Page images
PDF
EPUB

the victories with which they ter Pearce, after narrowly escaping assassiminated. In 1809, he proceeded with nation, resolved to leave Abyssinia for the ras to Adowa, and subsequently to ever, and join Mr. Salt, then consul, at Chelicut, and remained, in perfect Cairo, where, after many frightful and friendship with him, till 1814, when almost fatal adventures, he arrived in the ras, on the arrival of a patriarchal | February, 1819. Here he materially Copt, or abuna, whom he had sent for assisted Mr. Salt in the duties of the from Egypt, ordered Pearce to give up consulship, and also prepared his journal his house and garden to him, and for publication; besides which, he was, threatened violence if he refused. “ On at the same time, engaged in translating seeing my house surrounded,” says for the Reverend Mr. Jowett, the prinPearce, “I immediately ordered my cipal part of the New Testament into servants to dig my grave on the floor, the Tigré language. In 1820, he emclose to the couch I then lay on, and barked for England ; on his way place a piece of new white cloth for whither he died, at Alexandria, in the my mugganaz, the only coffin of an beginning of the following June. Abyssinian. While this was doing, I Pearce appears to have been a brave well loaded every gun and pistol I had and generous man; and notwithstandin the house, and laid them on eaching the frequency of his desertions at side of me." He, however, at the re sea, often hazarded his life by his quest of his wife, ultimately consented fidelity to the friends he met with in to give up his house, and made his the wild and barbarous countries where peace with the abuna; who, notwith- he had so long resided. He possessed, standing, did all in his power to prevent in an extraordinary degree, the spirit the distribution of some bibles in the of enterprise; and the observations conCoptic language, which Pearce had tained in his journal, which he left to recently received from the Bible So Mr. Salt, have thrown considerable ciety in London.

light upon the modern history of AbysAbout this time, he sent to the sinia, and the moral and civil state of Literary Society, at Bombay, his First its inhabitants. In a letter to Mr. Remarks on Abyssinia, which were Salt, he wrote an account of his life, printed in the twelith volume of its and, from the following sentence, seems memoirs, and appeared, subsequently, to admit the criminality of some portion in the New Monthly Magazine. In of it:-“ Scandalous as it is," he ob1816, the ras dying at Chelicut, and serves, "the truth of it will shame the that place being sacked and plundered, | devil."

MATTHEW FLINDERS.

MATTHEW FLINDERS was born | strances of his friends, who vainly ensome time about the year 1780, at Don- deavoured to dissuade him from what nington, in Lincolnshire. At an early they termed, “ so romantic a project." age he developed capacities and incli It was, however, successful; he ascernation for a marine life, and, in 1795, tained many points of the coast not went as a volunteer to Port Jackson before known, particularly the situation with Captain Hunter, who was sent out of Western Port, after having made a to take possession of, and to establish a map of which, he was furnished with colony in, Botany Bay. Immediately a sloop, by the governor of the colony, on his arrival, he meditated an expedi to enable him still further to pursue tion of discovery down the river George, his discoveries. In the course of this and having constructed a small boat, voyage he landed at many places unhe set out, accompanied only by Bass, visited before, giving to three the the surgeon of Captain Hunter's vessel, names of Cape Barren, Hudson's Isles, and a cabin boy, against the remon and Herdsman's Cove ; but the most

important discovery was that of a strait, having lost many of his crew by diseases which proved “the existence of a and accidents; and his ship being prowide opening between Van Dieman's nounced not fit for further service, he Land and New South Wales," and to was obliged to remain inactive till which he gave the name of his friend August, when he sailed out from SidBass, who had first entered it in a ney Cove in a vessel called the Porpoise. whale boat. In a subsequent expedi- | Being, however, wrecked upon a reef tion of six weeks' duration, he made bank, on the spot where it is supfurther discoveries, to which he gave posed De la Perouse was lost, he was appropriate names, and on his return compelled to put back to Port Jackson to England in 1800, the charts he had in a boat, whence he returned in a made were published, and government, schooner to examine the reef, respectshortly after, gave him the command ing which he has made some very useof a ship, to complete the investigation ful observations. of the coasts of Terra Australis.

In December, 1803, he entered Port In 1801, and two following years, he Louis in the Mauritius, in a ship called explored the southern and eastern coasts the Cumberland, when, in consequence of New Holland, and towards the north, of the war between France and EngTorres' Strait, and the gulf of Carpen- land, and his having no passport for the taria. The first part of his voyage,

vessel he then commanded, his papers between Spithead and Port Jackson, were seized, and he was put in prison. occupied seventeen months, in which In the Mauritius he remained six years; time he had completed great part of the and during the time he was allowed to investigation of the Australian coast. remain on parole, he made several exThe principal points he discovered and cursions into the interior of the counnamed were, Mount Many peak, Lucky try. At length, in June, 1810, his papers Bay, Thistle's Cove, Goose Island, were restored, and, after having sufFowler's Bay, Cape Radstock, Walde- fered much rigorous treatment, he was grave Isles, Investigator's Group, Avoid permitted to depart for England, where Bay, Cape Catastrophe, so called from he arrived in the latter part of October. the loss, by a sudden rush of the tide, Though his health had been greatly of eight of his crew; Memory Cove, injured by his confinement, he immewhere he caused a sheet of copper to diately, on his arrival at home, devoted be fixed on a post, with an inscription himself to writing an account of his containing an account of this event; discoveries, and to the completion of Gambier's Isles, and many others, since the maps which accompany them. well known to, and further explored | They were published in 1814, in two by, subsequent navigators.

volumes quarto, in the August of which In July, 1802, he left Port Jackson, year his death took place, a few days and proceeded on a voyage of exami after he had corrected the last page of nation along the east coast to Sandy his work. Cape, after leaving which he discovered The publication, and the atlas acPort Curtis, whence he proceeded to companying it, have ranked Flinders Harvey's Isles, and found a new pas among the number of the first seamen sage, unseen by Captain Cook, into and hydrographers of his age. He shoal water way, to which he gave the also published a Meinoir on the Use name of Port Bowen. In November of the Barometer in ascertaining the he entered the gulf of Carpentaria, proximity of the shore; an Essay, inand, in the following month, sailed serted in the Philosophical Transacto Cape Vanderlin, which he found to tions, and a Letter to the Members of be one of a group of islands, instead of the Society of Emulation of the Isle of

a great projection from the main land, France, on the wreef wreck bank, and as represented in the old Dutch chart." on the fate of De la Perouse, inserted In June, he re-entered Port Jackson, in the " Annales des Voyages.”

HENRY SALT.

HENRY SALT was born some time , links, never made him any present about the year 1780, at Lichfield, in whatever. Mr. Salt also mentions the Staffordshire, at the grammar school of fact of Bruce having been attended by which city he received his education. one Bolugani, on his journey to the His talent for drawing recommended Nile, of whom Bruce never once spoke him to the notice of Lord Valentia, in the account of his travels, though the whom he accompanied, in 1802, to the former materially assisted him in his East Indies, and subsequently to Greece, researches. Near Fullah, our traveller Egypt, and Abyssinia, to the emperor of discovered the Optian stone, described which country he was employed to by Pliny as “an opaque sort of glass, carry presents from the British sove and reflecting images like mirrors, when reign, which mission he executed in placed against a wall." 1809-10.

After Mr. Salt's return to England, In the course of his travels, of which when he was made F.R.S., he obtained, he published an account, with plates of through the patronage of Lord Valentia, hisown drawings, he visited the Mozam- the situation of consul-general in Egypt, bique settlements, Mocha, Massowa, where he died, after ten years' service, Jidda, Ambakanko, where one of his much lamented and respected. The attendants was murdered, Logo Sere circumstances which preceded his death mai, Mugga, Chelicut, and Gondar, are melancholy and interesting. Prewhere he presented the king's gifts to viously to setting out for the Nile, as a the Emperor of Abyssinia, who was last hope of restoring his health, he almost frantic with joy at receiving occupied himself in sealing up and dethem, and, in return, ordered prayers stroying several of his manuscripts and to be offered up weekly for the health papers, making such observations, of the sovereign of Great Britain. The during his operations, as shewed him presents consisted of satins, jewellery, to be fully sensible of his approaching British muslins, a painted glass window, death. During the burning of bis maa picture of the Virgin Mary, and a nuscripts, the preservation of which no marble table, on beholding which the remonstrances could prevail on him to natives broke out into exclamations of allow, he observed, “If I were a young “ Wonderful! wonderful!"

man, they might procure me notoriety, Mr. Salt relates that, though he found but that sort of 'notoriety can do the Mr. Bruce's statements generally cor dying no good; and, were I desirous of rect, he proved many to be palpably being better talked of after death than false, particularly the latter's assertion I have been living, there are other of the continuance of the wind in the papers I might be more desirous of Red Sea for six months in the same giving to the public. These letters," he direction, either one way or the other; added, taking up a packet, " are part Mr. Salt declaring that," in the north of

my correspondence with Belzoni; ern part it blows nine months down, and they would exhibit the secret of and in the southern nine months up, that jealousy which induced him, while while in the centre of the sea the winds carrying on his researches at my exare extremely variable.” He also men pense, to load me with imputations tions a conversation he had with Dofter which, in health, I had neither the inEsther, who denied that Bruce spoke clination nor leisure to refute; and either the Tigré or Amharic language: now, in sickness, have still less. Burn that he was compelled to make use of an them with the rest; my remembrance interpreter; that he was never actually of the quarrel shall be buried with engaged in war, though he was present their ashes.” Seeing the physician at one battle; and that Ras Michael, display some reluctance in committing from whom he is said to have received them to the flames, he snatched them a gold chain of one hundred and eighty from him, and threw them into the

62

grate, exclaiming, “ Doctor, you would this is no time for sleeping!” and, on not have done for Brutus's freedman; the latter inquiring why he had risen, you have forced an author to be his he replied, “ To show you the power own executioner.'

that is left-the superhuman power that On reaching the Nile, to the asto- has enabled me to conquer death-I am nishment of the physicians, his health now saved—I am well." It was coland spirits returned to such a degree, lected from his expressions, that he had that they began to entertain hopes of fancied himself to be pursuing his own his recovery, which, however, almost funeral, till he had at last overtaken his immediately abated on his arrival at corpse, which he imagined to be in the Dessuke, where his illness gradually apartment he had just left, and the key increased, and, at the end of three of which, on being brought to him, he weeks, he refused to attend to the pre- kissed repeatedly. The next night, the scriptions of his doctors, observing to saine horrible scene occurred; he was one of them, “ It is in vain to seek to found struggling with one of his at. alter my opinion; your kindness now tendants on the floor, who had heard is more valuable to me than the skill of him fall, and, conceiving him to be twenty doctors.” He then ordered dead, was pressing his thumbs upon his every one to leave the apartment, ex- eyelids. On being raised by his phycept the person thus addressed, whom sician, he exclaimed, in a sepulchral he desired to take down his last direc- voice, “Oh! Doctor, this is Frankencions, during the dictation of which he stein !” and a few hours afterwards he wept profusely, and spoke repeatedly of expired without further utterance. His his absent child, exclaiming="Will no death took place on the 30th of October, one talk of her!" After receiving the 1828, and his funeral was the most visit of a missionary clergyman, and splendid that had been witnessed for passing some time in prayer, and reli- many years in Alexandria. gious conversation, he sank into a state In addition to the work already menof delirium and delusion, which pos- tioned, he published one entitled, An sessed him to such a degree, that, on the Essay on Dr. Young's Phoretic System Thursday night preceding his death, he of Hieroglyphics; with additional disstarted from his bed, and, tottering to the coveries, by which it may be applied to couch of his physician, seized him by the decipher the names of the ancient kings beard, exclaiming—"Doctor! Doctor! of Egypt and Ethiopia.

JOHN BAPTIST BELZONI.

JOHN BAPTIST BELZONI was public display of his strength, which born, about 1780, at Padua, in Italy, he put forth in feats that astonishied and and passed the greater part of his youth attracted crowded audiences wherever at Rome, where he was preparing him- he appeared. Though, at that time, very self to become a monk, when, he ob- young, he was six feet seven inches in serves, "the sudden entry of the French | height; and such was his elephantine into that city, altered the course of my power, that he could walk across the education, and being destined to travel, stage with no less than two-and-twenty I have been a wanderer ever since.” In persons attached by straps to different 1803, he visited England, and married ; parts of his body, in 1812, he exhiwhen, having but scanty means of sub- bited at Lisbon and at Madrid; and sistence, he went to Scotland and Ire- sailed afterwards to Malta, whence, he land, and exhibited, at various theatres, set out for Cairo, for the purpose of a series of experiments in hydraulics, a making a machine for raising water science to which he had devoted much of out of the Nile to water the bashaw's his time in Italy. Finding, however, gardens. Whilst on his way to the that he received but little profit from palace, he received so severe a blow these exhibitions, he determined on a on the leg, that he was confined to

his bed thirty days before he could assistance, and after viewing the tombs be introduced to the bashaw; who of Issus, proceeded to Thebes. On merely observed, on being told of Bel- his way thither, he visited, near Denzoni's wound, " that such accidents dera, the Temple of Tentyra, before could not be avoided where there were which he remained seated some time, troops."

lost in admiration, at “the singularity Having concluded an agreement to of its preservation," and the extent and make a machine which should enable magnificence of its structure. On his one ox to raise as much water as was return to Dendera, the inhabitants indrawn previously by four, he, after much sisted on detaining his interpreter, difficuliy and obstruction on the part of imagining him to be the same who those whose cattle were employed in the had joined the French army, some gardens, completed his work, and de- years ago, and declaring “ that he had monstrated with great success, a prac- been long enough among Christian tical experiment of its power. 'The dogs.” With much difficulty he proopposition, however, of the Arabs to the cured the man's release, and in a few use of his machine, which they had days, came in sight of the ruins of materially damaged, induced Belzoni to Thebes, of which he thus writes:relinquish his projects concerning it, and “ The most sublime ideas that can be to undertake, at the suggestion of Mr. formed from the most magnificent Salt and Mr. Burckhardt, an expedition specimens of our present architecture, to Thebes, for the purpose of removing would give a very incorrect picture of an enormous bust, to which they had these ruins : for such is the difference, given the name of “ the younger not only in magnitude, but in form, Memnon."

proportion, and construction, that even “It has been erroneously stated,” | the pencil can convey but a faint idea says Belzoni, " that I was regularly of the whole. It appeared to me like eniployed by Mr. Salt for the purpose of entering a city of giants, who, after a bringing the colossal bust from l'hebes long conflict, were all destroyed, leaving to Alexandria. I positively deny that the ruins of their various temples as the I was ever engaged by him in any only proofs of their former existence." shape whatever, either by words or After pausing with wonder before the writing, as I have proofs of the case two colossal figures in the plain, he being on the contrary. When I as- proceeded to examine the bust, which cended the Nile, the first and second it was the object of his expedition to time, I had no other idea in my mind, remove. “I found it," he observes, but that I was making researches for "near the remains of its body and chair, antiquities which were to be placed in with its face upwards, and apparently the British Museum; and it is naturally smiling on me, at the thought of being to be supposed, that I would not have taken to England.” Finding the dis. made these excursions, had I been tance to his boat on the Nile too far to aware that all I found was for the go every night, he built a small hut with benefit of a gentleman whom I never the stones of the Memnonium, in which, had the pleasure to see before in my with Mrs. Belzoni, he determined to life."

remain till he had accomplished the Our traveller, accompanied by his remioval of the bust. This, after much wife, left Boolak on the 30th of June, difficulty and persuasion, he procured 1815, examined the ruins of ancient sufficient men to raise from the ground; Antinoe, and arrived at Ashoumain, “ which," says Belzoni, “so astonished where he met with the first remains of the Arabs, that, though it was the effect Egyptian architecture, wbich he sup- of their own efforts, they said it was poses to have been of a date anterior the devil that did it." On the 5th of io those of Thebes. Having arrived August, he reached, with the head, that at Siout, he requested of the bashaw's part of the land which he was afraid of physician, permission to employ the being prevented from crossing by the workmen necessary to remove the rising of the water; and on the 12th, head of Memnon ; but not receiving he observes, “ Thank God, the young a favourable reply, he, by means of Memnon arrived on the bank of the his interpreter, procured the requisite Nile.” Next day he entered a cave in

« PreviousContinue »