Title: Diary of A Tour in Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and The Holy Land [Volume 2] [Electronic Edition]

Author: Damer, Mary Georgiana Emma Seymour Dawson, d. 1848
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Title: Diary of A Tour in Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and The Holy Land [Volume 2]

Author: G. L. Dawson Damer
File size or extent: 2 v. fronts., plates. 20 cm.
Publisher: Henry Colburn, Publisher
Place of publication: London
Publication date: 1841
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Origin/composition of the text: 1841
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Diary of A Tour in Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and The Holy Land [Volume 2] [Electronic Edition]


London Published by Henry Colburn 13 Ct Marlborough, 9th St, 1841.








Pilgrimage to Bethlehem—An Arab funeral—The Wilderness
—The grotto—David's tomb—Prince Pückler Muskau
—Jewish masonry—Pool of Bethesda—Armenian convent
—Bazaar of Jerusalem—A disagreeable mistake
Village of Bethany—Tomb of Lazarus—View of the Dead
Sea—Accounts of Acre—Termination of the Rhamazan—
Our Doctor in great request—Want of medical attendance
—The Burying Ground—Visit to Mount Calvary—Glorious
sunset—Laziness of the Jews—Leave Jerusalem
Our deaf and dumb guide—The country about Jerusalem—
Ramla—Arrival at the Latin convent—Illness of the


superior—A sociable monk—Delightful garden—Esdoud
—One of Mehemet Ali's messengers — Uncomfortable
quarters, and troublesome visitors—Dummy's good qualities
—Splendid appearance of the sky—Our lodgings at
Gaza — The inspector of quarantine, and his adventures
A visit from the Governor of Gaza, and his suite—Our return
visit—The Governor's stud—His harem—The gates of
Gaza—Singular conveyance—Our camel—Travelling disasters
—Uncomfortable lodgings, and unpleasant intelligence
At home in the desert
Appearance of the Desert—Fresh vegetables—An Arabic
lesson—Our bivouac—Jewish feast of Tents—Camel's
milk—Heat of the sun—A skirmish which is threatened
with disagreeable consequences—Desert fare—Aerolites—
Symptoms of discord
Fog and cold—The necessity of discipline—Marks of a wild
animal—The Philistines and the Ishmaelites—Our employments
—Meeting a caravan—Inconvenience of watering
the camels—Beautiful situation of our encampment—
A solitary robber—Wild partridges—We approach the
Red Sea—Our impressions and reflections—Christmas-day
in the Desert


Journey to Suez—The British hotel—Mahomedan pilgrims
—Egyptian plagues—An Arab marriage—The Consular
agent — English news—The town of Suez—Hadjis—
Tedious journey—Deep excavation—Hyenas
Journey to Cairo continued—English inn in the Desert—
Divine worship—Pilgrims in want of water—Donkey
chairs—First view of Cairo—Impressions on entering the
city—Singular petrifactions—Mr. Waghorn—Mehemet
Ali's resources — Cairo donkey-boys and donkeys —
Egyptian mules—Mosque of the Sultan Hassan—The
citadel—Massacre of the Mamelukes—Court of Yousouff
—New mosque—New palace of the viceroy—Punishments
— Beautiful garden—Egyptian necromancy — A wedding
Expedition to Boulac—Nile boats—First view of the Nile—
Garden of Rhoda—Table d'hôte—Theatre—Visit to the
tombs of the Caliphs—Mehemet Ali's sepulchre—Opening
a mummy—Petrified forest—Protestant chapel at Cairo
Coptic language—Turkish repast—Almée dancing—Elegant
ancient Egyptian ornament—The Mauristan—Harem
of Halib Effendi—Circassian slave—Princess Nazly—
European physicians at Cairo


Cross the Nile—Giza—Ascent of a pyramid—Monument of
Cheops—The king's chamber—English inscriptions—The
tomb of Numbers—Visit to the Sphinxes—Sacrilegious
fuel—Pyramids of Dashour—Bird mummy-pits—The
Reis of Saqquarda—Strange contents of a packet from
The site of Memphis—Statue of Sesostris—Real antiquities—
Rich soil—The inhabitants—Vultures—Fresh Arrivals—
Visit to a Turkish bath—The Princess's palace—Shami
Bey's harem—The fair Saramé—Our entertainment—
Feasting—Dancing and singing
Boulac—Joseph's well—Stores of grain—A rhinoceros—Embark
on board a Nile boat—Discomforts of the voyage—
A strange meeting—Arrival at the gates of Alexandria
Difficulties in getting admitted — Mehemet Ali — His
Pompey's pillar—The Pacha and the Sultan's portrait—A
ball at Alexandria—Seyd Bey's palace—Singular bequest
—Sir M. M—— and the Pacha—The garden of the palace
—The fleet off Alexandria—Preparations for departure,
and reflections on returning to England


Effects of a double rainbow—Security from lightning in a
steam-boat — Unfavourable weather — Fearful storm—
Its effect on the passengers—Alarm—Weather improves
—A general thanksgiving—Arrival at Malta—In quarantine
Thoughts on the Question of the East 257
The Talmud 289
Coming of the Messiah 291
Return of the Jews to the Holy Land 295



Pilgrimage to Bethlehem—An Arab funeral—The
Wilderness—The grotto—David's tomb—Prince
Pückler Muskau—Jewish masonry—Pool of
Bethesda—Armenian convent—Bazaar of Jerusalem
—A disagreeable mistake.


—We were nearly deterred
from our pilgrimage to Bethlehem, by the
account of the dust and wind; but fearing
that at this season the weather was not
likely to improve, we set off in a perfect
whirlwind, and the fine dust so blinded us,
that Minney and I resigned ourselves, têe

, to a little black slave's guidance.
After an hour and a half's actually painful
ride through a black valley, and over a cold
mountain, we arrived at a monument distinguished
as Rachel's tomb.
The spot is, I believe, correctly chosen as
the place of her interment, but the building
itself does not appear of an ancient construction.
An Arab funeral was taking
place close to it, attended by about fifty
wild and starved-looking Arabs. The only
ceremonial appeared to consist in each individual
contributing a stone towards raising
a mound, which had gained considerable
elevation when we passed it a few hours
afterwards, on our return from Bethlehem.
There was a wild, ferocious expression of
countenance prevailing among these Arabs,
that we had never before been so much
struck by; the very whiteness of their
teeth and shape of their mouths gave them
a false and savage appearance. One would

most unwillingly have met them in a less
frequented path.
We left Bethlehem on our left, for the
purpose of visiting the Pools of Solomon,
and passed a fountain which our attendants
pointed out as the spot where the shepherds
first heard “the tidings of great joy.”
There was everything in the position and
the neighbouring pasturage to favour the
impression, and I look back to it with much
more conviction than any I received subsequently,
on being shewn the spot where
the Saviour was born, and the magi adored.
The pools are situated in a valley, surrounded
on all sides by a desolate rocky
country. They are only three in number
and of immense size, in perfect repair, and
are undoubtedly the work of Solomon, for
the conduit still exists, which to this day
supplies the mosque of Omar with water.
The pools are fed by considerable springs a
few hundred yards from the upper one.

Commanding the pass is a Turkish castle,
flanked by four towers for their protection.
This precaution was necessary in a country
which, besides the innumerable wars it has
had to encounter with its foreign enemies,
has been at all times torn by civil discord
and petty warfare.
Within ten years Bethlehem has been at
war with Jerusalem; hostilities, jealousies,
and hatred lasted six years, and impeded all
communications to such a degree that travellers
were compelled to be protected by
the Arabs of one town during their progress
to the other, and were thus handed on in
their journey through hostile bands. “The
abomination of desolation” is depicted at
every step.
On leaving these wells or pools for Bethlehem,
the aqueduct runs along the path
you ride on, and here and there the ruins of
villages are perceived, and a few green
patches, produced by the water escaping

from the reservoir and acting refreshingly
upon the thirsty land. Bethlehem looks
as you approach it on this side much more
like a fortress than a convent. It is surrounded
by a good deal of cultivation, and
much remains of the planted terraces of
olives and vineyards; the latter have in
almost all instances a large round tower,
from which there is a watch to protect
them, and these at a distance look like
Martello towers.
Bethlehem is on an acclivity, and the
road very difficult and unsafe to surmount.
Had the wind been less cutting, we should
have made a still further détour to what is
called the Desert of St. John; which I
imagined must be the Wilderness, till reminded
that it was beyond Jordan. It is
by tradition the birth-place of St. John the
Baptist; but this is not corroborated by the
mention or remains of any considerable town
in that always desert tract of country; and
as all the great dignitaries of the Jewish

church were at that period priests of a city,
Zachariah must have dwelt in one, and that
of Hebron is the locality that more distinctly
points itself out; and there a tree is
shewn as that under which Abraham leant
when he entertained the strangers (angels.)
The general desertion from this neighbourhood
is very decided, and within a few
years the increase of jackals, wild boars,
&c. &c., so great, that they venture to the
very precincts of Jerusalem. A Jew with
whom Mr. Young lodged at Hebron, shewed
him papers, from which he could trace his
forefathers for six hundred years, and their
property in Hebron; and he told Mr. Y.
that in his grandfather's time between sixty
and seventy villages had appertained to this
district, and at this moment not more than
fifty could be pointed out. But to return to
our visiting Bethlehem.
The effect of approaching a fortification
so little corresponded with the idea one had
formed of the lowly state of Bethlehem, that

it required the very long time we were kept
waiting for admittance to re-settle our impressions.
We had passed through a fine
court, supported by twenty-four pillars of
(apparently) stained red lime-stone, which
in this country is of so fine a grain as almost
to approach the quality of marble. At a
very low door a lay-brother knocked without
the slightest result, the wind being so high
that our tapping did not reach the Franciscan's
ears. At last, some stones thrown
at a small window produced more effect, and
we were shewn into the refectory, and hospitably
received by a Spanish monk, who
seemed much disappointed at finding we
neither intended dining nor lodging at the
convent. Our progress in riding had been
so tedious, that we hardly ventured to drink
the excellent coffee brought us, for fear our
time would be too short to visit the Grotto
of the Nativity, and enable us to get back to
Jerusalem before the gates were closed.
The grotto, like the holy sepulchre, is
spoiled by a profusion of ornament; and the
Latins, Greeks, and Armenians, here, as
elsewhere, share in the possession of the
sacred places: the Latins here, however,
have the advantage in having possession of
the place of nativity—the stable and the
manger; the Greeks that of the manifestation;
and a painted representation of the
magi distinguishes the spot, with a star
above. Silver lamps adorn the altars in
great profusion and richness, and many are
late presents of the Queen of the French and
the Emperor of Russia.
The tombs of St. Jerome, St. Eusebius,
and two female Roman saints, of the family
of Spina Gracchi, occupy niches in this
part of the building. Above the spot which
the manger was supposed to occupy, the
natural form of the rocks is seen, and
encourages one to rely on the identity of
ground selected by the piety of the Empress

Helena, whose memory must be revered, as
she was the instrument of commemorating
and preserving the sites of all the most
sacred and interesting Christian associations;
for if she were misled occasionally
in her pious researches, yet she formed the
most important and earliest link to the
chain of local evidence, and her works
throughout the Holy Land remain in a very
general state of preservation.
The name of Bethlehem, or Ephrata,
signifying House of Bread, was said to have
been given first by Abraham; it is next
distinguished as the birth-place of David,
and where he tended the flocks of Jesse.
Great tracts of pasturage can be traced in the
immediate neighbourhood of Bethlehem;
the valley adjoining is believed to be the
scene of the story of Ruth.
After making extensive purchases in
rosaries and carved mother-of-pearl, on
which the great industry of the community

of Bethlehem is employed, we returned by
a shorter road, skirting the hill that conducted
to the Pool of Siloam; and the wind
having abated, our ride was much less of a
penance than that we had experienced from


—Mr. and Mrs. Nicholaison
and their little daughter paid us a
visit. The latter, an intelligent girl of nine,
gave Minney an excellent Arabic lesson of
familiar phrases, which she has offered to
follow up. We called on Mr. Young to
look at a Tartahuan or Sad-hakief, a sort
of double palanquin, or cages, to be placed
on each side of a camel, for our approaching
journey. I am already compassionating
the poor animal that is to have Minney and
myself inclosed in these wooden residences.
We then proceeded with Mr. Y. and his
intelligent old Jewish dragoman, Joseph, to
visit David's tomb, situated near the gate of
the same name, and inclosed by a mosque.

With a permission from the governor,
Christians were allowed to descend into the
vaulted portion of the building; but now
we were only permitted to look down from
the middle of the flight of steps.
Prince Pückler Muskau, we were told, has
been the cause of this exclusion, (as also
in the instance of visiting the Mosque of
Omar,) by making a forcible entrance without
permission beyond where the general
firman entitled him to go. The custode's
opposition continuing, Prince Pückler drew
his sword, and threatened to cut down any
one who obstructed his passage. The great
object of enforcing the privileges of the
firman was to avoid paying the smallest fee;
at Jaffa, when he had taken a bath, he presented
the said firman as an excuse for not
liquidating his debt of three piastres (1s. 3d.
of our money). This seems to have incurred
the wrath of the Jews, Christians, and
Infidels. Consuls, governors, and guides,

have all some cause of complaint. I am
curious to see his own version of his journeying
and succès en Orient.
The strictest order has, since this esclandre,
been given against any but Mussulmen
being admitted into the tomb. Sir Moses
Montefiore, the only exception, (whom the
governor and Mr. Nicholaison accompanied,)
remained for some time in prayer,
reading some of the Psalms in Hebrew with
his interpreter, Mr. Levi, who afterwards
translated them into English for the benefit
of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore. After
the tomb of the Prophet, that of David is
the highest in veneration with the Mahometans.
After a very long and wet walk round
the walls, which, from rain and the accumulation
of rubbish, made our progress
very difficult, we arrived at a most interesting
spot, which I think has not been particularly
remarked by travellers, and was

first pointed out by Mr. Y. to Sir Andrew
Bernard. It is evidently the spring of a
magnificent arch, which must have afforded
the communication between the Mount
Zion and Moriah, thus connecting the
Temple with Mount Zion, and crossing the
Valley commonly called that of the Cheesemongers.
The span of the arch must have been at
least sixty feet, and have rivalled in beauty
and magnificence the still existing and
adjoining wall from which it springs. It
was nearly one hundred feet high, above,
perhaps, an equal depth of rubbish collected
at its base: the first layer of stone
consists of magnificent masses, hewn out
with great care, and George thought as
large as any Cyclopean remains he had seen
at Mycene and the Grecian colonies in
Italy, only that instead of rude blocks these
were beautifully hewn and channelled in the
form which is supposed to distinguish the

works of Solomon; over this again the wall
is built in an equally regular manner, but
with less solidity and grandeur, and resembling
the construction of the Colosseum.
This again is crowned by what reminds me
of the rustic architecture to be seen in
the substructure of some of the palaces at
The superior character of the Jewish
masonry is very striking: some of the
blocks were thirty feet by seven, perfectly
unornamented but by a sharp indented line,
looking as freshly cut as if they had just
been laid, and this after nearly 3000 years!
So striking is the fulfilment of the prophecies,
“that the worst of heathen should
possess the land; that the holy places
should be defiled.” “I will pour down the
stones thereof into the valley; and I will
discover the foundations thereof.”
It is at this, the S. E. and most perfectly
preserved angle of the foundations of the

Temple, that some of the most devout of
the Jews assemble on Fridays after midday,
when their Sabbath begins. They are
to be seen kneeling on the original stone,
with tears of penitence rolling down their
cheeks, and in the posture of humiliation,
and deprecating in scriptural language the
wrath of the Almighty, and praying for their
restoration, and a renewal of his mercies.
We then proceeded through rubbish and
dirt of every kind, having unluckily chosen
our road through the receptacle for dead
horses, &c., for the purpose of seeing the
Pool of Bethesda: it is close to St. Stephen's
gate, (and spot of Lapidation), and
is a large reservoir, but now without water.
There is great doubt entertained of its
identity; its vicinity to the Temple, and
what is considered to have been the Sheep
Market, affords the only ground of probability.
We next visited an Armenian convent,

built on the site of the house of Caiphas; a
deserted Christian church is in this vicinity,
built near the site of the house alleged to
have been that of the birth-place of the
Virgin. It is in such good preservation
that one felt inclined to wish that the
edifice had been obtained and converted
into the Protestant church, as the spot of
ground obtained for that purpose has little
chance of answering the intention, owing to
the absence of labourers; the foundation
itself, begun to be dug a year ago, is not
yet completed.
Our way home lay through the Via Dolorosa,
and the alternate changes of the
weather from rain to sunshine gave a very
picturesque effect of shadow to the old
vaulted passages and flights of steps in
which Jerusalem abounds; the streets are
dirty, dull, and ill-paved. Sometimes the
archways would furnish beautiful studies for
an artist.
The bazaars are narrow, bad, and ill-furnished:
we could obtain neither cup,
plate, nor dish of any kind to add to our
canteen; and for knives, were obliged to
substitute the common dagger of the country.
No meat of any kind but mutton and
goat's flesh, can be had; beef seems to be
unknown, and vegetables so scarce that a
cauliflower made quite an epoch in our
kitchen, and for potatoes we substituted
rice, which is the grand and indeed chief
sustenance of the people. Although at only
thirty miles from the sea-coast, fish is
never brought to Jerusalem, and consequently
indifferent poultry and mutton are
the only food for European consumption,
eggs being scarce, and butter nil. No pudding
or pastry of any kind is to be thought
of, and one is quite surprised how soon one
becomes reconciled to so limited a bill of
The clay vessels for drawing water are the

only ones used for drinking, and for eating
purposes, a platter for the rice pillau, of
which all the family partake. Coarse and ill-baked
bread forms the sole nourishment of
the majority of the Syrian and Arab population;
and I believe a cup, glass, or plate,
would not be met with in any Mahometan
residence throughout the country, unless in
that of some Turkish employé.
The town is full of beggars, cripples, and
lepers, but the stirring population is vastly
mixed, and interesting to behold: Arabs,
Bedouins, armed to the teeth, and admirably
mounted, are frequently met, and in the
governor's yard we saw more than a hundred
wild-looking men, who, we were told,
served as a sort of irregular cavalry to the
Sometimes the general stillness of the
town is interrupted by a cavalier rushing
by you at full speed, waving his djereed
with great dexterity and grace, and answering

the description of the mode of attack of
the infidels at the time of the Paladins.
Over St. Stephen's gate are some coarse
ornaments, resembling lions and rosaces:
as any resemblance of living things is forbidden
to the Mahometans, may not these
almost effaced ornaments be of the time of
the crusades? We persuaded Mr. and Mrs.
Young to come home with us, and try our
convent fare, which really, under Denino's
auspices, was improving daily; and Mrs. Y.
having sent for some soup plates, afforded us
a perfect fête.
The accessories of our convent furniture
consisted of mattresses, six chairs, and two
tables; but with our Smyrna purchases of
carpets and counterpanes, and our dear
Dover chairs, our rooms were, for Jerusalem,
sumptuously furnished. Our canteen, containing
only two tea-cups, obliges us to
breakfast à trois reprises, and we cannot
often change our plates; but constant exercise

and excitement make us overlook every
deficiency, and we very much appreciate our
portable comforts, although on this occasion
we ran great risk of an original quality in
our portable soup, as, among our medical
provisions, we had brought a large lump of
a preparation for blisters, and this was inclosed
in tin, without a label.
Christine, in her anxiety to have soup at
, for which she mistook this, transferred
the stock from the panier de médecine, to that
of the provision de bouche. I wish truth
would allow me to go a little further into the
detail of Denino seasoning our dreadful
potage, but it was found out in time. Our
doctor shuddered at the notion of the probable
distressing results which would have
attended our swallowing a spoonful of such
a mixture, and took this opportunity of renewing
his warnings, “Madame devoit éviter des condimens trop héroiques.

[Back to top]



Village of Bethany—Tomb of Lazarus—View of the
Dead Sea—Accounts of Acre—Termination of
the Rhamazan—Our Doctor in great request—
Want of medical attendance—The Burying
Ground—Visit to Mount Calvary—Glorious sunset
—Laziness of the Jews—Leave Jerusalem.


—Owing to its being the
Mahometan sabbath, we could not set off
on our ride to Bethany till after one, when
the gates would be open. We crossed the
Valley of Jehosaphat, and proceeded to
Bethany, leaving Siloam on our right. In
Scripture, the distance is said to be a sabbath's
journey, (not quite two miles,) but

the road is so steep and rugged, our ride
must have occupied one hour and a half.
This village, like all in the vicinity of
Jerusalem, is in the most ruined and miserable
state; groups of ill-clothed, or rather,
hardly clothed, peasants, were lying in idleness
among the ruins, and appearing indifferent
to the spots they chose, as some, who
might have selected a less bleak and exposed
situation, were sitting on the roofs of their
stone habitations, or holes cut in the rocks.
In the centre of the village you are shewn
the tomb of Lazarus, and you descend a
flight of eighteen steps, to the place of his
interment, which is capacious enough to
allow your creeping in. This narrow descent
does not answer to one's impression of the
place from whence our Saviour called to
Lazarus to come forth.
About a hundred yards further, a cavern
in a rock presented itself, which answered
much more to our preconceived ideas, as

one large stone might have closed it, and
“have been rolled away,” and a space surrounds
it, where “the much people who
followed” might have stood spectators to
the miracle. Our convent guide advised our
going a little further, to shew us the stone
upon which our Saviour was said to have
been sitting when Mary conveyed to him
the news of her brother's death.
The ruins of Bethphage are discernible,
and we were surprised at our cicerone furnishing
us with no tradition of the house of
Martha and Mary, or that of Simon the
leper, where our Saviour was anointed with
In returning, by the Mount of Olives, we
had again a favourable evening for the view
of the Dead Sea, and the spot to which
Israel was led by Joshua, and the general
view was more distinct from this point than
from the higher position. We could not
pass the Chapel of the Ascension without
again visiting it, as well as the Garden of

Gethsemane. Nothing appears to me so
certain as the identity of this sacred spot,
and of a portion of rock, now of a perfectly
smooth, though not level, surface, upon
which our Saviour is said to have knelt and
fell; every portion of this garden (as it is
called) so describes the awful and touching
features of the scene. We succeeded in
sawing off a large piece of wood from the
oldest olive-tree; and I hope we escaped
observation, in setting so bad an example
for pious thefts.
It is only by repeatedly visiting the immediate
country about Jerusalem that one
becomes aware of the magnificent scale of
its hills and valleys: however desolate, arid,
and uncultivated, there is an air of majesty
about them to which no description can do
justice. The Valley of Judgment cannot
bear its name, without inspiring almost
thrilling feelings at its depth and vastness;
the stony barrenness of the soil at this season
meets with no relief, but we are told,

that the luxuriance and beauty of the spring
flowers cause all this to disappear, and that
the neighbourhood of Jerusalem becomes,
in April and May, one vast and fragrant
On our return to the convent we found
Joseph, the Consul's dragoman, who brought
us very unfavourable accounts of the neighbourhood
of Acre, and proved to us the
impracticability of our going by Damascus;
some English travellers, to whom the
Governor of Acre did not feel justified in affording
protection by land to Beyrout, having
been obliged to hire a native vessel and proceed
by sea; and we fear we must now turn
our minds and our caravans in the direction
of Gaza, on our way to Cairo. This change
of plan disappoints us much as to our Balbec
prospects; perhaps our arriving earlier
in Egypt may enable us to realize our wish
of visiting Thebes.
The old Jew had brought his wife, Sarah,

and his pretty little girl, Rachel, to see us:
they only spoke Spanish, and were magnificently
dressed; and the mother, in age and
costume, might have afforded the model for
the Rebecca of Ivanhoe. She is Joseph's
fourth wife, and might be his great-granddaughter;
but the family group would have
been a beautiful one to draw, their dresses
and cast of features were so exactly those
chosen by the old masters in their representations
of patriarchs and their families.


— We were disturbed
from our sleep by a regular cannonade, and
my first idea was, that Jerusalem was in a
state of siege; but it turned out the very
common-place event of some guns firing on
the ushering in of the Beiram, and the rejoicing
attending the termination of the
Rhamazan. I partook of it, as it is quite
distressing to have one's horse led by attenuated
Arabs, and feel that all they are
watching is the setting sun, at the very

moment we wish the light prolonged, so as
not to be shut out of the gates.
We had been trying to engage an Arab,
much recommended by Sir A. Bernard, whom
Mr. Y. could not succeed in finding, as he
was always from home; this morning, our
pilgrim, or rather seller of rosaries, offered
himself as a guide, which offer met with no
encouragement. M. Chacaton hinted to us
that he was a tailor by trade, who had
undertaken to put his wardrobe in repair;
our turbaned friend, however, insisted, in
bad Italian, on his qualifications for a travelling
servant, and at last we discovered that
the same individual pursued these various
avocations, and that the very man with
whom we had for days been endeavouring
to obtain an interview, was the same whom
George and always been trying to eject from
our convent quarters.
Just as I was setting off with our doctor,
to see the fête of Beiram outside the walls,

he was summoned to the governor's, to
attend one of the officers. He has visited
at least forty patients a day since our
arrival, and been consulted daily by more
than double that number, and we are followed
from our convent by the poor, asking
to see our hakim. We do not cease being
grateful that we took the resolution of
bringing him with us, so great a comfort and
relief has he proved in this wretched place,
where, in a population of fifteen thousand,
there has only been one medical attendant,
a German convert, whom we found at the
point of death, without any assistant to compound
or to dispense the scanty stock of
medicine he possessed.
The doctor says he has seen two people
who have recovered from the plague; one
an old man who is left paralytic, another a
youth who is left dumb. He supposes that
the virus of the disease entered the system,
and thus left behind the proofs of its venom.

Many Jews have consulted him; and it is
sad to know the vast proportion of sickness
solely caused by famine and cold,—the
general disease being low fever, which can
only be relieved by better living. We made
up small packets of quinine to distribute,
which were eagerly accepted; and the
doctor dispensed occasionally soup, bread,
and biscuit, and some article of warm coarse
clothing among his patients; these were
more gratefully received than money, which
forms a great contrast to our English
One cannot help wishing to suggest that
some of the funds subscribed for the Jewish
Society, should be applied to establishing a
physician, and a regular supply of medical
assistance. Might it not be feasible, under
proper and judicious management, to afford
the poor of Jerusalem, on the plan practised
in England, some relief by soup tickets, or
rather bread tickets, in a country where the

grain is abundant, and the climate allows
such food to be of sufficient nourishment to
its inhabitants, many of whom I have actually
seen during our rides eat grass and
clover? The attention to their physical
sufferings might lead to higher results, and
put our missionaries, and those desirous of
conveying religious instruction, in more
direct and intimate communication with Jew
and Gentile.
Have we not the Divine example in more
than one instance, of the sick being cured,
the lepers cleansed, and the hungry fed,
before religious instruction was imparted?
I feel convinced that greater charity could
not be exercised at Jerusalem than by the
appointment of medical attendance; the
selection should fall on some one whose zeal
would induce him to bear the sacrifice of
settling in such a country. Devotion to the
cause is more required than great skill, as
the prevailing maladies are obviously low

fever and ophthalmia, for both of which the
remedies are well understood.
Minney and her father during this time
rode to see the Prophets' Tombs, into which
they could not effect an entrance. They
described the monument as having little
claim to its appellation, as its architecture
is comparatively of a recent period, and
evidently not Jewish. The doors are of
solid stone, and it is supposed could not
have been hung after the building was terminated,
but at the time of its construction;
the ornamental part of the frieze was in very
delicate and beautiful work, and in a degree
of preservation very superior to its general
We then proceeded outside the walls to
the burying-grounds, which presented a very
pretty scene, as the Turkish women were
celebrating the first day of the Beiram, in
visiting the tombs of their friends, and
ornamenting them with fresh flowers. Some

had placed tents, where they were eating
and amusing themselves; several groups
made signs to us to go and join them.
Our European dresses seemed to cause
them more interest and amusement than the
Turkish women had shewn at Constantinople.
I tried to attract some very pretty little
children, employing my little stock of Arabic
in calling out Imshi, which did not produce
the desired effect, and even disturbed the
gravity of our Cavasse Hassan. It seems
that I had substituted the va via, for vienni
A poor little Arab girl was among a group
of well-dressed children, with nothing on
but a sort of blouse of coarse canvas, but
was a complete miniature of the Arabian
style of countenance—such a clear olive
complexion, long cut eye, a beautifully-formed
mouth, and rather dilated nostrils.
I gave her a little piece of money, which
was received with much pleasure and surprise.

On walking on, I soon heard a great
wrangle raised by the Turkish children,
imitating their elders, in despoiling this
poor little Arab. My Frank interference
however speedily settled the matter, and
the little Turks looked so crest-fallen, that
I hope this may be de bonne augure for the
future settlement of the question.
I finished my day by paying Mrs. Young
a visit, where I acted as newspaper, in telling
them what was, in fact, rather old political
gossip, which their long failure of Galignanis
had made them miss. We went home very
heavy at heart at finding no letters from


—We went to church at
the Consul's, and our congregation amounted
to only ten, including an American missionary
and two German converts. The
consciousness that we were attending Divine
worship at Jerusalem made the service particularly
impressive; and the text, taken

from the lesson of the day, Luke xxi., “And
there shall be signs in the sun, and in the
moon, and in the stars, and upon the whole
earth distress of nations with perplexity,”
was very ably treated by Mr. Nicholaison,
and appeared a most forcible anticipation of
what every day becomes more apparent here,
some great and general change.
Just as we got back to our convent door,
Mr. Young overtook us, to tell us of a fresh
revolt at Mount Hebron; four hundred men
having been sent for by the governor, to
reinforce the eleven hundred who had gone
two days before to put down a less serious
disturbance. As fast as one rebellion is
quelled here, another springs up; and the
soldiers are so little to be relied on that the
governor's son, though willing to give us an
escort to conduct us beyond Mount Hebron,
strongly advised our making the détour of
Ramla and Gaza, where the country is (for
Syria) in a secure state.
In the afternoon we again visited Mount
Calvary; the organ was playing, but anything
less impressive it is difficult to conceive:
the overture to Lodoaiska was one
of the pieces selected. The sacred spots
we wished once more to see, were pointed
out in so irreverent a manner that it caused
an almost painful impression; the closeness
and the accumulation of bad smells at that
part of the church which adjoins the Holy
Sepulchre was something dreadful. We
saw the Pillar of the Flagellation, which
we had missed on our first visit, and which
has all the appearance of an ancient column.
It is satisfactory, with regard to the site of
Mount Calvary, to observe, as was pointed
out to us by Mr. Young, that the stones
composing the walls of the town in this
direction have all the character of Roman
construction, and a complete absence of the
larger blocks that distinguished the Jewish
substructures in other directions of the

walls, so that it encourages one to believe
the original walls were within those of this
quarter, and would at once establish the fact
of Mount Calvary being outside the city at
our Saviour's crucifixion. That the site of
Pilate's house is correctly fixed, there appears
no doubt; at present it is occupied by a
Turkish barrack. We then walked out by
St. Stephen's gate, and looked up at the
spot allotted to Mahomet at the day of
doom; we had intended to reach the Garden
of Gethsemane, but the day closed too suddenly
to allow our doing so, though the
distance was only computed at a Sabbathday's
journey (six furlongs).
I never saw so glorious a sunset; the
clouds of purple were of the most vivid and
beautiful tints; any attempt to represent
them in painting would have appeared exaggerated:
it must have been such a sky as
this which our Saviour pointed out as the
one from which the Pharisee could deduce

an opinion of the future weather: “Ye
hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the
sky, but ye cannot discern the signs of the
times.” George went with Mr. Y. to the
house of the Governor, whose son received
them with great civility, but confirmed the
bad news we had heard from Hebron.
We met two very beautifully accoutred
officers coming to our convent, in search of
the hakim, to afford military assistance,
their colonel having been taken suddenly
ill. Our mild-looking Christian servant,
Youssoff, came to ask us for a horse and a
new set of clothes, preparatory to our
journey into the desert; he also signified that
his services were to be confined to leading
my horse or dromedary when the occasion
required, and attending only on me. These
demands and conditions not suiting our
arrangements, I was grieved to see Youssoff's
steps turned towards Jaffa.


—We were again disappointed

about our letters, and the Consul
did not seem surprised, as it is supposed that
the Egyptian and Turkish Governments
frequently detain letters of any bulk directed
to foreigners, lest they should transmit
some political information; perhaps we are
spared some bad news, which might make
our journey through the Desert one of
tedious anxiety. We employed all the morning
in writing to England, and only went out
to dine at Mr. Young's, where the appareil
of an English dinner afforded a great contrast
to our convent scramble.


—The wrangling of our
horse purveyors made our departure appear
impracticable; but after George had shewn
great determination of resisting Jewish and
Mussulman extortion, we succeeded in
getting the Tartahuan out of the maker's
hands, and proceeded to pay Mrs. Nicholaison
a farewell visit.
Some interesting conversation was interrupted

by the entrance of a German
Jew, whom Mrs. N. described as one of
their few converts, and one whom they had
prevailed upon to exercise himself in the
shoe-making trade, as extreme and hopeless
idleness was the great evil they had to
contend against. In this instance their
good intentions had sadly failed; for the
good Isaac, with many apologies, produced
a child's shoe from his pocket he had been
for some months manufacturing for Mrs.
N.'s little girl, and expressed great regret
at the utter impossibility of making its fellow
till the mildness of the weather allowed
him to work; for he said that at present
his fingers and faculties were equally benumbed.
This declaration was as seriously
made as it was absurdly delivered. The
complaints of being unemployed were very
general, but every attempt to encourage industry
had failed, even with regard to those
in the greatest state of destitution.
One of the Spanish Jews had shewn
some talent for sculpture, in making a
pretty candlestick from the sandstone of
the country. Mr. Y. bespoke its pendant
and a vase for the centre ornament; but on
being sent home, the vase proved quite
crooked, and the candlestick out of all proportion
with the original: in short, the
stimulus of gain is not yet sufficient to
arouse their moral or physical energies,
though “to beg they are not ashamed.”
We actually left Jerusalem at half-past
two; our last view of Mount Olivet was
from the leads of the convent, and we left
our artist to take the view of that unpicturesque
but most interesting spot, the
Garden of Gethsemane. Mr. and Mrs.
Young accompanied us on our road as far
as the village, or rather to the site of the
ancient Emmaus.
We reached our gîte at Aber-Gosh about
sunset, expecting to find the sheik's house

“swept and garnished” for our reception;
but great was our dismay when Denino
met us with a chicken half-plucked in his
hand, and told us that the sheik's house
was shut up, and that there was only one
room for our whole party, à la maison d'un
, and that the sheik was himself
absent; of this fact we were well aware, as
he was the famous robber whom the government
had so long failed in capturing, and
who had for many years levied a tax on
passing travellers, but his son was allowed
the privilege of exercising hospitality; and
after some démélé, we succeeded in getting
possession of a room without a single article
of furniture.
Unluckily for us, the horse loaded with
our folding chairs had fallen, and so ingeniously
as to render all unfit for use, so
that we had to sit on our saddles round our
table, which was composed of a packing-case.
But all these contrivances added to

our amusement and appetite; and how our
good dinner was produced was incomprehensible,
unless by a coup de baguette.
On leaving Jerusalem, one was impressed
with a feeling of awe, in passing by the
valley of Jehoshaphat, associated as it appears
with the denunciations contained in
the prophecies of Joel; and it made one
ask oneself, under what awful circumstances
we might next contemplate this spot?
The only exception to the generally
melancholy expression of countenance of
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, was that of
one of our guides, who was deaf and dumb;
he was always bursting with good humour
and wild animal spirits, and his pantomimic
manner was quite successful in expressing
to us whatever he wished: in short, it
served us much better than Arabic.

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Our deaf and dumb guide—The country about Jerusalem
—Ramla—Arrival at the Latin convent—
Illness of the superior—A sociable monk—Delightful
garden—Esdoud—One of Mehemet Ali's
messengers—Uncomfortable quarters, and troublesome
visitors—Dummy's good qualities—Splendid
appearance of the sky—Our lodgings at Gaza—
The inspector of quarantine, and his adventures.


—We reposed in great
safety in the robber's house, and we might
have been aux reprèsailles with him, as all
the goods and wearing apparel were left
scattered and unprotected. In the confusion
of departure, I was quite afraid lest
we should carry off our neighbour's goods.

Dummy constituted himself my chevalier,
pointing out the resort of wild boar and
gazelle in the most ingenious manner,
assuming by turns the allure of these
animals, and making his ungainly person
almost graceful in personating the latter
animal. There was soon an opportunity of
judging of the merit of his pantomime, in
the shape of three pretty gazelles close to
our path; I was very glad that our padrone
was too far beyond us to try his
The agreeable but threatening weather
at last declared itself in a heavy shower;
and poor Minney, on unfurling her umbrella,
so frightened her horse that he
started, and threw her upon her face. She
fortunately escaped with a scratched nose
and chin, and very bravely called out she
was not hurt.
Our poor Dummy touched me much as
soon as he saw she was not hurt: he looked

earnestly at me, and then pointed towards
Heaven, as if to direct my gratitude thither.
As Syria is not likely to have produced an
Abbé de l'Epée, this poor man's sense of
religion must have been innate, and its
impression was the more pure and remarkable;
no Christian of our party would
have thus immediately referred to a superintending
Providence. I had observed it
on another occasion: on dividing some
bread with him, he first kissed it, and
looked upwards most devoutly. Minney's
little accident made the rest of our journey
less lively.
We found Denino installed at the Latin
convent, to which our Jerusalem community
had begged us to go, instead of to
our former quarters at the Greek convent.
We had been told by some monks, who had
passed us on the road coming from Cairo,
that we had been expected at Ramla the
night before. We had hardly got off our

horses before our doctor was summoned to
visit the superior, and our, or rather the
hakim's arrival, was of most fortunate occurrence,
as he found the reverend Padre
suffering under a violent attack of brain
fever, of the character of which the monks
were so entirely ignorant, that they were
sitting round his bed laughing at the incoherencies
and ravings of his delirium:
luckily, our provision for blisters had not
been all converted into soup, but there
were no means of making a plaster, till I
devoted a glove for the purpose; no stock
of medicine of any kind was to be found in
the convent.
The approach to Ramla, from Jerusalem,
is much more favourable to its appearance
than from Jaffa; the mixture of olive, cactus,
pomegranate, and fig-trees, occasionally
dotted by palm trees, had such a pretty
effect among ruined mosques, illuminated
by the setting sun. All nature seemed

refreshed by the late rain, and the brightness
of the vegetation formed a striking
contrast to the aridity of the country about
Jerusalem, which, at this season, is without
a blade of grass, and the soil is as closely
overlaid with flints as the environs of
Brighton; however, all this is said to disappear
in the early spring, and the green
corn, and abundance of flowers, are described
as making the country appear a perfect
garden; there is a fearful report of a cordon
making Al Arish, one of our next
points, impassable; and we are now in all
the anxiety of trying to ascertain the safest
direction for our journey.
We of womankind are entirely separated
from the rest of the convent, and not even
allowed to cross the court. I suppose we
ought to be flattered at being considered so
dangerous; a fat, merry old Spaniard, however,
trusts himself with us in an unflattering
manner, very anxious to restore our

energies with Rosoglio, particularly those of
La poveretta stracciata, as Minney is described
with her scratched face.
The doctor's remedies have already proved
efficacious for the superior, as, after six days
and nights insomnie, the poor sufferer has
had an hour's sleep, to-morrow being the
seventh day, and the crisis, we have determined
to remain at Ramla, and we shall be
rewarded by George riding over to Jaffa, to
gain all possible intelligence with regard to
our missing letters and future movements.
Our social monk is the perfect representation
of a lazy friar, whose only occupation
is teaching Flora, a young hound, her exercise.
He is from Saragossa, where, he says,
the national proverb is, “La notte per dormire,
il giorno per riposare.


—We passed a very good
night, and the morning's light revealed all
the cobwebs and dust, of which we were last
night unconscious. I was rather disturbed

by, what I thought, the noise of camels, but
I found it proceeded from a dove-cot close
to my window; and certainly Asiatic turtledoves
coo much more mournfully than those
of Europe: it is a sort of wail and moan,
like a discontented, peevish wife. I think
the monks must have added this establishment
to the monastery, to put them out of
conceit with domestic life.
Our gloomy apartment led to a tiny garden,
full of lemon-trees in full bearing; the
air was quite perfumed by the cedrate, and
Minney and the Doctor went through the
German lesson without hat or cloak, out of
doors, in the middle of December.
George rode off to Jaffa, and we found a
very pretty walk through an avenue of
ficus indicus, which brought us to a grassy
hillock, where we took up our quarters, and
sent for our work and books; a good many
of the female inhabitants of Ramla had made
the same choice, and appeared to have sufficient

occupation in watching our movements.
Some little Arabs were playing at soldiers,
with sugar-canes for muskets; and some
little girls were made quite happy by my
presents of needlefuls of red worsted. We
had hoped to have our broken chairs repaired,
but all the workmen of Ramla had
been sent off to assist at the restoration of
the fortifications of St. Jean d'Acre.
We anxiously expected the result of
George's visit to Jaffa, and he found that
the obliging Mons. Cuisinier, who, unasked,
had proffered his services to forward our
letters, had sent a large packet by a common
muleteer conducting some pilgrims to the
Greek convent, without a more specific
direction; so we are now more tantalized
than ever, from knowing that the letters are
arrived, but having no means of communicating
with the Greek convent.
We cannot ascertain what will be our
fate about the Al Arish quarantine, but we

shall set off to-morrow for Esdoud (the
ancient Ashdod.) I felt struck at this convent,
with the reflection, how the monks
have the power of supporting privations, or
rather the monotony of a monastic life, without
a spark of religious enthusiasm, or at least
without any deep respect and reverence for
its truth. Indeed there is no sign of either
among such of the monks as we have seen;
they only appear like secluded and retired
Bourgeois, without any intellectual or actual


—We left Ramla about
twelve, after the monks had afforded us
every possible hospitality; the now convalescent
superior sent for George, to express
his gratitude for the attentions of his doctor;
to the latter he gave a pretty Bethlehem
The weather was charming on our first
setting off; the Viaggiatore Piccola, as the
monks named Minney, was a little shy of the

umbrellas, which we were soon obliged to
déployer, as the rain descended in torrents;
and although our impenetrable cloaks proved
worthy of their names, we saw our beds
getting a sad soaking. The afternoon again
proved fine, and a variety of game appeared
so inviting, that our padrone thought himself
justified in disregarding our nerves for the
sake of savoury meat for our evening's repast.
We found Esdoud two miles further
distance than had been reported, and we
hoped so much might be gained on our
journey of the next day.
The night had just closed in before we
reached Esdoud; we could hardly see our
way, when, on, approaching the village, we
were all startled, by a person coming up on
horseback at full gallop. The darkness
added to the surprise we all felt, when we
perceived that it was an Arab soldier, who
flew by, calling out loudly, and apparently
regardless whom he rode over; he proved

to be one of Mehemet Ali's messengers,
conveying despatches to his son.
He passed us like lightning; we could
only discern his large white teeth under the
capuchin of his bernouss, which covered him
in a most picturesque manner. The sudden
manner in which he just appeared and then
vanished, caused, I believe, an impression
on all our minds, which I can no otherwise
describe, but as of a phantom that
whirled by us, or, as what one may conceive,
to illustrate the idea of Death on the
Pale Horse.
We were received by Denino with an unfavourable
account of our quarters, which
impression was indeed fully justified; the
little room was so full of smoke, sheep and
lamb skins, that we were some time before
we could effect an entrance: anything so
close as the atmosphere I never felt, from
the combined smells of wool, oil, and tobacco.
My first step was into a puddle.
When the smoke was a little dispersed, by
the pan of ashes being removed, we discovered
that the upper end of the room was
raised, so that our beds could be placed out
of the mud, but how, and where our baggage
was to be disposed of, was a fresh
puzzle; at last, another room was offered,
in the village, for the gentlemen, smaller,
and even less ventilated, but the ground
was too damp to allow the alternative of
encamping; so we determined to look on
the amusing side of the question—viz., the
dismay of Christine, and the surprise of the
Arabian women, who had evidently never
before seen a Christian woman.
No sooner was our supper concluded, and
Minney and I had been left alone, than the
whole female population of the neighbourhood
poured in upon us, and they were more
difficult to eject than either the sheep or the
poultry. The shiek's wife had a very
agreeable countenance, and inquired, by

signs, the number of my children, which
question I returned, and admired her pretty
little girl, who then disappeared, as I hoped,
for the night, and I trusted that the mother
would quickly follow.
I was disappointed in both expectations;
the little daughter returned, with a baby in
her arms, whom I was obliged to admire,
and I felt they intended to pass the night
in my room, or rather in hers, as she
was the proprietor of this wretched cabin;
at last we were obliged to summon Denino,
and make him interpret our wish of going
to bed, with a civil hope of seeing them the
next day.
Although at the risk of suffocation, we
then fastened our door, which there was a
constant attempt to open for a long time.
At last Christine, being fairly awakened,
got up to remonstrate; but the interloper
turned out to be a remarkably fat sheep,
that had evidently been accustomed to the

shelter of our apartment. Our musquito
nets, I fancy, saved us from being perfectly


—After a very much
better night than we could have hoped for,
we rose with unusual alacrity to get out of
our den. George arrived with an indifferent
account of his night's rest, and we heard a
sad narrative on the part of the poor doctor,
who, in addition to the winged enemies, had
(in fancy, as we thought) seen a rat running
over his coverlid, and the conviction (as he
said) of the presence of many others “qui
soupiroient à mes oreilles.
He was soon assailed by all the sick and
fanciful of the village for consultation; his
principal patient was a handsome Arab, who
had nearly lost the sight of one eye, and
who had hitherto been satisfied that a talisman,
in the shape of a fine-sized pearl,
hanging from his turban above the eye in
question, would effect his cure. The doctor

recommended as a substitute the constant
use of cold water, with some little accessory,
as there is no doubt that the want of cleanliness
is the great aggravation of this species
of ophthalmia.
After superintending for three hours the
loading of our mules, the arrangements of
which would by a European have been
accomplished in as many quarters, we were
fairly off, and passed in less than two hours
a much better village than Esdoud, which
last, remarkable in ancient history for resisting
for months the invasion of Alexander,
retains now no distinction but that of harbouring
scorpions of a most venomous
We fortunately were in advance of the
black and threatening clouds of rain which
we saw bursting over the mountains of
Judea; and our day's journey lay through
a pretty country, richly cultivated. A good
deal of ploughing was going forward, and in

one instance a camel was engaged, that
looked quite out of character, in agricultural
pursuit: the labour of turning the camel
every two minutes must have been much
greater than the mere manual labour of
turning up the ground where the rich yet
light soil offers such facility.
Dummy was more active than ever in
running up trees to gather switches to
punish our lazy mules, and then crouching
to make his back a firm support for mounting
on our awkward Turkish saddles; he
was the perfect illustration of the dumb
slave in the Arabian Nights, and his quickness
of perception perfectly astonishing.
In coming into our room in the morning,
he had caught sight of himself in the little
looking-glass belonging to my dressing-case,
and looked perfectly bewildered; but at last
ascertaining the cause of reflection, shrugged
up his shoulders with a mixed expression of
pity and dismay at his appearance.
During the day's journey he acted as
pointer to our chasseur, who found plenty
of sport in a country abounding in partridges,
plovers, and rock and wood pigeons.
We passed through forests of olives, not
thickly planted, but affording very desirable
shade and contrast to the country we had
lately passed.
We reached the walls of Gaza about sunset;
I never saw such a sky. On the left
were masses of fleecy clouds, not of the
dense character of our northern climates,
but reminding us of the white smoke
emitted by Mount Vesuvius at the eruption
we had seen some months before. Behind
a grove of beautiful palm-trees the sky
appeared like a bright fire; one felt that it
might have scorched the upper branches.
What a contrast between this burning
climate and the country we had just left!
No vegetation beyond that of palms and the
ficus indicus, and everything denoting a
tropical country.
George had remained at a little distance
from the approach of Gaza, intent on adding
to our pigeon pie, and on our arriving at
the gates we found no Cavasse, or any one
to shew us where Denino had made our
quarters, and our Arabs conducted us to the
khan, a regular warehouse built round a
court, where we recognised our baggage,
but no Denino, no Demetrius, no anybody
that could tell us where to go. We all
became very hungry and impatient, even
to our poor horses, that tried to shake us
off our saddles, for they were too tired to
kick us off.
At last a figure advanced towards us,
half Oriental, half European, offering his
services, with a volubility truly Neapolitan,
who informed us that he was the Deputatore
della Sanità
of Gaza, and that he was directed
by the governor to express his regrets
at his inability of lodging us d'una maniera
convenevole al rango
, but that already a
warehouse was emptied for our reception,

and that our kitchen was most conveniently
situated in the open court, where a tent was
also pitched.
This description did not quite realize our
sanguine expectations of better lodging at
Gaza; but the sheltered though unglazed
windows, and a whitewashed wall, made our
quarters appear luxurious after Esdoud.
The room was large enough to allow our
fixing a rope across it, which enabled us to
hang shawls and cloaks upon it, to afford
George and ourselves independent ménages
and boudoirs. Our medico and artiste were
condemned to encamp in the court, and we
were soon comfortably settled round a dining-table
furnished by our obliging inspector of
quarantine, whom we detained to supper,
and a most amusing convive he proved,
giving us an account of his past life and
adventures, with all his Neapolitan vivacity.
His father had been a trader between
Naples and Alicant, and his son, our guest,

had succeeded to his father's profession, and
for years with success. A storm, however,
wrecked both his ships and his fortunes, and
at forty he had to begin the world again.
He next found himself at Algiers, where he
had some commercial relations; and at the
moment when the French took possession of
it, owing to his having some slight knowledge
of Arabic, he became dragoman and a
sort of fournisseur to Maréchal Bourmont,
and in his employment made four thousand
dollars. He then was accused by some of
the native residents of diminishing their
commercial interests, thrown into prison,
and condemned to twelve years' galères,
but was released by Maréchal Bourmont's
interference, who had then left the country,
but the four thousand dollars were gone,
non c'è.
He got transported with his family to
Naples; again on the pavé, with nothing
but la divina clima to console him, as the

relations he found alive were as poor as
himself. At last an old acquaintance at the
Douane obtained a situation for him at
Aleppo, whence he was again transferred to
Beyrout, then to Damascus, where his
pitiable condition, that of having a wife and
three children to support on five piastres
(ls. 3d.) a day, gained for him the sympathy
of an employé of Ibrahim Pacha, and obtained
for him the post of inspector of health
in this miserable and unwholesome spot,
with an ill-paid salary of three hundred
piastres a month. All this he told us
without any apparent complaint or attempt
to work upon our compassion.
The thing he seemed most to lament was
the impossibility of having his baby christened,
out of reach as he was of any Catholic
ecclesiastic, and having no feeling of community
with the Greek church. “Poveretta
Marietta, che ha il nome ma non é Cristiana.
He had an equally anxious feeling to contend

with, in the baneful effect of the climate
on the eyes of his children, whom our doctor
found in all the different stages of ophthalmia;
his boy, whom he is endeavouring to
get educated for a dragoman at an Arabic
school, was the greatest sufferer; and upon
the doctor betraying his apprehension for
the sight of one of the poor boy's eyes, the
poor father's feelings quite overcame him.
Had we given him a fortune he could not
have appeared more grateful than for the
ointment my little pharmacie enabled the
doctor to compose. He assured us of the
everlasting gratitude of la mia Moglia, la
mia Sposa, la mia Metà, la mia femmina
, and
at last la mia Vecchia, by which variety of appellations
he designated Signora Spada.

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A visit from the Governor of Gaza, and his suite
Our return visit—the Governor's stud—His harem
—The gates of Gaza—Singular conveyance—Our
camel—Travelling disasters—Uncomfortable lodgings,
and unpleasant intelligence—At home in
the desert.


—With the hope of receiving
our letters, and the advantage of
making Sunday a day of rest, we decided
on remaining at Gaza. George went to the
governor's to arrange our future caravan;
and we despatched a messenger with a
polite letter of inquiry to the French renegade
governor of El Arish, to ascertain

how far he was disposed to take a bribe,
and allow us to escape the quarantine.
Minney and I then made ourselves very
comfortable, and converted our barrack en
, when we received a messenger to
announce the governor's visit to “our
” He soon followed, with two secretaries,
three Negro slaves, and five Arab
attendants, and squatted on my bed, à la
, surrounded by his staff, and inclined
to look as dignified and condescending
as his very ignoble countenance would
Pipes and coffee were produced in as
Oriental a fashion as our circumstances
would permit; and then followed a curious
and close inspection of every article our
baggage contained. A phosphorus-box in
my writing-case caused great surprise, not
unmixed with alarm; the children's picture
excited great admiration; but our governor
persisted in his inquiries, why George had

not my picture, as I was his only wife; and
the information that Minney and I could
read and write, filled him with great astonishment.
His son (rather a good-looking
youth of eighteen,) then joined us, and
would sit on one of our camp-stools à
, evidently with great discomfort
to himself. He appeared in much awe of
his governor (in our English acceptation);
at last the room became oppressively
close, from the smoke, and from its crowded
state. When our visitors took leave, they
exacted from us a promise that we, in
return, would pay a visit to their harem in
half an hour. We, however, began with
the more interesting visit to the stables,
where we saw two perfectly beautiful horses;
one a young chestnut, which the governor
offered to part with for fifty purses, about
225l. I longed to see George guilty of the
extravagance of this purchase; though I
suspect, by his having been tied by the four

legs, he was not of a happy temper. The
horse next him was a grey one, more advanced
in years, but of still greater beauty.
His head was the very beau idéal of perfection,
and his long and bushy tail, like
burnished silver; the stable itself was of
the temperature of a European one, and
did not differ in its arrangement, but in the
absence of the wooden divisions for the
There were in all about twenty ridinghorses;
a good stud for the governor of
this wretched place. He bears a tolerable
character for one but lately promoted from
the galleys of Damascus, by the favour (or
caprice) of Ibrahim Pacha. He was very
obliging in furthering the comforts of our
journey, and reducing its expenses, en
Spada informed us, he had observed
son matti questi Franchi to have left
their riches and safe country to come and
see our wretched existence, only to take

Ritratti.” This impression was not made
by Mons. Chacaton's drawings, but from
the last European travellers having been
Horace Vernet and his son, whom we unluckily
missed on our first day's journey
from Jerusalem, and in consequence probably
lost much useful and agreeable information.
Giovannina, Spada's daughter, a nice-looking
girl, of Minney's age, accompanied us
as interpretess to Hadmin Hassan's harem.
We were shewn into a pretty apartment,
where we found two of his wives, rather
passés, but with agreeable and expressive
countenances, and more civilized manners
than our Turkish friends at Nourri Effendi's;
the elder one was mother to the young man
whom we had seen before, and who pointed
out three of his sisters, and then a very
ugly, sallow-looking little woman as his
wife, and begged me to look at her in the
light, of which I did not at first make out

the object. At last it was explained to me
that, as a Frank, I must have some knowledge
of medicine; and he wished me to
prescribe, and account for her deep yellow
hue, of which I communicated my suspicions,
but recommended our Medico.
This he pronounced impossible, as no man
could enter the precincts of the harem; but
the little jaundiced wife seemed determined
to overrule her husband's objections, and
have advice at the fountain head; and it
was decided “con licenza del superiore,”
our doctor was to present himself at eight
the next morning.
Young Abdul Hadmin offered us sherbet
and coffee; and after our declining the pipe
of friendship, he conducted us to his side of
the harem, followed by the whole female
part of the family, mounted (as it had just
rained) on what may be described as very
high pattens, or low stilts, and making them
suddenly appear like a race of giantesses.

Minney attempted to shuffle on in a pair,
much to the amusement of our entertainers.
In the first harem we were given chairs,
but in this we squatted on the Persian
rugs, and were asked to take off our bonnets,
shew our hair, and display our ornaments:
of the latter all that could be produced
was Christine's gold watch and chain.
They had intelligence enough to inquire
whether Christine was not of a different
country from ours; but we quite failed
in making them understand she was a
Swiss, Inglese and Francese being their
only European distinctions.
I forgot to mention how much I had
fallen in importance since my first arrival
at Gaza; I had entered the town without
George and my suite of nineteen mules
and attendants, and as they saw by the
firman we were English, I was reported to
the authorities as a travelling wife of the
English sultan. One would have imagined

the fact of a great people (as they acknowledge
us to be) being governed by a
woman, and that woman a young queen,
would not have been unknown even in
these parts.


—Roused very early to
little purpose, as the camels for which we
engaged to pay an extra price if they
arrived before seven, never made their appearance
till after mezzo giorno. We tried
to discover some interest in the locality of
Gaza, and were shewn the gates of the
mosque (which had been originally a
Christian church) as those which had been
carried off by Samson! I should think
they had been constructed within the last
century,* if any thing at Gaza bears so
* During the French occupation of Gaza, a General
Samson was a very active character; and in alluding
to the fact of the ancient gates, we found their original
celebrity confounded with the removal of the modern
gates by this French commander.

modern a date; for although it boasts of
having for so long withstood a siege by
Alexander the Great, and of having been
the capital of Palestine, except a few
broken columns, not a vestige remains to
attest its former consequence, and there is
a total absence of the natural grandeur of
feature that distinguishes Jerusalem and its
immediate neighbourhood.
Mons. Chacaton contrived to make a very
pretty drawing of a grove of palm-trees,
and thus for himself lessened the misery of
attente and idleness, under which we were all
suffering. At last some of our camels were
loaded, and our tartahuan elevated, a structure
impossible to describe; but as being
like two punch show-boxes cut short, tied
upon each side the camel, with the fronts
facing each other, the closed parts being
outside, and the back of the camel affording
the separation and the means of entrance;
no wadding or lining, but the sharpness of

the edge of the boards is taken off by
spreading mattresses upon them.
Our first start was one of vast difficulty,
for four men could not succeed in keeping
our camel down; even in this attitude
we required a short ladder to scramble up,
and a rope passed through the wooden laths
to hold on. At last the signal was given
to prepare us for Gemala's rising, which was
not as great a shock as we had been prepared
for, it was so gradual. The first
motion was the elevation from his hind
legs; the second, from his knees in front;
and the third, entirely raised on his legs.
I pitied the Turkish ladies who travel in
this way to Mecca; for at first starting, the
motion is quite intolerable, like being at
sea, the giddiness proceeding from the
height at which one is raised, together with
the swinging and creaking noise accompanying
the machinery of a steam-engine.
Our camel, I fancy, had never borne such

a load as Minney, our mattresses, and myself,
and nearly forfeited his race's character for
forbearance. His first misdemeanour was
rushing into a hedge of cactus, which the
guide rather encouraged, I suppose, to save
his provision of corn. We expected every
moment to be knocked off, from the force
with which we went against it. In consequence,
we were obliged to go through
the ceremony of making the animal kneel
down again, to have the cords freshly secured,
and constantly to change our position
to keep the machine in proper balance.
I thought nothing could add to our
désagrémens, till an unexpected and soaking
rain came on. We felt our mattresses wet
through; and we saw the same disaster
extend to the rest of the baggage. In two
hours we hailed with delight a little brightness
in the sky at sun-set, and endeavoured
to persuade ourselves we were not wet
through; but a still heavier shower dispelled

all illusions; and we heard that the
second tartahuan, containing Christine and
the doctor, was missing; that another camel
had fallen down with our crockery, and
that we were two hours from the fountain,
designated as the spot at which we were to
George got on beautifully with his dromedary,
and quieted my fears of his catching
cold, and suffering from a return of ague,
by assuring me his impenetrable deserved its
name. For three successive hours, Minney
and I took to patience and silence.
At last, a light was to be distinguished;
and great was our delight at finding we
were spared encamping on the damp
ground, and that we had reached the village
of Khan Yunez, where our new soldier-escort
found us quarters. And after passing
through a straggling village and dilapidated
court, we ascended a broad but broken
flight of steps; and having threaded some

rather finely vaulted passages, we found
ourselves in a very large building, lighted
by a solitary lamp.
As soon as it enabled us to distinguish
surrounding objects, we perceived that we
had entered a somewhat ruined mosque, and
that the lamp was hanging from rather
a fine marble pulpit, with a flight of steps
leading up to it. The certainty of partial
shelter quite restored us. A sheik with a
benevolent countenance attended us, and
we made signs for fire, and in a short time
we were sitting round one made on the
stone pavement; but as there was no chimney,
and the materials were brushwood, we
were almost stifled in our endeavours to
dry ourselves, and had to contend with some
lazy Arabs of the village, who took this
opportunity of warming themselves, and
kept half our party at a distance from the
fire. The missing pair at length arrived,
more frightened than hurt.
The alarm had thrown poor Christine into
such a nervous state, that she arrived,
crying, ill, and trempée aux os, the doctor,
in vain, endeavouring to comfort her, and
assuring her that the crockery alone had
sustained fracture. In short, for the first
time during our journey, she was perfectly
helpless. At last, we found carpets and
shawls in our baggage which had escaped the
rain, and made out six couches, (for beds
they could not be called,) but it was two in
the morning before we could profit by them.
In spite of all our difficulties, Denino contrived
to feed us very satisfactorily, which
was a great revival to our good humour and
Notwithstanding so much fatigue, my
slumbers were not deep, as the rats had
evidently been our immediate predecessors,
and gave incessant proofs of their desire of
regaining possession of their quarters. My
inconvenient alarm at anything in the rat

and mouse form, made me most selfishly
keep up a constant jingle, by means of a tin
basin, on the pavement, to alarm my enemies,
and my poor family suffered in proportion.
The muezlin calling the hours
from the turret of our mosque, would have
itself prevented our repose being very continued.
I quite dreaded day, lest I should
face my rats, but they had all discreetly
retired with the moonlight.


—Our messenger from
Al Arish arrived, with the unsatisfactory
answer from the Governor, that we must, if
passing through his territory, be detained in
quarantine for twenty-one days. There
never was such absurdity as this, for no
quarantine is in force at the sea ports nor
in any other direction, and it is persevered
in here from some crooked policy of Mehemet
Ali's, from which unfortunate travellers
suffer. It is intended, I suppose, to discourage
the European intercourse with

Syria. We are, however, assured that, by
a circuit of twenty miles, we may escape the
cordon. Here, however, we must remain
all day, to dry our mattresses, and increase
our provisions. It was fortunate we came
to this decision, for I should have probably
knocked-up on the road, as, owing to the
shaking and fatigue of the tartahuan, I
found, on getting up, I was too ill and giddy
to stand, and was delighted to follow our
hakim's advice, of remaining all day in
perfect repose and idleness.
I believe my absence from dinner was
of general advantage, as our eggs had failed,
and the fare was unusually scanty. What
delights are real beds and sheets! It was
almost worth making this expedition, to
appreciate such restoration to comfort. What
an odd word to adopt in a ruined mosque,
full of dirt and rats! but so it is.


—Found myself quite well
enough to start; George's purchase of a pony

for Minney, and our Arab soldier, for a consideration,
allowing me to mount his beautiful
pet horse, Kalid, has very much simplified
matters. A bright and cloudless sky has
encouraged us to hope we shall have no
further repetition of our late disasters.
A messenger is just arrived from Jerusalem—no
letters, alas! and every reason to
believe that, owing to their having been put
under cover to our Consul, they acquired an
official appearance, and have been either intercepted
by Greek emissaries, or destroyed
by the government, who are always made
suspicious by the arrival of European correspondence.
We set off, very heavy at heart, all prospect
of hearing from our children being at
an end, till we reached Cairo; on the other
hand, we find that we have done well to
come this road, as our purposed one, through
Samaria and Galilee, was still dangerous,
from insurrection, and that at Hebron four

soldiers and the sheik were killed at the
very time we should have been passing
through; and that the Governor of Jerusalem
had been obliged to shift his quarters
till he could summon a fresh reinforcement
of troops to subdue it. It is too provoking
that the English steam-boat should be
taken off the Syrian station, so that no
communication for English agents, or means
of passage for travellers is afforded, while
Greek agents abound, in pay of Russia, and
feeling the pulse of Syria, so as to profit by
an advantage at the moment of the crisis of
its fate, which all parties seem to agree will
be at the period of the death of Mehemet
Ali, an old man, upwards of seventy!
We were made fully aware of being among
the Philistines, and were obliged to keep
most diligent watch over our baggage, as
amateur porters were in abundance, and we
saw their taper fingers (by which these
Arabs are much distinguished,) inserted into

every accessible point of our baskets and
boulahs. We escaped with only the loss
of some cord, which we lived to learn was a
very inconvenient one. They, in return,
hinted we had appropriated some of their
mosque matting, which, by-the-bye, they
had removed on our first arrival, lest it
should have been contaminated by our infidel
At last we got off, and in an hour reached
the confines of the real Desert. The first
living inhabitants were very numerous, in
the shape of rats, which appeared to have
burrowed for miles in every direction; and
to screen myself from such very disagreeable
objects, I held my parasol close over my
face, and trusted to Kalid's firm stepping.
In this he did not deceive me, but caused
me the not agreeable surprise of kneeling
down very deliberately, and then rolling on
the sand les quatre pattes en l'air.
This evolution had been sufficiently gradual,

to afford me time to throw myself off,
and out of the reach of such horse-play,
only my poor saddle was the worse, and I
resigned the reins of government into our
squinting Solyman's hand. Our next incident
was meeting with a very bright-coloured,
but, I conclude, venomous serpent, from
the attitude of vehement attack assumed
by two of our followers, who with their
strong clubs and vigorous blows soon destroyed
it. They would have afforded a
pretty study for an artist, with their eager
countenances, and the graceful folds their
loose drapery always assumes during any
exertion; for, in painting, the outlines and
colouring tell, while the absence of cleanliness,
which, in Arab life, one is so constantly
reminded of, is not felt.
During the first portion of our journey,
we were constantly in fear of the patrouille
of the cordon. That I might repose, or at
least make the attempt, I again took to the

tartahuan, and with a little more success.
I left Kalid to Christine's lighter weight.
Two hours sooner than we anticipated,
(the sixth of our journey,) we saw a light,
and our three white tents most comfortably
pitched with a blazing fire in their front.
We rejoiced, under so fair a sky, at being
free from the shelter of Arab hospitality.
Our beds and furniture were soon disposed
of, and nothing could be more successful
than our first at home in the Desert.
Although a good deal of dew fell, it did
not penetrate the canvas of our tents, and
we fancied we had not slept so well for
weeks. The largest tent we made our
harem: in the next best were George, the
doctor, and the artist, and the third was
left for our servants, and only occupied by
Denino and Demetrius. The Arab servants
herded with the camel-drivers, and made
their abstemious meal apart. It seemed to
consist entirely of bread, like crumpets,

which they kneaded and baked on the stones.
They appeared both to eat and sleep by
snatches, and not a moment's general silence
occurred among the party during the night,
although there was no symptom of mirth,
and Denino told us they were telling stories.
So much for the beginning of our Arabian
Just as we were going to close our tent
for the night, Denino dragged in some skins
and jars of water, of which most necessary
article we found our attendants had made
so small a provision, that our only security
was in guarding our own. He suggested to
us, that we must avoid, for the next forty-eight
hours, being too extravagant as regarded
ablutions, as it would be two days
before we could reach a fountain: he did
not, however, recommend the Mahometan
substitute of sand on such occasions.

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Appearance of the desert—Fresh vegetables—An
Arabic lesson—Our bivouac—Jewish feast of
Tents—Camel's milk—Heat of the sun—A skirmish
which is threatened with disagreeable consequences—
Desert fare—Aerolites—Symptoms of


—Got off tents and all
by ten o'clock, and, considering the impossibility
of loading the camels, and taking up
the tents, under two hours, we were rather
satisfied at our activities; looked at the real
with great complacency, and found it
not quite the still ocean of sand we had
expected, as it was a good deal varied by

hillocks of sand, with bushes of heath, some
still in blossom, of a beautiful deep lilac,
with the softness of effect of chenille. Frequently
the sand, as it is drifted by the wind,
forms such beautiful patterns, having quite
the effect of a stamped design.
Although the weather was as warm as
the hottest day of an English July, yet it
was not oppressive; the air was so light,
and a soft breeze blowing the whole day,
which enabled us to avoid making a midday
halt. Unluckily for our active intentions,
the Arabs resisted continuing our
journey after four o'clock; but after sundry
threats, and promises of backshish to Hadji
Barak, we proceeded eight miles further.
Our second night's encampment was
much sooner effected, as the beds and baggage
began to know and find their own
places. Our eating-table consisted of two
planks, supported at each end by a small
trunk, and was converted at night into

Minney's bedstead. Our dinner-supper was
quite excellent; and Denino had so ingeniously
contrived to plant cress and
mustard in pots, and transport them invisibly,
that we were probably the first
travellers in the desert who had enjoyed the
luxury of fresh vegetables.
Just before we arrived at our encampment,
Denino had met a caravan from
Suez, which had only been four days on its
road. This made us wish to make it our
route; but our Arab chief and our soldier
murmured quarantine, the possible confiscation
of their camels, and no redress!
It was tantalizing to think that our road
should so nearly skirt Mount Sinai and the
Red Sea, without being able to distinguish
them, and knowing that the distance from
Cairo was the same. After a great deal of
discussion with our chief, and promises of
additional pay, we made some impression.
Our Arab soldier, whose début had been

most respectful, in consequence of George
having given him his pipe to smoke, (which
had quite compromised our dignity and
authority), had become so insolent, that
he announced his decided opposition; however,
upon assuring and convincing him we
could dispense with both his and Kalid's
services and society, he changed his tone;
and being perfectly disinclined to a solitary
journey to Cairo, he said he should be
wanting in duty to us and his pacha, were
we to proceed without his escort.
We had the luxury of finding that our
moya (water) might now be used ad libitum,
as the next day would bring us to a fountain.
Denino gave Minney a long Arabic
lesson; my jaws are much too stiff to bear
the extraordinary exertion of the pronunciation;
the language is so emphatic, sonorous,
and guttural, that it requires the united
efforts of lungs, throat, and lips, to ask
the name of a place. I found the word taib,

(c'est bien,) of the most general service,
only varying the tone as I conceived the
occasion required. During Minney's lesson
I was much amused at our half-blind Solyman,
in a low key, repeating each word
after Denino, and correcting his pronunciation;
the criticism was fortunately lost on
the teacher.
Nothing could be more military and picturesque
than our bivouac, encamped in a
narrow and sheltered valley. Our soldier is
a Bedouin, and a great dandy in his toilet;
his bernouss and dress entirely white, fine in
texture, and relieved with a narrow red
border: he quite bears out the character
of an Arab, with whom care for his horse
is always the master feeling; as Kalid is
cleaned, coaxed, and fed, before he thinks
of himself, and in the short allowance of
water, Kalid takes the first share, and from
the same vessel as his master.
An additional motive for wishing to reach

Suez is, that we run the chance of profiting
by the Indian steam-boat, which leaves
Suez on the first of the month, and may land
us at Cosseir, which is within three days of
Thebes, and thus afford us more time and
greater variety of country. One feels every
circumstance attending the temporary
though complete shelter of a tent so calculated
to induce a comparison with that
of our earthly pilgrimage; surrounded by
one's children, servants, cattle, provisions,
and household goods, —one's home of a few
hours seems so calculated for one of permanent
abode; the sounds of early preparation
for departure are sometimes heard
before the eyes are as yet closed in sleep,
and every thing combines to remind one
that we are arrived but to depart!—a few
hours later all trace on the sandy space
afforded by our late habitation consists of
the few stones which had served for our
fires, or to confine with more security the

cordage of our tents. Never had we experienced
the forcible illustration of the
transitory state of our existence, which our
present mode of journeying affords.
The Jewish feast of Tents or Tabernacles
is believed to have been appointed for the
purpose of commemorating the long pilgrimage
of trial and difficulty which the
Israelites, for their disobedience, were compelled
to undergo in the Desert before attaining
possession of the Promised Land;
may not an incentive to future exertion
and ultimate reward be connected with the
commemoration of deliverance from peril,
and the final attainment of the one great
object of their journeyings?


—We found our encampment
had been made close to what appeared
to have been the beds of some large and important
rivers; and our guide pointed at one
as the direction of Al Arish. We contrived
to be off in even better time; and a drove of

wild camels coming up to us at breakfast-time,
Denino suggested to us du lait de chamelle,
which was really very good, and less strong
than the goats' milk we had tasted at
Chamouny only a few months before.
In spite of the early hour at which our
journey began, we were made most sensible
of the already warmer climate, and by
twelve the sun almost scorched us. We
endeavoured to be patient, and were supported
by the conviction that we should
soon arrive at the fountain, the point de
, with Denino and the early detachment
of our camels; but from a want
of understanding with our guides that there
were two fountains at equal distances but
far asunder, our Hadji brought us to the
fountain on the left, and after suffering
all the dread of having missed our road,
and being separated from all our party who
could interpret for us, we rode on for three
hours more, under what even acclimaté

George allowed to be the furnace of a
tropical sun.
One never before understood the eagerness
one has heard described, of endeavouring to
track footsteps in the sand, or trace a watercourse.
We were constantly misled by the
track of some wild camels we afterwards
found browsing on the stunted heath, for
there was no longer any of the beautiful
species we had admired the day before. We
then reached what had evidently been the
bed of a river, and our Arabs called out
quarantine, pointing to its course in that
A la fin des fins, we saw the tartahuan in
advance stand still, which indicated that
they had arrived at some incident, and a
very disagreeable one it proved. It was a
skirmish between Denino and his accompanying
party of Arabs. They had provoked
him by hastily unloading the baggage
to water the camels, and his own irritable

temper, aggravated by the long exposure
to the sun, had made him deal blows to the
right and left.
Against one man he had used the butt-end
of his gun, and in plucking out a piece
of his beard had inflicted the greatest insult
to a Mussulman, who with a companion had
flown over the hills, (for at this point the
sand banks quite deserve the name,) threatening
to be revenged by denouncing us at
the cordon in Turkey; in short, the confusion
was quite overpowering.
The clearness of the atmosphere enabled
us to keep sight of them in their flight for
a considerable time, though at length we
became quite unable to decide whether they
were still bent on taking their threatened
revenge for the insults they had received,
or whether, as our hopes made us willing to
believe, they had thought better of it, and
were retracing their steps. The anxiety
with which we watched them was intense

during the few moments in which, though
they were clearly in motion, not one of us
could tell which way they were going; till
at length the gradual lessening of their
forms, and soon after, their total disappearance,
confirmed our worst fears, that,
instead of being able to continue our journey
at pleasure, we were doomed to drag
out a twenty-one days' imprisonment in the
merciless walls of the Al Arish quarantine.
The description I heard of Denino's
violence perfectly disqualified me from taking
the repose in the shade I had so eagerly
looked forward to. In short, we twenty-six
souls were all in emoi with our varied
emotions; and to make the climax to our
disasters, there was no prospect at half-past
three of our prosecuting our journey, from
the length of time required to re-load our
camels; so bon gré, mal gré, we were obliged
to halt, after a positive advance of only four
Hadji Barak returned, having succeeded in
overtaking and persuading our two threatening
and fugitive Arabs to return. After
having talked at and mortified Denino, I
became better satisfied. The worst used
Arab shewed me his wounded arm; and
after affording him every possible sign of
commiseration, and dividing with him the
piece of bread I happened to be eating, he
kissed my hand, placed his on his breast
and head, and looked half recovered. However,
I made our doctor come forward to
perfect the cure.
Whether the now crest-fallen Denino was
jealous of the bandages and attentions, or
had not la tête à la cuisine, but so it was:
in chopping some meat he let the knife
come down upon his hand with so much
force, that through the nail he nearly
severed the joint of the thumb; this was
a more serious blow than the one he had
inflicted on the Arab; and the doctor was

obliged to be peremptory in his treatment,
as the cut was on dangerous ground, leading
to a lock-jaw.
We had at least the advantage of being
near a spring capable of alleviating the
feverish symptoms in our caravan; in short,
all the ill-luck of this Friday quite justified
the usual superstition respecting the day.
At night all assumed a more tranquil, if not
a more cheerful aspect; we only had the momentary
alarm raised by Christine of hearing
sounds, “Des Arabes ennemis peut être.
Our desert fare quite belies all I ever
heard described, for which we must do
justice to our chef Denino. Two large, or
rather long baskets of chickens, have travelled
with us from Gaza, and I quite rejoice
in their progressive destruction, not, as
might be expected, from pure gourmandise,
but from knowing, from tartahuan experience,
how to sympathise for their incessant
jerking and swinging on camel-back.


—We all set out together,
as Hadji Barak, our second in command,
insisted that we were in a dangerous neighbourhood,
of which we greatly doubted the
fact, as we were in the vicinity of a fountain,
which must cause it to be a place of general
caravan resort; but Denino was too much
of an invalid to allow his being sent off
early. The weather was much more temperate,
and we persevered in making nine
hours' journey to make up for our loss of
time the day before. The desert became
much more stony, and the doctor picked up
some aerolites with which he was much
delighted, and which he generously shared
with us un-geologists.
About four we imagined we saw a fine
range of mountains to the left, but this
turned out merely the effect of mirage, to
Minney and myself quite a new object.
She required consolation at that moment,
as she had much taken to heart the discovery

she had made that her pony was
not shod. She took to tears when we objected
to her walking during the hottest
part of the day, to save Yunoz's hoofs.
Our encampment and dinner proceeded
as usual; for dessert, Demetrius informed
us that his countryman, the snuff-merchant,
who was one of our caravan, separated from
us after twelve to-morrow, as the direct road
to Cairo was five days, and round by Suez
it would be eight. This shook our purpose;
for we felt the chance of securing a passage
to Cosseir and the peep at the Red Sea
not worth the sacrifice. We summoned a
council of war, and our general informed us
that the distance from our present point, by
both routes, was quite equal, and that we
had been completely misinformed.
This of course kindled the smouldering
wrath of Denino against our Greek, who
communicated an equal portion to the merchant.
He laid the fault to the soldier, who

wished, for some purpose of his own, to
avoid going through Suez, and in a short
time we had loud sounds of discord in the
camp. It was quite the case of “Greek
meeting Greek,” and the actual “tug of
war” was so strong, that George was
obliged to interfere, both for motives of
peace and our night's repose, of which we
had rather fallen short the night before.

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Fog and cold—The necessity of discipline—Marks of
a wild animal—The Philistines and the Ishmaelites
—Our employments—Meeting a caravan—Inconvenience
of watering the camels—Beautiful situation
of our encampment—A solitary robber—
Wild partridges—We approach the Red Sea—Our
impressions and reflections—Christmas-day in the


—We sent two of our
tents forward by seven o'clock, and by the
meritorious effort of dressing by candlelight,
we followed an hour later, but with much
difficulty, as we had so thick a fog that the
sun was quite obscured, and we could only
distinguish the marks of our early camels'

feet a few yards before us. The cold was
so great that we could not tie a string, our
fingers were so benumbed. But with all
this the relief from the heat of the day
before was very enjoyable.
We made a lazy young Turk, who had
begged at Gaza to join our caravan, lead my
horse. He confesses himself a deserter
from the Turkish army, and his extreme
laziness is quite amusing. He shuffles on
in his slippers, and as they occasionally
become imbedded in the deep sand, he
seems to hold a debate with himself as to
whether he shall suffer the fine of stooping
for recovery.
We found it necessary to yield to the
necessity of practical discipline among our
troop, and on this said youth our Cavasse
first practised. The result was satisfactory,
for on arriving at our night's station he
began to pitch the tent without assistance,
but with the door towards the wind. On

being desired to stop, and assist in putting
up another in the right direction, he went
on very steadily, knocking in pegs he knew
were to come out, that he might not have
the trouble of changing his position. He
said, laughingly, that he had suffered so
severely from the cold in the morning, that
had his blood not been warmed by the
Cavasse's discipline, he probably should have
been unable to proceed. All this was accompanied
with so much drollery of countenance,
that it formed quite a contrast to
the gloomy melancholy of our Arab escort.
We observed footsteps of a large animal
on the sand, supposed to be those of a
hyena, and I was rather hurt at the doctor
not allowing that the sounds we heard last
night, after our fires were extinguished,
proceeded from anything more savage than
a wild cat.
We were sadly disappointed at finding,
by the little progress our cuisine had made,

that Denino had not preceded us more than
half an hour, owing to the roguishness of
our guides, who had conspired to arrive
together. Such cowards are this class of
Arabs, and with such an absence of good
faith, that they cannot be trusted for a
moment; they appear to combine slavishness
with tyranny.
It is singular how completely the ancient
characteristic of the Philistines and the
Ishmaelites is preserved, and that the latter's
“hand is yet raised against every one, and
every one's hand against theirs.” They are
in a constant state of suspicion and apprehension
of each other; and although they
may purloin from and cheat Europeans at
convenient opportunities, yet they repose
the most unbounded confidence in their
promises, and never appear to measure
Christian good faith by the Mussulman
standard. In travelling through the Desert
on the Sabbath, (with much regret at so

doing,) we speculated as to whether we
might not, in our present approach to the
direction of the Red Sea, be traversing part
of the actual wilderness where the manna
fell, and that in double portions on the
Sabbath eve, to inculcate more strongly
the suspension of all labour, and the consequent
consecration of that day of rest and
The latter part of our journey brought us
to a very picturesque outline of mountains,
in form rather like those of Wicklow, and
under them we made our bivouac; after
supper, Minney read to us portions of Scripture,
alluding to points connected with the
wanderings of the chosen people.
It was very amusing to observe the different
employments allotted to us by our
chief, Denino, as suitable to our several
capacities, and in about as many languages.
To the doctor he called, “Herr Bendiner
Wollen sie die Huhner waser geben;” to

our artiste, “Mons. Chacaton, voulez-vous
bien enfoncer les picquets?” “I say, colonel,
will you watch the saucepan, while I go pick
up more sticks?” “Signorina, avete la piccola
lampa, e la chiava della cantina?”
La Signorina, when once in the tent, is
invited by Christine to lay on the cloth, and
lay out the contents of the canteen; all I
am asked to do is, to help to make the beds,
and serve out currant-jelly and mishmish.
Before we separated we sent for our Hadji,
to tell him we would not again submit to be
treated as we had been that day, when our
intention of sending off Denino by early
dawn, to forward our arrangements, had
been frustrated by their obstinacy; that we
would complain of him at Cairo, give little
backshish, &c., if he continued to thwart
our plans and progress. He said a great
deal in return, and we looked as if we
understood some part of it; and by placing
taib at every pause he made, we came to

an understanding of better things for the


—Succeeded in getting
half the party two hours in advance, and
passed our first six hours without break of
or shadow of interest. At length we
distinguished a large number of camels,
which alarmed our guides, till George's
telescope enabled him to pronounce them
loaded. This seemed to dissipate all alarm.
The prospect of meeting a caravan of
thirty camels was very enlivening, for at a
considerable distance we were able to reckon
that number. I began calculating what
friends and acquaintance it might include.
Minney jumped at once to the conclusion
that it must be Lord Harrowby and Lord
Sandon pleasuring northwards, in search of
a more temperate climate towards the
approach of the rainy season, for we had
read at Athens, in the papers, that they were
gone to Cairo. The result was cruelly

prosaic; nothing but Arab merchants returning
from Cairo, and their load only
barley and water-skins. This, however, we
could only surmise, as no sort of communication
took place between the Arabs of
either caravan, and the only exchange of
words was between our Greek and one of
their party, from whom he made the inquiry
of the distance to Suez. The answer of
three days corresponded more than we
desired to the previous assurances of our
About half an hour later we heard the
report of a fire-arm, which of course produced
alarm among our Arabs, of which I
was by no means divested. Our Cavasse
was desired in return to fire his pistol, the
approved manner of shewing we were not
frightened, and no further shot occurred.
We soon afterwards reached our place of
rest, found our tents pitched, and our fire
burning briskly: although our early baggage

had preceded us two hours, they had only
gained an hour in advance; however, we
were grateful for that improvement, and
rather anticipate a curtailed journey for to-morrow,
as the camels are to make an early
watering expedition, and this operation
consumes so much time, that we shall have
no chance of renewing our day's journey in
tolerable time.
We made a good fight against watering
the camels at all, as our skins and jars were
by no means exhausted. But our Hadji
took to tears (or affecting them), tearing his
beard, assured us his camels would die, &c.,
and further contention was useless.


—The spot where we
encamped was really beautiful, hills surrounded
us on all sides, and the morning
sun had a fine effect in producing the most
beautiful tints. We crossed in the early
part of our journey the rocky and rather
picturesque course of a river, though hardly

qualified to be called so, from its dryness,
said by Laborde to be the Arish. The
features of the country reminded us much
of those about Buxton, where the beauty
of Matlock ceases.
At a turn of the path we met a well-armed,
solitary Arab, whom Denino questioned as
to the part of the country he came from,
and his answer was so confused and contradictory,
that there was little doubt of his
being one of the Desert robbers, looking out
for easier plunder than our caravan was
likely to prove, as our table of statistics
stood at twenty-four camels, one horse, one
pony, twenty-six live chickens, and twenty-three
human beings.
We saw some very wild partridges, upon
which George wasted some gunpowder; at
each failure our farçeur, the young Turk,
exclaimed “Ma fishe!” “nothing,” in a most
insulting tone of exultation, while he seized
my horse's bridle very sharply, as Kalid was

rather alarmed by the firing, which caused
him to swerve and rear so suddenly at the
edge of a very rocky and awkward path, that
I felt my nerves somewhat shaken.
The remainder of our day's journey was
very tedious, for the difficulty of finding a
favourable point for our encampment made
Denino prolong his march to the summit of
a deep sandy range, where we found fuel
very scarce and the night very cold.


—We had great fear of
our Christmas-day proving a broiling one,
as the night's dew on our tent was completely
dried by the power of the sun at
eight o'clock. When we proceeded on our
journey our apprehensions, however, were
soon dispelled by a strong north wind, which
the Arabs considered as the forerunner of
rain. We proceeded, however, all in high
spirits. The monotony of the Desert seemed
past. To our left we saw the lofty ranges
of mountains on which rests Mount Sinai.

The features of the country were all changed,
and the Arabs were continually pointing, and
crying out, “Suez.”
At last we came in sight of the Red Sea,
at some twenty-five miles distant. We
seemed again approaching civilization—the
current of our ideas took a fresh turn, and
we were all more or less excited. We rode
on alone, and occasionally re-united to communicate
our impressions.
Our road lay over a vast, elevated plain.
Three Arabs were in advance of us, patrolling
the country half a mile a head, and appearing
at the same distance from each other; there
was no track but that made by the camels
of our camp-kitchen caravan, which, owing
to the nature of the ground, it was difficult
to discover, but we moved on absorbed in
thought, our eyes fixed alternately on
Mount Sinai and on the spot we supposed
to be Suez. The weather still continued
beautiful, but the day seemed endless, and

the distance from Suez appeared to increase
in proportion as we advanced.
The evening closed in with every appearance
of storm and rain, and at that moment
we could nowhere discover, even with the
telescope, any sign of an encampment.
At nightfall our Arab scouts had wandered
so far before us, in search of Denino, that
they were far out of hearing, and we several
times mistook some lighter object for our
white tent; but all was illusion, except a
very dark cloud, which at length dissolved
in rain immediately over our heads, and
which seemed to extend to a little distance
We jumped off our horses, exercised our
newly-acquired talent of making a sort of
gurgling noise, to make our dromedaries
kneel, took off their saddles in most military
style, and seated ourselves under the only
bush that could be found, (and which we,
half an hour later, converted into fire-wood,)

and unfurling all the umbrellas and parasols
we could collect, contrived to shelter
ourselves and our bedding, while, (under
veteran George's orders,) the only tent in
our division of the baggage was raised. In
a short time we were all under it, lamenting
such a sad benighted position on a Christmas
night, and sympathising with the probable
distress and wanderings of Denino,
occasioned by our non-appearance.
The tent could not be sufficiently extended
to allow my bed to be put up, but
we contrived, by general and individual concessions,
to make up six stations of repose;
and as our canteen contained tea, brandy,
and sweetmeats, besides hard biscuit, we determined
not to go to bed quite supperless.
George consoled himself by thinking a
banyan day might for once prove wholesome;
Minney, by convincing herself that the
variety this would offer to any future or
past Christmas fare, was very desirable. I

was less easily satisfied, and determined on
a search for portable soup, and boiling it in
the tea-kettle. I found the doctor and the
artist very willing to assist me; and preparing
the way, by collecting sticks, for
which they in vain summoned the lazy
young Turk to assist, who, although the
rain had by this time ceased, they discovered
on the sheltered side of the tent, snoozing
most comfortably, and half buried in sand.
He was certainly the Turkish counterpart
of the fat boy in Pickwick.
All at once sounds were heard; we became
breathlessly attentive, and the voice of
Hadji Barak was soon recognised. He
came to our tent door, shaking the drops of
rain from his picturesque tartaned drapery,
and by his gestures, and a few Arab words
the doctor had contrived to make himself
master of, we made out he had distinguished
the fire our Arabs and drivers had lighted
for themselves, at some little distance from

us, and that we were only at half an hour's
walk from the other encampment.
This most welcome information was soon
followed by Denino, in propria persona, repeating
all this information, and inquiring what
he was to do with this too distant Christmas
feast, which he had left hot, and très appétissant,
and suggesting that we should move our
encampment to the kitchen division. This
I resisted, on the principle of the mountain
and Mahomet, which seemed singularly
appropriate; and during the description of
our intended repast, George's palsied energies
revived, and he determined on marshalling
all our Arabs, under Denino's orders,
to the other camp, to transport the dinner
to ours, when a rechauffé might take place
at our now very good fire.
This was done in so efficient a manner,
(for I fancy the distance was not half what
the tired limbs of Hadji Barak made him
imagine,) that by nine o'clock our dinner

was transferred, dry and hot, to our quarters;
and great was our surprise, when it
proved the sort of dinner we might have
been satisfied with in civilized Europe, five
roast chickens, (being computed to make
one turkey,) bread sauce, beside bouillie soup
and vegetables, and a very good sort of
pudding, meant to represent a plum, but in
which dried apricots were a very improved
substitute for plums; in short, there never
was such a caterer as Denino.
We could not keep our early hours on
the preceding day, but really passed a merry
Christmas evening, enhanced by the contrast
our prospects had presented so short a
time before. The other tents were by this
time pitched, and we made the gentlemen
a coffee-room on this occasion, to give time
for our harem-camp to be restored to its
general mode of arrangement.

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Journey to Suez—The British Hotel—Mahomedan
pilgrims—Egyptian plagues—An Arab marriage
—The Consular agent—English news—The town
of Suez—Hadjis—Tedious journey—Deep excavation


—In spite of somewhat
damp tents, and not very dry sand, we all
met at breakfast, in the best possible health
and spirits, which the pure air of the Desert
certainly inspires.
We felt great satisfaction in looking forward
to a short day's journey to Suez,
which appeared five or six miles off, within

a short ride, but here, as on many other
occasions, we were deceived by the clearness
of the atmosphere. It took us five
hours to reach Suez, the journey being
somewhat prolonged by the extended tour
we were compelled to make to avoid the
quicksands and estuaries, which extend for
many miles from Suez.
At half-past three we arrived, and found
ourselves, as we entered the town, in an
atmosphere of dirt, insects, and offensive
smells, and from the effect produced by the
half-ruined miserable appearance of the
exterior of what is distinguished as “the
British Hotel,” we were agreeably surprised
at finding very clean, comfortable-looking
bed-rooms. The entrance of this oriental
dwelling being hung with advertisements,
of—“Guinness' Porter” and “India Pale
Ale,” seemed vastly incongruous, and put
whatever poetical ideas we might have
indulged in, most strangely to flight; and

we met with the disappointing reality of
hearing that our steam-boat had started the
day before for Cosseir, anticipating by a
week its usual departure, on the first of the
We determined, however, to see all we
could of the Red Sea, in tint deep blue, and
till sunset we had a delightful stroll on its
shores, picking up shells in great abundance
and variety, but not succeeding in seeing
the beautifully and brilliantly-coloured fish
we had heard so much described. Though
we saw the setting sun, we did not observe
that it assumed the form of a column or
pillar of light, by which some travellers
have been struck, thus associating this appearance
with that of the pillar of fire which
served the Israelites to travel by night as in
the day.
The place did not possess any sort of
beauty; but it borrowed a temporary interest
from the circumstance of its being the season

at which Hadjis of every country had assembled
to embark for their pilgrimage to Mecca,
and the varied form and colour of their
encampments (chiefly made on the sea-shore)
produced the most picturesque effect it was
possible to imagine. This pilgrimage included
specimens of every variety of national
and oriental costume. To these Hadjis we
(perhaps uncharitably) attributed the extraneous
population of every un-nameable insect;
for Greece, Turkey, and Syria, were clean
and sweet, in comparison with this our
first introduction to Egyptian plagues and
During our walk homewards, we were accosted
by two good-humoured-looking men,
who had picked up half a dozen words of Italian,
and, inquiring if we were English, added,
Buona perchè Inglesi sempre sempre bravi.
This acknowledgment proved quite an agreeable
little incident, as the people of these
countries are in general little prèvenant or

communicative, and we felt quite proud of
this courteous appreciation of the English
In passing through the very dirty street
which led to our inn, we heard a very
pretty Tyrolese air, sung by some hidden
performer, which national music had the
effect of quite affecting the doctor, and after
the dreadful discord of Arab music, even
our un-German ears were very agreeably
Our dinner was exactly what we might
meet with at Canterbury, rather better than
it would have been at Dover, and on a most
liberal scale; but mulligatawny soup, round
of beef, and heavy plum-pudding, were
too substantial substitutes for our good and
wholesome Desert fare. Before it was quite
ended, the sound of drum and tabret attracted
us to the door of the hotel, and we
found that an Arab marriage was taking place,
by the light of coloured lamps and torches,

the former hung on poles, and the cry of—“the
bridegroom is coming,” was another
instance of the constant recurrence of familiar
images used in Scripture; and he was
thus announced, as going forward to meet
the bride at the mosque, where both processions
were to join. The bridegroom was
conducted between the other Arabs, dressed
like himself, in scarlet caftans and white
turbans, but he looked the very image of
grief, and appeared more like a criminal
pinioned for execution, than a nouveau marié.
Fancy had full scope to imagine blighted
hopes and forced marriage, but the excessive
din of drumming and singing made one
very unpoetical.
We were very much disgusted with the
bullying conduct of our host, who wantonly
levelled one of the poles supporting the
lamps, which broke into a thousand pieces,
scalding the bearers with hot oil. It should
be observed, that the upright supporters

had shorter pieces of wood running horizontally
across them, like the military bells
often seen in a band of music, on which
latter were suspended about twenty lamps
altogether. The confusion which followed
in the immediate ranks of the procession
prevented the offender from being ascertained,
and I think it was very fortunate, as
their number, which must have been several
hundreds, might have taken justice into
their own hands, against so very small a
proportion of Europeans.
I got home as quickly as I could, but our
gentlemen went on to the mosque. The
scene had been by far the most picturesque
and characteristic I could have conceived,
and it was continued for three hours.
We found that we could not set out at the
early hour we proposed, for as every drop of
fresh water comes from Cairo, and its sale is
only twice a day, at the hours of our nine
and three, ten o'clock is the earliest hour at

which we can start. The Consular agent,
a very obliging Mr. Levecke, came to see
us, and very kindly promised to expedite
matters, by making over some of his provision
of water to Hadji Barak.
Mr. L. brought a large file of English
papers and magazines, destined for Indian
readers. This was a most unexpected treat,
although after thirty days had passed without
a communication of any kind from Europe,
the dread of one's eye glancing to bad news
connected with those at home, preponderated
over every other feeling. An account of the
Duke of Wellington's severe illness was the
first article that struck us in the newspaper
of the latest date, and a subsequent report
of his death written on the cover of the
packet, was of most dispiriting effect; but
Mr. Levecke was able to tell us that he
had heard that morning from Cairo a verbal
contradiction as to the full extent of such a
calamity. A further search into the older

newspapers brought us to the important
subject of the Queen's intended marriage
with Prince Albert, her cousin; the very
same good-looking prince we had remarked
at St. Peter's a few months before, as presenting,
in expression of countenance, such a
contrast to his companion, Don Miguel,
notwithstanding the share of good looks
possessed by the latter.
Although our host was in our bad books,
George called on him to furnish supper
and claret, that we might loyally drink our
young Queen's health. The wine was so
dreadfully sour, that our visitor, Mr. Levecke,
was obliged to decline doing more than
appear to go through the form of drinking
our patriotic toast.


—We had time to make
another little stroll by the sea-side, where
several vessels were preparing to embark
their pilgrim passengers.
The town of Suez seems fast tumbling to

Published by Henry Colburn. 13 Great Marlborough Street. 1841

decay, and one felt so much for what poor
Lord and Lady S——n must have gone
through during their two months' forced
residence at this wretched place, and that
too in the very heat of the summer. We
are told, however, that Europeans are much
encouraged to improve the place, as the
station of the steam-boat makes it so general
and advantageous a position, and that almost
everything may be found at Suez, from the
increasing facility of communication with
Cairo, from whence every necessary of life
is brought, while Suez itself is completely
Our caravan got under weigh at twelve.
In spite of the temptations offered us, in the
way of station-houses, vans, and donkey
litters, provided for the travellers to and from
India, we preferred keeping to our tents,
notwithstanding a little patriotic remorse at
not adding our mite of encouragement to
Mr. Hill's Desert arrangements
The road from Suez was enlivened by our
meeting numerous caravans of Hadjis, some
included the harems in their suite; and
several camels were actually piled with
female slaves who, muffled in their yashmacks,
were elevated on the baggage to a
height perfectly alarming, while the wives
travelled in tartahuans, which I suppose they
manage better than we could contrive to
do, as they really appeared to repose on
their mattresses, an object we never could
achieve. I suppose Turks are allowed to
tighten their domestic cords to a degree
Europeans could not indulge in; for the
swerving of the machine appeared to be
much lessened by their method of securing
After one hour's progress we made a halt
at a fountain, but of such brackish water
that the camels drank but little, though
allowed to do so à discretion. It was a
regular watering establishment, not like the

wild spots in our former desert; and the
scene of contention for the foremost places,
by the caravans that met, was very stirring
and amusing: some of the conductors fell
into the water, from their eagerness to fill
the skins.
The wish to get in advance of others
seems as prevailing in the Desert as in the
civilized world, but the Arabs have the
advantage, as their opportunities of getting
forward are more frequent than usually
occurs in these our reformed times.
We only made a five hours' journey on an
uninteresting, broad, beaten track; in short
this is the Hounslow road to Cairo, and quite
of a different character to our late unfrequented


—Set off early, determining
upon a thoroughly long day's
journey, to enable us to reach Cairo the
next day. We found our nine hours' journey
most unusually tedious, from the monotony

caused by the straightness and uniformity
of the road, which must have certainly been
the sixth of a mile broad, and consisted of
about twenty distinct camel paths, presenting
no variety, or any object but camel
bones. It was impossible to go one hundred
yards without passing one of these huge
skeletons, and yet not a dying or sick camel
did we meet with. I suppose that it is in
the hot season that the mortality must be so
extensive. Fortunately the birds and beasts
of prey are so numerous, that not an instance
occurred of one's sight or smell being offended.
The whole road was said to be
burrowed by rats; but we saw none. I
believe they emigrate from the interior of
the Desert, and fix on this spot as their pays
de cocagne.
We found Denino encamped near an excavation,
which had been made by Mehemet
Ali in hopes of obtaining water, which
(unfortunately for us) turns out to be only

the half-way spot from Cairo. This excavation
is at least two hundred feet deep and
one hundred wide. It was next to impossible
to look down it, it was so trying to one's
steadiness of head! It was a sort of waking
night-mare. We were obliged to take additional
precautions in tethering the camels
and horses, who, in their midnight peregrinations
might fall into what appeared so
bottomless a pit.
One regrets much that this very laborious
and desirable undertaking should have failed,
as no trace of water was discovered. It is
believed that the Arabs of this district are
acquainted with the positions of springs in
this part of the Desert, but carefully conceal
their knowledge from others. The number
of wild beasts that frequent this part of the
country almost prove the existence of springs.
We were quite disturbed at night by the
howling and contention of the hyenas for the
bones that had remained strewn around our

kitchen establishment. I was too idle to
get up and look about me, but our gentlemen
described them as very savage and wild-looking

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Journey to Cairo continued—English inn in the Desert
—Divine worship—Pilgrims in want of water—Donkey
chairs—First view of Cairo—Impressions
on entering the city—Singular petrifactions—Mr.
Waghorn — Mehemet Ali's resources — Cairo
donkey-boys and donkeys — Egyptian mules —
Mosque of the Sultan Hassan — The citadel —
Massacre of the Mamelukes—Court of Yousouff
—New mosque—New palace of the viceroy—
Punishments—Beautiful garden—Egyptian necromancy—A


—Alas! still too far from
Cairo, for exertions like those of yesterday
to compensate for the fatigue we underwent;
for although we determined upon a moderate
day's journey, and terminating our Desert

expedition at leisure, yet owing to the hard
road and the illness and fatigue of two of
our camels, we were nine hours reaching our
Poor Kalid seemed quite knocked up with
his fourteenth consecutive day's journey,
and the pony could really hardly drag one
leg after another: the hard soil seemed
more fatiguing to the animal than the
previous sand.
Our tents were pitched considerably out
of the road, for security against Hadji
travellers, (or robbers,) and we could only
discover it by the intervention of fire-arms,
for the evening closed in so suddenly with
rain, that we only traced Denino by his
firing off his pistols, and then his gun, to
attract our attention. He had contrived, in
giving us this notice, to shoot into a covey
of partridges, which added a very dry and
tasteless dish to our bill of fare.
Our supplies from Suez had been limited,

as we were told, that at the station-house*
we should meet with all the delicacies of the
, but one turkey and a gigantic cauliflower
was all that could be found, as it
seems that a Christian party, as they described
it, had arrived from Cairo, to make
their beiram in the Desert, and had eat up
everything. I suppose the want of change
of scene and customs must be greatly felt at
Cairo, when Europeans could find it a party
of pleasure to come a long day's journey
into the Desert, in such bad weather too, to
eat their Christmas dinner.
The computation of the distance from
* At this station Mr. Hill, proprietor of an hotel at
Cairo, has built a considerable inn. There are four
other station-houses, beside the principal one, on the
Desert, and Mr. Hill's public spirit may be conceived
from the fact, that he had to carry all his materials,
even the water with which to make the mortar, either
from Suez or the Nile. In this inn there are a dozen
good bed-rooms, and at the other stations, sufficient
accommodation for a moderate party.

Cairo is so contradictory, that one does not
know whom to believe. It is, however, a
consolation to feel that we are in reality
approaching the end of our journey, as the
distance cannot now be above thirty miles.
We read the Evening Service, and I think
Divine worship in a tent, in the Desert,
must a good deal approach to the impressiveness
of what I have so often heard
described at sea.
We met, during this day's journey, many
Hadjis, chiefly from Morocco, wearing
immense broad-brimmed straw hats, resembling
umbrellas. Some of these poor
pilgrims were so anxious to obtain a drop of
water, that they came up to us, and endeavoured
to ascertain, by thrusting their spears
into our baggage, whether we had any.
George and the Cavasse drew up, pointed
their guns, and prevented further aggression.


—We arrived at the last
station about two, and then found donkey-chairs,

chairs, horses, and luncheon, sent out by
Mr. Waghorn, to meet us. It was a great
relief to find shelter, after a long ride, against
cutting wind and dust, which I think must
have been of the sharp quality, engendering
The donkey-chairs are perfectly charming,
consisting of an easy arm-chair, fixed on a
board like a dinner-tray, with poles slung on
two donkeys, one before, and the other
behind, in short, occupying the place of
sedan-chairmen, but with infinitely more
steadiness and activity. Their action is a
sort of amble, and the smoothest manner of
progress I ever experienced. A boy is in
attendance on each equipage, who runs by
the side of the chair, which will proceed,
without apparent fatigue to boy or beast, at
least six miles an hour.
The city of Cairo, which is said to contain
350,000 souls, appears perfectly immense at
the first view, which it presents at the

abrupt termination of the Desert, and the
effect of the extreme verdure of the borders
of the Nile appeared almost dazzling, before
it became refreshing, so bright is the character
of the vegetation, (at least at this
season) independently of the contrast it
afforded, after fifteen days passed in a sandy
region, including Suez, where not a trace
of vegetation could be seen. The Caliphs'
tombs were our first architectural objects.
We were very much disappointed at the pyramids
not rising in gigantic grandeur before
us, as we had so completely anticipated.
They were not, in fact, to be seen from
this approach.
The portion of the bazaar and streets we
threaded on our way to the hotel, were much
more striking and picturesque than any we
had seen at Constantinople; in fact, they
should not be compared. Then the streets
are unpaved, and, considering the denseness
of the population and their general absence

of cleanliness, they are in wonderfully good
condition. The upper stories of the houses
all but touch, and the carved and painted
latticed windows present the most Moorish
effect, and realize one's notion of Spanish
decoration, being, I suppose, its primitive
How our humble donkeys and ourselves
escaped annihilation from the highly loaded
and gigantic race of camels, which passed us
in all directions, I cannot imagine, particularly
as the general din of the camel conductors
removed any single or distinct order
of precedence.
Our attention was so attracted towards
our means of escape, through the activities
of our attendant imps, that it quite secured
us against alarm. Not so an elderly English
lady, whom we met riding with, we supposed,
her two daughters. She appeared the reanimated
illustration of Theodore Hook's
celebrated Mrs. Lavinia Ramsbottom. She

was seated on a very tiny donkey, en grande
, her bonnet and cloak of enormous
dimensions; the latter was of very glaring
colours, and so completely covering the
donkey, that only his head and tail could
be distinguished. The old lady looked as if
she were swimming, attended by a tall
turbaned Turk, who held his arm tight
round her waist to support her, and who,
in consequence of this exertion, leaned himself
against the nearly invisible donkey.
The whole progress seemed to be achieved
by machinery, and the effect was so ludicrous,
that, in spite of my attempt to be
decorous, I actually laughed in my countrywoman's
face; but her fears occupied her
too much for us to dread her resentment.
The younger ladies, attended by some
European beaus, were too animated and occupied
in purchases at a grocer's stall, to
remark my ill-breeding. I suppose the
party must be on their way to India, for

they did not look as if travelling for pleasure
or antiquities.
Apropos to ignorance—on leaving our last
encampment, we found strewed on the road
several pieces of what appeared to be logs of
wood, and we regretted not having been
able to appropriate them for our kitchen
fire, where fuel had proved so scarce. On
closer examination, however, we found them
to be all petrifactions, and of so perfect a
character, that even the splinters were
solidly attached and detached, and these
bûches (for they appeared exactly like those
prepared for a good French fire) had so
completely the appearance of light and dry
wood, that only on lifting them (which was a
matter of difficulty) could one be convinced
of the fact of their being solid stone, and of
greater weight than the size justified, as if
partly of metal. We are quite anxious to
have our dark minds illuminated on the
We found in the Frank quarter very
tolerably comfortable rooms, at the hotel
kept by Mr. Waghorn's brother-in-law.
Mr. Waghorn himself had just arrived from
Alexandria, but did not bring any news
later than what we had read at Suez. He
seemed to engage heart and soul in forwarding
rapidity of conveyance to India. He
deserves great credit for what he has already
The voyage from England to Bombay can
now be performed in thirty-seven days.
Mr. W. asserts, that it was Mr. Pitt's opinion,
that when England could communicate
with India and receive a reply in the course
of eight months, then, and not till then,
might she think of changing her system of
government, and that what he (Mr. W.) was
considered as a visionary for attempting
but a few years before, is now more than
Mehemet Ali has greatly imbued him with

his own opinion, both of his resources and
stupendous influence, and of his power of
raising a million of Arab soldiers, to fight
his battles. This at least is in strong contradiction
to what we heard in Turkey and
Syria, but I believe there is no doubt of the
degree of national pride the Egyptian Arabs
entertain, with regard to the splendour and
consequence of Cairo. The improvements
Mehemet Ali is conducting may tell more
than is suspected on the general mass of
the people.
The comfort of arriving at this end of our
journey is greatly diminished, from finding
none of the letters we were most anxious to


—We set off on our
donkeys, after a most noisy struggle among
the donkey-boys, candidates for our selection.
The little by-street in which our hotel
stood was, unluckily for us, one of the chief
stations, and we had the too great choice of

at least fifty of these little animals and their
conductors, screaming in Italian and particularly
good English, their individual recommendations,—“My
good donkey, my lady!
he go ten miles hour!”—“My donkey little
race-horse!” &c. &c.
Some of the boys' dresses were so picturesque,
from their wearing tunics of deep
blue linen; the loose sleeves, and sometimes
the drapery was confined by a scarlet
cord: the combination produced so much the
effect of Raphael's and Correggio's colouring.
I never before experienced the perfection
of smooth progressive motion. The fleetness
of the Egyptian asses' amble is not to be
described: one glides on, and, as on a
rail-road, you only can judge of the rapidity
of your progress by seeing how fast you lose
sight of succeeding objects. I am longing
to take some to England. What charming
shooting ponies they would make! if I may
be permitted the Hibernicism. The race

is quite a thing apart: their coats are so
fine, that when clipped they look as if they
were dressed in grey or white satin, for
some are nearly colourless.
The Egyptian mules are beautiful animals,
and seem to be as much in use among the
officers and richer classes as horses. A
handsome one cannot be had for less than 50l.
We first passed the mosque of the Sultan
Hassan, of the Saracenic order of architecture.
It is very lofty and striking, however
incorrect in style it is considered. The
entrance-door is of great height, and indeed
disproportioned to the general elevation.
The depth consists of a series of arches very
deeply sculptured in Arabesque designs, and
light columns formed by twisted snakes.
The whole mosque was very highly, and in
some parts elaborately ornamented, and
greatly surpassed in beauty the smooth
whitewashed walls and minarets of the
Constantinople mosques.
This part of Cairo is comparatively modern.
It leads to the citadel, which is looked upon
as the original fortress, and is partly cut in
the rock, while the remainder includes portions
of Roman, Saracenic, and Egyptian
architecture. We mounted a steep and
slippery ascent, and passed through the very
gates of the citadel which, in 1812, were
shut upon the unfortunate Mamelukes, who
were inclosed in the court of the fortress, and
fired upon by its guns: about five hundred
were massacred on the spot.
One alone escaped: he contrived to reach
the battlement of the tower on horseback,
assisted by treading on the mass of the slain;
from this point, a height of sixty feet, he
made his leap. His horse was killed on the
spot, and he, though severely wounded, contrived
to drag himself for some distance to
the confines of the Desert, from whence he
made his escape.
This fact is otherwise described in Russell's

life of Mehemet Ali. It is there stated
that he arrived the last, and was shut out of
the citadel; but Sir F. Henniker was in
Cairo at the time, and what I have mentioned
above was described to Sir F. H. by
a spectator. C'est le succès qui couronne
This very Hanim Bey now governs
one of the Syrian pachalics under Mehemet
Ali's authority.
The view from the court of Yousouff
(Joseph) adjoining the citadel is quite splendid,
and so extensive, that the pyramids,
fifteen miles off, did not appear to be half
the distance that the eye could have reached.
The mention of Joseph's hall sounded very interesting,
but one was soon called back from
the patriarchal times, to which one's ideas
had travelled, to the fact that this Joseph was
the vizier of the Sultan Saladin, and the founder
of the most celebrated institutions of his
reign. Some columns of granite standing near
this spot are quite of colossal proportions.
The court was a few years ago nearly
destroyed by the explosion of the powder
magazine. The fragments of pillars, eight
yards in diameter, scattered about, prove the
awful combustion which must have taken
place. Since this period the magazine has
been transferred six miles from the city.
Mehemet Ali has lately commenced the
building of a new mosque, of which we were
shewn the foundation and superstructure.
It will be finer (if ever finished) than any
existing in Cairo, built of beautifully clear
marble, very much of the character of what
we call Egyptian alabaster, but its frequent
flaws require the insertion of stucco and
cement. The quarry from which it is taken
has only been opened three years, and the
polished brilliancy of the marble will make
it very remarkable.
We next visited a new palace of the viceroy,
with some very handsome, but vulgarly
furnished apartments; the taste, alas! of

an English upholsterer! The garden surrounding
it is very pretty. The palace
communicates with many of the public
offices: about six hundred employés are
lodged in the precincts.
We were shewn the Hall of Proclamations,
where, no later than a few weeks ago, the
farce of reading the young Sultan's late
hatti scheriff took place. In the adjoining
Court of Requests, we were informed, that
at four P. M. bastinado and other kinds of
punishment took place, and that we were at
liberty to remain there and witness any of the
proceedings that could give us gratification.
This liberal permission we declined, which
seemed rather to surprise the Master of the
We made a détour to visit the mosque
of Amurath. We returned to our hotel,
where we found some crazy-looking English
carriages, in waiting to convey us to the
garden of Schoubra, a distance of about

a league, through an avenue of fine acacias,
which in this climate are trees of considerable
size, and afforded us delightful shade
from the glare and dust. The pods of these
acacias are of the size of tamarinds. I never
saw anything to be compared to the beauty
of the Schoubra garden. It is quite an
illustration of those described in the Arabian
nights. It is formed in the original Grecian
plan of garden: straight rows, but thickly
planted, and covering three square miles in
extent. The lemon, orange, myrtle, and
pomegranate succeeded to and touched each
other, and below these, hedges of geranium
in bright and full flower; the whole garden
appeared to have been just watered, and
produced the most refreshing and yet not
overpowering fragrance.
We felt quite revived and enchanted, and
might be excused for our constant and repeated
terms of admiration, of “Oh! how
sweet!—Oh! how charming!” Tired as I

was on arriving, I soon felt quite restored
with the effect of so balmy an atmosphere.
We were shewn a kiosk, not yet completed,
of beautiful construction, and the beau idéal
of what would be calculated for an Eastern
féte. The gallery occupied the sides of a
square filled with water, in the centre of
which is a marble fountain, which you reach
by flights of steps, surrounded by some
extent of pavement, inclosed by a balustrade,
and in short affording dry ground for
several hundred people, (such a station for
an orchestra!) and leaving space in the wide
galleries for walking and supping; and,
indeed, the four corners of the square would
afford as many ball-rooms, as they are divided
off in oblique compartments. But
what can be the object of this beautiful
erection, in which a fête to five thousand
persons could be given, in a country where
the inhabitants neither habitually dance,
sing, sup, nor socialize?
We were obliged to hurry home, as the
gates close at sunset. The quick running
of the reis, or attendant Arabs, was quite
distressing to us, but evidently not to them,
though they kept up with the carriages as
they drove at very quick speed for at least
forty minutes.
We only stopped once, to see the arrival
of two Indian passengers, in the shape of
elephants, intended as presents to Mehemet
Ali. This incident quite gave us a glance
of India, particularly as we were told by
some of the party, who were just arrived
from Calcutta, that at this point of the road
the vegetation had a good deal of the character
of the jungle verdure. The Hindostanee
conductors made their elephants go
through various manoeuvres with great good
humour. They had such agreeable and
open expression of countenance; and one
felt struck by their superiority in that
respect, contrasted with the Arabs.
We hurried over our dinner, to prepare
for the magician's visit, which we thought
appropriate to a new year's eve. Our
necromancer, however, had neither a fine
nor prepossessing countenance. He began
his operations in the way described by Lane
and other travellers—writing on slips of
paper, which he rolled up and consumed
in a charcoal brazier, muttering a kind of
The victim was an Arab boy belonging
to the hotel, who had the ink rubbed on his
palm, and was desired to describe all he
saw reflected in it; he began, as is always
the case, to say he saw colours flying, a
camp, the Sultan's flag, and men sweeping.
I suspect this boy will never again be
selected, as he did not prove at all a good
coadjutor. There never was such a failure;
for we gave him great latitude, and asked for
the queen, whom he described as a tall
woman holding a shamsee (parasol), and

wearing a man's hat. We tried to persuade
ourselves it was broad daylight at Windsor,
at that moment, that the parasol was a
whip, and the hat a riding one.
We then asked for Lord Fitzroy Somerset.
He was described with both arms, and as
being thirty. Sir Henry Hardinge we also
tried, and failed. Sir Frederic Adams was
described with yellow hair, and about forty.
In short, our friend, Mr. Edward Jerningham
was the only redeeming point of the
exhibition; he was described as dark, tall,
handsome, and with his hair very short—
twirling a stick with one hand, and the
other laid on his breast. Now, as he had
been wounded at the Eglintoun tournament,
and had been condemned to have his head
shaved and his arm confined for weeks in a
sling, a little imagination served to make
this description admissible.
I was very glad that my usual credulity
and superstition were rather diminished

than increased by this exhibition, and extreme
absurdity of the whole proceeding.
I think the magician must have read in our
countenances the entire failure of his supernatural efforts.
Just as he had taken his departure, we
were attracted to the window by a jingling
noise, like that by which bees are drawn to
their hives. This proved the precursor of
a native band of kettle-drums. Immediately
we saw a very prettily-dressed
procession pass, the lights well arranged;
in short, the well-organized ceremony of a
betrothal. The parties, a little boy and girl
of six years old, were mounted on fine
caparisoned horses, supported by people on
each side holding perfumed handkerchiefs
to their noses. The children were beautifully
dressed, and of the highest class;
their marriage will not take place for six
years to come. There are frequent instances
of betrothal at even an earlier age than this.

Poor little things! one quite lamented their
being kept out of their beds and paraded
at this late, cold hour.
I retired to rest, perfectly giddy and tired
with the variety of things I had seen and
done during the last twelve hours.

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Expedition to Boulac—Nile boats—First view of the
Nile—Garden of Rhoda—Table d'hôte—Theatre
—Visit to the tombs of the Caliphs—Mehemet
Ali's sepulchre—Opening a mummy—Petrified
forest—Protestant chapel at Cairo—Coptic language
—Turkish repast—Almée dancing—Elegant
ancient Egyptian ornament—The Mauristan —
Harem of Halib Effendi — Circassian slave —
Princess Nazly—European physicians at Cairo.

JANUARY 1ST, 1840.

—We began the
new year with an expedition to Boulac, for
the purpose of securing a good boat for
our voyage to Thebes; the day cold and
dusty, very much reminding one of a
March day at Brighton. In consequence of
the viceroy having laid an embargo on all

the flat-bottomed boats, for the purpose of
transporting his grain, we had a very
scanty choice; but we were assured that to
English foreigners this monopoly would not
apply, and that in a few days our boats
from Alexandria would arrive, or some be
supplied from Cairo.
I had heard so much of the capacious
size and luxury with which boats could be
prepared for the Nile expedition, I confess
I was disappointed at finding the cabin of
such narrow proportions, that only two
people could possibly be in it at once; and
that Minney and Christine must either be
suffocated in the inner cabin, or sleep on
the deck with merely an awning, which this
season did not justify, and that at the least
two of the largest boats would be required.
The usual habit of packing on what are considered
parties of pleasure (and these of six
weeks' duration!) in the smallest possible
compass, made it impossible for me to find

any one disposed to listen to my murmuring
observations about ill-closed windows—confined
space, &c. Every inconvenience I
remarked upon was passed over as a matter
of course, or by assurances of the excellence
of the crew, and congratulations on the
coldness of the season having destroyed
all animal matter. I found George quite
blinded on the subject, by the specious
pleading of our conductors, and for the sake
of the beauty and interest of our journey into
Upper Egypt, becoming of most “squeezable
” on all points connected with our
proposed expedition.
This first view of the Nile rather diminished
my ideas of its magnificence. One
is obliged to consider its usefulness, and
overlook its unpicturesque appearance;
which is a hard trial with regard to a
new acquaintance.
Although our boat-hunting consumed a
great deal of time and patience, we determined

it should not prevent us, when so
near, from going to see the English garden
at Rhoda, reported to be the site of the
spot where Moses was adopted by Pharaoh's
daughter. The original garden of Rhoda
was said to have been made, centuries back,
by a caliph, for his favourite sultana, who
pined for her beautiful and fertile country
in some Greek settlement, and this garden
was constructed to meet her wishes and
remind her of her native soil; in short, a
very fanciful and pretty story is told respecting
it. But the original garden has for many
centuries become a perfect sand-bank, and
only two trees (the sycamore ficus) stood to
attest its former position. For the object of
employing idle hands, Mehemet Ali, twelve
years ago, determined to restore it, in spite
of every natural obstacle, and he has so
perfectly succeeded that the garden, unlike
the one at Schoubra, already pays its own
It is very pretty, but to my unscientific
eyes is very inferior to the one just mentioned.
An Irish and a Scotch gardener
are associated in the superintendence of this
botanical garden, and it will be the nursery
garden of all Egypt. Mehemet Ali has sent
the Irish gardener, M'Cullen, both to India
and Mexico to collect plants, and all appear
to thrive,—bananas, teak, guavas, cocoanuts,
pines, caoutchouc, &c. Trees of only
ten years' growth must have been at least
thirty feet high.
This territory is considered as Ibrahim
Pacha's property, and his harem opens into
its grounds; they inclose a grotto, composed of shells found on the shore of the
Red Sea, and arranged with great taste.
The entrance is very narrow, but there is
sufficient space for the sociable smoking
parties in which Ibrahim is said to indulge
greatly. In the centre of the grotto is a
crystal fountain rushing into a marble basin,

which must give most refreshing coolness in
the hot season, which Ibrahim Pacha says is
only supportable in this spot.
We found dining in our private room so
difficult an undertaking, and so unusual a
proceeding, that we resigned ourselves to
the table d'hôte, where we made acquaintance
with several interesting travellers from
the “far East.”
We went afterwards to a little theatre,
half amateur, half artiste, where they were
acting a little Italian vaudeville. The prettiest
part of the spectacle was the audience,
which almost entirely consisted of ladies
in the Levantine costume, which from its
variety and richness is very peculiar. The
greatest proportion of the young and pretty
women were Jewesses. Some of their headdresses
were magnificent in point of diamond
ornaments, and their hair plaited in perhaps
twenty tresses hanging down their backs,
and so thickly studded with gold coins, that

it looked like chain armour, and would, I
think, resist a sabre cut.
An hour's theatrical attendance satisfied
my curiosity, and I came home to find in
our court a very merry and noisy party of
camel-drivers and donkey-boys, to whom
Mr. Waghorn had given a New Year's feast.
Their dancing and singing resembled those
of the most savage tribe, at least so an
American traveller told us, who had been a
good deal with the North American Indians.
One, however, danced very gracefully, with
a scarf he formed by unrolling his turban,
and in a manner reminding one so much of
the Spanish dancing, and probably of this
its Moorish origin.


—The day so windy and
disagreeable, that I did not accompany my
on their expedition to the great
plain, from whence the pilgrims started in
some thousands for Mecca. I was assured
I had missed a very pretty and characteristic

scene. The din of marriage-processions is become
quite intolerable. I believe our quarters
must be the Little Maddox-street of Cairo.


—We took an interesting
ride to the tombs of the Caliphs and Mameluke
kings, which are highly picturesque
and very magnificent, but fast falling to
decay, though by the commonest repair
their architectural beauty might so well
be preserved. Mehemet Ali has provided
himself with a most comfortable family
sepulchre, not far from this quarter, consisting
of three dry, warm, well-carpeted
apartments; the only comfortable rooms I
have found at Cairo: there are at least
thirty monuments in them, dedicated to his
brothers, nieces, and grandchildren.
On our return we made a circuit by the
citadel, to see the beautiful effect of the
setting sun sinking behind the Pyramids.


—We were invited by Dr.
Abbott, to visit the library he is endeavouring

to establish at Cairo, and take the chance of
finding an interesting mummy. Among the
several mummy-cases he proposed opening,
he chose the most promising, but it was by
no means an interesting subject, as no ornaments
were found underneath the cerecloth
by which it was enveloped; the hands and
feet were gilt, and by the smallness of their
proportions it was supposed to be the mummy
of a lady of fashion. The process of the
examination I did not think agreeable.
One felt the hardship attending the fair
Egyptian's fate, that after having for three
thousand years secured her incognita, all
these precautions should have been destroyed
by our idle, unscientific curiosity.
Dr. Abbott joined our dinner party, and
proved a very agreeable convive. Our vice-consul
was living in the country, the gentleman
for whom Sir G. Wilkinson had
given us a letter of introduction was absent,
and Colonel Vyse and Signor Caviglia had also

flitted, so that we had been obliged to let our
lionizing entirely depend upon our books
of travels, and frequently on our donkey-boys.
We greatly felt the absence of a point
, having hitherto been particularly
indulged by friendly Ciceronisme.
Father and daughter undertook a long
ride towards the Suez desert, to see the
beginning of the Petrified Forest, about
which so little is heard, though an object
of great interest. One piece of the timber (if
it may be so called) consisted of a single
trunk, which although broken was not
separated, and measured ninety feet in
The general features of the country at this
point, from the outline of the distant mountains,
are very picturesque. Poor Mons.
Chacaton's ague proved a most inconvenient
visiter at Cairo, where every street and
corner offers such beautiful shadows and
subjects for the pencil. Our doctor found

here two of his countrymen and fraternity,
and as there is a great deal of sickness, and
little or no pay, they associate him very
cordially in their practice.


—We traversed the principal
square and quarter of Cairo, to attend
the English service, which is admirably
performed by the German missionaries.
The principal one, Mr. Lieder, has fitted up
by far the nicest Protestant chapel we have
met with abroad. The sermon, preached by
Mr. Crozier, also a German, was an excellently
comprehensive discourse, referring in an
interesting manner to the periods of the
religious history of Egypt. The perseverance
of some of the principal missionaries,
in acquiring the Coptic language, and in
establishing schools, and in reforming the
gross errors that have gradually deformed
the original Christian creed, is likely to tell
on the next generation, as the young Copts
shew great aptitude in acquiring knowledge,

and are very zealous in communicating
instruction to their parents, who are becoming
very proud of their progeny's
erudition. A Protestant service in the
Coptic language is regularly performed.
The language, from having become much
corrupted, is very difficult to acquire. There
is, probably, only one European woman in
existence acquainted with it, Miss Tatham,
who had assisted her father in his religious
duties, and from the habit of transcribing
gradually acquired the language. She is
described as unassuming as she is intelligent,
and was of great assistance by giving
religious instruction in the Coptic female
We dined with Dr. Abbott, completely á
la Turque
, no chairs, knives or forks, each
presented with a wooden spoon, and the
dinner spread on a large round tray, placed
on a table not larger than a footstool, and
about a foot and half from the ground; only

one dish was served at a time, from which
the host first takes a thumb and finger full,
the spoon being only used for the smofa
(soup) and rice-milk.
We had a succession of at least fourteen
dishes, though we were only six entertained.
Some of the compositions were excellent,
but the predominance of grease and acids
must make them dreadfully unwholesome.
The meat is so completely boiled to rags, it
could afford no sort of nourishment. I am
only surprised at the Turks being in such
generally good condition, for a thin one is
seldom to be seen.
Minney and I went home on our donkeys,
which conveyance supersedes all others in
comfort in these regions. The gentlemen
adjourned to a genuine Turkish party, to
which they were invited to see the Almée
dancing, which Mehemet Ali, in his decorous
spirit of reform, is discouraging as much as
possible. I suppose the beauty of this style

of dancing, as well as that of the Bayadères
we had seen the year before at Paris, was
much exaggerated, for they returned home
much more tired than pleased by the exhibition.


—We began our day with
a visit to Dr. Abbott, that we might see by
daylight his small, but interesting collection
of antiquities. He has some specimens of
Saracenic arms, which, in the eyes of connoisseurs,
are beautiful, and some mummies,
which he had despoiled of some gold ornaments
of beautiful workmanship.
I very much coveted one, about the size
and shape of a ferronière, a winged orb, the
well-known emblem of immortality, the
representation of which is so constantly
met with on the Egyptian tombs. This
ornament was a little broken, but of the
purest and brightest gold. The wings were
beautifully enamelled, or rather varied in
colour, by the insertion of lapis lazuli and

a reddish stone. I think such minute execution
would shame Storr and Mortimer.
I am surprised they have not already been
imitated, the form is so singularly elegant!
I cannot find any other term by which to
express their beauty.
We rode on to the Mauristan and slave-market,
which, though picturesque in elevation,
are very disagreeable objects, as the
Mauristan is the most dreadful picture of a
mad-house that can be imagined. I was not
the least aware of its character till I saw
cages round a court, like those of an ill-kept
menagerie; in these, melancholy, for they
were not noisy, mad people, were incarcerated.
The fee exacted is at least a reasonable
one: you are obliged to purchase
a certain quantity of bread for these poor
maniacs, which is provided for that purpose,
at the entrance gate of the Mauristan.
We had, from not knowing the way
effected our entrance through a beautiful

mosque, and the absence of the faithful, and
our ignorance, had served us better than
patronage, in seeing this beautiful specimen
of Moorish architecture.
Our afternoon expedition was under the
auspices of Signora N—, a Levantine interpretess,
and was arranged to visit the
harem of Halib Effendi, the ex-governor of
Cairo. We were joined by three Miss
G—'s, amiable Irish ladies, who had,
with their brother, been seven years on
their travels, reserving London, where they
had never been, for their later lion. The
staircase and entrance of the house were
much like those in France and Italy.
We passed two black slaves richly dressed.
A heavily embroidered curtain being put
aside, we found ourselves in a large apartment,
with no furniture, except the ever-to-be-met-with
divan, extending round the
three sides of the room. The lady who received
us was a rara-avis, a sort of Turkish

chanoinesse, an unmarried daughter of the
Effendi's, of thirty-two years of age. She
was so like Lady C—y, and Lady A.
F—x, that I almost expected her to speak to
me in English.
Her dress looked like a riding-habit, being
a tight blue cloth jacket, with a coloured
neckcloth, and her hair cut straight round
her forehead, with a sort of black cap or
turban at the back of her head. It was
only when she got up and displayed a long
train and a diamond comb, that her dress
became a little more feminine. She had a
most agreeable and intelligent countenance,
and appeared intended for something very
superior to her condition.
She took us to a room in which a quantity
of silk-worms were being reared, and
where a perfect manufactory of raw silk was
preparing; she took me a little apart, and
unlocked a drawer, from which she produced
some paintings of flowers, copied from an

English Ackermann, and really tolerably done.
My approbation encouraged her to shew me
a copy-book, like those used at our infant
schools, and a very tattered Télémaque, and
though she professed to know no European
language, it was evident she was trying to
educate herself. She shewed us a French
grammar and dictionary, which she told us
had belonged to a brother she had lost, and
who had been in Paris and London.
All her companions, including her mother,
(for whose society she had renounced marriage,) looked like inferior beings; one really
longed to assist her in emancipating herself
from the thraldom of ignorance and superstition,
not indeed that she looked unhappy,
but had an air of energy and intelligence in
all she said or did, that would have been remarkable under any circumstances.
She looked at my bracelet, containing the
children's hair, and, asking me if they were
all alive, returned it to me in a graceful

manner, saying, “May God preserve them
to you!”
She told us she would go down the Nile
with us, and learn English, if we would leave
our husbands and brothers at Cairo, and
seemed highly diverted at the notion of
such an escapade.
I was very much struck with the beauty
of one of the slaves, who brought in coffee
and sherbet; she was a Circassian, and, I
should think, the very perfection of height
and proportion: she had a fair, clear, and
beautiful texture of skin, with a mild and
dignified expression of countenance, to which
it is impossible, by description, to do justice;
in regularity and cast of features, a good
deal resembling the late Mrs. Arbuthnot.
She wore a yellow turban, and a partial
drapery of the deep blue of a Raphael picture;
her arms were of beautiful form, and
crossed, resting on the shawl folded round
her waist, which gave her the classical pose

one sees in antique sculpture, and which so
few European artists have the good fortune
to copy. I never so much wished to draw,
and be able thus to convey this beau ideal of
female refined beauty. She did not at all
appear conscious that she represented it, but
our interpretess told us she had always
been remarked by whatever European lady
visitors this harem had received, but the
chiefs had never appreciated the merit of
the selection.
On our return to our hotel, we found the
prospects of our expedition to Thebes much
deranged, by the arrival of newspapers,
announcing the meeting of parliament a
month earlier was expected. I received this
intelligence with a great mixture of feeling;
I rather believe, the prospect of getting
home some six weeks earlier predominated.
It was proposed to me that we should
join Mrs. Leider's party, to visit Princess
Nazly Hanim, Mehemet Ali's favourite

daughter, to present her with a print of the
Queen, which she expressed a wish to have,
as a return for some civility and service she
had procured for the Missionary Society,
whose female members are much encouraged
to visit the harems at Cairo, and no
resistance made to their entering on the
discussion of religious matters, which argues
in favour of Mehemet Ali's religious tolerance.
This Princess Nazly is a widow of forty-five:
her late husband, Deftudgus Bey,
was supposed to have been the most cruel
of men, and to have caused more bloodshed
than any man of his time. His widow is
thought to have shared in this propensity,
and if half is true that is told of her, she
must be a terrible princess indeed. It is
said that a young Greek slave, a few weeks
ago, accidentally burnt some article of this
illustrious lady's dress, and that the punishment
inflicted upon her was so severe, that

she made her escape, and took refuge at the
Greek consul's, from whence he was induced,
by the princess's fair promises and
influence, to give her up, after three days'
protection. This cruel compliance was followed
up by the poor girl being shut up,
and, as is said, by a joint of one of her
fingers being daily amputated from the hand
that caused the accident, and this as a commutation
of punishment, however Colonel
C—and other authorities dispute this
The Turks are very anxious for European
medical advice, but reverse the general habit
of fees; and on one occasion Dr. A—,
after long attendance, and ultimate cure, was
asked for backshish. Inquiring under what
pretence, he was told, to pay for so much
valuable experience: he is frequently allowed
to attend the ladies.
One consulted him for what was palpitation
of the heart, and he was desired to call

again. On his following visit, he was told
that a consultation of the principal doctresses
had taken place, and that they perfectly
agreed with him, that the nature of the
complaint was an affection of the heart,
and that, to get it back into its right place,
they were just in the act of tying her up by
the feet, which would produce the proper
effect of re-establishing it in its position.

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Cross the Nile—Giza—Ascent of a pyramid—Monument
of Cheops—The king's chamber—English
inscriptions—The tomb of Numbers—Visit to the
Sphinxes—Sacrilegious fuel—Pyramids of Dashour
—Bird mummy-pits—The Reis of Saqquarha
—Strange contents of a packet from England.


—We determined upon our
expedition to the Pyramids, and renewing
our Desert encampment in preference to
sleeping in the tombs, which is the general
resource when the visitors to the Pyramids
do not return to sleep at Cairo.
Dr. A——and Mr. E——having joined
our party, we crossed the Nile, at what is

called Old Cairo , about two hours' ride
distant. The bustle of embarking our camels
and donkeys was very great, and the general
effect most picturesque, from the variety of
the Nile boats on the river, the Pyramids
forming the back-ground. I regretted that
the daylight was so short, as not to allow
Mons. Chacaton to make a drawing from
this point, as, at the Pyramids themselves,
it is next to impossible.
We reached Giza at four, and had time to
arrange our tents, before we ascended the
Pyramids to see the sun set. I cannot
imagine how we so easily gained the summit,
which is four hundred and sixty feet
from the sand. Instead of the Pyramid presenting
a flat surface, as I imagined, from
the effect at a distance, they would do, large
stones of thirty feet long, and none less than
five high, are placed at the back of each
other, in a pyramidical form. The stepping
from one stone to another, without support

of any kind, is achieved by the assistance
and activity of the Arab conductors, who, by
dragging, pushing, and their animated cries,
contrive to get you up, in spite of your
wasting energies.
I ascended the last, having the assistance
of six arms to my share, and, looking up at
my predecessors, I was reminded of a French
mythological ballet, where Psyche and other
characters are seen dragged by the furies.
Minney appeared to fly up the Pyramids,
and her arms looked as if they would be
drawn out of their sockets by her two wild
Arab attendants. She was closely followed
by Christine, her father, and the doctor,
the latter of whom did not appear to fly, but
presented the image of a pinioned criminal
on the rack. The whole effect was so ridiculous,
as sadly to diminish our expectations
of the sublime. The ascent only employed
us a quarter of an hour. We only
rested twice on our way, which was as

necessary for our guides' lungs as our
The view of course is very extensive,
embracing Cairo and the whole range of the
scattered Pyramids. The sunset was not a
brilliant one, and we all doubted whether
our powers would allow us to repeat our
exertions the next morning, to see the sun
rise, the usual duty of conscientious travellers.
We found the repetition of our
Desert fare, and even our tent beds, much
superior to our hotel accommodation, or
perhaps we felt more at home.


—The weather was so fine,
and our encampment so comfortable, that
we determined on remaining two days longer
in the neighbourhood of the Pyramids, and
set off after breakfast to visit the monument
of Cheops. The entrance is not quite in
the centre, and only three and a half feet
high. The necessity of a continued stooping
position, as we alternately mounted and

had knocked out his front teeth to avoid
conscription, as soldiers are thus rendered
unable to fulfil the necessary obligation of
biting their cartridges. This Reiz was the
only exception we met with to the simplicity
of the Arabs, and their indifference
to personal advantages. Our doctor had
returned to Cairo in the morning, to look
after our letters, as the Maltese mail was
again due; and just as we got home a man
arrived with a very promising packet, countersigned
by Mr. Walne, the vice-consul.
Great was our pleasure, and almost greater
our disappointment at finding the contents
of the packet merely a few London bills,
and half a dozen letters from different
writers, all to the same purport, asking
George, in varied and civil phraseology,
to afford his autograph, in the way of
frank, to perfect his or her collection, just
when franking was about to be abolished,
and the new system of postage commenced:

To receive London bills and requests for
franks at the Pyramids would have been
laughable enough had not our anxiety
for home letters been so earnest.

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The site of Memphis—Statue of Sesostris—Real antiquities
—Rich soil—The inhabitants—Vultures—
Fresh arrivals—Visit to a Turkish bath—The
Princess's palace—Shami Bey's harem—The fair
Saramé—Our entertainment—Feasting—Dancing
and singing.


—Prepared to leave our
encampment with much regret, feeling it
would be the last time we should enjoy our
comfortable little tent, for which there were
many candidates at Cairo, as none but the
most common are to be had there.
We made a considerable circuit on our
road, to what is generally believed to be the

site of Memphis. This beginning of our
ride afforded us an interesting view of
the whole range of the Pyramids. Our
Arab attendants were so little acquainted
with these localities, that it was some
time before we found the chief object
of our détour, the statue of Sesostris, as
it is generally called. This was also excavated
by Caviglia; it is broken off at the
ankles, and is of colossal proportions.
The pit, in which it is still recumbent,
being at this season of the year filled with
water, we could only distinguish one side of
its face, as it lies in profile, and indeed only
to the bridge of the nose, as the remainder
of that feature was quite immersed, and fortunately
without mutilation, for in dry weather,
the countenance, which is of a very
dignified character of expression, is said to be
seen, in perfect preservation. The arms appear
broken, but not wholly detached. It is
supposed, on a little further excavation, the

feet would be found. This would prove a
most valuable relic of antiquity, and be a
monument more interesting, and more
unique than an obelisk, particularly if
placed similarly to those elevated in front of
St. Peter's, and on the Place Louis XV.
We were followed by children, offering us
medals and real antiquities, of which there is
a regular manufactory further up the country,
and so well counterfeited, that many
antiquarians are believed to have been taken
in. We ourselves found, what is comparatively
modern, a coin of Adrian's.
The fragrance and freshness of the country
was quite enchanting. Our ride was
through alternate clover and bean fields, in
full flower, and of a growth of which, in
England, one never dreamt. We saw some
barley in the ear, the fourth crop produced in
this fertile soil within twelve months. Arab
villages, in the middle of date forests, were
dispersed among these rich and cultivated

districts. Their inhabitants appeared quite
a savage race; the little children were perfectly
unclothed. One would have supposed
them monkeys, as they were seen climbing
up the palm-trees, their skin of so dark a
shade, that some of our party fancied themselves
again in the West Indies, from the
general effect of vegetation and climate.
A species of ibis, the stork, hawks, and
every variety of aquatic bird, inhabit this
bank of the Nile. From a little mountain,
we imagined we were the objects of observation
to some men, who stood immovable,
and watched our motions with fixed attention,
and the gentlemen advanced for the
purpose of facing, what turned out to be large
vultures. As they are superstitiously believed
to anticipate their carnivorous repast, we began
to ask each other, and ourselves, if we
were quite well, and the wholesome effect of
our late style of journeyings caused our
being satisfactorily assured in the affirmative.
We passed the plain ascertained to be
that on which the Israelites worked for their
hard taskmasters, not only from the fact
that its clay still furnishes materials for
brick-work, but that lately an excavation
had been made near the spot, and many
thousands of skulls have been dug up from
what may be supposed a burying-ground,
and that the peculiar form of the skull was
quite distinct from that of the Egyptian, and I
believe the bone varied in colour. On being
shewn the two kinds, the difference of character
was certainly very strongly defined.
We had intended to visit the Polytechnic
School, at Boulac, of which Mehemet Ali is
said to be very justly proud, but our circuit
to the pyramids had extended our ride to
more than twenty miles, and neither daylight
nor our tired donkeys allowed us to
make any further peregrinations. It was so
dark when we got back into the narrow
little streets of Cairo, that we quite lost

sight of each other, and our gentlemen,
most ungallantly, but we believe, unconsciously,
reached the hotel long before
Minney and myself, and received us as if
they had been much alarmed at having
missed us.
We found our Athens acquaintance, Mr.
J. de L——, who was just arrived from
Thebes, with a series of beautiful daguerrotypes
of all the principal monuments. He
gave a very indifferent report of Lord
A——'s progress, who had to contend with
a lazy crew and a cowardly leader, and was
laying to at Essouan, where he hoped we
should overtake him. Sir Thomas and Lady
M'M——n, with a very pretty daughter,
were just arrived, on their way to Bombay.
They gave us no fresh news, as they left
London occupied alone with the Queen's
approaching marriage.


—Our letters at last arrived,
and were as satisfactory as we could

desire. Happily, all my pressentimens of evil
with regard to the children were so falsified,
that I determined never again to listen to
my superstitious misgivings. No tidings of
our boats.
I went to a real Turkish bath, which I had
secured for the one hour in which the public
are excluded. I found it perfectly delightful,
and much more comfortably arranged,
than the private one at Nourri Effendi's
harem, at Constantinople, although that
was on a more luxurious scale; for here the
towels were neither of pink silk, nor with
silver and gold embroidery.
The heat is for some time very oppressive,
but the charm of the repose succeeding is
not to be described, and I very unwillingly
left the couch on which I had been placed,
by the summons of the handmaid, with a
glass of sherbet, which was the signal of my
having spent my permitted time at the bath.


—Attended Mr. Leider's

chapel. We passed through the handsomest
quarter of Cairo, where it was intended
to establish the hotels and the
Frank residence, but Egyptian prejudices
against allowing infidel dogs the best quarters
Mehemet Ali found too strong to contend
The Princess's palace was pointed out to
us as the house in which Kleber was assassinated,
and the one opposite as the headquarters
of Napoleon. The fact of the Pacha
having, a few years ago, assigned it to Lord
Waterford, for his residence, was mentioned
as a matter of equal historical importance.
A European nobleman's visit to Cairo was
then a much more rare occurrence than it has
lately become; one is a little desillusionnée
about the East, where, at one hotel, you are
shewn the room occupied by Lord and Lady
S——n, Lord C. H——n, the Hon. Mr.
L——n, the Baronet and his Lady, &c., &c.;
in short, one does not like being reminded

of the Ship Inn at Dover, in the city of
the Pharaohs.


—At last our boats are
arrived. We profited by an invitation to
dine at the harem of Shami Bey, secretary
to Mehemet Ali. Our interpretess
called for us at two o'clock, imagining the
dinner was at that early hour.
We found the house even handsomer than
the last at which we had visited. Black slaves
received us as we entered the court, and
shewed us the way up a fine flight of marble
steps, where there were several groups of
female slaves, of varied hue, from the Abyssinian
to the Circassian, and all appeared
employed in household arrangements, preparing
coffee, drawing water, arranging
fruit, &c.
The dishes and vases commonly in use
are of such classical form, that one is always
wishing to be able to trace the impressions
of such grouping, and I did not find our

residence long enough in such scenes to
become less alive to their beauties.
A very pretty little woman rose at our
entrance, and welcomed us with a more shy
and diffident manner than we had yet met
with, and seemed always to appeal to a gay-looking
amie de la maison for subjects of
conversation. At the corner of the divan,
squatted a perfect old crone, who was distinguished
as the doctress &c. of the harem,
and who, I thought, did not look at all
benignantly at us giaours. The pretty little
pale woman, whose name was Saramé, was
Shami Bey's daughter-in-law, and, to a
certain degree, the mistress of this very
large establishment.
She wore yellow silk trousers, to which,
at the ankles, were attached draperies of the
same material, lined with some other colour,
in this instance, light blue, which gave the
effect to the extremities of what a mermaid
is represented to have in lieu of feet, so that

the action of walking is constantly impeded,
and a sort of shuffling pace substituted,
which is far from dignified. Her caftan, or
jacket, was blue cloth, embroidered with
pearls, and trimmed with sable, which, at this
season, is in general use. She wore a tight
necklace of fine pearls, with a clasp of uncut
precious stones.
Her turban was a very slight one, of black
gauze, on one side of which she had a very
handsome diamond ornament, set in the
form of a branch and flower of a pomegranate,
and above it a large diamond crescent,
composed of the finest stones I had yet seen
Saramé's clear pale complexion, with a
very mild expression of countenance, and
beautiful form, conveyed the very personification
of night. As these fair harem prisoners
are very fond of seeing all they can
of European novelties, we put on every
possible ornament, few as we had, and

shewed them our album, which amused
them very much, at least the portraits, for
the landscapes they always held upside
Minney asked Saramé to let her try and
do her picture, and succeeded in making
something of a likeness, in pencil. On this
they produced some red ink, for her to add
colour to the cheeks, and wanted very much
to send off our interpretess for our box of
colours, but we resisted parting with our
Minney was in the act of packing up her
performance, when there was a regular representation
of the impossibility of such a
proceeding, and the reasons given were,
that should my father, husband, son, or
brother, see the portrait, it would be the
same as if they had seen Saramé herself,
and draw down upon her her father and
husband's vengeance. This was more flattering
to Minney's talent than it was at

all intended, but it was really amusing to
see the state of excitement of the whole
harem, at the prospect of such a contingency.
We went down stairs to dinner into the
summer apartment, a marble hall, with a
beautiful fountain surrounded by a balustrade
of different coloured marbles, and a
chintz divan placed against it, which in
June may be a most charming locale, but in
this the month of January it felt most unseasonable.
We all appeared to be playing
at summer, in order that our entertainment
might take place in the best apartment, of
which the only furniture was a wide divan
of blue silk, with pink cushions, embroidered
in gold with the richness of the Duke
of D——n's best full-dressed coat.
We, as guests, were not presented with
the silver ewer, nor was the rose-water
poured on our hands by a slave on her knee,
till Saramé had first gone through the

ceremony. Five of the women, I suppose
of her societé intime, sat, or rather squatted,
round the tray, which was supported by the
Turkish table, or what we should describe as
a stool, ornamented with mother of pearl.
The dinner was really excellent, and in
only too great profusion, for we could not
have had less than forty dishes, handed one
at a time. To avoid tasting all, our interpretess's
experience made her assure our
hostess that our Hakim had forbidden us
eating such and such dishes, so that we
permitted ourselves what we liked. The
soup was very good, chicken powdered so
finely that it looked and was as light as a
soufflet; but what we most approved was,
a plât doux of starch, with a sort of conserve
of rose-leaf sauce, and some perfectly arranged
salad, in which lemon or lime juice
was the substitute for vinegar, and I think
would be generally preferred.
At a table, (below salt I suppose,) sat

about the same number as ourselves, who
succeeded to our dishes, but no one at that
table took the precedence as Saramé did at
ours, in presenting a pinch of each plat
with her very clean and very pretty rose-tipped
little fingers.
I could not help being struck with the
melancholy expression of her countenance,
and I supposed the visible increase of this
expression was the consequence of fatigue
attending her first foreign dinner, but it was
accounted for by bad health and the loss of
her two children; and that consequently
her husband, thinking his first choice an
unlucky one, had lately purchased a Greek
slave, a pretty girl, but much less so than
his present wife, and that in the event of
this slave becoming mother to a son, her
position in the family would be advanced.
However occasionally distraite poor little
Saramé was with the novelty of our visit,
yet her attention was constantly attracted

back to her rival, who, while waiting upon
her, evinced the most decided expression of
assumption of manner, at least so I imagined.
The ungrateful object of these heartburnings
was, at Alexandria, attached to Mehemet
Ali's court, and Saramé is said to be inconsolable
at this division of his affections,
for it seems a plurality of wives is much
less frequent, in Turkish ménages, than we
Europeans imagined. The climate of Egypt
is almost invariably fatal to Turkish children,
and, indeed, the general mortality is
But to return to our fête, there was only
one large candle on our dining table, ensconced
in an embossed piece of silver,
hardly to be called a candlestick. The
lighting this large room was effected in the
prettiest way possible by the slaves, who
collected in groups, each holding a thick
candle, like those used in a Catholic
The shadows thrown from and by these
animated candlesticks, will quite spoil my
taste for those of crystal and ormolu. As
the bearers of these lights became tired, and
occasionally supported themselves against a
column or a balustrade, they would have
afforded models to supersede those of the
most approved modern workmanship.
On a signal given by Saramé, the living
candlesticks proceeded to what I suppose
may be considered the drawing-room, where
the private band of the harem was collected,
who produced their usual discordant sounds
in singing accompaniments to the different
dances executed by the Turkish, Arab, and
Greek slaves of the harem. The strained
postures of the Arab dancing was almost
painful to see, but reminded us much of the
cachucha, by the attitude in which the
dancer throws herself backward, so that
the back of the head nearly touched the
ground, from the extreme elasticity of limb

and body. The Greek dance was in quick
time, and might have passed for an Irish
jig, becoming more and more rapid. The
two little dancers, who appeared to be about
twelve years old, became quite exhausted
with their exertions.
The chief musician, a lively-looking girl,
improvisé'd evidently a very amusing song,
as they all laughed immoderately. The
fair Saramé's throwing her slipper at her
proved the signal for a general romp, when
they all chased one another round the
room. We were then begged to dance
and sing. Minney and the youngest Miss
G—— organized a quadrille, in which two
of the Eastern ladies were enlisted, and
shewed great aptitude in both the figures
and their chassé's.
Their second-hand imitations of French
dancing was very amusing, from the perfect
contrast of costume and their general desinvoltura.
Our music afterwards consisted of a

chorus of “God save the King,” and we
were none of us sufficiently modernized to
get beyond “King George our gracious
King;” and after a prolonged visit of six
hours, thought it time to take leave.
Pretty little Saramé had taken such a
fancy to Minney, she would not let her
go, and entreated me to leave her, I suppose
as dame de compagnie.
The court was quite lighted by torches
carried by our donkey attendants, and those
borne by the black slaves of the harem,
whom we found following us home for
backshish. Our whole visit seemed to
realize the description of a sultana's feast
in the Arabian Nights. The confinement of
even this, their best existence, makes one
feel a degree of compassion for them, which
I am told and hope is quite misapplied.

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Boulac—Joseph's well—Stores of grain—A rhinoceros
—Embark on board a Nile boat—Discomforts
of the voyage—A strange meeting—Arrival at the
gates of Alexandria—Difficulties in getting admitted
—Mehemet Ali—His palace.


—We went to Boulac to
visit our boats, which we found tolerably
good, and well calculated for the longer
voyage we had projected. We next visited
Joseph's well, and found we had mistaken
the spot where the sycamore tree stands,
described as the one under which the Virgin
reposed in their flight to Egypt. It is said

to have the property of being always green,
and this is ascribed to its sacred character.
It may stand near the original spot, but
naturalists assert that this tree itself is only
of the growth of six centuries. We found
that the ruins, said to be the remains of the
prison of the patriarch Joseph, are shewn at
The site of the old palace of the Pharaohs
is sufficiently defined, (or believed to be so,)
by antiquaries, to give a shadow of probability
that the ruins of the contiguous prison
may be still visible.
We were much struck by the piles of corn
and beans in the environs of Boulac. One
felt that Joseph's preparations for the years
of famine must have resembled these mounds
of plenty. The summits were to be distinguished
at a great height above the very
high walls of the courts in which they were
preserved, and in front of the Polytechnic
school there was a mountain of barley, which

must have far surpassed in height the
mound formerly at the entrance into Kensington
gardens. No wonder that the
coats of the mules and donkeys are so
sleek, with such abundant and good provender.
Our boatmen assure us they shall be
ready boukra (to-morrow), but as that is the
constant answer of an Arab to all inquiries
or reproaches, one hardly can trust to this
habitual and procrastinating reply.


—We called to make
some farewell visits, and found that in this
instance yesterday's boukra became to-day,
and that our Arabs were anxious to leave
after sunset, their favourite hour for starting
on a voyage. The noise, wind, and dust,
of this most picturesque of cities, made us
leave it without regret. We settled ourselves
very comfortably in our boats, but
from the difficulty of dividing our numbers,
we were obliged to make one boat the

harem; and by this arrangement we could
only meet at dinner, when the boats must
be stopped, and tied together. We felt that
our month's voyage to Thebes would have
proved somewhat unsociable, and in spite
of all the agrémens of our journeyings, we all
rejoiced that we were making the first steps
to our several father-lands.


—The day cold, and occasionally
rainy, the wind strong, and against
us, with much motion of the boat, varied by
our constantly getting aground. We were all
thoroughly uncomfortable, and even indisposed,
which I have thought impossible, in
river navigation.
The Arabs were more obstinate and lazy
than those of the Desert. A constant
wrangling was going forward, to make the
boatmen row, as the sail was worse than
useless. The wind fell after sunset, and we
were all a little comforted by our re-union
at dinner: our sociable enjoyment was soon

disturbed, by an invitation to separate after
coffee, that we might endeavour to recover
our lost day; our advance, in spite of having
had a double set of rowers, to relieve each
other, having been only twenty miles in
more than that number of hours.
The night was so cold, we could hardly
get to sleep, but the consequent absence of
buzzing and biting creatures consoled me for
everything, and we did not see any of the
rats we heard of as dreadful monopolizers of
the lower part of the boat, although they
had nearly devoured our books, dates, and


—We passed rather a
quieter day, and were assured the progress
we had made would enable us to reach the
canal of Mahmoudie the next day.
Just as it was becoming dusk, we, according
to the approved Nile fashion, (from
Thebes to Alexandria,) hailed a boat we met,
and inquired where they were going, and

who was on board. The inquiry was answered
by a lady with a very Scotch accent,
who informed us she was going up to the
Cataracts, and had been very lately under
water, as the lazy crew of her boat had
crowded so much sail, that it had been upset.
She appeared to have no European companions,
and I believe one would not find
a lady of any other nation with so great a
spirit of independence.


—Reached Adfé about
eight o'clock, A.M., but the announced track-boat
had not arrived. We were obliged to
have recourse to a light boat, which could,
with difficulty, contain four people, so that
we left the doctor and the remainder of the
party, to follow us, in the slower and heavier
boat. We had the greatest difficulty in getting
on, as the violent rain not only greatly incommoded
us, but made the path-side of the
canal so slippery, that the single horse
towing our boat could hardly make his way.
At the third relay we were troubled with
a very vicious beast, who kicked, plunged,
and occasionally ran away, which gave so
much motion to our little vessel, (not larger
than a gondola,) that we suffered some hairbreadth
escapes of being capsized. We
contrived to dine, thanks to some cold
chickens we had seized in the hurry of departure,
and very fortunately, as we were
twelve hours making a journey of forty miles,
of which eight hours is the average time.
At last we reached a wharf near Alexandria,
thoroughly worn out, and partially
wet through, for we could not close the
front door of our cabin without risk of
suffocation. George proceeded to the gate
of Alexandria, nearly two miles off, leaving
us under the care of the reiz of our boat, a
civil man, but with whom we could not
exchange a word. Owing to the said reiz
not having obtained the pass-word at the
last village where we changed horse, George

could not gain admittance at the gate of
the city.
The custode either did not, or would not,
understand his request to send up some
message to our consul to obtain our sesame.
He returned to us in great tribulation, and
we were perfectly at a loss where and how
we could possibly pass this rainy night.
Our reiz contrived to make us understand
his suggestions of offering to appeal to the
guardian of the Viceroy's track-boat, to give
us permission to pass the night under its
shelter. This request was hospitably granted,
and we made our establishment in the saloon,
where the ottoman afforded us dry, though
narrow bedding, and we had nothing to
complain of but absence of food, as none
could be procured outside the gates at this
late hour.
The Arab had a little fire, which afforded
us hot water, to which the addition of a
little Eau-de-Cologne, proved very satisfactory.

This I mention as a hint to any
travellers who may find themselves in an
equally benighted condition. It was very
odd that, at the approach of nearly the most
civilized point of our journey, we should
have met with the greatest degree of inconvenience.


—Our arrival having been
early reported, Mr. Waghorn sent some of
the valuable donkey race to take us into
Alexandria. We were quite surprised at the
cheerful and European aspect of the town,
and were soon comfortably lodged in an excellent
French hotel, superior to any at Marseilles,
although the Aubergistes, and nearly
everything else, are imported from that city.
We held salon all day, so numerous were
our visitors among the Consular authorities.
The kind attentions of Ex-Consul-General
Campbell and regnant Colonel Hodges, made
up a good deal for our numerous contretems
at Cairo, in the letter and boat line. Doctor

Moore, of New York, professor of Greek
Literature, an old acquaintance of George's,
joined us at dinner, and gave us an account
of the almost revolution that had lately taken
place at Athens, from whence he was just
There was much excitement at Alexandria,
owing to the report of a meditated attack on
Mehemet Ali, to oblige him to restore the
Turkish fleet. Many Europeans had packed
up their goods, to be prepared against a
speedy removal, but Mehemet Ali's assurance
that all European property should be
respected, had already greatly allayed the
panic occasioned by this rumour of war.


—Mons. Tibaldi came for
us in Seyd Bey's boat, that we might obtain
a good view of the Pacha, who, according to
his daily habit, was to inspect one of the
Turkish ships, and without previous notice
as to the one he should select for that purpose.
He always goes on board alone, and

unarmed, descending into the hold, and
entering into every minutiæ with regard to
the service of the ship. That he should
thus venture into the enemy's camp, without
any precaution, is consistent with all his
former conduct, and with the spirit of
fatalism, which pervades all his actions.
On one occasion he was complimented
for his activity in getting on board, and for
not being disturbed by a rough gale. This he
accounted for very simply by saying, that in
early life he had been pressed as a sailor, and
served for a considerable time on board a
small brig. Subsequently, it seems, he was
waiter at a coffee-house at——in Roumelia.
After remaining for some time in vain expectation
of his appearance, we determined
upon going to the arsenal, where Mons.
Tibaldi suspected the pacha might have
remained, to assist at the launch of an iron
steamer. There we succeeded in meeting
him, and we had, under Monsieur T.'s

escort, an opportunity of being quite close
to the Viceroy, and presented, as far as ladies
could be. I never saw so striking and intelligent
a countenance, or one with half the
variety of expression, the eye had at one
moment that of positive benevolence, and
an instant afterwards, when some of the
machinery went wrong, it gained the most
savage expression; and again, when an
awkward-looking boy fell down in turning
a wheel, it assumed an appearance of fun
and mischief, accompanied by a chuckle, for
one could hardly call it a laugh.
His costume was very simple—a greenish
brown suit, trimmed with ugly light fur, and
a red fez, (cap,) and he wore pea-green silk
gloves! His cloak was held up by one attendant,
more as if for the purpose of keeping
it out of the dirt than for ceremony. The
Capitan Pacha was on his left, and Burghos
Bey, his prime minister, and five or six others,
stood near him, but there was no appearance

Published by Henry Colburn. 13 Great Marlborough Street. 1841

of the etiquette of a court. The only
smart thing belonging to him was his large
cherry-coloured parasol, trimmed with gold
fringe, of which an ill-dressed Arab was in
charge, but which the heat of the day did
not oblige him to unfurl.
We were told that, except Mrs. Light,
who went in male costume to his levee, no
European ladies had ever been in such direct
communication with him. One of our party
who had been residing at Alexandria for
eight years, had never before seen him but at
a great distance. He seemed to be very much
amused as well as flattered at our anxiety
to see him, and remarked that Minney
must be the youngest European lady traveller
of her time. All this was communicated
through the medium of his interpreter in
Turkish. He professes to know no other
language, but I thought, as our answers in
French were translated, he frequently appeared
to have forestalled the interpreter.
We then went to see his palace, which is
furnished in modern and indifferent French
taste. His room of reception was floored
with English oilcloth; I think his divan
was also covered with English chintz. The
room contained no other furniture, unless
some very large glazed mahogany cases of
stuffed birds, and some ill-painted sea-pieces
could come under that head. We returned
by the back of the palace, to avoid meeting
the Pacha, on his return by water from the
arsenal, and thus exposing him to too much
of our society; but we signally failed in this,
our modest attempt, as his caprice brought
him back on horseback, by the very road
we had chosen. He rode a very pretty
bay horse, richly caparisoned, and appeared
to much advantage, as it gave him
the effect of greater height than he naturally
We heard an amusing instance of his
pretended naïveté, which occurred a few

days ago, as he discussed the question of
the combination formed by the allied powers
to oblige him to give up the fleet. When
Prussia was named, he asked in what quarter
of the world it was situated, as he said he
was made fully aware of the existence of
Russians, French, Austrians, Dutch, and
English, by their shipping and their commercial
relations, but he had inquired, and
never could hear of a Prussian ship having
been in any of his ports.
He did not begin to learn to read till after
fifty, and his reasons for then doing so are
rather curious. It seems that illiterate
Turks are subject to constant interruption
on their time; and Mehemet Ali found this
so inconvenient, that he adopted what is
always considered a protection—holding a
book; in short, appearing occupied in study;
and he found, after some time, that it would
be agreeable really to do what he only pretended:
so began his a b c in good earnest.

He is not, however, supposed to be able to
write, beyond giving his official signature.
He has lately, under pretence of affording
instruction to the Turkish fleet, decimated
Egyptian officers and men in all their ships.
This assumption of the superiority of the
Egyptian navy is perfectly justified by appearances.
Under the excuse of refitting the Turkish
sailors, he has clothed several hundreds in
his uniforms, of which he announced he had
a large provision for which he had no actual
use. It is, however, whispered, that within
a short period the Egyptian tailors had been
hard at their needles, by the Pacha's orders;
and this is the result.

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Pompey's pillar—The Pacha and the Sultan's portrait
—A ball at Alexandria—Seyd Bey's palace—Singular
bequest—Sir M. M...... and the Pacha—
The garden of the palace—The fleet at Alexandria
—Preparations for departure, and reflections on returning
to England.


—Mr. Joyce, one of the
principal merchants in Egypt, drove us to
see Pompey's pillar, which, notwithstanding
it is said to be so inferior in height and
proportions to our Monument, or the Colonne
de la Place Vendôme, is much more
striking than either, as you stand immediately
under it; but this may be owing to

its more isolated and elevated position.
How people have managed to reach its
summit by kites and rope-ladders, (and one
of these, Baroness Talbot,) it is impossible to
imagine, for there does not appear to be the
smallest support afforded by inequality of
surface; the pedestal and shaft being each
of a single block of granite, and measuring
upwards of a hundred feet in height. Cleopatra's
needle we satisfied ourselves with
seeing from Mr. Larking's balcony, and
from thence his good glass enabled us to
distinguish the point of Aboukeir.


—No sight-seeing—the
weather rainy. The incident of the day,
however, was the request of the Pacha to see
our album. On looking it over he observed
that the young Sultan's picture could not be
a correct likeness, as it represented a young
man with a beard, and that Abdul Megid
being a boy of only sixteen, could not have
that manly ornament; Mons. Chacaton,

however, modestly insisted on the portrait
being faithful in that respect; so, to decide
the matter, his highness sent for the Capitan
Pacha, (the late Turkish traitor,) who confirmed
Monsieur C.'s assertion. This was
followed by the request, that we would give
the Pacha a copy of the picture of his Sovereign
and Master. It was rather suspected
that this conversation was got up for the
purpose of speaking of himself as vassal to
the young Sultan. A large dinner party at
Mr. Joyce's, of all the authorities of Alexandria.
Mrs. Joyce had given herself the
trouble of arranging a little dance in the
evening for the amusement of Minney, who
was much charmed with her African debut in
society. There were at least one hundred
and sixty members of the Alexandrian world
—many of the Levantines very pretty, but
they had dressed in the worst European taste,
instead of profiting by their own pretty costume.
The band was black, and the floor stone.


—We drove to see Seyd
Bey's palace and pretty garden. The rooms
were of beautiful proportions, and the furniture
in European, and in rather Louis
XIV. taste, though somewhat scantily dispersed.
Seyd is distinguished as the Pacha's
favourite son—one would imagine on the
principle of contrast, for no one can look
less intellectual. Although only eighteen,
he is an old and larger likeness of Mr. S.
M—y, thinking of nothing but what and
how much he should eat, and taking every
opportunity of giving foreigners breakfasts
and dinners on board his frigate. The
pacha encourages this for the sake of exercising
him in European languages. He
speaks French very fluently, and, besides
following up the branches of his naval profession,
he is crammed with mathematics and
political economy, and is treated exactly
like a schoolboy.
He was not allowed to assist at Mrs. Joyce's
ball, because he had that day neglected his
English lesson, and the Pacha threatens
him with dismissal from all favours, if he
cannot speak English perfectly in six
months. As with Mehemet Ali will is law,
I dare say he will soon have acquired the
language, even to a cockney accent.
George had a long and interesting audience
with the Pacha, who generally contrives
to prolong an interview when he meets with
a communicative European. George was
particularly struck by the high-bred manner
and benignity of his address. In looks he
reminded him of the late Mr. S. W——. He
questioned George very closely about his
Syrian travels, and evaded very ingeniously
his remark upon the unexpected and unaccountable
quarantine at Al Arish. Mons. Tibaldi
had afterwards to answer a great many
inquiries as to George's politics and position
in society, and also with regard to my

family and connexions. On such subjects
his general curiosity is quite unaccountable.
On his affording him such an opening,
Mons. T, mentioned my wish of having a lock
of his hair, to add to a collection, I had been
for some years making, of the hair of celebrated
personages. This was a request very
difficult to elude, but he contrived, with his
usual ingenuity, to get over my infidel request.
He said, that in a collection which contained
Nelson's, Napoleon's, and Wellington's
hair, his was as yet unworthy to be
included; but if posterity judged otherwise,
he would leave in his will a request to
Ibrahim Pacha to present me with his
beard, and if I did not outlive him, it was to
descend to my son, or the daughter who
inherited my collection. The ages and
names of my children were asked for, and
these testamentary arrangements were very
gravely made, and written down by the
secretary sent for for that purpose.
In the evening, at a little party at Capt.
L.'s, we heard all Alexandria was ringing
with this little episode. We were at first
amused at finding all resident Europeans in
Egypt talking and thinking of the Pacha, as
if he were the only interesting living character;
but there is something so striking and
original in all this old man says and does,
that I am sure a prolonged residence in the
Egyptian world would bring us all to the
same conviction.


—Delay of a day in consequence
of our government steam-boat, the
Blazer, requiring some repair to her wheel,
and it being the Mahometan sabbath, no
work could be done at the dock-yard till
after sun-set. The Jewish and Mahometan
sabbaths following each other, produced
rather an amusing occurrence attending Sir
M. M——'s late, visit to Alexandria, when
he was much confined to time, as I believe
the steamer that was conveying him to

Syria could only remain forty-eight hours at
Alexandria, where he much wished to have
an interview with the Pacha on matters of
great commercial importance.
He landed late on Thursday night, and
sent immediately to ask for an audience on
the following day, which the Pacha declined,
on the score that it would interrupt his religious
duties, but appointed the day after,
which equally interfered with those of Sir
M. M——. In consequence of the badness
of the weather, and the distance of more
than two miles to the Viceroy's palace, Sir
M. M——was unable to walk, and as his
religious scruples prevented him from using
any beast of burthen, he had at last recourse
to a sort of sedan chair, for which he, with
difficulty, procured bearers.
He set off in full-dress costume, with his
massive sheriff's chain, and a military hat
and feather. This unusual appearance naturally
created a good deal of observation,

and one of the Pacha's inferior attendants
announced that he had seen a dressed image
in a glass box, carried into the palace, sent
from the English idolaters.
We took a walk in the garden of the
palace, which is pretty from looking immediately
on the sea. Adjoining it, is what
was the Pacha's harem, but is now converted
into a lodging for illustrious strangers. The
only remains of the live stock of the harem
are said to be two of his wives, of very respectable
and advanced ages; one of whom,
from her literary attainments, affords him
the pleasure of reading to him the translations
of the most interesting articles in the
English and French papers. This recreation
he only allows himself after nine in the
evening, when all his official labours are
ended for the day.
We dined at our Vice-Consul's, very
agreeably, and accompanied Mrs. Larking
to a pretty but very hot little theatre, where

we were joined by Monsieur and Madame
Barot, brother of Odillon, the deputy. They
were just married, and going into perfect
exile, by Mons. Barot's accepting the situation
of Consul at Manilla. I thought her a
very pretty and enterprising young Frenchwoman;
but she proved to be one of our own
countrywomen, a daughter of the scientific
Captain Manby.
We called to take leave of Mons. and
Madame Pastrée, from whom we had met
with great attention and civility. We regretted
much having missed Mons. and
Madame Joseph Pastree, another branch of
the family, who had gone up the Nile.
Mons. Chacaton went to the Pacha's levée,
for the purpose of giving the last touches to
Mehemet Ali's portrait, which is generally
considered the best likeness ever done of
him. Our Consul was unable to give us a
clean bill of health, which was the more
provoking, as, had we sailed on the day

originally fixed, the suspicious cases of
plague would not then have been officially
reported. The circumstance of Doctor
Bendiner separating from us, to shorten his
voyage, by returning through Trieste, caused
general regret. Although his talents had
had little occasion to be exercised in our
own cause, we congratulated ourselves on
the reflection that he was of eminent service
to the numerous sick poor we everywhere
found on our path; his care, trouble, and
kindness, were directed with much talent,
and were bestowed with real good-will, and
we feel it will be always a source of satisfaction
to him as well as to ourselves to look
back on the circumstances which attended
his accompanying us to the East.

JAN. 25.

—Owing to our Ex-Consul-General
Campbell's departure on board the Blazer,
our last African drive was in a procession
consisting of all the respectable Alexandrian
authorities, who accompanied him on board.
The day was bright and beautiful, and the
general effect of the magnificently-manned
fleet of about sixty men-of-war was heightened
by the view of the Pacha and the accompanying
boats, full of his attendants, rowing
through it close to our steamer. The appearance
was that of a splendid regatta;
and, that nothing should be wanting to
brighten the scene, a beautiful double rainbow
served as a cadre to the more distant
The happy feeling that we were making
our way towards home, made us so excited
and joyous, that it caused the whole
party to be unusually inattentive to the
call of dinner, which was heard as we were
losing sight of the port and its animated
The whole night fine, and my comfort
on board very materially increased, by our
obliging Commander, Mr. Waugh, giving me
up his comfortable cabin, making me independent


of the ladies' apartment, where
there were several Indian lady passengers,
who were hardly yet able to bear light
or air.

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Effects of a double rainbow—Security from lightning
in a steam-boat—Unfavourable weather—Fearful
storms — Its effects on the passengers—Alarm
—Weather improves—A general thanksgiving—
Arrival at Malta—In quarantine.


—The weather fine, at
least without rain, but the wind so high, it
was with difficulty we ladies could keep our
footing; but by choosing the lowest and
most sheltered positions, we contrived to
remain on deck the greatest part of the
In conversing with some of the officers,

we happened to advert to the fineness of the
preceding day, and the beauty of the effect
of what had appeared to us, a double rainbow;
on which one of the older sailors
shook his head very significantly, and remarked
“A rainbow in morning
Is sailors' sad warning,”
and that the wind had already shifted to
a foul quarter. Our advance was consequently
much impeded, and our expectations
of arriving at Malta on the fifth day
were considerably lessened.


—The day cloudy, but to
escape the closeness of our parlour cabin,
where the windows were constantly shut by
chilly and invalid passengers, we remained
on deck, and listened to a discussion with
regard to steam being a non-conductor of
electricity; one passenger asserting, that on
this account a steam-boat had the advantage
of being secure against lightning. All

this was delivered in very scientific language,
when, our Commander coming up and hearing
the subject of conversation, said he
regretted very much to destroy so comfortable
a theory, as the Blazer, the
very ship we were now on board of, had
been considerably damaged by lightning on
a voyage from Beyrout the July before.
However, we consoled ourselves with the
idea, that it was improbable that the only
steam-boat that had ever been struck by
lightning should again suffer from the same
cause; and likewise, that we were now
sailing at the very opposite season to that
in which the accident had occurred.
On going below, we found the table corded
round, to serve as a point d'appui to our
plates and glasses, so much had the motion
of the ship increased. It blew what the
officers called fresh, but what appeared to
me to deserve a stronger term, as one
could not remain steady without clinging

for support to the cots, or holding the sides
of the vessel.


—The swell increasing,
and the wind being contrary, we had not
made more than forty-eight knots during
twenty-four hours. The increase of motion
had rendered it necessary to secure even the
dining-room chairs by cords; they, however,
were little occupied, as general malaise
prevailed among the passengers, and
only the persevering whist party stood their
ground till ten, when we all retired to our
berths, but not to rest, as the wind blew in
violent and fearful gusts, which made the
motion of the steamer quite intolerable, as
each heavy wave struck the bottom of our
little vessel.
The Commander came down, saying the
night was pitch dark and rainy, with symptoms
of a regular gale of wind. This prediction
was very speedily verified. A
violent shower of hail was the precursor,

followed by loud peals of thunder, with
vivid flashes of forked lightning, which
played up and down the iron rigging with
fearful rapidity. At one moment the flash
passed so immediately between the Commander
and the man at the wheel, that each
believed the other struck by it. The sea,
which had been getting up during the last
forty-eight hours, now rose mountains high,
and lashed the sides of the ship with such
fury, that there were moments when those
on deck thought she would not live through
the trial.
She presently was struck by a sea, which
came over the paddle boxes, soon followed
by another, which, coming over the fore-castle,
effected an entrance through the skylights
and left four feet of water in the
officers' cabin. The vessel seemed disabled
by this stunning blow; the bowsprit and
fore part of the ship were for some moments
under water, and the officer stationed at that

part of the ship described her as appearing,
during that time, to be evidently sinking;
and declared that for many seconds he saw
only sea. The natural buoyancy of the
ship at last allowed her to right herself, and
during the short lull (of three minutes) her
head was turned, to avoid the danger of
running too near the coast of Lybia, which,
to the more experienced, was the principal
cause of alarm; for had the wheels given
way, which was not improbable, from the
strain they had undergone, nothing could
have saved us, though we had been spared all
other causes for apprehension.
From my little cabin, which was immediately
at the foot of the stairs, and where
I had been joined by George, we distinctly
heard all that passed on deck.
“She will never make head against such
another sea.”
“I never witnessed such a gale.”
“The lightning has struck the ship!”
“Batten down the hatches!”
“What can be done for those poor women
below?” &c.
These remarks made our Commander's
more reassuring language very little effective,
as he repeatedly came down to inquire after
us. The cries of poor Mrs. S—— to her
husband, not to leave her, as she gave herself
up to despair, were the only sounds of distress
we heard. Mrs. S. P——, (another
Indian passenger, who was taking her little
girl to England,) remained perfectly still,
though nearly dead from terror. Poor
Christine was very composed, but touched
me much by the proof she afforded of unselfishness
at the moment of danger.
Minney did not wake till the dreadful rush
of water into the cabin.
The only passenger who left his side of the
ship for ours, was Mr. C … r, who, during
the early part of the evening, had been
talking to me of his prospects of happiness,
in so soon rejoining his wife and children,
from whom he had been separated for some
years, by a prolonged residence in India.
He had gone on deck at the moment the
storm seemed at its height, and on coming
down to us, suggested that we should not
satisfy ourselves by praying privately for
deliverance from such imminent peril, but
begged that he might join in our supplications,
and in humbling ourselves before
Heaven, from whence alone we could expect
I succeeded in reaching the fore-cabin,
which I at first thought impracticable, as
even the steward could not keep his footing.
Poor Mrs. S——'s appearance first struck
me; she appeared like a beautiful spectre,
pale as ashes, with her long black hair

falling over her shoulders. On communicating
to her and Mrs. P——, Mr. C … r's
proposition of our assembling to join in
prayer, it was met with the greatest eagerness
and gratitude.
We all knelt round the cabin, as Mr.
C … r made a very simple but forcible
prayer. A moment of calm seemed restored
to the minds of the most agitated, during
this act of short, but I believe most intense
I never can forget the moments of agony
I passed previously to this period, deeply
touched by the calmness of —— who
appeared to be only conscious of the degree
of danger to which Minney and myself were
For although there was not a moment in
which I lost all hope, yet the image of death
was most strongly before me, and I trust I

shall never cease to remember the train of
awful reflections it suggested, and the feelings
of gratitude towards Heaven with which
I was impressed, and which various circumstances
so powerfully excited during our time
of peril.
With daylight the fearful part of the hurricane
gave way, and we were now in the
direction of Candia, no longer indeed contending
against the wind, but the sea still
surging and impetuous, and no lull taking
place during twelve hours, to afford the
opportunity of regaining our track, from
which we had deviated about 150 miles.
The sea had so completely deluged the lower
part of the ship, that it was with difficulty
that sufficient fire could be made to afford
us even coffee for breakfast. Dinner was not
to be thought of.
I was persuaded to go on deck, to see

what was called a fine sight, but the still
tremendous height of the waves caused my
feelings to be much more akin to terror
than admiration, and the idea I heard suggested,
that the wind bespoke a fresh gale,
was not encouraging.
All on deck seemed to agree in the impression
of our last night's peril, and one
of the officers, who had been in the navy
thirty years, confessed that, even in the
West Indies, he had never witnessed a worse
storm, or felt in greater jeopardy. At nightfall
the ship was turned from the direction
of Candia, and although the sea was still
very rough, from not yet having had time to
subside, we had reason to be satisfied that
all was again right.
I found myself much more unreasonably
nervous and incessant in my inquiries after
the weather, than in the moment of real
cause for alarm. I was absurdly annoyed
by a beautiful Newfoundland dog belonging
to the ship taking refuge in my cabin, as he

had done the preceding night, which circumstance
had then been superstitiously
remarked upon by his ship-mates as quite an
unusual proceeding. The fact of seeing our
Commander fast asleep, was much more reassuring
to me than any other argument against
my fears, as I felt convinced he would not
be absent from the deck were his presence
the least necessary.


—The weather beautiful.
I found it almost impossible to believe it the
same sea, it now wore such a calm and placid
smile. All our passengers assembled in the
ladies' cabin, that Mrs. S—— and Mrs.
P——, who were not able to leave it, might
join in the heartfelt thanksgiving which Mr.
C … r read us, from the beautiful form of
service in our church liturgy.
In the evening the doctor reported unfavourably
with respect to Mr. J——, the
late chief-justice of Ceylon, and a poor East
Indian servant of General S——'s, who, from
his berth having been completely under water

the preceding night, had caught cold, and
was now in a violent state of delirious fever.


—The fine weather continued,
and we made five knots an hour,
notwithstanding the damage occasioned by
the loss of two paddles to each of our wheels.
We remained on deck during the whole of
this beautiful evening.


—The day most enjoyable.
We saw Mount Etna distinctly, though at
the distance of 110 miles; sailed by the
light-house of the harbour of Malta just at
sunset, and therefore too late to be admitted
into the lazaretto, but we were promised
this day should count. Our bill of health,
though marked only as suspicious, condemned
us to the extended quarantine attending
a foul one; but to arrive, and hear
such fresh news of Europe, was quite happiness
enough to make us overlook any
other consideration.


—We found Sir Henry
Bouverie had secured for us the most comfortable

quarters, at Fort Manuel, opposite
those prepared for Sir Robert Stopford, on
his return from Vourla. We collected furniture
to add to our own provision, and
soon found ourselves most comfortably
established; our view of the sea and the
harbour very pretty, and nothing served to
remind us of being in quarantine, but the
fear the guardians shewed of our touching
them, a lady having lately caused the Capitano
to be detained in the Lazaretto for fourteen
days, by having touched him with her parasol!
The melancholy death of the poor
Indian servant, which occurred two days
after our arrival, gave us some cause to
apprehend that our twenty-one days' quarantine
would be reckoned from the day of
the poor man's burial.

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(No. I.)


THE writer of these pages having lately
passed some months in the Levant, where
he had opportunities of judging those
countries with his own eyes, and likewise
the advantage of hearing from well-informed
persons the views of all parties concerned,
directly or indirectly, in the momentous
question that now agitates Europe; having
also given that question much anxious consideration;
he cannot bring his mind to any
other conclusion than that England appears
to be acting not only in great ignorance of

the real state of affairs in the East of
Europe, but is manifestly losing sight of
what is also to her a matter of high import,
how that question is connected with her
interests in India.
It has been, he believes, assumed (an assumption
founded on the personal dislike
the late Sultan Mahmoud was known to
bear Mehemet Ali,) that the latter is in
reality, though secretly, the friend of Russia;
it is possible that this sentiment may have
been in some degree imbibed by our Ambassador
at the Porte, and that his enthusiastic
but honest zeal for the Turkish empire
may in consequence have led him to look
upon every act or proposition of the Pacha
pretty much as the late Sultan himself
would do were he alive.
The writer has reason to think it true,
that six months ago, when the allied powers
announced to the world their determination
to settle the affairs of the East, the Porte

was then on the point of sending a negotiator
to Mehemet Ali with such powers,
and with such instructions, as would in
all probability have insured the tranquil
arrangement of the dispute without the
interference of any third party; and it is
also well known that the Sultan had already
made in January, 1837, through the medium
of Sarem Effendi (who was afterwards for a
short time Reis Effendi), much more favourable
proposals to the Pacha than those
offered to him now, viz., the sovereignty of
Egypt, with two out of the four pachalics
of Syria, which would have given to him
Damascus, the seaport of Beyrout, and the
fortress of St. Jean d'Acre.
It seems that little is known of the Pacha's
character and disposition, and still less is
remembered of his services to the Porte
during a long career. He it was who
fought the battles of the Turks in Greece;
and if the game was there lost, and the

Morea finally subdued, the Turks have to
accuse their own want of energy and forethought,
and not to blame the lack of skill
in the Pacha, who foresaw and warned the
Sultan that if he did not make more haste,
and display more vigour, the classical
interest that had been excited in Europe
in favour of Greece, would lead to active
measures being adopted for its liberation,
and he foretold that possession of that
country would be finally snatched from his
On looking into this question, one cannot
fail to perceive, that it is very much the
classical enthusiasm in favour of Greece,
by which England, in common with other
nations, allowed itself to be carried away,
that has led to the lamentable state in
which that kingdom, once an important
portion of the Ottoman dominions, is now
plunged, and which has brought us by rapid
strides to the present crisis, where we

witness on the one hand the Ottoman
empire, dispossessed of Greece, the Morea,
and the principal Greek islands, quickly
approaching its end, and Russia eager and
ready to seize upon her prey. On the
other, we see a sturdy vassal, with powers
of mind and firmness of no ordinary stamp,
strengthened by conquest, elated and encouraged
by success, who has established
for himself a position of real power which
it is idle to deny and not easy to contend
It is believed to be a fact, that Mehemet
Ali has no wish to throw off his subjection
to the Porte; he is not and never was the
ally of Russia, and if, from the number of
Frenchmen employed in his service, he has
appeared to be under the influence of France,
such impressions have been raised on incorrect
premises; for but a slight knowledge
of the man would suffice to give
conviction, that no one is so well aware of

what are his real interests as himself, and
that his decided tendencies are to an
English alliance.
It is right to add here, that the number
of French in his employ has much diminished
of late, and that if he has had so
many of them, it has been because we
threw him into the arms of the French, our
government having refused his application
that British officers should be allowed to
enter his service, and all Englishmen in
general having been discouraged from attaching
themselves to him. The French,
as a nation, have little influence with him.
The principal merchants in Egypt and
Syria are, with one exception, British.
There is but one considerable French house
at Alexandria; and the preference of us by
his son, Ibrahim Pacha, is said to be so
decided, that he has but one officer in his
service of French descent, and he is a gentleman
of Levantine birth and education.

Whereas, in other respects, he is either
served by English, or by Egyptians, whom
he had sent to England to be educated.
It is just now undoubtedly to be apprehended,
that the friendship and protection
of France shewn to the Pacha at such an
important crisis of his affairs, when all the
other great powers seem to be arrayed
against him, cannot fail to have its effects
on him. But matters having reached this
height is but a natural consequence of the
false direction given to our diplomacy in the
East; and they will, without doubt, right
themselves, when England and the Pacha
shall better comprehend their true positions,
and recur to those principles of self-interest
and mutual defence which ought, and will,
sooner or later, promote and establish an
alliance that will prove equally beneficial
and desirable to both.
The writer of these pages is convinced
that Mehemet Ali has every wish to remain

a vassal of the Porte; that is to say, a
useful, serviceable vassal; but the Porte
has conceived and encouraged a violent
hatred to the man, and has too often affected
to despise and underrate his power.
What have been the consequences? Two
successful campaigns, in which the Turkish
armies, if not annihilated, were so defeated,
so disorganized, and dispersed, that Russia
alone prevented the onward march of the
victorious army, and its occupation of Constantinople;
on one occasion, I may remark,
when our fleet was cruizing in the North
Sea, watching the Dutch!
Is then Mehemet Ali not a conqueror?
has he not a fair right to terms in some
degree adequate to his former services?
If this be not conceded, has he not claims,
after having captured the whole of the
Turkish artillery, wasted and destroyed
all means of annoyance the Porte singlehanded
could bring against him, and having

only stopped the progress of his troops
when they were on the eve of knocking at
the door of the capital itself; has he not
claims, it may be asked, to a fair consideration
of his demands in the present posture
of affairs in the East?
It may here be well to call attention to
the circumstance, that it was Mehemet Ali
who conquered the Whahabees, and preserved
for the Porte possession of Arabia;
without his aid the Porte would have lost
that country. He now keeps up there an
army of 40,000 men, and defends, for the
Porte, the Holy Cities, which he alone is
able to do, and without which possession,
all prestige—all those illusions and traditions
which hold the Mussulman empire together,
and form the sacred and religious links by
which it is bound, would at once be loosened
and finally dissolved.
Mehemet Ali wishes to remain powerful
and wealthy; he has some claims to so

much ambition. He is anxious to remain
the vassal of the Porte, and is indeed persuaded
(and late events would seem to
justify the pretension) that he is its firmest
stay. He desires that Egypt and Syria may
be conceded to him and to his family in
hereditary descent. He is ready to give up
Candia and Arabia when required to do so
by the Porte, and to pay to the latter a much
more considerable tribute than she has ever
hitherto received from those countries.
But, with regard to Candia, it must be
recollected, that that island contains a
Greek population, contented under the rule
of the Pacha, which will never again submit
to the dominion of the Porte; and as for
Arabia and the Holy Cities, who can protect
them, but the possessor of Egypt, from which
country they receive all their supplies; or
rather, from whence the army necessary for
the occupation of the country can alone be


To whom, then, does the eye of the spectator
naturally turn, on visiting the countries
of the East, but to Mehemet Ali, who alone
seems to be able, by his prominent position,
to protect and preserve, if such a thing be
possible, the integrity of the Ottoman
empire? he has in his favour similarity of
race and religion; he has power, resources,
talents, and energy; he has had various
and signal success in almost all his undertakings.
Mehemet Ali seems the only
Mussulman whose mind is of that superior
cast to qualify him to estimate at its real
value the civilization of his epoch, while he
has done nothing to alienate or disgust the
prejudices of his race. Does he not then
seem the fittest, the only instrument, indeed,
that can be brought forward to give strength,
unity, and confidence to the Ottoman empire,
and to protect her from the perfidious embraces
of her powerful neighbour?
It is certainly curious to look back on

our policy, and to contemplate the present
strength, progress, and resources of a man
we now almost refuse to treat with—a man,
too, with whom we have already negotiated
as a sovereign; for, in humble imitation of
the Porte, who granted a constitution to the
island of Samos, an island entirely inhabited
by Greeks, and governed by a Greek prince,
our authorities applied to Mehemet Ali to
induce him to grant a similar one to Candia;
thereby, one would have supposed, recognising
him as its legal possessor and
We have also lately given a higher diplomatic
character to our Consul-General in
Egypt than has been heretofore usual. We
have taken the lead in this business, and
have not been followed in it by any other
power. This certainly appears somewhat
contradictory, and recals to mind the shabbiness
of Lord Liverpool's government, that
refused to allow to Napoleon any other title

than that of General, (one, to be sure, that
was in fact his highest honour,) although it
had negotiated with him as Emperor of the
The two fleets are arrayed in the port of
Alexandria; they are in good order, and the
Turkish crews are now, it was believed,
reconciled to the circumstances that had
led to their junction with the others. They
are nearly forty sail of first-rates, and sixty
sail of all classes.
The Pacha has given himself up to the
care and personal inspection of the fleet. He
goes on board one or other of the ships
every day, and has the men manoeuvred in
his presence. He has neglected no means
of conciliation towards the Turkish portion
of the fleet; and the writer was told, that
he had had complete success. He gives the
Capitan Pacha 4000l. a-year, and pays the
other officers in proportion. The fleet is
paid monthly; and it is asserted, by official

persons, that the Pacha does not owe one
hundred thousand dollars, and that he has
the whole of one year's crop of cotton and
grain to dispose of.
It cannot be denied that his government
is unpopular amongst the lower classes; but
the discontent is principally caused by the
arbitrary and harassing manner in which
the conscription is levied—a serious evil,
that might, and ought to be, remedied, for
numerous recruits are required, to maintain
the efficiency of the large armies his present
precarious position forces him to keep up.
The army in Syria amounts to nearly
90,000 men, including 20,000 irregulars;
that of Arabia to 40,000 men; the one in
Egypt to 15,000. St. Jean d'Acre has
been lately restored, under the inspection of
Soliman Pacha, (the French Colonel Selves,)
and sixty new guns, with abundance of stores
and ammunition, have been collected there.
35,000 men man his fleets, and four new

eighty-gun ships have been recently laid on
the stocks.
As regard the Pacha's financial, commercial,
and agricultural exactions, however
contrary they may seem to justice and
wisdom, and opposed to the true principles
of political economy, it is apprehended that
the nature of his position in this respect is
not generally understood. As successor to
the property of the Mamelukes, he is the
owner of three-fifths of the Delta and cultivated
parts of Egypt; without his aid,
authority, and discipline, the Fellahs would
scarcely of themselves profit by the marvellous
fertility of this district. He furnishes
them with grain. He keeps open
and makes new canals. He makes and
keeps in repair the water-wheels necessary
for the irrigation of the land; and,
in return, he insists upon having the crop
produced at a fixed price, on which he
undoubtedly derives a considerable profit.


It is to his wisdom and vigour that the
British particularly owe the profits arising
from a considerable trade with the interior
of Syria, by Beyrout, Damascus, Scandaroon,
and Aleppo. Before his rule, commerce
did not exist there; but he subdued
the Bedouin Arabs, made them submit to
his authority, and the result is a considerable
commerce, which is yearly increasing,
and in which the English, among foreigners,
are the principal gainers. In
addition to this extension of commerce,
European merchants derive the further
advantage, that, in the territories ruled by
Mehemet Ali, the duties on imports and
exports are fixed, and suffer no vexatious
or extortionary vacillation.
The original fixed duty of 3 per cent.,
which, under the arbitrary sway of the
Pachas sent from Constantinople, was forced
up to from 16 to 30 per cent., has been by
Mehemet re-established; and it was not

supposed that the Commercial Treaty, of
August, 1838, whatever may be the ultimate
fate of Syria, could in any of its articles be
brought into action. It is thought that this
Treaty, of which so much has been said,
and on which so many brilliant prospects
for the commerce of these regions have
been founded, will remain, as it has hitherto
done, a dead letter.
Nor is there any fear, as some imagine,
that, in the event of the death of Mehemet
Ali, his eldest son, Ibrahim Pacha, would
be found wanting. Marshal Marmont tells
us, that he has considerable military talents;
and it is well known that he has a remarkable
aptitude for accounts and business,
and that, were he sovereign, many of the
manufacturing and other speculations of the
father would be discontinued. It is but fair
to add, that if there be any truth in what is
asserted, respecting his devotion to the
pleasures of the table, at least they have

never been allowed to interfere with, or impede,
the transaction of public business.
The territories of the Pacha are generally
in a more flourishing condition than they
have been in of late years, and they present
a far better picture of cultivation than any
other portion of the Ottoman dominions.
The government of the Pacha is notoriously
less obnoxious than that of the Porte to
those under its dominion who do not profess
the Mahomedan religion; in proof of which
may be brought forward the fact, that a
certain number of Jews who had expatriated
themselves have returned to the Holy Land,
and the one before stated, relating to the
present contented state of the population of
The Pacha is a most polite and engaging
old gentleman, easy of access, simple in
manner, and unincumbered by state. He
declares openly, that he knows he cannot
resist if nations combine against him, or

even cope with England; but he says, he is
now an old man, has done the State some
service, has not had altogether an obscure
career, and if he is to fall he will do so
honourably, and with arms in his hands.
He will do nothing against British interest,
or individuals, until forced to act in self-defence;
but once compelled to take a part,
he will do so with vigour. He says he can,
and will, raise the standard of his race in
Asia Minor and the Turkish European
Provinces; that he will foment a religious
war, from one end of the Ottoman dominions
to the other; that the inhabitants
will respond to his call; and that he is not
without friends, even at Constantinople.
The writer certainly heard, when there,
that the old Mussulmen looked upon the
Pacha as the only man who, in their
degenerate days, had asserted and held
up the ancient vigour and courage of their


No one can now visit Turkey without
feeling that the existence of the Ottoman
empire, if not at an end, at least, hangs on
a thread; and it is surmised, that, ardent
as Lord Ponsonby may be in its cause, and
however much he may indulge in the
hope that regeneration and strength will be
brought about by peace, reform, and economy,
he does not anticipate anything more
than a temporary preservation of the integrity
of the empire.
But, supposing the wishes of the allied
powers complied with, who is to govern
Syria? How is it to be governed? The
feeble sway of the Turks, the return of the
enervated, rapacious, interested, and extortionary
rule of three or four favourites from
Stamboul, will not be able to keep in check
its turbulent and excited people. Anarchy
will be the consequence; Russia will then
naturally step in; and no one can now
travel in that country without hearing of,

and witnessing, the exertions she is making
to secure for herself a footing and influence
Pilgrimages to the Holy Sepulchre are
encouraged to a vast extent. At Easter,
Russians, and other Greeks, flock there by
thousands; and at no period of the year is
there at Jerusalem less than from 200 to
300 of these devotees; whilst the town
itself has as many as 5,000 permanent
residents of that religion, out of 15,000,
the gross amount of the inhabitants of the
Holy City. Nothing is left undone to excite
the people to the contemplation of the power
and predominance of Russia.
Wherever you go, whether it be to the
Holy Sepulchre, or to any of the places
marked out by tradition or superstition, as
having been the scene of some miracle or
interesting fact connected with the history
of our Saviour or the Virgin, there the magnificence
and munificence of Russia is made

manifest by the display of some costly ornament
or candelabra sent by the emperor:
and a gate in the Old Wall, now closed, is
pointed out as the one through which the
Greeks, with the Grand Duke Michael at
their head, are to make their entrance into
the Holy City, when it shall be delivered
out of the hands of the Infidels. The writer
found many parts of Syria in a state of
partial insurrection, and many villages
abandoned by their inhabitants, who had
taken this step, it was said, to avoid the
conscription, and in the absence of the army,
which is concentrated on the Turkish frontier.
The writer has reason to think that the
Pacha knows that he is in great need of us;
and we ought to feel that we stand in some
need of him and his influence. We want
him to facilitate our intercourse across his
country with India, either by the Red Sea or
the Euphrates; to make either or both secure
and permanent.


Our object ought to be to make him powerful;
and at the same time that we prosecute
our project of bolstering up the Turkish
empire, to make him minister to our wants
and interests in Syria and Egypt.
The Pacha knows that, however numerous
his fleet, it dares not meet ours at sea; and
he does not forget that we could blockade
his ports and burn his ships, and could
intercept his communication with his army
at Adana and on the Taurus. He is not
ignorant that one sloop of war would be
sufficient to put an entire stop to all communication
between Arabia and Egypt, and at
once annihilate his commerce, and force his
army in that quarter to retreat, his supplies
being thus cut off.
The fortress of Aden, at the entrance of
the Red Sea, on which we have taken up a
military position, and which is an important
port for our steam navigation with Bombay,
ought never to be given up, and ought to be

so fortified, and so well garrisoned, as to
place it out of the limit of possibility that
any force the Arabians could bring against
it could subdue it. These facts ought,
therefore, to convince the Pacha and ourselves,
that our interests are bound up together;
and, so far as he is concerned, one
must admit that there is no proof he does
not give us of his disposition to serve us by
facilitating the transit of goods and passengers
from Alexandria to Suez.
Why then are we, of all people on earth,
to quarrel with him? Why are we thus to
play the game of Russia, and run the chance
of exciting a civil war, that will not fail to
open the door for her, and afford her a plea
for intervention?
The Russians are very naturally pursuing
their own objects; the French are equally
at work to forward theirs in the Mediterranean,
and attack our commerce everywhere;
while we stand looking on in apparent oblivion,

that the question is not one of merely
European interest to us, but one vitally
affecting our Indian possessions. We appear
to be unmindful of this part of the
question, and are allowing difficulties to be
got up for us in all parts of our Asiatic
possessions. Witness the late events in
Persia—the necessity for the Affghanistan
expedition—the intrigues which have given
us so much annoyance from the Napaulese,
on our north-eastern frontier—the preparations
for attack got up in the heart of our
most peaceable districts—at Kurnoul, midway
between Madras and Hyderabad, where
a depôt of upwards of 400 cannon and numerous
fire-arms, which had been manufactured
or collected there, was discovered.
The insurrection at Sattara, in the immediate
neighbourhood of Bombay and Poonah,
which place we were compelled to subdue
by force of arms. Witness the intrigues
that are exciting the Burmese against us—

the Chinese break out—and all this within
the space of two years, and almost simultaneously!
Who then can help surmising that these
inconveniences are brought about by intrigues
having the same object, though perhaps not
fostered by a combined movement—and
which extend to India on the one side, from
Petersburg through Persia; and on the other,
through the East India colonies, which we,
in 1815, were weak enough to leave in
French hands; and papers were found in
possession of the Rajah of Sattara, which
prove that he was instigated to revolt by the
Portuguese government at Goa.
The writer cannot believe the reports he
has read in the papers of the objects of
Monsieur Brunow's mission; but, if it be
true that it has been proposed that the Russians
shall occupy Asia Minor and Syria,
with her armies, whilst we shall be allowed
to have eight sail of the line in the Sea of

Marmora, and the tub thrown out to us of
possession of the island of Candia, the result
will be, the realization of all objects of
Russian ambition, and probably war between
France and ourselves; for the French cannot
but be made jealous by any project which
has for its end the giving possession to us of
that fertile island and eminently important
military post.
The writer is well aware that the island of
Candia is fertile and magnificent, that the
great harbour on its north side offers every
accommodation for a large fleet, and that it
is defended by works thrown up (by the
Venetians) for its protection; but it seems
to him that, however desirable such a conquest
might be in many points of view, it
ought to be a principal object with us to
protect our Indian interests; and that we
might effectually do so with the aid of Mehemet
Ali, without exciting the jealousy of any
other power, or incurring the chances of war.


Indeed, he thinks it may be shewn that
we might be so successful in carrying out
this project, that our communications with
India through Egypt, which are hourly
increasing and becoming more important to
us, might, in the event of Mehemet Ali's
death, or in the failure of his progeny, or of
there being none of it fit to rule that country,
throw the possession of it into our
hands, by so gradual a change, and so natural
a course of events, as scarcely to excite
the alarm or ill-will of any one. It ought
to be, however, our task to make Egypt
profitable and available to us without occupancy;
and so to link the fortunes and
interests of Mehemet Ali and his descendants
with our own, as to place him in a
state of real subjection to us, from which
neither he nor they would be able to escape.
Events are even now of themselves taking
this turn; already the Arabs on the line of
the Desert have been brought to understand

and appreciate the advantages to be derived
from a dependence on our honour and good
faith. The East India Company is served
by the camel-owners cheaper than the
Pacha himself; they receive promissory
notes, payable at the British Consul's, for
their contracts, the value of which they
sometimes allow to remain for months in
his hands.
In all disputes between natives and British,
the former resort to the British Consul
for justice, and are satisfied with his decision,
without appeal; whereas, if a native
has a dispute with one of any other nation,
he generally refers the matter to the
All, then, that we further need is, to encourage,
protect, and make a friend of
Mehemet Ali. The writer was assured,
when in Egypt, that the people in the upper
country and in Abyssinia, are anxious to
get into intercourse with us, and that they

have by them considerable quantities of
gold-dust and ivory, which they would prefer
disposing of to our merchants on the
Red Sea, to allowing these objects of commerce
to pass through the ordeal of the
Pacha's custom-houses.
The campaign in Affghanistan having, by
its effects, established our influence as far as
Herat, would it not be politic in us to place
Mehemet Ali à cheval on the Euphrates?—
perhaps to give him the occupancy of Bagdad,
and thus secure for ourselves two
peaceable communications with India, which
can alone be effected through the aid of the
He has been the first and the most successful
in discovering the secret of keeping
the Arabs in order, and we might always
rely upon his efficacious and systematic
support, for the best of all reasons, because
his alliance with us would at once give him
security for the future against all other

powers, and would increase, if not double,
his wealth and resources. On the other
hand, he would well understand our power
to paralyze his government were he refractory;
and our influence might be beneficially
exerted to ameliorate the condition, and
increase the comfort and happiness of the
interesting people the Pacha and his descendants
seem destined to govern.




(See vol. i. p. 317.)

IT has been very generally believed among
the Jews, that when God gave to Moses the
written law, He gave him also another, not
written; and that this was preserved by
tradition among the doctors of the synagogue,
until rabbi Judah, surnamed the
Holy, collected these traditions together,
and (150 B. C.) reduced them to writing.
The collection thus formed received the
name of Mishna, or Second Law. After a
while, commentaries were written on the
Mishna, and amongst these, that of rabbi

Johanas, composed about 230 A. D., and
bearing the name of Gemara, or Completion,
was the most celebrated. The Mishna
and the Gemara together, form what is
called the Jerusalem Talmud, or Doctrine;
for, after the Jews had removed in great
numbers to Babylon, the rabbis there composed
new commentaries on the Mishna,
and those, which were completed about
500 A. D., received the name of the Babylonian
Fordington Vicarage,
April 20, 1841


(See vol. i. p. 318.)

Laurel Lodge, near Barnet,
January 14th, 1841.

MY DEAR SIR, —The ground of expectation
now so prevalent among my poor brethren
concerning the Messiah, rests on the authority
of the ancient rabbins, more especially
in an ancient Talmudical book, called
But the fact is, that the rabbins themselves
differ on this point, for, according to
some, he must have appeared long ago;

and there is no stronger authority in the
Talmud why He should come now, than
there is that He should have come previously,
according to the calculation of other
But then, the question is, Why do the
Jews so universally hang to this particular
period, seeing that they did not do so previously?
My answer is, that it is not so
much the prediction of the rabbins, as it is
the change which the minds of that nation
have undergone of late years, that make
them now so sanguine concerning a decision
on this all-important head.
For years past my poor nation (by whatever
means, my limits will not allow me to
enter upon) have become restless on this
point. They applied to their rabbins, and
these pointed to this period; as a year passed
away, that restless spirit increased, and at
no period, since the days of the apostles, I
believe, have my brethren manifested such

a concern for the fulfilment of Jehovah's
promise, as at this period.
The truth is, my nation are half convinced
that they have no foundation for their
hopes, and, like a man who is spurred on by
hope and fear, they long for the decisive
Speaking scripturally, we are living in
the last days. But even without scripture
testimony, it is quite clear to me, that my
nation, who have now, for 1800 years,
remained unaltered, cannot possibly continue
so another century. Should even the
change progress at no greater rate among
them than what it did the last twenty years,
what a result must that lead to in forty or
fifty years!
I fear, my dear Sir, that you will scarcely
be able to read my German-English note.
Excuse this haste; I have just returned
from a journey, and my hands are full. I
shall be happy to furnish you with any

information I am able. Our Bible class,
I am happy to say, does well. That the
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, may
bless you with the blessing of Abraham, is,

My dear Sir,

The prayer of yours faithfully,
For Jesus' sake,


To the Hon. William Cowper.


(See vol. i. p. 318.)

THE following curious communication has
recently appeared in a Jersey paper:


“SIR, —For the information of such of
your readers as sympathize with the Jews
in their present dispersion, and who desire
their restoration to the land of their fathers,
I herewith send you extracts from a German
newspaper, which ‘betoken a movement
among the continental Jews in relation to

the late crisis in Syria,’ as the editor remarks:—
“‘We have a country, the inheritance of
our fathers, finer, more fruitful, better situate
for commerce, than many of the most
celebrated portions of the globe. Environed
by the deep-delled Taurus, the lively shores
of the Euphrates, the lofty steppes of Arabia,
and of rocky Sinai, our country extends
along the shores of the Mediterranean,
crowned by the towering cedars of Lebanon,
the source of a hundred rivulets and brooks,
which spread fruitfulness over shady dales,
and confer wealth on the contented inhabitants.
A glorious land! situate at the farthest
extremity of the sea which connects
three-quarters of the globe, over which the
Phœnicians, our brethren, sent their numerous
fleets to the shores of Albion and the
rich coasts of Lithuania, near both to the
Red Sea and the Persian Gulf; the perpetual
sources of the traffic of the world, on the

way from Persia and India, to the Caspian
and Black Sea, the central country of
the commerce between the East and the
“‘Every country has its peculiarity;
every people their own nature. Syria, with
its extensive surrounding plains unfavourable
to regular cultivation, is a land of transit,
of communication, of caravans. No
people on the earth have lived so true to
their calling from the first as we have done.
We are a trading people, born for the country
where little food is necessary, and this is furnished
by nature almost spontaneously to
the temperate inhabitants, but not for the
heavy soils of the ruder north.
“‘In no country of the earth are our
brethren so numerous as in Syria; in none
do they live in as dense masses; so independent
of the surrounding inhabitants; in none
do they persevere so steadfastly in their faith
in the promise of the fathers, as on the beautiful

shores of the Orontes. In Damascus
alone live near 60,000.
“‘The Arab has maintained his language
and his original country; on the Nile, in the
deserts, as far as Sinai, and beyond the Jordan,
he feeds his flocks. In the elevated
plains of Asia Minor the Turkoman has conquered
for himself a second country, the
birthplace of the Osman; but Syria and
Palestine are depopulated. For centuries
the battle-field between the sons of Alla
and of the Arabian wilderness, the inhabitants
of the West and the half-nomadic Persians,
none have been able to establish themselves
and maintain their nationality; no
nation can claim the name of Syrian. A
chaotic mixture of all the tribes and tongues,
remnants of migrations from the north and
south, they disturb one another in the possession
of the glorious land where our fathers
for so many centuries emptied the cup
of joy and woe, where every clod is drenched

with the blood of our heroes when their bodies
were buried under the ruins of Jerusalem.
“‘The power of our enemies is gone, the
angel of discord has long since mown down
their mighty host, and yet ye do not bestir
yourselves, people of Jehovah! What hinders?
Nothing but your own supineness.
“‘Think you that Mehemet Ali or the
Sultan in Stamboul will not be convinced
that it would be better for him to be the
protector of a peaceful and wealthy people,
than with infinite loss of men and money to
contend against the ever-repeated, mutually
provoked insurrections of the Turks and
Arabs, of whom neither the one nor the
other are able to give prosperity to the
“‘Our probation was long, in all countries,
from the North Pole to the South.
There is no trade, no art, which we have not

practised, no science in which we cannot
shew splendid examples. Where will you
find better proclaimers of civilisation to the
wild tribes of the east?
“‘People of Jehovah! raise yourselves
from your thousand years' slumber! Rally
round leaders; have really the will; a Moses
will not be wanting. The rights of nations
will never grow old; take possession of the
land of your fathers; build a third time the
temple of Zion, greater and more magnificent
than ever. Trust in the Lord, who has
led you safely through the vale of misery
thousands of years. He also will not forsake
you in your last conflict.'
“These extracts shew that the Jews are
exhorting one another to return to, and take
possession of their father-land, now that
their God is ‘drying up the waters of the
great river Euphrates,’ to ‘prepare a way’
for them, by the combined forces of Turkey

acting against the Egyptians, as predicted in
Daniel, xi. 40—43,* Rev. xvi. 12.
“For this is the year ordained of God for
reinstating the descendants of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob, in their own land, no more
to be dispossessed of it by the Gentiles.
(Jer. xvi. 14, 15.) And, when returning,
God will give them the tabernacle, and the
ark, and the altar of incense, which he commanded
Jeremiah to hide in a hollow cave
in Mount Nebo, when their ancestors were
going into captivity in Babylon. For ‘then
the Lord shall shew them these things, and
the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the
cloud also, as it was shewn unto Moses, and
as when Solomon desired that the place
might be honourably sanctified.'—See
2 Mac. ii. 1—8.
“From the subjoined calculation, drawn
* Turkey is there called “the King of the North,”
and Egypt “the King of the South,” because those
countries are north and south of the Jews' country.

from scriptural data, it is obviously proved
that the year 1840 terminated the ‘2,300
days’ or years, ordained by God for giving the
Jews over to the Gentiles, by them to ‘be
trodden under foot for their transgression of
the daily sacrifice.'—(Dan. viii. 13, 14;
Luke, xxi. 20—24.) We may therefore expect
the Jews to ‘be received unto mercy,'
in their own land, this present year 1841,
and to commence rebuilding their cities and
the temple as in former years, as predicted
in Jer. xxxi. 31—40; Ez. xxxvi. 24—38;
xxxvii.; and as spoken of by themselves in
the extracts I send you. And ‘then shall
the sanctuary be cleansed,' as predicted in
Dan. viii. 14, (some say in 1843.)
“According to Dan. ix. 24, those 2,300
days, or years, began 70 weeks, or 490
years, before the death and resurrection
of Christ
490 years.
“From these 490 years, deduct the natural
life of Christ
34 years.
“And it proves, that those 2,300 days,
or years, began, B.C.
456 years.
“To these 456 years, add 1,840 years,
and 4 years for the error of the vulgar
era, in all 1,844 years
1,844 years.
“And you have the number of the days,
or years of the vision
2,300 years.
“This subject receives additional force
and interest from the following extract from
a Liverpool publication of December last:
‘With such anxiety are the Jews regarded
by the different Cabinets of Europe, that it
is upon this issue, Who shall possess the
land which God gave to their forefathers?
that the question of peace or war now depends,
and their return to Palestine, under
the guarantee of the Allied Powers, has
been suggested as the most effectual mode
of preserving peace among the nations.
‘The dry bones' are beginning to shake,
and appearances bring the words of the
Psalmist to our minds: ‘Thou shalt arise

and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to
favour her, yea, the set time is come, for thy
servants take pleasure in her stones, and
favour the dust thereof.'
“If these observations be found to accord
with Divine Revelation, the present position
of the Jews not only presents a most interesting
object for contemplation, but must
also lead every serious inquirer to admire
the watchfulness of Jehovah over this ancient
people during the lapse of so many ages,
and at the same time to awaken the attention
of professing Christians to the great
events that must yet precede, and shall follow,
their restoration to the land of their
fathers, recorded in Ez. xxxvi., xxxvii.,
xxxviii., xxxix.; Luke, xxi. 24—28; Romans,

“Yours, &c.

St. Helier's, Jan. 20, 1841.”

T. C. Savill, Printer, 107, St. Martin's Lane.


13, Great Marlborough Street, May, 1841.


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Date: (unknown) (Electronic edition revised September 2006) . Author: Damer, Mary Georgiana Emma Seymour Dawson, d. 1848 (Electronic edition revised LMS).
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