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away the evenings, till the morning of Wednesday, the 24th, when, on waking, we found ourselves fast approaching the capital of Egypt. Groves of magnificent trees clothe the banks of the Nile; and factories rise on either hand. We sailed past the palace of Shoubrah, and its noble gardens, with the steam yacht of the Basha moored beside it, and passing through hundreds of gaily-painted kanghias, arrived at Boolack, the port of Cairo, about breakfast-time. We were quickly ashore, and having procured donkeys, proceeded at once to Musr, the Arab name for Cairo.
Boolack is a kind of suburb, with a handsome mosque, whose minaret and dome will recompense a careful inspection. But we hasten to the
queen of cities,” whose thousand domes and minarets are now rising through the vista of widespreading palms, feathery bananas, and groves of carobs and acacias. The intervening ground, of about a mile, is clothed with a luxuriant crop of corn, interspersed with groves of limes and orange trees, and the road, raised some feet above the surrounding level, to preserve it from the inundation, is bordered by a row of carobandacacias, which, when full grown, will much improve the approach. The citadel forms a prominent object in the centre of this immense city, thrown into relief by the black wall of the Mokattam mountains, which rise behind it. trance to the city presents a most animated scene, and such as can be beheld only in the greatest thorough
APPROACH TO THE CAPITAL.
fare of the east : long files of camels; whole hareems of hermetically veiled women, seated cross-legged on their donkeys, and attended by their sable guardians; Turkish nobles on their magnificent horses, preceded by their pipe-bearer, and followed by a tribe of servants; Arab sheykhs ; men of all the different nations of Europe, travellers like our. selves, or settlers in the land; each in his different avocation, and mingling with the ragged dirty Fellah, and the well-clad soldier, pass
in endless variety, or throng tumultuously to the narrow gates that lead to the interior. Immediately outside the town, we were shown the house in which Kleber was assassinated. Passing
Passing a few narrow streets we presently arrived at the Esbekeyah, a handsome square, formed, it is said, in the shape of Napoleon's hat, and surrounded by a canal into which the Nile is admitted during the overflow. The raised walks are ornamented with some handsome trees, which when full grown, will form a cool and really beautiful promenade. The streets are wider and much better than those of Alexandria or Algiers; and the lattice-work which covers the windows is light, elegant, and tasteful. Some fine specimens of Saracenic architecture present themselves in the different gates and mosques; the brown stone of which they are formed give them a sombre hue, to relieve which, Arab taste has painted them with red stripes and spots.
We passed the palace of Abbas Basha, one of the
younger sons of Mohammad Alee; and who is much more popular than Ibrahim, who is said to be more feared than loved. We found the English hotel so full that we could not procure accommodation, so we proceeded to the French, the Hotel De Jardin, kept by an Englishman, Mr. Manson. As our stay in Cairo must necessarily be short, we proceeded at once to view the lions—literally, as it happened. Five lionesses and a lion were confined near the entrance of the citadel, not in cages, but heavily chained, seated on a bench that ran along the room; their Arab keeper seemed quite familiar with them, handling them all with impunity.
The view from the top of the citadel is certainly most splendid, and here it was that we first felt we were in the land of Egypt, for from its summit we first beheld those mysterious monuments of the past, the pyramids. Those of Geza, the nearest and largest, although nine miles distant, appeared to be not more than half a mile; beyond them, the immense desert mingles with the horizon ; and those of Sakara and Dashoor rise in the distance, the Nile winding by their feet; behind us the dark Mokattam rocks; beneath us Cairo, the hum and bustle of its thousand tongues ascending through the still air. Outside the city, on the one side, is a plain of whitened modern sepulchres, animated by the many bands of mourning friends, bearing to their last home the remains of the hundreds who die daily in this vast city. On the other hand rise up
MOSQUE OF THE BASHA.
the tombs of the Memlook sooltans, crowned by the fret-work domes of their splendid mosques and slender minarets. These are surrounded by the desert, and near to them was situated the encampment of the Mekka pilgrimage, where three thousand tents glittered in the sunshine, and upwards of 20,000 persons of all ages and sexes were congregated before their final departure for the tomb of the prophet. A row of plain granite columns, still standing, crowns the summit of the citadel; all that now remains of Saladin's lordly hall. After the manner of most eastern princes, Mohammad Alee is erecting a mosque, which promises to be one of great splendour. The inside is completely lined with highly polished marble, of a description found near this, being of a greyish white colour, beautifully marked with transparent veins of brown, resembling Derbyshire spar. It looks exceedingly well at a distance, but, on a close inspection, is found to be very porous, scarcely six inches of it being without a hole, but filled
up with composition. It is worked with astonishing neatness, and some of the ornaments were beautifully cut, by the labour of a number of Arab boys, over whom a soldier was keeping guard. Beside it is erected a splendid fountain, for the ablutions of the pious Moos’lims, of a bluishgrey Italian marble ; the ornaments and reliefs of which were not inferior to any I ever saw. The next object we were conducted to was Joseph's wellnot the Joseph of Scripture, but the celebrated
Sooltán Saladin. The soldier at the gate was very unwilling to admit us without the talismanic buckshese; and snatching the key from the old sybil who performs the part of cicerone, shouldered his musket, made it rattle with a slap, and stood boldly in the doorway. So formidable a front by any other soldier might have deterred persons from proceeding farther; and rather than accede to his lawless demand we were about to apply for admission to a superior officer, when one of our company who had been long in Egypt, and knew what an Egyptian soldier was, seizing the man by the shoulder, proceeded to administer a rebuke a posteriori, which so frightened the fellow that, laying down the musket in great trepidation, he instantly produced the required key.
This well is cut through the solid rock, said to be 270 feet in depth, of a greyish fossel limestone, similar to that I shall have occasion to describe at the pyramids, and differing in the shells it contains from the Mokattam rocks behind it. The shaft of the well is of considerable width, and outside the natural wall is hewn out a large winding descent with apertures cut to admit light and a view of the well; about midway down is an extensive chamber and landing-place, where a pair of bullocks work a Persian wheel that raises the water, from whence it is again conducted to the top by a similar contrivance. At this landing-place is shown the tomb - of one of the servants of Saladin. Although rudely con