.
Among the number of the slaughtered, Mahomed counted four hundred and seventy Mamlukes. Orders, however, had been generally circulated for their universal destruction, throughout the country. The Pacha's ministers of murder raged throughout the city, like a herd of ravenous tigers. Those who had private revenge to gratify, sought their victims among even the people, and in such a moment of licentiousness, fulfilled their purpose with impunity. Others of his myrmidons, again, went in bands, wherever the richest booty tempted their greediness, and tore down and pillaged, without mercy or moderation. Many private
* Each Mamluke had a running groom, or sceyo, who, on all occasions, attended his master, even in moments of the greatest peril.
SLAUGHTER OF THE MAMLUKES.
individuals were assassinated in secret, or insolently felled down in the streets. The sanctity of the marriage bed was polluted, daughters were ravished, wives led away with yells of savage triumph. No one of sufficient authority was present to curb the atrocities of the soldiery. The shops had been closed, the inhabitants had very early run into their houses and secreted themselves, and their treasures, in the darkest hiding place they could find, while the streets afforded an open and free course for the military anarchy. The houses of the Mamlukes were the first to be stripped, for they were ever the most richly furnished. Nothing could exceed the violence, the rapacity, and the abominations evinced and perpetrated by Mahomed's unbridled army. Five hundred houses were sacked and destroyed. This continued for a day or two, until the Pacha had summoned sufficient courage to venture down from the citadel.
He was cautious in not doing this, until he saw that the first impulse of popular violence had subsided. He, then, most certainly endeavoured to repair every mischief. Both he, and Toussoun Pacha, went about the city, suppressing tumult, capitally punishing robbers and pillagers, and hunting out single Mamlukes, who, not having formed part of the fatal procession, had continued to secrete themselves in various parts of the city: