« السابقةمتابعة »
but that it is confined to the Syrian and Arabian deserts; indeed, in page xlv. he states it to be met with in the Valley of Ghor, near the Dead Sea.
• About half way (says Mr Burckhardt) from Ras Abou Moham: med to Akaba, lies Dahab (Deuter. i. 1.), an anchoring place, with date plantations, and several mounds of rubbish covering perhaps ancient Hebrew habitations ; five hours north of Ras Abou Mohammed lies the harbour of Sherm, the only one on this coast frequented by large ships. In its neighbourhood are volcanic rocks; I could find no others of that description in any part of the Sinai deserts, although the Arabs, as well as the priests of the convent, pretend that from the mountain of Om Shommar (about eight hours S. S. W. from Djebel Mousa), loud explosions are sometimes heard, accompanied with smoke. I visited that mountain, but searched in vain for any traces indicating a volcano. The library of the convent of Mount Sinai contains a vast number of Arabic MSS. and Greek books; the former are of little literary value; of the latter I brought away two beautiful Aldine editions, a Homer, and an Anthology. The priests would not show me their Arabic memorandum books, previous to the fifteenth century. From those I saw, I copied some very interesting documents concerning the former state of the country, and their quarrels with the Bedouins.'
Ixviii. Immediately after this follows a description of Memnon's Head, and the infinite trouble it occasioned to himself, Mr Salt, and Mr Belzoni, in transporting it into England. What loss it would have been to the arts if they had miscarried in their project, we will not pretend to appreciate: It has certainly the merit of being the largest and heaviest head ever produced by the sculptor's chisel. It seems to be a great object with this traveller, to inform himself minutely of the state of the Bedouin Arabs. It is right to know all; but why are the Bedouin Arabs so great an object with Mr Burckhardt? If they have preserved their customs unchanged through many centuries, this is only a proof that they are a stupid and savage people; but the idea that the · Bedouins are now what they were 1200 years ago,' seems, in the estimation of this gentleman, to be a great subject of panegyric, and a great stimulus to curiosity. To us, the greatest praise which could be bestowed upon any people, and the greatest incentive to study and visit them, would be to hear that they had not the shape of a tea-pot, nor the cut of a coat, nor the fashion of a saw, nor a custom, nor a law, nor a form of politeness, which they had 1200 years ago.
There are, in various parts of this volume, allusions to published and unpublished travels, with some of which we shall endeavour to make our readers better acquainted.
I am certain that you take a lively interest in the travels of the unfortunate Sectzen, who was poisoned five years ago in Yemen,
His labours, I can assure you, have been very extensive, and conducted in a most enlightened manner. His intimate acquaintance with all branches of natural history was applied with indefatigable zeal to countries the most difficult of access, and he had many times nearly become a martyr to those pursuits, before he met with his ultimate fate. It has fallen to my lot to trace his footsteps, in many hitherto unknown parts of Syria and Arabia Petræa, and again in the Hedjaz: these, together with what I heard from the Europeans who knew him at Aleppo, Damascus, and Cairo, as well as from many Arabs on the road, have inspired me with as great a respect for his private character, as the dispersed memoirs of his researches already published, must give every reader for his literary acquirements. Although endowed with a lively fancy, and even with considerable poetical talents, he was a man of plain truth. If sometimes over fond of speculating upon the facts which he had collected, yet I am certain that, in stating those facts, he observed the strictest adherence to truth; and I have not the smallest doubt, that if he had lived to publish the mass of knowledge which he had acquired during his travels, he would have far excelled all travellers who ever wrote on the same countries. Mr Salt has lately shown me a letter which he received in 1811, from Mr Rutland, then factor at Mokha, acquainting him with the death of Seetzen, which had just taken place; and making mention, at the same time, of several papers which he had left as a present to Mr Rutland, who adds, that as they are in German he cannot read them. As Mr Seetzen would hardly have thought it worth while to make such a present to a person who could so little appreciate its value, I am much inclined io suspect they were only left in his hands as a deposite. Exact designs and descriptions of Mekka and other places, vocabularies of eighteen African languages, &c. are stated to be among the number.
• An Italian physician of the name of Cervelli, now established as a merchant at Alexandria, made four years ago some interesting travels in the North of Africa; he was attached to the son of Yousef Pasha of Tripoli, in the capacity of physician, and his pairon being sent by his father to reduce Fezzan, the chief of which had been dilatory in the payment of the tribute, Cervelli accompanied the Pasha's son upon that expedition. They first went from Tripoli by land to Derne, near to which Mr Cervelli saw the splendid ruins of Cyrene, at least what he supposed to be the remains of that town; they went from Derne to Augila, and from thence to Fezzan, where they remained about six weeks, and then returned over a chain of mountains, where he found snow (for it was in winter), by Sokhne to Tripoli.
• He heard of two English travellers having been at Fezzan, of whom one died, and the other was never heard of after his departure for Soudan ; the name of Hornemann was unknown to Mr Cervelli.' p.
We were very glad to find that Adams the surilor comes in for a share of Mr B.'s approbation, and that, from the extracts VOL. XXXIV. NO. 67.
which he read in the Quarterly Review, he believed the travels themselves to be authentic. The Felata Bedouins who came from the neighbourhood of Timbuctoo, gave him the same account of that city as is to be met with in Adams. Many details in Adams he reprehends, and disbelieves; but he is clearly of opinion, that, in the main, the travels are authentic. But of all travellers, Batouta seems to have been the greatest.
• When I first rapidly ran over his book, I took him for no better than Damberger the pseudo African traveller ; but a more careful perusal has convinced me that he had really been in the places, and seen what he describes. His name was Aby Abdallah Mohammed Ibn Abdallah el Lowaty el Tandjy, surnamed Ibn Batouta. He was born at Tangier in Barbary, from which place he derives the name of Tandjy. He published his travels after the year 755, A.H. They consist of a large quarto volume, which is so scarce in Egypt that I never saw it; but I know that a copy'exists at Cairo, though I was not able to discover who was the owner. A small abridgement in quarto is more common, and of that I have two copies. I shall give here a rapid sketch of his travels, which lasted for 30 years. Being a learned man, he found everywhere a polite and generous reception from Moslim chiefs and kings; and he lived, as a true Derwislı, sometimes in great affluence, and sometimes in poverty.' p.534.
He then proceeds to give a sketch of Batouta's travels, which is very curious, but too long for insertion.
• He was the greatest known traveller of any age, as far at least as relates to the quantity of ground travelled over. The information contained in his complete work, regarding the north of Persia, India, China, and the interior of Africa, must be invaluable ; and as he saw more of Africa than most travellers, I thought it not irrelevant to give the reader the result of my examination of his abridged work.'
Our readers are perhaps aware, that Egypt, like many other branches of the Turkish empire, is nearly severed from the main body; and that, under the vigorous government of Mohammed Ali, it has lately been tranquillized, rendered safe for travellers and merchants, and brought, comparatively with its antient turbulence, into a state of calm and civilization. After having broken the power of the Mamelukes in several engagements, he allured a great part of the remainder to Cairo, under the most solemn promises of safety and promotion. It is almost needless to say that he there cut their throats. It is rather singular, however, that another party of Mamelukes should afterwards suffer themselves to be duped to the same death, in the same place, by the same promises. This is flinging away life in the most foolish manner we ever heard of. Mohammed, among other great works, is reopening the antient canal from Rha
mange to Alexandria; a measure become absolutely necessary, from the heaps of sand which overwhelm the bar of Rosetta. In 1818 he carried a causeway across the mouth of the lake Madye, and in this manner established a land road from Rosetta to Alexandria. This canal, which it is calculated will employ 60,000 men for two years, at an expense of 2,000,000 dollars, will open a water carriage from all parts of Egypt to Alexandria, at all seasons of the year. Perhaps the canal between the Nile and the Red Sea, will be undertaken afterwards by the same enterprising spirit; particularly if the direct intercourse with India, which he has already set on foot, succeeds according to his wishes, and is not opposed by the bigotry and illiberality of the India Company. Mohammed Ali has established a large fabric of muskets at Cairo; an Italian has set up a gunpowder manufactory, where he has constantly 200 men at work; an Englishman is beginning to establish a distillery of rum at the Pacba's expense, and upon a very large scale; 20 ships belonging to the Pacha are trading lo Italy and Spain, six ships in the Red Sea to Yemen; and immense sums have been spent in fortifying Alexandria and the Castle of Cairo.
· Upper Egypt enjoys at present perfect tranquillity, under the severe but equitable government of Ibrahim Pasha, son of Mohammed Aly. The taxes are moderate, and the whole country is equally assessed; no avanies are practised, and the soldiery is kept in strict order. By secularizing a part of the revenues of the church, such as the superfluous income of mosques, schools, public cisterns, Olemas, village Shikhs, &c. the Pasha has of late considerably enriched his treasury. The clerical interest is of course now in opposition, although the Pasha has become the restorer of the faith, by delivering the holy cities. The Mamelouks have no chance of succeeding in any attempt upon Egypt, as long as Mohammed Aly keeps in power; but if he should happen to fall
, I conceive that, although their number is now reduced to three hundred fighting men only, they would forthwith regain their lost seat in Egypt, where their friends are still very numerous, especially among the most dara ing adventurers, who greatly dislike the just and vigorous measures of the actual government.
liv. With the permission, and under the Firmauns of this able and active usurper, Mr Burckhardt travelled quietly through Nubia up to the very confines of Dongola, along the banks of the Nile. It seems to us to be a journey of very little interest, except to those who are exceedingly curious about the antiquities of Egypt;-and even for these there is no novelty here of any great importance--and no drawings. The country everywhere presented the same appearance of misery and tyranny, which is so characteristic of the East. The same divine and human machinery were at work, which have in all ages so long attracted the notice of Oriental travellers; a burning sun rendering fertility more fertile, and barrenness more formidable.—The pride, ignorance, and ferocity of the followers of Mahomet, -the unbounded despotism of the master,--the deepest misery of the slave,-the earth languishing in its finest regions and creations, -and on every side (where the Garden of Eden might be), the silence and solitude of despotism.
Mr Burckhardt's journey begins at Assouan, the southern boundary of Upper Egypt; and, keeping on the banks of the Nile, he travels of course in a direction nearly south, for 4.50 miles. Nubia, before the reign of Sultan Selim, was divided between different tribes of Arabs, and the people of Dongola; or rather was a prize for which these different powers were always contesting. One of the Arab tribes, in a state of temporary inferiority to its rivals, applied to Sultan Selim for protection, who sent them several hundred Bosnian soldiers, under a commander named Hassan Coosie. Three brothers, his descendants, are the
present Governors of Nubia. They pay an annual tribute of 1201. to the Pacha of Egypt. Their chief residence is Den, on the Nile; but they are almost continually moving about, for the purpose of gathering the taxes from their subjects, who, like the subjects of our Government in Ireland, pay only upon the approach of a superior force. The whole revenue of the country, divided among the three brothers, is not 10,000). The taxes are estimated upon the number and power of the waterwheels.
The law of paying money for blood is established in Nubia -one of the first victories which mankind gain over their vage passions. The inhabitants, from the first Cataract to the frontiers of Dongola, do not plough their fields after the inundation has subsided, as they do in Egypt. The waters above the Cataract never rise sufficiently high to overflow the shore. Irrigation is therefore carried on by means of water-wheels, putin action as soon as the river has subsided. The first seed sown is that of a grain called Dourrha. The ground is again irrigate, ed after this crop is reaped, and barley is sown; and sometimes a third crop after this. The people wear blue shirts
, if they wear any thing; and live in mud cottages, covered with the stalks of grains, and furnished with a few earthen pots. They are generally armed; but ammunition is very scarce. When Mr Burckhardt left the camp at Tinareth, the nephew of the Chief ran after him two miles to obtain a single cartridge. The Nubians make palm wine, and barley wine or beer. Date spirits are made, and publicly sold, froni Siart southward through the