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to her ambitious feelings, to being absorbed at home in the common mass of individuals of her station, among whom, the qualities that gained her pre-eminence in Syria would have depressed, rather than raised her in estimation. Destitute, it would appear, of the better feelings of social life, Lady Hester sacrificed everything to her self-love, and attracted towards herself not a single human sympathy. Isolated as she was, her retainers and servants came and left her without a single mark of attachment on their part, or regret upon hers. Her visionary sovereignty, matured by pride, led her on with no very valuable traits, save her indomitable energy, up to the moment of reaction. In her career she resembled her relation, Pitt: obstinacy, even in. conscious wrong ; the policy that aided her objects before any justice ; great miscalculation, and recklessness of consequences-all these were remarkable in both. The acquirements and cultivated intellect of Pitt were not, indeed, to be traced in Lady Hester, the comparison mainly regards natural, and not acquired tendencies. Destitute of humanity, she could exert her influence with indifference to carry fire and sword among a mountain people, occasioning scenes of ravage and bloodshed among the innocent, to avenge the death of a traveller, murdered by a robber or robbers within their territory; or, with equal indifference, hear the cries of men tortured by the petty despots where she resided, whom one word from herself would have saved—and, in such cases, pleading in justification some absurd axiom about justice and law, arising out of the innate pride of her proud and vain heart. In regard to mind, Lady Hester passed her solitude without books; she seems to have scorned the pleasures of intellect, and was proportionably ignorant and credulous. What can be said for a woman possessing judgment, upon the strength of an old manuscript, with the possession of very small pecuniary means at the time, setting out with a grand cavalcade, to discover the hidden wealth of a dead pacha, having applied for the firmans necessary at Constantinople, perhaps through the English ambassador-God save the mark !—then to go from her residence at Lebanon to Askalon, in order to dig for this imaginary treasure ! Under such an authority from the Porte, Lady Hester was honoured with distinctions usually paid to princes only: twenty tents were pitched for her, numerous attendants provided, and an escort of a hundred horse ordered to accompany her, upon a fool's errand. The governor of Jaffa was commanded to accompany her. She had been so credulous as to believe that the English Government ought to pay the expenses of her search, as it would give the name reputation. The Porte was of course to have the treasure he himself could never discover but through her means. She toiled to Askalon with cumbrous pomp,dug,-found nothing but a curious and mutilated statue, which she barbarously ordered to be broken up, because she would not have it said she came to look for statues for the English. Then, bereft of hér escort, she journeyed back, crest-fallen, to her habitation in Lebanon. The whole affair exhibits a poor picture of her judgment, and a good one of her pride, that fed itself upon the achievement of presenting millions of
buried treasure to the Porte! _The whole affair was pitiably ridiculous. Lady Hester's connexions in England, and her eccentricities combined
-the last always attractive of notice-made her a wonderment, after all,
scarcely worth the noise made about her here. The present volumes are far more valuable for the disclosures they afford relative to the manners and dispositions of the natives of Syria, whether Turks, Arabs, or Druses, than for what they contain about Lady Hester, with her shrewd and eccentric coarseness. In this respect they are very interesting, and the loss of some of the author's journals is, on that account, to be deplored. We have travels and tours enough over highways and byways, that describe with sufficient generality every common-place object in nature or art. - we are saturated with such ; but there is a great paucity of travels that embrace accounts of the domestic life, conversation, personal habits, and modes of thinking of foreign nations. Of those in the East, more especially, we know scarcely anything. This narrative gives a considerable insight into the domestic life of the East, nor does it present so repulsive a picture as we have been accustomed to see in previous accounts. The advantage of a medical character introduced the narrator into several harems, more properly har’yms, in the language of the East, and the pictures he draws of the fair recluses are not at all sombre. The Druses, both males and females, are a singular race; their tenets and forms of religious worship do not seem to be fully understood, but it is clear they have been much misrepresented. The habitation of Lady Hester Stanhope was, for some time, at the convent of Mar Elias, at no great distance from Sayda, or Sidon of old, which is situated on the sea near where the mountain ridge of Lebanon begins to rise. Ascending for about half a mile to the first ridge of elevations, then descending into a deep valley, and again ascending a second and' loftier mountain, -by a miserable road barely practicable for the asses of the country, a quad-: rangular stone building was reached, consisting only of a single story, with a flat terraced roof. This building inclosed a small paved court, square, with a little mound of earth in the centre, a few flowers and a couple of orange-trees. The rooms were whitewashed, without tables or chairs, but some of them had long sofas of solid masonry built up against one of the walls. At one corner of the building was a small! chapel with an altar in it, and on a staircase leading to the roof was a discoloration in the wall caused by the corpse of a late patriarch, walled up there, sitting in a chair, and giving out a most offensive smell in that warm climate, although embalmed. The site was picturesque, but lonely and barren, being on a summit destitute of verdure and surrounded with sterile mountains. A few olive and mulberry trees grew at the back of the building, which commanded a vast view, over an almost shipless sea, only distant about two miles. The interior of the building consisted of three good rooms on one side ; two occupied by Lady Hester and her maid, one serving as a drawing-room. A kitchen, and couple of storerooms, occupied another side, and three small rooms,
a wine and oil cellar completed the palace of the visionary Lady, so that her physician and some others of her retainers were lodged in cottages without her abode, at a poor village called Abza, a quarter of a mile away. Destitute, it would appear, of every intellectual resource, it is wonderful how this singular woman could pass her time, for now she dropped all communication with Sayda. She had been indisposed soon after her arrival, and on her recovery her character seemed much changed. She adopted the simplest habits almost to cynicism ; showed in conversation a vigorous mind in describing men and things, and almost prophesied some of the events that occurred in Europe, although not so fortunate in prediction as to the Askalon treasures, the deposit of the deceased Pasha el Gezzàr. It was at Mar Elias that she seems to have formed a resolution of taking up her abode in the East, and began, to adopt the customs of the orientals. She affected disgust for England, and fancied she might remain in quiet on Mount Lebanon, looking down in disdainful contemplation on the vicissitudes and follies of the world herself out of their reach.
During this sojourn of Lady Hester, the author had ample time and opportunity for examining the country in the vicinity, and acquiring, some knowledge of the inhabitants. His account of the Druses here is interesting. With Lady. Hester the narrator visited Palmyra and Damascus. The last a city full of interest, populous and flourishing : as in earlier times. His visit to Palmyra is interesting, and still more the reception there of Lady Hester. A snow storm on.al journey in such a climate encountered by the travellers, must have been a great novelty. Balbec was visited by the narrator, and the wonderful ruins in which there are stones sixty-eight feet long, seven-teen wide, and nearly fourteen thick, about a mile from which the country is described as exceedingly beautiful. After seeing as much of the country as it was possible under very favourable circumstances, and remaining for several years, the author of the present travels left Lady Hester and set out for Europe. He proceeded in the first place to Cyprus, of which he gives some account, and then sailed in a French vessel to Marseilles.
In glancing over these volumes it is impossible not to perceive that the author has laboured under disadvantages in having post no inconsiderable portion of his journals. At the same time, we are not disposed to rate his descriptive powers very high. He must have sojourned, in localities calculated to kindle into a flame the poetry of journeyingthe life of description, imparted not merely by observations, but combined association; yet we find that no genial warmth cheers us as we are led by him over scenes of brilliant historical renown, places hallowed by religious recollection, or strewed with the dust of perished empires. Certain facts we have most undoubtedly, but their relation seems to hint that we might have had more. There are, in fact, two or three descriptions of travellers who publish, besides those who have no object but to see their names in print, and we would place the author of the,
present narrative among those to whom we confess a limited obligation, the burden of which he might have rendered much more onerous, had he bestowed a little more of the ability he undoubtedly possesses, in giving us less of the mere journal, and more of those delineations of scenes and characters which are so interesting and instructive. We must confess, the more he discloses to us regarding the heroine of his work, the less, interest and sympathy we feel towards her. The masculine qualities sit ill upon a woman, and the career of Lady Hester Stanhope will rather furnish a beacon to her sex for the avoidance of similar extravagances, than a temptation to imitate them. Placed as she was, and supported externally by our diplomatists with money at. her command, herself full of energy, almost her only valuable quality, nothing that she did can excite rational wonder except the poverty of her taste displayed in the choice of her society and the coarseness of her habits. Still we must acknowledge our debt. to the author for putting in our power the means of forming a judgment to which, when : our readers have perused these volumes—which we recommend them to do,—we are very sure they will assent.
THE HISTORY OF EGYPT FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TILL THE CONQUEST
BY THE ARABS. By Samuel Sharpe. A New Edition. 8vo. Moxon.
WHILE Greece and Rome, after the revival of learning, dazzled the world with the history of their past greatness, that of Egypt ceased to exeite curiosity. The country that was a giant upon the earth for more than a thousand years anterior to the semi-civilised Greeks sitting down before Troy, was only nominally remembered from the capture of Alexandria by Amrou to the expedition of Napoleon. The recital of a solitary traveller: now and then awakened a momentary curiosity about its long-remembered site, and prevented the pyramids themselves from being forgotten, but anything novel respecting this nursing mother of learning and the arts no one anticipated. A change has suddenly taken place. The land of Memnon has been raised from the dust of ages. Commerce has again made it the highway to India as it was-in. the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and all which relates to it is become ai, matter of considerable interest. This revival, followed by discoveries, connected with the antiquities and language of the oldest among the family of nations, seemed to point out the necessity of such a work as. the present. However deficient in materials relating to the history; of Upper Egypt Mr. Sharpe might find himself, his task was a most useful one, from its placing all available materials in a connected form ; and he appears to have fulfilled it with laborious diligence and most persevering research. · He has rallied every available authority around his purpose, but until the Thebaid fall to the rank of a province, almost all that can be had recourse to for guiding the historian is drawn from Manetho, Diodorus, and one or two other writers, and this period: embraces, at the lowest, the space of a thousand years. Mr. Sharpe has recourse also to sacred history for a part of his materials, but these:
afford no aid in settling the chronology at this early period, as that of the Jews themselves cannot be relied upon. Here Mr. Sharpe, though he very properly makes his statements as to dates hypothetical, seems to increase the difficulty about the enormous increase of the family of Jacob, even in the space of time allotted by Josephus and the Septuagint, though it is doubled with more show of reason, in our Masorite copy. Mr. Sharpe allows but a century for the family of Jacob to increase so as to enumerate six hundred thousand men capable of carrying arms, from B.C. 1400 to 1300. It must be confessed that the chronology of Egypt before the reign of Shishak is wholly obscure, and that, unless the existing inscriptions on the ancient monuments still standing should chance to afford a clue to explain the perplexity, it is never likely to be otherwise than it remains at present. In many points, and in regard to certain facts, the Pentateuch has been of considerable service in composing the present History. Indeed the authorities had recourse to in the progress of the work show a most laudable zeal to bring every possible light upon the subject-a zeal too seldom paralleled
The kings of Lower Egypt begin with Shishak, B.c. 990, who conquered the Thebaid and annexed it to his own kingdom as a dependent province. The race of kings of Lower Egypt, governing for four hundred and sixty years, was overthrown by the Persian barbarian Cambyses, and from that time—thanks principally to Herodotus, the history of this interesting country becomes much clearer and more connected; but little or nothing more is gained in knowledge about the Thebaid, or the wonderful city that was spoken of by Homer as that of the hundred gates, through each of which it could send forth two hundred men and chariots to battle, but thus evidently spoken of by the blind bard without any precise knowledge of its wonders. Mr. Sharpe follows the history of the Persian dominion to its conclusion. Next he depicts Egypt under its Greek conquerors, Ptolemy Soter, and the other Ptolemies down to Cleopatra ; then as a Róman province; and, finally its conquest by Amrou and the Mahometans, when Alexandria, which had been the refuge of all the learning of the time, completed the triumph of the barbarians of the crescent, and the last relics of existing wisdom and experience treasured in the library there, were employed for six months to heat the ovens of the city. Thus the pictured mind of the antecedent world may be said to have been consumed, and the connection of our own with it for ever cut off.
All these things are detailed in a lucid manner, and in a style that well becomes the gravity of historical narrative. There is no assumption, no effort at display, nothing florid nor gibberish in touching upon some circumstances that might have afforded the temptation to deviate into such a style. The work is rather characterised by a sober earnestness, carrying a conviction to the reader's mind that the author's heart is in his subject, and that the motives by which he is prompted are such as should characterise an historian. The time it must have occupied in the composition, cannot but have been considerable, and we are dis