Obrazy na stronie

Cyrene, as well as the other cities, contained numerous inscriptions, of which M. Pacho brought a large collection to France. On being examined, however, by the

Commission of the Society of Geography, they were not found to be of much value. Only one belonged to the era of Cyrenean independence; two to that of the Ptolemies; all the others were Roman. The Society suspect the same of the Cyrenean structures in general, and that the Romans, amid the scarcity of marble, took down the ancient edifices to obtain materials for the erection of their own; a barbarous economy, which we can scarcely reconcile with the wealth and taste of Rome at the era when she became mistress of Cyrene. Yet the modern Romans, for some time, applied the Coliseum to the same profane purpose.

There seems reason to think, that Cyrene, with the numerous statues with which it is filled, must have la y contributed to the rumours of a petrified city, which have floated so widely through Northern Africa. Ras Sem, the name given by the informants of Shaw and Bruce, to this abode of human beings converted into stone, is in fact borne by a promontory at no great distance, though the usual indications have pointed at some spot farther in the interior. The English seem now to have pretty thoroughly investigated these rumours of petrified cities. Captain Smith, having received from the Sultan of Fezzan, a pompous account of one situated at ten or twelve days' journey in the interior, determined, along with Consul Warrington, to visit it, hoping to find, not indeed what the Arabs announced, but an extensive and valuable assemblage of antique monuments. They travelled nine days through a difficult and desolate country; continually encouraged by accouuts of the numerous population of this city of stone, and only warned against the impious attempt to remove any of those whom the judgment of Heaven had doomed to remain for ever rooted to that fatal spot. Captain Smith, who was exceedingly at his ease on this head, proceeded with increased alacrity, and passed the tenth night in sleepless expectation that his eyes would open on the pomp of a second Palmyra. In the morning, he hurried to the spot ; where he saw a few clumsy modern houses, near which were a number of tombs, on which were sculptured, or rather scratched, some objects which did bear a remote analogy to the figures of men, camels, and horses. As Captain Smith viewed with contempt these rude works of some neighbouring Arabs, his Turkish conductor undertook to open his eyes to their beauties, pointing out, in particular, a horse, and appealing to him whether it had not actually four legs. Yet Captain Smith seems to go too far, when, in his wrath, he considers this total want of all taste in sculpture, as the last and greatest degradation which the Mahometan faith entails on its votaries. We trust we do not underrate the value of the fine arts; yet, if their creed had made them honest men and good citizens, we should have thought it comparatively venial, though it bad left them unable to distinguish between the Venus de Medicis, and one of those sculptured steeds, in pursuit of which they led Captain Smith so weary a march.

Captain Beechey did not proceed beyond Derne, where, and at Apollonia, he saw ruins of considerable extent, though neither of a different character, nor on so great a scale as those before visited. From this point to Egypt extends also a celebrated coast, the ancient Marmorica; for the present state of which we must apply to M. Pacho, who began his observations on this side. This region presents a much less interesting aspect, and is every way less favoured by nature than Cyrenaica. It presents, according to M. Pacho's description, none of those smiling groves of laurel and myrtle, which crown the mountains of Pentapolis, and overshadow its valleys. The soil is rocky, of a yellowish grey colour, and dependent for its measure of fertility solely on the copious rains. The singing birds, vainly seeking foliage and shelter, fly from this naked region; only birds of prey, the eagle, the hawk, the vulture, appear in numerous flights, and their songs, or rather sinister screams, render the solitude more frightful. The jackal, the hyena, the jerboa, the bare, the gazelle, are the chief wild animals; and human existence is only indicated by the bleating of distant flocks, and the dark tent of the Arab. Yet this tract is by no means wholly given up to sterility. The moment that the periodical rains commence, the Arabs basten to the spot where they first fall, when cattle, horses, and camels are indiscriminately yoked to the plough ; the earth is soon rudely furrowed, and the grain deposited.

The monuments of Marmorica possess none of the elegant and classic character of those of Cyrene; they are ruder, and more in the Egyptian style. The noted ports of Apis and Parætonium are now only miserable villages, whose roadsteads are half blocked up with sand. Yet the country bears ancient traces of a civilized, and even somewhat numerous population. There are marks of extraordinary exertions made to supply the penury of water. Canals of irrigation cross the plain in every direction, and even wind

up the sides of the hills. The ancient cisterns

They are composed of a cement harder than stone, are frequently divided into several chambers, and adorned with pillars.

The inbabitants of the whole of the immense tract of territory now surveyed, are entirely Arab; they speak the Arabic language, and manifest those wandering and patriarchal man

are numerous.

ners, those hospitable and predatory propensities, that family pride and family feud, which have been observed or experienced by all travellers. The picture drawn of them by the English, is not favourable. They are represented as not omitting any form of plunder or extortion; whether by false pretences, groundless alarms, or threats, accompanied by the most furious screams and gesticulations; to which it was believed, that only fear prevented them from adding open violence. Our travellers, however, were in the most unfavourable position for viewing the Arab character. They came rich, armed, and infidel; and were, therefore, in every view the appropriate subjects of plunder. It is otherwise with him who, alone and unarmed, bearing only the sacred name of stranger, enters and seats himself in the patriarchal tent. M. Pacho, travelling as a private individual, stood more in this position; and arriving at the joyful period when the rains had commenced, and the ground was preparing for the seed, he was admitted to all the rites of Arab hospitality. Invited to a great feast, he was regaled with the usual dainty of a sheep roasted whole, and eaten with the fingers; while girls, dressed as Cariatides,' presented a large vase of milk, which was passed round the company. All that was expected in return was to cover bits of paper with writing, and thus convert them into amulets ; for, however odious the faith of the Christian may be, yet in his capacity of sorcerer, he is supposed to possess supernatural powers. Yet the French traveller, with all the address and amenity of his nation, never could overcome the separating influence of that bigoted creed, which, by holding the Arabs apart from all the enlightened nations, perpetuates their barbarism. He says :

• We often travelled several days successively with Arabs of the country, who were going in search of a new dwelling. I snatched these opportunities, alighted from my dromedary, and forbidding any domestics to follow me, mixed singly with these Arabs. I sought to obtain their confidence by frankness and kindness. I often succeeded; and these simple men, forgetting my religion and my projects, told me the affairs of their tribes, spoke of their harvests and their flocks, as if I had been one of their countrymen. But the hour of prayer restored them to their principles, and to themselves. They separated, and pitched their tent at a distance from mine. We had lived together through the day; and, in their unreflecting moments, while their hearts were open, I had become in their eyes a shepherd and a No. made; evening again made me Christian and European.

Although the Arabs cultivate the ground, they do not hold it in any fixed occupancy. The whole region is one immense common, over which the different tribes are in continual motion. When they come at the rainy season to a favourable spot, they sow it, wait about three

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months for its growth, reap the harvest, and proceed onward. The Fellahs, or fixed cultivators, are the objects of their most profound contempt, and an alliance with them considered as involving the deepest ignominy. A Bedouin, on the borders of Egypt, having discovered an intrigue between his daughter and the son of a Fellah, stabbed the two lovers, cut them in pieces, and threw their mangled limbs into the Nile. Yet these Arabs are not generally infested with Mahometan jealousy. The Bedouin matrons converse with strangers unveiled in their tents, and the young girls, though veiled, are in no degree immured, but employ themselves actively in the household affairs.

• While the more aged females prepared the hospitable repast, and spread the tent with carpets, the young girls, after collecting the waving folds of their drapery, spread themselves over the fields to collect twigs and dried herbs, the only fuel in a country destitute of trees. I admired the rapid movements of their slender forms, the careless grace of their walk, or rather of their flight; I heard with pleasure their songs, whose strong intonations contrasted with their young female voices. According to custom, one recited the whole song, while her companions only joined in chorus. She related, to a simple air, the unfortunate love of a young warrior for Fatmeh, the most beautiful of the flowers of the desert. She represented the lover solitary in his tent, become insensible to the call of vengeance, faithless to the law of blood, allowing his steed to wander untended in the valley. The others from time to time struck in, calling, Hia Alem! Love of Love! I was never so much struck with the simplicity, I will even say the happiness of Arab life.'

Captain Beechey obtained a curious illustration of Arab feelings upon this subject, when he presented to some of the chiefs of Bengazi, the portrait of a young lady in full dress for a London evening party. The horror with which they started back, and their pronouncing it sin to gaze upon such an object, is rather thoughtlessly ridiculed by our traveller, who does not consider how opposite it was to all their manners and principles. In fact, the exposure of any part of the body which is usually covered, is always felt in the first instance as indelicate. We would hazard the question, whether, if any of the young lady's worthy ancestors could rise from their tombs, their feelings would be very different from those of the Arab. To conclude, it somewhat spoils the romance of the fair Bedouins that, in marriage, they are invariably sold, usually for cattle; and she is considered a gifted damsel, whose estimate mounts so bigh as a couple of camels.

The Arabs of Marmorica, consisting chiefly of the great tribe of Aoulad Aly, are not supposed by M. Pacho, to exceed 38,000. Those of Cyrenaica, called by the too appropriate name of Harabi, or Warriors, are reckoned by him at nearly the same, or about 40,000. He did not reach the Syrtis; and Captain Beechey

bas not favoured us with any estimates of this pature. If the above two make any approach to correctness, the whole of this. immense range of coast cannot now contain more than 100,000 inhabitants.

Della Cella has started the idea of colonizing Cyrenaica. And really, if Northern Africa be considered at all á fit theatre for such a project, we should prefer this part of it to any other. The land being common, there could be no obstacle to its occu-, pation in the first instance; and, by the use of proper means, its produce, no doubt, might be immensely increased. The colonist must, however, be warned, that in one way or another he would soon find himself in a state of permanent warfare with the Arab natives; who, though few in number, are all warriors, skilled in light and predatory excursions, and who would always find a sure retreat in the heart of their immense deserts. He could maintain his place, therefore, only by constantly holding the plough in one hand, and the sword in the other. The long chain of forts, already described, evidently shows that the civilized nations of antiquity never held it on any other tenure. Possibly, therefore, he may place more value on the security afforded by the humbler and more distant bands of the Hawkesbury and the Ohio.

Art. X.-Second Statement by the Council of the University of

London, explanatory of the Plan of Instruction, pp. 168. Lon

don : Taylor. Longman. Murray. 1828. . It must be a matter of sincere congratulation to all the friends I

of sound and liberal principles, that the prejudices which were at first arrayed against the establishment of the University of London have disappeared, we cannot say gradually, but in less time than the walls have taken to rise. If this must chiefly be ascribed to the objectors having been very clearly in the wrong, it may nevertheless be in part also deduced from their receiving no support in the quarters to which they probably looked for it, the ancient seminaries of Oxford and Cambridge, and from the conciliating and respectful tone upon every occasion adopted towards those illustrious bodies, by the patrons of the new institution. How, indeed, could either party be expected to act otherwise, giving them merely credit for common sense, and a just view of their own interests? They could gain nothing by hostile demonstrations; they had no points of collision; they had a common object in view; and their enmity could have no other effect than to frustrate the attainment of that object, and

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