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answer readily suggested itself, that following his high behest, he was wandering through the world in voluntary poverty, employing all his wealth in pious uses : founding colleges and grammar-schools, marrying young virgins, building hospitals, and endowing churches. Frauds were discovered, but the credit of the alchemist was never lost amongst the brotherhood. Detection of imposture did not disgrace the science. The Disciple affirmed that his Master willingly presented himself as a cheat, and purposely subjected himself to the disgrace of appearing like a trickster, lest the wicked princes of the world should seize the invaluable artist, and force him by scourge and fire to disclose the never-failing source of opulence.
It might be thought that the numbers who had lost their all in this sliding science, would induce more correct though more uncharitable opinions. Yet alchemy stood its ground, and flourished; and the adept, though a felon by Act of Parliament, worked in peace with unchanged hope and unwearied earnestness.-All the sad experience which he obtains can never suffice for his instruction. Retorts burst, the crucibles are shivered in the glede, the projection evaporates in reek and fume, but the alchemist is not to be roused from his day-dream. Again he returns to the laboratory. He refils the alembic and the aludel; and the Bath of Mary is replenished anew. Salt, sulphur, and mercury are blended in proportionate measure, and once more the parched disciple of Geber watches the concoction of the tincture and the menstruum, whilst he nourishes the slow reverberating flames of the athanor. His diligence abates not with increasing age. His auburn hair has become grey. His limbs are shrunken, but still he labours without renission. Years roll on. The colours of the liquid change; it reflects the azure hue, which gradually softens into the play of the opal, and at length the iridescent tints concentrate into the gleam of the orient ruby. Breathless and feverish, he hails the appearances which the mystic sages of the East have taught him to consider as the tokens that the great work is fast approaching to its consummation. He rejoices. His toils are terminated, and the elixir is in his power. But at the very moment of joy, he discovers again that fate denies the boon: and the transmutation is as ineffectual as when, young in spirit, he first read the perplexed allegories in which he has so long placed his trust. And yet he will not learn the truth, but with hopeless eagerness returns again to the madness which lives in him even until he expires!
We readily ascribe this erring obstinacy to the ignorance of the Middle Ages.' Wisdom is attributed to our times because the true end of science is now rightly defined. Undoubtedly the chemist has much more kuowledge, but the average quantity in the wide world remains nearly the same. Men may become wiser: they cannot become wise. The most mischievous hallucination of the adept was not occasioned by his erroneous hypothesis ; the disease arose from a disorganization which is still as prevalent as ever, and which no hellebore can cure. It affects the species, not the individual. It arises not from the head, but from the heart. It is a sin, and not a folly. Expectations which the ordinary course of events cannot realize, hopes which regular industry cannot fulfil, desires which all the mines of Ophir cannot satisfy, will always enslave mankind. Avarice in other days listened to the cozening promises whose fallacy is now proved; but the thrall of that bad passion who pined before the furnace, is now conducted to the speculations of the merchant's mart, or to the bazard of his wealth in the midnight den of the gamester. Those who are unable to acquire the practical philosophy of abandoning all wishes except such as can be dictated by prudence and accepted by honesty, have derived no great advantage, though knowledge has annihilated the temptation which punished the ancient alchemist with want and ruin.
Astrology, like Alchemy, derives no protection from sober reason, yet with all its vanity and idleness, it was not a corrupting weakness. Tokens, predictions, prognostics, possess a psychological reality. All events are but the consummation of preceding causes, clearly felt, but not distinctly apprehended. · When the strain is sounded, the most untutored listener can tell that it will end with the key-note, though he cannot explain why each successive bar must at last lead to the concluding chord. The onien embodies the presentiment, and receives its consistency from our hopes or fears.
The influence of astrology over the individual often added to his energy. As such, it may have been a beneficial fallacy. undertaking, perhaps no good one, was ever accomplished but by him who firmly felt that he was called and named to accomplish the task. A philosopher of France, possessing great and deserved reputation, has told us, that modern science earus its chief honours by dispelling this enthusiasm.- Astronomy'-he observes— is the proudest monument of the human mind, and the noblest evidence of its powers. Equally deceived by the imperfections of his senses and the illusions of self-love, man long considered himself to be the centre of the movements of the stars. And his vanity has been punished by the terrors to which they have given rise. At length ages of labour have removed the veil which concealed the system of the world from bim. He then found himself placed on the surface of a planet, so small as to be scarcely perceptible in that solar system,
which itself is but a point in the infinity of space. The sublime results to which his discoveries have conducted him are fit to console him for the rank which they assign to the earth. Therefore we should employ every endeavour to preserve and increase these exalted sources of knowledge, the delight of all thinking beings. They have rendered important services to navigation and geography; but the greatest of all benefits which they have conferred upon society must be found in the removal of the fears excited by the celestial phenomena, and the confutation of the errors created by our ignorance of the true relations which we bear to nature.'--Such are the words of La Place, and the opinions involved in the general argument will be readily admitted. Yet it may be right that we should temper our exultation. We can now view the planets as they circle, without supposing that they are impelled by intelligences who exercise either a benign or an hostile influence over our actions. Renouncing the support derived from the star-gazer and the astrologer, we are freed from their unfounded terrors : but if it is a subject of triumph that the human mind should be thus emancipated, let us recollect the means by which the victory has been gained. We do not owe it only to the observations of the astronomer or to the truths of the Ephemeris. Nor do we vindicate our intellectual diga nity if we content ourselves with remaining stationary in knowledge, as soon as we have learnt to withdraw our erring confidence in the supernatural effects ascribed to the works of creation and the forms of the material world, and to free ourselves from their imputed rule and mastery. When they strove to dissuade Elizabeth from gazing at the comet which was thought to bode evil to her, she ordered the Palace window to be set open, and pointing to the meteor, she exclaimed—Jacta est alea—the die is cast-my stedfast hope and confidence are too firmly planted in the Providence of God, to be blasted or affrighted by these beams.'
Art. X.-Viaggio da Tripoli di Barberia alle Frontiere dell'
Egitto, fatto nel 1817, dal Dottore P. Della-Cella. 8vo. Genova.
our Article on Fernando Po was out of the press we have been favoured with a copy of the journal of Signor DellaCella, (noticed at p. 57.) and we hasten to lay some account of it before our readers, The Doctor ought to consider himself as peculiarly fortunate in having met with so excellent an opportunity of visiting one of the oldest and most celebrated of the Greek colonies, established upwards of seven hundred years before the
VOL. XXVI. NO, LI.
birth of Christ; and in being the first European to follow the footsteps of Cato round the shores of the Syrtis, and to explore a region untrodden by Christian fout since the expulsion of the Romans, the Huns, and the Vandals, by the enterprising disciples of Mahomet.
We cannot however, in strict justice, pay bim the compliment of saying, that he has availed himself of these advantages to the extent ubich might have been expected from a gentleman of education, for such the profession of Signor Della-Cella would warrant us in supposing him to be. A very general view of the aspect of the country; a few critical remarks, of no great depth or importance, on certain passages in ancient writers ; loose and general descriptions of various massy ruins in the Pentapolis; and some incidental occurrences, illustrative of the conduct and composition of a Tripolitan army, and its destructive progress through the Nomadic tribes which compose nearly the whole of the population of Libya, make up the volume.
Scanty and indistinct, however, as the information is, it is by no means devoid of interest; more especially at the present moment, when, as we mentioned before, we have an expedition actually engaged in traversing and exploring the precise line of country over which Della-Cella passed. It may not, therefore, be upacceptable to our readers if we furnish them with a hasty sketch of the route pursued by the Genoese physician, and of the few objects which engaged his attention, as preparatory to a more perfect and detailed report, which we trust, ere long, to be enabled to lay before them.
The occasion of this journey is thus stated by our author : ' Among the inany monsters that are nourished in Africa, which from days of yore has been called the country of monsters, Mhamet Karomalli, the eldest s:n of the reigning bashaw of Tripoli, may probably be placed in the first rank. Of a mind so dull, that the light of reason has never been able to penetrate it, giving to the most brutal passions an unbridled sway, there is no species of cruelty of which he is not capable, no violence of which he has not been guilty: often has he been known to administer to his slaves doses of arsenic, for the express purpose of witnessing the convulsive struggles with which these unfortunate creatures were attacked in the agonies of death. This inquisitive personage, it seems, had been dispatched by his father (who probably had some fears of having the experiment made on himself) at the head of a small force, to subdue certain Bedouin tribes of the province of Bengazi, who infested the shores of the gulph of the Greater Syrtis, ravaging the neighbouring country; and, what was of far more importance, refusing
the usual tribute. Karomalli so completely fulfilled the commission of his father, as to leave him of that tribe neither rebels nor subjects. Grown more insolent by success, he one day aimed a blow at his father, who, instead of punishing him as he deserved, or putting him in a situation where he could do no further mischief, appointed him governor of the provinces of Bengazi and Derna, on the eastern confines of the regency, where dwelt a powerful tribe of Bedouins, named Zoasi, ill-affected towards the Bashaw, and frequently in a state of open rebellion. Scarcely had this hopeful youth reached his government, when the old man was apprised that he had put himself at the head of the rebels, whom he was sent to reduce; and he soon found it necessary, for his own security, to dispatch an army under the command of his second son, Ahmet, to bring his first to a sense of his duty. Wishing to take with him a medical practitioner from Europe, Ahmet applied to the Sardinian consul, who recommended Della-Cella for the purpose; and the Doctor was accordingly engaged.
On the 11th of February, 1817, they departed from Tripoli, and reached Tagiura with about 500 men; here they were reinforced with more troops, the miserable and contemptible appearance of whom, appears to have struck our traveller with astonishment. The women came out of their houses as the Bey passed, chaunting, or (as our traveller will bave it) roaring, with a 'hoarse guttural sound, the song of lu, lu, lu, which, being joined by the soldiers, made a sort of concert, or symphony, which the Doctor facetiously describes as not unlike the croaking of Dutch nightingales.
The hills which border the plains of Tagiura produce a great deal of saffron and of the Cassia Senna; while the lower grounds, along the sea-coast, are covered with palm-trees, from the fruit of which the natives derive a considerable portion of their subsistence, the juice at the same time supplying them with their favourite Lagbibi or palm wine, which is harınless and pleasant when fresh, but sharp and inebriating if left to ferment. This beverage was well known to - the ancient inhabitants, as appears from Herodolus. Groups of ( live-trees are scattered over these plains, which are left to thrive as they can; notwithstanding that the oil, which is occasionally expressed from the fruit, by rollers cut from the granite columns of the ruins of Lebida, is said to be of an exquisite quality.
About 5000 Moors and Jews compose the population of Tagiura, who subsist partly by agriculture, and partly by the manufacture of baracans and of mats, from the leaves of the palm-tree. Among them are a multitude of those idle vagabonds known by the name of Maraboots. They are a sort of privileged