Prehistory, Books by Thomas Legh
Books by Thomas Legh is in Prehistory.
Prehistory, Books by Thomas Legh, Narrative of a Journey in Egypt and the Country beyond the Cataracts
Narrative of a Journey in Egypt and the Country beyond the Cataracts by Thomas Legh Esq. M.P.
Philadeplhia: Published BY M. Thomas. James Maxwell, Printer. 1817.
Prehistory, Books by Thomas Legh, Narrative of a Journey in Egypt and the Country beyond the Cataracts, Narrative of a Journey in Egypt Preface
At a period when political circumstances had closed the ordinary route of continental travelling, and when the restless characteris- tic propensity of the English could only be gratified by exploring the distant countries of the East an entirely new direction was given to the pursuits of the idle and the curious.
A visit to Athens or Constantinople sup- plied the place of a gay and dissipated winter passed in Paris, Vienna, or Petersburg: and the Traveller was left to imagine, and per- haps to regret, the pleasures of the modern cities of civilized Europe, amidst the monuments of the ruined capitals of antiquity. Interviews with the Beys and Pachas of the empire of Mahomet succeeded to the usual presentations at the courts of the Continent; and the Camel, the Firman, and the Tartar were substituted for the ordinary facilities of the Poste the Passports, and the Couriers of the beaten roads of Italy or France.
It was during this period of partial exclusion from Europe, that the Author of the following Narrative, having made the tour of Greece and Albania, was induced by the continuance of the unhealthy state of the countries in the Levant, to direct his steps to the shores of Egypt. That he was afterwards enabled to push his researches beyond the usual boundary of his predecessors was an advantage it was impossible to foresee, and which, on his leaving Cairo, he could scarcely venture to anticipate.
To observe what had previously been des- cribed by others, and, guided by their delineations, to admire the remains of antiquity scattered over the face of that wonderful country, was the original intention of a Journey in which neither himself, nor his friend, Mr. Smelt, in whose society he had the pleasure of travelling, could hope to make fresh acquisitions, or point out the road to future discovery.
But on their arrival at the Cataracts, when they found themselves on the borders of a comparatively new country, and were unexpectedly permitted to penetrate into the interior of Nubia, every object assumed an additional importance; and it is hoped that the novelty and curiosity of the observations made on the spot may, in some measure, compensate for the deficiencies of a work, which makes no pretension to scientific research, or depth of antiquarian erudition. For the hurried manner in which the Temples of Egypt are described, and in some places altogether passed over in silence, the Author has only to account, by referring his readers to the numerous Travels in that country already in the hands of the Public, from the writings of Pococke, Norden, and Niebuhr, down to the more recent Memoires of the Savans of the French Institute.
To his fellow-traveller, the Rev. Charles Smelt, he is particularly indebted for the use of his Journal, from which have been extrac- ted many valuable notes and observations; and to the kindness of his friend, Dr. Macmichael, his acknowledgments are due, for the assistance afforded him in arranging his Memoranda and preparing his Narrative for the press.