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Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, etc.
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MAY 25 1933
Gef of it Jurisicon of
TO OUR READERS.
Ir is the custom of periodical works to say something to their Readers at stated periods; such as the close of the year, the end of their volumes, the commencement of a new series, or the completion of a century's publications. As we hardly expect, personally, to enjoy the last mentioned opportunity, we are prone to seize the occasion of our attaining to the fifth year of our age, most cordially to thank our friends for nourishing us into so stout and vigorous a constitution, as to leave little doubt upon our minds, that this centenarian delight will be experienced, literarily, by our heirs and successors. To them we shall bequeath it, in trust, to dilate upon the influence their labours have had in diffusing a taste for literature, and in promoting, with letters, the dearest interests of Soeiety; in encouraging all the beneficent arts of Peace and Civilization; in propagating a knowledge of Science; and in spreading over the mass of mankind a love for those pursuits which refine, and ennoble, and bless humanity. Ours is a humbler duty. Through the kindness of our public reception, we have established this new species of literary production in a degree of reputation which our most sanguine hopes could not have anticipated for any thing in the lowly form of a weekly journal, and invested it with a weight and importance which we can without presumption declare is felt through almost every ramification of the subjects embraced by our plan, at home and abroad. Convinced that nothing could have obtained for us this enviable distinction, but the strictest devotedness to truth in all we write, we have made truth the basis of our labours and in Truth, the indispensable principles of Independence and Impartiality are comprehended. Thus, at the end of four years, no readers of the Literary Gazette can say that it ever deceived them, by its report or misrepresentation of any fact.
Our Index for 1820 (to be given in an early Number) will best exemplify our zeal and diligence in providing for the general gratification of our subscribers: our success attests that our exertions have not passed unnoticed nor unrewarded: and we shall only add, that as we grow in time our strength increases, and our sphere enlarges so much, that we can now with ease accomplish what was wont to be difficult or impossible. We therefore look forward to the possession of a power which may extend our utility and enhance our value: and as proof that we are not inclined to slacken in our career, we shall only observe, that within the last two months, Original Letters from Paris, the admired essays entitled Wine and Walnuts, the first accounts of Discoveries in the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, the important Experiments on Galvanism, Magnetism, and Polarity, the only details of the Royal Society of Literature, and many other matters of great general interest, have appeared in our columns.
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SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 1820.
REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.
Travels in Nubia; by the late John
which took 35 days to perform on dro-
shef to accompany me, but knew nothing of my business; which was really true; for I had never allowed him to see me taking notes during our journey.
In two hours and a half we came to a The two brothers, the Kashefs Hosseyn and plain on the top of the mountain, called Mohammed, had come to Malass, in order Akabet el benat, the rocks of the girls. to besiege the castle of Tinareh, which had Here the Arabs who serve as guides through been seized by a rebel cousin of the king of these mountains have devised a singular Mahass. The latter being Hosseyn Kashef's mode of extorting small presents from the father-in-law, the Kashef was bound to come traveller: they alight at certain spots in the to his aid, and had accordingly brought with Akabet el benat, and beg a present; if it is him about sixty men, with whom I found refused, they collect a heap of sand, and him encamped, or rather hutted, on the mould it into the form of a diminutive tomb, western side of the river, close under the and then placing a stone at each of its ex-walls of the castle, while his brother Motremities, they apprize the traveller that his hammed had possession of the eastern bank, tomb is made; meaning, that henceforward, with an equal number of men. They had there will be no security for him, in this been here for several weeks, and had often rocky wilderness. Most persons pay a summoned the castle, to no purpose, altrifling contribution, rather than have their though the garrison consisted only of fifteen graves made before their eyes: there were, men. They at length conceived the idea of however, several tombs of this description cutting off the water from the besieged, by dispersed over the plain. Being satisfied placing close in shore, just below the castle, which he was content. my guide, I gave him one piastre, with a vessel, which they had sent for from Argo, and on board of which they put some men armed with musquets, who were protected from the fire of the garrison by a thick awning formed of the trunks of date trees thrown across the deck; these men, by their fire, having effectually prevented the besieged from obtaining water from the river, the garrison was under the necessity of making proposals for peace; pardon, and safe conduct were promised them, and the castle was surrendered on the evening preceding my arrival.
March 13th. The eastern mountains we are favoured,) to be at least the again approach the river, and consist here, earliest reporter of the cases of new as at the second Cataract, of grunstein. We publications. In executing this task, followed the narrow shore in an easterly diwe trust it will be readily allowed to rection, and passed several of the villages of us, that any defects in our first notice of Mahass. The houses are constructed only of mats, made of palm-leaves, fastened to a work, should be pardoned in considera-high poles, the extremities of which rise tion of the speed with which we bring considerably above the roof. The counteit before the general tribunal, and nances of the people are much less expressive show, if not immediately preceding, of good nature than those of the Nubians; contemporaneously with its appearance, in colour they are perfectly black; their lips of what kind and nature it is. As this are like those of the Negro, but not the highly valuable volume, therefore, is nose or cheek bones; numbers of the men only published to-day, we hope that go quite naked, and I even saw several grown up girls without any thing whatever round extracts rather than an epitome will be the middle. The Nubian language here has accepted from us as efficient service. certainly superseded the Arabic, which none of the peasants understand.
The life and travels of Burckhardt occupy 92 pages; next follows a journey along the In approaching the place where the Nubanks of the Nile, from Assouan to Mahass, bian governors were encamped, I found seon the frontiers of Dongola; then a des- veral of the villages deserted; their former cription of a journey from upper Egypt inhabitants had preferred abandoning their through the deserts of Nubia to Berber and cotton-fields, and their prospects of a harSouakin, and from thence to Djidda in vest, to submitting to the oppressive conduct Arabia; and the whole concludes with an of the followers of the governors, whose appendix, containing an Itinerary from the horses and camels were now feeding amidst frontiers of Bornou, by Bahr el Ghazal, and the barley, while the mats of the deserted Darfour, to Shendy-some notices of Soudan houses had been carried off to the camp, to -vocabularies of the Borgho and Bornou serve as fuel. After a ride of four hours, languages-and a translation of the notices we reached the camp of Mohammed Kashef, on Nubia in Makrizi's History of Egypt: the opposite the Wady Tinarch, a cluster of hamwhole illustrated with maps and other eluci-lets, situated round the brick castle of that dations.
We shall make our selections from the travelling narratives, without much attention to order. Leaving Seras, in is Nubian journey from Assouan, VOL IV.
name, and the chief place in Malass; here
When I reached the camp of Mohammed Kashef, he was not present, but occupied with his brother, in taking posession of the castle. His people crowded round me and my guide, desirous to know what business had brought me among them, and supposing that I belonged to the suite of the two Mamelouk Begs, of whose arrival at Derr they had already been apprized. Shortly afterwards Mohammed came over from the opposite bank with his suite, and I immediately went to salute him. Born of a Darfour slave, his features resembled those of the inhabitants of Soudan, but without any thing of that mildness which generally characterises the Negro countenance. On the contrary, his physiognomy indicated the worst disposition; he rolled his eyes at me like a madman; and, having drank copiously of palm-wine at the castle, he was so intoxicated that he could hardly keep on his legs. All his people now assembled in and around his open hut; the vanquished rebels likewise came, and two large goat skins of palm wine were brought in, which was served out to calabashes; a few only spoke Arabic; the the company in small cups neatly made of Kashef himself could scarcely make himself understood; but I clearly found that I was