Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 1.djvu/21

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This disappointment, which was the more sensible to me, that it was the first I had met in public life, was promised to be made up to me by Lord Egremont and Mr George Grenville. The former had been long my friend, but unhappily he was then far gone in a lethargic indisposition, which threatened, and did very soon put a period to his existence. With Lord Egremont's death my expectations vanished. Further particulars are unnecessary, but I hope that at least, in part, they remain in that breast where they naturally ought to be, and where I shall ever think, not to be forgotten, is to be rewarded.

Seven or eight months were past in an expensive and fruitless attendance in London, when Lord Halifax was pleased, not only to propose, but to plan for me a journey

of considerable importance, and which was to take up several years. His Lordship said, that nothing could be more ignoble, than that, at such a time of life, at the height of my reading, health, and activity, I should, as it were, turn peasant, and voluntarily bury myself in obscurity and idleness; that though war was now drawing fail to an end, full as honourable a competition remained among men of spirit, which should acquit themselves best in the dangerous line of useful adventure and discovery. "He observed, that the coast of Barbary, which might be said to be just at our door, was as yet but partially explored by Dr Shaw, who had only illustrated (very judiciously indeed) the geographical labours of Sanson[1]; that neither Dr Shaw nor San-


  1. He was long a slave to the Bey of Constantina, and appears to have been a man of capacity.