Page images

gate at the back of his house. At length it was resolved we When we had quitted our boat to should return to Manfalout again, accompany the Turks to Manfa- claim the assistance of the Calout, we had given orders that it cheff, or endeavour to convince should follow us, and now found the Arabs of our innocence. We it waiting close to the town. quickly reached the town, and

We again set sail, but as the had no sooner stepped on shore wind continued to blow strongly than we were assailed by three from the north, with little pro- women, and five or six children spect of eluding the pursuit of our they were all naked and smearenemies.

ed with mud. We were informed The Nile here is about two that they were the wives and musket shots broad, and we were children of the men who had pecontinually obliged to tack. rished, and the state in which Though we rowed with all our they exhibited themselves was acmight we made but little way, cording to the custom of mournand had scarcely lost sight of the ing amongst them. As we were town before we observed a party armed, we reached without much of horsemen at- a considerable obstruction the house of the Cadistance in the Desert, on the cheff, whom we now found surright bank of the Nile, whom we rounded by more than four huntook for Bedouin Arabs. Soon dred Arabs, and amongst them after we perceived a number of the Shekh of the village of Amheads peeping over the sand hil- abdi. Making our way through locks on the same side. We were the crowd, we luckily recognized at this moment nearly in the mid- the person of the Arab whom we dle of the river, and consequently had left and supposed to have a little without inusket shot. died with his companions in the Suddenly several Arabs jumped cavern. His appearance was most up and shouted to us to come wretched; he was unable to stand, over, or they would fire upon us. and was supported by two of his

We rowed our boat as quickly friends. We afterwards found as possible to the other bank, and he had escaped by the light of consulted amongst ourselves what Mr. Smelt's torch, when he was measures to take. Our danger obliged to remain for a short time was imminent, we

to recover his strength at the edge rounded on all sides by enemies, of the trench. Our dragoman our friend the Cacheff at Manfa- related our story again, and called lout was unable to protect us, upon the survivor to confirm the and the distance to Miniet was truth of it, but in vain ; on the seventy miles.

If the wind had contrary he maintained we had been favourable, by fast sailing taken him and his companions by and keeping close to the left bank force, and compelled them to of the river, we might have es- conduct us to the place. In this caped our pursuers; but in the falsehood he was supported by the present circumstances it would Arab who had remained on the have been madness to continue outside of the cavern, and whom



we now saw for the first time


our course.



among the crowd. In our de

one protected by his firman. This fence we replied it was not pos- had its effect, and the Cacheff sible we could have used any having consulted for some time means of compulsion, as we were with the Shekh, suggested an acunarmed. This we boldly assert- commodation by money. This ed, as the brace of pistols I had proposal we at first affected to with me

never produced. reject with disdain, as it would Besides, we recalled to his me- in some manner be an acknowmory that on our way thither one ledgement of our guilt, though of the guides who had died, had we were secretly anxious to terreplenished our bardak with water minate the affair at any rate. Our from a well near Amabdi.-This dragoman was sent to negociate proved that we had gone amicably with the Cacheff, and it was together.

finally agreed we should pay twelve The Cacheff, who continued to piastres or two Spanish dollars to treat us haughtily in public, com- each of the women, and the same manded the Arab to explain the we offered as a present to means by which the infidels (who the Shekh of the village. All he confessed were without arms) animosity seemed now to have had killed his companions. He ceased, and we were permitted replied, by magic, for he had quietly to return to our vessel, seen me burning something on

and continue our voyage. our first entrance into the great chamber. This was the bat I had accidentally scorched. Our cause now began to wear a better complexion : part of the crowd, who [From a French paper.] treated the idea of magic with contempt, believed us innocent, The superstitious anxiety exei. and the rest probably dreaded the ted at present among the vulgar, imaginary powers with which we anderen among people who would had been invested. Emboldened be offended at being so classed, by this change of sentiment in by the great news of spots in the our favour, our dragoman assumed Sun, must afford ample matter of a lofty tone, and peremptorily reflection to all enlightened men. insisted on our being sent, to- What renders these terrors ridigether with our two accusers and culous is, that nothing is more the Shekh of Amabdi, to Siout, to usual than the appearance of spots Ibrahim Bey, the son of the in the Sun's disk : few years pass Pacha of Cairo, and the Governor during which astronomers do not of Upper Egypt. The reputation observe them in less or greater of this man for cruelty was numbers, and no injurious ingreat, that his very name excited fluence has ever yet resulted from terror in the assembly. It was them. A spot was, observed in now our turn to threaten, and we 1779, which, from its apparent talked of the alliance of our king dimensions, must have been about with the Pacha of Cairo, and the 17,000 leagues in diameter; it consequence of ill-treating any was therefore five or six times as




large as the earth. It passed off they appear on the Sun's border like the rest, without doing any

like a slender thread. In propormischief.

tion as they advance towards the We were of course indebted to middle of the disk, they appear, the telescope for our first know- from day to day, to enlarge in the ledge of the existence of such direction of their movement. spots. They were seen for the They then decrease periodically; first time in 1611; and nearly and if they last long enough to about the same time by J. Fabri- traverse the whole disk, they go cius, at Wittenberg, by the Jesuit off by the opposite disk, narrowScheiner, and by Galileo. That ing to a single thread. These apgreat man watched their course pearances are evidently such as a with so much attention, and so small body, adhering to a spheriwell developed their phenomena, cal surface, and revolving with or that very little has been since ad- upon that surface, must present. ded to the descriptions which he The diminution of the spots, iu gave, except more precise mea- proportion as they approximate sures. The spots of the Sun are the borders of the disk, results at present viewed with astronomia from this—that they then project cal telescopes, in which the great more obliquely, and are only seen brilliancy of that star is mitigated sidewise ; but when in the middle and not effaced, by the coloured of the disk they are seen in their glass placed between the telescope full extent. In fine, upon comand the eye.

There are in the in- paring the direction and rapidity terior of the telescope, at the focus of their course, it soon becomes of the object, some very fine evident that the supposition of threads stretched crosswise, and their adhering to the body of the moveable parallely to each other, Sun is the only admissible one : by means of which the distance that course is so steady, that when of the spot from the nearest bor- the same spot has been watched der of the Sun's disk may be as- for several days, all the other pocertained, which determines its sitions which it may take may be position on the disk at the mo- predicted with certainty, On ment of observation. By follow- thus tracing the route of all those ing in this manner the same spot which appear, it is ascertained for several days, it is perceived to that they move in courses exactchange its place. Its size also ly parallel, describing circles varies much. The spots some

which all have their centre on a times grow thinner, and disperse common axis, passing through from one day to another : and the centre of the Sun. The size hence it is that, though last month of these circles varies on different rather a large number was visible, points of the disk, according to within these few days only two the same laws as on a sphere; are to be seen. But during the and the rate of movement is alowhole time of their presence they dified in such way, that all the pursue a regular course, of which circles are run through in equal the aspects are common to all. times. This perfect concordance When they first come in sight, of revolution in spots so change




able in other respects, so fleeting, ing, the physical state of our litand so independent on each other, tle world is incomparably more evidently shows that they must stable and steady than its moral be attached to one and the same state. round body which makes them rer volve altogether with a common motion. Hence it has been con

ACCOUNT cluded that the Sun revolves upon itself with the general motion of these spots, that is, in 25 days By M. Palacio Furar. and a half, in like manner as

(From Journal of Science and the Arts.) our earth revolves in 24 hours. The same calculation, applied to In Maracaybo, one of the prothe spots which have been dis- vinces of Venezuela (48 miles east covered on the other planets, has of Merida, about 8 degrees of in like manner made us acquaint N.L. and 70 degrees some mied with their rotation.

nutes of W. Lon.), is a valley, As to the nature of these solar called

called Lalagunilla, the small spots, it is absolutely unknown. lake. On the south of this valHerschell is of opinion that lumi- ley, which contains an extent nous clouds Boat in the inflamed of country seven miles in length atmosphere of this star, as clouds and five in breadth, runs that of vapour float in ours. He sup- branch of the Andes which exposes that the body of the Sun is tends along the coast of Veneopaque and dark; and that the zuela, and rising on this spot to black spots observed there at in- the line of perpetual snow, forms tervals are merely the summits of La Sierra Nevada of Merida. very elevated mountains, which The waters that descend norththe solar clouds permit us to see wards from La Sierra unite to between their openings. Other form the river Chama, which traastronomers think that the globe verses the neighbouring counof the Sun is on fire, and that the tries, Mucuchies, Merida, Exido, spots are merely immense scoriæ, Lalagunilla, and Estanques, and launched on the surface of that loses itself in the woods which mass by the terrible explosions of surround the lake of Maracaybo. which our terrestrial volcanoes Those, on the contrary, which afford but a feeble picture. But descend southwards from the whatever may be thought of these Cordilliera are received by several conjectures, it seems sufficient rivers communicating with the for us to know, that the solar Apure, which falls into the Orospots are trifling compared with At a considerable height the immense mass of that star; northwards, on La Sierra, is and that the eruptions of which found the species of Cinchona, they are perhaps the effect take known in commerce by the applace at too great a distance from pellation of Cinchona of Carthaour earth to produce the least ef- gena. fect upon it. Generally speak- The north side of Lalagunilla



is bounded by a limestone hill. the environs constantly pass some The land rises. imperceptibly to- months of the year at Lalagunilla. wards the east and descends gra

The waters of the lake are imdually several fathoms towards pregnated with carbonate of soda, the west, until it reaches that which crystallizes in the dry seatract of country which produces son, and is in that state by the the Cacao (cocos butiracea). The Indians called Urao. The ex: bed of the valley is formed of traction of this salt, which is emchalk; it is situated about 250 ployed at Venezuela to prepare fathoms above the level of the the Mè or inspissated juice of to

bacco, has been long known and The village of Lalagunilla is practised at Lalagunilla. At the situate in the south of the valley; end of the last century, when the its inhabitants, a strong laborious Court of Madrid monopolized the people, are Indians, whose only cultivation of tobacco, the right occupation is agriculture and the of extracting the Urao fell likeextraction of the Urao.

wise to the crown. On the east Nearly in the centre of the val- side of the lake a magazine was ley is the lake which receives the erected for receiving the Urao, and rain water that descends from the another building as a residence for neighbouring mountains ; but as the Teniente visitador, or captain even during the greatest drought of Gens d'armes, in whom was the lake never becomes dry, it is vested the government of the lake, supposed that it has some springs with a view to prevent a species which supply it with water, in- of smuggling which the Indians dependent of the rains. Its di- are much inclined to practise, by mensions in the rainy season, in secretly withdrawing the Urao. the widest part, are two hundred The water of the lake is of a and ten fathoms by one hundred yellowish green colour, of a saand six. On the eastern side, ponaceous quality, alkaline taste, where the waters are deepest, its and peculiar smell. There is no depth never exceeds three fa- appearance of fish of any kind thoms. To prevent inundations in these waters; the only living to the neighbouring cottages, a ci eature I could observe was drain is cut on the south-east insect on the borders of the lake, side, which carries the waters which appeared to me a species into the Chama. On the eastern of spider. side the waters are very shallow, These waters having a strengthand being contracted in width, ening quality, convalescents regive to the lake a somewhat oval sort thither in the morning to form. It is on this side that bathe, and derive great benefit many aquatic plants are found. from them in some cutaneous The air of the valley being very diseases. In many disorders indry, the climate mild, the sky se- cident to horses they are likewise rene, the country in a high state

very efficacious. of cultivation, and the view of La When the period for the exSierra Neveda truly sublime, a traction of the Urao arrives, residence here is delightful, and which is every two years, those many families from Merida and Indians of Lalagunilla, who are



« PreviousContinue »