Cedars of Lebanon: From Moses Montefiore's Diary
Wednesday, October 28th —Sir David Wilkie, Mr. Pisani and George Samuel dined with us, and at seven afterwards we set out. Our cavalcade consisted of one carriage with four horses, and one with two horses, six kavasses or police officers, eight men carrying large wax torches, two horse-men with each coach, a sedan chair with each coach, and three men to close the procession. As the carriages could not drive up to our door I was carried in a sedan chair to the foot of the hill, the other gentlemen walked, and I was in the first carriage with Mr. Pisani, the British Dragoman; George Samuel, Mr. Wire, and Dr. Loewe in the second. I wore my full uniform. The streets were crowded; many of the Jews had illuminated their houses. We reached the Palace in rather less than an hour. On descending from the carriages we found in the courtyard a large guard of honour, who presented arms. We were shown into a handsome drawing room, furnished in European style. Two magnificent silver candlesticks with large wax candles stood on the ground in the centre of a richly embroidered velvet carpet. We had not been seated two minutes when Rechid Pasha entered; he was most friendly in his manner. We were soon joined by Riza Pasha, and all were served with coffee and pipes, the mouthpieces and bowls of the latter being richly embellished with diamonds.
Rechid Pasha asked me how long I remained at Alexandria, how often I had seen Mohammad Ali, and how he looked? In a few moments it was announced that the Sultan was ready to receive us. The two Pashas walked first, I next, and the rest of our party followed, a large throng of officers bringing up the rear.
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