תמונות בעמוד

up. The vićtory now evidently belonged to the British; but the contest was by no means finished. It continued during the whole of that day, and the succeeding night. Morning showed the French fleet totally disabled, and in the possession of the British. Of the whole squadron, only two ships of the line, and two frigates escaped. The transports, in the port of Alexandria might have been attacked; but it could not be supposed, that the British vessels, in so severe an engagement, had not sustained considerable damage. Besides, the French had thrown up batteries on the shore, for their protećtion; so that an attack, instead of compleating the vićtory, might have risqued the advantage which had been already gained. Leaving, therefore, commodore Hood to block up the port of Alexandria; and, burning such of his prizes as he could not carry with him, Nelson sailed for Britain. - By this engagement, the situation of Buonaparte was rendered very precarious. The French navy in the Mediterranean was almost annihilated. To receive reinforcement from France, or to return thither, appeared equally impracticable: so that all his address was necessary, to concilitate the good will of the Egyptians, and all his courage, to withstand the dangers by which he was surrounded. Murad-Bey, when he was defeated in the battle of the pyramids, fled, as has been formerly mentioned, with part of his troops and took shelter in Upper Egypt. Buonaparte, without taking the trouble of pursuing him, made himself master of Cairo, and despatched Desaix, with 'a detachment from the ar. - . . . . . . . . . . . . ." - - - - * , ! ... . . . .

my, to reduce Upper Egypt, and to destroy or disperse the remaining troops of Murad. Desaix having received his final orders, commenced his march on the 26th of August, accompanied by a small squadron of boats. After succeeding in taking possession of some boats at Rechuesch, in which the Mamalukes had deposited part of their provisions and ammunition, and after making himself master of the canal Jusef, for the purpose of maintaining a communication with Cairo, he continued to pursue Murad, who had fled first to Faium, and then to Siut. When Desaix arrived at the last mentioned place, he found that the Mamalukes had retired to Beneadi, whither he in vain attempted to follow them. At Tarut-el-Cherif he embarked his army upon the canal of Jusef, and, in spite of the opposition of the inhabitants upon its banks, aided by the Mamalukes, advanced as far as Mansoura, where Murad lay encamped. He intended to have landed at this place, but found that to land where he was liable to be opposed by the whole force of the Mamalukes, would be an arduous undertaking. He returned therefore, towards Minkia, where he hoped to disembark with less inconvenience; and the Mamalukes, encouraged by his retrogade motion, began to attack the barks with all their fury. The French grenadiers repulsed them; threw them into confusion; and the whole, taking advantage of the circumstance, landed without further opposition, and marched along the banks of the canal towards Mansura, where the Mamalukes lay encamped upon an elevated position, and where by the help of their glasses, they could perceive Murad himself, decorated according

to eastern magnificence, and surrounded by his numerous officers; the whole forming a splendid band. . . . o The French had been able to bring along with them only two field-pieces. With these they commenced the attack, and the Mamalukes, either intimidated, or, what is more probable, willing to lead the assailants into a situation more favourable for themselves, retreated, and permitted themselves to be pursued as far as Elbelamon. This movement, as the Mamalukes perhaps foresaw, led the French to a distance from their boats, to which, as they were without food, they found it necessary to return. The Mamalukes, in their turn, began to pursue; and, though the French artillery prevented the main body from making an assault, some of the most courageous advanced, attacked the French with their sabres, and, in spite of every opposition, carried away two of them prisoners. Murad, who possessed a considerable share of that address which is of so much use in modern warfare, caused a stranger to report in his camp that the French, in Alexandria, had been destroyed by the British, that those in Cairo had been destroyed by the Turks, and that, consequently, it remained for his troops to complete the annihilation of the invaders of Egypt, by destroying the army of Desaix. To impress these ideas more forcibly upon the minds of his soldiers, he proclaimed a feast in his camp, when he exhibited mock engagements between the Mamalukes and the French, in which the latter, as it may be supposed, were invariably vanquished. Desaix, meanwhile, had returned to his barks, had procured a quantity of provisions, and had refreshed his men by a few hours rest. Having received information that Murad was now at Sedinan, he gave orders to advance, for the purpose of recommencing the attack. As he approached, the Mamalukes’ loud cries of exultation evinced the ardour of Murad’s soldiers to engage enemies whom they had been studiously taught to despise. Night, however, approached, and interrupted the ardour of both parties. Several of the Mamalukes insulted the advanced posts of the French, by imitating their language, and uttering tones of derison. - Day no sooner appeared, than the French formed themselves into the order of battle, and they had hardly completed that movement when they saw Murad approaching, at the head of his Mamalukes, supported by upwards of eight thousand Arabs. Before the armies could meet, it was necessary to pass 'an intervening valley. The French had already descended into it, when the Mamalukes, taking advan. tage of their unfavourable position, rushed upon them from every hand, with a fury surpassing any thing which they had formerly displayed. Convinced that their safety depended upon their adherence to a close and regular order, the French remained unmoved; at the same time that they commenced a well direéted fire, which, in a short time, apparently diminished the impetuosity of the Mamalukes. They seemed to retire, and the French flattered themselves with the prospe&t of an easy vićtory, when Murad, suddenly turning, attacked a different part of the French line. This unexpečted movement somewhat disconcerted the division against which it was direéted. Many of them fell under the sabres of the Mamalukes, but those who remained alive laid themselves prostrate upon the ground, and thus gave an opportunity to the chief body of the French to recommence their fire on the assailants. Their fury was again diminished, and a momentary retreat gave the scattered French an opportunity of retiring among their com rades, who still maintained their order. Elated by the discomfituredfone part of the French line, Murad once more led his cavalry to the charge, with renewed intrepidity; and, though the French continued their fire with unabated vigour, it hindered them not from advancing to the very muzzles of the muskets. At this instant the combat was dreadful. Such was the rage of the Mamalukes, such the energy of their strokes, and such the keenness of their sabres, that many of the French muskets were cut in two. When the horses refused to rush upon the points of the bayonets, the Mamalukes turned them round, and forced them backwards. Their aim was, if possible, to break the ranks of the enemy; but the French, convinced if their ranks was broken, discomfiture would be the certain consequence, maintained their ground with desperate resolution. The rage of the combatants was exasperated into savage fury. The Mamalukes, even when they were dismounted, perhaps wounded, crawled under the muskets of the French, and struck at the legs of their adversaries. Willing, by any possible means, to hurt their enemy, they showered upon them their guns, pistols, hatchets; and, after having killed a great number of the French, without having been able to vanquish them, they sullenly retired, for they could not be said to retreat. The French were, for a short time relieved from

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