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heart simply and without the shadow of disguise, and leave me to weep over it, as I now do, no matter whether from joy or forrow.”'
April 19th, 1770. ALAS! how do I every moment feel the truth of what I have fomewhere read, “ Ce n'est pas le voir, que de s'en souvenir;' and yet that remembrance is the only satisfačtion I have left. My life now is but a perpetual conversation with your shadow--the known sound of your voice still rings in my ears--there, on the corner of the fender, you are standing, or tinkling on the piano-forte, or stretched at length on the sofa. Do you reflect, my dearest friend, that it is a week or eight days before I can receive a letter from you, and as much more before you can have my answer ; that all that time I am employed, with more than Herculean toil, in pushing the tedious hours along, and withing to annihilate them; the more I strive, the heavier they move, and the longer they grow.
cannot bear this place, where I have spent many tedious years within less than a month since you left me. I am going for a few days, to see poor N-, invited by a letter, wherein he mentions you in such terms as add to my regard, for him, and express my own sentiments better than I can do myself. “I am concerned,” says he, “ that I cannor pass half my life with him; I never met with any one who pleased and fuited me so well: the miracle to me is, how he comes to be so little spoiled, and the miracle of miracles will be, if he continues so in the midst of every danger and seduction, and without any advantages but from his own excellent nature and understanding. I own I am very anxious for him on this account, and perhaps your inquietude may have proceeded from the same cause. I hope I am to hear when he has passed that cursed sea, or will he forget me thus in insu. lam relegatum ? If he should, it is out of my power to
retaliate.” Surely you have written to him, my dear Bonstetten, or surely you will! he has moved me with these gentle and sensible expressions of his kindness for you: are you untouched by them ?
You do me the credit, and falle or true it goes to my heart, of ascribing to me your love for many virtues of the highest rank. Would to heaven it were fo! but they are indeed the fruits of your own noble and ge. nerous understanding, which has hitherto ftruggled against the stream of custom, passion, and ill-company, even when you were but a child; and will you now give way to that stream when your strength is increased? Shall the jargon of French sophists, the allurements of painted women comme'il faut, or the vulgar caresses of prostitute beauty, the property of all who can afford to purchase it, induce you to give up a mind and body by nature distinguished from all others, to folly, idleness, disease, and vain remorse? Have a care, my ever amiable friend, of loving what you do no: approve. Know me for your most faithful and most humble despote.
May 9th, 1770. I am returned, my dear Bonstetten, from the little journey I made into Suffolk, without answering the end proposed. The thought that you might have been with me there has embittered all my hours : your let. ter has made me happy, as happy as fo gloomy, fo folitary a being as I am is capable of being made. I know, and have too often felt the disadvantages I lay myself under, how much I hurt the little interest I have in you, by this, air of sadness so contrary to your nature and present enjoyments : but sure you will forgive, though you cannot sympathize with me. It is impofli. ble for me to diffemble with you ; such as I am I expose my heart to your view, nor wish to conceal a single thought from your penetrating eyes. All that
you may say to me, especially on the subject of Switzerland, is infinitely acceptable. It feels too pleasing ever to be fulglled, and as often as I read over your truly kind letter, written long since from London, I stop at these words : “ La mort qui peut glacer nos bras avant qu'ils soient entrelacés."
[From Sonnini's Travels in Egypt.) O fuppose Cairo, in Arabic Masr, resembling one
of our large cities in Europe, would be to entertain a very erroneous idea. The houses have neither the form nor elegance of ours.
The streets are very narrow, unpaved, and the houses that form them not ranged in a line. The squares, vast irregular places, without any buildings that adorn them, without any work of art to point out and embellish the centre, are most of them immense balins of water during the inundation of the Nile, and fields, or gardens, when the river has retired to its bed. Crowds of men of various nations, poft through the streets, joftle one another, dispute the way with the horle of the Mameluc, the mule of the man of the law, the numerous camels which supply the place of coaches, and the affus, which are the most common beast of the faddle.
This city, inuch longer than broad, covers a space of about three leagues. Turks, Mamelucs, Greeks, Syrians, Arabs, Cophts, Moors, Jews, and Europeans, inhabit it ; and its population may be estimated at four hundred thousand souls. Inhabitants of another kind had likewise taken up their abode in the midst of this confused multitude of various nations. The terraces of the houses were covered with kites and crows, who, lived there in perfect security, and whose sharp screams and hoarse croakings mingled with the tumult of a reft
less and noisy populace. The disguftiog vulture, the vuliur percnopterus of naturalists, the ak bobas (white father) of the Turks, the Pharaoh's hen of the Europeans, added to this singular and melancholy society, Living only on reptiles and the produce of laystalls, this filthy bird happily wants courage to attack more inte. resting objects. The plaintive and amorous turtle has no more to fear from its talons than from the guns of the inhabitants, into whose dwellings she enters, giving them practical, but useless lessons of love and tenderness, in ihe caresses and attention of domestic happiness.
The splendour and prodigality of luxury were here contrasted with the rags and nakedness of want ; che exceflive opulence of those who bear the rule, with the frightful poverty of the most numerous class. The riches that trade conferred on the intermediate class were buried, or carefully concealed. Men who had acquired wealth dared not make use of it, except clan. destinely, left they Nould tempt the unbridled covetousness of power, and expose themselves to extortions, which a barbarous government sanctions under the name of avanies, and which, in spite of all their secrefy and caution, they cannot always escape.
With whatever external splendour these men in power were clothed, they were not in reality less igno. rant and savage. Though the garb was that of luxury, it was not the less the vesture of the most complete barbarousness; and if this appeared ftill more hideous and ferocious in a populace exceedingly vile, it was only because here it was naked, and the eyes were not deceived by the glofs of magniñcence. At Cairo a few arts were exercised by foreigners, mechanical occupations were far from a state of perfection, and the sciences were absolutely unknown. The two extremes approached each other in more points than one. The beys were equally ignorant, equally fanatic, equally Superstitious, with the rude dregs of the people. Not one of either could read or write ; the knowledge of
letters letters and of writing was reckoned a very great art, and, with that of arithmetic, was confined to the mer. chants and people of business. On the other hand, the Mahometan priests, bewildered in the gloomy labyrinth of school-divinity, busied themselves in attempts to understand and comment upon the reveries of the Koran. The sciences cultivated in the capital of Egypt went no farther; and to endeavour to extind their limits would have been a dangerous and useless enterprise. Any thing beyond this would have been deemed a crime ; and knowledge would have been filed for ever, had not the French undertaken to emancipate it from its fhackles, and favour its display; for, according to the philofophical reflection of Volnev, where knowledge leads to nothing, nothing is done to acquire it, and the mind remains in a state of barbarism *.
In fact, the mass of the people in no place could be more barbarous than at Cairo. Foreigners, persecured, and even ill-treated under the most frivolous pretexts, lived there in perpetual fear. The French had several mercantile houses there ; and occupied a small district, hut up by a large gate, which was guarded by janizaries. I shall oblerve, by the way, that the city was divided into separate quarters in this manner. The Eu. ropeans called these divisions, these enclosures, countries; and that to which the French were confined, and where they were more than once besieged, was called the country of the Franks. Here our countrymen, remote from all means of protection and assistance, spent days embittered by perpetual anxiety. If the success. of' their commercial enterprises diffused a temporary satisfaction among them, the prospect of an avanie perpetually before them foon checked it; and the fums of money or presents, with which they were forced to purchase an insecure tranquillity, from the almost daily
* Voyages en Egypte & en Syrie. Etat politique de l'Egypte.