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terms it, his gražssio Mokhtasir, his Epitome, or Compendium ; leaves us the less room to regret the want of his larger history of Egypt.
Of this compendium, one MS. only has yet been discovered by the industry of European scholars. It was brought to this country by the justly celebrated Orientalist Pococke, among whose collection of MSS. in the Bodleian Library it is still preserved. By the advice, and probably with the assistance, of this great man, the younger Pococke began to translate the work of Abdollatiph; and he had actually printed both the original and the translation of the first three chapters, with a part of the fourth, (ending at page 99 of the present edition,) when the death of his father, together with the disgust which he felt at being disappointed in his expectations of preferment, induced him to desist entirely from his labour, and to leave it unfinished. In this state it remained for nearly half a century; till Dr. Hunc issued his proposals for a publication of the text of Abdollátiph, with the version of the younger Pococke, of which he possessed a complete copy, together with copious noter, and illustrations of his own. Whether any progress was made by Dr. Hunt in preparing the work, and what was the fate of that version of Pococke which he possessed, it is now idle to conjecture, and useless to inquire. Certain it is, that no part of it was ever committed by him to the press; and that the present editor and translator has derived no assistance from his labours, whatever they might have been.
It is well known that a considerable space of time has now clapsed, since Dr. White first engaged in the publication of Abdollatiph. Some years past, he printed an octavo edition of the original text, intending afterward to subjoin to it his version and notes : but, not being quite satisfied with the correctness of the text, he presented all the copies of this edition to M. Paulus, a learned Professor in the University of Jena, who was then on a visit at Oxford. Professor Paulus was anxious to communicate the valuable gift, which he had thus received, to the Orientalists of Germany; and immediately after his return to that country, he printed Dr. White's 8vo.tel edition of the text of Abdollatiph, with the addition only of a preface, explanatory of the nature and circumstances of the publication. This preface Dr. W. has very propetly copied, and subjoined it to his own.
No: long after the appearance of this 8vo edition of the text of Abdollatiph, a German version of the work was published at Halle in Saxony, by M. Günther Wahl, an eminent orien. talist of that place; and of this, as well as of a rude unfi.
nished Latin version, fuundnot long since among the papers of the younger Pococke, Dr. White has added a considerable portion, in the form of an appendix; for the more perfect informa, tion and satisfaction of his readers respecting one of the most interesting, and at the same time most difficult chapters of the volume.
The history of Abdollatiph, as we have already observed, consists of two books. Of these the former contains six chap. ters; the first of which treats of ţhe general properties of Egypt; the second, of the plants peculiar to that country; the third, of the animals; the fourth, of the antiquities; the fifth, of the curious edifices and shipping; and the sixth, of the remarkable viands and cookery of Egypt.-The second book contains three chapters ; the first of which treats of the Nile, of the causes of its increase, and of the liws by which it is regulated. In the second and third chapters, we find a minute and circumstantial account of a most dreadful famine and mortality, (occasioned by the failure of the Nile's increase,) which visited Egypt in the years of the Hejira 597, 598, during the author's residence in that country.
In the second chapter of the first book, Abdollatiph describes at large the nature and properties of the Egyptian Colocasia, or the Arum Colocasia of Linné. In the course of his description, (page 30,) he controverts some assertions of Dioscorides respecting this plant, and quotes a passage from his works ; evidently, however, through the medium of an Arabic translde tion. A part of the quotation from Dioscorides runs thus in the text of Abdollatiph: wly lansai luni aläs däs Islj which Pococke has thus translated " et cum gemmat, rem quandam protrudit crumenæ similem.” This passage greatly perplexes M. Wall, the German translator of Abdollariph. He deems it strange that säs should be used twice together in two different senses; and he suspects, moreover, that instead of wls we should rather read wyr Now Honaiu's Arabic Version of Dioscorides, a MS, of which we haye had an opportunity of consulting, justifies the conjecture of M. Wahl.
anslated, This pas bedolla
then, it appears probable that the repetition of the word läs, in Abdollatiph's quotation from Dioscorides, is merely an error of transcription; and though the true reading be not why as M. Wahl conjectured, yet it is a plural from the same root, the singular of which is thus explained by Golius : " foramen çoxendicis ; Marsupii utrisvę grbicularis ajuso foramen auricule ;
accotised in Egand curious te bo to pa
et omne foramen rotundum.” The Arabic quotation from Dioscorides, then, may be thus translated into English - And when it has blossomed, it produces something resembling the orbicular nests of wasps." This Arabian Version, to which we have referred, clearly indicates that the Greek copy of Dioscorides, from which it was made, read in this passage oonxious, instead of JuazxiT HOIS ; and this emendation, we must observe, is still farther confirmed by the following passage of Theophrastus :-'ETİ Täta a nudía ampókola oonus Trepipepsi, nai év Éké sy twv Kuticipwr xóxmos usupov u’Epx pwv cutns--supra hunc, (nempe caulem i calyx extat vesparum favo orbiculato persimilis, ac in singulis cellis singulæ visuntur fabe, quæ paulo amplius supereminent, &c. We refer our readers, for some farther observa. tions on this subject, illustrative of what we have advanced, to Rennell's Geography of Herodotus, from p. 630 to p. 634.
In Chapter ift. from page 6o to page 71, Abdollatiph gives a most minute and curious description of the method so long practised in Egypt, of hatching chickens by artificial heat. His account is too long to be quoted, and it cannot be abridged without injury to the sense : but the perusal of it will interest the curious and philosophical inquirer.
From Chapter iv. p. 39. we derive an historical fact, which enables us satisfactorily to correct some errors, into which modern travellers of considerable eminence have fallen. Abdollatiph here informs us that, in the reign of Saladin, (whose proper title was Saladin Joseph Ebn Job,) Caracush, one of his officers, built the wall which surrounds Fostat and Cairo, and the space between them, together with the castle ; and that he also formed two wells within the castle, of wonderful construcs tion. Though Abdollatiph here uses the dual number, yet there is in fact but one well, divided into two distinct parts ; there being a resting place at the depth of 146 feet, to which the water is first drawn up by a wheel which is there fixed : and it is afterward raised to the surface by the operation of a second wheel of a similar nature. This well has long been known under the name of Joseph's Well; and the appellation has misled Paul Lucas, and others, to attribute the work to the Patriarch Joseph. De Maillett, however, and Bishop Pococke, (on what authority we know not,) have assigned it to a Grand Vizier of Sultan Mahonet, the son of Calaun, whose name was Joseph; and Shaw, from conjecture merely, supposes it to have been effected by the Babylonians. The exact date of the work, and the reason of the name, are clearly ascertained in the passage before us ; and both are evidently to be referred to that Saladin Joseph Ebn Job, of whom we have already spoken ; the Patron of Abdollatiph, and the great opZ4
seph's Wateribute thich op Pococked
ponent of our English Richard, in those wild and wasteful wats which were denominated the Crusades.
In pages 98, 99, Abdollatiph states a very curious and extraordinary fact respecting the two greater Pyramids of Giza. The passage is thus translated by Pococke ; " Sunt autem in his lapidibus inscriptiones calami antiqui, ignoti, ita ut non reperiatur in urbibus Ægypti, qui asserat se de quopiam audivisse qui illum calleret. Suntque ha inscriptiones multæ admodum, ita ut si quod in his duabus Pyramidibus solummodo est in libros transferretur, conficeret numerum decies millium librorum.” It may perhaps be necessary to observe that 1945441 Michel plöllo lilis inscriptiones calami antiqui, ignoti, is the expression always employed by Abdollatiph to denote the antient Egyptian Hieroglyphics.-Having premised thus much, it will be sufficient to quote the learned and satisfactory note of Dr. White on this interesting passage :
• Norunt eruditi longe aliam speciem Pyramidum hodie exhiberi, quam qualem veteres descripserunt. Illi nempe, quorum dux et princeps est Herodotus, uno ore prodiderunt, ingentem copiam marmoris, ex ultimis Arabie vel Æthiopie partibus adveitam, iis ornandis fuisse adbibitam. Recentiores contra qui eas ipsi oculis lustraverint, totam molem nativi saxi esse affirmant, et eadem plane specie qua rupes substrata. Veterum tamen, opinor, salva est fides. Nam mihi quidem persuasissimum est, Pyramides denudatas fuisse, et marmore illo, quod in summa earum saperficie tanquam tegumentum erat positum, ab improbis hominibus exspolialas. Cujus rei testimonio sint verba luculentissima Aldollariphi. Cum enim is vel in decimo-tertio seculo Inscripciones multa millia voluminum adaquantes in Pyramidum lateribus invenerit, quarum Inscriptionum reliquiæ tantum et rara quædam vestigia nostro quidem tempore supersunt, profecto magna aliqua mutatio fuerit, necesse est, et insignis injuria monumentis illis vi ac manu illata : neque absurde aliquis conjectaverit, si marmoream superfi. ciem, elegantissime olim cobærentem, et corticis instar cæteras rudioris materiæ compages intra se includentem, ablatam fuisse censeat, et ædificiis ornandis deportatam : præsertim cum frustula non pauca pretiosissimi istius lapidis lemere circumjacentia adhuc spectanda se prebeant *.
• Quod si banc conjecturam sequi placeat, tum vero Plinii locus optime intelligetur, qui nescio an nullum sensum aliter habere possit. “ [Pyramides) sile sunt in parle Africa, monte saxeo sterilique, inter Memphim oppidum et quod appellari diximus Delia, a Nilo minus quatuor millia passuum, a Memphi seplem ; vico apposito quam vocant Busirin, in quo sunt assucti scandere illas," Plin. Nai. Hist. edit. Harduin. tom. i. p. 737.
• Adeat lector Pocockium, p. 42, 43. De Maillet, tom. 1. p. 227. Quibus jungere liber Nobilissimi Ducis Galliæ de Chaulnes testimonium, gui, cüt literis olim me monuit vir bumanissimus J. R. Forster) cum in Ægypto esset, er Pyramides visendi et aitentius lustrandi curam suscepis. set, viginti ferme abbinc annis, Hieroglypbicas aliquot inscripriones in iis se vidisse retulit,'
Res erat haud sane memorabilis, si non perfectissima operis levitudo, contra quam nunc est, lubricum et difficilem ascensum prebuerir.
. Dum vera fidem et auctoritatem veteribus astruere conamur ex Arabis nostri testimonio, fateor me nonnihil aliquando bæsisse eo quod inscriptiones is Pyramidum in immensum augear, it illorum certe traditiones in bac re longe longeque exsuperet. Illi nempe notas referunt incisas, que sumptus operi struendo impensos significarent : at praterea nihil adjiciunt. (Vid. Herod. et Diodor.) Quid sentian de modo hoc dificili, aperte exponam. Tanta scilicet Hieroglyphicorum characterum erat copia passim in Ægypto, ut sine admiratione in oculos spectantium incurrerent, neque digni visi fuerint qui in historiam referrentur. Ob eandem causam factum est, ut in descriptionibus Obeliscorum, qui a solo ad summum cacumen calari sunt notis Hieroglyphicis, talium nolarum memoria a plurimis veterum sit negiecta.
From page 100 to 105, the author relates the history and disappointment of a mad project formed during his residence in Egypt, which, had it succeeded, would have deprived that country of some of its proudest ornaments. This project had for its object nothing less than the destruction of the three great Pyramids of Giza. As the story is not only curious in itself, but also totally new to Europeans, and at the same time related with the most interesting and unaffected simplicity, we shall not hesitate to translate the passage into English, and submit it to our readers.
When Al-Malec Al Aziz Othman Ben Joseph succeeded luis father in the government of Egypt, his foolish favourites persuaded him to pull down these Pyramids, beginning with the third, which is built with red granite. Having therefore collected great numbers of engineers, masons, and labourers, and having convoked the grandees of the empire, he issued his orders to them to demolish that Pyramid, and commissioned them to superintend the performance. They immediately pitched their tents on the spot, collected artificers and workmen from all parts, and maintained them at an enormous expence. Here they continued for eight months, with horse and foot ; pulling down, in the space of a whole day, after the most painful efforts and the utmost difficulty, one stone only, or two at the farthest. The labourers from above forced downward every stone with wedges, levers, and iron-crows; while those below pulled it with cables and ropes : when it fell, so violent was its fail, that the noise was heard at a surprising distance, the mountains trembled, and the earth sbook; and the stone was huried in the sand, whence they at length extracted it with additional labour and fatigue. They then applied their wedges to it in crevices made for that purpose, broke it in pieces, and conveyed these pieces on carriages to the farther end of the mountain, which was at no great distance. Having thus spent much time to little purpose, their resources failed them, their diffi. culties increased, and they were finally obliged to desist, filled with dejection, confusion, and despair. They were unable to obtain their wishes and the end proposed ; and all that they accomplished was to 15