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TOUR IN EGYPT AND NUBIA. Our Party and its objects-Departure from Philæ-Our Boat's Crew-Saracenic Buildings

Supposed Boundary between Egypt and Nubia-Kalapsche-Its Temple-We are taken for Physicians-Mr. Belzoni bitten by a Water Lizard - Arrival near Koroskoff-Offidena - Arrival at Derry-Nubian Dance - Attempted impositions on the part of our Crew-Pass Ibrim-Researches of former Travellers-Abou-Simbel-The Dongola Caravan-The Mockatem Mountains-Ruins near Farras-Crocodiles—Torpedo - Camelions- Arrival at the second Cataract-Description of the Cataract-Elpha-Further troubles with our Crew-Abou-Simbel - The small Temple - Message from the Cashiefs - Arrival of the Cashiefs—We wait upon them-Presents-Offence taken by Halleel-We engage Labourers-Proceed to the large Temple - Description of the Front-Commence operationsAre abandoned by the Natives—We continue our Labours—The Darfur Caravan-Interruption from Mahommed and Ali Cashief-Arrival of a Mameluke-The Natives refuse to

supply us with Provisions-We succeed in reaching the Door of the Temple. TOWARDS the end of May, 1817, and in that case, if it had not suffered

we joined company at Philæe with too much in the general pillage and Messrs. Beechey and Belzoni, who were destruction which all the sacred ediabout to proceed up the Nile. The prin- fices underwent at the conquest of cipal object of this expedition, which Egypt, by Cambyses and other subsewas undertaken at the desire of Mr. quent princes, it was hoped that someSalt, was to endeavour to open the great thing interesting to the antiquary temple at Abou-Simbel, which Mr. Bel- might be discovered. zoni, who was that gentleman's agent, We considered it a fortunate cirhad attempted the preceding year. cumstance for us to have an opportuThe whole face of the temple, as high nity of joining in so interesting an as the heads of the statues which are undertaking. It is advisable that train front of it, was buried in the sand vellers should be both numerous and which had been blown from the desert. well armed in Nubia : our party was This sand, in the course of time, had now a tolerably strong one, as includaccumulated to such a degree, as not ing Mr. Beechey's Greek servant, an only to fill up the whole of the valley, Arab cook, and a janissary, it conbut also to form a mountain, sloping sisted of seven persons. We could only from the front of the temple for 200 add one solitary musket to a pretty or 300 yards towards the banks of good stock of arms of every descripthe Nile. From all external appear- tion which Mr. Beechey had with him. ance it is probable this temple, which We hired a boat at a village situated is hewn out of the solid rock, had on a point amidst a cluster of datebeen shut for very many centuries, trees which bounds the view of the perhaps for more than 2000 years ; river from Philæ to the southward.



The crew consisted of five men, includ- which pow gave place to those of caling the reis or captain, and three careous stone, though on the river boys : three of the men and the reis side, in most instances, their exterior were brothers, and the fifth was their still retains a black colour and a polish. brother-in-law. This latter was dressed The vein of red granite, which begins in a blue shirt, from which circum- below Assuan, and extends beyond stance we nick-named him the “ blue Philæ, is supposed to continue in an devil ;” his real name was Hassan ; easterly direction till it reaches the he will be by and by a conspicuous shores of the Red Sea, keeping, nearly character in this narrative. The boys throughout, the same breadth; the were sons of some one or other of the observations which we made crew, and the boat they said belonged trips into the desert from Assuan to the father of them all, an old man tended to confirm this opinion. who wore a green turban, as a de- On the afternoon of the 17th, we scendant of the Prophet.

came to a place where the mountains In the afternoon of the 16th of June, close in upon the river in a very abrupt we started with a fine fair wind, having manner, leaving no level land on the first settled a quarrel between two of banks ; the hills at the same time preour crew, in which one of them was sented some very grand scenery. This cut through the calf of the leg, to the by some travellers is termed the bounbone. Our agreement with the reis dary between Egypt and Nubia, though was for 160 piastres per month, 41. I should be inclined to agree with the sterling; and at the end of the voyage, French, that the first cataract is a if they behaved well, a backsheeish or more natural limit to the two counpresent was promised, a stipulation tries ; as, immediately above Assuan, which always forms part of similar you perceive not only a country quite bargains in this country. It was different from that below, but even expressly understood that the crew natives of a character and colour in should find their own provisions. As no way resembling the Egyptians, difwe advanced upwards, the sand hills ferently clothed, and speaking another filling up the cavities between the language. black granite rocks presented a most This evening we arrived at Kalapremarkable appearance ; the surface sche, and as we had to wait some time in many places was quite fine and while our janissary was buying provismooth, reminding one, with the excep- sions, we went up to inspect the temple, tion of the difference of colour, of though we had agreed not to visit the some of the scenery in Switzerland, antiquities until we returned from the where the snow before it cracks, and second cataract. The ruins of this after it has been drifted 'fine, presents edifice are large and magnificent, but just such an appearance. The moun- it has never been finished : it consists tains here close in upon the river, and of a large peristyle hall, (most of the we looked in vain for that rich plain columns of which have fallen, andwhich, in Egypt, is every where to be many are unfinished,) two chambers, seen on the banks of the Nile. On the and a sanctuary. The exterior walls heights, as we proceeded, we saw seve- are smooth, the sculpture not having ral Saracenic buildings placed in most even been commenced, and in the intepicturesque situations ; they tend very rior it is not finished, there being in much to set off this wild species of no instance either stucco or painting. scenery ; we observed also, throughout There has been first a quay on the Nubia, numerous piles of stones placed river's side, and then a flight of steps ou the most elevated and conspicuous as an approach to the temple. The parts of the mountains, to indicate the outer hall had several Greek inscripvicinity of the Nile to the caravans tions in it, some of them in tolerable from the interior of Africa.

perfection. Half a day's sail from Philæ brought In the evening, before we stopped, us to the end of the granite rocks, we passed two crocodiles; they were

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