lemnly invoking God and the Prophet. He next proceeded to inquire under what disease the Bashaw laboured, and found that he was afflicted with a fever, accompanied with a violent inflammation of the eyes. Judging from the symptoms that it was likely he would recover both health and sight, he boldly declared it to be God's will that both these events should happen after the next new moon, provided certain intermediate remedies should be used. Then searching the pouch containing his medicines and apparatus, he produced a white powder, which he ordered to be blown into the Bashaw's eyes, and a wash of milk and water to be frequently applied afterwards. Sweating, by the assistance of warm drinks and blankets, was likewise recommended. He was well rewarded both by money and presents; and the next day departed with the caravan towards Persia, intending to be nine or ten days journey from Trebisond, before the new moon should appear, that he might be quite out of reach, in case the event should prove unfortunate. The caravan, being numerous and heavily laden, was overtaken by an organised and armed banditti, who pursued them for the purpose of plunder, and finding they must either fight or purchase terms, they preferred the latter. This affair being thus settled, he heard two of the marauders talking to each other concerning the grand dervise who had cured the Bashaw of Trebisond. He heard them say, that the recovery was confidently expected, as the more violent symptoms had abated, and the prospect became daily more encouraging. The event justified their observations, and on the return of the caravan the dervise was received with open arms at Trebisond, pronounced by the lips of the sovereign to be a great and good man, and once more loaded with donations. Here he remained until another caravan set out for Mecca, and he joined the body of pilgrims and traders in his hitherto auspicious character of a dervise. They arrived in due time in the region of Yemen; but the Wechabites had commenced their fanatical encroachments. They had, in part, demolished the old religion of Mahomet, set up their new revelation in its stead, burned the body of the prophet, and sequestered much of the revenues of his shrine. The caravan did not choose to encounter the zeal and determination of these daring innovators, and accordingly it halted at a distance. But Murat availing himself, partly of

[ocr errors]

his sanctity as a priest, and partly of his personal adroitness, went over to their camp, and was well received. Having tarried as long as he pleased in Mecca, he went to a port near Jidda, a city on the Red sea, and thence crossing to the west side, he coasted along to Suez. In that place he entered as interpreter into the service of Lord Gordon, a Scottish traveller, and with him he travelled to Cairo, and thence to Nubia and Abyssinia. His last employment, previous to his leaving the service of that gentleman, was to decorate with flowers, fruit, leaves, branches, and chandeliers, the hall in which his employer, on his return, gave a splendid fete to the foreign residents and consuls then at Cairo. Thence, after an absence of six years, he returned to Alexandria, and on inquiring after his Coptic wife, was told that she was in concealment. A separation was readily agreed upon, and by mutual consent, she formed a connexion with a Copt, a man of her own sect. Returning once more to Cairo, he wholly relinquished the occupations of a dervise, and assumed the office and uniform of an engineer! Here he was engaged in planning military works, and in superintending their execution. While thus employed news was brought him that the American captain, Eaton, had arrived, and was in search of a confidential and intrepid agent, to convey a message to Hamet Cavamelli, the ex-bashaw of Tripoli, in Barbary. At an interview which took place between them, the captain first swore Murat to secresy on the Koran, and then communicated his project. Having agreed upon the conditions, Murat took the earliest opportunity of deserting the Turks, and penetrated through the desert to the Mameluke camp, where Cavamelli was, poor and dependent, but respected. It must be remembered that Egypt is divided into English and French parties; the Turks being attached to the French, and the Mamelukes to the English. With a single attendant and two dromedaries, he proceeded with the swiftness of the wind, feeding the animals on small balls composed of meal and eggs, and taking no other sleep than he could catch upon the back of the hard-trotting animal, to which he had himself tied. He reached the Mameluke camp in safety. The Sheik, in token of a welcome reception, gave him a few sequins, and refreshed him with coffee. In a short time he so arranged matters with the ex-Bashaw, that one night Cavamelli



went forth, as if on an ordinary expedition, with about one hundred and fifty followers, and instead of returning to his Mameluke encampment, sped his way over the trackless sands, and with that force reached the rendezvous of the enterprizing American. With all the forces they could jointly assemble, they traversed, with extreme toil and suffering, the deserts of Barca, for the purpose of making a diversion in favour of the squadron of armed ships which the United States of America had ordered against the city of Tripoli. After surmounting incredible hardships, they arrived at Derna, and gained an advantage over the troops of the reigning Bashaw in a skirmish. Immediately after this, a peace was concluded with the American consul, Mr. Lear; in consequence of which, orders were sent to the squadron of the United States, then on the coast, and to the co-operating land forces under Eaton, to discontinue hostilities. The Egyptian host were requested to embark in the ships of their allies. Part of them, thus stopped in their mid-career, did so; and the rest remained on shore, subject, now they were inferior in martial strength, to the cruelty and caprice of the baffled and exasperated despot. Leitensdorfer was one of the persons who went on board, and witnessed the mortification of the ex-bashaw, and the ravings of his lieutenant-general, at this unexpected order, so subversive of their plans, and so ruinous to their hopes. In this vessel he acted as a colonel, and proceeded with her by way of Malta to Syracuse.

From Syracuse he went to Albania, taking the route of Corfu to Salona, with the design of inquiring by letter what had become of a son by his first marriage, whom he had left behind in the Tyrol. Immediately, however, upon his landing among the Turks, he was seized as an apostate Mahometan and reduced to slavery. The miseries of his situation were in some degree relieved, from the circumstance of his having fortunately recovered several sick sailors during the voyage. In addition to this, he pleaded the necessity which he felt, when in the American army of Africa, of conforming to the dress and manners of that strange and peculiar people of the west, under a belief that necessity justified his deceit, and that to act as an American was not to feel as a Christian. By degrees, the rigours of his servitude were alleviated, and he


was at length restored to the entire freedom of a faithful MussulHe next visited Palermo, and there formed a temporary marriage with a fair Sicilian, who "laughed at all ties but those which love had made."

About this time, the new king of Naples threatened to conquer Sicily, in spite of all the resistance that Ferdinand IV. and the English could make. On this, Lietensdorfer became alarmed for his personal safety, knowing well that he neither deserved nor could expect mercy from the Frenchmen. He then determined to embark as a passenger for the United States, but no master of a vessel could be found to receive him in that capacity; and being obliged to offer himself as a sailor, he was entered as such on board a ship bound for Salem, in the State of Massachusetts. Here he learned to hand, reef, and steer, and in a short time became an active and perfect seaman. Arriving at Salem, in December 1809, he soon went on a visit to his old friend and fellow warrior at Brimfield, by whom he was hospitably entertained and sent to Washington, furnished with ample testimonials of his bravery and services, for the inspection of the President and Secretary of State. By these officers he was referred to the Secretary at War, and enjoyed, for a time, the paradise of suspense into which every state expectant is sure to be initiated. By continued references, however, from one person to another, his skill in surveying, drawing, and engineering, happened to become known to the surveyor of the public buildings, and he thereby acquired some of the patronage of Mr. Latrobe. There he now lives, occupying one of the vacant chambers in the northern pile of the capitol, as a watch on ffice keeper; providing and cooking for himself, and employing hands in almost every kind of оссираtion, from the making of shoes to the ensnaring of birds and the delineation of maps.


This extraordinary man is about five feet ten inches in height, with dark eyes, black hair, and a brown complexion. His looks are lively, his gestures animated, and his limbs remarkably flexible and vigorous. His forehead is ample, his features expressive, and his figure rather spare and lean. With such natural marks and powers, he has been enabled to assume the respective characers of Jew, Christian, and Mahometan; and of soldier, linguist,

[ocr errors]

engineer, farmer, juggler, tradesman, and dervise, with apparent facility. In short, he has shown himself to be one of the most versatile of human beings, having acted, during his multifarious life, in about thirty different characters! In the course of his adventures he has received several wounds, and his eccentric life has afforded incidents for a theatrical exhibition on the stage of Vienna. He can utter the Hebrew words of worship almost exactly like a Rabbi in the Synagogue; he can recite the Christian Catholic ritual, after the manner of the Capuchins; and he pronounces the religious sentences of the Mussulmen in Arabic, with the earnestness and emphasis of a Mufti. To complete this "strange, eventful history," the Congress of America have, at the instance of Mr. Bradley, who detailed the leading incidents of his life on the floor of the senate, passed a bill, bestowing on him a half section of land, (320 acres) and the pay of a captain, from the 15th of December, 1804, to the same period in 1805, being the time that he served as adjutant and inspector of the army of the United States in Egypt, and on the coast of Africa. Leitensdorfer is at present but forty-eight years of age, strong, and healthy, and if his rambling disposition should continue, likely to add many more pages to a biography, which, perhaps, has few parallels except in the adventures and vicissitudes of Trenck. NEPOS.

ART. VII.-The Coronation. From an English Journal. Letter from a Gentleman in Town, to a Lady in the Country. DEAR P -. The newspaper which I sent, gave you I fear, but a very faint idea of the magnificent and impressive ceremony of the Coronation, although I selected that which appeared to me to offer the most full and faithful account. But the short time allowed to the daily writer for the execution of his task, and the fatigue in which he was left, sufficiently apologize for his rapid, imperfect, and uncorrected relation. On reading the several papers of the day, I could not but feel, from my own disappointment in the description of such parts of the pageant as I did not myself behold, that your curiosity would be but miserably fed throughout. I could realize nothing from the long cold columns; every thing was named in processional order, but the relation would have suited the course of a funeral, as well as the order of a Corona

« ElőzőTovább »