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ginally twenty-two monkeys above the frieze and cornice: of these there are not now above twelve perfect. Under the arm of one of the great figures, we discovered the remains of the stucco with which they were once covered, and traces of red paint are discernible in many places. I think it very probable the whole front of the temple was once covered with stucco; more especially as they have used that material very liberally and skilfully in the decoration of the interior. Of the cornice over the door, which was once perfect, there is not at present more than a foot in breadth remaining, just over the corner where we entered. In the progress of our labours, we discovered what had become of the rest; and its mutilation caused us some very desponding evenings, as there was little indication of the temple being finished lower down than we could see. July 11.-On the first day, the fifty men that came worked very badly, and we found that the burthen of the song which they sung, by way of stimulating each other, was, "that it was christian money they were working for that christian money was very good, and that they would get as much of it as they could." This Nubian song, though cheering to them, was not much so to us. In the evening we returned to the village of Abou-Simbel; and perceiving we should never make any progress with people who, being sure of their pay whether they laboured well or ill, would only work five hours in the day, we sent to the cashiefs, and concluded a bargain with them and the natives "to open the temple" for 300 piastres. At this time none of us thought it would take more than four days to accomplish the undertaking; so little did we know of the real nature of our enterprise.
July 12.-In the morning, the two cashiefs and about one hundred men came and worked very well, thinking they ould open the temple in one day. The chiefs requested we would not interfere in directing the labourers where to work, as it was now their own affair: they had undertaken the task, and were responsible for its exe
cution. In the evening our boat's crew came and begged the intercession of the cashiefs to make their peace with us. They were the more anxious for an accommodation, as by the quarrel they lost the heads, skins, and offal of the sheep which we occasionally killed. We affected much reluctance, but ultimately forgave them; the cashiefs bursting out into a violent rage against the crew, on our remarking that no European travellers would ever come into the country again, when they heard of the usage we had received. The dispute was scarcely at an end before our sailors asked for backsheeish; this we positively refused till we arrived at Philæ, and then only on condition of very good behaviour: all came now and kissed our hands in token of reconciliation. At sun-set we returned to the village of AbouSimbel; when the chief of the labourers asked for 200 out of the 300 piastres, though they had consented to be paid only when the temple was opened; we were, however, obliged to give 150, but said we would give no more till the work was finished.
July 13.-Only Halleel Cashief and about sixty men came; they worked very ill, and expressed doubts as to there being any door, though they had not yet got more than four feet down. While we were endeavouring to persuade them to persevere, one of the natives, a carpenter, with an audible voice, made a speech, the substance of which was, "that they would work the whole of that and the two successive days, and if in that time they found a door, well and good; if not, they would labour no longer.'
This declaration was received with tumultuous applause, in which we thought it good policy to join, as neither our approval or displeasure would have had any weight with them; and it was possible that our appearing to be in good humour with them might induce them to do their work more cheerfully. In the evening we returned to the village, complained to the cashiefs of the badness of the work, and noticed the approach of the ramadan, when it was probable we should no longer be able
to get workmen, and therefore our present efforts would be useless. Both the brothers now promised us "a host of men next morning," and that they should begin early. While we were discoursing, some Mograbins, on their way from Cairo to Dongola, were introduced: we remarked their melancholy looks, but were then ignorant of the cause. Our business being at an end, we retired to our boat, after having feasted on doura cake and dripping.
July 14.-Rose early, and sent to the cashiefs that we were ready; but, after waiting for three hours, they sent word to us to go, and they would join us by land; so busied were they in plundering the Mograbins, that we and our temple were not thought of. We accordingly went, and found only fifty men, who were doing little more than nothing; and none of the leaders or attendants were present, except old Mouchmarr, an elderly servant of the cashiefs. We asked him the reason of his master's absence, when he said "that we must not think him a Barbarin; that he was an Arab, and only lived in this country by constraint; that both the cashiefs were robbers, and were at that moment pillaging the caravan of Morocco; and that the whole tribe of natives were nothing but a gang of thieves." We could not help laughing at the remarks of the old man, which, though true enough, would have come better from another quarter, as he himself was quite as great a rogue as the rest. At noon Daoud Cashief arrived. The men still continuing to work without any energy, we remonstrated with Daoud, but only received promises of great doings on the morrow. We returned to the village in the evening, when the men asked for the remainder of the money; this was refused, and in consequence there was much discontent. Halleel Cashief came and endeavoured to persuade us to pay the money; but we persisted in refusing till they should have worked the third day, according to their own promise. We were now told that if we paid the money, they would work the next morning; but if not, that not a man of them would come. |
We still refused. Halleel now asked for one of Mr. Salt's handsome pipes, which the crew had told him was in the boat; having previously begged the janissary to give him his silk waistcoat, and requested of our Greek servant his Mameluke sabre. This latter article belonged to Mr. Salt: it was very valuable; and to save it, we had pretended it was the property of the Greek, not thinking the cashief would condescend to beg of our servants. He had also asked the soldier for his pistols, offering him a slave in return ;all was however refused.
Tuesday, July 15.-Both, cashiefs came, and some of the chiefs; one in particular, a stranger, was highly dressed, and we were told he was a leading character, and had much influence with the natives; that nothing could be done without him. But we had now seen enough of the character of the Nubians to perceive that this was only a trick to induce us to give the new comer some presents; and we therefore affected to take no notice of him, determined for the future to give no more than we could help. In the morning the men worked with some spirit: our crew assisted them, and behaved well; but towards evening the work went on badly. We returned to the village. On the way Hassan told us we must go back to Philæ, in order to repair the boat, which he asserted to be leaky. We soon gave him to understand that we had no intention of returning till we had accomplished our work. Soon after dark, Halleel came to the boat and repeated his request for the pipe, but was again refused.
Wednesday, July 16.-First day of the moon, ramadan or Turkish fast, during which they do not eat or drink from sun-rise to sun-set. Early this morning Halleel sent us a watermelon, and shortly after made his appearance, begging the pipe again, which, being worth upwards of sixty piastres, had greatly attracted his notice. This third attempt was evaded, and he set off in a pet, without even taking leave, mounting his horse for Derry, where he intended passing the
ramadan. We now went to Daoud's and at three o'clock set off to begin our tent to pay him a farewell visit pre-labour, going up quietly that we might vious to his departure. He asked us not wake the crew who were asleep on what were our intentions respecting the temple? We told him we were determined to work ourselves, and persevere till we came to the door. He appeared much surprised at this; and said it was impossible we could succeed, recommending us to return, and come again after the month of ramadan-hoping doubtless to get more presents. To convince him of our resolution to proceed, we told him that the Nile would as soon change its course, as we our determination when once it was taken. He now asked the sailors if we had solicited their assistance; when they told him we had not mentioned the subject to them, which indeed was true. He then asked when we thought we should reach the door. We told him that was very uncertain. He said if we thought we should be only three or four days, he would remain, but if more, he must be off. We answered that we expected it would be eight or ten days before our work was over; but we promised, that whenever we should be near the door, we would give him notice, that he might be present, and get his share of the gold. He gave a tacit sort of consent for us to proceed, and we took our leave, thanking him for what he had done for us. Amongst the warlike instruments in his tent, we observed a shield made of a crocodile's skin: it was remarkably strong; one of the protuberances of the animal's back served for the boss or centre, and one of those of the tail for the hollow of the elbow. The natives assured us it would resist a musket ball. In general, Nubian shields are made of the skin of the hippopotamus. At twelve o'clock we sailed for the temple; and on the passage took occasion to represent to the reis and crew, that now we were about to be left together, we hoped they would continue to behave well and conduct themselves peaceably, promising on our part every indulgence they could reasonably expect, provided we had no fault to find with them. They all promised to behave themselves orderly and quietly. We dined at one;
the beach; as we wished, by an apparent indifference on our part as to whether they assisted or not, to keep down their demands. We now stripped to the waist and commenced, six in number, including the Greek servant and the janissary, with a good will, and soon found that we made considerable progress. We resolved to keep to our work, and regularly to persevere from three o'clock till dark in the evenings, and from the very first dawning of the day till nine in the mornings. After we had worked about an hour, some of the crew came up. They appeared astonished to see us labouring without our shirts, and expressed surprise at the progress we had made. They now began to assist, which we appeared to take no notice of. They worked well; and at dark we left off, having done as much as (speaking within bounds) forty of the natives would have done in an entire day. Our hands certainly suffered a little from blisters: I had nine on one hand, and eight on the other. We were careful to encourage our sailors, and not to expect too much from them; as their being prohibited from eating or even drinking during the day, rendered their case very different from ours. We returned to our boat in high glee at the favourable appearance of affairs. We had scarcely supped and retired to bed, when we heard a boat approaching. It proved to be that of Daoud Cashief, who was on his way to Derry: he had given a passage to one of our sailors, who had waited behind at the village to get bread made. He sent us a kid with a civil message, and a request that we would spare him some of our small coffee-cups, which were rather handsome. We sent him two; and at the same time requested of him a ludri (a skin to contain water), which he gave us. Lastly, a message came to say that he had left several of his servants behind him at Abou Simbel, with orders to assist us with men ; to procure us supplies and provisions; and, in short, to render us any
service we might require. We thanked him, and renewed our promise of apprising him when we should be near the door, that he might not think we intended to open the temple secretly during his absence; for they all believe we expect to find money. Daoud now departed. We gave our crew two piastres each man, and one to each of the boys-there were six men and two boys -and told them that if they consented to work at similar hours, and in the same manner as we did ourselves, they should daily receive the same sum. These conditions were acceded to with great apparent eagerness.
Thursday, July 17.- We started at the dawn of day and worked hard, fourteen in number, till nearly nine o'clock, when the sun being at a considerable height, and shining directly on us, the heat obliged us to desist. We had made considerable progress; and as we found that all our efforts were directed in the right way, we had reason to be well satisfied. The crew worked tolerably. Hassan was on the opposite side of the river getting bread made, and looking out for a sheep. We dined at one, and at three renewed our operations. One of the crew did not come this evening. We took no notice of it, resolving to give him only half a day's pay. The rest worked pretty well. We continued till starlight, and made great progress. At the latter part of the evening, Hassan returned, but brought nothing with him.
July 18.-In the morning, at the very first dawning of day, we again started to our work and called the crew; but, as we expected, from the moment Hassan arrived, they all refused to work, alleging that the pay was not sufficient; that it was now ramadan, and that they ought to have thirty piastres per day. Our janissary now informed us that they had spoken of this aloud in the night in order that he might tell us. Seeing them in this humour, we told them that those who did not choose to work might let it alone. At half-past eight we left off, having done nearly as much work as if they had been with us: indeed we
were astonished to see what steady persevering labour would do. One of the Abou-Simbel men came this morning and worked very fairly, promising to bring ten more on the morrow: there came also a chief from the opposite side of the river with an offer of twenty men. We told him our terms of two piastres per day for each man, and that it was our intention to pay the money into the men's own hands, as we learnt that the cashiefs and chiefs had given each labourer one piastre only, and retained the other for themselves. At three, we renewed our operations. A few of the crew came, but worked very badly ;—we left off at dark.
Saturday, July 19.-We commenced our labours before daylight. Only two of the crew came, and three other lads. The promised men from Abou-Simbel and the opposite side of the river not arriving, we continued working till half-past eight; when, just as we were about to leave off, Halleel Cashief and his court of bullies made their appearance in a boat; and, landing near our bark, came up to see what was doing. Immediately we saw them approaching we left off work, and, suspecting their roguish intentions, to foil them we went to bathe. The men from the opposite side of the river, about thirty in number, now arrived, but without tools: this disappointed us a little. On coming out of the water, we went to visit Halleel Cashief, as a compliment, and to keep up appearances. While so doing, a desperate dispute took place between our janissary and Hassan, who seeing the former was not armed, chased him into the boat with his drawn dagger, uttering savage imprecations. Halleel made a pretence to interfere; but soon after, while we were settling the dispute, he sneaked away in his boat with all his attendants, without taking leave: indeed ho was off before we were aware, and we were very glad to be rid of him.
Our Greek servant now informed us that Halleel had asked for some coffee; and, on being told there was none, had desired the servant to say nothing to us about his having asked
for it. He was very inquisitive about the stay we intended to make; and seemed desirous we should call on him at Derry on our return, no doubt in hope of getting something more. The men worked pretty well to-day. The Abou-Simbel man, who had promised to bring his nine assistants, never made his appearance. This we clearly saw was Halleel's doing. At night, when paying the men, we had a dispute with some of them, who endeavoured to impose on us by false tickets. These tickets were slips of paper on which Mr. Belzoni wrote his name, and issued them out to the workmen in the morning; and on producing them in the evening they received their pay. This day the Darfur caravan, of four thousand camels, laden with gum, ivory, ostrich-feathers, tamarinds, rhinoceros' horns, slaves, &c., passed on their way to Cairo. The mamelukes had made them pay 9000 dollars (upwards of 20007.) at Dongola. Some of the jelabs who led the caravan came to see our operations. They had long hair greased with oil, and hanging down in ringlets some had it plaited. They wore sandals, had each a long spear, and altogether were singular figures.
serious mischief from ensuing. At night Daoud Cashief's messenger left us, having failed in an attempt to beg a pipe for his master.
Monday, July 21.-This day no men came from the opposite side of the river, but we had about forty from Abou-Simbel. They worked tolerably well, and brought to light the bend of the right arm of the statue, to the north of the door, which was much broken. The discovery was highly satisfactory to us, as it proved that the statues were seated, and, consequently, that we should not have to dig down so deep as if they had been standing figures. In the evening, the men worked pretty well; and towards the close of the day, we uncovered a projecting part of the wall roughly chiselled, uneven in its surface, and having every appearance of unfinished work. As far as we could see down, which was not more than six or eight inches, it still continued the same. The projection was about four inches from the plane surface of the front of the temple, and it appeared to fill up the whole space between the two centre statues. This being exactly the place where we expected to find the door, the sudden change from a flat finished exterior to a coarsely-chiselled uneven surface, was precisely the circumstance most calculated to give the impression that the temple was unfi nished, and that there was no door. Indeed we could not in any other way account for an appearance so extraordinary and unexpected. Discouraging as this discovery was, we nevertheless resolved to proceed with our work, and to dig down till we had ascertained, beyond all possibility of doubt, whether there was an entrance or not.
Sunday, July 20.-At twilight we renewed our labours, and had sixtyfour men to work. The crew stimulated them by a good example, which, coupled with our own personal attendance, produced a good morning's labour. At three p.m. we recommenced our operations and got on tolerably well. This evening one of Daoud Cashief's staff arrived, with some aqua vitæ and a few dates as a present. He also brought Irby and me some new Nubian clothes. Two suits cost us twenty-four piastres, or twelve shillings; double what we had given for better things of the same kind at Momfalout. In the evening our cook threw a kettle of water in the face of a fellow who asked him for money in a threatening manner. This truly cook-like mode of assault un-nied with the present of a water-melon. sheathed the Barbarin's sword (for the most trivial occurrence produces their drawn weapons), and it was with difficulty we could prevent some
About eleven o'clock at night, a boat arrived from the opposite side. They did not make any noise; but the reis sent word that he had brought a sheep for us. The message was accompa
Tuesday, July 22.-At daylight we found a great assemblage of people, the boat having brought them over in the night; and at the same time there