But a deplorable event snatched away General Kleber in the midst of his exploits and of his judicious government. He was assassinated in the garden of his palace by a young man, a native of Aleppo, named Suleiman, who was a prey to extravagant fanaticism.
With Kleber’s death, Egypt was lost for France. Menou, who succeeded him, was very far beneath such a task. The English offered to make good the convention of El Arish, but Menou refused, and England prepared for an invasion, after attempting vainly to co-operate with the Turks.
Sir Ralph Abercrombie, who had been appointed as British commissioner, landed with the English army alone at Abukir. After fierce skirmishing, the French and English met on the plains of Alexandria. In the frightful conflict which ensued, Sir Ralph Abercrombie was slain, but the battle ended with the retreat of the French. Damietta surrendered on April 19th. The French were now divided, while Menou hesitated. General Hutchinson took the place of the deceased British commander. A great battle was fought at Cairo, which was won by the British, and the capital itself now fell into their hands. General Hutchinson then closed in upon Alexandria; and, after hard fighting, Menou at length surrendered. The French troops were allowed to return to France with all their belongings, except the artillery, August 27, 1801.
Mehemet’s rise to power: Massacre of the Mamluks: Invasion of the Morea: Battle of Navarino: Struggle with the Porte: Abbas Pasha, Muhammed Said, and Ismail Pasha: Ismail’s lavish expenditure: Foreign bondholders and the Dual Control.
From the beginning of the eighteenth century, the destiny of Egypt was the destiny of one man; he aided the political movements, and accelerated or retarded social activity; he swayed both commerce and agriculture, and organised the army to his liking; he was the heart and brain of this mysterious country. Under the watchful eyes of Europe, attentive for more than forty years, this Macedonian soldier became the personification of the nation under his authority, and, in the main, the history of the country may be summed up in the biography of Mehemet Ali. If we consider the events of his life, and the diverse roads by which he reached the apogee of his fortunes, reviewing the scenes, now sombre, now magnificent, of that remarkable fate, we obtain a complete picture of Egypt itself, seen from the most intimate, real, and striking point of view.