Page images

gation to get out of my bed to moleft him; only see that he carries nothing off with him.”

[merged small][ocr errors]

The Rais now seemed to be exceedingly offended, and said, for his part, he did not care for his life more than any other man on board ; if it was not from fear of a gale of wind, he might ride on the bowsprit and be dn’d; but that he had always heard learned people could speak to ghosts.

6. Will you be so good, Rais (replied our traveller) to step forward, and tell him that I am going to drink coffee, and should be glad if he would walk into the cabin, and say any thing he has to communicate to me, if he is a Christian, and if not to Mahomet Gibberti." Thé Rais went out, but, as Mr. Bruce's servant told him, he would neither go himself, nor could get any person to go to the ghost fór him. However, here the mátter ended for the present. He w

was indeed feen again sometime afterwards, and was said to have robbed several of the passengers of part of their property. Mr. Bruce, however found out that it was not the ghost, but some of the sailors who were the thieves, and, after this détection, the ghost was never more heard of. 2. 1.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

On the 11th, about seven in the evening, they ftruck upon a reef of coral rocks. Arabs are cowards in all sudden dangers; for they consider every accident as 'the will of Providence, and therefore not to be avoided. The Arab sailors were for inimediately taking to the boat; while, the Abysfinians were for cutting up the planks and wood of the inside of the vessel, and making her a raft. A violent difpute ensued, and after that a battle, when night overtook them still fast upon the rock. The Rais and Yaline,'However, calmed the riot, when Mr. Bruce 'begged the passengers would hear him. “ You all know (faid he) or should know that the boat is mine ; 'as I bought it with my money, for the fafety and accommodation of myself and servants ; you know likewise that I and my men are all well armed, while you are naked ; therefore do not imagine that we will suffer any of you to enter that boat, and fave your lives, at the expense of ours. On this vessel of the Rais is your dependence, in it you are to be saved or to perish; therefore all hands to work, and get the


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

vessel off, while it is calm ; if she had been materially damag. ed, she had been sunk before now." They all seemed on this to take courage, and said they hoped he would not leave them. He told them if they would be men, he would not leave them while there was a bit of the vessel together.

The boat was immediately launched, and one of Mr. Bruce's servants, the Rais and two sailors, were put on board, They were foon upon the bank, where the two failors got out, who cut their feet at first upon the white coral, but afterwards got firmer footing. They atteinpted to push the lip backwards, but she would not move. Poles and handspikes were tried in order to stir her, but these were not long enough. In a word, there was no appearance of getting her off before morning, when they knew the wind would rife, and it was to be feared she would then be dashed, to pieces. Other efforts were then used, and a great cry, was then fet up that she began to move. A little after, a gentle wind just macle itself felt fronı the east, and the cry from the Rais was, “ hoist the fore-fail, and put it a back.” This being immediately done, and a gentle breeze filling the fore-lail at the time they all pushed, and the veffel Nid gently off, free from the shoal. Mr. Bruce did not partake of the joy fo suddenly as the others did. He had al. ways some fears a plank might have been started; but they faw the advantage of a vessel being fewed, rather than nailed together, as she not only was unhurt, but made very little water.

On the 19th of September, at five in the afternoon, they came to an anchor in the harbour of Masuah, having been seventeen days on their passage, including the day they first went on board, though this voyage, with a favourable wind, is generally made in three days, it often has, indeed, been failed in less. Yet this must not be wholly attributed to the weather, as they spent much time in furveying the islands,

[merged small][ocr errors]







[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to every

THOEVER peruses the history of the most ancient na

tions, will find the orign of wealth and power to have arisen in the east, and to have gradually advanced westward, spreading itself at the same time north and south. They will find the riches and population of those nations decay in proportion as this trade forsakes them ; which cannot but suggest

sensible being, this certain truth, that God makes use of the smallest means and causes to operate the greatest and most powerful effects. Sesoft is passed with a fleet of large Tips from the Arabian Gulf into the Indian Ocean; he subdued part of India, and opened to Egypt the commerce of that country by sea. It would appear he revived, rather than first discovered, this way of carrying on the trade to the East Indies, which, though it was at times intermitted, was, nevertheless, perpetually kept up by the trading nations themselves, from the ports of India and Africa, and on the Red Sea from Edom.


The pilots of Sesostris were acquainted with the phænomena of the trade winds and monsoons. History, says further of Sefoftris, that the Egyptians considered him as their greatest benefactor, for having laid open to them the trade both of India and Arabia, for having overturned the dominion of the Shepherd kings; and, lastly, for having restored to the Egyptian individuals each their own lands, which had been wrested from them by the violent lands of the Ethiopian Shepherds, during the first usurpation of these princes. In memory of his having happily accomplished these events, Sefoftris is said to have built a ship of cedar of a hundred and twenty yards in length, the outside of which he covered with plates of gold, and the inside with plates of silver, and this he dedicated in the temple to Isis.

The inhabitants of the peninsula of India laboured under many disadvantages in point of climate. The high and wholefoine part of the country was covered with barren and rug, ged mountains ; and, at different times of the year, violent rains fell in large currents down the fides of these, which overflowed all the fertile land below; and these rains were no sooner over, than they were succeeded by a scorching fun, the effect of which upon the human body was to render it feeble, enervated, and incapable of the efforts necessary for agriculture. In this flat country, large 'rivers, that scarce had declivity enough to run, crept fowly along, through meadows of fat black earth, stagnating in many places as they went, rolling an abundance of decayed vegetables, and filling the whole air with exhalations of the most corrupt and putrid kind. Yet they had plenty of clothing adapted by Providence to their climate ; spices to preserve their health ; and every tree without culture produced them fruit of the most excellent kind ; every tree afforded thein shade, under which they could pass their lives delightfully in a calm and rational enjoymient, by the gentle exercise of weaving, at once providing for the health of their bodies, the necessities of their families, and the riches of their country. But however plentifully their spices grew, in whatever quantity the Indians consumed them, and however generally they wore their own manufactures, the superabundance of both was such, as nat


[ocr errors]

rally led them to look out for articles against which they Inight barter their superfluities.,

The filk and cotton of India were white and colourless, liable to foil, and without any variety ; but Arabia produced gums and dyes of various colours, which were highly agrecable to the taste of the Afiatics. The basis of trade, between India and Arabia, was thus laid from the beginning by the land of Providence. The wants and necessities of the one found a supply, or balance from the other.

[ocr errors]

In India they fixed on gold and silver as proper returns for their manufactures and produce. It is not easy to say, whether it was from their hardness or beauty, or what other rea. (on governed the mind of man in making this saudard of bar. ter. The history of the particular transactions of those times is lost, if indeed there ever was such history, and, therefore, all further inquiries are in vain.

Mr. Bruce next proceeds to speak of the orign of characters or letters. He Tays, but two original characters obtained in Egypt. The first was the Geez, the second the Saitíc, and both these were the oldeft characters in the world, and both derived from hieroglyphics.

Thebes was built by a colony of Ethiopians from Sire, the city of Seir, or the Dog Star. Diodorus Siculus says, that the Greeks, by putting O before Siris, had made the word unintelligible to the Egyptians: Siris, then, was Osiris ; but he was nut the Sun, no more than he was Abraham, nor was he a real personage. He was Syrius, or the dog star, designed under the figure of a dog, because of the warning he gave to Atbara, where the first observations were made at his disengaging himself from the rays of the sun, so as to bę vilible to the naked eye. His first appearance, was figuratively compared to the barking of a dog, by, the warning it gave to prepare for the approaching inundation. Mr. Bruce believes, therefore, this was the first hieroglyphic; and that Isis, Ofris, and Tot, were all after inventions relating to it, It is not to be doubted, that hieroglyphics, but not astronomy, were invented at Thebes, where the theory of the dog.ftar was particularly investigated, because connected with their rural year:


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »