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into account the descriptions of the ancient Arabian Geographers, including the labours of Edrisi, Abulfeda, and Abdollatiph,* we yet scarcely do more than penetrate the cuticle, or the surface of the interior of the southern portion of Africa, below the equator. As we descend towards our own times, even the labours of Leo Africanus, Marmol, and Cadamosto, do not
* Before I come to touch upon the labours of the above travellers, let me recommend to the curious reader's particular attention the posthumous work of Gibbon, with the brief but instructive notes of the late Dr. Vincent, being an "Inquiry into the circumnavigation of Africa" it will be found at the end of the fifth volume of Mr. Murray's valuable octavo edition of Gibbon's Posthumous Works. EDRISI flourished towards the middle of the sixth century, and was born at the end of the fifth. His Africa can only be read and consulted in the edition of Hartman, published at Gottingen in 1796, 8vo: the notes being very valuable, and including copious extracts from other Arabian geographers. Consult the Biogr. Universelle, &c. vol. xii. page 539 for other works of Edrisi, in the course of publication. His Geographia Nubiensis was published at Paris in 1619, 4to. in the Arabic and Latin languages: but the title, according to Hartman, is entirely gratuitous, and adopted without any foundation. The edition is also very inaccurate: the blame of which the Editor throws upon the original text, and in which he seems borne out by the evidence of Orientalists who have consulted the MS. Edrisi's first work, under the title of "Recreation of Curious Wits," was published at Rome in 1592, and is exceedingly rare. See the Biogr. Universelle. Eickhorn is the ablest editor of ABULFEDA, whose Africa, in the Arabic and Latin languages, was published at Gottingen in 1791, Svo. His account of Egypt, in the same languages, was edited by Michaelis at Gottingen in 1776, 8vo. The late Professor White, of Oxford, is the best editor of ABDOLLATIPH'S Compendium Rerum Memorab. Egypt. which appeared latterly in 1800, at that University, in a handsome quarto volume.
Let LEO AFRICANUS excite our attention and admiration: as from Mr. Murray's pleasing sketch of his labours, (Travels in Africa, vol. i. p. 42.) he is, in every respect, entitled to do. His patron was Leo. X. and his Africa Descriptio IX. Libris absoluta," seems to
give us all that information, which, from the more enlightened state of the world, we had reason to expect.
Pursuing in a great measure, the plan of Mr. Murray, I shall first notice the aid to be derived from
have first appeared in a separate form, at Antwerp, in 1556, 1558;
* Mr. Murray has been led into a mistake by that plausible, but not wholly accurate bibliographer, Du Fresnoy, in supposing that the French version of LEO, in 1556, fol. 2 vols. is the exclusive version of Leo. Brunet tells us, that these volumes contain accounts of Africa, Asia, and America, from Ramusio. Consult also Meuselii Bibl. Hist. vol. ii. part ii. p. 318.
the publications of D'ANVILLE, RENNELL, and GosSELIN; and then travel downwards from the Mediterranean coast to the Cape of Good Hope; but not without paying especial attention to the western coast, and to the immense territory comprised under what is called the kingdom of Ethiopia. The land of EGYPT is impressed upon our memories by a thousand recollections. It is familar to us in early youth, from the language of holy writ; and perhaps no two characters ever took such entire possession of the young and susceptible heart, as those of Moses and Pharoah. Nor are the physical wonders of the country less striking. The rise and fall of the waters of the Nile has been a theme (also interwoven in sacred text) which has long, not only excited our curiosity, but, perhaps, baffled our reasoning. And, again, how is the mind raised, by a contemplation-whether in reality or description, of those stupendous edifices, under the appellation of the Pyramids ! ?* While, journeying yet more south
* The labours of D'ANVILLE and RENNELL have been so frequently noticed and commended, that I have here only and equally to recommend those of GosSELIN, under the title of Recherches sur le Géographie systématique et positive des Anciens, pour servir de base à l'histoire de la géographie ancienne, Paris, an. VI. (1797) 1813, 4to. four vols. The two latter volumes sell separately, for those who are in need of being "comforted" by them. A good copy of the entire work, well bound, is worth 67. 68.
t "The enormous size of these ancient monuments, and the solidity of their structure, promise an eternal duration; an existence coeval with the everlasting mountains. They are visible at a great distance, and, as the traveller advances, seem to retire into the recesses of the desert. Their stupendous height, prodigious surface, and enormous solidity, strike the spectator with reverence and awe, as they recall the memory of distant ages."-LEYDEN; in Murray's Discoveries and Travels in Africa, vol. ii. p. 179.
erly, "we are lost and confounded in the immensity" of those ruins, which tell us where Thebes once stood!
First, then, of EGYPT. The works of Pococke, Norden, Savary, Denon, Sonnini, White, Hamilton, Legh, and Belzoni,* are sufficient to ensure every
* Of the above, in the order in which they stand and first of POCOCKE; but he has been already dispatched: see p. 433. Let no pains be spared to secure a good copy of him. The first volume, relating to Egypt, was reprinted (says Mr. Murray) in 1748, 4to. ; but the same authority is wrong in describing Pococke's original work to be of the same dimensions. I observe a good copy of this work selling for 167. 10s. at the sale of Dr. Heath's library. NORDEN is indeed the prince of picturesque travellers, of the older school, as connected with the ruins of Egypt. He was a Dane, and his work first appeared at Copenhagen in 1755, in two folio vols. in the French language. These were translated by Templeman into English, accompanied by notes, and published in 1757, in the same number of volumes, with the same number of plates. Barbier allows that this edition is even finer than its precursor. Messrs. Payne and Foss notice an edition of 1805, which they mark at 5l. 15s. 6d. "two vols. in one, neat, in russia." It is, however, the edition of 1757, that the curious" bite at,"—especially if it be in fine condition, and possess 164 plates,† besides the original head and tail pieces. But subsequent researches, accompanied by more curious illustrations, have diminished the pecuniary weight of Norden; and for 71.17s. 6d. a well bound copy may be obtained. Miss Currer possesses a copy of it on the "largest paper." M. Langles published his own French translation, with notes, in 1795, 4to. three vols. SAVARY'S Lettres sur l'Egypte, 1785, 8vo 3 vols. are, it must be admitted, sufficiently lively. They were, at first, attended with considerable success, but I am not sure, whether, from the testimonies of French biographers and critics themselves, Savary ought to receive a great share of credit. The reputation of his work was cut to pieces by Michaelis, in a review in a foreign journal of oriental literature: which Mons. Silvestre de Sacy made intelligible and acceptable to the French public
+ Pinkerton counts 200 plates.
requisite information relating to this most extraordinary country. Of course, after the reader shall
in the Journal des Savans, 1787, reprinted in the Esprit des Journaux, and in the Tablettes d'un Curieux. See Barbier, vol. iv. p. 388. Yet, as Savary's work afforded me, when a very young man at College, considerable gratification, I am unwilling to shew ungrateful symptoms in return; and will never refuse three-fourths of a sovereign for his three volumes, when coated in the comely attire of white calf, with marble leaves.
The work of DENON is fairly entitled to a particular and highly commendatory notice. I perfectly remember at Mr. Dulau's when the first copies of it were imported, in 1802, in two large folio volumes, "the learned wondered at the work, and the vulgar were enamoured of" its execution. Such was its popularity here, that an English translation of it (by Mr. Aikin) was published in two quarto volumes within nine months of the appearance of the original work. This English version exhibits a better order in the text, and has some valuable additional notices; but the inferiority of the presswork, and both the inferiority and diminution (from 141 to 60) of the plates, render it now scarcely an object of attraction. Many of the plates, in the original French folio, are by the burin of Denon himself; and exhibit much of the force and freedom, as well as of the style, of Rembrandt. A copy of these noble volumes is marked at 201. in blue morocco, by Messrs. Payne and Foss: and at 167. 16s. in boards. The French text, in three duodecimo volumes, (it was also published in one quarto volume) and the plates in folio, is marked at 61. 6s. by Messrs. Arch. Upon the whole, Denon's bookin which there are too many fanciful, if not fantastical groupes(especially in the march and encounter of armies) can never be wholly superseded. This brings me, therefore, to the mention of another FRENCH WORK, of repulsively COLOSSAL DIMENSIONS, relating to Egypt-of which, according to Brunet, nine folio volumes and an Atlas have already appeared at Paris, in 1809, &c. It was undertaken and conducted by a commission issued under Bonaparte, and carried on by the present French monarch. I saw, at the private library of the King, at Paris, Bonaparte's own copy, bound in red morocco; but, bound in any style, works of such a form are so incommodious and unwieldy, that they even forbid investigation, and, in consequence, suppress applause. To have a thoroughly