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- Mohammed Ali and His House - 1/99 -


MOHAMMED ALI AND HIS HOUSE

An Historical Romance

by L. MUHLBACH

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY CHAPMAN COLEMAN

CONTENTS

BOOK I YEARS OF YOUTH.

CHAPTER I. The Sea II. Mother and Son III. Boyish Dreams IV. Premonition of Death V. The Story-teller VI. The Mamelukes VII. Dreams of the Future VIII. The Friends IX. A Soul in the Agonies of Death X. Cousrouf Pacha XI. The Revolt

BOOK II PARADISE AND HELL.

CHAPTER I. The Flower of Praousta II. Masa III. The First Day of Creation IV. Masa's Jewelry V. The Deliverance VI. The Flight VII. The Messenger VIII. Vanished IX. Where is she? X. The Departure XI. The Triple Oath XII. The Paradise under the Earth

BOOK III THE MAMELUKES.

CHAPTER I. Revenge II. All Things pass away III. The Bim Bashi IV. The Embarkation V. The Camp at Aboukir VI. The Massacre VII. Restitution VIII. The Viceroy of Egypt IX. Sitta Nefysseh X. L'Elfi Bey XI. The Council of War XII. The Abduction

BOOK IV THE VICEROY.

CHAPTER I. Butheita II. In the Desert III. The Agreement IV. The Revolt V. A Strong Heart VI. Persecution VII. Money! Pay! VIII. The Insurrection IX. Vengeance at Last X. The Return to Cairo XI. Mohammed Ali and Bardissi XII. Against the Mamelukes XIII. Love unto Death XIV. Courschid Pacha XV. The Tent XVI. Retribution XVII. Conclusion

BOOK I

YEARS OF YOUTH

CHAPTER 1

THE SEA.

Beautiful is the sea when it lies at rest in its sublimity, its murmuring waves gently rippling upon the beach, the sky above reflected with a soft light upon its dark bosom.

Beautiful is the sea when it bears upon its surface the stately ships, as though they were rose-leaves caressingly tossed by one wave to another. Beautiful is the sea when the light barks with their red sails are borne slowly onward by the gentle breeze, the careless fishermen casting nets from the decks of their frail craft into the deep, to draw thence, for the nourishment or pleasure of man, its silent inhabitants. Beautiful it is when in the darkness of the night, relieved only by the light of the stars, and the moon just rising above the horizon, the pirates venture forth in their boats from their lairs on the coast, and glide stealthily along within the shadow of the overhanging cliffs, awaiting an opportunity to rob the fishermen of their harvest; or, united in larger numbers, to suddenly surround the stately merchantman, clamber like cats up its sides, murder the sleeping, unsuspecting crew, and put themselves in possession of the vessel.

The sea has witnessed all this for centuries, has silently buried such secrets in its depths; and yet, after such nights of blood and terror, the sun has again risen in splendor over its bosom, ever presenting the same sublime spectacle.

Beautiful is the sea when it lies at rest in the azure light of the skies-a very heaven on earth. But still more beautiful, more glorious, is it when it surges in its mighty wrath-a wrath compared with which the thunder of the heavens is but as the whispering of love, the raging of a storm upon the land, a mere murmur. An immeasurable monster, the sea rushes with its mighty waves upon the rock-bound coast, sends clouds of spray high into the air, telling in tones of thunder of the majesty and strength of the ocean that refuses to be fettered or conciliated.

You may cultivate the arts and sciences on the land, you may bring the earth into subjection, and make it yield up its treasures; the sea has bounded in freedom since the beginning, and it will not be conquered, will not be tamed. The mind of man has learned to command all things on the land, knows the secrets of the depths of the earth, and uses them; but man is weak and powerless when he dares to command, or ventures to combat, the ocean. At its pleasure it carries ships, barks, and boats; but at its pleasure it also destroys and grinds them to dust, and you can only fold your hands and let it act its will.

Today it is surging fiercely; its waves are black, and their white heads curl over upon the rock Bucephalus, that stretches far out into the bay of Contessa, pictured against the blue sky in the form of a gigantic black steed. Huddled together, at the foot of this rock, and leaning against its surface, is a group of men and boys. They are eagerly gazing out upon the water, and are perhaps speaking to each other; but no one hears what another says, for the waves are roaring, and the storm howling in the rocky caves, and the waves and storm, with their mighty chorus, drown the little human voices. The pale faces of the boys are expressive of terror and anxiety, the knit brows of the men indicate that they are expecting a disaster, and the trembling lips of the old men forebode that the next hour may bring with it some horrible event.

They stand upon the beach, waiting anxiously; but the monster--the sea--regards them not, and hurls one black wave after the other in upon the cliff behind which they stand, often drenching them with spray.

But these people pay no attention to this, hardly notice it; their whole soul is in their eyes, which are gazing fixedly out upon the waters. Thus they stand, these poor, weak human beings, in the presence of the grand, majestic ocean, conscious their impotence, and waiting till the monster shall graciously allow his anger to abate. For a moment the storm holds its breath; a strange, solemn stillness follows upon the roaring of the elements, and affords these people an opportunity to converse, and impart their terror and anxiety to each other.

"He will not return," said one of them, with a shake of the head and a sad look.

"He is lost!" sighed another.

"And you boys are to blame for it!" cries a third, turning to the group who stood near the men, closely wrapped in their brown cloaks, the hoods pulled down over their eyes.

"Why did you encourage him to undertake so daring a feat?" cried a fourth, pointing threateningly toward the boys.

"It is not our fault, Sheik Emir," said one of them, defiantly; "he would do so."

"Mohammed always was proud and haughty," exclaimed another. "We told him that a storm was coming, and that we would go home. But he wouldn't, sheik."

"That is to say," said the sheik, angrily--"that is to say, you have been ridiculing the poor boy again?"


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