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improbable, that the covering of the sword, in which it was wrapped, was some beautiful piece of embroidered work.
If the word meant merely the scabbard, which is not so probable, as there were particular words to express that, though there is reason to believe the sword was in some sheath, since otherwise David could not so conveniently have carried it with him; I say, if it meant merely the scabbard in which it was inclosed, it might notwithstanding have been of embroidered
So Mr. Irwin, in the account of his adventures up the Red Sea, and through Egpyt, tells us, that among other losses he sustained, the new hakem that should have particularly befriended him, besides other articles, oppressively obtained from him two silk tambour waistcoats, for the purpose, we imagine, of covering his pipes, and the scabbards of hist swords. They must have seen something of this sort, or they would not have entertained an apprehension of his putting them to that
So have I seen, in our country, the sheath of a knife and fork, very curiously covered with rich embroidery of silk of various colours, and gold or silver thread; with strings and tassels of the same materials, for the purpose, I apprehend, of hanging it by the side.
. P. 240.
A curious Illustration of the History of Joseph.
THE history of the late Ali Bey affords a lively comment on the sacred history of Joseph, not only as to the circumstances of his being stolen away from his native country; his being sold for a slave; his rising in the strange land to which he was carried; his being the governor of all Egypt; but also to the sending for his father, the honours with which he treated him, and which the Egyptians also, paid out of respect for Joseph.
The particulars I first mentioned have been common to many, and shall be, therefore, but just mentioned; but it may be pleasing to describe the last a little more at large.
At seventeen Joseph was stolen away from his native country, being seized upon and sold by his own brethren, to strangers, who carried him into Egypt: Ali Bey, who was born in the Lesser Asia, on the coast of the Black Sea, in the year 1728, was stolen away by some of his own countrymen, while he was amusing himself with hunting in one of the woods there, at the age of thirteen, and was carried into Egypt.
Jacob, who in ancient times lost his
• Gen. xxxvii. 2.
Hist. of the Revolt of Ali Bey, p. 70.
son, was a person of consideration, in the time and place in which he lived, being the grandson of one who was considered as a mighty prince among them, and Jacob lived in much the same style in that same country, though his being of a different religion from the rulers of the country must, without doubt, have diminished his character among them; Ali Bey was the son of a Greek priest, a person then of some distinction, but labouring under the disadvantage of being of a different religion from that which prevailed there, and had the countenance of the civil magistrate, for that was the Mohammedan. But considerable as the Jewish patriarch and the Greek priest were, they both had the misfortune to lose a son, stolen from them, and each sold for a slave.
Both were sold into the same country-into Egypt both came into the hands of great people of that country: and both, by degrees, rose to such a height as to govern that mighty state-Joseph as viceroy of Pharoah, king of Egypt; Ali Bey as Sheekh Bellet of Egypt, the first of the beys of that country, and, indeed, head of the Egyptian republic, as it is called by that author, acknowledging no other superior there than the Pasha, the representative of the Turkish emperor, and which
b Gen. xxiii. 6.
Pharoah said to Joseph, Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharoah said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. Gen. xli. 40, 41.
Pasha is rather the Sheekh Bellet's superior in honour and outward form, than in real power.
But what I would chiefly remark, is the resemblance that may be observed as to the honours with which they treated their fathers, when in this high state and condition. Here it will be sufficient to recite the account this writer gives of Ali Bey; the conformity will at once appear, and in a very strong light too to those that are well acquainted with the book of Genesis.
Ali, it seems, ordered a person he had occasion to send to Constantinople, to transact some business for him in that city, to find out his father when there, and bring him back with him into Egypt. His agent was successful, and brought him over; and when Daout, (or David,) which was the name of the Greek priest, who was Ali's father, approached Cairo, the capital of Egypt, where the Sheekh Bellet resided, Ali went out of the city, with a numerous retinue, to meet his father, and as soon as he saw him, he fell at his knees, and kissed his father's hand. Proceeding afterwards to his palace, Daout's feet having been washed by the domestics," he was led into the harem,* and Ali Bey presented to him the princess' Mary, and her child."
The author goes on, "The ceremony being over, Ali Bey left them, and went to the di
Ali's principal wife.
Or women's apartment.
yan, where he received congratulations from the other Beys, and the Janizar Aga. The Pasa himself sent his kiahaya," with his congratulations, and requested to see Daout, who was soon after introduced to the Pasha, and received with great respect, as the father of the Sheekh Bellet."
Every one must be struck with the resemblance, and may not the modern account serve to fill up some vacuities in the Jewish history? May we not believe, that Jacob's feet were washed with great ceremony when brought off his journey? That Asenath, Joseph's consort, and her two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, were presented to him? That he received the congratulatory compliments of the principal Egyptians on the occasion, notwithstanding the difference of religion between them and Jacob, the Mohammedans of Egypt being as conceited of the superiority of their religion to that of the Greek church, as the worshippers of the ancient Egyptian idols could be of the preference due to their religion, when compared with the simple, unadorned religion of Jacob, whose family were, we know, an abomination to the Egyptians? It is certain that Jacob was presented to Pharoah as Daout was to the Pasha, and received with as much respect, at least, since Jacob blessed the Egyptian prince. Nor
8 The assembly of beys, &c. who govern Egypt, of whom the sheekh bellet is the chief.
i Gen. xlvi. 34.
k Chap. xlvii. 7-10.