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Full text of "From Pharaoh to Fellah"

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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 
Brigham Young University-Idaho 



http://archive.org/details/frompharaohtofelOObell 



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From Pharaoh to Fellah. 



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From 



Pharaoh to Fellah 



BY 



C. F. MOBERLY BELL, 

AUTHOR OF "EGYPTIAN FINANCE," ''KHEDIVES AND PASHAS," ETC. 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEORGES MONTBARD 



ENGRAVED BY CHARLES BARB A NT 



LONDON 
WELLS GARDNER, D A R T O N, & CO. 

2 Paternoster Buildings 




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Fo7S-3 



CONTENTS. 



Prologue 



PAGE 

I 



CHAPTER I. 

Marseilles — Passengers — Corsica— Napoleon and Monte Christo — A political 

discourse — A pathetic and poetic appeal ...... 5 

CHAPTER II. 

Alexandria — A well-meant effort at the poetical — An artistic discussion — Per- 
spective and Ru-tew-shan — Odours of Araby — The bombardment — 
Alexandria of the Ptolemies — Rhacotis — Heptastadium — Museum — 
Library — The oldest street in the world — The Soma — The Paneum — 
Theatre — Canopic Gate — Ca^sareum — Nineteenth-century Vandals — 
Pompey's Pillar — Serapeum . . . . . . . .14 

CHAPTER III. 

Ramleh — Mahmoudieh Canal — Nicopolis — An Egyptian judge — The luxury of 
the law — Consular protection or free-trade in crime — The temple of 
Arsinoe — The hair of Berenice — An early Christian cemetery . .23 

CHAPTER IV. 

Alexandria to Cairo — Egyptian railway administration — Harmless warfare — 
Surrender of Kafr Dawar — Blunt patriots — Taking of Tantah — Taking 
of Cairo ........... 30 

CHAPTER V. 

The Shepheard Angel — Cairo streets — Shepheard's — Shepheard king Luigi — 
The Shepheard smile — The Shepheard dinner — Shepheard chickens, 
their pedigree and training — Cairo in twenty-four hours — Cook's tours — 
Cook the national schoolmaster — A large order . , , . • 37 



vi CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER VI. 



PAGE 



Cairo from Mokhattam — Seventy centuries — Cairo of "Arabian Nights" — 
Cairo according to Ariosto — The Muski — Khan Khalili — Cairo of the 
Khedives — Sequence of history — A vast plan . . . . -43 

CHAPTER VII. 

Pyramids of Ghizeh — Webbe's description, 1580 a.d. — Knolles, 1600 
a.d. — Sphinx — Patronising Harriet and ingenious Verulam — Emerson 
and Stoddard — Recent excavation — Legend of Tutmes IV. and Sphinx 
— Tutmes and Wilson — Fellow pilferers — Chronological discussion 
— Archbishop Ussher — A compromise ..... . 52 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Boolak — Museum not inappropriately situated — Khafra — The wooden man — 
Immutability of Egyptian type — Egyptian alternate slave and rebel 
— Mummies — Sekenen Ra — Aahmes — Seti — Ramses II. and III. — 
Pinotem — De mortuis — Comparative chronology — Antiquity of 
Egyptian art — Petrified prayers — Vulgar pyramids — Hymn to Amen 
Ra — Tale of the Doomed Prince . . . . . . • 5^ 

CHAPTER IX. 

History— The first man dissatisfied — Mena migrates to Memphis — Thinis the 
religious centre — Memphis the capital — Origin of belief in duality of 
existence — First 1000 years Egyptian history, prosperous — The next 
900 years, power declines — Abraham — Rise of Thebes — Egypt abandons 
non-intervention policy — Upper and Lower Egypt united — Prosperity 
of 200 years — Darkness of 1200 years — Hyksos invasion — Joseph and 
his brethren — Apathy of conquered — Civil war — Hyksos expelled — 
Thebes the capital and Memphis commercial centre . . . 7 1 

CHAPTER X. 

The Dovecot flies south — A luxurious offer — Rail to Asyoot — The Pasha and the 
Nabob — Coinage and character — Secretary and interpreter — Crichton 
and Sara — Capitulations — Pyramids — Zeitoun — St. George and Horus 76 



CONTENTS. vii 



CHAPTER XI. 



PAGE 



Asyoot — No kourbash, no taxes — Mosquito nets of Herodotus — Fanciful origin 
of the Lycopolis — Asyoot en fete — Sub-Mudir — Egyptian in authority 
— Turk versus Egyptian — Can the Egyptian rule ?— Bazaars — Apathy of 
sellers — Asyoot trade past and present — Asyoot worthies — American 
Mission — Reform of Coptic Church from within and from without — 
Sincerity of converts — Education of pupils and education of people — 
Both ab initio — Asyoot Cemetery — View from Libyan range — Pasha and 
Mudir — Information at Asyoot via Cairo . . . . . .82 

CHAPTER XII. 

The Cleopatra — Capuan luxury — Aboutiz — Gow-el-Kebir — Circumstantial alle- 
gory — Disgraceful hoax of a Pope — Saint or serpent — Sara's credulous 
scepticism — Girgeh — Sara on the Turk — Sohag — Rivers all swindles — 
The Nile at a gallop — Value of official information — Cost of government 
in Egypt — Priapus v. Sir Gardner — Abydos — Tomb of Osiris — Roman 
affection for Memnon misleading — A Sunset — Keneh — Anxiety of 
Mudir — Sara's greatness — Uancing-girls — Osiris at Abydos — Egyptolo- 
gists and myths . . . . . . . . . .92 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Denderah — Temples not places of worship, but ceremonial — A religious cere- 
mony — Royal road to study of Arabic — A river pedlar — Capitulations 
again — Pro and con — Egyptian of twelfth century — Saladin — Origin 
of Capitulations — Coptos — Koos — Unexpected visit — Dignity going 
begging — An unwilling Sheik el Beled — Results of cultivation in Egypt 
— Alleged over-taxation of Fellaheen — Secret of poverty of Egyptian 
landowners — An instance — Ignorance as to own financial position — 
Karnac in sight . . . . * . . . . . 103 

CHAPTER XIV. 

History — Thebes comparatively modern — Retrospect, sixth to seventeenth 
dynasty — Eighteenth dynasty — Foreign wars necessary — Populous No 
— Aahmes, Amenhoteb, and Tutmes — Expansion of Egypt — Queen 
Hatasou — Colonial policy — Tutmes III. — Foreign conquests — The land 
of Canaan in the hieroglyphs — Amenhoteb III. — The Colossi — The 
first European reformer in Egypt — A religious reformation — Change 
of dynasty . . . . . . . . . . • IT 7 



viii CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER XV. 

PAGE 

History — The Ramesides — Ramses I. — Seti I. — Ramses II. — An heroic exploit 
and mild rebuke — Seti II. — The first Judenhetze — Moses a general in 
the Soudan — The Exodus in Scripture and papyrus — Ramses III. at 
home — At war — A naval battle — Rise of the Priestly power — Priest- 
kings of San — Egypt the bone of contention between Ethiopia and 
Assyria — Assyrian conquest — Thebes pillaged — Dodecharchy — Saite 
Dynasty — Prophetic warning against Suez Canal — Persian conquest — 
Visits of Herodotus and Plato — Alexander the Great — The Trinity of 
Thebes . . . . . . . . . . . .122 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Post-haste — The Pasha's energy — Sara on archaeology and Ismail — Reform 
and popularity — The effect on the governing classes — Effect on the 
governed — The date of English evacuation — Erment — Esneh — Reli- 
gious toleration — Edfoo — Herodotus — "Contrariness" of Egyptians . 130 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Silsilis — Assouan — English officers and Egyptian troops — Juvenal at Syene — 
An unkind prophecy — Will the Egyptian fight ? — Assouan railway 
station — An unwelcome telegram — Elephantine — Philce — Southward to 
the Cataract — The Reis rebels — Value of a Pasha's life — Rock ahead 

— The Reis in command — Agonising moments — Safety and baksheesh 138 

r 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Southward to Luxor — Popular opinion in Egypt — Origin of Arabi movement — 
Gladstone and Blunt — Penultimatums — The Arabi myth — Egypt for the 
Egyptians — Our false start — Things done and undone — Shelley, Keats, 
and Leigh Hunt on the Nile — The Nabob as a poet — A new passenger 146 

CHAPTER XIX. 

The new arrival — Sleep a luxury — The sleepless Joseph — Joseph the creator 
of Egypt — A new theory — Fayoum and the Land of Goshen — The Bahr 
Jussef the work of Patriarch Joseph — Tradition of Murtadi — The crea- 
tion of the Fayoum — An original derivation — The field of Zoan and the 
land of Ham — Israelite exodus — Did they cross the Nile? — The bless- 
ing of Jacob — Jacob's will and testament — A new reading of an old 
text — Qualified approbation — Back to Shepheard's . . . . 157 



CONTENTS. ix 



CHAPTER XX. 



l'AGE 



History — Egypt under the Persians, Macedonians, Ptolemies, and Romans — 
Bablun — Ezra and Elijah — The Mosque el Amr — A kourbashed pillar 
— A strait gate — The Ommiades — The Abbasides — Tuloonides — 
Mosque el Tuloon — Egypt the seat of the Khalifate — El Kahira — 
Mosque el Azhar— Mosque el Hakim — Saladin — Ayubites — Mamluk 
period — Mosque el Kalaun — Mosque Sultan Hassan — Legend of the 
Bloody Mosque — Mosque Kait Bey — Mosque el Ghoriya — Egypt a 
Turkish Pashalic — The generous Egyptians — Rise of Mohamed Ali — 
Europe in Egypt — Ibrahim — Abbas — Said — Ismail — Tewfik — French 
intrigues — Arabi revolt — England in Egypt — Three policies . .172 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Cairo again — Sakkara and the Tomb of Tih — An Egyptian Pepys — Mitra- 

henny — Dervishes — Home again . . . . . . .184 



Apologue 189 

Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . .191 

Preface 193 



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From Pharaoh to Fellah. 



PROLOGUE. 

IT was in the early part of the year 188-, and in the bright courtyard of the 
Grand Hotel de Noailles, that they met. The Scribbler, an unmistakable 
Briton, was moodily inquiring of the waiter whether eggs in Marseilles were 
invariably laid addled, and whether coal was the sole ingredient of black 
coffee, when his eye caught that of another stranger regarding him with some 
curiosity. The grumblings ceased, and with an exclamation of "Sketcher, 
by Jove ! " the Scribbler sprang from his chair with enthusiasm. The terrified 
look of the waiter at this unusual form of insanity in an Englishman recalled 
the latter to a sense of his nationality, and falling back into his Anglo-Saxon 
shell, he said quietly, "How are you, Sketcher?" 

The man addressed was evidently no Englishman. The light-blue eyes, 
under straw-coloured eyebrows, betrayed the Gothic basis as unmistakably as 
the light, lithe figure showed the admixture of the Latin — an unmistakable 
Frenchman with Burgundy in all his veins. 

" And what on earth brings you here ? " said the first. 

" Sketching, of course, old fellow ! What else have I done since the days 
at Clareton when you made me do your French exercises for you, and I in 
revenge got you a hundred lines by sketching the loves of the Integral and 
Differential Calculi in the fly-sheet of your ' Todhunter ' ? A sketcher with 
nothing to sketch, in search of the picturesque, and with at least as much right 
to be in my own country as you have. And you ? " 

" A scribbler in search of material — material that must be solid and dull, 
such as no man can read, so that I may obtain a reputation for untold wisdom 
and inscrutable depth, be voted a bore without a trace of frivolity, be elected 
a member of a statistical society, and eventually, in my toothless old age, be 
considered worthy of a seat in the Cabinet, or the editorship of a comic paper." 



2 SCRIBBLER AND SKETCHER. 

" And in search of it ? " 

" I am going to Egypt. After mature consideration, I fancy that I shall 
find there precisely the style of subject I require. In the first place, the British 
public took some interest in the country last year, so naturally has none now ; 
then it has been so much written about, that there can be nothing new to say ; 
thirdly, we have vital interests in the country, so it is certain that a book on 
the subject will not be read ; and, above all, the subject has been so frequently 
discussed in Parliament, that one can rely on utter ignorance of essential 
facts." 

" What rubbish ! You are going there, first, because you like it ; second, 
because you know that it has become a British possession d fieu prh ; and, 
thirdly — excuse the brutal frankness, — because it's the only subject on which 
you know anything. Egypt ! the dream of my life ! I would give my head to 
come too ! " 

"You would like to come ! then why not join me? " said the Scribbler, with 
a second access of genuine enthusiasm. "You needn't," he added, relapsing 
into his old tone, "give your head, though you would probably sacrifice your 
lungs and your liver. You would get typhoid in Alexandria, of course, and 
probably cholera in Cairo ; but, after all, the hospitals are the cleanest places 
to live in in Egypt, and you might get over it. What do you say ? " 

" Say ! " said the Sketcher, laughing. " Why, that your invitation is so 
cordial, your picture so lively, that I've half a mind to take you at your 
word. To me, Egypt has always presented one inscrutable puzzle, one ever- 
increasing mystery, and perhaps, if wef'went there together, you would help me 
to solve it." 

"And what is the mystery? The riddle of the Sphinx? the sources of 
the Nile ? or the explanation of British policy in Egypt ? " 

"Neither; but one more difficult than either — the connection between 
Egypt of the Pharaohs and of the Fellah ! " 

" I hate all mysteries or riddles, and can't even understand the question of 
yours. The connection between Pharaoh and the Fellah has generally been 
one of stout hippopotamus hide, called a kourbash. I fear there's no difficulty 
in understanding that ! " 

" How dense you are, or pretend to be ! Listen, and I will explain myself 
down to the level of your practical intelligence. The Egypt of the Pharaohs 
is the Egypt of an art hardly absolutely inferior to that of Greece itself, and, 
as its parent, relatively superior to it — the Egypt of a science which may be 
similarly compared to our own — the Egypt with a literature, the remnants of 



PHARAOHS AND FELLAHS. 3 

which, scant as they are, show traces of majesty worthy of Homer — the Egypt 
of an empire embracing half the known world. Such is Egypt of the Pharaohs. 
Now turn to Egypt of the Fellah — a people who for hundreds of years have 
given us nothing above the literature of a Kaffir, without a trace of artistic 
perception, incapable of all but the lowest manual labour, unfit to govern, not 
a nation only, but a village — a people fallen from the highest to the lowest. 
Does not this contrast present a riddle worthy of solution ? " 

"Certainly it would," said the Scribbler, "if any such contrast existed, but 
it does not. You make the common error of assuming that the Egypt of the 
Pharaohs and the Egypt of the Fellah are two distinct epochs, instead of two 
distinct classes, always existing side by side. Egypt of the Pharaoh and of the 
Fellah existed 7000 years ago, and the same Egypt exists to-day. In the 
Fellah there has been no change ; in the Pharaoh there has been much. The 
same men to-day till the fields, tend the same cattle, work the same shadoofs 
make the same bricks, as in the hieroglyphs of thousands of years ago. One 
foreign ruler has followed another, styled either Pharaoh or Ptolemy, Caliph or 
Khedive, leaving behind them monuments either of their greatness or their 
littleness ; but this is not a change in the people, who are to-day what you have 
described them, and what they have ever been within the record of seven 
thousand years." 

"Then you give the Egyptian no part whatever? " 

" If you mean by the Egyptian the Fellah of Egypt Proper of to-day — the 
Egyptian of Arabi — the Egyptian of Blunt, and of the ravers of " Egypt for the 
Egyptians" — I give them one unbroken past, a servitude of 7000 years, during 
which they have been hewers of wood and drawers of water to successive 
conquerors." 

" Even then they must have taken something from their conquerors. You 
so-called English yourselves are but a melange of different conquering races, 
and probably owe your best qualities to your conquerors." 

" Precisely ; but there is this peculiarity about the Egyptian : always con- 
quered, the prey first of one conqueror and then of the other, he is himself the 
real conqueror in process of time. The conquering race passes over him, but 
leaves no trace. Just as Indian wheat or American cotton-seed, planted in 
Nile mud, becomes at the second crop Egyptian wheat and Egyptian cotton, 
taking its nature from the soil, so the human seed — mixed though it has been 
with Ethiopian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, the race Egyptian has 
always re-asserted'itself and remained one and the same, physically and morally. 
I believe, if you were to obliterate the race, and people the country with settlers 



4 EXPERIENCE AND PREJUDICE. 

from Nova Scotia, you would in a few generations have the lying, licentious,, 
and easily governed Egyptian of to-day." 

" Then you believe in no regeneration of Egypt ? " 

"How can there be regeneration if there has been no birth? Egypt as a 
nation has never existed ; that is, of course, as an independent nation under 
its own rulers. Whether such an existence is possible to her in the future, who 
can say ? None of her numerous conquerors has ever tried the experiment." 

"Are you English trying it?" 

" Ah ! that is a question that requires a long answer ; but, if you are 
serious, come with me and study for yourself both Pharaoh and Fellah." 

" But are you serious ? Will you not feel like Sinbad, with a man of paints 
and pencils on your shoulders — a pure idealist — absolutely ignorant of all 
relating to the country ? " 

"On the contrary, my dear fellow, you will be invaluable to me. Experience, 
after all, is frequently only another name for prejudice ; you shall correct me 
with the impartiality due to utter ignorance, and instruct me in the beauties 
of oriental dirt, which I have never been able to appreciate. You shall sketch 
with the pencil, and I with the pen ; you shall depict the Fellah, and I pro- 
pound the Pharaoh; you sometimes travelling into my domain and I into yours, 
we shall together find the happy mean." 

"And the result?" 

" That we shall amuse and instruct ourselves, if no one else, and add one 

more book on Egypt." 

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p 



CHAPTER I. 

Marseilles — Passengers — Corsica — Napoleon a?id Monte Chris to — A political 
discourse — A pathetic and poetic appeal. 

A FEW days later, and the Messageries steamer Mceris, with 
some hundreds of passengers, and its full comple- 
ment of two stewards and a cabin-boy to attend to their 
wants, was struggling out of Port la Joilette. in face of 
a light head wind. 

Verily, in sober truth, and not satirically 
the finest view in all la belle France is 

seen as we leave its grand old Pho- ^ 

caean port. " If Paris had its Canne- 
biere, it would be Marseilles," say 
its shoppy citizens ; but Marseilles 
could give Paris a hundred Canne- 
bieres, and still, from the height of its 
2400 years, afford to look down upon 
its gaudy parvenu rival. Beautiful it 
looks now, nestling at the feet of its 
golden Virgin of Notre Dame de la 
Garde, glittering like a sun lighthouse, 




OUR FELLOW-PASSENGERS. 



guarded by its saints militant, Forts Saint Jean and Saint Nicholas. The 
Chateau d'lf and the Isle Maire stand stern and forbidding, but beyond we 

see the lovely coast of Provence, rich in all colour from 
sun and sea and sky. 

The shouting, which seems necessary to safe navigation 
for the first few hours, was gradually toning down ; and the 
sailors, settling themselves into little groups against the 
bulwarks, and furtively smoking the vilest caporal from their 
short pipes, were discussing their experiences of the few 
days they had passed among the land-lubbers. The mono- 
tonous throb of the engines, the flapping of the cordage, the 
premonitory groans of a few passengers, who were inviting 
sea-sickness in their cabins, . and the rattling of plates in 
the pantry, were the only sounds which reached the 
Sketcher and the Scribbler as they tramped the deck, 
and discussed the age, station, calling, and relationship 
of the few passengers who had not already gone below. 

There was a portly Britisher, whose sense of dignity, 
and a desire to prove that he individually represented a 
nation that ruled the waves, was struggling hard with a 
conviction that the waves should be ruled straighter, and 
that at this particular juncture they were acquiring more 
control than was becoming over the region covered by his 
capacious white waistcoat. The mingled dignity and help- 
lessness of his demeanour recalled irresistibly the Turtle 
of Wonderland ; and the two fresh-looking daughters who 
were with him fitted naturally to their sobriquets of Turtle- 
Doves. A lanky American, of some six feet three, was 
trying hard, with the aid of a telescope of about his own 
length and breadth, to assume a nautical air. But Nature 
reasserted itself; for piteously appealing to a typical English- 
man, who, arrayed in an ulster, was dealing death to him 
with every whiff of his cigar, he remarked, " We long-built 
men feel the motion a deal more than them as has their 
innards slung lower," and went below. A scion of England's 
later aristocracy was maintaining his reputation as a man 
about town by sucking the handle of his cane ; but these, 
a German savant, an English clergyman, and a lady of 





CORSICA. 




uncompromising principles and bonnet, were the sole occupants of the 

deck. 

Early next morning the sea had got tired of what the American called its 

waltz, and had settled down to the demeanour of a 
stately chaperone. The sun shone as it only shines 
in the Mediterranean, without the vulgar ostentation 
of the tropics, and with none of that timid reserve to 
which we are accustomed in England. It shone as 
if it shone for its own pleasure, with a desire to make 
things pleasant for the insignificant world below ; and 
the sea was grateful, for it answered with its merriest 
laugh, and gave itself up as a mirror to reflect His 
Majesty's glories. And Corsica, lying in the distance, 
looked grateful ; the mountain tops were still covered 
with snow, but they blushed pink as the sun slanted 
across them, and made the dark rugged cliffs, scattered 
with sparse woodland, look their best. 

It was one of the Turtle-Doves who began it, that 

merry cry of " Corsica ! " and a group of muslin took it up, passed it on to a 

group of youngsters on the way to their regiments in Egypt, and so it went 

round the ship, sounding now like a fen-de-joie, now 

like a volley, and at last dying away in minute-guns. 

Corsica ! Corsica ! ! Corsica ! ! ! and the laziest rose from 

his seat, to be able to say that he had seen it, while the 

more conscientious consulted their guide-books, and a 

Herr Doctor in spectacles took out a chart of prodigious 

dimensions, to satisfy himself that Corsica stood where 

it did. 

The Turtle was a member of the British Legislature, 

who felt that his mission in life was the imparting of 

solid information, and who was not to be deterred from 

the fulfilment of it. Ostensibly addressing the Doves, 

but generously raising his voice for the benefit of the 

company, he raised his right flapper, and pointing in 

the direction of the island, said, " The birthplace of 

Bonyparty, a very remarkable man." Perhaps the 

Sketcher felt that it was a generous admission ; at all 

events he said, " Yonder is Elba." The Turtle bowed, 




*"B 



&*■ 



8 THE "TURTLE" FAMILY. 

and again raising his flapper, said, " And there is where he died ; " but, with 
sudden doubts as to his historical accuracy, he lifted the other fin, and pointed 
it in a direction which might be supposed to vaguely indicate the direction of St. 
Helena. He observed the Sketcher taking, at the moment, a hurried note, and, 
relapsing from his semaphore attitude, remarked to the Doves that the young 
man seemed intelligent and anxious to acquire information ; "for a Frenchman, 
remarkably so," he added, as he glowed with a conscious feeling of toleration 
towards inferiors. 

" Look at Monte Christo," cried the Sketcher, as a rocky outline appeared 
on the horizon. " History and romance facing one another, and who shall say 
which has the best of it ? You now, Scribbler mine, who try to prove the world 
a thing of dry facts and figures, sewers and drains, practical man as you are, will 
you deny that even the creation of the wildest imagination has not been beaten 
by your own facts ? " 

"Facts, my enthusiastic friend! What are facts? Do you mean Thiers's 
facts, or Napoleon le Petit's facts ? Do you expect me to take history as proof of 
facts, when you know the very man's existence is capable of logical disproof? 
There was probably a substratum of truth in Monte Christo. Reduce the two 
stories to their naked facts, and then we will judge." 

The Turtle, who had never heard of Whately or Dumas, found himself out 
of his depth ; but she, who had been already christened the Fond Dove, 
encouraged by the previous parental approval, smiled at the Sketcher, who lay 
at her feet from that hour. And the Fair Dove asked the Scribbler if he were 
going to Cairo ; and when he replied that he was afraid so, she quoted to him 
pages of " Murray," and so the acquaintance began — an acquaintance pleasant 
indeed, but which had its drawbacks, for the ever-conscientious Turtle saw an 
occasion not to be missed. For years he had been struggling to catch the 
Speaker's eye, to unbosom himself on Egypt ; and though, because he had 
•once been a Cabinet Minister, he had twice hooked that slippery optic, it had, 
to his surprise, only resulted in a "count out." Now was his opportunity. 
Drawing his heels together, protruding his waistcoat and chin, and apostrophising 
the nearest mast as an imaginary Speaker, be began : " In the complicated 
series of blunders in which, so to speak, the mummy of the Egyptian question 
is swathed " — when the luncheon-bell ringing, carried away his audience, and 
left him speaking. 

The next day brought the Maris off Naples, and the glassy stillness of the 
sea reflecting Vesuvius, Ischia, Nisida, and Procida as in a mirror, left the 
.most inveterate of sea-sick sufferers no excuse to remain below. Even that 



BRITISH POLICY IN ECxYPT. 




never-absent female, who in any possible voyage is firmly convinced that she 
will be drowned in the Bay of Biscay, appeared on deck, arrayed in a bonnet 
which was apparently adapted to serve in case 
of need as a life-buoy. Is it necessary to de- 
scribe the Neapolitan shore, from Castella- 
mare the stately to Posilipo the beautiful? 
Are we not rather intent on more Eastern 
scenes than these, sung of from Horace 
to Lamartine? Need we linger over the 
forgotten terrors of Scylla and Charybdis, 
the gardens of Messina, the majesty of Etna, 
and the cerulean Calabrian coast? The 
Mceris has passed them all, and is in the 
waste of sea that will not be broken till she 
sights the Alexandria light. The party have 
shaken down, as the stiffest of parties will 
do on a sea-voyage. The Turtle is less 
dogmatic ; the Sketcher is pretending to give 
drawing lessons to the Fond Dove ; while 
the Fair One is relaxing the cynicism of the 

Scribbler under a course of Browning. The Patrician has emerged from sea- 
sickness with more sense of toleration towards his fellow-sufferers ; the American 
has vainly endeavoured to start a business connection in hides, which he explains 
is his specialty ; and Ulster, ever genial and content, has managed to keep the 
whole party in good-humour with themselves and each other. 

The last night had arrived ; the Mceris was due early next morning at 
Alexandria, and our little party were pouring foith their stores of information or 
imagination regarding Egypt for mutual benefit. The young Patrician was 
naturally a violent Radical ; and the Turtle, having made his money in soap, as 
decided a Conservative. " We should never have touched the country, sir, but 
for your fatal Conservative interference," said the first. " We should never 
have made ourselves contemptible there, if we had been in power," replied the 
other. 

" Now that," said the Sketcher, " is the peculiarity of your English party 
politics. I invariably find that the party in power, and the party in opposition, 
are agreed on one point, and that is, that whatever has been done, has been done 
badly and under pressure from the party out of office. ' Why did you go to 
Egypt ? ' says one. ' Because you compelled us,' replies the other. The idea 



io 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



that any one party, ministry, or man should have a policy of their own, is absent 
from English politics." 

" Yes," said Ulster. " ' Please, sir, 'twasn't me, 'twas t'other boy,' would 
summarise most of our debates on foreign politics. But perhaps it's as dignified 
as sending in an ultimatum one week and going off to Jaffa the next, to the 
tune of ' Part ant pour la Syrie^ as your fleet did, my good friend." 

" Leaving to the British fleet the sole glory of bombarding a helpless town," 
said the Frenchman. 

" The town was not helpless, and was not bombarded," replied the other. 
" The forts were silenced one day, and only one shot was fired the next day, 
while the ' helpless ' soldiery were firing the town, massacring 
Christians, and ill-treating even native women. On the whole, 
throughout this Egyptian business we behaved with singular 
clemency and good faith." 

The discussion became general and was getting warm. The 
Gallic blood of the Sketcher had been aroused against Ulster, and 
the Turtle and the Patrician were gradually working their way 
back into the Middle Ages, in an attempt to fix the origin of our 
intervention in Egypt. 

The Scribbler, who had gravely followed the discussion with 
the silence becoming a person of authority, summed up the 
debate with cynical impartiality. " As for the origin of the whole 
matter, it would be about as useful to discuss the origin of the 
siege of Troy. Put it r down as the offspring bred by human 
nature out of geographical position nursed by national imbecility. 
Let us go back a little. Palmerston, so far as I know, never read 
history, but knew it, so avoided logical will-o'-the wisps with a 
true instinct. Perhaps you don't know that he refused the Protectorate of 
Egypt when Abbas offered to throw over the Sultan, but it's a fact." 
"You mean from the Czar Nicholas?" said the Turtle. 
" No, I don't ; that was another offer refused ; but I refer to a distinct, specific 
offer on the part of Abbas, then Viceroy of Egypt, to place himself under the 
protection of England instead of that of the Sultan. Palmerston refused ; he 
said that we did not require Egypt ; but when Abbas's successor encouraged the 
Suez Canal, Palmerston saw as clearly as Alexander that, if the project succeeded, 
Egypt would become of vital importance to the mistress of India. Did he 
believe all he said about the certain failure of Lesseps and his visionary schemes ? 
I don't know; but in any case, the wish was father to the thought, and there 




A Fellah IVoman. 



RIVAL ROUTES. n 

is no better proof of his foresight than the cautious answer he gave as an 
explanation of his opposition to the scheme : ' Remote speculations with regard 
to easier access to our Indian possessions, only requiring to be indistinctly 
shadowed forth to be fully appreciated.' He recognised, and even predicted, 
that if a practical waterway were created between the two seas, England would 
be compelled, sooner or later, to annex Egypt, — that, in fact, we must either 
hold Egypt or lose India." 

The Turtle opined that the Canal could never be depended upon, and that 
England would have to rely on quick transports by the Cape. 

"Excuse me," said the Scribbler, "if I point out that that argument is the 
result of a singular confusion of ideas. The ordinary British mind can only 
take in one idea at a time, and that very slowly. It took it a long time to 
realise that the Suez Canal had altered the situation as regarded Egypt itself. 
Having at last grasped the importance of the Suez Canal, it dropped all idea 
of Egypt, just as a monkey drops one nut when you offer it another, though 
a smaller one. ist idea: Egypt is of no importance; 2nd idea: Egypt is of 
importance because of Suez Canal ; 3rd idea : Therefore Suez Canal is of 
importance ; \th idea : Therefore Egypt is of no importance. Now, because 
we realise that the Suez Canal is of importance, surely there is no need to forget 
the importance of Egypt's land route ; and if we cannot rely on the Suez Canal 
(which is an open question), there is all the more reason to hold on to the 
alternative. If we found our advantage in transporting troops across Egypt 
during the Indian Mutiny, when there was no Canal, does that advantage 
disappear because there is another doubtful route running parallel to it? And 
when you talk of quick steamers round the Cape, you forget that there is 
nothing to prevent the same speed in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. 
Quicken your transport either way, by all means ; but you cannot get over the 
4300 miles difference between the two routes, and, even at thirty miles an 
hour, that is six days. Six days in which you may lose or save your Empire ! 
Besides, if Egypt is useless to you, — if the Mediterranean is a ail de sac, leading 
to nowhither, through seas where you have to run the gauntlet of hostile 
fleets, — of what use are Gibraltar, Malta, and Cyprus ? Be consistent ; and 
when you give up Egypt, give up those also. A year later you will have no 
trouble in getting rid of India too." 

" Stop a bit," said the Patrician. " You said that we sent troops through 
Egypt during the Mutiny. Well, we didn't garrison Egypt then ; why should 
we not withdraw from the country now, and still be able to cross it if we 
wished to ? " 



12 BURNING OF ALEXANDRIA. 

" Because, my dear boy. 1857 is not 1887. The Crimean war was just over 
then ; France was our ally ; Turkey our humble servant ; Russia temporarily 
exhausted ; Germany and Italy non-existent. Is that the position to-day ? And, 
lastly, if you want another reason, because we were not in possession then, 
and we are in legal occupation now. To take is one thing, to give up is 
another." 

" For a somewhat reserved son of honest Britain, I think," said the Sketcher, 
"that that is a very fair exposition of England's declared policy of retirement 
from Egypt." 

"I am not called upon," replied the Scribbler, "to expound or to subscribe 
to the absurd engagements entered into by a Government which made two 
contradictory and equally impossible promises. I might, if I chose, refer you 
to Mackenzie Wallace's argument, and say that in such a case the less important 
promise must give way to the other ; but not being politicians, let's do away 
with casuistry, and the cant — pardon me, Ulster — of 'singular clemency and 
good faith.' We showed just the same amount of the latter as you do when 
you pay an overdue bill under pressure. As to clemency, it's true that we only 
fired at the forts ; but as our shells riddled that lighthouse, which by special 
order the gunners were instructed to avoid, perhaps it's of more importance to 
consider what we hit than what we fired at. We certainly didn't do much damage 
to the inhabited quarters of the town directly, but ///directly, by failing to send 
troops, or even to land four hundred marines, we are morally responsible for all 
that happened and the burning of Alexandria must remain, what Wolseley called 
it, £ a lasting disgrace to the British navy.' As to our not firing the next day, let's 
be silent about it. There's not much merit in it when you happen to have 
fired away the last shot from your locker; and seeing that there were repre- 
sentatives of some half-dozen doubtfully friendly fleets within a few miles, it's 
not pleasant to think that if one or two had turned on us, we should have had 
to make a bolt for it." 

" Is that true ? " asked Ulster. 

The Scribbler rose. " You had better ask the Admiralty, who, to save a few 
pounds in coal, sent the Heda with the ammunition from Malta under canvas, 
so that she arrived twenty-four hours too late. Of course they'll deny it, as 
they denied sending the marines without arms, and the Orontes without troops 
on board, but it's true none the less." 

" Scribbler," said the Sketcher solemnly, as they left the deck, " I have a 
favour to beg. To-morrow we land at Alexandria, and yonder light on Pharos 
is the morning star that heralds me to the glorious East. Let me entreat you to 



ROMANCE AND REALITY. 13 

abstain from immoderate indulgence in Blue Books. Put your spirit in unison 
with the surroundings with which we shall be environed. Remember that we 
shall land amidst the ruins of Ptolemy ; that we shall breathe the air of Cleopatra, 
and be pacing the groves of the Platonists. A few days more, and we shall 
have plunged into the dreamland of Haroun el Raschid ; and yet a few weeks 
will see us in the temples of Osiris, amidst the shades of Ramses. Remem- 
ber that the difference between life and death is only accordance or want of 
accordance with our environments ; and let me live ! " 

The Scribbler was touched by the agonised tone of the appeal. " There 
doesn't happen," he said, " to be any light on Pharos, but only ruins, not of 
Ptolemy, but of Beauchamp Seymour. Your morning star is rising and setting 
every two minutes in a rather ugly lighthouse of the nineteenth century. You 
will find the air of Cleopatra very much like that of most other decomposed 
matter; and the groves of the Platonists are converted into peculiarly ugly 
buildings, mostly tenanted as cafe- chant ants of a third-rate order. I might then 
ask you to put yourself in accordance with these environments, and become a 
practical travelling companion ; but I will not ask impossibilities. I will do my 
best, and to-morrow shall see me a changed character." 




CHAPTER II. 

Alexandria — A well-meant effort at the poetical — An artistic discussion — Perspective 
a?id Ru-tew-shan — Odours of Araby — The bombardment — Alexandria of the 
Ptolemies — Rhacotis — Heptastadium — Museum — Library — The oldest street in 
the world — The Soma — The Paneum — Theatre — Canopic Gate — Ccesareum — 
Nineteenth-century Vandals — Pompefs Pillar — Serapeum. 

THE next morning at daybreak, the Maris was steaming over the rocky bar 
into Alexandria harbour. To the Sketcher, with his strongly imaginative 
temperament, all things alike, old and new, were objects of delight. The low 
sandy shore to the west ; the little villas of Ramleh to the east ; the ungainly 
windmills and hideous palace of Mex ; even the dilapidated stuccoed Ras el Tin 
itself seemed bathed in Oriental splendour. The pilot's " half-a-speed-astern " 
impressed him. "It had," he said, "precisely that mellifluous guttural sound 
which he had always associated with Arabic ; " and it required some argument 
from Ulster to convince him that he was mistaken. As for the Scribbler, he had 
a preoccupied air, as of one who had been wearied with midnight study. It was 
abstractedly that he answered his companion's eager inquiries ; uncontradicted, 
he allowed the Turtle to point to a factory chimney as Pompey's Pillar, and to 
expatiate upon the unmistakable grace of what he called "the Monolith;" and 
even when, later, one of the Doves remarked that the Monolith was smoking, his 
smile was unusually grave. He submitted with unwonted meekness to the 
obstreperous appeals of the numerous Alis and Mahomets, as they divided his 
portmanteau among them and struggled for his person. It was with a sigh of 
relief that he escaped from the Custom-House, seized the Sketcher by the arm, 
and, pointing to a Maltese engaged in a scuffle with a Greek, began as follows : 
" Do you see Abn Hassan at the city gate ? and there is Haroun el Raschid 
quietly coming up in that disguise of a city merchant. There is Sinbad the 
porter, too, hurrying to Sinbad the sailor; these minarets make the city so 

beautiful ; the heavy mound-like domes " 

The Sketcher was disturbed ; in the dirty, semi-European faces around him 
he could recognise none of the wonders described by his ordinarily practical 



THE SCRIBBLER'S ATTEMPT. 



1 S 



friend ; besides, the words sounded familiar to him. " There's something like 
that in an American book," he said. 

" Good heavens ! you've read it, then ! Why, I sat up all last night learning 
pages on purpose to please you ; and there's lots more of it," he added patheti- 
cally ; " but what's the use ? " 

" None whatever, my friend. I too have been striving to change my skin 
and become practical. That 97 J pounds make a piaster, 
or 97 J piasters a pound, I am convinced, but I cannot 
remember which. Let us give it up. Keep you to the 
practical side of this trip, and leave to me the artistic ! Is 
it a bargain ? " 

" Agreed," said the other ; " I will write fact, and you 
shall paint pictures." 

" Let us hope, at least," said the Fond One, " that the 
facts will be as true as Art." 

" As true as Art ! As if Art, or painting, at least, were 
ever true. Your truest picture is a framed untruth ! " 

"The Scribbler is only happy when indulging in para- 
doxes," explained his friend. 

" Paradox ! do you call that a paradox which is self- 
evident. Take this sketch now," he continued, taking the 
block from the Sketcher's hands ; " what is that but a 
conventional representation of a street? That house is a 
hundred yards away, this one is ten yards off, and you £g 
represent them on a plane. You call it drawn in perspec- 
tive j but what is perspective but a term invented to get over the difficulty ? 
Your educated eye, as you call it, recognises its rules ; but the Chinese eye is 
just as educated, only with other rules ; so he ignores your perspective, draws 
in accordance with rules of his own, called Rtt-tew-shan, and equally thinks he 
has got over the difficulty." 

" But I see no difficulty to get over," said the Sketcher. 

" Of course you don't. Your eyes have been so educated, that to you there 
is nothing absurd in a European picture drawn in accordance with the rules of 
perspective, just as to the Chinaman there is nothing absurd in his pictures 
drawn according to the rules of Ru-tew-shan. None the less the one and the 
other is equally untrue to nature, and equally false. If you want a proof, show 
a child of artistically uneducated parents that porter, and ask what he is. He 
will say, a man carrying a trunk tied on to his head, and a very shabby bag in 




A Seller of Drinks. 



i6 



LAWS OF PERSPECTIVE. 



his hand. From such a description you may recognise that it is a porter carrying 
my modest luggage. Now, show this sketch, which you all doubtless recognise, 
to the same child, and ask him what it is. He will say it is a white sheet of 
paper with black marks on it. Turn it right way up or upside 
down, and he will say the same — a sheet of paper with black 
marks on it, that's what he would say ; and he would be right, 
for that's precisely what it is ; " and he returned it to the 
disgusted artist. 

" You seem, sir," said the Turtle, " to have given this sub- 
ject considerable and lengthy study." 

"I have," said the Scribbler; "in fact," he added in an 
undertone, " ever since that fellow began pulling about my 
baggage ; and now that he's done, we may as well go." 

The rest of the party expressed an intention of going in 
carriages, but the Sketcher vowed that he could descend to 
nothing so occidental, and ordered camels. Nothing more 
resembling them than donkeys could, however, be found ; and 
as the rest stoutly refused this mode of conveyance, a compro- 
mise was effected. The least disreputable-looking Mahomet 
was intrusted with the luggage, to take to the Hotel Abbat, 
and the whole party agreed to walk. The resolution was 
carried out not without persistent opposition from numerous donkey-boys, who 
loudly vociferated the excellent qualities of their beasts. Two of them, respec- 
tively named "Bradlaugh" and the "'Bishop of London," were finally loaded 
with the luggage, and ambled ahead in genial fellowship, urged thereto with 
language of a character which even the Sketcher could not conscientiously 
mistake for Arabic. 

The way from the harbour leads through narrow streets, filled with the 
offscourings of all nations, and pervaded by an odour to which one becomes 
rapidly accustomed in Egypt; its basis is unmistakable dirt — rich Nile mud, 
but adulterated with saturation of garlic, peppermint, arachi, putrid fish, and 
worse. In different parts of the country, one or other of these extra ingredients 
predominates over the rest ; but they are always all present in a more or less 
degree, and combine every odour which decomposed animal or vegetable 
matter is capable of producing. The Scribbler was useful as a guide, and 
comparatively cheerful ; for he explained that he had already gone through all 
the diseases which were inevitable to first-comers, and so felt personally safe. 
On the left side of the narrow street up which they passed, he was able to point 




A Native Shayal. 



r 



ALEXANDRIA. 



17 



out the house from which had been supplied the " nabouts " with which, on 
the fatal nth June 1882, the Christians had been assaulted; and close to it 
was the Zaptieh, or police-station, whither the unhappy victims fled, only to 
be shot down by the guardians of order. Turning here to the right, the old 
Heptastadium, now Frank Street, is entered, through which, amid flames and 
in danger of falling ruins, the marines entered the town a month later, after the 
forts had been silenced ; and suddenly, at a point where, in Napoleon's time, 
ended the town, which then contained only six thousand inhabitants, opens out 
the great square, "Place des Consuls," now "Place de Mehemet Ali." In the 
centre of it stands the bronze statue of the great Roumeliote ; and Scribbler 
told how, when he last entered it, the statue stood alone, red hot, the square 
an almost complete rectangle of fire strewed with corpses, and moving among 
them only two devoted priests, who had stood all the horrors of those nights. 
Let their names be recorded once more — Pere Guillaume, a Franciscan, and 
Frere Mivielle, a Lazarist. 

The ordinary traveller who comes to Egypt disdains Alexandria. He comes 
to see the land of the Nile, associated somewhat vaguely in his mind with vast 
antiquity, which he would perhaps describe as consisting of pyramids, Pharaohs, 
and mummies, or, at the very least, the legendary genii 
of the "Arabian Nights." Instead of this, he finds a 
modern town, possessing little pretensions to beauty, 
and small trace of antiquity : so he hurries on to 
Cairo, and can see nothing in the commercial capital 
of Egypt but the commonplace resort of Levantine 
usurers. And yet, if he would linger a little, he 
would gain all the clearer insight into the world which 
he is about to enter without comprehension. If we 
were as anxious to find indications of prescience in 
the works of man as in those of nature, we might 
prove that there was a secret and beneficent purpose 
in making Alexandria the first stepping-stone into 
the East. For not only the beauties, but the incon- 
veniences of the Orient, are here broken to us gently. 
The streets are paved and watered ; the shops rival 
those of any but those of the first European cities ; 
and the very odours are mitigated to suit the untried 

occidental palate. On the other hand, the Eastern sky, though pleasant, is apt 
to be murky ; the fierce sun is tempered by the cool breeze ; and the interesting 




*d?sz 



A Jewish Saraffe. 



i8 THE STEPPING-STONE TO THE EAST. 

Oriental who salutes you in the Lmgua Franca is probably a Jewish saraffe, and 
possibly smells of spirits. And the position which Alexandria occupies towards 
the rest of Egypt, as the point of transition from West to East, is similar, though 
conversely, to that which she holds from an historical point of view. It is at 
Alexandria that the histories of the East merge with those of the West ; that we 
find in the period of the Ptolemies a stepping-stone between the Egypt of the 
Pharaohs and the Egypt of the Arab. He who looks for many traces of antiquity 
will indeed fail to find them ; but surely it is a dull mortal who requires the 
tangible object before him to excite his imagination, and who is unable to 
derive any pleasure from the dream of association alone. The town which 
was founded by Alexander, defended by Caesar, and captured by Bonaparte 
surely merits some consideration. 

Is it nothing to you that at almost the spot where you landed, landed some 
2 200 years ago the great Macedonian himself, at what was then the fishing- 
village of Rhacotis ? Here, beneath the very streets through which you walk 
to reach the square, was the Heptastadium, the narrow causeway originally 
connecting " the rocky isle of Pharos " with the mainland, increased by accumu- 
lated soil, assigned as dwelling-place to the Franks in Arab times, and now, 
when the pushing Christians have extended the town to almost the limits of 
the old city, become the Arab quarter. Here, in the great square, we are in a 
modern quarter, formed by the soil which collected at the point where the 
Heptastadium joined the mainland. At the top of the square, and just as 
we enter Cherif Pasha Street, with the New Bourse on our right, we are really 
crossing the old city walls, and ente'ring the town just where stood the public 
granaries, stretching down to the now unused harbour on our left. Walk up 
Cherif Pasha Street, named after Egypt's late easy-going Premier, and beneath 
these new-built houses and shops are the ruins of the old town ; and when 
you get to the top of the street you will find yourself — where ? If you consult 
the legend in black and white before you, you will see that you are facing the 
" British Main Guard ; " but if you let your imagination lead you a little, you 
can think that you are facing the great Museum ; for something more than 
legend makes us certain that it was here. Where that sentry is tramping, 
paced Euclid, and Clemens, and later Origen. In the groves which stretched 
behind, where now stand ugly buildings and the railway station, disputed 
Athanasius and Arius, Cyril and Hypatia — the disciples of Christ, of Aristotle, 
and of Serapis. Behind, again, lay the Library of 100,000 volumes, including 
the Septuagint — the Library destroyed not by Amru, but by the flames of the 
ships fired by the great Julius, which spread, and spared the Museum itself, but 



OLDEST STREET IN THE WORLD. 



J 9 



destroyed its never-to-be-restored treasures. It is to the labour of Alexandrians 
on this spot that we owe not only the text of Homer, but that translation of 
the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek which drew into the young Church of Christ 
all that was best and noblest from all rival creeds. " The 
Platonist saw in Christianity a fuller and clearer embodi- 
ment of the noble ideas of his philosophy than could be 
seen in Judaism ; the Hebrew saw in it the extension of 
the fate of Abraham and the promises to the whole race of 
man ; the Egyptian saw in it the great doctrines of the 
divine unity and man's future condition, which had only 
just disappeared from his religion in the shock of its con- 
tact with philosophy." 1 

The very street we are standing in, now the fashionable 
drive to Ramleh and the Canal, thronged with luxurious 
carriages and needy beggars, is probably the very oldest in 
the world that still maintains its purpose. Laid out some 
2000 years ago, it stretched from the Necropolis Gate to 
the west — where now vou will find leviathan steamers load- 
ing cotton and grain at the quay — to the Canopic Gate, 
beyond the limits of the present town. That part which 
lies to our right as we face the Museum extends now but a little way, and 
then loses itself among foundries, Italian schools, and gardens, within which 
latter lies the old English Cemetery, containing the graves of some of those 
Englishmen who lost their lives in the Abercromby campaign of 1800. But to 
the left, going eastward, we can still follow the exact road as traced by the 
hands of Alexander. Here, next to the Museum, where you see lofty houses, 
was the Soma, with the bodies of the kings, and that of the great Alexander 
himself, in about the centre of his city ; for Ptolemy Lagus stole the body of 
his great master from Perdiccas, who was carrying it from Babylon, and placed 
it here in its golden coffin. Ptolemy Cocaes stole the gold coffin, and replaced 
it by a glass one ; but who shall find it now, whether of crystal or metal, beneath 
these deposits of ages ? 




A rab Beggars. 



" Imperial Caesar, dead and turned to clay, 
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away." 

Still a little farther on, and always on the right hand, you see the hill now 
called Kom el Dikk (Hill of the Cock). Here stood the Paneum, an artificial 

1 " Cities of Egypt." R. S. Poole. 



20 



ANCIENT TOPOGRAPHY 




Rosetta Gate. 



height, as it seems to this day, " of a conical form, with a spiral ascent," says 
Strabo ; but of this there is no trace now, nor from its reduced summit can you 
see any longer the whole city. On the other side of the road, opposite to the 

Paneum, but at some distance, and near 
to the sea, stood the Theatre; and passing 
still on, we reach the modern walls and 
Rosetta Gate, where stood the Gymnasium 
with its furlong porticoes ; and beyond 
that, again, we reach the well-marked 
ridge of the French lines, carried by 
Abercromby in 1800, where stood the 
Canopic Gate and the walls of ancient 
Alexandria. And of all this, nothing 
remains but the street itself, with here 
and there a granite pillar or a mutilated 
statue. 
Retracing our steps to the point at which we have fixed the Soma, opposite 
to where now stands the Theatre Zizinia, we shall find a second road intersect- 
ing the first, and having the same claims to antiquity. This road, now called 
after the Prophet Daniel, contains the tomb of a late Viceroy, Said Pasha, and 
southward leads to the Moharrem Bey Gate, passing between the sites of the 
Museum and the Soma. Following it, however, northward, we find ourselves 
confronted at the end by the familiar " Lion and Unicorn " of the British 
Consulate. The worthy representative of Britain exercises alike the justice of 
the Consular court and the hospitality of his own house on the threshold of 
the Caesareum. It overlooked the greater harbour, now singularly misnamed the 
New Port ; beneath its waters you may trace the ruins, though little more than the 
foundations. Here was besieged by the Alexandrians the great Julius, and here 
Cleopatra lost an empire with Mark Antony. There, to the right, she could 
see the Lochias Palace with its royal port, the castellated island of Antirhoodos, 
the Timonium at her feet, which was to be the last refuge of her lover, and 
stretching away to the left the Poseidium and the Pharos of her ancestors. 
Here, too, in later days, under Theodosius, Cyril, real ruler of Egypt, held his 
priestly state, and issued his orders that revenged on the infidels the Christian 
massacres of past centuries. Of its grandeur nothing remains ; the two obelisks, 
which had survived the Roman and Arab conquests, were destined to fall into 
the hands of those later barbarians, the Anglo-Saxons of the nineteenth century. 
They stand on the Thames Embankment and in the Central Park of New York, 




A Street i?i the Arabian Quarter of Alexandria. 



r~ 



POMPEY'S PILLAR. 



21 



as a testimony to the wealth, perseverance, engineering skill, and consummate 
vulgarity of the people who removed them. 

" And thou, Cleopatra's Needle, that hadst thrid 
Great skirts of Time ere she and Antony hid 
Dead hope ! — hast thou too reached, surviving death, 
A city of sweet speech scorned, on whose chill stone 
Keats withered, Coleridge pined, and Chatterton, 
Breadless, with poison froze the god-fired breath? " 

— D. G. Rossetti. 

Away to the south-west, crossing again the square, and passing through one 
of the gates of the town, we come upon a high eminence, crowned by the pillar 
which we may call Pompey's or Diocletian's with almost equal inaccuracy. That 
it had nothing to do with the great 
Pompey may be admitted; for not only 
did he never reach Alexandria, but he 
only came to Egypt itself to be defeated 
and killed near the modern Port Said ; 
and certainly Alexandrians were the 
least likely of people to raise a column 
to a defeated hero. Nor has Diocletian 
much more right to have his name 
associated with it. It is possible, or 
indeed even probable, that, as it stands 
to-day, with its ungainly base and vulgar 
capital, it was erected in honour of the 
persecuting Emperor, who at last staid 
his hand. It may, too, have been still 
further disfigured by the statue, either 
of himself, or, as others relate, of his horse, whose stumbling was interpreted as 
the omen which saved the city. But all this does not justify the title of Diocletian 
to a column which formed part of a building erected five hundred years before 
he was born. Similar nomenclature would justify the absurd title of Cleopatra's 
Needle, or, for that matter, Wilson's Needle, to the obelisk of Thothmes III. 
The column was a part of the Serapeum. On the highest point of P.hacotis, 
Ptolemy Philadelphus placed the statue of Serapis, and around it grew the Acro- 
polis of the Greek town. The cult of the god (Osiris-Apis — Serapis) died hard 
in the city of Alexandria. Long after the religion of the Cross had driven the 
idolaters from the rest of the town, those who still resisted it found their refuge 
here. Here was their Library, with volumes greater in number at least than those 

D 




Distant View of Pompey s Pillar. 



22 



THE SERAPEUM. 



which had been already burnt. Here mixed the philosophies of Egypt and of 
Greece, hurling their Parthian shafts at their victorious foe. And when "the 
pious indignation of Theophilus " could no longer restrain itself at the furious 
raging of the heathen, it was here that he pursued them; it was their temple which 
they turned into a fortress, and where they found a horrible alternation to their 
sufferings in torturing their Christian prisoners at the foot of the statue of their 
god. Nothing else remains of the arched portico, the hundred steps which 
led to it, the stately halls, or the marvellous statues. Through two thousand 
years the column has looked down upon the struggles of rival creeds and rival 
empires. Greek and Roman, Turk and Arab, Infidel and Christian, Jew and 
Moslem, have each struggled at its feet ; and in the city of Alexander, where 
Caesar and Bonaparte triumphed, it remains the one memorial w r hich survives 
the British occupation. 




A Copt of Alexandria. 



CHAPTER III. 

Ramleh — Mahmoudieh Canal— Nicopolis — An Egyptian judge — The luxury of the 
law — Consular protection or free-trade in crime — The temple of Arsinoe — The 
hair of Berenice — An early Christian cemetery. 

IT was at the particular request of the Sketcher that the party agreed to miss 
the evening's express, and devote the afternoon to an excursion to 
Ramleh. The Scribbler maintained that it was a waste of precious time ; that 
the so-called Brighton of Alexandria was a Cockneyfied desert, with houses 
scattered like tombs in a cemetery, wherein the pious Alexandrians secluded 
themselves, to prepare for the next world by abusing their neighbours in this. 
On this one point, however, the Sketcher was immovable ; and declining stead- 
fastly to reveal the reason of his obduracy, he succeeded in exciting the 
curiosity of the Doves, and, as a matter of course, from this moment carried 
his point. Driving then from Pompey's Pillar to the Canal, they passed along 
the shady banks to the east, and were repaid by the beauties of a drive which 
is perhaps unsurpassable in Cairo itself. The Scribbler indeed refused to be 
charmed; the Canal to him was nothing but the grave of the 20,000 lives which 
had been sacrificed to digging it ; in the beauties of light and shade he 
detected rheumatism ; beneath the brightest foliage lurked malaria ; and in a 
baker's shop, which the Sketcher styled picturesque, he found only a hot-bed 
of cholera. 

Leaving the Canal with its gardens, the road turned sharp to the north, and 
passing between a couple of small lakes, reached the continuation of the old 
Canopic road, already described. Again turning eastward, it led across the 
Desert, past the hideous modern palace of Ramleh, built on the site and from 
the very stones of Caesar's camp at Nicopolis — the scene of the victories of Octa- 
vianus over Mark Antony, and of Abercromby over the French. Another mile 
brought the party to the Beau Mer, an hotel apparently designed to attract from 
without and to repel from within. The Sketcher, in pursuit of his mysterious 
purpose, had desired to be introduced to the oldest inhabitant of Nicopolis ; 
and the Scribbler thought that he knew one man, who, from the patient 



24 



AN EGYPTIAN JUDGE. 



endurance of his disposition, might still have been able to support existence in 
the hotel. "He is," he explained, "a judge; but it is fair to state, in extenua- 
tion, that being an Anglo-Egyptian judge, he is naturally debased by no 
technical knowledge, and is as necessarily unpractical and unworldly wise. 
Were it otherwise, he would not have been appointed to the position, nor 
would he have accepted it. On the other hand, he is socially charming ; will 
recite Tennyson and Swinburne by the hour, which will please you ; and is 

utterly ignorant of the country, 
which is an advantage for me." 
The judge did not belie his re- 
putation ; he had been editor of 
a newspaper, secretary to a Duke 
— everything except a judge, and 
was therefore all that could be 
desired for the Egyptian bench. 
In gentle, uncomplaining tones, 
he stated the one hardship of his 
lot — that for three days in the 
week, during nine months of the 
year, he had to sit for four hours 
in a court w r here the noisy argu- 
ments of counsel disturbed all 
the charm of conversation with 
his colleagues — " some of whom, 
I must admit," he added, " take 
their duties much too seriously, 
and, in fact, are as solemn as if 
they were beneficed clergymen of 
the Church of England." 

" Are they all English?" asked 
the Sketcher. 

" No," said the judge ; "many 
of them are of your country, and of other nationalities. It requires the united 
intelligence of five nations to try every petty case. You see," he added 
solemnly, "the balance of power in Europe might be disturbed if an Eng- 
lishman or Frenchman alone were to decide a question of five pounds between 
Ali Mahomet and Spiro Dimitri. So the other great Powers must be represented 
too ; and Greece, because Spiro is a Greek, and Egypt, because Ali is an 




A Bakery at Kartnoos. 



CRIMINAL JURISDICTION. 25 

Egyptian ; and if Greece, why not Holland and Denmark ? And then con- 
sider the important interests of the United States ! " 

"And do you all have to listen to such a case?" 

" Listen ! well, we all sit, you see, and that is the main thing, next to our 
pay, which, I am glad to say, is regular. For myself, I generally do my private 
correspondence on the occasion." 

"And the rest?" 

" Well, you see there are some who have a difficulty in following the case, 
as they don't understand the language ; but there are generally one or two 
who can understand if they listen, and they do sometimes." 

"But." said the Turtle, "do you mean to say that this hollow mockery has 
to be gone through with every trifling offender — that the man who is guilty, 
say, of a common assault, is allowed thus to waste the time of this highly 
expensive bench?" 

" Not at all, my dear sir, not at all. So expensive are we, that we are 
reserved as a luxury for purely civil and commercial cases. Neither we, nor, 
so far as I know, any other Power in Egypt, have criminal jurisdiction. An 
Englishman, indeed, committing a crime, is subject to the authority of his 
Consul. He may be transported for life or condemned to death ; that is the 
peculiar privilege which he enjoys over every other person in Egypt — a privilege 
for which he pays five shillings annually. I believe," he added gently, " I am 
stating the fact ; if not, my friend will correct me. A free-born Briton differs 
from all other foreigners in Egypt in two particulars — the one, that he con- 
tributes five shillings yearly to the revenue of his country ; and the other, that 
he may be condemned to death by his country's representative." 

"At all events," interposed the Sketcher, "you have had, in exchange for 
your five shillings, the protection of a British ileet and some 30,000 British 
soldiers. You cannot say that the charge is excessive ? " 

" No ! perhaps not," said the other meditatively ; " provided they remain in 
the country, I am not disposed to quarrel with the value which my Government 
attaches to its protection ; in that case the five shillings is not excessive. But 
if to-morrow the troops are to be removed, we shall certainly be in a distinctly 
worse position than we were before they came ; and I think I shall then be 
justified in reclaiming my accumulated five shillings with compound interest." 

"But," asked the Turtle, "returning to this question of criminal jurisdiction, 
I presume that other subjects are equally liable to their Consulates j otherwise, 
what is the meaning of Consular protection?" 

"Consular protection," explained the Scribbler, "is, in Egypt, synonymous 



26 CONSULAR PROTECTION. 

with free-trade in crime. Except as regards Englishmen, there is no punish- 
ment for crime in Egypt. Natives, whether innocent or guilty, are punished 
or acquitted according to the price which it is convenient to pay for either 
condemnation or acquittal. As for other Europeans, they are amenable to 
their Consulates for misdemeanours; and for crimes, you may, if you like, 
prosecute them in Moscow, Athens, Copenhagen, or wherever else their 
supreme court lies." 

" And these are the results of the capitulations?" 

The Scribbler was preparing to reply, when the Sketcher interposed. 

" Let me implore you to desist ; the mere mention of the word involves 
a history of Egypt for the past seven hundred years. Let me change the 
subject, and ask you where is the temple of Arsinoe ? " 

The judge appealed to was mute. 

" Do you mean, sir, that you have lived here all these years, and cannot 
direct us to the temple of Arsinoe, of Venus, of Berenice, of what you 
will ? " 

"I have heard of all the ladies in question," said the judge, "but have 
met no one of that description in Ramleh." 

"And is this what you have brought us here for?" said the Scribbler; "is it 
for the sake of three miserable sandstone pillars that you have dragged us into 
the Desert ? Come, you shall see them ; " and he led the way to the sea. 

The weary sand which gives its name to the little suburb was sprinkled with 
ice-plants, poppies, anemones, and early spring flowers, together, it must be 
admitted, with a goodly number of old sardine boxes, bottles, and other less 
romantic objects. Here and there, tents of Bedouins mingled among the 
houses ; but the Bedouin, in the neighbourhood of civilisation, loses his charm 
and preserves his dirt. Clambering up a gently sloping hill, the party found 
at their feet the blue Mediterranean in wide expanse to the east, and to the 
west the outlines of Alexandria, stretching round the bay, and terminating 
far into the sea with the graceful fort of Pharos. Behind them, the Canal, 
with its gardens, formed a belt of green ; beyond, as far as the eye could reach 
the Lake Mareotis ; and at their feet, half way down the cliff, the remains of 
a small temple. 

The few battered sandstone pillars, possessing, indeed, in themselves no 
remains of beauty, w r ere not without attraction, due to their position on the 
rugged promontory, beneath which were still to be seen the remains of what 
perhaps were catacombs, and a passage which may have led to some subter- 
ranean refuge. 



ARSINOE. 



27 



" Have none of you a word of gratitude to me for bringing you here ? " said 
the Sketcher, as he expatiated on the view. 

"The sea," said the Scribbler, "we have seen somewhat more than enough 
of lately ; the sand, except that this is dirtier, we shall see more than enough 
of by-and-bye ; to that add two or three pieces of sandstone, and what have we 
to thank you for ? " 

"To thank me for? man who pretends to be interested in historical associa- 
tions ! You have to thank me for bringing you to a spot where the wisest men 
of perhaps the wisest age, and the most 
beautiful women of the most beautiful age, 
racked their brains for the solution of a 
mystery, and solved it by inventing a con- 
stellation. Listen : when Ptolemy Euergetes 
was away on his Assyrian war" (b.c. 238, in- 
terposed the practical Scribbler), " Queen 
Berenice came here to Zephyrium, and sac- 
rificing a bull to the gods on this very spot, 
vowed that, if they brought her husband 
home, she would cut her beautiful tresses, 
hang them up in this temple, and dedicate 
them to the sea-born goddess who protected 
sailors. When Euergetes returned a con- 
queror, the vow was kept — the locks were 
yielded to the knife, and hung up here. 
Imagine them as they floated round this 
pillar; and do you not see the pirate who, coming in round that point, is 
attracted by the glitter of what he mistakes to be gold. He has carried them 
off (for even pirates, Scribbler, had a love of the beautiful in those days), 
and the whole coast is in a transport of excitement at the audacious robbery. 
Here stood Ptolemy himself, the outraged Berenice, Callimachus summoned 
from his library at iUexandria, and Theocritus, genial poet-laureate. The king 
has said that it must be found, and search is made along all the coasts, from 
Cyrene to Pelusium, and throughout the seaboard of the Empire. But Conon, 
wise man, is courtier as well as astronomer, and he discovers it. He is busy at 
the time making a chart of the heavens, and where so likely to be the golden 
tresses of lovely Berenice ? There, sure enough, is a glittering group of stars 
between the Bear, the Lion, the Virgin, and Bootes, and as it hangs over the 
temple, he proclaims his discovery of a new constellation, "The Hair of Berenice ! " 




Temple of Berenice. 



23 



THE HAIR OF BERENICE. 




Peep-Show. 



Can the most exacting monarch inquire farther ? Can Berenice herself complain 
that the glory of her womanhood has preceded her to Elysium ? " 
" Did you invent that on the spot ? " said the Scribbler. 
" No, I did not ; but, to be honest, I read it in a book." 
" Then you are a pirate yourself! " 

" Possibly ; but always one with an appreciation of the beautiful ! " 
The Turtle remarked that the story didn't seem at all probable. The Fond 
One looked appreciatively at the Sketcher, and hastily assured her- 
self that her own hair had not gone the way of Berenice's. The 
judge sighed, and passed his hands through his own scant locks. 
" My Berenice was very beautiful," he said softly. " Was her name 
Berenice, though? No, it was Barbara I was thinking of; but she 
was very beautiful too." 

The road back led through the old Nicopolis, where, 1900 
years ago, Augustus defeated Antony; past a hideous palace, built 
by Ismail out of the ruins of Caesar's camp ; and the little white- 
domed mosque where Sir Ralph Abercromby was carried wounded 
during the battle of Alexandria, to be taken on board to die a 
few days later. 

Reaching the high ridge known as the French lines, but marking also the 
walls of the towri of Ptolemy, the party came on the recently excavated remains 
of a cemetery. Entering a doorway cut in the solid rock, they found themselves 
in a crypt containing tiers of cells, each with the 
remains of ten male skeletons ; and beyond these 
more, some two hundred corpses in all. The rude 
cross, marked on the rock with the I.H.S., showed 
it to belong to the Christian era; not improbably 
it was the site of a monastery without the outer 
walls of the Caesareum, and of about the sixth 
century. 

" It is right," said the Scribbler, " that we should 
finish Alexandria with this latest discovery, and this 
latest of ruins, of the old city ; for if, as seems pro- 
bable, this is of the Justinian or Heraclian period, we 
have to-day seen almost the first and the last of the 
city as one of the mistresses of the world. Perhaps some of these bones had 
life when Amru entered Alexandria, and when the Crescent of Islam triumphed 
over the Cross of Christ in the city of one of her four great Churches Fostat 




Street Cooking. 



ANCIENT CEMETERY. 29 

becomes the capital of the new Egypt of the Saracens, and for 1200 years 
Alexandria disappears from history. 

We are so prone to measure everything by the standard of our own little 
lives, that we lose all count of time. We talk of Alexandria as an ancient city ; 
connect it vaguely with Ptolemies, Caesar, and sectarian struggles, and speak of 
an Alexandrian period as we speak of the Augustan or Victorian age. But the 
history of Alexandria is half the intellectual history of the world for nearly nine 
hundred years, and the two little ruins we have seen to-day are chronologically 
as far apart from one "another as the Norman Conquest from our own day. 




A Washerwoman. 



CHAPTER IV. 



Alexa?idria . to Cairo — Egyptian railway administration — Harmless warfare — 
Surrender of Kafr Dawar — Bltmt patriots — Taking of Tantah — Taking of 
Cairo. 

THE next day, our travellers, who had apparently been definitely accepted 
as a recognised portion of the Turtle dovecot, had possessed themselves 
of a first-class carriage, and were crawling at the steady pace of an Egyptian loco- 
motive to Cairo. The Sketcher 
had again expressed a desire to 
attempt the journey on camels. 
The journey by Egyptian railway 
was, he argued, much less pic- 
turesque, and apparently not 
much more expeditious, than by 
caravan. The enduring Ship of 
the Desert, he maintained, would 
not lie down oftener than the 
engine broke down; the motion 
of either was equally likely to 
produce sea- sickness ; and in 
both the time of arrival at one's 
journey's end seemed to depend 
upon the good- will of the drivers. 
The Scribbler maintained that 
the comparison savoured of ex- 
aggeration. " The railway ad- 

Jnterior of a Third Class Carriage. . . 

ministration, he said, "like most 
others in Egypt, is managed by an International Board, and the working of the 
lines is therefore, to some extent, dependent upon the political relations of 
Europe, modified by the social relations existing between the directors' wives. 
The system is certainly not one which can be recommended, either for its 




RAILWAYS AND POLITICS. 31 

simplicity, economy, or practical results. That considerable loss is occasioned 
to the Egyptian Government, and the maximum of annoyance caused to all who 
use the lines, cannot be denied ; but the former should remember that it enjoys 
the protection of Her Majesty's Government, and must not grumble if it occa- 
sionally pays for it in the form of a useless official or two ; while the latter 
should learn to subordinate their own personal comfort to the political exigencies 
of Europe." 

" But I cannot see," said the Turtle, " how politics enter into the manage- 
ment of the railway." 

"The difficulty is not unnatural," replied the Scribbler, "but I will make 
it clear. The railways having been made the guarantee for a portion of the 
debt, it was necessary to see that the revenues reached the bondholders. It 
is true there were four (now six) gentlemen paid ^3000 a year each for the 
sole purpose of protecting the bondholders' interests ; but this was not sufficient ; 
the railway must be put directly under European control. Considering the 
length of line and amount of traffic, it would not have been difficult to find a 
man capable of managing it ; but there arose a question of nationality. First, 
there must be an Egyptian, because it was an Egyptian railway ; and as he 
was useless, there must be a Frenchman to look after him ; and as, of course, 
the balance of power in Europe would otherwise be disturbed, a couple of 
Englishmen must be sent to look after the other two. A little later, the only 
capable man of the four having died, it was thought unnecessary to replace him." 

"The arrangement seems preposterous enough," said the Turtle; "but still, 
after all, each one, I presume, took a department, and so dispensed with the 
charge of some subordinate officials, who would otherwise be necessary." 

" But you cannot think," said the Scribbler, " that gentlemen occupying 
these exalted positions would condescend to attend to such details. On the 
contrary, there are chiefs of every department, who do the work and manage 
the line — a chief of the permanent way, a chief of the rolling stock, a chief of 
the traffic, an inspector of telegraphs, a controller of the Port — all these officials 
conduct the business of the administration as well as they can." 

" And what are the duties of the Board of Management ?" 

"Well, you see, they have always a good deal of personal abuse of each 
other to get through. Irritating the chiefs of departments occupies a consider- 
able portion of their time ; and such as remains is spent in Europe, in hospital, 
or, on rare occasions, in prison." 1 

" And, under all these difficulties, does the railway pay ? " 

J 1 The railway administration has quite recently been somewhat improved. 



32 RAILWAY ADMINISTRATION. 

" Well, if you take the value of the line at ^10,000,000, which I suppose is 
a very large estimate, the dividend would be roughly five per cent. ; but then 
you must not attach much importance to that. The railway in Egypt is a 
monopoly, able to charge whatever rates it likes over two-thirds or more cf the 
country. \ Under these circumstances, it succeeds, at the cost of about forty per 
cent, of its receipts, in keeping the line in its present ragged condition. The 
Board is very proud of its success, and points to the forty per cent, as proof that 
their management is, if nasty, at least cheap;' but if compelled by competition 
to carry cargo at rates charged in India or England, their working expenses would 
probably exceed their receipts, and the line prove as expensive as it is ill-managed. 
To give you an instance of mismanagement : Some years ago one of the chiefs 
of department found necessary a certain piece of w T ork, which would cost ^"75. 
There was no question as to the necessity of the work, but it took fourteen 
months before the application had passed the necessary formalities before the 
Board. But then all was not over ; the chief of department found that he would 
also require the use of a truck for the work. All the negotiations had to begin 
over again, and, for all I know, are going on still." 

" But is it not a fact," asked the Turtle, " that the amount of working expen- 
diture is limited by agreement to a figure which is insufficient?" 

" No ; that is a popular fallacy. The amount allowed may be insufficient, but 
they do not spend it : they reduce the receipts by gross mismanagement ; they 
allow the whole material to go from bad to worse ; and then they complain that 
the administration is starved." 

" Well," said the Sketcher, " I for orie am grateful to them for the leisurely 
pace, which offers a pleasant opportunity for surveying the scenery, and for the 
long pauses at the stations, which enable one to study the manners and customs 
of the natives ; " for the Sketcher saw beauty where the Turtle saw only squalor 
and misery, and where the Scribbler saw neither. 

" Your beauty," he said, " is nothing but your love for novelty. Prettier 
effects of light and shade, more beautiful combinations of colour, you can find 
in nearly every village of England or the South of Europe ; you pass them there 
because you are accustomed to them, and fall into ecstasies over this because it 
is new. That woman carrying a goulah, that boy on a buffalo, attract your 
attention because of their novelty. An English farm-lad on a horse, a washer- 
woman at the village pump, is every bit as picturesque, and considerably cleaner. 
As to your squalor and misery, there is not a farmer in England, let alone Ireland, 
who would not change places with the poorest of the Fellaheen, so far as the 
results of farming are concerned. Had you passed through here twenty years 



KAFR DAWAR. 



33 



ago, you would have seen squalor and misery; but then that was in the so-called 
golden days of Ismail." 

The train leaving Alexandria passes over the swamp of Mareotis, stretching 
on both sides of the line, and cuts through the remains of Arabi's earthworks in 
1882. A useless reconnaissance on the 5th August was here 
the occasion of our first loss during the campaign. Amon^ 
the reeds to the right fell Howard Vyse and two privates, 
killed by falling spent shot. After this, for some six weeks, 
a cannonade with heavy guns from both sides was main- 
tained daily, with the net loss of one buffalo and one horse. 
The latter gave the name to the clump of trees on the left. 
A picket of the 60th, on a dark night, found themselves, 
as they thought, at close quarters with the enemy. Valiantly 
they fired volley after volley, but their fire was not returned ; 
and next morning they discovered the body of a stray horse 
lying in what has since been known as the " Dead-horse 
Picket." Kafr Dawar, the first station, must claim the 
honour of being the scene of perhaps the most ignoble 
surrender ever made by men bearing arms ; for here 10,000 
followers of Arabi surrendered to a sergeant of the Shrop- 
shire, armed with a stick. The surrender had, of course, 
been previously agreed upon ; and there were perhaps 300 
more of the regiment within call, but there was no need 
for them. The patriotic Egyptians came in, anxious only 
to get rid of their arms to any one who would take them. 
A line of trucks was drawn up by the station ; and close 
to the trucks, with just sufficient room to allow one man 
to pass at a time, was a telegraph post. On one side of 
this stood Sergeant Tommy Atkins of the Shropshire ; there 
was no pomp and circumstance of war about him ; he had taken off his coat, 
slipped his braces over his shoulders, and had his sleeves tucked up for 
business. On crowded the 10,000; and as they came to the post, one by one, 
they had to pass between it and the trucks ; throw their Remingtons, bayonets, 
pistols, and trumpets into the latter, and pass on. Sergeant Tommy Atkins 
was one, and they were many ; but he was not to be trifled with. Did any 
try and pass the wrong side of the post or smuggle through a revolver, he got 
a sharp rap on the knuckles, and a " Now, then, hand up," soon brought him 
to order. "It would have done Wilfrid Blunt, and other believers in Arabi 




])W/C* 



4&. 



A IVoman cartying a CoulaJi. 



34 



TEL-EL-KEBIR. 



patriotism, good," said the Scribbler, " to have seen the cheerful way in which 
these gallant and patriotic warriors accepted the situation. The 'valour of 
the beaten host,' as Wilfrid calls it, was singularly like the playful excitement 
of schoolboys who come bounding out of school. So anxious were they to 
pass muster, that many of them handed their rifles to myself and others, to 
get rid of them the quicker; and we got into amicable converse with them. 
Singularly good-tempered were these victims of tyranny to their betrayers; 
some of them shook me warmly by the hand, and said that, now all this 

tomfoolery (shoogly mushara) was over, they were going 
back to serious work ; others were delighted at the noise 
their guns made, ' Even more than yours,' they said, but 
hoped sincerely they had caused no one any incon- 
venience. ' None at all,' I replied ; ' we didn't lose a 
man ; but how many did you lose ? ' for great had been 
the tales in camp of the slaughter we had effected. ' Oh, 
no ! ' was the reply ; ' you never came near us. You did 
once,' he said, deprecatingly, ' kill a man's buffalo, but 
then it had strayed in your way ; ' and he begged I would 
not think of it. These were the patriots of Blunt," said 
the Scribbler ; " poor, innocent Fellaheen, ready enough 
to be put into a uniform, to be given a gun, fair food, 
and nothing to do, at so much a day. Why should they 
not, poor wretches ? There was nothing else going on ; 
the markets were closed. But fiiiht or incur danger ! 
No, not for Arabi, nor their country, nor for anything 
else. So when they saw troops they bolted." 

"And was r all your campaign as glorious as this?" 
asked the Sketcher sarcastically. 

."Well, it was not very different; but you may spare 
your sneers. The lines of Tel-el-Kebir were carried gallantly, and if there was 
little resistance, you must remember that the troops were unaware whether there 
would be any or no ; and they stormed, without a moment's hesitation, entrench- 
ments which it's easy to depreciate now, but which, if properly defended, w r ould 
have defied attack by twice the force. Still, I am willing to admit that the first 
Egyptian campaign gave little opportunity for trying the mettle of our soldiers in 
a hand-to-hand fight, but it established our reputation for other qualities not less 
valuable, and chiefly for andace. Here, for instance," he continued, as the train 
drew up at Tantah, " is the most fanatical town of Egypt, dedicated to the Sheikh 




Sojhc of our Captives. 



CAPTURE OF CAIRO. 35 

Said el Bedawee. Into it, a few days after Tel-el-Kebir, rode gallant Sir Archie 
Alison, with a single company of his Highlanders, and found, drawn up in the 
square there, some 4000 Egyptian troops, armed, and apparently ready to fight. 
What was he to do ? The numbers were forty to one ; any hesitation would 
have been fatal ; and the plucky one-armed General showed none. ' Summon 
all to lay down their arms,' was the order given through an interpreter to the 
officer in command. Just a moment of anxiety, a glance at the perfectly com- 
posed face of the General, and the order was obeyed." 

" And suppose it had not been ? " asked the Sketcher. 

" Precisely ! there was the danger ; but it was obeyed, and that is its 
justification." 

" Justification for the summons to surrender, perhaps, as the best way out of 
the difficulty ; but hardly any justification for getting into it." 

" Well, that you may discuss with the General ; but the presence of mind 
remains to the good in any case. Take the surrender of Cairo as another 
instance. After the wonderful ride from Tel-el-Kebir, the cavalry arrived dead- 
beat at the Abbasiyeh heights, within sight of Cairo. They were 900 men, 
and few of them capable of either moving a step in advance, or even of 
retreating if they had been attacked. There lay the city below them, with 
8000 troops, and the citadel commanding their position. What were 
they to do ? At any moment, if discovered, they might be attacked ; and 
it was impossible that they could escape observation. There was only one 
way of gaining time — to show a bold front, summon the garrrison to surrender, 
and to await the result. To their surprise, the garrison of 8000 at once 
expressed their readiness to obey the summons. And now arose the question, 
how to take advantage of it without showing their weakness. With some 
difficulty, 150 men, able to get their horses on for another five or six miles, 
were got together. In command of them w r ent Major Watson of the Engineers. 
Through the close streets of Cairo they threaded their way, till they drew up at 
the massive gates of the Citadel. Into it quietly walked Major Watson, leaving 
his tired men drawn up outside, faced by curious but respectful Egyptian 
troops numbering two to one. ' Where is the commandant ? ' asked the Major. 
4 Asleep ! ' was the reply. ' Then wake him up, and tell him to surrender.' 
The first order was obeyed, and the commandant came, sleepy but servile. 
' Will you kindly turn your men out, and hand me the keys ? ' said the English- 
man. ' Certainly,' said the Egyptian ; and within the hour, but with profuse 
apologies for delay, the 8000 patriot soldiers of Arabi filed out to make way 
for the 150 tired men, who, unable to sit longer in their saddles, had thrown 



36 



THE CITADEL OF CAIRO. 



themselves on the ground for very weariness. The Major, who has a fine Irish 
brogue, adds reproachfully, as he tells the story, ' An' they ca'all that foightin ! ' " 

"And there is the Citadel in question," said the Sketcher, as some few 
minutes later the line made a sudden curve, bringing in view Cairo, nestling 
under the Mokhattam hills, with its green gardens, the pretty gaily-coloured 
houses of Shubra, and the slender minarets of the Citadel mosque on the 
heights above. 

In a few minutes more the train drew up at the Cairo railway station. 




Sayces. 




■ '!":"• ' „.'- 



I A, J yAA/ 



<m 



CHAPTER V. 

The Shepheard Angel — Cairo streets — Shepheard'' s — Shepheard king Luigi — The 
Shepheard smile — The Shepheard diimer — Shepheard chickens^ their pedigree and 
traming — Cairo in twenty-four hours — Cook's tours — Cook the national school- 
master — A large order. 

RIGHTLY called Angelo is the porter of Shepheard's to the weary traveller 
- who arrives in Cairo. Like a good Shepheard does he gather the flocks 
of portmanteaus, and like a guiding Angel pilots his sheep through the crowd. 
Disdaining the colossal hearse of the hotel, our travellers have hailed lithesome 
arabeeyahS) and are being driven at a pace which would excite the horror and 
indignation of any well-regulated policeman. The citizens of Cairo despise the 
modern improvements of Alexandria. They recognise that the capital of Egypt 
exists solely by virtue of its reputation acquired in the dark ages, and they 
have determined that no vulgar innovation in the way of cleanliness or municipal 
regulation shall cast a slur upon their character. The streets, therefore, are 
neither paved nor levelled, and the carriage flies from one rocky eminence to 
another, so that one's first experience resembles a steeplechase on wheels. 
Railways, indeed, have to be submitted to, also bridges ; but no fastidious 
modern precautions are adopted for the one, and a hole or two is still left by way 
of protest in the other. So the engine puffs across the crowded streets without so 
much as a telegraph post to attract attention. If the carriage gets in the way, 
it must share the fate of Stephenson's coo ; and if, in dodging an engine, you 



38 



SHEPHKARD'S HOTEL. 



should by chance land yourself in a hole of the bridge, — well, it is not big 
enough to let you through into the canal, and there is generally a policeman 
near enough to curse your driver. The bridge and the line safely cleared, you 
urge your Mazeppa-like career to the right, and clinging with both hands to 
your seat, you get into the comparatively speaking still waters of the road that 
skirts the hospitable house of Nubar. As you come near a succession of cafe- 

cha?itants, you suffer from what seems to be an 
after-swell, and are liable to be thrown over the 
back of the carriage, as you draw up suddenly at 
the steps of Shepheard's Hotel. 

It may be admitted as an axiom that the 
man who has not stayed at Shepheard's has 
never really visited Cairo. Other hostelries, in- 
deed, there are, possessing many and various 
well-advertised charms. This one is cheap, and 
that one is in the centre of the bazaars • another 
has the electric light, and a fourth has the best 
table-d'hote. Shepheard's disdains offering such 
inducements. It is Shepheard's and nothing 
else ; and it is enough. As the Nile to other 
rivers, so is Shepheard's to other hotels. It is 
not the biggest, nor the most handsome, nor 
the oldest ; nor is it the dearest (not quite) in 
which mortal might stay and live. What is the 
charm, which no man can either deny or define ? 
You may dwell where you will, in private house, in pension, or in unorthodox 
hotel ; but as surely as the needle to the pole will you gravitate to Shepheard's. 
One attraction, indeed, it has ; but that is one which we only reap, like that of 
Paradise, at the close of our sojourn. Stately is the mien of the Shepheard 
king Luigi when he receives us the first time; but unutterable bliss accompanies 
the smile with which he bids us adieu. The man must be obdurate, indeed, 
who, having once basked in that farewell smile, does not seek its sunshine again. 
As for such a woman, be assured she does not exist. The attitude itself with 
which it is rendered is a bouquet ; the final bow which accompanies it is its 
choicest rose, and the smile is its aroma. The feet, well drawn together, with 
stern determination to support the inevitable ; the shoulders bent in agonised but 
silent despair ; the hands clasped in mute entreaty ; the head slightly to one side 
in pious resignation ; the reproachful eyes which look tears ; the melancholy smile 




A Street in Cairo. 



EGYPTIAN CHICKENS. 39 

which tells of joys buried in perennial gloom ; and then the final bow, which is 
the last dignified submission to fate. " It affects even me," said the unsenti- 
mental Scribbler, "and I have seen it for twenty winters." 

" But he's quite young," said the Fair One, to whom the graceful proprietor 
had been pointed out. 

" But the smile is part of the hotel properties," said the other ; " it has been 
handed down through a long succession of Shepheard kings, and the original is 
in the Hyksos chamber at Boolak." 

The great man received them with becoming dignity, and arranged the party 
with all the promptitude of a skilful general. The Turtle was happy, for he 
learnt that the sitting-room allotted to him had just been vacated by a crown- 
prince. Damon and Pythias found quarters at a more remote part of the 
building, a good quarter of a mile from the landing, through infinite corridors, 
but commanding a view over the garden, and a tree which the Sketcher at 
once pronounced to be evidently the one under which Kleber was stabbed. 
" From this very window, perhaps," he said, " looked out the black woman 
who spotted the murderer, and pointed him out hidden away among those 
shrubs." The Scribbler remarked, drily, that this part of the building happened 
to be only a few years old ; still — there, or somewhere near it, was the tree, and 
here, or somewhere near it, there was such a window. 

Great was the crowd at the table-dliote that evening in the big room with 
its long rectangle of tables. Imposing was the row of waiters, steadfastly 
waiting the word of command from Edgardo, general of brigade; and a 
proud man looked Luigi, as at not rare intervals he came, like an able 
commander-in-chief, to survey the field of battle, and count the bottles which 
yield him his harvest of four hundred per cent. Lovingly he looked at the 
chickens — those chickens the lineal descendants of those concerning which 
wrote Adrian Augustus : " I wish them no othe*- curse but that the Egyptians 
may be fed with their own chickens, which are hatched in a way I am ashamed 
to relate." 

" And how was that ? " asked the Patrician, who, together with the merchant 
in hides, had joined their late fellow-travellers at the table. 

"I presume," said the Scribbler, "they were artificially hatched; at least it's 
a flourishing trade now, and probably was then, in Alexandria." 

" Wa'al," said Hides, " there is something to me attractive in eating what is to 
any extent the product of machinery. I reckon most things are better done 
by machinery than nature. These animals, now," he said thoughtfully, "could 
never have been brought to this state of sturdy endurance by the fondling 



4 o CAIRO. 

attentions of a parent fowl ; they will, for that quality, probably never be 
excelled until the laying itself is also the work of human ingenuity." 

"They do reflect credit on the establishment," said the Scribbler ; "they are 
a well-known speciality of the house, and their legs only reach this muscular state 
by dint of continual exercise up and down the Pyramids upon which they gaze." 

" But I can find nothing but legs," said the Fond Dove. 

" The wings are invariably made into salmi of duck, and the rest of the bird 
into game-pie; but, hush! the real excitement of the evening approaches." 

It was Luigi, preceding, with ill-concealed pride, the waiters who were bear- 
ing that chef-d'oeuvre of Shepheard's, "the ice-pudding," reserved for Thursdays 
and Sundays. 

" You have dined well ? " he inquired, as his guests went out ; " you found the 
ice-pudding good?" And the whole table-d'hote, with one accord, pronounced 
themselves feasted as if by the gods. Who would dare grumble at Shepheard's ? 
What angry thought, what pang of indigestion, would not disappear before 
Luigi ? 

Smoking their cigarettes on the balcony that evening, there was much re- 
counting of experiences, comparison of plans, and consultation for the future 
among the ex- Maris party. 

Hides and the Patrician had determined not to let the grass grow under 
their feet ; they had caught the train for Cairo on the day of their arrival, and 
seen Pompey's Pillar on their way to the station. Hides checked the accuracy 
of his recollection by looking it up in his " Murray," and finding a mark against 
it, was convinced. The railway journey he described as trying. " They played 
bowls with me all along the line," he said. Arriving in Cairo, they had spent 
half an hour at the Boolak Museum, driven to the Pyramids, walked round 
the Sphinx, and got back in time to see the Citadel mosque. This last im- 
pressed the American more than anything in Cairo; for he measured it care- 
fully, and found that it would make a magnificent tannery. Both were now 
prepared to take an affidavit that they had done Cairo. As for the Nile, the 
American was led to believe that it consisted mainly of buildings, mostly in a 
bad state of repair ; and the Patrician had been disappointed in the reported 
shooting prospects. 

The Turtle was anxious to see " the proper thing " in Cairo, and " to do " 
the Nile with as much regard to his pocket as his dignity would allow. He 
was opining towards Cook, but the Doves cooed rebelliously for a dahabeeyah, 
and indulged in some not profoundly original sneers at Cook's tourists. 

The Scribbler, on the contrary, avowed himself an enthusiastic Cook, as 



COOK THE NATIONAL SCHOOLMASTER. 



4i 



the only feasible means of combining the exigencies of time, money, and the 
Nile. "Perhaps some of the people are not exactly those you would choose 
as companions, and perhaps, for that very reason, they are precisely the people 
whom it will do you good to travel with. You complain that Cook is too 
gregarious. I tell you it is exactly the reverse. Cook makes you go out of 
your own narrow set, and does for you what a public school does to the boy 
from home. Of course, you don't like it, nor does the boy at first ; but you 
come away all the better — you have enlarged your ideas as to your fellow-man." 

" Enlarged your ideas with a Cook's tourist ! " said the Patrician. 

"Certainly, my dear boy. It may be, in some cases, that you have enlarged 
your ideas as to their narrowness ; but how can one arrive 
even at your own large and generous toleration of others, 
unless you have some experience of them? ' Odi profanum 
vulgns et arceo,' say you ; but how can you hate what you 
always avoid ? " 

" But they are so very unpicturesque," murmured the 
Sketcher. 

" Now, that," said the Scribbler, " is all cant. Look at 
ourselves, and tell me if we add anything to the beauty of 
the scenery ? Where does Cook take them to ? To Paris, 
where their worst bonnet-strings can compare not unfavour- 
ably with the flashy Saint-Chapelle. To the Rhine, where 
they look at least as graceful as the newly whitewashed 
castles on that tedious river. To Switzerland, where the 
scenery is already spoilt by the hideousness of the women. 
And here, where they are at least a comparatively bright 
spot of cleanliness. I tell you, sir," continued the Scribbler, 
getting argumentative, and consequently hyperbolical, " that 
against all the inconvenience which you, and a few like you, grumble at, is to be 
set the education of the most ignorant part of the British nation — the eradication 
of our greatest national vice, vulgarity. Mr. Cook is the educator of our middle 
class — the class through whose education alone we have any hope of remaining 
a nation. Do you think we should have had all this rubbish about non- 
intervention if John Cook had educated our grandfathers as he is educating 
us? No, sir! They were brought up in the belief that they lived in a nice 
little, tight little island ; but their idea was to make that nice little island rule 
the world, of which they knew nothing. Their sons, who had imbibed the first 
part of the theory with their mother's milk, added a little knowledge of geography 




A well-known Character in Cairo. 



42 



A LARGE ORDER. 



from an atlas ; thought England looked very small on a map ; got frightened at 
the Alexander idea of conquest, and jumped to the other extreme. This tight 
little island was enough for them — let all the rest of the world go as it would. 
Cook has made their children again travel, and they are slowly awakening to 
a consciousness of the fact that there are other races as intelligent as they are ; 
that they have to fight to hold their own • and that the veins and 
arteries of this tight little island are in every village and in every 
country of the globe." 

" The admission of which general principle," said the Sketcher, 
" does not seem to bring us much nearer to Assouan, or the means 
of getting there. It seems to me that, however we go, we are 
bound to be despised. If we go by the post-boat, we are despised 
by those who go by Cook. If we go by Cook, we are despised by 
those who go by dahabeeyah ; and if we go by dahabeeyah, we are 
condemned by the Scribbler. Similarly, if we go to Luxor, we are 
despised by those who get as far as Assouan ; and these in their 
turn are despised by the hardy travellers as far as Wady Haifa." 

The notion of doing anything for which he could be possibly 
despised was ungrateful to the Turtle ; but comforted by the 
reflection that the Archbishop of Canterbury and some royal 
personages had travelled as Cook's tourists, he announced his 
decision of starting by the steamer of that day week, and graciously 
condescended to place himself and party in Cairo under the personal conduct 
of the Scribbler for the intervening seven days. "You will understand," he 
added gravely, "that we should like to see everything," — which, thought the 
Scribbler, as Cairo is supposed to contain 400 mosques, n 70 cafes, 140 schools, 
300 cisterns, 70 public baths, 40 Christian churches, 13 synagogues, and 1265 
okellas, is a pretty considerable order; but he saw the eyes of the Fair One 
fixed on him, and consented with effusion. 




A Water Seller 




The Nile near Beni Hassan. 



CHAPTER VI. 



Cairo from Mokhattam — Seventy centuries — Cairo of "Arabian Nights'''' — Cairo 
according to Ariosto — The Muski — Khan Khalili — Cairo of the Khedives — 
Sequence of history — A vast plan. 

TO understand Cairo aright, the first view should be taken from the 
Mokhattam heights. The view which Murray ignores and Badeker dis- 
misses in a paragraph is generally neglected for the far inferior but more easily 
accessible one from the Citadel terrace. If he who has " not seen Cairo, has 
nothing seen," then assuredly the same condemnation attaches to him who 
neglects the Mokhattam, for there, below you, lies not only Cairo, but Egypt 
itself. The forty, or let us say seventy centuries, look across to us from the 
Pyramids ; the Sphinx, from even a remoter period, stands still waiting the 
answer to its never-solved riddle ; and down from long ages, with huge lacunae 
indeed, we trace the history of the world, marked by the ruined footprints of 
time. There is Memphis, earliest of cities, built by the dissatisfied Prince of 
This ; there are the colossal tombs of the ancient empire, stretching from 
Sakkarah to Ghizeh. To the right lies Heliopolis, with its sun-temple of the 
Middle Monarchy ; and the Nile, hurrying by to Tanis of the Hyksos, to Sais 
and Bubastis of the new empire, to Naukratis of the Greeks, and to Alexandria 



44 THE NILE. 

of the Ptolemies. There is Babylon of the Romans, away to the left, Fostat of 
the Arabs ; El Askar of the Abbasides ; El Katayeh of the Tooloonides ; and 
Cairo itself of the Fatemites. At our feet lies the Citadel of the Great Salah ed 
Deen — Saladin of our childhood, and founder of the Ayoubites. The minarets 
of Kalaoun and Hassan, Kait Bey and El Ghoree, recall the Memlook dynasties ; 
and there, by the Mosque el Mowayud, is the Bab el Zuweilah, where Turkish 
Sultan Selim hanged Toman, last of his race, assumed the title of Caliph, and 
secured Egypt to the hated rule of the Turk. Three hundred years pass, leaving 
no trace on the map before us ; but the ever-standing Pyramids mark the site of 
Bonaparte's victory over Murad ; the obelisk of Heliopolis, the triumph of his 
successor over the Turk ; and the garden of Shepheard's recalls Kleber's assassi- 
nation only three months later. There, along the river, marched the three 
evacuating armies of England the victor, France the vanquished, and Turkey 
who seized the spoil. In the Citadel at our feet, that grand old Roumeliote 
brigand, Mohamed Ali, stood many a siege, pounding into submission the 
miserable city below, until he had enclosed within those gates, massacring 
within that courtyard, the last of the Memlooks, and waded " through slaughter 
to a throne ; " while beyond again lie the green gardens of the Ismailieh of 
his grandson, and the barracks of the Khasr el Nil, where floats the Union 
Jack. 

So great is the interest of historical association, that we are tempted to 
neglect the view itself. Yet the words of the old Arab legend, handed down 
by tradition, and published in Cairo about the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
come vividly to our memory : " He that has not seen Egypt has not seen the 
greatest w r onder in the world. All the r land there is golden — I mean, it is so 
fertile that it enriches its inhabitants. All the women of that country are 
charming, either in their personal beauty or in their agreeable manners. If 
you speak of the Nile, pray w r here is there a more magnificent river? What 
water was ever purer or more delicious ? The very mud that it carries along 
in its inundations fattens the land a thousand times more than other countries 
that are cultivated with the utmost care. Remember w T hat a poet said to the 
Egyptians when he w T as compelled to depart from the country, ' Your Nile 
loads you with bounties every day ; it is for you only that it flows from such 
a distance. Alas ! in going away from you, my tears are doomed to run as 
abundantly as its water. You are to continue in the enjoyment of its sw r eetness, 
while I am condemned to absent myself.' If you look at the island or delta 
that is formed by the two great branches of the Nile, w r hat variety of verdure 
have you there ! what embroidery of all sorts of flowers ! what a number 



THE PYRAMIDS. 



45 



of cities, villages, streamlets, and a thousand other agreeable objects ! If you 
cast your eyes in another direction towards Ethiopia, how many fresh causes 
of admiration are there I Then, again, is not Grand Cairo the largest, the most 
populous, and the richest city in the universe ? What a number of magnificent 
edifices, public and private, does it contain ! If you behold the Pyramids, you 
will be seized with astonishment. You will stand motionless at the sight of 
those masses of stone which tower to the skies ; and you will be obliged to 
confess that the Pharaohs, who lavished so much treasure and employed so 
many men in building them, must have surpassed all the monarchs that have 
appeared since, not only in Egypt, but throughout all the world, in liberality and 
invention — monuments so ancient, that the most learned men cannot agree 
as to the time of their erection ; and yet they have lasted to this day and will 
last throughout whole ages." 

As one gazes on the crowded beehive below, and listens to the hum of life 
resounding through the clear atmosphere, one is almost tempted to believe 
Ariosto, who describes Cairo as "threaded by 18,000 streets, each house with 
three floors, one only containing 15,000 warriors, their families and their horses, 
under the same roof," until a calculation shows us that the estimate of the 
poet would account for the entire population of 
the universe. But as the sun sets behind the 
Pyramids, and bathes the myriad minarets in a 
flood of ruddy golden light ; as that w T onderful 
afterglow, seen nowhere but in Egypt, rises over 
the horizon, and seems to shed its benediction 
on all the valley beneath, to soothe the swiftly 
flowing waters of the Nile, and to lull to sleep 
the city to the sound of the Muezzin's call, one 
seems to stand above it all in a dreamland, and 
to deem no legend too strange to be true. 

Coming down from the realms of dreamland 
and imagination, from the Cairo of the Caliphs 
and of the Memlooks, we find ourselves at once 
in the everyday life of the capital of to-day, in 
the new street, which is but a continuation of 
the famous Muski. But what an everyday life 
it is ! It is the everyday life of six centuries 
ago still, varied only here and there by the unmistakable presence of a cheap 
and nasty civilisation. Here is the carpet bazaar of Halil, with carpets, 




Carpet Bazaar in the Khan Khalili. 



4 6 



WATER CARRIERS. 




Shoe Seller. 



though some worn with age, still showing that velvet gloss and that indescrib- 
able harmony of colours that we find equalled only in nature ; and there, 

not far from it, is the flashy store of the Levantine, with 
hideous Brussels and Kidderminster patterns of brilliant red 
roses tied into bouquets with mauve ribbons on a yellow 
ground, over which are poring in ecstatic admiration some 
young housewives of Cairo, in search for the very latest 
novelties from Paris. Here are the red and yellow babouche 
slippers from Tunis and Morocco ; there, hard by, are the 
high-heeled monstrosities of to-day — the old world mixing 
with the new, the East with the West ; and, singularly 
enough, the denizens of each generally seeking for the wares 
of the other. Not always, however ; for here is a trade 
with which we have dispensed in Europe, and which yet 
flourishes in Egypt, and happily still among the natives. 
Sometimes in the court of an o/ce/la, sometimes in an open 
side-street, is the well of the quarter ; a sturdy native raises, 
in primitive fashion, alternate buckets of the muddy Nile 
water, and finds constant de- 
mand. Here is a Saga with his 
goat-skin newly filled, which he 
will distribute with careless gene- 
rosity about the feet of the 
passers-by in the dusty streets, 
or perhaps carry to some private 
customer, who will let it filter 
itself imperfectly through a stone 
zeir; others are waiting for their 
supply in jars, graceful as is the 
rudest pottery of the Nile Valley ; 
while hard by a venerable vendor 
of what he avers to be "Water 
sweet as honey ! water from the 
spring! Drink, O faithful! the 
wind is hot and the way long ! 
Water sweet as honey ! " is bend- 
ing his back, and pouring from 
the quaint jar over his shoulder Water Carriers. 




r~ 



THE KHAN KHALILI. 47 

a sparkling stream into the little brass cup, religiously inscribed with verses from 
the Koran. Perhaps the water does not answer to his description ; but then the 
meanest Egyptian is a poet, and must be allowed poetic license. It is better 
than the fire-water of the Greek baccal yonder, he will tell you, and is cheap at 
least ; for if he will take a piaster from you, he will, on the strength of it, give 
it gratis to the first poor beggar who asks for it. " Bismillah ! in the name of 
God ! " 

With the taste of honey, or mud, in your mouth, turn to the right here, 
where the crowd seems thickest ; follow the close-packed, narrowing street ; 
salute copper-coloured Abdallah, the carpet-man, and pass on to your right 
again, into the Khan Khalili, named after Caliph El Ashruf Khalil, son 
of Kalaoun, and built in his day 600 years ago. Here was then the 
business quarter of the town, as now it is of such as deal in car- 
pets, jewels, silks, brass- work, and biblots of all kinds ; but, in the old 
days, the life of a merchant was by no means so quiet as now. Mem- 
looks would ride through the streets, pillaging the shops and houses, carrying 
off women and children ; free fights took place in the roads ; missiles of all 
kinds were discharged from the houses on to the enemy below ; and the 
terrified merchants of the Khan Khalili would gather into its 
narrow alleys, shut to the heavy gates, and remain for days at a Af > 
time trembling in a state of siege. No signs of such terror do \)\\ 
we see now. Like spiders in their webs sit the Persians, Spanish \ 

Jews, and Turks, warily watching for the European fly who may """ / 
be tempted to enter. Some are stately and Oriental ; receive 
you with a solemn bow, explain that all their goods are yours ; 
scrutinise keenly your expression as they open before you their 
wares ; and when they catch the glance that tells of approval, 
vow that the article which has attracted it is the one jewel of 
their collection. Others, again, affect an eager anxiety to finish A MerchanL 

the work they have in hand ; hardly can they spare the time to look at you ; 
never were there such industrious workmen, even though you may have seen 
them only a moment before enjoying their kef and gossip. Such are the 
workers in brass. Do you want such a thing ? That is the price, and there is no 
more to be said — they have no time to waste ; only, when you turn to go, and 
a hurried look shows that you mean it, does the chisel and hammer fall, and 
the hard-pressed workman become the anxious bargainer. A third class there 
is, who affect the superior ways which they fondly imagine to be in accordance 
with English ideas. "Have cup coffee? Have cup tea? How's y'self? 




48 



SILVER BAZAAR. 




How's y' family ? Sit down. Want anything ? All cheap ; low'st price." Of such 
are Faraway Moses, so named by some facetious American — title duly registered 
in a guide-book, and accepted by the worthy old Hebrew in a large board over 

his stall ; Coen, dealer in curios, and 
dabbler in stocks, rich in embroideries, 
and of more than average Khan Khalili 
honesty ; and " Low'st Price," so named 
on the lucus a 71011 lucendo principle. 
Many are the hours and many the guineas 
that you may wile away, not altogether 
unprofitably. Nowhere better, perhaps, 
can you find Cairo epitomised in miniature 
— its crowded streets, its veiled beauties, 
its Eastern treasures, its projecting roofs, 
its fine dilapidated Saracenic architecture, 
and — its beggars. 

Leaving the Khan Khalili, we cross 
the road into the silver bazaar ; but it re- 
quires much enthusiasm for light filagree 
work, or determination to unearth the 

occasional specimens of good old Hedjaz silver manufacture, to tempt us to 

linger in the fetid atmosphere of the Sug el Fuddah, and a turn to our left 

brings us again into the Grand Muski. Here, until recently, was the most 

prosperous quarter of Cairo, the site of banks and the 

largest Levantine commercial houses; while the little "rond 

point" in the middle of it, with its four trees, was the 

fashionable lounge of Young Egypt mounted on donkeys. 

Now, it is the meeting-place for auctioneers, offering well- 
worn remains of cheap European furniture ; the shops on 

either side of the street are more frequently European than 

native, and slimy Levantine touts assail you to buy their 

spurious wares. Still, if we take the Irishman's view, and 

regard the street disassociated from its houses, we may 

realise that we are in the East. Camels pass, laden with 

w r ares from Mocca and Barbary, gingerly placing their feet 

in the mud to the warning " Hat" of the driver; donkeys 

laden with balloon-like women, who sit cross-legged on the very summit of 

the saddle, crowded with sail formed by their black fad/as, and held on by 



Silver Bazaar. 










A Jeweller, 




The Khan Khali li. 



II 



r" 



THE COVENT GARDEN OF CAIRO. 



49 



sympathetic donkey-boys. The rattle of the water-sellers' cups, the jingle of 
the donkeys' bells, mingle with the cry of the seller of pistacchios, of rahatlakum, 
of Helowa, of all the luxuries for Egyptian sweet-teeth. And here comes the 
cafedjee, with coffee suitable for grave seigneurs — coffee wiiich, for a copper, 
we drink, not in vulgar draughts, but sip as nectar, more precious than golden 
chartreuse or precious curagoa ; and the seller of cheap iced sherbets or 
liquorice-water, that the faithful may imbibe without intoxication, if with colic. 
Turning through a wide door to the right as we leave the Muski, we find 
ourselves in a quaint old okella where congregate the cooks to buy rich stores 
of fruit and vegetables — the Covent Garden of Cairo — in one corner of 
which we find Parvis Magnus, maker of much furniture in beautiful antique, 
both Pharaonic and Saracenic Egyptian style, as tempts the 
aesthetic spendthrift to speedy ruin. And so we pass on, past 
the place where stood the statue of Ibrahim, victor of Konieh, 
but where it stands no more, since the iconoclastic Arabi rele- 
gated it, as an impious representation of nature, to the Boolak 
Museum — on to the Esbekieh, formerly a lake round which stood 
the gay kiosks of the Memlooks, and now an artificial garden, 
with sham lakes, sham rock-work, sham grass, fit emblem of the 
sham civilisation of its creator, Ismail. 

For the Cairo of to-day — the Cairo in which the average 
traveller spends nine-tenths of his time — is the creation of the 
last twenty years. Old Mohamed Ali was fain to be content with 
his Citadel for the first few years of his reign, for therein alone 
lay safety. Later, when his power was more secure, he built his 
palace at Shubra, to the north on the banks of the river, not 
without taste of a barbaric oriental sort. Abbas, who deserved 
a better character than most historians have given nim, half Bedouin as he was, 
loved the desert, and made his palaces in the Abbassieh and at Mex. Easy- 
going, voluptuous Said loved Alexandria, the sea, and the Canal. Ismail, the 
vaunted, over-praised civiliser of Egypt, had no higher ideal than that of making 
Cairo a miniature Paris, a city of boulevards and ballets, casinos and cafi-chantants. 

And so it is that the capital of Egypt has come to be the one city in the 
world near which you may trace the life of 7000 years. 

The Scribbler, who was a nervous man, felt somewhat appalled at the idea 
of carrying the unsympathetic Turtle through a course of history at the rate of 
a day per ten centuries ; but he had been rash enough to consent, and being 
withal conscientious, he determined to do it as thoroughly as possible. 




Cafe'djee. 



5° 



SEQUENCE OF HISTORY. 



*-<~> 



" It was the misfortune of my life," he confided to the Sketcher, "to acquire 
at an early age a considerable amount of desultory historical information, with- 
out any chronological sequence. By the time I was eighteen, I was deeply 
learned in various periods of history ; my reading had ranged from Herodotus 
to Macaulay, or I should speak more correctly if I said from 
Macaulay to Herodotus, for I had the vaguest notion of what 
I will call the sequence of history. The longer I have lived the 
more convinced I am that half of even the educated world suffers 
from the same defect. They are deep in periods, and yet are 
ignorant of the most rudimentary knowledge of the connection 
between them. I met once a man who had given much study to 
the religions of the world ; he was well versed in the niceties of 
the early Christian sects ; could discourse for hours on the Ego 
and the Logos ; was equally informed as to the life of Mahomet 
and the rival pretensions of AH and Othman ; but 
it happened one day at a dinner-table that a ques- 
tion arose as to the right of Mahomet to the title 
of " Prophet of God, " and the learned one denied 
his right to the title because he had not predicted 
the Messiah. Of course, in the next moment he 
saw his mistake, but the confusion was there for a 
second. Well, I feel that the soft and succulent 
brain of our friend the Turtle has been committed to my keeping 
for a week ; that it is my duty in that time to make such impres- 
sion as I can upon that yielding pulp ; and as in the period 
I can hardly pretend to give a history of 7000 years, I will try at 
least to make the chronological framework or skeleton." 

" Have you the remotest idea that he will ever be able to fill 
it in ? " 

" Very little, I confess ; but besides the chance of interesting 
the Doves, there is, I confess, the hope that I may interest you, 
or at all events myself." 
" And how do you propose to begin ? " 

" With the Sphinx, of course, starting our little trip somewhere before the 
date of the creation, according to Archbishop Ussher ; leading him, metaphori- 
cally at all events, over the Pyramids to Boolak ; hurrying him through the 
ancient empire and the Hyksos, and allowing him to linger over the 
mummies. The Ptolemaic period I tried to instil into him at Alexandria; 





A Pistacchio Seller. 



A Seller of Liquorice Water. 



A VAST PLAN. 



5 1 



and, with a vault of some few thousands of years, we will carry him to Bablun, 
and then through mosques, beginning with the Gamr Amr, and finishing with 
the El Goriah. We will (metaphorically always) hang him at the Bab el Zuweilah 
with the last Borgite ; massacre him at the Citadel with the Memlooks ; let him 
realise Mohamed Ali at Shubra ; and finally leave him panting and struggling 
on his back at one of Tewfik's receptions at Abdeen. Dost thou like the 
picture ? " 

" At first sight it seems, like ' Murray,' more instructive than amusing ; but, 
I confess, it has its advantages — mainly that we shall be for 7000 years in the 
company of the lovely Enid and Iris, as I discover they are called." 

The Scribbler looked grave. "Remember, my Gothic and inflammatory 
friend, that you have to do with the stern British /M? de famille, capable de tout, 
as Talleyrand said. The British paterfamilias is as stern a despot in his family 
circle as the Turkish Pasha ; and if too attentive to the Doves, your headless 
trunk may be fiung into the river with as little ceremony as that of Goroun, or, 
at the best, you will be asked to state your intentions." 

11 Which," replied the other, " I should at once state as evanescent and 
unmercenary." 




CHAPTER VII. 

Pyramids of Ghizeh — Webbes description, 1580 a.d. — Knolles, i6co A.D. — Sphinx — 
Patro?iisi?ig Harj'iet a?id ingenious Verulam — Emerson a?id Stoddard — Recent 
excavation — Lege?id of Tut?7ies IV. and Sphinx — Tutmes a?id Wilson — Fellow 
pilferers — Chroyiological discussion — Archbishop Ussher — A compromise. 

IN accordance with the plan, our travellers started early the next morning for 
the Pyramids, and duly experienced all the totally contradictory associa- 
tions of all travellers, from Herodotus to the latest of American Howadjis. 
These impressions may be studied with advantage from numerous guide-books, 
and are probably not much more accurate, and certainly less interesting, than 
the description given by that " simple man, void of learning," worthy Edward 
Webbe, who, in the time of good Queen Bess, was carried as a slave to the 
"Gran Caer," where he saw " Seauen Mountaines builded on the out side like 
vnto ye point of a diamond, which Mountaines were builded in King Pharoes 
time for to keepe Corne in, and they are Mountaines of great strength. It is 
also saide that they were builded about that time when Ioseph did lade home 
his Brethren's Asses with Corne, in the time of the great dearth mentioned in 
the Scripture ; at which time all their Corne lay in those mountaines ; " or that 
other by Richard Knolles, author of " The Generall Historie of the Turkes," 
who wrote some twenty years later, presumably from hearsay : — " About fives 
miles distant from old Caire, on Affricke side, stand the Pyramides, monu- 
ments of the barbarous Egyptian kings vanitie ; whose proud names and titles 
Time hath worne out of those huge and wonderful buildings, of purpose made 
for the vaine eternising of their fame and endlesse wealth, so that of them it may 
now well be said, 

Miramur perysse homines ? monumenta fatiscunt 
Interims saxis nominibusque venit. 

What wonder we that men doe die ? the stately tombes do weare ; 
The verie stones consume to nought, with titles they bid beare. 

Within them are the sepulchers of the old /Egyptian kings, divided into 
chappels, garnished with stone of great price curiously wrought. Yet are those 



THE PYRAMID ''DOCTOR." 53 

places loathsome of smel, and for darknesse thereof, dreadfull to behold : for as 
men go downe to come into them by a narrow way, almost swarved up with 
rubbish, their lights are often times put out with the dampe of the earth and 
swarmes of remise flying about their eares. Some having got to the tops of 
them, report, that the watch tower of Alexandria, and the mouth of the river 
Nilus where it falleth into the sea, is from thence well to be seene : and that 
for the great height of them, a man cannot shoot an arrow so high as the midst 
of the lower tower wheron the spire standeth. Of these outragious buildings, 
are written many strange and almost incredible things, as that an hundred 
thousand men should be occupied continually by the space of twentie yeres, 
in building one of them : during which time, the charges for roots, garlike, and 
onions only, amounted to 1600 talents of silver." 

The young people determined to scale these "outrageous buildings," but 
turned without having seen any of the wonders averred. Going inside, they 
3 more fortunate, and pronounced the description of the old author 
lljllly exact. The Turtle was not to be induced to try either experiment ; 
stolidly on a stone, disregarding the flattering assurances of the well- 
Pyramid " Doctor," who offered to carry him " up one side, down 
• r enty minutes, no bone broke, and you very happy, only two shillin.' 
j was much impressed — more probably he was bored — but he felt 
duty to see the Pyramids ; and he saw them, if not with reverence, 
:h compassion for the misdevoted energy which, properly applied, 
been, to soap, might have proved largely remunerative. Still, he 
Tie, bought a coin or two, and was repaid by being pronounced " a 
it man forward " — a well-meaning compliment which his waistcoat 

j foot of the Great Cheops the "Doctor" led the way to the Sphinx, 

scribed as " very old, and very soon naked quite " — an expression 

have caused the Turtle to pause, had not the Scribbler explained 

ference only to the recent excavations, and that it was a monster 

ms puerisque. 

steps farther brought them in presence of that monument, which 

1st emotional nor the least flippant can face without reverence. 

" Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale 
Her infinite variety." 

ipt itself, the hardiest conception stands aghast at a figure which 
me for 7000 years ; for Mariette, at all events, places its date 



CHAPTER VII. 

Pyramids of Ghizeh — Webbes description^ 1580 a.d. — Knolles, i6co A.D. — Sphinx — 
Patro?iising Har?'iet a?id inge?iious Verulam — E??ierso?i and Stoddard — Recent 
excavation — Legend of Tut?nes IV. and Sphinx — Tntmes a?id Wilson — Fellow 
pilferers — Chronological discussion — Archbishop Ussher — A compromise. 

IN accordance with the plan, our travellers started early the next morning for 
the Pyramids, and duly experienced all the totally contradictory associ? 
tions of all travellers, from Herodotus to the latest of American Howad' 
These impressions may be studied with advantage from numerous guide-br 
and are probably not much more accurate, and certainly less interesting 
the description given by that " simple man, void of learning," worthy T 
Webbe, who, in the time of good Queen Bess, was carried as a slav 
"Gran Caer," where he saw " Seauen Mountaines builded on the ou' 
vnto ye point of a diamond, which Mountaines were builded in Kii 
time for to keepe Corne in, and they are Mountaines of great strem 
also saide that they were builded about that time when Ioseph did 1 
his Brethren's Asses with Corne, in the time of the great dearth me 1 
the Scripture ; at which time all their Qorne lay in those mountaines 
other by Richard Knolles, author of " The Generall Historie of th 
who wrote some twenty years later, presumably from hearsay : — " 
miles distant from old Caire, on AfTricke side, stand the Pyram, 
ments of the barbarous ^Egyptian kings vanitie ; whose proud nam 
Time hath worne out of those huge and wonderful buildings, of p' 
for the vaine eternising of their fame and endlesse wealth, so that of 
now well be said, 

Miramur perysse homines ? monumenta fatiscunt 
Interims saxis nominibusque venit. 

What wonder we that men doe die? the stately tombes do weare ; 
The verie stones consume to nought, with titles they bid beare. 

Within them are the sepulchers of the old ^Egyptian king 
chappels, garnished with stone of great price curiously wrought 






THE PYRAMID '-DOCTOR." 53 

places loathsome of smel, and for darknesse thereof, dreadfull to behold : for as 
men go downe to come into them by a narrow way, almost swarved up with 
rubbish, their lights are often times put out with the dampe of the earth and 
swarmes of remise flying about their eares. Some having got to the tops of 
them, report, that the watch tower of Alexandria, and the mouth of the river 
Nilus where it falleth into the sea, is from thence well to be seene : and that 
for the great height of them, a man cannot shoot an arrow so high as the midst 
of the lower tower wheron the spire standeth. Of these outragious buildings, 
are written many strange and almost incredible things, as that an hundred 
thousand men should be occupied continually by the space of twentie yeres, 
in building one of them : during which time, the charges for roots, garlike, and 
onions only, amounted to 1600 talents of silver." 

The young people determined to scale these " outrageous buildings," but 
returned without having seen any of the wonders averred. Going inside, they 
were more fortunate, and pronounced the description of the old author 
painfully exact. The Turtle was not to be induced to try either experiment ; 
he sat stolidly on a stone, disregarding the flattering assurances of the well- 
known Pyramid "Doctor," who offered to carry him "up one side, down 
t'other, twenty minutes, no bone broke, and you very happy, only two shillin.' 
Perhaps he was much impressed — more probably he was bored — but he felt 
it was his duty to see the Pyramids ; and he saw them, if not with reverence, 
at least with compassion for the misdevoted energy which, properly applied, 
as his had been, to soap, might have proved largely remunerative. Still, he 
paid his dime, bought a coin or two, and was repaid by being pronounced " a 
very straight man forward " — a well-meaning compliment which his waistcoat 
belied. 

From the foot of the Great Cheops the " Doctor" led the way to the Sphinx, 
which he described as " very old, and very soon naked quite " — an expression 
which might have caused the Turtle to pause, had not the Scribbler explained 
that it had reference only to the recent excavations, and that it was a monster 
safe, virginibus puerisque. 

But a few steps farther brought them in presence of that monument, which 
neither the least emotional nor the least flippant can face without reverence. 

" Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale 
Her infinite variety." 

Even in Egypt itself, the hardiest conception stands aghast at a figure which 
has confronted time for 7000 years ; for Mariette, at all events, places its date 



54 EMERSON AND STODDARD. 

before Menu, who lived 5000 years before Christ. The guide-books, which 
mark it, like second-class brandy, with a double star, and speak of it as "next 
to the Pyramids the most famous monument in this vast burial-ground," insult 
its majesty, for it stands the monument of the world, one and unapproachable. 
We may leave it to such critics to describe its length and breadth, and to suggest 
to the traveller to " stand upon the upper part of the ear," to measure the nose 
and the mouth ! The Arabs appreciate it better, who call it " Abou Hoi," 
Father of Terror. Even patronising Harriet Martineau is impressed at last, 
though at first she took it, with her superior ignorance, "for a capriciously 
formed rock, forgetting that I should not meet with limestone at Ghizeh," she 
adds by way of showing us that her knowledge of geology might have saved 
her from overlooking it. Even she, at last, had to own a feeling of awe. 
Wonderful tribute to the Sphinx power that it drew admiration from Harriet ! 
And ingenious Verulam, who, let it be said in extenuation, had never seen it, 
found a parable therein. The whole, he says, is Science, regarded by the 
ignorant (Harriet) as a monster. As the figure is heterogeneous, so the subjects 
of Science "are very various;" the female face "denotes volubility of speech." 
(O Harriet !) Her wings show that " knowledge, like light, is rapidly diffused ; " 
and so forth. Enough of such criticism ; rather let us watch her in reverence, 
striving, if perchance may come to us the solution of that mystery which she 
has asked in vain, with her yearning, prayerful gaze, at every morning's rising sun 
since time was. No CEdipus has solved that riddle — the mystery of immortal 
life — the mystery " of going on and still to be." 

" The Sphinx is drowsy ; 

Her wings are furled, 
Her ear is heavy ; 

She broods on the world. 
Who'll tell me my secret 

The ages have kept ? 
I awaited the Seer 

While they slumbered and slept." 1 

And she has watched them, not slumbering and sleeping alone — 

" Nations have fallen round her, but she stands ; 
Dynasties came and went, but she went not. 
She saw the Pharaohs and the Shepherd Kings, 
Chariots and horsemen in their dread array, 
Cambyses, Alexander, Anthony. 
The hosts of standards and the eagle wings, 
Whom, to her ruinous sorrow, Egypt drew, 
She saw and she forgot." - 

1 Emerson. 2 Stoddard. 




The Sphinx Uncovered. 



r 



RECENT EXCAVATION. 55 

But since Harriet and our sympathetic friends, the compilers of guide- 
books, have been there, much has been done. Hitherto the head only stood 
above the desert, encroaching around it. Seventy years ago, English enterprise, 
for once not purely mercenary, enabled Caviglia to uncover the flight of steps 
leading to it ; but the sand ruthlessly buried it again, until Maspero began the 
work of excavation, continued by Grebaut, his successor at Boolak. At present 
they have bared the whole front of the body, the small sanctuary between its 
paws, and the wide flight of steps. The work still goes on, and may eventually 
confirm the surmise that it stood in the midst of a huge artificial amphitheatre 
hewn out of solid rock. The paws are red brick, tawdry looking, and of far 
later date than the head. We might even regret the excavation of them, were it 
not that without it we could never get the most perfect view, which is obtainable 
about half way down the steps, and that but for it we should not have been able 
to read on the stela of Tutmes IV. how the great king lay down to rest one 
midday in the shadow of the Sphinx (it was then more than 3000 years old), 
and the sleeping king dreamed in a dream how the venerable image above him 
conjured him to clear away the sand in which it was already nearly buried. Then 
the prince awoke, and in the silence of the desert " made silence in his heart," 
and vowed to perform the bidding of the god. 

It is cruel to spoil such an idyll, the sleeping king and his dream ; but there 
comes, in this iconoclastic age of ours, one Flinders Petrie, most flintstone- 
hearted of antiquaries, who hints, nay, almost avers, that the pious Tutmes 
actually pilfered, like a nineteenth-century antiquary, a red granite block from 
the neighbouring temple of Khafra. Dreadful it is to think of, and of the 
righteous indignation of Erasmus Wilson when he meets the royal pilferer in 
Elysium ! 

If you will, you may, after seeing the Sphinx, go to the temple of Chefren, 
and the tomb, which Colonel Vyse, with true Anglo-Saxon taste, has rendered 
ridiculous by associating with the name of a worthy British Consul-General, and 
which (such is the value of tradition) the Pyramid Arabs point out as the grave 
of Colonel Campbell. But the Doves were impressed, and unwilling to with- 
draw from the sight of that face, and the imagination of that sleeping king, pirate 
though he may have been. Nor did it enter into the plans of the Scribbler, who 
was unwilling to overladen the non-receptive brain of his pupil. So as the sun 
was setting behind that stupendous image they drove away, wondering, with 
Dean Stanley, " what it must have been when on its head there was the royal 
helmet of Egypt ; on its chin the royal beard ; when the stone pavement by 
which men approached the Pyramids ran up between its paws ; when immedi- 



56 CHRONOLOGICAL DISCUSSION. 

ately under its heart an altar stood from which the smoke went up into the 
gigantic nostrils of that nose now vanished from the face never to be conceived 
again." 

The long drive through the avenues of acaccia had lasted for a few minutes 
before the Scribbler, anxious to ascertain the effect his first lesson had produced, 
ventured to ask the Turtle his impressions. 

As became an ex-minister, the reply was Socratic. 

" How old did you say that — er — that object was ?" 

"Roughly, 7000 years." 

The Turtle paused and made a mental calculation. 

"It cannot," he said, "be more than 5890 years old, for the world was 
created on Sunday, 25th March, 4004 B.C." 

"Mais nous avons change tous cela" sang the Sketcher airily. 

The Turtle looked shocked, and glanced uneasily at his daughters. 

" I think, sir," said the Scribbler, anxious to allay a storm, " the date you 
mention is wanting in confirmation. It is, if I may say so, not official," he 
added, seeking words which might appeal to his feelings. 

" I think," said the man of Blue Books, somewhat mollified, " I think you 
will find that date attested in Scripture, and you will not, I hope " (glancing at the 
Doves), "attempt to — er — to traverse that authority." 

" I will not," replied the other; "but you will, I am sure, excuse my point- 
ing out that the date rests on no divine authority. Without even questioning 
the verbal inspiration of Scripture — a point which, I believe, many undoubtedly 
orthodox men have given up — nay, without even calling in question the still 
more doubtful point as to the verbal inspiration of the Authorised Version, we 
are still not compelled to accept the chronology, which rests on the assertion — 
let us say the investigations — accurate so far as they then could be, of Archbishop 
Ussher." 

Now, the Turtle had never heard of Archbishop Ussher ; but it so happened 
that he had once had a question with his rector in reference to tithes, and in 
a friendly way had referred the question to an archbishop, in full confidence 
that his claims of social superiority would be recognised. The archbishop, 
however, had given the case against him ; and, though accepting the decision, 
and abstaining even from his first idea of voting for the abolition of the Estab- 
lishment, the Turtle had held a poor opinion of archbishops ever since. He 
had already begun to realise, from casual conversation, that Egyptian chronology 
would not fit in with his preconceived ideas ; but he had held tightly to the 
latter, under the conviction that the received chronology was one of the Thirty- 



A COMPROMISE. 



57 



Nine Articles of the Church of England. It was, therefore, a secret relief to 
him to hear that it rested upon no more secure foundation than the opinion 
of one of that order of the hierarchy, of whose want of judgment he had in his 
own case had such a conspicuous example. 

" I am quite willing to admit," he said, " that the archbishop you speak of 
may have made a mistake of a few years in his calculation ; " and the Scribbler 
felt that his point was gained. 

"Accept, then," he continued, "that we have been contemplating a monu- 
ment created 7000 years ago ; and, without further inquiry as to what period 
it required to bring art to that pitch of perfection, let us assume that the Sphinx 
is the beginning of creation, as it is the beginning of human creation, so far as 
we have any existing complete vestige of it, and to-morrow we will skip a few 
thousand years or so, and continue the subject at Boolak, in presence of the 
wooden man and the founders of the comparatively modern Pyramids." 




•m 




J ojnb of Mariette — Entrance to the Boolak Museum. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Boolak — Museum not inappropriately situated — Khafra — The wooden man — Immuta- 
bility of Egyptian type — Egyptian alternate slave and rebel — Mummies — Sekene?i 
Ra — Aahmes — Seti — Ramses II. and III. — Pinotem — De mortuis — Comparative 
chronology — A7itiquity of Egyptian art — Petrified prayers — Vulgar pyramids — 
Hymn to Amen Ra — Tale of the Doomed Prince. 

THE Boolak Museum is reached by a long drive through quarters where the 
lowest European class has added some of its ugliness to, and borrowed 
some of the extra filth from, the native. It is not here, assuredly, that you 
would expect to find treasures which no capital in Europe can parallel, and the 
loss of which no Rothschild could replace. And yet, perhaps, the resting-place 
for these records of past Egypt has not been ill chosen ; for it lies on the banks 
of the ever-mysterious river, keeping touch, as it were, with the life-stream of 
the people whose history it records. The Pyramids look down on it from the 
opposite bank ; and the nineteenth century, with its military casernes, its busy 
cargo-boats, and its sugar- stores, crowd it in on every side. It would be easy 
to find a more costly habitation. The palaces of Ghizeh or Ghezireh might 
afford more ample room for the relics of 5000 years, now crowded into 
a few square yards : but as no building that modern art could devise or 
imitate would ever look aught but shamefaced in comparison with the glorious 



THE STATUE OF KHAFRA. 



59 



contents themselves — as no style could ever be harmonious with the remains 
of periods reaching from the prehistoric Second Dynasty to the Ptolemies — it 

is perhaps better that there should be no attempt to render 
the casket worthy of the jewels, and that w r e should plunge, 
as it were, straight from the hideousness of the lower life 
of to-day into the quiet garden washed by the Nile, where 
the tomb of Mariette guards the portal to the mysteries of 
a giant past. 

" Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night, 
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear." 

The Scribbler, in pursuance of his plan, would permit no 
loitering, but led the way straight to the statue of Khafra. 
The builder of the Second Pyramid of Ghizeh, whose char- 
acter would seem to have been 
handled with unnecessary severity 
by Herodotus, has a face of benign 
shrewdness, and, unless phrenology 
is at fault, possessed a considerable 
sense of humour. That it is a like- 
ness, and not a mere conventional 
representation, is evident. Seated 
in solemn state among his descen- 
dants, he looks every inch of his 
colossal frame a king. Near him 
stands the perhaps yet more lifelike 
figure of the wooden man. 
" Do you suppose," said the Turtle, reading from his 

"Murray," "that there is any truth in this story, that the 

villagers recognise a likeness between this image of some 

thousand years old and their own municipal magistrate of 

to-day?" 

"Of course it's true," interrupted the enthusiastic 

Sketcher. " Here you have the statue of a man hidden at 

Sakkarah some 6000 years ago. His sons have buried him, 

succeeded to his camels and his honours, and lived on the 

same spot. There was a man, whom your soldiers came 

across in the last war, who had lived his life of some sixty years within thirty miles 

of the Nile, and had yet never seen it. So lived this man and his descendants— 

K 




Statue of Khafra. 




60 IMMUTABILITY OF THE EGYPTIAN. 

never moving, always living within the same square mile, marrying and intermarry- 
ing, until, when this statue is discovered, it is found that the lineal descendant, 
through some 200 generations, has preserved an exact resemblance to his 
ancestor. Would it not be strange if it were otherwise? That goose, which 
you see in that 3000 years old picture, is the goose which we saw outside; that 
trefoil is the berseem growing to-day. The biped man has been as much localised 
as the biped anser or the clover." 

"I don't know," said the Scribbler, "that we need attach much importance 
to the alleged likeness to the individual man. The Egyptian is not observant 
in physiognomy. This man has two legs, two arms, and one head ; so has their 
Sheik El Beled ; that would probably create in their minds sufficient resemblance 
for them to cry, 'Wallahi zei el sheikh betana.' Whether it were so or not is 
immaterial ; but the type of man represented here is the exact reproduction of 
the type of the Fellah of to-day ; and it proves, not exactly the Sketcher's family- 
feature theory, but the fact, established beyond a doubt in hundreds of ways, 
that the successive conquerors of Egypt have always ended by being physically 
conquered by the children of the soil. Was it an innate knowledge that they 
would in this way ultimately subdue their conquerors which reconciled them 
to perpetual conquest ? " 

" But have they always been so easily governed ? " said the Sketcher. " The 
history of Egypt seems to me nothing but a series of conquest and revolt." 

" Precisely ; but hardly ever, if ever, of resistance to invasion in the first 
instance, nor of revolt afterwards, except in favour of a new conqueror. The 
Egyptian of all ages has grown up in r the belief that it is his destiny to be the 
slave of some one ; that some one, whoever he may be, he respects and hates, 
but has no idea of resisting. Not unnaturally, however, he is like an Irishman, 
* agin the Government ; ' and when another some one comes to attack the 
reigning some one, his sympathies are with the former, and he revolts in favour 
of a new master. So each conquest is tolerably easily accomplished, and equally 
easily overthrown. The Egyptian, always submitting, and always secretly hostile, 
is ready to welcome a third conqueror, or perhaps the old one." 

The most well-intentioned chronological plans were doomed to failure, 
owing to the restless spirit of the Sketcher and the Fair One, following whom, 
the party found themselves suddenly confronting the mummy cases. 

" Here, for instance," continued the Scribbler, " you have an instance. This 
is Sekenen Ra Taaken, conqueror of the Hyksos, leader of the so-called war 
of Egyptian independence, which lasted 150 years some 3600 years ago. But 
note that Sekenen himself is but one of the Theban despots fighting -against the 



SEKENEN RA TAAKEN. 



61 



Hyksos despots. The Egyptians who fought with him against the Hyksos had 
probably aided the Hyksos against his ancestors. However, he fights for what 
he assumes to be his rights ; gains them for his descendants, but loses his life. 
Look at him closely, and read his history, told as graphically as if by Macaulay, 
and perhaps more truthfully. That wound there, inflicted by a mace or hatchet, 
which has cleft the left cheek, broken the lower jaw, and laid bare the side 
teeth, was probably the first, and must have felled him to the ground. See 
there, how his foes fell on him ! That downward hatchet blow split off an 




Mummy of Sekenen Ra Taaken. 

enormous splinter of the skull, leaving a long rift through which some portion 
of the brain has escaped ; you can see it in that large white blotch on the cheek. 
That other blow, just above the right eye, must have been a lance wound, passing 
through his temple, and probably finished him. Look at the agony in the face, 
and the tongue bitten through in anguish. He gave his life dearly, did Sekenen 
Ra ; and after the fight the body has been embalmed and had decent though 
hurried sepulture. A tall, slender, but muscular man, small, long, barrel-shaped 
head, covered with long black curly hair; the eye large and deep set; the nose 



62 



SETI MENEPHTAH. 



straight and broad at the bridge j a massive lower face with projecting jaw and 
cheek bones, probably a Barabra ; and note one singular detail still visible after 
thirty-six centuries — he must have been shaved on the very day of battle. 

" Here, close by, is his descendant, Aahmes of the eighteenth dynasty, who 

reaped the fruits of victory. He is bandaged ; but 
see next to him his son, Amenhoteb, covered still 
with garlands, which, when the sarcophagus was 
first opened, had not lost their colour ; and hidden 
among the flowers a wasp, who had slipped in as 
the coffin was being closed, and remains there 
preserved after 3000 years, probably the only wasp 
ever dignified with the rites of mummihood. In 
his day must the family of Joseph have increased 
and multiplied ; for I forgot to say that the Hyksos 
adversary of Sekenen Ra was probably Joseph's 
friend. And here is Seti Menephtah, son of the 
first, and father of the second, Ramses. A beauti- 
ful old man is Seti, with refined intellectual face, 
and a sweet smile that fascinates after thirty-two 
centuries. A hale old man, too, for his teeth are 
white and well preserved, and only his fingers show 
the signs of that even then aristocratic disease, 
gout. 

"Ramses II., the great Sesostris of tradition — 
the Pharaoh who knew not Joseph — is a singularly 
hard and powerful likeness of his father. Like him 
vigorous and robust, for he reigned sixty-seven 
years, and must have been over a hundred when 
he died; the chest broad, the shoulders square, 
and the arms crossed ; the head long, but small 
compared to the body, with thick, smooth, straight 
locks of hair about two inches long, probably white 
at time of death, but rendered yellow from the 
process of embalming. The forehead is low and 
narrow, the eyes close together, with thick short 
eyebrows ; a long, thin, and Bourbon hooked nose 
slightly crushed at the tip; the cheek-bones prominent; the jawbone massive 
and strong; the chin prominent, with small but thick-lipped mouth; the teeth 




Jllununy of Seti MenepJitah. 



RAMSES II. 



63 



worn and brittle, the round ears pierced for earrings. The moustache and 
beard are thin • perhaps he shaved during life, and this is the growth of the 
last illness. On the whole, the expression is not in- 
tellectual, perhaps even animal, but withal shows 
resolve, majesty, and pride. And here you have two 
of a very different type — can you not recognise the 
priest in both these faces ? — the priest Nibsoni of 
the twentieth, and the priest-king Pinotem of the 
twenty-first. They want only the berretta to be Don 
Basilios." 

" And here, again, Ramses III., last of the warrior- 
kings of Egypt — a face not equal to that of old Seti, 
but yet better than that of Ramses II., of which it is 

a small imitation, though 
more delicate and intelli- 
gent in expression — c of 
pompous piety and inordi- 
nate vanity,' however, if we 
may trust Mr. Maspero." 

u De ?nortuis" said the 
Sketcher gently, at the 
end of this somewhat long 
oration ; " don't let's abuse 
the man over his coffin. 
Even in a cemetery of 
unknown dead, one can- 
not help feeling a little 
generous and grateful to 
the hundreds who have 
probably each done some one little act of kindness, 
which has begot others, and these in turn more, multi- 
plying like the grain of mustard seed, and so produc- 
ing, generation after generation, a kindlier feeling to 
each other — a feeling which we are now learning to 
extend to the brutes, and in time shall bestow on the flowers. And these 
men left us something besides their own mummies and the records of their 
wars. If they were conquerors of savages, they conquered Art too, and Nature 
itself. Their blood may not run in our veins, but their brains have helped to 




^'JlPC 



Mummy of Pinotem. 




Mummy of V. imscs II. 



64 



RAMSES III. 





form ours. We are never tired of owning our debt to Athens and Rome, but 

we forget that Athens herself was what she was only thanks to Egypt, and that 

the intellectual ancestors of Phidias and Homer are around us." 
" What, then, is the date of the mummies ? " asked the Turtle. 
"Of these, from 3000 to 3500 years; but a bald statement like that hardly 

conveys anything. Remember that we are only 

1000 years removed from Alfred; little more than 

2000 years from the destruction of Carthage; and 

that Ramses III., the most modern of all these, 

was probably ruling in Egypt when the well-gyved 

Greeks were starting on the mythical Trojan war." 
" Then does real History begin here ? " asked 

Enid. 

" Begin here ! Say rather that it ends here ; 
for from henceforth the Egyptian 
empire declines. The 3000 years 
seem immense to us ; we find it 
difficult to carry back the imagi- 
nation so far, and to picture these 
poor mummies as making history. 
But remember that, if they could 

rise and walk into the next room, they would see relics as far 
removed from their age as they are from ours. Roughly, 3000 
years separates you from Ramses, but 3000 more separated 
Ramses from these two statues of Rahoteb and Nefert, looking 
as if carved and plastered yesterday. And Rahoteb himself 
may have pointed out to Nefert the Sphinx as an antique, the 
mystery of whose creation was already buried in a thousand 
years. As I said in Alexandria, we talk glibly of Egyptian 
antiquities — walk through this museum, and carry away the 
notion that we have seen something of an interesting period 
of the world's history ; but how few realise that within these 
four walls they are in presence of records extending over 
some 5000 years ; that if you collected together specimens 
of all Art and records of History between the dates of say 
the siege of Troy and the battle of Alma, you would only 

then in point of time be rivalling Boolak ! These half-dozen mummies we have 

spoken about, which we regard to some extent rightly as an epoch, cover the 

same period of time as from Magna Charta to the French Revolution." 



Mummy of Ramses III. 



Statue of Rahoteb. 



EGYPTIAN ART. 



65 



" But," said Enid, " this is bewildering ! Let me repeat my question. Are 
these statues, at all events, the beginning of History ? " 

" Of History, perhaps, or of such History as has left any trace (the mysterious 
Sphinx always excepted), but certainly not of Art ; for you have here the same 
difficulty which meets you in your researches into Nature. You 
know that the tree comes from the seed ; you may be able, per- 
haps, to give a scientific explanation of the process of transforma- 
tion ; but go as low as you will, you are baffled at last when you 
seek to explain the origin of life itself. So it is with Egyptian 
Art. Here is your mummy, your hieroglyph, your statue, and, 
finally, your Sphinx; you trace back through the 7000 years, but 
the mystery is always increasing; for the more you recede, the 
more perfect you find the work. You are working, in fact, up a 
stream of decadence in Art, and when you reach the most remote 
date, you reach also the most consummate Art. Now, perfect 
work implies previous study and time for development. Art did 
not spring into the world ready-made, like Athene from the brain 
of Zeus. We know roughly the ages it took for the rude Cyclopean 
masonry to develop into Greek Art. In Egyptian Art we may or 
may not have reached the summit. There may yet be lying hid 
treasures more ancient and more perfect than the Sphinx ; but 
what is certain is, that there must have been a long period through 
which Egyptian Art struggled to the perfection at which we already 
find it 7000 years ago." 

They had seated themselves on the little stone balcony that 
overlooks the river. The Nile rolled past them with its swift 
torrent, breaking with dangerous force against the very walls of the little Museum ; 
below lay the little port of Boolak, with its busy lateen-sailed craft ; to the left, 
the great Kasr el Nil bridge ; beyond, the island of Rhoda, with its Nilometer ; 
and on the other side of the river, the ever-present Pyramids in the setting sun. 

"Who was it," asked Enid, "who called them petrified prayers? The ex- 
pression is perfect." 

" Some one with more talent for alliteration than observation, I suspect," 
replied the Scribbler. " Call it poetical if you will, but not perfect, because 
inappropriate. The Pyramids are not prayer, but the negation of it ; ' petrified 
presumption ' would be as alliterative, and more appropriate." 

"Surely," said Iris, "you are not going to rail against the Pyramids, after 
the enthusiasm you have shown to-day?" 

" I confess the Pyramids inspire me less than any monument in Egypt," 




Statue of Princess. 



66 VULGAR PYRAMIDS. 

said the Scribbler. "Pure antiquity, as such, has no charms for me; and vulgar 
piles of stones, erected at the cost of intense physical suffering to thousands, 
and which have served no other purpose than that of exciting the ingenious 
curiosity of a few mad theorists, are vulgar still, though old." 

" Is the idea so vulgar after all," said Enid ? " It seems to me that the man 
who took such pains over his tomb had some instinct of immortality in him; 
that he recognised death not so much the end as the beginning of life ; that he 
built a more durable palace for his last home than he had thought it worth 
while to build as his earthly one." 

"But even admitting that," said the Scribbler, "and Chateaubriand himself 
could not have put it more poetically, is not his idea of immortality a vulgar 
one? Fancy an immortality which wants a stone house to live in ! " 

" It's something," said the girl, " to have had an idea of immortality at all 
6000 years ago." 

" Besides," interrupted the Sketcher, " why should you persist in looking at 
it simply as a tomb ? I am not going to ask you to accept it as a yard-measure 
or an inverted bushel ; but unless you deny the value of all monuments, and of 
all desire to leave a memento to history, surely one valuable quality in a monu- 
ment is that it should last ; and if one has devoted one's life to such a monu- 
ment, surely it is not mere vulgarity to wish to be associated with it, and to be 
buried in it." 

" A power of endurance," said the Scribbler, " may be one valuable quality 
in a monument, but surely you will not argue that it is the only, or even the 
most important one. What is the value of them, however ancient, if, as old 
Fuller has it, ' They dote with age, forgetting the names of their own founders ' ? 
Did they exhibit a single hieroglyph of value, or had they saved a papyrus, I 
would forgive them. As it is, they make a good background for a picture, but 
that is all you can say for them ; they have added little or nothing to our know- 
ledge of man." 

"And what have we gained from the hieroglyphs or the papyri?" asked Iris. 

" History, Poetry, and Romance. You will admit, at least, that the two last 
are worth something, even though you despise the first." 

" Do you mean Poetry that you can read and understand ? " 

" That," said the Scribbler, " must depend on what you call Poetry, and what 
you call understanding it ; but I saw the Sketcher last night struggling to get a 
hieroglyph into verse, and the result is probably as intelligible as Browning." 

"I am afraid," said the Sketcher, laughing, "my efforts over a hieroglyph 
would result in poetry compared to which Sordello itself would be intelligible. 







^ 



r 



HYMN TO AMEN RA. 67 

The papyrus was a sheet of foolscap, and I made a rhyme out of some verses 
of a translation of a hymn to Amen Ra. I will read it if you like, but please 
remember I am only responsible for the doggerel ; the sentiments belong to the 
Nineteenth Dynasty, and the words are almost identical with those of Goodwin's 
literal translation : — 

" Hail to Amen Ra the Bull ! 

The chief of all great gods in An ; 

The good god beloved, whose rule 

Gives life both to cattle and man. 

Hail, Lord of the thrones of the Earth ! 

Amen Ra, the Sun-god of Thebes, 

Who, with feet in the land of his birth, 

Rules heathen in Araby's East ; 
The ancient of Heaven, the oldest of Earth, 
Sustainer of all things that owe thee their birth. 

" One in thy works, and one in high Heaven, 

Beautiful Bull of the Cycle Divine ; 

Chief of all gods, and maker of all men, 

Creator of beasts, and feeder of kine. 

Lord of existences, herbs, and of trees ; 

Sun-king,' Truth-speaker, and chief of the Earth ; 

Maker of all things, the light and the breeze, 

The gods give thee honour, and own to thy worth. 
Begotten of Ptah, youth fair and beloved, 
That sailest in Heaven, peaceful, unmoved. 

" Thou deliverest the meek from the mighty ; 
Thou judgest the poor and oppressed ; 
Lord of wisdom, whose precepts shine brightly, 
At whose pleasure the Nile gives its best. 
Lord of Mercy, of Love, Light, and Life, 
Great giver of rays to each star ; 
Men live, and gods joy in thy sight, 
When they see thee approach from afar." 

" Do you mean," said Iris, " that all that was written 3000 years ago ? " 

" All that, and some seventeen verses more ; but you must make allowance 
for it as an adaptation." 

" And what about Romance?" asked Enid. 

"Well, I can give you a romance of a slightly earlier period, if you will; 
but I warn you it has one great defect." 

"Which is?" 

" That will become apparent, if you allow me to read it. Listen ! this is the 
tale of the Doomed Prince, word for word, from the Harris Papyrus : — 

" There was once a king who had no sons ; he prayed for an heir, and the 
gods listened to his request. When his son was born, the Fates came to greet 



68 TALE OF THE DOOMED PRINCE. 

him at his birth j they said that he would die either by a crocodile, a serpent, 
or a dog. When the people who were about the child heard it, they went and 
told these things to his Majesty. His Majesty was exceedingly grieved at the 
evil tidings. His Majesty gave orders to shut the child up in a house in the 
country, provided with attendants, and all kinds of good things from the king's 
palace, and that the child should not go out abroad. When the child grew big, 
he ascended to the roof of the house, and he saw a dog, which was following 
a person who was going along the road. He said to the attendant who was 
beside him, ' What is that which is in the road ? ' He said to him, ' That is 
a dog.' The child said to him, 'Let one be brought to me like it.' The 
attendant went and repeated these things to his Majesty. His Majesty said, 
* Let there be got for him a boar-hunting dog to run before him.' Then 
they got for him a dog. Now it came to pass, some time after this, the child 
became a man. He sent to his father, saying, ' Why is it that I still remain 
shut up? I am destined! Let God do whatsoever pleases him!' He went, 
and a servant, and all kinds of weapons. The man conducted him to the East. 
He said to him, ' Go now withersoever thou wilt ; ' and he went, and the dog 
with him. He went up to the country, according to his will ; he lived upon the 
best of all the beasts of the field. He arrived at the country of the Prince 
of Mesopotamia. Now there was no child of the Prince of Mesopotamia 
excepting one daughter. He had built a house for her, of which the window 
was distant many cubits from the ground. He had sent for all the sons of 
all the princes of the land of Syria, and said to them, ' Whoever shall scale the 
window of my daughter, she shall be his wife.' It came to pass, many days 
after this, while they were engaged in their daily occupations, the youth rode up 
to them. They received the youth into their house, washed him ; they gave 
fodder for his horse ; they did all sorts of things for the youth. They lodged 
him, they shod his feet, they brought him to their lodging. They said to him, 
' Whence comest thou, thou good youth ? ' He said to them, ' I am the son 
of one of the horsemen of the land of Egypt. My mother died, and my father 
took another wife, a stepmother. Thereupon she hated me, and I fled from 
before her.' He was silent. They kissed him. He said to the youths, • What 
shall I do?' They advised him to scale the window of the tower. Now 
it came to pass, many days after this, he said to them, l Do ye go out ; I will 
invoke a deity; I will go to climb among you.' They went to climb according 
to their custom every day. The youth stood afar off, looking on. The maid- 
servant of the daughter of the Prince of Mesopotamia was upon the tower. 
Now it came to pass, some time after this, the youth went to climb with the 



TALE OF THE DOOMED PRINCE. 



69 



children -of the princes ; he climbed, and he reached the window of the daughter 
of the Prince of Mesopotamia. She kissed and embraced him. Some one went 
to congratulate her father, and said to him, 'A man has scaled the window of thy 
daughter.' The Prince inquired about him, saving, ' The 
son of which of the princes is it ? ' They said to him, 
' It is the son of a horseman who has run away from the 
land of Egypt on account of a stepmother.' The Prince 
of Mesopotamia was exceedingly angry. He said, ' How 
can I give my daughter to a runaway from Egypt ? Let 
him go back again.' They went and said, 'Go back to 
the place from whence thou earnest.' But the girl clung 
to him. She swore by God, saying, 'By the name of the 
sun, Horus, if I am prevented from keeping him with 
me, I will neither eat nor drink.' She was on the point 
of dying. A messenger went to announce all she had 
said to her father. The Prince sent men to slay the 
youth. He was in his house. . The girl said, ' By the 
sun, if he is slain, I will die too ; I will not pass an hour 
of life without him.' One went to her father; the fear 
of the youth came upon the Prince. He embraced him 
and kissed him. He said to him, ' Behold, thou art 
unto me as a son ! ' He replied to him, ' I am the son 
of a horseman of the land of Egypt ; my mother died ; 
my father took to himself another wife ; she hated me ; 
I ran away from before her.' He gave him his daughter 
to wife. Now it came to pass, some time after this, that 
the youth said, unto his wife, ' I am predestined to one 
of three deaths, either by a crocodile, a serpent, or a 
dog.' She said to him, ' Let the dog be killed.' He 
replied, ' I will not cause my dog to be killed. How 
should he do it?' The woman urged her husband 
greatly. He would not allow the dog to go out alone. 
He went in the land of Egypt to catch birds. Be- 
hold, a Crocodile at the door of his Own house in the Mummy of an Bgyptian Prince. 

village. Behold, there was a giant by him. The giant did not suffer him 
to go out ; he shut up the crocodile. The giant went out to walk. Now, 
when the dawn appeared, the youth went out every day for the space of two 
months. Now it came to pass, some time after this, that the youth was sitting 




7 o TALE OF THE DOOMED PRINCE. 

and making a feast in his house. Now it happened that, when night approached, 
the youth lay down upon the mat, and sleep overcame his limbs. His wife 
was bathing. There came a serpent from a hole to bite the youth. Behold, 
his wife was sitting beside him. She was not reposing. Then she gave honey 
to the serpent ; he drank of it to intoxication ; he lay down overcome. The 
woman killed it, and threw it into her bath. She said to him, ' Behold, thy 
God hath given one of thy dooms into thy hand.' He proceeded to make 
offerings to God, to worship Him, and exalt His presence every day. Now it 
came to pass, some time after this, the youth went out to walk at a distance 
from his dwelling. Behold, his dog followed him. His dog seized the head 
of some animal. He began to run after him ; he got near to the river. The 
dog was standing near the crocodile ; he led him to where the giant w r as. The 
crocodile said to the youth, ' I am thy doom ; I am come after thee.' " 

" And now," said the Sketcher, " we come to the defect." 

" Pray never mind," said the girls ; " do go on to the end." 

" Alas ! the defect is, that there is no end." 

"La suite au prochain numero, I suppose, in some other papyrus." 

" I am inclined," said the Scribbler wearily, "to consider the defect the chief 
charm of the story. I feared that it might be endless in another sense. Suppose 
we start back, and you can draw on your brilliant imagination for the rest." 

" The end," said the Sketcher, disdaining the insinuation, " is as clear as if it 
existed. The loving w r ife has saved him from the serpent ; the faithful dog saves 
him from the crocodile ; but nothing can save him from fate, and in some way 
he is unwittingly killed by his dog." 

" And do you suppose it is only a story or an allegory ? " asked Enid. 

" For Heaven's sake," said the Scribbler, " spare us any Max Miillerisation of 
hieroglyphs, or we shall learn that the Shepherd kings were myths, and that 
Aahmes was but the sun chasing away Rasekenen, the dawn." 

The Turtle was awoke with difficulty ; he had at the beginning felt some 
doubts as to the possible propriety of a story which, so far as he knew, had 
not acquired the guarantee of respectability by circulation at Mudie's ; but the 
blessed word Mesopotamia had reassured him, and he fell asleep, dreaming 
uneasily that a crocodile was trying to scale the balcony from the river below. 
But he thanked the Sketcher heartily, and still more cordially seconded the 
proposal of the Scribbler to return to the hotel. 

[The illustrations of mummies are reproduced fro??i photographs, for which we are indebted to 
H. E. Emile Bkugsch Bey.] 




CHAPTER IX. 



History — The first man dissatisfied — Mena migrates to Memphis — Thinis the religions 
centre — Memphis the capital — Origin of belief i?i duality of existence— First 
iooo years Egyptian history, prosperous — The next 900 years, power declines- 
Abraham — Rise of Thebes — Egypt abandons non-intervention policy — Upper and 
Lower Egypt united — Prosperity of 200 years — Darkness of 1200 years — Hyksos 
invasion — Joseph and his brethren — Apathy of conquered — Civil war — Hyksos 
expelled — Thebes the capital and Memphis co7nmercial ce?itre. 

THE attempt of the Scribbler to study the Boolak Museum in chronological 
order having failed, is there any need to supply the deficiency ? 

The serious student of Egyptian history will find abundant material for study 
in the scholarly works of Birch, Brugsch, Mariette, and Maspero. The casual 
traveller will find much useful information in the guide-books of Murray and 
Badeker ; but it may yet be useful to attempt a very brief resume of the salient 
points of Egyptian history, and to show in the course of our journey the chrono- 
logical sequence of the relics of antiquity, and the relations which their records 
bear to the history of the past. 

It is a striking fact that the earliest authentic story of living man represents 
him as dissatisfied with the circumstances in which he found himself, and impelled 
with that restless desire for change which is popularly supposed to be the marked 
characteristic of a later era. 

Who was Mena, ' ; first earthly king of Egypt"? We do not know, but he b.c. 5004. 
was probably a member of the royal family that ruled at This, near Abydos, 
where was supposed to be the tomb of Osiris. We can imagine him an 



72 EGYPTIAN HISTORY. 

Advanced Radical of the period, dissatisfied with the old town, where life was 
dull and made up of traditions ; brimful with new ideas as to where and how a 
city ought to be built ; admonished, it may be, by his elders, who felt that the 
world was going ahead at a dangerous pace, and who looked back with fond 
regret to good old times, before the Sphinx allured northward the giddy youth 
of the day. Mena, however, was not to be dissuaded, and built his new city of 
Memphis near the mighty mystery, at the point where the Nile spread into many 
mouths, and continued its northward course, as mysterious to him as was its 
inaccessible source. The exact spot chosen by Mena cannot now be ascertained ; 
but later, at all events, it covered all the ground between the Bahr Jussef and 
the river, from Ghizeh in the north to Schinbab in the south. The famous 
temple of Phtah or Vulcan is now covered by the village of Mitrahenny ; and 
the Pyramids of Ghizeh, Sakkarah, Abousia, and Dashoor, were its cemeteries. 

Thenceforward Thinis was but the religious centre of Egypt, around which 
gathered the legend of Isis and Osiris. Near it Abydos was reputed the 
burial-place of the latter, and here the pious sought to be buried. "To go 
to Abydos ! " was an expression equivalent to death. But as Thinis could not 
hold the bones of all who sought the honour, it became a custom to bury the 
mummy in the nearest cemetery, and to send to Abydos a votive stele. Perhaps 
from this first arose, among the Egyptians, the idea of separate existences of 
body and soul. Hitherto, they seem to have believed that the body itself would 
revive ; but with the practice of sending to Abydos their votive stele, while the 
visible remains were enclosed in the sarcophagus near at home, arose the belief 
that an unseen portion of them had gpne before the judge. 
b.c. 5004-3951. At Memphis ruled the first four dynasties for some thousand years of appar- 

ently profound peace. Prosperity in the Valley of the Nile was on the increase ; 
the buildings improved ; the middle, if not the lower class, had considerable 
leisure, and were able to indulge in hunting and fishing, while attention was 
evidently paid to the cultivation of flowers. Something, too, even at this early 
period, they seem to have known of medicine, anatomy, and astronomy. The 
year of 365 days was introduced, consisting of twelve months of thirty days 
each, and five supplementary days. To this period w 7 e owe the Pyramids — 
that at Sakkarah, known as the Step Pyramid, is probably the oldest, and may 
possibly be of the first dynasty ; the pyramid of Maydoom belongs to the third 
dynasty ; the pyramids of Ghizeh to the fourth. The diorite statue of Khafra, 
the wooden statue of the Sheikh el Beled, the torso of his wife, and the life-like 
statues of Rahoteb and Nefert bear witness to an artistic development which 
no later period rivalled. 



ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH DYNASTIES. 



73 



r _._ 



The next 900 years of Egyptian history comprise six dynasties. The u.c. 3951-3064. 
fifth dynasty reigned obscurely, and allowed the aristocracy to encroach little 
by little on the central power ; the reins of authority w r ere slackened ; and in the 
sixth dynasty we find two Pharaohs reigning, probably contemporaneously — 
the one, Teta, at Memphis ; the other, Atis, at Elephantine, near Assouan. 
Later, Pepi I. seems to have restored Egyptian unity, and to have repelled an 
invasion of Negroes from the south. To this period belong the interesting tomb 
of Tih at Sakkarah, the statues of Tin, Nefer Kha-ra, and Ra Nefer, as well as 

the oldest known mummy, that of Sokar Em Saf. The 
sculpture, though still fine, shows some falling off from 
that of the earlier period. Of the other four dynasties 
of this epoch, the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, we 
know little or nothing : the two first reigned at Mem- 
phis ; the two following at Heracleopolis, where gradually 
the sacerdotal caste seems to have more and more 
usurped authority. The tribes of Asia had begun to 
pour in from the east, and perhaps among them was 
Abraham ; but all is conjecture. 

The Middle Empire commences with the eleventh b.c. 3064-2851. 
dynasty, which established itself at Thebes, destined to 
become the capital of a great empire, and seems first to 
have commenced what may be termed an active foreign 
policy. Hitherto Egypt had held itself aloof from the 
outer world, but increasing civilisation created new wants, 
and commercial relations were first opened with Arabia ; 
an Egyptian colony was settled on the shores of the Red 
Sea, which was connected with Coptos, north of Thebes, 
by a canal to the river. With the twelfth dynasty we 
find Upper and Lower Egypt united into one kingdom ; 
and though its first Pharaohs had to repel an invasion 
of the Negroes, the 200 years covered by this and the preceding dynasty were 
years of peace, material prosperity, and agricultural activity. In the hiero- 
glyphs we read how the most important chiefs of the Government occupied 
themselves in superintending the cultivation of their lands; we see the opera- 
tions of shearing, of milking, of butter-making, and vine-culture ; we learn how 
there were corporations of the different artisans ; we watch the making of rich 
articles of furniture with gold and ivory from Ethiopia, the rich embroidery of 
cloth, and the use of cosmetics to colour the eyebrows. Music and dancing 




Statue of Tih. 



M 



74 THIRTEENTH AND FOURTEENTH DYNASTIES. 

to the flute and harp was common throughout Egypt. Games of chess and 
draughts for the amusement of the elders; dolls, paper balls, and wooden animals 
as toys for children. Sportsmen hunted the wild bull, the leopard, and the lion, 
as well as the fox, the hare, and the antelope, the last with a lasso. Rich 
houses adorned the banks of the Nile, from the balconies of which the pre- 
decessors of Izaak Walton indulged in the melancholy vice of angling. And 
with all these riches and luxury rose into importance the scribes, who later, in 
union with the sacerdotal class, were destined to become the first and ever-exist- 
ing spoilers of the Egyptians. Memorials of the twelfth dynasty are found as 
far south as Semneh, beyond the cataract. To this period we may attribute the 
restoration of the old temple of Heliopolis, the colonnade of Karnak, the tombs 
of Beni Hassan, the Fayoum Pyramids, and the great irrigation works of that 
province. ; 

b.c. 2851-1703. And now for nearly 1200 years the curtain descends, and the history of 
Egypt becomes a mysterious and almost impenetrable blank. Of the thirteenth 
and fourteenth dynasties there are but a few scant traces near Assouan. At this 
period the whole of Western Asia was in a state of fermentation. Similar to the 
barbarian invasion which later in Europe overwhelmed the Roman Empire, hordes 
of Nomads issued from the overcrowded regions of the Euphrates. The fertile 
valley of the Nile was an irresistible temptation, and they demanded pasturage 
for their flocks. The haughty Pharaoh of civilised Egypt was not likely to 
accede to a request which would place his rich lands at the mercy of barbarian 
shepherds ; but years of peace and Capuan luxury had enfeebled the state, and 
the Egyptians were unable to resist the martial horsemen of the Hittites and 
others of the Hyksos. Completely routed in the first fight, probably near the 
present Suez, they were compelled to retreat into Upper Egypt, and here they 
were possibly allowed to hold at Thebes some sort of dependent sovereignty. 
The Hyksos, or Shepherd kings, ruled from Zoan, the Greek Tanis, as the 
fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth dynasties, and built the stronghold of 
Avaris to repel farther invasions similar to their own. Nor do they seem to 
have exercised their authority cruelly ; the social and administrative organisa- 
tion of the Egyptians was not only left untouched, but even adopted by the 
conquerors. 

This darkest period of Egyptian history must always possess peculiar 
interest, because generally supposed to be that in which Joseph, and later his 
brethren, came to Egypt to settle in the land of Goshen. Modern research 
at Tanis may yet throw light on this period, but at present all is the barest 
conjecture. 



EIGHTEENTH DYNASTY. 



75 



The people of Egypt seem to have supported the conquest with the same 
indifference as they exhibited later under similar circumstances ; to them one 
Pharaoh was very much the same as another. The scribes became functionaries 
of the new lords, and were probably content at a change which gave them in- 
experienced masters in place of more experienced ones. The sacerdotal element 
alone maintained a sullen opposition, ready to take advantage of any favourable 
moment, when they were certain to find the people as ready to rebel against 
their new rulers as they had been to serve them. A demand made by the 
Hyksos Pharaoh, Apepi, for the cession of a well held by Sekenen Ra, who ruled 




probably as representative of the old 
line at Thebes, formed the pretext, and 
civil war, or, as it has been called, a 
War of Independence, lasted for eighty years. At a final battle the Egyptians 
were at last triumphant ; their leader, Sekenen Ra, was indeed killed, and his b.c. 1703- 
mummy lies, as we have seen, at Boolak ; but his son, Aahmes or Amosis, drove 
the Hyksos into Syria, and starting the eighteenth dynasty, established his 
authority over the whole of Egypt. 

Under the eighteenth dynasty Thebes became definitely the capital of the 
Egyptian empire, Memphis remaining the commercial capital ; and the history 
of the subsequent period can be better studied in Thebes itself. 



CHAPTER X. 



The Dovecot flies south — A luxurious offer — Rail to Asyoot — The Pasha and the 
Nabob — Coinage and character — Secretary and interpreter — Crichton and Sara 
— Capitulatioris — Pyramids — Zeitoun — St. George and Hones. 

'nr^HE Turtle and his party, exhausted with the study of 3300 years and 
JL expeditions to Boolak and Sakkarah, had made a plaintive appeal to the 

Scribbler to be allowed to postpone the rest of his historical course until his 

return from the Nile, and the Scribbler having given a grateful assent, the entire 
Dovecot started by an early Cook's steamer for Luxor, accom- 
panied at the last moment by the Patrician and by the American, 
who had consented to waive his objection to ruins, in the hope 
that he might be enabled to paste an advertisement of a new 
tanning process he had patented upon the tower of Syene or the 
temple of Karnak. The Scribbler and the Sketcher remained 
behind, the latter not without some sentimental regret, and the 
former not without hope that he might be permitted in peace to 
avoid the river altogether. Meanwhile they sauntered through 
the never-ending bazaars, or mounted on those gondolas of Cairo, 
the Egyptian donkeys, and, attended by Ali, sablest of gondoliers, 
explored the recesses of the Mokhattam oases, braved the desert 
of Sakkarah, or shot the wily snipe in the delta. 
" Sketcher," said the Scribbler, one evening as he joined his friend on 

the balcony, " we are saved j the difficulty is solved. Dismiss all those hungry 




An Egyptian Donkey Boy. 



A LUXURIOUS OFFER. 77 

dragomans thirsting for your yellow ore ; abandon your hopeless efforts to make 
three months at £60 a month less than ^"ioo ; forget your fears of gregarious 
crowds and of wild women. Your dream is coming true ; we shall see the Nile ; 
we shall have the speed of a steamer, and none of the discomfort ; the luxury 
of a dahabeeyah, with none of the delay, and a third of the expense. Con- 
gratulate yourself on your friend, and your friend upon his omnipotence. Be 
ready to leave on Monday ; in a month we shall be back again ; and during that 
month you shall have seen Wady Haifa and the second cataract." 

" In a month ! by post-boat then?" 

" Post-boat ! Man, I tell you that you shall repose on the downiest of divans, 
the pampered companion of Pashas and Beys, lord with myself and one or 
two others of the largest dahabeeyah on the river, and subject to neither wind 
nor tide, for the fastest steamer on the river shall tow us. Listen ! a certain 
Pasha of my acquaintance is bent on a journey of inquiry to Wady Haifa. 
The Government sends him ; stern duty compels him to go. A Government 
dahabeeyah and a Government steamer are at his disposal. Pining for company 
in his exile, he asks me to accompany him. ' I cannot ; I have a friend.' 
* What sort of a friend ? ' quoth he. Then, Sketcher, I painted your character 
with the pencil of love, flattery, and self-interest. .To cut a long story short, 
we are both asked, not exactly as guests, for we cannot any longer, even in 
Egypt, travel at the expense of the Fellah, but the dahabeeyah and steamer 
have to go ; our weight will not necessitate extra fuel, and we pay our mess 
bill. So, unless you object, we are off on Monday." 

" Object ! " said the Sketcher joyfully. " But the Pasha ! does he — does he 
travel with a very large harem ? " 

" Don't be afraid," said the other, laughing ; " wild women are excluded. 
The party, in addition to ourselves, consists of the Pasha (an Englishman and 
ex-Life-guardsman) ; his brother (a Nabob, I believe, from India) ; an English 
secretary, who is an Admirable Crichton, possessed of superhuman knowledge ; 
an interpreter, who is at the same time a Bey ; with about two servants for each 
member of the party. Have you any other objection ? " 

To have reached Wady Haifa, the Sketcher would have sacrificed his 
dearest friend to Moloch ; and to such a project no objection could be 
forthcoming. 

Three days later, and the worst carriage on the worst railway line in the world 
was hurrying the party of four southwards to Asyooc. The first sight of the 
Pasha had calmed the still lingering fears of the Sketcher, who had been unable 



7 8 THE PASHA AND THE NABOB. 

to shake off the conviction that he would meet an unspeakable Turk. Unmis- 
takably English was the face, figure, and greeting of Apollo Belvedere Pasha, 
who at five-and-twenty had held and resigned Her Majesty's commission, had 
wrestled with the intricacies of Turkish finance, written a Greek grammar, and 
was now engaged in the labyrinth of Egyptian budgets. The Nabob, his brother, 
was apparently the senior; he had the wearied nil admirari look peculiar 
to Anglo-Indians, who seem ever weighted with the responsibility of governing 
250,000,000 souls, and unable to descend to the consideration of smaller 
numbers. The Sketcher was apt to form rapid judgments, and to evolve start- 
ling theories therefrom. Like the traveller who declared all women in Belgium 
to be ugly and red-haired, adding, " At least the only one I ever saw was," he 
was apt to argue from the particular to the general. 

" That peculiar expression and frame of mind," he said, " is due solely to the 
unit of coinage. You will find that every nationality corresponds to its monetary 
unit. In Egypt it is a piaster ; and you will admit that they are eminently a 
twopenny-halfpenny lot. In France it is the franc ; and I confess we are 
trivial. In Germany, it is the mark; not very much better. In England it is 
the sovereign ; good, solid, but heavy. In India it is the lakh ; I don't know 
what a lakh is," he added frankly " but I believe it's a very large coin, in which 
the salaries of Anglo-Indian officials are paid, and it accounts for that supercilious 
air of superiority." 

But the Sketcher's judgment of character was not much more accurate than 
his knowledge of the Indian currency, and when he got to know the Nabob 
better, and had had the mysteries of the rupee explained to him, he squared his 
altered opinion with his theory, and found that the Anglo-Indian was, like his 
coin, inclined to undue self-depreciation. 

In the next carriage was the Admirable Crichton, English, or, more strictly, 
Welsh secretary, who wrote shorthand, and spoke numerous languages with a 
Cymric accent ; and Sara Bey, prince of interpreters, the dreaded inspector of 
finances for Upper Egypt. 

As the train left the station of Boolak Dacrour, the Pasha pointed plaintively 
to a wooden shanty on the very edge of the station, surmounted ostentatiously 
by the blue and white flag of Greece. 

" There," he said, "you have an example of the Capitulations. That man, a 
Greek, has squatted on that land for some years, built that shanty, and opened a 
grocer's shop, paying possibly some rent to the Government year by year. The 
station increases, and we want the land, which is Government land ; but not all 
the king's horses and men can make him move. For six years have we been 



CONSULAR PROTECTION. 



79 



trying to evict him, but he defies us. If we build him up, he carries off our 
palisade. If we try to eject him, he uses a revolver. There he reigns, paying 
no taxes, subject to no law, no tribunal in the country, safe in the shadow of the 
Capitulations." 

"You don't mean to say," said the Nabob, "that even his own Consul 
can't turn him out, or that he receives Consular protection ? " 

" Whether he can or not, I don't know," said the Pasha ; " but I do know 
that he won't, or at all events that he doesn't." 

"But," interrupted the Scribbler, "don't run away with the idea that so 
many have, and be led away by the words ' Consular protection] a word which takes 




Bellianah. 



many astray. That Greek is not relying on Consular authority ; he is relying on 
the absence of Consular authority. Probably his Consul is more in need of pro- 
tection than he is. for his Consul has no control over him ; and Dimitri will have 
as little compunction in putting a ball into his Consular Janissary as into the 
Government policeman. It is the fashion, of course, to blame the Consuls, and 
particularly the Greek Consul ; but he is powerless. If he gives his subjects too 
much trouble, they have plenty of means of getting rid of him, even if they 
hesitate (which they wouldn't do) to use the knife. Dimitri the grocer has prob- 



8o 



PYRAMIDS. 



ably as much influence in Athens as the Consul, and the Government there have 
not much more influence over their subjects abroad than their subjects have 
over them." 

" But this is not the case with all ? " asked the Sketcher. 

" No, not quite with all ; certainly not with the English, who can be tried by 
their Consul ; but with others it is the case, though in a less aggravated form. 
An Italian, perhaps, would not use his knife so readily, and is more under 
moral control of his Consulate ; but there can be no real control where, except 
for the pettiest offence, the venue of trial is Ancona, or Moscow, or Aix. And 
as for the French colony, we may thank our stars that their particular form of 
hostility to the Government does not take the form of homicide, for there is no 
Consul-General more completely under the control of his colony." 







wj^gi«!!!fc iBBM! 



At 




<£* 



-F^- 



The Upper Egypt line follows the left bank of the river through fields and 
gardens as it leaves Cairo ; to the right lie thick palm-groves, with desert 
beyond, and here and there are seen the Pyramids of Ghizeh and Sakkarah, the 
Step Pyramid standing in strong relief against the horizon. On the other side, 
beyond the river, lies Cairo, the graceful Citadel in the distance, the effective 
background of the ruddy yellow Mokhattam, and nearer the hideous palaces 
of Ismail. The cultivation gets more scanty, and seems confined to small 
fields of tobacco. On the right, as we sight the Pyramids of Lisht, and later 
the libelled lying Pyramid of Maydoom, oldest and perhaps grandest of all, as 
it stands like a sentinel in the desert. And as we go farther south, we pass 
through Zeitoun, land of olives from oldest time ; and near it see the little 
Coptic convent of Marazee ; and through Benisouef, still the flax-growing 
portion of Egypt, and formerly famous for its linen fabrics, where we catch 



ST. GEORGE AND HORUS. 81 

sight of the Pyramid of Illahoun ; and Bayad, from whence starts the track 
leading to the Monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul, in the desert. There, 
to our left, is the site of Heracleopolis, where dwelt the destroyers of the 
great Labyrinth • and Bibbeh, centre of the sugar-industry, with a Coptic 
Convent and an apocryphal Moslem Saint, one Bibbawee, who is no other 
than our good friend, George, Saint, butcher, bishop, and dragon-slayer, whose 
picture has been made to do service as the representative of a Moslem, thus to 
secure the Christian Church from sacrilege. Verily, we admit there is nothing 
new under the sun, when Mons. Clermont Ganneau identifies St. George of 
England with Horus. Feshne, Maghaga, and Aboo Girgeh are passed as we 
travel through sugar-lands ; and Gebelel Tayr appears in the distance, the 
mountain that shares with another at Asyoot the legendary tale of the ever- 
watching bird. Minieh, with its factory, and Manfalot, which the lover of 
tradition loves to call the "abode of Lot," are passed, and then appears in the 
distance the pretty town of Asyoot. 




N 




CHAPTER XI. 



Asyoot— No kourbash, no taxes — Mosquito nets of Herodotus — Fanciful origin of the 
Lycopolis — Asyoot en fete — Sub-Mudir — Egyptian in authority — Turk versus 
Egyptian — Ca?i the Egyptian rule ? — Bazaars — Apathy of selle?'s — Asyoot trade 
past and present — Asyoot wortliies — American Mission — Refonn of Coptic Churcli 
from within and from without — Sincerity of converts — Education of pupils and 
education of people — Both ab initio — Asyoot Cemetery — View from Libyan range 
— Pasha and Mudir — Information at Asyoot via Cairo. 

THE train draws up at the station of Asyoot. Great is the bustle, for the 
Pasha is a man of note, and has come to inquire into matters con- 
nected with taxation. Sleek and fat Copts try in vain to assume an air of 
dejected misery, but the oil of good living running down their countenances 
betrays them. Sara himself, a Copt, has evidently a very poor opinion of them, 
and they as naturally have the very highest opinion of him. "They all rich as 
pigs," he remarks, with some confusion of metaphor ; and his lips water as he 
thinks how remuneratively they might be bled if he were onlyallowed to employ 
the methods of the "good old days" of Ismail. "No kourbash, no 'taxes," 
is evidently still Sara's theory at heart, though he has to profess differently 
when he comes down to Cairo with well-filled money bags, the proceeds of the 



"NO KOURBASH, NO TAXES." 83 

month's taxes. The anxiety of the fellah to pay this charge is then, accord- 
ing to Sara, something remarkable. " No difficulty whatever," he avers. 
"Kourbash! of course not, is it not abolished?" He is hurt at being asked 
the question, and appeals plaintively to the Mudir, asking whether he ever heard 
of the practice. And the Mudir, with a suspicious protuberance in his cheek, 
but with an air of innocence that would convince the most hardened inspector, 
asserts that that sort of thing is all over. Still, the experience never seems to 
shake Sara's theory, and in confidence over his cup of coffee he will reiterate, 
'•'You believe me, sir, no kourbash, no taxes." 

But the Pasha, majestically walking through the crowd, profusely salaamed 
and profoundly indifferent, has nothing to do with all this ; he comes to see 
results only, and is, moreover, weary with his journey. Addressing the Mudir 
in fluent Turkish, he announces his august pleasure that he be not bored until 
to-morrow, and that for the present he will take his ease at his inn. A row of 
shantys at the end of the station is designated as the hotel, and thither the 
pilgrims betake themselves. A frugal repast closes the labours of the day, 
which give place to those of the night. 

For Asyoot is par excellence the town of mosquitoes, and assuredly it was 
here that Herodotus observed the fishermen originating the mosquito net. 
" Every man," he says, " has a net, with which in the day he takes fish, and 
at night uses it in the following manner ; in whatever bed he sleeps, he throws 
the net around it, and then getting in, sleeps under." And, perhaps, the fishing 
nets of those days were strong enough and close woven enough to exclude the 
monsters of the night, but not so the modern muslin nets of to-day. In other 
places mosquitoes buzz, but here they roar ; and the Nabob descends to breakfast 
with a theory, that they are really the wolves which gave to the place its Greek 
name of Lycopolis. The Scribbler has another more obvious and incorrect deri- 
vation ; and the Sketcher is only able to indicate vaguely that he had seen 
" birds the size of vultures flying away with bits of him in their mouths." 

The breakfast accomplished, it becomes evident that Asyoot is en fete. The 
depressed railway officials have an anxious time in keeping the platform clear 
of the crowds who have assembled to see the great men, who are interrupted 
in their coffee by the arrival of no less a personage than the Sub-Mudir himself. 
He is dressed as becomes the ambassador of a great man to a great man on a 
solemn occasion. A Stambouli surtout, which had belonged to a remote and 
slender ancestor, was vainly struggling to maintain its hold round his well- 
favoured body; two buttons had abandoned the attempt, and one was still 
hanging by a thread at the post of duty. The ancestor for whom the garment 



8 4 TURK VERSUS EGYPTIAN. 

had been built, or at all events some of its subsequent possessors, had evidently 
not been men like Miss Austen's favourite heroes, "careful in their eating;" 
for the remains of Lucullus-like feasts adorned the front. Per contra the check 
trousers were clean ; they had, in fact, been recently washed, and somewhat 
hurriedly wrung out. The boots, however, made amends, for they were of 
shiny patent leather, evidently bought for the occasion ; and the tarboosh, 
though posed over the eyes in an attitude of perpetual obeisance, was otherwise 
irreproachable. Yacoub Bey was altogether unmistakably pleased with himself, 
and felt that his toilet had risen to the occasion. As he blighted the hopes of 
the last button by a rapid salaam before Apollo, the side of his face nearest to 
that great man assumed an expression of abject humility; but the side turned 
towards the populace bore a look of unconcealed pride. 

" His Excellency the Mudir was waiting for his Excellency the Pasha; would 
his Excellency deign to follow his servant to his Excellency ? " Such was the 
message delivered. Apollo lazily stretched out his hand for his hat, and with 
an "Are you coming, you fellows?" passed through the door over the almost 
prostrate form of the humble ambassador. Yacoub saw him through with 
deference ; but no sooner was the great man's back towards him, than he felt it 
necessary to reassert the dignity of his position, which he did by knocking 
together the heads of the nearest onlookers, invoking, at the same time, a curse 
on their female ancestors of the past three generations. Then he deftly recovered 
ground by a shambling trot, and appeared again the fawning slave of the great 
man from Cairo. 

" That," said the Scribbler, " is the (type of an Egyptian in authority. Your 
Turk may be a brute, but he is not generally a contemptible one. He is 
probably a thief, but it is on a liberal scale. The Egyptian, as a governed animal, 
possesses many excellent qualities ; as a governing one, he is as a rule the 
incarnation of brutality, ignorance, servility, and corruption." 

" That proposition," replied the Sketcher, " is peculiarly your own — one of 
good, general, uncompromising assertion ; but before you thus condemn the 
whole race, is it not fair to remember that the Egyptian has been for thousands 
of years a subject race, while the Turk has been for as many hundreds a 
governing one ; and that the vices you mention are only the natural conse- 
quences of the position they have occupied, not a vice of character." 

" But do you not see, my friend, that you are only proving inductively my 
deductive assertion ? I am dealing with the Egyptian as he is, not as he ought 
to be, as he might be, or as he would have been under different conditions. 
In my opinion, in spite of all differences of race, the prehistoric Turk and the 



CAN THE EGYPTIAN RULE? 85 

prehistoric Egyptian would have been very much of a muchness. There is little 
difference now between the Egyptian fellah and the Turkish raiah ; but it's not 
much good discussing such a question. Assume them originally the same. The 
Turk has been a governing race ; the art of governing, like all others, has to be 
learnt ; and with experience he has learnt it. He does govern — well or ill, is 
not the question — but he governs." 

"Doesn't that rather depend upon your definition of government?" said 
the Nabob. 

" I think not ; for government in its first and most naked sense is the 
maintenance of authority, the power to preserve order." 

" Lordre reg?ie a Varsovie" murmured the Sketcher. 

" Well, I will accept even that challenge. I do not assert that the keeping 
of order is the highest duty of government, but that it is the one absolutely 
necessary one. I do not maintain that any given body of men are justified in 
taking any measures to restore order. It may even be their duty to refuse to do 
so, but then they are refusing to govern. The keeping of order is a necessary 
condition to the existence of a government; the people who cannot do it, 
cannot govern ; the people who can do it, whatever the means, are able to 
govern well or ill. The Turk, then, knows how to govern ; the Egyptian does 
not. He has no experience of it ; he has been prevented from gaining that 
experience. He may have all the embryo virtues you please, but there is no 
good leaving him to govern, for he cannot." 

" But," said the Nabob, " may not the Turk's power of governing be worse 
than the Egyptian's ignorance ? " 

"Are you propounding a general problem, to be solved in the course of 
aeons, or are you asking a question in the practical politics of to-day ? Let me 
for once argue by analogy. You want a man to play a tune on a fiddle. 
Here is a man who has played it for years, and has always played it badly, 
without an idea of music in his composition, but able to read it. Here is 
another, whose soul is full of music, if you will, but who never saw a page of 
music or a violin — which will you choose ? If you want to train up a musician 
for the future, by all means take this latter ; but if you want the fiddle played 
on the spot, you must take the former, and be content with bad playing." 

" I think I'd do without my tune," said the Nabob. 

" Ah ! or play it yourself — just so ; but that's not the point ; for I suppose 
we admit that we are talking of Egypt in parables. Govern the country your- 
self, if you will ; but failing that, you must, for the time at least, let some other 
alien govern it badly for you." 



S6 BAZAARS. 

"All which," said the Sketcher, "is based on your assertion that the 
Egyptian can't rule." 

" Which assertion you proved yourself by induction to almost a certainty. 
But do you want a proof? Let us go into this factory, or that shop, and if the 
proprietor is a native, ask him w r ho keeps his cash, a Syrian ; who writes his 
books, a Copt ; who attends to his machine, an Englishman ; who directs all 
the work, an Armenian. When you can show me half-a-dozen natives managing 
their simplest affairs without the intervention of the aliens, then I will be 
prepared to argue with you as to whether they can govern the country." 

" I rather thought that you had been doing that all along," said the Sketcher 
drily. " However, judging from the sample, I think I'll forfeit the discussion, 
give up the point, and enjoy this." 

And the Sketcher was not wrong in preferring what he saw to the Scribbler's 
prose ; for, in the conversation, they had gradually worked their way unwittingly 
into the centre of the town, and were standing at the entrance of the principal 
bazaar. The long narrow lane with its roof here arched, and here covered with 
low hanging beams, lighted up with flashes of sunlight, which seemed to burst 
through the rafters rather under the direction of some cunning artist, than at 
that of chance, and to flood with its glory the most picturesque corners ; the 
stately inhabitants, who barely turned to observe the group, much less to tempt 
them with their modest wares ; the graceful forms of the black and red pottery ; 
the colours of the scarfs which hung like banners from 'the walls; the low 
murmur of the few bargainers mixed with the jingle of the donkey's bells, all 
contributed to awe the blase frequenters of the Khan Halili. Do you wish to 
buy in Cairo? brokers and dragomans pursue you up the Mooskee; flashy rubbish 
is displayed before you as you pass the shops ; and when at last you find the 
object of your search, you must consent to long and weary bargaining. But 
the stately merchants of Asyoot descend to no such solicitation or chaffering. 
Are you a buyer ? they are there, and will so far unbend as to show you what 
you ask to see ; but it is a favour they are doing you, or at most a pious duty, 
which they are too hospitable to neglect. And if you think their price excessive, 
there is no vulgar astonishment ; no noisy pretence that you have been offered 
the goods at less than any one else ; no insolent suggestion that you do not 
appreciate the value of their wares. The piece is rolled up again or put aside, 
and the stately vendor continues to smoke his pipe in supreme indifference. 
It may be admitted, perhaps, that there is little to sell, and that keen competition 
to get rid of cheap articles which may be seen in every shop along the bazaar 
would be out of place. Pottery, in fact, appears to be the staple trade ; you may 



ASYOOT WORTHIES. 87 

have it in red or in black, and in pretty well every variety of shape that the potter 
can mould the thick Nile mud. Vases which will hold flowers, but not water; ink- 
pots which will not hold ink ; and scrubbers for the soles of the feet : beyond 
this all variety ceases. Graceful and useless is the manufacture of Asyoot, but 
harmless, and different to the hideous trade for which it was not long ago famous ; 
for here formerly were mutilated the unfortunate slaves destined as guardians for 
hareems. Of historical interest the old Lycopolis possesses little. Here was 
the magic fountain " cujus potu signa virginitatis eripiuntur." Plotinus, founder 
of the Neo Platonic school, who was born early in the third century, is per- 
haps its most famous son, but he belongs rather to Alexandria and Rome than 
to the city of the Wolves. Coluthus the poet, a feeble imitator of Homer, 
flourished here in the fifth century; and here dwelt Holy John 50 years, 
" without opening his door, without seeing the face of any woman, and without 
tasting any food that had been prepared by fire, or any human art ; " on two 
days of the week only did he grant audience to his suppliants, and to one of 
them, the messenger from the great Theodosius, he promised for his Emperor 
a bloody and infallible victory over Eugenius. Modern Asyoot, too, has its 
holy men with ways of devotion different indeed, but perhaps more profitable, 
than the fifty years' seclusion. 

The Scribbler had been furnished with a letter of introduction to the 
American Mission, and had received from the chief thereof a cordial greeting. 
Very pleasant it was to meet the homely Scotch accent and an English home- 
stead. Twelve hours only had separated them from Cairo, but the travellers 
already felt that they had left the civilised world and were glad of a sight of it 
again. And the Chief was a man whom one might be glad to meet even else- 
where than at Asyoot. A Scotchman, and as he said simply, a collier boy, who 
had spent only three months in America, but who had been attracted by the 
practical and unselfish devotion of the American Mission, had given his life to 
it, and spent some thirty years in Egypt, of which twenty in Asyoot. Full of 
information he was, and spoke lovingly of his work, with zeal tempered by 
common sense. The Mission, he explained, started with an endeavour to 
reform the Coptic Church from within. They were anxious to give it the 
chance of self-reformation, but the attempt failed, owing to the opposition of 
the priests who themselves profited from the abuses. Then, recognising their 
mistake, they began again, and practically started a separate Reformed Church. 

" And with what success ? " asked the Nabob. 

" He that knoweth the minds of men can alone determine the amount of 
success, and He who searcheth the hearts may be able to make allowances 



88 THE COPTIC CHURCH. 

which are difficult to us. We have to do with a people who have a past of 
their own, traditions of their own, and, to some extent, a morality of their own, 
which, if falling short 'of the True Ideal, may be as near it as our own 
nineteenth-century morality. We iVnglo-Saxons attach, for instance, a value to 
Truth, w r hich has grown up in us, and is not as pronounced in other, even 
European, races. With us it is not only a point of religion, but perhaps more 
often a point of honour. Do not think that I value it the less on that account ; 
I only say that even the strictest of us have a double incentive. Is the Copt as 
truthful ? Certainly not. For generations it has been his interest, and perhaps 
his only safeguard from tyranny, to deceive. These inherited predilections are 
not eradicated in a day, nor by the preaching of a doctrine, however pure. We 
have to hold high our standard, but w r e cannot refuse all who fail to reach it. 
On the other hand, persecution, which has made them untruthful, has 
encouraged in them the virtues of adversity : they are loving, and tolerant, and 
generous. These, too, are Christian qualities, which we, as a race, perhaps 
neglect, and which we can cultivate in them. The men who are of our con- 
gregation may be untruthful, and scheming in their business relations ; but 
they are sincere. We have some 1700 families, say eight to ten thousand souls. 
By joining us they have gained neither worldly rank, social position, nor riches. 
On the contrary, they are rather despised, and have to answer money calls 
w r hich they meet and might avoid. Why then do they join us ? I have no 
explanation of it unless it is that they see dimly the truth, and strive as through 
a glass darkly to realise it." 

" Is it not," said the Scribbler, " rather that they recognise a social superiority 
— a higher moral superiority if you will — in Europeans like yourself and com- 
panions, that they attribute this to your religious dogmas, and think to attain 
it by going through the routine of your Church ? " 

" And even if it were so," said the other, " would this not be a recognition 
of some value, that the purer religion gave a higher tone of morality? But it 
is not a mere going through the routine of our Church ; the interest they display 
in abstruse questions sometimes surprises me. They will ask questions that 
show they have thought not superficially ; and when I preach a sermon, I must 
expect to be catechised upon it." 

" You preach in Arabic of course ? Have you no difficulty in explaining 
yourself?" 

" No ; I would choose Arabic rather than English to preach in, even if it 
were not necessary. The language is richer, more full of synonyms and 
poetic metaphors. But I am detaining you with an essay on myself," he added, 



EDUCATION. 89 

with a smile, "and you. have come to see Asyoot. Will you let me be 
your guide?" 

The four passed through the schools, where clean, bright-faced little children 
were receiving instruction from kindly-looking Americans, too much interested 
in their work of love to do more than acknowledge the presence of strangers. 
" You begin at the very beginning, I see," said the Scribbler, noticing a boy 
rising four who was absorbed in a game of letters. 

"Yes," replied the Chief; "as your Government should do in Egypt. 
Eighteen days after the bombardment of Alexandria I was in London, and 
was asked by Lord Aberdeen to meet Mr. Gladstone. I told him very much 
what I have told you as to our failure, so long as we attempted to reform by 
propping up a decayed and corrupt institution ; and I added, that England's 
work in Egypt would be the same, that you could do nothing until you did 
as we had to do, begin at the foundations." 

" Do you mean that we should transplant our English institutions into 
Egypt ? " 

"Excuse me, you are changing my metaphor. You do not transplant 
foundations, you build them. The foundations are much the same whether 
you build in one style or another. Make your foundations solid, and then 
build in accordance with the requirements and possibilities of the country if 
you will, but solidly always, and in accordance with principles invariable in 
all solid buildings." 

" Scribbler," said the Sketcher, who was following behind with the Nabob, 
" I detect you talking politics out of keeping with the environments again." 

The party were entering the Cemetery, which seemed to occupy more 
ground than the town itself. Scrupulously clean, with bright white-washed 
domes, shaded by Acacia Nilotica, it is not ill chosen as the promenade of 
the town. Here loitered, not sadly yet not boisterously, alike Copt, Jew, and 
Moslem. There were groups of women seated round a grave, not visibly, at 
all events, depressed by the "Memento mori." Here, on a fallen column, rested 
a venerable ulema ; and there was a group of children munching dates by a 
fountain. 

Passing across the Cemetery, one finds oneself at the very foot of the 

Libyan chain, which Pliny wrongly called the boundary of the Thebaid. Here, 

according to Abu Feyda, is the mountain to which the birds perform an annual 

pilgrimage, one remaining ever as a sentry until relieved by another. The ascent 

is steep, but worth the exertion, for it is from them alone you get a fair idea of 

Asyoot, and what may be called the first view of Egypt. The panorama from 

o 



9° 



CEMETERY OF ASYOOT. 



the citadel in Cairo, unequalled as it is, either in Egypt or elsewhere, is hardly 
one of the country itself. There the imagination is too strongly impressed 
by the historical aspects of the scene to grasp the scene itself. Here, as you 
ascend, the view, enlarging at every step, reveals, like a kaleidoscope, new 
beauties at every turn. At last, creeping through a narrow tunnelled rock, 
called the " Needle's Eye," you clamber the last few yards across tombs 
excavated from the mountain side, the bones of antiquity are beneath your 
feet, and you stand on a Pisgah height, with the Land of Promise beneath, the 
plain which Amru described as "at once a green undulating meadow and a 
garden ornamented with the most varied flowers." There, hurrying from far 
south to north, you see the great river, in innumerable serpent-like curves, 




Cemetery of Asyoot. 



scattering broad-cast to east and west its golden benefits. Asyoot lies like 
a star at the foot, studded with domes and minarets, embowered in green 
gardens ; still nearer is the Cemetery ; and closing round the living and the 
dead, in one warm embrace, is the brilliant green of the young cornfields. 
Here and there the mud villages lie "like the marks of a soiled foot on a rich 
carpet," which the blue flax, the yellow cotton blossom, and the crimson poppy 
enrich with colours that even Shiraz cannot copy. Rich, too, is the gold of 
the border ; for the hungry desert stretches beyond, and bluest of Egypt's skies 
is that which looks down on the Stabl Antar. 

Even the Sketcher was awed. " This," he said, " is beyond your pencil or 
mine. I understand now why the Sermon was preached on a Mount." 



PASHA AND MUDIR. 91 

The Pasha, the Moses of the party, had meanwhile been compelled by the 
stern call of duty to abstain from the view of the Promised Land, into which, 
however, he was to be permitted to enter. Escorted by the slimy Yacoub, he 
had proceeded through the town to the Mudirieh, followed by a motley crowd, 
who evidently experienced some difficulty in deciding as to the rival merits of 
the clothing of the pair. There is an air of official dignity attaching to the black 
Stambouli, which, be it never so ancient, it retains to the last in Arab eyes. 
Apollo in light tweed, swinging along at a good stride, bore, however, the marks 
of dignity too. His six feet three impressed the beholders, but then he was 
certainly less well fed than the Sub-Mudir, and breadth counts for more than 
height in Oriental eyes. Still, the former was a novelty, and so enjoyed as much 
respect as was compatible with the fact that they had not felt his kourbash; and 
the votes were already turning in his favour, when he was seen to enter the 
Mudirieh, to fling himself unbidden on the divan, and casually order the Mudir 
to be seated. This decided the matter ; he was evidently one in authority, an 
Ingleez of the highest rank, possibly the English Sultan himself, or his son at 
least — the fame thereof went up the river, and the rest of the party shone in that 
reflected glory for many days. The Pasha was a conscientious man, and part of 
the mission for which he had left Cairo was to ascertain on the spot the ruling 
prices for produce. He asked the Mudir, and that official at once realised the 
importance of the information required ; to be more exact, he would, he said, get 
very careful information, and let him know in the morning. Then he sent off a 
telegram to Cairo. " The English Pasha wants to know the prices of produce 
in Asyoot ; what shall I tell him ? " The reply came back ; the information in 
accordance with it was handed to Apollo, who remarked subsequently, that 
there was " nothing like making sure of your facts at the place itself." 

Let it be said at once, though, that all the information collected was not of this 
origin. English Pashas are taken in at times, and detestable is the character of 
him who is never deceived ; but sound common sense is well supported by 
personal observation, and perhaps Egypt would be more intelligently administered 
if more of its officials would take the pains to see something of the interior of the 
country, as well as of the Club Khedivial. 




CHAPTER XII. 



The Cleopatra — Capnan luxury — Aboutiz — Gow-el-Kebir — Circumstantial allegory 
— Disgraceful hoax of a Pope — Saint or serpent — Sards credulous scepticism — 
Girgeh — Sara on the Turk — Sohag — Rivers all swindles — The Nile at a gallop 
— Value of official information — Cost of government in Egypt — Priapus v. Sir 
Gardner — Abydos — Tomb of Osiris — Roman affectioifor Memnon misleading — A 
Sunset — Keneh — Anxiety of Mudir — Sards greatness — Dancing-girls — Osiris at 
Abydos — Egyptologists and myths. 

THE next morning's sun had hardly gilded the Libyan hills before the 
Cleopatra, most aesthetically furnished of dahabeeyahs, had taken on board 
its living freight. Rightly was she named, for the vainqueur dcs vainqueurs du 
monde herself had never travelled in more luxurious comfort. The whole of 
Apollo's house, itself one of the sights of Cairo, had been ransacked to bedeck 
the roomy craft. There were carpets from Khiva, silks from Damascus, and 
embroideries from Broussa ; luxurious chairs and pretty little inlaid tables 
strewed the centre of the deck, surrounded with luxurious eider-down couches, 
and covered with a gaily coloured awning. The Egyptian flag fluttered in the 
breeze ; the steam-tug twenty yards ahead gave a shrill whistle, and, amid the 
prostrate salaams of the Mudir and entire population of Asyoot on the banks, 
the Cleopatra followed in her wake with the stately motion of a swan. The first 
day on board a dahabeeyah is generally devoted to making a pint-bottle contain a 
quart ; to unpacking one's travelling treasures ; to exploring the nooks and 
crannies into which they may be hid with some possibility of rediscovery, and to 



ON BOARD THE "CLEOPATRA." 93 

stowing away your wardrobe in a cabin seven feet by four, which must also con- 
tain yourself, and possibly another. But no such necessity existed on board the 
Cleopatra^ and no degrading household cares were allowed to trouble the fortunate 
travellers. The luggage had been got on board nobody quite knew how, and 
had been stowed nobody knew where ; but everything that could possibly be 
wanted was at hand. The East, from India to Albania, had been apparently 
put under levy to supply obsequious servants, who obeyed a wish before it was 
expressed, who produced one's heart's desire before the tongue could give it 
utterance, whether it were a delicately-scented pocket-handkerchief, a volume of 
Plato, or an appropriate quotation. The cook was a cordon bleu; fresh flowers 
and ice appeared to be manufactured on board; and stern janissaries with 
swords stood at arms, ready to protect the Pasha with their lives, or to hand any 
of the company a firearm ready loaded, cocked, and pointed in any promising 
direction. 

The first sight of the Nile from Asyoot is disappointing ; you seem to be 
leaving a rich plain to enter a narrow gorge. On the east, sloping reaches of 
mountain come close to the river, leaving at times a bare bridle-path ; while 
to the west the Libyan range draws nearer and nearer. Village follows village 
with painful monotony, bearing names which sometimes recall, but more 
frequently disguise, more famous predecessors. Aboutiz, the old Abutes, 
marked by a few curious rocks standing straight from the water's edge ; Gow-el- 
Kebir, the famous Antaeopolis, where tradition tells us Antaeus was killed by 
Hercules, and where was fought the battle between Typhon and Isis after the 
death of Osiris. Diodorus, however, assures us that it was fought on the 
Arabian shore, and some other is certain that it was in the Delta. Seeing the 
doctors differ, perhaps we had better agree with Wilkinson, who says naively, 
" But as it was an allegory, it couldn't have happened at all." Signs of Ptolemies 
and the Caesars are here, however ; but the Cleopatra wisely shuns them, and 
passes to Tahta, on the opposite bank; perhaps the site of old Hesopis, but 
better known for the cruel practical joke perpetrated on Pope Pius VIII. , who, 
induced by a forged petition of the Egyptian clergy, and an equally forged letter 
of Mohamed Ali, named a Catholic Copt Archbishop of Memphis, with the title 
of Prince of Tahta. Directly opposite to the principality of this spurious 
Patriarch stands a singular rock, a Gibraltar in miniature ; the sailors as they pass 
throw in, attached to sticks, a few coins, by way of conciliating either the Sheik, 
who, however, died a few years ago, or the miraculous serpent who preceded 
him in the alleged possession of miraculous powers. Whichever it be, there is 
no doubt that the sailors are anxious to appease him ; and so intense is the 



94 



SOHAG. 



anxiety lest the offerings should not reach the shore, that one is tempted to 
suppose that there must be much tradition proving the fatal effects of neglect- 
ing to perform the rite. The Arab captain, however, is like Herodotus, and 
declines to speak of the mystery ; while Sara, who mingles with the scepticism 
of Abraham's wife much calculating superstition, sums it up thus : " All foolery, 
of course, but can't do no harm ; and who knows ? perhaps he do good." So 
he encourages the practice, though with vicarious piasters. But along the whole 
banks one notes a singular absence of life ; the river is getting low, and a few 
buffaloes and goats scramble down the banks for water, but little of humanity, 
until, with much whistling, the steamer draws the Cleopatra to the bank at Sohag. 
Then indeed there is excitement ; for the Mudir and his deputy come on board, 
and the whole populace of the capital of Girgeh crowd to catch a sight of the 
party. Solemnly the Mudir crosses the plank and greets the Pasha. He is a 




Turk, and to his satisfaction, expressed with ^dignity, finds that Apollo can 
speak to him without the intermediary of a dragoman. Thereat Sara is hurt, 
and disposed to be contemptuous of information given in a language which 
he does not understand ; so he stands behind the pair, indulges in numerous 
deprecating nods and winks to the Scribbler, and keeps up a sotto voce com- 
ment : " All he say lies ; great scoundrel ; you tell Pasha not believe word." 
But true Copt, there is reverence on his face as he passes the coffee to the 
dignitary whom he dare only secretly despise. 

As it is already late, it is decided to halt the night at Sohag ; the governor 
providing innumerable Gaffirs along the banks, who light their fires, and keep up 
a volleyed cry of " Wahad," while the party dine on deck and discuss the first 
day on the Nile. 



THE NILE AT A GALLOP. 95 

" It's my impression/' said the Nabob, " that all rivers are swindles. The 
Rhine is ; so is the Danube ; and it looks as if Father Nile was very little better. 
Water and dreary banks of mud as a basis ; add to that sham castles to make 
the Rhine ; a few trees, and you have the Danube ; or worn-out waterwheels, 
and you have the Nile." 

" Though I confess it's ungrateful, I'm inclined to agree with you," said the 
Pasha, " and feel relieved ; for my orders are to be as quickly as possible in 
Cairo, and I shall hurry you through. I told you at the commencement I 
couldn't promise you much in the way of sight-seeing, and I'm afraid it will be 
less than ever now. However, I'll run you up to Wady Haifa, and leave you, 
if you like, to get down by Cook's." 

The Sketcher alone looked somewhat disappointed ; but he looked round the 
luxurious Cleopatra, and felt that he could never surrender Capua. 

"You will let us stop at Karnac, at all events?" he asked. 

" Yes ; my idea is to take a day at Karnac, and at each of the Cataracts, 
perhaps a few hours at Edfou, but otherwise to push on, only stopping for infor- 
mation at a few of the chief Mudiriehs." 

" Do you suppose you get any information worth having at places like this?" 
asked the Scribbler sceptically. 

"Well, it's very doubtful. Ask Crichton here; he will tell you that he has 
picked up :an immense mass of information; but I'm not certain that one 
wouldn't have found it in Murray ; and whether one would or not, Sara Bey is 
prepared to swear that it's all false ; but it's always worth while seeing men and 
places that you have anything to do with." 

" It's the only way to learn geography," said the Nabob sententiously. 

" Not only that; one forms some sort of idea of the men one has to deal 
with, and it keeps them up to the mark if they feel they are liable to be dropped 
upon." 

" And is that all the control you have," asked the Nabob, " over your people 
in the interior? " 

"No ; we have armies of control of sorts — Sara Bey there, and others; but 
then the difficulty is to control the controllers." 

" Will you let me," said the Scribbler, "give you some startling figures as to 
the cost of government in Egypt ? I suppose you can't tell me the number of 
Egyptian Government employes of to-day, but in 1882 a Blue Book gave them as 
54,041, costing ;£i, 953, 599 per annum. Well, these figures were misleading, for 
they included the army and police ; but deducting those, we get about 30,000 
employes, costing about ;£i, 550,000. Now the population of Egypt is 6,800,000. 



96 COST OF GOVERNMENT IN EGYPT. 

Assuming that one-fourth are able-bodied men, nearly two per cent, of the 
whole able-bodied male population are Government servants. The whole civil 
service of the United Kingdom, with its population of 35,000,000, requires only 
29,000 civil servants, at an aggregate salary of ^"4,000,000." 

" I admit the figures are startling," said the Pasha, " but the comparison is 
not quite fair. In the 29,000 for the United Kingdom, railway employes are 
certainly not included ; and I should like to see how the English four millions 
are made up before I admit of any comparison at all." 

"Well, I confess I can't meet you; and I asked rather for the sake of 
obtaining than giving information. My authority for the English civil service, 
29,000 persons, with an aggregate salary of ^4,000,000, is Mulhall ; the 
authority for the 30,000, costing ,£1,550,000, I have given you; and making all 
allowances for railway employes, &c, the difference seems enormous." 

"The comparison is valueless," repeated the Pasha, " without details." 

" And that, as I have said, I can't give you, and ask only for information. 
The invaluable Whitaker gives ' Salaries and expenses of civil departments, 
total ^2,477,258/ and in that he includes Treasury, ^59,506. In the Blue 
Book I have quoted, the salaries alone of the Ministry of Finance are put at over 
^75,000, in addition to which there is financial services in the provinces 
^131,990, and your Budget for 1884 shows a total expenditure of ^87,697 
and £"263,000 for collection of taxes." 

" In India," said the Nabob, " the salaries and expenses of our civil de- 
partments come to something between eleven and twelve millions — say about 
eight times as much as yours in Egypt — and we have at least forty times the 
population." 

"At that rate," said Crichton, who had been making careful calculations 
with a pencil, "the salary charge in India is is. id. per head; in England, 
2s. 4d. ; and in Egypt, 4s. 6d. The difference is too great to admit of the com- 
parison being accurate." 

" Look here ! " said the Pasha, laughing. " If you fellows want statistical in- 
formation, I wish you'd come to me at the Ministry, and Crichton and the rest 
of them shall read you to death with Budgets ; but I'm not going to stand 
cross-examination here ; and the first man who mentions figures or is guilty 
of the smallest interference with the multiplication table shall be pitched over- 
board." 

"Seconded and carried unanimously," said the Sketcher; "but unless you 
can give the Scribbler continual mental pabulum in the way of facts, he will 
die of ennui." 



ABYDOS. 97 

" According to Ampere, ilfaut s'etre emmye dans un pays pour le bien con- 
naltre" said the Pasha; "if that's true, we shall be doing him a service." 

" And if that's true," said the Nabob, yawning, " I know this beastly country 
very thoroughly already, and may as well go to bed." 

The next morning at sunrise the Cleopatra was already on her way, and 
passing Akmeen, site of Chemmis or Panopolis, the city of the great god Pan. 
Hither to this day come worthy wives who love their lords, and offer vows to 
the great god Priapus ; in spite of which, says the gentle Sir Gardner, "the 
population of the country is still on the decline." Chemmis, according to 
Strabo, was also famous for woollen manufactures, and for an enlightened 
toleration of Greeks, which their descendants have probably learnt to regret. 
A few miles off it is conjectured lay the old city of Thomu, but, pace Murray, 
neither " mounds nor crude bricks " are now to be found, except in the pages 
of Wilkinson ; and beyond, again, are Mensheeh (Ptolemais Hermii) and 
Girgeh, once capital of the province, but now washed away by the ever-changing 
river, near which are the ruins of Abydos, and north of them a large circling wall 
of crude brick, the cradle of the Egyptian monarchy — the capital which proved 
too small for the vaulting ambition of young Menes, founder of Memphis. At 
Abydos stood the tomb of Osiris, the Holy Sepulchre of the people of Egypt. 
Thither sped pious pilgrims from the most distant parts of the land, and there, 
according to Plutarch, the wealthy were brought to be interred, in order that 
they might repose close to the tomb of their god. At Abydos, too, are the two 
temples of Ramses II. The one, indeed, is variously known as the temple 
of Sethi, the temple of Osiris, or the Memnonium, but was more probably built 
by Ramses himself in honour of Sethi his father (Osirida of the hieroglyphs). 
As for the name Memnonium, used by Strabo, it originated from the practice 
of the Romans, who, innocent of Egyptology, ana knowing only the mythical 
Memnon of Homer, the beautiful son of Tithonus and Eos, king of the blame- 
less Ethiopians, attached the name of their one Egyptian hero to any temple, 
tomb, or statue which took their particular fancy. In this temple were found 
the cartouches of the seventy-six kings, headed by the name of Mena, venerable 
founder of the Egyptian monarchy. The other temple, of which only the walls 
remain, was undoubtedly begun and completed by Ramses II. Leaving This 
of 7000 years ago, and starting again from Bellianeh, we pass the red convent 
of Amba Mussars, Farshoot, with its sugar-factory of to-day, and How (Diospolis 
Parva), and the tomb of one Dionysius, son of Ptolemy, and scribe of King 
Ptolemy, and the Kasr-el-Syad, or Sportsman's Mansion, the ancient Cheno- 



98 



SUNSET ON THE NILE. 



boschion. All that remains is an inscription apparently of the time of Antoninus 
Pius, telling us how some one did something or other " at his own expense." 
May the reward have lasted as long as the record ! 

The Cleopatra was now going due east. The setting sun was turning into 
a rosy red the distant mountains and desert on either side, and, following them 
with its last rays, turned the Nile into a rippling Danae stream of gold. The 
moon was high overhead, struggling against the greater glory, and waiting till 
its sinking rival would allow it to show its own pale beauty in the clear blue 
sky. The narrow strips by the river's bank, green with uncut corn, the grace- 
ful dom-palm mingling with its more stately sisters, the increasing number 
of long lateen-sailed boats, the circling flocks of pigeons, and the faint hum 




r 



of distant voices, showed that a large town was near; and ahead, half hidden 
by a bend in the river, lay the minarets and white domes of Keneh. 

The hideous whistle of the steamer suddenly broke a charm which had been 
felt by the whole party ; and the Reis came hurrying forward asking for orders, 
whether he was to lie under the east bank at Denderah or cross over to Keneh. 
The Pasha explained that the former meant pleasure and the latter duty ; could 
he hesitate? The Sketcher urged that the former meant dancing-girls; the 
latter the face of Cleopatra and the temple of Athor. The Scribbler declared 
that he saw little choice between the two : but the Nabob, who by force of 
apathy always got his own way, solved the difficulty. The Cleopatra was to lie 
at Keneh ; the receptions of the Mudir could be undertaken by his brother in 
solitary state, while the rest of the party would patronise the Ghawazee ; the 
next morning, while the Pasha was pursuing his arduous inquiries, the other 



SARA'S GREATNESS. 99 

three could cross to Denderah in the steamer alone. Great, apparently, had 
been the excitement at Keneh while this decision was being arrived at. The 
anxious Mudir had noted that the steamer had stopped in mid-river, and began 
to fear the worst. Had his enemies managed to traduce him at some place 
en route? Was there on board another Mudir to replace him? Had the Pasha 
come to carry him off? No idea is too ridiculous for an Egyptian mind, and 
this seemed so probable ; but he was relieved when the steamer began puffing 
towards Keneh ; effusive joy took the place of fear, and, without waiting for 
the plank, he climbed on board in a most un-Mudirian manner, and clasped 
with affection the knees of Sara Bey. Nor was Sara himself unmoved ; 
perhaps he liked the tribute to his power ; perhaps he is at Keneh even a 
greater man than in other parts of the river. Certain it is that he displayed 
a distinctly increased sense of dignity from this point; his demeanour was that 
of a monarch returning to his faithful subjects ; he knew them all, he said ; 
"d — d rascals," he muttered sotto voce, and they cringed before him. There 
was a dare-dog air about his tarbouche, and an unusual swing in his gait as 
he walked the deck ; and he was almost condescending to the Pasha himself 
as he introduced the Mudir, as if abrogating his own dignity, but only for 
a time. It seemed as if he felt a little like the old Eton Doctor, with his 
" Pardon me, your Majesty, but I must take the precedence here;" and the Pasha, 
like Georgius Rex, entered into the joke, and maintained the spirit of discipline. 
The usual questions had to be put and asked ; the Mudir expressed 
the most intense personal interest in every person of any influence in Cairo, 
and placed himself and his administration metaphorically at the Pasha's feet. 
Meanwhile it was late for business, and he had arranged an entertainment for 
the party, similar to that, he explained, which was prepared for the Prince of 
Wales and other royal personages. Sara gave a contemptuous sneer, but such 
an invitation could not be refused. Sara and the great ones led the way, and the 
rest followed humbly, surrounded by an admiring crowd. The way led through 
the unlovely streets of the town, the site of Coenopolis, the new city, past shop 
rows of earthen g/100/as, the chief staple manufacture of Keneh, to a large 
booth. Two sides, facing each other, were already filled with potent, grave, 
and reverend seigniors, who rose at the approach of the party, and whose age 
must have averaged sixty. Along the third side sat some half-dozen women 
of surpassing ugliness ; one might have been only twenty, the remainder were 
certainly of an age at which English spinsters remain for a decade ; in front 
of them a row of tambourine and rebek players. The fourth side, facing them, 
was reserved for the Mudir and his guests. As they seated themselves, the 



ioo DANCING GIRLS. 

whole audience again rose, looked preternaturally solemn, and then re-seated 
themselves. 

A horrid thumping of the instruments, a low wail gradually rising into 
a shrill shriek, and a single Ghawazee came forward ; the least offensive 
of the six, perhaps, and yet very hideous. It requires a Frenchman of strong 
imaginative powers to see " le portrait vivant de ces figures cPIsis ou de Cleopatre " 
in the unwashed, coarse, sensual face that, covered with paint, and half hidden 
by unkempt hair, loaded with tinsel, leers at you with a wolfish grin. Very 
slowly, and with sliding, panther-like steps, she made the round of the floor, 
changing into a heavy circular movement as she gradually approached nearer 
the centre, where she assumed a position from which every element of grace 
was excluded. Then, accompanied by tomtoms, rebeks, and a guttural falsetto 
shriek, she began that series of physical contortions in which some have seen 
grace and others sensuality. One by one the others rose and joined her, the 
music played more fiercely, the venerable eiders joined with their appreciative 
long-drawn " Aa/i," and in the centre were six repulsive women, who appeared 
without effort to distort their limbs, and to destroy every vestige of the human 
form divine. 

"Licentious they may mean it to be," said the Pasha, as they escaped again 
on deck, "but to most men it would be a striking incentive to virtue. The 
drunken Helot could not have answered his purpose as well as these modern 
Paphians." 

" The view down that reach of the river repaid everything though," said the 
Sketcher. " Come, admit that even you retract your expressions of contempt for 
the Nile." 

"Well, I'm willing to admit extenuating circumstances at least ; but one-half 
hour's sunset is not compensation enough for a two hours' discussion on Egyptian 
finance and two hours of dancing-girls, and I reserve final judgment until 
Karnac and Thebes." 

" Meanwhile," said the Scribbler, " will any one tell me the authority for 
placing either the tomb or temple of Osiris at Abydos?" 

" A by dies Meuinonis regia et Osirid/s templum inclytum" said Crichton 
promptly. 

" Precisely ; but that's Pliny, and you've already pulverised him, Strabo, and 
the Romans generally by your contempt for the expression Memnonium ; and 
in any case, that only refers to the temple. What about the tomb ? Plutarch 
names Abydos, Memphis, Busiris, Philce, and Taposiris as all laying claim to his 
burying-place, but gives the preference to the first two. In both of which, how- 



r 



OSIRIS AT ABYDOS. 



IOI 



ever, he couldn't have been buried ; besides, we've decided that he's an allegory, 
and you can't bury an allegory even on the banks of the Nile, though you might 
build a temple to one." 

"But the idea that it's a temple to Osiris is given up," said the Sketcher; 
"that was Pliny's first misnomer, but it's admitted now to be the temple of 
Sethi." 

" Precisely ; but now you come to the bottom of the fiction. First comes 
Pliny, who imagines a temple to Osiris ; next follows Plutarch, who finding a lot 
of graves, thinks it only natural that the temple should have been built near the 
tomb, and so imagines the tomb of Osiris ; then come later Egyptologists, proving 
that it's a temple to Sethi ; and yet they can't relinquish the tomb-theory, and so 
we are told that this was the Holy Sepulchre of the Egyptians — a myth created on 
an exploded myth." 




" But surely you might leave us a few myths, at least in Egypt," said the 
Sketcher. " If we sacrifice William Tell and Joan of Arc, is not that a sufficient 
burnt-offering to the Moloch of modern research? — leave us Isis and Osiris and 
the gods of Olympus." 

"There is no fear of our losing myths," said the Scribbler; "the tendency 
is to create quite as much as to abolish them. All I say is, let us keep them in 
their place. Leave the myth of Osiris, pretty as it is, but don't mix it up with 
historical fact. I don't mean to say that Egyptologists maintain Osiris to have 
been buried at Abydos, but they can't resist the temptation of making out that 
it was regarded as his tomb, and so create the new myth of the ' Holy Sepulchre 
of the Egyptians,' for which there is not as yet a shadow of foundation." 

" Does it much matter after all ? " said the Pasha languidly. 



102 



EGYPTOLOGISTS AND MYTHS. 



" Perhaps not in this case ; but look at the confusion that was made by the 
unfortunate romancing of the earliest French Egyptologists over the zodiac 
found at Denderah. Desaix discovers it ; he at least — good soldier, but no 
scientist — was not to blame. Bought for a fabulous price by Louis XVIII., the 
Voltaireans saw in its alleged antiquity a triumph over the authority of Scrip- 
ture. If the zodiac dated some 15,000 years back, then the monuments of 
Denderah must also be ancient. Thereupon Jollois and Devilliers find ' quails 
sont les plus par/aits sous le rapport de V execution et qitils out ete constructs ct 
fepoquela plus florissa?ite de VEgypte;'' while the orthodox opposition, who are 
anxious to prove it modern, declare that they are detestable." 

"And who was right?" 

"As to the date, the latter, for it proved to be of the time of the Caesars; 
as to the value of the monuments, you can judge for yourself to-morrow." 

" And to-morrow evening Karnac by moonlight ! " sighed the Sketcher, as 
they turned in. 





CHAPTER XIII. 

Denderah — Temples not places of worship, but ceremonial— A religious ceremony — 
Royal road to study of Arabic — A river pedlar — Capitulations again — Pro and 
con — Egyptia?i of twelfth century — Saladin — Origin of Capitulations — Coptos — 
Koos — U7iexpected visit — Dignity going begging — An unwilling Sheik el Beled — 
Results of cultivation in Egypt — Alleged over-taxation of Fellaheen — Secret of 
poverty of Egyptian landowners — A71 instance — Ig?wra?ice as to own financial 
position — Karnac in sight. 



DENDERAH is Tentyra Tei an Athor, the abode of Athor or Aphrodite, 
according to etymology ; but according to Pliny and Strabo, the abode 
of a people whose crocodilephobia gave pain to the pious crocodilephilians of 
Ombos. The feuds between these cities partook, according to Juvenal, of all 
the cruelties of most religious wars, terminating with a cannibal feast to the 
advantage of the conquerors. 

The temple was begun, by Ptolemy Auletes. Our Lord was probably living 
when this temple was completed, so that it has been finished barely 1900 
years, and in Egypt hardly merits rank as an antiquity. Nor can it pretend to 
compare architecturally with the buildings which it imitates ; its value rather 
lies in the fact that it is an imitation, however defective, yet in a comparatively 
perfect state of preservation, of a style which we can otherwise only study in a 
state of complete ruin. Its columns are barbaric, but the portico, taken as a 

whole, is grand, and enables us to realise what we have lost. It is what a 

Q 






io 4 RELIGIOUS RITES- 

photograph is to a painting ; what a painting is to its original. As we pass 
from court to court, we gather a general idea of the Egyptian temple and the 
uses to which it was put. Its purpose must not be confounded with that of our 
modern churches ; it was not a place where the faithful or devout met to unite 
in prayer; neither did it resemble our old colleges, nor the later Roman 
temples. We find neither dwellings for priests, nor halls for initiation, for 
divination, or for oracular utterance. So far as we can judge, the worship of the 
gods in Egypt in their temples was reserved to the cultivated few, and none 
but the king and the priests were permitted to enter. The temple was the 
dwelling-place of the god, the sacred resting-place of his images, a place for the 
consecration of king and of priests to his service. 

From the hieroglyphs which cover the walls we learn much of the religious 
rites of later days, imitated doubtless, like the temples themselves, from those of 
an earlier age. There is the large portal, through which, clothed in his long 
robe, with sandalled feet and leaning on his staff, the king alone could pass ; 
but before even he could do so, and so penetrate into the temple itself, it was 
necessary that the gods should recognise him as king of Upper and Lower 
Egypt. Thoth and Horus must anoint him with the emblems of power ; 
Ouate and Suan must crown him with the double crown ; Mout of Thebes and 
Toum of Heliopolis must conduct him into the sacred presence of the goddess 
Hathor herself. Here within, sombre and silent, are the priests assembled, 
passing in solemn procession, ascending the terraces and descending them 
again, in order to encompass the encircling wall, according to prescribed rites, 
with the four boats holding, carefully concealed, the sacred emblem. Here is 
the court containing the offerings and the limbs of the victims of the sacrifice. 
The king consecrates the offerings, and, followed by thirteen priests, carrying 
on high poles the emblems of the divinities, ascends the northern staircase, 
stops on the terrace of the twelve columns, and descends by the southern stair- 
case. Below the temple, again, are the secret hiding-place of the treasures of 
the gods, statues in gold, silver, and lapis lazuli, only brought out on the rare 
occasions of the most solemn ceremonies. 

The principal divinity of the temple is Hathor — Aphrodite or Venus ; 
goddess of beauty ; pupil of the sun's eye ; goddess of the lovely face ; the 
beautiful goddess ; the goddess of love. Such are her titles, but she is more 
than all these. She is the divine mother, giving life, fecundity, and abundance to 
mortals, animal and vegetable. She is the emblem of youthfulness, of expan- 
sion, of resurrection, of truth. She is the type of that universal harmony 
necessary to the well-being and life of the world. 



A LESSON IN ARABIC. 105 

And in the temple of Hathor is the picture of one who, if not a follower of 
the goddess in the highest attributes of her character, must ever be thought of 
in connection with the queen of beauty. Thence, from the walls, smile on us 
Cleopatra, vainqueur des vainqueurs du monde, mistress of all contemporary 
masters of the world. " In a word, all Cleopatra, fierce, voluptuous, passionate, 
tender, wicked." 1 

When the Nabob, the Sketcher, and the Scribbler got on board, they found 
the Pasha, who had tired of Denderah, extended at full length on the deck, 
swathed in a dressing-gown of delicate hues suitable to his complexion, ap- 
parently idle ; but by his side were Crichton and Sara, the former engaged in 
receiving, and the latter in giving, an Arabic lesson, which the Pasha was atten- 
tively following. We have said that he was a linguist, and he claimed the 
merit of having discovered a royal and pasha-like road to knowledge. " It has 




2Mk. 



always," he said, " been my conviction that the only way to study any subject 
is to teach it ; this is theoretically equally true in languages, but practically I 
am met with the initial difficulty that you cannot dispense with a preliminary 
knowledge of a few words ; and, moreover, I find that when I try to teach 
Crichton, he gets so far ahead of my feeble intelligence, that it resolves itself 
into the ordinary form of a lesson to me, which I deem fatal. But I have 
solved the difficulty ; I make Sara teach Crichton ; I try and imagine I am 
teaching him myself, and at all events, by listening to both teacher and teachee, 
I get the advantage of both." So saying, he majestically dismissed both his 
secretaries, and signified his intention of proceeding. 

1 Hawthorn. 



106 RIVER PEDLAR. 

As the Cleopatra was setting off, she was hailed by a small boat, on which 
could be seen a European standing obsequiously hat in hand. From the 
evident determination of the stranger to board, the Pasha conjectured that it 
was a messenger with a recently arrived telegram, and gave orders to the steamer 
to slow down, in order that he might be at once brought forward. An anxious 
twenty minutes having been thus wasted, the gentleman in question at last 
appeared, and breathlessly commenced a rapid sentence, which apparently com- 
prised his known stock of English. " Very good beer — pale ale — stout — powder 
— cartridges — shot duck — ginger ale — tea — sugar — what you want — buy — sell — 
'bedient servant, sar." The Pasha with difficulty restrained his indignation, and 
ordered the importunate bum-boatman to be flung into the river — an order to 
which he had apparently become indifferent owing to frequent repetition without 
serious result. As he went over the side, we heard a melancholy whisper, 
gradually getting fainter, "Pale ale — stout — powder — shot duck," &c, &c. 

" Another consequence of those infernal Capitulations," said the Pasha. 
" That fellow now is dealing in Heaven knows what rubbish, paying no taxes, 
subject to no law — and probably making a fortune." 

" Why on earth should he pay taxes ? " said the Scribbler in a spirit of 
contradiction. "What is he to pay them for? " 

"Pay them for ! " said the Pasha, still irate, "pay them for ! Why, to main- 
tain the Government, of course. What are all taxes for? You don't wish to 
defend exemption from taxation, do you ? " 

" Not entirely ; but still there are always two sides to a question. Let me 
take the other for a moment ; not in reference to this individual Greek, but 
foreigners generally in Egypt. First of all, are not the Europeans taxed already 
in import duties ?" 

" Of course they are, but so are natives j only the latter have to pay other 
taxation in addition, from all which Europeans are exempt." 

" Not from all, because at least they pay land-tax ; and as regards import 
duties, the Europeans probably pay seven-eighths of the total, as the main con- 
sumers of those imports." 

"I don't quite see that argument," said the other. " If they choose to im- 
port, they must pay. The native doesn't choose it ; he doesn't pay ; but you can't 
argue that that entitles the man who chooses to use imported goods to escape 
other taxation." 

" Certainly not, as a principle ; but when you say that natives are taxed 
when Europeans are not, you must also remember that, if there were no 
Europeans, there would hardly be any imports ; that if so, there would be less 



PRO AND CON. 



107 



revenue from the customs ; that you would then have to cover that deficit by 
farther taxation, which would necessarily fall on natives (as the Europeans are 
assumed not to be here), so that the presence of Europeans, whom you call 
untaxed, nevertheless lessens the taxation on natives." 

" Isn't that somewhat far-fetched ? " 

"Well, perhaps so; but now look at it in another way. What does an 
ordinary citizen pay taxes for? I suppose in exchange for protection against 
attacks on person and property ; for maintenance of courts of justice for the 
prevention of such attacks ; for the maintenance of roads ; for certain advantages 
of public education ; sometimes for the maintenance of a State Church. Now 
do you ask a resident Englishman to pay taxes on these grounds? If so, I 
say the Egyptian Government grants them no protection against attacks on 




person or property : the police w r ere the leaders of the massacre of June 1882 ; 
the soldiers were the incendiaries of July 1882. They owe little to your 
tribunals, and until lately nothing ; for they could only prosecute and be pro- 
secuted in Consular courts, costing nothing to the Egyptian Government. 
Maintenance of the roads ! Why, any that are made they have made them- 
selves, and the Government refuses to keep them in repair. Public education ! 
There is none in the country worth a shilling ; certainly none of which any 
European could take advantage. State Church ! They have each to maintain 
their own. Or does taxation go with representation ? They have none." 

" All that," said the Pasha, " is special pleading. You confuse what I will call 
imperial taxation and municipal rates. Europeans even indirectly pay little 
enough for the latter, nothing at all for the former ; and whatever might have 



io8 



TAXATION. 



been argued a few years ago, the payment of the indemnity claims to Europeans 
and natives alike shows that the Government admits its duties to one as to the 
other. But you can't mean to argue seriously that foreigners living in another 
state should not be subject to that state's fiscal laws." 

" Of course not. I only wanted to point out that there is something at least 
to be said on the other side, and to point this moral, which the Egyptian Govern- 
ment seems disposed to ignore. By the taxation of Europeans you have under- 
taken certain duties towards them which they have a right to expect you to fulfil 
— duties to which hitherto they had not the smallest claim, and which they 
therefore performed among themselves. For instance, in no other country in 
the world, so far as I know, is levied an octroi duty against a particular town, 
the proceeds of which go to the national revenue. An octroi rate is a municipal 
one, and if you levy it in Alexandria, Cairo, or any other town, the revenues of 




w 

Old Sakich at Ed/on. 



that octroi should go to that town ; or if 
you must take it, you are bound to give that 
town sufficient for its ordinary municipal purposes." 
" I don't admit," said the Pasha, " that a Euro- 
pean, even when taxed, has any more right to interfere in 
the disposal of the finances of the country than the equally taxed Fellah." 

" Well, I daresay you're right in principle, but don't be led away by false 
analogies. The European in Egypt is not, and never will be (until Egypt 
becomes European), in the same position as a foreigner, say in France or England. 
Numerically small, he is the life and backbone of the country. He is not help- 
less ; he gains less from Egypt than Egypt does from him ; and he won't stand 
all that the Fellah stands. You had better learn to look upon him as a factor, 
and the principal factor, for good or evil in your population. You may theorise 
as much as you like, but you will have to rule Egypt by European ideas, not by 
Egyptian ones." 

" I quite admit that," said the Pasha, " only I want the European ideas of 
the nineteenth century, not of the twelfth." 



SALADIN. 109 

"Take the Egyptian ideas of the twelfth century," said the Scribbler, "and 
you will have a sufficiently good model. Have you ever read the first extant 
Capitulation of Saladin to the Pisan Republic in n 73? Listen to this, and 
give it as instructions to Sara there, and his colleagues, ' And in return for all 
these things (taxes), they (the tax-payers) must be treated with love, and they 
must be made to pay the tax in a kind way and amicably ; and they must pay 
nothing to any servant of the Government, be he great or small ; nor shall any 
wrong be done them, nor shall their goods be undervalued in such a way that 
they shall be sold below the price.'" 

" When that ordered ? " asked Sara, who had drawn near to listen, with 
suppressed feelings of contempt. 

"1173," said the Scribbler, "by Saladin." 

"Ah! Salah-ed-din ! I thought you said 1873. Ismail not write rubbish 
like that ;" and he smole a relieved smile. 

The Pasha laughed. "Poor Saladin! despised by Sara ! Let's hear some 
more." 

" Here is a clause that shows a sentiment next to godliness in the European 
of that day — ' So also they prayed us for a bath, and we granted it to them ; and 
the custom-house was to pay all for them.' " 

" False political economy," said the Nabob ; " but it has its advantages. 
Go on ! " 

" ' As to the church that belonged to them, and that we gave them, they shall 
have it, as they had it before ; and when they shall go to the church, they shall 
suffer no molestation whatever, neither on the way nor within the church ; and 
inside of the church no noise may be made that hinders them from hearing the 
Word of God, according to the precept of their law. But they may observe their 
law, even as the precepts of God and their laws ordain.' " 

" Bravo ! Anti-Crusader," exclaimed the Sketcher. " What are you reading 
from ? " said the Pasha. 

" Van Dyck's translation of Gatteschi ; but the real point of it all is this. 
The proviso that the Pisans should pay nothing but the right duty — no baksheesh, 
that is — has been in successive Capitulations extended to mean that Europeans 
shall pay no other tax than duty ; and another clause, ordering that the Bajuli 
are not ' to occupy themselves with any litigation or matter between the merchants 
without their consent,' designed to protect them from what I suppose we should 
call to-day 'vexatious litigation,' has been similarly stretched until it has come to 
abstracting all Europeans from the jurisdiction of the country. Such was the 
return made for the generosity of Saladin to the suppliants at his stirrup." 



1 TO 



KOOS. 



" I'm glad to see that, in spite of your lecture just now, you're sound after all," 
said the Pasha. " Meanwhile I expect this is Koos, and I want to stop here to 
examine one of the few manufactures of the country." 

For the Cleopatra had passed Coptos — where Isis was supposed to have 
heard of the death of Osiris ; where Diocletian had wrought his fury against 
the rebelling Christians ; the town which, some have it, has given its name to 
the whole land of Egypt — and was now, in obedience to the sudden orders 
of the Pasha, drawing to land at Koos, the site of Apollonopolis Parva, 
declared by Abulfeeda to have been in his time second in importance only to 
Fostat. An. old monolith, now converted into a tank, and a few granite 
columns, are, however, the only remains of antiquity. Nor are they the object 
of the Pasha's visit. But the modern Koos is remarkable for one of the few 




manufactures left in Egypt, long scarfs of many-coloured cottons, woven 
together not without taste. And the Pasha, who had begun to realise that 
his trip was partaking too much of the character of a royal progress, deter- 
mined to stop at least in one place where he was not expected, and where the 
answers should not be dictated from Cairo. Perhaps, after all, the experiment 
was not a success ; the worthy Nazir, who represented the Government, was so 
appalled or terrified at the honour of the visit, that such wits as prolonged 
residence at Koos had left him were not at his command. Were the people 
prosperous ? Yes ; and profoundly honoured at his excellency's visit. Were 
the crops good ? They would doubtless improve after his excellency's visit. 
Were the people in debt ? No ; only to his excellency for his condescension in 
visiting them. Were the taxes high ? No charge was too great in exchange for 



AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR. m 

the pleasure of seeing his excellency ; and so forth, as he stood with bent head, 
downcast eyes, and clasped hands. As there was little to be made of him, the 
Pasha ordered in majestic tones, " Bring the Sheik el Beled ! " " Bring the 
Sheik el Beled ! " echoed Sara. The Nazir looked round, and the small 
crowd on the bank at once slouched off. Then there were whispered conferences 
between the Nazir and his myrmidons, and an evident desire on the part of the 
villagers to avoid having greatness thrust upon them. Who could tell what 
the Sheik el Beled might be wanted for. It was not for nothing that Pashas 
and Beys from Cairo came to the village of Koos. Perhaps they were come 
for soldiers, and would seize the Sheik as a hostage. There was evident safety 
in flight. Still the Sheik el Beled had been asked for by the not-to-be-despised 
Sara, and he or a substitute must be found. 

One venerable old man seemed preternaturally deaf to all shouts, threw his 
leg over a donkey, and ambled away ; another loudly expostulated ; and a 
third descended to abject entreaties. At last, one more servile or more 
courageous than the rest was found, and he shambled on board with an air of 
pious resignation to the will of fate ; while the crowd, feeling the god appeased, 
gradually drew nearer to watch with selfish indifference the horrible fate of 
their sacrificial lamb. 

A respectable-looking old Fellah he was, enveloped in a long white Bedouin 
blanket, perhaps the toga of his assumed office, leaning on a stick, and peering 
with anxious eyes at his supposed tormentors. Examination of them seemed, 
however, to reassure him. The Pasha smiled benignly ; the Scribbler offered him 
a cigarette ; even the great Sara placed his awful hand of authority gently on 
his shoulder as he said, " M'at avsh ! " (Be not afraid). So he took the 
cigarette, and squatting himself on the deck with the ejaculation, "Allah 
Akbar ! " (God is great), awaited his doom. At first the answers were some- 
thing like those of the Nazir; but gradually, under the soothing influence of 
coffee and tobacco, he came out of his shell. " Times were bad," he said ; 
"very bad; always had been bad, and generally worse; still he lived, thanks 
to God and in spite of the Government ! " — terms which, in his mind, appeared 
naturally to represent the spirits of good and evil. " His father was here before 
him, and his father too, and, so far as he knew, his father's fathers ever since 
the world began. He had forty acres, which he supposed had belonged to his 
family for the same time ; he, at all events, had inherited them, had not bought 
any." "Why?" "Well, because he had no money, and wouldn't have done 
so if he had had. The money went from the land to the tax-collector, of 
course ; where else should it go ? " " What is his land worth ? " " Well, 

R 



ii2 CULTIVATION OF LAND. 

perhaps £6 a feddan, or ^250 altogether." "What does it give?" "Well, 
nothing ! " 

But here the accurate Crichton stops him, and in fluent Cymric Arabic 
extracts details. 

"What is his family?" "Well, twenty-seven, if you count women." "And 
they all live on the land ? " " Of course they do ; " and the old patriarch ex- 
patiates at length on the uselessness of women, from whom evidently he suffers 
much ; " useless to keep, and expensive to get rid of," is his unchivalrous verdict 
on the sex. " And what do they eat in a year ? " " Much," says the unwary 
Sheik; "great as God's goodness is a woman's appetite !" 

With much patient inquiry, Crichton extracts the following as the net 
result of the farming of this forty acres. First, the farmer^has no money and no 
debts ; second, he has kept his family of twenty-seven from the produce ; third, 
he spends about a further ^£36 per annum in clothes and tobacco ; fourth, he 
pays the Government ^52 in taxes ; and all this paid, he had last year a balance 
of about jQi, or say three per cent, on the value of his land. This year, however, 
prices are low ; times are bad ; and he will not do more than cover expenses. 
Still, evidently, here is no over-taxed trodden-down Fellah. The old gentleman 
has got quite genial while talking over his household circumstances, and has 
abandoned the despondent tone which marked the beginning of his conversation. 
"If he could only get rid of the daughters," he says, "all would go well;" and 
he looks wistfully round as if inviting offers. As he leaves, he holds the Pasha's 
hand, and, with a benevolent and fraternal smile, assures him he is a very intelli- 
gent man. Then he returns, the herorof the village, to recount his marvellous 
experience ; and the Cleopatra glides still southward. 

" It strikes me," says the Nabob, " that if that is a fair specimen, your 
Fellaheen are not only more intelligent, but generally much better off than 
our ryots." 

"Better off, for that matter," said the Scribbler, "than most landowners 
anywhere else." 

'•'Yes," said the Pasha; "there's been plenty of rubbish written about the 
over-taxation of the Fellaheen. Of course it would be absurd to judge from 
a single instance like that ; but still here we are in one of the poorest parts of 
the country — in Upper Egypt, where they can only get one scant crop — in a 
bad year, with prices exceptionally low, and you have the worst of it ; a man, 
owning only forty acres of very poor land (he only values it at £6), and evidently 
disposed to make the worst of it, is still, when brought to the point, compelled 
to own that he makes a living for twenty-seven persons out of it ; and that after 



TAXATION OF FELLAHEEN. 113 

paying taxes at a rate about equal to the average tax of the whole of Egypt. 
Yet Pashas with lands in the Delta, growing two or three crops in a year, try 
to make us believe that they are unable to make it pay." 

" That," said the Scribbler, " in nine cases out of ten is pure rubbish. 
There are undoubted cases where the land is over-taxed ; there are at least as 
many where it is under-taxed ; but the vast majority of land, properly cultivated, 
will pay the existing taxation and leave a small return on capital." 

" Then you mean," said the Nabob, " that there is a conspiracy among 
the landowners to misrepresent their earnings, in order to get a reduction of 
taxation ? " 

" No, not quite that. In many cases the landowner is unable to pay his 
way, but it is nearly always his own fault. The fact must be admitted that the 
Egyptians, whom Mr. Blunt and others think capable of governing their own 
country, are not only unable to run a factory or a shop, but are only very im- 
perfectly capable of cultivating their own land — I should rather say of managing 
it. Here is the evil. An Egyptian, in some way or other, becomes possessed 
of say ^"iooo, and at the same time of a desire to become a landowner. Not 
only does he wish to be a landowner, but he wants to get hold of as many acres 
as he can. Instead, therefore, of paying say ^700 for land, and keeping the 
^300 as a reserve capital for working it, he buys ^1500 worth of land, and 
borrows ^500 to pay for it, possibly at 10 or 12 per cent, interest. What 
is the consequence ? He has no capital to spend on his land, which deteriorates 
year by year; and he has to find not only the land-tax, but ^£50 or £60 a year 
for interest. Naturally he has to borrow more money for daily expenses ; and 
his security being already mortgaged, he has to pay 15 to 18 per cent. His 
debts pile up, his interest charges get higher, and the revenue of his starved 
land naturally gets lower ; in the end, his land has to be sold to pay taxes or 
interest, and he is quoted as another proof that land cultivation in Egypt does 
not pay, and that the Fellah is over-taxed." 

" And is the debt of the Fellaheen to the usurer so colossal ? " 

" No ; there has been exaggeration about that too. All sorts of ridiculous 
estimates were current in 1883 ; and Dufferin, who very wisely took them under 
very considerable discount, even then over-estimated them. It's impossible 
to get at them accurately, but they probably then did not exceed eight millions, 
and to-day are certainly under five. But all estimates are guess-work, for the 
Fellah himself can seldom tell you what he owes." 

" Do you mean," asked the Pasha, " that he owes more than he knows of?" 

" Sometimes that, but sometimes the reverse. I will give you an actual 



ii4 



A FELLAH'S HOUSE. 



instance, which will show you what I mean, both as to their ignorance as to 
their own indebtedness, and the reasons of their failure to make land pay. An 
English friend of mine wanted to buy some 140 acres of land from a native. 
The native was largely in debt, both to the Credit Foncier and to the Govern- 
ment, for unpaid taxes. My friend went to see the land, found it in a deplorable 
condition, and was told by the proprietor, who did not know he was a purchaser, 
that the land was bad, and could never pay its heavy tax of 22s. ' How much 
do you owe?' said my friend. 'x\bout ^1900,' announced the other, naming, 
however, an exact sum. ' What interest do you pay ? ' ' Twelve or 13 per cent/ 




Interior of a Fellali s--House. 

Now the Credit Foncier is supposed to charge 8 or 9 per cent., and the rate 
seemed 'excessive. However, my friend thought well of the land, and offered 
;£i5 an acre for it. With a little bargaining, of course, the matter was con- 
cluded. The exact sum to be paid was estimated, and this sum, according to 
the estimate of the 'seller, would just suffice to pay off the Credit Foncier, and 
leave him ^200 or so; so it was agreed that my friend should pay off the 
Credit Foncier their ^1900, get the title-deeds, which they held, transferred, and 
then pay the seller the odd ^200, which, he said, was all he would have in the 
world. My friend goes to the Credit Foncier, and finds that they ask only 
^1400. Being an honest man, he does not pocket the difference, but gives the 



COST OF LAND. 115 

astonished proprietor ^700 instead of ^200. Now, how had the mistake 
arisen ? Simply thus. The Credit Foncier had been charging only 8 or 9 per 
cent, interest, and the other 4 or 5 per cent, which the fellah had been 
paying had gone towards the extinction of his capital debt. He therefore was 
ignorant, not only of what he owed, but of the rate of interest and very terms 
of the contract he was fulfilling ! He exaggerated, perfectly innocently, his 
debt by 30 per cent., and the rate of interest by 3 or 4 per cent. ; and yet 
men like Villiers Stuart accept the evidence of him, and other men who 
exaggerated perhaps less honestly." 

" Well, and how did your friend fare with the land ? " 

" That is precisely what I am going to tell you. My friend had paid ^2100, 
and the first thing he did was to spend ^1500 in bringing it back to cultivation, 
from which it had lapsed solely because the former proprietor had only debts 
instead of capital. The result to-day is that the land costs him about ^"25 
per acre; he lets it at ^3, 10s., pays taxes £1, 2s., and nets £2, 8s., or nearly 
10 per cent. ; and this on land that the proprietor told him would never pay 
its taxes." 

"And has he no trouble in getting in his rents ? " asked the Pasha. 

" Hardly any," replied the other. " There is an Arcadian simplicity about the 
system. The proprietor provides seed ; purchases cattle for them as they want 
it ; acts, in fact, as their benevolent banker during the season ; receives their 
crop from them into a common store ; sells it ; repays himself from the proceeds 
for rent and advances, and hands the balance to the tenant." 

"And suppose the balance is the other way?" 

" Well, that happens occasionally, but very rarely, and proves the tenant 
to be a careless cultivator; in which case he has to go, and a better cultivator 
takes his place." 

"I wish," said the Sketcher, "that, instead of discussing political economy, 
you would explain to me why the sun is setting in the south." 

The Cleopatra was running with her bow pointed full at the setting sun, 
which was about to dip into the river ahead of them. 

" We have made a curve to the west," said Crichton, examining the map, " and 
are close on Luxor." 

" And you have no idea what you've missed," said the Sketcher, who had 
been busily sketching, and handed his attempts to the Scribbler. 

"And are not likely to have from these," said the other surlily, as he 
returned them ; for the Scribbler was a man who loved the sound of his own 
voice, and did not tolerate interruption. 



n6 



KARNAC IN SIGHT. 



The Sketcher was equally zealous for the honour of his sketches, and for 
a moment the e?itente cordiale between Damon and Pythias was imperilled. But 
the first sight of Karnac burst on their view at the critical instant. Within the 
sight of those "temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,"" which even Horace 
Smith's doggerel cannot make ridiculous, all wrangle was hushed. Impatiently 
they listened to Crichton, who, conscientiously anxious that they should miss 
nothing, was laboriously explaining that Medamot, which they were passing. 



5J 




was Maximianopolis. Hardly a glance could they spare for the ruins ot 
Ptolemy Euergetes, against a column of which a buffalo was lazily scratching 
its back, nor for the fields blooming in all the glory of an Egyptian spring. Who 
has eyes for anything else when Karnac is in sight? or who can think of the 
pigmy Ptolemies in the presence of Ramses ? And Karnac is the great Ramses 
personified — an epic in stone. Description of it is almost an insult. We may 
gaze on it with awe, and perhaps carry away some feeble impression of its 
majesty, but the writer or artist who can reproduce it is yet unborn. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

History — Thebes comparatively modern — Retrospect, sixth to seventeenth dynasty — 
Eighteenth dynasty — Foreign wars ?iecessary — Populous No — Aah?nes,A?ne?ihoteb, 
and Tutmes — Expansion of Egypt — Queen Hatasou — Coloiiial policy — TutmesIII. 
— Foreign conquests — The land of Canaan in the hieroglyphs — A?nenhoteb III. — 
The Colossi — The first European reformer in Egypt — A religioics reformation — 
Change of dynasty. 

COMPARED with either Thinis or Memphis, Thebes is an upstart city, for 
it is only in the eleventh dynasty that she makes her first appearance. 
We have seen 1 how Egypt, during the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth dynasties, 
fell into comparative obscurity, under kings reigning both at Memphis and 
Elephantine. It is tolerably certain that at this time there existed internal 
dissension, aggravated by foreign aggression. We may perhaps assume that the 
Pharaohs at Memphis were occupied in repelling the already commencing 
invasion of the Shepherd tribes, and so, losing control over their southern pro- 
vinces, allowed the Ethiopian invader to come down the river and establish 
himself at Elephantine. The attacking Hyksos and the defending Memphite 
monarch would both be weakened, and become eventually the easy conquest of 
the Elephantine Pharaoh, who established the eleventh dynasty at Thebes. Such 
at least is a probable explanation of the otherwise singular fact, that we find the 
eleventh dynasty established at Thebes, a powerful and prosperous state, imme- 
diately after a period when the fortunes of Lower Egypt were at a low ebb. 
During the eleventh dynasty, however, it is probable that Thebes extended little 
beyond the temple of Karnac. At the Necropolis of Drah Abou '1 nezzah were 
found the mummies, now in London, of the kings Entep of this dynasty, the 
sarcophagus of Aah Hoteb, with its collection of jewels at Boolak ; but much of 
the luxury of the period was expended on the mummies, and the tombs them- 
selves show nothing of interest. We have seen, also, how the brief glory of the 
eleventh dynasty was overthrown by the Hyksos, and how, after 1200 years, 
Sekenen Ra had lost his life in expelling them. 

1 Chapter ix. 



n8 



THEBES. 



With this amount of necessary recapitulation, we resume the thread of 
Egyptian history where we left it, at the establishment of the eighteenth dynasty 
under Aahmes I., independent sovereign of all Egypt, ruling from Thebes. 

With this dynasty begins the glorious period of Egyptian history, and Thebes 
rises to its unrivalled grandeur, warranting the description of the Prophet, 




Necropolis of D rah Abou 'Inezzah. 



" Populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round 
about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea : Ethiopia 
and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite " (Nahum hi. 8, 9). For the 
long war of independence had turned the kingdom into a huge camp, and the 
b.c. 1703-1653. first of the restored Pharaohs, Aahmes, Amenhoteb I., and Tutmes I., probably 
regarded war not only as a source of profit, but as a necessary measure of policy ; 




4 Poi-tion of the Temple of Karnac. 



QUEEN HATASOU. 



119 



and thus the expansion of Egypt commenced. To their already famed infantry 
the Egyptians had learnt from the Hyksos to add cavalry and chariots. Their 
armies invaded Asia, overran Syria, Judaea, and Arabia, advancing as far as 
Mesopotamia. 

And commerce followed their flag : the emerald mines of Berenice and the 
gold mines of Midian enriched the capital of the Pharaohs ; white and yellow 
alabaster, red porphyry, and green diorite were brought from the hills beyond 
Rohanou and from the Wady Hammamat. The labour of establishing their 
authority, and thus extending their empire, left little time to these three first 
Pharaohs of the eighteenth dynasty to devote to the arts of peace ; but 
Amenhoteb I. constructed a portion of the temple of Karnac, and Tutmes I. 
built in front of its sanctuary those halls, pylons, and obelisks which adorn the 
southern side. 

The death of Tutmes I., followed in a very short time by that of his son, 
Tutmes II., placed Egypt under the rule of a female sovereign, who had already 
acted as regent, the Queen Hatasou, whose reign 
perhaps marks the period of Egypt's greatest 
material prosperity, if not of military splendour. 
Her efforts seem to have been mainly devoted to 
the extension of commercial relations with neigh- 
bouring states, and more particularly with the 
coasts of the Red Sea. The temple of Deir el 
Bahari was raised to commemorate her successful 
expedition into Pount (Arabia Felix). On the 
walls we see her sending her troops to collect such 
treasures as could be found in the land of spices ; 
we see them successful, the soldiers drawn up on 
the coast of the Red Sea, the water of which is 
apparently so transparent that the fishes are visible ; 
the inhabitants of Pount leave their cupola-roofed 
dwellings and bring the scented gum in heaps ; 
the Egyptian fleet is receiving the valuable cargo, 
consisting of bales of goods, earthen jars, and live 
animals ; journeying with sail and oar, they reach Thebes, and the different 
items are counted out at the feet of the Queen, in the presence of the god 
Ammon, who congratulates her Majesty. 

At this time the nation seems to have returned to the luxurious habits 
which had been prevalent prior to the invasion of the Hyksos. Sumptuous feasts 



b,c. 1630. 




Mummy 0/ Tutmes II. 



i2o FOREIGN CONQUESTS. 

were apparently the order of the day ; singers, musicians, and dancers con- 
tributed to the entertainment, while slaves handed the guests the different 
dishes crowned with flowers. Enormous sums were consumed in funeral 
ceremonies ; the funeral barge was hidden beneath the luxurious offerings ; 
professional mourners and slaves stood on the decks ; and the embalming art, 
assisted by the spices and aromatic perfumes from Arabia and the Sommali 
Coast, reached its perfection. 
b.c. 1600(f). The Queen Hatasou was worthily succeeded by her second brother, Tutmes 

III., who is said to have undertaken thirteen campaigns in his reign of fifty- four 
years. His conquering armies reached Cape Guardafui and the Indian Ocean ; 
Babylon, Tyre, and the Lebanon paid him tribute ; and large numbers of 
prisoners were employed to till the fields in place of the children of the soil, 
enrolled as soldiers. Nor did the glories of foreign conquest prevent him from 
adding to the treasures of his capital ; he erected a temple on the left bank, 
adorned several Egyptian towns with the obelisks which now disgrace the 
principal cities of Europe ; and he enlarged Karnac, of which he sketched out 
the general plan. Upon its walls we find a list of 115 cities subdued by Tutmes, 
possessing peculiar interest because they furnish a table of the Promised Land, 
made 270 years before the Exodus. Among the cities are Kadesh, Megiddo, 
Damascus, Beyrout, Acre, Jaffa, Migdol, and Rehoboth. An authority who 
cannot be suspected of sectarian prejudice, the late Mariette Bey, says: "No 
doubt whatever can exist. If these limits are not precisely the same as the 
tenth chapter of Exodus assigns to the land of Canaan, at all events these 
hundred and fifteen names carry us to the very centre and heart of that far- 

r" 

famed country. The data are certainly very precise with regard both to 
chronology and geography." 
b.c 1546 [c). At the death of the great Tutmes, the Syrians seem to have thought the 

opportunity favourable for a revolt, which was suppressed with considerable 
severity by his successor, Amenhoteb II. Of his successor, Tutmes IV., we 
know little beyond the legend on the Sphinx, telling of his good intention to 
restore that monument. He was probably a mighty hunter, like Amenhoteb 
III., who succeeded him, and who is reported to have killed a hundred lions with 
his own hands during his reign. But the third Amenhoteb was more than a 
shekarri ; he carried his victorious arms far into the Soudan, and continued to 
exact tribute from Mesopotamia. He built also the whole of the southern 
portion of the temple of Luxor, the northern temple of Ammon, the temple 
of Mout, the alley of Sphinxes leading to the temple of Khons, and the 
imposing edifice which stood behind the two Colossi on the west bank, both of 



THE COLOSSI. 121 

which represent himself seated in the hieratic posture. The upper part of the 
more northerly of the two was destroyed by an earthquake twenty-seven years 
before Christ, and the accident added a spurious celebrity to its deserved fame. 
From the headless trunk came forth, with the first rays of the morning sun, a ring- 
ing sound like the human voice. Hard science may now explain it as due to the 
cracking of the stone, wet by the morning dew and heated by the sun, but the 
more imaginative Greeks and Romans heard in it the voice of their favourite 
Memnon appealing to his divine mother, Eos, the Dawn. There came from all 
parts of the known world pilgrims to behold the miracle, and to write their 
testimony to its truth at the foot of the god. Among other autographs is 
that of Sabina Augusta, consort to Caesar Augustus, and of Vitalinus Epistra- 
teges of the Thebaid, who brought his wife, Publia Sosis, and of two poetical 
gentlemen, an Italian, Petroniamus Dillius, and one Gamella, who, as a good 
pere defamille, brings also his "beloved spouse Rafilla and his children." Alas ! 
the miracle only lasted two centuries ; for Septimius Severus thought, as others 
have thought since with equal success, that he would work a great reform in 
Egypt. He would improve on. Memnon : he would impart beauty and clearness 
to the voice. What could be easier ? A few blocks of sandstone, and it was done. 
The reform was effected, but the sound was effectually smothered, and the god 
remained for ever silent. O Septimius Severus, first of occidental reformers ! 
thy successors exist in the nineteenth century ! 

Of Amenhoteb IV. we only find traces in a singular religious revolution at 
the instance of his foreign mother, Aten. He seems to have returned to the 
more primitive sun-worship of his forefathers, and changed his name from 
Amenhoteb, Peace of Amnion, to Khuenaten (Reflection of the Sun), to have 
effaced the name of Ammon, and substituted that of Aten on the monuments, 
and to have transferred the capital some 150 miles north to a city he founded 
and called Khosaten, now Tel-el- Amarna, where he and two or three successors 
reigned. But Horus or Horemheb, last of the eighteenth dynasty, re-estab- 
lished the cult of Ammon at the capital of Thebes, building the two southern 
pylons and the avenue of Sphinxes, which connects the first pylon with the 
temple of Mout. 

Still the authority of the eighteenth dynasty seems to have suffered a shock, 
and the people, tired of their rulers for nearly 250 years, appear to have made 
an internal revolution, which resulted in the accession of the great family of 
Ramses and the nineteenth dynasty. 



CHAPTER XV. 

History — The Ramesides — Ramses I. — Seti I. — Ramses II. — An heroic exploit and mild 
rebuke — Seti II. — The first Jicdenhetze — Moses a general i7i the Soudan — The 
exodus i?i Sc7'ipture a7id papyrus — Ramses III. at home — At war — A naval battle 
— Rise of the P7'iestly power — Priest-ki7igs of Sa7i — Egypt the bo7ie of co7itentio7t 
betwee7i Ethiopia a7id Assyria — Assyria7i C07iquest — Thebes pillaged — Dodecharchy 
— Saite Dy7iasty — P7-ophetic war7iing agai7ist Suez Ca7ial — Persia7i co7iquest — 
Visits of Herodotus a7id Plato — Alexa7ider the Great — The T7'i7iity of Thebes. 



b.c. 1452 (c). /^~\F the Ramses who established the nineteenth dynasty, little is known beyond 
V_y the fact that he was the father of Seti I., Merenptah (Beloved of Ptah), 
and that he probably designed, though his son completed, the famous hypostyl 
hall at Karnac. Upon its walls are recorded the campaigns of Seti against the 
Armenians, the Arabs, the Assyrians, and the Hittites. The Armenians are 
depicted felling timber for the conqueror, who drives in his chariot a horse 
named "Strength of the Thebaid." Here he pursues and pierces with arrows 
the flying Arabs, who take refuge in a fortress ; and here, returning victorious 
from his campaigns, he is receiving on the banks of the Nile the principal 
functionaries of his kingdom, who have come to welcome him. Seti was the 
first who appears to have conceived, and even probably carried out, the idea 
of connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. He gave particular atten- 
tion to the education of his son, the great Ramses, whom he caused to be 
instructed with other young Egyptian nobles, and possibly with Moses ; for we 
may assume that the princess who adopted the future lawgiver was a daughter 

b.c. 1420 {c). of either the first Ramses or his son Seti. Ramses II., the Great, the legendary 
Sesostris of the Greeks, succeeded his father, probably about 1420 b.c, and reigned 
for sixty-seven years. If other periods were equally prosperous, this at least 
must be considered as the reign during which Egypt reached her highest military 
renown. Throughout Egypt, and beyond it, we meet the records of his victorious 
arms. The empire stretched to Dongola in the south, to the Tigris in the east, 
and to Asia Minor itself. Probably little of his long reign was spent in his 
magnificent capital, but he completed the temple of Goornah, the hypostyl hall 
of Karnac, built the surrounding wall of the temple, added something to Luxor, 
and left in the Ramesium a monument not unworthy of the glorious son of Seti. 



RAMSES II. 



123 



The walls of Karnac and of the Ramesium are covered with the records of 
his exploits. Here, in the Ramesium, we find him engaged in battle with the 
Hittites on the borders of the river Orontes, near to Kaderu. The Egyptian 
generals do not exactly appear to have distinguished themselves, unless, indeed, 
they were conspiring to assure the renown of their sovereign. At all events, they 
have left him alone, even deserted by his escort, and surrounded by his enemies. 
Nothing daunted, he charges 
alone the chariots ; the enemy 
fly in terror ; some are crushed 
under the wheels of the chariot 
and the feet of his horses ; others 
are killed with arrows from the 
king's own hand, among them 
" the chief of the vile Hittites," 
and the rest are drowned in the 
river. On the opposite side of the 
bank is the scene after the battle. 
Ramses is seated on his throne, 
none the worse for his single- 




handed fight against a host. His 
officers, showing some moral if 
not physical courage, come to 
tender him their congratulations, 
and are received with a reproach 
which we cannot deem too strong 
for the circumstances. " Not 
one among you," he says plain- 
tively, " has behaved well in thus 
deserting me, and leaving me 
alone in the midst of the enemy. 
The princes and captains did not 
join hands with me in fight ; by 
myself have I done battle ; I 
have put to flight thousands of nations, and I was all alone." Ramses 
appears to have been very proud of his exploit, as well he might be. To 
put to flight a nation is something; but to put to flight thousands of nations 
is not, he fancies, an everyday exploit ; so he reproduces it again upon the 
second pylon,~and at Luxor, at Karnac, and at Ipsamboul. And that there 



Bazaar in Luxor. 



124 



SETI II. 



b.c. 1353 (4 



may be no doubt as to the accuracy of the narrative, a poem on the subject by 
the great Pen ta Our is inscribed in the hypostyl hall, and near it the treaty 
of peace which followed with Khetu Sar, king of the Hittites, in the twenty- 
first year of Ramses's reign. 

Seti II., also called Merenptah, succeeded his great father, of whom he was 
the thirteenth son. The monuments of Egypt give us few records of the reign, 
which perhaps possesses for the modern historical student more interest than 
any other period of Egyptian history. For while Ramses II. had been 
gathering for himself and his nation glory and extended territory abroad, there 
was growing up nearer home a difficult social problem, such as exists in some 

parts of Europe at this day. The seventy Hebrews, 
forming the family of Jacob, who had settled in the 
land of Goshen during the reign of the Hyksos, 
had rapidly increased and multiplied during the 
400 years which had elapsed. We need not waste 
time in statistical calculations as to whether the 
seventy souls could increase in that space of time 
to the 600,000 men, exclusive of women and chil- 
dren, who, according to the Scriptures, left under 
the guidance of Moses. It is at least highly prob- 
able that other families from across the border 
gradually amalgamated, by marriage or otherwise, 
with the tribe of Jacob. What is certain is, that 
the industrious, saving, and even then comparatively 
intellectual Hebrew, had gradually acquired not 
only the best of the land, but some of the most 
lucrative appointments in the land, where they 
still regarded themselves only as sojourners. His- 
tory repeats itself; and we have only to realise the popular prejudice 
regarding their descendants entertained to-day in Russia and Germany to 
understand the similar position which they held more than 3000 years ago 
in the Valley of the Nile. Nor was the order given by the great Ramses to 
the Egyptian midwives more repugnant to humanity than the proceedings 
of anti-Semitic court-chaplains of our own day. The order, at all events, 
was not obeyed ; a future leader was saved for the chosen people by the 
interposition of one of the royal house itself, Moses the scholar, at On, or 
Heliopolis, near Memphis. Clemens of Alexandria and others tell us that 
Moses rose high in the service of Ramses ; actually commanded an army 




Mummy of Ramses II. 




A Portion of the Temple of Med i net Abou. 



r 



RAMSES III. 125 

sent to the Soudan, and founded on the Nile a city which he named Meroe, 
after the daughter of Pharaoh, to whom he owed his life, and for whom he still 
maintained a grateful affection. Whatever foundation of truth there may be 
in the legend, it is certain that when the great Ramses died he left his successor 
a difficult problem. The chosen race were still a great and prosperous people, 
and now led by a chief of ability and experience. The well-known biblical 
story of the Exodus it is needless to repeat ; the partial confirmation that exists 
of it in the Egyptian records is less generally known. It is certain that Seti II. 
(Merenptah) was engaged in war with the Libyans, and was at the same time 
exposed to considerable danger from Semite tribes in Asia. The request of 
Moses to lead his people into the desert would very naturally alarm the 
Pharaoh, an essential part of whose policy it would be to prevent the union of 
the Israelites with other cognate tribes ; but the records give an account of the 
expulsion of lepers, which is undoubtedly the Egyptian account of an event 
which reflected no glory on their history. The defeat of Pharaoh and his host 
probably combined with other causes to shake the power of the nineteenth 
dynasty; its history becomes . obscure until, in the year 1288, the twentieth b.c. 1288. 
dynasty opens with the accession of Ramses III., who, if he could not surpass 
the warlike fame of his great ancestor and namesake, was successful in several 
campaigns, and endeavoured to excel him in the magnificence of his build- 
ings and the decoration of his capital. He finished the temple of Khons, 
excavated the tomb now ridiculously known by the name of Bruce, and built 
Medinet Abou. On the walls of this last temple it is that we see so much of 
the life of Egypt under this the last of her warrior-kings. In the private palace 
we see the great monarch at home, surrounded by his family. One of his 
daughters brings him flowers, with another he plays draughts, and a third, who 
is offering fruits, he caresses by way of thanks. Little scenes like these are 
perhaps as interesting as the more glorious exploits which are also recorded. 
Here are portraits of his captives, apparently drawn from life, " the vile chief of 
the Hittites," a people for whom the Ramses seem always to have reserved 
their choicest epithets ; another " vile chief of the Amorites ; " the chief of the 
Teucrians from Asia Minor, those of the "country of Sardinia, which is in the 
sea ; " the chief of the Arabs from the frontier along the Isthmus to Suez, the 
country of Tuscany, which is in the sea ; the chief of the vile race of Negroes; 
the chief of the Libyans, and others who are less easily identified. Here, too, 
are representatives of various glorious expeditions against the Libyans, Pelasgians, 
Siculi, Dannians, Oscans, and others ; and here he returns from battle, preceded 
by his prisoners in chains, whom he offers to the gods of Thebes. On one 



126 



DEFEAT OF THE LIBYANS. 



wall we may see, in a series of ten pictures, the whole history of a campaign 
against the Libyans and Teucrians, in the ninth year of Ramses. Only the 
necessities of space compel us to abbreviate Mons. Mariette's description. 
First goes the king, with his troops in marching order ; in a large battle, in 
which he personally commits fearful slaughter, the Libyans are vanquished 
12,535 of the enemy are killed, and the prisoners brought before the king. The 
king addresses the army under arms, who are again marching out to battle. 
This time the Teucrians are overthrown, the women and children flying in 
chariots drawn by oxen. The march is renewed through one of the fastnesses 



->. ' - 




B.C. IIIO. 



of the Lebanon infested by lions, one of which the king kills. Then takes 
place the one Egyptian naval battle of which we have record. The scene is at 
the mouth of a river. Teucrians and Sardinians attack the Egyptians ; Ramses 
stands on the shore, and his archers contribute to the Egyptian victory; one of 
the enemy's vessels is floating keel upwards. The army returns back to Egypt, 
and stops at Migdol, where the dead are counted by the number of hands cut 
off on the field of battle, and the prisoners pass before the king, who harangues 
his sons and generals. Then triumphal return to Thebes and general speech- 
making — " speeches from the gods, speeches from the king, speeches even from 
the prisoners themselves, who entreat the king to spare their lives, that they may 
long celebrate his courage and valour." 

Of the long line of Ramses who composed the twentieth dynasty, none, 
with the exception of the first of them, seem to have inherited any of the 
glory which attached to the name, and after a hundred years we find that they 



PRIEST-KINGS. 



127 



have given way before the priestly twenty-first dynasty of San : the military 
prowess of the Ramesides has been replaced by the priestly craft of the Tanis 
hierarchy. How did the change come about? Here, on the walls of the 
temple of Khons, we discover something of the history of the increasing usurpa- 
tion of the priests of Amnion. In the hall of eight columns we see the high 
priest Her Hor, not yet indeed arrogating to him- 
self the regal titles, but from the place reserved for 
kings alone addressing the god in the joint name 
of himself and the weak king by his side. And in 
another hall we see the next step : all disguise is 
thrown aside, and Her Hor appears with the uraeus, 
or sacred asp, on his brow, his name enclosed in 
the royal double cartouche. On the pylon we see 
his priestly successor, Pinotem, soon also to be- 
come king. From this point the sun of Thebes 
began to decline. Unable to rule, the priest-kings 
attempted to conciliate, and had to give way to 
Sheshonk, the Shishak of Scripture, who founded 
the twenty-second or Bubastite dynasty, who built 
the outer court of Karnac, where we find the record 
of a victory gained by Shishak. The gods bring 
him the towns which he has conquered. The twenty-ninth cartouche was read 
by Champollion as Joudah Melek (king of Judah), and until recently was recog- 
nised as a portrait of Jeroboam, though Brugsch has since maintained that 
there is nothing to justify this supposition. 

During the twenty-third and twenty-fourth dynasties Egypt was hard pressed b.c. 810-715. 
by the Assyrians from the north and the Ethiopians from the south. Seven 
hundred and fifteen years before Christ, the Ethiopians under Piankhi, who had 
previously taken Memphis and returned south, effected the conquest of Egypt, 
and established the twenty-fifth dynasty. 

For only fifty years, however, were they able to hold their throne, and during b.c. 715-665. 
that period the valley of the Nile was the bone of contention between Ethiopia 
and Assyria, the former continually trying to effect a coalition of its neighbours 
against the latter. Marching to the aid of Hezekiah, the Pharaoh Shubataka 
was defeated by Sennacherib ; a few years later, in Egypt itself, his successor, 
Tirhakah, was defeated by Esarhaddon. An unsuccessful revolt was followed 
by the complete annexation of Egypt to Assyria, and Thebes, the glory of 
Egypt, was pillaged. " Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity : her 




Mummy of Pinotem II. 



i28 PERSIAN RULE. 

young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets : and 
they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in 
chains" (Nahum iii. 9, 10). 

But Egypt was not destined to remain to Assyria longer than to Ethiopia. 
The conqueror had divided the county into twelve provinces. Psammetik, one 
of the twelve governors, allied himself by marriage with the family of Shabako, 
the legitimate heir of the Ethiopian dynasty, and, assisted by Ionian and Carian 
mercenaries, assumed the crown of Egypt, and founded the twenty-sixth or 
Saite dynasty. 

b.c. 665-527. Under the Saite dynasty, the star of Egypt seemed for a moment to rise 

again from obscurity. Greek mercenaries were established near Bubastis ; and 
encouraged by the decline of Assyria, Psammetik attacked the wealthy seaports. 
Necho, his successor, also attacked Assyria, defeated Josiah, king of Judah, the 
ally of Assyria, at Megiddo, but was himself defeated by Nebuchadnezzar at 
Karkemish. Necho is perhaps still better known by his attempt to join the 
Red Sea, not with the Mediterranean, but the Nile. Warned by an oracle that 
it would only benefit strangers, he desisted. Perhaps if his successors of some 
2500 years later had also obeyed the oracle, it would have been better for 
Egypt, if not for the world. Hophrah, of the same dynasty, felt strong enough 
to attack the growing power of the Babylonians, tried to raise the siege of 
Jerusalem for Zedekiah, and when his efforts failed, accorded hospitality to the 
exiles. Defeated by the king of Cyrene, his mercenaries revolted and pro- 
claimed as king Amasis, who further encouraged Greek colonisation, gave to 
the adventurous colonists the port of l^aukratis, and died, to be succeeded by 
his son, whose defeat placed Egypt under the domination of Persia. 

b.c. 527-406. The Persian rule of over a hundred years, under Cambyses, Darius, Xerxes, 

and his successor, is known as the twenty-seventh dynasty — a history of con- 

b.c 406-340. tinual revolt, finally successful, followed by a rapid succession of various 
conquerors and pretenders, who alternately displaced each other. This period 

b.c. 340-332. i s mainly remarkable for the visits of Herodotus and Plato. In B.C. 340 the 
Persians again recovered their authority, and eight years later Egypt fell, 
with the rest of the Persian Empire, under the authority of the great 
Macedonian. 

Although the temple of Deir el Medinah and the two grand portals of 
Karnac mark the care of the Ptolemies for the old capital, the glory of Thebes, 
" the princely No of the waters," had long departed. Thebes was, above all, 
the city of Amnion and his triad — Ammon, the visible, tangible form of the 
creative force in nature, the symbol of that hidden force which presses all things 



ill 



Li, i 



YM '\ 



\ \m 






. v 



I 

If 




1 






ill 



r" 



AMMON. 



129 



forward towards life and light, aptly symbolised by the sun • and with him were 
associated, first, Mout, the eternal mother, the recipient in which is accom- 
plished the mystery of creation ; and then, to complete the triad, Khons, who 
is Ammon himself in another form — Ammon Khons, the son of Ammon the 
father and Mout the mother, God of the rising life, representing the operation 
of divine intelligence in the outer world — his own father, his own son, without 
beginning or end, uncreate and eternal. 




A t Prayer. 



U 




ijnnfU'Wiii." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Post-haste — The Pashas energy — Sara on archaeology a7id Ismail — Reform a?id 
popularity — The effect o?i the governing classes — Effect on the governed — The 
date of English evacuation — Erment — Es?ieh — Religious toleration — Edfoo — 
Herodotus — " Contrariness" of Egyptians. 

THE party would willingly have spent at Thebes as many days as they were 
allowed hours, but the Cleopatra was quickly under weigh, scudding past 
the lively little port of Luxor, and waving a farewell to the genial old Mustapha 
Agha. For the Pasha was inexorable ; the romantic associations of the past 
must, he insisted, give way to the financial exigencies of the present, and, as a 
conscientious servant of the Khedive, he could not afford the time to trifle with 
the Pharaohs. And though the Pasha spoke lightly, the rest had had ample 
experience that, if he took care that the journey should be one of pleasure to 
them, it was one of hard work for himself. The others might study Ramses ; 
Crichton himself was apt to groan at the restless energy of his chief, his in- 
satiable appetite for the minutest details, the most intricate statistics extracted 
by cross-examination of fellaheen \ while Sara was unable to settle in his own 
mind whether the information of the one party or of the other was least valuable 
or most inaccurate. 

"Both tell lies," he argued meditatively; "Egyptians told them 15,000 
years ago. You believe them monuments, and Pasha believes them Fellahs : I 
don't believe nothing," he added solemnly. 

" But," said the Sketcher, " you can't be continually seeing these ruins and 
have no respect for them ; you must admire their size at least ? " 



r" 



ARCHAEOLOGY AND ISMAIL. 131 

" I 'sure you, sir, I never saw 'em before, 'cept passing by in boat. I don't 
stop here ; ain't no taxes to be got out of ruins," said Sara contemptuously. 

" Is it possible ? Well, but now you have seen them, you must have some 
opinion about them. How were they built ? " 

" I ain't got no opinion at all of ruins," persisted Sara ; " never found 'em 
of any use. How were they built ? I tell you," he said confidentially, " with 
the kourbash ; same way as Ismail get taxes. You think it not more difficult 
get money out of Fellah than build up them stones ? " he added contemptuously. 

"Ismail seems to have left some admirers, at all events," said the Nabob. 
" I suppose the secret is that he had a strong hand, and all Orientals, like 
children, would rather be bullied than spoilt." 

" I don't know that there was much liking in it," said the Scribbler. " The 
days of Ismail were the days of high interest, the days of licensed peculation, 
of unjust privilege to those who could pay for it. That is sufficient to form an 
Ismailite party among all those who, having either money or position, were 
anxious to make the most of it. As for those who had neither one nor the other, 
nobody cared for their opinion, even if they had any, and, as a matter of fact, 
it always follows that of the others. One of the greatest blunders we can make 
in Egypt is to suppose that any material improvement in the country will make 
us popular. It is the exact reverse ; and if I wanted a proof that we were 
doing some good, it would be the fact of our unpopularity." 
" That's rather a disheartening prospect." 

" Possibly, but it's perfectly natural, and it's well to face it. The poorer and 
less educated classes, comprising at least six and three-quarter millions out of the 
total population of six millions eight hundred thousand, are, if not absolutely 
without an opinion of their own, utterly unable of giving expression to it, except 
in accordance with the will of the remaining wealthier, and possibly better 
educated, fifty thousand, or the majority of them. I believe that you may 
accept that as an axiom ; and I believe there is no country in the world 
where a very small minority hold, if they choose to use it, such an enormous 
power over public opinion. And now for the composition of that minority. 
A portion are wealthy proprietors, who were able formerly to avoid full taxation, 
to use the corvee for the cultivation of their fields, to get water at the cost 
of smaller proprietors, who got none, and who were nearly all proprietors 
of slaves ; another portion are officials in responsible situations at small 
salaries, with very large illegal perquisites ; another portion, officials with rather 
larger salaries, holding absolute sinecures ; another, contractors, who could 
make contracts with the Government at exorbitant charges, and perhaps by 



i 3 2 REFORM AND POPULARITY. 

falsification of their accounts, accompanied by baksheesh, get paid even more 
than their originally exorbitant charge ; others were capitalists, who, owing to 
the financial disorder, were able to get exorbitant interest on their money, and 
thus either make large profits or live on the interest of a very small capital j 
and others were religious fanatics. Now, note how every single possible reform 
must touch one of these classes. You insist on getting in taxes from the 
wealthy proprietors; you refuse the use of the corvee; you distribute equally 
the water ; you prohibit purchase of slaves and destroy their value ; you refuse 
to wink at baksheesh, and practically reduce an official to beggary, for they are 
unable to earn a penny ; you dismiss the sinecurists ; you make your contracts 
by public tender at lowest price, and introduce competition from Europe. By 
all this, you so improve the finance, that a man gets five per cent, where he 
used to get twenty, and the small capitalist is no longer able to live. And then 
you are surprised that you are not popular." 

" But do you mean that all this has been done ? " asked the Nabob. 

" No," said the Pasha ; " if it had been, we should have made the country 
too hot to hold us. We can't, for instance, get rid of all the sinecurists, and if 
we did, they would be at our charge for pensions ; but we have done a good 
deal of it, and what the Scribbler says is true. The nearer we approach to 
perfection, the more certain we are to be disliked ; and the fact that we are 
disliked is a proof that we have done much good." 

" But surely the poorer cultivator, the man who had previously to pay for 
all mismanagement, corruption, &c, who didn't get his water, and who had to 
pay baksheesh, must find the difference^and prefer the new state of things ? " 

" Not in one case out of ten thousand," said the Scribbler. " Nor is it quite 
so extraordinary as it seems. In the first place, the difference to him has not 
been so apparent as you might suppose. In Ismail's time he had the high range 
of cotton prices of the American war ; it gradually came down long before his 
deposition, of course ; but there were always the reserves of the enormous profits 
made at that time, when, as it is popularly said, every dollar's worth of cotton 
fetched a sovereign, and prices of grain were high compared to now. Had 
Ismail had to do with the prices of produce we have had to deal with, it is 
impossible that he could have got on. In such a case, the Fellah would have 
been absolutely destitute, irredeemably ruined. But all this he does not see. 
He recognises that he has only now to pay his regular taxes instead of taxes plus 
exactions ; but the price of his produce having gone down, the result to him is 
not so much better. The benefit he would have received from the reforms has 
been to some extent neutralised by other circumstances, and so he doesn't see it. 



DATE OF ENGLISH EVACUATION. 133 

What he does see is, that the produce of his land produces less cash sterling, 
and, like more intelligent farmers, he abuses the Government for low prices. 
Another thing is, that, with rare exceptions, a Fellah does not save, does not look 
ahead, and only regards his debt as an unfortunate circumstance involving a 
yearly payment. If he has a good result in his year's farming, he spends it ; if 
he has not, he tries to borrow, and spends that. Under Ismail, at some rate or 
another, he could always borrow, and so could always spend. Now he cannot 
borrow so easily, so he seems to have less money. He undoubtedly lives better, 
is housed, clothed, and fed better than he was twenty years ago ; but he dis- 
regards this, and tells you that living is dearer, instead of admitting that he lives 
more extravagantly. Add to all this the fact that, as I say, he takes his opinions 
from the fifty thousand who suffer by our interference, and that his fanatical 
feelings are kept alive, and you will understand why the opinion of the majority 
is not pronounced in our favour." 

" But are the bulk of the people really so hostile to us ? " said the Pasha. " I 
doubt it." 

" Remember that my whole argument is that the bulk of the people have no 
opinion of their own. Still, if you were to poll the people to-day, you would 
certainly find nine against, for every one in favour of, our remaining. And yet 
who can say ? for when it came to the critical moment, I expect you would see 
singular hesitation. Those who have to gain by disorder, those who, as in 
Arabi's time, hoped to get clear of their debts, would welcome it in the hope of 
a disturbance ; and the prevalence of the feeling would so alarm the men who 
have something to lose, some of the very classes who now want us to go, that 
you might see a complete change. You must remember that the leading 
characteristic of the Egyptian throughout all time has been to be ' agin the 
Government.' So long as we are here, we are the Government, and are hated. 
The moment we were gone, and perhaps before, our virtues would be sung in 
every village to the detriment of our successors." 

" And when will the English troops leave ? " asked the Sketcher. 

" Bah ! " said the Nabob ; " who would venture to fix the date ? " 

" I will," said the Scribbler quietly ; " I will fix it with extreme precision. 
Do you remember that man at Luxor who tried to sell us a coin with the date 
legibly marked 1156 B.C., and who couldn't be got to see the absurdity of a date 
which must have implied a gift of prophecy ? Well, I will fix the date in the 
same way. The English troops will leave Egypt in the year 2 B.A., that is, 
' Before Annexation ! ' " 

" You mean " 



T 34 



ERMENT. 



•' I mean that within six months of our departure there will be a riot, anarchy, 
and financial collapse. The Powers who have guaranteed the last loan will 
insist on the restoration of order. England, allowing no one else to interfere, 
will have to return, and, giving her eighteen months to decide on a step which 
will then be inevitable, will annex Egypt, or, what is the same thing, assume the 
Protectorate." 

" To look at that village, you might almost have annexed it already," said 
the Sketcher, as they passed the pretty little town of Erment. " You only want 
a spire instead of that minaret, and you have a Thames village. That house 
there would do excellently for a parsonage. There's the manor-house, with its 
garden running down to the river ; and absolutely that's the village pub, with its 
signboard at the side of the main street." 




The background of desert somewhat destroys the accuracy of the comparison, 
but there is certainly an un-Egyptian air in the neat little town near the site of 
the old Hermanthes, and Cleopatra seems to have left some of her beauty in 
the neighbourhood of the little temple, where she is represented adoring the 
local Apis of Hermanthes. Opposite is the minaret of Tuot, showing the 
site of the ancient Tuphium, and beyond the singular cliffs of Gebel Ayn ; pass- 
ing under which, the Pasha gave the order to halt at Esneh. Satiated with 
Karnac, the Nabob declined to accompany the Sketcher to the temple, declar- 
ing that he had not come to Egypt to examine a temple of the Caesars, with 
sculpture pronounced by the best authority to be "of the very w r orst execution," 
and defaced with vulgar puns and double entendres in hieroglyphs. Compelled 
to rely on his own resources, the Sketcher wandered aimlessly through the 




An Arabian Singing Girl of Esneh. 



X 



r" 



ESNEH. 



J 35 



modern town, and was rewarded by the sight of one of the prettiest bazaars in 

Upper Egypt. At first sight, it seemed as if the white houses and streets of 

Esneh were mainly inhabited by pigeons ; rows of narrow streets afforded a 

shaded desert, with singular absence of life ; but 

suddenly he found himself at what he first mis- 
took for the entrance to a private house. A 

respectable old Sheik, however, invited him to 

enter, and the narrow covered gateway, lit by 

sunbeams that broke through the imperfect roof, 

gradually widened out into a bazaar, where 

seemed congregated all the life of the province. 

Through it rode leisurely swarthy negroes on 

camels, bringing in produce of all kinds from 

the adjacent villages, as well as more rarely a 

few bales of merchandise from the Soudan. 

Here was the shop with the invariable Man- 
chester goods, 
and a stately 
Gh a wazee wan- 
dered listlessly 
among the 
crowd, shaking 
her tambourine 

in hideous coquettish fashion at the most re- 
spectable elders of the city. Moslem, Copt, 
and Jew mixed in friendly gossip ; and the 
Sketcher, who, as we have said, was apt to 
generalise, returned with elaborate theories on 
the manners and customs of the inhabitants. 
In particular, he desired it to be recorded, for 
the benefit of the future historian, that the 

principle of religious toleration was carried to the extreme ; for he averred that 

the chief Rabbi, to whom he had been introduced, wore a costume which 

combined the Islamic slippers with an Evangelical Geneva gown, and a turban 

folded in palpable imitation of the Papal tiara. 

The Pasha's business finished in a few minutes, the Cleopatra was off again 

with all speed to reach Edfoo, and soon left behind the dilapidated pyramid of 

El Koola, the red mound of Hieraconpolis, the not tempting-looking ruins of 





Bazaar of Esneh. 



Bazaar of Esneh. 



136 



TEMPLE OF EDFOO. 



34\B;.y 



El Kab, coming at sunset in view of the portico of the Ptolemaic temple with 
its porpylon towers. Begun under Philopater, it took ninety-five years to build, 
and nearly as many more to decorate. Constructed on the same plan as 
Denderah, it was evidently adapted for the same purposes. Four masts, nearly 
150 feet high, and decorated with long pennants, rose from the pylon, which 
apparently served no other purpose than to signal from afar the edifice. We 
may dismiss it with the words of Mariette : " The temple of Edfoo is one of those 
monuments which speak for themselves, and to which no de- 
scription can do justice." 

"That," said the Sketcher, when they got on board, "is a 
sentence worthy of Herodotus. Nothing is so delightful in the 
Father of History as the way in which he conceals his igno- 
rance ; he would have been the beau ideal of a newspaper 
correspondent. The Egyptians," he says, "represent Pan 
with the face and legs of a goat, as the Greeks do, ' but 
why they represent him in this way I had rather not 
mention.' He knows all about the most expensive 
manner of embalming, ' the name of which I do not 
think it right to mention.' He knows, omniscient 
man, why they sacrifice swine to Bacchus and abhor 
them at all other festivals, f but it is more becoming 
of me not to mention it.' " 

' Perhaps," said the Scribbler, "the old Egyptian 
fotind some connection between swine and 
the worship of Bacchus. But say what 
you will, the more I know of Egypt, the 
more convinced am I of the value of Hero- 
dotus. There's a singular passage in which 
he tells how the Nasamonians followed up 
the river, and bending to the west, came 
upon a diminutive race, ' less than men of middle stature,' describing accurately 
the Niam-Niams, who exist to this day. He gets horribly mixed up with the 
Ister later; but then he admits this to be only the conjecture of Etearchus. 
The actual report, though only at second-hand, is proved correct. About the 
rise of the Nile, again, he has got the right explanation, though it's true he 
scoffs at it. But where he shines as an observer of mankind is in his recog- 
nition of what I will call the contrariness of the Egyptian. ' Other nations 
in weaving throw the wool upward, the Egyptian downward; women attend 




tM=. 



Chic/ Rabbi of Esneh. 



''CONTRARINESS" OF EGYPTIANS. 



137 



markets and traffic, but the men stay at home and weave ; others feed on wheat 
and barley, but it is a very great disgrace for an Egyptian to make food of these. 
They knead the dough with their feet, but mix clay and take up dung with 
their hands ; other men fasten the rings and sheets of their sails outside, but 
the Egyptian inside ; others write from left to right, the Egyptian from right to 
left.' In this last he was not quite correct, for they wrote both ways, but it is 
singular that the introduction of Arabic has justified his prophetic assertion. To 
this day, if a man is badly off, he is spoken of as eating wheat. The observer 
of to-day may mark that the men walk in the road and the donkeys on the foot- 
paths ; while in parts of the country you may see them sowing first and plough- 
ing afterwards. Ask an Egyptian where his ear is ; he will take up his right hand, 
pass it all round his head, and hang on to his left ear. The Egyptian people 
were created upside down." 




A rab Scribes, 





•*L 



CHAPTER XVII. 



Silsilis — Assouan — English officers and Egyptian troops — Juvenal at Syene — An 
unkind pi'ophecy — Will the Egyptian fight 1 — Assouan railway station — An 
unwelcome telegra7n — Elephantine — Phi las — Southward to the Cataract — The 
Reis rebels — Value of a Pasha! s life — Rock ahead — The Reis in command — 
Agonising moments — Safety and baksheesh. 

THE Cleopatra sped onwards next morning, and passed through the narrow 
cleft of Silsilis. The low mountains here on either side seem to have 
been willing to combine in an effort to close the magnificent stream, which dis- 
dains their efforts and rushes noisily by. Here is a monument, one of the few 
of Horus, last king of the eighteenth dynasty, with a picture of Horus nourished 
by the goddess, and then too the well-known picture, the triumph of Horus — the 
king borne by twelve officers of his army, two other officers bearing the flabellum 
over his head, returning after his triumphant expedition against the Kouch, &c, 
led as trembling captives behind him. 

On sped the Cleopatra ; passed Ombos with its Ptolemaic temple, destined to 
become the prey of the river, rushing from the Cataracts, now so near ; for soon 
appears Assouan itself, a fertile oasis in a desert, with the island of Elephantine 
beyond, "a mosaic of vivid green, golden sand, and black syenite." The view 
of Assouan is singularly effective as one approaches from the north ; the town 
lies below, bending down to the river from a rich slope of green, and beyond and 
all around the bleak desert, and overtopping all the desert crags, surmounted 
by the town of Syene. Those who have passed through the fertile valley of the 



r 



ASSOUAN. 139 

Nile, who have seen the desert with its fearful waste hungrily bordering on the 
verdure and standing thirsting before them, can realise the terror of the pro- 
phecy, " I am against thee, and against thy rivers ; and I will make the land of 
Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border 
of Ethiopia " (Ezek. xxix. 10). 

There are Egyptian troops still here, and the English Colonel comes down 
to welcome the glad sight of Anglo-Saxon faces. Truly the British officer is a 
wonderful man, and a martyr to his uniform. The heat of an Assouan sun 
cannot make him dispense with the regulation tight-fitting jacket, and the gallant 
officer comes on board as if dressed for parade. Alone with one other com- 
patriot English officer, he takes his daily meals off tinned meats, bully-beef, 
and dry bread, in a miserable hut, with the same stately solemnity as if at his 
own regimental mess-table. Every night the glass of vin ordinaire is solemnly 
raised, and the health of the Queen drank in silence, followed by that of the 
Khedive. But let it not be thought that only in this observance of form does 

Colonel maintain his English habits in the far desert. \ His men, Egyptians 

though they be, are as smart as if liable at any moment to be called out for 
inspection ; and at any and every moment they are liable to be called to man 
the forts, and to prepare to receive an imaginary enemy. For the benefit of 
the party the alarm-gun is sounded, and in a moment every man is at his place, 
every gun loaded and run out, waiting the command to fire. But from the 
bleak hills away to the south there is nothing but silent desert, the Nile rushing 
beneath, and a sight of the lovely island of Philce. Riding round the fortifica- 
tions, the gallant Colonel, whose face is so well known in the neighbourhood of 
Piccadilly and Pall Mall, has yet an eye for every weak point, every defect in 
detail, and a kind word of approval for the young subalterns, who have none 
of that sullen, discontented appearance which was so striking in the days when 
they were under Egyptian or Turkish officers. Not a word of regret has the 
Colonel for the time which some men might think he is wasting here. Perhaps, 
it is true, he has a shrewd idea that his service in Egypt may help him with the 
constituency whose votes he hopes to win at the next general election ; but 
none the less is his heart and soul in his work. Juvenal, he thinks, made much 
too much fuss about his exile to Syene ; his liver must have been out of order 
when he indited, those terrible Satires. Assouan is charming ; he finds the 
Egyptian climate and Egyptian troops equally perfect. One grievance only has 
the gallant Colonel, and that is against the well-meaning old ladies who write to 
remind him that "they also that uphold Egypt shall fall; from the tower of 
Syene shall they fall in it by the sword." That quotation, as the tower of Syene 



i4o ENGLISH OFFICERS AND EGYPTIAN TROOPS. 

is his messroom, he thinks in bad taste ; but he lets out an extra length to his 
waistbelt, pats himself comfortably thereon, and says cheerfully, " But I never 
felt less like falling in my life." 

" But will your men fight, Colonel, as well as they look ? " asked the Nabob. 

" That's the question that every one asks, and every one answers differently," 
replied the Colonel, " forgetting that ' fight ' is a relative term. They'll cer- 
tainly not bolt, as ihey did at Tel-el-Kebir ; nor will they perhaps ever carry 
entrenchments as we carry them. But remember that the Egyptian soldier is a 
perfectly new experiment ; you can't expect a people who have been treated as curs 
for several thousand years to suddenly develop the qualities of lions. You can't 
expect men dragged unwillingly from their homes, ill-fed, ill-clothed, and unpaid, 
to develop any of the esprit de corps which is the first quality of a soldier. But 
treat them well, pay them regularly, and above all, feed them well, and I am 
much mistaken if in time you don't make good soldiers of them, so long as you 
have good officers to lead them. Without that, your Indians are useless, and 
so will these men be." 

" But in five years or so the army is going to be handed over to the Turks," 
said the Sketcher. 

" Then in six years or so," said the Colonel, " the army will certainly be 
worthless, and probably a danger. Whether you might have made a native army 
with Turkish officers five years ago, is a question ; but, without suppressing another 
rebellion, you certainly will not do it now. However, here we are at the station, 
and there's your train." 

The station was indicated by a pije of luggage and merchandise, on which 
was lying the Pasha, surrounded by a crowd perhaps the most varied and 
picturesque that could be gathered even in Egypt. The Fellah, the Barabras, 
and the Nubian, to which one has become accustomed in the journey up 
the river, here mix with tribes from the interior and from the far Soudan ; 
Bishareens who have come from Berber, Ababdchis, and even a few Hadendowa, 
mingled with Abyssinians, Turks, and Greeks ; and here and there the Nabob 
found a few Indians, to whom he graciously condescended to speak in an 
apparently unknown tongue. 

Loaded camels were seated lazily munching from their burdens of fodder 
with grumbling content; a few packets of gum, ostrich feathers, and ivory lay on 
the ground ; anxious traders squatted around, eagerly scanning the countenance 
of the Pasha, and trying to gather from it some faint hope that commerce would 
re-open and the river be available for traffic ; in little groups some new-comer 
from the south was relating his unhappy experiences to eager listeners ; and the 



AN UNWELCOME TELEGRAM. 



141 



whole appearance of Assouan was one of depression. Drawn up against a 
tumbledown building dignified with the name of station was a train of a few 
trucks, a dilapidated carriage, and a worn-out engine, looking as if they had been 
dropped there some years before, and were utterly incapable of motion. 

" We've not," said the Sketcher, " to travel in that thing, have we ? You're 
not going to blight my last hopes, and 
send me across the desert in a locomo- 
tive, are you ? " 

" I'm afraid I'm going to blight 
your hopes even more effectually than 
that," said the Pasha. " Here's a tele- 
gram calling me back to Cairo. I've 
tried hard — assisted, I must admit, by 
a telegraph clerk — to misunderstand 
it, but I couldn't manage it. It's too 
fatally clear even for an Egyptian to 
muddle, and back I must go.'-' 

"What! at once?" 

" Well, luckily for you all, the 
steamer has got to take in supplies, 
and won't be ready to leave till to- 
morrow ; that just gives us time to get 
up to Philce, and shoot the cataract on 
our way back. Sara here has arranged 
everything." 

" And we miss Korosko and Wady 
Haifa ? " said the Nabob. 

" And Abu Simbel ? " wailed the Sketcher. 

" Well, as far as I'm concerned, yes ; but of course you are not bound to 
return w T ith me. You may take your chance of Cook's boat in a week, or any 
postal-boat, for that matter." 

" I have travelled with a Pasha," said the Sketcher, " and will descend to 
nothing meaner ; but do you mean to say this wreck and skeleton is capable 
of taking us to Philce ? " 

"We must give it a trial, at all events," said the Pasha, "for it's our only 
chance. The Mudir has the greatest respect for it, however, and assures me 
it will go as fast as a camel, and do the eight miles in less than an hour." 

Into it the party got, and with much coaxing, groaning, and shrieking, the 




News from the South. 



1 42 ELEPHANTINE. 

engine was got under weigh. Every single turn of the wheels was made as if 
with an effort, and with frequent pauses, as if to take breath. Its path seemed 
to be the trackless desert ; but Sara said there was a man on the engine who 
knew the way, and so it proved ; for finally stopping, as if from sheer exhaustion, 
there lay below the river, hurrying on to the rapids, and the beautiful isle of 
Philce in its silver lake. 

For the river, landlocked by sombre red mountains, looked, but for an 
occasional palm tree, more like a Scotch lake than an Egyptian river. Behind 
lay Elephantine, with its gentle slope covered with tumbledown huts, and 
all around the sharply defined mountain ranges closed in the view; while 
Philce, like an enchanted isle, seemed floating in the midst. In spite of the 
weighty authority of the Tourist's Bible, it must be doubted whether anything 
to be seen in or from the island itself can compare with the view of it from 
the river. Other views in Egypt are remarkable for the magnificence of the 
panorama which they afford or the historical associations which they evoke ; 
but the view of Philoe is nothing but one of pure beauty. Perhaps even one loses 
by going on shore ; for Philce excites no feelings of grandeur to swamp those 
of irritation to which the vulgar records of tourists give rise. The temple of 
Karnac is the embodiment of the majesty of Egyptian art ; Philce is the point 
at which we see that majesty blending with the pure beauty of Greece. The 
scene of ruin almost heightens the effect of Karnac ; it jars with the beauty of 
Philce. We look away from the black rocks ; we hear the distant roar of the 
Cataracts, speaking of rage and strife ; and we recognise in the lovely island the 
abode of Peace. We care not to see trre records of triumphant monarchs, still 
less of such as Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius ; nor the vandalic record of 
Desaix ; let us rather regard it, correctly or not, as the abode of Hathor and Isis. 

The boat is waiting ; the Pasha is stern, and will admit of no more delay. 
The Sketcher gives one last look southward, and to the cry of " Allah Illah 
Allah, Rasoul Allah," the boatmen send the little craft into the middle of the 
stream. The pace quickens, but by no effort of the oars ; and Sara is seen 
in confidential talk with the Reis. Suddenly the boat pulls to shore. 

" What on earth is the fellow at ? " asks the Pasha. 

" Stop ! stop ! never mind ! " says the Reis ; "very good donkey." 

And then on the bank is visible a group of screaming donkey-boys urging 
their animals to the shore. 

" What, in the name of Osiris, is the meaning of this ? " says the Pasha ; 
" put out into the stream at once." 

But the Reis has jumped on shore, and Sara has followed him. "He 




"*3 



$ 

^ 



r 



THE REIS REBELS. 



J 43 



say, your excellency," replied the latter, "that it's very dangerous; that no boat 
could do it at this time of year." 

"Tellhim to go on at once." 

Then the Reis and the Mamcor fell on their knees ; they begged and 
beseeched the Pasha to abandon the wild attempt. They were poor men ; they 
were the slaves of his excellency; they would die for him, do anything for 
him, but not go down the Cataract with him. 

The Pasha got exasperated. " This is all rubbish," he said, appealing to the 
others; "hundreds do it every year, and we must do it." 

" Let's do it without him," said the Sketcher, airily seizing an oar. 

" Thanks ! no," said the Scribbler. " All this is merely a part of the usual 
business, to increase the merit of obedience. We've only to sit still and 




it'il be all right ; there's no danger whatever so long as the Reis is here ; 
but if the Sketcher wants to take charge, I prefer the inglorious ease of 
mine ass." 

"Look here, Sara," said the Pasha; "tell him I've no time to lose, and let 
him get into the boat at once." 

Meanwhile Sara had been having an earnest conversation with the Reis, 
and having himself got on terra firma, which he had no intention of exchanging 
for the boat, seemed much more willing to support the views of those vvho were 
foolish enough to show less prudence. 

" He say, your excellency, he very willing take all these other gentlemen, 
but dare not take you." 

"And why on earth am I to be excluded ?" 



i 4 4 ROCK AHEAD! 

" Well, your excellency, he say not mind kill other gentlemen, if they give 
him certificate they don't mind ; but he say that if he kill your excellency he 
be hanged ! " 

Sara gave the explanation with the air of one who felt that there was much 
in the argument. 

" Tell him we have decided all to die together," said the Sketcher. 

" Tell him he shall have four napoleons," said the Scribbler. 

The eyes of the Reis twinkled. " Make it five," he said. 

" You go at once, or you shall be hanged, whether I'm drowned or not," 
said the Pasha. 

The Reis is convinced that his excellency means business. " It is the 
will of Allah," he says ; but there are too many in the boat, and one Inglez 
must go with Sara to testify that the Pasha went to death of his own will. 
Crichton is made the Jonah, and the boat starts again. But before starting, 
every sailor strips, and displays a physique that would put to shame the weak- 
kneed Fellaheen of the Delta. At the last moment slips on board a coal- 
black little nigger, who takes the party under his protection. "You not be 
'fraid," he says ; " me, Homer, here — all right." 

" Allah Illah Allah, Mahmoud Rasool Allah ! " cries the Reis ; " Issa el 
Nebbi ! " shout the sailors. 

Up the stream goes the boat, cautiously approaching the mid-current, a 
few inches at each stroke. 

" Hold tight ! " says Homer, and suddenly, with a swing, the boat's bow 
wheels round twice, and we are in full sfream. 

Very gently move the oars now, for they are not needed, and only kept near 
the water to steady her ; quick flies the boat, and the whirl of water lashes 
angrily against the black boulders on either side. 

" Bab ya Abu Bab ! Bab ya Abu Bab ! " cry the sailors in monotonous 
chant ; and the old Reis sits grim and black in the stern, with watchful eye on 
his men and grim eyes ahead. 

" Now he come ! " said Homer, with a merry twinkle that was reassuring. 

"Great Ammon ! look at that rock ahead," whispered the Pasha. 

The Sketcher made a movement as if to rise, but a hand was on his throat. 
" Sit quiet ! " said the Reis, with a look that was positively demoniacal. 

The big rock got nearer, and the Reis, apparently frantic with anxiety, 
screamed his directions at the top of his voice. Back screamed the sailors angrily, 
as if in mutiny. " Allah help us ! great Bab help us ! " rises in agonising cries. 
" By Jove ! we're into it," said the Pasha. 



AGONISING MOMENTS. 



i45 



" Don't waste your strength fighting with the stream," said the Nabob 
quietly as he slipped his arm out of his coat. 

A big wave seemed to lift the boat into the air and to be about to dash it 
on the big black rock. A look of horror came over the Reis' face with one 
despairing shriek, as, skimming on the very crest of the breaker, the boat gave 
a turn at right angles, passed the rock to starboard at a yard's distance, gave 
two rapid turns completely round, and was riding placidly in swift open current. 
Homer gives a wink and says, " All finish ! " 

The Reis looks solemn, and says, " Very clever ; plenty baksheesh ! " 

" Confound the fellow ! I was taken in," said the Nabob. 

" Well, you kept your head wonderfully cool anyhow," said the Pasha. 

" Never tell me the Egyptians are incapable of governing again," said the 
Sketcher ; " I feel that fellow's hand round my throat now, and the raven-like 
look in his eyes, as he bade me sit quiet, makes me still shiver to think of." 

The Scribbler for a while was silent, then he said solemnly, "I was in a 
towering funk, and the worst is that's the third time I've been taken in in the 
same way ! " 

A long row, which the previous excitement rendered doubly monoto- 
nous, brought the party to Assouan, exhausted, cross, and hungry. Only Sara 



was up to the mark, and he 
need be afraid at all when 
big coward as thief; he 
done them cataract often 
strutted the deck as a hero 



improved the occasion. " Never no 

with Arab," he said. "Arab nearly 

never go where there danger. I 

and I never afraid." And Sara 

Wsffila of a hundred cataracts. 

live 




Fellaheen. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



Southward to Luxor — Popular opinion in Egypt — Origin of Arabi movement — 
Gladstone and Bhmt — Pemdtimatums — The Arabi myth — Egypt for the 
Egyptians — Our false start — Things done and undone — Shelley, Keats, and Leigh 
Hunt on the Nile — The Nabob as a poet — A new passenger. 

THE next morning, before daylight, the Cleopatra, under orders that every- 
thing was to give way to speed, was rapidly going down river with the 
stream. One stoppage at Luxor only was to be allowed, and another day was 
to bring them to Assiout. The weariness and excitement of the previous day 
had been calmed by a peaceful slumber of the whole party on the broad deck. 

Sara had dreamt away his feeling of superiority, 
and had again become the most submissive of 
interpreters ; the Pasha was hard at work dis- 
secting figures with Crichton ; the Sketcher was 
filling his book with sketches from river and 
shore ; while the Nabob and Scribbler were 
pacing the deck. 

The conversation had begun on their experi- 
ence of the day before, but had drifted into a 
discussion as to the character of the Egyptian 
of to-day. 

"When," said the former, "you deny the 
existence of any popular opinion in the country, 
surely you ignore the Arabi movement." 

" Please understand," said the other, "that 
I do not ignore the existence of a popular 
opinion. On the contrary, I not only admit it, 
but define it. There is one, and one only ; it is that of being ' agin the Govern- 
ment ; ' and I am not urging it as a reproach ; it is perhaps the strongest charac- 
teristic of every race, except the Anglo-Saxon, and it is growing there. If I were 
a Fellah, I should hold it myself; just as, if I were a Russian, I should be a Nihilist. 
With the experience an Egyptian has had, it is unreasonable to expect him to be 







Head of Saycc. 



ORIGIN OF ARABI MOVEMENT. 147 

anything else but what he is, ' agin the Government ; ' or to expect that by five 
years good legislation you can subvert the rooted and inherited idea of centuries. 
With that idea the Fellah has other personal ones ; he is sensual and covetous 
of land. Arabi had that idea, but had nothing else. The history of all fads 
teaches us, that when a man is possessed of one sole idea, he can easily find 
converts, even among the indifferent ; how much more so when that idea, in 
an indistinct form, permeates the whole community. The first people with 
whom Arabi came in contact were the soldiers. Naturally, then, the first to give 
expression to it was the army. They declared 'agin the Government ;' so far 
it was a purely military revolt, furthered by individual dislike and jealousy of 
certain Turks. The authorities temporised with the officers, and the result was 
the soldiers got all they asked. Is it wonderful that the people, seeing this, 
went with them ? They too had grievances ; they had debts ! ' Abolish all 
debts/ said Arabi, and the people cried 'A Daniel come to judgment!' If 
that is a popular movement, I give it you ; only, is there any man who could not 
lead on such terms ? Is there any people who would not be tempted ? What 
about ' the three acres and a cow ' in England ? Well, Arabi's offer was all the 
acres and all the cows, and the people were, if possible, still more ignorant." 

" You believe, then, there was no feeling but that of self-interest through 
the whole of it ? " 

" Stop a bit ! there is no need to go so far as that. We have got to this 
point — a strong selfish feeling in favour of Arabi, the man of one idea. Now 
enter political intrigues of Europe. England shows a disposition to support the 
authority of the Khedive ; that is sufficient to induce, I will not say the French 
Government, but the French colony in Cairo, to take the other side. The first 
people to give the movement any importance were Franco-Egyptian officials. 
If they could only get Arabi to act with them against the English, what 
annoyance they might cause ! what a triumph for la grande nation I They held 
meetings of the colonels in their houses, they talked to them about the national 
sympathies of a republic, and so forth. Arabi began to feel himself a power, 
and enter a second idea — ambition ; not, too, altogether an unworthy one, let it 
be said ; only the ill-directed ambition of an ill-educated, not vicious man, led 
by others less ill-educated and more vicious. Why should he not do as Ismail 
had done, and play France against England. Still, I believe the Government 
of the Republic acted fairly, and straightforward common sense would have 
triumphed. Arabi was on the point of giving in ; his movement had gone far 
enough to have compelled the two Powers to pay more attention than they had 
done to the internal affairs of the country — to the legitimate grievances of the 



148 



GLADSTONE AND BLUNT. 




Seller of Sticks. 



country, which Arabi had never pointed out, but to which public opinion had 
been drawn by his movement. But, unfortunately for Egypt, there came on the 
scene Mr. Wilfrid Blunt, a man to whom every subsequent wrong committed in 
Egypt, either by one side or the other, must be attributed — upon whose head 

must lie the full weight of all the blood and treasure 
which has been poured out in the country since 1882. 
And of course — is it necessary to say it? — is not the 
w r orst evil done by well-intentioned men ? — no man ever 
came to Egypt or acted throughout with purer motives. 
Consumed with an exaggerated idea of his self-import- 
ance, not because of his talents, which were great, but 
because he had some remote connection with Lord 
Byron, the unfortunate man thought it his mission to 
regenerate a fallen race. He looked for Greeks, and 
found Egyptians, for Missolonghi, and he found Crabbet 
Park and the constituency of Cambervvell. His genuine 
enthusiasm, ridiculous though it was, had its effect on 
Arabi, and at first a good one. Even at this moment, I would not say that 
he may not have aroused in the poor, ignorant, noisy Fellah colonel a glimmer 
of some real patriotism. He recognised in Blunt all the real qualities he pos- 
sessed — honesty, conviction, real singleness of purpose. He saw such a man as 
an Egyptian has never conceived of — a man who was really not working for his 
own pocket. He saw it and believed. But if Arabi saw and understood it, his 
less scrupulous allies did not ; to them this man, who came to them with 
sympathy and money, was evidently a powerful Pasha in his own country. As he 
could not have come for nothing, and as they could not see how he was to gain 
anything in cash, it was evident to them that he was an emissary of his Govern- 
ment. Sir Gladstone was evidently jealous of Sir Malet, and was trying to 
thwart him ; such things daily happened among their own people, why should it 
not be so with Englishmen. The obvious conclusion was, that England was not 
in earnest, that she was afraid ; and all this, poured into the ears of the simple 
Arabi, smothered the better feeling that was perhaps rising in his nature, and 
spurred him to further resistance. And as if to confirm the idea, the British 
Government acted precisely as an Egyptian acts when he is afraid. First they 
bullied, then they cringed ; first they threatened, then they apologised. Fleets 
were sent, but they were apologetically small ; ultimatums got to be called pen- 
ultimatums, so frequent were they ; and all the time France was whispering, " We 
will never permit it," and Blunt whispering, " England does not mean what she 



PENULTIMATUMS. 



149 



says," till Arabi really became a power and the ruler of Egypt. Then he lost his 
head, became deaf to all control, and the brutal instincts of the Egyptian in power 
asserted themselves. Then began the persecution not of Christian and European 
alone, but of Copt, Jew, Berber, and of every race that was not plain senseless 
Fellah. No Turk, not Ibrahim himself, ever displayed the same unscrupulous, 
cold-blooded cruelty. The chiefs of the Inquisition were actuated by the 
highest motives ; so probably was he when he introduced tortures which would 
have done credit to their ferocious ingenuity. Then at last came the bom- 
bardment ; of which we may say it was a folly rendered necessary by previous 
folly, but too foolish in its method of execution 
for any folly to justify. There were fifty ways in 
which at one time we might have avoided it ; when 
it became inevitable, there were fifty pretexts we 
might have chosen, all more or less good, and fifty 
precautions we might have taken, all more or less 
efficacious. I defy any one," said the Scribbler, 
" to find a greater proof of imaginative genius than 
was shown by the British Government in avoiding 
every one of those different courses, pretexts, and 
precautions — in discovering a policy which ren- 
dered the bombardment inevitable, a pretext 
which rendered it ridiculous, and an absence of 
precaution which ensured it being fatal. I stand 
aghast even now when I think of the superhuman 
ingenuity which was displayed in committing 
every possible blunder. Let no man ever contest 
Mr. Gladstone's genius. His intellectual reputation may rest on his achieve- 
ments in Egypt. We may deprecate the policy, we may deplore the results ; 
but as a mere intellectual effort, the discovery of a policy which should commit 
every possible blunder and avoid every possible advantage, it was unparalleled." 

"But, 'returning to our sheep,'" said the Nabob, "you must admit that even 
after the bombardment, when England had shown she was in earnest, Arabi was 
still able to raise the country, and put some 60,000 men under arms." 

"Your quotation is more appropriate than flattering. 'Poor sheep! they 
scattered you,' says the admiring Blunt, adding, from the vantage-ground of the 
Oriental Club, ' I care not if you fled.' You say Arabi raised 60,000 men, but 
you omit to say what he raised them for. Ismail, you, or any other man in 
power could raise five times that number of Egyptians to work day and night, 




Coptic Native of Egypt. 



i5° 



THE ARABI MYTH. 



without tools, pay, or clothing, almost without food, at cleaning the canals. 
What Arabi did was to get 60,000 men or more, who, in exchange for food, 
clothing, and pay, undertook to do — what? To stand behind an earthwork with 
a gun. Why, it was holiday for them on full pay; they had never had such 
a good time before, and they were even willing now and then to help to make 
an earthwork or to fire a gun ; but when it came to fighting — no, that was not 
in their contract, and they bolted. No greater rubbish has been talked than that 

about Arabi's powers of organisation. As for his powers of 
administration, take the three acts associated with his short 
term of power — first, the lowering of the rate of interest by 
decree ; second, a pension law which gave full pay to two 
generations ; and third, a suggestion that the sentences of 
the judicial tribunals should be submitted to the Minister 
of W T ar — that is, himself — for approval before becoming 
executory. Myths always die hard, but the Arabi myth 
seems destined to survive every shock. Lady Gregory did 
much towards its creation. In a charming little paper she 
represented the stern patriot in the bosom of his family, 
with an adoring wife and mother, who hung on his lips, and 
regretted that his high dignities absorbed his attention. 
About three months later Arabi has to go into exile in 
Ceylon. The adoring wife and mother refuse to accom- 
pany him, and find other consolers, as does Arabi himself. Blunt paints 
him as the pure-minded patriot, aghast at the cruelties of the age. He gets 
into power; becomes, outwardly, a fiend in human shape — inwardly, a 
spiritual mystic ; sees dreams, and tortures his enemies by the direct com- 
mand of Heaven; is at once the tool and figurehead of all the scoundrels 
in the country ; preaches resistance to death, and bolts before the first shot. 
Comes crawling back to Cairo demoralised and abject ; delivers himself up 
through sheer want of courage to resist ; cringes for his life, and will sell that 
of all his companions to gain it — and yet the myth lives ! ' Ahmet Arabi, the 
Egyptian ! ' he claims the title ; give it him ; it describes him better than pages 
of rhetoric : for when has the Egyptian ever been anything but the cringing, 
lying, cowardly slave, or the cruel, rapacious, cowardly master ? " 

' Then it's needless to say you don't believe in Egyptian self-government, 
or Egypt for the Egyptians ? " 

" Egypt for the Egyptians certainly ; but Egypt by the Egyptians, no ; for 
your only way to keep Egypt for the Egyptians is to give them a government 




Shoeblacks. 



EGYPT FOR THE EGYPTIANS. 



*5 r 



which governs for the Egyptians. If you could really leave the Egyptians to 
govern themselves, the result in the future would be the same as in the past 
— they would succumb to the Ethiopians, to the Soudanese ; the weaker would 
be sure to go down before the stronger rule. In no period of history has there 
been an independent Egypt except under foreign rulers. Our mission in Egypt 
is to see whether we can educate the people to self-government. We are more 




A n Egyptian I'illagc. 



likely to be able to succeed than any other foreign ruler ; and those who, like 
Blunt, believe in and hope for such a consummation, should be glad to see us 
there. Once we go, the only question is whether the next conqueror shall come 
from the north or the south— from Europe or the Soudan." 

" But are we doing anything towards educating them for self-government ? " 
" Nothing, or next to nothing ; and that is the real vice of our occupation. 
We started with two false ideas, two totally incompatible promises,— the one 



152 



THINGS DONE AND UNDONE. 



that we would reform the country • the other, that we would evacuate shortly. 
Either was possible without the other ; the two together were impossible. To 
reform the country, we should ourselves have assumed the whole direction of the 

government ; we should have devoted much attention to 
education ; we should have had responsible heads of each 
separate department, and have gradually trained up our 
successors. Little by little we should have been able to 
surrender to them the management under a general 
control, and at the end of one or two generations we 
might have made a self-governing Egypt. But we had 
promised to evacuate ; time hung over us like a 
Damocles' sword ; we would not touch this, we would 
not attempt that, because it would require too much 
time. We would employ Armenians, Syrians, or such 
ability as we could find in the country, because it was 
useless upsetting the old system for so short a time ; and 
thus we have left untouched the greatest abuses, just 
because they were the greatest, and required the time 
we were unable to give. We talk of reforming the 
country, and we ignore the internal government, the 
administration of justice and education." 

" Then you mean that we have done nothing ? " 
" By no means ; we have done much ; we have to 
some extent restored the finances, and we have im- 
proved the irrigation ; we have controlled many arbi- 
trary practices ; we have lessened corruption and cruelty ; we have organised 
a fairly disciplined and contented army. All this is much, and undoubtedly 
the lot of the Fellah is considerably ameliorated ; but it is all temporary and 
evanescent. If we go to-morrow, it falls within six months. It is an excellent 
building, good, solid, and adapted to all existing needs ; but it is a temporary 
one, without any foundation ; and when we go, we carry it off on our back." 

" What's that you are proposing to carry off on your back ? " said the Pasha, 
sauntering up to the pair; " Philoe or Karnac?" 

" Neither ; but something between the one and the other," said the Scribbler j 
"a pretty edifice based on ruins." 

"I'm weary with reading Arabic parables," said the Pasha, "so condescend 
to be less figurative." 

" I was saying that when you go, you will carry your whole financial adminis- 




Bedouiu Sellers oj Horn. 



SHELLEY ON THE NILE. 153 

tration with you, that being the temple of Philoe, and that you will leave 
behind you the financial ruins of Karnac." 

" Heaven forbid that I should carry off Sara," said the Pasha, laughing ; 
" I've left him trying to turn into Arabic Shelley's ' Ode to the Nile.'" 

" I suppose it betrays consummate ignorance," said the Nabob, " but I never 
knew that Shelley ever wrote an ode on the Nile." 

"Very few people do; and though it sounds blasphemous, I don't know 
that one loses much by not knowing it ; but here it is : — 

" Month after month the gathered rains descend, 
Drenching yon secret Ethiopian dells, 
And from the desert's ice-girt pinnacles, 
Where frost and heat in strange embraces blend 
On Atlas, fields of moist snow half depend ; 
Girt there with blasts and meteors, Tempest dwells 
By Nile's aerial urn, with rapid spells 
Urging those waters to their mighty end. 
O'er Egypt's land of memory floods are level, 
And they are thine, O Nile, and well thou knowest 
That soul-sustaining airs and blasts of evil, 
And fruits and poisons, spring where'er thou flowest. 
Beware, O man, for knowledge must to thee 
Like the great flood to Egypt ever be." 



" I'm going to be still more wicked than you," said the Scribbler, " for, 
Shelley's though the lines be, they seem to have every vice of poetry, with none 
of its redeeming features. The metaphor is involved ; floods are level in most 
places; the atmosphere of Egypt is body-prostrating rather than soul-sustaining; 
the floods do not bring poisons ; and the last two lines are rubbish. But listen to 
this, also Shelley's, on Ozmandyas : — 

" I met a traveller from an antique land 
Who said : ' Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, 
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read, 
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed ; 
And on the pedestal these words appear : 
" My name is Ozymandias, king of kings : 
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair ! " 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, 
The lone and level sands stretch far away.' " 

2 A 



1 5 4 KEATS ON THE NILE. 

Or this of Keats, written in competition with Leigh Hunt and Shelley : — 

" Son of the old moon-mountains African ! 

Stream of the Pyramid and Crocodile ! 

We call thee fruitful, and that very while 
A desert fills our seeing's inward span : 
Nurse of swart nations since the world began 

Art thou so fruitful ? or dost thou beguile 

Those men to honour thee, who, worn with toil, 
Rest them a space 'twixt Cairo and Decan ? 
O may dark fancies err ! They surely do ; 

'Tis ignorance that makes a barren waste 
Of all beyond itself. Thou dost bedew 

Green rushes like our rivers, and dost taste 
The pleasant sun-rise. Green isles hast thou too, 

And to the sea as happily dost haste." 

" Now, as we've nothing to do all this afternoon but watch the Eternal Nile, I 
propose that we should try and evolve something better than Shelley or Keats. 
The Scribbler, of course, will do it easily, as he criticises so freely." 

" Excuse me, but that's illogical," said the Scribbler. " Because I criticise the 
cut of your tailor, it doesn't follow that I'm bound to prove my right to criticise 
by making a better pair of breeches ; but I'm quite willing to undertake finding 
you something better than those lines you've just read." 

"Agreed ! " said the Pasha; "and I elect myself judge — competition verses 
to be read during dinner." 

It is in descending the river that ypu see it at its best. The Gebel Silsileh 
stand out with a bolder front approaching them from the north than from the 
south. Edfoo breaks upon you at a sudden bend of the river, from which you 
see the long reach to El Kab, and then come sweeping down on Esneh, with its 
rows of palms. The north wind blowing fresh in one's face mitigates the 
oppressive heat of the sun, and curls up the river in dancing waves. At sunset 
the Cleopatra was approaching Luxor; the sun setting behind her threw the long 
shadows of her mast on the water ; and ahead the spires of Karnac seemed to 
be apparent through a broad faint rainbow, which on the horizon spanned from 
desert to desert. 

" That, if anything, ought to inspire poetry even in the Scribbler," said the 
Pasha. " Now, then, competitor of Shelley, strike the lyre ! " 

" My lyre has no pretence to originality," said the Scribbler. " I've heard the 
Nabob trying for the last half-hour to get an appropriate rhyme to ' face.' Let 
him begin." 



LEIGH HUNT ON THE NILE. 155 

" All true poets," said the Nabob, " require time to polish the efforts of their 
genius ; but as I believe I'm the only one who has the moral courage to brave 
your sneers, I accept the challenge, and await annihilation. Read ! " and he 
passed a paper to the Pasha. 

" ' Father of waters ! ' I knew every one would begin with that : — 

' Father of waters ! thou whose stream hath borne 
Earth's sons for ages past thy banks serene, 
So bear thou us ; nor visit with just scorn 
This band of noisy revellers, who, between 
Sun rise and set, with jest and laughter keen, 
Deride the beauties of thy classic face. 
Forgive our mirth ; nor yet for what hath been 
Invoke revenge, since now, with soberer face, 
In fear we move, and humbly ask for grace.' " 

There was a pause, till, with an effort at appearing unconscious, the Nabob 
said, " What a splendid propylon ! " 

" I'm wondering why the banks are ' serene,' " said the Scribbler. 

" If you were not possessed with a mean spirit of envy," said the Nabob, 
"you would recognise that it was the only available rhyme. But now, your 
own ! " 

"I've none of the divine afflatus, my dear fellow, and wouldn't dare to go 
into competition with you. It is merely over Shelley that I claim a 
superiority for Leigh Hunt. I knew these lines before I knew the Nile, and 
don't think that the river itself has made me know them better : — 

' It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands, 
Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream ; 
And times and things, as in that vision, seem 
Keeping along it their eternal stands, — 
Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands 
That roamed through the young world, the glory extreme 
Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam, 
The laughing queen, that caught the world's great hands. 
Then comes a mightier silence, stern and strong, 
As of a world left empty of its throng, 
And the void weighs on us ; and then we wake, 
And hear the fruitful stream lapsing along 
'Twixt villages, and think how we shall take 
Our own calm journey on for human sake.' " 

"Yes, after that we may all be silent," said the Pasha; "it's a fitting 
preparation for Karnac by moonlight, and here we are at Luxor. I must go on 
shore here for at least half-an-hour, but you may as well drop down to the 
temple, and I'll join you there later." 

An hour later the Pasha joined them in the hypostyl hall. 



i56 



A NEW PASSENGER. 



" Conceal your joy," he said ; " I've found you a fellow-passenger. I came 
to the conclusion we were all getting tired of one another j the Scribbler has 
exhausted his politics, the Sketcher his block notes, and the Nabob his 
poetical genius." 

" We're doing very well as we are," said the last-named. "Who on earth 
have you got ? " 

" A man of one idea, who is dying for converts. We've only got to stand 
him for a day ; and he's original, if nothing else. He's generally known as the 
Professor, though he resents the title as derogatory, for he tells you that he has 
passed beyond the professing stage, and considers his theories so absolutely 
proved that they require no demonstration." 

" But what is his particular theory ? " 

" I wouldn't tell you for worlds — first, because it would anticipate the 
intellectual repast you are going to have to-morrow ; and secondly, because I've 
never been able to get to the bottom of it. He joins to-morrow morning before 
we start, and you'll have had more than enough of it before you get to Asyoot. 
So come on board, turn in, and prepare for a tedious day. 




Types of Bedouins. 





i!Sl!iBl|Pi 



CHAPTER XIX. 



The new arrival — Sleep a luxury — The sleepless Joseph — Joseph the creator of Egypt 
— A new theory — Fayoum and the Land of Goshe7i — The Bahr Jussefthe wo?'k 
of Patriarch Joseph — Traditio7i of Micrtadi — The creation of the Fayoum — An 
origiiial derivation — The field of Zoan and the land of Ham — Israelite exodus — 
Did they cross the Nile ? — The blessing of Jacob — Jacob's will and testament — A 
new reading of an old text — Qualified approbation — Back to Shepheard's. 

THE next morning the Nabob was awakened by a shrill voice — " Yes, that 
will do — that will do. Thank you — certainly — of course — of course. 
Throw it on board ; don't make a noise, and on no account wake anybody ; " 
and a bulky carpet-bag came against the Nabob's head, and nearly rolled over 
the side. 

" Are there many more coming ? " said the Nabob rising, and holding the 
first projectile as a buffer to ward off any further attack, " or may I fling this 
overboard ? " 

" I beg your pardon a thousand times," said the other ; " I'm afraid I dis- 
turbed you ; but I cannot help looking upon your presence there as providential. 
But for your head, now, that might have rolled overboard," he said with a look 
which combined gratitude and an appeal for sympathy. 

" I confess," said the Nabob, feeling his head, " I regard it in another light. 
The ways of Providence, at all events, seem to be one-sided in this case." 



i 5 8 THE SLEEPLESS JOSEPH. 

" Ah ! yes ; I'm afraid it may have hurt you ; but if it had gone overboard 
the loss would have been irreparable — utterly irreparable ; not to me — not so 
much to me — but to the world at large. The future of more than Egypt itself 
depends upon that bag," he said, taking his seat upon it. 

" I'm glad it's safe then," said the Nabob ; " but being so, perhaps, as it's 
early, you won't mind my going to sleep, again with a consciousness that for 
once my head has saved the world ? " and he turned round in his rug. 

" Certainly, certainly — of course, of course. I never sleep myself — never 
require it — never have done for years. Did you ever try to do with- 
out it?" 

" I can't say I have," said the other. 

" Oh, you should — you should ; simplest thing in the world ; purely matter 
of habit." 

" But I can't say I've any intention of trying to contract the habit just yet ; 
so I'll get a sleep first, and discuss it afterwards." 

" Quite right — quite right ; at least, no — quite wrong, quite wrong. Do you 
know now," said the new-comer, argumentatively, " that there's no evidence in 
the Pentateuch to prove that either Moses or Joseph ever slept ; in fact, as 
regards the latter, it's conclusive that he didn't ? " 

The high tone of the speaker had now succeeded in awaking all the occu- 
pants of the deck. The Nabob gave it up as a bad job. 

"And how on earth do you prove that?" asked the Scribbler. 

" Because he could never have accomplished the work in Egypt that he did 
if he did so." 

" I thought Joseph dreamed dreams," said the Sketcher. 

"Precisely," said the other; " and that proves my proposition, for his brain 
never slept. So the evidence is conclusive on that point, even if we could 
assume it possible that he had time to sleep and yet achieve his work in 
Egypt." 

" And what was that ? " asked the Scribbler. 

"What was that?" asked the Professor aghast; "what was that? Why, 
the making of Egypt. The evidence is conclusive that Egypt was the creation 
of Joseph, as I will prove to you." 

" Well, before beginning, we'd better dress and have some coffee," said the 
Pasha. 

The Professor was left pacing the deck and gesticulating to himself; he 
was evidently arranging an oft-repeated lecture ; and hardly were they seated 
at table before he began. 



A NEW THEORY. 159 

" If you look at the first mention of Egypt in the Bible, you will find 
nothing to indicate that Egypt was a land of any more importance than Canaan, 
Sichem, Moab, and the other lands through which Abram journeyed. The 
dates are, of course, very obscure, but it is obvious that Egypt was then little 
more than a desert, blessed with a capricious river, which no one knew how to 
utilise. Even later, when Joseph is a servant in Potiphar's house, there is 
nothing to show that Egypt was a kingdom of any importance." 

" But are you going to ignore all but the Bible records ? " asked the Scribbler 
impatiently. " What about the records of stone ? " 

" Does your name happen to be Markham ? " said the Professor ; " because 
there's an interesting historical work by a person of that name, in which infor- 
mation is conveyed in the form of question and answer ; and it occurred to me 
that you might be the lineal descendant of the sagacious Richard, the bold 
George, or even of the precocious Mary. You will have observed, however, 
that even in that work the conversations are deferred until the end of the 
chapter." 

The Scribbler took his rebuke humbly, and the Professor continued — 

" I have already said that the chronology is obscure. I know just sufficient 
of Egyptology to know that Egyptologists know nothing ; and even if all their 
chronological theories were accurate, there is nothing to show that Joseph did 
not enter Egypt before the oldest existing relic of his greatness. Seeing that 
men like Bunsen and Lepsius differ to the extent of 1000 years in the date of 
arrival of Jacob's family, I may be permitted to go farther back than either. 
Or even, if I admit the pyramids as existing prior to Joseph's time, I am still 
correct in saying that Joseph formed Egypt, if I accept Bunsen's chronology, 
and date Joseph from the rise of the twelfth dynasty, when Egypt began to 
recover from the dark ages of the previous 400 years. The rise of Egypt began 
with the great famine mentioned in Scripture ; that placed in the hands of the 
ruling Pharaoh the whole land of the country ; he again placed the entire 
administration in the hands of the greatest administrative genius whom the 
world has ever seen. And Joseph introduced his own people ; with their aid 
he raised the country to a position which it has never experienced before or since ; 
and when the infatuated Pharaoh who knew not Joseph drove them out, he 
sealed the ruin of Egypt, which from that date began to fall. The early history 
of the Jews is the history of Egypt which they made." 

" If the time for asking questions has arrived," said the Scribbler, taking 
advantage of a pause, " I should like to ask whether you have any proof of that 
beyond the imperfect one of assertion ? " 



i6o 



FAYOUM AND THE LAND OF GOSHEN. 



The Professor loftily ignored the sneer. "The proof of it," he said, "is 
written in the land of Goshen." 

"And where is that?" said the Pasha quietly. 

The Professor drew himself together, as a man who feels that the moment 
of struggle has arrived. 

"The land of Goshen," he said, "is the Fayoum; and what is the 
Fayoum ? — the creation of Joseph — the Bahr Jussef." 

" But, my good sir, there is not the smallest connection between the 
Patriarch Joseph and the canal of Jussef Salah el Din," cried the Scribbler. 

The Professor smiled with lofty contempt. " The Bahr Jussef, you say, was 
named after our old friend, Saladin. Has it never occurred to you as somewhat 




singular that this canal, which certainly existed 2000 years before the Crusades, 
should have been named after the hero of them? Are you prepared to say that 
it is probable that Saladin deliberately gave his name to a work which must 
then have been for 2000 years known under some other name which has com- 
pletely disappeared? Such an act would only be paralleled by the ruins of 
Stonehenge being called the Victoria Temple in honour of the Jubilee." 

" I admit there's something in that," said the Scribbler ; " but the negation 
of one derivation isn't the proof of the other." 

"Of course not," said the Professor, slightly mollified by the concession. 
" But now, why should you ignore early tradition, with considerable elements of 
probability in it, for a later tradition with no such elements in it ? Whatever be 
Joseph's era, it is certain that he was nearer to the period of the Bahr el Jussef 



TRADITION OF MURTADI. 



161 



than Jussef Saladin. We know of no other Jussef, and tradition tells us not 
only that he made this canal, but the whole story of it, and adds, that prior to 
the removal of his bones by Joseph, he was buried by the side of it." 

"And where is that tradition ?" 

" Here — everywhere — in the mouth of every dweller on the Bahr Jussef. 
Leo Africanus, writing about 1500, tells us that Medinet el Fayoum was built by 
one of the Pharaohs, ' on an elevated spot, near a small canal from the Nile, at 
the time of the exodus of the Jews ; ' and he adds, ' here, it is related, was buried 
the body of Joseph, the son of Israel.' So says also Masudi, writing about 
930 ; and Murtadi, another Arabic writer, whose date I don't know, but whose 
work was translated in 1666, gives a circumstantial account of it all. The life 



-.- yttWJBfe 



3. 




< 



of Joseph Ibn Isaac fills volumes of Arabic literature ; in nearly all, this work is 
directly attributed to him. On what ground is the tradition upset ? " 

" What are the details of Murtadi ? " 

" Unfortunately I have not the translation here, or I would read it you ; but 
briefly it is this. When Joseph was well stricken in years, an intrigue was set on 
foot against him. The advisers of Pharaoh were jealous, and said, practically, 
' He has doubtless been a very grand old man, but his day is past, and he is no 
longer what he was.' Pharaoh supported the man to whom he owed ;o much, 
and at last said, ' Well, name the thing which he cannot do, and if he fails to 
do it, 1 will dismiss him.' Then the courtiers took counsel together, and they 
went to Pharaoh and said, ' Bid him drain the swamp of the Reian and make 
it cultivable.' Then Pharaoh was sad, for he felt it impossible ; but he went to 
Joseph and said, * Thou knowest that I must marry my daughter, and I have no 



2 B 



1 62 CREATION OF THE FAYOUM. 

portion to give her except the Reian, and it is a marsh.' Then Joseph said, ' I 
will drain it and make it cultivable.' 'When?' said Pharaoh. ' Now,' replied 
Joseph. Then he set to work ; and here follows a long description of the existing 
canals. And after some time he called Pharaoh, and Pharaoh went with his 
courtiers, and the place was like a garden, so that they marvelled. And Pharaoh 
said to Joseph, 'How long have you taken to do this?' And Joseph said, 
' Ninety days ! ' 'No other man,' said Pharaoh, ' could do it in a thousand days ' 
(Alph Yom) ; and so the place was called El Fayoum." 
The conclusion of the legend was greeted with laughter. 
"Then Pharaoh spoke Arabic some 3000 years before Mahomet?" 
"I don't," said the Professor, "ask you to accept the legend as true in 




details ; the derivation is of course fanciful and ridiculous, but so the legend has 
existed from time immemorial." 

" But I don't see," said the Pasha, " how it helps your theory. If the 
Fayoum was only created when Joseph was an old man, it's evident that it 
couldn't be the land of Goshen, where his brothers settled when he was still in 
his prime." 

" I repeat that the legend is only of value as showing the connection with 
Joseph. Another point is worth noting — that Pharaoh had no dowry for his 
daughter ; that shows that Egypt was a country of no great riches at the time 
when Joseph made the canal, which was doubtless before the famine." 

" You treat your legend rather freely," said the Nabob ; " you take an 
isolated line, throw over all the rest, and then use the whole as a proof that 
the land of Goshen was in the Fayoum." 



AN ORIGINAL DERIVATION. 163 

" My point requires no proof/' said the Professor ; " it is self-evident. What 
does all our knowledge of the settlement of the Jews amount to ? Take the 
Scripture narrative. Instructed by Joseph, they tell Pharaoh, ' Thy servants are 

shepherds, both we, and also our fathers For to sojourn in the land 

are we come ; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks ; for the famine 
is sore in the land of Canaan. Now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants 
dwell in the land of Goshen. And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, 
Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee ; the land of Egypt is before 
thee ; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell ; in the land 

of Goshen let them dwell And Joseph placed his father and his 

brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the 
land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.' All, then, that 
we know of the land of Goshen is, that it was (1) the land of Rameses ; (2) the 
best of the land of Egypt ; (3) a place for pasture. In view of the fact that we 
are afterwards told that the Israelites in the days of their affliction built the 
treasure city of Rameses, and that no place could have had such a name at 
the time, we must assume that the writer of the Pentateuch was using a name 
only given later to the place. Where was the pasture land, ' the best of the land 
of Egypt ? ' Certainly it was not in the barren desert around the so-called 
Tanis, as Rawlinson says ; nor in the narrow Wady Tumeylat of Poole ; nor 
near the sea-coast, as says Michaelis; nor at the mouth of the river, as say Payne 
Smith and Wiedemann. The best of the land of Egypt given to Joseph's 
brethren, must have been that which was watered and drained by Joseph him- 
self, the borders of the Bahr Jussef, that which is to this day called the garden 
of Egypt, recognised as Goshen by St. Jerome, by Jablonski, by myself, and 
by all tradition. And if farther proof were wanted, study the history of the 
exodus. We have got on safe chronological ground now, for it is the nineteenth 
dynasty, and where is the seat of government? At Tanis, say modern archaeo- 
logists. What ! Seti, and Ramses the Great, and Seti Menephtah ruling from 
Tanis ! The very idea is preposterous. And on what is it based ? On the poetical 
expression of the Psalmist : c Marvellous things did He in the sight of their 
fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan . . . How He had wrought 
His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Zoan.' Therefore the 
miracles of Moses and Aaron were in Zoan, and Zoan, say the wiseacres, is 
San or Tanis. Now, assuming even the latter, which I am not quite prepared 
to admit, does the use of the word Zoan in such a connection have any 
geographical significance ? A few Psalms farther on we read, ' They showed 
his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham ; ' and in the next 



164 



ISRAELITE EXODUS. 



Psalm, ' Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red 
Sea.' So if geographical value is to be attached to such phrases, I might say 
that the miracles of Moses and Aaron were wrought in the land of Ham, that 
is, the land of Khemi, that is, the Fayoum. But I make no such argument ; 
the land of Zoan and the land of Ham are equally poetical expressions for the 
land of the Nile. But there is another reason why our sages of modern research 
will have it that Seti Menephtah abode at Tanis, because otherwise their land 
of Goshen will not bear criticism. Why, even if he were at Tanis, instead of 
at Memphis, where we know he was, what need had the Israelites to ask for 
three days' journey into the wilderness? In numbers they were stronger than 
the Egyptians ; and, if they were in the Wady Tumeylat, they were already in 




the desert ; at all events, it barely required three hours to get there ! Ah ! but if 
they were in the land of the Fayoum, then indeed they were shut in, and could 
not pass to the desert but with Pharaoh's permission. Look at the map again, 
and you will see how the monarch who held the river had them in his grip. 
' Memphis,' says Mariette, ' seems to have been shut in between the Bahr Jussef 
on one side, and the Nile on the other.' Look at your map again, and study 
the plague of locusts j an east wind brought them, and a west wind swept them 
into the Red Sea. Why, at Tanis a west wind would have swept them into 
the Mediterranean or into Syria. Note, too, a singular fact, the pyramids of 
the Fayoum, Illahoon, and Dashour are brick pyramids ; and even Murray will 
tell you how some of the bricks are made with straw, and some without." 

The Professor closed as one who had silenced all discussion. 

" But surely," said the Scribbler, " you've shirked one great difficulty. From 



r 



DID THEY CROSS THE NILE? 



165 



the Fayoum they must have crossed the Nile, and would have wanted a special 
miracle to accomplish it." 

" That's a fair objection," said the Professor, " but by no means insurmount- 
able. It's more than probable that there was then, as now lower down, a bridge 
forming part of Joseph's irrigation works. If so, there was a good road, a golden 
bridge ready for them. Artabanus, an Alexandrian Jew (and Jews have always 
been tenacious of their own history), writing 100 years before Christ, says, ' The 
Jews borrowed of the Egyptians many vessels, and no small quantity of raiment, 
and every variety of treasure, and passed over the branches of the river towards 
Arabia.' " 

" That," said the Scribbler, " tells rather against you than in your favour, for 




5&- 



E__~i 



from the Fayoum they would only have had to cross the main stream. From 
Tanis Zoan, on the other hand, they would have had to cross the branches." 

"Then, if so," said the Professor, "you need make no difficulty about the 
absence of any mention of crossing the Nile. If they were where I assert, they 
had one main stream to cross ; if they were where others pretend, they must 
have had at least one, and probably more branches to cross. Of neither is there 
any mention in Scripture. The fact is, we must not look to Scripture for detail ; 
we find there the statement of a few bare facts; the Israelites settled in the best 
of the land of Egypt ; they increased and multiplied to an extent which alarmed 
the rulers ; they were intellectually superior to the race which Pharaoh governed, 
probably to Pharaoh himself; they became the intelligence of the nation ; with 
their superior intelligence they were a standing danger to a despotism which 
can only exist with ignorance ; then began the first recorded Judenhetze, con- 



i66 



THE BLESSING OF JACOB. 



tinuing to this day in Russia and Germany, and wherever there is a despotic 
Government. Now, where did this people of 600,000 able-bodied men, prob- 
ably nearly two and a half million souls, live ? Do you want to make me believe 
that they existed in the little Wady, which is popularly identified with the land 
of Goshen ? " 

" But surely," said the Pasha, " there's nearly the same difficulty with regard 
to the Fayoum, the population of which to-day is barely 170,000?" 

" The Fayoum to-day ! " said the Professor impatiently ; " but what is the 
Fayoum of to-day ? Possibly 500 square miles ; but the Fayoum of Joseph's day 
extended beyond the Birket el Korn, was cultivable where now it is a morass, 
and must have covered 1500 square miles of the richest land in Egypt. It was 
the only place where the olive and the vine flourished ; even now it is the garden 




of Egypt ; and then it had 366 towns. But of course, I do not mean to say that 
the Israelites confined themselves to the Bahr el Jussef. The blessing of Jacob 
shows that they extended down both sides of the river." 

" The blessing of Jacob ? " asked the Scribbler. 1 

" Ah ! you probably associate the blessing of Jacob with a map of Palestine 
nicely divided into tribes, with imaginary boundaries which never existed. We 
are so apt to adopt the first mystical explanation given us of anything that we 
don't understand, that we neglect to try and find a reasonable explanation for 
ourselves. Remember that Jacob died in Egypt ; that he had certainly never 
explored the whole of Palestine; and if you accept the theory that he was 

1 To avoid any charge of " literary coincidence " or of exaggeration, let me at once admit that 
neither the theory of the Professor nor even the words in which it is given are original. They are to 
be found in a very learned paper read by a very learned man to a very learned society. I have to 
apologise for placing them in the mouth of the Professor. (The Scribbler's Note.) 



JACOB'S WILL AND TESTAMENT. 



167 



speaking solely with the spirit of prophecy, can you give that prophecy any 
rational geographical fulfilment? I doubt it; and seeing that there is nothing 
in Scripture to show us that it was intended for a prophecy, surely we may try 
and find a simpler explanation of it. The Patriarch was dying in Egypt; he 
had seen his descendants spreading throughout the land, increasing in their 
possessions ; and what can be more natural than that he should wish to guard 
against any quarrels among them by apportioning to each their territory, in the 
distribution of which he, under the Hebrew patriarchal system, would have full 
power. . True, their position was due to the all-powerful Joseph ; but no 
authority was allowed among the 
Jews to supersede that of the head 
of the clan, and we need have no 
difficulty in assuming that, with 
Joseph's consent, the old Patriarch 
made, as it were, his last will and 
testament. Now, with this in your 
mind, read the blessing of Jacob 
again : — 

{ Reuben, thou art my first-born, 
My might, and the beginning of my 

strength, 
The excellency of dignity, and the 

excellency of power.' 

"The Beni Reuben, or tribe of 
Reuben, were situated in that part 
farthest north which lay nearest to 
the seat of government ; but the 
river here divided into streams. 

' Unstable as water, thou shalt not 
excel.' 

Jewish Native of Egypt. 

" The Beni Reuben followed the % waters of the Nile, and intermarrying with the 
natives, tainted the ancestral blood. So far as his descendants by Reuben were 
concerned, the efforts and sacrifices of Jacob to preserve the purity of the race 
of Abraham were nullified. 

' Judah, thee shall thy brethren praise ; 
Thy hand shall be on the neck of thy enemies ; 

2 c 




i68 



A NEW READING OF AN OLD TEXT. 



Thy father's sons shall bow down before thee. 
Judah is a lion's whelp : 
From the prey, my son, art thou gone up : 
He stooped down, he couched as a lion, 
And as a lioness ; who shall rouse him up ? ' 

" Judah Jehudah — the Andro Lion — the Sphinx, or Strangler — Abu Haul, the 
Father of Terrors, stooped down and crouched as a lion, with his paw on the 
neck of the Nile, and on the Fellaheen of the Delta. 

' The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, 
Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, 
Until Shiloh come ; 
And unto him shall the obedience of the people be. ' 




?^^>- ■"/,,,/, ,,_ 



r 



<t&. 



" The temple between the feet of the Sphinx, and the broad terrace paved with 
basalt in front of the pyramids, survive to mark the judgment-seat of all the 
tribes to the north of Beni Sonef; or, in other words, until one came to 
Shiloh ; for here Moses was born. 

1 Zabulon shall dwell at the haven of the sea ; 
And he shall be for a haven of ships ; 
And his borders shall be upon Zidon,' 

" Zayat el Aryan marks the abode of Zabulon ; Saida or Zidon, below 
Memphis, was the haven of ships. 

' Issachar is a strong ass 
Couching down between the sheepfolds : 



THE BLESSING OF JOSEPH. 169 

And he saw a resting-place that it was good, 
And the land it was pleasant ; 
And he bowed his shoulders to bear, 
And became a servant unto taskwork.' 

" Issachar — Sachar — Saqqarah, near Memphis ; Men-nefer, ' the resting- 
place.' Within the white-walled fortress the tribe of Issachar found employ- 
ment, and ate the bread of industry from the lords of Memphis. Some 
others," continued the Professor, " are more doubtful ; but Ashur we find in the 
pyramids of Dashur ; and Benjamin, the wolf that ravineth, we identify with 
Lycopolis, the city of wolves, Assyoot. Of course, however, the conclusive 
proof of the whole we must expect to find in the blessing of Joseph, whose 
two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, let me remark in passing, have given their 
names to Minieh and Beni Suef (son of Joseph) — 

' Joseph is a fruitful bough (the Bahr Jussef, a branch of the Nile) ; 
A fruitful bough Of. a fountain (the reservoir of Middle Egypt, Lake Moeris) ; 

His branches (waters) run over the walls (of the valley) : 
The Archers (oftheSun) have sorely grieved him, 
And shot at him, and persecuted him.' 

"(The conflict between the Heracleopolitans and the inhabitants of the 
Arsinorte nome or Fayoum inflicted, as we know, irreparable damages upon the 
Labyrinth.) 

1 But his bow (the lakes of the Horns) abode in strength, 
And the arrows of his hands (the canals) were made strong 
By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob 
(By the Hyksos, the allies of Jacob) ; 
From thence is the Shepherd (race), the stone of Israel. 
Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee ; 
And by the Almighty, who shall bless thee 
With blessings {i.e., pools) of (rain from) heaven above, 
Blessings of the deep (Moeris) that coucheth beneath, 

Blessings Of the breasts (the bosoms of the Nile), 
And Of the WOmb (the broad.fields of Beni Suef) : 

The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my 

progenitors 
Unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills (Libyan range) : 
They shall be on the head of Joseph, 
And on the crown of him that was separate from his brethren.' " 



i 7 o QUALIFIED APPROBATION. 

The Professor paused. "I ask you," he said, impressively, " whether that 
is not conclusive ? You hesitate to reply. I can well believe that you are 
astounded ; but I have not given you half my proofs yet." 

" I assure you we're all satisfied with those you have given us," said the 
Pasha hastily ; " the evidence is — well — abundant," he added, after some 
hesitation. 

" But I have more, much more," said the Professor eagerly, foreseeing easy 
converts. " Are there any of you who are unconvinced ? " 

There was an ominous silence as the Pasha gazed inquiringly at each one. 
They were truthful men, but also considerate of the Professor's feelings, and 
doubtful of their own powers of endurance. At last, the Nabob, seeing that 
the Professor was hurriedly preparing fresh proof, said solemnly, "Professor, 
I feel convinced that, if what you have said has not convinced, nothing 
will." 

" Sir," said the Professor, grasping his hand warmly, " I thank you for your 
encouragement; you shall not go unrewarded. I have this bag full of further 
proofs. I have given you only the most obvious — those, in fact, which hardly 
require explanation ; but you shall have all the rest, which require a little more 
elucidation, before w r e get to Cairo." 

"What do you all think of my guest?" said the Pasha, laughing, as the 
Professor walked to the fore part of the Cleopatra in search of further possible 
converts. 

" His ideas are not more ridiculous than the Lost Tribe theory," said the 
Nabob. "I have met many such; only, as I saved you by my last speech, I 
rely on your sense of honour to save me from the farther proofs which he has 
threatened." 

" Men with such theories are to be esteemed and avoided," said the 
Scribbler oracularly. 

"And you, Sketcher?" asked the Pasha. 

" I could not follow him entirely," he replied ; " there were some very long 
quotations ; but I think he said something about there being an ass at Sakkarah, 
bowing his shoulders to bear, and becoming a servant unto taskwork. Did 
he not?" 

" Well ? " 

" Ah ! well, I saw that ass ; he was carrying the Scribbler to the tomb of 
Ti ; that was a true description, but I couldn't understand the rest." 

The Scribbler would have resented the reference to his sixteen stone, but 
the sight of the Professor coming aft caused every one to show an intense 



BACK TO SHEPHEARD'S. 



171 



interest in the scenery, and to examine with absorbing curiosity the Sketcher's 
portfolio. 

Late in the evening the Cleopatra arrived at Asyoot ; a special train was 
waiting to carry the Pasha to Cairo ; and in a few hours our two travellers were 
again at Shepheard's. 




CHAPTER XX. 

» 

History — Egypt under the Persians, Macedonians, Ptolemies, and Romans — Bablun — 
Ezra and Elijah — The Mosque el Amr — A kourb ashed pillar — A sti'ait gate — 
The Ommiades — The Abbasides — Tuloonides — Mosque el Tiiloon — Egypt the 
seat of the Khali/ate — El Kahira — Mosque el Ashar — Mosque el Hakim — Saladin 
— Ayubites — Mamluk period — Mosque el Kala7t?i — Mosque Sultan Hassan — 
Legend of the Bloody Mosque — Mosque Kait Bey — Mosque el Ghoriya — Egypt a 
Turkish Pashalic — The generous Egyptians — Rise of Moha?ned AH — Europe in 
Egypt — Ibrahim — A bbas — Said — Ismail — Tewfik — French intrigues — A rabi 
revolt — E?igla?id i?i Egypt — Three policies, 

WHEN Egypt, with the rest of the Persian empire, had fallen under the 
dominion of Alexander, the days of the great conqueror were already 
numbered. The Ptolemaic Greek dynasty which succeeded to this portion of his 
empire is known as the thirty-third dynasty. Lasting nearly three hundred years, it 
established Alexandria as the capital of Egypt, and for a time of half the known 
civilised world. What we owe intellectually to this period has already been noted 
— the museum and library of Alexandria, the revival of learning, the Pharos, the 
cities of Berenice and Arsinoe, the Septua'gint, the History of Manetho, the collec- 
tion of Homer. From an antiquarian point of view, we have the Rosetta Stone 
(173 B.C.), the key by which was unlocked all our knowledge of past Egypt; 
the decree of Canopus (247 B.C.), the temple of Edfoo (217 B.C.), the Pharaoh's 
bed at Philae (b.c. 132), the temples of Kom Ombos, Esneh, and Denderah. 
The battles of Philippi and Actium threw Egypt from one foreign ruler to another, 
and she became a province of the Roman empire (b.c. 30). Her history for the 
650 years of Roman and Byzantine domination is absorbed in that of Rome 
and of. the early Christian Church. Even a sketch of it here would be out of 
place. All the signs that remain of it near the not then founded city of Cairo 
is the fortress of Bablun at Fostat. Here was stationed one of three Roman 
legions, with another on the opposite bank at Ghizeh, connected by a bridge. 
The long dusty drive to the Roman fortress is perhaps scantily repaid by the 
remains visible, but those who are disposed to believe in tradition may think it 
worth while to visit the crypt of the Coptic church of St. Mary, where within 



MOSQUE EL AMR. 173 

its walls, the priests will tell you, rested the infant Messiah and his mother ; or 
other churches and synagogues, where you may see an alleged scroll of the 
Thorah written by the hand of Ezra the scribe ; the spot where Elijah appeared, 
and where Moses is said to have prayed for the cessation of the plague of 
thunder and hail (Exod. ix. 29). But unless it be for some carvings in wood 
and ivory, there is nothing of either historic or artistic value. 

Within half a mile, however, we may rightly commence our survey of 
Saracenic Egypt with the Mosque el Amr. The quarrels of the different sects 
of Christian Egyptians had, as usual, facilitated the invasion of the Persians 
under Chosroes (610 a.d.), and similar quarrels facilitated that of the Arabs; 
for the Egyptians, whether followers of Ammon or Serapis, of Christ or 
Mohammed, were always willing to betray the existing ruler to a new conqueror. 
Amrou, the general of Omar, entered Egypt by Pelusium (Isthmus of Suez), 
went up the country to Memphis, took Bablun, and then Alexandria after a 
siege of fourteen months. So terminated, on the 10th December 641, and the 
first day of the year 21 of the Hejira, the Roman dominion in Egypt; and 
building Fostat, the victorious general built this, " the crown of the mosques," 
now called, after him, the Mosque el Amr. The greatest authority on Saracenic 
art 1 tells us that the mosque "has been so repeatedly restored that it is not 
safe to draw conclusions from its details, but it is certainly as old as the tenth 
century in its main outline." One cannot but bow to such an authority, and 
yet one is tempted to ask whether " the main outline " implies more than the 
foundations ? For the Bill which was so altered that nothing was left of it but 
the word " whereas " involuntarily comes to our recollection when we try to accept 
the statement. Certainly a good two-thirds of the numerous columns would 
seem to be of very much later date, nor have they any appearance of being 
designed either for this or any one building. The destruction of a large part of 
Cairo in 1302, and the pious munificence of a Cairene merchant, who collected 
the debris and formed one mosque out of many, is perhaps the origin of the 
present Mosque el Amr. One column there is to which we may accord antiquity, 
and something more, according to the serious asseverations of the guardians. 
When Amr was building this mosque, he asked his master, the Khalif Omar, 
for a column from Mecca. The Khalif thereupon addressed himself to one of 
the columns there, and commanded it to migrate to the Nile ; but the column 
would not stir. He repeated his command more urgently, but still the column 
remained immovable. A third time he repeated his command angrily, striking 
the column with his kourbash, but still without effect. At length he shouted, 

1 Stanley Lane Poole, " Art of the Saracens in Egypt." 



i 7 4 A STRAIT GATE. 

11 1 command thee, in the name of God, O column ! arise and betake thyself to 
Cairo." Upon which the column went, and a vein of the marble is shown as 
the still visible mark of the whip. Two other columns are there of some 
interest* Placed near together, salvation is promised to the man who can pass 
between them. Ismail, it is said, came to visit the mosque. A glance convinced 
him that his portly form could not stand the test, so, determined that the salva- 
tion denied to a Khedive should not be granted to his subjects, he ordered the 
space to be closed. 

After the assassination of the Khalif Ali (a.d. 66 i), Moawiyeh established the 
Ommiade dynasty, which lasted eighty years. To its credit we may place the 
first Nilometer at the island of Roda and the first Arab coinage, inspired by 
the horror of Abdelmalek ibn Merwan, who finding on the Greek Byzantine 
coins then in use the words " Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," substituted his own, 
with the inscription, " There is no God but God." The Abbasides succeeded, 
reigning mostly from Bagdad. They built a new quarter of Cairo, called El 
Askar, a Government-house, and a mosque, of which no traces remain ; and per- 
haps the fact that Haroun el Raschid of the " Arabian Nights " was of this 
dynasty forms their sole claim to our gratitude. 

In 869 a.d., Ahmad Ibn Tuloon, a governor of the Abbasy Khalifs, asserted 
his independence while still rendering homage to the Khalif at Bagdad as his 
spiritual lord, retaining his name on the coinage and in the public prayers. 
He added to Fostat and El Askar the suburb of El Katai ; and the glory of his 
suburb was the mosque Ibn Tuloon. Let it be noted that the artist was a 
Christian, and professed to design it as an imitation of the Kaaba at Mecca. 
Makrisi tells us that the original idea of Tuloon was to build a mosque of 800 
columns, which would have had to be taken from Greek or Roman buildings ; 
but with a toleration in advance of his age, he abstained from the vandalism, 
renounced his designs, and determined to build a mosque without columns, save 
two at the Mihreb or recess which points to Mecca. The work is said by the 
same authority to have cost ^"60,000, and to have occupied two years in build- 
ing. The arches repose on brick piers instead of stone columns, and was the 
first experiment of the kind. "The bold and massive style," says Mr. Stanley 
Lane Poole, " recalls our own Norman architecture. . . . Three sides have two 
rows of arches, the fourth, that which lies on the side towards Mecca, has five. 
All the rows of arches run parallel to the sides of the court, so that, standing 
in the latter, you look through the arches. The arches are all pointed, and 
constitute the first example of the universal employment of pointed arches 
throughout a building three hundred years before the adoption of the pointed 




Mosque el Amr. 



2 D 



c 



MOSQUE EL TULOON. 



i75 



style in England. They have a very slight tendency to a return at the] spring 
of the arch, but cannot be said to approach the true horseshoe form." The 
effect of the long colonnades with the delicate friezed arches is unapproachable 
in any other building, and only partly destroyed by the senseless closing of 
some with masonry to form stores and receptacles for rubbish. Not long ago 
the magnificent courtyard was a sort of asylum for the lame, diseased, and 
half-witted beggars of Cairo ; but happily they have been removed ; and if 
nothing has been done to restore its splendour, we are at least allowed to 
contemplate it in befitting silence. Ludicrous traditions must, of course, attach 




IMosque el Tuloon. 



to every spot in Egypt. Here, say some, Moses conversed with the Almighty ; 
Abraham sacrificed the ram ; and Noah descended from the Ark. Of the other 
wonders of the Tuloonide dynasty nothing remains, and the reports of some of 
them, including the leather bed floating on the lake of quicksilver, we may 
relegate to the domains of fiction. Tuloon's successors were unable to maintain 
their power, and after forty years the Abbasy Khalifs recovered their authority, 
to lose it again in thirty years to Mohammed el Ikshid, who, thirty years later, 
was unable to resist the Fatimy Khalif el Miiizz from Tunis. Hitherto Egypt, 



176 



MOSQUE EL AZHAR. 



though to some extent independent, had yet nominally recognised the authority 
of the Khalifs of Damascus or of Bagdad, towards whom their position was 
much that of the Egypt of to-day to the Sultan, but now (969 a.d.) for the first 
time Egypt became the seat of the Khalifate. Gauhar, general of El Muizz, 
built a palace for his master, which he styled El Kahira (the Victorious), and 
from this, after the burning of Fostat, developed the city of Cairo. To Gauhar 

also we owe the Mosque el 
Azhar (the Most Splendid), 
but of the original building 
little is left ; for, injured by 
the earthquake of 1302, it 
has been three times restored, 
nor has the result left any 
architectural beauty. But El 
Azhar is to-day worth a visit 
as the university of Islam. 
Here, seated in little groups, 
may be seen hundreds of 
students imbibing as much 
useless information as is con- 
sistent with systematic idle- 
ness. If the learning by rote 
of passages of the Koran and 
of the traditions, if the com- 
mitting to memory of abstruse 
platitudes, and the repeating 
of sounds conveying no idea 
to either speaker or listener, 
be education, then the 
Mosque el Azhar is doing 

Mosque el Azhar. & g^ WQrk> 

The third of the Fatimy Khalifs in Egypt was El Hakim, an illumine who 
founded the sect of the Druses, and whose followers still believe that he will 
reappear as the Mahdi or last prophet. He has left behind him the mosque 
called after his name, built, but much less carefully and artistically, in imitation 
of the Mosque el Tuloon. Little remains but the walls and two picturesque 
mabkharehs which dominate Cairo, and one of which was fortified by the 
French during their occupation of Egypt. In a corner of the large court is now 





Sireit In Cairo. 



r~ 



SALADIN. 177 

the Arab museum, full of lovely lamps, wooden mushrebeeyah work, and other 
remains of Saracenic art, mainly of the Mamluk period. 

The Fatemites held their own for two hundred years, until 1171, but the 
rivalry of jealous Viziers, and the ever readiness of the Egyptians to call in 
a new conqueror against the old, proved fatal to them. Then came the great 
Salah ed din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (better known to us as Saladin), as general to 
the Sultan of Damascus, to restore order. The brilliant and talented adventurer 
soon succeeded in getting rid of the last of the Fatimy Khalifs and establish- 
ing the Ayoubite dynasty, recognising once more the authority of the Khalifs 
of Bagdad. 

The eighty years which elapsed before the authority of his descendants fell 
before the power of the Mamluks are celebrated not only in the history of 
Egypt, but in that of the world. *[f the Fatemites " had changed Egypt from 
a province to a kingdom, Saladin transformed the kingdom into an empire. 
The long struggles with the Crusaders, the victory of Tiberias, the conquest of 
Jerusalem, the well-known treaty with Cceur de Lion, though most familiar to us, 
form but a part of Saladin's exploits. He made his power felt far beyond the 
borders of Palestine ; his arms triumphed over hosts of valiant princes to the 
banks of the Tigris; and when he died in 1193 at the early age of fifty-seven, 
he left to his sons and kinsmen not only the example of the most chivalrous, 
honourable, and magnanimous of kings, but substantial legacies of rich provinces, 
extending from Aleppo and Mesopotamia to Arabia and the country of the Blacks." 

Little remains in Egypt to recall the great empire of the Ayubis besides the 
Citadel and the third wall of Cairo ; of the mosque and palaces in the former 
no trace remains but the walls and part of the interior, as well as probably the 
deep, well with its massive masonry, are Saladin's work — as also the interior of 
the tomb-mosque of Esh Shafiy. One other memcrial of a different sort remains. 
The " most chivalrous, honourable, and magnanimous of kings " was touched 
by the petition of the Pisans trading to Alexandria, who complained that they 
were unable to leave the port without suffering grievous exactions at the hands 
of his officials, and Saladin granted in pity to the " suppliants at his stirrup " 
their request, that they should be made to pay nothing but their exact dues, 
and should decide among themselves without interference their own quarrels. 
From this first act of generosity, as it was then, of tolerant justice, as we should 
call it now, has arisen the intolerable injustice which, under the name of Capitu- 
lations, forbids the Moslem successors of Saladin to tax or to have jurisdiction 
over the Christian descendants of " the suppliants at his stirrup." 

The Mamluks (Mamluk = owned) were white slaves, imported first by the 



178 MOSQUE OF SULTAN HASSAN. 

Ayubi Es Salik for his protection. Reinforced by continual importations, they 
formed a valuable mercenary militia. Under Beybass they routed the French, 
and brought about the capture of St. Louis himself; but the son of Es Salik was 
a helpless drunkard, and the Mamluks seized the power, which they held for 
nearly three hundred years, till the conquest by the Turks in 151 7. 

This is the flowering time of Saracenic art. "We are still," says our chief 
authority on the subject, " far from an explanation how the Tartars chanced to 
be the noblest promoters of art, of literature, and of public works that Egypt 
had known since the days of Alexander the Great " (? Ptolemy). Chief among 
the mosques remaining of this period are that of El Kalaun (1284), of Sultan 
Hassan (1356), of Kait Bey (1468), and of Ghoriya (1504). 

The Mosque (mausoleum) el Kalaun is one of the most perfect in Cairo ; 
the tomb stands in the centre, surrounded by a mushrebeeyah screen, and over 
it a stone octagonal baldachin with pointed arches, supported by four granite 
pillars and four piers. The delicate tracery and mosaic work of the tomb and 
walls have suffered little from the five hundred years. The columns of the 
Mihrab, a red stone, and an alleged turban and sash of the Great Kalaun, are 
said to work marvellous cures. 

The Mosque of Sultan Hassan stands at the foot of the Citadel hill, and its 
exterior effect is undoubtedly the finest in Cairo. It looks, in fact, more like a 
huge fortress than a place of worship, and it was indeed frequently so used. The 
dome is weak and unworthy of the rest, but the minaret towers with a majestic 
grandeur over all the city. The splendid portal, approached by seventeen steps, 
consists of a square arched niche or recess with delicate stalactite ; the interior 
is cruciform, and each of the four transepts consists of a single deep arch. That 
to the east is particularly remarkable, both for its height and proportions. In 
the centre of the east wall is the Mihrab, with two marble columns and a pointed 
arch vaulted like a shell, while beyond are three tiers of arches differing in style, 
the first pointed, the second round, and the third trefoil, set in a background of 
red and green marble. Behind the Mihrab, passing through a magnificent bronze 
plated door, we reach the singularly simple mausoleum of the founder, the great 
Sultan Hassan, who survived perpetual war, plague, and deposition only to be 
assassinated at last. 

The legend of the erection of this mosque is worth reproducing : — " Sultan 
Hassan, wishing to see the world and lay aside for a time the anxieties and 
cares of royalty, committed the charge of his kingdom to his favourite minister, 
and taking with him a large amount of treasure in money and jewels, visited 
several foreign countries in the character of a wealthy merchant. Pleased 







2 E 



r 



LEGEND OF THE BLOODY MOSQUE. 



179 



with his tour, and becoming interested in the occupation he had assumed 
as a disguise, he was absent much longer than he originally intended, and in 
the course of a few years greatly increased his already large stock of wealth. 
His protracted absence, however, 
proved a temptation too strong 
for the virtue of the Viceroy, who 
gradually forming for himself a 
party among the leading men of 
the country, at length communi- 
cated to the common people the 
intelligence that the Sultan Hassan 
was no more, and quietly seated 
himself on the vacant throne. 

"Sultan Hassan returned shortly 
afterwards from his pilgrimage, and, 
fortunately for himself, still in dis- 
guise, learned as he approached his 
capital the news of his own death 
and the usurpation of his minister. 
Finding, on further inquiry, the 
party of the usurper to be too 
strong to render an immediate dis- 
closure prudent, he preserved his 
incognito, and soon became known 
in Cairo as the wealthiest of her 
merchants ; nor did it excite any 
surprise when he announced his 

pious intention of devoting a portion of his gains to the erection of a spacious 
mosque. The work proceeded rapidly under the spur of the great merchant's 
gold, and on its completion he solicited the honour of the Sultan's presence 
at the ceremony of naming it. Anticipating the gratification of hearing his own 
name bestowed upon it, the usurper accepted the invitation, and at the appointed 
hour the building was filled by him and his most attached adherents. The 
ceremonies had duly proceeded to the time when it became necessary to give 
the name. The chief Mollah, turning to the supposed merchant, inquired 
what should be its name. 'Call it,' he replied, 'the mosque of Sultan Hassan.' 
All started at the mention of this name, and the questioner, as though not 
believing he could have heard aright, or to afford an opportunity of correcting 




Mosque of Sultan Hassan. 



180 MOSQUE OF KAIT BEY. 

what might be a mistake, repeated his demand. ' Call it,' again cried he, ' the 
mosque of me, Sultan Hassan ! ' and throwing off his disguise, the legitimate 
Sultan stood revealed before his traitorous servant. He had no time for reflec- 
tion ; simultaneously with the discovery numerous trap-doors leading to extensive 
vaults, which had been prepared for the purpose, were flung open, and a multi- 
tude of armed men issuing from them, terminated at once the reign and life of 
the usurper. His followers were mingled in the slaughter, and Sultan Hassan 
was once more in possession of the throne of his fathers." 

Loveliest among the tombs of the Khalifs is the mosque-tomb of Kait Bey, 
with its slender minaret and its perfect dome. The portal resembles that of 
Sultan Hassan on a smaller scale. The interior doors are surmounted by carved 
architraves, and above them small stalactited windows between pillars. Tradi- 
tion relates that two stones, one of red and the other of black granite, were 
brought from Mecca, and the pious yet see thereon the impression of the 
Prophet's feet — a sight denied to the unbeliever. The Mosque el Ghoriya may 
be regarded as the last legacy of the Mamluk dynasties to Egypt, and was not 
unworthy of their earlier fame. Hardly had it been completed when the old 
Sultan seems to have recognised that he must engage in a death-struggle 
against the Osmanli. Fighting in the plain of Dabik against the army of Sultan 
Selim, he is said to have been seized with a fit of apoplexy, and died or was killed. 
His head was carried as a trophy to the conqueror. Within the year Selim had 
entered Cairo, had hanged Tonan, last of the Mamluks, at the Bab el Zuweillah, 
hard by old Ghoriya's mosque, and converted Egypt into a Turkish Pashalic. 

True to their one never-failing characteristic, the native Egyptians assisted the 
conqueror; and lest we should think that at any one time within their history 
of seven thousand years they may have shown a generous courage or sense of 
independence, let us quote what Richard Knolles, writing some hundred years 
later, tells us of the taking of Cairo : — " But most part of the Egyptians, 
diligently observing the fortune both of the one and of the other (accounting 
them bcth enemies), with divers affection assailed sometimes the Turks and 
sometimes the Mamluks, seeming still notably to help that party whom they 
saw for the time to have the better." 

Then, as through all time, the Egyptians sided with the for the time strongest 
of their conquerors, becoming obedient slaves to whoever held the rod, and 
having no other idea of independence than that of rebelling against one master 
in favour of another. From the day when the Turk assumed sway in Egypt until 
the day that he lost it, history and art alike cease. The triumph of the Turk is 
marked by ruins and by the moral, political, and social degradation of all with 




Tomb of K ait Bey. 



r 



RISE OF MOHAMED ALL 



isi 



whom he comes in contact. Other Pharaohs oppressed the Egyptians, but gave 
to their Egypt at least a name of glory ; these alone were the curse of Egypt and 
destroyed her place in history. Whatever may have been the motive, whatever 
may have been the ultimate cost, Egypt owes to Bonaparte a debt of gratitude 
for having even for a moment lessened the influence of the Porte, and to Eng- 
land must remain the disgrace of having in 1801 replaced her under that yoke. 
Egypt, the cause of contention of the two greatest empires of the world, was 
handed over to the Turk without one single stipulation for her future welfare. 
Never had she sunk lower, never had her condition seemed more desperate, 
than when, exhausted by two invasions, she again became a satrapy of the Porte. 
But the hour produced the man. There arose in Egypt the greatest genius 
whom the East has produced within the last four hundred years. Mohamed 
Ali was not, of course, an Egyptian ; the creator of modern Egypt was a 
native of Cavalla, a small village of Roumelia. A simple volunteer in the army 
sent by Turkey, he became bimbashi or colonel of an Albanian corps of a 
thousand men. In four years (1805) he had succeeded in removing or crushing 
all his possible competitors ; two years later he successfully defeated an English 
army which invaded Egypt under General Fraser. The massacre of the 
remaining Mamluks in 181 1, treacherous and cruel as it may appear to 
European ideas, was necessary to the accomplishment of the great work to 
which he had devoted himself. Justice has never yet been done to that work 
which he accomplished in the next forty years. That work of a single generation 
was the creation out of chaos of a government which, at the period, compared 
favourably with that of many European Powers whose civilisation had been the 
work of centuries. History records no similar feat, and it bears witness not 
only to the genius of the Roumeliote, but to the adaptability to government of 
the Egyptian people. His successors, Ibrahim, Abbas, and Said (1849-63), 
did little to continue his work, but time developed it. Ismail (1863-79), a man 
of vast ambition and considerable ability, would probably have made an efficient 
ruler had his head not been turned by the extraordinary prosperity which the 
American Civil War produced in Egypt. The rise in the value of Egyptian 
produce seemed to open to him inexhaustible wealth, and he treated as ordinary, 
circumstances which w 7 ere entirely exceptional. 

The financial collapse followed ; the joint political intervention of England 
and France resulted in the deposition of Ismail in favour of Tewfik (1879), an d in 
Government under the dual control of those two Powers, which secured to the 
unhappy Egyptians three years of perhaps the most complete prosperity they have 
ever enjoyed (1879-82). But the system was one which could only last so long 



182 



EUROPE IN EGYPT. 



as the two Powers and their representatives acted cordially and loyally together. 
That condition of things existed, so far as the Governments were concerned, until 
May 1882, when they joined in an identical note to the Egyptian Government, and 
it failed when, two months later, France refused to fulfil her share of the engage- 
ments, and left the English fleet in the lurch at Alexandria. The causes of that 
action on the part of the French Government have only been very imperfectly 
understood. Briefly stated, it amounts to this. The rebellion against the 
Egyptian Government under Anglo-French control was secretly fomented by 
Franco-Egyptian officials, and at one time supported by a French representative, 

while the two Governments were nominally 
acting in accord. It was this fact which 
rendered the French Government unwilling 
to join in the suppression of a revolt for 
which they were mainly responsible; and 
when they evaded their engagements, they 
were secretly allies of the Egyptian rebels, 
whose success they anticipated. 

The victory of Tel-el-Kebir and the easy 
suppression of the rebellion showed them 
that they had miscalculated, and even the 
exaggerated respect of the English Govern- 
ment to French susceptibility has never 
succeeded in calming the feeling of dis- 
appointed resentment. 

England, in undertaking alone the execu- 
tion of joint obligations, unfortunately com- 
mitted the blunder of making two totally 
incompatible promises — to secure Egypt a 
just and stable Government, and to evacuate 
within what was understood to be a short 
period. Either was possible, but each was inconsistent with the other. 
Repeated threats of evacuation have retarded our work, but the five years of 
English occupation (1882-87) nave undoubtedly been of enormous benefit 
to Egypt. At no time has the Fellah been treated with more uniform justice 
and consideration, and, making allowance for unfavourable economic condi- 
tions, at no period has his material position been better. But the fabric of 
British reform rests on no solid foundation. It will collapse the day we 
leave the country, and who shall say what shall take its place? The only 




Woinan Grinding Com. 



THREE POLICIES. 



183 



possible courses are three : — First, to abandon it to the Turk, and to repeat 
the disgraceful policy of 1801. Second, to allow another European Power to 
assume the position we now hold ourselves. Third, to accept permanently the 
responsibilities of the existing situation. A fourth course may be suggested, that 
of leaving Egypt to the Egyptians ; but the phrase is one without meaning, and 
should be rather, abandoning Egypt to the Soudanese. 




Cairo Street. 



2 F 




Worker in MiisJirebecycih. 



CHAPTER XXI. 



Cairo again — Sakkara and the Tomb of Tih — An Egyptian Pepys — Mitrahenny — 



Dervishes — Home again. 



THE whole party of travellers were again in Cairo, and with conscientious 
minuteness the Scribbler led them through the ever-old yet ever-new city, 
trying to make the worn and neglected monuments awaken the historical associa- 
tions which we have endeavoured very briefly to recall in the last chapter. 

The Pyramids of Sakkara indeed carried them back again to a more remote 
period. On the walls of the Tomb of Tih they read the journal of that worthy 
Privy Councillor of the fifth dynasty. The daily life of Pepys himself is hardly 
more graphically told than that of this Egyptian of nearly 6000 years ago, who, 
of humble birth, rose to the highest offices in the state, married a wife of royal 
blood, whom he chivalrously describes as the "palm of amiability to her husband." 
We see how his cattle were killed, how his meat was cooked, and his geese 
fattened ; nay, the exact list of his cattle and poultry. How his fields were 
ploughed, his corn grown, reaped, threshed, and gleaned ; how his ships were 
built ; how he fished and hunted, and how he fulfilled his sterner duties as 



MITRAHENNY. 



185 



judge. And lastly, there is his own portrait, with the matter-of-fact remark 
(perhaps his own, for the tomb would be decorated for him before his death), 
"a good likeness;" and we may believe it, for it corresponds at least very 
minutely with the statue of him at Boolak. 

The mausoleum of the Apis bulls, with the wondrous sarcophagi fitted 
exactly into their places, apparently without turning-room for their manipulation, 
caused our tourists to utter the same ejaculation as did " the fly in amber." There 
was the chamber closed for 3700 years, in which were still traceable, when opened, 




R anises II. 



the finger-marks of the man who had inserted the last stone, the imprints of the 
naked feet which last trod the sand. So too, in the temple of King Ounas, exca- 
vated at the sole expense of the ever-enterprising Cook, were found the tools 
and burglarious implements of the last robbers who had penetrated it. 

At Mitrahenny on their way they saw the colossal statue of Ramses II., the 
gift of Mohamed Ali to England, long neglected, and now being raised by 
private enterprise from the ditch where it long lay hid,— never, let us hope, to 
disgrace the "city of sweet speech scorned." 

But with the exception of this excursion, the remainder of their stay in Cairo 



i86 



DERVISHES. 



was devoted to the city of the Saracens itself — Masr el Kahira, the city of Mars 

the Victorious. 1 The wonders of Arab art, however, seemed to weigh but little 
in the estimation of most of the party. The Sketcher, in- 
deed, was never tired of the beauties of the Arab Museum, 
its never-to-be-forgotten lamps, its brasswork, its traceries, and 
its panellings ; but the others were little moved. Hides 
remarked that old brass was a glut in the market, and 
doubted if the whole lot would fetch fifty dollars. The 
Patrician, with superior refinement, said that they had better 
work than that in Regent Street; while the Turtle looked 
disconsolate, seeing no means of evolving therefrom any 
question likely to be embarrassing to the Government. 

So with a sigh the Scribbler 
turned to the more modern as- 
pect of Cairo of to-day, and 
piloted them through the nume- 
rous lanes and back alleys 
thronged with sayces, cutters of 
tobacco, barbers, workers in 
mushrebeeyah woodwork, dealers 
in scents and articles from Bro- 

ussa and Birmingham, Damascus and Manchester. 

The graceful dance of the Mevlewi Dervishes 

excited some admiration from the female members 

of the party, and envy from the Patrician, who was 

subsequently discovered practising the step in his 

own room ; but the Turtle deemed it frivolous, 

and Hides averred that it was nothing to any one 

who, like himself, had danced with Mrs. Abraham 

Tucker of Washington. The hideous spectacle 

of the howling Dervishes seemed vaguely to remind the legislator of recent 

scenes in the first legislative assembly of the world, for he was heard to mutter 

the word " Tanner," and absently declined to give the expected baksheesh, on 

the ground that he was a "member." 




A C iro Lane. 




Sayce. 



1 An ingenious Frenchman having discovered that the native term of "Masr" was derived from 
Mars, I may perhaps be excused for saying that " Masr " is the old Semitic term for all Egypt. The 
planet Mars (Arab, Kahir the Victorious) happened to cross the meridian of the new city as its founda- 
tions were laid, and Gohar adopted the name of the planet, calling it El Kahira. 




3 \KZ ^> 



C . MONTB/H\P^ 



Howling Dervish. 



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HOME AGAIN. 



187 



Nor did the party neglect the procession of the Mahmal, the orgies of the 
Mulid el Hossenayn, and that melancholy festival the 
Mulid el Nebbi. Are not they written in the book 
of Murray ? 

And at last they felt that they had religiously per- 
formed their pilgrimage and "done" Egypt. The 
Scribbler was pining to shake from his feet the classic 
but unwholesome dust of the East. The Sketcher 
was mournfully regretting that he was not for ever 
able to bask in its sunshine. Hides had induced 
the Patrician to accompany him to the States, and 
was happy in the temporary sole possession of a Lord. 
The Doves bemoaned their approaching departure 
with ostentation, but were secretly longing for the 
delights of a London season, while the Turtle felt 
that he had exhausted the Eastern Question, and 
for the future would be able to pose with increased authority as one who had 
studied Egypt upon the spot. 




Tobacco Cutter. 




Street Barber. 



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APOLOGUE. 

Two men were discussing the orthography of the word camel. " Sir," said 
one, who insisted on spelling it "cammle," "I've seen the hanimal, so I ought 
to know." 



2 G 



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EPILOGUE. 

Three months after the date of our Prologue, the Sketcher and Scribbler were 
again at the Grand Hotel de Nouailles, the former wearily glancing over proofs. 

" And do you really mean to publish this ? " he asked contemptuously. 

" Why not ? " said the other in desperation. 

" But it's so horribly dull," said the Sketcher. 

The Scribbler's face brightened. 

" Do you really think so ? I was afraid your sketches would give it interest." 

" There are, of course, so7ne facts in it," said the other, somewhat mollified. 

"Yes," said the Scribbler pathetically, "but I couldn't help it. I am cursed 
with the misfortune of knowing a little of the country, and I fear it will be fatal." 

" Ah ! well, I expect most people will skip them," said the other encouragingly. 

" Of course," said the Scribbler, relieved, "and they'll forget them in any case 
— so I've some chance." 

" There's an absence of local colouring too," said the friendly critic. 

" I thought," said the Scribbler despondingly, " to correct that by putting a 
preface at the end — that would be so excessively Egyptian, you know." 

"Precisely ! and being at the end, it might be read; but do you think the 
book will have any other attraction ? " 

" Well, there's always the cover," said the other, rising ; " I look to you for 
that, and that's the material part of most i gentleman's library.' " 

And so the book was published. 



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PREFACE. 



Herodotus, it will be remembered, said that everything in Egypt went 
by contraries. The British Government, in its policy and action in 
Egypt, has proved that the truism of the fourth century b.c. holds good 
in the nineteenth a.d. Further excuse is not needed for a final preface 
to a book on Egypt. But if any were wanting to prove its inconsistency, 
it would be sufficient to say that the preface has no other object — a 
sentence the moral of which lies, as Captain Cuttle would say, in its 
application. 



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A SELECTION OF BOOKS 



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2 H 



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London : Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., Paternoster Buildings, E.C. 



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