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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 Derwish, 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
manye 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 Pacha's expense, and upon a very large scale; 20 ships belonging to the Pacha are trading to 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 suc ceeding 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 dar ing adventurers, who greatly dislike the just and vigorous measures of the actual government. p. 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 450 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 10,000l. 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 savage 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, put in action as soon as the river has subsided. The first seed sown is that of a grain called Dourrha. The ground is again irrigat-. 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, from Siart southward through the
whole of Upper Egypt. The climate is intensely hot, but healthy in the course of five weeks, not one case of disease was observed. The small-pox is the plague of this country: the real plague is hardly known there. They are an handsome race; and the women are virtuous in spite of their vicinity to Upper Egypt, where licentiousness knows no bounds. The people are kind, civil, curious; in some parts not inhospitable. Pilfering is so uncommon among them, that any person convicted of such a crime would be expelled from his village by the unanimous voice of its inhabitants. Great numbers of the Nubians are employed as porters at Cairo, on account of their honesty.
The other tour contained in this volume is from Daracu, in Upper Egypt, through Berber, Shendy, and Taka, to Souakiin, a port on the Red Sea, which he crosses to Jidda. He sets off in the caravan, without a servant, and upon an ass. The following is the account of his appearance and preparations.
I was dressed in a brown loose woollen cloak, such as is worn by the peasants of Upper Egypt, called Thabout, with a coarse white linen shirt and trowsers, a Lebde, or white woollen cap, tied round with a common handkerchief as a turban, and with sandals on my feet. I carried in the pocket of my Thabout, a small journai book, a pencil, pocket-compass, pen-knife, tobacco purse, and a steel for striking a light. The provisions I took with me were as follows: forty pounds of flour, twenty of biscuit, fifteen of dates, ten of lentils, six of butter, five of salt, three of rice, two of coffee beans, four of tobacco, one of pepper, some onions, and eighty pounds of Dhourra for my ass. Besides these I had a 'copper boiler, a copper plate, a coffee roaster, an earthen mortar to pound the coffee beans, two coffee cups, a knife and spoon, a wooden bowl for drinking and for filling the water skins, an axe, ten yards of rope, needles and thread, a large packing needle, one spare shirt, a comb, a coarse carpet, a woollen cloth (Heram) of Mogrebin manufactory for a night covering, a small parcel of medicines, and three spare water skins.
'I had also a small pocket Coran, bought at Damascus, which I lost afterwards on the day of the pilgrimage, 10th of November 1814, among the crowds of Mount Arafat,-a spare journal book and an inkstand,-together with some loose sheets of paper, for writing amulets for the Negroes. My watch had been broken in Upper Egypt, where I had no means of getting another. The hours of march noted down in the journal, are therefore merely by computation, and by observing the course of the sun.
'The little merchandize I took with me consisted of twenty pounds of sugar, fifteen of soap, two of nutmegs, twelve razors, twelve steels, two red caps, and several dozen of wooden beads, which are an excellent substitute for coin in the southern countries. I had a gun, with three dozen of cartridges and some small shot, a pistol, and a
large stick, called nabbout, strengthened with iron at either end, and serving either as a weapon, or to pound the coffee beans, and which, according to the custom of the country, was my constant companion. My purse, worn in a girdle under the Thabout, contained fifty Spanish dollars, including the twenty-five, the price of my camel, and I had besides sewed a couple of sequins in a small leathern amulet, tied round my elbow, thinking this to be the safest place for secreting them. pp. 167, 168.
The meanness of his appearance excited the contempt of the whole party, and seems to have subjected the traveller to a great deal of unnecessary hardship. He was often driven from the coolest birth into the burning sun; and, besides the exposure to heat, had his dinner to cook. In the evening, after the enormous fatigues of the day, the same labour occurred again. He was obliged to cut and fetch wood; to light a fire to cook; and, lastly, to make coffee, as a bribe to keep his friends in good humour. After some danger from whirlwinds, and from failure of water, Mr Burckhardt arrives at Berber, where he makes some stay; and from thence proceeds in the route we have already pointed out. One of the most entertaining circumstances he relates, is the disgust and horror his appearance universally excited in all the towns of Africa.
'The caravan halted near the village, and I walked up to the huts to look about me. My appearance on this occasion, as on many others, excited an universal shriek of surprise and horror, especially among the women, who were not a little terrified at seeing such an outcast of nature as they consider a white man to be, peeping into their huts, and asking for a little water or milk. The chief feeling which my appearance inspired I could easily perceive to be disgust; for the Negroes are all firmly persuaded that the whiteness of the skin is the effect of disease, and a sign of weakness; and there is not the least doubt, that a white man is looked upon by them as a being greatly inferior to themselves. At Shendy the inhabitants were more accustomed to the sight, if not of white men, at least of the lightbrown natives of Arabia; and as my skin was much sun-burnt, I there excited little surprise. On the market days, however, I often terrified people, by turning short upon them, when their exclamation generally was-" Owez billahi min es-sheyttan erradjim""God preserve us from the devil!" One day, after bargaining for some onions with a country girl in the market at Shendy, she told me, that if I would take off my turban and show her my head, she would give me five more onions; I insisted upon having eight, which she gave me; when I removed my turban, she started back at the sight of my white closely shaven crown; and when I jocularly asked her whether she should like to have a husband with such a head, she expressed the greatest surprise and disgust, and swore that she would rather live with the ugliest Darfour slave.' pp. 376-7.