Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

On his return to his native spot his circumstances were savourably improved by marriage. Every thing was now left to his journeymen, while he was sedulously and successfully employed in collecting objects of natural history. The ardour with which he prosecuted his inquiries is thus described:

* No difficulties nor dangers impeded his researches : he climbed the most rugged precipiceshe was frequently lowered down by the peasants from the summits of the tallest clitts--he waded through rapid streams-he explored the beds of the muddiest rivers—he sought the deepest recesses. lle frequently wandered for whole weeks from home, and often ventured out to sea for several days together entirely alone in the smallest skiffs of the fishermen. No inclemency of weather, no vicissitudes of “storms and sunshine,” ever prevented his fatiguing pursuits; the discovery of a new insect amply repaid the most painful exertions. Several papers in the “ Weekly Entertainer,” a little work which accompanies one of the most popular of the western newspapers, were written by him; and by these, and his collection of subjects in natural history, he gradually became better known, and his talents duly appreciated by the most able naturalists.'— Introd. p. Ixxiv.

Dr. Leach was so well pleased with the accuracy and intelligence of this self-educated and zealous naturalist, that he engaged him to collect insects, and particularly marine productions, for the British Museum. This was the height of his ambition, · He immediately discharged his journeymen, and converted his manufactory of boots and shoes into apartments for the reception and preservation of such objects of natural bistory as his daily excursions might procure. lle kept up a continual communication with the fishermen of Plymouth, and constantly received froni them baskets filled with the rublish they dredged from the bottom of the sea; and this he examined with diligence and attention, preserving all the new objects that he discovered, and making descriptions of them. He visited occasionally the Brixham, Plymouth, and Falmouth fishermen, and made excursions with them. lle very often left Kingsbridge in an open boat, and remained absent for a long time together, during which he dredged, when the tide was full, and examined the shores when it was out. At night he slept in his boat, which he drew on shore; and, when the weather was too stormy for marine excursions, he would leave his boat and proceed to examine the country and woods for insects, birds,'&c.-Introd. p.lxxv. Ixxvi.

When the expedition to the Zaire was in agitation, Mr. Cranch was thus employed in the collection of subjects of natural history for the British Museum ; and was recommended by Dr. Leach to Sir Joseph Banks, as particularly fitted for the situation of collector on this voyage of discovery. Mr. Cranch was taken ill between Cooloo and loga; was carried back on the shoulders of the natives to the former place, from thence in a hammock to the foot of the first cataract, where he was put into a canoe, and on the

tenth

tenth day reached the ship. On the third day after this he died, and was buried at Embomma, by permission of the king, in bis own burying ground. He was of that order of dissenters,' says Mr. Fitzmaurice, who are called Methodists ; and, if I may judge from external appearances, he was an affectionate husband and father, a sincere friend, a pious, honest, and good man.' He died in the thirty-tirst year of his age.

Mr. Tudor was a young man who had served his apprenticeship to a surgeon in Liverpool, and was recommended by Mr. Brookes the anatomist, and approved by Sir Everard Home, as a person well qualitied to fill the situation of comparative anatomist. The unfortunate circumstances of the expedition afforded him but few materials to work opon, and little opportunity to exercise his skill on those few. He was the youngest of the party, and the first who was attacked with fever on the march over the hills, being seized on the 15th of August, three days after they set out. On the 22d he reached the Congo sloop in one of the double boats, in a state of great debility, anxiety, and impatience, and, on the evening of the 29th, he expired without pain.

MR. EDWARD GALWEY was second son to the banker of that name in Mallow. He had been educated with a view to one of the learned professions; but by the advice of his friends he was prevailed on to take a seat in his father's office. It was soon found, however, that the dull routine of a banker's counting-house was but little congenial with his inclinations, and he escaped from it whenever he could, to indulge his zeal for scientific pursuits. He thus acquired a practical knowledge of botany, made himself conversant with all the new discoveries in chemistry, and these, with geology, became his favourite studies. He was soon compelled, however, to withdraw from his retired and studious pursuits to seek for health in the South of Europe, having greatly suffered from the alarming symptoms of a confirmed consumption; from which he is said to have completely recovered by a tempestuous and protracted passage to Lisbon, in the year 1813. Here he seized the opportunity of gratifying bis ardent zeal for research, by availing himself of the facility which his uniform of a yeomanry officer gave him to explore various parts of the Peninsula. lo this journey he acquired such a taste for foreigo travel, that on his return to Ireland his friends quickly perceived an opportunity only was wanting to set him forth again. That opportunity soon occurred in the ill-fated expedition before us. Captain Tuckey had been one of his early friends, and to him he immediately applied to be taken on board as a volunteer. In vain was he told that he would be exposed to privations and hardships of every kind; he pleaded the example of Sir

Joseph

24

Joseph Banks :-in short, remonstrance and persuasion were useless, and he persevered till he was permitted to embark.

In the march overland he was taken ill at the village of Inga, about the 24th of August, but did not reach the Congo till the 7th of September, being them in a state of great exhaustion. On the 9th he became insensible, and expired, without pain, about the middle of the day. His body was interred in the burying ground of the king of Embomma, with such honours as the dispirited party left with the vessels, could bestow, by the side of his unfortunate companions' Cranch and Tudor.

* Mr. Galwey had taken a very active part in collecting specimens, and making remarks on the natural products of the country, and more particularly on its geology; but both his journal and his collection are lost. They had met in their progress with a party of slave-dealers, having in their possession a negro in fetters, from the Mandingo country. From motives of humanity, and with the view of returning this man to his friends and country, as well as under the hope that he might become useful as they proceeded, and give some account of the regions through which he must have passed, as soon as he should be able to speak a little English, Captain Tuckey purchased him, and appointed him to attend Mr. Galwey; but he was utterly incapable, it seems, of feeling either pleasure or gratitude at his release from captivity; and when Mr. Galwey was taken ill, he not only abandoned him, but carried off the little property he had with him, no part of which was ever recovered.'- Introd. pp. Ixxx. Ixxxi.

We cannot suffer this occasion to pass without offering our tribute of respect and regret to the memory of another enterprizing traveller, whose name has frequently been mentioned in our pages, and the best part of whose life has been devoted to the cause of African discovery; but which unfortunately has been cut off in its prime, just at the moment when he was about to realize his plan of penetrating into the interior of this continent.

Mr.J.L. BURCKHARDT, a cadet of one of the principal families in Switzerland, was a native of Zurich. At the time when the despotism of France had closed every avenue, but one, of distinction to the youth of the continent, our young traveller, unwilling to engage in the career of a military life, came over to England, with an introduction to Sir Joseph Banks, and, after a few months' residence in London, offered bis services to the African Association. The result of Park's first attempt had more effect in kindling his hopes of final success, than the fate of Houghton, Horneman, and Ledyard in depressing them. Possessed of a good constitution and an unimpeached moral character, well educated, and capable of improving his talents by application in whatever pursuit might be found necessary to qualify him for the undertaking, he was imme

diately diately inlisted into the service of the Association, and received from various quarters every assistance be required in the different branches of science, to which his attention was directed.

Mr. Burckhardt left England on the ed of March, 1809, for Malta, whence he set out for Aleppo, which he reached on the 6th of July following. Here, and at Damascus, he spent a privcipal part of the next three years; during which he made a variety of excursions into the Hauran and the Lesge, visited the ruins of Palmyra and Baalbec, passed some time amongst the Turkmans of the northern provinces of Syria, and perfected himself in the knowledge of the religion, manners, and language of the Mahommedan Arabs, by frequent and long residences among the Bedouins of the desert. The result of his researches in that part of the world, which he considered as merely preparatory to his great enterprize, the African Association now possess, in the form of journals, and of political, geographical, and statistical notices. On the 18th of June, 1819, he set out from Damascus for Cairo, avoiding the usual route of the sea coast and desert between El Arish and the borders of Egypt, and directing his course, in the disguise of the poorest of the Bedouins, from the Holy Land, east of the Jordan, by Szalt, into Arabia Petræa, and across the great desert El Ty: be reached Cairo on the 4th of September, with the intention of availing himself of the first opportunity of penetrating into Africa, which the departure of a Fezzan or a Darfour caravarı might afford him.

Finding, however, that this was not likely soon to take place, he determined to pass the intermediate time in exploring Egypt and the country above the Cataracts, and was thus enabled to perform two very arduous and interesting journies into the ancient Æthiopia; one of them along the banks of the Nile from Assouan to Dar El Mahass on the frontiers of Dongola, in the months of February and March 1813, during which he discovered many remains of ancient Egyptian and Nubian architecture, with Greek inscriptions, such as are found in the temples of Philæ;the other, between March and July in the following year, through Nubia to Souakim and Djedda. The details of this journey contain the best notices ever received in Europe of the actual state of society, trade, manufactures and government, in what was once the cradle of all the knowledge of the Egyptians.

Our traveller's next excursion appears to have been from Cairo into the peninsula of Arabia, for the purpose of visiting the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; in the former of which he resided between four and five months, making his observations secure under the character of a Mahommedan Hadjé or pilgrim, and with all tho advantage of the perfect knowledge which he had now acquired in the religion, language and inanners of the inbabitants. His residence in this part of the east necessarily brought him into contact with the Wababees; and the Association have received from bim, besides a full description of Mecca, and of the early and recent superstitions of that part of the world, a very elaborate account of the rise and progress of this extraordinary sect of Mahommedan puritans, comprehending the whole of their political history from the foundation of the sect, between fifty and sixty years ago, by Abd El Wahab and Mohammed Ibn Saoud, to the peace between Abdullah Ibn Saoud and Tooson Pasha, ou the part of Mohammed Ali, pashaw of Egypt, in 1815.

advantage

The last excursion of Mr. Burckhardt was from Cairo to Mount Sinai and the eastern head of the Red Sea. The journal of this interesting tour is interspersed with a variety of historical notices on the former state of the country, and annexed to it is a memoir of the wanderings of the Israelites on their departure from the land of Pharoah.

Besides these works, we are happy to learn that the Association are also in possession of a variety of notices on the interior of Africa, with several vocabularies of African languages, collected from the natives who visited Egypt during Mr. Burckhardt's detention ju that country. There is also a series of nine hundred and ninetynine Arabic proverbs, in the original language, together with English translations and illustrations of the various allusions contained in them; to these is added a literal and spirited translation of a burlesque epic poem in the vulgar dialect of Cairo; the subject of which is a contest between wine and bast, the latter being a generic term for all the intoxicating substances composed of the leaves of the hemp-flower and opium, whether in the form of pastes, pills, or sweetmeats.

Such are a small part of the labours of this extraordinary person, whose accomplishments and perseverance were such as could not have failed, had he lived, to place him high in the ranks of the most distinguished travellers of this or indeed any age. He has in fact left behind him materials which have scarcely ever been equalled by any of his predecessors for the interest and importance of the subjects, the extent of his observations, and for the elegance even of his style, though written in a foreign idiom.

The close of Mr. Burckhardt's last work, we understand, is brought down to the 25th March, 1817, when the approaching summer seemed to offer to him the pleasing prospect of a caravan destined to Mourzouk, a route which he had long before decided on as the most likely to conduct towards that point which had now for many years been the principal object of his life. His expressions on this oc

casion,

« AnteriorContinua »