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affair of the Beys; but it was too late the Viceroy would listen to nothing.
The Mamelukes, attacked by the Turks, had driven them back, with great loss, as far as Gyzeh. As soon, however, as the Bevs learned that the English were again endeavouring to open fresh negociations in their favour, they retired, signifying to the Osmanlies, that, whilst there was any hope of an amicable arrangement, they would commit no more hostilities. When, however, they found that all negociation had ceased, they returned again to the attack.
Sometimes conquerors, sometimes vanquished, and utterly disabled from repairing the losses they sustained, these brave men at length found themselves obliged to give way before forces constantly renewed, and each day becoming more numerous, and to retire to Upper Egypt, from whence the small number of those who escaped the sword took refuge in Nubia; where they continue to wander to this day, objects of the pity, rather than the fear, of their ferocious enemies. My poor friend Selim, whom I sincerely regretted, was amongst the number of those who fell.
The orders for our departure, which we were in daily expectation of receiving, did not arrive sufficiently early for my wishes; and, as my affairs required my presence in England, I resolved to ask leave to precede the army in my return, which I had the good fortune to obtain.
I was then going to quit for ever the classic land of Egypt, so celebrated in the annals of history, and now so fallen. I left under the yoke of barbarians, the soil which the recollections of former times have rendered so illustrious; whose monuments, the imperishable evidences of its glory, delight and astonish the traveller after a duration of forty centuries, and will continue to strike succeeding generations with equal wonder and admiration. Involuntarily occupied with melancholy reflections on the decay of human grandeur, to which the surrounding objects gave rise, I could not refrain from asking myself, if our old Europe, so proud of its civilisation, was one day destined to offer a sad and new example of those political revolutions which shake empires and nations even to their very foundations, and efface them from the book of life, to leave nothing behind them but a vain and empty name. I asked myself if a time would come, in which, on the spot now occupied by so many flourishing cities, the traveller, astonished to meet with nothing but ruins, would seek in vain to recognise them; if the same eye, afflicted by the melancholy sight of barren wastes, where formerly were seated Memphis and Palmyra, would no longer meet, under other latitudes, but with similar remains of a similar grandeur.
On the eve of quitting Egypt for ever, where I had now passed fifteen months, I experienced deep regret, not at leaving it, but at the idea of abandoning it to the government of a people so little calculated to raise it from its fallen state, and to place it in the rank it ought to hold amongst nations.
In a country, where the sword constitutes the only form of government, where the will of a single man disposes of the fate of all the others, where the wants and complaints of the subjects remain unredressed,-in such a country industry must necessarily disappear, and civilisation cease to make any progress. It is in vain that the fertile plains of the Nile are every year covered with the richest harvests: those who have cultivated them derive no profit from these gifts of the earth; greedy collectors take possession of them all in the name of the prince, who is by birth proprietor of the soil, which he uses according to his will.
To support, for any length of time, such a state of things, it is easy to imagine how greatly the despot must be interested in keeping the people in ignorance, which is his only security for their submission. If one idea of justice, or right of property, should come to enlighten them; if the laborious fellah who sows, should also determine to reap, and where he to become sensible of the advantages of legal rights, from that moment the master would no longer be enabled to seize on those sources which swell his riches, and the reign of the despot would be at an end.
It is difficult, no doubt, to assign a period at which such a change in the morals of a people, whom a long state of slavery has rendered almost insensible to their yoke, is likely to take place; but it is by no means an impossible occurrence, and many other causes may contribute to effect it. What a spontaneous, sudden, and unforeseen movement has done in the fields of Greece, a similar impulse may accomplish in the plains of the Nile; and who can say where the ruin which seems to threaten the empire of the Crescent may end?
Whatever may happen, the Egypt of the present day is no longer the same as that of which the melancholy aspect, at the commencement of this century, has so often distressed my sight. It is not that the form of its Government has changed; the scimitar is still the only code by which it is ruled; but, at least, it is no longer in sanguinary hands, and, if it is again unsheathed, it will only be to strike guilty heads.
God forbid, however, that I should brand with this name the unhappy Greeks, who have fallen the victims of Egyptian policy; subservient to the policy of the Divan, I speak here only of the conduct of the Pasha, in the domestic exercise of his power. But, if the country is still destitute of institutions, the exalted views of
the man who governs it in a great measure make up for this deficiency, and his administration will be found, on an impartial view, to merit great praise. A regular and well-disciplined army raised, a navy created, public establishments founded, manufactures established, Cleopatra's canal rebuilt, a commercial intercourse entered into with all nations, protection granted to European travellers, the limits of the territory extended beyond the tenth degree of latitude: all these benefits have been conferred on Egypt, by the present Viceroy, and give him a just title to celebrity and honour.
European philanthropists may call him barbarous and impious, for taking up arms against Christian Greece, which aspires to independence; but they do not consider, that, in his double character of Musulman and Turk, the war which Mohammed-Aly wages against the Greeks, who have revolted against Islamism and the Porte, may appear doubly sacred in his eyes, even supposing that he is not compelled by his political situation to adopt this course.
Humanity must, no doubt, grieve for the effusion of noble blood, which at this moment inundates the soil of Greece. The recollections attached to this land of genius, the noble cause which she defends, every thing combines to insure her our sympathy; but the commiseration which she excites ought not, therefore, to prejudice, and make us blind to the merits of their enemies.
Towards the middle of September, a favourable occasion presenting itself for my sailing, I at length embarked for England, where I arrived in perfect safety, having touched at Malta and Gibraltar on my passage.
As in those climes, where, on the mountain's steep,
You may behold the sun-lit vales below,
Rise vividly before us-and it seems
But yesterday since those bright noon-day dreams
Sweeps onward thus, until the busy strife
ISABEL DE MENDEZ.
A SHORT distance from one of the chief towns in Colombia, I remember to have seen, some three or four years ago, a romantic little cottage, which displayed a portion of its thatched front through the stately trees that adorned the paradisiacal spot whereon it stood, and which was then occupied by an elderly couple of the name of Mendez, whose native village is a good hour's ride from Toledo, in Spain. A desire to accumulate riches drew this once joyous pair from the enviable luxury of a rural life, and the halcyon days of blissful enjoyment, to the remote regions of the New World.
When these worthy folks embarked for the scene of imagined wealth and happiness, they were accompanied by their accomplished daughter, the beautiful Isabel, whose sylph-like form and fascinating, yet artless, manners, rendered her an object of universal adoration. Her dark expressive eyes were of unequalled beauty; and tresses of the most luxuriant auburn hung in playful ringlets about her elegantly shaped neck; and her cheeks were of a celestial rosy red, love's proper hue.'
There went passenger in the same vessel a young ensign, by name Diego Ruèz, who was proceeding with his regiment to reduce to obedience the revolted colonists of Spanish India. The youthful Diego was struck with amazement when he beheld the transcendant beauties of the charming Isabel; but, when he listened to the silvery tones of her enchanting voice, and dwelt, with raptures, on the bewitching sweetness of her guileless deportment, his young heart felt a pang it had never known till then. He unhesitatingly professed himself the sincere admirer of the fair Isabel, and solicited the honour of her hand, to which her kind parents readily assented, after mature deliberation, and not without the consent of the generous Isabel herself, whose affections he had won by his manly comport.
About one month subsequent to this interesting moment, the vessel reached her destination; and Don Francisco Villareal, commandant of the garrison, and uncle to the youthful lover, came on board to welcome his nephew to New Spain, who embraced his relative, and introduced him to the object of his solicitude.
The worthy commandant received his intended niece with the warmth and affection of a parent, and expressed himself in the handsomest terms, delighted with the lovely girl, but strongly urged a postponement of the happy nuptials, until Diego had attained a higher rank in his honourable profession, which he was apprehensive the weighty cares of conjugal felicity might, in one so young, tend to retard; and which the worthy commandant was at much pains
to explain. Isabel saw the cruel necessity of yielding to the dictates of her dear Diego's monitor, and cheerfully submitted to sentiments emanating from a mind matured by prudence and discretion. A few short weeks after the landing of these happy voyagers, the regiment to which Diego was attached received orders to join the main body of the royalists. This distressing intelligence terrified the tender Isabel; but she sighed in secret, and strove to combat the feelings which assailed her troubled breast, with a meritorious magnanimity; yet she was distracted at the thought of parting so suddenly from her affianced lord, and the dangers he would have to encounter preyed heavily upon her spirits.
The dreaded moment of separation came, and the youthful lovers met to bid each other an affectionate adieu. Diego,' said the lovely girl, as her brilliant eyes were for a moment dimmed by a suffusion of heartfelt tears, which imparted an inexpressible melancholy to her angelic countenance, 'you are going to leave me, perhaps for ever! Do not go, my dearest Diego,-pray do not go, my love!'' Be not so distressed,' replied the confident youth; 'I leave you but for a time-to return to thy arms deserving such wonderful goodness. I go to conquer, not to die! I go, my Isabel, to achieve a name worthy thy love. Thy image is indelibly engraven on my heart; and, when I think of thee, thou loveliest of thy sex! the horrors of war will nerve my willing arm, and make a very hero of thy unalterable and ever fond Diego. Come, come, my dearest, best beloved Isabel, be not so distressed!' Much more the lovers whispered ere they embraced again, and bade each other a fond farewell.
During a period of three years, the youthful Diego made a rapid advancement in his profession, and acquitted himself on all occasions with honour to his own reputation as well as to his country. About this period a letter was received from the colonel of Diego's regiment, addressed to the father of Isabel, whose affectionate heart was overjoyed when she saw the well-known messenger present the long-expected pacquet. Bless me, Pedro,' exclaimed the lovely girl, you appear sad; are you fatigued, Pedro?' continued the unsuspecting Isabel, and begged that he would retire and refresh himself.
She fondly and eagerly watched the eyes of her father as they were fixed upon the seal: he broke the fastening-and an involuntary sigh escaped him. My dear father,' said the generous girl, when she saw the colour forsake her parent's cheeks, as he perused the fatal paper, 'what, in the name of the Holy Virgin, is the matter, Sir? Oh! my Diego, my dear Diego, is killed! The old man pressed his beloved child to his perturbed breast, whilst a tear of sympathy moistened his aged eye. There, read, my dear girl, for I cannot speak it! * *The lost Isabel received the ominous writing with a trembling hand, and cast her beautiful eyes