« הקודםהמשך »
VESSELS ON THE STOCKS.
slippers on the floor beneath ; their under garment of striped silk was confined round the waist by a splendid cashmere shawl, in which was placed the ink-horn*—the badge of their profession ; the turban bold, yet graceful, of white spotted muslin, over-shadowed a face, handsome, expressive, and intellectual. The eyes of all those men were of exceeding brilliancy, and their long silky beards gave a dignity to their appearance, such as is not to be found in the trim, well-shaven features of the European. Some few Christians, who were engaged in the office, wore black, the only colour allowed them in Egypt.
But we must pay a visit to those fine vessels now upon the stocks ;—and here is one just ready to be launched, which I will tell you something about, without having your ears assailed by that most stunning of all noises, the calking and coppering. This is a two-decker, but corresponding in number of guns to our three-deckers, than any of which it is larger, being 3000 tons. It is not so long as some of ours, being but 189 feet by 40 feet in beam, and will mount 100 guns.f The timber of these vessels is confessedly very inferior, and much smaller than would be used in any English vessel of war; but as there are no forest trees in this land, most of it is imported from Trieste. They endeavour to make up in quantity for defici
* “The writer's ink-horn worn by the side.”—Ezek. 9. + The Rodney 92, is 243 feet in length, and 2598 tons.
THE EGYPTIAN NAVY.
ency in quality, so that the bottoms of those vessels are perfect beds of timber. This is the tenth of this class, and there are eight in commission. The ninth was brought out of the docks yesterday to be rigged and got ready for sea. The complement of men on board each of these is 1005, including officers, who in rank and number correspond to those of the English navy. Besides the ten lineof-battle ships, there are seven frigates, an armed steamer, four corvettes, eight brigs, and other small craft in commission. So far as the vessels go, they are, I suspect, rather more than a match for the Porte.* In our walk round the yard we were surprised at the number and extent of the works, all divided into their several departments--and at the order and regularity that prevailed. Brass foundries, carvers, blacksmiths, carpenters, sailmakers, and all the different requisites in shipbuilding, upon a most extensive scale, all worked by native hands, who amount to about 800,The stores and arsenal were as neat, as clean, and as orderly as could possibly be. Originally the heads of the different departments were Europeans, but at present the situations are nearly all filled by natives, who rose under their instruction, or were educated in France or England; among them was the principal mathematical instrument maker, a
* While the above is passing through the press, accounts have arrived, bringing the intelligence of the Turkish fleet having been delivered up to Mahommad Alee.
very intelligent young man. How very fluently, and with what a good accent, many of these speak our language. There is an extensive rope-walk, and we saw some of the cables being worked by a patent machine; the head of this department is a Spaniard, but there is also a native fully capable of conducting the work. I was much struck with the skill and neatness of several of the workmen, particularly in brass-turning, carving, &c.
We were shown a handsome room for the drawings, plans, engine-work, &c. and several models of the crack English vessels.
There is a mosque in the yard, whither the men go five times a day to pray for about five or ten minutes. It is a small, but pretty building, covered with clematis and other creepers now in blow, and has a pretty fountain attached to it, where the men perform their ablutions each time they go to worship. All the workmen are enlisted in the Basha's service, as sailors or soldiers, and are drilled occasionally, so as to be capable of almost immediate service. They are fed, clothed, and get from fifteen to thirty piastres a month pay, which they and all the men in the service of Mohammad Alee receive into their own hands, to preventany sort of peculation. The wages of these artisans are raised according to their merit, and are never in the same arrear as those of the army or navy.
The greater number are married, their wives inhabiting wretched hovels outside the town; if they have sons, each receives
fifteen piastres a month from the government, and the child must be brought to receive it in his own hand. Their wives are all in some sort of traffic or huxtering, and tend much to the support of their husbands; so that the more wives a soldier or tradesman in Alexandria has, the better he lives !!! The majority have a plurality, and if sons are the result, it is rather a good speculation.
The men work from sunrise to sunset, with the exception of an hour at breakfast and dinner; they get three meals a day, and during our visit the drum beat to the mid-day meal, which consists of a plentiful supply of coarse brown bread and bean porridge ; and for breakfast they are allowed, in addition, olives with some vinegar and oil. All the artisans are given meat once a week, and the troops once a month. They are divided into messes of three and five each. The greatest order and quiet prevailed, and if the countenance be an index of the inner man, contentment seemed to reign amongst them. The anchors, and most of the foreign goods in the dock-yard were English, and there was also a vast number of fine brass and metal guns in most perfect preservation lately fished up in Aboukir bay.
I next day visited one of the vessels of war, No. 8, along with its surgeon, Mr. Abbott, an Englishman, whose salary of 10l. a month and rations, (consisting of beans and brown bread,) although equal to the ordinary expenses of a country where necessaries are so cheap, is yet insufficient induce
A LINE-OF-BATTLE SHIP.
ment to any number of well-educated English medical men to enter the service of the Basha, and consequently, with the exception of the professors at Cairo and those filling 'higher stations, the general run of European medical men in the service are ignorant and uneducated Italians and Frenchmen.
I found this vessel and others that I visited particularly clean and orderly, and this is the more marked, as there is a greater quantity of brass inlaying and ornamental work in them than is usual in
any men-of-war. This is a 100 gun ship, but equal in tonnage to ours carrying 120. The uniform is a dark brown, and the officers are principally distinguished from the men by the fineness of the regimentals, and having an anchor, star, or crescent, emble. matic of their rank, and composed of silver, gold, or jewels on the left breast. In the navy as well as the army neither beard nor whiskers are allowed; except the mustache, all must be close shaven daily ; this at first was considered a very great innovation, and was loudly complained of as quite too Christian and uncircumcised a form. The men are trained to military tactics, as well as to go aloft, and in this latter they are often very clumsy, to the no small amusement of any English tars who may be lowering topgallants, or reefing topsails at the same time.
But much cannot be expected from a navy called into existence since the battle of Navarino, and whose service has heretofore consisted in a visit to Candia during the summer. There is a moolah or priest on