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DR ANDREW THOMSON.
to Evidences of Christianity; five, Moral Philosophy;
six, Commercial Discourses; seven, Astronomical DisDR ANDREW THOMSON (1779-1831), an active and courses ; eight, nine, and ten, Congregational Serable minister of the Scottish church, was author of mons; eleven, Sermons on Public Occasions; twelve, various sermons and lectures, and editor of the Tracts and Essays; thirteen, Introductory Essays, Scottish Christian Instructor, a periodical which exer- originally prefixed to editions of Select Christian cised no small influence in Scotland on ecclesiastical Authors; fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, Christian questions. Dr Thomson was successively minister and Economic Polity of a Nation, more especially of Sprouston, in the presbytery of Kelso, of the East with reference to its Large Towns; seventeen, On Church, Perth, and of St George's Church, Edin- Church and College Endowments; eighteen, On burgh. In the annual meetings of the general Church Extension, nineteen and twenty, Political assembly he displayed great ardour and eloquence as Economy; twenty-one, The Sufficiency of a Parochial a debater, and was the recognized leader of one of System without a Poor - Rate; twenty-two, three, the church parties. He waged a long and keen four, and five, Lectures on the Romans. In all Dr warfare with the British and Foreign Bible Society Chalmers's works there is great energy and earfor circulating the books of the Apocrypha along nestness, accompanied with a vast variety of illuswith the Bible, and his speeches on this subject, tration. His knowledge is extensive, including though exaggerated in tone and manner, produced a science no less than literature, the learning of the powerful effect. There was, in truth, always more philosopher with the fancy of the poet, and a famiof the debater than the divine in his public addresses ; liar acquaintance with the habits, feelings, and daily and he was an unmerciful opponent in controversy. life of the Scottish poor and middle classes. The When the question of the abolition of colonial sla- ardour with which he pursues any favourite topic, very was agitated in Scotland, he took his stand on presenting it to the reader or hearer in every posthe expediency of immediate abolition, and by his sible point of view, and investing it with the charms public appearances on this subject, and the energy of a rich poetical imagination, is a peculiar feature of his eloquence, carried the feelings of his country- in his intellectual character, and one well calculated men completely along with him. The life of this to arrest attention.* It gives peculiar effect to his ardent, impetuous, and independent-minded man was brought suddenly and awfully to a close. In the Robert Hall seems to have been struck with this peculiaprime of health and vigour he fell down dead at the rity. In some Gleanings from Hall's Conversational Remarks, threshold of his own door. The sermons of Dr appended to Dr Gregory's Memoir, we find the following critiThomson scarcely support his high reputation as a cism, understood to refer to the Scottish divine :— Mr Hall church leader and debater. They are weighty and repeatedly referred to Dr—, and always in terms of great earnest, but without pathos or elegance of style.
esteem as well as high admiration of his general character, exercising, however, his usual free and independent judginent.
The following are some remarks on that extraordinary indiDR THOMAS CHALMERS.
vidual :-“Pray, sir, did you ever know any man who had
that singular faculty of repetition possessed by Dr — ? Why, The most distinguished and able of living Scottish sir, he often reiterates the same thing ten or twelve times in divines is THOMAS CHALMERS, D.D. and LL.D., one the course of a few pages. Even Burke himself had not so of the first Presbyterian ministers who obtained an much of that peculiarity. His mind resembles that optical honorary degree from the university of Cambridge, instrument lately invented; what do you call it?" "You
mean, I suppose, the kaleidoscope." “ Yes, sir, an idea thrown into his mind is just as if thrown into a kaleidoscope. Every turn presents the object in a new and beautiful form; but the object presented is still the same. * * His mind seems to move on hinges, not on wheels. There is incessant motion, but no progress. When he was at Leicester, he preached a most admirable sermon on the necessity of immediate repentance; but there were only two ideas in it, and on these his mind revolved as on a pivot." A writer in the London Magazine gives a graphic account of Dr Chalmers's appearances in London. When he visited London, the hold that he took on the minds of men was unprecedented. It was a time of strong political feeling; but even that was unheeded, and all parties thronged to hear the Scottish preacher. The very best judges were not prepared for the display that they heard. Canning and Wilberforce went together, and got into a pew near the door. The elder in attendance stood close by the pew. Chalmers began in his usual unpromising way, by stating a few nearly self-evident propositions neither in the choicest language nor in the most impressive voice.“ If this be all," said Canning to his companion, “it will never do." Chalmers went on-the shuffling of the congregation gradually subsided. He got into the mass of his subject ; his weakness became strength, his hesitation was turned into energy; and, bringing the whole volume of his mind to bear upon it, he poured forth a torrent of the most close and conclusive argument, brilliant with all the exuberance of an imagination which ranged over all nature for illustrations, and yet managed
and applied each of them with the same unerring dexterity, Dr Thomas Chalmers.
as if that single one had been the study of a whole life. “ The
tartan beats us," said Mr Canning; " we have no preaching and one of the few Scotsmen who have been elected like that in England."* Chalmers, like the celebrated French
divines (according to Goldsmith), assumed all that dignity and a corresponding member of the Royal Institute
of zeal which become men who are ambassadors
from Christ. France. The collected works of Dr Chalmers fill | The English divines, like timorous envoys, seem more solicitwenty-five duodecimo volumes. Of these the two tous not to offend the court to which they are sent, than to first are devoted to Natural Theology; three and four drive home the interests of their employers. The style of Dr
pulpit ministrations; for by concentrating his atten- as before. In a word, though I might have made him tion on one or two points at a time, and pressing a more upright and honourable man, I might bare these home with almost unexampled zeal and ani- left him as destitute of the essence of religious prinmation, a distinct and vivid impression is conveyed ciple as ever. But the interesting fact is, that during to the mind, unbroken by any extraneous or dis- the whole of that period in which I made no attempt cursive matter. His pictures have little or no back against the natural enmity of the mind to God, while ground-the principal figure or conception fills the I was inattentive to the way in which this enmity is canvass. The style of Dr Chalmers is far from being dissolved, even by the free offer on the one hand, and correct or elegant--it is often turgid, loose, and de- the believing acceptance on the other, of the gospel clamatory, vehement beyond the bounds of good salvation; while Christ, through whose blood the taste, and disfigured by a peculiar and by no means sinner, who by nature stands afar off, is brought near graceful phraseology. These blemishes are, however, to the heavenly Lawgiver whom he has offended, was more than redeemed by his piety and eloquence, the scarcely ever spoken of, or spoken of in such a way originality of many of his views, and the astonishing as stripped him of all the importance of his character force and ardour of his mind. His • Astronomical and his offices, even at this time I certainly did press Discourses' contain passages of great sublimity and the reformations of honour, and truth, and integrity beauty, and even the most humble and prosaic sub- among my people; but I never once heard of any ject, treated by him, becomes attractive and poetical. such reformations having been effected amongst them. His triumphs are those of genius, aided by the If there was anything at all brought about in this deepest conviction of the importance of the truths way, it was more than ever I got any account of. he inculcates.
ani not sensible that all the vehemence with which I Dr Chalmers is a native of Anstruther, in the urged the virtues and the proprieties of social life had county of Fife. A fugitive memoir states that he the weight of a feather on the moral habits of my was born about the year 1780, that he studied at St parishioners. And it was not till I got impressed by Andrews, and was soon ' a mathematician, a natural the utter alienation of the heart in all its desires and philosopher, and, though there was no regular pro- affections from God; it was not till reconciliation to fessor of that science at St Andrews, a chemist.' him became the distinct and the prominent object of After his admission to holy orders, he officiated for my ministerial exertions; it was not till I took the sometime as assistant to the minister of Wilton, Scriptural way of laying the method of reconciliation near Hawick. He afterwards obtained the church before them; it was not till the free offer of forgiveof Kilmany, in his native county, and here the acti- ness through the blood of Christ was urged upon their vity of his mind was strikingly displayed. In addi- acceptance, and the Holy Spirit given through the tion to his parochial labours, he lectured in the channel of Christ's mediatorship to all who ask him, different towns on chemistry and other subjects ; he was set before them as the unceasing object of their became an officer of a volunteer corps ; and he wrote dependence and their prayers; it was not, in one a book on the resources of the country, besides word, till the contemplations of my people were turned pamphlets on some of the topics of the day, and of a soul providing for its interest with God and the
to these great and essential elements in the business when the Edinburgh Encyclopædia was projected, he was invited to be a contributor, and engaged to those subordinate reformations which I aforetime
concerns of its eternity, that I ever heard of any of furnish the article “Christianity," which he after-made the earnest and the zealous, but, I am afraid, wards completed with so much ability.* At Kil- at the same time the ultimate object of my earlier many Dr Chalmers seems to have received more ministrations. Ye servants, whose scrupulous fidelity serious and solemn impressions as to his clerical has now attracted the notice and drawn forth in my duties, for in an address to the inhabitants of the hearing a delightful testimony from your masters, parish, included in his tracts, there is the following what mischief you would have done had your zeal remarkable passage :
for doctrines and sacraments been accompanied by
the sloth and the remissness, and what, in the pre[Ineficacy of mere Moral Preaching.]
vailing tone of moral relaxation, is counted the allow
able purloining of your earlier days! But a sense of And here I cannot but record the effect of an actual your heavenly Master's eye has brought another inthough undesigned experiment which I prosecuted for fluence to bear upon you; and while you are thus upwards of twelve years amongst you. For the greater striving to adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour in part of that time I could expatiate on the meanness all things, you may, poor as you are, reclaim the of dishonesty, on the villany of falsehood, on the great ones of the land to the acknowledgment of the despicable arts of calumny-in a word, upon all those faith. You have at least taught me that to preach deformities of character which awaken the natural Christ is the only effective way of preaching morality indignation of the human heart against the pests and in all its branches; and out of your humble cottages the disturbers of human society. Now, could I, upon the have I gathered a lesson, which I pray God I may strength of these warm expostulations, have got the be enabled to carry with all its simplicity into a .thief to give up his stealing, and the evil speaker wider theatre, and to bring with all the power of its his censoriousness, and the liar his deviations from subduing efficacy upon the vices of a more crowded truth, I should have felt all the repose of one who population. had gotten his ultimate object. It never occurred to me that all this might have been done, and yet every From Kilmany Dr Chalmers removed to the new soul of every hearer have remained in full alienation church of St John's in Glasgow, where his labours from God; and that even could I have established in were unceasing and meritorious. Here his principal the bosom of one who stole such a principle of abhor- sermons were delivered and published ; and his fame rence at the meanness of dishonesty that he was pre- as a preacher and author was diffused not only vailed upon to steal no more, he might still have over Great Britain, but throughout all Europe and retained a heart as completely unturned to God, and America. In 1823 he removed to St Andrews, as as totally unpossessed by a principle of love to Him, professor of moral philosophy in the United college;
and in 1828 he was appointed professor of divinity Chalmers became the rage in Scotland among the young in the university of Edinburgh. This appointment preachers, but few could do more than copy his defects. he relinquished in 1843, on his secession from the * London Magazine.
[Picture of the Chase-Cruelty to Animals.]
ill-fated creatures; and whether for the indulgence
of his barbaric sensuality or barbaric splendour, can The sufferings of the lower animals may, when out stalk paramount over the sufferings of that prostrate of sight, be out of mind. But more than this, these creation which has been placed beneath his feet. That sufferings may be in sight, and yet out of mind. This beauteous domain whereof he has been constituted is strikingly exemplified in the sports of the field, in the terrestrial sovereign, gives out so many blissful the midst of whose varied and animating bustle that and benignant aspects; and whether we look to its cruelty which all along is present to the senses may peaceful lakes, or to its flowery landscapes, or its not for one moment have been present to the thoughts. evening skies, or to all that soft attire which overThere sits a somewhat ancestral dignity and glory on spreads the hills and the valleys, lighted up by smiles this favourite pastime of joyous old England; when of sweetest sunshine, and where animals disport themthe gallant knighthood, and the hearty yeomen, and selves in all the exuberance of gaiety—this surely the amateurs or virtuosos of the chase, and the full were a more befitting scene for the rule of clemency, assembled jockeyship of half a province, muster to-than for the iron rod of a murderous and remorseless gether in all the pride and pageantry of their great tyrant. But the present is a mysterious world wherein emprize—and the panorama of some noble landscape, we dwell. It stiÎl bears much upon its materialism of lighted up with autumnal clearness from an unclouded the impress of Paradise. But a breath from the air of heaven, pours fresh exhilaration into every blithe and Pandemonium has gone over its living generations ; choice spirit of the scene—and every adventurous and so the fear of man and the dread of man is now heart is braced and impatient for the hazards of upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the coming enterprise-and even the high-breathed the air, and upon all that moveth upon the earth, coursers catch the general sympathy, and seem to fret and upon all the fishes of the sea ; into man's hands in all the restiveness of their yet checked and irri are they delivered : every moving thing that liveth is tated fire, till the echoing horn shall set them at meat for him; yea, even as the green herbs, there liberty-even that horn which is the knell of death have been given to him all things. Such is the extent to some trembling victim now brought forth of its of his jurisdiction, and with most full and wanton lurking-place to the delighted gaze, and borne down license has he revelled among its privileges. The upon with the full and open cry of its ruthless pur- whole earth labours and is in violence because of his
Be assured that, amid the whole glee and cruelties; and from the amphitheatre of sentient fervency of this tumultuous enjoyment, there might Nature there sounds in fancy's ear the bleat of one not, in one single bosom, be aught so fiendish as a wide and universal suffering—a dreadful homage to principle of naked and abstract cruelty. The fear the power of Nature's constituted lord. which gives its lightning-speed to the unhappy ani These sufferings are really felt. The beasts of the mal; the thickening horrors which, in the progress of field are not so many automata without sensation, exhaustion, must gather upon its flight; its gradually and just so constructed as to give forth all the sinking energies, and, at length, the terrible certainty natural signs and expressions of it. Nature hath not of that destruction which is awaiting it; that piteous practised this universal deception upon our species. cry which the ear can sometimes distinguish amid | These poor animals just look, and tremble, and give the deafening clamour of the bloodhounds as they forth the very indications of suffering that we do. spring exultingly upon their prey; the dread massacre Theirs is the distinct cry of pain. Theirs is the unand dying agonies of a creature so miserably torn ;- equivocal physiognomy of pain. They put on the all this weight of suffering, we admit, is not once same aspect of terror on the demonstrations of a sympathised with; but it is just because the suffering menaced blow. They exhibit the same distortions of itself is not once thought of. It touches pot the sen agony after the infliction of it. The bruise, or the sibilities of the heart; but just because it is never burn, or the fracture, or the deep incision, or the present to the notice of the mind. We allow that the fierce encounter with one of equal or superior strength, hardy followers in the wild romance of this occupa- just affects them similarly to ourselves. Their blood tion, we allow them to be reckless of pain, but this is circulates as ours. They have pulsations in various not rejoicing in pain. Theirs is not the delight of the parts of the body like ours. They sicken, and they savage, but the apathy of unreflecting creatures. grow feeble with age, and, finally, they die just as we They are wholly occupied with the chase itself and do. They possess the same feelings; and, what exits spirit-stirring accompaniments, nor bestow one poses them to like suffering from another quarter, moment's thought on the dread violence of that in they possess the same instincts with our own species. Aliction upon sentient nature which marks its termi- The lioness robbed of her whelps causes the wilderness nation. It is the spirit of the competition, and it to wring aloud with the proclamation of her wrongs ; alone, which goads onward this hurrying career; and or the bird whose little household has been stolen, even he who in at the death is foremost in the triumph, fills and saddens all the grove with melodies of deepest although to him the death itself is in sight, the agony pathos. All this is palpable even to the general and of its wretched sufferer is wholly out of mind. * unlearned eye : and when the physiologist lays open
Man is the direct agent of a wide and continual the recesses of their system by means of that scalpel, distress to the lower animals, and the question is, Can under whose operation they just shrink and are conany method be devised for its alleviation ? On this vulsed as any living subject of our own species--there subject that Scriptural image is strikingly realised, stands forth to view the same sentient apparatus, • The whole inferior creation groaning and travailling and furnished with the same conductors for the transtogether in pain,' because of him. It signifies not to mission of feeling to every minutest pore upon the surthe substantive amount of the suffering whether this face. Theirs is unmixed and unmitigated pain—the be prompted by the hardness of his heart, or only per- agonies of martyrdom without the alleviation of the mitted through the heedlessness of his mind. In hopes and the sentiments whereof they are incapable. either way it holds true, not only that the arch-de- When they lay them down to die, their only fellowvourer man stands pre-eminent over the fiercest chil- ship is with suffering; for in the prison-house of their dren of the wilderness as an animal of prey, but that beset and bounded faculties there can no relief be 'for his lordly and luxurious appctite, as well as for afforded by communion with other interests or other his service or merest curiosity and amusement, Nature things. The attention does not lighten their distress inust be ransacked throughout all her elements. as it does that of man, by carrying off his spirit from Rather than forego the veriest gratifications of vanity, that existing pungency and pressure which might else he will wring them from the anguish of wretched and be overwhelming. There is but room in their myste
rious economy for one inmate, and that is, the absorb- and probability. It may hurry our globe towards the ing sense of their own single and concentrated anguish. sun, or drag it to the outer regions of the planetary And so in that bed of torment whereon the wounded system, or give it a new axis of revolution-and the animal lingers and expires, there is an unexplored effect, which I shall simply announce without explaindepth and intensity of suffering which the poor dumb ing it, would be to change the place of the ocean, and animal itself cannot tell, and against which it can bring another mighty flood upon our islands and conoffer no remonstrance-an untold and unknown tinents. amount of wretchedness of which no articulate voice These are changes which may happen in a single gives utterance. But there is an eloquence in its instant of time, and against which nothing known in silence ; and the very shroud which disguises it only the present system of things provides us with any serves to aggravate its horrors.
security. They might not annihilate the earth, but
they would unpeople it, and we, who tread its surface [Insignificance of this Earth.]
with such firm and assured footsteps, are at the mercy
of devouring elements, which, if let loose upon us by Though the earth were to be burned up, though the the hand of the Almighty, would spread solitude, and trumpet of its dissolution were sounded, though yon silence, and death over the dominions of the world. sky were to pass away as a scroll, and every visible Now, it is this littleness and this insecurity which glory which the finger of the Divinity has inscribed make the protection of the Almighty so dear to us, on it were extinguished for ever-an event so awful and bring with such emphasis to every pious bosom to us, and to every world in our vicinity, by which so the holy lessons of humility and gratitude. The God many suns would be extinguished, and so many varied who sitteth above, and presides in high authority over scenes of life and population would rush into forget all worlds, is mindful of man; and though at this fulness—what is it in the high scale of the Almighty's moment his energy is felt in the remotest provinces of workmanship? a mere shred, which, though scattered creation, we may feel the same security in his provi. into nothing, would leave the universe of God one en- dence as if we were the objects of his undivided care. tire scene of greatness and of majesty. Though the It is not for us to bring our minds up to this mysearth and the heavens were to disappear, there are terious agency. But such is the incomprehensible other worlds which roll afar; the light of other suns fact, that the same Being, whose eye is abroad orer shines upon them; and the sky which mantles them the whole universe, gives vegetation to every blade of is garnished with other stars. Is it presumption to grass, and motion to every particle of blood which cirsay that the moral world extends to these distant and culates through the veins of the minutest animal; unknown regions ? that they are occupied with people that though his mind takes into his comprehensive that the charities of home and of neighbourhood flou- grasp immensity and all its wonders, I am as much rish there? that the praises of God are there lifted up, kuown to him as if I were the single object of his atand his goodness rejoiced in? that there piety has its tention; that he marks all my thoughts; that he gires temples and its offerings ? and the richness of the birth to every feeling and every movement within me; divine attributes is there felt and admired by intelli- and that, with an exercise of power which I can neither gent worshippers ?
describe nor comprehend, the same God who sits in the And what is this world in the immensity which highest heaven, and reigns over the glories of the firteems with them; and what are they who occupy it?mament, is at my right hand to give me every breath The universe at large would suffer as little in its which I draw, and every comfort which I enjoy. splendour and variety by the destruction of our planet, as the verdure and sublirne magnitude of a forest would suffer by the fall of a single leaf. The leaf
TRAVELLERS. quivers on the branch which supports it. It lies at the
Recent years have witnessed an immense influx of the slightest accident. A breath of wind mercy tears it from its stem, and it lights on the streain of of books of travels and voyages-journals and
narwater which passes underneath. In a moment of time ratives of personal adventure-the result of that the life, which we know by the microscope it teems spirit of scientific discovery, religious zeal, and enwith, is extinguished ; and an occurrence so insigni- lightened curiosity, which characterise the nine ficant in the eye of man, and on the scale of his ob- teenth century. In physical geography large adservation, carries in it to the myriads which people vances have been made. The extension of commerce this little leaf an event as terrible and as decisive as
and improvement of navigation have greatly facilithe destruction of a world. Now, on the grand scale tated foreign travelling; steamboats now traverse of the universe, we, the occupiers of this ball, which both the Atlantic and Mediterranean; and the performs its little round among the suns and the sys- overland route to India has introduced us to a more tems that astronomy has unfolded—we may feel the intimate acquaintance with the countries, so fertile same littleness and the same insecurity. We differ in interesting and romantic associations, which lie from the leaf only in this circumstance, that it would between India and Britain. Indeed, if we except require the operation of greater elements to destroy us. some of the populous regions in the interior of But these elements exist. The fire which rages within Africa-still guarded by barbarous jealousy and may lift its devouring energy to the surface of our bigotry-almost every corner of the earth has been planet, and transform it into one wide and wasting penetrated by British enterprise; and those counvolcano. The sudden formation of elastic matter in tries endeared to us from the associations of Holy the bowels of the earth-and it lies within the agency Writ, the gorgeous and fascinating fictions of Eastern of known substances to accomplish this-may explode fable, or the wisdom and beauty of the classic phiit into fragments. The exhalation of noxious air from losophers and poets, have been rendered familiar to below may impart a virulence to the air that is around every class of British society. Even war has been us; it may affect the delicate proportion of its ingre- instrumental in adding to our knowledge of foreign dients; and the whole of animated nature may wither nations. The French invasion of Egypt led to the and die under the malignity of a tainted atmosphere. study of Egyptian antiquities—for Napoleon carried A blazing comet may cross this fated planet in its savans in his train--and our most valuable informaorbit, and realise all the terrors which superstition tion regarding India has been derived from officers has conceived of it. We cannot anticipate with pre- engaged in hostile missions and journeys caused by cision the consequences of an event which every astro- war. The embassies of Macartney and Amherst to nomer must know to lie within the limits of chance China (the first of which was highly satisfactory)
were prompted by the unfriendly and narrow-minded uniformly, and without exception, followed them all. conduct of the Chinese ; and our late collision with Fame, riches, and honour, had been held out for a the emperor has also added to our previous scanty series of ages to every individual of those myriads knowledge of that vast unexplored country, and these princes commanded, without having produced may yet be productive of higher results.
one man capable of gratifying the curiosity of his sovereign, or wiping off this stain upon the enterprise and abilities of mankind, or adding this desideratum
for the encouragement of geography. Though a mere One of the most romantic and persevering of our private Briton, I triumphed here, in my own mind, travellers was JAMES BRUCE of Kinnaird, a Scottish over kings and their armies ! and every comparison gentleman of ancient family and property, who de- was leading nearer and nearer to presumption, when voted several years to a journey into Abyssinia to the place itself where I stood, the object of my vain discover the sources of the river Nile. The foun- glory, suggested what "depressed my short-lived tains of celebrated rivers have led to some of our triumph. I was but a few minutes arrived at the most interesting exploratory expeditions. Super- sources of the Nile, through numberless dangers and stition has hallowed the sources of the Nile and the sufferings, the least of which would have overwhelmed Ganges, and the mysterious Niger long wooed our me but for the continual goodness and protection of adventurous travellers into the sultry plains of Providence: I was, however, but then half through Africa. The inhabitants of mountainous countries my journey, and all those dangers through which I still look with veneration on their principal streams, had already passed awaited me on my return ; I and as they roll on before them, connect them in found a despondency gaining ground fast, and blastimagination with the ancient glories or traditional ing the crown of laurels which I had too rashly woven legends of their native land. Bruce partook largely for myself.' of this feeling, and was a man of an ardent enthu After several adventures in Abyssinia, in the siastic temperament. He was born at Kinnaird course of which he received high personal distincHouse, in the county of Stirling, on the 14th of tions from the king, Bruce obtained leave to depart. December 1730, and was intended for the legal pro- He returned through the great deserts of Nubia fession. He was averse, however, to the study of into Egypt, encountering the severest hardships and the law, and entered into business as a wine-mer- dangers from the sand-floods and simoom of the desert, chant in London. Being led to visit Spain and and his own physical sufferings and exhaustion. Portugal, he was struck with the architectural It was not until seventeen years after his return ruins and chivalrous tales of the Moorish dominion, that Bruce published his travels. Parts had been and applied himself diligently to the study of East- made public, and were much ridiculed. Even Johnern antiquities and languages. On his return to son doubted whether he had ever been in Abyssinia ! England he became known to the government, and The work appeared in 1790, in five large quarto it was proposed that he should make a journey to volumes, with another volume of plates. The Barbary, which had been partially explored by Dr strangeness of the author's adventures at the court Shaw. At the same time the consulship of Algiers at Gondar, the somewhat inflated style of the narbecame vacant, and Bruce was appointed to the rative, and the undisguised vanity of the traveller, office. He left England, and arrived at Algiers in led to a disbelief of his statements, and numerous 1762. Above six years were spent by our traveller lampoons and satires, both in prose and verse, were at Algiers and in various travels (during which he surveyed and sketched the ruins of Palmyra and Baalbec), and it was not till June 1768 that he
reached Alexandria. From thence he proceeded to Cairo, and embarked on the Nile. He arrived at
Gondar, the capital of Abyssinia, and after some stay there, he set out for the sources of Bahr-el-Azrek, under an impression that this was the principal branch of the Nile. The spot was at length pointed out by his guide-a hillock of green sod in the middle of a watery plain. The guide counselled him to pull off his shoes, as the people were all pagans, and prayed to the river as if it were God.
Half undressed as I was,' continues Bruce, by the loss of my sash, and throwing off my shoes, I ran down the hill towards the hillock of green sod, which was about two hundred yards distant; the whole side of the hill was thick grown with flowers, the large bulbous roots of which appearing above the surface of the ground, and their skins coming off on my treading upon them, occasioned me two very severe falls before I reached the brink of the marsh. I after this came to the altar of green turf, which was apparently the work of art, and I stood in rapture above the principal fountain, which rises in the middle of it. It is easier to guess than to describe the situation of my mind at that momentstanding in that spot which had baffled the genius, industry, and inquiry of both ancients and moderns Staircase at Kinnaird House, Stirlingshire-Scene of
Bruce's Fatal Accident. for the course of near three thousand years. Kings had attempted this discovery at the head of armies, directed against him. The really honourable and and each expedition was distinguished from the last superior points of Bruce's character—such as his only by the difference of numbers which had perished, energy and daring, his various knowledge and acand agreed alone in the disappointment which had quirements, and his disinterested zeal in undertaking