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unfair advantage of disposing of them, at some future time, by weight. We will do Mr. Parsons the justice to say that he does not appear to have been actuated by this selfish motive, as his volume is neither very large nor very heavy: although, indeed, after his readers have toiled through the moderate quantity of 346 pages of a neat quarto, it might perhaps occur to some of them, to inquire by what dexterity and skill in the art of authorship, he contrived to fill so large a portion of space with so little matter-a problem which we believe Mr. Abraham Parsons himself, with all his admiration of the Sphinx, could never, even till Doomsday, have had țime enough to answer.
We are induced, indeed, to think that this work has been published, in common with many others of a similar description, in consequence of some observations in a journal of great celebrity, on the importance of the communications of those we may
call mercantile travellers. The journalists who have openly given encouragement to these travellers, pretend that the means of their information are greater than those possessed by the generality of voyagers, both from their usual long residence in different countries, and from their consequent intercourse with the natives.
It is falsc, however, to estimate men merely by the situa. tions into which they are casually thrown, and not by the capability they possess of benefiting by them. An ignorant man would scarce be the wiser, although he were transplanted to the moon, and it is difficult to see how he should make others so. It is impossible, indeed, that he whose education has not been liberal, and whose mind is narrow, should well describe the countries and the people he visits. To the jaundiced eye all is yellow; to such a traveller every thing dissimilar from that to which he has been accustomed, appears deformed and monstrous : he looks only on the artificial and obvious distinctions between the modes of society in states; he knows nothing of the more recondite discriminations that separate, as it were, the souls of communities; and, even in the midst of the most liberal and enlightened intercourse, keep nation distinct from nation. Whilst passing with him through remote countries, we appear, as far as relates to improvement, not yet to have quitted our own. Freedom, with him, cannot emanate beyond the cliffs of Britain; civilization is bounded by the Mediterranean and Red Seas: Asia was created only to supply England with teas; and Africa to furnish her with ship-loads of elephants' teeth. But what delights him most, and what he manages with most dexterity, is the balance of trade. This he fancies to be a subject, from his mercantile habits, peculiarly fitted to his comprehension ; and there is no subject on which he so much expatiates, saving only such dishes as prawns or john-dories. Not that we mean to call in question the learning of British merchants, for amongst them are to be found, statesmen, historians, and poets; but we confidently affirm, that it is not from such factors as usually proceed on voyaging expeditions, tliat we are to look for valuable information relative to foreign countries. Auctioneers might, indeed, over the hammer, discuss with eloquence the merits of a dappled steed; but it does not altogether lie within their province to decide on the interests of colonies :-no! not although they were, for a very long time, vendue-masters at the Demerary. Much less do we think that a factor-marine (a word, by the way, which we have been in vain endeavouring to turn out in the dictionaries), possesses such great scientific advantages from the dignity of his situation, as to compensate for bad grammar and bad
We speak this, we must confess, with some degree of diffidence, as we do not exactly know the office of a factormarine, or the functions he has to perform. Perhaps, from the hardness of his name (which is compounded of facio, to make, and mare, a sea), that those luminaries are usually chosen to be factor-marines, who, by the force of native genius, unaided by education, attempt the most difficult and praiseworthy undertakings.
Be this as it may, Mr. Abraham Parsons now deserves our attention, who, if a fondness for good “ caponing” be one of the qualifications of a justice of the peace, was as well entitled to form one of the quorum, as any country gentleman on this side the Tweed. Of this happy propensity, we have such proofs in every page of his book, that we must confess, to our sorrow, our review-like appetites were frequently provoked, as frequently to be suppressed; and, although not Scotsmen, we could not help a thousand times wishing ourselves from home, with Mr. Parsons, his prawns, and his john-dories.
The travels before us were originally written by Mr. Abraham Parsons, “ consul and factor-marine at Scanderoon, in 66 Asiatic Turkey.” The manuscript, however, being somewhat inelegant and unpolished, its verbal and grammatical inaccuracies were corrected, and, in some instances, the arrangement of its sentences completed, by the labour of Mr. Barjew of Bristol. To the editor, therefore, the public owe it, that this work possesses the great merit of grammatical purity, as well as so many elegancies in its style and diction -advantages which cannot be estimated too highly, as we are to receive from its original and instructive information " in points but lightly touched on by former travellers, and
a more clear and natural view of society and manners in “ the East, than in many more elaborate and florid publi66 cations."
Scandaroon is situated at the extremity of the Mediterranean Sea, in lat. 36. 40. N. at the south-east angle of the bottom of the gulf of the same name, and approaching so very near to exceeding high mountains as to be within half an hour's walk to the ascent of them. The town is unhealthy from its low and
marshy situation, the inhabitants being subject to agues. This inconvenience, says our author, is compensated by the quantity of wild fowl and fish caught at this season when the tertians prevail, so that the sick in this country, we suppose, receive benefit from the appetites of those that are well. The cod is found in the gulf of Scandaroon, and in no other part of the Mediterranean; and, what is more surprising, it is in all respects the same as the cod in the English and North-seas. Besides the cod, it will delight our city aldermen to hear, that in the winter season there are both red and grey mullets,-the red in great abundance, and as cheap as sprats in England in a plentiful season : john-dories, prawns, and soles, but not in ^plenty, in February and March. As we did not before know, that the mutton of Scandaroon was as good “as in any part of 66 the known world;"--we presume this is one of the chapters in which the editor predicted us original and instructive in“ formation.” In the road from Scandaroon to Bias (to which our author travelled) are the remains of two columns. Mr. Parsons was so incredulous as not to believe " that on that “ very spot the whale threw up Jonah, and there landed him, " and that in consequence those two columns were built, 66 which have been ever since called after his name Jonah's
Pillars.” In chapter two, we find that the road from Scandaroon to Bylan is very steep; the town of Bylan near a mile long; and, by way of dessert to the above-mentioned johndories, the grapes of Bylan very fine.
. Figs, plums, apri166 cots, peaches, apples, and pears are likewise in great plenty,
well as mulberries and walnuts.” September 1, 1772, Mr. Parsons, attended by his cook, began his tour from Bylan to Kepse, the antient Seleucia. He viewed a prospect from an eminence on the road, which was most surprizingly beauti66 ful.”
“ The plain Seemed variegated like a rich and beautiful carpet, " the Orontes gliding through it in meanders; the lake to the left, 6 at a great distance below, seemed only like a large pond, although
" it was more than thirty miles in circumference; nor did the river “ itself appear wider than a ditch.”
From the elegance of taste and richness of metaphor by which this passage is characterized, and which are so unusual with our author, we shrewdly suspect it to be one among the many labours of Mr. Barjew of Bristol, and return him our thanks for the pleasure it afforded us. We believe too, the following specimen of amiable simplicity proceeded from his
" At Ordu (to which our author travelled) the inhabitants are
more than three-fourths of them Greeks, yet none but the priests “ understand Greek, both Turks and Greeks speaking the language " of the country, which is Arabic.”
From Ordu our travellers (i.e. Mr. Parsons and cook) went to Latachia (the antient Laodicea), which is not quite so large or populous as in antient times. Here Mr. Parsons found a convent of missionary Carmelite friars, with whom he dined several times, and “ their refectory was well supplied with the “ best wine and provisions that can be obtained.” He departed from Latachia to Aleppo, and on his road saw a chasm which was called by the name of the Old Woman's Slit. But more astonishing, he actually saw (mirabile dictu) at a village called Chogle, men in the very act of breeding silk-worms, and masons, carpenters, smiths, and barbers. At Aleppo, where in due time he arrived, the gates are opened at about half an hour before sun-rise, and shut about half an hour after sun-set. “The gate nearest the Jewdeda is called the Garden"gate; the easternmost gate is called tlie Bagdat-gate ; the " westernmost the Antioch-gate ; and the other, the Damas" cus-gate.” And so ends the history of the gates. After our traveller had returned from Aleppo to Scandaroon, and again from Scandaroon to Aleppo, he provided full two months provisions, of “hams, rice, dried tongues, biscuit, butter, “ coffee, sugar, wine, beer, rum, barley for his horse, &c. &c. " &c.”--for the purpose of seeing Bagdat--which he saw.