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ministered. Unfortunately there seems a disposition on the part of the Government to exclude agricultural enterprise, for fear, possibly, of the foreign influence which must follow in its train, -and perhaps one can hardly blame them. What with their Domaine lands hypothecated to foreigners in one direction, and their Daira Sanieh lands in another, and all the principal departments of the Government under foreign control, one has no reason to wonder at a reluctance to see foreigners appropriating the very soil. I only know of one instance of a considerable tract of land being farmed by a private individual who is a foreigner, and he has no cause to regret his venture; but he has had much prejudice to contend with on the part of the natives, and had great difficulty in making his purchase in the first instance. This prejudice, so far as the peasantry are concerned, is soon overcome. They have every reason to be thankful for the system under which the Government is at present administered; and foreigners, and especially English, are decidedly popular among them. Among the upper classes the sentiment is different. The Turkish official element is as bitterly opposed to the foreigner as in Turkey itself; whilst the sympathy of the higher. officials of Egyptian origin, and of the Copts, is French rather than English. This is partly owing to the great preponderance of the French population in Egypt over the English, to the much greater proportion of employees in the Government service which belong to the former nationality, and to the fact that the official language is French. All the Arab papers in the country but one, support the French. In fact, Egypt is becoming rapidly Frenchified morally, and under the present contrivance of an Anglo-French administration French influence must inevitably go on increasing. But in Egypt, as elsewhere in Eastern countries under the domination of the Porte, a feeling of national independence is gradually growing. This is the case both in Egypt and Syria, though from the fact that both countries have lost all traditions of a national independent existence, it is a plant of slow and tender growth, and will not dare to find expression until the central Turkish power is shaken to its foundations. I think we may then see, both in Syria and Egypt, an anti-Turkish movement, which the old conquering race, whose supremacy is now only based upon its prestige, will be no longer able to resist. When such a movement takes place, the relations that these two countries hold towards England and France will have to be determined, and it will probably then be found that the best solution would be an arrangement by which Syria, excluding Palestine, should be placed under the protectorate of France, and Egypt under that of England. The national party in both countries would hail such a change with delight, and indeed are already so far familiarised with the idea of obtaining their freedom from the domination of Turkey by some arrangement of the Western Powers, that the only practical difficulties in the way of a solution in this sense would arise, not from the countries to be dealt with, but from the suspicions and jealousies of those great Powers whose function it must be ere long to shape their destinies.
CHA PTE R IV.
SOCIETY IN THE PROVINCES.
LIFE in Minieh in the month of March left nothing to be desired for those whose tastes were moderate, and who were in search rather of repose than of excitement. The climate was soft and temperate; the view from our place of residence over the Nile, with precipitous limestone cliffs rising out of the palm-trees, presented a constantly renewing variety of marvellous effects of light and shade, which it was a continual source of delight to watch and attempt to put on paper. The neighbourhood abounded, besides, in picturesque sketches; while our rooms were ever fragrant with the odours of the orange and lemon groves in full bloom, by which they were surrounded. Though the bazaar was by no means so picturesque and characteristic as that of Medinet el Fayoum, it was much better supplied; and so far as the necessaries of life were concerned, we were far better off. The town presents quite an imposing effect from the river, with its white mansions lining the bank; and the palace of the Khedive is one of the handsomest buildings of the kind out of Cairo. There are two or three mosques, which are chiefly interesting from the fact of their columns being taken from old Graeco-Roman ruins of towns in the neighbourhood, and presenting an unusual variety of style of capital. One that has completely fallen into decay is especially picturesque: half-a-dozen beautiful little Corinthian columns rise out of a mass of rubbish; and on a neighbouring roof immediately above them an ox is perpetually turning a sakāya, which supplies the adjoining baths with water. There does not seem to have been any city of importance here in ancient times—the capital of the Nome of Hermopolis Parva, in which it was situated, lying a few miles to the south at the village of Taha el Amoodaya, where some mounds mark its site. Leo Africanus says that Minieh was built in the time of the Moslems by Khasseeb, who was appointed governor under