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friends; and without overturning all experience and Mr Milnes has discharged his duty as an editor with all analogy, we must perforce conclude that the world great ability, but too timidly. If Keats is not what he had received from him what was his to bestow, before represents him to be, then there was no need for the he sank into his early and lamented tomb.
book at all; if he was, then biographical facts were of too His early fate is the more lamentable, that he died great value to be concealed for the purpose of sparing before his fame had begun to live. He carried with private sensibilities. These pages,' he tells us, conhim to the grave only ruined hopes and disappointed cern one whose whole story may be summed up in love; desiring his friends to inscribe upon his stone, the composition of three small volumes of verse, some HERE LIES ONE WHOSE NAME WAS WRIT IN WATER.' earnest friendships, one passion, and a premature death.' From that humble tomb, however, there has now come This passion, which must have been, and was, an essena light to which the eyes of rising genius are turned tial part in the life of a poet, receives not the smallest from the ends of the earth. Keats is one of the great illustration from the editor; and here was a point, we teachers of the new world, and of new spirits in the think, in which private feelings should have yielded. old; and already, besides numerous editions of the Keats was born on the 29th October 1795. His works, imperfect as they may be, of this once despised father was in the service of Mr Jennings, the proprietor poet, we have two volumes of his 'Life, Letters, and of livery stables on the Pavement in Moorfields, whose Literary Remains.'*
daughter, the mother of the poet, he married. The We do not think that Mr Milnes has stated com- family consisted of George, John, Thomas, and a pletely the case between his author and the public. daughter; and the boys were distinguished at school * The reviewers of “ Blackwood" and the “ Quarterly," for their furious pugnacity. In John, however, this he tells us, “were persons evidently destitute of all disposition was combined with a passionate sensibility poetic perception, directing an unrefined and unscrupu. which exhibited itself in the strangest contrasts. Conlous satire against political opponents, whose intellec- vulsions of laughter and of tears were equally frequent tual merits they had no means of understanding. This, with him, and he would pass from one to the other indeed, was no combat of literary principles, no struggle almost without an interval.' He cared nothing about of thoughts, no competition of modes of expression; it the character of a “good boy:' bravery, energy, generowas simply the judgment of the policeman and the sity, these were his great qualities; and they impressed beadle over mental efforts and spiritual emanations.' his schoolfellows with the idea that he was destined to Now it appears to us to be quite clear that Keats's succeed in some active sphere in life. He was at times poetry was not abused, and the abuse acquiesced in laborious and attentive to his studies, and then carried by the public, on account of his politics, but simply off all the first prizes in literature. He learned French, because neither critics nor public felt and understood it. and translated much of the Æneid, but was indebted to The hostility of the critics may have been imbittered English works for the knowledge of the Greek mythoby politics, and the political principles of the Cockney logy, which afterwards, distilled in the alembic of his school used against its leaders, just like the pimples of own imagination, produced something more spiritual IIazlitt or the criminal addiction of Leigh Hunt to tea than the Greeks ever fancied. and muffing. But if politics had been the sole motive At the death of his parents, about L.8000 was left of the critics, it would have worked in two ways, and to be divided among the four children; and in 1810 the object of their acrimony would have enjoyed the John was apprenticed for five years to a surgeon at fame as well as endured the torments of a martyr. The Edmonton. In 1812 the reading of the 'Fairy Queen' Lake school, with politics diametrically opposite, was formed an era in his intellectual existence; Chaucer the object of as much critical objurgation and popular following, he inhaled “the pure breath of nature in the neglect as the school of Hampstead ; and Keats himself morning of English literature;' and at the end of 1814, is noticed by our editor as having been daringly singu- Byron inspired him with an indifferent sonnet. Later, lar in his admiration of Wordsworth.
a much better sonnet, ' On first looking into Chapman's The truth appears to be, that the public mind was at Homer,' might seem to indicate how early his taste that time in the transition state from a kind of poetical disavowed the school of Pope. After the termination materialism, in which it was satisfied with the sensuous of his apprenticeship, he removed to London, for the images of such writers as Scott, to the more meta- purpose of walking the hospitals. He now became physical taste that followed, uniting the kingdoms of intimate with Hunt, Hazlitt, Shelley, Haydon, Godwin, matter and mind, and recognising the spirit of nature and others; and Mr Ollier published for him his first even in the meanest of her external forms. Keats was volume of poems, which attracted no attention. He one of the prophets who helped forward this movement, passed his examination at Apothecaries' Hall with some and was stoned for his pains; but the stones have now credit; but as soon as he entered on the practical part become at once his own monument and a memorial of of his business, he saw that his sensibility rendered the fruitless zeal with which his critics strove uncon him unfit for it, and he was thus thrown upon the world sciously to impede the progress of mind. This zeal, how. arm in arm between poetry and poverty. ever, was fruitless only as regards the cause: it was fatal He now went to the Isle of Wight and other parts of to the individual. It is absurd to deny the temporary the country, and began seriously to labour at his poem power of contemporary criticism. 'If the frank acknow- of Endymion. His correspondence (May 1817) is full ledgment,' says Mr Milnes, of the respect with which of this work, and of his doubts and fears. ' I have asked Keats had inspired Mr Jeffrey had been made in 1818 myself so often why I should be a poet more than other instead of 1820, the tide of public opinion would pro- men, seeing how great a thing it is, how great things bably have been at once turned in his favour, and the are to be gained by it, what a thing to be in the mouth imbecile abuse of his political, rather than literary an- of fame, that at last the idea has grown so monstrously tagonists, been completely exposed.? Would this have beyond my seeming power of attainment, that the other saved Keats? Yes. We talk not of his life. That is day I nearly consented with myself to drop into a unimportant, for one must die some time or other. Phaeton.... Does Shelley go on telling “strange stories But it was hard for this young man to die before of the deaths of kings?” Tell him there are strange knowing that he had lived; it was hard for him to stories of the deaths of poets. Some have died before think that all his proud hopes and lofty aspirations had they were conceived. “ How do you make that out, been vain; it was hard for him to believe that it was Master Vellum ?”. His personal appearance about this empty air he had felt stirring like a god within his time is thus described by a lady :- His eyes were large gallant heart; it was hard for him to read in imagina and blue, his hair auburn; he wore it divided down tion the legend on his unhonoured grave: 'Here lies the centre, and it fell in rich masses on each side his one whose name was writ in water!'
face; his mouth was full, and less intellectual than his
other features. His countenance lives in my mind as * Edited by Richard Morckton Milnes. Moxon : London. 1848. one of singular beauty and brightness—it had an expression as if he had been looking on some glorious ruddy stain, and then looking in his friend's face with sight. The shape of his face had not the squareness of an expression of sudden calmness never to be forgotten, a man's, but more like some women's faces I have seen said, " I know the colour of that blood-it is arterial -it was so wide over the forehead, and so small at the blood : I cannot be deceived in that colour : that drop chin. He seemed in perfect health, and with life offer- is my death-warrant. I must die!”' He got better ing all things that were precious to him.' Mr Milnes worse-better--worse again-alas ! in the old routine; says— His habitual gentleness made his occasional and then he was recommended to go to Italy. When looks of indignation almost terrible: on one occasion, Haydon went to bid him farewell, he recorded in his when a gross falsehood respecting the young artist journal the terrible impression of this visit: the very Severn was repeated and dwelt upon, he left the room, colouring of the scene struck forcibly on the painter's declaring “He should be ashamed to sit with men who imagination; the white curtains, the white sheets, the could utter and believe such things.” On another occa- white shirt, and the white skin of his friend, all con. sion, hearing of some unworthy conduct, he burst out, trasted with the bright hectic flush on his cheek, and “Is there no human dust-hole into which we can sweep heightened the sinister effect: he went away hardly such fellows?”. This quickness of feeling was evi- hoping.' denced on the occasion of his repeating to Wordsworth Before following him abroad, we must advert to a the hymn to Pan in ‘Endymion. The Christian poet passage which throws a romantic yet terrible hue upon merely remarked that . It was a pretty piece of pagan- the last year of the poet's life. At his first interview ism ;' and Keats took the seeming contempt more to with the nameless lady we have alluded to, he describes heart than the after abuse of the 'Quarterly'or the her thus :—'She is not a Cleopatra, but is at least a ridicule of Blackwood.'
Charmian : she has a rich Eastern look; she has fine In 1818 his independence of spirit is thus finely shown eyes, and fine manners. When she comes into the in a remonstrance to the objections of his friends to his room she makes the same impression as the beauty of a having a preface to the ‘Endymion.' 'I have not the leopardess. She is too fine and too conscious of herself slightest feeling of humility towards the public, or to to repulse any man who may address her : from habit, anything in existence but the Eternal Being, the Prin- she thinks that nothing particular. I always find myself ciple of Beauty, and the Memory of great Men. When more at ease with such a woman: the picture before I am writing for myself, for the mere sake of the mo- me always gives me a life and animation which I cannot ment's enjoyment, perhaps nature has its course with possibly feel with anything inferior. I am at such times me; but a preface is written to the public-a thing I too much occupied in admiring, to be awkward or in a cannot help looking upon as an enemy, and which I tremble : I forget myself entirely, because I live in her. cannot address without feelings of hostility. If I write You will by this time think I am in love with her ; So, a preface in a supple or subdued style, it will not be in before I go any farther, I will tell you I am not. She character with me as a public speaker. I would be kept me awake one night, as a tune of Mozart's might subdued before my friends, and thank them for subduing do. I speak of the thing as a pastime and an amuseme ; but among multitudes of men I have no feel of ment, than which I can feel none deeper than a con. stooping—I hate the idea of humility to them. I never versation with an imperial woman, the very “yes” and wrote one single line of poetry with the least shadow of “no” of whose life is to me a banquet.' This was in public thought. After all, this first sustained work,' | October 1818; and in this same month in the following says Mr Milnes, 'of a man whose undoubted genius was year Mr Milnes describes the irresistible influence she idolised by a circle of affectionate friends, whose weak- exercised over him. “She, whose name nesses were rather encouraged than repressed by the intellectual atmosphere in which he lived, who had
“ Was ever on his lips, rarely been enabled to measure his spiritual stature
But never on his tongue," with that of persons of other schools of thought and exercised too mighty a control over his being for him to habits of mind, appears to have been produced with a remain at a distance, which was neither absence nor humility that the severest criticism might not have en presence, and he soon returned to where at least he gendered.' Jeffrey, when too late (in 1820), pronounced could rest his eyes on her habitation, and enjoy each the poem to be as full of genius as absurdity, and de- chance opportunity of her society. When in the ressel scribed it as 'a test to ascertain whether any one had in which was about to carry him from the shores of Eng. him a native relish for poetry, and a genuine sensibility land, Keats writes thus to his true friend and patron Mr to its intrinsic charm.''Byron was thrown into a fever Brown:-“There is one I must mention, and have done of jealous rage by this encomium, in which he talked of with it
. Even if my body would recover of itself, this the drivelling idiotism of the manikin Keats ;' but in would prevent it. The very thing which I want to live' after years, when the poor youth was no longer in his most for, will be a great occasion of my death. I cannot way, he made the amende honorable, and pronounced the help it. Who can help it? Were I in health, it would fragment of Hyperion’to seem 'actually inspired by the make me ill, and how can I bear it in my state? I dareTitans,' and to be as sublime as Æschylus.'
say you will be able to guess on what subject I am harpThis noble poem was begun at the close of 1818, but ing-you know what was my greatest pain during the never finished. The ode to the Nightingale' and to first part of my illness at your house? I wish for death a Grecian Urn' followed ; and in 1819 the · Eve of St every day and night to deliver me from these pains, Agnes' and other pieces. While occupied in this way, and then I wish death away, for death would destroy he received a L.25 note in a letter by the post, the even those pains, which are better than nothing. Land sender of which he never discovered. This year he and sea, weakness and decline, are great separators ; determined to endeavour to subsist by writing for the but death is the great divorcer for ever. periodicals ; and taking lodgings in London, he plunged pang
of this thought has passed through my mind, I into work and into dreams from which he was soon to may say the bitterness of death is past
. I often wish be awakened. One night, about eleven o'clock, Keats for you, that you might flatter me with the best. I returned home in a state of strange physical excitement think, without my mentioning it, for my sake
, you -it might have appeared to those who did not know would be a friend to Miss - when I am dead. You him one of fierce intoxication. He told his friend he think she has many faults, but for my sake, think she had been outside the stage-coach, had received a severe has not one. If there is anything you can do for her chill, was a little fevered, but added, " I don't feel it by word or deed, I know you will do it.'
He was easily persuaded to go to bed, and as he And again he writes from Naples, where he had leapt into the cold sheets, before his head was on the arrived with his friend Severn:-“The persuasion that pillow, he slightly coughed, and said, " That is blood I shall see her no more will kill me. My dear Brown, from my mouth; bring me the candle ; let me see this I should have had her when I was in health, and blood." He gazed steadfastly for some moments at the i should have remained well. I can bear to die
I cannot bear to leave her. Oh, God! God! God! I shall be ill able to bear it. I cannot bear to be set free, Everything I have in my trunks that reminds me of her even from this my horrible situation by the loss of him. goes through me like a spear. The silk lining she I am still quite precluded from painting, which may be put in my travelling cap scalds my head. My imagi- of consequence to me. Poor Keats has me ever by him, nation is horribly vivid about her. I see her !-I hear and shadows out the form of one solitary friend; he her! There is nothing in the world of sufficient interest opens his eyes in great doubt and horror, but when they to divert me from her a moment. This was the case fall upon me, they close gently, open quietly, and close when I was in England: I cannot recollect, without again, till he sinks to sleep. This thought alone would shuddering, the time that I was a prisoner at Hunt's, keep me by him till he dies : and why did I say I was and used to keep my eyes fixed on Hampstead all day. losing my time? The advantages I have gained by Then there was a good hope of seeing her again. Now! knowing John Keats are double and treble any I could -oh that I could be buried near where she lives! I have won by any other occupation.' And now all is am afraid to write to her-to receive a letter from over. . Feb. 27th.-He is gone; he died with the most her : to see her handwriting would break my heart perfect ease—he seemed to go to sleep. On the twenty-even to hear of her anyhow: to see her name written third, about four, the approaches of death came on. would be more than I can bear. My dear Brown, “ Severn-1-lift me up-I am dying-I shall die easy ; what am I to do? Where can I look for consolation don't be frightened — be firm, and thank God it has or ease? If I had any chance of recovery, this passion come.” I lifted him up in my arms. The phlegm seemed would kill me. Indeed, through the whole of my boiling in his throat, and increased until eleven, when illness, both at your house and at Kentish Town, this he gradually sunk into death, so quiet, that I still fever has never ceased wearing me out. When you thought he slept.' write to me, which you will do immediately, write to The Protestant cemetery of Rome where Keats was Rome (poste restante)—if she is well and happy, put a laid is on a grassy slope among the ruins of the Honomark thus t; if'
rian walls of the city. He had a passion for flowers, Keats did not like Naples. He felt that he was and there they grow, violets and daisies covering his dying, and appears to have laboured under the restless- resting place the whole year through. What a blessed ness which so often induces persons in this state to change! There, in that lonely spot, sleeps the dust of change even their bedroom. Arrived at Rome, a letter the immortal, while the living world is filled, as before, of introduction to Dr (now Sir James) Clark obtained with withered hopes, vain aspirations, white quivering from him and his lady the affectionate attention which lips, and breaking hearts. might have been expected from the character of these
Go thou to Rome-at once the Paradise, estimable persons. In a letter to Mr Brown-supposed
The grave, the city, and the wilderness : to be his last letter-he declares that he has a habitual And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise, feeling of his real life being past, and that he is leading
And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress
The bones of Desolation's nakedness; a posthumous existence. After this, the melancholy
Pass, till the Spirit of the spot shall lead news is from the pen of his devoted friend Severn. On
Thy footsteps to a slopo of green access, the 14th December 1820 the patient was seized anew Where, like an infant's smile, over the dead with an alarming vomiting of blood. Not a single
A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread, thing will he digest, yet he keeps on craving for food. And grey walls moulder round, on which dull Time Every day he raves he will die from hunger, and I've Feeds, like slow fire upon a hoary brand ; been obliged to give him more than was allowed. His And one keen pyramid with wedge sublime,
Pavilioning the dust of him who planned imagination and memory present every thought to him
This refuge for his memory, doth stand in horror : the recollection of “his good friend Brown,"
Like flame transformed to marble; and beneath of " his four happy weeks spent under her care," of his A field is spread, on which a newer band sister and brother. Oh, he will mourn over all to me Have pitched in Heaven's smile their camp of death, whilst I cool his burning forehead, till I tremble for his
Welcoming him we lose with scarce extinguishcd breath. intellects.'
Here pause : these graves are all too young as yet ‘Jan. 15th, 1821, half-past eleren.- Poor Keats has To have outgrown the sorrow which consigned just fallen asleep. I have watched him, and read to
Its charge to each ; and, if the seal is set
Here, on one fountain of a mourning mind, him, to his very last wink; he has been saying to me- Break it not thou! Too surely shalt thou find “ Severn, I can see under your quiet look immense con- Thine own well full, if thou returnest home, tention : you don't know what you are reading. You Of tears and gall. From the world's bitter wind
Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb. are enduring for me more than I would have you. Oh
What Adonais is, why fear we to become?' that my last hour was come!” Then came the misery of want of money, which it was necessary to conceal Thus the Adonäis; and a few years after this exquisite from Keats, ' as that would kill him at a word. His elegy was written, there was placed near the grave of letters were now unopened: they tear him to pieces— Keats another tombstone, 'recording that below rested he dare not look on the outside of any more.'
the passionate and world-worn heart of the author, . He would not hear that he was better : the thought Shelley, in these expressive words, ' Cor Cordium.' We of recovery is beyond everything dreadful to him: we must now force ourselves away from this strangely fasnow dare not perceive any improvement, for the hope cinating subject, concluding too brief an article with of death seems his only comfort. He talks of the quiet thé eloquent words in which Mr Milnes has brought to grave as the first rest he can ever have. ... Such a an end his labour of love. Let no man, who is in anyletter has come! I gave it to Keats, supposing it to be thing above his fellows, claim, as of right, to be valued one of yours, but it proved sadly otherwise. The glance or understood: the vulgar great are comprehended at that letter tore him to pieces; the effects were on him and adored, because they are in reality in the same for many days. He did not read it—he could not—but moral plane with those who admire; but he who derequested me to place it in his coffin, together with a serves the higher reverence, must himself convert the purse and a letter (unopened) of his sister's; since then, worshipper. The pure and lofty life; the generous and he has told me not to place that letter in his coffin, only tender use of the rare creative faculty; the brave enhis sister's purse and letter, and some hair. ... Last durance of neglect and ridicule; the strange and cruel night I thought he was going ; I could hear the phlegm end of so much genius and so much virtue—these are in his throat; he bade me lift him up in the bed, or he the lessons by which the sympathies of mankind must would die with pain. I watched him all night, expect- be interested, and their faculties educated, up to the ing him to be suffocated at every cough. This morning, love of such a character and the comprehension of such by the pale daylight, the change in him frightened me: an intelligence. Still the lovers and scholars will be he has sunk in the last three days to a most ghastly few: still the rewards of fame will be scanty and illlook. Though Dr Clark has prepared me for the worst, proportioned: no accumulation of knowledge or series of experiences can teach the meaning of genius to those the sauces ; and two presidents of the courts-royal were who look for it in additions and results, any more than set to skim the pot. Seven or eight admirals and the numbers studded round a planet's orbit could ap- generals waged valiant warfare on the poultry.yard, proach nearer infinity than a single unit. The world and came off victorious with twenty dozen eggs, and of thought must remain apart from the world of action, chickens and ducks innumerable. for, if they once coincided, the problem of Life would be All the ladies declared that they were perfectly solved, and the hope, which we call heaven, would be versed in making omelets; accordingly there was no realised on earth. And therefore men
end to these dainties. The most remarkable were, an " Are cradled into poetry by wrong:
omelet with rum by a duchess, an omelet with truffles They learn in suffering what they teach in song.'
by a marchioness, an omelet with asparagus by a viscountess, and a sweet omelet by a baroness.
Madame B- maintained order in all departments THE NOBLE COOKS.
of the service; she reserved to herself the seasoning of • We never know what we can do till we try,' and the ragoûts. * Necessity is the mother of invention,' are two time- And how they did laugh! honoured adages, which, contrary to the usual fate of Where's the vinegar ?' cried a consul. ancient saws, are fully as often practised as preached. ' A little parsley for my capon!' shouted a chargé. Certainly if there be truth in the latter one, poor Ne- d'affaires. cessity is the parent of a very queer and incongruous "Salt and pepper, if you please!' demanded a secreprogeny; and if the age of miracles' be past, the age tary of state. of inventions' is surely present. Our business just • Flour for me!' vociferated the attorney-general. now, however, is not with such lofty excursions up the After the omelets, there still remained so many eggs, hill of science as are every day undertaken by the that the ladies set to work and prepared fried eggs, master - spirits of the age, but rather with a lowly, boiled eggs, sliced eggs, and eggs beaten up in froth. though adventurous descent, into the culinary regions, While these active preparations were progressing, accomplished by knights, and lords, and ladies fair. the cook tried now and then to rise, but sank down
It happened some years ago that a lady of the highest again with a heavy sigh. Then he would follow with rank in Paris, named Madame B-, had assembled his drooping eyes the gentlemen in black coats, and the in her château sixty distinguished personages. The ladies in satin robes, all protected with napkins, feelentertainment was given in honour of the Prussian ing totally unable to comprehend this invasion of his ambassador; and the Luxembourg, the Palais-Bourbon, empire. and the diplomatic body, all had their representatives At ten o'clock Madame Bannounced, in the among the guests. Every one had arrived ; and “the midst of general enthusiasm, that dinner was ready; trying half-hour' before dinner passed in brilliant chat. and shortly after they all sat down to table. A consul-general recounted some scenes in the private Every one had earned a dinner and an appetite, and life of Ibrahim Pacha; while a deputy from Languedoc the dishes were pronounced by acclamation excellent drew laughter-loud as ever came from lips polite- Seldom was a banquet so thoroughly enjoyed; and at from the group who surrounded him, as he read aloud a late hour the illustrious guests separated, in gooda letter just received from one of his electors. The humour with each other, with their hostess, and with worthy informed him he had two camels, which he themselves. knew not what to do with, and modestly requested the Next morning, when the valet of Madame Bdeputy to sell them at a high price to government for awoke from his lethargy, he called for a sword to the Garden of Plants. “It won't cost the country much,' pierce his breast; but being able to find nothing better he added,' and will secure you my vote!'
than a carving-knife, that professional implement seemed Madame B- was passing from one to another of to him an ignoble instrument of death; and on second her guests with the most bewitching grace, when sud- thoughts, he resolved to live. denly she perceived her head butler making telegraphic signals towards her from behind the door. • What's the matter?' said she, approaching him. THE WAKALAHS, OR COMMERCIAL HOTELS Ah, madame, a great mishap!' cried he, clasping
OF EGYPT. his hands. • What is it?'
Every one who writes about the East, thinks it incum* The cook is tipsy-indeed so very drunk, that he bent on him to say something of the bazaars, or businesshas not even caused fires to be lighted. If he could quarters of the great towns, but rarely, if ever, is any even set about preparing dinner now, it would take notice taken of the wakalahs. It is very easy to mount four hours to make ready.'
a donkey, and, riding through the streets of Cairo, for By this time the guests' appetite had become sharp, example, examine in a cursory manner the aspect of and diplomatic stomachs were in question. Mailame the shops, the nature of the goods exposed for sale, the B- remained calm and serene. It was impossible to appearance of the traders, who seem sitting for their avoid the difficulty ; so she met it with a smiling face. portraits within ther, and the varied costumes of the
• Ladies and gentlemen,' said she, addressing the crowds that stream by. The picture is a striking one, company, 'I invited you to dinner, but there is no and easy to paint. l'irst, grocers, with their piles of dinner to be had : I have this moment learned that my sugar, and coffee, and sweetmeats, and yellow and red cook is intoxicated ; and if we want to have the table and white tapers'; then pipe-sellers, with their cherrycovered, we must turn cooks ourselves.'
sticks, and their jasmines, and their cheap maples
, The proposal was received with enthusiastic ap- plain, or ornamented with silk coverings and tassels
, plause. The Prussian ambassador immediately turned and with cases of costly mouthpieces; next come the up his sleeves; all the others followed his example, and dealers in manufactures, as cotton-prints, muslins, amid merry peals of laughter they descended en masse shawls, swinging flauntingly from poles thrust out overto the kitchen.
head; farther on we see carpets, and silks and broThe cook was seated in an arm-chair, looking as red cades in odd juxtaposition with Damascus swords; as a turkey - cock, and as immovable as a sphinx. afterwards Morocco shoes or Stambouli slippers ; here Around him were plenty saucepans and stew pans, Fez caps, there burnooses, with now and then a money. but not a vestige of anything eatable. • Conquer or changer watching over his strong chest of old carved die!' was their motto; and they conquered.
wood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. A peer of the realm was placed in charge of the spit; Generally speaking, the persons who sit in the bazsars two ministerial deputies watched the frying-pans; are men of small capital, with stocks that can be taken three secretaries to the embassy were promoted to mix in at one single glance, but which are constantly re
plenished by dealings with the wealthier traders, who sailing by in a cloud of fluttering silks and satins ; are to be found in the wakâlahs. The plan is, to take a Abyssinian or Galla girls, with broad grins upon their shop-often a mere recess, some six feet broad by four faces, leaning over the parapets above. In a country or five deep-furnish it with an assortment of goods where an attempt is made to conceal the most elegant more or less meagre, and gradually to increase the stock women, there must ever be an air of mystery about the as profits come in. It often happens that a wealthy houses. However common the white veils, and hennamerchant finds it his interest to give credit to a young dyed fingers, and flashing eyes may be in the streets, one man entering on business, in which case he considers always imagines there must be something inexpressibly himself as a sort of joint proprietor, comes in to see lovely hid behind each jealously-closed shutter. The how his protégé is getting on, watches how sales pro- fancy in such cases works powerfully, at least it did gress, interferes in every bargain, sometimes praising with me; and perhaps this is the reason why the old the articles on sale with the indifference of a mere spec- tumble-down houses of Cairo, which lean all ways, but tator, sometimes recommending a reduction of price, never deviate into the perpendicular, were invested in sometimes fomenting a wordy war between the dealer my eyes with a romantic character which some perand an obstinate customer, who will neither pay the sons seem totally to have missed. price asked nor go elsewhere. In this way the men of As I have said, the ground floor of the wakalah is the bazaars frequently sink down into the mere agents entirely occupied by warehouses and magazines, geneof the men of the wakâlahs; and these latter deserve, rally vaulted, and very secure. If possible, each of consequently, some notice, if we would form a correct these is allotted to some particular merchant, who takes idea of the way in which commerce is carried on in the it for a certain time, and sometimes affixes his seal; East.
but several stocks are often accumulated in one chamThe wakalalis are, properly speaking, places of resort ber, and it happens, though rarely, that depredation for tajirs, or merchants-as all persons travelling with and pilfering take place. In summer, the poorer mera view to business are called in the East-and combine chants spread their mats under the colonnade, and thus the advantages of a warehouse and a hotel. They are achieve the double object of saving and of watching always built round a quadrangular court. In general their property ; others go outside to lodge, and put up the ground floor, or rather basement, is allotted to the at coffee - shops, or with friends; others, again, take reception of merchandise, whilst above are lodging houses in the wakalah itself, establishing themselves houses and suites of apartments of all sizes. Cairo pos- there with their harems, and often staying a considersesses nearly two hundred of these establishments- able time, either until the whole of their stock is sold, many, however, no longer retaining their original cha- or until they determine to try their fortune at another racter—distributed through its various quarters. They place. are easily recognised in passing along the streets, the The classes of people who frequent these establishusual line of shops being broken by a vast portal, dis- ments are very various. Some are mere Egyptians, closing an extensive courtyard, and generally obstructed engaged in the trade between the villages and the with merchandise, upon or near which a few strangers towns. These bring wheat, barley, beans, cotton, flax, may be seen sitting smoking their pipes, and enjoying &c. all in small quantities; for the principal part of the the sight of the busy crowds going by. These are gene- trade is a monopoly. Others come from Upper Egypt, rally new-comers from Arabia, from Barbary, or from from Nubia, from Dorgola; others again from Sennaar, Turkey, and are more numerous about the time of the Kordofan, Abyssinia, and Darfur, and bring senna, departure or return of the pilgrim caravan.
precious gums, gold dust, ivory, ostrich feathers, koorEither in the doorway, or in a little recess, you may bashes, tamarind cakes, and slaves. All the towns generally see the kufuss, or large crate made of palm on the Arabian coast of the Red Sea have also their branches, on which the barab, or porter, spreads his representatives in the wakalahs of Cairo: the coffee carpet at night. It is ten to one, also, that the old trade is of course an important one, employing many gentleman will himself be there, exchanging whiffs out merchants, and there is a considerable importation of of a dingy jasmine pipe with some grinning black, or spices, frankincense, &c. The Syrian silk manufactures handsome Berberi, or sullen Moghrebbi. Farther on and tobacco are chiefly distributed by Levantines, of you may see the narrow entrance of a gloomy passage, whom there are always immense numbers in Egypt, where you stumble upon a set of steps of all heights, some settled, others merely on business visits. The breadths, and inclinations, leading to the upper part of majority of the latter, however, do not put up in the the wakalah.
wakâlahs; but, like the Jews, generally bring letters of Let us, however, first enter the courtyard, which the introduction to some private family. From Constangreat portal has disclosed to us. It is surrounded by a tinople, and all the principal towns of Asia Minor, colonnade below and an open gallery above-the inter- numerous Turks come to Egypt with great varieties of communications, if I may use the word, terminating merchandise-as amber, swords, and other arms; whitefor the most part in a pointed arch. Higher up, the lead, copper, ropes, charcoal, firewood, timber; drugs, building is very irregular-lofty here, low there, with as opium and hasheesh ; gold thread, dried fruits, mastic, one, two, or three storeys, a kiosk hanging over ove olive-oil, silk, salt provisions, soap, yellow slippers and corner, a hencoop rising at another. In Alexandria, it red shoes, pipe-bowls, tobacco and cigars, seggadehs, or is common to observe massive pillars and capitals of prayer-carpets, embroidered napkins, dye-stuffs, wines rose-coloured granite — the fragments of the ancient and arrack, sulphur, &c. Vessels laden with cattle city-used to support the gallery, and contrasting strik- often come from Karamania ; and from Cyprus, Rhodes, ingly with the rough hasty work of the rest of the Candia, and most of the islands of the Archipelago, structure. In the centre of the court, beneath a grace- little Greek schooners run over occasionally, with their ful cupola, there is often a basin of water, used by decks crowded with bearded tajirs, each owning a few the lodgers and hangers-on for their ablutions. The parcels of dried fruits or skins of oil. From Barbary a interior view of a wakalah, therefore, is not at all great number of traders bring about twelve thousand unpicturesque. The recesses, the doorways of various dozens of tarbooshes, or red caps, annually, a small heights and sizes, the galleries, the irregular projections, quantity of other manufactures, shoes and slippers of the fantastic architectural ornaments, the latticed win- Morocco leather, some wool, with ihrams, or blankets, dows, the balconies, form a far from disagreeable whole, burnooses, white and black, carpets, dye-stuffs, saffron, especially when animated by groups in great variety of and sulphur : Persians with costly shawls; Hindoos costume - merchants exhibiting the contents of their with precious stones, silks, and muslins; and even bales to a crowd of competing shopkeepers ; porters Chinese, are sometimes to be encountered in the wahanging about ready for a job; camels kneeling here, a kalahs. richly-caparisoned horse or mule pawing the ground This is not the place to give an account of the forthere; a veiled lady, followed by her fellaha, or servaut, mation and progress of the caravans. It will be suffi