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Turkish fashion, sometimes closing one en- and the ablest public man that Egypt tirely, are dark and usually dull, but very has possessed. Nubar is, however, now penetrating and bright at times, when he shoots a sudden sharp glance, like a flash, at
in disgrace and exile, because he has his interlocutor. His face is usually as ex- always been the strenuous advocate of pressionless as that of the Sphinx or the late justice for the masses, and the persistent Napoleon III., of whom, in my intercourse opponent of the Khedive's costly prowith the Khedive, I have been frequently reminded; for they are men much of the same
jects. Nubar's great work has been the stamp in character and intellect, with the establishment of the mixed tribunals, same strong and the same weak character which were designed at once to act as a istics doing constant battle with each other. check on the absolute power of the Khelow, somewhat thick, yet emphatic
, well modu. dive, and to curb the authority of the lated, giving meaning to the most common- agents of foreign Governments in Egypt place utterances; his words accompanied by by depriving them of the prerogatives a smile of much attractiveness when he seeks which they enjoyed under the old capituto please, and his mind is at ease. But under lations. The effect of those prerogathe mask of apparent apathy or serenity, the tives was, that any civil or criminal suit the broad brow and about the strong mouth in which a foreigner was defendant, indicate strong passions as strongly sup- could only be tried before the consular pressed, and the cares of empire intruding court of the nationality concerned. Unever on lighter thoughts; and judge the Khedive to be far from a happy man.”
der such a system, it was difficult for an
Egyptian to obtain a verdict in any suit We are told that Ismail's personal ami- he might bring against a foreigner; ability and humanity have been signal- equally difficult to procure the convicised by the cessation of severe punish- tion of a foreigner for a criminal offence. ments during his reign-with one re- Whereas, in all cases in which foreigners markable exception of recent occurrence, were the plaintiff, their consular agents which will be found related in the inter- were bound to press their claims on the esting story of the “Eastern Wolsey," as local Government, which they usually Mr. De Leon terms the late Ismail Sadyk did with great persistence and powerful Pasha. This man, who rose in a few effect. Mr. De Leon says, that on the years from the position of a common whole, as far as his experience went, the fellah to be Moussetish or Finance Min- system worked well, and insured“ speedy ister,
and substantial justice to foreign resi“Was reputed to understand better than dents in the absence of a better tribuany man in Egypt how to squeeze the fellah, nal.” We have no doubt that it did so; which meant to wring the last para out of the but how about the speedy and substanpoor wretches by the use of the terrible kour- tial justice for the natives of the soil ! bash, or hippopotamus-hide whip.”
The mixed tribunals, which were at The Mouffetish appears to have exer- once the crown and termination of Nucised his power for his own profit to bar's ministerial career-for their estabsome purpose. At the time of his disap- lishment by his agency was the proxi
mean and dirty-looking mate cause of his disfavor with the Arab of low type" possessed three pal Khedive-are described by Mr. De aces in Cairo, covering, with their gar- Leon at length. They provide for the dens, an area as large as the Pyramids; hearing of all international civil causes, and enjoyed or endured an establishment even of those to which the Khedive is a of thirty-six wives, regular and irregular, party, before courts composed equally of each of whom was waited on by six the foreign and native element. This white slaves, and a retinue of black reform, although dwarfed of the fair proones.
portions designed by Nubar, is a great We turn from this repulsive picture to step in the right direction--the small one more pleasing. If Ismail Sadyk was end of the wedge which the influence of the bad genius of Egypt, Nubar Pasha England ought to drive home. may be termed the good genius of his The name of Nubar Pasha was brought adopted country. By race an Armenian, forward at the time of the Conference as he has been known in Europe as an able the most eligible Christian governor for Egyptian statesman for twenty years Bulgaria; but his affections, interests, past; and he is at once the most honest and ambition are all centred in Egypt,
pearance, this “
whither he may shortly be recalled as and is now in command of the Egyptian the only Egyptian statesman capable of contingent in Turkey. Of the heir apsteering the country through the troub- parent, Prince Tewfik, Mr. De Leon led waters of the impending crisis. At gives a very pleasing picture :the termination of Ismail's reign, more
“If I were asked to point out the model over, Nubar is pretty certain to rule gentleman among the younger native generaEgypt under Tewfik Pasha, Ismail's eld- tion at Cairo (in the higher sense of that muchest son, in whose favor Nubar obtained abused word), I should select Prince Tewfik from the Porte the alteration of the suc
as one of its most superior types. . In the
great whispering-gallery of that Court, and of cession, which, by the original firman, the Frank community at Cairo, I have never was settled on the oldest male of Mehem- heard a whisper breathed against his domestic et Ali's family. That oldest male, by virtues or private character. . . . His face, the way, is, after the present Khedive, eye, and smile inspire confidence. You feel Halim Pasha, the youngest son of Me it be his fate to mount the throne of Egypt, I
that here is a man you can trust. . . . Should hemet Ali, who resides at Constantino- predict that he will prove a prudent, humane, ple where he has been for some years and sensible ruler, and do credit to himself maintained by the Porte high in favor and good to his people.” and employment-kept as a rod in ter- The present ruler of Egypt is a rerorem for the Khedive and his sons, in markable contrast to Eastern potentates case they should prove refractory or stint generally, both in respect of liberality of the supplies of baksheesh, for which the views and of attention to business. But rulers of Turkey have always had an in- his reforming zeal has gone near to be satiable maw. Mr. De Leon tells us that his ruin as well as that of his people. many millions of pounds have been thus Every new project, no matter how costannually sent from Egypt as a sop to the ly, which promised to increase the greatTurkish Cerberus. The sketch of Prince
ness of Egypt in however remote a fuHalim, like other sketches of character ture, found in him a ready listener and in these pages, is touched with a mas- often a dupe. His financial troubles are terly hand, and the description of his due-partly to his large expenditure on favorite sport of gazelle-hunting with the Suez Canal, partly to the ambitious hound and hawk in the Egyptian desert engineering works he has undertaken, will well repay perusal.
partly to his military expeditions, partly To return now to the Khedive :
to the incessant cry of the daughter of
the horse-leech resident at Constantino“His introduction of Western civilisation into Egypt; his Europeanising Cairo, the ple, partly to his mania for building, stronghold of the vanishing oriental type of partly to his magnificent ideas of hospicity; his great public works; his greater edu- tality. For his large expenditure on the cational plans; his filling his administrations Suez Canal, the Khedive, having parted with Europeans, and placing them at the head with his original shares, has now almost of all the principal bureaux; his remodelling his army under the auspices of skilled and nothing to show beyond the political imtrained army officers, invited from his Ultima portance conferred by that work on his Thule, America ; the broad religious tolera- country. So far as his pecuniary intertion which has made Christian churches more
ests are concerned, they would be best numerous than Moslem ones,... all these things are notorious, and constitute his claim
consulted by shutting up the Canal, and to the admiration of Christendom as a wise thereby forcing all the trans-Egyptian reformer, a light newly arisen in the East." traffic over the railway from Alexandria
to Suez, which, along with the harbors The Khedive allows himself four and docks at these termini, are his priwives, and is described as the model vate property. head of a family, on the oriental plan. It is barely twenty-five years since His sons and daughters have all received Robert Stephenson commenced the sinthe best European education ; and for gle line of railway from Alexandria to all these, when they marry, he has insist- Suez. Now there are more than 1300 ed on the one wife principle. The sec- miles completed in Egypt proper; and ond and third sons, Hussein and Hassan the Khedive is pushing his railway and Pashas, have been educated in Paris and telegraph lines into the heart of Africa. at Oxford respectively. Hassan was As an instance of his magnificent present with the Abyssinian expedition, ideas may be cited the railway now
under construction from Cairo to Sioot way, will supply fuel to the locomotives for a in Upper Egypt; and its projected links long period of time, and one of the most imof extension, partly by steamboat, partly railway will thereby be largely reduced. As
portant items in the working expenses of the by railway, to Khartoum on the White suming the working expenses of the Soudan Nile, and thence to Massowah on the Railway to be sixty per cent of the gross reRed Sea. In the first place, the railway ceipts (which is seven per cent higher than the from Cairo to Sioot runs along the bank average working expenses of all the Indian of the Nile, which river is all the way traffic from the local and through sources enu
railways), it can scarcely be doubted that the navigable by steamboats, a distance of merated will yield a satisfactory return upon
The next link by steamer the small cosi of the proposed railway." from Sioot to Wady Halfa, surmounting the First Cataract by a ship-incline, is
Thus it appears that the trade which 800 miles. From Wady Halfa, by rail. principally come from one extremity of
is to pay dividends on the outlay inust way, the line marking the chord of the the line in Central Africa, and has first loop there formed by the river to Khar. to be created! The prosecution of this toum, is about 550 miles. The last pro- wild scheme has, however, been indefiposed link from Khartoum to the Red nitely postponed by the financial embarSea is 550 miles more. Thus the total
rassments of the Khedive, who would of distance from Cairo to Massowah is 2000
course have been obliged to provide miles, of which 1340 are by railway. In tlie opinion of the English engineer
, who every para for its construction.
Under the Khedive's mania for buildreports favorably on the proposed work, ing, Old Cairo-so dear to the traveller “the exportation of ivory and other Central African products will be increased its four-storeyed houses, its jutting lat
on account of its high and narrow streets, and facilitated by such a railway; but ticed windows, its jostling crowds of they will sink into insignificance when people and donkeys in every variety of compared with the grain, sugar, and cotton which will be produced and export- picturesqueness — is fast disappearing,
costume and trappings, its dirt, and its ed from the vast alluvial plains of the and giving place to an Eastern Paris. Soudan.” The engineer then proceeds Mr. De Leon thus laments the transforto show how this line when completed, mation of the Ezbekieh :with the addition of a ship-incline over the First Cataract, might shorten by
“ Where once waved the branches of the three days ihe route to India—thereby,
stately sycamores planted by Mehemet Ali,
are now to be seen only solid blocks of stone be it remarked, superseding the Suez houses, with arcades in imitation of the Rue Canal. And this line is to be construct- de Rivoli. .. But the vanished Ezbekieh of ed through a country where, by the en- twelve years ago is not the only lost vision gineer's report,“ ordinary wood sleepers wandering eyes. . .
for which the returning pilgrim strains his
As he was wont to sit for railways would not last more than a
under the stately sycamores of the Ezbekieh, few weeks,” because of the ravages of there used at eventide to prance gaily by a the white ants, who eat all kinds of cavalcade of gay and gallant-looking Eastern woods, even totally destroying the largest cavaliers, splendidly habited in oriental cos.
tume, mounted on Arab steeds of great beauty trees.
and price, whose crimson-velvet Turkish sadAfter saying that no data exist for dles were stiff with cloth-of-gold, and whose estimating the precise amount of traffic silken bridle-reins were studded with precious to be expected, the engineer concludes his report as follows:
“Preceded by the running Berbersyce, in
his picturesque costume of white shirt, crim“In the particular case of the Soudan Rail. son sash or belt, and bare legs of ebony, and way and its probable traffic, it is a fact which attended at the stirrup by pipe-bearer, nargileh cannot be disputed, that the extent of land in hand, whose long flexible tube was often near its southern terminus, or within reach of in the hand of the rider, these proud-looking it by navigable waters, or land carriage, which beys and pachas used to file slowly by, lookis capable of producing the finest crops of cot- ing neither to the right nor the left, to the adton, grain, and sugar, is practically unlimited; miration of the motley crowd ever circulating and that during the time requisite for the con- about or squatting under the trees of the Ezstruction of the railway, such area may be bekieh. brought into cultivation as will furnish imme- “Then, also, ambling past on their sleek diate and considerable traffic. The vast quan- donkeys—huge bundles of black silk like unto tities of timber of various kinds which will be balloons, and with impervious veils, through come cheaply accessible to the proposed rail- which only two bright eye were perceptible,
escorted by the jealous eunuchs—could be curity of that communication, and conseen in part the ladies of the harem, disdain. sequently their own interests, are intiful of side-saddles, and riding astride like men, as a yellow shoe perceptible on each side mately bound up with the good governof the donkey conclusively proved."
ment of Egypt. The English people lit
tle dream at what a fearful cost of sufferThe Khedive's mania for building has ing to the poor Arab have been provided not been limited to the creation of new the luxurious railway and canal accomquarters in Cairo out of the ruins of the modations from which they benefit so old city. This work, like some of his largely. Let them learn the process other improvements, will doubtless be from Mr. De Leon's pages. When laborremunerative in time. The mistake he ers are required for public works, such has made in these cases is simply that of as the projected Soudan Railway, the going too fast. But the same excuse can workmen are taken arbitrarily from the not be pleaded for his absurdly extrava- cultivation of their own small patches of gant outlay on new palaces, -and for his land-for poor and oppressed as his conbuilding of opera and play houses, which dition is, nearly every fellah is a landhis revenues must afterwards support. owner-and sent in district gangs to
In his chapter on Egyptian finance, their destinations, where they receive no Mr. De Leon makes out as good a case wages, often not even food, and are as possible, and with much show of rea sometimes obliged to find their own tools son, in favor of Ismail Pasha, contending in addition. These victims of the corvée that, of the large sum of 100 millions are always of the poorest class, because sterling debited to Egypt by foreign ac those who have money can always purcountants, not one-half has ever been chase exemption. touched by that prince; and that, taking The Suez Canal was commenced on into account the sums he has repaid, the the system here described, and was caroutside loss to the foreign investor, sup- ried on in the same manner, until the posing the Egyptian Government abso- sufferings of the laborers, who were litelutely bankrupt, excluding the funded rally worked to death, by hundreds, loans and floating debt, would not exceed brought about the interference of the from 15 to 20 millions.
consular agents, after which regular But Mr. De Leon's truest sympathies though very small wages were paid. All are with the Khedive's patient, submis- the labor employed on the Khedive's sive, long-suffering drudges, the fella- enormous sugar estates in Upper Egypt heen. An enterprising Yankee was once extending 100 miles in length along the asked how his countrymen would deal Nile, and from twelve to sixteen miles in with the French Canadian element breadth, is compulsory or corvée labor. if Canada should ever join the United If wages are paid at all, which is exStates. “I guess, sir, we should im- tremely doubtful, they are very low, nd prove them off the face of the earth,” paid always in kind, -grain or molasses, was the reply. Well, the poor Egyp- on which the employer makes a profit. tians are literally being improved off the Again, the yearly quota of recruits for face of the earth. Their ruler, though, the army is provided nominally by conas we are told, naturally kind-hearted, scription, really by the arbitrary action has not been able to resist the tempta- of the governors of districts. The tions of absolute power. His great pub- course is to send out into the highways lic works; his new quarters, palaces, and and byways to seize the first men met opera-houses; the revenues he extracts with, who are kept in confinement until from his private property,--are all built the sifting time arrives, when those who up of the muscle and cemented with the can pay the indispensable baksheesh to blood and tears of the Egyptian bonds- the recruiting officer are set free, and the men, whose wrongs cry as loudly to others are sent to the different training heaven now in the nineteenth century as depots in gangs, chained together like they did in the times of the Pharaohs. convicts, and driven by soldiers to
The people of England trouble them- the place of embarkation escorted by selves little about Egypt, except as a howling and shrieking women, who see convenient means of communication be- with them their daily bread and that of tween England and India. But the se their children taken away."er
If any im
provement has taken place in this re- ceaseless labor of the people. The drift spect, it is of very recent years. The of sand from the great wastes in the inpopulation of Cairo and Alexandria are terior of Africa is so constant, that it legally exempt from military service, would in a few years, if not combated i.e., about one-tenth of the whole popula- by irrigation and labor, cover up all tion of the country; and so the burden man's works on the Nile banks and in of recruiting falls exclusively on that por- the Delta. But the sand of Egypt is so tion of the able-bodied males most want- composed that everywhere the desert ed for the cultivation of the fields.
be made to blossom as the rese" There is not a creature in the world by pouring fresh water over its surface. of fewer wants than the Egyptian fellah, Thus the Nile is the life of Egypt, and whose necessities are limited to a coarse the rains which fall in the highlands of cotton tunic for covering, and a handful Abyssinia are the life of the Nile. Hence of dates for food. Still, something is the care bestowed on irrigation ; by necessary to his existence; and what be
means of which the Nile, when it yearly tween forced labor for others and the attains the proper level-an epoch which heavy taxation of his labor for himself, is celebrated as a high national festival his land, as we are told, does not pro- -is led through countless channels, duce sufficient in the gross to pay the great and small, to be spread over the yearly taxes. It is to be noted, too, that neighboring fields. the taxes are levied in kind, not in cash, Napoleon I., in his notes on Egypt, affording the tax-collectors peculiar temp- written in 1790 and published by Bourtations to extortion, since their valuation rienne, estimated, "from a calculation of the crop is arbitrary. And so it hap- made in Egypt with the greatest care, pens that all the public burdens are that this country, which at present has borne by the poorest class, and the col- only a thousand square leagues of cultilectors of the revenue fatten on the vated land, had formerly more than two bribes with which those who are able, thousand :” and he was of opinion that, purchase complete or partial exemption. "by a well-arranged system of irrigation, A suggestive commentary on this point the result of good government, Egypt is furnished by the following extract might be increased to the extent of from a recent letter of the Alexandria eight or nine hundred square leagues." 'Times' correspondent, quoted by Mr. For this purpose he prophesied that “ a De Leon :
work which will one day be undertaken “A contract was concluded yesterday by etta and Rosetta branches at the Cow's
will be to build dykes across the Damithe Government with a Manchester house, which much improves the prospect of the July Belly," with the view of doubling the incoupon : £500,000 is to be advanced, one- undation of the land. The realisation half now, one-half in London, on the roth of of Napoleon's conception has been attakes to deliver by that date, in successive de tempted by the construction of the bar. liveries of 50,000 ardebs of wheat and beans, rage, or dam, commenced by Mehemet which are to be paid for at the market price of Ali and carried on by his successors. the day in Alexandria. This produce consists This work was deemed so important as wholly of taxes paid by the peasants in kind; to justify the construction of a fortress and when one thinks of the poverty-stricken, over driven, under-fed fellaheen in their miser- to protect it; but owing to the instabilable hovels, working late and early to fill the ity of the foundations, it is inoperative pockets of the creditors, the punctual payment as a dam to raise the waters more than of the coupon ceases to be wholly a subject of grati- five feet, whereas a head of fifteen fication."
feet would be necessary to flood the Egypt remains in some respects the Delta, as intended, without pumping. unsolved riddle of our times. The cul- The desired object will yet be realised; tivated area of country must have been and meanwhile the place possesses a cerin ancient days greatly larger than at tain strategical importance in protecting present, and maintained a greatly larger the bridges of communication over the population. All the cultivated soil has two branches of the Nile at that spot. been redeemed from the desert; and Napoleon estimated that the populathe only condition on which it can be tion of Egypt proper in 1790 was only kept from returning to desert, is the one-fourth of what it had been in ancient