Page images

wonder of the world ; but the power of her priesthood, the genius of her people, and the wise and stable order of her administration are gone. The world has admired and has despised her.

Yet there are tokens, slight and uncertain indeed, that Egypt may recover from this long degeneracy. This hope lies not in the energy of the people, but in the singular personal character of Mahomed Ali the reigning Pacha. As the eyes of Europe are turned with interest to the career of this extraordinary man, and men are anxiously watching the character and waiting for the results of his movements, we have thought a slight notice of his history would not be unacceptable to our readers, nor an unapt introduction to a statement of his labors for education.

Mahomed Ali was born in Cavalla, a small town of Roumelia, a district of Albania. By his vigilance, resoluteness, and promptness of action, he gained the appointment of subordinate collector of taxes in that place, an office allowing, and perhaps, in the customary discharge of it, requiring fearlessness and cruelty. Here he married a relation of the governor and became a dealer in tobacco. When the French invaded Egypt in 1793, he was sent with 300 men to join the opposing army. After the treacherous murder of the Mamelouks, he obtained the command of a division under Yousef Bey in the expedition against them in Upper Egypt. Being in danger from some alleged misconduct in this campaign, he combined with a rival to overthrow the administration, and the power reverted to the Mamelouks. In several changes which followed he became an object of attention at Constantinople, and was appointed Pacha of Djidda and Mecca in 1804. Before he could enter on this office he was, doubtless at his own instigation, proclaimed Pacha of Egypt by the army under his command, and after some struggles with the rival Beys and with the Sultan, was fully recognized by the latter in that capacity. In 1807, he utterly defeated an English invading army under General Fraser. In 1811, he most perfidiously aud cruelly murdered several hundred of the Mamelouk chiefs. Till 1815 he was occupied in war with the Wakabees in Arabia. This war was renewed in 1824 and lasted several years.

At present the dependence of Mahomed Ali on the Sultan seems to be nominal. He has been recently at war with

the Porte and has conquered Syria, which he now holds. He is now about 70 years of age. There is yet an uncertainty who will be his successor, and a fear may be entertained that his plans will die with him, and Egypt revert to her former sub ection and cruel oppresion.

The present viceroy has made great changes in the arts and h bits of the people, as well as in the spirit of the government. He has assumed the proprietorship of almost all the land of Egypt. He is the principal trader of the country. Those who are yet permitted to hold lands may sell nothing till the agents of the Pacha have bought what they please at their own price. The population of Egypt is about 3,000,000, and the revenue nearly £20,000,000. The commerce of the country does not exceed £10,000,000, and the manufactures are recent and introduced by the viceroy. He has been at great pains to learn and use every recent improvement in the arts in Europe. He has constructed a canal from Alexandria to the Nile, 48 miles long, 90 feet broad and 18 deep. 250,000 men it is said were employed at once on this work and it was finished in six weeks. The culture and manufacture of cotton have been greatly encouraged. The soldiers are armed and disciplined after the fashion of Europe. This attempt nearly cost the Pacha his life. The army numbers nearly 160,000 men. Cannon are cast, powder manufactured, the steam engine used in Cairo. The changes in Egypt are a remarkable illustration of what the genius of one man can effect. Whether this genius has been influenced by motives of patriotism may well be questioned; whether what of good there is in his labors shall survive him is a problem which time only can solve.

EDUCATION IN EGYPT. It is to his Highness Mahomed Ali Pasha that Egypt owes the introduction not only of special, but also of elementary education. The following is the plan of public instruction. There are 50 primary schools, of which there are 3 at Cairo, of

600 scholars, 1 at Alexandria, of

200 « 1 at Sious, of 45 at other towns of the provinces,

composed of each 100 scholars, 4500




They are taught reading and writing, Arabic, and the four rules of arithmetic. These schools, after three years study, supply scholars to the two preparatory schools, 1 at Abouzabel,

1500 scholars, 1 at Alexandria,




2300 In these two schools are taught Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and a complete course of arithmetic, the elements of geometry and algebra, history, and drawing. These last schools supply, after four years' study, scholars for the special schools which are ten in number as follows: The School of Medicine,

300 scholars.
of Veterinary Surgery, 120
for Cavalry,

for Artillery,
for Infantry,

the Polytechnic,

of Languages,
of Music,
of Agriculture,

sv. of Midwifery, which used
to be 100,


Total 2,415 Total of Special,

2,415 " of Preparatory schools,

2,300 Primary,




Grand Total,

10,215 All these schools are furnished with Professors, European and native. The duration of the studies varies from three to five years. The scholars of all these school are lodged in barracks, and subject to military discipline; they are clothed, fed, and paid, by his Highness. The scholars receive monthly

Year. ist. 2d 3d. 4th. 5th. Primary schoools, 8 10 12

piastres. Preparatory “ 15 20 20 30 Special ( 40 50 60 70 80 "

of these schools certain of the distinguished boys are made corporals, serjeants and serjeant-majors; these first, receive five piastres, the second ten, and the third, fifteen piastres, a month extra.

Besides these schools, which compose the regular system of public instruction, there are regimental schools for the soldiers, and schools attached to the mosques, which last amount, at least, from 4,000 to 5,000 more in Cairo ; and the total number of scholars at the inosques, also throughout all the provinces, amount to 15,000 more. Besides all these schools under the administration of His Highness, there have been formed private establishments, directed by Europeans, for the purpose of disseminating education among the population, without reference to religion or nation. HISTORICO-STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ACTUAL STATE


(On the 27th December, 1837.) In Egypt, as in other parts of the East, all the Sciences were buried under the ruins of the empire of the Caliphs; hardly have some disfigured and badly understood manuscripts, transmitted to us a dim reflection of an “ epoque" of glory and intelligence. Medicine was given up to the achievements of empiricism, and surgery passed into the hands of the barbers--pharmacy to the shop of the merchant; but when the political relations between christianized Europe and Turkey became more friendly, and communication more easy and more frequent, the east was overrun with physicians, who easily established their superiority over these empirics. Since that time the orientals have attributed to all Europeans a decided medical talent, and even in our day, the public credulity is but too often practised upon, by men whose foreign extraction is the only scientific title they possses.

In commencing the great course of reformation that he determined upon, Mahomed Ali made offers to European officers of every rank and department; a general military organization took place, and then as a matter of course, a medical service was created for the preservation of the Egyptian forces.

Clot Bey, engaged as physician and surgeon-in-chief to the new army, arrived in Egypt, followed by a number of medical officers, who were immediately appointed to the different regiments and hospitals then forming. Thus began a regular service.

The surgeon, the physician, and the apothecary constitut

ed the general council of health, placed under the immediate authority of the minister of war, and having under its surveillance secondary councils for the land forces, and those established upon all the possessions of His Highness. The medical service was actually, at its beginning, almost exclusively directed according to the spirit of the French regulations.

The foreign physicians and apothecaries employed in the state and military hospitals belonging to the different nations of Europe, appear on the medical lists in the following proportions :




[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

154 The salary given to the different ranks was fixed as follows:

Francs. Inspector General of the land forces and the marine,

and President of the Council General of Health, 30,000 Inspector and member of the Council General of Health,

10,000 Inspector of the Army,

8,500 Principals,

5,000 Majors,

3,400 Assistant Majors,

2,200 Under Assistants,

1,500 The title of Doctor of Medicine from one of the faculties of Europe, is required to obtain the rank of major.

The general council of health, at present, is composed as follows:

MM. Clot Bey, Inspector General, President.

Giatani Bey, Private physician to flis Highness, honorary member.

Delsignore Bey, Inspector Physician, incumbent member.

Detouches Bey, Inspector Apothecary, incumbent member. Formation of the Hospital and medical school at Abouzabel.

The opening of the hospital at Abouzabel is dited from

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »