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stagnant after the inundation. Mareotis, on the south of Alexandria, is sometimes almost dry. The Meris, a large lake or reservoir of water, was formed anciently by art ; it is supposed to be the long deep canal calleci Bathen. The lakes or basons which afford natron, are in a desert, near a remarkable channel, which is supposed to have been a branch of the Nile. From the stagnant waters in Egypt, originate innumerable musketoes and gnats, which torment the inhabitants.
826. Mountains and Productions. Between the Nile and the Arabian Gulf is a range of mountains, and on the west are mountains of sand-stone, or free-stone, which furnished the materials of the pyramids. In Upper Egypt are mountains of granit and porphyry, with quarries of marble. . The productions of Egypt, in addition to such as are common in similar latitudes, are the lotus, a species of water lily, which, on the recess of the inundation, covers the canals with its broad leaves and beautiful flowers. The papyrus, the plant which furnished the material on which the ancients wrote, and the present name of paper, once grew upon the banks of the Nile, but it is said to be exterminated. In Egypt flourish the sycamore, the date palm, the pistachia, the oriental plane, the caper bush, senna, and the henna, from which is prepared a yellow dye, with which the ladies tinge the nails of their fingers. To these may be added the tropical fruits, the sugar cane, and cotton.
827. Inhabitants. The population of Egypt is computed at two millions and a half. The inhabitants sprung from the same stock as the Arabians, Phenicians, Assyrians and Jews, which is proved not only by the color and features of their bodies, but by the ancient Coptic language. Egypt fell successively under the dominion of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mahometans, Saracens, and Turks. The Copts, or descendants of the original inhabitants, are yet numerous, but the Arabs and Turks form a considerable part of the population, and the Coptic language being extinct, the Arabic is universally used,
828. Persons, Manners and Custome. The lower classes of people in Egypt are said to be ugly, and filthy in their persons and houses, but mild and hospitable. The Coptic inhabitants in higher life have tolerable features, and the females, tho of short stature, have large black eyes and elegant shapes. The Arabs have the same persons, and differ not essentially in character from those in Arabia. Inflamed eyes are very common in Egypt, which may perhaps be ascribed to the dust of the country. The people live chiefly on rice, or other vegetable diet, and milk. They drink little fermented liquor, ride much on horseback, and bathe frequently for the preservation of health. The practice of hatching eggs by artificial heat in ovens is common in Egypt, and great attention is paid to the raising of bees.
829. Chief Cities. Cairo. Cairo, or Cahira, is on the east side of the Nile, at some distance, but connected with the river by its suburbs. On the east is a chain of mountains, on the north a plain. From the river to the city is a wide canal, which, when the water is low, becomes very offensive. The streets are narrow, that they may be shaded by the houses, it being deemed, in the hot climates of the east, of more consequence to health to keep the air cool, than to have fresher air with greater heat. The principal mosk is ornamented with marble pillars and Persian carpets, and has a library of manuscripts. The city contains 300,000 inhabitants, with reservoirs of water, public baths, and bazars, in which each trade has its quarter. The houses are mostly of sand-stone, two or three stories high, with flat roofs, and at the north east are gardens and villas of the grandees. During the inundation, parties amuse themselves in light boats, like the Venetian gondolas. The common amusements are games of chess and drafts, dancing girls and rope dancers.
830. Alexandria. Alexandria, now called Scanderia, was built by Alexander the Great, soon after he destroy. ed Tyre, about 333 years before Christ. It stands on the Mediterranean, 12 miles west of the canopic mouth of the Nile. This city was for ages a place of great magnificence and commerce ; after being taken and
plundered repeatedly, and again recovering its former splendor, it was finally taken by Omar's general, and its library, consisting of 700,000 volumes or rolls, was burnt by order of the bigoted Mahometan. For six months, these books supplied fuel for the public baths. Since that time the city has declined. It contains now about 15,000 inhabitants, who carry on some commerce with Asia and Europe.
831. Manufactures and Trade. Among the manufactures of Egypt, are sugar, ammony, glass lamps, saltpeter, gun powder, red and yellow lether, and fine linen. Before the navigation to India by the Cape of Good Hope, the commerce between Europe and Asia was carried on through Alexandria and Cairo. The latter is still the center of the trade of Egypt and the neighboring countries. From Yemen are imported coffee, drugs, perfumes, and some gems ; from Hindoostan are brought muslins, cotton and spices; from Sennar, the caravans bring slaves, gold dust, ivory, horns of the rhinoceros, ostrich fethers, gums and drugs ; from Tunis and Tripoli are brought oil, red caps and flannel ; from Syria, cotton, silk, sugar and tobacco ; from Constantinople, iron, copper and brass wares; and from Circassia or Georgia, white slaves, the noted Mameluks. Formerly Egypt exported wheat to Rome, and rice is still exported from Lower Egypt.
832. Curiosities. The Pyramids of Egypt are the greatest wonders of human labor, and the more remarkable, as no historical records remain by which we can determin the era when they were erected, or the purpose for which they were designed. They are square piles of stone, rising to a point, standing about 12 miles from Cairo, on the west of the Nile, and at some distance from the site of Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, which no longer exists. Three of the pyramids are very large, and the largest is 600 feet square at the base, and 500 feet high. There are steps by which one may ascend them, and some of them having been opened, are found to contain stone coffins, which has led to a belief that they were erected for the burial places of kings. More probably they were raised as temples to the sun, in early ages, when the sun was worshipped as a deity.
NUBIA. 833. Nubia. Between Egypt and Abyssinia lies Nubia, anciently called Ethiopia, a country about 5 or 608 iniles in extent. It is penetrated by the Nile, but a great part of the country is a sandy desert. The most valuable provinces are Donogola on the north, and Sennar on the south. The people are represented as deceitful and ferocious. Their dress is a long blue shirt, and their chief food millet. The country contains cattle, and good pasturage in some places, but in general is a miserable country, inhabited by a miserable people.
TRIPOLI. 834. General Description. Tripoli, one of the states on the northern coast of Africa called Barbary, extends westward of the desert of Barca about 900 miles. The inhabitants are in general poor, being oppressed by the exactions of the government, which is vested in the Bey; but tributary to Turkey. The inhabitants of the interior cultivate the earth, but those on the sea coast live by piracy. The capital, Tripoli, is situated on the Mediterranean, surrounded by high walls, flanked by pyramidical towers. It has narrow dirty streets, and is in a state of decline. It has no fresh water, except what is collected from rains, and kept in cisterns. Corn is scarce, but dates are plenty, and the fruit of the lotus supplies great quantities of food. Its commerce consists in stuffs, saffron, corn, oil, wool, dates, skins and ostrich fethers.
TUNIS. 835. General Description. The state of Tunis lies on the northern shore of Africa, north west of Tripoli, and is about 300 miles in length. It was formerly a kingdom, but is now a republic, or rather an aristocracy, under the protection of the Turks, to whose Bashaw it pays tribute. The soil is in general dry, but the western and central parts are fertile, and tho corn is scarce, dates, fig's and other fruits are in abundance. The inhabitants are
Moors, Turks, Arabs and Jews, chiefly Mahometans, who practice piracy, and keep a considerable number of christian slaves. The capital, Tunis, stands on the Gulf of Goletta, about 8 miles from the site of ancient Carthage, the ruins of which are still to be seen. The houses are of stone, surrounded by high walls, and flanked with towers. Here the Bey resides in summer, but in winter he retires to a lake in the south. Through this territory runs the large river Mejerda, the ancient Bagrada, and the country produces the fruits common to the mild latitudes.
836. Inhabitants, Manufactures, Trade. The city of Tunis is computed to contain 50,000 inhabitants, a considerable number of whom are Jews. They manufacture velvets, silks, linen and woollen cloth, and red caps, which are worn by the common people. They carry on considerable trade in woollen stuffs, red caps, gold dust, lead, oil, and morocco lether. The inroads of the Arabs oblige the inhabitants to sow their grain in fields inclosed with high walls. The people of this regency are said to be the most civilized of any on the northern coast of Africa.
ALGIERS. 837. General Description. Algiers, one of the pirati. cal states of Africa, extends along the shore of the Mediterranean, about 460 miles, between Tunis and Morocco; its extent north and south is various, but not exceeding 100 miles. In climate and productions it resembles the adjacent states ; the summers are hot, the winters so mild that frost is seldom seen, and all the tropical fruits, lemons, oranges, figs and dates, flourish and abound. The vast barren wilds in the south are the nurseries of ferocious animals, lions, tigers and wild boars, with ostriches, buffaloes, and other wild animals without number. There is a mountain of salt near Marks.
838. City of Algiers. The city of Algiers is situated on the declivity of a hill, in the form ofan amphitheater, facing a good harbor. The walls are 30 feet high on the land side, and 40 next to the water, the lower part of hewn stone, the upper part of brick. The ditch is 20 feet