« PreviousContinue »
a cueekly Repository for MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE.
(VOL. II Price only Four Pence.
TO THE FRIENDS OF LITERATURE.
In the last Number of the first Volume of “ THB AMUSING CARONI,
CLE,” we informed our Readers that this weekly Publication, containing not less than sixteen pages octavo, would continue to be published at Four-pence each Number; and when our Readers recollect that this Work was undertaken at a time of general distress, with an humble desire to assist in reviving Trade, not only consists of extracls from scarce and valuable books, but “ Original Essays," which have been gra. (uitously furnished by gentlemen of acknowledged literary ability. The grice being low, we the more feel ourselves entitled to the kind recom. mendation of vur friends. The number of copies sold at present has as yet scarcely paid the expences ; but as the sale encreases, we will endeavour by encreasing the quantity of matter, to evince to our friends that our desire is to furnish the Public an interesting work at a moderate price, with a reasonable profit to ourselves.
At A Print of Miss F, DANNETT, as Columbine, in the Blind Boggar of
Bethnal Greer, accompanies this Number,
THE RUINS OF BABYLON.
" FROM the accounts of modern travellers," says Mr. Rich, ( I had expected to have found on the site of Babylon more, and less, than I actually did : less, because I could have formed no conception of the prodigious extent of the whole ruins, or of ihe size, solidity, and perfect state of some of the parts of them: and more, because I thought that I should have distinguished some fraces, however imperfect, of many of the principal structures of Babylon. " I imagined I should have said, “Here were the walls ; and such must have been the extent of the area. There stood the palace ; and this most assuredly was the tower of BeJus.' I was completely deceived: instead of a few insulated mounds, I found thie whole face of the country covered with
MAGPIERSON, PRINTER, RUSSELL COURT, COVENT GARDEN.
vestiges of buildings ; in some places consisting of brick walls, surprisingly fresh-in others merely of a vast succession of mounds of rubbish of such indeterminate figures, variety, and extent, as to involve the person who should have formed any theory in inextricable confusion.'-Mr. Rich considers the site of Babylon as sufficiently established on the environs of Hellah, according to Major Rennell's excellent “ Geography of Herodotus."
The general direction of the road between Baghdad and Hellah, (a meanly-built town, containing six or seven thousand inhabitants) is North and South ; the distance about forty-eight miles and the whole intermediate country (with the exception of some few spots) a pefectly flat and uncultivated waste.-But the traces of former population are still numerous ;-the plain is intersected by various canals, now neglected ; and exhibits many piles of earth containing fragments of brick and tiles. Through this plain once ran the famous Naher Malcha, or fluvious regius, a work attributed to Nebuchadnezzar; it is now dry, like other streams that once flowed here, and served for the purposes
of irrigation. Not far from the Naber Malchu is a ruined bridge over a small canal:-"Some time ago, says Mr. R., a large ljon came regularly every evening from the banks of the Euphrates, and took his stand on this bridge, to the terror of the travel. ler; he was at last shot by a Zobeide Arab." -The ruins of Babylon may be said to commence at Mohawil, about nine miles from Hellah; the interjacent space exhibiting vestiges of buildings burnt and unburnt bricks, and bitumen: also three mounds, of which the magnitude attracts particular attention. Mr. R. found the Euphrates to be four hundred and fifty feet in breadth at the bridge of Hellah, and in denth two fathoms and a half. When it rises to its full height the adjoining country is inundated, and many parts of the Babylon ruins are rendered inaccessible. The woods and coppices, mentioned by some travellers, no longer appear; among the ruins of Babylon, there remains but one trec ; that, however, is of venerable antiquity and was once of considerable size. " It is an ever-green, something resembling the lignum vita, and of a kind, I believe, not common in this part of the country.
Here also are the dens of wild beasts; and here, by a curious coincidence, Mr. Rich first heard the oriental account of Satyrs : for in this desert it is said that the Arabs find an animal resem. bling a man from the head to the waist, but having the thighs and legs of a sheep or goat; and that they hunt this creature with dogs, and eat the lower parts, abstaining from the upper, in which consists the resemblance to the human specics. Mr. Rich here appositely quotes from Isaiah the prophetic passage