At the Napoleon’s Egypt blog, several letters are available on the early days of the occupation, some of them by members of the team of scientists Bonaparte brought with him. Excerpt:
‘ The port of Alexandria is divided into two very beautiful bays (with no great depth of water), separated by a dike or causeway near 1200 yards in length, and reaching to the Pharos, that is to say, to the site of that ancient and magnificent edifice, from whence vessels were discovered at the distance of thirty or forty leagues. . .
I shall say nothing more of this city; except that is inhabitants, though vanquished, are not in a state of complete subjection, nor likely to be so for a long time to come. We must use policy here, for we are not strong enough to do otherwise(7). For the rest, we respect their religion, their manners, and above all, their women; these last, it must be confessed, are not mightily engaging. In short, they are a hideous, and abominable race.’