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brackish and muddy pool may speedily be forned, by digging a well near their roots. The natives are chiefly occupied in the care of them; tying up their blossoms with bands formed of the foliage, to prevent their being torn off, and scattered by the winds. Our soldiers were at first ignorant of the extent of the mischief caused by cutting down these trees, each of which proves as a little patrimony to the native who is fortunate enough to be its owner. We had ventured into these wilds without guides; and were therefore glad to perceive, as 'we advanced, the traces of dromedaries' feet upon the sand, crossing the line we pursuied. Following the track marked out by these animals, we presently arrived at the wretched solitary village of Ulkô, near the muddy shore of the lake Maadie. Here we procured asses for all our party, and, setting out for Rosetta, began to recross the desert, appearing like an ocean of sand, but flatter and former, as to its surface, than before. The Arabs, uttering their harsh guttural language, ran chattering by the side of our asses; until some of them calling out “ Raschid !" te perceived its domes and turrets, apparently upon the opposite side of an immeuse lake or sea, that covered all the intervening space between us and the city. Not having in my own mind, at the time, any doubt as to the certainty of its, being water, and seeing the tall minarets and buildings of Rosetta, with all its groves of dates and sycamores as perfectly resected by it as by a mirror, insomuch that even the minntest detail of the architecture and of the trees might have been thence delineated, I applied to the Arabs to be informed in what manner we were to pass the water. Our interpreter, al. though a Greek, and therefore likely to liave been informed of such a phenomenon, was as fully convinced as any of us that we were drawing near to the uyater's edge, and became indignant when the Arabs maintained that within an hour ve should

reach Rosetta by crossing the sands in the direct line we then E pursued, and that there was no water. What,” said lie, giva i ing way to his impatience, “ do you suppose me an ideot, to be

persuaded contrary to the evidence of my senses ?” The Arabs, smiling, soov pacified bim, and completely astouished the whole party, by desiring us to look back at the desert we had alrea. dy passed, where we belield a precisely similar appearance. It was, in fact, the miraye, * a prodigy to which every one of

* An explanation of the phenomenon, called mirage hy the French, was published at Caïro, in the Décade Egyptienne," vol. 1. p. 39. by Monge. It is too long for insertion here; but the author thus previously describes the illusion: “Le soir et le matin, l'aspect du terrain est tel qu'il doit être; et entre vous et les

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us were then strangers, although it afterward became more fa. miliar. Yet upon no future occasion did we ever behold this extraordinary illusion so marvellously displayed. The view of it afforded us ideas of the horrible despondency to which travellers must sometimes be exposed, who, in traversing the interminable desert, destitute of water, and perishing with ibirst, have sometinies this deceitful prospect before their eyes.

Before 'we arrived at Rosetta, seeing a flag displayed upon the tower of Abu-mandur, to the right of our route, we supposeil a part of our troops might be there stationed, and therefore climbed that mountain of sand, to visit them.

Here we were unexpectedly greeted with an astonishing view of the Nile, the Delta, and the numerous groves in all the neighbourhood of Rosetta: it is the same so wretchedly pictured in Sonniui's travels, and of which po idea can be formeil from his engraved representation. The scene is beyond description. The sudden contrast it offers, opposed to the desert we had traversed, the display of riches and abundance poured forth by the fertility of this African paradise, with all the local circumstances of reflection excited by an extensive prospect of the Nile, and of the plains of Egypt, render it one of the most interestiug sights in the world. Among the distant objects, we beheld the English camp, stationed about five miles up the river, upon its western side; and all the country as far as the fortress of Rachmanie. The beautiful boats peculiar to the Nile, vich their large wide-spreading sails, were passing up and down the river. Unable to quit the spot, we dismissed our guides, and remained some time contemplating the delightful picture. Alterward, descending on foot, close by the superb mosque of Abu-mardur, we continued our walk along the banks of the Nile, through gardens richer than imagination can pourtray, beneath the shade of enormous overhanging branches of sycamore and fig trees, amidst bowers of roses, and through groves of date, citron, lime, and banana trecs, to Rosetta. As we entered the town, Arabs, in long blue dresses, welcomed our comderniers villages qui s'offrent à votre vie, vous n'appercevez que la terre: mais dès que la surface du sol est suffisamment échauffée par la présence du soleil, et jusqu'à ce que, vers le soir, elle commence à se refroidir, le terrain ne paraît plus avoir le même extension, et il paraît terminé à une lieuë environ par une inondation générale. Les villages qui sont placés au delà de cette distance paraissent comme des îles situées au milieu d'un grand Lac, et dont on serait séparé par une étendue d'eau plus ou moins considérabie. Sous chacup des villages on voit son image renversée, telle qu'on la verrait effectivement s'il y avait en arant une surface d'eau rédéchissante."

To this Monge adds, that the large masses only are distinctly reflécted; but when the mirage is very perfect, the most minute detail, whether of trees or buildings, may be plainly perceived, trembling, as when the inverted images of objects appear in water, the surface whereof is agitated by wind.

ing, placiog their hands upon their breasts, and saying, " Salaani, Alla! Bon Ingleses !” while from the camp, English officers, on horses, camels, or on foot, and boats, filled with troops, upon the water, gave to the place a character of gayety never, perhaps, possessed by it in any former age. All authors mention the beauty of its scenery, complaining only of the monotony and dulness of the city. At the time we saw it, no such complaint was applicable; for, with uorivalled natural beauty, Rosetta then exhibited one of the liveliest and most varied pictures of human life it is possible to behold. From the different people by whom it was thronged, its streets resembled an immense masquerade. There was hardly a nation in the Mediterranean but might have been then said to have had its representative in Rosetta ; and the motley appearance thus caused was further diversified by the addition of English ladies from the fleet and army, who, in long white dresses, were riding about upon the asses of the country.

Upon our arrival, we went to the quarters of Sir Sidney Smith. He was then with our army, in the camp near Rachmanie; but we were conducted to a house he had kiudly prepared for our reception, " that the turbulence of war miglit pot," as he was pleased to express it, “interfere with the arts of peace.” This dwelling was the most delightful of any in Rosetta. Placed in a prominent situation upon

the quay,

it commanded a view of the Nile, apd of the Delta, in

We had therefore only to return to the fleet for a few articles of convenience, and for our books, and here to fix our residence.

every di


* Sir Sidaey Smith, afterward viewing this prospect from our terrace, said, “We have often abused Savary for his extravagance and amplification; but the view here may at least reconcilè us to his account of Rosetta."




Return to the Fleel- Nelson's Island-- Antiquities-Rosetta

Trilinguar Inscription-Scarabæns Pilularius--Curious Edifice in Rosetta of the Gothic form-Voyage to Cyprusme Appearance of the Island-Salines-Hot Winds-LarnecaInsalubrity of the Island Produce of the LandIine of Cyprus --IXretched Condition of the Country- Phænician Idols-Nature of the Cyprian Venus---Ancient Gems--Sig. net Rings-Origin of the Camachuia-Theban Slono Paintings commemorated upon GemsNotice of a Picture by Zeuxis from an ancient Greek Manuscripl-Substances used for the Signets of Cyprustheir most ancient form.

Upon the first of May, we returned to the fleet for our baggage, and took this opportunity to examine the Isle of Bekier, (or Aboukir,) or, as it is now called, “ Nelson's Island." We procured here about half a busbel of the bulbs of a very superb species of lily, with which the whole island was covered. Heaps of human bodies, cast up after " the action of the Nile," as it has been rather improperly termed, * and not liaving been exposed to the devouring jackals, still presented upon the shore a revolting spectacle. Captain Clarke, who was with us, employed the crew of his cuiter in buryiog their remains; and ve were proud to aid their pious labour. Small as this island is, it yet contains some very remarkable antiquities. We observed the paved foors of buildings, with part of their superstructure, and some arched chambers lined with stucco, stretching out from the island toward Aboukir. Other remains might also be observed under water ; a convincing proof of the changes to which the coast has been liable, from the encroachment of the sea.

A very singular subterranean passage, now open at its northern extremity, leads to some apartments in the opposite direction, which have an aperture above them, even with the surface of the higher part of the island: no conjecture can be formed whither this passage extended elsewhere, as it has been opened by the sea toward the bay. Pliny, speaking of Canopus, says it was an island ; on which account these ruins may have belonged to that city. Sonnini has described other remains upon the opposite coast ; and these seem to owe their origin to Canopus. Il, therefore, Pliny's statement be incorrect, and the island once formed a part of the continent, as the inhabitants of the country maintain, the ruins here, and those mentioned by Sonnini, may altogether have resulted from the destruction of the same place, now lying buried beneath the waves, a memorable instance of the fate attending cities distinguished only by their vices. We found here a few other curious plants, and observed in great abundance, amoug the sand, those small and beautiful shells worn by Maltese sailors in their ears. We were detained with the fleet until the ninth.

* Even the Rosetta branch of the Nile is at such a considerable distance to the east of Aboukir Bay, which was the real scene of action, that to call it the action of the Nile is not less absurd than to name the battle of Trafalgar the action of Tone Flers.

Upon the morning of that day, the Braakel's cutter being ordered to Ro. setta, we again set out for that place ; sailing iu company with the Dorothea frigate, until she came off the mouth of the Nile. The surf of the bar being low, we were able to pass over it, and therefore entered the Rosetta branch of the river. of the seven mouths this river formerly possessed, only two now remain ; those of Damiata and Rosetta. Soon after passing the bar in the embouchure of the Rosetta branch, an island divides the stream into two broad channels ; and just beyond the point where these again unite, upon the western side of the river, Rosetta is situated ; appearing equally beautiful, whether approached by land or by water. The small island I have mentioned is covered with clover and date trees, and was then appropriated to the use of the French and Maltese prisoners, taken at Damiata, and other places upon the Nile toward Cairo.

We remained at Rosetta until the twentici, visiting, occasionally, the Delta, and environs of the town. Concerning this place, the account already published by Soonini is so faithful, that to attempt another would be introducing a superfluous repetition. Chameleons are very common in the gardens, and upon the island in the midst of the river, where we procured two, that lived with us until we finally left Egypt. These were large, and of a most vivid green colour when first taken. Afterward, their ordioary appearance was that of a common lizard ; and we fouod, as they became unhealthy, that their power of changing colour diminished. Indeed, this effect is

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