« 前へ次へ »
are neglecting and despising the instituted means of salvation, God will employ visions and revelations to awaken and convert them. The case of Saul affords no precedent, except as it shews the freeness of divine grace, to preserve the convinced sinner from despair. This is the only use which we are directed to make of it. How beit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." pp. 265, 266.
The last lecture strongly marks Mr. D.'s attachment to the presbyterian form of ecclesiastical governinent. We wish not to occupy the time of our readers with the discussion of minuter points, which have so frequently disturbed the peace, and shaken the prosperity of the church. Our pursuit is directed to higher objects." Upon the whole, therefore, we cheerfully recommend the present volume to the attention of the public.
Art. VII. Travels to discover the Sources of the Nile, in the Years 1769–
1773. By James Bruce, of Kinnaird, Esq. F. R. S. Second Edition, corrected and enlarged. To which is prefixed, a Life of the Author. In Seven Volumes, 8vo. with a Volume of Plates, in Quarto. Price 41. 16ş. Constable, Edinburgh; Longman and Co. London, 1805. JAMES BRUCE, of Kinnaird, Esq. derived his descent from
an ancient family, allied by marriage to the Bruces, Kings of Scotland, whose line terminated in David II. 1371. He was born at Kinnaird, in the county of Stirling, Dec. 14, 1730; and received a liberal education in Scotland, which was completed in England at Harrow school, then conducted by Dr. Cox. This seminary he quitted in May 1746, and great expectations were formed by his friends from the abilities he displayed in early life. The profession of an advocate at the Scottish bar was chosen for him by his father ; but it is believed that James found the task which he had undertaken, in compliance with this arrangement, neither agreeable nor instructive. His health was delicate; the chace, and its amusements, became his gratification, and at length established his constitution. Desirous of finding Fortune more favourable in the East, than she appeared to be in Scotland, Mr. B. came to London in July 1753, with views of service in India, but here he met with Miss Allan, a young lady for whose sake he abandoned his projects of Asiatic wealth, and became a partner in the wine trade, carried on by her family. Mrs. B. soon discovered syınptoms of consumption, and after visiting the South of France, in company with her husband, she died at Paris, in October 1754. The intolerance of the Romish priesthood at that period obliged the mourning stranger to inter his wife at midnight, between the 10th and lith, with the utmost privacy. “From thence, alınost frantic,” says he, “ against the advice of every body, I got on horseback, having ordered the serVant to have post-horses ready, and set out in the most tempestuous night I ever saw for Boulogne, where I arrived the next day without stopping." This exertion induced a fever, from which he recovered with difficulty. He continued a widower above twenty years.
In 1757, Mr. B. spent a considerable time in Portugal and Spain, whence he proceeded to France, and through France to Germany and the Netherlands. In this course he arrived at the scene of action in sufficient time to see the battle and the victory at Crevelt, June 23, 1758. About this time our traveller applied to the study of the Eastern languages, succeeded to the family estate on the death of his father, and withdrew from the wine business. Prospects of a different kind now engaged his ambition, and he was appointed consul-general at Algiers, ín l'ebruary, 1762. To this residence he travelled through part of France and Italy, receiving many civilities; and, he arrived at Algiers, March 20, 1763. Being already acquainted with the written Arabic, he diligently studied that language as it is spoken in Barbary, and thus qualified himself for intercourse, not only among those with whoin he was officially connected, but where-.. ever the Arabic prevails, which is over no small portion of the habitable world.
Mr. B. experienced some troublesome duty in this situation, wherein he conducted himself with spirit and dignity; and we may be allowed to presume that, under the barbarous despotism of the Dey, he acquired that insight into the character of Arab chiefs, to which he was indebted for personal security and deliverance, in many subsequent embarrassments. He also
visited the interior of this part of Africa, and made many draw.ings of the ruins it contains. This journey was very hazardous. ;
He quitted Africa at the end of the year 1766, for Crete, whence he visited Asia Minor and Syria, and sailed from Sidon for Alexandria in Egypt, June 15, 1768. He proceeded up the Nile in December, crossed the Desert to Cosseir, made an excursion northwards up the Red Sea to Tor, and south as far as Gidda, whence he sailed July 8, 1769, for Massowa, the entrance into Abyssinia. Such was the preparation of Mr. B. for that scene of barbarism and violence, the history of which forms the principal subject of the volumes before us. Our author escaped from his turbulent thraldom, after somewhat more than two years residence in that country, leaving Koscam, Dec. 26, 1771, and Ras-el-Feel, (his government) March 17, 1772, when he quitted Abyssinia for Sennaar. Here he arrived in September; and Nov. 27, he reached Syene in Egypt, a town which most European trave;lers regard as the ne plus ultra of their distance from home, but which to our hero, after his wonderful escape froin peril and confinement, seemed almost within sight of Europe and Britain. FIO
· Travelling through Italy and France, our author reached England in June 1774, where he met with a most honourable reception, after an absence of twelve years; his drawings of Baalbec, Palmyra, and the African cities, were graciously received by his Majesty, and are preserved in the royal collection. During his absence, the establishment of the Carron Ironworks, near his demesne, had materially improved his estate.
On the 20th of May, 1776, Mr. B. married Mary Dundas, daughter of Thomas Dundas, of Fingask, Esq. This lady died in 1785, leaving a son, the present Mr. Bruce, of Kinnaird, and a daughter, now the wife of John Jardine, Esq. The death of his wife became the immediate cause of the publication of Mr. B.'s travels, the attention requisite in preparing them for the press, being deemed a suitable occupation for his melaneholy mind. They appeared in London, in 1790, infive volumes quarto. . « On Saturday, April 26, 1794, having entertained some company at Kinnaird, as he was going down stairs, about eight o'clock in the evening, to hand a lady into a carriage, his foot slipped, and he fell down headlong, from about the sixth or seventh step from the ground. He was taken up in a state of ap. parent insensibility, with no marks of contusion, one of his hands only being a little hurt. Medical assistance was immediately procured, with no advantage; though some hours after the accident happened there appeared a few symptoms of recovery, these gradually vanished, and he expired early in the next morning." Thus by an accident, apparently trivial, was terminated the life of à traveller, who had been familiar with dangers and deaths, in their most terrific forms, and of whom it might be said with at least equal justice as of Ulysses, Qui mores hominum multorum vidit et urbes. · We have thought this slight biographical sketch of a traveller so remarkable as Mr. Bruce, would not be unacceptable to our readers; and, indeed, some previous acquaintance with the history of a writer, is often necessary to the proper estimation of his character, his abilities, his means of information on the article under discussion, and the degree of confidence to which his reports are entitled. This is the more necessary in the present instance, because Mr. B.'s work was on its first appearance the subject of animadversion, if not of obloquy; and many of his observations were attacked with the severe weapons of wit and irony, if not with the poisoned shafts of malevolence. We have indeed been informed, from no incompetent authority, (via Edinburgh) that a party, hostile to the sacred scriptures, took uncommon pains to prejudice this publication before it appeared ; a circumstance from which our readers may safely infer, that Mr. B.'s Travels" were expected to throw considerable light on many of the incidents and manners mentioned in holy writ. In fact, they have
contributed both to stimulate and to gratify that spirit of inquiry, which has lately been prevalent among us, in reference to such subjects; and which, no longer confined to the humble exertions of individuals, is at length likely to derive both strength and dignity from the liberal patronage of the Palestine Association.
The volumes before us, being a second edition, we shall not treat them with that distinction which their contents would justify, were they new to the public; yet as they comprise much additional matter, and the editor has executed his task con ämore, a concise account of their principal novelties may be strictly proper.
The first volume contains the life of the author, composed from family papers and documents, as well private as official; to which is annexed, a selection of letters written to and from Mr. B. This account occupies 359 pages. After this introduction begin the travels, as in the former edition, which continue throughout the second to the sixth volume. The seventh volume includes the natural history, and the plates form a quarto volume by themselves. To each book of the travels is subjoined an apa pendix, containing additional information, extracted from the original journals and common-place books of the author, togea ther with other communications compiled by the editor, who has in many places added notes at the bottom of the page.
We confess our satisfaction at the insertion of these additions; which prove, what we always took to be the fact, that Mr. B.'s book was ill made up for the press; that he had been guilty of omissions which he alone could have supplied, and of gross neglia gences both in manner and matter. Some of them the editor has rectified, as authorised from the original papers ; others by inference, and some few by conjecture. He frankly acknow ledges, that the defects of this work arose from a love of theory and system, from a desire to please the reader, and, in the greater number of particular instances from inåttention. p. 151.
Though his journals were in general copious, Mr. B. too often omitted to consult them, trusting to the extent and accuracy of his recollection. He was not sensible that by relying with too great security on his memory, he was in danger of confounding dates, actions, and circumstances, which might easily have been rectified by his papers.” In his style. he received no assistance from literary men, -yet his work was perused in MS. by Mr. Daines Barrington, and the Dean of Carlisle. We therefore cannot, with his editor, acquit his,' vanity' of having injured his reputation, but think • his mean opinion of the mechanical part of writing,' was in some degree justly, though possibly too severely, punished by the critics and the public. Haughtiness, both personal and literary, was a considerable defect in his chafacter.
A particular description of Mr. Bi's journal is -given after the appendix to his 'Life,' in the first-volume, wherein the share of Signior Luigi, his attendant, in making the drawings, and keeping registers of events, is stated, apparently with correctness. Mr. B.'s progress in the art of drawing is also vindicated, and the name of his tutor, Mr. Bonneau, is mentioned. How then shall we account for the report that no artist, though many had purposely watched him, ever saw Mr. Bruce handle a pencil, consequently that no professional authority could vouch for his attainments in this art. It appears that Luigi designed much of the architecture, and many of the articles of natural history'; he also marked the state of the thermometer, winds, weather, &c; nevertheless enough remains as the sole production of Mr. B. to satisfy any vanity not absolutely insatiable.
It is well known that Mr. B. maintained a hypothesis, which derived the population of Egypt from Ethiopia, and his editor has taken pains to support this opinion. But if it be granted that colonies from the South settled in Egypt, why must this course of settlements supersede all other? Why might not inhabitants originally enter this country by the North, the passage now and always used, as well as by the South? A spirit of exclusion is seldom favourable to truth, and equally seldom iş it coincident with the natural order of things. The novelty and merit of Mr. Bruce's letter to Dr. Burney, on the music of Abyssinia are well known: it forms No..3. in the Appendix to Book I.
In the Appendix to Book IV. we have the description of the sources of the Nile, as given by Fathers Paez and Jerome Lobo. This is very proper, and it is very fair also; but we find nothing commendable on the severe censure passed on Dr. Johnson, who at the time when he translated Father Lobo, was not only very distant from that eminence in literature which he afterwards attained, but was under the necessity of labouring on whatever subject might most effectually attract the attention of the public. It is however remarkable enough, that the name of his Abyssinian prince, is a vicious pronunciation of Ras Sela Christos, contracted into Rasselaxos, or Rasselas : it means SelaChristos, Ras, i. e. commander in chief, of the forces of Abys. sinia.
The appendices to books VII. and VIII. comprize articles of a miscellaneous nature, detached from the original journals, and memorandum strips of paper, containing additional information, mostly respecting Abyssinia. Their contents are curious, as well as various. The work concludes with a general appendix, in which the observations on the satellites of Jupiter are not the least interesting article. They may gratify, not the astronomer only, but any reader who wishes to examine the correctness of their author. We have not compared them with observations on the same subjects made in Europe at the times, but doubt pot that the result of such a comparison would prove satisfactory to