Images de page

sarilinanagement, or to fall a facrifice to the broils which
anarchy produces. A Ruffian fleet appears in the Mediterra-
nean, at a time when such an event was confidered as an im-
potiibility at Conítantinople. A war by sea is not to be
dreaded in that quarter, said the well informed Muffulman,
there we are safe, for there is no communication between
the Baltic and the Archipelago ! The Turkish fleet is de-
Atroyed, terror and dismay pervade the capital, and the de-
spot trembles within the walls of his feraglio. In this critical
situation, Mr. de Tott has orders from the Grand Seignior
to take upon himself the defence of the Dardanelles. He
finds every thing there in the most defenceless state, and
when attacked by the Russians, all he has to oppose to the
fire of seven thips of the line is a single iron culverine. The
enemy ignorant of the Turkish weakness, after fome unfuc-
cessful manæuvres, which do not seem to have been conducted
with much naval or military skill, abandoned the attack, and
retired from the coast to carry on the siege of Lennos. This
retreat impowered the Baron to put the bulwarks of the
Turkiih capital in a tolerable flate of defence, in spite of in-
numerable obstacles which absurd ignorance and envy con.
Itantly oppofed to his exertions. Of the difficulties he had
to combat, and to conquer the public will judge from the fol-
lowing instance. At the extremity of the gun-rammiers,
which Mr de Tott had got made, was a brush of hog's bristles:
this the High Treasurer objected to, as contrary to the
Turkish religion ; and either foolidly, or maliciously ob-
jected to it in the presence of a mob that had affembled to fee
the ficw method of firing; which reduced our author either
to the neceility of giving up his brushi, or of being torn to
pieces by the mob. in this dilemma, the Baron calls out,
* Is there any painter among you?” A painter stepping
forth, the following dialogue ensues.

The Baro. Have you ever painted the inside of any mosque.
The Painter. Of leveral; and those very considerable ones.
The Baron. And what initruments did you make use of

The Painter. Many different cclours.

The Baron. Reineinber you are a Musulman, and should reverence the truth. Why do you prevaricate? Colours are nor the infiruments; they are the ineans. You make use of bruihes: of what are the large ones made ?

The Painter. They are of white hair ; we buy thein ready made, and never prepare them ourselves.

The Baron. You know however from what animal the hair is procured; that is, what I wish to be told.

The Treasurer. Yes ; you must declare the truth; it is of confequence it should be known.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of war.

* The Painter, [raising his voice]. In that case, I must say, that all: our brushes are made of bristles.

The Baron. Very well; but this is not all. What becomes of the hair, after you have made use of your brushes, and the mosque is finished ? What do you bring home ?

The Painter. It is certain, that I only bring home the handles ; the hair remains on the wall.

The Baron. If then bristles do not defile your mosques, it cannot, furely, be improper to make use of them against your enemies.

• The exclamation, praise be to God! was the answer, which the people returned unanimoufly; and the High Treasurer, elated with joy, which was the more lively as it succeeded to fear, immediately threw off his superb peliffe, furred with Martin-skin, from Siberia, and seizing on one of the rammers and applying it to the mouth of the piece, come, my friends, cried he, let us make use of this new invention for the fatery and glory of the true-believers.

* The ridiculous conclufion of this fccne was certainly worthy its origin. The Treasurer was fatisfied, and the people enraptured; but this proof of their common folly would have determined me to give them up, had not these difficulties been to me a kind of spur, which I found it impollible to refift.'

In the midst of a thousand obstacles of a similar nature, the Baron perseveres in endeavouring to instruct the Turks, in every thing that could tend to their improvement in the art

He constructs pontoons, cafts and bores' cannon, forms and disciplines a corps of artillery, and establishes a mathematical school.. But we can easily perceive from his narrative, that rooted habit, the nature of the government, universal corruption, fanaticism and the pride of ignorance, will be eternal bars to an effectual or lasting improvement.

After the death of Sultan Mustapha, our author, disgusted with the absurdities and villainy of the minister of the Porte, and seeing that all hopes of bringing his establishments to perfection were at an end, determines to leave Conftantinople. The parting with his pupils is thus described.

• The vefsel that was to convey me to Smyrna, where I was to go on board a French frigate, had already weighed anchor, and sec her fails, when several boats came about us, and I saw myself surrounded by all my pupils, with each a book or an instrument in his 'hand. Before you leave us, said they, with much emotion, give us, at least, a parting lesson ; it will be more deeply impressed on our memories than all the reit. One opened his book to explain the square of the Hypothen use; another with a long white beard elevated his fextant to take an altitude ; a third asked me questions concerning the use of the finical quadrant; and all accompanied me out to "fea, for more than two leagues : where we took leave of each other, with a tenderness the more lively, as it was with the Turks unusual, and to me unexpected.'

On leaving the capital of the Turkish empire, the Baron had been intrufted with a commission empowering him to ENG. REV. SEPT. 1785.



remedy the abuses that had crept into the French commerce in the Levant. The use he intends to make of this oppor. tunity, is announced in the commencement of the fourth part.

Having cbserved the character, manners, and government of the Turks, in the capital of their rast empire, it remained for me to visit the distant provinces, to cxamine the different nations which they contain, and discover the variations which the distance of the despor neceffarily produces in despoti'm.'

In his way to Alexandria, he touches at Candia, the an. cient Crete,' and gives a short account of its climate, productions, and government. Having landed at Alexandria, be proceeds up the Nile to Cairo, and finds that immense city a scene of anarchy and murder. The Ottoman government established in Egypt, originally tyrannical, has become more deftructive by the feebleness of administration, which gives rise to constant revolutions and blood-fhed. Paffing Ilightly over this tumultuary war, our author proceeds to inform us concerning the government, population, manners, and commerce of the Egyptians, and at the same time, gives a topographical description of the country. Having already extended this article to an uncommon length, we cannot indulge ourselves in following our author through this entertaining and instructive detail

. We have, however, to remark that he does not blindly follow the descriptions and reflections of preceding travellers, 'but boldly and judiciously thinks for himself

The common opinion that the Delta has, in the course of ages, been formed by the sediment of the Nile, is thus controverted.

• It is proper to observe, that Delta, more clevated than the rest of Egypt, is bounded towards the sea by a foreit of palm-trees, called the forest of Berelos, the land of which is much higher than the highest rising of the waters; and this topographical remark is futcient to destroy the system of the formation of Delta by sediment. A country which is higher than the greatest inundations, can never owe to them its origin.'

After having said that the fources of the Nile are not known, he has the following note; which our countryman Mr. Bruce should not let pass without a satisfactory reply ; especially as some disagreeable doubts concerning his accounts of Abyssinia have spread pretty generally in Europe.

" A traveller, vamed Bruce, it is laid, has pretended to have dircovered them. I faw, at Cairo, the servant who was his guide and companion during the journey, who affured me, that he had no knowledge of any such discovery. It may, perhaps, be objected, that a learned

man, like Mr. Bruce, was not obliged to give an account of his discoveries to his valet; but, in a desart, the pride of celebrity vanishes. The master and servant dilappear, and become only two men neceilitated tv adlift their mutual wants ; the only superiority is possessed by the itrongest; and the servant I have mentioned, born in the country, would certainly have corroborated Mr. Bruce's a flertions, in a discovery purely topographical.'


Considering the wretched government under which Egypt groans, the population and fruitfulness of the country are astonishing; which can be accounted for only from the wonderful richness of the soil, the fine climate, and happy lituation, that naturally draws to it the commerce of both hemispheres.

Our author, having finished his business in Egypt, re-embarks at Alexandria, pays a visit to Cyprus, and touches at most of the ports on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, from Alexandria to Tunis. From Lattaka, the ancient Laodicea, he goes by land to Aleppo, and from thence to Alexandretta. In the course of this journey, he has an opportunity of examining the manners of the Druses and Mlutualis, so different in many respects from those of the other inhabitants. The Druses in particular, have many fingularities, among which their mysterious religion is not the least fingular. But they carefully avoid every explanation on this head, and indiscriminately frequent both churches and mosques. They appear to be divided into a variety of sects, which mutually hate each other, and only agree in detesting the Mahometans. There is a sect among them, the author calls Gynæcolifts, adorers of women, whose worship is of the same kind, though less mysterious than that which the Chinese pay to the Lingham. It is worth remarking here that this species of worship has prevailed in almost every quarter of the globe, and may be traced up to the most remote antiquity : it was an emblematical object of adoration, representative of the great source of generation and existence. Among other fingular opinions, the Druses maintain that they ihall be the heirs of the Turks, when these latter are deftroyed by the Chriftians.

With the following account of the extraordinary manners of the inhabitants of Martavan, a village in Syria, we shall conclude our review of these memoirs.

Our small company lodged the following evening at Martavan. The singular manner of the inhabitants of this village are so remarkable, that I cannot refrain mentioning the celebrity which it has acquired in Syria. I have been assured that another near it, is governed on the fame principles, but has not the advantage of being on the road, and its name is hardly known.

• These two villages belong to a rich individual of Aleppo, who receives their quit-rent, and possesses the right of nominating a macitrate to their civil jurisdiction. There is no appearance, at Mar


M 2

tavan, of any religion whatever. The men are wholly employed is agriculture, and the women, who are generally handsome, teem only intended to welcome travellers. The day when any arrives is with them a festival, as it is with the Peleving-Bachi, whole office is that of Bailiff, but his bufiness is more complaisant, though it cannot be explained. He is to take orders from the new gueits, to fupply each with what he prefers, and to reckon with his villagers concerning the profits. These casual profits, and the right to receive them, I have been affured have been fold for ten puries.

It is very difficult to discover the origin of a fociety founded on such extraordinary principles; in the midst of the rigorous laws of jealousy, Martavan preserves a legal licentiousness, so reduced to constant practice, that it seems the only falte prejudice of this small community.'

Upon the whole, we liave seldom met with more amusement or instruction from any book of travels. The object of the author appears evidently to be, not to furprize, but to inform his readers. His observations are acute, his good sense every where apparent, while the philosopher and politician may both profit by his reflexions. Some readers may perhaps accuse him of egotism; but it is to be considered, thať the appearance of this weaknets is hardly to be avoided, when a perfon muft necessarily speak often of himself.


ART. V. The Inercale of Manufactures, Commerce and Finance,

with the extension of Civil Liberty, protased in Regulations for the interest of Money. 4to. boards. 6s. 6d.' Robinson, 17853 IFFERENT ages, like different nations, have their

peculiar characters. When we look back on the everchanging state of modern Europe, we find a time when nations fought for settlements in the fertile dominions of effeminate neighbours ; a time when they went to war from the point of honour, ever jealous and quick in quarrel; a time when they fought for the establishment or subversion of religious doctrines; and a time when armies were brought into the field for the purpose of domination and extended empire. The passion of the present age is Commercial Advantage. For this, councils protract the night in debate, for this armies are raised, and fleets equipped at an expence, which no commercial advantage can indemnify. In such an age, it is not a wonder that treatises on the advancement of trade should as much abound, as treatifes on controverted points of theology in the last century. Among the various hints suggested and plans proposed by legions of writers for the improvement of our political economy, many are worthy of serious attention, and fome of their hints are almoft annually adopted by government; but these are such as take


« PrécédentContinuer »