« AnteriorContinuar »
stiff and disproportioned forms of the her attending beau, What a dreadfully grotesque Egyptian female figures. shocking place it is ! and that there
“A party of school boys were is not a single person of fashion there, amusing themselves by discovering is elbowed by a fat red-faced woman, likenesses to each other in the mon
who looks like the mistress of a ginstrous deities displayed on the wall; shop, and who declares to her spouse and a governess was answering the in- that She would give a shilling for a glass quiries of her young pupils, If there of aniseed; for looking at them there ever existed men with lion's, apes', and mummies made her feel so queerish. foxes' heads ?' by sententiously reading
“ An old lady, and her two grandextracts from Belzoni's Description, daughters, are examining the Pyramid; not a word of which the little innocents the old lady has got on a pair of speccould understand. One old lady re- tacles, and is, with evident labour, enmarked, that · The Tomb was not at deavouring to decypher a page of the all alarming, when people got used to Description ; but unfortunately she it;' and another said it made her mel has got a wrong page, and having puzancholy, by reminding her of the death zled herself for some time, at last gives of her dear first husband, the worthy up the task in despair ; and in answer Alderman, to whose memory sne naŭ to one of the children's questions of erected a very genteel one. Two Grand-mamma, what is a Pyramid?' vulgar-looking old men, declared their the good old lady replies, Why, a conviction that it was all a hum, for Pyramid, my dear, is a pretty ornament had there been such a place, Lord Nel for the centre of a table, such as papa son would have said summut about it sometimes has instead of an epergne." in his despatches;' and another person “A simple-looking country girl is of the same class said, that for his remarking to her companion, that. This part he did not like foreigners; and is not a bit like a tomb;' for that she why did no Englishman ever find out bad seen many, but they were all quite this here place ? he should not wonder different, being small and much of the if, in the end, Mr. Belzoni, or whatever shape of a large trunk, and all has his name is, was found out to be like · Here lies the body,' or some such that Baron who wrote so many fibs.thing on them, with cross bones, death's The first speaker observed, that • Any heads, and hour glasses.' man, who would go for to say, as how 6 Two ladies of fashion now enter, men had apes' faces (though his own attended by two Exquisites or Dandies bore a striking likeness to one) would of the first class, and their exclamations say any thing.'
of What an odd place ! O dear, “A gentleman who appeared to be a how disagreeable the smell is !! attract tutor, and two young lads, were atten- the notice of the fine lady before mentively examining the model, and com- tioned, who has been engaged in a flirparing it with Belzoni's Narrative ; tation with her beau for the last half and the questions they asked, and the hour; they now recognise each other, observations which they made, shewed and the languid ' How d'ye do? I'm a spirit of inquiry and intelligence delighted to see you; bow very funny pleasing to witness ; while his answers that we should meet in the tomb ! are full of good sense and information, uttered at once by all three : and one marked how well qualified he was tó of the Exquisites, who appears to be convev instruction.
of the sentimental cast, takes this op“The tomb levels all distinctions,' tunity of lisping out, that. The presthough a trite observation, is one the ence of such divinities converts the truth of which has never been doubted; tomb into a heaven." A vulgar-lookand, if it were, a visit to that of Psam- ing man, who has been listening to mis would convince the most incredu- their chit-chat, and eyeing them with lous; for here persons of all ranks meet, derision, whispers, but in audible acand jostle each other with impunity. cents,to his wife,a pretty modest looking The fine lady, who holds her vinai- woman, . My eye! did you hear what grette to her nostrils, and remarks to that there young pale-faced chap said
to them there painted women, about For no fine woman ever looks half so going to heaven ?- They don't seem well, as when she wears diamonds and to have any more chance of that sort other valuable ornaments.'" of place than they have thoughts of it just now. The wife gives him an im- their mother, a very showy dressed
“ Some young people, attended by ploring look to be quiet, and whispers, that she believes the ladies are no bet. woman, with many indications of vulter than they should be, by their bold before the ruins of the Temple of Er
garity in her appearance, now stopped looks, and loud speaking, and urges ments ;' and one of the children asked him to go to the other side.” « The party of fashionables now apo was meant to represent.'- The mam
her, what place the water before them proached, and one of the ladies exclaimed, Do pray let us leave this
tiresome Red Sea, or some such place, but re
ma replied, she, “believed it was the stupid place, where there is not a sin- commended them not to ask questions, gle thing to be seen worth looking at, and where the company is so intolera
as it would lead people to think them bly vulgar. I really fancied it was a
ignorant. This sapient answer seemed fashionable morning lounge, where one
very unsatisfactory to the children, would meet every soul worth meeting
who, having expressed their annoyance, in town, for, as to looking at a set of
were promised a copy of the DescripEgyptian frights, it never entered into tion, provided they did not look at it my head; I have not heard of Egypt
until they got home, as mamma was in
a hurry. since my governess used to bore me about it when I was learning geogra
« A lady next us, enquired' if Egypt phy; and as to tombs and pyramids, was near Switzerland ?' and was inI have a perfect horror of them. An- fornied by her friend that it was near other of the ladies observed, that she Venice.'—The ignorance displayed by
hated every thing Egyptian ever since the greater part of the visitors of the she had heard of the plagues. And the Tomb, on historical, geographical, and third begged, that in decrying Egypt chronological points, was truly surprisand its productions, they would excepting, and the perfect apathy evinced, Egyptian pebbles, which were beauti- was even more so. It was plain that ful, and took an exquisite polish.'
they came to the Tomb merely to pass 6. Oh!
do look at the female away an hour, or in the expectation of ornaments,' exclaimed one of the la- meeting their acquaintances; but as to dies; • did you ever see such horrid feeling any interest in the scene before things ? Only fancy any woman of them, or drawing any moral inference taste wearing them : well, I declare from it, they seemed as little inclined, those same Egyptians must have been as if they had been in the round room dreadfully vulgar, and the women must of the Opera House on a crowded have looked hideously when adorned in night. Wrapt up in their own self-satsuch finery, How surprised they isfied ignorance, the works or monuwould have been at seeing Wirgman's ments of antiquity boast no attractions beautiful trinkets, or the sweet tasteful for them; and, strange to say, the mejewellery at Howel and James' !I tropolis of a country that prosesses to have always thought,' replied one of the surpass all others in civilization and Exquisites, these lines in Shakspeare morals, presents, in some of its inhabivery absurd where he says
tants, examples of ignorance and want
of reflection, scarcely equalled in any Loveliness Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
other part of the civilized world.” But is, when unadorned, adorned the most.
(A neat volume has just issued from the press, entitled" Sketches and Fragments," by the Author of " The Magic Lantern,” which pleasing little work, we mentioned at the period of its publication, was from the pen of Lady Blessington. The present elegant companion to it is consequently the production of the same accomplished lady, whose taste and good feeling are perhaps still more delightfully exhibited in its pages than in those of its precursor. As an example of both, we have for this part of our work selected one of the Sketches.
Voyages and Travels.
TRAVELS IN BABYLONIA, &c. BY SIR ROBERT KER PORTER.
JOURNEYING through Media life it is so far from being prejudicial
from Ecbatana, now Hamadan, its to the vegetable creation, that a continancient capital, our countryman took a uance of the Samiell tends to ripen the westerly course, and examined the fruits. I enquired what became of the sculpture at Be-Sitoon, which, from his cattle during such a plague, and was description, seems to bear a strong re- told they seldom were touched by it. semblance to the string of captives in It seems strange that their lungs should one of Belzoni's chambers. Ii is con- be so perfectly insensible to what seems jectured that the conquest of Israel by instant destruction to the breath of man, Salmenezer, King of Assyria and the but so it is, and they are regularly drive Medes, may be celebrated by these fig- en down to water at the customary
times of day, even when the blasts are From Dermanshah Sir Robert took at the severest. The people who atthe direct road to Bagdad, passing from tend them, are obliged to plaster their Persia into the ancient Assyria. Just own faces, and other parts of the body before entering Irak Arabi, the escort usually exposed to the air, with a sort and the pilgrim-host which had joined of muddy clay, which in general procompany were attacked by Arabs; but tects them from its most malignant efthese banditti did not press their hostil- fects. The periods of the winds blowities to any real injury. Not so fortu- ing are generally from noon till sunnate were the travellers when assailed set ; they cease almost entirely during by the pestilential winds which prevail the night; and the direction of the in this quarter. Many of the party gust is always from the north-east. were seized with illness, and the author When it has passed over, a sulphuric thus relates its cause :
and indeed loathsome smell like putrid--"In order to while away my anx. ity, remains for a long time. The poiiety in this untoward detention, I sent son which occasions this smell, must be for the master of the khaun, to make deadly; for if any unfortunate traveller, some enquiries respecting the country too far from shelter, meet the blast, he and its inhabitants. He told me that falls immediately ; and, in a few minthey consider October the first month utes his flesh becomes almost black, of their autumn, and feel it delightfully while both it and his bones at once arcool in comparison with July, August, rive at so extreme a state of corruption, and September ; for that during forty that the smallest movement of the body days of the two first named summer would separate the one from the other. months, the hot wind blows from the When we listen to these accounts, we desert, and its effects are often destruc- can easily understand how the Altive. Its title is very appropriate, be- mighty, in whose hands are all the ining called the Samiell or Baude Semoon, struments of nature, to work even the the pestilential wind. It does not most miraculous effects, might, by this come in continued long currents, but in natural agent of the Samiell brought gusts at different intervals, each blast from afar, make it the brand of death lasting several minutes, and passing by which the destroying angel wrought along with the rapidity of lightning. the destruction of the army of SennaNo one dare stir from their houses while cherib." this invisible flame is sweeping over the At the place of which we are now face of the country. Previous to its treating, Sir Robert was about eightyapproach, the atmosphere becomes five miles from Bagdad; the route lythick and suffocating, and appearing ing through a howling wilderness of particularly dense near the horizon, lions, wolves, hyenas, and jackals, gives sufficient warning of the threaten- which he passed in safety, and entered ed mischief. Though hostile to human that famous city on the 17th of Octo
Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia, Ancient Babylonia, &c. in 1817 and 1820. By Sir Robert Ker Por
ter. Vol. II. London, 1822
ber, or in twenty-six days from Hama- even cobler's stalls, to a kind of romandan. The difference of habits, &c. is tic celebrity.” well marked :
At the capital of Assyria and Baby“A stranger arriving from Irak Ajem, lonia, Sir Robert was most cordially eninto this renowned capital of Irak Ara- tertained by Mr. Rich of whom he bi, cannot fail being instantly struck speaks in the highest terms. The Pawith the marked difference between the sha of Bagdad, Dowd or David, can people before him, and those he left raise no force much exceeding 10,000 north of the mountains. There, the men : and the Arabs around him are vesture was simple and close, though in a state of complete insubordination. long, with a plain-hilted knife stuck in Respecting the seat of his government, the girdle, and the head of the wearer the following extract gives informacovered with a dark cap of sheep skin. tion :Here, the outer garment is ample and “ The latitude of Bagdad, from the flowing, the turban high and superbly mean observations taken by Mr. Rich folded, and the costly shawl round the and others,is 33°19'40," and the longiwaist additionally ornamented with a tude east of C:renwich, 41° 44' 45". richly embossed dagger. With person- The climate in general has the advanages in every variety of this gorgeous tage of parts of Persia, in not being vacostume, I saw the streets of Bagdad riable in such violent extremes ; but filled on my entrance. Monstrous tur- then its warmest months are certainly bans of all hues, pelisses, and vests, of insufferable from the abiding effects of silk, satins, and cloths, in red, blue, the 40 days' prevalence of the consugreen, yellow, of every shade and fab- ming samiell. At that season, the therric, clothed the motley groupes who ap- mometer frequently mounts in the peared every where; some slowly shade from 120 to 140 degrees of heat, moving along the streets, others seats according to Fahrenheit. When the ed cross-legged on the ground, or heat reaches 100 degrees, the inhabimounted on benches by the way-side, tants betake themselves to the refuge of sipping their coffee, and occasionally certain arched apartments, called the inhaling a more soporific vapour from Zardaub; constructed deep in the fountheir gilded pipes, with an air of solem- dations of the house, for this very purnity not to be an anticipated by such a pose. From their situation they can tulip-garbed fraternity.' The contrast- have no windows; therefore catch their ed appearance of the gaily coloured, and glimpse of daylight as it may glimmer gloomily pompous Turk, when com- through the doors from the chambers pared with the parsimoniously clad above. Thin matting supplies the Persian, sombre in appearance even to place of carpets, and every precaution the black dye of his beard, yet accom- and method is pursued, that can bring panied with the most lively and loqua- coolness to these gloomy abodes; where cious activity of body and mind, amus- the chief part of the natives of Bagdad ed me much; and in traversing these pass the whole of the sultry day, while characteristic paths, I could not but re- the atmosphere without retains its more collect I was now in the far-famed city scorching fires. At sun-set each famof the caliphs, the capital of Haroun- ily issues from their subterranean shelal-Raschid, through whose remote av- ters, and ascending to the top of the enues he and his faithful vizier used to house, take their evening repast beneath wander by night, in disguise, to study the arch of heaven. And under the the characters of his subjects, and to same free canopy,
6 fanned by tepid reign with justice. But history was airs,” they spread their bedding along not alone, in busying the memory with the variously disposed divisions of the recollections ; the delightful tales of roof; whose irregular forms are so conchildhood started up along with her, trived, to catch at every zephyr's and remenibrances of the Arabian breath that passes. In these elevated Nights seemed to render the whole a apartments, the natives repose, until sort of eastern classic ground, consecra- the close of October; at which time ting its bazaars, mosques, palaces, and the days become comparatively cool;
and sudden blasts blowing up during higher circles, whom we left in some the night, from the north, and south- gay saloon of Bagdad. When all are east, render sleeping in the open air assembled, the evening meal or dinner dangerous."
is soon served.
The party, seated in “ The wives of the higher classes in rows, then prepare theinselves for the Bagdad, are usually selected from entrance of the show; which, consisting the most beautiful girls that can be ob- of music and dancing,continues in noisy tained from Georgia and Circassia ; exhibition through the whole night.and, to their natural charms, in like At twelve o'clock, sapper is produced; manner with their captive sisters all when pilaus, kabobs, preserves, fruit, over the East, they add the fancied em- dried sweetmeats, and sherbets of every bellishments of painted complexions, fabric and flavour, engage the fair conhands and feet dyed with henna, and vives for some time. Between this their hair and eyebrows stained with second banquet, and the preceding, the the rang, or prepared indigo leaf.- perfumed narquilly is never absent from Chains of gold, and collars of pearls, their rosy lips, excepting when they sip with various ornaments of precious coffee, or indulge in a general shout of stones, decorate the upper part of their approbation, or a hearty peal of laughpersons, while solid bracelets of gold, ter at the freaks of the dancers, or the in shapes resembling serpents, clasp subject of the singers' madrigals. But their wrists and ancles. Silver and no respite is given to the entertainers; golden tissued muslins, not only form and, during so long a stretch of merritheir turbans, but frequently their un- ment, should any of the happy guests der garments. In summer the ample feel a sudden desire for temporary repelisse is made of the most costly shawl, pose, without the least apology, she and in cold weather, lined and border- lies down to sleep on the luxurious cared with the choicest furs. The dress pet that is her seat; and thus she reis altogether very becoming; by its ea- mains, sunk in as deep an oblivion as sy folds, and glittering transparency, if the nummud were spread in her own shewing a fine shape to advantage, chamber. Others speedily follow her without the immodest exposure of the example, sleeping as sound ; notwithopen vest of the Persian ladies. The standing that the bawling of the singhumbler females generally move abroaders, the horrid jangling of the guitars, with faces totally unveiled, having a the thumping on the jar-like doublehandkerchief rolled round their heads, drum, the ringing and loud clangor of from beneath which their hair hangs the metal bells and castanets of the down over their shoulders, while anoth- dancers, with an eternal talking in all er piece of linen passes under their keys, abrupt laughter, and vociferous chin in the fashion of the Georgians. expressions of gratification, making, in Their garment is a gown of a shist all, a full cuncert of distracting sounds, form, reaching to their ancles, open be- sufficient, one night suppose, to awakfore, and of a grey colour. Their feet en the dead. But the merry tumult, are completely naked. Many of the and joyful strains of this conviviality, very inserior classes stain their bosoms gradually become fainter and fainter ; with the figures of circles, half-moons, first one, and then another of the visitstars, &c. in a bluish stamp. In this ors, (while even the performers are not barbaric embellishment, the poor dam- spared by the soporific god) sink down sel of Irak Arabi has one point of van- under the drowsy iniluence; till, at ity resembling that of the ladies of Irak length, the whole carpet is covered Ajem
The former frequently adds with these sleeping beauties, mixed inthis frightful cadaverous hue to her lips ; discriminately with hand-maids, dancand, to complete her savage appear- ers, and musicians, as fast asleep as ance, thrusts a ring through the right themselves. The business, however, nostril, pendent with a fat button-like is not thus quietly ended. “ As soon ornament set round with blue or red as the sun begins to call forth the blushstones.
es of the morn, by lifting the veil that “But to return to the ladies of the shades her slumbering eyelids,” the