Richard Robert Madden.

The Mussulman (Volume 3) online

. (page 2 of 15)
Online LibraryRichard Robert MaddenThe Mussulman (Volume 3) → online text (page 2 of 15)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Captain Pacha in the act of rallying his troop,
and was recommended for his braverv to the


notice of Koitsruf Pacha, and ultimately placed
under his orders. Having; signalized himself
on many occasions, he eventually got the title
of Sare Chesme, after the massacre of the Beys
in the camp of Aboukir, an exploit in which
he had his share of honour. The infidels our
foes, as well as those our allies, having at length
freed the soil of Islam from the abomination of
their presence, it only remained to get rid of
those Mamelukes whom the Inglis called their
friends, and left to the mercy of their foes.
Kourshid Pacha was at that time the Viceroy
of the country, nominated by the Porte, but
only sustained in his government by a horde of
Albanians, one of whose chiefs was Mohamed
Ali. AVith this force, little as the Pacha could
rely on it, he kept the Mamelukes without the
walls of the city ; but they spread devastation
in the adjoining country, and pitched their
camps without molestation in sight of the cita-
del. Mohamed Ali resolved to attack them :
as usual, he had recourse to stratagem ; he
wrote to three Beys, Osman, Hassan, and Elfi,
to prevent the suspicion of his intention, that
he was aware of the wrongs they had to com-


plain of, and that unless the Pacha listened to
their remonstrances, he meant to join their side.
Duped by this artifice, the Beys were thrown
off their guard. Their enemy, a thousand
strong, entered their camp at midnight ; Elfi
was surprised in bed ; but the enterprise was so
unskilfully managed, that he and his Mame-
lukes escaped. The baggage and five heads
only were carried away by the victor.

"The Pacha presented him with a })elisse, and
at the same time with a firman from the Sultan,
ordering him to leave the country. He affected
to prepare for his departure, which he fixed for
that day two months. The Pacha, deceived by
his apparent willingness to obey the mandate,
overwhelmed him with civilities; and, to rid
himself of his presence during the period of his
remaining in Egypt, he appointed him governor
of Girgeh, for which place he immediately set out.

" To supplant the Albanians, the Pacha caus-
ed a corps of Delhis to come from Syria. This
measure was so displeasing to Mohamed Ali,
that he immediately returned to Cairo from his
government, with all his soldiers. He put the
Delhis to route who guarded the gates of the


city, made a triumphant entry, and demanded
the pay of his soldiers under the very walls of
the citadel. The Pacha in vain declaimed against
his insubordination, and forbade the authorities
to hold any intercourse with the rebel; but the
rebel was every where felicitated.

" On his arrival in the capital, he had gained
a well-earned reputation for moderation, as well
as courage, and the people looked to him as the
only one capable of checking the disorders of
the soldiery; of the Delhis especially, who ra-
vaged the whole town, and violated even the
sanctity of the harem. The people were not
deceived ; they found a protector in Mohamed
Ali ; he repressed the insolence of the new-
troops, afforded protection to the Franks, and
even made friends of the Ulemas and Sheiks.

" AVhen Kourshid found he had no intention
of obeying the mandate of the Sultan, he pro-
cured another firman, appointing him to the Pa-
chalik of Jedda. He invited him to the citadel to
invest him with the robe of dignity, but Moha-
med Ali was too well acquainted with treachery
to entrust himself in the house of his enemy
— he refused to go. After some days' discus-



sion, it was agreed that he should meet the
V^iceroy at the house of a man whose faith he
could depend on, and accordingly they met at
the divan of Seid Aga, a mutual friend. The
firman was read, and the young Pacha of Jed-
da was invested with the pelisse and kaouk of

" The suburbs of the city were still ravaged by
the Delhis : the Sheiks, or chiefs of the people,
complained to the Cadi ; the people themselves
cried out for the deposition of Kourshid Pacha,
while the partisans of Mohamed AU demanded
his nomination to the Viceregal office. But
what proved the address of the young adven-
turer more than any other circumstance of his
life was this, that he was so subtle in persua-
sion, and tempered resolution with so much
moderation, that he gained the hearts of all
classes, and for once in the world, the Ulemas
and the rabble were heard shouting for the ap-
pointment of the same governor. Two of his
partisans, Seid Omar Makram and Sheik Ab-
dallah Cherkaouy, assembled a divan, and in
the presence of the people, they invested Mo-


hamed Ali with the robe of Viceroy, and pro-
claimed him Pacha of Egypt.

" A deputation of Sheiks was sent to Kourshid
to inform him of his destitution. He laughed
at the beards of the messengers, and dismissed
them with the assurance, that till it was the will
of the Sultan to depose him, he would never
leave the citadel. The citadel was accordingly
besieged by the newly-appointed governor, and
many weeks passed over without gaining any
advantage ; at length, during the siege, a Ca-
pidgi-bashi arrived from Stamboul, bearing a
firman, confirming the election of the people
in favour of Mohamed AH as Governor of
Egypt, (9th July, 1805.)

" Kourshid refused to acknowledge the fir-
man. ' He was appointed Viceroy,' he said, ' by a
hattisheriffe, and by a hattisheriff'e only would he
give up his office."* In the interim, the Capitan
Pacha arrived before Scanderia with his fleet,
to second Mohamed Ali ; and Kourshid being
eventually driven from Egypt, the young Vice
roy was left in quiet possession of his throne
The first act of his government was a financial



stratagem, which replenished the exhausted cof-
fers of the state, without distressing the people
!j[cncrally. He arrested the chief of the trea-
sury, Gohary, on the pretence that he had fur-
nished no account to his predecessors for the last
five years ; he demanded an account, the items
of which he himself specified, and forced him
to refund four thousand eight hundred purses.
The Mamelukes were still in possession of Up-
per Egypt, and even had a camp under the
walls of El Masr. The Pacha was justly de-
sirous to get rid of their annoyance. A fool,
or a Frank, would think he would have met
liis enemies in the open field of battle, and in
the face of heaven ; but, of course, Mohamed
Ali committed no such folly. As usual, he had
recourse to stratagem, (the Beys said to trea-
chery,) and his plan succeeded. He caused a
report to be spread abroad, that the festival of
the Kalegc, or cutting of the canal which lets
in the water of the Nile into the great square of
the city, would be celebrated with more than
ordinary splendour ; and that the public autho-
rities, and all the troops, should be assembled
on the spot during the night of the fantasia.


He also ordered several of his principal officers
to write letters to the Beys, informing them of
the favourable opportunity which the with-
drawal of the troops from the heart of the city
would afford the enemies of the Pacha for en-
tering the town by the gates most distant from
the Kalege, and likewise offering to abet them
in their enterprise for a certain sum of money,
to be paid on their establishment in El Masr.
The stratagem was seconded by a letter from
the Pacha's friend Omar, who represented him-
self as a disgraced favourite, and a sworn foe to
the Pacha. He advised the Beys to surprise
the city during the festival, and to make his
house their rallying point.

" In open warfare Mohamed Ali was rarely
successful ; in deceit he hardly ever failed.
The night of the festival arrived ; the canal
was cut ; the Mamelukes broke open the gates,
and entered the city, unopposed, with beat of
drum. But suddenly the soldiers of the Pacha
appeared on all sides; the Mamelukes were
fired on from the roof and windows of every
house in tlie quarter. They fled in the utmost
disorder ; many were fortunate enough to


escape, by abandoninfr their horses and scaling
the city walls, but the greater number were
massacred in the streets. Some of the unfortu-
nates, amongst whom was Achmet Bey, sought
refuge in a mosque : but no place was too holy
for the vengeance of Mohamcd Ali ; the poor
wretches were dragged forth, stripped of their
fine Mameluke attire, bound with cords, and
dra2;2ed before the Pacha.

" The moment he set eyes on the humbled
figure of Achmet Bey, whom he had personally
known in the days of his splendour, his vul-
gar features brightened up with satisfaction,
' What !"■ said he, ' has so clever a man as
Achmet Bey fallen into the trap ?' The fallen
Bey replied not to the question. He begged
the guard to bring him a draught of water ;
his hands were loosened to allow him to raise
the bardak to his mouth, but suddenly relin-
quishing the water-vessel, he seized on the dag-
ger of one of the soldiers who stood near him,
and hurled it at the breast of the Pacha. Mo-
hamed Ali escaped the blow by stooping to
the earth, and avoided the possibility of another
by flying to the roof of the palace, while the


unfortunate Bey was cut to pieces by the sol-
diers, after wounding several of his assailants.
The other prisoners were thrown into a dun-
geon: the following day, being led into the
court-yard of the prison, butchers were sent
for, and in the presence of the captives, the
heads of their chiefs and companions were skin-
ned, and stuffed with straw.

" To-morrow," continued Asian, " if it please
God, I will finish my account of his Highness ;
in the mean time you will remain my guest, and
endeavour to forget the unlucky adventure of
the morning."



The fatigue of exalted office hath wrinkled my brow,
but above all have I sickened at the necessity of flatter-
ing my foes.

El Wardi.

Next morning Mourad begged his host
to resume the history of the Pacha, and Asian,
who liad naturally a strong affection for the
sound of his own voice, very readily complied
with his request, in the following words : —

" The day of the festival was a day of
mourning in El Masr : the dyke was cut by the
servants of the Pacha, but the people took no
part in the fantasia — nobody thought about
rejoicings, but every one talked of the massacre.
Mohamed Ali followed up his victories by
sending an army against Ibrahim Bey and his
son Marsouk, who were encamped under Gebel


Mokattam. But the expedition was an unfor-
tunate one ; the Mamelukes behaved with such
determined courage, that a third of the Pacha's
army was left dead on the field, the remainder
fled to Cairo in the utmost disorder. The
Viceroy's exasperation was fatal to the unfor-
tunate Mameluke prisoners, who were confined
in a dungeon beneath his palace. The state of
suspense in which they had been left since
the night of their capture, was put an end
to by the sudden appearance of their guard,
armed with naked hanjars. The work of
blood began ; one after another the prisoners
were cut down, and the following day, eighty-
three heads were stuffed and sent to Stamboul.
But all the blood of the Beys could not bring
money into the exhausted treasury of the

'• The properties of the rich were confiscated,
contributions were levied on the Greeks and
Copts ; and, in Damietta, tlie Jews were pub-
licly tortured to make them confess their wealth.
A new stratagem was tried to get the Beys
of Upper Egypt to return to the capital ; the
Pacha sent presents of great value to the

c 5


chiefs, and made offers of peace, which were
rejected with scorn. In the mean time, seventy
Tartars arrived from Stamboul, bearing the
three horse-tails of the Pachahk, and a hatti-
shcrifFe confirming the Viceroy in his govern-
ment. After the public rejoicings on this oc-
casion, another army was sent against Elfy
Bey, which met with the same fate as the for-

" Elfy, emboldened by his victory, pushed his
success to the very walls of the capital. The
English infidels called him their ally, and were
unceasino; in their intrigues with the Porte to
restore him to favour. The giaours succeeded.
The Capitan Pacha arrived in Scanderia with
a numerous fleet, and a force of three thousand
Nezam Gedids, to establish the Beys, conjoint-
ly with Moussa Pacha, in the Government
of Egypt. Mohamed All received a firman
from the Sultan, commanding him to quit
Egypt, and repair to Salonica, of which place
he was appointed Pacha. Mohamed Ali kiss-
ed the firman, but he showed no alacrity in
obeying it. The Capitan Pacha dispatched
another Capidgi-bashi, with orders to bring


the Viceroy, or his head, to Scanderia, The
Viceroy refused to see the messenger ; but he
sent word by him to his master, that he was
ready to leave Egypt, but that his troops
would not suffer him to depart till he had paid
their arrears, which amounted to two thousand
purses. The messenger was no sooner dis-
missed, than he commenced putting the city in
a state of defence ; he garrisoned the citadel,
and provisioned it for a long siege. The ac-
tivity of his preparations surprised even the
Frangi, who seem born to be bustling about
continually, like so many grains of sand in a
whirlwind, without any sense of dignity.

'" The Beys were expected to second the Ca-
pitan Pacha in displacing Mohamed Ali, their
implacable enemy ; but their disunion and dis-
sensions, frustrated the hope of relying on their
aid. Elfi however, with his wonted liberality,
sent a present to the Capitan Pacha, worthy
of a Mameluke to offer, and a prince to ac-
cept : it consisted of thirty Arab horses, richly
caparisoned, four thousand sheep, and a hun-
dred camels, laden with provisions, and splendid
dresses for the officers of the admiral. The


Capital! Pacha scp.t in return a present of two
mortars, five hundred guns, and other muni-
tions of war. Another order arrived from the
Capitan for the immediate departure of Mo-
hamed Ali, and an announcement of the par-
don accorded by the Sultan to the Mamelukes.
When the Viceroy read this imperative com-
mand, he turned to one of his confidential
friends, and said, ' I have won EI Masr by the
sword, and only by the sword will I cede it ;
Egypt is now at auction, and he who gives the
last blow of the sabre will be the master.'

" About this period another unfortunate battle
with the Beys at Negyleh lost him six hundred
men. Had there been any unanimity amongst
the victors, Mohamed All's ruin was inevi-
table ; but it was in vain the Capitan Pacha
waited, week after week, for their general co-
operation, till at last, disgusted with their dis-
sensions, he turned over all at once to the
side of Mohamed Ali. Having written to the
Porte announcing the state of things in the
country, a firman arrived, with the consent of
the Sultan, to leave the present Pacha in his
government, provided he paid four thousand


purses for being confirmed in bis dignity, sup-
plied tbe annual caravan of pilgrims witb mo-
ney and provisions, and ceased to make war on
the Mamelukes. The terms were accepted.
Tbe son of the Viceroy Ibrahim (dishonour to
his beard !) was sent to Stamboul as a hostage
for the payment of the money ; and in a short
time after, a contribution was levied on the
wives of the Beys, and on the Christian mer-
chants, of six thousand purses.

" On the rumour of Russia declaring war
with the Porte, the fleet of the Capitan Pacha
weighed anchor, and Scanderia was left in quiet
possession of the Viceroy. One of the bravest
of the Beys, Osman Bardissy, died about this
time. His death was lamented by all except the
Pacha. His servants killed his horses before his
tent, and then broke his arms over his tomb, the
greatest honour that could be paid to his remains.
But Elfy the Great, the most formidable of all
the enemies of the Pacha, was taken off shortly
after the death of Bardissy, probably by poi-
son : the Pacha has a long hand. The strength
of the Beys was now broken ; the two greatest
of their chiefs were taken from them. The


Viceroy became more successful than he had
been in every succeeding encounter with them.
He found httle difficulty in deceiving the chiefs,
having bought over the Bedouin troops who
guarded their camp : he proposed an armistice,
which was partly accepted, when he surprised
their camp at night at the head of two thousand
horsemen, fell on the sleeping wretches, and
slew three hundred of them before a sword was

" The rejoicings for this victory were inter-
rupted by the intelligence that an English fleet
of twenty-five sail had arrived in Scanderia (17th
of March, 1807) ; that five thousand infidels had
landed, and taken possession of the city without
firing a shot. The inquietude in El Masr was
very great, but the next news put an end to the
consternation. The infidels, as might have been
expected, were beaten at Rosetta by the true
believers, and a hundred-and-twenty prisoners
were brought to the Pacha. Two regiments of
the giaours had the madness to make the at-
tack on El Raschid. They arrived, after a
fatiguing march across the Desert ; they were


suffered to enter the town without opposition ;
they strolled in separate parties about the ba-
zaars ; many of them abandoned their arms,
and were reposing in the shade, eating and
drinking like intemperate giaours, when the
Governor, Ali Bey, at the head of five hundred
men, suddenly appeared. In an instant, every
house became a fortress, from the windows and
terraces of which death was poured on the in-
vaders. Their general was killed, confusion
ensued, and in the course of half an hour the
streets were strewed with the enemies of the
Prophet. Unfortunately, instead of pursuing
the survivors, the victorious Moslems com-
menced cutting off the heads of the slain, and
wrangling for the possession of the captives,
who were sent to El Masr in the same boat with
the heads of their companions — ninety of which
were placed on spears, and stuck up in the great
square of Ezbekia. What the mad infidels
meant by coming in so small a number, and in
so disorderly a manner, no one knew — they
knew not themselves ; the fortress was well-gar-
risoned, yet they counted on victory as if they


had nothing else to expect; the dinner was
cooked for the general and his staff in the
house of the consul, but it was decreed that
Ah Bey and his officers should eat it. The
Endish were not satisfied with their defeat;
they sent another army, three times more nu-
merous than the former, against El Raschid.
The Pacha sent five thousand men, under Has-
san Pacha, to beat them again. The town was
bombarded; another battle was fought — we lost
a couple of hundred men, but the victory was
ours : new prisoners were sent to El Masr ; and
as they passed through the great square, they
had to traverse an alley where four hundred-
and-fifty heads were ranged on either side. But,
with all this glory, the Pacha had need of re-
pose — the coffers of the state were empty. The
Beys were still to be vanquished, and there is
no fighting without money.

" He sent a deputation of Sheiks to the Ma-
melukes, accompanied by a present of great va-
lue for their chiefs, inviting them to return to
their homes in Cairo, and promising pardon for
the past and protection for the future. The


offer was accepted, all the principal Beys re-
turned with their numerous followers to the ca-
pital, and were well received. The propitious
star of JVIohamed Ali was now rising- in the
heavens. The English evacuated Scanderia ;
the prisoners were given up ; their fleet left the
harbour ; and nobody can tell what they came
for. The Beys are in El Masr, under the nose
of the Viceroy; they eat, and drink, and ride on
fine horses, as if they were masters of their own
souls ; how long they may be owners of their
own heads, time will tell.

" I have now put you in possession of know-
ledge, which, if you are a wise man. you will
profit by ; but if you are a fool, I have lost my
labour. At all events, I have given you some-
thing to think of; and one who can get over the
fatigue of using his understanding, will find
that much thinking is well thinking. To-mor-
row I will give you a letter to an old friend of
mine at El Masr, Ali Aga, a cousin of the
Pacha's ; and he, if it please God, will not fail
to recommend you to the Viceroy."

The following day, Asian fulfilled his pro-


mise; he counselled his protege to beat no
more Arabs, to wage no more wars with widows
and their kinsmen ; and giving our hero a sub-
stantial proof of his friendship, he pushed him
gently out of doors.



I will give you twenty pounds to be converted.

Swift's Letters to Pope.

Our hero embarked for El Masr aboard a
Maash, or public passage-boat ; two commodious
chambers astern were reserved for some Frank
passengers ; a temporary place was fitted up
before the cabin for Mourad and two other
Moslems, one of whom was an Arab Sheik, the
other a teacher of the law in the Medresseh of

The Franks were four in number : a spiritual
Quixote, who rejoiced in the name of Jeremiah
Lamb ; an elderly lady, who had the felicity to
be called Mrs. Sarah Lamb ; an officer in the
service of the Pacha, who owned the patrician
name of Smyth ; and lastly, a Maltese, who


acted as dragoman to the party, and who was
yclept Paulo.

Jeremiah was the son of a reputable trades-
man, mIio in his dying moments bequeathed a
blessing and a copy of the Scriptures to his son
for his whole inheritance. Being a youth of a
versatile turn of mind, he directed his attention
to a variety of trades, and being unable to de-
cide on the adoption of any one, he grew up
to manhood without a calling. He had early
some misgivings as to the profitable doctrines
of his worthy father, and having deposited his
remains in the tomb, he thought he had a ris-ht
to search the Scriptures for himself. The
same difficulties pursued him in the adoption of
a sect, that he had to contend with in the choice
of a profession. But as he had now some ex-
perience of the danger of indecision, he lost no
time in embracing a new doctrine, which he un-
fortunately did with so much rashness, that he
soon repented of his choice. Change followed
change, with every new light which the last ex-
position of a difficult passage let in upon his
mind ; in short, in less than two years he tra-


veiled through every sign in the religious Zo-
diac. He had been a Socinian, an Arniinian,
a Pelagian, an Antinomian, a New Light, and
an Old Light, and he was now an Independent
Ranter. Jeremiah aspired to the title of a
labourer in the spiritual vineyard, but he
scorned to qualify himself for the vintage by
any preparatory study ; and for the human
ceremony of an ordination, as he called it, he
professed a profound contempt.

The conversion of the heathen was a subject
which had engrossed his serious attention for
many years ; and though he failed in his endea-
vours, for a considerable period, to persuade
any of the communities who have that subject
at heart, that he was peculiarly fitted for the
mission, he v/as suffered to attend the meetings
of some of their societies as an humble adjunct
in the cause, and by one of them was ultimately
employed on the foreign station.

Jeremiah was now on his way to the vineyard
of El Masr, full of zeal, and overflowing with
the spirit of universal philantln-opy. During
liis stay in Alexandria, he had acquired some


knowledge of the Arabic language, and was
already giving some ludicrous proofs of his pro-
ficiency to the Arab boatmen.

The outward man of Jeremiah was a lament-
able epitome of humanity enough : his frame
was feeble, his aspect unwholesome ; he looked
like a man who was ill in the flesh, and un-
comfortable in the spirit. His customary suit
of solemn black had apparently undergone no
renovation for many lustrums, and the dimen-
sions of his nether garments were so inordinate
as to render the saving doctrines of Jeremiah
somewhat questionable ; but his tailor was pro-

2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Online LibraryRichard Robert MaddenThe Mussulman (Volume 3) → online text (page 2 of 15)