Savary, Nicholas

, a French traveller, was born at Vitre in Brittany, and pursued his studies at Rennes with considerable distinction. In 1776, he visited Egypt, at which place he remained for the space of three years. Whilst here he paid particular attention to the manners of the inhabitants, a knowledge of the Arabic tongue, and an investigation of antiquities. From Egypt he went to the islands of the Archipelago, over most of which he travelled, and examined them with careful attention. On his return to France, in 1780, he published, “A translation of the Koran, with a sketch of the life of Mahomet.” He also published an extract from the above work, which he called “La Morale de Mahomet.” His principal work was “Letters on Egypt,” which have been well received, and translated into different European languages. Yet it is objected to this work, and with great appearance of reason, that the author has yielded too much to the powers of a lively imagination, and that he has given rather a fascinating than a correct picture. Volney’s Travels may serve to restore the likeness, and correct Savary’s exuberances. Encouraged, however, by the success of this work, Savary published his “Letters on Greece,” which is likewise an agreeable and entertaining performance. Soon after this period he died, at Paris, in 1788. He was a man of considerable talents, an excellent taste, and a lively fancy; and, although many of his positions have been controverted, as well by Volney, as by other writers on the same subjects, his works are written in a style and manner which render them highly interesting to a large class of readers. 2