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Retrospect of his “ Operations and recent Discoveries within the Pyramids,
Temples, Tombs and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia ; and of a Journey to the Coast of the Red Sca, in scarch of the ancient Berenice; and another to the Oasis of Jupiter Ammon.”
Mr. Belzoni is a native of the tions and discoveries in Egypt. The city of Padua, and descended from work is written in a simple, pleasa Roman family, which resided there ing, and perspicuous style, though many years. The disturbed state of it may seem to want that nerve, that Italy, in 1800, obliged him to leave copiousness of expression and power that country, a circumstance which of language, which seldom, if ever, led him to visit different parts of characterize the style of an author Europe. His family, though not who writes in a foreign tongue. The rich, sent him some occasional re want of these higher beauties, how. mittances; but, unwilling to be a ever, is more than compensated, by burthen to them, he contrived to the importance of the matter, and support himself by the knowledge the plain, unaffected simplicity of which he had acquired in various manner in which the author commubranches, particularly hydraulics,- nicates his thoughts. Though he a science from which he derived con had many causes of complaint siderable advantages, and which ul against certain individuals, he sel! timately led to his visiting Egypt. dom gives way to the language of In 1803 he arrived in England, and indignation. His reason always premarried shortly after. He remained sides over his feelings, but his feelhere nine years, and having a natu ings are not the less strong, nor his ral propensity for travelling, he re sense of injury less poignant and solved on making a tour through acute. As his travels in Egypt and the South of Europe, and visited Nubia form the most interesting part Portugal, Spain, and Malta, whence of his own life, we have, for the satishe embarked for Egypt in 1815, faction of our readers, given a history where he remained to 1819. The in miniature of the most important discoveries which he made in this transactionsin which he was engaged, country, and Nubia, are the subject during his residence in these counof a work which he has published tries. By this means, we make them, since his arrival in England. He at once, acquainted with the history was chiefly led to engage in this of his life, and the substance of the work, in consequence of the many work which he has laid before the erroneous accounts which had been public. Mr. Belzoni sailed from given to the public, after his opera. Malta on the 19th of May, 1815, and
arrived at Alexandria on the 9th of ers with the sublime prospects of June following. The object of his which it was composed, and which visit to Egypt was to construct hy lavish nature seemed to have scatdraulic machines, to water the fields tered around him, in terrific though with greater expedition, and less delightful magnificence. Mr. Belexpence, than the method usually zoni returned with his friend to adopted in that country. On arriv Cairo, strongly impressed with the ing at Alexandria, the city was in- influence of a scene which he had fected with the plague, though it long desired, but never expected he was then on the decline. He and should have the happiness to behold. his party, which consisted only of A few days after, he and a party Mrs. Belzoni, James Curtain, an of Europeans visited the pyramids Irish youth, and himself, were, ac of Sacara, by water, whence he procordingly, obliged to perform qua- ceeded, accompanied only by Mr. rantine at the French Occale, where Turner, to visit the pyramids of they remained till the first of July, Dajior; which, though considerably when the plague had entirely abated. smaller, are in much better preservaThe 24th of June, St. John's day, is tion than any of the rest.
oppor. eagerly looked for by the Egyptians tunity permitted, they would have during the plague, as it then gene visited the embalmed mummies of rally begins to decline rapidly, birds, but a Fellah brought them a circumstance which the natives an earthen vase containing a bird, attribute to the guardian- power of which appeared to be of the hawk the saint, but which Mr. Belzoni species. The vase was so perfect, justly attributes to the great increase that they believed the Fellah only of heat, which, like the extreme of sought to impose upon them, and, cold, checks the pestilence. On the refusing, consequently, to purchase first of July, Mr. Belzoni and his it, the Fellah, to prove what conparty sailed up the Nile, in company noisseurs they were, broke it in their with Mr. Turner, an English gentle- presence. man, but were driven back by con Two days after their return to trary winds the same evening. The Cairo, Mr. Baghos accompanied him next day they re-embarked, and to the citadel, to introduce him to landed at Aboukir, in consequence the Bashaw ; but as they passed of high winds. They continued along through one of the principal their voyage the same day, and streets, a soldier on horseback rode landed at Rosetta. In four days up to him, and gave him such a afterwards, they reached Boolak, blow on the leg with his stirrup, within a mile of Cairo, to which they that he imagined it cut in two. The immediately proceeded; and as the wound was deep, and two inches monks of the convent of Terressante broad, so that, instead of proceedcould receive no women within their ing to the Bashaw, he was taken to walls, they were accommodated with the convent of Terrassanta, to be an old house in Boolak, belonging cured. The stirrups of the Turkish to Mr. Baghos, the principal inter- soldiers are like shovels, cut very preter of Mahomed Ali, and director short.
The Turks weré,
at this of all foreign affairs. Mr. Baghos time, greatly incensed against the very courteously appointed a day to Bashaw, for ordering them to learn present him to his Highness, the the European military evolutions, Bashaw, to propose the object of his a circumstance to which Mr. Belzoni visit. In the meantime, curiosity attributes the injury, which he réled him to see the pyramids in the ceived. neighbourhood of Cairo, in company After recovering from his wound, with Mr. Turner, who, procured an he was presented to the Bashaw, escort of soldiers from the Bashaw. who received him with great civility.
They ascended the first pyramid He seemed to'think little about the before the rising of the sun; and, wound in his leg, simply observing, though Mr. Belzoni deals not in the
that such things were unavoidable, picturesque style, the scene, as he where there were troops. He 'imdescribes it, is grand and imposing mediately entered into an arrangebeyond description. Our limits pre- ment with Mr. Belzoni, relative to clude us from entertaining our read the construction of his hydraulic
machine; but he was not many days to the task, who cannot place himengaged in it, when a revolution self in the same situation with the took place at Cairo among the troops, people, for the motives of whose who were hostile to the introduction conduct he pretends to account. of European tactics; and the Bashaw Mr. Belzoni's water machine was was obliged to take refuge in the finished while the Bashaw happened citadel. Cairo and its vicinity re to be at Alexandria, and, on his remained a scene of pillage and con turn, an experiment was made of it's fusion for several days, during which, utility. Though constructed of bad our traveller was obliged to confine wood and bad iron, and erected by himself within doors; but the troops Arabian carpenters, it drew six times who remained faithful to the Bashaw more water than the common masucceeded, at length, in restoring chines. The prejudice, however, was órder, and the discontented troops very strong against it; and the Bawere sent to encampments in various shaw, fearful to oppose the general stations, at a distance from Cairo. feeling, decided, that it had only The Bashaw, however, was obliged four times the power of the coinmon to relinquish bis project of intro machines. This, however, was all ducing the military evolutions of that Mr. Belzoni had undertaken, Europe among his soldiery.
but an accident soon 'frustrated its After tranquillity was restored, adoption, and quieted the 'fears' of Mr. Belzoni proceeded with his hy- the people. The Bashaw, to indulge draulic preparations, in which he a frolic, instead of oxen, put fifteen experienced considerable interrup- men into it, to try its effect, but the tion from the Turks, who were not wheel had scarcely turned once, only hostile to all European im when they all leaped out, leaving provements, but suspected, that if James, the Irish boy, alone in the this hydraulic machine should suc machine. The wheel, which was ceed, it would deprive many of them consequently overhalanced by the of work. While he was thus en weight of water, turned back with gaged, he had many opportunities such rapidity, that the catch was of becoming acquainted with the unable to check it; and the boy manners and customs of the Turks, was violently thrown out, having and the occupations and amusements one of his thighs 'broken. The of the Bashaw, which he very parti- Turks have an insurmountable obcularly describes. The Bashaw is jection to all new inventions which a great marksman, and diverts him are attended with any accident; and self every evening, about sun-set, in the Bashaw, who had not yet surshooting at an earthen pot, placed mounted the fears of the late rebelon the opposite bank of the Nile. lion, yielded to their superstition, Mr. Belzoni saw him hit a pot, only and renounced the adoption of the fifteen inches high, across the Nile, machine, so that Mr. Belzoni's conwhere the river is much broader tract with him was consigned to than the Thames at Westminster. oblivion. He is extremely fond of European He now determined to leave Cairo, arts, to which his subjects have a and, accordingly, applied to Mr. proportionate aversion. He has, how, Salt, the British Consul,
to procure ever, succeeded in introducing the
him a firman from the 'Bashaw, to fabrication of gunpowder, the re sail up the Nile. Mr. Salt, who had fining of sugar, the making of fine long deliberated on removing the indigo, and the silk manufacture. head of the statue of the younger Why a ruler should be more studi- Memnon, which lay at Gornou, a ous of those arts which benefit so. village near Thebes, availed himciety at large, than those to whom self of this opportunity, and prothe blessing is communicated, seems posed to Mr. Belzoni the raising of to be a question well worthy of the bust, and conveying it down the philosophic investigation. As our Nile' to Alexandria, with an intenlimits will not permit us to enter tion of sending it to London,' and into the discussion, we can only ob- offering it as a present to the British serve, that mere abstract philosophy Museum. To this proposal, Mr. can have little, or, rather, no hope Belzoni agreed, but denies, that he of being able to resolve it; and that was regularly employed by the Bripo writer can pretend to be adequate tish Consul, as has been publicly