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'measured twenty-five feet across the shoulders ;'-but as the French foot exceeds that of the English by nearly four-fifths of an inch, Mr. Legh, if he copied Denon, ought to have set down the measure at 263 English feet. He would have done well not to trust to any measurement or description but his own : where no two authors are found to agree, it is of the utmost importance to have the testimony of a third; and the apology is scarcely admissible for passing too hastily over places famous in antiquity,' because Mr. Hamilton, M. Denon, or any other traveller, however celebrated, has gone over them before. Were such a rule of conduct to be strictly followed, the reader must sit down contented with the single description of the first traveller, however inaccurate.
Pococke bears testimony to the correctness of Diodorus, in his description of Thebes and the stupendous temples of Karnac and Luxor; Mr. Hamilton, however, thinks him little entitled to the praise of accuracy. Among the ruins of Luxor, Pococke measured a statue of one single stone sixty feet high ; but he found no traces of the statue of Osymandyas, whose foot (said to be 104 feet long) bore this inscription :- lam the king of kings, Osymandyas--if any one would know how great I am, and where I lie, let him exceed the works that I have done. Whether the prostrate fragment mentioned by Mr. Legh was a part of this statue, or of that of Memnon, or neither, is left for the speculation of future travellers. Denon, who pronounces all the descriptions hitherto given of those wonderful monuments to have tended to confuse rather than illustrate, seems to think that it belonged to the statue of Memnon, and that all the travellers for the last 2,000 years have been deceived in the object of their curiosity; as appears from the inscriptions. These are cut into the legs of the northernmost of two colossal figures, found in the midst of the plain near MédinetAbou, in a sitting posture; they are in various languages, and record the names of many illustrious travellers of antiquity, who had come thither to hear the sounds emitted by the statue when struck by the first rays of the sun; at the same time attesting the fact. These inscriptions have been copied with great labour by Dr. Pococke, and some of them are to be found in Mr. Hamilton's ' Egyptiaca,' where it is observed that the author looked in vain for the name of Strabo, who has given, from personal inspection, a particular account of the Memnonian statue, which, in spite of the attestations, Cambyses is said to have previously thrown down. Denon, however, following Herodotus and Strabo, maintains that the two sitting figures are the mother and son of Osymandyas. Of the difficulty arising from the numerous testimonies on the leg of the supposed Memnon, he easily gets rid:- In the age of Hadrian, (he says,) enlightened by the beams of philosophy, Sabina,
the wife of this emperor, who was herself a learned woman, (a Roman précieuse we suppose,) was desirous, as well as the savans who accompanied her, to hear those sounds which no cause, physical or political, could any longer produce: but the pride of perpetuating their names, by inscribing them on antiquities of this kind, was sufficient to give rise to the first names ; and the very natural desire of associating himself to this species of renown, would induce every succeeding traveller to add his own; such is, without doubt, the cause of those innumerable inscriptions of names, of all dates, and in all languages.'
Norden also seemed to think, that the huge fragment of a colossal statue must have been a part of the vocal statue of Memnon: and because, says this honest Dane in the simplicity of his heart, that most authors have related the wonder of Memnon's statue rendering a sound at the rising of the sun,—to satisfy my curiosity, I struck the remains of this colossal figure with a key; but, being all solid, I found it as dumb as any block of granite buried in the earth.'
Our present travellers passed upwards with a fair wind from Thebes, reserving the examination of the ancient towns of Esné, Eleithias, Etfou (Apollinopolis Magna) and Koum Ombos, for their return; and on the 11th February reached Essouan, having performed a journey of 600 miles from Cairo, on the thirtieth day from their departure—a rate of travelling not exactly calculated for examining fully and accurately so interesting a country; but as no part of their object appears to have been that of making drawings, or collecting subjects of natural history, the mind probably had become to a certain degree sated with the constant succession of temples resembling each other in the plan and execution, and differing chiefly in magnitude. This seems to have been the case with Denon's feelings, who exclaims rather petulantly among the ruins of Thebes, Still temples, nothing but temples ! no walls, quays, bridges, baths, or theatres!' He searched, he says, in vain, for a single edifice of public utility or conveniencehe found nothing but temples, whose walls were covered with obscure eniblems, and with hieroglyphics, which attested the ascendancy of the priesthood.
At Essouan there was no Turkish garrison; and an Arab Shekh was governor of the town. From him they learned that the difficulties encountered by former travellers beyond the Cataracts, from the disturbed state of Nubia, no longer existed; that the Mamelukes were at a great distance, and the Barâbras at peace with the Pashaw of Egypt. Pococke, Niebuhr, Browne, Hamilton, were all stopped at the Cataracts. Norden is the only European who ventured above them, and the aga of Essouan endeavoured to dissuade him from the attempt, assuring him that he and his party would all be destroyed; and the boundary of the French expedition in Egypt was marked on a granite rock a little above the Cataracts.' The pillage and desolation and massacre which accompanied the progress of the French arms in Upper Egypt were manfally resisted by the inhabitants of the interesting little isle of Philæ, who, when they could no longer prevent the approach of the enemy, quitted the island in despair, threw themselves into the Nile, and swam to the opposite shore. Such indeed was the horror at the cruelties committed by the French, that Denon acknowledges
mothers were seen drowning the children which they could not carry away, and mutilating their daughters to save them from the violence of the victors. We cannot be surprized, therefore, after what we have just seen, that the natives of Philæ should appear to our travellers less civilized than their weighbours.
The few days passed by Mr. Legh at Essouan were employed in visiting the islands of Elephantina, Philæ, and the Cataracts.
Elephantina (he says) is celebrated for its beauty, and certainly contains within itself every thing to make it one of the most enchanting spots in the world : woods, gardens, canals, mills, rivers and rocks, combine to make it picturesque.'
Eight temples or sanctuaries are crowded together on the island of Philæ, though its whole length does not exceed a thousand feet, nor its breadth four hundred. Mr. Legh thinks, from the present state of these temples, that the system of building among the ancient Egyptians was first to construct great masses, and aiterwards to labour for ages in finishing the details of the decorations, beginning with the sculpture of the hieroglyphics, and then passing to the stucco and painting. He tells us also that the granite quarries at the foot of the mountains still bear the marks of the chissel and the wedge; . and that the unfinished obelisks, columns, and sarcophagi, which are to be seen in great profusion, shew the unwearied labour and mighty schemes of the ancient inhabitants.'
The Cataracts of the Nile have been represented by the ancients in the most exaggerated colours; unless indeed, which is not impossible, the gravite barrier which occasions them, has been worn down in the lapse of two thousand years.
the effect on the surface of the water was so little visible, that it could not be expressed in the drawing. Norden estimates the fall at four feet, and Pococke at three; the latter, indeed, says, I asked them (his guides) when we should come to the Cataract? and to my great surprize they told me, that was the Cataract.' But, observes Mr. Legh, . there are modern travellers who seem to have listened rather to the stories of the ancients, than to the evidence of their
own senses; and Cicero is still quoted to prove, that the inhabitants in the neighbourhood of the Cataract are deafened by its noise. In confirmation of the fact, it has been lately asserted, that the natives of that part are remarkably dull of hearing. The allusion we suppose is to Mr. Hamilton, who, after noticing Cicero's observation, says, 'several persons with whom we conversed, assured us of this fact;'-and, he adds, we certainly observed that they were particularly dull of hearing.'
The view, however, of the barrier placed by nature between Nubia and Egypt, is described as in the highest degree magnificent.
Passing upwards from Egypt, you leave the delicious gardens of the island of Elephantina, which divides the Nile into nearly two equal streams; and on the left, the romantic and ruined town of Essouan strongly reminded us of the old Gothic castles in England. Beyond, the two chains of primitive mountains lying on each side the Nile, cross the bed of the river, and form innumerable rocky points or islands to impede its course.
The wild disorder of the granite rocks, which present every variety of grotesque shape, the absence of all cultivation, the murmur of the water, and the savage and desolate character of the whole scene, form a picture which exceeds all power of description.'—
In fact, from the moment that the Cataracts are passed, both the country and its inhabitants have a character totally distinct from that of Egypt, its low sandy banks, its Copts, Arabs, Turks and Jews. The natives of this upper region are Barà bras or Berebbers, or Berberins, the same who inhabit Mount Atlas and the interior parts of Barbary, to which they have given their name; a frugal, harmless, and honest people, subsisting chiefly on dates, millet, and a few leguminous plants: they are rigid Mahomedans. For the first eighteen miles, the mountains are described as hemming in the Nile, leaving but few small patches that could possibly be cultivated, and these were generally planted with dates. At Siala it was deemed expedient to wait on the Douab Cacheff, who was encamped about a mile and a half from the river, forming a sort of advanced guard of the Nubians : they found the men in wigwams; the women and children apart in tents; the whole body about 400; the horses and camels feeding around them. The Cacheff received them kindly; made no sort of objection to their, proceeding up the river, and told them he would send an express to Dehr, to inform Hassan Cacheff of their intended visit to his capital. He offered them milk, flour and butter, invited them to eat out of the same bowl with him, the strongest mark of hospitality and friendship, and presented them with a sheep, in return for some coffee and tobacco. Three miles beyond this, at Deghimeer, the mountains recede
from the river; at El Umbarakat, about twelve miles from Siala, are some ruins: the country is thinly inhabited, and the natives mostly live in the caves of the mountains, which here again approach the river, and form a narrow and difficult pass. Two miles higher is the island of Kalaptshi, and three miles above the island the village of the same name, with extensive ruins; eight miles beyond which is the village of Aboughor. We calculated,' says Mr. Legh,
that we were now just under the tropic, and bathed by moonlight in the waters of the Nile. If this calculation be accurate, what becomes of the famous well at Syene, which reflected the image of the sun's disc when in the solstice ?-But from what materials did our travellers draw this result? Mr. Smelt must be aware that this is a point of no trifling importance, since soi-disant philosophers, calculators and system-mongers have attempted to invalidate the chronology of the Holy Scriptures, from the supposed discrepancy of the situation of the well at Syene, with regard to the solstitial point, in modern and ancient times : as if, in the first place, the ancients had instruments for astronomical observations so perfect as to enable them to observe within a sixtieth part of a degree, when we find our modern travellers, with all the improvements of two thousand years, and with instruments capable of observing the measure of an arc to the 3600th part of a degree, differing in their calculations of the latitude of this well at Syene, no less than 40 minutes, or nearly three-fourths of a degree, which, in cosmogony, would make the difference of a few thousand years! Thus, as Mr. Hamilton observes, Bruce makes Essouan or Syene iu 23° 28', while Nouet places it, from more precise observations, in 24° 8' 6", thus making a difference of nearly (exceeding) forty minutes. But Nouet, like most of his countrymen, was a theorist; and boldly assuming his own observation to be strictly true, of which we have very great doubts, as well as of the position of the well of Syene being at any time immediately under the tropic, he fixes the precise era when astronomy was in the most flourishing state among the Egyptians, i. e. just 5400 years before the time when he made his observation for the latitude of Essouan! Few of the cavillers against Scripture chronology have any better data on which to ground their scepticism. They are ready to admit every rude observation of the ancients, who were incapable of observing with any degree of accuracy, provided such admission favours some preconceived theory; but captiously dispute every second of the more scientific and accurate moderns that happens to make against it. Perhaps our travellers thought, as we also think, that M. Nouet's conclusion is unworthy of serious notice; yet it might have occurred to a clergyman of the Church of England bow desirable it would be