« 前へ次へ »
7th we saw three large boats tracking up the river. They had been 24 days from Bussora, and my companions say that they will be at least 30 days more before they arrive at Helah. What a difference' when we consider that it is only four days since we left it. At eight this evening we saw a small advice boat with eight oars. She
had been only eight days from Bussora, and expected to get to Helah in eight days more. There was an officer in her who was going express from the musolem [governourj of Bussora to the pasha of Bagdad.” “On the 9th we came to the camp of the most potent Arab prince on the shore of the Euphrates, or Persian gulf. It is full three miles in length along the banks of the river. I am told there are above 8,000 tents and 20,000 families. The tent of the prince is near 20 feet long and 70 broad. This encampment reaches farther inland than it does along the banks of the river. It is said to contain near 80,000 inhabitants, and the cattle of all kinds belonging to it are almost innumerable. We all went on shore here, and walked about an hour. The tents are pitched so as to form regular streets of 18 to 20 feet broad, which run parallel to each other from the river, quite through the town, with others at right angles in a line with the river, the largest tents being nearest to the river.” “This tribe is famous for breeding horses of the best race. The Turks with us regretted their not having brought an empty boat from Helah, as they could have made a good profit by buying horses, and selling them at Bussora, from whence they are shipped for India, where they sell at great prices.” “On the 10th we arrived at Korna, a large town situated on the extreme point of Mesopotamia, so as to be on the banks of both Euphrates and Tigris; the point facing the great Arabian river (so called from the union of both at this place.) On this point the custom house is built, where we were ordered to make fast our vessel. It is a most delightful situation, and the Turks verily believe that this is the spot where the Paradise of our first parents
was situated.” “Every tree, as well as
the grass, being clothed with verdure,
no place on earth appears to be more de
lightfully situated than Korna. It is not
surprising that the Turks think it to have
been Paradise; for my own part I think it
such, compared with all other places
which I have yet seen. Before it is the
great river, without the least winding,
extending further than the eye can reach;
the Tigris and Euphrates washing its
banks; Persia and Arabia in view for more
than 30 miles, both which are in the pride
of nature even at this late season of the year; blest with an atmosphere than which nothing can be more pure, as indeed that of Assyria, Chaldea, and Mesopotamia is in general.” The merchants of Bussora are a mixture of Turks, Christians, Armenians, and Jews. The commerce of this city is great; its situation, within forty leagues of the Persian gulf, being very happily adapted for receiving the produce of the east through the gulf, and distributing it afterward by land and water carriage throughout the Turkish dominions. The city stands on a creek distant three miles from the great Arabian river, and is unhealthy during the summer months, in consequence of the heat and the effluvia from stagnant water. Its population is sup posed to amount to between two and three hundred thousand. It was during Mr. Parson’s visit to Bussora, in the spring of 1775, that the Persians, under Sadoc Khan, commenced the blockade and siege of that city; which, after a gallant defence of twelve months, was obliged to surrender. Mr. Parsons next visited Bushear, the principal seaport in the Persian side of the gulf, and containing about 20,000 inhabitants. The town lies so low as scarcely to be discernible at a distance. But the castle, situated about twelve miles southeast of the town, and built by the Portuguese, makes, even in its decayed state, a noble appearance from the sea. The Portuguese were forced to abandon this fortress to Shah Abbas the Great, in the same year in which that sovereign, with the assistance of the English, retook from them Ormus and Gomberoon. After having sailed down the Persian gulf, and entered what is commonly called the Arabian sea, Mr. Parsons arrived at Muscat in Arabia; a safe and capacious harbour, in the shape of a horse shoe; and which, having the entrance from the southeast, is protected by the surrounding hills from the winds which are dangerous in that latitude. It is the capital of the Arabian kingdom of the same name; and, besides supplying the interiour of Arabia with Indian merchandise, it serves as a magazine for Persia, and has considerable intercourse with the Red Sea. From Muscat, the writer proceeded to India, and sailed along the western side of our Indian empire. Of this part of the book, the most interesting passage is his account of Surat. The crowded state of that city demonstrates that its population must be great. The number he found it impossible to ascertain, but he computed it to amount to 400,000. During his residence there [in 1777] Mr. Bolts, afterward known in the literary world by his vehement attack on our East India Company, was trafficking in the neighbourhood; having under his direction a large vessel, ostensibly neutral, but in reality English. Mr. Parsons made an excursion from the confined air of Surat into the neighbouring country, and gives some account of the more remarkable of the rural sports of the natives, with which we shall close our extracts from this work:
“They have a peculiar method of hunting antelopes in different parts of the kingdom of Guzarat with leopards, which are trained up for the purpose. The hunters are on horseback. The leopard, hoodwinked, is put into a covered hunting cart, which is drawn by oxen. The keeper is likewise in the cart unseen, with the rains leading through lattice doors. They go on slowly, the huntsman keeping at a good distance behind.
“As antelopes are plenty in this country it is not long before they see some. They are generally discovered in pairs and sometimes in herds. As soon as the person in the cart discovers them, he puts out a small red flag on the hinder part of the cart, as a signal to the huntsman, and keeps advancing. The antelopes, not being afraid of the oxen or the cart, pursue their grazing. When the cart comes near, it stops; the man taking off the leopard’s blind shows him the antelopes, which he is always eager to pursue. He is accordingly let loose, and springs out of the cart
amongst them. The flag is then taken in, on which the huntsman comes galloping up, and the cart goes on a brisk pace. The leopard always singles out one, nor will he turn to the right or left to seize another should they fall in his way. “The antelope at first runs much faster than the leopard; but being frightened, he frequently springs up, always falling on his feet; these efforts oblige him to slacken his pace, whereas the leopard pursues uniformly, till he overtakes his prey, when he tumbles him over, and seizing him by the throat, sucks out his blood until he is weary or satiated. The keeper always carries in the cart a joint of mutton, which is thrown to the leopard after he has sucked the blood, otherwise he would not let go his hold until he had satisfied his hunger; sometimes it happens that the keeper does not come up in time to prevent the antelope from being mangled. Some antelopes will run three quarters of an hour, others not half the time, and it often happens that, through fright he is sooner overtaken. “As soon as the leopard’s hunger is satisfied, he is led tamely to the cart, into which he springs, and is as quiet as a lamb. “The English gentlemen who have hunted in this manner assure me, that it is inconceivable the glorious figure which the leopard makes, when on a full stretch in the field after his prey, with his fine , tail straight out in a line, with which he seems to steer himself, and at such times they all agree that he seems twice as large as he does at others.”
Mr. P. next gives ample descriptions of Bombay, and of the various harbours along the Malabar coast. He returned to Europe by way of the Red Sea and Egypt; which route naturally gives rise to full accounts of Mocha, Suez, and Cairo. We consider it, however, as altogether unnecessary to enter into any examination of this part of the volume. In composition, it is similar to the rest: and it relates to countries of which parts are familiar to the British publick, while the remainder have been described by later travellers, particularly by one. [Lord Valentia.
The publication of Mr. Parson's MS. has made an addition to the stock of general knowlege in regard to the eastern world. But it is much
to be regretted that the author should have left his papers in so imperfect a state, and that the editor should have so little contributed to their improvement. We would not be understood to assert that we were entitled to expect that an editor should supply those scientifick explanations, which are evidently wanting to complete the description of several remarkable circumstances in the journey; nor that he should have laboured, by the introduction of general observations, to give a close connexion and comprehensive character to the mass of particular details. The capacity for such improvements as these is to be expected only from a man of letters; and the labour required for their application will seldom be sustained, unless for the benefit of the whole reputation that can be derived from them. We were justified, however, in looking for exertions of a different kind; for the correction of ob
vious errours, the explanation of obscurities of language, the prevention of repetitions, and the condensation of prolixity. That much has been left undone in these essential requisites, will be apparent on a very cursory inspection of the book. In one passage [p. 266] we are told that Cape Aden in Arabia, which is distant two thousand miles from any part of India, was “ discovered, bearing northwest, about fifteen leagues from Bombay.” In treating of the pilgrims [p.336] it is said: “these people load at Alexandria,” instead of land at Alexandria. The population of Surat is mentioned in page 251, and again in page 260, in such a manner as if it had not been mentioned before. Such errours as these form a great deduction from the value of a work, which would otherwise have been an instructive and entertaining performance.—A tinted view of Bagdad, and another of Antioch are given.
FROM THE MONTHLY Rn, VIEW.
Eustom; a Novel. 2 vols. 12mo. 9s. Boards. 1809.
THE commencement of this novel is singular, and not prepossessing. The hero is first introduced to our notice as exulting in the execution of the late unfortunate king of France; but he appears, in the course of the narrative, to make a tacit abjuration of this and various other errours; and though his history is too desultory to preserve much semblance of probability, it seems to have been written by a man of strong sense, of some feeling, and a
scholar. The work perhaps contains more argument than will be amusing to those readers who are impatient of every interruption of the story; and the tale itself neither possesses much interest nor conveys any impressive moral; but the language has the merit of being nervous and polished in an unusual degree. When it is impassioned, it is not inflammatory; and where it is disquisitorial, it escapes being dull.
SPIRIT OF THE MAGAZINES.
IDestruction of an enormous Serpent in the Isle of Rhodes, by the Chevalier De Gozon.
SIR, I HAVE sent you an account (extracted from a very old French work) of the destruction of an enormous serpent, or crocodile, in the Isle of Rhodes, about the year 1330, by D. D. Gozon, one of the knights of the celebrated order of St. John of Jerusalem; and if you think it will in any way conduce to the instruction or amusement of the numerous readers of the Universal Magazine, you are welcome to make use of it in any shape you may think proper. I am, sir, Your most obedient servant, J. G. BRIsTolleNSIs. Bristol, .Wov. 14, 1808. A charitable spirit and prudential views caused Plelion de Villeneuve, grand master of Malta, to forbid all the knights, under pain of being deprived of their habit, attacking a serpent or crocodile (a kind of amphibious animal) which lived in the marshes and near great rivers. This crocodile was of an enormous size, caused much disorder in the island, and had even devoured some of the inhabitants. The retreat of this furious animal was in a cavern, situated near a morass at the foot of Mount St. Etienne, two miles from Rhodes. It often came out to seek its prey, and devoured sheep, cows, and sometimes horses, and even shepherds who watched over their flocks. Many of the bravest knights had separately set out to endeavour to killit; but they had never returned. As the use of fire-arms was not then invented, and as the skin of this kind of monster Vol. Iv. Gr
was covered with scales, proof against arrows and the sharpest darts, it may be said that their arms were not equal, and the serpent could thus in an instant destroy them. This was the motive that induced the grand master to forbid the knights attempting any further an enterprise which appeared to be above human powers. They all obeyed, except a single knight of the language of Provence, named Dieu Donné de Gozon, who, notwithstanding this prohibition and without being deterred at the fate of his brethren, secretly formed the design of fighting this carnivorous beast, resolved to perish, or to deliver the Isle of Rhodes from it. Some attributed this resolution to the determined courage of the knight, whilst others pretend he was incited to it by the raillery with which they treated his courage at Rhodes, saying that he several times departed from the city for the purpose of fighting the serpent, but that he was content to look at it at a distance, and that in this enterprise he had shown more prudence than valour. Whatever might have been the motives which determined the knight to attempt this adventure, he did not delay to put it into execution, and for this purpose went into France and retired to the Château de Gozon, which remains till this day in the province of Languedoc. Having learned that the serpent he was about to attack had no scales on its belly, upon that information. he formed the plan of his enterprise,
From the idea which he had preserved of this enormous beast, he had made a wooden or pasteboard figure of it, and he especially endeavoured to imitate its cries. He then trained two young mastiffs to run to his cries, and to attach themselves immediately to the belly of this frightful beast, while he mounted on horseback, his lance in his hand and covered with his arms, feigned to give it blows in several places. The knight employed himself for many months every day in this exercise, and he no sooner saw his mastiffs sufficiently trained to this kind of combat than he returned to Rhodes. He was scarcely arrived in the island ere (without communicating his design to any one) he had his arms secretly carried near a church situated at the top of the mountain of St. Etienne, and shortly after repaired there himself, accompanied only by two servants which he had brought with him from France. He entered the church, and after having recommended himself to God, put on his armour, mounted his horse, and ordered his two serwants (if he perished in this combat) to return to France; but to come near him if they perceived he had killed the serpent, or that he had been wounded by it. He descended from the mountain with his two dogs, and marched straight towards the marsh and haunt of the serpent, who, at the noise he made, ran with open mouth and sparkling eyes to devour him. Gozon struck the serpent with his lance, which the thickness and hardness of the scales rendered useless. He prepared to redouble his blows, but his horse, frightened with the hisses and the odour of the serpent, refuses to advance, draws back, and throws himself on his side; and he would have been the cause of the loss of his master, if Gozon, with great presence of mind, had not jumped off his back. Then taking his sword in his hand, and accompa
nied by his two faithful mastiffs, he again advances towards this horrible beast, and gives him many blows in different places, but the hardness of the scales prevented him from penetrating them. The furious animal with a blow of his tail knocked him down, and would infallibly have devoured him, if his two dogs had not attached themselves to the belly of the serpent, which they lacerated in a most dreadful manner; and the serpent, in spite of all its efforts, could not induce them to let go their hold. The knight favoured by this
help rises, rejoins his two mastiffs, .
buries his sword up to the very hilt in a place that was not defended by the scales. He then made a large wound from whence issued streams of blood. The monster, being mortally wounded, falls upon the knight, which knocks him down a second time; and the enormous weight of his body would have stifled him, if his two servants, spectators of the combat, seeing the serpent dead, had not run to the assistance of their master. They at first thought he had been dead, but found he had only swooned away. After having taken him, though with much difficulty, from beneath the serpent, they took off his helmet, and, after having for some time thrown water on his face, he at length opened his eyes. The first object and the most agreeable which could present itself to his view, was that of seeing his enemy dead, and of having succeeded in such a difficult enterprise, where so many of his brethren had fallen. His victory and the death of the serpent were no sooner known in the city than a crowd of the inhabitants came out to meet him. The knights conducted him in triumph to the palace of the grand master; but in the midst of these acclamations the conqueror was surprised when Villeneuve, casting some indignant looks on him, asked him if he was ignorant of the prohibitions he had made