Page images

and he must record the reasons of his measures where they may exist a difference of opinion.

The means of judging of his conduct are thus secured to the home authorities, and he knows we will be ultimately responsible to them.

A Lieutenant-Governor appointed by, and only removeable by the Court, would be unrestrained in his actions, either by the knowledge of his immediate responsibility or the necessity of previous deliberation.

He would exercise great power without any of the moral restrictions which the policy of the Legislature has hitherto placed upon it in India.

The Governor-General in Council might indeed divest him of power which he might have abused, but upon the first abuse there would be no restraint ; and under what circumstances of disparagement would our Government be exhibited, if one of its highest officers should for the long period of time required for communication with England, remain divested of power, but enjoying all the emoluments and all the honours of an independent appointment 2

It may be doubted whether the Legislature, which has so recently constituted the Government of Agra, would be prepared at once to sanction its abolition ; but it is not unreasonable to expect that, on having placed before it the great differences of opinion which appear to exist between persons of the highest authority as to the extent of power which should be entrusted to the new Presidency, and on taking into consideration the heavy additional charge which would be brought upon the embarrassed finances of India by the creation at the present moment of members of council for the Government of Agra, and of all the establishments which appertain to a presidency, it may be willing to entrust to the Court, under the control of the Crown, the power of suspending the execution of such provisions of the late Act as relate to the division of the Presidency of Bengal.

If this were done, the Governor-General in Council has already the requisite power of naming a Licutenant-Governor, for the Upper Provinces, and of delegating to that officer such a measure of authority as he may from time to time deem expedient, without the further

aid of Parliament.
I am, &c.


[ocr errors]

[we have been favored with the perusal of the accompanying notes from a journal of an overland trip through Egypt, conveyed in a private letter, and which we are permitted to make public as containing much useful information relative to travelling in that country.]

After a tedious passage of 50 days from Bombay, I landed at Cosseir on the 28th April; hired a house for a few days, to make preparations for crossing the Desert; hired a Bedowin to assist my servant in cooking and general purposes at 3 drs. to Keneh or 5 to Alexandria; engaged 10 camels with their owners at 13 krus each, they finding their own water and provisions. These Bedowins will assist in pitching the bechoba or tents, for which they expect a present—“bucksheesh.” I purchased a few fowls, charcoal and fuel for four days' cooking, some white porous goglets and flour for hoppers or cakes. Horses and asses are to be hired, 20 drs, for the latter to Keneh. These animals (like all money transactions) are very cheap. If ladies or children are in the party, avoid travelling in a thubrir, a kind of krate to be lashed across the back of the camel. It is 4 feet by 23, but lots of bedding, pillows did not keep my bones from the violent double motion of the animal. If a tooktarowan, a large wooden palankeen or box, is not to be had, one may be sent for from Keneh. On the 1st of May I started; but as the heat of the day was intense, I only travelled at night : the route as follows:–

lst May 6 P. M. started at 11 p. M. halted at Bir English (wells).. 13 hours 12 miles

2d , 5 ditto , ,, 6 A. M. , Briggs' well............ 13 ditto 26 ditto. 3d , 6 ditto , ,, 2 A. M. ,, on a plane. . . . . . . . . . . . 8 ditto 16 ditto. 4th , 6 A. M. , ,, 1 p. M. , ditto. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 ditto 14 ditto. » , 6 P. M. ,, ,, 1 A. M. ,, at Egheiba wells.“. . . . . . 7 ditto 14 ditto. 5th , 7 A. M. , , ,, 4 P. M. ,, at Biremba Village...... 9 ditto 18 ditto. 6th 6 A. M. ., at Kenneh . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 ditto 8 ditto.

[ocr errors]

53 ditto 108 ditto,

Caution.—When engaging the camels, let the owners understand they are to halt and start at what hour your please, and that they must carry plenty of water for the voyage.

Always on your own riding animal, have with you goglets of water, a commodity much required in so dry an atmosphere. The thermometer was from 64 to 110 in the tents, generally not higher than 100.

The line of road for 20 miles, hard sand and stones among low isolated hills. After Passing this distance from Cosseir, you enter between two low perpendicular mountains. This defile is long and narrow, not wider than from 200 yards to 3 of a mile, and the sides of the rocks are slatey, crumbling between the fingers. They resemble the butt-ends of large timbers that have petrified after being burnt. Amongst the hills on the first day's march, I found rocksalt and asbestos. The hills are composed of black rock, slate, quartz, and greenstone. I did not observe any agate, so common in Egypt, nor chrystals. The water at Brigg's wells is to be had in small quantities, sufficient for a party and may be used for cooking. Four hours from hence we arrived at a pool of water (good) oozing through the rocks. Here were several dry water courses formed by the heavy rains which occasionally fall all over Egypt and the Desert. At this place, called Hammamet, on the side of the mountain, are some hieroglyphics, cut and chalked out, 49 miles from Cosseir; from hence we descended towards the plain through which the Nile flows. The rise from the sea was gradual and the wells appeared to be on the most elevated part. Before reaching Engheiba you quit the narrow pass of the mountains, and for the first time travel over soft sand. The country is hilly. Here is a dilapidated caravanserai. Near all the wells you are likely to meet with wandering Bedowins under wretched shelter of tattered mats, and coarse woollen blankets: their garments are old, in rags, full of dirt and vermin. Occasionally milk and eggs are to be purchased from them. Within a mile of Birenba, the land is flat and cultivated, which reaches to the Nile. The sand mounds and deserts form a well-defined line with the cultivated land. Keneh is a decent market town, and of some importance, being the thoroughfare for Egyptians, and western African pilgrims to and from Mecca. Said Hassain, the English Agent by firman, is civil and attentive, but like all his countrymen (Arabs in Egypt) and the Bedowins, a great beggar. Before I had been under his roof six hours, he attacked me for my bechoba, and some gunpowder. The first consideration on reaching Keneh, is to go to a hummum. Although from the crowd you meet at it, it is unsightly and repulsive to delicate feeling, the ablution is not on that account to be despised, as it is a real luxury, being a relief to the pains and stiffness in the joints after a tedious journey. At this place hire your canjah; the one I engaged was 54 feet by 10, with two cabins—low. My agreement was to visit Luxor and the ruins on the banks of the river to Cairo, for which I paid 25 drs. She was manned by a rais and 10 oars. It is well to make a written agreement. When settled let your servants superintend the boat being sunk under water for a few hours, then raised and cleaned out; afterwards let lots of boiling water be soused over the poop and cabin decks to destroy the bugs, otherwise these insects are enough to drive a person out of his senses. It is well here to remark that the Arabs on shore and afloat lie with as little compunction of conscience as Sir John Fallstaff, when making a bargain, and will laugh at any person's credulity in believing their word. They, like the Bedowins of the Desert, are constantly teasing for bucksheesh, which on all occasions must be disregarded. If you are disposed to indulge them, they are easily satisfied with a few paras, #4 oth part of a dollar. This small coin it is useful to have in your pocket. Keneh is famous for its manufactory of porous water-jarof all sizes. Here purchase a good supply; let 2 or 4 be large ; perforate a whole in the bottom of one, in which insert a piece of spunge, over the spunge place a quantity of clear sand, through this filter the Nile water into the lower jars for drinking and cooking. These jars are easily secured outside the fore bulkhead of the cabin. Lay in your supplies of flour, coffee, butter, and vegetables, for you cannot always depend on replenishing your wants at the towns or villages on the river. If the traveller intends visiting these, let him proceed first to Luxor; its temple is a few yards from the river. This will occupy one day to examine the ruins. From hence on the long-eared nags ride to Carnac, 4 miles distant. Let the boat drop down the river to be in readiness to convey him across to Gourma. Carmac ruins are the most extensive and magnificent in the world. When curiosity is satisfied, leave for the tombs of the kings on the western side. These excavations are more wonderful than the Pyramids of Giza. To reach them on donkeys, the visiter rides over broken pieces of agate, rock and pebbles, between two narrow mountains, gradually ascending. They are situated four or five miles from the river. Be careful to have plenty of water and refreshments with you, so as to pass the whole day in examining the largest opened by Belzoni. Nos. 7, 9, 11, 14, are the best. At all the temples and ruins, lots of candles or flambeaus are required. 4 or 5 miles south of the tombs on the plain, are the statues of Memnon and temple of Medinet Aboo. Between the tombs and the boat are some munmy pits inhabited by Arabs. The entrance to the tombs and pits are over rubbish and hollows dug by the searchers after antiquities. Thirteen miles from Carnac, on the same side of the river, is Kous, where there is a Propylon and more ruins ; 8 miles from hence is ancient Coptos: 8 miles further on is Keneh. Opposite this town, northern side, are the splendid ruins of Tentyra, 3 miles inland. This temple is considered the most perfect in Egypt, and is worth the trouble of visiting. 24 miles off Keneh, on the western shore, is Haon, near which town are the ruins of Diospolis Parva. On the opposite side of the river is Kasres Said–more ruins. At Haon I could not procure any refreshments or even milk. 3 miles further on is Farshout, formerly a place of importance. 30 miles from Haon is Girgah, with 7 minarets, a coptic village, and church ; it is a large town falling fast into decay; bazar well supplied, and some public baths. On the hills on the opposite side of the river is one of the many c optic monasteries to be found in this country. Near Girgah are the ruins of Abydos. 10 miles from hence is Meusyah, a small village, the scite of Ptolomais Hermii. 8 miles further on is the Town of Ekmoun. On the eastern bank are the ruins of a large temple of Pannuth with Greek inscriptions.

* Leghetta by the Bedowins,

Scite of Che Msis.-Here is a poor bazar. I purchased a few inferior apples—all fruit and good vegetables, excepting cucumbers, were out of season. Gave my boat's crew a present of a sheep to entourage them to work hard at the oars; they more delight in facetious songs, antic ribaldry and fun, than work. 9 miles from Ekmoun, eastern side, is the mountain of Shaik Erady, perpendicular: the friction of the water at its base forms cavities which give forth echoes to the songs and hollos of the people in the boats: half way up are excavations, some containing hiero:lyphics, which induces antiquarians to suppose then to be the places of interment of the ancient Egyptians. In the early age of Christianity they were the residence of Monks and Anchorites. Fifteen miles from Ekmoun, I past the large town of Talibat on the western shore; here a brisk trade is carried on. 7 miles further is the village of Tenah. At both places are ruins; and opposite the latteris Gamel-kebr, on the eastern bank, where there are ruins of a temple and portico. Seventeen miles from Tenah is Siout, on the western bank, the capital of Upper Egypt. The banks here were 20 feet steep. This city is two miles inland and has 8 mosques, and a palace belonging to Ibraham Pasha, more like a country house for a gentleman. Among the hills are crocodile-mummy-pits and ruins of temples. This city is worth visiting: a good market at 3 P. M. The land is irrigated and banked, with bridges to admit the water from field to field Poppies, tobacoo, and plenty of vegetables are cultiwated here. 20 miles further on is the small town of \lanfalout, on the western side. On the eastern mountain is a coptic monastery. Near Manfalout, close to the water, are many caves. The eastern mountains continue to form the boundary of the river : its quarries supply excellent line and stone for building. A few miles further on is the mountain of El Harabee, famous for its innumerable excavations, extending many miles along the face of the steep declivities. It is so steep in some places that it is surprising they could be the residence of man, who must have derived his support from the charity of boat people passing up and down the river. These caves are of mean appearance, not more than four feet entrance.

« PreviousContinue »