Page images

which is brought from the banks of the Nile, 125 miles across the desert. At Suez, the water is so bitter as to be scarcely drinkable. On the 5th of March, the passengers disembarked from the steamer, and after taking a slight repast in a room which had been occupied by Bonaparte, about two o'clock commenced their journey across the Isthmus of Suez to Cairo, 75 miles, Capt Wilson and two of the officers of the Hugh Lindsay having resolved to accompany them. The caravan consisted of twelve gentlemen mounted on dromedaries, attended by Arab guides, and followed by thirty or forty camels, carrying the water, baggage, tents, and requisite supplies. This journey was accomplished in four days, and was attended with few of the usual discomforts, as the party had furnished themselves with most of the comforts and even luxuries of life, in respect to provisions. One had brought London soups and Scotch salmon; another produced a hain and tongues; a third, French bouillé, champagne, claret, &c. Fowls, mutton, and bread, were in profusion; and, in fact, there was abundance of every thing except water, which some of the party had neglected to bring in bottles from Bombay, and a quart of which was considered more valuable than wine before the journey was over. On the 8th, they met the poor Dey of Algiers, who, with his harem and attendants, was proceeding to Mecca; and by one o'clock they entered one of the stupendous Saracen gates of Cairo, having, in the course of a short half hour, made a transition from a silent wilderness into the heart of a mighty metropolis, swarming with human beings, and filled with interesting objects.

They remained at Cairo five days, inspecting the curiosities in the city and its neighbourhood, and were presented to the Pasha, who, though the war in Yemen appeared to be his favourite topic, declared his intention of making a rail-road across the Isthmus of Suez, for which purpose English engineers are already engaged in surveys. On the 13th, Dr. Burnes and some of the party embarked at Boulac, on the Nile, entered the Mehmoudieh cạnal, and arrived at Alexandria, which on the 20th he left, with the Rev. Mr. Wolff, for Malta, where they arrived on the 4th April, and were shut up in the Lazaretto for twenty days.

The following details, which have been transmitted to us by another of the travellers, will be useful to those who contemplate the overland journey.

REQUIRED by a party of three travellers (the most convenient number), proceeding from India to Europe, via Cosseir, Thebes, and Alexandria, for the Egyptian part of the journey.

Spanish Dollars.-Four hundred and fifty, of which about eighty each may be, exclusive of interpreters' pay, considered ample for the Egyptian part of the trip to Europe ; the rest of travellers' funds by letter of credit on London or good bills on ditto. In Egypt the exchange on London is in travellers' favour generally.

Interpreter.One, to act also as servant; and, as much of their future comfort in Egypt depends on him, the party cannot be too particular in selecting a proper and well-qualified person; usual pay of such a person froin 300 to 500 rupees.

Tea.- Three months' supply (or more than may be calculated on as necessary), as, if it should run short, it cannot be replaced.

Sugar.-One month's.
Coffee.- To be laid in at Mocha, or any other port in the Red Sca.

Sherry or Madeira.-Two dozen ; each bottle of this and other liquors to be separately packed in straw or coir.

Brändly, -Two dozen ; a most acceptable present lo camel and boal-inen.

Water in Botlles.--Two dozen, well packed.

Water in Kegs. - A couple small kegs for servants and cooking, which are to be welllooked after, to prevent camel-men from helping themselves.

Hermetically sealed Bouillé or Ox-tail Soup.- One dozen canisters; this is the best, most portable, and quickest-prepared food for the desert. Two Canisters with bread form an abundant meal for three persons, and almost supersede the necessity of any other food.

Ta? le Salt, pepper, Mustard, &c.—Enough for one month.
Candles.-The same.

Canteen.– A small one, containing all requisite apparatus for breakfast and dinner. table, and which ought to be chiefly of pewter or other metal.

Lantern or Cabin Lamp, with Oil Burners.-One.

Powder and Shot.-The former a welcome present to Arabs; occasional shooting on the Nile, particularly of pigeons, which are good eating.

Rupe. —Enough to secure baggage on camels.
Cooking Ulensils. — A small assortment, including kettle, pestle and mortar, &c.
Camp Table.- One.
Camp Chairs.Three.

With nails, hammers, gimlet, twine, sail-makers' needle, brass or pewter basin and ewer, Aint and steel.

Besides the above in common, each traveller should provide himself with pistols, umbrella, green gauze veil or goggles to ward off the beat and glare, plenty of warni. clothing, including blankets and cloak, a Mirzapoor rug or carpet, about three-dozen shirts, with corresponding stock of stockings, towels, soap, &c. and bedding, which, with his sea-cot placed on a pair of trunks, at night, will serve him to sleep on; or, still better, a common stout but narrow charpoy or camp bed, well clamped with iron at the corners, and with posts and thick curtains, will supersede the necessity of any tent in the desert, and will also be useful op the Nile, more particularly if provided with mosquito curtains.

A tent is not necessary, as it is never required, at least from November to March, except at night, when, as there is no chance of rain, it may well be dispensed with ; and at any rate, the agent at Cosseir will supply one for a trifling gratuity.

Before starting from Cosseir, a sufficient supply of bread, butter, eggs, charcoal and firewood, for four days, ought to be laid in, and a milch goat (with cradle to place it on the camel), with food for it, will also be a very grateful addition to the travellers' comforts. Previous to leaving Cosseir, or rather India, one box ought to be exclusively set apart for the four days' consumption, of such liquors and other supplies as may be required in the desert; for, unless things are easily come at, fatigue and want of attendants will prevent their being at all available. This, and a similar caution in regard to clothes and dressing apparatus, will greatly tend to lessen the inconveniences of travelling across the desert.

In regard to the mode of conveyance across, decidedly the easiest is sitting on the cot-mattrass, placed over a pair of bullock-trunks, on the back of a camel, which may be varied occasionally by riding a donkey.

With exception of the first day, when it is usual to start about noon or shortly after, in order to make a short march to the Beer Inglez, or Englislı well, the best plan is to get up about day-break, and after taking a cup of tea or coffee, while the camels are loading, move on tili a well (of which there are four with brackish water in the desert), or a rock for shelter fro:n the sun, is met with towards mid-day; when about an hour's balt is made to breakfast and refresh men and cattle. Then mount, and proceed again till sun-set, when arrangements are made for dinner and passing the night, at which making the camel-men keep alternate watch and fire off occasional shots to deter thieves are not the least requisite. In this way, the desert may be passed with but slight fatigue in about forty-four hours' actual travelling.

Although Thebes is about equi-distant with Kenne (or Gheoneli) from Cosseir, it is most advisable to proceed, in the first instance, to the latter place, where alonc arrangements can be made for future progress. At Kenne, a kanja or boat, for proceeding up to Thebes and thence to Cairo, ought to be hired for froin 400 to 600 piastres; but it is exceedingly difficult to procure that or any thing else for less than double the proper price, inore particularly if any impatience to get on is betrayed. The boat, before starting, ought to be sunk and that completely under water, for several hours, to kill vermin, and the travellers should superintend this operation themselves, as also smoking her well afterwards, for with every precaution, it is scarcely possible to prevent annoyance from bugs and other veriin. At Kenne, foul linen can be washed, and a day of the time which will be taken up by these arrangements, may be occupied in viewing the magnificent ruins of Dendera, which are about an hour's ride on donkeys from the opposite side of the Nile.

The Spanish dollar is worth from 15 to 18 piastres in Egypt. The hire of a camel, for the trip from Cosseir to Kenne, from 8 to 12 piastres and in abundance, though probably, on first landing, the authorities will intimate that there is not one procurable.

On reaching the banks of the Nile, supplies of milk, butter, eggs, fowls, &c. will be found in profusion, and the water of the Nile is considered perliaps the finest in the world. At Cairo, there is a tolerable hotel, kept by an Italian, with whom a previous bargain must be made. About a dollar and a half per dien for bed and board, we paid a-head.

It is unnecessary to enlarge on the rest of the Egyptian part of the expedition, as the trip from Cairo to Alexandria down the Nile, to the canal (where a change of boats is necessary), cannot be attended with any difficulty. - At Alexandria, opportunities of proceeding to Malta or Marseilles are almost of daily

From personal experience, the traveller is recuinmended to select the for mer to perform his twenty days' quarantine in, as the accounmodations afforded at the Lazaretto there are excellent, and a well-supplied table from Beverly's, at a moderate charge, with the perusal of English papers and new publications. Also rowing about in the harbour will make the first half of the time pass off merrily enough, while it must be acknowledged that the latter part will be found exceedingly irksome. Some of these weary hours were passed in drawing up what is now offered for publication in the Asiatic Journal, and which it is hoped may prove acceptable to such of the writer's fellow exiles as may contemplate following his track.

In conclusion, it may be stated that, froin Malta, he proceeded through Sicily to Naples, thence to Rome, Florence, Milan, across the magnificent road of the Splujen to Zurich, down the Rhine to Rotterdam and London.

The Italian part of the trip was performed in the best and most expensive mode; that is, the party of three purchased a carriage at Naples and posted to Zurich, where they parted with the carriage. From Zurich they went by the Diligence to Carlsruhe, near to which they embarked on the Rhine, and finished the rest of the journey to London on steamers.

The whole expense of the journey to London from Bombay, including Rs. 1,200 passage-money on the Hugh Lindsay, cost each traveller about three hundred pounds sterling.



CALCUTTA LAUDABLE SOCIETIES. The letter addressed by Mr. Theodore Dickens to the members of the Calcutta Laudable Societies, reflecting upon the claims of Mr. James Cullen, of the late firm of Cruttenden, Mackillop, and Co., to the post of secretary to those societies, which appeared in our Asiatic Intelligence of last month, bas, we learn, given pain to his friends in this country. That letter was the only part of the proceedings in the matter which had, at the period of publication, reached this country. Being an advertisement, signed by Mr. Dickens, a director of the societies, a barrister, holding the high office of Equity Registrar of the Supreme Court, we could not suppose that such a charge

would have been publicly made upon slight or insufficient grounds, and, therefore, did not feel warranted in suspending its publication. In the Asiatic Intelligence for this month will be found a very copious digest, which we have anxiously endeavoured to make impartial, of the subsequent proceedings in this affair, from which the friends of Mr. Cullen, whose estimable personal character has procured him many warm friends, will perceive that this gentleman has received a most honourable acquittal from the societies, so far at least as the vote of thanks and the appointment to the office of secretary, by a large majority of the members, can be considered as a testimony to his conduct..

The following statement has been handed to us, from a known and respectable authority, as an explanation of the cause of the difference between Messrs. Cullen, and Dickens, who, we are told, up to the day of the public accusation of the former by the latter, were in habits of intimate friendship,

“ When Messrs. Cruttenden and Co., the secretaries to the Laudable Societies, resolved to suspend their payments, they called a meeting of the directors, and delivered to them all the property belonging to these institutions;—Mr. Cullen, at the same time, expressing a wish to be continued secretary in his individual capacity. Two of the directors voted for his appointment; the other three nominated another, who was considered as appointed. On learning this proceeding, a great body of the shareholders were highly dissatisfied with it; and, holding that the appointment of the secretary lay with them, and not with the directors, they convened a general meeting, to take the subject into consideration. - This meeting the directors refused to attend; and Mr. Dickens, whose particular friend had been chosen by the directors, published the letter which appeared last month."

Miscellanies, Original and Select.

PROCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES. Royal Asiatic Society.À General Meeting was held on the 7th June; the Right Hon. Charles W. Williams Wynn, M.P. President, in the Chair.

A great number of donations were laid on the table, among which were the following, viz. :

From the Rev D:. Wiseman, C.M. R. A.S., a complete set of the Works of S. Bar. tolomeo ; his own “ Horæ Syriacæ, &c. From Major H. D. Robertson, a copy of the Shastri's game of “ Heaven and Hell." From M. Sakakini, a System of Anatomy, in Arabic, for the use of the Medical School at Abu Zabel. From Padre Gonsalves, his “ Diccionario China- Portuguez.” From the Ritter Joseph von Hammer, his edition and translation of " The Rose and Nightingale," a poem, by Fazli. From Srí Bhaváni Charana Sarma; Sri Narayana Charana Sarma; Mouluvee Ramdhun Sen, and Hukeem Abd-ool Mujeed, through James Atkinson, Esq., nineteen wr's

ks, in various Oriental languages, published by those gentlemen at Calcutta. From Sir George Thos. Staunton, Bart., an ingeniously executed and elaborate model of the Pagoda, Convent of Priests, &c. at Canton, assigned to Lords Macartney and Andherst for their residence when on embassy to China ; an original painting, by a Chinese artist, representing the Court of Justice held by the Chinese authorities in the hall of the British Factory at Canton, on the 8th March 1807, to investigate a charge of murder preferred agaiust some seamen of the H.C.S. Neptune. From Captain Elwon of the Bombay Marine, two Cufic inscriptions on stone, and sixty-one specimens of minerals, lavas, &c. &c., from the islands and coasts of the Red Sea.

John Arrowsmith, Esq., F.R.G.S., and James Whatman, Esq. were elected resident members of the Society,

The reading of an Account of the Country of Sinde, with Remarks on the State of Society, Government, Manners, and Customs of the People, by Captain McMurdo, communicated by J. Bird, Esq., M.R.A.S., was commenced.

The Meeting was then adjourned to the 21st.

Saturday, the 21st of June. The General Meeting was held this day ; the Right Hon. Sir Alexander Johnston, V.P. in the Chair.

Dr. Holt Yates and Lieut. Geo. Le Grand Jacob, of the Bombay Military Establishment, were ballotted for and elected resident members of the Society.

A. letter from Rámaswami Mudeliar, Jághirdár of Siva Samudram, was read, in which he expressed his thanks for the honour conferred on him by the Society in electing him a corresponding member, viewing it as a testimony of its approbation of his endeavours to improve the state of the island of Siva Samudram, and facilitate the approaches to it by the construction of two bridges across the river Caveri, &c. of which an account, written by himself, was inserted in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. III. Part II. p. 305.

The reading of Capt. Mc Murdo's Account of Sinde was resumed.

Capt. Mc Murdo commences his paper with some observations on the derivation of the name of the country which he is about to describe. He is of opinion that Sinde, generally speaking, derives its name from the celebrated river with which it is connected. From this he goes on to explain its boundaries and internal divisions; following up this subject with some remarks on its climate, which he considers to be in general unhealthy, especially near those parts subject to the annual inundation. The northern division does not bear so bad a character, though the hot winds blow with unconmon severity, and the heat throughout the summer months exceeds that of any part of India. The soil of Sinde is of various descriptions; that which is subject to the inundations of the river is often a rich clay, elsewhere a fine loam or a loose sand. The most productive soil in Sinde is that to the north of Sehwan. The soil of the eastern districts partakes, in some degree, of the qualities of the desert in its neighbourhood; but the fertility of the province, in those parts exposed to the floods of the Indus, is excelled by that of no country on earth. Among the natural productions particularly described are saltpetre, and various sorts of fruits and of animals; the camel, which performs the whole of the landcarriage of merchandize, and the horse, oxen, &c. It is stated, that in no country whatever, perhaps, are water-fowl more plentiful, the lakes and marshes being literally covered with them. The jackal and wolf are the principal wild animals, but the wild hog is found in every quarter of Sinde, and alligators abound in the creeks and rivers. From this subject the author proceeds to an enumeration of the principal towns of the province, not including, however, the ancient cities. This topic is followed by some observations on the commerce and sea-ports of Sinde; the former has been subject to great vicissitudes, and is not so flourishing as it appears to have been formerly, but it is capable of being increased to a great extent. The chief exports are grains, particularly rice; hides, shark.fins, salt petre, potash, assafætida, cotton and silk cloths, horses, and indigo ; the imports are coco.nuts, dates, iron, tin, lead, copper, &c. After some notices of the revenue drawn from the country, the author. furnishes information on the amount of the population and character of

The amount of the population cannot be judged of accurateiy, from the want of data ; but, on the whole, Capt. Mc Murdo was inclined to think it below the average of other Indian countries. The inhabitants are, in general, a strong and hardy race, with complexions similar to that of the natives of Western India. The Bellooches have, in a remarkable degree, the features

the peo

« PreviousContinue »