صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

rashness alone prevented our seeing the temple; this was the more provoking, as higher up the river such a fit of valour might occasionally have been of use.

It is a great inconvenience to a traveller in this region that both servants and interpreters always think them. selves wiser than their masters; and, therefore, when they are desired to say or do anything, always act according to the dictates of their own judgment, never letting their employer's wishes influence them. When interpreting they never tell you half what is said, and frequently when you explain something which you are anxious should be interpreted, they answer, "Yes, yes, I know it ;" never thinking of telling the other party, but taking it for granted you are speaking for their information, not for the purpose of their explaining your words to others.

This evening we repassed the gates of Nubia. As the Nile was now high, and the river at this point is much contracted by the approach of the mountains on both sides, the rocks jutting down perpendicularly into the water, our crew, in the hope of obtaining backsheeish, made a great merit of taking the boat through the rapids; but, though noticing all that was going forward, we took care, by an assumed carelessness, to make them think that we were regardless of the whole proceeding, and thus escaped an additional


This evening the current drove us past the two small temples of Teffa. Mr. Belzoni, who has seen them, says that only one of them is finished; it is dedicated to Isis, and is about 20 ft. square; it is in a dirty state, being used as a cow-house-not a bad application for a temple of Isis, to whom the cow was peculiarly sacred. The other, which is of the same size, and situated near the former (both being on the western bank of the river and near the water's edge), has never been completed.

Just before dark we went to visit Hindaw. The ruins in this quarter are very extensive, but nothing can be distinctly made out as to the nature of

the buildings, which, whatever they may have been intended for, have never been finished. Beginning from the southward, the first object is a great square, situated on a bed of rock surrounded by an unfinished wall, built of immense blocks of calcareous stone. On the north side, in the middle, there is a portal similar to those by which the Egyptian temples are generally approached: the top of the door-way is ornamented with the winged globe, and a figure of Isis, in basso-relievo, appears half finished on the side of it. It is not improbable that this wall (which incloses a space about half-amile square) may have been intended to surround several temples; its extent being too great for us to suppose that only one was intended to be constructed within it. Further north is an extensive quarry, from which, it is probable, the stone for these buildings was obtained. Within this quarry we perceived a doorway carved in the Egyptian style; and on each side of it a convexity, as if it had been intended to carve out pillars. There is also a niche, with a bust of Roman execution on each side, and forty-two very perfect Greek inscriptions, written in the time of the Romans, to commemorate the visits of various generals, and other persons of distinction, who had come here to pay their vows. Mr. Bankes copied all these. To the northward of the quarry, on an eminence, is a small unfinished portico, of two pillars on each side, and two in the front; the capitals are finely executed: those of the former combine the lotus flower with the vine, date, and doura grain ; the latter have a quadruple head of Isis.

Friday, August 8.-At noon we inspected the temple at Daboude; it is situated about two hundred yards from the river side, and is altogether unfinished. The approach is by three portals. The temple consists of a portico, composed of four columns in front, and a wall of intercolumniation reaching half way up the pillars. Within, there are two chambers and a sanctuary: the latter contains two handsome monolithe cages of red gra


nite, between 6 and 7 feet high, and about 4 broad; these are the only objects of interest which the temple contains. Towards the river side, on the banks, are the remains of a quay. To-day the murderer quitted the bark, not daring to show himself near Phila: he did not appear ashamed of the crime which he had committed.

in the two galleries is occasioned by a small temple having been situated at each end of the one on the right: these temples are now entirely ruined. At the end of the avenue is a large pylon, formed by two moles. The entrance in the centre has had two lions, and two small obelisks of red granite, ornamented with hieroglyphics, before it. It is on the pedestal of one of these latter that Mr. Bankes discovered the Greek inscription; and it is on the doorway of this pylon that the inscription was written, announcing that this island was the boundary of the French conquests in Egypt, and consequently of their progress up the Nile. The following is a verbatim copy of it :

13 Messidor. Une Armée Françoise "République Françoise, An 6, Le due à Alexandrie. L'Armée ayant mis, commandée par Bonaparte est descenvingt jours après, les Mamlouks en fuite aux Pyramides, Dessaix, commandant la première Division, les a poursuivis au-delà, jusqu'aux Cataracts, où il est arrivé le 13 Ventose, 3 Mars. Les Généraux de Brigade." Here follow the names.

"An 7 de la République, de Jes. Chr. 1799."

In the evening our crew stopped at their village, and brought a scabby, half-starved lamb as a present to us. We could not forbear from laughing, as it was really the most pitiful animal we had seen in the country; and it must have put them to no small trouble to find such a specimen. We refused the present most stoutly, but it was all in vain; they forced it into the boat. At three we arrived at Philæ, called by Hamilton and Burckhardt, Giesiret el Berbe el Ghassir, or Giesiret Anas el Wodjoud. The first of these names means the Island of ruined Temples not an inapt denomination. Philæ is the easternmost of a group of islands and rocks which compose the first cataract. It is about half-a-mile long, rather high, and, being entirely covered with magnificent ruins, has a grand and imposing appearance: the lofty pylons are seen at a great distance, and produce a fine effect. The island divides the Nile into two streams, and the water, finding so great an impediment in its course, rushes by with considerable velocity. The principal edifices are approached by an avenue formed on each side by a gallery supported by columns, the capitals of all which are different. There are thirty of these pillars on the left, and on the right only sixteen, with cells (probably the habitation of the priests) within them; the greater part of these lastmentioned columns are finished, but there are some incomplete. These show that the columns were first constructed and erected in the rough, and that the sculpture was finished after-memorating the worship of Greek and wards. The rough outlines which we found traced were very curious; and, neatly as all the capitals are sculptured, the artist who finished them had but a rough and coarse pattern to guide him. The difference in the number of columns

It was in the portico of this temple that we noticed the elephant as an hieroglyphic. This is the only instance of our finding this symbol in the country. The portico leads through the left end of the great pylon, after which there is a handsome court or hall, and then you enter the temple.

We here first noticed a singular imperfection or peculiarity in the sculpture of the large figure of Isis in the great pylon-she has two left hands. We have since observed the same singularity in other places. The French work has given some of them. In all parts of the island, on the sides of the temples, are Greek inscriptions, com

Roman generals who have come to pay their vows to Isis and Serapis. Phila is said to have been the spot where Isis was appeased of her wrath for the violence offered by Typhon to her husband; and hence we find no less than

four temples dedicated to her in so small a compass.

as an integral part of the state; this is evident from the figures and devices in the temples resembling in every respect those of Egypt. Of the land

Before I quit Nubia, I will add a few observations on the country and its inhabitants. At present only two Eng-in Nubia which might be cultivated, I lish travellers have been in this country. Mr. Hamilton, Colonel Leake, and Captain Hayes, visited Daboude, but were prevented from advancing further by the united efforts of the cashiefs, and the mameluke bey, Elfi. Mr. Hamilton's book contains the result of the mission into Upper Egypt. The French had penetrated only as far as Phila, where they left the inscription just given. Several years elapsed before any European travellers entered Nubia, when Burckhardt led the way, and was followed by Mr. Legh and Mr. Bankes the former has published.

Immediately after passing the first cataract, the traveller observes that the Mockatem and Lybian chains of mountains close in upon the Nile: this remark is applicable, with few exceptions, throughout Nubia, at least as far as we went; there is, consequently, only a narrow strip of cultivated land on either bank of the river. The ancients, to preserve the soil and prevent the rapid stream from washing away the land, constructed immense walls, or, more properly speaking, piers, built of huge masses of stone piled one on the other, and reaching into the river from the foot of the mountain, or rather the limit of the Nile's rising, to the point of the water's lowest ebb. These piers are invariably built at right angles with the stream, and are generally about 15 ft. wide. As they are very numerous, and as the labour and expense of their construction must have been prodigious, some idea may be formed of the importance that was attached to them. From the number of temples, and from the fine plains of loamy soil, now generally covered with a surface of sand a foot thick, which makes them look like the rest of the desert, there is every reason to suppose that this country was once both populous and flourishing. At the time of the height of Egyptian power, it was considered


do not suppose one-fourth is made use of; this indifference to agricultural pursuits proceeds from the despotic nature of the government, where the authorities think of nothing but making the most of their situations whilst they hold them, consequently their sole aim is to get money, no matter how it is procured. A licentious soldiery are ever ready to contribute to the oppression of the inhabitants, more especially when the funds from whence they derive their own pay and emoluments are drawn from this source. observation applies to Egypt as well as to Nubia, only that the fact is more easily perceived in the latter country. The consequence is, that the date palm, the fruit of which ripens without cultivation, and which pays no duty, is here more encouraged than any other production, and the date may safely be called the staple of the country. The doura, which is the Holcus arundinaceus of Linnæus, is the only grain to be met with; it makes very good bread, but they grow barely sufficient for their own subsistence : indeed, it is so prized, that they frequently prefer it to money in payment for the articles we purchased. The miri, or land-tax, is paid at the rate of ten dollars per sackey, consequently every sackey which the Nubians build becomes an additional inducement to the Turks to come into their country; and it is only the scantiness of the produce which deters the pasha from quartering his troops on them; this the crafty natives are well aware of, and take care to put no temptation in his way. The present mode of collecting the miri in Nubia, is by sending thither annually about two hundred Turkish soldiers in boats, and the money they get hardly defrays the expenses of the expedition. The duty is not paid in cash, but in doura, which they purchase back from the Turks; but they generally contrive that the soldiers do not return very full-handed. These

soldiers usually make Derry their head-quarters, and remain about six weeks in the country, during which time the cashiefs retire into the mountains, and the natives conceal their arms, which are always taken from them whenever they are found. In several parts of Nubia we noticed the sites of ancient towns, indicated, as in Egypt, by mounds of rubbish.

As we resided longer in the country, and had more dealings with the natives than any other Europeans have ever had, I shall subjoin a few remarks regarding them. The Nubians are a very distinct race of people from the Arabs. Their dress is commonly a loose white shirt and a turban; sometimes they are uncovered, except a cloth round the waist. They are very superstitious, most of them wearing charms to keep off "the evil eye," or other apprehended ills. These charms consist of some words written on a scrap of paper, and sewn up in leather; they are worn mostly on the right arm over the elbow, and sometimes round the neck. All the cashiefs we saw had them, and one Nubian dandy had nine of these appendages. These people pride themselves on their cunning schemes to deceive strangers. Few of them smoke, instead of which they use salt and tobacco mixed, enveloped in wool, and kept between the under lip and gum; the boys commence this practice when quite young. They are all rogues, but being bred up such, do not think there is any harm in being so; the opprobrious terms, harame, cadab, (thief, liar,) are not considered abusive with them, as they have no notion of honesty, and cannot possibly keep from pilfering anything within their reach; we detected our sailors at this work almost daily, but they always made a joke of it. The several districts differ much in regard to dress, and particularly in the manner of wearing the hair: some have it curled, "à la Brutus," others plaited and hanging down with great uniformity, in ringlets, to the shoulders, where it is cut off square at the bottom, and looks exactly like a mop. These latter grease their locks plentifully

with oil; the former have generally a skewer sticking in their hair in readiness to disturb any animalcule which may bite too hard. There is great difference in the features and make of the several Nubian tribes: the natives of Elpha are tall and good-looking; the people of Derry ugly and deformed; the tribe at Armada are small, but handsome, and well made; all of them are considerably darker than the Arabs. Nubians are frugal in their mode of living, subsisting principally on doura, made into flat cakes, and baked on a heated stone, and on sour milk and dates. It is usual to see a man set out on a journey of several days with no other provision than a small bag of dates. They eat the offal of all the beasts they kill, not rejecting any part; and when we were at the village to which the crew belonged, the women came down eagerly to dispute for some fowls, which, having died, had been thrown on shore. They are great boasters, but do not appear to have any firmness; and they have an especial aversion to fire-arms. They evince much outward show of religion, praying four or five times a day; and to display their piety, they leave the sand on their foreheads, which sticks there while they are performing their devotions. They are respectful to their cashiefs, to whom they refer all their quarrels and disputes. They are invariably armed, and appear very proud of their weapons; most of them carry a dagger on the left arm, a long pike and a sword slung across the back. The boys, when young, have weapons given them; this, they imagine, shows their independence, and they acknowledge no government. They are exceedingly passionate with each other, but are soon reconciled, even after the most inveterate abuse. They adhere together, and no bribes can separate them; we never saw an instance in which we had any of them on our side, or where they revealed anything to us. Ear-rings are common amongst the men; they usually have but one, and it is immaterial in which ear it is worn. They eat the locusts grilled, and affirm that they are good. Necessity has led

them to the only manufacture which strips of leather, hanging down and they possess. It consists of neat close-ornamented with cowry-shells and grained platters, made of the date-tree, beads. The hair of the women is to contain their milk and food. No earthenware is made in the country; their water-jars are brought from Egypt.

The women do not cover their faces so scrupulously as the Arabs; they are not ill-looking, are generally well made, and have good figures. They wear a brown garment reaching down to the ankles; it is thrown over the right shoulder, comes close under the left arm, the shoulder of which is bare, and has not an ungraceful appearance; they are very partial to rings and bracelets; the former are frequently worn at the nose, the latter are made of one piece of brown glass, which, not yielding and being forced on as small as possible, often causes much pain: they always go bare-footed. Young girls have a covering round their loins made of

plaited somewhat like the men's, and greased with oil. The Barabras, from their frugal mode of life, are subject to few diseases. They are all marked with one, and sometimes two, scars on the spine of the back, where they have been burnt for the cure of an endemial disease, which attacks them when young. This mode of treatment draws all the humours to one spot, and keeps the discharge open till the patient is recovering; experience has doubtless shown it to be often successful. A boy, while we were at Abou-Simbel, was in a state of cure, and accidentally injured the part, which caused it to bleed; the father immediately applied a remedy, of which there is no scarcity in the country. He threw some sand upon the wound, which soon appeased the boy's cries and pain.


Descent of the first Cataract-Ancient Quarries at Assuan-Visit from the Aga-Elephantina -Koum Ombo-Mountains of the Chain- Temple at Edfoo-Fine Ruins at El Cab Esneh-Luxor-Tombs of Gourna-Mummy Pits-Magnificent Tomb--The Tombs of the Kings-View from the Summits of the Lybian Chain-Observations on ThebesTentyra-Singular Use of the Mummy Cases-Ruins at the Foot of the MockatemArrival at Cairo-Visit to the Pyramids-Observations on Cairo-Massacre of the Mamelukes-Appearance of the Country-The Nile-Travellers in Egypt-Expenses. Tuesday, August 12.-After about four hours' disputing and bargaining with the crew, we persuaded them to take us down the cataract in the boat, for the sum of fifty piastres; but they would not start unless we paid them every para of the money beforehand. We tried to induce them to take half the cash at first, and the other half on our arrival; but, no, they must have it all. It was of course the same to us, whether we paid them before or after; but knowing their character, we were afraid that when they once got the money, they would turn our things out of the boat and take themselves off, especially as there was a great crowd assembled who would have aided them any of their pranks. We could not help laughing when we found that, how


ever unfavourable an opinion we had formed of them, they were equally suspicious of us. Having at length given them the money, they prepared to depart. A pilot and eight additional hands came on board to conduct us down. Just before putting off, Hassan sneaked off and disappeared, dreading, no doubt, the report we should make of him to the Aga. We were about two hours on our passage, which was amongst all the windings and turnings of the innumerable islands which form the rapids, for cataract there is none. The scenery was wild, barren, and romantic. Sometimes the bark was carried away pretty sharply by the stream, and occasionally, when she was roughly handled in the vortex of the current, the sailors cried out, “tyep,

« السابقةمتابعة »