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BELZONI ON EIS TRAVELS.
FRUITS OF ENTERPRISE,
TRAVELS OF BELZONI
EGYPT AND NUBIA,
TO W IS PREFIXED
A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE TRAVELLER'S DEATH,
BY THE AUTHOR OF GROVE COTTAGE."
GRANT AND GRIFFITH,
J. HARRIS, CORNER OF ST. PAUL S CHURCHYARD.
Printed by SAMUEL BENTLEY and Co.,
Hangor House, Shoe Lane.
PLACED in an amphitheatre of boundless
extent, and surrounded by an immense variety
of objects, young persons are naturally inqui-
sitive, and delighted with every new accession
of knowledge; and, as truth is no longer
deemed incompatible with amusement, the
most pleasing mode of conveying the former
seems to be to blend it with the latter.
Since the first appearance of this little
Work, the enterprising individual whose dis-
coveries it relates, and who gave his permis-
sion for its publication, has departed this life.
It was hoped that, through his means, some
account of places, hitherto imperfectly describ-
ed by others, might have been obtained; but
the decree of Providence has prevented the
accomplishment of so desirable an object.
The following short account of his latter
days will not be considered an improper ap-
pendage to this work :-
Died at Gato, near Benin, in Africa, on
the 3rd of December, 1823, Mr. G. BELZONI,
so well known for his Egyptian tombs. He
was so far on his way into the interior, en-
deavouring to reach Houssa, when a dysentery
put an end to his valuable life. He was
buried at Gato the day after his decease, and
a board, with the following inscription, was
placed over his grave :-
Here lie the remains of
Who was attacked with Dysentery, at Benin,
(on his way to Houssa and Timbuctoo,)
on the 26th of November, and died at
December 3rd, 1823.'
"Mr. Belzoni had been landed by Captain
Filmore, R.N., at Benin. Captain Filmore
exerted himself arduously in assisting the in-
trepid traveller, and discharged a man from
his vessel, who was a native of Houssa, that
he might accompany Mr. B. on his route.
The following extract of a letter contains
most of the late particulars respecting this
enterprising and scientific individual:-
On the night of the 24th of November,
Mr. Belzoni left us, with Mr. Houtson, for
Gato. On parting with us he seemed a little
agitated, particularly when the crew of the
brig which brought him (to each of whom he
had made a present) gave him three loud
cheers on leaving the vessel: 'God bless you,
my fine fellows! and send you a happy sight
of your country and friends,' was his answer.
On the 3rd of December I received a letter
from Mr. Houtson, requesting me to come
to Benin, as Mr. B. was lying dangerously
ill; and, in case of death, wishing a second
person to be present. I was prevented going,
not only by business, but by a severe fever,
which had then hold of me. On the 5th,
I had a second letter from Mr. H. with the
particulars of Mr. B.'s end; and one from
himself, almost illegible, dated December 2,
requesting me to assist in the disposal of his
effects, and to remit the proceeds home to his
agents, Messrs. Briggs, Brothers, & Co., Ame-
rica-Square, London, together with a beautiful
amethyst ring, which he seemed particularly
desirous should be delivered to his wife, with
the assurance that he died in the fullest affec-
tion for her, as he found himself too weak to
write his last wishes and adieus.
"'At the time of Mr. Belzoni's death, Mr.
Houtson had everything arranged with the
King of Benin for his departure, and, had his
health continued, there is no doubt he would
have succeeded. Mr. Belzoni passed at Benin
as an inhabitant, or rather native, of the in-
terior, who had come to England when a
youth, and was now trying to return to his
country. The kings and emigrands (or no-
bles) gave credit to this, Mr. Belzoni being in
a Moorish dress, with his beard nearly a foot
in length. There was, however, some little
jealousy amongst them, which was removed by
a present or two, well applied; and the King
of Benin's messenger was to accompany Mr.
Belzoni with the King's cane, and as many
men as were considered necessary for a guard
and baggage-carriers. The King's name is re-
spected as far as Houssa, and he has a messen-
ger, or ambassador, stationary there. On Mr.
Belzoni's arrival at Houssa, he was to leave
his guard there, and proceed to Timbuctoo,
the King not guaranteeing his safety farther
than Houssa, and Timbuctoo not being known
at Benin. On his return to Houssa, he would
make the necessary preparations for going
down the Niger, and despatch his messengers
and guard back with letters to his agents and
to Mr. John Houtson: the messenger to be
rewarded according to the account the letters
gave of his behaviour, and the King to receive
a valuable stated present. This was the plan,
and I think it would have proved fortunate,
had Mr. B. lived.
"' Mr. Belzoni was a native of Padua, and
had known England many years. He first
visited Egypt with a view of erecting hydrau-
lic engines for the Pacha, to assist in irrigat-
ing the country. In stature he was above six
feet and a half, and possessed of great bodily
strength. His manners and deportment were
marked by great suavity and mildness, and
he had a genuine love for science in all its
branches. He was brave, ardent, and perse-
vering in pursuit of his objects; and his
decease at the moment of a strong hope of
success, must be deeply felt by all who
estimate the true interests of science and the
light of discovery at their true value.'"
Bernard's Picture.-Situation of Egypt.-Belzoni intro-
duced.-Motives for his going into Egypt.-Ill success
of his Hydraulic Machine.-His thoughts turned towards
the antiquities of the country.-Difficulty in removing
Young Memnon from Thebes to Cairo.-Belzoni's visit to
a Mummy-Cave.-Deceit of the Arabs.-Egyptian Cus-
toms.-Belzoni goes up the Nile, into Nubia.-Visits the
island of Elephantine.-Arrives at Ybsambul.-Attempts
to open its magnificent Temple.-Obliged, for want of time
and money, to give up the project.-Visits the little isle
of Mainarty. Danger on the Cataract.-Returns to
Thebes.-Removal of Young Memnon to Cairo.-Belzoni
resides for a short time at Rosetta. Page 1
Bernard's perseverance.-Belzoni's second Voyage.-Rapid
journey from Minieh to Thebes.-Superb Temple at Car-
nac.-Works carried on both at Gournou and Camac.-
Mummy-caves. -Belzoni's object in entering them.-Ma-
nufactures of the ancient Egyptians.-Their idols.-Cu-
rious Habitations at Gournou.-He revisits Ybsambul.-
Opens the Temple.-Returns highly gratified to Thebes.
Emily amused with a description of Greenland.-Belzoni
makes the valley of Beban el Malook the scene of his
researches.-Enters and explores the tomb of Psammu-
this.-Receives a visit from Hamed Aga.-Returns to
Cairo.-Visits the Pyramids.-Time and purpose of their
erection uncertain.-Enters one, which for more than one
thousand years had appeared a solid mass of stone.
Belzoni's journey to the Red Sea.-Motives for going thither
-Inundation of the Nile.-The Caravan crosses the De-
sert.-Account of the Ababde, an independent tribe re-
siding among the rocks on the coast of the Red Sea. -
Search for the ancient city of Berenice.-The boats of the
Ababde fishermen described.-Discovers the remains of
Berenice, mentioned by a former traveller.-Returns to-
wards Esne.-Meets with two shepherd girls tending their
sheep on the mountains.-Description of the sufferings
travellers undergo in crossing the Deserts.-The Cara-
van reaches the banks of the Nile.-Belzoni returns to
Gournou. Page 165
Dr. Franklin's kite.-Some sailors ascend Pompey's pillar,
by means of a paper kite.-Removal of the Obelisk from
the island of Philoi--It falls into the Nile.-Ingenious
method of raising it.-It is launched down the Cataract.
-Arrives in safety at Rosetta.-Belzoni goes to Beban el
Malook.-Completes his drawings and models of the
tomb.-Bids a final adieu to Thebes.-Traverses the wes-
tern Desert, in search of the Temple of Jupiter Ammon.-
Procures a Donkey at Benisouef.-Reaches the Lake
Mceris.-Rose-trees in profusion.-Visits the Temple of
Haron, among the rocks near the lake.-Attacked by a
furious Hyena.-Account of the famous labyrinth.-Visit
to the Elloah.-An interview with Khalil Bey.-Account
of the Bedouins.-Belzoni crosses the Desert attended by
Sheik Grumar.-Arrival at Zaboo.-Interview with the
Sheik and Cady of El Cassar.-Belzoni goes to their
village.-Discovers the site of the Temple of Jupiter
Ammon.-Meets with an unfortunate accident on his
return to Zaboo.-Reaches Benisouef.-Arrives at Cairo.
-Embarks for Europe.-Returns to England. Page 208.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
BELZONI ON HIS TRAVELS .
TEMPLE OF TENTYRA .
EMBARKING YOUNG MEMNON
THE ROOM OF BEAUTIES .
THE FISHERMAN'S BOAT
CAMPING OUT IN THE DESERT .
FRUITS OF ENTERPRISE.
THE last--the very last pyramid dear
Laura," exclaimed the little Bernard, as he
climbed upon his sister's chair, and surveyed
a sketch, that she was copying from one in a
large folio volume.
And now, when you have shaded the side
of that pyramid, will you draw the wheel of
my cart ? I am quite tired of your tombs and
your pillars, and your ruins, and your monu-
ments, falling this way and that way:-I
would much rather know how to draw the
spokes of the wheels of my little cart :-you
see I have made my waggon turning down a
shady lane,-it is evening-the lamps are
lighted on the posts-the moon is peeping
from behind the trees, and the smoke is
rising from the chimneys of my carter's cot-
tage-but my poor cart has no wheels, be-
cause I cannot draw spokes !-And now, is
that tiresome pyramid done, dear Laura?"
If you knew all that renders those pyra-
mids so interesting to Laura, my love," said
Bernard's mother, you would not be in such
great haste to see them finished; indeed, I
believe you would willingly give up the plea-
sure of seeing your own little picture com-
pleted, to watch your sister as she draws hers."
"Indeed, mamma !" exclaimed the lively
boy.-" Where are the pyramids? And why
do you think the account of them would
amuse me so much?"
"My story is a long one," replied his
mother, so I will not begin it till after tea;
and then we can go on without interruption."
"Oh, mother! that will be delightful!
And as to my cart, Laura may put in the
spokes to-morrow-the wheels will not signify
for one night, will they mamma? exclaimed
Bernard; and, without waiting for an an-
swer, he jumped up, fetched his little straw
hat from its hook in the hall, and ran across
the lawn, to tell Owen and Emily, who were
busily engaged in training a white clematis
SITUATION OF THE PYRAMIDS.
round one of the pillars of the alcove. They
quickly returned together. Tea was de-
spatched and the cheerful group repaired to
the library. The maps were laid open on
the library table. Laura seated herself be-
tween her two brothers; and Emily, whose
blue eyes sparkled with joy, placed herself
by the side of her mother.
And now, why did you think that Laura's
picture would please me so much, mam-
ma? said Bernard. "Where are those pyra-
Think for a moment, my dear. Do you
not know the name of the country so re-
nowned for these famous mementoes of an-
cient art ?-You have often been told."
Bernard paused--" In Egypt, mamma,-
in Egypt, an ancient kingdom of Africa."
Can you give me any account of Egypt
-do you know anything respecting that
country ? "
Bernard paused again, but Emily looked up
wishfully, and said, May I tell you what
I know, mamma ?" Her mother nodded
Egypt," said Emily, consists of a nar-
row vale on both sides of the Nile, bounded
4 OVERFLOWING OF THE NILE.
by ridges of mountains, or hills. Nubia is on
the south; on the west, it joins the Great
Sandy Desert; on the north, it is washed by
the Mediterranean, and on the east by the
Red Sea, except where it is joined to Asia by
the narrow neck of land called the Isthmus
I recollect more about Egypt now that
Emily mentions the Nile," exclaimed her
little brother; I have often heard of the
rushes that grew on the banks of that river-
the people used to make their paper of them,
and write all their books upon it-all that
they wrote; they placed the thin leaves of
the stem one over the other, then flattened
them, and plaited them as Fanny plaits her
little paper mats; so that one leaf lay one
way and another another way, and then they
were stuck together with the muddy water
of the Nile, and the leaves were dried and
pressed with heavy weights-and rubbed and
pressed again a great many times."
And," said Owen, "papa has often told
us, that in Egypt there is very little rain, and
that the Nile, at certain periods, overflows
its banks, and carries with its waters a rich
mud which renders the soil fruitful, without
ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.
that labour which the farmers in England
are obliged to bestow, before the fields are
fit to receive the grain. In Egypt they have
only to put the seeds into the ground."
"But if the Nile should not overflow, just
when they expected it," said Bernard, what
would they do then !"
This sometimes happens," said Laura;
"but you will hear by and by of the means
employed to prevent the famine which is
generally occasioned by such a calamity, and
of the mode used to supply the deficiency, if
the river do not afford its usual assistance."
Well, mamma," said Owen, now that
we know where Egypt is-now for the Pyra-
mids ;-whereabouts are they, and for what
purpose were they erected ?"
"Not so fast, my love. I have not yet
told you that Egypt is divided into Upper,
Middle, and Lower; and that it is a country
renowned in history, having been once the
seat, if not the parent, of the sciences. It
is not only remarkable for those surprising
monuments of antiquity, the famous Pyra-
mids, which baffle the researches of the deep-
est antiquary to fix upon their origin, but also
for many other' glorious structures,' astonish-
ing remains of ancient temples, pompous
palaces, obelisks, columns, statues, and paint-
ings. Thus is Egypt rendered interesting;
and it is at the present time peculiarly so
to us, because a gentleman has lately, with
indefatigable zeal, made many researches in
that country; and his curious discoveries
among the pyramids and temples have excited
the public attention in no small degree. He
has spent many years in this arduous employ-
ment, and is now amply compensated in know-
ing that they have not been spent in vain."
Oh mamma! exclaimed Emily, tell
me the name of this gentleman: why did
he go there Was he fond of antiquities!
How did he manage to enter the pyramids!
And what did he find in them ?"
"I cannot answer so many questions in a
breath, my little girl; the name of the gentle-
man I mentioned is BELZONI."
A native of England, mamma?"
No: a native of Padua."
Padua, an ancient, large, and celebrated
city of Italy," said Laura, as she pointed to
Is it all true that you are going to tell
us, mother!" said Owen.
Perfectly true. The account I propose
giving you of Egypt and Nubia is taken from
Belzoni's own Travels, recently p ed./
"Unfortunate circumstances falling out
in his native country, compelled Belzoni to
leave it; and many years ago he came to
England. Here he married, and contrived
to live on his own industry, and the know-
ledge he had acquired in various branches
whilst at Rome, in which city he had spent
many of his juvenile years. He now turned
his thoughts to hydraulics, a science to which
he had before paid attention, and which in
the end was the principal cause of his going
Will you tell me, dear mamma," said Ber-
nard, what is meant by hydraulics, and why
Belzoni should go into Egypt on thataccount!"
The science which has for its object the
motion of fluids is called hydraulics; and
its principal object is to furnish us with the
means of conducting water from one situation
to another, by canals or other means. Bel-
zoni imagined that an hydraulic machine
would be of great use in Egypt to irrigate
the fields, which only want water to make
them produce at any time of the year !"
FERTILITY OF EGYPT.
Then the soil is fertile, and the climate
warm, I suppose, mamma ?" said Owen.
Yes: the soil of Egypt is particularly
noted for the fertility occasioned by its won-
derful river; and while thinking of this, we
are led to observe the two beautiful prospects
which, owing to it, Egypt exhibits, at two
seasons of the year. During our summer,
the climate there is excessively warm, and
it is impossible to describe a scene more de-
lightful than that which the country presents
at the first overflowing of the Nile : the spec-
tator beholds a spacious sea, spotted with
innumerable towns and villages, sometimes
contrasted with groves of palm trees, while
a magnificent display of sylvan and moun-
tainous scenery bounds the extensive pro-
On the contrary, if the view be taken
when our gardens and fields are clothed in
the robes of winter, the whole country there
resembles one large meadow, covered with
the finest verdure, and enamelled with the
choicest flowers; the plains embellished with
flocks and herds; the air, pure and salubri-
ous, scented with orange and lemon blossoms,
which blow in luxuriance."
WINDS OF THE DESERT.
I should like to live in Egypt, mamma!"
But inconveniences are to be met with
there, as well as everywhere else, my love.
The heat is oppressive to all who are unused
to it; indeed, the southerly winds are some-
times so sultry as to oblige the natives to
immure themselves in vaults or caves; and,
not unfrequently, these winds raise such
clouds of sand as to obscure the light of the
sun, and even to those who are used to them
to be almost insupportable.. The people call
them poisonous winds, or winds of the De-
sert, and, during the three days that they
generally last, the streets are forsaken; and
in a melancholy condition is the unfortunate
traveller whom they surprise remote from
I wonder," exclaimed Emily, whether
Belzoni ever encountered them."
I will begin my account, and then you
may hear a description of the various adven-
tures he met with.
Some years after Mr. Belzoni had resided
in England, he formed the resolution of going
to the south of Europe; and, taking Mrs.
Belzoni with him, he visited Portugal and
Spain; and, afterwards, the small but import-
ant isle of Malta, which lies to the south
of Sicily, and is celebrated for its fine port'
and the strength of its fortifications, now be-
longing to Great Britain. Hence they em-
barked for Egypt, and arrived in safety at
EMILY.-Here is Alexandria, mamma, on
the sea-coast: I have found it marked on the
MRs. A.-On entering the harbour of this
city, Belzoni was informed that the plague
was there. To a European, who had never
been in that country, this was alarming intel-
ligence. Happily, however, it nearly ceased
in a short time; and as his principal object
was to go on to Cairo, he hired a boat, and
they embarked with an English gentleman,
who was going up the Nile.
BERNARD.-Here is Cairo, the capital of
Egypt, mamma; to the south of Alexandria.
MRs. A.-This city is one hundred miles
from the mouth of the Nile. Owing to con-
trary winds, it was some days before our
travellers landed at Boolac, within a mile of
it. At this place a bustling scene presented
itself; and the majestic appearance of Turk-
ish soldiers in various costumes, Arabs of
many tribes, boats, camels, horses, and asses,
all in motion, formed a striking picture. Im-
mediately after landing, they went to Cairo;
but as the holy fathers of the convent of
Terrasanta could not receive women within
their walls, they were accommodated in an
old house at Boolac, belonging to a gentle-
man, the interpreter of Mahomed Ali, and
director of all foreign affairs. He was a man
of great acuteness of understanding, and well
disposed towards strangers.
BERNARD.-Who is Mahomed Ali, mam-
MRs. A.-The Turkish Viceroy, or Ba-
shaw, by whom Egypt is governed.
OWEN.-I am glad that this interpreter
was agreeably disposed towards strangers; as
I suppose that Belzoni had to apply through
his means to the Bashaw respecting his hy-
draulic machine, for which purpose he went to
Egypt, you know.
MRS. A-Travellers are frequently obliged
to submit to inconvenience, and so were ours.
The house they inhabited was so old and
out of repair, that it appeared every moment
as though ready to fall on their heads: all
12 RESIDENCE AT BOOLAC.
the windows were shut up with broken wood-
en rails; the staircase was in so bad a condi-
tion that scarcely a step was left entire ; the
door was merely fastened by a pole placed
against it, having neither lock nor anything
else to secure the entrance. There were
many rooms in the house, but the ceiling in
all of them was in a most threatening state.
The whole furniture consisted of a single mat
in one of the best rooms, which they consider-
ed as the drawing-room.
BERNARD.-Oh! what a curious drawing-
room supposing ours had only a mat in it!
MRS. A.-No chairs are to be had in this
country; so they sat on the ground, and a
box and a trunk served as a table. Fortu-
nately they had a few plates as well as knives
and forks; and James, an Irish lad whom
they took with them, procured a set of culi-
nary articles. Such were the accommodations
our enterprising travellers met with at Boolac!
Although Belzoni's chief object was not to
see antiquities at that time, yet he felt desir-
ous of visiting the famous pyramids.
EMILY.--I think I have heard you say,
mamma, that they are at the foot of those
mountains which separate Egypt from Libya.
SUN-RISE FROM THE PYRAMIDS.
MRs. A.-The English gentleman who ac-
companied Belzoni up the Nile, obtained an
escort of soldiers from the Bashaw, and went
with him to the pyramids one evening, intend-
ing to ascend one of them the following morn-
ing, to see the sun rise. Accordingly, they
were on the top long before the dawn of day.
The scene they beheld delighted them, being
grand and majestic beyond description. A
mist over the wide sandy plains formed a veil,
which vanished gradually as the sun rose,
and at length opened to their view that beau-
tiful land, once the site of Memphis. The
distant view of the smaller pyramids, on the
south, marked the extension of that vast ca-
pital ; while the solemn spectacle of the im-
mense sandy desert on the west, stretching as
far as the eye could reach, inspired sublime
feelings. The fertile land on the north, with
the winding course of the Nile descending
towards the sea; the rich appearance of Cairo
and its glittering minarets; the beautiful
plain, which extends from the pyramids to
that city; the thick groves of palm-trees in
the midst of the fertile valley,-altogether
formed a scene which Belzoni was well dis-
posed to enjoy.
VISIT TO SACARA AND DAJIOR.
BERNARD.-Mamma, I do not understand
how Belzoni mounted the pyramid.
MRs. A.-There are steps on the outside,
and by them he ascended it.
Having gratified his admiration, he went
with his friend round the next pyramid, and
examined several of the mausoleums; and
they returned to Cairo, highly delighted with
having seen a wonder they had long de-
sired, but never supposed they should have
the pleasure of beholding.
A few days after this time, a party was
formed to go to Sacara by water. After visit-
ing the pyramids at that place, they returned
to Cairo, except Mr. Turner, the English gen-
tleman, and Belzoni, who went on to Dajior,
and examined the remains of many other pyra-
mids there. When they came back to the
Nile, it was dark night, and they had to pass
several villages before they reached a place
where they could embark for Cairo. Their
road lay through a clusterof palm-trees, which,
as the moon was just rising, had a solemn ef-
fect. Some of the Arabs were dancing to the
usual tunes of their tambourines, and, forget-
ting their masters, the Turks, were happy for
a time. At length, Belzoni and his friend
RETURN TO CAIRO.
took a small boat, and arrived in Cairo before
morning. Two days after this time, the for-
mer was to be presented to the Bashaw, on
the subject of his hydraulic project.
EMILY.-I hope the Bashaw was pleased
with it, after Belzoni had taken so much pains
to promote the comfort of his people.
MRS. A.-But poor Belzoni met with an
unfortunate accident, which detained him for
some time. He received a violent blow on
the leg from a soldier who was passing on
horseback, and was obliged to be taken to
the convent of Terrasanta.
BERNARD.-It must have been very desolate
to be laid up at such a place; and yet the
convent was, perhaps, more comfortable than
that shabby old house at Boolac. Did he
soon recover, mamma? I think that cruel
soldier had never heard your favourite sen-
tence, Do as you would be done by."
MRS. A.-The common feelings of humanity
were strangers to his bosom. Belzoni, how-
ever, was well enough in a few days to be
presented to the Bashaw.
OWEN.-Is the Bashaw in the place of a
king What sort of government is it in
16 GOVERNMENT OF EGYPT.
MRS. A.-The form of government in
Egypt is called an aristocracy.
OWEN.-What is an aristocracy, mamma!
I know that despotism implies the will of the
monarch to be the law; and that a limited
monarchy, as in England, indicates that the
king has only a part of the supreme power in
common with some of his subjects: but I do
not understand what you mean by an arist-
MRS. A.-An aristocracy is a republican
state, wherein the supreme power is consigned
to nobles and peers. Since Egypt has been
under the dominion of the Turks, it has been
governed by a Bashaw, who resides at Cairo,
and has under him inferior governors in se-
veral parts of the country.
EMILY.-I observed, mamma, when you
were talking of the Arabs enjoying the moon-
light under the palm-trees, and playing upon
their tambourines, that you said they were
forgetting their masters, the Turks. What
have Turks to do in Egypt.
MRS. A.-The inhabitants of Egypt are
composed of different races of people. The
Turks think themselves entitled to be masters
of the country, because the Arabs (who are
another race) were conquered by them: then
there are the Copts, who are descended from
the first Egyptians; as well as many others,
under different denominations.
And now, having wandered from our sub-
ject, we will pursue it.
BERNARD.-Oh, Mamma! I want to hear
some of Belzoni's adventures and escapes.
MRS. A.-Adventures are delightful things
provided an escape follows. But you must
have patience, my boy. Belzoni made an
arrangement with the Bashaw, and undertook
to erect a machine which would raise as much
water with one ox as the machines of the
country could raise with four.
OWEN.-How did Mahomed Ali like it,
mamma ? I expected that he was of too in-
dolent a disposition to admire anything new;
he was a Turk, you know, and the Turks
are famed for their indolence.
MRs. A.-You are right, my love, in
supposing that a person of an enervated turn
of mind cannot derive so much pleasure from
a new project as one of a more active dispo-
sition. Ali, however, received our Belzoni
very civilly, and was much pleased with his
18 BELZONI'8 HYDRAULIC MACHINE.
OWEN.-And well he might be, when he
could foresee that, if put in execution, it
would spare the expense and labour of many
thousands of oxen.
MRs. A.- Belzoni now commenced his
hydraulic machine. It was to be erected in
Soubra, at the garden of the Bashaw, on the
Nile, three miles from Cairo. He had many
difficulties to encounter, Bernard; for the
very persons who were necessary to furnish
him with wood, iron, carpentry, and so on,
unfortunately recollected that they should be
the first to suffer by it, if the machine suc-
ceeded. However, success is secure unless
energy fails, and Belzoni in time saw his
water-machine completed. But as he was
some time at Soubra, perhaps you may like
to hear how he passed the intervals, when
unoccupied by his work.
BERNARD. Yes, dear mamma I like
him very much. What a clever man he
MRS. A.-You see, my dear little boy,
that a great deal depends upon the turn
that is given to our early pursuits. The
science of hydraulics first became familiar
to Belzoni when he was a boy in Rome.
GARDEN OF THE SERAGLIO.
BERNARD.-I dare say he did not then
think of going to Egypt. How, mamma ?
MRs. A.-During his stay at Soubra, Bel-
zoni became acquainted with many Turks,
and particularly with the governor of the
palace, as his house was within his walls.
The garden of the Bashaw was under his
care, and a guard was kept at the gates.
The seraglio is so situated that it overlooks
the Nile; at the back of it is a beautiful
garden under the care of the Greeks, and
kept in excellent order. It is ornamented
with green bowers overhung with flowering
shrubs, and alcoves in the form of little
cupolas, around which the fragrant plants
twine their numerous tendrils, whilst water-
machines, constantly at work, keep up a per-
BERNARD. What a delightful place!
But then Belzoni's were not the first water-
MRS. A.-Not actually the first, my dear,
but the largest, the best calculated to answer
any important purpose. You, Emily, who
are so fond of flowers, will perhaps smile at
the amusements which delight the Bashaw
far more highly than watching the progress
-CI-- -~-- --- ~-L ~-'----
20 THE BASHAW'S AMUSEMENT.
of his shrubs and plants. In the evening,
when the sun is declining in the west, he
quits his seraglio, and seats himself on the
banks of the Nile, with his guards, to fire at
an earthen pot on the opposite side.
EmILY.-To fire at an earthen pot, when
in such a place Ah, mamma ? Mahomed
Ali is no botanist!
OWEN.-If he be no botanist, Emily, he is
an excellent marksman; for I believe the
river at Soubra is wider than the Thames at
MRS. A.-When it is dark, he retires into
the garden, and reposes in a shady alcove, or
by the margin of some bubbling fountain, with
all his attendants around him, who endeavour
to amuse him and make him feel in good
humour with himself; whilst the murmuring
of the waters, the lively tunes of the musical
instruments, and the soft beams of the moon
reflected upon the surface of the Nile, height-
en the pleasures of the scene. Here Belzoni
was often admitted, and thus he had an op-
portunity of observing the domestic life of a
man who, from nothing, rose to be viceroy of
Egypt and conqueror of the most powerful
tribes of Arabia.
The Bashaw seemed to be well aware of
the benefit that might be derived from his
encouraging the arts of Europe in his country,
and had already reaped some of the fruits of
it. The manufacture of gunpowder, the re-
fining of sugar, the making of fine indigo, and
the silk manufacture, were introduced much
to his advantage: he is constantly inquiring
after something new, and is delighted with
any novelty. He had heard of electricity,
and he sent to England for two electrical
BERNARD.-Oh, mamma now he will be
amused;-I hope he will receive a good shock.
Do you remember, Emily, our having one in
papa's study, when you held a little chain,
and I held your hand, and Owen mine, and
we all jumped together ;-I hope this elec-
trical machine will make Mahomed Ali jump.
MRS. A.-One of them was broken by the
way; the other was dismounted. No one
could be found who knew how to set it up.
Belzoni happened to be at the garden one
night when they were attempting it, and he
was requested to put the pieces together;
having done so, he desired one of the soldiers
to mount the insulating stool, when, charging
22 ELECTRIFYING THE BASHAW.
the machine, he gave the Turk a good shock,
who, being thus struck unawares, uttered a
loud cry and jumped off, extremely terrified.
The Bashaw laughed at the man for doing so,
supposing his alarm was a pretence, and not
the effect of the machine; and when told
that it was actually occasioned by the machine,
he positively affirmed that it could not be, for
the soldier was at such a distance that it was
impossible the small chain he held in his hand
could have such power.
OWEN.-And how did Belzoni manage to
convince Ali, mamma ?
MRs. A.-He desired the interpreter to
inform his Highness, that if he would have
the goodness to mount the stool, he would be
convinced of the fact. He hesitated for a
moment whether to believe it or not; however
he mounted the stool. Belzoni charged well,
put the little chain into his hand, and gave
him a smart shock. He jumped off like the
soldier, on feeling the effect of the electricity,
and threw himself on the sofa, laughing im-
moderately, and unable to conceive how the
machine could have such power on the human
BERNARD.-How very droll Mahomed Ali
must have looked when he was standing upon
that little stool, and especially when he found
himself forced to jump off! I like your
story much, very much, mother; and I do
so, because it is true.
MRS. A.-The Arabs of Soubra display
as much festivity when a marriage of con-
sequence takes place, as those of any of the
villages in Egypt. One happened while Bel-
zoni was there; and as the windows of his
house overlooked the spot where it was per-
formed, he had an opportunity of witnessing
the ceremony. Early in the morning of the
grand holiday, a high pole was reared in the
centre of the place with a banner belonging
to the village.---
A banner! whispered Bernard.
A streamer, or flag," said Laura ; and
Mrs. A. continued:-A large assembly of
people gathered under it, and preparations
were made for an illumination with glass
lamps; music was also prepared.
EMILY.-Then, I suppose, the Arabs
from other villages came to the feast also,
beating their tambourines and waving their
MRs. A.-You are right; but they re-
24 DANCING AND FESTIVITIES.
mained at some distance from the pole, until
invited to advance.
EMILY.-I fancy, mamma, that the pole
was like that round which the village girls
fasten their garlands on May-day.
MRs. A.-Very probably. The old peo-
ple seated themselves round and under the
pole, and the strangers were placed at a little
distance. One of them began to sing, while
the rest divided themselves into two parties,
forming two circles, one within the other,
round the pole, and facing each other.
BERNARD.-I understand, mamma. I sup-
pose each man put his arms over his neigh-
bour's shoulders, and thus formed a chain.
MRS. A.-Exactly so. The outer circle
stood still, while the people of the inner cir-
cle kept dancing and bowing in an orderly
manner to those in the outer one. Thus
they continued three hours, and those who
were not in these circles made separate rings
EMILY.-So this is the mode of dancing
among the Arabs, mamma. How different
from ours ? But where were the ladies in the
mean time ?
MRs. A.-All the women were at a dis-
tance by themselves, and among them was the
bride. When the dancing and singing were
ended, they all sat down, and a great quantity
of boiled rice was brought to them in wooden
bowls, as well as some dishes of melokie
and bamies, and three or four sheep roasted,
which were soon torn to pieces and devoured.
BERNARD.-Melokie and bamies, mamma!
What are they ?
MRS. A.-Plants eaten in common by the
Arabs as greens. A number of boys were
fully employed during the whole ceremony
in fetching water from the Nile. At night,
the little coloured lamps were lighted, a band
of tambourines played continually, and the
entertainment ended as it had commenced
with a dance.
EmILY.-I am sure, mamma, that I do
not envy those dancing Arabs. And now, let
us turn to Belzoni. How long was it before his
machine was ready for the Bashaw to see it?
MRS. A.-Belzoni completed his under-
taking in time. It was constructed on the
principle of a crane with a walking-wheel, in
which a single ox, by its own weight alone,
could effect as much as four oxen employed in
the machines of the country.
OWEN.-Then Belzoni managed his ma-
chine in spite of the difficulties he had to en-
counter with the self-interested workmen.
MRS. A.-Yes : he was of too enterprising
a disposition to give up a work which was the
chief cause of his going into that country.
BERNARD.-Before you gO on, mamma,
will you tell me what you mean by a crane ?
-there is a picture of a crane in my Be-
wick-but I cannot at all make out what is
meant by a crane with a walking-wheel.
OWEN.- The crane of which mamma
speaks, Bernard, is not a bird-but a ma-
chine used in building, for raising and lower-
ing huge stones, heavy weights, and sometimes
water, you see.
MRS. A.-It is a technical term in mecha-
nics, my love; and I will try, by and by,
to explain to you what is meant by a crane
with a walking-wheel.
The Bashaw came to Soubra to examine
the hydraulic machine. It was set to work
and succeeded admirably, drawing in the same
space of time six or seven times as much
water as the common machines.
BERNARD.-Ah! Belzoni is well repaid,
mamma. And the Egyptian farmers may
sow their seed, without being afraid of a
famine. Even if the Nile do not overflow,
they can raise water, and water their fields
MRS. A.-Our best endeavours, though
they sometimes appear at first to be crown-
ed with success, may afterwards defeat the
purpose for which they were intended. So it
was with those of our ingenious friend. The
Bashaw took it into his head to have the ox
taken out of the wheel, in order to see, by
way of frolic, what effect the machine would
have by putting fifteen men into it. Poor
James the Irish lad, you know, entered along
with them; but no sooner had the wheel
turned once round than they all jumped out,
leaving the boy alone in it. The wheel, of
course, overbalanced by the weight of the
water, turned back with such velocity that
the catch was unable to stop it. James was
thrown out, and in the fall broke one of his
thighs. Belzoni contrived to stop the wheel
before it did farther injury, which might have
been fatal to him.
OWEN.-How shocking, mamma! I am
not at all pleased with those fifteen men, and
I foresee what is coming. The Turks are
so superstitious, that they would consider
such an accident happening to a new inven-
tion as a bad omen, and thus I fear Belzoni's
ingenuity will be thrown away.
MRs. A.-You are not mistaken. The
Bashaw was persuaded to abandon the affair;
and the project of Belzoni being thus con-
signed to oblivion, he turned his thoughts
to the antiquities of the country, and, pos-
sessing a spirit for investigation, determined
to make some researches.
A gentleman of the name of Burckhardt,
had for a long time premeditated the removal
of a colossal bust, known by the name of
young Memnon, to England, and had often
tried to persuade Ali to send it as a present
to his Majesty; however, the Turk did not
suppose it worth sending to so great a person.
But Belzoni, knowing how much that gentle-
man wished it, proposed to undertake its con-
veyance from Thebes to Alexandria, and, with
the Bashaw's consent, to forward it from
thence to England. He now, therefore, pre-
pared to go up the Nile.
EMILY.-At present he is at Soubra, three
miles from Cairo; and where is the bust,
mamma ? Had Belzoni any motive for wish-
MEMNON 8 STATUE.
ing to remove it, besides that of pleasing his
MRS. A.-He was directed to search for
this immense statue on the southern side
of a ruined temple, in the vicinity of a vil-
lage called Gournou, near Carnac, and it
was intended to present it to the British
EMILY.-Here is Carnac, mamma, just by
Thebes; I have traced the course of the
Nile from Cairo, with my little finger, upon
the map, until it has brought me to it. Gour-
nou is not marked, but I know its situation.
MRs. A.-Belzoni was requested to spare
neither expense nor trouble, in getting it con-
veyed to the banks of the river as speedily
as possible: so he hired a boat, with four
sailors, a boy, and a captain. Everything
was soon ready for their departure from Sou-
bra. The whole of the implements for the
operation of removing the bust consisted of
a few poles and ropes of palm-leaves. Mrs.
Belzoni accompanied her husband, and they
agreed to stay and examine any ruins they
might pass on the road.
BERNARD.-But poor James, the Irish
boy-where was he, mamma ?
30 VOYAGE UP THE NILE.
MRs. A.-He was, happily, able to accom-
pany them. And now, you must follow
their course on the map, from Boolac, where
they embarked, to Thebes. In six days
they arrived at Siout, the capital of Upper
Egypt, and from thence they went to Acmin,
where they landed to visit the fathers of a
convent; and again proceeded, with curiosity
highly raised, towards the noted temple of
Tentyra. This is the first, as well as the
most magnificent, Egyptian temple the tra-
veller sees on ascending the Nile. It is
two miles from the banks of the river; and
Belzoni and his party, having landed, set
off on asses, and proceeded to the ruins.
Little could be seen of the temple till they
came near it, as it is surrounded by high
mounds of rubbish.
BERNARD.-Ah, Belzoni! I should like
to have ridden on my own little Smiler be-
side you !
MRS. A.-When he arrived there, he was
for some time at a loss to know in what
part to begin his examinations. The numer-
ous objects before him struck him with sur-
prise and astonishment-the immense masses
of stone employed in the edifice-the ma-
TEMPLE OF TENTIRA.
TEMPLE OF TENTYRA.
jestic appearance of its construction-the
variety of its ornaments, and the excellent
preservation in which he found it, had such
an effect upon Belzoni, that he seated him-
self on the ground, lost in delight and ad-
LAURA. I suppose, mamma, that this
temple is the cabinet of the Egyptian arts,
-and I think I have heard papa say, that
it is supposed to have been built during the
reign of the first Ptolemy.
MRs. A.-It is not improbable that he
who studied to render himself beloved by
his people might erect such an edifice, to
convince the Egyptians of his superiority of
mind over the ancient kings of Egypt, even
in religious devotion. It will take us too
long to describe this famous temple mi-
nutely :-when Mr. and Mrs. Belzoni had
gratified their curiosity, they returned to
their little boat, and embarked for Thebes.
EMILY.-They will soon have completed
their voyage, and then for the great colossal
MRS. A.-Belzoni says, that it is impos-
sible to imagine the scene displayed by the
extensive ruins at Thebes. It appeared to
RUINS OF THEBES.
him, on entering it, like a city of giants,
who had been all destroyed, leaving only
the remains of various temples, as proofs of
their former existence. The attention is at-
tracted on one side by towering ruins that
project above a noble wood of palm-trees,
and there the traveller enters an endless num-
ber of temples, columns, obelisks, and por-
tals. On every side, he finds himself among
wonders. The immense colossal figures
in the plains, the number of tombs hollowed
in the rocks, those in the great valley of
the kings, with their paintings, sculptures,
mummies, and figures, are all objects worthy
of admiration; and one cannot fail to won-
der how a nation which was once so great as
to erect these stupendous edifices, could so
far fall into oblivion, that even its language
and writing are totally unknown to us.
Having taken a survey of this seat of an-
cient grandeur, Belzoni crossed the Nile, and
bent his way towards the ruined temple near
Gournou. It stands elevated above the plain.
He entered the groups of columns, facing the
numerous tombs excavated in the high rock
behind them; and his first thought was to
examine the bust he had to take away. He
REMOVAL OF THE STATUE.
found it on the southern side of the temple,
near the remains of its body and chair, with
the face upwards. It was beautiful and of
immense size. Laura, who has seen it in the
British Museum, will be able to give you a
more accurate account of it.
BERNARD.-I cannot imagine, mamma, how
Belzoni could attempt to remove it; you
know he had only some poles, and some ropes
of palm- leaves-and palm-leaf ropes, made
ever so strong, would not be able to support
such a weight. I think he had better con-
trived a car, somewhat like that which the
African sheep has to rest its tail upon, in
Church's Cabinet,"-and by this means he
might have brought it to the Nile, and then
had it placed in a boat, and conveyed to
MRs. A.-No bad scheme, my little boy!
Belzoni's whole set of implements consisted
of fourteen poles, eight of which he did em-
ploy in making a car, similar to what you
have proposed, four ropes of palm-leaves, and
four rollers-they were better than wheels:
and he now began to be very busy.
EMILY.-As the bust was some way from
the Nile, it would have been too far for them
34 REMOVAL OF THE STATUE.
to go to sleep in the boat every night. How
did they manage about that ?
MRS. A.-A small hut was formed for
them of stones, among the ruins of the tem-
BERNARD.-They were handsomely lodged,
however, mamma! But perhaps this little
hut might be as comfortable as the shabby
old house at Boolac, which they were always
expecting to fall upon their heads. But now
for the bust !
MRS. A.-The season at which the Nile
usually overflows was fast approaching, and
all the lands which extend from the temple
to the water-side would have been covered in
the course of a month.
BERNARD.-Then I advise Mr. Belzoni to
wait till that time, and then to put his head
in a boat, and row, row it away !
MRS. A.-No such easy matter. The
ground between the bust and the river was
very uneven, so that unless it had been
conveyed over those places before the inun-
dation commenced, it would have been im-
possible to effect it. Belzoni, therefore,
lost no time. With some difficulty, he
procured a number of men, and agreed to
REMOVAL OF THE STATUE.
give them thirty paras a-day, which is equal
to four-pence halfpenny English money, if
they would undertake to assist him. A car-
penter made a car, somewhat like that which
supports the tail of your African sheep,
Bernard, only very large ; and the first ope-
ration was to place the bust upon this simple
carriage. The people of Gournou, who were
familiar with Caphany, as they named it, were
persuaded that it could never be removed
from the spot where it lay, and when they
saw, what to them appeared so impossible,
they set up a shout, and could not believe that
it was the effect of their own efforts. The
next thing was to place it on the car. Can
you guess how Belzoni managed this busi-
BERNARD. I fancy, mamma, that he
bound the palm-leaf ropes round and round
Caphany very fast, and very firmly, and then
the men tried and tried until they had lifted
him up, and placed him upon it.
MRs. A.-Ah, my little friend! you do
not evince much knowledge of the mechani-
cal powers, or you could not suppose that
this image would be moved by mere personal
strength.-Now, Owen, what is your opinion?
REMOVAL OF THE STATUE.
OWEN.-I should think, mamma, that by
means of levers the bust might be raised so
as to leave a vacancy under it, and then the
car might be introduced by some of the peo-
ple, who were standing ready. After Capha-
ny had been lodged on this, the car itself
might be raised so as to get one of the rollers
beneath, and if the same operation were per-
formed at the back, he would be ready to
be pulled up ;-and then, if you please,
Bernard, your palm-leaf ropes may come in
use, to tie him to the carriage, and draw him
MRs. A. Well, Owen, I am pleased
with your conjecture. This is the very me-
thod Belzoni pursued; and when he had
succeeded in getting it removed some yards
from its original place, he sent an Arab to
Cairo, with the intelligence that the bust
had begun its journey to England. Our in-
genious friend reminds me of a remark made
by a celebrated writer, that it is by small
efforts frequently repeated that man completes
his greatest undertakings, to have attempted
which, at one effort, would have baffled his
ability," for he had still many difficulties
to encounter. When the Arabs found that
REMOVAL OF THE STATUE.
they received money for the removal of a
stone, they fancied that it was filled with
gold in the inside, and that a thing of such
value ought not to be permitted to be taken
away. However, the next day, and the next,
and the next, Caphany advanced slowly for-
ward; and, after many delays, owing to the
softness of the sand, the desertion of some
of the workmen, the fear of an inundation,
&c., Belzoni had the gratification of seeing
his young Memnon arrive on the banks of the
EMILY.-It is quite true, as you say,
mamma, that perseverance is generally crown-
ed with success. But it yet remains to put
the colossus in a boat; it has a long, long
way to go down the Nile before it arrives
at Cairo; and I expect Belzoni intends to
stop there, to show it to Mahomed Ali.
MRS. A.-He intends doing so; but no
boat is to be had. We must therefore leave
the bust where it is for the present, and
accompany him, if you please, into one of
the caves that are scattered about the moun-
tain of Gournou, and are celebrated for the
number of mummies they contain; he wished
to see a famous sarcophagus which was in
38 MUMMY-CAVES AT GOURNOU.
one of them, and thither he went. You
know what mummies are.
OwEN.-Mummies are the bodies of dead
persons, which have been wrapped up in a
great many bandages to preserve them; and
a sarcophagus is a sort of tomb or coffin.
MRS. A.--Two Arabs and an interpreter
accompanied Belzoni. Previously to enter-
ing the cave, they took off the greater part
of their clothes, and each having a candle,
they advanced through a cavity in the rock,
which extended a considerable length in the
mountain, sometimes high, sometimes very
narrow, and sometimes so low that Belzoni
and his attendants were obliged to creep on
their hands and knees. Thus they went on,
till he perceived they were at a great dis-
tance from the entrance; and the way had
become so intricate that he depended en-
tirely on the two Arabs to conduct him out
OWEN.-I do not envy his situation now,
mamma-you know Arabs are sometimes
MRS. A.-At length, they arrived in a
garge. place, into which many other holes
.wrr cavities, opened; and, after some exami-
INTERIOR OF THE CAVES.
nation by the Arabs, they entered one of
them, which was very narrow, and continued
downward for a long way, through a craggy
passage, till they came where two other aper-
tures led to the interior in a horizontal direc-
tion. One of the Arabs then said, This is
OWEN.-Oh, mamma How I should have
trembled Poor Belzoni Far from the light
of day-in a dark craggy passage, in the
midst of a dismal mummy cave, and attended
only by two Arabs and one other man!
MRS. A.-Dismiss your fears, my love.
The Arab pointed out this spot as being
the situation of the sarcophagus; but Bel-
zoni could not conceive how anything so large
as it had been described to him could have
been taken through so small an aperture.
He had no doubt but these recesses were bu-
rial-places, as skulls and bones were strewed in
all directions; but the sarcophagus could never
have entered an aperture which even Belzoni
himself could not pass through. One of the
Arabs, however, succeeded, as did the inter-
preter, and it was agreed that Belzoni and
the other Arab should wait their return.
They certainly proceeded to a great distance,
for the light disappeared, and only a mur-
muring sound from their voices could be dis-
tinguished as they went on. After a few
moments, a loud noise was heard, and the
interpreter distinctly crying, 0 mon Dieu !
mon Dieu Je suis perdu! "-a solemn silence
EMILY.-Oh, mamma, how dreadful! Then
he is really lost!
MRS. A.-Belzoni asked the Arab whether
he had ever been in that place. He replied,
EMILY.-I think, mamma, that it would
have been his best plan to return and procure
help from the other Arabs.
MRS. A.-He wished to do so, but when
he desired the man to show him the way out
again, he said he did not know the road!
He then called-no answer was returned-
all was still as death-he watched for a long
time-no candle appeared, and his own was
almost burnt out.
OWEN.-This was an adventure indeed,
mamma I am sadly afraid the Arabs had
some design on his life-do you not think he
had better have endeavoured to find his way
to the entrance?
MRs. A.-It was a complete labyrinth;
however, he managed to return through some
of the passages to that place where, as I told
you just now, there were many cavities. Here
again he was puzzled; but at last, seeing one
which appeared to be right, they proceeded
through it a long way. Their candles appear-
ed likely to leave them in the dark, and in
that case their situation would have been yet
BERNARD.-Why did not Belzoni put his
own out, and save the other --the Arab had
one, you know.
MRS A.- Belzoni had more forethought
than my little Bernard has,-supposing that
one had, by some accident, been extinguished?
BERNARD.-Right, mamma : I forgot
MRs. A.-At this time, supposing them-
selves near the outside of the tomb, what
was their disappointment on finding there
was no outlet, and that they must retrace
their steps to the place whence they had
entered this cavity. They strove to regain
it, but were as perplexed as ever, and were
both exhausted from the ascents and descents
they were obliged to pass. The Arab seat-
A HAPPY RELEASE.
ed himself, but every moment of delay was
OWEN.-I wonder Belzoni's ingenuity did
not make him think of putting a mark at
the entrance of each cavity as he examined
it, and that plan, you know, might have
helped him a little.
MRS. A.-He did so, but unfortunately
their candles were not long enough to last
so many researches. However, hope, the
cheering star of life, darts a ray of light
through the thickest gloom; and encour-
aged by it they began their operations. On
the second attempt, when passing before a
small aperture, Belzoni fancied he heard
something like the roaring of the sea at a
distance. In consequence, they entered this
opening: and, as they advanced, the noise
increased, till they could distinctly hear a
number of voices all at one time.
BERNARD.-What joy this must have given
them As much joy as it gave Owen to hear
papa's voice in the wood, when he was lost
whilst we were gathering nuts last summer-
perhaps more : for, I am sure, I would rather
be lost in a nice green wood than in an Egyp-
tian mummy-cave !
DUPLICITY OF THE ARABS.
MRS. A.-At last they walked out, and,
to their no small surprise, the first person
who presented himself was the interpreter.
How he came to be there seemed astonish-
ing. He told them, that in proceeding with
the Arab along the passage below they came
to a pit which they did not see, and that
the Arab fell into it, and in falling put out
both candles. It was then that he cried out,
" 0 mon Dieu mon Dieu Je suis perdu !"
as he thought he also should have fallen into
the pit; but, on raising his head, he saw, at a
great distance, a glimpse of daylight, toward
which he advanced, and thus arrived at a
small aperture. He then scraped away
some loose sand and stones, to widen the
opening, when he came out, and went to
give the alarm to the Arabs, who were at
the other entrance. Being all concerned for
the man who fell to the bottom of the pit,
it was their noise that Belzoni had heard
in the cave. The place by which the inter-
preter had escaped was instantly widened ;
and, in the confusion, the Arabs did not
regard letting Belzoni see that they were
acquainted with that entrance, and that it
had lately been shut up. He was not long
44 DECEIT OF THE ARABS.
in detecting their schemes. They had in-
tended to show him the sarcophagus without
letting him see the way by which it might
be taken out, and then to stipulate a price
for the secret; as it was in reality but one
hundred yards from the great entrance.
EMILY.-So with this view they had taken
him that round-about way! Well, they
paid dear for their intended deception But
the man in the pit, mamma-what became
of him ?
MRS. A.-He was taken out of the well,
but so much hurt as to be lame ever after.
Thus the Arabs defeated their own purpose,
and proved that self-interest indeed is blind.
When men stoop to the meanness of equivo-
cation or deceit, especially in hopes of pro-
moting their own good, they are artful, but
not wise; for, as we can only judge of the
circumstances of the present moment, and
cannot foresee consequences, it is very likely,
as it proved with the Arabs, that our cunning
will bring us into still greater difficulties.
It is also certain to deprive us of confidence
in the protecting care of Providence, which,
as I have often told you, is the greatest sup-
port and comfort in every trouble.
BERNARD.-I am glad Belzoni escaped,
mamma! I would never have trusted my-
self with those deceitful Arabs again !-But
where is Caphany all this time, with his palm-
leaf ropes ?
MRs. A.- Two guards were attending
him by night and by day. Belzoni at length
sent to Cairo for a boat; but, as he knew
it could not arrive for some time, he formed
an enclosure of earth all round the bust,
and spent the mean time in visiting various
EMILY.-Then his courage was not daunt-
ed by that alarm, mamma Many people
would not have ventured into mummy-caves,
at all events, again. How could he preserve
his mind from fear ?
MRS. A.-By not indulging in it.
OWEN. Right, right! I like Belzoni,
because he possessed real courage-did he
not, mamma ? real fortitude Although
he was a little terrified when alone with
the Arab in that dismal place, yet he did
not let that fear prevent his undertaking
other projects. When I am a man, mother,
I mean to be a traveller, and to possess as
much perseverance as our Belzoni !
MRs. A.-Experience will teach you, my
love, that it is not a very easy thing for one
unaccustomed to an arduous life to pass on
a sudden from the midst of comfort and in-
dulgence to one that is so irregular.
Belzoni determined to go up the Nile into
Nubia, and to leave the bust where it was
during his absence. He sent James to
Cairo, and discharged the carpenter, so that
a small party only remained, and then set
off for Esne.
EMILY.-Here is Esne, only a few miles
from Thebes, I suppose: not a very great
MRS. A.-There they landed just in time
to see Khalil Bey, with whom they had
become acquainted, some time before, in
BERNARD.-Who was Khalil Bey ? We
have not heard his name before.
MRS. A.-He was appointed to the govern-
ment of the Upper Provinces from Esne to
BERNARD.- Did he receive Belzoni po-
MRS. A.-Yes; he was just returned from
an excursion into the country, and was much
pleased to see him. Our traveller found him,
with his pipe and coffee, seated on a sofa
made of earth, and covered with fine carpet
and satin cushions, surrounded by a great
number of his chiefs, Cacheffs, and Santons.
Khalil Bey was an Albanian, but his mode
of life was similar to that of the Egyptians
BERNARD.-What is that, mamma !
MRS. A.-The Egyptian rises with the
sun to enjoy the morning air ; his favourite
pipe and beverage are brought to him, and he
reclines at ease on his sofa. Slaves, with
their arms crossed, remain silent at the far
end of the chamber, with their eyes fixed on
him, seeking to anticipate his smallest wants.
His children standing in his presence, unless
he permits them to be seated, preserve every
appearance of tenderness and respect: he
gravely caresses them, gives them his blessing,
and sends them back to the harem. He only
questions and they reply with modesty:
they are not allowed that free intercourse
with their parents which you enjoy.
BERNARD.-HOW strange it would appear
to us, mamma! I am sure I should be
miserable, if I were obliged to be so prim!
Never to talk to my own papa ? Papa him-
self would not be happy !
MRs. A.-I grant that there is a great deal
of difference between your papa and an Egyp-
tian father, my dear boy. But custom, you
know, reconciles us to everything. The little
natives of that country, having never known
the pleasures of social enjoyment and tender
intercourse with their parents, of course can-
not lament their loss.
OWEN.-I think, mamma, that the Egyp-
tian father appears to be the chief, the judge,
and the pontiff, of his family ? But does
he spend the rest of the day reclining on his
MRs. A.-Breakfast ended, he transacts
the business of his trade or office. When
visitors come, he receives them without many
compliments, but in an endearing manner.
His equals are seated beside him, with their
legs crossed : his inferiors kneel, and sit upon
BERNARD.-Ah, mamma! that is as the
little Laplanders do, around the fire in their
MRs. A. People of distinction are fa-
voured with a place on a raised sofa, whence
they overlook the company. When every
person is placed, the slaves bring pipes and
coffee, and set the perfume brasier in the
middle of the chamber, the air of which is
impregnated with its odours; and afterwards
they present sweetmeats and sherbet.
When the visit is almost ended, a slave,
bearing a silver plate, on which precious
essences are burning, goes round to the com-
pany : each, in turn, perfumes the beard, and
then sprinkles rose-water on the head and
hands. This being the last ceremony, the
guests are permitted to retire.
About noon, the table is prepared, and the
refreshments are brought in a large tray of
tinned copper, and, though not great variety,
there is great plenty. In the centre is generally
a dish of rice, cooked with poultry, and highly
flavoured with spice and saffron. Round this
are hashed meats, pigeons stuffed, cucumbers,
and delicious melons and fruits. The guests
seat themselves on a carpet round the table;
a slave brings water in one hand, and a basin
in the other, to wash. This is an indispensable
ceremony, where each person puts his hand
into the dish, and where the use of forks is
unknown: it is repeated when the meal is
ended. After dinner, they retire to the
harem, where they slumber some hours among
their wives and children . Such is the
ordinary life of the Egyptians.
LAURA.--What a monotonous way of
spending their time, mamma! Our intellec-
tual pleasures seem unknown to them The
days appear to be passed in repeating the same
thing, in following the same customs, without
a wish or a thought beyond. And, mamma,
how do you, who are such an admirer of in-
dustry, tolerate their excessive indolence.
Mas. A.-We must remember, my love,
that nine months of the year the body is op-
pressed by heat; and that, as inaction under
a temperate climate is painful, so here repose
is enjoyment. Effeminate indolence is born
with the Egyptian, grows as he grows, and
descends with him to the grave. It influences
his inclinations and governs his actions; and,
far from daily wishing to obtain knowledge
and enlarge the mental powers, he sighs only
for calm tranquillity.
OWEN.-Well, mamma! I will allow the
idle, solemn, and patient Egyptian some little
excuse, on the strength of the sultry climate
which he endures two-thirds of the year. I
know that heat does make one feel languid
and indolent: when I had been haymaking
with Frederick last Tuesday, and came home
so warm in the evening, I was obliged to lie
on the sofa in the breakfast-room, while my
cousins were amusing themselves with papa's
portfolio in the library, although I particularly
wished to join them. Now, if you please, we
will go back to Belzoni: we left him at Esne,
with Khalil Bey.
MRs. A.-After smoking a few pipes, and
drinking as many cups of coffee, he left the
Bey and returned to the boat. The follow-
ing day, they continued their voyage, and
arrived at Edfu, where a temple, which might
be compared with that of Tentyra, tempted
our antiquary to land. Having been highly
gratified here, they proceeded to Ombos: the
ruins that are left at this place gave them a
clear idea of what it had been. Our party
proceeded, and, before their arrival at Assouan,
landed on the western bank of the Nile. Here
the country presented a more pleasing aspect
than any they had passed since the Chained
Mountains. Palm-trees in great abundance
grow on each side of the river, and some
cultivated spots of ground extend from the
52 ISLAND OF ELEPHANTS.
Nile to the mountains. The old town of
Assouan stands on a hill, which overhangs
the river : on its left is a forest of palm-trees,
which hides the modern town; and on its
right is the distant view of a granite mountain,
that forms the first of the celebrated cataracts.
The island of Elephantis seems to interfere
with the barrenness of the western banks,
and fills the ground with picturesque groups
of various trees. Our travellers landed at
the foot of a hill on the left of the Nile,
and went to see the ruins of a convent on a
high rock, where they observed many grot-
toes, which had served as chapels for Christian
worship. The convent is formed of several
small arched cells, distinct from each other,
and commands a view of the cataract and
adjacent country, with the lower part of the
BERNARD.-What is granite, mamma ?
Mas. A.-A sort of stone, composed of
separate and very large concretions, rudely
When Belzoni returned to the boat, the
sun was tinging the horizon with its last
beams, and the shades of the western moun-
tains had reached across the Nile, and covered
AGA OF ASSOUAN.
the town. He found the Aga (a person
employed by the Turkish Government) and
all his retinue seated on a mat, under a
cluster of palm-trees, close to the water.
OwEN.-Ha! ha! I guess the Aga is
smoking his pipe and drinking his coffee, ac-
cording to custom, and talking of camels,
horses, asses, caravans, or boats; nothing
very intellectual, Laura!
BERNARD.-Had Belzoni anything to do
with this Aga, mamma
MRS. A.-Yes: he made application to
him for a boat to carry them to Nubia, and
presented to him some tobacco, soap, and
coffee, which were gladly accepted; he was
a selfish sort of person, and asked a great
price for the use of the boat; engaging,
however, that one should be ready in a day
The next morning Belzoni went to see
the isle of Elephantis : he crossed the Nile in
a tiny bark, made of the branches of palm-
trees, fastened together with small cords, and
covered on the outside with a mat, pitched
all over. The principal object of attraction
there was a temple of great antiquity, built
on rocks of blue granite : on the western
bank of the island are many cassia and sy-
camore trees. Having gratified his curiosity,
Belzoni returned; and, as the Aga's boat
was now in readiness, he determined to as-
cend the Nile to the second cataract, during
the interval required for the arrival of the
boat from Cairo, which was to convey the
colossal bust. They therefore embarked, and,
on the following morning, long before the
rising of the sun, Belzoni stood at the stern,
waiting for its first beams to unveil the beau-
tiful island of Philoe ; and he had much
gratification in taking a hasty view of its ruins,
without stopping to examine them minutely,
as he hoped to return that way: he, how-
ever observed several blocks of stones, and
an obelisk, which he thought might be
EMILY.-Here is Philoei, mamma, in the
middle of the Nile, somewhat south of As-
MRS. A.-As the wind was favourable,
they again set sail, and arrived in the course
of a few days at Deir.
EMILY.-My little finger has arrived at
Deir also, mamma; it is the capital of Lower
MRS. A.-This town consists of several
groups of houses, built of earth intermixed
with stones, and covered with reeds.
BERNARD.-Oh, mamma! somewhat like
the little bamboo huts in Peru. But how
high are they ?
MRS. A.-Their height is generally about
eight or ten feet; the height of the parlour
we are in is between eight and ten feet. At
the foot of the sloping and rocky hill is a
small temple; but Belzoni could not go to
see it, as he observed that they were closely
BERNARD.-Why were they watched, mam-
MRs. A.-You shall hear. Belzoni went
immediately to Hassan Cacheff, who receiv-
ed him with an air of suspicion, and wanted
to know his business. He told him, that
he ascended the Nile merely to seek for an-
tiquities, and that he wished to proceed as
far as the Shellah, or second Cataract. This,
the Cacheff said, was impossible: for the
people in the upper country were at war with
each other. He then ordered his mat to be
brought to him, seated himself close before
the door of his house, and invited Belzoni
56 RAPACITY OF THE CACHEFF.
to sit also. The first question he asked him
was, whether he had any coffee. Belzoni
replied, that they had a little on board for
their own use, but that he should have half
of it. He next asked for soap, and received
the same reply. Then he enquired if he
had any tobacco; Belzoni said that he had
a few pipes, and they would smoke together.
This pleased Hassan Cacheff. The next
question was, whether he had any powder;
and the answer he received was, that they
had very little, and could not spare any.
At this Hassan laughed; and, putting his
hand on Belzoni's shoulder, he said, You
are English and can make powder wherever
OWEN.-I should think Belzoni was glad
that he thought so ; and he had better leave
him under this impression, before the selfish,
troublesome Cacheff asks anything more.
Mits. A.-The pipes are not smoked yet,
my dear. By this time, however, the to-
bacco was brought, and the operation begun.
Hassan still persisted in it that Belzoni's
sailors would not advance any further; for
they were afraid, he said, to go into the upper
country. Our friend, unwilling to give up
RAPACITY OF THE CACHEFF.
his point, used every means of entreaty; and
at.length frankly told him, that, if he would
allow him to pursue his journey, he would
make him a very handsome present of a fine
looking-glass. Hassan replied, We will
talk of this to-morrow;" and the indefatiga-
ble Belzoni returned to his boat.
OWEN.-A looking-glass was a novelty to
the Cacheff, I suppose, mamma ?
Mas. A.-Yes : Belzoni went again to
him early in the morning, and told him that
it was ready for his acceptance, provided he
would give him a letter of recommendation
to his brother at Ybsambul, which at last
BERNARD.-And so Hassan thought his
looking-glass a great treasure! But how
came Belzoni to take such a thing with him ?
MRS. A.-Previously to his departure from
Cairo, he had taken care to obtain all the
information possible respecting the country
of Nubia, from the natives who came to that
city with dates and charcoal ; and from them
he learned that a looking-glass and a few
beads would be as valuable in their eyes as
gold and diamonds are in ours.
BERNARD.-How large was the Cacheff's
58 ANTIQUITIES AT YBSAMBUL.
looking-glass, mamma? I dare say he ad-
mired himself very much.
MRS. A.-It was about twelve inches
square, and made a great impression on the
people there, who had never seen so large a
one before. The Cacheff was never tired
of admiring his dark-coloured countenance,
and all the attendants behind him strove to
get a peep at their own tawny beauty.
Belzoni, entering the boat again, proceeded
down the Nile till he arrived at Ybsambul,
where two temples presented attractions. I
must describe them, because they were the
objects of another voyage up the Nile. In
front of the minor temple were six colossal
figures, thirty feet high, and hewn out of
the rock; as was also the large temple, which
had one figure of enormous size, with the
head and shoulders only projecting out of
the sand, and most beautifully executed. On
the upper part, or frieze, of the temple, was
a line of hieroglyphics, which covered the
whole front; and above this, a range of
figures, in a sitting posture, as large as life.
The sand on the north side, accumulated be-
hind on the rock above the temple, had gradu-
ally descended towards its front, choked the
TEMPLE AT YBSAMBUL.
entrance, and buried two-thirds of it. When
Belzoni approached this temple, the hope he
had formed of entering it vanished at once;
for the heaps of sand were such as to make
it appear an impossibility ever to reach the
door. He ascended a hill of sand at the
upper part of the temple, and there found
the head of a hawk projecting out of the sand
only to its neck. From the situation of
this figure, he concluded that it was over the
door; but how to get to that door was the
OWEN.-So it was, mamma; for you know
it was necessary to remove the sand in such
a direction, that it might fall off from the
front of the door; but in doing this, the sand
from above would continue to fall on the
place whence that below was removed, and
thus render it an almost endless task.
LAURA.-Besides, the natives were like
wild people, and knew nothing of working
for money; indeed, they were ignorant of
Mas. A.-All these difficulties seemed
such insurmountable objects, that they almost
deterred Belzoni from the thought of pro-
ceeding; yet perseverance, stimulated by
60 TEMPLE AT YBSAMBUL.
hope, suggested to him such means, that at
last, after much exertion, and two voyages
thither, he had the satisfaction of entering
the great temple of Ybsambul.
By calculating, Belzoni supposed the door
I mentioned to be thirty-five feet below the
sand; and, having taken a proper measure-
ment of the front of the temple, he found
that if he could persuade the people to work
with persevering steadiness, he might succeed
in the undertaking.
EMILY. -Who was the Cacheff of Ybsam-
bul, mamma ? I think our antiquary had
better have applied to him.
MRs. A.-Yes, my love: wishing to do
so, he did not examine the smaller temple
that night, but followed the road between the
rocks out of which it is hewn, and arrived
on the banks of the Nile, where they em-
barked, and soon landed at the village. A
group of people, who were assembled under
a grove of palm-trees, seemed somewhat sur-
prised at the arrival of a stranger. Belzoni
desired to see Osseyn Cacheff, telling them
that he bad a letter for him from his brother.
EMILY.-The selfish Cacheff of Deir,
MRs. A.-Yes: he for some time received
no answer, but at last was told that he who
sat there was Daoud, his son. This was a
man about fifty years of age, clad in a light
blue gown, with a white rag on his head as
a turban, seated upon an old mat on the
ground, a long sword and a gun by his side,
with about twenty men surrounding him,
who were well armed with swords, spears,
Daoud Cacheff begged to know what busi-
ness had brought Belzoni thither? He re-
plied that he had a letter from his uncle,
directed to his father, and that he came into
that country in search of ancient stones.
Daoud laughed, and said that, a few months
before he had seen another man who came
from Cairo in search of treasure, and took
away a great deal of gold in his boat, and
that Belzoni came for the same purpose-not
to take stones. What could he have to do
with stones, if it were not to procure gold
from them ?
BERNARD.-I am afraid Belzoni will be
puzzled to convince Daoud. How did he
MRs. A.-Very cleverly. He told Daoud
that the stones he wished to take away were
broken pieces belonging to the old Pharaoh
people, and that his motive for coming in
search of them was to know whether our an-
cestors came from that country. Daoud then
asked where he meant to go in search of these
stones. Belzoni said that the place in the
rock had a door, and that by removing the
sand they might enter the temple, and should
perhaps find many stones there; and -accord-
ingly proposed to have it opened. After
some difficulty, he managed to convince the
people of the value of money, for they had
never heard of such a thing, having been ac-
customed to exchange various articles; and
Daoud at length consented to find workmen,
provided Belzoni would give them each two
piastres a day, which he consented to do.
OWEN.-Well, mamma, Daoud was rather
mpre reasonable than his uncle Hassan, who
required so many presents before he would
allow Belzoni to continue his voyage. But
there now remains consent to be obtained
from Osseyn Cacheff, Daoud's father.
Mas. A.-This was the greatest difficulty;
he lived at Eshke, a mile and a half up the
Nile. To secure his favour (for favour in
this land may often be procured by bribes),
Belzoni sent forward to him some rice, sugar,
and tobacco; and received on board in the
evening some sour milk and warm thin cake
of dhourra bread.
BERNARD.-What is dhourra, mamma?
MRs. A.-The common grain of Egypt,
my love. The bread is baked on a flat stone
raised at each corner so as to admit a fire
under it; the paste, which is soft, being laid
on it, spreads in a minute over the stone ; as
soon as one cake is baked, another is done in
the same manner, and so on; and this dhourra
bread forms the general food of the country.
EMILY. It is made very much in the
same manner as the fisherman's wife (whom
we saw at that pretty cottage on the Cum-
berland mountains) was making her oat-
cakes. Do you remember, Bernard ?
BERNARD. Oh, yes yes And the
fisherman's rosy boys showed me how to
catch shrimps in a little net, whilst you looked
at the woman making them.-Go on, mam-
ma. I want to know what the Cacheff said
MRs. A.-They went, the next morning,
to his residence at Eshke, and were told that
THE SECOND CATARACT.
he was from home, but would return in a few
days. This occasioned some disappointment;
but as Mr. and Mrs. Belzoni did not wish
to return to Ybsambul without having had
an interview with him, they went on towards
the second Cataract, and about nine, two
mornings after they had left Eshke, they
made for the shore, as near as possible to
the last cultivated land on the left.
EMILY.-I have found the situation of the
second Cataract, mamma; and the place
of which you speak must be Wady Halfa.
MRS. A.-A few of the natives came to
look at the strangers; and, at Belzoni's re-
quest, they willingly brought asses for them
to ride to the Cataract; and now, Bernard,
place yourself on your own little Smiler, and
fancy yourself one of the party. Proceed to
the Cataract, and take several views in dif-
ferent directions. Mount the rocks, and take
a survey of the wide sandy deserts. Observe
the wild antelopes that are skipping about
on the crags of the few black cliffs which pro-
ject here and there; and having enjoyed the
grand prospect afforded by this Cataract, and
as the sun again is sinking beneath the hori-
zon, return to the little bark.
ISLE OF MAINARTY.
BERNARD.-And from thence, mamma,
where shall I go?
MRS. A.-You may accompany Mr. and
Mrs. Belzoni, who immediately crossed for
the isle of Mainarty, where they arrived at
dusk. They saw fires and people at a dis-
tance, but on landing, could not find any one.
The huts were left with all they had, which
consisted only of dry dates and a kind of
paste made of the same, which was kept in
large vases of clay baked in the sun, and
covered with baskets made of palm-leaves;
a baking stove, and a mat to sleep upon, com-
prised the whole of their furniture.
OWEN.-Ah they little expected visitors
at such a time I suppose they were honest
themselves, as they did not suspect their
neighbours. But pray, mamma, how large is
this island ?
MRS. A.-The whole of the island is about
an eighth of a mile in length, and half as much
in breadth. The whole settlement consisted
of four men and seven women, with two or
three children. They have no communication
with the main land, except when the water
is low; for at any other time, the current,
being just under the Cataract, is so rapid that
66 SIMPLICITY OF THE PEOPLE.
it is impossible to ford it, and boats never go
to this island. They are poor but happy,
knowing nothing of the enticing luxuries of
the world, and resting content with what
Providence supplies as the reward of their
industry. They have a few sheep and goats,
which supply them with milk; and the few
spots of land they have are all cultivated, pro-
ducing a little dhourra, which, you know, is
the principal food they require. The wool
of their sheep they spin into yarn; they wind
the thread round little stones, and then sus-
pend them to a long stick fixed in a horizontal
position between two trees, to form a warp ;
and, by passing another thread alternately be-
tween these, they fabricate a kind of coarse
cloth, with which they make their dress.
EMILY.- When we were overtaken by the
thunder-storm last summer, we went into the
weaver's cottage at the end of the park, mam-
ma; therefore I understand what you mean
by the warp : but this plan is still more sim-
ple than our weaver's. I wonder how they
pass the woof-you do not mention their
having a shuttle, mamma ?.-But where are
the inhabitants all this time.
MRs. A.-It was quite dark when Belzoni
SIMPLICITY OF THE PEOPLE.
found this poor and truly happy people.
They had lighted a fire to make their bread,
and the light of this fire directed him to the
spot where they were. I suppose they had
been terrified by seeing him at a distance;
for they were all hid in a hole under some
ruins of an old castle, which stands on the
south side of the island; and when he ap-
proached them, the women set up a loud
scream. A person who was with him, a na-
tive of Nubia, could talk their language,
and managed to pacify them, but could
not entice more than one man out of the
BERNARD.-I cannot think why they were
so much alarmed, mamma.
MRS. A.-Their fear was owing to some
depredations committed, a few years before,
by the robbers of Wady Halfa, who, at low
water forded over to the island, and did all
the injury that could be done by such people.
The strangers assured them that they were
not like the robbers of Wady Halfa, but only
came to get some one to show them the way
to the Cataract. At this they were more
alarmed than ever; and said that it never
happened that boats passed higher than Wady
Halfa,-it being impossible to proceed far-
ther, owing to the number of rocky islands.
At last, however, they prevailed upon two
of the men to accompany them the following
morning, and pilot them towards the Cata-
ract as far as the boat could go.
BERNARD.-What courage Belzoni had!
MRS. A.-According to agreement, they
went on board, and with a strong north wind
advanced in their little bark, until they found
themselves so tossed about by the different
currents and eddies, as to prevent farther
progress; at the same time they were so
situated, that they could not return, for fear
of being driven against some of the rocks
which threatened them on each side.
EMILY.-They are in a deplorable situation
again, mamma But no treacherous or de-
ceitful Arabs are with them now.
MRs. A.-They were confined to one spot
for about an hour. Sometimes, they had a
rapid start for a hundred yards; then, all at
once, they were stopped and turned round
in spite of all their efforts, and of the north
wind, which blew very hard. At last, they
were caught on a sudden in one of the eddies
of water, and driven against a sharp rock con-
VIEW OF THE CATARACT.
cealed about two feet below the surface. The
shock was dreadful; it is impossible to de-
scribe Belzoni's emotions, for he thought at
the moment that the boat was split in two-
and the object of his tenderest solicitude was
on board ; for her he saw no mode of escape :
had he been alone, he might have swum on
shore. However, his trust in the protecting
care of Providence did not forsake him: they
found that no harm was done, and that, by
crossing the rock they were on, they might
reach the other side of the river. They did
so as quickly as possible, and landed, rejoic-
ing in the thought of the danger they had
escaped. They were obliged to pursue their
route on foot: carrying with them provisions
and water, they proceeded on the rocks, over
a plain of sand and stones, until they arrived
at one called Aspir, which is the highest in
the neighbourhood of the Cataract, and com-
mands a complete view of the falls.
EMILY.-And now our lovers of nature are
well repaid, I have no doubt, mamma, for the
prospect must have been very fine.
MRS. A.-Belzoni says that it was a truly
magnificent scene. The several thousand
islands, of various forms and sizes, with as
RETURN TO YBSAMBUL.
many different falls of water, running rapidly
onward, whilst counter-currents returned with
equal velocity; the blackness of the stones ;
the verdant foliage of the trees scattered on
the islets, intermixed with the white bub-
bling froth of the numerous cascades, formed
a picture neither to be described nor de-
Having been thus compensated for their
venturous excursion, our travellers returned
BERNARD.-The temples are at that place;
and now we shall hear how Belzoni endea-
voured to persuade the natives to open them,
and what Osseyn Cacheff, who, I suppose,
was come home by this time, said to him.
MRs. A.- He went immediately to his
son Daoud, who presented to him a letter
from his father, and sent for the men who
were selected for the work. These people
were complete savages, and wholly unac-
quainted with any kind of labour. How-
ever, according to direction, they began their
undertaking in such a manner that the sand
would fall off from the centre of the front
of the temple, where the door was supposed
CLEARING AWAY THE SAND.
BERNARD.-Had they spades to dig away
the sand, mamma ?
MRs. A.-No, not spades, but a long stick
with a cross piece of wood at the end, at each
extremity of which was a rope.
BERNARD.-I understand, mamma. One
man would draw the cross-stick back, and
another man would pull it forwards. Did
this plan answer ?
MRs. A.-Yes : they found it very useful
in clearing away the sand; and as this was
the first day of their enterprise, they pro-
ceeded better than Belzoni had expected;
all their thoughts and talk were on the quan-
tity of gold, pearls, and jewels, they should
find in the place.
LAURA.-That was a good thing, mamma,
because it acted as a stimulus for them to
MRs. A.-Thus they went on for some
days ; but as they had not before known the
value of money, so now their wish to obtain
it knew no bounds: they continually wished
to procure more than their employer allowed
them ; the other people also began to desire
it, and came in such numbers, that, had he
wished it, he would have found it difficult
72 OPENING THE TEMPLE.
to supply them all. Their desire to see the
inside of the temple, and to plunder what it
might contain, increased; and they gave Bel-
zoni to understand, that all that was there
was their own property, and that the treasure
should be for themselves. He in vain as-
sured them that he expected to find nothing
but stones, and wanted no treasure; they
still persisted, that if he took away the
stones, the treasure was in them, and that if
he could make a drawing or likeness of them,
he could extract the treasure from that also,
without their perceiving it.
OWEN.-They had great confidence in Bel-
zoni's ability, however, mamma, as well as
an uncommon degree of superstition !
MRs. A. -Some proposed that, if any
figure were discovered, it should be broken
before he carried it away, to examine the
OWEN.-How provoking! Then poor Bel-
zoni had no encouragement to proceed ;-it
was not of much use to take so much pains,
only in the end to gratify the selfish curiosity
of those savages; and, according to this, he
might not make drawings, much less take
away any statue or anything else that might
RAPACITY OF THE WORKPEOPLE.
be found. I think, under such circumstances,
mamma, it will not lessen our ideas of his per-
severance and patience, if he does give up
opening this temple :-I cannot bear the
thought of his spending so many days to no
MRS. A. From the slow progress, or rather
from the immense quantity of sand accumu-
lated together, Belzoni perceived that his work
would require more time than he could spare
at that period before its completion: still
he would have persevered, had not another
and a stronger motive presented itself-the
want of that very article which, a few days
before, was despised and unknown; and now
he found that he absolutely could not proceed
without it. It was money, which, even here,
had shown its usual power among mankind
of exciting avarice and a selfish disposition.
OWEN. -And here the sentence I repeated
in my Latin lesson this morning is just a pro-
pos, mamma. The love of money increases
as the money itself increases."
BERNARD.-But, perhaps, mamma, Belzoni
was nearer the door than he expected; he
could not see through the sand, you know.
MRS. A.-I will tell you how he managed.
__ __ om
74 THE WORK POSTPONED.
He had some water brought up from the Nile,
and poured down close to the door.
OWEN.-Ha ha a very clever plan just
like our ingenious Belzoni! This would stop
the sand from running, until he had made a
hole deep enough to perceive whether they
were near the door. I hope they are He
supposed, in the first place, that the sand was
about thirty-five feet in thickness; and how
many feet had they removed it, do you think,
MRS. A.-They had removed so much sand
as to uncover twenty feet of the temple; but,
from the hole that was made, Belzoni perceiv-
ed that it would require a longer time to reach
the door than he could stay, and more money
than he could afford; although the colossal
statues above the door were by this time com-
pletely exposed. He therefore obtained a
promise from the Cacheff that no one should
touch the place till his return (which would
probably be in a few months); and, contenting
himself with putting a mark where the sand
was before his operation had commenced, and
taking a sketch of the exterior of the temple,
he quitted it, with a firm resolution of
returning some time to accomplish its opening.
RETURN TO ASSOUAN.
EMILY.-Well, mother, he acted both pru-
dently and judiciously; but I should have
been afraid lest the selfish people who had
worked for him should have opened it in the
mean time. However, whither did he go
next ? and when did he return to young
Memnon, who has been staying this long
period at Thebes, banked up with earth and
palm-leaf ropes ?
MRS. A.-They set off in the boat, and,
descending the Nile rapidly, arrived in a few
days at Shellal.
EMILY.-Here is Shellal, or the first Cata-
ract, marked on the map : we passed it before,
MRS. A.-When they reached the Isle of
Philoe, Belzoni took particular notice of the
small obelisk, which he hoped at some future
time to bring to England, and he sent for the
Aga of Assouan.
EMILY.-We have got back to Assouan,
have we, mamma? I remember it, just on
the opposite side of the Nile to that of the
Cataract; and I remember the selfish Aga,
too, who asked such a sum for the use of his
boat: why did Belzoni send for him ?
MRS. A.-To persuade him to use his
76 THE AGA OF ASSOUAN.
interest in having the obelisk taken down the
Cataract; but this, for want of a boat, could
not be effected that season. I mentioned the
obelisk to you before.
OWEN.-Yes, mamma: it was formed of
granite, twenty-two feet in length and two in
breadth, so that it would want a pretty large
boat to convey it.
MRS. A.-Belzoni took possession of it, giv-
ing the Aga four dollars to pay a guard for it
till his return. The next day, they proceeded
to Assouan by land. On their arrival, they
were informed that there were no boats to take
them to Esne, so they were obliged to wait.
EMILY.-I dare say the time was not wast-
ed by Belzoni; yet I am sorry for him to
meet with this delay, for he, no doubt, was
anxious to return to Thebes, and to see his
young Memnon once more.
MRS. A.-What we cannot help, we must,
of course, endure. Our enterprising friend
often found it so; and he amused himself
during this period by taking another tour in
EMILY.-And when he returned to Assouan
had the boat made its appearance ?
MRS. A.-No : no boat had yet arrived.
THE DIAMOND SELLER.
The delay was tedious ; however, nothing
could be done but submit to it.
Belzoni was seated, one evening, under a
grove of palm-trees, eating some rice-soup
with the Aga, when an Arab came and whis-
pered in the ear of the latter, as if he
had something of great importance to com-
BERNARD. I should not have thanked him
for the interruption; I do not like the Arabs
at all, since they treated Belzoni so shabbily
in the mummy-cave.
MRS. A.-The Aga rose, though his meal
was not finished, and went away with the air
of a man of great business.
BERNARD.-That looked very suspicious;
what do you think the Arab had whispered
to him ?
MRS. A.-You will hear in time. Half an
hour after, he returned, accompanied by two
other persons of distinction and an old man.
They all seated themselves around him, and,
after introducing the affair with some caution,
asked Belzoni whether he should like to pur-
chase a large piece of diamond. It is true he
was no diamond-merchant: however, he told
the Aga, that if the article were good, and
they could agree, he would buy it; but that
it was necessary for him to see it first. The
Aga said that the piece had been found by
one of the natives of that place, and, as he
was not in want of money, it had been pre-
served in the family for many years. The
original proprietor being now dead, his succes-
sor wished to dispose of it.
Belzoni requested to see it, and therefore
retired with him to some distance out of the
way of the people; when the old man, with
great solemnity, took a small wooden box
from a pocket in his leather belt. In this was
a paper, which he unfolded, and after that,
two or three others; till at last he displayed
the diamond itself. Belzoni took it in his
hands with no small degree of expectation;
but, alas how did he look when he perceived
that this great treasure, which had been so
long carefully stored, was only part of the
stopple of a common glass cruet, of the size
of a hazel-nut, with two or three little gilt
flowers upon it! All his hopes vanished :
and as the others were attentively watching
his motions, they could not fail to observe the
disappointment marked in his countenance,
and their hopes vanished too. When they
were told that it was only a piece of glass,
the words affected their minds like the tidings
of some great misfortune; they walked off in
solemn silence, not without giving him an in-
quiring look, to learn whether he were really
in earnest; but he shared their disappoint-
ment, and the smile on his face could give
them no hopes.
BERNARD.-What ignorance to mistake a
piece of glass for a diamond I am glad it
was no worse. When you told us, mamma,
that the Aga walked off in solemn silence, I
began to be alarmed for Belzoni.-Well, is the
boat arrived ?
MRS. A.-No: no boat is yet to be seen.
Belzoni, therefore, proposed bespeaking two
camels and travelling to Esne by land; when
this resolution was known, a boat was soon in
readiness, and he discovered that the whole
delay was a fraud to detain him at Assouan,
several little barks having been concealed in
different places. Our travellers had a rapid
and agreeable voyage down the Nile, and
reached Luxor in safety.
EMILY.-Luxor, just by Thebes, mamma;
here it is.-Did they find the boat come from
Cairo, to take Caphany thither ?
80 EMBARKATION OF YOUNG MEMNON.
MRs. A.-The Cacheff had procured one;
and, when they arrived at Thebes, they found
it fastened to the bank where the colossal head
was. Belzoni met with much opposition
when he wished to remove this great bust-;-
some thought that it would overbalance the
boat, and, consequently, be lost in the Nile;
others wished to retain it, supposing it con-
tained gold; and others alleged that it was
impossible to put it into the boat, as the bank
was more than fifteen feet above the level of
the water, which had retired at least a hun-
dred feet from it. His vexation was great,
in thinking that all his efforts and exertion
in bringing the head to the Nile were to no
purpose, and that it would probably never
reach England, as the opposition was so power-
OWEN.-After having taken so much pains!
After having made the car, and the palm-leaf
ropes After having employed so many days
in removing it -Ah Belzoni! how little
they knew how to appreciate your industry !
MRs. A.-Perseverance in laudable pur-
suits, as I have often told you, will reward
all our labour, and produce effects even be-
yond our calculation. With some trouble,
EMBARKATION OF YOUNG MEMNON. 81
Belzoni collected a hundred and thirty men,
and, under his superintendence, they began to
make a causeway, by which to convey the head
down to the river-side. This was finished
the next day; and the bust was brought to
the edge of the slope, ready to be embarked.
BERNARD.-And how was that managed,
dear mamma ?
MRS. A.-It required some thought, for
it was no easy undertaking to put a piece of
granite, of such bulk and weight, on board a
boat, which, if it received the weight on one
side, would be immediately upset.
OWEN.-Could the Egyptians furnish no
mechanical powers, mamma, and thus render
the operation more practicable
MRS. A.-No, my dear; it was to be
done without the smallest help of that kind,
or of even a single tackle ; with poles and
LAURA.-The people there know scarcely
anything of mechanics, Owen; their utmost
sagacity reaches only to pulling a rope, or
sitting on the extremity of a lever, as a
counterpoise, or balance.
BERNARD.-Will you tell me, dear Laura,
what you mean by a lever ?
82 EMBARKATION OF YOUNG MEMNON.
LAURA.-A lever, my love, is the founda-
tion of all the mechanical powers. It is no-
thing more than a straight stick, or bar of
wood, or iron.
OWEN.-Did you never read, in Sandford
and Merton," Bernard, about the snowball
which they rolled along with so much ease,
by using two long sticks, which were called
levers ?-But we are wandering from Belzoni.
Now, mother, will you tell us how the head
was let down that steep bank ?
MRs. A.-The causeway was made gradu-
ally sloping to the edge of the water, close
to the boat; and, with the four poles, a
bridge was formed from the bank into the
centre of the boat.
EMILY.- I understand, mamma; and so,
when the weight bore on the bridge, it pressed
only on the middle of the boat.
OWEN.-And this slender bridge rested
partly on the causeway, partly on the side
of the boat, and partly on the centre of it.
MRS. A.- On the opposite side of the
boat, Belzoni put some mats, well filled with
straw. A few Arabs were stationed in it, and
some at each side, with a lever of palm-wood,
as there was nothing else. At the middle
-IBA.1RZJNr YOUNG MBMMNON.