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We cannot avoid presenting our readers with the following Eastern character, as drawn by Mr Burckhardt.
· The principal among them, and who became the head of our mess, Hadji Aly el Bornaway, had travelled as a slave-trader in many parts of Turkey, had been at Constantinople, had lived a long time at Damascus, (where many Tekayrne serve as labourers in the gardens of the great), and had three times performed the Hadj : he was now established at Kordofan, and spent his time in trading between that place and Djidda. His travels, and the apparent sanctity of his conduct, had procured him great reputation, and he was well received by the Meks and other chiefs, to whom he never failed to bring some small presents from Djidda. Although almost constantly occupied, (whether sitting under a temporary shed of mats, or riding upon his camel on the march), in reading the Koran, yet this man was a complete bon vivant, whose sole object was sensual enjoyment. The profits on his small capital, which were continually renewed by his travelling, were spent entirely in the gratification of his desires. He carried with him a favourite Borgho slave, as his concubine; she had lived with him three years, and had her own camel, while his other slaves performed the whole journey on foot. His leathern sacks were filled with all the choice provisions which the Shendy market could afford, particularly with sugar and dates ; and his dinners were the best in the caravan. To hear him talk of morals and religion, one might have supposed that he knew vice only by name; yet Hadji Aly, who had spent half his life in devotion, sold last year, in the slave market of Medinah, his own cousin, whom he had recently married at Mekka. She had gone thither on a pilgrimage from Bornou by the way of Cairo, when Aly unexpectedly meeting with her, claimed her as his cousin, and married her: At Medinah, being in want of money, he sold her to some Egyptian merchants; and as the poor woman was unable to prove her free origin, she was obliged to submit to her fate. The circumstance was well known in the cara. van, but the Hadji nevertheless still continued to enjoy all his wonted reputation.' pp. 364-366.
There is a striking description of a storm in the desert, at p. 385, and another very pleasing picture of the scenery, emergo ing from the desert into a rich scene of cultivation, p. 367.
The principal articles from Egypt through Berber to Shendy, and so on to Sennaar, Kordofan, and Darfour, are the sembil and mehleb, the former a perfume and medicine, Valeriana celtica, the other a condiment, the fruit of a species of tilia. In addition to these are imported soap, sugar, beads, coral, paper and hardware. The returns from the south and south-eastern parts of Soudan to Egypt, through Berber and Shendy are, grain, gold, (of which latter article the principal market is Řaselfil, a station in the road from Sennaar to Gondar, four days from the former), ivory, musk, ebony, leather, coffee, fruit, honey,
and, above all, slaves. The account of the internal African slave trade is full and interesting. Mr Burckhardt calculates the number of slaves sold annually in the market of Shendy at about five thousand; of whom 1500 are for the Egyptian, and 2000 for the Arabian market,- the rest for the Bedouins, who live near the Red Sea, and for Dongola. Those brought to Shendy by Kordofan and Darfour merchants, are from idolatrous countries, from 20 to 40 days south of Darfour. The treatment of slaves is accompanied with the usual circumstances of horror and atrocity. The great manufactory which supplies all European, and the greater part of Asiatic Turkey, with the mutilated guardians of female virtue, is at a village near Siout, in Upper Egypt, chiefly inhabited by Christians. The operators are two Coptic Monks. According to the most moderate calculation, the number of slaves actually in Egypt is 40,000. During the plague, in the spring of 1815, 8000 slaves were reported to the Government to have died in Cairo alone. The number of slaves imported from Soudan to Egypt bears, in the estimation of this traveller, a very small proportion to those kept by the Mussulmans of the southern countries. The Atlantic slave trade he considers as quite trifling to that carried on in the interior; the only cure of which will be the improvement and civilization of the Negro, and the cultivation of those arts which will render him the rival, rather than the prey, of his Mussulman neighbour. Superstition commonly debases and dcoracles mankind; but, at first, it in some instances contributes to their civilization. In the most despotic countries, the power of the priest is often the only check to tyranny. The Uhlenia in Turkey is a power which the Grand Signior is forced to respect. Two Fakeers, says Mr Burckhardt, conducted the caravan in safety through districts inhabited by ferocious tribes, whom it would have been impossible, without the sanction of their sacerdotal presence, to have approached. The country people came in crowds to kiss their hands as the caravan passed, alarmed lest the Fakeers, from any absence of customary respect, should withhold the due supplies of rain, and curse their Jands with barrenness.
A dreadful picture is drawn, in these Travels, of the Africans : they are treacherous, false, vindictive, intemperate, cruel ; markcd with every vice which can degrade the human character, Mr Burckhardt lived long among them; had great means of observing; and appears to be in general so moderate, and guarded in his assertions, that his statements necessarily obtain credit. It must, however, be observed, that he always appeared among the Africans as a very poor man.-A mendicant who was to travel from Northumberland to Kent, and was to run the gauntlet of jailors, constables, and justices, would not, perhaps, form the most exalted notions of the English character. Not the least interesting account is that of the pilgrims' route, who, from every part of Africa, hasten to perform their religious duties at Mecca. From Darfour, Sennaar, Kordofan, Bergamee, Borgoo, and every part of Soudan, true believers hasten to the tomb of the Prophet; and to secure for themselves that distinction which always characterizes those who have performed this great duty of the Mahometan faith.
In the Appendix is given an Itinerary from the frontiers of Bornou, by Bahr el Ghasal and Darfour, to Shendy, as collected from an intelligent Arab at Mecca. All reports agree that there is a great fresh-water lake in the interior of Bornou ; the name of the lake is Nou, and from it the country derives its name, the Land of Nou. In this Itinerary, the river Shary is alluded to, as big as the Nile. Among the Negro tribes, the greatest is the tribe of Fellata. They have spread across the whole continent; and one of them whom Mr Burckhardt saw at Mecca told him, that his encampment, when he left it, was in the neighbourhood of Timbuctoo. The Fellata have attacked and pillaged both Bornou and Kashna. Upon, the celebrated question respecting the Niger, this work contains little or no information, except vague assertions of the natives, that the Nile and the Niger are the same river. On this subject it is surely better to wait for further information, than to build up duit theories of geography, which can confer no fame on the author, and convey neither amusement nor instruction to the reader,
ART. VI. Memoirs of RICHARD Lovell EDGEWORTH, Esq.
- Begun by Himself, and concluded by his Daughter MARIA EDGEWORTH. 8vo. 2 vols. London, 1820.
THOUGH we have as much veneration for the name of Edge
worth, as for any that graces our modern literature, we confess we thought two octavo volumes rather more than could be required to tell all that the public would care to know of the individual who is here commemorated; and took up
the book with some prepossesion against that lavish scheme of biography, by which both great and small names in our history have been lately overlaid. On the whole, however, though we still think the book a good deal too long, we have been agreeably disappointed; and can safely recommend it as being, on the whole, very entertaining, and containing much more than the usual proportion both of useful and curious information. The first volume comprehends Mr Edgeworth's own account of himself the second its continuation by his justly celebrated daughter ; and the most remarkable thing certainly about the work is, that the first is, on the whole, better than the second. It is very lively, rapid and various—enlivened with a great number of anecdotes and characters, and, if not indicating any extraordinary reach of thought, or loftiness of feeling, exhibiting, in raa ther a pleasing and candid way, the history of a very active and cultivated mind--and scattering about everywhere the indications of a good-humoured self-complacency, and a light-hearted and indulgent gayety. The other is too solemn and didacticand though there are many passages full of interest and instruction, it overflows so much with praise and gratitude, and duty and self-denial, as to go near to be dull and tedious.
We do not think it necessary to lay before our readers any account of Mr Edgeworth's genealogy, or of the fortunes and exploits of his paternal and maternal ancestors; nor even to present them, in detail, with the history and characters of his four wives and their respective progenies. There are some traits of indelicacy here, indeed, which we are bound to mark with our reprehension; and which, in a work intended for publication, we think admit of no apology. What need, for instance, was there to inform the world that he lived uncomfortably with his first wife, repented very soon of his union with her, and gave up his affections to another long before her death,- at the same time that he allows the match to have been entirely of his own seeking, and that he had nothing whatever to reproach her with, except that she was not altogether so gay and intellectual as he could have desired ? The indecorum of such a statement is greatly gegravated too, by the consideration that this unfortunate lady was the mother of that daughter whose fame must, after all, be her father's best passport to celebrity, and to whom one parent has thus delegated the task of publishing the defects of the other. Mr E.'s successive marriage of two sisters is also a transaction which inight as well have been allowed to repose in the obscurity into which it had naturally fallen, instead of being studiously brought forward, with a fond and ambitious reference to the various forgotten publications in which the legality of this very questionable proceeding was discussed at the time.
In the same way, we think the public might have been spared the account of Mr E.'s bad nursing, and of the various schools he attended, and the nicknames he received before he was eight years old. For his own family and posterity, it is barely possible that these particulars may have some interest; but for the general reader, they can have none. It is only of Great Men that we are greedy to preserve such relics; and it is not merely misapplying, but parodying the spirit of heroic biography, to hazard its licenses on such an occasion as the present. Some of the anecdotes, however, are worth culling, both on their own account, and as having acquired a kind of classical interest as the groundwork in point of fact on which several scenes and characters in Miss E.'s exemplary Tales appear to have been founded. We shall endeavour to give our readers a little sanple of these ; and shall try to connect them by as rapid and concise an abstract of the narrative as we can easily manage.
The family was originally English, and went to Ireland in the time of Elizabeth. Most of them seem to have been gay and extravagant. One of them married so young, that his own age and that of his wife did not make up thirty-one years. He had estates in England and Ireland, and had got money with bis wife.
. But they were extravagant, and quite ignorant of the management of money. Upon an excursion to England, they mortgaged their estate in Lancashire, and carried the money to London, in a stocking, which they kept on the top of their bed. To this stock. ing, both wife and husband had free access, and of course its contents soon began to be very low. The young man was handsome, and
very fond of dress. At one time, when he had run out all his cash, he actually sold the ground plot of a house in Dublin, to purchase a high crowned hat and feathers, which was then the mode. He lived in high company in London, and at court. Upon some occasion, King Charles the Second insisted upon knighting him. His lady was presented at court, where she was so much taken notice of by the gallant monarch, that she thought it proper to intimate to her husband, that she did not wish to go there a second time; nor did she ever after appear at court, though in the bloom of youth and beauty. She returned to Ireland. This was an instance of prudence, as well as of strength of mind; which could hardly have been expected from the improvident temper she had shown at first setting out in life.
In this lady's character there was an extraordinary mixture of strength and weakness. She was courageous beyond the habits of her sex in real danger, and yet afraid of imaginary beings. According to the superstition of the times, she believed in fairies, Opposite to her husband's Castle of Lissard, in Ireland, and within view of the windows, there is a mount, which was reputed to be the resort of fairies; and when Lady Edgeworth resided alone at Lissard, the common people of the neighbourhood, either for amusement, or with the intention of frightening her away, sent children by night to this mount, who by their strange noises, by singing, and the lights they showed from time to time, terrified her exceedingly.