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during these Syrian tours, and previous to his arrival in Egypt. In one of these letters he says,
Two Persian Dervishes arrived here about two months ago, who had lived upwards of two years at the Wahabi court of Derayeh. I got acquainted with one of them, a young man of twenty-two; the other has gone to Mosul, from whence his companion shortly expects his return. The latter has been in the habit, singular enough for a Mohammedan traveller, of keeping a regular journal of his travels, describing whatever struck his inquisitive mind, and abounding, as I understand, with geographical notices.' p. xxvii.
This is a very remarkable circumstance. A few more such instances, and the African Association might spare themselves the trouble of sending Hornemans and Burckhardts into Africa. The difficulty of getting into Timbuctoo is only to a Christian. If the Mahometans who can easily get there begin to read, write, and observe, the spell that hangs over Africa will soon be broken, and the curiosity of learned men receive the long-delayed gratification.
Among his Arabic exercises, Mr Burckhardt mentions, that he had translated Robinson Crusoe into that language, and given to it the name of Dumel Bahur, the Pearl of the Sea. Some of his small or tentative excursions into different parts of Syria, appear to have been very unfortunate : twice, in spite of solemn bargains with Shekhs and high-blooded Arabs, he is deserted and pillaged in the desert. În one of these instances, the robbers leave him nothing but his breeches. These he thought tolerably secure; but he was not yet sufficiently acquainted with the manners arid customs of the East. A female Arab met him with these breeches; and a very serious conflict for them ensued between the parties. The Association have not stated the result.
We are much struck by the perpetual miseries to which this traveller is subjected. In all his journies, he seems kick'd and cuft'd by the whole party, and subjected to the grossest contempt and derision, for the appearance of poverty he always thought it prudent to assume. His system was, that the less display of wealth a man makes in the East, the safer he is. This may be true enough in general; but when he travelled with a caravan containing merchants who had ten or twelve camels, and twenty or thirty slaves each, he might surely have ventured on the display of one camel, and one or two slaves; for in one journey he travels upon an ass, without a slave; and has in consequence his own wood to cut, his water-skins to fill, and his supper to dress. He receives as much respect, therefore, as a man would do who was to rub down his own horse in England; and is well nigh overpowered by the great and unneces
sary fatigues to which this violent economy subjects him. We do not remember that other travellers in Africa, proceeding with caravans, have found it necessary to affect such an estreme state of pauperism; and Mr Burckhardt himself admits, that Ali Bey, the pretended Arabian, penetrated everywhere in the East by the very opposite system of magnificence and profusion, even though he was suspected not to be a Mussulman by the natives themselves.
What has happened to the celebrated sect of the Wahabees since the publication of this book, we do not know; but the result of Mr Burckhardts intelligence is, that they were nearly crushed by Mohammed Ali, the present Pacha of Egypt. One effect of the power of the Wahabees, while it continued, was to stop the pilgrim caravan to Mecca; an event which diffused the utmost consternation among the religious Mahometans, who were in the habit of exporting great quantities of coffee from the holy city, with considerable profit, to Damascus, Aleppo, and Constantinople. The good English, hearing of this, with their accustomed mercantile alacrity, immediately poured in large quantities of West Indian coffee into Syria, and filled the cups and pockets, and dried the tears of the orthodox Mussulmans. At present, West Indian coffee has entirely supplanted that of Yemen all over Syria, and the Syrian desert.
In his visit to the peninsula of Mount Sinai, Mr Burckhardt meets with a substance which he considers to be the same as the manna mentioned in the Books of Moses.
• A botanist would find a rich harvest in these high regions, in the most elevated parts of which, a variety of sweet scented herbs grow. The Bedouins collect to this day the manna, under the very same circumstances described in the books of Moses. Whenever the rains have been plentiful during the winter, it drops abundantly from the tamarisk in Arabic, Tarfa); a tree very common in the Syrian and Arabian desert.s, but producing, as far as I know, no manna any. where else. They gather it before sunrise, because if left in the sun it melts ; its taste is very sweet, much resembling honey; they use it as we do sugar, principally in their dishes composed of four. When purified over the fire, it keeps for many months; the quantity cola lected is inconsiderable, because it is exclusively the produce of the Tarfa, which tree is met with only in a few valleys at the foot of the highest granite chain. The inhabitants of the Peninsula, amounting to almost four thousand, complain of the want of rain and of pasturage: the state of the country must therefore be much altered from what it was in the time of Moses, when all the tribes of Beni Israel found food here for their cattle.' p. Ixvii.
By this passage the author does not mean, we presume, that this substance is only met with in the peninsula of Mount Sinai,
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.' p. 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 haıd 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. Hs intimate acquaintance with ail branches of natural history was applied with indefatigable zeal to countries the most difficult of access, and he had many times Dearly 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 lirely fancy, and even with considerable poetical talents, he was a man of plain truth. If sometimes orer 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 shoirn 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 leit 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 10 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 patron being sent by his father to reduce Fezžan, 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 Fuzzen, 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. lxxiii-lxxv.
We were very glad to find that Adams the sailor 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 Der. wishi, 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.' p. 537.
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