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dians, whom the Spaniards have not yet subjected, he has need of all his courage to traverse sandy deserts, where his mules are liable to perish by hunger or thirst. He must take the resolution of crossing large rivers at the hazard of drowning, if the animal should fail on which he rides; and he is often obliged to pass dangerous torrents, holding fast by Topes which stretch from one bank to the other. The only compensation for so many inconveniences and dangers consists in the interest of the adventures to which they give rise, and the delight afforded by the magnificent scenery of the Cordilleras; which present on one side volcanoes smoking in a region of snow, and, on another, enormous rocks which appear to lose themselves in the immensity of space.
• My plan,' says M. LE B.,' was to make some stay in all the prin. cipal towns which I visited ; and the exercise of the medical profession opened to me the doors of a number of houses. The society into which I was received, and the curious anecdotes which I conse quently learned, gave me an ample field of information regarding the manners of the Spanish Americans, whose character is marked by conspicuous distinctions, arising from the influence of the different climates which they inhabit. - As to the savages of America, I endeavoured to study them in the double relation of their political and their moral conduct. So long ago as 1785, I read to the French Academy of Sciences some memoirs containing the general result of my travels; and the Journal de Physique of that year inserted an essay on the natural history of the country around Santa Fé de Bogota, the capital of the New Kingdom of Grenada. Among other matters, it noticed that the temperature of that elevated region prevents the multiplication of most of the animals and plants of the torrid zone ; while the animals, the culinary plants, the grain, and the fruit-trees of Europe, brought thither by the Spaniards, prosper as in their natural climate ; and the sight of wheat, barley, and potatoes, brings forcibly to the European tra. veller the recollection of his native land. The children of the Spaniards and Mulattoes bear, in this country, a considerable resem. blance in point of complexion to the natives of a cold climate. These observations were at that time new, and wore the aspect of exaggeration ; but the concurring reports of subsequent travellers have completely confirmed them.
• Among the physical topics of chief importance discussed in my work, are the two following:
. (1.) Why are the plains in the West Indies and South America generally more extensive towards the east than towards the west, and why has the sea less depth on its eastern shore ?
i (2.) How does it happen that the western coasts in those regions are generally covered by steep chains of primitive mountains, of which the vertical divisions every where display naked rocks of considerable height ; while their bases are lost in the depth of the
ocean; and their masses, separated from each other by 'greater or smaller spaces, present bays, inlets, and harbours, where the sea is in general deep and tranquil ?
Such are the topics which M. Le B. promises to discuss in his ensuing volumes. He engages also to furnish observations respecting the Indians of French Guiana, in whose neighbourhood he passed the long period of eighteen years. This protracted stay took place on his proceeding a second time to the West Indies, after the year 1785, when he bore a kind of ofi. cial character, being commissioned by the French government to make researches with the view of procuring increased supplies of Peruvian bark. He had so successfully cultivated the confidence of the Indians, that a tribe of them, conscious of their weakness and ignorance, made application through him for missionaries to instruct them; a request with which it would have been of great importance to have complied. For this purpose, two of the chiefs of their nation followed him to Cayenne, with twenty-eight of their vassals : but, unluckily, the Revolution had broken out in France, and he received orders to discontinue his labours. He thinks that the discovery of supplies of bark, in the high mountains to the west, would have enabled the Indians to indemnify his government for any pecuniary advances which they might have wanted ; and the attempt to introduce among them the comforts of civilized society would have succeeded, if it had been managed with a proper knowlege of their disposition.
We shall take an opportunity of reporting the subsequent publications of M. LE BLOND, when they reach us.
ART. V. Fuite de Bonaparte ; &c. i.e. Bonaparte's Flight from
Egypt; a Collection of authentic Documents respecting his Desertion of the Army, and the Condition in which he left it, without Money, Provisions, Arms, or Ammunition ; together with his Letters addressed to the Grand Vizier, and intercepted by the
British Corvette El Vincejo. Svo. pp. 86. Paris. 1814 AT a time when encouragement is given to bring forwards f every latent document of Bonaparte's misconduct, it might be expected that his abandonment of the Egyptian army would be laid before the eyes of the public in France ; where, from the uninterrupted controul exercised by him ever since his arrrival, a great degree of ignorance has existed with regard to this part of his history. At Paris, he ascribed this return, with his usual artifice, to sollicitude for the welfare of France : in Egypt, he caused it to be published that he went home to procure relief for the army. These professions, however uc.
likely to impose on men of discernment, have actually obtained currency for many years among our Gallic neighbours, by whom the declarations sanctioned by the ruling power are generally received with blind confidence.
It was curious to remark, before the return of Bonaparte from Egypt, the diversity of feeling among Frenchmen at dif. ferent times concerning the extraordinary expedition to that country. On the news of his escape from the English fleet, and his successful landing at Alexandria, the contest lay in the inquiry to whom the public was chiefly indebted for a plan apparently replete with so much benefit to France, and so much injury to her sworn enemy, England. On this as on other orcasions, Barras claimed the merit of having brought forwards the invincible commander ; while many other shinted significantly at their having borne a greater share in the plan than the public supposed. The news, however, of the battle of the Nile, and the subsequent account of the memorable siege of Acre, produced a total revolution of opinion; and nobody could afterward explain how the notion of so strange an expedition had first been conceived. The only official ray of light given to the world on this topic is contained in the memorial of Merlin, formerly member of the Directory. “ It is a fact,” says Merlin; (p. 20.) « that Bonaparte himself composed the minutes of all the orders, instructions, and decrees which were issued on this subject by the Directory; and, if it were not he who first conceived the plan of the expedition to Egypt, it may at least be safely asserted that without him it would have gone no farther than a mere project.”
Among the different letters contained in the present collection, that of M. Poussielgue, comptroller of the finances in Egypt, to the Directory, is one of the most clear and circumstantial :
“ Cairo, 1 Vendemiaire (230 September) 1799. “ I have exclusively had the charge, since the arrival of the army in Egypt, of the finances and other branches of public economy in this country ; and, on the departure of General Bonaparte, I feel it incumbent on me, in the critical position in which he leaves us, to transmit to you a short but faithful sketch of the observations which I have made, and the opinions arising from them.
“ Travellers, and even the official agents of the French govern. ment, who have been in Egypt, have concurred in giving such exaggerated views of its fertility, as well as of the treasures contained in the country, that a residence of fifteen months, and the investigations of many well-informed men, have scarcely sufficed to efface this false impression. The ordinary revenue was computed by these persons at 2,000,000l. sterling, and some have' calculated it at even 2,500,00ol. Now the fact is that, even in time of peace, it does not exceed 800,oool. ; and it would require an extensive and well-pro. técted trade to extend it to 850,000l. In a time of war, which has been the case since our arrival, the revenue cannot exceed 500,ocol. or 550,00ol, sterling.
“ An abundant season in Egypt depends, first, on the waters of the Nile rising to a certain height, and next on these waters being properly distributed. Every year, the canals should be cleaned out, the dykes repaired, and care taken that none of them be cut either earlier or later than the general interest requires. Even in seasons in which the Nile rises favourably, considerable proportions of land remain uncultivated from a want of method in the manner of opening the dykes : but, when the Nile is deficient, the injury is tenfold, because, all the villages apprehending a want of water, those who are nearest the Nile are impatient to open the dykes too soon, which occasions opposition from the more distant villages, and the loss of a considerable portion of the precious waters : - but, however abundant a crop may be, it cannot, under the present system, increase the public revenue, though the government owns two-thirds of the land in Egypt. — The financial administration of this country is entirely feudal; the peasant cultivating the ground on his own account, paying a stipulated amount, in kind or in money, to the proprietor. These rents or payments are of three descriptions : Ist, the Miri, or tax to the Turkish government, which is computed at 125,000l. sterling. 2d, a payment called fais, being a cess due originally to the proprietor of the ground, and amounting, on all the cultivated property in Egypt, (including the government-lands,) to a like sum of 125,000l. The third kind of payment is more complex, and is termed borani or moudaf, being composed of a tax or rent in addition to the fais, as well as of extraordinary demands made for the passage of troops, local administration, religious establishments, &c. Its amount throughout all Egypt is computed at about 260,cool. To this must be added a sum of 80,000l., arising from dues collected by the provincial governors for their own advantage ; so that the whole of the taxes, as paid by the farmers and peasantry of Egypt, form a şum of nearly 600,oool. They pay, indeed, much more, of which no account is rendered by the unprincipled Copts, who act as collectors. - On adding the customs and other indirect taxes, which produce, in time of peace, 200,000l., we have a total revenue of 800,oool.
“ General Bonaparte raised, in a few months after our arrival, about 200,cool. of extraordinary contributions, from the merchants and other inhabitants; and he extracted likewise 50,000l. from private property in land. These resources are now exhausted ; no extraordinary contributions can be paid in a country which has remained nearly twenty months without commerce. The money of the Christian inhabitants is gone; to demand a supply from the Turks would occasion a revolt, and would besides be unproductive; their money being buried, and the Turks being still more obstinate than the Christians in allowing themselves to be bastinadoed without mercy rather than discover their treasures. Some of them bave etes suffered death rather than make such a disclosure. The country-peo ple are still more backward in the discharge of taxes than the inhabitants of towns; for they pay only at the last extremity, and by a trifle at a time. Their money is hidden, as well as their other property; and, though they are aware that they must at last fulfil the payment, they often prefer the alternative of resisting until the arrival of an armed force : when they decamp, with their wives, children, and cattle, calling the neighbouring villagers and even the Arabs to their aid, if they have any hope of a successful resistance. They have always men sufficiently on the watch to obtain notice of the approach of our troops.
“ Sometimes, we adopt the plan of securing the chiefs of the village, and of detaining or imprisoning them, until payment has been made by their district : but this expedient is slow, and not always successful. If we go so far as to carry off the camels and flocks of the inhabitants, the owners often allow them to be sold, instead of redeeming them by the discharge of the tax ; thus exposing them. selves to famine by neglecting the cultivation of their ground. Dur. ing the eight months in which Egypt is not inundated, the Arabs are accustomed to make Aying expeditions; and a column of our troops can scarcely march to enforce the payment of a tax, without being obliged to return to punish a revolted district, or to drive off Mamelukes and Arabs.
“ The military chest is continually empty; and, for a considerable time to come, we have no prospect of collecting above 10,000l. per month, while our regular expences exceed 50,000l. The Egyptians, notwithstanding their frequent insurrections against us, are a mild people : but they have a fund of dissimulation, as well as a strong dislike to us, though they have received much better treatment from us than a conquered nation usually experiences. The difference of manners, of language, and above all of religion, invincibly opposes a sincere attachment to the French. The natives detest the govern. ment of the Mamelukes, and dread the Turkish yoke, but they will never submit to ours, except in the hope of throwing it off. They will only give us the preference to other nations in Christendom. We had 31,000 men under arms and in good health on our arrival in Egypt; they are now reduced below two thirds of that number ; and, in consequence of the sickness of many of the remainder, we have not above 11,000 in an effective state. If the Grand Vizier makes an attack on us, we cannot collect above 5 or 6000 men on any point to meet him. We have not a soldier or an officer who does not long to return to France ; persuaded, as they all are, that here they are making, without any advantage to their country, a sacrifice of health or of life.
“ The army saw with great pleasure General Kleber in possession of the command on the departure of Bonaparte; no one could have inspired more esteem and confidence: but he is full of honour and pride ; and the more difficult is the task imposed on him, the more will he be averse to listen to sentiments which are excited by the course of circumstances, but which in the sequel might be exposed to the charge of timidity. I, who have not the same responsibility, find no difficulty in laying the truth before you, Citizen-Directors; and, bad