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Our preceding descriptions and Illustrations of Alexandria, in the last four Numbers of this Journal, have supplied a general acquaintance with the local situation of that city and of its harbour, and of the forts and batteries, extending more than seven miles along the seashore, by which it was defended from foreign attack. The Frank, or European Quarter, including the Grand Square, formerly named the Place Mahomed Ali, which is now reduced to heaps of ruins, occupied the eastern part of the city, on the shore of the so-called New Port, which was not the actual port of commerce, being a mere shallow bay full of sandbanks. The Old Port, or Inner Harbour, with the Quays, the Arsenal, and the Mole and Landing Pier, lies on the west side of an isthmus, artificially formed many ages past, connecting the islet of Pharos, on which are the Palace of Ras-el-tin, several Forts, and the Lighthouse, with the mainland shore behind. We take this opportunity of commending Messrs. Letts, Son, and Co. for their timely publication of an excellent Plan of Alexandria, on the scale of three inches to the mile, with the depths of water in the harbour channels. Another Plan, extending so far westward as the Marabout island and fort, is published by Mr. James Wyld, and will be found even more serviceable in studying accounts of the late bombardment. Either will show the point which must here be considered; namely, that some of the shells thrown by several of our larger ironclads at the Ras-el-tin and other Forts were likely, if they missed their aim and passed on about two miles farther in the same direction, to fall into the midst of the city. In spite of the utmost care and skill exercised by the officers and gunners of the naval squadron, it is now proved by ample evidence that this actually happened; one of the largest shells from a British ship of war struck the English church at the farther side of the Grand Square; and the Europeans still left in Alexandria testify that many shells fell in the streets and among the houses in different quarters. In the narrow lanes and alleys of the old native town, one of which is shown among our Artist's Sketches, the falling of a shell must have been so destructive and terrifying to the poor inhabitants that we can readily understand the panic excited among the townspeople on Tuesday week. They fled front their homes is terror, many thousands of families all that day thronging the roads to the city gates, with crying lamentations, escaping into the country, destitute of all but the little; they could carry with them. At half-past five, when the bombardment ceased, forlorn groups of weeping women and angry men, with children beside them, were seen to greet each other with joyful thanksgiving for relief from the instant danger. Others were deluded by a false rumour that the forts had repelled the attack, and had sunk two or more of the British ships; but there is no doubt that the whole native population, except the soldiery, was afflicted with agonies of fear, and that all who could leave the city did so, dreading the worst fate of the defenceless victims of war. It was impossible to undeceive them, as there was no civil government, the Khedive having shut himself up at Ramleh, and there was no English or foreign official on shore to whom the Admiral might have sent a reassuring message. The Tuesday night was endured in painful anxiety, and next morning the terror of the townspeople was renewed by the sound of our guns firing a few shots at the outer forts not yet subdued, and by symptoms of all intended attack on the forts behind the city, from the ships which had now entered the inner harbour. The flight of panic-stricken families throughout Wednesday forenoon though it is certain that there was no real chance of their being molested by the British forces on sea or shore, proves the continuance and aggravation of their distress. Such was the condition of Alexandria, by all the accounts from persons remaining in the city, at the hour when Arabi Pasha resolved upon his military retreat. The horrible doings of the afternoon, which are to be next related, were consequent upon the state of utter confusion, dismay, and wild excitement preŽvailing in the motley population.

Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2255—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 22, 1882, p.81