« ZurückWeiter »
for the space of one hundred and whole city of Cairo, which at this twenty-six perpendicular feet, after distance affords a most noble and which you come to a square plat- magnificent prospect. The castle form, of the fame dimensions as the is of an irregular figure, and the fortimouth of the well, upon which there fications not only very indifferent, are constantly nine or ten oxen at but kept in so bad repair, that they work in turning round a wheel, are scarce of strength sufficient to dewhich conveys the water from out of fend the Pacha froin the insults of the second well, one hundred and fif. the populace. ty-nine feet deep, into a large cistern placed upon the platform, whence The following Account of the Arabs it is drawn up to the top by an equal may not be unentertaining to our number of oxen labouring at anoth readers. er wheel without the mouth of the THE Arabs, who form the chief well. As before the invention of body of the inhabitants of Egypt, are guns this citadel must undoubtedly distinguished by the denomination of have been a very strong place, some Zifzis or husbandmen, and the Bedo. monarch resolved to render it almost weens or those who live under the impregnable by removing the only tents. The Zifzis live in the town's difficulty which rendered it incapa- and villages, employ themselves in ble of maintaining a long liege, the the cultivation of the land and breedwant of water. With this view he ing of cattle ; and the Bedoweens contrived this well, which, when he pitch their tents upon the verge of had with the utmolt labour and ex. the defert, paying to the public a cerpense finished, he to his great disap- tain sum of money for the land which pointment found the water brackish they occupy. Though these peoand unwholesome. This did not, ple have maintained the language, however, discourage him froin pur- name, and some of the customs of suing his design, in a manner differ- the true Arabs, inhabiters of the delent indeed, but not less expensive, ert, yet they differ from them enwhich was to bring the water of the tirely in their tempers and princiNile by an aqueduct, as it is fur- ples, having as many ill qualities as nished at this day; the water of Jo- the others have good ones. They feph's well being employed in other are univcrfally unpolished, brutal, uses, to which its disagreeable 'taste and ignorant; guilty of the blackest is no objection.
pieces of treachery ; cruel to the Near the southern wall of the last degree; not sparing even their castle is a large square building, the own brother, if his death will turn roof of which is supported by fev out any thing to their advantage. eral vast granite pillars. It is called Their bodies are usually tall and by the inhabitants the Divan of Jo- well proportioned, but their feaseph, to whon they attribute every tures irregular, and their complexthing which is in the least extraordi- ions very tawny; their dress (if they nary, though it is easy to discover have any) confits in a blue shirt, it to be Turkish workmanship, by the which they faften round their mida gilding and ornaments of the roof, dles with a piece of packthread; but and by the cornices filled with in- in the summer time both boys and scriptions in Arabic characters. girls, till the age of twelve, about Hence one has a fine view of the fark naked. The women wear veils
over their faces, with large coppered with long lances, and mounted or lilver rings in their noses and upon excellent horses ; in case of ears, and bracelets of the fame met- necessity, they in a very small time als about their arms and legs; in ev can be reinforced, by dispatching ery other particular they are dressed one of their party to alarm those of like their husbands. The Seghs or the neighbouring habitations, as they Chiefs of the villages are generally are frequently forced to do, in order distinguished by a turban, a long to oppose the troops sent from Cairo black robe, and a piece of blue and for the defence of the villages, with white lined, which they threw over whom they have frequently very their shoulders in the manner of a sharp encounters. Nothing is more cloak. In their food and habita common than for them to rebel, and tions they express the utmost poverty refuse to pay their tribute, in which and inisery, living more like beasts case the Beys dispatch large bodies than human creatures ; their usual of troops against them, and fomefood is eggs and a fort of dough times march out in perfon, as it hapcakes, which they stick up against pened while I was in Egypt. A the walls of the oven, and soon after Bey was fent against the rebels near take them out, and devour them with Alexandria, who committed all sorts the utmost greediness. They have of disorders, confining the inhabitalso a sort of sour cheese, which they ants within the walls of the city. produce upon particular occafions, He was, however, obliged to retura and stinking butter, in which, upon to Grand Cairo, without having any extraordinary festival, they fry brought them to reason ; for the rebtheir eggs. Their houses are built els, immediately upon the notice of entirely of mud, and have nothing the approach of some superior force, within them but the bare walls, it fly into the innermoft parts of the being a very great piece of magnis- defert ; where, as they are the only cence to have a mattrass or carpet to people who are acquainted, it is very sleep on.
easy for them to escape the pursuit T'he Bedoweens are continually at of their enemics. The Bedoweens variance with those who inhabit the are wholly averse to all sort of invillages, as indeed the latter have duftry, looking upon labour as mean reason to fear them, since their chief and unmanly; for which reason they sublistence is ia pillaging their lands make their women perform all the and habitations. The chief occu- necessary drudgeries, riding thempations of the Bedoweens is in ex- felves on horseback, while their ercises of horsemanship, in which wives follow them on foot, loaded they are extremely well skilled with their spare arms and domestic These, in their customs, approach utensils. Those who inhabit the nearer to the true Arabs ; though villages have however quite different they are, notwithstanding, equally sentiments, being naturally industridespised by them, being elteemed as ous, and employing themselves daily flaves, upon account of the tribute in the hardest labours. They are which they pay for the lands on by no means unskilful in the pracwhich they spread their tents. When tical part of agriculture, and are acthey go out in search of booty, they quainted with several methods of generally march in a body of fifty breeding and nourishing their cattle, oor Lometimes one hundred men, arma, of which other natives are entirely ig.
porant. The most extraordinary people come in with a bag of an hunpractice is that of hatching their eggs, dred, who, after he had made his which they always perform by an bargain, seated himself upon the artificial heat. They have for that ground, together with his two compurpose in each village several square panions, and, taking the vipers out rooms, the walls of which are made of the fack one by one, cut off their of a kind of bricks dried in the sunheads, skinned and gutted them, in In the middle of these rooms they which manner they are obliged to make a large fire, round which they deliver them before they receive place their eggs at regular distances, their payment. They make no sort ihat they may all enjoy an equal de- of difficulty of putting their hands gree of heat; in this manner they into the fack, and taking up an handlet them lie for fourteen days, now ful of these noxious animals, in the and then turning them, that the same manner as I have seen people put warmth may be the better adminif- their hands into a basket of corn, tered to all parts alike ; and on the and take up an handful to examine fifteenth day the chicken makes its the goodness of it. Upon asking appearance, and proves in every re them what was the reason that these fpect as strong and perfect as those animals, commonly fo fatal to who. hatched according to the rules of ever touches them, should never lo Hature. Nor is this any other than much as offer to bite them, I was the continuance of a custom prac- antwered, it was a gift enjoyed only tised by the ancient Egyptians, lince by two families, delivered to them we are taught by Diodorus Siculus by a faint many ages ago, who, to that they used this manner of hatch recompense his adherents, had, by ing their chickens.
blessing theny, invested them with a They have a secret also to defend power of charming all venomous themselves against the bite of vipers, animals, so as to be able to manage the effects of which are so extraor them without the least hurt. This dinary, that had I not been an eye was the only account I could get witness, I thould have given very out of them, and was informed, that little credit to any accounts of them. in reality the secret was known only There are many of these Arabs who by some families of them, who gainmake it their livelihood to gathered their livelihood by this extraorvipers, which they find in great quan- dinary traffic. What to me seems tities upon the verge of the desert, most probable is, that they are acdisposing of them for three sequins quainted with some herb, to whicha an hundred to the apothecaries of these venomous creatures have such Grand Cairo, The manner of their an antipathy, that if they rub their gathering them is by observing early hands or any part of their bodies in the morning their traces in the with it, it incapacitates them from fand, which they follow till they dis- biting that part, by these means incover the animal, which, without the fected with an odour which in a Jeast hefitation, they take up in their manner fuffocates and deprives them fingers, and put him into a large of their usual power of hurting. leather bag, which they bring to Cai- Among these vipers, there are some so, containing sometimes six or seven of a species peculiar, I believe, to hundred vipers. It was in an apoth- Egypt. They are rather less than ecaries shop that I saw one of these the others, whom they resemble ex
atly in form and colour, differing ble death : the Arabs, however, only about the head, upon which treated there with the same familiarthey carry two horns about a quar- ity as they did the others, letting ter of an inch long. The venom of them run between their fingers, putthese horned vipers is of a far more ting them into their bosoms, and farinteterate nature than that of the ther, to satisfy my curiosity, running common fort, insomuch that the bite their fingers into their mouths, withof one of m, notwithstanding the out the least dread or hesitation. molt immediate affiftance, is inevita.
MY WIFE AND I.
Though Artemisia talks by fits
debate and mucli shedding of ink For I fighed when I reflected on in the learned world for some time the flavith subjection in which man past, respecting the rank that women detains his injured helpmate, in ought to hold in the scale of crea defiance of reason, and in contempt tion. Some four old bachelors have of humanity ; I burnt with all the thought, with Sir Anthony Absolute zeal of a Don Quixote to fight the in the play, that women may be battles of this last and fairelt work taught their letters, but should never of nature, and resolved to shew the learn their mischievous combina- world that. I felt what I expressed, tions; others, of a softer mould, by drawing fome deserving female have in a manner depressed while from humble life; by providing her they exalted them, by bursting forth with books in all the learned laninto rapturous eulogiums on their guages, fuperintending her education amiable virtues, which they would at with scrupulous anxiety, and at a the same time confine to the kitchen fit period" leading her to the altar, and nursery ; while a third fort, crowned with the never-fading flowwith more liberality than the one, ers of fagacity and erudition. This and more boldness than the other, grand scheme I immediately put in have contended that literature alone practice in the following manner: exalts the female character, and that You must know, there is a small every step, a woman mounts in the shop opposite my study window, ladder of learning makes her more which professes to fell gingerbread, eminent in excellence :
earthen-ware, gilt paper, peg tops,
and treacle. To this house of mil. “ Vi&orque virum volitare per ora.
cellaneous fame I had been accufAmong the votaries of the third sect tomed to see a little girl arrive two or I beg leave to enrol my name.
three times a week, and generally began life with a determination to return with a handful of gingerbread. run counter to the established usage This did not at first appear very ex
traordinary, till I observed the gin. the honey moon, but received a daily
wife washerwoman in the neighbourhood; piqued herself was high fpirit. The told her my tale, to which she did tane acquiefence of Mrs. Shandy “ serioufly incline;" and ended by the utterly despised, and indeed gave requesting that he would put her numerous and forcible proofs of the daughter under my tuition. The contrary extreme.
For instance, old woman thankfully accepted the the spoilt me a famous edition of offer, assuring me that her daughter Pope's Works, by throwing a volume was one of the 'cutest girls in the into the fire, in which the author had whole street; and, having called her ftigmatized some · lady in these in, and acquainted her with the sub- words : “ No ass more meek, no ass. ject of ogr conference, I had the more obstinate." She next tore the satisfaction to find that she expreffed cover from a volume of Swift's Letan entire readiness to submit to my ters, becaufe he called her fex a race instructions. We accordingly de. hardly above monkies. Her third parted, hand in hand. Little Phoe- ftretch of prerogative was displayed be (for so she was called) immedia by throwing Congreve's Plays out of ately entered upon her course of the window, becaufe in one of them lectures with an alacrity that both he had declared, surprised and pleased me. She learned to read even quicker than
" That woman are like tricks by slight of Madame de Genlis'infant prodigies;
hand, foon became acquainted with a large
“ Which to admire, we should not under
stand." portion of English literature, and in the course of a few years was mis- Nay she proceeded so far as to fend tress of the French, Italian, Greek, an elegant edition of Orlando Furioand Latin languages.
so to the pastry-cook, because Ariosto I now considered the time as have expressed a wish that Angelica had ing arrived, which fate had fixed fållen'a facrifice to the frenzy of Orfor my marriage. Phæbe made no lando ; and actually banished poor objection ; a license was obtained ; Virgil from the house, because he and DçSteadfast and Phæbe Mor. liad given her sex a neuter gender, ris were introduced to the public, by and inveighed against them as means of the morning papers, as hus. rium et mutabile.” These diminuband and wife. My pleasure did not, tions of my library only served to like that of many others, end with increase my admiration for