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FOR SEPTEMBER, 1822.
Art. I. Journal of a Visit to some parts of Ethiopia. By George
Waddington, Esq. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Rev. Barnard Hanbury, of Jesus College, A.M. F.A.S. With
Maps and Engravings. 4to. Price 21. London, 1822. THE progress of foreign discovery, and the ardour of scien
tific travelling, are honourable distinctions of the age in which we live.
Necquicquam Deus abscidit
Prudens Oceano dissociabili
Terras.' In the days of Norden and Pococke, a journey up the Nile was esteemed a perilous undertaking. Now, it seems to be considered as an agreeable recreation, rather than a toilsome pilgrimage, to take a trip to the furthest confines of Nubia, and to pass the northern frontiers of Ethiopia.
Our Author, on arriving at Venice in 1820, found his friend Mr. Hanbury preparing for an antiquarian visit to Egypt and Nubia, with the hope of penetrating as far as Dóngola. Having passed the spring and part of the summer in Greece, they arrived at Alexandria in the month of August. There they heard that an expedition to reduce the countries above the second Cataract, had already left Cairo. The circumstance seemed auspicious to their project, and they determined to follow the army. They proceeded without delay to the second Cataract, and reached the army in due time. At Wady Halfa commenced and terminated the journey which is the substance of the volume before us. Their previous and subsequent travels were in countries already well described; but, as Burckhardt is the first traveller who succeeded in following the Nile as far as Tinareh, we may venture to pronounce Mr. Waddington's work a valuable accession to the information of which we were already in possession concerning Egypt and Nubia. Vol. XVIII. N.S.
Norden has given a general description of Nubia as high a Derr, and Legh a detailed one as far as Ibrim, while the journals of Burckhardt have made us familiar with that immense valley of the Nile; but little was known of the countries beyond the point reached by that indefatigable and intelligent Traveller, except through the vague and indefinite relations of the native merchants and soldiers. These countries, it was the good fortune of Messrs. Waddington and Hanbury to visit; and this journal is the result of their joint observations and discoveries.
They arrived in November, 1820, at the shoonah or Turkish magazine of Wady Halfa, with the necessary firmauns and letters for Abdin Casheff, Governor of Dongola. Their party, besides themselves, consisted of a Dragoman, a young Irishman who had travelled with Belzoni, a Maltese cook, and his cousin Giuseppe, who served as a kind of volunteer. They seem to have pursued the track of Burckhardt in the South and South-Eastern direction of the Nile. On the 15th of November, they passed the five barrows, noticed by that Traveller, and dismounted at the Sheik's house in Ferket. They appear to have come to the determination of taking their expedition
for better for worse,' and of bearing its incommodities and privations with good humour and cheerfulness; but we confess that our casuistry is not sufficiently indulgent to excuse some of the means to which they deemed it necessary to resort in order to facilitate their progress.
At this place,' says Mr. Waddington, our engagement with our camel-drivers expired: and, according to the Aga's promises, we were to find others readily. The sheik of this village had, on our arrival last night, certainly given us no such hopes. We were awaked this morning with the unwelcome assurance that there was not a single camel to be procured by any means in the town of neighbourhood. We began to consider how far we should be justified in taking forward two of the animals that had conveyed us so well hither, though they were the Pasha's, and always employed in his service; and while we were gravely engaged in deliberating on this very important point, we were informed that our honest guides, perhaps anticipating such a measure on our part, had taken advantage of the fair moon-light, to decamp with their sacred charge. After laughing as well as we could at this first disappointment, we proceeded to attach our luggage to the backs of a number of asses, who were successively brought up for that purpose. The breed here is remarkably bad; and as some began by falling perpendicularly under the weights imposed upon them, and others staggered home to their stalls with what they could carry, it was long before the whole cavalcade could be collected and put in motion: they then, above a dozen
"Travels in Nubia."
ein number, quietly dispersed themselves about the country in search of food, and it was with some difficulty that they were at last driven into the kind of road we were fated to follow; we then commenced a kind of straggling march, and very soon had recourse to our feet, as
easier method of travelling in an hour and a half, direction South, we got to the large island Ferket ; and in half an hour more (S. by W.) to Mográt.
• Here our prospects brighten a little : a camel is discovered among the palms, and soon afterwards another, and a man with a woman and child near it; he proves to be an Ababde Arab, named Achmet, going down, with his wife and child, to buy dates; we of course invite him very warmly to enter into our service, to which he as strongly objects, and on being more urgently pressed, he asks with great feel. ing, “And will you oblige me to leave my wife and child in the hands of strangers ?" Now his wife was a very pretty woman, and was watching this scene with great interest, though in silence. The case was certainly a hard one, and perhaps we were decided by the sight of one of our asses, at that moment down on the ground, struggling with his burthen: however, we were decided; we justified ourselves by the tyrant's plea, and immediately proceeded to transfer part of our property to the more dignified situation it was once more destined to occupy. The man entrusted his family to a fellow-countryman, an inhabitant of the village, and proceeded reluctantly with us.'
pp. 14-16. We pass over Mr. Waddington's description of the ruins of Aamára, so accurately given by Burckhardt. We cordially concur in the just tribute of gratitude and veneration which our Author suspends his narrative to pay that lamented Traveller.
• Thus far we followed the steps of Burckhardt, with his book in our hands; and it is impossible to take leave of him without expressing our admiration for his character, and our gratitude for the instruction he has afforded us. His acquired qualifications were never equalled by those of any other traveller ; his natural ones appear even more extraordinary. Courage to seek danger, and calmness to confront it, are not uncommon qualities; but it is difficult to court poverty and to endure insult. Hardships, exertions, and privations are easy to a man in health and vigour; but during the attacks of a dangerous discase, that he should never have permitted his thoughts to wander homewards—that sickening among the winds and sands of the desert, he should never bave sighed for the freshness of his native mountains, --this does, indeed, prove an ardour in the cause in which he was engaged, and a resolution, if necessary, to perish in it, that make his character as extraordinary as his fate was lamentable; and none are 80 capable of estimating his value, as those who can bear testimony to the truth of his information,—who have trod the country that he has so well described, and gleaned the fields where he has reaped 50 ample a barvest.? pp. 24, 5......
Our Travellers did not visit the pillars of Soleb. Ther anxiety to cross the river was unavailing: there was no ferry, and their
attempts to prevail upon the Reiss of some provision-boat, to carry them over, were equally ineffectual. That magnificent ruin stood so near them, that the disappointment must have been acutely felt by young antiquaries inflamed with the ardour of pursuit, and impatient to add to their stock of liberal information. • It was painful,' says Mr. Waddington, to be forbidden to raise • the veil, when the hand was touching it.' Nothing, therefore, worthy of notice seems to occur in their journal till they reached the interesting antiquities of the island of Argo.
* In about half an hour, due S. from the village, we came to the antiquities, and approached them, not without great fears of disappointment. These were soon dispelled by the first object that appeared before us; it was a colossal statue of grey granite, representing a young man with the thin beard and corn-measure bonnet ; the left leg is advanced ; before the right, cut in the same stone, and standing on the foot, is a small statue, five feet high, bearded, and with the right hand on the breast, while the left hangs straight down; the hair is turned on the right side, in such a manner as to appcar an ornament on that part of the head ; and the face is much disfigured. The statue itself is broken in the middle, and the monstrous fragments lie about four feet apart, but nothing is lost; the face is entire, but fat and broad. The statue lies on its back, and is twenty-two feet six inches long, and five feet five inches across the shoulders. There is a small hole in the front of the bonnet, probably intended for the reception of the ornament or sistrum. It lies S.S.E. and N.N.W.
• There is a second statue like the first, except that it is not broken in the middle, that the face is in a better style, that the beard is twisted, an ornament of leaves goes round the edge of the bonnet, the dress is more highly finished and decorated, and there is no figure on the foot; the arms and beard have been intentionally broken. It is twenty-three feet five inches long, and measures seven feet four inches from the end of the bonnet to the end of the beard. The hands, which have suffered much injury, are open; those of the other are shut, with a short staff in them. It lies S. E. and N. W. nearly; the feet of the two statues are towards each other, and about thirty-five yards apart. They are both very well executed, and are inferior, if their perfection be considered, to no granite colossus existing; though the faces are not so fine as the Memnon, and, of course, not at all comparable in expression to those at Ebsámbal, as is natural, from the superior difficulty of working the material. A little to the West is a headless female statue, covered by earth up to the knees; and still further on is a fine block of grey granite, cut into four hippopotami, standing up side by side. The small statue only is of black granite, the others really look as white and clear, and as free from the injuries of time, as if they were now fresh from the hand of the sculptor. The place is called by the natives Sanna Behát, or the White Art, as interpreted to us ; a name inconsistent with the opinions formerly promulgated to us by our honest. Ababde, but not so (as will afterwards appear) with those of the Nouba residents. There is
much pottery and broken sandstone lying about, but no visible remains of any building whatever. Never was there so inviting a place for an excavator; the soil is soft, and as the ground is but little elevated, the labour would be small, and the rewards easily obtained and highly valuable. We retired reluctantly, with the determination of demanding Abdin Casheff's permission to return hither, and pass some time on the spot. p. 48-50.
The following extract will serve as a specimen of the Author's power of description and vivacity of expression, v, t
In one hour we came to a large cultivated plain, and in one and a quarter, to the Nile, flowing N.N.W., with a very broad stream. Our direction had been latterly about S.S.W. The scenery of this beautiful island consists in a number of small open plains, some of grass, with cows and goats feeding without any keeper, and others cultivated, all shut in by sycamore and aromatic groves, which constantly open into new plains as rich, or as capable of being made so, as the former. The two last nights were much colder, which did not prevent the musquitos from being remarkably active about us. There is a breed peculiar to this country, which is much smaller, and less sonorous, than those whose attentions we had been in the habit of receiving. We had, of late, frequently observed a beautiful little green bird; another with the neck, breast, and tail of the deepest red; and a black bird, with the tip of his tail white.
We sat by the water-side, waiting for the boat which was to take us across to the western bank, and congratulated each other on the conclusion of our labours. We were now, according to all our information, but a few hours from New Dongola, where we should find Abdin Casheff resident as governor, who would, no doubt, receive us with that splendid hospitality for which he had always been remarkable. We dismissed, in consequence, at their own request, all our camel-drivers, except one, and presently the boat arrived. The ferryman brings us later and very different intelligence; Abdin Casheff has advanced with Ismael Pasha; the whole army is collected, and engaged in daily skirmishes with the Sheygya and Abyssinians; we are still four days from Old Dongola, and the troops are five days beyond it. This account induced us to examine, what we had not before much thought of, our money-bag, which was found to contain two hundred and twenty piastres, (somewhat less than five pounds,) and three Venetian sequins. With these reports and this certainty, we enter the boat, and seat ourselves astern on the luggage, alternately looking very grave, and laughing loud. The ferryman, a black malicious looking man, with much magic in his eye, is behind us, on the projecting plank, steering with a paddle. In the middle lies a large old camel on its knees, perfectly quiet; and by its side stand James and Giovanni, pulling a rope, attached to another paddle, which serves for an oar, and which a sailor is also pulling with his hands. The dog, Anubis, is asleep beyond the camel; then comes Giuseppe, evidently philosophizing in silence on the mutability of human affairs, and regretting the pleasures and security of Cairo and of Malta; and at the prow is the camel-driver, standing on the bottom