While the Turks were awaiting an answer from Stamboul, affairs in Cairo were becoming more and more complicated, and law and order no longer reigned there. The Mamelukes were daily becoming more violent and overbearing. They roamed through the city in bands, plundering and burning, and the beys could no longer control them. Daily the sufferings of the people became greater, and their hatred of the lawless Mamelukes more intense.
Robbed and outraged as they were, they were, in addition, continually being called on to pay new taxes to their detested rulers.
The Mameluke beys, Bardissi and Ismail, need money, need it more than ever. But where are they to get it? The question is a perplexing, a tormenting one, and with dismay Bardissi submits it to his faithful friend and untiring adviser, the sarechsme, Mohammed Ali.
And it was Mohammed who continually advised the imposition of new taxes, and who was constantly engaged with Bardissi in devising new means of raising money; and the imposition of each new burden was the signal for a new cry of rage from the oppressed people. The soldiers, too, began to murmur again, and to loudly demand their long-withheld pay.
The Albanians and Armenians, subject to Mohammed Ali, were held by him in severe discipline. He did not allow his soldiers to make thieves and robbers of themselves. He threatened with instant death all who should be caught in the act. They, however, clamored all the more loudly for pay.
Mohammed listened to them quietly, and seemed to be touched by their complaints. "But," said he, sadly, "it does not rest with me to pay you, neither can I do so. I am poor myself; I have nothing to live on but my pay, and that is withheld from me also. I therefore have, unfortunately, nothing to give my soldiers. Only the chiefs, Ismail or Bardissi, can give you your pay."
His soldiers have understood him. They salute their sarechsme, go away, and say nothing.
Mohammed well knows where the swarm of soldiers that had stood before his house have now gone, led by their bim bashis.
copyright © 2016 powered by Half of the Analects of Confucius governing the world network sitemap