« IndietroContinua »
and rode with all speed to their boat, in order to get away as quickly as possible; but from the laziness or stupidity of the Reis, it was five o'clock the following morning before they weighed anchor. They had not gone far when they perceived four Turks on horesback galloping towards them, followed by two Arabs on foot, the latter bawling out and swearing that they would have blood for blood. The Turks said they were sent by the Cacheff to bring them back to Manfalout, to answer for the murder of the Arab guides. It was in vain to resist; they therefore returned to Manfalout, where about forty Arabs from Amabdi received them with a shout of revengeful delight.
The Cacheff treated them in a stern and haughty manner, and poured out a torrent of abuse: ihey claimed the protection of their firman; but looking sternly at them, he observed sarcastically, 'I do not see that this firman allows you either to maltreat or kill the Arabs.' He then left them, as they thought, to the mercy of the Arabs, who now began to surround them with menacing gestures. They were soon, however, sent for to attend the Cacheff, who thus addressed them :
"My good friends, I know I am, by virtue of your firman, bound to protect you, and my head must answer for your safety. I believe your story; but I have a guard only of fifty soldiers, and the village of Amabdi is 700 muskets strong. Should all the inhabitants take a part in this affair and come over, the consequence will be fatal both to you and myself; you must make your escape secretly, and in the mean time I will amuse and detain the Arabs.'
They took his advice; and escaping by the back door reached the Nile; but the wind being northerly, they were unable to make much way, and were presently stopped by a vast body of Arabs, who threatened to fire upon them if they did not come immedia ately to the side on which they were. They turned back a second time to the town, and were assailed by three women and five or six children, all naked and smeared with mud- these were the wives and children of the men who had perished, and this they were told was the usual custom of mourning.
As we were armed, we reached without much obstruction the house of the Cacheff, whom we now found surrounded by more than four hundred Arabs, and amongst them the Shekh of the village of Amabdi. Making our way through the crowd, we luckily recognized the person of the Arab whoin we had left and supposed to have died with his companions in the cavern. His appearance was most wretched; he was unable to stand, and was supported by two of his friends. We afterwards found he had escaped by the light of Mr. Sielt's torch, when he was obliged to remain for a short time to recover his strength at the edge of the trench. Our dragoman related our story again, and called upon the survivor to confirın the truth of it, but in vain; on the contrary he
maintained inaintained we had taken him and his companions by force, and compelled them to conduct us to the place. In this falsehood he was supported by the Arab who had remained on the outside of the cavern, and whom we now saw for the first time among the crowd. In our defence we replied it was not possible we could have used any means of compulsion, as we were unarmed. This we boldly asserted, as the brace of pistols I had with me was never produced. Besides, we recalled to his memory that on our way thither one of the guides who had died, had replenished our bardak with water from a well near Amabdi.-This proved that we had gone amicably together.
• The Cacheff, who continued to treat us haughtily in public, commanded the Arab 10 explain the means by which the infidels (who he confessed were without arms) had killed his companions. He replied, by magic, for he had seen me burning something on our first entrance into the great chamber. This was the bat I had accidentally scorched. Our cause now began to wear a better complexion : part of the crowd, who treated the idea of magic with contempt, believed us innocent, and the rest probably dreaded the imaginary powers with which we had been invested. Emboldened by this change of sentiment in our favour, our dragoman assumed a lofty tone, and peremptorily insisted on our being sent, together with our two accusers and the Shekh of Amabdi, to Siout to Ibrahim Bey, the son of the Pacha (Pashaw) of Cairo, and the governor of Upper Egypt. The reputation of this man for cruelty was so great, that his very name excited terror in the assembly. It was now our turn to threaten, and we talked of the alliance of our King with the Pacha (Pashaw) of Cairo, and the consequence of ill-treating any one protected by his firman. This had its effect, and the Cacheff having consulted for some time with the Shekh, suggested an accommodation by money. This proposal we at first affected to reject with disdain, as it would in some manner be an acknowledgment of our guilt, though we were secretly anxious to terminate the affair at any rate. Our dragoman was sent to negociate with the Cacheff, and it was finally agreed we should pay twelve piastres or two Spanish dollars to each of the women, and the same sum we offered as a present to the Shekh of the village. All animosity seemed now to have ceased, and we were permitted quietly to return to our vessel, and continue our voyage.'--pp.121,2,3.
On their arrival at Miniet, they were inet by their courier, with a confirmation of the alarming intelligence of the plague, which shut them up at this place, at Bulac, and at Rosetta, three months-one more than had been employed in the whole journey from Cairo to Ibrîm and back again to Miniet: but this misfortune could not have been foreseen, and all regrets were then unavailing, that the time had not been employed rather in Nubia than in passing the mornings at Miniet in learning to ride like the Mamelukes, and the evenings in attending the exhibition of those ministers of pleasure' called Almès, or dancing girls.
At Miniet they met with a soldier belonging to one of the seven Beys attached to the Cacheff, whom, to their utter astonish
ment, ment, they discovered to be a Scotchman, of the name of Donald Donald, a native of Inverness. He had been taken prisoner at the battle of Rosetta, bad nearly forgotten his own language, and seemed perfectly reconciled to his situation. He was now a good Mussulman in every respect. They offered to ransom him for 2,000 piastres, but he seemed indifferent about obtaining his liberty, and his master grew jealous of his interviews with them. Before they left Miuiet, the Bey gave him in marriage one of the women of his harem, after which they heard no more of him.
There is nothing new or important in the measures of precaution adopted by our travellers to preserve themselves from the contagious effects of the plague; Mr. Legh observes that in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean the quarantine regulations are efficient; but that in England they are not only ineffectual but absurd. One officer of the Board of Health hands up a Bible for the captain of the ship to kiss, on making oath, which, on being returned, would be sure to communicate infection, if any existed in the ship; another produces a number of queries, to which the. captain must give written answers : on the present occasion our travellers remonstrated, telling the officer that nothing was so infectious as paper ; but he contented himself with replying that the orders of the Privy Council were peremptory, and must be obeyed.' It would seem, therefore, that if we have hitherto been fortunate enough to escape this dreadful calamity it is in spite of the perilous precautions of the Privy Council.
The progress of our travellers through Lower Egypt, their voyage to Malta and residence on that island, afford nothing of interest or novelty that would justify the protraction of this article which has already proceeded to a greater length than originally we had intended; and we cordially take leave of Mr. Legh, with a hope that if he or Mr. Smelt should have in their possession any sketches, drawings or measurements of the ruins of Nubia, they will not withbold them in a second edition.
Art. II. I. The Emerald Isle, a Poem.. By Charles Phillips,
Esq. Barrister at Law. Dedicated by Permission to the Prince Regent. London, 1813. Embellished with a full length Portrait
of Brian Borhoime, King of Ireland. 4to. pp. 159. II. The Speech of Mr. Phillips, delivered in the Court of Common
Pleas in Dublin, in the Case of Guthrie versus Sterne; with a
short Preface. 8vo. London. pp. 42. III. Speeches of Mr. Phillips on the Catholic Question; with a Pre
face. 8vo. London. pp. 40. IV. An Authentic Report of the Speech of the CELEBRATED and
ELOQUENT Irish Barrister, Mr. Phillips, delivered at Rose
common Assizes. 8vo. London. pp. 20. V. The Speech of Counsellor Phillips on the State of England and
Ireland, and on a Reform in Parliament; delivered at Liver
pool, Oct. 31, 1816. Svo. London. pp. 16. W e have really been at a loss in what light to consider the series
of works before us; they are all planned and constructed on a scale of such ridiculous exaggeration, there is so little law in the pleadivgs, so little poetry in the poems, and so little common sense in the prose, that we almost suspected that they were intended to ridicule that inflated and jargonish style which has of late prevailed among a certain class of authors and orators in the sister kingdom. But, in opposition to this internal evidence, there are so many circumstances of external testimony, that we have been reluctantly driven to conclude that Mr. Charles Phillips is not a censor, but a professor of the new school; and that having lost his own wits, he really imagines that the rest of the world may be brought to admire such fustian in verse and such fustian in prose as cannot, perhaps, be equalled except in Chrononhotonthologos, or Bombastes Furioso.
Our readers must be aware, that we are generally inclined (though we do not shrink from giving our own honest opinion) to permit authors to speak for themselves ; and to quote from their own works such passages as may appear to us to justify our criticism. We will not be more unjust to Mr. Phillips, and shall, therefore, select from his poems and pamphlets a few of those parts which are marked by his peculiar manner, and which we are well assured be considers as the most admirable specimens of his genius.
We shall begin with the following panegyric upon a certain King of Ireland called Brian Borhoine, whose age was as barbarous as his name ; and whose story is as obscure as Mr. Phillips's eulogy.
• Look on Brian's verdant grave-
Brian---the shield of the emerald isle ;
The dove was an eagle compar'd to his smile!
Wide-flaming sword of the warrior throng,
I.—10, 11.* The darkness which envelops the history of old Brian inay be pleaded in excuse of the above passage, but what shall be said for
To save space, the references are made to the number of the publication in the list prefixed to tliis Article.
the following apostrophe to the late Bishop Berkely ?-the Emerald
• And Berkely, thou, in vision fair,
Matter-and it immortal too.'--1.-33. The following invocation to Farquhar, on the comedy of the Recruiting Serjeant, which was finished in his last illness, is a fine specimen of the grandiloquence in which Mr. Phillips delights to envelop the communest ideas.
Swan of the stage! whose dying moan
Such dulcet numbers poured along,
And stayed his dart to hear tiE SONG !-1.-36. The song! what song? Serjeant Kite's is the only one we recollect in the piece; which, for a dying moan,' is comical enough.
Every one remembers Cooke the actor. Ile was remarkable for playing one or two parts with considerable force and skill, but his general character, even as a player, was certainly not very pre-eminent. He had, however, it seems, the good fortune to be an Trishman, and accordingly hear in what numbers Mr. Phillips lauds bim.
• Lord of the soul! magician of the heart!
Pure child of nature! fosterchild of art!
1.-39. and so forth for six lines more, with which we will not afflict our readers. We shall conclude our poetical extracts with the description of a traitor, which will remind our readers of some of the most splendid passages of Lord Nugent's Portugal.
o the traitor's impious soul
Deifies guilt and mortgages its God!'-1.-07. We shall now give a few instances of the nonsense on stilts, which Mr. Phillips believes in his conscience to be English prose; and however he may differ from us in his opinion of their merits,