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of this ifland may serve as a supplement to what we have read in Mr. Ives's voyage to India.
The Author is exceedingly prolix in his account of a little trifling war which was carried on between two Arabian Shechs, in the gulph, whilft he was at Charedfh. One of thefe Shechs made himself afterwards mafter of this island, and the Dutch did not think it worth their while to be at the expence of recovering it. Our Eaft India Company, a few years ago, made an attempt to fubdue it, but in vain. The Arabian Shech, Mir Mahenna, who took it from the Dutch, was an old cruel tyrant, and was afterwards flain by the Perfians, who are at prefent mafters of Charedfh.
Some travellers have told us that the Beduins, or Indian Heathens, on their travels through the defart, make use of the compass; but Mr. Niebuhr found that this inftrument was entirely unknown to them. They are, indeed, fo well acquainted with the defarts that they are not in want of this help, and at night they are probably directed by the ftars. The Arabs, who. have not been at fea, are, likewife, ftrangers to the compaís, except fome of their learned men, who want it for pointing out the place where the Kebla* in their mosks is to be built. At Cairo Mr. Niebuhr faw a compafs at the house of a learned, Mohammedan, who called it El Magnatis, from which he thinks it might be inferred that the compafs came from Europe into this part of the globe.
The obfervations on Bafra, and all the country up to Bag dad, on the fides of the Euphrates and Tiger, fhow at once the wretchedness of the Turkish government, and the happy climate, and the fertility of the foil in these countries. The populoufnets and Aourishing condition of thefe extenfive provinces, in ancient times, though now abounding in defarts, appears from Mr. Niebuhr's account, and from a paffage quoted from Arrian, relating to thefe countries.
That polygamy is not altogether confiftent with human happinefs, may be feen from the following converfation which Mr. Niebuhr had with a Molla, or Turkish prieft, at Rumabie, a town in the road to Bagdad. This Molla had four wives. Every one of them had a house and a garden of her own, though he himicit had none, being always, as he faid, with either one or other of them. Mr. Niebuhr was fitting, in the evening, before the door of the houle, and among other things
* The Kebla is an opening built with great exactness in the wall of a mosk, to which the Mohammedans direct their faces when they pray, that they may look in a draight line towards the Kaba, of tomb of Mohammed, at Mecca. Taus the Jews turned their faces to the temple of Jerufalem, which was their Kröle, 1 Kings viii. 44. Dan. vi. 10,
he told the Molla, that in Europe a father, who gives his daughter in marriage, inftead of receiving money of his fonin-law, as is the custom of the Eaft, gives, if he is a man of property, a fum along with her, to enable the new-married couple to live decently. The Molla, pleafed with this cuftom, afked his mother-in-law, who was fitting by him, whether fhe had heard what the ftranger faid? telling her, at the fame time, that she had not used him fo well, for he had been obliged to pay handfomely for her daughter. The mother-in-law afked in her turn, How the fhould maintain herself and her daughter if fhe had given him her land, and her date and palm-tree gar dens? Mr. Niebuhr then told the Molla, that it was death in Europe to have more than one wife, and that the property of husband and wife were common, and devolved, after their de cease, to their children; upon which the old woman brifkly asked her fon-in-law, Whether he had heard what the ftranger. faid? and praised the equity of the European laws: adding, you had no other wife than my daughter, and I was fure you would not divorce her, I fhould willingly give you all I have. The young wife, who was within door preparing a pilau, (a kind of rice pudding) for fupper, and who had been all the while filent, came now forth, and faid: Oh! my good hufband, how could you defire that my mother fhould give you her house and gardens? If he had, you foon would have given them to your other wives, for you love them more than me, and I fee you but feldom. In fhort, both mother and daughter continued upbraiding him for a good while; and Mr. Niebuhr asking him afterwards, Whether he had not been happier when he had but one wife? he declined anfwering; as other Mohammedans had done, to whom he had proposed the same question.
At Mefhed Ali, to which place our Author went after he had left Rumahie, the Shiites have a famous mofk, which, together with the remains of Kufa, he defcribes. He made an excurfion to the tomb of the prophet Ezekiel, and to MeshedHoeffein, where there is likewife a famous mofk, and the tomb of Hoeflein, a faint and hero in great reputation among the Shiites. On this occasion Mr. Niebuhr gives a kind of differtation on the diftinction between the Shiites and Sonnites, and relates an attempt of Nadir Shah to alter the religion of the Shiites, which is predominant in Perfia. These two Mohammedan fects bear to each other more malice and rancour than they, refpectively, bear toward Jews, Chriftians, Banians or Heathens;-the natural confequence of religious difputes.
The account of Bagdad, its fituation, trade, government, and modern hiftory; with the defcription of the ruins of the hanging gardens of Babylon, the temple of Belus, and other antiquities, do honour to the Author as an inquifitive and obferving traveller;
and being well skilled in drawing and mathematics, he has given us proper plans and views of these remarkable places. Among the plates, which appear to be executed with much exactness, we have noted, befide many others, the plans of Bagdad and Moful, which are of great fervice in afcertaining the number of inhabitants; a point very difficult to determine in these countries, partly, because the Turks never count them, and partly, becaufe they always greatly exaggerate the numbers.— In fpeaking of Mr. Niebuhr's plates, we fhall not forget to mention that the maps of his travels, made from aftronomical obfervations, have particular merit.
Near Moful Mr. Niebuhr faw the remains of Nineveh, now a wretched village, called Nunia, where the tomb of the prophet Jonas is fhewn. That of the prophet Nahum is fuppofed to be at Elkafa, not far from Arbil or Arbela, where Alexander fought the battle against Darius. The Jews perform pilgrimages to Elkosh, and the chief Neftorian patriarch, whofe name is always Elijah, refides there. About nine hours from Arbil, the caravan, in which Mr. Niebuhr travelled, paffed the great Záb*, or Zarb, as the Turks pronounce it. The croffing of this river is fometimes dangerous, when, at certain feafons, it rifes and is very rapid. This was the cafe now. The people who procure the traject, across the river, are called Fefidier or Duasin, and are believed to worship the Devil. Mr. Niebuhr gives a very good account of the religious tenets of this people, which feem, as far as he could learn on the fpot, to be much tainted with fuperftition; but it does not appear to us that they worship the Devil. From their utter averfion to mention the name of his infernal highness, or to hear it mentioned by others, one might -be inclined to think that they are in fear of him; but this fear they have in common with many that think themselves good Chriftians, and who, for that reason, cannot properly be called worshippers of the Devil. They are a fet of good-natured latitudinarians, who carry their complaifance fo far as to call themfelves Mohammedans, Jews, Chriftians, &c. as circumstances and the people they converse or deal with, require. They have adopted circumcifion, and drink wine. After paffing the great Zâb, Mr. Niebuhr came into a country where the common language was the Syriac, but different from the old Syriac or SyroChaldaic, in which ancient books are written.
From Moful Mr. Niebuhr travelled with a caravan throught the defart, by way of Mardin to Aleppo. When we read the preparations to be made, and the account of the baggage, which is required for a journey through the defarts, we thought it threw light upon feveral paffages of fcripture, and particularly
* In diftinction of the little Zab, which is the ancient Lycus.
Ezek. xii. 3, 4. The caravan paffed Diarbekr, which is the ancient Amida (as this place ftill is called in Turkish records) and Orfa, called by the Greeks Edeffa, famous in ecclefiaftical history. Of both places Mr, Niebuhr gives an account. He faw, not far from Orfa, feveral wells, to which the girls from the neighbouring villages came, to water their flocks and cattle. Their faces were uncovered, and they were, as Mr. Niebuhr expreffes himself, well-fhaped beauties, burnt by the fun. As foon as our Author and others had faluted them, and alighted from their horses, they came and offered them water, and likewife watered their horfes. Mr. Niebuhr was particularly struck with this civility, because Rebecca, who, in his opinion, was certainly born and educated in this country, fhewed herself equally civil towards ftrangers, Gen. xxiv. 18. Our Author is fo much pleased with this idea, that he thinks he has drank out of the fame well from which he fetched the water; for Haran is ftill a place, about two days journey from Orfa, which is frequented by the Jews, and probably the very place which Abraham quitted for Canaan. Gen. xii. 9.
This volume concludes with an Appendix of particular merit. It contains obfervations on Syria, and particularly on the inhabitants of Mount Lebanon-the Turkish government in Syria. ―remarks on the languages that are spoken in this province
-the origin, character, manners, religion, and history of the Drufes, brought down to the present times, with a geographi-. cal description of their country-an account of the Nailareans, Ifhmaelites, and of the Maronites and Maronite Princes (from Mount Lebanon) as they style themselves on their travels in Europe, who, however, are nothing but beggars and impoftors— a defcription of the province of Kefroan, the city of Beirut, and other districts, together with an account of the lateft changes on Mount Lebanon. We fhall only add, that Mr. Niebuhr, when he arrived at Aleppo, found an order of the King of Denmark to go to Cyprus, from whence he went by the way of Jerufalem, Seide, Damafcus, Tripolis, back to Aleppo, and from thence through Natolia to Conftantinople; all which will, together with an index, form the contents of the last volume.
II. Geographische Unterfuchung: ob das Mer, &c. i. e. Geogra phical Refearches concerning the following Question: Whether the Sea which the Ifraelites paffed when they went out of Egypt, was the Arabic Gulph? By M. G. N. RICHTER, illuftrated by a Map. 8vo. Leipfic. 1779. This is a very curious publi cation; the hypothefis it exhibits is new, and it is supported by luminous proofs, which difcover extenfive erudition, employed. with found judgment and critical fagacity.. After having given
from Mofes a relation of the departure of the children of Ifrael from Egypt, and mentioned the different opinions entertained by the learned on that head, he alleges various reafons repugnant to the notion of those who confound the Red Sea mentioned in Scripture with the Arabic Gulph, and undertakes to prove, that we must underftand by the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Lake Sirbonis, which has a communication with it, and marks the boundary between Egypt and Palestine.
. III. Compendium Theologia Dogmatice, &c. i. e. A Compendious Syftem of Didactic Theology. By M. MURSINNA, Profeffor of Divinity in the College of the Reformed at Halle. 8vo. Halle. 1778. By the reformed, in this title, are meant, thofe Proteftants who are not of the Lutheran communion; and the word is applied to this mark of distinction in the Dutch and German languages. The Calvinist churches in Germany and Holland are, by a technical term, called reformed. There is, indeed, nothing very Calvinistical in point of doctrine, in the work now before us. The learned Author feems to have formed the defign of reducing Theological Science to the primitive fimplicity in which it ftands in the gofpel; and this defign is furely laudable, when it is formed with impartiality and candour, and not by that narrow party-fpirit, which is but too vifible in many individuals of all fects and communions. M. MURSINNA has given us, here, a very judicious fummary of Theology; a fummary, difengaged from un-effential doctrines and explications of doctrines, which were not defigned to be explained here below, and exempt from those finifter representations of the Chriftian faith, which, to many fuperficial minds, have rendered plaufible the objections of Infidels and Sceptics. The Lutherans of-Halle have, however, accufed the Author of omiffions; and he may probably meet with accufations of the fame kind from divines in his own communion.
IV. Euripidis Oreftes ex recenfione J. Barnefii, varietate Lectionis et Animadverf. illuftravit J. Facius. Præfatus eft G. G. Heyne, &c. 8vo. Coburg. 1778. Profeffor FACIUS, of Coburg, is an eminent adept in Grecian literature, and his new Latin verfion of the tragedy of Euripides, mentioned in the title, contains an elegant explication of the fenfe and beauty of the original, which is much more interefting than a strictly literal tranflation.
V. Les Adieux du Duc de Bourgogne, et de l'Abbé de Fenelon, fon Precepteur, &c. i. e. The last Converfations of the Duke of Burgundy, and the Abbé Fenelon, his Preceptor: or a Dialogue concerning the different Kinds of Government. 12mo. Doway. 1778. Amidst the multitude of pofthumous works daily attributed to illuftrious men, that which is now before us is neither the