THESE are the minarets of some of the ruined mosques which are seen scattered over the desert, just without the walls of Cairo, and are generally called the tombs of the Mamlooks,- Wilkinson says erroneously, and his authority is great; but this name is so commonly given to them, that it is scarcely desirable to change it. These beautiful and ever-varied objects are numerous, and at no remote period must, with their tombs and mosques, have given to this district a striking character; but they are nearly all falling to decay, and some are in ruins. The mosque of the principal minaret in this sketch has disappeared; its dome and tomb no longer exist. That the minarets, which are generally light and fragile in their structure, should remain, is remarkable. There is little doubt that the mosques have been destroyed by violence, but history has not preserved when or why; some religious feeling, perhaps, preserved the minarets, when the tombs, and names of the founders of the mosques, were devoted to oblivion.

Robert's Journal