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sible I should imagine. In short, I fear we shall hear much of these Wahabees hereafter.
All that is doing in Spain, is most glorious, my dear general, but when one turns one's thoughts to Russia it damps it all. While our troops are covered with glory, the French occupy the whole attention of the public mind in this quarter of the world, and are supposed to be flying all over the globe, to Constantinople, to Persia, and to India; and this mortifies me very much, as it must, I think, our English soldiers. I must confess I have likewise some apprehensions about the French returning suddenly to Spain with a tremendous force; I hope I may be wrong, but I think there is a plan in all this we do not exactly see the depth of.
So you wish to be once more in a field of battle ?—so like a true soldier, who I believe is never happy out of it. Is then the report true which I have heard, that you are going to leave Malta? for I was asked in one of my letters if a new governor was likely to be so civil as to take charge of ihem as you had done. This being perhaps only a pump to know what you said of your present situation, I have taken no notice of it. I musi wish I suppose what you would like best! Be it
may, my prayers for your happiness and preservation will be as frequent as sincere.
We came to this place to be near the desert, and to learn a little what is going on ihere from good authority, the Arabs being still at war, it is necessary to be aware of their proceedings. Last month the weather was delightful, but of late it has snowed ; and so much rain has fallen, that not a house in the place is habitable, every room is a pond, and there is no communication betwixt one part of the town and the other, from the Orontes having overflowed : firing very scarce, and every body very miserable. A village a mile off has been halfdestroyed, and fifty persons killed either by the falling in of the houses or drowned.
Not long ago a body of Albanians, by the order of the pacha, entered this town, took the governor out of his bed, put him into chains, and carried him off, and seized all his property, and also every fine horse they could lay their hands upon. A very showy horse, Suliman Pacha of Acre had given me, I had given to the doctor, and it was waiting for him before the door of a public bath ; the Albanians were marching off with that also, although told it belonged to a Frank, not a Turk. One, however, asked, is the Frank one of the queen's people? Upon being answered in the affirmative, he said, “Take the horse to the stable, I shall not touch it, but some of our people may, not knowing to whom it belongs." What I have before told you about myself, I know, my dear general
, looks like conceit, but it is true, and it is something to have one's people and things respected at a moment when no legislative power exists in a place, and every one in fear and trembling.
As soon as the weather mends, Mulla Ismael, the powerful delibache, will return from Damascus; the pacha sent him to collect the Meri in Palestine, for he was afraid to go himself. Mulla Ismael is a great friend of mine, and I shall go out to meet him in the Turkish way: it will be a compliment to him, and besides, make me personally known to those of his troops who have not seen me before. jolly Turk, and has four wives here, and I believe fifty women ; so many
He is a very
that I cannot count them : they are all very good to me, and less shut up than any women I ever saw in this country. No Pacha has ever yet succeeded in cutting off this man's head, though many have tried, but he is too powerful, and the Arabs are too fond of him. He has taken refuge amongst them twice, and be now feeds every Arab who comes into Hamar, as a mark of his gratitude.
By Lady Bute's last letters in July, I find Lord Dumfries was getting ready to leave England; he was first to go to Malta and Sicily, and then to come here. I enclose a letter for him in case he is with you; if in Sicily, pray send it to him. We propose spending the summer at Antioch; but as things change every day in this country, it is almost impossible to make a plan, or rather to keep to it.
I received above one hundred pages from dearest James altogether ; he last wrote when just embarking for England with his general. I find Lord Wellington intends hereafter (upon his return to Spain) to place him under my old friend Colonel Gordon, which I shall be very glad of if he is obliged to leave Sir T. Graham. I hope shortly to receive more letters, and to hear that this excellent officer has recovered his sight. I think the best way of sending my letters, will be to the consul at Cyprus, as the communication is more frequent than to this coast, and boats come over every day. At Beyrouth we have no agent, nor at Seyde; at Tripoli we have a consul, and Mr. Barker has an agent at Lattakia. if any ship was going straight to Tripoli, that would do very well also ; but letters are longer reaching me from Alexandria, than they are coming from Malta to that place. The packet ought to be directed in Italian as well as English.
Bruce is in very good health, and means to write to you ; the doctor is curing Arab chiefs somewhere about Palmyra.
After the experiment I made in going alone amongst these people, I thought I might safely send him, which I did with a single Arab, who was to put him into the hands of my powerful friend, Mahanna El Fadel. He went very safe, and was extremely well treated the last time I heard, but Mabanna told him that if B. attempted to come into the desert, unless with me, he would cut off the heads of those who brought him before Adieu, my dear General, and believe me, Ever yours most sincerely,
H. L. S. Your Vino d'Oro is now waiting near the coast, and, as soon as a good opportunity offers il shall be sent. Hope was to have taken it but he is gone; but I trust I may hear of other good captains upon the coast in the spring. In a Greek ship it would be all drunk. I am trying to get some wild boar hams prepared for you, but I am yet uncertain how I shall succeed. We want strong dogs here very much, for the boars are very savage. I must not forget to tell you that the Chevalier Lescaris is become deranged. He goes about, however, but is, nor never will be, fit for any thing; but as being employed, and having money from Malta is always uppermost in bis thoughts, it would be a charity to put him out of suspense by some formal letter, that is to say, if you think it quite proper. To his Excellency Lieut.-General Oakes, &c. &c. &c.,
Lady Hester Stanhope to Lieut.-General Oakes.
October 12, 1812. My dear General, I have not time to write a long letter as we leave this place tomorrow for Cairo. Any letters which you may receive for us in future, have the goodness to forward to Mr. Werry, at Smyrna, and they will be sent us by some safe conveyance.
Colonel Misset has been very kind to us, but the person to whom we owe the most obligations is Captain Hope, nothing can have equalled his attention and good nature. What we should have done without him I know not; perhaps he will be the bearer of this letter, and he will then give you a full account of us and of our intentions.
This place I think quite hideous, and if all Egypt is like it I shall wish to quit it as soon as possible. When I have seen the pacha, I trust my letter will contain a little amusing if not interesting matter : it would be affected in me to retail (even had I time) the news of Alexandria, as you must receive it all from higher authority. I have little more to add, at present, than my constant best wishes, and to trouble you to forward the enclosed letters ; and the packet to Lady Bute, have the goodness to send by the first opportunity. I wish you could see the letter I received from her not long ago.
She is a woman of ten thousand; so amiable herself, yet so indulgent to others, and so sincere a friend.
Adieu, my dear General,
H. L. S. Captain Hope (Chivalry Hope he is to be called, for the old knights of Malta and Rhodes could not have deserved more praise from Burke), Chivalry Hope then has taken under his protection a box of conserves for you. Alas, they are by no means so good as those I lost, or of the various sorts chance then put me in possession of, but accept them, dear general, as they are. Colonel Misset has allowed me to take one of his iron beds ; if it could be replaced from Malta I should be very glad, as I fear he will feel the loss of it. Lady Bute's parcel had better be sent to Mr. Coutts, as they are so often out of town, and at a great distance. Bruce desires to be most kindly remembered to you.
Lady Hester Stanhope to Lieut.-General Oakes.
October 12, 1812. My dear General, I am here yet, not liking to stir till I see a little what turn things take. The pacha has offended all the cavalry (the Delibaches commanded by the son of the famous deposed pacha, Youseff Pacha), the infantry (the Albanians) are on the side of the present pacha, and every day a battle is expected. A report also has been in circulation that 50,000 Wababees are within four days' journey of this city, but I do not be
lieve it. It takes its rise from a letter from Mecca to the pacha saying several thousand dromedaries mounted by Wahabees have set off they know not where, but not improbably for this place, which they once before attempted to take, but were driven back, after having burnt and ransacked every village upon the road. Why this concerns me is for this reason : the strongest tribe of Bedouin Arabs, my friends, who do not like the present pacha, will probably join any party against him, and there will be a fine confusion in the desert as well as here, and the roads in every direction will be filled with Delibaches, &c. &c. These men are more dreaded in every part of Turkey than you can imagine, as they stick at nothing. But luckily for me I am well known to some thousands who have been in the habit of seeing me with their chief visiting their horses ; he has visited me accompanied by some of them, and they have everywhere treated me with the greatest civility, even when their chief has not been with them ; so I have less to fear than any one else, but yet when such disturbances take place few are safe. But should the worst come to the worst, I shall take fifty of them, and set off to my friend, the Emir Beechir, the Prince of the Mountain, where I shall be quite safe. He has 100,000 troops at bis disposal, which he can assemble in three days, and nothing was ever so kind as he has been to me; therefore hear what you may, believe me better off than any one else. The bey who commands the Delebaches, took a great fancy to me when at Cairo, and every thing he can command is at my disposal, I know; he is a simple, honest soldier, and has no intrigue about him at all, and is extremely beloved by the troops. It is a good thing that old North is safe off, for he would be in a sad fright. I am not at all, knowing my own presence of mind under all circumstances, and that I have excellent friends in this country,
Even with the French I am upon terms of friendship and confidence; they command every thing upon the coast; we have nobody in this country but Mr. Barker.
The enclosed paper will show you the real state of things, it is a copy of that which came from Constantinople. Yesterday I received a letter from Captain Hope telling me that Mr. Werry had sent all my packages from Smyrna, and I hear from Acre that they are safely arrived at that port; soon I hope to read all my old letters. Captain Hope tells me, also, that Mr. Liston has requested him to give a passage to Sir W. Ousely, brother to the, ambassador, You will therefore see him soon; therefore I enclose a letter for him. I have much to do before I can leave this coast, therefore I do not regret his going to England.
I scribble in great haste, as a messenger to Acre is just going off. Be perfectly easy about 'me; my good luck will not forsake me; when any confusion takes place. All I can say about myself sounds like conceit; but others could tell you I am the oracle of the Arabs, and the darling of all the troops, who seem to think that I am a deity because I can ride, and because I wear arms, and the fanatics all bow before me because the Dervises think me a wonder, and have given me a piece of Mahomet's tomb, and I have won the heart of the pacha by a letter I wrote him from Dar el Kamar. Hope will tell you how I got on upon the coast, and if he could make any thing of the pacha of Acre, his ministers, or the rest of them, who were all at my feet. I was even admitted into the library of the famous mosque, and fumbled over the books at pleasure, books that no Christian dare touch or even cast their eyes upon.
Adieu, my dear General,
H. L. S. My kindest remembrance to Colonel Anderson. I sent you, about a fortnight ago, a large packet for England by a respectable Damascus merchant going to Malta. Pray do not put any women or fools into a fright about the state of things in this country; besides, to tell the truth is here often the greatest danger one can run. Lady Hester Stanhope to Lieut.-General Oakes.
Damascus, October 12th. My dear General, The Wahabees (which were the subject of my last letter) have not been heard of near this town, it is said that a small number of them have arrived at Palmyra, but that is of no consequence. Whether it was the report of their being upon the road for this place, or that the pacha was unable to settle the dispute with his troops, which induced him to send a positive order to an old figure like Sir David, to come here directly (the head of every thing military in Syria), I know not; but this sensible, popular, and active old fellow suddenly appeared, and was shortly after commanded to take a strong body of troops, and gu over all the pachalic of Damascus instead of the pacha. During the time he was here he expressed a great wish to make my acquaintance and that I should visit him ; For,” said he, “ I shall be very jealous of my young chief if she does not. Knowing the state of things, the rebellious spirit of the troops, their exultation at his arrival, &c., I considered this visit as an awful thing, yet I was determined to go as every thing military seemed to have set iheir heart upon it.
I first was obliged to ride through a yard full of horses, then to walk through several hundred, perhaps a thousand Delibaches, and then to preseut myself to not less than fifty officers and grandees, the old chief in the corner, and my friend the young bey (Youseff Pacha's son), next to him, who rose to give me his place. I remained there about an hour; the old fellow was so delighted with me that he gave me his own house upon the borders of the desert for as long a time as I choose to inhabit it; he offered me a hundred Delibaches to escort me all over Syria; he sent off an express to put, as he said, his most confidential officer under my command, that nothing I asked was to be refused. In short, nothing could equal his civility, besides it was accompanied with a degree of heartiness which you seldom meet with in a Turk. The next day be sent me a very fine little two-year-old Arab horse to train up in my own way.
The chief of 40,000 Arabs, Mahanna El Faden, arrived here about the same time, to get 4000 camels, and several thousand sheep released, which the pacha had seized. His sons have been my friends ever since I came here, but as the father is reckoned as harsh as he is cunning, I little thought to manage him as I have done. He, his