Page images


the mountains of Gornou, for the pur Count de Forbin, who published an acpose of taking out a sarcophagus, which count, extracted from Belzoni's letters. had been mentioned to him by Mr. After examining the extensive ruins Drouetti; and which, after having more of Medinet Aboo, which he describes than once lost his way in the different as " best worthy of the attention of the avenues that led to it, he was preparing traveller of any on the west of Thebes," to remove, when the Arabs, who and penetrating into several tombs working for him, were put into prison which he discovered in the valley of by the cacheff of Erments, who replied, Beban el Malook, Belzoni returned to on his complaining of such conduct, Luxor, with the intention of putting on " that the sarcophagus had been sold board the colossal head, which, after to the French consul, and that no one many impediments, he effected on the else should have it."

17th of November. On the 15th of Whilst waiting the arrival of a boat December he arrived at Cairo, with the from Cairo, he made an excursion to bust and other antiquities; the latter of the Temple of Ybsambul, the entrance which he left, according to the instructo which, though choked up by an ac tions of Mr. Salt, at the consulate, and cumulation of sand to the height of with the former, departed for Alexanthirty-six feet, he determined on using dria, where he saw it safely deposited his utmost endeavours to open. Pre in a British transport. Having accomviously, however, to commencing his plished this important object, he prooperations, he made a voyage to the ceeded to resume his operations at the second cataract of the Nile; in reference Temple of Ybsambul, stopping on his to which, he says, " though some way thither at Thebes, where he found authors assert that the Nile has no the agents of Mr. Drouetti in the act of waves, but runs quite smooth, I can completing many of the excavations he assure the reader, that we were this day had begun, and removing several statues tossed about as if by a gale at sea." and sphinxes from the ruins. With some On his return to Ybsambul, he imme- difficulty our traveller procured suffidiately began to clear the entrance to cient workmen to pursue his excavations the temple, and after five days' labour, at Carnak, where he discovered a maghad succeeded in uncovering twenty nificent temple, dedicated to the great feet of sand, when, finding that he had God of the creation; on entering which, neither sufficient time nor money for he says, “my mind was impressed with the completion of his undertaking, he ideas of such solemnity, that for some obtained a promise from the cacheff to time I was unconscious whether I were keep the place untouched till his return, on terrestrial ground, or in some other and descended the Nile to Deboade, planet." where he took possession of an obelisk, From Carnak he again proceeded to twenty-two feet long, “in the name of Gornou, a tract of rocks iwo miles in his Britannic majesty's consul in Cairo." | length, and formerly the burial place of On arriving at Thebes, he met two the city of Thebes; of which subterraFrenchmen, who made some remarks nean abodes, the most wonderful in the on the head of Memnon to deter him world, he thus speaks:-" In some from taking it away, and was told by places there is not more than a vacancy their dragoman, that if he persevered of a foot left, which you must contrive in his researches, " he should have his to pass through in a creeping posture, throat cut, by order of two personages.” like a snail, on pointed and keen stones, After hiring a boat to convey the bust that cut like glass. Once I was conto Cairo, he proceeded to Carnak, | ducted from such a place, to another where he employed twenty men to resembling it, through a passage of dig away the sand from a large temple, about two feet in length, and no wider from the ruins of which he transported than a body could be forced through. to Luxor six sphinxes and a white It was choked with mummies, and I statue of Jupiter Ammon, which he could not pass without putting my face subsequently conveyed to England, and in contact with that of some decayed are now in ihe British Museum. The Egyptian ; but as the passage inclined merit of the discoveries he made here, downwards, my own weight helped me was attempted to be taken from him by on; however, I could not avoid being

covered with bones, legs, arms, and effort to discover an entrance to the heads rolling from above; at the same tomb; a project for the undertaking of time, my throat and nose were choked which, £20,000 had been considered by with dust; but, though fortunately, I am | Mr. Drouetti necessary, while Belzoni destitute of the sense of smelling, I could determined to begin it with the small taste that the mummies were rather un sum of £200, all he, at that moment, pleasant to swallow.” After collecting possessed. Having procured the requi. several papyri from the shrouds of the site number of workmen, he commenced mummies, and purchasing a pair of his operations, and after a month's beautiful brazen vessels, which he de- labour, to his inexpressible delight, scribes as “ two of the finest articles of found a passage, and penetrated into metallic composition that ever were to the centre of the pyramid. So unsucbe found in Egypt,” he returned to cessful, however, were his attempts at Carnak, where, among other discoveries, first, that those who came to see him at he dug up, and sent to England, a work, ridiculed the idea of his proceedcolossal head of red granite, still larger i ing further, and the Count de Forbin, than that of the younger Memnon. says Belzoni, “ requested, in a kind of About this time he was joined by Cap. sarcastic manner, when I had succeeded tains Mangles and Irby, with whose in opening the pyramid, (which, no assistance he succeeded in entering the doubt, he supposed I never would,) temple at Ybsambul, which he found that I would send him the plan of it." to be one hundred and seventeen feet Accordingly Belzoni sent it to the count, wide, and eighty-six feet high, and "en who taking advantage of the opporturiched with beautiful intaglios, painting, nity, on his arrival in Paris, caused it to colossal figures, &c." His next and most be published in the newspapers, that he important discovery was in the valley himself had penetrated into the pyramid, of Beban el Malook, of a vast and mag and produced the plan as an evidence. nificent tomb, described by him as “a Having sent some account of his new and perfect monument of Egyp: proceedings to England, Belzoni made tian antiquity, which can be recorded a third journey to Thebes, whence, after as superior io any other in point of taking models in wax of the principal grandeur, style, and preservation.” | tombs, he set out on a voyage to the Speaking of the day on which he dis Red Sea, principally with the intention covered this tomb, he says, “I may call of visiting Sarkiet Minor, said to be the it one of the best, perhaps, of my life; site of ancient Berenice. Accordingly, it led me to the fortunate spot which on the 16th of September, 1818, accomhas paid me for all the trouble I took panied by Mr. Beechey, he embarked iu my researches."

at Gornou, and sailing down the Nile, On his return to Cairo, he was much was witness to one of the most calamiannoyed to hear that the credit of the tous inundations ever known; the river discoveries he had made, had been having risen three feet and a half higher usurped by others, who had been than usual, and swept away several announced, by name, in the English villages, and some hundreds of their journals, as the means of bringing to inhabitants. On leaving the Nile, he light the principal temples which he had proceeded across the desert to the Red so long been employed in excavating. Sea, the coast of which he found to Accordingly be resolved, in future, to have been accurately described by keep his operations as secret as pos Bruce; and, at Cape el Golahen, he sible; and with this view, went alone, discovered the ruins of a town, which, to inspect the second great pyramid of from his own observations, and those Ghizeh, “ that enormous mass which, of the geographer, D'Anville, he confor so many ages, has baffled the con cluded to be the site of ancient Bejectures of ancient and modern writers;" | renice, of which city he had found no and which, whether one solid mass, or traces at Sarkiet Minor. Returning to possessing any cavity in the interior, Gornou, he was met by Mr. Salt and no one had yet been able to ascertain. Mr. Banks, the latter of whom, having Notwithstanding, however, the difficulty been authorized to take possession of of the attempt, and the uncertainty of the obelisk found by Belzoni in the success, he resolved on making an island of Philoe, engaged him to remove


it down the Nile to Alexandria, pre attention of the whole literary and sciparatory to its embarkation for England. entific world. In 1821, he exhibited, On reaching the spot where it lay, he, at the Egyptian Hall, in Piccadilly, a after some opposition on the part of Mr. representation of two of the principal Drouetti, who claimed the obelisk as chambers of a tomb he had discovered his own, commenced his operations for in Beban el Malook, besides a model of putting it on board, which he effected the entire excavation ; with several speafter a delay of three days, caused by cimens of Egyptian sculpture, cases its slipping from the machine into the containing idols, mummies, &c., and a water. Having arrived at Luxor, he superb manuscript of papyrus. landed for a few days to visit the ex In the latter end of 1822, Belzoni left cavations he had cominenced at Carnak, England for Gibraltar, with the intention when, on his returning to the boat, he of travelling through Africa to Senaar, was suddenly attacked by a large party | by way of 'ì imbuctoo, a city which, up of Arabs, headed by two Europeans to that time, had never been visited by and Mr. Drouetti, who endeavoured to an European. On reaching Fez, he was force Belzoni to deliver up the obelisk. | introduced to the Emperor of Morocco, He was, however, firm in his refusal ; who, at first, gave him permission to but, on reaching the Nile, hastened on join a caravan about to set out for Tim10 Alexandria, determined to quit Egypt buctoo; but, subsequently, remanded for ever, as he observes, “I could not hiin back to Tangiers, whence our tralive arıy longer in a country where I veller proceeded to Gibraltar, deterhad become the object of revenge, to a mined not to relinquish his project, set of people who could take the basest although he had already fruitlessly means to accomplish their purpose." expended £1,000 in bis attempt to

Previously, however, to sailing for Eu- accomplish it. Having arrived at Marope, he made an excursion to Faiume, deira, he continued his course to Tenethe ruins of ancient Arsinoe, Lake riffe and Cape Coast Castle, where he Mæris, and the Oasis of Ammon, near resolved on taking a northerly direction, Zaboo, where he received a severe in- from the kingdom of Benim direct to jury on his side, in consequence of his Houssa, towards the east of which camel falling with him down a hard country he had some hope of falling in rock of twenty feet in depth. In this with the Niger. On the 30th of Octojourney he tried to discover some re ber, he reached the bar of Benim River; mains of the famous Temple of the and, after making an excursion to the Labyrinth; visited the noted fountain | capital of Warra, about one hundred at El Cassar, mentioned by Herodotus ; , and twenty miles distant from Bobee, and, after passing some time at various returned to the latter place, and set out, places, in search of antiquities, returned in company with Mr. Houtson, an to Alexandria, whence, in the middle of English merchant, on his expedition to September, 1819, he says, “thank God, Timbuctoo. Whilst stepping into the we embarked for Europe; not that I canoe in which he departed, he evinced disliked the country I was in, for, on much agitation; and when the crew of the contrary, I have reason to be grate the vessel he had just left, gave him ful; nor do I complain of the Turks or three cheers, it was with trepidation, Arabs in general, but of some Euro- though with earnestness, thai he expeans who are in that country, whose claimed—“God bless you, my fine conduct and mode of thinking are a fellows! and send you a happy sight of disgrace to human nature.” On his your country and friends!" He reached arrival in Italy, he visited his friends Gato on the 20th of November, 1823; and family at Padua ; to which city and, on the 26th, departed for Benim, he presented two lion-headed statues where he arrived in the evening of the of granite, which were placed, by his same day, suffering slightly from an townsmen, in the Palazza della Jus- attack of diarrhæa, of which he had titia, who also struck a medal in honour complained in the course of his journey: of him. In 1820, he reached England; After some negotiation with the King of and, in the same year, published an Benim, to whom Mr. Belzoni was reAccount of his Travels and Discoveries, presented as an Indian, or Malay, on a work which excited the interest and his return home, it was arranged that

he should be escorted as far as Houssa, prising traveller, hopes that every Exwhither, however, his diarrhæa, now ropean, visiting this spot, will cause the changed to a dysentery, prevented him ground to be cleared, and the fence from preparing to proceed. On the around it put in repair, if necessary.' 2nd of December, his illness increased The character of Belzoni was of an into such an alarming degree, that he ex- trepid and enterprising nature ; and he pressed a conviction of his approaching possessed, in the midst of the many difdeath, and begged Mr. Houtson to send ficulties and dangers which surrounded him back to Gato, in the faint hope that him, a spirit of perseverance that would the sea breezes might revive him. On have turned most men from their object. his arrival there, though much fatigued, His person was as well favoured as it he appeared better for the voyage; re. was tall and powerful; and his countesumed his usual cheerfulness, ate and nance was handsome and intelligent. drank, slightly, of bread and tea, and He was accompanied by his wife in all fell into à sound sleep, from which, his expeditions, except the last; she however, he awoke with a dizziness in was, for a woman, as prodigious in size the head, and coldness in the extremi- and strength. as Belzoni was for a man; ties; shortly after he lost the power of and proved of much assistance to him speech, and, in the afternoon of the 3rd in the course of his researches in Egypt. of December, tranquilly expired. The travels of Belzoni are the most in

Previously to his death, he had given teresting ever recorded; the account of directions respecting his papers, and had them is written by himself, choosing, as attempted to write to his wife; but, his he says in his preface, to tell in his own strength failing him, he requested Mr. way his events and discoveries; being Houtson "to bear witness that he died more solicitous about the accuracy of in the fullest and most affectionate re- his facts than the manner of relating membrance of her; and begged that them. His narrative, however, although gentleman would write to her, and send occasionally confused, from an overher the amethyst ring which he then earnestness to convey to the reader's wore." He was buried on the day fol- mind an adequate idea of the difficulties lowing his death, the funeral service encountered by the author, is written in being delivered by Mr. Houtson, who a pure and unostentatious style, and in placed over his grave the following in- a tone which occasionally approaches to scription :-"Here lie the remains of the poetic and sublime. Nor is his G. Belzoni, Esq., who was attacked diction inelegant; and, notwithstanding with a dysentery at Beniin, on the his want of a classical education, he 26th of November, on his way to Houssa displays, his work, a very extensive and Timbuctoo, and died at Gato, on knowledge of ancient history, and parthe 3rd of December, 1823. The gen- ticularly of the classical traditions retleman who placed this inscription over specting Thebes and other celebrated the grave of this intrepid and enter- ! places of Egypt.


SIR THOMAS STAMFORD RAF- that, in 1805, his abilities induced Sir FLES was born at sea, in the ship Hugh Inglis to send liim out, as assist. Anne, off Port Morant, Jamaica, in the ant-secretary to the new government of beginning of July, 1781. At the age of Pulo Penang, now Prince of Wales's fourteen, after having been at school Island. In his voyage thither, he made only two years, he entered as a clerk in himself master of the Malay language; the India House, where he assiduously and on his arrival at Penang, was not performed his official duties, and de- | long in acquiring a complete knowledge voted the whole of his leisure hours to of the history, government, and local the improvement of his education. interests of the neighbouring states and This he accomplished with such success, islands. In 1806, he was appointed

principal secretary to the colony, and of slavery; appointed the prosecution registrar of the new court of judica of statistical surveys by means of a ture; but ill health shortly afterwards committee; established a benevolent obliged him to proceed to Malacca, where society and schools for the natives; he arrived just in time to prevent, by his revived the Batavian society for en. remonstrances, the destruction of the for- couraging scientific researches and tifications and public buildings, for which making collections of natural history; orders had been issued, for the purpose and most wisely raised the condition of of deterring Europeans from establish the great agricultural population by the ing themselves there; and of transfer abolition or forced deliveries of produce, ring the trade and population to Penang. conferring the privilege of bringing it Having returned to this settlement, he to a free and open market. commenced a correspondence with the In 1816, he quitted Java for England; late Dr. Leyden, by whom some of his and, on his departure, was presented letters being shown to the governor with a magnificent service of plate by general, Lord Minto, that nobleman the Europeans, who testified their reformed so favourable an opinion of Mr. gret at parting with him in the most Raffles' abilities that he intimated a wish affecting manner. On his arrival in to place in his hands the government of England, he availed himself of the the Moluccas. This led to an interview extensive information he had collected with his lordslip at Calcutta, when the on the subject, in writing a History of subject of our memoir, in consequence Java, which appeared in 1817, in two of the recent junction of Holland with quarto volumes, with plates; a work of France, recommended the reduction of the highest value, and full of the most the island of Java, that Napoleon might | interesting matter. In the same year, be deprived of using the Dutch eastern he received the honour of knighthood, possessions to the prejudice of British and the appointment to the residency commerce. His advice being followed, of Bencoolen, in Sumatra, and the lieuhe was immediately sent to Malacca, as tenant-governorship of Fort Marlboagent of the governor-general; in- rough; previously to his departure for structed to prepare the necessary ar which, he was presented, by the Prinrangements; and, with a view of ascer cess Charlotte, with a valuable ring, as taining their feelings towards the Dutch, a mark of her particular esteem. In to open communications with the seve March, 1818, he reached Bencoolen, ral native chiefs of the archipelago. where he found the aspect of affairs

The expedition against Java was en most unpromising and uninviting. tirely planned by him, and ended in " What with natural impediments," the reduction of that island, in 1811; he writes to a friend, “bad governwhen Lord Minto, in his despatch an ment, and the awful visitations of Pronouncing its capture, added, "its, go vidence in repeated earthquakes, we vernment, though partly pledged to have scarcely a dwelling in which to another, he could not conscientiously lay our heads, or wherewithal to satisfy withhold from him who had won it; the cravings of nature. The roads are and, therefore,” said he, “as an ac impassable; the highways in the town knowledgment of the services he had overrun with grass; the governmentrendered, and in consideration of his house is a den of ravenous dogs and peculiar fitness for the office," he had polecats; and the principal local reperformed a noble act of justice, by venues of government," he afterwards immediately appointing Mr. Raffles to observes, “both at Bencoolen and the the situation, under the title of lieute different residencies, are in the gaming nant-governor of Java and its depen- and cock-fighting farms; the continudencies. The duties of this appoint- | ance of which," he adds, “would be ment lie fulfilled with a zeal, ability, destructive of good government, social and humanity, which cannot be too order, and the morals of the people." highly commended. He quelled all He devoted himself with indefatigable intestine commotions; reformed the assiduity to the removal of these and revenue and the courts of justice; other abuses ; and here, as at Java, established a magistracy; instituted strained every nerve for the abolition trial by jury and laws for the abolition of slavery, which he had the pleasure

« PreviousContinue »