Excerpt from Narrative of a Voyage to Madeira, Teneriffe, and Along the Shores of the Mediterranean, Vol. 2 of 2: Including a Visit to Algiers, Egypt, Palestine, Tyre, Rhodes, Telmessus, Cyprus, and Greece; With Observations on the Present State and Prospects of Egypt and Palestine, a... nd on the Climate, Natural History, Antiquities, Etc. Of the Countries Visited
As he proceeds down the river against untoward winds, and suffering daily annoyances from want Of the luxuries he has been accustomed to, he meets the conscription Officer and tax-gatherer, in the full exercise Of their hated and oppressive power; the former of whom, he sees dragging the peasant from his home, and followed to the water's edge by the curses of the infirm, and the wailings Of the mother and the wife; while many Of those who are left behind have purchased their exemption by the mutilation of their limbs, or the partial deprivation Of their sight; and he beholds much Of this fertile land waste for want of cultivation.
Arrived at Cairo, disgusted with the country, and out of humour with himself, he looks with a jaundiced eye upon the modern manufactories, and other improvements made by the Viceroy, whose reception of him may no doubt eradicate some of the impressions he had already received on his voyage down the Nile, but which may be shortly wiped away, perhaps, by the company he meets at his consul's, or the renegade European instructors he may find at his hotel, or in the billiard-room.
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