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of Powussen, governor of Begemder, with a grand-daughter of the Râs and the old queen. To celebrate this alliance, which was made for the sake of ensuring Powussen's fidelity to the government, Michael, Ozoro Esther, and the bride's mother, distributed multitudes of cattle among the populace and army. Drink was given in propor. tion ; and the dissipation which prevailed every where, for some weeks, can neither be described nor imagined. The married women ate raw beef, drank hydromel and spirits, and smoked like the men. Mr. Bruce, though dejected, in ill health, and shocked at the grossness of such society, was often obliged to be present.'
Mr. Bruce resided in Abyssinia above two years. He accomplished his visit to the Sources of the Nile before the end of the first year, and was afterward desirous of setting out on his return with all possible expedition, but was detained by the importunity of the court, and by the sanguinary contests which desolated the kingdom. Another year elapsed in the prosecution of his journey northward through Nubia and the immense deserts which separate that country froin Egypt, and it was not till March 1773 that he reached Alexandria. In the next year lie returned to Scotland ; where, having again become a married man, the care of his property and domestic affairs seemed totally to abstract him from literary pursuits, until the death of his wife, in 1785, drove him to seek consolation in the revival of former transactions, and in the description of the countries which had been the scene of his travels. He prepared an account of thein with rapidity, and gave it to the public, in 5 vols. '4t0., in 1790.--His death took place four years afterward, in consequence of a fall down his own stairs.
Mr. Murray follows up his sketch of Mr. Bruce's life, by discussing the merit of his literary productions. Soon after the appearance of the Travels, we entered into a very, full examination of them ; (Monthly Review, N. S. Vols. IÍ. and III.;) and while we gave Mr. Bruce ample credit for intrepidity, address, and enterprize, we felt it incumbent on us to expose without reserve those errors and contradictions which affected the credibility of the narrative. When Mr. Murray treads the same ground, the partiality of an admirer is sufficiently conspicuous : but his mind is too enlightened to conceal facts, which, even when explained with all the respect and delicacy of friendship, convey in substance an acknowlegement of the justice of our censures. In the course of our strictures, we endeavoured to expose the impropriety of the traveller's exultation in regarding the sources of the Abay as the sources of the Nile, and in representing himself as the first European who had visited these fountains. The follow
ing paragraphs express Mr. Murray's opinion on this as well as on some other parts of the book :
• The springs of the Abay, which he visited, were generally reputed to be the chief source of the Egyptian river when he left Europe. The Abay itself is unquestionably one of the principal branches of the Nile, and seems to be considered, by the natives of Habbesh and Atbara, as the higher part of the great river. But the claim of the Abay to this last honour is contested, as well as the discovery of its sources by Mr. Bruce. Admitting both to be well founded, this discovery, whatever ideas of imaginary glory it may have excited, or whatever' influence these may have had in promoting his journey, seems, when considered by itself, to be comparatively of very little importance.
i The defects of this work, which bear a small proportion to its merits, arise from circumstances comnion to most performances of the kind, a love of theory and system, a desire to please the reader, and, in several instances, from a degree of inattention and carelessness, not easily avoided im composing a long narrative of minute transactions.
In the course of his voyages on the Red Sea, Mr. Bruce had observed many singular phænomena, which, along with the information given by ancient writers, led his mind to reflect on the first esta. Llishment of ihe Indian trade, and the navigation of the Arabian gulf, in the most remote ages. Imagining that the birth-place of an. cieni civilization lay in Ethiopia, that is, in the country between Azab, or Adel, and Syene, he entered into a theoretical history of the establishment of trade and commerce, and the invention of the arts and sciences, particularly of architecture, astronomy, and writing, by the Shepherds of Azab and Meroe, and by their kindred, the Cushites, who afterwards peopled Egypt. He has executed this undertaking with much learning and ingenuity, particularly that part of it which relates to the triennial voyages of the Jews and Phænicians to Tarshish. But it is easy to see, that his theory, however applicable in a few instances, is liable to powerful objections He seems to take it for granted, that the Shepherds and Cushites, names of indefinite significatiun, occupied the whole extent of country already mentioned, without dissention or difference, in the remotest times; and that their posterity inhabits Abyssinia and Atbara at this day. To simplify ancient history in this manner, by leaving out of the account many of the scattered facts which are preserved concerning these nations in their ancient, as well as what is known of them in their modern state, is a dangerous experiment, apt to deceive both the author and his readers. His account of the building of Asum, Meroe, and Thebes, and of the origin of writing, is therefore unsatisfactory; and, when he descends to the history of the modern Abyssinians, who have ng authentic annals till a late period, he gives too much credit to their national fables, which deduce the line of their kings from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and pretend to derive their guvernment, laws, and institutions, from the Jews. The prevalence of the Jewish religion in Habbesh, before the æra of Christianity, has also inclined him to suppose, that the Falasha, the Agows, and the
people of Amhara and Gafat, came originally from Palestine, though most of their languages have not the slightest affinity to the Hebrew,
· The third and fourth books of the Travels, containing the history of Abyssinia, from the year 1298, to the time of his arrival in the countrý, along with the preceding one, already mentioned, on the Indian trade, Yorm a long episode, which has been considered by many readers as uninteresting, and a clog on the narrative'
• Though his journals were in general copious, he too often omitted to consult them, trusting to the extent and accuracy of his recollection. At the distance of fifteen years, a part of so many incidents must have been effaced from the most tenacious memory. Before he composed his narrative, his mind had begun to suffer from the indolence natural to his time of life. He was not sensible, that, by relying with too great security on his memory, he was in danger of confounding dates, actions, and circumstances, which might have been easily rectified by his papers.'
One of the principal objects of our animadversion, in reviewing Mr. Bruce's travels, was his mistaken interpretation of Greek authors ; and we would invite any of our readers, to whom our strictures may have appeared severe, to compare them with those of a continental writer, whose impartiality, cannot be called in question. The learned Professor Hartmann's character of Mr. Bruce is thus given :
“ Abessinium salutasse Brucium, dix dubium ; retulit multas res memoria dignas, sed saepissimè mendacia lectoribus pro veritate obtrudit ; sibimeripsi haud rarò contradicit, doctrinam jactalur quâ tamen caruisse multis locis comprobat. Opere ejus nemo ergo utatur, nisi antea adhibita sit crisis circumspectissima." Edrisii Africa, Hartmanni, p. xxxv.'
Mr. Murray concludes with a portrait of Mr. Bruce, which is too interesting to be withholden from our readers, although liable, in some degree, to the objection of partiality :
• Mr. Bruce's stature was six feet four inches; his person was large and well-proportioned ; and his strength correspondent to his size and stature. In his youth he possessed much activity ; but, in the latter part of his life, he became corpulent; though, when he chose to exert himself, the effects of time were not perceptible. The colour of his hair was a kind of dark red; his complexion was sanguine ; and the features of his face elegantly formed. The general tone of his voice was loud and strong, but bis articulation was sometimes careless and indistinct. His walk was stately ; his air noble and commanding. He was attentive to his dress, and was particularly successful in wearing that of the nations through which he passed in an easy and graceful manner, to which he was indebted in part for his good reception, especially in Abyssinia.
The leading qualities of his mind were courage, magnanimity, and prudence. He was endowed with a large portion of that elevated
spirit, without which no enterprise of importance is conceived or exe, cuted. He was ambitious to be known as the performer of honours able and useful undertakings, and was equally intrepid and dexterous in effecting his designs.
· His personal accomplishments Gitted him, in a superior manner, for the undertakings in which he engaged. His constitution was robust: he had inured himself to every kind of fatigue and exercise. His long residence among the Barbary Arabs, the best hiorsemen in the world, had enabled liir to excel in the management of the horse, and in the exercise of the lance and javelin. His skill in the use of fire-arms was uncommonly great. He knew also how to display these accomplishments to the best advantage among barbarians, and seldom failed to excite their applause and astonishment.
· In qualifications of a different description, he equalled, if not surpassed, the generality of travellers. His memory was excellent, and his understanding vigorous and well cultivated. He found no difficulty in acquiring languages of any kind. He understood French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, the two list of which he spoke and wrote with facility. Besides Greek and Latin, which he read well, though not critically, he knew the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac ; and, in the latter part of his life, compared several portions of the Scriptures in those related dialects. He read and spoke with ease, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Amharic.
• Mr. Bruce's temper, as he candidly confesses, was irritable and passionate ; but his heart was warm ; his affections ardent; and his moral feelings extremely acute. His friendships were sincere, and, in general, permanent, though sometimes interrupted by suspi cion.'
· The most defective part of his character arose from his constitus tional temper, which disposed him to be suspicious, and hasty in taking offence. His enmities therefore were sometimes capricious, though, in general, well founded. His love of ancestry, and practice of telling his own exploits, though magnified into vices by the weakest of his enemies, scarcely deserve notice as imperfections, though they certainly were prominent features, in his character.'
We have already expressed a favourable opinion of the manner in which Mr. Murray has performed his biographical Jabours. Extent of information and care in composition are evident characteristics of his work, his style is good, and his selection of circumstances is judicious. The interest of the narrative, however, is not equally great throughout. As long as Mr. Bruce's history is confined to scenes with which the rcader is in some degree acquainted, such as Europe, Syria, or Egypt, the attention remains excited : but when we are trans ported to the unknown ground of Abyssinia, and suddenly introduced to a multitude of unheard-of names, an abridged statement, such as that of Mr. Murray, cannot afford entertainment, -except to those who have previously read the original work; and he who has not perused Bruce's Travels beforehand will
find himself in a labyrinth, similar to that which entangles us on the first reading of Ossian's poems. The biographer should here have confined his pen to a notice of a few of the leading characters and events, and, after some general remarks, have referred to the Travels at length.
In regard to Mr. Murray's style, which we have already praised, we must add that we have remarked some inaccuracies, sliglit indeed in themselves, but such as we should not have expected in a classical writer. In one place, (page 14.) we are told, his hopes were by no means certain ;' in another, (p.16.) an individual is mentioned as concerting a plan;' and in a third, (p.92.) he says that Mr. Bruce observed two or three fountains, some of which were inclosed. Our principal objection, however, is that the diction is sometimes too magnificent for the familiar nature of the subject. Speaking of Harrow school, Mr. Murray says (page 8.), • This seminary was then conducted by the abilities of Dr. Cox.' A thriving wine-trade, with increasing customers, is thus described (page 13.): • The dealings of the company were extensive, and many persons of distinction honoured him (Mr. Bruce) with their friendship, from a regard for his personal character. By their attention he secured the favour of the public,' &c.
The Appendix begins with the correspondence from Algiers, and affords a circumstantial relation of the difficulties with which Mr. Bruce was obliged to struggle in the discharge of his duty as Consul. This is followed by narratives of his journies to Tunis, Tripoli, Balbec, and Palmyra; by correspondence when in Egypt and Abyssinia; and by the letters addressed to him after his return by the celebrated Buffon, and Journu de Montagny of Marseilles. Mr. Bruce's letter to Dr. Burney, on Egyptian and Abyssinian Music, is also inserted in the Appendix, being copied from Dr. Burney's work. A letter from Dr. Blair to the author, written soon after his perusal of the “ Travels," affords an example of very courteous criticism*;
We have called this letter of Dr. Blair a piece of courteous criticism,' and such it certainly is : but the next letter from that eminent preacher is not a sample of courteous criticism' with respect to us. It endeavours to console Mr. Bruce for the strictures which we passed on his work, by lavishing vulgar and common place abuse against Reviews, in a tone which does as little credit to Dr. B.'s candour of disposition as to his knowlege of facts; and it pro. fesses to support that tone by an alleged coincidence in opinion with the late Dr. Douglas, Bishop of Salisbury, which we are convinced Ulust be an incorrect representation. Bishop Douglas was long and intimately acquainted with the Editor of the Monthly Review, and