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If any such allegation be produced against us, we shall attribute it to an intemperate extension of those principles by the accuser, because we know that it cannot be founded on any dereliction on our part.
A correspondent who styles limself · A Hater of Tirbes, bet a Friend to Justice,' desires us to re-consider a doubt which we expressed in our Number for February last, p. 208, respecting the equity of allou ing a seventh part of the land of a country, for the maintenance of its clergy. We thank him for the hints which he has suggested : but, after having weighed them in our mind, the doubt of the wisdom and equity of such a measure still remains. We questioned the po. licy of so large a quantity being assigned to the clerical order, since it is not numerous ; and which land, by such an assignment, must remain in mortmain. It is true that all the tithes are not in the hands of the clergy: but, in those parishes in which they are the property of the clerical incumbent he must, in case of land being so given in lieu of tithes, possess a Seventh of the whole parish. Some of the questions proposed to us do not apply to the subject. In the supposed plan of a new arrangement, the claims of the clergy, and the actual state of the country, should be fairly considered together; and if ever the peculiar circumstances attending tithe property should enforce an alteration, there is no danger (except in the paroxisms of a revo. lution) that the interest of the established ministers of religion would be either disregarded for injured
We must request V. V. of Kidderminster to excuse our not solving his queries. The task would be somewhat invidious, and is wholly out of our proper line of duty.
Mr. Nisbett's work was never seen by us till last August. He will find an account of it in the present Review.
The letter signed E. S., and that which is dated from Kensington, shall have consideration.
Dr. Montucci is informed that we have not yet reviewed the work concerning which he writes.
We are sorry to find a Lady among those who occasionally accuse us of tardyness : but our fair Correspondent at Rochester must grant a little more indulgence to the slow motions of old men.
We had written a note in reply to 'd Constant Reader,' bub bave mislaid both that and his letter.
Errors in this ha
For A PRIL, 1802. •.
A&t. I. : Abdollatiphi Historia Ægypti Compendium, Arabice et Latine.
Partim ipse vertil, partim a Pocockio versum edendum curavit, notisque illustravit, J. White, S.T.P. Eccles. Glocestriensis Prebendarius, et Ling. Arab. in Academia Oxoniensi Professor. 4to. il. 11s. 6d. White, &c. 1800. In an elegant and well-written preface, the editor of this
work judiciously remarks that, though the learned world has long possessed not only those descriptions of the antiquities of Egypt which Herodotus, Strabo, and Pliny bequeathed to posterity, but also much valuable and accurate information accumulated by the industry of modern travellers; yet an account of the condition of Egypt during the middle ages (as they are called) was an important link in the chain, the want of which was universally felt and deplored, and was a desideratum which could be supplied only from the stores of Oriental Literature. In that season of darkness and ignorance, in which no other motives than a pilgrimage or a crusade were sufficiently powerful to induce an European to explore the regions of the East, Abdollatiph visited Egypt; with advantages which, without excepting even the last four or five eventful years, most undoubtedly no European traveller at any period ever enjoyed. . Of the life of Abdollatiph, the materials of which the present editor has collected chiefly from Osaiba, an eminent Ara. bian biographer, the following are the most interesting particulars. He was born at Bagdad, in the 557th year of the Hejira, and in the 116ist of the Christian era. Having been educated with the greatest care by his father, who was himself a man of learning, and resided in a capital which abounded with the best opportunities of instruction, he distinguished þimself by an early proficiency, not only in rhetoric, history, and poetry, but also in the more severe studies of Mohammedan theology. To the acquirement of medical knowlege he applied with especial diligence ; and it was chiefly with this view VOL. XXXVII.
that that he left Bagdad, in his 28th year, in order to visit other countries. At Mosul, in Mesopotamia, whither he first directed his course, he found the attention of the students entirciy confined to the chemistry of that day, with which he was already sufficiently acquainted. He therefore removed to Damascus, where the grammarian Al Kindi then enjoyed the highest reputation ; and with him Abdollatiph is said to have engaged in a controversy on some subjects of grammar and philology, which was ably conducted on both sides, but terminated in favour of our author.
At this time, Egypt had yielded to the arms of Saladin, who was marching against Palestine for the purpose of wresting that country from the hands of the Christians : yet towards Egypt, Abdollatiph was irresistibly impelled by that literary curiosity which so strongly marked his character. To the successful prosecution of this journey, the consent and patronage of the Sultan were indispensably necessary : but when the Arabian physician arrived at the camp near Acca *, to solicit this powerful protection, he found the Saracens bewailing a defeat which they had recently experienced ;-a defeat so honourable to the skill and valour of our English Richard, that nothing less than the late matchless defence of this fortress, by a handful of British seamen and marines, could have des tracted from its importance, or eclipsed its glory. Hence the lofty spirit of the Sultan was plunged into a morbid melancholy, which excluded the traveller from his presence: but the favours, which he received, evinced the munificence of Saladin; and he persisted in his design of exploring the wonders of Egypt. One strong inducement, which influenced him on this occasion, was the iastruction which he hoped to derive from the society of the celebrated Maimonirles; and by Al Kadi Al Tadel, who had earnestly but unavailingly solicited him to return to Damascus, he was furnished with such recommendations as procured for him the most flattering recep. tion at Cairo. His talents, and his virtues, confirmed and increased the kindness with which he was welcomed on his first arrival; and the Egyptians of the highest rank continued to vie with each other in cultivating his friendship. .
From this intercourse, however, with the great and the learned, Abdollatiph withdrew, in order to present himself before the Sultan; who, having concluded a truce with the Franks, theu resided in the Holy City.
Here he was received by Saladin with everycxpression of esteem for his character and attainments. To a dignified politeness, • The antient Ptolemais, and the modera Acre.
and condescending freedom, this Prince is said to have added a munificent liberality in the patronage of science and of art ; and of this fact, indeed, we have a laudable instance in the pension which he granted to Abdollatiph, and which amounted io 30 dinars per month. After the death of the Sultan, this sum was raised by his sous to 100 dinars, till the unnatural ambition of their uncle forced them from the throne of Egypt and of Syria ; and thus was our traveller compelled to resort again to Damascus, after a short abode at Jerusalem : where his oral lectures, and his written treatises, were equally the objects of general admiration. : · In the capital of Syria, his pursuits were of the same nature, and attended with similar success. His practice as a physician was extensive. To the Students in the College of Al Aziz, he freely communicated the ample stores of his cultivated mind ; and in the works which he composed on the principles of medicine, are said to have been displayed that depth of research and that felicity of illustration, which are the rare effects of genius combined with diligence, judgment, and erudition. · Such is the testimony given to the exertions of our author ; and it is added that they were rewarded at Damascus not with fame alone, but also with riches. Yet neither the applause of the wise nor the patronage of the wealthy had power to detain him, when other scenes or other society promised to gratify his curiosity, or to increase his knowlege. On this account, probably, he left Damascus, and, after having visited Aleppo, resided several years in Greece. With the same view he travelled through Syria, Armenia, and Asia Minor, still adding to the number of his works; many of which he dedicated to the Princes whose courts he visited, or whose subjects he laboured to instruct.
After having thus enriched his own mind, and contributed 80 successfully to the improvement of others, sentiments of sincere though mistaken devotion induced him to undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca. In the mean time, however, he seems to have experienced the full force of that desire, which in the native of Switzerland has often been known to supersede every other,
the desire of once more beholding the place which gave him birth. He wished also to present the fruits of his travels, and of his studies, to the Khalif Al Mostanser Billah ; and doubtless he already anticipated the well-earned praise with which they would be received. He therefore eagerly journeyed towards Bagdad, whose glittering domes and lofty minarets he must have viewed again, after so long an absence, with emotions of tender exultation :- but what are the boasts and the hopes of man? Scarcely had he reached his native city, when
he was stiddenly summoned to "s that bourne from which no traveller returns." He died in his 63d year, A.D. 1223.
Out of the long list of one hundred and fifty treatises, on various subjects of medicine, of natural philosophy, and of polite literature, ascribed to Abdollariph by his Arabian biographer, one only, as far as we know, is to be found in the libraries of Europe.- Among his other works, which have thus perished by the ravages of time and the carelessness of their owners, or which still lie buried in obscurity in the repositories of the East, one of the most important, perhaps, is that larger history of Egypt, which he divided into thirteen sections, or parts; and which contained not only the result of his own) personal observations on those wonders both of nature and of art with which this country abounds, but also the substance of all that he had collected from books, from tradition, or from conversation, on this curious subject. To this larger collection, Abdollatiph himself frequently refers, under the title of Şil wlühl Al-kitüb Al-kabir, or the great Book : and such was his regard to accuracy, and so strict his attachment to truth, that in this variety of matter, derived from different sources, he thought it right scrupulously to distinguish between that part of his history which was founded on his own observation, and that which he had adopted from written accounts, or from the oral reports of others. Of the thirteen sections into which his book was divided, eleven were filled with remarks of this latter kind; while the other two were exclusively employed in the narration of those facts and occur. rences of which he had been himself an eye-witness, or in the description of those curiosities, both natural and artificial, which had been subjected to his own immediate inspection. These two sections he afterward formed into a distinct and separate work, with the view of presenting it to the Khalif Naser Ledin-illah ; in order, as he himself expressly declared, to convey to him a more perfect knowlege of that interesting portion of his dominions, and of the real state of its inhabitants. -This circumstance, we must observe, stamps a peculiar character of authenticity on the compendium before us; since it is difficult to conceive what motives could have induced, or what audacity could have emboldened, Abdollariph to attempt to mislead his sovereign by false representations of facts, which must necessarily have been exposed to the risk of direct and immediate refutation. The possession, therefore, of his miell wlühl Al-kitáb Al-sagir, his little Book, as he calls it by way of contradistinction to the other; or, as he sometimes