Imatges de pÓgina

course, and to struggle with the same difficulties. He read likewise at the same time, and with similar emotions, the proceedings of the African Association, then first published; a book abounding with new and interesting views of the vast continent of Africa, and opening an unbounded field for research and enterprise. He was now determined to attempt a passage into the interior of Africa, and a paper which he has left upon this subject, thus shortly describes his own idea of the physical and moral qualities requisite for the undertaking : ' Among the re•quisites for my journey, of which self-examination induced me

to believe myself possessed, were, a good constitution, which, • though far from robust, was, I knew, capable of enduring • fatigue and change ; steadiness to my purpose, and much • indifference to personal accommodations and enjoyments; to

gether with a degree of patience which could endure reverses and disappointments without murmuring.'

In 1791, Mr. Browne left England, and after residing two months at Alexandria, he proceeded westward into the Desert, to explore the unknown site of the temple of Jupiter Ammon. For this purpose he proceeded to the Oasis of Siwab; but, after experiencing great difficulty and danger from the inhabitants, and finding nothing satisfactory as to the object of his search, he returned early in 1792 to Alexandria. He afterwards visited Rosetta, Damietta, and the Natron Lakes, and established himself for some time at Cairo, where he applied with redoubled diligence to the Arabic language and the study of Oriental customs and manners. Having sailed up the Nile as far as the celebrated ruins of Thebes, be visited Syene, the ancient boundary of the Roman empire, and the famous cataracts of that river. Hence he endeavoured to penetrate into Nubia, but a war having broken out between the Mamalûks of Upper Egypt and a neighbouring chief, no person was suffered to pass into that country from Egypt, and he was reluctantly obliged to abandon all hopes of reaching Abyssinia during that

At Genné on the Nile, recollecting the striking description given by Bruce of the great quarries between that place and the Red Sea, he directed his course thither by a journey of considerable danger, and performed it in safety by means of a successful assumption of the Oriental dress and manners. His curiosity was ainply rewarded by those immense excavations formed in the earliest ages, from which the great Egyptian monuments were obtained, and which furnished statues and columns to Rome in her wealthy and luxurious days.

Having now seen the whole of Egypt, he began to form his plan for visiting the interior of Africa. He determined, how ever, to limit his views to Abyssinia, and to go carefully and with geographical exactness, over the ground traversed by

Bruce. But insurmountable obstacles still opposing his journey through Nubia, Mr. Browne thought he had no alternative but to accompany

the great Soudân caravan to Dar- Fûr, a Mahominedan country west of Abyssinia, whence he might, as there was reason to believe, penetrate into Abyssinia, and obtain some information as to that unknown branch of the Nile, which bad occupied so much of bis attention. At any rate, it was a new track, wholly untrodden by European travellers.

The caravan left Egypt in May 1793, the hottest season of the year, the thermometer being occasionally during the journey, 176 in the shade ; and after inconceivable hardships it reached Dar-Für in July. Here he was treated by the reigning sovereign with the utmost harshness and cruelty ; a circumstance which, combined with the fatigues of his journey and the effects of the rainy season, produced a dangerous and alarming illness, from which be slowly recovered. Not being permitted to quit the country, plundered, too, of the greater part of his effects, be resigned himself to his fate, and cultivated an intercourse with the principal inhabitants, by means of which he obtained such a knowledge of the Arabic dialect which prevailed there, as to partake of their society and conversation. For more than two years, he remained an ineffectual suitor for leave to depart. It is wonderful that in this dreadful state, surrounded by dangers, and bopeless of escape, bis health and spirits did not desert him. That in such a state of accumulated suffering, he collected much curious and minute information respecting the country, can be attributed only to that invincible serenity and firmness of mind, which exalt him above the most distinguished travellers.

At length, he obtained permission to quit Dar-Fûr, after a constrained residence of three years, and returned in the Spring of 1796, to Egypt. He resided at Cairo till the December following, when, having visited Syria, Palestine, Aleppo, and Damascus, le proceeded through Asia Minor to Constantinople, where he arrived in December, 1797, and proceeded thence by Vienna, Berlin, and Hamburgh, to England, after an absence of nearly seven years. In 1800, he published his work, under the title of Travels in Africa, Egypt, and Syria, from the year 1792 to 1798. It excited much expectation, and the Author bad spared no pains to fit it for the public eye; but it never became popular. He had adopted an erroneous theory of style ; his composition was abrupt, artificial, and affected; some of the passages in his work offended against good taste, others against strict morality. It was written,' says his Biographer, ' with a certain coldness and languor, and was defi

cient not only in that spirit with which great enterprises ought ' to be described, but in those picturesque touches which give

life and reality to a book of Travels.' It contained, however, much new and valuable information; and wany of the details concerning Egypt were then highly interesting. It is this which constitutes the essential merit of Mr. Browne's work. As to its geographical accuracy, Major Rennel's testimony is full and explicit.

He had no sooner complcted this publication, than he prepared for another journey. In 1800, he visited Athens and Smyrna, and subsequently Cairo, where he passed the winter of that year. Early in 1802, he went to Salonika, explored Mount Athos, and afterwards sojourned for several months at Venice. In 1803, he employed a considerable time in viewing the antiquities of Sicily. On his return to London, he arranged the materials collected during these expeditions, but afterwards abandoned the design of publishing them; from what motives, is not apparent. The extracts froin his papers contained in Mr. Walpole's second volume, were taken from the MS. which he prepared for this purpose.

But he was not idle. Oriental and classical literature employed the greater part of his day. He mixed little in general society, leading the life of a retired scholar in the vast solitude of the metropolis. His friendships were founded upon similarity of studies and pursuits. The late amiable and excellent Mr. Tennant, a person highly distinguished for his chemical and literary attainments, was among the most intimate of his associates : he had a singular fondness for Oriental literature, and felt peculiar gratification in Mr. Browne's society. By strangers, however, the character of this accomplished traveller was apt to be misunderstood. Whether from temperament or from acquired babit, he was unusually grave and silent, and, in general society, be was cold and repulsive. For some time, even with Mr. Tennant, he would remain gloomy and thoughtful; but after indulging himself a few minutes with his pipe, his countenance brightened, and he discoursed in a lively and picturesque manner on the subjects of his travels. In a letter written by Mr. Tennant to an intimate friend soon after he had received the account of Mr. Browne's death, I recall,' he says, ' with

a melancholy pleasure the Noctes Arabicæ which I have • so often passed with him at the Adelphi, where I used to go « whenever I found myself gloomy or solitary; and so agree

able to me were those soothing, romantic evening conver

sations, that, after ringing his bell, I used to wait with great ' anxiety, fearful that he might not be at home.'

After passing several years in London, bis ruling passion returned, and he meditated new expeditions. Many projects suggested themselves, but be at length fixed upon the Tartar city of Samarcand and the central region of Asia around it. In the summer of 1812, he departed from England, and at the close of the year, proceeded from Constantinople to Smyrna, where he established himself for some time. In 1813, be travelled in a North-easterly direction through Asia Minor and Armenia, and arrived on the 1st of June at Tabreez on the frontiers of Persia. Mr. Browne remained there several weeks, and received from Sir Gore Ouseley every aid toward the prosecution of his meditated journey into Tartary. Having at length completed his preparations, be took his departure for Tehraun, intending to proceed from that capital. What subsequently happened, can be known only from the testimony of those who accompanied bim. After some days, both the servants returned with an account, that, at a place near the river Kizil Ozan, about 120 miles from Tebraun, they had been attacked by banditti, that Mr. Browne had been dragged a short distance from the road, where he was plundered and murdered, but they were suffered to escape. The soldiers who were despatched with orders to search for Mr. Browne's remains, and to make strict search for the assassins, reported ou their return, that they had failed in both objects, but that they had fully ascertained the fact of Mr. Browne's death, and had found some portion of his clothes: they added, that they believed the body to have been abandoned to beasts of prey.

In bis person, Mr. Browne was thin, of a dark complexion, and pensive countenance. He was remarkable for the steadiness of bis attachments, and the warmth of his friendships; though far from affluent, he was yet liberal and generous; and (what is very important in reference to his character as a traveller) a man of exact and punctilious veracity. · He had no brilliancy of parts; but he was an intense student. As an Orientalist, he may be ranked among the most learned in that branch of letters : in his familiar acquaintance with Eastern manners, he was uprivalled. It was this which enabled him to personate the Oriental character with such rare exactness and propriety. Although a good scholar, be was deficient in taste; and an ambition to shine betrayed bim into perpetual faults as a writer, • The affectation of his style,' says Mr. Wishaw, 'formed a • singular contrast to the simplicity of his manners and conver

sation.' Another of his peculiarities was his enthusiastic admiration of Oriental life, acquired, no doubt, partly from long residence in the East, and partly arising from the natural tranquillity and repose of bis disposition. It had, indeed, a considerable effect on his understanding, since it produced the paradoxical dissertation at the end of his Travels in Africa, in which, after an elaborate comparison between the Eastern and the European nations, as to wisdom, morality, and happiness, he gives his decided preference to the former!

On opening bis will, a paper in his hand-writing was found enclosed, containing a remarkable passage from Pindar, expressive of that generous ambition and contempt of danger and death, which are the inspiring principles of all great enterprises. His most intimate friends were scarcely aware of those powerful but deep feelings which the habitual reserve and coldness of his character effectually concealed from observation.

Ο μέγας δε κίνδυ-
νος "αναλκιν 3 φω-
τα λαμβάνει. Θανείν δ' οίσιν αναγκα,
Τί κέ τις ανώνυμον γηρας εν σκοτω
Καθήμενος έψοι μάταν, απάντων
Καλών αμμορος και αλλ' εμοί μεν τοσο
"Αθλος γ' υποκείσεται.

Pind. Olymp. carm. 1. v. 129. We make no apology for having thus imparted to our readers the substance of this interesting piece of biography, which is the sketch of no common hand, and the product of a mind whiclı knew how to temper the warmth of private friendship by a strict regard of what is due to truth and to justice. Froin Mr. Browne's journey in 1802 through Asia Minor, we extract the following passage illustrative of the manners of a tribe little known to Europeans.

• Erakli is agreeably situated in the midst of gardens full of fruit and forest trees. About 40 minutes from the city, begins the ascent of the mountainous ridge, a continuation of Taurus. It took us five buurs 10 reach the summii. A little further we came to a small village, near which was an acre or two only of cultivated land. The Turkmans with their flocks, dwelling under tents, inbabit this almost inaccessible region. The air is cool and salubrious, and pellucid springs give spirit and animation to the scene.

* In my visits to the Turkman tents, I remarked a strong contrast between their habits and those of the Bedouin Arabs. With the latter, the rights of hospitality are inviolable: and while the host possesses a cake, he feels it his duty to furnish half of it to his guest. The Turkman others nothing spontaneously, and if he furnish a little milk or butter, it is at an exorbitant price. With him it is a matter of calculation, whether the compendious profit of a single act of plunder, or the more ignoble custom of receiving presents from the caravans for their secure passage, be most advantageous. The Arab values himself on bis husb ue nast, that is, bis pedigree; the Turkman on his personal prowess. With the former, civility requires that salutations be protracted to satiety; the latter scarcely replies to a Salam aleikum.

· The dress of the Turkmans consists of a large striped and fringed turban, fastened in a manner peculiar to themselves; or sometimes of a simple high-crowned cap of white felt. A vest, usually white, is thrown over the shirt: the Agas superadd one of cloth ; and in general, they approximate to the dress of the capital. But the common

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