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Art. VII. Travels in various Countries of Europe, Asia and
Africa, by Edward Daniel Clarke, LL.D. Part the SecondGreece, Egypt and the Holy Land. Sections Second and Third. To which is added a Supplement, respecting the Author's Journey from Constantinople to Vienna, containing his Account of the Gold Mines of Transylvania and Hungary. Vol. III. pp. 866.
Vol. IV. pp. 769. London. ON N looking back to the time which has elapsed since the last of
these massive volumes was ushered into the world, we feel conscious that Dr. Clarke has had some apparent reason to accuse us of neglecting the progress of his labours; and it is, perhaps, to our protracted silence rather than to some harmless pleasantries in a recent Number, that we should impute the extreme indignation which he is said to have expressed against us. indeed, at first our purpose to defer the examination of the present volumes, till the appearance of his fifth and last should enable us to survey the whole in one connected retrospect. As Scandinavia, however, is a subject well worthy of a separate Article, we have been induced, on second thoughts, to delay no longer to attend our ingenious traveller through that which was, properly speaking, his concluding journey: the arrangement which began with Russia and placed Norway last in order being of that poetical kind which delights to rush at once into the middle of a subject, and which introduces the beginning as a species of supplement to the catastrophe.
Ių their general character the volumes now before us so perfectly resemble those which preceded them that we can find no reason either to correct or repeat the sentiments which we have formerly expressed, respecting Dr. Clarke's defects or merits. We have the same acuteness and the same precipitation, the same vivid colouring and the same slightness of design, the same powers of eloquence and the same contempt of logic which alternately demanded our praise and censure. If he is not always so entertaining as when we last encountered him, it is the fault of the subject not of the autlior; and, if he is less inclined to visit his personal affronts and injuries on the aggregate of those nations with whom he has sojourned, it is chiefly, as we are led to suppose, because circumstances have more favoured his progress in Turkey than in Muscovy.
We left him, it will be recollected, at the conclusion of his second volume, returned from Jaffa to Captain Culverhouse's vessel then lying in the road of Acre. On revisiting this latter town he found old Djezzar altered for the worse, both in health and spirits, even during the trifling space of time which had occurred since their former interview, and less anxious to conceal
from his guests than his subjects the symptoms of his gradual decay. A few months afterwards he died, displaying in the last acts of his power the same strange mixture of caprice and craft and cruelty which had through life distinguished him: bequeathing his goverument to an ancient enemy who was then his captive in chains, and murdering several of the principal pobles of Syria out of pure goodwill to his successor, and to save him, as he said, the unpleasant necessity of commencing his reign with bloodshed.
The observations made by Dr. Clarke during this second survey of Acre, were not, to all appearance, very numerous or important. He visited the Bazar, which is well stocked with eastern cominodities, of which cotton, coarse muslins, and excellent tobacco are the most distinguished. He learned the modern name of the river Belus, (Kardane,) but without examining those sands which, since the days of Pliny, have been a valuable article in the different glass-houses of the Mediterranean; and witnessed the manufacture
what is called Morocco leather, without learning the particular ingredient of that beautiful scarlet dye which our western tanners vainly strive to imitate. Those who have been dependent on the winds and waves and the inclinations of other people, or who have hastily walked through a town while a boat's-crew were waiting for them on a sultry beach, however they may lament this imperfect information, can justly neither blame it nor wonder at it. All that Dr. Clarke was able to add to his previously acquired knowledge was the peculiar construction of the tobacco-pipes in use at Acre, in which the smoke is cooled, in its passage to the mouth, by swathing the tube with rollers of wet silk or linen. This invention is simpler and more portable than the usual plan, which produces the same effect by a vase of water. But we cannot assent to the superiority which Dr. Clarke assigns to it as less injurious to health than the other. He tells us, indeed, when speaking of the latter instrument, that the whole of the smoke, instead of being drawn into the mouth, is thereby inhaled upon the lungs. But how it should reach the lungs without being drawn into the mouth he does not inform us. The fact is that the custom of swallowing the smoke, to which all the eastern nations are much addicted, is as possible and not more necessary or unavoidable with the one than the other style of Hooka. It is only possible with the mild tobacco of the Levant and where its smoke has been cooled in its passage: but the pipe of Acre and the pipe of the Arabs must produce essentially the same effects both on the sensations and the constitution.
The remains of Gothic architecture in Acre occasion a pretty smart diatribe on the ignorance of those antiquaries who assign its invention to England or Normandy, as well as a theory of his own,
VOL. XVII. NO. XXXII.
concerning the time at which this elegant novelty was brought inte the west of Europe.
On the former of these questions we are not inclined to break a lance with him. Even if we ourselves professed the obnoxious doctrine, we should be unwilling to take the argument ont of the hands of Dr. J. Milner who was quite as usefully and as innocently employed, while occupied with such discussions, as with those political polemics which have since engrossed his pen. In truth, however, Dr. Clarke is, we believe, correct in asserting that the essential peculiarities of Gothic architecture may be found in many buildings of the East, anterior to their appearance in any western edifice. But we greatly doubt whether the arguments on which he relies to defend his position are such as would much perplex that learned antiquary to whom we have alluded. They are, Ist, that Gothic arches are found in Acre which must have been built before the expulsion of the Christians in the year 1290. 2dly, that foreigners or the pupils of foreigners were employed in England for all edifices of this kind down to the time of Henry VIII. 3dly, that all the Latin nations while they were in possession of Acre were too rude to have built the church in question. Now a writer who speaks of Dr. Milner's lamentable ignorance' might as well have first inquired into the dates of the principal cathedrals in our own country; in which case he would have found that, before the expul sion of the Christians from Acre, the churches of Lincoln, Salisbury, Lichfield and old St. Paul's were almost or altogether finished, as well as the north transept of York and its glorious Chapterhouse. These specimens of Gothic so far excel in beauty and dimensions the scale of the remains at Acre, that it is quite absurd to say that the masons which reared them might not also have reared the cathedral of St. Andrew. And it is equally unsupported by fact and in itself equally improbable, that these edifices were any of them, (with the exception of Lincoln,) raised by foreigners, as it is to suppose that England, whose sovereigns possessed some of the fairest districts of continental Europe, whose intercourse with Rome (the seat of all the art and learning of the period) was more intimate and regular than that of most other European states, and whose specimens of Gothic architecture excel in number, size, and purity, any others in the known world, should be without workmen of her own to raise those buildings for which she was,
in age, remarkable. As for the general inferiority of the Franks to the Saracens, this notion, however popular, is entirely subverted by the contemporary chronicles of both parties; inasmuch as neither William of Tyre, nor the Cadi Bohadin admit or assert any such disparity. The truth is that the revival of the arts among the northern conquerors of the western eiupire, is generally placed
too late by at least a century, and that the stimulus which they received about the time of the crusades was more from the natural and ordinary effects of mutual intercourse and traffic, than from any thing which was to be learned from their wild and indiscriminate rapine in Syria, or from enemies whose language few of them understood, and who were themselves already very far declined from the short-lived splendour and science of the courts of Haroun and Almaimoun.
The theory which supposes Adamnanus, abhot of Iona, to have brought the pointed style of architecture from Jerusalem to his own island, 500 years before it was known either in France or England, is so eloquently and plausibly stated that we are almost unwilling to disturb the foundations on which it stands. It is certain, however, that we have no good reason to suppose that, in the days of Adamnanus, any buildings in this style existed in Jerusalem. The Church of the Sepulchre, as Dr. Clarke saw it, and even as it stood previous to its reparation in 1955, had no pretensions to be the original work of Helena. It had been ruined by the Saracens, and rebuilt by the bounty of the Caliph Daber, A. D. 1044, so that we have no reason to carry back its pointed arches to the time of Adamnanus. And the ruins of Iona, which have little to astonish an eye familiar with Gothic architecture, are distinguished by many minute peculiarities from any of the Gothic buildings of Italy or the east, and very evidently belong to a period of the style far later than that which is visible in many English fabrics.
During the passage of the Romulus from Acre to Aboukir, our traveller witnessed a very strange, and, to those unacquainted with these seas, a very alarming phenomenon.
• As we were sitting down to dinner, the voice of a sailor employed in heaving the lead was suddenly heard calling “ half four !” The Captain, starting up, reached the deck in an instant, and almost as quickly putting the ship in stays, she went about. Every seaman on board thought she would be stranded. As she came about, all the surface of the water exhibited a thick black mud : this extended so widely, that the appearance resembled an island. At the same time, no land was really visible, not even from the mast-head, nor was there any notice of such a shallow in any chart on board. The fact is, as we learned afterwards, that a stratum of mud, extending for many leagues off the mouths of the Nile, exists in a moveable deposit near the coast of Egypt, and, when recently shifted by currents, it sometimes reaches quite to the surface, so as to alarm mariners with sudden shallows, where the charts of the Mediterranean promise a considerable depth of water. These, however, are not, in the slightest degree, dangerous. Vessels no sooner touch them than they become dispersed; and a frigate may ride secure, where the soundings would induce an inexperienced pilot to believe her nearly aground:-Vol. iii. p. 13. L 2
The Braakel, which again received them on their return, was now to be employed in conveying to France the prisovers taken in Cairo and Rosetta. They formed a singular and melancholy spectacle; the tattered trappings of war, contrasted with the pale cheeks and haggard eye of the wounded and captive soldier, have always this effect. But, among those whom the Braakel received, concealed, like the rest, in dirty and ragged uniforms, were many unhappy Frenchwomen, the usual followers of a camp, and others more wretched still, natives of Georgia or Circassia, once the tenants of Turkish charems, since the slaves of Menou's soldiery; and now flying for their lives from the fate which, in Egypt, awaited those who had submitted to the embrace of an intidel.
In the midst of all this misery, the natural levity of the French character was strongly conspicuous, as well as that equally characteristic and more laudable feeling of attachment to their native land which made them rejoice to return thither under any circumstances. The wounded men died faster than the surgeons could attend to them; but the survivors established a fencing school and theatre on the deck of the Braakel, and sang 'God save the King,' in broken English, while the officers of the ship were at dinner. A short interruption was given to this merriment by a severegale which the Braakel encountered in leaving the road, and which had nearly compelled them to return to Europe much sooner than they had intended. Fortunately for Dr. Clarke and his readers, they were extricated from this dilemma by the Diadem, Captain Larmour; and, after experiencing some danger in the surf of the Boccaze, were landed once more amid the palm-trees of Rosetta. Most of the houses in this city were now occupied by English soldiers and their Georgian and Circassian mistresses, the legacies of the conquered French, now perfectly reconciled to their new possessors. It is melancholy to conjecture what has been the subsequent fate of these poor creatures. The French, as we have seen, carried away
all they could, and some of these fugitives have since been found decently settled with the relations of their husbands. But we have not heard of any who embarked with their English protectors, and if they were left to the mercy of the Turks, the result is not difficult to anticipate.
On Rosetta Dr. Clarke has added little to his former observations. The Italianized name is well known to be a corruption of the Arabic - Raschid,' or 'orthodox.' But he is mistaken in supposing that it received this name from any connexion with the Caliph Haroun Alraschid, inasmuch as it remained an insignificant village, under its original name of 'Scheida,' till long after Haroun's death, when it was increased in size and dignity, and received