54 THE MODERN EGYPTIANS. Europeans.
Orientals is nowhere so strikingly manifested as in Egypt, where it
affords a modern reflex of their ancient, world-renowned supremacy.
Most of them are immigrants from the various Greek islands, and
the purity of their type is specially noteworthy.
The Italian residents, 16,000 in number, consist chiefly of tra¬
ders of a humble class, advocates, and musicians, from the operatic
singer down to the Calabrian itinerant. Of French nationality
(15,000) are all the artizans of the higher class, who are generally
noted for their skill, trustworthiness, and sobriety, and indeed
form the most respectable stratum of the European community.
Most of the better shops are kept by Frenchmen, and the chief
European officials of the government, including several architects
and engineers, are French. The English settlers number about 5000,
exclusive of the troops, of which there were about 7000 at the
beginning of 1885. Until recently their specialities were the manu¬
facture of machinery and the construction of railways and harbours;
but of late they have also almost monopolised the chief posts in
those branches of the administration (post and telegraph office,
railways, custom-house) that have been remodelled after the Euro¬
pean pattern. A large majority of the residents who enjoy the pro¬
tection of the British consulate are Maltese, and to them apply even
more forcibly most of the remarks already made regarding the
Greeks. It has been ascertained that the Maltese settlers in foreign
countries are more numerous than those resident in their two
small native islands, and of these a considerable proportion be¬
longs to Egypt. At home, under the discipline of British institu¬
tions, they form a pattern little nation of their own, but in Egypt,
where they are freed from the restraint of these influences, they
are very apt to degenerate and to swell unduly the ranks of the
criminal class. Many of the Maltese, however, are enterprising
tradesmen and industrious artizans, such as shoemakers and joiners.
To the Austrian (3000) and German (1000) community belong a
number of merchants of the best class, all the directors of the prin¬
cipal banks, many physicians and teachers, innkeepers, musicians,
and lastly handicraftsmen of humble pretensions.
With regard to the capability of Europeans of becoming ac¬
climatised in Egypt, there are a number of widely divergent opinions.
Much, of course, must depend on the nature of the climate of their
own respective countries. It has been asserted that European
families settled in Egypt die out in the second or third generation,
but of this there is no sufficient proof, as the European community
is of very recent origin, and many examples to the contrary might
be cited. The climate of Egypt is less enervating than that of most
other hot countries, an advantage attributed to the dryness of the
air and the saline particles contained in it; while the range of tem¬
perature between the different seasons is greater than in Ireland or