Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

VII.

dan Pasha.

Arriving on board Sir Richard's ship, we de- CHAP. livered our message, and were invited into his cabin to dinner; but being desirous of carrying back his answer that evening, we declined his polite offer. He had before positively refused Conduct of the same request from the Pasha : its renewal the Capuwas therefore troublesome, and even impertinent; for it was well known to Sir Richard, and to Lord Keith, that it had no other design for its basis than the payment of the Turkish Galeongies by the plunder of the city. The Capudan Pasha was a person upon whom no reliance could be placed, although he had not then manifested all the atrocity of his character by the murder of the Beys': however, he received us

(1) This happened soon after our departure. The circumstances are thus detailed by Colonel Squire, who was an eye-witness of the transaction, in a Letter to his Brother, the Rev. E. Squire, dated Alexandria, Oct. 1, 1801. None of the real or supposed massacres of Buonaparté can be said to have equalled this, in treachery or atrocity.

We are now engaged in a sort of warfare with the Turks. Before this arrives, you will have heard the cause: but as you may wish to have an accurate account of this horrible affair, I shall detail to you the principal circunstances. The Capudan Pasha, whose encampment was in the rear of the English, wrote to some of the Beys at Cairo, requesting them to honour him with a visit. They accepted his invitation, although they had been frequently admonished by Sir J. (now Lord) Hutchinson, not to engage in too great an intimacy with the Turks. They were escorted from Rosetta to the camp off Alexandria by an English guard, and they remained with the Pasha under our immediate protection. Two days previous to their intended return to Cairo, the Pasha proposed an excursion to Alexandria.

During

VII.

CHAP, with great politeness, but returned this brief

and pithy answer; that “the first Turkish ship
which presumed to enter, before the city was sur-

[ocr errors]

During their visit, the Turk had loaded them with every pretended
proof of civility and kindness. The very day on which this dastardis
assassin perpetrated his black design, he swore by his beard, in
presence of the Beys who were breakfasting at his table, and
by the holy Korān which was before him, that he was their firm
friend and supporter. When the entertainment was nearly concluded,
an attendant came into the Pasha's tent, to inform his Highness that
a sufficient number of horses and trappings could not be procured for
the whole of the retinue. The Pasha, hearing this, pretended to be
highly incensed at the messenger—" However," said he, “Gentlemen,
we will not be disappointed in our excursion: my boats are in the lake,
close to the camp, and we may proceed to Alexandria by water, where
your Mamalukes, and my attendants, may meet us in the city." The
cunning of this is evident: be separates the Beys from their body.
guard, that there may be no prospect of an effectual resistance. The
poor unsuspecting Beys embarked with the Pasha, and, attended by
four or five boats, steered towards the inundation. Scarcely had they
advanced a quarter of a mile from the shore, when a boat arrived,
with a messenger who pretended to have a particular despatch for the
Pasha from Constantinople, The Turk immediately opening the
letter, apologized to the Beys, saying that he was obliged to answer
the despatch, but that he would afterwards follow them to Alexandria.
In this mauner he left the Beys, and returned in the small boat to
the camp; by this artifice avoiding the exposure of his own person in
the scuffle that was to ensue. Shortly after his departure, the boats
alter their course, and steer for Aboukir Bay, with an intention of
putting the Beys on board the Sultan Selim, there at anchorage. The
Beys now perceived the whole design of this dark plot. They first
remonstrated; then resisted ; and, exclaiming they were betrayed, a
discharge of musketry was poured upon them from two or three of
the boats. Endeavouring to defend themselves, they were attacked
by the crew of the Pasha's boat with swords. Notwithstanding all
this, they fought manfully with their poignards. OSMAN BEY
TOM BOURGEE, successor to MOURAD Bey, received seventeen wounds.
The event of this affair was, that of seven Beys, and a Cashef or

[ocr errors]

VII.

rendered, would instantly be sunk.” It was towards CHAP.
sun-set when the author reached once more the
magnificent Turkish pavilion of audience, sta-
tioned on the borders of the Lake of Aboukir,

Prime Minister, two were killed with the Cashef, one was most cruelly
wounded, and two were drowned. Two only remain, who were made
prisoners by the hired assassins of the Pasha. The whole of this
transaction being reported to Sir J.(now Lord) Hutchinson, he imme-
diately waited upon the Pasha at the head of his troops, and, after
calling him, to his face, liar, coward, villain, assassin, and using every
menace and other opprobrious expression until the mean traitor
burst into tears, he demanded the bodies of the Beys: of those who
were dead, as well as of the living. Thus intimidated by the spirited
behaviour of the English General, the Pasha delivered up the three
dead bodies, together with the persons of the living. The three
bodies were interred, with military honours, within the city. Thus
the English have taken a very decided part in favour of ths Mama-
lukes, and God knows what will be the event. We are in complete
possession of Alexandria; no armed Turk is permitted to enter the
town. The same sort of scene has been attempted at Cairo. The
Vizier pretended to invite the Beys, and to present them with pelisses :
they have all been seized, although I have not yet heard that any
violencc has yet been offered to their persons. Sir J. Hutchinson has
threatened, it is said, to march an army against the Vizier, if he do
not immediately release the Beys from their confinement. Whatever
may have been the policy of England, our GENERAL HAS CONDUCTED
HIMSELP WITH HONOUR AND PROPRIETY. He could not have re-
mained an inactive spectator of such base transactions. The Beys were
under his immediate protection; therefore, by the common laws of
hospitality, he was bound to declare himself their guardian. His owon
honour, and that of his country, were pledged for their safety. I saw
this in PAMOUS TRANSACTION from our camp. I was witness to the
firing of the musketry; but not suspecting what was passing, I did
not take particular notice of the circumstance." Colonel Squire's
MS. Correspondence.

[ocr errors]

VII.

CHAP, near to the place where the sluices were cut

through the Canal of Alexandria, for inundating
the old bed of the Lake Mareotis. The Pasha
was out on horseback; and the officers of the
pavilion, drawn up in two lines, from the en-
trance of the tent to the rich cushions placed
for the Pasha at the upper extremity, were
amusing themselves with the tricks of a buffoon
kept by the Pasha, who was mimicking the
state ceremonies of his master when giving
audience ; consequently, one of his frolics was
to receive the author as if the Pasha had been

This unusual facetiousness on the
part of the Turks was soon put to flight by the
arrival of the great man himself, with his Inter-
preter; who no sooner heard the answer to his
message, than, acting with much less dignity
than his buffoon, he spat on the ground',
stamped, and, abruptly quitting the tent,

present.

[ocr errors]

(1) The malediction of the Turks, as of other Oriental nations, is frequently expressed in no other way than by spitting on the ground, of which an instance will be related in the next Chapter. May not this explain the reason why our Saviour, (who taught to "bless, and curse not,” and who, in the annihilation of Heathen superstitions, frequently made the outward sign subservient to opposite purposes of grace and benevolence,) when he healed the blind and the deaf, is said to have “spat on the ground.” See John ix. 6. Mark vii. 33, and viii. 23. See also a Note in Chap. IX. Vol. I. of these Travels, where allusion is made to this custom, as practised at a Russian Christening.

VII.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

hurried on board a covered boat upon the lake, in CHAP.
which he was accustomed to pass the night,
and made his appearance no more on that
evening. All hopes of a passage on board the
frigate seemed therefore, for a moment, at an end.
But Isaac Bey, the Capudan Pasha's interpreter
and secretary, conducted the author to his own
tent, and, pleading a sudden indisposition on
the part of his master, promised to accommo-
date matters; begging, at the same time, that
the Pasha's behaviour might not be noticed at
head-quarters, and desiring us to call again
upon the sixteenth.

.

A curious adventure befel us upon our return for the second time this evening, Monday, September the fourteenth, into Alexandria. The English sentinels had advanced from their former stations, close to the gates of the garrison; the first division of the French army having this day embarked at Aboukir. The word for the night, as given by the French General for passing the gates, was “ Citoyen.” As the author rode up to the Rosetta Gate, hearing a distant challenge somewhat indistinctly, and supposing he had passed all the English sentinels, he gave the word as he had been instructed to do by the French. Presently, drawing

[blocks in formation]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »