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BY J. J. HALLS, Esq. 


VOL. I. 


9ublitfl)rr in tSrUinarj) to ftitf jHajtfttn. 





Mt dear Sir, 

Allow me to return you my sincere acknow- 
ledgments for the favour of your kind permis- 
sion to dedicate the following work to you. 

The name of Yorke has so long been cele- 
brated in the annals of our common country, 
that I confess I feel some pride and gratification 
in being permitted to usher my present under- 
taking into the world, under tthe immediate 
auspices of a distinguished descendant of so 
illustrious a family. 

This avowal, perhaps, might appear too much 
to savour of vanity, were I not guided on the 

* Some months afler this work was in the press, it was 
with feeh'ngs of the deepest regret that I learned the death 
of the distinguished individual to whom the following pages 
are, by his former permission, inscribed. He was the genu- 
ine type of the upright and dignified English gentleman, 
and those even who differed from him in political senti- 
ments, must ever hold his memory in high estimation as a 
sincere lovet of his country, and as a most honourable and 
worthy man. — E. 

April 20th, 1834. 


occasion by more cogent motives ; but the favour 
and the friendship which you uniformly evinced 
towards the late Mr. Salt, your extensive ac- 
quirements in many of the subjects which occu- 
pied no inconsiderable portion of his research, 
and the warm zeal with which you promoted 
everything that could tend to his advantage and 
welfare ; all seem to concur in pointing you out 
as the individual to whom these pages might be, 
with the greatest propriety, addressed. 

The sincere friendship which for so many years 
subsisted between me and Mr. Salt, and your 
warm exertions in his behalf, induce me almost 
to regard you in the light of a personal bene- 
factor, and, I am sure, should he be permitted 
to look down upon human affairs, he would 
behold with heartfelt satisfaction this humble 
testimony of my tespect for a character, which 
he so much admired, and so truly esteemed. 
I remain, my dear sir, with great respect. 
Yours most sincerely, 

J. J. Halls. 

London, Jan. Ist, 1834. 


The following work has been undertaken in 
consequence of an early promise, made by me to 
Mr. Salt, that, in the event of my surviving him, 
I would write his life. CircumstaHces, over which 
I had little or no control, for a time prevented 
me from discharging my obligation ; but having 
at length been furnished with the necessary 
documents, I have since spared neither diligence 
nor pains in bringing my labour to a conclusion. 

In the arrangement of the work, I have endea- 
voured, as much as possible, to keep the chain of 
the narrative unbroken, and in developing the 
life, I have generally relied more upon the cor- 
respondence than upon any other source of in- 

The account of Mr. Salt's transactions with 
the British Museum, is of too long and of too 
involved a description to admit of its being in- 


terwoven into the body of the work, and it is 
therefore given in a separate article at the end 
of the book. 

In conclusion, I beg leave to return my best 
thanks to those individuals, who have been 
pleased in the progress of the undertaking to 
favour me with their friendly advice and with 
many interesting materials. In these respects I 
feel myself particularly indebted to the Earl of 
Mountnorris, to the Right Honourable Charles 
Yorke, and to William Hamilton, Esq. the 
author of the ** Egjrptiaca.** I also owe similar 
acknowledgments to Sir Francis Darwin, Cap- 
tain Mangles, Henry Beechy, Esq., Mrs. Mor- 
gan, &c. and especially to Bingham Richards, 
Esq. the firm, indefatigable, and uniform friend 
of Mr. Salt, during a period of thirty-three 





Birth of Mr* Salt. — His Family and Connexions. — Early 
disposition and character. — His progress at school — Illness 
while there. — His studies in drawing. — Sent to London as 
a student in portrait-painting under Mr. Farington. — His 
first acquaintance with the present Biographer. — His de- 
ficiency in his profession. — Studies at the Royal Academy. 
— His critical situation. — Persuades his father to place him 
under the tuition of Mr. Hoppner. . . . Page 1 


Mr. Hoppner's liberality. — Alarming intelligence from 
Lichfield. — A dilemma. — Illness of Salt's mother. — Her 
death. — Salt's letters on the occasion. — His own dan- 
gerous illness. — Dr. Darwin's opinion. — Salt's aberration of 
mind. — Anecdote. — His recovery and return to London. 
— ^Pecuniary embarrassments. — Hopelessness as to success 
in his profession. — Errors in his education as a portrait- 
painter. — His social character. — Devotion to the gentler 
sex. — First Love. — Death of the young object of his 
affection. — Dreams. — Pernicious habit of procrastination. — 
Letters from Salt. — His fits of energy and promptitude. — 
Meditates a change in his situation. — Unexpected op- 
portunity 26 



Salt's first acquaintance with Lord Valentia. — Proposes 
to accompany that nobleman to India. — Embarkation of his 
Lordship and Mr. Salt — Letter from Salt descriptive of 
his voyage. — Arrival at Calcutta. — Tours in India. — 
Embark for Ceylon. — Farther Tours in the East — Sail 
for the Red Sea. — Anchor off the Amphili Islands. — 
Arrival at Massowah. — Desertion of some of the crew of 
the Antelope. — Salt sails for Bombay. — Starts with Lord 
Valentia for Poonah and other places in the interior of 
India 60 


Quit Bombay. — Arrive at Poonah. — Scene of Famine on 
the Road. — Leave Poonah. — Salt's Drawings. — Return to 
Bombay. — Excursion to the Island of Salsette. — Sail for 
Mocha. — Survey of the Coast of the Red Sea. — Site of 
the ancient City of Adulis. — Return to Mocha. — Salt sent 
on a Mission to the Ras of TigrL — The Journey. — Arrival 
at Antalo. — ^Interview with the Ras. ... 88 


Altered' conduct of the Ras. — An explanation. — Miscon- 
duct of Hadjee Hamet — Journey to Adowa. — Arrival at 
Axum. — Ancient Inscription. — Abyssinian Church and 
Obelisk. — Irreconcilable statements of Salt and Bruce. — 
Return to Adowa. — Abyssinian ladies. — Leave Adowa. — 
Arrival at Antalo. — Muster of the Ras's army. — Confidence 
reestablished between Salt and the Ras. — Take leave of the 
Ras. — Journey back towards Massowah. — Salt and his 
party join their friends on board the Panther. — Termina- 
tion of the first Expedition to Abyssinia. — Conduct of the 
Nayib of Massowah. — Perilous situation of the Panther. — 
Inhospitable reception at Massowah. — Sail for Jidda. — Join 
a caravan for Cairo. — Excursion to the P3rramids. — Embark 
in a Canja on the Nile. — Return to England. . 116 



Salt*8 arrival in London. — His character modified by tra- 
vel. — His ambition. — His visit to his native city. — Prepares 
his journals for the press. — Lord Valentia's proposal to 
the East India Company. — Mr. Canning's Letter on the 
appointment of Salt on a Mission to Abyssinia. —- Prepara- 
tions for the voyage. — Suddenness of his departure. — 
Remarkable circumstance. — A Vision. — Parting. — Unex- 
pected return. — Salt's Letter to Lord Valentia. — He re- 
embarks. — Distressing Spectacle at Portsmouth. . 135 


Salt's arrival at Madeira. — His Letter to Captain Court. 
— His reception at the Cape of Good Hope. — Unfortunate 
occurrence. — Convoy from the Cape.-— Arrival at Mo- 
zambique. — Salt's sojourn in that Town. — His Corre- 
spondence with the Author and others. — Women of the 
Makooa tribes. — The expedition leaves Mozambique. — 
Salt's Nautical Journal. — Arrival at Aden. — Description 
of the Town.— -Dangerous Adventure. — Journey to Lahadj. 
— Sail for Mocha. — Arrival at the Amphili Isles. — Hostile 
Letter. — Survey of the Bay of Amphili. — Letters from 
Pearce to Salt» advising him as to the best method of pro- 
secuting his Mission. — An express from Mustapha Aga 
— Mr. Coffin despatched onwards.— Sail for Massowah. 160 


Arrival at Massowah. — Joined by Coffin and Pearce. — 
Present from Mustapha Aga. — Interview with the Kai- 
makan. — A private Conference. — Join the Cafila for Abys- 
sinia. — Scenery and Incidents on the Route.^ — The Galla 
Ox. — Arrival of the Mission at Chelicut. — Reception by 
the Has. — Delivery of his Britannic Majesty's presents. — 
Character of the Ras as a Prince. — A learned Abyssinian's 
opinion of Mr. Bruce, the traveller. — Leave Chelicut on 


a tour. — Reach Agora. — Journey resumed. — Hippopotami. 
— Crocodiles. — Salt rejoined by Pearce.— Return to Che- 
licut 187 

Salt*s Conferences with the Ras on the subject of his 
Mission. — ^The Ras's Presents at parting. — The Abyssinian 
Lent — Grand Feast. — An Accident. — Salt's Presence of 
Mind. — A public Audience. — The Ras*s Dream. — Departure 
of Salt and his Companions on their Return. — Mr. Stuart. — 
A singular Disease. — Journey towards the Coast. — An 
Abyssinian Monastery. — Extraordinary Mountain Scenery. 
— Nocturnal Attack by a Wild Beast. — Salt and his Party 
embark in a Dow. — Anchor in Mocha Roads. — Sail for the 
Cape of Good Hope. — The Vessel disabled. — Its course 
altered for Bombay. — Arrival in that Harbour. — The Ma- 
rian repaired. — Again set sail. — Arrival at Penzance in 
Cornwall. — Results of the Expedition. . . 212 


Salt's unexpected appearance at the Author's House. — 
His miserable Costume. — Frequent Attendance at the Fo- 
reign Office. — The Ethiopic Letter to His Majesty from 
the King of Abyssinia. — Sent for Translation to the Rev. 
Alexander Murray. — Interesting Correspondence between 
that Gentleman and Salt. 235 


Salt visits his Father and other Relatives in Lichfield. 
— Renews his acquaintance with the Rev. Dr. Wodehouse. 
— The Author's Visit to Salt at Lichfield. — Introduction 
to his Father. — Peculiarities of that gentleman. — Ram- 
bles of the Author and Salt during their sojourn at Lich- 
field A boyish Feat — Return to London. — Renewal of 

Correspondence with Mr. Murray on the subject of Abys- 
sinia 266 



Salt's illness.— Visits Bath without receiving the expected 
benefit— Letter to the Author.— Salt, though still labour- 
ing under bodily infirmity, arranges his papers and pre- 
pares the materials for his Journal.— Continuation of his 
Correspondence with Mr. Murray. . . 294 


Salt becomes a Member of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society. — Correspondence with' Mr. Murray on the subject 
of the Ethiopic Manuscripts of the Scriptures led by Mr. 
Bruce the Traveller, in possession of his Widow: — Salt goes 
to Lichfield for the benefit of his health. — Interests himself 
on behalf of a French officer, confined as a Prisoner of War 
in that City. — Thrown from his Horse. — Returns to London. 
—Letter from Mr. Murray 821 


Salt joins Mr. Justice Bosanquet on a Tour to Wales. 
— EpisUe from the Ras to Mr. Salt, sent for translation to 
Mr. Murray « — That gentleman's Letter, enclosing the Eng- 
lish version. — Death of Mr. Murray. — Particulars rela- 
tive to that event, in a Letter to Mr. Salt from Mr. Con- 
stable of Edinburgh. — Publication of Mr. Murray's Work 
on Languages. — ^Letters from Salt to the Author. — Salt's 
return to London.— He undergoes a surgical operation. — 
An alarming Fit. — An Apothecary's mistake.— Salt diverts 
the tedium of illness by writing Squibs on his Friends.— 
A Young Lady's revenge. — Salt devotes himself to the 
preparation of his Travels for publication^^ — His Letters to 
the Author. — Salt repairs to the sea-side for his health. — 
Afflicting Scenes. — An Epitaph. — Salt's return to London. 
— Letter to Lord Valentia 348 



Salt's Letters to Lord Valentia on the subject of his 
intended publication* — Reception of the work by the Public. 
— Letters from the Right Hon. Charles Yorke. — Salt again 
goes to see his Father at Lichfield. — Visits Lord Valentia in 
Ireland. — Letter to the Author on the subject of his Tour 
in that country. — Salt's Letters to Lord Valentia. — His 
visit at Lord Caledon's Leaves Ireland, and goes to Edin- 
burgh. — Remonstrance from Lord Valentia. — Salt's Letter 
in explanation. — Lord Castlereagh appoints Salt to be Con- 
sul-General in Egypt. — Goes to Lichfield to bid farewell 
to his Family .-f-Invitation from Lord Valentia. — Salt's at- 
tachment to a young Lady at Lichfield. — He is rejected 
by her. — His Letter to Mr. Richards on that occasion. — 
His verses on her Birthday. — Takes farewell of Lord Va- 
lentia. — Returns to London. — Salt s last interview with the 
Author. — He proceeds to Brighton. — ^Letter to the Author 
from Thomas Halls, Esq. descriptive of Salt's embarkation. 



Salt's first Letter afrcr leaving England. — He writes to 
the Author from Naples. — Detailed Account of his Jour- 
ney, to Lord Valentia. — Letter to Mr. Hamilton. — Salt is 
detained at Malta. — His Correspondence with the Author. 



Salt's Letter from Malta to his sister, Mrs. Morgan. — 
His arrival at Alexandria.— Letters to William Hamilton, 
Esq. descriptive of affairs in Egypt. — Lord Valentia suc- 
ceeds to the title of Earl of Mountnorris. — Salt's Letter to 
that nobleman from Cairo. — Another Letter from Alexan- 
dria, giving an account of his first proceedings in his Con- 
sular office, and of his commission from the Earl in re- 
gard to tlic Collection of Antiquities, &c. . . 447 



Salt's Correspondence with Pearce. — Death of the Ras. 

— Mr. Coffin's Adventures Death of the elder Mr. Salt. — 

Salt's application to Lord Castlereagh for leave of ab- 
sence. — Refused by that Minister. — Timely accession of 
Fortune. — Recommended by Sir Joseph Banks to collect 
Antiquities for the British Museum. — How rewarded by 
that Institution. — Curiosities forwarded to Lord Mountnor- 
ris. — Injuries suffered in the transmission to England^— 
Removal of the gigantic Head of the younger Memnon. 

— Salt's first acquaintance with, and kindness to Belzoni. 

— The latter employed by Mr. Burkhardt and Salt — Ac- 
count of Belzoni in a Letter to Lord Mountnorris. — Salt's 
depression of spirits. — Another Letter to Lord Mount- 
norris. ......... 475 






Birth of Mr. Salt— His Family and Connexions. — Early dis- 
position and character. — His progress at school — Illness 
while there. — His studies in drawing. — Sent to London 
as a student in portrait-painting under Mr. Farington. — 
His first acquaintance with the present Biographer. — 
His deficiency in his profession. — Studies at the Royal 
Academy^-— His critical situation. — Persuades his father 
to place him under the tuition of Mr. Hoppner. 

Henry Salt, Esq. was born at Lichfield June 
14, 1780, and was the youngest child of Thomas 
and Alice Salt. His father was a highly-re- 
spectable medical practitioner, for upwards of 
fifty years, in the city of Lichfield. He was the 
son of an industrious and worthy tradesman of 
Bingley in Staffordshire, who, not having any 

VOL. I. B 


other child^ bestowed a liberal education on his 
son, and brought him up to the medical profes- 
sion. Soon after Mr. Salt had completed his 
studies he was appointed surgeon to a militia 
regiment (I believe the Lincoln), in which capa- 
city he continued for several years, when he 
settled at Lichfield, and married Miss Alice 
Butt, the daughter of Mr. Butt, a surgeon of 
that place, who eventually relinquished his prac- 
tice in favour of his son-in-law. 

In this situatiou'^Mr. Salt actively continued 
to pursue his pr<ffessional avocations till within a 
few years of his death. He was a man of sound 
sense, of considerable talents, both natural and 
acquired, indefatigable in his employment, and 
possessed of great knowledge of the world, 
united to no inconsiderable share of original 
humour. By his temperate habits, unwearied 
diligence, and a frugality bordering upon parsi- 
mony, he was in the course of hb practice 
enabled to accumulate a handsome competency, 
and to bring up a numerous family with great 
credit and respectability. 

His wife was descended from a good £Eunily. 
She was an excellent woman, an exemplary wife 
and mother, and was greatly beloved by all her 
children. She was the daughter of Gary and 



Elizabeth Butt, who had also issue, John Martin 
Butt, M.D. who (lied at Bath, 1769, leaving no 
issue ; George Butt, D.D. Rector of Stanford, 
Vicar of Kidderminster, and King's Chaplain, 
who died at Stanford, and left three children. 
The third brother of Mrs. Salt was the Rev. 
Thomas Simon Butt. He for some years held 
the living of Arley, presented to him by Lord 
Valentia, and which he subsequently resigned in 
favour of his son, the Rev. Thomas Butt, the 
present rector of Kynneraley in Shropshire. The 
Rev. Thomas Simon Butt also held the per- 
petual curacy of Blurton, where he died in 1801. 
I mention this gentleman particularly because, 
from his acquaintance with Lord Valentia an 
accidental circumstance arose which, as will be 
shown hereafter, had a singular influence over 
the future destiny of Henry Salt. It may also 
be as well to notice in this place, that the Rev. 
George Butt was tutor to his lordship during 
three years, and that it was under his roof at 
Stauford that the latter formed a friendship 
with John Butt Salt, M.D. the elder brother of 
Henry. The friendship that had subsisted be- 
tween Lord Valentia and the Butt family was 
subsequently drawn somewhat closer by the mar- 
riage of the Rev. Charles Cameron, a -descendant 
B 2 

^^ nage oi im 


of the Lytteltons^ with Lucy Lyttelton Butt, 
daughter of Dr. George Butt and godchild to 
his lordship's mother. 

It has been before observed^ that Mr. and Mrs. 
Salt were biurthened with a numerous family. 
They had in all eight children^ of whom Jane 
was the eldest. She was married, in the first 
instance, to Robert Halls, M.D. my uncle by the 
half blood. He lived only a few years after his 
marriage, and left no issue. His widow subse- 
quently married Lieutenant-Colonel de Vismes, 
of the Guards, who having lately succeeded to 
a title, she is now la Comtesse de Vismes. She 
was, when I became acquainted with her, a fine 
and lady-like looking woman, and possessed 
very pleasing and amiable manners. Her former 
marriage with my uncle led to my acquaintance 
with other branches of the Salt family, and ulti- 
'mately to that intimate firiendship between me 
and her youngest brother which his death alone 
dissolved, after it had subsisted for more than 
thirty years. The Comtesse is still living, and 
has several children. 

Her eldest brother, John Butt Salt, M.D. was 
a man of genius and talents, and of a most 
gentle and amiable disposition, very able in hb 
profession, and respected and beloved by all who 



had the pleasure of being known to him. With 
his natural endowments and cultivated mind, his 
success in life would probably have been certain 
had he not been attacked by a lingering and 
fatal disease in early life, which crippled his 
energies, depressed his spirits, and finally con- 
ducted him to an untimely grave. He died 
unmarried in 1804. 

Tlie next child, Elizabeth Butt Salt, married 
Mr. Simon Morgan, a respectable surgeon at 
Lichfield, who succeeded to her father's practice. 
— The fate of the next brother, Thomas Salt, 
was peculiarly melancholy. He went to sea in 
a trading vessel, which probably foundered, as 
neither he nor the ship were ever again heard 
of. — Charles, the fifth child, was brought up to 
the medical profession, and is now an able and 
experienced practitioner at Cheltenham. He 
first married Miss Meacock, of Chester, by whom 
he had Caroline, his only child. After the death 
of his mother he was united, in second marriage, 
to Miss Wolferston, of Stafford. — William and 
Catherine, who both died in early life, were suc- 
ceeded by Henry, the eighth and last child ; the 
history of whose life it is now my interesting, 
but melancholy office to unfold. 


Of the early years of Henry Salt, from his 
infancy to the age of about seventeen, I have 
been able to obtain very slender information. 
The Comtesse de Vismes was much from home 
when he was very young, and of course was only 
slightly acquainted with him in the earlier part 
of his life. But she informs me that, when a 
hoy, " he was of a most sweet and amiable 
disposition; not of a studious turn, but volatile 
and of quick feelings, though easily checked, 
and particularly pleasing both in person and 
manner. Like most other boys, he never learn- 
ed anything but what he was obliged to do, which 
proves that there must have been much talent 
to have enabled him to arrive at the knowledge 
he possessed in maturer years." 

From all that I have either personally known, 
or heard of him, I am induced to believe that 
this account is substantially correct, with the 
exception merely of his never " learning any- 
thing but what he was forced to do." I have no 
doubt that this was the case as far as school 
studies were concerned, but he certainly, from 
his earliest years, was excessively fond of read- 
ing and of acquiring desultory knowledge, when- 
ever He could get an hour to himself. It is. 



however, very natural for his elder sister to have 
fallen into this error, as her long absence from 
home in his younger days must have deprived 
her of the opportunity of closely observing his 
real habits and character, and have led her to 
rely on the reports of others, who very probably 
related nothing but strict truth when they ac- 
cused him of idleness in acquiring his school 

His sister, Mrs. Morgan, who, from her gene- 
rally residing at Lichfield, had greater facilities 
afforded her of judging of his pursuits, has 
written me the following particulars of her bro- 
ther's boyish occupations, which she must have 
daily been in the habit of observing: — "My 
brother Henry," she says, " was in his early days 
particularly fond of reading, and when a child 
whatever money he had given him, he chiefly 
spent in boolcs, and would lie for hours in the 
garden in fine weather, reading. He was re- 
markably good- tempered, and of a most cheerful 
and affectionate disposition ; never forgetting 
the poorest person who was in the habit of 
coming to his father's surgery, and always made 
a point of going to see all the old washerwomen, 
&c. &c. (when he visited Lichfield in after years) 
whom he had known in his childhood." 


This account, and particularly the latter part, 
so completely corresponds with everything I 
knew of his character in after life, that there can 
be no doubt of its accuracy ; indeed, had it been 
otherwise I should not know in what way to 
account for the extensive general knowledge he 
certainly possessed at the age of about seven- 
teen, when he first settled in London. It is 
true, he read with singular rapidity, and as 
quickly digested, as he correctly retained, the 
contents of every volume he perused. Yet still 
this extraordinary rapidity could itself have been 
scarcely acquired without long habit and expe- 
rience. I believe at this period he was a very 
indifferent classic, but the ground-work had been 
laid, and in after years, he successAilly laboured 
to remedy this deficiency, which must have 
arisen much more from negligence and volatility 
than from any want of ability to acquire this 
particular branch of knowledge. 

The taste which he subsequently displayed for 
this species of study was chiefly derived from his 
brother. Dr. Salt, who was himself an excellent 
scholar and an elegant writer. It appears un- 
certain at what time of life Henry Salt was first 
sent to school; probably it was not at a very 
early age, as he was the yoimgest child, and a 



great favourite with his family, by all of whom, 
except by his father, he was rather spoiled in his 
juvenile days. I remember his telling me a 
trifling anecdote of himself, that happened at 
this period, and which is too characteristic to be 
omitted. When he and an elder brother were 
called in to attend the dessert after dinner, his 
father would sometimes divide the lobe of an 
orange between them ; but on one occasion, to 
their great dismay, he shared a raisin in the 
same manner. The elder boy despatched his 
half at once, but Henry very indignantly asked, 
" If that was ali he was to have?" — " Certainly," 
said his father. — " Then, sir," replied the child, 
sulkily, " I sha'iit choose none ;" and threw back 
Am portion on the table. 

. The first school to which he was sent was the 
free school at Lichfield, for English only, en- 
dowed by Richard Minors, Esq. He was then 
removed to Market Bosworth, in l>eicestershire, 
and was placed under the care of the Rev. Mr. 

W . At this school, founded by Edward 

the Third, Henry Salt commenced the principal 
part of his education. Here he formed, among 
others, an intimacy with Mr. Holworthy, one of 
the scholars, who afterwards became distin- 
guished in London as a water-colour landscape 



painter and infitructor, of very considerable repu- 
tation. This circumstance probably first led 
Salt to cultivate his talents for painting, and 
finally to make choice of it as his future pro- 

At what period of life he was sent to tlag 
school I have not exactly been able to ascertain^ 
but it seems most likely that it was about the 
year 1790 or 1791, when he was ten or eleven 
years of age. He does not appear to hare 
remained at Bosworth more than three or four 
years, as I learn, from our common friend, Mr. 
Bingham Richards, tliat he first met him at 
Birmingham when they were about fourteen 
years old, in 1793, whither Henry had been sent 
from Lichfield to be improved in the classics 
under his brother. Dr. Salt, and to benefit by 
the instructions of several masters, among whom 
was one of the name of Barber, a superior draw- 
ing-master, whose lessons Salt and llichards 
attended together. 

Of the progress he made at Bosworth in clat- 
sical, or in other departments of literature, it is 
now difficult to determine ; it may be supposed 
it could not have been very considerable, as I 
learn through his schoolfellow, Mr.Worthington, 
that though a clever, he was a very idle boy, 





full of Spirits and fun, and the ringleader in 
every frolic, and probnbly in every mischievous 
prank. He was, however, a kind-hearted, good- 
dispositioned lad, and very popular among his 
companions. One of his favourite tricks at this 
school, I am told, was to puzzle his master, for 
whose abilities he did not entertain the most 
profound respect, by asking him the meaning of 
some difficult passage with which he had pre- 
viously made himself well acquainted, and which, 
if the old man did not properly explain, Salt 
would declare he had interpreted wrongly, and 
would bet a shilling that he proved him in error. 
" Very well, sir," his master would reply, " pray 
do;" when Henry would very gravely state his 
authorities, and thus entrap his antagonist, to 
the no small amusement of himself and his 
schoolfellows. I am the more inclined to give 
credit to this story, because, in after life, I have 
occasionally known him play off the same game 
upon others, for whose pretensions he felt no 
great share of veneration. 

While he was resident at Bosworth he was, 
though a mere boy, enabled to save the life of 
one of his young companions. I have some 
recollection of his having formerly related to me 
the circumstances of the story, but my rcmem- 

^^— the cir 



brance of them is too indistinct to allow me to 
give the particulars with any degree of accuracy ; 
I have, however, been able to communicate re- 
cently with the gentleman whose life he was the 
means of preserving, and who has obligingly 
furnished me with the following account of the 
accident : 

« Stony Stratford, March 6, 1833. 

" Sir, 
** I am sorry that it is not in my power to 
communicate to you any particulars or anec- 
dotes of the late Mr. Henry Salt, with whom 
I was at school when quite a boy, almost a child, 
and I do not recollect seeing him afterwards. 
He was instrumental in saving my life, but I 
know nothing more of that event than the mere 
fact. I had fallen into a pond of water, and had 
undergone all the pangs of drowning, the effect 
of which is still strongly impressed upon my 
mind. I found myself the next morning wrap- 
ped up in blankets, lying before the fire, and 
was told that Mr. Salt had learned of my being 
in the water and had extricated me, and I 
should suppose at some hazard, for I had sunk, 
and the water was of considerable depth. I was 
only eight or nine years old when this event 
happened. It was always matter of regret to 


me that I had not the good fortune to meet with 
one to whom I was so much indebted. 

^' I remain^ sir^ your most obedient, 

" J. F. CONGREVE.'* 
« To J. J. Halls, Esq." 

During Salt's stay at the above school he was 
seized with a most severe and obstinate attack of 
ague, and was placed under the care of Mr. 
Power, then an eminent surgeon at Bosworth, 
and now a physician at Lichfield, who recently 
informed Mrs. Morgan that his patient's spleen 
was very much diseased after his recovery from 
the ague. This appears rather a singular fact, 
as it was of this very complaint, as will be shown 
in the sequel, that he died about thirty-six years 
afterwards, and which probably occasioned many 
of the severe illnesses from which he suffered 
during the remainder of his life ; so that, in his 
case at least, the imaginary lines of Pope appear 
to apt>ly with all the force of reality. 

As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath 

Receives the lurking principle o£ death. 

The young disease, that must subHue at length. 

Grows with his growth and strengthens with his strength. 

Not long after Mr. Salt left Bosworth he went 
to Birmingham, as has been before stated, at 



which place he remained for some time, and 
thence again visited Lichfield, where he was 
placed under the care of the Rev. Thomas Har- 
wood of that city (now D.D.) With this gen- 
tleman he remained till his education was com- 
pleted, during which period he received lessons 
in drawing from Mr. Glover, the well-known 
water-colour painter, who subsequently arrived 
at so much estimation as an artist in the metro- 
polis. Under this able instructor his progress, f 
am informed, was exceedingly rapid, so much so 
indeed, that some of the friends of his family 
persuaded his father to send him to London, and 
to place him under the tuition and guidance of 
Joseph Farington, Esq. R.A. a landscape-painter 
of reputation and of very gentlemanlike man- 
ners, in order that he might have his education 
as an artist completed. 

The choice of the instructor appears to have 
been singular, as Henry Salt had been all along 
designed for the department of portrait, in 
which style neither Mr. Farington, nor indeed 
any of the preceding teachers, could be supposed' 
to possess even a competent knowledge. The 
measure was, however, determined upon, and 
young Henry was accordingly dispatched to 
London in 1797^ at about the age of seventeen. 






As a student in portrait-painting he had unques- 
tionably lost much time under his previous in- 
structors, nor was he likely to profit in a much 
greater degree, in that department of art, by the 
precepts of the gentleman to whose superinten- 
dence he was now consigned. It was singular, 
however, as matters turned out in the sequel, 
that a more fortunate selection could scarcely 
have been made; so mysteriously does the in- 
scrutable hand of Providence direct us to that 
destiny which it ia our ultimate lot to fulfil. 

It was nearly at the time of Salt being placed 
with Mr. Farington that I first became acquaint- 
ed with him. I had been sent to London during 
the spring and summer months, to be introduced 
to several artists of distinction, and to have the 
benefit of studying some eminent works of art 
in various collections, previously to my settling 
professionally in the capital the following winter. 
Salt in the mean while had heard of my arrival, 
and called upon me at my lodgings, in conse- 
quence of the connexion then subsisting between 
our families. He was at that time a tall, thin, 
and somewhat ungain-looking young man, of 
insinuating address, and of frank and pleasing 
manners. I was interested in him at our first 
internew, quickly returned his visit, and we 


soon became intimate companions^ and finally 
inseparable friends. I was some years older 
than he, and far more advanced in my pro- 
feasional studies; but from my having been 
brought up in a very secluded manner, he at 
that time greatly surpassed me in knowledge of 
the world. 

On his arrival in London he was ignorant of 
the use of oil colours, knew nothing, or next to 
nothing, of drawing from plaster or from the 
human figure, and, with the exception of land- 
scape, was altogether unacquainted with compo- 
sition and design. He had, indeed, from the 
beginning of his career in London, a sad up-hill 
game to play; but his strong natural intellect, 
good taste and feeling, joined to an accurate eye 
and some perseverance, when he could bring 
himself seriously to apply, enabled him in a 
comparatively short period to master several 
difficulties which he had at first looked upon as 

I believe I was at his first starting, and for 
some time afterwards, of considerable service to 


him while engaged in learning the rudiments of 
the art. He used often to come and drink tea 
and pass the evening with me, while I was 
employed in sketching subjects from different 


authors ; and in the day-time I used occasion- 
ally to call upon hira^ and either correct his 
drawings from the plaster^ or instruct him in 
the management of oil colours, when he was 
engaged in copying pictures from the old mas- 
ters, with which Mr. Farington supplied him. 
On these occasions his spirits sometimes suffered 
a good deal from depression, when he witnessed 
the facility with which long practice and expe- 
rience enabled me to overcome difficulties which, 
with all his pains and labour, he felt himself 
unable to vanquish. 

At these times I used to console him in the 
best way I could, by telling him that painting 
could only be attained by very slow and pro- 
gressive steps, that it was in fact the art of 
seeing objects correctly, and of representing them 
with truth, and that the very consciousness he 
evinced of his own deficiencies, and which almost 
drove him to despair, was to me the surest sign 
of his ultimate success. With such arguments 
as these I used frequently to dissipate the cloud 
that hung upon his spirits ; but when under its 
influence he appeared the very image of inert- 
ness and misery. 

As surely, however, as he recovered from one 
of these fits of despondency, so surely did he 

VOL. I. c 


rouse himself to action^ and successfully encoun- 
ter the obstacles which, perhaps, only on the 
preceding day he had imagined he was wholly 
unable to surmount. The truth was, that he 
felt like a man of talents and quick perceptions, 
and was disgusted at the idea of having to 
acquire some of the more simple rudiments of 
his art at a period when the vigour of his mind 
and the ardour of his fancy should have been 
exercised in embodying his ideas, instead of 
learning the technical rules by which he could 
alone hope to render them intelligible. I speak 
more particularly of the time of his stay with 
Mr. Farington, though I believe I am justified 
in stating that he experienced this feeling, with 
no inconsiderable force, throughout his whole 
career as an artist. His defects in the instances 
to which I have alluded cannot be attributed to 
his instructor, who, I have reason to know, dis- 
charged the duties of the trust reposed in him 
to the very best of his ability. It was no fault 
of his that Salt, though from the beginning 
designed for a portrait-painter, had been placed 
under a succession of teachers exclusively de- 
voted to landscape ; nor was he in any respect 
answerable for the error which had been com- 
mitted when he himself was selected for the 




office, in preference to some one of thi 
portrait-painters of the day. 

On Salt's first arrival in London Mr. Faring- 
ton appears to have been aware of his pujiil's 
defective education, in many essential requisites, 
for the practice of that department of the art 
which he was destined to follow, and did every- 
thing in his power to remedy the evil, not by 
setting him to copy his own landscapes, but by 
bending the whole of his attention to the study 
of the human figure, and to the acquirement of a 
competent knowledge of the practical manage- 
ment of oil-coiours. He began by employing 
him in copying outlines* of figures and groups, 
taken from the best masters. These were suc- 
ceeded by others, in which light and shadow 
were introduced, and, when his scholar had 
become a tolerable proficient in these exercises, 
he gradually led him to the study of the plaster 
and of oil painting, and finally got him admitted 
a student in the Royal Academy. 

Here I believe Salt made no very great im- 
provement ; he certainly gained no honorary 
distinction; and I know that he entertained a 

* Some of these early studici 
poaWMion. and they are drawn 
racy. — V.. 

by Salt I have still ir 
'ilh great spirit and s 


great dislike to the place, which^ as the esta- 
blishment was then regulated, is, perhaps, not 
much to be wondered at. Years after he had 
left the profession, and had become distinguished 
as a traveller, I have frequently passed Somerset 
House in his company, and scarcely can call to 
mind an instance when he did not point to the 
building and give a kind of involuntary shudder 
at the recollection of the unpleasant feelings he 
had experienced while a student within its walls. 
In fact, the Academy in his day, as far as re- 
spected the Antique School^ was placed on a 
very different footing from the one to which it 
has since attained, not only in regard to its 
internal regulations, but in the general character 
of the students. At that period the latter were 
left almost entirely to their own guidance^ and 
in truth, the whole scene produced a lamentable 
display of idleness, vulgarity, and indecorum^ 
which must have proved very repugnant to the 
feelings of a young man of Salt's natural good 
taste and acquired habits, for, thoughtless and 
eccentric as he occasionally appeared^ he never 
was low-minded nor ungentlemanlike. 

Matters were much better conducted in the 
Life Academy^ where the visiter being con- 
stantly present; was enabled to preserve excel- 


lent order ; the class of students also was of a 
higher description, being mostly composed of 
grown-up young men, or of those already esta- 
blished in their profession. But, to return : — 
During the time of his remaining under the 
direction of Mr. Farington, Salt's professional 
progress was, upon the whole, satisfactory, 
though up to the period of his quitting him he 
was still deficient in the management of oil- 
colours, a part of the art which, as applied to 
the human figure, his master himself was not 
qualified to teach. In other respects he reaped 
considerable advantage from his instructions. 

Mr. Farington was a gentleman in his manners 
and conduct, and had acquired, by the expe- 
rience of a long life passed in all the various 
grades of society, a deep knowledge of mankind. 
This knowledge he took pains to impart to his 
pupil, and being fond of his art, and impressed 
with high notions of its dignity, he endeavoured 
to instil into the mind of Salt a similar attach- 
ment to the profession, as well as the general 
importance of character and conduct in life. 

How far his exertions were successful in rela- 
tion to the supposed dignity of the occupation, it 
might be hazardous to determine; but I am dis- 
posed to believe, however exalted the art may 


be in itself, and however difficult of attainment, 
that Salt, even at this early period, possessed far 
too much penetration and sagacity not to be 
sensible of the small degree of estimation in 
which it is held in England, when compared 
with that which it obtained during the splendid 
pontificates of Julius the Second and Leo the 
Tenth. Indeed, I am persuaded that about this 
time he began to perceive the great difficulties 
of the situation in which he had been unwarily 
placed, and to form the determination of seiz- 
ing the first opportunity of emancipating himself 
from a dilemma in which the chance even of 
ultimate success must be purchased by years of 
drudgery, disappointment, and poverty. 

His father had been led to expect that, after 
the expiration of the term with Mr. Farington, 
his son would be in a condition to provide for 
his own subsistence, without any farther depen- 
dence upon his support, and began to feel rather 
impatient when he discovered that there was 
still so much to be accomplished before Henry 
could be sufficiently advanced in his studies to 
enter on the commencement even of his profes- 
^ sional career. He probably felt, however, that 
he had gone too far to admit of his receding, 
and was therefore, on a proper representation of 


the case being made, readily induced to act with 
considerable liberality towards his son, and to 
make up, as far as lay in his power, for the former 
defects of his education. 

I had myself been now established in London 
in the practice of the profession for several 
years, during which time a sincere and mutual 
friendship had gradually been cemented between 
me and Salt. He frequently called upon me 
while I was engaged in painting historical and 
other pictures, and at these times we used to 
converse on professional prospects and on other 
topics. His judgment was generally correct, 
and his taste considerable, so that I was often 
enabled to profit by the critical remarks which 
he was in the habit of dealing out with no very 
sparing hand. From the intimacy that subsisted 
between us, we had now few subjects of conceal- 
ment, and he used to confide to me all his fears, 
his embarrassments, and his hopes. 

At this period nothing indeed could appear 
more seriously alarming than his situation. 
Without the practical knowledge of portrait- 
painting, which could alone afford him the 
smallest chance of success in the wide field of 
competition on which he was expected immedi- 
ately to enter — without any adequate resources. 


and perhaps in involved circumstances/ and with 
the feelings and high spirit of a gentleman^ his 
prospects seemed every hour to be growing 
more fearfully desperate. 

He hesitated to communicate his situation to 
his father^ whom he had not hitherto tried upon 
subjects of this nature^ and with whose peculiari- 
ties in other respects he was well acquainted ; 
stilly however^ an application in this quarter 
appeared to be the only right and prudent 
course to pursue, and I urged him by every 
argument that a strong regard could suggest, at 
least to make the experiment. I mentioned the 
absolute necessity of persuading his father to 
place him, for a year at least, under the care of 
some leading portrait-painter of the day, before 
he attempted to practise his profession on his 
own account ; and particularly pointed out Mr. 
Hoppner, not only as the most eminent painter 
of his day, but also as the person best qualified 
to afford him that insight into portrait of which 
he stood so much in need. I begged of him also 
to conceal nothing from his father of his general 

Whether at that time he complied with the 
latter part of this advice I do not exactly recol- 
lect, but he wrote to his father to request that 


he might be placed under Mr. Hoppner^ and to 
explain the circumstances of the case ; and he 
readily obtained his consent to the measure^ 
with the promise of support during the time he 
might remain under his proposed new instructor. 
I think also that Mr. Farington himself wrote to 
Lichfield, and advised the step to be taken ; but 
I know that Salt and that gentleman parted 
excellent friends, and continued so till the death 
of the latter ; indeed Salt always spoke of him 
with great respect, and entertained a grateful 
remembrance of his kindness, both as a teacher 
and judicious adviser. He had, in all, been with 
him not quite three years. 



Mr. Hoppner*8 liberality. — Alarming intelligence from Lich- 
field. — A dilemma. — ^Illness of Salt's mother. — Her death. 
^Salt's letters on the occasion. — His own dangerous 
illness. — Dr. Darwin's opinion. — Salt's aberration of mind. 

— Anecdote. — His recovery and return to London.— 
Pecuniary embarrassments. — Hopelessness as to success 
in his profession. — Errors in his education as a portrait- 
painter. — His social character. — Devotion to the gentler 
sex. — First Love. — Death of the young object of his 
affection. — Dreams. — Pernicious habit of procrastination. 
— Letters from Salt. — His fits of energy and promptitude. 

— Meditates a change in his situation. — Unexpected 

In the beginning of 1800 Salt became the 
pupil of Mr. Hoppner, when he wanted a few 
months of attaining his twentieth year. The 
progress he made under this new instructor was 
rapid and considerable in every essential re- 
quisite of the art, and he appears to have given 
great satisfaction to his master, from the follow- 
ing somewhat ludicrous extract of a letter, which 
I received from the latter after Salt had been 
with him some months : — 


" Your friend Salt is working very diligently, 
and I am very well pleased with his progress, 
and with his behaviour — but how can he fail 
in either under such a master ? By the time I 
have licked him into shape he will be as g}'eat 
a bear as any of us. Don't be jealous !" 

■' August, 1800." 

During the period of his remaining with Mr. 
Hoppner, I should think in all about a year and 
a half, Salt was not domiciliated in the house ; 
he lived in lodgings of his own, but in every other 
respect was received into the family more in the 
capacity of a friend and relative than in that of 
a mere pupil. The table was at all times open 
to him, and in every respect he was treated with 
an hospitality and liberality which few young 
men similarly situated have often experienced. 
Salt was not a man to forget obligations of this 
or any other kind, and he ever after retained the 
Bincerest respect and attachment for every mem- 
ber of the family, and particularly for his eminent 
instructor, who was destined, only a few years 
afterwards, to meet an untimely grave in the 
full tide of his success and reputation. 

For several years previously to Salt's intro- 
duction, I had been on intimate terms with the 
whole family, and frequently used to meet Henry 




there at dinner and in the evening, when we 
were always welcome to drop in uninvited. It 
was a most agreeable house to visit at, and some 
of my happiest recollections are intimately inter- 
woven with the hours I passed under its hospi- 
table roof. It was my fate some years after to 
attend Mr. Hoppner in his dying hours, and to 
follow him to his grave. His widow died only a 
few years ago, when I was again called upon to 
attend the last mournful ceremony. The family 
is now scattered in different parts of the earth ; 
poor Salt is gone, and I feel a blank in my exist- 
ence which can never be filled up on this side of 
the tomb. I beg pardon of my readers for this 
short digression, but I feel it a kind of sacred 
duty to bear this now unavailing testimony of 
regard to the departed friends of my youth and 
manhood. I am still intimate with several of 
the family, and particularly with the able and 
accomplished gentleman who at present fills, with 
so much ability, the arduous and delicate office 
of Consul-General at the Portuguese court of 

A few months after Salt had been fixed in his 
new situation, Mr. Hoppner was thrown from his 
gig on his way to his country house at Fulham, 
and had the misfortune to severely fracture his 


right arm. This accident confined him for several 
months ; during which period Salt was obliged 
to pursue his studies unaided by the superintend- 
ing eye of his instructor^ which proved of course 
some drawback on his advancement. His pro- 
gress^ however, by the end of the year, was con- 
siderable and satisfactory ; but early in the ensu- 
ing spring a severe domestic calamity awaited 
him, which unnerved him for a long period, and, 
in its consequences, had nearly terminated his 

In March 1801 he accidentally met an acquaint- 
ance in the street, who had just arrived from 
Lichfield, and from whom he received the melan- 
choly intelligence that his mother was dying. 
Her situation, whether from the fear of inter- 
fering with his studies, or from prudential motives, 
had been purposely concealed by his father, and 
the blow thus suddenly reaching him, fell with 
double force. He was doatingly fond of his 
mother, and the thought of her dying in his 
absence drove him nearly to distraction. He 
instantly however determined, at every hazard, 
to go down to Lichfield that night ; but here a 
difficulty presented itself, which I doubt was 
not of very unfrequent occurrence at that period. 
He had no money. 


In this dilemma he resolved to go to Mr. 
Hoppner^ and explain his unhappy situation to 
him^ who not only recommended his immediate 
departure^ but liberally furnished him with the 
means. Salt called upon me before he set off, to 
acquaint me with his purpose^ and I shall never 
forget his expressions of gratitude towards Mr. 
Hoppner on the occasion. He repaid the money 
on his return^ but years afterwards he could not 
speak of the transaction without tears gushing 
from his eyes. 

The Lichfield coaches were unfortunately that 
nighty which was cold and dreary, all full in 
the inside, so that he was forced to take his 
place among the outside passengers — a mode 
of travelling he had never been accustomed to 
in cold weather, and which his then shattered 
condition rendered peculiarly unfavourable. I 
shook hands at parting with him with melan- 
choly forebodings, which the result too fully 
justified; but to have stopped him was impos- 
sible. At Northampton he fainted away, and it 
was with the utmost difficulty he was recovered, 
and enabled to pursue his journey to Hinckley, 
where he again became so unwell that he was 
obliged to proceed during the remainder of his 
route in a post-chaise. 



On his arrival at LichBeld he found his mother 
much worse than he had even anticipated. Shewas 
insensible, and for some hours did not recognise 
him. He was, however, very affectionately re- 
ceived by his father. But his sufferings during 
this period of his life will best appear by the 
following extracts from his letters to me, which 
are still in my possession. The first was written 
eooo after liis arrival. 

" Mt dear Halls, 
" Having been extremely anxious to get down 
as speedily as possible, I was, as you know, in- 
duced to take an outside place in the mail, the 
inside being full for the three following nights ; 
but, as you expected, I had reason to repent of 
it before I got half way on my journey, as far as 
respected my own convenience. » * • * I have 
fortunately felt no serious effect from it, though, 
added to the shock I received on finding my 
dearest mother worse than I had even feared, it 
rendered me very unfit for writing, or I should 
have addressed you or Mr. Hoppner before. 
The obligations which I owe him for his kind- 
ness on this occasion, will never be erased from 
my memory, as I found that my mother had 
often expressed great anxiety to see me, and 


seems to derive as much pleasure from my arrival 
as anything can now afford her. At first sight 
of me she expressed no emotion^ scarcely seem- 
ing conscious of my presence ; she has however 
since that shown that my coming affords her 
happiness. This evening she was more herself 
than I have before seen her ; would have a 
candle brought that she might examine my fea- 
tures^ called me her dear lad^ and entreated that 
I would not go back again ; the length of my 
stay is therefore very uncertain. I cannot leave 
Lichfield for the present. The complaint under 
which she suffers is not a fever, as I understood, 
but is a disease of the liver. She has not altered 
for the last week, excepting that she grows, I 
fear, weaker ; so that at present we do not 
entertain a glimpse of hope. My eldest sister has 
been written to, and we expect her to-morrow or 
next day— I almost dread her coming. * * * 

" Your affectionate friend, H. S." 

« March 1801.** 

In a day or two afterwards I received the 
following, upon the same melancholy subject. 


<< Lichfield, March 24th, 1801. 

" Dear Halls, 
" I am scarcely able to address you, the pre- 
sent melancholy state of my mother bears so 
heavily on my mind. She is very much worse 
since I wrote last, and every hour I fear will 
put an end to all our hopes. This, I trust, will 
apologise to you and Mr. Hoppner for my silence. 
My father suffers a great deal ; I am left alone 
with him, my sister and brother* not being yet 
arrived from Bath. They have been delayed by 
my brother's illness — I dread to hear from them 
— shock follows shock so fast as almost to unman 
me. It is not likely that I shall be in town for 
some time. * * * H. Salt.** 

At the close of this letter he desires me to 
send him directly some colours, &c. as his father 
was anxious to have some resemblance of his 
wife painted while she was yet alive. I accord- 
ingly gave the necessary directions, but the dif- 
ferent articles arrived too late to answer their 
original purpose, as the very next day I re- 
ceived the following : 

* Dr. Salt and the Comtesse De Vismes. 

VOL. I. 


'^ Dear Halls, 

" All is at length over, my dearest mother is 
no more. My brother, the doctor, and my eldest 
sister, did not arrive until it was too late. My 
own sufferings are almost lost in the poignancy 
of theirs. How grateful do I feel to Mr. Hopp- 
ner, by whose means I enjoy the only consolation 
that now supports me. I would not have given 
up the satisfaction I feel in having seen my 
dearest mother for anything on earth. 

" Your sincere friend, H. Salt. 

" P.S. — I still should thank you to execute 
the commission (about the colours, &c.) I re- 
quested. * * * I feel more composed and much 
better than this morning. Give me a line or 

"Lichfield, March 25th, 180 L" 

This was the last letter I received from him 
for several months. I sent him the implements 
for painting, &c. and I afterwards understood 
that he painted a portrait of his father, which he 
was not able to complete before he was himself 
taken dreadfully ill. It was reckoned a strong 
likeness, and was among his earliest attempts at 
portrait-painting. The malady with which he was 
attacked soon after the death of his mother, at 


first baffled all the skill of his medical attendants. 
He appeared for many days listless^ languid^ and 
almost in a state of torpidity ; but his appetite 
continued good^ his pulse regular^ and^ in shorty 
no appearance of actual disease could be de- 

After he had been in this istate for some days^ 
the celebrated Dr. Darwin happened to come to 
Lichfield^ and was requested by old Mr. Salt to 
visit Henry. He did so^ but could discover no 
alarming symptoms^ except a particular expres- 
sion in his eyes^ which he said he did not like. 
He took his leave^ but desired to be sent for 
in case of any decided alteration taking place 
for the worse. Matters went on for many days 
without anything particular occurring to throw 
fresh light on the case ; but^ at the end of some 
weeks^ Salt was almost instantaneously attacked 
with such violent symptoms in the stomach and 
bowels^ that his friends were thrown into the 
grreatest alarm for his safety. Dr. Darwin was 
again sent for^ and on his arrival found his 
patient in such a state as to feel it necessary 
to tell Mr. Salt to be prepared for the worst, for 
that even if his son should, by almost a miracle, 
recover, he would in all probability be an idiot 
for life. 



The disease turned out to be a most malig- 
nant fever of the typhus kind, and, though con- 
trary to the Doctor's prediction, his life was 
spared, after a most severe struggle, the event 
nearly justified his second conjecture, as many 
weeks after the virulence of the complaint had 
been subdued. Salt remained in the most lament- 
able state of mental imbecility, recovering only 
by very slow degrees the use of his faculties. 

While he lay in this deplorable state, the 
most extravagant and singular whims would 
seize hold of his imagination ; some of which 
he afterwards related to me, for, though in a 
highly deranged state at the time, he subse- 
quently remembered almost every thing that had 
passed after the first shock of the fever had 

On one occasion he called his father to his 
bedside, and told him he had been left an 
immense fortune, which was placed at one of 
the Lichfield banks, and nothing would satisfy 
him till his father brought him pen, ink, and 
paper, that he might write him a check for 
ten thousand pounds, which he begged him 
to accept. He was at this time so enfeebled 
by his illness as to be unable to support him- 
self in his bed ; his father, however, thought 


it best to comply with his humour^ and Henry 
managed to scrawl something in the shape of 
a cheeky which he wished immediately to have 
cashed. With this request his father^ thinking 
he would soon forget the matter^ appeared to 
comply ; but, to his great dismay, the next day 
the subject was renewed by inquiries if the 
money had been paid. He was told the bankers 
were out of town. This however made matters 
worse, for Henry very indignantly declared that 
if the bankers were so careless in transacting 
business as to be all out at once, he did not 
think his money safe in their hands, and there- 
fore insisted on closing the account immediately. 
He afterwards wanted to give various donations 
to his relatives and friends, and in this way did 
he pester his father for many successive days, till 
some new fancy took him. 

While he was suffering under this severe 
malady I was nearly ignorant of his situation ; 
some vague reports, indeed, had reached me of 
his being unwell, just sufficient to make me 
uneasy at his protracted silence, when I at last 
received a letter from his brother. Dr. Salt, in 
which he informed me that " Poor Henry was 
certainly better ; the day before he had trusted 
out of all danger, but at the time he wrote 


not SO well^ though he still hoped for the best.** 
This was written April 2lst, 1801. On the 
26th I received a more alarming account from 
Charles Salt^ with whom I had become pre- 
viously intimate while he was following his pro- 
fessional studies in London. 

" Lichfield, April 26th, 180 L 

" My dear Halls, 
" I am sorry to tell you that poor Henry is 
exceedingly ill. You knew before that he had 
been unwell ; but he is now materially worse^ 
and in a most precarious situation. I am sure 
you will wish to hear how he goes on, and I will 
therefore inform you when any change takes 
place. He has been ill above a fortnight, and 
his complaint is such, that a decided opinion 
may be formed with regard to it in about that 
time;* we are therefore in most anxious ex- 
pectation of that alteration which may be ex- 
pected. ♦ ♦ * C. Salt.** 

To this letter I returned an answer, but 
owing to a mistake did not get the reply till 
many weeks after. In the mean while I felt 
great uneasiness, and wrote to Henry himself, 

* This, I imagine, was about the period when Dr. Darwin 
saw Henry the second time, though probably somewhat 
later. — E. 


not knowing precisely his situation ; and on the 
19th of May I at length got the long-looked-for 
answer from him^ written in a nearly illegible 
hand^ and containing only a few lines. The direc- 
tion being written in his father's hand^ caused me 
no small alarm before I opened the letter. 

*^ Dear Halls^ 
'^ This is the first time I have put pen to 
paper, but I was determined to write you a 
line or two, to show you I was in a mending 
way. Your letter gave me extreme pleasure ; 
you cannot conceive the gratitude I feel to 
Mr. Hoppner for his kindness. I am in great 
anxiety about his health. Every kind remem- 
brance to him, Mrs. Hoppner, and family. * * * 
You will see by my writing that I am very weak 
at present, so I am sure you will excuse my 
concluding. Adieu. 

" Your affectionate friend, H. Salt.*' 

" May 17th, 1800 [1]." 

This short note is clearly enough expressed, 
yet it is singular that, contrary to his usual 
custom, the letter is dated, though dated wrongly, 
not only as to the day of the month but the 
year. I found out the error by the post-mark. 


upon which in many of his other letters I have 
been obliged solely to depend for dates. Nearly 
three weekly after, I received his next letter, 
which shows the unsettled state of his feelings at 
this period. 

" My dear Halls, 
*' Everything since my illness has gone on 
with me by fits and starts. First I was seized 
with an eating fit (no bad sign, you will say). 
This still continues. Next, a writing fit, during 
which paroxism, poetry, French, Latin, and Eng- 
lish, by turns employed my pen. What, me- 
thinks I hear you say, the Moon* turned poet! 

* He had somehow or other acquired this appellation 
among his young companions, from a trick he had of placing 
a shilling on his nose when sitting in a perfectly erect pos- 
ture, without its falling off. The effect was ridiculous 
enough, and he was thence known among us by the name of 
" The Shilling Moon," " The bad Shilling," &c. I remem- 
ber his telling me a ludicrous circumstance connected with 
this nick-name, which occurred to him a good many years 
afler, when walking one very dark night in the streets of 
London. As he was going leisurely along he chanced to 
meet a well-dressed woman with a young child in her arras, 
which last was crying bitterly; when, just as the woman 
passed Salt, in order to divert it, she exclaimed— '* Look 
at the moon, my dear I the pretty moon !" — and " the little 
thing stinted and said, Ay I** to Salt's no small amuse- 
ment. — E. 


Will wonders never cease ? Yes, and not only 
poet, but satirist too. Ecce signum: having 
nothing to write about, I send you on the other 
side, a copy of some of my original verses, on 
the ladies. I have lately been tormented by a 
fidgety fit, therefore thank your stars for so 
long a letter, as I have not sat so long for this 
week past ; and yet, my dear Halls, I am far 
fi'om well. I fear I shall be an invalid for the 
summer. Weakness still oppresses me, and I 
am plagued with painful boils, some as large as 
pigeons' eggs ; my mind, too, is not quite at 
ease ; anxiety to get to town, and the wish to 
pursue my profession, hang as weights upon me. 
However, everything must give way to health. 
I am going into the country for some days ; God 
knows when I shall get to town : I wish it much, 
but in my present state dread the extreme heat. 
* ♦ *. Your letter gave me great pleasure, 
therefore in pity write again soon. 

'' Yours, &c. H. S. 

*' P.S. To Hoppner and family every kind 
remembrance, and Tom * must not be forgotten. 
Pray can he write ? 

" Lichfield, June 10th, 180 L" 

* My brother, Thomas Halls, Esq.— E. 


The journey into the country to which he 
alludes^ was, if I remember rightly, to Market 
Bosworth, where he had formerly been to school. 
Here he fell in with some of his old acquain- 
tances, and their society appears to have dis- 
sipated his melancholy thoughts, and to have 
contributed greatly towards the recovery of his 
health and spirits, for when he at length re- 
turned to London, in July 1801, he had grown 
exceedingly stout and strong, and in every re- 
spect seemed to have acquired increased vigour 
and energy. He was at this period a fine, per- 
sonable-looking young man, with somewhat of 
a commanding appearance, and, had it not been 
for the wig he was obliged to wear in conse- 
quence of his head having been shaved during his 
illness, I could scarcely have brought myself to 
imagine, that only two or three months before 
he had been on the verge of the grave. 

During his confinement at Lichfield, from 
some hints he had dropped, his father conjec- 
tured that he was in pecuniary embarrassments, 
and in consequence, as his mind became more 
calm, he interrogated him on the subject ; when 
Salt disclosed his situation, and his father very 
kindly, and without an angry word, desired him 
to make himself easy on this head, and promised 


to free him from all his incumbrancea ; so that 
when Henry returned to London he felt himself 
independent, and resumed lus professional stu- 
dies at Mr. Hoppner's with ardour and alacrity. 
His improvement under that gentleman, in spite 
of the many drawbacks he had experienced, had 
becD rapid and considerable. 

At the period of his quitting him, probably 
about the end of the year 1801, he took some 
very humble rooms in Panton Square, Hay- 
market, where he commenced his short profes- 
sional career. Here he was employed by a few 
of his friends and acquaintance to paint their 
portraits, at very low prices, and I believe he 
was also occasionally occupied in copying a 
few pictures for Mr. Hoppner, which together 
brought him in a little money ; but so trifling 
were these precarious resources, that he soon 
perceived, now that he was expected to depend 
entirely upon his own exertions, the hopelessness 
^K of the struggle in which he was engaged. His 
^H portraits, indeed, proved in general very strong 
resemblances, for he had a remarkably quick 
perception of character, drew a head with some 
^_ ability, and had an excellent eye for colour, but 
^^1 he knew little at the time of what is technically 
^^^ termed, the management and conduct of a pic- 

^^^1 ■ 




ture^ and of many other matters, which practice 
and experience can alone bestow. With these 
things, as well as with most others which he had 
hitherto acquired, he ought to have been ac- 
quainted long before he came to the metropolis ; 
then, indeed, two years under such aif instructor 
as Mr. Hoppner might have afforded him some 
chance o{ success in the most uncertain of all pro- 
fessions — a profession which, depending greatly 
upon caprice and fashion, requires, in order to 
insure even a moderate competency, considerable 
talents and genius, and an unusual combination 
of fortunate circumstances. 

In the situation in which Salt found himself 
placed at this period his success was next to an 
impossibility, for, had favourable opportunities 
occurred of advancing in his occupation, he did 
not possess the knowledge of his art which could 
have enabled him to turn them to advantage ; it 
was, however, too late to remedy the evil in 
the dismal emergency of his affairs, and he took, 
as the event has proved, the wise determination 
of relinquishing his pursuit the very first oppor- 
tunity that accident might afford. Many years 
have elapsed since these inauspicious times, but 
I cannot even now recall them to my remem- 
brance without a mingled sensation of com- 


miseration and horror at the fate which then 
appeared to await him* 

It has been my endeavour, in the course of the 
preceding pages, to point out the capital errors 
that were committed in his education as a por- 
trait-painter, and the disastrous situation in 
which they had involved him ; it now remains 
for me to mention some other causes that ar- 
rested his progress. 

It had appeared to me, from nearly my first 
acquaintance with him, that the natural turn of 
his mind was of too versatile and excursive a 
nature to adapt itself easily to the sedentary and 
persevering habits so essential to the practice of 
his profession. He loved the art, and certainly 
evinced no small degree of ability in its pursuit, 
but he loved it more as an amusement than as 
an employment ; and perhaps it may with truth 
be said of him, that, with the exception of land- 
scape, he possessed more of the taste and critical 
powers of the connoisseur, than of that absorb- 
ing predilection for art which usually animates 
the efforts of the painter. Perhaps, also, his 
ambition was of too aspiring a nature to be 
gratified by any degree of fame or success, which 
he could reasonably expect from the practice of 
painting in modern times; and though he did 


not completely make the discovery till he had 
gained some experience of the real state of the 
profession in the metropolis^ I am nevertheless 
inclined to believe that his suspicions on this 
head had very early a pernicious effect in check- 
ing his progress^ or at least in destroying many 
of the enthusiastic notions he had cherished on 
the subject previously to his quitting his native 
city. But the consciousness of the time he had 
losty and of the money that had been expended 
on his education^ joined probably to the well- 
grounded apprehension of the displeasure of his 
father, should he lightly relinquish the pursuit 
in which he had engaged^ all tended to make 
him persevere, though somewhat unwillingly, in 
his course, till an advantageous opportunity 
offered of freeing himself at once from the tram- 
mels by which he felt he was constrained. 

To these drawbacks on his advancement 
others may be added of a more formidable na- 
ture, which, though they may, under the circum- 
stances in which he was placed, admit of great 
extenuation, cannot altogether be considered 
blameless* He had been sent to^the capital at 
the dangerous age of seventeen, completely his 
own master, except during his hours of study, 
and surrounded by all those seductions which 


can subvert the best minds and subdue the 
strongest. Without the salutary control of 
reason or experience to guide him in his perilous 
course^ he was continually falling a prey to indis- 
cretions, for which his better feelings as uni- 
formly reproached him. 

Endowed by nature with strong passions and 
an ardent imagination, with an affectionate dis- 
position, and in some respects with unbounded 
liberality, few men at his early period of life 
have ever been exposed to severer trials than it 
was his lot to sustain. His social and convivial 
turn of character, and his general information 
and pleasantry, gained him a ready admission 
into company; but he had sense enough to 
prefer the society of his equals and superiors, 
and was totally free from the brutalizing ambi- 
tion of being what is vulgarly styled '' the King 
of the Company."* Though fond of the plea- 
sures of the table, he was never habitually intem- 
perate, and, when alone, lived with the greatest 
frugality, seldom I believe, if ever, in his early 
days indulging himself with a single glass of 
wine, so that it may be truly said of him, that 
not many men have escaped with greater im- 
punity from the dangerous vortex of London 


In the mean while temptations of a far more 
attractive and destructive tendency assailed his 
early manhood^ against the fascination of which 
even the matured reason of more experienced 
age sometimes finds it very difficult to guard. 
It is not then perhaps to be wondered at, that 
when left entirely to his own guidance, and 
beset by the perpetual seductions of the metro- 
polis, he should have fallen into errors from 
which few have been exempt, even when placed 
under circumstances more favourable to resist- 
ance. From his devotion to the gentler sex arose 
some of the defects and many of the most laud- 
able and prominent virtues of his character ; for, 
though irregular and wild in his conduct, I can 
scarcely call to my remembrance any individual 
more capable than he was of the most tender and 
durable attachment, or who displayed a greater 
degree of generosity and disinterested kindness to 
the more amiable portion of human nature. 

** When youthful love, warm blushing strong, 
Keen shivering shot his nerves along, 

• * « « 

I saw his pulse's maddening play. 
Wild send him pleasure's devious way, 
Misled by fancy's meteor ray. 

By passion driven ; 
But yet the light that led astray 

Was light from heaven.** 


But like the great though unfortunate author 
of these lines. Salt possessed an ambition, an 
energy, and a fund of naturally strong sense, 
which always held forth the promise of better 
things, when the thoughtless gaieties and in- 
discretions of youth should have become some- 
what subdued by the sober dictates of reason. 
His excellent heart and amiable disposition en- 
abled him to endure reproof and remonstrance, 
when given in kindness and friendship, with a 
patience and thankfulness which could scarcely 
have been expected from his warm feelings and 
high spirit Such admonitions, indeed, did not 
always produce the immediate effect of re- 
straining or eradicating his errors; but they 
sank deep into his heart, and I know, that in 
after life he entertained a high regard towards 
those who had warned him from the paths of 

I remember one instance, in particular, of his 
good temper, respecting a point on which very 
few persons can bear contradiction, much less 
be exposed to the shafts of ridicule. Soon after 
his first settling in London he was introduced 
at the house of a highly respectable gentleman, 
with one of whose daughters he became deeply 
enamoured. He was then a mere youth, and 

VOL. I. E 


without fortune^ with his profession to acquire^ 
and his way to make in the world* The ladj 
was sciurcely sixteen, one of a very large family, 
and, perhaps, with immediate prospects pretty 
much upon a par with his own. His youthful 
friends, who looked upon the whole affiiir as a 
mere boy and girl attachment, endeavoured by 
all reasonable methods to detach him from a 
connexion, which, though perfectly unexception- 
able in itself, seemed likely, in the respective 
situation of the parties, to lead to the inevitable 
misery of both. She was, I have heard, an 
amiable and a very pretty girl, and, from all 
I have subsequently learned, a good deal at- 
tached to him. None of his friends, however, 
at the time entertained the most distant notdoni 
of the serious nature of the connexion, and in; 
consequence used to deal out their advice and 
ridicule in no very measured terms; yet he 
always bore these attacks with great patience 
and equanimity, feeling probably, though the 
means employed were not of the most gracious 
nor of the gentlest description, that the end 
proposed was designed for his ultimate good. 

Unfortunately, as the event turned out, his 
friends might have spared their admonitions; 
the beloved and interesting object of his afiec- 


tions dying, I believe, of a decline, early in the 
year 1800. This waa his first real attachment, 
and he felt her loss so severely as to shut him- 
self Hp in his room for some days, refusing all 
nourishment and consolation. In this melan- 
choly state it was with the utmost difficulty that 
his friends could arouse him to exertion; and 
when at length he partially recovered from the 
shock his feelings had sustained, his first care 
was to paint a portrait of the lady from memory. 
It must have been an extraordinary likeness, 
though coarsely executed, as after the lapse of 
nearly one and thirty years I accidentally, and 
for the first time, fell into the company of one 
of her brothers, who bears a strong resemblance 
to her, and instantly recognised him from his 
striking similarity to his sister's picture, the 
original of which I had never seen. 

Though time and the sanguineness of youth 
enabled Salt in some measure to overcome this 
heavy afliiction, yet he never ceased to speak of 
the object of his early afiection without expres- 
sions of deep regret and sorrow. It is^ perhaps, 
rather an affecting circumstance, that only a 
few months back, in looking over some papers 
and letters which he had consigned to my care, 
I met with a sealed paper, and on opening it 

E S 


found it contained a lock of her hair^ with a 
request^ in his own hand-writing, that I would 
burn the contents in case of his death. So 
strong and durable were the feelings and affec* 
tions of this warm-hearted and amiable man 
when his confidence and regard had once been 

His constancy in his friendships I have never 
seen surpassed in any instance ; neither time nor 
distance wrought the slightest change in these 

* Since writing the above, I accidentally was looking into 
one of his common-place books, in which is written in pencil 
an account of two dreams that occurred to him several years 
aflter the death of this amiable girl and his mother, and 
which show the melancholy impression these events had left 
upon his mind after the lapse of so long a period. The first 
account is dated November 7th, 1803, soon after his re- 
covery from a dangerous bilious fever, which confined him 
at Lucknow for nearly six weeks. For whom the narrations 
were intended does not appear, but probably either for Mr. 
Bingham Richards or myself. The first is as follows : — 

<< I thought my mind was excessively agitated with a 
number of confused reflections respecting my future welfare, 
which wrought up my mind to a degree of agony bordering 
on insanity, when my mother seemed to stand before me, 
and told me not to concern myself about the future, as I was 
fast declining, though imperceptibly to all my friends, with 
a slow fever that would soon lead me to the grave. I 
awoke with a strong impression that I shall never more 
reach England." 

The second is longer and more remarkable. 


respects in his sentiments. He returned^ after 
years of absence^ with the same preferences and 
prepossessions which had swayed him at his 
departure^ and in no instance did he ever forget 
an intimate acquaintance or friend whom he had 
once esteemed and valued. Such^ indeed^ was 
the frank and forgiving quality of his nature^ 
that it was scarcely possible to be really offended 
with him^ and though I have occasionally re- 
monstrated with him upon his thoughtlessness 

** I have had another dream relating to an event that hap- 
pened to me nearly four years ago, the particulars of which 
must always be fresh in my remembrance. You will recollect 
that about that period I was engaged, without the consent of 
my parents, to an amiable girl, and you, who know the effect 
her loss had upon my mind, which has scarcely yet recovered 
from the shock, will not wonder how frequently my thoughts, 
whether sleeping or waking, wandered towar4s the beloved 
object. I now fancied myself coming out of a country church • 
yard after divine service with Kate and her sister. The 
church was situated on a rising ground, which on one side 
commanded an extensive view of rich scenery ; but on the 
other, immediately after passing through a small wicket that 
led out of the church-yard, the view was bounded by large 
trees, which overhung a lane that lay in a direct angle with 
the church-yard path. I imagined that on coming out of 
the church I left the party, and turned round the angle of 
the church to the left, to gaze on the scenery of the plain 
below. I ran back instantly to join my friends, but, to my 
astonishment, could discover neither them nor any of the 
numerous congregation which had only a few moments be- 


and failings^ I never had any serious difference 
with him during the long intimacy that subsisted 
between us. 

One of his errors^ and from which he suffered 
considerable inconvenience in his younger days^ 
perhaps through life^ was a pernicious habit he 
had of putting off till the morrow that which 
ought to be done to-day ; and on one occasion 
I remember writing to him in strong terms upon 
the unpleasant circumstances to which he ex- 
posed himself and his friends by his procrasti- 
nating spirit. It was upon some matter of im- 

fore began to disperse. I rushed forward to the lane, still 
no one met my sight, but all seemed silent and lonely ns the 

grave. At this instant an old schoolfellow, poor H , who 

had been dead some time, drove up in a curricle from the 
right hand. For God's sake, I exclaimed, give me a place, 
that I may overtake some ladies who have gone on before. 
I sprang into the carriage, the horses were on the gallop, 
and seemed to move with supernatural velocity; yet they 
went not half swift enough for my impetuous wishes — I 
seized the reins, urged them forward with the whip, and we 
seemed almost to fly over the ground. The road, which had 
hitherto been smooth, appeared now divided in two by some 
stunted trees and bushes that grew in the middle of the 
lane. The one to the left was even and dry, and partly 
covered with grass: that to the right seemed scarcely pass- 
able, the ruts were cut deep in the clay, and were partially 
under water, yet this track we drove along. The wheels, 
however, of the carriage soon became clogged, and it was 


portance, which, as usual, he had either delayed 
or altogether forgotten^ and the annexed extract 
of a letter I received from him, in reply, will 
serve as a spectman of the kind manner in which 
he always bore even pmn ted rebuke. 

« London, July 26th, 1800. 

^'Deaa Halls, 
^ I had neglected writing to you so loog that 
I really felt ashamed to take the pen in hand, 
having no apology to offer sufficient to excuse 
my inattention. Your letter, which. I received 
yesterday, bearing such kind marks of your 

with di£Ek;ulty that the vehicle advanced. My anxiety was 
DOW wound up to such a degree of intenseness that I felt 
inclined to jump out and run forward, but some secret 
power aeemed to restrain me. My agony then grew almost 
insupportable, I lost all thoughts of my companion, and in 
vain in^ed the horses to their speed. The road now made 
a sharp iura to ^e right, we were upon high ground, and 
oh I what were my sensations, when I beheld the beloved 
oh|ect of ray search at a short distance before me. In front, 
and immediately between us, lay a beautiful meadow, and on 
each side of it a high hedge and ditch, that prevented the 
poasibitity, as I imagined, of my ever getting across. I 
lOBified aut of the carriiige, and stood gazing in speechless 
anoazeroei^t at the delightful vision. She was alone, walking 
slowly, as if lingering for me, on a smooth gravel road with 
an ombrella in her hand. As I still gazed the scene faded 
fiom my view, and I felt with indescribable anguiah that slie 
was for ever lost to me, wlien I awoke.*— H. S." 


friendship and attention^ made me feel more 
sensibly ashamed of delaying so long my promise 
made to you at parting ; I trusty however^ you 
will think no more of it^ as I assure you the 
true cause of it is a bad habit^ which I have 
not yet gotten rid of^ of procrastinating these 
things from day to day, and not from any abate- 
ment of attachment. * * * Mr. Hoppner b 
nearly recovered from his accident. * * * He 
has some intention of spending a month or six 
weeks in making the tour of North Wales ; if so^ 
I shall be left in town^ without a single friend^ 
to live in my own beams and be happy. * * * 

^'H. Salt." 

In a few weeks after I received the following 
letter from him on the same topic : 

<< August 13th, 1800. 
" Dear Halls, 

" I did not receive your letter until late on 

Monday night, on my return from Fulham, and 

could not therefore answer it before to-day, 

having some previous enquiries to make. The 

arguments you use in support of the advice you 

have given me, have sensibly impressed upon my 

mind the necessity of correcting a failing so 

fatal in its effects as procrastination. This can- 


not however be the work of a day. It is a habit 
which began with me at a very early period. 
Most of the difficulties I have met with have 
taken their source from it^ and though I have 
often reasoned with myself on my folly in giving 
way to it, yet hitherto, I fear, it has increased 
with my years. It is time to rouse myself 
from this infantile slumber, so disgraceful to 
my age, and exert the energy of my mind, 
the strength of which has not yet been tried. 
It will be kind in you to lend me an assisting 
hand. Hints on this subject cannot be thrown 
away, and be assured I shall consider them 
proofs of a friendship which becomes dearer 
to me daily, as I grow more sensible of its 
value. H. Salt.'* 

It was hardly possible to know what course to 
take with one who, thus sensibly alive to his own 
failings, could nevertheless bear to have them 
dwelt upon with so much patience and thank- 
fulness. Perhaps I felt his candid and ingenuous 
acknowledgment the more, as I was conscious, 
that, in my own instance, I was not entirely free 
from the habit of suffering disagreeable matters 
to accumulate, though fully convinced that by 
the delay I was in fact only increasing my 


trouble and disquietude. This error is one of 
the most general which I have observed among 
men^ in my commerce with the world, and .which, 
from its seductive and apparently innocent prac- 
tice, is possibly most difficult of remedy. It 
comes upon an individual in so insidious, I had 
almost said in so amiable a shape, that resistance 
to its blandishments seems scarcely necessary, 
fatal as it sometin^es proves in its results. Poor 
Salt, however, carried the practice in early life 
to a greater excess than I have ever observed 
it in any other instance ; yet, when roused to 
action, and with his game in view, the eagle 
itself pounces not on its prey with more velocity 
and certainty than he displayed whenever occa^ 
sion called for exertion. 

This combination of energy and promptitude, 
which at times animated his character, carried 
him through many difficulties in spite of the 
general indolence of his disposition. Like the 
wild Indian, he slumbered away existence till 
the calls of necessity, or ambition, awoke him 
from his trance, and compelled him to bring into 
action those powers of body and of mind with 
which he was so highly gifted. His mental and 
bodily qualities, indeed, seemed to have borne a 
remarkable affinity, and to have possessed' an 


unusual reciprocity in regulating all his move- 
ments. The fatal disease which attacked him 
in childhood, and which in a greater or less 
degree accompanied him to the grave, was pro- 
bably the cause of the occasional inertness that 
preyed upon his constitution, and produced a 
corresponding effect upon his intellectual facul- 
ties, which, in their turn, again influenced his 
bodily functions ; for in no other way can I 
account for the extraordinary contradictions he 
sometimes evinced both as to his corporeal and 
his mental efforts. 

From the sentence given in italics, in the pre- 
ceding letter, as well as from conversations that 
had passed between us about the period it was 
written, I have little doubt that he then enter- 
tained some vague notion that the situation in 
which he found himself placed very ill accorded 
with the general turn of his mind, and that he 
only waited a favourable opportunity of dis- 
engaging himself from the fetters which had 
hitherto enchained the free exercise of his spirit. 
That opportunity was now nearer at hand than 
he had anticipated, and as it forms one of the 
most remarkable incidents in his life I shall fully 
relate it. 



Salt's first acquaintance with Lord Valentia. — Proposes to 
accompany that nobleman to Lidia. — Embarkation of his 
Lordship and Mr. Salt. — Letter from Salt descriptive of 
his voyage. — Arrival at Calcutta. — Tours in India. — 
Embark for Ceylon. — Farther Tours in the East — Sail 

for the Red Sea Anchor off the Amphili Islands.— 

Arrival at Massowah. — Desertion of some of the crew of 
the Antelope. — Salt sails for Bombay. — Starts with Lord 
Valentia for Poonah and other places in the interior of 

In the year 1799 Lord Valentia first became 
acquainted with Henry Salt in the following 
singular manner^ the account of which I shall 
give as nearly as possible in the words of his 
lordship's diary. 

In the month of June in the above year. Lord 
Valentia was in London. The Rev. Thomas Simon 
Butty who has been before mentioned, was also 
there upon his own concerns, and, as he and his 
lordship were on intimate terms, they were a good 
deal together, and in company went to many 
exhibitions, with which the metropolis at that 


season of the year abounds. Among others, on 
the 4th of June, they visited Fuseli's gallery in 
Pall Mall. It so happened, that when they first 
entered there was only one other person in the 
room, a young man, who immediately came up 
and spoke to Mr. Butt in a very cordial manner, 
but was received with so much coolness that he 
directly retired. Lord Valentia thought this 
singular, and asked Mr. Butt who the young 
man was ? He replied he did not know, but 
had supposed he was an acquaintance of his 
lordship's. Lord Valentia assured him that he 
was not, and that from his manner he conceived 
it was some one who knew him, Mr. Butt, well. 
On hearing this, Mr. Butt immediately quitted 
Lord Valentia and joined the stranger, with 
whom he soon appeared on the most familiar 
terms, and directly introduced him to his lord- 
ship, exclaiming — " Why it is my nephew, Henry 
Salt r The fact was, Mr. Butt had not seen Salt 
for many years, and the latter was so grown and 
altered that his uncle had not the most distant 
recollection of him when he first spoke to him ; 
and Henry, shocked at the coldness of his re- 
ception, had turned away in anger and disgust 
from a relative who he fancied was ashamed to 
acknowledge him in the company of an indivi- 



dual who evidently bore the appearance of a man 
of rank and fashion. 

Independently of Lord Valentia's long attach- 
ment to the Butt family, he had formed^ as haa 
been before observed^ a most intimate friendship 
with Dr. Salt when they were fellow pupils at 
Dr. Butt% and that friendship had continued 
unabated. His lordship therefore felt anxious 
to show every attention in his power to Henry 
Salt. He introduced him to his family and 
friends^ and from that period, whenever his lord- 
ship was in London, he saw a good deal of him 
during the two or three following years. 

About the end of the year 1801, or the begin- 
ning of 1802, Lord Valentia formed the design 
of visiting India, and communicated his intention 
to Salt ; when the latter, seeing the opportunity 
favourable, lost no time in soliciting his lord- 
ship to allow him to embark with him in the 
double capacity of secretary and draftsman. 
Lord Valentia, not having had the most distant 
notion of asking him to accompany him, felt a 
good deal surprised at the proposal, as he had 
considered Salt as just settled in his profession, 
and had no idea of making an offer which ap- 
peared likely to interfere with his progress as an 
artist ; but. Salt mentioning the melancholy state 


of his prospects^ and his wish to quit the pursuit 
in which he was then engaged, his lordship at 
length acquiesced in his views, and agreed to his 
going out with him if he could obtain his father's 
consent to the proposition. This permission, on 
the matter being fully represented and explained, 
was readily granted, and Henry without delay 
proceeded to make the necessary preparations 
for his journey. 

All his other relatives and friends were well 
pleased with his appointment, and with the fair 
prospect it appeared to hold out of ftiture ad- 
vantage. Dr. Salt, in particular, seems, by the 
following letter to Lord Valentia, to have been 
strongly impressed with the difficulties his bro- 
ther was destined to encounter had he remained 
in hb profession, and equally delighted with the 
opportunity afforded him of escaping from so 
distressing a situation. 

<< Sidmouth, May 24th, 1802. 

'' These few lines may be all that I can send 
you before your departure, my ever dear friend. 
God bless and preserve you, and reward you for 
your heart-warm goodness to my beloved bro- 
ther, who is the companion and friend of your 
voyage. You will have raised him at once from 
a sea of difficulties, and given him a fair and 


noble cfaaace ia life. Whaterer be bas bereaft^ 
be will awe to jon. I know bis beart ; be will, 
I trust, be gratefdl, a&ctioiuite, and sbow exer- 
tion and energy wben tbiis supported and intro- 
duced to a new scene, wbere no oppressive 
circumstances will weigb bim down, no painful 
association of ideas clog bis course. You are 
more tban a brother to bim; you bave been 
more to me : you bare ever been, in tbe most 
perfect sense of tbe word, mj friend, and tbat 
word conveys tbe strongest term tbe buman lips 
can utter. 

^^ We may meet no more on earth, my dear 
Valentia, for I am in a very suffering state, and 
must at bottom have some dangerous disease; 
but I trust we shall hereafter, in a region where 
all hearts are open, and all tears dried from the 
eye for ever. I doubt not that it has been 
hurry, &c. that has prevented your writing to 
me. I have long been, and am now, painfully 
anxious to hear from you. I intreat you to 
write to me as fully as you can, that the im- 
pression left on my mind when I parted from 
my friend may be such as to soothe my passage 
to that grave where I may repose ere his return. 
But, oh ! to part at once with my brother and 
my friend ! I fully exonerate you from the 


i {rt-omiae of seeing me before you go. I know 
I .you cannot without delay and hurry that would 
k distress you ; and as, by reOection, I have com- 
I posed my mind as much as possible on the 
Lfubject, I hope it will remain calm. But do 
I'write to me that which will be a balm to hours 
[ of suffering, and let no foreign opportunity 
I Occur without adding a letter to your friend — a 
Ininbeam from a land where, I pray God, you 
t may be prosperous and happy as you merit. 
Again, may that God be your guardian and pre- 
server, and guide and restore you to us again 
all we could wish ! 

I" Ever yours, J. B. Salt." 
f To the Viscount Valentin." 

Henry Salt was now in his element : full of 
r Kfe, activity, and hope, he was no longer the 
I depressed and dejected being he had previously 
^appeared for many months. The world seemed 
lened before him, and his sanguine spirit had 
hklready, in imagination, subdued every antici- 
pated difficulty that might be opposed to his 
progress. Never, perhaps, had any event been 
better timed. He was now about two-and- 
I twenty years of age, with all his bodily and 
^mental faculties in full vigour ; he had greatly 

VOL. 1. F 



improved himself in some essential faranches of 
education, and, for the situation in which he was 
placed, possessed a knowledge of his art, both 
with respect to landscape and figures, not usu- 
ally found among those who travel in the capa* 
city to which he had been recently nominated. 
Had the opportunity occurred some time earlier, 
he would probably have proved inadequate to 
the undertaking; or had it been delayed till a 
few years later, his chance of advancement 
would have been greatly diminished, and he 
might have sunk in the mean time into oblivion, 
while contending with insurmountable obstacles. 
As the case stood, however, it turned out one of 
those fortunate events which rarely occur in life, 
and, to do Salt justice, he followed up the 
advantage afforded him with great vigour and 

It was about this time that I was introduced 
by him to Lord Valentia, which led to the 
friendship that has since subsisted between his 
lordship and me, during a period of nearly 
thirty-two years. 

Though Salt was in high spirits at his ap- 
pointment, and looked forward with the buoy- 
ancy of youthful ardour to the bright prospect 
opened to his view, he nevertheless severely felt 


the departure from his native land; and the 
thought of the long, perhaps final separation, he 
Was ahout to experience from many beloved 
relatives and friends, greatly distressed him as 
the hour approached for bidding farewell. 

He supported the trial, however, with firm- 
ness, for, though possessed of very strong 
feelings and affections, he was in no respect 
deficient in manliness and natural strength of 
character. Our parting was indeed a bitter one, 
and for months afterwards I felt like one who 
had suddenly been bereft of some important 
member of his body. 

On such occasions, I believe, the individual 
left behind is commonly the severer sufferer, 
since every familiar object, and even amuse- 
ment, recalls to his recollection the pains and 
the pleasures which have passed in the society 
of the departed friend. It is otherwise with the 
sbsentee. The novelty of the situation in which 
he is placed, and the stream of events and 
objects presented to his imagination, tend to 
banish, at least for a time, the remembrance of 
more domestic, but less poignant enjoyments. 
To this day, I cannot pass through many of the 
streets of London where Salt formerly resided 
without their calling to my mind the scenes of 



our yonthfol days, and bitterly deploring his 
untimely loss. 

Before I conclude this portion of the life of 
my departed friend, it may be as well to mention 
that the materiak I have obtained relating to 
his youth and early manhood, are of a- very 
slender description. Almost the whole of his 
letters have been destroyed or lost, and there 
are few persons Uving from whom I have been 
able to gain any very satisfactory information 
respecting him, before he and I became person- 
ally acquainted. Meagre as it is, however, its 
authenticity may be fully relied on, coming, as 
it does, from intimate companions and near rela- 
tives. As to the latter years of this epoch in 
his life, I have fortunately preserved many of his 
letters to me, which I found of great use in 
ascertaining dates, and in assisting my memory 
with regard to circumstances, which came imme- 
diately under my own observation and know- 

During Mr. Salt's absence from England, for 
nearly four years and a half, I have no account 
of his proceedings, except what I have gathered 
from Lord Valentia's Travels, and from his own 
Journal, published in that comprehensive work. 
He wrote, I believe, only a few letters home to 



any of his friends or relatives in the course of 
this period; and those he did write have pro- 
bably shared the fate of his earlier ones, as I 
have not been able to obtain any from the 
various quarters in which I have applied. Dur- 
ing the whole time he was away I received, I 
think, only three letters from him, and two of 
those (of no importance, however) I have mis- 
laid. From the other I shall give extracts, as it 
describes in a lively manner his sensations when 
encountering the delights of a first sea-voyage. 

It was on the 3rd of June, 1S02, that Lord 
Valentia and Salt took their departure from 
London to embark in the extra East Indiaman 
the Minerva, Captain Weltden, which was ex- 
pected in the Downs on the 4th. On the 5th 
they went on board, but, owing to delays from 
calms and adverse winds, the ship did not quit 
the Lizard till June 20th. June the 29th they 
came in sight of the Isle of Madeira ; stopped 
there a day or two, and thence departed for St. 
Helena, where they arrived August 20th, after 
an unusually quick passage. In about a fort- 
night the voyage was resumed to the Cape of 
Good Hope, which became visible on the morn* 
ing of October the 20th. Being detained at 
this place nearly three weeks, his lordship. 



accompanied by Mr. Salt^ visited the interior, 
during which excursion the latter^ as he had also 
done at Madeira and St. Helena^ made several 
drawings of the different scenery, engravings 
from some of which are given in his lordship's 
*' Travels** and in Salt's " Views," and are remark- 
able for their truth and character. A short time 
before Salt's arrival at the Cape an opportunity 
offered of sending me the letter I have alluded 
to above. 

<< Minerva, off the Cape of Good Hopew 

*^ Dear Halls, 
** It is absolutely necessary that I should give 
you a long letter from this place, or you wiU 
certainly accuse me of neglect, which I could 
bear from any one else better than from yourself. 
You will probably by this time have received two 
letters from the island of St. Helena, the only 
two I have sent you since I left England, which, 
considering all things, is a most base inattention 
on my side. We are now about two hundred 
miles from the Cape ; the weather is remark- 
ably fine, though we are sailing through the 
water at the rate of seven or eight knots in the 
hour. We had, indeed, one or two severe 
squalls this morning, but it is nothing when one 
is used to it. We have another ship (the Lord 



Eldon) in company with us, which seems to 
be pitching most tremendously ; fortunately, 
though ours is a remarkably fast-sailing vessel, 
she has very little motion, and as I have at last 
got rid of the sea-sickness, with which I suffered 
very much until some time after my leaving St. 
Helena, I can no longer have an excuse for not 
giving you a regular account (as per promise) of 
what I am doing, as well as of what has passde 
in the last four months. Passing over our stay 
at Deal, where we managed to spend the time 
tolerably agreeably, I will suppose we have 
taken our departure from the Lizard Point, and 
relate to you whatever I may have omitted in 
my former letters. The manner in which we 
live on board a ship is, upon the whole, not so 
bad as one might reasonably expect, yet, God 
knows, it is bad enough. 

" Imprimis : — It is very much like being hung 
up in a cage, and swung from one side of the 
room to the other ; but what is this but neces- 
mry exercise ? and though, as I often think, the 
motion very much resembles that which a crow 
must experience when perched on the end of an 
ash bough, which shakes to and fro with the 
wind, yet this only assists our animal frame in 
its necessary operations, and serves to digest the 

^_ lis iic:<:t 



quantity of excellent provisions which we daily 
consume. We are^ indeed^ stowed away at night 
in our cots like so many malefactors dangling in 
chains^ where we are continually awakened by 
the creaking of ropes^ the harsh grating of the 
rudder^ the piping of the boatswain^ and a few 
other equally amusing sounds; but this will 
only teach us^ on our return^ how to relish a 
peaceful home, though in small lodgings, and 
moreover affords ample time for reflection. 

'' The Minerva, being an extra ship, is not of 
course so large as the regular East Indiamen ; 
but on this account we have no reason to com- 
plain. Lord Valentia has one half of the round- 
house, which is about as large as your small 
closet, and I have a cabin below, about six feet 
by five. The cuddy, in which we assemble toge- 
ther at dinner, &c. is an excellent room, where 
we get very handsome ' feeds.' Fresh mutton 
and pork are standing dishes, dressed in a 
variety of ways, which, with salt-fish, beef, porky 
hams, tripe, &c. followed generally by a good 
pudding, or pie, make out our table; not for- 
getting most excellent curries, which we wash 
down with various good wines. * * * 

'^ The society on board our vessel is as supe- 


nor to what it generally is on shipboard as it is 
inferior to our little party in Bond Street (where 
we sometimes used to pass our evenings in the 
most agreeable intercourse imaginable), for our 
captain is not more than eight-and-twenty, and 
is one who harbours in his breast nothing but 
goodwill towards us all. He has been accus- 
tomed to very good company, and has little of 
the sailor's character about him, except it be an 
openness of heart and a little desire of ' cutting 
a dash,' peculiar to these sons of the ocean. 

^^ One of our mates is a truly original charac- 
ter; you would take him for an Irishman by the 
number of good blunders he makes in conversa- 
tion, and his voice, when he makes a sharp reply, 
is one note higher than any other person's in 
company ; add to this a dry humour in telling 
a story, and a quaintness of style that is at 
times infinitely amusing, particularly when a 
little elevated by wine. He is a short man, 
rough in his manners, and unpolished in person, 
though on Sundays, I assure you, very fine. 
Formerly he was master of a slave-ship, which 
has given him a slight tinge of the barbarian ; 
yet at bottom he is, I believe, humane, and a 
man of strict integrity ; you would, however. 


immediately suspect^ if he went past your win* 
dow in Bond Street, that he came from below 
London Bridge. * * ♦ 

** Mr. E , our surgeon, who knew some of 

your family at Colchester, answers very much to 
the idea I formed of him when I first saw him at 
Gravesend. I was then much prepossessed in 
his favour, and I still think him a complete 
gentleman ; but, what is better, he has a well- 
inclined heart, which ten years' service has not 
corrupted, and a spirit of honour, which shines 
resplendent amidst the foibles which he shares in 
common with us all. 

'^ Lord Valentia, as you may imagine, gives 
the whole spirit to the party. His abilities 
I always thought very considerable, . but did 
not give him credit for such uncommon at- 
tention in gaining information, as I now find 
him possessed of. As to his continued kind- 
ness to me, I am sure had I been his bro- 
ther he could not have been more assiduously 
anxious for his welfare than he appears to be 
about everything that can tend to my advantage. 
There has not been even unpleasant words be- 
tween us more than once ; but though I must 
regret the occasion, from knowing that I was 


l--niyself in the wrong, yet, as it gave me reason 

I to be more than ever satisfied with his good 

intentions towards me, I cannot but feel pleased 

irith the cause. 

*' During our stay at St. Helena I experienced 
considerable pleasure, partly from the novelty of 
the scene, and partly from the particular atten- 
tion I received from the inhabitants, who may 
be aptly called ' Imitators of Mankind,' as they 
I iq)pear to me to have no national character 
belonging to them. They are at an early age 
inspired with the necessity of ' taking care of 
I the main chance.' No arts or sciences are 
cultivated, and of course their information is 
ahnost confined to the casting up of pounds, 
I ihiUings, and pence. From this account, how- 
ever, must be entirely excluded the Governor's 
femily, wliich consists of himself, his wife, and 
four daughters, with whom we almost lived while 
on the island. * * • 

*" Land is just descried from the mast-head, 
therefore 1 must bid you farewell, as well as your 
brother Tom, for brothers I hope we all are in 
affection. Farewell, dear Halls, and believe me 
^m nost sincerely 

^m " Your affectionate friend, 

K " H. Salt." 



The above letter came to me in an inclosure 
from Lord Valentia^ from which last I copy some 
extracts^ as they show that his lordship was well 
satisfied with Salt's progress even in this early 
stage of his proceedings. 

<< Off the Cape, October 19th, 1802. 

*' My dear Sir, 
** I can hardly bear to send you a blank sheet 
of paper, and therefore, as Henry brought me 
hi3 letter to inclose, I shall fill the envelope, 
though I presume that he has acquainted you 
with everything that is interesting. I have the 
pleasure to inform you that he gets on better 
than I expected, and I have no doubt that when 
he becomes acquainted again with water-colours 
his drawings will be superior to my hopes. * * * 
I have little doubt that he will make money in 
India, which, I think, he would never have done 
in London. 

*^ Truly yours, 

'' Valentia.** 

" J. J. Halls, Esq." 

On the 30th of October Lord Valentia and 
his party returned to Cape Town, after a very 
agreeable tour of three hundred miles. They 



found the ship was not quite ready to sail on 
their arrival, owing to its having to take on 
board General Vandeleur and a division of the 
8th Light Dragoons. On the 5th of November, 
however, every arrangement being completed, 
the Minerva departed from the Cape direct for 
Calcutta, where, after touching at the Nicobar 
Islands in their way, and narrowly escaping 
shipwreck. Lord Valentia and Salt arrived in 
safety on the 26th of January 1803. 

They were received with great attention and 
civility by the Marquess Wellesley and by many 
of the principal authorities, and it was not long 
before Mr. Salt had an opportunity afforded him 
of exercising his professional talents. He had 
been invited by the Governor-General to accom- 
pany Lord Valentia to his country residence at 
Barrackpore ; and when they were about to 
return, his Excellency requested that Salt might 
be left behind to take some views of the place, 
an employment in which he acquitted himself so 
much to the satisfaction of the marquess, as to 
elicit the warmest applause from him and others, 
for the fidelity and rapidity with which he 
sketched many of the neighbouring scenes. He 
returned to Calcutta highly gratified with his 
reception, and with the very flattering marks of 

^^^recepiion, ana wun tne very naiiermg marKS oi ^i 


approbation that had been bestowed upon 

On the 21st of February he attended Lord 
Valentia on a tour to Benares and Lucknow, 
Their route lay through many towns and consi- 
derable places^ in the course of which he met 
with frequent opportunities for employing his 
pencil, and gave great satisfaction by his efforts 
to his fellow-travellers ; indeed, I have frequently 
heard his lordship express his surprise at the 
very rapid improvement Salt had made in his 
art shortly after his arrival in India. On the 
7th of March they reached Benares, and on the 
21st entered Lucknow, exactly one month after 
their departure from Calcutta. 

After a residence of four months at this place, 
which appears to have been very agreeably 
spent, from the great civility and attention they 
experienced from the Nawaub Vizier of Oude, 
and other native princes, the party set off on its 
return to Calcutta, and reached Cawnpore on 
the 4th of September, having visited many dif- 
ferent places in the course of the journey. 

At Cawnpore Lord Valentia discharged all 
his servants and followers, wfio were hired at 
Lucknow, and with Mr. Salt, &c. proceeded, in 
boats, hired for the occasion, down the Ganges 


I for the Bengal capital. In their way thither 
I they stopped at Barrackpore to dine with the 
I Marquess Wellesley, with whom Lord Valentia 
I was anxious to communicate previously to his 
I departure for Ceylon. 

Salt, during the late tour, had considerably 
I augmented the number of his sketches, and it 
, about this time that he first entertained the 
tidea of publishing, on his own account, by sub- 
licription, his twenty-four large views, dedicated 
I by permission to the Marquess Wellesley, and 
fander the immediate patronage of that noble- 
Imui. This book was subsequently published by 
iMillcr, after Salt's return to England. It 
I.Wought him in a considerable sum of money, 
I nd perhaps, for a work of this description, has 
lieTer been surpassed by any production in the 
Laccuracy of its representations. 

On the 6th of December 1803, Lord Valentia, 
iMr. Salt, &c. left Calcutta, and went on board 
ilbe Charles, transport, to be conveyed down the 
Iriver Hoogly. On the 7th they reached Hedge- 
and immediately embarked in the Olive, 
■Captain Matthews, bound for Columbo, in the 
dand of Ceylon. ' December 15th land became 
Itisible, and on the 18th they reached Point de 
KlGalle. Here they remained a day or two, and 

I, and ^^i 


proceeded to Columbo, where they arrived on 
the 22nd^ and were most kindly and hospitably 
received by Governor North, afterwards Earl of 
Guilford. The uniform attention and friendship 
which Mr. Salt experienced from this amiable, 
learned, and excellent man, from the beginning 
of their acquaintance till the death of the latter, 
many years afterwards in England, was highly 
valued by Salt, and he always mentioned it as 
one of the most gratifying circumstances of 
his life. 

At Columbo the travellers remained about 
three weeks, when they took leave of the Go- 
vernor, and continued their route to Ramiseram. 
During their stay at Ceylon, the account of 
which forms one of the most interesting and best 
portions of his travels. Lord Valentia suffered 
greatly from indisposition ; but Salt made seve- 
ral drawings of the various scenery which the 
country afforded, some of which were published 
in the '* Travels " and in his " Views,** and are 
among the most characteristic of the collection. 

The detention of Lord Valentia at Ceylon 
having proved longer than he had anticipated, 
necessarily shortened the period he had intended 
to devote to the continent of India in his way to 
Mangalore, where he was informed by a letter 


from Mr. Duncan, the Governor of Bombay, that 

I one of the Company's cruisers, by the order of 

Lord Wellesley, would be in readiness early in 

February 1804, to convey his lordship to the 

I Red Sea. On the 25th of January 1804, the 

I party arrived at Ramiseram, where Salt made 

tome drawings, particularly one of the celebrated 

pagoda at that place. Thence they proceeded 

by Panban, Ramnad, &c. to Tanjore, where 

they arrived on the 30th. 

On the 2nd of February the party resumed 

their journey to Pondicherry, which they reached 

on the evening of the 3rd, having been obliged 

I to pass over in a very cursory manner several 

I natters on the route worthy of note, and which 

[ they were unable to examine, from the fear of 

being too late in the Red Sea for the southerly 

I monsoon. 

In the course of their stay at this place 
I Mr. Salt made an excursion among the hills in 
I the neighbourhood, visited the seven pagodas, of 
■which he made several drawings, and then re- 
I joined Lord Valentia at Madras on the 10th of 
I February. Here Mr. Coffin, his lordship's Eiig- 
I fish servant, was taken with a violent fever, 
I which prevented the party for some time from 
I proceeding. In the mean while Mr. Salt set out 
VOL. r. G 


;t out ^J 


to visit the celebrated falls of the Cauveri, and 
after an absence of somewhat more than a fort- 
nighty he rejoined his fellow-traveller at Seringa- 
patam^ on the 2nd of March, whither his lord- 
ship had proceeded after the recovery of his 

While engaged in this expedition Salt kept 
a regular journal, which appears in the ^' Tra- 
vels/' and employed his pencil upon the various 
scenery of the country through which he passed. 
At eight in the evening his lordship and Salt 
took leave of their friends in Seringapatam, and 
proceeded on the route to Mangalore, which 
they reached about the 8th, after having de- 
scended the Bessely Gaut, one of the most 
remarkable in India. The scenery they passed 
through on this occasion is described as being of 
the most magnificent nature. 

At Mangalore they found the Company's 
cruiser, the Antelope (Captain Keys) waiting 
their arrival, to convey them, by Lord Welles- 
ley's connnand, to the Red Sea, with the view of 
exploring its western coast, and of endeavouring 
to ascertain if some commercial advantage might 
not accrue from opening a communication with 
Abyssinia ; and in order to obviate any difficulty 
that might arise in the execution of these pro- 



I jects as to the eligibility of visiting particular 
I places, the commanding officer of the ship was 
I placed hy his Excellency under the control of 
I Lord Valentia. 

On the 12th the whole party embarked on 

I board the Antelope, and immediately set sail for 

the Red Sea, and on the 12th of April made the 

coast of Africa, off Cape Guardafui. Thence 

I &ey sailed through the Straits of Babel Mandel 

to Mocha, where they arrived on the 18th, in 

company with the Fox frigate (Captain Vashon), 

which had been dispatclied to these quarters by 

Admiral Rainier, to convoy the trade from 

I Mocha to India. 

At Mocha it was found advisable to lay in a 
I vtock of water and provisions, which delayed the 
I Antelope till the 9th of May, when the whole 
I pwty proceeded on the voyage up the Red Sea. 
L Before they set out. Captain Keys had expressed 
{■Ids disapprobation of any attempt being made to 
I explore the western coast of the Red Sea, and in 
D'irther respects seemed disposed to thwart his 
ijordship's views. It had been Lord Valentia's 
iiSBtention to have gone by Jibbel Tier and Dha- 
( lac to Massowahj as Captain Vashon had offered 
I to accompany the Antelope as far as the two 
I Conner places ; but just as everything had been 



got in readiness, and they were about to set sail^ 
the pilot declared he knew nothing of the route^ 
and Captain Keys would not venture his vessel 
in an unknown and intricate sea. The plan 
was in consequence relinquished, and Captain 
Vashon pursued his course alone. 

The Antelope stretched across the Red Sea, 
rather to the south-west, and worked up its way 
on the Abyssinian side of the shore. After 
touching at different places in their progress, 
and making various soundings and observations, 
they anchored off the Amphila Islands on the 
15th of May, and thence proceeded to Dhalac. 

Here Lord Valentia wished to take a minute 
survey of the island and neighbouring parts in 
the boats of the ship, but the captain disap- 
proved of the attempt. It was, however, at 
length agreed that Mr. Salt should go in the 
pilot's boat the next morning (May the 2lst) to 
another part of the Island of Dhalac-el-Kibeer, 
to gain all possible information respecting it. 
On his return he made a report of his tour on 
the island, greatly to his lordship's satisfaction. 
The Antelope then sailed for Massowah, where 
it arrived on the 23rd, and the next day Lord 
Valentia and Salt paid a visit to the Nayib, who 
received them with much civility. At this place 


fresh difEculties appear to have been started by 
the captain, which rendered it impossible to pro- 
secute the objects of the voyage. Accordingly 
Lord Valentia, after some strong remonstrances, 
was obliged to give up the business as hopeless, 
- ftod to order Captain Keys to return to Mocha, 
where the ship arrived on the 21th of June. 
On the way thither the latter wished his lieu- 
tenant, Mr. Maxfield, to survey a small island in 
1 their route, which had been before discovered by 
the Antelope, and Lord Valentia in consequence 
' consented to a delay of two days ; but Mr. Max- 
I field being suddenly taken ill, Mr. Salt went and 
I ascertained some bearings, and made several 
I drawings of the island, which on a former visit 
[ Lad been named Valentia island, in compliment 
to his lordship. 

During the stay of the Antelope at Mocha, 
l.fcveral of her crew, induced by the temptations 
|]ield out by the Dola and others, ran away from 
Ltiie ship, and turned renegadoes. One of these 
Itien having written to Lord Valentia, to request 
mA bible, his lordship sent him one, with a letter 
llso, warning him of the criminality of his con- 
pduct. A long answer was returned, in which, 
Lin the true style of a sailor, the writer observed, 
!* he could now be as good a christian as before^ 


and should have more time to pay his respects 
to God Almighty.'' He afterwards chanced to 
meet his lordship^ when he looked wretchedly, 
and said he believed Lord Valentia was right in 
saying he would soon repent of what he had 
done ; his fears^ however, of the punishment that 
might await him on his arrival in India, if a 
seapoy whom he had struck while on duty, should 
have diqd of the blow, prevented for the time his 
returning to the ship. This man was no other 
than Pearce, who was afterwards left in Abys- 
sinia, and whose singular life and journal has 
been recently published. 

As soon as the Antelope arrived at Mocha, 
Lord Valentia and Mr. Salt quitted the ship, 
and took up their residence at the factory till 
the return of Captain Vashon from his cruise. 
To their no small delight, he arrived on the 6th 
of July in the Fox, and, as his lordship had given 
up the command of the Antelope, that ship be- 
came immediately under the orders of Captain 
Vashon. To this officer his lordship represented 
what had happened, and requested him to give 
him a passage in the Fox to Bombay when it 
sailed for India. Tliis request was willingly 
complied with, and Captain Keys received orders 
to give Mr. Salt a passage in his ship to Bombay, 


whither it was to sail as soon as possible after 
his lordship had officially notified to Captain 
Keys his resignation of all control over him. 

On the 9th of July^ Mr. Salt sailed for Bombay^ 
taking letters from Lord Valentia for Mr. Dun- 
can the Grovemor^ and also for Colonel Shawe^ 
to be laid before the Governor-general. On the 
arrival of Mr. Salt, he delivered the dispatches 
with which he was charged to Mr. Duncan^ who 
received him with great civility and friendliness. 
A short time afterwards his lordship joined Mr. 
Salt at Bombay, and had an immediate audience 
of the Governor, who assured him of his extreme 
r^ret at what had occurred, and promised to do 
his utmost to provide him a better ship, and more 
agreeable commander than the last, in the event 
of his lordship wishing to proceed either by way 
of Suez, or Bussorah, on his return to Europe ; 
the latter of which plans Lord Valentia had once 
aitertained some thoughts of adopting. It was, 
however, in the first instance, deemed advisable 
to communicate with the Governor-General, and 
as his Excellency's answer could not be re- 
ceived from Calcutta in less than six weeks. 
Lord Valentia thought it would be a good oppor- 
tunity, in company with Mr. Salt, to visit Poonah 
and other places in the interior. 



Quit Bombay. — Arrive at Poonah. — Scene of Famine on the 
Road. — Leave Poonah. — Salt's Drawings. — Return to 
Bombay. — Excursion to the Island of Salsette. — Sail for 
Mocha. — Survey of the Coast of the Red Sea. — Site of 
the ancient City of Adulis. — Return to Mocha. — Salt 
sent on a Mission to the Ras of Tigr6. — The Joumey«— > 
Arrival at Antalo. — ^Interview with the Ras. 

On the 6th of October, every thing being 
arranged, the party quitted Bombay and pro- 
ceeded by Panwell, Campaly, &c. to Poonah^ 
where they arrived on the 12th, having wit- 
nessed on their road the most horrible scenes of 
famine, in consequence of the recent devastation 
of Holcar's army. The dying and the dead lay 
mmgled on the plain in dreadful fraternity, while 
the vultures and Paria dogs — 

" Held o'er the dead their carnival." 

Our travellers bestowed what relief they could 
in money, and, shuddering, hastened from these 
fearful scenes of human misery. It would have 
been in vain for them to offer anything in 


the shape of sustenance, had they possessed the 
means ; the natives having uniformly rejected 
with firmness, on similar occasions, the food that 
was tendered them by the hands of Christians. 
We may lament the superstitious infatuation of 
these deluded people ; but it is impossible not to 
admire the undaunted resolution with which they 
adhere to a mistaken and even absurd faith in 
such dreadful moments of suffering and death. 

On the 22nd Lord Valentia and his party 
quitted Poonah, and arrived at Chinchoor, 
where they paid a visit to Chinta-Mun-Deo, 
believed, by the Mahratta nation, to be an incar- 
nation of their deity Gunputty. He was pleased 
to receive them very graciously; thence they 
went to see the caves of Carli, of which Mr. 
Salt made several drawings, as well as of many 
of the most striking scenes which they passed on 
the route. When their curiosity was satisfied 
at the caves of Carli, his lordship and some of 
his fi-iends departed to Low Ghur, leaving Mr. 
Salt behind for a day, to complete his drawings. 
As soon as the travellers were again united, they 
set ofiP to the top of the Candalla Gaut, which 
they descended after viewing the magnificent 
prospect seen firom its summit, and returned to 
Bombay on the 1st of November. 


On the 22nd they again set out on an excur- 
sion to the island of Salsette, to view the cayes 
of Kenneri, and afterwards visited the celebrated 
cave on the isle of Elephanta^ of all which Mr. 
Salt made drawings. 

On returning to Bombay^ they found that the 
Governor had ordered the Company's vessel, the 
Momington, to be got in readiness to convey 
Lord Valentia and suite to Bussorah, to which 
place his lordship had determined to proceed, 
when dispatches from Lord Wellesley arrived, 
which induced him to alter his intentions, and 
to resume his survey of the Red Sea. The 
Panther cruiser was in consequence ordered to 
be prepared for the service, and Lieutenant 
Charles Court, an officer of high character,* was 
appointed to the command ; and a small schooner, 
the Assaye, under Lieutenant Maxfield, (late 
second lieutenant of the Antelope,)f was ap- 
pointed to sail in company as a tender. 

Everything being in readiness for the voyage, 
the party, which had recently been augmented 
by Captain Rudland, of the Bombay army, took 
leave with deep regret of the excellent Governor, 

• Afterwards Captain Court. 

f Since Captain Maxfield of the Bombay Marine, and 
now M.P. for Great Grimsby. — Ed. 



I md set sail on the 4th of December for Mocha, 
I where the two ships arrived on the 19th. Here, 
consequence of some slight repair of the 
I Panther becoming necessary, a little delay was 
I occasioned ; but the Assaye was sent forward on 
[ the 30th to Massowah, Mr. Maxfield being in- 
I trusted with letters to the Nayib, to request 
I pilots to conduct the two ships from that place 
I to Suakin, after which Mr, Maxfield was to join 
\ Lord Valentia at Dhalac. 

During the stay of the Panther at Mocha, 
I Pearce, the sailor, who had by this time heartily 
I repented of his conduct, entreated his lordship, 
I'tlirough Mr. Coffin, " to permit him to come on 
I board, and attend him even as his slave to Eng- 
Itand." This request being complied with, he 

managed to effect his escape from the shore 
Ibefore the ships departed. 

The 2nd of January, 1805, the Panther set 
. for Massowah, at which place it arrived on 

tlie l6th. Here the party remained till the 21st, 
Ivdien they again embarked, and continued to 
l^osecute the purposes of the voyage on the 
Iwestern shores of the Red Sea until they reached 
pSuakin on the 10th of February. 

It would be quite superfluous to enter 
l.uiy detailed account of the accurate and minute 

r ^^M 

98 THE L1F£ Of 

avrfcj tiaX was iHde of Ae coast in sitnatioiu 
at time of cQoadamUe pcriL It wiD be ^longli 
to ohrierfe genoally, ^at during the whole of 
the pffocce£ng» Mr. Salt attended the party^ 
and hj hb leai and admtj contributed greatly 
to further the purposes of the Toyage ; he also 
made many sketches^ 

One circumstanee, howerer, attending the Toy- 
age, is worthy of notice. It had been a favoorite 
okgect, both with Lord Valentia and Mr. Salt, 
to discoTcr the site of the ancient city of Adulis, 
and they appear to hare bestowed no inconsider- 
able share <^ assadoity in endeavooring to esta- 
blish its precise situation ; but though they con« 
tinually passed and repassed, in their devious 
track, within a very short distance of the object 
of their research, it constantly eluded thier ob» 
serration, and all they were able to accomplish 
on the subject was, to confirm, almost beyond a 
doubt, the conjectures of the acute and learned 
Dr. Vincent, as to the general position of the 

In his second voyage to Abyssinia, Mr. Salt 
again attempted to discover the remains of this 
ancient city, which, from several circumstances 
he had learned at Massowah and other places, 
he was firmly convinced must exist somewhere 



about the bottom of Annesley Bay, lying a little 
to the south-east of that town, and at a short 
distance from Zulla. In consequence of the 
information he had received, Mr. Salt was ex- 
ceedingly anxious to have proceeded in person 
to the spot, but was unfortunately prevented by 
illness from accomplishing his purjjose ; he, how- 
ever, sent a gentleman of the name of Steward 
upon the discovery, who got to Zulla, but was 
prevented reaching the ruins by the extreme 
jealousy -of the natives; though the report he 
made on his return to Mr. Salt more than ever 
satisfied the latter of the truth of his former 

In 1819 Pearce, on his return from Abyssinia, 
by the instructions of Mr. Salt, made a similar 
attempt, but was not suffered to enter even the 
town of Zulla, so great was the jealousy of the 
inhabitants with respect to the admission of 
strangers. The ruins of Adulis have, however, 
recently been actually visited by one of the party 
in the last expedition to Abyssinia. His notes 
itive to the discovery are now in England, 

id it is to be hoped that before long fresh and 
Important information will be obtained from the 
same quarter. He found the ruins precisely in 
the which Mr. Salt had predicted they 


_l kuc aibuuvJ 



would be discovered, and he describes them as 
exceedingly magnificent ; abounding with Greek 
and other statues, and with columns and inscrip- 
tions in various languages. 

But to return. On the 26th of February the 
party quitted Suakin, and proceeded northward, 
after touching at several places, to Salaka, with 
the view of proceeding to Cosseir, but met with 
such boisterous weather, after reaching the former 
place on the 17th of March, that Lord Yalentia 
was compelled to depart from his original inten- 
tion, and to return to Mocha, till a more favour- 
able opportunity should offer for prosecuting the 
•voyage to Cosseir. At Mocha they once again 
arrived on the 27th of March, after having en- 
countered dangers and perils in their adventur- 
ous undertaking, from which nothing, under 
Providence, could probably have preserved them 
but the cool intrepidity and skilful seamanship 
of Captain Court. 

During his present stay at Mocha, Lord 
Yalentia, from some intelligence he had received, 
came to the determination of sending Mr. Salt 
on a mission to the Ras of Tigre. In his lord^- 
ship's former visit to the Red Sea, in 1804, he 
had made inquiries respecting the practicability 
of opening a communication with Abyssinia ; and 


from the information he had been able to gain, 
he entertained little doubt that it might be un- 
dertaken with every prospect of success, though, 
owing to the unfortunate events that rendered 
his return to Bombay necessary, the attempt 
was for a time suspended ; but on his late visit 
to Massowah, in 1805, finding that the north- 
west monsoon, which had then set in, would 
render it impossible for him to reach Suez during 
the season, he deemed it a favourable opportu- 
nity for opening the long-proposed communica- 
tion with the court of Habesh. Currum Chund, 
a Banian, who had been recommended to his 
lordship, acquainted him that the Ras Welled 
Selasse had expressed a wish to hear from him, 
and in consequence Lord Valentia gave a 
message to the Banian, which he desired him to 
put into writing, and to forward to the Ras of 
Tigre, with the least possible delay, by a special 

This being accordingly executed, a favourable 
reply was returned to Currum Chund, with a 
letter in Arabic from the Ras to his lordship, 
expressing his wish that he would either visit 
him himself, or send some one on the mission. 
The dispatch was immediately forwarded by 
the Banian to Mocha, where it reached his lord- 


ship on the 3rd of June 1805. From the am- 
biguous wording of the letter, however, it ap- 
peared doubtful whether the Ras had not con** 
founded the Company's resident at Mocha (Mr. 
Pringle) with Lord Valentin ; and it was in 
consequence determined that Mr. Salt should 
be sent on the expedition. Captain Rudland 
and a gentleman named Carter having expressed 
a desire to accompany Mr. Salt, their services 
were readily accepted. Pearce, the sailor, a 
boy named Andrew (who spoke English, Hin- 
dostanee, and tolerable Arabic), and Hamed 
Chamie, as interpreter, a highly respectable 
native of Mecca, were also added to the party. 

All now was hurry and preparation, for, the 
season being far advanced, it was necessary that 
the expedition should return by the end of 
October, in order that advantage might be taken 
of the monsoon, which is only for a short time 
favourable in the upper part of the Red Sea. 
Everything being finally arranged, it was judged 
expedient that the party should go up to Mas- 
sowah in the Panther, in order to give import- 
ance to the mission, and to check the insolence 
of the Dola of Arkeeko, who seemed disposed to 
throw every obstacle in the way that was likely 
to defeat the expedition. 


On the 20th of June Mr. Salt^ and the rest o( 
the Abyssinian party^ set sail for Massowah^ 
where they arrived on the 28th^ leaving Lord 
Valentia at Mocha till Captain Court should be 
able to return for him in the Panther, when he 
had seen Mr. Salt fairly started on his journey, 
and had made his proposed survey of the north 
of Dhalac. At Massowah Mr. Salt and the 
party were detained by nearly endless disputes 
and negotiations for the space of three weeks^ 
occasioned by the cupidity and chicanery of the 
Najrib and his satellites ; in the course of which 
Mr. Salt had need of all his patience, sagacity^ 
and intrepidity, to bring matters to a favourable 
issue. After enduring, however, the most frivo- 
lona and vexatious delays, all difficulties were 
tolerably surmounted, and the party was at 
length permitted to depart for Arkeeko, on the 
18th of July, the Nayib having proceeded thi^ 
ther a few hours before. 

On their arrival at this horrible place, fresh 
delays and impositions were attempted by the 
Nayib and his officers ; but the resolution and 
fimmess of Mr. Salt, fortunately enforced by an 
accidental movement of the Panther towards the 
town, at last brought the Nayib and Dola tp 
their senses, and the party, consisting of ten in 



number^ was unwillingly allowed to pursue its 
journey on the 20th to Shillokee^ where it reposed 
for the night. In addition to the party above- 
mentioned^ it was accompanied by a guard of 
twenty-five of the Nayib's ascari^ and by about 
ten camel-drivers. The former appear to have 
been little better than a set of banditti of the 
worst description, and white they remained ill 
company continually annoyed the. expedition hf 
their insolence and rapacity, and occasionally 
threatened its safety. 

On the morning of the Slst of July Mr. Salt 
and his companions renewed their march by 
moonlight, over a county nearly burnt up by 
the heat of the sun, but abounding Ivith acadiji, 
some of which reached the height of forty feet 
These trees were nearly without foliage, and the 
whole scene wore a dreary and desolate asfiect, 
till the travellers reached the banks of a torrent 
called W6ah. At this spot the ascari and caiAdi«- 
drivers, thinking they had advanced far enoAgfa 
in the country to have the party at their meiPdy, 
began to dis{>lay their usual misconduct in' a 
manner that seemed to threaten the safety 'tf 
their companions ; but, awed by the firmness of 
the latter, and by the superiority of their fir6* 


arms, they desisted for the present from their 
nefarious attempts at extortion. 

Proceeding on their route, the party reached 
1 station called Markela, at that time occupied 
by a tribe of the Hazorta. Here the ascari 
again renewed their insolent behaviour, and de- 
clared that, unless their rapacious demands were 
complied with, they would take all the beasts of 
burden with them, and immediately return. To 
this threat Mr. Salt coolly replied, that they 
were welcome to go themselves, but that he 
would shoot the first man who meddled with the 
camels. In consequence, however, of what had 
passed, Mr. Salt ordered all the fire-arms to be 
k»ded, and a two hours' watch to be kept 
during the night, consisting of himself. Captain 
Rudland, Mr. Carter, and Pearce. 

On the morning of the 22nd the mules, long 
pronuBed by the Nayib, did not arrive, and this 
delay furnished the ascari with a pretext for 
^-xefusing to move till their old demands were 
complied with. Fortunately, at this junction an 
ibyssiuian Christian arrived with ten mules from 
tixan, by order of the Ras, to convey the party 
«iid ita baggage in safety to his presence at 
Antalo. Upon receiving this welcome intelli- 
H 2 

Dtelli- ^m 



gence^ Mr. Salt told the chief of the ascari that 
he and his followers were at liberty to return. 
This^ probably from the fear of future conse- 
quences^ none of them chose to do; and^ on their 
promising better behayiour^ they were permitted 
to remain. 

After a weary and sultry march, chiefly 
through the dry bed of a torrent, during which 
the travellers suffered much from thirst, they 
arrived at a small rising ground, called Ham* 
hammo, where they halted for the night. They 
had scarcely, however, begun to unload their 
camels when a dreadful storm of rain came oih 
accompanied by loud thunder and vivid light- 
ning, which lasted many hours, and nearly 
deluged the party. To add to their distress, it 
was no sooner dark than the ascari gave a fake 
alarm that the natives were coming to attack 
them. The report, however, proved groundless, 
and was probably raised by the ascari merely to 
create confusion, and to afford them an opportu- 
nity of plundering during the disorder. While 
the storm continued raging, many of the party, 
exhausted by fatigue, fell asleep, and, in spite of 
the forlornness of their situation, the rest at 
length followed their example. 

In the morning a curious scene presented 




itself, the ascari, camel -drivers, servants, and 
three asses, having crept into Mr. Salt's tent, 
which had been pitched as the storm began, 
where they all lay, promiscuously huddled toge- 
ther, without regard to rank or person. Before 
they recommenced the journey, on the 23rd, the 
Abyssinian guide came to Mr. Salt, and in con- 
Wquence of the scarcity of provisions, suggested 
fte propriety of dismissing the ascari, with 
irhich request he readily complied. These peo- 
ple, from their suspicious conduct, had created 
much uneasiness and alarm on several occasions, 
and the whole party was heartily glad to be rid 
of them ; indeed, I have subsequently heard 
.Captain Rudland declare, that had it not been 
Ifcr Salt's vigilance, judgment, and intrepidity, 
ihe whole party would probably have fallen a 
tacriBce, in more than one instance, to the 
idUany of these perfidious wretches. 

At four in the afternoon the travellers reached 
loon, where they pitched their tent for the 

;ht, when the office of keeping watch was con- 
fided to Pearce, Hamed Chamie, and the Abys- 
sinian guide. In the morning of the S+th the 
journey was resumed, and passing through 
picturesque station, called Tubbo, they reached 
Illilah in the evening, and took up their 

lugn a ^H 

eached ^H 

' abode ^^^ 


for the night under a tree^ where they slept 

On the morning of the S5th they resumed 
their journey at an early hour. The road, whidi 
had gradually risen from Arkeeko, now began 
to ascend rapidly as they approached Assubft. 
Here they purchased a cow, to serv^ as proTi- 
sion for their followers in the ascent of Ta» 
ranta, and in a short time reached the foot of 
that mountain. The ground now becoming too 
rugged for the camels, it became necessary to 
seek some other mode of conveying the baggage 
to Dixan : an attempt to procure bullocks from 
the Hazorta tribes for this purpose, was unsuc- 
cessful ; but a bargain was at length made with 
some men and boys to carry the baggage on their 
shoulders. While this affair was arranging, a 
chief o4 consequence among the Hazorta had 
demanded some tobacco and coffee, for allowing 
the party to pass the mountain, which request 
not being mentioned directly to Mr. Salt, the 
chief fancied himself slighted, and rising in a 
violent passion, seized his arms, and rushed down 
the hill, followed by his attendants. Mr. Salt 
being informed of the matter, sent after him, 
explained the circumstance, and gave him the 
trifling articles he required. This put him again 

in good humour, and in the evening the Ha- 
forta all returned, bringing with them an old 
man, who. raising his garment on a spear, 
requested silence, and made the following ha- 
rangue : — 

" Be it known to all, that these people who 
are passing are great men, friends of the Nayib 
of Massowah, friends of the Sultaun of Habesh, 
friends of the Ras Welled Selasse, and friends 
of Baharnegash Yasous. We have received and 
eaten of their meat, drank of their coffee, and 
partaken of their tobacco, and are therefore 
their friends : let no man dare molest them." 

This speech was received with much applause ; 
but the Nayib's people began anew their threats 
and demands, Their clamours, however, were 
not of much importance, now that the ascari 
bad left them. At half past eleven on the 26th, 
after much wrangling with the Nayib's people, 
and nearly proceeding to blows, the party began 
to ascend the mountain of Taranta, which proved 
at first easy enough. Here the Nayib's people, 
knowing their consequence would cease after the 
mountain should be crossed, again became un. 
nily, and began to desert ; fortunately, however, 
the travellers met a young Sheik, who under- 
took to be their guide, and they proceeded on 



their journey. Soon afterwards the Nayib's 
guide again insisted on their halting for another 
day^ and attempted even to lay hold of the mule 
to prevent their proceeding, but. Salt drawing 
his hanger, and declaring he would cut him 
down if he offered the slightest molestation, he 
desisted. He subsequently made a similar at- 
tempt, but, being again resisted, he gave up the 
point, and occasioned no further trouble. 

The ascent of this celebrated pass was much 
less difficult than they had been led to expect; 
they being only three hours on the passage, and 
meeting with no extraordinary difficulties on the 
way. The descent appears to have cost them 
more trouble, owing to the road lying through 
gullies, down which the waters began to run 
with great force. They, however, reached a 
village within half a mile of Djxan, completely 
wet to the skin from the heavy rain that had 
fallen, and were well received by the poor inha- 
bitants. As soon as some of the party werd 
collected, they proceeded to Dixan, where the 
Baharnegash Yasous and the head man of the 
town were waiting to receive them. This chiefs 
tain proved afterwards one of Mr. Salt's best 
friends, but on the present occasion he seemed, 
probably from his poverty, rather inclined to 



create delays, with the view of extorting dollars. 
On the whole, however, his reception of his 
guests was favourable. At this place the party 
was detained a fortnight, it heing necessary for 
Mr. Salt to write to the Ras' secretary and to 
the Governor of Adowa, to state what animals 
Would be wanted to convey the party and bag- 
gage to the presence of the Raa, to whom he 
had previously sent letters. 

After several messages and letters had passed 
between Dixan and Antalo, without apparently 
forwarding matters, two men, of greater respect- 
ability than Mr. Salt had hitherto seen, arrived 
on the 12th of August, bringing with them the 
mules and two letters from the Ras. These 
persons were named Hadjee Hamet and Negada 
Moosa, and were attended by a numerous re- 
tinue. They had orders from the Ras to bring 
tlie party immediately, by the nearest road, to 
his presence, and they only requested one day's 
delay to refresh their attendants, which being 
granted, the whole party quitted Dixan at 

f length, on the morning of the 14th of August. 
Dixan is described as a poor and miserable 

I place, and the people, with few exceptions, as 
Very idle, ignorant, and dirty. As the travellers 

' Udvanced in their route, the face of the country 

ountry ^^J 


began greatly to improve in its general appear- 
ance : some parts of it were in an high state of 
cultivation^ and the vegetation extremely luxu- 
riant. They passed many villages, most of 
which were built on elevated situations^ some* 
what resembling the hill-forts of India. 

Their reception at the different places at wbidi 
they halted, appears to have varied considerably^ 
being treated on some occasions with much 
civility and hospitality, and on others with 
great coolness and inattention. At Asceriah, in 
particular, they experienced great difficulty in 
procuring even water for their consumption, and 
would have been suffered to pass the night under 
a tree, had it not been for an old man who 
received them into his house. On the morning 
of the I6th of August they were awakened at a 
very early hour by their conductor, Negada 
Moosa, who was anxious to hurry them away 
from this inhospitable place ; they had scarcely 
however set forward on their way, when they 
were overtaken by a party of men and the chief 
of the place, who, probably from a wholesome 
dread of the Ras's resentment, intreated them 
with all his eloquence to return. The request, 
however, was not complied with, and Mr. Salt 
and his company went forward on their journey 


r to Abba, where they were received with great 
[ cordiality by Baharnegash Subhart, an old man 
of considerable consequence, and who had for- 
merly been much attached to Ras Michael Suhul. 
[ Here Rlr.Salt observed that much more attention 
f was paid to form than at Dixan, no one being 
I wfiFered to enter into the presence of the Ba- 
[ Jurnegash without uncovering to the waist ; he 
I was also never addressed but in a whisper. 

This chief was very anxious to detain the 
travellers, but upon Guebra Eyut, a boy be- 
longing to the Ras, informing them that the 
Baharnegash only wanted a handsome present, 
Mr, Salt, on consulting with Hadjee Hamet and 
L Negada Moosa, determined to proceed the next 
I morning in spite of the strong, though polite 
[' ttraoostrances of the old man. Early on the 
I morning of the 17th, the Baharnegash brought 
[.A cow and some honey, giving a hint at the same 
['time that a present was expected in return, 
I vhich Mr. Salt evaded, upon the plea that, as 
t%e was going to the Ras, he was furnished with 
I po presents for any one else ; he, however, re- 
Eferrcd bim to Hamed Chamie, who was intrusted 
[ with the settlement of matters of this nature ; 
I liut as the Baharnegash had really been friendly, 
k Mr. Salt, after some conversation with the Ras's 



people^ ordered him to be paid twenty dollars^ 
with which he appeared highly satisfied. 

The mules were now ordered to be loaded, 
when the old man came again, and with a very 
serious air acquainted Mr. Salt he had just 
received intelligence that three thousand men 
had assembled to intercept the expedition, and 
that, unless he were with him, they ran a great 
risk of being plundered ; he therefore intreated 
they would remain till next day ; but Mr. Salt 
replied, that they were not easily alarmed, thai 
they were well furnished with fire-arms, and 
that, in the event of their being overpowered, 
the aggressors would be answerable with their 
lives to the Has; he should therefore proceed 
without delay: upon which no farther attempt 
was made to detain them. They passed several 
villages in their way to Muzambah, at one of 
which a sort of market was held, that appeared 
well supplied with a variety of articles for barter, 
from the inhabitants of the neighbouring districts. 
The Bahamegash soon after overtook them, and 
accompanied them through a pass over a high 
and rugged mountain, the descent of which on 
the opposite side, occasioned them some trouble. 
At length they reached the ruinous village of 
Recaito, where they had a difficulty in procuring 



I shed for the night; there they got a little 
' tapper, but in general were treated with in- 

On the 18th they proceeded to Shihah ; the 
Bahamegash behaved during this day's journey 
with much attention. He dismounted, and even 
offered his own mule to Mr. Salt to ride, but 
afterwards hinted to Captain Rudland that a 
little more money would be acceptable. At this 
place they rested for the night, in the middle of 
which an alarm was given of the approach of an 
enemy. A noise was heard that resembled a 
drum beating, but it turned out nothing more 
than an old woman grinding corn, which is here 
always done at night. The report, however, of a 
hostile force being at hand still continuing, they 
at length learned that two brothers, Agoos and 
Subegadis,* with their army, were coming to 
attack the place, though without any hostile 
btent towards the party. 

• The latter was tlie diatinguislied chief so frequenUy 
meDtioned in Pearce's Jouroal, and who subsequently be- 
came Ras of Tigr6. He was, at the time of Mr. Salt's first 
riait to Abyssinia, not much more than twenty years of age ; 
but, even at that early period, was greatly distinguished for 
hie capacity, courage, and enterprise. 1 regret to state 
I that he appears to have fallen a victim to the misguided 
I of some of the foreign missionaries. On the 13th of 
February, 1831, he suffered an hostile army to cross the 




Several messengers were however sent out to 
ascertain the designs of the advancing chiefii^ 
who reported^ on their return^ that Subegadis^ 
on hearing Mr. Salt and his party were on the 
road^ had deferred the attack till the travellen 
had passed on to the Ras. They judged it how- 
ever expedient to rest with their fire-arms beside 
them^ during the remainder of the night. On 
the morning of the 19th fresh alarms were given, 
but without foundation^ and they proceeded on 
their way to Genater^ which they reached on the 
81st. This place is the capital of the district 
called Agawme^ over which Subegadis presided* 
He received the party in the most hospitaUa 
style, and^ as his manners were far more polished 
than those of any Abyssinian Mr. Salt had 
hitherto met with^ the time passed 'agreeably 
enough under his friendly roof. 

Here they were entertained by the sight of an 
Abyssinian banquet. Subegadis and his wife, a 
very pretty woman, sat at the head of the table, 

Tacazse unoppoBed, because he was unwilling to fight on a 
Sunday. In consequence, he was the next day totally de- 
feated, taken prisoner, and on the following day put to death. 
These unfortunate events plunged the whole country into 
the most dreadful confusion, and have ever since exposed its 
helpless inhabitants to all the miseries and horrors incident 
to an Abyssinian civil war. 


behind a half-drawn curtain. Mr. Salt presented 
the lady with a pair of ear-rings, and her husband 
with a piece of musHn, with which he was so 
much delighted, that he took him by the hand, 
and said he should ever consider him as a 

During their stay at Genater, Captain Rudland, 
'who appears to have been an excellent sports- 
man, shot two eagles, which astonished and de- 
lighted the people, as they had never before seen ' 
a bird killed flying. On the morning of the 
82nd the party took leave of their kind friends, 
and proceeded to Takata ; here they were met 
by a messenger, bringing with him a mule from 
the Ras, for Mr. Salt's own riding. 

August S3 the march was again resumed till 
they hatted at a hill, on one side of the plain 
of Ayaddah, on which are situated the twelve 
villages of Amba Manut. Here they were much 
pressed by the inhabitants to stay, but Mr. Salt, 
taxious to lose no time, was obliged to refuse : 
npon which the chiefs surrounded him, placed 
stones on their heads and necks, and intreated 
him, in the most humble manner, to comply. 
At length Mr. Salt was obliged to force his way 
tfirough the throng, and gallop off to his friends ; 
I heavy rains, however, coming on, the party were 



obliged to stop for the night about two milei 
farther on the road. 

They came on the 24th to a larger yillage; 
where they received a hearty welcome^ and were 
most hospitably entertained by Ayto Guebra; 
They departed on the 25th^ and visited on the 
route a convent, or church, cut out of the solid 
rock, called Abuhasubha, the inside of which was 
ornamented with crosses, paintings, and inscrip^ 
tions in the Ethiopic character ; there was no- 
thing observable that could lead to the period 
when the excavation was formed. Mr. Salt 
conjectures it might have been constructed at 
the command of the Emperor Lalibala, by 
Egyptian workmen. 

On the 26th the travellers reached Dirbah. 
At this place they were joined by Subegadis, who 
accompanied them on the 27th to Chelicut^ 
where they were accommodated in a house be- 
longing to the Ras, who had given orders that 
they should be treated with every possible mark 
of attention. They visited the church at this 
place, which was composed of three concentric 
circular walls, covered with a thatched roof. 
The spaces between the two outer walls were 
open avenues ; the space included in the central 
wall formed the body of the church, the walb 


of which were coated with plaster^ and orna- 
mented with gilding, paintings &c. Chelicut 
was the residence of Ozoro Mantwaub, the Ras's 
fryourite wife. She sent many polite messages 
to the party, and supplied their table very 

August S8th they left Chelicut, and having 
prepared themselves as well as they could for go- 
ing into the presence of the Ras, they at length 
came in sight of Antalo. As they approached, 
the crowd increased rapidly, to the amount of at 
least three thousand of the inhabitants, who 
pressed so hard upon the travellers, that it was 
with great difficulty they forced a passage through 
die first gate of the Ras's residence. They were 
not allowed to dismount till they had reached the 
mtrance of the great hall ; at the farther end of 
which the Ras was seated on a couch with two 
large pillows upon it, covered with rich satin ; 
on each side of him his principal chiefs were 
seated, on a carpeted floor. On being ushered 
into his presence, with much bustle, Mr. Salt 
and his party kissed the back of the Ras's hand, 
who in like manner kissed, in turn, the hand of 
each ; the Ras then pointed to a couch, on which 
the party were seated, and, after the usual com- 
pliments had passed, the audience was over, 

VOL. I. I 


Captain Rudland having been previously taikeai 
to view the apartments that had been allotted 

The Ras was small in stature^ and delicatdy 
formed^ quick in his manner^ with a shrewd ex- 
pression^ and considerable dignity in his deportr 
ment. By kissing the hands of the travellers, 
he had placed them on an equality with himseU^ 
At first they had been required to uncover theif 
heads, and prostrate themselves, but this tb^ 
positively refused. In the course of the day they 
received abundance of provisions, and were other* 
wise treated with great attention and politeness. 
At twelve at night the Ras sent them some 
clouted cream, and at four Mr. Salt was called 
up to receive the compliments of the mornings 
which afforded him no indifferent specimen of the 
Ras's watchfulness. About two in the morning 
the party were invited to breakfast with the Ra9, 
and were received with the same distinction a» 
before, the Ras feeding them himself somewhat 
in the 3ame way as boys in England cram young 

On the 30th, at an early hour, Mr. Salt wa9 
sent for to attend the Ras, when he delivered 
Lord Valentia's letter and presents, which gave 
great satisfaction. He afterwards entered into 


a long conversation with the Ras, in which the 
wishes of his lordship and the object of the 
mission were fully discussed^ in all of which the 
Ras seemed much interested^ and^ in return^ gave 
Mr. Salt a full account of the state of public 
a&irs in Abyssinia^ and his reasons for refusing 
him permission to visit Gondar in the then dis- 
turbed state of the country ; he gave his consent^ 
however^ that Salt should proceed to Waldubba 
and Axum. Mr. Salt and the Ras now parted, 
mutually pleased with each other. 

I 2 



Altered conduct of the Ras. — An explanation. — Misconduct 
of Hadjee Hamet — Journey to Adowa.^ — Arrival at Axum. 
— Ancient Inscription. — Abyssinian Church and Obeliak. 
— Irreconcilable statements of Salt and Bruce« — Retura 
to Adowa. — Abyssinian ladies. — Leave Adowa. — Arrival 
at Antalo. — Muster of the Ras*s army. — Confidence re- 
established between Salt and the Ras. — Take leave of the 
Ras. — Journey back towards Massowah. — Salt and his 
party join their friends on board the Panther. — Termina- 
tion of the first Expedition to Abyssinia. — Conduct of the 
Nayib of Massowah. — Perilous situation of the Panther. 
— Inhospitable reception at Massowah. — Sail for Jidda«— 
Join a caravan for Cairo. — Excursion to the Pyramids. — 
Embark in a Canja on the Nile. — Return to England. 

September 1st, mules were furnished for Cap- 
tain Rudland and Mr. Salt to take a ride and 
view the environs of Antalo. Their followers^ 
however, were confined with great strictness to 
a walled enclosure, about thirty feet square ; 
and on Mr. Salt remonstrating on the subject, 
he was told, it was done for their security. It 




began to be evident soon after, from the cool- 
ness of the Ras and his msh to avoid any private 
interview, that some intriguing was going on, 
which caused the party a good deal of uneasi- 
ness, and they were induced, from several cir- 
cumstances, to believe that Hadjee Hamet, who 
had absented himself, and was in the interest 
of the sheriffe of Mecca, was playing a false 
part, and exciting the jealousy of the Ras 
against them. The event soon justified these 

After repeated applications for an audience, 
which were as constantly evaded under the most 
frivolous pretexts, Mr. Salt determined on at 
cnce cutting the Gordian knot, by going with- 
out ceremony into the presence of the Ras, 
attended by Captain Rudland, and coming to a 
fill! explanation. On entering, they found the 
Ras at chess, who ofiered them his hand and 
seated them by his side. Not a word was spoken 
to them, and they were obliged to wait with 
patience till the interminable game was over. 
At length they were left alone, and Mr. Salt 
entered into the subject of his visit. The Ras 
was gloomy at first, but, as the explanation went 
on, he began to relax into his usual kind humour, 
and at length they parted good friends, Mr. Salt 

118 THE UF£ OF ' 

having obtained his permission to proceed on his 
visit to Adowa and Axum^ to the latter of which 
places he proposed setting off in a day or two. 
Mr. Carter was also allowed to go on a distinct 
mission to Bui&, while Captain Rudland was to 
remain at Antalo^ the Ras wishing Mr. Salt to 
go with as few attendants as possible on his 

September 5th^ and the several following days, 
new causes of delay were started, and fresh 
altercations ensued, in the course of which the 
misconduct of Hadjee Hamet and of Currum 
Chund, the Banian at Massowah, were detected. 
It was at last settled that the Ras should accom- 
pany Mr. Salt the next morning, the 9th, to 
MucuUa. The Ras, however, got the start of 
him, and left him to shift for himself, not a little 
embarrassed at the suspicious conduct of the 
Ras. He judged it, however, best to overtake 
him as soon as possible, and set out immediately^ 
with only two or three attendants, for MucuUa, 
where he joined the Ras, and was received with 
the usual kindness. Early on the morning of 
the 11th of September he was greatly surprised 
by receiving salaams from the Ras, with the 
intelligence that he was gone on an hunting- 
party^ and would not be back till the evening ; 




which seemed the more singular, as he had 
appointed Mr. Salt and Captain Rudland, who 
bad arrived from Antalo, to meet him at seven 
in the morning. As there appeared, however, 
BO remedy, and everything was ready for his 
departure, Mr. Salt set forward on his route, 
being with great regret obliged to leave the 
captain without any interpreter. The adven- 
tures of this gentleman, during his temporary 
separation from his friend, are narrated with 
some humour in the short journal which he kept 
ea the occasion. He was, however, treated with 
great kindness by the Ras during the absence of 
Mr. Salt. 

In the evening of this day Mr. Salt and his 
few attendants reached Hasemko, and were re- 
ceived with much attention by the chief. On 
Ae following morning the journey was resumed 
to Admara ; thence, descending the pass of 
Atbara, they arrived before dark at the hospit- 
able mansion of Palambaras Toclu. At an early 
hour, September 13th, they proceeded to a place 
called Tsai, and the next day reached Adowa, 
•having stopped on their way to visit an ancient 
church, named Abba Garima, said to have been 
built by Guebra Mascal in 560. At Adowa Mr. 
Salt was treated with much kindness by Ncbrida 



Aram, a person of great power and consequence 
in the country. On the I6th he quitted Adowa^ 
but, as he went to take leave of his friendly ho8t> 
he was much surprised on going into the hall, at 
being introduced to Fasilydas, the son of Yasons, 
who had been placed by Ras Guxo on the 
throne. He received Mr. Salt with great polite- 
ness, and seemed anxious to have a private 
conversation, but was prevented. 

The party then resumed the road to Axum. 
They visited, in the course of the journey, a 
singular place, called Calam Negus, of which an 
interesting account is given, and in the evening 
reached Axum. Here Mr. Salt spent several 
days in examining the various antiquities of the 
place, and in making drawings of everything 
worthy of notice^ In consequence of his being 
on good terms with the priests belonging to the 
church, they were anxious to show him every 
curiosity with which they were acquainted iH 
the neighbourhood, and, in particular, he was led 
from their reports to inspect an upright stone, 
on which it was said there was some ancient 
writing. The first side examined occasioned 
Mr. Salt much disappointment, as he found no- 
thing except a few slight remains of unknown 
characters ; but on turning to the other side, h^ 


was amply repaid for his trouble, as he found it 
covered with an inscription in Greek, which has 
thrown much light on a very obscure part of 
ancient history. A fac-simile of this is given 
in his Journal, which has greatly excited the 
attention of the learned. He has also given an 
Ethiopic inscription, very short, but the only 
one he could discover among the ruined frag- 
ments that lie scattered behind the King's seat, 
where the ancient monarchs of Axum were 

His drawing and description of the church at 
this place gives a much higher idea of its conse- 
quence, for an Abyssinian structure, than we 
should be led to expect from Mr. Bruce's account 
of it. His view also of the celebrated obelisk 
differs so materially in appearance from the one 
{^ven by the former gentleman, that it is diffi- 
cult to imagine them representations of the 
same object. Great discrepancies are likewise 
observable in the respective accounts given of 
Axum by the two travellers ; but, as it is probable 
that before long the authenticity of one of them 
will be fully established, it can answer no good 
purpose in this place to enter into a discussion 
which has already, in some quarters, called forth 
no very creditable specimens of literary cavilling 


and of party hostility. Mr. Salt was^ I know, a 
remarkably good and correct draftsman, and I 
have rarely ever met with any gentleman who 
had a more exemplary regard for truth, or who 
was less the victim of prejudice and ranity. 
That he may occasionally, in common with us 
all, have been inadvertently led by others into 
some mistakes, is certainly possible, but wh^i 
he speaks from his own personal knowledge and 
experience, his warmest friends need be under 
no apprehension that time and investigation wiU 
tend to impeach the accuracy of his delineations 
or the veracity of his statements. 

September 19th Mr. Salt and his party left 
Axum and returned to Adowa, where they were 
hospitably greeted by the chief Mussulmaun, 
Nebrida Aram having just set out for Antalo 
with- a considerable body of soldiers. In the 
afternoon Mr. Salt had a long visit from an 
Ozoro, who appeared to come under the descrip- 
tion of " fat, fair, and forty." Another lady 
also, called Ozor6 Tishai, sent a polite message, 
requesting him to call upon her, as she much 
wished to see him. He accordingly went in the 
evening, and was received by her on this, as well 
as on another occasion, with great civility and 



^■^ attention. She was a woman of pleasing man- 
^m ners, though of a dark complexion. 
^1 On the 2Ist of September Mr. Salt left Adowa 
H with regret, its inhabitants being more civilized 
^B than any he had yet met with in Abyssinia. 
^P The town itself is extensive, but the buildings 
are of a very wretched description. The party, 
on their return, pursued a route a little to the 
south of the one formerly traversed, when they 
again struck into the old track, and arrived at 
Antalo on the 34th, where they again joined 
Captain Kudland and Mr. Carter, the mission 
of the latter to Bure, greatly to the disappoint- 
ment of Mr. Salt, not having been pursued. 

On the 36th they witnessed the muster of the 
Ras's army, and attended a grand feast, of both 
of which a particular and curious account is 
given. In a day or two after Mr, Salt called 
on Bashaw Abdallah, who had been sent for by 
the Has from Adowa to settle all arrangements 

»Kspecting the travellers, and, to his great sur- 
mise, learned that the Ras was most anxious for 
their safety, but that he had been much biassed 
against them by Currum Chund, the Banian, 

Ceren written to him from Massowah, 
■ arrival, and had warned him of their 

184 THE LIF£ OF 

being dangerous people. In consequence of tluf 
intelligence Mr. Salt went to the Ras, and, in 
the presence of Bashaw Abdallah, who inter- 
preted the conversation in a very different way 
from Hadjee Hamet on former occasions, had a 
full and satisfactory explanation of past erents, 
' when the most complete confidence was esti^ 
blished on both sides^ the Ras assuring Mr. Salt 
that they had both been much imposed upon. 

Mr. Salt then expressed a wish that he might 
be allowed to depart for Massowah, by the way 
of Adowa and Axum, on the following Monday ; 
the Ras^ however^ begged the party might re* 
main with him a few days longer^ and seemed 
averse from the other proposal on the ground of 
their personal safety, which he thought might be 
endangered in the route from Adowa to Dixan, 
that part of the country not being under his 
command. Mr. Salt acquiesced in the first 
request, and for the present remained silent as 
to the second, though he greatly wished to re- 
visit Axum. Shortly after this letters were deli- 
vered to Mr. Salt by the Ras, from his sovereign, 
for the King of England, with a request that 
they might be safely conveyed to Lord Valentia. 

October 1st, Pearce having been invited by 
the Ras to remain in the country, and who had 


frequently hinted the subject to Mr. Salt, had 
aow fully determined on remaining, could he 
gain the consent of the latter. This, upon the 
Ras asking Pearce the question in the presence 
of Mr. Salt, was at length obtained, and every 
arrangement was made that could tend to his 
future comfort and security. The affair being 
settled to the satisfaction of all parties, Mr. Salt 
remained for several days longer with the Ras at 
Antalo, during which he was entertained with 
the most familiar kindness and conBdence by 
the Ras and all the principal people of the 

Feeling anxious, however, to return to Mas- 
sowah, where about this time the Panther, with 
Lord Valentia, had probably arrived, Mr. Salt 
ogain solicited the Ras to consent to his pro- 
ceeding by the way of Adowa to that place ; 
which being at length granted, the whole party, 
Rfter taking leave of the Ras, who was greatly 
affected on the occasion, departed on the morn- 
mg of the 10th of October, by the former route, 
for Adowa and Axum, which places they suc- 
cessively reached on the 18th. In his second 
risit to the latter place, Mr. Salt and his com- 
panions went again to the church, and searched 

wt strictly among the pedestals and the ruins. 

^lOOBt atrictl 


but found no trace of an inscription, except the 
short Ethiopic one before mentioned ; and every 
person of whom they inquired, assured them 
there was no other. 

October 19th the same party went to exanune 
the Grreek inscription once more, and went over 
the whole of it letter by letter. They found 
several new letters, which they had at first been 
unable to trace, but no entire line ; after which 
they again visited Calam Negus, which Mr. Salt 
conjectures to be the catacombs of the ancient 
city ; and then returned to Adowa. On the 22nd 
they quitted this place, on their route to Dizan, 
where they arrived November 1st, without mo- 
lestation, except from • the villagers of a place 
called Asshashen, which might have ended sm* 
ously but for the promptitude and resolution of 
Mr. Salt. At Dixan they were received with 
many demonstrations of joy by the inhabitants 
and the Bahamegash Yasous, which probably ia 
a great measure arose from the favourable treat- 
ment they had experienced from the Ras, and 
their good offices in getting Yasous regularly 
appointed to the office of Baharnegash, which, 
since the death of his father, he had applied for 
in vain. 

They left this place November 3rd, nearly by 



their former route, for Arkeeko. Near Hara- 
hanimo they were joined by Baharnegash Yasous, 
with four or five followers, which infused fresh 
spirits into the bearers of the luggage, &c. As 
the party approached Arkeeko, they were under 
»me apprehension lest a report that they had 
heard on the way, of the non-arrival of the Pan- 
ther, might prove true, in which case, from the 
former hostile disposition of the Dola, they anti- 
cipated no small trouble and personal hazard. 
To keep up the spirits of the party, Mr, Salt 
had ventured to assure them that the ship would 
certainly appear on their reaching the coast, 
and, by a fortunate coincidence, as the day 
broke the Panther was seen in the offing, which 
produced a great sensation among the attend- 
ants, and particularly on the old Baharnegash, 
who kissed Mr. Salt's hand, exclaiming, " You 
know everything !" 

On their arrival at Arkeeko, on the 7th of 
November, they learned that the Nayib of Mas- 
sowah was there, and took up their residence in 
the old house ; but Mr. Carter venturing to walk 
out, was pelted with stones by some of the inha- 
bitants, and several of his companions coming in 
for a similar compliment, Mr. Salt immediately 
tent for the Nayib's son, loaded all the muskets 



in his presence^ and declared he would shoot the 
next person who again offended. This menace 
produced the desired effect. Soon after the 
cutter of the Panther came off^ and carried them 
on board, to the mutual and heartfelt joy of 
themselves and their friends. 

The Baharnegash was received with great 
kindness and attention by Lord Valentia, which 
indeed he had well merited by his general beha- 
viour to Mr. Salt and his companions during the 
expedition. He was astonished and delighted 
with the ship, and the mode in which the- guns 
were worked, but was terribly alarmed, at his 
first coming on board, by the salute of eleven 
guns, fired in honour of Mr. Salt's return, and 
which he thought were directed against the 
town. All his expenses during his stay were 
paid, and when he departed he promised, in 
return for the treatment he had experienced, to 
befriend Pearce, and to protect him with his life. 
He took with him several letters from Lord 
Valentia for the Ras, Bashaw Abdallah, and 

Thus terminated Mr. Salt's first journey to 
Abyssinia. At the period of his undertaking it 
he was scarcely twenty-five years of age, and 
had little or no experience to guide him in an 


expedition of this nature^ yet his natural ability; 
sagacity, and resolution vanquished every diffi- 
culty, and enabled him to triumph over obstacles 
which to a less determined character might have 
appeared nearly insurmountable. His industry 
during his short absence must have been exem- 
plary, since, besides writing his journal, he col- 
lected many various specimens in natural his- 
tory, and greatly added to his collection of 
drawings. The fact was, that from the moment 
of his being appointed to command the expedi- 
tion he found himself placed in circumstances 
which required him to act independently of 
others, and to rely solely on his own energy and 
resources ; he saw the path to fame opened be- 
fore him, and, seizing the occasion with avidity, 
pursued his purpose with a steady perseverance, 
which neither his occasional indolence nor his 
bodily infirmities were subsequently able to 
impede or arrest. 

The sketches which Salt made during this 
short excursion are remarkable for their free- 
dom and character, and are rendered doubly 
interesting by the strong internal evidence they 
bear of scrupulous accuracy and fidelity. Some 
of them have been engraved and published 
in the " Travels,'' and in his " Twenty-four 

VOL. I. K 


Views;" and the whole collection is at present 
in the possession of Lord Valentia^ now Earl of 
Mountnorris. At the request of that nobleman 
Mr. Salt^ on his return^ drew up a short disser- 
tation on the history of Abyssinia^ which is in- 
serted in the "Travels/' and discovers much 
ingenuity, research, and intelligence. 

The conduct of the Nayib of Massowah having 
been marked by great incivility, during the pre- 
sent stay of the Panther at that place, made 
Lord Valentia anxious to take his departure for 
Jidda ; and accordingly, everything being in 
readiness, the ship left the port on the 14th of 
November, and proceeded on its destination. 
It had not, however, made much way when a 
violent storm arose in the night, accompanied 
by vivid lightning, which most providentially 
enabled Captain Court to observe a shoal, on 
which the ship was fast drifting. The anchors 
were immediately let go, but they all parted 
before morning, except the sheet-anchor, which 
held out till noon the next day, when it also 
gave way. The situation of the ship and every 
one in it now became perilous in the extreme : 
they discovered that they were in a kind of bay, 
formed by two reefs, and a sandy island at the 
bottom. To weather either of the former was 



fanpossible, as the wind then blew, and the only 
chance which appeared of saving their lives was 
to run the ship ashore on the island. 

In this dreadful situation the captain was cool 
and collected, and the ship's company active and 
steady. He shook Lord Valentia by the hand, 
told him all was over with the ship, and recom- 
mended that they should do the best they could 
to save each other's lives. The sails were then 
Bet to run for the island, and an unsuccessful 
•ttempt was first made to weather the western 
(eef; the ship then wore round for the island, 
but at that moment Captain Court observed the 
wind had changed a point, and he instantly 
determined to try and weather the eastern reef, 
which he at length happily accomplished, passing 
in a heavy gale, gunwale under water, within 
two cables' length of the point of the reef, over 
■which the sea broke tremendously. 

After escaping this imminent danger they 
again bore away for Massowah, which they 
reached on the 26th. Here they were received 
with more inhospitality than before, which, in 
spite of the loss of their anchors, determined 
them, on consultation, to run all risks, and to 
shape their course across the Red Sea for Jidda, 
where, after having been repeatedly baffled by 
K 2 



adverse winds and currents^ they at length 
arrived on the 9th of December. At this place 
they remained till the 2nd of January 1806, 
taking in various supplies of wood, water, and 
provisions, of which they had begun to be in 
very great want ; they also procured some indif- 
ferent anchors and cables, and, upon the whole, 
were treated with respect and attention by the 
Vizier and the inhabitants. On the 26th they 
reached Suez, and on the 1 3th of February pro- 
ceeded, in company with a large caravan, across 
the desert to Cairo, having fortunately escaped 
an apprehended attack from robbers in the 
course of the passage. 

At Cairo they arrived on the 16th, and were 
kindly received by the resident European gentle- 
men. They also got a congratulatory message 
from Mohammed Ali Pasha on their arrival, by 
whom Lord Valentia and suite were afterwards 
treated with great friendship and distinction. 
At this city they remained nearly a month. 
They visited during this period everything that 
was interesting in the place, and made an ex- 
cursion to the Pyramids. At Cairo Salt added 
to his stock of sketches, from some of which 
Mr. Barker afterwards painted his panorama 
of that city, subsequently exhibited in Leicester 


Square. Here^ too^ Mr. Salt was introduced 
to Ali Pasha^ over whom, in after times, he 
obtained so much influence, when Consul-Gene- 
ral in Egypt. 

On the 10th of March they embarked in a 
canja, and proceeded down the Nile to Rosetta, 
and thence to Alexandria, where they arrived on 
the 24th. There being at this time no vessel in 
the harbour in which it was possible for them to 
sail for Europe, Major Missett, the British Con- 
sul-General, politely wrote to Sir Alexander 
Ball at Malta, to request an armed vessel might 
be sent for Lord Valentia and suite. In the 
mean while his lordship visited Damietta and 
many neighbouring places, till an answer was 
received from Malta, which could not be ex- 
pected under six weeks. On the 20th of May 
the party returned to Alexandria, where they 
found a vessel had arrived from Malta, in which 
his lordship agreed with the captain to take his 
passage for Europe. 

On the 22nd of June they set sail for Malta, 
at which place they arrived, after a tedious pas- 
sage, on the 26th of July ; and on the 24th of 
August embarked for England in the Diana, 
Captain Lamb. They reached Gibraltar on 
the 17th of September, and, after a short stay. 


they again embarked^ and arrived at St. Helena 
on the 24th of October 1806. On the 26th 
they went on shore at Portsmouth^ after hav- 
ing been absent from England four years and 
four months. 



Salt's arrival in London^^His character modified by travel. 
—His ambition. — His visit to his native city. — Prepares 
his journals for the press. — Lord Valentia's proposal to 
the East India Company. — Mr. Canning's Letter on the 
appointment of Salt on a Mission to Abyssinia.^->-Prepara- 
tions for the voyage. — Suddenness of his departure. — 
— Remarkable circumstance. — A Vision. — Parting. — Un- 
expected return. — Salt's Letter to Lord Valentia. — He 
re-embarks. — Distressing Spectacle at Portsmouth. 

On his arrival in London Mr. Salt's first care 
was to visit all his old friends and acquaintance^ 
none of whom it was in his nature ever to 
neglect or forget, whether they were elevated by 
successful exertion or depressed by adverse cir- 
cumstances. I believe I was the first of his 
friends on whom he called, and we soon found 
that time and absence had wrought no change 
in the regard which we had mutually entertained 
for each other almost from the commencement 
of our acquaintance. Salt had lost much of the 
boyishness of his earlier days, and though still 
frolicksome and eccentric, had acquired in the 


main^ a sedateness, independence, and solidity of 
character which, to those who knew him only 
superficially, might have appeared nearly foreign 
to his nature. The various countries he had 
visited, and the society to which he had been 
introduced, had removed many of his earlier pre- 
judices, and had greatly enlarged and extended 
the sphere of his knowledge, which, joined to his 
great colloquial powers, rendered his conversa- 
tion highly amusing and instructive. 

Yet amidst the habitual gaiety and apparent 
levity of his disposition, it was not very difficult 
for his intimates to discover, through the veil 
which disguised the secret workings of his soul, 
the thirst for fame, and the deep-seated ambition 
that formed the master-spring of his actions. 
In the gratification of his love of distinction, 
he neglected nothing which seemed likely to 
ensure his final triumph, and no honourable 
means of obtaining it appeared too insignifi- 
cant for his notice, or too elevated to escape his 
solicitude ; he had now obtained a deep know- 
ledge of men, and of their various customs, 
habits, and manners, and his natural sagacity 
quickly enabled him to apply this knowledge 
in the manner most likely to ensure success in 
the objects of his pursuit. 


He and I soon became more intimate than 
ever^ and in his serious moments he frequently 
observed to me, it should go hard with him, 
if before the close of life he did not obtain 
some respectable niche in the temple of Fame ; 
and as. often has he urged me, in the warmth of 
friendship, and almost in the language of pro- 
phetic warning, to abandon my pursuit as he 
had done, and to share in his fortunes. Time 
has, in all probability, proved that he was right ; 
but many important considerations induced me 
to decline his oflTer. 

Some months after his return to England, 
Mr. Salt received a letter from Captain Charles 
Court, which, as it is written in terms of great 
kindness and friendship, I insert. 

On board the H. C. C. Panther, 

" My dear Salt, Dec. 14th, 1806. 

" The Mercury packet, at present under 
convoy of the H. C. C. Panther, under my 
command, being bound for England with des- 
patches from the superior Government of India, 
I avail myself with pleasure of the opportunity, 
not to write to you the long history of my 
peregrinations since we parted, which I pro- 
mised you, but a few lines merely as a salvo con- 


scieniia for not doing so^ and to afford you a 
proof of what I wish and trust you may never 
douht : that, although one half of the terraque- 
ous globe stands between us» you still are present 
and live in my affectionate remembrance. You 
will, I suppose, be somewhat surprised to learn 
by this, that as soon as I have seen the Mercury 
safe on her passage, as &r as six or seven degrees 
south latitude, I am to bend my course in the 
Panther back to Bombay. This is not pre- 
cisely the issue expected either by Lord Va- 
lentia, or myself, of my mission to Bengal. I 
refer you to his lordship for particulars relative 
to this subject, and shall not fail to write to you 
again as soon as I reach Bombay. The Mer- 
cury has just now hove to, to send her letters 
for India to the Panther, and receive ours for 
England. I have, therefore, only time enough 
to beg of you to accept my cordial wishes for 
your health, happiness, and prosperity, and to 
assure you that I remain, with affectionate 
regard, most sincerely yours, 

" Charles Court.'' 

" P.S. M*Ghee, and all on board the Panther, 
desire to be most kindly remembered to you. 

« To Henry Salt, Esq." 


After Mr. Salt had remained for a short time 
in London, he went into the country^ to visit his 
£Either, and several of his relatives and friends ; 
and wherever he went, he was received with 
great kindness and distinction — particularly in 
his native city, Lichfield. He was introduced 
into the highest society the place afforded, and 
experienced great attention from the Very Rev. 
Doctor Wodehouse, its amiable and excellent 
Dean, with whom he henceforth lived on the 
most friendly terms, and occasionally corre- 
sponded. Here, also, he formed an acquaintance 
with Sir Francis Darwin, which continued dur- 
ing the remainder of his life, and with other 
of the principal inhabitants of the city and 

On his return to London, he set seriously 
to work in arranging and preparing his Journal 
for the press, and in making drawings from his 
sketches for his Twenty*four Views, and also 
for Lord Valentia's Travels. At all of which he 
laboured with an exemplary perseverance, which 
could scarcely have been looked for, from one 
whose mind had now become directed to higher 
objects, and who, from the roving habits he had 
probably acquired during the last four or five 
years, must have felt such sedentary employ- 


ments Terr uncongenial with his feelings, if not 
absolutely irksome. The result of his labours, 
however, proves the greatness of his assiduity, 
and the attention he bestowed on the occasion ; 
since, as iar as relates to the illustrations, few 
works have ever been placed before the public 
that merit a larger share of approbation. In 
saying this, I do not mean to deny that many of 
the individual compositions, simply considered 
as such, might have been rendered more capti- 
vating to the eye by management, and by the 
sacrifice of fidelity and character. 

In these and similar avocations, Mr. Salt 
spent the greater part of the years 1807> 8, and 
9 ; he had likewise a good deal of various cor- 
respondence on his hands. His acquaintance 
had become much increased, and, I believe, had 
it proved consistent with the nature of his em- 
ployments, scarcely a day need have passed, 
during the whole period, without his dining or 
spending the evening with some one or other of 
his numerous friends. 

While Salt was thus busily engaged, Lord 
Valentia, who was impressed with the idea that 
considerable advantages might be derived from 
this country by opening a trade with the Red 
Sea, had waited upon the Court of Directors of 


the East India Company^ and had laid before 

them a memorial, stating his notions on the 

subject. The proposition does not appear to 

have met the views of that Court; but the 

President and Board of Trade listened with 

great attention to the application of Messrs. 

Jacob, who felt, from his lordship's report, 

anxious to send a vessel direct to the Red Sea. 

As the Chairman of the East India Company, &c. 

appeared to consider any plan of the above 

nature chimerical, the Court of Directors could 

not very well refuse a licence to the application 

of Messrs. Jacob, and finally one was granted 

them to trade direct to Abyssinia, though fettered 

with considerable restrictions. 

This matter being settled, it was deemed by 
Government a favourable opportunity for re- 
plying to the letter from the Emperor of Abys- 
sinia to the King of Great Britain, which had 
been intrusted to Mr. Salt to deliver to Lord 
Valentia. This letter had been laid before his 
Majesty by Lord Spencer, and also the presents 
by which it was accompanied. Accordingly, 
while Messrs. Jacob's ship was preparing for the 
voyage. Lord Valentia waited on Mr. Canning, 
then Foreign Secretary, and represented the 
advantages which he conceived might accrue 


from conciliating the King of Abyssinia* His 
lordship also suggested that, as the Emperor's 
letter and presents had been accepted, it would 
be but decorous that some notice should be 
taken of them when an English vessel was going 
direct to his ports. In consequence of this 
statement, his lordship was requested by Mr. 
Canning to prepare such presents as he thought 
would be acceptable ; and, it appearing desir- 
able that a letter, which had been written to 
the Emperor by his Majesty's order, should be 
delivered by a gentleman specially sent for that 
purpose, Mr. Salt was recommended by his 
lordship as the most eligible person, not only 
from his previous knowledge of the country, but 
also from his amiable manners and respectable 
character. Mr. Salt was accordingly appointed, 
and in a short time his lordship received the 
following official letter and memorandum from 
Mr. Canning. 

" Foreign Office, Jan. 6th, 1809. 

" My Lord, 
^* In consequence of your lordship's communi- 
cation respecting the letter and presents from 
the King of Abyssinia to his Majesty, which 
your lordship brought to this country in the 


year 1806^ his Majesty has been pleased to re- 
turn to the King of Abyssinia's letter the answer 
which I have herewith the honour to inclose; 
together with a list of the presents which his 
Majesty has directed should accompany the 

** Your lordship having recommended Mr. 
Salt, the gentleman by whom the King of Abys- 
sinia's letter to his Majesty was transmitted to 
your lordship from the capital of Gondar, as a 
fit person to be entrusted with the commission 
of conveying his Majesty's letter and presents 
to the Court of Abyssinia ; I have therefore to 
request that your lordship will deliver over to 
him that letter, with the presents which your 
lordship has had the goodness to take the trouble 
of selecting and preparing ; and will also give to 
Mr. Salt such instructions for the regulation of 
his conduct, as may appear to be necessary, 
conformably to the tenour of the enclosed me- 

'' A sum of five hundred pounds is advanced 
to Mr. Salt for his outfit, and a like sum for the 
expenses of his mission, of which he is to keep 
an exact account, to be given in on his return. 
A passage is provided for him on board a mer- 
chant vessel, bound to the Red Sea, which is 


to wait to bring him back. I have the honour 
to be, my Lord, 

'' Your lordship's 
'^ Most obedient humble servant, 

'' George Canning." 

** Lord Viscount Valentia," 

&C. &C. A'C. 



*' On Mr. Salt's arrival in the Red Sea, he 
will use his own discretion in making choice of 
the most eligible place to land, for the purpose 
of proceeding to the Court of Abyssinia. 

'^ Mr. Salt will provide the requisite means 
for his journey thither, and for the conveyance 
of his Majesty's presents ; and he is authorised 
to hire sufficient numbers of attendants, for his 
personal security and convenience, and to make 
the necessary presents to the chiefs whose ter-? 
ritories he must pass through. But Mr. Salt will 
be particularly careful not to engage an unneces* 
sary number of attendants; nor to incur any 
other expense with respect to their hire, or to 
the presents made to their chiefs, than such as 
may be absolutely requisite. 

'* Mr. Salt will use his utmost exertion to 
reach the Court of Gondar, and deliver his Ma- 


jesty's letters and presents to the Emperor of 
Abyssinia in person ; but if difficulties should 
occur to prevent his reaching Gondar, Mr. Salt 
will notify his arrival through the Ras or minis- 
ter residing there> and will receive that minbter's 
instructions for forwarding of his Majesty's pre- 
sents to the Emperor of Abyssinia. 

^' Mr. Salt will use his utmost exertions to as- 
certain the present state of the Abyssinian trade, 
the quantity, quality, and value of the Emperor's 
goods imported, either by the way of India or 
Mocha ; the quantity, quality, and value of the 
goods imported from India ; the different articles 
exported from Abyssinia by sea; as also the 
present state of the trade carried on by the 
means of caravans between Abyssinia and the 
interior of Africa. 

'' In all his communications with the Em- 
peror, or Ras, or other ministers, Mr. Salt will 
express the desire of his Majesty to comply with 
the wishes of the Emperor, to open a trade 
between Abyssinia and his Majesty's territories, 
whether in India or Europe. 

** Mr. Salt will endeavour to show the great 
advantages which attend upon a trade unfettered 
by vexatious and uncertain duties ; and will 
represent, that European goods should only pay 

VOL. I. L 


a duty at the sea-port on their first importation ; 
and that they should afterwards be permitted to 
pass free into the interior of Africa ; and he will 
point out to them the great advantage which 
would probably result to them fit>m the increased 
consumption which this would be likely to 

** Mr. Salt will follow the example o£ Lord 
Valentia in endeavouring, by every means in his 
power^ to cultivate the friendship of the different 
tribes on the coast of the Red Sea.'' 

Though Mr. Salt had for some time had 
strong reason to imagine that he might be the 
person selected to take charge of the letter and 
presents designed for the King of Abyssinia^ 
yet, in the dubious state in which he was placed^ 
it would not have been prudent for him to have 
hazarded the expense of his outfit on an uncer* 
tainty, or to have made any serious prepara^ 
tions for his voyage ; the arrival therefore of the 
appointment necessarily occasioned him much 
hurry and confusion, as the ship of Messrs; 
Jacob was nearly ready for sea, and was to set 
sail in the course of ten days or a fortnight. 
Oovornmcnt, had, however, now advanced him 
five hundred pounds for his outfit, and a smne^ 


what larger sum for expenses on his arrival 
in the Red Sea, out of which he was advanced 
five hundred pounds more for the purchase of 
dollars.* . 

Activity and promptitude were now required 
to get everjrthing prepared for the expedi* 
tion^ and in these respects he never failed when 
immediately called upon for exertion. He was 
obliged, however, to leave a part of his Journal 
mifinished, and was under the necessity of de- 
l^fating to another hand the care of finally cor* 
recting his manuscript, and of superintending it 
in the press. One or two of his large drawings, 
too, were left incomplete, but they were subse- 
quently prepared for the engraver by a very 
accomplished artist and friend. With these 
exeeptions he contrived to get everything neces- 
sary for his mission purchased and arranged in 

* Hb passage both going and coming was also defrayed 
by Government ; but all question of remuneration was left 
tiD his return. It was, however, very unfortunate, as will 
bc) seen hereafter, that he was restricted to come back by 
thQ same vessel which carried him out, and which he had 
no power of detaining in the event of his not being able, 
from adverse circumstances, to proceed on his arrival di« 
peeUy to (jondar, without incurring an expense, private or 
piiUic» which it would in either case have been the height 
of hnprudence in him to have hazarded. 

L 2 


the short period that \ intervened between 
appointment and departure. 

On the I6th of January Lord Valentia^ agree- 
ably to the direction of Mr. Canning, officially 
delivered his Majesty's letter and presents, and 
the memorandum of instructions, to the care of 
Mr. Salt, and on the 20th the latter embarked 
at Portsmouth, on board Messrs. Jacob's ship, 
Marian (Captain Weatherhead). The presents 
chiefly consisted of arms made after the Abys- 
sinian fashion, but ornamented with gold and 
jewels, some of the finer manufactures of Bri- 
tain, and two pieces of curricle artillery, with 
fifty rounds of ball and a quantity of powder. 

The suddenness of Mr. Salt's departure allow- 
ed him very little leisure to take leave of many 
of his relatives and friends. He and I, how- 
ever, were necessarily a good deal together, and 
he dined with me alone the last evening but one 
before he left London, when a somewhat remark- 
able circumstance occurred between us, which I 
shall here narrate, in order to show how cau- 
tious we should be of giving too implicit faith 
to relations of supernatural agency, which pro- 
bably, if thoroughly investigated, might gene- 
rally be traced to nothing more than a singular 
coincidence of events. In the present instance 


the tale does not exactly correspond in all its 
parts with its final result^ but it approached so 
very nearly to reality, at the time it occurred, 
as to shake my accustomed opinion on the 

On the occasion above alluded to. Salt and I 
were neither of us, as may be imagined, in the 
most lively mood. Our conversation naturally 
turned on the dangers he had encountered in his 
former adventures, and on those to which he 
was, in all human probability, about to be ex- 
posed. The possibility of our not meeting 
again in this life suggested to us both a train of 
melancholy thoughts, and insensibly we fell into 
an earnest discourse respecting the land of 
spirits, and on the possibility of the departed 
being permitted to revisit those whom they had 
loved on earth. This was rather a favourite 
topic with Salt, and one upon which, as I have 
before observed, he entertained very strong 
notions. My own opinions in these respects 
did not coincide with his, but, after a long 
conversation on the subject, it was at length 
proposed by one of us, and consented to by 
both, that we should draw up and sign a writ- 
ten paper, couched, as nearly as I can remember, 
in the following words : — 


*' It is hereby mutually promised by the un- 
dersigned, that, in case of the death of either of 
the parties, the spirit of the deceased one shall, 
if permitted, visit the survivor, and relate what 
he may be able to impart of his situation. 

'' Signed, Salt, 


This paper was consigned to my care, as the 
person least liable to accident. I placed it 
under other writings in my desk, and for a time 
thought no more of it. But, when his pro- 
tracted absence on the voyage began to excite 
uneasiness with respect to his safety, the circum- 
stance recurred to my memory, and occasioned 
me some degree of disquietude. At lengtJi, 
when he reached England, without accident, in 
1811, I spoke to him on the subject, and 
observed, that I thought we had done an indis- 
creet, if not a presumptuous act. He agreed 
with me in this notion, and the paper was pro- 
duced and burnt.* The subject was never again 

* Anything like presumption in the above transactioii 
was certainly very far removed from the intention of either 
of us ; what occurred arose simply from the friendly warmth 
of the moment, and an over-anxious desire, not perhi^^ 
uncommon, to learn each other's destiny. In perusing 


alluded to, nor do I recdlect that I ever thought 
of it again till a long time after he had gone out 
as Consul^neral in Egypt ; but at this period, 
diongh I had received no intelligence that could 
tead to call him to my remembrance, nor to 
induce me to recollect our former compact, I 
experienced an apparent vision, of so vivid a 
nature, that, though ccmvinced of its fallacious- 
neis, I can scarcely, even now, persuade myself 
that it was an illusion. 

I fancied then that I was lying awake in my 
bed-room reflecting upon events with which Salt 
was in no respect connected. It was broad day- 
l^t, and I saw everything in the apartment 
most distinctly, when a figure glided by the foot 
of the bed, undrew the curtains, on the side 
next the window, and Salt stood before me. 
He took my hand in his, which felt cold and 
lifeless, and looked earnestly in my face. His 
countenance was calm, but appeared deadly 
pale; and there was a bloated and unearthly 
look about it, that at once convinced me he was 

lir. Knowles* '* Life of the late Mr. Fuseli," I met with the 
aooount of a nearly similar promise, made between the 
latter and Lavater, though they did not carry the matter 
quite so far as to put it into writing. The accomplished 
and pious Bishop Heber also, by the following extract of 


no more. I felt awed, bat not alanned, and 
ezdaimed, '' Salt, yon are not among the liiing T 
He shook his head monmfbUy, which was Us 
habit on any melancholy occasion, and rejdied, 
" I have come to yon according to our promise.* 
I then asked, " How is it with you T He an- 
swered, '^ Better than might have been ex- 
pected.'' He again pressed my hand, fixed his 
eyes steadfastly upon me^ and his image faded 
from my view. 

I instantly sprang from my bed, and ran to 
my watch. It was exactly five minutes past 
five, and the morning was the fifth of May. I 
took up a pencil, and wrote, on a piece of paper 
that lay on the table, the hour and the date. I 
then examined the room and the door, which I 
found fast locked, according to my usual habit> 

his letter to Miss Stowe, on the death of her brother, 
appears to admit the possibility of the invisible, if not the 
visible agency of departed spirits : — 

<< One more consideration I cannot help addressing to 
you, though it belongs to a subject wrapped up in impene- 
trable darkness. A little before your poor brother ceased 
to speak at all, and afler his mind had been for some time 
wandering, he asked me, in a half-whisper, ' Shall I see my 
sister to<night?* I could not help answering, though in a 
different sense, perhaps, from that in which he meant the 
question, that I thought it possible. I know not, indeed 
who can know, whether the spirits of the just are ever per- 


OB the inside ; and, having satisfied myself no one 
could have entered, I returned to my bed, and, 
in spite of the perturbed state of my spirits, fell 
into an undisturbed sleep. 

When I awoke, I began to consider the whole 
business as a mere dream ; but, on going to the 
table, I found the paper where I had left it. I 
afterwards mentioned the circumstance to the 
Earl of Mountnorris, who also took down the 
date ; but I did not think much more of the 
matter till about six weeks subsequently, when 
news was brought from Egypt, that after a severe 
illness Salt had died at about the time the event 
occurred to me. 

The report of his death, however, proved 
groundless, though it was perfectly true that at 
that period he had been so dangerously ill as 

mitted to hover over those whom they loved most tenderly, 
but if such permission be given, (and who can say it is 
impossible?) then it must greatly increase your brother's 
present happiness and greatly diminish that painful sense of 
separation which even the souls of the righteous may be 
supposed to teel, if he sees you resigned, patient, hopeful, 
trusting on the same prop which was his refuge in the hour 
of dread, and that good Providence to whose care he fer- 
vently and faithfully committed you." — Vide Bishop Heber's 
Narrative in India, vol. iii. p. 311, Correspondence, July 
1824— E. 


to be given over. It is almost needless to 
add^ that he did not die till about eight yean 
afterwards; but I confess, had his death hap- 
pened at the time of the event, it would horo 
gone far towards establishing the belief^ in a 
mind certainly not superstitious, of the ez« 
istence of a supernatural agency; yet, under 
all the circumstances of the case, how very pos- 
sible was it, that the apparent vision might have 
exactly tallied with the reality, and yet ncMliing 
miraculous have occurred. 

The evening before Salt set off in 1809, I 
dined with him at the house of a mutual friend, 
and at night he walked home with me to my 
own door. At this moment of trial my forti- 
tude deserted me. He said everything he could 
to console me ; but his efforts proving friutless, 
he knocked at the door, and holding his hands 
over me, and ejaculating some words, the sense 
of which escaped me, he rushed from my pre- 
sence. Years of vicissitude have since passed 
over me, but never can I forget thosi^ few short 
painful moments of my existence. 

The next morning he proceeded to Ports- 
mouth, and, on the 23rd of January, set sail on 
his mission, in company with an East Indian 
fleet, under convoy of his Majesty's ship Clo- 


rinde ; but they had scarcely got out of the 
harbour^ when a violent storm came on} which 
compelled them to lie to^ and finally obliged the 
Marian to return to St. Helen's on the 27th. 
The next day i^e fortunately was carried to 
the Motherbank^ as on the 81st a perfect hur- 
neane came on, which drove fifteen vessels on 
diore in the harbour. 

An account of this very unpropitious com- 
mencement of his voyage is given in a letter 
from him, dated Portsmouth 1809, to Lord 

^ My dear Lord, 
^ It is with great happiness that I inform 
you of our safe return at this place, after having 
been five days at sea beating about in very 
heavy gales. As you will see by the newspapers 
that many accidents have happened in this 
period, I conceive .you must have felt some 
anxiety about us — and certainly not without 
good reason; for we had not left Portsmouth 
above twelve hours, when the wind came on 
with very heavy gales from the south, and 
nearly ran the fleet on the Caskets, over on the 
French coast. On the morning of Monday two 
of the Indiamen had parted convoy, and what 


became of them we do not yet know. The rest 
managed to keep within hearing of each oiher 
till Wednesday^ beating off Torbay and Portland 
roads, with the weather, however, so boisterous^ 
as to prevent our returning near the coast. 

^' On the evening of that day we lost sight of 
the fleet, and, after a deceitful calm of a few 
hours, it came on to blow so tremendously, thai 
the captain judged it advisable to make the best 
of his way back. After lying to all night we 
ran before the wind, and most fortunately reached 
the roads about five o'clock last night. Consi- 
dering the severity of the gales, we have been 
particularly lucky in meeting with no accident 
on board, except the loss of sundry ducks, fowls, 
&c. and the fracture of one arm, which, however, 
did not occasion much pain to the sufierer, nor 
any great trouble to the doctor, as the accident 
occurred to no other than the figure Marian at 
our ship's head. Indeed, we have the highest 
reason to be satisfied with our vessel; she is 
a tight sea-boat, and weathered it most stoutly. 
The officers on board are also good seamen, and 
very accommodating and attentive to us all. 
Poor Smith has suffered most dreadfully, being 
quite as bad as I was on my first voyage. As 
to me, I never bore it so well before, having 


been sick only in a trifling degree without head- 
ache^ or other suffering. Coffin^ as usual^ is quite 
well ; jet we have had a most dreadful time of 
it, as the wind has unceasingly^ during the nights, 
been so violent as to prevent our carrying more 
than a stay- sail, and with a very heavy sea. 
One India ship is come in, in a most mangled 
condition, having lost two of her masts, and 
beat in her quarter-galleries, with other mischief. 
Two others have lost their topmasts, and some 
are yet missing. Pray let me have the pleasure 
of hearing from you. Kind regards to Halls. 
*' Believe me, my dear Lord, 

** Yours most truly, 

'' H. Salt." 

« To Vbcount Valentia." 

The boisterous weather continuing, with every 
appearance that it was set in for some time, the 
captain informed Mr. Salt that he might return 
to London till he heard from him, as in all pro- 
bability the ship could not sail for several weeks. 

I was sitting at breakfast alone one morning, 
imagining that he was far on his route to the 
Madeiras, when suddenly I heard a quick loud 
step coming up the stairs, and in an instant the 
door opened, and to my astonishment Salt en- 


tered the room. '^ It is not my ghost yet» 
Halls !'' he exclaimed, as he shook me heartily 
by the hand, '' thou^ I have narrowly escaped 

There are moments of unalloyed happiness in 
this life, that seem, at the time, to outweigh 
years of discomfort and sorrow, and this was one 
of them. We thought not then of the perils 
that still awaited him, nor of the parting which 
must in a short period again take place, perhaps 
with increased bitterness ; every anxious an- 
ticipation of the future being drowned in the 
present enjoyment. Towards the end of Fe- 
bruary, he at length received a letter from the 
captain of the ship, desiring him to return im- 
mediately, as the vessel was soon likely to sail. 
On this occasion he did not go alone, as I, in 
company with another friend, went down with 
him to Portsmouth. The weather, however, 
having become more boisterous than ever, it 
was impossible for the ship to depart till the 
season grew more favourable, and the party con* 
sequenUy remained with Salt for several days. 
The town at this period presented a most dis« 
tressing and melancholy spectacle. A division 
of the bravo Sir John Moore's army had been 
just permitted to land, after having been de* 


tained six weeks on board the transports, through 
some unaccountable error in providing quarters 
for the reception of the soldiers when they should 
arrive off the coast after their late severe cam- 
paign. The poor fellows were seen traversing 
the streets, in that dreadful weather, without 
shoes or stockings, and with scarcely clothes to 
cover them. The officers were hardly to be 
distinguished from the privates, and all were 
loud in expressing their indignation at the un- 
necessary detention on board the transports, 
which had led to the miserable death of so many 
of their gallant comrades,, even within sight of 
own shores. 



Saic's jrrivai at >Ijden^ — His Letter to Ciqplmin Court-' 
His recepcoa a: die Cape of Good Hope. — Unfortunate 
occnrreszce.^ — Conroj from the Cape.^Arriyal at Mo- 
omfaiqae. — Salt's xjanm in that Town. — His Corre- 
ifuwidrnre with the Author and others. — Women of the 
MakoiM tribes. — The eiLpeditioo lesTes Mosambiqne.— 
Silt's Kaxxtxcal JoumaL — ArriTal at Aden^— Description 
of the Town.— Daux^eroQS Adrenture. — Joumej to Lahacy. 
—Son for Mocha. — ^Arriral at the Amphili Isles. — Hostila 
Letter. — Surrej ot' the Bay of AmphilL — Letters from 
Pearce to Salt, advising him as to the best method of 
prosecuting his \Ession. — An express from Mustapha 
Aga. — Mr. Coffin de^tched onwards.^— Safl for Massowa. 

The season still continuing extremely stormy^ 
Salt's friends^ after waiting two or three days, 
in the hope of seeing him safe on board, were 
now compelled to take their leave of him, and 
return to London ; and it was not till the 2nd 
of March that he again set sail on his destina- 
tion with a Brazil convoy, under the direction 
of Captain Smith, of the Brilliant. On the 15th 
they reached Funchal, in the island of Madeira, 
whence he wrote the following letter. 



Madeira, March 14th» 1809. 

'* My dear Court, 
'' After the friendship which has subsisted 
between us, I am sure you will rejoice to hear 
of the news which I have to communicate, and 
which indeed you will learn also by the papers, 
as well as by letters from your brother and 
Lord Valentia. Through the interest of the 
latter, I have obtained the command of a mission 
from the King to Abyssinia, and am entrusted 
with a letter from his Majesty to the Emperor 
of that country, with some very valuable pre- 
sents, among which are two three-pounder brass 
cunicle artillery, with ammunition, carriages, 
harness, tents, &c. complete. You, my dear 
friend, who know how much my heart has been 
beot on benefiting this country, will easily con- 
oeiye the delight which I feel in being thus 
employed. May I only prove the instrument of 
recovering the consequence of this ancient and 
neglected country, or even of stemming for a 
season the tide of bar))arism that surrounds it, 
and I shall be completely happy. This I may 
venture to say to you, whose heart is yet pure, 
and who feel and know that there is something 

VOL. I. M 


in the world above the petty thoughts of money- 
getting men, though I fear such motives at 
Bombay would gain but little credit. 

*^ Often, very often, shall I think of you in 
the old scenes, and wish that you could again 
partake the pleasure of enjoying the execution 
of plans which you had so great a share in laying 
the foundation of. I hope, however, at least, 
to have the pleasure of hearing from you, since 
it is probable that you may have the means of 
communicating with the Red Sea by some of the 
cruisers ; should this fortunately prove the caee, 
pray do not omit to write. Your brother was 
exceedingly kind to me in London ; your sister 
Lett, too, is a delightful woman ; how happy 
will they be when you can return to enjoy with 
them the bliss of seeing once more your native 

^' You will be glad to hear that Lord Valentia's 
work is completed, and will be published in 
May. My Abyssinian part takes up nearly a 
volume. You will find that my inscription 
proved of far more value than I had hoped. I 
have taken great pains in elucidating it, as also 
to clear up the ancient history of the country. 
Dr. Vincent complimented me highly on my suc- 
cess. In fact, you would be surprised to witness 


the general interest about Abyssinia. The Afri- 
can Association, through Sir Joseph Banks, has 
mtnisted me with five hundred pounds to make 
discoYeries. The College of Surgeons has so- 
licited me to make a collection of Red Sea pro- 
ductions; but about my commission from Go« 
Ycmment I can say nothing, except that it is 
jut what I wished. Adieu, and belicYe me, 

^* My dear friend, 

" Yours most truly, 

'VH. Salt/' 

<" To Captain Charles Court.'' 

From Madeira they took their departure for 
the Cape of Good Hope, on the 18th, and an- 
chored in Table Bay on the 20th of May, at 

Here, in consequence of the introductions he 
\aA procured in England, Salt experienced a 
highly gratifying reception from the GoYernor, 
Lord Caledon, General Grey, and Admiral 
Bertie, as well as from many agreeable English 
fiuBilies resident at the Cape. He also got in- 
troduced to seYcral Dutch families of the highest 
f8i|>ectability, and was thus enabled to form a 
tolerably fair estimate of the manner of the 
l^ace, and particularly of female society, of which 

M 2 

3^ -WTsaa iL iBum^ jc-^at 

xim- Titt Ita&a^ wrmifii cBDCEdhr Ae MUU S of 

sbi ccexTK xiLJT iff«H5hir of die adraii- 
su cai:iET isBC oenivd Lumi its ooonexioii 

TSkt BrriiMv. Lord Caledoa, bj his oond- 
Baacip TOiTTifrg az^ aniaWr iHqioBiriop, had 
giT«& d^ kizsess wiriArtJop to the most ▼!- 
htaJhit poroot^ ot the c u u umu iitT. He had con- 
fidenbhr improred the jodicial department of 
the settlement, had encooraged agricultnre and 
commerce, and, in general, appeared to have 
greatljr ameliorated the condition of erery class 
of society ; nor were his salutary and benevolent 
purposes confined solely to the more immediate 
interests of the colony. He became anxious to 
obtain a knowledge of the interior of Afirica, not 
only firom the general interest of the subject, 
but also from the well-founded expectation that 
such endeavours might greatly tend to the ad- 
vantage of the settlement over which he pre- 
sided. With these views he had selected Mr. 
Cowan to proceed on a mission to the interior, 
which at first seemed to promise the fairest 
prospects of success ; that gentleman's earlier 
despatches having proved of a very favourable na- 
ture. He had penetrated farther into the north 


than any preceding traveller; had found the 
country extremely rich and fertile, and the na- 
tives peaceably inclined, and by no means, as he 
imagined, unlikely to open an intercourse with 
the Cape. These flattering anticipations were, 
however, unfortunately not to be realised, Mr. 
Cowan and his party having subsequently, there 
is every reason to believe, fallen victims to the 
ignorance and jealousy of some of the barbarous 
tribes of natives in the interior. 

During Mr. Salt's stay at the Cape, an occur- 
rence took place which seemed, at first, likely 
to bring his mission to a very unpleasant ter- 
mination. Captain Weatherhead having a part 
of his cargo to deliver at Cape Town, had been 
induced, in order to avoid the heavy expenses 
attendant on the land carriage from Simon's Bay, 
to run the risk, at the then advanced season of the 
year, of anchoring the Marian in Table Bay on 
the 20th of May, The first eight days no in- 
convenience resulted from the experiment ; but 
on the 29th a furious gale from the north-east 
arose, with so tremendous a swell setting into 
Table Bay, as to occasion the ship to strike the 
ground, and to place it for two hours in the 
most imminent jeopardy, during which period 
the rudder was torn from its fastenings, and a 


pvt of the Stem sftoine in. Liglits were iinme* 
diatelT hoKted br the peofde on boord, and 
signid guns of distress fired; wben the captain, 
who happened to he on shne, Bfr. Coflbiy and 
two captains of merchantmen, who yolnnteered 
their serrices, sncceeded in launching a boat, 
and getting her off to the ship in time to prerent 
fitfther mischief. 

The ansioos state of ]blr. Salt during this 
distressing occurrence may he readily imagined^ 
though it ultimately appears to have turned out 
to the adrantage of his mission, as the delay it 
occasioned enabled him to obtain a convoy for 
the Marian as far as Mosambique, a quartn at 
that period much infested by French privateers. 

On his applying to Admiral Bertie upon the 
subject, the idea of sending a convoy happened 
to coincide with some other important views 
entertained by that officer, connected with the 
same quarter ; and he accordingly appointed the 
Racehorse and Staunch, brigs of war, (Captains 
Fisher and Street,) to the service. The former 
(Captain Fisher) obligingly offered Mr. Salt a 
passage on board his vessel, which was gladly 
accepted. The three ships left Simon's Bay the 
27th of July on their destination. 

On the Idth of August they made land be- 


tween Capes Corrientes and St. Sebastian ; but 
the season being far advanced, and the weather 
unsettled. Captain Fisher, to save time, des- 
patched the Staunch and the Marian on the 16th 
direct to Mosambique, while he, with Mr. Salt 
on board, proceeded in the Racehorse, with the 
view of yisiting Sofala. The account given by 
Mr. Salt of his voyage to Mosambique, is inter- 
etting, and appears to contain several nautical 
observations worthy of attention. On the 25th 
the Racehorse anchored off the above town, 
where, to the surprise of the party, they found 
that the Staunch and Marian had not yet ar- 
rived; the two ships, however, came into the 
harbour on the following day. 

During their residence at this place, Mr. Salt 
and his friends experienced the most gratifying 
reception from the Governor, who appears to 
have been a man of liberal feelings and cha- 
racter, and very anxious to facilitate the views of 
the party, and render its stay agreeable. Soon 
after his arrival, Mr. Salt was invited to spend 
some time at the Governor's country-house, 
at the village of Mesuril, which afforded him an 
opportunity of visiting several parts of the Pen- 
insula, and of acquiring some interesting infor- 
mation respecting the native tribes, as to their 

'ikB SX7 ic MiHamfn'mBfc. m. 

w «* 

tic as (Bui lOisr P 

Pignut -^m*- 42t ^it aiisft 

T^ iifiserscaaL k ztvb of tke 

«iL =Li3i£se piTSS 2» JE&KZK to lunniiitT ; wbile 
22ie icrciLff ".BVCTfcjfr a vudi he repcobates tk 
ciii£T:h:s££Ll ;;iriicQce« rtdSeets hidi credit on tbe 
e>->:c2esi ^' t2i bean jod dtsposhioii. '' I^" 
ht obaerre&y afier chi&g: an aecoont of m miser- 
Alkve j€xiig feciaie siaTe wlio had just been 
broofiht frcisa ihc xnierior, "' there stiU be a 
sceptic, who heisitaies to approTe of the abolition 
of the slare trade, let him Tisit one of these 
African slave-vards a short time before a cargo 
of these wretched beings is exported^ and if he 
hare a spark of homanity left^ it will surely 
strike conviction to his mind.** (p. 34.) Alas ! 
had the writer of the abore passage lived even 
till the present period, I fear sad experience 
would have convinced him how little reliance 
can be placed on the strongest ap{)eals to the 


kindlier feelings of our nature, when opposed to 
prejudice, self-interest, and the hardening in- 
fluence of habitual injustice. 

As the ship in which Mr. Salt sailed from 
England had part of its cargo to dispose of at 
Mosambique, the captain opened a store for the 
purposes of sale, but met with little success, 
except in the articles of iron-bars and gunpow^ 
der, the whole of which were purchased by the 
Government. These transactions, however, ne- 
cessarily occupied some time, so that it was not 
till the I6th of Sept^nber that the ship was able 
to depart. The day before he set sail. Salt 
wrote the two following short letters, which 
were, I believe, the only ones received from him 
in England in the course ot the expedition. 

** Mosambique, 15th September, 1809. 

" My dear Lord, 
*' As this letter may probably not reach you, 
I cannot venture to say more than that I ar- 
rived safe at this port on the 25th of August, 
since which time we have remained here in ct>n- 
sequence of Captain Weatherhead finding a 
market for several of the articles on board. The 
attentions paid me by the Portuguese Governor 
here have been very flattering, and, as far as 


he had it in his power» he has gircn me erery 
mfonmlioo leladre to the coist. This was in 
consequence of letters finom Lord Caledon, at 
whose mission, howerer, I am sorry to say nAthing 
has ret been heard. 

'' We leaTe this to-morrow fiir the Red Sea. 
The wind is CiToarable, and Bmce's anomalous 
monsoon proTes to be a phantasy of his own 
brain. I hope to be able to write to yon by 
way of Bombay. With kind remembrance to 
all friends, I remain, 

'' My Lord, 

** Yours most faithfally, 

" Hen&t Salt. 

" To the Mscount Valentis.'' 


** Mosambique, 15th September, 1809. 

" Dear Halls, •' 

'^ You will hear with pleasure of my safe 
arrival at this place. I have been here nearly 
three weeks^ in consequence of the captain 
having part of his cargo to dispose of. During 
this time I have been living on shore with the 
Governor, by whom I have had every oppor« 
tunity given me of obtaining information ; but, 
unfortunately, the Portuguese here are a people 


00 given to the search after gain, that they think 
of little except how to make the most of their 
slarei; and from slave dealers what can be 
expected ? — yet to know this is something. 
To-morrow we set sail for the Red Sea. I shall 
be able, I expect, to write by way of Bombay* 
The inclosed I request you to forward. I would 
not trust it to any one in the world but your- 
self. ♦ ♦ * The female race here are insup- 
portably black and dirty, besides their upper 
lips protruding, and on them is impressed a 
beauty spot. It is the first time I have ever 
been disgusted. God bless you and all friends ! 
'^ Believe me most affectionately, 

^' Yours, 

'' H. Salt.*' 

This very ungallant description of the women 
of the Makooa tribes appears to be frilly justi- 
fied by what he mentions respecting them in 
several parts of his work. In their general ap- 
pearance they bear a close affinity to the Hot- 
tentot females; but, as if dissatisfied with the 
share of deformity bestowed upon them by na- 
ture, they seem anxious to increase it by having 
recourse to artificial modes of rendering their 
persons still more odious and disgusting. In 


short he observes, '' it is scarcely possible to 
conceiye a more disagreeable object to look* at 
than a middle-^iged woman belonging to this 
tribe of natives." 

This interesting panegyric does not include 
the ladies of the settlement, who are kept so 
secluded that it is extremely difficult to obtain 
even a sight of them ; a circumstance which ap- 
pears to have been a great drawback upon the 
interest, as well as the pleasure, of the enter- 
tainments to which Mr. Salt was invited by the 
Governor, and other principal inhabitants of the 

On the 16th of September the Marian sailed 
alone from Mosambique at daybreak, on its 
destination, her convoy having left soon after 
her arrival at the above place ; and as the pas- 
sage thence to the Red Sea was little known, 
Mr. Salt gives a regular nautical journal of his 
voyage as far as Aden, taking particular care to 
mark the variation of the compass, in conse. 
({uoncc of the existence of similar observations 
made on the same coast as early as the year 
1 ()80| and in order that any difference that may 
exist between the two accounts may on compa- 
riMOii be ancertained ; but as these observations, 
ironi their nature, can be of no great interest to 


the general reader, it will be best to proceed at 
once to Aden, where Mr. Salt arrived on the 
8rd of October. Soon after coming to anchor, 
Mr. Coffin, the supercargo, went on shore, and 
returned in the evening, with the satisfactory 
intelligence that Captain Rudland was stationed 
at Mocha as agent to the East India Company. 
The next morning the Banians sent down several 
animals to convey Mr. Salt, &c. to the town, 
where they were well received by the Banians, 
who had fitted up a house for their reception, 
belonging to Mr. Benzoni, with whom Mr. Salt 
had been acquainted in his former visit to the 
Red Sea, and who had since, from his able and 
judicious conduct, been appointed assistant to 
Captain Rudland, at Mocha. 

Aden is still, it appears, as a place of trade, 
of some consequence, but the town itself is a 
wretched heap of ruins and miserable huts, which 
none, except the lowest Arabs, would think of 
inhabiting. The natives appear squalid and 
anhealthy, and the lower classes are as depraved 
in their habits as those in most Arabian towns. 
Among the ruins some fine remains of ancient 
tjdendour are to be met with, which form a 
melancholy contrast to the general desolation of 
the scene. 


During his stay at this place, Mr. Salt iiiad6 
sereral excursions in the neighbourhood, in the 
hope of meeting with some interesting antiquF 
ties ; and on one of these occasions he was un- 
consciously led into a situation of danger that 
might at once hare terminated his career. It 
appears that Aden, on the northern and western 
sides, is protected by a steep craggy mountain, 
on the pinnacles of which stood sereral ancient 
Turkish towers, which Mr. Salt took the fancy 
of risiting and examining. With this riew he 
started on the 6th of October to ascend the 
mountain, taking with him a guide and sereral 
of his companions. The road was steep, and 
presented many difficulties, which all were at 
tir$t able to surmount, till at length they arrired 
at a $}K>t where the ascent became so abrupt, 
that the guide declared it inaccessible. They 
however persisted in advancing till they reached 
one of the highest ridges of the mountain, so 
narrow along the top, as to present, on both 
sides, the terrific aspect of a perpendicular 

Here his companions, though at no great dis- 
tance from the object of their pursuit, gare up 
the adrenture, and sat down on the rock, lear- 
ing Salt to pursue his journey alone. With 


great difficulty he at length reached the tower, 
and, being animated with the hope of meeting 
with some inscriptions, succeeded in getting 
into it by clinging with his arm round an angle 
of the wall, where, supported by one loose stone, 
he had to pass over a perpendicular precipice of 
many hundred feet, down which it was impos- 
sible to look without shuddering. Having en- 
countered all this danger, he was mortified to 
find that he gained no other reward for his 
exertions than the sight of the magnificent view 
that lay extended beneath him, and the gratifica- 
tion he experienced at having achieved an en- 
terprise which his less adventurous companions 
had relinquished. 

These sensations were, however, somewhat 
damped, now that the enthusiasm of the mo- 
ment had subsided, and the necessity- of re- 
tracing his steps became apparent. A feeling 
of hesitation stole over his mind, which, in a 
few moments, would have disabled him for the 
undertaking, had not the urgency of the case 
compelled him to make one desperate effort, 
which fortunately enabled him to surmount the 
difficulties of the situation into which he had 
tmwarily drawn himself. Nothing can be more 
characteristic of the natural structure of Salt's 

unuL '33ML zae -ntniut s' ^us adde nt. When- 
f-F>r le liui SET Z7:a= coject lo ^ r ii«nJ iAj he 
itfi'iiijn iwrcc«£ i.: ^oLfiiier tae dificiilties or the 
^cT;rgr$ 17 T^jia X2i prepress znijte be impeded. 
T^ t^x'fy!TTi*r^ It ize TTfcTw^i: seemed to snj^y 
tae pukre :c Sf-Z^tsnic cLkcIadoQ, and enabled 

Lt logcacies from wbicfa a less 

sdc. zzizc^ a^^jlly cocrageoiis spirit^ 
ml^su pZiSszlT L&Tc r\rcixLed : bm when the trial 
anas po^ ind iil^ sii=?i had regained its wanted 
e<}uiirorri:3i, he I*>:kcd back with a feeling d 
diasLxj at the perils ke had encountered, when 
the former sdmolns to aciire ej^erdon no longer 

^liiie the ship was completing her stock of 
water at Aden, Mr. Salt, with his accustomed 
actirity, determined to take a journey to Lahadj, 
the residence and capital of the Sultaun. With 
this view, on the 8th of October, he and se* 
veral of his friends set out on the expedition, 
accompanied by a Banian, and under the im- 
mediate protection of Aboo Buckr, the Dola of 
Aden, who had been appointed by the Sultaun 
to attend the party, with a guard of his ascari. 
During their route, the travellers met with se- 
veral curious and interesting remains of former 
ages, particularly a causeway that joins the 

^^" HENRY SALT. 177 

peninsula, or rather island of Aden, to the con- 
tinent, and an ancient aqueduct, probably built 
by the Turks, in order to render the town in- 
dependent of the Arabs for its supply of water. 
^Mt the end of the plain, over which this aque- 
^Huct is conducted, they arrived at a tomb and 
^Bfearavanserai, dedicated to Sheik Othman. Here 
^■he party halted and regaled themselves, and at 
three o'clock resumed their journey through a 
deep and spreading wood, till they arrived at a 

t barren sandy plain, which, though of compara- 
tfTely small extent, presented in a lively manner 
the image of a " desert that might be fata! to 
man and beast," 

When they had crossed this desolate spot, 
they gradually arrived at a highly rich and 
cultivated tract of land, bordering on the town 
of Lahadj, which place they entered a short time 
afterwards, and were met by a deputation, headed 
by the Dola of the place, who conducted them 
to the Sultaun's presence. He was an old man, 
'if a very patriarchal appearance, with a coun- 
tenance expressive of intelligence and benignity. 
He gave the strangers a most welcome recep- 
tion, expressing, at the same time, great delight 
at having once more beheld an Englishman. 
Mr. Salt speaks highly of the Sultaun's manner 

K VOL. I. N 



»•♦» . f • 

< 1 1 «• 1 1 « 

sinrritft. x-xme :;^i!»r4;uiig :S&srs nm. 

ii -ift *^^2imir JtJi Sun r^iciraeiL 
nut z:xit JLvrsu} -^jb iiiliiwni^ m?. C^nsrbcr lldi, 

iiu*^^ W Ciipcair. Rc'iIjzc. asii in the crmiiig 
Uf<rk cp hij ab<;c« st zht Brnisa £Ktonr. After 
Cfm^nitixife with the latter gentieman, his first 
cMft ira* to fjhuan Hsme commimication with the 
ftM Welled .Selaiue and Mr. Pearce ; and ae- 
cordiuffly a trusty servant, named Hadjee Alii, 
was sent with letters to Abyssinia, announcing 
Mr. Httlt'i^ arrival with his Majesty's letters and 
presents for the Emperor, and expressing a wish 

HtNRY SALT. 179 

to advance to the presence of the latter as soon 
as possible, at the same time requesting that a 
proper number of mules and people might be 
sent down with Mr. Pearce to whatever point 
of the coast it might be judged most advisable 
for him, Mr. Salt, to land. 

This dispatch was sent off on the 14th of 
October, and Mr. Salt determined to remain at 
Mocha till an answer was returned, though the 
aflBurs of Yemen were then so precarious and 
unsettled as to render a residence at that town 
&r from agreeable. The whole of November, 
however, having passed away without any intel- 
ligence of the messenger sent to the Ras, except 
a report that the master of the boat in which 
he had sailed had been imprisoned by the Nayib 
of Masso wa, Mr. Salt began to feel rather im- 
patient and alarmed, and resolved to pass over, 
it all hazards, to the African coast, and enter 
Abyssinia by Amphila instead of by Massowa. 
With this view he went directly on board the 
Marian, and set sail from Mocha Roads Decem- 
ber 8th for the opposite shore, where she an- 
dbored off the village of Ayth. Here Mr. Salt 
learned that the gelve sent from Mocha still 
remained at Amphila, that Yunus Beralli, the 
boatman, had died, as it was believed, by poison, 

N 2 

180 THE LIFE Of 

and that, owing to the interference of the Nayib, 
no intercourse had been obtained with the Ras. 
The death of this faithful Somauli gave Mr. Salt 
much concern, for he had been of great service 
in the former expedition, and his gratitude for a 
few slight favours since conferred, had proved 
the strength of his attachment. 

On the 11th the ship reached the Amphila 
Isles. A boat was sent on shore, which brought 
back the messenger, Hadjee AUi, in the evening, 
who gave a most pitiable account of the disas- 
ters that had befallen him. He said he had 
gone one day's journey on his route to Abyssinia 
when a letter arrived from the Nayib Idris, and 
the Turkish Aga stationed at Massowa, ad- 
dressed to the chiefs of the country, and direct- 
ing them, in the event of any English property 
being brought into their towns or districts, to 
seize it and divide it among themselves, and ** to 
kill the persons in charge of it.** The receipt 
of this letter occasioned much altercation and 
alarm throughout the country of the Dumhoeta, 
and rendered it impossible for the Hadjee to 
proceed to the Ras, at least so he reported, 
though it afterwards appeared it was merely his 
own fears that had made him give up the jour- 
ney. AUi Goveta, the chief of the district, still 


remained friendly to the English, and by no 
means felt disposed to obey the treacherous 
orders of the Nayib. 

Though the hostile tone of the above letter 
did not surprise Mr. Salt, yet it gave him con- 
^derable uneasiness, as it might prevent his 
carrying the two cannon into the country, and 
perhaps stop his advance altogether, if com- 
peUed to go by Massowa. The failure, too, in 
opening a communication with the Ras, was 
highly vexatious, as it had caused much delay. 
Thus situated, Mr. Salt dispatched a letter to 
AUi Goveta, requesting a conference on the sub- 
ject of the Abyssinian journey, and inclosing 
two letters for him to forward to the Ras and 
Pearce. This dispatch, however, turned out in 
some degree unnecessary, by the arrival, on the 
14th of December, of a young chieftain, named 
Alii Manda, who offered to convey any letters 
safely with which he was entrusted. Mr. Salt 
accordingly prepared a letter for the Ras, at the 
top of which he drew, an Abyssinian cross and 
some characters, and confided it to the chief's 
care, together with the letters formerly sent 
from Mocha. The young man then departed, 
taking with him Hadjee Belal as a witness of his 
proceedings. The latter, however, subsequently 

pn«eiL onaiuaiiA. cb tfae jmdaxakimg, and letoni- 
<d in :& Ssw ^bsn. iBsianmg dmt die yoiiiig durf- 
ZMSL traveiliHi niidtc and dar, "like a dfarome- 
iarr/ w coac he cocU m ao waj sanage to 
uep sp wiuXL aim. 

Woile J. vTiiszxi; the recant of AQi Manda, BIr. 
in cnioj^mctiLaa wick Capcam Weatlierhead, 
enrievTfC in okfa^ a szttct of the bay of 
Ampltr:^ 12XU hs kLuu^ and sfaoalsy the resolt of 
vkka exLUufti rrnn co iaj dowii a chart, iuerted 
is. 02$ v^rk. viika bean the stamp of great 
aeiTcracT ad reseaxck. Whiie he was engaged 
in thii occnpoQCB, AHi Goreta and some of Us 
tribe paid Mr. Salx a Tiszt, and as the latter had 
bj tids ti]:ze cear> determined on entering Abys- 
sinia by Bq^, he opened some negotiations irith 
that ehiefL&in. in craer to ensure for himself and 
foUower> a sife passage through the districts 
under his goTermnent. The usual difficulties as 
to presents and payments were at first started, 
in the true Elasteni spirit of extortion. But at 
length matters seemed likely to be amicably 
arranged ; promises of mutual firienddiip were 
exchanged^ and both parties <mly waited the 
return of Alii Manda from the Ras, to com- 
mence preparations for the journey. 

At length, January 6th, 1810, he arrired with 


a packet of letters from Pearce, strongly recom- 
mending Mr. Salt to enter the country by way 
of Massowa, and by no means to think of 
attempting the impracticable road by Bare, 
which was neither safe for goods nor persons. 
It however appears, that after the first letter 
was written, some difference of opinion existed 
between Pearce and the Ras on the occasion ; in 
consequence of which the former wrote another 
letter, of the same date, in which he warns 
Mr. Salt against Alii Manda, but adds, if he, 
Mr. Salt, was *' determined" to come by Bure, 
he would second his views to the best of h^^ 
power, though still adverse to the attempt 
being made. 

The contents of these letters Mr. Salt, of 
course, kept secret from the chiefs, with whom 
he had been in treaty, and contented himself 
with telling them that everything had turned 
out satisfactorily. In his own mind, however, 
he acknowledges he experienced a good deal 
of uneasiness and hesitation as to the choice of 
his route. The decided hostility of the Nayib 
seemed to render the passage by Massowa 
nearly impracticable, whUe the warning he had 
received from Pearce, a man of tried courage 
and experience, appeared equally to forbid his 


codangeriiig the safiety of his important charge 
b J placing it at the mercy of the barbarous and 
rapacious tribes throc^ whose districts he must 
necessarily pass before he could be joined by the 
forces of the Ras. 

From this state of doubt and anxiety he was 
fidrtunately relieyed on the 10th of January by 
the arriral of a gelre^ sent express ficom Mas- 
sowa, which brought the intelligence that Omar 
Aga had been remored from that place, and had 
been succeeded by Mustapha Aga, who on his 
arrival disclaimed the acts of his predecessm*, 
^nd immediately dispatched the above vessel to 
Mr. Salt^ assuring him of his friendship for the 
English, and of his wish to promote their views. 
He also forwarded a packet of letters from Cap- 
tain Rudland, and sent a present of goats and 
fowls to the care of the Dola of Dahalac, who 
was known to be much attached to the English. 

These circumstances, and the perusal of Cap- 
tain Rudland's dispatches, determined Mr. Salt's 
proceedings, and he finally resolved to go to 
Massowa, as soon as he could dispatch Mr. 
Coffin to the Ras, and should learn that the 
former had passed the borders in safety. He 
accordingly wrote a letter to Pearce, desiring 
him to set out immediately on its receipt, with 


the Ras' people, for Massowa, where Mr. Salt 
engaged to meet him in fourteen days. After a 
long conference with Alii Goveta, it was agreed 
that Coffin should depart at midnight, with 
Alii Manda, accompanied by an Arab ''sais** 
well versed in the Dankali language, a young 
Somauli, and ten young men belonging to Alii 
Goveta, to guard the party through the country. 
In order to ensure Mr. Coffin's safety on the 
road, Mr. Salt was under the unpleasant neces- 
sity of dissembling with the Dumhoeta chiefs, 
and of leaving them to suppose he still intended 
to pass through their territory; but having 
learned on the 17th that Mr. Coffin had reached 
the Ras' dominions, he no longer delayed ac- 
quainting Alii Goveta with his altered inten- 
tions. This at first seemed to occasion much 
disappointment, but, on Mr. Salt stating his 
reasons to the chief for his going to Massowa, 
he acknowledged they had great weight, more 
especially after he was informed that he was to 
receive the sum of money originally agreed on 
for a passage through his country. Upon the 
whole, the conference appears to have termi- 
nated to the satisfaction of both parties, though, 
from some circumstances attending his journey 
with AUi Manda, that have been subsequently 

186 TU£ LIFE OF 

related to me bj ^Ir. Coflbi, I fieel Tery much 
inclined to doobt the firiendliness and sincerity 
which )Ir. Salt seems disposed to attribute to 
the chie& of the Dumhoeta. 

The 23rd of January ^Ir. Salt took leave of 
AUi Goreta, and sailed from the bay of Amphila 
for Massowa. His general remarks upon the 
former place, with respect to its islands, coast, 
and inhabitants, are extremely interesting. 



Arrival at Massowa. — Joined by Coffin and Pearce. — 
Present from Mustapha Aga. — Interview with the Kai- 
makan. — A private Conference. — Join the Cafila for Abys- 
sinia. — Scenery and Incidents on the Route* — The Galla 
Ox. — Arrival of the Mission at Chelicut. — ReceptioQ by 
the Has. — Delivery of his Britannic Majesty's presents. 
— Character of the Ras as a Prince. — A learned Abys- 
iinian's opinion of Mr. Bruce, the traveller. — Leave 
Chelicut on a tour. — Reach Agora. — Journey resumed. — 
Hippopotami. — Crocodiles. — Salt rejoined by Pearce. — 
Return to Chelicut. 

On the 10th of February, after touching at 
several places in the way, the Marian reached 
the harbour of Massowa in safety. The fort 
was saluted with three guns, and immediately 
after Mr. Salt had the gratification of seeing 
Mr. Coffin and a party of Abyssinians standing 
on the pier. A boat was directly sent on shore, 
to the great joy of himself and friends, which 
soon brought Coffin, Pearce^ and a young Abys- 
sinian chief, named Ayto Debib, on board. This 


young man had been noticed by Mr. Salt^ in his 
former visit, as a person of considerable talents 
and of an amiable disposition, and his good 
opinion of him was raised much higher when he 
learned the faithful attachment he had shown to 
Pearce in every difficulty to which he had been 
exposed. He had on this occasion been sent 
down expressly by the Ras to attend Mr. Salt, 
and to provide everything necessary on the 

The day after the arrival of the Marian in the 
harbou;*, a messenger was sent from the Kaima- 
kan, Mustapha Aga, with a present, consisting of 
two bullocks and fifteen sheep, accompanied by 
a request that Mr. Salt would fix his first visit 
to him for the following day. Accordingly, on 
the ISIth he left the ship and proceeded to the 
shore, under a salute of thirteen guns from the 
Marian, and was immediately conducted to the 
Divan. He found the Kaimakan, a respectable- 
looking Turk, with somewhat of dignity in his 
manners, sitting in a retired corner, which had 
formerly been occupied by the Nayib. The 
Kaimakan received Mr. Salt very ceremoniously, 
ordered sherbet, asked the customary questions 
with all the haughtiness of the Grand Seignor. 
himself, and then presented him with a kaftan. 


lined with ermine. All this, passing in a wretched 
apartment, with a low ceiling and a mud floor, 
in the midst of a dirty and half-naked rabble, 
produced so incongruous and ridiculous an effect 
that it was with the greatest difficulty Mr. Salt 
could maintain his gravity. During this au- 
dience, he observed that the Nayib and his son 
kept completely in the back-ground ; they paid 
their compliments at a distance, and looked 
anxious to converse with him, but were re- 
strained by the presence of their superior chief. 
m The next day the Kaimakan sent to request 
rtL private conference ; and on this occasion his 
manner was extremely different from the one 
he had assumed on the preceding day. He con- 
versed with much friendliness, and appeared to 
throw off all the restraint and distance he had 
practised at the former meeting ; indeed, his 
whole deportment was so very satisfactory and 
conciliating, as to excite in Mr. Salt's mind some 
■suspicions of its sincerity. These apprehensions, 
llbowever, in the end, proved groundless, for, 
with the exception of a few Eastern attempts at 
extortion, all the necessary arrangements for 
transporting the presents, &c. to Abyssinia, ap- 
pear to have been conducted, on his part, in an 
litious and aaiicable manner. 



On the 20th the cafila from Abyssinia, which 
had been long expected, came down under the 
care of Hadjee Hamood, consisting of thirty-five 
mules and sixty bearers. As the means of sup- 
pljring so large a party might have proved very 
difficult on this coast, the utmost dispatch be- 
came necessary, and great exertion was used to 
get everything in readiness for an immediate 
departure. It was not, however, vnthout much 
trouble and vexation that matters were finally 
arranged by the 22nd, when Mr. Salt formally 
delivered the whole of the packages in charge to 
Ayto Debib and Hadjee Hamood. On the 28rd 
the Ras' people left the coast for Arkeeko, 
whither Mr. Salt followed them in the course of 
a few hours. « 

After having taken leave of the Kaimakan, 
and paid a visit to the Nayib, Mr. Salt de- 
parted immediately for Arkeeko. From this 
dreadful place, where he was compelled to sub- 
mit to numberless extortions, he at length 
got clear, with a feeling of pleasure, somewhat 
similar, as he expresses it, to that experienced 
by Gil Bias when he escaped from the robbers^ 
cave. Soon afterwards he had the gratifica- 
tion of mustering the whole of the cafila, about 
four miles from that almost accursed tovm ; 




and about half past five in the afternoon, the 
whole caravan being assembled, they commenced 
le jouraey. 

The party which now accompanied Mr. Salt 
appears to have been the largest that ever left 
the coast since the time of the Portuguese expe- 
ditions in the seventeenth century. It consisted 
of four Englishmen, three Arabs, and a hun- 
dred Abyssinian followers, besides Pearce's and 
lebib's servants, some country-people who had 
•en hired, three Hazorta chiefs, and about a 
izen of the Nayib'q rascally camel-drivers. 
Of this party, so formidable in numbers, four- 
only were furnished with fire-arms and 
ilpears, the rest being armed merely with slings, 
Imives, and short, heavy sticks : which appears 
singular enough, considering the importance of 
the charge to be conveyed and protected 
through districts not always of the most friendly 
description. On one occasion in particular, 
r the large town of Lago, the party seemed 
iD be in some danger of an attack from a 
lebellious chieftain, attended by a considerable 
force, well armed with matchlocks and spears, 
though the attempt was ultimately defeated by 
the good and spirited conduct of Pearce and 
Debib, and the cool intrepidity of Mr. Salt. 


As the route of the present expedition appears 
to have exactly corresponded with the one pur- 
sued on the former occasion, till it reached the 
mountain that leads to Agame> it may be as 
well, in order to avoid repetition, to pass over 
the events of this part of the journey till the 
travellers reached Legote on the 7th of March. 

The next morning, at five, they descended from 
Leg6te, and crossed an extensive and well culti*^ 
vated plain, to the left of which lies the moun- 
tain of Devra Damo, which, in the earliest 
periods of the Abyssinian history, was used as a 
place of confinement for the younger branches 
of the family of the reigning sovereign. The 
beautiful tale founded on this custom, by Dr; 
Johnson, had been perused with delight by Salt 
in his younger days, and, being himself a native 
of Lichfield, he had from his childhood been 
accustomed to regard with a species of venera- 
tion his celebrated townsman. It may there^ 
fore readily be imagined with what pleasure and 
satisfaction he visited this and other scenes in 
Ethiopia, so intimately associated with many of 
his earlier impressions. The Mountain of Devra 
Damo is described as being '^ completely scarp- 
ed '* on every side, with only one path leading 
up to it, bearing in this, as well as in other 


respects, a striking resemblance to many of the 
hill-forts in India. 

After Mr. Salt had made a sketch of this 
interesting scene, they proceeded on their route 
by a pass called Kella, till they reached the 
house of Ayto Nobilis, by whom they were en- 
tertained with great hospitality. On the 9th of 
March they quitted their kind host, and held 
their course across a fertile valley towards a 
range of hills lying to the south, leaving the 
mountains of Adowa about twelve miles on the 
right. Of the latter Mr. Salt has giveh an 
accurate view, which certainly in no respect 
justifies Mr. Bruce's fanciful description of their 
appearance. The forms are generally of an 
Alpine character, but certainly bear no resem- 
blance to '' slabs, obelisks, or prisms," and still 
less to '' pyramids pitched upon their points 
with their base uppermost." 

They had not proceeded far on their way 
before Mr. Salt, Pearce, and Debib were sepa- 
rated by some accident from the rest of the 
company, when it was determined that they 
should make a short excursion and pay a visit to 
Ozoro Asquall, the lady in command of the 
district, who received them with great attention. 
She had been married twice against her will. 

VOL. I. o 

19ft TEE UFE OF 

Her pttMmi hmh— d jfUMimjii m man of mild 
and agreeable macBen^ but of no great ability, 
and it vas amnaaig to see die air crf^soqperiority 

agrwahly to tbe nsoal practice of most ladies of 

On the followiiig morning tbe party left the 
Qioro's mansion, and fiiflowed a southern cU- 
rection down a higUy-cnkiTated Yalley. The 
land appeared to be extremely prodneti?e, 
owing in a great measure to the skilful man- 
ner in which it was irrigated. In the course 
of the morning the rest of the party joined 
them, and they proceeded altogether to a vil- 
lage at the top of a lofty hill, where they passed 
the night. Here it was settled, for the cmi« 
yenience of the party, that it should divide, 
and Mr. Salt, Mr. Smith, and Pearce, proceeded 
in advance, leaving Debib to follow with the 
rest by slower marches. 

On the following morning, Mr. Salt and his 
two companions started at daylight, and tra- 
velled through a rugged and mountainous dis- 
trict till they came to an extensive plain, which 
stretches from the hills of Agame and Haramat, 
to the river Tacazze ; having crossed this plain, 
they arrived at a pass leading to the same range 


of country as the one at Atbara^ which brought 
them at once into the district of Giralta. Here, 
on arriving at the summit, they encountered a 
most tremendous thunder-storm, which is de- 
scribed by Mr. Salt with all the vigour and en- 
thusiasm of the genuine admirer of Nature in 
her most awful visitations. 

The tempest, however, was not of very long 
continuance, though it unfortunately proved a 
suitable prelude to the inhospitable treatment 
they were soon to experience, at the neighbour- 
ing town of Mugga, where, but for the huma- 
nity of the head priest of the place, they would 
have absolutely been left without shelter or 
provisions during the night. Mr. Pearce was 
so indignant at the reception they had met with, 
that he obtained permission of Mr. Salt to push 
forward to the Ras at Chelicut, to acquaint him 
with the near approach of the party, and with 
the difficulties they had to encounter. The Ras 
was excessively enraged on this occasion, and 
sent a messenger to take the head men of the 
place in custody. They were subsequently hea- 
vily fined by the Ras, and placed at the mercy 
of Mr. Salt, to have any punishment inflicted 
on them he might choose to order. As he, how- 
ever^ thought they had suffered enough for their 

o 2 


offence, he interceded with the Ras in their 
behalf, and obtained forgiveness for them. 

It may readily be supposed, after the inhos- 
pitable reception he had experienced at Mugga, 
that Mr. Salt left it with great satisfaction at 
an early hour the following morning, and pro- 
ceeded on the route to Gibba, a residence be- 
longing to the Has, where he and Mr. Smith 
arrived in the evening. It is described as a 
beautiful spot, and the party was received with 
every possible attention by the chief Aristi, or 
bailiff, left in charge of the estate. 

At this place Mr. Salt was first gratified with 
the sight of that remarkable animal called the 
Galla Ox, or Sanga, so much celebrated for the 
size of its horns. Three of these oxen he ob- 
served grazing with the other cattle ; they were 
in perfect health, and he was informed by the 
natives '' that in no instance, as Bruce erro- 
neously supposed, was the size of the horns 
occasioned by disease." It appears, indeed, by 
the papers annexed to the last edition of Mr. 
Bruce's work, that he never saw the Sanga, 
though he has correctly described the horns and 
the purposes to which they are applied ; — but 
with respect to '^ the disease which occasions 
their size, probably derived from their pasture 


and climate ;'* '* the care taken of them to en- 
courage the progress of the disease ;" " the ema- 
ciation of the animal/' and the *^ extending of 
the disorder to the spine of the neck, which at 
last becomes callous, so that it is not any longer 
in the power of the animal to lift its head ; "* — 
these all prove to be merely ingenious con- 
jectures, without the smallest foundation in 

Mr. Salt speaks decidedly upon this point, 
having had an opportunity of ascertaining the 
truth ; the Ras having presented him with three 
of these animals, which were not only in perfect 
health, but so exceedingly wild that he 4|Fas 
forced to have them shot. The horns of one 
of them are now in the Museum of the Sur- 
geons' College, and a still larger pair are at 
Arley Hall. The largest horn of this descrip- 
tion which Mr. Salt met with, was nearly four 
feet in length, and its circumference at the base 
measured twenty-one inches ; yet the animal 
was not larger than others of the same genus. 
The female is also amply provided with the above 
(Nrnament to her forehead. 

On the 13th Mr. Pearce returned from Cheli- 
cut, charged with many kind expressions from the 

* Vuk Bruce's Travels, vol. vi. pp. 50, 51. 


Ras. Another messenger brought a mule richly 
caparisoned^ which was sent for Mr. Salt's own 
riding, and he gave orders to the Aristi at Gibba 
to supply the party with every necessary and 
accommodation. In the afternoon of the 14th 
Debib, &c. came up with the greater part of the 
baggage; and the next day the whole mission 
departed in a body for Chelicut, the place ap- 
pointed by the Ras for its reception. 

At ten o'clock the travellers reached the summit 
of the hill overlooking that town, and shortly 
afterwards two chiefs were seen galloping along 
the plain with a large troop of armed attend* 
ants. As soon as the chiefs approached they dis- 
mounted, and uncovered themselves to the waist, 
in honour of the mission. The number of attend* 
ants increased every minute, and before Mr. Salt 
and his friends reached the gateway of the Ras's 
residence, they had much difficulty in making 
their way. At length, with a great bustle and 
confused clamour usual on such occasions, they 
were ushered into the presence of the Ras. 

At their entrance, all the chiefs stood up un- 
covered, and the old man, who was seated, rose 
up with eagerness to receive Mr. Salt, like a per- 
son suddenly meeting with a long-lost friend. 
He seated his guest on his left hand, the second 




place of distinction f the one on his right being 
occupied by Kasiniaj Yasous, a brother of the 
reigning sovereign. The Ras did not appear 
to have been much altered during Mr. Salt's 
absence ; he anxiously inquired after the health 
of the latter, and declared that he always had 
felt a kind of presentiment that he should see 
him once more before he died. A repast was 
then set before them, and they were afterwards 
conducted to a house fitted up for their recep- 
tion, where they enjoyed a degree of comfort to 
which they had long been strangers ; Ayto 
Debib still continuing to attend on Mr. Salt, 
to communicate his wishes to the Ras, and to 
see that he was treated .with every possible 

In the course of the journey to Chelicut, Mr. 
Salt had learned with regret from Debib and 
'earce, the impracticability of his proceeding 

Gondar, owing to the distracted state of the 
provinces, and the enmity that subsisted between 
the Ras and a powerful chief named Guxo, who 
held the command of some districts eastward of 
the Tacazze. On the l6th of March Mr. Salt 
}iad a long conference with the Ras, on the sub- 

t of his mission, and was then informed by 
im of the absolute impossibility of his under- 


taking the journey, unless he could wait till 
after the rainy season in October was subsided, 
when he, the Ras, intended to march to Gon- 
dar ; for that if Mr. Salt were to venture un- 
protected, the enmity Guxo bore to the Ras 
would ensure his certain detention, if not pro- 
bable destruction. In spite of these difficulties 
Mr. Salt felt inclined to proceed ; but on press- 
ing the point, the Ras would not permit it, and 
it was in vain to contend agains this authority. 
He was therefore reluctantly compelled to give 
up the idea of visiting Gondar, as it was out of 
his power to wait till after the rain, on account 
of the expense which would have attended the 
detention of the Marian ; and he had unfortu- 
nately been positively enjoined to return by 
that vessel. 

Under these circumstances, and in compliance 
with his instructions, he was obliged to deliver 
his Majesty's presents to the Ras. The effect 
they produced upon the Governor of Tigre and 
his chiefs may be easily imagined, the former, in 
particular, would sit for minutes absorbed in 
silent reflection, and then would break out into 
exclamations of admiration, like a man bewil- 
dered with the fresh ideas that were rushing 
upon his mind. At this part of his Journal, Mr. 


I Salt gives a detailed account, which it is un- 
' necessary to repeat here, of the adventures of 
Pearce, and of the principal events that bad 
occurred in Abyssinia during the absence of the 
former, more especially as the greater portion 
of it has recently appeared in another publica- 
tion,* This narrative, which Mr. Salt received 
directly from Pearce himself, induced the former 
to correct the erroneous opinion he had formed 
on his first visit to the country, respecting the 
character of the Ras, who, at that period, he 
imagined owed his high situation " more to 
cunning than strength of character ;" but in this 
respect Mr. Salt says he was undoubtedly mis- 
taken, as the Ras appears to have been indebted 
for his elevation more to his intrepidity and 
firmness than to his policy- — he had been en- 
gaged in upwards of forty battles, and, on these 
occasions, had evinced even a blameable dis- 
regard of his personal safety. 

The whole of his character, indeed, as given 
by Mr. Salt, justifies the conclusion that he must 
have been a wise and politic ruler, a bold and 
skilful commander, and a merciful and excellent 
■ man. With so many amiable and distinguished 
/qualities, it seems singular, in respect to his 
* I'ide Pcarca's Life. 


wives, and to women in general, that he should 
have been deeply tinctured with a species of 
M ahomedan jealousy and strictness so extremely 
foreign to the usual habits and customs of the 
rest of his countrymen. It is true that in early 
life he had been a good deal thrown into the 
society of Mahomedans ; yet, as he ever appears 
to have retained a decided abhorrence of their 
doctrines, it seems somewhat remarkable that 1^ 
should have adopted one of the most objection- 
able parts of their system. 

During Mr. Salt's stay at Chelicut he became 
intimate with a learned man, named Dofter 
Esther, who had been well acquainted with 
Mr. Bruce at Gondar during the whole time of 
his residence in the country. The account he 
gave Mr. Salt of that traveller is marked by so 
much fairness and disinterestedness that it b 
difficult, I should have supposed, for the most 
sceptical to entertain any real doubt of its 
veracity. It differs, however, very considerably 
in some essential points from the statements 
made in Mr. Bruce's work, and, to use no 
harsher term, casts great doubt upon the credi- 
bility due to many of that traveller's anecdotes 
and assertions. 

Mr. Salt not finding his residence at Chelicut 


particularly agreeable during the season of Lent^ 
and being anxious to improve his knowledge of 
the geography of the country, as well as to 
ascertain some* important points relative to its 
general history, obtained permission of the Ras 
to make an excursion to the river Tacazze. 
Accordingly, he set out on the 5th of April upon 
the expedition, accompanied by Pearce, Coffin, 
Debib, and a young chieftain called Chelika 
N^^sta. This chief held a district in the 
country through which their road lay, and had 
been appointed by the Ras to attend them with 
an escort. He was a young man of courage and 
enterprise, and the history given of his youthful 
adventures is interesting and highly charac- 
teristic of the manners of the country. After 
leaving Chelicut Mr. Salt and his party pro- 
ceeded to Antalo, the capital of Enderta, which 
stands on the side of a mountain commanding an 
extensive prospect to the south. Farther on 
lies the stronghold of £1 Hadje ; and beyond it, 
on a clear day, may be distinguished the lofty 
mountains of Salowa and Bora. 

The next day they left Antalo, and, passing 
through a rich country, entered the district of 
Wazjsa. After descending two steep precipices, 
they arrived at a rude and picturesque village 


called Cali^ in the district of Saharti. On the 
7th they quitted this station, and traversed a 
wild tract of land, which strongly reminded 
Mr. Salt of the scenery he had formerly so much 
admired in the interior of the Cape. From this 
place they first got a sight of the high momi- 
tains of Samen, rearing their loffcy smnmits 
majestically in the distant horizon. The wea- 
ther now becoming intensely warm, the party 
stopped by the side of a stream, near the Tillage 
of Shela, to refresh, where, in the coarse of his 
search after rare plants, Mr. Salt discovered 
some watercresses, to the no small pleasmre of 
Mr. Pearce, who had long searched for them in 
vain. During their short stay at thb spot the 
party shot no less than six brace of guinea-fowl 
and partridges, both of which were found in 
large coveys of fifty or sixty birds, and were 
occasionally observed to rest on the tops of the 

In the afternoon the travellers entered the 
province of Avergale, and arrived at the town of 
Agora. Here they took up their residence for 
the night, at the house of the chief of the 
district, Guebra Mehedin, who had much distin- 
guished himself about two years before by kill- 
ing a lion in single combat, with no other 


weapon than the common ones worn in the 
country. At the residence of this chief the 
party spent a peculiarly agreeable day. To- 
wards the evening the view of the mountains of 
Samen became truly magnificent^ and Mr. Salt 
sat watching the gradual descent of the sun 
behind the stupendous forms which those grand 
masses exhibited, with a melancholy sensation of 
awe stealing over his mind, which he does not 
venture to describe, though he could not help 
feeling that if ever for a moment the frailty of 
human nature stood excused in offering up 
adoration to the glorious luminary, it was when 
he witnessed its setting behind the mountains 
of Samen. 

On the 8th of April they left Agora and pro- 
ceeded about three miles, when they came to a 
most picturesque spot near the river Arequa. 
Here they left their mules and gave up the 
morning to the pursuit of game of various kinds, 
*which they shot in such numbers as to more 
than supply the whole party with food for the 
day. In the afternoon they journeyed on to 
Werketarve, inhabited by Agows. In personal 
appearance these people greatly resemble the 
Abyssinians^ but their language is nevertheless 
perfectly distinct. They are called Tchertz, or 


Tacazze Agows^ and their country extends from 
Lasta to Shire. They are said to have been 
once worshippers of the Nile, but were con- 
verted to Christianity so ]ate as the seventeenth 
century, and are now more attentive to its duties 
than most of the natives of Habesh. The view 
from the hill on which the town of Werketarv6 
is built, was, if possible, more striking than ihnt 
of the preceding evening. Mr. Salt has given a 
sketch of it, which conveys some idea of its 

On the 9th he and his party quitted the town, 
and in two hours reached Serarwa. Here the 
country began greatly to change its aspect, and 
assumed a barren and sandy appearance, not 
unlike the scenery near the coast. The thermo- 
meter stood as high as 88*" in the shade, and the 
sun was nearly vertical ; yet, though they were 
scorched with heat, the mountains that lay be- 
fore them were covered with large patches of 
snow, which they could plainly distinguish. In 
the evening they reached Guftamlo, where, Mr. 
Pearce being taken ill, it was necessary to leave 
him behind. In the morning they departed 
from this place, and travelled over a parched 
and nearly uncultivated plain, till they came to 
some irregular hills, so thickly covered with low 



I trees and brushwood as almost to obstruct their 
passage, the road being bad, and every bush, &c. 
covered with formidable thorns. 

The party, however, managed to get through 
without any serious injury, and descended a 
gully, upon which tamarind and other trees were 
growing. The fruit of the former furnished a 
most grateful refreshment after the fatigue of 
the journey. Descending a little farther, a 
broad expanse of country opened before them, 
and they found themselves at a short distance 
from the banks of the Tacazze. Mr. Salt imme- 
diately ran forward with a kind of natural im- 
pulse, and, seating himself on the bank of the 
stream, was indulging in the reflections which 
the scene was calculated to inspire, when he was 
suddenly roused from his reverie by the noise of 
an hippopotamus rising to the surface of the 
river, and the cry of his attendants — " Gomari ! 
Gomari !" which soon gave a new turn to his 
thoughts. The view they obtained of this stu- 
pendous creature was only instantaneous, and its 
action appeared greatly to resemble the rolling of 
8 grampus in the sea. The point on which they 
stood commanded only a small extent of the 
river, owing to a bend it takes in this part of its 
course, and the abruptness of the rocks on the 


western bank. Advancing up the line of the 
stream^ they found it interrupted by frequent 
overfalls, which render it fordable at most sea- 
sons of the year ; but between these fords deep 
holes intervene, which, seen from a height, re- 
semble small lochs, or tarns, of almost immea- 
surable depth, and it is in these places that the 
gomari chiefly delights. 

After the party had proceeded a short dis- 
tance, several of these animals were observed, 
when Mr. Salt and his companions took off part 
of their clothes and crossed the river with their 
guns, in order to get a more secure and conve- 
nient place to attack them than the eastern 
bank afforded. The stream at this time was 
about fifty yards across, and the ford nearly 
three feet deep. The current ran moderately, 
though both sides of its bed bore evident marks 
of the tremendous torrents which pour down in 
the rainy season. Having found a place adapted 
to their purpose, they stationed themselves on a 
high overhanging rock, commanding the depth 
below, and soon saw one of the animals rise to 
the surface, at about twenty yards' distance, 
lifting its enormous head out of the water and 
snorting violently. At this instant three of the 
party discharged their guns, the contents of 




which appeared to strike its forehead, when it 
turned its head round, made a plunge, and sank 
down to the bottom, uttering; a noise between a 
grunt and a roar. 

At 6rst they supposed they had either killed 
or seriously wounded the creature, but they soon 
found that a hippopotamus is not so easily 
dispatched, as in a short time it rose ajrain, with 
some caution, close to the spot where it had 
before appeared. They again discharged their 
pieces, but with as little effect as at the first 
shot, and though some of the party continued 
firing at each hippopotamus as fast as it came to 
the surface, it seems doubtful whether the least 
impression was made upon any one of the num- 
ber. This could only be attributed to leadeu 
balls having been used, which were too soft to 
enter the impenetrable skulls of these creatures, 
the marksmen repeatedly observing the balls 
strike against the heads of the animals. To- 
wards the afternoon, however, they began to 
grow more wary, merely thrusting their nostrils 
above the stream, breathing hard and spouting 
up the water. They seemed to be unable to 
remain more than six minutes under the river 
without rising for the purpose of respiration, and 
it was curious to view the ease with which they 

VOL. I. P 


quietly dropped to the bottom^ for, the riyer 
being very clear, they could be distinctly seen as 
low as twenty feet beneath the surface. The 
size of these animals did not appear to exceed 
sixteen feet in length, and their colour was a 
dusky brown, like that of the elephant. 

While Mr. Salt and his followers were en- 
gaged in the above adventure, they saw several 
enormously large crocodiles, of a greenish colour, 
occasionally rise at a distance to the surface of 
the stream. The natives call them Agoos, and 
appear to stand in more than usual dread of 
these animals. After the day's excursion the 
party returned to their encampment under a 
large tree, where they passed the night. The 
thermometer had risen in the course of the 4ay 
to OS"" in the shade. 

On the following morning they set out on 
their return, and, turning a little to the north- 
ward of their former route, passed through a 
town called Missada ; and in the coiu'se of the 
day they arrived at the village of Adellet, and at 
evening reached Gorura, where they were treated 
with great hospitality. 

On the ISth Mr. Pearce rejoined them, and 
having again crossed the Arequa, they pro- 
ceeded, by Agora and Cali, to Chelicut, where 


they arrived the l6th of April. On his return, 
Mr. Salt was received by the Ras with great 
cordiality, and the next day he did him the 
greatest honour he could confer^ by papng him 
a visit at his own house. He remained above 
an hour^ conversing familiarly on different topics, 
and appeared greatly pleased with some draw- 
ings of English buildings, carriages, ships, &c. 
which Mr. Salt brought forward to amuse him. 

p 2 



Salt*s Conferences with the Ras on the subject of his 
Missioii — ^The Ras's Presents at parting. — The Abys- 
sinian Lent. — Grand Feast. — An Accidmt. — Salt's Pre- 
sence of Mind. — A public Audience^ — ^The Ras's Dream. 
— Departure of Salt and his Companions on their Return. 
— Mr. Stuart. — A singular Disease. — Journey towards 
the Coast. — An Abyssinian Monastery. — Extraordinary 
Mountain Scenery. — Nocturnal Attack by a Wild Beast. 
— Salt and his Party embark in a Dow. — Anchor in Mocha 
Roads. — Sail for the Cape of Good Hope* — The Vessel 
disabled. — Its course altered for Bombay. — Arrival in 
that Harbour.^— The Marian repaired^— Again set saiL— 
Arrival at Penzance in ComwalL — Results of the Ex- 

The time now approaching when it became 
necessary for Mr. Salt to return^ he had several 
long conferences with the Ras upon the subject 
of the mission^ and on other topics^ during 
which the Ras displayed much kindness and 
openness of character. He fairly told Mr. Salt 
that he had been counselled by some of the 
chiefs and priests to prevent the English from 
entering the country^ and by others to entice 



ihe whole party into his districts, and afterwards 
murder every individual. " But," said the Ras, 
" 1 was not fool enough to regard these extrava- 
gancies." Speaking of the subject of religion, he 
farther added : — " We all say this is right, and 
the other is right, in these matters ; hut^ as 
Alika Barea (the chief priest) has told me, I 
believe we shall only wander about in the dark 
until we receive a lesson from you." He spoke 
this very earnestly, and shortly after requested 
Mr. Salt to allow one of the Englishmen attend- 
ig him to remain behind. From a previous 
[amversation he had had with Mr. Coffin, Mr. 
t was fully aware to whom this request 
lUded, and as that daring and adventurous 
man, the history of whose life is scarcely less 
remarkable than that of Pearce, had expressed a 
wish to stay in the country, Mr. Salt readily 
granted the desired permission. At this inter- 
view it was also settled that the party should 
return by way of Axum, Mr. Salt being anxious 
once again to visit its ruins. 

At parting, the Ras presented him with one 
his favourite mules, richly caparisoned, and 
le skin of a black leopard, a very rare article, 
and only worn by governors of provinces ; he 
gave him two manuscripts, one containing 

^^Uo gave 


the true doctrines of the Abjrssinian faith, and 
the other an account of the Ras's last campaagn 
with the Galla. The former was translated by 
the Rev. Alexander Murray, for the benefit of 
the British and Foreign Bible Society. 

On the 25th of April, the last day of the 
Abyssinian Lent, the Ras sent an early message, 
to inform the party that he was going to Antalo, 
and to request their company. He also sent 
three of his favourite horses for their use on die 
journey, he himself having gone on before. As 
they approached the village of A^uol, they 
found him waiting to receive t^em, attended by 
about forty of his chiefs on horseback, i^o were 
galloping about and skirmishing in their usihd 
manner. After amusing themselves in this way 
for several hours, the whole party proceeded to 
Antalo. A repast of fish was served up, for the 
last time during the season ; and as soon as it 
was over, one of the head priests pronounced a 
blessing on all who had observed properly iiie 
institution of Lent. 

The next day a grand brind-feast was given 
by the Ras, to which Mr. Salt and his com- 
panions were invited, and in the course of which 
the Ras handed his own Brulhe, filled with red 
wine, to Mr. Salt to drink out of, which was 





considered so very singular a favour as to excite 
great astonishment among the chiefs, many of 
whom had been purposely invited in order to 
insure their good behaviour on the return of 
the mission. The feasting and holiday-making 
lasted for several days, during which period the 
Ras received a visit from some chiefs of the 
Assubo Galla, respecting whom several curious 
particulars are related. 

At one of these festive meetings an accident 
occurred, which might have proved of serious 
consequence but for the presence of mind dis- 
played by Mr. Salt. He had, among other 
things, carried out with him a quantity of fire- 
works, many of which at different times had 
afforded much amusement to the Ras and his 
chiefs, the former taking great delight in light- 
ing the smaller ones himself, and in flinging 
them among his attendants. On the present 
occasion the Has expressed a wish that Pearce 
lould exhibit some of the best of these compo- 
itions, and Mr. Salt, without duly considering 
that the guests were habited in loose flowing 
cotton garments, selected one of the largest fire- 
works, labelled " A flowerpot." It was placed 
the centre of a room, about thirty feet by 
:ty, and nearly filled by some of the first chiefs 


216 TH£ L1F£ OF 

of the country. As soon as the match was 
applied to the fuse such a deluge of sparks and 
fire*>balls were showered on the company as to 
occasion the utmost consternation. Several of 
the chiefs called out that the destruction they 
had predicted was come upon them, others crept 
beneath the couches, and some ran screaming 
into the corners of the room, while the Ras and 
a few more resolute kept their seats. 

The moment the confusion commenced Mr. 
Salt sprang from his couch, and placing himself 
before the Ras with extended arms, kept off the 
sparks that fell towards him. The Ras, how- 
ever, showed not the smallest symptom of alarm, 
but sat smiling at the apprehensions of his fol- 
lowers. His own dress was fortunately one of 
the few that escaped unsinged, and the shower 
of sparks gradually subsiding, the face of things 
took a different turn, the Ras turning the whole 
afiair into ridicule, and unmercifully rallying his 
followers for the fears they had evinced. He, 
however, told Mr. Salt apart, that " for the 
future it would be better to exhibit these things 
when by themselves."* In this manner the affair 
terminated, though it at first wore a very serious 
aspect. It afterwards, however, occasioned much 
merriment, as the Ras's jester, named Totte 



Maze, subsequently worked up the transaction 
into a very diverting representation. 

I' On the 27th of April Mr. Salt had a public 
•udience of the Ras, when a letter, in Ethiopic, 
was placed in his hands, to be delivered to the 
King of England or his minister. At the same 
time the Ras presented him with a gold chain, 
and a medallion suspended to it (on which the 

t armorial bearings of the Abyssinian emperors 
Were engraved), as the greatest honour he could 
Confer. It was the wish of the Ras that Ayto 
Debib should return with Mr. Salt, as his envoy 
Id England ; but this proposal was declined, as 
Well as an offer of two young lions, designed 
for a present to his Majesty. 
On the 3rd of May, while preparations were 
making for the departure of the mission, the Ras 
appeared unusually depressed, and repeatedly 
iqaired of Mr. Salt if he should ever return to 
! country ? On being answered in the nega- 
l.tiTe, the old man related a dream he had had 
ispecting Salt, which had left a strange impres- 
sion on his mind. " I fancied," said the Ras, 
" that I was sitting on the brow of a hill, and 
saw you on the plain below, passing along and 
sowing grain with both hands, and that the corn 
sprang up instantaneously around me in great 



profusion^ while at the same instant I perceived 
that my lap was filled with gold." 

In the night of the 4th of May Mr. Salt and 
his companions paid their last visit to the Ras. 
He was much afiected^ and the parting was 
painfiil on both sides. A long conversation took 
place relative to the mission, during which the 
Ras repeatedly expressed his gratitude to the 
King of Great Britain for regarding the welfiure 
of his country, and his anxious wbh to encou- 
rage an intercourse between the two nations. 
It was daylight before Mr. Salt and hb firiends 
rose to depart, and on this occasion the old man 
got up from his couch and attended them to his 
hall-door, where he stood watching them with 
tears running down his face, until they were out 
of sight. After leaving the Ras at Antalo, they 
proceeded to Chelicut, where the preparations 
were completed for their journey to the coast; 
and on the 5th of May they set forward on their 
route to Axum, through the province of Giraltm 
and descended the steep pass of Atbara, which 
brought them to the town of GuUibudda. 

Here they expected to have found their old 
friend Palambaras Tocln, but were informed 
that he then resided at a country-house, given 
him by the Ras, at Abba Tsama. The distance 



was considerable, and it was not without expe- 
riencing great fatigue that they were enabled to 
reach the dwelling in the evening. They for- 
tunately found the Palambaras at home, who 
received them in a very friendly manner. Here 
they remained two days, and on the 8th pursued 
their com-se to Adowa, where they arrived about 
one o'clock. 

At this place Mr. Salt was exceedingly sur- 
prised to find that an Englishman had arrived 
only a few days before from the coast, who 
proved to be Mr. Stuart. He had failed in a 
great measure in accomplishing a plan which 
bad been proposed by Mr. Salt for his visiting 
Hurrur and other places, and an opportunity 
having been afforded him of crossing over to 
Massowa, he thought it best to rejoin the expe- 
dition and report the causes of his miscarriage. 
Mr. Salt felt greatly disappointed, though he 
does not appear, after having heard his state- 
ments, to attach any blame to that gentleman 
on the occasion. At the same time the unplea- 
sant intelligence arrived, that two packets of 
letters, dispatched to Captain Weatherhead 
from Chelicut, had not reached their destination, 
80 that there was much reason to fear the ship 
■i would not arrive on the coast when the party 




At Adowa Mr. Salt fell into company with 
two respectable Greeks, one of them named 
Sydee Paulus, being a very old man, and father- 
in-law to Mr. Pearce. He conversed much re- 
specting Mr. Bruce, and in almost every parti* 
cular confirmed Dofter Esther's account of that 
traveller. This old man had resided in the 
country fifty years. His companion, Apostoli, 
had never seen Mr. Bruce, but had often con- 
versed about him with Janni, who spoke of him 
with great respect. 

On the 9th of May Mr. Salt and the party 
left Adowa for Axum, and again visited its ruins. 
During his short stay at the place he carefully 
revised the Greek inscription he had formerly 
discovered, and, in some few particulars, im- 
proved his original copy of it. In conjunction 
with Mr. Stuart he was also enabled to trace 
some lines, in the Ethiopic character, carved on 
the reverse of the stone, of which he has given a 

The reception the travellers met with at 
Axum by no means corresponded with the fa- 
vourable one they had formerly experienced, 
which Mr. Salt attributes in a great measure to 
the jealousy entertained by the priests respect- 
ing his visit to the country ; probably, however. 


fAe insolence and unruly conduct of tlie inhabit- 
ants was occasioned more by the absence of tlie 
Nebrid, or ruler of the district, than from any 
other cause; for, just as they were about to 
L^part in disgust from such inhospitable quar- 
p'ters to Adowa, the Nebrid arrived, and in the 
most urgent manner requested them to return 
to Axum, where they were treated by him and 
his family with the greatest kindness and libe- 
rality during the rest of the day. 

At daylight the next morning they again 

ITlfiited the stone with the Greek inscription, and 
made out some more of the Ethiopic characters 
<nii the reverse. Their success was not very 
■great, the inscription being on this side much 
defaced by the weather, though Mr. Salt seems 
to think, if a person acquainted with the lan- 

Iguage had leisure to remain at Axum for some 
time, and were to visit the stone at diflFerent 
periods of the day, he might be enabled to make 
Wit a considerable portion of an inscription 
•which it appears highly probable might throw a 
good deal of light upon several subjects of 

After having to the best of their power accom- 

[ l^ished their object, the party proceeded on the 

[ to Adowa. Here they found the Billetana 

m Alter 
m {dished 
KiDad to 


Welled Georgis waiting their arrival. This 
young chieftain seemed at first disposed to give 
himself a few consequential airs^ but a little 
coolness and resolution on the part of Mr. Salt 
quickly brought him to submission, and he after- 
wards behaved in a very satisfactory manner. 

On the following day Mr. Salt was requested 
to visit a man afflicted with that singular disease 
called ' the tigre-ter,' * but the patient died before 
he could reach the spot. A curious account is 
given of the ceremonies that attended the fune- 
ral, which seem greatly to resemble those ob- 
served on similar occasions by the lower order of 
Irish, particularly in the concluding scene, which 
uniformly ends in festivity and in the complete 
intoxication of the whole of the guests. 

On the 12th Mr. Salt and his followers quitted 
Adowa, on their way to the coast, Mr. Coffin 
and Mr. Pearce accompanying them as far as 
the vale of Ribierani, where they parted from the 
company and returned to the Ras, while the 
others continued their route to Yeeha, and 
halted for the night at a house belonging to the 
son of Konguass Aylo. In the course of this 

* A very full description is given of this strange malady, 
and of its mode of cure, in Pearce*8 Journal. Both accounts 
seem almost incomprehensible. — £. 



day they visited the ancient ruins of a monas- 
tery, called Abba Aafe, founded by a priest of 
that name, who went with eight others into 
Ethiopia from Egypt in the early part of the 
sixth century, during the reign of the Emperor 
Ameda. Notwithstanding this great lapse of 
time, Mr, Salt was led to believe that the ruins 
still remaining formed a portion of the original 
building. In examining some adjoining heaps 

stones, he discovered several fragments with 

:riptions, which appeared to have formed 
part of the frieze originally surrounding the 
upper part of the structure. The characters 
were boldly carved, and appeared, from their 
simple forms, to have constituted a portion of a 
primitive Ethiopic alphabet. 

On the 13th the party quitted Yeeha and 
arrived at Kella, where they halted for the 

ht, and on the following day resumed their 
■se by Logo, Abha, and the district of Kan- 
iba Socinius, till they reached Dixan on the 
t6th. Here they were sadly disappointed at 
receiving no intelligence of the arrival of the 
Marian at Massowa, and in consequence deter- 
mined to remain some days in their present 
situation, the Baharnegash having promised to 
do everything in his power to render their stay 





The next day a respectable man, called Had- 
jee Hamed, came from Massowa to offer his 
services during the passage to the coast : from 
■whom Mr. Salt learned that an unusually large 
force of Hazorta was waiting at the bottom of 
Taranta for the avowed purpose of escorting the 
party to Arkeeko, but in reality to extort a sum 
of money, without which they would not permit 
them to pass through their district. This intel- 
ligence gave considerable alarm to the Baharne- 
gash, as he had been made answerable by the 
Has for the safety of the party. Mr. Salt, on 
the contrary, affected great indifference, and 
told that chieftain that he would advance no- 
thing more than a few dollars, as he was unwill- 
ing to establish a precedent for so unjust an 
exaction. The BaTiarnegash then said there 
was another track through the mountains, by 
Assauli, which he should prefer, but that he 
must first send a messenger to communicate 
with a chief who commanded the pass. This 
plan being finally adopted, it was agreed to keep 
it secret until the moment of departure, for the 
purpose of keeping the Hazorta quiet in their 

On the 19th, everything being arranged J 
the journey, they set out from Disan at an ( 


hour, and passing over a low ridge of the moun- 
tain, which forms the north-western range of 
Taranta, they arrived at the villages S^ah and 
Kudoona, near which they encamped for the 
night. Towards evening the brother of Shum 
Sadoo, the ruler of the district, paid them a 
visit, and brought the usual supply of provisions. 
Mr. Salt gave him twenty dollars in return, for 
which he promised to protect them to Arkecko. 
The following day they passed over a second 
ridge of mountains, and had to descend a short, 
but very steep and rugged path, which led to a 
turn in the road, where a mountain appeared in 
sight at about ten miles' distance, on which 
formerly stood the monastery of Bisaii, cele- 
brated throughout Abyssinia for its wealth and 
the sanctity of its monks ; but it was now de- 
serted and in ruins. 

From this place the party continued to de- 
scend for about ten miles, keeping the line of 
the stream, through a gully abounding with 
trees of various descriptions, and which seemed 
to have been recently traversed by elephants, 
as there was scarcely a tree that did not bear 
marks of their ravages. At three o'clock they 
reached an opening in the gully, when liaharne- 
gash Yasous requested them to go a short dis- 

Mb. VOU U 


tance out of the way to view a pass '' through 
which the Tahdt was brought into the countrj 
by Menilek." 

This place was somewhat remarkable from a 
number of wild date-trees being found on the 
spot^ which do not appear to be indigenous in 
the country. At night the party pitched their 
tent near a beautiful grove, situated by the side 
of a stream. On the 22nd they set off by day* 
light, and passed down a gully, nearly impracti- 
cable for mules, till they reached a spot where 
the road divided in two ; and here they left the 
stream, which Mr. Salt was told ran in «a 
eastern direction to W6ah, and turned north* 
ward up the ascent of the high mountain As- 
sanli. In their way they passed several parties 
of Shiho, and visited one of their encampments^ 
which displayed great neatness and comfort 
The ascent of the mountain Assanli was very 
steep, but was rendered less unpleasant by the 
romantic nature of the scenery and the beautiful 
groves of plants and flowering shrubs that every* 
where abounded. About halfway up they came 
to a spring of pellucid water, trickling from the 
rocks, into an artificial basin. Here the travel* 
lers halted during the heat of the day, and in 
the afternoon arrived in about two hours at the 




summit of the mountain, the view from which 
presented a scene of the most extraordinary 
character. Immediately in front lay a verdant 
plain, on which the natives were engaged in 
?arious agricultural pursuits, while beyond an 
<9ztensive prospect opened over the burning re- 
gions of the Tehama, comprehending the moun- 
tain of Raa Gidam, the island of 'Massowa, 
and the expanded line of the surrounding sea. 
Near this spot stood the tomb of a Sheik, 
equally reverenced by Christians and Mahome- 
On arriving opposite to it, Baharnegash 
'ttitous and his son broke some bread, of which, 
from a superstitious anxiety, Mr, Salt and his 
friends were earnestly requested to partake ; 

■ bat he was unable to ascertain the origin of the 


^n From the top of Assanii they began to de- 
scend for about half a mile, when they came to 
a circular spot covered with green turf, where 
they halted for the night. In the evening 
Baharnegash Yasous took his leave. He had 
attended Mr. Salt during the whole of his stay 
in the country, and appears to have been an 
individual of the most blameless, benevolent, 
and religious character. On his going away, 
Mr. Salt presented him with an hundred dollars 


and a small piece of broadcloth^ and they parted 
with deep and mutual regret. 

On the 23rd the travellers reached the bottom 
of the mountain^ and gradually losing sight <^ 
the late beautiful scenery^ they got into a wild 
jungle of thorny acacias, growing on a barren 
soil. After this the country became so wild and 
thickly set with trees, that they lost their way, 
until an old shepherd set them right. Hence 
they proceeded in an easterly direction, and 
reached a range of wells in the bed of a torrent, 
within eleven miles of Arkeeko, where they en- 
camped for the night Soon after they were 
visited by Baharnegash Oual, the chief of the 
adjoining district, who, on inquiry, proved to be 
an Abyssinian, a circumstance which pleased 
and surprised Mr. Salt, as he was not previously 
aware that the Christian influence extended so 
near the coast. 

In the night he was awakened by a loud 
outcry in the camp, occasioned by some furious 
wild beast attempting to carry ofi* one of the 
mules, which so terrified the rest of the animals 
that they broke from their fastenings and stood 
trembling in a cluster together, covered with 
profuse perspiration. From the extraordinary 



I mlarm they evinced, Mr. Salt conjectured that 
I tbe animal must have been a lion. 

On the following day they reached Arkeeko, 

Hid proceeded to Massowa, where they found, 

to their great regret, that the Marian had not 

yet arrived ; they were, however, attentively 

\ teceived by the Kaimaltan. The heat of the 

■ Weather, the putrid stench of the place, and 

'■ the anxiety he felt at the absence of the ship, 

altogether threw Mr. Salt into a violent fever, 

from which he was with great difficulty reco- 

(*cred by the kind and uniform attention of Mr. 
Smith. Fortunately, about the time, a dow, 
Itelonging to Currum Chund, came into the har- 
Ibour, which was speedily hired for their convey- 
ance, and on the 4th of June Mr. Salt was 
carried on board. The following day he remu- 
nerated his Abyssinian attendants, and taking a 
final leave of Ayto Debib, set sail. 

On the 6th they touched at Dahalac el Kibeer, 
and on the 10th stretched across the Red Sea, 
and anchored safely in Mocha Roads, where 
they took up their residence in the British 

Captain Weatherhead having completed his 
cargo by the S7th of June, they bade farewell to 




their friends at the factory and sailed from 
Mocha Roads, with the intention of making a 
windward passage against the south-west mon- 
soon to the Cape of Good Hope, an attempt 
which they were finally obliged to relinquish^ 
after having encountered many dangers, parti- 
cularly off the island of Socotra, where they 
almost miraculously escaped being shipwrecked^ 

On the 9th of July, the weather becoming still 
more boisterous, and the ship, on examination, 
being found in a very disabled state, the captain 
called a meeting of his officers to deliberate on 
the measures most advisable to pursue, when it 
was unanimously judged necessary to abandon 
all thoughts of a windward passage, and to bear 
away for Bombay, or some other harbour on the 
Malabar Coast, where the ship might undergo 
such repairs as were indispensable for the com- 
pletion of the voyage. This resolution being 
determined on, a document was drawn up, and 
signed by all the ship's officers, to justify the 
departure from the track to which the vessel had 
been limited. The captain then inunediately 
bore up for Bombay, and on the I6th entered 
the harbour. 

As soon as Mr. Salt had landed he went to 
call on his old friend Mr. Duncan, who received 


Idum in the most friendly manner, and allotted 

Kijum apartments in the government-house during 

Vhie stay at the settlement. A few days after- 

^'Jirards, the dangerous state of the Marian being 

officially ascertained, her cargo was unshipped, 

and she was put into dock to undergo a thorough 

repair. During the delay occasioned by this 

event, Mr. Salt spent his time very agreeably, 

owing to the polite attention he received from 

the inhabitants, and particularly from the late 

Sir James Mackintosh, who gave him free access 

Lio his extensive and valuable library. 

^k At length, on the 4th of October the ship set 
«ail irom Bombay, and arrived, without accident, 
at the Cape on the 4th of December, where 
Mr. Salt was most kindly welcomed by his 
former &iends and acquaintance, several of 
whom, from his long absence, had entertained 
serious alarm for his safety. 

On the 12th of December the Marian left the 

LCape, touched at St. Helena on the 29th, and, 

^hfter a remarkably £ne passage, reached Pen- 
zance in Cornwall, on the 11th of January 1811. 
From this place Mr. Salt proceeded to London, 
and laid a statement of the transactions that had 
occurred during his two years' absence, before 
the Marquess Wellealey, then Secretary of State 



for Foreign Affairs, when his Lordship was 
pleased to express his unqualified approbation of 
the whole of his proceedings, an approbati(m 
which Mr. Salt may be justly excused for men- 
tioning with some feeling of pride and exulta«> 
tion, when we consider his Lordship's distin- 
guished talents and his extensive acquaintance 
with eastern affairs. 

The expedition, in a mercantile point of yiew> 
was, I am informed by Mr. Jacob, productive of 
considerable advantage, though greatly inferior 
to that which might reasonably have been anti- 
cipated^ had circumstances remained in a posi- 
tion which could have justified a second specu- 
lation to the Red Sea ; but about this period 
the island of Java fell into the possession of the 
English; and as its productions rivalled in 
quantity, and nearly in quality, many of the 
articles procurable at Mocha, it was not thought 
prudent to hazard another voyage to that place. 
How far any future change in the relative situ** 
ation of these distant countries may render it 
desirable to open a more extensive communica- 
tion with the shores of the Red Sea, it might be 
very difficult to determine at the present junc- 
ture, but, setting aside all idea of commercial 
advantage, it appears much to be wished, in a 



icientific, political, and religious point of view, 
that no opportunity should be overlooked by 
Governraent of improving our connexion with 
Abyssinia, and with several other states and 
dependencies to the north of the Straits of Babel 

. Throughout the whole of his arduous under- 
taking, Mr- Salt appears to have adhered studi- 
ously to the tenor of his instruction, and to have 
endeavoured to obtain, by every means within 
his power, a clear insight into the history, cha- 
racter, trade, and commerce of the inhabitants 
■ei the different countries which came imme- 
,tely, or indirectly, under his observation ; 

Ld it ia only to be regretted that so enter- 
prising and veracious a traveller should have 
been restrained, by the precise nature of his 
orders with respect to the detention of the ship, 
firom pursuing his journey to Gondar, perhaps 
to remoter regions, and of acquiring accurate 
information upon many interesting particulars, 
which have hitherto been involved in consi- 
derable, if not in total obscurity. 

Though some changes had taken place in the 
Administration of the country since the period 
of Mr. Salt's departure from England, the Go- 
Ycmment, nevertheless, appears to have been 


284 TH£ LIFE OF 

perfectly contented with his exerticms through- 
out the whole of the mission. He received^ I 
have been told^ a thousand pounds for his services 
during his two years' absence, and it is more than 
probable that the satisfaction he afforded his 
employers on the occasion had no inconsiderable 
influence in subsequently procuring him the 
situation of Consul-General in Egypt. 



Salt's unexpected appearance at the Author's House. — His 
miserable Costume. — Frequent Attendance at the Foreign 
Office. — The Ethiopic Letter to His Majesty from the 
King of Abyssinia. — Sent for Translation to the Rev. 
Alexander Murray. — Interesting Correspondence be- 
tween that Gentleman and Salt. 

For some months previously to his return^ hi» 
friends in England suffered a good deal of anx- 
iety from his protracted absence. Few letters 
had been received from him by any individual 
since the short one he addressed to me on his 
first arrival at the Mosambique, and as we were 
entirely ignorant of the ship he sailed in being 
forced to bear away for Bombay^ the delay in 
his arrival occasioned no small degree of sus- 
pense and conjecture. At this period a mutual 
friend* and I resided together at a house in 
Argyle Street, and our conversation naturally 

* The late Henry Broughton, Esq. afterwards one of 
Salt's executors. 


oftcB tamed vpon the mbsent traveller. One 
eftmmg in puticiibr, whfle shtiiig after diimer, 
had hccn afieakiiig of him with more than 
eamestness when we heard a load knock 
at the door, which was quickly followed by the 
serrant entering the room and announcing that 
a gentleman of the name of Salt wished to speak 
to us, and almost befinre we could find time to 
recoTcr from our surprise, a tall figure entered 
the parlour, enveloped from top to toe in a 
rough seaman's coat, which totally concealed 
his person from our view. We were not, how- 
ever, left long in doubt with respect to his 
identity, as he instantly sprang forward, and 
catching me by the hand, exclaimed — *' I always 
told you. Halls, that ' The Bad Shilling' would 
come back again in safety ."^ 

Though he had travelled straight from Pen- 
zance, he discovered no symptoms of fatigue, 
and appeared to be in the highest health and 
spirits ; but when I attempted to assist him off 
with his great-coat, a " wrap-rascal" of the ge-* 
nuine breed, he laughingly held it open, and 
discovering to our view the dilapidated state of 
his under vestments, fully convinced us of the 
necessity of its remaining on his shoulders. He 
had been absent so much longer than had been 



Calculated upon, that he had literally worn his 
arardrobe to tatters, the whole of his original 
Mock being now reduced to one waistcoat and 
« pair of black silk breeches, whicli hung about 
is person in ribbons. His rueful appearance, 
«f course, excited no small degree of merriment, 
lore especially when he informed us, that in 
^is sorry trim he had just been obliged to 
ileport himself at the Foreign Office, and to call 
M Mr. Jacob's house to acquaint him with the 
Arrival of the ship. Here, to his no small dis- 
may, he had been ushered into the drawing- 
joom among the ladies of the family, who strenu- 
ously urged him to remove his outside habili- 
ment lest he might take cold when he went out 
again into the wintry air. To all these solicit 
tations, however, he judiciously turned a deaf 
ear, and was solely occupied in devising the most 
plausible pretext for extricating himself from so 
perilous and unlooked-for a dilemma. 

The miserable plight in which he reached 
Argyll Street, for even the great-coat he wore 
had been borrowed from some one on board the 
ship, rendered it necessary in the 6rst instance 
to despatch a messenger to a neighbouring tai- 
lor's, in order that he might be equipped forth- 
with with a new suit of apparel, as he would 



ksve been faned to icnumi m dote 
tin the anml of so Bcceasary m mspfij. 
Ib the mean wluk Mr. Braim|itoii and I b^ged 
that he wooM, for the pfeK&t, domiciliate him* 
self with us, and wait a move masfkious moment 
bfr wtrking out other quarters. 

These weighty matters bang settled, we drew 
our diairs roond the fire, and, as may be ima- 
gined, sat chatting to a late homr oyer the 
erents cf the last two years. Salt remained 
with us fi>r a few days, and shortly after took np 
his abode at smne iqiartments in Great Marlbo* 
rough Street, where he lived, when in London, 
for nearly the next two years, so that he became 
a very near neighbour, and, as usual, he and I 
saw much of each other. 

On his first arrival, his time was a good deal 
taken up in attending the Foreign Office, and in 
settling his private afiairs. The letter in the 
Ethiopic language, which he had brought for his 
Majesty firom the King of Abyssinia, had been 
laid before the Marquess Wellesley, who being 
desirous of having it translated, Mr* Salt sug- 
gested that the Rev. Alexander Murray, the 
learned editor of Bruce's work, should be em- 
ployed on the occasion, when the following 



official letter was in consequence addressed to 
that gentleman by C. C. Smith, Esq. 


'< Foreign Office, Dawning Street, 
March lat, 1811. 

The Marquess Wellesley being desirous of 
obtaining a translation of a letter written in the 
Ethiopic language, and addressed to his Majesty 
by the King of Abyssinia, and having been in- 
formed of your knowledge of that language, has 
directed me to transmit the copy of that letter 
to you, and I am to convey his lordship's request 
that you will be pleased to furnish him with the 
desired translation as soon as your convenience 
ty permit. 

have the honour to be, sir, 

" Your obedient humble servant. 

Culling Charles Smith." 

' P.S. I beg to observe, that Marquess WeU 
Bsley has taken the liberty of referring the 
to you at the suggestion of Mr. Salt, 
has been the bearer of the letter from 
SUtyssinia. C. C. S." 

* Hev. Alexander Muiray," 

In consequence of the above application. 

Mc. saiCr in- & iOart dme after, t€&gi>c i l tke 
jbilawimr .tfifiw &mL Xc Mdoxv, vUck kd to 
a eornfttpunifenffa^ KtweoL tbem, wUck I sludl 
inaert <xca«matW m. t&e- Bsoratzve of &e Efie. 


id Urr. Mvck L2lK 1811. 

^ I bare tins daj tratsmittcd to tlie Secretary 
of States Office the copr of the letter which joo 
broug^ from Ras Wdda Selasse, of Tigre, for 
his )IajestT, and I hare accompanied it with the 
translation requested by the Marquess Welles- 
ley at your desire. Besides the thanks which T 
now express to yon for suggesting his lordship's 
application to me, I beg leave to offer them 
additionally for the opportunity which that gives 
me of corresponding with you on a very inter- 
esting subject. 

** I was employed by Mr. Constable in 1802, 
soon after I left the college, to edit the travels 
of your predecessor in the dangerous task of 
entering Abyssinia. Of course, I had to read 
Mr. Bruce's papers and MSS. which consumed 
much of my time, for I understood the Geez 
very imperfectly when I undertook that labour. 




•You will observe by the second edition of his 
work, that I at length gained a considerable 
knowledge of the Geez, and a smattering of the 
Amharic. With care and attention, I could 
■ite on any subject in the Geez, and, if you 
ive leisure to study it, you will find that it 
is a much more perspicuous dialect than the 
Arabic, for the vowels are expressed in the 
alphabet, the senses of the words are better 
fixed, and the ambiguities of expression and of 
the characters, which occur in Arabic writing, 
are much less frequent in Geez, 1 may add, 
that Ludolfs dictionaries and grammars of the 
Ithiopic, or Geez, and of the Amharic, are 
larly sufficient to clear up all difficulties in the 
words of any Geez MS. and to introduce the 
study of the Amharic. The pronunciation of 
Arabic is as difficult as of Ethiopic. 
W " While engaged in tracing the lively story of 
■Bruce's adventures in Habbesh, I gained such a 
knowledge of the history of the country, and of 
the people, as has ever since made me extremely 
anxious to get information respecting the pre- 
sent state of that kingdom. I am sorry to learn 
fi'om Lord Valentia's and your travels, that the 
province of Tigre is separated from the rest of 
the country, for the reasons which have been too 



znmnmoL il Hathefsh Ilie worst of it too is, 
lauc ;ainD£i& liie Gorcnxv of Tigre may be able 
» mskf A kizur ai Goodai-y be cannot support 
loiL ili£». The Galla bare for forty years bad 

a fresz atoL ci 7r^rrwwv> at coorty and tbe efiects 
v£ zitsr fWLT are ixijcrkHis to all ciTilization. It 
frres n^ jvexsjiTt lo see tbat tbe son of Keefla 
Yi.d:«» TTtt^T^Tj^a. bimself in Tigre, wbicb be 
msT kcu: oo if coonte&anced by Britain. As 
ilif Naxl^ 25 mere]T a nominal officer of tbe 
Poffif . Tocjd it not be easy to obtain tbe resig- 
rrarioD of Masoab at Constantinople^ tbat Welda 
Sel&5se mixrbi complain no longer of being com- 
ple:c> $urT>oiinded by Gentiles. Peace might 
pivkl>&biy he brongbt about between tbe Go- 
Ternor of Tigre and tbe Governor of Begemder 
and Ambara: so tbat a Britisb envoy might 
n?^ch Gondar. 

•• As Abyssinia is justly regarded by our na- 
tion as a Christian country, it deserves our 
attention on tbat account. Tbe bigotry of the 
Mahometans is intolerable. The Abyssinians 
are also bigoted adherents of tbe Greek Church. 
But, beyond the recommendation of the Scrip- 
tures, I am certain we ought not to interfere 
with their religion. The Jesuits lost all foot- 
ing in that country by endeavouring to set their 


diurch above the throne and the old religion. 
Every prudent attempt to increase the know- 
ledge and civilization of the people of Habbesh 
would, I believe, be so far successful. Every 
attempt to innovate in religion will be accom- 
panied with the greatest danger. The Abuna is 
a mere ignorant instrument. The ecclesiastics 
of importance are the Itcheque and Acab Saat ; 
the one is the King's official confessor, the other 
is the prior, or superior of the monks. All 
these people, who go by the name of monks, 
hermits, &c. are a most ignorant clasd of sa- 
vages, as turbulent as they are numerous. It 
appears from the letter, that Welda Selasse 
differs from the court in their opinion about the 
nativity of Christ. I know not what he means 
about the three nativities. Possibly they con- 
sider the descent of the Spirit on our Saviour at 
his baptism as a nativity. He is as orthodox as 
we are ; but it is an old Abyssinian practice to 
differ in faith from enemies. It is certain, that 
every governor endeavours to gain a party 
among the monks, who are divided into two 
fierce, irreconcilable sects. Your residence in 
Abyssinia must, I suppose, have convinced you 
that these religious disputes are quite absurd 
and ruinous. 

R 2 

2ft« Tsa LiFK or 

"^ Yia jarve miie inHTi^fnl xrvice to ancient 
jjsnrj W nscsivQcnjr c&e Greek inscription, and 
ly iifscaimir ::^ nmu wtaek icmam at Axome. 
Y'-icyt ^ ^31^ .mtrmic seoc of &e Abyssinian 
fjo^vsrxnnsBz. Boc ail di& kistorr of thai coon- 
-^^ x-im. ^3t^ rme of tae PtoieBies doim to the 
lairsftsin. jyncrnr> is lusc, and can nerer be 

zzv^'tSiS!^ mil ixiia^ixaraei^ can coUcct. 

-* T^ iri^isiinca ot cravelLefs in Abyssinia 
Txnaz 3e .^Hfoiifti zo tbe ksu>rT of the Agows, 
FiififiOiL joti GaZii. tac paztnLLarh* to the Ian- 

Tnottifr^ ct tiE&e Skangalla. These 
e rwTTifcrg^f of tibe Nesro Nubians. 

yiz. Brxce L& fc^^^cz«d no specimen of their 
Li,r,gTagg> Bc7« if h cooM be made appear 
tL&c tre Sr,ir.gth'a en the north-we^^ of Hab- 
be^^ and tbe crTc^es aloc^ the Bahar el Abrad, 
new ton»d into the momitains by the Arabs, are 
allied to the Feelahs and Mandingoes on the 
western side of Africa, this would settle an 
important fact in African History. 

" I shall be happy to learn from you, if proper 
or convenient, whether you have any thoughts of 
returning to Tigre ? If you have not turned 
your attention to the languages, or if you intend 
to do so, and think that I can be of any use to 


you in such matters^ you may reckon upon my 
readiness to promote your views. I do not 
pretend to much skill in a language which is so 
remote from European reach and practice ; but 
you may rest assured that we could safely write 
ally letters or papers in the Geez^ which you 
might think proper to take along with you. If 
you were master of it, you might easily get at 
the Amharic and all the other Abyssinian dia- 
lects, for you could write down your mind in 
Geez and get it turned into them by any scribe 
acquainted with these dialects. All Abyssinian 
scribes understand Geez. Few of them know 
Arabic so well as might be expected. 

^ Mr. Constable has informed me that you 
have some thoughts of visiting Scotland. It 
will give me high pleasure to see you at the 
Manse (parsonage house) of Urr, and to give 
you the welcome of Salomg lek SalamS Egzein 
gahalec lek. The parish of which I am clergy- 
man is about thirteen miles north-west from 
Dumfries, and on the road from Carlisle by 
Dumfries to Portpatrick, and thence to Ireland. 

" If you were with me, voice to voice (kal 
bek&l) I would trouble you with many a ques- 
tion ; as. Who is GuSguSsa's, or Gusho's hete- 
rodox king ? — What became of Tecla Haim&- 

l4^ ^22. l^JE 0€ 

lo.z * — '^ JI2K j» GtrzH * — ^Wli* now gorerns 

Ajiiiin inii B^ftp^THitT ! — Is Welda Selasse 
i^iiL^k ' £x le Ticimf. seo^Ue, and goodJook- 
n2:r -■ — Liii jr:a ieor izTTirig of die end of Ras 
y-fMiri, :r acw je z<:c oia of Wnndu BSwre- 
3«iz.'? JLiiuis ! I nnit*r ddnk tkat die ** Gveikff 
It >L*. EcTice nmsv hi&Te died some ume ago of 
3ier± cui i£e. 

" Be pueoaec ra let xne hear firom you, if coo- 
Tenien^ x^d btrlie^e nie lo be, 

-^ Wiri the ^reatesi respect and sincerity^ 
"* Yccr nio6t obedient humble servant, 

•• AiFT^xDER Murray,'* 

* ri.-rr ^i.l. r-a«j- 



"^ London, March 26th, 1811. 

" Dear Sir, 
" Owing to the negligence of the porter of 
the Foreign Office, I did not get your letter 
until Saturday. Its receipt gave me great 
pleasure, as I have for some time back been 
anxious to become acquainted with a gentleman 
who has dedicated so large a portion of his time 
to Ethiopic literature. It has been strongly 
impressed on my mind, from the moment I read 


your very sensible annotations on Bruce^ that it 
might be of importance to the elucidation of 
Abyssinian history and manners^ if the know- 
ledjge which I have acquired by living among 
them could be benefited by the intimate ac- 
quaintance you possess of their literature and 
language^ and with this view I took the earliest 
opportunity of^ in a manner, soliciting your 
acquaintance by the mention which I made of 
you to the Marquess Wellesley. 

'' From your letter, and the very strong and 
feeling manner in which Mr. Constable spoke of 
you> I am induced to hope that I shall find in 
you not only an auxiliary in the pursuits which 
so much interest me, but also a friend to whom 
I may as safely impart, as I shall be happy to 
receive from you, an open and confidential ex- 
pression of my sentiments. 

*' This, however, would be more agreeable to 
both parties, could we, in the first instance, form 
a personal acquaintance. If, therefore, your 
pursuits are such as to render it convenient for 
you to give me a visit in town, which would 
affi>rd me much pleasure, I shall certainly make 
it a {>oint to pay an early visit to Scotland. 
For a few months this will not be in my power, 
as it is necessary for me previously to arrange 

i248 THE UFE OF 

my afiairs in London ; but, by the month of June 
or July I hope to be at liberty, when, with the 
confidence of a firiend, I shall acc^t, for a short 
time, your invitation to Urr. I shall be able to 
bring with me two or three Ethiopic mano^ 
scripts and a copy of Lord Valentia's *^ Travels/ 
when we shall be able to talk over at leisure the 
affiurs of Habbesh. Until then I forbear to enter 
into a particular reply to your letter :* to answer 
it properly would afford ample matter for a 


** Believe me, dear sir, 
^^ Your very obliged humble servant, 

" H. Salt." 

^ P.S. I have just received a copy of your 
' translation of the Ras s letter. As I hope you 
have reserved a copy of the Ethiopic, I venture 
to mention two or three points, which I am led 
to think you have, from npt before knowing the 
tenor of the letter, in some degree mistaken ; 
but, as I do not understand the language, this is 
only conjecture on my part ; it is, however, of 
the utmost consequence to me, and therefore I 
will thank you to revise it. The following is 
the memorandum I made of its contents when 
the letter was read to me through the interpre- 
tation of Mr. Pearce. 


*' In it he (the Ras) acknowledges the pre- 
sents as received in trust for the king — ex- 
presses his obligations to his Majesty for think- 
ing of the Christians in so renfote a country — 
gives the reason of my (Henry Salt) not going 
to Gondar, owing to his war with Guxo (or 
Gueguesa) of Gojam^'' (who has at present 
much influence at Gondar,) '^ but that^ by the 
grace of God, he will march there as soon as 
the rain be over, as with the guns so sent by his 
Majesty, he should be sure of victory — that 
surrounded as he was by Gentiles, he wished a 
ship should be stationed in the Red Sea to keep 
up a communication with his people and ours. — 
To this he adds the account of his faith, two 
nativities as opposed to three, then makes men- 
tion of Pearce — and lastly of a wish for a new 

'' Any communication you make to me on 
this subject will, of course, be private; but I 
have to mention it is probable that an appli- 
cation may, after some interval of time, be 
made from the Foreign Office on the subject. 
I will thank you to let me hear from you as 
soon as convenient 

^' Believe me to be most truly yours, 

" H. Salt." 

•* Rev. Alex. Murray." 

Ol i3tf Tifficcc «c lar above, Sir. Mmray 
kiiik:f?£ «v^9' if& cficy af tke origfinal Ethi- 
:c6r jfc^ar. cnf carceLZr leviKd tbe tnndatioii 
cc =3 j^r^rrjw^ ^m^^^ W kad pmioaslT sent to 
1^ Fx^^ri Oq:«: fact be fMmd, after the 
XTjTtissz eTk-Lttw iMB^ tbss be bad only one ix 

twr idz^z alcex^rc* to sQ;2;gest. These, how- 
ever, af vfH ^ seffi br tbe foOowiog letter from 
Mr. MsmT. prored of socne importance to Mr. 
Salt i^ Lis cosssmsicatioiis with the ministry. 
As the lacgT:^^ in which tbe original lettff 
. fitxn tbe Has is written, is so little known in 
England, I abstain from giring a copy of it, 
and shall content myself with merely laying the 
translation before the reader. It is, perhaps^ 
as Mr. Murrav observes, of too literal a nature 
for publication, though on many accounts it 
appears to me to be a document of too curious 
and interesting a nature to be wholly omitted. 


Manse of Urr, April 9th, 1811. 

'* Dear Sir, 

" My indifferent state of healthy which has 

continued last winter, and of late has not been 

improved by the cold spring which we have here, 

has prevented me from answering your letter 


dated March 26th ult. But I now proceed to 
thank you for the good opinion which you ex- 
press of my acquisitions in Oriental literature ; 
which^ though they are certainly very slender, 
liave obtained as much credit and praise as they 
deserve, partly from the kindness of friends, and 
partly because they belong to an unusual line 
of study. Whatever they are, they are entirely 
at your service, at all times ; nor do I entertain 
the slightest doubt that your experience and 
knowledge gained in Habbesh would throw ma- 
terial Ught on numerous points connected with 
the history of that country which no skill in the 
language can elucidate. I regret that we had 
not been acquainted with one another before 
you set out, as I think that in a short time you 
could have mustered as much of the Geez, or 
language of books, as . would have enabled you 
to read, and your residence in Tigre would have 
completed the colloquial part, as the exact pro- 
nunciation cannot be got in Britain. I trust, 
however, that the Government will continue the 
intercourse with Abyssinia, and that you may 
have occasion to return in a short time to that 
country. I am certain that the language must, 
in that event, be of the utmost service to you. 
If you can bear a little drudgery at first, you 


w^ SMIL cs% Mad of h* Cor ihe Geei, that is to 

9T. ;aif oiuees n wUch all the Ahyssinian boob 

MSiL jfces aze vrinen, is exceedingly well col- 

jarsat iL LdoocTs dktioiiaiy; and his intro- 

.mir^ML iz I2e Aokaric, or modem Abyssinian, 

3$ ifcTTrrnajg, ooBsadering his scanty materials* 

Oc zzasi ciject I got a smattering from hb 

vorkf^ aai »^ I had Mr. Brace's Ethiopic MSS. 

to read, vhkh Lndolf neTer saw, I was asto« 

nished ai the grammatical talents of a man 

whose opportmihies w&e so Tery limited. When 

I hare the happiness of seeing yon in Scotland, 

to whidi I look with great satisfaction, I shall 

then venture to discoss with you many topics of 

a similar kind, at full length, which cannot enter 

the limits of thb Dutch epistle. 

*^ I hare chosen this large sheet for the pur- 
pose of considering the Ras's letter, in which 
you apprehend that I had misunderstood some 
passages from want of previous acquaintance 
with the history of the embassy. When it came 
to my hands, I found some diflScuIties on that 
account ; but as the language is remarkably 
plain and good, I think that I have erred only 
in one particular, which respects the ship. But 
for your perfect satisfaction, I here insert the 
whole letter with the literal English of each 


word. The translation is of course stiffs and 
approaching to the unintelligible; but I am 
persuaded that you will rather wish to see it as 
it is, than to take a loose account of it. 

^* Translation. 

' The cross and the name Ai-ya-su-se. Jesus. 

* Peace to thee, and the peace of the Lord be 
with thee O king the. Third George, glorious in 
the Lord. & their shepherd to Christians in faith 
and in works just — their shepherd of the people 
of India minor Kings?' (viz. shepherd of the 
inferior Kings of India.) '' And came thy ser- 
vant Hinorai Sawelt to me : : and he brought to 
me all that thou hast given me : whatever thou 
hast graciously bestowed : for all that thou hast 
done, to me : : on Earth thou hast given, and in 
Heaven it shall be requited to thee. We return 
to the first matter : : Hinoria Sawelt went not 
to the King for there is not a King orthodox in 
the faith. And I have carried on war: with 
him who ^^mgrees with [^from'\ us in the faith, 
who is called Gueguesa [Guxo] : And he has 
made a King who is not orthodox in the faith — 
And for that I have carried on war I and what will 
be to the spirit of thee sending to me is the 
order of the church Christian : : And what will 
be to the flesh, or body, of thee sending : to 


me if liiHt I hart got ticIxbt : [or, / wiB gd 
mctiini, irfaicli k t^ best Knaej over bim mj 
eoenrr: uid mr adrerfinies: mini are called 
^Liicef and knrres and ardUerT:: and the deed 
c^ uitse wiiich than iiast done : to me : the grate- 
icl cofiisideraiiaii : of hit sool : it is : For be- 
fore mt vas [if' Heathen and behind me was [is] 
heathen : On wj right and on my left was [is] 
heathen : : and I in the middle of them all 
heaihen^. and all that is on the shore of the sea 
beaihen it is _= ~ wherflbre [or if] thou hast 
stationed : [or thou skaU station :] to me, of 
thine- a-ship on the sea, good that [that is light] 
for my messenger and for thy messenger that 
they may meet : Toice to wkce And my faith 
is as the faith of thee it is : my faith is thai I 
affirm there are to the Son two nativities — a 
Nativity from the Father firom before Time and 
a Nativity from the Virgin in latter days: 
this is what / maintain : : and the doctrine of 
the faith is written in the Scripture — and Na- 
thaniel Pese thy servant is with me in peace — 
We return to the beginning of the matter, to 
my faith — deserter they call me but I have not 
deserted my faith — and they say all of them be 
as wo and own three Nativities, and the matter 
of the Abufia, as much as | you it can, make 


him come to mc : and send him to me^ at me 

or here : For age^of age Amen. 




'' The above is a most literal translation of 
the whole letter ; indeed^ too literal for public 
use. The only passages in it that appear doubt- 
ful to me are where he says that he has got a 
victory, or that he will get a victory. I used 
the former sense in the translation sent to the 
Foreign Office ; but I am inclined to think that 
the future is the proper sense of the word, which 
is also more agreeable to your notes. You may 
probably think that the words, * what are 
called lances and knives and artillery/ ought to 
be joined to the preceding sentence, as instru- 
ments of future victory; but I cannot confirm 
this, for the Abyssinian idiom does not permit 
it^ as the sentence stands. Yet, after all, the 
meaning may be that he shall conquer his enemy 
and adversaries with what is called* (the word is 
is not are) * lances and knives and artillery. 
The other passage regards the ship. I trans- 
lated it, ' wherefore that thou hast made one of 
thy ships to be stationed.' The ambiguity lies 
in the preterite tense, which the Abyssinians 

wimscmiB UK JB a f^isvne. I now tidok it dioiild 

M SBTffiaaffC, * if liiDB Aielr asdob one of thj 
uiiw ixr mt m. lane sei, tktt v31 he good w 
r^rnc Tiese £rt lake oair paims in die letter 

~ Ai u t^ Batf '» ♦**— '^"»**g oar King fior 
TJTTT'CTTig <£ uie Ckfisniss of so remote a coan- 
trr. i^ksi ii IKS DectXHxd ; nor is it, I fear, in 
czi»Q vidi t^ Abrsanian opimoo, thoogli it be 
tTK in lAct. As to the holding the presents for 
the Kin^. which roar firiaids of the Treasuiy 
oar perhaps think an ohject of importance, 
nothing is said ; indeed, nothing could be said. 
The Ras is at open war with the King of Abys- 
sinia, who is for the most part a mere pageant, 
and at present is a person raised to that rank by 
Gueguesa (Guxo) of Gojam. If our court wish 
to succeed, it must consider the Governor of the 
province of Tigre as the king of that part of the 
country. If supported by Britain, he may soon 
regulate the interior, and make a King of his 
own, as well as an Abuna. Such is the ordinary 
custom of Habbesh. I have given you this mi- 
nute view of the letter, that you may rectify any 
misapprehension of the Treasury respecting your 
mission. Presents to Welda Selasse will open 
his province, and probably fix his ascendant. 


Presents given to the King^ such a King as is at 
present in Habbesh, would be absolutely thrown 
away. If the Foreign Office apply to me, I 
shall be ready to clear up the mistaken passage 
respecting the ship. Jhe sentence was obscure 
to me, and on consideration, I think now that it 
signifies a positive wish to have the communica- 
tion kept up by stationing a ship on the coast. 
The whole language of the letter shows that the 
Ras is very desirous to hold intercourse with his 
Majesty, and to be thankful for his bounty. He 
dwells on the article of his religion, and evidently 
wbhes to stand high in his Majesty's estimation. 
I shall be exceedingly sorry if your friends in 
the ministry either blame you, or be discouraged 
at the present state of Abyssinian intercourse. 
If they had the same opinion of that country 
wUch its history leads me to form, they would 
view matters in a different light. It would be 
creditable to Britain if Habbesh could be made 
a power of some ponsequence, and put in posses- 
rion of the coast, in opposition to the Mahome- 
tan Arabs and other tribes of a bad description. 

*' You may rely on an open and confidential 
expression of my sentiments on any subject on 
which you may be pleased to correspond with 
me. If at all practicable for you, your journey 

VOL. I. s 


down to Scotland in smnmer will give me the 
greatest satisfaction. I cannot go up to tawiky 
as a Scotuh parson is obliged to reside, and par- 
ticularlT in the smnmer season. I have some 
friesdi; Lercu i^iio will be happy to see the Abys- 
siziisn traveUer. Be so kind as to let me know 
wbesD tiiif female reaches you^ and if it satisfies 
Tour oncd as to the doubtful points ; and belieTC 
me to be, dear sir. 

•' Yours most truly, 

Alex. Murray." 

" To Hpnrr Sali. Esq." 


* LoodoD, April 34th, 1811. 

'*Mt dear Sir^ 
" I have to thank you for your very obliging 
letter dated April the 9th, which in every re- 
spect was most satisfactory to me, I should 
have acknowledged it sooner had I not wished 
previously to see Mr. Cullen Smith, the Under 
Hocrotary, through whom all my business is 
tranNactod with Government on the subject. I 
UiIh (lay had an appointment with him^ when I 
took tho liberty, as I conceived myself autho- 
rliitnl by an expression therein contained, to give 


him a private perusal of your letter. He was, 
as I expected he would be, much struck with 
the important matter it contains relative to my 
mission, and he most particularly pointed out 
how very desirable it was that it should be deli- 
▼ered in as a public document, explanatory of 
my proceedings, as he had no doubt that, coming 
from you, it would be much attended to by his 
Majesty's ministers. 

To this I could not without your sanction 
agree ; however, I was by his solicitation at 
length induced to consent that it might be sub- 
mitted to Lord Wellesley's perusal as a private 
letter, and have farther engaged to address you 
on the subject, to request your sanction to its 
being left in the office. Upon a mature consi- 
deration, I trust you will see no objection to 
this ; it will not only prove, I am sure, of great 
importance to my concerns, but I trust to the 
public interest, as it will be likely to draw the 
attention of Marquess Wellesley to a future in- 
tercoarse with Abyssinia, a circumstance which 
I feel would be highly agreeable to you as well 
is to myself. I hope you will give the matter 
yotir consideration, and be kind enough to let 
me have a favourable answer. 

" I should extend my letter, but that I am 

s 2 

Hexxt Salt.' 



^ 1 rsasT^ ivnr Jtsuw ditad April the S4th 
iLC s cac:% -aS fUA, aid Aoald hare replied 
^ z IcKre iL^ lae. ud 1 not been on the 
jccBS cfi ieizs^ tKi OB A joonie J to Kinnurd, 
cbf iesa c? tbe Ixse Mx. Brace, from which I now 
vrhe to TOO. Where I at present sit there is 
one of the finest coUecticMis of Abyssinian and 
Aiabic MSS. that hare erer been put together ; 
indeed, I am certain that so much Oriental lite- 
ratnre of that kind does not exist elsewhere in 
Europe. My head is so full of what I have been 
reading about Yasous Tallac, Yasous Tannash^ 


Has Michael^ Joas^ and other Abyssiniaus^ all 
described in their native tongue^ that it is pro- 
bable you will perceive some confusion in this 
epistle, a case not uncommon in literary corre- 
spondence. I wish you were beside me to take a 
look of your predecessor's most valuable collec- 
tion, and to see how easy it is, with such aids, 
to acquire the language of Habbesh. 

'* I have but one word to say as to the request 
contained in your letter : — Make any use, public 
or private, of the letter which I wrote to you, 
according to your pleasure, except such matters 
85 relate to our personal correspondence. Every 
syllable that it comprehends would have been 
addressed to the Marquess Wellesley himself, 
had he, for any reason whatever, done me the 
honour of referring to me on the subject. I 
tlunk that I committed a slight, but, considering 
the ambiguity of a very foreign language, a 
natural mistake in the article respecting the 
drip. The Ras speaks in the future, not in the 
preterite tense, though^ according to an idiom of 
tlie language, since discovered by me in Ludolf, 
the preterite tense be written. He evidently 
'Irishes to keep up a communication with the 
English. The language of his letter to the 


King throughout shows his desire that we shouj 
second his inclinations. 

" I had seen Lord Valentia's ' Travels' 
merly, but had not read them with care, 
have, since I came to Edinburgh, and within 
these few days, read them with attention. I see 
with much pleasure the large addition which 
you have made to our knowledge of the province 
and antiquities of Tigre, and particularly with 
regard to Axum. Your drawings are not only 
beautiful but correct. You are right in callinj 
those to be found in the second edition 
' Bruce's Travels' fanciful, but the fault 1^ 
not with Mr. Bruce, but with ourselves, 
sketches of Balugani were not coloured,* 
considerable liberties were taken in engravir 

" The language of Lord Valentia's ' Travelsj, 
with respect to Mr. Bruce, is, 1 think, a grei 
deal too like what occurs in books written by* 
new adventurers in discovery. He gives Bruce 
in many places the lie direct, and uses terms far 
too broad, even if they had been sanctioned by 
an absolute certainty of that traveller's false- 

* Perhaps Mr. Murray meang, that they were aimple out- 
lines wilhout light and shaduw, olhcrH-ise I do not exactly 
underetaiid the sense oChig observation,— E. 


hood.* I wish I had you here to receive an 
adequate idea from the books and papers now 
lying around me^ of the great merits of that bold^ 
but not infallible visiter of Abyssinia : observe^ 
at the same time^ that I, though the editor of 
hu works^ account myself in no respect obliged 
to defend him^ or any man, in their wilful or 
aeeidental errors. I wish merely that the real 
merits of his labours should be known and made 
certain. I came to this place yesterday for two 
purposes : one is^ to make a descriptive account 
of all the Oriental MSS. and books in this 
library^ for the use of Mrs. Bruce^ and those to 
whom she may wish to show it. The other is, 

* 1 confess, when I read this and some other passages 
relating to his lordship, which occur in the course of this 
.oorrespondencey I felt induced, from the consideration that 
Lord Valentia was not the subject of the present wcvk, as 
mil as from personal feelings of regard, to have suppressed 
any observations that might tend to excite painful and un- 
necessary feelings ; but I owe it to his lordship to declare, 
that on my mentioning the circumstances to him, he insisted 
OD my not omitting a single passage in which his name was 
called in question, and I have religiously adhered to hjs 
instructions. Aflcr all, Mr. Murray should have recollected 
that Mr. Bruce himself is by no means faultless in these 
respects, as he frequently uses very broad language when 
qpeaking of his predecessors, and in more than one instance 
gives them the lie direct. 


to reperuse for a short time the original papers 
of Mr. Bruce's * Travek/ in order to correct 
any errors, or confirm any points to be finmd in 
my editfon of his work. You may believe mt, 
that, for the good of mankind, and of Afirica in 
particular, it is my sincere wish that the know- 
ledge of Abyssinian literature may be promoted. 
If this collection belonged to the public, Britain 
would have it in her power to learn the lan- 
guage and history of Habbesh at home, and to 
qualify persons travelling there, without depend- 
ing on Mahometan interpreters. Geez may be 
perfectly learned here. The Amharic may be 
acquired to an useful, but not full extent, — I 
mean the knowledge of writing, not of speaking, 
Tigr6 and Amharic. 

*' A new edition of * Bruce's Travels' is to go 
to press in a few months. Everything in which 
I can be of the smallest service to you, in your 
studies, or other views, you may always com- 
mand. If you think proper to write to me 
here, where I shall be for eight days, direct 
to * The Rev. A. Murray, Kinnaird House, &c.' 
I observe in Valentia*s 'Travels,* that you 
speak Arabic. Have you mastered the Geez 
alphabet, or have you got hold of ' Ludolfs Dic- 
tionary ?' The only complete copy of that book 


which I haye ever seen, belonged to Mr. Bruce. 
It contains the Ethiopic and Amharic dictiona- 
ries and grammars, all in one volume. Observe^ 
that the edition of Wansleb, in England^ is use- 
less, and very common ; the other is rare. If 
jou have any occasional correspondence with 
Mr. Cullen Smith, or with the Marquess Wel- 
ledey, express to them my readiness to serve 
them as far as my abilities go, in what regards 
any future mission to Africa. 

'^ I am most respectfully and sincerely 

Alexander Murray.'' 

^ To Henrj Salt, Esq." 



Srii nits bk Fiilia- aid other Relatives in lichfiekL- 
RcDcvs his •oyiamtance with the Rev. Dr. Wodehoiue. 
—The Author's Msit to Salt at Lichfield. — ^Introductioii 
to hi» Father. — Peculiarities of that Gentlemaiu — Ram- 
bles of die Author and Salt dorii^ thrir sojourn at Lidh 
fiehL — A bojish Feat. — Return to London^ — Renewal of 
Correspondence with Mr. Murray on the subject of 

Here this interestiDg ocMrespondence was in- 
terrupted for some mmiths. In the mean while 
Mr. Salt was employed in arranging his private 
affidrs^ and in settling with Mr. Jacob, from 
whom he had all along received many marks of 
kindness and friendship. No sooner, however, 
were these matters placed on a satisfactory foot- 
ing than Mr. Salt proceeded to Lichfield on a 
visit to his father and other relatives, resident 
in that city, where he was received with pride 
and affection by his family and by many valued 
friends. Among others, he renewed his ac- 
quaintance with the Rev. Dr. Wodehouse, the 


venerable Dean of Lichfield, in whose society, 
and in that of his amiable and accomplished 
daughter, he spent many agreeable and pro- 
fitable hours. 

It was on one of these occasions that the 
dean mentioned to Mr. Salt his intention of pre- 
senting a painted glass window to the cathedral 
of the place, and he requested him to recom- 
mend some artist of his acquaintance, whom he 
considered competent to make the designs. 
Mr. Salt having named me as a person well 
qualified for the undertaking, the dean imme- 
diately gave his consent to my being employed, 
and I was in consequence shortly sent for to 
receive the necessary instructions. 

On my arrival at Lichfield, Mr. Salt intro- 
duced me to his sister Mrs. Morgan, and her hus- 
band, who hospitably insisted on my taking up 
my quarters at their house during my residence 
in the city. He shortly afterwards took me to 
visit his father, whom, from all the accounts 
I had previously heard of him, I had a great 
curiosity to see, and this our first meeting by 
no means disappointed my expectations. We 
found him walking in his garden, and, as we 
approached. Salt said to him — *' I beg, sir, to 
introduce to you my intimate friend Mr. Halls." 


Nr> TCfiw hSkmri 1^ obserfation, which, I 

cncaehvd, Ik did not hear, had it 
waftaiy glanee, in which he 
rr mw whole person. His eje, 
r^ ^patkij vtvetttd to its fonner station 
«■ Qfef cnmd : faoK, as he adranced towards us, 
he ■mtered to hauclf — ** Yes, that 's a true 
Ual^ : 1 j^onkl hare known him anywhere for 
one ot the funilr br the lines in his fiice;"— 
then stzecdun? fcrth his hand, he shook mine 
heartilT, exclaiming ^ Praj^ sir, how do ^u do? 
I am most happr to see too at Lichfield.* In 
penon, and in some pcnnts of character, alwajs 
excepting his hahitoal parsimony, he bore some 
resemblance to his son, though apparently cast 
by nature in a &r more mgged mould. 

After a short conrn^ation we were taking 
our leave, when Salt obserred that he should 
soon bring me again to dine with him. ''No, 
no. Master Henry," he replied, '' that will never 
do; I prepared an excellent dinner for your 
friend yesterday, and it was his own fault if he 
did not choose to come in time to partake of it.* 
— '' But, sir, the mail was full, and Mr. Halls 
could not get a place till last night.** — ''Very 
well, I can only say, he lost a good fillet of veal 
and some fine mackerel> which I had provided 


for him, and I am not going to be served so 
again/' — a resolution to which he most perti- 
naciously adhered during the remainder of my 
stay, to the no small annoyance of his son. He, 
however, called upon me at his son-in-law's the 
next morning, was exceedingly civil, and amused 
m^ greatly for nearly an hour by the humorous 
and very original turn of his conversation. 

On rising to take his leave, he shook hands 
with me, again congratulated me on my arrival, 
told me he thought '' he had given me enough 
for one morning," but studiously avoided touch- 
ing on the perilous subject of ^'dinner." The 
next morning he called upon me at the same 
hour, and this practice he repeated regularly 
every day till my departure ; but still no hint of 
a dinner, though he afterwards told his son that 
he saw I had a turn for humour, and that he 
had taken a great liking to me. In fact, I be- 
lieve he was heartily glad to see me as an inti- 
mate friend of his son's, but the business of life 
was nearly over with him, and the world seemed 
rapidly &ding from his view. He lived alone, 
in a ^mall house, with his housekeeper only, and 
had really put bim3elf, as I was informed, so 
unusually ou^ of his way to provide an enter- 
tainment for me on the expected day of my 


izTTTil. and Witt to much vexed at my disap- 

pomtinsr bim. that he could not bring himself to 

aneaapc a second trial. 

Aiier risiting his fiither, Mr. Salt took me to 
vah upon the dean, who received me with much 
cwr»$T, and indeed, during the whole of my 
nMMeoce in the place, greatly contributed to my 
comfon and enjoyment by the friendliness and 
ha$pitaiitT of his conduct. He entered with 
interest and clearness into the subject of my 
visits and gave me many hints, of which I after* 
wards availed myself in the progress of the 
work which he then entrusted me to execute. I 
have recently learned with pleasure that this 
learned and excellent man still survives, and is 
in the enjoyment of his health and &culties, 
though now at a very advanced stage of exist- 
ence. I know not whether his valuable life may 
be prolonged till these pages are before the pub« 
lie, but, should they ever meet his eye, I own 
it would gratify me to learn that he had perused 
this assurance of my grateful remembrance of 
his past attention and favour.^ 

During my stay at Lichfield the weather 
proved delightful, and Salt and I took many 

* I have learned with regret that this exceUent man 
died only a few weeks back.^— E. 


rambles together about the city and its environs ; 
— we visited all the haunts of his childhood. 
From the thickets and hedgerows where he 
despoiled the bird of its nest, to the pool whence 
with mingled sensations of childish curiosity and 
alarm, he dragged the struggling frog, or the 
curling newt triumphantly to the shore. Then 
he led me to his favourite churchyard, in the 
vicinity of the city; pointed out to me the grave- 
stones with their inscriptions which had most 
attracted his youthful fancy, and occasionally 
related the past history of their silent inmates. 
One tomb in particular he made me notice, on 
which, when a boy, he used to lie stretched for 
hours in lonely contemplation ; and it is indeed 
probable, that from these early associations arose 
the habitual feelings of respect and melancholy 
which I have uniformly seen him evince in after 
li&, when wandering among the graves of a 
country churchyard, with which even he had 
been previously unacquainted. 

From the nature of my occupation at Lich- 
field, we necessarily spent a good deal of time in 
the elegant and beautiful Cathedral which forms 
the leading ornament of the city, and Salt, as a 
native of the place, was exceedingly proud of 
the &bric, and took infinite pleasure in pointing 


our every paracalar that was likely to prove 
mteresdng to a straogCT — Ik dwelt with en- 
thmriaean on tile andquity of the boilding, the 
interesciibc nature of its moDimients. and the 
exqoLHte finLih which dbtiiigiushes many por- 
tioiL» of the scmctnre, and, I really believe, would 
have sooner pardoned a personal injury than a 
word spoken in its di^nragement. Among other 
things he pointed oat to me what appeared a 
narrow and totally uHffnUcUd ridge, at least, 
I should conjecture, one hundred and twenty 
feet abore the paTement of the cathedral, along 
which he used firequently, in his boyish days, to 

walk with no small d^ree of triumph and seU- 


complacency, feeling pleased with the idea of 
performing a feat which few of his youthful 
associates had the hardihood to imitate. On 
one occasion, however, when in a careless mood, 
he was near repeating the experiment once too 
often, and narrowly escaped from inevitable de- 
struction, through the timely assistance of some 
workmen employed on the spot. 

When he related this adventure to me, while 
witnessing the dreadful height from which he 
might have been precipitated, a sickening sensa- 
tion came over me which I was unable to control ; 
yet it is probable that to these early exploits he 


was indebted for the coolness and self-possession 
which subsequently rescued him from the more 
perilous situation which awaited him at the 
Tower, near Aden. 

The period for my departure having arrived, 
I took leave of my friendly and hospitable hosts, 
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, and in company with 
Salt returned to London. It was his intention 
soon after his arrival in town, to accept Mr. 
Murray's friendly invitation, and to proceed 
without delay to Scotland, but his business with 
the Foreign Office, as appears from the follow- 
ing letter, unfortunately compelled him to re- 
main stationary. 

( , 


*< London, August 1, 1811, 
No. 17, Great Marlborough Street. 

" My DEAR Sir, 
*^ I have from time to time deferred writing to 
you, from an impression that I should be able 
to accomplish my* promised journey to Scotland, 
but at present I fear I shall be compelled to 
abandon it for the season, as I am obliged to 
stay in London to attend the commands of the 
Marquess Wellesley, who has given me to under- 
stand that he will in a short time see me, and 

VOL. I. T 


fall J into the subject of my 
Mt regret is heightened by having 
with a geBtkman, with whom yon are well 
acquainted, Mr. C. Dooglas, who with kind at- 
tention olfered me a third in his chaise to the 
neighbourhood of Urr, an opportunity which I 
dioald hare been peculiarly glad to have ac- 
cepted. As matto^s standi I have taken the 
oonsion to forward you a few Ethiopic mano- 
scripts« which I am anxious to submit to your 
inspection. The best of them, as a specimen of 
elegant writing, is a copy of what I believe to 
be * The Book of Enoch.' It is called by the 
Abvssinians * The Book Yereed.' The other 
four are less curious, but at your leisure you 
may perhaps like to look into them, and your 
opinion of their contents will be exceedingly 
valuable to me. 

" On a close inspection of the stone at Axum, 
on which is the Greek inscription which I gave 
in Lord Valentia's * Travels,' I made out on the 
opposite side, the inclosed characters, which I 
.conceive to be Ethiopic of about the same date 
as the Greek. One line only is entire. I shall 
feel obliged to you to try if you can make any 
sense of it. I also send you a copy of some 
characters, which I conceive to be still more 


antient, and which I discovered among some 
ruins at Abba Arfer, about twelve miles from 
Adowa, which I believe have not been visited 
since the Portuguese were in the country. The 
ruins are well described by Alvarez in his valu- 
able journal, extant in Ramusio and Purchase. 

'^ By the by, have you studied this journal ? 
It 'is, in my opinion, one of the best accounts we 
have from the ' Fathers/ and contains much 
geographical and other original information, re- 
jecting, of course, the part appertaining to the 
contested question of religion. I wish much I 
could have seen you previously to your pub- 
lishing the new edition of ' Bruce.' Pray let me 
know, when at leisure, how far it is advanced. 
There are one or two points to which I should 
like to call your attention, if it would not be 
too late. 

'' Believe me, my dear sir. 

With much sincerity yours, &c. 

Henrt Salt." 

" P.S. The following manuscripts are en- 
trusted to Mr. Douglas." ♦ ♦ * 

** The Rev. Alexander Murray.** 

T 2 



" Manse of Urr, August 29, 18 IL 

'' Dear Sir, 

^' I have just received your valuable parcel 
and letter of date August 1, from Mr. Douglas, 
and must express my regret that you have not 
found it convenient to make me happy by a 
visit to this place. We should have enlivened 
the natural sobriety of a poor but most welcome 
reception in the heart of an unlettered province, 
with many an inquiry, on my part, into the 
objects which have lately attracted your atten- 
tion^ and with a mutual zeal for pursuits that 
cannot be dishonourable to either of us. 

" Since I wrote to you from Kinnaird, I have 
been informed by Mr. Constable that he saw you 
in London. As he has a share in the new edi- 
tion of ' Bruce's Travels/ he would probably 
inform you that it is not yet gone to press. At 
Kinnaird I had a new and short opportunity of 
renewing my acquaintance with the Ethiopia 
MSS. there ; and I am happy to add your name 
to the list of those who have enriched Europe 
with additional works in the Geez language. 
None of your MSS. are found at Kinnaird, ex- 
cept the extracts from the chronicles of Axum, 
which are there in the complete copy of the 
work itself. 



' The early Kings of Abyasinia are, in a 
sense, entirely forgotten, at least their names 
only remain, and these neither correct nor 
genuine. The lists are, however, worth exami- 
nation, as they contain any vestiges of the an- 
tient annals that remain in the country itself. 
I have actually run over them attentively, in 
order to get a note for the third edition of 
' Bruce.' My success has not heen great. Your 
inscription from Axum, and the work of Cosmas 
Indopleustes," are valuable and almost unique 
materials, and had you nothing more on which 
to found your claim to the gratitude of the 
literary public, the monument of the victories of 
Aeizanas and Saiazanas would secure it for you. 
I am sorry that these names do not occur in the 

lative lists, nor am I altogether prepared to 
,opt the hypothesis that these brothers were 

,breha and Atsbeha, though I think it probable 
!y were. My reasons are chiefly chronolo- 

ical. The era of the conversion of Abyssinia 
according to the native Chronicles, a. d. 330. 

' " Your account of the Adulic inscription is, I think, 
every way just, excepting some identifications of plates. It 
is certainly an Abyssinian monument. The Bougaeita are, 
the Bejne. the Tokaens, the Takn of Bruce and others, also 
called Tang»ilae." 




278 TH£ LIF£ OF 

The embassj of the Arrians, and the letter of 
Constantius to these potentates^ are referred to 
A.D. 356. The difference is twenty-six years. 
The native lists say, that Abreha and Atsbdia 
reigned twenty-six years and six months, and 
that Abba Sal&ma (Frumentius) introduced 
Christianity in the thirteenth year of their reign. 
Your inscription shows that Aeizana was a 
pagan, consequently it belongs to thirteen years 
in the beginning of his reign, and the whole 
period of that reign would therefore be thirty* 
nine rather than twenty-six or twenty-seven 
years. Still, your hypothesis in vol. iii. p. 247> 
is tenable^ for it is a fact realized in the case of 
Constantine, the first Christian emperor, that 
the pagan style was preserved in his coins &c. 
almost till his death. I could deduce many 
conclusions of considerable value, some indeed 
highly interesting, from the facts in your inscrip- 
tion, but this is not'the proper place for them, 
and I hope to have a better opportunity. 

'* I have read since I returned from Edin- 
burgh, Viscount Valentia's * Travels,' and, I may 
say, with very particular attention. Your part 
of the work, which I assure you was most inte- 
resting to me, I have absolutely studied. I 
(should not choose to praise it to yourself, were 




I not convinced that the prosecution of your 
travels in Abyssinia would be really the means 
of enlarging our knowledge of the African con- 
tinent, and, I firmly believe, of benefiting the 
country, and the cause of mankind. 

enter very far into the views entertained 
hy the Viscount and yourself respecting the 
advantages of a permanent intercourse with 
Habbesh. The natives are Christians, and in 
much need of intercourse with such a nation as 
the British, which could help to restore know- 
ledge and tranquillity among them, and preserve 
them from falling into perfect barbarism. They 
are by no means a dull or stupid generation. 
For many centuries they have sought, not 
priests, but arts and sciences, from Europe, 
(see Ludolf's Histor. 1. iv. c. 5 ;) and this most 
rational of all requests has been neglected. A 
rery little aid would make Welda Selasse go- 
vernor of the whole country, and dispel the 
armies of wild Galla that have overrun Be- 
gemder and Gojani, not to mention Amhara. 
Though the produce of Habbesh itself be not 
very valuable, the trade from the heart of Africa 
evidently is so ; and from Abyssinia the route 
into the interior is short and direct. Even the 
Galla, who are half naturalised in Abyssinia, 




might be made instrmneiiUl in coodncting a 
trmTeller into the heart of Africa, by advancing 
oTer the Abawi west or sontb-west, or sontL 
It would be highly h<moiirable fen* this country 
to prosecute the discovery of Africa. A nation 
that encourages undertakings of that kind does 
benefit to the whole human race ; for ciyiliaatioDj 
which is so much wanted in many parts of the 
world, cannot be imparted without knowledge 
of the situation and circumstances of distant re- 
gions. A surrey of Africa, in respect of geo- 
graphy, political state, number of tribes, and 
languages, would be a glorious acquisition to 
the student of mankind. 

'' By calling forth the energies of the African 
Christians, and showing them their true in- 
terests, the British nation might, at a trifling 
expense, purchase a new and large conunercial 
channel, by which the manufactures of this 
country would reach the hands of the inland 
tribes, and the independent states that have not 
been corrupted with Mahometanism. 

'' Under sensible management all this is quite 
practicable. I must return, however, to the 
subject of your MSS. The short account of the 
Ras's war with the Galla, I have read with much 
avidity and pain. These wretches have been 



uflered to intrude themselves into Begemder 

nd Samen. I apprehend that Amhara ia fully 

^eirs. I suspect that they have united them- 

lelves with the Galla, once under Fasil, in 

rojam. I cannot otherwise account for Gu^sha's 

irevalence at Gondar, which it appears is of 

considerable standing. This short MS. is in- 

completej as it concerns only one campaign. 

It is written in the style of the Chronicle of Ras 

[Michael, found in Bruce's MSS, and, I am sorry 

I to say, contains not so many facts as praises. 

' The extracts from the Chronicles at Asum 

lontain the ordinary list given of the Kings, 

I which unfortunately comes no lower than Yoas, 

Iwho was murdered, by Ras Michael, in 1769. I 

bave been at a loss in ascertaining the true 

names of the Kings that are mentioned in your 

journal, for, as they are taken there from oral 

communication, they appear not to the same 

advantage as in the native orthography. In the 

LjtfS. Book of Prayers, some late possessor has 

nitten the names of some of the fugitive sove- 

Iteigns of Habbesh opposite to the calendar for 

■itiie epact, &c. The MS. itself is probably more 

Tdian a century old, but some recent pen has 

Written on it : — ' Negus Suloman ; Negus Tecia 

Itiuirgis ; Negus Yasou ;' and some others, with- 

msL rf^VBTt n druBEi Taor tarn he ■» doriA of 
^ut Hifff'.K'fm lie ::^ ^iwim pBcaoBBcd to too bj 
L^fc^aaaoK 3lai&« : I mkw ngict Aat yoa 

4djtt Ofic ai& ae 3L s vfkzsB fiRHL Ackionideof 

le a 0cae carasKSj. I ki[iie Wcb able to leam 
tie erne tidie of tbe prescat Bonarck firom die 
wtxj cmrjBia& try»r«nmtt of tke Patriardi's in- 
stnoctaoBS^ vkidb luwank tke end has this pas- 
sage : — ' Thk letter was written in the year 
1523 of the pore umliis , in the time of Mat- 
thew '^wfaile that Gospd was reading in the 
churches :) on the 9th of the month Tekemp it 
was b^im, on the l6th it was finished. And 
Georgis the Copt translated it from the Arabic 
tongue into Geez, bj the will of the head^ 
or chief, of the goremors (Re&a Mecw6n&£t)^ 
Weld^ Selasse, and in the reign of our King 
Egw&U Sion — the child or offspring of Sion. 
— Abreha and Atsbeha were called Egwftla 
Ambis^ — offspring of the lion.' 

'' If you should incline to revisit Habbesh^ 
which I trust the scientific character of our Go- 
remment will enable you to do in a style worthy 
of the greatest and most enlightened nation in 
Europe, we shall have it in our common power 
to write to the Ras and to Negus Negust^ 


Egwala SioD, not through the medium of an 
Arab scribe. There is Geez enough in Britain 
to impart to these personages anything that re- 
quires to be said to them. I forget whether I men- 
tioned to you formerly that I had taken a copy 
of the Song of Solomon in Amharic, from Bruce's 
MSS., and of his Ainh&ric vocabulary, which, 
along with Ludolfs Amh5,ric grammar and dic- 
tionary, might be of real service to a traveller 
going to Gondar. 

" As an editor of Bruce, I have paid great 
attention to the charges made against him in 
the Travels by your friend the Viscount. Before 
I proceed farther, I may hint that Lord Valentia 
has rather displayed a kind of ostentatious and 
triumphant pride in conquering Bruce, which 
resembles tliat species of glory which the Abys- 
sinian soldiers show when they brandish their 
spears over the head of the Ras, and throw down 
the trophies taken from the enemy. Now this 
is not good. It makes ignorant people think 
that Bruce had no merit. It hurts Lord Va- 
lentia in the minds of thinking people, who 
smile at his victory over Bruce, whom he treats 
as a foe ever to be distrusted ; inhuman, false, 
and worthy of all punishment. This is the very 
.iliult which Bruce possessed with respect to Padre 


384 3££ UFJ OF 

Paez, the Jesuits, kc Mr. Bmoe warries hi 
predecessors, Mr. Brown, viio bms numj sngii- 
larities, worries >lr. Bmoe, and Viscoinit Vs. 
lentia joins in the same cnr. I fof^esee with trae 
dissatisfaction the same fiite abiding the Ms- 
count. I look vnih much more pleasiire to tout 
own mode of coniuting Mr. Bmce. Yoq pot 
down hard facts and proclaim no Tict(»T. 

'' The writer in the Monthly ^laganne, De- 
cember 1807, quoted by Viscount Valentia, toL 
iiL p. 283, is Malcolm Laing, Esq. M.P. for 
Orkney, the well-known author of the History 
of Scotland, a g^entleman of the first abilities as 
a philosopher and historian. While I was editing 
Bruce in 1804->5, and he was engaged in pub- 
lishing his detection of Macpherson^ in the bu- 
siness of Ossian» we had several conversations on 
the general and particular merits of Bruce*s 
Travels. He saw several inconsistencies in them 
which required explanation. I mentioned to 
him that Bruce certainly was not infallible in 
many respects ; that though his book was valu- 
able and curious, he had made it up very care- 
loailyi and above all had indulged in a vein of 
romance, on some occasions^ which debay.ed the 
intriniic merits of his performance. That^ as I 
WH* A))pointed by his family and my friends to 


examine his papers, it could not be expected 
that I should write a commentary of the most 
disagreeable kind on the work ; that, however, I 
did not judge it to be for the interests of truth 
and science to conceal absolutely the defects of 
a celebrated book. As I had perused the Jour- 
nals with attention, I saw a variety of things 
stated in the book with too little regard to fact. 

" I privately mentioned the principal of these 
to Mr. Laing, and I believe he once thought of 
reviewing Bruce; an intention which he after- 
wards abandoned, but sent his remarks without 
his name to the magazine. I might add to these 
remarks, if it were consistent with that delicacy 
which I owe to the feelings of Mr. Bruce*s 
friends, I mean his relations, some of whom 
would think it mean in me to expose, however 
justly, his memory, which I certainly respect 
I have that opinion of your candour to believe 
that a refutation of Bruce's narrative, in any 
part whatever, would not lead you to parade 
your own discoveries, so much as it would 
prompt you to enlarge, by native industry and 
adventure, the bounds of true knowledge. You 
have already extended them. I wish to see your 
merit warmly patronised. We may yet owe to 
your pen a true and faithful account of the 

286 TH£ LIFE Of 

east of Africa^ and to your charming pencil 
that very just portrait of nature and man which 
is itself the essence of instruction. 

" Should it materially contribute to your 
views^ I can give you^ in confidence^ a full and 
accurate statement of those parts of Mr. Bruce'i 
Narrative which are unsound^ or suspected ; as 
however this might somehow, or other, find its 
way into print without the desire of either of us, 
and in a very offensive form, I could wish it to 
be delivered in conversation rather than by letter. 
The demand for Mr. Bruce's book arises from the 
curiosity excited by the subject, the amusing 
style of his adventures, and the fact that it is 
the best account of Habbesh and Nubia that we 
have. He is not accurate in some of his obser- 
vations, and some of his adventures are fictitious. 
We owe much to the curiosity which he has 
awakened, and the MSS. which he collected. 
But complete use has not yet been made of his 
MSS. for want of permission an4 of literature. If 
I had them in my possession, for six months, I 
could give, I believe, a better history of Habbesh 
than that contained in the second volume of the 
Travels. I studied the Journal of Alvarez in 
Ramusio when engaged in the second edition 
of Bruce. It is highly valuable, because his 



route lay through the country, now in the hands 
of the Galla, as far as Hawash. He saw the 
court before the Mahometan war which desolated 
Abyssinia. His narrative is excellent. His de- 
scriptions are better than those of the late Por- 
tuguese. But taking theirs all together, they 
contain a large body of true and curious infor- 
mation. Lobo is one of the worst of them, yet 
often very instructive. Bruce borrowed from 
Tellez in a most extravagant degree. And the 
defect of his annals is this : you never can say 
when he copies his Abyssinian and when his 
European materials ; unless you have these 
books before you. The defect of the narrative 
of Alvarez and the Jesuits is a certain inatten- 
tion to geography and dates, added to u very 
incorrect way of writing names, so that you 
never see the vera fades fiUtorits. This created 
much trouble to Ludolf, as you will see by his 
rectifications of their orthography, Src. I may 
insinuate that in this last particular your va- 
luable Journal is in some degree deficient, as the 
names of men, offices and places are written 
from oral communication. We are, however, 
^M much indebted to you for it to deal in minor 
H " Though Bruce lived for months at Emfras, 


his map wants many of the places in and about 
Gondar; such as Dancaz^ Gorgora^ Coga^ &c. 
which were formerly all royal residences. Ibaba, 
the second city in Habbesh^ he totally omits. 
The route in the south-east of Habbesh is almost 
entirely from the Jesuits or Alvarez. Indeed, 
his map (for I know its history) was made with 
so little care, that the process was incredibly 
ridiculous. When he composed that and his 
Travels, he was become old and indolent, and I 
have good reason to believe that, after nearly 
twenty years had elapsed (the time between 
1773 and 1793), his tale to his amanuensis re- 
sembled more that of an old veteran by his 
parlour fire in a winter evening, than the result 
of fresh and accurate observation. He wished 
to have it understood that he had omitted 
nothing when he travelled ; but performed all : 
a species of ambition which is seldom reconcila- 
ble with fact. I have reason to think that the 
accounts you had from the Abyssinians about 
his preferments are true enough ; I can detect 
some mistakes in their statements, but not 
many. He was much patronised by the Iteghe, 
Ozoro Esther, and the King, and might have 
had some nominal appointment, but ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ | 

\ These stars are in the original letter. - E. 


If you could have seen Negus Tecla Georgis at 
Waldubba^ you could have got the whole truth 
and nothing more. Bruce was at one of the 
battles of Serbraxos^ but not at all the engage- 
ments near that place. I cannot say more on 
these subjects without impressing you with a 
£Eilse idea of his work^ which might mislead 
rather than inform you. The important object 
of all travelling and reading is to learn truths not 
to discredit it by extraneous presumptions. 

'* I have forgot hitherto to take notice of 
your larger MS. The thickest one is from 
beginning to end a collection of hymns^ or 
chaunted prayers, ritually used in Habbesh. It 
18 called the Psalter of Yared, a celebrated 
Bishop^ or Abuna, of Axum, who lived in the 
reign of Gebra Mascal, son of Caleb Negus. 
There is much about Yared in the Chronicle of 
Axum. This extract is from your excerpta. 
'Caleb begot Gebra Mascal, in whose days 
Yar6d composed the book of hymns, and built 
Damo/ i. e. the well-known church on that hill 
in Tigre. This collection, though not histori- 
cally valuable, puts us in possession of an ad- 
uired, and, in some places, agreeable book. It 
18 all interlined with their rude musical notations. 
Xhe leaf fronting the first page bears the in- 

VOL. I. u 


sdiption, * This hymn-book^ Welleta Michael 
and Welleta Gabriel gaye to Adowa Sion^ that 
it might be a memorial for them in the kingdom 
of heayen/ These ladies, I am convinced, were 
the wife and daughter of Ras Michael. Adowa 
Sion is the true name of the church and town of 
Adowa. The other MS. is old ; it contains 
a few prayers in excellent penmanship, a treatise 
on calculating the epact, tables on that subject, 
and some chronological tables, or rather lists. 
The chronology of the Abyssinians is very con- 
fused. This work may, I think, illustrate it, 
for it seems to be written with care and attention* 
It bears to be a translation from the Coptic. 

" The patriarch's instructions are very curious, 
as they contain what must be reckoned the 
newest or best form of Abyssinian orthodoxy. 
It is superfluous to say, that the subject is worthy 
attention merely in order to learn the state of 
their disputes. The controversy about the two 
natures in Jesus Christ is very old and absurd. 
If we believe in Christ, it is sufficient without 
investigation into such mysteries. The Abys- 
sinian church is literally the Greek, or Alexan- 
drian, in discipline and doctrines. I believe you 
have committed a trifling error in your Journal, 

H£NRV SALT. 291 

when you say that Guxo has been supported by 
Abba Eustathios and Abba Tecla Haimanout. 
These are not individuals^ but two classes of 
monks^ like the Benedictines and Franciscans. 
They divide Abyssinia. In discord they are 
demons^ united they are the devil. Our nation 
ought not to trouble itself with their disputes^ 
excepting always the oblique intention of dif- 
fusing literature and knowledge. 

'' I have exhausted you and my paper with this 
tedious epistle. But the arrival of your MSS. an 
occurrence for which I give you many thanks^ 
has not supplied the means of telling you all I 
feel and wish on the late^ and^ I trusty future sub- 
ject of your travels. As I have been employed 
in professional duties^ I have not had time to 
peruse the MSS. carefully. I will by and by 
give you a fuller account of them, and preserve 
them safe, till you call for them in any way you 
think best. The Marquess Wellesley will, I 
hope, conduct you on to fame, and to the service 
of his country, which is greatly indebted to him 
for his attention to oriental knowledge. After 
all that is said about men and measures, the man 
whose memory lives longest is he who promotes 
the arts and sciences. The glory connected 

u 2 


with these is permanent. Of all the ministers 
of Lonis XIV. C<dbert alone is immortal. This 
maxim is indeed trite, hot no statesman should 
forget it. 

** Anything which I can do for your amuse- 
m^it, or senrice, command in a moment, and I 
shall be proud to perform it. I feel sensibly the 
distance between us, and can only hope that an 
opportunity of your coming to Scotland may 
occur, if not this season, at least next spring. 
If the study of northern, western, and southern 
literature were not barren of all emolument, so 
much so indeed as to make its votaries depend- 
ant upon more contracted pursuits, I should 
soon have the happiness of saluting you in the 
metropolb. But this is impracticable in my 
present situation here. In about a fortnight 
hence, I go into Edinburgh to give Mr. Con- 
stable the edition of Bruce for the press. After 
what I have said above, any private doubt you 
may have about Bruce I can resolve, at least I 
can give you the satisfaction that arises from 
having seen the original papers. I have ex- 
tracted from Balugani's Journal the route from 
Arkeeko to Dixan, and the passage about 
Dalialac, but I have not yet compared these 


with the printed work and your account. Be 
pleased to write to me as soon as conrenient^ 
and believe me to be very truly and afiPectionately^ 

" Dear Sir, 
" Your friend and well-wisher, 

*' Alex. Murray." 

" P.S. The inscriptions I have not had time 
to consider carefully. They are very curious, 
as specimens of the alphabet, but I fear are too 
mutilated to be very intelligible. I will not 
neglect them, I do assure you." 

« To Henry Salt, Esq." 

9»i TME LIFE 07 


laaa Both vithoot i wje ifii^ die expected 
er CO tke Anthor. — Salt, thougfa still bi- 
bodflj aiivicj, anauget his papers and 
pc p i e s tke mntn nh far hm JoomaL — Continimtiflo of 

widk Mr. Momr. 

Aboct the time of Us receiTing the abore 
letter, 3Ir. Salt was attacked by an apparently 
slight ulceration of the tongae, which at first 
was thought to be of no importance ; it how- 
ever continued to spread till it extended over 
a considerable portion of the organ, and occa- 
sioned him some uneasiness. During the pro- 
gress of the disease, he had had the benefit of 
some of the best medical advice which the me- 
tropolis could furnish ; but the complaint rather 
gaining ground, he was recommended to change 
the air, and he accordingly set ofi" for Bath on 
a visit to his brother Charles, then practising as 
a surgeon in that city, and to his sister the 
Countess de Vismes, who also at that period, I 
believe, was resident in the place. Here he 


remained for a month or two^ but apparently 
without receiving much benefit^ as I find by a 
letter I received from him in the beginning of 
November 1811, that he was still very unwell. 

'^ I leave this place/' he adds, " on Monday, 
as I have taken my place in the two days' stage, 
which might with more propriety be termed the 
hospital coach. I shall reach town on Tuesday 
afternoon, in time, I hope, to take a mutton 
chop with you ; but do not wait, as I am not 
sure of the precise time when the vehicle will 
arrive in London. I am most anxious to see 
Lord Valentia,f or otherwise should not at pre- 
sent have moved. ♦ ♦ ♦ J have finished, 
with extraordinary industry, my job for the 
African Association, and am now ready to un- 
dertake my own work. Kindest compliments to 
Lord Valentia, if you see him before my arrival. 
Best regards to Tom. 

" Your's most truly, 

H. Salt.** 

He remained in an extremely indifferent state 
of health for some time after his arrival in town, 

f His lordship had been absent for about two years on ap 
excursion to Sicily, &c. and did not return till some time 
after Salt's arrival in England. 

fl96 THE UF£ OF 

when his complaints became somewhat mi* 
tigated.* Dnriog this period he was husily 
employed in arranging his papers, and in pre* 
paring the materials for his Journal. In Fe- 
bruary 1812 he renewed his correspondence with 
Mr. Murray^ which illness had obliged him to 
suspend for some months previously : his spirits 
and energies being generally a good deal de- 
pressed when labouring under bodily infirmity. 


** London^ Feb. 7tb, 1812. 
*' Dear Sir, ^7, Great Marlborough Street. 

'' Having been absent from town for some 
months at Bath, on account of ill health, I have 
not been able to answer your last letter sooner^ 
as I was unwiUing to tax you with so large a 
packet as the various subjects, on which I wished 
to address you, would have induced me to write. 

*' Your letter, believe me, gave me singular 
pleasure^ as there runs throughout it a vein of 
friendship and open confidence which accords 
most truly with my own feelings towards you, 
and I regret extremely that, for the present, 
our firiendship cannot be drawn closer by per- 

* In addition to his other complaint, he had been afflicted 
with an abscess which confined him several months. 



sonal communication, as I have many things to 
mention which cannot be satisfactorily stated 
upon paper. I must confess that it is highly 
gratifying to me to find that you and Dr. Vin- 
Lcent admit my conjectures concerning the Adulic 
Pinscription to be right. It came to my mind 
with such irresistible conviction, at the time of 
my studying the question, that I have always 
felt confident in my position. It is still most 
gratifying to have this allowed by those who 
are best qualified to judge on the subject. Your 

»l^ronological objection to the hypothesis of 
Aeizana and Saizana being Abraha and Atzbeha 
did not, at first reading, appear to me a strong 
one ; but on taking up the question with 
Ludolf, Bruce, &c. before rae, with intent to 
answer it, I found it baffled rae, and that there 
is no solid foundation for such an hypothesis 
having been raised. It appears to me that my 
At^ttvSig - 1aial«tols x*} "Aln<pai — and conse- 
quently those to whom Constantine addressed 
his tetter, were the three successors of Abraha 
and Atzbeha, called in Ludolf, Atzfa, Atzfcd, 
and Amy, — and by Bruce, Asfeha, Asphad, and 
Amzi, — which would make the Roman and Abys- 
sinian accounts chronologically agree. This 
conclusion 1 am led to chiefiy by the mention 



wiiidi in my 


'A^HCaL Not tke latter woBe we ooold nerer 
hebre make anjtkiiig of; jet with a sligbt 
aheralioii as diu A3(eCpAI (Adespha), a mistake 
which b eiTfrnftngiT likely to hare been made^ 
and which did actnaUj oecor in anotho* part oil 
the inscripdon, it answers most singolariy with 
' Atz&' in the Abyssinian list. In C^;ilvie'8 
Africa, is giren a list of the Abyssinian Kings, 
I know not on what anthoiity, in which the 
three successors of Abraha and Asbeha are 
called. Ash, Sahat, and Adaphana, in whidi 
three words, I cannot bat suspect, we haye the 
origin of the Gteek appellations. This correc- 
tion would carry the Pagan reckoning considera- 
bly later down than the alleged conyersion by 
Frumentius, which is an objection that requires 
farther consideration, but which I cannot enter 
into without referring to St. Athanasius, and 
other authors I have not by me. 

" One of the subjects to which I wish parti- 
cularly to call your attention, respects that very 
valuable fragment of the Abyssinian annals — the 
reign of Amda Sion. The narrative of this 
reign Bruce did not certainly imderstand — 
chiefly from want of geographical knowledge, 


and from a. fanciful theory he had got in his 
head about Tarshish^ which have led him to 
carry the expeditions undertaken by the King 
to an extent inconceivably out of bounds. If 
you will look at the map made to illustrate the 
track of Solomon's fleet, and give the following 
extracts your consideration, you will see at once 
the errors he has fallen into. Amda Sion kept 
his Easter at Gaza in Dawaro (vide page 56, 
voL iii. Bruce, Murray's edition), on the verge 
of the Samhar (which I can show was in about 
11*" north latitude), and Hadea and Fatigar on 
the southern side of the Hawash,* were, during 
this time, beat by another part of the King's 
forces ; on which he, by advice, marched south- 
ward to Efat, and the two armies joined on (by) 
the river Hawash (p. 58). Here, learning that 
Mara and Adel were in pursuit of him, he re- 
turned northward, beat them, and went back in 
June to Gaza (p. 62). On the 13th of June, 
finding the enemy troublesome (p. 63), he made 
another excursion into the Samhar, and on the 
88th of June approached near to Mara (which is 

* The Hawash, instead of running towards Berbera as is 
put in the charts, runs in a line for the bay of Tajowra, and 
is lost at Houssa, or Aussa, about three days' journey from 
that place. 


stiD to the north of the rirer Hawash). Earijr 
in Jolj he passed die Yasso (perhaps the Han- 
Axo) (p. 6S), and soon aft» adyancxd a day's 
maidi to Dassi in Mara, aboot, we will say, the 
5th of July, when he was seised with a feyer. 
On the ninth daj the ferer abated (p. 70), which 
brings ns to July 14th, when he sent out to pro- 
core reniscHi. Some of the hunters roving four 
dMjs (Julj 18th) from the camp (p. 71), fell in 
with a part of the Mooridi army, and returned 
in haste, July 21st. The King, in consequence, 
sent horsemen out to reconnoitre, who returned, 
bringing a confirmation of the account. (TUs 
must haye been about the S5th of July at least:) 
On hearing the news, the King proceeded by 
slow marches (p. 7S) to meet the enemy, ' who 
had not advanced.' Reckoning for this march 
five days, it brings it to the 30th of July. On 
the next day a battle ensued (p. 74-5.) 

'^ It could not be earlier than the 2nd of 
August that he marched in and took Zeyla, 
Taraca, &c. On the 10th of July, Bruce con- 
tinues (p. 80), ' the King pursued his march to 
Darbe.* Now this statement must be wron^, 
supposing the 10th of August is meant, audit 
allows only one month from passing the Yasso, 
and only nine days from the great battle in Mara, 


for resting^ marching to Zeyla^ &c. for the taking 
of Taraca^ &c. This decisively points out Mara 
to have been at no great distance from Gaza, 
and only a few days' march from Zeyla^ which 
the whole tenor of the history^ and the repeated 
mention of it in the subsequent wars (vide pp« 
161-166, &c.) prove to be the same as the mo- 
dem town of that name^ which I have now 
ascertained to be situated on a peninsula, and 
which, still keeps up a continual intercourse 
with the independent provinces of Shoa and 
Efat through Arar, now termed Hurrar, which 
still flourishes, and which gave birth to the 
Maffudi and Gragne. Now Bruce erroneously 
apposing Zeyla to be on an island, could not 
possibly conceive how it could be taken by an 
Abyssinian army, and therefore invents another 
Zeyla, with his usual facility of getting over 
diiJKculties, and places it many degrees to the 
•southj as you will observe, between his rivers 
Yass and Aco. 

'^ It appears to me, as in the case of the 
iizploits narrated in the Adulic inscription, that 
the whole wants contracting. This, I think, we 
*ll|aU jointly be able to manage when, at some 
fiitttre lime, I shall be able to visit you with my 
maps and manuscript remarks, which gain much 


confirmation from many of the original notes 
given by you in Appendix No. L to Books 7 
and 8. Bruce^ as you have noticed, vol. ii. 
p. 435, confounds Abreha, who reigned with 
Atzbeha, with Abreha-el-Ashram, who fought 
the battle of the Elephants, and is altogether 
very confused in this part of his narrative. Yet 
there is one observation which he makes there, 
that has strongly excited my attention, and 
which it is not unlikely you may be able to illus- 
trate. (Page 436) he says : — * In the reigns of 
Abreha and Atzbeha the Abyssinian annals men- 
tion an expedition to have been undertaken into 
the farthest parts of Yemen.' Now, is this 
simple assertion d la Bruce, or does it exist in 
the annals ? If it should be in the annals, it 
would certainly apply to the expedition men- 
tioned in the Adulic inscription, and be a most 
valuable confirmation of it. 

'* There is an important error in Bruce's state- 
ment about Alvarez's journal, which is extended 
to his map, and which you do not seem to have 
detected. It is, that the Portuguese (p. 176, 
vol.iii.) 'joined the King about twenty-five miles 
from the fair of Adel, and less than two hundred 
miles from Zeyla, on the l6th of October 1620/ 
Now, this did not take place till their third visit 


to courts in 1523. Again he says, that ' five 
years passed in the embassy j^ during which Al- 
Tarez does not, excepting the Epiphany, mention 
one remarkable occurrence/ The following ex- 
tract of the journal, as it stands in Ramusio, 
will prove the contrary. 

** In April 1520 the Portuguese entered Abys- 
sinia, from which time we have a regular journal 
nntil they reached the King's court at Tahagun, 
five days from Debra-Libanos in Nov. 1520. — 
' In Jan. 1521, having completed their mission, 
they set out on their return, in company with the 
King, by the way of Jannimora, leaving a letter 
to the King Emanuel, still extant, dated Jan.1521. 
After leaving the King, they went on to Baruna; 
but the expected ships not arriving in April, 
they were ordered by the King to Axum, where 
they made a long stay, at least eight months. 
After the rains, about October, they again went 
to the King, and in April 1523 they were re- 
siding with him in the country of the Goragues. 
There they heard, by letter, from Luez M endez, 
who had arrived on the coast, of the death of 
King Emanuel, who died September 1522. In 
consequence, they went up to Massowa, but, 
being too late for the ships, they returned in 
November 1523, and found the King in Fatigan, 


near the first fair of Adel. Thence they accom- 
panied him to Shoa^ and subsequently were 
much delayed at Dara^ and here passed the Lent 
of 1524. In the March of that year they re- 
ceived fresh despatches from the King to John 
the Third of Portugal^ which are extant^ and 
proceeded with them and Zaga Lobo^ a native 
embassador, to Barua ; but the ships expected 
did not arrive, and they were again sent to 
Axum. About September 1524, they went 
again to court, and found the King in Adea, and 
stayed with him till February 1525, when they 
finally left him at Aysa (Haussa.) In April 
they were again at Barua, but no ships arrived, 
on which they joined their fiiends at Axunt 
After the rains they went and collected tribute, 
allowed them in Bugana (or Lasta). In Janu- 
ary 1526, they went again to the coast, and left 
it in April of that year for India/ 

** It is essential to observe, that this journal 
in Ramusio was given him by Damianus a 
Goex, which does away in toto Bruce's objection 
to the narrative (p, 174, vol. iii.) Your opinion 
altogether of Bruce is so much my own, that I 
see we shall not differ much on that subject 
You certainly go full as &r as I do in your stric- 
tures on him, though you do not perhaps feel so 


strongly the consequence of his defects. I must 
now draw to a conclusion^ but I will first give 
jou a little of the latest news from Abyssinia^ 
which may interest. 

*' On Saturday last I received letters from the 
two Englishmen I left there^ and a short Ethi- 
epic letter from the Ras. It appears by the 
former letters^ that afiairs are going on worse^ 
as is natural to expect from the increasing age 
of the Ras. In consequence, my two proteges 
talk of leaving the country sometime in the 
course of this year, and of returning by Egypt. 
As one of them. Coffin, has before this been to 
Gondar, and the other, Pearce, to the south, 
into Shoa, we may expect some curious informa- 
tion, if they succeed in getting safe back. They 
have also given me two distinct accounts, re- 
ceived by the Shoa Cafilas, of some white man * 
approaching Efat from the interior, whom they 
suppose to be Mungo Park. It is more likely 
to be Horneman, or Mr. Cowen, who left the 
Cape some five or six years ago ; in either case 
it will prove very important. I have sent you 
die Ras's letter, and will thank you for it back, 

* This person was afterwards discovered to be a Turkish 
merchant^ who had gone to Shoa with goods from Zeyla. 
— E. 

VOL. 1. X 


With m Irniilafino I ksTe dipped into it my- 
td^ and it a^^iean to me m mere tamgo oi 
smlmau to the Kii^ ftc 

^ I will thank jou, as before, to direct to me 
at the FMeign Office. 

^ Beliere me to be, 

M J dear sir. 
Yours Tery siiicerdy, 

Henet Salt." 

'' P.S. I must defer speaking about the ma- 
noscripts till another time. 

^ ReT. Alexander Mumj.* 


« Manse of Urr, Fd>. 25, 1812. 

" Dear Sir, 
'' I have been exceedingly gratified by re- 
ceiving your long^ bat most instructiye letter, 
and have to regret that my avocations have 
prevented me firom answering it immediately. 
You may believe me, that I take a very high 
interest in your former and present inquiries, 
that I am much pleased with the honour of being 
your correspondent^ and extremely sensible of 
the great services which you have already done 
to literature^ and of the important ends which 



'our exertions may in time accomplish. I am 
concerned to hear that your health has been 
indifferent. I trust that it is improved by your 
residence at Bath, though there are complaints 
too many which * Bath and all her waters' can- 
not mitigate. I have had an asthmatic vrinter, 
and had not covetousness been prohibited in the 
Decalogue, I fancy I should have frequently 
wished for the mine of health in the possession 
of some of my brother churchmen, from which, 
I do assure you, I should have been bold enough 
to carve a portion for us both. As for the lite- 
rary part of your letter, I have run over the 
topics with attention, but have not found time 
to investigate them completely. I cannot claim 
much ability to decide on several of the subjects. 
I am convinced that your opinion as to the 
Adulic inscription is highly probable, if not 
certain. I only regret that I have by me not 
the whole, but an extract from it. The supposi- 
tion that it was made by a Ptolemy is totally 
inadmissible ; the strong passages of which you 

lave availed yourself, prove the very contrary. 

1 fact, the wars against the Taka, or Tangaitae, 

and others beyond the Nile, which, I suspect, 

was the Tacazi, all show the proper frontiers of 

Lngdora of Axum, and of the Homerites. 
X 2 



Indeed^ the sospidon is certainly in my mind^ 
for the words Ssoi^ S^to^ mptu roS NeiXoti sf iwr- 
/3ar»f^ zai xf^poi^if Soffftf, can apply to none but 
Samen. Cosmas says, in one place, that the 
King of the Axomites sends exiles to Samen, a 
cold snowy place, and that he (Cosmas) wrote 
these things in order to show that Ptolemy knew 
these places. The Scolia, p. 143, of Cosmas, 
in Montfaucon's * Collectio Nova Patrum,' say, 
that Lazine Zaa and Gabala are called so still. 
The indications of Cosmas in the sixth century 
(he wrote about a.d. 535, twenty-five years after 
the expedition of Elesbaans, or, as he also writes 
it, 'EXXar^ |3a;^ against the Homerites : Elatz- 
bas is evidently El Atsbeha) plainly assure me 
that the Adulic inscription is nearly of the age 
or century of Cosmas himself, not of Ptolemy. 
A critical essay on the work of Cosmas would, I 
think, be of use to literature, especially since the 
discovery of your own most valuable monument 
at Axum. The name of Atsbeha, or El-Ats- 
beha, was probably the real name of Caleb, for 
the proper name of the sovereign has for many 
ages struggled for remembrance with his name 
of consecration in Abyssinia. 

'* One thing is worthy of remark, the Arabic 
article Al, or El, stands before the names of 



■everal of the Abyssinian sovereigns in the an- 

l cient list, though it be long since obsolete in 

theGeez: a circumstance which induced Mr. Lu- 

l-dolf, rather hastily, to reject the ancient Cata- 

Ifflogues as fictitious and unauthentic. I fear that 

I they are very inaccurate, but I believe them to 

be partly genuine. When at Kinnaird, I made 

extracts from those in the Appendix to the 

' Book of Axum,' from which the common copies 

in chronicles are generally transcribed. Your 

extracts have one of these lists. There are, 

ki4iowever> several, and on comparing them, I see 

InAbe successors of Et-Abreha and El-Atsbeha, the 

Basserted founders of Axum, and first converts to 

■^Christianity, to be — f\.fl4,ih, AsfTihS or Asfa ; 

hC^Jf, Arfiide; Yx'J^fl.. Amsi ; ftAKjiH, Sa- 

laddba or Scladoba ; ?\A"^Kf Alemeda, in 

i whose reign came the nine saints from Romia 
fConstantinopIe) and Egypt, and regulated, (the 
iPford is t\tl'V&.-t-Q : ^^^^CT, regulated, or 
tet right) — Abba Alef, Abba Tschama, Abba Ara- 
Mwi, otherwise Za-Michael, Abba Afatse, Abba 
Garima, Abba Pantaleon, Abba Licianos, Abba 
Guba, and Abba Imota. To Alemeda succeeded 
;j'H.r, Tazena; to him, Caleb, who gave up 
the kingdom (turned monk.) His son was 
Gebra Maacal, in whose days Yared composed 

^^ebra Mai 


the book of hymns called J^X D^wa (the MS. 
volume which you brought from Abyssinia.) 
Another list, instead of Selad6ba, has 2VA^\JZini 
El-Adoba. The lists also assert, that El-Abreha 
and Atsbeha reigned twenty-six years and six 
months ; that Abba Salama and Christianity 
came in their thirteenth year, and that the year 
of Christianity was a.d. 333. 

" As to the names of LudolTs list, it is not 
accurate ; the successor of Abreha and KftllA 
was called 7kfl4.Ai, AsSf^h or Asfa, not Atifa. 
Bruce's Asfeha is not very correct, I cannot 
speak to the writing in the inscription, but I am 
inclined to think that the name Asfa would have 
been written in Greek, ACe*AC, or 'A^e^, 
perhaps A(y<f>oig. It would destroy the chrono- 
logy altogether to suppose that El-Adoba was 
the general of Aeizanas ; yet that is surely the 
name, a circumstance of little importance, consi- 
dering the community of names in those later 
ages. The name Az^na, or 'Ag/^ai^o^, is not 
Geez, but old Arabic. I have not ' Pocokii His- 
toria Arabum '• near me, but I faintly remember 
some such title in that work, in the catalogue of 
the sovereigns or viceroys of Yemen*. The 
Bazen was, I think, the ordinary title of a 
governor or viceroy of Yemen. The names 


T-az^na^ B-az^na^ are all connected with Azena. 
The t and b I know to be servile, or preposi- 
tional terms, as is likewise s in S-aizana, and 
S-al-Adoba ; indeed, S-aizana means, ' belonging 
to Aizana,' and S-al-Adoba, is ' of, or pertaining 
to Adoba.' Adoba is the Greek Adefa ; but I 
maintain the identity of the names, not of the 

*^ Abreha and Atsbeha were, it is said in the 
Chronicles, baptized by Abba Salama, or Fre- 
monatios (Frumentius.) Probably their succes- 
sors were hardly Christian, until the arrival of 
ihe nine monks from Egypt. Cabeb was, in- 
deed. Christian, but we have but a scanty 
account of his predecessors, and nothing as to 
the duration of their reigns, from the time of the 
first Christian Kings. It is certain, that the 
heroes of your inscription reigned at the time 
when the letter was written to persuade them to 
fiiYour Arianism; and this fact is of primary 
consequence, whatever defects may be in the 
Abyssinian lists. I cannot give any account of 
the authenticity of the list in Ogilvie ; I fear 
that it is an erroneous transcript from some Por- 
tuguese catalogue, indifferently made at first, 
and loaden with new errors, from ignorance of 
Portuguese orthography and circumstance, which 


deforms the extracts, by the learned, from Telles, 
not to mention the earlier narratives. The 
work of Telles is correct as to orthography, but 
he who studies Abyssinian history in the Portu- 
guese works, must have a wary eye on the pecu- 
liarities of their thought and writing. 

*' As for Bruce's assertion respecting the ex- 
pedition into Yemen, under Abreha and Ats- 
beha, I never saw any account of that kind in 
the annals. He confounds the first Abreha with 
one who invaded Arabia some time before the 
birth of Mahomet. All the Arabic histories are 
full of the history of El-Ashram, which is men- 
tioned in the Koran, and of the punishment of 
the Jewish King of Yemen, who threw the Chris- 
tians into fiery pits. The Axomites were un- 
doubtedly Hamyarites, and at times undertook 
expeditions to the Arabian coast, over which 
they held, for a long period, a kind of su- 
premacy. But the early expedition alluded to 
by Bruce, rose, as far as I know, from his own 
mistake. When I read* over that part of his 
work, with a view to the second edition, I saw a 
variety of wild hypotheses, and incorrect or 
vague statements, which it would have required 
perpetual annotation to correct. As nothing is 
more ungracious than to have the notes at 



perpetual war with the text, I allowed these 
matters to pass unnoticed by me. The great 
mass of useful and amusing information in the 
book might have suffered more from my correc- 
tions than the value of these would have com- 

" I observe that you have paid great atten- 
tion to the geography and history of the S.E, 
of Abyssinia. In that department you will find 
little assistance from Mr. Bruce's work. His 
map was laid down with shameful inaccuracy in 
respect of places that he knew much better than 
Ifat, Hadea, and Fatigar. When I examined 
le map, I saw that nothing could be done but 
ly constructing it anew. Mr. Dalrymple, the 
King's hydrogrnpher, told his son, in a letter 
which I have, that it was extremely difficult to 
correct one chart by another. If I had made a 
new map on existing materials, the public would 
have paid little regard to it. As to the transla- 
ion of the Abyssinian history, it is throughout 
iry vague and uncertain. The bulk of the 
:ts are true, but they are often misplaced in 
iB and local circumstance ; the Portuguese 
ind Abyssinian accounts are blended together, 
d the whole does not merit the title of an 
accurate narrative. Bruce often committed 



blunders in an unconscious way, particularly as 
to classic quotations and minute facts of antient 
history, which he was not qualified by literary 
habits, to balance and collate. 

'' The history of Amda Sion is sufficiently 
curious, but it is metamorphosed in Bruce. I 
took a considerable number of notes and abs- 
tracts from the MS. but I have not a complete 
series of the facts of that reign. I have a large 
mass of extracts as to the other reigns, which I 
made, not so much with a view to correct Bruce, 
which I had not authority to do in a proper 
manner, and which, in fact, I could not have 
done to my mind without writing the whole 
anew, but for the purpose of possessing the facts 
contained in so curious a collection of native 
chronicles. I tried only one experiment on the 
public ; I withdrew a very fabulous and absurd 
life of BacufFa, the King who was father of 
Yasou II. and substituted one of my own, from 
a prolix MS. of his actions in the list of native 
chronicles. Mr. Bruce had asserted that he was 
a prince of such terrible cruelty that no man 
durst have kept a journal of his transactions. 
He was a sanguinary prince, but he had a favou- 
rite historiographer, who has recorded his stern 


achievements^ which resemble those of the Em- 
perors of Morocco. 

'' The reviewers blamed me for this attempt 
on the text of the Travels^ and I am happy that 
I did not give them more cause of offence. The 
mistakes you mention in the account of the 
Portuguese embassy are probable enough. I 
did not observe them at the time of preparing 
the edition^ though I had Ramusio beside me. 
The cause was, that I was weary of tracing 
errors in a second-hand narrative^ drawn from 
sources that might be consulted by themselves. 
Above all^ the perpetual tenor of correction, 
which Mr. Bruce's theories and narratives seem- 
ed to require, appeared to me to be a task of 
too great extent for the foot of a page, and more 
likely to prejudice than instruct the reader. In 
the edition that is now going forward, which is 
almost a reprint, I have given from the journals 
a view of his real travels in Egypt and Abys- 
sinia. This is sufficiently adventurous in any 
editor. The voyage to the Emerald Isle, to 
the N.E. of the Red Sea, and that to Babel- 
mandeb, do not appear in these journals, and 
the dates are quite contrary to their existence. 
Let not this yield an inglorious triumph to your 


Right Honourable friend Valentia^ who is too 
severe upon Bruce, his, or rather your, prede- 
decessor in travel and danger. Mr. Bnice's 
work contains much fact, amusement, and agree- 
able observation, not unseasoned with genius, 
nor obtained without hazard, but too much 
tinged with vanity. You must not depend on 
his account of the Adeline war. The best cor- 
rection on his history would be, an account of 
Abyssinia compiled from all existing sources, of 
which the Kinnaird MSS. are one of the most 
considerable. I regret that these are not in the 
hands of the public, but locked up from those 
who can read them, and those who would learn 
to read them. 

'' I look forward with real pleasure to a visit 
from you, at the time most convenient for your 
coming to Scotland. I have the MSS. fit cus- 
todid, and owe you many obligations for the use 
of them. Let me know when you shall need 
them, and whatever thing you may wish to have 
from them. I am sorry to learn that Abyssinian 
affairs are not so prosperous as could be wished. 
The Has is old, and besides," they really do not 
know how to use advantages. Your two friends 
must have gathered some curious information at 


Gondar and in Ifat. I greatly wish they may 
haye the good fortune to conduct the white tra- 
veller from the south into Tigre. Parke is^ I be- 
Ueve^ gone ; and Horneman^ if alive^ must have 
emerged from the heart of Africa. How little 
we know of that continent^ and of the globe in 
general ! The cause of literature in the East 
has sustained a severe blow by the death of 
Dr. Leyden, a most eminent scholar^ and one of 
the first-rate men of his age. He had made great 
inquiries into the origin and history of the Indo- 
Chinese nations, of which he had studied the 
languages and writings. He died in the affair 
of Java, on the 27th of August last. 

" I must now advert to the translation of the 
Abyssinian letter which you transmitted to me. 
I think that it is the production of your two 
proteges, with the Ras's leave to write. It is 
merely a series of compliments, as follows : — 

' Peace be to thee, and the peace of the 
Lord be with thee, O King of the Engliz, 
Girgis ! Peace be to thee, and the peace of the 
Lord be with thee, O Mr. Sawelt. 

'And Nathaniel P^s says to his Lord the 
King of Kings, Girgis: I have been in health 
and in peace, and in joy and gladness, O my 


Lord King of Kii^, (jreorgis ! And next, Mr. 
Cden sap — How hast tkoa been, my Lmd, O 
King Georgis ! I hare been in health and peace, 
in joT and safietj. — ^We turn to the fir^ thing:* 
I will send a particular messenger of mine, every 
omt month, with tidings of my health ; and do 
thou, my Lord, send to me tidings of thy life 
and thy health, and tidings of thy joy and thy 
gladness, every one month (always.) And now 
how are my people, my brethren, and my kin- 
dred, my Cither and my mother — ^for I have been 
in health. And now send me an account of thy 
life, and of thy health, and an account (tidings) 
of thy people, thy brethren, and thy kindred, 
and thy officers, and the (soldiers) servants of 
thy house ; and particularly how thou hast been 
(or art), O my Lord King of Kings, Georgis ! 
And I will love, above all, thy life and thy 
health, in joy and in peace, for ever. Amen !' 

'' 1 enclose the original in this letter. 

'* My dear sir, I now close this rambling 
letter, which I find has kept me till a late hour, 
with sentiments of the deepest regard for your 
friendly intercourse, and a wish to be of every 
possible service to you that my trifling abilities 
can effect. I shall be happy to hear from you 


at your convenience, and to have the felicity of 
assuring you that I ever am, 

" Your most faithful friend and servant, 
^ Alex. Murray." * 

** To Henry Salt, Esq." 

* It must be remembered, that the miqualified commen- 
dations bestowed upon Mr. Salt in the above letters, pro- 
ceed from a gentleman who had no previous, nor personal 
acquaintance with him, who was the fellow-countrjrman of 
Mr. Bruce, and the editor of his works, and who was no less 
distinguished by his candour and integrity than by the 
depth and extent of his knowledge, although, perhaps, 
he might never have had Major Head's advantage of *' a 
gallop across the Pampas" to sharpen his intellects, and to 
assist him in the prosecution of his Oriental researches. I 
know not, indeed, what may be the feelings of the Major 
should this correspondence of Mr. Murray's ever chance to 
attract his attention; but I should suppose, and perhaps 
have some reason to believe, that they would not prove of 
the most enviable description. His <' Life of Mr. Bruce,'* in 
** The Family Library," forms, wherever Mr. Salt's name is 
mentioned, a mere tissue of flippant remark and illiberal 
criticism, which, to the mind of an unprejudiced and well- 
informed individual, can only suggest the suspicion that it 
must have proceeded from the irritation of personal hos- 
tility. It might not be very difficult to write a suitable 
reply to so singular and intemperate an attack, and perhaps 
in the indignant feelings o£ the moment, I may have felt 
some temptation to undertake the disagreeable office — 
^ mais la chose ne vaut pas la peine I" The book itself is 
probably by tliis time making its approaches to the ^* Tomb 


of all the Capulets,** and iu merits wiD hardly entitle it to a 
resurrection. Scarcely had the Major's book made its 
appearance, when ^ another Daniel comes to judgment,** in 
the person of James Augustus St. John, Esq. I know 
nothing of this gentleman's lucubrations beyond the two 
concluding pages of his '* Life of Bruce,'* inserted among 
the " Lives of Celebrated Travellers." This production, 
however, I believe, may be safely left to refute itself; and I 
will merely add one sentence, from a book containing much 
wisdom, which seems somewhat adapted to the occasion : — 
<< Who is this - that darkeneth counsel by words without 
knowledge ?*' — E. 



Salt becomes a Member of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society. — Correspondence with Mr. Murray on the sub* 
ject of the Ethiopic Manuscripts of the Scriptures led by 
Mr. Bruce the Traveller, in possession of his Widow. — 
Salt goes to Lichfield for the benefit of his health* — ^In- 
terests himself on behalf of a French officer, confined as a 
Prisoner of War in that City. — Thrown from his Horse. — 
Returns to London. — Letter from Mr. Murray. 

Some time after his return to England^ Mr. 
Salt became a member of " The British and 
Foreign Bible Society,** and was subsequently 
appointed a member of the Abyssinian sub-com- 
mittee ; and in this capacity he had been ap- 
plied to by the Society, for information upon 
certain points, which will be best explained by 
the subjoin^ letter addressed to the Rey. Mr. 


** London, March 17th, 1812. 
** My dear Sir, ^7> Great Marlborough Street. 

*' I am greatly obliged to you for your last 
letter, which I wave, for the present, answering, 

VOL. I. Y 


as I hare a little matter of business to address 
joa upon. 

*' Since my return to England, I have been ap- 
plied to by the British and Foreign Bible 'Society 
on the subject of Abyssinia. Some membys of 
this Society have taken up warmly a wish to 
assist the people of that country with copies of 
the Scriptures, and have it in view to print at 
least a portion of them (after the native manu- 
scripts) in the Ethiopic; for this purpose we 
are anxious to gain some information concerning 
the manuscripts left by Mr. Bruce. It appears 
that the Trustees of the British Museum did open 
a treaty with Mrs. Bruce for the whole coUec- 
tion ; but before it proceeded far, it was broken 
off by that lady, or her friends, on the ground 
that she had given up the idea of parting with 
them. Are you aware what could be the true 
cause of this ? The Trustees were certainly well 
inclined to the purchase, and are so still. Yet 
even should Mrs. Bruce adhere to lier determi- 
nation, might she not, do you think, be induced 
to part with the duplicates of the 
only, or, for a given sum, consent to let the So- 
ciety have the use of them for a time ? Any 
information you can give me on these points 
will oblige. 


** The members of the British Foreign Bible 
Society have also authorised me to request 
that you will undertake a work which I have 
recommended^ previously to their proceeding any 
farther on the subject: this is to translate for 
them the small manuscript of mine^ in your pos- 
session^ given to me by the Ras, as containing 
instructions from the patriarch of Alexandria : 
which^ as I conceive^ would tend to illustrate the 
opinions and doctrines of the religion at present 
professed by the Abyssinians^ better than any 
other document to be got at. On this account 
a translation of it is strongly desired by the 
Society^ and the members will feel under an ob- 
ligation to you to undertake it, and will gladly 
pay any sum you may think adequate to the 
trouble, &c. to be incurred. 

" Believe me, my dear sir. 

Yours most truly, 

Henry Salt.' 

" To the Rev. Alexander Murray.* 

(Read to the Society April 6th, 1812.) 

« Urr, March 27th, 1812. 

" Dear Sir, 
*' I regret that owing to the irregularity of our 
post-office, and the circumstance of the direction 

Y 2 

ast THE un or 

bf D—fiii I mfcer ^an br Casde Donglas, I 
li^ itoi^ ?t«r lm<r this montiiig. A» 
port of it reixtes to pufafic bosmess of a Datare 
wfcick hjs alvars nmimuK ied mj wannest ap- 
probotiaB, I leCam an answer without further 

Copies of the Sci iptm e s are^ as yon know, 
rare in Abrssinia, and not in ordinary hands, 
on j cco tuii of the expense of parchment and 
writii^ whidi is &r ahore the pecuniary abili- 
ties of the common people. It appears, not- 
withstanding, that the natives hare all along 
been disposed to peruse the Scriptures with 
much attention ; and that the people of rank 
are, generally speaking, well instructed in them. 
The predilection which the Abyssinians have 
for the Psalter, which some of them can repeat 
from memory throughout, induced Monsieur 
Ludolf, in the beginning of the last century, to 
have an edition of it accurately printed, and, I 
believe, a number of copies sent into that coun- 
try through the medium of the Dutch East India 
Company. This book I know well: it is ex- 
tremely accurate, and it is superior to any MS. 
made in Abyssinia ; for besides that it is, word 
for word, according to the native version of the 
Psalter, it is free from the errors with which the 


ordinary MSS. of the scribes abound. It has 
the Song of Solomon^ and some other short 
pieces of Scripture added at the close of the 
work. When at Kinnaird^ I compared Ludolf *s 
copy of the Song of Solomon with the MS. copy 
in Mrs. Bruce's library, and I found that they 
corresponded word for word, some errors of the 
scribe excepted. Mr. Bruce brought home all 
the books of the Old and New Testament, ex- 
cept the Psalter, which he used to say he won- 
dered how he could forget to purchase, as it is a 
favourite book in Abyssinia among the natives. 
The Scriptures were written for him by the 
public, or professional, scribes, whom he sup- 
plied with parchment, and paid for their work 


by the page. Many books of the Scriptures are 
rare and neglected, because the natives never 
use the whole Bible together, but in pieces ; for 
instance, the Gospels by themselves, the aposto- 
lical Epistles, the minor Prophets, the Psalter, 
and so on in separate volumes. The New Tes- 
tament was printed at Rome, in 1548, in Ethio- 
pic, but with many gross errors, and not accord-- 
ing to the native MSS., for the copy was defec- 
tive from which the work was taken. It has 
been reprinted in our polyglott with its own, and 
several additional imperfections. There are two 


good MSS. of the Gospels in Mr. Bruce's collec- 
tion, in two volumes each, and one copy of the 
Epistles in two Yolumes. These, with the printed 
edition which exbts in various libraries, would 
enable a person of judgment, conversant in Abys- 
sinian, to prepare a version of any of the parts of 
Scripture, free from gross verbal errors, and con- 
formable to the text in its best state. I appre- 
hend, if application were made to Mrs. Bruce by 
some of the noble patrons of the Biblical Society, 
that she might be disposed to promote its views, 
either by way of a favour, or for some genteel 
consideration suited to her rank in life. I sup- 
pose that the New Testament will be that por- 
tion of the Scriptures which, in all probability, 
the Society will choose to print in whole or in 

" The Ethiopic version is from the Greek of 
the Alexandrian correction; it was made at an 
early period after the conversion of Abyssinia by 
Frumentius, a.d. 330. The religion and rites of 
the Abyssinian church are according to those 
forms of Christianity established in Greece, 
Egypt, and Russia. The contests in Abyssinia 
about the manner of the incarnation have sub- 
sisted for ages, and are as violent at this day as 
formerly. I approve greatly of your having re- 


commended to the Society a translation of the 
patriarch of Alexandria's letter lately sent into 
Abyssinia, of which you have brought home a 
copy. I will .prepare a translation of it as soon 
as my indifferent health and avocations will per- 
mit. It is an authentic document, illustrative of 
the character of the prelate himself, of their mode 
of reasoning on religious subjects, and of the 
existing differences in Abyssinia with regard to 
articles of faith. If my health allow, I think I 
shall be able to forward the translation about the 
middle of April ; but you must be so kind as to 
let me know through what channel it must be 
transmitted, and whether to your hand or to the 
Secretary of the Society. I have the honour Jto 
be a member of the Society, on account of the 
annual subscription which I pay, being connected 
with the local Dumfries Biblical Society, and 
paying the rate which, I believe, entitles me to 
be an ordinary member of the Parent Society. 

'^ I wish very well indeed to the institution, 
and I am most willing to do any service of the 
ordinary kind, now requested by you in the 
Society's name, without further reward than per- 
haps a copy of the Scriptures, or part of the 
Scriptures, in some of the foreign languages of 
the north of Europe, Asia, or America, which it 


has printed^ or is engaged in printing. I am 
acquainted with the principles of a number of 
these languages, but have little access to books 
in them. " I am, dear Sir, 

Your faithful and obedient friend, 

Alex. Murray." 

" To Henry Salt, Esq." 


*< Urr, March 27th, 1812. 

" Dear Sir, 
'* I have written under cover to the under 
Secretary of State, who I fear has gone out with 
the Marquess Wellesley, an answer to your letter 
on the business of the Biblical Society. I write 
likewise this additional line, of a private nature, 
to thank you sincerely for your good wishes and 
exertions with regard to my interests. I cer- 
tainly have just cause to be gratefiil to all my 
friends for their kindness, and assuredly am not 
disposed to reckon yours in the last and lowest 
degree. I am, however, a little timid as to the 
pretensions which I can advance, as a ground for 
public notice. I am conscious that nothing is so 
bad as seeking to be known on an imperfect 
foundation, and all my merits are but slender 


when viewed by myself; I fear that some ridi- 
cule may arise from having them scrutinised by 
others who are not disposed to be so lenient as 
a man generally is to himself: however^ in the 
matter of the Ethiopic, you (for I consider your 
knowledge of the country from travelling and 
reading to be now far advanced) and I may. 
certainly be of considerable service to the Society, 
if it extend its attention to Abyssinia. I wish it 
to do so for the sake of the future interests of 
mankind. I consider the plan of getting trans- 
lations as wise and benevolent in a high degree, 
not merely as to the effects of the actual num- 
bers of copies distributed ; but as to the means, so 
provided, by which private individuals may learn 
those languages, and promote a religious and 
civil intercourse, in succeeding generations, with 
nations cut off from the community of civilized 

*^ The MSS. at Kinnaird were inspected by 
me in May last. Mrs. Bruce informed me of 
the negociation with the British Museum. The 
whole books and MSS. were bequeathed to her 
by her husband, the proprietor of an entailed 
estate, which he could not affect by his personal 
debts, nor burthen beyond a legal sum for his 
widow's support ; consequently, Mrs. Bruce was 


«e& in £fficiihies from his personal creditors, 
aod tiftese. I suppose, miglit hare seized all pro- 
pertT len ker by her husband ; bnt nothing ex- 
a^ pres«9sre of creditors, or difficulties as to 
mcneT maners, could hare induced her to think 
of selling the MSS. I suspect that her friends 
advised ber to try to preserre them for her 
daughter, who is the heiress to the estate, that 
they might, if passible, continue in the family. 
But the^donnous sum of 20,000/., or some yague 
amount of pounds which she supposed them to 
be worth, made me belicTe that the Trustees of 
the Museum and she would not agree on the 
price, even though the offer of sale had been con- 
tinued. I know that foreign and rare MSS. sell 
at a high rate in London ; but I who know how 
barren a crop grows in the fields of literature, 
cannot be persuaded to think that so much capital 
can be invested with prudence in that barren 
soil. The application, on the part of the Society^ 
ought to be made by some nobleman who has it 
in his power to take notice of Mrs. Bruce, who 
now resides at Sidmouth, in Devonshire. I can- 
not pretend to say how she may act, for she is 
suspicious of being overreached, and though not 
in distress, yet in narrow circumstances. By an 
order to her agent in Edinburgh, whom I know. 


and who is a friend of my intimate friend Mr. 
Constable^ the business might be settled as to 
obtaining the MSS. of the New Testament.* 

'^ I am, dear Sir, 
Yours ever and most sincerely, 

Alex. Murray." 

" To Henry Salt, Esq." 


« April nth, 1812. 


My dear Sir, 
I am exceedingly pleased to find by your 
answer to my last letter, that you enter so com- 
pletely into the feelings which I entertain on the 
subject of the plan of the Biblical Society, and 
am obliged to you for writing so very satisfac- 
tory a reply to its proposal. As I was not 
able to attend the last meeting, I gave your 
letter over to Lord Valentia, who is president of 
the Abyssinian sub-committee, and he laid it 
before the general committee on Monday last, 
which in consequence came to the following re- 
solution, which I am requested by his lordship 
to forward to you. 

* This application, I have heard, was subsequently made, 
but totally failed of success^ probably from some such mo- 
tives, on the part of Mrs. Bruce, as Mr. Murray sug- 
gests. — E. 


' April 6th, 1812. 

' At a meeting of the Committee of the British 
and Foreign Bible Society — Resolved : 

' That the Right Hon. Lord Valentia be re- 
quested to communicate to the Rev. Mr. Murray 
the thanks of the Committee for his letter of the 
27th ult.^ and for his offer of service ; and that 
the Abyssinian sub-committee be authorised to 
furnish him with such copies of the foreign ver- 
sions of the Holy Scriptures, printed by the So- 
ciety, as they may think proper. 

' Joseph Tarn. 

April 7th.* 

'^ In consequence of this resolution, the sub- 
committee, of which I am a member, met on the 
10th of April, and resolved : 

' That Dr. Clarke be requested to direct Mr. 
Tarn to collect together the foreign versions of 
any part of the Scriptures that may have been 
published by the Society, and that the same may 
be sent, free of all expense, to the Rev. Mr. 
Murray, and that Manx and Irish versions be 
also sent to him.' 

" So that you may depend on having all the 
versions that have been printed by the Society. 
There are many to which it has contributed 


largely abroad, which are not at present procur- 
able; but there is a hope, and I will not for- 
get to mention it, that the foreign Secretary, 

Mr. ' who has gained permission from the 

Society to visit the Continent, will be able to pick 
up for you several other versions, as the Icelandic, 
&e. I have at present nothing particular to 
add, except that, for the future I will thank 
you to direct, under cover, to William Hamilton, 
Esq. Foreign OflSce ; and to request you to keep 
distinct, as in your last communication, all mat- 
ters of business appertaining immediately to the 
Biblical affairs, and your private remarks. Lord 
Valentia is very enthusiastic on all Abyssinian 
business, and will do much towards furthering 
any future plans respecting that country. 
" Believe me to be, my dear sir. 

Yours most truly, 

Henry Salt." 

'' P.S. I shall expect your translation of the 
MSS. with much impatience: though I hope 
you will not let it interfere with the more im- 
portant consideration of your health, which I 
regret to hear is so indifferent." 

** Rev. Alex. Murray/' 



« Urr, May 2nd, 1812. 

*' Dear Sir, 
" I have at length been able to transmit, 
under cover, in the way that you direct me in 
your esteemed favour of the 11th ult., a transla- 
tion of the patriarch's instructions. My health, 
which is often in the cold season of the year 
much affected by a kind of asthmatic complaint, 
has prevented me from fulfilling my promise, 
about the middle of last month, as I hoped to 
have done when I last wrote to you. The trans- 
lation is pretty literal, and I can vouch for its 
general accuracy. A few sentences have puzzled 
me a little, and I am less certain of their precise 
meaning. I have noticed this, in most instances, 
at the foot of the page. This epistle is a curious 
document, both as to the state of religion in 
Habbesh, and the character of Markos the pa- 
triarch. I know not whether I can recommend 
to you a perusal of this production. It has too 
much theology for a layman and an English gen- 
tleman — too much, perhaps, for most divines. 
I do not mean that it is too learned for their 
comprehension. It is the subject, the mysteri- 
ous nature of the controversy, that is calculated 
to terrify rather than delight the reader. I think 


the patriarch is, generally speaking, a good, 
sound, orthodox person, of tolerable reading, and 
aware of his own dignity, as well as of the dangers 
attending on schism. If good order ever be re- 
stored in Habbesh, the Alexandrian or Greek 
fiiith will no doubt resume its lustre, but gross 
ignorance has always done extreme mischief in 
that country. They imagine that religion con- 
sists chiefly in fasts, penances, and renunciation 
of the duties of life ; and the morals of the com- 
munity at large are sacrificed to alternate fana- 
ticism and licentiousness. Figure to yourself 
the monks of Waldubba, Werkleva, Gojam, and 
Damot, all poured forth to cry, * Bekebat, ya- 
bahen lej !' By unction he was Son of God ? If 
a Frank could be safe in their neighbourhood, 
he would unquestionably admire their wild yells, 
frantic attitudes, and hairy, unwashened holiness ; 
but he would hear with surprise that few of these 
saints could read, and lament that so many stout 
able-bodied peasants should be withdrawn from 
the purposes of agriculture, and annexed to the 
staff of religion. 

^' It occurs to me that the Biblical Society 
might, with advantage, print the books of the 
New Testament, to be circulated in Habbesh. 
Some pains might and ought to be taken to 


learn by correspondence with that country how 
such a present would be received ; and whether 
local prejudices of scribes, priests, &c. might not 
obstruct the use of it. Might it not be proper 
to attempt giving the Abyssinians some idea of 
the plenty and cheapness of books among us, 
and of the art of multiplying copies ? Some of 
our arts might be introduced to their notice. 
Surely Abyssinia, a Christian country, not re- 
mote from India, and extending considerably 
into Africa, is a good station for getting informa- 
tion respecting the interior, and for doing benefit 
to ourselves and others in the way of conunerce 
and intercourse. I wish that the absurd prac- 
tice of giving charters of indolence to individual 
corporations over districts, which they exclude 
from all advantages of trade or intercourse vnth 
Europe, were completely abolished. The re- 
newal of the Indian charter is worse than a 
Milan or Berlin decree. 

" I am convinced that the intercourse between 
Abyssinia and Britain in the way of commerce, 
from the interior, might be established in a very 
profitable and solid manner. Trade finds its 
way through the Galla to Ifat and Adel, and 
through the desert between Cairo and Tombucto ; 
would it not find its way from Britain or fi'om 


India to Gondar, and even far beyond that ? 
I have taken the liberty to request you, as you 
will see by the letter (public) under cover with 
this, that you would return my thanks to the 
right honourable the President of the Abyssinian 
sub-committee for his exertions in promoting 
my views, as to philology, by procuring from the 
Society copies of their foreign versions of the 
Bible. I have lately made myself acquainted 
with the Lapponic language, which is a dialect 
of the Finnish. It is long since I learned to 
read Icelandic. I have at present beside me the 
Edda or Icelandic mythology, published at Co- 
penhagen, and have been amusing myself, at 
spare moments, with the adventures of Odin, 
Freya, and Thor. Have the Society printed any 
thing in Russian ? I know that language, hav- 
ing studied it some time ago, so as to be able to 
read it. I can read Irish very well ; I know 
Welsh tolerably ; I know very little Manx, but 
I have heard it spoken, and know that it is a 
Celtic, or Irish dialect. 

'' You will think that there is some little 
bouncing in pretending to know so many foreign 
dialects ; but the wonder will cease when I tell 
you that, since I was able to decypher, I was 
curious about these matters, and that there has 

VOL. I. z 


been no mannsciipt • . . whatever, that I could 
get access to, that I have not, more or less, ex- 
amined, and, in many instances, have made 
extracts of mj own, which fieicilitates the labour. 
I go into Eldinbargfa about the middle of this 
next month, to pass through the press a work 
that I call ' The Philosophical History of Lan- 
guages.' It comprehends an account of the 

formation of La our own Saxon and 

Teutonic dialects, and history of the 

Greek, Latin, Sanscrit, Persic, Slavic, Lappo- 
nic, Celtic or Irish, and Welsh, containing the 
principles and aflSnities of these dialects, ar- 
ranged in a scientific manner. I think that I 
have illustrated the ancient relations of a great 
section of the human race ; and though I have 
not been able to show, like some et3rmological 
men, that all languages are the same at the base, 
I flatter myself that I have been able to trace 
many curious facts without deviating from cer- 
tainty, reason, and, what many philologists 
greatly contemn, common probability. I am 
acquainted with the principles of the Coptic, or 
old Egyptian. I feel a very powerful desire to 
learn the different affinities of the African tribes. 
We know Coptic, Arabic, Abyssinian, or old 
Arabic from Yemen, a few words of the Berber 


tongue ; but the singular language of the Shan- 
gall a, Donza^ and many other tribes, totally black, 
that people the interior, are all unknown ! 

*' How long will it be before we are able to 
settle the affinities of our species, and trace the 
progress of man on the globe? Knowledge of 
this kind is both useful and interesting. It gives 
us a history of the ancient state of the race, and 
leads to communications with the different tribes. 
For until we can maintain intercourse by speech 
and writing, we cannot make much progress in 
carrying on an unbroken correspondence with 
any country. I am sorry to think that Ras 
Welleda Selasse is so old, and that so little can 
be expected from his exertions. If he had been 
joung, or adventurous, he might have soon 
settled affairs at Gondar. Ras Michael must 
have been very old and infirm before his death. 
I shall wait with great impatience for further 
accounts of the white traveller that your Abys- 
nnian proteges have heard of in Ifat. If he be 
either Parke, or Horneman, we may hope to hear 
of things unknown to all Europe hitherto. 
' *' I hope that the translation of the patriarch's 
instructions will convince the Society that the 
African Christians, though ignorant, are not care- 
less as to matters of religion, and lead it to do 

z 2 

%iB nOL UFL €r 

mimtihmg m tke wmw of maiMBiaj^ tkr inter- 
count inik Hahfcrdi. Be so kind, m j clear sir, 
a* to let Bie \aiam, bjr a fine or tvo, tliat jou 
liare receiired this packet, as I siioiild be uneasy 
tliat it miscarried; and inform me as to the 
state ei jam health, and whether yoo hare any 
intentions of risiting Scotland this smnmer, and 
all other matters that occur to you. 

'^ I am, dear sir, your very sincere and 
Affectionate friend and servant, 

Alex. Murray." 

« Henry Salt, Esq." 

In the month of June 1812, Mr. Murray ad- 
dressed the following letter to Mr. Salt, request- 
ing him to use his interest in getting him ap- 
pointed to the professorship of Oriental lan- 
guages in the University of Edinburgh^ which 
had for some time been vacant. Zeal and ac* 
tivity in the service of a friend^ or indeed of any 
one whom he believed to be meritorious, were 
qualities in which Salt was never found deficient, 
and Accordingly he exerted himself on the occa- 
sion with so much promptitude and warmth, as 
greatly to contribute to the ultimate success of 
Mr. Murray after l^very arduous contest. 



" Manse of Urr, June 1812. 

'' Dear Sir, 

" The professorship of Oriental languages in 
the University of Edinburgh has become vacant 
a few months since. I have been proposed as a 
candidate for it, and have good hopes of suc- 
ceeding in the application. Would you do me 
the honour of writing a short note in attesta- 
tion of your knowledge and sentiments with 
regard to my acquisitions in Oriental literature, 
and of the motives which led you to recommend 
me to the Marquess Wellesley as a proper per- 
son for translating the Abyssinian letter to the 
King. This note you will be so kind as to 
address to me by post as soon as you conve- 
niently can. It will do me much honour, and 
be of service to me in the application above- 
mentioned. « ♦ ♦ I am, dear sir, with the 
greatest regard and respect, 

" Your very obedient friend and servant, 

(In haste.) Alex. Murray.'* 

♦* To Henry Salt, Esq." 

About the time of his receiving this letter, the 
general health of Mr. Salt had been so much 
shaken by his late complaints, that he was advised 


to take horse exercise, and to try a change of air; 
he accordingly went for a short period to Lichfield, 
and experienced a good deal of benefit from the 
excursion. This city during the war had been 
made a depot for the French officers, who were 
prisoners of war, many of whom, in consequence 
of Bonaparte's system of carrying on hostilities, 
had remained in captivity for a number of years 
upon parole. With one of these, who had long 
been pining in sickness, Mr. Salt appears, firom 
the following letter, to have become acquainted, 
and to have interested himself in his behalf. 

<« Lichfield, ce 13 Juin 1812. 

'' MoN CHER Monsieur, 
** D'apres les offires honnetes que vous avez bira 
voulu me faire ce matin dans votre visite amicale, 
je m'empresse de vous envoyer la note qui vous 
donnera tons les renseignemens n^cessaires pour 
me faire avoir ma liberty. II est tres difficile, je 
le sais, de pouvoir obtenir quelque chose dans le 
moment actuel ; mais rien ne coute k I'honune 
sensible qui veut faire des heureux: — les puis- 
sans protecteurs qui vous honorent de leur 
amitie, les rares talents qui vous font respecter 
par-tout, me font un sur garant de la reussite de 
vos demarches. Je suis bien persuade de Tin- 


teret que vous mettrez k faire renvoyer dans sa 
patrie un malheureux invalide, qui traine une 
existence languissante depuis neuf ans qu'il est 
prisonnier de guerre. Recevez les assurances de 
la plus vive reconnaissance, et du plus profond 
respect. " J'ai Thonneur d'etre. Monsieur, 

Votre tr^s humble et tr^s obeissant serviteur, 

^ A Monsieur F. LiSSEYRG." 

Monsieur Salt, fils, 
a Lichfield/' 

I never learned with what success Salt's en- 
deavours were attended on this occasion ; but I 
am sure it must have been a case that in his 
opinion called for much sympathy, as he was 
certainly, from national feeling, not very likely 
to interfere at such a time in an affair of this 
nature. After his return from Lichfield, he was 
sufficiently recovered to ride over to Colchester, 
in Essex, to pay a short visit to my family who 
were then resident in the place ; but on his way 
thither an accident befel him which had nearly 
terminated his earthly career. Some time be- 
fore, he had purchased a horse, upon which he 
performed the journey; but his judgment, in 
matters of this nature, not being at this time 
at least of the very first order, the steed he 


MJtcteA bore, in mppemrance, no small affinity 
to the £v-£uiied Pegasus of the knight of La 
Manrhaj disfdayiDg more bone than flesh or 
figure ; so that some of his friends used jokingly 
to teU him, in his then reduced state, that he 
and hb horse seemed to be in admirable keeping. 
Ue was at no time of his life an expert horse- 
man, and always an extremely careless one ; and 
I confess I was not much surprised when I re- 
ceired firom him the following account of his 

** Colchester, July 14th, 1812. 

'* Dear John, 
*' I hare the pleasure to inform you that my 
neck is not broken ; at the same time, that I 
hare the woeful and very lamentable intelligence 
to send you of my fdling from my horse on my 
way to Colchester, or rather of my having been 
thrown with considerable detriment to my ani- 
mal frame, and that my hip has thereby been 
so much bruised that I have been obliged to act 
the wooden-legged man ever since my arrival. 
At this you will not be surprised, or at my es- 
caping so miraculously any more serious catas- 
trophe. Seriously, I have great reason to be 
satisfied, for I was cantering very gaily across 


Lexden Heath, when an unlucky hole caught the 
horse's foot^ and we both made a somerset toge- 
ther. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Though lame^ I have much 
enjoyed my stay. I am still unable to get away, 
and have therefore postponed my departure to 
Friday, and shall see you on Saturday. • ♦ ♦ ♦ 

" I am, dear John, 
Your very constant correspondent, 

Henry Salt.** 

On his arrival in London, he received a letter 
from Mr. Murray, from which the following are 
extracts, acquainting him with the successAil 
issue of his election. 

" Manse of Urr, July 13tli, 1812. 

" Dear Sir, 
" It is my duty and desire to inform you, that 
in consequence chiefly of your letter to the Lord 
Provost of Edinburgh, and of that procured by 
you from Lord Castlereagh, I have been elected 
professor of the Eastern languages in the Uni- 
versity of that city. The Town Council, a body 
of thirty-three voters, was divided ; one party 
for a clergyman in the city, and another for me, 
which with some difficulty proved to be the ma- 
jority. I had recommendations from every per- 


«0B of rmiitfnre mbout Edinburgli, and, had I 
DOC gmiDed the Tictory, I understand that the 
pabac would haTe expressed great dissatisfieu^ 

^ In conseqocDoe of this erent I am placed in 
the littfaiy cirde of our metropolis, which, 
though Ttoi so extensive as that of the capital of 
the eflDfMre^ is neTertheless very respectable and 
actrre. The emoluments of the place are not 
equal, in solid value, to those of the living which 
I hold, but must, in a year or so, resign, on 
account of its distance firom town. But my 
firiciids will attempt to improve them by some- 
thing additional : and the opportunities of the 
situation are to me very desirable on many 
accounts. If any Abyssinian undertaking should 
occur to the British and Foreign Bible Society, 
I shall be much more able to attend to it (on 
the supposition that they honour me with their 
commands) in my professional than in my cleri- 
cal situation. The necessity of being in town 
all the winter at least, brings me near the best 
libraries, the press, and every other part of 
philological apparatus. As Mrs. Bruce has rela- 
tions in Edinburgh, perhaps she might, by 
pro[K^r application, be prevailed on to let us 
have the use of her biblical MSS. by depositing 


them for a time in some public library, or with 
her confidential friends. 

'' I return you my sincere and heartfelt thanks 
for the assistance you have given me towards 
procuring this place. The honour which has 
been conferred on me by the united attestations 
in my behalf of the first-rate men in the king- 
dom, might induce me to be a little vain, were 
it not evident to every person of good sense that 
their favourable opinion lays me under the most 
solemn responsibility as to the manner in which 
I shall execute the duties of this recent appoint- 
ment. I shall feel highly gratified by a line or 
two from you at your leisure ; I would also 
request you to make it known to Lord Castle- 
reagh, that his letter was respectfully attended 
to by not a few of the members of the Town 
Council of Edinburgh. * ♦ ♦ ♦ 

" I am, dear sir. 
Your very faithful friend, 
and much obliged humble servant, 

Alexander Murray." 

« Henry Salt, Esq." 



Salt joins Mr. Justice Bosanquet on a Tour to Wales.— 
Epistle from the Ras to Mr. Salt, sent for translation to 
Mr. Murray. — That Gentleman's Letter, enclosing the 
English version. — Death of Mr. Murray. — Particulars 
relative to that event, m a Letter to Mr. Salt from Mr. 
Constable of Edinburgh. — Publication of Mr. Murray's 
Work on Languages. — Letters from Salt to the Author.— 
Salt's return to London.-— He undergoes a surgical oper- 
ation. — An alarming Fit. — An Apothecary's mistake- 
Salt diverts the tedium of ilhiess by writing Squibs on 
his Friends. — A Young Lady's revenge. — Salt devotes 
himself to the preparation of his Travels for publication. 
— His Letters to the Author. — Salt repairs to the sea- 
side for his health. — Afflicting Scenes. — An Epitaph.— 
Salt's return to London. — Letter to Lord Valentia. 

As soon as Mr. Salt had returned from Essex, 
and had recovered from the effects of his recent 
accident, he set off to Lichfield to see his father; 
he also paid a short visit to Lord Valentia at 
Arley, and then proceeded on a tour to Wales, 
in company, I believe, with Mr. Justice Bosan- 


quet and family^ from whom he had experienced 
great civility and attention. About the time of 
his quitting London upon this excursion^ my 
friend Mr. Broughton found it necessary to take 
a house in the neighbourhood of Argyll Street 
entirely to himself, and in consequence, Mr. Salt 
and I entered into an arrangement to keep 
house together (in the one I had hitherto occu- 
pied conjointly with Mr. Broughton), and here 
we continued to reside till a change in my own 
views obliged us to separate. Our plan, how- 
ever, owing to his Welsh tour, did not com- 
pletely take effect till some months after. Mr. 
Salt returned to London the following Novem- 
ber, having in the course of his absence sent 
the annexed reply to Mr. Murray's preceding 
letter : — 

*< Lichfield, August 11th, 1812. 

" My dear Sir, 
" I most heartily congratulate you on your 
success in gaining the Professorship, a distinc- 
tion which is honourable both to yourself and to 
the University. I am at present on my way to 
make a tour in Wales with a party of ladies, 
and am so engaged that I have it not in my 
power to give you a longer letter. I have en- 
closed a letter which I received a short time ago 


from the Ras, of which, perhaps, you will be 
good «MMigh to send me a translation. My 
direction in town will, on my return, be No. 10, 
Argyll Street, nnder coyer, as usual, to Mr. Ha- 
milton at the Foreign Office ; that is, when yon 
hare inclosures to send, otherwise it will always 
giTe me pleasure to hear from you direct. 

" Believe me, my dear sir. 

Yours most truly, 

Henry Salt." 

*" Rer. Alexander Murraj." 


** Manse of Unr, October 17th, 1812. 

" My dear Sir, 
** I reckon myself blameable for not having 
acknowledged long before this time that I re- 
ceived your letter, dated August 11th, 1812, 
enclosing the letter from the Governor of Tigre. 
I was in Edinburgh when it arrived here, and 
consequently some delay took place before I 
could examine it. Since my return, I have been 
engaged in a variety of matters, and indolence 
has likewise had a share of my time, for which 
I know not how to make an apology. Yet, 
nothing was more agreeable to me than to hear 
from you, and had your time permitted you to 


write a longer letter, you would have added to 
my enjoyments, I have found some diflSculty in 
making out the Ras's letter, because it is mostly 
written in Amharic, of which we have no gram- 
mar, nor dictionary, except Ludolfs. These 
are imperfect works, as he himself willingly 
acknowledged and regretted. When at Kin- 
naird in 1811, I copied the Song of Solomon, 
in Amharic, from Bruce's MS. which I really 
think ought to be published, along with a new 
edition of Ludolfs Amharic Grammar and Dic- 
tionary, for the use of the literati and of gentle- 
men who intend to visit Abyssinia. On this 
last topic you write not a word. May I venture 
to inquire, in a confidential way, how matters 
stand at present with regard to Abyssinia? 
Have you any thoughts of revisiting that coun- 
try ? and what is the mind of Government with 
regard to Africa ? 1 should think that the 
African Institution and the Biblical Society must 
be disposed to promote the interests of religion 
and science among the people of that continent, 
and that many eminent persons of all descrip- 
tions might be found ready to support the 
wishes of philosophy, literature, and commercial 
knowledge. Our close connection with India 
obliges all the servants of the Company to get 

358 TIIE LIFE or 

some acqiiaintance with eastern languages and 
literature ; and this diffuses a taste for that sort 
of reading among a very numerous class. I 
have found many of these gentlemen very curi* 
ous about Abyssinia^ and I am almost certain 
that more information as to that country, and 
the regions around it, would be very acceptable. 
Are you acquainted with Sir William Drum- 
mond, of Logic Almond ? He has a turn for 
Oriental literature, and is a contributor to the 
Classical Journal, published by Valpy. I have 
lately had a correspondence with him on Phoe- 
nician inscriptions, on one of which, found at 
Malta, he has actually published an essay. I 
apprehend that he would be very ready to use 
his influence in promoting any undertaking rela- 
tive to Africa. If I mistake not, he has been in 
the East, in a diplomatic capacity, not many 
years since. 

" The translation of the Ras's letter, as far 
as I can make it out, is below. It is a mixture 
of Geez and Amharic, and though it contains 
little, except compliments, seems to be very kind 
and sincere. I mark the Geez by an under- 
lineation [italics] ; all the rest is Amharic. I 
make it as literal as possible. 


' / tuill write my message in the Geez Ian-- 
guage. How art thou, my dear Mr. Sawelt ? I 
am most happy that thou hast returned safe. 
Heaven is with thee : Earth is with thee. How 
art thou, Hinorai Sawelt ? Peace be to thee, and 
may the peace of the Lord be with thee! Above 
all things, how art thou, my friend Hinorai 
Sawelt ? As to my country, the locust has 
eaten it while the sun was. As for me ; I am 
going on an expedition [or, I am going on a' 
campaign] when I have rested for the winter. 
Thy stranger has returned to my country to 
pass the winter [or, that he may winter with 
me.] And there/ore how art thou, my dear Mr. 
Sawelt ? I am most happy that thou hast re- 
turned safe. Above all things, how art thou, 
Hinorai Sawelt ? With respect to my country, 
it is an affliction that the locust has eaten it 
Peace be to thee, and may the peace of the Lord 
be with thee f* 

'' The Ras's seal is added. It is the same 
that was used in the letter to the King. ♦ * * 
It appears that Tigre has been affected in the 
summer, or clear season, by locusts, an incident 
that I believe occurs rather too often. The 

VOL. L 2 a 



letter has been written in the rainy season, 
I suppose that the stranger whom he mentions ifl 
one of the persons you left at his court. 
I consider this letter as very kind and polil 
though the simplicity of the eastern style 
^pear to little advantage in literal English. 

" 1 go into Edinburgh in the iirst week of 
November in order to begin my public labours 
as Professor of Hebrew and other Eastern lan- 
'guages. I see that 1 shall be able to teach San- 
scrit, Bengalee, Hindostanee, Persic, Arabic, and 
some other dialects. I am most happy as to the 
Sanscrit, as it is the base of all the modem 
dialects of India, and very little known in Bri< 
tain. A few gentlemen in India, or lately in 
that country, have alone made any progress in 
it- To the scholars of the West it has hitherto 
been a language completely unknown, • • • • 
You may rest assured that my trifling services 
are always at your command ; and it is 
great respect and esteem that 1 am, dear sir, 
" Yours, &c. 

Alex. MuRRAr.l 
»' Henry Salt, Em}." 


This letter reached London in the absence i 
Mr. Salt, and his address at the time not 1: 


known, he did not get it till his return, some 
weeks afterwards. It was destined to be the 
last he was to receive from his highly gifted 
correspondent, who had not long entered on the 
labours of hia new situation at Edinburgh, when 
he fell a victim, in the prime of life, to an in- 
curable disease, with which he had been for a 
long time previously afflicted, and which had 
probably been somewhat hastened by too severe 
an application to his arduous pursuits. His loss 
was deeply lamented by a large circle of friends, 
and by every one who was acquainted with his 
modest, unassuming worth and extraordinary 
literary acquirements. The news of his death 
greatly affected Mr. Salt, both as a public and' 
private misfortune, and he ever afterwards 
spoke of him in terms of the highest regard and 
esteem. He wrote a letter to Mr. Constable as 
soon as he learned the decease of Dr. Murray, 
and the answer he received ftom that gentleman 
g^ves some particulars relative to the event, 
which probably will not be found uninteresting 
to the reader. The following are extracts from 
the letter. 

2a 2 



« Edinburgh, April 26th, 1813. 

" Dear Sir, 

" I am favoured with your letter of the 22nd. 
I would have written to you on the occasion of 
Dr. Murray's death, but was uncertain whether 
you were in London. 

" The learning of the country has sustained 
a very great loss in the death of our most emi- 
nent and worthy friend — such as cannot be sup- 
plied, I fear, by any one now living. Dr. Mur- 
ray's constitution was naturally weak, and he 
had been affected by asthmatic complaints for 
a number of years. He was confined to his 
apartments for nearly three months, and died 
a perfect shadow, without any previous appre- 
hension of the visibly approaching change. He 
has left a wife and two children ; a boy and a 
girl, the eldest of whom is under four years of 
age — and but with little provision. There is 
every probability, I hope however, of a pension 
being granted by Government, respecting which 
application has already been made. Dr. Murray 
left no settlement of his affairs. His widow has 
requested Principal Baird, Mr. Herries of Spottes, 
the principal heritor of the parish of Urr, and 




myself, to take charge of his papers, and act as 
the guardians of the children — a duty which all 
of us have undertaken to discharge with the best 
of our ability. • * • • • You are aware, I 
presume, that Dr. Murray had nearly ready for 
the press a most laborious and curious work on 
languages, which we shall bring forward with as 
little delay as possible ; and, in order to get as 
much money by it as we can, I think of pub- 
lishing the first edition by subscription ; and 
shall consequently take the liberty of soliciting 
your assistance iu this particular. In the mean 
time I have the honour to be, dear sir, 

" Your obedient servant, 

Archibald Constable." 

The work alluded to above was afterwards 
published, and I have heard it spoken of as a 
production of great ingenuity and learning. ! 
do not know how it answered ; probably not too 
well, as from the nature of the subject it could 
not be a book of general interest. 1 never 
learned whether Mr. Salt was able to procure 
any subscribers, but I remember he exerted 
himself on the occasion ; and, not long since, 1 
found among his papers one of the prospectuses, 
with the names of a number of persons written 




on the back in his own hand, whose subscriptii 
he had either obtained, or intended to solicit. 
After his departure from London, on 
tour to Wales, several months elapsed before 
heard from him ; in fact, he appears to hai 
been so delighted mth his excursion, as to haw 
had no disposition to think of any other subject, 
and it was not till nearly the end of October that 
I received any intelligence of his movements. 
I then got several letters, from some of which I 
subjoin a few extracts. 

■' Upper Arlej-, StatTordGlUr^ 
Oct. 20th, 1812. 

" Dear Halls, 
" I have at last the pleasure to inform 
of my return thus far on my way to London 
from my Welsh excursion, which has proved so 
delightful as to absorb all my faculties, and which 
can alone excuse my not having before written 
to you. I hope all our establishment goes OB' 
well in Argyll Street * * • In a very shi 
time I indulge myself in the thought of joining' 
you, and of spending a most agreeable winter in 
the bosom of friendship and the arts. Pray how 
have you arranged your journey to Shrewsbury t. 
I was there about a month ago, and 
pected to be ready for you about this time. 



rewsbury t^^| 
they eM^H 
time. I^^l 


it should prove so^ Lord Valentia will hare great 
pleasure in seeing you here^ and I shall with 
equal pleasure accompany you to Shrewsbury^ 
where I believe I could render you considerable 
assistance. It appears to me that you will have 
a pretty serious job. There is not a soul there 
who knows anything about painting or drawing, 
so that except in the jewels and ornamental 
parts^ you can have no assistance. ♦ ♦ ♦ Your 
designs, compared with everything they have at 
Shrewsbury, look beautiful, splendidly beautiful, 
which is a great matter ! ♦ ♦ ♦ 

'' Henry Salt.** 

It turned out, however, that I was not wanted 
at Shrewsbury till June in the following year, 
and, had it proved otherwise. Salt could not 
have accompanied me, as I received a letter from 
him a few days after, in which he says : 

" You will be sorry to hear that I am at present 
very unwell from a painful swelling in my right 
leg, which has been coming on for some time, and 
to which I have lately applied leeches, blisters, 
&c. The periosteum is certainly affected, and 
I shall not be easy till I get under Brodie*s care. 
I have written to him, and cannot decide about 
moving till I get his answer. Yours, &c. 

" November 2nd, 181 a." Henry SaLT." 


Having received Mr. Brodie's permission to 
undertake the journey^ he shortly afterwards 
reached London, and took up his abode with me 
in Argyll Street. His complaint had rapidly 
increased, and, when he arrived, he was unable 
to walk, and looked wretchedly. The disease 
turned out, as he had apprehended, to be a 
thickening of the periosteum on the shin-bone 
of the leg. An operation, of rather a severe de- 
scription, had by this time become necessary, and 
it was accordingly performed by Mr. Brodie 
without delay. From the length and depth of 
the incision, the suffering must have been very 
considerable; but I was told he bore it with 
great fortitude, and when I was permitted to re- 
enter the room he was in excellent spirits, and 
went to bed, apparently, as if nothing had oc- 
curred, so that I felt quite easy about him. 

At an early hour in the morning, however, I 
was awakened by my servant, who begged me 
to get up immediately, as Mr. Salt appeared to 
be dying. On reaching his chamber I was ex- 
ceedingly alarmed, as I beheld him, for the first 
time, labouring under one of those terrible spas- 
modic affections to which he was occasionally 
liable throughout nearly his whole life. He was 
speechless ; but I perceived, by the . expression 



of his eye, and the slight movement of his lips, 
that he wished to say something to me which he 
was unable to articulate. On the first alarm I 
had sent off my servant for medical assistance ; 
but at so early an hour, at that time of the 
year, none could be immediately procured. In 
the mean while the spasms continued with un- 
abated violence. All the muscles of his body 
were distorted and drawn into knots, and the 
writhings of his whole person presented to the 
view a species of terrible sublimity which, even 
in that moment of anxiety, put me forcibly in 
mind of the statue of Laocoon. 

Never having seen him before under the in- 
fluence of such an attack, and knowing the ope- 
ration he had undergone, I was for some time 
fearful that he was seized with tetanus ; but as 
Boon as the worst symptoms had subsided, he 
was enabled to whisper the word " ether," which 
somewhat quieted my apprehensions, as I recol- 
lected that it was the medicine he always used 
in what he called his hysteric attacks. As this, 
however, could not be directly procured, I pro- 
posed his trying to take a little hot water, to 
which he nodded assent, and with some difficulty 
I was enabled to insert a tea-spoonful or two 
between his teeth, which quickly brought him 



He had no cooner come a little to himself 
when a neighbooiing apothecary arrived^ who 
was the occasion of a scene Tery di£ferent from 
the preceding. I had heard frtmi Salt that in 
earl J life he had met with an accident in his 
great toe, which had bent it upwards, and some- 
what deformed it. It so happened, when the 
medical man entered the room, that this same 
toe appeared fit>m under the coverings resting 
against one of the bed-posts, and it immediately 
attracted the anxious attention of the doctor. 
'' See, sir," said he to me in great alarm, ** look 
at that toe ; the spasm continues, and I must im- 
mediately send something to alleyiate the sym- 
ptom !" A single glance which I gave Salt con- 
vinced me I must not repeat the experiment, for 
there was a mingled expression of impatience 
and comicality in his countenance, which Hera- 
clitus himself could scarcely have withstood: 
luckily the doctor speedily left the room for his 
restorative ; but he had hardly closed the door, 
when Salt exclaimed, half in fun and half in 
earnest, " For God's sake. Halls, don't let me 
see that man again !" 

Soon afterwards Mr. Brodie came in, and found 
that the mischief had arisen from the swelling of 
the lint, which had been inserted into the inci- 


sion to prevent the flesh from uniting, and which 
had pressed upon the adjacent nerves. No 
serious symptoms occurred m the sequel: the 
complaint having slowly subsided after it had 
confined him to his couch for several months. 

In the course of. this long and tedious illness, 
he occasionally amused himself in writing letters 
and squibs to his friends, and, among others, he 
sent some of his saucy messages, accompanied 
by a copy of verses, to a young lady of our com- 
mon acquaintance, who in return revenged her- 
self by addressing to him the following lines, 
entitled, '* The Abyssinian Wanderer's Lament." 


'< Ofl have I listened and stood still, 
VHien the sound wandered up the hill, 
And deemed it the lament of legs 
That languished for a pair of pegs" 

Vide Scott's Marmion. 


Oh many a dismal week I 'ye past. 
No hope < that this may be the last,' 
It really makes me quite downcast, 

With you, my leg. 

For, spite of all the watchful care 

Of J. J. H and Sally fair, 

I still could wish the pain more rare 

Of you, my leg. 


And in mj walk I 're sodi a halt. 
No lao. «▼« ooe who *s at a fault, 
Vnn think of wedding Henry Salt 

Alas ! mj 1^. 

Yet dieer b j heart, nor sigh in vain, 
Tkne maj set all to rigfats again, 
Aad then, do longer 1 11 coo^lain, 

Of joo, mj leg. 

l*pm the wbole, it appears probable tbat this 
acciietinl illness eTentnally turned out to his 
ftdraBoaT^ » i< enabled him to pay that serious 
an«fi»» to the work in which he was engaged, 
wiiacli it 1$ to be feared he would have found it 
ii£cuh to bestow had he been left at liberty to 
min^e in the fererish excitements of the metro- 
polis^ To confess the truth, he had run no 
^mall danger, since his return, firom Abyssinia, of 
dissipating the enei^ of his character, by en- 
gaging in a variety of amusing pursuits without 
fixing his anention on any one determinate 
object* He was much in society, not only 
among the middling, but the higher classes of 
tife« and he fell unwarily into an extensive 
round of engagements and company, which left 
him only a small portion of time to devote to 
more serious avocations* 

iXvasionally, indeed, an industrious fit would 




come over him, and then he would sit down 
earnestly for a short period, and proceed with 
his Travels ; but having all his sketches, notes, 
and many of his observations at hand, it was 
difficult to persuade him that much time and 
attention would be required to prepare and 
arrange them for publication. He composed 
with readiness, and being gifted with a reten- 
tive memory and a clear intellect, he found his 
progress very rapid whenever he seriously went 
to work. This very readiness, however, often 
proved his greatest hindrance, and led him to 
imagine, inconsiderately, that before some de- 
sirable and permanent situation really offered, 
he shoulcj always find time enough to complete 
his Travels ; and thus, perhaps, he might have 
continued "to defer the evil day" till his ap- 
pointment to the Consul-Generalship of Egjjyt 
would have rendered his former procrastination 
.irremediable. His present ill state of health 
necessarily abstracting him from the blandish- 
ments of the world, some employment became 
indispensable, and he was compelled to devote 
those hours to his work, which, under other 
circumstances, might have been wasted, if not 
in idleness, at least in unprofitable occupation. 
Having, however, once fairly engaged in the 



undertaking, he began to find that it was a more 
serious business than he had before contem- 
plated, and ^* setting his shoulders to the wheel"* 
in good earnest, he soon made a considerable 
progress, so that by the latter end of the fol- 
lowing year he was enabled to offer the work to 
his publisher in a state of readiness for the press. 
While he was suffering under his very unplea- 
sant malady, I was under the necessity of leaving 
him to himself, having received a summons firom 
my family at Colchester to attend the death4)ed 
of my mother, who had long been afflicted by an 
incurable disease. Many months previously I 
had been engaged in painting a very large pic- 
ture of *' The Raising of Jairus's Daughter," 
which, owing to my being so suddenly called 
home, I was obliged to send in to the British 
Gallery in a somewhat incomplete state. I 
mention these circumstances, as they will serve 
to explain several passages in the letters I re-, 
ceived from Salt in my absence, and from which 
I shall subjoin a few extracts. 

« January 12, 1813. 

" Dear John, 
** I have no news of any sort, kind, or descrip- 
tion, to send you, and therefore I do think I am 
acting rather unfairly by your pocket in sending 


you this epistle, but, as you desired it, the blame 
IB your own. I am indeed most sorry to hear 
the inelancholy state of your poor mother ; the 
only hope left is, that she soon may be released 
from her sufferings. It is a painful thing to 
wish, yet you must make up your mind to it. I 
do not think your returning to town is of any 
consequence until the opening of the Gallery. 
Of the advisability of your stay at Colchester 
you will be the best judge. I have not heard a 
word about the great picture, nor am I likely, I 
think, at present. Lord Valentia was here yes- 
terday, and he, too, has no news to communi- 
cate. * * • * * And therefore how art thou, 
my dear friend, Hinoria Sawelt V Kindest re- 
membrance to every branch of your family. 

'* Believe me, &c. 

H. Salt.** 

'' P.S. I am tired of my own company, and 
shall be very glad to see you back again." 

Shortly afterwards I received the following : — 

" January 19, 1813. 

" Dear John, 
*' I am sincerely obliged by the kind manner 
in which your poor mother speaks of me, and 



wish to God it were in my power to be of 
service. The account you give me is, indeei 
most lamentable, but as I conceive you can be of 
little use, I should think upon the whole, it 
would be better for you to return to town. 
• • • • I fgg] your absence very much, being 
rather worse than when you left me. This I 
attribute in a great measure to the sarsnparilla 
having agaiu ceased to operate. • • • • You 
ought not to take it as aii ill omen that you do 
not hear about your picture. I do not go out, 
and I have not seen a single person who was 
likely to hear of it, except Mr. PhilHpSj 
spoke of it the other day in a very fiatl 
way at Holworthy's, where I went in a coach 
dine. The pictures are to be varnished this 
week, but the Gallery does not open till the 
1st of February. * • • • | beg jq be re- 
membered most kindly to your mother, father, 
and sisters. 

" Yours, Sec. 

H. Salt.' 

ind hl^^_ 
ach tJ^B 

Notwithstanding this letter, and the kind 
monstrances of ray family and friends, I could 
not bring myself to leave home till the sad trial 
that awaited me was over. I therefore wrote to 


H£NRY SALT. 869 


Salt^ and requested him to obtain leave to have 
the picture varnished in my absence. In the 
mean while I received the following letter, which 
perhaps raised my hopes, and, which was of 
more importance, served to cheer the last days 
of an affectionate parent with the flattering 
prospect of my ultimate success. 

<< January 2l8t, 1813. 

" Dear John, 
'* Though I conceive you may have left Col- 
chester before the arrival of this, yet I am 
willing to take the chance of your still being 
there, for the purpose of communicating some 
flattering intelligence respecting the great work. 
Lord Valentia has lately been here, and he in- 
forms me that he has seen Mr. Payne Knight, 
one of the committee, and that he speaks of 
your picture with great rapture. He says, the 
committee were all struck with it as one of the 
greatest efforts that has been made in England, 
not for a young artist, but for any artist ; that the 
group around the girl is equal to the best works 
of Dominichino ; that three of the committee 
wish it to be bought ; and in fine, that they are 
all delighted with it. Now, I do think this por- 
tends well, and that it will gain for you at least 
'vol. I. 2 b 


mmt, 9mi hu of fimc • # • • So 
irU of |Miai r ■ i , dm Ra^iaei 6[ the 
Ffiirh school, reocrne dw ooogntulatioiis of 
tkr Boa ■lif^iiifa iin friend, wbo, bowing at the 
ftmuiiMl iif ihi ■khiiiim^ doth Bofascribe him- 
kU; m aD kniEtr, *< Thy slare, 

H. Salt." 

A fev daTs afker the receipt of the above 
lectcT I lost my motho-, and returned to London 
ms soon ms dw Imst melancholy ceremony had 
been perfHmed. I found Salt still confined, 
and in a rery indiffisrent state of health, but he 
bad made considerable jNrogress in his work 
dnring my absence. In March 1813, I was 
again called away from him for some time, by 
the death of my maternal uncle, the Rev. Dr. 
Gamett, late Dean of Exeter: On my return I 
found Salt somewhat improved in health; but 
his constitution had been a good deal shaken by 
his complaint and long confinement, and it was 
many months before he again got entirely round. 
At the end of May I went to Shrewsbury to 
finish my engagement for the glass window of 
Lichfield Cathedral. As Salt had anticipated, I 
found the undertaking of a much more serious 
nature than I had been led to expect. I was 


generally at work by five in the morning, and 
continued my labours till seven in the evening, 
in a small room situated over the glass furnace, 
and in the hottest season of the year, so that, 
since the days of Will Waddle, no ' single gen- 
tleman' ever received a more, thorough baking 
than I underwent for a period of nearly six 

While I remained at this place many letters 
passed between me and Salt, but as they were 
chiefly of a private nature I shall insert only 
the following extracts from his portion of the 
correspondence, with the view chiefly of carrying 
on the narrative. 

« June 4th, 1813, Argyll Street. 

*' Dear John, 
** I am much obliged to you for your very 
characteristic letter. I thought matters would 
turn out just as they have done. ♦ ♦ ♦ » But 
I am delighted to hear the Dean is pleased, as it 
must take away from your mind much of the 
anxiety concerning the eventual progress that 
may be made by others. Pray, how do you like 
glass-painting? Is it as easy as daubing can- 
vass, or spoiling panels ? Much the same, I 
suppose. By the by, if you had a good stainer, 

2 B 2 


and you speak highly of your co-partner, 
Mr. Betton, it might he a pretty trade in the 
present ornamental and encouraging age. * * 
• * • To tell you the truth, I am at this mo- 
ment in such a humour that I do not know 
whether to laugh or to cry. I have had a slight 
relapse of my leg, and I am advised to go to 
the sea-side, which I believe I shall shortly. I 
have also had bad news concerning my brother 
Charles. He is very ill, and is gone from Bath; 
has sold his business, and retired to a small 
village in Gloucestershire. I think we had, at 
once» better all retire and found an hospital. 
The taking of Hamburgh has also distressed me. 
For this the Danes deserve hanging, drawing, 
and quartering. I have written to Dr. Darwin, 
of Lichfield, to write to his brother. I hope 
you will get acquainted with the latter, as he is 
by far the first man in Shrewsbury. By the by, 
you have never mentioned what d clock it is? 
We are all going wrong ! 

*' Yours, &c. 

H. Salt." 

'' P. S. You are not wanted in London, Lord 
Wentworth being very ill." 


*< June Idth, 1813, Argyll Street. 

'' Dear Halls, 

" The reason of your order not haviog beeu 
sent sooner has arisen from your trusting, con- 
trary to your usual practice, your*letter to an 
irregular conveyance. Had you sent it by the 
post on Saturday, I should have had it on Mon- 
day, whereas I did not get it till very late on 
Tuesday. On the receipt of it I immediately 
ordered the things to be sent you, so that you 
will receive them before this letter. * • * ♦ 
Dr. Parr came to take leave of you yesterday^ 
Hje paid me a visit, and gave me a most kind 
invitation to Hatton, which, as I am no whig, 
must be taken as an high complin^ent. « « • ♦ 

*' H. Salt." 

'' I begin to think that I really am attached 
to you. Things do not go on so well without 

Having completed my engagement at Shrews- 
bury, I returned about the beginning of July to 
London, where I found Salt still an invalid, and 
projecting a journey which he could not bring 
himself to undertake before my arrival ; but 
afler we had passed about a week together, it 
was judged necessary by his medical attendants 


that he should lose no time in proceeding to the 
sea-side^ and accordingly he took his departure 
for Southend, in Essex, on the I6th of July. 
At this place he remained for about a month, 
and in spite «of the afflicting and somewhat dan* 
gerous scene he was called upon to witness, 
experienced much benefit from his residence in 
that quarter. The following letter, which I 
received from him while at Southend, will best 
explain the circumstance to which I allude, and 
will place in an interesting point of view the 
active benevolence and fearless disregard of all 
selfish considerations which animated his con- 
duct, whenever an opportunity was afforded him 
of alleviating ^he sufferings of those whom he 
regarded and esteemed. 

** Thursday, Southend, July 24th, 18ia 

'' Dear John, 
" By your favour, inclosed with Miss Gam- 
bier's letter to her family, which in my hurry I 
left behind me in Argyll Street, you appear to 
have been in a gay humour. I have been, since 
I left you, witnessing scenes of such a very dis- 
tressing nature that I am, for once in my life, 
disposed to be serious. On my arrival here I 
found Miss G 's family in great sorrow, 


owing to one of the boys* having been seized 
with a fever. On Saturday it put on an alarm- 
ing appearance, and it was thought right to send 
away all the children ; so that Mrs. Gambier 
was left, with Miss Harriet only, to attend the 
poor little fellow, who soon fell into a torpor, 
like that in which I lay when afflicted with the 
disease at Lichfield. Mr. Swain, an apothecary, 
had been called in, and luckily he informed 
Mrs. Gambier that Dr. Hugh, physician of Bar- 
tholomew's, was on a visit in the neighbourhood. 
He was immediately called in, but had very 
little hope of the case. On Sunday morning the 
child had so violent an attack that the mother 
thought he was dying ; and as there was at that 
time no male in the house. Miss Harriet came 
over to me, and begged me to step in. Nothing 
could be more dreadful than the state in which 
I found him. He was totally insensible, his 
mouth as black as a coal, and his respiration 
very difficult. As thay seemed to be relieved by 
my presence, I took a bed in the house, and 
have since, till within an hour, been present at 
one of the most trying scenes that can be ima- 

* '< A fine handsome boy, about eleven years old, who 
was perfectly well on the Sunday preceding." — He was a 
nephew of the late Lord Gambier. — E. 


gined. As the disease was highly infectious, no 
penoo was admitted into the room but the 
mzTse, the mother, who could not be induced 
to leare him a moment, and myself, and we 
managed alternately to relicTe each other, and 
supply him with brandy and port-wine every 
fire minutes day and night. On the Tuesday 
there was a ray of hope ; he recovered his 
senses, and could articulate a few words, and 
eridentlT seemed to know his mother. This 
raised a sanguine hope in her mind, which was 
unfortunately not to be realized. Dr. Hugh was 
with him, for the last time, yesterday morning, 
and then his case appeared desperate* He still, 
however, continued to take the wine, and this, 
by the Doctor's order, we continued to supply ; 
but in the afternoon, though he had taken a 
pint of wine, and a similar quantity of brandy, 
his pulse continued to lower, and at twelve last 
night I saw him expire. You may easily con- 
ceive, after the fatigue and anxiety she had 
undergone, what must have .been the sufferings 
of the poor mother. She bore the shock, how- 
ever, most nobly, and Miss Harriet conducted 
herself heroically. At one I got to bed, slept 
well, and this morning have been in a warm 
bath, and am glad to say, am not the least the 


VfOXfie for the late exertion : indeed, my leg is, I 
think, on the whole better. I have got very 
comfortable lodgings, close to the sea, and the 
place is very beautiful. As lodgings are very 
scarce, I have -been obliged to hire two bed- 
rooms with my sitting-room ; I hope, therefore, 
you will come and pay me a visit. There are 
two coaches come down daily. It is but a few 
hours' journey, and I know you would nmch 
enjoy it. As the bed is always ready, you can 
choose your own time ; but pray come. 

" Yours, &c. 

H. Salt." 

About this period I happened to be so much 
engaged with my own concerns, and some un- 
pleasant family affairs, that I found it quite 
impossible to accept of his invitation. He» how- 
ever, would not give up the point, and in two 
days after I received the following. 

" July 24th, 1813, Southend. 

" Dear Halls, 
" My letter yesterday would satisfactorily an- 
swer for my silence. The news about * * •^ 
though such as might have been expected, is 
very distressing ; but it is in vain to lament 


what cannot be avoided. • • • • • # 
I wish much that you would attend to my last 
letter, and come down for a day or two. You 
would find it very agreeable and pleasant 
• ••♦♦♦lam glad to hear you 
were at the/r/^ at Vauxhall, as I wish much to 
hare an account of it, which of course I shall 
when I see you. Perhaps Broughton, or Bel- 
grave Hoppner, will come down with you. I 
think we could get them a bed. The view here 
is beautiful. There is a little bank, with a 
grove of trees, close by the water, laid out in a 
wild, natural way, that is delightful to wander 
in. Every few steps you catch a glimpse of the 
sea, or rather river, which is const^tly varied 
by a number of ships and small vessels passing 
to and fro, and in the distance is seen the fleet 
at the Nore. The warm baths are very good, 
and I think have already been of use to me, as I 
walk about, drink my pint of wine, and am 
decidedly better. ♦ ♦ ♦ 

" Yours affectionately, 

H. Salt." 
" The funeral of the poor boy is on Monday, 
after which the Gamblers go away.** 


Among his papers I found the following epi- 
taph^ written by him on the above melancholy 
occasion. I do not know whether it is engraven 
on the tomb of the unfortunate youth, but . I 
subjoin it more as a specimen of his attempts in 
this way, than from any particular merit it may 



Blooming in youths with vigorous health elate. 
Rapid disease brought on an early fate. 
Sad o'er my senseless frame, a mother's tears 
Expressed in silent agony her fears : 
Moved at the sight, relenting Nature gave 
An interval of ease (no power could save) ; 
Waked me to consciousness ere life's last close, 
And with a mother's blessing shed repose. 

" H. S.' 

The idea is pretty, but the verse seems la- 
boured; probably he could have expressed the 
scene better with his pencil than his pen. I was 
so much occupied at this period that I omitted 
answering his last letter for some time, which 
greatly excited his wrath, and occasioned his 
writing me the following. 

380 TU£ LIFE OF 

<' August Idth, 1818, Soiithend. 

"Dear Halls^ 
'' I have at last received a line from you, and 
. a precious epistle it is. Are you not ashamed 
of yourself ? Is this the usage I am to expect 
from you ? I sent you a polite invitation ; I 
hired a beautiful bed (save and except its being 
infested with a few bugs), and instead of thank- 
ing me, or accepting^ it, you pass over the whole 
matter with an undignified silence. • ♦ ♦ I 
should like so much to see you, that I am de- 
termined to return to town on Saturday, and beg 
therefore you will not engage yourself to dinner 
on that day. I perhaps may be as late as six, 
but you may certainly expect me by that time. 
I do not know what the circumstances you allude 
to can mean — nothing new, I dare say, for, in 
fact, as the wise man says — but I may spare you 
the adage. You say nothing about my journal, 
80 I suppose you have not looked at it. This is 
too bad ; but I will not complain of anything 
now — my leg is better ! From this time I 
mean to set to thoroughly at my work, and be 
very prudent. I have here done a good deal to 
it, and am not afraid of getting over it in good 
time. Best regards to all, and believe me 

" Yours affectionately, 

H. S." 


On his return to London, his general health 
appeared improved ; but he still at times com- 
plained of his leg, and it was not till some months 
afterwards that he recovered the full use of the 
limb. He had made considerable progress in 
his book during his absence, and, as he continued 
to labour at it with great diligence, I now enter- 
tained the sanguine, and, as it turned out, well- 
founded hope, that he would be forward enough 
to go to press before the end of the year. About 
this time he got some interesting letters from 
Abyssinia, of which he takes notice in the follow- 
ing extract from one of his letters to Lord 

" Sept. 17, 181 a, Argyll Street. 

" My dear Lord, 
#< ♦ ♦ ♦ I have just received a packet from 
Abyssinia, containing letters from Pearce, the 
Ras, the high priest, Debib, and others, who all 
appear most anxious to do everything in their 
power to gratify our wishes ; and the Ras in 
particular, in answer to my request for a copy 
of the Scriptures, says, through Pearce, that 
* he will send them,' and anything else the King 
may wish. I am going to write an answer to 
Pearce, and shall urge the matter strongly. I 
wish much that you would have the goodness to 


write to him, as I am snre it would be a great 
gratification to liim. Indeed, upon the whole 
matter, I should like exceedingly to hare a con- 
sultation with you, as something I think might 
be done. Sir Joseph Banks, with whom I dined 
at his country house on Sunday, has promised 
to make some arrangements respecting the money 
I have already advanced to them, and what 
I am likely in future to he called upon for. I 
confess I cannot help thinking that it would be 
best at once to institute an Abyssinian Society. 
If it could be properly set on foot by such per- 
sons as yourself. Sir Joseph Banks, Mr. C. Yorke, 
Mr. Wilberforce, and a few others, I think it 
might be of infinite service. I will thank you to 
give me your thoughts on the subject. • » » • 
I will send you in a day or two a copy of all my 
letters from Pearce and the new resident, Mr. 
Forbes, at Mocha. The latter I am glad to find 
a sensible, plain-dealing man, and he appears 
anxious to promote our views. * • As . I am 
much better, I will, if possible, pay you a short 
visit in Ireland before Christmas. 
" Believe me to be. Yours, 



Salt's Letters to Lord Valentia on the subject of his in- 
tended publication— ^Reception of the work by the Public. 
— Letters from the Right Hon. Charles Yorke. — Salt 
again goes to see his Father at Lichfield. — Visits Lord 
Valentia in Ireland. — ^Letter to the Author on the subject 
of his Tour in that country. — Salt's Letters to Lord Va^ 
lentia. — His visit at Lord Caledon's. — Leaves Lreland, 
and goes to Edinburgh. — Remonstrance from Lord Va- 
lentia. — Salt's Letter in explanation. — ^Lord Castlereagh 
iq[>point8 Salt to be Consul-General in Egjrpt. — Groes to 
Lichfield to bid farewell to his Family.— Invitation from 


Lord Valentia. — Salt's attachment to a young Lady at 
Lichfield. — He is rejected by her. — His Letter to Mr. 
Richards on that occasion. — His verses on her Birthday. 
^-Takes farewell of Lord Valentia. — Returns to London. 
— Salt*s last interview with the Author. — He proceeds to 
Brighton. — Letter to the Author from Thomas Halls, Esq. 
descriptive of Salt's embarkation. 

Not long after Salt's arrival in London, the 
term for which I had taken my house in Argyll 
Street being nearly expired, and the circum- 
stances of my situation having been somewhat 
changed, we were obliged to break up our esta- 
blishment. I took a house in Marlborough 


Street, and Salt settled himself in lodgings in 
Great Russell Street, Bloomsbnrj. In October 
he vent to Lichfield for a short time, whence he 
vrote the following letters to Lord Valentia in 
Ireland, in which he ^ves an account of his pro- 
ceedings, and of the disposal of his work. 

«• Lichfield, October 1813. 

*- Mt dkak Lord, 
** I rcceiTed tout letter just before I left town, 
and am sincerely obliged by your kind assurance 
of sening me when occasion shall offer. « * ♦- # 
I hare made an arrangement with your firiends 
Messrs. Rivington, for the disposal of my work, 
iqpoD terms which appear to me to be very fair. 
They have agreed to publish my book in a single 
quarto volume, in the same way as your lord- 
ships Travels (plates by first artists and print- 
ing by Bulmer), for which they are to pay me 
SOOuL pounds certain, and I am to have two- 
thirds of all additional profits on the first edi- 
tion : that is, the 800/. is given on a valuation of 
the profits being 1300/. ; should they be 1800/. 
1 shall have 400/. more to receive, and so on in 
pro}H>rtion. and the profits of all subsequent edi- 
tions are to be equally divided between us. The 
800<. is to be paid by instalments in the course 




of 1814, and the final settlement to be in June 
1815. In consequence of this bargain I shall 
be compelled to forego my visit to Ireland for 
the present, as the printing is to begin in about 
a fortnight, and the plates to be put in hand im- 
mediately. Though I much regret the circum- 
stance, as I wish particularly to see you, it will 
perhaps, on the whole, be more prudent, as I find 
on travelling that I have over-rated my strength, 
having been three days in getting to Lichfield, 
and that with considerable pain to my leg. 

' Since you have finally resolved on staying in 
Ireland, I shall look forward with much anxiety 
to paying you a visit in the spring ; as when my 
book is once out I shall feel most happy to escape, 
for a time, from the horrors of London criticism. 
1 have no doubt you will pity me for the next 
six months, and I shall want it ; but the thing 
must be done, and, for that time, 1 am deter- 
mined to think of nothing else. I have changed 
my residence (another misery), and shall on my 
return to town, which will be on Wednesday next, 
be at 109, Great Russell Street, where J hope 
soon to hear from you. 

" Believe me, my dear Lord, 
^b. Yours most truly, 

■ H. Salt.- 

B VOL. I. 2 C 


As soon 88 he had settled in his new lodgings, 
he gave up his whole time to his work, which 
found him ample employment, during the next 
six or seven months, in revising the parts he had 
already written, and in writing the remainder. 
He likewise had to superintend the correction of 
the plates and the letterpress, and to arrange the 
appendix — all of which left him little time to 
indulge in any other pursuit, or recreation. 

One of his most serious labours at this period, 
and upon which he perhaps had not sufficiently 
calculated, arose from the number of ancient 
and other authorities, which it became necessary 
for him to consult in the course of his pro- 
gress. Some of these were furnished him by Lord 
Valentia, and they appear from the annexed 
letter to have proved of considerable service 
to him. 

'< Great Russell Street, Feb. 14, 1814. 

" My dear Lord, 
" ♦ ♦ ♦ * You will be glad to hear that I 
am getting on pretty rapidly with my book; 
the scarce tracts respecting Abyssinia, which you 
were good enough to lend me, have been of 
great service to me ; and I am happy to inform 
you that I have ascertained, with much labour 


and pains, the authenticity of your Italian ma- 
nuscript, which contains the Travels of three 
Franciscan Friars into Habesh. In Mr. Bruce's 
own Notes, lately published by the deceased 
Dr. Murray, there is mention made of ' Father 
Antonio, a Franciscan, who in 1751 converted 
Mr. Bruce's great friend Ayto Aylo to the Ca- 
tholic faith.* This circumstance exactly agrees 
with the MS., and is of great importance, as 
Mr. Bruce, in his usual way, makes Aylo the 
great enemy instead of friend to the Catholics 
throughout 'his work, and it also accounts for 
the extreme anxiety of the Eteghe, in repeated 
£onyersations with Bruce, to ascertain the point 
whether he were a Catholic; which religion it 
IB evident, I think, that she was inclined to 
fiftvour. If you have no objection, I intend to 
publish a translation of it in the Appendix to 
my work. ♦ * ♦ I dined a few days ago at 
the Marquis of Stafford's. The marchioness 
inquired most particularly after you, as indeed 
do all your friends, who appear anxious for 
your return to England. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

*^ I remain, my dear Lord, 
Most faithfully yours, 

H. Salt." 

«* To the Viscount Valentia." 

2 C 2 



About the close of June 18 
were brought to a termination, 
work was published towards the end of the fol- 
lowing July. It was dedicated by permission 
to his royal highness the Prince Regent ; to 
•ome of whose splendid entertainments, given 
about that period, Mr. Salt had the honoJir of 
being invited. The book was well received by 
the public, and was read with avidity by those 
who, from their knowledge of the various topics 
it embraced, were best qualified to form a cor- 
rect judgment of its merits. The whole appears 
to be written in a spirit of candour and truth 
which reflects the highest credit on the author. 
The narrative is told with much simplicity and 
perspicuity; and although, from the circum- 
stances in which he was accidentally placed, it 
became, in a great measure, necessary for him 
to travel over nearly the same ground which 
he had traversed in his previous expedition ; 
yet he has contrived to throw a degree of en- 
tertainment and interest over the account which 
could scarcely have been expected from even a 
veteran writer, and a less scrupulous adherent 
to fact. 

The charts which are given in the ^ 
laid down from his own observations j 

work a^^H 
and tbo^^H 



of Captain Weatherhead, and are considered, by 
the best informed persons in these matters, as 
remarkable for their minuteness and great ac- 
curacy ; while his map of Abyssinia, in which 
he must have been left entirely to his own re- 
sources, is certainly, as far as his personal know- 
ledge of the country admitted, the best and 
most correct now extant. The artists employed 
by the publisher in engraving the illustrations 
for the work, do not perhaps generally appear 
to have been of so high an order as those who 
were selected to execute some of the embellish- 
ments for Lord Valentia's Travels; but the 
plates are nevertheless full of character and 
nature, and may be relied on for their striking 
resemblance to the scenery and individuals they 
purport to represent. When the volume was 
ready for delivery, Mr. Salt presented some of 
his connexions and friends with a few early 
copies ; and among others, the Right Hon. 
Charles Yorke and Sir Joseph Banks appear 
to have been much pleased by this mark of his 
attention, as well as with the work itself. From 
the former he received the following highly 
gratifying notes on the occasion. 

'' BoningtoDs, August tO. ISM 

" Dear Sir, 
" My servant sent me down yesterday, your 
very acceptable and valuable present of your 
late voyage to Abyssinia. I am particularly 
obliged by this mark of your attention, as well 
as by the honour you have done me in dedicating 
the plate of Amphila Bay to my name. Nobody 
is more interested and pleased with the direc- 
tion, as well as the execution of your researches, 
which, in my humble judgment, have added con- 
siderably to the knowledge of the geography, as 
well as to the rational amusement of the public. 
" I am always, dear sir. 

Yours very feithfiilly, 


" To Henry Sail, Esq." 

A few days after Mr. Yorke again addressed 
him on the same subject. 

" Bowngtons, Aug. 14, ISI4. 

" My dear Sir, 
" Since I wrote to you in acknowledgment of 
your valuable present of your book, I have re- 
ceived, from my servant in town, the Abyssi- 
nian drinking horn (of the Sanga ox), whict 
has arrived perfectly safe. I consider it as a 
very great and interesting curiosity ; and I am 




greatly obliged to you for it. I shall preserve 
it carefully^ in memory of your intrepid and 
successful peregrinations into a country scarcely 
known to modem Europe, as well as of your 
friend the Ras Welled Selasse ; whose health, 
conjointly with your own, myself and friends here 
have not failed to drink out of it. I have read, 
or rather devoured, your most entertaining book, 
and am highly pleased with the whole of it ; 
with the simplicity, clearness and modesty, as 
well of the arrangement and matter, as of the 
style. It only makes me desirous of more ; and 
I trust we shall not fail to have the supplemen- 
tary volume you hint at. 

" I cordially concur with you in the conclud- 
ing passage of your work, and heartily wish 
more interest may be felt, and greater pains 
may be taken, to support and improve the open- 
ing which has been made into that interesting 
country by your zeal, intrepidity, and perseve- 
rance ; and to maintain and preserve that spark 
of Christianity, which has for so many ages dis« 
tinguished Abyssinia from among the barbarous 
Mahometan and Pagan tribes which surround 
it, but which at present (unless effectual aid is 
given) appears to be trembling on the verge of 
utter darkness, and on the point of being lost 


and extinguished altogether. I remain always, 
with great regard, dear sir, 

'* Yours very truly, 

C. YoRKE.- 

" Henry Salt, Esq." 

On the completion of this work he left Lon- 
don, and proceeded on a visit to his father and 
sister at Lichfield, where he received the above 
letters, together with one from Sir Joseph Banks, 
in which he speaks highly of the work, and 
adds — '^ I have already gained much informa- 
tion, and received great amusement from its 

I do not exactly know Salt's movements 
after he quitted Lichfield early in September, 
though I believe he spent most of his time in 
Wales. The ultimate object of his excursion 
was to visit Lord Valentia in Ireland, and, as he 
informed his lordship previously, "to escape from 
the horrors of London criticism." He must 
have journeyed leisurely, as he did not reach 
Camolin Park, in Wexford, till about the be- 
ginning of October, whence he wrote me the 
following letter* 




" Caraolin Park. Oclober I2th, 1814. 

" Dear Halls, 
" I left Lichfield early in September, in my 
gig, which I had got over from Arley, and, after 
a pleasant journey through Wales, arrived safely 
at Holyhead. Thence I passed over to Dublin 
in the packet, and was fortunate enough to have 
a remarkably fine passage. On my arrival I 
took up my residence at Tuthill's Hotel, and 
spent three days in seeing the lions, in the 
company of Mr. Patrick, whom by chance I met 
with in the course of my peregrinations. The 
public buildings of this city of the Pats are 
certainly on a magnificent scale, and being 
united, within a short distance of each other, 
produce on the whole a finer coup-d'ceil than 
even London itself can boast: though, taken 
separately, they cannot vie with the noble edi- 
fices which adorn our metropolis. Nothing, 
however, strikes a stranger with more astonish- 
ment than the little attention which has been 
paid to the churches in Dublin. I was two days 
in finding the way to St. Patrick's Cathedral, 
and at last, when I got at it, was shocked at the 
mass of ruins, filth, and wretchedness, which 
surrounds it. The worst part of St. Giles's, or 
the purlieus of Rag Fair, near Smithfield, afford 

a feeble picture of the buildings in the Liberties 
of Dublin ; while the extreme dirtiness of the 
lower classes, and the raggedness of the beggars 
hovering round every corner of the streets, 
present a hopeless and despairing picture of the 

" From Dublin I went over to Ravenswell, 
the seat of Mr. Wild, author of * Trarels in 
America,' &c. where 1 spent a very agreeable 
day, and visited the Dargle, a beautiful glen in 
the neighbourhood, which is resorted to by all 
the holiday citizens in Dublin. On the follow- 
ing day I proceeded to Clone Ro, which is situ- 
ated in the most beautiful part of the county of 
Wicklow, where I remained with a family of the 
name of Eccles, admiring, in the company of 
some young damsels, all the beauties of that 
romantic spot. Thence I went to Wicklow, 
and from that place to Camolin. I found Lord 
Valentia just recovered from a violent attack qL 
illness, which had endangered his life. He H 
now, I am happy to say, extremely well, as Q 
also his son. On the second of this month we 
had the pleasure of celebrating the birthday of 
the latter, who has now reached his two-and- 
twentieth year, and it was kept in a manner 
perfectly suited to the occasion. An ox 




roasted in the park ; bread and beer were distri- 
buted to thousands of poor people assembled, 
and an elegant dinner was given to all the 
nobility and gentry in the neighbourhood. 

*' It would have given you great pleasure to 
have seen Lord Valentia acting in his proper 
station. Everything went off exactly as it 
ought to have done. In the evening a splendid 
exhibition of rockets and fireworks astonished 
the wondering natives, and a bonfire on the top 
of a mountain, which overlooks the domain, 
announced the happy tidings to the surround- 
ing country. 

" This park and domain is laid out on a 
magnificent scale, at present in a rude state 
enough, but possessing great capabilities ; and 
the taste which Lord Valentia has already dis- 
played in the projected improvements, promises 
to make it one of the finest places in the county. 

" Believe me to be, dear John, 
Yours, &c. 

H. Salt." 
" P.S. Lord Valentia and Annesley desire to 
I be remembered most particularly to you. They 
I often mention you with terms of great feeling 
■ and friendship. Pray tell your sisters that they 

396 THE UF£ OF 

may expect to find me, on my return, a perfect 
Irishman, as I have already acquired a very 
tolerable share of the brogue.** 

This was the only letter I received from him 
during his absence, and for several successive 
months I remained entirely ignorant of his pro- 
ceedings* I am, however, enabled to fill up the 
vacancy firom some letters he addressed to Lord 
Valentia during the interval. 

After he had stayed at Camolin for some weeks 
ho set out on his return to Dublin ; but having 
boon furnished by Lord Valentia with letters of 
introduction to several gentlemen whose man- 
sions lay in his route, he did not reach that city 
so early as he expected. On his arrival there 
he wrote the following to his lordship. 

«« TuthiU's Hotel, Dublin, 

" My dear Lord, !>««• 1st, 1814 

'* 0\Wng to the kind introductions you gave 
me, I found so many pleasant houses on the road 
that I did not reach Dublin till to-day. I was 
detained two days at Mr. Beauman^s by an in- 
cessant rain, and on my leaving him he so 
strongly urged me to visit Ballyarthurs, that I 
was induced to take an introduction from him to 


Mr. Sims, who pressed me so much to stay a 
day or two, for the purpose of seeing the beau- 
ties of Sims's place, that I complied, and was 
exceedingly delighted with the views from his 
domain. On the Sunday morning I left Mr. 
Sims's and proceeded on ray way, when being 
overtaken by the rain, and having lost a screw 
which fastened the spring of my gig, I called at 
Mr. Eccles's, where I stayed all night, and en- 
joyed the pleasure of once more seeing my 
brown beauty. On the Monday I got as far as 
Ballioni, and on delivering your letter, was re- 
ceived with great kindness by Mr. Latouche, 
who kept rae all Tuesday, showing me the cot- 
tages and schools. I never was more delighted 
with any place or persons in my life, and shall 
always reflect on the time I spent there with 
great pleasure. 

On leaving Ballioni on Wednesday, I received 
s very obliging invitation from Mrs. Latouche to 
visit them again, should I come over to Ireland 
next summer. Yesterday I spent with my ac- 
quaintance the Wilds, who with difficulty lot rae 
get away from them this morning. So that, in 
fact, I have been quite spoiled by the manner in 
which I have been fSted since I left you. • • • 
Thank Mr. Annesley for the game, which reached 





me safely. I will write to him before I leave 
Dublin. • * Mj kind remembrance to him. 
" BeUere me, mj dear lord, 

YonrSy &c« 

H. Salt.- 

A short time afterwards he again wrote to 
Lord Valentia, and, as this letter (as well as the 
preceding) gives an agreeable picture of the 
generous hospitality of the Irish character, I 
insert it. 

*< Dublin, Dec lOth, 1814. 

^' Mt dear Lord, 
** I have been rather expecting to hear from 

you since my last letter, but I imagine that 


nothing particular has occurred in which I could 
be of service to you in Dublin ; and in this case 
I know by my own feelings, that writing, even 
to our best friends, seldom proves an object of 
amusement. I have now been a week in Dublin, 
and have every day been engaged to one party 
or another, in the course of which I have enjoyed 
the company of most of those who are esteemed 
eminent in the society of the capital. I yester- 
day dined with Mr. Driscol, where I met the 
Solicitor-General, Mr. Bushe, the provost of the 
college, and Mr. Nolan, a gentleman who has 


lately returned from Paris ; and upon the whole, 
I never spent a pleasanter evenings as they were 
all in high spirits^ and anxious^ in spite of An- 
nesley's objection to the subject^ to turn the 
conversation upon Abyssinia. 

^' I found Mr. Edgeworth jun. at home, and 
at his house met a party of the Institutional 
class, who chiefly conversed on the Belles-Lettres, 
and unanimously admired Madame de Stael. I 
have also received a very pressing invitation to 
visit Edgeworth's Town, but this I have declined. 
• * ♦ Mr. Blenherhasset invited me to din- 
ner, but I happened to be engaged. Of Mr. 
Sneyd I have seen nothing. Colonel Austin was 
absent on my arrival in Dublin, but returned 
yesterday. Lord Caledon came up with him, 
and inunediately afterwards called upon me, 
pressing me strongly to pay him a visit in the 
North. ♦ ♦ * I have accepted his invitation, 
and on Saturday I proceed thither in the mail. 
Thence I shall go to Port Patrick, and so to 
Lichfield. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Our friend Crosbyf is 
at present in Dublin, and has made many anx- 
ious inquiries respecting you. He hopes that 
you will be able, as you have partly promised, to 

f The late Lord Bradford. 

400 THE LIFE Of 

vuit Killamey with me oext year, and hfii 
mises a beef>6teak and a hearty welcome. 
" I am, my dear lord. 

Yours most truly, .3 

H. Salt." 

" P. S. If you direct, within the next tey 

days, to Lord Caledon, I shall get your lettc 

At Lord Caledon's, he used to say, he spen? 
most delightful time. Though he was there ia 
the depth of winter, he made many admirable 
pencil sketches in his lordship's grounds (as well 
as in other parts of Ireland which he visited) 
of the scenery and inhabitants; all of which are 
highly characteristic, and equal to any of his 
published drawings. The book which contained 
f them was for a long time in my possession, but 
I parted with it, some years ago, to the ] 
sent Viscount Valentia. 

From Lord Caledon's, Mr. Salt proceeded, I 
the beginning of February 1815, to visit the 
Giant's Causeway, which greatly disappointed 
him; and indeed from the sketches he took of 
it, I should be inclined to think that the de- 
scriptions sometimes given of it, must be rather 
highly coloured. He acknowledged, however, 
that he saw it under very unfavourable 


On leaving Ireland he crossed the channel^ and 
arrived at Port Patrick^ whence he proceeded to 
Edinburgh, apparently forgetting in the mean 
while that he had previously been engaged to 
go to London, via Dublin, with Lord Valentia. 
This neglect occasioned, I believe, rather a sharp 
remonstrance from his lordship, who was obliged 
to vbit England alone, and to return to Ireland 
without having seen him. The following reply 
from Salt, in April, after his return to London, 
somewhat explains the circumstances of the case, 
and also gives an account of his proceedings. 

« London, April ISth, 1815. 

" My dear Lord, 

*' I received your letter last night, and am 
exceedingly obliged to you for the very proper 
scolding you have given me, feeling satisfied 
that it proceeds from the kind interest you take 
in my welfare ; at the same time I beg to 
assure you that I am by no means so much in 
&ult as you suppose. I wrote to you from Lord 
Caledon's, and never received any answer, and 
it was there that my address continued until the 
beginning of February ; so that, had you written 
to me that you were actually setting off for 
England, I should have immediately proceeded 

VOL. I. 2d 


408 THE L1F£ OF 

to town. On my arrival at Eldinburgh (to wbich 
I was led not by an ' idle fancy/ but from the 
wish to see the literary men of the place, and 
to promote the interests of my work) I wrote 
to Halls to inform him of it, but the letter un- 
fortunately did not reach him till after you had 
left London. My visit to Edinburgh proved 
nu>$t satisfactory. I became well acquainted 
with Mr. Dugald Stewart, Playfair^ Jeffiey, 
Scoti« and all the principal people in the place ; 
and mv father, on mv return to Lichfield, was 
so pleased with the attention I there receivecL 
that he made me a present adequate to the 
whole ex{x^use of my journey.^ I hope this 

* I hji\ c h.irvil\ ever met with a more singular character 
cKa!^ i>}il Mr. Salt. The freneral habits of his life wen 
stnctN |>«rMttK>niou$ : yet, as in the present instance^ ht 
«><U*n «i:hkH;t a word o4' censure would gire his son veij 
\\v».*i*;or»b\« #iix*. The following will serve as a spedmoi 
^><* ch^' uNxlc iu which h« disposed of afiairs of this nature. 

» Lichfield, March 12th, 1812. 

*' li'. A tc« iLi%« %ou will have credit at Downs and 
T^xvutkV.'s t'^y oiHV., which I hope may ser\-e you. ^\1ien 
wHi Kaxc K*«*n At the bdiiker'^ you will return me an ac- 
iiv«k U\Ut\u*ut : at the same time 1 shall be glad to hear 
wHi an* ivrfkVt'.v well. Vou must now call upon your own 
ruv:):tc> at^d care. «.«chcrwi;^« you will convert your magnuM 
Xv«*Mi u\u^ a htxi^* >IiH:. ** Your« affectionately, 

Thomas Salt." 


statement will exculpate me from any impro- 
priety of conduct. I sincerely regret that I was 
not in town with you^ as I feel most fully aware 
that it would have contributed greatly both to 
my pleasure and interest^ and I heartily beg 
your pardon for not writing — in which I was 
guilty of unintentional neglect. Poor Pearce ! 
I had indeed hoped he was reserved for better 
things. His death and the manner of it are most 
melancholy occurrences, and have given me much 
pain. As to the report of Coffin's decease, I 
own I cannot still help entertaining hopes that 
Captain Rudland may prove mistaken.* 

'^ I have now to communicate an event which 
18 of much consequence to me. Yesterday I 
received intelligence that Major Misset, the 
Consul-General in Egypt, had resigned, and that 
his resignation had been accepted. In conse- 

On a similar occasion he concludes his letter with the 
fidlowing laconic advice. ** So take care — remember all 
mankind are dogs, the B— ^s being the worst." In this 
way, speaking within compass, he gave Henry alone, at dif- 
ferent times in his life, two thousand pounds, besides the 
expenses attendant on his education. It is true he was 
▼ery fond of him, and perhaps felt justly proud of his abili- 
ties, enterprising spirit, and amiable character^-^E. 

* This report of their deaths was afterwards found to be 
without foundation ; though both their families went, I be- 
lieve, into mourning on the occasion. — £. 

2 D 2 


quencc I waited directly on Mr. who is 

confined by illness, and he promised immediately 
to write, in my favour, to Lord Castlereagh, 
urging my claims, which he admitted * were 
undoubtedly such as would entitle me to the 
situation, if no private patronage interfered.* 
I then went over to Boningtons to Mr. Yorke, 
and he instantly wrote a very strong letter in 
my behalf to Lord Castlereagh ; requesting, at 
the same time, that he would give me a personal 
interview on the subject : this, on my return at 
six, I delivered. This morning I have been to 
Sir Joseph Banks, and he has also written in the 
strongest terms to Lord Castlereagh. I have 
now to beg that you will have the goodness to 
do all you can for me, either by letter, or by 
whatever means you may choose to advise, as 
my mind is most earnestly bent on obtaining the 
situation, and I know to a certainty that nothing 
has yet been determined upon respecting the 
appointment of Major Misset's successor. You 
must be well aware how necessary it is to use 
despatch in the business ; though I have not 
heard that any person has yet applied for the 
situation, except one, who is said, at the office, 
to have no chance of success. I have been in 
London about ten days, and have intended to 


write every clay to make my apologies; but 
somehow or other delayed it. I did not hear of 
the above till yesterday. 

'' Yours most faithfully, H. S." 

" To the Viscount Valentia." 

It seems from the following short letter, that 
Mr. Salt was not long kept in a state of sus- 
pense respecting his appointment. Lord Castle- 
reagh having very quickly made up his mind, as 
soon as he had received the strong recommenda- 
tory letters that had been forwarded to him on 
the occasion. 

« May 2Dd, 1815. 

" My dear Lord, 
" I have just been informed, privately, from 
tlie best authority, that Lord Castlereagh has 
consented to my appointment as Consul-General 
in Egypt. This situation is, I hear, about 
1700/. a year. There is another situation, which 
Misset held under Lord Bathurst, but this, I 
fear, will not be renewed. To have gained the 
main thing, however, is of great consequence, 
and I am sure no one will more sincerely rejoice 
in my success than your lordship. As soon as 
anything absolutely official is known, I will 
write again. 

'• Believe me, &c. H. S.** 


'' P. S. Mr. Yorke and Sir Joseph Banks have 
both been most kind in the business. To the for- 
mer I am principally indebted for the situation." 

** To the Viscount Valentia.'' 

Though his appointment was in fact deter- 
mined upon at the date of the above letter. Salt 
did not officially receive intelligence on the 
subject till after several weeks had elapsed. Lord 
Castlereagh being probably too much engaged 
by public events, at that awfiil crisis, to permit 
his employing his attention upon matters of a 
more trifling import. The delay, however, 
seems to have occasioned Salt some uneasiness, 
as appears by the following extracts from a 
letter addressed to Lord Valentia at that period. 

« London, 109, Great Russel Street, 

'' My dear Lord, May lOth, 1815. 

*' I feel very gratefiil to you for the letter 
which you have written to me respecting the 
Egyptian consulship. I submitted it to Mr. 
Yorke's inspection, and though he thinks it may 
not be necessary at present, yet, when Lord Cas- 
tlereagh takes the subject up in a more advanced 
stage of the business, he is of opinion that it 
may materially serve me. He desired to be 


most particularly remembered to you, and told 
me to assure you that he will do all in his power 
to promote my plans. ♦ • ♦ ♦ ♦ Mr, 
Yorke's and Sir Joseph Banks's letters have been 
placed by Lord Castlereagh in the office, but he 
does not seem as yet to have taken the matter 
into consideration, being, no doubt, pretty much 
engaged on matters of higher importance. You 
will easily conceive how anxious I feel during 
the suspense, as, in fact, my plans for life turn 
upon the success of my present attempt. Should 
I fail in procuring the situation, I shall think it 
necessary to adopt immediately some other pro- 
fessional line, but what, I cannot at present 
determine. * ♦ ♦ ♦ 

** Believe me, my dear Lord, 

Yours most truly, H. S." 

" The Viscount Valcntia, 
Camolin Park, Ireland." 

Mr. Salt must have officially received his ap- 
pointment about the end of May or the beginning 
of June, as I find by a letter from his father, 
that the latter had been made acquainted with 
it about that time. His father was anxious that 
he should come to Lichfield before his departure, 
to meet his eldest sister, who came expressly for 

¥» TiiE LIFE OF 

t&c pK.rt<-!e froii^ a distant part of the country, 
in crier that the £unilr mi^ht be assembled 
co:? in^re together., to take, as it unhappily 
nrovfd. their final Carewell of him. His bro- 
ther Charle§ was incapable of attending on the 
ccco^ioc, bein? confined bv severe illness in 

.Vc<ut thi? period Lord Valentia wrote Salt 
the fol'sowrng kind letter, requesting that he 
would Tisi: him at Arley previously to his qait- 
tinff the countrr. 

'- Camolin Park, Ireland, 

'• My dear Henry, July 9th, 1815. 

*- I shall set off on the 17th, and expect to 
reach Arley on the 21st, for I should be very 
^rry that you left England without my again 
seeing you : and as it is uncertain whether I 
shall go to London, I do most earnestly request 
you will pay me a visit at Arley. Consider how 
long we may now be separated, and the possibi- 
lity, not to say probability, that we may never 
again meet in this world. After we have been 
friends so many years, I cannot suppose you will 
go without coming to me. You know that the 
coach runs to Kidderminster direct, or you can 
see your old aunt at Worcester, and come on to 
Shutterford turnpike. I will be at peace with 


you if you stay only one day. If you do not do 
this, I shall be really hurt. Should you write 
by return of post, direct, under cover, to the 
Honourable G. Cavendish, Treasury Chambers, 
Dublin. If you write afterwards, direct to 
Arley. *' Yours most affectionately, 


Before the receipt of the above. Salt must have 
set off* for Lichfield, as he dates the subsequent 
letter to his lordship from that place, and directs 
to Camolin. The subjoined are extracts. 

"Lichfield, July 19th, 1815. 

" My dear Lord, 
" I hope that you still keep your determina- 
tion of coming to England before my departure, 
as I feel most anxious to sec you, for the purpose 
of hearing all your wishes, respecting the anti- 
quities, &c. &c. that you are desirous of my pro- 
curing for you in Egypt. At the same time I 
am desirous of having a few days even of your 
company before our long separation takes place. 
♦ * * I mean to set off* as soon as possible, 
and I therefore have determined on going early 
in next month. I propose making a tour over 
the Continent in my way, and shall visit Paris. 


Switzerland, Venice, Rome, Naples, and Sicily, 
before I reach Malta ; thence, of course,. I shall 
proceed by sea. All ray packages will be sent 
by the latter conveyance, and will, I have no 
doubt, get there before my arrival, which cannot, 

I think, be earlier than the middle of October. 

• • * * • 

" I resume the subject of my journey. One 
of Sir William Beechey's sons is to go out with 
me. » * * This will, for a year or two, I 
conceive, be very pleasant to us both. * ♦ ♦ • 
He draws well, and understands French and 
Italian. Briggs is going to Alexandria about 
the same time as I am, and perhaps in company 
with me. I have just heard the confirmed news 
that poor Rudland is dead. It comes direct 
from his wife. * ♦ • ♦ I return to town on 
Tuesday next, and hope to find a letter from you 
by that time. If you cannot come to England, 
pray write me very full instructions. 

" Believe me most affectionately yours, 

H. S." 

" The Viscount Valentia, Camolin, Ireland." 

During his stay at Lichfield at this period, 
Salt formed an acquaintance with a young lady 
of great personal attractions and accomplish- 


ments^ and of the highest respectability. I have 
understood that she was an inhabitant of Bir- 
mingham, and, being an only child, was likely to 
inherit considerable property. From the time 
of his being appointed Consul-General in Egypt 
he became desirous of entering into a matrimo- 
nial engagement, as, from his former experience, 
he was well acquainted with the great want 
of reputable female society in that country. 
Under these circumstances, and possessing, as he 
now did, an handsome income and an highly 
respectable appointment, it is not perhaps to be 
wondered at, when an interesting woman had 
thus accidentally fallen in his way, that he some- 
what suddenly determined on a step which ap- 
peared to hold forth a fair prospect of domestic 

The distance between Birmingham and Lich- 
field being inconsiderable, he saw much of her in 
the course of his stay at the former place, and 
the more he saw of her the more he had reason 
to admire the excellence of her disposition and 
character. He became in the end very seriously 
attached, and I have heard, as far as the lady 
herself was concerned, not without well-ground- 
ed hopes of success ; but her father, perhaps 
from the short acquaintance of the parties, and 


podsibly from tlie well-grounded fear of the 
climate to which she must have been exposed, as 
well as of the long separation that would have 
taken place between him and an only and be- 
loved child, felt it his duty to oppose a match, 
of which I have been told, under other circum- 
stances, he would not have disapproved. 

But whatever might have been the cause 
of the refusal, it does not seem to have been 
of so determined a species as to extinguish all 
hope in the breast of Mr. Salt for some consi- 
derable time after, and not till he had received a 
definitive rejection, as it appears, from the lady 
herself, on the ground of her not liking to en- 
counter the hazards of such a country as Egypt. 
The disappointment he felt severely, but I know 
he made his will in her favour, which was not 
reversed till about the time of his marriage in 
Egypt some years subsequently. It is rather a 
remarkable circumstance, that his wife bore a 
striking resemblance to the lady above-men- 
tioned, and that it was from this similarity that 
he was led, in the first instance, to pay his atten- 
tions to a person who was destined to form the 
happiness of his domestic life during the few 
years she was permitted to comfort and embel- 
lish his existence. The following extracts from 


a letter, written to an intimate friend, will best 
show the state of his mind when his former suit 
was finally broken off by the lady. 

" Cairo, April 2nd, 1817. 

" Dear Richards, 
" * * » Nothing has given me greater 
pleasure than the information respecting your 
marriage. I have been a long time satisfied that 
it affords the only reasonable hope of being 
happy on earth, to meet with a woman of amia- 
ble disposition, who will take a lively interest 
in all our concerns. Early marriages, I think, 
are seldom likely to answer ; but, when arrived 
at a reasonable time of life, the mind begins 
sensibly to feel the want of such a companion as 
a wife, and then becomes fully able to appreciate 
her value. It has not been my own fault, cer- 
tainly, that I am still a bachelor, and yet such it 
appears I am likely to remain. The affair be- 
tween Miss and myself is at an end. I 

told her, too frankly for my own interest, the 
actual state of things in this country, and, by 
the advice of her friends, she has thought it 
right to break off* the proposed connexion. I 
have nothing to complain of, nay, under all cir- 
cumstances, I am forced to admit that she was 


probably right. If she had not the necessary 
courage to surmount all difficulties^ she was per- 
fectly justified in declining to encounter them. 
Her memory I shall always retain as dear to me^ 
but it is like the memory of one who to me is 
dead. • ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

" Yours, &c. H. S." 

" To Bingham Richards, Esq." 

The following lines, addressed to the lady in 
question, I accidentally met with in looking over 
some of his papers. 


<' Though lurid clouds obscure the air 
And angry winds howl o'er the sea. 
Let not arise a single care 
To damp this day's festivity. 

'Tis contrast gives each joy its zest ; 

Thus, nourished up with tenderest care, 
The damask rose in wintry vest 

Shines forth more elegant, as rare. 

So, in November's chilling hour, 

Thy winning smiles and beauties beam 

Bright as the rays in April's shower, 

Which from the sun's gold tresses gleam. 

Yet, not alone can beauty charm, 

Unstable is her power at best ; 
'Tis genius must thy bosom warm ! 

'Tis virtue that must make thee blest ! 


Then, oh, sweet girl I while yet to-day 
Thy soul is free from thought of ill. 

List to an absent lover's lay, 
< And cherish his remembrance still I ' 

Then, as improved ' in mind and face,' 
Your days pass on, in virtue spent. 

Love shall shine forth with such a grace 
That e'en a father may relent. 

And though rude clouds obscure the sky 
And angry winds rush o*er the sea, 

Yearly our hearts shall glow with joy 
To greet this day's festivity !" 

It appears from several circumstances that 
the letter Lord Valentia addressed to him from 
Ireland was delayed at his lodgings, and did not 
reach him till his return to London ; but in the 
course of his visits from Lichfield to Birming- 
ham it is probable that he learned the arrival of 
his lordship at Arley Hall, and immediately went 
over to see him. He reached the latter place 
on the 29th of July 181 5, and stayed till the 
Slst. On the 3rd of August he again went, and 
on the 8th took his last farewell of his affec- 
tionate and noble friend. From their respective 
feelings and character, the parting on both sides 
must have proved painful in the extreme. They 
had then been intimately acquainted for a period 
of sixteen years, and in the course of that space 


of time had encountered together many perils 
and dangers^ which had only served to cement 
more closely a friendship that had originated on 
the one hand in acts of kindness and benevo- 
lence, and on the other, in a sense of lasting 
gratitude for favours that had been so unosten- 
tatiously conferred. 

In a few days afterwards Mr. Salt returned to 
London, and about the 22nd of August took his 
final departure from the capital to proceed, by 
way of Europe, to the place of his ultimate 
destination. Having some affairs of a private 
nature to arrange with me, and being desirous 
of spending in my company the few hours he 
had yet to pass in the metropolis, he came to 
dine with me and my sisters the evening be- 
fore he quitted town. We sat till a late hour, 
endeavouring to defer till the last moment the 
distressing trial that awaited us. 

I shall attempt no description of our mutual 
feelings on this melancholy occasion; indeed I 
can scarcely call to my remembrance distinctly 
anything that passed, beyond a kind of presenti- 
ment, which the event has too severely verified, 
that we parted to meet no more in this world. 
He was to leave London at ten o'clock the next 
morning, and it was agreed between us, in order 


to a?oid the pain of a second farewell, that I was 
not to go to his lodgings till an hour afterwards, 
to secure the papers he had left in my charge. 
On the morrow I accordingly went punctually to 
my time, but, on entering Great Russell Street, I 
saw from a distance the post-chaise, that was to 
convey him, still standing at his door. 

I cannot pretend to analyse the feelings by 
which I was governed at the moment, and which 
induced me to determine not to enter the house 
till after his departure, but I actually paced up 
and down the opposite end of the street for 
nearly an hour, till I saw the chaise drive off. 
It was no sooner out of sight, however, than a 
complete revulsion in my ideas took place, and I 
would have given anything to have recalled the 
past moments ; but it was then too late, and I 
was condemned to feel, in all its bitterness, my 
melancholy foreboding, that I had indeed seen 
him for the last time. 

From London he proceeded to Brighton, 
where he arrived in the evening, and stayed till 
the next day. My brother chanced to be then 
resident in the neighbourhood, and, by the an- 
nexed letter, which I have recently received 
from him, I learn the particulars of Mr. Salt's 
filial departure from England. 

VOL. L 2 E 


<« Bow Street, Oct. 18th, 1833. 

" Dear John, 

^' I was at Brighton when poor Salt took his 
last departure from his country. He sailed in 
the regular packet for Dieppe, in his way to 
Paris. I dined with him at the New Steyne 
Hotel, in company with Mr. Littledale, the bro- 
ther of the present Mr. Justice Littledale, with 
whom he was on very friendly terms, as a pleasing 
and somewhat brilliant companion. I know not 
whether he is still living. Salt was extremely 
cheerful during the whole of dinner^ and in- 
deed we made it our business rather to keep op 
his spirits/ which I, who knew him perhaps besti 
could perceive to vibrate^ and his eye occasion* 
ally glanced towards the sea. About half an 
hour after dinner a gun was fired. There was a 
pause^ but he looked not towards the sea this 
time. ' It 's only the first gun/ said he ; * we 
have yet a quarter of an hour good :' — and he 
ordered another bottle of claret. 

" You know our familiar phraseology : — 'It's 
a very fine world, Tom ?' said he. — ' Yes/ I re- 
plied^ * and it 's a very fine scene ! But we 
must not make too much of a scene of it* — 
' Right !' said he, with one of his particular 
looks; and then he asked Littledale for one of 


his stories. We shortly afterwards walked down 
together to the Custom House^ opposite to 
which lay a large boat, already filled with pas- 
sengers. I think Littledale took leave of him 
on the beach. I went down with him to the 
boat. I am not sure, but I do not think I took 
any formal leave of him at all. I let go his arm, 
and he 'was in the boat in an instant, but I 
declare I do not know how he got thither, for 
the boat was large, and stood high above the 

'* Every one who knows Brighton is aware 
what both landing and embarking there was be- 
fore the chain pier was built, especially if there 
were the slightest swell. Salt stood up in the 
stem of the boat. There were a number of 
females and others on board, huddled together 
at the other end. As the boat was with diffi- 
culty shoved off. Salt spoke to them, and turning 
to me, laughing, pointed out a large coming 
wave, which, just as the boat was getting afloat, 
broke over its head, and there was an universal 
squall among the females, and a general laugh, 
which for the moment broke in opportunely 
enough upon our feelings. As the boat cleared 
the surf he still stood up, and waved his hand 
to me. I watched its progress towards the 



packet, which lay about a quarter of a mile off 
It was a hot summer's evening, and, with the 
exception of the slight swell in-shore, the sea 
was like glass ; and the tall figure of Salt was 
reflected in the water with a distinctness which 
is not yet obliterated from my perfect recollec- 
tion. I turned and walked slowly away. I had 
three miles up the country to go to join my 
family. At the rise of a hill the packet was still 
visible, but as a speck. I walked on a little 
farther, and turned again. The speck was gone ! 
— and I remember I was not quite myself all the 
remainder of the evening. 

'' This is all I can remember of poor Salfs 
departure. I do not recollect whether he made 
any previous stay at Brighton ; the impression 
on my mind is, that he only remained one night 
at the Steyne Hotel, and embarked as soon as his 
packages had passed the Custom House, where 
they had all to be entered as the property of lus 
Majesty's Consul-General in Egypt. 

" Your affectionate brother, 

Thomas Halls." 



Salt's first Letter afler leaving England. — He writes to the 
Author from Naples^— Detailed Account of his Journey, 
to Lord Valentia. — Letter to Mr. Hamilton. — Salt is 
detained at Malta.— His Correspondence .with the Author. 

For some months after Mr. Salt's departure 
for Egypt I received no intelligence of his pro- 
ceedings, his curiosity being probably too much 
excited by the succession of interesting objects 
which crowded on his attention, to permit him 
to think of home till the novelty of his situation 
had in a certain degree worn off. The first 
letter from him, I believe, that reached England 
was the following one, addressed to Lord Va- 
lentia from Geneva, in which he gives a rapid 
sketch of his journey and observations. 

" Geneva, Oct 7 th, 1815. 

'* My dear Lord, 
««»»♦» I ghaii i^Qyf proceed to make a 

few remarks, which occurred to me while in 
France, respecting the present disturbed state of 


affairs in that unfortunate coimtry, and the pro- 
bable issue of the contest with the allies. A 
king without power, a ministry scarcely esta- 
blished, and a parliament not yet assembled, 
form the only appearance of a government ex- 
isting in the country ; while on the other hand, 
the European powers, who do not agree very 
well among themselves, continue to keep up an 
enormous force, preying upon the country; so 
that the people are almost driven to despair, and 
an outrageous and strong faction stands ready to 
seize the first feasible opportunity of inflicting 
a terrible vengeance on the Royalists, whom it 
accuses of having brought all the evils on the 
nation. Talleyrand and Fouche, as you must 
have learned from the papers, were both dis- 
missed as soon as the King found, by the return 
of the members of the lower House, that he 
might venture to do it with safety. The Roy- 
alists have, in consequence, gained the ascend- 
ancy, and if they act only with su£Scient vigour, 
under a powerful support from the allies, may 
succeed in saving the country. But, to effect 
this, they must banish three or four hundred of 
the opposing faction, and must retain, for a cer- 
tain time at least, a hundred and fifty thousand 
foreign troops to uphold their authority, which 


must be placed under the direction of some very 
able general^ while a large force must be kept 
up in the adjoining states, ready, when called 
upon, to enter the kingdom. This plan would 
place France much in the same situation as that 
of the Indian states under the protection of the 
British arms, and you may depend upon it, that 
no other plan can keep Louis on the throne. If 
the united powers keep faithiul to their engage- 
ments, and attend with common prudence to 
their joint interest, something like this will be 
carried into execution. But there' is, unfortu- 
nately, too much reason to suppose that the 
seeds of dissension are already matured, and that 
a new war will break out, between the Russians 
and the Turks, that will again set the powers of 
Europe in arms against each other. 

** Soon after my arrival at Paris I made a 
journey with Sir Sydney Smyth, to see the re- 
view of the Russian troops at Vertus. One of 
the finest plains in Champagne had been chosen 
for the occasion, and certainly nothing could 
surpass the exhibition, in a military point of 
view. The whole surface on which the soldiers 
manoeuvred was fiat as a table, and was com- 
manded by a moderately high mountain, on 
which the Emperor and his company were sta- 


tioned. From this beiglit every corps might be 
distinctly seen, and the effect <rf one hundred 
and fifty thousand men, supported by five hun* 
dred pieces of artillery, moving by signal and 
firing at one moment, was grand in the extremei 
Lord Wellington observed, in my hearing, that 
' it was the finest sight he had ever witnessed ; 
that it was a fair, honest review, and that it 
gave him a much higher opinion of the Busriani 
than he had ever before entertained/ At the 
review, the Emperors of Austria, Russia, the 
King of Prussia, and half a hundred other 
princes, were present, and, as I had carried with 
me an uniform for the occasion, I was admitted 
with Sir Sydney into the circle. 

** In the small town of Vertus, the generals 
and nobles were huddled together in a manner 
inconceivably ridiculous, occupying the very 
wretched apartments in the miserable huts of 
which the place is composed ; yet, in the midst 
of the confusion which such an assemblage n^ 
cessarily produced, there did not appear to be 
the slightest symptom of oppression on the part 
of the military, or of suffering on that of the 
inhabitants. The country people in the market- 
place carried on their bargains with as careful a 
regard to their interests as usual, and I observed 

H£NRY SALT. 485 

m&nj Rassian soldiers sent away from the stalls 
because they would not consent to give, up to 
half a sous, the price demanded for the several 
articles on sale. Indeed, throughout the whole 
country it is a remarkable circumstance, that 
the Russians have acquired the highest charac- 
ter for fair dealing and forbearance, and seem to 
be universally respected. The conduct of the 
English has also been admirable ; but that of the 
Prussians, Bavarians, and Austrians, has excited 
an absolute detestation throughout all the dis- 
tricts which they have occupied. 

*^ Nothing has produced so strong a sensation 
among the French as the taking away of the 
pictures and statues from the Louvre. This 
very sensible and politic measure has rendered 
the malignant part of the populace perfectly 
ftirious, as it at once lowers their pride in the 
foce of the world, and will serve as an everlast- 
ing testimony of their having been conquered. 
Had the works of art remained, the old excuse 
of treachery would have been reiterated, and the 
French would still have asserted 'that we did not 
dare to meddle with any of their trophies of con- 
quest.' The history of the removal of the pic- 
tures, &c. is extremely curious, and the means by 
which it was effected worthy of being recorded. 


tioned. Froni this height every corps might be 
distinctly seen^ and the effect of one hundred 
and fifty thousand men, supported by five hun* 
dred pieces of artillery, moying by signal and 
firing at one moment, was grand in the extreme. 
Lord Wellington observed, in my hearing, that 
' it was the finest sight he had ever witnessed ; 
that it was a fair, honest review, and that it 
gave him a much higher opinion of the Russiaiil 
than he had ever before entertained/ At the 
review, the Emperors of Austria, Russia, the 
King of Prussia, and half a hundred other 
princes, were present, and, as I had carried with 
me an uniform for the occasion, I was admitted 
with Sir Sydney into the circle. 

** In the small town of Vertus, the generals 
and nobles were huddled together in a manner 
inconceivably ridiculous, occupying the very 
wretched apartments in the miserable huts of 
which the place is composed ; yet, in the midst 
of the confusion which such an assemblage ne- 
cessarily produced, there did not appear to be 
the slightest symptom of oppression on the part 
of the military, or of suffering on that of the 
inhabitants. The country people in the market-- 
place carried on their bargains with as careful a 
regard to their interests as usual, and I observed 

H£NRY SALT. 485 

many Russian soldiers sent away from the stalls 
because they would not consent to give, up to 
half a sous, the price demanded for the several 
articles on sale. Indeed, throughout the whole 
country it is a remarkable circumstance, that 
the Russians have acquired the highest charac- 
ter for fair dealing and forbearance, and seem to 
be universally respected. The conduct of the 
English has also been admirable ; but that of the 
Prussians, Bavarians, and Austrians, has excited 
an absolute detestation throughout all the dis- 
tricts which they have occupied. 

*' Nothing has produced so strong a sensation 
among the French as the taking away of the 
pictures and statues from the Louvre. This 
very sensible and politic measure has rendered 
the malignant part of the populace perfectly 
furious, as it at once lowers their pride in the 
face of the world, and will serve as an everlast- 
ing testimony of their having been conquered. 
Had the works of art remained, the old excuse 
of treachery would have been reiterated, and the 
French would still have asserted ' that we did not 
dare to meddle with any of their trophies of con- 
quest.' The history of the removal of the pic- 
tures, &c. is extremely curious, and the means by 
which it was effected worthy of being recorded. 

486 TH£ LIFE OF 

with which at some future period I will make you 
acquainted. At present the idea sent abroad is, 
that it was a measure so pressed upon Lord 
Castlereagh by several members of the House of 
Commons, that he was compelled to bring it 
forward, and with this, some of the more talka- 
tive of those gentlemen who have visited Paris 
have been very adroitly amused, though in fact 
they had nothing whatever to do with the 

" The work of devastation had been nearly 
completed when I left Paris ; all the Flemish, 
and most of the Venetian pictures, had been 
removed, and the Venus de Medici was on her 
way to Florence, and most of the Italian pictures 
and statues were soon to follow, as well as the 
Venetian Horses, which it really was a mercy to 
take from the execrable triumphal arch on which 
they had been placed. It is to be hoped that 
the removal of these works of art will, in a great 
degree, prevent the concourse of strangers to 
Paris, which will afford a striking proof of the 
wisdom of the measure. Halls, as usual, will 
growl a little at this ' act of oppression,' as he 
will term it, but the time for conciliatory mea- 
sures is past. The French have no hearts, and 
nothing short of absolute compulsion will ever 


bring them back to a system of moderation.* 
Fortunately for France (as well as England), 
as I mentioned rather maliciously to one of the 
French painters, they will still have the superb 
works of David to console them for their losses. 
" On our way from Paris to this place, we 

* I have not been able to find among his papers the pro- 
mised explanation as to the removal of the pictures, Sec to 
which Salt alludes in the above letter. I differed from him 
on the subject of their abstraction at the time, and I still 
differ from him. It always has appeared to me, and it was 
so declared by the Allies, that they made war with Buona- 
parte, not with the French nation. The armies of Europe 
had succeeded in crushing that tremendous man, and they 
had placed on the throne of France its ancient dynasty. 
Whom, then, were they despoiling when they deprived 
Louis's capital of its most valuable embellishments ? Their 
friend and their ally, and the nation with whom they had 
previously asserted they were not at war I If the restora- 
tion of the works of art to the former possessors arose from 
a sense of retributive justice, then it ought to have taken 
place at the preceding pacification. I do not say it should 
even then have been attempted, but it might certainly have 
been done at that time with a better grace, as we had been 
for years actually engaged in hostilities both with the Go- 
vernment and the nation, and had a presumptive right to 
make what terms we pleased with the vanquished. To 
enter into the policy of the transaction in this place is 
unnecessary ; but it is to be wished that states, as well as 
individuals, would more frequently bear in mind the simple 
maxim, that << whatsoever ye would that men should do to 
you, do ye even so to them.*' — E. 


passed through a line of country held by the 

Austriansy and^ if the French people are to be 


trusted, nothing can be more rapacious than 
their conduct. The contributions which they 
have raised have been enormous, and, not satis- 
fied with this, they hare not unfrequently pro- 
ceeded to personal violence. The passage of 
the Jura brought us at once into a residence 
of a more peaceable aspect — the valley of 
Geneva, which is one of the most delicious spots 
on the face of the globe. Happily too, the cha- 
racter of its inhabitants accords most agreeably 
with the surrounding scenery, and presents a 
mixture of sober simplicity, solid information, 
and gaiety, that is delightful to contemplate. 
Nothing can afford a more striking contrast, nor 
a more useful lesson to the mind, than the sight 
of what is passing at Geneva and at Paris. At 
one all is tumult, dissipation, show, wretchedness, 
and vanity; while at the other, a quiet and 
agreeable society, linked together by the best 
ties of the heart, is sweetened by the charms 
of great intellectual acquirements, and presents 
such a picture of happiness, as to satisfy the 
spectator at once of the futility of all earthly 
grandeur. As a retreat from the world, to a 
philosopher, no spot on earth can surely offer 


more gratification than the valley of Geneva. 
Pray remember me kindly to your son, and 
Believe me most truly yours, H. S." 

«< To the Viacouni Valentia." 

From Geneva Mr. Salt proceeded over the 
Semplon to Italy, visiting in his route many of 
the principal cities of that country. On his 
arrival at Naples, immediately before his em- 
barkation for Malta, he wrote me the subjoined 

<« Naples, Jan. 5th, 1816. 

*' My dear Halls, 
'^ I have great pleasure in giving you the infor- 
mation of my safe arrival at this place, after a 
most delightful tour through Italy by way of 
Venice, Bologna, Florence, and Rome. The 
journey from the latter place was conceived to 
be somewhat dangerous ; but we fortunately 
reached Naples without meeting either robbers 
or hindrance of any kind, and have since been 
most busily engaged in visiting all the surprising 
curiosities to be found in the environs of this 
place. Having made notes of whatever most 
interested me, I shall, when I get quietly settled, 
send you some account of my peregrinations, 
and shall, in particular, dwell upon the works of 

430 • THE LIFE OF 

art which I have scen^ and which I much wish 
you could find time to come over and examine, 
as they so far surpass all I had expected, that 
they have given me a new view of the arts. I 
leave this place for Malta in the Spartan frigate 
to-morrow, and expect to arrive there in about 
four days. If I stay any time there, which de- 
pends entirely on the admiral, I will write you 
a long letter, till when you must be content to 
take up with this short epistle. Hoppner gave 
us a very kind reception at Venice, and appears 
to be very happy with his wife. She is, as you 
know, a Swiss, and does not speak a hundr^ 
words of English ; but her French is charming, 
and her manners very amiable. ♦ • ♦ ♦ • ^ 
(live my kind regards to your sisters, and to 
Tom, and believe me more than ever, 

" Your affectionate friend, H. S." 

In the next letter to Lord Valentia, he gives 
J more full and detailed account of his journey. 

•• My dear Lord, ** Malta, Jan. 26th, 1816. 

•• I have groat pleasure in acquainting you 
with my arrival at this place, after having com- 
l^loiod a very delightful tour on the Continent, 
whirh has enabled me to see all that I wished 


in Italy^ and as much as I shall ever desire of 
what was lately termed the great nation. Thank 
God ! it is at last humbled^ and it will require 
many years before it can again trouble the 
repose of Europe. I was delighted beyond 
measure with my journey from Geneva over the 
Semplon. It far exceeded all I had ever con- 
ceived of picturesque beauty^ and made me con- 
tinually wish that you had been with me^ as no 
one would have participated more strongly in 
the feelings which it is calculated to inspire. 
At every turn of the road some new object of 
interest presented itself. Rudely shaped rocks, 
covered with verdure of the most brilliant co- 
lours, from the darkest greens to the brightest 
yellows and reds — fertile meadows interspersed 
with trees, in which the shepherds and sheperd- 
esses, in true Arcadian style, sat watching their 
flocks — mountains piled on mountains in the 
distance, some covered with snow, and others 
glowing with the warm beams of the sun, con- 
tinually changing their forms and hues as we 
advanced — produced altogether a variety of 
effects which no other country can pretend to 
equal. Your lordship and I have seen every- 
thing beautiful that the East can boast ; but I 
can assure you that, in comparison with Swiss 


scenery, it is like the works of modem painters 
compared with those of Salvator and Claude. I 
was not aware that I had any enthusiasm left in 
my composition ; but when I got into the midst of 
this scenery I could scarcely contain my feelings, 
and, in spite of myself, my sketch-book was con- 
tinually in hand ; so that should I find at any time 
lack of matter in Egypt, I shall have enough to 
employ me in finishing some of my memorandums. 
'' I met with our friend Admiral Freemantle 
at Milan, who gave me a very useful letter to 
the Governor of this place. The admiral is 
staying with his family at that city for the winter. 
I also got acquainted there with Sir Robert and 
Lady Lawley, whom I afterwards spent some 
very 'pleasant time with at Florence. My caleche 
which I bought at Rouen, proved a very good 
one, and carried me very pleasantly across the 
country — from Milan, to Brescia, Verona, Vi- 
cenza, Padua, to Venice. The whole of this 
country is flat, monotonous, and uninteresting, 
intersected at regular right angles with ditches 
and rows of trees ; yet still, as a Frenchman 
terms it in the book of roads, ' bien fertile, 
riante, et agreable.' We soon, however, got 
tired of such agreeable views, and were glad to 
get to Venice. Here I found my friend Mr. 


Hoppner^ with his young Swiss wife, who is 
pretty and amiable, and well calculated to make 
him happy. The town itself is an uncomfort- 
able place to reside in — everything appears to 
be sullied by the stagnant waters witli which it 
is environed. From this charge, however, I 
must except the paintings, which are exceed- 
ingly fine and numerous, and give an idea of 
the Venetian school, that it is impossible to 
acquire in England. Tintoret is quite a giant 
in his art, and Paul Veronese has a strength, 
brilliancy, truth and purity, in the colouring of 
his pictures, which places him above competi- 
tion. Some of the best pictures by Titian are 
likewise to be seen here ; among which the Cain 
and Abel, David and Goliah, and Abraham 
and Isaac, all painted on the ceiling, are the 
mo3t extraordinary. They are executed in the 
same grand style as his St. Peter Martyr, which 
was exhibited at Paris ; and prove, in my opi- 
nion, that even in the higher branches of the 
art, when he has only a few figures to deal with, 
he is quite equal to Raphael.^ 

* The objects which these two great artists had mainly 
in view arc so extremely dissimilar, that they cannot with 
propriety be compared with each other. Titian was distin- 
guished by colour, Raphael by deiign.«-E. 

VOL. I. 2 F 


" Everything at Venice partakes of an Orien- 
tal appearance. The buildings are bad Ara- 
besque. The churches resemble mosques, and 
the people^ I verily believe, are half Moors and 
half Christians. There was nothing that I 
missed so much as the Doge and the venerable 
senators in their long gowns. In taking away 
their freedom they might, at least, have left 
them the forms of their constitution, and have 
permitted the accustomed marriage with the sea 
to have taken place, if it had only been for the 
amusement of the people. It is painful to wit- 
ness the abject degradation of a place once so 
celebrated in history. Had the town been only 
a few miles farther from the Continent, it might 
never have happened. 

'' The road frt)m Padua to Ferrara was scarce- 
ly passable ; but fortunately with two additional 
horses we managed to get there in safety. The 
rapid Po, with its curious little mills, floating 
at anchor in the stream, was the only object of 
interest which occurred. As these singular ma- 
chines are all painted, they produced many pic- 
turesque views from the banks. The mode of 
crossing the river is the same as at Arley, but 
with a line of boats to support the length of rope 
which is necessary to reach from side to side. 



" At Bologna we met with a very celebrated 
literary character, Signer Mezzofanti, who speaks 
three or four-and-twenty languages, and is equally 
versed in polite literature as in Hebrew. At this 
place the works of Guido and his scholars are 
seen in great perfection ; but the style of this 
master, except in a few splendid instances, was too 
feeble to form a school, and consequently its fame 
is almost confined to Bologna. Elizabeth Sorani, 
who painted with a very elegant pencil, was one 
of the moFt successful, and she is said to have 
fallen a sacrifice, at an early age, to the malice 
of her contemporaries. Our passage from Bo- 
logna to Florence over the Apennines was accom- 
plished by mules, and owing to the snow and 
ice on the top was not very agreeable. The 
descent, however, into what may be truly termed 
the ' bella Italia,' amply repaid us for the in- 
convenience we had suffered. Our stay at Flo- 
rence (which is, in my mind, the most beautifiil 
of all the Italian cities) was made very pleasant 
by the attentions of Lord Burghersh, our minister 
with the Grand Duke. The latter was absent 
8t the time on a visit to the Emperor, a circum- 
stance which we did not regret, as it gave us a 
better opportunity of seeing his palaces. 

The gallery also, notwithstanding the de- 






spoliation it suffered from the French, afforded 
U8 many hours of delightful recreation ; and I 
was particularly gratified by the drawings of 
Titian, the Carracci, and others, who alone 
seem to me to have possessed the right manner 
of sketching from Nature. I was glad to find 
that they generally used the pencil in their first 
outline, and that they afterwards went carefully 
over it with ink — a practice which I always ecu 
sidered as the best. I have not time to dw 
long either upon Rome or Naples, and by i 
time you will be pretty well tired of the length 
of my epistle. At the first of these places J 
found Lord Glenbervie's family and Mr. Nort 
who invited me repeatedly to dine with tha 
I also met Lord William Bentinck, who after- 
wards called upon me. I visited the old Pope, 
who received me like a father, and spoke with 
great feeling of his obligations to the English. 
I got acquainted with Cardinal Gonsalvi for thf 
purpose of making inquiries respecting the cd 
brated work of Peter Paez ; but I am sorry i 
say all our research was in vain — no such 1 
can at present be traced at Rome. I also faiUi 
in getting a sight of the original of your I 
which I translated, but the authenticity of ifeJ 
undoubted. The convent of St. Pietro de Mcfl 

r thi^^ 
ces i^^ 



torio was despoiled by the French, and this 
work, as well as many others, lost in the wreck. 

" I had the luck of finding at a bookseller's 
at Rome a copy of the work of Tellez, in Por- 
tugueze, which Mr. Hcber bought over my head 
' at forty pounds, and by good fortune I purchased 
it for about six shillings. It is a better copy 
than any in England, and came into the hands 
of the bookseller out of a Spanish nobleman's 
collection who happened to die in the neighbour- 
hood of Rome. It is quite complete. • * * 
I have besides discovered another short voyage 
made into Abyssinia, after Bruce, by three more 
Franciscans, which is curious, and of which an 
account was published in 1810 at Naples — of 
this I have likewise a copy. You will rejoice 
with me to hear that the news respecting 
Pearce's death was incorrect. I have received 
letters from him of a much later date, and he 
appears to have gotten the better of the dread- 
fiil malady with which he was afflicted. The 
Ras has been successful in his campaigns, and 
has completely overcome his old enemies Guxo 
and Gojee, He has established Tccla Georgis 
as King at Axnm, who is the first sovereign that 
has reigned there for eleven hundred years ; and 
thus one of the great objects that we have looked 
to is accomplished. 


'* I shall leave this in a few days on board one 
of his Majestjr's ships (which is not settled,) for 
Alexandria, and I shall immediately send off a 
despatch for the Red Sea. I hope that I shall 
now be vigorously supported by all my friends in 
England with respect to my views in favour of 
Abyssinia. You know me well enough to be 
satisfied that I look to no personal advantages 
from this quarter ; at the same time I am ready 
to make all possible sacrifices to accomplish the 
objects I have so much at heart respecting that 
country. The only thing wanting will, I fear, 
be the funds for necessary presents, &c. ; but 
of this I will write to you more fiiUy and par- 
ticularly from Egypt. I have now got into the 
regular course of the packet, and shall not miss 
any opportunity that may occur of writing to 
you. The first object is to establish an inter- 
course regularly with Pearce, and this I will 
immediately set about on my arrival. By a 
strange mistake I have not received a single 
letter at this place, everything having been for- 
warded on to Alexandria. I hope to find there 
letters from you ; if you have not written, pray 
do inunediately, and as often as possible. 
*' Believe me, my dear Lord, 

Yours most truly, H. S." 

*• The Viscount Valentia." 




By the packet which conveyed the above let- 
ter, Mr. Salt addressed the following to his 
friend William Hamilton, Esq. the learned and 
distinguished author of the Egyptiaca, in which 
he gives an animated description of his passage 
over the Semplon, and a very -prepossessing ac- 
count of the society at Geneva. 

■• Malta, 28th Jan. 1816. 

" My dear Sir, 
" 1 have the pleasure of informing you of my 
arrival at this place, after a very delightful tour 
over the Continent. At Geneva I spent some 
time very agreeably with our friend Colonel 
Leake, and was gratified in beholding the sim- 
plicity of manners which still prevails among 
the inhabitants. To this is joined so much 
general knowledge, respect for science, and love 
for the polite arts, as to render their society 
singularly interesting, and their urbanity and 
attention to the English is unequalled. We 
passed over the Semplon at the most favourable 
season possible for admiring the scenery ; it is 
magnificent beyond description, and affords con- 
tinual subjects for the pencil. The impending 
rocks covered with pines, the fertile meadows 
interspersed with trees, the neat and picturesque 


vSaea on tfae^ k2k, the stnpcodoiis mounuiiis 
in tse fstance, baif c iyirted with snow and 
ingrfag daad^y, a&d half sparkling with the 
riehesc ▼egetatsoo, ptodoccd a brilliant assem- 
hiage of foriBii aad c:>tcQri which cannot be 
sarpaased. It i» the^ nerr coontiy for a land- 
icape-pahxter. and ereiT student, brooght up to 
that profiEsaioB, onght to ^lend two years at 
least there, to make himself master of its Tari- 

^ I fefmd Mr. Hoppner tiring Tery comfort- 
ablj at Venice with his wife, who is a very 
amiable woman. I am afiaid that the plagae at 
Corfo win occasion him great annoyance, as all 
hb fees depend opon the intercourse with the 
Ionian blands. Venice, onder the Austrian 
tyranny, is £ist sinking into insignificance, and 
presents a melancholy picture of abject wretch- 
edness, degradation, and the faded splendour 
of former magnificence. The collection of pic- 
tures, which remains there, is still one of the 
finest in the world, and no person can form a 
just idea of the merits of Tintoret, or of Paul 
Veronese, without having visited it. The strength 
of their effects, and the splendour of their co- 
louring, quite astonish the beholder ; for though 
I have come so immediately from Paris, all the 



works there appear mean and poor in compa- 
rison with the extraordinary paintings of these 
unrivalled masters. I have drawn up some ob- 
servations on the pictures which I saw at Venice, 
Bologna, Florence, and Rome, and, should the 
subject interest you, will with pleasure forward 
them for your perusal. 

" I met with a very learned Abbi^ at Bologna, 
of the name of Mezzofanti, who understands 
six and twenty languages. • ♦ I also be- 
came acquainted with Signior Akerblad at Rome, 
who is another of these extraordinary linguists 
— his knowledge is cotifined to twenty-three; 
but he has besides made some successful efforts 
in decyphering the hieroglyphics, and has pro- 
mised to assist me in my Egyptian researches. 
* * • • I received great pleasure during 
a short stay at Naples, in visiting the many in- 
teresting objects in the neighbourhood, hut was 
delighted above all with Pompeia, which I took 
some pains to examine thoroughly. 

" When I get quietly settled, I will send you 
plans of some of the most remarkable of the 
remains, if you think it will be interesting to 
your children ; perhaps, as they go on with 
their classics it may he of some use to them, as 
I am not aware that any school account of the 


pjbee ktt been pcMiAcJ in EnglancL • • • 
I apeet to pro cee d henee in a few dajs fior 
Akxandiia. The GoTernor and the Admiral 
hoe hare been xerj obliging in their attentions. 
Should anything interesting occur in Egypt, 
I wiU send too word of it, and hope, in return, 
that TOO will hare the goodness to let me hear 
from jroo, with any literary or political news 
that yon may learn. I b^ my best compliments 
to 3ilis. Hamilton ; and remain 

Your sincere friend, H. S." 

•» To WOliam R. Hamnriw, Esq.** 

Contrary to his expectations and wishes, Mr. 
Salt was detained at Malta for some weeks, in 
consequence of no Englisii ship of war arriving 
on the station to carry him to Egypt; and it 
was not till after the l6th of February 1816, 
that an opportunity was fiirnished him for his 
departure. In the course of this period he wrote 
me several short letters, from which the follow- 
ing are extracts. 

<< Malta, Jan. 22, 1816. 

*' Dear Halls, 
•' You will, I am sure, S3rmpathise with me in 
my miseries when I inform you that, by a little 
mistake of Richards's, all my letters, packages. 

H£NHY SALT. 448 

&c. from England^ have been forwarded to Alex- 
andria previously to my arrival at this place. In 
consequence of which I am totally ignorant of 
all that has happened in England since my de- 
parture, except what I have gleaned from the 
public papers. The Governor* here has been 
very attentive to me, and so has the Admiral,f 
which has made the time pass agreeably enough ; 
but, under the circumstances I have mentioned, 
it is very hard to be detained from proceeding. 
The detention is occasioned by the want of a 
vessel on the station fit for the service. The 
Admiral thinks it ought to be a frigate; but 
whether it prove that, or a brig, I shall be glad 
to take the first that comes in. In all probabi- 
lity, therefore, it will not be more than three or 
four days before my departure. 

" The Governor here is a man of good sound 
sense, and has, I am glad to say, taken a very 
proper view of the affairs of Egypt. He thinks 
it of great consequence to keep up a more inti- 
mate connexion between this place and Alexan- 
dria, and has, in conjunction with the Admiral, 
advised that the latter place should be visited, at 
least, twice a year by one of our frigates. This 

* Sir Thomas Maitland. 
f Admiral Sir CharJen Penrose. 

444 THE LIF£ OF 

vili rcodtr my stuatkm more agreeable, and 
will enable me, witb die occasional ressels that 
leave the port, to keep ap a very regular inter- 
coiir» intli ray friends. As correspondents, you 
and I kaTe bodi great room for amendment. I 
mean to ^et yon a good example in this re- 
spect, and hope yon will in like manner reform. 
• • • • 

** I kaTe, yoQ will be glad to bear, received a 
letter from Pearce, by which it appears that, 
tboQgb be has suffiured most dreadfully, yet 
be bas at last got the better of his complaint. 
The de^Nmity, however, which it has occasioned 
has nearlv led him to a resolution of never leav- 
ing Abyso^ir.ia : but he hopes to be of service to 
me >tilU ar.d has evidently, by the manly style of 
his letter, rather improved than otherwise in his 
mental capacity. He writes better, and with 
fewer faultSw ♦ • ♦ ♦ One of my first ob- 
jects on my arrival in Egypt will be, to open a 
free intercourse with Pearce, and to send the 
copies of the Psalms, which have been printed in 
England « and which are, fortunately, at Alexan- 
dria. They are expected in Abyssinia, as it 
appears by Pearce, and are likely to produce the 
most favourable impression. 

'* The Paslia of Egj-pt is at present residing 


at Alexandria. He has gotten the better of his 
mutinous troops^ and^ which is very extraordi- 
nary for an Eastern prince, has actually reim- 
bursed all the merchants and others who suf- 
fered during the rebellion. The trade in corn, 
which he monopolizes, appears to be enormous. 
No less than six vessels laden with that and 
beans, have* arrived in this port within this last 
fortnight. He has several fine vessels of his 
own, both in this sea and in the Red Sea. With 
such a man, I should think that a great deal 
may be done. ♦ ♦ ♦ Remember me kindly to 
all at home, and believe me 

" Most sincerely yours, H. S." 

" J. J. Halls, Esq." 

A few weeks after the date of the last he again 
wrote to me. 

" Malta, Feb. 16th, 1816. 

" Dear Halls, 
*' As I know you will be anxious to hear from 
me, I cannot let the present packet go ofF with- 
out giving you a line. I am still detained here 
for want of a vessel, but probably shall have one 
in a few days. Sir Charles Penrose having sent 
express for a brig from Smyrna, to take me to 
Alexandria. My stay here, however, is tolerably 
agreeable. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Adey, of the Artillery, is 


here, whom your sistcn know. He desires to 
be mnembered. The Whitmores are all well. 
The C<doiiel expects sh<Hrtly to proceed to the 
lonisoi Islands. Malta is sinking fiist, owing to 
other ports in the Mediterranean being open. 
It will, dniing peace, be of little consequence: 
the merchants will be mined, and the people 
starred. Two packets hare arrived here, and 
not a line from toq. If this conduct continue, I 
shall give too up. I widi you would make a 
journey to Venice ; it would be of infinite ser- 
▼ice to you. The pictures of Tintoret are above 
all praise. Besides, there b something in a 
soothem atmosphere that every painter should 
see. The glow given by the sun is decidedly 
different fit>m anything that can be seen in the 
nfgicms of the North. Pray think seriously of it 
Hoppoer would have great pleasure in seeing 
you at Venice, and in July, August, and Sep- 
tember^ the journey might be easily accom- 
plished. * Easy, sir, very easy.' Kindest remem- 
brance to your sisters, Tom, &c and believe me 

'* Most truly yours, H. S* 



Salt's Letter from Malta to his sister, Mrs. Morgan. — His 
arrival at Alexandria. —Letters to William Hamilton, Esq. 
descriptive of affairs in Egypt. — Lord Valentia succeeds 
to the title of Earl of Mountnorris. — Salt's Letter to that 
nobleman from Cairo. Another Letter from Alexandriat 
giving an account of his first proceedings in his Consular 
office, and of his commission from the Earl in regard 
to the Collection of Antiquities, &c. 

During Salt's stay at Malta he wrote the 
annexed letter to his sister^ Mrs. Morgan, which 
somewhat explains the cause of the great impa- 
tience he expresses at his letters, &c. being by 
mistake sent to Alexandria, and also shows the 
disturbed state of his feelings upon a subject 
that has before been noticed. He had left his 
father, too, in a v^ry declining state, and, I 
know, quitted England in the full conviction 
that he should see him no more. 


" My dear Bessy, 
" Having a great number of letters to write 
previously to the packet leaving this place, you 
must consider it a great favour that I give you 


even a short epistle, as you will besides hear of 
me through the medium of my father. My 
letters having been all sent away to Alexandria, 
I am quite ignorant of all that has been going 
on since my departure, and feel therefore par- 
ticularly anxious respecting the state of my 
father's health. Let me beg, then, that you will 
write to me immediately on the receipt of this, 
and inform me at the same time of all that you 
know on another subject, upon which I feel 
scarcely less at ease. Has she been at Lich- 
field ? How does she look ? Does she some- 
times mention me ? Do pray let me hear all 
that you know respecting her present situation. 
Where is she ? What is she engaged in ? And 
a thousand other questions, which I need not 
put upon paper. I now feel most severely the 
miseries of suspense. I would give anything in 
the world for the letters lying at Alexandria. 
* * * But all my restlessness and anxiety are 
vain. I have been detained here some ten days 
already, from the want of a ship-of-war to carry 
me to Alexandria, and am likely still to be kept 
some days longer. The Admiral has just been 
with me regretting the circumstance, but at the 
same time promising to give me the first that 
arrives. You, who know me, will easily conceive 
my impatience. 

IlF.NnV SALT. 449 

" My journey over the Continent was very 
agreeable. I had opportunities of seeing all 
that was interesting both in Switzerland and 
Italy. In the last I visited most towns worthy 
of note ; saw all the great people ; paid a visit 
to the Pope, who received me %'ery graciously ; 
and examined at my leisure all the paintings 
and fine works of art, which there almost every 
public building contains. In England we have 
no idea of magnificence in architecture, or of 
spending a fortune to gratify the taste of the 
people ; while in Italy all the men of large in- 
comes are content to live in the most moderate 
way, that they may have the pleasure of exhi- 
biting to their friends and to strangers a fine 
collection of pictures, or a splendid palace. 
Comfort is never thought of; that belongs ex- 
clusively to England. Italy is, in fact, a country 
to visit, not to live in. The climate is indeed 
finer, but there are no green fields to walk in. 
The winter is somewhat warmer, but they have 
no fire-sides to sit round on a Christmas evening ; 
and as to their olives, their grapes, and their 
macaroni, you may buy quite as good, and 

I almost at as cheap a rate, at Mr. Allen's, or any 
other fruit-shop in England. 
" As you, however, possess some taste for 
VOL, I. 2 G 


travelliDg, you would enjoy the many beaui 
views that are to be eeen in passing through the 
country, and would be highly amused with the 
different characters and dresses of the people. 
Above all things, 1 should like to have taken you 
to the top of Vesuvius, where, with some diffi- 
culty, I mounted so high above the crater as to 
be able to look down into the iiery furnace 
below. We were not above thirty feet from the 
flames, and the stones that were thrown up 
passed over our beads. This was a fine situa- 
tion for an amateur of the picturesque, and it 
would have given me much pleasure to have 
seen its effect on your nerves, especially if our 
friend Mr. Halls had been present, whose head 
always turns round on looking from an height. 
Remember me kindly to Mr. Morgan, and to all 
friends, and believe me to be, my dear Bessy, J 
" Your affectionate brother, H. S.^ 
" To Mrs. Morgan." i 

" P. S. I have sent you by the present packet 
a portrait of myself, done at Geneva by a female 
artist. If you think it like you will, perhaps, 
have a pleasure in hanging it up over the man- 
telpiece in the parlour. Pray write to me as 
often as possible. Give my best compliments to 
Dr. Darwin, and tell him that Mr. Dennison and 

on amt^H 



many of his friends here, have inquired very par- 
ticularly about him. Also say, 1 shall be very 
glad to hear from him when he can find leisure, 
and that I will with pleasure answer all his 
queries. H. S." 



" Alexandria, March 27th. 1816. 
" My dear Sir, 
" I am glad to inform you of my safe arrival 
at Alexandria, on board his M. S. Woodlark, 
which was appointed by Sir Charles Penrose 
expressly for my accommodation from Malta. 
My reception here lias been very gratifying. 
Colonel Misset and Mr. Lee, the Levant Com- 
pany's consul, had prepared everything in the 
pleasantest way for my comfort, and all the 
foreign consuls stationed here have vied in 
paying me every possible attention. In a few 
days, as soon as I have arranged the business of 
the Consulate with Colonel Misset, I shall pro- 
ceed to Cairo, where the Pasha at present re- 
sides, though it is said that in a short time he 
proposes to come down to Alexandria to spend 
the summer, for which purpose he has lately 
built a magnificent house, on the point where 
formerly stood the Plague Hospital. If thi« 


should prove true, I shall at the same time re- 
turn to Alexandria, at least, if I can procure any 
place to put my head in, as just now the town is 
so crowded with Europeans that it is not pos^Ue 
to hire a house of any kind, or even rooms for 
a temporary occupation. Colonel Misset has for 
some time back resided in the Russian consul's 
house, which, on his going away, is to be occu- 
pied by the Austrian consul, who hitherto has 
been compelled to rest contented with apart- 
ments in the house of a friend. 

** The trade of Egypt, or rather the Pasha's 
mono{H)Iy, goes on in a very flourishing way. 
There are not less than an hundred ships in 
harbour, and more than a third of them under 
English colours, the greater part of which are 
waiting for cargoes of grain. The first harvest 
has been very abundant, and the season is pro- 
mising for the ensuing crops. The Pasha has 
made so many alterations in Alexandria that it 
is scarcely to be recognized for the same place. 
He has very absurdly, in my opinion^ repaired, 
or rebuilt, the whole line of the old walls^ which 
in consequence have become^ instead of pictu- 
resque ruins, a regular and ugly mass of modem 
fortifications, very neatly chumnCd, it is true, 
but too weak^ and far too extensive^ to prove of 

r HENRY SALT. 453 

the slightest use in case of a siege. The same 
misfortune has likewise befallen the old Pharos, 
which is now completely modernized, and would 
make a becoming object only for the bottom of 
a citizen's garden. The line of the walls, so 
white and so prettily stuccoed, has, among other 
improvanents, been carried within Cleopatra's 
Needle, towards the sea, so as almost to shut it 
out as an object from the European quarter; and 
at the eastern corner, where, you may recollect, 
there stood a particularly fine tower, they have 
now thrown out a line of wall projecting into the 
sea, which cuts off all admission by the beach to 

>the baths, and other ruins along the sea-coast 
leading to the Pharillon. 

" To add strength to this judicious plan of 

fortification, the Pasha is now engaged in the 

Herculean task of levelling the hills outside of 

the walls. Some hundreds of poor devils of 

Arabs and buffaloes are engaged in this wise 

undertaking, which are watched in their labours 

by a pretty large detachment of troops; yet still, 

as might be expected, they advance very slowly 

in their operations, remo\*ing heaps of rubbish 

^M from place to place without any system, and 

^H thus reducing one hill only to form another. 

^H " 1 had entertained a hope, on first hearing of 

gooA wi^Mt result from 
nrraled under these 
m esmiimiig wbat they 
appears little 1h^ 
mnltmg' from tlieir 
to content themselves with 
np ife snrfKe, and this thej 
pnheriie so co^4etelT with die mde madimes 

the orra»innj that it must be scHne- 
ird indeed which can resist being 
to pieces by their dmnsiness. The part 
on which thej hare been lately occupied lies 
about a qoarter of a mile west from Diocletian's 
KDar. Great masses of large coarse vases, fiUed 
with the mommies cf fish and birds, have been 
rooted up there, whidi is deariy apparent from 
the bcmes, scales, and beaks, remaining tolera- 
bly entire ; hot thb is scarcely enough, I should 
think, to satisfy an antiquary of this having ever . 
been the site of a temple. 

'* I shall contrive to look after their progress 
in levelling as much as the plague will permit, 
but, unfortunately, this malady appears at pre- 
sent to be gaining ground both here and at 
Cairo. It has not as yet got among the Arabs 
and the Europeans, and consequently they have 




not yet absolutely shut themselves up in their 
houses. Colonel Misset leaves this in a few 
days for Leghorn, meaning to try the baths of 
Pisa. He has entirely lost the use of his limbs, 
but retains great spirits and a surprising energy 
of mind. 1 forbear troubling you vtith any offi- 
cial business, being at present too new in the 
country ; but I see already, from Colonel Mis- 
set's correspondence, that it will be a very diffi- 
cult matter to prevail upon the Pasha to attend 
to the capitulations, without some interference 
on the part of the Government. 

" When I shall have made myself master of 
the subject, I will venture to give you a letter on 
the state of our relations with the country, and, 
if you will have the goodness to give the business 
your consideration, I feel assured that, by talcing 
it up in time, everything may be very easily and 
very satisfactorily arranged. I have omitted to 
mention, that on our way from Malta we touched 
at the island of Milo, where the inhabitants 
have lately discovered a theatre of white marble, 
which appears, from the little that has yet been 
exposed to view, to be in very perfect preserva- 
tion. The seats at present opened are seven iu 
number, beautifully worked out of large masses 

4jS thx ufz of 

•f ife fiaest ■■ililc, and ferming the segment of 
a cirde, die cfamrtrr of wliicli, if complete, woold 
m hmJicJ and sixteen feet. 
The M U at ion of diis theatre is one of the 
that can be inugined ; it stands about an 
h nadi e d feet ahore the lerel of the sea, and 
o M iiMmfa in front a noble proqiect, over the 
harhonr, to the moontains on the opposite nde, 
and ts backed bj UtRj hills rising, one behind 
the other, vp to die tnrreted Yillage of Castro. 
Immeiise mins of solid walls stand dose by, and 
some remains of inscriptions bare been found in 
the nrigh l wimhood, two fragments of which I 
enclose. The former is cut on a white marble 
pedestal, which has been much injured, and the 
latter b said to hare fcHined part of a large 
inscription which a bigoted Papa obliged the 
inhabitants to break in pieces, to prevent the 
Europeans from disturbing his holy retreat, a 
cottage which be bad built on an adjoining hill, 
where many remains of a white marble temple 
axe still to be traced. This priest is luckily 
dead, or otl^rwise the theatre would have been 
in great danger of sharing the same disastrous 


** From the site of this theatre I should con- 
ceive that it was intended for naval exhibitions 


in the port below^ as it is constructed imme- 
diately on the brow of a hill, having in front 
scarcely room for the proscenium. Of this, 
however, it is not possible to judge very cor- 
rectly till the whole shall have been laid open ; 
an operation neither very expensive, nor very 
difficult to accomplish, as the inhabitants are 
almost like a colony of English, and would be 
glad to give their assistance in any work that 
would tend to the renown of the island* I beg 
to be remembered to Mrs. Hamilton and your 
young family, and that you will believe me, 
" Your very sincere and obliged friend, H. S." 
'' Sheik Ibrahim, who is at Cairo, is in good 
health, and preparing for another expedition. 

« W. R. HamUton, Esq." 

*' Dear Sir, « Boulak, 18th June, 1816. 

** I had hoped before this time to have had 
the pleasure of hearing from you ; but I sup- 
pose tliat you are too much engaged to be able 
to spare time for any but official duties. Having 
been informed by Mr. Bidwell of Mr. Morier's 
departure from England, I have thought it cor- 
rect to address my official communications to 
you. In the despatch I have forwarded by this 


conveyance, yon will find a request trom the 
Pasha, whidi he ui^ed very earnestly, respecting 
one of his corvettes being permitted to sail round 
the Cape of Good Hope into the Red Sea, and 
I confess that I feel anxioos it should be granted, 
notwithstanding what I formerly said on the 
subject ; as it would make a very favourable 
impression on his mind in my feivour, which in 
the outset is of great c(msequence, and will be 
attended, I conceive, with advantage to the 
British interests, for the reason I have stated 
in my public letter. Under these circumstances, 
I hope it nuiy meet your approbation, and that 
you will, if this should prove the case, have the 
goodness to second my application. 

'' On our way up from Alexandria, I stopped 
at Sai el Haggar, being led there by a remark 
in your book. The ruins are about two miles 
from the river, are of great extent, and certainly 
very interesting. Two large squares, inclosed 
with massive walls of unbumt brick, form, as at 
Bubaster and elsewhere, the leading features. 
In the centre of these are numerous fi*agments 
of granite and other materials used in the con« 
struction of Egyptian temples. About half a 
mile from the largest of these, is the site of 
what was evidently an immense temple, where 



the inhabitants in digging have lately discovered 
a superb sarcophagus of dark^oloured granite, 
too heavy, I believe, to carry away, highly po- 
lished, and having a single band of hieroglyphics 
encircling it, and executed in the best style as 
those at Bahbeit. The cover, which also con- 
sists of one massive stone, has at some former 
period been removed and broken into three 
pieces, one part of which remaining, proves it 
to have been of an uncommon shape, rising thus, 
as if it had ended with 
1 a statue, under which 
also are to be traced a few hieroglyphics. 

" The shape of the sarcophagus answers pre- 
cisely to the usual form of the mummy cases, 
and proves very clearly, as you have stated, 
that the bodies were laid horizontally ; for had 
this tomb been intended to stand on one end, 
the liieroglyphics would not have entirely sur- 
rounded it, as is the case in this instance. 
INiebuhr mentions that he saw at Cairo another 
splendid sarcophagus which had been removed 
from this spot ; so that we can no longer hesi- 
tate in adopting the opinion you have expressed, 
that this is the ancient Sais, and I cannot think 
it very unlikely that on the spot I have de- 
scribed stood the temple of Minerva, in which 


were deposited the tombs of the ancient kings ; 
so that this very sarcophagus may have been 
opened, had its cover broken, and been despoiled 
of its contents as far back as the time of Cam- 
byses ! which, I may say, is confirmed by its 
having been found buried about fifteen feet 
under the surface. The band of hieroglyphics 
is quite perfect, and among the figures, the owl 
is found thirteen times, being one of the most 
frequent characters, so that this bird may have 
been sacred to the goddess Neith before her 
worship was adopted at Athens. One emblem, 
as you must have observed in Lower Egypt, 
generally stands conspicuous, as the goose at 
Bahbeit, and the goat at Tmai. 

" If you have not paid attention to Lord Va- 
lentia's account of the ruins at the latter place, 
it is well worth your looking to, near the end of 
the third volume. This is the first description, 
I believe, given of them, and they are of great 
importance in the geography of Lower Egypt, 
being undoubtedly remains of the ancient Thmuis, 
which serves to confirm the correctness of 
your San, as it answers precisely in its relative 
position and distance to that Thmuis mentioned 
next to Tanis in the Itinerary of Antonine. 
These ruins have been since visited by Sheik 



Ibraham, who describes them to be about ten 
miles east-south-east from Mansoura, which is 
more south than Lord Valentia placed them, 
and that they are near the branch of a canal. I 
have omitted one important fact to be drawn 
from the hieroglyphics on the aforesaid sarco- 
phagus, of which, that you may understand it, 
I here give you a sketch or section. 



These characters are carved in such a way that 
half turn their heads to the left and half to the 
right, meeting precisely in the centre at top (a) 
and bottom (b), which at least proves that they 
were intended to be read from right to left, as 
well as from left to right. And, further, if we 
suppose, as appears natural, that they com- 
menced at the head (a), it then would confirm 
Dr. Young's idea, that in reading them you 
should commence from the side to which the 
figures look, or, as it may be expressed, from 
head to tail ; all .the characters being here in* 
clined towards (a) as to a common centre. 


^ Bot by this time yoa will have had enough 
of antiquities; I will therefore coDchide^ and 
beg jou to beliere mt, 
** Your rery obliged and sincere friend, H. S." 

^ P.S. May I take the liberty of requesting 
that yon will speak awordto Mr. T. Bidwell, jon. 
about my money ccmcems, and assist him, if 
possiUe, in obtaining payment of my salary, or 
otherwise I shall be placed in a very awkward 
predicament. I hare spent upwards of 200(M1 
since my appointment, in fitting out, in the 
▼oyage, &c and haye received not quite SO(ML 
after deducting office Cdcs, &c. as Mr. B. will 
explain. He has been very obliging in ad- 
vancing me 200/., or before this my bills must 
hare been dishonoured. I will thank you also 
to inf»m me through the same, how I am in 
future to draw for my pay. 

** The Xookta fell last nif^t, and the plague, 
so it happens, has ceased at Cairo. Sheik Ibra- 
him desires to be remembered ; he has just re- 
turned, as Uack as a n^;ro, from Mount Sinai. 
I had a note from your brother at Constanti- 
nople, yesterday, who seems to think even Pera 
dull. • • ♦ I have had, of course, no op- 
portunity of doing anything about the inscription 
at Alexandria. Your brother, should he finish 




the Antar, in the time proposed, may be con- 
sidered as a second Hercules — thirteen thick 
folio volumes in one year ! — H. S." 

To prevent any confusion with respect to 
persons, it will be as well to mention in this 
place, that the late Earl of Mountnorris died in 
the spring of this year, and was succeeded in 
his titles and estates by his son the Viscount 
Valentia, the present Earl, whose only child, 
the Hon. George Annesley, became in conse- 
quence the Viscount Valentia : in future, there- 
fore, I shall designate the Viscount, whose name 
has been so often mentioned in the foregoing 
pages, by the title of the Earl of Mountnorris. 
Mr. Salt had not long been established in his 
consulship, when intelligence of the above event 
reached him, and he immediately addressed his 
lordship on the occasion. 

" Cairo, Oct. 30th. 1816, 
" My dear Lord, from our Consular Mansion. 

" I had for some time been preparing a 
long packet for you, when yours" of August the 
5th, yesterday arrived, bringing a confirmation 
of the death of the late Earl. • • • • At 
present I have merely time to congratulate you, 
from my heart, on the acquisition of your new 



d to-oxpreu. n ferveot hope that all 
i<OW plans may succeed. In a short time you 
will rec«ire from me a fall account of my pro- 
cccdtDgs ID Egypt, aod a pretty satisfactory 
dcBcriptioti of anti(iue8 already collected for your 
nuiseum. • • • • My collection of coiiis 
for Lord Valentia, to vtiom 1 beg most kindly 
to be remembered, begins to increase, and in a 
little time will, I hope, be worth forwarding. As 
I do not mean to send anj-thing without taking 
a sketch of it, I hope you will not be lu a Iiurry 
for your good*. I will take care to forward 
tlKm by the best conveyaace, and in thli 1 shall 
be able to get some assistance from Admiral 
Penrose, who has proved a very kind &iead. 
k^„ " Beheve me to be, my dear Lord, ^,, 
ill i Your most sincere friend, , Ht S«* 

P.S. Particular circumstances oblige me to 
&end this in great haste. Your letters are thf 
only satisfactory ones I have yet received ; so 
pray let me hear often, and now I am settled 
you may depend upon hearing from me by most 

f>ckeu. H^ii 

" To the Eari of Mountnorris." 

Previously to Mr. Salt's leaving England, he 
had been requested by Lord Mountnorris to 




collect Egyptian antiquities for his museum at 
Arley Hall^ and his son, the young Lord Valen- 
tia, had also begged him to procure for him a 
collection of ancient coins whenever an advan- 
tageous opportunity presented itselfl The fol- 
lowing letter gives some account of the progress 
he had made in these matters, and also details 
his first proceedings after he had been established 
in his Consular office. 

<< Alexandria, Dec 28th, 1816. 

** Mt dear Lord, 
*' You will have seen by my former letter from 
Alexandria, that I got over to that place from 
Malta in a brig of war, sent express by Admiral 
Penrose, whose friendship I was fortunate enough 
to acquire during my stay in the island. I found 
Colonel Misset in a very low stttte of health, 
having entirely lost the use of his limbs, but at 
the same time possessing excellent spirits, and 
a clear head for business. He made over the 
Consulate to me, I may say, with real satis£eu:tion ; 
entertained me in his house, during my stay in 
Alexandria, and very obligingly communicated 
everything that was likely to assist me in my 
friture proceedings. As the plague was at that 
time raging throughout Egypt (in April), I 
thought it best to get up as quickly as possible 

VOL. I. 2 H 


to Cairo. Or my way I vifiiled Tussea Pwha^ 
Mahomed Alli'0 fbvourite son (who is since dead) 
M Berimbal ; stopped a few hours to Tint the 
ruins of Sal Hi^ar^ the ancient Sais, aad pnn 
c^eded to a small tower at Boulak belonging to 
Boghoz YusufF^ ftrst interpreter to him highnessi 
where we shut ourselves up in quarantine. 

'^ This house was a perfect oren ; thti sun 
glaring full upon the only windows we had id 
front for ten hours^ and the kitchen at the back 
supplying us with almost an equal quantity of 
hot air. Neur it stood a mosque, where all 
those who died of plague in the neighbowrkood 
were buried, so that, as they passed under our 
windows, we had a fine opportunity of studyingafi 
the varieties of funeral processions — one of wkieh 
I think of sending home to amuse Lady Banks. 
June at last came, and then the plague ceased, 
and I paid first a private visit, and afterwards a 
public one, to the Pasha. He received me most 
graciously, and was in reality much delighted 
that a person had been sent with whom he wmk 
in some degree acquainted, and not, as be ob- 
served, ' a stiff unaccommodating Englisbman/ 
At my public visit I received a capital faorse, 
which has turned out uncommonly well^ and a 
pelisse lined with sables, an honour never befeni 


conferred on a Consul here. Some glass ware, 
beautifully cut, and silver stands, whicb I bad 
chosen as a present for him, gave great sftti^fac- 
tion : as did also the pistols and guns which I 
afterwards gave to his sons. In compliment to 
Colonel Misset I confirmed all his agents in 
their stations. ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦ 

*' In August, by order of the Pasha, I ob- 
tained a house for my residence near the French 
quarter^ which is likely to suit me exceedingly 
well. It is irregular, but has two large s^es 
iand my own bedroom, or rather library, looking 
on really a respectably-sized garden, and plenty 
of other rooms for my secretary and the stxangcpr^ 
who occasionally visit us. The halls are all 
paved with variously coloured marbles, and the 
ceilings of the rooms painted in jthe Constantino- 
politan style. Nothwithstanding this, it was so 
out of repair, that it has cost me already 250i 
to put it in order, and before it is finished, it 
will come to one half as much more; besides 
400/. I have paid to Colonel Misset for furniture, 
and the same sum to others coi a like account ; 
so that I should have been greatly distressed 
for money* as my salary is three-quarters in 
arrears, had it not been for the kindness of Mr. 
Briggs, whose house advanced whatever sums I 

8 H 8 


Stood IB need ot Tlie expcsises, howerer, of 
dtf rttahBAmcat neccasary to keep up the Con- 
sular lespectabilitT, will render it somewhat 
diftcvk far me to confine myself within my 
; as to saTing, it is totally oot of the 

My home-rent is fifty poonds per ammn. I 
hare dne horses to keep with their gro^Hns, 
two janisarier, a steward, cook^ two faotmoi, 
gaidener; a camd to fietdi water firmn the 

-carria- ; a bonriqoe^ or 
hoDocky for thegardoi 
Ptorisions are 
woe chnp, and ererythii^ eke Terr dear. Be* 
sides th<»e abore enmnerated, there is my se- 
cretary, whom I proTide with erenrthing. Ail 
^aese expenses are ahsolntely in&pensable, and, 
» yvw KIT well bdieTe, cannot be defrayed for 
WB«i<iL Ves» than the whole amoont of my salary, 
w\klu ervn $ince the inrooie-tax has been taken 
<dC dvvs wot awmnt to ISKML ^ • • 

^ Y<m win hear widi pleasure that I manage 
t«^ cet <«i wncommonhr weO irith the PaduL 
Ife ^:erpvet«^. Mr. Bo^hoa, is a Tery gende- 
VMxSke nnd acv^eeahle man, and as nrach at- 
tftdi^i t^ the Eacfish as the interests fd his 
aMi$cer wS} dl^w. Jwst before I left Cairo, I 


visited his highness, when he invited me to stay 
and partake of his dinner; and afterwards he 
walked with us nearly two hours in his new 
garden, where we found most delicious fruit of 
various kinds. He is a sensible, and, for a 
Turk, an extraordinary man, and were he not 
hampered by the prejudices of those around Jiim, 
we should soou see a different state of things in 
Egypt. He has taken all the produce of the 
country into his own hands, and is liimself the 
greatest manufacturer and merchant in the state. 
His revenue is enormously increased, and yet, 
though the merchants cry out, they are all making 
money, and fresh European adventurers are 
daily flocking in to the country. The French 
influence is at a low ebb, and the English 
proudly predominant ; so that I have continual 
applications from those foreigners who have no 
Consul of their own, to be permitted to rank 
themselves under our banners. In fact, the 
Pasha will scarcely attend to any other remon- 
strances but those which I present : a truth so 
generally admitted, that the merchants, in all 
emergencies, apply for my good offices in their 
favour. Tliis superiority is, in some measure, 
owing to the government of France having or- 
dered tbeiK Consul-General to reside at Alexan- 

470 TH£ LITE OF 

dm, wlncli lemves me at Cairo mulispiifed master 
of the field. Poor old Rowtti, thoi^ 8liH 
afire, ii unequal to interfcre. • • • Tbe 
other CoBSols-Geiieral reside in Alexandria^ 
• ^ • hot Booe off Aem have mmA wmf^ 
m poMie a&in. • • a a 

'^ I am at present on a risit to om* Console 
Mr. Lee, fior die purpose irf maldi^ myself 
better acquainted with our Aleuidrian jAmra 
I broi^ht a strong letter from Ae Pteha to the 
Gcnremor, ordering the stii c te s i ittention to all 
my wishes, and 1 have found, upon die whole, 
great reason to be satisfied. 

" Having fortunately obtainod the promise cff 
GoTcmor Maitland to support me, as well as 
the ccnrdial co-operaticm of the Admiral, I do 
not entertain a doubt of being able to increase 
cwr infiuence with the Pasha, notwithstandii^ 
1 cmnnot get a line from Downing Street in 
attswef' to my de^iatchesw The Pasha partkiH 
faurhr wants to send a ship round the Cape of 
Good H(^> which, under existing cireumstances, 
could do no possible harm. I am anxious tfatt 
pemussion should be given to me to grant him 
a passport, without the Government directly in* 
terfering. The ship would never perhaps readh 
her destination, but at least the Pasha would 


be satisfied. I shall be almost tempted, if I 
receive no orders to the contrary, to give the 
passport on my own responsibility. There is 
no law against his undertaking it without our 
permission^ and I do not think an act of hosti** 
lity would be ventured for such a trifle. Let 
me request your lordship^ if an opportunity 
should occur, to speak to Mr. Hamilton on the 
subject, as I assure you it is of real importance, 
owing to the interest which the Pasha takes in 
the scheme. I have written to all our Gover- 
nors in India, but have not yet received their 
answers, though I have had a very obliging 
letter from Warden, secretary to the Bombay 

^* I have no news from Pearce or Coffin. 
A report has reached Cairo that they are both 
well ; but that my friend the Ras is dead, and 
that the country is consequently in a very dis- 
turbed state. This news is of doubtful autho- 
rity. I shall probably soon have letters from 
that part, as this is the season for ships coming 
up to Suez. A Mr. Ramsay has been appointed 
to Mocha, who has written and expressed bis 
wish to do all he can to assist me. I wan^ 
nothing but money to establish a small packet 
or somauli boat, at Suez. 


" For some time after my arrival, owing to 
the plague, 1 met with no antiques, which 
become difficult to purdiase ; and I fouml 
Monsieur Drovetti, the quondam French Ci 
8ul, was in Upper Egypt, buying up everything 
there to complete a collection upon which he 
has been engaged some years. This collectii 
which I have lately had an opportunity of 
amining, contains a great variety of curious ar- 
ticles, and some of extraordinary value. • • • 
The whole is intended for sale, and I have tried 
to persuade him to send proposals to the British 
Museum : but do not know whether it is rich 
enough to buy it. The collection, I imi 
will not be sold for less than three or fc 
thousand pounds. 

" Since our release from quaranUaa, I 
taken every possible means to collect, and 
glad to say that I have been very succcssfi 
so that I shall in spring have to send you, 
cargo of such things as I believe you have m 
before seen. I must however inform you, tl 
I am so hit nith the prospect of what may si 
be done in Up}>er Egypt, as to feel unable 
abstain from forming a collection myself; you 
may however depend upon coming in for a good 
share, and though my collection may prevei 
yours from being unique, yet you may rely i 



the refusal of it, shouM I ever part with it, and 
upon my leaWng it to you should I die. In the 
first instance I have been compelled to launch 
into considerable expense to establish a name ; 
but shall not have occasion to trouble you for 
more money, at present, than what I mentioned 
in my last, 200/. I have two articles alone to 
send you which I consider worth double the 
sum; of what description it may be an umuse- 
ment to you to guess ! 

'* I have got together some coins for Lord 
Valentia, but you must inform him that good 
ones are very scarce. • • • 

" You will be glad to be informed that 1 
enjoy my health remarkably well, much better 
than in England, I am grown thin ; but have lost 
all my stomach complaints. Thank God I have 
reason to be greatly satisfied ; my books and 
the antiquities round me afford me never-failing 
amusement, and the influence and power of 
doing good attached to my situation, satisfy 
alt that I have left of ambition in my mind. 
• • • As I propose, in a short time, to visit 
Upper Kgypt, 1 will not fail to attend to your 
wishes about seeds, &c. 

" As to sending a mummy entire, it is almost 
impossible, owing to the objections made by the 
captains of ships to carry them. There are 



tome at Alexandria that have waited four years. 
If I can get a good head^ you may depend on 
having it, and with respect to the cases I hope 
there will be no difficulty. ♦ • ♦ I have 
copied the inscription on the column a second 
time, and have made out^ I believe, the name 
of the Prefect. As soon as I arrive at Cairo, 
whither I shall proceed in a few days, I will for- 
ward it to Hamilton for the Antiquarian Society. 
You know, I imagine, that the French Institute 
did me the honour of choosing me one of thdr 
foreign correspondents. I shall send them a 
copy of the inscription, and shall endeavoiur to 
fix the honour of the discovery on die right 
shoulders. Monsieur Chateaubriand received 
the copy from Monsieur Drovetti, who thinks it 
was taken from mine. I wish you would look 
to this point, which will be easily determined 
by his having ANIKHTON or Ce^ ACTON ; if the 
latter, it must have been copied from that made 
by Messrs. Hamilton, Leake, and Squire. • * * 

'' I shall not make up my boxes before March, 
as the passage in winter is very precarious; 
and if I happen to be in Upper Egypt, then it 
may be later. 

'* Believe me yours very sincerely, H. S.** 

^* The Earl of Mountoorris." 



Salt's Correspondedce ^ith Pearce. — Death of the Ras. — 
Mr. Coffin's Adrenturea. — Death of the elder Mr. Salt.-— 
Salt's application to Lord Castlereagh for leave of ab« 
sence. — Refused by that Minister. — Timely accession of 
Fortune. — Recommended by Sir Joseph Banks to collect 
Antiquities for the British Museum. — How rewarded by 
that luatitution. — Curiosities forwarded to Lord Mount- 
norris.-— Injuries suffered in the transmission to England^ 
— Removal of the gigantic Head of the younger Mem- 
non. — Salt's first acquaintance with, and kindness to 
Belzoni. — The latter employed by Mr. Burkhardt and 
Salt. — Account of Belzdni in a Letter to Lord Mount- 
norris. — Salt's depression of spirits* — ^Another Letter to 
Lord Mountnorris. 

One of Mr. Salt's first carea^ on his arrival in 
Egypt, was to write to Pearce in answer to 
several letters he had received from him, but 
which had hitherto been left unnoticed on ac- 
count of the erroneous reports of his and Coffin's 
death. At Malta, however, he received a letter 
from the former, acquainting him that his health 
was greatly improved, and that both he and his 


companion were then living with the iUs at 
Chelicnt. The following are extracts firom Mr. 
Salt's reply. 

^ Cairo, April il8th, 1816. 

'^ Deae Pearcb, 
'' Colonel Misset having informed me that he 
wrote to you some time ago in answer to a letter 
which you sent by this route, in whiph he in- 
formed yon of my being appointed his Majesty's 
Consnl-General in Egypt^ you will not of course 
be surprised at this letter. I arrived here al^ut 
ten days ago^ and took upon me thq du^e^ of 
the office ; Colonel Misset, my |Mredecessor> hav- 
ing departed for Europe. About a year b^ 
I received letters from Major Rudland in India^ 
giving me a circumstantial account of y^ur 
death ; you may easily believe how nuich I felt 
shocked at this intelligence, as were all your 
other friends in England. This report of course 
prevented my writing, as I thought my JLetters 
were likely to fall into bad. hands. Iwas.alsp 
induced, on the same account, to keep back a 
letter from your brother, wh<Hn L often . saw in 
England, strongly expressive of hip attachnpient 
to you ; indeed, I assure you that your rq^jted 
death gave real concern, not only to eyery 
branch of your family, but also toevery.p^rsQn 



who had read the narrative of your proceedings 
in Ahyssinia, which I published in the account 
of my last mission to that country. 

" It was not till my arrival at Malta on my 
way here, about two months since, tliat I re- 
ceived your letter, dated February 28th, 1815, 
from Chelicut, which had followed me all the 
way by Mocha, IJombay, and England, to Malta, 
in which you give me the account of your late 
severe illness, and of your fortunate recovery. 
I immediately wrote to your brother to inform 
liim of your being still alive, and I am sure he 
will be delighted at receiving the news, I 
lament most sincerely the hard fate you have 
met with from your late dreadful malady ; but 
at the same time I beg you not to attribute this 
misfortune to any particular circumstances in 
your former life. I saw your father myself, as I 
told you, before his death, and so far from curs- 
ing you, he often blessed you, and spoke of you 
with real affection. Your errors were never 
those of the heart. The wildness of youth led 
you to ramble abroad, and got you into great 
difficulties; but recollect that it also led you 
into Abyssinia, where you have done more for 
your country and for the poor inhabitants of 

itSnnis, than generally falls to the lot of io- 


dividuals. Keep up your courage, therefore, 
rely on God for support, and you will never 
want friends. My power has not hitherto been 
equal to my wishes to render you service; but 
now that I hold a high situation, and so near 
you, you may depend upon my doing all in my 
power to benefit you. 

'' Poor Rudland, since he wrote to me, is^ as 
you may have heard, himself dead ; he died at 
Surat of a violent fever. * # ♦ ♦ Pray, on 
tiie receipt of this, rat down and give me an ac** 
curate account of your present situation ; of your 
health in the first place, and whether I can send 
you any medicines that will be of idle ; next of 
your means of living, and how fiur I can assist 
you by sending you money ior other ar&Ies ;. 
thirdly, every particular about Coffin, and hem 
I can be of use to him. • # ♦ ♦ Foorthly, 
as exact an account as you can give of the state 
of the country, of my good and kind firiend the 
Ras, and also of every other person respecting 
whom I am interested. ♦ ♦ ♦ * 

'^ I am glad my friend Subegadis has returned 
to his duty, and hope he continues a firm fri^d 
to the Ras ; Guebra Michael, of Temben, ifS he 
still your friend ? I hope so, for I conceive him 
to be one of the ablest men in Tigre. ♦ • # * 


The Pasha of this country, who is a man of great 
power, and anxious to do all the good he can, sent 
some time ago a messenger up either to the Ras, 
or to the King, with presents. Did you hear any 
thing of this circumstance 7 and how was he 
received? • « « • I hear that Nayib 
Idris is dead : have you heard much of the 
* brother who succeeded him ? They tell me that 
the Ras gave him some villages lately for per* 
mission to let the Abuna pass: is this true? 
Where does the Abuna reside, and what kind of 
a man is he i If you like, I will get letters from 
tlie Patriarch here, ordering him to pay you 
every attention.f ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

** I have sent you ten copies of the Psalms, 
published in Ethiopic, for the Abyssinians, as 
specimens ; four of them handsomely bound in 
red, and six plain. I have about two hundred 
of the last, and about twenty of those in fine 
bindings to send you when I can find an oppor- 
tunity, which you will give away to those that 
they will be of most use to. You understand 

f This was the dissolute, and apparently insane Abuna, 
so 'fi-equentlj mentioned tn Pearce*8 Journal. Mr. Salt, it 
will be remembered, aflerwards procured an order from the 
Patriarch to the above effect, which produced a beneficial 
change in the conduct of the Abuna, as far as respected 


already that I want a whole copy of the Scrip- 
tures ; the price would be of no consequence if 
you can get it well done, and can manage to 
draw, through some of the Greeks, upon me for 
the money. 

'' Have you never yet seen any other ancient 
stones, or curious monuments with inscriptions 
upon them, or any of those odd things which 
you know I like ? If you should discover any, 
and could copy them for me, I shall be delightML 
* * * * As I shall remain, in all pro- 
bability, some years in Egypt; you may look 
forward to hear often from me, and to receive 
whatever you may write for, that it may be in 
my power to send you. • ♦ ♦ ♦ Take 
care in your letters to say nothing against the 
Mohammedans, or Turks, for fear the letters 
should be opened. If you write in their pnuse, 
I shall always understand you. 

" H. S." 

« To Mr. Nathaniel Pearce." 

The foregoing letter, another to Mr. Coffin, 
and a number of useful and necessary articles 
were packed up in a box and intrusted to the care 
of a Greek merchant travelling to Adowa and 
Gondar; he also received thirty dollars from 



Mr. Salt, which together with the other presents 
were to be divided as equally as possible between 
Pearce and Coffin. They were fortunate enough 
to get the whole in safety, and the supply came 
most opportunely. 

More inauspicious times, however, awaited 
them on the death of their old friend the Has, 
who died on the 28th of May 1816, exactly one 
month after the date of the above letters. The 
whole of Abyssinia was thrown, as is usual on 
such occasions, into the most dreadful state of 
civil war, and "for several years Pearce and 
Coffin had, in a great measure, to depend for 
subsistence upon the precarious bounty of some 
of the contending chiefs. The former, from the 
wretched situation to which his malady had 
reduced him, was generally incapable of taking 
anything like an active part in the commotions 
which devastated the country ; but Coffin, who 
had sided from a feeling of gratitude with the 
friends of the late Ras, distinguished himself 
highly on several occasions by his conduct and 
courage, and received many severe wounds in 
the course of the desperate conflicts in which he 
was engaged. 

During a period of some years. Coffin led a 
life of singular trial and vicissitude : at times 

VOL. I, a I 


obliged to seek for refuge in the Giddanu, or 
sacred places, and at others to shelter himself 
in the wilder and more inhospitable parts of the 
country ; sometimes for months detained a close 
prisoner, with an unfortunate companion chained 
to his side till his ransom could be raised by his 
fjieods, and then emerging from his captivity 
with the title of Basha, and at the head of two 
or three thousand followers, again becomit^ 
Sirviceable to his party, and formidable to bis 

Affiurs continued in Abyssinia in this distracted 
state for some years, till the abilities and courage 
of Subegadis, the late Ras of Tigre, overcame 
all his opponents, and \ett him undisputed mss- 
ter of the country. Coffin, like others, hariog 
made his peace with this distinguished chief- 
tauii was receired into the highest favour, and 
mnuined at his court till he quitted Abyssinia 
early in the year 18S7. charged with a species 
of mission by Subegadis to the Government of 

l*earcc had in the mean while very fortunately, 
but not without considerable risk, contrived to 
make hLs escape from the country, at the close 
of the year 1818, to Egypt, where he joined 
Mr. Salt in the following year. He had, 




common with Mr. Coffin, sufTered greatly during 
the two or three preceding years, and probably 
both might have perished, had it not been for 
the supplies of money and other articles with 
which they had frequently been furnished by the 
kindness of Mr. Salt. After the death of Pearee, 
the same liberality was continued to Mr. Coffin 
which he had previously experienced, and on a 
still more extended scale ; the Earl of Monnt- 
norris having at different periods forwarded 
various sums, through the hands of Mr. Salt, to 
be employed in promoting his comfort and ad- 

The death of his father, which happened on 
the 27th of May 1817,* made Mr. Salt anxious to 
obtain a short leave of absence, in order that he 
might return to England to arrange his private 
affairs; and he accordingly wrote to Lord Mount- 
norris to request him to apply to Lord Castle- 
reagh on the occasion. The permission, how- 
ever, his lordship felt, upon public grounds, he 
could not well grant, without the most pressing 

• The dates of old Mr. Salt's deatli and of Lord Caitle- 
reagh's letter are, 1 know, correct, but I cannot reconcile 
them ; probably Henry Salt had learned tlint his father was 
dying nheii he applied for fiis leave to Lord Mountnoiria ; 
but he could not have heard of his death. — E. 

Si 3 


emergency to justify his acquiescence, and he 
accordingly wrote the following very considerate 
refusal to the application. 

" Lord Castlereagh presents his compUioents 
to Lord Mountnorris. He has had the honour 
to receive his letter of the 24th instant, request- 
ing permission for Mr. Salt, his Majesty's Con- 
sul-General in Egypt, to come to England on 
leave of absence for his private affairs, in con- 
•equence of his father's death. Lord Castle- 
reagh would have been happy could he consist- 
ently have acceded to Lord Mountnorris's re- 
quest, hut considerations of a public nature, 
and the circumstance that Mr. Salt has so re- 
cently repaired to his post, prevent Lord Cas- 
tlereagh from granting the permission Lord i 
Mountnorris requests, unless in the event of Mr. 
Salt's representing it to be a case of very great j 
" Fureign Office, 26ili June, I8I7." 

At his father's death Mr. Salt came into the I 
possession of about 50O0/. and in his circum- 
stances, at that period, nothing could have been i 
more fortunately timed. The previous expenses 
attendant on the assumption of his new office, 
and many contingent disbursements which will 

H£NttY SALT. 485 

bt: hereafter mentioned, had drained him of all 
his ready money, and the delay that occurred 
in the payment of his salary had placed him 
under the necessity of borrowing considerable 
sums to meet his immediate demands. 

Before he left England, it had been particu- 
larly recommended to him by his friend, the 
late Sir Joseph Bunks, to collect antiquities and 
curiosities for the British Museum, his situation 
as Consul- General in Kgypt, giving him advan- 
tages and opportunities which could scarcely 
have been afforded to a private and unsupported 
JBdividual. Into this plan he entered with all 
the natural warmth and ardour of his character, 
and he hardly had set his foot on the shores of 
Egypt, before he proceeded to carry it into 

In what manner he was rewarded for his ex- 
ertions, and inconvenient private expenditure, 
it will hereafter be my unpleasant task to un- 
fold. 1 will only add, that in developing the 
circumstances of the case, I shall content myself 
with simply stating the transaction as it appears 
in authentic documents, and shall refrain, as 
much as the nature of the question will admit, 
from personal allusion, or animadversion, — 
These observations may perhaps appear rather 


premature, bat I think it best to premise thai 
much in order that the reader may more clearly 

comprehend some tetters and occurrences that 
must precede the subject to which I have ji 

Almost immediately after his arrival ia Ej 
in 1816, Mr. Salt began to form a collection of 
antiquities for the Earl of Mountnorris, in which 
undertaking he was more successful than he had 
at first anticipated. With the assistance of a 
Mr. Riley, whom he employed as his agent in 
the following spring in the upper country, he 
procured a number of very curious specimens, 
which were afterwards forwarded to his lordship, 
but unfortunately, from the cases in which they 
were packed being opened at Malta, a large 
proportion of the articles were seriously injured 
from the rough usage they had received ; so 
that, on their arrival in England, very few of 
them were found in a perfect state, which occa- 
sioned no small degree of chagrin to his lord- 
ship, and to those who were present at the un- 
packing of the cases. The circumstance vn 
however, afterwards fully explained by Mr. Salv 
who was informed by his agent, Mr. Dennison, 
at Malta, that " everythiug had been opened 
there on account of their being packed in tow> 


and thrown about, most of the numbers rubbed 
off, and some of the articles broken ; but that 
they liad been carefully repacked." When they 
left Bgypt they were in excellent condition, 
and hud been brought with great trouble and 
expense from Nubia and Thebes. 

The following letter explains more fully the 
cause of the injuries the various articles sustain- 
ed in their passage to England, and may prove a 
warning to future collectors. 

■' Cairo, ScpL 2Cth, 1818. 

" ftlv DEAH Lord, 

" I have written you a long tetter by Malta, 
addressed to the Foreign Ofiice, containing a 
list of all your articles, and a full explanation of 
the circumstances attending the same, which 1 
doubt not will prove satisfactory. In confirma- 
tion of what I have mentioned respecting the 
treatment of the antiques at Malta, I now in- 
close you an extract of a letter from Lord Bel- 
more, just received, dated from that island : — 

' I have had the mortification to find a ter- 
rible wreck among my antiquities which I col- 
lected in Egypt, and which 1 should not trouble 
you by noticing, ouly that it may perhaps be of 


aoTioe to yoo to be argnainted with it. MaDjr 
of the best of my small figures are broken to 
pieces, most of the papyri ground to dust, and 
erefything lying jumUed t<^ether in the laza- 
retto, as so much rubbish. I can easily account 
Cmt the injury they have sustained. The dread 
of handling such artides in quarantine, caused 
them, on opening the cases, to throw out the 
eoDtents without touching them; and when I 
fimnd six papyri under the sphinx, which had 
been entire, but were now ground to pieces, you 
may easily fimcy the little respect they paid to 
the contents of my cases.' 

'' This will prove to you clearly, that the 
appearance of your articles, especially those of 
calcareous stone, must have been owing to the 
same sort of treatment. I can assure you, there 
were many very beautiful when they left this. 
I have had an obliging invitation firom Lord 
Belmore, to spend the winter with him at Na- 
ples, but cannot venture to leave Egypt without 
permission, which it was impossible to procure 
in time. I am just going to make a short trip 
in Upper Egypt with Mr. Bankes, who has been 
vrith me some days. He is a most delightful 
companion, from his extraordinary powers of 
memory, and the opportunities he has had for 

H£NHY SALT. 489 

obfiervation. The Pasha will in a short time, I 
believe, go to Alexandria, so that my absence 
will not be felt. The only extraordinary occur- 
rence that has taken place since my last is, that 
an hippopotamus has been killed close to Da- 
mietta, which measured eleven feet five inches. 
I have seen the skin, and got a pretty correct 
drawing of it, which differs from the generality 
of those given, by the extraordinary length of 
the animal compared with the breadth, being 
only about four feet high, though nearly twelve 
long. I have also had lately two mountain 
ibex, from Upper Egypt, alive, which were not 
known to habit here, and differ much from both 
Shaw's and Butfon's account. 

" I am, my dear Lord, yours very truly, 

H. S." 
" To the Earl of Mountuorrig." 

The greatest undertaking, however, engaged 
in by Mr. Salt at this period was the removal of 
the gigantic head, generally called that of the 
younger Memnon, from Thebes to Alexandria. 
This enterprise was undertaken at the joint ex- 
pense of the lamented Mr, Burckhardt and Mr. 
Salt; and Mr. Bclzoni, a man of extraordinary 
bodily, and of considerable mental powers, was 


onployed by these goitlem^i to carry their in- 
tantioii into execution. He was first noticed by 
Borckhardty who introduced him subsequently to 
the knowledge of Mr. Salt. At this time he was 
out of anploy, and apparently in difficulties. 
He had gone out with his wife (an English- 
wfunan) to Egypt, chiefly with the design of 
constructing an hydraulic machine for watering 
the gardens of the seraglio of Mahommed Ali, 
but having hiled in the undertaking, through 
the insurmountable prejudices and obstacles he 
had to contend with in the course of his pro* 
ceedings, he ¥ras dismissed firom his employment, 
and became nearly reduced to a state of distress. 
When he first became acquainted with him, 
Mr. Salt was mudi struck by his manly appear- 
ance, and by his apparently mild disposition and 
insinuating address. He felt compassion for his 
misfortunes, and, as will be seen in the sequel, 
was induced to act towards him with a degree of 
kindness and liberality which was as inconve- 
nient to his pecuniary afiairs as it was, in some 
respects, ill requited. In stating this, it is by 
no means my wish to detract in the smallest 
degree firom the perseverance, the zeal, or the 
ability displayed by Mr. Belzoni in accomplishing 
the difficult undertakings he was employed to 

perform, for in all these matters he is unques- 
tionably entitled to the approbation and praise 
of every one acquainted with his uncommon and 
active exertions. No one was more sensible of 
his merits, in these particulars, than Mr. £slt, 
and few, as I shall have soon occasion to show, 
have spoken of him in terms of warmer com- 

At the time that Mr. Bclzoni was employed 
by Mr. Salt and Sheik Ibrahim (Burckliardt) to 
remove the gigantic head of the younger Mem- 
non, a list of instructions, to guide him in his 
operations, was drawn up by those gentlemen. 
The copy of this, made by Mr. Beechey, and 
signed in the hand-writing of Messrs. Burckhardt 
and Salt, is now in my possession, and on the 
face of it it seems pretty clearly to prove, con- 
trary to his assertions, that Mr. Belzoni under- 
took the enterprise merely in the capacity of 
their paid agent. As this document, however, 
has been already published in his work, it will 
be unnecessary to insert it, more especially as 
Mr. Salt's own statement of Belzoni's conduct 
towards him will be given hereafter. For the 
present it will be enough to observe, that, be- 
sides the above commission, Mr. Salt furnished 
hin} with some thousand piasters to enable him 

ed I 

im ^^J 


to excavate and buy antiquities, solely on his 
(Mr. Salt's) account. 

As soon as these matters were duly arranged, 
Mr. Belzoni departed upon his mission. The 
brilliant success which attended his exertions 
on this occasion is ably narrated in two arti- 
cles of -the ** Quarterly Review,'' published in 
1818, which appear to have been compiled from 
documents sent over by Mr. Salt, and in which 
he speaks of the achievements of this singular 
man in the warmest terms of admiration ^and 
enthusiasm. His private letters are equally 
strong in his praise, and I believe it may be with 
truth stated, that to his early and disinterested 
commendations, Belzoni owed much of the popu- 
larity and celebrity he experienced on his first 
arrival in England. 

The very flattering terms in which Mr. Salt 
spoke of Mr. Belzoni (in the papers quoted so 
often by the " Quarterly Review," and which, I 
believe, were partly addressed to my friend Mr. 
Gifibrd, the late editor, and partly to persons 
connected with the Foreign Office) were repeated 
in many letters written to his intimate friends 
about the same period, in which he gives the 
full merit of all his various discoveries to this 
strangely jealous individual. 



In a letter to Lord Mountnorris, bearing date 
the 7th of August 1818, Mr. Salt, in answer to 
some inquiries of his lordship's respecting Bel- 
zoni, writes as follows: — "The Mr. Belzoni, 
about whom you inquire, and of whom a fair 
account is given in the last ' Quarterly Review/ 
(except in so far as concerns thejirst researches 
in the Pyramids, and the excavation of the 
Sphinx, with which he had nothing to do," the chief 
merit of that belonging to Captain Caviglia,) is 
a Roman, who once performed on the stage feats 
of strength. He is nearly six feet eight inches 
in height, very strong, and of extraordinary 
muscular powers, well skilled in mechanics, and 
very ingenious in applying common resources to 
remove objects of great bulk ; indefatigable and 
zealous in whatever he undertakes ; and joining 
to all this, a very intelligent mind. He was 
commissioned by Sheik Ibrahim and myself to 
undertake the removal of the head, and at the 
same time was engaged by me to make re- 
searches at Thebes, with most liberal orders in 
our favour from the Pasha. This was in the 


' This accidental miastatenient icaB corrected in the suc- 
ceeding number of the " Quarterly," but the error hai been 
followed by Mr. Hugh Murray, in his " Historical Account 
of Africa," (vol. ii. p. 209, second edition.) — E. 



year 1816. Id October he returned, after ac- 
complishing his object, having commenced the 
opening of the Temple of Ipsambul, and disco* 
yered for me the articles before-mentioned. In 
consequence of this opening, and seeing the 
necessity of * striking while the iron was hot' (to 
use a vulgar phrase), all the woild having began 
to look after antiques, and Drovetti having em- 
ployed half a dozen agents, I succeeded in en- 
gaging Mr. Belzoni to stay another year ; and 
accordingly, in 1817^ he went up with my secre- 
tary, Mr. Beechey, and finished opening for me 
the Temple of Ipsambul, in' which he showed 
great talent and perseverance, and afterwards 
discovered for me at Thebes a finer Colossal 
head than that at the British Museum, and more 
perfect, though not above half its weight; se- 
cured for me the celebrated French stone with 
six figures ; discovered five new tombs, of one of 
which I have before given you such a flaming 
description, the paintings giving a new insight 
into the history of the art ; and in the same tomb 
found for me a sarcophagus of white alabaster, 
which is of great value, and many other articles. 
*' As to his monopolizing the credit of these 
discoveries, I have no objection to it, for I have 
only the merit of having risked the speculation 


and paid the expenses ; and besides, the expe- 
rience of life has taught me to estimate at its 
just value the opinion of the multitude. I shall 
in due time produce proof of my benefiting, at 
least, by these discoveries, by the drawings 1 
have already made ; but I am dubious as to far- 
ther publication. I want nothing from Minis- 
ters, nor from mankind. My mind is settled as 
to the course of my future life, which I do not 
expect to be a long one, and the world may 
pursue its own course as it pleases for me. My 
only hope is a small independence, some ten 
years hence, on which I may retire ; and if I do 
not succeed in securing this, 1 can stay where 
I am. 

" The death of Sheik Ibrahim was a blow, the 
effects of which will never be erased from my 
mind, and has convinced me, too strongly per- 
haps, of the futility of most of our pursuits. 
* " • * • As to any work upon Egypt, I 
certainly cannot think of committing myself by 
any general work, until my materials are more 
extended. I shall send home by the first man- 
of-war, all the sketches and plans of the Pyra- 
mids, which might very well be published as a 
first livraison, and I could promise to supply 
another annually, or perhaps two ; one on the 


viA aD its msmplioiis, which I 
copied viA IE^^b"^ ^ve, is afanost ready; an< 
cs the oev taarih in the lunges Valley, 
mhwi e J plaies^ ftc-oniles; a copy of the harp- 
cn» pimii^ the ciU e m e iD mne t to ess of the 
French, might he ready in Spring ; and a fourth, 
Qt Matarca, Babrkin, Memphis, and the quar- 
ries opposite, m%ht soon Mlow.f • a • Pray 
haTT the goodness to consak with Mr. Hamilton 
on the airiral of my pyramidal sketches, and 
adrise me as to the hest plan to be adopted. I 
should Uke to make something hy their publica- 
tion, but I would willingly sacrifice profit to the 
work being got up in a proper style. • • • 

'' You complain of my not writing and giv- 
ing my firiends notice of what I have done, but 
I assure you that I have much more reason to 

f None of these and some others mentioned, I believe, 
ever reached England, with the exception of the work on 
the Pyramids and Sphjnx, and that on the King's tomb. 
Two of the drawings from the last-named work were lent to 
Belzoni to copy, and, if I remember rightly, appeared in his 
work, but executed so imperfectly as to give no idea of the 
beauty and accuracy of the originals. I believe the great 
expense that must have attended the engraving of the 
plates, in both the above works, was the reason that the 
idea of publishing them was dropped. One of them» 
perhaps, may yet appear. 


complain of the little notice taken of what I 
have written. I wrote to Lord Castlereagh 
about the head ; I wrote a long letter to Mr. 

about it, and. have never received thanks 

from the former, nor even a communication of 
its arrival from the latter. I wrote a second 

letter to Mr. about the antiquities found 

by Captain Caviglia at the Pyramids and Sphynx ; 
inclosed a letter from him to the Antiquarian 
Society, and have never received an answer, nor 
the slightest notification of their arrival ; though 
I see they are mentioned in the " Quarterly ,** 
and the chief merit given to Mr. Belzoni, who 
was then in Upper Egypt ! I have written to 
you twice, and given you accounts of everything 
interesting, from Thebes, since December, and it 
appears you have not received them. • • • 
I have written to Sir Joseph Banks, and received 
no acknowledgment of my letter ; once to Mr. 

, and have been treated in the same way. 

And I will now ask you, whether the temptation 
to write is likely to be very urgent ? On the 
contrary, I sometimes feel inclined to vow that 
I will never set pen to paper again, except on 
official business. Some of my letters, however, 
must certainly have miscarried. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦. 

'' Though I feel much better this year than 

VOL. I. 2 k 

496 THB UF£ OP 

tiie last, jet I am wmrf to sajr that Cairo by no 
means agrees widi me. in the months of Jul j 
and August it is a peifect fiumace, and the air 
Terj isipure and unheahhy. I hope to make 
some arrangement next year to spend these 
ssonths at a short distance nearer the Nile, die 
Pasha haying given me a nuned house oa its 
banks, which at httie expense may be rraidered 
habitable. The greatest want, however, which 
I feel, is the sodety of a wife. My afiectioas 
are strong, and I want objects around me whom 
I could love. Had I diildren I should be hi^y; 
but to stagnate thus at a distance from all 
science, literature, arts, knowledge, delicacy and 
taste, is a punishment almost sufficient to drive 
one mad. But, think what we will of it, the 
wheel must go round. Believe me, my dear 
lord, with great truth, 

" Your sincere friend, H. SJ* 

^ The Earl of MouaUMvris." 

** After paying all expenses about the head. 
Sheik Ibrahim and I gave Mr. Belzoni a present 
of two thousand piastres, then fifty pounds. 
The whole expense, down to Alexandria and 
embarking, about fourteen thousand piastres, 
somewhat more perhaps.** 


The aboTe letter is evidently written under 
considerable depression of spirits. He had suf- 
fered much vexation from the indifference and 
neglect with which his great exertions and pecu-* 
niary sacrifices had been requited, and his health 
the preceding year appears to have sustained a 
shock from which it never fairly recovered. 
Fresh disappointments awaited him in the en- 
suing year, when he wrote another letter to Lord 
Mountnorris, extracts from which, though some* 
what out of order, I shall here insert, as he 
agam refers to Belzoni, and to some other cir- 
cumstances connected with the contents of the 
preceding letter. 

« Cairo, June 1, 1819. 

^' My dear Lord, 
*' I have by this packet answered the princi- 
pal points of your letter, but I cannot let it go, 
though fatigued to death with writing, without 
giving you a few lines in answer to the more 
private part of your letter. ♦ ♦ • ♦ 
As to publishing, you must allow me to be my 
own judge upon that point. I have had enough 
of it ; and if anything had been wanting to deter 
me, it would have been your last letter. I have 
done a good deal, and hope to do more, but if I 
ever publish in future, it will be in my own way 



and at my leisure. I vrsnt not profit. 1 mat 
not the ordinary fame whit^ aUetitU moduli 
publication; but I >vish to lenve sonwthmg b&> 
biad roe that may deservedly perpetuate my 
name. This is uot to be done in a hurry. Na- 
ther my time nor my occupations ore my own ; 
and the letter-writing I have, extra my official 
duties, pretty fully occupies my leisure. I shalU 
when opjwrtunity serves, occasionally send my 
drawings to Kngland, but certainly not to be 
publi&liud until I return. You arc in the thick 
vortex of life, and attribute more value than it 
desurviii to the momentary applaiise of the day. 
To make a work on Egypt better than Mr. Ha- 
milton's will not be an easy task, whoever un- 
dertakes it ; and ais to all the ephemeral produc- 

tioDS of 1 , , and the rest of the 

travelling authors, who, as tlie Indian expresses 
it> 'take walk^makc book,' I euvy thrau not 
their Cuue. Neither life nor its concomitant 
et^oyments have any strong hold upon me ; I 
have suffbrcd too deeply, and seen too much of 
ibo vanity and uncertainty of it, ever to make 
myself a slave to its caprices. * * *. 1 shall 
continue to go on as 1 have always done, and 
wht'thcr it be with an income of fifteen hundred 
II year, or ouv, my feelings luid actions will i 



change. As long as I can keep peace in my 
own breast i shall be satisfied. • » # 

*^ Yon mistake me in sopposing there is % 
work ready on Thebes ; to describe and design 
the ruins of that city, as they ought to be done> 
would take an individual, who had nothing else 
to employ him, twenty years. ♦ ♦ • The 
drawings from the new tomb shall be sent home 
by the first good opportunity, as they will tend, 
best of all, to give a just idea of Egyptian art. 
Belzoni*s models will be found interesting, and 
so will the sketches and outlines he takes home, 
done for him by a young Italian named Ricci 
— he himself does not draw so well. I have 
given him a note for you, that you may see 
what a strange being it is. Remember and ask 
him to show you some of the tracings of the 
outline chamber — they are very fine. Why 
should I object to his copying and publishing ? 
It was he that made the discovery, though with 
my money, and surely he deserves to be remu- 
nerated. ♦ ♦ ♦ 

*' We shall be out of quarantine, I expect, in 
two-and-twenty days, plague having, as I under- 
stand, much diminished already. It is a blessed 
country, as far as concerns its modern state and 
inhabitants, being as full of intrigue as of pes- 

508 THE LIFE. 


tilence. Public business has much increased 
upon me since I have had the appeals from 
Alexandria, owing to the great influx of Ionian 
and Maltese subjects resident here; so that I 
have been £Eigged to death, and am not very 
stout. H. Sr 

^^ P.S. I thank you in Coffin's name for the 
twenty pounds, which shall be remitted soon." 



rRiVTED nr 8. bkntley. Dorset street. 

r .