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VOYAGERS AND TRAVELLERS.
JOHN BELL was born at Anter- | Shamachy, the capital of Shirvan, which mony, in Scotland, some time in the he entered in great state on the 27th year 1690. At an early age he deve- of September. After quitting this city, loped a strong inclination for travelling; he crossed the territory of Kurdistan, and, after having studied medicine and by the same track through which surgery, he, in July, 1714, left London Xenophon had retreated from Babyfor St. Petersburgh. On his arrival, lonia; and in which country he was he was kindly received by the czar's compelled to pass several nights in the chief physician, Dr. Areskine, who pro- open air, in consequence of the inhacured him the appointment of surgeon bitants of some small villages he apto an embassy just about to set out to proached, forcibly opposing his entry Persia. He left St. Petersburgh on into them. “However,” says Mr. Bell, the 15th of July, 1715, and proceeded “ I could scarce blame these people for along the western bank of the Neva, their behaviour; because, had we been to a small village called Ishora; the admitted, the inhabitants must all have inhabitants of which, he remarks, speak left their own houses.” After passing a language and wear a dress different over a ridge of very high mountains, from the Russian, though they profess from which, he was informed, on a the same Greek religion. Embarking clear day, might be seen the summit the next day on the river Volchova, he of Mount Ararat, our traveller arrived sailed to Novogorod Velikoi and the at Tauris, or Tebris, where he passed lake Ilmen, and, on the 2nd of August, a few weeks, during which time the entered Moscow; whence, after a stay cold was so intense, that many of the of three weeks, he embarked at Nishna, poor people perished in the streets. on the Volga, where he was driven, by Near 'T'auris he visited some petrifying the floating ice, on a sand-bank, and springs of water, and left that city on lay aground a day and a night. On the 23rd of January, 1717, and prothe 3rd of November, he came to ceeded through deep snows for the next Zabackzar, "near which,” says Bell, twenty days, in the course of which "are caught the best and largest falcons two of his party died of cold. in the world; and, a few days after After passing through Koom, one of wards, landed at Cazan, where he re the chief towns of Persia, he travelled mained till the return of spring, and only morning and evening, in conseemployed himself in minutely inves- quence of the intense heat, to Kashan, tigating the character and religion of a place infested by the most venomous the various tribes, in that part of the kind of scorpions. On the 5th of country.
March, he reached Buzzabatt, where On the 13th of July, 1716, he arrived he observed a singular custom of at Astrachan ; embarked on the Caspian making a person sick, after being poiSea on the 7th of August; and, on the soned by the tarantula : the patient 30th of the same month, reached Niez- is put in a kind of tray, suspended by abatt, whence he proceeded overland to four ropes, which, after having been
twisted hard together, are let go at to Tara, whence he travelled, over a once, when the rapid motion of the marshy and dangerous plain called the untwining of the cords compels him to Baraba, to Tomsky, situated on the vomit.
river Tonun. Here he passed some On the 14th of March he arrived, days; and then proceeding along the with the embassy, at Ispahan, where banks of a river called Tzalimm, he he resided til the 1st of September, arrived at a Russian village named and was much astonished and gratified Meletsky Ostrogue, in the neighbourat the splendour of the shach's court, hood of which he observed several of and the singularity and magnificence the natives " with white spots on their of the entertainments given, both by skins from head to foot;" and on arthe shach and his ministers, to the Rus- riving at Yeniseysky, an abundance sian embassy. Instead of pursuing the of black foxes, the skins of which are same route to, as he had taken from, St. so valuable, that many of them fetch Petersburgh, he, on arriving at a village five hundred crowns each. About called Arrazant, turned off to Casbin, the beginning of March, while sailformerly the seat of the Persian go- ing along the river Tongusta, he pervernment, where one of his party died ceived several hundred hares, white," of the plague, and most of them, in- he
says, “as the snow on which he cluding himself, were attacked by it walked," and was astonished to find before reaching Reshd, the capital of some of the inhabitants, in that part of Guilan. In December, 1718, he re- the country, tattooed like the Indians, entered St. Petersburgh, “ after," ac- and all worshippers of the sun and cording to his own account, a long,
“ From all," he observes, “ I tedious, and dangerous journey, which have heard and read of the natives of lasted for three years, attended with Canada, there is no nation in the world many difficulties, not easily conceived which they so much resemble as the by those who have not travelled the Tongusians." same road."
On the 18th of March, he arrived at On his arrival at St. Petersburgh, he Irkutsk ; whence, on the melting of solicited to be allowed to join an em- the ice, he proceeded up the river bassy about to proceed to China, with Angara to the lake Baikall, which he which he set out on the 14th of July, describes as “ bursting out between two 1719; and, on the 20th of October, high rocks," and having a most subreached Cazan, where he remained lime and magnificent appearance. about five weeks, waiting for the falling “ The waters," he continues, “dashing of the snow to smooth the roads for upon the stones, make a noise like the the reception of the sledges, in which roaring of the sea, so that people near the embassy was to travel to Siberia. them can scarcely hear one another Leaving Cazan on the 28th of Novem-speak. I cannot express the awfulness ber, he passed through a country with which one is struck, at the sight abounding with bees, from which, with- of such astonishing scenes of nature out destroying them, the inhabitants as appear round this place; and which, have a mode of extracting the honey; I believe, are not to be equalled in the and, on the 9th of December, arrived known world." After a tedious and at Solekamsky, a place containing pits dangerous passage through the ice, to sufficient to serve all Russia with salt, the mouth of the Selingo, he ascended and near which he found the fossil that river, and arrived at Selinguisky asbestos, “ of which," he says, “is on the 29th of May, where he emmade a cloth like linen, that may be ployed himself in taking an account of put into the fire, and taken out again the manners and amusements of the unconsumed.” On the 16th of Decem- various people he met with. Among ber, he entered Tobolski; remained other anecdotes, he relates one of an there a month, during which time he Indian brachman, whom he observed purchased some scrolls of glazed paper, buying up a quantity of fish just as said to have been written on by Timour, they were caught, for the purpose and then proceeded through several of setting them free again ; and on Tartar villages, the inhabitants of which | being asked the reason, replied, that used ice, instead of glass, for windows,“ perhaps the souls of some of his
deceased friends or relations had taken him; after his return from which, no possession of these fishes; and, upon account is recorded of him for the next that supposition, (not as Mr. St. John fifteen years, excepting that he passed says, in his life of Mr. Bell, . for the his time in Russia. pleasure of setting them swimming In 1737, the war, which had broken again, it was his duty to relieve out in 1734, between that country and them."
the Turks, being still raging, he went, In the middle of September, Mr. Bell " at the earnest desires of Count Ostercrossed at Saratzyn, the rivulet which man, the Russian chancellor, and of divides the Russian and Chinese territo Mr. Rondeau, the British ambassador," ries, the women who attended the em on a mission to Constantinople, with bassy not being permitted to enter the proposals of accommodation for peace. latter; the Chinese conductor observing He arrived at the Turkish capital on that “they had women enough in Pekin the 28th of January, 1738, where he already; and, as there never had been remained about three months, and rea European woman in China, he could turned to St. Petersburgh on the 17th not be answerable for introducing the of May. A few years afterwards, he first, without the special consent of the revisited Scotland, and fixed his resiemperor." On the 2nd of November, dence at his native place of Antermony, our traveller beheld, at the distance of where he wrote an account of his forty miles, the great wall of China; travels, published in 1762, and reentered it on the 5th, through a gate mained till the period of his death, guarded by a thousand soldiers; and, which took place some time in the on the 18th, arrived at the city of year 1780, when he was nearly ninety Pekin, having experienced in his way years of age. thither the shock of an earthquake. The account of his travels reached At Pekin he remained till the begin- two editions, and was translated, though ning of the following March, when he with great inaccuracy, by Eidous, into set out with the Russian embassy on French. It is written with great ease its return home; and arrived, on the and spirit, and with a candour and 5th of January, 1722, at Moscow. On simplicity that inspire confidence in the 5th of May, he was engaged, by its truth. Mr. Bell was as religious the czar's chief physician, to join an and amiable as he was learned and expedition headed by the emperor, to enterprising; and Gibbon, in speaking assist the Sophy of Persia in dispersing of him, calls him “our honest and inthe Afghans, who had rebelled against telligent traveller."
MARY PIERREPONT, LADY WORTLEY MONTAGU. MARY PIERREPONT, the eldest made the following avowal, in a letter daughter of the Duke of Kingston, to Mrs. Wortley :-“ I have never had was born at Thoresby, in Nottingham- any great esteem for the generality of shire, in 1690. At the age of four the fair sex; and my only consolation years she lost her mother, and was for being of that gender, has been the left to pursue her education under the assurance it gave me of never being same masters as those who attended married to any one among them.” A her brother. At a very early period, short while after this, she completed a she became acquainted with the Latin, translation of the Enchiridion of EpicGreek, and French languages, and her tetus, which Bishop Burnet revised, classical acquirements, which were lat and greatly commended. terly superintended by Bishop Burnet, In August, 1712, after some quarrels soon gave to her mind a bold but coarse and much negotiation, she privately and unfeminine turn.
At twelve years
became the wile of Mr. Edward Wortof age, she wrote an indelicate poem, in ley Montagu ; and on his being apimitation of Ovid; and, at nineteen, pointed, in 1714, one of the lords of
the treasury, she was presented at court, whence, after passing Sicily and Malta, in the circles of which she, by her wit she was driven by a storm on the coast and beauty, soon procured herself noto- of Africa, where she landed, and visited riety and admiration. About this time, the ruins of Carthage. At Tunis, she too, she became acquainted with Ad- embarked for Genoa ; and having dison and Pope ; the latter of whom, arrived there, travelled across the Alps, though he subsequently treated her and through France to England, which with aversion and contempt, was for she reached the latter end of October, some time her devoted and declared and shortly afterwards went to reside admirer. In 1716, her husband, being at Twickenham, at the earnest desire appointed consul-general of the Levant of Pope. For him, however, in conand ambassador to the Ottoman Porte, sequence of political differences, she she left England with him; and, after had now lost much of her esteem; and passing through Holland, Germany, though she obliged him by sitting for Bulgaria, and Romelia, arrived at her portrait to Sir Godfrey Kneller, Adrianople, where the Turkish court transferred the principal part of her was then residing. Here she amused time and regard to Lord Hervey, whose herself with visiting all places worthy poetry and politics were more agreeobservation, and in learning the man able to her. Pope, though somewhat ners and habits of the peop of whom, chagrined at the preference, received in her letters, she gives a very minute her picture with much delight, and description, accompanied with obser- characterised it in the following lines: vations indicative of her wit and shrewdness, but with no very great “The playful smiles around the dimpled mouth, regard to modesty or decorum. On
That happy air of majesty and truth,
So would I draw (but oh! 'ris vain to try; her introduction to the sultan, Prince
My narrow genius does the power deny,) Achmet the Third, he is said to have The equal lustre of the heavenly mind, fallen in love with her; but of this, Where every grace with every virtue's joined notwithstanding her characteristic va
Learning not vain, and wisdom not severe,
With greatness easy, and with wit sincere, nity and contempt of feminine notions, with just description shes the soul divine, she mentions nothing; and it has been And the whole princess in my work should shine." doubted by more than one of her biographers. While at Adrianople, she About this time, she hazarded a conkept up a correspondence with Pope, siderable sum of money in the South who sent her, in one of his letters, the Sea scheme ; and shortly afterwards, third volume of his translation of the her disagreement with Pope being Iliad, with a flattering observation that heightened, by his claiming the authorher residence abroad would, doubtless, ship of some portion of her Town enable her to elucidate several passages Eclogues, she altogether renounced his of Homer. Accordingly, in her an- society. In 1739, her health declining, swer, she informs him, that what she and having separated from her husband, had remarked in her travels, particu- she retired to Italy, passing the prinlarly among the Romeliotes, “has cipal part of her time on the shores of explained several little passages in
Lake Isis, near Venice; whence, on Homer, which she did not before com the death of Mr. Montagu, in 1761, prehend the beauty of.”
she, at the request of her daughter, Before proceeding to Constantinople, again came to England, and died in she made an experiment on her own the August of the following year. children of inoculation for the small The celebrity acquired during her pox, a practice which she was the first life, by Lady Montagu, resulted more who introduced into London, and with from the singularity of her character, such success, that it was adopted by the boldness of her sentiments, and the government in 1721, and was the means peculiar naiveté of her writings, than of that inquiry and consideration which from the interest they excited, or the ultimately led to the discovery of vac effect they produced. The eulogy, too, cination. On the 6th of June, 1718, of such men as Pope and Addison, and she left Constantinople; and, sailing the satirical verses she wrote, in attackdown the Dardanelles, visited the tomb ing and defending herself against the of Achilles, and the plains of Troy; former, contributed to give her an éclat,
which the names of such men, whether present pleasure ?" and she afterwards her admirers or opponents, will long adds, “I allow you to laugh at me for continue to preserve.
It cannot be my sensual declaration in saying, that denied, however, that her memory I had rather be a rich effendi, with all merits perpetuation, if only for the his ignorance, than Sir Isaac Newton, introduction of inoculation into this with all his knowledge.” country. As an authoress, she is chiefly Various causes have been assigned distinguished by her Letters, written for her quarrel with Pope; who, out of at various times, but principally when pique or envy, lampooned her and she was in Constantinople and on the Lord Hervey with a bitterness and percontinent; which, after showing, in sonality, which, in a letter to the latter, manuscript, to some of her private he afterwards affected to disclaim. In friends, she presented to a Mr. Snow- | this, he adds, alluding to Lady Monden, of Amsierdam, from whom they tagu, "I was the author of my own were purchased by the Earl of Bute, misfortune in discontinuing her acand published, in six volumes, in 1803. quaintance. I may venture to own a A surreptitious copy of them, however, truth, which cannot be unpleasing to having been obtained, they had pre- either of you; I assure you, my reason viously appeared about two years after for so doing was merely that you had her death; at which time, Dr. Smollett both too much wit for me, and that I said of them that they were “an im- could not do with mine, many things mortal monument to the memory of which you could with yours.” She Lady Mary Wortley Montagu ; and was the author of several ballads, satiwould shew, as long as the English rical odes, and Ovidian epistles ; and language endured, the sprightliness of besides her knowledge of the principal her wit, the solidity of her judgment, modern and ancient languages, had the elegance of her taste, and the ex made great proficiency in the Turkish, cellence of her real character." They specimens of her translations from are certainly spirited and entertaining, which are to be found in many of her though treating of the most trifling letters. matters, and accompanied, sometimes, Towards the close of her life, she with a levity of sentiment, such as the lost much of that buoyancy and animafollowing, ili befitting a character put tion which distinguished her in her forth as one of excellence. “ Consi- youth, and her letters began to assume dering,” she says, in one of her letters a tone of misanthropy. Mrs. Montagu, from Constantinople, “what short- her mother-in-law, used to describe her lived, weak animals, men are, is there as one who "neither thought, spoke, any study so beneficial as the study of nor acted like any one else.”
THOMAS SHAW born at information respecting the early conKendal, in Westmorland, in the year dition of the country; inspected the 1692; and completed his education at pyramids, and discovered, according to Queen's College, Oxford, where, in 1716, his own idea, the site of ancient he proceeded to the degree of B.A.; Memphis. Leaving Cairo, where he and, in 1719, to that of M. A. In the informs us that about forty thousand of latter year, he took orders, and was the inhabitants live entirely on lizards almost immediately afterwards ap and serpents, he proceeded to Suez; pointed chaplain to the English factory and continuing his course along the at Algiers, which city he reached about desert, towards the gulf of Akaba, he the beginning of 1720. In the following lost sight of the caravan, and was imyear, he set out on a voyage to Egypt, mediately attacked by three robbers, and stopping at Cairo, employed him- who stripped him naked, and began to self for about three months in collecting fight for the possession of his clothes.