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introduced by that great phyfician who lived here, and put such great and just confidence in the pulse. It is not difficult to imagine that ihe great doctor from Stanchio (Cous) to acquire perfect experience, on which he built his science, here introduced the custon, that, when any diseased person consulted him he felt bis pulse, which he taught his disciples; of whom the people learned it, and have retained it to this day without knowing the reason; in the same manner as hath happened with religious ceremonies amongst some nations, who still use them, tho' they know not whence or why they were introduced, those who introduced and propagated them having through the change of times been extirpated. I gave my Muselem fome medicines I had taken with me from Sweden in order to strengthen his stomach. A Seraglio of fifteen women, which at so early an age kept, was enough to hurt it; but I would not advise any phy. fician, who may chance to be in my situation, and is consulted by a Turkish grandee, to tell him this, as he might perhaps become a martyr to truth. It is best to think and do what appears to be of service, and talk as little as possible. By way of recompence he gave me liberty to go whither I pleased, and promised to take care that the mountains and places where I intended to botanize should be clear, which I esteemed the best reward I could defire.'
Dr. Hasselquist is pretty copious in his account of the religious ceremonies at the church festivals, observed here, by the Greek and Armenian Christians; but as such details, we apprehend, will not, in this country, be regarded as the most useful or entertaining parts of his book, we Thall now wait on him at Alexandria.
Here he takes notice of a circumstance which would horridly mortify our English squires, and Yorkshire hunters, were they to travel to the land of Egypt. At Alexandria they would not be suffered to indulge in their favourite exercise of riding on horseback : and here too the London citizen would be fadly at a loss for his commodious hackney coach. From the great contempt the Turks have for Christians, Jews, and Moors, they will not permit any of them to ride on a horse, which is here deemed too noble a, creature for such despicable wretches to bestride ; and of which honour a Musselman alone is worthy. The Christians however are very well content to ride upon asses, fince custom bath rendered the use of them fo general ; and our author learned to think so well of these Egyptian hacks, that he asserts, ' no town has better conveniences for going from place to place, than Cairo or Alexandria.' The streets, he says, are almost full of affes, [fo possibly, may be the streets of some European cities] and he who chufes not to walk, mounts the ass he likes beft, fin which respect, indeed, the cities of Europe and Egypt differ) and gets on apace, and at a reasonable expence. The Moors are the owners of these long ear d nags, and value them at a high rate.
The proprietor of the ass which our Author usually mounted, told him, that he gave twenty ducats for that beast, and would not take double the money for him, the creature being his mafter's chief fupport.
Our Author also visited Rosetta ; and, en pasant, describes the country and its produce. He alfo mentions many particulars relating to the manners and customs of the people ; and
among other circumstances, he give the following account of the Egyptian snake-merchants:
Now (the beginning of July] [-tys he, was the time to catch all sorts of • fnakes to be met with in Egypt, as the great heats bring forth these vermin: I therefore made preparation to get all I could, and at once received four different forts, which I have described and preserved in aqua vitæ. These were the common viper, the ceraftes of alpin, jaculus, and an anguis marinus. They were brought to me by a Pfilli, who put me, together with the French Consul, and all of the French nation present, in confternation. They gathered about us to fee how the handled the most poisonous and dreadful creatures, alive and brisk, without their doing or even offering to do her the leaft harm. When the put them into the bottle where they were to be preserved, she took them with her bare hands, and handled them as our ladies do their laces. She had no difficulty with any but the viperæ officinales, which were not fond of their lodging. They found means to creep out before the bottle could be corked. They crept over the hands and bare arms of the woman, without occasioning the least fear in her : The with great calmness took the snakes from her body, and put them into the place destined for their grave. She had taken these serpents in the field with the same eafe the handled them before us; this we were told by the Arab who brought her to us. Doubtless this woman had some unknown art which enabled her to handle those creatures.
It was impossible to get any information from her'; for on this subject she would not open her lips. The art of fascinating Serpents is a secret amongst the Egyptians. It is worthy the endeavours of all naturalists, and the attention of every traveller, to learn something decisive relative to this affair. How ancient this art is amongst the Africans, may be concluded from the ancient Marii and Psylli, who were from Africa, and daily fhewed proofs of it at Rome. It is very remarkable that this should be kept a secrer for more than 2000 years, being known only to a few, when we have seen how many other fecrets have within that time been revealed. The circumstances relating to the fascination of ferpents in Egypt related to me, were principally, 1. That the art is only known to certain families, who propagated it to their offspring. 2. The person who knows how to fascinate ferpents, never meddles with other
poisonous animals; such as scorpions, lizards, &c.
There are different persons who know how to fascinate these animals ; and they again never meddle with serpents. 3. Those that fara cinate serpents eat them both raw and boiled, and even make broth of them, which they eat very commonly amongft them; but in particular, that eat such a dish when they go out to catch them. I have even been told the serpents fried or boiled, are frequently eat by the Arabians, both in Egypt and Arabia, though they know not how to fascinate them, but catch them either alive or dead. 4. After they have eat their soup, they procure a blessing from their Scheik (priest or lawyer) who uses some superstitious ceremonies, and amongst others, spits on them several times with certain gestures. This matter of getting a blessing from the priest is pure superstition, and certainly cannot in the least help to fascinate serpents ; but they believe, or will at least persuade others, that the power of fascinating serpents depends upon this circumstance. We see by this, that they know how to make use of the same means used by other naa tions ; namely, to hide under the superstitious cloak of religion, what may be easily and naturally explained, especially when they cannot or will not explain the natural reason. I am inclined to think that all which was formerly, and is yet reckoned witchcraft, might come under the same article with the fascination of serpents. The discovery of a small matter may in time teach every body to fascinate serpents; and then this power may be exercised by those who have not got it from the hands of a holy Scheik, just as the heat would naturally hatch chickens in an Egyptian oven ; whether a Scheik did or did not lay himself naked on it, when the eggs are just put in; yet to this ceremony do the superstitious Egyptians ascribe the happy event of the chicken being hatched, when they are asked the reason. I have been told of a plant with which they anoint or rub themselves before they touch the serpents ; but I have not hitherto received the least description of it, therefore I regard it as fabulous.'
Among the things most obfervable at Cairo, the nilometre engaged our Author's attention. This is a pretty large house built in a square near the river Nile. Its roof terminates in a white pyramid ; in the foundation-wall, are holes through which the water has a free entrance. In the middle of the building is a marble obelisk, in which is a scale of inches; and by this they daily observe the increase of the river till the water is let into the town, and over the country.—On the 27th of July, Dr. Hasselquist was present at the celebration of a festival to which Cairo alone hath a right, derived from nature, and not to be celebrated in any other place in the world ! It was on this day that the water of the Nile was let into the town; and there
by ' a beginning made,' as our author, or his translator expresseth it, . to Egypt's fertility for the ensuing year.'—- As the good or bad fortune of the country;' continues he, depends on this day, in respect to the plenty of the water, it is juftly one of the most solemn in the whole year. The Nile is entirely under the direction of man: it overflows the country, but wanders not at will: it is conducted to all parts of the countries which may want it, with prudence and circumspection; but the art of man cannot contribute to its encrease. This is the work of nature. When the Nile begins to encrease, a dam of earth is cast up at the opening of the ditch, which the Emperor Trajan made from the river, and goes through the city, which formerly ended in the sea at Rosette, after having watered the whole country through which the ditch was made.
When the water hath risen to a fufficient height, which can be seen by the famous Nilometre, this dam is opened and the ditch filled with water, which is afterwards encreased and led over the whole country. The day this is done is a festival, and was now celebrated. The festival was not so remarkable in this year as in others, because the Turks had now begun their Ramadan, when every body is filent and devout. The scene was commonly performed in this manner: the Balhaw in Cairo, accompanied by a detachment of 1000 or more Janissaries, with his Kiaja and other officers, goes to the dam on horseback at seven o'clock in the morning, where he enters a tchiosk (an open summer. house) and orders those that are to open the dam to hold themselves in readiness. The honour of opening the dam is divided between the Turks, Copthi, and Jews, and is opened by them in their turn, When every thing is ready for opening, the Bathaw throws with his own hands a spade upon the dam. This done, it is removed by those who are appointed for the purpose, with the loudest acclamations of numbers of people.'
Our Author's description of the grand caravan which goes from Cairo to Mecca, is extremely curious *; but we have not room for the particulars. His visit to the burial places of the mummies, and to the celebrated pyramids, comes next. these prodigious monuments of Egyptian antiquity, the pyramids, we have already given, from Norden's travels +, a much more confiderable account of them, than is to be met with in Dr. Hasselquist's brief memoirs. Of the fepulchres of the mummies, our Author's account is also very brief, and much less satisfactory than some former descriptions already before the public. In truth, our Swedish traveiler is less of an antiquarian than a bo.
* This caravan usually consists of pilgrims, to the rumber of 40 or 50,000; and sometimes even 100,000. + See Review, vol, xv.
tanist. These subterraneous places, says he, afforded me less pleasure than the open plain I saw around them, where I searched for natural curiosities. However, he acknowledges that the infiets he found in the land were the greatest advantage he reaped from this journey; for he met with some which he supposes no naturalift had ever before seen :-He must mean described, for it is rather too much, to pronounce what had not been seen by other naturalists visiting the same country.
During his stay at Cairo, our Author tells us he ventured to do a thing which he believes very few travellers before him have done, and in which he would not advise any one to follow his example, as they might not, perhaps, come off fo safely as he did. He went into the Turkish mosque !--In direct opposition to the laws of Turky, which ordain that any Christian who shall presume to enter one of their places of Worship, must either turn Mahometan, or be burnt alive. The Doctor's curiosity, nevertheless, was stronger than his apprehension of the danger, and in he went; at a time, however, when none of the Turks who live there were present. He was accompanied by a French interpreter, and a good honeft Janissary who was devoted to our Author,--and the scruples of the door keeper removed by a handsome fee What our adventurer saw in the mosque proved, after all, but an indifferent compensation for the hazard he ran ; the building which he visited, and which he briefly describes, having nothing in it equal to the churches in most European pations.
From Cairo our Author went to Damiata, a little town built on the shore of the Nile, in the form of a half-moon, fituated on the right-hand in coming from Cairo. In the environs of this town he botarized, according to custom, and here, he tells us, in the true spirit of a disciple of Linnæus, he had the pleasure of seeing, from his window, one of the most remarkable fights in nature. "A female palm (Phænix dactylifera Linnæi) had in the night put forth its blossoms from the spatha. I went thither at sun-rise to see it, whilst the dew was yet falling. I saw a gardener, the proprietor of the palm, climbing up the palın, which equalled our largest firs in height. He had a bunch of male flowers, with which he powdered the female, and by these means fecundated them. After he had done this, he cut away the inferior boughs or leaves, between which the flowers of the preceding year had come out, together with the remarkable web which covers the basis of the leaves, and goes from one edge of a leaf to the other.'
And now quitting the Land of Egypt, we arrive, with our Author, at the Holy LAND.-April 1, 1750, the vessel by which he was conveyed, in four days, from Damiata, anchored before. Jaffa, called Joppa, in the scriptures. Here he im