Last evening, Mr. Jewett delivered his second and last lecture in Boylston Hall, taking for his subject "Cairo," which is the capital of Modern Egypt. It is the true city of "The 1001 Nights," for whatever is the origin of these tales they treat of the society of Cairo. The city is situated on a sandy plain near the point of the delta of the Nile and is surrounded by objects of great interest-the Pyramids on the west, the Necropolis of Thebes on the south, and the obelisk marking the site of the ancient Heliopolis on the north. The name Cairo comes from the ancient Arabic and means "Victorious Capital." The city itself is not remarkably old, the first settlement being made in the seventh century in what is now one of the suburbs. For 250 years the Mamelukes in Cairo ruled Egypt with an iron hand, and cruelty and bloodshed were common. Nevertheless art flourished greatly in their reign. It was only seventy-seven years ago when the last of the Mamelukes were destroyed by an act of treachery. The traveler on his arrival is struck by sights common in Modern Europe, and in fact Modern Cairo is nothing more than the European quarter of the city. The streets are broad and the houses and grounds beautiful in this new part. The best view is obtained from the citadel which overhangs the city on the south. From here can be seen the far stretching plains, the Nile and the desert, with the pyramids beyond and close beneath domes and minarets of the city. The Moslem University, or Mosque of Azhar, was founded 900 years ago and has several thousand pupils, who pay no tuition; nor do the shieks, or professors, receive any salaries. The course is usually three years.
There are 300 mosques altogether, and these are rapidly becoming very dilapidated since the government took charge of them Most of them are built with alternate courses of red and white stone and have domes which contain the tombs. There are no seats in them and the worshipper is obliged to take off his shoes upon entering. The minaret is invariably a feature of a mosque, and is a tall tower from whose gallery the priest summons to prayer. The chief mode of conveyance is the donkey, and the city is full of these strong little beasts, posted at every corner in charge of boys. The population of the city is about 400,000, and the native part is made up of Moslems and Coptic Christians who claim to be the descendants of the ancient Egyptians. The Moslems are very bigoted and distrust foreigners, but are slowly improving under European influence.
At the close of the lecture many interesting views were shown, in which the chief points of Saracenic architecture were fully displayed.