Slike strani

ly known. The quadrants, astrolabes, and other instruments left by their ancestors, are looked upon rather as curiosities than prized as useful inventions. Algebra and arithmetic, which owe so much of their advancement to the ancient Arabs, are not familiar, even in their most elementary form, to one person in a thousand among their descendants. The labours of Diophantus and of Albugiani are lost or neglected; and the progeny of the brave and accomplished Saracens seem not aware of the obligations under which Europe stands to them for having preserved the fruits of Egyptian art and Grecian philosophy.

In such unfavourable circumstances, it cannot be expected that any branch of practical knowledge should be properly studied. There are not, indeed, wanting many persons who prescribe in physic, perform upon a variety of musical instruments, and engage in other professions which seem to imply some acquaintance with the mathematical and chymical sciences. Yet, we are assured, such attainments have no foundation in principle, but are entirely the result of practice, aided by great quickness of thought and vigour of memory, The abilities of the people are allowed to be considerable; their ingenuity and perseverance are equal to the most arduous undertakings ; and the philanthropist has not to deplore the absence of any thing exoept a regular encouragement to induruv.



The Cyrenaica and Pentapolis. Modern Acceptation of the Term Barbary-Desert of Barca

District of 'Marmarica-Its desolate State-Remains of an. cient Improvement-Derna-Natural Advantages-Habits of the People-Want of good Harbours-Ruins--Opinion of Pa. chom Excavations and Grottoes-Cyrene-Details by Herodotus--War with Egypt-Successes of the Persians-Form of Government-Cyrene subject to Egypt-Persians-Saracers - Present State of the Cyrenaica- Marsa Suza-Ruins-Apollonia - Monuments of Christianity--Tumbs - Theatres Style of Architecture-Amphitheatre-Temples-StadiumHypogea-Notion of petrified Villagem Account by Shaw Remark by Della Cella-Journey of Captain Smyth--State of Ghirza-Fountain of Apollo-Description of it-Examined by Capt. Beechey-Plain of Merge-Barca-History of-Doubts as to its real Position-Opinion of Della Cella-Ptolemeta or Dolmeita-Fine Situation of the Town-Streets covered with Grass and Shrubs-Extent of the City~Ruins--Theatres Magnificent Gateway-Supposed of Egyptian Origin-Hye pothesis of Della Cella-Disputed by Capt. Beechey-Taucra, or ancient Teuchira-I'nfavourable as a Seaport-Complete Demolition of its Buildings—Ruins of two Christian Churches—Tombs-Variety of Greek Inscriptions— Mode of Burial

- Bengazi, or Berenice-Miserable Condition of the Place Plague of Flies— Population-Character of Inhabitants-Gardens of the Hesperides_Glowing Descriptions of them by ancient Writers-Position indicated by Scylax-Labours of Captain Beechey-Conclusion.

It has been already stated that Barbary, according to the modern acceptation of the term, may be viewed as comprehending four great pachaliks or governments; all of which profess to own a subjection, more or less restricted, to the supreme authority of the Grand Turk. In describing these extensive provinces, which stretch from the borders of Egypt to the shores of the Atlantic, we shall at first proceed from east to west; having in some degree prepared for this ar. rangement by laying before our readers, in a former volume,

all the facts which recent enterprise has brought to light, regarding that perilous desert which, commencing at the left bank of the Nile, touches the sea in the neighbourhood of the greater Syrtis. The discoveries of Brown, Pacho, and others, who in later times have penetrated this dreary wilderness, have rendered familiar to the student of geography every thing that can be deemed interesting relative to Siwah, the seat of the ancient Ammonium, and those sınaller oases by which the surface of the surrounding waste is relieved and diversified.

Moving along the coast westward from Alexandria, the traveller, upon reaching the 28th degree of longitude, finds himself in the district of Marmarica, where the classical port of Parætonium may still be recognised under the modern appellation of Al Bereton. This wild country is not recommended to the European eye either by its natural beauties or its historical remains. The soil, of a parched and barren aspect, refuses nourishment to those groves of laurel, myrtle, juniper, and arbutus, which in other parts adorn the northern edge of the Desert, and present an air of freshness to the mariner who approaches the shore. Traces are not wanting, indeed, of happier times, when a race of men possessing industry and taste must have occupied its surface. Canals, constructed for the purpose of irrigation, cross the plain in various directions, even ascending the sides of the hills ; and cisterns meant to retain the excess of moisture supplied by the rainy season, are still found in such a state of preservation as to indicate the plan on which they were built, and the materials of which they consisted.

It adınits not of doubt, that, when the Cyrenaica was subject to the King of Egypt, this province must have enjoyed a considerable share of wealth and importance. The labours bestowed on agriculture prove at once the extent of the population and the value attached to the produce of land; and even at the present day there are everywhere vestiges of ancient habitations, which, though they serve only to throw an additional gloom over regions condemned to desertion and melancholy, afford the best evidence that they were at one time blessed with at least a partial civilization, and with such improvement as belonged to the parent state.

The Gulf of Bomba presents itself as a principal feature in this scene, in which geographers are willing to recognise the harbour of Menelaus, mentioned by Herodotus, Strabo, and Ptolemy. No positive traces, it is true, can be discovered of the power or taste of the Cyrenians, though it is certain that their dominion extended so far to the eastward, The Bedouins, moreover, unite in declaring that, at a little distance from the bottom of the, bay, there is a lake with a small island in the centre, covered with architectural relics of a superior order. The statements of such guides, however, are for the most part unworthy of trust, not only from ignorance, but also from that habit of exaggeration to which all rude tribes are addicted. The specimens, accordingly, which fell under the notice of M. Pacho, were executed in the Egyptian style, with very little regard to elegance, and bearing no marks of that refined genius which characterized the buildings of the Grecian colonists in the Pentapolis.

The frontiers of Tripoli and Egypt are, as might be expected, extremely unsettled, being beyond the reach of either government, and affording a retreat to the thieves, the outlaws, and malecontents of both. Pitching their tents in the neighbourhood of the gulf, they make incursions into the adjoining districts, and plunder every one who has the misfortune to fall in their way. They are ever on the watch for the caravans and pilgrims who traverse the Desert on their journey to Mecca ; and this is the only route used by the people of Morocco, who are said of all Moslem to be the most fervently devoted to the prophet. It might seem, indeed, that the equipage of a penitent would not hold out any temptation to these rapacious freebooters; for, wrapped up in a tattered cloak, without shoes or head-dress, and carrying no provisions besides a bag of barley meal, he might appear rather an object of compassion than of plunder, even in the eyes of an Arab. But it is well known that under this semblance of extreme poverty the hajjis often conceal a quantity of gold-dust, which, being brought from the interior of Africa to Fez, is thence conveyed as an article of commerce to the holy city. The hope of seizing this valuable booty subjects every traveller to the misery of being stripped and narrowly examined ; and it is related, that a few years ago an uncle of the Moorish emperor, though escorted by 3,000 men, was assailed by this horde of marauders and pillaged of all his teasures.

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