DONGOLA AND SENNAAR,
COMMAND OF HIS EXCELLENCE ISMAEL PASHA,
UNDERTAKEN BY ORDER OF
HIS HIGHNESS MEHEMMED ALI PASHA, VICEROY OF EGYPT.
BY AN AMERICAN IN THE SERVICE OF THE VICEROY.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET. 1822.
London: Printed by C. Roworth, Bell Yard Temple Bar
HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S
CONSUL GENERAL IN EGYPT,
HENRY SALT, ESQ.
MY FATHERLY FRIEND IN A FOREIGN LAND, THIS WORK IS DEDICATED, WITH AFFECTIONATE RESPECT, BY
AND RECOMMENDED TO THE KIND CARE AND PATRONAGE OF
JOHN WILLIAM BANKES, ESQ.
BY HIS OBLIGED FRIEND AND SERVANT,
By George Bethune English, General of Artillery in the U.S. Service
MEHEMMED ALI PASHA, the victorious pacificator of Egypt and Arabia, is already renowned in the civilized world. Egypt, once the home of discord and the headquarters of anarchy, under his administration has long enjoyed peace and prosperity; is permeable in all directions, and in perfect safety to the merchant and the traveler, and is yearly progressing in wealth and improvement.
The Viceroy has been particularly attentive to revive and extend those commercial relations of Egypt with the surrounding countries, which once rendered it the richest and most flourishing territory in the ancient world.
A well chosen library of the best European books on the art military, geography, astronomy, medicine, history, belles-lettres and the fine arts has been purchased from Europe by the Viceroy and placed in the palace of Ismael Pasha, where is also a school, at the Viceroy's expense, for the instruction of the Mussulman youth in the Italian language and the sciences of the Franks. To which establishments has been lately added a printing press, for printing books in the Turkish, Arabic and Persian languages, and a weekly newspaper in Arabic and Italian. The library and the press are under the superintendence of Osman Noureddin Effendi, a young Turk of great good sense, and who is well versed in the literature of Europe, where he has resided for several years, by order of the Viceroy, for his education: he is at present engaged in translating into Turkish some works on tactics, for the use of his countrymen.
For several years past the inland commerce of this favored land had suffered great interruptions from the confusion and discord to which the countries on the Upper Nile have been a prey. The chiefs of Shageia had formed themselves into a singular aristocracy of brigands, and pillaged all the provinces and caravans within their reach, without mercy and without restraint; while the civil wars, which have distracted the once powerful kingdom of Sennaar for these last eighteen years, had occasioned an almost entire cessation of a commerce, from which Egypt had derived great advantages.
His Highness the Viceroy, in consequence, determined, as the most effectual means of putting an end to these disorders, to subject those countries to his dominion.
Four thousand troops were accordingly put under the command of Ismael Pasha, the youngest son of the Viceroy, with orders to conquer all the provinces on the Nile, from the Second Cataract to Sennaar inclusive.
Through the influence of the recommendation of Henry Salt, Esq., His Britannic Majesty's Consul General in Egypt, I was ordered by the Viceroy to accompany this expedition, with the rank of Topgi Bashi, i.e. a chief of artillery, and with directions to propose such plans of operation to the Pasha Ismael as I should deem expedient, but which the Pasha might adopt or reject as he should think proper.
This expedition has been perfectly successful; and the conquest of the extensive and fertile countries, which, in the reign of Candace, repulsed the formidable legions of Rome, has been effected at an expense not greater than the blood of about two hundred soldiers.
The principal cause of a success so extraordinary, at such a price, has been the humanity and good faith of the Pasha Ismael towards those provinces that submitted without fighting. Perfect security of person and property was assured to the peaceable, and severe examples were made of those few of the soldiery, who, in a very few instances, presumed to violate it. The good consequences of this deportment toward the people of these countries have been evident. All have seen that those who have preferred peace before war have had peace without war, and that those who preferred war before peace have not had peace but at the price of ruin.
The destruction or disarmament of the brigands, who have heretofore pillaged those countries with impunity—the establishment of order and tranquility—the security now assured to the peasants and the caravans—and the annexment of so many fine provinces and kingdoms to the sway of the Viceroy of Egypt, are not the only consequences of this expedition that will give him glory.
This expedition has laid open to the researches of the geographer and the antiquarian a river and a country highly interesting, and hitherto imperfectly known to the civilized world. The Nile, on whose banks we have marched for so many hundred miles, is the most famous river in the world, for the uncertainty of its source and the obscurity of its course. At present this obscurity ceases to exist, and before the return of the Pasha Ismael this uncertainty will probably be no more. The countries we have traversed are renowned in history and poetry as the land of ancient and famous nations, which have established and overthrown mighty empires, and have originated the religions, the learning, the arts, and the civilization of nations long since extinct; and who have been preceded by their instructors in the common road which every thing human must travel.
This famous land of Cush and Saba, at present overawed by the camps of the Osmanii, has presented to our observation many memorials of the power and splendor of its ancient masters. The remains of cities once populous—ruined temples once magnificent—colossal statues of idols once adored, but now prostrated by the strong arms of time and truth—and more than a hundred pyramids, which entomb the bodies of kings and conquerors once mighty, but whose memory has perished, have suspended for awhile the march of our troops—have attracted the notice of the Franks, who voyage with the army with the favor and the protection of the Pasha, and which doubtless ere long, by engaging the attention and researches of men of learning, will unite the names of Mehemmed Ali and Ismael his son with the history and monuments of this once famous and long secluded land, in a manner that will make the memory of both renowned and inseparable.
That the further progress of the Pasha Ismael southward of his present position will be successful, there is every reason to believe; and I derive great pleasure from the reflection, that his success will still further augment the glory of the man whom the Sultan delights to honor, and who has done so much for the honor of the Mussulmans.
The Reader will find that I have sometimes, in the course of this Journal, included the events of several days in the form of narrative, particularly in my account of the Second Cataract. Wherever I have so done, it has been occasioned by paroxysms of a severe ophthalmia, which afflicted me for fifteen months, and rendered me at times incapable of writing.
&c. &c. &c.
I arrived at the camp at Wady Haifa on the Second Cataract, on the 16th of the moon Zilhadge, in the year of the Hegira 3255, where I found about four thousand troops, consisting of Turkish cavalry, infantry and artillery, and a considerable proportion of Bedouin cavalry and Mogrebin foot soldiers, besides about one hundred and twenty large boats loaded with provisions and ammunition, and destined to follow the march of the army to the upper countries of the Nile.
17th of Zilhadge. Presented myself to his Excellency the Pasha Ismael, by whom I was received in a very nattering manner, and presented with a suit of his own habiliments.
On my asking his Excellency if he had any orders for me, he replied, that he was at present solely occupied in expediting the loading and forwarding the boats carrying the provisions of the army, but that when that was finished he would send for me to receive his commands.
I employed this interval in noticing the assemblage that composed the army. The chiefs and soldiers I found well disposed to do their duty, through attachment to their young commander and through fear of Mehemmed Ali. They were alert to execute what orders they received, and very busy in smoking their pipes when they had nothing else to do.
On the 19th I was sent for by the Pasha, with whom I remained in private audience for an hour.
On the 21st of the moon Zilhadge was attacked by that distressing malady the ophthalmia. In two days the progress of the disorder was such that my eyes were closed up and incapable of supporting the light, and occasioned me such acute anguish that I could get no sleep but by the effect of laudanum. This misfortune at this crisis was peculiarly vexatious and mortifying for me, as it put it out of my power to accompany the Pasha, who departed with the army for Dongola on the 26th, taking his route on the west bank of the river, and leaving the Divan Effendi and a small party of soldiers to expedite the loading and forwarding the boats that had not as yet got ready to proceed up the Cataract.
On the 3d of Mofiarram, A. H. 1236, I embarked on board the boat of the Frank surgeons attached to the army, and left the lower or north end of the Second Cataract as it is commonly styled in the maps, in company with fifteen boats to follow and rejoin the army.
I would here observe that what is called the Second Cataract is properly a succession of partial falls and swift rapids for more than a hundred miles before we arrived at Succoot. I counted nine; some of them, particularly the second, fifth, seventh, and ninth, very dangerous to pass, though at this time the Nile had fallen but a few feet. Before we arrived at the fifth, two boats were wrecked against the rocks which crowd the rapids, and one filled and sunk; and before we had passed the ninth several similar accidents had taken place. To pass the fifth and ninth rapids, it was necessary to employ about a hundred men to drag the boats one after another against the current. At the fifth pass, several of the boats were damaged, and two soldiers and two boatmen drowned. At this pass, the river is interrupted by a ledge of rocks reaching nearly across, and over which the Nile falls. Between this ledge of rocks and the western shore of the river is a practicable passage, wide enough to admit a boat to be hauled up the current, which here runs furiously. Overlooking this passage are two hills, one on the east and one on the west side of the river: on these hills are the ruins of ancient fortifications. They are also surmounted by two small temples in the Egyptian style: that on the west side is almost perfect. It is sculptured exteriorly and interiorly with figures and hieroglyphics, and the ceiling is painted azure.
The appearance of the country on each side of the falls is similar to that of the country south of Assuan—a sandy desert studded with rocky hills and mountains, The only appearance of vegetation observable was in some of the islands and on the immediate banks of the river, where we met at every mile or two with small spots of fertile ground, some of them cultivated and inhabited. The rocky hills consist frequently of beautiful black granite, of the color and brilliancy of the best sea-coal. Here and there, at different points on the Cataract, I observed some forts built by the natives of the country. They are constructed of unhewn stones cemented with mud, and flanked by towers and angular projections something resembling bastions, and are pierced with loopholes for musquetry. Their interior presents the following appearance:—against the interior side of the walls all round are built low chambers, communicating by small doors with the area and frequently with each other. I could observe nothing in these chambers except the bottom part of the small handmills used by the Orientals to grind meal, which could not be hastily removed as they were fixed in the ground; every thing else the inhabitants had carried off on the approach of the army. The great area in the centre of these forts appeared to have been occupied by the camels and flocks of the inhabitants; some of these forts are to be seen surmounting the high rocky islands with which the Second Cataract abounds, and make a picturesque appearance.
On the 2d of the moon Safa, we passed what our Rais erroneously told us was the last rapid between us and Succoot. We have been thirty days in getting thus far, the causes of our having been so long in getting up the Falls were several. The crews of the boats which had passed unhurt a dangerous passage were frequently detained to unload and repair those which had been wrecked or damaged.—We have been detained at the entrances of these rapids frequently for several days, for want of a sufficient wind, it being absolutely necessary that the wind should be very strong to enable the boats to force themselves through currents running between the rocks with dreadful rapidity; and more than once the boatmen have hesitated to attempt a dangerous pass till obliged by the presence and menaces of the Divan Effendi who accompanied the boats.
On the 3d of Safa, about an hour after we had passed what our Rais told us was the last rapid of consequence we should have to encounter, we saw the wreck of a boat lying against a rock in the middle of the river, her masts alone appearing out of the water. The river here is interrupted by several high insulated rocks. We had been assured that we should now find the river open and without difficulty, till we should come to Succoot; the appearance of this boat seemed to contradict this representation, and in about an hour after we had abundant reason to be satisfied that it was false. I was congratulating myself that we had got into smooth water, and indulging myself with a tranquil pipe of tobacco, when suddenly the wind slackened just as we were passing between two ledges of rocks where the river was running at the rate of about six knots an hour. The current overpowered the effort of the sails, and carried the boat directly among the reefs, near the west bank of the river. After remaining for about ten minutes in a very perilous position, the skill of our Rais happily got the boat to shore without injury.
3d of Safa. We remained all night at the place where we landed; in the morning got under sail to pass the strong current we had attempted yesterday without success. After buffeting about for an hour we were forced to return to the bank of the river, and await a stronger wind. In about an hour after the wind freshened and we got under way with better fortune, and after passing the current before mentioned found ourselves in smooth water. After sailing for an hour we stopped for ten minutes at a place where we saw sheep, in order to purchase some, having for the last twenty days been obliged to live on bread, rice, and lentils. Succeeded in purchasing two lambs. The banks of the river hereabouts present some fertile spots, a few of them cultivated. About noon the wind fell and the Rais put to shore; we immediately set our domestics about preparing the purchased meat, and shortly after we sat down to this regale, which appeared to me the most delicious meal I had eaten for many years. Remained here for the remainder of the day.
4th of Safa. Continued in the same place, there not being sufficient wind to ascend the river. About two hours after noon arrived an Arab from above; he was on his way to the Divan Effendi, who was a few miles below us, to inform him that a boat, of which he had been one of the crew, had been dashed to pieces against the rocks in attempting to pass a rapid. I demanded of him "how many rapids there were yet ahead;" he replied "that there were several; how many he did not exactly know." This intelligence made me apprehensive that we might be another month in getting through these obstacles, and determined me to renew my efforts to obtain camels and proceed to the Pasha by land. I had made several attempts to hire some for this purpose, during the last fifteen days, without success. The man above mentioned informed me that I could probably obtain some at a village about six hours off. I determined to send my servants on the morrow to inquire.
5th of Safa. Passed the night at the same place; early in, the morning a favorable breeze sprung up and the Rais got the boat under sail. Was obliged, in consequence, to proceed in the boat as long as the wind held. Observed as we proceeded a number of fertile spots, some of them cultivated, and a few small villages. I was informed that these will become more frequent as we proceed. During this day, with a favorable wind, made only about twelve miles against the current.
6th of Safa. Got under way about two hours after sunrise, with a strong breeze from the northward. About half an hour after quitting the land, passed a dangerous rapid, occasioned by a. reef of rocks reaching nearly across the river. In passing this rapid the wind slackened for half a minute, and the current carried the boat astern to within six or seven feet of the rocks; at this critical instant the wind happily freshened, and forced the boat up the current, to the great relief of all on board. An hour after, passed a picturesque spot, where the river is divided by a high rocky island, supporting on its summit some ruined fortifications made by the natives; on the right bank of the river, just opposite, is a fertile spot of ground and a village, surrounded by date trees and plantations.
Our Rais put to land about noon, the wind falling, and rocks and rapids of formidable appearance being right ahead. We have made about eight miles to-day. Saw about two miles above us a number of boats lying to the shore, apparently obstructed by the rapid just mentioned. About the middle of the afternoon, in walking along the shore, saw a crocodile; it was small, about three feet in length. When I came upon him, he was sunning himself on the shore; on seeing me, he ran with great rapidity and plunged into the river.
7th of Safa. Got under way about two hours after sunrise, to pass the rocks and rapids already mentioned. The passage was dangerous, and the boat thrice in imminent peril. We struck once on rocks under water, where the current was running probably at the rate of six knots an hour.
The current, after about ten minutes, swept the boat off without having received a hole in her bottom, otherwise we must probably have perished. Shortly after we were jammed between a great shallow whirlpool and a large boat on our starboard beam. This boat was dashed by the current against ours, and menaced to shove her into the whirlpool. The long lateen yards of the two boats got entangled, and I was prepared to leap into the other boat, in anticipation of the destruction of ours, when the wind freshened, and the large boat was enabled to get clear of ours. Not long after, the same boat fell aboard of us the second time, in a place where, if our boat had drifted twice her length to leeward or astern, she must have run upon rocks. All these accidents befell us, having under our eyes, at no great distance from us, the wreck of a boat lost in this passage three or four days ago. After being for about two hours in danger, the boat arrived at the west bank of the river, where we found many more waiting a sufficient wind to be enabled to clear the remainder of the rapid, which runs very strong here.
Stayed for a wind at this place two days. On the 10th of Safa, the boat happily passed the remainder of the rapid, when the wind calmed, and the Rais put to shore, there being yet a strong current to surmount. Opposite to the place where we were, at about half a mile from the shore, a boat had stuck fast upon some rocks this morning, all attempts to get her off had proved unsuccessful, and she remained in that position, with all her company on board, till next morning.
11th of Safa. Quitted the shore about an hour after sunrise, with a fine northerly wind. Passed the boat just mentioned, whose people looked very forlorn. Some small boats were then on the way to unload this boat, should it be found impossible to disengage her. Proceeded on our way, and passed a number of small but pretty islands, lying near the west bank of the river. They are cultivated and inhabited by a considerable population. The country on the borders of the river begins to assume a better appearance—the territory of Succoot, which we were now entering, containing many villages. Beyond the green banks of the river, all is yellow desert, spotted with brown rocky mountains, which, however, appeared to decrease in number and height as we advanced up the river, till the country subsided into a plain, with a few isolated mountains of singular forms and picturesque appearance here and there in view. About two hours after mid-day we arrived at a place where the river is embarrassed by small rocks and shoals, except a narrow pass on the western side. We found the current here too strong to be surmounted by the aid of what wind we had, and therefore put to shore on a very fine island on our left. We passed the remainder of the day here with satisfaction. This island is about a mile and a half in length, naturally beautiful, and well cultivated by about fifty or sixty inhabitants, who seemed to be well contented with their situation. We saw here three men of about twenty-five years of age, who had been circumcised but five days past, a thing I had never before known to have occurred to the children of Mussulmans.
12th of Safa. At an early hour, quitted the shore with a strong northerly wind, to pass the current which had stopped us yesterday. This day's sail was the most agreeable of any we had enjoyed since we left Egypt, the river, since we had passed the rapids of Dall, (where the second cataract of the Nile properly commences,) having become as broad as in Egypt, and now flowing tranquilly through a country equally fertile, and much more picturesque than the finest parts of Said. The eastern bank of the river, particularly, presented a continual succession of villages, and fine soil crowded with trees, and all cultivated. Passed, during the day, some fine and large islands, also occupied by numerous villages. We stopped at night at one of these islands, by whose beautiful borders we had been sailing with great pleasure for more than four hours, with a stiff breeze. We were in formed by the inhabitants, that this island was a day's walk in breadth. They said, that, as we advanced, we should find others as large and larger. Their island, they told us, was called Syee. They appeared to be well satisfied with their condition, having an abundance of every thing absolutely needful for a comfortable subsistence, and decent clothing of their own manufacture. What surprised me not a little, was to find the people as white as the Arabs of Lower Egypt, whereas the inhabitants of Nubia are quite black, though their features are not those of the Negro.
I have observed, that the country through which we passed to-day, was as fertile and much more picturesque than the Said. The reason for the latter part of this assertion is, that in the Said the view is limited by the ridges of barren and calcined mountains that bound it on both sides, whereas here the view ranges over plains bounded only by the horizon, and interspersed here and there with isolated mountains of most singular forms. Some of them might be mistaken for pyramids, they are so regular and well defined; some resembled lofty cones, and others resembled lofty square or pentagonal redoubts. One of the latter description lies upon the eastern bank of the river, and could easily be made an impregnable fortress, which could command all water communication between Egypt and Dongola. The scenes of verdure and cultivation through which we had passed today, removed all suspicions from my mind as to what had been reported to me of the great difference between Nubia and the country beyond it.
All the villages we have passed to-day, have in their centre a fort or castle, fortified with towers at the corners, and, judging from those we visited, resembling in their interior those on the cataract already described. The village, consisting of low huts, built of mud, is built round the walls of the fort, which is intended to serve as a place of retreat and defense for the inhabitants and their flocks, in case of alarm or attack. They are governed in the manner of the families of the patriarchs, the Sheck of the village being both judge and captain. Saw at this island a small skiff, the first boat belonging to the inhabitants of the country that I have seen since quitting Wady Halfa.
12th of Safa, Parted from the land about an hour after sunrise and proceeded on our voyage, which was, if possible, still more agreeable than that of yesterday. On the east bank of the river, the eye rests on a continued succession of villages, occupying land of the finest quality, and lying under a continued forest of palm trees, larger and taller, in my opinion, than those growing in Egypt. On the right we saw, as we passed, a chain of beautiful islands, some of them large and presenting the same spectacle as the east bank. It is certainly a beautiful country. The river from Assuan has only about half the breadth that it has in Egypt. In this country it is as broad, and in many places, on account of the large islands it here contains, very much broader than it is in Egypt. We stopped at night at one of these fine islands, whose breadth being but about two miles, enabled us to have a view of the west bank of the river, which presented the same succession of villages and cultivation as on the oriental side. I have already observed, that the date trees of this country were larger and taller than those in Egypt. We found a similar difference in the animals of this country; I purchased a sucking lamb, which was certainly as big as an Egyptian sheep of a year's growth. The cattle of this country differ from those of Egypt, in bearing, as to form, a resemblance to the buffalo. They have a rising on the shoulder, and a similar form of the hips. They are also larger than the cows of Egypt.
14th of Safa. The wind did not spring up this morning till a late hour, and after continuing for about an hour and a half, fell calm. We put to shore on the western bank of the river, where we passed the remainder of the day and the night. The country continued fine and crowded with villages. At this place, some of the boat's company attempted to shoot a hippopotamus, who had shown himself several times during the day. They succeeded only in slightly wounding him, after which he disappeared. The people of the country say that there are twelve that frequent this place in the river, which contains here some low islands, well adapted to afford them food and concealment.
16th of Safa. Parted from the land about two hours after sunrise, with a strong breeze. After continuing an hour and a half the wind subsided into a calm, which obliged us to make for the shore. We landed on a large island resembling those already mentioned, where we passed the remainder of the day and the night. The country we had passed resembled that below, beautiful, and as fertile as land can be.
16th of Safa. Left the land about an hour after sunrise, and in half an hour passed the southern boundary of the beautiful territory of Succoot, and entered the province of Machass. The country we were now passing is naturally fertile, but has not such a continued succession of villages as Succoot. About three hours after sunrise came in view of the ruins of an ancient temple on the west bank. With some difficulty engaged the Rais to put to shore for a few minutes, to give me an opportunity of visiting it. This temple is manifestly of Egyptian architecture; it is about two hundred feet long from east to west; ten of the columns only are standing; they are composed of separate blocks of a brown stone resembling that employed in the construction of the temples in the isle of Philoe. The walls of this temple are in ruins, except a part of the front which is in a very dilapidated state. The front faces the East; the pillars and the ruins of the walls are sculptured with hieroglyphics. It stands on the west bank of the river about two miles beyond the territory of Succoot. About an hour after leaving this place, the wind falling, our Rais was obliged to put to shore. We soon arrived at the western bank of the river, the Nile being in this place not a mile broad. The remainder of the day being calm, we staid here till next morning. Several of the Pasha's Cavalry passed along the west bank of the river yesterday and to-day, bearing repeated orders from Dongola to the commanders of the boats to hasten their progress.
17th of Safa. At an early hour started with a favorable wind, but in about two hours were obliged to put to shore. The river hereabouts makes several turns almost at right angles with each other. This circumstance brought the wind directly ahead in one of the bends and obliged us to remain there till next morning. The country we saw to-day is not equal to the territory of Succoot; the date trees, the villages, and the cultivation are not so continued; and the view from the river is bounded at a little distance from its banks by low rocky hills. Saw to-day a singular mode of navigating the river; a man, who apparently was traveling down the river with his whole family, had placed his youngest wife and her two young children on a small raft made of bundles of corn-stalks lashed together, he himself swam by its side to guide it, while he kept his old wife a swimming and pushing it by the stern, and in this way they proceeded down the river.
I have seen in this country small rafts made to carry one person, which are very well contrived. Three or four large empty gourds are fastened firmly to a small oblong frame made out of the branches of the date tree, the whole not weighing two pounds. A man may go safely down or across the river on this, either by fastening it to his breast and swimming supported by it, or by riding on it astride; and when on shore he can carry it with ease either in his hand or on his shoulder.
18th of Safa, In the morning found that the wind had changed a little in our favor, got under way, but after sailing for about two hours the winding of the river again brought it ahead. Put to shore and staid there till the middle of the afternoon, when the wind again hauled a little in our favor, and with some difficulty we got to windward of the shore and proceeded up the river. The river here is about half a mile broad, and makes several turns which somewhat retarded our progress. We observed some rocks and shoals, and on arriving at a place where the river is divided by a large rocky island, observed a boat aground, which had taken the right hand passage which was the broadest, and two others turning back to take the passage on the other side of this island. We followed their example, and found the passage safe enough. A little beyond the upper end of this island the river makes an acute angle to the right hand. We proceeded onwards till sunset, when we put to shore in company with two other boats. The country we have passed through to-day resembled that we saw yesterday, inferior to the fine territory of Succoot.
19th of Safa, Left the land an hour and a half after sunrise, with a fine breeze from the north. Sailed for about an hour through a country where the rocky hills come down here and there close to the river banks and narrowed the usual breadth of the Nile considerably. Observed however in this tract of country a few fine and cultivated islands. Shortly after the river widened, the rocky hills retired at a distance, and the eye rested with pleasure on a beautiful country cultivated by the inhabitants of a continued succession of villages and castles which occupied both banks of the river. The country resembled the province of Succoot, except that the date trees were not so numerous nor so tall and large. Passed the ruins of a considerable fortified town situated on a high hill on the west bank. A little beyond this place saw the ruins of a temple; four of the columns are yet standing; could not go ashore to examine it, as the wind was fair and strong, and the Rais under positive orders to proceed with all expedition. Observed that several of the castles we had passed yesterday and to-day appeared newer and better constructed for defense than those we had seen along the Cataract. I suspect that they were erected under the direction of the exiled Mamalukes, as this tract forms a part of the territory subject to them before the arrival of the Pasha Ismael. Continued to advance, through a country very beautiful, the river here embosoming several large and delightful islands, capable of being made, by the hands of enlightened industry, every thing that the art of man operating upon a fine soil under a soft climate could effect. We sailed pleasantly by these charming shores and islands till an hour and a half before sunset, when we came in view of a rapid ahead, and the wreck of a boat lost in passing it. The Rais put to shore, and after taking on board a native of the country to show him the passage through the rocks and shallows, attempted to pass immediately; the effort was unsuccessful. After remaining in the foaming passage for three quarters of an hour, we found that the wind was not strong enough to force the boat through the current, and as the sun was about setting and the wind falling, the Rais was obliged to let the boat drift back to the shore from whence we had departed.
18th of Safa. At about two hours after sunrise, the Rais thought the wind sufficiently favorable and strong to carry the boat through the rapid. We quitted the shore, and again faced the current. The Rais this time was not mistaken; our boat forced her way slowly but victoriously through the torrent, and in about three quarters of an hour carried us safely into smooth water, where we could draw every advantage from a fine wind, which swept us rapidly up the river between shores fertile and cultivated by the inhabitants of a continued succession of villages shaded by palm trees. About an hour after we had passed the rapid, we stopped to receive on board three of our company who had left the boat yesterday in search of fresh provisions on the western bank of the river. They reported that they had seen a large pond of fresh water inland, and had found the country for seven miles from the river crowded with villages, and as fertile as possible. They represented that this country was watered by two ranges of water-wheels; one range on the bank of the river, which threw the water of the Nile into small canals leading to reservoirs inland, from whence the other range took it up and distributed it to this fine territory. About noon we passed, on the east bank, two very high, large and isolated rocks of irregular and picturesque forms. On the side of the southernmost were the remains of a considerable fortified town. The country hereabouts is very beautiful. About three o'clock we passed another rapid, which was not however very difficult. Found the river beyond this place much narrowed and impeded by rocks. Passed two more rapids, the first of little consequence, but the latter somewhat dangerous. In this last rapid saw two boys sitting on a raft made of cornstalks lashed together, and driving down the current. They appeared to be much at their ease, and not at all alarmed at the rapid, though the current frequently whirled their fragile raft round and round as it rushed past us. Soon after passing this rapid the sun set, and we put to shore to pass the night.
19th of Safa. About two hours after sunrise we left the shore with a fair and fresh breeze. The river here is broad, and the country on both banks fertile and peopled. After about an hour's sail we came up with some beautiful islands, one of them very large and among the finest we had seen. The islands above the Second Cataract are probably the most beautiful spots watered by the Nile, which rarely over flows them. They are the most populous and best cultivated parts of this country. Half an hour after we came up with the large island, the wind became squally, and the boat could not make safe progress. Our rais therefore put to shore, as did those of five other boats in company with ours. We remained here for the rest of the day.
20th of Safa. In the morning, left the laud with the wind almost ahead. After sailing about three miles, the rais found it necessary to put to shore, as the wind was strong and too much ahead. Stayed by the land till nearly noon, when the wind appearing to me and others on board, more favorable, we, after some hard words with the rais, persuaded him to get under way, the wind being about the same as in the morning, and very strong. In about an hour we arrived at a bend in the river, which enabled us to bring the wind aft.
We proceeded with great rapidity, threading the rocks and shoals with which the river here abounds, till we came in view of a rapid ahead. We had been informed, two days ago, that there was a dangerous rapid between us and Dongola, and we congratulated ourselves that the wind was fair and strong to push us through it; we passed it happily, though not without peril. We felicitated ourselves on having cleared the only obstacle, as we supposed, between us and the place of our destination, when we came in view of another, of a more formidable appearance than any we had yet seen. The passage lay where the river rolled furiously over rocks under water, and between shores there was no approaching, on account of the shoals and rocks above and under water which lined them. The strong wind forced our boat alongside of another that was struggling and reeling in the passage, to the imminent danger of both. To clear this boat, our rais ventured to pass ours over a place where the foam and fury of the water indicated latent rocks. We hardly dared to breathe, but we did not strike here, but half a minute after we were fast upon a sand bank. We stayed in this condition for about a quarter of an hour, having in view close by us the wreck of a boat lost here. With considerable difficulty our boat was disengaged, when we put her before the wind and again faced this truly infernal pass. By the force of the current, the boat neared a large and furious whirlpool, formed by an eddy on the side of the passage. The steersman endeavored, in vain, to counteract this drift of the boat by the aid of the rudder. The side of the boat approached to within a yard of the white foam which covered this dreadful spot. Our rais tore his turban from his head, and lifted his clasped hands to Heaven, exclaiming, "We are lost!" The rest of the boatmen were screaming to God and the prophet for aid, when, I know not how, but by the good Providence that watched over us, the boat cleared this peril, and others that beset us in passing yet two more rapids almost as dangerous. On passing the last, we found the river divided lengthways, by a ridge of rocks and low islands covered with verdure. On the right or west side of this ridge, where we were, the view ahead presented our side of the river crowded with rocks, which we could not pass. The singular ridge already mentioned, presented, however, some gaps, which afforded passages into that part of the river that was on the other side of this ridge. We passed through what appeared to us the safest of these gaps, and soon after found ourselves in smooth but shallow water: the river hereabouts being not less than five or six miles broad, and spotted with rocks and little green islands and ridges. Soon after, a boat ahead grounded, and stuck fast for some time: about five minutes after, our boat received a violent shock from a rock under water. The rais put the boat under her foresail only, in order that in case she struck, it might be with as little force as possible. Shortly after, it being about an hour before sunset, the rais put to shore to inquire of the people of the country as to the condition of the river ahead.
The country we saw this day, on both sides of the river, is a level plain; only one hill was visible. The shores, and many of the islands we passed to-day, were such as we should have contemplated with greater pleasure, if we could have employed our eyes and thoughts upon any thing beside the perils by which we were environed. They are fertile, verdant, and in many places truly picturesque.
We put to shore this day, as said before, about an hour before sunset. When we disembarked, we found ourselves upon a large and beautiful island, almost covered with trees of various kinds. The view from this island ranges over an immense green plain, bounded only by the horizon, and presents a great river winding in several branches through islands and shores composed of as fine a soil as any in the world, and covered with trees, among which the date tree bore a small proportion. Dongola, we were told, was but a few hours distant from this place.
21st of Safa. At sunrise, quitted the land and proceeded up the river, which we found very wide and shallow. Its middle was occupied by an almost continual range of islands, in my opinion without superior in any river whatever. The country bounding the river is a beautiful plain, as far as the eye can reach, as fertile as land can be, and covered with a great variety of trees, plants, and fields of corn. We sailed on with a fair wind till within half an hour of sunset, without coming in sight of Dongola. This, after the information we had received yesterday, somewhat disappointed us, but we consoled ourselves by observing the islands and shores we were passing, comparable to which, in point of luxuriant fertility, Egypt itself cannot show. The whole country is absolutely overwhelmed with the products of the very rich soil of which it consists.
22d of Safa. Quitted the land at an early hour and proceeded up the river, in hourly expectation of coming in view of Dongola, which we had been given to understand was a considerable town. After sailing with a good wind till the middle of the afternoon, without seeing any thing but a very fertile country, resembling that we passed yesterday, the people on shore, on our landing and demanding whereabouts Dongola was, informed us that we were in Dongola, meaning the country so called. On our asking where was the city or town of Dongola, they pointed to a large village in the distance on the west bank of the river, and told us that village was called "New Dongola," and that Old Dongola was farther up the river. They informed us that the Pasha had left a guard of twenty-four soldiers here, and had proceeded with the army three days' march farther up the river, where we should find him. We determined to proceed to his encampment. We saw to-day, for the first time, a small sail boat, constructed by the people of the country; it was very clumsy, resembling a log canoe. The river, in some places which we passed to-day, appeared to be about three miles from bank to bank, but shallow; the islands and shores presenting the same spectacle of luxuriant vegetation that we saw yesterday.
We bought a lamb of three weeks old, this evening, whose mother was as tall as a calf of two months old. This species of sheep is hairy, and has no wool. The kidneys of this lamb were large enough to cover the palm of my hand, though the animal was undoubtedly undiseased.
23d of Safa. Got under way shortly after sunrise, and proceeded up the river with a fine wind, which lasted during the day, and carried us probably thirty miles on our way. The country through which we passed to-day is not so good as that we saw yesterday; the desert comes down to the banks of the river in several places. We saw many villages, but for the last two days have observed none of those castles so frequent in the lower country. About an hour and a half after we quitted the land, passed a fortified town on the west bank of the river, which appeared to be mostly in ruins. On our landing, at night, we endeavored to purchase some provisions, but the people of the country could only spare us some milk and vegetables, for which they would not take money, but demanded flour. On our consenting to this proposition, they brought us an abundance of the articles above mentioned. They informed us that there was a town called Dongola, containing about three hundred houses, at the distance of two days' sail from this place, and that the Pasha was encamped three days' march in advance of Dongola.
24th of Safa. Left the shore this morning shortly after sunrise, and proceeded on our voyage. The country we passed through this day was, on the west bank of the river, fine, but on the east bank the desert was visible at a little distance from the river almost all the day. Passed two considerable fortified towns, situated on the left bank of the river; they were almost in ruins. An hour before sunset we put to shore on the west bank, where we found a fertile and cultivated country. The people who occupied it, said that they had settled here a year ago; the island they had occupied before having been overflowed by the river, and their plantations destroyed.
25th of Safa. This day made but little progress, there having been a calm for more than half the day; what country we saw resembled that passed yesterday.
26th of Safa. Remained fast by the shore for the whole of this day, the wind being ahead. The country on the west bank of the river, where we stopped, is fine, but deserted by the inhabitants. Some of the boat's company, who went up the country in search of provisions, reported that they had seen the ruins of a temple, containing fragments of columns of black granite. I determined, in case the wind on the morrow should continue unfavorable, to visit this place. They also had met a party of fifteen armed men, who informed them that they belonged to this country, but had been compelled to quit it, and fly, by the brigands of Shageia, who had infested and ravaged the country, but had returned on hearing that the Pasha Ismael had defeated and expelled these robbers, and had invited every fugitive peasant to return home, giving them assurance of future safety and protection. We were alarmed this evening by the report of several musket shot, which appeared to come from the other side of the river, where, we had been told, still lurked some of the brigands. Prepared our arms to be ready in case of attack, but passed the night unmolested.
27th of Safa. Early in the morning, quitted the shore with a fair wind, and proceeded on our voyage; Dongola being, we were told, but half a day's distance from us. The appearance of the country still the same.
28th of Safa. Made but little way today, the wind being light. About the middle of the afternoon, put to shore on the east bank of the river, as there appeared to be no villages in sight on the other shore, and we were in want of provisions. The country we saw to-day is very good, and covered with trees, but sparely inhabited.
The country where we landed was, however, tolerably well cultivated by the inhabitants of several villages hereabouts. The soil, where it was not cultivated, was completely covered with trees, generally of no great height, and with bushes and long rank grass. The habitations of many of the inhabitants could with difficulty be found; they are frequently nothing but a rough arbor formed in the thickets. We had continual reason to be surprised, that a country naturally so rich should be so thinly populated and so carelessly cultivated. The people, however, appeared to be content with raising enough for their subsistence, and to desire nothing beyond this. Our money they did not value; they would give us nothing for money, but the flour of Egypt readily obtained what they could spare.
29th of Safa. At sunrise left the land with a fair and strong wind, and proceeded up the river with rapidity. In about two hours passed what appeared to be the ruins of a large fortified city, situated on a commanding eminence on the east bank of the river. Shortly after, put to shore on the west bank of the river, the wind having increased to a gale, and the east side towards the city, just mentioned, being inaccessible on account of the shoals that lined it. The violence of the wind forced the boat aground upon a shallow, at the entrance of a canal here, the only one I had seen for a month. After toiling for an hour, the boatmen at length succeeded in getting the boat water-borne. About an hour after noon the wind abated and the boat proceeded on her way under her foresail only. We went at a great rate till an hour before sunset, when we put to shore on the east bank of the river. The people informed us that we had passed Dongola, and, from their description of that place, we were convinced that the city we had seen this morning, upon the eminence on the east bank of the river, must have been the place we were bound to. The people said that all the boats that preceded us had followed the march of the army of the Pasha, who was encamped, they reported, at two days' distance from this place. We therefore determined to proceed to join him, and not to return to Dongola, where it was probable we should only receive directions to proceed to the Pasha. The country we saw to-day was not so uniformly fertile as that we have passed for several days past. Sand was in some places visible.
1st of Rebi. Made great way to-day, the wind being very strong till sunset. We landed at evening on a large and fertile island which was well cultivated. I observed here, at a considerable distance from the place where we landed, a large and lofty column, situated, as I then supposed, on the main land, on the eastern bank of the river. The country we passed to-day, for about ten miles on the eastern bank of the river, is mostly covered by sand; that on the western bank is beautiful. During the whole of the afternoon, however, the country we passed, on both banks, can be surpassed by none in the world for fertility; the appearance of numerous water-wheels and large plantations of durra and cotton, showed us that this fine territory was improved by a considerable population. The face of the country continues still the same, an immense and fertile plain, bounded by the horizon and intersected by the windings of the river Nile. We have seen no considerable eminence for many days, except that on which stands the old city of Dongola, which we passed yesterday; it is a fine military position.
2d of Rebi. The wind to-day was right ahead, owing to the curious fact that the river here makes an eccentric bend to the left, toward the north-east, and presents itself as coming from that quarter instead of from the south or south-west, as usual hitherto. The Rais attempted to advance by cordelling the boat; but the force of the wind and current prevented the boatmen from gaining more than two or three miles along the coast of the island, where we landed yesterday. We were therefore obliged to pass a great part of this day and all night by the shore. The island is about twenty miles long and very beautiful; it is called, as I have been repeatedly informed, "Argo."
3d of Rebi. We were obliged still to continue fast by the shore till noon, when the wind abating, the boat advanced about two miles by the help of the cordel, so far as to arrive at a small bend in the river, which brought the wind a little in our favor, so as to pass by its aid to the other side, in the hope, if the wind continued the same on the morrow, to profit by it and proceed. We arrived a little before sun set, and remained there for the night. We saw this day, while the boat was warping slowly along the left bank of the river, the ruins of a considerable fortified town, built of stone and encompassed by large cemeteries. Some large columns, of a beautiful stone, white intermixed red, are to be seen among the ruins. One of the cemeteries is evidently ancient, as the tombs are covered with hieroglyphics, intermixed with inscriptions. In one of the tombs one of our party found the remains of a mummy.
4th of Rebi. Made but little progress to-day, on account of the irregularity in the river already mentioned, which makes its course hereabouts almost the direct contrary to its natural direction, and brings, in consequence, the prevalent winds ahead. Passed some small, but fine islands, and saw, for the first time for several days, stone mountains in the distance: the shores of the river hereabouts are fertile, but thinly inhabited. Saw several large villages in ruins.
5th of Rebi. The wind and the untoward direction of the river obliged us again to employ the cordel to forward the boat a few miles more on her way. By the middle of the afternoon we had arrived at a place on the left  bank of the river that had been, a few days ago, the scene of a battle between the Pasha and the brigands of Shageia. We found there a strong and well built castle at the farther extremity of a high and long mountain, running nearly at right angles with the river, and which approached to within a few hundred yards of its bank; thus furnishing a fine position to the enemy. The castle was taken by the aid of the Pasha's artillery, and his cavalry rode through and dispersed all who fought outside of it. This castle was astonishingly welt arranged in its interior, and was thereby rendered very comfortable quarters for a considerable garrison. The country, in the vicinity, contains many villages, and was covered with plantations of durra beans and fields of cotton. These villages had been ransacked, and in part destroyed, by the victorious troops, as the inhabitants, instead of coming in to the Pasha, as did the people of the lower countries, had taken up arms and sided with the brigands who lorded it over the country. We learned, however, that they did this much against their will, being compelled thereto by their marauding masters. I was informed today that some English travelers were in one of the boats ahead. I determined, in case the wind should continue unfavorable tomorrow, to walk up the river and pay them a visit.
6th of Rebi. Set out very early in the morning, it being dead calm, and the boat in consequence unable to proceed, except by the cordel, to see the strangers, and to be informed of their accommodations, as I feared that they too were obliged to participate in the privations to which we were all exposed. After about two hours walk at length came up with the boat, on board of which these gentlemen were. They informed me that they had set out from Cairo a few days after we had quitted Bulac. They were suffering privations, as were all in the boats, and I regretted that my being in similar circumstances put it out of my power to ameliorate their situation. As, however, we had now learned to a certainty, that the camp of the Pasha was not far distant, it was in my power to assure them that they would be better off in a day or two. All the way to their boat, and on my return to ours, I observed some hundreds of bodies of men and animals that had perished in the late engagement and during the pursuit, and the stench which filled the air was almost intolerable. The country, covered with an abundance of grain almost matured, was abandoned; the water-wheels stood still, and the cisterns were frequently infected by a bloody and putrefying carcass.
7th of Rebi. Passed the last night on board the boat, near the mountain already mentioned in the day before yesterday's journal. Two Greeks on board of our boat reported last evening, that they had heard menacing cries from the mountain. The people on board of the boat supposed that some of the brigands had returned to their haunt and meditated an attack on our boat by night. We were accordingly on the watch till morning, without, however, being molested. This morning, about two hours after sunrise, these same Greeks reported that they had seen fifteen or sixteen of the robbers in a body, and armed. They also told the Mogrebin soldiers in the other boats, which had now come up with ours, that these men had probably massacred one of the soldiers attached to me and two of my servants, as they had not been seen since morning. I accordingly set out, in company with twenty soldiers, in pursuit of the supposed assassins. We had not proceeded far when we met the persons supposed killed, on their way to our boat, safe and sound. They had seen no armed men, though they came from the direction that the Greeks said the robbers had taken. I therefore returned to the boat, reflecting upon the old proverb, "A Greek and a liar." The Mogrebin soldiers were not, however, convinced of the falsehood of the report, and pursued their way to the mountain; they found no robbers there, but repaid themselves for the trouble they had taken, by taking possession of a young and pretty girl, which they carried to their boat as a lawful prize. After proceeding a few miles by the aid of the cordel, we put to land at sunset, near a village on the left bank of the river. We found here the ruins of a Christian church, built in the style of the lower Greek empire, of which one column, of red granite, of no great height, was standing, (it bore on its chapiter a cross and a star,) and was all that stood on its base; others, fallen and broken, were lying near it. The soldiers found in the villages near us several hundred women and about two hundred men; they were peasants who had taken refuge here during the battle between the brigands and the troops of the Pasha. The soldiers were disposed to treat them as enemies, but they were saved from their fury by showing a paper given them by the Pasha, assuring them of protection. It is the rule to give these papers to every village not hostile, to protect them from the soldiers. We remained here all night. The country of Shageia, possessed by the brigands, was the best cultivated we had seen this side of Assuan; the water-wheels, so far as we have passed their country, being frequently within half a stone's throw of each other. They obliged the peasants to work hard to raise food and forage to ml the magazines of their castles, which are seen here and there all over this country.
8th of Rebi. The wind and the direction of the river continuing the same, we were obliged to advance by the cordel. The country continued fine and well cultivated, and we passed several large and beautiful islands. In walking along the shore, saw at a distance a large castle, lately occupied by the brigands; on visiting it, found it capable of accommodating at least a thousand men. The walls and towers very thick and pierced with loopholes: it had been taken by the aid of the Pasha's artillery, and almost every thing combustible in it had been burned by the troops. A few miles beyond this the boat stopped for the night.
9th of Rebi. Heard this morning at day-light, with great pleasure, the report of three cannon, which indicated the proximity of the camp. We proceeded slowly by the cordel, the river obstinate in maintaining the same untoward direction, and the wind consequently adverse. The country we saw to-day, like that we have passed for the last two days, gave us continual occasion of surprise. It was better cultivated than any part of the countries south of Egypt that we had seen. It was crowded with villages and covered with grain, deserted by its proprietors. In the afternoon, however, the disagreeable impression produced by seeing so fine a country without inhabitants was almost obliterated by the pleasure I felt on being informed that a large number of its cultivators, with their wives and children, were on their return to their fields and houses, provided with an escort from the camp, and a firman from the Pasha Ismael, securing them from outrage, and assuring them of protection. I am sorry to be obliged to say, that the inhabitants of this unfortunate district had great occasion for this protection. The soldiers in the boats were disposed to take liberties with the inhabitants, on the plea of their being the allies of the brigands. This morning, two men belonging to a village in this neighborhood, were severely beaten, and their wives or sisters violated by some soldiers belonging to the boats. This afternoon, a soldier belonging to our boat, accompanied by one of the Greeks already mentioned, and the Frank cook of the Proto Medico went to the same village, without my knowledge, to participate in this licentious amusement. They were somewhat surprised and terribly frightened on their arrival at this village, on finding themselves suddenly surrounded by about two hundred peasants armed with clubs, who fiercely demanded what they wanted, asking them if they had come, as others had before them to-day, to cudgel the men and violate the women, and ordered them to be off immediately to the boats. The luckless fornicators, confounded by this unexpected reception, were heartily glad to be allowed to sneak back to the boat in confusion and terror. On their arrival, and this affair becoming known to me, I abused them with all the eloquence I could muster, first, for their villainy, and then for their cowardice, as they were well armed, and had fled before the face of cudgels. When we stopped at night, we were told that we were about three hours distance from the camp.
10th of Rebi. The river and the wind still obliged us to proceed slowly by the cordel. The country we passed to-day was fine, and had been cultivated with great care, but deserted. The face of the fields was almost covered with the household furniture of the villagers. Straw mats, equal to any sold at Cairo, were abandoned by hundreds on the spots where they had been employed for the night by the troops, when on the pursuit after the brigands who had fled from the last battle. Many of the largest of these mats the soldiers had formed into square huts for the different guards. The abandoned harvests waved solitary in the wind, and the numerous water-wheels were all motionless. We passed several large castles, not many days back garrisoned by fierce marauders, who claimed all around them, or within the reach of their horses' feet, as theirs; and many well built villages, whose inhabitants were the slaves of their will. In one of these deserted castles, we found fragments of vessels of porcelain, basins of marble, chests of polished Indian wood, the pillage probably of some caravan, and a small brass cannon. The walls of the apartments were hung with large and colored straw mats, of fine workmanship, and showed many indications of the pains taken to make them comfortable and convenient. An hour after noon, we met great numbers of men, women, and children, accompanied by their herds and flocks, who were returning to this abandoned country, by the encouragement and under the protection of the Pasha. It was an affecting sight to see almost every one of these unfortunate women carrying her naked and forlorn children either upon her shoulders or in her arms, or leading them by the hand. The pleasure I felt at seeing these proofs of the humanity of the Pasha Ismael was diminished by seeing his safe-conduct disregarded by some of the Mogrebin soldiers, and particularly by the Greek and Frank domestics of the Proto Medico Bosari, who seized from the hands of these miserable creatures as many sheep and goats as they thought they had occasion for. About an hour before sunset, we passed the encampment of Abdin Cacheff, on the right or opposite bank of the river; and at night-fall came in view of that of the Pasha about three miles farther up on the same side. We stopped to pass the night, as the boatmen were too much fatigued to draw the boat any farther to-day.
11th of Rebi. The direction of the river and the wind still the same. Proceeded slowly by the cordel till about two hours after noon, when we arrived at the camp of the Hasnardar on the left bank of the river; that of the Pasha was on the opposite side. Not far from the camp of the Hasnardar, some ruins and several small pyramids attracted my attention. As I could not go to the Pasha before to-morrow, I determined to employ the remainder of the day in a visit to these antiquities, which lay near a large high and isolated rock, about a mile distant from the river. I found before this rock the ruins of a very large temple, which covered a great space of ground. Some columns, almost consumed by time, were standing nearly buried in the rubbish. The bases of others were visible, which, from their position, evidently once supported an avenue of pillars leading to an excavation in the great rock aforementioned, against and joining on to the side of which, that fronted towards the river, this temple appeared to have been constructed. Among the ruins saw two large lions of red granite, one broken, and the other little injured, and a small headless statue, about two feet high, in a sitting posture. On approaching the front of the rock, found it excavated into a small temple, whose interior was sculptured with the usual figures and symbols seen in the temples of ancient Egypt. Its roof, and that of the porch before it, exhibited several traces of the azure with which it had been painted. The porch before this excavation was supported by Caryatid figures, representing huge lions standing nearly erect upon their hinder legs. The ruins before the rock seemed to me to have originally composed a large temple, of which this excavation was the inner sanctuary. The pyramids were close by these ruins. I counted seventeen, some of them in ruins, and others perfect. Those which were uninjured were small, of a height greater than the breadth of the base, which was generally about twenty feet square; the sides resembled steep stairs. They were however compactly and very handsomely constructed of hewn stones, similar to the rock before mentioned, and probably taken from it. Before some of these pyramids, and attached to one of their sides, we found low buildings, resembling small temples, and, judging from the interior of one we found open, intended as such, as the inside of this one was covered with the usual hieroglyphics and figures. It would be a work of little difficulty to open the pyramid to which was attached the little temple I entered, as the figure of a door of stone in the pyramid is to be seen, when inside of the temple, attached to its side. In view from this place, many other pyramids were in view higher up the river, on the opposite bank, one of them large. The people of the country called the place I visited, "Meroe" as likewise the whole territory where these ruins are found. The ruins I have mentioned do not appear ever to have been disturbed. I doubt not that several remains worth research lie concealed under the rubbish, which here covers a great space of ground. No other remains of antiquity are visible in this place besides those I have mentioned. The immediate spot where they stand, and its vicinity backward from the river, is covered by the sand of the Desert, underneath which probably many more lie concealed.
The river Nile has been represented, and I think with justice, as one of the wonders of the world. I do not consider it as meriting this appellation so much on account of its periodical and regular floods, in which respect it is resembled by several other rivers, as on account of another circumstance, in which, so far as I know, it is without a parallel.
The Nile resembles the path of a good man in a wicked and worthless world. It runs through a desert—a dry, barren, hideous desert; on the parts of which adjoining its course it has deposited the richest soil in the world, which it continually waters and nourishes. This soil has been the source of subsistence to several powerful nations who have established and overthrown mighty kingdoms, and have originated the arts, the religion, the learning and the civilization of the greater part of the ancient world. These nations, instructors and pupils, have perished; but the remains of their stupendous labors, the pyramids and the temples of Egypt, Nubia, and in the countries now visited for the first time, at least for many ages, by minds capable of appreciating the peoples who erected them, are more than sufficient to excite astonishment and respect for the nations who founded them. The few in stances that I have mentioned are such as have presented themselves to my notice in sailing up the river, without my having the opportunity to scrutinize them particularly, or time or means to pursue any researches in the vicinity of those I have seen, by which doubtless many more would be discovered. Some future traveler in these interesting and remote regions, who may have the power and the means to traverse at his leisure the banks and islands I have seen and admired, will, I believe, find his labors rewarded by discoveries which will interest the learned, and gratify the curious.
A voyage up the Nile may be considered as presenting an epitome of the moral history of man. We meet at almost every stage with the monuments of his superstition, his tyranny, or his luxury; but with few memorials of his ingenuity directed with a view to real utility. We also every where behold the traces of the vengeance of Almighty Justice upon his crimes. Everywhere on the banks of the ancient river we behold cities, once famous for power and luxury, a desolation, and dry like a wilderness; and temples once famous, and colossal idols once feared, now prostrate and confounded with the dust of their worshippers. "The flocks lie down in the midst thereof: the cormorant and bittern lodge in the temples and palaces. Their voice sings in the windows, and desolation is in the thresholds."
The peoples who now occupy the territories of nations extinct or exterminated have profited neither by their history nor their fate. What was once a land occupied by nations superstitious and sensual is now inhabited by robbers and slaves. The robbers have been expelled or slain, and the oppressed peasant is emancipated by the arms of the nation who avenged the cause of Heaven upon the degenerate Greeks, but who nevertheless have derived neither instruction nor warning from their downfall and subjugation. The Nile meantime, which has seen so many nations and generations rise and disappear, still flows and overflows, to distribute its fertilizing waters to the countries on its borders: like the Good Providence, which seems unwearied in trying to overcome the ingratitude of Man by the favors of Heaven.
On my arrival at the camp, I was informed of the particulars of the progress of the victorious son of the distinguished Meheromet Ali from Wady Haifa to Meroe. Before his march every thing had submitted or fallen. All attempts to arrest his progress had proved as unavailing as the obstacles opposed by the savage rocks of the Cataracts of the Nile to the powerful course of that beneficent and fertilizing river.
His Excellence, as said before, set out from Wady Haifa on the 26th of Zilhadge last. In ten days of forced march he arrived at New Dongola. A little beyond this village, the Selictar, at the head of a detachment of about four hundred men, surprised and dispersed about fifteen hundred of the enemy, taking many of their horses and camels. Four days' march beyond New Dongola, the Pasha, at the head of the advance guard of the army, came up with the main body of the Shageias and their allies, strongly posted on the side of a mountain near a village called Courty, on the westerly bank of the river. The Pasha at this juncture had with him but six hundred cavalry and some of the Abbadies mounted on dromedaries, of whom we had about five hundred with the army, but none of his cannon. The enemy advanced to the combat with loud screams and cries, and with great fury. The Abbadies could not withstand their charge, and were driven rearward. At this critical instant, his Excellence gave the order, and the cavalry of the Pasha charged and poured in the fire of their carabines and pistols. After a conflict of no long duration, the cavalry of the enemy fled in dismay, while those who fought on foot fell on their faces, throwing their shields over their heads to secure them from the tramp of the cavalry, and implored mercy.
In consequence of the result of this affair, all the country between the place of combat and Shageia, i.e. the country occupied by the castles and immediate subjects of the Maleks of Shageia, submitted and were pardoned. The Pasha pursued his march to the province of Shageia, where Malek Shouus, the principal among the Shageia chiefs, had collected the whole force of the republic of the brigands with a determination to risk another battle. The Pasha found, on his arrival, a part of their force posted on an island near the long mountain I have mentioned in my journal as having been the scene of a combat a few day? before I reached it. Those of the enemy who were in the island were forthwith attacked by troops sent over in the boats which accompanied the army, and were cut to pieces or driven into the river. The army then advanced to attack the great mass of the enemy in their position on the mountain. It was a very advantageous one. The mountain runs nearly at right angles with the river, which it nearly reaches, leaving between itself and the river a tract of ground about a quarter of a mile in width, which at the time was covered with plantations of durra. The enemy were posted on the side of this mountain and among the durra in the open ground between the mountain and the river; so that their rear was secured by the mountain, and their right covered by a strong castle at the foot of its extremity lying off from the river. Malek Shouus, Malek Zibarra, and the other chiefs of Shageia, and their immediate followers, composed the cavalry of the enemy. They had assembled, either by force or persuasion, all the peasantry subject to their dominion, the whole forming a mass which blackened the whole side of the mountain. Their arms consisted of lances, shields and long broad swords double-edged. These wretched peasants, who were all on foot, their masters posted in front in order to receive and exhaust the fire of the Pasha's troops; while Shouus and the cavalry occupied the rear in order to keep the peasants to their posts, and to have the start of the Pasha's cavalry in case they should find it necessary to take to flight. The Pasha posted his troops parallel to the enemy, placing the greater part of the cavalry opposite the open ground between the mountain and the river, and pushing the artillery a little in advance. The enemy with loud cries and uplifted lances rushed forward. Some of the peasants in advance of the others, with no other arms than lances and shields, threw themselves upon the cannon and were blown to pieces. The castle on the right of the enemy was stormed. After feeling the effects of a few rounds from the artillery, which dashed horse and man to pieces, the cavalry of the enemy fled in dismay, leaving their infantry to be rode over and shot down  by our cavalry, who destroyed many hundreds of them in the battle and during the pursuit. Malek Shouus and his cavalry did not discontinue their flight till they reached the territory of Shendi, leaving their numerous and strong castles, their dependant villages, and a rich and beautiful country, in the hands of the conqueror.
On the 12th of Rebi, I passed over to the camp of the Pasha. I did not however obtain an audience of his Excellence till two days after, when, being alone, he sent for me, and received me in the most nattering manner, ordering me as usual to sit in his presence. After the usual compliments, I informed his Excellence that I had been much mortified and distressed, that the act of God, in depriving me of the use of my eyes a few days before his Excellence left Wady Halfa, had prevented me from accompanying his victorious march, and participating in the exploits of his troops; so that I had not arrived till there was nothing left to do. His Excellence replied that a "great deal more remained to be done, in which I should have a share." I replied with a compliment, and then demanded horses and camels for myself, and the soldiers I had brought with me; he replied "that I should have them." After some further conversation, of a confidential nature, I retired. During the nine days following, I had reason to applaud the humanity and good policy of the Pasha, in offering amnesty and peace to all the brigands who should come in and surrender themselves. Several of their chiefs, whom they call "Maleks" accompanied by their followers, came in while the camp remained near Meroe. The chiefs were presented with costly habiliments, and the written protection of his Excellence, recognizing them as under his safeguard; and returned with their followers to their homes, tranquillized and contented. The most rigid discipline was observed in the camp, to prevent the people of the country from suffering by the presence of the army. Some soldiers and domestics were severely beaten for taking sheep and goats without paying for them, and five of the Abbadies (or auxiliaries mounted on dromedaries) were impaled for having seized some camels from the peasants. It was truly honorable to the army and its commander to see villages embosomed in a camp, whose inhabitants, men, women and children, pursued their usual occupations, without molestation and without fear. In the country below, which had been the scene of combat, the fields were deserted, and for several days I had not seen a peasant at work upon the ground. In the vicinity of the camp of the Pasha, where the people had submitted themselves, the discordant creak of the water-wheels frequently attracted the ear, and the peasants cultivated their fields within musket shot of the camp of a conqueror.
On the 21st of Rebi, a detachment, consisting of three hundred cavalry, departed from the camp for the country of the Berbers, to secure its submission and to obtain horses and camels for the army. Learning that it was the intention of the Pasha to march in a few days, to pitch his camp about eight hours march farther up the river, I wished to ascertain whether I could have the horses and camels I needed before the Pasha marched. His reply to my demand was, that he had no camels, at present, that were not appropriated to some service or other, but that, as soon as he had them, I should receive what I needed. I was consequently obliged to embark in a boat to accompany the march of the camp as, without camels to carry my tent and baggage, I could not accompany it by land. On the 25th, all the boats followed the departure of the troops; the wind was ahead, and the direction of the river the same as repeatedly before mentioned. We proceeded slowly by the cordel. This circumstance gave me an opportunity of visiting the Pyramids which I have mentioned as in view from Meroe. They stand about half a mile from the right hand bank of the river. I counted twenty-seven, none of them perfect, and most of them in ruins; the greater part of them are built of stone, and are evidently much more ancient than those of Meroe.
The largest is probably more than a hundred feet square, and something more in height. It presents a singularity in its construction worthy of notice. It is a pyramid within a pyramid; i.e. the inner pyramid has been cased over by a larger one; one of its sides being in ruins makes this peculiarity visible. By climbing up the ruined side, it is easy to reach its summit. No remains of a city or any traces of temples are visible in the immediate vicinity of this place, which is called by the natives "Turboot."
On the 23d we came in view of the lower end of the rapids of the Third Cataract; those hereabouts are called "the rapids of Oula" We were obliged to consume thirty-nine days in getting as far as the island of Kendi, (which is not above fifty miles from Meroe.) As the direction of the river continued almost the same, coming from about the north-east, and the wind being almost invariably ahead, the difficulties attending advancing the boats by the cordel were very great, as the river here is spotted by an infinity of islands and rocks. In some of the passages where the water was deep, the current was as swift as a mill-sluice, which made it necessary to employ the crews of perhaps twenty boats to drag up one at a time. In other passages, where the water was very shallow, it was sometimes necessary to drag the boats by main force over the stones at the bottom. The camp of the Pasha remained during all this time about eight hours march above Meroe, on the right bank of the river, waiting till the boats should have passed the rapids. No military movements took place, except detaching the Divan Effendi with four hundred cavalry, to join the detachment already in Berber, where all was quiet and friendly. The country on the rapids of the Third Cataract is sterile, being composed, for the most part, of black granite and sand, excepting some of the islands, which contained good ground, and a few spots on the shores, where the floods of the river had deposited some fertile soil. The rocks by the shore presented indications which proved that the river had risen in some of its floods about twenty feet above its present level. Ostriches are not unfrequently seen hereabouts. We have met with no ruins of any ancient building of consequence on these rapids, except the ruins of a strong fort on the right bank of the river, and those of what was probably a Christian Monastery on the bank right opposite. This place, I was told, is called "Kennis;" it is about thirty miles above Meroe. We passed one small island, which the natives said was called also Meroe, as well as the site where we found the pyramids and temple below. No indications of a considerable city are however to be found on this island, which is beside too small to have served for the emplacement of a city of consequence. Khalil Aga, who swam over to this island, reported that he had seen there the ruins of brick houses, and many fragments of porcelain; of the latter there are immense quantities among all the ruined edifices found in this country. The island of "Kendi" is large, and in some parts cultivated; it contains evident traces of brick buildings, among which we found fragments of ancient pottery and porcelain, but no ruins of any considerable building.
We stayed for three days as high up as the middle of the island of Kendi. On the 6th of Jamisalawal the boats received orders to descend to the lower end of the island, in order to take the passage on its right hand side, that on the left being so shallow as not to be passed but with great difficulty. We descended accordingly, and remained at its lower extremity till the thirteenth of the moon, which delay was occasioned by the absence of the Rais Bashi, who had gone up to examine and sound the passages through the remainder of the Third Cataract. On the thirteenth, our boat and many others passed over to the right bank of the river, in order to be on the same side as was the camp of the Pasha, and to have free communication with it.
The same day I received an order from the Pasha to come to the camp with my baggage. I went accordingly and presented myself to his Excellency, and demanded to know his pleasure. He replied, that it was his will that I should stay in the camp, and that he would immediately furnish me with the means of accompanying him in his intended march to Berber over the Desert. Five days after, his Excellency broke up his camp, and proceeded about four leagues higher up the rapids, where the boats were found stopped by the impossibility of proceeding any farther, as the water was found to be too low to admit their passing. I arrived at this place (opposite the upper end of the island of Kendi) on the same day with his Excellency, having left orders to my domestics to follow with my camels and baggage. The next morning, finding that they had not arrived, and learning that it was the intention of the Pasha to commence his march to Berber that day, I mounted my horse to go and ascertain the reason why my camels had not arrived. I learned, as I proceeded, that one of them had fallen under his load, and that it would be necessary to send back the first that should arrive and be unloaded, to take the burden of the other. All my effects, inconsequence, did not arrive before evening. During my absence to see after this vexatious affair, the Pasha had departed with the camp, as I learned the same evening on my return. After leaving the most bulky part of my baggage in one of the boats, I proceeded on the 21st to the place where the Pasha's last camp had been, to join some party who should have been delayed by circumstances similar to my misadventure. On my arrival I found the Hasna Katib, and about three hundred soldiers, waiting till camels should come from Berber to carry them to join the Pasha. There were, besides, seven hundred Mogrebin infantry in the boats, awaiting the means of transporting their tents and baggage across the Desert. On my representing to the Hasna Katib the circumstance that had delayed me, he informed me that the Selictar was expected from below in a few days, who, on the day after his arrival, would proceed after the Pasha, and that I had better accompany him. I accepted the advice, and pitched my tent to await the arrival of the Selictar. The same day I was informed that all the large boats had received orders to abandon the attempt to pass the remainder of the third cataract of the Nile. They had already, with great difficulty, got through about fifty difficult passages, and it was reported that there were nearly one hundred more ahead before the third cataract could be got clear of. When the river is full, and the flood, of course, strong, this cataract must, in my opinion, be almost impassable upwards, as, on account of the strange direction of the river, little or no aid can be derived from the wind, and the current in some places, from the straitness of the passages between the rocks and islands, must, in the time of the inundation, be very furious, while the cordel, from the natural obstacles which cover the shore of this cataract, could hardly overcome the difficulties which every mile or two would present.
On the first day of the moon Jamisalachar, the Selictar arrived from below, where he had been to collect durra for the army. Two days after I set forward in company with him to pass the Desert. The road for two days lay near the bank of the river. By the middle of the afternoon of the first day we arrived at a pleasant spot on the border of the Nile, where we encamped to pass the night. On the morning following we mounted our horses at sunrise, and by mid-day arrived at a fine pond of water at the foot of a high rock, at no great distance from the river, where we refreshed ourselves and filled the water-skins, as at this place the roads turns into the Desert. We marched from the middle of the afternoon till an hour after midnight, when we halted to sleep. The road for this day was evidently the dry bed of an arm of the Nile, which, during the inundation, is full of water. Even at this season the doum tree and the acacia, which grew on its borders, were green, and coarse long grass was abundant. At sunrise of the sixth day of the moon we again mounted, and set forward in a direction nearly East. Our way lay over low rocky hills, gravelly or sandy plains, and sometimes through valleys containing plenty of coarse grass and acacia trees; but no water is to be found above ground at this season, though it probably might be obtained by sinking wells in some of these valleys. We halted at noon, and in two hours after again mounted, and marched till midnight. Our road lay through a country resembling that we had passed the day before. On the morrow morning, a little after day-light, we proceeded on our journey, and at noon halted at the only well of water we found on our route. It lies near two high hills of black granite. The water was yellow and dirty, and was almost rejected by the thirsty camels. By the middle of the afternoon we were again on horseback, and marched till midnight, when some of the camels dropping and dying, and others giving out, the Selictar found himself obliged to order a halt for the rest of the night. It was his intention to have marched till morning, by which time our guides told us that we should arrive at the river. We threw ourselves on the ground to sleep a few hours, but by sunrise we were called to mount and away. We proceeded till about noon, when we came in view of the beneficent river, whose beauty and value cannot be duly appreciated by any who have not voyaged in the deserts through which it holds its course. It was on the eighth of the moon when we arrived on its borders. I had expected that our toilsome forced march would end here, and had promised myself some repose, which I greatly needed, as I had suffered much from the heat of the sun, which had burned the skin off my face;—from fatigue and want of sleep;—from hunger, as we had barely time to prepare a little rice and bread once in twenty-four hours;—and from the exasperation of my ophthalmia, which had never entirely quitted me since I was attacked by it at Wady Halfa, on the second cataract. The Selictar, however, did not indulge us with more than half a day's and one night's repose on the bank of the river, which we found well cultivated by the inhabitants of numerous villages in sight. On the morning of the ninth day of the moon, we were again called to proceed. For this day our march lay near the bank of the river, and through and by fine fields of barley, cotton, and wheat. The day after, our route lay over a narrow space of rocky land, lying between the river and the hills of the desert. We saw this day but a few cultivated spots. On the 11th we commenced our march before sunrise, animated by the information that we should be at the Pasha's camp by noon or the middle of the afternoon. Our road lay this day on the edge of the Desert, just where it touches the cultivable soil deposited by the Nile, which is indicative of the point to which the inundations of the river extend in this country. On both sides of tills road was an almost continued succession of villages, which are built here in order to be out of the reach of the overflowing of the river, which almost every year here overspreads the country for one or two miles from its banks. The land liable to this inundation is in part cultivated as well as any portion of Egypt, and in part devoted to feeding great numbers of fine horses, camels, dromedaries, kine, sheep, and goats, with which the country of the Berbers is abundantly stocked.
We marched on till nearly set of sun, without halting, when we arrived at the encampment of the Pasha; it was on our side [i.e. the west side] of the Nile, which here runs in its natural direction from south to north. At five or six days march below it, it turns to the left, and describes, from above its turning point and Dongola, a track something resembling the following figure—which is the reason why, in coming up the river from Dongola, we found it running from the north-east. The length of this curious bend in the river Nile, never known to the civilized world before the expedition of Ismael Pasha, may be about two hundred and fifty miles long, the greater part of it all rocks and rapids.
The journey from our last encampment on the third cataract to the country of the Berbers, following the direction of the river, takes eight days of forced marches, but that by the desert, i.e. across the peninsula formed by the course of the river between the country of the Berbers and our last encampment, takes four days forced march.
The road from the place where we arrived at the river (in coming from the desert) up the country of Berber, lies generally on the edge of the desert, and outside of the fertile land lying between the river and the desert; of consequence we were rarely led to its banks so as to ascertain its course and appearance. But from several points where the road approaches the river, I observed that it winded continually and contained many beautiful islands, some of them, particularly that named "Sibne," cultivated like gardens. I also observed that the river, at the lower extremity of the country of the Berbers, is much interrupted by rocks, and I have learned, since my arrival, that between the third cataract and the camp, the water is so low at this season that the Canja of the Pasha (probably the first boat that ever passed the third cataract of the Nile) was obliged to be lifted three times over shallow passages.
The natives of this country had never seen a sail boat before the arrival of this Canja. They called it "a water mare" comparing it, by this appellation, to the swiftest animal with which they are acquainted. They ran in, crowds to the river's edge to see it mount the current without the aid of oars.
On the 13th, I had a private audience of the Pasha in the evening. His Excellence received me as usual, and on my informing him of the circumstance which had prevented my accompanying his march from the cataract, he assured me that he would give orders, that, for the future, I should be furnished from the best of his own camels. I preferred to his Excellence some requests, which he granted immediately, and on my retiring, requested me to present myself to him frequently.
Previous to his march from the third cataract, there had arrived at the camp ambassadors from Shendi, from Malek Shouus, the chief of the fugitive Shageians, demanding terms of peace. The Pasha replied, that "the only terms on which they could obtain peace with him, would be by the surrender of their horses and arms, and returning to their country to live tranquilly, and without disturbing their neighbors." The ambassadors replied, that "they would not give up their horses and arms." The Pasha then answered, that "then he would come to Shendi and take them." To which it is said they answered, "Come." On hearing, however, of the rapid march of the Pasha, and of his arrival in Berber, the chief of Shendi, on whose support it seems Shouus had calculated, was frightened, and sent his son, bearing some valuable presents, to the Pasha, to notify his submission, and to receive his orders. The terror and confusion this step, on the part of one of the most powerful allies of Sennaar, will occasion to the latter, will probably prevent the necessity of a battle to ensure its submission. A part of the remnant of the once powerful Mamalukes of Egypt, who had fled before the Pasha to Shendi, on his arrival in Berber have surrendered themselves to the protection of the Pasha Ismael. They have been treated by him with great kindness, and were presented with a thousand piasters each, to bear their expenses to Cairo, to which place they have departed, with the assurance of passing the remainder of their lives in tranquility in Egypt, under the protection and favor of Mehemmed Ali. They had gone from the camp before my arrival. I was informed that these Mamalukes were in possession of many slaves and fine horses, which will turn to good account in Egypt. A small remnant of the Mamalukes at Shendi, under the direction of a refractory Bey, have fled to the countries on the Bahar el Abiud, where they will probably perish miserably. The Divan Effendi, who has been sent to Shendi to arrange the terms of peace with the Malek of that country, had orders to assure this Bey and his followers there, of the same favor and protection already accorded to their comrades, who had already departed for Egypt, but without success. It is not to be doubted, however, that the remnant of the once powerful Mamalukes, who have surrendered themselves to the compassion and protection of the Viceroy, will receive both from him; whose humanity has been interested in their behalf since their power is gone, and their number reduced to a few individuals, who, doubtless, will be happy to live tranquilly in the country these unfortunate fugitives continually sigh after, and whose sovereignty they have lost by their own misconduct.