The Baldwin Library
LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF
G. C. RAND -WM. J. REYNOLDS & CO.
LIGHTS AND SHADOWS
BY THE AUTHOR OF
PETER PARLEY'S TALES.
PUBLISHED BY GEO. C. RAND, CORNHILL.
WM. J. REYNOLDS AND COMPANY.
S PREWS 07 GEOBGE C. RAND & CO.
AFRICA As KNowN TO THE ANCIENTS 11
ANcIENT EGYPT 21
ANTIqUITIES OF EGYPT- .. 51
THE FRENCH IN EGYPT .... 94
MEHEMET ALI 107
TH CARTHAGINIAN 113
THE BARBARY STATES .. 127
MADEIRA .. 155
DISCOVERIEs or THE PORTUGUESE I1 ARICA 163
VASCO DE GAA 170
SIERRA LEONE 200.
MUNGO PARK'S TRAVELS. -FIRST JOURNEY 21l
MUNGO PARK's TRAVELS.- SECOND JOURNIT 22
RILEY'8 ADVENTURES 236
TRAYELs OF CLAPPIRTON AND LANDER
THE SLAVE-TRADE .
LIGHTS AND SHADOWS
AFRICA, in its geography and history, is harked
with wonders. Some portions of it were among the
first to be explored and occupied by man, while others
long remained untraversed, and some continue to the
present day to be marked on the map as unknown
regions. In the early ages, it was the seat and cen-
tre of learning and science, while the mass of its in.
habitants have ever been shrouded in intellectual and
moral darkness. Africa presents the most remarkable
contrasts of fertility and desolation,-the valley of the
Nile, and the mighty wastes of Sahara. In its zoology,
it not only affords the ostrich, the lion, the tiger, the
elephant, and the rhinoceros, animals common to the
adjacent regions of Asia,-but the giraffe and the hippo-
potamus, which are peculiar to this quarter of the globe.
In surveying its civil and social condition, we see the
negroes, a weak and harmless race, made the prey of
the Arab, the most despotic and remorseless of the
human family. The lion, the leopard, and the panther,
feasting upon the vast" herds of antelopes that graze
over the central wastes of Africa, afford a striking
analogy to the state of human society ; the weak, the
timid, and the defenceless being made, without mercy
or scruple, the prey of the daring and the strong.
Africa is a vast peninsula, attached to the eastern
continent by the narrow isthmus of Suez. It is situ.
ated between 340 south, and 37 30' north latitude.
Its length is 4,320 miles, and its utmost width 4,140.
Its shape is triangular, and bears a resemblance to an
irregular pyramid, of which the Barbary States form
the base, and the Cape of Good Hope the apex. Its
extent is about 12,000,000 square miles, and its popu-
lation about 60,000,000.
The prevailing aspect of Africa is rude, gloomy,
and sterile. It may be considered as, in all respects,
the least favored quarter of the globe. The character of
desert, which is elsewhere only partial and occasional,
belongs to a large portion of its widely extended sur-
face. Boundless plains, exposed to the vertical rays
of a tropical sun, are deprived of all the moisture ne-
cessary to cover them with vegetation. Moving sands,
tossed by the winds, and whirling in eddies, surround
and threaten to bury the traveller, in his lengthened
route over these trackless deserts. The best known
and the most fertile portion is that which borders the
Mediterranean on the north.
That part of Africa, however, which will most at-
tract the attention of the reader, is Egypt. The re-
cent discoveries in that country have startled this age
of wonders, as if a new revelation had been vouchsafed
to man. We are told that when the French philoso-
phers, who accompanied Bonaparte in his expedition,
stood amid the ruins of Thebes, they looked up to
the gigantic monuments covered with hieroglyphics,
and said, Could we decipher these, we would prove
the Bible to be a fable." The key to these mysterious
writings has been found, and the infidel boast has been
confounded by the discovery that they afford'the most
remarkable confirmations of the truth of holy writ.
Thus, while the science of geology, once looked upon
with fear, as threatening to overturn the Mosaic history
of the beginning of the world, has yielded its testimony
to the veracity of the inspired volume, and taught us
to read the story of our globe in the mountain and
valley, in the rock and the sand-heap; the tombs of
Egypt, buried in oblivion for thousands of years, have
found a voice, and, in revealing to us the lost lore of
antiquity, have added their testimony to the veracity of
the Bible. If the generation of the Pharaohs could now
rise from the dead, we could not better be told the way
in which they lived thought, and felt. It is, indeed,
wonderful, that knowledge, hidden from mankind for
three or four thousand years, should thus come to light,
and that we should be more intimately acquainted with
the domestic life of the remote Egyptians than we are
with that of the people of England four centuries ago.
It is not the least wonderful part of this story, that
we are unacquainted with the motives of the ancient
Egyptians for thus recording their every-day thoughts
and familiar customs. We know, indeed, that there is
an instinct in the human bosom which has taught man,
in all ages, to cherish the memory of the past. In the
earliest periods of history, while yet the arts were in
their infancy, we see mankind seeking to perpetuate
the remembrance of great events by mounds of earth
and stone. As civilization advanced, the sculptured
obelisk, the chiselled column, the enduring pyramid,
rose as mementoes of the deeds of heroes, and the
achievements of nations. The old world, and even
the new, are scattered over with the vestiges of these
monuments, which remain as living witnesses to the
fact, that man is ever the same, ever yearning to
give immortality to his deeds, his thoughts, and his
Nor is this voice of the past, appealing to the fu-
ture, without an echo in the heart. If we, the living
and breathing generation of to-day, stand in the pres-
ence of some monument of antiquity designed to speak
to after-generations and tell them of some catastrophe
in the world's great drama,--how readily does the
imagination seek to realize the event! how instinctively
does a feeling of reverence creep over us, as if we
stood in the real presence of the seers and sages of an*
tiquity, risen from their graves, and speaking to us
with living power I
If we stand at the foot of that humble and inade-
quate structure at Lexington, which commemorates the
opening scene of our Revolution, how distinctly do the
events of the 19th of April, 1775, rise to view, and
how irresistibly is the heart made to sympathize in
the stirring actions of that day I If we stand before
that sublime shaft which rises on Bunker Hill, we may
linger a moment to admire its chaste proportions, and
to gaze with poetic emotion upon its top, seeming to
mingle with the calm heaven above; but how soon
does the heart yield to a deeper sentiment I This mon-
ument is, indeed, a proud memorial of art, but it is
something more; it speaks in the voice of another age,
and the bosom responds to the call. Deep answereth
unto deep. Here Putnam and Prescott fought,-here
Warren fell I What emotion, in gazing at the mere
obelisk, can equal that deep, solemn, sublime sympathy,
which is evoked from the depths of the mighty past I
It is thus, by a mysterious and subtile thread, that the
past, the present, and the future are woven together by
a profound sentiment in the human heart. It is to the
operation of this that we are indebted for the remains
of antiquity found in Egypt. Even the pyramids of
that country, cold, stern, and passionless as they are,
still speak to after-generations, and tell us that their
builders, sepulchred in their gloomy vaults, shrunk,
like ourselves, from forgetfulness, and yearned, even
in death, to live. To a similar feeling, elevated and
expanded by religion, we are to attribute the origin of
the obelisks, temples, and tombs, which were destined
to outlive their builders, and which, though in ruins,
excite the ceaseless admiration of mankind.
It is doubtless to the same source that we are to trace
the paintings in the sepulchres, which set forth the
domestic manners and customs of the ancient Egyp-
tians; but some link in the chain is lost, which is
necessary to connect these curious and interesting relics
with their precise design. Why should the tombs of
the dead be decorated with representations of the fa-
miliar occupations, thoughts, and feelings of the living ?
We cannot answer; but we may believe, that, while
they fulfilled the dictates of that great impulse of the
human heart which begets a desire to exist beyond the
grave, an overruling Providence designed them to be, as
they have at last become, one of the great instruments
of fortifying the evidence of the truth of divine rev.
AFRICA AS KNOWN TO THE ANCIENTS
THE desert which separated Egypt from Libya, for
a long time presented an effectual barrier against dis-
covery from the east, while the fine regions of Syria
and Egypt were easily traversed by the Greeks.
Egypt, having been discovered by Asiatic adventurers,
was, in defiance of the clearest geographical outlines,
long considered as a part of Asia. Even in the time
of Strabo, the Nile was generally viewed as the boun.
dary of the two continents; nor is it till the era of
Ptolemy, that we find the natural limits properly fixed
at the Red Sea and the Isthmus of Suez.
As the discoveries proceeded along the regions of
Western Africa, objects presented themselves which
acted powerfully on the exalted and poetical imagine.
tion of the ancients. They were particularly struck
by those oases, or verdant islands, which reared their
bosoms amid the sandy desert. Here, perhaps, were
drawn those brilliant pictures of the Hesperian Gardens,
the Fortunate Islands, the Islands of the Blest, which
are painted in such glowing colors, and form the gay-
est part of ancient mythology. There arises mvolun-
tarily, in the heart of man, a longing after forms of
12 AFRICA AS KNOWN TO THE ANCIENTS.
being, fairer and happier than any presented by the
world before him, bright scenes, which he seeks
and never finds in the circuit of real existence. But
imagination easily creates them in that dim boundary
which separates the known from the unknown world.
In the first discoverers of any such region, novelty
usually produces an exalted state of the imagination and
passions, under the influence of which every object is
painted in higher colors than those of nature. Nor
does the illusion cease, when a more complete exam-
ination proves, that, in the spots to which they are as-
signed, no such beings or objects exist. The human
heart clings tenaciously to its fond chimeras ; it quickly
transfers them to the yet unknown region beyond, and,
when driven thence, discovers still another, more re-
mote, in which they can take refuge. Thus we find
these fairy regions retreating before thq progress of
discovery, yet finding still, in the farthest advance
which ancient knowledge ever made, some remoter
extremity to which they could fly.
The first position of the Hesperian Gardens appears
to have been at the western extremity of Libya, then
the farthest boundary upon that side of ancient geo-
graphical knowledge. The spectacle which it often
presented, that of a circuit of blooming verdure amid
the desert, was calculated to make a powerful im-
pression on Grecian fancy, and to suggest the idea of
a terrestrial paradise. As the first oasis became fre-
quented, it was soon stripped of its fabled beauty;
another place was found for it; and every traveller,
as he discovered a new portion of that fertile and
beautiful coast, fondly imagined that he had at length
AMBICA AS KNIOWi TO THE ANCIENTS.l
arrived at the long sought-for Islands of the Blest. At
length, when the continent had been explored in vain,
they were transferred~ to the ocean beyond, which the
original idea of islands rendered an easy step. The
Canaries, having never been passed, nor even ex.
plored, continued always to be called the Fortunate
Islands, not from any peculiar felicity of soil and cli-
mate which they actually possessed, but merely be-
cause distance and imperfect knowledge left full scope
to poetical fancy. Hence we find Horace painting
their felicity in the most glowing colors, and viewing
them as a refuge, still left for mortals, from that
troubled and imperfect enjoyment which they were
doomed to experience in every other portion of the
The extent of the unknown territory of Africa, the
peculiar aspect of man and nature in that region, and
the uncertainty as to its form and termination, drew
towards it, in a particular degree, the attention of the
ancient world. All the expeditions of discovery on
record, with scarcely any exceptions save those of
Nearchus and Pythias, had Africa for their object.
They were undertaken with an anxious wish, first, to
explore the extent of its two unknown coasts, on the
Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and next, to penetrate
into the depth of that mysterious world in the interior,
which, guarded by the most awful barriers of na.
ture, inclosed, as with a wall, the fine and fertile regions
of Northern Africa. At a very early period, extra-
ordinary efforts appear to have been made to effect
the circumnavigation of Africa. The first attempt is
that recorded by Herodotus, as having been undertaken
AFRICA AS KNOWN TO THE ANCIENTS,
by order of Necho, King of Egypt. The narrative re-
lates, that certain Ph(Enician navigators, employed by
that enterprising monarch, sailed from the Red Sea
into the Indian Ocean. They continued to proceed
along the coast of Africa till their provisions were ex-
hausted. They then landed, sowed a crop, waited till
the harvest was gathered in, and with this new supply
continued their voyage. In this manner they spent
two years and part of a third, passed round the south-
ern extremity of the continent, arrived at the Pillars
of Hercules, and sailed up the Mediterranean to Egypt.
They relate, that, in passing round the Cape of Good
Hope, they had the sun on their right hand, that is, to
the north, a thing never heard of before, and which
Herodotus refuses to believe, but which, to us, who
know that such must have been its position, affords the
strongest presumption in favor of the truth of the story.
The event, indeed, has received no notice from many
of the most learned writers in subsequent times; but
ancient knowledge was of so imperfect and transitory
a nature, that it would be easy to cite instances of im-
portant facts, recorded in the writings of the best au-
thors, having been lost to the world during a long suc-
cession of ages.
The memory of this voyage probably gave rise to
another, which is also recorded by Herodotus. Satase
pes, a Persian nobleman, having committed an act of
violence, was condemned by Xerxes to be crucified.
One of his friends persuaded the monarch to commute
the sentence into that of a voyage round Africa, which
was represented ps a still severer punishment. Satas-
pes, accordingly, having procured a vessel and mari-
AImick A* IOWN TO TAX AXCtg*'t.
aets in the ports of Egypt, departed on this formidable
expedition. He passed the Pillars of Hercules, and
sailed along the cast for several days, proceeding,
probably, as far as the desert. The view of those
frightful and desolate shores, and of the immense
ocean which dashed against them, might well intimi-
date a navigator bred in the luxurious indolence of a
Persian court. He was seized with a panic and turned
back. Xerxes ordered him to be put to death, but he
made his escape to the island of Samos.
The next attempt was made by a private individual,
Eudoxus, a native of Cyzicus, who prosecuted his first
voyage of discovery under the patronage of Ptolemy
Euergetes. He explored a part of the eastern coast
of Africa, and carried on some trade with the natives.
A desire to circumnavigate the whole continent seems
here to have seized him, and to have become his ruling
passion. He found on this coast, part of a wreck,
which was said to have come from the west, and
which consisted merely of the point of a' prow, on
which a horse was carved. This being carried to Alex-
andria, and shown to some natives of Cadiz, was pro-
nounced by them to be very similar to those attached
to a particular sort of fishing vessels which frequented
the coast of Mauitania; and they added, that some
of these Vesels had actually gone to the west, and
never returned. All doubt of the possibility of accom-
plishing his purpose now seemed to be at an end, and
Eudoxus thought only of -arrying this grand under-
taking into effect. Conceiving himself slighted by
Cleopatra, who had now succeeded Euergetes, he de-
ternined no longer to rely on the patronage of courts
16 ATUIC AS KNOWN TO THB AN CJIBlf
but repaired to Cadiz, then a great -commerial aity,
where the prospect of a new and unobstructed route to
India could not fail to excite the highest interest.
On his way from Alexandria, he touched at Mar.
seilles and a number of other ports, where he publicly
announced his intention, and invited all who were ani-
mated by a spirit of enterprise to take a share in its
execution.- He accordingly succeeded in fitting out an
expedition on a large scale. He had three vessels, on
board of which were embarked, not only provisions
and merchandise, but medical men, persons skilled in
various arts, and even a large band of musicians. His
crew consisted chiefly of volunteers, who, being doubt-
less full of extravagant hopes, were not likely to sub,
mit to regular discipline, or to endure cheerfully the
hardships of such a voyage. They soon became fa-
tigued with the navigation in the open sea, and insisted
on keeping nearer to the coast. Eudoxus was obliged
to comply, but soon an event happened which that exa
perienced navigator had foreseen. The ships ran upon
a shoal and could not be got off. The cargo and part
of the timber from them were carried to the aho,,
and from their materials a small vessel was construct
ed, with which Eudoxus continued his voyage. He
speedily came to nations speaking, as be fancied, the
same language with those he had seen on the eastern
coast; but he found his vessel too small to proceed any
further. He therefore returned and equipped a new
expedition, but of the result of it, the ancient writers
have given us no account.
The Carthaginins, as we have elsewhere remarked,
fitted out an expedition with a view, partly, to plat
AFRICA AS INOWN TO TES ANCIENMS.
colonies on the African coast, and partly to make dis-
coveries. This armament was commanded by Hanno,
and consisted of sixty large vessels, on board of which
were 30,000 persons .of both sexes. The narration
begins at the passage of the Straits of Gibraltar, or the
Pillars of Hercules. After sailing two days along the
African shore, they came to the city of Thymiaterium,
situated in the middle of an extensive plain. In two
days more they came to a cape, shaded with trees,
called Solocis, or the promontory of Libya, on which
they erected a temple to Neptune. They sailed round
a bay thickly bordered with plantations of reeds, where
numerous elephants and other wild animals were feed-
ing. Beyond this they found, successively, four cities.
Their next course was to the great River Lixus, flow-
ing from Libya and lofty mountains in the interior,
which abounded with wild beasts, and were inhabited
by a race of inhospitable Ethiopians, who lived in
caves, and surpassed even the wild animals in swift-
ness. Sailing three days further along a desert coast,
they came to a small island situated in a deep bay,
where they founded a colony, and gave it the name of
Cerne. They now entered another bay, and, passing
along a great extent of coast, found many islands and.
rivers with great numbers of crocodiles and hippopot-
ami. Further south a remarkable phenomenon arrest-
ed their attention; during the day a profound silence
reigned along the shore, and the land was covered
with a thick forest; but when night came on, the shore
blazed with fire, and echoed with tumultuous shouts
and the sound of cymbals, trumpets, and other musical
18 AFRICA AS KNOWN TO THE ANCIENT.
The Carthaginians, struck with terror, dared not
land, but made all sail along these shores, and came
to another region, which filled them with no less aston-
ishment. The continent appeared to be all in a blaze;
torrents of fire rushed into the sea; and when they at-
tempted to land, the soil was too hot for the foot to
tread upon. One object in particular surprised them,
appearing at night to be a huge fire mingling with the
stars, but in the day-time it proved to be a mountain
of prodigious height, to which they gave the name of
the Chariot of the Gods. After continuing their voyage
three days longer, they lost sight of these fiery tor-
rents, and entered another bay, where, on an island,
they found inhabitants covered all over with shaggy
hair like satyrs. To these monsters they gave the
name of Gorilla. The males evaded all pursuit, as
they climbed precipices, and threw stones at their pur-
suers; but three females were caught, and their skins
were carried to Carthage. Here the narrative closes,
by saying that the further progress of the expedition
was arrested by the want of provisions.
No voyage of discovery has afforded more ample
room than this for the speculations of learned geogra-
.phers. Many of the circumstances in the narrative,
which at first wore a marvellous aspect, have been
found to correspond with the observations of modern
travellers. The fires and nocturnal music represent
the habits prevalent in all the negro countries,--re-
pose during the heat of the day, and music and dancing
prolonged through the night. The flames, which
seemed to sweep over an expanse of territory, might
be occasioned by the practice, equally general, of set-
AFRICA AS KNOWN TO THE ANCIENTS.
ting fire, at a certain season of the year, to the grass
and shrubs; and the Gorillwe were evidently that re-
markable species of ape to which we give the name of
chimpansi. Much difference of opinion prevails as
to the extent of the coast traversed; some writers con-
tending that the voyage did not extend south of the
limits of Morocco; and others that it reached beyond
It does not appear that the Greeks and Romans ever
navigated much along the western coast of Africa.
The trade in this quarter was carried on chiefly by the
Phoaioians. Ivory was so abundant that the natives
made it into cups, and ornaments for themselves and
their horses. The Phenicians carried thither Athenian
cloths, Egyptian unguents, and various domestic uten-
sils. It was generally believed that the coast turned off
to the east, from a point just beyond the limit of the Car-
thaginian discoveries, n a direct line towards Egypt,
and that Africa thus formed a peninsula, of which the
greatest length was from east to west. Curiosity and
commerce also attracted the attention of the ancients
toward the eatera coast of Africa. As early as the
time of Solomon, voyages were made down the Red
Sea to regions further south; but whether the Ophir
of the sacred Scriptures was in Africa, Arabia, or India,
cannot be determined. .All knowledge of these voyages
became lost, and in the time of Alexander, navigation
did not extend in tlttquarter beyond Cape Guardafui.
EGYPT, one of the most celebrated spots on the face
of the globe, occupies the northeastern corer of Afri.
ca, and lies between the Mediterranean Seq on the
north, and Nubia on the south; and between the Red
Sea on the east, and the deserts on the west It is
about 600 miles long, and 360 broad, and has an area
of 186,000 square miles. It is a ertile valley, and
its most remarkable feature is the Nile, which runs
its whole length, from south to north, emptying itself
into the Mediterranean Sea. This region has now a
population of 2,500,000, scarcely exceeding that of
New England. Its government is a stern despotism;
though the present ruler, Mehemet Ali, has done some-
thing toward improving the condition of the kingdom
in a political point of view, he has not greatly en-
larged the liberties of the people.
It is chiefly in respect to its history, that Egypt ex.
cites our interest. It has been the theatre upon which
some of the most interesting events in the annals of
mankind have occurred. It is near the valley of the
Euphrates, in which the descendants of Noah settled,
and thence soon spread themselves over it A few
22 ANCIENT EGYPT.
centuries after the Deluge, it was the seat of a great
empire, and became the centre of knowledge and civil-
ization. Here schools of learning were established,
men of profound science flourished, kings and princes
built vast cities, made artificial lakes, constructed ca.
nals, erected temples of mighty magnificence, caused
vast chambers, as depositories of the dead, to be cut in
the solid rock, and raised mighty pyramids, which still
defy the crumbling effect of time.
Thus, while America was unknown, while Europe
was stagnating with bogs, or shrouded by impenetrable
forests, Egypt was taking the lead in arts and knowl,
edge. Here, 3,000 years ago, Homer and the mas-
ter spirits of that age went to acquire learning, as
do the scholars of our time to Oxford or Cambridge;
here, 8,400 year ago, Moses was educated in a su-
perior manner, and thus qualified to undertake the de-
liverance of the children of Israel, and the founding
of. their civil and religious code. Since this period,
Egypt has experienced every vicissitude of fortune,
though it seems, in all ages, to have been the tempting
object of the spoiler. Cambyses, Nebuchadnezzar,
Alexander, Caesar, Omar, and Napoleon have each
in turn seized upon it, and made it the prey of their
ambition. And, although it was in early ages the
lamp of the globe, it has long been, itself, involved in
the darkness of despotism and ignorance. In modern
times, it has attracted the attention of the learned
world, on account of its antiquities, and through the
etertions of intelligent travellers, its hidden revelations
have been disclosed to the admiring gaze of mankind.
Of these we shall give a particular account in the sucdi
The first mention of Egypt in history is that which
we find in the Pentateuch. Here Moses informs us,
that Abraham went down into Egypt, in the year
1920 before Christ, on account of a famine then pre-
vailing in the land of Canaan. It seems, therefore,
that the former country was, at that early period, in a
state of high cultivation. In the time of Abraham,
Egypt was a monarchy. Nearly two centuries after-
wards, we find merchants from Gilead trading with
camels loaded with drugs and spices, who carry Jo.
seph to that country, and sell him, as a slave, to an
officer of the king. It is remarkable to observe the
early date at which slavery existed in Africa, a quarter
of the world destined to suffer in the most extraordi.
nary degree from that dreadful scourge. Of the po-
litical state of the kingdom, at this early period, we
have no particular account; but as evidences of its
great civilization and opulence, we find mention of the
use of chariots and wagons, vestures of fine linen,
rings, gold chains, silver cups, &c. Herodotus, who
flourished about a thousand years after Moses, is the
first profane writer who has given us any account of
this country. He visited Egypt, and thus became a
personal witness of the state of learning and the arts
for which that kingdom was famous in all antiquity.
His descriptions of the country are very faithful, but
they are mixed up with many fabulous recitals, one of
which we shall copy as a specimen of the amusing
gossip which the "father of history often introduces
into his grave narrations.
"Before the reign of Psammetichus, the Egyptians
esteemed themselves the most ancient of the human
race; but when this king came to the throne, he took
great pains to settle this question, and the result was
that the Phrygians were the most ancient nation, and
the Egyptians occupied the second rank. In the course
of this inquiry he practised the following experiment.
He took two children, just born, and gave them to a
shepherd to be brought up among his flocks. The
shepherd was ordered never to speak in their hearing,
but to place them in a lonely hut, and suckle them with
his goats. His object, in this scheme, was, to know
what word the children would first pronounce. It
happened according to his wish. The shepherd fol-
lowed his instructions. At the end of two years, as
he, one morning, opened the door of the hut, the
children held out their hands to him as if in supplica-
tion, pronouncing the word bekos. This did not, at
first, strike his attention; but, on their repeating the
expression every time he made his appearance, he
gave information of it to his master. When the king
heard this word, he made inquiries whether it was used
in any known language, and discovered that it was the
Phrygian name for bread. In this manner the Egyp-
tians came to the belief, that the Phrygiaris Were older
"The above story I was told at Memphis, by the
priests of Vulcan. The Greeks, among other idle
tales, relate that Psammetichus gave the children to be
nursed by women whose tongues were cut out. Every
reader must determine for himself as to the credibility
of these narrations. I relate the particulars just as I
received them from the Egyptians. These people
esteem Ceres and Bacchus as the great deities of the
Architecture of Ancient Egpt.
realms below; they are also the first of mankind who
maintained the immortality 6f the soul. They believe
that the soul, after death, enters into the body of some
animal, and, after thus passing through every species
of terrestrial, aquatic, and winged creature, it enters a
second time into the human body, undergoing all these
changes in a course of three thousand years. This
opinion some of the Greeks have adopted."
The most ancient name of Egypt was derived from
Mizraim, the son of Ham, who is supposed to have been
the founder of the Egyptian monarchy. Upper Egypt
was also called Thebais, from its capital, Thebes, the
city of a hundred gates. Many proofs of the former
grandeur and magnificence of this ancient metropolis
still remain ; and unrivalled temples, palaces, and col.
umns vindicate the eulogies passed upon Thebes by
Tacitus and Strabo. It was reported by these writers,
that this city was able to send out two hundred chariots
and ten thousand warriors at each of its hundred gates.
The same authors mention the existence of a celebrat-
ed statue of Memnon, an Egyptian king, in this city.
He was the fabled son of Aurora, and it is said, that,
at sunrise and sunset, musical sounds issued from the
statue, and even from the pedestal, after the statue was
destroyed. These have been described as cheerful and
harmonious in the morning, and plaintive at evening.
Strabo, who declares that he heard the music, also.
informs us, that he could not distinguish whether it
proceeded from the pedestal or from the people around
it, and hints his suspicions of the latter. Cambyses,
after his conquest of Egypt, demolished the statue;
but its remains, from their grandeur and beauty, have
astonished modern travellers.
The erection of the pyramids would alone go far to
prove, that Egypt was the mother of the arts and sci-
ences, for no nation has, as yet, been able to surpass or
rival them. These gigantic monuments, built before the
period at which authentic history begins, have ever ex-
cited the curiosity and wonder of mankind. Their vast
antiquity, theif amazing magnitude, the mystery which
hangs over their origin and design, contribute to render
them objects of intense interest.
There are great numbers of these structures in
Egypt, and about eighty in Nubia. Those of the for
mer country are all situated on the west side of the
Nile, and extend, in an irregular line, to the distance
ANCIt~ T EGYPT,
of nearly seventy miles. The most famous are those of
Jizeh, opposite the city of Cairo. The largest, which
is said to have been built by Cheops, a king of Egypt,
about 900 years before Christ, is by far the greatest
structure in stone that has been reared by the hand of
man. Near this great pyramid are two others, of con-
siderable size, and several smaller ones. All have
square foundations, and their sides face the cardinal
points. The largest pyramid excited the wonder of
Herodotus, who visited Egypt 450 B. C. He says,
that one hundred thousand men were employed twenty
years in building it, and that the body of Cheops was
placed in a room beneath the bottom of the pyramid.
The second pyramid is said to Ipve been built by Ce.
phrenes, the brother of Cheops, and the third by My.
cerines, the son of Cheops.
The great pyramid consists of a series of platforms,
each of which is smaller than the one on which it rests,
and consequently presents the appearance of steps.
Of these steps there are two hundred and three. They
are of unequal thickness, from two feet and.eight inches
to four feet and eight inches. The stones are cut and
fitted to each other with great nicety. The whole
height is four hundred and fifty-six feet. The top is a
platform, thirty-two feet square. The foundation is
seven hundred and sixty-three feet on each side, and
covers a space of about thirteen acres.
The pyramid has been entered, and has been found
to consist of chambers and passages, some of great
extent. The material of which the pyramids are built
is limestone, and it is probable that this was obtained
from quarries contiguous to the place where they
ANCIENT VGTPT. M
now stand. The stones of the great pyramid rarely
exceed nine feet in length, six and a half in breadth,
and four feet eight inches in thickness. The ascent
is attended with great difficulty and danger, on ac-
count of the broken state of the steps; yet it is fre-
quently accomplished, and sometimes by females. The
scene from the top is described by travellers as incon-
The purpose for which these monuments were rear-
ed has been a question of great interest. It has been
conjectured that they were built as observatories; but
this seems to be an absurd supposition; for why build
1hree or four close together, of nearly the same eleva-
lion? There is no good reason to doubt that they
were erected as burial-places for the Egyptian kings,
who caused them to be constructed. The natural pride
of man, the desire of being remembered for ages,
and some superstitious notions connected with the
religion of the country, doubtless furnished the mo-
tives for the construction of these vast monuments.
Nothing can better show the folly of human ambition,
than that, while these senseless stones remain, their
builders have perished, and their memories been blotted
out for ever!
The sphinxes are also stupendous monuments of
the skill and perseverance of this people. The largest
and most admired of them seems partly the work
of nature and partly that of art, being cut out of a
solid rock. The larger portion of the entire fabric
is covered with the sands of the desert, which time
has so accumulated around these ancient masterpieces,
that the pyramids themselves have lost much of their
apparent elevation. The number of sphinxes found
in Egypt, together with their shape, countenanced
the oldest and most commonly received opinion, that
they refer to the rise and overflow of the Nile,
which lasted during the passage of the sun through the
constellations Leo and Virgo; both these signs are,
therefore, combined in the figure, which has the head
of a virgin and the body of a lion. But it has been
more recently concluded, that the sphinxes were mys-
terious symbols of a religious character, not now to be
We have the testimony of all antiquity, that the
Egyptians, in the earlier stages of society, accumu-
lated, if they did not give the first impulse to, the great-
er part of the learning of the ancient world, and that
this country was the source from which the rest of
mankind derived, for a long time, their chief knowledge
of the arts and sciences. Egypt excelled as a school,
both of politics and philosophy, all the other existing
kingdoms of the earth; and so conscious were the
ancients of her superiority in learning, the arts, and
general civilization, that, as we have said, most of the
illustrious men of other countries visited Egypt, either
with a view of comparing her institutions with those of
their respective states, or of acquiring new information.
It was here, that Homer gathered materials for song,
and having refined and expanded his sublime genius
with Egyptian lore, produced his immortal poems.
Here Solon and Lycurgus found the archetypes of their
celebrated laws, the chief excellences of which are
borrowed from the Egyptian polity. Pythagoras drew
from Egypt the principal tenets of his philosophy; and
the doctrine of the metempsychosis, or the transmigra
tion of souls, was confessedly of the same origin. Here
Plato imbibed that religious mysticism, those beautiful
illusions, and those eloquent, but fanciful, theories,
which characterize his works; and he was probably
indebted to the priests of Memphis and Thebes for the
knowledge which he displays of the Deity in his
" Phedon and "Alcibiades," which, although obscure,
is far superior to the vulgar conceptions of his age.
Greece was indebted to Egypt, perhaps for letters, and
undoubtedly for the mysteries of religion. The polity
of the Egyptians was equal to their skill in the arts
and sciences. The form of the government was mo-
narchical, and the succession to the throne hereditary,
But the princes of Egypt were not absolute monarchs,
being bound by the existing ordinances and laws of the
country. The government was a limited one, where
the kings were the parents of the people, rather than
their tyrants and despots. In contemplating such a
form of government, in an age so early, we cannot
avoid tracing it to that patriarchal system which was
the origin of all legitimate authority.
It is lamentable, however, to think, that a people so
wise in their politics, so conversant with science, and
so richly endowed with general knowledge, should
have been so grossly superstitious as to expose them-
selves to the ridicule of nations greatly their inferiors
in general intelligence, and should have cherished the
meanest and most degrading conceptions of the deity.
They not only worshipped him under the symbols of
Isis, Osiris, and Apis, symbols which had not lost all
trace of their philosophical origin, but they made ai
cat, a dog, or a stork, an object of adoration, and ad*
mitted into the list of their gods the very herbs of their
gardens. Superstition is always intolerant and cruel;
while it debases the understanding, it hardens the heart.
Those who imagined that they found a type of the
Divinity in an onion, perceived not his image in a
Egypt was one of the countries earliest civilized and
brought under a fixed social and political system. The
first king mentioned as having reigned over that coun-
try is Menes, or Men, who is supposed to have lived
about two thousand years before Christ, near the time
4xed by biblical chronologists for the foundation of the
Inngdom of Assyria by Nimrod, and corresponding
also with the era of the Chinese emperor Yao, with
whom the historical period of China begins. All in-
quiries concerning the history of nations previous to
this epoch are mere speculations, unsupported by evi-
dence. The records of the Egyptian priests, as handed
down to us by Herodotus, Manetho, Eratosthenes, and
others, place the era of Menes several thousand years
further back, reckoning a great number of kings and
dynasties after him, with remarks on the gigantic stat-
ure of some of the kings, and of their wonderful ex-
ploits, and other characteristics of mystical and con-
fused tradition. The Scripture calls the kings of Egypt,
indiscriminately, Pharaoh, which is now ascertained to
be not the proper name of the individual monarch,
but a prefix, like that of Cesar and Augustus, given to
the Roman emperors.
Seeostris appearsto have been the chosen hero of
Egyptian fable, as Arthur was of the Armorican l.-
gends, and Charlemagne of the old French and Italian
romances. It is possible that some such person once
lived, but when, it would be difficult to say. It is
equally probable that he, in some manner or other,
distinguished himself, particularly by liberality to the
priests, a virtue, which, in their eyes, would include all
the others. If we were to indulge in any one hypoth-
esis rather than another, we should say, he was the
Pharaoh, who, by the counsel of Joseph, first divided
the lands among his subjects, reserving to himself an
annual rent. The priests," says Herodotus, inform
me that Sesostris made a regular distribution of the
lands of Egypt. He assigned to each Egyptian a
square piece of ground, and his revenues were drawn
from the rent which each occupant annually paid him."
It will be remembered, that the Pharaoh in question
spared the lands of the priests, and fed them during
the famine. At the time of the settlement of Jacob
and his family in Egypt, that country was the granary
of the neighboring nations, and apparently the centre
of a great caravan trade, carried on by the Arabs, or
Ishmaelites, who brought to it the spices and other
valuable products of the East.
Manetho's seventeenth dynasty consists of shepherd
kings, who were said to have reigned at Memphis.
These shepherds, who are represented as people with
red hair and blue eyes, came from the northeast, per*
haps from the mountains of Assyria. They conquered
or overran the whole country, committing the greatest
ravages, and at last settled in Lower Egypt, where
they had kings of their own race; but they were finally
expelled. The Egyptians, at various periods of their
history, spread their conquests as far as Jerusalem, one
way, and perhaps into Libya and Ethiopia, in other
directions; but there is no good reason for believing,
that they penetrated to Bactria and India, as some his-
torians relate. Cambyses, king of Persia, a monarch
of a savage and furious disposition, made an expedition
into Egypt against King Amasis, who is said to have
deceived him respecting the gift of his daughter in
marriage. The son of Amasis, named Psammenitus,
had succeeded to the throne when Cambyses arrived
with his army on the borders of Egypt. The invader
captured Pelusium, defeated the Egyptian army, and
took Psammenitus captive. After exercising great cru-
elties against the royal family and nobles, Cambyses
put to death the unfortunate king, mangled and burnt
the body of Amasis, and reduced Egypt to the state
of a Persian province. He then resolved upon an ex-
pedition against the king of Ethiopia, who had defied
his power. Leaving his Greek auxiliaries to secure
his conquests, he marched with a vast army into Upper
Egypt; but, having neglected to furnish his troops with
the provisions necessary for such an enterprise, they
were soon reduced to the most dreadful extremities.
They first devoured all their beasts of burden, and
then every herb they found on their way ; and, finally,
were obliged to sacrifice every tenth man as food for
the rest. Cambyses, after long persisting in his mad
attempt, at last became sensible of his personal dan-
ger, and returned to Thebes, with the loss of the great.
er part of his army. A large body had been detached
by him against the temple of Jupiter Ammon ; but its
hteI was never certainly known, as not a man returned
So tell the tate It is probable that they were all over-
whelmed by a whirlwind of sand in the deserts.
The Persians kept possession of Egypt, with occa.
sional interruptions, till the invasion of that country by
Alexander the Great, in the year 331 before Chrst.
So great was the hatred which the Egyptians boie to
the Persians, that they immediately received the Mac-
edonian conqueror with open arms, and hailed him as
their deliverer. Alexander, before he left Egypt, laid
the foundation of Alexandria, which, afterward, be-
came the capital of the kingdom. After the decease
of that monarch, his conquests were divided among his
generals, and Egypt fell to the lot of Ptolemy, the son
of Lagus. The dynasty of the Ptolemies ruled over
Egypt for nearly three hundred years.
The last sovereign of this dynasty was Cleopatra,
one of the most celebrated women of antiquity, of
whom we shall give a more particular account, no less
for her singular character than from the circumstance
of her being the last of the native and independent
sovereigns of Egypt. She was the eldest daughter of
Ptolemy Auletes, who died in the year 51 before Christ,
bequeathing his crown to her, then seventeen years of
age, in conjunction with her brother Ptolemy, who was
younger,.directing them, according to the custom of
that family, to be joined in marriage. The ministers
of young Ptolemy, however, deprived Cleopatra of her
share in the royalty, and expelled her from the king.
dom. She retired to Syria, and there raised an army,
with which she approached the frontiers of Egypt.
This was during the war between Cesar and Pompey;
and, after the battle of Pharsala, the latter, taking
refuge in Egypt, was basely murdered, at the instiga-
tion of Ptolemy's ministers.
Casar soon after arrived in Alexandria, and, as
representative of the Roman people, took cognizance
of the dispute between Cleopatra and her brother, who
were said to have been appointed guardians of the
crown by the testament of the deceased king. Hero
Cleopatra began to essay the power of those charms
which distinguished her in so peculiar a manner, and
proved the instrument of enslaving to her dominion
some of the most conspicuous characters of the age.
In a private interview with Casar, she pleaded her
cause with such effect that he gave judgment in her
favor. The Alexandrine war which followed, resulted
in the defeat of the Egyptians, and the young king
was drowned in the Nile. Casar then caused Cleo-
patra to marry a younger brother, also named Ptole-
my, who, being a mere boy, could only contribute his
name to the joint sovereignty. The great Roman
statesman and warrior, who had almost forgotten am.
bition for love, at length tore himself from the fasci.
nating Cleopatra, and followed his fate at Rome. After
his departure she reigned without molestation, and
when Ptolemy had attained his fourteenth year, the age
of majority, she removed him by poison, and thence.
forward occupied the throne of Egypt alone. When
Casar was killed, she displayed her regard for his
memory by refusing to join the party of his assassins,
though threatened with death by Cassius. She sailed
with a fleet against them, but was forced back to
Egypt by a storm. After the battle of Philippi, Mark
Antony visited Asia, in order to pillage and settle that
ANCIENT EGYPT. I
wealthy province. On the pretext, that Cleopatra or
her officers had furnished supplies to Cassius, he sum.
moned her to appear before him at Tarsus in ilicia.
Cleopatra prepared for the interview in a manner suit-
ed to the character of the conqueror and to the state
of a young and beauteous eastern queen. Laden with
money and magnificent presents of all kinds, she sailed
with her fleet to the mouth of the Cydpus, and her
voyage along that river has furnished a subject for the
most florid description to poets and historians. The
reader may be pleased to see it in the coloring of
Shakspeare, closely copied from the draft of Plutarch.
" The barge she sat in like a burnished throne
Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were lovesick with them: the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke."
For her own person,
It beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, (cloth of gold, of tissue,)
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature. On each side her,
Stood pretty, dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With diverse-colored fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool."
"t At the helm
A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange, invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharm. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned in the market-place, did sit alone."
The consequence of this studied and voluptuous pre-
sentation was such as the crafty Cleopatra had antiei
p1ted. Antony became her captive, and accompa-
4ieW her to Alexandria. Discovering that he had a
aeness of taste, contracted by his military habits,
shpof'ten assumed a sportive and hoydenish character,
4;gnmed, hunted, rioted, and drank with him. She
w; cpptinually planning new schemes for his amuse-
mat vnd scrupled not to sacrifice all the decorum of
%e .d4; rank, in order to adapt herself to his vicious
is~li1tisms. Antony, after spending a winter in her
ot~paty.,returned to Rome, where, from political mo-
sve~!hel married Octavia, the sister of Augustus, then
altkW Octcvius. Cleopatra's charms, however, drew
him back to Egypt; and when he proceeded on his ex-
pedition against Parthia, she made him odious by the
cruelties and oppressions which she urged him to prac-
tise' WhAi fthe civil war between Antony and Octavius
broke out, Cleopatra joined the former with a fleet of
sixty ships.' "It w;as by her persuasion that the decisive
battle was fought by sea at Actium. She headed her
own fleet in the engagement, but her courage was un-
equal to the enflict. Before the danger reached her,
she fled, and as followed by her whole squadron;
and the imjtuap~t Antony, whose heart was to her
rudder tied by. t string," steered after her, to the
eternal disgrace: of hie name, and the ruin of his hopes.
The cotidiutt -t.flepatra, after this period, seems
to have beei p pi" al wavering between her re-
maining attachmientto ntony, and the care of her
own interests. Rtuvmng to Alexandria, she put to
death all whoMin besud eoted of disaffection; and she
.4ertppi he, ~~ftard ry project of drawing her
443ampes athe JathMj ,of, Suez, into the Red Sea, i
40 ANCIENT EGYPT.
order to convey herself and her treasures into some
mnoe land, in case of being expelled frmm Egypt;
wt der tips were destroyed by the Atbs. By he
She obtained a reconciliation with Antony, wto
had ki a deep remorse for his own unamaly subje-
ties to her, and began to suspect her fidelity; and they
pwrsd their usual course of voluptdosnass till the
mapsa.h of Octavius. The close of their career is
dessilbed in so interesting a manner by Plutarch, that
W drhal follow his account to the end of this chapter.
Antony and Cleopatra had before established a s.
eioey called The Inimitable Livers, of which they were
beth members; they now, in their misfortunes, insti-
tWed another with the title of The Companions in
Des& To this they admitted their friends, and passed
thir time in banquets, and diversions. Cleopatra, at
*s same time, busied herself in making a collection
of poisonous drugs, and, being desirous to know which
was lfst painful in the operation, she tried them on
pese-s condemned to death. Such poisons as oper-
sad quickly, she found to cause violent pain and con.
veeozn She therefore examined venomous creatures,
Sawnused them to be tried under her inspection.
Thse experiments she repeated daily, and at length
md that the bite of the asp was the most eligible
kind o death, as it brought on a slow lethargy, in
which the face was covered with a gentle sweat, and
the msem sunk into an easy stupefaction lke a sweet
They both sent ambassadors to Oetarins l Asia.
Cleopatra requested Egypt for her children, but An-
tony merely asked permission to live as a private man
in Egypt, or, if that were denied, to retire to Athens.
Octavius rejected Antony's'petition, but answered Cle-
opatra, that she might expect every favor from him
provided she put Antony to death, or banished him
her dominions. As soon as the winter was over, he
marched against Antony by the way of Syria. Cleo-
patra had erected at Alexandria, near the temple of
Isis, some monuments of extraordinary size and mag.
nificence. To these she removed her treasures of
gold, silver, emeralds, pearls, ebony, ivory, and cin-
namon, with a large quantity of flax, and a nurfiber of
torches. Octavius was struck with apprehension, lest,
upon a sudden emergency, she should set fire to this
enormous pile of wealth. For this reason he was con-
tinually sending messengers to her with assurances of
gentle and honorable treatment, while in the mean
time Je hastened onward with his army.
When he reached Alexandria he encamped near
the hippodrome. Antony made a sally, routed his
cavalry, drove them back to their intrenchments, and
returned to the city in triumph. On his way to the
palace, he met Cleopatra, whom, armed as he was, he
saluted with a kiss, and at the same time recommend-
ed to her favor a brave soldier who had signalized him-
self in the battle. She presented to the soldier a cui.
rass and helmet of gold, which he took, and the same
night deserted to Octavius. After this, Antony chal-
lenged Octavius to fight him in single combat, but got
only the reply, that Antony might find other ways to
end his life. Antony, therefore, concluding that he
could not fall more honorably than in battle, determined
to attack his enemy at once by sea and land. The
night preceding the execution of this design, he or.
dered the servants at supper to render him their best
services that evening, and fill the wine round plenti-
fully, for that the next day they might belong to anoth-
er master, while he lay lifeless on the ground. His
friends were afflicted, and wept to hear him talk thus;
but he encouraged them by assurances, that his ex-
pectations of a glorious victory were at least equal to
those of an honorable death. At the dead of night,
when the whole city was hushed in silence,--a silence
that was deepened by awful apprehensions of the en.
suing day,-there was heard, on a sudden, the sound
of musical instruments, and a noise resembling the
cries of bacchanals, which seemed to pass through the
whole city, and to go out the gate which led to the
enemy's camp. This prodigy was thought to portend,
that Bacchus, the god whom Antony affected to imitate,
had thus forsaken him.
At daylight, Antony marched out with his infantry,
and took post on a rising ground, where he saw his
fleet advance toward the enemy, and waited the event.
When the hostile squadrons met, they hailed each other
with their oars in a friendly manner, Antony's fleet
making the first advances, and then sailed peaceably
together towards the city. No sooner was this done,
than the cavalry deserted him in the same manner, and
went over to Octavius. His infantry were routed, and
he retired to the city, exclaiming that Cleopatra had be-
trayed him to those with whom he was fighting only
for her sake.
The unhappy queen, dreading his anger, fled to her
monument, and secured it with bars and-bolts, giving
orders that Antony should be informed she was dead.
He, when he heard this, believing it to be true, cried,
" Antony, why dost thou delay ? What is life to thee,
when she lies dead for whom alone thou couldst wish to
live? He then went to his chamber, and, unlacing
his coat of mail, exclaimed, I grieve not, Cleopatra,
that thou art gone before me, for I shall soon be with
thee, but I grieve to think, that I, so distinguished a
general, should be outdone in magnanimity by a wo-
man." A faithful servant attended him, whose name
was Eros. He had engaged this servant to kill him
whenever he should think it necessary, and he now
demanded that service. Eros drew his sword as if
he designed to kill him, but, suddenly turning round,
he slew himself, and fell at his master's feet. That
was greatly done, Eros," said Antony, "thy heart
would not permit thee to kill thy master, but thou hast
taught him what to do by thy example." Thus saying,
he plunged his sword into his bowels, and threw him.
self on a couch.
The wound did not cause immediate death, and the
blood staunching as he lay on the couch, be came to
himself, and entreated those who stood by, to put him
out of pain; but they all fled, and left him to his cries
and torments, till Diomedes, secretary to Cleopatra,
came with a request that he would come to her in the
monument. When Antony heard she was still living,.
it gave him fresh spirits, and he ordered his servants
to take him up. They carried him in their arms to
the door of the monument. Cleopatra would not suffer
the door to be opened; but a cord being let down from
a window, Antony was fastened to it, and she, with her
two women, all that were admitted into the monument,
drew him up. Nothing, as the spectators affirm, could
be more affecting than this spectacle. Antony, cover-
ed with blood, and in the agonies of death, hoisted up
by the rope, and stretching out his hands to Cleopatra
while he was suspended in the air; for it was with the
greatest difficulty that they drew him up, though Cleo-
patra exerted all her strength, straining every nerve,
and distorting every feature with the violence of the
effort, while those below endeavoured to animate and
encourage her, and seemed to share in all her emo-
tions. When she had drawn him up and laid him on a
couch, she stood over him, rent her clothes, beat and
wounded her breast; she wiped the blood from the
disfigured countenance of Antony, called him her lord,
her emperor, her husband I Her whole soul was ab-
sorbed in his misfortunes, and she seemed totally to
have forgotten her own. Antony endeavoured to
soothe her, and called for wine. When he had drunk,
he advised her to consult her own safety, as far as
might be consistent with honor. As to himself, he
said, she ought rather to rejoice in the remembrance
of his past happiness than to bewail his present mis-
fortunes, since he had been illustrious in life, and not
inglorious in death. He had conquered like a Roman,
and it was only by a Roman that he was conquered.
A little before he expired, Proculeius arrived from
Octavius; for, as soon as Antony had stabbed himself,
and was conveyed to Cleopatra, Dercetmus, one of his
guards, privately carried off his bloody sword and
showed it to Octavins, who, when he beheld this token
of Antony's death, retired to the inner part of his tent,
and shed tears in remembrance of a man who had
been his relation, his colleague in government, and his
associate in so many battles and important matters.
He then called his friends together, and read the letters
which had passed between him and Antony, wherein it
appeared, that, although he had written in a reasonable
manner, the replies of Antony were insolent and con-
After this, he despatched Proculeius with orders to
take CleQpatra, alive, if possible, for he was extremely
solicitous to save the treasures in the monument, which
would so greatly add to the glory of his triumph. But
she refused to admit him into the monument, and would
only speak to him through the bolted gate. Cleopatra
still demanded the kingdom for her children; while
Proculeius, on the other hand, encouraged her to trust
every thing/to Octavius. After he had reconnoitred the
place, he sent information to Octavius, who despatched
Gallus to his assistance. Gallus went up to the gate
of the monument and drew Cleopatra into conversa-
tion, while Proculeius applied a ladder to the window
where Antony had been drawn in. Here he entered
with two attendants, and immediately made for the
place where Cleopatra was in conference with Gallus.
One of her women discovered him and screamed aloud,
"Wretched Cleopatra you are taken alive 1" She
turned round, and, seeing Proculeius, the same instant
attempted to stab herself, having, for this purpose,
always carried a dagger about with her. Proculeius,
however, prevented her, by seizing her arm, and en.
treated her not to commit such an injury either towards
herself or Octavius, by depriving him of an opportunity
40 ANCIENT EGYPT.
of showing his clemency, and subjecting him to the
imputation of treachery and cruelty. He took the
dagger from her and shook her clothes, lest she should
have poison concealed about her. Octavius also sent
his freedman Epaphroditus with orders to treat her
with the greatest politeness, but, by all means, to orng
Many considerable princes begged the body of An-
tony, that they might have the honor of giving it bur-
ial; but Octavius would not take it from Cleopatra,
who interred it with her own hands, and performed the
funeral rites with great magnificence. The excess of
her affliction, and the inflammation of the wounds she
had given herself, threw her into a fever. She was
pleased to find an excuse in this for abstaining from
food, and hoped by this means to procure an easy
death. Octavius suspected this, and forced her to take
food and medicine, by threatening, upon her refusal, to
treat her children with severity. By these means she
was recovered, and a few days after he paid her a
visit. She received him in a negligent attire, and lying
carelessly upon a couch. When the conqueror entered.
her apartment, she threw herself at his feet. Her
features were distorted, her hair in disorder, her voice
trembling, her eyes sunken, and her bosom bore the
marks of violence from her own hands. In short, her
person expressed the image of her mind. Yet, in this
deplorable condition, there were some remains of that
grace, spirit, and vivacity, which had so heightened
her former charms, and some gleams of her native ele-
gance might be seen to wander over her melancholy
, There was in the train of Octavius a young noble-
man named Cornelius Dolabella. He was smitten with
the charms of Cleopatra, and, having engaged to inform
her of every thing that passed, he sent her private no-
tice that Octavius was about to return into Syria, and
that within three days she would be sent away, with
her children. When she heard this, she requested
permission to make her last oblations to Antony. This
being granted, she was conveyed to his tomb, and,
kneeling down with her women, she thus addressed the
manes of the dead: -" It is not long, my Antony, since
with these hands I buried thee. Alas I they were then
free; but thy Cleopatra is now a prisoner, attended by
a guard, lest, in the transports of her grief,-she should
disfigure this captive body, which is reserved tbh'tado
the triumph over thee. These are the last offerings,
the last honors, she can pay thee, for shoe, s~now tote
conveyed to a distant land. Nothipg:, would part: v
while we lived, but in death w. ,ae to;be ibdvidedi
Thou, a Roman, liest buried in Egypt ilatl I, a;i
Egyptian, must be interred in ialy, hc:oalyJA:vorj
shall receive from t y f; .Y ifa~ the go.diot
Rome have power or mecyle y ,t-,ryurey thoJ of
Egypt have forsaken us,- let them ~auwftlr:nemto s
led in liviag tViumphi to thy Odlg apq% N o hi~.ene
with eavider gRyv.y for lifet o4 tgouiaks- ~et,
:-.a ihusther ap,') y, qese^ i l ifatcal
S4is fhe't*r;i Wd rwed 4ah topIbiwithk;ol4w*rt and
SWhkig4tzhe^ergee:tbp^ ^ t plerftrd Wbhen
shebjbd 444t9r. hesgt,4pg nato 4 iEgnifyeetuppers
poi? after ahiob, na antrantLeei^ sjlthouIsea wW^^it
^':..^'^p W\..h''., i' ;>n .:^..?. ;} tj llJ. (: V"V- i
small basket. The guard inquired what it contained;
and the man, lifting up the leaves at top, showed them
a parcel of figs. As they admired their size and
beauty, he smiled, and bade them take some, but they
declined; not suspecting that the basket contained
any thing else, it was carried in. After supper, Cleo-
patra sent a letter to Octavius, and, ordering every body
out of the monument except her two women, she made
fast the door. Octavius read the letter, and suspected,
from the plaintive style in which it was written, and
the earnest request that she might be buried in the same
tomb with Antony, that she had some fatal design. At
first, he was for hastening to her; but, on second
thought, he sent others. They ran the whole way,
alarmed the guards, and broke open the doors, but were
too late to save her. They found her quite dead,
lying on a golden bed, and dressed in all her regal
ornaments. Iras, one of her women, lay dead at her
feet, and Charmion, hardly able to support herself, was
adjusting her mistress's diadem. One of the messen-
gers exclaimed, angrily, Charmion, was this well
done ? Perfectly well," she replied, and worthy
a descendant of the kings of Egypt." Saying this,
she fell down dead.
Some say an asp was brought in among the figs, hid.
den under the leaves, and Cleopatra managed so that
she might be bitten without seeing it. On removing
the leaves, however, she perceived it, and said, "This
is what I wanted"; on which, she immediately held
out her arm to it. Others say, the asp was kept in a
water-vessel, and that she vexed and pricked it with a
golden spindle till it seized her arm. Nothing of this,
however, could be ascertained with certainty. There
is still another report, that she carried about with her'
aOertain poison in a hollow bodkin, which she wore m
her hair. Yet, there wasneither any mark of poison
ac her body, nor was any reptile found in the monu-
Went, though the track of one was sid to have been
discovered on the sands opposite Cleopatra's window.
Others, again, have named that she had two small
punctures on her arm, apparently caused by the sting
of the asp; and it seems Octavius gave credit to this,
for her effigy, which he carried in triumph, had an asp
oa the arm.
The beauty of Cleopatra is said to have been no
way extraordinary nor striking; but her wit and fas.
ciaMtig manners rendered her absolutely irresistible.
Her voice was delightfully melodious, and had the same
variety of modulation as a many-stringed instrument.
She spoke most languages; and there were but few of
the foreign ambassadors at her court whom she answer-
ed by means of an interpreter. She gave audience in
person to the Ethiopians, the Troglodytes, the He-
brews, Arabs, Scythians, Medes, and Parthians; nor
were these all the languages with which she was
Cleopatr died in the twenty-eighth year before Christ.
Egypt became reduced to a Roman province, and
bamid the fortunes of that empire till the irruption of
the Saracens; by which event, it became subjected to
the sway of the Mhammedans, under which it con-
times to the present day, nominally subject to the
Ottoman Porte, but virtually independent. We shall
hereafter give a sketch of some of the most interesting
events in the history of Modern Egypt.
Temple of Carnac.
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
ALMOST every intelligent traveller, who has visited
Egypt for a century past, has made discoveries of
more or less importance among the antiquities of that
country, yet there is every reason to believe that a
vast deal yet remains to reward further researches.
Belzoni, in 1816, was the first to open the great term
pie of Ipsambul, which is cut in the side of a moun-
tain, and the front of which was so much encumbered
with sand, that only the upper part of it was visible.
A till greater discovery of this enterprising traveller
was the opening of a splendid tomb in the Biban el
Molouk, or Valley of the Tombs of the Kings. He
found out by conjecture the right entrance, which had
been blocked up for many centuries, caused it to be
cleared, and at last made his way into the sepul.
chral chambers, cut in the calcareous rock, and richly
adorned with pictures in low relief, and hieroglyphics
painted in the brightest colors. He also opened nu-
merous sepulchres in the rocks at Gornou, at the foot
of the Libyan mountains, near western Thebes, and in
In the interior of the temple of Carnac, he says, I
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
was lost in a mass of colossal objects, every one of
which was more than sufficient of itself to attract my
whole attention. How can I describe my sensations
at that moment! I seemed alone in the midst of all
that is sacred in the world; a forest of enormous
columns, adorned all round with beautiful figures and
various ornaments, from the top to the bottom; the
graceful shape of the lotus which forms their capitals,
so well proportioned to the columns that it gives to the
view the most pleasing effect; the gates, the walls,
the pedestals, and the architrave, also adorned in every
part with symbolical figures in basso relievo, and intag.
lio, representing battles, processions, triumphs, feasts,
offerings, and sacrifices, all relating, no doubt, to the
ancient history of the country,- the various groups
of ruins of the other temples within sight; these alto.
gether had such an effect upon my soul as to separate
me in imagination from the rest of mortals, exalt me
on high over all, and cause me to forget entirely the
trifles and follies of life. I was happy for a whole
day, which escaped like a flash of lightning; but the
obscurity of the night caused me to stumble over one
large block 'of stone, and to break my nose against
another, which, dissolving the enchantment, brought
me to my senses again."
The catacombs of Beni Hassan are among the finest
S and most interesting in Egypt. They were explored
by the French scientific body, who accompanied Bona.
parte in his expedition to that country, in 1799. The
walls of the interior are covered with paintings, many
of which are in perfect preservation, and with the
colors as vivid as if recently applied, while others have
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
been defaced through the fanaticism or zeal of the
Moslems, and probably of the early Christians. It is
remarkable that the representations are almost entirely
of a civil character, notwithstanding the solemn pur-
poses to which the excavations appear to have been
consecrated. The natives, as usual, assign the origin
of these works to the genii. Thebes, Edfu, Denderah,
and many other places also, abound with the most in-
teresting monuments of Egyptian art in painting and
sculpture, by which the genius of this extraordinary
people is illustrated in a manner unequalled in the an-
tiquities of any other nation upon the globe.
The researches of the French, and of Belzoni, Chain.
pollion, Rosellini, Wilkinson, and others, have put us
in possession of a series of sketches evidently drawn
from the life, and wonderfully descriptive of the arts,
industry, andhabits of the Egyptians. The singular
propensity of that people to decorate their tombs with
the lavish splendor which other nations have reserved
for the palaces qnd temples of the living, is one of the
most strange and inexplicable among all the phenome-
na in the history of man. Many of these highly
adorned sepulchral chambers appear to be accessible
only through long, narrow, and intricate passages.
The approach to others seems to have been closed
with the strictest care, and concealed with a kind of
reverential sanctity. To each city or district belonged
a city of the dead. In the silent and rock-hewn coun-
terparts of Memphis and Thebes, were treasured up
all the scenes in which the living king and his subjects
had been engaged. Egypt is full of immense tombs,
and their walls, as well as those of the temples, are
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
covered with the most extraordinary paintings, exe-
cuted thousands of years ago. In these paintings, the
whole country, with all its natural productions, its ani-
mals, birds, fishes, and vegetables, and the people in all
their private and domestic occupations, are delineated, if
got in the first style of art, yet with that which renders
them still more curious and valuable, an apparent Chi.
nese fidelity of outline, and an extraordinary richness
The veil has thus been lifted, which hid the antiquity
of three and four thousand years. A subterranean
Egypt has suddenly come to light; the people have
been relived in all their castes; in their civil, and mil.
itary, and religious occupations; in their fields and
their vineyards; in their amusements and their labors;
in their shops, their farm-yards, and their kitchens; by
land and by water; in their boats and their palanquin ;
in the splendid public procession, and the privacy of
the household chamber. The principle of devoting so
much cost and toil to the tombs of departed monarchs,
which probably gave rise to the construction of the pyr.
amids, once admitted, the decoration of the walls with
paintings of religious processions, or legends of the
glory of the deceased, may be more easily accounted
for. The care, the skill, and the expense lavished on
the embalming of the perishable body, is in perfect
unison with this preparation of a splendid and durable
dwelling for the remains which were to be immortal,
ized by every means in human power. Still there is
something unaccountable in this practice of delineating
every occupaion of life in the habitations of the dead.
We comprehend the gradual expansion of that feeling,
from which the poor Indian," who
ANTIQUITIES OF EGTPT.
6" thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company,"
is buried with his bow and arrow, and with the com.
panion of his hunter life. Hence, among the Hindoos,
the Gete, and the Goths, it was the custom to entomb
the steed, the captive, and the wife, with the deceased,
the living with the dead, under the vast sepulchral
mound. If the Egyptian paintings were intended
merely to distinguish the ranks the profession, or the
occupation of the deceased,-the warlike scene in the
tomb of the soldier, scenes of rural labor in that of the
peasant or agriculturalist, their purport would be
evident. But many of the tombs appear to be deco.
rated with every kind of device, and there seems to
have been an almost deliberate design to make this
subterranean world a complete picture of the world
above. The whole question is a profound and impen.
etrable mystery. Of all the learned and ingenious
writers on the subject, no one has succeeded in tracing,
with satisfactory perspicuity, the fine and subtile, yet
strong and enduring thread, which connected the ex.
traordinary honors paid by the Egyptians to their dead,
with the rest of their religious creed. The ancient
writers state the fact, rather than solve the difficulty.
Diodorus Siculus informs us, that "the natives of
-Egypt consider the present life as altogether of slight
importance, but the existence after death, when celeb.
rity has been obtained by virtue, they estimate at a
much higher value, and they call the dwellings of the
living places of osjournw since we inhabit them so
short a time; but the sepulchres of the dead they call
dearal mansions, since in Hades we live for an in-
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
terminable period. Wherefore they take little care as
to the building of their houses, but bestow every degree
of magnificence upon thejr sepulchres."
Whoever is curious to know what a few years since
would have been deemed a portion of knowledge utter-
ly beyond the reach of man, namely, how the ancient
Egyptians, the primeval inhabitants of the valley of the
Nile, in an age before the invention of letters, wor-
shipped their gods, and warred with their enemies;
how they were armed and disciplined; how they be-
sieged and stormed cities; how they judged in courts
of law, feasted, and buried their dead; how they danced,
and sang, and played on instruments of music, and
wrestled and tumbled; how they ploughed, and sowed,
and reaped, and gathered fruit, and cultivated the vine,
and plucked the grapes, and trampled them in the
wine-press; how they built houses, and made bricks,
and drew enormous weights, and clove wood, and prac-
tised carpentry in all its branches; how they hunted,
and shot, and snared birds, and caught fish; how they
killed, and cooked, and served up their dinners, and
ae, and drank, and got tipsy; how the ladies dressed
their hair, and painted, and gossiped, and flirted, and
held their nosegays; how they furnished their houses;
laid out their gardens, built and rigged their boats and
barks, and rowed and sailed upon the Nile, may
find all these things depicted with the most wonderful
accuracy on the walls of the Egyptian tombs, a more
faithful and permanent record of facts than hundreds
of libraries. The Egyptian was determined to make
his sepulchre, his more lasting mansion, as similar
as possible to the temporary scenes through which
ANTIqUMl-ES, OF ZGYPT.
his soul had passed in its course of transmigration in
this state of being. To him Hades and the sepulchre
were apparently the same. The conscious spirit, ac.
cording to one theory, still inhabiting its undecaying
body, was imagined to take pride in the stately halls,
and corridors, and chambers, which formed its eternal
palaces,- to survey its ancient occupations, and act
over again, in untiring succession, the deeds of its brief
earthly life. The prophets of Israel, as Bishop Lowth
has shown, derived all the images of their Sheol, the
dwelling of the departed, from their rock-hewn sepul.
chres. The question, however, remains undecided,
whether the representation we there find of actual
life, from the palace of the prince to the cabin of the
peasant, was meant to imply the consciousness of the
inhabitant of these subterranean cities.
Religion presided over, if it did not originally sug.
gest, the care of the Egyptians for their dead. The
whole art of embalming the body, the preparing, the
bandaging, the anointing, in short, the whole process
of forming the mummy, was a sacerdotal function.
The difficulty is to ascertain the origin and the connec-
tion of this remarkable practice which, though it has
prevailed in various forms in other countries, has never
been so general, so national a usage, as in Ancient
Egypt--with the religious dogmas and sentiment of the
people. The origin may undoubtedly be traced to the
local circumstances of the country. In Egypt, the
burning of the dead, the only funeral practice besides
burial which has prevailed to any extent, was im-
practicable. Egypt produces little timber, and of its few
trees, the greater part, the date, palm, and other fruit
Do ANTIQUITIES OF GTPT.
trees, are too valuable for common consumption. The
burial of the dead was then the only method of dis-
posing of them; and, independently of the value of
land for agricultural purposes, in the thickly peopled
state of the country, the annual inundation of the Nile
would have washed up the bodies, and generated pesti-
lence. The chains of rocky mountains, on each side
of the river, appeared to be designed by nature for the
sepulchres. Yet the multitudes of the dead could not
safely be heaped together in a state of decomposition,
even in the profoundest chambers of these rocks, with-
out danger of breeding pestilential airs. From those
fatal epidemic plagues, which now so perpetually deso-
late the country, Ancient Egypt, by all accounts, was
remarkably free; and this was owing, without doubt,
mostly to the universal practice of embalming the
dead, which cut off one main source of noxious vapors.
It was, in the first instance, then, a wise, sanatory regu-
lation, and was subsequently taken up by the sacerdo.
tal lawgivers, and incorporated with the civil and re*
ligious constitution of the country.
The lawgivers of the people, having recognized the
necessity of this provision for the public health, took
care to secure its universal and perpetual practice, by
associating it with that one of the principal doctrines
of religion which is most profoundly rooted in the heart
of man, and which is of the most vital importance to
the private welfare of each individual. They either
taught the immortality of the soul, or found it a part
of the general creed; to this they added the metempsy.
chosis, or transmigration of the soul. i According to this
belief, every spirit, on its departure from the body, must
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
pass through a long predestined cycle, entering success
sively into the bodies of various animals, until it return
in peace to its original dwelling. Whenever that body
which it had last left became subject to corruption, the
course of its migrations was suspended, the termination
of its long journey and its ardently desired return to
higher worlds was delayed. Hence every care was
taken to preserve the bodies, not only of men, but of
animals, and to secure them for ever from perishing
through putrefaction. The greatest attention was be-
stowed upon this work, which was enforced by severe
and sacred laws. Certain orders of the priesthood
were expressly intrusted with its due execution. It was
solemnly performed with religious rites and process*
sions, and the piety and interest of each individual took
part in the ceremony. Herodotus informs us, tha
whenever a body was found seized by a crocodile, or
drowned in the Nile, the city, upon whose territory
the body was cast, was compelled to take charge of it,
and to cause it to be embalmed and placed in a sepul-
chre. After having accomplished its revolution of
three thousand years, the soul returned again, accord-
ing to the Egyptian doctrine, to the human body.
It is difficult to define, and still more so to explain,
the interest which we feel in tracing the manners and
customs of remote ages. Why do we care to know
how the Egyptians ate and drank, and ploughed and
reaped, and warred and hunted ? Why are we almost
equally entertained by discovering points of resem-
blance and points of total dissimilitude ? that they sat
down to dinner like ourselves, and ate with their An-
gers like Turks ? that they traded in all kinds of com.-
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
modities, but had no money? The only answer we
can give is, that it is a law of our being. Such have
been, such are still the indelible propensities of human
nature, and such will be to the end of time. In no
other instance can this species of curiosity receive
such ample gratification as in the Egyptian paintings.
Pompeii itself does not give so extensive and various a
view of the every-day occupations of the Romans as
the catacombs of Egypt do of that primeval people.
Pompeii was a comparatively small, elegant, and luxu-
rious town, with all its houses, temples, theatres, baths,
and tombs. It affords us a perfect insight into the
ordinary way of living in a Campanian city of its class.
The forms of the dwellings, the arrangement of the
chambers, the utensils of various kinds, whether for
household use or amusement, seem stored away as if
by express design, and carefully wrapped up in the
ashes and score, which cover the city, for the wonder
of later ages. But the paintings on the walls, ex-
quisitely graceful as they are, are, in general, on well
known mythological subjects. They rarely, except in
a few comic pieces, descend to ordinary life. The
pictures of the Isiac worship are very curious, and the
landscapes show more knowledge of perspective than
the painters of that age had been supposed to possess;
but they are still poetic and imaginative, rather than
faithful representations of real scenes. In the cata.
combs of Egypt, on the other hand, every act of every
department of life seems to have been carefully copied
and the imperfection of the art of design increases,
rather than diminishesthe interest of the pictures, as
they evidently adhere with most unimaginative fidelity
ArNqTIrrIsM OT 16M,.
to the truth of nature. The following is a represents
tron of an Egyptian king.
The tombs of the rich consisted of one or more
chambers, ornamented with paintings and sculpture;
the place and size of which depended on the expense
incurred by the family of the deceased, or on the
wishes of the individuals who purchased them during
their lifetime. They were the property of the priests;
and a sufficient number being always kept ready, the
purchase was made at the shortest eotlee, nothing b.
ing requisite to complete even the dculptues or ina
criptions but the insertion of the name of the deeased,
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
and a few statements respecting his family and profew
sion. The numerous subjects representing agricultural
scenes, the trades of the people, in short, the various
occupations of the u ,tians, were already introduced.
These were comn to all tombs, varying only in their
details and the moae of their execution, and were in-
tended, perhaps, as a short epitome of human life,
which suited equally every future occupant. In some
instance all the paintings of the tomb were finished,
and even the small figures representing the tenant were
introduced, those only being left unsculptured which
were of a larger size, and consequently required more
accuracy in the features, in order to give his real por-
trait; and sometimes even the large figures were comr
pleted before the tomb was sold, the only parts left
unfinished being the hieroglyphical legends containing
his name and that of his wife. Indeed, the fact of
their selling old mummy-cases, and tombs belonging to
other persons, shows that they were not always over-
scrupulous about the likeness of an individual, provided
the hieroglyphics were altered and contained his real
name ; at least when a motive of economy reconciled
the mind of a purchaser to a second-hand tenement for
the body of his friend,
The tomb was always prepared for the reception of
a husband and his wife. Whoever died first was buried
at once there, or was kept embalmed in the house
until the decease of the other. The manner in which
husband and wife are always portrayed, with their
arms around each other's waist or neck, is a pleasing
illustration of the affectionate temper of the Egyptians
and the attachment of a family is shown by the press.
ANflqtIT!sr5 or IGYtr.
ance of the different relatives, who are introduced in
the performance of some tender office to the deceased.
Besides the upper rooms of the tomb, which were
ornamented by the paintings we have described, there
were pits, varying from twenty to seventy feet in depth,
at the bottom and on the sides of which were recesses,
like small chambers, for depositing the coffins. The
pit was closed with masonry after the burial, and some*
times reopened to receive the other members of the
family. The upper apartments were richly ornament-
ed with painted sculptures, being rather a monument in
honor of the deceased than his sepulchre; and they
served for the reception of his friends, who frequently
met there and accompanied the priests when perform*
ing the services for the dead. Tombs were built of
brick or stone, or hewed in the rock, according to the
position of the Necropolis. Whenever the mountains
were sufficiently near, the latter was preferred; and
these were generally the most elegant in their design
and the variety of their sculptures. The sepulchres
of the poorer classes had no upper chamber. The cof-
fins were deposited in pits in the plain, or in recesses
at the side of a rock. Mummies of the lower orders
were buried together in a common repository; and
the bodies of*those whose relations had not the means
of paying for their funeral, after being merely cleansed
and kept in.an alkaline solution for seventy days, were
wrapped up in coarse cloth, in mats, or in a bundle of
palm sticks, and deposited in the earth.
The funeral of Nophri-Othph, a priest of Amun, at
Thebes, is thus described on the walls of his tomb,;
the scene lies partly on the lake, and partly on the way
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
from the lake to the sepulchre. Firs came a larp
boat, conveying the bearers of flowers, cakes, and nu*
merous things appertaaing to the offerings, tables,
chairs, and other pieces of furniture, as well as the
friends of the deceased, whose consequence is shown
by their dresses and long walking-sticks, the peculiar
mark of Egyptian gentlemen. This was followed by
a small skiff, holding baskets of cakes and fruit, with a
quantity of green palm-branches, which it was custom*
ary to strew in the way as the body proceeded to the
tomb, the smoothness of their leaves and stalks being
particularly well adapted to enable the sled to glide
over them. In this part of the picture we discern the
love of caricature which was common to the Egyptians
even in the serious subject of a funeral. A large boat
has run aground and is pushed off the bank, striking a
smaller one with its rudder, and overturning a large
table, loaded 'with cakes and other things, upon the
heads of the rowers seated below, in spite of all the
efforts of a man in the prow, and the earnest vocifera-
tions of the alarmed helmsman.
In another boat, men carried bunches of flowers and
boxes supported by yokes on their shoulders. This
was followed by two others, one containing the male
and the other the female mourners, standing on the
roof of the cabin, beating themselves, uttering cries, and
making other demonstrations of excessive grief. Lasi
came the consecrated boat, bearing the hearse, which
was surrounded by the chief mourners and the female
relatives of the deceased. Arrived at the opposite
shore of the lake, the procession advanced to the cat.
acombs. On their way, several women of the vicinity,
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
carrying their children in shawls, suspended at the side
or back, joined in the lamentation. The'mummy was
placed erect in the chamber of the tomb; and the si-
ter, or nearest relation, embracing it, commenced a
funeral dirge, calling on her relative with every ex-
pression of tenderness, extolling his virtues and be-
wailing her own loss. The high priest presented a
sacrifice of incense and libation, with offerings of cakes
and other customary gifts for the deceased; and the
men and women continued the wailing, throwing dust
upon their heads, and making other manifestations of
In another painting is represented the judgment of a
wicked soul, which is condemned to return to earth in
the form of a pig, having been weighed in the scales
before Osiris, and found wanting. It is placed in a
boat, and, attended by two monkeys, is dismissed from
heaven, all communication' with which is figuratively
cut off by a man, who hews away the ground behind
it with an axe.
In the extensive domains of wealthy landed propriee
tors, those who tended the flocks and herds were under
the supervision of other persons connected with the
estate. The peasant who tilled the land on which they
were fed was responsible for their proper maintenance,
and for the exact account of the quantity of food which
they consumed. Some persons were exclusively em-
ployed in the care of the sick animals, which were
kept at home in the farm-yard. The superintendent
of the shepherds attended, at stated periods, to give a
report to the scribes belonging to the estate, by whom
it was submitted to the steward, and the latter was
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
responsible to his employer for this, aawell as every
other, portion of his possessions. In the painting we
behold the head shepherd'in the act of rendering in
his account; behind him are the flocks committed to
his charge, consisting of the sheep, goats, and wild
animals belonging to the person in the tomb. In one
of the paintings, the expressive attitude of this man,
with his hand raised to his mouth, is well imagined to
convey the idea of his endeavour to recollect the num.
bers which he is giving from memory to the scribes.
In another, the numbers are written over the animals,
and we have no contemptible picture of an Egyptian
First come the oxen, over which is the number 834;
then follow 220 cows, 3,234 goats, 760 asses, and 974
sheep; behind which, follows a man carrying the
young lambs in baskets, slung upon a pole. The
steward, leaning on his staff, and accompanied by his
dog, stands on one side; and on another are the
scribes, making out the statement. In another paint-
ing are men bringing baskets of eggs, flocks of geese,
and baskets full of goslings. An Egyptian Goose
Gibbie is making obeisance to his master. In anoth.
er, are persons feeding sick oxen, goats, and geese.
The art of curing diseases in animals, of every kind,
was carried to great peAection by the Egyptians; and
the authority of ancient writers and paintings has been
curiously strengthened by a discovery of Cuvier, who,
finding the left shoulder of a mummied ibis frac.
tured and reunited in a peculiar manner, proved the
intervention of human art.
All classes of the Egyptians delighted in the sports
ANTIQMTIZB OF QY1PT6
of the field, and the peasants deemed it a duty, as weil
as an amusement, to hunt and destroy the hyena and
other wild animals, from which they suffered annoy.
ance. The hunting scenes are very numerous among
their paintings, and the devices for capturing birds and
beasts seem to have been as various as they are in
modern times. The hyeaa is commonly represented
caught in a trap.
Wild oxen were caught by a noose or lasso, precise.
ly as the South Americans take horses and cattle,
although it does not appear that the Egyptians had the
custom of riding on horseback when they used it; and
from the introduction of a bush in the following picture
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
immediately behind the man who has thrown it, we
may suppose the artist designed to show that the hunts-
man was concealed. Hounds were also used to pur.
sue game, as may be perceived from the subjoined
representation of a huntsman carrying home his prey.
All the operations of agriculture, farming, breeding
cattle, &c., are depicted in these drawings with the
most curious fidelity and minuteness. In the accom-
panying sketch is seen an ox lying on the ground,
with his legs pinioned, while a herdsman is branding a
mark upon him with a hot iron, and another man sits
by, heating an iron in the fire. The pictures give us
the whole history of Pharaoh's kine, who are usually
copied after the fattest rather than the leanest, speci-
mens. From one of them it appears, that the Egyp-
ANTIQVWIfS OF 8RGPT,
tian monarch was himself a pretty eftebire grazier,
as we find the king's ox mateid -8. lS aither we have
a regular catte-show, and in uothet the veterinary
art in actual operation; catt e-dotors are exhibited
performing operations upon sick oxen, bulls, deer,
goats, and even geese. It is a singular fact, which
will amuse the reader not a little, that the hieroglyphic
which denotes a physician is that well known domestic
bird whose cry is "quackI quack l"
Among the trades represented is glass-blowing. The
form of the bottle and the use of the blow-pipe are
unequivocally indicated; and the green hue, in the
painting, of the fised material, take from the fire at
the point of the pipe, cannot fail to show the intention
of the artist. Until within a few yedrs the belief was
universal, that the ancients were unacquainted with the
70 ANTIQUIIES OP EGYPT.
manufacture of glass; but it is now indisputable, that
ornaments and vases of glass were made in Egypt
1490 year before the Christian era.
The use of the spindle and loom, sewing, braiding,
&c., form the subjects of many of the paintings, as also
the process of cultivating flax, beating and combing it.
The following is a figure of a hatchel or flax-comb.
We have also the process of currying leather, and the
AQ itsUUm O aQMaW
opemtiqw f ^ahoe-making. Not les curious is the
business of cair-making in all its details. The Egyp-
tian chairs of which we have a great variety of repreo
sentations, were not inferior in elegance to auy thing
of the kind at the present day. In the accompanying
sketch, we see the workmen drilling a hole in the asat
of a chair. The shape of the drill and bow ir .be
seen in the next cut.
ABTiqUmITM oW ePT.
The following cut is from a historic paintin. It
repames an Ethiopian prinoues on her journey thuugk
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
Upper Egypt to Thebes. A large tribute is described
in another part of the picture, as brought from her
countrymen, the "Cush," or Ethiopians, which seems
to show that it relates to a visit of ceremony from the
queen or princess of that country. The chariot is
drawn by oxen, a mode of conveyance in use at this
day in Southern Africa.
That the Egyptians paid great attention to the study
ANTIQUITIES f0 EGYPT.
of music, and had arrived at a very accurate knowledge
of the art, is evident from the instruments which they
used. Their drawings represent the harp, the guitar,
the tambourine, the lyre, the flute, the pipe, and other
instruments difficult to describe. Bands of music gen-
erally compose a part of the representation of a feast
or entertainment, and musicians are exhibited singing,
playing, and dancing in the street. These musical in-
struments were in common use at the earliest periods
of the known history of the Egyptians. The game of
chess, or draughts, appears to be of equal antIquity,
ANTIQUITIES OP EGYPT.
and is very accurately represented in the preceding
cut. Some of the Egyptian female sports were rather
of a hoydenish character, as the game of ball, in one
picture of which we are instructed that the loser was
obliged to sufer another to ride on her back. Some
6 ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
of these identical balls have been found in the tonra
at Thebes. Wooden dolls for children have also been
discovered of various fashions, some of them precisely
similar to those in use among us, and others of a dif-
ferent shape, like the following.
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
The Egyptian shops exhibited many curious soene.
Poulterers suspended geese and other birds from a pole
in front of the shop, which, at the same time, support
ed an awning to shade them from the sun. Many of
the shops resembled our stalls, being open in front,
with the goods exposed on the shelves or hanging from
the inner wall, as is still the custom in the bazars of
the East. The kitchens afford scenes no less curious.
In the following cut we see a cook roasting a goose;
he holds the spit with one hand, and blows the fire
with a fan held in the other. A second person is cut-
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
tin up joints of meat and putting them into the pot
which is boiling close at hand. Other joints of meat
are lying on a table.
Monkeys appear to have been trained to assia m
gathering fruit; and the Egyptians represent then m
the sculptures handing down figs from the trees to the
gardeners below; but, as might be expected, these
animals amply repaid themselves for the labor imposed
upon them, and the artist has not failed to show how
much more they consulted their own wishes than those
of their employers. The following is a representation
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
of a wine-press, in which the grapes are squeezed in a
bag. It will be interesting to compare this with a
picture copied from the wall of a house in Pompeii,
representing the vintagers treading the grapes with
The Egyptians appear to have been addicted to a
very liberal use of wine; even the ladies do not seem
to have practised total abstinence; and there are scenes
depicted in the paintings which our gallantry will not
allow us to hint at more plainly, though they will per
haps dwell the most strongly in the memory of those
persons who have seen the publications of Rosellini
and Wilkinson. The Egyptian painters had something
of a satirical turn. The import of the following
" scrap," from the "last of a feast," cannot be mis-
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
Among the peculiar articles of furniture, we may
specify the double chair, or diphros of the Greeks,
usually kept as a family seat, and occupied by the
master and mistress of the house, though occasionally
offered, as a special honor, to the guests. The follow-
ing drawing of an ottoman, or settee, is from the tomb
of Rameses the Third. The Egyptian couches were
also executed in great taste. They were of wood, with
one end raised, and receding in a graceful curve; the
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT. 81
feet, like those of many of the chairs, were fashioned
to resemble those of animals. Pillows were made of
wood, and sometimes of alabaster, in the following
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
In the next engraving, we find two boats moored to
the bank of the river by ropes and stakes. In the
cabin of one, a man inflicts the bastinado on a boat-
man. He appears to be one of the stewards of an
estate, and is accompanied by his dog. In the other
boat is a cow, and a net containing hay or chopped
straw. There is a striking resemblance in some points
between the boats of the ancient Egyptians and those
of India. The fwrm of the stern, the cabins, the
square sail, the copper eye on each side of the head,
the line of small squares at the side, like Ealse win-
dows, and the shape of the oars of boats used on the
Ganges, forcibly call to mind those of the Nile, repre-
sented in the paintings of the Theban tombs.
The Egyptian needles were of the following fashion.
They wrote with a reed, or rush, many of which have
been found, with the tablets and inkstands belonging to
the writers. Habits among men of similar occupa-
tions are frequently alike, even in countries very
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
widely separated; and we find it was not unusual for
an Egyptian artist, or scribe, to put his reed-pencil be-
hind his ear, when engaged in examining the effect of
the painting, or listening to a person on business, as in
a modern counting-room. In the subjoined picture, we
see a scribe at work with a spare pen behind his ear,
his tablet upon his knee, and his writing-case and ink-
stand on the table before him.
The occupations of the mason, the stone-cutter, and
the statuary are often alluded to in the paintings. Work-
men are represented polishing and painting statues of
men, sphinxes, and small figures; and two instances
occur of large granite colossi, surrounded with scaf-
folding, on wh.ch men are engaged in polishing and
chiselling the stone, the painter following the sculptor
to color the hieroglyphics which he has engraved on
the back of the statue.
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
Among the remarkable inventions of a remote era,
may be mentioned bellows and siphons. The former
were used as early as the reign of Thothmes the Third,
the contemporary of Moses, being represented in a tomb
ANTIQUITIES OP EGYPT. 85
bearing the name of that Pharaoh. They consisted of
a leather bag, sewed and fitted into a frame, from
which a long pipe extended for carrying the wind to
the fire. They were worked by the feet, the operator
standing upon them, with one under each foot, and
pressing them alternately, while he pulled up each ex-
hausted skin by a string. (See the preceding cut.) In
one instance, we observe from the painting, that when
the man left the bellows they were raised, as if full
of air; and this would imply a knowledge of the valve.
The religion of Egypt does not derive so much new
light from these discoveries, as most other points in re-
lation to the manners of the people. The reason is ob-
vious. All that paintings can communicate of religion
is its outward forms and mythological representations.
But with the outward forms of the religion, the names,
attributes, and local worship of the various deities, we
were before acquainted from statues and sculptures,
and from the writings of the Greeks. It is the re-
condite meaning of all this ceremonial, the secret of
these mysteries, the key to this curious symbolism,
which is still wanting. That it was a profound nature-
worship, there appears to be no doubt. That the wis-
dom of the Egyptians," in its moral and political influ-
ence upon the people, was a sublime and beneficial code,
may be inferred from the reverence with which it is
treated by the Greek writers; by the awe-struck He.
rodotus, who trembled lest he should betray the myste-
ries, with which he was probably by no means pro.
foundly acquainted; by Plato himself, by Diodorus and
Plutarch. That its groundwork was the great Oriental
principle of the emanation of all things from the prime
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
val Deity seems equally beyond question. The worship
of the sun, as the image or primary emanation of the
Deity, is confirmed by almost all the inscriptions.
But the connection of this sublime and more meta-
physical creed with that which degenerated into the
grossest superstition, the worship of quadrupeds, rep-
tiles, and vegetables, remains still a sealed mystery.
But although we gain little knowledge, in respect to
the religion of the Egyptians, from her antiquities, they
are exceedingly interesting on account of the light they
throw upon parts of the Bible. Not only does a part
of the history of the Hebrews lie in Egypt, but Pales-
tine, their home and country, is but about 250 miles
from it. There was a good deal of intercourse be-
tween the two nations, and the history of one naturally
runs into that of the other. One instance, among
many, in which the Bible record is illustrated and
confirmed by the Egyptian antiquities, is as fol-
lows. Among the animals mentioned in the Bible, as
illustrative of the wisdom and power of Providence, is
one called in Hebrew the Reem, a word which literally
signifies "the tall animal." It is thus described in
Scripture: Will the reem be willing to serve thee, or
abide by thy crib ? Canst thou bind the reem with his
band in the furrow ? or will he harrow the valleys
after thee ? Wilt thou trust him because his strength
is great ? or wilt thou leave thy labor to him ? Wilt
thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed and
gather it into thy barn ?" (Job xxxix. 9-12.) Our
translators have rendered the word reem, unicorn,
which is absurd. Some commentators assert that it is
the rhinoceros, or the buffalo, because the cognate
ANTIQUITIES OF EGTPT.
Arabic word is sometimes applied to a species of ga-
zelle, and the Arabs frequently speak of oxen and
stags as one species. But neither the rhinoceros nor
the buffalo can be called a tall animal, and the analogy
between them and any species of gazelle with which
we are acquainted would be very difficult to demon-
strate. But we find upon the monuments an animal
fulfilling all the conditions of the description, and that
is the giraffe, which is represented several times among
the articles of tribute brought to the Pharaohs from the
interior of Africa. The preceding sketch represents
one of these carvings.
A most interesting proof of the accuracy and fidelity
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
of the Bible narration is furnished by the following
considerations. The artists of Egypt, in the specimens
which they have left behind, delineated minutely every
circumstance connected with their national habits and
observances from the cradle to the grave; representing
with equal fidelity the usages of the palace and the
cottage; the king surrounded by the pomp of state,
and the peasant employed in the humblest labors of
the field. In the very first mention of Egypt, we shall
find the Scriptural narrative singularly illustrated and
confirmed by the monuments.
"And there was a famine in the land [of Canaan], and
Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there, for the
famine was grievous in the land. And it came to pass,
when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he
said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that
thou art a fair woman to look upon; therefore it shall
come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that
they shall say, This is his wife; and they will kil
me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee,
thou art my sister, that it may be well with me for thy
sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. And
it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into
Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she
was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw
her, and commended her before Pharaoh, and the
woman was taken into Pharaoh's house." (Gen. xii.
Now let it be remembered that at present the cus.
tom for the Egyptian women, as well as those of other
Eastern countries,'is to veil their faces somewhat in the
manner here represented. Why, then, should Abram
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
have been so anxious because the princes of Pharaoh's
house saw his wife Sarai ? How, indeed, could they
see her face, and discover that she was handsome, if
she had been veiled, according to the custom of the
country now ? The question is answered by the monu-
ments, for here is a representation of the manner in
which a woman was dressed in Egypt in anciem
It seems, therefore, that they exposed their faces;
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
and thus the Scripture story is shown to be agreeable
to the manners and customs of the country at the date
to which the story refers. It is impossible to bring a
more striking and conclusive proof of the antiquity and
minute accuracy of the Bible record than this.
The period at which the custom of veiling the faces
of women was introduced into Egypt was probably
about 500 years before Christ, when Cambyses, king
of Persia, conquered that country. It was but natural
that the conquered country should adopt the fashions
of the conquering one, particularly as at this period
Persia was an empire of great wealth and power, and
likely to give laws not only in respect to government,
but in respect to manners also. The probability, there-
fore, that the Bible record was made previous to this
event, even had we no other testimony, is very strong,
from the fact that it relates, in the story of Abram
and his wife, a tale which implies a fashion that
probably never existed in Egypt after the conquests
of Cambyses. How wonderful it is, that these mute
monuments, after slumbering in silence for ages, should
now be able to add their indubitable testimony to the
truth of that book which we hold to be the Word of
The modern traveller, after viewing those stupen-
dous piles of architecture, the pyramids, has his atten-
tion attracted by the ruins of Thebes, whose enormous
remains are now distributed among four principal vil-
lages on both sides of the Nile, Luxor, Carac, Gour-
nei, and Medinet Abou. The relics of this great
city are the most ancient and genuine, as well as the
best specimens of Egyptian architecture extant; for we
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
have every reason to believe, that by far the greatest
part of them were executed before Egypt had yet ex-
perienced the influence of the Greeks, that is, long
before the Persian invasion. The imposing spectacle
exhibited by these wonderful ruins is such, that, when
the French army on its march, on making a sharp turn
round a projecting chain of mountains, came suddenly
in sight of the spot, the whole body were instantane-
ously struck with wonder and amazement, and clapped
their hands with delight; as if the great object of their
toils, and the complete conquest of Egypt, had been
accomplished and secured by taking possession of the
splendid remains of this ancient metropolis. "The
most sublime ideas," says Belzoni, that can be
formed from the most magnificent specimens of our
present architecture, would give a very incorrect pic-
ture of these ruins; for such is the difference, not only
in magnitude, but in form, proportion, and construc-
tion, that even the pencil can convey but a faint idea
of the whole. It appeared to me like entering a city
of giants, who, after a long conflict were all destroyed,
leaving the ruins of their various temples as the only
proofs of their former existence. The temple of Luxor
presents to the traveller, at once, one of the most
splendid groups of Egyptian grandeur. The extensive
propylweon, with the two obelisks and colossal statues
in the front, the thick groups of enormous columns,
the variety of apartments, and the sanctuary it contains,
the beautiful ornaments which adorn every part of the
walls and columns, cause, in the astonished traveller,
an oblivion of all that he has seen before. If his at.
tention be attracted to the north side of Thebes by the
92 ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
towering remains that project a great height above
the wood of palm-trees, he will gradually enter that
forest-like assemblage of ruins of temples, columns,
obelisks, colossi, sphinxes, portals, and an endless
number of other astonishing objects, that will convince
him at once of the impossibility of a description."
Bonaparte in Egypt.
THE FRENCH IN EGYPT.
THE race of the Ptolemies having ended, as we have
seen, in Cleopatra, Egypt became a Roman province.
On the partition of the Empire, it remained attached
to the Eastern or lower Empire, whose capital was
Constantinople. The Empire of the East lost Egypt
to the Saracens at the first outbreak of Islamism, and
the country was subjected to the sway of the Caliphs.
But the power of those chiefs soon began to decline;
and in the year of Christ 879, Ammed, the governor
of Egypt, usurped the sovereignty, and founded the
government of the Sultans, who reigned over Egypt
till 1249, when the Sultan, Turan, was assassinated by
his Mamelukes, or Asiatic slaves, of whom a strong
military body had been organized by one of his prede-
cessors. From this period, or soon after, the govern-
ment of Egypt remained in the hands of the Mame-
lukes, who augmented and perpetuated their numbers
by fresh purchases of slaves, and the monarchy was
elective in this body. The Mamelukes progressive.
ly raised the aristocracy above the throne, till about
the year 1517, when Egypt was conquered by the
Turkish Sultan, Selim the First. The power of the
THE FRENCH IN EGYPT. 96
Mamelukes, however, was suffered to continue, and
Egypt received a constitution, by which twenty-four
of them, chosen among themselves, were intrusted
under the title of Beye, with the revenues and civil ad-
ministration, subject to an annual tribute to the Otto.
man Porte of 600,000 zechins, and the partial control
of a Pacha, or governor. Under this form of govern-
ment Egypt remained, nominally subject to the Porte,
against whose authority the Beys frequently revolted,
down to the French invasion in 1798.
That expedition was planned by the Directory which
then governed France, with a double view,--to open
a way for attacking the British in India, and to remove
Bonaparte, for a time at least, from France. The in.
dependent behaviour of that general in his Italian cam.
paign, his genius, and his ambition, which could not
be entirely concealed under a studied simplicity of
manners, rendered his presence dangerous to their
authority. He, on the other hand, feared that an in-
active life would diminish his own fame; the world
generally requiring of those whom it calls great some.
thing more than they have yet performed. He regard.
ed this scheme as a gigantic conception, an employ.
ment agreeable to his taste, and a new means of aston-
ishing mankind. The expedition was fitted out upon
a grand scale. It consisted of thirteen sail of the line,
with smaller ships of war and transports, comprising a
fleet of several hundred sail. In this fleet embarked
an army of 28,000 men, and a body of one hundred
men of science, liberally supplied with books, philo-
sophical instruments, and all the means of prosecuting
researches in every department of knowledge. This is
THE FRENCH IN EGYPT.
the first body of the kind that ever accompanied an
invading army. Bonaparte did not limit his views to
those of armed conquest; he meant that these should
be ennobled by mingling with them schemes of a liter-
ary and scientific character.
On the 1f8th of May, 1798, the expedition set sail from
Toulon. On the 10th of June, they arrived before Mal.
ta, which immediately surrendered. A British fleet,
under Nelson, was in the Mediterranean, in search of
Bonaparte; but, by that good fortune which marked
the whole of his early career, he escaped it, and
reached the coast of Egypt, near Alexandria, on the
29th of June. A violent storm prevailed, but Bona-
parte, learning that the English fleet had been there
only a short time previous, threw himself on the shore,
at the risk of being wrecked. The troops were land-
ed, marched all night, and the next morning 3,000
French, harassed with fatigue, destitute of artillery,
and with a small supply of ammunition, captured Alex-
andria. In five days Bonaparte was master of Rosetta
and Damanhour, and had obtained a secure footing in
Egypt. He pushed immediately for the interior. Mu-
rad Bey, with a large force of cavalry and a flotilla of
gunboats on the Nile, attempted to check the advance
of the French, but was defeated, and compelled to re-
treat. After this, they marched for eight days without
being molested, except by clouds of Arabs hanging
upon their rear; but often reduced to the greatest
straits, and under a scorching sun. On the 19th of
July, they came in sight of the pyramids.
As they prosecuted their march, they found their
difficulties augmenting. Provisions were scarce i they