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the neighbourhood of Afrouan, our author exhausted fell into a stupor, but he was brought to the Aga and obtained some refreshment: he reached Cairo, and embarked at Alexandria in a French vesel for Marseilles, having returned to the wildernels and recovered his baggage uninjured; for in the desert, we may repeat there awful words, is neither worm nor ny, nor any thing that has the breath of life.
The mean height of the barometer in Abylinia is about 21.5 inches; its range during fixteen months scarcely more than an ioch, and its changes neither fudden nor frequent. The range of the thermometer is from 85 to 54; more commenly from ho to 70. The hottest months are February, March, and April; the coldest July, Auguft, and September, chiefly froin the rains. The tropical sun is usually tenpered by clouds. The quantity of rain is not measured.
The last vnlume is on the Natural History of Abylinia; but before we engage with our author's descriptions of natu. ral objects, as we have followed him with care in this dangerous route, we may ftop a little and examine Mr. Bruce's . merits as a traveller, an antiquary, and a philosopher : it is now time to enquire how far his descriptions may be credited, or how far our labours have been misapplied.
Mr. Bruce's credit has more than once been questioned; and these travels have been openly called the fictions of a lively imagination, a tale built on report, a building raised on the foundation of sume neglected publications, and accounts collected at Alexandria, Cairo, and Algiers. Those who dared not proceed so far, have attacked his style, his rea. soning, and his opinions, and even doubred whether he has yet seen the head of the Nile, the object of his travels and the subject of his boalt. With the work in our hands we have pa
ciently examined every objection, we have followed some dif· pared passages which our own observation has pointed out,
and with every publication relating to Abyssinia before us, we have examined the whole question. It is needless to be minute on every particular passage; we Mall prefer giving the result of our enquiries.
That many of the events and observations in the history of Mr. Bruce's travels are new and surprising, we need not wonder at. He travelled in an almost undiscovered country, in a country from whence few have returred, and still fewer have vilted with enlarged views, with minds capable of extensive observation, and advantages which in different ways our prefene traveller had obtained, and availed himself of with success. It remains then to examine, whether any of these surpriling events are inconsistent with the operations of nature, or the narratives of other travellers; we cannot discover any
inconsistencies or contradictions of either kind; and we have little hesitation in saying that, in general, this work is entitled to credit and applause. It contains a particular account of countries little known, of manners of life and a state of society of which we have few examples, and of natural phænomena of which there has scarcely hitherto been a competent witness.
That Mr. Bruce bas really seen the head of the Nile may flill admit of some doubts. In this respect too, we shall give in a comprehensive manner the result of many tedious invertigations. It is evident that the Nile must have, in one sense, many heads. Streams from many sources must unite to form só vaft, so fingular a river; and custom, or in this instance more probably, superstition, muft determine which is really the fountain. It is well known that the reputed source either of the Rhone or Danube is not that of the largest stream which contributes to form the river. We have before observed, that Paez, if he had not seen the head of the Nile, received probably information from those who had been on the spot ; for his descriptions are too particular to have been derived from traditionary information, and too incorrect to have been the immediate result of observation. From his account, and the more general description of the other Jesuits, it is evident that one fjot was considered as the source of this river, and this spot was defcribed by each with sufficient minuteness to enable us to ascertain that they meant the same. We have, therefore, the traditionary information, or the more particolar description of different æras and different persons to ascertain the repu!ed source, and this fource Mr. Bruce has certainly seen; confirming the other accounts by actual observa. tion of the various fuperilitious of an early uncultivated age; the veneration of this wonderful river at its genuine unpolluted fountains.--D'Anville has rendered it highly probable, that another itream is added to the Nile from a source farther to the weit; but we do not perceive that this takes from the honour of our author's labours.
Among the merits of Mr. Bruce's work, we think the style ought to be mentioned, though it has been common to decry it, and to give the advantage to the affectedly sentimental productions of some authors of the present æra. To us it appears to be bold, manly, and vigorous; like the sturdy peasant, with some native roughness, fome uncouth irregularities, it pleases by its masculine energy, expressive boldness, and original force.—The maps and other illustrations, though not without faults and errors, are very useful and interesting.
We muit, however, turn to the other side of the picture, and point out the imperfections of our author, and it will be acknowledged that his merits must be grat to give the balance
to his fide under the load of so many faults. The narrative, it may be observed, is sometimes unreasonably diffuse, and the work is greatly enlarged by repetitions, by opinions being see parated from the arguments deit ned to support them, and by! illustrations at a distance from the objects they are designed to explain. The Abyssinian annals, a narrative of succeflive' treasons, treacheries, fratagems, depositions, and murder; relations which concern a peaple with whom we are no! then acquainted, and whole manners have not been described, are tedious and uninteresting, or disgaiting. If they had been much reduced, they would have introduced us advantageously to those whose adventures were afterwards pursued, and might have contained every palage which is really useful, or necersary to the understanding of the future narrative. .
The various conversations with the Arabs, though always highly interesting, seem to us also to militate against the great accuracy and fidelity of which our author boalls. Every language and every dialeâ seems to be the same; the most complex ideas, the inoll minute difiinctions, seem to be conveyed in each, with scarcely an instance of either being misunderstood. This may arise from the universality of the Arabic and the peculiar nature of that language ; but we own it requires an explanation from our author.
The places allo, which we have praised in the general, and the maps, which, on the whole, greatly illustrate the description, require some reprehenfion. Those which are designed as representations of the paintings in the Thebaid, differ greatly from the descriptions; and the tracks on the maps, and the latitudes, are not always those pointed out in the narrative. Mr. Bruce ought also to hare told us, that the rout of Solomon's ships to Tarfish has already been explained; and that the particulars of the description, owing to the variation of the trade-winds, are only his own. There are some similar. instances of apparent ditingenuity, but which we cannot con. sider as faults, unless we were certain that Mr. Bruce was acquainted with all the works of his predecesors. A few ere , rors of quotation and some miltakes ol palages in ancient au.' thors, we ihould have particularly pointed out if our limits would have allowed us to examine his difquifitions with more attention.
On the whole, we have been highly gratified in the perusal of this author's travels, and we have endeavoured to convey the pleasure and the instruction to our readers, in a series of extensive articles. It remains to examine our author's merit as a natural historian; but we would only beg leave to hint, before we leave the narrative, that Mr. Bruce, if he meant to deceive, has been loo minute; if he meant to mislead, he has been too exact in his descriptions of places, of cbjects, and of himself. (To be continued.)
· Adriano :
Adriano ; or, the First of June, a Poem. By the Aur bor of the
Village Curate. Svo. 25. 6d. Jewed. Johnson. of the Village Curate we spoke with approbation in our
LXVIIth volume, p. 431. nor can we withold it, con litent with justice, from many passages in the present work; of which, confidered as a whole, we cannot speak so highly as we would with. The fame beauties and characteristic features which marked the former poem, may be traced in this : the same faults are likewise too obvious. The soil, as we before observed, appears to be sufficiently fertile and luxuriant, but the pruning-hook and weeding-iron, which we then recommended, have not been sufficiently employed.
The story is of the familiar and domestic kind, yet the inci. dents are not always attended with a fufficient degree of proba. bility; and some of them, intended evidently to be extremely serious and pathetic, have rather a ludicrous effect: of which, our following quotation may be considered as an instance. A. young man, perceiving a pretty girl asleep under 'a poplar's thade,' attempts some rudeness, for which he is deservedly thrashed by a lover of her's, who, some hours before, had gone 'on a morning's cruise for fish ;' and was supposed to have been lost in a storm that immediately succeeded. He give: an account of his escape, and exchanging, with a fisherman, his cloaths
• All drinping wet. Soon as the tempest ceas'd
Beheld the dev'lish antic at his wiles.' We know not who is meant above by “thy friend.' No one was present at the scene but the lady and the two pugilifts. Ronsart, who attempts violence, and then defends it by an infamous falfhood, is, very improperly, soon afterwards consoled by Adriano, who was acquainted with the whole transaction, and addressed with the appellation of boreft youth.'
A few passages occur that cannot well be reconciled to grammatical construction.
- They faw
With and who are improperly omitted, or instead of the verbs, the participles infolding and regarding should have been substituted. The following lines are so aukwardly interwoven, that we know not how to reconcile them to any grammatical ar. rangement.
“With hiin I left my steed, to the white ahore
• Each in his chaise with looks of gladness fat :
One horse drove each, another led behind.'
. Who fleds another's blood, is guilty murder;
But by his blood who shed it.”
Gave him good advice