Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ firm their choice. But the new pacha kept his « place only seven months, and was then obliged

to yield it to another from Constantinople. The " latter died suddenly, upon the arrival of a “ Kapigi-Bachi, who was sent after him by the “ Sultan. Thus, in the short time while I was in “ Egypt, three governors succeeded each other 6 rapidly in the government of that. province * “ In a city, like Cairo, inhabited by a number of “ petty tyrants, who are ever at variance among

themselves, and seeking each other's ruin, and 6 who often proceed to open violence in deter“ mining their quarrels, private persons can never

consider themselves as in absolute security. The

narrowness of the streets, and the crowds which « are constantly pressing through them, are favour“ able to disorder.' Yet fewer instances of rob« bery, theft, and murder, are heard of here than “ in the great cities of Europe-The magistrates “contribute to the public security by very prompt R administration of justice-All the streets of

Cairo have gates, which are shut at night; but “ a porter waits to open to those, who can alledge “ satisfactory reasons for passing from one street “ to another, and approach with a light in their “hands. The man, for a small acknowledgment, “ opens the gate, but stops every suspected * person. This regulation prevents nocturnal as..

• Travels, Vol. 1. P. 73–76.

. ....." semblies

“ semblies and tumults among the people. It at “ the same time so entirely separates the several “ quarters of the city, that the Beys often contend “ with open violence, while the other inhabitants “ know nothing of the matter *.-The Bedouins, “ or wandering Arabs, being free, almost inde“ pendent, and rather tributary allies than subjects

of the Egyptian government, are the most re. " markable branch of the nation. They are di“ vided into tribes, governed by hereditary chiefs

called Schiechs, and these subordinate to a great « Scheich, who has authority over several tribes. "! Upon paying a certain tribute to government, “ the Bedouins are permitted to feed their focks “ through the rich pasturage grounds of Egypt. “ But they frequently abuse this permission, and “ pillage without distinction as well the husband“ men in the districts in which they encamp, as " those travellers who have the misfortune to fall “ into their hands. They are ready too to take " part in the dissentions, which frequently arise "in this military republic. When government “ attempts to punish them or to constrain them to " their duty, they either defend themselves by " force, or retire into the desarts till their misde " meanours. be forgotten t.”

Such is the government of Egypt; a government, which evidently is impregnated, by the very

* Travels, Vol. 1. p. 83-86. VOL. I..

Ibid. p. 108.

nature

nature of its constitution, with the seeds of eternal discord. Such were the effects, which naturally resulted from it in the year 1761, when Mr. Niebuhr had an opportunity of observing them. Such likewise were its effects at a yet later period, as manifested since the year 1798 in similar violent contentions among the rival beys. And such, though in a much more violent degree, will, I doubt not, be its effects immediately before the final conquest of Egypt by the fierce king of Isaiah, or the wilful king of Daniel.

It is highly worthy of notice, that, as we draw near to the time of the end and the accomplishment of those prophecies which relate to the restoration of the Jews, the attention of the great political world has been in a remarkable manner turned towards Palestine and Egypt. An attempt has been already inade by Antichrist to establish himself in those regions: and it failed of success only, I believe, because it was prematurely undertaken. The following extract from an intercepted letter, written by an Etat Major in Buonaparte's army, and dated Grand Cairo, July 28, 1798, sufficiently proves, that an establishment in Egypt and Syria was the object of this marauding expedition, with an ultimate view to the English settlements in India. "The government have turned their eyes “ towards Egypt and Syria ; countries, which, by " their climate, goodness, and fertility of soil, s may become the granaries of the French com

6 merce, merce, her magazine of abundance, and in " course of time the depository of the riches of “ India. It is most indubitable, that, when pos“ sessed of, and regularly organized in, these ” countries, we may throw our views still farther; “ and, in the end, destroy the English commerce " in the Indies, turn it to our own profit, and "render ourselves the sovereigns also of that of Africa and Asia. All these considerations “ united have induced our government to attempt “ the expedition to Egypt. That part of the

Roman power has been governed, for many “ ages, by a species of men called Mamalucs, who s have Beys at the head of each district. These “ deny the authority of the Grand Signior, go“ verning themselves tyrannically and despotically " a people and a country, which, in the hands of ľ a polished nation, would become a source of “ wealth and profit*.” The manner, in which this scheme was conducted, was by an attempt to sow discord between the Beys and the Egyptians; the very manner, in short, in which, we have reason to believe from prophecy, the yet future project of Antichrist will be conducted. The apostate miscreant, who then commanded the French army, and who now disgraces the imperial title, thus addressed by proclamation the natives of Egypt.“ In the name of God, gracious and

* Cited by Kett, Hist. the Interp. Vol. 11. p. 268.
N 2

“ merciful. « merciful. There is no God, but God; he has “ no Son or associate in his kingdom. The present “ moment, which is destined for the punishment “ of the Beys, has' been long anxiously expected. “ The Beys, coming from the mountains of " Georgia and Bajars, have desolated this beau" tiful country. Buonaparte, the general of the “ French republic, according to the principles of liberty, is now arrived; and the Almighty, the “ Lord of both worlds, has sealed the destruction of the Beys. Inhabitants of Egypt! when the ” Beys tell you the French are come to destroy " your religion, believe them not: it is an absolute falshood. Answer those deceiyers, that they " are only come to rescue the rights of the poor 56 from the hands of their tyrants, and that the “ French adore the Supreme Being, and honour " the Prophet and his holy Koran. All men are or equal in the eyes of God: understanding, inge“ nuity, and science, alone make a difference be“tween them: as the Beys therefore do not possess any of these qualities, they cannot be “ worthy to govern the country, The Supreme “ Being, who is just and merciful towards all man" kind, wills, that in future none of the inhabie tants of Egypt shall be prevented from attaining ...to the first employments and the highest honours. “ The administration, which shall be conducted " by persons of intelligence, talents, and foresight, " will be productive of happiness and security. C. The tyranny and avarice of the Beys have

“ laid

« EelmineJätka »