Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

of true liberty was equal to his hatred of licen. tiousness; his zeal for the equal rights of man to his zeal for the defeat of faction and anarchy. Actuated by public spirit, and viewing it the duty of every citizen to throw his whole weight into the scale on the side of law and order, he was earnest in his wishes and prayers for the government of his country, and in critical periods took an open and unequivocal, and, as far as professional private duties allowed, an active part.

“ The academies and societies instituted for arts and sciences, for promoting historical knowledge and humanity, as well as the University, are deprived of all that assistance and support which, as far as health permitted, they derived from one whose preponderating desire was to do good, whose solid mind was superior to the vanity of applause, and valued everything in proportion to its utility.

“ As a son, a husband, a father, a brother, a friend, and neighbour, what he was their bleed. ing hearts' can tell who were connected with him in these interesting relations; who knew his kind and cheerful temper, his sincere and guileless disposition, his disinterested benevo. lence, and his activity in every good work."

A

PRELIMINARY DISSERTATION

ON THE CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF AFRICA BY THE AN. CIENTS, AND ITS PROBABLE CONSEQUENCE, THE

POPULATION OF SOME PART OF AMERICA,

The first navigators of whom we have any account were the Phoenicians, who were scattered along the coasts of the Mediterranean and of the Red Sea. As early as the days of Moses they had extended their navigation beyond the Pillars of Hercules, on the western coast of Africa towards the south, and as far northward as the Island of Britain, whence they imported tin and lead,* which, according to the universal testimony of the ancients, were not then found in any other country

From the accounts given in ancient history of the expeditions of Sesostris, king of Egypt, some have been led to conclude that he made a discovery of all the coasts of Africa.t However this might be, there is no doubt that

* See Numbers, ch. xxxi., v. 22.
† Forster's History of Voyages and Discoveries, p. 7.

he opened or revived a commercial intercourse with India and Ethiopia by way of the Red Sea. It hath also been thought that the voyages of the Phænicians and Hebrews to Ophir, in the time of Solomon, were nothing more nor less than circumnavigations of Africa.*

But, leaving these, for the present, in the region of conjecture, the earliest regular account which we have of any voyage round the Continent of Africa is that performed by order of Necho, king of Egypt, and recorded by Herodotus ; the most ancient historian, except the sacred writers, whose works have come down to our time. His character as a historian is " candid in his acknowledgment of what is uncertain, and absolute when he speaks of what he knows." The date of Necho's reign is fixed by Rollin 616 years before Christ. The date of Herodotus's history is placed by Dufresnoy in the third year of the 83d Olympiad, answering to 446 years before Christ: so that he must have penned his narration of this voyage in less than two centuries after it was performed. I shall give his account at large, in a literal translation from the Geneva edition of his work, in

* Forster's History of Voyages and Discoveries, p. 7.

« ПредишнаНапред »