« FöregåendeFortsätt »
or, by uniting her strength to that of Austria, to renew, in the minds of her soldiery, those dangerous recollections which are connected with the younger Napoleon.' On the state of the public mind in France, we have already spoken. It may here be enough to remark, Ist. That he knows little of that which is the peculiar excellence and in some degree, the weakness of the French character, who does not know how mere a trifle with them is domestic faction, or even domestic happiness and freedom, in comparison with the public greatness and foreign renown of their country.--And 2dly, he is still more ignorant of the bent of men's passions and prejudices, if he does not know that the present bias of the disaffected in France is not towards an Emperor but a Republic.The king, then, may with perfect safety, raise an army to any amount in a popular cause, and he may send this army where he will, without the least apprehension that a boy bred up in Austria will ever again become the favourite of the French people and soldiery.
The last objection, and, we will own, by far the most plausible, is that, though the actual strength of Russia may not greatly exceed that proportion which is desirable as a counterpoise to France, yet, from the principles of improvement and increase which are at. work in her provinces, and which have a wider field for their development than any other country can shew, except, perhaps, America,—this proportion must soon be lost between her and regions which, like France and Austria, are already densely peopled, and whose internal wealth and external commerce must have nearly reached their limit. This is true, and this is what we meant by our admission that the empire of the Czars had not yet attained the eminence to which it is destined. It is not merely probable, it is little less certain than a law of nature, that a few generations more will see the governments of Tobolsk and Irkutsk as well peopled and cultivated as the present governments of Moscow and Kalouga; that Otchotsk will be the seat of an extensive and valuable commerce; that the language of Russia will be spoken along the whole coast of north-west Ainerica ; that Owhyhee will be her Ceylon, and the Japanese islands her Hindustan. But, while we foresee all this, we, foresee it without alarm or envy, since we behold in her the probable instrument of disseminating Christianity and science through regions the farthest removed from their ordinary direction, and since we are convinced that her advances in commerce and colonization are events of all others, the most favourable to the independence of Europe.
We do not inean that this end is to be immediately obtained by the revolt of her colonies. This is an event, indeed, which must in the course of things at length take place, but we wish well enough both to Russia and her colonies to desire that it may be yet
far distant. But long before that time arrives, the more the cha-
In the mean time, however, (for a change like this is not the
supplied by a connexion with the little kingdom of the Netherlands and the permission to take shelter in the Texel or the Scheldt. It is with the lords of the Cape and of New South Wales, with a great nation, with an enormous navy and a vast maritime population that Russia must labour to cement her union; and, so long as that union remains, all Europe is in a string between us.
Nor is it in Europe only that the prosperity of Russia is likely to be thus advantageous to the British monarchy. There is a nation without the limits of Europe, to whom, for the sake of our kindred race and common language, we would gladly wish prosperity; but whose hope of elevation is built on our expected fall
, and who even now do not affect to conceal the bitterness of their hatred towards the land of their progenitors. Already we hear the Americans boasting that the whole continent must be their own, that the Atlantic and the Pacific are alike to wash their empire, and that it depends on their charity what share in either ocean they may allow to our vessels.They' unroll their map,' and ' point out the distance between Niagara and the Columbia.”—Let them look to this last point well! They will find in that neighbourhood a different race from the unfortunate Indians whom it is the system of their government to treat with uniform harshness. They will find certain bearded men with green jackets and bayonets, whose flag already flies triumphant over the coast from California to the Straits of Anian,—who have the faculty, wherever they advance, of conciliating and even civilizing the native tribes to a degree which no other nation has attempted,--and whose frontier is more likely to meet theirs in Louisiana, than theirs is to extend to the Pacific.
These are not very distant expectations, and they are unquestionably not unfavourable to England. It only remains to give the moral to our prophecy,—and in this we are happy, though on very different grounds, and in terms not quite the same, to agree with Sir Robert Wilson.-He professes, as we have seen, to dissuade us from resisting Russia.-We see no necessity to resist, but we ernestly deprecate all yielding to vain alarms or popular clamour, which might induce us to injure or offend her. Let us not, on the mere possibility that she may one day become too powerful, dissolve our union with an ancient ally, from whose greatness we now derive and are likely to derive increasing benefits.-Let not the two nations whose languages (it is no vain boast,) are one day to divide the world, interfere without necessity in each other's harvests,--but let the rivalry between them be which shall govern best, and be the instrument of most improvement to the goodly fields which Providence has entrusted to their care!
VOL. XIX. NO, XXXVII.
Art. VI.—Travels in Egypt, Nubia, Holy Land, Mount Liba
non, and Cyprus, in the Year 1814. By Henry Light, Captain
in the Royal Artillery. 4to. London. 1818. THE invasion of Egypt by the army under Buonaparte, and the
consequences attending it, have made that country much more accessible than at any period before that event; and as far as the present pasha's authority extends, an Englishman may now travel without difficulty and without danger,--not always indeed secure from the impositions or the insults of its heterogeneous inhabitants ---yet less liable to either, perhaps, than in any other country where Mahomedanism is the prevailing religion. In the days of Pococke and Norden a journey up the Nile was a serious and hazardous undertaking, whereas now, an English officer, with a few months' leave of absence, thinks he cannot pass them more pleasantly than by taking a trip to the farthest confines of Nubia, to snatch a glance at the
wonderful remains of antiquity, or to sketch with a rapid pencil the ruins of the most stupendous and magnificent temples in the world. In his progress upwards as far as the northern limits of Ethiopia, by the aid of Pococke, of Denon, and of Hamilton, he knows the spot on which he is to look for the tombs and the temples, the pillars, the pyramids, and the colossal statues of Egypt, almost with as much precision as he knows the situation, from his road-book, of a gentleman's seat in England. But beyond Philæ he has no such sure guide. Norden, it is true, has given a general description of Nubia as high as Deir, and Legh a somewhat more particular one as far as Ibrîm : but a detailed account of this valley of the Nile is still wanting,--a desideratum however, which, we are given to understand, will shortly be supplied by the journals of the late intelligent and indefatigable traveller Mr. Burckhardt, now preparing for publication.
Captain Light, of the Royal Artillery, is one of those officers who made a hurried journey up the Nile as far as Ibrîm, the point which terminated also the travels of Mr. Legh. His progress was as rapid as the navigation of the Nile would admit; bis object being to get as high up as practicable before the hot weather set in, and to reserve for examination, and for the exercise of his pencil, the ancient remains of cities, temples, catacombs and colossal statues, on his return. Accordingly on his journey downwards he visited most of those celebrated spots where the vast remains of antiquity invite the attention of the passing traveller, and continued at each of them a sufficient length of time to enable him to bring away, if we may judge froin the specimens in bis book, a very interesting port-folio of accurate and well-executed drawings. We cannot, however, say much for the prints, which are ineant to
decorate as well as to elucidate his book; they are engraved in a coarse and heavy style, very unworthy of their excellent originals. At the same time it may be admitted that they give the reader a more just conception of the objects represented, than could be collected from any verbal description however minute. In fact, the most detailed description of architectural ruins must fail to convey to the mind so clear and correct an impression, as the graphical representation of the objects themselves does to the eye; and the more laboured the attempt to describe in words the position, the arrangement, the form and magnitude, of the several parts, the more the picture becomes confused, and the less likely to answer the purpose.
In this view, and in this only, would we venture to pronounce Captain Light's volume a valuable addition to the works already published on Egypt and Nubia. Having travelled at no great distance of time from Mr. Legh, and gone over the same ground, he comes rather at a disadvantage just after the journal of that gentleman has appeared before the public. Not that Mr. Legh filled up the measure of information regarding Egypt or Nubia; far from it; but that the account of his travels, notwithstanding its imperfections, abated the edge of curiosity. Captain Light however labours under a still greater disadvantage, of his own creating -he had already communicated the prominent features of his remarks on Nubia to Mr. Walpole, who has printed them in his • Memoirs relating to European and Asiatic Turkey,' to neither of which, by the way, has this part of Captain Light's journal, which is purely African, any relation. We conceive too that in his Syrian expedition the pencil of Captain Light will be found his best auxiliary. Indeed what could be said in a hurried journey through a country already traversed by Pococke and Maundrel, in addition to what had been told by those observant and intelligent travellers, whose facts and observations have been so largely amplified by another traveller of more modern date?
That which was most desirable in Nubia still remains a desideratum. Beyond Philæ, whose latitude and longitude were determined by Nouet, there is not a single spot of which the latitude has been ascertained; the geography therefore of the valley of the Nile to the southward of Philæ must necessarily be defective. Another point in which we are deficient is that of its natural history—the plants, and animals—the geological features, and mineral products-the probable elevation of the Nile above the level of the sea at the second cataract—these and other objects of physical research have been culpably neglected by former travellers, and have not in the slightest degree engaged the attention of Captain Light. In truth, we suspect that he never meant to publish the remarks committed