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allow me, I'll just take and show her the horse I propose putting her upon, so that if there is any change or alteration to make it
be done at once."
So saying, with a sly beckon to Angelena, and a knowing wink at Jug, he got the fair lady away, and in an instant was squeezing her arm as lovingly within his on the far side of the door as Jug had squeezed it on entering. Away they hurried, by back passages and covered ways to the spacious court-yard of the castle stables behind.
Jug, who felt excessively relieved, as well by his lordship's departure as by having got off the hunt, now made an arm at all the bottles within reach, and began helping himself and his mamma-in-law most plenteously to their contents. Indeed, so far as Jug was concerned, his lordship's order to drug them both was unnecessary, for Jug very soon put himself hors de combat ; but as the beverage was mixed, the butler didn't care to waste it, and very soon after it was placed upon the table Jug and old furs were, as Mr. Doiley said, “in the arms of Murphy.”
THE PARTING FRIENDS.
VILLAGE LIFE IN EGYPT.* Who, it might be well to inquire, before entering upon the peculiarities of “ Village Life in Egypt”—who are the villagers of the long banks of the Nile ? Undoubtedly, the same people who have dwelt there from the times of the shepherd kings and the Pharaohs, from the Pyramids to the pillar at Alexandria. The climate is fatal to strangers in the second or third degree. Franks, Greeks, and Turks from the north; Abyssinians, Gallas, and negroes from the south, are in vain transplanted to this land inimical to exotics. Their progeny either perishes or fades away into stronger races. The fact was so well ascertained by the Mamluks, that it became a custom with them to recruit their numbers by adoption. · The Franks call the said villagers Arabs, the Arabs call them fallâhs or labourers (plural fallâhin), but the villager himself cannot even pronounce Arabic correctly. They cannot, for example, produce the sounds of “p” and “j.” Pasha becomes bashaw in their niouths, and jibal, a mountain or hill, gibal. Mr. Bayle St. John gives it as his own opinion that they are mainly descendants of the Copts, converted at or after the introduction of Al Islam, and mixed with settlers from Arabia and from the neighbouring deserts. This is partly true; but the amount of error is possibly greater than that of truth. Who were the Copts? The Christian descendants of the ancient Egyptians, who obtained that epithet from Coptos, once a great city in Upper Egypt, to which, during their persecution by the Roman emperors, a large proportion of the Egyptian Christians retired. The number of churches and convents in ruins attest that the Copts were once far more numerous than they are at present, but nothing proves that the whole of the inhabitants of the long banks of the Nile were ever converted to Christianity, which must be premised, if we admit the present villagers to be all descendants of Copts. The Christians of Egypt were themselves divided into hostile and warring demonstrations, the Greek and the Latin Churches, and the Monophysite heresy, as it was called in the amiable language of Polemics.
The fallâhs must be looked upon, then, as the descendants of the Egyptians of old-Pagans and Christians intermixed with Arab and other blood. The Turks call them “ the people of Pharaoh.” Mr. St. John notices this as not far from the truth ; and when he further says “ the resemblance of the fallâhs to the Copts is so striking, especially in the villages, that it is absolutely impossible to distinguish them, and the portraits of both people may constantly be recognised in the ancient sculptures and paintings,” he admits all that we argue, that as the Copts were descendants of the Egyptians of old, so the fallâhs of the present day are alike descendants of the Copts, and of the other and more numerous Egyptian race. In fact, that they are not merely Copts or Egyptian Christians Islamised, but Egyptians in every sense of the word.
** Village Life in Egypt, with Sketches of the Saïd. By Bayle St. John, author of “ Two Years' Residence in a Levantine Family," " Adventures in the Libyan Desert," • Views in the Oasis of Siwah," &c. 2 vols. Chapman and Hall.
The laxity of morals, and the sensuality of the Egyptian race, no doubt originating in climatic influences, render descriptions of village life a delicate subject to treat of; but Mr. Bayle St. John—a free and easy writer, one who treats of “Village Life” and a dozen other Oriental topics from a ten months' journey up the Nile and some previous experience”—who professionally despises all that is tedious and laborious in the acquirement of knowledge, laughs at what he calls “the School of Hieroglyphists," and sips knowledge as the bee sips honey, and the swallow skims the surface of the waters—has treated his subject in such light and pleasant language, and in so seductive a manner, that he really seems to have fallen himself under the said climatic influence, and to wish to carry others along with him.
The first picture, that of the Ghawazis, established at Kafr Mustanat, not far from the well-known Fuah, and the extraordinary physiological theory which the sight of them gave birth to, of charms to which prolonged life and activity are given by “communion with men rendered intelligent for awhile by passion," must, however, be passed by on this plea, that it is not fair to begin the repast with the most stimulating dishes. Mr. Bayle St. John's exit from the dancing academy" is, however, worthy of being preserved :
There were a great many adult Ghawazees at Kafr Mustanat, but I have rarely seen so few that could boast of remarkable beauty. The most gracious wore an inordinate quantity of rouge---this sisterhood all over the world covet the same permanent blush-and rejoiced in one magnificent black eye; in very truth
a piercer.” The other must have been kicked out by a camel ; but she took no pains to conceal its devastated orbit, and never suspected the horror which it created in our minds. When we rose to depart, she pursued us with solicitations for money, and—not satisfied by our gifts, or because they were purely gratuitous—with unpolite reflections on our religion. Her sisters joined in the outcry, and were again joined by a pack of savage mangy dogs. Clods of earth began to fly when we reached the bridge : and we were not sorry to have escaped so easily from the dancing academy of Kafr Mustanat.
The Ghawazis are, probably, not of Egyptian race, and they are our present theme. We must turn to Mr. Bayle St. John for a description of the female villager; of the male little need be said, beyond that they are a heavy, coarse-featured race, with hanging eyelids, an expression of childish simplicity, with an occasional gleam of clownish cunning, and a general appearance of being built of unburnt brick, or, as our author has it, “ of having just issued from the hands of the Muslim creator, who made them from tîn or the mud of the Nile.” But of the female :
There is something massive about the beauty of Egyptian countrywomen. Their faces are of a short oval, like that of the young Bacchus. The expression of their eyes, which have space to develop their voluptuous outline, crushed slightly, as in the case of the men, by a heavy lid and long lashes, is often stiffened, if I may so speak, by the black border of kohl. It would be difficult, however, to imagine more beautiful eyes than those that sometimes flash upon you in the villages. There is a promise of heaven in them; often belied, however, by the earthly reality of the full pouting lips of swarthy red. Except that in some of the larger curves there is too great an evidence of muscle, and that the breasts are early wearied with child-feeding, no forms can surpass those of the fellâhås. Parisian bottines never confined such exquisite feet ; and those hands that dabble in cow-dung would, in Europe, be caressed all day by lovers, and startle the artist as the revelation of his long-sought ideal.
Kings Cophetuas, prone to love beggar-maids, are not of every-day occurrence; and I have rarely found people to sympathise with me in my admiration of these dirty Venuses. For it must be confessed they are as dirty as their occupations make them. Not that they have any special fondness for filth ; for they wash their persons daily, and their clothes as often as might be expected, considering that they rarely possess a change. But, in spite of their efforts, they are always begrimed more or less ; and the odour of the dye used in their garments is so repulsive, that only travellers possessed of cosmopolitan nostrils can venture to approach them.
We are given to understand that a Frank may be sometimes in the villages "un homme à bonnes fortunes,” as our continental neighbours express it, but that only if he qualifies himself like our own Don Juan, by long residence in the country, by adopting the national costume, and acquiring a perfect knowledge of the language :--in fact, making himself as much of a native as possible. In Cairo it is otherwise, and our author would impart a very apocryphal character to the adventures of Gerard de Nerval and other modern heroes of the same stamp.
Adventures (he tells us) of every kind are rare in Cairo, and as to the intrigues which some imagine themselves to have been engaged in, they are, so far as I know, mere ludicrous deceptions. There are a few “ ladies of quality," who are always falling in love with Franks supposed to be gullable or rich; and So-and-So, who allowed himself to be dressed as a woman, and nearly injured his spine by an exaggerated imitation of the wriggling walk of a true Masriyeh, may be assured that the adventure was known beforehand in his hotel, and known all over Cairo the next day. The heroine was merely the commonplace foil of the too-celebrated Stamboolina. Egyptian women certainly are, according to all accounts, licentious and prone to intrigue, and many of them have had affairs with Franks even during the month of Ramadhan. But if a person's taste lead him to these equivocal adventures, he must qualify himself by a very long residence in the country, and not merely don the national costume, but learn how to wear it-no easy matter; and, moreover, acquire a considerable knowledge of Arabic. As there is nothing, however, very interesting to observe in the manners of this class of women, with whom it is only possible to have stolen interviews of short duration, there is no compensating advantage for the risk.
Cairo, its streets and architecture, its sentinels and watchmen, its police stories, its Ramadhan, durwishes, riding over human beings, and return from Mekka, have little to do with “village life,” and, familiarised as they have been to us even by panoramas, may well be passed over, as may also one or two chapters descriptive of adventurous visits to the interior as well as the exterior of the Pyramids.
Our author's defence of the much-abused and well-beaten boatmen of the Nile does honour to his head and heart alike. A slight knowledge of Arabic, he justly remarks, has always been found a substitute for the kurbash, with which brutal natives too often indulge their slave-driving propensities. The boatman is an inoffensive, willing, pious being, who will do anything with kind treatment. So also of the kind of reception the author says he has generally met with in the country. Goodhumoured civility everywhere ; very little impertinent curiosity; often a disposition to serve. * If a fallâh observes you alone with a gun, he
almost always wishes you success in your sport; and will sometimes point out good places where wild pigeons feed, or ducks float in retired ponds hid by forests of dhurra or flowering beans.” At Itman, he describes a party of five children calling to him that there were plenty of birds in a large walled garden belonging to one Sid Muhammad, and following him most perseveringly wherever he went, offering advice and assistance. One little rascal, about six years old, gravely smoked a pipe, and gave himself airs of importance. Some of the girls were pretty enough, and verging on the marriageable age. The whole bevy chattered mightily, and left a pleasanter impression than, he says, fallâh children generally do. The fact is, as elsewhere stated, that as nothing is more rare than respectable-looking old age among fallâha women, who shrivel early into hags, neither is there any beautiful childhood of either sex; and it is really wonderful that the miserable pot-bellied creatures, covered with dirt, and sores, and flies, which crawl about the dunghills of the villages (in the Delta), should grow up into fine hearty young men and charming maidens. In another place, Mr. Bayle St. John says: “ Along every path that converged to the town, in bands, or one by one, the peasants were coming home from the fields, and saluted us cheerfully as they passed with. Salamat, ya khawajah !-(a word often incorrectly written howadjee)— Salutation, O gentleman !"" Again, at the defiles of Assûan, our traveller relates: “ The women, many of delicately-formed features, came to us, holding little sable brats in their arms, and with a sweet smile asked for Bakshish-a kind of black-mail under a pleasing form, which we were not so churlish as to refuse. Children that could walk, ran along by our sides, holding out their hands, and crying, Inshallah taruh bi salamah! • If it please God, may you go in peace! One small chap, being at first disappointed, repeated the cry at least twenty times; and when we pushed ahead unheeding, as a trial of his temper, dropped behind, but, instead of pursuing us with curses, as many a disappointed sturdy beggar or trained boy-mendicant does in Europe, kept faintly murmuring the kindly wish — Inshallah taruh bi salamah !?”
Such pretty little bits of nature may well excuse us following our traveller to those oft-described places, Siyut, Thebes, Philä, Hajar Silsilis, Adfû, Karnak, Denderah, and the other “curiosities” of the Nile ; or in his strange charges against Lepsius, the learned Prussian archæologist ; and, among others, of his having actually forged a cartouche on the breast of a statue in the front court of the great temple of Karnak! It may be worth mentioning, however, that guided by an Arab of Al Hammam, “the bath or hot springs," and whose name was the same as that of the sultan (which Mr. B. St. John correctly writes Abd al Mahjid), our traveller was led to some hitherto unexplored ruins, a little distance south of Hajjar Silsilis, and on the west bank of the river. Discoveries of this kind, but of minor importance, appear to have been pretty frequent with so leisurely, so desultory, so thoroughly a good traveller. It is to be regretted, however, that he omitted to visit Al Birkah, described to him as a great inland ruined city. . · Mr. Bayle St. John justly remarks, that the chief incidents on which almost all Oriental stories hinge, though filled with admirable touches, are so indelicate, that it is impossible to give even an account of them. Hence