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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.
“ This is the cabinet of the Egyptian arts, the product of study for many centuries, and it was here that Denon thought himself in the sanctuary of the arts and sciences. The front is adorned with a beautiful cornice, and a frieze covered with figures and hieroglyphics, over the centre of which the winged globe is predominant, and the two sides are embellished with compartments of sacrifices and offerings. The columns that form the portico are twenty-four in number, divided into four rows, including those in the front. On entering the gate the scene changes, and requires more minute observation. The quadrangular form of the capitals first strikes the eye. At each side of the
square there is a colossal head of the goddess Isis with cows' ears. There is not one of these heads but is much mutilated, particularly those on the columns in the front of the temple facing the outside : but notwithstanding this disadvantage, and the flatness of their form, there is a simplicity in their countenance that approaches to a smile. The shafts of the columns are covered with hieroglyphics and figures, which are in basso relievo, as are all the figures in the front and lateral walls. The front of the door-way, which is in a straight line with the entrance and the sanctuary, is richly adorned with figures of smaller size than the rest of the portico. The ceiling contains the zodiac, inclosed by two long female figures, which extend from one side to the other of it. The walls are divided into several square compartments, each containing figures representing deities, and priests in the act of offering or immolating victims. On all the walls, columns, ceiling, or architraves, there is nowhere a space of two feet, that is not covered with some figures of human beings, animals, plants, emblems of agriculture, or of religious ceremony. Wherever the eyes turn, wherever the attention is fixed, every thing inspires respect and veneration, heightened by the solitary situation of this temple, which adds to the attraction of these splendid recesses. The inner apartments are much the same as the portico, all covered with figures in basso relievo, to which the light enters through sınall holes in the walls: the sanctuary itself is quite dark. In the corner of it I found the door, which leads to the roof by a staircase, the walls of which are also covered with figures in basso relievo. On the top of the temple the Arabs had built a village, I suppose to be the more elevated, and exposed to the air ; but it is all in ruins, as no one now lives there. From the top I descended into some apartments on the east side of the temple. There I saw the famous zodiac on the ceiling. The circular form of this' zodiac led me to suppose, in some measure, that this temple was built at a later period than the rest, as nothing like it is seen any where else. In the front of the edifice there is a propylæon, not inferior to the works in the temple; and, though partly fallen, it still shows its ancient grandeur. On the left, going from the portico, there is a small temple surrounded by columns. In the inside is a figure of Isis sitting with Orus in her lap, and other female figures, each with a child in her arms, are observable. The capitals of the columns are
adorned with the figure of Typhon. The gallery or portico, that surrounds the temple, is filled up with rubbish to a great height, and walls of unburnt bricks have been raised from one column to another. Farther on, in a right line with the propylæon, are the remains of an hypæthral temple, which form a square of twelve columns, connected with each other by a wall, except at the door-way, which fronts the propylæon. The eastern wall of the great temple is richly adorned with figures in intaglio relevato: they are perfectly finished: the female figures are about four feet high, disposed in different compartments. Behind the temple is a small Egyptian building, quite detached from the large edifice; and from its construction I would venture to say, that it was the habitation of the priests. At some distance from the great temple are the foundations of another, not so large as the first. The propylæon is still standing in good preservation.” (P. 33–36.)
It was here that the Hindoo sepoys, who went into Egypt by the Red Sea, to join the army of Lord Hutchinson in 1801, imagined they had found their own temples, and expressed their indignation against the Egyptians for neglecting their deities; thus furnishing a strong proof of that connexion, which the researches of Sir William Jones, and of the Asiatic Society at Calcutta, have shown anciently to have subsisted between Egypt and India.
There is one feature in this splendid ruin, which this indefatigable traveller has omitted to notice, viz. the circumstance of the walls sloping inward. This did not escape the observation of the accurate Denon, who extols this edifice as being executed in the purest style of Egyptian architecture. The aspect of the whole is remarkably simple: for, though it be entirely covered with hieroglyphics, these at a little distance do not break the unity of the general effect. Reluctantly quitting the ruins of Tentyra, Mr. Belzoni proceeded up the Nile to Thebes, where he arrived on the 22d of July, and landed at Luxor on the opposite bank. He immediately directed his attention to the colossal bust which he had to remove.
66 I found it,” says he, the remains of its body and chair, with its face upwards, and apparently smiling upon me, at the thought of being taken to England." The expectations which he had formed of it, were exceeded by its beauty, though not by its size. Mr. Belzoni has detailed, in an artless, but interesting manner, the various difficulties which he had to encounter from the Cacheff of Erments, the governor of the Fellahs in the province of Gournou. By perseverance, however, and dexterous management, he ultimately overcame all obstacles, and obtained Arabs to remove the bust, for the trifling remuneration of thirty paras each, or fourpence-halfpenny, English money, per day. A car having been constructed, the first operation was to place the bust upon
ity-an undertaking of no small labour, when its weight (not less, perhaps, than twelve tons), and the simplicity of the methods employed, are considered. By means of four "levers, the bust was raised, so as to leave a vacancy beneath it, in order to introduce the car. After it was slowly lodged on this, the car was raised in front, so as to admit one of the rollers under it: the same operation was repeated at the back, and the colossus was ready to be pulled up. It was then well secured on the car, and the ropes were so placed, that the power might be divided. Persons were stationed with levers, on each side of the car, to assist occasionally, in case the bust should turn on either side. In this manner it was preserved from falling. Men were distributed in front equally at the four ropes, while others were ready to change the ropes alternately. They commenced their labours on the 27th, and by propelling the bust towards the river, at the rate of from fifty to four hundred yards a day, it was safely placed in a situation ready to be embarked on the 12th of August.
This laborious undertaking having been accomplished, Mr. Belzoni on the following day proceeded to explore a cave, containing a sarcophagus, which the French Consul, M. Drouetti
, had discovered and attempted to take away, and had presented to him if he could remove it. His account of this research is full of interest, and as it exhibits a clear display of the fraudulent character of the natives, we shall extract it for the information of our readers.
“ I was conducted into one of those holes, that are scattered about the mountains of Gournou, so celebrated for the quantities of mummies they contain. The Janizary remained without, and I entered, with two Arabs and the interpreter.
« Previous to our entering the cave, we took off the greater part of our clothes, and, each having a candle, advanced through a cavity in the rock, which extended a considerable length in the mountain, sometimes pretty high, sometimes very narrow, and without any regularity. In some passages we were obliged to creep on the ground, like crocodiles. I perceived, that we were at a great distance from the entrance, and the way was so intricate, that I depended entirely on the two Arabs, to conduct us out again. At length we arrived at a large space, into which many other holes or cavities opened; and after some consideration and examination by the two Arabs, we entered one of these, which was very narrow, and continued downward for a long way, through a craggy passage, till we came where two other apertures led to the interior in a horizontal direction. One of the Arabs then said,
This is the place. I could not conceive how so large a sarcophagus, as it had been described to me, could have been taken through the aperture, which the Arab now pointed out. I had no doubt, but these recesses were burial-places, as we continually walked over skulls and other bones: but the sarcophagus could never have entered this recess; for it was so narrow, that on my attempt to penetrate it, I could not
pass. One of the Arabs, however, succeeded, as did my interpreter; and it was agreed, that I and the other Arab should wait till they returned. They proceeded evidently to a great distance, for the light disappeared, and only a murmuring sound from their voices could be distinguished as they went on. After a few moments, I heard a loud noise, and the interpreter distinctly crying, 'O mon Dieu! mon Dieu! je suis perdu!' After which, a profound silence ensued. I asked my
Arab, whether he had ever been in that place? He replied, “Never.' I could not conceive what could have happened, and thought the best plan was to return, to procure help from the other Arabs. Accordingly, I told my man to show me the way out again; but, staring at me like an ideot, he said he did not know the road. I called repeatedly to the interpreter, but received no answer; I watched a long time, but no one returned; and my situation was no very pleasant one. I naturally returned through the passages, by which we had come; and, after some time, I succeeded in reaching the place, where, as I mentioned, were many other cavities. It was a complete labyrinth, as all these places bore a great resemblance to the one which we first entered. At last seeing one, which appeared to be the right, we proceeded through it a long way ; but by this time our candles had diminished considerably; and I feared, that, if we did not get out soon, we should have to remain in the dark: meantirne it would have been dangerous to put one out, to save the other, lest that which was left should, by some accident, be extinguished. At this time we were considerably advanced towards the outside, as we thought; but to our sorrow we found the end of that cavity, without any outlet. Convinced that we were mistaken in our conjecture, we quickly returned towards the place of the various entries, which we strove to regain. But we were then as perplexed as ever, and were both exhausted from the ascents and descents, which we had been obliged to go over. The Arab seated himself, but every moment of delay was dangerous. The only expedient was, to put a mark at the place out of which we had just come, and then examine the cavities in succession, by putting also a mark at their entrance, so as to know where we had been. Unfortunately, our candles would not last through the whole: however, we began our operations.
« On the second attempt, when passing before a small aperture, I thought I heard the sound of something like the roaring of the sea at a distance. In consequence I entered this cavity; and as we advanced the noise increased, till I could distinctly hear a number of voices all at one time. At last, thank God, we walked out ; and, to my no small surprise, the first person I saw was my interpreter. How he came to be there I could not conjecture. He told me, that, in proceeding with the Arab along the passage below, they came to a pit, which they did not see ; that the Arab fell into it, and in falling put out both candles. It was then that he cried out, · 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, towards which he advanced, and thus arrived at a small aperture. He then scraped away some loose sand and stones, to widen the place where he came out, and went to give the alarm to the Arabs, who were at the other entrance. Being all concerned ior the man who fell to the bottom of the pit, it was their noise that I heard in the cave. The place by which my interpreter got out was instantly widened; and in the confusion the Arabs did not regard letting me see that they were acquainted with that entrance, and that it bad lately been shut up. I was not long in detecting their scheme. The Arabs had intended to show me the sarcophagus, without letting me see the way by which it might be taken out, and then to stipulate a price for the secret. It was with this view they took me such a way round about.
" I found that the sarcophagus was not in reality a hundred yards from the large entrance. The man was soon taken out of the well, but so much hurt in one of his hips, that he went lame ever after.” (P.51-54.)
While Mr. Belzoni waited for a boat from Cairo, to carry away the bust, he determined to continue his voyage up the Nile. On the 18th of August he set off for Esne, which place he reached on the following day; on the 20th he arrived at Edfou (the ancient Apollinopolis Parva); and two days after at Ombos. At the two last mentioned places he met with some beautiful remains of Egyptian art. The temple at Edfou may be compared with that of Tentyra, in point of preservation, and is superior to it in magnitude. The ruins at Ombos, though less extensive, convey a clear idea of their former splendour. The columns of the portico form one of the richest groups of architecture which our author has seen; the hieroglyphics being well executed, and some of them still retaining their colours; on the side next the water are the remains of a smaller temple, the diminished stones of which prove that the Egyptians paid great attention to the proportion of masses, as one of the principal points in the effect for which they were intended.
Ascending from Ombos to Assouan, the ancient Syene, the islands of Elephantine and Philae, Mr. Belzoni arrived on the 29th at the village of El Kalabshe, where he observed some fine ruins of a temple, similar to those at Tentyra, Philæ, and Edfou; all of which he refers to the time of the Ptolemies : for though there is a great similitude in all the Egyptian edifices, yet there is a certain elegance in the forms of the most recent, which distinguishes them from the older massy and enormous works; whence he is led to think that they were executed by the Egyptians under the direction of the Greeks. From this place he advanced to Ibrim, which was the furthest town visited by Mr. Legh and the Rev. Mr. Smelt. At the distance of three days' journey lie the temples of Ybsambul; the principal of which he afterwards opened. As, however, he could undertake nothing without the permission of Osseyn Cacheff, who was further up the Nile at the village of Iskus, Mr. Belzoni proceeded thither