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desperate efforts to cast off the yoke which they aided in placing on their own necks. The fierce, untamed tribes who inhabit the inaccessible fastnesses. of Mount Lebanon are also a source of serious annoyance; and their inroads, invited and encouraged by the general discontent which prevails in the country, require, for their repression, the constant presence of a large military force. Candia is in some respects similarly circumstanced; and being only as it were provisionally occupied, is consequently another source of weakness. The revenue raised in the island is insufficient to defray the current expenses of the government, and to pay the Egyptian troops necessary for its protection. Far from being a source of profit to the Viceroy, Candia obliges him to expend, in maintaining his authority, part of the taxes levied from the oppressed people of Egypt; and whilst its possession is calculated to excite the jealousy of the Greeks, a large force would, in the event of another war with Turkey, be necessary for its defence. In short, with Syria in a state of chronic insurrection on the one hand, and Candia draining his finances, and neutralizing a portion of troops, on the other, the Viceroy, from the dissemination of his force alone, independently of all other causes, is placed in so critical a situation, that all his sagacity and firmness will be requisite to effect his extrication. His ambition has greatly outrun his prudence, and even endangered the stability of his power, which time alone can consolidate. Of this, indeed, he seems to have become fully aware, and he is now shaping his policy accordingly.
In the mean while, it is above all things his interest to remain at peace with the Sultan, his nominal master; and we also agree with Captain Scott in thinking that it is also the interest of Great Britain to increase the power of Egypt by every possible means.' The policy of attempting to keep Egypt in a state of dependence upon Turkey, would, if pursued, serve only to advance the designs of Russia. It is as an independent power alone, and not as a feudatory or dependent state, that the resources created in that country can be rendered available, to their full extent, for sustaining the Sultan, in any new contest with Russia, and cooperating in the general system of repression which it is most clearly for the interest of the powers of Europe, particularly Great Britain, to pursue in reference to Russia. At present, therefore, with a view to the preservation of some balance of power in the East, it ought to be a main object, not only to prevent any collision between Egypt and Turkey, but to strengthen the former by every means, to assist her in extricating herself from her present embarrassments, and even to encourage her to extend her frontier beyond Syria, until it reaches the Tigris, and
abuts upon the mountains of Armenia. It is only by following such a line of policy that effectual protection can be extended to Turkey, and means provided for giving a decided check to any further encroachments on the part of Russia. The real interests of the Sultan and of Mohammed Ali, when rightly understood, are not adverse but identical. He cannot lessen the power the Porte without in a great degree endangering his own; he cannot cripple Turkey without advancing the interests of that power, which is manifestly waiting the favourable moment for the developement of its long cherished designs, and, if successful in its first and grand effort, would inevitably crush him in his turn. Of this the Viceroy, judging from his conduct, appears to have been all along fully aware. This accounts for the extreme moderation he evinced when, after the victory of Konieh, he found Russia so ready to profit by his success, in offering her Sinonic aid to the Porte; his eyes were then opened to the real character of that insidious policy which, blending audacity with intrigue, the most plausible professions with the most selfish and deep-laid designs, misses no chance, no occasion, no opportunity which promises an advantage; and there can be little doubt that his present critical situation, pregnant with hazards as well as difficulties, has not tended to diminish the strength of the conviction then produced upon his mind. Mean while Russia, true to her purposes, and ever watchful to promote them, has sent an envoy to the Viceroy's court to observe his proceedings. This power at least fully understands the importance of his position, and appreciates, at their true value, those circumstances which appear to escape the notice of other nations.
But, with a view to the objects here pointed at, some persons have thought that the possession of the island of Candia has become necessary to this country; not only as an outpost whence to watch the operations of the enemy, but also as a central rendezvous for an army, in the event of a war in the East. To Mohammed Ali this island is worse than useless; and Captain Scott is of opinion that he would willingly barter away the unprofitable distinction of possessing such a dependency for any advantage, however trifling, if he could do so with honour. He knows that the mutual jealousy of the European Powers placed this island as a kind of deposit in his hands; he feels the burden of maintaining it, whilst Syria still remains unsettled and unsubdued; and he is sensible of the impossibility of maintaining it for any length of time, excepting at sacrifices which, in his estimation, must far outweigh any benefits he can possibly derive from its possession. Besides, the bulk of the population consists of Greeks, who have an ineradicable aversion to any
Mahommedan government; they were from the first exasperated by the severities exercised against them; and this feeling has deepened into the most implacable hatred, in consequence of the stupid ferocity of the Viceroy's drunken admiral, Osman Pasha, who chose to carry into effect instructions given him, upon the supposition that the island was in a state of insurrection, some time after the disturbances had been suppressed by the governor, and terms granted to the insurgents. The whole odium of this act of treachery fell, naturally enough, upon Mahommed Ali, and gave a deathblow to all confidence in his government. Explanations were offered, but in vain. The barbarity of the Moslem drunkard ruined all; and Mohammed Ali knows well enough that the very first indication of an attack from without would be the signal for a general insurrection within.
On the other hand, the advantages offered to Great Britain by the acquisition of Candia, would, according to the same authorities, be of the very greatest importance. It is so situated that from it the whole of the Levant, and particularly the entrance to the Dardanelles might be constantly watched; whilst the Bay of Suda, on the northern coast of Africa, forms a harbour unrivalled in the Mediterranean; and which, if Captain Scott's opinion is well founded, might be rendered as strong as either Port Mahon or La Valetta. The island,' says he, 'is capacious enough to 'contain a force of sufficient strength to be of service in the event of an armed intervention being necessary; and it would not, like most of the present possessions of Great Britain in the Mediterranean, be dependent upon other countries for its supplies.' The expense attendant upon its occupation would no doubt be heavy, in the first instance, owing to the dilapidated condition of the fortified points, harbours, roads, and other works; but the fertility of the soil, which Captain Scott describes as altogether extraordinary, would, under proper management, soon repay expenditure; and this country, having acquired such a possession, might in that case save the expense she incurs by 'pro*tecting' five of the seven islands composing that useless appendage the Ionian Republic. Nor would she improve her own position only by the acquisition of Candia; she would at the same time strengthen Egypt, by relieving that power of a burdensome possession, and allowing it to direct its undivided attention to Syria, on which alone its energies should be concentrated.
The surest way to avoid a war is to be prepared to meet it. If our preponderance in the East be worth preserving, the proper means should be employed to maintain it; and of these by far the most important appear to be the occupation of Candia,
and the decided support of Egypt in establishing her power in Syria. What is the actual position of Russia? The boundaries of that power may now be considered as advanced to the Dardanelles, and even to Cape Matapan; for the kingdom of Greece, if suffered to exist, will always act in obedience to the dictates of the Court of St Petersburg. Russia, it is well known, regards the Dardanelles as 'the key of her own house,' and her hand is already extended to grasp it; she, in fact, clutches at it, and, unless prevented, will soon seize it, without ceremony. The Emperor Alexander, in the conferences at Tilsit and Erfurth, let out the real views of his Cabinet to Napoleon; he thought he had found an ally who would willingly give up Turkey as the price of his friendship; and, in this conviction, he laid aside all reserve. He was mistaken in his calculation; but subsequent events have shown how truly he indicated the true aim of his policy. The Russian system never changes. It is the same now as when Alexander sought in vain to render Napoleon an accomplice in the dismemberment of Turkey. Is it not then incumbent on Great Britain to take up a position, where she may be at hand to frustrate the daring projects of that unscrupulous power, and to protect those interests, the support of which is as essential to the maintenance of our own preponderance and power as to the preservation of Turkey, and the maintenance of tranquillity in Europe? Malta,' says Captain Scott, is no longer sufficiently near the Levant to protect our trade, ' and give timely support to Greece, Syria, and Egypt, in case of need; particularly, keeping in view the change that 'will be effected in naval warfare by the application of 'steam. The same may be said of all the Ionian Islands, except Cerigo, which, however, does not possess a port that could contain a collier, much less shelter a fleet.—(Rambles, vol. ii. p. 348.) Russia looks far before her, and also on either side. Possessed of Constantinople and commanding the Dardanelles, she would not only be in a situation to establish her supremacy in the Mediterranean, but would, in effect, be more than half way in her contemplated progress to the Indus and the Punjab.
We cannot conclude without apprising our readers that we have not been able to devote any part of our space to those parts of Mr Lane's work which treat of Domestic Life, the Common Usages of Society, Language, Literature and Science, Superstitions, Magic, Astrology, Alchemy, Amusements, Music, Public Recitations of Romances, Festivals, Private Festivities, Death and Funeral Rites, and several other matters; all of which are the more instructive as they contain a record of manners and customs, which, under the influence of the changes at present in operation in Egypt, are likely soon to disappear.
To those, however, who take an interest in examining the details of Oriental life, and comparing them with such as are exhibited under different and more advanced forms of social existence, this work presents a mine of curious information which none can explore without advantage; and we may add, that the author's descriptions are materially illustrated by the numerous woodcuts interspersed throughout his book.
On one subject only do we wish that this assiduous and patient observer had given us more ample details; we mean, in respect to the Coptic portion of the population of Egypt. This singular race, who are unquestionably, to a certain extent, the descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the country, and in whose language have been preserved, intermixed with other elements, the remains of that original idiom which prevailed in Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs, have acquired a peculiar importance, in the estimation of European scholars, from the insight which has latterly been obtained into the ancient history and literature of Egypt; and we therefore regret that Mr Lane did not direct more of his attention to an examination of their actual condition and manners. The exemption which they enjoy from military service is itself an immunity which sufficiently attests their superiority to the rest of the native population; and shows that the Pasha considers them as better qualified to serve him in other departments. They are still distinguished by the generic term of writers; but, according to Captain Scott, their numbers, as well as their influence, are very much reduced. Under the Mamlukes and the Turks, they occupied nearly all the inferior offices connected with the collection of the revenue; being the only portion of the population that possessed any degree of instruction. At present their occupations are considerably more varied than formerly; and they appear, upon the whole, to have been depressed by those innovations which must eventually prove so beneficial to their country. They profess Christianity, which, however, has been completely overlaid with superstitions of various kinds; insomuch that all which bears the name in Egypt is but the sightless and hideous mummy of a Christian church. Still they are a singular people, and as their lineage gives them an interest to Egyptian scholars, so their language has latterly acquired a peculiar importance from the cause already alluded to. We trust, therefore, that future travellers will devote a portion of their attention to a matter in regard to which nearly all of them have been equally. incurious;-we mean the collection of Coptic manuscripts. A small document of this kind, especially if it happened to be a lexicon-and it is known that at least one such work exists-would be worth a thousand camel-loads of modern descriptions.