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more than five times the value of any article, and will invariably sell cheaper to a Mohammadan.
Our accommodation at the hotel was tolerable, though not so good as we should have had at the English one ; and even thus high up the Nile, the mornings and evenings are yet cool.
The extreme stillness and quiet of this immense city after dark was to us most extraordinary at first ; and when about nine or ten o'clock I opened the window of my apartment, and looked out upon the noble panorama spread beneath and around me, I could scarcely believe that it was the scene of action for so many thousand living beings; who but a few hours before thronged every avenue, street, and lane of this immense metropolis. It was while so musing, and with
“ The deep blue moonlight like a pall
Of solemn beauty round me”that those thrilling strains of the Mooeddin's call to worship broke upon my ear, so sweet, so clear and musical, as the first notes of prayer broke from the minaret of the mosque of Hassan, and were carried distinct and sonorous upon the midnight air, not broken by a single echo, but heard until their dying tones faded in the distance, and minaret after minaret took up the chant, until the whole rose in one swelling chorus—“Come to prayer-come to prayer ! come to the temple of salvation ! great God! great God! I attest there is no God but God, and Mohammad is the prophet of the Lord ! !” I have heard it often ; never, however, upon so great a scale as here ; never so distinct and musical, or with that startling note that wakes every fibre of the frame, gives a double beat to every vessel, and rivets every sense, as the ear takes in the sound, and the mind assumes a tone of fervour and devotion at the thought of a nation, in many respects so far beneath our own, thus calling to the worship of our common God, and answered by her people, not with the sneer of scorn, the silence of contempt, or the apathy of indifference, but with a decorum and apparent piety, that would well become professing Christian nations, who, in their attempt to do away with all national religion, would do well to listen to the Mooeddin's chant.
Suburbs of Cairo—The Mekka Pilgrimage-Camels Bedawees Tombs of the Memlooks
Mokattam Rocks-Tombs of the Kaliefs-Mausoleum of Mohammad AleeAncient Customs The Mad-house-Description of its Inmates-Reflections on Insanity-The Slave MarketAbyssinian Girls-Nubians—Their Ideas of Modesty-Mohammadan Slavery-Comparison with Christian--Hotels of Cairo-Coffee Manufactory--A Kahweh--Tobacco--Its Use--Pipes-Hemp-Its Medicinal Effects-- Inquiry into the use of Eastern Stimulants--- Egyptian Ladies-Eastern Coquettes-A Plague Dog-Intrepidity of an English Physician-Visit to Shoubrah-Beauty of the Road--Gardens of the Hareem--Oriental Luxury--Baths-A Kiosk - Mooslim Hospitality-The Basha-His Retinue-A Conversazione—The Egyptian Society-An English Consul General.
THURSDAY, 25th.-We rode out this morning by the gate of victory, the best entrance to the city; it is an exceedingly handsome structure, and affords a beautiful specimen of eastern ornamental architecture. Beyond it, the desert commences almost immediately; the roads dusty and unpleasant, and then a suburb of small huts and low Arab tents, similar to that I before mentioned at Alexandria, stretches into the plain. No two places can present characters so different as the opposite sides of the city of Cairo. On the other, the fertile verdant valley of Egypt, chequered with waving palms, spreads from either side of its mother Nile; while here the boundless arid sands commence in gentle undulations, extending as far as the eye can reach, and now covered with the tents and horses of the rear of the Mekka pilgrimage, the major part of which set off yesterday. Some thousands still remained, and the spectacle they afforded was most imposing.
Hundreds upon hundreds of tents and pavilions, many of silk, and of different colours, glittered in the sun. The horses were tied by the forefoot to one of the stakes of the tent-ropes, like as in the time of Elisha, when the Syrians filed and left the “horses and asses
THE MEKKA PILGRIMAGE.
tied, and the tents as they were.”—2nd Kings, vii. 10. Many of these animals were of great beauty, as to shape and power, but few in what an English jockey would call high condition. I was particularly struck with their exceeding gentleness, and apparent affection for the children, who, with the greatest safety, played over every part of their bodies.
Hundreds of camels were ranged in rows sitting upon their haunches, waiting to be loaded. The power of knowing when they are sufficiently loaded is truly wonderful in these animals. The moment a single stone weight of burden is placed upon one of them more than it is in the habit of carrying, it becomes uneasy, utters its threatening note, and attempts to rise; if it be held down, and the attempt to overload it persisted in, it becomes quite ungovernable, and rises up in spite of every effort of the attendants to keep it down.
Amidst the tents was held a kind of fair, of all sorts of necessaries, each of the Hádjees providing themselves with such things as they required on their journey. Beyond this, was a large collection of Bedawee cavalry, most of whom were the irregular troops in the pay of the viceroy. Their horses did not at all equal the opinion we had conceived of them, being small, lanky, and coated with a quantity of hair ; yet they are capable of enduring the greatest fatigue, and when manæuvring upon the plain, display more mettle and training than any horses I have ever seen. The enormous saddle which they wear is formed mostly of wood, and comes up behind and before so high, that although it is difficult to get out of it, yet if once the rider is thrown on the steed's neck, it is impossible to get back without dismounting. The saddle and saddle-cloth are generally ornamented with scarlet cloth or leather, and gold fringe, &c. The riders present a curious appearance wrapt up in their flowing white dresses, which are often so carried over the faces, that little more of their features are seen than those of the females. The usual rope of camel's hair confines the burnoose over the forehead, and a yellowish handkerchief is worn close to the head, with the ends hanging down on each side of the face to the shoulder. This, with their grim faces, piercing black eyes, grisly beards, and invariable frown, gives them a very formidable look. As characteristic of this race I should mention, that they are invariably the leanest men I ever beheld ; being nothing but bone and
TOMBS OF THE MEMLOOKS.
muscle, and so perfectly devoid of fat, that many of the strongest appear wrinkled, from the want of that rotundity and cushioning given to other people by this useful material; and the skin looks so dry and shrivelled up, that they have, many of them, the appearance of an old anatomical preparation, or well-preserved mummy; and yet the fatigues, hardships, and deprivation of food and water that these men endure, are beyond conception. In order to comply with the latest order of the horseguards at Cairo, and yet to avoid the complete res gnation of their original and accustomed weapons, these Bedawees have got long bayonets attached to their firelocks, which are kept fixed, and as the musket is slung across the back, and is long and light, it can be used as a lance, as well as a gun.
From this we bent our steps towards the tombs of the Memlooks, situate at about two miles from the city, in the desert, by the way leading to Suez. These magnificent mausolea present a most imposing appearance when viewed at some distance, rising up from the plain of sand like the towers and public buildings of a large town. They consist of a collection of mosques, many of which are of great magnitude, and the domes and minarets of most exquisite workmanship. The former are deeply carved in the
grey sand-stone in beautiful patterns, and the latter are some of the highest and most tasteful of the kind I have ever witnessed, but all now going rapidly to decay since the extinction of the stranger lords, whose sepulchres they cover. We found those we entered inhabited by a set of filthy old people, who live mostly on the terraces and upper stories, where their wretched huts, squalid misery, and the dirty tattered rags in which they were clad, formed a mournful contrast to the gilding, and striking, though deserted grandeur, by which they were surrounded. The fountains, many of which were of great beauty, and whose murmur once re-echoed through the spacious courts around, were now dry, or the little water which their basins contained stagnant, and covered with a green scum. The pulpits of the mosques are all of stone, carved with a taste and elegance of design worthy of imitation. Beside the open space of the mosques and underneath the dome, but still railed in from the unholy touch of the Giaour, the pagan, or the Jew, are the tombs, plain, and without ornament, and although the names of many an occupant of these sepulchres caused terror in their lifetime, and were remembered
TOMBS OF THE KALIEFS.
with horror after their death, yet the poor people who conducted us to them, with that instinctive veneration which the Mohammadans observe for their dead, appeared quite shocked at our requesting permission to enter the apartments. We spent some hours in wandering over this splendid necropolis, and left its precincts pondering over the period when its now silent tenants swayed with bloody hands the destinies of this hapless land.
Our course was next directed round the south-eastern side of the citadel, where heaps of rubbish accumulating for centuries, and formed by the cleaning of the city, have grown into hills, the magnitude of which can only be believed by those who have seen them. Beyond this commence the Mokattam rocks, which extend parallel to the Nile, and bound the eastern side of the valley of Egypt for its whole extent. The number of fossils to be found here, but which time did not permit me to examine, are well worthy of the attention of the naturalist, as they have not, as far as I am aware, been yet accurately described, nor have any number of them been yet brought to this country.
From hence we turned to the tombs of the Kaliefs or Kháléifehs,* of less magnitude, but in a better state of preservation than those we had left. They are situated in rows, with large streets between, and are each in connection with one of the mosques.
Attached to each tomb are collections of those sacred relics of their saints and martyrs, veneration for which has of late crept into the religion of the Prophet, and to extinguish which the Wahabees have made such fierce and zealous endeavours. These objects are now guarded with more than ordinary strictness, and owing to those places being less frequented by Franks than others in the city, we were allowed to enter but few. There was one, however, that had for us a peculiar interest, being the tomb where the present ruler purposes to take up his final abode, and into this we procured a ready admission. A handsome court-yard, adorned with gardens and well-grown trees, surrounded the building, which, on our entrance, disclosed to us a scene we were quite unprepared for. We were conducted into a large and well-lit chamber, which, strange to say, was in the form of a cross; in the centre of this was a row of tombs of
* Improperly written Caliphs by the English.