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design upon their little pedler's pack of ideas, and driven them into anxious and unhappy solitude, that, like so many spiders, they might preserve their flimsy originality from the rough collision of more robust minds.

The feeling which leads learned and scientific men one after another to Egypt is the same with that which, after long years of absence, induces us to visit the place of our birth. Philosophy, according to popular tradition, had its birthplace on the banks of the Nile--though those of the Ganges appear to possess a better claim to the honour; and it is to examine the material traces of early footsteps, urged by some obscure secret persuasion that momentous revelations respecting the history of man might be made, could we, if I may hazard the expression, reanimate the sacred language of the Egyptians, who, as Shelley phrases it,

Hung their mute thoughts on the mute walls around,

that traveller after traveller paces around the mysterious obelisks, columns, and sarcophagi of Karnac and Edfu. Countries which have never, so far as we know, been inhabited by any but savage tribes, however magnificent may be their scenery, however fertile their soil, can never, in the estimation of the philosophical traveller, possess equal attractions with India, Persia, Egypt, or Greece: they resemble 80 many theatrical scenes without actors; and after amusing the eye or the imagination for a brief space of time, excite a mortal ennui which nothing can ward off. The world itself would be a dull panorama without man. It is only as the scene of his actions, passions, sufferings, glory, or shame, that its various regions possess any lasting interest for us. Where great men have lived or died, there are poetry, romance,-every thing that can excite the feelings or elevate the mind. “Gray Marathon," Thermopylæ, Troy, Mantinea, Agincourt, Waterloo, are more sublime names than Mont Blanc or the Himalaya. On the former we are lifted up by the remembrance of human energy; the latter present themselves to us as prodigious masses of brute matter, sublime undoubtedly, but linked by no glorious associations with the triumphs or the fall of great or brave men.

The above remarks appeared necessary to explain why we are never weary of accompanying travellers through Egypt, Palestine, and the other celebrated lands which border the Mediterranean: I now proceed with the adventures and researches of Pococke. On arriving at Alexandria, a city which, when taken by the Arabs, contained four thousand palaces, as many baths, four hundred public places or squares, and forty thousand Jews who paid tribute, he immediately exerted himself to gratify his curiosity, and this so imprudently, that he led several soldiers into a breach of duty, in showing him the ruins of the ancient Pharos without permission, for which they were afterward punished. Several travellers have pretended that the coffin of Alexander the Great is still preserved in a Mohammedan mosque in this city, and we find Bruce, thirty years after Pococke, making very diligent inquiry among the inhabitants respecting it. It is certain that the remains of the Macedonian king were deposited in a golden coffin in the royal tombs of Alexandria; but in the age of Augustus his bones had already been transferred from their gorgeous lodgings to humbler ones of glass, in which they were brought forth from their narrow house for the inspection of the tyrant, who threw flowers and placed a golden crown upon the coffin. However, when we reflect that even in so peaceful a city as Caen, the remains of William the Conqueror could not be preserved a few hundred years from popular insult, it seems extremely improbable that those of Alexander should have been

suffered to escape for two thousand years in a place which has experienced so many and such dreadful vicissitudes.

From Alexandria he proceeded to Rosetta, in company with the English consul; and on approaching within a few miles of the city, was surprised to find a tent pitched, and an excellent collation laid out for them in the desert, for which they were indebted to the politeness of the French merchants, several of whom came out more than a league to meet them. Horses, likewise, were sent for their use by the Turkish governor of the city, whose opinions respecting the natural fitness of asses to be the coursers of Franks seem to have been quite heterodox. To add to the compliment, servants were sent whose business it was to run along by the side of the equestrian travellers; and in this unusual style they entered Rosetta.

It was now the latter end of October, and Egypt, which goes annually through as many changes as a butterfly, was already beginning to put its winter dress, in which alone, according to the opinion of connoisseurs, it should be contemplated by the admirers of the beautiful. Its landscapes, it is well known, are very peculiar. There are no glaciers, toppling crags, or mountain torrents; but there are gardens filled with palm, orange, and almond-trees; fields of young rice more green than the emerald; yillages perched on little eminences, and flanked by date groves; diminutive lakes with reeds on greensward enamelled with flowers around their margin; and to crown all, one of the mightiest rivers in the world rolling along its broad waters through scenes of sunshine and plenty, and through ruins of such prodigious magnificence, that they seem rather to be the remains of a former world than the works of that race of pigmy stature which now inhabits it. A large portion of the rich fields in the vicinity of Rosetta belongs to Mecca; and the inhabitants have a tradition that a member of the prophet's family resided on a neighbouring spot, where a mosque was afterward erected, to which, should the Holy City ever be wrested from the faithful, all devout persons would go on pilgrimage.

Locke, in combating the doctrine of innate ideas, and in order to show that modesty, as well as all the other virtues, is an acquired habit, cites from Baumgarten a description of the nudity and immoral practices of the Mohammedan saints of Egypt, which in that country were not merely tolerated, but vehemently approved of. Two of these naked saints Pococke himself saw in the city of Rosetta. The one, he observes, was a good-humoured old man; the other a youth of eighteen; and as the latter walked along the streets the people kissed his hands. He was moreover informed that on Fridays, when the women are accustomed to visit the cemeteries, these holy men usually sat at the entrance, when the visiters not only kissed their hands, but carried their religious veneration so far as to practise the same ceremony with which the ancients adored their Phallic divinity, and the modern Hindoos pay their reverence to the Lingan. Something of this kind our traveller says he witnessed at Cairo, but that the sight was too common to command the least attention.

Having seen the principal curiosities of this city, and visited the Greek patriarch, who entertained him with a pipe, a spoonful of sweet syrup, and coffee, he set out on the 4th of November for Cairo, sailing in a large kanja up the Nile. Besides the constantly shifting scenes presented by the shores of the river, which were of themselves sufficient to render the voyage a pleasant one, the passengers were amused by Arab story-tellers, and representations of rude farces, in which the sailors themselves were the performers. The lakes of natron, a little of which dissolved in vinegar is, according to Hasselquist, a sovereign remedy for the toothache, Pococke did not visit; but he was informed by some of the passengers that their environs abounded with wild boars. On the 11th of November they arrived at Cairo. This city, during his stay in Egypt, may be regarded as his home, from which his excursions radiated in various directions. Though the principal object of Pococke's travels, perhaps, was the examination of antiquities, and the illustration of ancient geography, he very wisely extended his researches to the modern condition of the country, and the manners of its actual inhabitants. He visited the convents of dervishes and monks, the cells of hermits, the cemeteries of Turks, Jews, and Christians, and observed with care the character and costume of every class of the population, from the sovereign bey to the houseless courtesan, who, like Tamar in the Bible, sat by the wayside to inveigle passengers. His remarks upon ancient Memphis,-the site of which, as I have already observed in the life of Shaw, he fixed at Metraheni,--and on the pyramids, are still, notwithstanding all that has been since written, highly worthy of attention. He was not, like Hasselquist, deterred from ascending to their summit by the heat of the stones or by tempestuous winds; he measured their dimensions ; descended into the well; and speculated on their use and

Shortly after his visit to the pyramids, he set out on an excursion to the district of Faioum, and the Birket el Keroun, or Lake Mæris, with the governor of the province, who happened to be just then returning home from Cairo. His companion was a middleaged Mussulman, of a lively, cheerful temper, who made no scruple of associating with a Frank, or even of eating with him, and drinking liqueurs, which are not prohibited in the Koran, not having been invented when it was written. It could not, however, be said that they fared too luxuriously on

origin.

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